Monday, 30 August 2010

Mad Men - Emmy Award 2010 for best Drama :)

Congrats to my favorite show for winning the third year in a row!

I'm so thrilled for them:)

Mad Men - Season 04 Episode 06


Quite an intense episode this week.

So it‘s getting obvious that Don‘s drinking has become a serious problem for SCDP now. I cringed in my seat when he tried to do the presentation and then stealing the kid‘s tag. (Too drunk to notice, so at least it wasn‘t intentional I guess).

Bringing in Don‘s past again and showing us how he and Roger met and how it all started was brilliant!

Especially since Roger‘s position in the company is getting weaker and weaker. He‘s been all but pushed to the sidelines with the other partners doing business w/o consulting him much. Somehow I have a feeling that this will not go down well with Roger.

There‘s a lot of potential for conflict between him and Don in this season. It‘s hard to tell which direction the writers will take it. Both men know a great deal about each other, so it‘ll be interesting to see how far they‘re willing to go IF they are heading indeed in the direction of a fall-out (as the promo for this season suggests BTW).

Peggy was awesome in this ep too. That scene with the chauvinistic pig (the art director), PRICELESS. Stripping down naked to work „in the nude“ ?!?! You what??? LOL....brilliant scene and a total win for Peggy! Go you, girl.

I still can‘t help but feeling sorry for Don, even though he brought most of his misery on himself.  I really, really WANT him back on his feet again. I miss the „old“ Don Draper! On the other hand, there‘s more darkness and pain inside him to explore. I wonder when he‘ll have hit rock bottom and what the consequences will be. Will he have friends to help him out of it? Roger? (against all odds?)... Peggy is someone who I think will always stick up for him.

Just the way she handled the situation with Don stealing the kid‘s idea. She‘s clearly completely loyal to Don and it isn‘t the first time she‘s helped him out of a tight spot.

It‘s really no wonder that this series has won an Emmy for outstanding drama the third time in a row.

The writing is beyond anything I‘ve ever seen on tv and the many twists and turns they throw in, make it so surprising still, even in its fourth year now.

What a great show.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Mad Men Season 04 - Episode 05

What an amazing Episode.

There was so much going on, I don‘t even  know where to start.

First off, I LOVED that they showed some work related stuff again. SCDP trying to land Honda was too good to be true. Such a joy to watch the old Don, the way he schemed and manipulated the Japanese and his competitor until he landed the account.

And that after Roger‘s disastrous behavior! That client was lost by all means and yet Draper did it again. Achieved the impossible and brought them back in!


And the second story line, Don‘s home front, was just as good. Finally we get to see that someone out there is worrying about Sally. That it‘s Henry, is perfect. I see a lot of conflict lying ahead of his and Betty‘s marriage here. He‘s not only taking Don‘s side, he‘s also pointing out to Betty that she‘s too harsh on her daughter.

It‘s also interesting to see Don admitting that he has difficulties in how to deal with his kids. He says he doesn‘t know what to do with them, and I think for a man in the sixties, it‘s completely normal. He misses them, but it‘s hard for him to really „relate“ to them.

The scene in the psychiatrist‘s office is a very strong one too. She sees right through Betty and I wonder if she‘ll be able to help the mother as well as the daughter. And I wonder if she‘s really over Don, or if she‘s using the kids to punish him.

Very interesting things to explore here.

Great Ep. It really rushed by and I had a blast watching it.

This is really one of the best written shows on television.

Can‘t wait for next week.

Amazing Sky! - After thunderstorm

Wow! We just had a heavy thunderstorm and when it was over, there were two rainbows up in the sky and the most amazing coloring I've ever seen.

This was the view from our terrace.

So beautiful... almost surreal!

An outdoor room....

OMG... this is sooo adorable!

I was thinking about turning one of our outdoor sitting places into a "lounge" of sorts and now that I've seen these pics of a London house where the owner turned two terraces into two "outdoor rooms" as extension to the dining room/living room... I'm at awe.

I just looooooooooooooove the rug here!

(via NY Times,  here.)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Management Tip of the Day....

There is someone who I'd really love to point this out to!

Management Tip Of The Day: Stop Bringing Down Your Team

"Chances are you've worked with someone who drains all the intelligence and capability out of a team. Sometimes, despite your intentions, that person may be you. Here are three things you can do to get out of your team's way and let it shine:

1. Don't be a hero. You don't always need to have an answer. Give your people the opportunity to think things through themselves.

2. Don't make abrupt decisions. Quick decisions can short-circuit a team. Let your people in on your decision-making process and whenever possible, cultivate debate about an issue before coming to a conclusion.

3. Don't talk too much. You may think your excitement is infectious when in reality it is stifling. Try keeping your mouth shut and leave room for your employees to share their ideas."

- Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Bringing Out the Best in Your People" by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown.

(via NY Times)

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Most US Students think Beethoven is a dog...

...uhm... NO. WORDS....!

Just sad!

WASHINGTON (AFP) - – Most young Americans entering university this year can't write in cursive, think email is too slow, that Beethoven's a dog and Michelangelo a computer virus, according to an annual list compiled by two academics at a US college.

Go here for the complete article.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Mad Men Season 04 - Episode 04

Again... a very enjoyable Episode.

It‘s a good thing that they dedicated a great part of the episode to the work related stuff. It‘s so interesting to see how advertising in the sixties was done and what „value systems“ were applied.

I had to smile about the group session with the female staff. All the drama... and poor Don watching on, afraid that Alison would say something.

The scene she threw him in the office, was done superbly too :)

I can understand why she thinks that  Don‘s not a very good person (at least not regarding his casual flings and sleeping around with the secretaries). And really... he needs another place to stay! This apartment he‘s rented is awful. So dark and depressing, no wonder he‘s turned to the bottle!

I really loved that they gave Peggy another story line. Her getting in touch with NY‘s art scene and smoking pot is promising. I guess we‘ll soon be seeing her experimenting with more drugs, sexual freedom etc.

She‘s clearly trying to find her place and her goals in life.

That she‘s kind of shocked about Pete and Trudy having a baby comes as no surprise to me. She DOES have feelings for him and it must hit her hard, seeing him so happy about it, knowing she gave away the baby she had with him.

I was hoping since season 2 that  they‘d pick that up again and I can‘t wait how this will play out in the end. Will Trudy ever learn about it?
I must say, I miss Betty though. It‘s strange that the character has been sidelined so much. She was such an integral part of Don‘s life in the first three season. Hopefully that part - and his relationship with his kids  - will be shown more further on.

This series really rocks and it hasn‘t lost any of its appeal for me. I love it.

Can‘t wait for next Sunday  :)

Monday, 9 August 2010

Mad Men Season 04 - Episode 03

AMAZING Episode.

I loved all the scenes between him and Anna. She‘s such a great character and she‘s Don‘s only connection to his „old self“. And she loves him unconditionally.

It really moved me to tears when she told him, „I know everything about you and I still love you.“

How awesome was that? VERY!

Jon Hamm did an amazing job getting across the inner turmoil when Don finds out that Anna has cancer. I totally bought into his inner conflict about whether to tell her or not. In the end he didn‘t and I think it was the right decision.

I also enjoyed the scene between him and Lane. Two lost souls, so to speak, keeping each other company. I never liked Lane Pryce much. He‘s got no backbone in my opinion, but I felt for him here.

As usual, I‘m completely at awe about the sets, the authenticity and the love to detail they put into them. Nothing short of AMAZING.

A really great episode which I enjoyed immensely.

Roll on next week :)

PS: .... can IZZZZZ drive with Don in  this convertible  ???? :)

Please tell me you're kidding....

Another one to be filed under "creepy decoration"....*shudder*

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Autumn is lurking around the corner...

Took a walk yesterday and it was lovely... however... if you look closely, you can already see Autumn lurking around the corner.

Well... let's hope there'll be a wonderful late summer before that ;)

Thursday, 5 August 2010

A Week in the Tuscany?

... YESSSSS please....
(Baby, let's pack... this looks like the perfect getaway for October :)

Castello di Vicarello is the kind of place you dream about. Movies and novels describe such places but you don’t really believe they exist. Too good to be true. But Castello di Vicarello is definitely real and it has been so since 1100. The castle sits on a hill overlooking the Maremma countryside in southern Tuscany, and it offers absolutely everything that any of your senses would want of a Tuscan vacation.

(via here)

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

I'm selfish and Unkind....

... according to this study here.

I've got an iPad, and I even happen to LOVE it... SHOCKING!

So that makes me a selfish and unkind person. Thanks for clearing that up for me :)

At least I'm also part of an "elite" group ...whereas the iPad critics are more likely to be atheists and childless.

Ohhhh.... good. Now we know exactly who's who and where good and evil are ;)

Seriously, are there really people who read such a crap and who believe in it?

I really get that there are (and probably always will be) the PRO and CONTRA camps (Windows/Apple users), but attacking the people personally, just because they happen to own a certain Apple product?!!?

Sorry.... Just stupid in my opinion. (Ooops... but that's probably just me being arrogant and feeling superior because I have an iPad, I guess ;)

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The Beauty of Urban Decay...

The Beauty of Urban Decay

A couple of days ago, I took an evening walk and came across this place, which used to be a train repair hangar. That day the sun hung low and it was a breathtakingly beautiful sight to see this industrial building glowing in the golden light.

I didn‘t have the camera with me, so today when the sun came out, I went back there. I‘m still very shy when it comes to „trespassing“ (I had to literally force myself to ignore the big warning sign NO TRESPASSING), but I really, really wanted to capture the beauty of this building, which reminded me of a weathered face beneath the other glitzy city facades.

There was a certain eroded elegance radiating from this neglected spot.

Found out, a furniture store has bought it recently and will turn this into a modern sales store soon. The more reason to enjoy its grungy beauty while its still there.

(BTW... I was „caught“ by three construction workers who were awfully  nice and explained to me the building‘s original function, where everything was and how it worked. They were awesome!)

(all photos copyright Lausi)

Monday, 2 August 2010

Mad Men Season 04 - Losing its Passion?

Last night‘s episode left me a bit „wanting“.

I can‘t put my finger on it, but I felt something was missing. It felt as if this episode just floated along, with the usual „ingredients“, sexy women, Don sleeping with his secretary, a client who was a real ass, and an office party, (BTW for me the most enjoyable scene in this ep... I loved Joan. She was clearly back to her best form here :)

All pretty much a repeat of earlier seasons but without building up to a strong story line, as was the case in season 01 - 03. What I'm saying is, I'm missing the red thread!

The whole Peggy story line, new boyfriend, trying to play the virgin... it just doesn‘t ring true to me and I have difficulties grasping Peggy‘s character these days. She is such a changed person from the first seasons, she doesn‘t make sense to me. Maybe I‘ll „get“ her better further on into season four. I'll see.

The weakest point for me however, was the whole story with the kids. Don‘s daughter does have some serious issues to deal with, no doubt about it,  but bringing in freaky neighborhood boy, who seems to be appearing out of the blue „stalking her“ so to speak, I don't know. (He was already creepy in season 01), but him and his friend vandalizing the Francis‘/Draper‘s residence. ... I was like... Really? You‘re serious? It seemed far fetched and kind of stupid, including Henry‘s and Betty's reaction (which we didn‘t really see). It's mainly the young age of both kids, that makes this so unbelievable to me.

All in all an average ep.

Still, even when it‘s average, Mad Men is better than most other shows on Tele. And Don Draper, semi-drunk, disheveled and sleeping with his secretary... still friggin HOTT :))))

Last but not least, a word on the photography: Simply AWESOME! Absolutely brilliant. It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful the sets are, how perfect the lighting and everything else. That alone is reason enough to tune in again next week.

Want to be there now....

.... especially since it's soooo hott and humid today and
AC in the office is not working ... *sigh*

(photo via dornob)

Sunday, 1 August 2010

New Fancy Flat-Iron - and NO third-degree burns :)

Flat ironing your hair is the key to smooth, straight locks... so says the ad 
-- uhm... really???

After Martin, my hairdresser (excuse me... hairstylist), has been telling me for ages what a good investment a flat iron would be for me (I have naturally wavy hair and usually have it straightened out when I go to have it dyed) and how „easy to handle“ it is, I finally gave in and bought the one he recommended.

He sang its praise loud and clear (and yes, they probably get a nice provision at the hair salon for selling them, I‘m aware of that. On the other hand, I‘m deathly afraid to damage my hair by buying a cheap one or the wrong one, so I trusted him on this)

It looks fancy, shiny and nice... I give it that! But does it work?!?!

To tell the truth... I can be a bit clumsy, and I have very thick hair, so I wasn‘t sure, I could do it right (and without causing myself third degree burns on my ears or scalp), so I used a huge amount of the heat-protection-spray and went to work... and surprisingly enough it really looked ALMOST as good as when Martin does it.

I don‘t know if I‘d want to do it each time after washing my hair (it DOES take forever and usually I let my hair air-dry, but it‘s nice to know I CAN straighten it out myself now if need be :)

Plus, with this red + black special addition it fits perfectly into our bathroom (pure coincidence though!)