Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The World's Most Unwanted Song is the bestest and funniest ever

You may have seen or heard this by now, but listening to one of the latest episodes of TAL opened my ears to this amazing piece of music.

Based off a poll of over 500 individuals that asked them what their most and least favorite aspects of music are, the staticians passed off the results to musicians who wrote the Most Wanted Song and the Most Unwanted Song. I've linked below to the streaming audio of the Most Unwanted song, which you really must listen to. People apparently hate children's voices, opera, communism, cowboy ballads, holiday tunes and George Stephanopolous. (The last one is understandable.) I've also included the lyrics below (click to expand), which are pretty hilarious. Just as an excerpt, my favorite lines:

"Easter Time! Easter Time!
Love, forgiveness, and the bunnies!
Easter Time! Chocolate Time!
Do all your shopping at Wal-Mart!"

According to the staticians' findings, fewer than 200 people in the world's total population will enjoy this song. Are you among them?

Listen here.

Yo I'm ropin' up my saddle
For the long, long ride
Every time I see the desert
There's something inside says
Yo! Yo! This is the life
Give me open land and a
Big ol' knife to get some
Bear, deer--even a snake
I light me a fire
Do the shake and bake
I say Yo! Yo!
I'm a cowboy now
The sun is hot and dry
Gonna rope me a cow
I say Yo! Yo!
I'm loose and free
Whoa there Nelly
You're the horse for me!

Rope 'em up boys
The desert is a callin'
Yahoo, yahoo, yahoo
Saddle up fellas
The desert is a callin'
Yahoo, yahoo, yahoo

Christmas time! Christmas time!
Jesus, Mary, and the manger
Christmas time, Family time,
Do all your shopping, at Wal-Mart!

Easter Time! Easter Time!
Love, forgiveness, and the bunnies!
Easter Time! Chocolate Time!
Do all your shopping at Wal-Mart!

Out on the plains
Just me and my mind
Took me a break
To read some Wittgenstein
Born in Vienna in '89
He obsessed with theories
Of language and time
Like the "Tractatus"
Where Ludwig would claim
"The logic of our language
Is misunderstood"
Philosophy is based
On a false pretense
So philosophy itself
Is nonsense, nonse!
Philosophy itself is non-sense!

Bedeutung ist tun
Es ist ein Sprachspiel
Nonsense! Nonsense!
Wörter sind Inhalt
Yahoo! Yahoo!

Yom Kippur! Yom Kippur!
Self reflection and atonement
Yom Kippur, that's what for
Do all your shopping at Wal-Mart!

Oh say can you--
Feel the embers glowing
And the turkey in the oven!
Hear the children singing
There's a turkey in the oven!
Rockets red glare!
Candles are so pretty
And a turkey in the oven!
Do all your shopping at Wal-Mart!
Buy spurs that jingle at Wal-Mart!

Ramadan! Ramadan!
Lots of praying with no breakfast!
Ramadan, so much fun!
Do all your shopping at Wal-Mart!

It's home, home
On the big ol' range
Yipee tai oh
Get along there stranger
Rope 'em, ride 'em
Shoot 'em up good
We're big and bad
In the cowboy 'hood
I say Yo! Yo!
Got a river to ford
With a life like this
I never be bored
I say Yo! Yo!
I'm wild and free
Whoa Miss Kitty
You're the gal for me!

Whoa Miss Kitty
I say whoa there
Whoa Miss Kitty
Yahoo! Yahoo!

Labor Day! Labor Day!
Schools are closed and
Pools are open!
Labor Day! All the way!
Do all your shopping at Wal-Mart!

Oh say can you--
Grandma's on the phone
Go and tell her that you love her!
Daddy's on the phone
Go and tell him that you love him!
The Golden Land!
Sister's on the phone
Go and tell her that you love her!
Do all your shopping at Wal-Mart!

Veteran's Day! Veteran's Day!
Big parade with guns and soldiers
Veteran's Day! What's there to say?
Do all your shopping at Wal-Mart!

Halloween! Halloween!
Candy corn for lunch and dinner!
Halloween, what a scream!
Do all your shopping at Wal-Mart!

Look out there
It's an Injun band!
Coming this way
Gonna fight for my land
And build a home town
Grocery store
American cheese
Worth fighting for
Call it "dry gulch"
O.K. Corral
Holiday Spot
For you and your gal
To get some cool shit
And desert rays
Cowboy living' the American Way
It's a cowboy living
Go! Go!
It's cowboy living
Go! Go!
It's cowboy living
All the way!

Rope 'em up boys!
The desert is a callin'!
Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo!

Saddle up fellas!
The desert is a callin'!
Yahoo! Yahoo! Yahoo!

People! Coming together out of a
desire to obtain political power!
Vice Presidential Candidate! Twenty-
seven electoral votes! Central policy
issues! Two party system! Struggle!
Gain control of the government! Executive
branch! Military branch! Foreign affairs!
Influence policy! Promote ideology--
fascism! Promote individual interests--
George Stephanopoulous! Imelda
Marcos! Promote special interests--
Sugar! Beef! Bananas! Lumber! Pork bellies!
Pork barrels! Coca-Cola!
The information superhighway! Three
thousand years of oppression!

Who enslaved humans of color? Who
invaded the Carribbean? Who
murdered all the innocent children?!
You did! You! You! You!

It may be you
It could be me
It's not enough
To wait and see
And when we all
Lock arms and sing
Then bells of freedom
Ring ring ring ring


Live-Blogging The Bachelor: Jason, episode 3

So I've been busy lately. I'm busy at work and beyond, and this past week I wound up in Las Vegas (much like Jason and Blondie McOrangeSkin) at a convention with lots of burly men and roofing materials. I did watch this past episode, but I couldn't bring myself to blog about it. Between Stephanie's daughter getting hoisted around for hours on end by her wrists and Blondie McOrangeSkin's snit-fit in Las Vegas (see: Trixie), boobs all over the place and Nikki starring in the remake of Two Weeks Notice, girls yelling at one another as Chris Harrison holds the count and Shannon vomiting all over the mansion, the whole 2 hours were such a train wreck that I didn't really know how to handle it. Not at all.

So let's just move onto this week's episode, sponsored by McDonald's, where happier times await.

Chris "I always dress for nighttime, even when I show up at your house in the morning" Harrison shows up, dressed for nighttime at the girls' house.

"Surprise! says Chris. "You have to write and perform an original song dedicated to their man with abs of steel."

Naturally, Nikki furrows her brow and tries to remember how exactly one modulates from a E-minor to an E-major and subsequently breaks down as she chants I HATE SINGING, I HATE SINGING!; Molly considers throwing her tongue back down his throat as a distraction; Stephanie begins to take this task (like so many others) way too seriously; Shannon pulls out her reporter's notebook for inspiration as she looks over what she's gleaned so far from her ten days in the house, every single episode of The Bachelorette and the background check she ran on Jason and his extended family before she arrived in beautiful Los Angeles to meet him in person!; Lauren snaps her gum and says, I've got this.

I just have to add at this point that with Naomi/Eva Mendes, Nikki/Sandra Bullock in Two Weeks Notice, and Molly/Cameron Diaz in this show, I really feel like this is that He's Just Not that Into You Movie and it somehow just accidentally wound up on ABC. Note: He's Not That Into You also a commercial sponsor of this episode, coming to theatres February 6.

When it's time to perform, Molly jumps up, slams her tongue down Jason's throat and mentions fast food in order to gain favors with McDonald's, meanwhile Shannon awkwardly nudges Jason about how she included a shoutout to Ty's godparents in her rap. After some girls dance and sing on the bar, Lauren takes the mic and announces: "My song is SO different from all of yours. I actually wrote a FULL OUT SONG." Who is this girl??

"Lying here all alone
Wondering if I should go home
But when I see your face
It falls in place
And I know...."

Nikki passes out briefly before singing her song.

When it comes time to choose a winner, Jason announces: "Well, Nikki, I liked your effort, and Lauren your song was probably the best but you're kind of a biotch, so at the urging of McDonald's marketing team, I've chosen Molly for her inclusion of the words "fast food" in her song."

Lauren is naturally quite unhappy with this outcome. "Um, I'm not sure if Jason read the rules of this contest before he chose Molly, because Rule #3a clearly stated that Lauren's song is the best and therefore she wins, so I'm not sure where the confusion came from but I'm sure that some ABC producer will smooth out this problem for me, right guys?"

1-on-1 Date with Molly: Let's Stay Home and Just Bone in the Tent--I Mean, Let's Just Hang Out and Stuff

In the nature of the stay-in, relaxed date, Jason drives himself over to the girls' place. The girls drink wine and eat McDonald's as they agonize over what exactly will happen at the bachelor pad this evening.

Oh, wait. Surprise! The lucky couple will be eating McDonald's too, so clearly the ladies shouldn't have too much to worry about. Making out after McDonald's onions is never a good bet. Another detriment due to fast food is the sweaty cheeks that Molly gets from eating burgers.

Fortunately, Molly hoses down and Jason offers her some fresh man-clothes to clean her up. They hang out outside and Molly gives some speech about what she wants her husband to be, and I totally tune out. So does Jason. I can tell because he's just staring at his mouth in this carnal, I'm-not-listening way that creeps me out. Jason offers her the rose and thus begins the camp-out time. We're offered all sorts of sounds caught on the mic that I would rather not hear. Seriously, ABC, you're upping the ante in all sorts of scandy ways. Meanwhile, sadly, back at the house, Shannon frets and stays up waiting for Molly's return.


Early the next morning, Molly and Jason drive back to the house. Molly happily announces that she's the first bachelorette in history to have a walk of shame. The other ladies seethe.

Group Date "Wanna Play Doctor?" and Wrap Party with the Sadz with Jillian, Lauren, Shannon, Megan, Melissa and Naomi

Later that afternoon, Jason returns to pick up six ladies for the date. As they pull up to a strange looking set, Naomi --the only American left who still watches General Hospital--happily informs the girls that this is the set of her favorite daytime soap playing on ABC every day at 3 pm! Hooray! What?

The ladies and Jason wander through the sets and, oh my gosh!, they happen upon a scene that is being FILMED. Jason informs us that this scene stars Bradford Anderson and Kirsten Storms. Again, what?

And um, surprise, ladies! You'll be starring in your own scene on General Hospital! See, this isn't so bad, right? Molly may still be in her happy morning-after haze this afternoon laying about the mansion, but you lucky ladies get to get caked in stage makeup and wear wigs and get ethnically stereotyped (maid, anyone?) and perform scenes with your hunky bachelor! Exciiiiiittttting. Uh, third time, what?

Shannon, holding knife in interview shot and waving it in front of face: "I have a crush on Jason, and I won't stop at anything to get him." Okay, seriously. The crazy pills, lay off of them.

Kirsten Storms: Okay, we need someone to do a kissing example!
Shannon: ME! I WILL! GET OUT OF MY WAY! I'M HOLDING A KNIFE! (goes in for kill)
Kirsten: Wait! No tongue!
Shannon, after kissing Jason: Weeeee!!!!!!!!! NOW we're CONNECTED FOREVERRRRR!


The whole crew stars "filming" their "scenes." Little Miss I Sing So Perfectly Lauren managed to let Naomi kiss Jason over and over in the three hundred takes it took her to get her lines right. The other girls writhed in pain off-set, and I begin to suspect that Lauren is a finely-placed ABC mole.

Next up was Jillian in a hilarious wig that I would love to wear someday. Their proposal scene ended in another hot kiss. Shannon shoots daggers at Jillian. Probably because she loves that wig as much as I do.

Megan chews off Jason's face in her scene. The other ladies get very angry. The director yells cut several times. I am relatively certain Jason lost part of his cheek. I'd like to take this opportunity to say that it's shocking this girl is 25.

Because starring in dramas during the day is not enough, the ladies go to a "wrap party," where emotions run high and the ladies get very upset.

First up, Naomi, who Jason takes aside to find out how she's doing. Naomi, with tears in her eyes, tells Jason that she is scared. Jason tells Naomi he wants her here with him, but I'm not so sure I believe him.

Meanwhile, Melissa also worries. Megan tells the girls to "man up." I'm enjoying this girl's edge. Megan clearly wanted to get kissed but Jason denies her. I mean, it's pretty obvious what this girl wants, and he straight up ignores her.

Lauren grabs Jason by his man-parts, tells him to ditch the other girls, and draws curtains about them to keep the other ladies out. Not one to pussy-foot around, Lauren jumps right in: Why did you keep Megan?! You LIKE her?
Jason: Yeah, I do.
Lauren: No! Yes! No! Whatever you think! Anyway, you need to give me the rose tonight.
Jason: So, you're entitled?
Lauren: Well, yes. I am. I deserve that rose. I am trying to keep you from some bad girls out there and I wrote this one song that was so great for you. Incidentally, has the producer spoken to you about how I was supposed to have won that competition? Because I was. Because my song was awesome. So yeah, you can make it up to me by giving me that rose tonight.

Jason leaves Lauren talking to herself and goes to pick up Melissa and make sure she doesn't cry in front of the other girls.
Melissa: I've fallen for you.
Jason: I like that. Now shut up and kiss me.
(kissing, kissing, kissing)
Shannon, from stage right: Heeeey guyyyyyyysssss.... So Jason, um... I'd like to talk to you at some poiiiiint, okaaaaay???

Shannon starts off normally enough, expressing how she has felt like she shut off herself from him. But then, unfortunately, she devolves into the crazy talk again. It's really just too much for me. I hide under my laptop. I tuned back in at the point where she said she was picking her nose. Big mistake, because at this point, Shannon went in for the kiss, Jason rejected her kiss and told her she had napkin on her face. This is really too painful. Really. Jason, man, did you REALLY have to add insult to the wound with the napkin comment? This girl is fragile, dude.

Thankfully, the punishment is over when Jason finally gives the rose to Naomi, with a "Thanks for being you," which is sweet if not just a bit weak. Lauren says that she's surprised that somehow there was another mistake in the paperwork. Megan curses again, gosh bless her.

2-on-1 Date with Stephanie and Nikki: Let's Dance the Night Away, right into that limo that's waiting for one of you!

Jason leaves dresses for both the girls. Actually, let's really be honest here. Jason definitely did not leave dresses for the girls. Ten bucks says Jason didn't even know those dresses weren't the girls' own. At any rate, it seems that one of the dresses was not to either of the girls' likings, however, as the greyish dress disappeared and was replaced by a black and charcoal stunner worn by Nikki. While the production assistant runs off to get this new black number, Nikki agonizes over one lock of her hair before she grabs a razor and just shaves it off since she cannot DEAL with unruly hair! Each girl sizes up the other: Nikki thinks that "this is totally up Stephanie's alley," which I don't understand. Stephanie meanwhile thinks that Nikki is just Jason's style, and that concerns her!

The threesome gets started with a ride in the Bentley. Jason worries that Nikki doesn't get outside the box and that there's no romantic connection with Stephanie. For a fun evening that will definitely calm everyone's nerves and make the whole situation sooo much more natural, ABC has hired a ballroom dance instructor. (NOT anyone from Dancing With the Stars, it's worth mentioning. When Carrie Ann Inaba is willing to dish out the dollars, she'll get her shoutout!) Nikki frets about how bad she'll be at dancing, and she is indeed pretty bad but not for lack of trying. Stephanie worries from the wings with her high-browed tight look of concern that borders somewhere between caring mother and evil step-sister. Stephanie is a dancer, so she's fine. Nikki glowers and begins to tear up.

Jason gives us the rundown on these two ladies. Stephanie, on one hand, has a kid, which is a winning trait because what better connection to bring two lovers together, right? And she also has the body of an eighteen-year-old cheerleader, so that's good too. Nikki definitely has a connection with Jason, but her earrings are the size of small birds, so that's kind of distracting. As each lady makes her argument for why she's ready for Jason, the sound of bubbling water from some distant fountain behind Stephanie greatly distracts me and I file yet another complaint with the new audio guy.

Nikki and Jason get some one-on-one time where she finally opens up about her 11-year relationship. Jason seems taken with the NEW Sandra Bullock. This is the Sandra Bullock who starred in Miss Congeniality and really came into her own as a true active comic actress.

Stephanie and Jason spend some one-on-one time where Stephanie speaks in lofty terms yet again, talking circles around Jason. My stomach turns over with the awkwardness.

When it's rose time, Jason gives his obligatory speech: "Stephanie, everyone who crosses your path is lucky to meet you. Nikki, you're as sweet as can be and everyone adores you. But I only have one rose tonight, and it's for Stephanie." Stephanie looks genuinely pained to see Nikki sent home. Nikki and Jason share a tough goodbye, and Nikki says that she's in so much shock she doesn't know how to react. Naturally, she blames her loss on lacking something when in fact her worrying about lacking was what made the missed connection in the first place. Meanwhile, Stephanie and Jason attempt to salvage what remains of their date with a super-awks waltz. With the music raging and the two of them twirling while Nikki holds back tears in her limo, I feel like I'm watching a Russian novel instead of a light-hearted primetime reality show.

Cocktail Party
The ladies, still in their somber mood, talk about how hard this process is. Molly's side ponytail is about as sloppy and dramatic as this episode.

Jillian, who doesn't yet have a rose, gets some alone time finally with Jason and makes an effort not to slip through the cracks. The hens back in the house peck over Jillian and Jason. Megan thinks they're not made for one another, but Stephanie and her blush think that they have some kind of connection.

Melissa and Jason bond too, mainly with Jason dumping her over the couch and gnawing on her lips.

Megan gets some alone time too, which is relieving to her since she feels she does not get any time to connect with him, which I think is true. They reminisce about the time they lost some inner cheek to one another on the set of General Hospital, and then Jason shares with her his newly-acquired waltz skills. This is weird to me--kind of like sharing leftover food from his and Molly's camp out date with the other girls.

Jason knocks out two crazy birds with one stone by sitting between Shannon and Lauren. While Shannon is totally good-natured, Lauren promises Jason a slap across the face. Then the two exchange some weird words and she screams and giggles and then they end up kissing this weird kiss and Lauren off-stage says "We're gonna get married!" I'm so lost.

Rose Ceremony
Chris reminds us all that it's been an emotional week, just in case they (and we) forgot, and two ladies will be going home tonight. Safe for now with their date roses are Molly, Naomi and Stephanie.

Jason recites his weekly pledge of love to the ladies, and then begins naming names:

Melissa (named first just so she'll calm down in the future)

And the final rose... a dramatic pause... and... "I'm sorry. I can't do this. I can't give out this final rose. Megan, you are amazing. You give and your view on the world is unbelievable. And Lauren, you're more honest and real than anyone I've ever met. And Shannon, you're just a beautiful person. But I can't lead anybody on, and I just don't see forever, so I can't give out the final rose tonight." (Cue cutaway shot of Molly smiling and nodding.)

Lauren says she respects Jason's decision as she says goodbye, but then complains to us that Jason still didn't play by the rules. There was ANOTHER ROSE left. Doesn't he understand?

Shannon reminds us that she watched every single episode of The Bachelorette at least six times and was Jason's number one fan, but that she didn't get with him. It's okay though because she's gonna go home and French kiss her puppies. What?

Megan says she was really surprised (me too!!) and that she's very hurt. She even says that it's pathetic how much she doesn't want to go home. I'm going to miss this girl's biting honesty.

"Here's to the five most wonderful girls I've ever met," says Jason. "Here's to another wonderful week!"

Oh, hooray! No soap operas next week, thankfully! Instead, Jason takes the ladies to Seattle, Naomi and Jason take to the sky in the third airborne date this season, Mel may or may not have a date, and the ladies get taken through yet another most-dramatic-rose-ceremony-ever. My DVR and I cannot wait!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Free to good home

Sometimes Craigslist's ads for free things reveal more than the poster maybe intended.


I don't know if you heard...

...but it's cold here in Chicago. Like, really, really cold. Like, it's all that we're all thinking about cause it's so cold.

How cold, you ask? Well, let's say that for the last twelve hours, it's been below zero without the windchill. The high today is -1 and as of 12:30 PM, it's -5 but feels like -23. Fun!

On the walk to work today (I haven't attempted to move my car from the ice-snow igloo that has formed around it in the last week after we got 15 inches of snow or whatever it is), my eyes kept sticking shut because of the tears forming from the wind and blinking. I may have lost a few eyelashes, but that's only a small casualty.

I know I can't whine too much because there are people who live in places like International Falls and Bismarck. (By the way, why do you people do that? How can you stand it?) They've got it a lot tougher than--

Screw it. I'm going to complain all I want.

(Amazing photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune, whose current homepage has a ticking clock of how long it's been below zero and a screaming headline: Why DO you live here, anyway?)


Monday, January 12, 2009

The Bachelor: Jason, episode 2

Let's be honest about Jason. He's kinda like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (That's right, NOT a hot dog with mustard topping!) Just sort of there, a bit plain, maybe he got a little smushed in the plastic baggie on the ride to school. You know what I mean.

But ABC has made a real effort to pull on our heartstrings (remember evil, evil DeAnna?!) and pull at our lady-indulgences (gratuitous bicep curls and six-pack shots) just to remind us how worthy Jason and The Bachelor are of our viewing time and advertising dollars! Hooray, America! Here we go!

More Ty shots. Remember how important it was that Ty spend this experience with his dad? Forget all of that. Ty needs to go home so that Dad has the place to hims--I mean, Ty needs to go home and spend some quality time with his mom! Right, kids?

The girls move in. Lots of screaming. (Please, ladies, see point #3a.)
Chris Harrison: So ladies, what do you think of the house??
Ladies: (indistinct nasal-y yet positive waaaaaah sounds)
Chris Harrison: Think it's gonna work out for ya?
Ladies: (Weeee!!!!)

(Here there was a terrible, terrible audio cut again. SERIOUSLY, ABC. WHAT IS THE DEAL?! You NEED to work out these audio issues. If you can fix them in the rest of the episodes, do it. Start now.)

Bad news bears! The ladies won't necessarily get to go on a date every week with Jason!

But it's okay, cause here comes Jason in a tight athletic outfit!


"Um, some of us weren't wearing makeup!" says Kari from Kansas with the cotton candy hairstyle on the top of her head. "We were all REALLY shocked."

Jason does the gentlemanly thing (most likely at some production assistant's prompting) and tells Megan that he actually wants her around, even if the only reason she got a rose is cause the kitties hate her so much.

Insert: Another scene completely centered around Jason's naked torso.

Jillian continues to ride out the hot dog wave as long as she can.

Crazy, crazy Shannon in her sequiny swimsuit corners Jason, reminds him how much she already knows about him, and says she is ABSOLUTELY ready for marriage and kids. How could she be so sure? Because all her girl friends are totally preggers! BFFs get preggers together, ladies. Even if that means you have to go on The Bachelor to find your husband and get started.

Shannon throws ice cubes. Natalie who said she’s from Chicago is now from “the smallest town ever.” WHAT’S THE TRUTH, LADY? The awkwardness was palapable when Stephanie attempted to break in between “little Midwestern girl” from “the smallest town ever” and yet also “from Chicago” Natalie.

The special rose for a romantic date goes to hot dog Jillian. Yawn. Shticks should never get you this far.

Poor little Midwestern Natalie got very upset, but Brazilian Raquel is there to comfort her, which is just so very sweet.

Lauren waxes a la Pam Beasley about how she is SO glad she didn’t get chosen because she would NOT have been ready! She would have had to wear her hair in a PONYTAIL, for gosh sakes!

Date with Jillian
Jillian was, like, so above being at Disney Hall (thanks, Disney/ABC!) because she already, like, knows about architecture, thank you very much.

And so begins our ‘thank youuuuu!’s as the bachelorettes gush over the dates that Jason, or the ABC production assistants or whatever, set up.

But that’s not all, Jillian! A private performance inside the hall! The conductor taps his baton, the strings raise their bows, and CUT TO DISCO MUSIC! This singer who I’ve never heard of before brings the funk and the couple dances the night away before kissing!!

Naturally, Jillian kisses and tells. Melissa pouts about what this special Disney disco night and kiss means for the prospects of her own date with Jason.

Date with Melissa
Melissa joins Jason at a seagull poo-strewn beach.

After taking in the wafts of dung and seaweed, the couple takes oyster shots together.

Then some blimp shows up and tells them to kiss, so they do.

Thankfully, the blimp landed and we have another one of those classic Bachelor dates where the couple cannot hear one another so they have to wear the big clunky headsets. In a stroke of comedic genius, Jason has to give the rose to Melissa while they wear the headset and then they chew each other’s faces off.

It’s at this point that I realize that in addition to our Eva Mendes (Naomi) and Sandra Bullock (Nikki), we also have a really tan Mandy Moore (Melissa)!

Natalie, Erica, Naomi, Nikki, Lauren, Kari, Sharon and Molly Glam Date
The ladies get to go on a shopping spree. Thanks, Jaso—ABC!!!

They go to a hotel that is “so L.A.,” which must mean there’s a lot of traffic and smog in the lobby.

Thankfully, the whole gang puts together a show for the town! More abs shots! Synchronized swimming! Molly’s tongue tricks with kissing!

The “Chicago” girls Natalie and Nikki get out the Windy City claws and take out their frustration on Molly on one another. OMG THEY’RE KISSING! OMG CAN YOU DROP IT! BUT THEY’RE KISSING! DROP IT! KISSING! DROP! (This is generally how most disputes are handled in Chicago, in case anyone from outside the city was wondering. OMG YOU TRIED TO MAKE PEOPLE PAY FOR A SENATE SEAT! OMG CAN YOU DROP IT! BUT THAT’S ILLEGAL! DROP IT! ILLEGAL!)

Also, we discover that 29-year-old Nikki has only kissed one guy since she was 17—her ex-boyfriend of 11 years. You do the math.

Molly gets the big date rose. Again, shticks win.

Raquel sneaks away and jumps in the car to let Jason know just how much she cares. Umm… shticks?

Cocktail Party
Jason enters. (“waahhhyaaaaaahhhhh!!!”)

Erica and Jason one-on-one time: You’re noticed, Erica. Yes, you’re definitely noticed.

Lauren and Jason one-on-one time: Jason tells Lauren that he can sense she’s not comfortable.

Sandra Bullock and Mandy Moore get to know one another, bonding on the couch about what it REALLY means to move to Seattle. Sandra and Mandy toast over it.

Crazy Shannon demands Jason remember her name, then cites the dates and names of people who are important in Jason’s life, then says how CUTE Jason is over and over again! I hide under my couch in fear.

Stephanie shares with the other women her story about losing her husband. The women and the rest of America cry.

As another serious moment, Lisa decides to leave to spend time with her grandmother. Lauren and Shannon celebrate.

Side ponytail Megan gets cut out from one-on-one time by Molly. Megan commiserates with the other ladies about the pain Molly inflicted on her. Erica, who seemingly always has a drink in her hand and is slouching over with her breasts hanging out of her dress, double talks and stabs some people in the back, Megan bites the bait, some ladies cry, and thankfully, life goes on.

Rose Ceremony
Because Lisa left the show, Jason only has to choose two girls to send home, which in my opinion is really too bad. There are at least three girls who I can think of who remain who could really head home.


Megan (called first so she stops crying already)
Shannon (Oh lordy, seriously? The whole stalker thing isn’t a shtick. It’s SCARY.)
Erica (She seriously put his hand on her out-in-the-wide-open chest. That did happen.)

Sent home:
-Sharon, who gave up her job for this adventure.
-Raquel, who was wearing the most beautiful dress, was apparently punished for getting into the car. I am not sure how I feel about hot dog girl, I'm-a-good-kisser girl and stalker girl getting to stay but not Raquel...

Next week, Stephanie makes me cry some more, Erica and Megan fight some more, and Natalie from Chicago-kind-of goes to Las Vegas with Jason. Ironically enough, I TOO will be in Las Vegas next week, so I will be late in my update. I will be thinking of Natalie and Jason, however, when I hit the slot machines. Actually, I'm going for work and there will be no slot machines involved, but I'll think of them as I wander a convention floor strewn with building products.


Things The Bachelorettes Teach Us So We Don't Have to Learn Them Ourselves

There's a lot to be learned from The Bachelor. The gutsy 25 ladies who risk their social and professional futures teach many lessons to us viewers. As we lead into episode 2 this evening, these are just a few gems gleaned as the ladies stepped and stumbled their way through episode 1:

1. Say you're from Chicago if you're from places like, say, Blue Island or Morton, Illinois.
2. Make how much your hometown (cough cough! Stockton!) sucks your greeting talking point. ("I'm from Stockton! It's not a nice place! See you later!")
3a. Add to the white noise. For example, don't scream when Jason walks in the room. Similarly, don't talk about how great kids are or how much you REALLY REALLY REALLY want to have kids.
3b. Make sweeping generalizations about who's ready to be a mom if you're spilling your champagne and slurring your words.
4. Be a stalker, then say you're not a stalker--truly! you're not!, but really, you actually are a stalker.
5. Say creepy thing about the potential bachelor's son like how you know his favorite color, the name of his teddy bear, where he sleeps at night, etc. etc.
6. Giggle your way through every single word. ("Tee hee hee! My name is-tee!-Dominique!!! Tee hee hee hee!")
7. Make salsa your "thing" when there's a BRAZILIAN GIRL in the competition. Really.
8. Quit your job to go do The Bachelor.

1. Stand up straight.
2. Make your name memorable! (Kari from Kansas!)
3. Wear a dress you can walk in.
4. Pretend to know what crazy hot dog girl is talking about and just agree with everything she says. Yeah, I too always go for the mustard guy. I definitely want to settle down with the mustard guy.
5. Look vaguely like a celebrity like Sandra Bullock or Eva Mendez.
6. Lay off the fake tanner.

And finally, a note to ABC: Try to spend just a few extra post-production dollars on the quality of Chris Harrison's V/Os. For example, when he suddenly sounded like he was in a bubble while telling the girls about the trick rose. Just a few extra bucks will do just the trick to take Chris out of that bubble.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Thinkin' on Lincoln

I've been reading a lot about Lincoln lately. Most recently, I'm reading Andrew Ferguson's Land of Lincoln, which is fantastic. Settling into a chapter about Chicago's relationship with Lincoln, I decided to head over to Lincoln Square and park myself down at Potbelly's (where I can sit alone on a Friday night with a book without feeling like some loser). It seemed apt, given that the Square's statue of the man himself is only about a block away.

As I stood in line, one of the young guys working behind the counter struck up a conversation with me.

"Whatchyou reading there?" he asked me, motioning at the book I'd tucked under my arm. I held it up for him. "What's it say? Land... of..."

"Lincoln," I finished the title.

"So it's about Lincoln?" he asked.

"Well, kind of. It's about how the idea of Lincoln kind of lives with us today," I said, feeling extremely self-conscious and nerdy since a few of the other workers had now started staring at my book and I had really hoped just to go through this whole reading-alone-in-a-sandwich-shop-on-a-Friday-night thing unnoticed. "You know," I continued awkwardly, "cause everybody has an idea about Lincoln...at least what they learned in school or something."

"Not me," he said flatly.

I was floored. "You never think about Lincoln?" I asked him, my jaw probably hitting the counter because Lincoln is about all I've thought about for the last few months.

"No, not really," he said, shrugging.

Another girl working there interrupted him, giving me my total so I could pay quickly and seeming about as interested in our conversation about Lincoln as she was in having to work a Friday night shift.

I handed her my card and turned back to the guy. "So you seriously don't think about Lincoln? Not even like, just about him being president?"

"Nah," he said and then paused. "He was gay, right?"

Ah, yes. The Lincoln Was Gay, Right? theory was a pretty hot topic a few years ago with some historians--like C.A. Tripp who published The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln--to assert that Lincoln had some homoerotic goings-ons with friends like Joshua Speed, with whom he shared a bed for a few years while they both worked. Other historians and sensitive Lincolnphiles are quick to point out that sharing a bed was a common thing in those days and that Lincoln clearly didn't have any sort of "streaks of lavender" in him, as Carl Sandburg once wrote. Of course, this theory picked up enough speed for kicker packages on the nightly news and has ingrained itself as a staple of the modern perception of Lincoln's life.

I considered the delicacies of modern constructions of history, whether the nightly news does more harm than good sometimes, the context of the gay world in both contemporary and antiquated worlds, and how easily (and quickly) one moment in time can become contorted before we no longer know whether Washington ever chopped down a cherry tree or if Dubya approached Guantanamo with the same noble thoughts of the republic as Lincoln did when he suspended habeas corpus.

But I skipped all that. "Uh, I think he was probably not gay, but I guess we don't know."

I sat down with my sandwich and opened my book back up when the starkest irony of the situation struck me: The young guy had just told me he never thinks about Abraham Lincoln wasn't just a kid working in a neighborhood named after Lincoln: He was a black kid working in a neighborhood named after Lincoln.

It just so happened that the next section of my chapter on Lincoln and Chicago dealt with a Thai immigrant who lives one neighborhood west of Lincoln Square. He and his wife moved to the U.S. in 1973 and opened the third Thai restaurant in Chicago. After seeing Lincoln's image and name repeated endlessly, they investigated the president and discovered that he was a pretty important guy. In their opinion, he is THE most important guy. Their family began annual pilgrimages to visit Lincoln's tomb and have created a small shrine to a Lincoln statue in their restaurant where they offer the mini-Abe a full meal each day.

He's just that important to them--Lincoln made it possible for them to come to this country and to live among their friends and peers equally. In other words, Lincoln gave everybody a chance, whether you want to serve sandwiches or Pad Thai or read your book on a Friday night alone. So maybe it's not so much that we don't ever think about Lincoln (or whatever other great figures past have formed our lives today), it's simply that we sometimes take him for granted. It might just take a huge bronze statue in the Square named after him, a small figurine in a Thai restaurant, or even that nerdy girl who ordered the salami and turkey sandwich on Friday night to remind you of it.