Friday, February 27, 2009

5 Plus on Friday!

Not a lot of time to write about his, but I wanted to get something up before the end of the day since I've been so out of touch. Here is your very first South Philadelphia St. Patty's window.

And already we have the stirrings of Easter and bunnies galore.


Here is a left-over Valentine's Day window with the VD bear, flower arrangement, fan object and, of course, the Virgin Mary with her, "Look at all this crap" gesture.

None of these kitty pictures turned out all that well.

The glare was just too much. I do like the reflections in the windows though too.
And here is an itty-bitty peeking out.

And lest you think I'm prejudiced and only feature cats, there is a dog in this photo somewhere.

And back at home, cats reign supreme. Try not to look at the ripped up arm of the sofa.

All three plus the dead animal blanket.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

No, Mom, I'm Not Discontinuing My Blog

I just haven't had the time or energy to write in it for a little while. I can't give it up--I'm too narcissistic. But I will cheat for this entry by giving you a link to my latest article in Maven. It's called "Blind Love" and it's about my penchant for dating men with eye problems. It's not my favorite piece so far, but I like some of it. Maybe you will too. You can read it here. Thanks to my friend Gina for helping me to edit it...

Friday, February 13, 2009

What You Don't Have to Get Me for V-Day

A "pajama-gram." NPR is heavily marketing these things and I've seen an ad or two for them on TV as well. It just seems weird to me--instead of flowers, you get a bouquet of p.j.'s? It's lazy too, like the guy can't even get up the energy or enthusiasm to go to a store to buy a gift. I also don't need flowers. I hate to see them die. I'd rather have a plant, but not really that either because I can't keep plants alive and the cats can't stop eating them. I brought this nice little plant home from work on Wednesday, and by Thursday evening, every single leaf had been chewed in half, so that the plant looked like Ernesto had given it a jagged and too-short hair cut. I had to move it to the top of a free-standing shelf that's inaccessible to the cats. I suspect when I get home today, I will find a ladder built of cat toys and string up the the plant, which will have been gnawed to the roots.

How pretty is this V-Day tree? All lit up and guarded on either side by tired Cupids.

This is a "click-on" picture--that's what you'll have to do to be able to see the detail. I still haven't figured out how to take photos of windows without getting a huge glare. Anyway, there is a lot going on here, including Raggedy Ann and Andy wooden cut-outs, those scary troll-like elf dolls, white stuffed animals, etc. I like the montage-y-ness of it all.

I initially liked the symmetry here, but looking at it now, I also like how the trees across the street are reflecting in the window too--how it kind of looks like the cupids and hearts are suspended in a winter forest.

Cranky-looking kitty cat.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hearts and Sock Monkeys

Welcome to more Valentine's Day windows. The series below comes from three competing houses in a row (I think). Please note that the poor little Cupids in these windows are being perpetually burned by lit candles held under their bare bottoms.
But the house next door wins for even more dazzle and whimsy--hearts plus windows framed in lights.
And then the stately cupids bisected by window panes.
A random winter shot on campus. This is a snowy A.J. Drexel the morning after our big blizzard. This is one of my favorite statues on campus because it's the one where he looks like he's just about to rise out of his chair to go fetch a glass of Scotch.
And here we are back to the VD windows. They have tried very hard here to hide the fact that the stuffed dog is suspended by a noose around his neck.
I like these hanging hearts, like raindrops racing down a window. Well, not really like that, but for some reason, that's what this picture reminds me of.

And now here is Sam, the waddling dog who hangs out at Chapterhouse (his name is stamped into the leather collar around his fat neck). I feel bad for him because his tongue is always, always sticking out. I feel like his owner must have gotten him really cheap from a breeder because I think he's one of those animals who didn't make the cut.
And again. A warning about Sam: he has a problem with gas. Like, BAD. Like, knock your head backwards kind of bad.
My friend Shelley made me this girl sock monkey to be friends with the boy sock monkey I have that Jodie made me.
You can tell she's a girl sock monkey because of her eyelashes and pretty red ribbons. Her name is Lulu.
Ernesto was mostly non-plussed by her.
And yet happy to attempt to untie her ribbons. Please note the Virgin Mary candle behind the two of them.

Monday, February 9, 2009

For the Last Time Unless I Can Figure Out How to Tivo

Well, it occurred to me this weekend that I won't be able to do moment-to-moment reporting of The Bachelor after tonight (don't cry), because I'll be teaching a fiction class on Monday nights from 7-9 for the next 8 weeks. I suppose I could try to work it into the class--force everyone to bring their laptops and request a TV in the room so that we could collectively use it as a writing exercise. Or, I could rush home and capture the most important moments---the last fifteen minutes. They recap everything at the end anyway, so maybe it won't be a problem. In any case, fasten your seat belts for the next 2 hours and the fabulous HOME TOWN DATES!!!

Just as an aside, the show doesn't start tonight until 9 p.m. b/c President Obama is giving a press conference. I have never in my life willing tuned into any kind of political public forum like this before this election. I actually like hearing Obama speak--I am a little bit or possibly a lot in love with him. I don't know how I would be feeling these days with the economy tanking and people I know losing their jobs if someone like McCain were in office. Suicidal? Not able to listen to any news? I don't enjoy listening to NPR's financial show every evening--it's never good news. But I can handle it at least a little bit more knowing that Obama is our president. That maybe, maybe, maybe it will be okay, and maybe, maybe, maybe it might ultimately make our country (and world) better. There, now I sound like one of the letters I write every day.."As we look toward the future, I see that it is brighter because of people/folks like youse guys.

Okay, screw all this political talk, what's more important is what happens on the hometown dates with the gals. Just in these recaps I'm wondering why it is that Naomi is so so so tan. She is ridiculously tan. Maybe she was the one African American candidate? Seriously, do they need to have ten minutes of what happened on the previous show and what's going to happen in this one? Who are the editors?

Okay, Ty, Ty, Ty. Do you want to help Daddy pack for his trip, Ty? Ty, why do I have these huge plastic bins in my closet? Is that where I put bad boys when they cry when Daddy leaves, huh, Ty?

Okay and now a recap of how he feels around the different women. He finds Jillian to be fun and playful and excellent at chicken fighting. I like her because she's from Canada and has this deep, sexy voice. But he's worried that Jillian will break his heart. Molly gives him butterflies because she is so gorgeous and beautiful and makes out with him at a moment's notice. Also, she has the gigantigest teeth. She's all right. I don't mind her. Naomi is the one who annoys me. His only concern with Molly is that he can't get deep enough with her. That's because she's as deep as a baby swim pool He likes Naomi because she has a baby voice and some kind of adorable growth on her face. He likes that she's got a passion for life and for recruiting orphans (?) and she's serious about getting married and she always sounds like she's on speed all the time. He's doubtful that she's ready to settle down and he doesn't want to clip her wings. He loves Melissa, I mean, he loves kissing her and he loves how she always says "absolutely" to everything he says. She seems so young to me. I do not like her Chihuahua laugh. He's not sure about Melissa because he can't find anything wrong with her.

First date: Jillian in British Columbia. She wears an adorable pink scarf. They run to each other. He will do this every single one of his dates, guaranteed. I hope she speaks French. Do they speak French in British Columbia or do these speak British Columbia? It is really beautiful in this part of the country. She is talking way too too much and telling a really boring story about seeing the Lochness Monster in the Oga Poga Lake. ZZZZZ. She lives in a church? Oh, sorry, it's a winery, but she doesn't live there, I hope...They are sitting on the floor by the fireplace with glasses of wine. She's going to tell a story about her mom having depression and how it lasted for fifteen years and how her mom has tried to kill herself (she just said again in this really great, foreigner way). I guess she was hospitalized too (the mom, not Jillian). So now maybe he'll be worried that she will go into a tailspin. She calls him "babe." Cute. He confesses that she he has "some of that" in his family. Okay, well, that's over with.

All the family members keep saying, "Yah? Oh, yah?" There's the mom with the depression. Dad is wearing a baseball cap with his glasses on top of them. They are having a semi-serious but not really conversation. Depressed mom who sounds slightly Irish, is now giving a toast that rhymes. Oh, God, she's going to start crying and then maybe run into the bathroom and try to kill herself. Mom said "a-gain and a-gain" just like Jillian did. Wait, is her name Jillian or Julian. I really am confused now. Mom says she has a couple of questions, and she pulls out a long list. She's grilling him about what he wants in a partner, how he handles conflict, if she will be his therapist because he studied psychology in undergrad. The totally beautiful sister in law says she thinks Jason is hot. I hope that he doesn't hear that, because he might make a pass at the sister in law. Mom tells Jillian that she sees a lot of depth and caring in Jason. I bet you anything that Jillian is one of the last two. And she won't win. Everyone in the family cries. Dad is crying as he talks about his daughter. I love the dad. He is the sweetest cutest man I have ever seen. Oh, and here comes the grandma. She says, Wow, Jason is a gorgeous guy! Grandma said that she was planning on taking Jillian up to Northern Alberta to marry her off to a moose logger, but not now. The grandma puts boxer shorts on his head as a gift. Not sure why, but okay.

Ew, I hate Molly. She is wearing the dumbest outfit. A plaid sweater with a popped collar underneath it and a linen skirt that a first thought was a pair of baggy shorts. She over make-ups. She meets him on a golf cart at the country club. Disgusting. She made Jason change into country club clothes and now she's forcing him to play golf. Seriously, she made him put on khaki pants and a sports shirt. That sucked. I guess she must be some dude's all-American dream. Some prepster. They live in a generic subdivision in some town. Dad also wears an argyle sweater. They talk about how they all love golf, they love it, it's all a big part of their lives. Molly is mortified because Jason brought up the fact that he has son. The mom, Maryann, makes everyone wear stupid hats. Again, not sure why. He wears a headdress. Mom demands that Jason a picture of Molly's face at a very special moment. Jason draws her at the rose ceremony. Dad says that he's proud of her and that she's doing the right thing. Dad tells her not to cry in the limo if she doesn't make it the whole way. Mom asks Jason what attracted him to Molly first to her, besides her big clown smile. Mom is won over by him because he was able to have fun and did whatever she asked. I wonder if he had a better time with her or with Jillian? I liked Jillian's family better. Less preppy.

Naomi lives in California. He keeps calling her a cowgirl, just because she's wearing cowgirl boots from Beverly Hills and is as tan as ever. As we know from the previews, the family is crazy. She's doing the best she can to convince him that she really really really wants to be a mommy even though she's only 19 years old and talks like a California girl. He still doesn't believe her. I can't believe she's not going to warn him at all about how weird they are, especially since they believe i like crystals and reincarnation. Group family hug. Mom (Joanne), Dad (Hector), nieces, nephews, half sisters...The parents are divorced but still hanging out. Mom busts out the hoola hoops and makes Jason try to use it. Everyone in the family can do it, except for Jason and Hector. The mom is doing it because she wants to have her own TV show. Mom is a hottie, but she's also a weirdo. Naomi pretends that she's embarrassed, but she actually seems to really her mom, so I guess that's okay. The father, Hector, looks like he might kill Jason. He definitely has like hair implants and died hair. Jason gets a chance to talk to him. He may be a serial killer. He wants to know if Jason has the character to enter into a marriage and if he's willing to lay down his life for her. Dad is going to proselytize to Jason and try to save him. He is telling Jason that the Lord and Jesus has helped him. Naomi has been raised from a Biblical perspective, he explains. Jason has a smile plastered on his face. To dad, the most beautiful presentation of marriage is what Jesus gives to the world. So, I guess the most beautiful presentation of marriage is the crucifixion. Jason says, Today, I learned that Hector loves Jesus. Mom says that she has psychic presence, that she can read minds and that she may be from the future. I am not making this up. She says she is an adult indigo and Jason is a baby indigo. I think that's what she said. She believes in reincarnation and past lifetimes. She believes that in his previous life Jason was a mom once and Naomi was a Temple priestess. Naomi says that he fit in so well with her family! She must be drunk. I can't believe she's not going to say anything to him like how she is not a crazy Christian who believes in birds dying and coming back as kittens.

Only one more date to go, thank God.

Dallas, TX for the date with Melissa. Again, we know more than Jason because of the previews. We know that he won't get to meet her family at all. Yes, he has twirled the girls around every time he sees them. She is adorable. Melissa made a present for Ty. It's a little box for Ty's tooth when they fall out of his head. She explains to Jason that he can't meet her family because they're not comfortable in being on TV for this moment. Tome, that is a completely rational decision. Why can't PBS just let him meet them off camera? I bet they do anyway. It's just not televised. Instead, they will go to her friend's house. Stephanie and Joe and two other people and two of their little girls. Melissa is working extra hard to show that she's good with kids by forcing them to play with her. This whole date will be about how Melissa and Jason are both so very disappointed that they can't meet her family. The friends have a different sense of who Melissa is and who she dates. They think she picks guys who treat her badly and she thinks she dumps the guys. Wait, has she ever had a boyfriend before? I'm not sure. Jason is now playing pool with the boyfriends. Oh, okay, she usually dates guys who want to hang out with their dude friends rather than be at home with her boring friends. Jason is grilling her friends about what the parents are like. I guess they haven't met them either. I keep forgetting that she was once a Dallas cowboy cheerleader. I don't get what the parents problem is either. Is one of them a leper? A drunk? A drunken leper?

This is a really long show and I didn't sleep much last night because the cats were misbehaving all over the place.

Shit, NOW WE HAVE TO RECAP WITH CHRIS HARRISON in this stupid, dumb, ridiculous, fake conversation. And then we also have to watch what happened AGAIN! And we see for the sixth time that Jillian's mom was diagnosed with depression (though in the flashback, it's shot in soft focus). How was the date with Molly, Jason? It was really fun, and it was also in soft-focus...Molly's family was great and Republican and conservative. Yes, he had a great time but is Molly ready to take the next step? He's saying the same things that he already said at the beginning of the show. Naomi's family was unexpected, though he did,a t this point, expect the soft focus. Jesus, really? Again with the dead pigeon. But is Naomi serious and will she need her wings? And remember how five seconds ago, Melissa's parents weren't involved in the show? Do you remember? Can you remember that from before the commercial break?

Newsflash: I think Jason may be losing his hair in the back of his head, like a monk.


I believe Naomi will be going home to be reincarnated back into a Malibu Barbie doll. Jason confesses that he doesn't know where to start. Melissa is wearing this weird short dress. He says that it was all unbelievable and he finds it all ridiculously hard for him. It meant the world to him to meet all of their friends and family.

First rose goes to: Molly. Gag. The prepster. She's bland, bland, bland.
Second rose: Jillian, please!!! Yes, thanks goodness. I told you she would make it to the end. They keep it suspenseful like this, but we know it's Naomi and her wack-a-doodle family that sealed her fat. I mean it.
Third rose: Naomi is giving him a puppy dog, my dad might make a Jesus voodoo doll out of you look. But Melissa gets the rose.
Going home: Naomi and her lip gloss. Told ya.

Naomi smiles anyway. She tells all the girls that she loves them, even though she just met them two weeks ago. She's smiling, not crying. I respect that. Jason apologizes and says that she thinks she's amazing and her family is amazing and he thinks that they're in different places. He tells her that she's incredible and now he would like it if she would please leave. He thanks her for "being you." What can a person even say about that.

Limo ride dialogue: "I would've moved to Seattle in the heartbeat. It sucks that the reasons that I gave that I don't want to go home are the reasons I'm going home (huh?). I put myself out there and admit I'm falling in love and the next thing I know, I'm going home. I was scared to let my guard down because I didn't want to be hurt like this. I never wanted to have my heart broken again. I didn't want to feel the way I do right now. I don't even care about having a love life at this point. I am just better off on my own. I have no idea where I go from here. It sucks. " The fact that she keeps saying how everything sucks is reason enough to send her home, because she sounds like a tween.

Next week, they're going to New Zealand for over night dates. I can't believe I'm going to miss this. When the hell is Deeyawna going to show up? Oh, no way, she's going to come next week. Unbelievable.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

25 Random Untrue Things About Me, Me, ME!!!

There's a meme going around via email and Facebook that asks you to list 25 random things about yourself so that your friends may learn things like that you love yellow M&M's best or that you were beaten severely as a child and still wet the bed. I don't know why I'm so resistant to doing this...Maybe because it seems so self-indulgent somehow. Not that I ever really participate in any of the Facebook friend applications like virtually throwing mac and cheese at your friends or buying someone a pretend drink--I don't get it.

Anyway, last night, I was having a little trouble falling asleep b/c at midnight, one of my neighbors decided to shovel his sidewalk for 25 minutes and a bunch of other people were frolicking in the streets and laughing and making snow men, so I started making up my list of "25 Random Untrue Things About Me That You Never Knew."

1. I have a baboon heart.

2. When I was a baby, we lived on a sheep farm and my mother fed me only on sheep's milk until I was three and a half.

3. My first word was "baaaa."

4. In high school, I was part of a religious pantomime group called Silent for Jesus. We performed the crucifixion scene in white face paint at local nursery schools using only our facial expressions and body language.

5. I am afraid of bunnies because I fell into the Lincoln Park Zoo's bunny pit during a second grade field trip.

6. My parents divorced when I was two, remarried when I was four, divorced again when I was in third grade, married one another's siblings when I turned 14, got divorced from them two years later, ran into each other again at a church potluck the following spring, re-re-married, formed a band, and I haven't heard from them since.

7. I have lived (however briefly) in every single state in America, and two provinces in Canada.

8. In 2004, I self-published a collection of philosophical limericks and haikus about being an only child called, Me, Am I Myself, and I.

9. I am color blind, but only to chartreuse.

10. My darkest fear is that I'm too shallow to have any real fears and this will make people think I'm less pretty than I really am.

11. Speaking of being self-absorbed, in a fit of vanity at age 15, I had the dentist remove all of my bottom teeth and replace them with my top teeth and vice versa.

12. I still mourn my pet goldfish, (missing and presumed dead) every single solitary day of my life that's not on the Gregorian calendar.

13. I find the films of Danny Devito to be highly over-rated.

14. My political views were shaped at an early age by the film Dressed to Kill starring Angie Dickinson. I have been against beige overcoats since, marched in 4 protests, and been arrested twice (on unrelated charges).

15. I have never had a broken bone, a nosebleed, menstrual cramps, a headache, cancer, hyper vigilance, vertigo, Lupus, a mosquito bite, cat scratch fever, the travel bug, sniffles, tumors, indigestion, crippling self doubt, a limp, or any allergies to anything. I do suffer from amnesia or that's at least what is says on this index card in my pocket.

16. My greatest joy in life comes from spending time with my two beautiful, precocious, and imaginary children, though I should confess I can't wait until they go to college so I can take up needlework again.

17. When I read a book, I first read it upside down and only skim the even numbered pages. The second time, I read it back to front, and then third time, I use it as a door stop.

18. I have won many prizes in my life (too many to list here), just a few of which include: my 3rd grade spelling bee, Best in Show, 154 games of Parcheesi, 2 Girl Scout badges (for: "Puppets, Dolls, and Plays," and "Rocks Rock"), the Red Badge of Courage, 4th place in the Gunny Sack race (totally rigged), a pack of cigarettes, the love of a good man, Preakness...but never my mother's love.

19. I was home-schooled as a kid but we lived inside of an elementary school so the two kind of negated one another. I consider myself my own best teacher, except when it comes to Latin and personal boundaries.

20. I do not believe in God, though I do pray to a large, invisible vibrating egg that circles just outside of our universe, sending down special messages that tell us what to do in any given situation, if we would only listen: i.e. WWTLVED?

21. I'm a descendant of a half-Irish Jewish man whose mother was one-third Mongolian and part Scottish and his father (my paternal grandfather) was part French/part Unitarian. My mother's mother's mother's mother's grandmother comes from fully German/Romanian/Czechoslovakian royalty which makes me 1/16 a duchess of a Slavic town somewhere.

22. I have not ever been in a rocket ship.

23. Favorite food: maple syrup. Least favorite food: maple juice (go figure).

24. I don't like: catching on fire, being hit in the face with objects, nearly drowning in small puddles, camping in freezing cold weather without an insulated tent, or animals gnawing on me.

25. I cry often, but only while looking in the mirror to see how green it makes my eyes look (very!)

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Bachelor Man Cometh

Last week on The Bachelor: This girl was a bitch, that other girl cried almost real tears, Shannon blew her nose in a napkin and begged for him to keep her so she won't go home and make out with her dog, some girls got roses, others were tough nuts, Nikki's eyes popped out of her head, she went home, groomless and broken hearted, even though she does everything right! And don't forget how Jason broke all the rules at the rose ceremony by sending three bitches home.

Tonight: More TY!!! Lots of Ty. Ty at every turn. How unexciting. All the girls get to go his hometown, Seattle, a bunch of them get to be in a helicopter and later, Jason has some unanswered questions for Jillian and guess what, It's the most intense rose ceremony ever and Jason cries. I wonder if he will take his shirt off at any point?

Time: 8:05 for Christ's sake.

Chris Harrison has given up his Urban Outfitters shirt for a more grown up button up oxford. He explains there will be no roses given out on any of these dates and all the gals will be leaving the house to go to Seattle. Cue the girls screaming. Melissa is so excited! I am wondering if her teeth were always this large or if I'm just now noticing it. Jillian is already dressed like a lumberjack in red and black flannel.

Look, there's Ty and Jason's ex wife (I wish--it's the sister-in-law). Big hug from daddy! He kisses his son on the mouth with only a little bit of tongue. Please tell me that Jason doesn't live on a houseboat. The girls must realize they are dating both Jason and Ty as a whole package, so they better brush up on their Sponge Bob. Jillian leaps out of the limo and hugs him. The girls are being put up in a very nice Holiday Inn. All of them are wearing hats or sunglasses. Why is there a piano in hotel room? So they can make tips? Melissa gets the first date and she's really excited except we all know from the endless previews that she will be stood up for the son. Reality check, gals. Naomi is pissed because she doesn't get the first one on one date and she's irritated as I am by the fact that Melissa keeps dancing for joy. Naomi pronounces important like this: "im-poor-tent."

Cut to Jason and his son and daddy saying that he's going out over and over, freaking his kid out. "Is it okay if Daddy goes out? Daddy is going to go out and (side note, he just took his shirt off) is going to leave you alone with the babysitter you don't like, okay Ty? I know I've been gone for weeks, but I'm going to go away again and I don't think I'll be back. I might never see you again, you understand that right, Ty?" Ty is whining and pouting and Jason suddenly realizes that it's selfish of him to go on a date. A bit of advice for the dating dad: don't ask you three year old if it's okay if you go out. Melissa fears she's being stood up. He refers to himself as "Jay." He wonders if she would mind just coming over and hanging out. Should he really be introducing his son to this woman? Now the girls are jealous that she gets to meet Ty. In fact, Jillian explains that she is 100% jealous.

Six hours later. Melissa is still waiting for Ty in her booby black dress. She pours herself a glass of wine. I would've had the whole bottle by now. Her nipple is almost ready to pop out. She's absolutely thrilled to be there!!! She's pretending that she thinks Ty is so cute!! JAY demonstrates how Ty hugged him when he returned home by hugging Melissa too (whom he calls "Mel") and feeling her up a little (just like he did with Ty).

Back at the house, the girls are saying they're at an emotional low because Melissa got to see Ty asleep in his car bed. Aside: I wonder again how the ex-wife feels about this? Wouldn't you be a little pissed? Wouldn't you like maybe show up unexpectedly with bad photos of your ex? Or videos even?

Mel and Jay are eating ice cream and J is asking her about her family in Dallas. Melissa confesses that she's kind of the black sheep of the family because she is a wild spirit and wears short stretchy shorts. He can't stop feeling her up. She's telling him how she loves to watch sporting events and just hanging out and breast-feeding. Hands on her face as he kisses her. More advice: Don't try talking to someone in the middle of kissing her. Cause then you sound like, "Ish it... (smooch, lick) okay, ifsh I meet your...(slurp) fambly?

Date card arrives for Stephanie, Jillian, and Molly (meaning Naomi gets the one-on-one date). "Open your heart because love is 'on the air'..." Cryptic, except we know that they're going to go with Jason while he's on a talk radio show, so it's really not a surprise. Lots and lots of boats in Seattle. Jay can't wait to show the girls the best of Seattle. Again "girls." The girls are all talking really fast and exclaiming about the houseboats and trying to snuggle up to Jason en masse.

Stephanie's eyebrows are still out of control and she's wearing a faux white rabbit vest and diamond earrings and a huge ring on every single finger. She gets to steer the boat and they don't need any lights because her rouge is so bright. Jason explains to the viewing audience that their relationship is different because they both have kids and because they both believe in excessive plucking (her: eyebrows. Him: chest). The problem is that they don't have any physical chemistry. Jason is saying how much fun it was to meet Sophie (Stephanie's little girl) because she was just so dern cute.

The word "jealous" is being thrown around like Seattle coffee grounds.

Time: 8:35 p.m. and counting.

On a more personal note, I slipped on the ice today and feel down and banged my left knee up really bad. But here's the good news: I didn't spill any of my coffee!

Okay, now they are at the talk show with Jackie and some thin gay dude who is supposedly her husband. The girls get to watch from a soundproof room. They can't hear what he's saying. We can though, people! The gay guy asks him what it's like to be back on the show as The Bachelor. Jason says he is so lucky. The girls try to read Jason's lips. Jackie asks what the most fun date was. Jay stalls. "Um...The most amazing date has been with Stephanie because I got to meet her daughter on her daughter's birthday and they got to run up to each other and roll in the ocean. It was the sweetest thing!" Then Jackie asks who the best kisser is and the gay guy says, "You got to kiss the tire before you buy the car." What an asshole. Jason says that it's Molly.

Back at the house, Melissa and Naomi are speculating about what's going on at the station. I guess they're listening to it live.

The gay guy suggests blindfolding Jason and seeing if he can tell whom he is kissing by the shape of her tongue. The first is Jillian. Why are they making him wear a feather boa? Stephanie first kissed his fingers. Last is Molly. She says she always grabs his face and so she does it again. Jason is able to name each girl correctly. The guy host asks the women what they think is the hottest thing is about Jason (because I think he has his own list). Stephanie says "his eyes." Jillian agrees. Molly says that it's his smile. The host asks the women what they're like in bed. Molly says that she likes to wear lingerie. Jillian says she likes fun and giggling and then being intimate. Stephanie says she's interested in taking care of the guy, even if that means kissing every square inch of him. Everyone is grossed out.

Now they are back at this hotel and eating dinner and he's taking Jillian aside to see what's going on with her. She confesses that she's falling for him and she doesn't know how she really feels about that. He wonders if her expectations are realistic. Jillian says that she's not looking for perfection, but just someone who makes her feel good all the time. They kiss. What she said actually didn't make all that much sense. He asks her what her family would be like if he met her family. She says they would go on picnics and campfires.

I missed most of the rest of this date because I was eating hummus and wheat crackers. Sorry, people. I can only do so many things at once. Basically, he just took every girl aside and made out with her and put his hands all over faces and asked about each family. That's all you missed. That and the hummus, which was delicious.

This show will never end.

Today, he will go out with Naomi in a copter-port (helicopter). Why do they always have to run toward each other and embrace? Naomi looks like she should be in a MTV video from 1993. Does Jason really need to wear a flannel shirt? And does Naomi have to throw her legs over his lap while making out with him.

Back at the Holiday Inn, Stephanie calls her daughter, Sophia. Or Sophie or whatever her name is. Stephanie says that she doesn't think Naomi is ready to be a mom in the way that she is.

Jason takes Naomi to some kind of skiing or sporting goods place and he's going to make her climb this wall of discarded gumballs. Why does she need to bring her purse while she's doing this? He's being a little too competitive about going up on the wall--like pushing her so he'll get to the top first. She's generic. She's not interesting. Jason asks her what her family is like. She says that they're totally fucked up. This worries him. She then back pedals and says that the fucked up-ed-ness was a good lesson for her and she just wants to cook and clean for someone. Now they're out camping somewhere. Hopefully, not in his back yard because I think that's a fire code violation and the ex wife might have grounds to take him to court. Naomi continues to throw herself at him. On these dates, they always sound like they're auditioning or trying to out-perform on a job interview. Best food forward, perfect answers, keep it positive, tap dance! Naomi is too cutsie and talks in a baby voice.

Now we get to see Jason and Ty throwing ripped up Polaroid pictures of his ex wife over the porch railing.

Back at the house, doorbell rings. It's Jason and the girls are in a tizzy because they're not all dressed up and aren't wearing enough eye make-up. Jason asks if he can talk to Jill. He's worried that she will break his heart, because he's not sure that she's into. He takes her to a coffee shop. She does a good job because she cries and admits that she's falling for him. He says that she seems so strong all of the time. She says that she feels like her job is to take care of everyone. He says that she thinks she's unbelievable, but he wants to know that she's not just there for an adventure. They both order huge coffees and croissants bigger than their heads. He wants more attention from her and he wants her too open up to him. I don't think she's going to be able to do that, though I do really like her scratchy voice. She's trying to finish all of his sentences for him to show that she knows him so well. I don't think she does really like him though.

For the record, I think he'll send Stephanie home, because he thinks they would be better as friends and also because she's a flaky-flake.

Time: 9:32. Deeyawna has to show up on the next episode, right? I mean, they won't leave that for the final show, will they? The suspense of it all. The thousands of commercials of it all.

And now, Jason must decide. It's the hardest decision of his life and he can't decide and deciding and choosing of it all is so so hard and he only has these framed photos to go on and Chris' lame non-advice. Not clear on why he's wearing a maroon striped shirt with a checked tie. Bad, bad choice. If those are the kind of decisions he makes, he will most definitely fuck the rest of this up.

Chris and he keep referring to each other as "man." Like, "Man, how are you doing?" "Hey, I don't know, man. You know man, I'm wearing this tie that Ty picked out and like the tie and Ty together were like a tie for my attention, man, and like I don't know really what I'm saying right now and why aren't there more candles around?" This is really just another way of recapping the entire show for us as if all viewers suffer from amnesia or ADD, which actually, I do. I can't write anything about this blah-blah-blah recap. It's boring. Jason stares out into the night, pursing his lips, hands in the pockets of his pants, wondering if he one side of his profile is better to show to the camera than the other.

Finally, the most disturbing, difficult, and drawn out rose ceremony yet. The girls who get picked will be able to take Jason to their hometowns. Jason walks out and thanks them all for being so totally awesome. He still doesn't feel like all of his questions were answered. He asks to speak to Naomi by herself. Molly thinks that means that she's going home. The girls gather together to try to find out what he might be thinking.

He asks Naomi if she's really serious, if she would be okay with just hanging out sitting around having popcorn. She says, Of course! Absolutely! Popcorn and Jello shots every night! Meanwhile, she's dressed like a Vegas showgirl with earrings bigger than her head. Also, she has a tattoo on her back. Send her home, please. She dresses and looks like a Barbie and talks like what a Barbie would talk like if they actually had mouths that opened and weren't just painted shut.

First rose goes to: Melissa? Oh, okay, Jillian. She breathes a sigh of relief. He has nicknamed her "Jill." He can't call any of them by their full names.

Second: Melissa, yeah, of course, because that's who he ends up with. Her and her teeth.

Third: Molly, right? Yes, Molly, who thought she would be sent home. Stephanie knows that she is going home now. Of course she is because why would he have pulled Naomi aside. They are all sweating.

Fourth: It will be Naomi. This is not at all weird. Stephanie is sending him her sad face because she knows too. And the winner is...Naomi. Yeah, like duh.

Going home: Stephanie. Well, finally, she can go see her daughter. She is floored because she knows Naomi is not ready to be a mommy. Jason would like to say in front of everybody (he's breaking down), that Stephanie is the most amazing person she ever met and that they are all better people for having met her and she's a beautiful person outside and in. Naomi and everyone else who "won" is crying fakely. Stephanie is just glad that she could be there and she hopes her story can reach other people (what story?). Well, at least she will leave gracefully.

I hate Naomi and her blue dress.

Jason tells Stephanie that he meant every word of what he said on camera. Stephanie says that she could see that his spark wasn't there and she brings up how he was in the same situation with Deeyawna (great stab!). He wants to be friends with her forever. He's now calling her "Steph." She leaves with a dimpled smile, but we will get to see the truth in the limo...She says, "You know what, if it is meant to be, it will be. I truly believe that. I have come through such a difficult time. It's almost the fourth year anniversary of my husband's death." She may be the next Bachelorette. If they can fix her eyebrows.

COMING UP: Jason goes home with all ya'all. Picks all them up screaming. This is so anti-climatic because we know that he ends up with Melissa. I like that Jillian's from Canada. Molly pops her collar and wears an argyle sweater. Naomi's mother gives Jason a dead pigeon and makes him bury it. The mom is totally cute. In Dallas, the home town date goes terribly wrong because Melissa won't be introducing him to her family because they don't feel comfortable being on national television. That makes them normal! Stay tuned, people. We made it through yet another episode!!

Photos are Back with Twice as Many Cats as Ever Before

Back in the window business with my new digital camera. You must note with this first photo that they have planted rows and rows of red hearts in the front flower box. They also had a red heart-shaped wreath on their door. Might capture that next time.

Took this one last night after having dinner and Carrie and Padhraig's (delicious Thai food--potatoes with yellow sauce and some kind of jelly and naan bread. V. good). I am not sure if this is a window that's left over from Christmas or if it's just a festive scene for all year round.

I don't really windows with Disney characters so much, but this one does have a cute "x o" banner strung across the back.

And now, on to the cats. That's Henri, trying to work up the courage to jump on the back of my desk chair.

A rare two cats in one photo. Emma on the radiator attempting to lick my hand and Henri worried that a piano might fall from the sky any moment. Note that he has made it onto the chair.

Emma Carol, the lickiest cat on the lower east side.

The ever handsome Paul Skoles in repose.

Piper checking out my boots.

Now really checking them out.

If he could, he would climb inside and live in there.