Check out this text message sequence between my neighbor and I yesterday morning …
Me: Whatchu got going on today?
Neighbor: Nothing. Beautiful outside. Elevated levels of family and kid chaos over here this morning.
Me: Same here. I got a plan.
Neighbor: What’s that?
Me: My backyard, 1 PM. Your kids and my kids keep each other occupied. Your wife talks to my wife. Also becomes socially acceptable for us to enjoy bottled beverages on my patio all day and listen to Indians game.
Neighbor: Wow! Sounds perfect. You come up with that plan yourself?
Me: Nope. Google.
We’ve got a shot at a Triple Crown winner heading into the Belmont Stakes on June 9th. In a race that was a virtual carbon copy of The Kentucky Derby, I’ll Have Another raced from behind to beat pace-setter Bodemeister. I’ll Have Another now has a chance to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. Eleven horses have won the first two legs of the Triple Crown since Affirmed in ’78. All eleven have lost at Belmont, the longest of the three Triple Crown races. Here they are:
2008 Big Brown
2004 Smarty Jones
2003 Funny Cide
2002 War Emblem
1998 Real Quiet Real
1997 Silver Charm
1989 Sunday Silence
1981 Pleasant Colony
1979 Spectacular Bid
SPOILER, SPOILER, SPOILER, SPOILER ….
Just three episodes left of “Mad Men” after last night’s episode, titled ‘Christmas Waltz’. And we continue to get more and more clues about how the writers may end this season.
Five minutes into the episode it was obvious: Lane Price and Harry Crane storylines would fuel much of the show, which disappointed me at first – both are relatively uninteresting characters. The episode came together nicely though.
Let’s start with Lane. I think this episode may have been the beginning of the end for him. We found out he owes the UK $8,000 in back taxes. Then he forged Don’s signature on a check to himself after advancing money from a creditor to pay everyone in the firm Christmas bonuses. Later in the show we find out that Mohawk Airlines is suspending their advertising – and the partners will forgo their bonuses so the employees can still receive them. Uh oh Lane.
On to Harry – this whole storyline this week was all about one last appearance for old friend Paul Kinsey and giving Harry’s character an episode of development. That’s one thing “Mad Men” is fiercely committed to, developing all the main characters throughout seasons, even the ones like Harry that viewers could care less about. I don’t think anything else needs said about the odd Hare Krishna story line.
Let’s get to the good stuff. Don Draper and Joan Holloway. That scene between them in the bar was one of the greatest in show history. Both characters are so cool and confident. They’ve been two of the alpha dog characters on the show since day one, yet have had very few intertwining story lines. It’s impossible not to cheer for those two to end up together, even though it would create carnage and end badly. The part where they were talking about the man in the bar, with Joan clearly looking at him but talking about Don. The look on Don’s face driving the Jaguar home at high speeds. The eerie scene when he gets home to Megan, so familiar to similar scenes with Betty when that marriage started to circle the drain. The flowers he sent to Joan when she teased him about never getting flowers from him. Outstanding.
Some final quick analysis …
- It now seems apparent; the bid to win Jaguar’s business will be what the last three episodes and season finale center around.
- All shows like this need fresh new characters. Lane Price’s days are numbered and he is likely to be replaced next season with a fresh face.
- The Don/Joan thing is likely to go nowhere further, we couldn’t be that lucky. Total teaser they threw into what writers had to know would have been an otherwise “meh” episode featuring Lane and Harry storylines.
- Don cannot handle Megan not being in the office. He needs that rush, and the whole arts industry … it’s clear he’s not a fan. Draper is incapable of staying happy; it’s the overriding theme of the show. I still feel like he doesn’t enter next season married to Megan. The Draper character is FASCINATING.
Quote of the Day …
“If the other guy is getting better, then you’d better be getting better faster than the other guy is getting better … or you’re getting worse.” ~ Tom Peters
Insane Fact of the Day …
50% of the United States population lives within a 500 mile radius of Columbus, OH.
As is the case annually, the week before Memorial Day is one of the lighter weeks for economic releases of the year. No news today. Existing home sale data tomorrow, new home sale data Wedns, jobless claims and durable goods orders on Thursday. Consumer sentiment Friday. And some treasury auctions. The bond markets close early on Friday (2 PM EST) and are closed all day Monday in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.
The markets will trade primarily off of Europe this week as investors try to gauge Greece’s commitment to the Euro Zone and any and all other headlines related to the European debt crisis.
G8 leaders meeting in Camp David over the weekend strongly supported keeping Greece in the euro zone, and vowed to do whatever is necessary to battle financial turmoil while revitalizing their economies. Greek voters return to the polls on June 17 after the mixed results of a May 6 parliamentary election left no party able to put together a government. Strong support for anti-austerity parties has stirred fears that Greece won’t meet pledges it made in return for its second bailout, potentially leading to its exit from the shared-currency project.
Also, an informal meeting of European Union leaders is set for Wednesday. New French President Francois Hollande said he would press for the introduction of euro-zone bonds, though most feel that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to continue to resist calls to mutualize the region’s debt.
US stocks has their worst week of the year last week. Despite the much anticipated IPO of Facebook’s stock on Friday (it closed up $0.23 in its first day of trading), the Dow shed 73 points to close the week at 12,369 … far off the psychological 13,000 mark the index hovered around for most of the last few months. The Dow has now declined 12 out of the last 13 trading days, the longest streak of its kind since 1974. It’s now down 6.4% for the month after taking a weekly hit of 3.5%.
~ The Week Ahead: Europe Could Rattle Market’s Cage
~ Fed President Lockhart: No Need for QE3 Presently
~ Facebook Stock Facing Crucial Week after Modest Debut
~ Ohio’s Unemployment Rate Down, but Manufacturing Losses Concern Many
~ Stock Futures Higher as G8 Wants Greece in Euro
~ This Week’s Calendar: Light Data, Treasury Auctions, Holiday Weekend