Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Return of Mad Men

I'm so excited. AMC's Mad Men returns on Sunday night, July 27. Although it still was a good show, definitely one of the better ones on television, Friday Night Lights fell into a bit of a sophomore slump last season. Mad Men, which I enjoyed immensely when it aired last summer, quickly replaced it as my favorite show. Mad Men revolves around a group of advertising execs in 1960, and it follows their lives both at the agency and at home. It's seriously difficult to summarize the show. It's easy to follow but the issues it deals with are immensely complicated. It deals with gender issues, life roles, and generational gaps during one of the more turbulent eras of popular culture. The program recently picked up 16 Emmy nominations, all of which are well-deserved. I hope that Season 2 won't be disappointing, and I hope my expectations aren't overly high. 10:00 PM Eastern on AMC -- don't miss it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Presidential Politics

Those of you who are paying attention will notice I finally removed the John Edwards for President link from my blog. It just seemed like it was about time, though I am truly sorry to see him go. He just really felt honest about things, more so than anyone else who was campaigning. I felt good about him four years ago, too, but all of the great work he has done since then made me a believer. He has his heart in the right place, and I'm sure he will continue to work hard on behalf of the people who need it most. As for Barack Obama, I'm not as enthralled with him as many others. There's something about him that just hits me the wrong way. He is, however, the only viable choice left. Eight years ago, I might have voted for McCain, but the way he has cozied up to Bush since losing his Presidential bid has erased any semblance of his integrity. I believe he'd say anything now to get elected.

Ed Begley and Bill Nye Duke It Out - Sort of...

If you've never seen Ed Begley's show on Home & Garden (Living with Ed), it's pretty inspiring, though also a bit daunting. It's not terribly practical for the common homeowner, though it's nice to know that some of the products and techniques he is using are available, at least for the wealthiest among us who consume and awful lot of power.

Anyway, I haven't seen the show for awhile, but I was reminded of it by the Yahoo headlines "Begley, Ney Compete in Eco-Battle" and "Celebrity Neighbors Begley, Nye Carry Eco-Grudge."

As you can guess from the headlines, one of Begley's neighbors is Bill Nye - yep, the science guy - and the two of them have this friendly competition going to see who is "greener." The whole thing is just kind of weirdly amusing. When Ed's wife gets involved, though, things get a little less friendly. There's something odd about it. It's men with power tools or big cars, only for the eco-crowd.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Illinois Wines

So, knowing I needed a nice escape from everything, a friend of mine took me to this winery in Roselle, Illinois, of all places. I didn't really expect much, but figured it would give us a chance to talk and provide a nice diversion from the ups and downs of life. Apparently, Lynfred Winery has been around for quite awhile now, and they have won a number of awards for their wines. They really are terrific too. We did a tasting, and they provide a lovely array of reds, whites, and a fruit wine, which I didn't think I'd like at all. Turns out it was terrific. It's nothing at all like a wine cooler or what you might expect. It's a grand dessert all by its little, old self. I'm not much of a drinker, but I have to say, Lynfred Wines might make me reconsider having a glass with dinner a little more often than I do.