Monday, February 27, 2012

Trashelor Recap: Swiss Cheese & STDs

There's just one more stop on Bachelor Ben Flajnik's "incredible journey" of reality TV whoredom: Interlaken, Switzerland.

"I'm starting to fall in love with all three of them," Ben says. He rehashes why he likes each of the girls, which is the same crap as he's been saying for the last ten bazillion episodes, so I'm not going to get into it. If you don't know the stories the producers assigned them by now, you haven't been paying attention. I envy you.

"I can't imagine a more perfect place to be in love," Nicki gushes as she arrives. She and Ben take a helicopter ride through the Alps, and then the chopper pilot drops them off to have a picnic on a mountain. "I'm always blown away by Ben," she says, because he makes her feel safe. Nicki also admits that she spends her days imagining what it would be like to be married to Ben, which I can only assume includes her practicing how to sign "Nicki Flajnik" and doodling "Nicki + Ben = Love" in sparkly gel pen on her notebooks, just like I used to do with Jonathan Taylor Thomas' name when I was 13. They gaze off into the distance on top of a mountain hugging.

But wait, there's more! They go to a cabin where they have dinner and talk about how many kids Ben wants and rehash their wove ... twue wove for the seven-hundred-and-eighty-four-millionth time. Then, Ben whips out ... the key to the Fantasy Suite! This sparked the following exchange between me and Kel (who, by the way, did not watch this episode because she has no commitment to SparkleMotion):

ME:  LOL Fantasy Suite! I would be disappointed if I went to a fantasy suite and there were not hobbits or elves or something. Or dragons.

KEL:  Hahaha. Let's go to the fantasy suite! 

OMG! There is a fucking dragon in there!

And scene.

Anyway, when Nicki and Ben walk in, Nicki shrieks, "A FIRE! I HOPED THERE WOULD BE A FIRE!" at the top of her lungs. Surprisingly, this becomes a theme throughout the episode, because apparently the women on "The Bachelor" have never seen a fireplace before.

Lucky for Ben and Nicki, there's also a hot tub, where they make out. Nicki says they're "genuinely happy together" and she feels like she deserves Ben because she's in love.

The next day is Lindzi's date, which Ben prefaces by saying that Interlaken is the "extreme sports capital of Europe, maybe the world." They go rappelling down a 300-foot canyon, then, my notes say, "hike and shit with sheep." I am not sure what word I was going for, but I do not remember any shitting happening. I do, however, remember a hot tub. Did they shit in the hot tub? If they did, I blocked it out of my memory.

After their outdoorsy day, they have a fancy dinner at a fancy hotel, where Lindzi talks about how she'd rather be vulnerable and get hurt than have it end because she wasn't vulnerable. But I didn't really care what they talked about because I kept wondering if Lindzi, who was riding a horse the first time she met Ben, would ride Ben like a horse in the Fantasy Suite. Maybe she could ride him to slay the dragon that surely must reside in the Fantasy Suite! Also, Ben was wearing a dorky bowtie, which was distracting me, especially when I imagined him being ridden like a horse. My mind goes to disturbing places sometimes.

Ben invites Lindzi to the Fantasy Suite. "Normally I don't go stay the night with anyone, but ..." Lindzi says. But what!? But you're on TV, so it's OK? They make out and then close the door and ...

Next morning is time for a train ride up the mountains with Courtney so she and Ben can eat Swiss cheese and have lunch on a hillside with cows. Ben says he likes Courtney because "she wants to try new things," but also worries that she doesn't get along with any of the other girls (because she is a bitchface!). She says she "tried really hard." Tried at what? Being extra mean? Blah blah, they go back to the Fantasy Suite, where Courtney also shrieks about the fire. Ben's nether regions are probably on fire after all the Fantasy Suite sexing he's doing this week. I sure as heck hope the "Bachelor" contestants get tested, or there are going to be some weirdly mutated strain of herpes left on several different bedsheets in the Swiss Alps.

Seriously, though, raise your hand if the whole Fantasy Suite thing creeps you out.

Then, they interrupted our regularly scheduled program for a commercial for the new season of "The Bachelorette," where new Bachelorette, Emily Maynard (whose last name, I am ashamed to say, I didn't even need to look up. I hate myself.) went and saw "Titanic" in 3-D with former Bachelorettes Ashley and Ali. I think that "Titanic" is not the best movie for someone looking for love, considering how things end up for the main couple, but whatever. Watching "The Bachelorette" is kind of like watching the Titanic sink, I guess.

Now back to your regularly scheduled slutting.

Ben is falling in love with three wonderful women, but before he can stare blankly at a wall some more, Kasey (who was eliminated last week) appears at his door in a last-ditch effort to get back in his good graces. Oh, girl. Desperation is not a good look on you.

Ben rejects her again, but before she goes Kasey tells Ben, "I do love you and I do care about you ... I don't want to see you get hurt." She continues, "I feel like if you choose Courtney, you're going to be heartbroken."

WELL. Ben is so confused (I mean, more confused than normal), even after he and Chris Harrison have a little chat, and he says he's not even sure what to do at the rose ceremony.

He gives the first rose to Lindzi almost immediately, and then pauses for at least the length of time of a Kardashian marriage. But, finally ... he gives the second rose to Courtney!

Nicki cries. The end.

Next week is "The Women Cattily Stab Each Other in the Back Like the Fame-Whoring Bitches They Are" ... which I likely will not recap because I think watching it might make me want to stab myself in the temple with an ice-pick ... and then, two weeks from tonight, BEN WILL MAKE HIS FINAL DECISION! WHO WILL HE CHOOSE!? OMG THE TENSION IS PALPABLE!

Friday, February 24, 2012

'Project Runway' Recap: Not-So-Fabulous Flags

Using flags as a jumping-off point for design could be a really, really bad thing. I had visions of really literal dresses with exact patterns and colors.

It wasn't that bad - this is the All-Star season, after all - but it definitely wasn't that great either.

The six remaining designers went to the UN World Headquarters, which Jerell says he can tell "is a place of great importance" (duh!), to choose from six nations. The colors of the flag and culture of the country will inspire their designs.

The designers' flags:
Mondo - Jamaica
Michael - Greece (because he's Greek, you know)
Mila - Papua New Guinea
Jerell - India
Austin Scarlett - The Seychelles
Kenley - Chile

They sketch and go to Mood, then get back to the workroom, where the traditional freakouts begin. Mondo doesn't like his fabrics. Austin questions if he made the right choice because of the colors. They start working. Jerell says that India means lots of embellishments. Michael C. likes the challenge and Greece because he likes to drape.

Joanna Coles comes in, and today, she's obsessed with underwear. (But seriously, she is a GREAT mentor.)

Mondo shows off his simple black gown with lovely color-blocking in the back. Joanna likes it, but the back inspires this exchange:
Joanna: "How do you wear a bra with that?"
Mondo: "You don't."
Joanna: *exasperated sigh*

Joanna worries that Jerell's outfit looks like a national costume, or an outfit that would be on a doll that tourists buy. She thinks he might be taking India too literally.

Joanna thinks Michael's dress is "gorgeous," in the way it is draped, but she wonders if it's ambitious enough. She also comments, "Oh, another dress you can't wear a bra with ... We want to be able to wear underwear."

Joanna apparently didn't say much about Austin's dress, because all I have written down is that Mondo thinks his dress looks "sad."

Mila's half-long, half-short Frankendress is "finally a dress women can wear underwear with," Joanna says.

Joanna wants Kenley to convince the judges that she's going beyond her comfort zone. "Are you convinced you can stand out?" she asks. "Why is she still here!?" Mondo snipes.

After Joanna leaves, more freakouts ensue. Austin doesn't have enough fabric, Mondo thinks Michael's dress is pageanty and Austin thinks Jerell's dress is vulgar.

Before we know it, it's runway time! (Check out the designs at Rate the Runway.)

Jerell - A little gold dress with a big green drapy sari-inspired piece on one side. I like the way it looks like a sari, but the overall effect, complete with an Indian headpiece, is way too faux-Indian/costume/touristy/ick. Way too literal.

Kenley - Most of the dress is a simple turtleneck, long-sleeve minidress with heart polka-dots, but on one hip there is a little ruffle. I like the idea, but the textiles don't totally go together for me. It's very Kenley-as-usual. It's not my favorite, but it's OK.

Austin - A flowy blue-and-yellow layered chiffon gown. The colors don't totally work together, and I think the construction is kind of amateur. I like the idea of a flowy, colorful gown, but this is not the flowy, colorful gown that it should be.

Mondo - A simple, slinky black dress in the front with a great racerback-style detail in the back with yellow and green colorblocks. It's really simple and really awesome!

Mila - Frankendress! It has a long red piece with yellow trim as one half of the dress, and a short black little piece on the other side. I don't love it, and it doesn't look very Papau New Guinea, but it's at least kind of neat.

Michael - White, voluminous, drapy dress with blue and sparkly trim. The back is waaaaay too low. I like the draping but there's no shape and the trim is a little bit vulgar.

Judges' Critiques:

Judges are: Host Angela Lindvall, Georgina Chapman, Isaac Mizrahi and guest judge designer Catherine Malandrino.

Jerell: There are some ideas that the judges like, including the white stripe on the arm and the bustier dress, but there were just too many ideas there. Georgina thought it was too heavy-handed and costumey.

Kenley: The judges like the attitude, and the way that it has a Spanish sort of feel without being too literal. They all think it is modern and fun, but Georgina didn't think it went far enough. Isaac also warned Kenley not to do the same kind of dress again next week because she's made the same style of dress every week.

Austin: Georgina didn't like the color use because it's not quite the right colors. Isaac thought the dress was too tortured in the front. The best thing Angela can say is, "It's not the worst thing I've seen on 'Project Runway: All Stars.'" Snap!

Mondo: They love the dress, but not the dreadlocks he did for her hair. Isaac doesn't like the in-your-face back of the dress, but that is stupid because it's the only thing that makes it a Jamaican flag dress instead of just a slinky black dress. Georgina praises Mondo's restraint, although Angela thinks it's a little safe.

Mila: Isaac gets communism from the dress and thinks that it looks Russian and is "disturbing to look at." Angela likes the neckline but not the long-short thing. Isaac thinks she decided that she was going to do the graphic feel no matter what and it didn't matter to her that it didn't say Papua New Guinea.

Michael: Georgina said the dress is "acceptable," but screams "beauty pageant." Catherine thinks there's too much volume, and Angela thinks the trim is making the dress worse, not better.

The judges pick the correct winner: Mondo! His simple, classy dress was so much better than anybody else's. The judges loved Kenley's way more than I did, but they didn't give her the win, I think, mainly because she made the same dress as she's made all season.

And going home is Mila. I would have sent Jerell home, because his dress was a tacky mess, but Mila has been in the bottom a lot and I think the judges wanted to give the win to someone who followed the challenge but used bad taste rather than someone who just made whatever dress she wanted to without really following the challenge. It's cool ... I won't miss Mila.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bachelor Recap: When Parents Attack

Tonight on the Bachelor, we have hometown dates. This means that Ben gets to meet each contestant's parents and see where she grew up and where she won't be living anymore because everyone knows that the girl gives up her entire life to be with a guy. Ben also gets to ask for permission from each dad. This makes me die a little bit inside.

Lindzi's date: She had a serious relationship before and thought she would marry the guy. But it didn't work out and Lindzi felt like she couldn't go on. That is not the statement of a stable person. Ben likes that Lindzi opened up (drink) and they kissed (drink). Lindzi didn't know that her parents go married in San Francisco City Hall where Ben and Lindzi shared their first date. I like her parents. They do chariot races! How awesome is that! Also, according to Lindzi's dad you are penalized if you don't trash talk the other team. Ben likes Lindzi's parents and says that they are "salt of the earth", like his dad (drink).

Kasey's date: A marching band meets him, which gives Kasey once again the opportunity to show off her baton skillz. You Werq that baton, crazy girl. The field the band is on is named off Kasey's grandfather, who is an example of what she wants in a husband. Ben is nervous about Kasey's dad not being a drinker. He also is worried that he won't have anything in common with him. Kasey's family is a really close family and her being gone for the show has been really bad for them because they missed her. This does not bode well. Kasey wants to run everything by her sister (which is always the way to go). Ben and Kasey's dad have a heart to heart. I kind it awkward that Ben has to justify himself to Kasey's dad. Dad is very skeptical and tells Ben not to rush, which is a totally valid point. However, it isn't Dad's business at all! Kasey's mom is worried about the move to California, but more importantly about Kasey moving in with Ben. Welcome to 1950! Though really, I appreciate her concerns and values. I also like her hair...super cute! I wish my hair would lay like that. Kasey's dad would say "no" if Ben asked for Kasey's hand in marriage. He would, however, reconsider if offered 6 chickens and 2 cows. Kasey is frustrated that her parents don't trust her judgement of Ben. This trip did not go well.

Nikki's date: Kelly still does not know who Nikki is and doesn't care about their date. They are in Texas and do touristy Texas things. And there was a lot of kissing (drink). Nikki's family is very protective of her. Her dad was concerned, especially since he feels like her let her down when she was married previously. Fun fact: Nikki and Kasey are twins, down to their parents being kids. Seriously, Nikki's parents look just like Kasey's parents. There is nothing else exciting or interesting about this date.

Courtney's date: Courtney has had time to reflect on how she acted on the show and is disappointed with herself. She got too caught up in being in love and fighting for Ben. She has had some shit relationships in the past. Ben is concerned because he doesn't want to end up with someone who rubs people the wrong way. Courtney's mom is skeptical of Courtney claiming she is in love. However, Mom called Ben a "nice young man". Awesome! I like Courtney's mom a lot. Courtney's sister thinks Courntey seems happy. Courtney's dad says that marriage is a gamble. Ben is ready to be in a serious relationship, but seems scared by Courtney's dad. Their fun date activity is a faux-wedding at the place she always wanted to get married. One word to describe the whole situation: Creepy.

Ben's feelings after the hometown dates:

Ben re: Lindzi - Great family
Ben re: Kasey - Community great but compromise? Could be part of her family.
Ben re: Nikki - Can just have fun and call it a day. Parents divorced but it's good.
Ben re: Courtney - Away from drama, saw the Courtney he knows.

Kasey is going home. Most awkward part...Nikki and Lindzi hugging her and Courtney awkwardly wanting to impress Ben by being friendly with the girls, but obviously not feeling comfy with the idea of hugging a girl she doesn't really like. Kasey cries that she is not good enough. No! Not ok! Kasey! You are fine. You're family is nice and protective and didn't want you to throw your life away by moving cross country with a guy you've known for a couple months. Dear girls everywhere, don't define yourself by if a guy/girl likes you. Have some self-esteem!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Love Triangles: Picking Teams

Everyone who has read Twilight picked Team Edward or Team Jacob. Everyone who has read Stephanie Plum picked Team Morelli or Team Ranger. Love triangles have a way of dividing people. So as a fun study, I'm going to go through my favorite fictional love trianlges and let you know who I pick and why. I'm guessing we'll see a pattern!

Since it is fresh on my mind, first up is Stephanie Plum: Team Morelli vs. Team Ranger. This one is actually kind of hard because I genuinely like both guys. They both have positives and negatives, but I am solidly pro-Ranger. Morelli has a tendency to try to make Stephanie into his housewife, but that is really never going to be her. She is a peanut butter and olive sandwich over the sink girl rather than a big meal at the table girl. Morelli also hates her jobs and wants her to quit. He definitely backs off on that one, but the point still stands. Ranger just lets Stephanie be herself, though he has a vaguely annoying habit of constantly tracking her cars/sending his men to save her. Which would be more annoying if it weren't so helpful. A big clincher in the battle between the men is that Morelli threw away Stephanie's peanut butter because it got cross contaminated (which caused them to break up). Ranger doesn't eat peanut butter but left the jar that Stephanie had at his apartment even when she wasn't staying there. Though I don't think Morelli is a bad choice, I think that Ranger is a better choice.

For the biggest debate in the history of tween girls: Team Edward or Team Jacob. If you know me at all, you would know that I would be Team Jacob. Edward is a stalker and controller. Jacob lets Bella smash her head open on a motorcycle and then takes her to the hospital. I would never want someone to try to stop me from doing what I want to do, so the guy who would let me hurt myself and would then help me fix it wins in my book. Enough said.

Torchwood has approximately 87 different combinations of hookups that could happen, but the one that I want to love triangle about is with Gwen: Team Rhys or Team Owen/Team Jack. This is a hard one because Gwen and Jack obviously love each other and really are rather perfect for each other. But I just can't see it every happening, so I'm going to go on to Team Rhys vs. Team Owen, with the knowledge that my actual choice is Team Jack. Rhys is Gwen's long suffering boyfriend; Owen is Gwen's cranky coworker. I was rooting for a Gwen/Owen hookup from the beginning, especially when Rhys gets all pissy about Gwen's job. But when it comes down to it, I am Team Rhys for changing and accepting Gwen's crazy life and being a really great support system for her.

For a less conventional love triangle, I am going to the Hannah Swensen mysteries by Joanne Fluke: Team Norman vs. Team Mike. Mike is the hot cop that turns Hannah's insides to mush. Norman is the steady dentist that just makes Hannah happy. I think Mike is the wrong choice, but I'm not so sure about Norman either. Mike never wants Hannah to investigate and tries to change her a bit. Norman helps Hannah with whatever she needs. Mike is a bit too hard-edged; Norman is too nice. I am Team Ross who appears in two books, was friends with Hannah in college, and generally just likes her and lets her be herself. He is perfect!

And now for everyone's favorite vampire porn: True Blood. Team Bill vs. Team Eric vs. Team Sam. I have different opinions on the show vs. the books. In the show, I am Team Eric. He is a total bastard, but so is Bill. And Bill tries to control Sookie more than Eric does. However, if Sookie ends up with Bill, I'm not going to be upset. The most exciting battle is in the books. I am solidly Team Sam! He never tries to control Sookie, nor force her into anything. He is just solidly her friend throughout everything. He is there for her when she needs him and doesn't trick her or fight or anything. He is just a nice guy and a great friend and really, she should end up with Sam.

I would do a Buffy love triangle mess, but really, she had no good choices. I hated Angel, Spike was obviously a terrible choice both pre- and post-soul, Riley was annoying (though less so upon second viewing), Xander was too into girls in general. My favorite character was Spike, but no way would I want Buffy with him forever (not to mention, he died at the end of the series).

Do you agree with my picks for the love triangles? Any love triangles that I missed? Anyone pick out my trend for picking guys?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What Makes a Great Heroine

I read a lot of books, mostly romance, chick lit, and mystery, but I have very specific standards for really enjoying a book. And a lot of that comes down to the heroine of the story. My standards are pretty much the same for tv shows and movies, but it seems more apparent in books.

What makes a good heroine:

1) She is smart. Smart can mean a few different things, but in a great book smart means that the girl has a plethora of common sense or knowledge or street smarts or some combination. Take Stephanie Plum for instance...she isn't particularly smart, though she has a college degree and she lacks some basic common sense sometimes, but she has tons of street smarts and really uses solid logic when she gets into truly terrifying situations.

2) She is sassy. Sassy, feisty, fiery, sarcastic, throws herself at situations. I like a character to be willing to talk back to the hot guy and not let the rich duke get away with being a jackass. Someone like Heather Wells is a great heroine because she doesn't really think about the consequences of running into a room where she thinks a murderer is. Even if someone (a police chief, a hot roommate/PI) tells her to definitely wait until someone else gets there, she still goes in. I love it! Stephanie Plum is also really a great example of doing the exact opposite of what anyone tells her to do. And arguing about why the guy is stupid to tell her not to do something afterwards. I highly relate!

3) She is funny. As with the smart qualification, funny can be a variety of things. Jennifer Crusie's heroines are always really funny, though not necessarily funny on purpose. The narration is just always amusing and the woman is sarcastic and fun. Really, you can't go wrong with a good dose of sarcasm!

4) She perseveres through all kinds of hell. I just finished reading Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas and the main character, Liberty Jones, had a really shitty life for a long time. She had every right to whine about it or turn to other people, but she didn't. She held her own. And yes, she got some help along the way (sometimes without her knowledge), but the biggest thing was that she never once gave up. I like all my heroines to overcome the odds. Whether it is trying to get someone to believe the random death was murder, trying to outwit a contract killer, trying to keep a family together, whatever, I want my heroine to be a fighter.

5) Good taste in friends and men. This has a lot to do with the "she is smart" category, but there is nothing I hate more than a heroine who likes the guy that is a total jackass. For how much I enjoy Lisa Kleypas, Tempt Me at Twilight frustrated me the entire time because the guy was such a jerk. And while it is not unusual in romance novels for hate to turn to love, I just did not understand why the heroine started loving the guy. It really turned me off for most of the book, though I did finally come around at the end when the guy stopped being such an ass. But seriously, I had issues with the girl because, damn!

Favorite Heroines:
1) Heather Wells: former teen pop star turned admin at a college dorm, solves crime usually by putting herself in danger, crushes on Cooper Cartwright who is the best guy of any book ever (I am in love with Coop)

2) Stephanie Plum: not quite half-way decent bounty hunter who has more luck than skill, usually ends up having to solve some bigger mystery while maintaining a cop boyfriend, Morelli, who hates her job, also loves Ranger who is her coworker/mentor/employer/sometimes (but not nearly often enough) lover

3) Amelia Hathaway: oldest girl of the Hathaway family, tries to keep her family together, tries to survive in society when they grew up middle class, falls in love with the definitely outside of society Rom Gypsy, Cam (who I am also in love with)

4) Finley Anderson Tanner: law clerk who somehow always manages to have to solve a murder, spends almost beyond her means but still manages to mostly pay her bills, forever disappoints her strict and snooty mother, really wants Liam McGarrity even though he is a bad boy, though in the best way possible

5) Katniss Everdine: has to fight for her life in a game of kill or be killed, becomes an accidental and somewhat reluctant leader of a revolution, has a love triangle with no right choice (even though she does end up with one of the guys)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Fun Facts

So, these fun facts blogs have been lax lately, huh. I would give some great excuse, but mostly it comes down to me choosing to read instead of write. Also, it is hard to come up with interesting fun facts all the time. However, since this is a holiday, you will get a dose of fun facts!

Valentine's Day was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD

Valentine's Day is a celebration of Saint Valentine, the name of 14 saints martyred in ancient Rome

Due to confusion about if the February 14th feast date was to celebrate one of more St. Valentines, the Catholic calendar of saints removed the festival from its calendar in 1969

Valentine's Day became associated with love in the High Middle Ages, around the 11, 12, and 13th century

It is only in the past few hundred years that Cupid has been associated with Valentine's Day.

In Roman mythology, Cupid is the son of Venus and is the god of desire, affection and erotic love

In Greek mythology, Cupid is Eros and appears as a slender youth with wings

The chubby boy with a bow and arrow evolved during the Hellenistic period, between 323 and 146 BC

'Trashelor' Recap: "Do You 'Belize' In Love?"

Why, yes, Ben did use the punny question in the title of this post while he and the ladies women spent the week in Belize. *shudder*

Anyway ... there are six women left or, according to Emily, herself, four other girls and a shark. (The shark would be Courtney.) Chris informed them that there would be three one-on-one dates with no roses up for grabs and a group date with a rose up for grabs. The girl who gets the group date rose would be guaranteed for a hometown date!

Date No. 1: Lindzi. Ben and Lindzi went on a helicopter ride to the Blue Hole. It sounds really dirty, but actually, the Blue Hole is a hole in the ocean that goes 500 feet down. It's surrounded by a coral reef. But, of course, since this is "The Bachelor," they had to jump out of the helicopter. Naturally, Lindzi is afraid of heights, because Ben and/or the producers are assholes that like to terrify the contestants, but she ends up jumping out. They swim around for a while, then go off to eat dinner in the moonlight. But Lindzi can't take her eyes off Ben! *sigh* Romantic!

However, Lindzi tells Ben that she is fighting with the fact that he has 5 other girlfriends. I'm sure she's SO surprised, because it's not like this happens EVERY SINGLE SEASON of this show. But she also tells Ben she's falling for him and thinks he's her Prince Charming. So, naturally, they write a little fairy tale that Ben says ends with an "eternal promise." No, not THAT eternal promise, the one that they're competing for on a televised dating game show. It's an eternal promise to be open and honest with each other.

Then they kiss because, hello! It's Ben!

Date No. 2: Emily. Ben puts Emily on a plane and has her meet him at Caye Caulker. They bike around Belize, sightseeing, and even drinking out of coconuts. How quaint! "I feel like I'm vacation with my boyfriend!" Emily gushes. "If only my boyfriend didn't have five other girlfriends, it would be a perfect day."

They go diving for lobsters for dinner, because they're SUPER SPONTANEOUS Y'ALL! And then they dance and kiss. Courtney, meanwhile, is back at the house talking shit about Emily because she disrespected her. She's "uncomfortable" that he's with Emily.

Emily says she's ready to take the next step with Ben, though she worries that her dust-up with Courtney screwed up their flow. Still, they kiss. Unsurprising.

Date No. 3: Courtney. When the date card arrives, Nikki immediately wants to spring across the room and punch her in the face.

Courtney says she's worried about whether their relationship is going anywhere, but Ben feels a strong connection. They talk as they walk through the jungle, and she frets that their spark might be gone. They "stumble across" a Mayan Temple, and they talk more about their relationship. Maybe the Mayans forsaw this and that's why they made their calendar to have the world end in 2012, except they miscalculated by about 11 months. Darn it, Mayans!

Ben says he's starting to fall for Courtney, and if she doesn't feel the same way, he'll be crushed. He says he wants to meet her parents, and she feels better. They climb the COMPLETELY RANDOM MAYAN TEMPLE THEY JUST HAPPENED TO FIND IN THE JUNGLES OF BELIZE, and as they climb, Courtney says "each step I took I left behind the hurt and drama."

**Jen apparently never finished her Trashlor Recap. And Kel didn't watch the show because she had more important things to do like watching Jeopardy College Tournament. And now Jen is on vacation. So, Rachel (Kel still has no idea who this is) and Emily went home. Next week is the hometown date week. So that should be interesting/boring.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Trashelor: Awwwwwwwwkward ...

First things first ... sorry about the fact that the Pop Tarts didn't recap "The Bachelor" last week. Actually, no, we're not that sorry. We were both busy and didn't feel like spending all that time watching and recapping this stupid show.

But now we're back. Or, anyway, I, Jen, am back. Kel went to bed instead of watching this week. Sometimes I doubt her commitment to Sparkle Motion.

Anywho, this week Ben 'n' the Hos went to Panama City, and Ben sees "signs of love in the air." But he was wrong ... there was drama and a heaping dose of awkward.

First up, a one-on-one date with Kacie B. "Will our love survive? Pack three things," the card reads.

Courtney, our own Jessie XX, isn't worried, though. "He might be trying to week out the people he's not sure about," she says.

The pair takes a helicopter over the city and the famed canal,  but that's not where Kacie's mind is. "He's holding my hand, I'm there with him, and that's all that matters," she gushes.

The end up getting left on a deserted island called San Blas, and Ben says he hopes they bond but admits he's afraid they'll run out of things to talk about. "It's sand and palm trees, and that is it," he says. Well, that and the camera crews capturing your every move, dear.

Kacie brought a lei or something, a corkscrew and a bag of candy. "Dessert!" Ben crows. He brought a machete, fishing net and matches. Apparently the camera crew brought wine because, before I knew it, they had glasses of wine in their hands. Anyway, they have to catch a fish and cut down coconuts and all that crap. It's more interesting when it's on "Survivor." Ben says it's a good way to find out if they'd work well together and be good partners and all that shiz. After their lunch on the island, they go back to the mainland and have dinner and talk about how Kacie likes to go to the grocery store. Zzzzz ... she better dispense with the small talk. Luckily, she does ... she then admits to Ben that she had an eating disorder when she was in high school. Her admission, and the fact that it helped her develop into a strong women, means that Ben likes her even more now. She gets a rose, and she admits she's falling in love with Ben.

The next day, it's the group date, with Emily, Nikki, Lindzi, Kasey S., Courtney and Jamie. They go boating down the Chagres River in the jungle and then ... amazingly! ... a bunch of tribal children in loincloths just happen to be out playing soccer! They stop and "stumble upon" a village. Ben and the women dress up in tribal clothing, but only Ben and Courtney really get into it - Ben wears a loincloth, and Courtney takes off her swimsuit, causing ABC to have to blur out her boobies the whole time. However, Ben really "appreciates" it.

Courtney is kind of getting the slutty bitch edit right now, but I have to say that I actually like that she is getting into the whole experience. The other girls can be as snobby as they want, but they're all on a skanktastic reality show. Courtney is going for it, and I have to say that I appreciate that.

Anyway, they get back and talk. Ben and Lindzi talk about how Lindzi is easygoing and doesn't like to fight and they kiss. (#whore) Ben tells Courtney he likes that she is assertive and confident, and she gives him her room number. Jamie, meanwhile, admits she hasn't kissed Ben yet (you're doing something wrong, girl!), so she goes and talks to him and says she's going to kiss him. While she's chattering away, Courtney hops in the pool in her bikini, and watching Ben try really hard to concentrate on Jamie instead of staring at Courtney is one of the most hilarious things in the episode. She ends up not being able to kiss him. Emily tells Ben she has another man in her life - the chief of the village they visited. She tells Ben she's sorry for trashing Courtney, and then after she's done with her appointed time with Ben, she goes back and talks to the girls. She apologizes to Courtney, who kind of goes crazy on her, saying, "We will never be friends ... I don't take being disrespected lightly." Sheesh ... just when I was starting to like her.

Anyway, Lindzi gets the rose, pissing off Courtney (she gives great stankface) ... but she still holds out hope that Ben will come visit her in her room. BUT, he doesn't. *sad trombone*

FINALLY, it's the moment I've been waiting for - two-on-one date day! When she found out about the date, Blakely was excited because it's more time with Ben, and Rachel was nervous. I was happy because two-on-one dates, where only one girl gets a rose and the other has to go home, is the second-best scenario on "The Bachelor," the best scenario being straight-up gladiatorial combat.

Blakely and Rachel are learning to salsa dance with Ben. Blakely is the more confident, sexual one, which bothers Rachel because she thinks Blakely is being "tacky." She's worried Ben doesn't see through her. Anyway, they dance badly for a while, with Blakely wrapping her leg around Ben and stuff like that, and they try to break in on each other's dances with Ben.

Then, they go to dinner, which has got to be incredibly awkward. Rachel and Ben break off to talk first. Rachel says that she's "excited to be around you again," but tells Ben she's worried that Blakely moves so fast. She says she "wholeheartedly" wants to be there and wants to stay. They kiss (#whore).

Then, Blakely and Ben talk, and Blakely suddenly admits she's "very nervous." She feels something and starts crying (but without tears!). Then she shows Ben a collage book that she made of words and phrases and photos that remind her of how she feels about Ben. Sweet? Creepy? Whatever it is, Ben is unmoved, and he gives Rachel the rose. Blakely walks out, and Ben follows her to explain. He says he "respects you too much" to bring her through when he has other relationships that are past where they are. She bawls, again with no tears, and Rachel celebrates her rose.

The next day, Chris Harrison shows up at the women's room and grabs Kasey S., who he heard is in love with somebody else. The cardinal sin of "The Bachelor!" Her boyfriend/ex-boyfriend/whatever, Michael, told Chris that they were still together and were "practically living together" before she left. She explains that they broke up because he didn't want to get married, then got back together but that she broke up with him. "Maybe I should be in therapy or something," she said. Umm, yes. You all should. She wants to give up hope about getting back with Michael and she wants to get married, but she doesn't know what she feels. So, Chris makes her go talk to Ben.

Ben tells Kasey that he wishes she would have been more open and honest with him because he sent other girls home who wanted to be there. He decides that she should go home, and there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth. The girls are all shocked, giving them a chance to show the girls with their mouths hanging open like trout. Tee hee.

It's cocktail party time, then, and Chris Harrison tells the women, "This might change your conversations with Ben. I hope it does."

The only thing of note at the cocktail party is Jamie's delightful last-ditch effort to woo Ben. She straddles him and kisses him, then gets really giggly and starts talking super fast between kisses. She tells him that it's still not the way she wanted the kiss to go, so she starts instructing him on how to kiss and whose mouth should be open and whose should be closed. I can't even describe how hilariously awkward it is. Seriously, just go find a clip.

Alas, the kissing lesson didn't work, and the additional roses go to Nikki, Courtney and Emily (Kacie, Lindzi and Rachel had them already). Bye-bye, awkward Jamie. I hope you find a bad kisser who appreciates your instruction.

Next week ... drama in Belize!

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Middle Finger Malfunction

I did not watch any part of the Super Bowl. Not the game, not the commercials, not the half-time show. Morning after the game I heard about one thing and one thing only. No, not the winners of the game, nor the best commercials, nor what Madonna sounded like. I heard about M.I.A. flipping off a camera. And apparently this is The Worst Thing That Has Ever least since Janet Jackson showed her nipple.

Personally, someone giving the middle finger does not bother me. Though to be fair, Janet's nipple didn't really bother me either. But the backlash has been amazing! NBC and the NFL have both apologized while making sure to blame the other group for the non-blurring of a finger. NBC claims they tried to blur it but were just slightly too late and really it is the NFL's fault because they hired and produced the show. The NFL claims that NBC should have been on the blur button quicker. Also, the NFL called the gesture "obscene" while NBC called it only inappropriate.The PTC (I really want to call them the PTA) claims this is the worst thing ever. My favorite of all of the coverage...Entertainment Weekly showed the picture unedited.

I want to focus on two things about M.I.A.'s finger malfunction (also, calling it a Middle Finger Malfunction is genius and hilarious; thank you random person quoted on and for that). First, why is this a big deal? It wasn't meant as a big statement or anti- anything. It was an artist getting into her performance who may have made a bad judgement call. Also, she is from the UK where as far as I can tell, that really isn't a big deal at all. Let's call it a misjudgement of the situation. Secondly, I want to discuss the use of the word "obscene". Obscene is defined as disgusting to the senses; abhorrent to morality or virtue. Obscenity is one of those "I know it when I see it" words; there is no obscenity scale. I object to the use of the word obscene in context with someone flipping someone or something off. It could be constituted as inappropriate for sure. You wouldn't walk into a meeting with coworkers and flip them off, nor would you walk into a room of third graders and flip them off. There is a time and a when someone cuts you off on the highway or when your computer deletes an important file or when your friend makes a smart ass remark to you. There is nothing disgusting about a middle finger nor is M.I.A flipping off the camera hurting the morality of the country.

And on one last note, even if the finger that shall not be named had been blurred, does that change the act? No. Everyone still would have known what finger was raised.

Where you offended by M.I.A's finger? Do you find the gesture to be obscene? Would you prefered to have seen someone's nipple again?

Lickability Study: Vin Diesel vs. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Last week, The Pop Tarts got into a conversation about the lickability of various celebrities.

It's not our fault! Honestly!

We both read the wonderful blog of Tom & Lorenzo, which, if you don't read it, you DEFINITELY should because it's fabulous! Anyway, last week they were writing about photos of Henry Cavill and called him "downright lickable."

Thus, a slightly creepy, yet highly amusing, idea was born: The Lickability Study.

Each week, or whenever we remember to do it, we will post two celebrities and discuss their lickability factor.

For our lick-off kick-off ... Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson vs. Vin Diesel.

"You want to lick me? Sure, baby!" 

"Thumbs up for licking me!"
Kel would lick: The Rock. He is super cute and is of some sort of islandy heritage/mixed race. He also seems genuinely sweet and always tweets inspirational things along the lines of kicking serious ass. Also, have you seen his muscles? Really? Nothing against Vin Diesel, but The Rock is infinitely more lickable!

Jen would lick: Vin Diesel. He is a hottie, with a great veneer of super toughness, but also obviously a real sweet side underneath. Also, he is totally built. And he plays Dungeons & Dragons, which, let's face it, is totally cool. I am a huge fan of The Rock as well, but Vin Diesel has the edge for me.

Now it is time for you, our faithful readers reader mom, to cast your vote. Who do you find more lickable? And please do vote. Here at Pop Tarts Inc., we are amazingly competitive and really want to win the lickability competition by having the most people agree with us.