Monday, March 31, 2008

Blogging The Bachelor: London Calling

Tonight, I have a special guest for male insight into The Bachelor--my boyfriend. Welcome, John, to The Bachelor.

For this evening, we have one group date and two one-on-one dates. First up, one-on-one with Holly--America's favorite children's book writer.

One-on-One Date with Holly
Matt: "Hot date! Hot girl!"

For their one-on-one date, Holly and Matt are going to (marketing drum roll, please!) a private screening of Made of Honor! Starring Patrick Dempsey! Opening nationwide this Friday!

Matt and Holly step out onto the red carpet. One large wide shot reveals that this truly is a private screening. A thin group of "paparazzi" (read: tourists who ABC producers paid to hold up cameras and snap photos while yelling 'Holly!' 'Matt!') gather around the couple.

'I am your perfect girl!' Holly cries as she and Matt press their hands into cement, hearts, initials and all. They enter the theater. Cue: Scenes from Made of Honor! Mute the television and hide your eyes if you don't want the thrilling conclusion of this flick ruined.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Hollwood, an ABC production assistant drives across town with the sole mission to dump that big chunk of cement at the door stop of the girls' house. Shrieks of anger ensue.

Back in Made of Honor-wood, Matt and Holly leave the "screening" and head over to the Roosevelt Hotel's rooftop. After a couple drinks and some children's book talk (is that Matt stifling a yawn?), Matt tells Holly he's not so sure there's electricity between the two of them. They're tooooo comfortable.

Electricity, huh? The kind of mind-numbing electricity Shayne gives off, apparently. More on that later.

No worries, Holly. It takes all of one makeout session to assuage Matt's about being too close. Holly gets the rose.

Group Date -- Rugby and Booze
Matching outfits! Girls rolling in dirt! Short-shorts!
Matt: "People would pay money to see this!"
John: *Shifts uncomfortably in seat.*

Meanwhile, back at the house, Shayne discovers Holly's dirty little secret--a tan sprayer.
Cue: Shots of Shayne with a top on (but no bottoms?), getting sprayed with self-tanner by Holly.

Matt: *Wishing he saw there for this*
John: "I'm not going to say anything incriminating right now."

Back in Rugbyville, known in England as Football Land, the going gets tough, and the tough are not Marshana. A busted lip sends her to the sideline while Matt comforts her: "Wassup, honey? Are you hurt?"After this invigorating game of rugby, Matt takes the girl to his "pad" for a party and massages.

Here, our bachelorettes pretend like Matt owns this piece of property and compliment him profusely for his ABC-sponsored home.


I have to insert that I can no longer ignore how much Matt looks like hell. Some producer should have told him to shower before this interview. Matt looks like he has been rolling around in Erin's hot dog vendor machine.

Matt chooses Kelli for one-on-one time...with two masseuses. Kelli won't have that, so she asks the ladies to step aside so she can adequately straddle the Bach and get rubbin'. I'm left wondering once again if Kelli is always drunk. John thinks she's smoked every day of her life for twice as long as she's lived. I still think she's just drunk.

Back to the party!

Red cups! The girls are holding RED CUPS. Is this a KEGGER? What ABC assistant dropped the ball here? This ABC assistant is paying for their mistake with their first born.

Rose time! This rose goes to Robin. There is some disagreement about this--Chelsea thinks she should have gotten the rose. So does Kelli. Kelli also thinks that if she were a dude, she wouldn't pick Robin. Kelli also thinks that Kelli is number one. John thinks Kelli should go to rehab.

One-on-One Date with Shaaaaayne
Matt: "Hot date! Hot girl! Hot car!"

They're on their way to the wine country!

Hellooooo, boots! Shayne has a special taste in shoes that is beyond me, but I think I enjoy watching Shayne navigate that stone path in those heels as much as she loves the heels themselves.

Let's find out some more about Shayne Lamas.

Shayne's dad isn't at all important, ok? Like, Lorenzo Lamas is so not a big deal. He's not important. Just check out his IMDB page. See? Not important. Well, maaaybe he's kind of important in the U.S., but their Hollywood lives are not important, ok? Gosh. Why doesn't Matt just LAY OFF?

Also, Shayne had a broken childhood because of a divorce and left home at 17.

She's mature for 22 (maybe), but not really ready for marriage. Matt says that he is. He also says he's leaving room for Shayne to "surprise him" in case there's "more to her" than meets the eye. Riiiight.

Drink drink drink.

Shayne admits that she is high-maintenance. This is by far the most honest moment Shayne has had yet. For the first time yet, she isn't squinting to try to look deep or concerned, she isn't acting. She does, however, have a whole suitcase of shoes with her at the house. (And yet she decided to wear these off-white monstrosities tonight.)

Great Matt moment: "Sometimes I think Shayne's one sandwich short of a picnic. Other times, I think she's the greatest thing since sliced bread."

Shayne and Matt sprawl on the fur rug in front of the fire (J: Isn't this from a 98 Degrees video? Yes, yes it is.)

Matt: You know there is a rose tonight?
Shayne: Oh, there is? I didn’t even think of that.
Matt: You’re brilliant, really.
(J: She is?)
M: You have the most beautiful eyes!
S squints and makes that deep face.
S: Roses are my favorite flowers!!
J: Ugh!

Shayne has rose.

Party at the House
Chelsea has one-on-one time with Matt and plants a big wet one on Matt. Matt says that Chelsea is a good kisser. John says that Chelsea is trying really hard.

Noelle cries a lot because she feels like she is one of the only real people. Robin explains to her that this is a competition, that she needs to buck up, and just watch this.

Robin then sets an example by pulling Matt away from his one-on-one time with Kelli.

Not to be outdone, Kelli, Amy, and Shayne interrupt Robin to pull her away and set things straight. Even Matt agrees: "Robin, you have a rose."

As the girls back in the house--particularly Marshana--sharpen their nails for Robin's return to the kitchen, I realize that Robin is only 22. This cat is a kitten.

While all the other girls in the house scream at Robin, Kristine escapes to finally talk to Matt. I feel really bad for Kristine, who has gone overlooked through this whole debacle.

Holly pulls aside Matt with tears in her eyes. She’s afraid that it was a mistake she had the first one-on-one date. Her feelings have developed much faster than she expected.

Dun dun dun! Enter Chris "I invented love" Harrison to pull Matt away.

Rose Ceremony

Amy (who?)

Next week: "Everybody hates Robin!" Can't wait!


Free Printer Cartridge and its Small Print

Walgreens, that staple store of the American corner, is offering a pretty sweet deal on Wednesday: Bring in an old printer cartridge and get a new one free!

But wait a second. What does that fine print say?

Print the coupon? With my empty printer cartridge? I'm really screwed if both my black and color ink cartridges are empty, I guess.

And what does the fine print not say? What they are doing with your old cartridges. I would assume that Walgreens is environmentally responsible enough not to just dump those cartridges when many of them can be recycled.

At any rate, follow the link to print your coupon for one free ink cartridge replacement!


Sunday, March 30, 2008

I'm a Man!

Thanks to Claire for posting this on my Facebook profile. Awesome.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Olds Even Had Technology

The oldest sound recording was unearthed, it's from 1860, and that's pretty awesome. Listen to its garbledy here. Or read the Reuters article on it here.


Expensive Ways to Hurt Your Bum

For $490.00, you too can be a numb butt.

Thanks, New York Times Personal Shopper!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Don't Be Fooled

If the 7-Eleven you frequent happens to run out of Easy Mac, don't turn to the Chef Boyardee Mac & Cheese.

As I type, my lunch--you might have guessed, Chef Boyardee Mac & Cheese-sits before me, wafting burned, runny cheese fumes throughout my office. It's an embarrassment to my lunchtime habits that this is what I've brought to the table today. I literally cannot eat one more bite.

I can safely say I wouldn't feed my worst enemy Chef Boyardee Mac and Cheese. Unless, my worst enemy is now Chef Boyardee himself, that mustachioed smiling fraud.

Then again, the actual Chef Boyardee of Plaza Hotel fame would never have concocted this microwave mystery meal. Poor guy is probably rolling in his grave over what these corporate hacks are making today.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How did I miss this?


Decision 2008 Gets No Easier

This video leaves us with more questions than answers, but it's still worth watching.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Live-Blogging The Bachelor: London Calling, Episode 2

Viva Las Vegas! Girls with their tops off! Crying! But first, let's get down to business with our first date.

9:02 PM, CDT: Ashlee, Kristine, Marshana, Noelle, Michelle, Amanda, Erin H. and Holly receive Matt's invitation: "Come run away with me!" How romantic! Oh, wait. They're going to a SmashBox fashion show... where the girls are the stars.

Here we see Beauty Queen Marshana shine--she wants to "stomp it out."
Woah! Red head Michelle--what the hell happened to her hair? I feel like the crazy vibe is dripping from this girl.
Holly impresses with her moon walk.
Holy haystack, Batman! What does Ashlee have on her head?? Is that her hair? Should we prod that thing with a pitchfork?
More empty promises from ABC. There's no stripping to be seen here: Amanda takes her top off to reveal...a swimming suit top. Cover the children's eyes!

9:12 Penthouse party!
Marshana takes the lead and grabs Matt to talk about interracial dating. America shifts uncomfortably.

Michelle reels Matt in. She, like Ashlee, wrote a song. Oh, boy. These sorts of things should be saved for private moments, Michelle. The popular girls on the couch snort at the nerdy girl.

9:15 The girls at home discover they have a far superior date than having to stomp around--going to Las Vegas. SQUEEEEALLLL!!!!

9:16 Back to the penthouse party.

Ashlee wants a kiss.
'I want to know if you're into me!'
'Why wasn't I top 1 on the catwalk??'
'I have been staring at your lips all day.' POUT POUT POUT.
Congrats, Ashlee! You guilt-tripped the Bachelor into kissing you.

Matt brings Ashlee a rose, much to the other girls' disappointment.

'It's mine!!!!!!' brags Ashlee, waving it at the other ladies. Classy!

Marshana suggests that Ashlee should be humble, which is the smartest thing Marshana has said so far.

Erin H., Ashlee's elder by three years, says that Ashlee is 'a young 22.' Mm, yes. Wise.

9:23 Matt explains to us that Las Vegas is one of the hot spots in the U.S. Thank you, Matt!

Shayne has been to Las Vegas like, a thousand times, she lets us know. Thanks, Shayne!

The lady with the most chips at the end of the night gets time with Matty.
Insert: many gambling=love cliches. Examples? You have to risk to win. It's not seven, but ONE is the lucky number tonight!

Shayne spends all her money at once. Big shocker.

Kelly won the date with the most chips. 'He knows that I'm nice...and that I can handle my alcohol," she slurringly informs us.

Shayne really needs to tell Matt something. 'You have twenty other girls downstairs vying for your attention! Do you think I'm waiting in the wings?'
Matt: Everyone's in that position. Everyone else is putting up with it. You shouldn't have an issue with this.
Shaaaaaayne: 'Maaaattt! I ammmm having an issue! Is this worth it? Having a guy look at other women?'

Good one, Shayne. Men loooooove this.

9:33 Matt needs more time with the the Napoleon Room.

Shayne wants to clear up that talk she had with Matt by talking more at him. But there are all these girls in the way of that! Why didn't someone inform Shayne of these other girls? Really. Some producer dropped the ball here. Why didn't someone inform this poor girl that there would be other females present?

Chelsea and Matt have some boring interaction.

Shayne is so serious. She wants to get to know Matt, and Matt only. She's not going to be giddy about it. Gosh. Everybody should grow up.

Robin, who always looks like she's kind of sad, impresses by playing the piano.

Erin S. keeps her conversation to 'Yaaaaay!'

Matt gives Chelsea the rose so she is safe tonight.

Shayne is used to getting her way. She is used to getting a MILLION ROSES. THIS IS NOT FUN FOR HER. Doesn't anyone understand?! She has to lock herself in a bathroom about this and get it out emotionally. Good thing she has those sunglasses that are the size of a small country to cover up her face.

9:42 Hard electro music to Matt's entrance.


Matt's looking forward to this cocktail party.

Robin plays smart by suggesting that Matt play pretend: They're the only people there. What would he do? Kinky!

Woah! Make. out. session. Despite those feather earrings!

Kelly is drunk already.

Marshana is already jealous. There's always a girl who has weird possession issues despite not having known the bachelor for more than two days. This season, we have two--Marshana and Shayne.

Matt explains to us that he wants to kiss Marshana, but the entire cast is watching at the window.

Carri finally gets her one-on-one time. Annnnd... she sings opera. (Could someone do something else?)

Aaaaand Erin H. decides she's going to sing too. (Apparently not.)

Oh my god. Amanda is too cute. She calls her nervous hiccups the 'meeps.' I still wonder how she's going to get through this.

'Welcome to my set!!!' says Shayne to the camera.
'I want to just say one thing...'
Uh, huh.
She confesses she was in the bathroom crying. Matt apologizes for being harsh.
'Listen, I'm so OVER the acting thing,' Shayne tells Matt. 'That's my job.'
Uh, huh.
'I'm here for you, and I'm here for us. I'm here to stay for you, if you have me.'
Uh, huh.

9:48 Talent show time! Where is Erin H.'s singing?! How could this not happen?!

Enter Chris Harrison. 'Man! I hate it when Chris Harrison walks in,' says Matt.

9:51 Rose Ceremony. Ashlee and Chelsea have roses.
'Meep!' says Amanda.
Enter Matt.

Who stays:
Robin, kiss on the cheek!
Erin S.,
Amanda, meep!
Kelly, who stumbles down to get her rose.
Amy, who is this chick?
Kristine, again, who is this?
Noelle, who is also wearing feather earrings!
Shayne, who looks like she just died a thousand deaths to receive that rose.

Goodbye, Erin H., Michelle, and Carri. Maybe if Erin had sang, or if Carri hadn't (or if she hadn't bit into that can last week), or if Michelle hadn't sang/played the clarinet.

Oh, man. Michelle told us it'll be great to see her cat and have her purr and lay on her lap. This is like the saddest/craziest goodbye I've ever seen.

We may have lost our token cat lady, but at least ABC has promised us more crazies for next week. Until the rugby match...


More Le Gross

OK, I couldn't resist another post. Wonderfully in-the-know Anna C. shared this link with me--your state has an Easter egg, in case you're like me and didn't know about it.

And if you're like me, your state's egg is hideous. If not, consider yourself lucky. I noticed a couple beauties, like Rhode Island and Kansas. But really, Ohio takes the ugly cake no contest. More gchat commentary below.

me: up until now i never realized how much my state looks like a shorter, fatter version of africa!

Anna: hahaha. you had no idea you were from somewhere so awesome, did you?
although, nevada's is pretty weird. ha.
i dont' get it
me: umm
was las vegas the setting for the land before time?
i don't remember the story that way, but maybe.
Anna: hahaha. must have been


Le Gross

OK. I understand that there is like, zero space for standing on the Eiffel Tower. That the lines to get to the top are out of control. That the scary observatory makes you feel like that big German man behind you is going to push you 900 feet down with his belly.

But really? This is kind of gross.

NOT as gross, however, as what my own city is vomming up in the architecture department.

That nasty glass penis isn't fit for any skyline.


Thursday, March 20, 2008


[find it on]


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When Jack Johnson Flies

I’m not much of a Hot Guy With a Guitar girl. Sure, I listened to John Mayer religiously my senior year of high school and felt like Chris Carrabba had read my diary of teenage angst. But I really thought of these guys as my friends—like we’d hang out on the school's baseball bleachers with slushies while they strummed out emotion and I tried to hook them up with my girlfriends. In those years, there was absolutely no throbbing or grinding accompanied by “Screaming Infidelities” or “No Such Thing.”

So when I had what some might describe as a soft porn/superhero fantasy dream last week about Jack Johnson, I woke up confused. And for the last week, I’ve attempted to make sense of this experience.

Let me try to talk it out:

There I am, chilling at some non-descript outdoor cafĂ© in some non-descript urban sitting with some girlfriends, who must be my dreamy-time girlfriends cause I don’t know these ladies from anywhere else.

And suddenly, Jack Johnson swoops in—literally. I spot him about fifteen feet up in the air, pulling a Superman and descending into this patio area. There are absolutely no gimmicks—no cape, no tights. Just Jack Johnson looking really hot up in the air.

I have to admit, it’s only natural that my subconscious would insert flying here. Dudes who can fly = totally hot.

Let’s take some examples:

Clark Kent/Superman
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman

Clark Kent, played by Dean Cain, is obscenely hot. I feel naughty just looking at this picture. I spent most of my grade school years wishing I was Teri Hatcher for obvious reasons, many of which are right there underneath that "S."

West Rosen
Nicholas D'Agosto is already nerdy-cute in most venues (like The Office or Rocket Science), but when he flies with Claire in his arms in Heroes, it's just too much cheesy awesomeness to handle. Heroes, by creating this character, has successfully marketed their own Superman Lite.

Mary Poppins
OK, so this may be stretching it a bit, but when I was little, I thought Bert could fly, okay? Remember that scene with the smoke and they all walk on it? Deal with it. Anyway, a young Dick Van Dyke? Totally hot.

So like I was saying, I've definitely got this thing for flying men. So it's only natural that Jack Johnson should appear to me, god-like, from on high.

Once he lands nearby my dreamgirls and me, he wastes no time.

“Caitlin,” Flying Jack Johnson says, walking airily toward me, “I want you to join my superhero team."

Sometimes in dreams, our conscious-selves shake our dream-selves in mid-reverie, ‘Duh! This isn’t real! That’s not even possible!’ But this time, my conscious-self sat back and didn’t interrupt, as if to say, ‘Go ahead. Live it up. Join his gang of superheroes. Oh, uh, yeah. I'm pretty sure I’ve heard of them before, so they must be real.’ Even she was totally vibing with what was going on here.

“Oh, I don’t know, Jack,” I respond and busily look around me like I have chores to do. “I’m not sure I can.”

This response isn’t so far-fetched. I’m always clueless or rebuffing guys who make advances at me, regardless of whether or not I’m interested, they can fly, or they're Jack Johnson.

Fortunately, Flying Jack Johnson sees right through my ploy.

“Come on, Caitlin,” he says again. He lowers his chin and glances at me with deep eyes and a puppy-dog look from underneath his dark brows. How does he know I can’t resist this look? How does he know that I love it when men say my name at the end of sentences because it suggests intimacy? Chris Carrabba must have handed off my diary to Jack Johnson! “You know that we can’t do this without you."

What is 'this'? I don’t care. I’m sold.

“Ok, Jack,” I grasp my purse (I'm so practical even in my most impractical dreams), standing up and taking his hand. “If you need me, then you have me.”

Since waking up that morning, my life has been different. No matter that Jack Johnson is married and has a kid who he writes strummy lullabies for. He is hotter than crap, and I can't stop thinking about how hotter than crap he is. And in my dreams, he holds me as he flies.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Welcome to the Internetz!!

Posting this video may be the best thing Gawker has ever done.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Live-Blogging The Bachelor: London Calling

On a whim, I decided to live-blog the first episode of The Bachelor: London Calling. I loyally watched last season and felt the collective breaking of hearts across America when Brad Womack killed love and destroyed all that is holy and sacred in reality television plots. To re-instill my faith in love (and reality TV), I've returned to ABC to make things right. Let's begin. Hullo, Matt Grant!

8:35 Promises of girl-on-girl drama don't look, well, promising. Lots of the same shots of the same girls screaming and crying. As long as someone can compare to Hilary, then things will be good.

8:37 British bachelor Matt arrives in the rain, looking squinty and uncomfortable. We're off to a great start.

Commercial! Here's something awesome to watch in the meantime:

8:42 Obligatory UK vs. US talk. Mainly Chris Harrison smiles at the Bachelor's cute accent. This will remain a topic of conversation throughout the show. 'Spesh since the girls don't know he's British. (Sneaky twist, ABC!) Squealing to come later.

"To-MAY-toe, to-MAH-toe!" Chris Harrison giggles.

Matt is into American women! ABC already mentioned this: he loves American accents!

Commercial! This new Miss Guided show looks good. It'll be great to think of that what's-her-face actress as more than just Kitty from Arrested Development.

8:50 The 25 girls arrive!! "There's a break in the rain," says Chris. So take off your clothing, Matt!

The girls are already squealing and they haven't even heard Matt say "to-MAH-toe" yet.

Girl 1 Amanda R. is totally cute. Oooh, she lived in England! Zing!! Something is promising about her.

Girl 2
Amy looks like Ariel from The Little Mermaid, focuses her first impression on twirling.

Girl 3
Devon is from Texas, which is why she's blonde. More specifically, the blonde version of Amy Winehouse.

Girl 4
Kristine from North Carolina. Another southern girl cause that's what ABC does. They put southern blondes on television, which is why I am not on ABC.

Girl 5
Chelsea has a special arm wrestling skill! Matt makes a sound that's a cross between moaning and saying okay.

Girl 6
Erin H. is wearing a place-holder engagement ring. Classy!

Girl 7
Kelly. Um. That's it, really. Nothing of signifcance happened here.

Girl 8
Rebecca is an attorney! She has cute hair! Cute dress! 3 years Matt's senior--will he go for that? She may be too intimidating.

Girl 9
Denise is a former Bush aide. She might as well get back in the limo now.

Girl 10
Erin S. is, um, a hot dog vendor. For serious? Her lips are gi-nor-mous.

Girl 11 Robin is from Holland, Michigan. I have a friend from Holland, MI! Shoutout to Karl Sluis, who most likely is not watching The Bachelor right now.

Gril 12
Ashlee looks like she is twelve, and I'm totally disturbed by this fact.

Girl 13
Alyssa looks like the girl who may make it through several rounds, and I will continue to scratch my head every time it happens.

Girl 14
Michelle the red-head suggests that she and Matt saw each other at the same moment while she sat in the limo. Right. Through those black limo windows, hun.

Girl 15
Shayne whines a lot. "I'm Shaaaaayne." (Matt asks her: Where am I from?) "englaaaanddd?? yyaaaaaay!!!" Here's Shayne's picture on ABC's website. She even looks confused here!

Girl 16
Marshana is a fashion designer, which she made obvious by her dress, which is a sari really.

Girl 17
Amanda looks like she's going to prom in 1987. She gave him dice.

Girl 18 Tamara is "really nervous!" That's it? That's your impression? That's what you say? Clearly, she is not making it.

Girl 19 Holly is from Suffield, Ohio! She says she's not nervous, she's excited. She's also a children's book author, which is cool with me and has got me liking her.

Girl 20 Tiffany is 33, which is on the older side for this show, but her age brings confidence. Again, intimidating confidence. This show is not for brunette older women, Tiffany! It's for 18 year old blonde Texans!

Girl 21 Carri is a church marketer from Oklahoma. This is just the kind of girl who sounds like she's going to leave her hometown and move to London, right?

Girl 22 Stacey--the sparkly blueberry--is a graduate student in Chicago. Fantastic. The girl that has been pimped in the promos as being the underwear-giving ho is from my city.

Girl 23 Lesley is 23 and a youth minister. Another church-going lady! This town is only big enough for one, I'm sure.

Girl 24 Michele R. has zebra hair and a glazed look that suggests Zoloft.

Girl 25 Noelle has the most beautiful dress so far. She outright says she's a sucker for accents, which isn't exactly original, but her cute looks seem to cover for her.

Commercial! Take this moment to recover from all that awkwardness.

9:09 House shot. Squeeeeal!!! "He's dashingly handsome!" We're already practicing our British lingo.

Matt enters the party. SQUEEEEEAAAAL!! Cheers! Bottoms up!

Matt is 6'5", dark and handsome. OK, even I'm impressed. He also said "Picadilly Station," and it was easily the best thing I've heard all day.

Amanda R. brought up intelligence as a reason she likes Matt! Woah. I DO like this Amanda character.

9:12 Up the ante! First impression rose already!!! We're not ready for this yet! It's on the table to make everybody nervous.

Chelsea and Matt are arm-wrestling. Let's discuss the risks of a lady acting so masculine here. Or maybe later.

Oh god. Bushie is talking about politics. Shut up, Bushie. Oh god! Karl Rove was her first boss! Call this girl a cab to take her home.

Carri interrupts by biting into a can. Clearly a production assistant paid her a fiver to do this. Or perhaps this is how she markets churches.

Rebecca, the 30 year old lawyer, dances like Elaine!

Shayne is so confused by this competition thing!

Zebra-hair girl is a rock paper scissors champion! However, she loses to Matt and drools while her eyes start to cross.

Marshana is a beauty queen!

Ashlee giggles a lot and sings!!!

Amanda R is hiccuping a lot. She says this is because she's nervous, but I'm guessing she maaaay have been drinking. Otherwise, she'll be hiccuping through this entire show.

Michelle P., the bombshell red-head, brought her clarinet. "It has to be wet for it to vibrate!" OK, she's really good at clarinet, but this is like a scene from American Pie.

Shayne is STILL BAFFLED by this competition thing!

COMMERCIAL! Nim's Island looks like the worst movie ever made.

9:23 Stacey makes her impression on America, thanks to the casting producers who paid her to lose control on TV.

Um, Erin H. with the Greek hairdo is taking Stacey a little too seriously.

Enter Matt!!

Stacey wants to find a pharmaceutical that will cure something that nobody has thought of. Genius!

What would your ideal date be, Matt? asks Erin H. "If you and I were in London..." cue Bachelor music. Classic!

Matt asks Stacey just how much she actually knows about London. Nasty and saucy!

When Matt gets torn away by Erin S., Stacey puts underwear in Matt's pants. Even more classy!

Really, where do the casting people get these girls? Chicago, apparently.

This whole Stacey segment ends with her passed out on some bed.

Commercial! Take bets with friends on whether Stacey wakes up for the rose ceremony.

9:34 Bachelor returns with minimal electro-music. This is very forward-thinking of ABC.

Matt reveals that he is attracted to Shayne, despite her whiney-whine. She can't see out of her right eye either with all that hair. "You knooooow, I'm an aaaactresssssss." Shayne says that her acting career and her acting family don't really matter. She says this like twelve times.

Noelle takes Matt aside and can't stop smiling.

Wow. Matt and Noelle are talking about more than just his accent. They're both the youngest and they both feel like they act older because of that. This is deep stuff.

Robin, who lived in London, gets pulled aside by Matt. They talk travel and then in French. Clearly having traveled in Europe is a huge advantage here.

9:38 Rose time!!! Matt walks by a bunch of ladies and to... Amanda R.!! ding ding ding!

Matt admits he hasn't actually spoken to her that much, but he feels something special with Amanda. The extra special thing about Amanda R. is how much she looks like Amanda Peet.

9:41 Chris "Grim Reaper" Harrison comes to gather his male soul for the Rose Ceremony. Which lovely buds will be cut before their prime!?

Commercial! Just a thought: Matt must be like the most wonderful bachelor ever if he's following up Brad "Love-Killer" Womack. Really. ABC needs a pinch hitter like whoa, and this Brit seems like just the guy.

9:45 First Rose Ceremony of Love-Killing! Amanda is safe, Chris reminds us, and introduces Matt again. The girls look like they're already hungover from all that vino. Matt's selections:

Chelsea, whose boobs I can no longer ignore.
Shaaaaayne, who isn't really important nor is her family, she wants you to know.
Michele P., clarinet girl surprises the popular kids.
Marshana, whose 'tudey outfit apparently got her in here.
Ashlee, whose all smiles now that her music got her somewhere in life.
Noelle, whose dress I still love the most.
Erin S., who has the biggest damn lips in the United States.
Amy, who still kind of looks like the Little Mermaid in that dress.
Carri, whose haircut is so edgy and modern for a girl from Oklahoma.
Kristine has a sultry voice that I don't remember hearing until now.
Robin looks like she was ready to fall apart.
Kelly is all laughs.
Holly who couldn't get a word in edgewise around the other ladies earlier tonight.
Final rose... dramatic music.... heavy breathing... eyes welling with tears... Erin H!

9:52 Matt is the luckiest guy, says Matt. No other bachelor before him has said this--nor did they say in a couple episodes that this is the hardest thing they've ever had to do.

Devon is sad, but her hair still looks like Amy Winehouse.

Rebecca seems really sad and makes me wonder why she put herself in this situation.

Stacey has definitely been outside bars on Wrigleyville, and I've definitely hated on her before. I'll be looking for you outside Barleycorn's, Stacey. Watch your tanning booth ass.

9:53 Cheers--extra-British this time, guys!

Well friends, things look good this season. There's no denying that Matt From Across the Pond is a hot toddy, and it does seem like there may be more traveling this season. That, or ABC showed all the vacation dates one-right-after-the-other. At any rate, the real clencher is that I already CARE about our new bachelor! I genuinely like him! He dances! No more jerk bachelors for ABC, and that's a good thing.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dean Lavine Sure Hates This Mess

For a week or so, I thought the Medill controversy had fallen silent--that Dean Lavine scraped and spun his way out of the melee, narrowly escaping the wrath of his peers in the media, his students, his faculty. Just in case you don't know:

Back on March 1, the Provost found that students' sentiments resemble the dean's unattributed quotes, and therefore--despite the fact that all 29 students deny saying the dean's quotes and the dean has no notes or evidence to prove his reporting--that was sufficient evidence to prove the quotes weren't fabricated.

The faculty accepted the dean's apologies; the Reader, the Daily and the Trib wrote some editorials to the effect of similar-isn't-good-enough; Eric Zorn and North by Northwestern rereported David Spett's original editorial, finding the same results. And the facts remained the same--none of the students claimed to have said the quotes, the Dean remained the dean, and the faculty seemed to begrudgingly return to the trenches as the issues continued to divide them.

Then earlier this week, Tom Hayden--the professor whose IMC 303 class that sat at the center of this spin mess--sent out a letter to the Medill community, expressing his "extraordinary sad[ness]" with this situation. Sad about the dean's veiled tactics and lies? Of course not! He is "sad that a very small number of students, faculty, alumni and unaffiliated journalists seem so intent on doing damage to Medill at such a critical and positive stage in its evolution." He went on to further state that the real name of this school is not the Medill School of Journalism, but rather Medill. (Did I mention he's on that secretive renaming committee?)

Hayden went further, claiming that at least three students from that infamous class refused to speak with Spett, one "bitched him out," and another hung up on him. (Today, Spett responded to Hayden with his first editorial on the subject since his original a month ago, reasserting that his notes are strong and that if Hayden would like to compare their notes together, he would be happy to.)

But where the mess really hits the fan is last night's forum, in which Dean Lavine channels High School Musical and pleads that we're "all in this together." While I didn't attend, North by Northwestern's coverage via live blog gives a great synopsis and (bonus!) video where we can watch spin in action. Really, it's wonderful stuff.

But what's the best part of this video? At about 45 seconds in:
"I want to start with the obvious question: Did I lie with the quote I used in the letter to the alums about a student in the class a year ago? The answer is: I sure didn't."

Sound familiar? It might ring a bell. Remember one of the dean's unattributed quotes? "I came to Medill because I want to inform people and make things better. Journalism is the best way for me to do that, but I sure felt good about this class."


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How the Gas Crisis is Tearing the Beetle and I Apart

Honestly, the bloated gas prices are bad enough. I don't need any problems with gas stations other than that intimidating $3.60/Unleaded Gal. sign. Unfortunately, on my way home yesterday, it wasn't just the prices giving me trouble.

After an extra-long day at work, I jumped in the Beetle and noticed the wavering gas needle, closing in on the warning light. Rather than pushing my luck, like I usually do, I decided this time I'd take care of the gas right away and avoid that panicky drive I usually make to the closest station as the poor Beetle licks her last drops of unleaded.

The first station I passed (Ashland and Lawrence) flaunted that $3.60 sign. I could feel the Beetle pulling toward it and I reined her in.

'No,' I calmed her. 'This intersection always has the jacked-up prices, and we're going to pass more gas stations on our drive home.'

The Beetle relented, and we continued on our way.

A mile or so down the road, I spotted the Marathon at Ashland and Bryn Mawr. $3.44/gal. Totally more reasonable. I pulled up to the pump and popped the gas tank open. I had already put my debit card in the pump when I realized that every single pump had a Post-It note with a scrawled "Out of Order" over each Unleaded pump.

(At this juncture, I admit, I could have just gone with the upgraded fuel, I know. But I felt, having already passed up one gas station for its high prices, that by God, I would not get screwed by another station only because their unleaded gas didn't work. I slammed the gas tank shut and got back on the road.)

Turning my car on this time, she bleated plaintively: BEEP!! Fill me up!!! BEEP!!

'I know, little baby!' I cooed, stroking the dashboard. 'It's coming, I promise.'

There was one more option on my commute home--the Marathon on Clark and Rosemont. This gas station is generally where cabbies gather and chat, and there's also a huge North and East African hang-out here too because of the East African restaurant in the mini-strip mall. The other thing I love about this gas station is the laundromat next door. The wafting scents of bubbles and dryer sheets overpower the noxious fumes of the gas and remind me of when I was little and would jump in clean, warm, just-out-the-dryer laundry, despite my mother's warnings.

'OK,' I told the Beetle as I pulled in. 'We're here!'

She sighed as I turned her off and popped open the gas tank once more.

Happy to see no Post-Its at this Marathon, I swiped my card, selected unleaded, and started pumping. And by started pumping, I mean that I stood and watched as the pump slowly ticked off a couple cents. And by slowly, I mean that this tank was diabolically slow. It was Chinese water torture manifested in gas pump form. A full minute passed before the total sale read $00.63. I could not take this torture and turned hopefully to the other pumps.

My heart fell inside my chest--at each pump, cabbies leaned against their trunks chatting in foreign tongues as their own Lincoln Town Cars took the same prolonged torment, gallons creeping slowly, total sales amounting to nothing more than pocket change as the sun went down and day turned to night.

I couldn't stand here pumping all evening, I thought frantically. This was going to take hours--hours I didn't have. It would be faster, I decided, to get back on the road and drive to the next gas station. I paid my $1.53 and got back in the Beetle.

BEEEEEEP!! She cried as I started her again.

I was the neglectful mother, whose every nurturing fiber had been drained from her. I had grown resentful of the Beetle (Who was she to beep at me? She's always beeping when she needs something from me!) and self-loathing (Why hadn't I filled up earlier? Why am I so irresponsible?). Ultimately, I projected my self-anger onto the closest targets (This damn car! These damn gas stations!).

'I hear you, Damn Car!' I shouted. 'We'll go to the closest Damn Gas Station, OK? Now, shut up!'

I seethed as I drove down Clark, turning down Devon to go to the closest Citgo. $3.60.

'I hope you're happy,' I hissed through my teeth, popping open the gas tank one last time to start pumping. 'You'd better make the most of this, Damn Car.'


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hometown Proud

I’ve often tried to describe the dismal city that is Dayton, Ohio, but I think passiveaggressivenotes found the best photo to sum it up.


Monday, March 10, 2008

The Gods of Tennis War Tonight

Tonight, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer square off at, well, Madison Square Garden in the ultimate match of tennis gods and Adonises known to man. I cannot adequately describe my love for these two players because it is completely visceral. My stomach just flips at the thought of a Sampras overhead or the cool, collected Federer gaze before a perfectly calculated shot. I once even almost caught a sweaty shirt of Sampras's in Cincinnati. See? Just then--stomach flipping.

But here's my problem: I don't have any tennis-obsessive friends to convince to pay $20 to go to the Landmark Century with me to watch a live feed , I don't get the Tennis Channel, and I don't know of any bars that will be playing this match.

If you can help me, please contact me immediately. I will owe you big time.


Friday, March 7, 2008

I don't know you

This past summer, I made it a thing to go see movies alone. It was something that I had fantasized about doing for years, but had never gotten up the courage to go do.

So with my cell phone at hand (feigning a call to a friend to meet), I went to my first movie alone. An 11:10 AM showing on a Saturday morning. It was Hairspray.

Perhaps pretending to go meet a friend at a movie where John Travolta plays drag the whole time before noon is not exactly a shining start, but it was something at least.

A few weeks later, I went to see 2 Days in Paris alone on a Saturday afternoon. When I left the theatre, it was nearly six, there were storm clouds rolling into Evanston, and it was one of those muggy, hot August days that make you forget that Chicago is ever bitterly cold. I wanted to share one of the scenes from 2 Days in Paris on here, but don't watch if you plan on seeing it and don't like spoilers. If you haven't seen it and don't mind spoilers, or don't even plan on seeing it, watch it. Julie Delpy manages to phrase perfectly what it is like to be in love and to fight. It's basically perfect, in my opinion.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Naked as We Came

I finally gave in and bought the new Iron & Wine album, The Shepherd's Dog, and it brought back a lot of nostalgia for Sam Beam's older stuff. There's something about his music that just makes me feel like I'm seven again, lying in the grass on a lazy July afternoon with a stack of library books next to me and a peanut butter sandwich in hand. It's a really nice thing.

This video of Naked as We Came really captures that feeling.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Ohio Primary

I've tried to think of a way to express how anxious I am about this primary. I didn't really come up with anything more eloquent than: I'm really anxious about this primary and get physically sick when I think about these campaigns.

It's no secret, if you know me, that I was very supportive of John Edwards. My choice since he left the race has been up in the air, and I finally made a decision on Saturday and Express Mailed my ballot to Warren County.

All I can do now is wait and watch the results come in tonight--except not on MSNBC. Fuck Tim Russert.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Police: Man Gets Shot to Avoid Work

More advice from the crazies we find over the AP newsfeed.

PASCO, Wash. (AP) -- What happened to faking a cough? Sheriff's detectives in Franklin County said a man had his friend shoot him in the shoulder so he wouldn't have to go to work.

When he first spoke with deputies, Daniel Kuch, of Pasco, told them he'd been the victim of a drive-by shooting while he was out jogging Thursday. But detectives told KONA radio that Kuch later acknowledged that he asked his friend to shoot him so he could get some time off work and avoid an upcoming drug test.

The friend, Kurtis Johnson, of Burbank, has been arrested for investigation of reckless endangerment. Kuch was booked into the county jail and is expected to be charged with false reporting.

Detectives declined to say where Kuch works, or whether he still has a job. It wasn't known if he had obtained a lawyer.