Thursday, January 29, 2009
Check out - www.freerice.com
This just happens to be one of my favorite sites. With every click and correctly appropriated vocabulary word, you earn 10 grains (per answer) of rice to be donated to the UN World Food Program. So you get to spruce up your vocabulary skills while simultaneously helping a great cause. I could literally spend hours doing this, and to be honest, I probably have.
So there you have it, my best kept work secret. Addictive personalities beware, it can get out of control quickly...enjoy!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Not this weekend, my friends. Not this weekend.
Riley, Kate, Alyssa and I set out early in the morning with brunch and Brooklyn on our minds. Several of our friends had given us recommendations but there was only one place that had been given solid approval. Simply called "Egg," this eatery was a no frills restaurant with a small menu. Most of our favorite restaurants in the City require a staunch waiting time so we just expected the worst. Not so! We walked up, put our name on the list and were seated 5 minutes later. In need of a caffeine boost, we ordered a round of coffee that came complete with individual french press dispensers. If that doesn't scream "downtown," I don't know what does. Unfortunately, Alyssa was a little too hasty with her cup of Joe and ended up with a cup o' grounds. She asked for another cup and got a little bit luckier on the second round, although I must confess, I noticed her spitting grounds into her napkin all morning...
Anyway, it was just a great treat - good conversation, a biscuit and hash brown that could make doves cry, and a warm place to dwell. We ate without disturbance and then headed out for a little bit of shopping. Our main objective was just to "look." If you know a thing about me, this is nearly impossible. (More on this later. It's a condition, I swear.) I wish I could tell you that I achieved greatness in Brooklyn, but unfortunately, I did not. As we went from shop to shop we stumbled into this warehouse that had young designers of all kinds, a T-shirt artist, jewelry maker and a makeshift book shop. As we walked around I noticed that this guy was selling really well-kept books for a great deal. Several of the books that I have been wanting were in his pile; not to mention, his 3 for $12 deal had me at hello. I can always justify a sale.
We moved from there over to a vintage store that had perfectly worn in tees for reasonable prices. We scoured the floor for the perfect D.A.R.E. shirt and happened upon several great finds. In fact, I am now the proud owner of a baby soft "Country Time" shirt that has a questionable past and unremovable stain. I love it despite this and pray that the original owner was not a dirty New Yorker, but a clean housewife that had a penchant for Tide. Something tells me that it's wishful thinking but I am going to roll with it.
Vintage aside, Brooklyn was a breath of fresh air to four people who have spent a considerable amount of time indoors the past few weeks. If nothing else, we now know that we're an L train away from a warm breakfast and cup full of coffee grounds.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Reeling. That’s what I’m doing right now as I sit here and try to write about last night’s episode. To be honest, the whole thing was just one big disaster. I knew that this week was going to separate the potentials from the hopefuls but I had no idea that it was going to get so…well, crazy.
Now, before I start this week’s dissection, I must say that I blame Jason for a little bit of this madness. For instance, Shannon has proved her psychopathic tendencies from day one - there should be no surprises here. So my question is, why keep her? Instead of being tickled by raging lunacy, I was just kind of annoyed. In her shameful attempts to “prove” herself to Jason she started to crumble and it was all just too much to watch. While others paled in comparison to her craziness, she was given a run for her money from a few other ladies. Here are the dates and results below.
For those of you that watched DeAnna’s season last year, you may remember the time that she asked the bachelors to write and perform a song for her. Jesse took the gold and practically sealed his fate as the winner of the entire season with his ability to buck up and have a good laugh at himself. Because the ABC producers love a good dose of humiliation, they thought it’d be a good idea for Jason to ask the same of these ladies. While goofy, this is lighthearted and fun enough to pass the buck. I shudder to think of what they could do in lieu of this…I’m sure they’d figure out a way to get nudity involved. Needless to say, the girls were asked to make up a song on the fly and perform. The obvious hams jumped right in and the other wet blankets struggled, namely Nikki. Regardless of her tears, she had to perform. Molly rapped about fast food, Lauren sang like she was Celine, Stephanie broke out the vibrato and Nikki sang a lullaby?? If this is confusing to you, believe me, you’re not alone. Instead of poking fun of herself and giving it a go, she managed to draw more attention to herself in a negative way. Jason rewarded Molly with the one-on-one date for her cutesy ode to love and French fries.
The one-on-one date was a low-key night at Jason’s place. Molly and Jason dined on burgers and s’mores for what seemed like an actual real life date. While we applaud the commonness of this date, we can’t help but think that the recession has affected everyone, even reality television. Cheapness aside, Jason was digging her chili. They changed into some comfortable clothes and decided to make-out. Oops, I mean camp out. From where I was sitting, it almost seemed like Jason was laying it on a little too thick. I noticed that Molly would lean her head back a little bit in that way that shouts “personal space invasion.” Regardless, it must not have been too invading because Molly accepted his overnight request and stayed in the tent until the next morning. Instead of changing back into her clothes, Molly decided to take the Walk of Shame full on and parade around the house. Obviously the girls were annoyed and just in time for their group date.
Next up, acting school! Brilliantly, ABC decided to continue with the “budget saving” theme and plan a date on their personal production lot. Aside from waking up those two D-list actors to welcome the group to the set, there was really no planning involved. Melissa, Shannon, Megan, Naomi, Lauren and Jillian set out to create their own story with bizarrely coordinated scenes. Of course there was tension from the get-go when everyone got to kiss Jason in their scene but Melissa. She was none too happy about this and was over the day before it had even begun. When they were finished, they were whisked away to an abandoned LA hot spot for their “wrap party.” Naomi began the pout fest and completely separated herself from the group. We couldn't help but laugh at her goofy attempt to leave, and yet still remain in the frame. Jason spent most of the evening on damage control, wiping up tears left and right. There was so much obvious unattraction on Jason’s part that things just started to unravel. Shannon got snotty, Lauren got bossy and Megan tried to be perky. All in all, the date was just a mess and it looked like Jason was looking for an out.
Lastly, we had the 2-on-1 date with Stephanie and Nikki. The stakes were high for these two, knowing that one of them would be let go. They were given gowns to don for their evening of twinkle lights and ballroom dancing. This date was just unexciting from the get go. Stephanie was a trooper and put on the supplied dress, while Nikki noticeably turned down their option, which is just one more example of Nikki not being able to roll with the punches – an obvious turnoff. In a sad twist of events, Nikki dropped the “11 year relationship” bomb on Jason and sealed her fate. Being the eternal optimist, I’d like to think that Nikki went home, took a long look in the mirror, signed up for some therapy and started on her road to recovery. Anyway, Jason returned back to Stephanie after letting Nikki go in what was an obvious Mother-Son interaction. This moment showed to us that they were on two different pages, she was just dying for her first kiss and we think that he was just looking for her to make him some hot chocolate and scratch his back.
Now that the dates are out of the way, we can move onto the individual results. In what was the most necessary rose ceremony yet, we were actually thrilled to see some of these ladies go.
Jillian – Jillian laid low this week and she should be proud of herself. This was not the episode to get your 15 minutes and we think that she’ll pick up steam in future episodes. Status: rose.
Melissa – So this week exposed a weakness for Melissa, jealousy. To be fair, I think anyone in this situation would get a little crazy but she just needs to keep herself in check. We really want to be right when this is all said and done. Status: rose.
Shannon – There is really not much left to say about Shannon. Instead of beating a French-kissing dog when they’re down, we’ve decided to go easy and grant her some mercy. Our best advice is to find a safe house and maybe lay low for awhile. Status: no rose.
Megan – I really have nothing to say about Megan, except that I would confidently bet a million dollars on the fact that she is nowhere in the vicinity of her stated age (25). Status: no rose.
Naomi – I’m going to go ahead and call “friend-zone” on this one. Naomi and Jason aren’t meant for each other. I think he kept her on the sole basis that her head didn’t do a 360° swivel. Status: rose.
Lauren – Or should I call her, Delusional? Lauren was spouting out orders all over the place and frankly, they were simply unmerited. She would say something really bossy and then come out with, “Do you want to kiss me right now? You know you want to kiss me.” We just hope that Lauren’s exit will give rise to her future successes in the music industry, I can hardly wait until “Famous” comes out. Status: no rose.
Molly – We have pretty much covered the bases on Molly. He’s very interested in her and I wouldn’t be surprised if she keeps everyone guessing until the end. Status: rose.
Nikki – This was a tumultuous episode for Nikki and I have a feeling that she’ll be battling some of these issues for years to come. In all seriousness, she needs to work on laughing a little bit more and enjoy the ride. Status: no rose.
Stephanie – So this is the episode that has finally made her fall from grace. We still think that she has a heart of gold, but the “mother figure” persona is just coming on too strong. I wouldn’t necessarily label her a cougar just yet, maybe just a cougar-in-training. I think that next week will be D-day for Stephanie and she’ll have to have a moving van to take away her beads and body glitter. Status: rose.
I’m so glad that we can put this week behind us. You know things are bad when Jason can’t even entertain the thought of another week with some of these girls so he takes it upon himself to take a rose out of contention. We’ll let him off the hook. He’s had a sufficient amount of awkwardness to last him for a long time.
As for next week, we have a trip to Seattle, Ty, and more time for each girl to “get to know” Jason. See you then!
Ps. Did Chris Harrison take some time off, where WAS he?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Two words: group date. I suspect that there’s nothing more awkward than getting ready with 8 other girls to go on a date with the same guy. Call me old-fashioned, but there’s just something wrong with that. I can only imagine the amount of silent staring, appearance judging and outfit changing that went on…ugh, women. So this week’s group date included Melissa, Jillian, Shannon, Megan, Kari, Nikki, Erica and Naomi. The girls and Jason went to a loft where they proceeded to make casts of their busts to auction off for breast cancer awareness. While for a good cause, I couldn’t help but think that this had “disaster” written all over it. What’s not to love about communal groping on a second date? Meep.
Stephanie and Natalie were chosen for one-on-one dates this week. Stephanie was taken to the beach where she was then surprised with her daughter, Sophia. Jason was touched by the sweet moment of Stephanie and Sophia tackling each other on the beach. While a special moment, I really think that they should give Sophia a cat scan for neck injuries. Anyway, they headed over to Legoland for a day o’ fun together, theme park-style. Sophia donned her Easter dress for the event (?) and seemed to have the time of her life. Jason was perfectly tender and we kind of liked it.
The next one-on-one date came for Natalie. Aside from the fact that Jason is attracted to Natalie, he needed more common ground. After donning her with million dollar jewels and taking her on a helicopter tour of Vegas, he felt that the pieces were in place for romance. Oh how wrong he was. Fun-loving Natalie was just missing something. In an effort to make a connection and ask Natalie what she loves, she proceeded to deliver the greatest line (maybe ever?) from a Bachelor contestant:
Natalie - “I love bears.”
Jason – [confused look] “like…koala bears? Grizzly bears?”
Natalie – “Nope, all kinds of bears.”
You just can’t make this stuff up. Either way, here is the low down.
Stephanie – I really don’t think that Stephanie could have imagined a better date. She was surprised by her daughter and got to show Jason a side of herself that was actually normal, at times they even looked like a real family. Jason thought so too, Stephanie came out with a rose.
Natalie – Well I think it’s safe to say that Natalie outdid herself with this one. Being late for her date was only the beginning to this vanity-ridden night out. The date just fit her. It was clear to Jason that her ability to look “serious” was just not cutting it. Maybe it was her love of bears or just her overblown ego that did it, but Jason wasn’t interested. Status: No rose for Natalie.
Megan – I think that Megan is just trouble. I’m sorry, but someone who has conflict with everyone just rubs me the wrong way. While on the group date, Megan commented that she would “get naked in the middle of the street if it were for a good cause.” Figures. Status: rose.
Shannon – Shannon threw up during the rose ceremony and managed to cry twice in this episode alone. Enough said. Status: rose.
Melissa – Melissa didn’t get much airtime this week which clearly means that she goes all the way. Predictability abc, predictability. Status: rose.
Jillian – Again, Jillian wins our stylish vote. Jillian is fun-loving and a nice breath of fresh air. Canadian pronunciation aside, we like her. Status: rose.
Nikki – I have no idea what happened to Nikki before OR after her botched kiss. I rewound it 4 times and continually got more awkward. Status: rose.
Lauren – Lauren was dateless this week and put in a weird position by Jason. On Natalie’s way out, she managed to let Jason know that there were a few ladies in the house that meant trouble. Jason goes on to fish it out of Lauren and then uses it against her. She’s a little too spacey to have known better but we think she’s going to crumble. Status: rose.
Kari – We think that this is an error on Jason’s part. While she wasn’t going to win it all, we still think that she’s strides above the others. Kari was low-key but seemingly classy, which we all know is a deal breaker in the world of reality TV. Status: no rose.
Naomi – Not much to say here. She talked about her past relationship which usually equals the kiss of death. Status: rose.
Erica – Ew, ew and ew. Status: no rose.
Molly – She plays the adorable card well and he likes it. Her personality is starting to confuse me, vampy to cutesy then back to vampy then over to cutesy. Consistency Molly, please. Status: rose.
Okay, so that about wraps it up for this week. With Megan still in the picture we can only presume that this might start looking a little bit like Jerry Springer, but hopefully he’ll wise up and ditch her. The previews for next week indicate that Jason just can’t bear to hand out the final rose and it has left us puzzled, so stay tuned and we’ll see you next week!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
New York Magazine has yet to fail me in daily entertainment with their online blogs, Gossip Girl recaps and perfectly sarcastic news-worthy information. It may come as no surprise that even in the midst of a historical moment, there are others out there took note of the fact that Joe Biden kissed his grown children on the mouth. Ahhh, I love America.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
“Here’s Liz Lemonnnnn!”
Ok, back to the point. I have decided that since my opinion is superior (and clearly right) that it entitles me to blog about the newest season of the Bachelor with hopeless abandon and shameless scrutiny.
Hey – they signed up for it, not me.
Anyway, I know that I have already missed the introductory episodes, but who needs to talk about those gals anyway? First things first, let’s review the dude. Jason Mesnick, father to Ty (age 3), resident of Seattle, and hopeless romantic (read: kinda wimpy). You might know Jason as the sensitive runner-up that professed his love to DeAnna, only to be let go at the very end. Sidenote: Jason, you’re better off for this.
Moving on. Chris Harrison is back to his old tricks of boldly tapping his glass and clarifying that it is, in fact, the final rose. I always get so confused so I love that part. Anyway, back to the task at hand, the remaining ladies:
· Stephanie – Precious Stephanie is a 35 year old mother of Sophia and widower. The girls in my apartment kind of love her but we think she’s destined for something more. Jason keeps her this episode and surprises her with her daughter on the next one, I think he cries…shocker.
· Melissa – Melissa is a former Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader and recent recipient of the whitest teeth in the world. I say this not as a criticism but out of pure amazement. Regardless, I think that she’ll take it all…stay tuned.
· Jillian – Jillian is an interior designer from Canada. We kind of like her but think she needs to ease up on the “guy’s girl” persona. Everyone knows that that’s a tough act to keep up. Outside of the hot dog “theory” (that we wish she’d can), we love her outfits and want her to stick around.
· Molly – Well, I just had to google Molly. As in, there hasn’t been much elaboration. Molly took the bull by the horns on this past episode and showed Jason one of her “talents.” Bold move my friend…not my personal tactic but I’m sure he’ll love it.
· Erica – Ugh, Erica. I had a bad vibe about that girl from the start. Let’s just say that she’s “rough tough, real stuff” and kind of scares me. Neeeeext.
· Megan – Megan is a lacrosse coach and mother of two boys. She really can’t get past that one common denominator with Jason and really, it’s just getting old. Plus, she was the one voted off by her fellow castmates in the first episode, can you say awkward?
· Natalie – Natalie is the overly-tan blonde from the Midwest. Her qualification for being fit as a mother is “I have a nephew.” News flash 25 year old Natalie, that does NOT make you ready for a child.
· Nikki – So Nikki is a former pageant queen. She’s a little bit on the serious side but seems altogether normal. Sometimes I think she’s just a big buzzkill but Jason seems to like her. One red flag is that she said she’s kissed the same guy for the past 11 years…is it just me or does that necessitate a wedding ring? I mean, wow.
· Kari – Kari is a sweet girl from the Midwest. There has been little to no focus on her, however, the girls and I did notice the hideous tan lines that she will be sporting from her chosen swimsuit. It had a really complex criss-cross in the front that I can only imagine took her three different tries to get her head in the right hole. Those are the unglamorous parts the never show which is just too bad.
· Lauren – Lauren is a government teacher from Florida. While spacey, I kind of like her. She has some trouble with not being the only object of Jason’s eye which could lead to trouble. He is on a dating show, after all. Something tells me that she’s going to buckle under the pressure. Also, if you ever have trouble finding her…just look for the floral gown.
· Naomi – Naomi is an Eva Mendes knock-off. She was just dying to get a kiss in this past episode and that just bothers me. There is such a thing as “hard to get” and being the fourth girl to kiss a guy in the same night just isn’t it. While I do envy her skin tone, I think she’s out.
· Shannon – Ohhhh Shannon. Well, I don’t really know where to begin on this one. Shannon is a dental hygienist and blatant psychopath. Unfortunately for her, I don’t think she realizes how she’s being portrayed, but I’ll be really honest, the outlook is not good. Her lengthy knowledge into Jason’s personal history and erratic behavior only signal more craziness to come. Can’t wait.
I have gone through the list several times and I don’t think I’ve missed anyone. However, if you happen to see an omission, please let me know. By the way, did you know that there was a girl named Treasure that got let go on the first episode? How in the world did I miss that?
All I know is that this season is sure to bring a lot of entertainment to the table. Between the close-ups of the Space Needle, shirtless Jason clips and the return of DeAnna, I don’t really know how to contain myself. All I know for sure is that my Monday nights are securely locked for the next few weeks and I hope you’ll join me with the recap.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
DC 2 NY luxury liner - check
Private West Wing Tour - priceless.
Kathryn called and we answered. Having been given a last "sprint" until the inauguration, Kathryn was in a position to work her tail off and get some pretty nice privileges in the meantime. With the promise of a private West Wing tour, Alyssa and I headed to one of my favorite cities for a nice weekend getaway. Having been to DC before (read: high school church choir trip) I was confident in the fact that I had already seen every site that the city had to offer and I could now just enjoy the ride. Alyssa, however, was not so lucky. Being a first-timer, she didn't even know where to begin.
Saturday morning we started the day with a quick cup of coffee and a trip to the top of the Washington monument. We got a 360 view of the entire city, complete with a small stride in my fear of heights (read: terrified). Next, we walked the mall over to the capitol to take in a free tour and check out the premature inaugural set-up.
Sidenote: I have never seen so many fold out chairs in all of my life.
I was utterly speechless.
Private tours, national monuments, and girl time aside, DC is still one of my all-time favorite cities. If nothing else, it holds rank to my claim of being the "cleanest city in the world!" With lots of love and a big thanks to the best host, we said goodbye to the Nation's capitol with hopes of returning when the weather is warm and the Segway tours are rolling.
Old friends, new city
Cutest lil tour guide
While still wearing our tights, relaxing fireside at Kathryn's:
Me: Ew, feet look weird in tights...
Kathryn: Yeah, they look like Barbie feet.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I know that I have been MIA and I'm truly sorry. There is really there is no excuse for my absence outside of the fact that December is notoriously my busiest month. Honestly, my family sees a climax in celebratory events from November 18th (Sweet Nana's bday) until January 3rd (Mom's bday). Besides the normal holidays, we manage to cram in 4 birthdays, decorate the tree(s), and eat ourselves into oblivion. Throw in time to see your closest friends, Holiday visitors (Beans!), shopping, and nostalgic Christmas movies...it's enough to do you in.
Dramatics aside, Christmas couldn't have been better. Time well spent with the family is just what this gal needed to rejuvenate for the next year. We had an unintentionally Texas Christmas, complete with knives, rifles and cowgirls boots - just as Christ had intended it. Once the dust settled on Christmas, the next stop was Red River Dance Hall in Dallas for Mom's 50th birthday. If two-stepping and mechanical bull riding don't shout "half-century celebration" then I don't know what does. All we hope is that she felt the love.
Livin the dream, kid.
Next up - New Year's visitors. Customarily, I'm not one for New Years. It's not that I'm opposed to a little bit of "Auld Lang Syne," Dick Clark, and champagne; it's just that I've never experienced an exciting NYE for myself. There's nothing worse than a year's worth of build up, only to ring in the new year with a lame party and paper hats. So this year I was excited when several of my very favorite people decided that they wanted to come spend their NYE with me in New York. Adamantly against the option of Times Square, I set out to give them a great "New York-y" New Year. We convinced our favorite guys in the City to let us borrow their apartment for the night with the promise of byob assortments and various baked goods (read: 7 layer dip that just so happened to be a hit). As time approached, I made little to no promises and saw dwindling potential in our thrown together soiree. Honestly, I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best. The result? My favorite New Year's ever! There was not one person in the completely crowded room that was not happy to be there with good food, drinks and music - obviously the perfect combination. We all remarked (at the end of a very long night) that if the party had any indication of 2009, then we were in for a good year.
With a heavy heart, I said goodbye to my many visitors and cleaned the slate for a new year. Alyssa and I pranced off to DC this past weekend in hopes of bidding farewell to President Bush and checking in on our little friend Kathryn, who just so happens to be running the show at the White House while simultaneously living her newlywed life. I will have more to come on our travels to the Nation's capitol but for now I will say goodnight and pray sweet dreams for a wonderful 2009.