Thursday, July 30, 2009

UFC is Not that Great

Alright, I know that I promised--as if anyone was looking forward to it—to write about More to Love today. Honestly, I saw it last night and I’m still soaking it all in. It may take another episode before I can grasp the enormity (no, that’s not a fat joke) of the show and blog about it effectively. However, I’m compelled to write about something else today that I find even more confusing than the success of a pitch meeting at Fox wherein it was suggested that 20 women over 250 pounds be put on national display and humiliated one by one until one was left standing. I want to discuss the Holy Grail of macho men everywhere: The UFC.

If you have no idea what the UFC is consider yourself lucky. However, if you’ve watched any television, seen a freeway billboard, ordered a pay-per-view sporting event, or dated a bouncer, you are painfully aware that the Ultimate Fighting Championship exists. I realize by posting my attack online I’m opening myself up to potential headlocks, grappling holds, some move called the purple hooter, or a challenge in the office cafeteria; however, I’m willing to take that risk. . .for now anyway.

Let’s get to it. The UFC is, in a word, gay. That’s right. I said it. It’s gay. If you’ve ever watched the advertising, pre-fight hype, an actual event, or looked at any of the merchandise you know exactly what I’m talking about. Basically, a UFC event consists of a bunch of super-excited, half-drunk, adrenaline-filled, men between the ages of 21-40 crammed tightly into a smoky, dark venue bouncing up and down while yelling and screaming at two sweaty guys wrestling around in their underwear. Take out the ring and throw on some Duran Duran and, voila!, it’s a gay bar. It’s like watching the Village People on steroids. Come to think of it, many of the contestants look like some of the Village People on steroids.

Some of the women reading this are probably giggling knowingly saying, “oh, my boyfriend/husband/favorite bouncer watches that and it’s true, hee hee hee.” The women who actually watch UFC are dating a bouncer. The men reading this fall into two categories: 1.) those who know I’m right, and 2.) those who want to fight me. Let me clarify my points.

1.) I am not unappreciative of the physical skill and tremendous mental ability it takes to compete in that sport. However, I view the UFC fighters much like I view Dave Matthews, for instance. I appreciate that he’s talented, but his work sucks and I don’t care for it.

2.) I know Tito Ortiz or Kimbo Slice or whatever amped up manic happens to be holding the belt right now can beat me up. I’ll concede that. I don’t want to fight any of them. I’m 37. I don’t fight people for a living. The “he could beat your ass” argument rings hollow. The sport is still homoerotic.

3.) I’m not confused about my own sexuality and I don’t hate gay people. I just don’t like the UFC.

I do have to hand it to the person who invented it, though. Actually, isn’t it always the most simple idea that work? The Snuggie, for instance, is nothing more than a blanket with sleeves. Genius. Remember Topsy Tail? How about that butterfly thing women were supposed to put in their underwear to prevent the unsightly camel toe? Again, genius. I put the UFC in this category. Two alpha males in a steel cage beating the hell out of each other while several thousand men who paid $100 a ticket and $7 bucks a beer stand by and watch. Good for the guy who was smart enough to market it. It’s just not for me. Then again, I’m not renting Beaches anytime soon either. . .

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More to Love in Spin Class

Well, considering the fact that it’s a slow day in reality tv land, I have to find something else to write about. If I’m being honest, I have to admit that I was too tired to watch “More to Love” on my DVR last night. I realize I’m pathetic for recording it, but I figured what the hell. Why shouldn’t the plump have a chance to fall in love on national television? I’m sick of seeing attractive women make whores of themselves fawning over a suit and tie with zero personality and visa versa. Let’s give the overweight crowd something else to worry about. At any rate, I’m looking forward to the oh so subtle different approach the producers will inevitably have to take toward the larger crowd. No pool parties, daring athletic dates, or too much chocolate in the fantasy suite. There will probably be a hefty Chris Harrison host and a lot of references to inner beauty and love being blind. There will undoubtedly be the formerly super fat girl who lost 100 plus pounds and now seeks her soulmate. My only concern is that the mix of plus-sized women is going to include a bunch of girls that are accustomed to hanging out with the skinny beautiful girls who always get the man while they are relegated to stitting in the corner of some trendy martini bar with the hot girls' purses while they all dance with guys in sport coats. Do we really need to see girls like that get rejected by the first guy who has probably ever paid any attention to them? I pray that they have a counselor on site at that mansion. I’m so excited.

In the meantime, I’m sitting here in a café in Austin, Texas re-hydrating after an hour of Spin class. Without belaboring the point, I’m sure that everyone is aware of what Spin class is. Generally, it’s an hour on an exercise bike with an instructor. I like it for several reasons. First, it’s finite. I don’t find myself wandering from machine to machine or seeking my zen place on the treadmill until I’m too bored to run or lift anymore. My mind always gives up before my body. With Spin, all I have to do is do what the person in front of me does on the bike until the music stops. God willing, the person in front of me is female and she’s attractive. It’s amazing how fast that hour passes. Second, I don’t have to be polite to anyone. My bike is my bike for the hour I’m on it. No, “excuse me, are you done using that machine” or “can I work in?” I’m able to be selfish with no consequences. That’s a nice change from the rest of my usual days. Third, I don’t have to deal with meatheads. No, muscle bound bozo wearing clothes too small for himself and carrying around a gallon jug of pureed meat and protein mix ingesting 1500 calories during "Chest Day" writing down his reps and feelings before going to the tanning booth is in my class or my way. That’s always a plus. It’s bad enough I have to deal with that guy if I happen to want to enter a bar in Dallas. I try to minimize my exposure to pumped up gym guy. Spin class is a good way to do that.

What I don’t understand, however, is why people feel compelled to wear full biking attire in Spin class. Granted, the biking shoes are necessary since the pedals require them. I get that. Bike shorts? Ok, maybe. That’s a lot of moving around on a bike seat. Cycling shirt? Yellow jersey? Come on. It’s a stationary indoor bike. There is no need to hoard power bars or energy shots in the rear pockets of the shirt. The wind is not a factor and there is no support car following you. There’s no chance of getting a flat and you’re not going to circle the Champs Elysse. Let the dream go and just work out. Besides, everyone in my Spin class should know that I win every time.


Finally! After the Final Rose...

Bachelorette: After the Final Rose. Great, another hour I will never get back. At least this blog makes use of my hand eye coordination and forces me to think. Well, sort of…

The soft lighting, the subtle colors, the roses a plenty, Chris Harrison was in his element last night. Honestly, I kind of like the guy. His job is basically to host bookend shows at the beginning and end of each season and then just swoop in to each cocktail party to kill everyone’s buzz during the season. Frankly, my favorite part is when he comes in and announces that there is only one rose left and that whoever doesn’t get it will be leaving the show. No shit? I’m honestly envious that he gets paid to do that. Why can’t I get a gig like that?

After the initial lead in and the recap there were, well, more recaps and lead ins followed by a recap of the recap, a commercial, a lead in, and then a recap of the previous recaps and lead ins followed by a lead in, a commercial, and a quick recap. I found myself longing for the 3 hour American Idol montage before they announce how “America voted” and immediately close the show with the loser singing the song that got him kicked off in the first place. That makes no sense.

Back to the Bachelorette:

It was painful. I’m certain every person who took the time to either record the show or sit down and watch it was aware of the goings on over the past 24 hours. Of course, in reality television time, that’s about 3 weeks. That means that Reid has been crying in the shower every morning for 21 days straight and probably sees no reason to break that streak anytime soon. That means that Kiptyn has been sitting in his step dad’s hot tub every night at sunset drinking French wine from the cellar and contemplating his day of surfing for 19 days straight. (I allowed for a travel day and then a day to “catch up” at his fake job). It’s also 21 days since Jillian’s hot cousin left Hawaii. Ahh, the hot cousin…

For some reason, Melissa came back to show off her primped new look and tell us how happy she is. She looked good, but was still annoying. If you looked hard enough you could also sense the sheer hatred for Jason and Molly she harbors to this day. She’s like that Diego Montoya guy from The Princess Bride and Molly is like the six-fingered guy who killed his dad. Who can blame her really? She got kicked in the crotch last season harder than Reid did (twice) this season. All’s well that ends well, though. She was happy to report that she parlayed the dumping into a dancing and acting career AND got engaged to boot. Good for her. I mean it. However, I find it ironic that her old gold digger. . . err . . . boyfriend had to see her suck face in front of millions of people, including everyone in Dallas, and see her get punted like a pigskin on national tv to realize he loved her, but who am I to judge? We’re all thrilled she’s happy and we’re all (still) happy for Jason and Molly and we’re all still terrified for Ty. Incidentally, is this the sort of thing that can turn a kid into a serial killer? I’m just sayin’. Someone should look into that. Maybe Chris Harrison has Dr. Drew’s number. If ballroom dancing champions begin disappearing about 15 years from now in the vicinity of Seattle, we’ll all know whose door to bust down.

After Melissa, it was Kiptyn’s turn to watch himself be humiliated in Hawaii—Hmmm, Humiliated in Hawaii: the Kiptyn Locke Story. . . I think I’m on to his book title, but I digress. He acted hurt and seemed rehearsed. I believed him when he said he had no hard feelings (which was apparently Ed’s problem in the Fantasy Suite) because he’s shallow and rich and Jillian wasn’t up to his family’s standards anyway. I found it odd that no questions from the audience were allowed for him. God, please don’t let him be the next bachelor. I wonder how he “tested” with the studio audience? Was he better than Reid?

Then we finally got to the moment I was waiting for: Reid returns yet again. The guy is like psoriasis for God’s sake. His appearance was yet another testament to his maddening indecisiveness. Granted, his appearance was a contractual obligation, but we all know he wanted to be there to tell America he was indecisive so we would not think he couldn’t decide whether to show up. He was as Chandler Bingish as ever, except without the charm and personality. Frankly, I don’t know what women see in this guy. He’s a dial tone. . .an indecisive, non-committal, dial tone. Oh, and I don’t want to hear the, “but he flew all the way back to Hawaii and proposed so he wouldn’t be indecisive” argument. Bullshit. He’s incapable of making a firm decision and it cost him the relationship. Where I’m from, we would politely suggest that Reid grow a pair of testicles and pick a side of the fence; any side. Frankly, he should have hit the Men Tell All show and skipped this one. He looked even more pathetic than Jake in his pilot’s uniform coming to tattle on Wes. In the end, I’m sure Reid’s a nice guy. He just needs to decide to stay gone. God, please don’t let him be the next bachelor. I wonder how he “tested” with the studio audience? Was he better than Kiptyn?

I’m not even going to mention the Jillian and Ed appearance for fear of vomiting. The giggling like a school girl, flirty looks, and self-congratulatory heir were too much for me to handle; and that was just Ed. All in all, Ed was the big victor (if you consider marrying her a victory). He got what he wanted and he beat out a bunch of better looking, meatier, manlier men to win Jillian’s giggles and nasally Canadian accent for the rest of their lives. Well played, Ed. Well played. I wonder how he “tested” with the studio audience?


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Bachelorette is finally over

As a person who is realistic (ironically) enough to realize that reality television is addictive, I have to confess that I purposely allowed myself to get sucked into The Bachelorette this season. I don't apologize for it and just like Clay Aiken on the cover of his ghostwritten autobiography, I own it. However, it's difficult to impart how relieved I am that this season is finally over. Ed "won" Jillian's heart and now the poor bastard will have to listen to that annoying Canadian accent for the rest of his life . . . well, at least in theory. My thoughts are below.

First of all, I want to say that I’m happy for Ed. I’m happy for Ed not because he “won” but because of how he clawed his way over seemingly insurmountable obstacles. He overcame (no pun intended) male performance issues—although, who can blame him? After two hours of looking at Jillian’s giant nose and doughy face, I probably won’t be able to function for at least a week—a ball-busting boss, multiple cock-block attempts, Kiptyn’s 6 pack, Reid’s whatever she saw in him and his pathetic attempt to undermine the final rose ceremony, and his poor wardrobe selections. Not many average looking, low key Midwestern men would a.) be in the position to enter the storied Fantasy Suite or; b.) rally weeks later after crashing and burning like the Challenger on January 28th to get another shot at it and then miraculously win the entire bundle of sticks.

Before the lambasting begins, I will say that Ed played a masterful game of poker (again, no pun intended) considering the hand he had. He went to the “I love you” card early and often when Reid and Kiptyn were busy with “I guesses,” “Sure, maybes,” and “I could see myself falling for yous”. Ed was bold and decisive. He asked the dad for her hand in marriage. He answered the kid questions from Jillian’s mumu-clad, dyed-haired mother with skill of a seasoned veteran. He sucked up to her grandmother and refused over and over again to backpedal on his poor choice of swimsuit. He went shirtless when he shouldn’t have and, damnit, I have to say he won me over. Bravo, Ed. It’s too bad your prize is Jillian.

I have to admit that I was a bit off base with my prediction that Jillian would cave into Reid’s surprise proposal. However, when I watched the entire thing unfold, I actually had contempt for Reid. First of all, what in the world was he wearing? He looked like he either worked on a cruise ship or forgot to pack his dress shoes. At first, I expected him to break out a mop and swab the deck rather than propose. And for God’s sake, tuck your freaking shirt in. That assumes, of course, that it was his shirt. It was about 4 sizes too big. In retrospect, he might have borrowed it from Jillian’s mother. Second, what part of “I’m sorry Reid, you did not get a rose, please take a moment to say your goodbyes” did he not understand a week earlier? The love of his life was off in Hawaii banging two of his buddies all week and he still wanted to come back and marry her on the show where she was filmed banging the two guys for a week? To each his own, I guess. I did have a moment of sympathy for him, however, when he pulled up to throw the ultimate cock block in a cab. Couldn’t Harrison do him a solid and just send a freaking limo to the airport? Really.

As for Reid having to “pull strings” to get back to see Jillian, I’m not buying it. Ed and Jake both got to come back. The least the producers could do was give the guy a chance. What really got me about Reid, though, was the big moment of clarity where he professed his love and tacitly admitted that he was, in fact, a pu*sy. Then he proceeded to stand there holding her hand and unable to leave for what seemed like at least an hour after she told him to F off. Dude, you lost twice. Get off the stage. You lost because you went on a 28 day game show where you knew you would be required to propose at the end of it if you won and you hemmed and hawed around the issue like Ted Kennedy at Chappaquidick right after Mary Jo Kopoekne was fished out of his car. You lost because you’re an indecisive, wishy washy, bore. Oh, did I mention that he’s short too? Even Wes was smart enough to hightail it to the limo and begin spraying profanity-laced bitterness at the cameras before getting some tail in Spain. He got a second free trip to Hawaii. He should have made it work.

Ok, on to Kitpyn. He proved himself to be the only person on earth who could make Reid look decisive up to the point where he clearly jumped off the cliff and went for it. Too bad he was a week late. His interview with Jillian’s mom was, to say the least, about as awkward as tennis shoes on a duck and the meeting with the dad didn’t go much better. The “I’m getting there” response to her dad’s “Do you love my daughter” question was classic. What an idiot. However, despite his lack of charisma and overall douche-iness Jillian’s HOT cousin (where the hell was she all season?) still did everything she could to steer Jillian into his well-developed arms. Ed is just “different” she said. I hope she slipped Kiptyn her number. On second thought, no I don’t. Oh, and Kiptyn trying to pretend that he’s a “work hard, play hard” kind of guy was about as convincing as David’s apology to Jillian on The Men Tell All show. The guy grew up in a giant house on the beach in San Diego. He’s never worked a day in his life. He surfs and does whatever his step dad asks him to do. That’s not work. Something tells me that Jillian did him a favor by cutting him loose. He’ll be fine.

The Ed and Jillian montage leading up to the alleged big bang killed me. The sexual innuendos were plentiful. There was nothing even remotely subtle about it. Jillian said Ed was “pumped up” to see her. He went to “great lengths” to impress her. The helicopter was “really hot”. They couldn’t wait to see a “volcano erupt”. Please. I’m just thrilled Ed was able to close the deal. However, it was pretty difficult to tell that he did by the way Jillian inhaled Kiptyn’s face the second she saw him. Actually, I’m not sure he actually did close the deal. I am glad that they at least gave the impression that he closed the deal. It’s good to see that someone on that show has a sense of fairness.

Finally, let me discuss Chris Harrison. When did that guy turn into Dr. Phil? Consoling people, coaching Jillian through her difficult decisions, comforting Reid; he was all over it. It’s nice to see the guy finally earning his paycheck.

All in all it was not the “most dramatic finale in Bachelorette history." However, I was entertained.