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Why Root for Don Draper?

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Excited to watch Mad Men season 3 opener last night… too many thoughts to share… much more than anyone would care to read.

Overall I’m disappointed that they are revealing too much mystery… and selling out a bit too.

But I’ve been thinking about Don Draper.

You could call him a dirtbag.  He only cares for himself. He disrespects his wife. His whole life is one big fat lie.

So why do we all root for him?

I think it is because… on one level or another… we can relate to him.

His past hurts have driven him to a life as the lone ranger… self-medicating… doing everything he can (power, work, sex) to feel like he is in control of his world…

He’s broken. Just like you and me.

And we want to root for him because we want to believe that it is possible… that we really can overcome past hurts on our own… that self-medicating works… that lies never really have to come to the surface… that we are in control…

Of course none of this is true.

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over addictive behavior – that our lives had become unmanageable.

It is probably the most difficult step for any addict to ever pass through. Many will move on to the following 11, only to find they had never fully realized their powerlessness in the beginning.

Don Draper isn’t real, but I think that he represents the reality of ourselves that most of us are never really willing to face. Because doing so means we have to admit, “I have no control.”

Which means someone else has to take over.

Draper 5×7″ print available for $10

Neko in Gnome

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I bumped into Tee Shirt Gnome on my recent visit to Brooklyn.

Had I known then that Neko Case had been sporting his shirts, I might have had a better icebreaker than “how do you make these magnets, man?”

After all, Neko’s latest album Middle Cyclone is my favorite of 2009, and resulted in her being our newest dog’s namesake… (that’s a compliment).

The Gnome has some sweet stuff to offer… don’t know if he’s seen my work before or not (see lame icebreaker above).

We snagged one of the Brooklyn “tree” tees for Noël.

It will be worn with pride for decades.

Boast in Weakness

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I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.

Five times I was flogged with the Jews’ 39 lashes.

Three times I was beaten with Roman rods

Once I was stoned,

Three times I was shipwrecked (I spent a night and a day in the open sea!)

I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

But God said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

For to be sure, Christ was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you.

Cecilie Ellefsen Illustration

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Awesome.

Cecilie’s work basically dashes my dreams of ever working as an illustrator.

Her illustrations have Norwegian style for miles… love it.

She also has this exhibit right now called “In the Forest Deep” featuring some marvelous paper-and-plastic cut dioramas.

Her Etsy store is looking a little bare these days, but I’ve gotta say the few items she has are pretty fly.

The truth is that even though I feel a little inadequate as a designer when I come across work like this, it gives me hope—hope that there are people and business out there that are willing to take risks with their image and advertising—hope that weird stuff can and does sell—and hope that as an “artist” I can be myself, knowing that somewhere out there (maybe Norway) someone might be able to understand my work and connect with it somehow.

Thanks to Grain Edit for the introduction!

Surf and Turf

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I’ve said for years that my love language is food.

It’s no wonder that I feel so loved by my wife Noël, since she’s been cooking up fantastic meals for a decade now…

It’s rarely anything extra-fancy or daring… she just has a gift for taking a recipe and turning it out. Even the most simple meals (like my favorite—rice and beans) can buckle my knees at the mere thought. Not only that, but she manages to keep the food supply healthy and plentiful, even though the cupboards and fridge are typically quite bare.

Word has gotten out about her mad skills in the kitchen, so we’ve decided to share future favorites along the way in a feature I’m calling “Last Night’s Dinner.”

To kick it off today, we’re sharing the recipe for what was one of those daring special occasion meals… our 10th anniversary celebratory feast: Grilled Steak and Lobster Skewers with a Choron-inspired butter sauce, served with Chive Mashed Potatoes and Picked-Today Corn on the Cob.

Yes. It is as good as it sounds.

We knew this was a risk—first time cooking lobster and all. Neither one of us was sure we’d like it or if the quality of the lobster we could get here in Michigan would be good enough. I was also a little leery about the sauce… afraid that the tomato flavor would be too strong.

It turned out fabulous though.  The subtle flavor and texture of the lobster complimented the steak perfectly, the sauce was just right, and the potatoes would have melted my heart all on their own. The first sweet corn of the season was so good… from our favorite farm… you don’t even have to cook it, you could just walk out into their field and start gnawing.

Even though the supplies for this meal cost a little more than our usual $1 meal fare, it was still at least $60 cheaper than the same meal you’d get at a restaurant (not that any restaurant would have corn like that).
continue for recipe…

It’s only been a decade?

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August 7, 1999…

We were much older at that time… we’re younger now, of course.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that 10 years have passed, yet on the other hand we’ve managed to squeeze about three lifetimes into one decade.

3 kids, several moves, multiple career changes, cancer, autism, fear, fun, laughs, tears, blood, sweat…

I have no expectations of growing old… but if I do, it’ll be together.