Peggy Olson's Just Not In The Beatles


On Wednesday night we watched the mid-season finale of Mad Men together, over the phone, in an international teleconference we named Moonlandingcon. Here's a transcript of our conversation, which is pretty steadily focused on kissing, hotness, Peggy Olson, and the Beatles.

LIZ: Are you sad that Bert died? 

LJ: I mean, I could be sadder. Like, I'll live. Are you sad that Bert died? Wait, I don't care anymore, Ted Chaough's on.

LIZ: He looks so good right there.

LJ: I know! I just love him so much, he's so perfect. What a cool move.

LIZ: Yeah. I kind of wish they'd shown him unraveling more.

LJ: Yeah, I know. But I feel like they allude to it. There was that time that Harry Crane was like, "Ted Chaough is useless-"


LJ: Oh, Harry.

LIZ: He looks really good there too. I like a man in a button-down shirt-sleeve shirt.

LJ: Yeah. I like how he has a little vial of orange juice. 

LIZ: I didn't even notice that. Oh, because of Sunkist!

LJ: Oh yeah, that's true.

LIZ: I'm glad Lou Avery's gone.

LJ: Yeah, he was a waste of everyone's time. I mean it was nice having someone that overtly antagonistic be on the show, but I just can't stand his underbite. You know that scene when Ginsberg is watching Jim Cutler and Lou Avery in the IBM computer room and there's no sound? I feel like you can see Lou Avery's soft gumminess. It was disgusting.

LIZ: I like that you Internet-researched him.

LJ: It really paid off.

LIZ: I don't like that boy.

LJ: The hot boy? Yeah I don't like this Sally plotline to be honest.

LIZ: It's kind of a letdown after a lot of Sally buildup.

LJ: I just want Sally to do exactly what I would do in every situation. I feel sort of abandoned by her when she doesn't. She's just so lame and like a normal person in this episode. She's really Betty, I guess. 

LJ: What do you think of this guy?

LIZ: I don't like his mouth. He has a strange mouth. Like a dumb mouth. 

LJ: He kind of looks like the old Bobby Draper.

LIZ: I wish he was the old Bobby Draper!

LJ: I wish they would just cast that Bobby Draper as Julio.

LJ: I feel like I would like that guy if he appeared in my life. He's not that hot on TV but if he just walked into my restaurant I'd be like "You're superhot and Michael Showalter-y." 


The Strawberry Fields Whatever Diet: Everything We Ate For An Entire Week (Pt. 2: Thursday through Sunday)


Thursday, May 15th

LJ: I woke up and had a cup of black coffee and a slice of chia seed toast with smooth Valencia peanut butter and sliced banana on top. I ate the banana-half that didn’t fit on my toast while leaning against my kitchen counter and waiting for the toaster to ding. I also took a bunch of vitamins: B-Complex, C, D, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, a digestive aid, and one for “hair health.” I love my hair health vitamin. It really lightens the mood.

For lunch I made myself a red quinoa bowl. I sautéed onions and cherry tomatoes with red palm oil and crushed red peppers in olive oil- I eat these crushed red peppers with everything. They burn your mouth off magnificently.

I wilted some greens into it, some hippie greens called Fire Blend. They were crazy and raggedy. I felt like I was eating the guts of a monster who was made of plants. I roasted some eggplant in my toaster oven with some cayenne pepper, rainbow peppercorns, pink sea salt, and more red palm oil, which turns everything the Crayola crayon color “macaroni and cheese” so never wear a white t-shirt in its presence. I charred the eggplant by accident but it turned out amazing- sugary and crispy. I love burnt food. I had way less quinoa than I thought so I added in some sunflower seeds and pepitas for extra sustenance. And, at the very end, some little cubes of feta the size of sugar cubes. The feta cheese gets a tiny bit melty once it comes into contact with the hot food and it’s the most perfect thing. But the meal would have been better with less intense greens- plain arugula would have done the trick. I drank San Pellegrino out of the bottle and ate six or seven dreamy and luscious raspberries for dessert.

I had a triple iced Americano from the Green Beanery on my way to work. During work I ate a tiny piece of tuna from a tuna ceviche to see if the tuna was off. It wasn’t. I’m a risk-taker.

I ate two Healthy Energy Cookies out of my Koreatown Tupperware once things began to wind down, around 10 PM. I’ve been eating Healthy Energy Cookies forever. Since 2007! They’re made of maple syrup, cinnamon, honey, sesame seeds, ground almonds, some boring ingredients like rice flour and etc, and the jam in the middle is apple butter. I could eat them every day for the rest of my life and never complain. I basically do already.

I drank sparkling water at work all night. I got home at 12:45 AM and ate a banana.

LIZ: My breakfast (I already explained my breakfast), and popsicles and peaches and iced coffee and big stir-fry and lots of tea and everything. It was 100-something degrees out. Before supper I made myself a rosé spritzer and got a mango from the fridge, then went down to the pool with my copy of the Elle that's got Tavi's interview with Miley Cyrus. I sat with my feet in the pool and read Miley and Tavi and ate my mango and drank my drink and listened to Hate Your Friends by the Lemonheads. My world felt very much in balance in that moment.

Later on, post-supper, I watched the Boston episode of No Reservations, which had some of the best-looking food I've ever seen. The last place Anthony goes to is some Portuguese restaurant called The Snack Bar, which is near the second apartment I lived in when I lived in Boston, and I deeply regret never having been there. When I was in Boston a few weeks ago my sister and my buddy Sarah and I went to visit that apartment, and we also got sandwiches and Hell Fries around the corner at All Star Sandwich Bar. After dinner we went to Christina's for ice cream and I hadn't been in years and I got a cone of burnt sugar and it was just like old times. 

JEN: Breakfast smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, banana, frozen cherries, frozen mangos, frozen raspberries, goji berries, chlorophyll drop.

I’m working from home today so I also had some toast with peanut butter and jam. The jam is plum cardamom jam that Caitlin and I made last summer when there were a million plums everywhere. It’s delicious. The bread is also delicious – it’s sunflower seed bread from Syrena Bakery. I also had some black coffee in my beloved Salem mug.

Lunch is leftover pasta from last night. It’s still good.

I made popcorn around 6pm. I had dinner plans at 8 and there was just no way I could wait that long. I needed a snack. Popcorn was popped in coconut oil and toped with sea salt and nutritional yeast, as it should be.

Alan, Caitlin, Pat and I went to Selamat Pagi for dinner. It’s a beautiful cool seeming restaurant with Balinese food OR – “Balinese inspired” food.  Caitlin and I got there first and drank rosé at the bar while waiting for our shmoe boyfs. We ordered a ton of food and shared everything. Here is the list:
-spiced nuts
-vegetable spring rolls
- Bali Urap (green papaya salad)
- veg Gado Gado (another salad – had roasted sweet potatoes, a lot of peanuts and cilantro)
- Tamarind glazed tempeh
- sautéed coconut kale
- long bean lawar
- roasted seasonal vegetables
- 2 orders of jasmine rice

It was an excellent feast. This place puts a little * next to items that aren’t veg but can be made vegetarian or vegan, which is a cool move. Most cool restaurants these days seem to exclusively serve things like goose neck, roasted pig hoof, fries fried in the blood of a lamb. It’s nice to have options and be respected as a human and customer at a cool place. I forgot to take pictures because I was busy chowing down. I only took this one:

Alan and I walked Caitlin to the bus because I had to buy bananas for breakfast anyway. We walked down to Manhattan Ave and Caitlin hopped on a bus immediately. Pat had his bike so we all stood chatting a little longer and eventually decided to get some dessert. Alan and Pat went to this frozen yogurt place because they’re gross. I went to Van Leeuwen and got 2 scoops of ~artisanal~ vegan ice cream – dark chocolate and pistachio. Vegan ice cream can be out of this world good and also disgusting. This was out of this world good. I think they do a coconut milk and cashew combo? Whatever. It works. We ate our treats standing on the street.


The Strawberry Fields Whatever Diet: Everything We Ate For An Entire Week (Pt. 1: Monday through Wednesday)


Monday, May 12

LJ: I woke up at 8:30 in the morning. I drank a cup of black coffee and ate a banana while loading up the previous night’s episode of Mad Men. I picked out two daily Tarot cards for the next two days: Death and the Empress. It’s such a drag how often I draw Death.

An hour and a half later, my boyfriend and I took a cab to the Starbucks next to the Greyhound bus station. I had an iced Venti Americano and a peach & raspberry yogurt parfait. Every time I eat that parfait I am blown away by how weirdly good it is. My favorite part of eating yogurt parfaits is dumping the little plastic cup of granola bits into the yogurt. I remember when I was a kid and that yogurt-concept was first invented. It still feels like an extravagance. 

We got on a bus to Barrie, which is an hour and a half north of Toronto, and watched Mad Men with an earphone-splitter. I’d bought a Green Machine juice at Starbucks and drank a little bit of it on the bus. It was lukewarm and the vegetable-y aftertaste was too pronounced. It tasted like the inside of your mouth having just woken up from a nap you took after recently eating onions. I drank the end of the juice while we waited for Mark’s parents to pick us up from the Barrie bus station out of desperation.

We got in Mark’s parents van. It was a three hour drive up to Owen Sound, where they live. It is very far North and very rural, I think by Georgian Bay. That night Mark’s mom asked me if I’d ever been to this part of Ontario before and I had to say, “I honestly don’t know where I am right now.” In the car I ate a cucumber sandwich that Mark’s mom made. She cut the skin off the cucumber, we just had that with mayonnaise on white bread. Very chill sandwich. I had another banana, even though I didn’t really want a banana, so as not to be rude. “Eating so as not to be rude” was an overarching theme of my day.

It was a gloomy grey day out and Mark and I each had a cup of Typhoo in the backyard. His Mom said we made it too strong, like mud, but I liked it.

For dinner we had roast chicken, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, carrots, green beans, and a shredded beet salad with some feta cheese crumbled on top. I’d never eaten a meal like that in my life. When I was growing up, my parents barely cooked, and when they did it was usually their weird specialties: my Dad made good chili, and my Mom made crepes. Maybe I might have eaten similar meals at some of my friends’ houses, but I’ve since forgotten them. I drank two glasses of Chardonnay and had seconds (so as not to be rude). For dessert we had a Swiss roll made with lemon cream and blackcurrant jam. I also had two little crescent roll pastries, one with raspberry jam and one with apricot, and a coffee with some cream and sugar. I didn’t take any pictures of the food because I didn’t want to be rude. At the end of the meal I was the kind of full where you want to unbutton the top button of your pants.

Mark and I went for a walk after dinner but I was lethargic. We watched three episodes of a TV show called Coast, which is a geography show about all the different sections of the UK coast. One was about Wales, and then we watched a couple of Scotland ones. I ate two Triscuits with cheese so as not to be rude. It was maybe five or six hours past dinner, but I was still stuffed. Mark and his parents all drank Martinis, but I had another glass of wine instead.

LIZSo I generally eat the same thing for breakfast every day. What I do is take two eggs and fry them up in my beloved cast iron skillet (somewhere between over-medium and over-hard), and in a separate pan I cook up some grains (oats, rye, barley, whatevs) so they get to a nice, chewy texture. Then I take a bowl and mash the eggs and grains up with a whole lot of Tapatio, plus sea salt. (I love salt - I have a "salt tooth," like Betty Draper's creepy dad who salts his chocolate ice cream.) My breakfast is not very attractive - it looks like something you'd call "mush," or maybe "gruel" - but I promise it's totally delicious.

So I eat that, and then I drink my tea: black tea (Zhena's Coconut Chai, or any kind of chai or earl grey) with original-flavor Soy Dream and brown sugar. I can't live without my tea.

It was mega-hot that Monday. I ate lots of green grapes while I was working, and then sometime in the late afternoon I went to go get a little snack at El Batey (which is closing soon, on the account of the fact that Echo Park is going to hell in a handbasket). I ended up getting a Cherry Coke Zero, which was an odd choice, and also a coconut popsicle. I was hoping for a rice pudding popsicle, like the one I'd eaten the week before, which had this fun warning on the back:

but the coconut popsicle was just fine. I ate it on the walk home. The world's very jacaranda-y right now and I like it.

At this point I'm going to complain about how I came home from my perfect time at the writers residency on Martha's Vineyard expecting to have lots and lots of checks waiting for me (I'm a freelancer, I live on checks that come in the mail) but instead there were no checks. NO CHECKS, GUYS, mostly due to people being incompetent jerks. Major drag. Also my work schedule's been completely bonkers since the second I came back from the island, which meant that by Monday I was in a state of constantly working but having zero dollars to show for it, which got to be a little demoralizing after a while. What I'm getting at is: I got home from El Batey and drank my weird soda, and took a few minutes before getting back to work to just sit there and feel burnt out and hot and exasperated by the incompetence of others. Halfway through my soda I put on "A Hard Day's Night" and looked at a picture of John Lennon in A Hard Day's Night and thought about how it had been a hard day's night. That was a good moment. It made me feel lighter and connected to the Beatles in a positive, innocent way.

Okay so then for dinner I had a big stir fry: brown rice, the "super-firm high-protein" tofu from Trader Joe's, broccoli, kale, mushrooms, red pepper, red onion, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce. This is my giant thing of chili garlic sauce btw: 

I love it. It costs $14 and contains 771 servings.

Also a spoiler alert is that I'm going to eat big stir-fry for dinner every night till Thursday, which has to do with the whole everybody-in-the-world-forgot-to-pay-Barker-this-month thing. I ate like a goddamn prince on the Vineyard, so I'm basically cool with my food life being kind of blah at the moment. But a little while after dinner I watched the bang-bang episode of Louie and got so jealous about his Indian feast, I couldn't even deal. I was jonesing so hard for lamb korma, man. Lamb korma and naan, and just heaps upon heaps of beautiful basmati rice. 

JEN: I went to start making my morning smoothie and realized Alan left the refrigerator slightly open overnight. Things seemed kind of fine, still cool, but when I poured out some almond milk it had those little flakes in it that means it went bad. I made a smoothie with a banana, frozen raspberries, frozen cherries, frozen blackberries, some goji berries, some chia seeds, peanut butter and some water. Not almond milk. It was fine.

On my way to work I got a small black coffee from Oren’sI ate leftovers for lunch. I had made this garlicky tahini-y nutritional yeast-y kale the night before with some roasted chickpeas and brown rice. I added half of an avocado to it this time. After lunch I had some kukicha tea.

I ate a couple of handfuls of walnuts before meditating. Probably like 12 walnuts.

It was around 80 degrees today - this felt very hot, very summer-y.  I hate the heat and felt like I was in hell, so it was a kind of psychotic move to broil some asparagus for dinner. I did that and made my 4th floor apartment which just soaks up heat even hotter. I ate the asparagus with quinoa & tempeh cooked with some garlic. I squeezed a lemon on top of it all. I love broiled asparagus. Asparagus is at the farmer’s market for such a short period of time in these parts it was maybe worth torturing myself to make it.


Thing of the Week: Chris Messina & Mick Jones, Thomas Middleditch & Ian Svenonius

LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: A Non-Existent Mick Jones Biopic Starring Chris Messina as Mick Jones

I'm kidding, sort of. It wouldn't make very much sense to cast Chris Messina as Mick Jones in a biopic about Mick Jones, though if it happened I would obviously be very stoked and also make a big deal out of how I'm a prophet. But my greater point is, I'm just at a point in my life where my interests include, and are limited to, Chris Messina as Danny Castellano on The MIndy Project and songs Mick Jones either sang or wrote. So it would be nice if I could merge those things into one super-thing. Actually- I guess this very Thing of the Week is my Danny Castellano & Mick Jones Super-Thing! Aw, I made my own dream come true!

Anyway, I don't want to get too deep into talking about the Danny Castellano half of my interests, since one thing I have learned over the course of the past couple weeks I've spent obsessively binge-watching The Mindy Project is that I am one of only three people in the world who watch The Mindy Project. The other two people who watch The Mindy Project are my boyfriend the time he watched an episode of The Mindy Project with me and the person who wrote this highly-unsatisfying Buzzfeed listicle entitled "23 Reasons You Wish Danny Castellano Were Your Boyfriend," which lacks panache. 

Anyway, here's a video of Danny Castellano dancing, the only Danny Castellano video on YouTube that has a chance of being even remotely entertaining to someone who doesn't watch The Mindy Project, AKA everyone. 

The other day I was looking at the cover of Combat Rock and decided that my new goal in life is to be Joe Strummer on the cover of Combat Rock and Mick Jones on the cover of Combat Rock at the same time. About five minutes after deciding that, I was listening to "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" in my kitchen and I sang in the "Break it on down" part from "The Globe" by Big Audio Dynamite, and was really impressed by how "accurate" it sounded. Adding in the "Break it on down" part from "The Globe" whenever "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" comes on is my failsafe new pick-up line forever.

Anyway, here's the video for "The Globe" in case you have no idea what I'm talking about. Mick Jones very rarely looks cool in it, but that's the point of Mick Jones. He's the kind of guy you love more for never looking cool than you could ever love someone for being the coolest guy ever. 

Yesterday I went on a "Mick Jones run." A Mick Jones run is when you go for a normal run but only listen to songs Mick Jones wrote or sang while you do it. The whole point of my Mick Jones run was for me to listen to "Rush" by Big Audio Dynamite and feel really empowered by it, you know, just connect with the splendor of my human muscles doin' their thing and zone into a "life is a HEAVY JOURNEY" headspace, but then the "Gotta get myself right out of here" part started making me nervous- the thing about me, right now, is that I'm waiting to find out whether or not I'm getting my visa to the UK, and so basically am just existing in a constant state of crippling anxiety that ONLY Mick Jones (and Chris Messina!) can MILDLY help me get through. Mick Jones is such a sweet, comforting presence. It's like the Clash equivalent of only listening to Paul songs when you're depressed because John Lennon's aggro "fuck life" energy only exacerbates your misery. Same with Joe Strummer, the last guy you want to have around when you're stressed out about something related to the government. I feel like Joe Strummer would have set my UK visa application on fire when I wasn't looking. 

After abandoning "Rush," I pressed next on my "Mick Jones run" playlist and shuffle chose "Police On My Back" for me to listen to. It was the best thing the shuffle function on an iPod has done for me since New Year's Eve 2012, when I asked it to choose me a 2012 theme song and it started playing Donovan's "Colours" but then accidentally skipped forward to "Rocks Off" by the Rolling Stones in my pocket. I liked how it directly referenced the fact that I was physically running. I felt like I was existing in a little world with it, like it was more of a place than a state. 

I listened to "Police On My Back" over and over again and ran faster and harder than I even knew I could. And I knew that as long as I was running fast and listening to "Police On My Back" I was okay and nothing could ever touch me. 

LIZ'S THING OF THE WEEK: Thomas Middleditch & Ian Svenonius 

I have five things this week:

i. At like 9 o'clock on Wednesday night I went on Etsy and impulse-bought this T-shirt that says CAPECODCAPECODCAPECOD and has a picture of a sailboat and some dunes and some birds and a full moon. And then at 8 o'clock the next morning I went out for a run and the T-shirt was already in mailbox. Fastest delivery ever! The seller and I are surprise neighbors; I love my T-shirt so:

ii. Juliana Hatfield's cover of "Needle in the Hay" by Elliott Smith (which appears on the album I Saved Latin! A Tribute to Wes Anderson) is a dream. A nice lovely sad dream.

iii. Over the past week I've done this thing of listening to Juliana's "Needle in the Hay" and then the new-ish Chain and the Gang song "Devitalize," over and over again. I like abrupt mood shifts. I like how annoying Ian Svenonius is. I'm in love with his bassist Betsy and highly suggest stalking her Instagram, which is mostly all pictures of Ian Svenonius and Mary Timony and amps and guitars.

iv. I think Silicon Valley is a really cute show! I watched three episodes last night after a really stressy work day, and it soothed me. I have a crush on Thomas Middleditch but he looks so much like this guy I dated a few couple years ago so there's always this undercurrent of my feelings being betrayed, which I guess adds an interesting dimension of melancholy to the Silicon Valley experience. (My second-biggest Silicon Valley crush, btw, is Kumail Nanjiani, whom I saw at Largo last year and he was wonderful and then Louis CK came out as a surprise and told an amazing joke about how George Washington never wore his glasses. Kumail is distantly followed by the cute little boy who plays Marc Maron's assistant on Maron, and then after that I don't care though I do want to point out that I find Martin Starr intensely revolting nowadays. Being intensely revolted by Martin Starr is a weird experience for me: I loved Bill Haverchuck.) Anyway here's a picture of Thomas Middleditch wearing some lame "Beatles shirt:"

v. I also really like this definition of anger which I just read in a book - something like "anger is the strong energy of not wanting things to be the way they are and blaming someone for it." Helpful.


Our Weekly Mad Men Column: Liz & LJ on "The Strategy"


LJ: I’m sort of bummed that I’ve committed myself to Our Weekly Mad Men Column because I have so little to say about this week’s episode (me not breaking 1000 words is equivalent to your average writer writing like 20). It was easily one of my least favorite Mad Men episodes of all time, and definitely my least favorite Mad Men episode that didn’t have Duck in it. I have almost nothing to say about any plotline except Don and Peggy’s: Megan’s brief appearance was so boring that I can’t even remember anything about it, except for that her hair looked significantly thinner than usual and a bit like an actual rat’s tail during the scene when she surprised Don at the office. I guess it was sort of sweet how Megan and Peggy hugged hello, in that way you do when someone you used to work with stops by your work. As far as work goes, it’s semi-on the exciting side.

Speaking of things I have nothing to say about, I have nothing to say about anything Pete Campbell did besides eat at BurgerChef with Peggy and Don, which of course was heartwarming. I am finding it difficult to warm up to Bonnie- I want to like her, since she’s an Alpha female and Alpha females are my second favorite faction of human being after <3 Beta males <3 but her clothes are so gauche and who cares if your toes are grubby and, strangely, I found it almost offensively crass when she told Pete not to try and “fuck [his] way out of [whatever].” Another thing I have nothing to say about is everything that happened while Pete was in Cos Cob except Cos Cob is a weird name for a town and that dessert he shoved his beer bottle into looked really yummy and I wish I was eating a slice of it.

The last Mad Men storyline I have nothing to say about is Bob Benson’s. I’m also pretty indifferent about Sterling Coops losing Chevy. Like, really, Matthew Weiner? Is that the best you could come up with? “We’ll make Ginsberg cut off his nipple, and then they’ll lose Chevy.” Those are the only things that have happened on Mad Men this season. Remember when things used to happen on Mad Men? When people had affairs and did drugs and killed themselves and found out about Don Draper’s secret identity? Now it’s like, “Bob Benson proposed to Joan and Joan said no.” Nope. Not good enough. Don’t get me wrong- I love how Mad Men is subtle and nuanced and character-driven as much as the next guy, but it’s still a freaking TV show. You can’t just make “One character suggests that another character gives a presentation that a third character was initially supposed to deliver” the most scandalous aspect of an episode and expect people not to be bored by that. I feel like part of the issue is that Mad Men is just too subtle and nuanced and character-driven to stand up to the mini-season format. I’d probably resent this episode way less if I had eight more to look forward to. Instead I’m just having anxiety about whether or not the finale is going to blow my mind or just blow.

In conclusion, the “Peggy and Don at the office on a Sunday” bit was clearly golden, but I am bummed that Don and Peggy didn’t kiss. I really thought they were going to kiss! For one second during “My Way,” I felt my heart fall into my stomach like I was on a rollercoaster because I was that convinced that they were about to kiss. And then Don sort of kissed the top of Peggy’s head, I was unimpressed by it, and the scene was over. What bullshit. I’m sorry, I get that Mad Men is too cool to make Don and Peggy kiss, like it would sully the complexity of their relationship or whatever, but I really think that in real life they would kiss! They already would have kissed! They would have kissed in 1965! I’m sorry, but I have kissed so many people I like a whole lot less than Don likes Peggy. And I've definitely kissed the hell out of every person I ever liked as much as Peggy likes Don. That’s what people do. They kiss people they have complicated relationships with. Just to see, you know? Plus, they’re always drunk! Can you imagine slow-dancing alone in an empty office with someone who you felt as intensely weird about as Don and Peggy feel about each other? And then, on top of it, you’d had like seven drinks? What would you do? And I hate how they try to play it like, “They don’t kiss because they respect each other.” In what crazy world do you not want to kiss the people you respect? Kissing people you respect is pretty much the best thing about being alive.

In actual conclusion, I thought it was really gross when Peggy said “break bread.” I’d like to eradicate that phrasing from the English language. Lastly, since I’m not a soulless monster, when my best friends in the world Peggy and Don and Pete all chilled and ate at BurgerChef, my heart swelled up with love. After watching that episode, I went out and got absurdly fucked up with a bunch of my ex-co-workers, and at some point between my fifth beer and first Sex on the Beach, I got it. I don't think the point is that Peggy and Pete are Don's family- your co-workers are never the people you love most. The point is they're the people that know you.

LIZ: I need to start off by saying that this is one of the best looks a man could ever rock. Beard, banana, plaid button-down unbuttoned to reveal sizable beer belly, paint-splattered jeans, total lack of necklaces. Boom. That's all I want from men now on. 

Speaking of looks, I loved all the ladies in their blue dresses:

And it was good to see Trudy again. I want her to form some sort of pseudo-ironic, post-girl-group era, Shangri-Las esque band and then name their first album Debutante Maneuvers. I agree with LJ about wanting to eat the yummy-looking cake. 

The last fashion thing I want to mention is I loved Don's groovy towel, and I'm also into Megan's denim-on-denim move:

Poor Bob Benson. "My face doesn't please you?" I wish I'd said that to every dude who's ever rejected me in any way. Also, loved this:

Great! I'm in. I like the way you think, Bob Benson, except when you're suggesting that no one will ever love Joan Holloway and that probably her best option is to abandon her lifelong dreams in favor of a sexless/romance-less marriage in your stupid imaginary Detroit mansion. Then I'm like, "Go back to the part about the pancakes and the sundae." Good grief.

Awww, Peggy Olson: such a cute lil smoker. Last week for our Mad Men column I wrote up this big thing about how I was dying for a "Suitcase"-style Don/Peggy together-sesh, how I missed Don/Peggy alone-time way hard and couldn't deal with their being so not into each other, but then I deleted it because it was whiny and I find whininess unbecoming. And I know there's that whole idea that Mad Men never "gives us what we want," but the Don and Peggy stuff in this episode was everything I wanted and more. When Don told her, "I worry about a lot of things, but I don't worry about you," it melted me. Also appreciated this:

And then when we went to BurgerChef, I got all Pete Campbell and asked myself, "Did I die?" - except not in a Pete Campbell way, because it was more like "Am I in Heaven? This is Heaven, right?" Heaven is Don and Pete and Peggy and burgers and fries and sodas, Don smoking while he eats, Pete getting food on his face and Don and Peggy being cuted out by it, Pete teasing Peggy by addressing her as "Hemingway," everybody being in kind of a fucked up place in life but totally chill about it for a little while. It's that "easy knowledge" thing again. The last five lines of "Freak Scene" by Dinosaur Jr. cornily remain my most beloved thing about Mad Men.


Lots of the Things I Loved Most About Living on Martha's Vineyard Last Month


Last month I spent two weeks at a writers residency on Martha's Vineyard. It was life-changingly great and one of the best things I've ever done for myself and I hugely recommend it to all other writers, especially if you like the ocean and wonderful people and amazing food and ghosts and New England. I'm already plotting to go back again, but in the meantime, here's a big list of lots of the things I loved about when I lived on the island:


I didn't want to have to do any work while I was on the island, which meant that in the weeks leading up my residency all I ever did was work. I literally finished my last work thing as my bus was pulling into the ferry parking lot; I was so blown away to be done that I couldn't even experience the relief. But then I got my ticket and a copy of the island newspaper and boarded the ferry and it all started to feel real. Once on board, I headed to the most important part of the boat:

and got myself a beer and I think maybe some Cape Cod Chips? I can't remember. I drank my beer and ate whatever I ate and read the paper, then went out to the deck to gaze upon the blue-green sea.