Tuesday, January 31, 2012

the bachelor & the BLOW OFF: episode five

I think I am officially losing it, but I was kind of attracted to Chris Harrison at the beginning of this episode. He looked kind of hot wearing a flannel. Clearly there is something wrong with me. I think any man at this point is better than Ben F.

The girls arrive in Puerto Rico and Harrison meets them to go over the rules AGAIN, in case they forgot the explanation he gave them last week. It's like hearing someone explain the rules to hop-scotch or tic-tac-toe every week. I don't know how much more of it I can take.

Nikki gets the first one on one with Ben and she seriously acts like she just found out she gets to have sex with Ryan Gosling. This girl is just way too overeager for me. The best part of this date card was that it was written in Spanish and since the producers of this show are members of the KKK, there were no Latina contestants to translate. Thank God for the girl with the PhD. Otherwise, Nikki would have no clue what she was going to do on her date.

Ben and Nikki meet in Old San Juan and of course it starts to rain really hard. And the show producers have no back up plan, so we're forced to watch these two pretend like it's fun to run around in the rain. Ben loves that Nikki can "roll with the punches" BUT wtf does he think she's going to do? Get all bitchy and passive aggressive about the rain on national television? Of course she's going to pretend nothing phases her. At some point, and I can't remember when, Nikki actually says that God is smiling down on them. Note to God: if you are spending any of your time smiling down on Bachelor contestants than you really need to get your priorities straightened out.

Ben what the F and Nikki go shopping for some dry clothes and I didn't think it was even possible, but she ends up wearing an even uglier dress than the one she had on before (and what was with that terrible nail polish color?) Ben puts on a white linen outfit and I'm starting to think he looks just like a really tall version of Tattoo from Fantasy Island:Of course, Ben and Nikki just happen to sit on a bench right in front of a church wedding. Is it just me or does this show feel more and more contrived?! She opens up to Ben about her divorce. She was married for three years, but they grew into different people, blah blah blah. Ben asks her if they went to therapy and she says yes, but then slips in that they didn't see a counselor for that long. Bitch went to therapy once. I bet she divorced her husband just to go on this freaking show: I gave up everything, my job, my dog, my husband.

The geniuses back at the house figure out that once the group date card arrives they'll know through the process of elimination who has the next one on one date. Elyse, who has only been on one group date with Ben, ends up getting the one on one date. She was one of my final four predictions before the show even aired, but now I'm worried. Every season, at least one person gets sent home in the middle of a one on one date. And if you're the girl that has barely even had one conversation with the guy, then the reason you got that one on one date card is cause your ass is getting dumped.

Nikki gets a rose from Ben on their date. Not a huge shocker. My favorite thing about these dates is that totally play out like a job interview. In the end, Ben compliments Nikki on all her great qualities-- you know, stuff like opening up and being honest and making him feel like he can really be himself.

Group date time: The girls arrive at a baseball field and they nearly fall over in shock and confusion when Chris Harrison shows up. WTF? This guy is totally working overtime this week. Chris tells the girls they have to split up into teams of two and play baseball for Ben's time-- the winning team gets to continue on the rest of the group date and the losing team has to go home.

Everyone looks so damn sporty...except, I hate to admit it, but redhead Jennifer was looking a little on the doughy side. The girl was totally wearing the mom jeans equivalent of work out gear and it was not doing her any favors. Anyway, the two teams were as follows--

Red Team: The model, KCB, KCS, girl I forgot was still on the show, and Lindzi who Ben picked to play for both teams.
Blue Team: the PhD student, VIP stripper girl (also goes by the name of Blakely), Mom Jeans Redhead, Rachel, and Lindzi.

Ben pitches to both teams, but I'm guessing he threw some easy pitches at the red team, cause he likes them better and because they win the game. The blue team is super devastated. It's like watching the Cubs lose the World Series. They keep crying about how much they need more "time" with Ben and now they're not going to get it. Ladies! Pull it together! This is not the Hunger Games!

I would like to take this moment to give a special shout out to my girl Rachel. Yeah, I know she's got a manly voice and is a little stiff...and I could be wrong here...but I'm pretty sure she's the only girl that HAS NOT cried this entire season. In my book, that makes her the most sane person on the show. I'm not sure Lindzi has cried either, but her face is made out of clay and tears would probably melt it off.

The group date is pretty uneventful and predictable. Ben spends alone time with KCB, the model, and Lindzi, and pretty much ignores Jamie and KCS. I'm not sure he actually realizes they are contestants on the show. Ben gives the group date rose to KCB, but then the model drags him away and he completely forgets KCB exists. Ben looks like a head to toe erection every time he's around Courtney. It's like he can't even believe someone as attractive as her wants to talk to him, yet it doesn't occur to him that the only reason she's into him is because she's on a freaking game show. Courtney basically tells Ben that she masturbated last night to the thought of the two of them skinny dipping and Ben creams his pants. This guy is making Brad Womack look like a knight in shining armor.

Elyse finally goes on her one on one date. She and Ben hang out on a yacht during the day and she makes the mistake of informing him of all the things she gave up to be on the show. Why do girls think this is going to make guys want them more? It's only going to make you look like a pathetic loser. Not only did this ho quit her job, but she missed her best friend's wedding. That is just not okay.

So, Ben and Elyse have dinner, and I'm pretty he sent her home before their salads were served. Even though this girl is an idiot, I think Ben really made an ass of himself during this scene. First of all, did he have to literally dangle the rose in front of her face as he was dumping her? He totally made it seem like he was going to give it to her! What a dick! The whole thing was so abrupt and awkward and Elyse kept saying things like "what did I do wrong." This girl is so going to end up in an abusive relationship. Ben escorts her to a boat as "This Year's Love" by David Gray plays. The song is officially ruined for me. We don't even get a post Elyse interview about how sad she is. Probably because the poor girl threw herself overboard and they're still searching for her body.

Ben, you suck. I get that the faster you dumped her, the sooner you could be done shooting for the day, but couldn't you have at least sent the girl home with a doggy bag?

It gets so much worse...after sending poor, naive, hysterical Elyse home, Ben goes back to his hotel room to find Courtney waiting for him in a bathrobe. In my next life, I'm coming back as a super model! Seriously. If this girl was fat and ugly and did that-- Ben would stab her with a butcher knife and call the cops. It's not fair. Ben keeps saying how surprised he is that Courtney broke the rules and showed up at his place. Uh-- how is she breaking the rules when there are camera people there? This whole thing was totally orchestrated by the show.

Anyway, Courtney convinces Ben to get butt naked and go skinny dipping with her and of course he goes along with it. The guy acts like a ten year old boy around this chick. She could tell him to let Chris Harrison fuck him in the ass while she watched and he would get the same shit-eating grin on his face. Gross. Poor Elyse. While Ben and Courtney were bumping uglies in the water, she was sinking to the bottom of the sea, gasping for air.

I actually really hope that Ben and Courtney end up together, because any other girl will never want to get naked with him again after seeing this. I will say Courtney was slightly more entertaining in this episode (except when she said, and I quote: "I don't know if he's ever gone skinny dipping with a model before") but I can't get behind the way she scrunches up her mouth every time she speaks. Does this skank think she's the Velveteen Rabbit? Why does she keep doing that? New drinking game, folks-- every time Courtney does that annoying thing with her nose/mouth, chug!
Rose ceremony. Before Ben hands out roses, Blakely takes him aside to tell him he's changed her life and because of him, she knows she deserves love. And Ben laps it up. He may be the most gullible person in the world. He's like a...chick. Then stupid Emily takes him aside to tell him she's done thinking about Courtney anymore-- only to spend the remainder of the conversation trashing her. Ben actually tells her to tread lightly. Oh, shit. Emily is totally going to wake up with a horse's head in her bed tomorrow. Em is interviewed saying the conversation did not go well and she thinks "Ben hates her." Amazing.

I'm not going to lie-- my jaw actually dropped at the end of this rose ceremony. Ben has to let one girl go. First, I was stunned that KCS and Jamie (who I honestly don't think has uttered a single word on this show except answering "yes"when Ben asks her if she'll accept the rose) both got roses. And then, when there was one rose left and it was between Emily and red-head Jennifer, I was beyond positive that Emily was going home. Ben had just made out with Jennifer five minutes before. He told her she was the best kisser. He said their date was "awesome"...but he totally sent her home. Why, Ben why???? I need an explanation. Was she just too into you? Were you confused by her pale non-orange complexion? Was it the unflattering work out gear? I really thought Jennifer was gonna be in the final four. Nothing makes sense anymore. I just know one thing to be true: Ben can suck it. And by "it"-- I mean Chris Harrison's balls....before he's had a chance to shave them.

A Lesson: Don't BLOW OFF Vegan Speed Dating

"Vegan/Vegetarian/Veg-curious Speed Dating" it read on my screen. I wanted to say no. Instead I saved the link.

I wasn't looking to date or even mingle, having BLOWN OFF all future possibilities by claiming I was out of the relationship game. Sure it was over dramatic. A couple relationships left me soured on the whole experience. But there was something silly and intriguing about a night with similar health conscious, or just plain picky, people. I happened upon speed dating once, about a decade earlier, when a buddy asked me to attend an event. It was at the birth of the speed dating craze. It was disorganized and awkward and I met no one of consequence.

I told Single Asian Female, a food and relationship connoisseur, about the proposed event. She demanded that I attend. I was looking for a good story. She said she "had a feeling."

I tried to find a reason to not attend. It would conflict with work. It didn't. It would be awkward. What isn't? I emailed the organizer figuring the age range was different or there were too many men. She offered me a discount because she was desperate for men. I bought a ticket.

The night of, I sat outside the Berkeley restaurant and contemplated driving away. It was only $20. Did I really want to subject myself to this?

The sign "Vegan" seemed most appropriate. I held it and they snapped my photo. Heading into the back room, I hoped the event would start without too much mingling. I avoided the vegan food. I wanted to maintain fresh breath. The ample onion and garlic dips wouldn't help. I drank lots of water. I easily chatted with a pretty woman that made note she was older than I. We chatted with others that were much younger and far more shy than us.

The event began, but the event itself isn't the story. It's who attended and who I met just before the halfway point. Near the end of a row of tables I shook hands with Liz. She looked fiery and fiercely independent. I immediately asked about her visible arm tattoo. She said it was too long a story so skip it. She asked me about my work in professional sports and I told her we shouldn't dwell on that. We talked about similar college degrees and family dynamics. After the standard three minutes we were granted a restroom break. We blew through that. I secretly wrote her name down on my match sheet. We didn't talk again that night.

A few days later I received an email with the "like" matches. Women that I chose that also chose me. Liz wasn't on that list. She was the one person I hoped would be present. Perhaps she thought I acted too young. Or too sporty. Or just wasn't interested despite the good conversation.

The following week I was at the beach, a family reunion. I broke away from the sunshine to check my email. I received an unapologetic email from the organizer that carbon copied Liz stating that we were on each other's original list. I bit my finger. Then I replied.

"Do you suppose we give the vegan/veggie speed dating 'professionals' a mulligan on missing the opportunity to trade our info? I could have sworn we had a good conversation, extended time even, so I was a little disappointed when you didn't make my matches list. Now that the oversight has been corrected perhaps you'd like to meet up for a drink some night soon?"

What followed was a flurry of emails and feelings unlike any before. We met once, for just minutes, but we connected. Each reply was a piece of art crafted especially for me. I replied with wit and honesty. I was intrigued. We agreed to meet again on a Tuesday, easy as we lived just blocks from each other. I picked the bar, one of her favorites. Two hours disappeared like puddles in the sunshine. Her upcoming weekend was free. So was mine. We each purposely kept it that way in case our meeting went well.

On Friday I already knew I could love her. By Saturday I was falling in love with her. Come Sunday I was deep in love with Liz. A romance I did not desire or expect leveled me as if it was written into an improbable film or book. But it was just speed dating. I'm glad I saved that link.

Monday, January 30, 2012

the hot and cold BLOW OFF

Is it just me or is the biggest irreconcilable difference between men and women = the thermostat? It's so hard to live with someone when you're cold all the time and they're hot all the time. I swear, if my marriage ever falls apart, it will single-handedly be due to our opposing body temperatures. Or the fact that the H-bomb won't find me nearly as attractive wearing five sweaters at a time.

pop culture BLOW OFF the day: Chicken Fight!

If the relationship between Andy and Erin on The Office has taught us anything, it's this: if you've already shat where you eat, then why stop shitting? Allow me to explain. Andy (Ed Helms) and Erin (Ellie Kemper) used to have a thing, then decided to just be friends (uh, bad idea). Now, Andy's got a new girlfriend and Erin's coping with it the same way all of us girls would-- trying to make him jealous with another co-worker and engaging the bitch new gf in a chicken fight. Here's a really funny deleted scene from last week's episode.

Friday, January 27, 2012

BLOW OFF song of the day: We Found Love by Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris

I don't know what it is, but I'm still not sick of this song yet.

Lady with the British accent's voice over at the beginning of the video:

"It's like you're screaming and no one can hear. You almost feel ashamed that someone could be that important. That without them, you feel like nothing. No one will ever understand how much it hurts. You feel hopeless. Like nothing can save you. And when it's over and it's gone, you almost wish you could have all that bad stuff back, so you could have the good."
-Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris, 2011

Thursday, January 26, 2012

the forgive & forget BLOW OFF

There are entire religions based on the idea of forgiveness, but since I fall somewhere between atheist and agnostic, I suck at it when it comes to relationships. I'm totally the girl that brings up the past during a fight-- usually when it helps strengthen my argument. I can't help it. It can be so satisfying and necessary at times. And it's not always a defense mechanism-- sometimes previous wrongs still creep up in my head weeks, months, and even years after the fact. Suddenly I'm emotionally back to where I was when the falling out first happened. It turns out...I haven't forgotten or forgiven shit.

Maybe I'm just a victim of my culture. Iranians are notorious for holding grudges and not being able to let things go. Or maybe I just kind of think the whole forgiveness campaign is a total crock, propagated by people who do shitty things and need to convince others to let them off the hook for it. Like, did Ted Haggard's wife really forgive him for doing crystal meth and fucking other men behind her back just cause Jesus taught her that was the right thing to do? Am I really supposed to believe it never still keeps her up at night and that she doesn't bring it up when its convenient?

Ted: I really hate it when you hog the sheets.
Ted's wife: Oh, really? Cause I really hate it when you hump other men behind my back.

According to the big forgiveness believers, those of us that can't practice it are weak. But maybe those of you that can are just giant pushovers. Tell me readers, what side of the forgive & forget argument do you land on? Have you truly been able to forgive a significant other for fucking up in a big way? Please enlighten me and teach me how by commenting below.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

the bachelor & the BLOW OFF: episode 4

I would like to start this post on a personal family note. My mom has been wanting to watch The Bachelor since I started re-capping it, but my dad hates it and refuses to participate. I learned from my younger brother that they finally caught it Monday night and every five seconds my dad kept saying: "yooouuuu motherfucker" to the TV screen. I think that sums things up quite nicely. Back to our normal recap:

I was really disappointed with Mormons this week for letting the cast of The Bachelor visit Park City, UT-- although, I guess a good alternative title for the show could be "The Polygamist & the Helicopter: One man's romance with 25 former Toddler & Tiara contestants" so on second thought, Utah makes complete sense.

Ben says he wants to bring the girls to Park City so they can "experience the outdoors". Uh-- have these girls never gone on a hike in their life? I guess when you're spending all your free time in a Las Vegas Casino, a tanning bed, and a dentist's office, you don't really get out much.

Why is Chris Harrison here explaining the rules again to the girls?! And why is his collar popped like Mike Seaver in Growing Pains? And why does KCB think she's going to get another one on one date? Hasn't she watched this show before? If you've already had a one on one date, you're not gonna get another one for at least two more episodes.

If I seem to be a little too hard on KCB today, it's because the H bomb was a way too into her while we watched this episode. He even said they have the same chin. Oh, hell no.

Rachel gets the first one on one date and I have a bad feeling she might get sent home. Ben F who after this episode, I would now like to refer to as Ben what the F picks Rachel up in a helicopter. Holla! First helicopter ride of the season. All the other girls stare in complete shock as the helicopter flies around Park City. Newsflash ladies: it's not a UFO!!! Take it back a notch! (P.S. How fun is it to say things like "Newsflash"?)

Okay, is this just fancy editing to make us think Rachel won't get a rose or do her and Ben what the F have zero chemistry? They don't have anything to talk about. Chris Harrison warned these girls at the beginning of the episode NOT to talk about the weather and that's exactly what they're doing. Oh no. I don't like this. Rachel seems relatively normal. I don't want her to go home! Didn't I say purely based on her picture that she would be more closed off and guarded than the other girls and that Ben would say things like their relationship was moving slower!? This date was such a snooze that I don't have anything funny to say about it. Rachel finally tells Ben that she has a really hard time talking about her feelings and that she's basically emotionally handicapped, but he gives her a rose anyway because guys like a challenge. Side note, during this sequence I said out loud-- "why isn't Ben digging deeper?" and got this response from my life partner: I think he just wants to bone her.

UGH. How many more interviews with KCB are they gonna show where she says things like "any time with Ben is a good time"? I honestly think Ben could force her to have sex with the gimp from Pulp Fiction and she would still say it was the best date of her life.

Group date time. Ben and the ladies get to go horse back riding which was a major disappointment, because I expected Lindzi, the horse lover, to do some cool tricks or to scream "yee-haw" and she didn't do any of that. I can't decide how I feel about Nicki. She seems like KCB-lite. She possesses all the same qualities-- twinkle in her eye, never complains about anything, smiles all the time...but she's just not as skinny or stylish.

The girls go fly fishing and Courtney, the JCPenney model, is in fine form. I'm just going to put this out there. I hate this bitch. And it's not because she's pretty. It's because she has no personality. Her facial expressions don't even change. And her snarky remarks aren't even funny. She says shit like "the girls all want to catch a fish, but I want to catch Ben." Um, at least Michelle from Brad Womack's season was hilarious. And it really makes me mad that Ben what the F is falling for her act. Anyway, proving that good things happen to bad people, Courtney catches a fish. Personally, I did not buy this at all. I know this fish was trained by the producers of this show to take Courtney's bait. However, my brother and husband both gave Courtney props because "she's got game" and because she's not there to make friends.

Side note: what is so wrong about making friends on a reality show? What is wrong with us as a country and as a people if we celebrate contestants who don't make friends?!

Anyway, Ben goes on and on about how impressed he was by all the girls and my husband delivered the night's best line of commentary: "those girls could have pooped in the water and he would have said it was amazing."

Okay, so let's skip ahead to the best moment of the episode. Miss Pacific Palisades gets some alone time with Ben and she starts whining about how she's only been on group dates and hasn't had any one on one dates and Ben basically dumps her on her ass and sends her home for complaining! Initially, this made me LOVE Ben, because she was being ungrateful and bitchy and doing weird things with her tongue, but the more I thought about it-- the more it actually seemed pretty mean. First of all-- it remained a mystery why he kept this girl around for as long as he did. Second of all-- he tells her that she's been highly emotional on the group dates (which is true, she did cry in a bathroom stall) BUT if that's his reason for dumping her, then he needs to get rid of all these sluts! I mean, Blakely was in the fetal position and fake crying in the corner of a room and he didn't dump her. And since this was towards the end of the group date, would it have killed Ben to let this girl put on another atrocious dress and hang around for the cocktail party and get dumped at the rose ceremony like every other self respecting contestant? And lastly, I feel like Ben is the kind of guy that dumps a girl as soon as things start getting "hard." I don't think he can handle it when a girl isn't kissing his ass the whole time. I have a feeling the producers told him he had to send someone home that night just to keep things interesting.

Here's the other reason Ben F earned the nickname of Ben What the F in this episode. Just like last week, he reassures KCB that he wants to feel the walls of her vagina by taking her far away from the group date and making out with her. It's pretty clear she's the frontrunner (but I have to ask-- what does he really know about her aside from the fact she used to baton?). And while in real time it could have been hours later, in TV time, he takes Courtney aside five minutes later and makes out with her and tells her how into her he is. And when she starts saying how hard this whole process is and how she feels like they have a connection, blah blah blah-- he gives her the rose!!! I don't get it. This girl is so unconvincing and insincere. I honestly would not be surprised if she was reading off cue cards when she told him how upset she was. I don't understand why Ben is so blinded by her beauty. He's making an ass of himself with her! This girl should date Bentley.

Jennifer gets the next one on one date. She's seems like a sweet girl, but again, I'm not sure if she has much of a personality beyond smiling really big and blushing. She and Ben have to jump down a crater into water and surprise, surprise-- Jennifer is afraid of heights. Clearly, a fear of heights is another pre-req to getting on this show. The crater thing is a little anti-climactic cause it turns out the water is like five feet below them. Anyway, they have dinner, it rains a lot, and then they go to this weird country music concert with a bunch of extras who I'm hoping were paid thousands of dollars to look that peppy and happy while listening to painfully awful music. I mean, I'm pretty sure Ben prefers to listen to the likes of Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz.

The best part of this date is when he asks Jennifer if she could handle a different lifestyle-- because apparently Ben's life is super unpredictable and cray-cray compared to an 8-5 job. The H bomb delivered my other favorite line: What, is he a super-hero? Needless to say, Jennifer gets a rose.

Back at the house, our PhD candidate can't deal with the model anymore and contemplates telling Ben that Courtney isn't who he thinks she is. How much did you guys love that Blakely was fixing Emily's roots in this scene?! It would have been so hot if all her hair fell out!

At the cocktail party, Emily makes the giant mistake of telling Ben the girl he most wants to 69 is a huge bitch. Even though I agree with Em, Ben looks at her like she just told him she has a penis and a vagina. He totally gives her the cold shoulder, slaps her across the face, and says "don't you ever talk about Courtney like that. She is the kindest, gentlest, soul in the world."

I think my favorite part of this episode is when Kacie S tells Courtney that Emily is talking smack about her to Ben. These two geniuses are a piece of work. It's like a meeting of the minds. I'm pretty sure they only have the mental capacity to speak in one syllable words. I also love how everyone is horrified that Emily "would use her time with Ben to talk about another girl." I think the show needs to shake things up and add a ticking clock any time someone gets one on one time with Ben and when their time is up, award show music should play.

Of course Courtney tells Emily she's now on her shit list and Emily starts crying, because she's not used to people not liking her. (Random observation, is it just me or does it look like Emily still has her baby teeth?)

Ben proves once again that he has a really good memory, because he does not need to look at framed photos of the girls before the rose ceremony.

I am on pins and needles wondering if Emily will get a rose at the end of the ceremony and she does (yay!) which means Monica is sent home. I liked Monica. She was like the friend in every romantic comedy that doesn't have a life of her own besides listening to the lead character talk about their love life. I am completely shocked that she's crying in the car, because I thought she wasn't into Ben at all and I'm not sure they've ever spoken. I'm pretty sure she's referring to Blakely when she talks about how awful it is to love someone that doesn't have feelings for you.

Anyway, that was Monday's episode in a very long-winded nutshell. I swear, I try to make these recaps shorter, but there is just SO much to make fun of. Here's a gem of a video sent to me by my friend AC.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

the "love like you're never going to get hurt" BLOW OFF

You know that somewhat old adage on greeting cards—dance like no one’s watching, have sex like you’ll never get an STD, love like you’ll never get hurt? I’ve been thinking recently—that’s the worst effing advice ever. Not the STD part (most can be prevented and treated) but the love part.

Seriously. If I had loved all my exes like I was never going to get hurt, the post BLOW OFF shock would probably send me in a downward spiral of the—lock myself in the bathroom and cut my flesh just to watch it bleed—variety.

I guess I prefer the philosophy “better safe than sorry” when it comes to relationships. There’s a difference between having the guts to put yourself out there VS. diving into a relationship head first, assuming this is it (and telling all your friends this time it’s for real-- you’ve found the one). If you go into the early stages of a relationship convinced nothing will go wrong, then chances are on top of getting hurt, you’re also going to be left feeling embarrassed/humiliated/foolish. I mean, no one wants to prematurely change their relationship status to “in a relationship” on Facebook only to change it to “just kidding” a few weeks later.

I know this probably doesn’t sound very romantic. And we can’t walk around in protective armor 24/7, petrified that the other shoe’s going to drop…but maybe it’s not such a bad thing to mentally prepare ourselves in case it does. To love like you’re never going to get hurt (i.e. worry about the pain later) is a little like eating Paula Deen recipes and being blind-sided by type 2 Diabetes. Some of you die-hard soul mate believers probably think I’m a Debbie Downer, but maybe we’d all love a little better if we went into things accepting the fact that they might not pan out*. It might allow us to play it cool without pretense. So, what do you think readers—do you go into every relationship under the “love like you’ll never get BLOWN OFF” guise or is it best to leave that sentiment for Taylor Swift songs? Comment below.

*Unless you’re getting married cause divorce is SUPER inconvenient.

Monday, January 23, 2012

RIP: Heidi Klum & Seal

I woke up on Saturday morning to find a message in my Facebook inbox from my friend LK, informing me that Heidi Klum and Seal are allegedly filing for divorce.

My first reaction: For reals?

My second reaction: hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

You all know every time a celebrity couple breaks up, a little piece of my heart gets moldy, but if this divorce turns out to be true, I kind of feel like Heidi Klum and Seal had it coming.

I mean, these two were the BIGGEST love flaunters in the world. They have spent the entire course of their relationship going out of their way to gush about how happy they are and how great their sex life is and their marriage can’t even last six years? The first time I heard the phrase “happy wife, happy life” was when Seal uttered it on Oprah a few years back. Not to mention these two are known for getting married EVERY SINGLE year. We’re talking a full on vow renewal ceremony. It’s obnoxious and in your face—but also kind of genius. Because unless you’re a Kardashian, big lavish weddings should make a marriage last at least a couple of years. Who wants to get divorced after forcing loved ones to get all dressed up and buy you presents?

I guess even an annual anniversary wedding wasn’t enough to sustain Heidi and Seal. And divorce is always sad for the kids. So, what could have possibly gone wrong with our generations John Lennon and Yoko (just typing that made me laugh). I’m not buying irreconcilable differences—that always sounds like, we just couldn’t agree on where to vacation, so we decided to call it quits. Something REALLY bad had to happen for these two to split, because they have to know it’s way more embarrassing than your average celebrity break up. Like Heidi walked in on Seal in bed with a donkey.

I think the takeaway from this particular BLOW OFF is that those annoying couples who are always going on and on and on and on about how in love and happy they are? They are so totally full of shit.

Friday, January 20, 2012

BLOW OFF song of the day: West Coast by Coconut Records

"For a second there I thought you disappeared
It rains a lot this time of year
And we both go together if one falls down
I talk out loud like you're still around
No noo
And i miss you (ooooh')
I'm goin back home to the west coast..."
-Coconut Records, 2007

Jason Shwartzman forever!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Don't ever date a werewolf

I used to be Team Jacob, but I'm not sure anymore after watching this video. Shout out to my friend Jake Fleisher for making this video and extra shout out to him for not convincing us to let our puppy be in it.

SVB: Farts. The other BLOW OFF.

Editor's Note: Since "blow off" is also British slang for farts, I thought this post from the Silicon Valley Bachelor was apropo.

I have a confession. When I was a young boy I couldn't burp or fart around my friends. It was quite sad actually, because, as most young boys know, it was a source of amusement and a status symbol for how long and loud you could fart or burp. I might as well not even have existed and continued to hide in the closet with my sister's naked Barbies. Sigh. Physically, I couldn't burp. My friends would tell me to drink lots of soda. Didn't work. Suck in lots of air. Didn't work. I was relegated to making a pathetic-sounding noise in my throat, that under loud freeway conditions, might've been believable as a burp. But never the type where your friends would "ewww" in agreement, or laugh about. Heck, I couldn't even blow it in someone's face, because then I would be "outed" for the fraud I was! I'm so ashamed.

As for farting, I just have never really been comfortable farting around people. How does one attain such comfortability!?!? If you ask any of my previous lovers or friends whether they have heard me fart, I would be shocked if they said that they did. I have witnessed many of my friends fart around their girlfriends/wives, much to everyone's amusement. It's obvious that I have the classiest set of friends, but how long does it actually take before you're allowed to fart around a lover? I can't say that I have ever had a girl do that around me and I'm not sure I would like it. On the other hand, did that first fart start out as a major embarrassment? Something to never be spoken again?!?! Or was it something like, "whoops!" Then everyone bursts out laughing!??!

The only times I have farted is when you're laying in bed in the middle of the night and you fart, and you jerk awake as if it were a seizure. First, I'm like, "where the f*ck am I!?!?" Then I'm like, "oh yeah, I hooked up with that train wreck from last night! Sh*t!" You then listen for the sound of her breath and hope it's deep enough that you escaped notice. The worst is when the bathroom at your new lover's house doesn't have a loud vent and/or is located too near the bedroom. WTF was the architect thinking?!?! Those are the ones who MUST be comfortable farting at all times, because they obviously have no consideration for those with a flatulistic conscience. GO TO HELL, DUMB ARCHITECT!!!

(I made up that word, "flatulistic", in case you were wondering. It reminds me of when Martin Lawrence told Tim Robbins that his wife was "monogamistically challenged" in Nothing to Lose - which is one of the most underrated comedies of our time.)

So, if anyone could tell me how this fart comfortability evolution happens, I would LOVE to learn about something I don't know. Because it's beginning to look odd how often I excuse myself to go somewhere - "Excuse me, I think I forget to water the plants outside, I'll be right back."

Kevin L.

To read more about Kevin's exploits, check out his blog Silicon Valley Bachelor.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

the bachelor & the BLOW OFF: episode 3

I feel like the entire city of San Francisco needs to be disinfected after watching the last episode of The Bachelor. It is one of my favorite cities ever (I grew up about an hour away in the very glamorous town of San Jose) and it was emotionally scarring to see it undergo a terrorist attack. Yes, I said it. The entire cast and crew of The Bachelor are terrorists. They are exactly what's wrong with this country. They like make me want to side with Al Qaeda. Totally joshing, C.I.A.

Anyway. The episode begins with the girls arriving in San Francisco-- where Ben F (AKA I look like the girl-slash-boy from Sleepaway Camp) lives. I basically fell off the couch and started convulsing when I saw Chris Harrison in their hotel room. This has to be a Harrison hologram. How did they convince this guy to travel all the way to San Francisco? The man already has so much going on. He even had to host that other show with 50 orange girls called Miss Slutmerica. Harrison is back to explain the rules of the game, because a lot of the girls were as lost as I was last week when they didn't get a play by play on the whole one on one date VS group date thing. Was it just me or did Chris look like he was about to fall asleep during this sequence? Do you think the man cries himself to sleep over the fact that he's wasting his whole life on the worst TV franchise in the world?

We see Ben walk up a hill to meet his sister and give her the lowdown on the ladies. Oh shit. He told his sister they are all professionals. Huh? Do they tell Ben the girls do something different for a living than they actually do? Is this like Joe Millionaire? he's going to end up with an astrophysicist and they're like "Surprise, she's really a personal trainer to dental hygienists?" I really like that he says Jennifer (the redheaded accountant) is the best kisser. Even though she's a little desperate and doe-eyed, she is less offensive than the other girls and seems the most down to earth. And if she's a good kisser, imagine how good she'll be at licking buttholes. Sorry, that's just the vibe I get from Ben. I don't see nothing wrong...with a little butt-hole lick....

Emily gets the first one on one date. She's the PhD student who is studying epidoeprhkwoiay. I almost crap my pants when the Model (AKA almond) says Emily is boring. This girl has no self-awareness. She has no personality whatsoever. It seems like it takes effort for her to even speak.

So, Emily has a fear of heights which guarantees she and Ben will do something that involves her freaking out and him kissing her to calm her down and then them saying things like "If we could overcome that, then we could overcome anything." Okay, admittedly--- I would die of a heart attack if I had to climb the Bay Bridge like they did. I have panic attacks just driving over the thing (Hello, '89 earthquake. I lived through that). And I would like to say to all these Reality TV producers...one of these days, someone is going to fucking die during a date. The world cannot lose another orange person. Oompa loompa's are an endangered species.

Side note, I love how back at the hotel room one of the girls randomly spotted Ben and Emily on the Bay Bridge, thanks to a telescope in the room. This shit is so staged. I'm surprised ABC didn't make it seem like the girls could hear their conversation too.

Ben and Emily have dinner together and I have to say, I'm kind of into them. She's really growing on me. Even though she kind of looks like she could have dated Hugh Hefner, she seems "chill." And I liked her story about getting matched with her brother on an online dating site. I'm not convinced Ben wants to stick it in her though, but he does give her a rose and they make out while watching fireworks. I'd like to take this opportunity to write a note to Bemily.

Dear Bemily,

Congrats on climbing the Bay Bridge. Seriously, kudos. AND not to be a Debbie Downer, but I don't think it actually means you can overcome anything together. Like...if your baby has down syndrome or your house goes into foreclosure or your entire families die during a freak virus outbreak, are you really going to turn to each other and say "Babe. We climbed the Bay Bridge. No probs!"

That's what I thought.

Love Saaara

Group date time! This might be the most demeaning and disgusting group date in Bachelor history. Ben says they're going to do something that's always been on his "leap list." Who actually has leap lists? Ugh. Sounds like the title of a Katie Hiegl movie. Anyway, the thing on his leap list is skiing down a hill in San Francisco. Cue the fake snow. So, this could be kind of cute and fun...except that the girls inexplicably have to wear bikinis while they ski, because it's apparently 85 degrees in San Francisco. First of all, it's never 85 degrees in San Francisco. Second of all, where did those bikinis even come from? Third of all, who does ABC think is watching this show? They could make the girls hump each other in the snow wearing nothing but ski boots and men would still not tune in. Women watch this show and none of us are interested in seeing these girls in bikinis in every episode. Let alone on skis! On that note, KCB has a rocking body.

Back at the hotel, the one on one date card arrives and Brittney gets the next date. This is really fishy. Brittney's not pretty enough to get a one on one date....and Lindzi, who got the first impression rose, hasn't even gone out on a date yet. Suddenly, Brittney decides that "this situation" is really hard and she wants to skip the date with Ben and go home. I smell another rat. Do you think after years of watching the show, Brittney suspected she was going to be the girl that got sent home on the one on one date and decided to break up with Ben before he could break up with her...? Anyway, Brittney interrupts the group date to tell Ben she's Audi. Ben doesn't really care and puts her in a cab. We learn that this is the hardest decision Brittney has ever made in her life. NO COMMENT.

Back to the group date. Ben seems pretty drunk and it's oddly turning me on. Rachel, the somewhat mannish fashionista, gets the group date rose and KCB is not happy. What do you guys think of KCB? She's obviously cute and "sparkly" and her and Ben would make pretty babies, but I feel like she's one of those girls that would respond to anything with "whatever you want to do." I kind of want to punch her in the face and I kind of want to make out with her at the same time.

Okay, Lindze gets the next date and I really don't think I have a single funny thing to say about this one on one. I mean, I actually swooned when they were dancing in City Hall. I'm not kidding. I want to do that. I also kind of want to scrape Lindzi's foundation off her face with my fingernails. She confuses me. Sometimes she's pretty and sometimes she looks like clay-mation. They have pretty good chemistry though and she seems like a decent human being. And I can't believe the "welcome to dumpsville text" came from a guy she was dating for a YEAR AND A HALF. Everyone knows dating someone that long warrants a phone call or email break up. Finally, I've totally been to that bar Bourbon and Branch. You heard it here first, folks. I'm hip.

HOLD UP. I almost forgot to write about Ben and Lindzi going into the piano store so Ben could play This Year's Love by David Gray again. I'm fairly certain the guy does not play piano (don't you think we would have gotten a taste of that in Ashley's season?) and the producers from the show taught him three bars of this song to play in every episode. And yet, this effing song gets me every time!!!

And now for the moment we've all been waiting for. The ROSE CEREMONY. This was basically as exciting and anxiety-inducing as watching the last five minutes of The Sopranos finale. I shit you not. Here's what happened. Shawntel, the funeral director from Brad Womack's season, drives all the way to San Francisco to ask Ben F to give her a rose. Sigh. It reminds me of that line in Sex and the City-- when guys make a grand gesture, it's romantic-- when women do it, it's psychotic. And this does feel a bit psychotic. This poor girl would do anything not to embalm people for the rest of her life.

Here was the other big shocker of the night. Chris Harrison actually had to greet her outside the hotel. Does this man ever get a break? I hope they paid him extra for that.

I was about to say I wouldn't bore you with the details of the cocktail party, but I have to say I thought it was cute when Ben F told Jennifer she was the best kisser of the group. Take that, Model! And of course, Jennifer is too nice to rub all the other girl's faces in it.

Okay, back to Shawntel. She walks in and it is like the ghost of Adolf Hitler just walked into the room. The girls go nuts. Initially, there was a lot of "who's that girl...? Which I found odd, because don't these sluts watch every season of The Bachelor?! But then, within seconds, everyone was like "it's Shawntel, the funeral director from Brad's season." Glad we cleared that up. Ben is floored when he sees Shawntel and they are kind of cute together. She tells him she has feelings for him and if he feels the same way, he should give her a rose. And NO JOKE, they are pretty much surrounded by the rest of the girls during this entire exchange. Um, these contestants do not know the first thing about playing it cool. If I was on this show, I'd be in the other room doing body shots off Harrison and being like "Ben...gay." There is a lot of swearing, a lot of girls calling Shawntel a bitch and a homewrecker, and a lot of tears. The girls keep saying Shawntel's known Ben for three minutes (as opposed to the two hours the other ladies have spent with him.) Shawntel referenced earlier that she knows Ben and they've hung out before, but we don't get much clarification on that.

Oh, this is off topic, but good news. There's this long shot of the Model walking-- and she has really bad legs and walks like Wesley "Noxeema" Snipes in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything. -Julie Newmar.

To quote my friend Tiffany, this really was the most dramatic rose ceremony ever. When Model gets a rose, she accepts it, but calls Ben out on the whole "what's her butt" thing. Run, run like the wind Ben! This girl is already acting all high maintenance like she owns you? Oh, hell no. And I don't care how pretty she is, anyone that says things like "What the butt" is ugly on the inside. Then, one of the girls who looks like an alien (and who we later find out has the word "amore" tattooed inside her mouth), faints when it looks like she won't get a rose. Jaclyn, who is just really unfortunate looking, is balling her eyes out when it's down to one rose and she hasn't gotten one yet. Um, this girl should be counting her lucky stars she even made it this far. Anyway, Ben decides not to give out the final rose, which means alien girl, Jaclyn, and Shawntel all have to go home. Ultimately, Ben says giving Shawntel a rose wouldn't be fair to the rest of the girls. It's probably the "stand up" thing to do, but how juicy would this show have been if Shawntel got a rose and had to live with the girls?!?! I was frankly a little disappointed she didn't stick around. And she turned into a blubbering mess and kept saying "i feel so stupid." Uh, yeah. She kind of should. Why? Because statistically speaking, the odds were on Shawntel's side all along. This girl actually thinks Ben will marry the person he gives the final rose to? NO! He's going to break up with her six weeks after the finale airs. Or is she smarter than all of us and this was really one last ditch effort to be the next Bachelorette?!?

Back by popular demand:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

the BLOW OFF, Ginsu Style

Editor's note: I have been waiting a very long time to bring this blow off story to you. It's one of my all time favorites. Enjoy!

The Blow Off, brought to you by Ginsu.

This whole story starts when I began living with my girlfriend by mistake. “Sure,” you think, “That’s what every asshole guys says,” but I’m not kidding. I mean, plenty of people consider moving in together a mistake after the fact, but I actually had no intention of living with this woman to begin with.

You see, at the time I was a student at UC Berkeley and Berkeley, at least in the ‘80s, had the most draconian rent control laws in the known universe. As a consequence, nobody ever built any new housing in the city and a strict seniority system grew up around apartments near the campus. Units were passed down from graduates to their friends and siblings without the rent ever going up. By 1990, after 5 years of paying my dues, I landed choice digs: a 2 bed/2 bath for $395 a month *total*. Yes, for less than $200 a month I got my own room and bathroom three blocks from campus. Even in 1990 dollars that was an unbelievable deal! On top of it, my roommate and I got along great: listened to the same music, had the same cleanliness habits, hung out together, had many of the same friends but enough non-overlap to keep things lively. In short, life was awesome.

Fast forward a few months and I am planning a couple month sabbatical to Russia (a story for another time) with my only concern: how to make sure my primo pad is available when I get back. I had started dating a woman just a few months earlier (let’s call her G) and she was in the world’s crappiest living situation: she lived with her much older brother’s ex-wife in a West Oakland drug neighborhood (I am not exaggerating – just a couple of weeks earlier the cops had come and searched the house and arrested her step-cousin for dealing crack). She had just moved to California from Michigan a month or two before and didn’t really have the lay of the land yet. My brilliant plan: why doesn’t G move in and hold my spot? By the time I get back, she will be settled into the Calif groove and can find a place of her own and I can return to the lap of student luxury.

A couple of months later (and after much drama that again is part of that other story), I come back home, ready to return back to normal life in Berkeley. I figured a couple of weeks of sharing a room with G and then she would find a place of her own and things would be back the way they were before I left. Unfortunately, fate had a slightly different plan – a couple of days after I got back, my roommate let me know she was moving out to live with her boyfriend. G’s response: “Yay! That means I can stay here and we can live together!” Uh, what? I was in no way ready to start living with this woman and never would have suggested it. The list of friends upon whom I could have bestowed the honor of this apartment was long and distinguished, and her name wouldn’t have been on it. We had only been dating for a few months before I left and I had just been back for a week or two; this was not the time to begin my first cohabitation (that's right - I had never lived with a girlfriend before). Even worse, she wasn’t even a student at Berkeley – the benefit of the three block distance was completely wasted on her! But what could I say? I wasn’t ready to break up yet either – again, it had only been a few months. And saying no to that idea was definitely a relationship guillotine. So there you have it: we ended up living together by mistake.

As you might imagine, a relationship born out of such a thoughtful and well-considered process was bound to last about as long as your average subatomic particle. By the end of six months, the writing was not only on the wall, it was on the ceiling, the floor, the windows, and the doors and on Halloween night after an argument about petty jealousies I told her that this just wasn’t working out and we had to break up. Her response? “Well, I am sure as hell not moving out and there is no way you can make me leave!”

Unfortunately, she was right. While I was off gallivanting around Europe, she had gotten her name added to the lease so it was in both of our names. The way that rent control worked in Berkeley was that the rent stayed fixed unless there was a new lease (also why everything was always handed from person to person – as long as one name remained on the lease, it wasn’t considered a new lease). So I couldn’t really do anything to kick her out and even if I could the rent would skyrocket making it unaffordable anyway. Thus began my very own War of the Roses.

After a month of icy glances, slamming doors, and mostly just avoiding each other, the situation was exactly as intolerable as I am sure you have all, dear readers, imagined it to be. To make matters worse, in the interim a friendship with someone else had blossomed into something more. It was time to do something.

Now, I will not pretend for a moment that I handled this situation delicately. There was no Hallmark moment, no gentle agreement to part but remain friends. The scene would NOT star Jennifer Anniston and Matthew Broderick or Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Nope, this was pure assholiousness but I claim the ludicrousness of the situation as my only defense. More of a Helena Bonham Carter from Fight Club and Gary Oldman from Sid and Nancy situation. The conversation went something like this:

Me (Gary Oldman): “G, I know you don’t want to move out and I can’t make you move out, but this situation is ridiculous. This was my apartment before you moved in and you have got to move out.”

Her (Helena Boham Carter): “Fuck you.”

Gary: “Fine. Well, I’ve met someone else and if you aren’t going to move out then I am going to feel free to bring her over whenever I feel like it.”

Helena: “Fuck you you fucking asshole!”

Gary: “Whatever. I’ll be in my room.”

At which point I did exactly that: I went into my room, locked the door, and tried to ignore the mass destruction that was going on outside. There was pounding on the door, screaming, and much breaking of glass (goodbye my full set of Newcastle Brown Ale pint glasses that Chris gave me for my 21st birthday). I knew I had been an asshole, so I figured this was the price. I could cope with some noise and destruction for an evening. Yep, all was relatively fine right up until the moment my door popped open. There was G with a bit of a shocked expression standing there with a knife in her hand.

The door, unfortunately, was one of those typical interior doors with the little button next to the knob that you poke in to lock it and, of course, the little hole on the other side for a paperclip or something so you can pop it open in case your kids lock themselves in the room or something. G had managed to pop it open, but I think she surprised herself as much as she did me that she was successful. I jumped up and slammed the door back shut and jammed my foot against it. Luckily it is a lot easier to hold a door closed than it is to force it open when someone is really trying (which I was now wholeheartedly doing). I managed to reach over to my desk and grab the phone while still holding the door shut and called 911, which might be wimpy, but HOLY SHIT! I mean, she had a knife! I’m pretty sure this was not the time for heroics, not that I had either the temperament or the build to do anything but curl up in a ball and cry.

After about five terrifying minutes while G taunted my manhood through the closed door and continued trying to pry her way in, the doorbell rang.

G: “Kian, I think there’s someone here for you!”

Me: “No, I think they’re here for you!”

Followed by slam slam slam “Open up, Berkeley police department!”

She went to open the door and I instantly popped out of my room yelling “I called you, I called you!” (I am no idiot – domestic disturbance call, who is most likely to end up in handcuffs?) The cops basically separated us and calmed her down and listened to us talk about it at which point, Berkeley being Berkeley, they called in two volunteer psychiatrists as part of their "family crisis response team." There was lots of “I bet that made you feel hurt and angry, didn’t it” but in the end they asked me if I could spend the night elsewhere, which was a definite “you bet!” The culprit knife was conspicuously sitting on the ground right behind the door, which she had answered while the cops saw me come out of my room, so there was no question of blame on that front, thank god.

Epilogue: I came back the next day (with a large friend just in case things hadn’t calmed down yet) to get some stuff and figure out what status was. G was there and quietly said that she would be moving out the next weekend. Phew. All in all, a fairly prosaic end for a very dramatic BLOW OFF!

Monday, January 16, 2012

For the freelancers: don't BLOW OFF your dreams

When you work Monday through Friday there's really nothing more liberating than the words "three day weekend." At least that's how I remember it. It's been awhile since I've had the typical work schedule. As some of you know, I left my corporate job about two years ago to take my chances at being a writer. It wasn't a completely rash decision-- I had sold a script and saved enough money to last me at least a year. BUT I was abandoning a cushy high paying job, stock options, 401K, health benefits, etc. etc.

The first year, it was awesome. I was working less than 40 hours a week and getting paid consistently. The second year, things were much slower. I told myself not to worry. I was planning a wedding and timing wise, it was a blessing to have a flexible schedule. And then that wedding depleted my savings. Lately, for the first time since I quit my job, I've kind of missed having a normal 9-5 and a steady paycheck. When my life partner gets to go on fancy work trips or my sister tells me about the latest celebrity that visited the Twitter offices, I almost long for the days of having an office and co-workers and a well earned happy hour. BUT on the day we celebrate the man with the dream, I feel the need to remind myself that I have a dream too and it's taken guts to follow it. (Obvi, my dream isn't nearly as significant as MLK, Jr.'s was, but just go with it). So, this post is for all of you freelancers. All of you people taking the unconventional route to accomplish your dreams. For some, it's a luxury. For some, it's a sacrifice. For all of us, it's a risk. We're all gonna get a little panicked from time to time. When the money and the work aren't consistent, we're all going to wonder whether we should BLOW OFF our dream...but here are the top ten reasons foregoing the 9-5 is pretty effing awesome. Let's at least bask in that for a little while longer before we start sending out resumes.

10. You never get the Sunday night blues. Monday is much less daunting when you work for yourself and set your own schedule. Now the only thing I have to worry about on Mondays is that my car is parked on the right side of the street so I don't get a street cleaning ticket.

9. Remember when you had a job and you'd take a personal day and go to a cafe or a park and there were all these people sipping coffee, reading the paper, walking the dogs and you wondered-- who are these people? How did they get so lucky? Well, now-- you're one of those people.

8. You learn to be self disciplined. When you don't answer to anyone, you have to set your own goals and deadlines and schedule. Being able to get shit done without anyone holding a gun to your head to do it is a great skill to acquire.

7. You can go to the gym when it's not crowded. If you do work for yourself, I highly recommend exercising first thing in the morning. It gets your ass out of bed and gets you to start your day relatively early. People assume I sleep in every morning and stay in my pajamas all day...which would be tempting, but usually doesn't happen if I force myself to work out in the AM. And by AM, I mean 10ish.

6. You never have to set an alarm to wake up. I swear, it's psychologically much easier to wake up at 8am if there's no buzzing alarm forcing you to.

5. Unless you have multiple personality disorder, you never have to get bogged down by office politics or corporate bureaucracy. And you don't have to deal with annoying co-workers or demanding bosses.

4. It's way easier getting dressed in the morning when you don't have to figure out a cute business casual outfit. I take great joy in knowing that as of right now, I never have to buy a pair of slacks from Banana Republic again. (I also can't afford a pair of slacks from Banana Republic right now, but that's not the point.)

3. You can run your errands on off hours when the grocery store, the dry cleaner, bank, and the post office are not crowded. Have you been to Trader Joe's at 11am on a Tuesday? There's no one there! This sounds pretty awesome, but I will say, somehow without fail-- any time I'm ready to run an errand, it's noon and places are totes filled with people sneaking out of work on their lunch hour.

2. Depending on what you do, anywhere you take your laptop can be your office. I can go to the Bay Area to visit my family for the week or visit friends in New York and technically not take time off of work to do it.

1. You don't have that hollow feeling in the pit of your stomach that life is passing you by. That's only for the folks that don't like their day jobs of course. The H bomb has a 9-5 job that he loves and never complains about. But I was getting more and more complacent at my corporate gig-- not to mention the view from my office was of Forest Lawn cemetery. Watching funerals from your window can be a pretty heavy reminder that you're not doing what you want to be doing with your life.

I'm sure this all sounds great and lovely and for those of you with day jobs that want to kill me right now, I promise, it's not all great. It's stressful wondering when your next paycheck is going present itself. And the whole "following your dream" can be a lot easier said than done. I had to plan for it and save for years before I could actually do it. And even now, with my savings almost depleted, I'm lucky to have someone in my life that can keep me afloat (although, trust me, this is one girl that doesn't do well with the idea of not supporting herself completely.) But for those of you out there that are dealing with the same struggles of making your dreams come true, focus on the positive, and remember if the millionaire mom who invented jibbitz can do it, than for the love of God, so can we.

*in case you had any doubts, every time I write a BLOW OFF post, I lie on my stomach on the hardwood floor of my apartment to type.

Friday, January 13, 2012

BLOW OFF song of the day: Freedom 90 by George Michael

The BLOW OFF song of the day goes out to my bestie Alison on her birthday. This was hands down our favorite dance song when we lived in the NYC.

All we have to do now is take these lies
And make them true somehow
All we have to see is that i don't belong to you
And you don't belong to me yea yea
-George Michael, 1990

Thursday, January 12, 2012

how I accidentally cock blocked my little brother

My brother and I have an eight year age difference which means I'm a little overprotective. While he was a student at UCLA and lived only fifteen minutes from me, I felt personally responsible for him. So, his freshman year when he unknowingly had mono and his friend punched him in the stomach as a joke, lacerated his spleen, and put him in the hospital for a week, I took it pretty hard. If he so much as coughed in my presence after that, I would send him home with Nyquil, orange juice, and chicken soup. One day my parents called me from the Bay Area to say he was in the ER and possibly had pneumonia (which he'd been hospitalized for in the past) and they wanted me to go check on him, I left work and hauled ass through traffic to get there.

After taking an X-ray, the doctors concluded that he just had bronchitis and did not in fact have pneumonia. I asked them if they were sure like fifteen times and once I felt fully reassured, we left the ER. He wanted to go back to his germ infested apartment (the one where I refused to use the bathroom) but I insisted that he come home with me, so I could monitor him in case the doctors were wrong.

Let's stop here and talk about his love life. He was in his second or third year in school, can't remember. He'd been single for awhile and he'd finally met a girl in a class that he really liked. Let's call her JESSICA. It was the first person in a long time that he felt a spark with and he was excited to put the moves on her.

BUT-- the night he was under quarantine against his will at my apartment, all his buddies went to a party without him. To be fair, he was really, really, sick and could barely speak. One of his best friends (and roommate) met a girl at that party, made out with her, and made her his girlfriend. That girl was JESSICA and his "friend" knew it. Had my bro gone to the party that night, things could have turned out very differently. Although, again to be fair, I'm not sure Jessica would have really been interested in making out with him with all that phlegm in his throat. Anyway, the only reason he found out about his buddy and Jessica was when she mentioned it to him the next day in class. "What do you know about Brad Porter? I met him at a party and he asked me out." He was stunned and for the next two years, the poor kid had to come home to see Brad and Jessica all happy and in love. Try studying for a mid-term when your bff is hooking up with your girl in the next room. Pretty shitty right? He blames me to this very day. And I blame the absence of hand sanitizer in his life.

Either way, I do think one thing is clear-- the kid needs some new friends. One dude broke his spleen, the other broke his heart.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

the bachelor & the BLOW OFF: episode 2

This episode of the Bachelor was extremely confusing for me, because it did not begin with Chris Harrison explaining the rules of the show to the eighteen contestants. I was completely lost by the whole "one on one" date VS the whole "group date" phenomenon. Where the hell was Harrison when you needed him?! I mean, the guy is worth his weight in gold. I'm guessing ABC probably realized that after watching 16 seasons of this show, the girls did not need a refresher course.

The episode begins with the ladies flying to Sonoma to get a feel for Ben F's hometown. Having grown up in Northern California and spending many family vacations at the Embassy Suites in Napa, it's a little funny for me to see these parts of Cali on such a "grand" scale, but it just makes me love monkey-faced Ben F all the more. Northern Cali boys are the best.

The first date card arrives and Kacie B. wins the first one on one date. Damn. I knew I underestimated this chick. Historically, the person that gets the first one on one date usually lands a spot in the final four. I am actually totally making that statistic up. What do you guys take me for? Someone who has charts and graphs on statistical trends from the Bachelor franchise? Um, no. Here's a statistic: white people dating white people.

Ben picks Kacie B up on their date and I'm super into her outfit. Short shorts, boots, and a sailor inspired sweater. You have to give the girl some props. She's from the south, but she can still put an outfit together. Ben keeps saying that he wants to show the girls Sonoma, because one of them could very well live there with him someday. Who cares. It's not Siberia. I don't think people are going to have that much trouble adjusting to living in wine country.

Ben and Kacie's first stop is a candy store where for apparently no reason they buy a lunch box. After a couple scenes of them being oh so goofy and cute, Kacie runs back in the store to surprise Ben with something. I'm assuming purely based on the number of times we've heard him reference his dad in the first 10 minutes of this episode, she's going to walk out with a chocolate replica of the man, but instead...Kacie surprises him with a baton. Apparently, she just caught a glimpse of it walking out of the store and had to go back in to buy it. But I'm a savvy viewer and I know better. When was the last time anyone saw a freaking baton anywhere, let alone in a candy store?! Obvi, this was all staged by the producers of the show.

I will admit that Kacie B. was kind of cute and deadpan when she showed Ben the baton. It made me like her just a little bit (although her laugh is like the anti-viagra). Kacie does a couple of cheesy baton moves and Ben thinks it's as amazing as performing triple bypass surgery.

Kacie B and Ben have dinner and talk about how he's so comfortable with her and how she's southern and why Sonoma reminds him of his dad. Then, Kacie says she would move anywhere for true love, because that's how she was raised. In other words, she was brought up to be a wife and marry rich. The girl should be dating Don Draper.

If you didn't watch the show, you will not believe what happens next. It's beyond atrocious, even by Bachelor standards. Kacie and Ben go to this old theater to presumably watch a movie? I'm guessing they will be surprised by Jason Mraz and we'll have to watch them slow dance to some new song called Roses are Red. But that's not what happens. Instead, they end up showing home video footage of Kacie and Ben with their families from when they were kids. This is like the kind of crap they make you sit through at weddings. This sequence made me SO mad, because of course I started balling the second they showed Ben's dad (who was hot by the way). I don't handle death well and this was extremely manipulative on the part of ABC. Then it got super weird when they started showing footage of Emily's dead fiance and Chris L's dead mom. (Okay, that didn't happen, but it would have been awesome.) Stupid Kacie can't even wipe the smile off her face when she asks Ben how it made him feel seeing his dad. Um...sad? devastated? alone? The most awkward part about this whole thing was that Kacie's dad is still alive. But if it makes you feel better, he sexually assaulted her through her teen years. Not really.

New drinking game: chug every time Ben F mentions his father.

Group date time! This might be the lamest group date in Bachelor history. The girls are invited to audition for a play for a bunch of little kid playwrights. The children were a nice touch, but these kids SO do not live in Sonoma. They were totally plucked right out of an LA casting office and bussed to wine country for this episode. They had the perfect little one-liners and confused expressions on their faces. Personally, I think in order to mix it up, Ben should be required to take a kid with him on every one-on-one date he has with the girls to see what kind of mothers they'd make.

We go through a ridiculous audition sequence where the girls are confused by stage directions like "act like a hippie" and "do a sexy dance." Some are total naturals with the kids (Jennifer, the red head in a box accountant for instance) and some look like they're stuck in a bad Disney movie where they play the wicked step-mom. And by some, I mean Blakely and her romper. Let's take a moment to discuss Blakely. Here are the four signs that she's gets an automatic refill for Valtrex:

#1 the tattoo of the heart and key on her arm.
#2 the super long earrings
#3 the fake ass boobies
#4 the giant mouth, clearly enlarged from years of blowing more than one penis at a time

There's a Blakely on every season of The Bachelor. You know, the girl that says things like "I want that rose" AND "I'm into anal bleaching."

I won't even bore you with the recap of the ridiculously dumb play Ben and the contestants put on for the town of Sonoma. Apparently, it was written by children (AKA the Bachelor producers). All I will say is that the people of Sonoma have earned their place in heaven by attending this and that the end of the play got super weird when Ben shimmied in boxer briefs covered in feathers. Those poor children in the audience were traumatized.

It wouldn't be a group date without some poolside cocktails and bikinis. The girls gather round to toast their acting debuts, all secretly hoping that some agent tracks them down and puts them in a Steven Spielberg movie. Jennifer is quickly becoming one of my faves. She's actually one of those rare contestants that I think signed up to be on the show to find love. Not sure if that makes her likable or an idiot. But she seems down to earth and genuine and she has a pretty smile. She and Ben get some alone time where they have a really deep conversation. In Bachelor terms, that exchange goes something like this:

"I had so much fun today"
"So did I"
"You seem really down to earth"
"So do you"
*awkward kisses*
"I'm really enjoying getting to know you"
"me too"
"tell me a little about your relationship history."
"I've been hurt before, but now I'm ready to find love."

This conversation is usually followed by an interview where both Ben and the girl in question say they could see themselves falling in love with each other. The operative word here is COULD. I mean, I could really see myself curing cancer and falling in love with Ryan Gosling someday. It doesn't mean it's going to happen.

Then, of course, Blakely gets her claws into Ben and Miss Pacific Palisades is so sick to her stomach about it, she hides in a bathroom stall and calls "Fakely" a whore.

I have to say, I was pretty disappointed in Monkey Face this episode for falling for the charms of a Horse Face. I don't get it. Blakely's not attractive at all. She's got penis taped to her thigh written all over her. But Ben still managed to make out with her and give her the group date rose, proving once again that all men secretly want to motorboat a trashy slutterina. I'd really like to know how much pull the producers have when it comes to who gets roses. Is it totally up to the bachelor or is he just their puppet? I'm so afraid I will go to my grave never knowing the answer to this.

Back at the house, the next one on one date card arrives. My poor little puppy loses her shit every time the doorbell rings on this show. I think she's seriously afraid Chris Harrison's going to be standing on our doorstep. Anyway. The show's other villain-- Courtney AKA "I'm a Model" gets the next date card. Kacie B reads the date card and Courtney actually says "how did that taste coming out of your mouth." If I was KCB, I'd be like "bitch, back the fuck up."

Ben arrives to pick Courtney up with his dog named Scotch. I think Ben is a frat boy in wine maker clothing. If he was really all about wine, why wouldn't his dog be named Pinot or Malbec or Chardonnay?!

Courtney's so pretty I want to bite her face off. She's wearing the uniform of the season-- boots, short shorts, boyish top. They go for a walk in the woods and Monkey Face is totally under her spell. He keeps saying how she's so perfect and too good to be true. Yes, she's definitely the prettiest contestant, but I'm pretty sure the girl is a zombie. She has no charisma. She needs to date Ames.

Monkey Face and I'm a Model sit down for dinner and Ben tells her about his hard partying ways when he lived in San Diego and worked in internet advertising and supposedly made a lot of money. In not so many words, Ben basically admits to snorting cocaine off the butt cracks of dudes in VIP rooms of clubs in downtown San Diego. None of this phases Courtney, because she tunes everyone out when they're not talking about her. Ben asks Courtney why she's still single and she says it's because she's picky. My favorite thing about Courtney is when Ben tells her how hot she is or pays her any sort of compliment she NEVER says thank you. This woman is a mastermind. All she does is shrug and smile. I'm pretty sure she's going to get the final rose. OMG, but it was so sad when she said she dated actors (AKA Gay Jesse Metcalfe) and one time she found underwear in the bed (AKA another guy's boxers). Poor Courtney. My heart cries for her.

Needless to say, Courtney gets a rose.

Yet another rose ceremony. I'd really like to know what ABC's alcohol budget is in on this show. I'm fairly certain when the girls go to sleep, the producers hook them up to IVs of Korbel. I'm still liking my girl Rachel. She's got pretty hair and she's not slutty. But I don't think she has enough sex appeal for Ben. My girl Elyse is just way too brorange (a new crayola color inspired by the contestants of the bachelor, where brown meets orange). I'm not very confident she'll get a rose. Plus, she wasn't on any of the dates with Ben. Blakely ruffles a lot of feathers when she steals Ben away from Miss Pacific Palisades even though she already has a rose and doesn't need alone time with him. As much as I want to hate this show, I actually get really angry when girls with roses try to have alone time with Ben. It's just not right. It's like when someone on Price is Right bids a dollar above someone else. Blakely starts to feel like everyone is talking shit about her, so she does what we all do when we feel like no one likes us. She goes to the "suitcase room" and crouches in the corner. It's pretty hilarious considering she's not even crying. If you're going to sit in the corner, I want real tears--- and not just out of your vagina. Ben finds sitting there and tries to console her. OMG. Men are so dumb! Guys-- here's a tip: if you see a girl huddled in a corner pretending to cry it's a RED FLAG.

At least psycho Jenna cries under the covers like a normal crazy person. She has another meltdown about how she's not able to show Ben who she really is. Honey. Trust me. You do not want to show him who you really are. He will get a restraining order against you. Ben finds her balling and pulls her out of bed. Did anyone else notice that the alarm clock read 2:05am?! Are you kidding me? These poor bitches have to stay up that late drinking champagne and potentially catching herpes from Blakely? Not cool.

Chris Harrison shows up for the first time in this episode to take Ben away for the rose ceremony. We don't even get a room of framed photographs this season for Ben to stare at as he decides who to give a rose to. Such a rip off.

These poor ladies are freezing their asses off during the rose ceremony in their little cocktail dresses. Apparently this shit takes like hours to tape. Ben gets rid of crazy Jenna (Sigh. I'm really going to miss her. Bloggers unite!) and the mom from Phoenix with two-toned hair. Jenna cries her face off after she doesn't get a rose. I'm pretty sure the girl is strapped to a bed in some cold sterile room with padded walls right about now. I still can't believe Jaclyn and Miss Pacific Palisades made it to episode three.

Next week's episode is going to be AWESOME. Apparently, some stranger from Ben's past show up to shake things up and the girls react the way most of reacted on 9/11. Monday is my new favorite day of the week!

Check out this amazing video I found of Blakely. How do you think Ben F's dad would feel about this?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

the list & the BLOW OFF

Have you guys ever made a list of all the things you want to find in a significant other? I'm guessing if you're a dude, the answer to this question is wtf are you talking about. But us ladies love to make lists. I type up a to-do list every Monday for what I want to accomplish that week. I actually divide it into three categories: work, errands, and work out schedule. It's psycho, I know-- but I get such satisfaction when I delete something off my list.

I have actually never, ever, made a list of things I wanted to find in a significant other. I'm sure I've had a mental check list of sorts, but nothing that was ever committed to paper. And then of course, there's making a list of everything you DON'T want in a significant other, which is what our resident Single Asian Female did so eloquently in her type-matrix post.

The first time I ever heard of the concept of making a list, it was The Real World Boston (season six) where that chick Kameelah had a list of like 100+ things she wanted in a guy. This chick was hard-core. I couldn't even think of 20 characteristics if I tried. I did a little research online and Kameelah is now an ob/gyn in Manhattan! No word on whether she found a man that fit the bill, so someone in NY please go get your vagina checked by her and report back to me!

Anyway. Since hindsight is 20/20, here's what my list would look like now:

*likes pugs
*smells nice
*likes my family and friends
*doesn't leave toothpaste in the sink (I have a major toothpaste phobia. I will not let the H bomb brush his teeth within 20 feet of me)
*is never rude in restaurants or taxi cabs.
*likes TV
*loves me more than Jesus
*can get me off
*eats lots of different kinds of food
*thinks I'm funny

Someone told me recently that the #1 thing you should look for in a husband is whether or not he'd make a good father (assuming you want children). I'm ashamed to admit I never completely factored that in with the future father of my children. He is a little awkward and uninterested around kids, but he's great with our puppy, so I think that's a good sign. And since our kids will be half-Persian, they should be fairly furry.

Despite the father thing, overall, I'm glad I never made an actual list of all the things I wanted in a boy. Most of the things you think you want in someone end up being pretty inconsequential. Am I totally wrong here? Is anything less than sticking to our "lists" just settling? Tell us what you think in the comments section.

Monday, January 9, 2012

ever gotten a letter like this?

I have. God, I love Adrian Tomine.

the girl code-guy code BLOW OFF

Girl code and guy code all around the world says we should not date people our friends dated unless we're characters on a TV show like Gossip Girl or the new 90210 (still waiting for the new Pacey's Creek, CW. I mean, Dawson. Dawson's Creek.). Normally, I would totally agree with this. I've never dated anyone that my friends have dated. Generally, when a guy starts dating one of my friends-- he immediately becomes unattractive to me. He's like a Ken doll with no private parts. Unless he's extremely witty and sarcastic, then we may have a problem.

But in all seriousness--- are there exceptions to this rule? I don't have an answer, because as far as I remember, Sex and the City never did a storyline where one of the ladies dated another's ex and 99% of all my dating knowledge and advice comes from that show.

For instance, I'm off the market-- so does that mean I can't get mad if a close friend crossed paths with a guy I dated and they became boyfriend and girlfriend? I guess it depends on the guy. If he was a defining love, then he should probably remain off limits, regardless of my relationship status. But if he was just a three month fling and not someone I was really into to begin with, then it's not really fair of me to stand in the way of a single friend. I'm not going to lie though. Three months, ex-love of my life, it would probably still make me very uncomfortable. I'd just wonder if he was comparing us in his mind at all times. Which one of us is a better kisser? Which one of us is smarter? Which one of us is funnier? (me) Who gives better head? (her).

I had a friend from college who dated a guy off and on for a couple of years and after several years of being broken up, he started dating her best friend. This guy was for sure a defining love. We were all appalled, but fast forward to now and he married the best friend and they have a child together. Think of what those two people could have missed out on if they opted to stay in line with the code of ethics when it comes to relationships...

Then there was my guy friend in high school who dated or hooked up with nearly all my friends. The first girl was a short term thing. The next girl was way more serious (like prom date serious), but she wanted to wait 'til she was married to have sex AND they were going to different colleges, so they broke up. Then, he started dating her good friend behind her back...because she put out. And then after that ended he had a drunken New Year's Eve hook up with another high school friend. And then after that he had a friends with benefits ongoing fling with another high school friend.

We hung out a lot during college (he figuratively held my hand through my first time doing ecstasy). We were both single and we were each other's pseudo significant others. We did things like go to the symphony together and then to romantic restaurants where we had to ask to sit across from each other instead of sit in those cozy little cuddle booths. He would stay the night over at my apartment and I always made him sleep on the floor. We never even cuddled, but all we ever talked about was sex and how we weren't getting any. I just couldn't hook up with him purely based on principal. He had hooked up with nearly all of my friends. And plus, I was one of the main people that consoled prom date girlfriend when he broke her heart. I wasn't going to be a hypocrite. I wasn't going to be another statistic. I wasn't going to be sloppy sixths. I was going to be different. I was going to be the girl that never gave into the sexual tension. And I totally didn't. It just goes to show that Harry was wrong-- men and women can be friends-- if the man has hooked up with nearly every single person the female knows.

What do you think, readers? Have you ever been a member of one of those incestuous groups where everyone hooks up with each other? Are there exceptions to girl/guy code? If Rick Springfield had Jessie's girl, would he then be a total a-hole? Comment below.