Thursday, January 20, 2011

Is This Pathetic?

Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of things that most normal, suburban families did. We didn’t have permission to go to the mall or visit friends on Sundays (after morning church it was family day), we didn’t have cable TV (it was smut for which people willingly paid EXTRA), and we didn’t have an answering machine (whoever it is, they can call back). I never thought much of the answering machine situation until my peers began recording cool intro messages on their family’s respective answering machines. Your intro message set the tone. You could show that you were a hip music fan, like my friend Jothi who rapped her family’s greeting (literally with the rhymes: “We’re out now or we’re asleep, so leave your name and number at the sound of the beep”). You could show that you were super cool and didn’t give a rat’s ass about convention, like Dylan McKay (90210 original) whose intro message was the unforgettable, “This is Dylan, you know the drill.” BADASS!

During mid-year exams in late 1994, my sister Laurel and I wanted in on the intro message action. Alas, our Luddite-like upbringing left us without an answering machine and there wasn’t much we could do. Until we discovered a tape recorder on my dad’s desk and decided that we’d convince “the world” (her then-boyfriend) that we were super chill cats via intro message. Yes, we recorded a fake answering machine intro (background music and all) and played it into a phone receiver to give the illusion that our family wasn’t like “Little House on the Prairie.” We developed an elaborate scheme to make it seem like we had an answering machine, when we never did. Is this pathetic?

Pathetic move or not, the intro message that we recorded was carefully curated to show just how cool we were. After a few rings, we’d pick up the phone, place the tape recorder next to the mouthpiece, and press PLAY, at which point the person on the other end (Laurel’s private school boyfriend) would hear:

-The first few measures of “Under Pressure” by Queen & David Bowie
-LAUREL: Hey (deliberately chill). We’re busy studying for exams (get it? PRESSURE!). Leave a message.

At that point, the boy would think that he was leaving a message, when we’d just be on the other end of the phone listening to him. Then we’d all hang up and Laurel’s then-boyfriend would none the wiser. She’d call him back and he’d think that our family was the kind of family that had an answering machine. Hell, he’d probably think we had CABLE, too! Plus, he’d know for sure that Laurel and I were cool cats because we had such a chill, smart, brilliantly-executed intro message.

As I write this out, I realize that we didn’t need to record that fake message then play it into the phone. We could have simply picked up the phone and delivered the fake intro message live. Either way… I’m pretty sure this is pathetic. But “Under Pressure” is a hella good song, nonetheless.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Bachelor: Episode 3

-The Bachelor producers must have given a firm directive that episode 3 was going to be all about opening up, revealing secrets, and being vulnerable because the honesty was flowing like cheap champagne at a sorority initiation ceremony (trust me, I know these things). It was so inorganic and forced, too, which made the whole thing somewhat laughable. There was definitely a sense of, “I’m waiting alone on this couch for Brad to come over so that I can tell him about my dead fiancée/dead father/cheating father/trust issues/trauma” and it happened over and over and over again.

-The first 1:1 date of the episode was with Ashley S. I love that Brad continued to call her “Ashley S.” throughout the date and when speaking to the camera. Oh yeah buddy, you’re making such a deep connection with this girl that you have to include the first initial of her last name so that you don’t mix her up with the OTHER Ashley. I love it. Their “date” is to sing “Kiss From a Rose” in a recording booth while a sound mixer shakes his head at them. Romance!! Then Seal shows up to serenade them and they awkwardly sit in on his recording session. I’ve been on better dates to a sandwich shop in downtown Utica (with a guy named “Big Evs” no less).

-A bunch of the ladies went on a group date to film action/adventure scenes on a movie set. How much more elaborate will these dates get? Give it a few seasons, and they’ll be like, “Get ready for a group date to a sweatshop in Indonesia where you each will get 30 seconds with the Bachelor, during which you’ll make Nike sneakers together!” In typical Michelle style, she was miserable because someone else received some of Brad’s attention. Girl, are you seriously 30 years old? It kinda feels like middle school around here (minus the zits and bad hair). They have a “wrap party” (which seemed about as cool as an elementary school “pizza party”) during which they screened their awful film “Love Hurts.” During said wrap party, Michelle lurked around and interrupted other ladies’ time with Brad, which is just poor form. I know that she’s certainly “not here to make friends” (the outsider’s lament), but can’t she just be semi-tolerable and respectful of others' time? Apparently not.

-The final 1:1 date is Emily and Brad FLYING to a winery, then eating dinner in a barn filled with hay and open flames. Talk about the potential for tragedy at every turn. It seems especially insensitive of the producers to have Emily, of all the girls, flying in a plane on camera. Her fiancée died in a plane crash and she finally shared this information with Brad, since this was “what’s YOUR source of sadness?” week.

-Vampire chick is having misgivings about being in the house, since, as she puts it: a lot of the women here really NEED this and I don’t even want it. Interesting way of putting it and surprisingly down-to-earth from a girl who wears fangs for teeth.

-I must say, as I said on Twitter, it blows my mind that The Bachelor has a girl who is a (wanna be) vampire, but not a SINGLE black girl or Asian girl. ABC really needs to step up and have a bit more diversity on the show. The biggest deal was when they had a bachelor who was divorced and had a kid—GASP!

-At the pre-rose ceremony cocktail party, Michelle told Brad that they were in the midst of their first fight. OMG I hate you so much. Are you going to play “Got You Last” next, cause that’s what the morons in my middle school were ALL about when they were trying to figure out how to flirt.

-Tons of tears throughout this entire episode. These girls must have stocked up on waterproof mascara (except for Sarah P.)

-Finally, the rose ceremony is upon us and Emily, Shawntel, and Ashley S. already had roses. In a dramatic turn, Madison (vampire girl) walked out mid-rose ceremony. As Chris Harrison would say, that’s UNPRECEDENTED! She decided to leave because she wasn’t 100% into it and I think she went on the show on a lark. Leaving is a stand-up move on her part.

-Who got the boot? Sarah P. and Kimberly. Two blondes down, which is bad for blonde-kind. They both seemed pretty bland though, so I’m not surprised. I think that if Madison hadn’t walked off, Stacey would have gotten the boot also. I love that she’s a fellow Masshole, but she needs to get some more “face time” (yes, that is the refrain of every girl on “Rock of Love”) with Brad pronto.

Until next week!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Bachelor

Last night was episode 2 of "The Bachelor" with Brad back in the bachelor seat. You know what they say, second time's the charm after intensive therapy, RIGHT!? A few of my thoughts on the show:

-Last night we learned that if you want a quick ejector seat out of the Bachelor mansion, all you gotta do is get embroiled in some drama (Melissa) and/or misuse the word "obstruct" (Raichel). While you're at it, Raichel, how about your eliminate the spelling error from your frigging name? Thanks!

-Keltie- your hair is two-tone, and not in a good way. Your two colors scream, "Blonde is expensive and I couldn't afford to see my colorist" which I suppose isn't quite as bad as what two-tone normally screams ("Yes, I'm a part-time exotic dancer, what of it?") But there's something I dig about two tone-hair (when it's brown underneath, blonde on top). My heart goes out to Keltie because she seems like a nice girl with an awkward streak. A BIG awkward streak. Perhaps she should try STREAKIN her hair (highlight jokes!).

-Ashley H - got a 1:1 date with Brad. Pretty bland, but she was in a cute, sparkly dress.

-Michelle couldn't get over the fact that it was her 30th BIRTHDAY and she was spending it in the Bachelor house. Does she not understand how calendards work? Girl, you QUITE LITERALLY saw this coming. It's your birthday and it comes around EVERY year. Take it easy. Also, you're f-ing nuts. Your "act outs" for fireworks and your poolside rose dance were f-ing kookoopants. Oh also, Michelle, I know that you think you're really building something with Brad by asking him such hardball questions as "Starbucks or Coffee Bean?" and "What do you keep in your fridge?" but it only seems creepy and manipulative.

-Emily with the dead husband and daughter back home is a sweetheart and gorgeous. Brad should just cancel the entire show and settle down with her.

-Madison (aka Vampire Chick) is only being kept around so that the producers can edit some footage of her in a girl-fight, add a voice-over about how the "claws came out!" and top THAT with a cat scratch sound. Let's hope they get around to this soon because I'm getting sick of her.

-Stacey is a bartender from Boston. I'd like to see more of her, please. I just hope that she doesn't fulfill every Boston stereotype and get into a brawl that involves defending the honor of the Saaawx or Pats or Celts. The Bruins aren't brawl-worthy (sorry, every hot hockey player on whom I've ever crushed).

I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but I'm fired up for another season of watching jerkwads search for love on TV, while insisting that they're "here for the right reasons."