Wednesday, June 19, 2013

This Week's Bachelorette Review

Episode four of The Bachelorette appeared on Monday, I presume. I haven't even bothered to check my DVR to see if it recorded it. You see, I needed to attend a going away party for an old friend. Interactions with real humans took precedent over making fun of bad actors pretending to fall in love. I had every intention of watching it last night and posting the review this morning but I fell asleep on the couch and Game 6 of the NBA Finals was on. So yeah, better things to do.

In case you are really jonesing for some of my top-notch zingers, I'll give you a few based on what I'm guessing happened on the show:

Look out! Ben's doing something evil! Quick, break out the "not here for the right reasons" queue cards!

Oh, big, dumb Bryden.

Mikey likes it!

I'm really concerned about Desiree's tonsils. Her teeth seem to be slowly sneaking back to bite them out.

Ha HA! Poor choice of dresses!

Everything should be back to normal next week.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Random Thoughts #245

I once thought a woman on my Metra train had a little Moleskine notebook in which she was drawing little sketches. Then I realized that I'm on a train to the suburbs and no one interesting rides these trains. I looked closer. It was a day planner.

I sit in the upper deck of the Metra train which means that I get to look down see people playing games on their phones. It's surprisingly hard to figure out the name of the game they are playing so that I can download it and play it, too. Added difficulty points: I ride in the quiet car so I can't just shout down at them like Zeus and demand to know what game they play. There should be an app for that. Not the shouting down from above like Zeus -- though that would be a good app, too. The figuring out what game someone is playing by snapping a long-distance shot of their screen from your own phone is the app I'm talking about. Also, I don't think I need an app for the Zeus-shouting. I'm pretty good at projecting when I want. Sometimes Scarlett and I play a fun game that Dee hates called LOUD NOISES. Basically I shout-sing, "LOUD NOOOOOOIIIIISESSSS," and then Scarlett shout-sings, "LOUD NOOOOOOIIIIISESSSS!" Repeat until Dee gives me the I-want-to-murder-you look or until she starts laughing. I consider it a win if Dee starts laughing. Scarlett can't quite grasp that concept yet. She just likes to yell.

When I walk into the dry cleaner's it's like when Norm walked into Cheers. Only they call me "Mister Ford" and do it with an accent (I was going to tell you that it's done with an Asian accent of some type -- I'm not good at differentiating -- but you would have just assumed that I was making a racist joke even though I'm just stating simple facts. Is it still racist to relate an actual event that is also stereotypical? Maybe. I guess I'm a racist then). They know exactly how much starch I want in my shirts and sometimes they'll even remember my phone number (it's what they use to look up my account). However, no matter how many times I go in there and request a pickup two days later they always suggest some time next week. If I go in on Wednesday, I'll want to pick up my clothes on Friday but they'll say, "Is Tuesday okay?" No, Tuesday is not okay. Friday. Then they change it and everything is fine. If they remember all my other shit -- I mean my phone number! Who remembers phone numbers anymore? -- then why can't they remember that I want a quick turnaround on my clothes? Get it together, stereotypical dry cleaning store owners.

Has anyone ever noticed how hipsters really like bicycles and glasses? I really think I might be on to something here. [Note to self: Could this potentially be an entire post of its own?]

Hall and Odie. Simon and Garfield.

You guys, check your watches. You might be late for something. (If you're actually late for something I just blew your mind.)

I know where Chicago keeps at least a small portion of its sandbags. Pretty sure you've got to have top level clearance to know this information. Or just look around you a little bit when you're sitting on the train tracks at Union Station.

There's a very good chance that I'm wearing some kind of checked shirt at the very moment you're reading this (gingham, window pane, etc. You choose, it's your imagination after all. Don't be afraid to use the BlueFly accessory wall wisely.)

My wife suggested that I should do reviews of "So You Think You Can Dance." I said, "You think everyone wants to read about how much I like great butts?"

Still, you've got to love that my wife is always encouraging me to do things I love. Like write about and look at great butts.

Is "great butts" more or less creepy than "sweet asses"?

Neither is as creepy as "tight tushies."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What I Want for Father's Day

I want to hug my daughter. I want to dance with my daughter. I want to laugh with my daughter. I want to be frustrated by my daughter. I want to change her diaper. I want to enter a battle of wills with her over whether she'll eat her lunch or not. I want to fight her the entire time I'm trying to put her down for a nap and I want to stay patient but firm because she doesn't know it but she needs that nap. It's best for her. That's my job. To make sure that she gets what's best for her whether she likes it or not. I want to be a dad on Father's Day. No, I want to be a damn good dad on Father's Day.


Because dads get short shrift. Nobody expects anything of us when it comes to our kids. Sure, things have changed from my father's generation. We're expected to change diapers and wake for nighttime feedings but no one expects us to be good at those things. Everyone assumes we'll just mess it up. Many times our own wives don't trust us enough to leave us with the kids without help from a grandparent or two. Yes, there are plenty of men who are the stereotypical bumbling idiot around their children but they're just living up to expectations. Set the bar low and some people will only strive for the bar. There are also plenty of men who are very good fathers. They want to do all of the things that mothers are just somehow supposed to know how to do well (and are assumed to do well) and they do them as well as the mother. Sometimes better (gasp!). There are more of these men out there than popular opinion would have you believe.

I'm not trying to be the lone beacon of hope for good dads. I'm just asking you to take some time this Father's Day to think about common perceptions of dads in our society and see if they square up with your reality. If not, think twice about making that joke about how your dad or husband bumbles with the children. Or stop making jokes about the incompetance of dads in general. Or maybe just trust that your child's dad will be okay with the kid if you go out with the girls for a night. Maybe then we can string together enough small changes in the way we think about dads that we raise the bar just a little bit more.


Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Bachelorette Episode 3 (Desiree) -- A Review

You might have noticed that there was no review last week. Two reasons: I was in New York and it was game seven of the Heat-Pacers series. Those things are way more interesting than this show -- especially since I'm doing this for free.

Chris Harrison makes his appearance to tell the guys there will be two group dates and one one-on-one. He says he doesn't need to but he explains anyway that one-on-one time with Desiree is critical. Why do we even have a Chris Harrison?

By the way, shouldn't Desiree's name have an accent over one of the e's? Was her family too poor to afford one?

First Date -- Chris, Brian, Drew, Michael, Brooks, Brad, Mikey, Brandon, Zack K., Ben
The date card reads, "Love is a battlefield." This will turn out well.

Apparently the guys hate Ben. He must have done something like go on a date with her or get a rose or something. It feels way too early to have such a clear-cut villain. Did they fire their old writing staff? This season feels very poorly written.

The guys will be playing dodgeball. Yes, let's let these meatheads whip balls at each other and pretend it's not a metaphor.

During their "training session" with "professional" dodgeball players, Chris Harrison shows up to tell them they'll be playing against each other. Surprise. We've never seen this before on the show.

Red team: Mikey, Michael, Brooks, Chris, Brandon
Blue team: Ben, Drew, Zach, Brad, Brian

The game takes place at some mall in L.A. The Grove? They're dressed in short shorts and tanks. The winning team gets extra time with Des. Best of three.

The Blue Team wins the first game; the Red Team wins game two. Who could have predicted? At the beginning of game three, Brooks breaks his finger and is sent to the hospital. What's this? A spontaneous moment? 

The Blue Team wins the final game. Des decides that both teams get to go to the after party. YOU ALL GET A TROPHY. GOOD JOB, GOOD EFFORT.

At the hospital they reset Brooks' finger and he passes out. They've even got him hooked up to tubes and shit. Did his finger suddenly get kidney failure?

At the after party Brad reveals he has a three year old son who lives with him full time. Then he tells some convoluted story about his drunk ex-wife and domestic abuse charges. It kinds seems right up Desiree's alley.

So many of these guys have gay voice.

Chris takes Desiree to the roof of the building. They talk about how they were both there today.

Brooks shows up with his broken finger, still in his dodgeball gear. He plays the sympathy card into a kiss. It doesn't mean much, Desiree is definitely not being stingy with the kisses this season.

Chris gets the rose. You know, because he existed in the same area as Desiree earlier that day. He and Desiree get some extra alone time while some singer no one knows serenades them. They slow dance and kiss. He looks like he's a terrible kisser.

The Girlfriend, The Crazy, Crazy Girlfriend
Look, Bachelorette Writers, if you don't want people to think this is all fake, you need to not have all the guys sitting around the announcement table when Chris Harrison shows up for a surprise visit.

Chris brings another woman into the house and she introduces herself to Desiree as "Brian's girlfriend." Cue the indignant outrage from the rest of the guys. How dare he date someone else while he chases a girl who is dating 20 guys at once? The nerve!

This girl, Stephanie, claims that she is still with Brian and that she tried to break up with him the day before he came to the show. Then she starts crying and freaking out. Wait, why is she so upset if she tried to break up with him? Shouldn't she be welcoming this development? Again, Bachelorette Writers. Check your logic. Also, hire better actors to play these parts. 

Brian says, "She threw rocks at my face." Stephanie says, "Yes, I threw rocks at you because you're a jerk." Yes, let's blindly trust the word of a woman who admits to throwing rocks at someone's face because that's completely reasonable. Chris asks Des if there is any way he's staying. She says no. For some reason he doesn't immediately go pack his shit and sits there to take more abuse.

Brandon takes this whole thing really hard because his dad left and "father figures" in his life left him and, I don't know. It's just so fucking obvious this season that these are all hired actors.

Second Date -- Kasey
This guy has top-notch douchey hair. I mean, he's really setting the bar.

Desiree takes Kasey to Sunset Boulevard. She reveals to him that they will be dancing suspended in the air on the side of the building. They don't actually do any real dancing. They just flip around a little bit and then bail. Lame.

In the evening, they have dinner on the roof of the building they danced on. They sit down to talk and suddenly the winds whip up and everything starts blowing around. So they get into the pool. The pool is freezing. Cue the tuba music. They kiss in the water, awkwardly. They sit on the stairs to end the night. She gives him the rose even though everything has been awful.

Final Date -- Dan, James, Juan Pablo, Bryden, Zak W.
The date card reads, "Who will be the LONE man standing?" Do I smell a movie promotion tie-in?

A stagecoach waits in the driveway to take the guys to the date. They arrive at an Old West town to see Desiree dressed in her best Old West gear. She tells them they'll be going through a "cowboy boot camp."

They are taught to lasso, draw pistols and fake movie fight.

They have to ride a horse. Fake fight, quick draw and rescue Desiree. For something that should be cool, they make it surprisingly lame. Juan Pablo speaks Spanish the whole time and steals the show. He gets the extra time with Desiree.

They get a private screening of The Lone Ranger. They kiss. Or maybe they were just sucking the popcorn husks out of each other's teeth. 

In the evening, the whole gang has a campfire by the barn.

Then everyone kisses Desiree.

James gets the rose after basically asking Desiree to send him home to be with his sick dad. Hang on for one more week, dad.

The Cocktail Party That Wasn't
Chris Harrison shows up again. The cocktail party has been cancelled. Instead there will be a "relaxed, chilled pool party." Chris, you don't get to determine the tone of the party. Not with these meatheads.

When Desiree pulls up Ben meets her outside and asks her to go for a drive. When they return, the other guys see them kiss. They guys are pissed and attribute his cleverness to "character flaws." Ben doesn't admit that he talked to her when they ask him. THIS MAN IS PURE EVIL.

Brandon gets all weepy on her and tells her about all the men that bailed on him. He tells her, "I'm never going to hurt you. I'm never going to take you for granted. To be honest, I am falling in love with you." Then he kisses her. When does he go get a creepy tattoo on his wrist?

The Rose Ceremony
Desiree is wearing the worst dress ever. It's like a regular dress puked blue plastic chunks out of the top.

Chris, Kasey and James all have roses. Bryden, Juan Pablo, Zak W., Brooks, Drew, Zack K., Brad, Michael G., Mikey, Ben all get roses.

Dan and Brandon go home.

Dan says, "I'm really bummed. She's been duped by Ben." Also, this is the first time I've heard you speak.

Brandon says, "I'm blown away. I'm fucking blown away." Des tells him she wanted end it now instead of later because she didn't feel the chemistry. Brandon says, "Once again, someone left me. Yeah, way to go, Brandon." WHO IS THIS GUY?

Look, this season is terrible. It's just really awful and it's blatantly obvious how scripted this is. I'm not sure I can keep doing this. In the past they were at least somewhat decent at hiding the ruse of the show. They're failing miserably this season.