Out of My Mind

The Musings of a Woman Who Thinks Too Much

Nelle Engoron

Nelle Engoron
May 01
You can email me at "nengoron@gmaildotcom" & follow @NelleEngoron on Twitter. My archived radio shows on last season's Mad Men are available (for free!) at: www.blogtalkradio.com/madmentalk **My "Mad Men" commentary for Season 5 is on Salon rather than here -- go to http://www.salon.com/writer/ nelle_engoron/ to find all my Salon articles. **My book, "Mad Men Unmasked: Decoding Season 4," is available on Amazon in both e-book and print versions.** I'm a writer/editor/consultant who lives in the SF Bay Area. I write about all kinds of things, but am particularly intrigued by movies, relationships, gender issues, belief systems and "Mad Men." (Scroll down left sidebar for links to a selection of my blog posts.) I'm working on a novel and a memoir, neither of which is about Mad Men!

Nelle Engoron's Links

My radio show
My articles on other sites
Movies, movies, movies
Mad Men writing on OS
A sampling of other blog posts
My book
Editor’s Pick
JULY 14, 2011 8:59PM

The Unsolved Mysteries of Harry Potter





As the final film (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2) unspools in Muggle theaters, there will be no real surprises for the fans, who know full well how the saga ends from having read the books (to pieces, in many cases). But even… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 31, 2011 11:01AM

A Man Needs a Maid: DSK, Arnold and the Invisible Women


I spent the summer I turned 21 working as a hotel maid, cleaning up other people’s messes. Having started my work life at age 14 in a frozen banana factory before progressing up the chain of summer jobs to bus girl, waitress and fast food shift supervisor, I was… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 14, 2011 11:51AM

My Hairstory: Why I’m Going Gray



The color nature gave me (at age 20, in the French Alps) 


How I look today, unplugged (early AM, no make up), 30+ years later 


In Nicole Holofcener’s recent film, Please Give, a middle-aged woman acidly characterizes her grandmother’s… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 19, 2010 12:37AM

The Real Magic of Harry Potter: Acting!




One of the great pleasures of the Harry Potter movies has been watching the extraordinarily deep bench of British acting talent fill literally mesmerizing roles. At this point, so many of the country’s best-known actors and actresses have appeared in both recurring and one… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 2, 2010 4:00PM


If you watched the World Series, you no doubt saw a commercial from Microsoft touting their soon-to-be-released Windows smart phone. In it, a slick flurry of scenes depict people so engrossed in their smart phones that they spill drinks, trip over or trip up other people, neglect their cl… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 18, 2010 6:48AM

Tomorrowland: Mad Men Season 4 Finale (Commentary)

 don and megan


Will you at least put me out of my misery before you go? ~ Don to Faye


That’s two. ~ Topaz client


It’s good to be a gangsta, and it’s great to be Don Draper. Your company may be… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 14, 2010 2:48AM

Escaping the Underworld: The Chilean Miners


 The Return of Persephone by Frederic Leighton

In Greek mythology, Demeter is the goddess of the harvest, who controls the seasons and the fertility of the plants. She has a daughter, Persephone (fathered by Zeus) who as a young woman is abducted by Hades, the god of the underworl… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 11, 2010 7:35AM

Blowing Smoke: Mad Men Season 4, Episode 12 (Commentary)





Don: We can’t start over; we just started.

Peggy: You always say if you don’t like what they’re saying about you, change the conversation.

Don:  To what? What they’re saying about us is true.


Of course, truth is just a starting… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 4, 2010 7:32AM

Chinese Wall: Mad Men, Season 4, Episode 11 (Commentary)




They’re about the meaningful life a woman leads when work is done. ~ Peggy


Ah, but a woman’s work is never done, as the old saying tells us. Sometimes just getting through her life is work. And sometimes work is… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 6:42AM

Hands and Knees: Mad Men, Season 4, Episode 10 (Commentary)





Stop it, kill it, at least find out how far it’s gone. ~ Don to Pete

“Cheer up. When God closes a door, he opens a dress,” goes a classic Rogerism from an earlier season of Mad Men.  In the episode “Hands and/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 20, 2010 7:08AM

The Beautiful Girls: Mad Men Season 4 Episode 9 (Commentary)


the women 


It’s like men are this vegetable soup and you can’t put them on a plate or put them on a counter. Women are the pot. They hold them. They contain them. Who wants to be a pot? Who says we’re not soup?

~ Joyce on gender relationsRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 13, 2010 7:22AM

The Summer Man: Mad Men, Season 4, Episode 8 (Commentary)




Is this the way you want to spend this time? Crying? ~ Greg

I wouldn't tolerate that if I were you. ~ Don 


In the very first episode of the series, “the boys” (aka the junior male staff of Sterling Cooper) asserted… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 10, 2010 1:23PM

So Far Away: My 9/11


When the phone rang at 7:30 AM, waking me from a deep sleep, I knew instantly something must be wrong. I headed slowly, sleepily and with dread to its insistent sound only to miss the call before it rolled to voicemail. Looking at the Caller ID, I saw my… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
SEPTEMBER 6, 2010 5:48AM

The Suitcase: Mad Men, Season 4, Episode 7 (Commentary)


 Peg and Don


Let’s go some place darker. ~ Don 


And so they do.  In “The Suitcase,” Don and Peggy go into a little heart of darkness together, have several heart-to-heart talks, and come out as…what?  Closer colleagues, real friends… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 30, 2010 7:25AM

Waldorf Stories: Mad Men, Season 4, Episode 6 (Commentary)


don and roger


Aspiration’s as good as perspiration. ~ Danny

That’s not how it goes. ~ Don


There are several ways to succeed in life:  You can know the right people, you can know the right things, or you can know the right things… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 23, 2010 7:34AM

The Chrysanthemum and the Sword: Mad Men S4:5 (Commentary)




So much conflicting information. ~ Pete


What are we to others but what we appear to be? 

And yet our own appearance eludes us – we can see ourselves only in a mirror and always in reverse. O wad someRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 19, 2010 11:53AM

I Was An Adult At 22 -- Why Aren’t You?


An article in this weekend’s New York Times Magazine addresses a question much on the minds of the middle-aged these days: “What Is It About 20-Somethings?

Drawing on the work of psychologists, sociologists and neuroscientists, writer Robin Marantz Henig explores possRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 16, 2010 7:53AM

The Rejected: Mad Men, Season 4, Episode 4 (Commentary)

a and p 


Imagine…your financial future is in the hands of a roomful of 22 year old girls. ~ Freddy

Not mine. ~ Don

What do women want? On being asked Freud’s famous question a few seasons ago, Roger Sterling replied, “Who cares?”  In “The Rejected,&rd/… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 9, 2010 6:59AM

The Good News: Mad Men Season 4, Episode 3 (Commentary)


good news



I started thinking of everything I was sure I knew was true -- and how flimsy it all might be. ~ Anna Draper


The good news this week is that Mad Men returns to form with a rich and entertaining episode… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 2, 2010 7:01AM

Christmas Comes But Once A Year: Mad Men S4:2 (Commentary)

 peg and don


Good time? Bad time? ~ Don’s secretary, Allison

Yes. ~ Don

It’s the best of times and the worst of times in our tale of two revolutions:  the macro one in 1960’s America and the micro in advertising, as personified by our feisty young agency, SCDP./… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 26, 2010 6:08AM

Public Relations: Mad Men Season 4, Episode 1 (Commentary)




You’ll be very happy. ~ Peggy to Don

I’m not happy. ~ Don


Who is Don Draper? ~ Reporter

The opening line of Season 4 of Mad Men is almost too pat – baldly asking what is ostensibly the central question of the… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 9, 2010 4:14AM

My Oakland


This month marks 30 years that I have been a resident of Oakland. I came to the Bay Area right after college to make a new and independent life, away from everything I’d known (and disliked) in Southern California. I knew little of the area and so originally planned to… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JUNE 17, 2010 3:28PM

Curses, Foiled Again! “Female Viagra” Fails


A portrait of female desire (statue in Brussels) ~ photo by me 


In a development that I suspect will come as no surprise to most women, the latest attempt to develop a “female Viagra” to increase sexual desire has met with “lackluster results.&rdq/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 12, 2010 4:59PM

My Unfashionable Life

In response to Ann Nichols’ “What I Wore” post recalling favorite outfits.

I hate fashion. Hate it. Fashion is fascism:  Other people telling you what to wear in order to get you to spend ridiculous sums of money – and to look ridiculous in the bargain.  (Think… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MAY 5, 2010 9:19PM

Overheard: The 2 Million Year Old Man

Inspired by Kathy Riordan’s recent post on a maddening conversation she overheard, "Shoot Me Now," and Nick Carraway’s fanciful “Overheard,” I thought I’d try to transcribe from memory a conversation that I overheard by chance just this afternoon. 

The speakers areRead full post »