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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Episode 5, White Linen and Crying in Baseball

Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. Brad reveals that everyone gets a date this week. That’s great news. Wouldn’t want the beautiful island atmosphere to be lost on anyone...except for Courtney, that is. Not surprisingly, the first 2 minutes showcased Emily talking about weird lip and weird lip talking about Emily. Last week’s drama suddenly came crashing back to me. Please. Not again!
Harrison walks in with his swagger on, pulls the ladies - and Courtney - outside, and explains the date situation. An incredible week with some amazing stuff lined up. 3 dates. One group, 2 one-on-ones. (By the way, when will the 2-on-ones begin?) Anyhoo, everyone gets time with Ben this week. Who else noticed Court’s shirt? It said “Be Nice.” Just sayin.
Date card number one. Nicki, [something about new love] San Juan. Nicki picked the perfect island dress for this date. Not sure about the wedges she accessorized with, but she’s beautiful still. Ben looks dapper in his bright shirt. She’s super stoked about getting a heli ride. Because, you know, that just rarely happens on this show. They take in the scenery. He finds it “rad.” Excuse me, Benny, the 80s called and they want their slang back. Their first stop is at a street vendor where they purchase a conspicuously shaped piragua, which quickly fell apart when they were assaulted by a downpour. Buzzkill? Maybe. Fun? Yep. Although I’m not quite sure why it was just raining cats (i.e. gatos) instead of cats AND dogs. What happens to the dogs in Puerto Rico? Anyhoo. They go to buy dry clothes. She goes straight to the white dress rack. Just as I’m thinking, “Nooooo” she redeems herself with a very colorful tablecloth-inspired number that won’t win her a wet t-shirt contest. However, it could double an oversized snot-ridden hankie peeking out of an old man’s pocket. Ben, on the other hand, errr ummm, well he went more for a look reminiscent of a Columbian pimp slash Temple of Doom doctor in his white linen getup. Oh Benny Boo, shame shame.
After they coincidentally stumble upon a wedding in progress, we move on to the evening. Thankfully they have clean hair and fresh clothes, but she forgot to remove that pesky yellow polish that matches nothing she has on. They sip their Riesling and try to make sense of this thing called marriage. Ben is a little curious about why she ended up divorced. And by a little, I mean a lot. He had a few questions for her. Did that wedding today give you warm fuzzies or does it make you want to stab your eyeballs? Why did you only last 2 years? Did you talk to Dr. Jamie from Brad’s season to try and work through your problems? Do you leave your panties hanging in the shower? Oh, am I getting too personal?
Back at the villa, the girls discuss who deserves a date more. Just as Blakeley and Elyse are strapping on their boxing gloves, the group date card arrives. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Lindzi, Courtney, Jennifer, Kacie, Emily, Rachel, Casey, Jamie, Blakeley. That leaves our little exotic princess Elyse for the final one-on-one. Time to make good on that promise from last week.
We resume evening chat with Ben and Nicki. He showers her with compliments, he gives her the rose, they kiss...a lot. Ocean waves beating against the shore behind them. Life is good in Nicki’s world. Plus she no longer has to look at Ben in that god-awful hat. Aces.
Time for the group date. Those diamonds spoken about on the group date reference to a baseball diamond. Oopsie girls, no ice for you. I personally am loving the baseball date though! Harrison shows up with his bullhorn. Ladies, bring it in. This is the most we’ve seen him in one show all season. Judging by his swagtastic 3rd degree sunburn, I’m pretty sure he left his SPF 40 back in the states. He lets the girls know that some of them will be getting more time than the others. Time to split up into teams for a not-so-friendly game of hard ball. 
The red team: Courtney, Kacie, Casey, Jamie
The blue team: Blakeley, Emily, Jennifer, Rachel
Lucky Lindzi is playing for both teams, literally not figuratively. Ok, so it is painfully obvious that wardrobe is staffed with all men. These girls get dressed up in cute little clothes while Ben is stuck wearing a corny uniform circa 1927, 8 sizes too large. The red team starts off with a bang. 5 runs. The competition rapidly gets heated. Bottom of the first, Ben “mistakenly” makes a throwing error to blue team’s benefit. They score 3 runs. Red scores one more. It’s 6 to 3 in the bottom of the 2nd. Blue scores 3 to tie it. We hear lines like:
Who knew strippers could play baseball?
Defense your *** off!
These girls are serious about some baseball. I find myself oddly into the game. Blakeley displays some athleticism, Courtney and Casey display a lack thereof, and Kacie reveals her sailor mouth. Extra inning time. Emotions are high. They’re doing some Dixie League chanting from the field. Balls are flying everywhere. Yes I said it. Next thing you know, it’s the 5th inning. Eye black is everywhere. The girls are sweaty and out of breath. Tensions are high. Blue is down by one. Jennifer is up to bat, and dang it if a big K didn’t end the blue team’s luck right there on the spot. Somehow I found myself disappointed for Blakeley. Simply because she was on the opposite team as weird lip. It’s like rooting for whoever the Cubs are playing. I root for whoever weird lip is playing. Hateful unscrupulous shrew. The bus ride home was a bit emotional. The girls were feeling so dejected I couldn’t even bring myself to make fun of the tears flowing through the smudged eye black.
As we watch him spend a little time with each girl on the winning team, we also get to watch Courtlip’s catty and spiteful interview clips. Shocker. WHY is she so insufferable! What the heck is going on with Kacie’s hair? Is it trying to retract into her scalp? Where do these curls come from?
Moving on. Kacie gets the rose and Courtlip immediately grabs him away. He awkwardly  and uncomfortably says yes. They walk along the beach. Ben draws tally marks in the sand for every time she uses the word like. I hope he kept count because I sure couldn’t. And so begins the prelude to the moment that has made my skin crawl all week. It begins with a skinny dipping proposition. Shwing. Ben ponders the ramifications of getting naked before overnights. Courtlip harbors some serious feelings of arousal.
Date time for Elyse. Let’s find love somewhere private, dot dot dot. The coral coverup is very striking against her pretty brown skin, but the huge gold earrings and the animal print bikini strings scream Snooki. However, I just have to point out that this girl has some amazing stems! Good gracious what I wouldn’t give for those! Ok there’s my two cents. She gets a ride on a yacht. Ah-maaaa-zing. So far, my favorite date excursion of the season. Way cool. The boat ride begins with their very own Jack and Rose moment at the bow of the boat. I’ll never let go. Then they get cozy on the upper deck as they sip champagne and engage in small talk. She makes one little statement that caught Benny’s attention, “I’ve done everything I wanted to do.” She proceeds to tell him she quit her job and she missed her BFF’s wedding. Oh and let’s just get married right here and now. This pressure drives our gun-shy wine maker to jumping off the boat. Then back to the bow. Near... far... wherever you are...
The evening brings a romantic (so you would think) dinner on the beach. Romantic, except for the elephant in the room, aka the rose. Not Jack’s rose, but the actual rose. He cannot get past the statement about her having accomplished all she wanted to. What a cowardly way out. Digging at her for an innocent statement she made 6 hours ago. Then she gets flack for saying she’s sick of being single. I’m a little aggravated that he’s spending his time digging instead of getting to know her better. He picks up the rose, even though he has no intention of giving it to her. She gets the ax instead of the rose. Which begs the question, why did he pick it up and tease her with it? And WHY would she be sent off in a motorized raft? Really? Then “This Year’s Love” to rub salt in the wound. Somewhere Elyse is watching and sobbing all over again. And Courtlip is trying to figure out how to dig that rose out of the ocean.
Ben makes his way back to his empty room. His creeper is waiting in the stairwell with a bottle of wine, 2 glasses and some drunk talk. Then again, all of her talk sounds like drunk talk. She tries to find a way to articulate her desire for the skinny dip, but ends up sounding dumb...again. One question - did she REALLY pull her robe apart to reveal her cleavage? Right there in front of his face. Did she? And did she really speak in innuendo all the way to the beach? Did he really NOT know she was going “full nude”? Did she really take it all off and practically use the words come and get it? Did he really take his skivvies off? Are we sure sunshine is all she's sprinkling around? If I continue this rant, my words may become inappropriate. I just hope that salt water isn't seeping into any open wounds or rashes or such. Farewell, tawdry topic.
Cocktail party time. Our resident skinny dipping tart feels confident she has it in the bag. Her dastardly comments are intended to irritate the other girls. I feel certain they are a bit beyond irritated as they watch it all back now, knowing they were completely oblivious at the time to just how vile this queen of insolence really is. Already looking forward to the women tell all episode! Cat fight. Jennifer pulls him aside. He uses the word rad again. We are subjected to some tongue action which I, for one, could’ve done without. Blakeley gets herself some alone time and opens up. Somehow, I am liking her. She really does like him, mostly because she’s unaware of the one-nighter he’s coming off of.
Emily gets more alone time. She warms my heart initially by saying that she is going to drop the whole Courtney thing. Sadly, that is just her segue into more ranting about Courtney. Ok, I liked her before but not so much now. Over it!
Here come the roses. Chris’ hair fluffier than ever. Kacie’s hair curlier than ever. Dang that tropical air!
Lindzi -  Like her a lot but a little over the shoulder shrug thing at each rose ceremony. Glad she’s in though.
Jamie - I sure wish she’d get more time with him.
Rachel - Gets more confusing each week. Wonder if she’s team Edward or Jacob?
Tartney - Gaggggggg
Casey - Why?
Blakeley - Breathe, baby, breathe.
Emily - Wow. They clearly made him keep her for the drama.
Goodbye Jennifer. It was fun while it lasted. To be such a pretty girl, she sure is an ugly crier. How does that even happen. Sob, hiccup, squeak, sniffsniff, snort, gargle, squeak, hiccup, snort...suck it up and cut it out!
Next week, Panama City, Panama. High rises. Net fishing...ish. Waterfalls. Secluded beaches. Tribal dancing. A ride in a long boat down a dirty river. And what’s this? Emily gets a kiss? Maybe she shapes up! Fun times in Puerto Rico.
Added drama. ABC would have us think there is an apparent tragedy for Casey. It doesn’t look good at all. But thanks to Reality Steve, a glimpse of hope. Google it. Feel free to give me your predictions in the comments, if you please.
Until next week, amigos. I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go. Since my goal each week is to supply an unflattering picture of Cruella de Vil, I leave you with this image... 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dark Orange and Grey

Admittedly, certain elements of this outfit step just a wee bit outside my comfort zone but that doesn't mean I wouldn't wear this ensemble. I'm not much of a Toms fan, and other than winter beanies I don't really wear hats. However, in putting together this week's style, these particular items suddenly became appealing. So here's to stepping outside the comfort zone.

Dark Orange & Grey

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beaver Dams, Highlights & What Are You Laughing At?

Park City, Utah. A helicopter. A landscape so awe-inspiring that Ben can hardly focus on his task at hand: to weed out the crazies in the great outdoors.
Canyons Resort. What a place. What a view. Chris starts us off with that oh-so-familiar run-down of the date scenario. If and when you get time with Ben, don’t talk about the weather. Enjoy the dates. Enjoy the suites. Cool the crazy and have some fun.
Rachel, let’s let nature take its course. As much as I love Kacie, I’m a little bit over the crying. Every date upsets her. I’m determined not to let her slip down my favorites list, but she may not hold my top spot if she continues the weak moments.
Rachel middle-name-Rose used-to-be-a-man twilight-teeth rides off in the show’s most frequent means of transportation, a chopper. Upon landing he takes her to a lush hillside, fall’s vibrant colors beginning to creep into the foliage. They crawl into a canoe on a beautiful little lake. Nature at its finest. But I could think of a few other girls in the house this would suit better. Am I unfairly basing that statement on looks? Maybe, but it is what it is. The uneven heavy bangs, the outdated nose ring, the tacky tragus piercing, the jacked up teeth, the testosterone, I’m sorry I just can’t get on board with her. Is it just me or did they quickly run out of things to talk about? And did I really hear him say crow’s feet? The awkward silence finally comes to an end. Their evening involves a dinner where all cowpoke go to die. A remote looking cabin with less than stellar decor. Nonetheless, they sit for dinner. Rose looming. The flower, not the middle name. 
Back at the resort, the group date card arrives. Kacie really wants to be on it even though she’d rather have alone time. Again with the weakness.
Mr. Ed/Hook
Sammy Sash
Weird upper lip Courtney, the “model”
Let’s See if You’re a Great Catch. Gee what ever could that mean?
Back to the uncomfortable dinner. Ben begins what appears to be the kiss of death speech. Rachel points out the heat of those flames cracking in the background. She jumps into a speech about something - not sure what at this point - being something she has failed at in past relationships. Ben interjects to ask what this mystery thing is. Communication. Ya think? 
Rachel: Ben if you want to know something just ask. I struggle with the communication thing, but I’m really honest.
Ben: So tell me something personal.
Rachel: I like mayonnaise on my fries.
Ben: This is so painfully boring. How about we talk about that beaver dam.
Rachel: Ahhhyeeeeahhh. You said beaver.
Ben: At least you’re paying attention. Seriously though, tell me something more personal. What has been your biggest heartbreak?
Rachel: Is there a piercing parlor around here?
Ben: Seriously, middle name rose, I’m trying to communicate. What’s your deal?
Rachel: Do you watch the Real Housewives of BH? Isn’t that Mauricio a hunk?!
Ben: Are you kidding me. Do you even see this rose?
Rachel: Hey that’s my middle name!
Ben: Omgosh I know this! Focus, woman. Did you have fun today out on the lake?
Rachel: I used to have a Strawberry Shortcake life vest. I wore it even when I wasn’t swimming because I loved it so much. OH OH OH and there was this one time at the city pool when I peed, and and.......
Ben: Just shut up. Even though this is about the most discombobulated date I’ve ever been on, and even though I don’t like all of the metal in your head, I’m going to give you this rose. I’m not sure why, but here it is. Do you want it?
Rachel: Yep. Next time, I have a band camp story for you! Now let’s go make some S’mores.
Groupppp daaaate tiiiiime. Always entertaining. The girls get a taste of the great outdoors. We quickly establish that Ben isn’t exactly a trained equestrian, as indicated by the sheer fright on his face as his horse trudged through the creek. Lindzi our little horseback rider did not wear boots. Most confusing element of this date. Sammy Sash expresses her terror (I feel you girl!) of riding a horse and Courtney warns everyone to watch out for poop. What exactly does she think will happen if a horse steps in a pile? The girls reach their destination. Fly fishing. Courtney fist pumps and says yayy. Sarcasm much? Ben makes his way to Kacie. And in a shocking turn of events, we get to see Courtney’s famous double-edge sword and super sharp tongue. She thinks Kacie is cute and sweet and kindof annoying. She spews all sorts of delusional nonsensical claims about the other girls being jealous and such. Sooo ready for this she-devil to go home! How did that idiot catch a fish. I’m not gonna lie, she really does seem truly dumb. In the truest sense of the word. Like can’t coherently string a sentence together, has no words over 5 letters in her vocabulary, completely lacking social skills dumb. That fishing trip couldn’t have ended soon enough.
After they retire to the pool area, Casey is the first to get a moment alone. I’m not sure what was said because I couldn’t stop trying to figure out if she was wearing a pink bra or if she had a pink bikini on underneath that sheer top. Then Nicki comes along. I’m not sure why conversation always gets heavy with this group of girls, but she starts in about her dead boss. That leads Ben to talk about his dead friend. And in walks perky little Sammy Sash to throw some spirit into the night. And by spirit, I mean tension. She proceeds to nag him about not getting enough time with him. It takes some nerve to grill him about only taking her on group dates as opposed to one-on-ones. He’ll be having NONE of that tone, young lady. He sends Sammy and her sash packing. I get the feeling she’s not used to rejection. Maybe she’ll be humbled by this. Home to prance around in her tiara until her self-esteem rebounds. Lame. I’ve always wondered what makes these girls think that any guy, especially one with 25 women fawning over him at the same time, will stop and take notice of a jealous catty hostile woman who puts a man on the spot for not giving her enough attention. I feel the need to submit an article to Cosmo on this topic.
Date card time. Jennifer. Let’s Pick Our Love Song dot dot dot. A man after my own heart with the dot dot dot. 
Ben escorts Kacie to his suite, where he reassures her that he has feelings for her. That’s all she needs. She’s happy again...AND she gets the kiss he deprived her of in the river earlier. On the couch. Love in an elevator. Whatever it takes.
We cut to Courtney sitting alone on the outdoor furniture awaiting some alone time. She finally gets it, of course. ABC must think about ratings. She points out again that she caught a fish. Does she need a trophy of some sort to shut her up. Then they kiss. Just before she starts in. It’s the night of the whining. Now we get to hear her sad song about three being a crowd and losing sight of things and so on and so forth and gahhhhh! Is this a game? I’m hearing her tell him he has a bunch of great girls here. I’m running out of words for this girl. She hates every girl there. She has nothing good to say. Yet she tells Ben the opposite. How do you describe a girl like this? Female Bentley. But without the good looks, charm, wit & humor. Courtney did the song and dance thing to tug at his heart strings, and it got her the rose. While the other girls sit and chat and watch their hair increase in volume tenfold, Ben comes to get the rose. He awards it to the sociopath. I have no more words. Just anger.
Ben comes to pick up Jennifer. Courtney’s prediction: she doesn’t know that Jennifer will get a rose tonight. Does Courtney know what an actual prediction is? Somebody buy this tart a dictionary. Moving on. Ben and Jennifer trek up a mountain side for a short jaunt to a fenced in area with a No Trespassing sign. They throw caution to the wind and cross over anyway to find a crater awaiting them. He informs her that she will be spelunking in a little yellow bikini. She’s ok with that. Thanks to the mountain breeze and a uniform part, we now know that Jennifer's vivid locks are from a bottle. Which raises even more questions about the superfluousness of that hue. Regardless, he likes her. Primarily for her canoodling abilities.
Back at Canyons, the sane girls sit and dish on crazy Courtney. In the midst of it, our resident sociopath saunters in attempting to ingrain intimidation in the other, less-deserving, women she detests who she also finds great when Ben is around.
Meanwhile, Ben and red plunge to the bottom of a crater for some serene togetherness and, predictably, some kissing. They later hopped aboard a ski lift to take in the panorama under the Utah sky. As they settle in to their romantic dinner, storm clouds move in and it starts to rain and rumble. They break into song with some Garth Brooks Thunder Rolls. Not really, but I sure did.
The girls are assessing, and possibly taking bets on, the likelihood that Ben will keep red around. Blakeley is foiling Emily in the bathroom. Did I miss something? I didn’t know she had a day job as a hair stylist. Elyse and Monica are perched on the counter joining in on the Courtney bashing. I haven’t seen a more hated contestant since Miss Money...and even she had a few friends.
Needless to say, red gets the wet rose. She also gets more kisses and another ride on ski lift slash gondola. They then see the great Clay Walker. They dance as Ben lip syncs, before making their way to the front to slow it down a little while women around them eerily glare. In that moment, nobody else exists...except for the creepers all up in their slow-dance biznass.
Stormy cocktail party time. Woohoo. I’d like to begin with props to Kacie for her stunning earrings! He first pulls Monica (who I perplexingly no longer hate or even dislike) aside. However we don’t see any of that conversation. They must have talked about the weather or the quality of tequila the barkeep was offering up. Anyway, we move on to Emily’s alone time. She does exactly what you should NEVER.EVER do on this show. She spent her valuable alone time talking about someone else. Granted, I agree with everything she said and feels. BUT you don’t win a race by focusing on your opponent. Attempts at sabotage rarely end well... especially on this show. I think she may have shot herself in the foot but we’ll see.
And as for the Courtney-bashing, what the heck with Casey? This is out of nowhere. Editing has played some dirty tricks on us I guess, because I’ve never seen anyone interacting or forming a bond with the kookoo “model” Courtney. But Casey just threw us a screwball. She slipped further down my list because of it. She’s apparently not the sharpest knife in the drawer not to pick up on Courtney’s flaws. And after Emily spilled, what did Casey do? Ran straight to Courtney to stir the pot. Really Casey? You’ve known these girls for all of what, 2-3 weeks? And you’re stirring it up? Ugh. What an asinine move to start a shiznat storm of drama! Casey rapidly jumped from simply vapid to vapid & utterly imbecile in my book.
When did the rain turn to snow? I’m confused. Oh well. Nicki gets to go out in the snow with Ben. Since I love - I mean REALLY love - snow, this is so cool to me. You can clearly see that their connection is still there.
Downstairs, Courtney sits by the fire in the main room...still whining about the fact that Emily is talking about her. So let me get this straight. Courtney is judging Emily for talking so much crap about her....while Courtney sits and talks crap about Emily. Ok that makes perfect sense. *insert sarcasm here* Yes, Emily screwed up by talking about Courtney to Ben. But seriously, Courtney is evil. She’s hateful, back-biting, petty, juvenile, unsophisticated and mean, plain and simple. Everyone watching the show can see it now. Especially after her little scene in front of the group. The inappropriate laughing. The cat claws. The winning statement. The gloating about the rose. Speaking of which, I must mention her “moment” with her rose in her interview clip. I rewound and watched again to make sure I really saw what I thought I saw.

"OH! I have a rose. Emily doesn't."

Yep. That happened!

Enter Harrison. Ting ting ting. Sorry to interrupt. It’s time to give out some roses.
Lindzi - No brainer.
Jamie - Whew! Worry no more. Now give her a one on one!
Nicki - Our snow bunny scores a rose.
Kacie - Was there ever any doubt!
Elyse - She flew under the radar this week, but she rubbed the back of his neck and told him he won’t regret giving her a rose. I’m calling it right now. She gets a one-on-one next week so that he can explore this promise of hers.
Hook - She flew under the radar and did not irritate me this week. What does this mean?
Casey - Curses!
Emily - Did you see the look on Courtney’s face. Priceless.
We bid adieu to our girl Monica. She turned out to be a little less crazy than I thought. I was starting to like her. Although Ben obviously wasn’t. Her limo interview showed a little more emotion than I thought she had in her. At this point, my focus is on outing Courtney. But somehow, I feel she sticks around for a while. I am definitely banking on the hope that although Emily’s plan to out Courtney backfired, maybe the seed is planted in Ben’s mind. If he’ll just open his eyes and see past this beauty in Courtney’s appearance that others speak of (which I personally don’t see) he will end up noticing some of the stuff everyone else sees. Everyone except for Casey, anyway.
Next week Vieques, Puerto Rico. Courtney was just there 2 months ago. AND she can raise her glass higher than anyone.
Previews for next week show lots of fun, lots of sun, lots of romance, lots of yacht & unfortunately lots of skin. Gross. For an entire week, we are left to ponder why Emily didn’t learn her lesson after this week’s botched attempt at sabotage. She was one of my early favorites, but if we are to spend every week watching her complain about another girl to Ben, I’m over her. I’m all about the catty comments kept inside the house because it makes for good drama, but I cannot stand to watch girls moan and groan to the Bachelor. Same old same old “she’s different around you than she is with us” speech we’ve seen so many times before.
Get out your coconuts and umbrella straws, people. Next week we go tropical!
Until then, my lovelies.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Country Music Concert Look

This week's style is dedicated to the country music concert look, as this entry falls on the heels of my fun time at a SICK Eric Church concert over the weekend. While these aren't the boots I bought for myself, I do love these boots. I never pictured myself as a cowboy - or shall I say cowgirl - boot type of gal but now that I have some of my own, I'm developing a passion for them. They aren't just for cowgirls anymore. There's a certain element of fashion that has been incorporated into what was once almost exclusively a signature shoe of riders and ropers. I am neither of those, but I am a lover of cute shoes. And believe you me, there are some cuuu-uuute cowgirl boots on the market now...and this week's style features a pair of them. Also pictured are some clothing and accessories I find awesome! So ladies, go out and buy yourself a new pair of really hot heel kickers and get your cowgirl on. (Click the picture for item details and to see this on Polyvore)

Country Music Concert

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Episode 3 - Drama in San Fran

The opening scene shows us the beauty that is San Francisco. Gorgeous city, and soooo on my “leap list” of places to visit.
Ben sits down for a chat with his sister. I’m always a sucker for a guy who loves his sister! He progresses to begin naming girls he believes will have a rapport with her and their Mom. As he tells her about Courtney and how they would hit it off because Courtney is drama-free. HOLD THE PHONE. Did he say drama free? I almost choked on the words themselves.
Back to the hotel. The girls are taken aback at the beauty of the city by the bay. All is well in the suite. Alas but not for long. Chris makes an appearance to explain the one-on-one and group date situations, and to leave the first date card. Chris doesn’t even have the door completely shut before Elyse hops up to read it. Emily - “Love Lifts Us Up.” She sees heights in her near future. What is she going to wear? What will they be doing? Does it involve high places? Will she pee herself? It's no surprise that catty Courtney shows her colors in her interview clip where she says “book smart can be a little boring.” I’m pretty sure that is code for: “I have an IQ of 27”...and I’m being generous here. Forrest Gump once beat her in a game of Scrabble... or was it Jr. Pictionary? Either way. Stupid is as stupid does. By the way, her upper lip...never mind.
Moving on.
Emily’s big date. A climb to the top of the Bay Bridge. Now I’m no expert in thrill-seeking, but this isn’t exactly my idea of a great date. A couple of metal hooks and some neon suspenders separating them from a plunge to their untimely demise. No thanks. If you need an entourage of professionals in hardhats to assist in your date, well, as they say - here’s your sign.
From the suite telescope (you know, because all hotel rooms have telescopes), Jennifer “coincidentally” spots them climbing the bridge railing. The girls pretend to be concerned, while being secretly jealous, while mentally sabotaging the climb, while pretending to be happy for her. Wonder if they also saw the awkward kiss from high atop the bridge. I’m all about the romance, people. But in that situation, kissing would be the LAST thing on my mind. More like Pearly Gates, final prayers & sweaty palms kind of stuff.
Dinner time. Kudos to ABC for the romantic little table on the pier by the bay. One question though - why are Ben’s lips glistening? Anyhoo, quiet conversation about his rejected proposal to the gravy potato eater. She moves on to a story about online dating. She tells him she posted some nude overly-attractive pictures of herself. Apparently she forgot to include in her match dot com bio that she’d rather not share DNA with anyone. Her first match? ”Peter” aka DNA-sharing brother. Awwwkwarrrrd. More date conversation. Blah blah blah. Man, seriously, those lips are so shiny. 
Back at the suite, the group date card:
Kacie B
Sammy Sash
and...... Casey S
“Let’s Cross Something Off Our Leap List”
Emily and Ben sit on the pier still, rose slash elephant looming. After he states that she is smarter than he, the rose becomes hers. Was there ever any doubt. Next a kiss under the fireworks. And bam. Shiny lips again. Seriously, what? Careful, Benny-boo. She’ll slide right off of those shimmery suckers.
Yay, group date time. There’s always drama on the group date! Wardrobe assessment:
Jamie decked out in the cutest belted sundress with super adorable wedges.
Rachel shopped at Dollar General for her attire.
It hurts my soul to say this, but Blakeley FINALLY looks cute...although her earrings and hair accessory = fail.
Poor Erika and her nursing home drapes.
Kacie looking stunning as usual.
Monica rolled out of bed, threw her hair in a pony & forgot to shed the red floral negligee.
Nicki looking a little too Nautica.
Black is definitely Elyse’s color!
Jaclyn’s romper, uhhh, the word pixelated springs to mind.
Sammy Sash is working the white, looking like a sore thumb.
And Casey. Poor Casey. She didn’t get the memo that Daisy Dukes left with Jessica Simpson. AND she paired those shorty shorts with a tight-fitting low cut tank top and a pair of chunky platform lace up heels. Somebody call Brad Goreski! This girl needs help.
They are going snow skiing. Huhh? In sunny San Fran?
They hop in their matching Honda CRVs and head out. The interior wallpaper (cool, by the way) switches from Rachel to Blakeley and what to my surprise?! Monica says she’d rather look at Rachel. A glimmer of hope in the once Blakeley-obsessed Amazonian with homoerotic tendencies. Maybe even SHE realizes that hook isn't a friendly girl.
They take off perusing the hilly streets. They pass by Joey & Uncle Jessie, and by Mrs. Doubtfire, before finding a snowy street. Well, hey, why don’t we all just strip down to our bikinis and snow ski. Now there’s a sentence not many get the opportunity to say. Ya think this was Ben’s idea? Ya think?
Anyway, they all bare some skin. Yes, even Ben. Ok, so he’s no Brad - but definitely worthy of a mention, so in the spirit of the countdown... 33 minutes, ladies! It’s really not fair that these girls are so smoothly sculpted. So that I don’t appear to be a hater, I must redeem myself. If I looked like that, I’d go snow skiing in a bikini too! And I’m being sooo for real. Sammy left her Daisies on, Jamie left her dress on, but Blakeley left very little to the imagination. One slip in the snow and that little ace bandage would have slipped right off. But then again, that may have been her goal. And goal #2: to entice him with the tat playing peek-a-boo from underneath her bikini bottom. Ok Blakeley we get it, you’re a VIP. That’s a capital V, capital I, capital P. I won’t even begin to disclose my translation of that acronym.
It’s so thoughtful of all of the creepers, both male and female, to look on from the sidewalks and windows, glaring and snapping pics that will no doubt be pasted all over Facebook. Whatever it takes to sneak a peak, right? Just when the inappropriate nature of the whole scene is beginning to irritate my gag reflex, a reprieve! Out came a barrage of collisions, falls, splits, jumps, face plants and a backwards butt ski...whatever that is. Some humor in the face of the obvious voyeurism from the rooftops. The disturbing, borderline softcore Cinemax material, snow scene was finally coming to a close.
The girls left behind at the hotel sit and wait on the next one-on-one date card. Who will it be? It’s Brittney, “Let’s Unlock Our Love With the Key to the City.” None too enthused, granny’s girl opens the case to find a key with an SF monogram. Cheese factor - through the roof. Out of nowhere, this girl gets her crocheted granny (pun intended) panties in a wad. She’s torn and confused. About what? What kind of spineless dull fuddy-duddy gets scared to go on a date on a DATING SHOW! I like her even less.
So by now, the ski bunnies have changed into their evening attire. They all sit around a gorgeous pool. He pulls Rachel aside. She leis him. Literally. Not sure where the lei comes into play, but oh well. Ben got lei’d by Rachel. The producers will have us think Kacie is getting insecure. I’m not falling for it, though. I am, however, disappointed in her for pulling the old “this is hard” line with a bachelor. I hate that line. Be strong, Kacie B. Pull it together, sister. Don’t let him see your weakness. But then, just when I think she’s throwing it in the crapper, she kisses him and switches gears. Atta girl.
Back at the suite, granny panties cries and whines about how her heart isn’t in this. She doesn’t want to compete with this many other girls. Oh good grief lose the grannies and strap on your big girl panties. Last I checked, it’s kindof obvious from the beginning that there will be other girls. Ugh, anyway. So just as Hook is doing the woe-is-me thing about how they all hate her and they’re all jealous, and just before I threw something THROUGH the tv, here comes whiny britches to save Ben from the horror of that god-awful conversation. From one terrible convo to another. Geez these girls are killing me tonight. So granny’s girl breaks the news. He’s not too heart-broken. Neither am I. Was she ever even in it for the “right” reasons? Won’t granny Sheryl be disappointed? Did she really say eKspecially? Without skipping a beat, Ben awards the rose to Rachel. Although I can’t figure out why Monica was crying.
Time for the second fiddle one-on-one, my girl Lindzi. Sooo loving her fab shoes. They ride a trolly (who else was hearing Vince Vaughn saying “hold on. angel crossing”) to city hall. A private concert with Matt Nathanson was a nice touch. A password-please hole in the wall reminiscent of the 1920s was an even nicer touch. I was waiting on them to run into Scooby and Shaggy in those secret passageways. She tells him about the text from her ex DB of a BF... “babe welcome to dumpsville population YOU.” Whaa? Who does that? Whatevs. After they kick it at Bourbon and Branch they head off to a piano store, complete with candlelight and a beautiful grand piano. Who knew Benny-boo could tickle the ivories. And what did he play but “This Year’s Love.” I melted.
Then the drama begins to unfold. We see the creepy mystery lady in her Honda rolling up a remote highway, then crossing into San Fran, giving Chris a heads up that she’s headed to see Ben. Unsuspecting, the girls retire to the rooftop for one of the most beautiful cocktail parties I’ve ever seen. One question - WHO is going to bite the bullet and tell Jennifer that red dresses (especially coupled with hot pink) do not go with red hair? Seriously, somebody tell her. Oh well, at least she’s the best kisser in the house. The girls toast. Upperlip, of ALL people, toasts to a drama-free night. Ok, Forrest. Easy now.
Ben immediately jumps into alone time with red so he could get some more of her slobbery kisses. Our mystery girl, who we now know is Shawntel, arrives. Nicki successfully instigates a little guessing game which Ben obviously enjoys, and whose insecurities shine through while watching? None other than the shrew, herself. Courtlip. Did she actually say “bless her little heart” about Nicki? Right before claiming Nicki looks like an idiot? Well holy mother of Lieutenant Dan. Now THAT’S some nerve. Then she proceeds to bash Hook, claim Ben needs to “trim the fat” & falseley and out of nowhere accuses Lindzi of making faces, all before exiting the room leaving the girls dumbfounded. Thanks for that weirdness, Sybil. She does get her alone time, though. Shallow conversation, cold hands, colder kisses... the only thing missing was a check yes or no note along with the “you like me?” question. Do adults really say that? Well I guess life is like a box of chocolates...
Shawntel walks through the room and jaws drop, pulses race, profanities fly. Here comes turmoil in a red dress. She goes straight through to Elyse’s alone time and puts the kibosh on that in a hurry. She proceeds to throw Ben a curve ball by letting him know she wants a chance. He then introduces Shawntel to the firing squad. She gets grilled and nobody is happy, including myself. In keeping it clean, WHO THE HECK does she think she is? I’d love to give Elyse a high five for her devilish looks. I thoroughly enjoyed watching these girls rip her a new one. I heard “creeper” and “drain blood for a living” during the trash session. Hahahaaaaayeah. Vein drain. We got to see Courtney cry. Woohoo. Call me heartless, but I reveled in that moment.
On to the rose ceremony. I think it was obvious to everyone that this would come down to the final rose. They’ll save Shawntel for last. Initial recipients included:
Courtney - Ugh. Gahhh. Bleck. And the idiot threw some jabs his way along with a “what’s her butt”. Ok wow. Run Forrest Run.
Kacie - Was there ever a doubt?
Elyse - Fantastic. I like her more each episode.
Jamie - She needs alone time next week, Ben! She’s fading.
Jennifer - He just wants more kisses.
Casey S - She isn’t even on the radar yet.
Hook - It was the ace bandage.
Monica - She actually looked pretty tonight. Still a side of crazy though.
Nicki - Sweetheart stays.
Sammy Sash - I don’t even know what to say.
It’s final rose time and we have a fainter. Oddest moment in Bachelor history. I’ve never seen someone so patently hanging on by a thread. This girl was like a leaning tower of blocks. The rose goes to no one. Emily was like the cat that ate the canary. I have to admit, I was pleasantly in shock too. I thought sure that Shawntel would get it. But nope. Home to drain some people. Even as I say it, I’m creeped out. Ick. She gets the boot. In the words of the one without a clue, “Sayonara.” Awesome ending!
Next week - Utah. Adventure. Horseback riding. Makeout sessions with Hook and with Forrest. Gross. And if I’m not mistaken, he sends Nicki home in a black SUV. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m afraid I’m dead on. More Courtney drama. Oh geez Ben, kick her to the curb. I’m afraid she’s in it for the long haul, though. Or at least until the episode with the skinny dipping, for I feel she is the trollop baring it all in that scene we’ve seen preview.
Until next week, my friends. I leave you with something to make you feel better about yourself...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Spoiler Alert - Mystery Girl Revealed

Whoa! There's a word. Whoa! So I'm sitting home today nursing a doozy of a stomach-ache. Stretched out in the recliner, resting, watching my favorite morning news program, GMA. Then it happened. A commercial for tonight's Bachelor which shows the mystery girl. Boom. There she was. Without so much as a "spoiler alert" content warning to forewarn viewers. As an extreme lover of surprises, you can imagine my shock and disappointment. How could ABC disclose Ben's mystery girl in such a blatant manner. In earlier previews we have seen the other girls appearing not to be familiar with the mystery girl, asking questions such as, "who is that?". Have these girls been living under a rock? We now know that the mystery guest is... SPOILER ALERT...

Shawntel Newton! Yes THAT Shawntel. The one with the vein drain and the leakage. Brad's Shawntel. Or as he called her: Shawn-tall. Or was it Shan-tell. The boy always did a mix-and-match when pronouncing Shawntel and Chantal.
Anyhoo, we have seen waist down previews of her entrance on tonight's episode, where the other girls don't have a clue who it is. This brings a question to mind. In the pre-screening process, do they not ask "do you watch the show"? Moving on, now it's out there. Nothing left to the imagination, except of course the reason for her return. After all, how does she even know Ben? Why would they allow something like this? Why wouldn't they toss someone a little more controversial in the mix...someone with the last name Money comes to mind. Maybe business is slow and Shawntel would like to provide some burial plot counseling. Maybe she feels her 15 minutes of fame wasn't satisfactory. Maybe she wants to land a spot on the next Bachelor Pad. Who knows. But whatever happens, submissive little Shawntel will probably regret jumping into this viper pit, for she will get eaten alive. Oh well, at least she has the hookup for a final resting place. I, personally, can't wait to watch it all play out!

Until tonight.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Steppin' Out in Coral & Gold

While I am not a fan of orange in its traditional sense, I adore coral. It is such a lovely color that it does not need to be upstaged by other bright colors. Therefore, the perfect accompaniment is something toned down to make way for this shirt and shoes to pop. Coral is nicely complemented by neutrals in the gold family. Hope you like.

Steppin' Out in Coral & Gold

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Cheesecake Factory

How have I never added this one to my list of favorite cheesecakes? THIS is the one. The Grand Poobah of all cheesecakes. The best I’ve ever had, hands down! While The Cheesecake Factory has an extensive menu of tasty-looking choices, I walked through the doors knowing exactly what I was there for. Not a Cobb salad, not a Cuban sandwich, I was only interested in a delicious slice of cheesecake. And not some specialty froufrou piece of Lemon Raspberry or Peanut Butter Cup Fidge Ripple...I’m talking about the Original. Topped with strawberries of course. I always opt for fresh strawberries or strawberry topping on my cheesecake. I’m also down with a light accent of chocolate glaze when available.

I digress.
This cheesecake! Words can’t do it justice. Try it. You WON’T be disappointed!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fallon rocks the Beethoven!

Sorry, SNL haters. Not all of us feel the way you do. I'm in the "I Love SNL" club, and this is seriously one of my favorite skits EVER!! Thank you, Jimmy Fallon and friends!!

The Fisherman's Parable

I always love a good story with a profound meaning. A life lesson of sorts. This is one of my favorites. I tried my hand in the business world, and it was a great experience. I was offered some opportunities that could have yielded great returns. I met some wonderful people, but I met a few unscrupulous sharks as well. I was treated with great respect by some, ruthlessly disrespected by a few, and was completely invisible to yet a few more. Nonetheless, I am proud to be back in education. While this parable in itself had nothing to do with my decision to leave the business world, it does further justify - for me - that I made the right decision. Slow down and relish life. Commit to a career you love. Have a healthy passion for what you do. Make time to enjoy life and all it has to offer. That is how I choose to spend my time...before I'm too old to enjoy it and before my kids are grown. Money is money. You can't take it with you when you go.

The Fisherman and the Businessman

An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied, “only a little while.”

The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.

The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

“But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

“Millions – then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your grandkids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”