Saturday, February 28, 2009

I Heart Austin!

It's no secret that Austin is a fabulous city to live in, and last night was the kind of event that makes me love it here so much. Austin Under 40 is an event created to honor young professionals under the age of 40 who make significant contributions through their jobs and within the community. It's so fun to see the amazing accomplishments of so many talented men and women. And they're not just talented, oh, no...they are also tons of fun!

What might just be a run of the mill (i.e. boring) banquet some place else is a rockin' party in ATX. From the fantastic setting--The Austin Music Hall--to the super delicious dessert (thanks Hey Cupcake!) it would be tough for it to be anything but a good time. Throw in an after-party at The Belmont and it should now be clear why I'm so sleepy today. Congrats to the fabulous event co-chair (and my favorite karaoke partner) Lindsay Gustafson for hosting such a stunning event. And congrats to Shannon Merony who was a finalist in the Government and Public Affairs category--the judges clearly didn't consider your mad dancing skilsz or you would have surely won the whole shebang!

Here are a few pics from the evening. Bachelor fans--pay special attention to the last one--it's just for you!!

With Kandice and Lindsay:

With Clare, Elisabeth and Julie:
With Kandice, Shannon and Elisabeth:

With Jeremy from The Bachelor:

Now I'm off for super-sized nap!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"All the Clouds are Aligning"

Oh, where to even start? Let's go with the fact that I know this is late. It's Wednesday. The show was Monday. The 2 of you who actually check to see what commentary I have to share (thanks, BTW!) might actually want it to be timely. But let's be honest...while I'm addicted to this silly little show I am actually trying to have a life at the same time. And one day I might even write about my life rather than the lives of these beautiful singles who are trying to find love in front of you, me, and all of America. But not today. Today, we focus on our "reality show rejects."

I'll tell it to you straight--I've never enjoyed the "Girls Tell All" episode and have always felt like it was just a stumbling block to the finale. BUT...this season it was different. Why, you ask? Two words: Chris Harrison. And our buddy Chris? He BROUGHT IT! Seriously! Forget these lame guys who are competing, our indelible host is the real deal.

I think this was the first time that Chris and the bachelor have had that little fire side chat to give us the real skinny on what he thought about the various antics throughout the season. It's pretty obvious that Chris and Jason have developed a real friendship (perhaps the only REAL relationship that will survive this show). And so I guess that's what opened the door for Chris to be, well, pretty darn honest and direct in his questioning.

There was a lot of good stuff here, but let's just cut to the goodies. He NAILED Jason on the Jillian situation. I love that he didn't let him get away with the whole "I need more than just a best friend" junk. Yeah...because in that hot tub scene there was clearly NO chemistry. His exact words (because they're worth enjoying again verbatim--and don't think that LB and I didn't rewind it at least 5 times), "What you did in the hot tub almost consummated a marriage. Cinemax called and THEY said it was too much!" I'm such a fan of just telling it like it is.

Chris also pushed J on the tent overnight with Molly. I'm certain I'm the not only one that saw right through J's face when he said, appropriately utilizing the baseball euphemism, that he only made it to first base.

Hey Jason--call me when you want to play some poker, cause I stink at the game but even my poker face is better than that!

After that delightful little segment wrapped up we were subjected to the parade of former contestants. For the love of Pete...ENOUGH of Ryan and Trista. Really. They just keep saying the same thing every time and I'm done with it. ONE successful couple of the dozen that the show has produced is not going to convince me that my ticket to true love and happiness is via ABC. (Sorry, Laura... ;-) ).

Even worse than Ryan and Trista were Charlie and Sarah. Now, I know that I just said that I'm a fan of telling it like it is. But that's a little different than airing your dirty laundry, once again, a la the the American Broadcasting Company. When Sarah said that they broke up the first time because "it was all the drinking. I didn't appreciate his drinking" I about spit out my wine. Maybe it's because I'm Southern. Or maybe I just know the difference between straight shooting and verbal incontinence. Either way, Sarah dear...TOO MUCH INFORMATION! And you know that ABC was scraping the bottom of the barrel if the trotted that out as a success story.

I did, however, enjoy the story of Fred and Noelle. They're pretty darn cute and I wish 'em well!

Finally we got to the drama deluxe portion of the broadcast.

Oh, Natalie. "If you don't feel a connection with me, like, who do you think you are, GOD?" Hmmm...perhaps it was her professed love of bears that did it. [And wow, chickie gave some FACES throughout the show]. But, of course, I did feel sorry for her...she's a lost soul wrapped up in a Barbie body and biker chick duds...and she was as scattered as a mess of fire ants when you step on the mound.

Nikki...why did she keep calling Natalie "Nat"?? Is using a pet name when you dish on someone supposed to soften the blow?

Naomi...I have to just say it...I have no idea what she was saying...could the cameraman NOT have changed the angle on that? Did we really need to see Lauren's boobs the whole time?? That was painfully uncomfortable!

Shannon...oh, she's just as crazy as ever. CRAZY. That's enough about her.

Stephanie...hello...1992 called and wants that outfit back. I know, I KNOW...she's NICE. Yeah. Unfortunately her since of style hasn't quite caught up (though I do appreciate any girl that really owns her style that much).

And then there's our Jillian. Sigh. She's so going to be the next Bachelorette and I was tickled that Chris seemed to imply that it was more than wishful thinking on our part. And, once again, I had total dress envy. That girl's got STYLE! I think I'm about a foot taller than her, but I'd still love to do a little shopping out her closet!

So, there you have it. We got the montage of Molly and Melissa (I'm still laughing about the "hot pools" that was just a big barrel of hot water) and a teaser to let us know that something's about to happen that will result in an "After the Final Rose" show that's SO CONTROVERSIAL that they filmed it without an audience (but, you, know, are apparently going to still let those of us close and personal friends at home watch en mass). Jason was acting weird about it and we think there's something fishy. Will he pull a "Brad" and not pick either? Will he (horror of horrors) end up with DeAnna? Or are they just trying to fake us out? All of his words in the montage certainly pointed towards Melissa, but I guess we'll all just have to tune in next week and see.

Until then, just remember that Jason feels like "All the clouds are aligning".

[And perhaps I'll squeeze a post that less TV and more reality].

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Most Painful Rose Cermony Ever

I'm going to warn you right now that I'm not feeling very cheeky. I just don't like how this one turned out, and frankly I'm feeling a little pouty about it. But I'm eating a Samoa as a write, so things might be looking up.

Fantasy date week always promises solid entertainment, not to mention a sharp spike in the va-va-voom factor. I personally liked the choice of New Zealand--very different from the standard beach locations of seasons past. Don't get me wrong...I think the beach is the happiest place on earth...but it was nice to have a little variety. Wasn't it GORGEOUS? TY--we're so jealous that you're there!!

So we'll start with Jillian. She got the absolute best date by far. There was a little plaid overload going on with those two, but I thought the whole top of the mountain picnic was blissfully romantic and I thought that what she said about looking for her best friend to love was lovely. Our bachelor, however, did not agree. I can't believe this is the point he got stuck on, but he clearly never let it go. It seemed to be what did her in, but not, of course, before the rest of the date was over. The pink dress at dinner? Spectacular. The, uh, bikini with Uggs? Not so much. I love Jill's sense of style, but that was over the top. This was, of course, after she threw down the gauntlet and asked, "are you sure you can handle all this fire?" Apparently her lower legs and feet were not on fire and needed a little shearling coverage for the walk to the hot tub.

The hot tub. Oh, my head spins with all the things I could say about this scene. For starters, how do you make out like that with the camera and crew right there watching? Not to mention that we're filming a TV show here, which probably means that, you know a gagillion people are watching. Including her parents. And his. And hello--all the other girls! And the voice over. "I could feel her hands on me." Really?? And the, so bad. And that's enough about that. The whole thing was just a little more boom-chicka-boom-boom than was necessary...especially with the girl he "breaks up with" at the end of the day.

And then there's Molly. I thought the questions were cute, but it still cracks me up. You, know, because when you only have 6 weeks to date someone (while he dates 24 of your friends), and then get engaged, it's good to go into it knowing each others favorite ice cream flavors. Jason's stylist proved yet again that s/he needs a new career. Laura thinks that maybe Haynes is secretly sponsoring this season...if they haven't already they may as well ask him to be their spokesperson. I think that this season they must have used the same "fantasy suite" for all three girls (so much is wrong with that) because they showed a different area of the room for each "date". I guess after the show J&J put on in the hot tub they couldn't exactly reuse it. So poor Molly only got the bathtub. Nothing says "fantasy" like hanging out in your swimsuit in a bathtub in New Zealand.

So then there's Melissa. I really thought she was a goner after last week, but alas, I think she's getting the final rose. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Her date was pathetically lame. It was beautiful, I'll give them that. But am I correct in observing that "the hot pools" turned out to be a single hot tub> Without even the jets? Hmmm...maybe the whole tropical island locations are a better Bachelor fit after all. Did you notice how many times Jason referred to falling in love with Melissa? My count was three times. I counted zero times that he said anything like that about the other girls.

The Rose Ceremony was just awful. Even though I really had no idea what he was going to do, I was still completely shocked. I'm really not sure why I hated it so much. Then again, I might be just as crazy as these girls for caring enough to write this much about a reality dating show. But that's might be just as crazy for reading it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Public Humiliation of the Day

Oh, how things manage to "shape" our days in unexpected ways! Yesterday afternoon after work I headed over to the mall on my way home. There's a great salon in Austin (Tara's) that opened a little shop there last year, and while I would generally avoid salon services at the mall (yes, I'm a snob about things such as this...I already know that), I have been a faithful customer of this establishment for getting my brows threaded since they opened.

So I ran in for a much needed service and was completely bummed when I saw that the shop was closed while they were moving to a new location in the mall (is being next to Nordstrom really THAT much of a reason to close and relocate?). To cheer myself up I headed down to Old Navy to shop for cute, cheap scarves (it IS the year of the scarf, after all) and on my way I was startled to come across a kiosk that turned out to be Tara's temporary home. I'm not going to lie. It took me a moment to agree to have my brows threaded RIGHT THERE. Smack dab in the middle of the mall. This required sheer bravery. Public hair removal is not for the faint of heart. But I had a situation going on with the brows and they needed to be tamed. So I took a deep breath and hopped in the chair.

That gnawing sensation in the pit of my, know, the one I should have learned to listen to by now? Yeah...that's the one that I should have listened to last night. It started OK, then I realized that the conversation of the (very lovely) girls working on me wasn't merely chit chat, but instruction. That's right. Not only was I enduring the gaping stares and comments of passers-by, I was in the hands of...wait for it...a TRAINEE. Yeah. You can pretty much figure out how this is going to end.

I was paying very close attention to the tone and inflection of the conversation (actually a great distraction from my horror of being so on display) and it was all going well. Right brow done. A look in the mirror for approval. Perfect.

Then on to the left. Also seemed to all be going well. I'm still not quite sure what happened, but they finished up the left and then went BACK to the right. Now, I know that at this point I should have opened my mouth and asked, nay, DEMANDED to know what was going on. But I didn't. I think it's going to require some therapy to understand why I don't speak up in moments such as these. But I'm nice. I want to be respectful. I want to trust. And after's just my FACE we're dealing with.

I assume she was just going to do a little touch up to even the two brows. And then I heard what I was fearing from the beginning. The one who was "supervising" gasped. Then, in horrified tones started to shout instructions to the "trainee". Panic sets in and I was seemingly paralyzed while more hair was being removed. Then...and I just love this...they give me a huge smile and hand me the mirror while gushing about how great I look.

Yeah...except about a quarter of the right brow is GONE. Right there between the pretzel stand and the bejeweled cell phone booth I was BROW SCALPED.

When the dust settled I was too deflated to even go scarf shopping. I instead made a beeline for Sephora to investigate brown pencil options.

Brow pencil? Check. Appointment for therapy? Forthcoming.

"Life is a Dance"

I have to start this week's recap by saying that I think I might have been a little on the girls in the past week. I stand by my opinion that Shannon has exhibited alarming stalker tendencies, but don't want to cross the line with my little blog to being mean. So I'll work on that. :-)

I love the hometown dates! I always love this part of the season because we get so much insight into the girls' lives. And I'm so intrigued by how the parents respond to being dragged in to this alternate reality of TV dating. I always get a good chuckle imagining how my own parents would fare in this situation. I know y'all can't fully appreciate that...but trust me that it would be (as Laura would say) HI-larious! Seriously.

I'll dive in with a general comment--Attention Jason's Stylist! Did they give you the week off?Did Jason's luggage get lost and force him to shop at a local big box store? I was so thrown by the gray Haynes-esque t-shirt that he wore with Jillian and appeared to be wearing again under his sweater with Melissa. Surely we can do better than this! At least he did have the nicer button down on when delivering that horrifying, er, touching, eulogy. More on that in a sec.

Jillian's Date. We think Jillian is adorable, smart, sassy and deep. Her date completely cemented that and her coat was so cute that her own white t-shirt didn't bother me. Her family was endearing and I think she's making it through to the final two. She's great. Her mother's poem was, undoubtedly, over the top...but it did set the theme for the doves that Naomi's mom so nicely ties to later. And it gave me a title for this post. Her dress at the rose ceremony, once again, rocked. Great taste, this one! If nothing else she's a good match for J because he needs her fashion savvy.

Naomi's Date. Wow...I don't even know where to start. Given that I think my own family would be, uh, entertaining, in this situation I need to tread lightly, but I feel certain that no parents I am acquainted with would open with hula hoops and then follow that up with a dead dove. Seriously. SERIOUSLY?? I can't even wrap my brain around that. And then poor dad straight up shares the Gospel (which I completely appreciate on the one hand, and yet the timing/setting was so less than idea--and did you notice the row of slot machines in the background??). So he's interrupted by the mom who wants to talk to him about reincarnation. (Insert that annoying sound that's like a record scratching). Uh...what?! It was so much of a paradox that the whole thing seemed like a dip into the twilight zone. Made me feel a rush of compassion for Naomi, though. But not enough to think he should keep her around. Her exit was no surprise...a bit overdue, even.

Molly's Date. What was up with the VERY nonchalant way that she greeted him at the golf course? She was cute as a button but seemed really off the whole time. And again with the over the top mother! I appreciate that Jason was a great sport with the crazy hats...not to mention the very monitored art project. No pressure there! My favorite line of the night was when her dad told her that if she doesn't make it to the end to not cry in the limo. Classic!

Melissa's Date. I was a little distracted on this one by the constant melody of an old ad jingle running through my head. Any guesses which one? Sing it with me! "Who wear's short shorts? We wear short shorts! If you dare wear short shorts, Nair for short shorts!" Melissa: we get have great legs. At this point, though, the constant short shorts are crossing over to the side of the block that isn't usually referred to as "classy". Jason had on jeans and a long-sleeve t-shirt (albeit another chintzy one) and she's running around in those shorts and a tank top. It just didn't work for me. But...I can let it go because I really did feel sorry for her. If her best friends have barely even met her family and don't know much about them, there's a story there and it's probably not a good one. She made the cut this week, but I think her days are numbered.

So I just don't know what to think about DeAnna still not being back. She's going to crash the fantasy dates?? That just seems wrong. Deliciously entertaining...but wrong. It was hard to tell if she's coming next week or when he's down to the final two. That would just be cruel. But I can't deny that it would make for excellent "reality" TV.

I watched last night with Laura at her house and her hubby Dave came home around the time of the rose ceremony. While he obviously thinks we're crazy, he joined us and we tried to bring him up to speed on who's who and what's what. Then he looked over, and with what can only be described as incredulous horror asked "Are you taking NOTES?" After wiping away the laughter-induced tears, I had to admit that yes, I was taking notes. I feel a duty to you, my 3-ish readers, to be accurate and thorough. I take this blogging thing very seriously.

And Dave...if Laura convinced you to read this...thanks for indulging us. And thanks for making sure my fellow Bachelor-obsessed friend can watch with me each week!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My Cabinet Overfloweth

So those of you who go to you remember when we had the Palm Sunday pancake party, oh, about two years ago? We got the DELICIOUS pancake batter pre-made from the good folks at Kerby Lane (who also gave us a great deal--Kerby Lane ROCKS!). Because Kerby Lane pancakes are generally regarded as the most delectable breakfast treat in all of Austin, it made sense at the time to take home some of the leftover batter and freeze it.

Yeah. Except that I have an established track record of letting leftovers go to waste. And that's if they're lucky enough to make into the fridge. The freezer? Forget about it. My freezer is the place where things go to never be seen again and subsequently die from frostbite. So this weekend when I decided that it was time to get rid of a casserole that my mom made for me almost three years ago after a surgery (I ate the other three--don't tell her I let one go to waste!), it seemed reasonable that I should also face the fact that I never made pancakes and toss the TWO containers of frozen batter.

So I decide to fill one side of the sink with warm water and drop in the containers to the let them defrost so I could pour it down the disposal. This was an excellent plan. Worked like a charm. But as I as eventually washed the remnants of batter down the drain I suddenly noticed that my foot was getting wet. I looked down and there was an emerging puddle of watery batter forming at my feet. I opened the cabinet under the sink and water GUSHED out. Everything in there was soaked through. Sigh. This is just not what you want to see at 11:00 on a Saturday night (yes, I was home cleaning out my freezer on a Saturday night...that's a whole 'nother issue.)

In case you're wondering...watery pancake batter? It quickly dries to form a thick, sticky PASTE. (Think Ross and the leather pants). And I'm not going to lie...that kind of incident is exactly what drives me over the edge to have one of those, uh, frank, discussion with God about why my own pancake-loving-home-mishap-fixing prince charming has not yet arrived on his white horse with flowers and and allen wrench (or whatever tool would be helpful in a situation such as this).

So my kitchen is somewhat out of order today. Because THAT's the reason I'm not cooking a delicious gourmet dinner to enjoy with the Desperate Housewives. Tomorrow I will coerce my handyman (also known as my boss and neighbor) to come over with his eight-year old and take a look and it will, one way or another, get fixed.

I'm sure there's a lesson here--beyond the virtues of EATING the leftovers--but I'm not yet sure what it is. Life is messy. Things get sticky. And this is why it's good to have a freezer full of Lean Cuisine's that you can eat in a pinch.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sleepless in Seattle

Well there's no way to sugarcoat it. This week's episode of The Bachelor just wasn't dripping with the insanity of weeks past. I can only attribute this to the lack of Crazy "how far can I get before they figure out that I'm a stalker and file a restraining order" Shannon. I feel certain her absence was most noted by bloggers nationwide.

But there were still 5 ladies in the game and that's enough for a little drama. This week included travel, talk radio, tension, and tacky. So the girls all jet off to Seattle to see Jason in his element and spice things up a bit. (And it should be noted that 4 of the 5 were wearing scarves on the journey. This only further confirms that 2009 is, in fact, the year of the scarf.)

I thought Melissa handled the change in plans pretty well, but questioned her decision to wear the dress over to his (FABULOUS) house. I also just questioned the dress...did she really need a sparkly snake between the boobs? Really?? I didn't care for it and didn't think it did anything to flatter her annoyingly perfect figure. But I guess when you get all dolled up for the man that you're competing for you may as well show it off. And she had the "1-2 Punch" thing going for her when she then changed into what could certainly NOT be described as "stretchy pants". Boy shorts, maybe, but not stretchy pants.

Oh, and how cute is that little Ty?? Precious.

On the group date I wanted to just crawl up in a ball under the couch when they played the "guess who I'm kissing" game and then asked those poor girls, live on the radio, what their style is "when the lights go off". Laura and I had to pause and laugh for a bit imagining what my answer would have been on that.

I think it would have been something along the lines of "Uh, well...I...uh...umm...uh, well" while turning bright red and, for the first time in my life, channeling those Startrek people and silently begging somebody to just beam me up. Or out. Or anywhere other than in front of that microphone.

The tension among the girls in the room and the two at home who had to listen as Jason told the world that Molly was the best kisser of the group, was, well, what you'd expect in that situation. And didn't you love how Naomi and Melissa instantly started assuming that he must only have been considering the girls on the date. CLASSIC.

So lets get to the tacky. I think you know where I'm going with this. Poor Stephanie. She absolutely seems like a lovely person. I want to believe that about her. I just have such a hard time getting past all the bling to take anything that she says seriously. Her outfits on this episode were the worst so far. And let's be honest. That's saying A LOT. I tried to count her rings while she was steering the boat and could be certain if there were 4 or 5. Either way, I'd say that's at least 3 too many. With the glittery t-shirt. Under the fur vest. With the glittery eyeshadow. And the ginormous earrings. And I'm sure multiple other accessories that I couldn't quite see behind the glare of the ones mentioned.

I'm going to spare you the psychoanalysis on why I think she does and says some of the things she does--she's certainly had a rough road of it--but I wasn't surprised when Jason let her go and I don't think she's as ready to "love again" as one might think given the gazillion times she said it.

Now. Here's what I'm DYING to know. WHERE'S DEANNA? They showed her coming back in the first episode. We know it's coming. But it's definitely starting to feel like she's out of time. So surely it has to be this next week--right??

I'm holding my breath. I'm doing it Joey Tribbiani style, but holding it nonetheless.