Here are some things going on in Boston…
Boston Beer Week starts today. Celebrate the Boston beer scene if you are so inclined.
Mark your calendars for Circle the City. It’s an inaugural program whose aim is to encourage city residents to get outside and enjoy some of Boston’s great parks.
I am anxiously awaiting the opening of my local farmers’ market. Many have already opened! Search for a market near you here.
My mom likes to send me interesting magazine and newspaper articles in the mail. Many of them are related to health issues. She just sent me one about “limiting the dangers of cellphone radiation.” So I thought I would pass on a link. I’m not surprised that my phone emits little radiation, since the model is “a step above smoke signals.” (I stole that line from my friend McRae.)
Check out your phone’s radiation level.
It’s Groundhog Day. Props to Phil for not seeing his shadow.
It’s another snow day here. I am puttering about the house, doing long put-off chores.
And I can’t get the song “Pennsylvania Polka” out of my head. Maybe if I watch Groundhog Day, the song will somehow depart from my brain.
I constantly worry about Olive being bored, living in a basement studio. No windows to peer out of…no different rooms to explore.
I have brought home so many toys and accoutrements for her to try, and she doesn’t even bat an eye at them! I bought her a cat bed. She ignored it. I bought her some kind of mat with scratching material on it. She never stepped foot on it. I bought her crinkly balls. She never touched them.
I thought I hit the jackpot when I bought cat grass for the first time the other day. The woman loves her food and her chicken-flavored treats. Why wouldn’t she love to eat some grass?
Well. You can guess what happened. I grew the grass, anxiously waiting for it to sprout and grow two to four inches, as the instructions instructed. When the fateful moment arrived, I put the luscious grass in front of her and started babbling in my crazy mama cat voice.
She looked at the grass. She sniffed it.
And promptly TURNED HER BACK TO THE GRASS.
What!?!? Maybe all of the grass overwhelmed her, I thought. I picked out one blade and laid it in front of her. Nothing.
Maybe I need to put the grass next to her food bowl, so she understands she is supposed to eat it, I thought.
Nope. Ah well. I’ll find something new for her yet. Can’t fault a mom for trying!
I saw Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men, speak last night at the MFA. He was witty and very chatty. He wore bright red socks with his dark suit.
He told us that, like all writers, he draws on his personal experiences when writing. He had a crush on his babysitter when he was young, and walked in on her on the toilet. (= Glenn Bishop walked in on Betty.) His parents have a photo of themselves sharing a hot dog. (= photo of Don and Betty sharing a hot dog, during Season 1’s Kodak carousel scene.)
When asked why he thought the show was so popular, he mentioned the fact that the audience never knows what is going to happen. He doesn’t believe in “spoon-feeding” the audience. He wants the audience to feel the anxiety of not knowing what to expect, and then the relief once they find out.
Everyone can relate to the show in a way, because as he said, it deals with the stakes of everyday life. People’s private vs. public selves. Being tied to people when you share a secret. Being in a minority group and wanting to belong.
Regarding casting, he said that he didn’t want to cast anyone with prior associations. He also joked that he had no money. Seventy men tried out for the role of Don Draper. He chose Jon Hamm because he was intelligent, and he was funny AND goodlooking. He quipped that goodlooking people don’t need to be funny…Jon has both qualities because he doesn’t know he is one of the most attractive men on the planet. Weiner could also tell that Jon wasn’t raised by his parents….he intuitively picked up on that somehow. Which matches the circumstances of his character, Don Draper.
Weiner’s wife was in the audience, and he gave her a big shout-out, which I thought was nice. He credited her for many insights into the scripts, and “he doesn’t even have to pay her.”