This week’s Mad Men recap can be found here. Yes, it’s now completely wheels off. But so was 1968.
Photo credit: Jordin Althaus / AMC
Working at the Oskar Blues Brewery sounds grueling. You’ll be sore and sweat a lot—but not from the job itself. Dale Katechis, founder of the brewery, is a health nut, and he wants his workers to be health nuts, too. Or maybe just plain nuts.
As the Wall Street Journal reports:
On Tuesday nights, employees gather for group mountain bike rides that might last 3½ hours, followed by beer and food at one of the three nearby restaurants he owns. “We ride and race year round,” he says. “Even in the snow.”
Four days a week, Mr. Katechis has a personal trainer teach boot camp-style classes at the company gym he had built next to the brewery in 2008. Two days a week, yoga classes are offered. There is a weekly Oskar Blues run club. A massage therapist is on call two days a week. These perks are free for the approximately 275 people he employs. “It’s important to promote healthy living at work,” he says. “It’s the way I live my life. It also allows me the vices I love, like eating and drinking great beer.”
Part of me views this as a dream come true. In a perfect world, I’d exercise every day and precisely for the same reasons Katechis does it—in order to balance out a love for food and drink. But there are aspects to this that seem shall we say, cultish:
At 8 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, many employees are at the gym doing walking lunges, crunches, and tossing medicine balls. A trainer leads what Mr. Katechis calls “In the Core” workouts, which incorporate plyometric exercises and use light weights or body weight. One day a week, a yoga instructor leads a class. “The other day I was partnered with a guy who was on his second day of the job at the restaurant,” he says. “We were able to work together at our own speeds doing crab walks, push-ups, plank pose and burpees.”
I’m exhausted just reading this regimen. On the one hand, you’d be in great shape. On the other, you’d spend a lot more time with your coworkers while drenched in sweat. And nowhere does the article detail what happens later: Are there lockers? Individual showers? Or is everyone just showering together as part of a team-building exercise?
If you love eating cicadas, this is a great time of year. Admittedly, that’s a huge if. But sure enough, there are folks out there who consider these bug-eyed creatures a genuine delicacy. Take Jack Dobbyn of Mount Vernon, Va.: “You sauté them with lemon and butter,” he told the Washington Post. “They are crunchy on the outside, but they’re soft in the middle.”
As the article explains,
By no means will this year’s cicadas be the first to wash down his gullet. He developed a taste for them in college and looks forward to each fresh invasion as a gourmand might savor the best truffles.
“You have to clip the wings and legs off before you saute,” he said. “You freeze them before you clip so they don’t feel anything. I don’t want PETA coming after me.”
Even the Dairy Godmother in Alexandria, Va., has gotten in on the act with its Cicada Crunch Custard. Unnerving? Sure. But not surprising. After all, Oyamel in D.C.’s Penn Quarter famously featured grasshoppers from Oaxaca. I had them and they were pretty good. I’ll probably pass on the cicadas, though I hear they’re a great source of protein.
Both in the office and in the hotel room, last night’s Mad Men was all about power. (SPOILER ALERT) Following the merge of SCDP and CGC, a battle over authority and chain of command (and over office space) broke out. It’s even got Pete Campbell worried—as he made known to his secretary, he did not have a seat at the meeting. Don Draper challenges Ted Chaough to a drinking match (ostensibly to discuss Fleischmann’s margarine) leaving the latter a mess (thanks, Canadian Club). Don pushed his new colleague by saying everything short of “Drink, you pussy!”
Speaking of which, Don’s affair with Sylvia has taken a decidedly dark turn. Over at the Sherry Netherland, Don has the good doctor’s wife at his beck and call (remember how he did this with Megan last season?). But Sylvia drew the line—she fetched his shoes but not on her hands and knees. And while Don revels in the power of commanding her to lie naked until he returns, whenever that might be, he couldn’t have looked more fragile than when she decides it’s over. I know, how awful that he has to return to his gorgeous young wife.
Last season’s Don was like Tony Soprano post-coma—a brief spell of fidelity that we knew couldn’t possibly last. But will he ever get caught and pay a price? (My friend Sonny Bunch will tell you the answer is No.)
Photo credit: Michael Yarish / AMC
The National Aquarium will be relocated while the Department of Commerce building undergoes renovations. Reports the Washington Post:
The renovations mean the aquarium must move its collection of 250-plus species of 1,500 aquatic creatures—including toads, snakes and salamanders—to other accredited zoos and aquariums. Aquarium officials said that many of the animals will move to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, but some might have to find homes in zoos across the country.
Interestingly, many of the animals interviewed by the Post said they hoped never to return. “It’s like living in Silence of the Lambs,” complained one salamander. “I’d rather be in someone’s soup than go back,” vowed a snapping turtle. “It’s damaging to your self-esteem,” complained a water moccasin. “All those visitors look so disappointed—I can read their lips and I know they’re saying, ‘Is this it?’”
If you have ever been to the National Aquarium, located in the darkened basement of the Commerce building, it’s a bit hard to imagine 1,500 creatures actually living there (did this include the cockroach I saw scuttle its way under a bench?). The place resembles someone’s giant rec-room though, to be fair, I am sure they replaced the carpet as recently as 1985.