Sunday, August 29, 2010

Mad Men... Myself

I love living alone. I’ve had my own apartment for over 2 years now and it’s fabulous. It is quite possibly one of my favorite aspects of my life. It allows me a freedom and comfort I couldn’t have if I still had roommates.

The only thing challenging about living by myself is not having anybody to instantly coerce into helping with the half a dozen projects I am always thinking about doing. If I schedule it far enough in advance, I can gather some wonderful friends to help me.

But every once in a while I find myself dressed in a suit and tie climbing out my window holding a tri pod and a bottle of Jim Beam.

Allow me to explain.

I have been on a contest kick the last 6 months, video contests mostly. And that has led into other ventures like the viral videos that I did for my friend Sean's company Boom Boom Energy. Myself and my friend Brandi self shot 3 videos for him in my apartment using a tripod and my camera. You can see them all here.

But as I was moving stuff around my apartment to assemble a desk I just bought, I put the tripod in my room and forgot about it.

Until later that day when I came home, walked into my bedroom and saw a tripod... with a camera on it... facing my bed. I can only IMAGINE what somebody would have thought had they come over after work. Thank god nobody saw that one.

But aside from incriminating myself in my own apartment, I recently started watching Mad Men. Yes I know this is the 5th season and it’s amazing. But I don’t have a lot of time, and I don’t watch TV. But the amount of people who told me

Rich you would LOVE Mad Men. You HAVE to watch it.

Was starting to get annoying, and I was pretty interested in it anyway. So I bought it on iTunes and started watching it. I got so into it that I watched the first 2 seasons in about 3 weeks.

I noticed 2 immediate effects.

  1. I started drinking a lot more. I’d like to believe that it was the 95 degree weather but something felt positively sinful about not whetting my whistle while engaging in mid century misogyny and philandering.
  2. I really felt myself wanting to be a part of that lifestyle. And not because I want to get married, cheat on my wife, and then cheat on the woman I am cheating on my wife with. But because they were so damn stylish, I wanted a reason to look that good. I will admit I wanted to be Don Draper. 
Luckily around that same time, a friend of mine sent me this tasty little flyer from Banana Republic.

A chance to walk on to the set of Mad Men? Absolutely. I was in. Now I just needed a plan.

While I had previously sworn off public voting contests, this one was just too much fun to pass up. So I took a look at the site and was immediately disheartened.

The person with the most votes had many thousands of votes. Something I couldn’t possibly match.  I contemplated not doing it but then I decided I would and enlist the help of some friends.

Well the friends ended up being quite busy and or out of town at that time so I had no choice but to shoot it myself. I was at work on Friday afternoon when I realized I could take the picture on my roof. With the sun setting. Perfect!

So I rushed home after work.

Actually that’s not true. I walked fast to the train, but then I just sat on it, it doesn’t matter how much of a rush I am in, the train tends to go the same speed and or slower. So that sentence should have said:

So I went home at normal speed.

Better. I got home and climbed out my window onto my fire escape and up to my roof. I quickly realized that I didn’t have much time. The sun would be gone soon. So I climbed back into my apartment to shower, shave, get suited up and set up the shoot that I would be doing of myself.

The shower was quick and easy but shaving in a hurry is like, well, I mean it’s really its own metaphor. Any time we are talking knives and faces, there really should be as much time allowed as possible.

Thankfully, I didn’t cut my head off and was able to quickly get dressed and part glue my hair into a 1960s quaff.

I grabbed the camera and tripod as well as a bottle of Jim Beam which I was going to use as a prop for the shoot.

Now I was in one of my favorite suits which I wouldn’t exactly call “action wear.”

And climbing out of my window requires getting over an extremely high sill which I can barely do in basketball shorts, never mind tailored pants. And with nobody to hand me all of my stuff I had to simultaneously lift my leg 4 feet in the air and over a ledge to get it out the window while also holding a fully expanded tri-pod (for some reason I hadn’t thought to collapse it) and a 30 year old bottle of whiskey that hadn't been opened since the last time my parents had a "nautical party" in our old basement.

Right about the time I was straddling the window I thought to myself, what if somebody sees me? What would they think?

OH there he goes again. Always getting dressed up to drink whiskey on the roof!

Never mind the fact that once on my fire escape I have to walk past my neighbor’s living room on my way to the ladder to get to the roof. My neighbor, who recently bought an Ab Rocket and uses it for 30 minutes every morning so I hear a half hour of

Squeak Squeak Squeak Squeak

Well... at least I think that’s her Ab Rocket. Anyway, I'm just saying we both have our own stuff going on.

Mine is not the tallest building in my neighborhood, so I can only imagine if the people in the buildings across from me looked out to see me standing on my roof, in a suit, and sneakers, striking poses for a camera on a timer.

A couple of years ago this might have bothered me, or made me insecure. But I have embraced my ridiculousity and thus do not mind doing strange things that attract attention.

I mean it doesn’t always go so well, sometimes trying to take a picture of myself all I got was this.

Headless man on the roof.

But when it went well it was pretty cool. And I was happy with how most of the pictures came out, and after much debate I picked one that would be my entry into the contest that I had no chance to win.

Which picture did I choose? Well, you'll just have to wait and see now won't you?


Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

That's really not fair with the cliffhanger. I am not a fan of waiting!

Stephanie Ann said...

Damn that's one sexy suit! I just wish I didn't loathe the man in it for leaving me hanging like that. Butthead! Yes, I just reverted back to kindergarten name-calling because that's what looking at GQ'ed men with no heads does to me.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I like not having roommates either, because then no one will mock me if I have Britney Spears' albums on repeat. I haven't been able to get into Mad Men yet, though I do like the clothes too. That'd be awesome if you did get to do a walk on role. Maybe they'd let you keep your costume.

Ava said...

Good luck! Funny aside, I lived next door to a couple of the writers on that show before they started on it. I feel weird writing them now because I'm always a little fame struck like, 'OMG you've been on TV!' Can't wait to see the contest pic.

Pat said...

You're the second person I've read about who's trying out for this! I can't believe the number of votes some of those people have. How is that even POSSIBLE?

Good luck to you!

Cathy said...

Love the Boom Boom videos! You've got some talent there! I've never seen an episode of Mad Men, but love the styles and clothes they have! Good luck in the contest and let us know soon how it turns out!

Caroline B said...

Good luck with that, it would be so cool!
Must admit if I saw some young man in his best suit & a bottle of whiskey climbing onto the roof, my finger would be hovering over the 911 digits on my phone just in case he was about to leap off!

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

A cliff hanger...on a clever, but my friend, I wouldn't expect anything less. Now tell show us the damn photo so we can vote you to a win!

DangGina said...

I wish I would have read this post before now, 'cause it's a good one!

I'm so happy that you've embraced your ridiculousity. That word should be added to Webster, me thinks.

I voted for you. Just now. Hmm...maybe if I stay awake (and online) for another half hour, I can vote again...because I'm just 32 minutes away from tomorrow.

I hope you win!

Chai Addict said...

Cool blog! Big fan of Mad Men myself.

Good luck with everything. :)

dogimo said...

That picture's spectacular. That thing is somebody's album cover for sure.

Just lie back and sue 'em for 10 mil once it hits platinum. Easy payday, and you only had to wear the suit once.

astoldbyw*nter said...

I think I completely missed the point. Everyone else is talking about the pictures, but I'm sort of stuck on the part where you referred to the tasty flyer. Because I saw it the other day, and it is, indeed, delectable.