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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sandy Hook Elementary: A Nation Grieves

Monday night, December 17, 2012

Three days after something this nation is finding impossible to come to grips with, I am in the leagues of millions trying (unsuccessfully) to understand an incomprehensible tragedy. To say my heart is heavy with sorrow is to understate what is really happening inside my soul.

December 14, 2012 is now engraved into history as the day 20 tiny and innocent children senselessly lost their lives to a monster’s gunfire; 20 precious babies only 6 and 7 years old and 6 adults inside Sandy Hook Elementary, as well as the shooter’s own Mother. Unfathomable, at best.

Grief encompasses a plethora of emotions, none of which have eluded me. Sadness, confusion, anger, fear, bitterness, hatred... even questioning God in a weak moment. While I have no personal ties to the Newtown community or to the deceased, it feels as if I do. Like so many others, I grieve for that community, for those families, for Heaven’s little angels. I just can’t wrap my mind around any of it. All weekend I avoided watching coverage and avoided engaging in conversation about it. I sensed my own personal meltdown looming, so I tried to remain stoic. I did all I could do to make it go away. Soon enough, it would become painfully obvious that those emotions weren’t the kind that would simply “go away.” I came home after work today, turned on the TV, and let myself watch. As pictures of the tiny victims scrolled across the screen, I wept. As I looked at images of horror-stricken parents, I sobbed. In a matter of minutes, the meltdown I had been desperately trying to avoid became overwhelmingly unavoidable. Debilitating sorrow consumed me. I felt the incessant need to just be with my babies and watch them do what children do. Basketball in the back yard, football in the front yard, somersaults in the living room, even something as simple as laughing. The honest moments that can so easily be taken for granted - those are the moments that humble me. In those moments, I see the grace of God. I see what is most important. I see what I live for.

As I sit in my living room, I watch my six-year-old rolling around on the living room floor while singing a made up song about his school day, completely oblivious to the fact that I am counting my blessings as I watch this cherished moment unfold. He is unaware of the joy his giggling is bringing me. He doesn’t know why I am staring at him and smiling, my eyes filled with tears. All I know to tell him is that I love him dearly. I look at the gifts underneath our Christmas tree and am indescribably thankful my children are here to open those gifts. I hug my children tightly, and I feel undeserving. My six-year-old tells me that when he grows up he has “lots of ideas” about what he wants to be. He sings Jingle Bells to me. He hugs me tightly and tells me he loves me to the moon and back. Those are the moments that 20 sets of parents have now been deprived of. The moments that bring delight to those who have young children in their lives.

On this day of sadness, three days after the unthinkable became reality, the tiny bodies of these children are beginning to be laid to rest. The rest of the country is watching, mourning, praying and thanking God for the safety of their own children. How do we cope? How do we heal? How do we move forward? By the grace of God. For me, the words “I love you Mama” have never been so profound, so meaningful, so special. My heart aches for those who will never hear those words again from the child who was so abruptly taken from them. Tonight I will say an extra prayer for the safety of my children, I will be even more thankful than usual for my own good fortune, I will pray that this never happens to the community I am a part of, I will hug my babies a little tighter, but most of all I will pray for those who have suffered loss through this heartbreaking devastation as their painful journey of life-after-loss begins.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Disgusting and DisgustingER

In the beginning, Chris and Ems reminisce about the season. The Kalon confrontation... STILL the best moment in Bachelorette - or Bachelor, for that matter - history! The awkward Doug kiss. A really weird moment putting Shelly to bed. A reminder of Travis’ humor. The revelation that Arie’s brothers are mini-pervs. A promise of Emily’s running man after the final rose. Can’t wait!
We finally get to it. The men take the stage. Loving Wolf’s pink pants! Everyone asked has a comical story about their arrival at the house the first night. And then there’s Kalon. “You try to prepare yourself mentally and physically....” OH-EMM-GEE. Boom, he begins his psychobabble straight out of the gate. And something I must say that I have surprisingly never said before... those are the WORST veneers I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Mr. Ed, much?
Chris and Ryan get into a conversation about maturity and intentions and what-not, and what’d’ya know...Kalon busts in on the conversation to sing Ryan’s praises. Whaa, whaa, whaaaat? This guys is desperate for someone, ANYONE to have something nice to say about, or to, him. Good luck with that, loser.
Kalon gets the hot seat first. We get to see it again. That moment. The added bonus is that we get to watch Kalon seethe over it. This dunghole expresses his disappointment about Emily being the Bachelorette because she has a child. I know this is stating the obvious, but this guy is ONLY about appearances. A fairy tale he has drawn in his mind. Kalon is delusional on so many levels. “Everybody in America likes things to be sugar-coated.” Hmmm. Really? Because I, personally, prefer straightforward. I also prefer people who aren’t pompous, delusional, evil and downright worthless. Literally the most despicable human being I’ve ever been exposed to.
Ryan is next. The most arrogant person I’ve ever been exposed to. Are there really women out there who fall for his bull? I assume as much. He has obviously devoted his life to spewing incessant “charming” lines. I pity any woman oblivious enough to fall for any of it. In watching scenes from previous episodes, I heard nothing come out of his mouth that wasn’t some sort of line. Gross. His wish was to be portrayed as exactly who he is. Wish granted. One word, Ryan. Winning. One more word. Arrogant. I must make note of something very important though...he finally tamed his poof, lost the bump it, figured out how to style his hair normally. For that, Ryan, I applaud you.
Chris gets his time on the couch. This guy is what he is. I think he is a bit stuck up, has anger issues, and is nursing a serious chip on his shoulder coupled with an age complex. That said, I do think he cared, and probably still cares, about Emily. In the beginning, he seemed like a front runner. Seemed like a catch. But his attitude started to shine through, especially in his goodbye talk with Emily. He was hurt, I get that. However his reaction was more hateful than anything. But again, he did care.
Sean takes the hot seat next. As much as I teased this guy about his creepy flesh-colored eyebrows and his strange kisses, he’s definitely a catch. Watching their time together play out on the jumbotron, his charm and their connection came crashing back. Sadly, so did his heartbreak. On that couch, Sean said all the right things. Something tells me this guy won’t have a hard time finding someone to love.
Emily comes out to share her thoughts. She fought emotion as she talked to/about Sean. In her next comment she finally acknowledges her regret, having not given Doug that group date rose in London... the comment that would be her segue into addressing Kalon. Before this moment, I honestly feared that she would go all Southern Lady on us and be forgiving of Kalon, and keep her composure. Fear no more. Forgiving? Friendly? NEVER. She is not afraid to whip out her hood rat claws again. He begins his nonsensical psychobabble yet again, and just as I, sitting in my living room, called him a politician... Emily utters the words, “and you, my dear, should be a politician because that is the biggest load of bull**** I’ve ever heard!” I literally clapped in my living room. Clapped hard. It just got better after that. And when the Twitter drama aired, of course I went straight to Kalon’s Twitter page, of whom I am NOT a follower. He’s already taken that particular “baggage claim” post down (coward!), but in reading his other tweets...good gosh this guy is disgusting! Or rather, disgustingER!
Emily talks to Ryan next. She knows what a sleeze he is, but she finds so much humor in his antics that she is a bit forgiving of his playa nature. I almost giggle at him, too. I get it. But he’s still digusting.
Bloopers bloopers bloopers. I love blooper reels. Some funny stuff in those clips. But darn those pesky little black boxes. So annoying.
Harrison leaves us with a cliffhanger statement about the finale. Previews reveal a dramatic conclusion to this exciting season. I’m counting the minutes. I will pause during my vacation long enough to watch. I cannot wait. I’d love to hear your thoughts and predictions in the Comments section below! Until Sunday, friends.
My favorite picture this season....

Monday, July 16, 2012

Walk Of Shame...Not So Much

First off, I must apologize for the undue delay in getting this recap up. I must say - it is very rewarding and flattering for people to show their anticipation of my blog! Thank you to those who have expressed their interest in seeing this recap. The past week has been an unusually busy one. Due to having a ton on my plate, procrastination has been my middle name on a number of things, including (unfortunately) this post. But alas, here goes.

We travel on to the beautiful island of Curacao. It is the week of the overnights. The week many wait for. The week of the bow chicka wow wow. Ahhh but not this season. It was more like bow chicka no no.
First up, Sean. Dressed in his salmon shorts, navy v-neck tee, and color-coordinated Toms. Who needs a luxury brand consultant when we have this guy. Sean and Ems get their own private island. A little barren, but a private island nonetheless. Emily engages Sean in conversation about past relationships. Apparently he stayed in a 3-year relationship with a "friend." Probably more like a FWB type of situation, but I'm thinking he's not going to disclose that piece of scandalous information to Ems. When conversation grows stale, they disrobe down to their swimsuits to frolic in the waves and maybe even snorkel a little bit. Seriously, why can't we ALL look like that in a bikini. Tear tear.
Evening falls on a secluded spot on the beach with candle light and some colorful throw pillows. It's nice to see Sean shed the Toms for a stylish pair of canvas lace ups. He busts out with a letter. It seems to be the theme this season. Although Jef is the only one who did it in style. My guess is Jef mentioned his letter to the other guys, and Sean's competitive juices began flowing. He ran to the nearest Hallmark store to find a card to swipe some verse from. Hence, this letter. Maybe it was a genuine gesture. It's just hard for me to take it seriously considering it falls on the heels of Jef's letter. I'll tell you what I DON'T think was a genuine gesture...and that is Sean's profession of love. Stumbling over words, looking uncomfortable, shifty eyes, lip-licking, saying anything except "those three words" in the order they're meant to be said. I don't mean this as a Sean bashing. I really don't. He's just low man on my totem pole.
Annndddd the moment Sean has been waiting for. The fantasy suite card with key. Stumble over his words no more, people! That man becomes quite articulate when it comes to the thought of making magic. Shaaa-wingggg. Except...wait. That's not a fantasy suite. That's her suite. Immediately, I'm thinking no action will take place there tonight. Especially since he climbs in the hot tub wearing the same pair of sweaty swim trunks he wore earlier in the day. So as anticipated, he does not spend the night. Bow chicka wow whooooaaaaa. She tells him that a couple more hours together is not going to change the way she already feels for him. Code for: pack your bags, eyebrows... your outta here. Back the libido truck up, mister. Put it up and head on back to your own place.
Date number two - Jef. Jef shows up in his boxers, or swim trunks, or whatever. Doesn't matter. I approve. Although he doesn't quite rock them like Ed rocked the green mini trunks. So Ems takes Jef for a cruise on a really amazing boat. They just seem to fit. He is a good guy. A really good guy. And apparently well-equipped with stellar balance. Who else can stand up on a surfboard and paddle his love to shore? Nice. If he will just turn up the romance, he'll be the full package.
He doesn't get accent pillows on the beach, but it is definitely a nice dinner table with a romantic setting. Conversation was good. Nothing too noteworthy, just extremely pleasant. Her dress was STUN-NING! Time for the fantasy suite card. He very politely declined. But together they decided to spend some QT together in the suite for a little while. And now she hears those three little words. Full throttle, no hesitation. He lays it out there. Ems delivers the same speech she gave Sean... the “I don’t think a couple hours is going to change anything” speech. Code for: you’re in like Flynn.
Last but not least, Arie. He shows up in some trunks oddly resembling Sean’s. The themes this season are abundant. Arie gets a boat ride, too. And another lengthy makeout sesh. And swimming with dolphins. Jeez, what fun! Yes, I’m super jelly! It doesn’t take a genius to grasp the intensity of their attraction to one another. But how much deeper does it go? If you could throw together the physical chemistry with Arie, and the....everything else with Jef, she would have her perfect man. Giving credit where credit is due, though - Arie is a great guy. A great guy with an eccentric and hard-to-read family. But a great guy in spite of it.
A dinner table awaits. Who else noticed it was the same tablescape as Jef’s dinner table? Ems, Ems, Ems. Make the set crew be original, girlfriend. I must mention a comment that stands out to me. When she asked what he does on a Tuesday morning, he began speaking about everyday life and stated that he wanted to watch her make breakfast. Watch? I’m wondering why he didn’t say he wanted to make breakfast for her. I suppose I’m unfairly judging though, based on my wonderful hubby. He sets the bar pretty high. I’ll back off. I still do heart Arie, make no mistake about that. And in another unprecedented move, she does not hand over the fantasy suite card. Does she know she’s picking Jef, so she doesn’t want to tempt herself into doing something she’ll regret with Arie? Does she know she’s picking Arie, so she wants their first romantic tryst to be without cameras? Who knows why she didn’t take the opportunity for more snuggle time with Arie. Based on their history, I’m a little shocked. I figured she’d skip dinner and go straight to that fantasy suite. But not this girl. She calls it a night.
Decision time arrives. Ems seems to be struggling with what to do at this rose ceremony. The video sentiments did not make it any easier. But in the end, there are only two roses to deliver.
First one goes to Jef.
Final rose goes to Arie.

I am so pleased with this final two that I really don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other. I have been team Arie for so long, but Jef has steadily climbed the ladder each week.
Ems walks Sean down the alley toward his ride out of Curacao. And toward the loud birds, car horns, and barking dogs echoing in the background. After a long silence, she begins to sob and apologize. He makes a very graceful and oh-so-heartbreaking exit, and Emily sits back down while continuing to spasm-cry. Peculiar.
After some reminders of this season’s endless supply of douchebaggery, I am pumped about The Men Tell All episode. There is bound to be drama! Will Kalon act like the same pompous *** he did this entire season, or will he come on with some fake apologies to save his image? How many times will Ryan say yeah girl? Will Chris be so bold as to insinuate that Emily did the female population a favor by putting him back on the market? Has Travis replaced Shelly with a new egg? Those questions and many more shall be answered in a sure to be dramatic TMTA! See you there, friends!
Closing remarks - The Bachelor Pad is going to rock. I hope Kalon gets what’s coming to him in the BP house. How the bleep did Erica Rose get recast? Could I BEEEE more excited that Reid joins  this season? Didn’t we get enough of Stagliano last time? Will Ed bring his green shortie shorts? Will Jamie talk about her awkward kiss with Bennyboo? If Tony missed his son so badly, what is he doing on THIS show?? I miss Roberto.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Things Worth Pondering

Hello, readers! I have a very busy day on tap, and that day starts now. I will not be able to get a full blog up until tonight...or worse, possibly tomorrow night (after busy day #2). Therefore, I wanted to just throw a few things out there to think about...

Things Worth Pondering

  • Why is it not against the law to look THAT good in a!
  • How many different colored Toms does Sean own?
  • Why are the bugs so loud in Curacao?
  • Why does Sean never turn his head to deliver one of those awkward kisses?

  • Is Jef's picture in the dictionary next to the word perfect?
  • Do dolphins find Arie as sexy as the rest of us do?
  • WHY WHY WHY did she not give Arie the card?
  • Did ABC intentionally dress Arie and Harrison as twinkies at the rose ceremony?
  • Did Sean go back to Dallas and find some appropriate eyebrow dye? And is it just me or did they actually get lighter than flesh-colored before he left? Still creepy.
  • Has there ever been a funnier outtake reel?
Who's it going to be? Arie or Jef? Jef or Arie? Hit the Comment button below and share your guess!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Episode 9, Hometowns

This week, Emily reunites with little Ricki back in Charlotte in the house of mint green walls... and ceilings. It's such a beautiful house. Who thought it would be a good idea to paint the walls the color of infection? Anyhoo, her baby comes running out to meet her, and so did... well... nobody. Was Ricki there alone? I'm certain she wasn't but it would've been nice for ABC to confirm that for us. Based on the cornrows, I'm thinking her sitter might have been Willow Smith. Out of nowhere, don't ya think?

Ems finally gets to meet the parents in this episode. She reminisces about her time so far. For me, it is a reminder of happy times, men in kilts, Chris' lack of athleticism, Arie's uncanny ability to make out, flesh-colored brows, and the fact that she and Jef didn't eat those danged desserts! Bring on the hometowns.
Chris - Chicago
As Chris sits and waits, Ems runs up behind and "scares" him. As if we hadn't seen enough castles to last us for 27 more seasons, Chris begins this date where? Outside a castle. Strike one. He has a theme prepared for the day. Oh goody. Themes are fun. They then stroll up Michigan Avenue, making their way through construction, until they reach the Chicago River and gaze down at a tour boat. Could the theme possibly be My Best Friend's  Wedding? Or maybe The Breakup? I vote MBFW. However I'm pretty sure nobody asked for my vote because on a scale from one to Polish, he's Polish. I get it. THAT'S the theme. I'm a movie enthusiast, so I choose to go the MBFW route.
Next stop, a vaguely named restaurant apparently specializing in Polish-American cuisine. I'm hoping it doubles as a karaoke bar where Emily will get up and terribly sing "I just don't know... what to do... with myself. Don't know just... what to do... with myself." Instead, Chris talks seriously about last week. He regrets how he acted and he really only wanted her to pick him so he could show her Chi-town and take her to one of his Dad's White Sox games, while his kid brother flirts with her. He preps her to meet the family. His Dad is the nice one. No worries there. His Mom is overly emotional but very loving and nurturing, as a matter of fact he is a self-proclaimed Mama's boy. Strike two. His sister is gonna be the tough one. She'll throw the curve balls. Although Ems won't get a chance to meet them, I'm assuming he has two debutant cousins who are partial to ice sculptures.
They travel out to the suburbs to see the family. They have a nice enough house, but every room has a framed piece of floral wallpaper hanging on the wall... not to mention the floral curtains. Now I see where he gets the theme tendencies. Dad pulls Ems aside to talk to her. He hesitantly assures her that Chris is ready to be a Dad. Little sister is next. Only, she is a little more assertive. She encourages Emily to dump him now rather than later if he's not the one. Well that was ballsy. Strike three. He gets her alone and stumbles over his words to sorta-kinda tell her he loves her, then they dance the polka and call it a night.
Jef - St. George, Utah
Wow. The landscape. Just wow. The Holmstead Ranch is the place to be. And a dune buggy ride, too? Whoa. Scorin' some major brownie points here, Jef with one F! And he takes her skeet shooting. Seriously, what can't this guy and his skinny jeans do. He gives the the rundown about who she is going to meet today. The parents are away doing charity work. Mystery solved. She will be meeting siblings, siblings-in-law, nieces, nephews, 12 horses, 3 dogs, 2 cats and a partridge in a pear tree. Modern day Brady Bunch, this family. Brother Steve has a sit-down with Ems. It was a bit intense, but productive I think. Next, the sister ambush. They put her on the spot about some things and then ask her if she is falling in love with their brother and if she is ok with his name only having one F. Just then, as if out of nowhere, the sweet little niece hops up in Emily's lap and shows her future aunt some love. I'm positive that wasn't scripted or anything. Nonetheless, nice touch! Again with Steve's intensity. This time he brings his seriousness to his little brother. Cool it, mister. Lighten up or Ems won't be back!
Jef caps the date by taking Ems to a little spot with breathtaking scenery. He reads her a letter he wrote while on the plane from Prague back to the states. This letter was a FAR CRY from Ryan’s boring novel. I do not know how Emily sat through Jef's sweet letter without shedding tears. I sensed that she wanted to tell him she loved him. He has stepped up his kissing, I’ll tell ya that!
Arie - Scottsdale, Arizona
Fittingly, Ems is dropped off at a racetrack where Arie is lapping in anticipation. He hops out of his car, grabs the sides of her head and plants one on her. It wasn't as passionate as we've seen in the past, but still yummy! Ems describes him as looking stupid hot. Yeah, I'd have to agree. Stupid, yo. He takes her for a ride around the track. Then a picnic where he preps her to meet the fam.

Arie: So my Dad is very laid back, funny, charming...
Ems: Just like you huh? Is he also crazy stupid sexy?
Arie: Well I prefer not to look at him that way. My Dad won the Indy 500 in '90 and '97. 
Ems: Yeah yeah yeah, when are you gonna kiss me?
Arie: Patience, woman, patience. My parents are very happy, just like we could be.
Ems: Tell me about your Mom. Is she going to like me?
Arie: She might be hard to win over. She has a tough outershell. But in all fairness, she is over-Botoxed and over-tanned. That'll do it every time.
Ems: Does she also have veneers and implants? We can compare stories!
Arie: Ok this is getting weird.

They arrive at Arie's parents' stucco mansion in the desert. At first glance, his Mom appeared very pretty. Then we get a closer look at her facial enhancements. Try pretty...ish. The family gathered for stories about how the elder Luyendyks met. Then something happened. Probably the weirdest thing I've ever witnessed. Maybe not EVER, but it's close. These people started speaking Dutch. Carrying on a conversation while Emily sat there in sheer disbelief. Rude. That's all I know to say. Rude. Arie's Mom pulls her aside and quizzes her about why it didn't work out with Brad. Emily is too polite to tell her it was because Brad was a total horse's ezel. Turns out both parents are supportive of this union. One of the twins loves her accent. The other twin and the sister have very little to say, but I assume they like her too. Who wouldn't? Another smooth hometown.

Sean - Dallas, Texas

Sean walks his pooches at White Rock Lake, looking snazzy in a yellow/white striped v-neck tee, grey shorts and matching Toms. Sitting down with a glass of wine, Ems wants to know how many girls he has taken home to meet the family. Then Sean discloses that he won't allow a girl to give herself to him if he can't reciprocate. Huhh? Then he gives her the grossest kiss in Bachelorette history. Seriously. Gag-worthy. By the way, where did the dogs go?

Sean takes her to his parents' place in an obviously affluent neighborhood. They enter through the front door and the first thing I notice was yet another framed piece of wallpaper. What's with this? A trend that hasn't reached Arkansas yet? Not exactly a trend I would follow, anyway. So they hit the back yard to meet the fam. Little Kensington and Smith. Adorable kids with last names as first names. But they are so darn cute, they can pull that off. Sister-in-law encourages little Kensington to go show Emily the playhouse. Convenient. If Ricki were a boy, would they be chomping at the bits to show Ems a backyard baseball field? Whatever it takes to win her over, though. The rest of the family seems very nice.... AND they have eyebrows that contrast with their skin tone.

And boy oh boy, the moment we've waited for since last week's previews... the moment when Sean tells her he still lives at home. The moment where women everywhere let out a collective gasp. LIVES AT HOME?? Another Mama's boy? And what's worse that that. That filthy room. The cookie crumbs, the stuffed animals, the cracker box, the glass of milk, oh dear. Just as Emily was rehearsing her goodbye speech for Sean, he tells her he was kidding. He doesn't live at home. That filth was staged. Ok, well that sure was an elaborate trick to play on her. Couldn't they have just told her a knock knock joke? This was just weird to me. Sean and his Dad sit by the pool for a deep talk. Sadly, I start to notice where Sean gets the creepy eyebrow gene. I hadn't noticed it at first. But now. Yep, mystery solved. Dad displays his feminine tendencies as he sits with Ems. I believe the family really liked her. This was a Mayberry hometown if ever I've seen one. He walks her out, and just as I say out loud, "Sean keep that tongue in that mouth!".... bleck. He does it again. Peeks that nasty tongue out to disgust the viewing audience. Then he chases her down the street for one last kiss. Luckily, the camera wasn't up close and personal for that one. Gross.

Predictably, Ems chooses a gorgeous gown for the rose ceremony. Royal blue with a blinged-out midriff. Beautiful.

First rose goes to Arie. Yay, more beautiful kisses.
Next, Jef. My definite number two.
Lastly, Sean. He is pleased. Chris is not.

Wow, one of the most bitter exits ever. Chris' arrogance is so very apparent. He has shown glimpses of a darker side in the past few episodes. But this time he didn't hold back. I'm thinking there are underlying anger issues. He thinks he is ten times the man any of those other dudes are... but on a scale of one to gone, he's gone.

Next week, fun times in the Caribbean. The island of Curacao. Nice. I'm ready. Ready to find out who the final two will be. I feel confident - and hopeful - it will be Arie and Jef.

PS - The armadillo at the end. I have no words. None at all. Now please excuse me while I go do something about the gag reflex spasms I'm having.

My wish....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

And Then There Were Four

I did it again. I dropped the ball. My lovely readers, I do apologize for not posting before now. Here's the skinny... our HD network channels were inexplicably out yesterday. Not only could we not watch our local channels, we couldn't watch anything we'd recorded on them either. Fiddlesticks. No Bachelorette! As the afternoon progressed, and none of my troubleshooting tricks had paid off, I decided it was not an option to be without good TV. As bad as I LOATHE calling DirecTV, there was no choice. After an unfruitful 15 minute phone call to them where none of their suggestions were helpful, they scheduled a service call for later. Needless to say, that was unacceptable. After the phone call, I ranted for a bit before I thought HEY, why don't I just unplug the receivers for a few minutes and see what happens. Magic. Five minutes of being completely unplugged from the wall did the trick. Should I have tried this before I spent the afternoon livid, and before I finally called? Probably. However, I'm wondering why that little trick isn't in "Customer Service's" arsenal. Go to this menu, go to that menu, push this button, push that button, read me the message you get when you do this, try going to this channel, that channel......Grrrr you get the point. I have a better idea - UNPLUG THE FLIPPIN' RECEIVER. Anyhoo, nobody cares about my TV troubles. I suppose I'm sharing as more of a vent than an explanation of my lack of posting yesterday. So thanks for listening. By the time that problem was resolved, I'd already sat down on the back deck with my iPad and a stemmed glass and started reading my very first iBook. I couldn't put it down, so Ems and her men fell to the back burner. I'm not even really a reader, so it was mind-boggling that I read something that would trump my whole reason for getting out of bed on Mondays. What book, you say?? Well, I don't know if it's appropriate to disclose that piece of information...but let's just say that my putting off blogging until the morning was about 50 shades of procrastination.

This week the gang heads to Prague. I can certainly appreciate the magnificent cities that have been featured on the last few seasons, and Prague is no different. I am not oblivious to its charm, and I can certainly appreciate its history. However, I'm kindof over these types of places. I'd like to travel the world, or at least much of it, but 80% of my journey would be places like Fiji, the South of France, Bermuda, Greece and Brazil. But oh well. I'm sure this is a travel & tourism marketing ploy. And I'm sure it has worked on many viewers. Not this viewer. Give me the islands of the South Pacific, man! It's at the top of my bucket list, incidentally. So if any of you win the lottery and decide to buy me a trip...Fiji, baby! It has been my dream destination of choice as long as I can remember. But I'd also take Tahiti, Bora Bora, Tonga, Samoa, whatever. I'm not picky. I'll take any island in the South Pacific.

Moving on before I get lost in 50 shades of fantasy vacation.

The gang gathers with Harrison. It's hoodie day on the streets of Prague. At least Chris threw some color in the mix. This week...4 dates. Three one-on-ones, no rose. One group date, one rose that comes with a hometown guarantee. Gentlemen, enjoy Prague. And while you're at it, dig through your closets for some non-hoodie attire.

Sean reads the first date card. Arie, let's Czech out Prague together. She comes to pick him up and every dude there gives her an awkward hug AND sneaks a peek at her cleavage. Or maybe it was at those riding boots that do NOT go with that outfit. Or her coat belt hanging past her knees. Nope, I'm sure it was the cleavage.

The happy couple takes off to sightsee. They need a bite to eat, so they stop at a local food stand for...well I'm not sure. English? English? English anyone? One would think Arie and Ems would've brushed up on the local language, but in all fairness they'd have to be multi-lingual to cover it all in that part of Europe. Czech, German, Russian, a hodgepodge of culture fills Prague.

But all of that food vendor stuff is overshadowed by the elephant in the room. The big secret that some jealous, bitter, fame-hungry producer feels necessary to tell Ems.

Harrison gives us the run-down. Some chick named Cassie Lambert. She apparently thought it necessary to bring to light that she had a brief relationship with Arie ten years ago. TEN YEARS. Oh good grief. This is already stupid. I secretly, or not so secretly, hope that Cassie has been reprimanded -- or at least demoted -- since then. Ugh. Who does this stuff. So not only does this girl get Emily all wound up, she then tries to defend Arie. Whaaaa?? If it was no big deal, why bring it up. This is her 15 minutes of fame. REEEdiculous! This girl knows Ems enough to know that she is a no-nonsense kind of girl, so our good friend Cassie -- and by good friend, I mean resident trouble-maker -- strategically places doubt in Emily's mind concerning Arie. I'm going to move on before I break out some unsavory language about this "producer."

Here she is...

In case you can't tell, she's seductively feeding boring Benny-boo some grapes. A picture is worth a thousand words, my friends.

That whole uncomfortable conversation really did a number on Emily's jerky eye thing, though. You know what I'm talking about. That twitch I've mentioned before. It's the number one indicator that something is on her mind. Thanks, Cassie. Thank you very much.

After this takes place, Emily sends a barrage of loaded questions and statements containing a hidden agenda. I felt this very inappropriate and unfair to Arie. Even as it was happening, I was becoming very irritated with Emily for falling into Cassie's trap. Cassie got what she wanted...Ems is mad at Arie, which will give her a better chance of acquiring time with Arie after Ems gives him the boot. Luckily, after Emily plays her little wicked game (like my Chris Isaak reference?) an off-camera conversation takes place between the two of them and the trouble-maker. TEN.YEARS.AGO. Ten! Thank goodness the air was cleared and we can happily move into the evening portion of the date.

It is apparent that this hasn't affected her libido. Arie is explaining it to her at dinner and she just sits there doe-eyed not paying a bit of attention to the words coming out of his beautiful mouth. She gives him a come hither wink and leans in for the kiss. I did not look away. I just can't. Their chemistry is 50 shades of undeniable.

The guys sit and speculate about what might be going on. Chris is so completely distressed. He wants a date so badly. He hasn't had a one-on-one since Charlotte. The knock on the door. The date card. The tension mounts. Drum roll, please. Annnnnnnnddddd the date goes to..... Jon, in Prague, all you need is love. Wollllffffff. Howwwwllllll.

Ems is all but promising Arie a hometown on the spot. She's already giddy at the thought of it.

What should I wear.
How much cleavage should I show.
Will your parents care if I throw you down on their dining room table.
Is your Mom a fan of E.L. James.

She's ready. Let's do this.

Arie busted out with those three little words normally reserved for the overnights. He wastes no time, though, in telling her he loves her. They kiss, and suddenly fireworks go off. Fitting, don't you think. They kiss again. Fifty shades of romance.

Time for Jon's date. Better step it up, Wolf. After all, you're playing for second, man. They begin their date with a scenic tour, from a boat. Hey honneeeyyyyy, how ya doin'. Would you like to go for a little boat ride, with a macho man. 

Jon: The architecture here is insane. This stuff is old. I'd love to go in that building.
Ems: Yeah, its really pretty. I went there with Arie yesterday. We rubbed a brass statue.
Jon: Will you rub my brass statue? Wait. Never mind. Ryan told me to say that. I didn't mean it.
Ems: Well I was gonna say that you have your guard up, but I'm not so sure.
Jon: Yeah, I have a very hard - STOP IT RYAN - shell. I was gonna say shell!
Ems: Yeah I bet you were. Arie has a hard shell, too.
Jon: Let's Czech out the John Lennon wall.
Ems: Ok, let me give you a history lesson. You look like you need something to bore you.
Jon: Yeah. Let's paint a bigggg...
Ems: There's a reason I sent Ryan home last week, ya know.
Jon: Yeah yeah yeah, I was gonna say boat. I really was. A big boat.
Ems: Let's go try to find a romantic connection with my next history lesson. Eternal love.
Jon: You're getting pretty deep today.
Ems: Deep?
Jon: You know what I mean!
Ems: Let's hang this lock of eternal love on these rails.
Jon: Ok. Ready? Let's push it in together. Push - it- in.
Michelle: Ohhh Wolfff, have you been reading the same book I am reading?
Ems: Uh-oh. It won't go in. This isn't a good sign.
Jon: YA THINK?!?!

The guys sit and ponder things. Chris is still brimming with dissension over the fact that she hasn't given him a one-on-one since Charlotte. It is driving him crazy. He is tired of hearing about connections the other guys have with Ems.

Night falls and Jon is still talking about the architecture. She isn't fervent about this because she's explored these things already with Arie. She takes him to a dungeon. Ok ok, I'll let that one go. He tells her today was awesome. Her response? "You think so?" Whoa. Not very promising. I hate to break it to ya, Wolf, but she's put off my your massive forehead and your perfect skin tone. I mean c'mon. She didn't even fix her hair. She pulled it back in a tiny clip the way we do when we need our hair out of our face to brush our teeth or to take off makeup. Another bad sign. Plus she's dressed in all black. I don't feel optimistic.

Group date card arrives. Sean, Doug, Chris. Let's find our happily ever after. Needless to say, Chris isn't thrilled. Jon's date is over. He heads back to the suite to fill in the guys on everything, which is basically nothing. They are less than receptive, but Cassie forces them to spill. That way, maybe Arie will get jealous and give her the time of day. Right? Jon's recount of the date adds insult to Chris' injury. In a disturbing twist, Sean takes to the streets of Prague shouting Emily's name. What's happening? I'm confused. But he does track her down. Obviously, she just left Wolf. She's still in the same dull duds with the same face-washing hairdo. She's happy to see him. They end up in a make-out session paling in comparison to Arie's sexy kisses. But a make-out session nonetheless...on the streets. Who else found it creepy that he didn't turn his face to make their mouths fit together. Weirdest kiss ever. It seems at this moment he is the front runner...... for second place, that is. Poor Sean has no clue he has no chance of edging out her amazing race car driver. She's not into creepy flesh-colored eyebrows, but then again, who is.

Date time. Chris is being negative nelly. That will probably bite him in the rear. I pause for wardrobe assessment. That coat. That awesome hot pink pea coat. Here's to you, Ems. Your fashion sense is back. Doug takes her away to visit a remote cubbyhole in the castle. He wants her to come to his hometown to meet Austin and meet his BFF. His legs touch hers and he becomes flustered. Is he turned off physically. Is he celibate. Is he in the closet. Is he scared of ... well, it all. What the heck. Why won't he drop the extreme chivalry and push her up against the wall...and kiss her...goodnight. Yes, that song is still in my head. Thank you Gloriana for one of my favorite iTunes downloads ever. Anyway, Doug doesn't realize that real women want to be treated like a lady, but not at the expense of a physical relationship. Doug's van ride. Ohhh the van ride. I don't make it a habit of laughing at the expense of someone in pain. But there was just something comical about his sobbing. I do not know why, though. I apologize.

The other two gather for a nice evening and, in the words of Sean, a weird dynamic. I pause again for wardrobe assessment. Does she have a piece of tulle draped over her shoulder. Bizarre. There are two random keys on the table. One of them opens the spot for the first one on one chat. Are we to think it is a mystery? Even though the keys are totally different sizes. That's so Ems can give the big key to whoever she's in the mood to kiss first. Shockingly [to nobody] Chris and his big key get first dibs on the dungeon couch. What's with the dungeons this season anyway?

Jef's date card arrives. This is your chance to pull at my heartstrings. Jef's stoked. These guys think if Chris gets the rose, he'll either come home a sad sap or a braggart. Either way, they think they'll want to pull their hair out.

Chris gets his alone time at last. He's ready to express his distaste for the fact that he didn't get an alone date.

Loads gun.

He tells her he doesn't like seeing other guys come home from dates. It makes him mad.

Pulls back hammer.

This two-on-one sucks. It's really weird.

Aims gun at foot.

But wait. He leans in for a kiss. Gerard shows Ems the physical attraction Doug so blatantly neglected. What does this mean? But it wasn't enough. Sean gets the rose.


Time for Jef's date. Emily looks pretty good until you get down to those crazy tasseled booties. Wardrobe fail. They make their way to a puppet shop, and later use their new wooden friends to perform a show in a really grandeur library. At first, as they relived history through the dolls, it was humorous and sweet. Then flash forward to weirdness. Ok guys, put up the puppets.

The date turned to serious conversation. He wants her to meet his family. His parents have an obligation in South Carolina so she won't meet them. What obligation? He didn't disclose it. Red flag? However she'll get to meet the siblings. I think it'll be nice. He seems so grounded and real. I'm thinking that is a reflection of the people he grew up around. He's so sweet and perfect. That darn Jef! I didn't wanna be crazy about anyone except Arie, but I like this guy so much. But have no fear, I feel he's playing for second, too. Team Arie!

At this point it's down to Chris or Jon. Cubs vs. Cardinals. Although I'm a bigger fan of Chris, I'm kinda rooting for Wolf to get it simply because I love his hometown. St. Louis is near and dear to my heart, so I'd love to see Ems there frolicking under the Arch. Or down on Laclede's. Or out at Grant's Farm. Or catching a Cards game. Or touring Anheuser Busch. Or....well you get the picture. I also want to see him at the office. Finally put the mystery to rest. What the heck is a data deconstruction specialist.

I am so back and forth with our girl's wardrobe lately. I used to love everything she wore. But now. I don't know, something has changed. This dress. Reminiscent of a blue shimmery negligee. It's killing me.

No cocktail party. She has her mind made up. Chris breaks down. I didn't like how he acted, but darn if I don't feel sorry for him. 

Hometown rose time. Sean is already in like Flynn.

Numero Uno goes to Jef. I'm ready for this!

Next is Arie. Duh!

Last. Chicago and St. Louis. Here we go.

Chris asks her if they can go talk. It was a nice talk. He gets the rose. Was it because of the talk? Was she already going to pick him? We may never know. Either way, she's going to Chi-town instead of St. Louayyyy. I'm ok with that. I like Chris.

That room where she took Wolf to talk. Wow. Weird wallpaper. Lots of antlers on the wall. Medieval weaponry. I'm ready for next week. No more castles. No more dungeons.

But first I want to make a change in my predictions. I got the top 4 correct, but I now see Sean in the top 3...actually I think he will be top 2. Who goes home next? I have no clue. Depends on who lives in crazytown and who has a cool family. We shall soon find out.

Next week...well, who knows?!?! We get no previews of families. We get no previews of dates. We get nothing. Except Ems in a beautiful blue dress with a rhinestone waist. She's crying and upset about sending someone home. Could it be that she keeps all four guys for overnights? Could it be? Huh? Could it? That would be a history-maker I could live with! Fifty shades of mystery.

Until next week, lovelies. I will soon be blogging about my read. Be ready.

Since we will not get to visit the Gateway to the West next week, I leave you with this.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Adios, DB Number Two

Sadly, I missed out on watching last night's episode live. My plan was to watch the first hour of this be-all end-all glorious spot of tele - oh wait, we aren't in London anymore - TV... then it would be time to flip over to watch the OmaHogs! Oh but I can't proceed without quoting our good friend Courtlip... the Hogs... winning! WPS, people!

Anyhoo, so that was the plan. Anyone who has ever done even the smallest of home improvements knows that you don't schedule it around other things... you schedule other things AROUND IT. Needless to say, I watched not a second of Bachelorette last night, but by golly my walls are painted and my bedroom is closer to the intended end result. Success.

As I sit here, weary and exhausted from a very long Monday and a late Monday night, I can't help but notice that our first visions of Croatia include a couple of smelly little chicken house cats. Not exactly the most exotic of attractions. Why THAT is what I noticed, I guess I'll never know. Nonetheless, they could've found something more interesting to film.

Little Ricki has gone back to Charlotte while Ems finishes her journey with the guys. Could this have something to do with the whole baggage drama? Does she just not want her baby girl traveling anymore? Is it time to get back in the classroom? I'm a little stumped.

On to our Croatian stop on this interesting globe-trotting voyage. The boys seem mighty impressed with their mod suite du jour. I am too. Ems shows up to talk about the dates and to leave the first date card. Where the heck is Harrison? Did he stay behind to personally escort the luxury brand consultant back to Texas where everything is bigger, including Kalon's ego. Did he come down with a heinous case of the trots after eating a bad English muffin. Did he dump Ems to stay in London and follow Pippa around asking her how she feels about everything.

Travis gets the date card. Let's look for love beyond the walls. He goes to change clothes and we see what's been hiding underneath his button ups. Not bad, Trav. How would Shelly feel about this, may she rest in peace. I find it interesting that when Trav meets up with Ems he tells her how pretty she looks. But wait. Didn't he JUST see her 10 minutes prior to that? Literally. She's wearing the same thing she was when she handed him that date card. Oh goodness, the paint fumes have made me cranky. Carry on.

Ems is taking Trav to Old City Dubrovnik. Travis is perfect for this date because it's not West Virginia and it ain't Mississippi y'all. What? No Shakespeare like they do it back home in the magnolia state? As they peruse the city, souvenirs in hand - well, until the souvenirs mysteriously disappear post-gelato - Ems gives a history lesson and is highly disappointed that he didn't take his shirt off. Wendy, is that you disguised as Emily? She drops one little F-bomb and suddenly she sho'nuff proudly displays her hood rat for the world to see. Go girl.

Back at the guys' swanky pad, they discuss Travis. One question, though. Ryan. What the heck was he wearing. He clearly raided his 10 year old niece's closet before he came. Cute shirt, man. Plus his poof is extra-teased today. Disturbing.

"Dontcha like my baby tee, guys. I rock it, dontcha think? I don't think ole Trav is coming home. Emily wants a bad boy. Yeah girl. You know I got that bad boy thing going on. Where was I? Oh yeah. I have an edge like a razor. I used to be a mean man football player, you know, back when I was a younger version of the douche bag I am today. Man have I come a long way. I love me. So much. Wait. Where was I? Oh yeah. I miss the old me. The old me that made women love me. I mean really. Every single girl in my middle school loved me, dawg. I was DA MAN. What changed. Ems won't fall for anything I say. And my hair won't lay down. What's happening? My insecurity is showing. Is Dr. Jamie still on the show? I need to talk."

Rejoining Trav's long-awaited date. He hasn't seen this much action since Shelly. He's so nervous that it has caused him to go all serious on us. He  declares his love for the fun day they have had...and he did it without humor. Fail. Bring back funny Trav. He also says he hasn't done anything like this since he was engaged. Screeeeech. Back the ostrich truck up. Engaged? How did this slide beneath my radar? Ems questions him a little about it. He claims he has had zero action since that engagement went bust...two years ago. TWO YEARS! I call bull****. A man cannot go two years without, ummm, dates. He's either a big fat liar, or he's scratching the inside of a closet door. I've got my eye on you, Trav. For now, tell us a joke. I miss your humor.

Knock knock. Who's there? Date card. Date card who? That's all I have. Sorry. Trav is the funny one, here. Don't judge. The card reads: Lasting love requires bravery. Wolf, Doug, Sean, Jef, Chris, Arie. That leaves Ryan for the final one-on-one.

"My heart is beating out of my chest. I can manipulate any dating situation I want to. Dude, I know how to get the girl. I may sound arrogant, but....well let's be honest. I AM arrogant. And it works for me. Because I'm trouble, people. Women love trouble. I wasn't exaggerating before. Every single middle school girl! Every last one of them, yo. Plus I have big feet. Unfortunately, that's it. Big feet. Really small hands, really small brain, really small...... wait, where's Dr. Jamie again!"

Back at Dubrovnik, poor Trav does not get the rose. I think he was a little crushed. I must say, I'm surprised. He tosses aside his umbrella, sobs over the rejection and shows us a softer side of himself. Poor Trav. Maybe he can go back home and find himself. Best of luck, buddy. Maybe Shelly has a sister...or a brother. Still not certain which he prefers. Makes no diff to me, though. He's a cool guy!

Ems sure stacked this group date full of hunkalicious lip-smacking eye candy. And what does she do with them? She takes them to Statler and Waldorf's balcony to watch a Disney movie. Twenty bucks says they were all creating double entendres out of every line of the movie just to entertain themselves. Then.... Just as I was thinking Emily Maynard how could make these guys get dressed up in costume, they began undressing. Emily Maynard, you evil genious, you. It's not enough to make them watch a cartoon, or to make them wear matching kilts, she also wanted to see them ride a bunch of asses Ryans donkeys. She couldn't have put them all in Speedos atop Arabians?

First Highland game: Archery. Ems gives a stellar performance in her cute little scottish skirt. The guys don't do so shabby, themselves... ummm except for Chris. He didn't hold his butt quite right, I guess.

Next game: Log throwing. Chris steps up. He tries his hardest not to stick his butt out and in the process, loses focus. He drops his log. Speaking of double entendres. Stop it, Michelle. Dougie Doug has quite the physique. Poor Jef. He wasn't able to roll his log over either. [says as she snickers] Sean did so well he actually BROKE his wood. I said wood. I'm on a roll. Another nice physique to look at, though.

Game 3: Something that sounded like maid leash. But for all intents and purposes, I'll call it tug of war. Chris gets to choose his partner. He chooses Doug. Hmm. Would be a confusing pick if not for the drama that has been stirring between them. Chris wanted a chance to one-up our hunky Dad. No such luck. Sweet mother of all biceps and triceps, Dougie does NOT neglect his arms in the gym, folks. Sean over powers Wolf AND Doug. He may have won the games, but Chris got the bravery cup. Chris may not be the most athletic or powerful one in the bunch, but I'm still a fan.

Emily, whoa baby, that dress. That beautiful, backless, sparkly, black dress. And those amazing black stilettos. But what the heck is in between? Black pantyhose? Black tights? Black leggings? Girl, c'mon. What happened to your judgment.

Sean gets her alone and continually moistens his lips just waiting on a kiss. I also notice that the Croatian sun seems to have actually lightened up those brows. Didn't know that was possible. Arie issues an apology for London. She is more than forgiving of course. I mean, it's Arie. They stroll along taking their sweet time getting back. And just then, he pushes her up against the wall and lays a kiss on her that only Arie can get away with. That guy. Oh boy. If his kisses don't make Ems have impure thoughts, she has no libido. I can't even take it. I need to look away. Look away, Michelle, just look away.

D-bag finally gets his date card. The world is our oyster.

"Yo man. My date card says oysters. You know what's in oysters? Pearls. That's what. Hmm. I feel compelled to get her a necklace. Eh eh eh eh y'no'wut'umm'saynnn. Man I'm cool. And I'm such a perfectionist. Every morning I look in the morning and ask myself who do you want to be today. And then I pat myself on the back and practice my lame lines. Dude I'm so hott. I can get women. You hear me? I can GET 'EM! I'm not a loser. Who called me a loser? Michelle did? Well that's because she knows my type. She knows I'm an insecure pathetic arrogant astardbay who needs a reality check. Dr. Jamie, help!!"

Jef sneaks her off alone. He really is so sweet. Does he use the word like that much when he talks to other people, or does Ems just make him nervous? We've got to work on that, Jef. His kisses are sweet but, bless his heart, a far cry from Arie's. Oh well, she wastes no time playing tonsil hockey with him so it must not be that bad. Mr. Bravery gets her alone and tells her she is the one. He can totally fall in love with her if she will let him. This, along with a great day, earns him the rose of bravery. He gives her a kiss that falls obscenely short of passionate. Step up your game, brother. You best be brave enough to swap slobbers if you want to stay in the game!

Ryan gets ready for his date. He shaves his face while shirtless. I have no objections to that. Almost makes ya forget what a tool he is. Not quite, though. It's just nice to see him without that hideous poof on top of his head. Emily arrives to pick him up.

Ryan: Hey girl. What's crackin? Hey that gives me an idea. Never mind. I'll save that line for later. What'cha gonna do today?
Ems: You will soon see.
Ryan: Yeah girl. The world is our pearl. Oops, Freudian slip there darlin. It's our oyster. But I KNOW you gon' see a pearl before it's over with hehe. I crack myself up. I always see the good in things. The cup is half full, girl.
Ems: You do see the good in things.
Ryan: I know there's a pearl in there.
Ems: You think so.
Ryan: Yeah girl. There's a pearl. Ready to go necklace shopping?

Arie: Shoot me now.
Michelle: Shoot me now.

Ems: You got all the lines, lame-o.
Ryan: Ohhh yeah girl I'm just gettin' started.
Ems: Let's blow this pop stand before everyone pukes.

The universe is looking out for me. No vehicle could've been more perfect for him to be stuck driving. Small brain, small hands, small car. Enough said.

After taking some pictures of the "beautiful" landscape (i.e. Emily's rack), he drives them to their destination. He is a little shocked to see that oystering wasn't an inuendo. All this time, he had his eye on the prize. The pearl. The necklace shopping. You know. But as he realizes they'll be eating the oysters, he throws the word aphrodisiac out there. He also throws around the term trophy wife. Dude. Really. Stop it. This guy seriously needs a kick in the crotch.

Emily looking stunning in her gold evening gown, and Ryan even threw on a suit for dinner. Million dollar question: what's with the shoes that look like surgical booties. What would Ames say? Ryan doesn't need cool shoes, though. His swag makes up for his fashion faux pas. And so does his poetry. Top 12 qualities Ryan wants to find in a woman:

1. Loyal. Someone to grab my can through good or bad.
2. Logical. Someone who realizes I'm the shiznit.
3. Naive. Someone to fall for all of my lame cheesy lines.
4. Encourager. Always lifts me up and carries me to the dungeon.
5. Faithful. Someone to sit home while I go chase dumb women.
6. Nurturer. Someone not afraid to massage my freshly shaven legs.
7. Confident. Somebody that loves to laugh. And not just at my small... hands.
8. Assertive. Not afraid to tie me up.
9. Unselfish. Someone who will share her BFF with me...or at least a sister.
10.Beautiful. Sexy personality and nice knockers.
11. Magnetic. Somebody people are drawn to. You know, like a trophy.
12. Loves to catch my eye. See how I did that in bold. I'm so cool with my word processing skills.

Emily's not feeling this David Letterman list. Rose looming, he gives her a couple of winks and a grin, and sits confidently knowing he is about to receive the rose. But in a "shocking" - shocking only to Ryan - twist, she does not give him the rose. He is shocked because he never got the chance to prove his growth. Oops, another one of those double entendres. Sleep deprivation throws my mind straight into the gutter. He practically begs for the rose. Emily hesitates. The guys sit back at the house and take bets on it. Arie threatens to enlighten Ems on the wicked wiles of Ryan. I reminisce about Ashley and Bentley. Ems doesn't change her mind. Ryan does not get the rose. Take your turquoise shoes on outta here, sonnnn. Back to the peach state to surf eBay for some self-help audio books.

"The guys must be shocked I'm not coming back [he says as the guys chest bump and cheer]. I'm shocked. I hate rejection. I never got rejected in middle school. I'm not a loser. I'm a winner. Winning. Ya fools. Hey,  I wonder if Courtney is single yet. Peace out, uglies. Oh, and will y'all please leave the bad stuff on the cutting room floor? The last thing I need is to be portrayed as an arrogant a**."

Irony, anyone?

In moving on, I'm curious at this point what the drama will be about. Ryan's gone. Kalon's gone. What could this be about. The previews we saw last week. I'm on the edge of my seat as the show moves into its final minutes.

Arie goes to see Ems. He wants to disclose some things about Ryan to make her feel better about her decision to send him home. She couldn't wait to talk about it all upstairs in her bed. Because that's where most serious conversations go down. Right? Of course it doesn't take long for round 2 of tonsil hockey to begin. I honestly feel like, by watching this, I'm interrupting a married couple on their wedding night. Look away, Michelle. Just look away.

Time to hand out some roses to some very willing bachelors. Emily Maynard and her gorgeous wardrobe. Good golly that white dress is stunning. And the plunging cutout back... just an added bonus. And in case you're wondering, my girl Carrie Underwood wore that dress to the Grammy's. I've compared these two women before. Both beautiful. Both elegant. Both ladylike. Both graceful. Both confident. Both worthy of high praise.

Wolf gets some much needed alone time with our bachelorette. He proceeds to reveal what he carries in his wallet. No, not that! Cards from his grandparents' funerals. We see an emotional side of our St. Louis boy. What happened. Admittedly I've grown more fond of him gradually. However, this side of him is very sexy. It's like a switch flipped. Maybe it's because of how I feel about my grandparents. Maybe it's because of the relationship my husband had with his late grandpa. Whatever it is, Jon the Wolf just became a little more attractive.

Dougie Doug gets his alone time, too. He is like a scared little puppy. She called him self-deprecating. Uh-ohhh. She has no idea that exact term lit his fire last week. Irony, anyone? In his interview, he tells how he feels like he's taken a step back. He talks about his son and gets choked up. And then it's like he starts looking for a way out of that room. Like when an earthworm gets trapped on a sidewalk and squirms around trying to figure out where to go. That's Doug. I'm beginning to wonder about his downstairs mixup.

Harrison finally shows up. Seriously, where have you been, man. Time to find out who's going to get a rose and who's going to follow Trav and Ryan back to the states.

Sean - Well of course!
Jef - Two for two.
Arie - Oh, my love.

Here's where it gets sticky. Your guess is as good as mine!

She walks out, rose in hand. She tells Chris she's having a tough time. She doesn't want to give it away. She gives Harrison the rose. My heart sank. She goes back in to tell the guys she can't hand out the final rose. Just as I got emotional, Harrison walks in with not one, but TWO roses. Two, my friends! I literally got butterflies. I was happy they'd both be staying. Regardless of the things I said about Doug, I want to see something blossom just to see more of him. Something real! Aww this was a happy ending. Good riddance, Ryan!

Next week, Prague. Oh dear, talk about exotic locations. Watch for celebrities! And fireworks. Library makeout sessions. Chemistry. Chris crying. Arie's skeleton. Wait, what?! Arie? What is this? Please tell me it's not as big a deal as it seems. Please tell me she's just being jealous about something insignificant. Please oh please. I can't take Arie drama. If he gets the boot, I vote Arie for Bachelor! Shoot, I vote Arie for President! It's a figure of speech, politically-charged readers. I mean no disrespect to the leader of our nation, or to past and future leaders of our nation. That said, Arie for President!

Until next week, friends!