Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Crazy is as Crazy Does...More to Love Episode 5

Here we are, Episode 5 of The Fatchelor and it’s finally getting interesting. Last night’s episode of More to Love featured some real jaw droppers; and no, I’m not talking about all of the eating going on in the house. We learned that Luke has “a hot body” (WHAT?!) and that Heather doesn’t read my blog. We learned that three desperate women will slather a fat guy in sun tan lotion just to appear spontaneous. We learned that insecurity has a tendency to hide closely beneath the surface and pop out like a stripper out of a cake at a moment’s notice. We discovered that “fantastical” and “romantical” are actual words. We learned that Luke still has zero personality and we confirmed that Fox still has no shame. Let’s begin.

Of course, we begin with a scene of the women eating. I love it how this show has repeatedly been marketed as featuring “normal” American women. I know a lot of “normal” women. None of them eat 4 waffles with whipped cream and a gallon of syrup in the morning, which is exactly what Kristian was cramming down her face when the cameras began rolling. After the third waffle, Kristian becomes excited because Luke left a note and also because of her rapidly spiking blood sugar. She and Mandy get to go on a date with Luke. “It takes two to tango,” says the card and Kristian can’t wait to rub the date into the other girls’ faces like the syrup covered waffle she just rubbed into hers. Off they go in the limo with Luke to the cleverly named “Mari Juana’s” restaurant for some margaritas and dancing at 9 in the morning. In the meantime, the rest of the girls make Luke a cute card and . . . you guessed it . . . a snack. “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” is their mantra. If that’s the case, Luke’s been in love for a long time.

Now before I get to the left turn to Crazytown that the girls took this week, let’s just break something down. I’m not a nutritionist, but I did a little research into what I saw Kristian eat on last night’s show. On camera she ate: 4 Waffles covered in whipped cream and drowned in syrup, 1 glass of O.J., 2 margaritas, 3 glasses of white wine, and various finger foods.

4 waffles 352 calories
1 c. syrup 735 calories
1 c. whipped cream 154 calories
1 c. O.J. 110 calories
2 margaritas 180 calories
3 glasses wine 252 calories

TOTAL 1,793 calories

Congratulations, Kristian. In 10 minutes you succeeded in eating just 7 calories shy of the FDA recommended daily allowance of calories for a woman your height. Look, I’m not judging. My point is that these women have been crying unmercifully for weeks now about being overweight and how it’s ruined their hope at happiness. Well, to be fair, Kristian has actually owned the weight and her appearance and cried about everything else, but you see my point. Better choices might not hurt.

When they arrive at the restaurant Mandy already has a strained look of desperation on her face. I found that a bit sad considering she’s one of the more attractive women in the house and—up until this episode—appeared level-headed. So much for appearances. Get out your ticket and pack your bags, we’re about to take a trip to the corner of Crazy Street and Desperation Drive.

We quickly get a voice over of Mandy going on about how Luke is clearly into the other women and how her feelings are getting in the way of her heart and blah, blah, blah . . . After some salsa lessons from a hot female dance instructor (at least this show is consistent) and her incredibly gay Spanish partner, Luke shows off his dipping and spinning skills with the ladies. Kristian was about as effective at dancing as she is at dieting or keeping her mouth shut. She mused that her rear end looked like “two pigs fighting under a blanket.” Yes, it did: two really big pigs fighting under a blanket. Mandy was actually really light on her feet. She looked really good in her dress as well. Apparently, that was never relayed to Mandy. Cut to Luke grinding (yes, grinding) on Kristian and kissing her when Mandy walks in the room and BAM! Mandy goes nuts and locks herself in the women’s restroom. Oh boy. In an incredibly classless move, Kristian sits comfortably sipping her margarita while Luke knocks on the restroom door, “Mandy, are you ok?” Prince Charming he is not.

Incidentally, has anyone noticed that Luke sounds a lot like Frosty the freaking Snowman? Remember when the little girl puts the hat on his head and he comes to life by saying, “Happy Birthday!”? That’s how Luke talks. He’s also about as repetitive as Frosty, but with less charisma. Come to think of it, he’s built like him too. I’ll look for a top hat next week.

Mandy eventually emerges from the bathroom and she and Luke talk it out under the watchful eye of Kristian who through a 9am margarita buzz refers to him as “her man” and admits to us all that she is in love with him. Oh boy.

When they arrive back at the house the other girls are dripping with curiosity like syrup from a stack of waffles. Apparently, Fox put something in the donuts this week because all of them—with the exception of Malissa and her giant boobs—are starting to feel a burning insecurity like Ben Gay in a jockstrap. Mandy recounts her breakdown and all of the girls begin to share their uncontrollable feelings of insecurity and paranoia. Kristian begins digging her own grave by announcing to the other girls that she loves Luke. Heather hears this and starts crying because she hasn’t told Luke she loves him yet and what if that means he sends her home and she thought that they had a good thing and now she just doesn’t know and. . .WHOA! She turned into a rambling, sniffling pile of what she used to be. Tali (I believe her last name is Whacker), the Ice Queen of the bunch, is worried because she hasn’t had enough one on one time with Luke but cautions Kristian about blabbing so much. The plus-sized model Anna is upset because she’s insecure and paranoid too. It’s too bad Luke is not a licensed counselor. It would have served him well. Don’t these broads read my blog! Come on!

Luke’s frustration with all of the drama was readily apparent in his expression and in the way that he repeatedly rubbed his forehead and sighed after constantly reassuring all of them. It was either frustration or he could have been melting. Nonetheless, the show must go on and we quickly learn that Malissa and her giant boobs are going on a helicopter ride with Luke. They take off and begin the usual “it’s so beautiful, amazing, incredible” banter when they arrive at a vineyard and are treated to—you guessed it—a meal. Malissa acts confident and normal (as do her giant boobs) and after finishing their snack they are presented with a tandem bicycle. What? Luke and Malissa make it on to the bicycle and proceed downhill for what seems like an eternity. When they begin uphill, Luke actually throws out a Lance Armstrong reference and stands to pedal. I live in Austin along with Lance Armstrong and I swear I could hear him laughing. Lo and behold, the bike breaks. Yes, it breaks. Not only did it break, he cracked the entire sprocket away from the pedal. I’m not a physicist but that has to require a shitload of force. Classic.

After the date, Malissa announces that she too is in love with Luke (her giant boobs remain silent but I believe it’s safe to assume that they are on board too). Mandy gets some testimonial time to put her sadness on display that she does not yet love Luke because it’s too soon to tell. Ironically, she’s upset at being the most normal, well-adjusted woman in the house. Who falls in love in that setting? Please, save the Molly and Jason or Jillian and Ed comments. Talk to me about both of those relationships in six months. Yes, I know Ryan and Trista worked out. Save it.

The group date is yet another day at the “beach.” Apparently, “beach” in More to Love terms means “the marina where Heather puked in the water, we had our yacht date, and Danielle elicited the “man, I love being on the water” comment. The show is filmed in Southern California and they couldn’t find a beach. Please. Maybe they were afraid Greenpeace would show up and try to push Luke back in the water.

Tali (Whacker) is upset because it’s another bathing suit date. Heather needs desperately to talk to Luke in an effort to fumble the ball on the 5 yard line (READ MY LAST BLOG, HEATHER!), and Anna keeps drinking (perhaps the most rational choice in this environment). There is an awkward staged conversation between the 4 of them with their backs to the water. Luke is upset because the girls are still relying on him to “lead the conversation.” In classic Luke fashion he pulls off his shirt and announces that he needs suntan lotion and that the girls should rub it on him. I’d rather watch Kristian eat a pile of pancakes. As Forrest Gump once said, “that’s all I have to say about that.” Luke spends alone time with a drunken Anna who agrees that she’s not ready to get married and then he's scared off by Heather’s rampant paranoia and insecurity (READ MY LAST BLOG, HEATHER! YOU HAD IT IN THE BAG!) Tali is sufficiently uninteresting and the date is uneventful.

At the end of the evening cocktail hour the tension is thicker than syrup on a stack of waffles. Kristian professes her love while analyzing the body language of each desperate potential future Mrs. Connoly as they take turns pleading their cases to Luke. He looks annoyed. Frankly, it wasn’t a very romantical or fantastical evening. It was quite pathetical. At ring ceremony emotions run high. I was certain Kristian was gone but shocked when Heather got the boot. Kristian displayed her uncanny ability to emotionally break down. Luke comforted her in perhaps his most sincere moment all season but couldn’t wait to get rid of her. Hopefully, she signed a restraining order on the way out the door. Heather lost with class and still looked pretty. She concentrated on the positive and went out looking like the winner she should have been (if she’d only read my last blog). The remaining girls breathed a collective sigh of relief and everyone had a jiggly group hug. This episode should be a lesson to women of all shapes and sizes. Crazy trumps just about everything you can dream up. Stay tuned . . .

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Miss Chris Harrison

Well, here we are: Episode number 4 of More to Love and we have to begin wondering if Fox is going to put this show out of its misery like it did The Littlest Groom or that show where that hot girl had to date a bunch of ambiguous guys and then guess if they were gay or straight in lieu of a rose ceremony. They later moved that piece of shit to the Reality Network and it even failed there. I never learned if Luciano was gay or straight. That’s too bad. I would have enjoyed the closure.

I’d never thought I’d say this, but I actually miss Chris Harrison. I want to give him a big hug. I miss him so much. I want to freeze him in the winter, skate on him, and then thaw him out in the summer and play baseball with him. I want to buy him an ice cream cone and playfully wipe chocolate off of his nose as we laugh hysterically while walking through the park together. I want to run knowingly through the sand just before a Pacific Ocean sunset and fall clumsily into his outstretched arms. Instead, I’m stuck with the first plus-sized super model (and also the first washed up plus-sized super model), Emme, and her Bachelor Meets the Buffet adventure, More to Love.

This week Luke has thin the herd from 8 to 6 women and there’s more tension in the air than on the ladies bra straps. Lauren, the bitchiest most vulgar girl in the house before “I love being on the water” fame Danielle was summarily booted last week, is on a tear for Luke’s attention. She’s more aggressive than a hungry wolverine and has no problem going after the other women. Seriously, Godzilla was less of a problem when he landed in Tokyo.

Incidentally, remember how Godzilla used to fly by propelling himself backward with his super fire breath? Even as a kid that seemed odd to me. Is that really a plausible evolutionary progression into flight? I could see flapping wings or webbed hands or something, but propelling himself backward with his own breath? Even putting aside the fact that he was foam rubber, his joints didn’t bend, and the buildings he destroyed were about as convincingly real as Michael Jackson’s face, it just doesn’t seem right. I’ll have to dust off my Origin of Species and see what Chuck Darwin has to say about it.


We begin this week with the “Good Wife Bad Wife” competition. It’s pretty simple, really. Each girl is presented with a dual sided sign. One side reads “Good Wife” and the other “Bad Wife”. The girls take turns standing in front of the others and the others vote on whether that girl will make a good wife or a bad wife for our Fatchelor, Luke. Notwithstanding the fact that this is a competition between 8 women who have never been asked on a ‘real date’ and have no concept of any male/female relationship the women quickly become marriage experts. Everyone seems to play fair except Lauren.

Let’s see . . . how do I describe Lauren? Well, she’s sort of like the runt of the litter if you replaced the “R” in “runt’ with a “C”. She proceeds to brutalize 6 of the 7 other women to the point of making them cry. Kristian is actually the funniest. “She’s too emotional to be married.” Marriage is a “big deal” and I’m not sure she’s “emotionally stable” enough to be a wife. What? Kristian responds by . . . well, becoming emotionally unstable and, of course, crying uncontrollably. More of the same ensues until we get to Heather—my front runner. To be fair, I thought the “Cabaret Entertainer” (read, “stripper”) would win at first, but Heather was up there on my short list. Thanks to the fact that the stripper was ratted out in week two by Angry Lauren for being as barren as the ratings on this show, I am now a fan of Heather. Thanks, Lauren. I’m the only man you’ve ever made happy. Perhaps we could introduce Lauren to Angry Dave from the Bachelorette. He seemed open-minded and tolerant. They could live Angrily Ever After together.

During the “challenge,” for some reason Lauren—who referred to Heather as her “biggest competition” (I’m certain she meant that literally and figuratively), votes Heather a “Good Wife” thereby pushing her over the fence to victory. Look, it’s been apparent since after the puking in the river incident that Heather is a nice person and—dare I say it—attractive too. Like the other women she’s insecure because of her weight but she’s not certifiably crazy like the rest of them. All she has to do is hold onto the ball until she crosses the goal line. Her “competition” has a way of imploding. She was actually voted a “Good Wife”--we learn from the other girls--because she is “nice,” “sweet,” and “fun.” Lauren, however, thinks there are more important qualities that a wife should have; namely, cooking and “taking care” of her man. As a man I can unequivocally say that I’d rather have someone that is nice, sweet, and fun around me all the time than a cranky fat woman who can cook. Shut your pie hole, Lauren.

Mel B., possibly the biggest (there I go again) crier in the house, cries and cries and cries her way to last place in the challenge. She is unanimously voted a “Bad Wife”. Here’s the twist. She and our front runner Heather both win a one-on-one date with Luke while the remaining girls win the dreaded group date. After Emme swoops in to give everyone the news, she quietly disappears; presumably to go eat. Lauren is not happy. In a four-letter laced tirade that would make Andrew Dice Clay blush she asserts her overall attractiveness and superiority over Heather and Mel B. The power of denial is truly amazing. I know if I was going to go on eHarmony or or iSlut or whatever to find my dream girl the first three characteristics I would list are Fat, Aggressive, and Angry. At this point, it’s clear Lauren’s f*cking time is f*cking limited. F*cking thank God.

Luke’s first date is with Mel B. After crying and then getting dressed she meets Luke for a short limo ride to a Moroccan restaurant. I will say this about our Fatchelor. He’s an open book. Unlike the skinny bachelors with the skinny crazy girls, Luke doesn’t mess around. It’s clear that he wasn’t into Danielle or any of the other women he’s been on one-on-one dates with except Heather. It must be torture for him to sit there and listen to Mel B. and the others recount stories of how miserable they are because of their weight. “Awww, you’re beautiful,” is his canned response. It’s about as convincing as a Clinton apology. During the most awkward moment between them the producers send in two hot, in shape, belly dancers to dance with Luke and Mel B. Are you kidding me? Of course, Luke decides to get up and dance. Frankly, I’m so tired of watching this guy dance. It’s not entertaining. Nonetheless, Luke shakes what his mama (and a few hundred pizzas) gave him while a voice over of Mel B’s trembling voice reminds us, once again, that she’s fat and insecure. Eventually, the half naked size 2 belly dancers make her feel un-insecure enough to stand up and pretend to have fun. At the end of the date, there’s a cordial kiss and Luke retreats to his lair to wash off the Mel B. and void his bowels of the coriander, pickled lemons, and saffron from the Moroccan food before picking Heather up for their date. Mel B. returns to the house and recounts tales of exotic foods and Luke’s belly dancing skills. “He looked amazing,” she offers. Really? Apparently, it was a Moroccan hookah bar too.

Next, the lovely Heather emerges in an evening gown. Mel B. is immediately crushed because it is clear that Luke is taking her on a better date. The only thing I’ll say about Luke and Heather’s date is that it was lovely. Clearly, they like each other. We should just send the other cows out to pasture (that’s a metaphor) and be done with this show.

Now, the group date. I always love the group dates. Ah yes, the alcohol and insecurity flow liberally throughout the evening. Luke decides to pamper the girls at a local spa. They emerge to find Luke looking like the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man in a giant white terrycloth robe that, if dropped in the pool, would soak up all of the water. We immediately cut to a shot of Fat Angry Lauren complaining about not getting any f*cking one-on-one time with Luke followed by a montage of her insults to the other girls and a revelation that she’s concerned that Malissa is using her “physical attributes” to get to Luke. Translation: Malissa is a tramp. I love it.

Malissa then moves in. Yes, her name is spelled with an “a” instead of an “e”. Apparently, it’s from the Latin words “Mal” meaning “bad” and “issa” meaning “genes.” She quickly spirits Luke away to a conveniently full bubble bath and disrobes to reveal the biggest set of boobs displayed on television since Ed, Reid, and Kiptyn were in the final rose ceremony. I mean these things are huge. It looked like she was stealing ham. Seriously. I haven’t seen anything that big since I was in Boulder, Colorado last weekend. Her boobs were so big that Luke went from Woo to Whoa. I’ve seen camels with smaller humps. Despite the massive water displacement, Luke and Malissa hit the tub for a make out session while the other girls stew in the anger and desperation we’ve all come to love.

When he’s done bowling, Luke actually has the balls to go back to the party and start hitting on the other women. The normal ones are appalled but the desperate ones are glad to have him back. Lauren sees her opportunity to be vulgar and negative in a private setting and gets Luke alone on the balcony. Oh, but wait. The other girls find a conveniently full bathtub and what looks like a bowl of guacamole nearby and investigate. Presumably, it was all meant for Luke and Lauren but they all jump in and begin smearing themselves with the guacamole. Luke quickly joins the celebration. Frankly, I was frightened. Lauren seals her f*cking fate by swearing some more and Mel B. seals hers by crying and pouting. Luke gives them the boot and we end with a jiggly group hug.

Lord, please let the Bachelor begin soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Opposable Thumb of Reality TV

The latest episode of More to Love (The Fatchelor) is priceless. If you haven’t been watching, just skip the other episodes and start here.

We begin with the standard gratuitous shots of the sunrise, the mountains, and cut to “average reality show females” in bikinis and tight little after-five dresses and learn that they are all a size two. Then we cut to the “average American woman” and learn that she’s a size fourteen. There may be some statistic out there that says the average woman is, in fact, a size 14. I can’t dispute that. I’m not an actuary. However, for the women on this show 14 is the number of kolaches they eat for breakfast. None of them even approach a size 14. These girls are so big they make Lane Bryant look like Forever 21. (Yes, I’m in touch with my feminine side).

I promised not to take any cheap shots, but I want to make a point. As this show sluggishly and painfully pushes on it is clear that the many of the women on it have significant emotional scars which lead them to eat in the first place. Some of the women are just “big girls” relatively comfortable in their own big skin. Ironically, these are the girls that seem to be getting booted every week by the dolt with the rings. We are constantly reminded by the “winners” who do receive rings about how miserable their lives are at home, how they have been rejected by every person, have never been on dates, etc. Nice job, Fox. And to think, I thought harnessing a bunch of midgets to an airplane and having them pull it down the runway or having a black guy race a zebra was in poor taste. (Remember that show?)

Incidentally, is “bunch of midgets” the correct way to refer to a gathering of little people? There’s a gaggle of geese, a murder of crows, a flock of seagulls, and so on. I’ll have to look into that. To be accurate, there were some dwarves mixed in with the midgets on that show. Yes, there is a difference. I’m certain of that. Dwarfism is a hereditary genetic disorder that results in short height and disproportionate body parts. Being a midget is not necessarily genetic but can be caused by nutritional deficiencies and is characterized by short height, not disproportionate body parts. Dwarf is a medical term. Midget (these days) is generally an insult. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Wizard of Oz, Over the Rainbow, and Foul Play are all movies that feature both kinds of little people, two of which star Chevy Chase (odd).

Annnnnyhooooo . . .

After the lead ins and recaps the Fatchelor begins this week by inviting the women to “get their sexy selves” down to the living room to find him standing there with that vacant look on his face in front of a bunch of presents. He gives an insincere and awkward speech about missing out on things (presumably activities and not meals) because of being heavy. There is a chorus of sighs and “he so understands me” looks. Luke announces that he will be taking the women to prom and that the boxes are filled with dresses made especially for the larger ladies. Luke then leaves to go rent a tux and the room becomes a jiggling mess of cankles and crepe paper as the women tear through the wrapping and begin trying on the dresses. Come on. Are we to believe that the dresses were actually in the boxes? The Von Trapp family would not have had enough curtains to make one of the dresses. The women eventually cram themselves into the gowns and head off to the biggest limo I’ve ever seen to go to the prom. Watching the actual prom was like watching that pre-recorded New Year’s Eve show that’s always on opposite of Dick Clark. It seemed forced and rehearsed and was probably filmed in the mid-morning. Prom nonetheless. Two of Luke’s “boys” show up unexpectedly and we are informed that they are there to pick a winner for a one-on-one date with Luke. One of his buddies looked like a really fat Sammy Hagar and the other looked like Michael Vick. Both agreed on Danielle as his big date (pun intended).

Now it may seem like I sped through that. I didn’t mention the crying, the “I’ve never danced before," the “I never imagined going to prom”, or the “I was the fat girl in a limo full of couples and had to borrow a date for pictures so I could show my mom” story. All of that is window dressing compared to the one-on-one date with Danielle. I can hardly type fast enough to get it all out.

When Danielle is selected, the reaction of the other women is pure reality show gold. Rolling eyes, clenched jaws, hems, haws, and I swear I heard a moo. Clearly, she’s hated by the other women. Why, you ask? Apparently, she’s known for “unladylike behavior” which they all overtly hope that Luke will soon discover. At this point, I had my doubts. It reminded me of when Wes was the first one invited to the house by Jillian on the Bachelorette. That was preceded by a montage of the men (mostly of that dildo Jake) complaining about Wes not being there “for the right reasons” (although I think he was the only one there for the right reason). They complained about Wes ad nauseam, praying that Jillian would see him for who he really is. No dice. She bought his act. I suspected the same thing would occur here. Oh no. Not even close.

Luke begins his confessional prior to the date by saying that he was surprised that his buddies chose Danielle because she was not “at the top of my list”. Classic. Translation: my buddies are a-holes and I can’t believe they chose her. Danielle wallows in her victory like hog in slop, pisses off the girls at the house, and heads out for the date. She immediately begins by talking and talking and talking and talking about how she’s never been on a second date. Luke is clearly horrified. He takes her to a lovely seafood restaurant on the water overlooking the place where Heather puked over the dock last week. “I don’t eat seafood,” is her revelation. Solid. More to Love? Nope. More to Eat . . . for Luke that is. Cut to Luke awkwardly eating calamari and drinking wine. When Danielle wasn’t talking and talking and talking she was pounding booze like an Irish sailor on leave and stuffing her face with chocolate covered bananas (very subtle, reality TV producers). It was like watching someone pack all of her belongings into a station wagon. Stuff and talk and drink and stuff and talk and drink. The look on Luke’s face was fantastic.

Next, we learn that Luke (who at this point I actually felt sorry for) has a romantic gondola ride planned through the water where Heather puked last week. The conversation was as strained as a constipated rhino. It was all he could do to put his arm around her in the boat.

Now, the coups de grace. ( I don’t have an accent thing on my keyboard so I can’t spell it correctly, but “coups de grace” literally means “stroke of mercy”. It was the final death blow given to a mortal enemy to put him out of his misery. It’s the only phrase that fits what I’m about to describe).

After the most awkward moment in reality TV since Wes corrected himself for saying “my girlfriend” by pausing and saying “uhh, I mean my ex-girlfriend,” Danielle proceeds to tell Luke that she’s so surprised he’s her first second date and that was surprising because she’s never had a second date before, you know, because she’s fat and she’s a virgin and . . . screeeeeeeeeech. (insert death blow here).
Awkward silence. . .wait. . . wait. . .rolling eyes . . . wait. . . wait. . .deep breath . . . wait. . . wait. . .more awkward silence. . . “I love being on the water,” Luke responds.
His response to “I’m a fat virgin” is “I love being on the water.” And I thought Wes’ “Look, that bird has no foot” was a stroke of genius. If Wes’ that bird has no foot was a single-celled organism then Luke’s I love being on the water is a freaking opposable thumb. If Wes was the first caveman to write on a wall then Luke is Michelangelo. If Wes was a horse and buggy then Luke is a Cadillac. If Wes was . . . oh, you get the picture.

Luke then went on a date with Heather who is also fat but not too fat and very nice and very pretty then he kicked off four girls including Danielle. The End.

Stay tuned . . .

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Return of the Bachelorette

Just when we thought it was over, The Bachelorette lives again. As my pen name so obviously states, I live in Austin. I happened to be reading the Austin Chronicle for events and whatnot to fill my busy social calendar when I noticed an obscure event listing at a local restaurant. Apparently, Jesse Kovacs, the winemaker from California who was booted fairly early by the marginally attractive Jillian on the Bachelorette, was sponsoring a tasting of his own wine. Now get this, the event advertised the presence of other bachelors from this season. Call me whatever word comes to mind—and I can probably guess which word comes to mind—but I wanted to go. Austin is a small town. I regularly see that Womack guy from the last season at my gym. I run into Wes Hayden (this season’s bad guy) at various honky tonks across town. He doesn’t play at any of them. He just hangs out there. I figured it would be fun to go so I quickly enlisted the help of my special lady friend and she agreed to go with me.

I figured I was sure to see Wes at the big event. Jesse and Wes at a post-Bachelorette function cross promoting themselves…go figure. Frankly, it added to my theory that Wes was, in fact, honest about intending to promote himself from day one while all of the other guys waited until their PR folks told them it was time for self-promotion. I can’t honestly bring myself to believe that anyone went on the show because Jillian was so hot and irresistible. Well, maybe Jake. Why else would he cry on a balcony?

Oh, and by the way, memo to Jillian, whose interview I saw on Good Morning America the other day: “About” is:

A. a preposition, as in: I wrote a blog about Jillian;

B. an adverb, as in: Jillian’s nose is about twice as big as her face; or

C. an adjective, as in: Ed was out and about in Chicago with two chicks while Jillian was in Hawaii sleeping with his friends.

“About” is not a vehicle operated on a lake. Pronounce it correctly.

Back to the wine tasting. We show up ready to sit back, observe, and objectively assess the situation. Jesse was there playing host to a few dozen of Austin’s most “celebrity” hungry females. It was so sad. Every girl there was dressed like she lived in Dallas. Slut pumps, gallons of makeup, and silky revealing dresses were more abundant than the words “journey”, “connection” and “amazing” on an episode of the Bachelorette. Frankly, the only thing the dresses revealed was how desperate the girls were to hook up with someone who had been on television. Wes arrived in his customary untucked pearl snap western shirt and meticulously tussled hair reminiscent of Wilson the volleyball from that Tom Hanks movie. Next, I saw break dancing Mike—all five feet one inch of him--attempting to enjoy himself while being backed into a corner by some of the desperate Donnas. He seemed nice.

As I fought through the crowd of ladies the only thing thicker than the smell of perfume was the “oh pick me, pick me” sense of desperation hovering around the room like a fart in an elevator. I noticed several curious looks from some of the ladies—undoubtedly stemming from the fact that I was 1.) male, 2.) didn’t appear to be either an employee of the restaurant or gay, and 3.) was still dressed in my work clothes. The looks screamed, “I wonder if he’s somehow associated with the show and if he can do anything for my acting career?”

Next, I saw Dave and Tanner P. cheesing it up in the corner with a few of the ladies. Dave still looked angry and was (surprise) drinking heavily. He still had the pseudo-beard thing he was sporting on his angry face during the Men Tell All show. I couldn’t hear the entire conversation, but I did (and I swear this is true) hear him telling a few of the ladies that he “almost got in a fight with a couple of Mexicans.” Of course, I thought, the old, “I almost got in a fight with a couple of Mexicans” pick up story. He then proceeded to call attention to himself by demonstrating some sort of Billy Blanks Tae Bo kick moves while relating stories about being “famous”. Famous? Really? No. Michael Jackson was famous. Dave? Just a d-bag. He also (and I also swear this is true) had an odd habit of grabbing the junk of every bachelor guy in the room similar to the way football players smack each other on the rear end after a good play. The whole thing was very odd. I consulted my Man Code book to see if I could find that ritual. I could not. However, I have an older edition of the Man Code book. To be fair, that might have been added recently.

Next, it was Tanner P.’s turn. He was actually garnering quite a bit of attention in his tight green t-shirt and jeans with a white belt. Yes. A white belt. Considering the fact that he looked like a modern day Icabod Crane if Icabod Crane shopped at Armani Exchange and the fact that Tanner P. spent several weeks creeping the viewing audience out with his foot fetish, I’ll give him credit for pulling in the phone numbers he did. Nice job . . . weirdo.

As my special lady friend and I sat at a corner table we noticed several of the women attempting to get pictures with all of the bachelors. Presumably, they planned to blow these pictures up and post them in their cubicles at work while recounting the storied evening. At one point, Jesse and two ladies were right in front of our table and dropped a wine glass, spilling it all over the place. Jesse actually turned around, apologized, and was very gracious about it. No ego. He seemed nice too.

The event wound down with not much ceremony. Wes sat on a few girls’ laps and took pictures. Mike played his guitar and chatted with a few of the ladies. Jesse poured his wine and seemed to enjoy himself. Tanner P. was sufficiently creepy and Dave was, well, Dave. Overall, I think the guys were pretty much a cross section of any five guys you could pick out of a crowd. Two seemed like nice, normal guys (Jesse and Mike), one seemed like a little cheesy but nice enough (Wes), and two of them were complete tools (Tanner P. and Dave). At the end of the day, all of these guys will move on to other things. For now, I don’t blame them for enjoying the ride; no matter how they choose to do it. They were probably all thanking their lucky Texas stars that night that they didn’t “win” the Bachelorette. That’s Ed’s problem now. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go cry on my balcony.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Joy of Julia

So I lost the Julie and Julia argument last night. I made the mistake of asking my special lady friend what she wanted to do without first suggesting what I would actually prefer doing. “Let’s go see Julie & Julia,” was the dreaded response. Damnit. I thought quickly,

The thing about a movie theater is that it’s dark and you can’t talk and share feelings. In fact, there is even a rule about not talking. When I was much younger, dinner and a movie was the standard date night. The more I think about it now, I believe that dates should never involve a movie. If I were a woman I’d resent any guy who took me to dinner and a movie on a date. Why? Look at it this way, a movie is basically paying someone 18 bucks in exchange for two hours of silence. I can save my 18 bucks and ignore you for two hours. Or, I can buy a case of beer and sit at home alone for two hours before I pick you up and take you to dinner. A movie is unoriginal and insensitive. I think a woman should appreciate a guy who wants to take her out and get to know all about her; not sit passively in the dark and watch a movie. I would rather go somewhere and just be with you.”

. . . that was my attempt to get out of seeing Julie & Julia, the new Meryl Streep movie where she plays Julia Child. Unfortunately, she wasn’t buying it. I tried. Let me see if I can put this in perspective for the women reading this. Going to see a Meryl Streep movie is painful for a man. It’s like you:

1. Being forced to go to a black tie event wearing the same dress as three other women in the room.
2. Having to wear nail polish that doesn’t match your outfit,
3. Skipping an episode of Sex in the City,
4. Being forced to let your roots grow out, or
5. Having to wear your “fat jeans” to your high school reunion

You get the picture.

Look, the movie was sufficiently cute and Amy Adams was believable and perky. Meryl Streep will get an Oscar nod for her brilliant portrayal of Julia Child and it will be lauded as “miraculous” by Oprah. The View women will gush about it and Elizabeth Hasselbeck will have to admit that she loved it; thereby making it the first time on the history of that awful, catty show that she agrees with the omniscient Whoopi Goldberg. Great. I still didn’t like it. The bottom line is that it’s a chick movie, starring chicks, and made for chicks. I’m not in the target demographic. If I want to see Meryl Streep eat breakfast for two hours, I’ll rent Bridges of Madison County.

To be fair, I will say that as far as a chick movie goes, it was original. The set up between Julie and Julia’s lives and how they each heal and fulfill themselves via French cooking was interesting. It was set in Paris and New York, and that was interesting (as opposed to Madison County with all of its bridges and breakfast tables). I chuckled at some of the humor. It was very Nora Ephron-y. It wasn’t the standard “hardened unfulfilled business guy is bored with being rich and successful and just needs to be loved by the poor sweet woman who got dumped by a cruel man because he couldn’t see her true beauty” plot line. I appreciated that. All in all, I dodged a bullet. The movie was tolerable and less than two hours long. It was like being hit by a pitch rather than striking out.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

More to Love Should Be Called More to Cry About

The Fatchelor is back at it. This is a tough one for me to blog about. I was fully prepared to unleash a barrage of insults at all of the women for going on this show. “They signed up for it,” I thought. “What do they expect?” However, I am a man of conscience. I just can’t bring myself to pile on these women (wow, that was Freudian). I actually feel sorry for most of them. I found myself wondering who was taking care of all of their cats while they are away from home. I hope their cats are safe.

Last night’s episode of More to Love bolstered my belief that these women have nothing to gain but a few more pounds by being on this show. All of the even remotely stable women have been eliminated; leaving the crazies to rise to the top like curd on the top of three week old milk. Unfortunately for me, Luke kicked off the 37 year old “Cabaret Entertainer” (read “Stripper”); apparently because he was told by the bitchiest fat girl in the house that she did not want to have kids. She was my favorite fatty and now she’s gone. Frankly, she looked relieved to be going back to whatever double reinforced pole she came from. I actually liked her. Oh well.

Let’s discuss The Fatchelor. The guy is a manipulative bag of cheese. His compliments are stale and insincere and he has as much charisma as a scrotum on a cold day. It is clear that he knows he’s fishing with dynamite and he’s using it to his advantage. Just because he is a big fat guy doesn’t mean he’s more capable of relating to these hefty honeys than anyone else. He apparently was a college athlete and seems to have a great deal of self-confidence, unlike any of the women he’s courting. Frankly, he pisses me off. I’d rather watch a Lifetime movie starring Kiptyn and Reid from the Bachelorette (and, of course, Meredith Baxter Birney) than watch this slob woo the plus sized pants off these women. Nonetheless, there I was, glued to my TV.

Last night began with two group dates. When he arrived at the mansion, he didn’t look hungry for love, he just looked hungry. The women were eating and chatting and sitting around the house. And when they sit around the house, I mean they sit AROUND the house. The room had more chins than a Chinese phone book. The furniture was grimacing. Even their shadows had stretch marks. Alright, I couldn’t resist. After more talk about never being on a date, several of the women tearfully recounted sad stories of infidelity from their youth. Is it common knowledge that fat girls get cheated on more than skinny girls? I had no idea. We then learn that the first group of girls gets to go on a fantasy yacht date and the second group (GASP!) has to go to a pool party. Holy shit. A pool party. Predictably, the notice of both dates brought more crying and carrying on from the women. Hell, I even cried when I found out. A pool party? Really?

The big highlight of the yacht date came when one of the women decided to lean over the side of the dock prior to the boat leaving and puke into the water while everyone listened to her puke into the water. Of course, Luke was very sweet and understanding. He dumped her on the couch in the main cabin, covered her up, and went back upstairs to be charming again. After all was said and done, she rallied and even got a kiss from Luke. Dude.

Now, on to the pool party. The women couldn’t have looked more uncomfortable. They might as well have been naked for God’s sake. After some really unflattering camera shots of rotund thighs (thanks, Fox) and some more crying and carrying on, Luke decided to “make sure the girls were comfortable” because he was sympathetic to their swimsuit-a-phobia. Did he comfort them? Did he make a speech about inner beauty? Nope. He went straight to the booze. After a few pops of wine and some shots (nothing like giving a depressed, insecure fat person in a swimsuit a depressant), Luke decided to get the party moving by ripping off his shirt and doing a cannonball into the pool. Nothing says gentleman quite like a cannonball. Luckily, he didn’t land on anyone. I'll spare everyone my Sea World jokes.

After more crying and carrying on, we got a glimpse of what the future of this show holds. The women were surprisingly catty and mean to one another. It was sort of like Flavor of Love but without the weaves and purple fingernails. At least I have something to look forward to next week. In the end, Luke eliminated three women. They were all forgettable and, sadly, so was the show. At the end of the day I was left with the realization that being fat does not make a person unlovable . . . crying over everything and being desperate does. Oh Jillian, Jillian, where are you?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Move over Jillian and welcome The Fatchelor.

More to Love is an evil show. For those of you who are on a Bachelor/Bachelorette withdrawal, this show, along with a few glasses of booze on Monday nights between 7pm-9pm should bridge the gap.

The premise? It’s the Bachelor meets The Biggest Loser if you take out all of the working out, weight loss, self-esteem creating, healthy habit building, and gay people yelling at the fatties on the treadmill. The Biggest Loser is one of my favorite reality shows for all of the reasons I just mentioned. It’s fat people taking ownership and actually accomplishing something. I dig it. More to Love, however, might be the biggest exploitation of fat women since Flemish art.

We begin with the “lucky” guy set to steal (more like be begged to take) a “plus sized” woman’s heart. His name is Luke Connolly, however, I will now refer to him as the “Fatchelor” (you heard it here first). He’s 6’3”, 330 pounds of all man. He works (big shock) as real estate developer in California. What is it with real estate developers and reality shows? Wasn’t Kiptyn a real estate developer too? Reid was in real estate come to think of it. I’m in the wrong business. I actually have a job where I actually work every day. Sign me up for Real Estate Developer Training School. I need a vacation.

At any rate, we are subjected to the usual beginning montage of the Fatchelor playing golf, closing deals, walking on the beach alone (Bachelor’s run, but that’s not an option for this guy), etc. There’s a lot of talk about fat people and some creepy references from The Fatchelor about his penchant for pretty porcine ladies. However, there is no mention of this guy being lonely or looking for love. Frankly, he gives off an odd vibe. More about that later.

On a side note, I think it’s worth distinguishing between “fat” and “large”. “Fat”—to me anyway—means someone is overweight because they eat too much, don’t exercise, and don’t take care of themselves. There is a big difference between that and “large”. Some women (like the woman who was 6’3” and 277 lbs.) are genetically big people. I find Fox’s attempt to lump (no pun intended) both kinds of women into the same category a bit troublesome. Gabby Reese, the famous volleyball player, model, and tv host, is 6’3” 173 lbs. She’s a lot different than the 5’5” 190 pounder on this show that cried all of the time. I’m just sayin’. Back to the show.

Next, we meet the ladies. Oh my. Look, I’m all for large people finding true love and I’m all for embracing people for their inner beauty and all that, but what ensued when those limos pulled up was horrifying. Some of the women were actually pleasant looking but all of them were big and all of them were covered in the thick, creamy gravy of desperation. As if there was any doubt about that, each woman actually told a sob story about never being kissed, never being asked on a date, teased as a kid, etc. It was hard to watch, but I got over it.
Despite the swanky setting (some mansion in California) and all of the talk about love coming in all shapes and sizes, Fox went out of its way to make sure we know that these women are fat. In their one-on-one interviews as well as any time they pop up on screen their name, height, and weight are conspicuously displayed just in case we forgot what a large woman looks like after watching the Bachelorette for 9 weeks. One woman was 5’11” and 280 pounds. That’s linebacker size. The Fatchelor seems enthralled. He can’t wait to mingle.

The cocktail party. Frankly, this is my favorite part of these shows. Everyone is stressed out and anxious to start “finding love” or “seeing if there’s a connection” or “starting the journey” or whatever. The best idea in the world is to dress them up and open the bar. That’s a great idea here since I’m sure that none of these women have self esteem or food issues. I half expected a binge drinking orgy the way that the women were carrying on about the Fatchelor.
What’s the hook, you ask? Is it a rose? How are these women supposed to know if they are invited to stay? The Fatchelor breaks out a big black box filled with diamond rings. Now we’re talking. As the women ogle the rings like giant buffet hams at the Sizzler, Luke explains that he will give every woman a ring. However, (insert dropped jaw and surprised looks here) at the end of the evening, each woman will put her ring into a bowl and then only the women invited back will be reissued a ring. Wow. Turn the dagger, Fox. Turn the dagger. Give back a diamond ring from a guy you view as your only chance for ever finding a man and then give an interview shortly after being kicked off the show that displays your height and weight on the bottom of the screen. Man, I’d like to read the release they had to sign to get on the show. I hope for Fox’s sake, its as airtight as the Spanks all of those women undoubtedly had on underneath those evening gowns.

The remainder of the show was the Fatchelor going from woman to woman and talking them into kissing him. Weak. Most of the women ate it up, though. One got really drunk, one jumped in the pool with her dress on, a few of them cried every 5 minutes, and all of them fawned over the Fatchelor.

We’ll see how the rest of the season pans out. For now, I’m saving my good material. My prediction is that the Fatchelor will find true love with the plus-sized “Cabaret Entertainer” (read “Stripper”). He might be open minded, but he’s not an idiot.