Friday, May 30, 2008

The Movie Cometh

In honor of this Doomsday SATC Weekend, I thought I'd repost my reply to Time Out New York's accusation that I helped ruin New York. For the record, I'm not seeing SATC tonight. I'm watching the Scripps National Spelling Bee and drinking bourbon. Take that, Carrie Bradshaw.

I had really hoped to avoid blogging about SATC, but it seems that Time Out New York wanted me to do it anyway, since TONY singled me (and my homegirl Julia Allison) out as the dirty blogging spawn of Carrie Bradshaw, happily tip-tap-typing away the minutiae of our lives while we sit in our gorgeous boho-chic apartments, which we have charged to the same credit card as our Jimmy Choos.

While I'm actually flattered that TONY printed me up (I do, in fact, enjoy the sound of typing--albeit my own or someone else's), I'm doing a disservice to SATC fans everywhere if I pretend that I belong in that cult-class of cutting-edge women who love shoes as dearly as life, swish into the hottest clubs and sleep with the most attractive, interesting, and sometimes horrifying, men in the city.

The truth is that I wish I could be more like that, but I'm the most un-Carrie girl you'll meet. I just finished a half a Chipotle burrito, I'm wearing $15 shoes, and it's true, I didn't even wash my hair this morning. Even worse, I live in Chicago.

I do love my girl friends, but I don't travel in a pack, and there aren't any cougars I can list as mis amigas (although if I could roll with Samantha, I probably would). It was while I lived in New York (which I did, for six months--and not in the West Village or UES, but in Harlem where my neighbors thought I was a narc and then in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn where I hung tight with my Irish Catholic neighbors and my nicotine-lunged landlady from Staten Island) that I got even slightly close to being "one of the girls." Three fellow interns and I went out together, wound up in crazy situations and met interesting people, but I didn't blog about it much nor was there any sex in the city because I had a boyfriend back in Chicago. Which brings me to another thing...

I am in the most dull (to everyone else) and wonderful (for me) longterm relationship--a real life version of When Harry Met Sally. And the thing about Harry and Sally is that after that romantic moment on New Year's Eve where Billy Crystal comes running to kiss Meg Ryan and tell her just how much he loves her, everything is pretty boring. Happily ever after. And that's why none of you hear about that.

So why do we girls blog? Why listen to yourself type and hope that someone else might listen too?

Maybe for the same reason women gathered around quilting circles or my grandmother plays bridge with her girl friends--there's something invigorating about this gathering and storytelling as we create identities and form relationships out of something as simple as a keyboard. It may not be sex, but it's still empowering.

And like Candace Bushnell told me when I was a freshman at Northwestern lo those many years ago, I think now I'm gonna "go out, have a couple cosmopolitans and cause some trouble."

Maybe you'll hear about it later.


Don't be an ass, Northwestern

It’s embarrassing to watch as various news outlets chide Northwestern seniors for their pissing-and-moaning about their commencement keynote speaker, Mayor Richard M. Daley. Some editorialists have called these responses “whiny,” “arrogant,” and “entitled;” and it’s true—they are.

I understand that Mayor Daley may not be the most thrilling speaker, and it’s possible that Daley’s political and social ties to Bienen contributed to his post, but it’s humiliating to the rest of the Northwestern community when some overindulged seniors gripe all over the comments section of the Daily online, reaffirming the rest of the world’s suspicions that Northwestern students and graduates are cosseted, pretentious beings that would refuse to condescend to a speech given by the mayor of one of the most thriving metropolises.

In response to these complaints, Bienen told one student to "grow up” and the Tribune reminded seniors that while Daley isn’t perfect, his “chosen career confronts him with the challenges of urban poverty, and gang killings of youngsters, and infant mortality, and racial rivalries, and broken families galore—and the many of his disadvantaged constituents who yearn desperately for, yes, world-class educations.” These responses are completely just.

But no response could be more apt (or prescient) than Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s final word of advice to my fellow graduates at last year’s commencement: “Finally, don’t be an ass.”

“I mean that, I do,” she said. “I’m not trying to be glib. Be nice to people and be considerate. Check in with yourself every once in a while, and ask yourself: Am I being an ass? You’ll be surprised how often the answer is yes.”

If only she had gotten to some of those grousers in the Class of 2008 first. [See her speech here.]


Surprise! It's More Gross Chicago Weather

I'm always quick to defend Chicago when people (usually New Yorkers) give it a hard time. But it's hard to defend a city when its weather sucks so hard. Take, for example, the satellite image of our current weather. Notice the big blotch of gross that centers over the ever Windy City and that other big blotch that just recently passed through. Tornado watch for only another hour, Chicago! Woo!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Shoes Take a Vacation Without Me

It seems that my recently-ordered shoes (the ones that are next to godliness and make my heart dance in my chest at the thought of them) are on a vacation without me. In the last day, they've traveled over 75 miles of Chicagoland, tripping the light fantastic from the southside to the north burbs and back again. I watch with envy as they take their sweet time getting to my doorstep. Oh, shoes! Come to me!

The Shoes Take a Chicagoland Vacation

The Shoes arrive in Chicago, IL. They marvel at the Dan Ryan expressway and UIC's campus. "Hooray! We love Chicago!" they surely cry. "We cannot wait to get down and dirty (but not scuffed too badly) on these city streets."

But first, they must journey to Hodgkins, Illinois. Far beyond the city limits, the Shoes quake with fear. "Oh bring us back away from I-55! Take us to the north side!"

A miscommunication hinders their progress. The UPS delivery guy misunderstands the Shoes and travels with them to the northern burbs. In Northbrook, the shoes wish the journey would end. "Mercy, Lord!" they cry. "Deliver us from this truck!"

Where will our heroes find themselves next? Will it be at the front door of their rightful owner? Or in the hands of yet another UPS deliveryman (or woman)? Only time will tell.


Aftertaste: Questions That Linger From Last Night's Top Chef

Where is the Top Chef Chicago kitchen?

Will Lisa take a shower?

Were those frozen sea scallops planted by Bravo, like Tramonto's PR rep claims?

Is Richard Blais a blond version of Big Boy?


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Live Blogging: The Bachelorette, Episode 2

It's true, I went on vacation. While I did enjoy eating those honeyish buttery rolls at O'Charleys Monday night, I did miss The Bachelorette. Thankfully, I'm back with midweek insight on the show that the rest of America saw on Monday.

Just in case we forgot who DeAnna Pappas is and how badly she got her heart broken (and America's too, don't forget), ABC reminds us: "America watched as DeAnna Pappas fell in love with Brad Womack... AND THEN HE BROKE HER HEART." One new insight I have from this scene is how great DeAnna's pink lipstick is--love it!

But DeAnna's back, and tonight (or Monday night, if you're counting) the guys bunk!, limos!, virgins!, and SINGING!!

Chris "Hey Dudes!" Harrison sets down the basic ground rules, announcing to what seems like the surprise of the men that they might be sent home. Somebody should have filled them in. They all look so disappointed.

The three first impression roses (Jeremy, Richard and Jesse) get to move in with DeAnna. Ron is SHOCKED by how much first impressions matter. Again, someone should have filled him in.

DeAnna tells us that living with three guys will be very intimate. And just to remind us that ABC and The Bachelorette are worthy of our time, she tells us that she does believe that this is the best way to find love. Meanwhile, the other 12 men find their bunk beds. Paul demonstrates what gyrating on the top bunks will look like, and Twigs laughs about "shrinkage," and then proceeds to scratch himself.

Do You Believe in Magic? Date, or The Creepy Castle That Had Something to do with Cards and Pianos

  • Jason
  • Ryan
  • Twigs
  • Sean
  • Paul
  • Fred
  • Richard
DeAnna tells us that this is the first date she's been on since Brad. The whole crew rolls up to some creepy place called The Magic Castle in the pouring rain. I cannot help but channel a little G.O.B. from Arrested Development.

DeAnna leads the boys to their own private magic room. The magician mispronounces DeAnna's name, and we all giggle. The magician makes Jason and DeAnna disappear to scattered applause. Everyone is confused. Especially Ryan.

Jason says he is very lucky to get this creepy one-on-one time. DeAnna and Jason bond over music, food and other boring subjects while I think this whole scene is very Wizard of Oz-ish. I just want to yell to the other bachelors to look behind the curtain!

Jason and DeAnna return before Jason can open up about his son. Ryan worries about what sinful things happened behind that curtain.

Sean and DeAnna get some alone time together, but a magic piano mocks Sean's attempts at conversations. Sean's brow gets so sweaty it reflects lights. A few guys try to impress guys with magic tricks, Twigs puts on a play that apparently never ended. That more or less ended the showtime.

Richard tells us he was surprised he got invited to the house--he must have missed that the men who got first impression roses got invited to her mansion. He subsequent makes her a paper rose, which is pretty sweet.

Twigs and the other men argue about his intentions. Ryan especially digs into him, and I'm glad I never have to have an argument with this football player.

Ryan subsequently tells DeAnna he sets himself apart by not speeding, not cursing, and more or less just being more perfect than she could ever be. She says she will corrupt him.

Paul and Fred, who I cannot tell apart, pull DeAnna aside. Paul tells DeAnna that despite the fact he's 23, he's ready to get married. He's so ready, in fact, that he already has been engaged. Paul continues to say that there is no price to love while he gives DeAnna a big hug. Fred pulls heavily from his rum and Coke and tries to look away. No big surprise that Paul gets the rose.

Back at the couch house the next morning, Paul gets naked for all the other men. That's about it.

One-on-One Date with Graham at the Beach
DeAnna says that Graham is smoking hot. They hold hands and stroll down the shoreline. Some producers thought that either DeAnna or Graham would know how to fly a kit. Unfortunately, neither do.

They move onto better things, like juicy details about Graham's past. Graham says he'd never been in love until his last relationship. DeAnna is scared by this and says she knows what she wants and that she doesn't want to be left crying again.

Conversation starts to dwindle and DeAnna warns Graham to either feel it or get out. Graham responds that love is special when it should be cultivated. I wonder whether the word "cultivated" has ever hit primetime ABC before.

Back at the house, the guys talk sex. I wish Sue Johanson would stop by. Ryan reminds us that he planned on being different from everyone else in his life, and he is a virgin. There are some mumblings of "dude!" but the men move on.

Meanwhile, Graham and DeAnna perfect roasing marshmallows and have some more heavy talk about love. DeAnna offers Graham his rose and pins it to his North Face fleece, and all is well in the world.

Twigs and Jason have a bro heart-to-heart about whether or not Twigs should stalk up to the mansion and jump out at DeAnna. Graham and DeAnna have a nice goodbye where he pecks her on the cheek. No sooner does DeAnna start toward the house than Twigs bolts out of the bushes at her and confesses who he is in five minutes... kind of. This goes about as well as everyone expected.

Graham returns to the coach house where he kisses and tells, Brian--that silver fox from Texas--gets jealous, and Graham drinks out of three cups at once?

A Diamond is a Girl's Best Friend: Baseball date!

  • Chris
  • Jeremy
  • Brian
  • Jesse
  • Eric
  • Ron
  • Top Chef Robert

The lady and the men head out to Dodgers Stadium, which is exciting enough, but DeAnna has one more surprise "for y'all!" It's Tommy Lasorda!? Brian explains to me who he is. Tommy gives the men a good talk, accompanied by the soundtrack from Field of Dreams, which culminates in everyone shouting, "I BELIEVE!"

Chris delivers a rendition of the National Anthem that we've been promised is "the most embarassing moment." Not in Bachelorette history. Not in TV history. Just ever. The most embarassing moment ever. That's too bad for Chris.

The men hit "home runs" to compete for DeAnna's one-on-one time. The "home runs" land somewhere in mid-field. Jeremy hits 6 home runs, while Chris a former minor leaguer, strikes out. Chris is having a really rough time today at Dodgers Stadium.

Jeremy and DeAnna get their one-on-one time in the dugout. Jeremy reveals that both of his parents have passed away and talks about what his parents meant to him. DeAnna appreciates his honesty and relates with him on the subject. America gets choked up.

Everyone eats hot dogs and drinks wine. Eric talks a lot about being Greek. Brian tell us he has only just now "figured himself out" and because of that he doesn't have a lot of experience with the ladies.

Back at the house, Jason decides to reveal to four of the men that he has a son. I'm still not sure I understand why he told these guys before DeAnna.

Tommy tells DeAnna to read faces, look in a crystal ball, and jump around the bases four times while rubbing the chalk lines on her face, and then (and only then!) will she know who to choose for the rose. He slaps her on the butt, spits out some tobacco juice and sends her on her way. Good talk, Tommy!

DeAnna takes Jeremy aside for some one-on-one time. ABC devilishly airs the alone time on the Jumbotron, fueling a fire of hate against Jeremy. Jesse hurls a baseball bat. Chris pouts about how his minor league experience should have gotten him a rose. ABC later puts on fireworks for the whole crew.

Coming up next, Everyone hates Jeremy! (It's just like "Everbody hates Robin" all over again.)

Cocktail Party
Everyone does hate Jeremy. He has a second rose and has already started decorating the guest bath in DeAnna's mansion. Some of the men turn on DeAnna, demanding to know why she gave a second rose to Jeremy. She tells them to stop whining.

Twigs is afraid that DeAnna doesn't have "a case of the Twillies going on." Twigs tries to redeem his coup on her. Jeremy cuts in on Twigs, stealing DeAnna away.

Ron is mad with Jeremy and rats out his bro for stealing DeAnna from Twigs. Dude be catty.

Jeremy reveals the special foreign language secret he told DeAnna when he first met her: "I came here to meet you, especially for you." Of course, they make out.

As Jeremy returns to the party, he has (as Jesse says) "haters." Top Chef suggests that Jeremy isn't real to the camera, Ron pisses and moans some more. Meanwhile Ryan "I never swear or speed or do anything bad" calls Jeremy a BEEEEEEEP, which is a word I can't quite discern but I'm guessing is one of those "curses" that he doesn't say.

Push up competition! Twigs has twigs for arms. Jesse wins, despite his poor form. At one-on-one time, Jesse describes how he wants to be like "Uncle Jesse" from Full House. He wants to make PB&Js and be the cool family member.

Chris "Jesse, You Don't Have to Stand Up For Me" Harrison comes in to cut the party short. It's Rose Ceremony time.

  • Paul
  • Graham
  • Jeremy
  • Ron
  • Jesse
  • Top Chef
  • Brian
  • Jason
  • Fred
  • Sean
  • Richard
  • Twigs

Going Home:
Eric says he brings a lot to the table--mainly Greek food.
Chris is pissed that DeAnna doesn't have it all figured out.
Ryan says he's one of the most honest and most genuine persons she'll ever meet. He was voted friendliest eighth grader and exits with: "That's a joke."

DeAnna takes a moment to herself before returning to the rest of her men.

Next week, confrontations!, injuries!, confessions!, and most importantly, COWBOY HATS!



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

On Vacation

Still out of town, covered in cat hair and full of lots of pancakes. Bachelorette DVR'd and ready to watch upon my return to the Windy City. Cannot wait!!!


Friday, May 23, 2008


I know that since I defended myself against TONY as I am not the spawn of Carrie Bradhsaw, I've managed to write about Craigslist's Missed Connections, pick ups in dance clubs, and (God save me) The Bachelorette. But I am apparently on a roll, because I am now blogging about shoes.

I just ordered this pair of [EDIT: Jeffrey Campbell] shoes, and I already own them. I've worn them thin and scuffed them to oblivion. They look AWFUL, but I insist on wearing them because they are the most amazing versatile, wonderfully comfortable but cute shoes I've ever owned. And, on a sad little whim, I googled them today and VOILA! There they are! And for only thirty bucks.


Now, to celebrate the Memorial Day weekend, I'm headed home with boyfriend in tow for a weekend of horse farms, bourbon, fireflies (hopefully), swimming pools, and strip malls!


Thursday, May 22, 2008


[images via]

An awesome discovery for the end of the day—conceptual artist Paul St. George created an optical device that allows people in New York and London to communicate in real time without cell phones, cables, etc.

The gigantic “Telectroscope” is, according to the (rather imaginitive and extensive) story concocted on St. George’s website, inspired from his Victorian great-grandfather’s work digging a transatlantic tunnel.

Visitors in each city can get up close and wave to visitors in the other, writing messages to one another on dry erase boards. The Telectroscope will be hooked up at Fulton Ferry in Brooklyn and the Thames River in London until June 15.


Match Made in Missed Connections Heaven

Yes, I will continue to hate on the iPhone as long as I don't have one.


I can has oxee moron capshun?

[Via C S-T]


Losing The Game on the (dance) floor

What happens when we take others' advice to heart and forget our gut instincts? Disaster.

Unfortunately for some of us, the sheeplike cult of men following Neil Strauss's advice from The Game are no exception to this rule.

If you've somehow missed The Game phenomenon, Strauss's advice goes a little something like this: to pick up a woman, put her down. Nothing as awful as, You, your family and entire ancestry are an irrevocable blemish upon society. But something more along the lines of, That shirt doesn't look good on you. And after perhaps the girl's initial outrage, he subsequently follows up with, It'd be better if it were blue to match your eyes. Wrap up that compliment in a good, old-fashioned neg.

This negging [thanks, Urban Dictonary] is supposedly wildly successful. Far be it for me to argue with this—even Ugly Betty had an episode where Betty herself was duped.

But then you get men like this one, who we'll call Sugar.

Andrea and I had decided to make our low-key girls' night into an all-out rager, stopping first in Boystown to see J spin at Scarlet and then trekking over to Smart Bar for their 25th Anniversary party featuring Green Velvet.

Inside Smart Bar, we were greeted by a pummeling bass beat and the sweatiest, pushiest, most enthusiastic-about-techno men I've ever seen before. (If you're looking for a point of reference, check out this YouTube video from the night, which features some of the much tamer parts of Green Velvet's Shake and Pop.)

Somewhere between this huge bald guy stepping on my feet and then making like a door in front of us and another dude passionately breaking into dance and spilling half his amaretto sour on me, Sugar showed up.

Here, Sugar takes the stage, mentally rehearsing various negs he practiced in front of the mirror at home and channeling his inner-Strauss. Beer in one hand, he taps Andi on the shoulder with the other.


Here's our first problem—only I can hear this neg since Sugar is standing directly behind me. Sugar is standing four modest feet away from Andi, his shouts drowned out by Green Velvet's ball-busting beats.

"WHAT?" Andi yells back, clearly confused as to why Sugar's trying to launch into conversation on the dance floor, right next to the subwoofer.


(Nice example!)

"WHAT?" Andi looks at me this time.

At this point, Sugar yells more about how Andi looks like a girl who would have a good time and she should show it because she doesn't seem to be having any fun, but he confuses the order of his delivery, trails off and ultimately ends up relaying the message to her through me.

So there we are, with drinks spilled on us and our feet stepped on, and here's this guy telling Andi (through me) to look happier.

As I finish relaying this message to her, Andi snaps around and shoots Sugar an icy look underneath a squinched-up brow. Fortunately for him, Sugar looked like he'd drank plenty of the sugar water and didn't seem to notice Andi's disapproval.

I'm proud of Sugar for going out there, putting himself on the line, knocking women down a couple pegs so he can try to improve his station in life, love, or whatever else. And I won't argue with this negging idea by getting on my ladylike side saddle high horse and disputing it.

But I'm pleading with Neil Strauss and the publishers of The Game--in the next edition, spell out each step for these guys--if the girl can't hear you, the neg won't work. Maybe save those negs for somewhere with better acoustics... like say, a library?


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Live Blogging: The Bachelorette, Episode 1

We all remember way back when (like, October), when America's collective heart broke--when Brad Womack left DeAnna Marie Pappas at the rose alter. With the whips of the ABC higher-ups cracking on their backs, the producers at The Bachelor and Chris "I promise I'll never hurt you again, baby" Harrison made right in the world. First, they brought us Matt "I'm chuffed to be here" Grant. Then, they gave Matt the hottest haircut on this side of the pond.

Finally, to really set things straight, they brought back America's straight-shooting brunette sweetheart: DeAnna "DeAnna Bo BeAnna Banana Fanna Fo FeAnna Fee Fi Mo MeAnna DeAnna!" Pappas.

ABC opens with a recollection of DeAnna's moments with Brad. Instead of watching that, here's a better recap from a fan on YouTube with just a little bit more editorializing:

That was then. And this is now! DeAnna's ready for love!

"Brad broke my friends' hearts, he broke my family's hearts, he broke America's hearts," DeAnna tells Chris. DeAnna! You know me, don't you? He broke MY heart!

DeAnna can't wait to have guys falling for her. And just for the record, she's not too young at 26 for marriage. "I believe in this show," says D. "I did fall in love. This time around, I know that in the end I'll be standing there smiling with someone who's going to spend their life with me. A fairy tale ending."

"Hi, I'm Chris "Bringin' Back the Love" Harrison, and men across America wanted to give DeAnna all that she deserved." Apparently these men emailed ABC and told the producers to give them a shot at love with Tila Teq--I mean, DeAnna Pappas.

otential Bachelor Montage: Creepily all the men are in the same hotel rooms as they get ready for the cocktail party.

Before the guys arrive, Chris and DeAnna have a little heart-to-heart. It's moments like these that I wish Chris and I could have our own heart-to-heart. He really boosts a girl's confidence.

CHRIS: Welcome back, DeAnna! Last time, there was a lot of heartache, wasn't there? You remember how we've already talked about how much Brad sucks like a bajillion times, right? And he sucks.
DEANNA: Yes, Chris. He does suck. But I know that this process works.
CHRIS: You're sincere!
DEANNA: Oh yes, I am! Everything happens for a reason!
CHRIS: Let me compliment you a little bit differently. You're a real family girl aren't you? What does this mean to your family?
DEANNA: They're so supportive, they love me, and they're so happy!
CHRIS: Fantastic! But let's talk about the hard times again. That was tough for them too, right?
DEANNA: Oh, yes, Chris. It was really hard on them.
CHRIS: Were they reluctant?
DEANNA: My brother and daddy were looking out for me, but they're the men in my life, so who can blame them AND I've got 25 men waiting to date me, so who cares?
CHRIS: What do you want from these men tonight?
DEANNA: First impressions are important to me, and I want a guy that makes me nervous. (Little does she know how many of these guys are so nervous they're falling over themselves while sitting in the limo.)
CHRIS: What kind of guy are you looking for?
DEANNA: Someone who is caring, respects me, can make me laugh, not a wallflower.
CHRIS: Someone who knows what they want? *nudge nudge*
DEANNA: Yes! *wink*
CHRIS: How will this turn out?
DEANNA: I believe this is my fairy tale ending!

Now, time to meet the men.

Brian from Texas, HS Football Coach, 31, Fort Worth, TX : Brian tells DeAnna that this moment is why he's doing the show!

, Sales Manager, Alberta, Canada, 23 : Short and sweet, twirls DeAnna and I hold my breath waiting for her to trip over that long gold ball gown

, Professional basketball player (really?), Raleigh, NC, 29 : Scruffy, awkward, nervous.

, Martial Arts instructor, Crestwood, KY, 33 : Rocking a floppy 'do, flies through introductions. Awks again.

, Science teacher, Sauquiot, NY, 27 : "You're a vision!" The self-professed science nerd is by far the least awkward man of the night. Ouch.

, Account executive, Kirkland, WA, 31: Heartfelt story about his son makes us love him and/or feel obligated to love him. Greets DeAnna with some Greek saying, but isn't Greek. He just travels there.

, Actor, Santa Monica, CA, 38 : Glasses, big smile. Spero will later provide the play-by-plays of the evening. (ex: DeAnna's over there! That guy did this! We're going over here! Touchdown!)

, Pro snowboarder, 30 Breckinridge, CO : Jesse rolled in paint before arriving at the Bachelor set.

, Resort manager Surfside Beach, SC, 31: Has already told us how much he loves his blond-tipped hair. That's really all we need to know.

, Medical Sales, Dallas, TX, 29: Big and Tall Shop.

Interior shot of the cocktail party:
"I've never been so nervous before!"
"No, I've never been more nervous!"
"My heart rate is out of control!"
"Mine was faster!"
"No mine!"

Brian from Indiana, Computer Network Consultant, New Castle, IN, 29: Also twirls DeAnna, unfortunately, this has already been done.

, Math teacher, Orlando, FL, 27: Cute, not awkward, told us that his mom was glad Brad turned down DeAnna because now he gets to meet her.

, Sales Rep, Charleston, SC, 26: DeAnna spins him before he gets a chance to spin her.

, Professional football player, Lakeville, MN, 28: Former Minnesota Viking tells us that he is a virgin, doesn't swear, and is extremely faithful. He tells DeAnna: 1. I'm always smiling and laughing. 2. I'm strong in my faith.

, Debt manager, Tulsa, OK, 33: Twiggy is so nervous he tells DeAnna: You're really sparkly! and then attempts to shake her hand.

Limo break:
Things are so awkward at this point that even Chris is laughing! "You've already met 15 boys," says Chris. "Men!" cries DeAnna. Let's say the ratio was something like 2 boys to every 1 man.

Ron, Barber, Kansas City MO, 36: Ron's been through a divorce and believes love finds us. He also forgets his coat in the car.

, Financial analyst, Glenwood, IL, 26: One word: FLOPPY. Still kind of cute.

Luke the Oyster Farmer
, Folly Beach, SC, 27: Has repeatedly told us: "I'm just an oyster farmer."

, Senior analyst, Boston, 31: Originally from Greece (bonus points!), speaks Greek to her.

, Chef, San Francisco, 28: DeAnna spins him and he tries salsa dancing with her. He is bright red.

Ahh. It's all so uncomfortable that my stomach is churning.

Chandler Insurance Rep, Spotsylvania, VA, 25: Poses like a statue on his way out of the car. Really? Toooool bag.

, Personal trainer, NYC, 28: Tells DeAnna she looks like he's been working out. Um, fantastic.

, Lawyer, Chicago, 30: Ummm, Daaaa Beeeeears!!!!

, Internet Marketer, Elmhurst, IL, 27: Who?

, Real estate agent, Dallas, TX, 30: Hello, Keanu Reeves.

Now, onto the cocktail party!

Chris: This night is going to let you forget all about Brad!
DeAnna: Who?!
America giggles together at their inside joke. Brad hides under a bar counter somewhere.

Tonight, there are 3 first impression roses instead of one.

The very first impression rose goes to Keanu "Jeremy" Reeves.

Jason grabs DeAnna for one-on-one time. They bond over traveling. They both like to travel! They also both like sunshine, music, and not having their skin burned with lasers.

Ryan of Christian/Viking Football Fame grabs DeAnna and brings her outside. As Spero, our referee for the evening, notes, Ryan "blows it" by not giving her his jacket and hogs the blanket. Spero throws in an assist by bringing his jacket to her.

Ron tells DeAnna that he's still a little nervous and that his ex-wife brought him to Kansas City, which I don't fully understand. She's in Kansas City, and that's why he went there? Or she was somewhere else, and he went to Kansas City to get away from her? Or are there kids? I don't know.

Chris gets real and admits he cheated once before in his life. DeAnna appreciates this honesty.

Top Chef Robert decides to cook for her and then asks blond-tipped Jon to get out of his way.

"I'm just an oyster farmer," says the Oyster Farmer again. "I am so intimidated by these other men." It turns out that Mr. I'm Just an Oyster Farmer also surfs and teaches. He also gives her a pearl necklace.

Top Chef makes crab dip with garlic. Bad, bad idea, Top Chef. Garlic on a first date? No way.

"He gave her crabs!" yells Donato.

Chris comes in just to remind us of our mortality, but introduces Jenni to the crowd. Jenni and DeAnna are apparently close friends now, and she's here to help her dear friend DeAnna.

Jenni conducts grueling interviews that involve heartfelt honesty, confessions and dancing.

Science nerd Richard takes DeAnna aside, gives her a fake diamond. DeAnna says she's impressed by him.

Jenni's inquisition continues. Donato asks Jenni to sit on his lap. As my roommate notes, Miami Vice asks for their shirt back.

Eric and DeAnna bond over their Greek ancestry. (As a girlfriend of a Greek man, I can attest to how long this conversation can last.)

Jesse wants DeAnna to remember him for more than just his different-colored jacket--but if the jacket doesn't hurt, then that's fine too. Jesse says he wants to avoid the bloggers about DeAnna and find out. Ouch, Jesse. Where's the love, dude?

Like a good Laurel and Hardy scene, martial arts Sean and snowboarder Jesse perform some physical comedy as Sean kicks a lemon off Jesse's head. Ha cha cha!

Jenni and DeAnna gossip while DeAnna asks for her favorite picks. Jenni would choose Grant, Jesse, and Jason as her three first impression roses.

DeAnna gives Jesse a second first impression rose to Jesse, not because of his jacket or dealing with almost getting kicked in the head, but for his personality.

Twiggy is totally crazy, jumping around and yelling at the camera.
"Some of these guys are acting like idiots," says Personal Trainer Greg. "And Greg doesn't need to do this!" Note: Speaking in third person > Acting like an idiot

Chandler performs a duck call for DeAnna. Brian from Indiana interrupts. Subsequently, a fight breaks out between Chandler and Brian--a dirty fight that involves ducks, an ab-buster and lots of broken egos.

Paul from Canada says he's reppin his home country. O, Canada!

Paul asks if jumping in the pool will get him the final first impression rose.
"If you get in that pool tonight--" says DeAnna.
"I'll get a rose?" says Paul.
"--you'll catch pneumonia," says DeAnna.

Paul jumps in anyway, strips down on his way out, revealing that he has "DEANNA" written on the back of his Speedo.

Graham pulls DeAnna aside and she says he's easy to look at. Graham is a professional basketball player, an investment banker (?), an investor of bars (?), but he's actually in the process of founding a charity. Huh?

Last first impression rose goes to Richard. Richard says he was picked on in high school, wins America's hearts.

Chris Harrison sits down for some girl chat with DeAnna. "Let's talk about these guys!" Quick recap: Ryan was nervous, says DeAnna. Jason was easy to talk to; Eric is hopefully more than just Greek; Luke is sweet; Ron was serious and was divorced; Chandler with his duck call and Brian with his abs did not turn her on. Sean got Deanna's attention by almost knocking out another guy. Paul had my name on his booty! says DeAnna.

Chris "Playing with the Big Boys" Harrison introduces the men to their first rose ceremony.


* Jeremy
* Richard
* Jesse
* Ron
* Graham
* Eric
* Robert
* Sean
* Ryan
* Chris
* Paul
* Fred
* Twiggy
* Jason
* Brian (TX)

Luke tells us he's just a country boy. He'll go home.
Chandler doesn't think he got to show his true self. He had like, a WHOLE song to play on that duck caller.
Greg will not compromise. Maybe he wasn't attractive enough, maybe he was too rebellious, BUT he will rise from the ashes. He then howls like a coyote. Fantastic.

Looking forward to this season, beaches! baseball! bathing suits! Ellen! drama! Christian dude swearing after he said he didn't swear! Carriages! Fairy tale endings!

I, for one, cannot wait.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

I had really hoped to avoid blogging about Sex and the City...

...but it seems that Time Out New York wanted me to do it anyway, since TONY singled me (and my homegirl Julia Allison) out as the dirty blogging spawn of Carrie Bradshaw, happily tip-tap-typing away the minutiae of our lives while we sit in our gorgeous boho-chic apartments, which we have charged to the same credit card as our Jimmy Choos.

While I'm actually flattered that TONY printed me up (I do, in fact, enjoy the sound of typing--albeit my own or someone else's), I'm doing a disservice to SATC fans everywhere if I pretend that I belong in that cult-class of cutting-edge women who love shoes as dearly as life, swish into the hottest clubs and sleep with the most attractive, interesting, and sometimes horrifying, men in the city.

The truth is that I wish I could be more like that, but I'm the most un-Carrie girl you'll meet. I just finished a half a Chipotle burrito, I'm wearing $15 shoes, and it's true, I didn't even wash my hair this morning. Even worse, I live in Chicago.

I do love my girl friends, but I don't travel in a pack, and there aren't any cougars I can list as mis amigas (although if I could roll with Samantha, I probably would). It was while I lived in New York (which I did, for six months--and not in the West Village or UES, but in Harlem where my neighbors thought I was a narc and then in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn where I hung tight with my Irish Catholic neighbors and my nicotine-lunged landlady from Staten Island) that I got even slightly close to being "one of the girls." Three fellow interns and I went out together, wound up in crazy situations and met interesting people, but I didn't blog about it much nor was there any sex in the city because I had a boyfriend back in Chicago. Which brings me to another thing...

I am in the most dull (to everyone else) and wonderful (for me) longterm relationship--a real life version of When Harry Met Sally. And the thing about Harry and Sally is that after that romantic moment on New Year's Eve where Billy Crystal comes running to kiss Meg Ryan and tell her just how much he loves her, everything is pretty boring. Happily ever after. And that's why none of you hear about that.

So why do we girls blog? Why listen to yourself type and hope that someone else might listen too?

Maybe for the same reason women gathered around quilting circles or my grandmother plays bridge with her girl friends--there's something invigorating about this gathering and storytelling as we create identities and form relationships out of something as simple as a keyboard. It may not be sex, but it's still empowering.

And like Candace Bushnell told me when I was a freshman at Northwestern lo those many years ago, I think now I'm gonna "go out, have a couple cosmopolitans and cause some trouble."

Maybe you'll hear about it later.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A bust fit for the gods

Cool news from my French “hometown:” Subaquatic archaeologist divers exploring the Rhone River in Arles found the oldest known bust of Julius Caesar, dating back to 46 BC. The AP article states that Arles was founded by Caesar (kind of, if you don’t count the Greeks and the Celts who came pounding through first—although the Romans did build the most important structures there, so shoutout for that), and the La Provence article suggests that this marble statue was “without a doubt thrown into the river after the assassination of the Roman emperor.” Um, awesome.

And now, just because, some pictures from Arles.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Live Blogging: The Bachelor London Calling, The Final Rose

Matt's in London, and he's chucked to be back home. Chucked? What?

[EDIT: "Chuffed," not chucked. A British term for thrilled. Thanks, Anonymous!]

Chelsea in London
Matt and all of ABC has planned for them to go on the London Eye. This has not been a straightforward journey. That's one way to put it. Chelsea tells us that she's excited to be here in her sorority poof hair style.

Brother Simon opens the door: "Hello, Mate!" British English to American English translation: Hi there, brother. Can I have your leftovers?

We meet the rest of Matt's family: mum Trish and father Tony. They're British and they're loaded cause holy cow, what are all those paintings on the wall?

The Grant Family Quiz Show:
Mum: What's the best part of this process?
Chelsea: Matt's light and serious.
Brother Simon: Translate this word: WELLIES.
Chelsea: Rain boots. (Somebody studied on the plane ride over.)

Brother Simon tells us that he's quite taken with Chelsea. She's charming and beautiful, and if Matt doesn't want her, he'll take her.

Mum: What are the most important qualities in your future husband?
Chelsea: A sense of humor--the ability to laugh at yourself and person you're with.

Um, ha? ha? ha?

Chelsea's teeth look very white. Maybe this is the American Teeth vs. British Teeth thing. Or maybe it's just because Shayne and her caps aren't around.

Mum is worried that Chelsea might not be genuine. She's right. It's difficult to tell what's real and what's not when ABC comes rollin' in your London pad. It's kind of like going through the rabbit hole, but with lots of product placement.

Chelsea tells Mum that it's hard to be vulnerable but that she's falling in love, and Mum--predictably--asks if Chelsea is guarding herself. Chelsea says she tries not to, but that she has. Yawn.

After speaking with Chelsea, Mum determines that she's open and honest. Mum appreciated Chelsea "bearing her soul" to her. Obviously, some things must have happened in that little kitchen chat that didn't make it to the final cut.

"How would you think she would cope with our mad family?" Mum asks Matty-dear.
"She's got a mad part too," says Matt.
Translation? Crazy? I'm confused.

Matt says he's starting to piece Chelsea together.

"I adore you, Honey," says Matt. "You know, I'm just so pleased today went so well."
"I'll see you soon, Baby," says Chelsea.
Baby? Honey! What?! Cutie pie names! No Monkey though.

Shayne in London
"Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!" squeals Shayne. Shayne's wearing her British-themed coat to fit in with the locals. When in Rome... "It's beautiiiiiiiiful heeeeeeere, Maaaaatttttt!!"

They take a traditional double-decker bus to Matt's pad. "Look at those guys!!" Shayne points at the London guard. "Don't they get BORED just standing there?" Yawn. Isn't Matt tired of Shayne pretending to be a dumb blond?

"It's just like a movie!" Shayne squeals. Okay, bingo--Shayne WOULD fit right in!

Shayne tell us that she's nervous and is shaking in her boots. Her London-themed boots. She has another dozen boots back in the hotel to match other European cities. Her Madrid boots. Her Paris boots. Her muddy Dutch countryside boots. She's prepared.

Brother Simon answers the door again. "When I first saw Shayne, I thought, wow," he tell us. Yeah, me too, Brother Simon.

"How old are you?" asks Father.
"I'm 12," quips Shayne. (I'm impressed.) "I'm 22. Been on my own since 17." She leaves out the part about her broken family, sparing the Brits her Hollywood sob story.

Shayne reveals she wasn't good at acting. Big shocker. It was a challenge for her and she moved onward and upward. Huzzah!

Shayne asks Brother Simon what his first opinion was of her, and Simon says that Shayne has impressed him and proved his first impression wrong.

Brother Simon has been converted: I think Shayne is genuine.

Mum throws the same question at Shayne as she did at Chelsea. "What are you looking for in a husband?"
Shayne: "I would tell him that this isn't a fairy tale, but you're the person that I'm willing to go through anything with." Thoughtful pause. "I grew up in a broken family." Aghhh, I knew it was coming!

Shayne leaves, and the Grants begin their breakdown of the two girls.

Most at ease? Shayne.
Most passion? Chelsea.
More genuine? Shayne.
Brother Simon's choice? Chelsea.
Father's choice? Shayne.
Mum's choice? "The final decision is yours, Matt." Spoken like a true mom.

Chelsea in Barbados
Matt blindfolds Chelsea and reveals a helicopter. Chelsea screams and squeals a lot.
Helicopter montage. Lots more screaming and squealing--this time with pointing too.

The helicopter arrives on their private beach. Chelsea says they fit well together on the beach.


"Tonight is my last night to let Matt know how I feel about him," says Chelsea. Chelsea has another surprise--a gift for him. Matt's California Survival Guide. Cereal for breakfast in bed. Surf wax. Map.

Really? That's it? I mean, I understand the sweetness of this gift. But this is your last chance to make a loving impression on this guy, and if you're going to put yourself out there, put yourself out there. And you don't even have to put on lingerie to do it. Apparently, nothing says love like surf wax and directions.

Chelsea says that she's been like a brochure. She has to unfold to reveal the real her. Metaphors! Nice!

"I'm falling in love with you, but I don't feel like you can fall in love with someone unless the other person has the capacity for love too," says Chelsea.

"I'm falling in love with you too, you know that," says Matt. He sounds exasperated. Me too.

"Without doubt, I'm falling in love with Chelsea. She's everything I've ever wanted. She's incredible. I hope we can get through this together." says Matt.

Shayne in Barbados.
Attack of the Hollywood blond! Shayne comes screaming in from behind Matt.

Matt explains that Shayne is a monkey because of the way she cuddles with him. I vomit in my mouth.

Shayne and Matt go parasailing. Shayne says that while she was parasailing, she was an angel up in the clouds, floating and loving Matt.


Shayne says that she has a present, then squeals and breaks my television set.

Shayne took a photo of herself lying in the sand, having written I LOVE YOU. Good move, Shayne. This is the kind of last night gift that gets you places.

"Matt, it says I love you!" says Shayne, proving that she both wrote the sentence in the sand AND she can read it back. Literacy rules!
"Without a doubt, I'm falling in love with you," says Matt.
Shayne pouts.

"You are the most warm, kindest, most genuine person I've ever met," says Matt.
"Did you like my present?" whimpers Shayne.
"I liked it," whispers Matt.
Did Shayne write the script for this one?

Final Rose Ceremony
Matt has never been this nervous or apprehensive. He never thought he would fall in love with two women. But he chooses a ring anyway.

Chelsea first.

Chris "Pseudo Daddy" Harrison escorts her halfway.

Matt tells Chelsea she owns some amazing dresses. DANGER! DANGER!
We've shared some amazing times. DANGER! DANGER!
When I am thinking about my lifetime partner, DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! I cannot give you what you need.

Chelsea holds herself together relatively well. "I've never had any regrets through this. Just because it took me longer doesn't mean it's real or not. I've meant everything I said. I guess it was too late."

Matt tells Chelsea she's amazing and wishes her the best.

On the walk back to the limo, anger overtakes Chelsea. "To me, she was the falsest person here," snaps Chelsea.
"You know what?" Matt sounds testy. "She isn't. The individual I know is different from the individual you know. If you ever think for one second that I'm the kind of person who ends up with the falsest person here, then you don't know me."


The cold walk continues until Matt, probably thinking about last words and wanting to leave on good terms says, "I think you do know me though. I'm going to miss you so much."

Chelsea tells us it's the hardest thing to admit to yourself how much you love someone. Chelsea thinks she was too honest, that she doesn't know what happened, and that Matt is a fool.

Shayne's turn.

Matt tells us he's found someone he can spend the rest of his life with lots of love and lots of affection. Shayne's the warmest, most genuine person, he tells us.

Shayne pulls up in her limo.

Chris "I'm Still Your Poppa" Harrison takes Shayne's arm and leads her halfway while Shayne looks like she might spew monkey all over her bright sunshiney baby doll dress.

"I knew as soon as I first saw you--I saw this million dollar smile--and these big brown eyes," says Matt. "I told myself: Matt, this is too good to be true."

"There's been laughter. There's been fun. There's been monkey." Ughhh... this couple is making me hate primates.

"But I've come here not just for six weeks, but I've come here to find someone for life. And I know when I look in those beautiful brown eyes, that you'll always be there for me. And I hope you know that I'll always be there for you. I don't have much more to say."

Matt gets on one knee, and Shayne takes her cue.

SHAYNE [weakly, as if surprised]: Matt!!!


SHAYNE [once more for emphasis]: Matt!!


MATT: Shayne, I love you.

SHAYNE [still weakly]: I love you.

MATT [with conviction]: Monkey? Will you marry me?

SHAYNE [louder, as if hearing her baby name "Monkey" has given her strength]: Oh my gosh, yes! Matt, I love you! Matt!


SHAYNE [a little too well-rehearsed]: I will marry you on one condition, that you never look at another woman for the rest of our lives because you have looked at way too many during our relationship.

Shayne and Matt Monkey Montage! (Edited out of this video compilation is the time after the final rose ceremony where Shayne made Matt get that Hotty McHotPants haircut.) One final shot of the happy couple, kissing in the sunset and staying forever in love... until the contract runs up.

Accommodations Provided By... Hilton Hotel Barbados.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Move over Obama

As Elizabeth Edwards said, lots of us wanted to know more about Mike Gravel and his positions while determining the Democratic candidate. (At the very least, I wanted CNN's senior political analyst to pronounce his name correctly.) After this video, I definitely want to know as much about this man as possible... especially since he can dance better than Obama and David Gregory combined.


Friday, May 9, 2008

More animals

Ummm.... What the hell is this video and why had I not seen it before? The Times has an article about the guy who shot it while on a safari and how the video's YouTube popularity drew in big time buyers.


More summer movies, because why stop now?

While I had American Girl dolls growing up (boy howdy, did I), I was too old to enjoy Kit Kittredge—the spunky depression era girl from Cincinnati. Obviously, having grown up in a ‘burb of Cincinnati, my inner-child feels wounded and offended that this doll was not introduced earlier.

At any rate, I am—unabashedly—excited for the first American Girl motion picture with Abigail Breslin starring as Kit. The trailer invokes memories of Corrina, Corrina and Matilda (which I may or may not have watched on ABC Family Sunday evening). I’m relatively certain that a cast that includes Breslin, Chris O’Donnell, Jane Krakowski, Jane Cusack, and Stanley Tucci cannot go wrong. Especially not Stanley Tucci.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

I thought I knew awesome...

but I had no idea. The Dark Knight trailer again... but this time... in LEGOS.


As long as we're talking about God's creatures...

What the hell was that fish on Top Chef last night? Good gravy. I would not come within six feet of that thing, dead or alive. I promise not to eat it as long as it will not eat me. Deal.


Just Because

Can we just talk for a second about how weird platypuses (platypi?) are? They are SO weird.

A team of scientists is doing some serious research into the genetic make-up of the duck-billed platypus, figuring out just what makes this creature a freaky mammalian-reptilian specimen.

That's all well and good, but I personally like Disney's take on the creature: Perry the Platypus, international figure of espionage who makes the best sound an animal can make. Compare with the orange player below--it's scarily accurate.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Lessons on Weeknight Excursions and Swedish Death Metal

I’ve always heard that it’s better to go out on weeknights. John and I have kind of made it our thing to go out on Tuesdays. (There’s nothing good on TV.) Usually we get a bite to eat, maybe some coffee or ice cream. Pretty tame stuff. But last night, all my theories on how one should “go out” on a Tuesday changed. My new Tuesday night standard? Chilling with Swedish melodic death metal bands in Swedish dive bars.

After dinner at Calo, we stopped by Simon’s for a drink. It was about 10:30, and the crowd was pretty subdued—except for the huge group of tatted-up long-haired dudes in leather who were yelling “HARD ROCK!” and then taking shots.

Let’s just say that after a short while, I befriended Peter, the bassist of Swedish death metal band In Flames, and he put two bucks in the juke box machine for me to choose whatever music I wanted. We spent a good while exploring the selection and chatting before ultimately choosing 4 songs:

1. I Just Want to Make Love to You – Muddy Waters
2. You Got It – Etta James
Big Chief – Professor Longhair
4. Homeward Bound – Simon & Garfunkel

I chose the first two off a Chicago Soul compilation album, and they were pretty solid selections despite the fact that Peter was disappointed they weren’t by Chicago the band.

Both Peter and I loved the album art on Professor Longhair’s album and figured he must be a good musician with a name like Professor Longhair.

And finally, Peter chose Homeward Bound after I told him my mom raised me on Simon & Garfunkel and he said we should really play a song for my mom. He was so right.

Here’s to you, Mom, with love from me and Peter.


Monday, May 5, 2008

Live Blogging: The Bachelor London Calling: Women Tell All!

With only two women left, it's reunion time. Tonight is the night that girls cut loose, Chris Harrison proves to us how quick he is on his interviewing feet, and we fret at home over WHO MATT WILL CHOOSE.

Enter Chris "Obliterater of Love" Harrison. The crowd (and the two men in the audience) goes wild!

"Next week, we find out who he chooses to be his wife!"

WOOO!, the crowd cries nervously. Please, Chris! Assure us again that Matt really, truly, absolutely finds a wife and TRUE LOVE in America!

Recap on America's Favorite Generous Donner of Undies, Stacey:
Stacey is still orange. She says she's embarrassed, that that's not her in that first episode. That's not her passed out on the cot all drunk that night. That's not her, no sir. She gave him the panties to "stand out." "Have you tried that before and has it worked?" asks Chris. "Um, no," says Stacey.

Erin H. tell us that it was her time to put Stacey in place. Nothing like self-righteousness to set people straight!

Marshana says it didn't feel right that Stacey said: "I'm gonna kill all you bitches and your family." Marshana occasionally has very sound reasoning.

"Wise Drunk" Kelly says she likes her underwear too much to hand it out. Zing!

Chris points out that even the "seemingly normal" girls turn out to be crack jobs. Segue to...

Robin, in her uber-short Forever 21 dress, takes the hot seat after a montage of how nutso she is. She admits that she goes into super-overcompetitive mode with the girls. Chris "Freud" Harrison points out that she was maybe defensive and most likely lonely. Robin admits that she was never hated before this show.

Marshana tells Robin she was abrasive and downright mean. Again, some sound reasoning.

Amanda says the girls weren't jealous, but that they didn't think Robin had the right intentions.

Robin says she was there for the right reasons--to be loved--but not by the girls.

Kelly reassures Robin that she's not her type.

COMMERCIAL: Snoop Dogg performs on One Life to Live on Thursday and Friday! Wishing I didn't have a 9 to 5 job to keep me from this moment in daytime television history.

Chris "Captain Obvious" Harrison points out that drama surrounds Marshana.

Montage of Marshana yelling and screaming and crying. More wisdom in this clip from Kelly: Go home, Marshana. You are ridiculous.

"You got fired up!" says Chris.
Marshana says that Robin was condescending. Her issue with Chelsea was that Chelsea had made strong opinions on her character without getting to know the REAL Marshana. She adds that Robin was pushing her buttons. Robin says she doesn't know where Marshana's buttons are. Marshana "dismisses" Robin. The crowd gasps.

Amanda says that living with Marshana, Noelle and Robin, she got to know Marshana pretty well and that when Marshana does stuff like "dismissing" people, it's hard to get to know the real person. Kelly says it was intense living with Marshana while Chris quips whether or not Kelly would date Marshana if she were a dude. Zing again!

"Matt is one of our best bachelors ever!" says Chris. "Remember! He doesn't ditch two girls at the last rose ceremony!" But he did leave one girl standing in the last episode. Segue to...

Meeps Montage. All fun and games until their last date when we see Amanda in-set looking like she's holding in tears and meeps as she watches the footage roll. She does manage a laugh as she calls Matt a douchebag, and the crowd cheers.

Amanda says that she hoped that in watching the show she would learn what went wrong, but she didn't. She also says she never felt more confident than the last rose ceremony when she was sent home. She doesn't understand why Matt never addressed any concerns with her.
"If I did have all the qualities of his ideal girl," she says, "then I would have kept me." The crowd goes wild. More sadly, she adds that she thought that him not giving a rose was a prank like her hometown date. Poor Meeps.

But Chris "Emotional Manipulator" Harrison won't leave us on such a sad note!

"I've had a case of chronic hiccups for the past two years," says Amanda. "My mom says there's going to be a meeps montage!" Aaaand, she was right. Although, honestly, ABC really held out. This Meeps Montage was tamer and shorter than what I expected. I'll admit--I'm disappointed.

Looking hotter than ever!! Holy cow. Matt says he was really sad watching all the.... oh my god! look how hot he is!!! Oh, um... Listening to Amanda was really difficult. Matt says that he didn't feel "love" with Amanda. "With Chelsea... (long pause)... and Shayne it was the love word being used." (WHAT DOES THAT PAUSE MEEEEEEANNN???!!! LOOK HOW HOT HE IS!!!!!!!)

Marshana says she felt good leaving knowing that Matt would be with people like Noelle and Amanda.

Chris points out how Robin was really set on getting Matt. Matt laughs, "She was, wasn't she!!" He adds that his favorite moment was when Robin swooped in on him and Shayne all Jaws-like during their skiing date. Ahhh, memories!

And just so we can come full circle, Stacey gets the last laugh with a big pair of cotton undies. I still want to know where this girl goes to grad school in my city. Somebody please fill me in.

One-minute blooper reel makes me wish this whole hour were bloopers. Really. This is the stuff that magic is made of.

Chris asks for some insight on Matt's lady love. Matt says that he is with someone who makes him believe in fate. But the real question is which girl would make him shave his head? Shayne or Chelsea? In my opinion, this hotty-mchotterson buzz cut looks like a Shayne 'do.

Commercial: THE BACHELORETTE WITH DEANNA. Hooray! We could never be happier that Brad turned her away. We get this awesome show instead--get excited!!!

Finally, one last push from Chris "I promise never to destroy love again" Harrison that next week is "the most romantic proposal in Bachelor history." Just in case you forgot...


More Gorgeous Photography

Tulip fields in the Netherlands.

Photo: Peter Dejong/Associated Press


Almost Summer!

It's warm outside today, which really gets me in the mood for one thing: summer blockbusters.

I reminisced with A yesterday about the time we got a group dressed up like pirates (complete with our face paint and flasks of rum) into the Evanston theatres on a Sunday night to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 3. We agreed that while we still aren't sure we know what happened, it was a great time.

All that talk of nonsensical adventure movies got me watching some new trailers for this summer's new movies. While Indiana Jones 4 will be out later this month, we'll have to wait until July for Dark Knight. (I'm especially excited to see Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/soon-to-be Two Face. Favorite. Batman. Villain. EVER.)


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Music for a Found Harmonium

Sometimes when it's a slow gray day, you need something like this. (And to listen to it on iTunes, like, four hundred times.)