Mad Men – New Business

Mad Men – New Business

Mad Men - New Business

Last week’s Mad Men episode was full of symbolism and showed Don Draper letting himself fall apart a bit, accepting his flaws and embracing his demons. This week we saw a Don Draper who is trying to get his life together and make a new start. In an episode titled “New Business,” there is a good deal of both old and new business.

The two main storylines in this week’s episode focused on his relationship with two women, Diana and Megan. Was this the last we’ll see of these two? The episode ended in a way that leaves us thinking it may be, but it’s Mad Men, where partners do LSD and conservative Catholic girls smoke marijuana and go to strip clubs. Who knows what will happen?

Before we see either of these two women, we see Betty. Don is in her home looking quite comfortable making milkshakes for the children. Betty and Henry enter the scene, Betty first. She and Don have a conversation in which she gives us the first new business of the episode – she is going back to school to get a Master’s degree in psychology. Both laugh in light of her past experience with psychiatrists and his skepticism of the field, and he wittily replies, “Should be fascinating for all involved.”

Both Don and Betty, as well as their two sons and Henry, seem at ease in thisBetty and Don milkshake scene scene, seeming to indicate this is now old business, business everyone seems to have adjusted to and settled into. There is one family member who is absent from this scene, however, another challenging woman in Don’s life, his daughter, Sally. She has been absent from both episodes in this final season. It will be interesting to see where the two of them land. As the scene ends and Don leaves, he turns and looks at the happy family they have become. There is regret in his face as he looks back at what he had and lost.

Through most of “New Business,” Don and Megan avoid each other. When asked about her, he reminds multiple people she isn’t his wife anymore, although he seems to have trouble letting it go at times. Right after the scene with Betty, Megan calls Don and when he answers the phone she is obviously surprised and says she expected to get the service. She wanted to communicate, but not directly with him. She says she needs $500 and he argues with her about it, telling her his finances are a mess because of a problem with McCann. Later in the episode he casually writes her a check for megan and don divorce mad men new businessa million dollars (after she calls him “an aging, sloppy, selfish liar”) saying he doesn’t want to fight anymore and wants her to have the life she deserves. It seems there was no financial mess, just unwillingness to move things along with the divorce and a desire to keep some kind of connection with Megan, even if just financial.

The other woman this episode spent a lot of time on is Diana, the waitress Don met at the diner in the previous episode. There is no excitement in this relationship. It is completely different from any of his past relationships, except that she’s a brunette, like every woman he has cared about since divorcing the blond Betty. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe it’s meant to show the contrast between the promiscuous Don Draper we saw all the way up to last week’s episode, and the man he is trying to become, the old vs the new again.

Diana is a woman of mystery and contradiction. She shows little emotion and has since the first time Don met her. He thought he knew her and was so convinced of it that he returned a couple of times. Then he was still so convinced of it that he got someone to find out where she was working after she left the diner. (“Are you a private detective?” Diana asks him. “You look like a private detective.” A play on words? Private detectives are often called Dicks, and Don’s real name is Dick Whitman.) Maybe it’s her sadness he finds so familiar, not her specifically. In many ways, she is the female version of him. Her mysterious past includes a tragic family life, part of Elizabeth Reaser as Diana and Jon Hamm as Don Draper, Mad Men _which was lived in a ranch with a two car garage and a living room where she bought Avon products, much like the house Don lived in with Betty. She reaches out to him sexually and seems now and then to want to connect, sharing pieces of her history with him and telling him he makes her nervous, gives her a twinge in her chest, and makes her forget some of her tragedy. But then she becomes afraid or ashamed of her past and shuts down again.

Perhaps he was attracted to the chance to be for her the person he wants in his life, someone who wants to make a new start, who accepts his past and his flaws, but doesn’t ask many questions. It’s this quality he learns they do not share. He wants to leave the past behind. He doesn’t want to feel guilty or hurt. He wants to move on to new business. But Diana is clinging to old business. With Don, she has a chance at a new start and she feels herself falling for him. She tells him that when she’s with him she forgets her daughter and her pain and that she never wants to do that. She wants to experience the pain. Don doesn’t.

In the scene with the two of them in Diana’s apartment that is the dump Don tells her she thinks she deserves, it’s this difference between them that ends the relationship. On his way out her door he leaves a guidebook to New York City that he brought her as a gift so she can begin getting to know the city he loves and that she told him she has not explored. He wants her to have new experiences. His leaving the guidebook is an expression of that desire.

The story of Roger and Marie Calvet, Megan’s mother, also progresses in this episode. They sleep together in Don and Megan’s apartment after the movers have emptied it and while Megan is at lunch. (“You already emptied it out,” Roger says to Marie. “You want to defile it too?”) When Megan returns to find Roger getting dressed, he tells her it wasn’t his idea, which is the truth. Megan and Marie both storm out of the room, leaving Roger once again abandoned by two angry women.

When Megan sees her sister later, her sister is in tears because their mother has returned home early and is going to leave their father. “She’s been unhappy for a very long time. At least she’s doing something about it,” Megan says, a statement that is is not only relevant to Marie’s relationship with her husband but is also a comment on both Don and Megan, both very unhappy for a long time, both in a miserable marriage for a long time, both dragging out a difficult divorce. It’s also a statement that applies to many years of Don’s life, very unhappy but not doing anything about it because he didn’t know what to do. Trying and failing over and over, repeating the same mistakes over and over.

pete golf carPete Campbell drives he and Don to a golf meeting in one scene of “New Business,” and he makes a statement that encapsulates the entire episode. They are talking about women, marriage, and divorce and he says, “You think you’re going to begin your life over and do it right. But what if you never get past the beginning again?” Don is good at the beginning of relationships, when it’s new and exciting. He’s not so good in the long haul. Maybe he is trying to change that. Maybe he was attracted to Diana for the very fact that it wasn’t the excitement and the rush he felt with so many women before. Maybe he felt a deeper connection and hoped that deeper connection would be what held them together, but it didn’t work out that way. Ever the conflicted and complex man, how will things work out for Don Draper when the Mad Men era comes to an end? Will he get past the beginning again? We shall see.

#MadMen #NewBusiness #MadMenEra

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It Follows

It Follows

It Follows

It Follows
A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after getting involved in a sexual encounter.

Okay, so don’t waste your money.  When it comes out for free on Netflix, you have zero movies left in your queue, and you want to waste a little under 2 hours, then, and only then, watch this movie.

I actually thought Maika Monroe did a good job with what she had to work with.  The concept of the movie is pretty good but it just didn’t come together.  Lots of holes, lots of empty pockets, just…not good.

I was one of 2 people watching the movie.  Granted, it was a 1:25pm showing on Tuesday.  Therefore, the number of people, or lack there of, didn’t bother me at all.  I saw it at the Cinebarre in Thornton.  I’ve been to Cinebarre in Louisville, CO but that was my first, and last time visiting that theater.  From the entrance of the building to the theater is long, dark, dreary and depressing walk.  The walls have amazing movie posters but that’s it.  I had a very friendly woman at the bar selling the tickets, she even swapped me her ink for my marker pen.  I’m left handed so I hate marker pens.  My server, Darbi, was also super friendly and super nice.  The ladies room smelled 1 step better than a porta potty.  My theater was #6.  It’s right beyond the kitchen.  The kitchen smelled like, I don’t know, really old grease or something weird.  But, back to the movie!

My first thought, within the first few seconds of the start of the film was, “take your heels off to run”.  Second thought?  “You’re parked so far onto the beach that you can’t see the road.  You’ve walked numerous feet beyond your car and you’re sitting in the sand, talking on your phone, and you still have those heels on?”  Stupid thoughts to have?  Yeah, probably, but my mind never really shuts up.

We start finding out how this story pans out when Jay and Hugh (aka Jeff) are in the ticket line at a movie theater.  She want to play “Trade Game”.  Trade game is where you scan a crowd of people and pick out who you would like to trade places with.  The person you’re playing with gets 2 guesses to figure out who you chose and why.  When Hugh points to the girl he thinks Jay would trade places with, Jay can’t see her.

The 2 have sex a couple of scenes later.  We find out that when “It’s Following” you, you pass it one to someone else through sex.  Huh?  Like an STD?  If what follows you kills you, it goes back to the person that gave it to you and tries to kill them.  It goes back to killing as far back as the those still living goes.

I like doing movies where I can find out, and post, if addresses are real, if the murders discussed were real, etc.  Nothing like that in this movie for me to do.  It was shot in and around Detroit.

One thing I did like about this movie was that it didn’t try to shock you.  So many new horror movies just go for shock factor.  This didn’t have anything like that and it felt a bit more like a throwback movie.  The cinematography was really cool.  I’ve read other reviews and I see that I’m pretty much alone on disliking the movie.  If I was 14 – 18, I think I would have liked it more.  It just didn’t feel like it had much depth.  The acting was good, the cinematography was great, the music was so-so, the plot was good just not well put together.

For me?  3 stars out of 10.


Ghost Adventures Season 7 Episode 8 Brookdale Lodge

Ghost Adventures Season 7 Episode 8 Brookdale Lodge

Ghost Adventures Season 7 Episode 8 Brookdale Lodge

Ghost Adventures Season 7 Episode 8 Brookdale Lodge
November 9, 2012

Photo Courtesy of The Travel Channel

Photo Courtesy of The Travel Channel


Brookdale Lodge
11570 Highway 9
Brookdale, CA 95007

The things that I type up for the Ghost Adventure episodes are things that I look up simply to fulfill my own curiosity as I watch the show.  I look up murders, people that lived in the house, I always pause to read the letters, newspapers, etc. that the show pops up on the screen.  I figure, I can’t be the only one that does this so maybe me doing this will save some folks the leg work.

I’ve posted about this episode before.  I used to focus on the show itself.  Since I now focus on the history, I’m doing it again.  However, if you want to read my first post, from 2012, you can do this by clicking here.

This episode aired in November, 2012.  At the beginning of the show they said that the hotel is “shut down”.  In an article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, dated July 22, 2014, the Brookdale Lodge had new owners.

on Tuesday, local hoteliers Pravin and Naina Patel announced they have purchased the iconic property, which includes the Bavarian-style Brook Room — which has a creek running through down the center of the dining hall — an indoor pool and rumors of a haunting.

“It’s almost like it was meant to be and it happened,” said Previn Patel, who owns three other local hotels and had previously expressed interest in the Brookdale Lodge. “I’ve spoken to so many people who have memories of the lodge. I want to bring that same memory back at a higher level. I want to take it back to its glory.”

The hotel has been closed since it was repossessed by the State Bank of India California. The Patels — who paid $2.75 million for the property — have been working with Supervisor Bruce McPherson’s office on the project, and Patel said he knows he has a long road to bring the property back.

Patel said he plans to start meeting with county officials immediately to clear up some of the building code problems. He plans to preserve the historic character of the building, some of which was lost under the former owner.

It was renamed Brookdale Inn & Spa.  Their website is still up and running.  However, when I called to confirm whether or not they were still open, I found the number has been disconnected.  Their last Tweet (@brookdalelodge) is from December, 2010.

There’s a great, and very detailed, explanation about spirits being associated with running water on this link.

There is no documentation of there ever being a drowning at the lodge or of James Logan having a niece named Sarah.  He had 2 nieces, as far as I can tell.  Their names were Josie Logan and Cora Lee.  Thinking maybe the story had gotten muddled over the years, I searched his daughter.  Her name was Gladys Logan.  I’m not confirming that these events never happened.   I’m just saying that, in my research, I can’t find any concrete information to verify.

In an article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel dated December 31, 2013:

In August 2009, a massive fire destroyed part of a two-story suite of apartments used by lodge employees. Deemed suspicious, the investigation was turned over to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

No arson charges have ever been brought. However, the lead investigator in the bank fraud case is an ATF agent who specializes in suspicious fires. It is unclear whether the investigation continues, and the ATF did not immediately comment for this story.

You read the entire article by clicking here.

The place almost seems cursed with bad luck:

The lodge and Kakkar also have been frequent targets of civil suits by the county and alleged debtors, including former employees. Kakkar also faced a wrongful death suit over the 2009 death of 35-year-old Robin Carlson, who fell into a construction hole.

In addition, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board would have to reinstate a discharge permit yanked last year. After a toxic spill into the creek that runs through the lodge’s Brook Room killed dozens of fish, Kakkar began installing an upgraded water treatment system.

However, it doesn’t appear the project was completed. After several years of Kakkar failing to file compliance reports, the board yanked his discharge permit.

Kakkar also ran into trouble with the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District over asbestos discharges.