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Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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Entries in betty draper (4)


In Which Pete May or May Not Get Another Chip 'N' Dip

Love The Way You Lie Glen

Season 4 of Mad Men just started. Let the predictions begin.
Don will say, "What do you want me to say?" at least twice before the season's end.
Duck Phillips will host a swinging beach party and Annette Funicello will show up and get drunk, but this will be referred to and not shown, because Mad Men is all about the great 60s references that make old people feel young again. And young people feel old in a fresh, hip, Urban Outfitters furniture-kind-of-way.
Don will say, "What do you want me to think?" at least twice before the season's end.

Betty will purse her lips and say something shrewd.

Henry Francis will be followed by a horde of villagers chanting "IMHOTEP!"
Glen will hide in the Drapers home's basement. He will emerge only at night, to play beautiful music on the family piano. Sally Draper will be enchanted. Then in a bizarre s'mores mishap, Glen will accidentally burn the house down. Sally will get blamed.

Don will crash his car again and chuckle about it later.
Harry will continue to lose weight and look like Buddy Holly by the season's end.
Something will happen and Peggy will not be amused by it. No, sir.

Hey remember when Pete raped someone?
Roger will ask Joan if she'll pee on him. Joan will ponder it in a voice over using puns like, "Urine Hot Water Now" and "If MGMT thinks it's time to pretend, is it time for me to pee-tend? Or should I control myself?"
Several episodes will end with a sobering image of something serious while a happy 60s tune plays in juxtaposition.
Colin Hanks will stay on Fox.
Black people will continue to be mysteriously absent.

Someone will say, "We can't lose this account!" They will then lose the account.
We'll be treated to another Don Draper/Dick Whitman/Grapes of Wrath flashback that will tell us everything we already know; that Don had a difficult childhood, that hobos are just honest folk trying to get by, and that this show is more than stylish outfits. The next scene will feature Betty in a stylish outfit, because we've had enough doom and gloom, and the Great Depression is just yucky.
Sally Draper will stab someone with a pair of scissors.
The Draper dog will run away and/or commit suicide.

Don will want Betty even more now that she's not his wife.
That guy that you've seen several times before, oh God he was in that movie with that guy, and I think he was in that TV show too, and wasn't he in that indie with Mark Ruffalo? will make a cameo.
Someone will say earnestly, "The times are changing, Don." It will probably be Roger. He will probably be smoking and/or drinking when he says it.

Sal will show up and make a great pop culture reference and everyone will laugh except for Pete.
Seriously, Pete raped that au pair. Remember?

Don will arrive at a party where some girl with long straight hair is singing a song in French. He will make a face.
Pete will accidentally shoot himself in the foot in the middle of a meeting. Literally. Don will tell him that his actions almost cost them the big account. Pete will cry, not for his foot, but for disappointing Don.

Betty will make a simple, yet loaded statement like, "It's all so beautiful" and we will all suddenly understand what her character is really about.
Nothing will happen and yet everything will change.

Paul Kinsey will be arrested for public nudity. Sterling-Cooper-Draper-Pryce will hear about it and laugh. Don will remark, "When you want ham...don't settle for turkey." Everyone will laugh but not really understand his joke. There will be an awkward silence. Pete will try to break it by saying, "I guess he should have ordered a side of hash browns." No one will understand that either. The silence will become even more awkward. Roger will say, "This is more awkward than the time I vomited everywhere." Everyone will understand that and will laugh and feel relieved. This is the precise moment when Don plots to murder Roger.
Someone will cry at their desk and it won’t be who we think it is! Unless it is.

Everyone will die. It will be okay though because they will all meet up in heaven and "move on" together. It will not make sense. It will come out of nowhere. Nothing will be explained.

Don and Roger will take on Playboy as an account. It will be a smashing success. They will be invited to a party at Huge Hefner's. Don will hit on a Bunny. She'll surprise him and say, "I'm sorry Mr. Draper, but I'm not that kind of girl." Don will realize that appearances are not always what they seem. He will apoologize take her to a real steak dinner and not even try to feel her up. She'll say, "Maybe there's hope for you yet, Mr. Draper" with a smile. He'll say, "Maybe there is" and cock his head and grin. Meanwhile Roger will learn the true meaning of Christmas.

Almie Rose is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Los Angeles. She twitters here and blogs here. She last wrote in these pages about the Backstreet Boys.

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"Juveniles" - The Walkmen (mp3)

"All My Great Designs" - The Walkmen (mp3)

"While I Shovel the Snow" - The Walkmen (mp3)


In Which Tomorrow Night's Mad Men Finale Will Solve All

The End of Draperian Monogamy


As we await the third season finale of Mad Men tomorrow night, the best show on television appeared to have wrapped-up its Draper-related storylines by having Don stay together with his wife. Now she has to make a crucial decision between some weird-looking politician and her hunky Dick Whitman of a husband. All we can surmise from this glorious season is that Trudy is having none of it.

Incensed by the ministrations of wife Trudy, Pete Campbell killed President Kennedy. He did it with the candlestick, in Texas. Pete Campbell is the true mastermind of the Oklahoma City bombing, which we can only hope Mad Men takes great pains to emulate in roughly 2027.

What you share with your wife was of questionable utility on this week's Curb Your Enthusiasm. You should not share anything with your wife, especially not your finances, or secret Dick Whitman photos. Do me a favor. Dress like this:

And shut up. Pete Cambell was on the receiving end of a demotion. Pryce coos to Pete that his rival makes clients feel "like they don't have needs." Pete's initial paranoia is justified, and he is walking out an elevator while Peggy discusses banging yet another of his co-workers. "They're homos," Duck tells Peggy when he tries to get her to take her underclothes. Is he right?

Don turns off the TV, tells his daughter everything is all right. In his sweater vests and stagey sexuality we respected him so much more when he was telling Suzanne that she made him feel things he's never felt before. Now he's signed over his things to the kookiest blond on Draper Court. Don's wife's hoo ha smells like a nectarine.

Ms. Draper's peculiar political homo proposed to her, and now awaits his reply like an election result. He is perhaps addicted to this scent, or else as a graying old man he can no longer solicit the affections of single women. Ms. Draper made out with him in the car, which is like the only rest stop on the long road to unsatisfying infidelity. But cheating is by nature a displeasurable task.

Roger Sterling is a man of means. He once cribbed together a suitable wedding toast from the vast disappointments of his business partner and wife. His daughter is rendered happy in her institution of marriage. She is the only one. Roger makes phone calls from his wife's bedside, praises his first wife, wishes for another. Can nothing stall these unending dreams of desire?

If nothing else, a daughter knows how to control her parents. Examples of other demanding daughters include

Lee Harvey Oswald was a committed Communist, just as committed to his cause as any of us are to our own particular causes. Others know not want cause they should commit to, and end up in "marketing." Pete Campbell's future is bleak, just wait until he experiences the cagey unrest of the Y2K bug.

With a hard decision looming, it's best to boil things down to Ms. Draper's imaginative meeting with her father's estate lawyer. "Is he a good provider?" the guy asks her, as if he doesn't know the answer! I wish I could pay someone to slowly force me to accept the decisions I've made in my life through passive-aggressive rhetorical questions. Actually, I can probably secure the same lawyer- he's likely still practicing in the Long Island area.

Nevermind the accoutrements. How can we be happy in our own skins without legal aid? At least someone has figured out how. Perhaps she gives lessons.

Eleanor Morrow is the senior contributor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Manhattan. She tumbls here.

"First Song for B" - Devendra Banhart (mp3)

"Last Song for B" - Devendra Banhart (mp3)

"Angelika" - Devendra Banhart (mp3)

learn more about Mr. Banhart's new album What Will We Be here


In Which We Drink the Clean Draught of Mad Men

Dark Waters


Male. Female. Shallow. Deep. Lie. Truth. These are some of the conflicting themes boldly represented in last night's tonight's episode of Mad Men.

Mad Men is like a John Updike piece and a New Yorker cartoon formatted into a television show. It's not so much a television show as it is a culturally significant piece of art that I am lucky to bear witness to.


In these episodes we witness the eternal struggle between the opposites listed in the aforementioned lines. We watch as Pete tries to balance being a boy with being a borderline rapist. When Pete's wife goes out of town the first thing young Pete does is remove his shirt and tie all in one fell swoop. Pete's shirtlessness speaks volumes about nudity in madmen. Or the lack thereof. Which reminds me of something Kafka once said, but as viewers of Mad Men, I'm sure I don't need to tell you what.

As we watch young Pete grapple with the tower of responsibility we see Betty trying to climb a similar Jenga tower of her own; the one of womanhood. Betty and her female cohorts try to save the reservoir but Betty decides to enlist the help of a craggy looking man of political power. The question is, does Betty save the day, or does Betty's male friend save the day? Water, like gender, is a complex issue.

Don's shirt is white.

Pete's comely German neighbor stains a pink poofy dress, a garment that Pete is all too quick to sweep off of her hands. Pete, the man-child who was previously watching cartoons while eating cereal on the couch, is now trying to juggle the delicate and complex dynamic of gender issues. He wanders like a lost soul, or a poet, in the female clothing department. ("Republic of Dresses" as he refers to it, in his crisp and manly manner.)

Notice how he bows again to Joan who is always taking on the role of the eternal grandmother. Thus Pete is able to return from the department store not with a Chip N Dip, not with a rifle, but with an evening gown. This speaks volumes about the roles of men and women in the 1960s and foreshadows the women's movement. But then Pete basically rapes his female neighbor.


Betty is tackling a similar gender bend in which she tries to navigate the male dominated field of politics. She does so by kissing her reservoir savior. Later she and unknowing husband Don have the following exchange about something completely unrelated:

DON: "That's real politics."
BETTY: "Well you know, when you don't have any real power, you have to delay things."

Oh we know, Betty. We know, but can the women's movement be delayed? No, it cannot. The times are a-changing and a magic bus is pulling into its stop. All aboard the magical mystery tour and get off of my cloud. Betty's suit is pink. I think we all know what that means.

When even hinted at infidelity by Pete's starry-eyed wife, much like Lot's Wife, she falls into a pillar of Salt when Pete stumbles and in silence, confesses what his guilt cannot say. In this way, Pete's silence speaks volumes about his infidelity.

Trudy made a variety of cold salads.

And what of Betty's exterior compared to her interior? Betty's hairdo is exquisite. It's like sculpture, much like the fine city of Rome in which she is vacationing. In this way her hair echoes her suroundings, reminding us that Betty is always in style. "You think because of the way I'm dressed I'm shallow?" she asks Don, harkening back to the ever present reservoir theme. When Don later undresses her, we see that Betty is thin, but her hair is fat. This speaks volumes about the 1960s in so many ways. At least four.

They say that still waters run deep. But no water is still in Mad Men. These are churning waters rife with strife. These are waters that cannot be filtered into a reservoir, for no matter how many times you purify the waters of Mad Men, they will never be clean enough to quench your thirst. Bottled water is better for that.

Almie Rose is the contributing editor to This Recording. She is a writer living in Los Angeles. She blogs here, and she twitters here. She last wrote in these pages with tips for gentlemen.

"Where or When" - Diana Krall (mp3)

"I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry" - Diana Krall (mp3)

"Too Marvelous for Words" - Diana Krall (mp3)