Blurbs

12 Jul

First off.  Bachelorette.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry! I’m in a rut.  Two weeks ago was so boring.  Then it was on a break for the week of July 4.  I tried to watch last night and it was somewhere around Alex being dumb with Pringles and dancing around in pantaloons that I just said, I want to do other things with my life right now.  I was proud of this choice and wish I could tell you I went and journaled or jogged or started a nonprofit but I think I just watched a different TV show.

There is seriously not a date-worthy human in that entire lot.  Alex? He’s like 4’6″.  He wears these ridiculous ankle boots that make him appear more like 4’3″.  I want to pin him down and feed him Flinstones gummies until he becomes a respectably sized human.  Chase? My text advisory panel agrees Chase is physically the most attractive.  Too bad he has the personality of a sea cucumber.  Robbie? College swimmers just don’t have the best record when it comes to not being sexual predators.  Immediate disqualification.  Jordan? No. Gawd. The worst.  The worst! The others are just too boring for commentary.

Second off.  A WOEFULLY belated update on my little kerfuffle with the Gawker publishing company.  Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who commented and agreed it was crappy and wrong and not something I was imagining in my head.  I made a few more loose attempts to get some coverage but when I didn’t get anywhere I let it drop.  I have a life and just wasn’t interested in investing any additional time in this little hashtag justice project.

Not having any further luck with the site’s editors, I did end up emailing the offending author.  I just needed closure.  It was like my own personal episode of After the Final Rose.  I was actually very respectful and said I didn’t blame her, because I understand she was probably just on a deadline and cut a corner, and people are human and do things like this. Ultimately, I told her all I wanted was a smidgen of insight into the industry– is online media just so redundant and recycled that it’s just an accepted standard to do this kind of thing? Is that why I was so easily blown off? I was only genuinely curious.  Well, my message went unacknowledged so I don’t know.  Despicable.

Let me tell you why I’m extra bitter about this.  People like my parents are always bemoaning the new age of media consumption, like all worked up about losing the “good old days” of journalism because people now read the news online instead of in newspapers.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given a good-natured eye roll and said MOM, gawd, it’s the same journalism and journalists, it’s just online and not in a newspaper that’s junking up your house and killing trees.  Apparently the boomers are right about this! I just can’t believe actual professional journalists didn’t see the glaring ethical violation here.

And for those who hadn’t heard, Gawker has since hilariously been bankrupted by a lawsuit over a Hulk Hogan sex tape. Lolz! This is how history will remember you.  Nude Hulk Hogan was the last thing your company saw before it died.  What a way to go down.

Third off.  Not related at all, but our household got Netflix last week.  Holy crap, where has this been my entire life? It’s terrible.  I’ve gone from zero to couch potato in a week.  What is be books? What be are interaction with other humans? Do not understand what is fizikul aktivity? I’m going to be illiterate and 75 pounds heavier next time you hear from me.  It’s going to be glorious.  We’re working on House of Cards now and I’ve heard from multiple friends to hit Orange is the New Black too.  Let me know what else to put in my queue!

Lastly.  Thanks for reading.  I’ll have more blabbing hopefully in another week or two.  Mwah.

 

The Chad Bear: The Bachelorette Recap, Week 3

8 Jun

Sorry for the delay! Non-Bachelorette life commitments and all.  Just finished up the “two day Bachelorette event” on the DVR and WOO WEE, wild ride!

First up this week is Chase, a Medical Sales Rep.  They are off to a hot yoga class.  As a yoga professional, I am preemptively incensed that they will exploit the sacred art of yoga for LOLs.  Blah blah om om.  Boring date.  Chase is actually impressively flexible for a beginner.

Next up is a group date.  There’s an audience and a woman on stage talking about uncomfortable sex topics.  What is this? Vagina Monologues? Apparently it is in fact a show called “Sex Talks”, and the men are informed that they’ll be providing live material for it.  They are ushered backstage where they have 45 minutes to prepare a stand-up-style memoir to share.

The men return to the stage and take their individual turns.  Things get interesting.  Wells was part of a threesome– where he found not one but TWO volunteers for this activity, I don’t know.  He looks like he’s eleven and he’s built like a baby robin.  I actually think my biceps are bigger than his.  Daniel, Canadas for a living, has a fetish for snipping locks of hair from women’s heads.  Must be a Quebec thing.  Grant is talking about being 16 and texting girls.  I suddenly feel very old.  At 16 we were just beginning to appreciate the simple pleasure of Snake on a Nokia. Will Grant ever know this joy? I weep for the youth.

Evan chooses to interpret the assignment a little differently.  In lieu of sharing a personal story, he basically just roasts Chad.  Chad you’ll recall is the Roid Rage Realtor we got to know last week.  This goes predictably poorly for Evan and Chad roughs him up afterwards.  These people are animals.

Let’s talk about Evan.  YIKES! He reminds me of someone.  Can’t put my finger on it.  Maybe like some kind of tiny, less attractive, hipsterier Kevin Kline? Also this character from Wedding Crashers comes to mind:

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Backstage things are getting ugly between Chad and Evan.  The other men are encircling fragile Evan the way a zebra herd protects a foal in the presence of a predator.  Things continue to be awkward as they head into the after party, which is at like some kind of antique store or something.  Chad walks around muttering and talking to himself in mirrors.

Hilariously, Jojo bestows a rose on Evan.  Anyone with a fourth grade education knows this is the sympathiest sympathy rose ever sympathize.  Apparently Evan is not a member of this statistical population.  He’s jubilant.  It’s adorable and heartbreaking.  Chad asks Jojo, “Is this a real scenario? You’re actually right now vibing this dude?”.  I LOL because I am wondering the same thing, and as crazy as Chad is, it’s refreshing to actually see someone candidly call out The Bachelorette instead of slobbering at her feet.

James Taylor, Singer/Songwriter, goes on the next date. They swing dance. He wears Buster Brown saddle shoes and looks like some kind of 200-pound 18-month-old.    Uneventful otherwise.

Back at the house, Chad is venting about his problems to Daniel the Canadian.  Daniel is drawing analogies using several WWI/WWII political leaders.  In his ABC bio, Chad  describes his greatest achievement as “Being born good looking” so I’m pretty sure the Mussolini references are lost on him.  Instead, he busies himself eating a raw sweet potato and chunks of lettuce:

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He is like a large, angry chinchilla.

The next day, Chad finds out Evan whined to Chris Harrison about his aggression issues.  (Or, well, ABC stages it to look like Chris Harrison and Evan had an impromptu conversation about it.)  Chad is unhappy.  I rewind the DVR a ton of times so I can transcribe this quote with precision:

“I’m gonna cut everyone here’s legs off and arms off and there’s gonna be torsos and I’m gonna throw them in the pool.” –Chad

Chris calls Chad outside and tells him to cool down, a message he delivers as an unsuspecting inflated flamingo casually floats by in the background.  I LOL.  A still shot doesn’t do it justice.  Does anyone know how to make GIFs?

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Chad makes an attempt at peace, and says everything will be fine if nobody talks to him.

“It’s not a wise decision to poke the Chad bear.”  –Chad

Jojo does the elimination ceremony and sends home a few guys we knew were on the chopping block.

The remaining duders are off to my home state of Pennsylvania! Cool! Luke gets the first date and they go dog sledding (OMG THOSE PUPS ARE ADORABLE) and then sit in a hot tub in the woods.  I actually quite enjoy Luke, although he always seems so morose and serious.  I mean look at this guy, he is like hating his life right now:

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We’re up to a commercial break.  Do you think you have what it takes to date the next Bachelor or Bachelorette? You mean, like, herpes? Or a barren, vast void where self worth normally could be found? I’ll pass.

For our grand finale, Chad and Alex go on a two-on-one date.  For those unfamiliar with the show, this is where one individual gets an immediate boot at the end of the date.  Also, you have my sincerest admiration for living a life without this TERRIBLE SHOW THAT I CANNOT LOOK AWAY FROM.

Jojo calls out Chad for being violent. Another fantastic exchange:

Chad: I haven’t touched anyone!
Jojo: Yea but you’ve threatened to beat people.
Chad: So that they would be quiet?
Jojo: That’s not the way to handle it.
Chad: If you have a better way I’d love to hear it.

OMG.  Jojo sobs and wonders if he is just “struggling” with his mom’s death.  She’s a wonderful, empathetic soul for thinking that.  She says she knows him as a “sweet, sensitive guy.”  Who will throw your torso in a swimming pool.

Jojo ultimately sends Chaddypoo home.  He takes it not well.  Consider the Chad Bear POKED! Now at this point in the show, the ousted gentleman would normally see his way to the Airport Van of Rejection, and proceed to cry and call his mom.  But Chad, as it appears, is vengefully walking through the woods back to the lodge where the rest of the gentleman are staying.  We get hit with a “To Be Continued”.

Except did you catch that we have to wait TWO COTTON PICKIN’ WEEKS for the next installment? It looks amazing.  I’m beside myself.  Another episode down, another 5,000,000 brain cells down the potty.

 

Great Balls of Fire: The Bachelorette Recap, Week 2

31 May

This is a loser recap because non-Bachelorette life commitments have kept me busy yesterday and today.  Here are a few drive-by observations on the dudes.

Alex: So tiny and adorable.  Seriously.  He’s like this squat little eggplant of a man.  He is like a little Tamagotchi or Polly Pocket.  I want to eat him for a snack.  Have you ever fallen down some idiotic Mashable rabbit hole and ended up reading one of those “15 Disney Princes In Real Life” pieces? You have? That’s cool.  I haven’t.  I definitely have not used minutes from my precious life in that pursuit. But if I had I might say that Alex could be one of those.

Wells: Shockingly, Wells the 130-pound Californian DJ doesn’t do well with physically strenuous activity.  He gets picked to go on the group date where they do fireman relays.  Asthma attacks ensue. (Bachelor Axiom 1: Feign medical distress if you need to steer the Bachelorette’s attention back to you.)  You know Wells would have trounced the competition if the challenge was something like Instagramming food truck pictures or Tweeting about bad customer service at Banana Republic.  Guilty confession: does anyone else like his name? I also loved Ames from Ashley’s season, which no joke I had on Frogson’s list.  *Monkey with hands over eyes emoji*

Grant: This is the fireman with the chin that could chisel an ice swan.  He wins the fireman relay challenge, as I suppose he should.  I would have enjoyed seeing him lose it.  Jojo sits in the cabana with him and asks why he was called to professional firefighting.  “When I go home at the end of the day, in some way shape or form I, like, made a difference.”  I laugh because Frogson has a book about being a firefighter; the last page reads “Now my day is done, I’m proud of what I’ve done, I love being a firefighter, it’s so much fun.”  So Grant’s verbal skills are basically at a preschool level. I think I lose 5,034 brain cells every Monday night.

Luke: Guys, I have a mutual friend with Luke.  This is insane.  I will beg her to do an anonymous interview if he sticks around.  I actually enjoy Luke.  He’s like a bad boy but a sweet bad boy.

Derek: If Alex is a real life version of a Disney Prince then Derek is a real life version of Glenn Quagmire.  Otherwise, Derek is the boringest dude ever.  Probably would make great partner material.  (Bachelor Axiom 2: Give an immediate boot to anyone you suspect might actually be a nice human to date.)  This was the week’s one-on-one date.  They go for dinner and he is talking about a “past relationship” and keeps saying “I haven’t talked to anyone about this.”  I’m excitedly chewing my proverbial popcorn and waiting for some intrigue about this relationship– normally this is where they fade in music from the the Tender Moment Bachelor Piano© and Derek would say he was divorced at 19, or his girlfriend ran off with his brother, or some other piece of depraved hilarity.  But that’s apparently the extent of his story.  He had a girlfriend.  OK.

Chad: Luke is a sweet bad boy but Chad is like a true evil bad boy.   (Bachelor Axiom 3: Being a terrible, terrible human guarantees you will stick around the show for a while.)  Jojo is a house flipper and Chad is a “luxury real estate agent” so you know this is a brilliant match of seedy professionals.  Unfortunately for Jojo, Chad is also a luxury real estate agent with an anger problem and a penchant for massive meat consumption.  When Alex asks, “Do you think I’m afraid of you?” Chad replies “I think you are.  I think you should be.”, a line he delivers with a toothpick from a Swedish meatball sticking out of his mouth.  I LOL.

The Unicorn Rides Again: The Bachelorette Recap, Week 1

24 May

Between January and May lies a sad, arduous march between the end of The Bachelor and the resumption of The Bachelorette.  Tonight, my friends, we awake from our nightmare.

Jojo is taking another break from her house flipping career to join us as our esteemed Bachelorette.  She begins with a group counseling session from fellow Bachelorettes of yore.  Some solid life advice from the crew:

Roberto was so hot that all I wanted to do was, like, take his clothes off every single time I saw him and I didn’t really get to know him. — Ali

Oh Ali. As the kids say, SMH.

Let’s meet us some dudes!

Grant is a firefighter with the scariest, pointiest chin in the known human gene pool:

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Like maybe he’s a firefighter, maybe he’s Jafar from Aladdin.  His occupation description would read: malevolent sultan.  Alex is a marine.  Has a marine twin brother.  Mom presumably tells them apart by their differing sleeve tattoos.  Ali is an Iranian pianist bartender who skateboards with a Bichon Frise.  K.  Evan is like some kind of med tech at a men’s clinic.  ABC stretches this for LOLs and his occupation tagline reads “erectile dysfunction specialist”.  We (everyone with an IQ over 30) see what you did there, ABC.  Christian is a telecom consultant with daddy issues.  Luke tries to pass himself off as a farmer, except he’s wearing skinny jeans and a Hollister shirt and struggling to lift the feed bag.  He says he’s “100% country boy” but I think an accurate approximation might be more like 31% country boy.  Luke, let me just ask you a few questions: Do you got an ole fiddle? When the sun’s comin’ up do you got cakes on the griddle? I DID NOT THINK SO.

We’re back to Jojo.  Exactly WTF did she choose to wear tonight?

I mean if you ask her I’m sure she’d describe that hue as espresso or glazed toffee or something but she looks like a big burlap tube.

The entire middle bulk of the show is predictably awful and boring.  I laze on the sofa and text my Bachelorette Advisory Panel until the men are a few more drinks deep.  Even then they’re a pretty terrible and boring group.  Let’s see.  Daniel the pasty, Norman Batesian creeper jumps into the pool.  Nick the Santa Claus is sweaty.  Ali takes to the courtyard piano and thinks he is HOT STUFF because he can play Fur Elise along with 86% of the world’s 8th graders.

Jordan breaks through as the star of the night.  If he looks familiar it’s because he looks exactly like that dweeb Jef [sic] who won Emily’s season, right down to the same idiotic poofy haircut.  Here, I even made a formal comparison:

Jef and Jordan bachelor

Gawd.  It’s like they order these people out of a catalogue.

 

Alright, Jojo.  Selection time.  How many ridiculous little corsages does she need to give out? Like 10 or 12 or something? If I were the Bachelorette I would truly struggle to come up with that many dudes from this pool to keep around.  It is SLIM PICKINGS this season.  It might go down something like this:

*Stares at picture frames*
*Continues staring at picture frames*
Chris Harrison: Sarah, have you chosen?
*Stares a little more at picture frames*
*Hurls self through window*

She keeps around most of the predictable options and a few other losers.  The preview for the rest of the season looks glorious.  Hopefully they offer more fodder than tonight.  Join me back here next week! It’s my solemn vow to not flake out on recaps this season.

 

Would You Call This Plagiarism?

22 Apr

Friends and readers, I come to you today with a legitimate ethical question that I would love opinions on.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love this blog.  I love writing. I have a great stream of traffic and could probably make money off this blog if I tried.  I’ve never chosen to go that route because I write for the love of the craft.  Also, I’m a lazy heifer who’s easily confused by businessy stuffs.

Anyway, last year I had a freaking blast writing The Hater’s Guide to Daniel Tiger.  I was #blessed with a lot of fantastic and hilarious feedback on it, including from the writer of the show herself.  (Which was simultaneously flattering and mortifying.)  The other day I stumbled on this piece: Why Your Children’s Television Program Sucks: Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  The blog is part of the Gawker publishing family, a $45 million company.

I was excited! DT snark makes my heart sing.  I settled in for some hilarity.  As I started reading, I got a sick feeling in my stomach.  By the end, the sick feeling had evolved  into the kind of rage you can’t soothe away with a Daniel jingle about counting to 4.  While nothing was copied word for word, it was obvious the author had partially relied on my piece to write her own.

I calmly emailed the editor, introducing myself and linking to both pieces.  I expected some kind of grand response involving remorse! Embarrassment! Punishment!  I was told they didn’t see a problem.  The kind of “broad similarities” to be expected when two people “independently” write about the same thing.

I am seething.  I am in the middle of a huge personal hissy fit.  While this is not a glaring, egregious act of cut and paste plagiarism, there IS an issue if you look.  It’s true that a lot of my material was untouched, and a lot of her material was original, but if we were to be eighth graders for a minute and put both into a Venn diagram, there would be a definite shady overlap.  THERE IS EVEN AN APPROPRIATE JINGLE FROM DANIEL TIGER: In some ways we are different/but in so many ways we are the same.  LOL sob.

People, here is what I am asking.  I really need to illustrate this entire thing with a side-by-side comparison.  Could you read this and tell me HONESTLY if A) you agree there is a serious issue here or B) you think the issue is minor or nonexistent and I need to let this go.

Now, the case is really not very strong when you look individually at the offenses.  Look collectively at them though, and I think it’s obvious and disgusting.  There’s also a smoking gun moment that just takes any possibility of coincidence off the table, so please bear with me til the end if you can.

I’ll put my stuff on top, and then hers:

1

First off, out of 59 DT episodes all focusing on various crises in Daniel’s life, how did we mention the same ones? ALSO– and seriously SERIOUSLY please find me and hit me with a large piece of lawn maintenance equipment for knowing this much about Daniel Tiger– but in no episode does he break his watch.  He loses his watch because his room is so messy he can’t find it.  So this was either a copying error, or an accidentally incriminating attempt to slightly change wording.

2

Minor, yes, but so much side eye.  Please stick with me.

3

Well we love to snark, but the reason why they love vegetables and vegetable soup is just because the show has a hilarious nutrition agenda.  To illustrate this, you could also mention:

  • Their equal love for oatmeal.
  • They order soup and salad from the neighborhood restaurant.
  • They eat effing fruit kebabs for every special occasion, including Thanksgiving.
  • Daniel and his dad go to the market for vegetables, Daniel sobs for cookies, his father shuts him the eff down.
  • The neighborhood exchanges stickers for trick or treat.
  • They eat spiraled vegetables instead of spaghetti noodles like a bunch of paleo freaks.
  • They eat frozen, pureed banana for desert.
  • SWEET JESUS YOLO JUST LET THE POOR CHILD HAVE SOME SUGAR

But she mentioned the exact observation as I did.  And again go to Lowes right now and get the biggest rotary tiller you can find and bludgeon me with it until I unlearn this pathetic and vast amount of information I have accumulated about Daniel Tiger.

5

Well there’s not much substance on Mom Tiger beyond this, but again, my exact observations. Another fact to nitpick: Daniel has never cried about nap time. I know this because I have prayed to the Gods of PBS to send me a nap episode. My child is the most belligerent napper in the continental United States. But with fifteen minutes of gentle musical guidance from that animated feline, he would be out with the force of 14 Lunestas.

6

Different wording, same observation.

O the owl

I’m only offended by this because it’s just hilariously factually inaccurate! Girrrrrrrrl if you think O the Owl “isn’t constantly having emotional breakdowns” then you don’t watch this show. (And for that I commend you, trust me.) O makes Daniel look like the picture of emotional resilience.  Daniel is George Patton compared to O.  Just more evidence that she is not writing from subject knowledge.

4

This to me is what clinches it.  Maybe you could write everything else off as a big fluke, but there’s no way we’d coincidentally quote the same dialogue snippet.  (There’s syntactic similarity in the preceding sentences too.)  I mean, we’re talking about an entire TV show’s worth of possible dialogue to quote.  And that is the entire joke we are making: THOSE MEOWING CATS NEVER STFU.  This proves she definitely saw my post and from there, used it to cut corners instead of creating fully original content.

7

 

This is the one and only time we both reference something off-topic: Elmo.  I know Elmo is like a ubiquitous deity for toddlers and preschoolers, but again, looking at everything together I don’t find this a coincidence.  This is the one observation she offers under the heading “Pros”– a huge umbrella prompt that you could respond to with almost anything.

I am just so angry.  I know this isn’t the worst case of plagiarism ever, but this person used my work as a short cut instead of writing her own.  Even if she just kinda used my work a little, she and Gawker COMMERCIALLY BENEFITED FROM IT.  Any level of that is unacceptable to me. I mean, we’re talking about a $45 million company TAKING from a not-for-profit amateur.  AND blowing me off when I respectfully brought it to their attention.

Thank you so much for reading.  I appreciate all of you.  I would love to hear any opinions you care to share.

A Word From Your Host

14 Feb

Will you please forgive me for sucking at Bachelor posts? I have received several messages saddened by their absence which is SO flattering, but also causes my heart to cry big pathetic just-got-eliminated-at-the-rose-ceremony tears because I really do love writing them and bringing joy to your lives.  I mean, I basically consider it a heroic act of community service on my part.  Maybe I’d do Habitat for Humanity if drilling a single screw wasn’t a task that frequently caused me to sob in frustration (not hyperbole).  But since that’s out I  blog.  That’s what I have to contribute to Planet Earth.  And listen don’t try to tell me it’s not a noble contribution because Mariah Carey told me back in 1993 that there’s a hero if I look inside my heart and I don’t have to be afraid of what I am.  OKAY?

I could be low and blame it on Ben being boring, but instead I’ll be equally low and blame it on my little frogs who have joined forces to make sure I don’t sleep between 2:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.  I mean, I LOVE writing the recaps but staying up late is just not a wise life choice for me right now.  Just kind of one of those things I need to not pressure myself over.  I totally don’t understand all the chicks out there arbitrarily putting pressure on themselves.  Like with the crazy “35 things before I’m 35” lists that are like OMG I will go to barre class three times a week all year and give up soy and gluten and read all the classics and learn Portuguese and visit 10 museums and take a home beer brewing class and plant 11 trees and blah blah blah blah OK you have fun with that.  I’ll be taking a nap if you need me.  Like if you really wanted to do those things because they brought you joy, you would just, you know, do them without pressuring yourself?

So… I love this blog but I just need to keep it a joyful thing and not a losing-sleep thing.  I promise I will cover this and other topics as conditions permit. Mwah.  Valentine’s smoochies to all of you.

 

Not Hot for Teacher: The Bachelor Recap, Week 2

12 Jan

Welcome back for another week! Where were we? I think last we left off, Ben sucked.  Let’s check if this is still the case.  It is? It is.  This status remains unchanged.

We pick back up with some interviews with the ladies.  Lace has sobered up and regrets her  antics from opening night.  Oh man.  Lace sorry to tell you this but you’re a nutter butter and the world had front row seats to your drunken implosion.  You would be better off moving to a Dakota of your choice and changing your name.  Tartan? Doily? 80% Synthetic Polyester Blend? Lotta possibilities there.  “I’m not a crazy girl at all,” she says.  Let’s continue to explore this claim as the episode unfolds.

Ben is back at his undisclosed location putting on pants.  ABC wants to be sure we are all aware that Ben is a person who puts pants on.

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Gross! My notes here just say “crotch eww!”.  Not sure I have much more commentary beyond that.  Ben ain’t nobody want to see your smurf skivvies. Foul.

Tonight’s group date is a trip to Bachelor High.  The production team has taken over a school and the women are broken into groups for several rounds of competition. Ben says “High school is where I have some of my fondest memories.”  Gawd he WOULD say that.  He is totally the guy who peaked in high school.

In one of the rounds the floozies bob for apples.  Ben remarks, “One of the most attractive things about this date is seeing these women really put themselves out there.”

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He continues: “If my teachers in high school would have looked as good as these women I would have paid attention a lot more.”

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Ben are we looking at the same human specimens here?

 

Next is where the episode really came together wonderfully for me.  For the floozies’ second challenge, they are provided with a borderless map of the U.S. and several cut outs of states.  Their mission is to 1) identify Indiana and 2) place it correctly on the map.

Ben says, “I think this is going to be easy for the women.  I’m not asking them to place Indonesia on a map.  It’s just Indiana.”  Oh Ben Ben Benny Ben BEN! Oh ye of excessive faith! But I mean God forbid one of these morons COULD place Indonesia on a map.  Intelligence is such an unattractive quality nowadays.

Two of the teams seem to be managing this Indiana task well, but Becca and Jojo are struggling.

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“Is that Oregon?” –Jojo

Recall that Becca indicated in her ABC bio that if she could be anything, she would be Meredith Grey or a dolphin.  This assignment is predictably challenging for her.

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Hmmmmmm well let’s just see here Magna Carta signed in 1984…

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Nixon succeeds Lincoln… 

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Dan Quayle signs the historic Kentucky Purchase….

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Hydrogen helium rhombus carry the eight [inner monologue dissolves into dolphin squeaks] 

The first two teams get pretty close:

Here was Jojo and Becca’s attempt.  I actually laugh aloud for a while.

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Following the group date they all enjoy a Signature Bachelor Rooftop Cocktail Party.  Lace is back claiming “I’m not that person.” Lace you make that person look like a picture of mental health and normalcy! You are like the that person TO the that person! She also keeps pronouncing Jubilee’s name like “Joobly” which I find hilarious and will henceforth adopt.

Let’s see, what else.  I hate to appearance snark but Becca is looking like she aged five years in the last 10 months.  This fills me with a sick sense of joy because she’s well on her way to fulfilling this prediction I made about her future last season.  Ben escorts Jojo to the peak of the rooftop and she’s yammering like an idiot (Ohmygooddddddddd this is unbelievabuuuuuuuhhhhhllllllll we’re up so hiiiiiiiiiiiiigh) seriously somebody pass me some hedge clippers to clobber her with.

Crazy Olivia gets the rose.

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“Everyone else please feel free to help yourself to a lime garnish,” Ben says.  No actually he doesn’t but I wish so badly that he did.

Caila’s one-on-one date is next.  It’s so awful and stupid I can’t even.  Ice Cube and Kevin Hart are guest starring and they go swim in a hot tub store.  I mean the hot tub date is a staple of the show but at least they’re usually at a ski resort or a scenic vista or whatever… today they’ve got, like, chlorine testing kits behind them.  And, I don’t know, like that big green net you use to scoop debris and dead pigeons out with. I mean I guess it’s supposed to be funny in an ironic kind of way but it just ends up awkward.

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Another group date is next.  They go to a “Love Lab” where they analyze, I don’t know, fake science stuff.  We find out Ben is a person who pronounces the word data “day-ta” so I know everything I need to know about this individual really.  For one of the exercises they blindfold Ben and make him smell all the girls.  The Bunson Honeydew fake scientist is there writing Ben’s observations on a clipboard or whatever.

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He is describing most of the smells favorably (“Like… a giant raspberry!”– actual quote) but when he smells Samantha he declares her “a little sour.”  OMG.  Now I like to think I have a healthy sense of self but if someone ever told a national television viewing audience that I smelled bad, I would probably need to go live in a cave forever.  A woman just wouldn’t recover from that.  Sheesh.

Now we’re back at the house for the last cocktail hour before it’s rose acceptin’ time.  Lace is crying as she confesses her deepest life traumas to Ben.  No joke, the total tonnage of these traumas is… she had bad bangs as a kid and her brother made fun of her on the bus.  GOOD GOD! This is terrible even as far as Bachelor sob stories go.  I mean Joobly spent half her childhood in a Haitian orphanage but LACE’S BROTHER MADE FUN OF HER.  Let’s all cry together.  I made her an awareness ribbon and a hashtag:

prayers for lace

Ben presents a few gifts as the episode drones on.  He had a picture printed for Lauren B; then he has like a goofy award ribbon for an inside joke with some other chick.  Then he pulls Amanda aside and they craft some little hair clips to send home to her abandoned daughters.  All snark aside, I think Ben is actually probably a really sweet guy.  Dumb as a chunk of limestone, but sweet.  This is why he makes for such boring TV.

 

Rose time! He sends home the attorney, denist, and gerontologist.  He keeps Meredith Grey, Dolphin MD. Seems right.

Take From Me My Lace: The Bachelor Recap, Week 1

4 Jan

My friends, another season is upon us.  I can’t tell you how much joy washed over me when a few weeks ago I remembered it was almost Bachelor time.  I swear it’s the only thing that gets me through the winter doldrums.

My spirits were dampened when I remembered The Bachelor was Ben, who is about as exciting as dry pasta noodles. But there he is in all his forgettable glory, rocking a delightful little Forest Gump haircut that looks like it came from the $8 place except he had a coupon from the back of the grocery store receipt so was a steal at $5.99.  Ben starts us off with the usual introductions, taking us on a tour of his lame Indiana hometown.  We go meet Ma and Pa Higgins at their quaint little lakefront bungalow.  They are sitting in lime green Adirondack chairs and drinking beverages from clearance Pier One cups.  SO BASIC.  Ben’s dad is pretty hot.  Ben’s mom cries.  OK.

Next, Ben gets poolside group therapy from former Bachelors.  Sean and Chris are as hot as ever.  Jason looks like he is like 300 years old now.  Actually he looks like a strange older version of Ben.  He is like the Ghost of Bachelor Future.

Enough with this snoozefest, Ben.  Bring on the floozies!

Caila: “Sales Rep” (read: flunked out of Strayer University) who likes to paint still life.  Seriously this season could not get boring-er if it tried. Jubilee is a war veteran, not sure how that differs from a regular veteran? Hailey and Emily are twins.  Their occupation tagline reads: twins. Amanda: esthetician, divorcee, has a daughter named Kensley or Kinsley? Samantha: has a sob story, can’t snark on her or God will smite me.  Tiara: chicken enthusiast.  Any relation to Tara the fishing enthusiast from last year? Tiara’s favorite chicken is Sheila, who sleeps in her room.

THIS SINGLE IMAGE ILLUSTRATES WHY YOU MUST WATCH THIS SHOW:

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Here come the flooziemobiles– it’s time for some introductions!

Lauren the flight attendant hopes he’s ready to take off.  My eyeballs break from the force of their roll.  Caila leaps into his arms.  Lace makes him close his eyes and then kisses him– not to be a buzzkill but isn’t that, like, assault? Shushanna is speaking in a foreign tongue.  Is that Portugese? Because she sounds like Aurelia from Love Actually.  That’s the only guess I could come up with.  I is intelligunt.

Joelle “Jojo” arrives in a unicorn mask:

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When she takes it off she says to Ben, “That must have been super frightening.”  Ben replies, “It’s not frightening.  Its, like, normal.”  Yes, Ben, it is LIKE normal.

Maegan is a cowgirl who likes to barbecue with her pet horse, Breanne disapproves of gluten, Rachel is unemployed.  “Unemployed” is actually a considerably more admirable occupational description than “Twin”.  This is the bar for success in this show.

Ben calls his dad when he’s all done meeting everyone.  He puts him on speaker so we can all hear.  His dad is much better at speaker phone than anyone in my family, whose conversations usually sound like:

Hey Mom!
Hi! Hi hold on let me just put you on [indistinct clattering]
Mom?
[dog barks]
MOM?
[oven timer goes off]
MOM TAKE ME OFF SPEAKER!!!

Next up is the Obligatory Bachelor Plot Twist™.  Becca the Fungus Sucker Fish is back.

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Seriously seriously seriously you guys I don’t think I can keep up my job as  a Professhonal Bachelor Blogger.  I just can’t deal with her.  If I was being interviewed off-scene right now I would tell you how I LITERALLY think she is the worst and I LITERALLY can’t tolerate her boring self and I LITERALLY was made to believe I’d never have to see her again after last year.  Feh! She is accompanied by Amber, bartender, also apparently a star of a past season but I have no recollection.

Gawd.  What else.  The rest is predictably boring.  Jojo is a house flipper but describes herself as a “real estate investor.”  Mmhmm.  You know she is like on the highway median pounding a sign into the ground– We buy any house!— except the sign is like the torn-off side of a cardboard box and it’s written in Sharpie and the “E” is backwards  and if you call the number it says like Verizon! Error! Code! Nine! Nine! Four! Nine! [call ended].  Totally legit.

Blah blah blah yes we get it, Lace is the requisite crazy villain who will keep everyone’s attention for the first few episodes until it gets good.  Mandi will fill the role of the friendly but even crazier crazy. Please someone with industry knowledge tell me these kind of people are just devices planted by producers? It scares me to know that these people walk among us.

Rose ceremony time.  He shuffles through Becca, Amber, BOTH twins, and BOTH crazies.  Fortify me, o friends, I don’t know if I can get through this another week!

 

Have Child-Rearing Experts Ever Actually Tried to Put a Child to Bed?

29 Dec

Frogson, now a few days shy of three years old, has recently been a disaster about bedtime.  We’ve not been doing anything differently so I don’t know WTF his deal is.  The new sibling? She’s been here for a while now.  Moon in the seventh house? Possibly.  Demonic possession? You never know these days.  Always a likelihood.

Bedtime, once a peaceful and happy bonding experience for all parties, is now a torturous triathalon of despair.  Phase 1: Fight every step of the bedtime routine.  Have a 10 minute meltdown over getting in the tub, getting out of the tub, not enough toothpaste on your toothbrush, unpreffered dixie cup color, preferred PJs are dirty, etc.  Phase 2: Procrastinate.  Distract.  Bring up random memories, ponder existential questions. Will your stuffed bear ride a bicycle when it’s spring? Will a man or a woman teach the next session of story time at the library?  I DON’T KNOW.  GO TO BED.  Phase 3: Once you’re finally snuggled happily in bed and a parent lovingly gives you one last kiss and closes the door, jump out of bed and tear the door open cackling maniacally.  When a parent returns you to bed, repeat as needed.

What’s an exasperated mother to do? Now we do our best to be SMUG AWESOME ATTACHED PARENTS™ so we don’t do spanking or draconian punishment.  What does that leave me with? That would be Google.  Outstanding.  So I read a thousand things about what positive, gentle parents are supposed to do about this problem. Guess what.  Nothing works.  He just looks at me like LOL your techniques are adorable, Mother.  Yet– hmm– I find myself– how do I say this?– still not entirely convinced bedtime is the right choice for me at this time.  I appreciate your understanding.  Now can we revisit my request for more yogurt?

Here is a sampling of the baloney the experts peddle:

Have a routine.  Wow! A routine! What’s that because I haven’t thought of that! GROUNDBREAKING.  OK for starters let’s just go out on a limb and say I have a basic knowledge of parenting and I have an MFing routine.  You know chimpanzee mothers probably have routines.  Gerbil mothers probably have routines.  CELL OF ALGAE mothers probably have routines.

Make the bed a comfortable space.  WAT? It’s a bed.  Like, with a mattress.  With soft, inviting dinosaur bedding no less.  This is seriously the stoopidest piece of expert advice I’ve ever read.  Oh, gosh, thanks for saying something! No wonder he won’t go to bed, I’ve been making him lay on this large piece of sandpaper scattered with glass shards, thumbtacks, and puddles of acid!

Offer choices.  Who else finds this parenting technique wildly ineffective? This is where they say to let the kid make decisions about arbitrary, unimportant details and it’s supposed to give them a false sense of control and independence.  This– SAYS THE EXPERTS– magically makes them cooperative.  “Frogson, do you choose giraffe PJs or reindeer PJs?” I choose keep playing! “Do you choose to read Curious George or Clifford?” I choose stay up! Sometimes he just responds with the always versatile I CHOOSE NO! Do I choose to cry into a bowl of ice cream or a Chipotle burrito? Do I choose to send you to boarding preschool or sell you to the neighbors?

Restrain them in bed.  So this piece of advice says that the child shouldn’t be permitted to jump out of bed and run around, that you should just hold them there if they won’t stay.  And I’ve tried this a few times.  He fights valiantly for a while, but then settles down and I think I’ve successfully held the boundary.  “OK, are you calmer now?” Yes.  “Are you ready to go to sleep now?” Yes.  I love you, Mommy! I smugly saunter out of the room patting myself on the back and reflecting on what a brilliant, patient mother I am, and two seconds later he’s back out of bed squealing and chortling and doing an evil little jig.  So I wasted 15 minutes of my life restraining a raging 30-pound human like a freaking Cops episode for… well I’d say for nothing but it’s actually a terrific cardio regimen.

Return them wordlessly to bed.  Last week Frogson was playing at the library and I was reading Positive Discipline for Preschoolers.  Actually as I was distracted with this he tried to push through one of those “Emergency exit only” doors.  Friends, this resulted in a rare three fails in one: 1.  My kid set off the fire alarm 2.  My kid tried to actually exit a building while I was distracted and 3.  My kid did these things while I was IRONICALLY READING A BOOK ABOUT BEING A GOOD PARENT.  It takes skill to fail that hard, friends.  Anyway, there’s an entire chapter about handling bedtime drama and the solution they said was simple: stop bargaining, threatening, or explaining with words.  If your child leaves the bed after the routine is done, you pick them up and wordlessly return them to bed.  Repeat as necessary.  They brought up a heroic mom who had to do it 24 times before her daughter stayed.  OK so let’s say it takes 30 seconds to deliver your kid back to bed, you spent 12 minutes on this task? Oh boo hoo! What a martyr you are! Please tell me how to nominate you for canonization! Cry me an 8-pack of mixed berry Juicy Juice boxes! I did this for an hour and forty five minutes.  It did not work.  He stopped when I told him his grandparents wouldn’t come to see him if he didn’t go to bed.  I’m a terrible person.

Assorted Attachment Parenting bunk.  Blah blah blah only in Western cultures do we expect children to sleep in their own rooms! Blah blah blah maybe your child simply just needs the comfort of a parent as they fall asleep! Blah blah blah how will your preschooler nurse on demand all night if they’re sleeping in their own room! Blah blah blah SUCK IT, DR. SEARS. Then you can come over here and do the 1,047 things that I need to cram in during the freaking 84 minutes I have to myself at the end of the day.

Lock them in the room.  Now we’re getting into the more severe options, but seriously I did not think twice about this after every other option failed stupendously.  We were desperate to find something that worked because sleep is important for a child’s health and the health of the whole family. JK because my DVR isn’t going to watch itself.  I guess normal children just wail for a bit then resign themselves to bedtime? Not my Frog.  I swear he is a wonderful, compliant, angelic child about 93% of the time.  The 7% of the time where he finds himself opposed to what he’s being asked to do?  HIDE YOUR KIDS, HIDE YOUR WIFE.  I had to abandon this tactic out of fear the neighbors were going to call the police.

Quiet Time.  Frequently naptime is just as painful as bedtime, so I’ve been experimenting just cutting the nap altogether and replacing it with “quiet time.”  Do you know what’s more annoying than trying to get an uncompliant kid to nap? Your uncompliant kid standing right on the other side of his closed door yelling this script for 15 minutes: MOMMY YOU FIND MY BLUE SNOWFLAKE STAMP?? MOM! MOMMY! SNOWFLAKE STAMP! YOU BRING ME MY BLUE SNOWFLAKE STAMP? MOM YOU FIND MY SNOWFLAKE STAMP YET? YOU BRING IT TO ME?? MOMMY!!!! SNOWFLAKE STAMP!!!!

Reward charts, cute lists of your routine with pictures.   “Wow, this piece of paper totally makes me forget about whatever it was I was having a tantrum about” said no three-year-old ever.

Actually Television is One of My More Fascinating Pursuits

8 Nov

This Thought Catalog piece popped up on my Facebook the other week.  If you don’t feel like reading it, and I don’t suggest you do because it’s tripe, the gist is that the author is super interesting and adventurous and not a lame boring person who likes to watch TV.  She makes a long list of requests and suggestions for how a partner can keep up with her special self. I found it positively adorable… like oh bless your heart sweet pea, you are like twenty two and so cute and have no idea that in 10 more years, your relationship will be boring like the rest of ours.  The comments are fantastic too– in particular I enjoyed “In 55 years, your horde of cats will devour your corpse when you die miserable and alone” which made me laugh out loud and wake up the baby on my chest.  Anyway, please enjoy this rebuttal.

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Take me on an adventure.  Surprise me.  Wake me up and fly me to Tahiti on a whim.  We’ll sleep off the jet lag on porcelain beaches.  Or maybe just take me to Home Depot.  I’d go myself but I’m nine months pregnant and can’t lift the bag of mulch.  But wait I need a mocha.  Pull into the Dunkin drive thru.  If I recall, my app said something about a free muffin today.  Or was it a breakfast sandwich? Man I hope not.  Really looking more for a muffin at the moment.  No it’s fine, trust me the line moves fast.  And I recognized the woman working the window.  She’s good.  Keeps you moving.

Tell me everything.  Your dreams, your desires, your fears, the times you’ve felt most alive.  Ugh wait hold on let me resolve this situation with the two-year-old first. Where are your underwear? Hey! HEY! WE WEAR UNDERWEAR ON THE SOFA! THAT’S A RULE! 

Take me to the library.  Let’s check out every foreign film they have and binge watch them.  Light a fire and read me Dickens as I rest my head on your lap.  Or just text me links to Wheel of Fortune bloopers and GIFs of people wiping out on diving boards.  They’ll hold me over until we see each other again and I can tell you how I peeled a clementine in one fell swoop.

Let’s be spontaneous.  Let’s peruse food trucks at midnight or stay up all night cooking a gourmet meal together.  Or take me to Red Robin because I still have this coupon from it being my birthday.  Wait this coupon is for a free burger? Didn’t the birthday coupon used to be for an onion ring tower? I forget.  Listen to me during the car ride as I intensely debate between beverage indulgences– a Rookie Cookie Shake or a Mango-Rooty-Tooty-Rita? How can I possibly choose between an alcoholic indulgence or a whole milk and Oreo indulgence? It just can’t be done!

Pick up the phone when I call you, just because I can’t go five more minutes without hearing your voice. Or because you’re at the store and I forgot to tell you we need yogurt.  No listen it has to be Yo Tots, they have a sweet $20 Shutterfly coupon printed on them right now.  No not Yo Baby.  Not Yo Kids.  No come on it’s THERE, trust me. Dude just look for the one with a big orange coupon on it! No no if you hit the kefir you’ve gone too far.

Kiss me in the morning when I wake up.  Push my hair behind my ears and whisper my favorite Bon Iver lyrics in my ear.  Next, listen to me when I complain to you that the DVR deleted our child’s favorite Daniel Tiger episode. No, no sir, don’t tell me it auto-deletes because your Steve Bartman documentary has been on there for 3 years but my college gymnastics seems to disappear after 10 days.  Just please can you fix the settings? Well I COULD do it myself but you know I don’t know how that stupid thing works and do you think I don’t do enough around here already? Seriously? Just please, OK?

Talk to me.  Captivate me.  Fascinate me.  Tell me about your childhood rock collection, or the smell of the grass on little league opening day.  But first let’s talk about Thanksgiving because my parents are asking already.  Well no it won’t be that bad if we leave early.  Well 2011 was an exception.  Well we can’t worry about weather that hasn’t happened.  Well just take a half day from work then.  Well we’ll just have to revisit this later I guess.

Never stop being captivated by my physical beauty.  Notice my ankles in sling backs, the softness of my angora wool sweater against my skin.  Actually wait don’t come near me with your work clothes on.  My boobs leaked milk all over my Panhel Recruitment 2005 shirt.  And what the– what else is on this shirt?– are her diapers leaking AGAIN? That’s the last time I trust Target brand.  Bunch of swindling jerks over there.  Those favorable online reviews were from Target plants! I’m sure of it!

Take me somewhere unexpected.  Make me an all-day scavenger hunt, ending with a picnic at our favorite park bench.  Ugh wait are his underwear STILL not on? Seriously? Excuse me! EXCUSE ME! UNDERWEAR! NO CURIOUS GEORGE UNTIL THEY’RE ON!

Explore with me.  Let’s drive out of town, find an abandoned mine and take in some stalagmites.  First we’ve got to go to this 3rd birthday party.  No I TOLD you about this, I’m sure.  Yes you know his parents, I’ve introduced you to his mom like four times.  No she’s Evan’s mom.  No she’s Ethan’s mom.  Come on I know like EVERY one of your coworkers and their spouse’s and kids’ names, do you have like ANY interest in my life? Yes I’m sure you’ll be fed.

Never let our fire burn out.  Let our only fights be about what Italian province to visit, or who drank the last PBR.  Whatever happens, let’s never fight  because I unplugged your phone charger to accommodate my hair dryer.  (Omigod for three minutes!) Or because I didn’t properly cover the toaster oven pan with foil and it got all oily and burnt.  (Omigod don’t have a cow it’s not the end of the freaking world!)  Or because I filled up the gas tank and forgot to swipe the loyalty card.  (Omigod it was fourteen degrees I just wanted to get it done!) No, that will never be us.

Teach me.  Let’s learn together. We’ll spend the day brewing our own beer while you tell me everything you know about the French Revolution or the politics of Eastern Europe.  Actually disregard that, just pour me a glass of whatever variety of Barefoot was on sale and let me tell you about being yelled at by a 90-year-old woman for accidentally blocking the celery with my cart at the grocery store.  And speaking of the grocery store, what is with the bulk foods aisle lately? Am I the only one who thinks apricots would really lend themselves better to a scoop than tongs? Someone’s going to be hearing from me on this.

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