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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Gameweek. What Up.

It's the most wonderful time of the year,
the scalpers are selling,
and everyone's yelling,
so be of good cheer,
it's the most wonderful time of the year.

It's the hap-happiest season of all,
girls in sundresses,
no troubles unless
we happen to lose
it's the hap-happiest season of all...

There'll be weenies for roasting,
and tailgates for hosting,
and everyone goes;
there'll be lots of old stories
and tales of the glories of
championships long, long ago...

It's the most wonderful time of the year
there'll be much whistleblowing,
and running and throwing,
and plenty of beer,
it's the most wonderful time of the year....

There'll be lots of concussions,
and players on crutches,
but come rain or snow
we'll pack the stands
with cold drinks in our hands,
and let everyone know,



It's the most wonderful time of the yearrrrrrrrr!





Just 72 hours 'til my favorite day of the year. Picture a sea of orange, with beautiful women in sundresses everywhere--tiger paws painted on their cheeks. Somewhere, off in the distance, the marching band plays. Mimosas and Bloody Marys flow by morning, followed by beer pong and meat, stuffed with meat, wrapped in meat for lunch. 80,000+ fans rocking Death Valley, capped by a night of activities you'll barely remember. Ahh, kickoff Saturday...I'm SO glad you're back.




Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Day Late and A Dollar Short (or A Kiss is Worth A Thousand Tears)

I’m really angry at the producers of Bachelor Pad. This is a summer show. It’s supposed to be light hearted popcorn fare. The contestants compete for $250,000, create a little drama for us to poke fun of, and when it’s over we all go home no worse for wear. That’s how it works.

One thing this show is absolutely, unequivocally  NOT supposed to do…is MAKE ME FEEL THINGS! But apparently SOMEONE didn’t get the memo, and as a result the show hit just a little too close to home tonight.
Bastards.

Anyway, as the curtains open on this week’s Bachelor Pad, we pick up the action right where it left off with Kasey’s name being called and Jake being eliminated from the competition. When they cut the show the way they did last week, I was really hoping it was because Jake was going to punch someone, or pull a Scarface from Half Baked (f**k you, f**k you, you’re cool, f**k you, I’m out!).

So you can imagine my disappointment when he inexplicably takes the high road. Sure, he tells the other contestants that they need to vote out the power couples (something I agree with, by the way…how Kasey is still in the house at this point is just beyond me), but then he completely ruins it with the following exchange:

Jake: Kasey, great to meet you.

Me: What?? He’s been openly plotting against you since you walked through the door!
Jake: Vienna, I’m sorry.
Me: ARE YOU F**KING KIDDING ME? $250,000, Jake…250 grand! That’s what she took from you. And you’re sorry??

I’m sure he was just doing it so people would think he’s a good guy, but honestly, I liked Rated R’s exit better than this. At least it had balls. I bet Jake didn’t even curse in his limo ride home; I bet ABC just bleeped a random word so he wouldn’t look like such a goober. Too late!

Moving right along, there’s been another interesting situation brewing in the house for a couple of weeks. It seems Michael has developed feelings for Holly again, who misses Michael but is also developing feelings for Blake. In addition, Melissa, who’s apparently never dated before, thinks that because she kissed him a couple of times she ALSO has feelings for Blake. So Michael likes Holly who likes Blake, whom Melissa also likes.

Is there such a thing as a love square?

The next morning brings competition time, and you know what that means. Chris motherf**kin’ Harrison, bitches. He saunters in, and his presence alone gets 3 of the girls and one of the guys pregnant. He announces that this week’s competition will be…THE SECOND ANNUAL BACHELOR PAD KISSING CONTEST!

Much like the US credit rating, Standard and Poor immediately downgrades the awesomeness potential for this contest when the hottest girl in the house, Michelle Money, decides to abstain. (Hmm, I bet that’s the first time anyone has ever used the word abstain in a blog about Bachelor Pad). Nonetheless, I’m pretty excited.

The highlights/lowlights of this competition are pretty straightforward:

-William kisses like a 3rd grader, shyly giving pecks because he doesn’t want to piss any of the other guys off.

-Ella gives America a lesson in kissing technique, and says Blake has ‘babymakin’ kisses. On an unrelated note, I decide she has one of the sexiest accents I’ve ever heard.

-Kasey has terrible breath (seriously, I’ve broken up with girls for having chronic bad breath, and this is a kissing competition. How did you not find an Altoid??).

-Erica really likes talking about those lip injections. (Shudder).

-And Blake and Holly straight up get AFTER IT. They realize it’s a competition and hold nothing back, sucking face with everyone they can get their lips on. I’m pretty sure they’d have tongued the camera crew if it helped them win.

In the end, Blake and Ella win. I’m not terribly surprised. Ella has great lips, and Blake has an EXTREMELY high level of confidence in himself. In almost any endeavor, including kissing, confidence in yourself and your abilities is incredibly important.

When Ella’s date card arrives, she chooses to take Kirk. As they pull away in a red Ferrari, William says if he’d know about the car he would’ve approached the kissing contest completely differently. Right…so you’ll whore it up for a ride in a shiny car, but not for $250,000 dollars? Seriously, sometimes I wonder about people.

Ella and Kirk both seem very nice, so I don’t have much to say about their date. They talk about her son, his illness, and what they’d do with the money. I notice Kirk avoids talking about taxidermy. Glad to see he learns from past mistakes.

When Blake’s date card arrives, I’m pretty sure everyone in America knows who he is going to choose, except Melissa. Despite all the events of the previous two weeks, she somehow still believes they have a romantic connection. I almost feel bad for her, until I realize that’s the most irrational line of thought I’ve ever heard. You’ve kissed twice, after which he told you he thought it was best that you didn’t continue. He has more interest in hair products than he does you…get over it.

But of course, when Blake chooses Holly, Melissa immediately goes all Mommy Dearest on that ass. Seriously, Hurricane Irene did less damage than Melissa. Sheesh. Unfortunately for her, however, all of her histrionics serve only to turn more and more people in the house against her. When one guy says ‘get this girl away from me,’ and another makes a reference to you cutting off his member, your chances of making it through to the next round don’t look good.

Which brings us to the part of the show that really affected me…

As I watched Michael ruminate on losing Holly, talking about all the things he should’ve done differently before she left the house, I found myself wondering why it’s always AFTER the person you love leaves that you realize the extent of how you feel.

When she was there, he wasn’t sure he loved her. When she was gone, suddenly he was. When she was there, you stubbornly clung to your ways. When she was gone, you’d have changed yourself completely just to get her back.

But why? We’ve all heard a thousand times that you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. It’s obviously a cliché because it’s true. But if we KNOW it’s true, then why are we completely incapable of doing a damned thing about it??

My heart ached for Michael because I’ve been dealing with those same feelings as of late. I don’t broadcast my personal life a lot, but I’ve been head over heels in love with a girl for a hot minute now and up until recently we lived together. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that ultimately my unwillingness to change and/or grow up caused her to rethink our situation and move out.

Since then, I’ve realized the error of my ways and have been busting my ass 8 ways from Sunday to prove to her I can be the man she deserves. But see, that’s the rub. At some point, it’s too late. If you’re Michael, one day you look up and Holly is more interested in Blake than getting back together with you.  And all the pretty words in the world aren’t going to take her back to what you used to have.

If you’re me….well, I still don’t know what’s going to happen with me yet.

The point is, you could see that Michael was crushed when he told Holly the way he felt about her and she no longer reciprocated those feelings. And I felt awful for him. But as a beautiful girl named Maria once told me, you’re only a day late and a dollar short if you allow yourself to be. If we wait until the people we love are leaving to do what needs to be done, we have only ourselves to blame if it turns out to be too little, too late.

I know Michael will find happiness again in time if things don’t work out with Holly. He’s a wonderful guy with a lot to offer. And I know the same is true for me. But I also know that it doesn’t lessen the pain we feel in the moment. So I’m sorry, bud. I hate it for you.

(Side Note: Props to Kirk for being a good friend and trying to make Stag feel better. Sometimes a shot or two of whiskey is the best cure for an aching heart.)

Moving on, I have to admit that I absolutely LOVED Blake and Holly’s date. Maybe it has something to do with my love for snowboarding, or maybe it’s just that I know these kids and they’re both really cool people.  In any event, Michael’s pain aside, you can’t deny that Blake and Holly are really cute together. They seem to be completely at ease around one another, and always appear to be having the best time.

(Side note: I adored that Holly was a TERRIBLE skiier, but still had a blast doing it. It says a lot about a girl’s personality when she can let go of worrying about what others think and fully enjoy the moment. Kudos, chica.)

Back at the house, Melissa is still f**king nuts. She’s running around essentially YELLING at people not to vote her off. Yeah, because that’s going to work—people just LOVE when you bark orders at them. Yikes. Crazy-Town, Population: Melissa.

It’s pretty much a given that Melissa will be the girl going home (thank you sweet baby Jesus), but it’s unclear who will get the axe between Kasey and William. Since it would make WAY too much sense to get rid of the person with the most power, I’m guessing it’s going to be William.

When the rose ceremony finally rolls around, Melissa gets sent packing and you could almost see everyone’s posture relax a little as the stick in their collective asses climbs into her limo. And for the guys, it’s…drumroll please….WILLIAM!

I swear…do these people not realize that by helping Kasey and Vienna they’re screwing themselves out of 250 grand? I don’t know if you guys were aware of this, but SECOND PLACE DOESN’T GET ANY MONEY! The only conclusion I can draw is that Vienna is a witch (which wouldn’t really surprise me) who’s placed a spell over the house—“bubble, bubble, morons in trouble…”

I have to give William credit though. He got sent home because he wasn’t willing to stoop to some of the other contestants’ level. He played the game admirably, and while it only serves to confirm that nice guys finish last, I’m proud of him. Seems he’s learned from his past mistakes as well.

Until next week, dear readers—be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Prelude of Sorts (and the Worst First Date Ever)


They say that every story is ultimately about a girl. Mine is no different. My life has been defined--for better or worse--by the pursuit of love. What follows is a collection of true stories that happened in my quest for happily ever after.


I won't try to tell them all at once, because I doubt any of you have the time to read 400 pages of meandering prose in one sitting. So I'll dole them out one at a time. Some are funny, some are sad, and some are just plain embarrassing.


For the most part, I'm going to try to tell the stories in order, but the first one won't be. It's easily one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, so I figured we'd go ahead and get that out of the way first so I won't have to worry about losing any dignity later. It's called "The Worst First Date Ever." I hope you enjoy it.




Note: The tale I’m about to tell is easily one of the most embarrassing events of my life. I’m ashamed at the way I acted, and honestly can’t believe this was ever me. But…it’s part of my story, and since for me writing is about being honest, I’m going to tell it. Hopefully it’ll make you laugh.

The Worst First Date Ever

Every little girl fantasizes that her Prince Charming will one day come along on a white horse, sweep her off her feet, and ride off into the sunset living happily ever after. As far as I know, these daydreams of fairy tale romance don’t usually involve the prince urinating on their floor.

But when your Mr. Right is a 29 year old man-child with crippling emotional issues, all bets are off…

I met Maria in January of 2010. We’d gone to high school together, and I remember thinking how beautiful she was even then. She had long brown hair, big doe eyes, and a smile so magnificent that it kind of hurt a little to see it…like getting punched in the stomach and not quite being able to regain your breath. But we didn’t run in the same circles, and I had a girlfriend at the time, so we’d never actually spoken.

I was killing time at work one afternoon by doing some light Facebook stalking when her name appeared on my chat list. It had been just over a month since my last girlfriend dumped me, and not quite three years since my wife Sarah passed away. So to say that I probably wasn’t ready to meet the girl of my dreams would be an understatement. Still, I was lonely, and she was gorgeous. The combination of these powerful forces was too much for my tiny brain to handle.

I did what any right-minded man would do in that situation—I made up a bullshit reason to start a conversation. I think it was something about how much I loved her profile picture. It was an awesome picture, so I wasn’t exactly ‘lying,’ but since no one starts a random conversation about profile pics with a girl they’ve never even said hello to, I doubt I was fooling anyone.

We flirted back and forth via Facebook for a couple of weeks, and eventually I got her number. I can’t remember the reason she gave for giving it to me, but I didn’t waste any time. That night, aided by a little liquid courage, I sent her the following text: “Yes, I’m using your number already…I figured you should have my digits on speed dial in case you ever need a lawyer.”

Looking back, I don’t know why she even talked to me. I’d started one conversation with a lame compliment, and another one with a lame joke. But she went for it, and after spending another week flirting via text, and then a week after that talking on the phone, we finally got together on a cold Wednesday evening shortly before Valentine’s Day.

We were supposed to grab dinner and watch a basketball game at a bar in town called Group Therapy. I'd dressed the part, wearing jeans, a navy blue blazer and a white button-down shirt. But I decided to go to happy hour with my guy friends beforehand. In retrospect, this was my first mistake. At that period in my life, even though I didn’t consciously realize it I was still reeling from the loss of my wife, so I tended to go a little overboard with my drinking. By the time Maria showed up somewhere around 7, I was on my second pitcher of beer, four or five Car Bombs deep, and was already pretty close to blacking out. Sounds like the start of a bad date, right? Trust me, it gets worse.

Instead of turning around and leaving right then and there, which would have been completely justified, Maria decided to play along. But after about fifteen minutes of small talk, it became apparent that in my drunken state I wasn't going to offer to buy her a drink, so she went to the bar and got one for herself. A short time after that it also became obvious that I had forgotten about dinner, and was more interested in drinking with my friends than paying attention to her, so she called a friend to come keep her company while I ignored her.

Around 11 p.m., after I hadn't spoken to her for more than an hour, Maria walked up to me to say goodbye. She was tired, she was hungry, and she was absolutely fed up with me. In her words, she was 'done.' But when she saw how drunk I was, the compassionate side of her took over and she took me back to her place--not because she wanted to, but because she was worried I might die if I attempted to drive home.



Upon stumbling into her apartment, I promptly passed out on her couch. Since I was dead to the world, and she’d just gone on what she would later describe as the ‘worst first date ever,’ she went back out to get some food. When she returned, I was still asleep so she went to bed.

A while later, I woke her up by clumsily crawling into bed with her. I don’t know if this was in an attempt to sleep with her or if I was just looking for a warm place to lay my head. But in any case I passed out again as soon as I hit the pillow. I was still wearing all my clothes, and I didn't even make it under the covers, but by that point she was exhausted, so Maria rolled over and went back to sleep.

Then, sometime in the middle of the night, I peed on her floor.

She woke up to what sounded like a cup of water being poured on the ground. It took her eyes a second to get acclimated to the darkness, but when they did she couldn’t believe what she saw: me standing in the doorway, pants at my ankles, somehow still sleeping as I unleashed a stream of urine on her hardwood floors. The apartment was slanted, so as the liquid hit the ground, it began to roll back towards me, collecting at my feet and soaking my jeans.

She didn’t scream, or throw a shoe at my head. In fact, she was so mortified that she couldn’t speak or move at all. She just sat there and watched in horror as I relieved myself, the anger and bewilderment inside her causing her to lapse into a state of temporary paralysis.

When I finished, I stepped out of my jeans and boxers, and walked out of her room. I was now naked from the waist down, but still had on my shirt and blazer. Maria assumed I must have been going to the bathroom, but a while later when I still hadn’t returned to bed, she began to wonder where I’d gone. She looked around the apartment for me several times, but was unable to locate me.

About that time, her roommate, Gail, came home and asked how her night had gone. Maria was in the process of recounting her disastrous evening when they finally found me...

It seems defiling one bedroom hadn’t been enough, so after I finished peeing, I climbed—half naked, mind you—into her roommate’s bed, where I proceeded to cover myself with blankets and put pillows over my head, as if I was waiting to jump up and scare someone like some kind of semi-nude boogie man.



(I can only imagine how things would've played out if Maria had been sleeping when Gail came home and went to bed only to find a random man there, wearing a suit jacket and no pants. I must've looked like a well-to-do flasher.)



Realizing I was missing some clothes, Maria asked Gail to leave the room and woke me up. I took umbrage, and gave her an attitude when she asked me to go back to her bed. How she resisted punching me in the face in that moment I’ll never know.

The next morning I woke up in her bed with no recollection of anything that happened. In fact, I didn’t get all the details until exactly one year later, but that’s another story. Maria wasn’t in bed with me, so I got up and groggily attempted to get dressed. Just one problem…I couldn’t find my pants. I walked out into the living room to find her lying on the couch.

Me: “I can’t find my pants.”

Her (angrily): “Ha. Funny story about your pants…”

I cut her off mid sentence. “Look, I don’t care, ok? My head is pounding, I have to call my job, and I can’t find my pants.”

She got up, retrieved my jeans from somewhere in her room, and tossed them at me. At that point, I should’ve known something had gone horribly wrong, but it was early, I was still half-drunk, and my brain clearly wasn’t functioning properly.

I put on the urine soaked denim, which by this point had dried and was uncomfortable to wear. I wondered what had happened, but didn’t ask since the only thought going through my head at the time was ‘don’t vomit.’

She took me to my car and we said an awkward goodbye. Still, I’d woken up in her bed, so I assumed things had gone pretty well. As I drove home, I sent her the following text:

“Had a great time last night. When can I see you again? J

An hour or so later, I received her response. It was a numbered list of reasons why she would never go out with me again, and it was so long that it took four separate texts just to send them all. I don’t remember exactly what they said, but let’s just say the general theme was: REALLY?!?! She ended the onslaught by saying if I ever grew up into an adult, to give her a call.

In that moment, I was crushed. This is a girl I’d wanted since I was 17, and when I finally got a shot I acted like the biggest jerk on the planet. She was right; I didn’t deserve her. Hell, I didn’t deserve anyone.

Tail between my legs, I replied simply that I understood where she was coming from, that I was sorry for my behavior (even though I still didn’t know the full extent of it), and added that I was genuinely interested in her, but since Sarah had passed away every time something good came my way I had a habit of sabotaging it for some reason. I apologized again, and said goodbye.

Then the most amazing thing happened…something for which I will forever be grateful. A few minutes after that, I got this simple, glorious message: “Ok…well try harder next time then. Pick me up next Thursday at 8. DON’T be late J

 For all of my idiocy, all of my self-destructive behavior, I somehow still had a chance. And for a girl as amazing as she was, I was sure that a chance was all I needed.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I've Learned

I’ll be honest, I’m pretty immature for 30.  All the same, sometimes I feel like I’ve done enough living for several lifetimes.  But through all my experiences, good or bad, I like to think I’ve learned from them, and hopefully emerged a wiser, better person. What follows are some of the lessons life has taught me. If you’re anything like me, you won’t listen, but here they are anyway:

  1. I was born deaf in one ear. You might think this is a bad thing, but all it really means is I have a built-in excuse for not listening. Plus I can go to sleep pretty much anywhere--I just put my good ear into the pillow and, boom, I’m out. Life is all about finding the positives in your situation.
  2. I’ve never met my real father. People often ask me if I’d like to, but aside from a vague curiosity as to whether or not he’s bald, I don’t know why I would. I’ve lived a blessed life. I have a wonderful family, loyal friends, and everywhere I go I’m surrounded by love. Was it always easy? No. But you learn to appreciate the things you have and the paths life sends you on.
  3. My mom’s side of the family are what you might call ‘mountain people.’ My step-dad’s side are more affluent. While the specific problems each set of family members face might be different, they each have battles to deal with just the same. Money doesn’t make anyone better than anyone else, and it certainly doesn’t make anyone happier.
  4. I accidentally blew up a gas station in high school. People don’t forget.
  5. I was never one of the ‘cool kids.’ I moved around a lot when I was a kid, and had an awkward stage that lasted roughly a decade, so I didn’t exactly have a lot of friends. But what I found out was even though it’s scary to be different when you’re young, it’s scarier to be normal as you get older. Embrace your uniqueness. Own it.
  6. To quote Chef from South Park, there’s a time and a place for everything, and it’s called college. College isn’t so much about the education as it is about figuring out who you are and how you fit into this crazy world.
  7. But the education is important too. Don’t f**k it up.
  8. Family will always be there for you, but sometimes friends are just as important. I almost failed out of college my freshman year. I pledged a fraternity despite having  8a.m. classes every day and, needless to say, I didn’t attend very often. I made a .75 GPA that first semester, and even though my parents blamed a lot of that on my fraternity, it was those same fraternity brothers who saw me doing the same thing the following spring and took it upon themselves  to personally make sure I went to every class for the rest of the year. They, as much as anything else, are the reason I am where I am today.
  9. I had the opportunity to study abroad my junior year. I was all alone for the first time in my life, and even though it was frightening, I grew as a person by leaps and bounds. Even if you can’t go overseas, take yourself out of your comfort zone every now and then. It’s only then that you find out what kind of person you really are.
  10. I lost my wife at an early age. After that I did enough second guessing and blaming myself for a lifetime. But with the benefit of time and hindsight, that experience taught me several valuable lessons:
    1. Tell the people you love how much they mean to you as often as you can. You never know when they’ll be taken from you.
    2. She had an issue with prescription medication that I knew about, but aside from voicing my concern every now and then and once putting her into a rehab facility, I often ignored it because it was easier on me. In retrospect, I should’ve done much more. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy—if it was, it would be called the easy thing—but it could save you a lot of grief down the road.
    3. Don’t dwell in the past. Life is always moving forward, with or without you.
    4. When you make mistakes, reflect on them, learn from them, then put them away. Regret can eat you alive if you let it.
    5. Bad things happen to good people. They just do. It’s a part of life that isn’t going to change, so there’s no use getting pissed off about it.
  11. I always wanted to be a writer, but when I found out how much money they made starting out, I balked. I decided to go what I thought was the safest and most secure route, and become a lawyer. Years later, it turns out that while I'm good at what I do, I’m not passionate about it. So here I am trying to be a writer again. The lesson: Find a profession you’re passionate about. Passion makes it easy to get up in the morning, but all the money in the world can’t get you excited for a job you don’t care about.

Lastly, here are some other general tidbits I picked up along the way:

  1. Take care of your body…you’re going to need it later.
  2. Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. Sometimes the answer comes to you; sometimes the only way to figure it out is to just start doing.
  3. Being an adult can be fun, especially when you’re acting like a child.
  4. Try harder. At school, at work, at play, at life. You’ll never look back on your deathbed and think, ‘I wish I would’ve done less.’
  5. Be nice to people. You never know the battles they’re facing, or how a simple smile could brighten their day.
  6. Love is different for everyone. Trying to make someone fit into your definition of it makes about as much sense as trying to speak French in Russian.
  7. Time heals all wounds, even if sometimes it takes longer than you’d like.
  8. Your word is important. Be true to it, from the smallest thing to the largest. People will notice.
  9. Take lots of pictures…one day you’ll be glad you did.
  10. It’s important to have people in your life that knew you when you were young and stupid. They’ll help keep you grounded when you’re old and stupid.
  11. Beauty isn’t perfection. The true source of beauty lies in the scars, the bruises, the idiosyncrasies of life. The imperfections are where you find humanity.
  12. You’ll never regret the chances you took, only the ones you didn’t.
  13. Being patient is hard sometimes…but when the thing or person you’re waiting for is really worth it, you find a way.
  14. When people are rude to you, be extra kind to them in return. In my experience, that really pisses them off.
  15. In falling down, we learn how to pick ourselves back up.
  16. Life isn’t about what happens to you…it’s what you do with it that matters.

If you have anything to add, please share. Again, I probably won’t listen—I’ve always had to learn things the hard way. But maybe someone will. J

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Every Show Has its Corn (or the Hock of Love)


It was only a week ago that the Bachelor Pad seemed like a magical place where anything could happen, and anyone—even a robot wearing bright red pants—could find love.
What a difference a week makes.
In the days since last Monday, we found out that Jackie and the Tin Man have parted ways (perhaps opening the door for Ames to be the next Bachelor?). And while I’m excited about the possibility of a Bachelor where all the contestants are household appliances, I’m still pretty bummed. Those two were cute together.
Anyway, upon our return to Casa De Los Crazies, Blake is attempting to do some damage control in the wake of ‘Hurricane Melissa,’ but she isn’t having it. “Why don’t you start with I’m sorry I played you for a fool?” she says. I think she’s overreacting a bit. I mean, as The Main Ingredient taught us, Everybody Plays the Fool...Sometimes.  
 Blake says he feels like Melissa is a ‘live wire, and he’s covered in water.’ I’d feel bad for him if he weren’t also the one swinging the axe that brought the power lines down in the first place.  
(Unrelated Blake Note: He’s a self-described prostitute with a big smile. Slap a red dress on him and he’s Pretty Woman).
Jake feels as if he’s on the chopping block and the only way he’s going to stay in the house for another week is to win the immunity challenge. He likes his chances though, because there’s a "couple of things I’m just really blessed with: mental durability, physical strength, and problem solving." One thing Jake isn’t too good at? Math.
Suddenly, Chris Harrison parachutes in from a special assignment in Libya. He’s spent the last week personally removing Muammar Qaddafi from power, and you can tell he’s exhausted. Still, he fights through it and manages to introduce the next competition:
SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING!!
Wait…synchronized swimming?
My initial reaction is to go stick my head in the oven until it’s over, and it’s only strengthened when the guys rip off their shorts to reveal the most disturbing collection of banana hammocks I’ve ever seen.  The girls’ suits aren’t much better, looking like they were shipped straight from the set of Leave It to Beaver.  Ladies, there’s a reason we left the 50s…it’s because they sucked.

The women think they’re going to dominate the competition because someone was a cheerleader, someone was a dancer, blah blah blah. (Honestly, I have to tune out sometimes just to retain an ounce or two of my sanity). But there are a couple of things the ladies failed to account for: 1) Michael Stagliano is a dance choreographer, and 2) Erica is the worst swimmer that's ever lived.  I mean, it was bad…so bad that I’m pretty sure when she was growing up her family must have paid someone else to swim for her. Seriously, this dog is a better swimmer than she is: Click me.
But I digress.
The best part about this competition is the gratuitous girl on girl kiss at the end (thanks Michelle and Holly!) It turns out Jake is a pretty good ballerina, but Stagliano wins for the guys; and much to Vienna’s dismay, Michelle Money wins for the ladies.
After not winning the competition, Jake is still concerned for his safety in the house and is looking to form an alliance. So naturally he tracks down the girl with the lowest self-esteem, which after last week’s competition would be Erica, and gives her the googly eyes. They make out, causing me to find out what an anti-erection feels like.
Blake is also freaking out a little bit, thinking that because of his spat with Melissa, he too is on the chopping block. He really hopes he gets picked to go on the date, because I guess after last week he knows that if he puts out he just might get a rose. I’d watch out if I were you, bud…turning tricks for favors is a slippery slope. Remember Requiem for a Dream? Before you know it, some old guy is going to be throwing dollar bills at you screaming “ass to ass!” And I like you too much for that to happen.
Kasey and Vienna get into a tiff about Jake (what else?), prompting him to ask her if she wants to have ‘another breakup on national television.’ This marks the first time in years I’ve laughed so hard my beverage actually comes out of my nose.
When the date card arrives, Michelle picks Kasey, Graham and Blake to go on her date. It’s pretty boring for the most part, but I tuned back in for the following exchange:
  1. Michelle: I think you’re great.
  2. DJ Qualls, err, ‘Graham’: You barely know me.
  3. They start making out.
Seriously, I had no idea DJ Qualls has that much game. He’s come a long way since Road Trip. Graham obviously gets the rose, and I have to admit, they make a pretty cute couple.
For his date, Michael chooses Ella, Vienna, and in a shocking twist, HOLLY! Honestly, I don’t know why anyone else even goes on these dates. He loves that girl so hard, no one else has a chance. Vienna and Ella would’ve been better served staying back at the mansion practicing their crazy eyes.
The coolest part about this date is Brett Michaels showing up and doing his rock star relationship counselor thing. He sings “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” (because what ELSE would he sing?) and Holly and Michael wax philosophically about the demise of their relationship. It’s touching…again, but it’s getting to the point where these two either need to knock boots or stop talking about it.
Back at the house, Jake is trying to rally the troops against Kasey and Vienna. “People are keeping them around, and they’re getting sent home,” he says, adding “that isn’t even playing the game. That’s just plain stupid.” I find myself agreeing with him for once, so I immediately take three shots as punishment.
Meanwhile, it’s Kasey and Vienna’s six month anniversary, and he wants to put a ring on it. But when Kasey gets down on one knee, Vienna immediately freaks out and says something to the effect of: “No, no no no no no no no no no…you can’t do this to me!” This reaction alone would’ve prompted me to dump her on the spot. I’m not saying I’d propose after six months, but if you’ve been together that long and you can’t at least envision a long term future together, you’re in the wrong relationship.
Still, Kasey informs her it’s just a promise ring, and apparently Vienna can deal with that. She accepts, and for some reason he decides to start singing. The last time he tried this, it ended with him being left alone on a glacier, but I guess he figured that since there were no large slabs of ice around he was safe.
Suddenly a 1967 Shelby comes speeding by and Chris Harrison dives out of it just before it launches off a nearby cliff. It isn’t for any particular reason; that’s just how he gets his kicks. After he dusts himself off and pours himself a single malt scotch, he explains that the game has AGAIN changed. Why, you ask? Because he’s Chris f**king Harrison, that’s why.
Anyway, it turns out tonight only ONE guy will be going home. The odds are it’s going to be Jake, and for a moment I kind of feel bad for him. I was the only guy Ashley chose to send home in Phuket, and being singled out like that stings a little.
But Jake does an admirable job mounting an insurrection, and succeeds in splitting the house down the middle between banishing him or Kasey. It seems that Kirk will the deciding vote, and he’s torn because he has an alliance with Kasey, but strategically it makes more sense to get rid of the person with the most power.
When it comes rose ceremony time, Jake and Kasey are the last two guys without roses, and just as Chris Harrison says Kasey’s name, the screen cuts to black and the show is over.  It’s a very Sopranos-esque ending, which is to say that it basically pissed everyone in America off. Chris Harrison immediately took to the internet, tweeting that it would all make sense next week. I don’t know how, but I’m really hoping Jake goes out like this: Scarface Quits His Job.
All in all, it was a pretty good episode. It in no way compares to last week, but it delivered just enough crazy to keep us coming back for more. So until next week, dear readers: Good night and good luck.



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Tin Man Finds a Heart

Annnnnd we’re back!

First off, can we all say a collective thank you to ABC for mercifully reigning the show back to 2 hours this week? There’s only a certain amount of this stuff you can watch in one sitting without starting to feel dirty.
Let’s see, where were our walking personality disorders when last we left them?
Jake, who was temporarily spared from elimination last week after winning the immunity challenge, is back in the hot seat.  To recap: There’s exactly one person in the house that likes him (Gia), and he pissed her off last week by giving his safety rose to Crazy Eyes Vienna. On top of that, the only person in the house who came off douchier than him is already back in Canada oiling himself up and rolling around with half-naked men. Soooo yeah, safe to say you don't have a lot of room for error here, bud.
(Unrelated Jake observation: He’s the Tom Cruise of Bachelor Pad--short, uber smiley and completely out of his damn mind.)
Jake says something about having a huge target on his back, and even though I find myself wondering how big the target could possibly be when he buys all his clothes at Baby Gap, I decide to let it go....

Until we cut to the next scene and...they’re painting targets on everyone’s back? It’s obviously for the next immunity challenge, but what is the game? I pause my TV for a second and write down all the things I hope they do here:
1. Flaming arrows shot from 100 feet 
2. Darts
3. Egg Toss
I restart my tv...and it’s egg toss! I was a little disappointed at first, but egg toss made my top 3 so it’s not a complete loss. 
Chris Harrison, who has the most amazing job in history...
Actually, you know what, I want to address this. Seriously, the guy is on tv for five minutes a week. What does he do with the rest of his time? He could be a spy. Or Batman. Or maybe he just does drugs and Taiwanese hookers. I don’t know...point is, he CAN do anything he wants. Such is the responsibility free life of our host.
But I digress. Anyway, Chris explains the rules of the game. He will ask a series of revealing questions and each throwing contestant must throw a paint filled egg at the targeted contestant they feel best represents the answer to that question. Since this show is built around humiliation, I already know this is going to be fun.

The women are first to throw. To make a long story short, Jake gets hit with a lot of eggs. The only interesting part here is when Chris asks the ladies who is the least deserving of the $250,000. First to be hit is Graham, who only helps KIDS IN AFRICA. So that makes sense...he’d probably do something good and selfless with the money, and in a house full of greedy narcissists, that kind of evolved thinking doesn’t fly. Second is Ames. This one I tend to agree with. Ames would give the winnings to charity in a second, so it isn’t because of his motivation; it’s the fact that Ames is probably worth more than the gross national product of several countries already. So, you know, he really doesn’t need the money.
It comes down to Jackie and Melissa. I’m rooting for Jackie, because she seems sweet and Ames likes her. Jackie’s got a pretty good arm too, but unfortunately she misses her last throw and Melissa wins.
Next up it’s the guys turn to toss some eggs. It’s a shame I’m not on this show, because I’d have been good at this competition. I mean, not that I went around in middle school egging people’s houses or anything...I would NEVER have done THAT... (Sorry, Ms. Stegmaier!)
There isn’t much to say here other than ERICA...GOT...WORKED. William summed it up perfectly when he said: [Erica’s] back looks like Picasso went to town on it. Least deserving of the money? Erica. Most likely to cheat? Erica. Least attractive? In what I’m pretty sure was a unanimous egg poll...ERICA! 
She has a mini breakdown at the end of the competition and I find myself almost feeling bad for her until she throws Ella under the bus, saying Ella is bigger than her, and adding that she doesn’t find her very attractive. Classy.
(Unrelated Ella observation: She would be a perfect Disney villain. She just has that look. She’s like a cross between Kristin Davis and Cruella Deville.)
Anyway, this competition comes down to Michael Stagliano and Jake. In a moment that almost restores my faith in humanity, Stag wins.
When the date card arrives, Michael chooses to take Erica (presumably to make up for assaulting her with eggs), Michelle (because she’s hot), and Holly (because he ‘totally loves the sh!t out of her’). Melissa goes very 3rd Reich with her choices, choosing Kirk, Kasey, and Blake. Geez, Melissa...like blonde hair, blue eyes much? The only way you could get more Aryan right now is if you start goosestepping...
...(waiting, hoping)...
Sigh. Moving on.
Michael Stagliano’s date takes him and his ladies to...A HAUNTED INSANE ASYLUM?? I’m sorry, what?? I mean, don’t get me wrong; some of these kids seem legitimately cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, but come on, Fleiss. This is a bit much.
First Stag has alone time with Erica, and they hold a seance. Some girls might find this creepy, but Erica insists she isn’t easily scared. She shouldn’t be. You think a ghost who has to spend eternity wandering around that asylum wants to make themselves even MORE miserable by having to hear that nasal monotone of hers all night? I think not.
Then Michael and Michelle spend some time in a dimly lit chapel, sitting in the middle of a circle of candles next to a bottle of Jack. For a minute I’m not sure if they’re about to get their freak on or perform an exorcism.
Ultimately though, this date ends up being what you knew it would be all along: The Michael and Holly show. And it doesn’t disappoint. I was all set to make fun of these two, but their conversation is so genuine and heartfelt that I just can’t bring myself to do it. They seem sweet and appear to have really cared for one another. You can tell there’s a lot of pain there, but they’re handling the horribly awkward situation they’ve put themselves in very well. For that, they earn a pass from me. For now. 
(Unrelated Stag note: “[Love] is worth so much more than 250 grand.” Agreed. I like this guy more and more every time he talks.)
Oh, Holly gets the rose. Obviously. If you ever had any doubt, subtract five points from your score and go sit in the corner for an hour.
(Unrelated Mask note: I really wanted to see a Mask cameo in the Asylum. I mean, come on...you’ve got him cooking colored eggs in a pink bathrobe, but you don’t use him in the ASYLUM...where a guy slinking around in a creepy mask would’ve been PERFECT? Sigh.)
If Michael’s date was the embodiment of making the best of a bad situation, Melissa’s date was the polar opposite. She takes her guys out on a yacht, where she forms an alliance with Kasey and promises to give him the safety rose. But as soon as Blake shows a little leg, she forgets her promise, gives Blake the rose and spends the rest of the night sucking face.
(Couple of Unrelated Blake Notes:
1.  He said he felt like a prostitute, because he was ‘whoring himself out’ for money. This is incorrect. Prostitutes get paid for their services. However, in exchange for YOUR services, you only receive a CHANCE at the money. So basically, you’re playing the whore lotto. You’ve entered a whore raffle. Congratulations, check under your seat for your whore prize! But I digress. Blake starts to talk about something else, but we quickly remind him that we don’t pay him for his words. Go make daddy his money, baby...
2.  Blake got a lot of hate for his actions last night. People were even comparing him to Bentley. I would have thought this was obvious, but there is one critical difference between the two situations: Bentley played Ashley just to do it. Blake’s doing it for 250k! This is a GAME people...someone has to play.)

Back at the Jake and Vienna show, Jake is freaking out pretty hard about the possibility of getting eliminated. In fact, he gets so desperate that he actually attempts to go to Vienna for help. Obviously, it isn't going to work, since the only way Vienna is ever going to help Jake is if he has a gun to his head and needs help pulling the trigger. But she takes it a step farther and refuses to even hear him out, as Kasey isn’t around to guard and protect her eardrums.
Blake and Holly are off getting some alone time, and I notice Blake is wearing a wife-beater. I find myself wondering why, but write it off, assuming that’s just what male prostitutes wear. Melissa decides to interrupt them, obviously, because she’s spent one night kissing him and this must mean they’re dating now. Blake says it doesn’t surprise him that she’s still single at 32. Really?? I think she’s a catch! Melissa, if you’re reading this...call me sometime: 867-5309.
As everyone is getting ready for the Rose Ceremony (read: furiously sucking up to anyone and everyone), I notice that Kasey is giving off a very distinct Godfather vibe tonight. He has this smug look of self-satisfaction every time someone comes to him for help, like ‘yes, I’ll help you...but first, you must kiss the ring.’ 
But just as Kasey and Vienna are about to put a decapitated horse’s head in Jake’s bed, Chris Harrison comes in from tasing a homeless guy for crack, or wherever the hell he’s been, and announces that the game has now changed--instead of one guy and one girl being voted out of the house, tonight it will be two girls. At first that seems unfair, but then I realize you can do those kinds of things when you make the rules up as you go along.
Vienna is initially so put off by this chain of events that she tries to instigate a walk off. Yeah Vienna, as if everyone else is going to give up a shot at a quarter million dollars because you can’t co-exist with your ex-fiance. I know, it’s sooo hard. Just look at Stag and Holl...oh, right.
Anyway, at this point Gia feels like she is on the outside looking in, and she’s probably right. Earlier in the day, she’d made a move to break up the power couple, Kasey and Vienna. Her only mistake was going to Graham, who was in Kasey’s back pocket all along and immediately ratted her out. Feeling as if she was definitely going home, Gia had a couple of drinks, gave a few people a piece of her mind, and called it day. I can’t say that I blame her--I wouldn’t have wanted to give Kasey the satisfaction of booting me either--but I’m definitely going to miss her.
Gia. Gia, Gia, Gia. Le sigh.
After that, it comes down to Ella and Jackie. Ames and Jackie go to Kasey seeking safe passage, and he agrees to provide it to them. But Ella forms an alliance with Kirk, whom Kasey feels he needs on his side, prompting Kasey to say: ‘When there’s money on the line, do you do what’s right...or go for the money?’ 
In the end, Kasey goes for the money and Ella is safe, at least for another week. Jackie is voted off, and in a moment straight out of a movie script, Ames decides to go with her, giving up the money and pursuing a chance at love. In short, he is the anti-Kasey.
Watching Ames and Jackie ride off into the sunset, I couldn’t help but think of the Wizard of Oz. Ames, our beloved tin man, who started down the yellow brick road toward love so long ago, was finally going home. His path had taken him from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, to Thailand and Hong Kong. And now, as the Tin Man climbed into his hot air balloon (limo) and sailed away from Oz (the Bachelor Pad mansion), he felt hopeful for the future because he’d finally found the one thing he was looking for all along: A heart.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

3 Hours Is a Long Time...Just Ask Gilligan

I don’t want to be trite and say the best part of last night’s Bachelor Pad 2 premiere was when it ended, but in this case it really was. All that drama, and still the most memorable part of the entire show was when “Jeff” The Mask “Medolla” (dammit Kasey, your inability to use air quotes is rubbing off on me) scaled the fence and broke into the Mansion to use the crapper. 
(Side Note: I’ve used that toilet...not that big a fan.)
But a lot of other stuff happened before that. Or at least it should’ve; it WAS a 3 hour premiere, after all. And surely ABC wouldn’t have needlessly made it an hour longer just to get extra advertising revenue...would it?
(Realizing this is the way the world works; temporarily considering stabbing out my own eyes.)
You know what, it’s probably best not to think about it. Let’s get to the recap.
First things first: HUGE mistake to make it a rule that you have to drink every time someone cries. I don’t know if Chris Harrison was reading my tweets or what, but not even a minute in I was three shots deep. Not a good sign.
Secondly: ABC has a basically unlimited budget for these shows. They travel around the world, go on elaborate dates, and put the contestants up in first class accommodations. So how is it that Chris Harrison got stuck wearing a tie that looks like it was washed, dried, and then run over by a dump truck? Did he let his kids pick it out? Sigh.
Also, there are so many things I love about Chris Harrison, his dry sense of humor (I’m serious; dude’s hilarious), his ability to get just the right ‘clink’ sound from a glass of champagne...but there are also a couple of things I don’t like. One, stop saying the most ____ in Bachelor/ette/Pad history. When you say it 8 times a show, it kills the meaning. Two, please don’t act like these kids are here ‘for a second shot at love.’ I’m sure some of them are open to finding it along the way, but to act like their primary motivation isn’t $250,000 and 15 more minutes of fame isn’t just lying to yourself, it’s lying to America.
Anyway, moving on...it’s time for the introductions!
First out of the gate is Justin ‘Rated R’ Rego. At first I thought he might be repentant about having had a girlfriend back home during Ali’s season...you know, so America would stop hating him. But then I remembered two things: 1) he’s Canadian, so normal rules of logic don’t apply to him, and 2) he’s a freaking tool. He says the ‘R’ in Rated R stands for revenge. Incorrect, sir...it actually stands for ‘rat-bastard.’
Next up is Jackie. She’s a cute brunette from Brad’s season whose chances of winning his heart were hurt by the fact that Brad’s season was littered with cute brunettes and she didn’t have the necessary levels of crazy to stop the runaway Money train. As we see a shot of her painting (she’s actually very talented!), she says she’s really hoping to find love through this experience. And of course, she still REALLY doesn’t care for Michelle. 
Speaking of Michelle, she’s our next intro (funny how that works). Starting at her shoes, which appear to have fallen in a vat of tie-dye, the camera pans out to reveal...SHE’S WALKING DOWN THE STREET! I have to hand it to you Mr. Fleiss, that’s riveting television right there.
Michelle says she was known for being the girl who was ‘a little too aggressive' on Brad’s season. That’s putting it lightly. To be more accurate, it was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. She got her pods in Brad’s head and almost managed to choose how his season played out for him. That’s what hot girls do to you--they slowly take over your brain until before you know it you’re sitting at the ballet wondering how on earth this was YOUR idea. Or maybe that’s just me...
In real life though, Michelle is a very sweet girl, and her intro showed that. She’s playing the game for her daughter and her dad, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. She seems genuine, funny and likable. I’m rooting for her.
And then there's Gia, the girl so hot they’ve had her on the show twice and it's only the second season. We get some gratuitous shots of her doing her bikini model thing, for which I’m exceedingly grateful, then she busts out a clipboard and gives us the skinny on her life for the past year. Apparently she had a boyfriend, then came on the first Bachelor Pad and met Wes. She fell for Wes, dumped her boyfriend, and then Wes cheated on her with Vienna. So obviously doing Bachelor Pad was a terrible decision that she wouldn’t want to make again, right? Wrong...I swear, something about Canadians, swimsuit models, and logic.

Which brings us to Vienna, who has one of the most serious cases of crazy eyes I’ve ever seen. I really don’t know what everyone sees in her. I mean, she’s attractive and all, but is it worth all that drama? There’s no way she’s above the Vickie Mendoza diagonal on the Hot/Crazy Scale. If you’re unfamiliar with the Hot/Crazy Scale, check out this clip from one of my favorite shows, How I Met Your Mother: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zADosF3XoQ.
Anyway, in the year since she broke up with Jake on national television, Vienna has moved on to Guard and Protect Your Heart Kasey, or Kermit the Frog after he crawled out of the water and became a real boy (yeah, I'm mixing my cartoon metaphors here, but you get the point).
So of course Kasey is next. He has one of the best intros on the show. Aside from saying protect more times than an under armor commercial, he says he’s afraid Vienna will hurt him because he doesn’t think she loves him as much as he does her (sorry bud, but I don’t think Succubuses know how to love). Then he gives what might be the best line of the night: “I’m gonna go take a Jake, and wipe my Pavelka.” 
This opens the door for the turd-burglar himself, and the first shot we see of him is flying  an ugly yellow jet that looks like it was made from lemon wedges. I’m going to be honest, I pretty much tuned out everything he said after that.
I don’t really know what to say about Erica Rose that she didn’t say herself in that monotone Daria-esque voice of hers. She’s entitled, comes from a trust fund, and wears tiaras like they’re going out of style. She wears four of them in her intro alone, and I find myself hoping that’s four times the number of weeks she’ll last on the show.
Next up is Graham Bunn, who I’m pretty sure is actually DJ Qualls in disguise. Everything I hear about the guy is how hot he is, which I find completely confusing. The only conclusion I can reach is that he’s gotten a hold of some Sex Panther. (60% of the time, it works every time).
Then comes Ella, who I’ve honestly never heard of before. She seems sweet enough though, and wants to use the money to give her kid the things she never had. I can respect that.
Holly and Michael both talk about their devastating break-up, and both agree that they’d rather not see each other on Bachelor Pad. And since this show is based on awkward confrontation, it’s already basically a given that the two will have to team up on the show.
(Side Note #3: Really, Stag? Did you have to tear up during your intro? My liver can’t take all these shots!)
Apparently even with 3 hours to work with, there isn’t enough time to give everyone an intro, so we jump back to Chris Harrison (whose tie is still mangled). He gives his spiel about love, heartbreak and drama, and everyone in America nods impatiently as if to say: ‘it’s been over half an hour, I’m already drunk, and no one’s even gotten out of the limo yet!’ 
And finally, as if on cue, a limo arrives.
Some thoughts on the entrances:
1. Shout out to my season 7 cast mate Blake Julian, rocking the Bradley Cooper look with the black blazer and black shirt. Respect. He says he’s here to win 250k, and maybe a few hearts along the way. You’ve already got mine, bud.
2. Somewhere there’s a half-naked ostrich freezing his butt off so you could wear that skirt, Holly. Enjoy it.
3. I don’t care what ‘fashion expert’ Natalie Getz says, Graham, cardigans make you look effeminate. Period.
4. Rated R thinks love is a waste of time, much like his respiratory system is a waste of oxygen.
5. If Vienna is trying to keep Jake away from her, she’s off to a good start with that dress.
6. Amessssssss! I get so excited whenever I see that glassy, confused look in his eyes. I’d say the concussion must still be affecting him if I didn’t know he always looks like that.
7. Gia. Gia, Gia, Gia. Le sigh.
(Side Note #4: Blake’s saying “I hope it’s Gia, I’ll tell you what.” 2nd best line of the night.)
8. I think Michael Stagliano was inhaling helium balloons in the limo ride over. Either that or he’s a TERRIBLE liar.
9. William promises not to make any girls cry. Somewhere Ashley Hebert is still not laughing.
10. And finally, there’s Jake. I don’t know what it is about the guy, but I tune out literally every time he’s on screen. Make it’s the disingenuous way he carries himself. I don’t know. But I did tune back in for this little exchange.
Jake: How are y’all?
Kasey: It’s a little cold out here. 
(I don’t know if Kasey meant that to be a euphemism, but well played if so.)
Jake: [awkward small talk about the weather]
Kasey: Yeah, I think it’s gonna rain (my fists all over your dirty fame-whore face).
(Of course he didn’t say that last part, but you could tell he was thinking it.)
(Side Note #5: Kasey Kahl is a walking quote machine. “I’m mentally beating the crap out of him,” had me rolling in the floor. Is there a mental fight club? Is the first rule that you don’t think about it?)
Shortly thereafter, Jake pulls Kasey aside to talk/apologize. Two things suddenly become very clear to me: 1) Jake is tiny. Like Tom Cruise tiny. Overhead storage on an airplane tiny. 2)He wants everyone to like him so bad. Poor little fella.
Heart-to-heart notwithstanding, Kasey still seems intent on sending Jake home at the first rose ceremony. I have to say, I wasn’t a big fan of Kasey's during his season, but I’m starting to really like the guy. 
Then its time for Chris Harrison to do his Chris Harrison thing and explain the rules of the game. He explains that whoever wins the immunity competitions will not only be safe from elimination, but will also have a rose to give, thereby making someone else safe as well. He adds that strategy is very important, and judging by the look on Ames’s face, he’s never considered that before. It’s okay buddy, your IQ is higher than the rest of the house combined. Wing it, you’ll be fine.
The next morning, it’s competition time. The guys are rigged in a harness and hung above mattresses on the ground below. The girls are to wrap their arms and legs around the guys (subtle, Fleiss, reallllll subtle) and hold on as long as possible. Simple, right?
Not for William, who somehow by the grace of God got paired up with Gia. I’m telling you right now, I’m a skinny dude...but if I had that girl wrapped around me it would take a pack of wild dogs, a gun to my head AND a Clemson game on tv for me to let go. I mean, it may very well be the closest he ever comes to bedding a swimsuit model. Still, he lets go first, and those two are eliminated.
I’ll spare you the rest of the details and skip to the end, since that’s really the only part that matters. The last two teams hanging are Jake and Jackie, and Kasey and Vienna. Kasey and Vienna both go on and on about how they refuse to lose to Jake. Unfortunately, Kasey’s legs, which are turning purple at this point due to lack of circulation, aren’t cooperating. He eventually drops Vienna, which prompts a minor meltdown on her part, and Jake and Jackie win the competition.
Jake takes the victory as a sign that “Jake the Bachelor is back, and the game has now changed.” I, on the other hand, take it as a sign that there is no God.
Jake and Jackie go on a date, but ultimately Jake decides to give the rose to Vienna the next day. He pulls her and Kasey for an ‘apology,’ which on a scale from 1 to completely insincere, ranks about a 376. If you’re going to apologize to someone you supposedly loved for treating them badly, you do it in private, where it might mean something, not on national television.
Some other stuff happens, but I cooked myself some dinner and took my dog for a walk.  The show was 3 hours! What do you want from me??
Finally...and believe me I do mean finally, it’s rose ceremony time. The two contestants most people seem to be gunning for are Rated R and Alli Travis. Allegedly, it’s because they were playing both sides. This must have happened while I was away, because I have no idea what they’re talking about. I honestly didn’t even know Alli was on the show until just now. 
There is a small push to have Kasey eliminated instead, as certain people view him as a bigger threat. This attempt is masterminded by Blake, who I have to say impressed me by going all General Patton on that ass. And I love that Ames served as his war-time consigliere. Tom Hagen would be proud.
There is also a movement to eliminate Gia. This just makes me angry. I find myself promising that if she gets eliminated I’ll never watch tv again. But of course I promptly come to my senses and add, “except on Saturday. Saturday is college football.”
In the end though, Rated R and Alli get the boot. I feel kinda bad for Alli, because she seems blindsided, but I’m couldn’t be happier about Rated R. What does the R stand for now, champ? Removal? Retirement? Retreat? How about good Riddance...
All in all, it was an enjoyable first episode, but I’ll be glad next week when it goes back to its normal length. And...AND...I have it on good authority that The Mask might even make a few more appearances as the season goes on! So I’m excited about that.
Anyway, it’s been fun folks, but it’s 10 AM and I’m late for work. See you next week!