Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Try Not to Breathe

Unwanted Rodent Roommate Jim woke me from the verge of sleep the night of my last entry, a crunching gnawing sound coming from the closet. I tore my entire yarn stash out, trying to find him. No mouse, but I found the droppings, along the edges of the baskets, so I knew I'd hit jackpot. The next day I bought a vacuum and cleared out the rest of the crap on that side of the closet, searching, and finally, finally found the little bastard's port of entry, a hole in the corner of the closet, leading to the outside. It's now stuffed full of plastic bags, with a heavy object against it, hopefully a good enough deterrent to hold me until I can finally get a mesh and some spackle and truly cover it up.

One benefit of the rodent: it gave me the impetus to go back again into my yarn stash and reorganize. Oh, and finally buy a stinking vacuum, so I don't have the borrow the neighbor's. Thank you, Jim. Now go to hell. Or at least to the house down the street.

When I'm not chasing down mice, I've also been, finally, watching Mad Men — it's on Netflix Instant Streaming now, so I figured I might as well see what all the fuss is about. I'm halfway through the series so far, and I have to say: I don't get it.

Well, okay, I get it a little, but I don't get what makes it so incredibly compelling and exciting. I keep watching it mostly out of curiosity — I do want to know what happens next, but only mildly. The characters are pretty stock, the historical setting is presented exactly as you'd expect, there are no jaw-gaping surprises. Even the central protagonist, Don Draper, is an idealized "product of his time", predictable in his internal conflicts, only dealing with them in a slightly idiosyncratic way. (Or perhaps it's just that he reminds me of someone I already know, so I've got that been-there, had-him feeling.)

But really: I already knew people of the early 60s were misogynistic and racist. I already knew housewives were bored and advertising execs were supposed to be drunken womanizers. Give me something that surprises me, an insight into another time. Don't try to paint a darker picture of the nostalgia I don't have for a time I didn't know.

I'm not saying it isn't a well-done show — it's certainly smooth, researched, and provides just enough intrigue to be worth wasting an hour or two of your otherwise-eventless evening with — but it doesn't live up to the hype at all. I dunno, maybe shows like Battlestar Galactica and Sports Night have raised my bar of expectations too high. Or maybe a lot of people just have a relatively low bar. But I don't think it's a show worthy of rearranging my weekly evening schedule around.

I try not to think about it, but it's hard not to when I let it stare me in the face all the time. My heart is still broken — broken too many times, not just by the culprit we expect, I'm finally realizing that. I'm not sure how to pick up the pieces from that, not sure how to let go of the ... anger? hurt? so that I can be whole again.

It's not as overwhelming as it used to be, and that's good. I've got one wing now: it's time to see if it's enough to take flight on, and rise above.

No comments: