Friday, January 28, 2011

Christmas in January

I forgot that I've had all of these extra pictures floating around from the season of jolliness. And, since we've had one winter snow storm after another, it seems fine to go ahead and pretend it's still a holiday. I think all of these pics were taken after dark, so they have a shadowy feel to them.

Here are twin Santas doing slightly different calisthenics:

A smiling snowperson.

Oh, I took this picture for Danny in Penn State. He loves all things Nittany Lion-y.

Again with the twin Santas.

This Santa makes me feel icky inside.

And this one is quite glorious.

If you click on this picture, you'll see a family of snowpeople.

I guess this is clever? Seems like a lot is going on.

The prettiest snowman ever.

Speaking of pretty, I watched some of the Robert Redford/Barbra Streisand classic, The Way We Were last night, including the montage of them doing whimsical things together, such as run into the surf (except because she's her own person, she only runs for like a second into the water and retreats). I don't know how it ends, but I'm guessing not well? Because, like, well, the title? And the music and its lyrics, "Memories, misty water colored memories, of the way we were........" God, Robert Redford is so really beautiful in that movie (and everything?). I can't stop thinking about his eyelashes. And Barbra was pretty too--though I found it hard to take her seriously with those long red fingernails. How does anyone get anything done with those nails?

Here, see the trailer for yourself:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Many Things I Don't Know

Had this art history seminar on Tuesday and it reminded me how there are just tons of things--whole genres of relatively common knowledge--that I don't know. For example, oh, the entirety of world history. I even had an excellent high school world history teacher, Mr. O'Donnell. He used to give lectures dressed in the appropriate costume of whatever the topic was. And yet, the only thing I remember from world history is that someone named Hannibal invaded another country on the back of an elephant. I don't know when this was, or who he was, or why he was on an elephant, or if he "won." So, in class, as the teacher was asking things like, And what are the names of the three main Greek columns? No clue. (Answer: Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian). At one time, I think I knew this fact. But it has gone away from my brain, as has many very elementary things like the names of all the planets. I swear, I can't remember them all. This lack occurred to me as I was sitting there trying to think of all the names of the 12 main Greek gods/goddesses and the corresponding Roman names. I should know this b/c, as I remembered this month when going through some stuff at my mom's house, I once did a huge project on the Greek gods. It wasn't research or anything--I just made dolls of every single one of them and their different outfits. I actually do remember some of the Greek Olympian gods: Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Athena, Poseidon, Ares, Hades (? or is that the Roman name), that little crippled guy, uh..........I'm looking it up. Okay, and Hestia, Apollo, Hermes, Artemis, and Hephaestus. And that's how I started thinking about how the Romans stole all the gods and renamed them and many of those names are the names of our planets in the solar system: Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Neptune, Pluto, Mercury. And the other planets are? Well, Earth, duh. And...Saturn. Oh, Uranus. Embarrassing.

Anyway, I read somewhere recently that learning new things can actually create new brain cells or neurons or something. I need this stimulation. Here are some other Trivial Pursuit type things I learned in class:

1. The Greek Olympians competed naked. I didn't know this. Wouldn't that hurt? Is it hard to run like that?

2. The Romans stole much of their architecture and sculpture and theater and gods from the Greeks, but then improved on them by creating things like arches and theater in the round and more life-like status.

3. The emperor Constantine is the man who brought Christianity to the masses starting in Italy--before the leader's last-minute conversion on his death bed, only a small faction of people followed Christianity. But then, because he was seen as so powerful and important, the people around him also adopted Christianity and it spread like it to use the simile of a venereal disease?

4. We don't always have to have such a Euro-Christian idea of time. Instead of saying something happened BC (Before Christ) or AD (Anno Domini/The year of our Lord), we can say it happened BCE (Before the Common Era) or CE (after the Common Era). The Common Era, by the way, is the time when the world starting arranging itself around shared constructs of time--a seven day week, a certain number of months in a year--at least, that's my layman's understanding of how it works.

I learned a few more things, but that's mostly what i remember off the top of my pretty little empty head.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No Bachelor for You

That's because my writing class started last night and so I didn't get home in time to see the very beginning and to put my laptop near the TV and so then I kind of lost interest. I listened to it from the other room, but it was all the same stuff..."Here for the right reasons...I'm so nervous...I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to fall in love...I think I might be falling for him...My boobs are falling out of my top..." Etc.

Tonight, I have my first pro-seminar at Penn and I discovered yesterday that I bought the wrong book. Well, technically, I bought the right book for half of the class--I didn't realize it was two volumes, and so only purchased volume II. Should I even be allowed to take grad classes? But the books are giant and heavy and expensive, and so I don't really want to buy Volume I. Instead, I went to the Fisher Fine Arts Library to try to copy it. They have it on reserve, and you can go ahead photocopy each page, which is then about 89876 megabytes and you won't be able to email it to yourself. So, I'll do without it.

I had this highly stressed out moment at the grocery store the other day. I don't know why it sticks with me, except it came on kind of unexpectedly. It was a Sunday and everyone and his mom was shopping at Acme. I had a cart full of food, and decided to just do the self-check out because it's faster. I waited in line for awhile, and then I realized that some of the stations said, "15 items or less." I clearly had more than 15. I couldn't decide if I should leave or stay or what, so I said to the man next to me, "Am I not allowed in this line? I have more than 15 things." He said, "Who cares. There's no firing squad." I stayed in the line, but then, when it got to be my turn, 10 more people were behind me and I could feel the stress rising, like I was going to get in trouble or like all of these strangers hated me for being that person who thinks she doesn't have to obey the rules. I tried to scan as fast as I could, but the fruit is always a challenge and so it seemed to take a really, really, really long time. By the time I left, I was sweating and I realized later that I didn't scan one item, so I essentially stole something too. I can't wait until I'm on some hidden camera show.

Friday, January 21, 2011

This Video Makes Me Happy + Friday Photos

Even though Dan's not in it.

I also have tons of photos from the trip to Florida---including a long series that Luke took when he and Dan went to the Clearwater Rescue Marina Aquarium Extravaganza, but I'm too lazy to post them. Here are just a few highlights.Or a lot. These are all in backwards order. I'll add captions later...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Disney World

We took Luke to Disney World this weekend. Well, first, we took him on a plane to my parent's house in Dunedin, Florida, and then we also went to the Magic Kingdom.

Since I spent most of my girlhood in the Sunshine State, I've been to Disney parks more than maybe the average person. I was shocked this time around as an adult to discover that pretty much nothing has changed in the 20 or so years since I've gone. Like, you know that Haunted House ride in Frontiervilleland? The voice over narration is the same, as is the part where the walls go up and you see how the person in the portrait died (like the woman with the parasol, where it's gradually revealed that she's standing on a tight rope just above the open mouth of an alligator). And at the end, the same voice tells you that you will be taking a ghost home with you. I suppose that it would be way too expensive to update the rides (and I think they did add the Johnny Depp character to Pirates of the Caribbean), but I couldn't believe how much the same it was, and how much I remembered about each ride, and how it wasn't really too much fun. Luke liked it a lot--mostly though, he was excited about seeing a man who looked like Santa Claus at dinner the night before (he later came over to our table and asked me, Has he been a good boy this year? The dude is totally playing up the SC look). We could've gone back to my parents right after that and skipped the $300 DW trip and Luke would've been just as happy. I didn't buy any souvenirs, but if I had, I would've wanted one of these new Pook a Looz styles (see above).

Dan kept saying how he just couldn't see me growing up in Florida; he thinks of me as a city person. I guess I didn't really see myself in Florida either--was never much of a beach goer or a lover of the sun or a swimmer or a redneck (we saw a truck go by on our first day there with a Confederate flag waving on the back of it). We drove by my high school and I felt old, old, old and also suddenly understood the appeal of all those movies where you get to go back to your younger days with the wisdom of an adult. Though I bet if I went back to high school, I'd feel just as out of place or awkward as I did then. Remember having to go to a certain period for lunch, or passing notes in the hall, or waiting for your friend to get out of class in the parking lot, or having to dress out for gym, or wishing it were Friday so you could go to the football game and not talk to the guy you liked the whole time even though you spent most of the week planning your outfit around seeing him?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Too Late for a Career in TV?

Because I think Dan's a natural.

Here are the highlights/low lights of last night's Bachelor, acted out in real time. Go here to view it for yourself. As usual, Dan steals the show.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dan's here!

Missed the beginning b/c we were eating some crazy burrito tortilla deal. Brad is man enough to wear a pink shirt. If he ends up not liking this girl he's on a one on one date with, she gets sent home. How is it that no one else is at this amusement park? This girl needs to stand on her own two feet, she says. Brad says she sounds like she's preparing for the worse. she says that she wants to confess things about her family and she can't stop gesturing. Is she trying to make Brad cry? Did your dad love you? Can I call you Ass? he says. Absolutely! says Ass-ley.Brad wnats to have so many more conversations like this later, just not with her. Oh, but he gave her the rose anyway. The ride to the top of the Ferris Wheel and CBS gets an nice upskirt shot of Assley.

I WISH I had the same size of earings that this girl with the birthday has. She is wearing bicycle wheels on her head. Many, many of these women are blonds and look exactly the same. This one blond says she's going to bring it, because she always brings it. 15 women who are on this date and he tells them that they all look equally beautiful in the same amount. Brad says that they should be ready on his dates to give and receive. One girl mouths, Does he mean anal? (Sorry, mom). They're going to be making PSA's, pretending that they have never acted before, even though they're all secretely actors. Brad shirtless, 25 minutes into the show. A little late, Brad. One girl gets to wear a maid outfit, one gets to wear a cat suit, one is a cougar, and one is in a neck brace. Unfair. I'm having a hard time telling these women apart. Shut up, Michelle, about your 30 birthday and how lame it is to be on a nationally televised reality show on your 30th birhtday. Lok, they can all act fine. Is this supposed to be funny that he's wearing a fake moustache. It's not funny. It's stupid. But the two girls get to kiss him. And I don't think they would ever really use this on TV as a PSA message. It just wouldn't. I can't see the Blood Bank of America or whatever allowing a scene that has a guy making out with two women. Is it someone's birthday or what? I feel bad that the cougar lady has such poorly done tan make-up on. The cougar girl wants to let Brad know how she feels and how she's much more classy than she fucking acts. The girl with the gian earrings is now wearing a giant necklace and pointing her finger at Brad and telling him that he has walls and she wants to peel off the layers (she demonstrates this). He says that he wants to find his best friend even though that sounds cliche. Rachel and Melissa have it out for each other and are fighting so that they can have air time, even though that makes them totally, like, immature? And like a 31 versus a 21 year old, and like, stop using your 21 year old language. The sweet girl gets to have the one on one date with Brad.

Shirt off, second time: 8:51 PM. Brad needs to give a slippery rose out to one of the women and he is giving Michelle the rose, because it's what? Her birthday??!

Shirt off, third time: 8:59. He's in a robe and Little Bo Peep is geting ready for her one on one date. Meanwhile, the Southern girl is calling her daughter and fake crying. The daughter doesn't seem to realize that her mom has left. I need to start wearing more mascara.Brad is taking Bo Beep on a date where she gets to wear this really fancy dress, as well as princess jewels, and be driven around like a princess in a Bentley. Bo Peep confesses that she's only been in two serious relationships in her entire life (she's only 14 though). Like the other women, Jackie reminds Brad of himself. Everything seems to remind Brad of himself. He still has his shirt on, that's a good sign. Brad is concerned by how real this real life is for this girl. She's scaring him--not sure why--he's worried b/c he doesn't think that Bo Peep will be able to put herself out there, or really, if she will be able to put out.

It's cocktail party night and Brad needs to make a decision about who to kick off and who to keep and Rachel and Melissa are still arguing for the 10th time in order to be on TV more. That is so stupid. Rachel feels like she needs to punch Melissa in the face because she's like a toxic disease. All of the other girls are freaking out because these two are trying to manufacture a conflict to get more air time, but absoltuely no one is saying anying interesting.

Sorry there aren't too many details. Dan and I keep having to stop to film every ridiculous moment we can possibly tape--which is really the whole show, but it's hard to do because there are so many women. Melissa is crying and Brad asks if he can please hug her real quickly. Doesn't she know how dumb that makes her look stupid and now she's laughing because she had onions in her pizza. She doesn't know whether to laugh or to cry. Now Rachel is crying and wanting a quick hug. SO STUPID. Rachel explains that she doesn't want Brad to get wrapped up into this drama that she created and is grateful for because it makes her stand out, even though it's in a negative way.

Then Ali and Roberto come onto the scene--what a lovely couple. And they actually seem almost happy, except for that Ali's dress is too small. Roberto isn't allowed to say anything. But he is totally adorable and may be wearing glitter. Melissa decides that she should cry in front of Ali--she is confessing that she's being targeted. Ali and Roberto are planning on kicking her off, I'm sure. How the hell would they know who is the most sincere? Brad is begging for their help.

How long is this night?

Special rose will go out to Emily, whose baby daughter is a cheerleader. She is cute, but she also really looks like a Playboy girl. Even with her fake accent, fake blong hair, fake boobs, fake perfecly straightened teeth, and real perspiration, she is the most authentic girl there.

Final rose ceremony. Four roses have already been handed out, so three will be going home. I think one will be this girl who I've never seen before in my life.

First rose: Chantal O. The slapper. She's cute, but she won't last.
Second rose:Sarah--oh, hta'ts the girl I thought I'd never seen before.
Third rose:Ali--the broad shouldered girl who must also be a volleyball player.
Fourth rose: Kimberly. Blond, of course she's staying. She has a smooshy smile.
Fifth rose:Chantal N. AKA Kiera Knightley's less attractive stunt double.
Sixth rose:Stacey. Complicated necklace.
Seventh rose: Ashley Ass. She will accpe this rose and she wil try not to fall down getting it.
Eighth rose: Madison of the vampire teeth. Please don't bite his neck. She is cute, I think.
Ninth rose:Lisa. Who is she? Is she wearing a toga?
Tenth rose:Marissa. has an Urban Outfitters headband on.
11th rose: Megan. Another volley ball player. Another complicated necklace.
12th: Lyndsey. The ginger. He wants another chance to make sure.
Last rose: Brit.Comlicated hair do.

Going home: Both of the drama queens plus the one who had to wear the neck brace. .She thinks she's so awkward and may be meant to be alone. This was kinda like her last ditch effort, even though she's only 23 years old. She dated people at work (kind of silly,since aren't most of the men in the Rockette line gay men? Mmichelle is going to go home to practice how to wear a strapless dress without having to pull it up every two seconds. Rachel, smiles through her tears. She wants him to say something more, but he won't. She should've known better than to take the hair off of his wrist on the first date.

Next week: We will be in Florida, so we may have to try to bring props with us on the plane. Maybe my stepdad will play Chris. Oh, dear, what is Seal doing here. What is the green bracelet stand for. Will Emily and Brad get it on in the barn> Who wnats to go home? Stay tuned...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Drinking Water

It's really good for you. Most health care professionals recommend drinking tons of it every day. I get on these kicks where I am dedicated to drinking water--just determined to down 2-3 quarts a day (give or take...). Because water is good for your system, good for your skin, good for your pancreas. But the thing is, I like to have more than 30 minutes pass without having to pee or without thinking I might have to pee or without knowing that even though I don't currently need to, I will soon. That's what lots of water does to you; it becomes a preoccupation and a constant interruption from an otherwise moderately productive day.

Went to Zumba class last night for the first time in month's. The teacher--I'm sure I've described her here before--but she is very, very thin and muscular, and small. She doesn't look healthy, only because it would be hard to tell, if you didn't know any better, whether she is a crack addict or a super fitness nut (or both). I can easily picture her sitting at a seedy bar, smoking Kools, and drinking Jack and Diet, talking over people in this innocuous way that she has. But she can't be a smoker/drinker, can she, if she's also teaching these highly-aerobic classes? I had forgotten how rigorous Zumba can be; fun too, but exhausting. I had forgotten some of the routines, but felt better than everyone else on the ones I remembered. Here is an actual picture of her that I found. She seems to always have her hair in a ponytail.

Just as an aside, I hate it when women refer to their spouses as "hubby." It reminds me of The Onion's Jean Teasdale columns (that I love). Examples:

"Will Semi-Success Spoil Jean Teasdale?"

"Author, Author!"

"Summer Days, Driftin' Away"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

More Joyce

This morning, I started reading Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, which I bought for a mere $2 at the Princeton Library (they have the best on-going book sale. Also got The Falls by JCO, coincidentally. And Joyce teaches in Princeton and lives down the street from Dan. Do you think she would mind if I just happened by her place? She has a story called "My Madman" about an academic who gets threatened in the elevator by an wiry, unhinged graduate student. I bet it's based on something she has experienced). Anyway, I already love this book. Maybe I am predisposed to love it because on the cover, it states, "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize," but I do think it's well-written. Have only read part of the first chapter, but I like it already. You should read it.

Had that super transparent insecurity dream last night where I'm in a play but don't know any of the lines and haven't rehearsed. I think, in this one, I wasn't actually going onstage, but I was helping someone I knew from college practice his lines. He was a Shakespeare villain, can't remember which one, though I know it wasn't Iago. Everyone I knew from the theater department at that time came parading by and I thought, What?They're still here? I think it's because I'm working on a story about a 14 year old girl who wants to audition for the gifted high school program. We had one near me and I was always jealous b/c they won superior ratings at our high school competitions.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Poet You Might Like

I know that she's been around forever, but I seldom read poetry. I don't even read it in The New Yorker. I don't understand poetry. It seems too hard. I feel dumb when I read it. But then I listened to some of This American Life's holiday podcasts and they had Sharon Olds on to read some of her work. There is a reason she's able to make a living as a poet. Here are some of them for you:

"Take the I Out"

"I Go Back to May 1937"

"My Son the Man"

This is the one she read on This American Life that I loved so much. It's called "The Race."

I forgot to mention that Lisa Marie and I went to see an open mike night last week. It was set up so that anyone could sign up to tell a story, though it had to be on the subject of holiday spirit, and to stay within a 5 minute time period. Each speaker was then judged by a point system. I wanted to see what it's like in case I ever want to do something like that. We saw five of them and none were very good. One girl told a story about eating bugs--that was the best one. Another guy over told his story, using lots of crazy facial expressions and hand gestures. Another man mumbled and Lisa Marie had to look away in anguish.

You can't believe how some people don't know how to tell a story. Or how they would be brave and dumb enough to not prepare something ahead of time--to just wing it. I couldn't do that. I would have to know exactly what I wanted to say and would have practiced it ahead of time. The next topic is "Beats," and I suppose I have plenty to say about feral cats in South Philadelphia, but I'm just not sure I want to get nervous about it or if I want to do it knowing I could fail. I only want to do it if I succeed. And win. And make people laugh and fall in love with me. Otherwise, why bother?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Bachelor is Back!

I missed the first few minutes--Dan has filled me in. Apparently, Brad has commitment issues because his dad abandoned him once...for eight weeks. Hmm...Does that count? Try not meeting your dad until you're 23. We're also getting to meet all of the freakish women desperate for husbands. Emily is the cutest so far. One girl is a vampire and she even has the sharp teeth. For real. A few are divorced and exploiting their children on TV. A few other have dead people in their lives--dads, husbands, cats. One girl works at a mauseleum and hopes she can bury Brad in it. She actually said that. Uh-oh. Emily might be a Christian. She believes her husband died in a plane crash so that she can meet the bachelor.

A few things about Brad. He likes to work out. He likes to walk around with his shirt off. The two things may be related. He also has a giant tattoo on his back--I think it's the letter "P?" Not sure. He has a slightly Southern accent, even though he's from Baltimore. He is also a sweater. And he only shaves his face like once every three days. He likes to have that permanent five o'clock shadow that drives the ladies wild.

Oh, dear, they have brought back the two reject women. Deanna and that other one. He needs a kerchief for his sweat. He tells them that they both look beautiful. Equally beautiful. Exactly the same level of beautiful each. He keeps calling them "you guys." The one girl thinks he can do it. Deanna still thinks he's an ass.

And now, here come the thirty forgettable girls, already drinking champagne. We've seen the slap 40 times. Chantall does it. Brad loves that she hit him the face. I think he's crying. Kimberly can barely walk in these heels. Brad just said, Big butt. She should've had her roots done right before the show. He will see all of them inside. Ali gives him a slope shouldered hug, oh, wait, two hugs. "I'll see you inside" times 1,000. Ashley should've had someone do her hair as well--it's in this kind of terribly messy side ponytail. She's from North Carolina and I think she just grabbed his butt. Meghan looks kind of like a man. She's wearing horrible, giant red shoes. They keep hugging and hugging and hugging and wearing bad clothes. Marissa. Almost ethnic. She's selling herself. "Are you comfortable being with someone whose whole life revolves around sports?" Great. Another Ashley. She's a hugger. UGH. This is awful. If you have all this time to prepare a first line, how come they can't come up with something at least a little bit interesting? Madison, the vampire with the teehth. Come on! He says he likes her mysterious demeanor. Do you mean you like her vampire teeth. What's her face, Melissa, leaps into his arms. All of this is awkard. She definitely has an eating disorder. Renee is from Chicago and talks like a little girl. Cristy doesn't know how to spell her name. She is ALL teeth. Jackie runs into his arms. They all have big, perfect teeth or vampire teeth. She asks him to pinkie swear that he won't break her heart. Another stupid first line. Sarah asks him to go down on his knees. She forces him to propose. Nice rack, though.

Next limo of bimbos. This show makes me not a feminist. Lauren is pretty. She seems calm. Lisa P. is totally drunk. and can't stop pulling at her dress. Shawntel has a made up name. She's wearing an empire waist dress. She's kind of adorable and is joking about falling down. OH, GOD, someone is gesturing from inside of the car. She's way too tall. Britnee. Do none of these girls know how to spell? Stacey, the bartender from Boston. She doesn't know who he is. He likes that. Jill looks so sweet and happy and she says that she's ready to get married. Desperation oozing from her pores. Another pair of terrible red shoes. She's from Tampa and she wears ruby red slippers because there's no place like home. Huh? She kisses him on the lips because her grandmother told her about kissing frogs. J is just one letter. It's her birthday. Oh, no, again another girl who kicks her legs in the air because she's a Rockette. She asks him how his high kicks are. Is that an euphemism for something. She dances off the stage. Sarah wants to tell him a random fact about herself. She can't snap her fingers!!!!! Good one. Emily is adorable too, but she looks kind of fake. Too much blond hair and perfect teeth. She's very excited that it's him. Britt has hair like a mermaid. She is also wearing terrible red shoes. Michelle may have a sense of humor. I can't tell. How many more are there, for the love of God. Oh, okay, we're done. Brad tells Chris that he feels very undeserving, but he truly believes that one of those guys inside might turn out to be his future ex-wife.
I don't know if I can continue to do this, you guys. Can't make a video because Dan isn't here and I don't think I'm up for doing one on my own. It's just not the same. Plus, I simply don't have enough hair to imitate even one of these women. All of them are white, skinny, and have long, jangled locks.

Now comes the girls talking shit and falling in love immediately. He does have to give out the first impression rose. Inside. When he sees them. When he sees them inside. Brad hopes they give him a chance to prove that he's a new man. Who will get the most drunk, I wonder? Someone has to jump in the pool. Brad confesses how much of an asshole he knows he has been, and how much he has changed in three long years and he is for sure here for the right reasons. He gives them the chance to leave, if anyone wants to go. Of course they don't. They want to be on TV for as long as possible. I don't find him particularly attractive. He's too thin and scared looking. The women are all interrogating him. He's had three years of very intensive therapy and very intensive soul searching and feeling like a total jerk, like the total piece of crap he knows he is and my God, he just hates himself so much and knows he's not worthy of anything, not even oxygen. He is here to find a wife. They all have a right to doubt and everything, but he is overwhelmed and terrified and will hopefully start crying.

He finds Ashley S. to be both sweet and nice, because she tells him that she's there for him if he ever needs a friend or a safe haven. The manscaper has brought her kit with him so she can wax his five o'clock shadow. She snaps on a latex and puts the hot wax on him and then rips off his wrist hair. That is the dumbest thing I've ever seen. Brad says he doesn't want his package waxed ever. Jackie finds him to be sexy and she wants to sing for him. She's la-la-laing and singing, I came her today, all the way from LA to meet you. La-la-la! Please let this be over soon. Another girl asks if he can handle a girl with her size of behind. I hope she feels stupid. Another girl comes and steals him away five seconds later. they all feel stupid. They're all fighting over him and stealing him away again and again. Please don't steal him away again.

They are so scared about the first impression rose. Emily realizes she needs to come out of her shell. Please don't tell him about the dead husband. She's a coal miner's daughter and possibly again a Christian. He sees her as a Southern bell and this makes him sure that she's here for the right reasons. He asks Madison why it is that she has fangs. He asks her if she thinks this is a game or not. Does she really want to be there or not. Michelle wants to know what her deal is. She says that she's a woman, not a little girl. She tells him that he's been through a lot and she has a kid. He takes this well. He says he wants nothing more than a bunch of kids who aren't his. Okay, they have to move this along, because the final rose ceremony is coming up and there are only 24 minutes left. He is giving the rose to a genuinely sweet girl. It's one of the Ashley's--the one with the side ponytail. He likes that she said that no matter what, you would be here to be his friend. She is cute. And she will totally be his friend and give him oral sex, if that's what he wants. Does he know that she's a nanny? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Okay, finally, the rose ceremony and then we'll have to watch 10 minutes of previews from the upcoming episodes.

First rose: Michelle who is a real woman with a kid.
Second rose: Kimberly who should've had her roots done. She will absolutely accept it.
Third rose:Madison with the fangs. Seriously? She goes to bite his neck. She is a freak. They made him pick her.
Fourth rose: Emily who looks like one of the chicks from the Hefner mansion.
Fifth rose: Rachel. Can't remember anything about her at all.
6th rose: Kelti. Is that really her name. She's the Rockette and can't stop saying yeah and hopping around.
7th rose: Ashley H. Huh?
8th rose: Megan who kind of looks like a man.
9th rose: Lisa M. She is so excited too.
10th rose: The dramatic music is always in the background. Lyndsey. Also unmemorable.
11th rose: Alec. Dimples.
12th rose: Sarah P. That's me, she says.
13th rose:Some of the girls look sick. Like they will vomit if they don't get picked. Marissa of indeterminate ethnicity. She will also absolutely accept the rose.
14th rose: Mermaid hair.
15th rose: Stacey. She's kind of calm-ish.
16th rose: Chantall M. Is there more than one Chantall. I like her. She reminds me of Natalie Portman.
17th rose: Jackie who kept getting stolen away from stealing him away.
18th rose: Melissa. Who is she?
Last rose goes to...Chantal O. who slapped him.

The other girls are going to cry. Oh, well.

The girl who kissed him says she will have to kiss more frogs. They are wishing him luck. The one girl I liked in the gold dress is going home. That's too bad. She says it's his loss. Good for her. Britnee doesn't know why he didn't pick her. He doesn't even know how she mis-spells her name. This blond thinks that he didn't take her seriously enough. I bet she told herself she wasn't going to cry.

Coming up...More nonsense, more beach time, more shirts taken off. More driving in hot cars. More jump roping in a foreign country. More heartbreak. They are careful not to actually show any of the girls faces so we can't guess who goes and who stays. They are going to Africa and going to show tramp stamps. One of them gets a black eye. Yeah!

Some leftover Christmas spirit

I keep forgetting to post the pictures that I have been taking of Christmas cheer. A lot of the windows are still Christmas-y, so I will try to get a few more in this week. But first, here are some woodpeckers I saw at Dan's mom's house.

And this is the gingerbread man that Luke made and gave to me for Christmas. I ate all of it.

We also bought stockings to hang. The funniest thing was that I put an orange in Luke's stocking and he was totally tickled by it. My mom always had Santa leave an orange. I guess I thought everyone did that.

And here he is holding a pipe and gesticulating about something or other.

Snow men, glitter backdrop, and Christmas trees.
This is hard to see. I guess you should click on it to see the larger version.

The snowman looks like he's been up all night drinking and just woke up in a planter the next morning.
An elaborate Christmas carol scene, better than Macy's.

With detail.

Oh, yeah, I wondered where they stored these bodies during the rest of the year.

And for some, Christmas means little doggies climbing out of a pair of jeans (really--click to see).

She comes to life at night and tries to kill you if you've been naughty.

Angels and Santa.
A fancy wreath.

I like the simplicity of this one--or the home-ade-ness or whatever.

Sleeping dog.

I bet they bought this are Target.

Snow village.

Cat and giant praying hands of...Jesus? The Pope?

Another Target purchase?

And I kept seeing penguins everywhere.

This was in the window of a restaurant near my house.

I love this so much, Santa and the Baby Jesus together at last.