Monday, May 22, 2017

Bachelorette Season 13, Episode 1: C'mon Rach!

Well, we're here for the Jackie Robinson of Bachelorettes, Rachel! I'm actually wondering if Jackie Robinson's name is brought up this season, which I think might be a bit of an insult to Jackie Robinson. Like Mr. Robinson, Rachel is the first of her race to do something. Unlike Jackie Robinson, I don't think people are throwing stuff at her bus, refusing to work with her, sending her death threats, or anything nearly on level with what Jackie Robinson went through. It's like calling the kid who stages a protest for third graders to be able to use the soccer field at recess the Martin Luther King Jr. of Oak Grove Elementary.

So we start with our totally unoriginal segment of Rachel and her life.  She's still claiming to be a trial attorney, even though we know she's been doing reality tv for over 9 months now. I about died when we see a clip of her "in action" in the courtroom and she objects based on "speculation" and side-eyes the other attorneys as the "judge" says "sustained." Do lawyers throw shade in the courtroom often? If so, I need to go to more trials.

On to the guys...let's see what we got:
  • single dad pro wrestler
  • 31 year old lawyer whose mom died 15 years ago and is now forced to wander through the park with his labradoodle.
  • A bench pressing Russian computer coder who is definitely going to be getting a call from the FBi
  • A Bay Area start up guy who has dance parties with about thirty of his family members all the time
  • The Whaboom guy (holy hell)
  • A guy who claims he's super horny because he works out all the time and talks about sex all the time
  • Diggy the fashion dude with enough shoes to fill an entire house
  • A prosecuting attorney whose brother killed himself and claims he cut his brother's lifeless body down from a tree as a seven year old, and was saved by an attorney who told him he "had the best grades"
Now we get all the girls who were dumped by Nick to advise Rachel on who she should date and how she should do it. They all end up talking about how much they love each other and how much they mean to each other and there are tears and champagne and then it's time for the driveway first impressions.

The first limo includes:
  • Peter, who introduces himself as "from Wisconsin, but not Nick!"
  • Josiah, who opts not to bring up his brother's suicide, but opts for lame legal term
  • Brian, who goes with some Spanish and then says "have you ever dated a Colombian guy?"
  • Kenny, the pro wrestler who calls her "Pretty Rachel" and goes from some dance moves
There are some other guys who don't get much airtime: A firefighter who picks her up, a guy who goes with an Urkel themed ice breaker, Diggy says he hopes he can teach her to Diggy, another guy asks if he can show her his buns (a Jamaican pastry), and a guy who smashes some ice with a sledgehammer, and the guys who already got to meet her at After the Final Rose.

Fred, who was a third grader at the same school when Rachel was an eighth grader, A guy who describes himself as a tickle monster, and then a whole bunch of gimmiky guys who show up with a dummy, a vaccuum cleaner, a penguin suit, an ambulance, and a few more guys who  play it fairly straight.

And now we're at the point where the guys all start to realize they aren't the only man on the show and multiple guys say things like "yo there's a lot of dudes here." Whaboom shows up and he's the worst. I'll bet the Tickle Monster is happy he showed up though - it's always nice to know you're not the weirdest person in the room.

ABC went and made a whole thing out of the guy bringing a creepy dummy version of himself. They gave the dummy a French voice, posed him by the fire with a champagne flute, and all sorts of stuff. I felt like it needed to be acknowledged, but I hated every second of it, and that's all I want to say about it.

Bryan speaks some more Spanish and then aggressively attacks her face with his mouth. She digs it. Rachel likes where DeMario's "headspace" is. I don't know what this means.

Hilarity ensues when the guys start stacking up five deep to talk to her. I actually laughed out loud when one guy interrupted her, only to be interrupted immediately by another guy who says "he just wanted to let you know that I wanted tot talk to you."

Blake has had enough of Whaboom. "Lucas is like the guy at the family reunion who always pinches your nipples and puts a whoopee cushion under your seat," he whines. I don't know about you, but there is nobody like that at my family reunions. There's nobody like that at your family reunions. Blake's family sounds terrible.

Blake then doubles down by lecturing Whaboom Lucas about his motives. Blake then tells the camera that he believes good triumphs over evil, but if the girl picks evil, well then he's not backing down. So....if she doesn't pick him, he's going to not accept that and make her mind up for her? Good luck with that strategy, Blake.

Brian gets the first date rose, and celebrates by using his tongue to clean her esophagus.  Calling him an aggressive kisser is like calling Lionel Messi a good soccer player or saying Adele's voice is decent.

In the end, a bunch of dudes go home, and a bunch of dudes stay, including Whaboom, which, incidentally, is the sound a fist makes when it connects with his face.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bachelor Season Finale: It's So Hard to Say Goodbye

Damnit, I couldn't stay away. With as craptastic as this season has been, I figured I'd wrap it up with a little recap of the finale.  If you made it this far into the season, congratulations.  It's been a real rough road with brief moments of enjoyment, such as Rachel being an honest to God likeable human being, Corinne's juvenile antics, and Jasmine's brief break with reality when she threatened to choke-hump Nick and got a ticket home.

Anyways, I sort of made it through the Women Tell All last week, but I can't tell if the show is getting worse because I've finally reached the Roger Murtaugh age or because the show just stopped trying. The entire episode was just one woman after another blaming other people for their own faults or turning their battle in the house with the other ladies into some sort of metaphor for the increasingly adversarial nature of our entire society. Liz surmised that the girls weren't mad at her because she bragged about having sex with the guy they were dating at "Jade and Tanner's wedding" (yeah, I said it, DRINK!) was because of the political climate, and at a time like this, women need to be supporting each other and standing together, even if they did sleep with your boyfriend. Taylor seemed to think that her career had been damaged because the other women said mean stuff about her, not because she said mean stuff about them and acted like she was too good to be on a show that she willingly signed up for. Corinne claimed she never said anything bad about anyone in the house, then qualified it by saying that other people said bad stuff about her first, so anything she said after that was completely fine. Jasmine seemed to sum the whole season up in one sentence: "we all call each other bitches."

Ok, so now onto the finale.  We're left with Raven and Vanessa.  Does he pick Raven, the girl from Hoxie, Arkansas (population 2,680) or Vanessa, the headstrong Canadian who, when asked about what things she is unwilling to compromise about, says "Sunday dinners with my family." Not her religion, not having kids, not she's unwilling to sacrifice a dinner with her family on Sunday for her husband.  I remember how important spending Christmas Day with my mom's family was to me...until I got married and realized that if it was important to me, it was probably equally as important to my wife to spend Christmas with her family, and OH MY GOD WE COMPROMISED.

Anyways, we're in Finland, and Nick's whole family has been flown in, including his super awesome little sister Bella. We're reminded a thousand times how in love with Andi and Kaitlyn Nick was, and how he's worried it won't work out again.  The only difference this time is that there are no other options for his love interests, something this show conveniently has forgotten all season. I think it's 100% evident to everyone that either woman would say yes if he proposed, so I'm not sure what his doubts are.

Nick bravely tells us that he's willing to risk proposing again, and I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact ABC would basically sue the hell out of him if he didn't see this through. Nonetheless, we get to hear his family tell us for the millionth time "the girls could say no," and "given Nick's track record....." despite the fact that BOTH GIRLS HAVE TOLD HIS FAMILY THAT THEY LOVE NICK AND WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF THEIR LIVES TOGETHER.

Vanessa is now talking to Nick's sister, and all of a sudden she's "open to compromise" and "would be willing to leave Montreal." God damnit, ABC.  That whole "we've gotta eat dinner every Sunday in Montreal" bullcrap was just a contrived storyline to create a conflict to make us think he might not pick Vanessa, and I fell for it the same way I fell for it when Brad Womack and Emily got in a huge disagreement in the fantasy suite about him not being ready to be a father. Lo and behold, he still picked Emily (and they broke up fairly shortly after.) I see the same thing happening with Nick now.....he'll pick Vanessa, and then they'll break up shortly thereafter.

There's lots of tears on Vanessa's visit with Nick's family. His mom gets teary eyed, his dad cries, Vanessa cries.......quick poll - how many of you cried with your in-laws before you got married when discussing your relationship with their son/daughter? Anyone?

You'll be shocked to learn that Nick's family thinks that both girls have a shot to be proposed to and that he has a connection with both of them. Nick's mom then says Raven was "too quick" to say she wants to be engaged to Nick.  Damn you Raven, you love my son too much! His mom then goes on to some sort of thing about how proposing is "a one time thing" which is hilarious because Nick has been engaged or nearly engaged like three or four times already. Nick's dad then says something about Nick being jilted at "the proposal altar" which ISN'T EVEN A THING! A proposal altar....get out of here with that nonsense.

Hilariously, this commercial break features a drug commercial where people are holding up paper plates with smiley faces in front of their faces to mask their depression, which seems like a fitting metaphor for anyone dating Nick Viall.

Nick has also set a record for straddle hugs, which I'm wondering if anyone over the age of 23 still does.

Situations that call for a straddle hug:
You're a teenager
You just got home from a tour in Afghanistan
You won the lottery
You're on the bachelor and it's been sixteen hours since you've seen your boyfriend because he's been having sex with another girl.

What the hell is Santa doing here? It's March! Everyone understands that this show airs in March, right? Nick asks Santa for love for Christmas, Vanessa asks for "happiness with the one I love." Vanessa then tells us how Santa is a metaphor for love, and then Santa gives them a gift with the symbol of fertility on it.  WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F*CK, SANTA??? If there is one thing I never want to associate Santa with, it's sex. Santa is way too closely associated with children for that nonsense.

We've now reached the portion of the date where Vanessa questions everything and makes us think there's no way she's ready to get engaged. Nick says he wants this to "feel like a love he's never felt before." Just stop, dude. You've been down this road at least twice before. You've told everyone at every turn that you were so confident going into Kaitlyn and Andi's final episodes that you were going to get engaged, so just stop with this "I know now what love is" garbage. He then tells Vanessa that he "needs to use this entire week" to figure out who to propose to.  He also says that if someone told him that he was going to face a lot of challenges and difficulties on his path to getting engaged and he still wanted to get engaged...that's pretty romantic.  Did he just give himself props for stringing Vanessa along? I sorta think so.  They cry together.

Chris Harrison pops in to ask us if we think Nick will "let America down." No pressure dude.

Raven comes in for a full-on hands-on-butt-cheeks straddle hug from Nick.  They ice skate together as we get serenaded by The Cranberries Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me," which was released when Raven was six years old. They make out on the ice.  Nick has now laid Raven down in a muddy Arkansas bog and on a Finnish patch of ice.  What a gentleman.

Raven and Nick's date has a real playful vibe, and it really is starting to feel like Vanessa is his wife and Raven is the mistress he goes to see when things with his wife get "too real." ABC then decides to sledgehammer how young Raven is into her age by giving her the fantasy date of every kindergarten girl: Ice skating, hot cocoa and puppies!

Raven then uses "serious time" to tell Nick he doesn't need to worry, she's going to say yes if he proposes. Nick then says "more than any of the other girls, I knew I never had to worry about that with you." Because any time a girl brings up proposal, the first thing she wants to hear about are your other girlfriends, you douchenozzle. They do have a cute moment when they make fun of each others accents. You'd think it was a no doubter that he'd pick Raven, given that they laughed and kissed and had trouble saying goodbye to each other, whereas Vanessa's date ended in tears.  This mean's he's picking Vanessa.

Nick then has his reflective moments staring into the fire in a place called the "Bear's Den." As he sips his cocoa and stares into the flickering flames, who should appear but Santa!  Oh wait, he's already been here.  It's someone nearly as old and also someone I'll never associate with sex, Neil Lane! Neil walks him through getting a ring.  I wonder how many times Nick finished Neil's sentence during that conversation.  'This one here is a -" "princess cut.  I know Neil."

Nick's deliberation time is over, and he's breaking up with Raven. Of course.  ABC's going to get a much more heartbreaking reaction from the 25 year old small town dreamer than the 29 year old pragmatic Canadian.

Raven then gives some sort of prepared speech/vows that starts with "stepping out of the limo......" Nick, being the classy guy that he is, lets her get through the entire speech before blowing her out of the water. He compliments her to no end, and then says "I just don't know that I'm in love." In a twist, small town girl handles it way better than this blubbering idiot. He's crying talking about how great she is and what a mess he is. No girl wants to hear how hard it was on you to break her heart. No guy wants to hear that either, for that matter. He says "I'm going to miss you," and she politely smiles and says "I know." Nicely done, Raven.  Definitely the winner of this season, regardless of who gets the roses, rings, or future reality seasons.

Cue Raven in the van wondering if love will ever find her, and if it's possible that nobody can ever love her. So hyperbolic, these final exits are.

Vanessa walks in, and Nick tries to pull her in for a straddle hug, forgetting she's wearing a dress. No prepared speech from Vanessa, just break right into the proposal from Nick. Oh wait, after his speech about seeing her step out of the limo, we get to hear it again, but from her perspective! I'm so glad we get to hear about that moment again in the exact same terms!

I love that he proposes by opening the ring to the camera so we can see the Neil Lane name, rather than opening it towards Vanessa.  It's such a perfect TV moment.

And with that, The Bachelor is over, and the blog goes back into hibernation.....forever? We'll see.  Turns out I kind of miss doing this.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bachelor Season 21, Episode 2: Miss Jackson if You're Nasty

Alright a day late (thanks, Clemson!) but let's do this, huh?

We start with Nick saying that he is "more confident than ever" that this experience will end with him falling in love. So, instead of you being one of thirty dudes, you're confident that when you get the pick of thirty women the odds are more in your favor?  Shocking.

Harrison calls the ladies together to discuss the format for the week: two group dates and a one-on-one.  Chris makes sure to let the ladies know that not all the girls will be going on dates,(apparently it's physically impossible for one man to go on 22 dates in a week, go figure) so they need to "take advantage of the time they do have." Translation: Be a whore. Chris, you dog you.

The group date starts with the girls piling into matching convertibles and then sprinting through a mansion trying to find Nick. I think this would be a great group date: The Bachelor is hiding somewhere in a house, and the first one to find him gets private time....only the house is booby trapped Kevin McAllister style. Good stuff.

The date involves the girls in wedding photo shoots. Of course the girls have outfits in various wedding themes that have to do with their personalities....Crazy dolphinshark gets to be a pregnant bride with a gun, Corinne, who fancies herself as some sort of sex panther gets a bikini, etc. Corinne says she can't wait to kiss Nick again, and Taylor somehow thinks this is directed towards her, because of her confidence and connection with Nick. Congrats Taylor, I somehow like you less than the obvious villain on the show.

Also, can we talk about the photographer, who looks like a toucan? Do we think he is actually a photographer, or is he an actor that has literally no clue what he's doing. I feel like any jamoke with an Canon EOS Rebel could take these pictures.

Meanwhile, back at the house, Liz is making vague statements about her past with Nick to the girls, but she's also telling the camera's that she met Nick at Jade and Tanner's wedding for the 1,000th time. From now on, all you drinkers have to take a shot every time you hear "Jade and Tanner."

Corinne is not handling Nick having an "Adam & Eve" wedding with Brittney well. She thinks she's the sexy one and has to prove it by taking her top off and letting Nick sample the melons like he's shopping for breakfast at Safeway.  She asks him to "Janet Jackson" her, which is a 24 year old reference to the album cover for Janet Jackson's album, appropriately titled "Janet."

ABC had two options when choosing who would win the extra time with Nick tonight: pick literally any other girl and watch Corinne freak out, or pick Corinne and watch all the other girls freak out.  They chose quantity over quality and let Corinne have the extra time.  I guess this serves the double purpose of letting all the women know that taking your clothes off earns you extra time, and reinforces Harrison's "be a whore" pep talk from earlier in the night....way to be consistent, ABC

Corinne tells us that no one has ever held her boobs like that before, and no one ever will again.....I'm not sure what this means. Does it mean she thinks that her and Nick will be together forever, or that she only did that because she was on a TV show and was not about to go home before she got her time on screen.

Props to ABC again for editing Nick and Corinne's conversation to make it look like he says the only things that impress him about Corinne are her sexiness and impulsive behavior. This leads to lots of girls talking about their boobs and kissing him way before they should. Raven is trying a different tactic, trying to connect with him on an emotional level. They have a conversation about getting cheated on and how they have no regrets because they've always given their all to their relationships, which is total bullcrap, because nobody gives their all to every relationship all the time.  I know that in every relationship I had before I got married, I gave the relationship my total devotion for about a month or so, and then it was like "well, whatever happens, happens." I mean, right now, I'm blogging and watching the Bachelor in the dark downstairs by myself while my wife is upstairs.  Sure, I could be upstairs giving her pre-sleep backrub every night....but I'm not.  I guess I'm not giving my all to this relationship either....and if you're being honest with yourself, you're probably not giving your all in your current relationship, but go ahead and keep telling yourself that (#truthbomb).

Corinne continues to interrupt girls and dominate Nick's time, all the while being unapologetic about it.  We get our first "I'm not here to make friends" comment, as Corinne matter of factly tells the ladies that if they couldn't handle being interrupted, they shouldn't have gone on The Bachelor.  As always, there's definitely some truth to #thevillain's words, but that doesn't justify acting like a douche. Obviously the goal is not to make a new girl friend, but that doesn't mean you are free to treat people like common peasants in feudal England.

Taylor gets her time, and talks about her degrees and how smart she is, and of course here comes Corinne again. Taylor is able to use her Johns Hopkins degree to deduce Corinne's confidence is allowing her to be more assertive, but then Taylor shows that book smarts don't always transfer to street smarts, as she just walks away and tells the other girls that Nick is not looking for someone like Corinne and she's not a threat at all.  Her actions betray her words, as she goes back to interrupt Nick and Corinne.

Hilariously, Corinne is not down with this at all. In Corinne's world, interrupting someone is fine, but re-interrupting someone is very rude. Nick apparently does not share Corinne's viewpoint, as she tells Taylor that he's glad she came back.  This then leads to a hilarious conversation between Corinne and Taylor where Corinne basically argues with herself about how upset Taylor is. As typically happens when a smart person (Taylor) has a conversation with a not-as-smart person (Corinne), the not-as-smart person thinks they're the smart one. Corinne then doubles down on her belief that she's the smartest person on the show by counseling all the other women on what to expect, which involves making your friends feel weird and making your not-friends feel weird too. 

Continuing with the "be yourself, but be the most whorish version of yourself" theme ABC seems to be shoving down our throats, Corinne gets the rose, which leads to her saying "XOXO #gossipgirl!" while holding the rose over her head like a trophy. I have no clue what this means, as I've never watched Gossip Girl.

Lacey has a conversation with Corinne where Lacey feels like Corinne got the rose because she got naked, and it makes her rethink what kind of girl Nick is looking for.  This from a girl who showed up on a camel night one and said "I heard you like a good hump." There are varying shades of naughty behavior apparently - implying you'd like to have sex through humor is OK, but implying you'd like to have sex by letting him touch your nipples is TOO FAR.

My pick for the final rose, Danielle, gets the first one-on-one date, which involves a helicopter landing on a yacht. I was hard on Danielle on night one (the pockets showing out of the jeans and the soft babylike voice), but she got much more likeable as the night went along....or maybe it's the girls being less likeable. Who knows.

We don't get to see much of the date, because we have to talk about Jade and Tanner's wedding again. Liz, who hasn't shown any inclination to tell anyone (even Nick!) about what happened at Jade and Tanner's (DRINK) wedding, suddenly decides to go into great detail with Christen about what happened.....that apparently continued through three different wardrobe changes. Here they are talking in bikinis. Here they are talking in regular clothes. Here they are talking in robes over bikinis! What is going on right now?

Whatever happened on the yacht must not have been very exciting, because we saw literally none of it. Next thing we know, we're at dinner and Danielle is giggling just talking about the yacht. Some people have inside voices, other people have outside voices, but Danielle is the first person who actually has a neonatal ICU voice. I still don't like it, but I think Nick likes her. She asks him about him, and he's more than happy to talk about his "tragic" reality TV history. Incredibly, Danielle says that his past makes a lot of sense with regards to her past.  I can't wait to hear how him being a three time failure on reality TV compares to her past relationships.  Turns out that in Danielle's world, losing out on a reality show love is very similar to FINDING YOUR FIANCE DEAD OF A DRUG OVERDOSE. I can honestly say that I did not see that coming.

Of course, Nick needs to hold her hand like it just happened last week. Nick then goes into some sort of speech about how he doesn't think less of her because her fiance died of a drug overdose, which.....way to be the bigger man, Nick.  Thanks for not looking down on me because my best friend shoplifted a burrito in 1998.  Nick then tells her not to feel bad about it, because he's sure they were in love and to hold onto the good times and try to replicate that in future relationships.  This might be literally the worst advice I've ever heard: Do everything you can to have a love that reminds you of your dead fiance. Danielle loves it though, and she gets the rose.....time to make out on an empty Ferris Wheel!

Group Date #2, loosely titled "Liz had sex with Nick at Jade and Tanner's (DRINK) Wedding" kicks off with a limo ride. The limo ride ends with one of the girls saying "Oh my God there's Nick!" as if she's surprised to see him. The date is at the Museum of Broken Relationships, which sounds like quite literally the dumbest thing I've ever heard of.  One of the exhibits was entitled "Brush with Matted Dog Fur." What in the actual hell is this place? This isn't a real place, is it? Google tells me, sadly, that it is real.

This then leads to a couple of actors breaking up in the museum of broken relationships. Holy crap. Of course our ladies will now get to act out breaking up with Nick as part of a "symposium on the art of the breakup." News flash: I hate art.

Liz feels like Nick is avoiding her, which, of course he is.  This is the only way that ABC can ensure that you talk to him in front of all the other women.....hopefully during your fake breakup, which will then become a real breakup. Don't fall for it Liz!

Update: she totally fell for it. She said Jade and Tanner's wedding two more times (DRINK DRINK), and Liz reads a prepared speech and puts Nick on the spot to discuss their past in front of everyone, before giggling and saying "just kidding I'm not gonna make you do that!" and laughing it off like she didn't mean everything she just said. My favorite part was her saying that she hopes Nick fights for love on this show like she wished he would've fought for her. You mean like when he asked for your number and you wouldn't give it to him? I will never, EVER, for the life of me understand why someone would play hard to get. If you're in a relationship where your significant other is constantly telling you one thing with the expectation that you will ignore it and continue to do the opposite of what they said....I would say that you're not going to last.  At some point, she will say "do not ever touch my butt in public" and you will think "this is one of those times where she wants me to prove how much I want to touch her butt" and you will be wrong. And this will be the end of your relationship.  Sorry.

Christen lets Nick know that Liz spilled the beans, so now Nick feels he needs to put all the cards on the table. First he talks to Liz though. Nick accuses her of being there just for the TV fame. Liz tries to say that she was respecting him and his time in Paradise, blah blah blah. Nick's not buying it. Liz then says that she's not into phone calls. WHAT? Does she not call her friends? Nick decides to send her home.

To recap Liz's time of The Bachelor, she spent 80% of her on screen time talking about having sex at Jade and Tanner's Wedding (DRINK!) and then got kicked off for being a shady glory hound. To seemingly back up every accusation Nick leveled against her, she smiles as he dismisses her and asks to walk her out.

Nick then faces the music by telling the girls (with a smile on his face, no less) that he had sex with Liz at Jade and Tanner's Wedding (DRINK!!!!)

Great way to end.....or not.  We actually end with Nick and Dolphinshark singing happy birthday to her boob job.

I don't care what ABC offers you, if they ask you to go on this show, you say no.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Bachelor Season 21: Pervy Ol' St. Nicolas

Dear God, it's going to be a rough season.  I consider myself a pretty big fan of this franchise, but even I can't defend this pick for Bachelor.  He's been on three different seasons (Two Bachelorettes and a Bachelor in Paradise, and every time he's come up empty.  That in itself isn't a knock on Nick - there's no shame in having three relationships not pan out over the course of three or four years.  Heck, that seems about par for the course for most people.  What's insane to me though is that he's never been a fan favorite on any one of these shows.  Nobody wanted Andi to pick him over Josh, nobody wanted Kaitlyn to pick him over whoever that guy she picked was, and I think everyone thought Jen was too good for him on BiP. He's not overly attractive, he's not overly nice, he doesn't have a tragic backstory.....the only thing he has going for him is that he has been in the running at the end of three seasons and every time someone's picked someone else. And he's 36 and single, which in Bachelor-verse makes him a spinster.  ABC keeps running ads that look like this:
But all I see is this:

Why are all the girls so young? My theory is that all women in their 30s are way too smart to be suckered by his sad puppy dog schtick and/or are too embarassed to have to answer the question "why haven't you found love at your age yet?" Again, in Bachelor-verse, being 35 and single probably means you've already outlived three husbands and maybe a few of your children. Let's start the season, shall we?

Nick has trouble saying the word "bachelor." Nick runs shirtless around a city (Chicago? Milwaukee?)) then takes his pants off for the camera and hops in the shower.  Waukesha gets some love as we meet Nick's family...particularly his youngest sister Bella.  Bella seems adorable and way too nice to be related to this smarmy douche.

Nick says "love is the best feeling in the world" and that he's not going to stop trying to be in love until he finds the one.  Congratulations, Nick, for not giving up on finding companionship less than halfway through your life.  You're a paragon of determination.

Now time for my least favorite segment of any season - where we bring back past Bachelors to give him advice.  This year we have Sean (married), Chris (decidedly not married) and Ben (engaged but pretending he's not getting married to boost ratings for season two of his trash-fire of a reality show). I think it's only fitting that these four "men" are talking in a restaurant where every other table they show in the background is filled with only women.

I will say that I appreciate the fact that the Bachelor is a guy that is in shape, but not insanely in shape. He has an attainable physique for an average human....which also reminds me that my son got a science book for Christmas that told him that the average woman was 22% body fat, while the average male was 16% body fat.  This led him to deduce that my wife was fatter than I am, which I found hilarious and my wife found incredibly upsetting. It was at this point that she pointed out to him that she was not an average female, and I was not an average male.  I've also gone running three days in a row for the first time in probably over a year.

OK, time to meet the girls:

Rachel L.: Attorney, 31 years old.  We get a shot of her saying how much she loves her job, just not enough to not quit it to be a reality show contestant. She loves dancing with her grandmother's vaccuum.

Danielle - Nail Salon owner, 27.  Apparently she owns three nail salons.  She doesn't seem very interesting aside from that.

Vanessa - Special ed teacher, 28.  She's Candian, speaks French, English, and Italian. Thinks she was put on Earth to be a mom...which, I guess in the primal sense is true.....proliferation of the species and all.

Josephine - Nursing student, 24. Lonely, lives with a cat. Josephine is fucking crazy. I can't even deal with her.

Raven - Fashion Boutique Owner, 25 - She's basically Britney Spears only if Britney had never left Louisiana and had never been famous.

Corinne - Business owner, 24 - Claims she's a business owner who works with her family. Pretty much her dad runs the business and she will at one point get ownership and get someone else to run the company.  She also has a "nanny." Corinne seems like nobody I want to know.

Alexis is 24 and obsessed with dolphins.  I don't think the show ever said what she did.  She's also crazy, but in a much more charming way than that psycho Josephine. I could see myself giving a rose to Alexis....but then again it's not my show.

Danielle 2 - neonatal nurse, 30 - talks to the camera like we are all sick infants in her ward. Wears jean shorts where the pockets are longer than the actual shorts. I hate this. I've always hated this. She baby talks and wears pocket showing shorts.  Hard pass.

Taylor - Mental Health Counselor, 23. How you have the requisite experience to counsel anyone at anything at the age of 23 is a mystery to me, but I suppose all counselors have to start sometime. She says it's hard for her to make connections because she's biracial. Her mom is white and her "biological father" is go figure that the mental health counselor has some stuff to work out of her own.  Apparently she thinks all girls hate her because she's not the same race as them.  I look forward to seeing if she is unfairly treated in the house, or if she is just awkward and aloof and then blames everyone else for her own shortcomings.

Liz - Doula, 29. She lives in Las Vegas. She was Jade's (of Jade and Tanner fame) maid of honor, and apparently hooked up with Nick at the wedding. At least that's what ABC wants us to believe. It's never actually said. She never gave Nick her number because he was cool and they had a great time....wait what? Why wouldn't she give him her number? She thought he was a player? So now she's going on a TV show to watch him hook up with other women to see if she made a mistake in not giving him her number? This isn't going to go well for Liz.

Limo time! Let's go over what makes for a good (or bad) introduction:
  • Posture/demeanor - It's ok to look down at your feet like you're nervous, but do it quickly and get back to looking at your potential spouse. Smile
  • Be funny, but not too funny - you want to make him laugh with you, not at you
  • Props - if you're going to use a prop (or if ABC is going to make you use a prop), you need to own it. Don't act like you are too good for your own prop...and remember that if it makes you look completely insane, chances are you'll stick around the first night anyways.  ABC loves throwing in the girls that make America say "why in the hell did he keep THAT bitch?"
  • Leave him wanting more - Give the dude a reason to want to seek you out in the house, but don't be a perv or too vague about it.  You know, if you're the chick that speaks multiple languages, say something in Italian, then tell him you'll let him know what it means later on in the night. If you're the baby nurse, don't say something about how new babies smell like hope and you look forward to seeing what he smells like later.
OK now, let's rate the intros (1-10, 10 being good chance of getting the first impression):
  • Danielle L. - Definitely picked an eye catching dress, but all she can say is "I was excited that you were The Bachelor." Appealing package, disappointing delivery. 6.5
  • Elizabeth - Dress looks too much like a wedding dress, says she is "most nervous" she's ever been. Laughs too hard at his attempt at a compliment, but does have an adorable accent. 5.5
  • Rachel - Makes some joke about her fantasy lineup to show she likes sports, but the only people who want to hear your fantasy sports stories are the other people you play fantasy sports with. Then says something about competing for his heart and places her palm on his heart like he's a robot that is learning about human anatomy or something. Not a huge fan of this intro. 4
  • Christen - Wears yellow dress, dances with giant yellow fan, looks at Nick like she's a 4 year old and he's the biggest, fluffiest, most amazing Labradoodle she's ever seen.  Still, she made eye contact and talked to him, padding his ego by calling him "a celebrity" and remarking about his height. I'll bet he loved that. 7
  • Taylor - Says her friends think he's a piece of shit. I'm leaning towards her being more the reason people hate her than the racist predilections of  everyone she knows. 2
  • Angela - Don't see much, but she says she wouldn't be there if he wasn't the bachelor and asks him to "scoop her up later." Dress is revealing in ways I bet Nick likes. 6
  • Lauren - says his last name (Viall) and hers (Hussey) put together make a disgusting slut (Vile Hussy, get it?) Hardy har har. 3
  • Michelle - Tired "lemons into lemonade" line. 3
  • Dominque - "4th time's a charm" joke...but at least she smiles a lot and looks genuinely excited. 5
  • Ida Marie - unique outfit that looks like something one of the Spice Girls (maybe Ginger?) would've worn on the Spice World tour. Has Nick do a trust fall and catch her.  Would've given her higher marks if she'd caught him. 7
  • Olivia - Alaskan girl shows up in a baby seal fur coat (kidding, I think) and gives him an Eskimo Kiss. Too heavy on the cultural thing.  She's gonna be Eskimo girl all season. Leaves her coat with him....why???? 5
  • Sarah - Grade school teacher comes running up the driveway.....something about a "runner-up" joke. Looks like the kind of teacher that keeps cocaine in her purse and does lines during nap time.  6
  • Jasmine G. - says she knows he's done this a million times before (ouch), brings out Neil Lane. I like this gag, although for the first time in 21 seasons, Neil Lane appears to have aged. Still, it was a good gag. 8
  • Hailey - implies she's not wearing underwear. That's her intro. 4
  • Astrid - speaks German, says her boobs are real. The girls are really honing in on the fact that Nick is a horny, horny dude. 7
  • Liz - She's doesn't let on she knows him, he doesn't let on he knows her, or possibly doesn't remember. This is gonna be a like six week saga where he says she looks familiar, she brushes it off, gets increasingly upset he doesn't remember her, then he says "just kidding, of course I remember you. I was just trying to treat you like every other girl here so they didn't get jealous and treat you differently." Liz will melt like butter, and he'll kick her off the next week. 5
  • Corinne - Comes off way more likeable in her intro than she did when she was bossing around her mom and making her nanny cut the crust off her sandwich. Gives him a "hug token." 7
  • Vanessa - SHE DOES EXACTLY WHAT I SAID SHE SHOULD DO! Give her a 9 for that.
  • Danielle  - Less baby talk, gives him daddy's maple syrup and lets him lick it off her finger, and says that he can come find her if things get "sticky" with the other girls. This wins the night for me so far. 9.5
  • Raven - our white trash Britney goes Woo Pig Sooie. Arkansas is weird. 5
  • Jaime - Says he has balls, so does she - in her nose. Balls in her nose....on a nose ring. Repeats the balls joke to the girls inside. 3
  • Briana - nurse goes with the stethoscope on his heart and a weird look/laugh combo. 5
  • Susannah - gives him a beard massage. 2
  • Josephine - Crazy girl shows up with a book with a hot dog in it...calls him a "Weiner in her book" and then asks him to "Lady and the Tramp it." She's the worst. 1
  • Brittany - Travel nurse puts on a glove and makes him bend over. 2.5
  • Jasmine B. - wearing a red dress 
  • Someone else - also wearing a red dress
  • Lacey - wearing a red dress on a camel - makes a "likes a good hump" joke...twice. 8.
  • Alexis - Shows up in a shark costume. Says she "Dolphinately" can't wait to talk to her again. Any self respecting dolphin lover would not say she was a shark. God damnit Alexis...I thought you were good crazy. 1
Thank god that's over - We now get to the part of the show where the girls talk about how hot and manly he is and make really over the top complimentary statements about him to each other in an attempt to prove to the other girls how much more they love him anyone else. Nick breaks this up by giving them the "I've been here before, so I know what it's like and also here's my inspirational speech that will make you think I'm incredible....not tear each other apart to win my attention."

Nick and Rachel have a good conversation where they talk like normal people. Good move, Rachel.  Always liked that name. I'll give this to Nick....he can carry a conversation better than most Bachelors. He's chatting it up with a lot of different girls, having pretty easy conversations with all of them on a variety of topics....although he has told more than a handful that they have a "killer dress." Corinne drops a bag full of tokens in his lap, saying he can use them for "whatever." She then establishes herself as the villain of the season by snatching him away from the French girl and making out with him. She looks like a mermaid, only evil. She's like Bad Ariel.....even doubling down on her villain status by saying "I'm here for Nick. Nick, Nick, Nick, Nick."

Jasmine the pro basketball dancer is starting to lose it.  She's pacing, crying, begging for's not going well for her. Dolphin Shark girl is just a joke, but I think she's safe. Nick makes a good joke, saying that if she takes it off, he's sending her home.

My theory that the "does he remember me?" storyline between Nick and Liz would last for weeks, blows up. Things get weirder when she says she didn't want him to think she was there because he was the Bachelor....but why else would she be there? Nick calls her on this, saying "you've had the ability to call me for nine months, but you're just showing up now." Nick's age is an asset here...he's been around enough to spot bullshit.  Liz is on borrowed time here.  He doesn't need her there - he knows how to get a hold of her, he can definitely track her down after they are done filming if things don't work out on the show. She may get through the first night, but not much longer.

Rachel earns the first impression rose - not surprising given the level of the conversation they showed on air. Nurse Danielle was probably the only person who was maybe also an option.....and just like that it is time to thin the herd. I love the girl who led with "I'm not wearing any panties" saying that she "put her heart out there."

Safe are Rachel the lawyer,  Vanessa the busty multilingual special ed teacher, Danielle the nail salon owner with her boobs on display (there's a theme here), Christen the dancer, Astrid the German, Corinne the evil mermaid, Elizabeth the Texan in a dress that looks like a wedding dress, Jasmine the neurotic NBA dancer, Raven the Arkansas Britney Spears, Christina the girl who might possibly be deaf, and if not she speaks incredibly weirdly, Danielle the maple syrupy nurse, Sarah the cocaine teacher, Josephine the psycho, Lacey the girl who loves a hump, Taylor the counselor with issues, Alexis the shark/dolphin, Hailey the underwearless Canadian, Whitney one of the red dress girls, Dominique another red dress girl, Jamie the girl with balls, Britney another red dress girl, and Liz the girl who had sex with him and then said no you can't have my number.

Gone are Ida Marie the Spice Girl, Olivia the Eskimo, Susannah the model, Lauren the Law School graduate, Briana the stethoscope girl, and a bunch of other girls that didn't really merit screen time.

And there you have it....only about two more months of this!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Trains are like Snowflakes: No Two are Alike

Last year, we decided to save ourselves a couple thousand dollars and take a train to Wisconsin for Christmas. You can read about it here. It went well enough that we decided to give it another go this year.

First off, being the train veterans we are now, we prepared a little better.  We knew there was no wifi, that the train would be a freaking sauna, and that our cooler wasn't going to keep our food cold enough to have pre-made turkey sandwiches.  So we consolidated a little bit, opted to keep some bread in a tupperware with peanut butter and jelly to make sandwiches en route, and Rachel came up with the brilliant idea to freeze water bottles the night before the trip to add a little extra ice to our cooler without sacrificing food/beverage space in the cooler.  We were all over this trip.

Things were a little different this time around.  We snagged front row seats knowing it would allow us slightly more leg room at the expense of having a tray on the back of the seat in front of us to use.  Turned out to be a non issue, as we could take our food down to the observation car to eat.  Speaking of which, last year, the observation deck was packed at pretty much all times of day. Our first morning on the train, we made our way down there around 9 AM, and there was one other person down there, watching the stop motion Rudolph on his laptop.  Maybe it's because all of the people on the train had been there before or something, because I didn't find the observation car to be quite as exciting either. Sort of like going to the Grand Canyon: the first time you see it, it's incredible.  After twenty minutes, unless you're riding a donkey or taking an airplane tour through the canyon, it becomes kinda "yep, still looks the same."

Also, last year on the train, our train conductors were awesome.  They cracked jokes, vaccuumed the aisles, cleaned the bathrooms, and were extremely friendly.  This year: not so much. We had no vaccuuming, definitely no bathroom cleaning, and the conductor for our car was a major stickler for the rules, at one point disapprovingly looking at a girl with sock/slipper hybrids on trying to head down to the observation car to play Settlers of Cataan with her boyfriend and saying "I know you don't think you're walking out of this car without shoes on." She was a peach.

Also new this year were the delays.  We were delayed last year as well, not getting out of Portland for four and a half hours due to engine trouble.  This year, it was the weather that was an issue.  About the time we hit the Rocky Mountains, we encountered this:

Beautiful, right? However, notice that we aren't moving? The snow was so thick, that freight train crews were having trouble making it to certain stations to report for work, so we had to pick them up and then back down the tracks about 20 minutes to drop them off at work.

Once we got over the Rockies, we had a new problem to deal with: wind.
 It got so bad at one point, we had to sit on the tracks stationary for 45 minutes while the wind subsided.  They weren't allowing trains to cross a trestle up ahead of us for fear of the crosswinds.  Yikes. Being stopped when you're in Glacier National Park and it's snowing heavily isn't all the bad.  Being stopped in Eastern Montana, where it looks like a post apocalyptic movie set, isnt quite as cool though:
All told, we ended up being about 4.5 hours late into Wisconsin Dells, which, over the course of a 42 hour trip, isn't all that terrible I suppose. Shortly before our stop, the conductor announced that they apologized for all the delays (making sure to point out that it wasn't Amtrak's fault that the freight trains were clogging the tracks and the weather was also a factor), and offering us all a free meal in the dining car.  I thought this was cool....we could just snag a voucher, and use it on our return trip, as we weren't going to have enough time before disembarking to eat this time.  That's when we found out that the free meal was a "beef stew" and that if you wanted your free meal, you needed to be in the dining car when your train car was called. No vouchers, no "you've been on this train for two days, you probably deserve a little more than the person who just got on ten minutes ago in Minot," nothin.  You take your beef stew and you be grateful for it!

We passed, and opted to head to Culvers immediately after leaving the station. True to form, I forgot to order cheese curds again. Fortunately there will be other Culvers trips this week....I'll make sure of that.

Friday, August 19, 2016

More fun with Olympics

I touched on this a little bit, but a lot of people are making a big deal out of Gabby Douglas not smiling and having her hand on her heart during the national anthem.

Oh wow...she looks pretty unhappy......sort of like she did in 2012!  Remember all the backlash about Gabby Douglas' deplorable demeanor in London?  Me neither:

Holy crap!  I thought McKayla Maroney was the one with the mean and disinterested face all the time?  Yes, I understand that her hand isn't on her heart. I never knew that was a requirement during the national anthem.  Have you ever been to a sporting event?  They NEVER ask the crowd to place their hands on their hearts. They DO ask everyone to please stand and remove their hats.  If she was posted up in a chair wearing a beret...ok you've got something.

Oh, but one more thing about the dangers of basing your opinion of someone on a short video clip or still's another picture of Gabby Douglas from 2012 on the same podium, presumably taken moments before or after the above shot:


Leave my Olympics Alone!

The first time I remember watching the Olympics live 1988.  I remember watching the Seoul games with my parents and marveling at the exploits of Janet Evans, Ben Johnson vs. Carl Lewis, FloJo and Greg Louganis. Even before that though, I remember watching a documentary about the 1984 Olympics called 16 Days of Glory. This movie taught me about the Olympics.  Because it focused entirely on what happened on the track, in the pool, or in the gyms, that's really what the Olympics has always been about to me.  It's not about racism, or shady business deals to obtain the right to host the games, or political gamesmanship.

Maybe that's why I've been so grouchy about the coverage of these Olympics.  Of course, now know that this sort of thing has been happening since at least 1936, when Nazi Germany was able to essentially bribe Avery Brundage to ensure the USA would compete in Munich. I know that John Carlos and Tommie Smith took a stand for African Americans  in Mexico City in 1968. I know that 11 Israeli athletes were killed at in 1972.  So yes, I know that my view of the Olympics is terribly naive and romantic.  But I learned about this stuff when I was 8.  It's sort of how you think of movies like The Land Before Time that you saw as a child are absolutely incredible, but when you show them to your kids decades later, you realize it's super boring and that Cera the Three Horn might be the most annoying character to ever grace the screen (seriously...she insulted Littlefoot's recently dead mother!)

Anyways, back to the Olympics.  There have been a multitude of "controversies" that have really detracted from the Games themselves.  I'll try to break down some of them here:

This one isn't unique to Rio....I remember this happening before Sochi in 2014 (pictures of half finished hotels peppered social media in the weeks leading up to the games) and Vancouver in 2010 (OMG THERE'S NO SNOW!).  Here are some of the headlines this time around!
 Before the Olympics:
Olympic Velodrome Builder's Contract Cancelled by Rio City Government 
Athlete's Village "Unliveable" 
Poop Olympics: Rio Water Sports Venues are Teeming with Fecal Viruses 

That all sounds terrible! How are we ever going to be able to host an Olympic Games? Let's find out!

During/After the Olympics:
Thumbs Up for Rio Velodrome
Sailing: Athletes fed up with Rio Water Quality Complaints 
And I'll let Olympian Amber Campbell let you know what she thinks of the accommodations:

Weird right? Aside from the weird pool turning green thing (which, ironically, is because there weren't ENOUGH chemicals in the water), I haven't really heard anything negative about the venues, living conditions, or anything else since the games started.

Controversy: SEXISM
This one is actually warranted, but maybe not to the extent it's been made out to be.  Trap shooter Corey Codgell-Unrein was referred to as "the wife of Chicago Bears player Mitch Unrein." People freaked the hell out.  You could say that she was defined by her husband. What's not mentioned is that this headline was in a Chicago newspaper, where the Chicago Bears probably get a bazillion more page views and reads than a story about Olympic Trap Shooting.  To me, it's no different than the endless stories and headlines about former OSU basketball coach Craig Robinson that started "Brother of First Lady Michelle Obama" or "President's Brother-in-Law...." I guess my point would be that the article probably wouldn't have even been published in the Chicago Tribune without her connection to the Chicago Bears, so was it a little sexist? Yeah.  Did she get more exposure for her talent and her sport because of that subtle sexism? Probably.

This initial example of sexism prompted people to start looking for examples of sexism.  When an announcer credited Hungarian swimming badass Katinka Hosszu's husband as "the man responsible" for her success....the pitchforks came out again. But....he was also her coach! Aren't coaches usually credited with bringing out the best in their teams/players? Was it a poorly worded way to say it? Sure. But here's a quote from Hosszu herself from an article in the New York Times right before the Olympics:
Hosszu described him as impatient and said that when he made refinements in her strokes, especially her backstroke, “he expects me to get it perfect right away.”
She added, “That’s why I’ve improved so much.”
 Ironically, one of the statements I though was the most sexist was generally applauded by the same people so intent on ferreting out misogynist behavior at the Olympics.  As Katie Ledecky was laying waste to the field in the 800m Freestyle, Rowdy Gaines said "people say she swims like a man - I say she swims like Katie Ledecky!" I had literally never heard anyone say that she swam like a man until he mentioned it.  Turns out, the people saying that were other swimmers and coaches.  Evidently, the galloping kick she was using is common among men, but not so much amongst women.  Bringing up this technical swimming stroke that almost nobody watching would have picked up on it, until he brought it up without really explaining it all that well.

Controversy: Ellen Degeneres Gets a Piggyback from Usain Bolt

Is this racist? I guess that depends on who you are and what you're looking for.  If you believe that most white people are inherently racist, then you see a white woman using a black man as a vehicle or tool rather than as a human being.  If you're less sensitive to these things, you probably say "ha! He's fast! That's funny!"  If this offends you, I get it.  You are entirely entitled to that opinion. But she didn't say "I wish I could make that guy run my errands for me like they did in the South before Abe Lincoln screwed everything up." That's offensive to everyone. There's a big difference.

With things like this, I think it's important to factor in intent.  Do I think that Ellen, a lesbian and one of the most popular people in this country, was intentionally trying to belittle a man who belongs to another group of people who have been historically marginalized by our society? Absolutely not. Very clearly, the joke is about his speed, not his skin color.

Controversy: Ryan Lochte
This one's a real headscratcher for me.  Apparently some people think that Ryan Lochte is benefitting from white privilege in this whole "robbery" fiasco. I have no idea how this is the case. These are the facts as I understand them, and please correct me if I get any of this wrong:

Ryan Lochte and his posse go to a party and get super drunk
On the way home they stop at a gas station to pee
They are too drunk to operate the door to the bathroom, so they break it, along with some other stuff
Security is not happy with this, so they try to hold them for the cops to sort this out
The drunk Americans don't want to wait for the cops, so they try to leave
Security pulls guns on them to get them to stay
Someone offers to translate, at which point the swimmers offer to pay for the damages (reports are that they offered about $50.  I have no idea how much it costs to fix a door in Brazil.)
Cooler heads prevail, nobody is shot, and the swimmers leave
Back at the Olympic Village, Ryan Lochte tells people he was robbed, including his mom.
Reporters talk to his mom, and then report that he was robbed.
Lochte corroborates this story himself in a televised interview
The cops hear about this, want to figure out what happened
Ryan tells the cops he was robbed
Evidence proves that he was not robbed
Cops try to detain Lochte, but he's already on a plane home

Where exactly in this string of events did Ryan Lochte benefit from his whiteness? Where did he benefit from his status as an Olympian? Where did he say his "robbers" were black or hispanic?

I have no evidence of this, but to me, it's plausible that a drunk dude who doesn't speak Portuguese wouldn't think the breaking of a door a few minutes ago was related to the man angrily pointing a gun at him and asking for money. He might've thought he was being robbed. He was wrong, and he's an idiot, but maybe he believed he was being robbed. Or, maybe he needed an excuse for why he was getting back to the Olympic village after 6 in the morning, so he decided to say he was robbed, because he's drunk and not that smart to begin with.

I think it's important to note that he didn't contact the police to say he was robbed.  The police contacted him after he told other people he was robbed.

As for the assertion that this has any correlation to the people criticizing Gabby Douglas, that's just insane.  The only people going after Gabby Douglas are ignorant dummies on social media. If you can find one example of a legitimate publication or anyone other than a private citizen popping off on Twitter calling her "unpatriotic," please show it to me. I've also seen tweets like this:

Except....Ryan Lochte was also criticized for his hair, even before he went HAM on a bathroom door:

Also, if you can explain to me how the deafening crush of media coverage of #LochteGate is "crickets," I'd love to hear it.

I also read an article where someone alleged that if Usain Bolt had claimed he was robbed, nobody would've believed him and his story would've been doubted from the second he uttered the words "I was robbed."

This is a 100% false statement.  I've yet to meet a single person that doesn't absolutely love Usain Bolt and think he is one of the coolest people on the planet.  I wouldn't believe that he lied about anything until it was proven that he was full of crap....just like Ryan Lochte.

Controversy: Media Ignores 2nd Amendment Advocate's Olympic Feat

Lest you think it's just liberals claiming media bias, get a load of this crap.

You want to know why you've never heard of Kim Rhode? It's because she's a freaking skeet shooter.  If you know the names of any of the athletes who won medals in the following sports that don't involve guns, please come collect your title as biggest Olympics fan in the US (relatives and/or friends of Olympians are not eligible for this prize):

Anyone? No? I'm guessing that's probably because they compete in a sport that is not shown during primetime television and never shown on TV in the four years between the Olympics....just like skeet shooting.  This is a classic example of people taking a cause that is near and dear to their hearts (in this case, the 2nd Amendment) and projecting it as being as vitally important to everyone everywhere as it is to them.

I'm not arguing that sexism, racism, gun-ism, or any other ism doesn't exist. They very clearly and very obviously do.  But not every statement is loaded with these isms. For example, saying that "it's incredible that Kerry Jennings Walsh can be a mom and be competing this well!" is not very different from saying "Kerry Jennings Walsh is performing incredibly well for someone who had their third child a few months ago!" The first statement may have been made with the intent to convey the information in the second statement, only it was poorly worded. It's a poor choice of words, but it's no reason to brand the announcer as a sexist meathead who thinks that women cease to be athletes once they pop out a few kids.

I've now been writing this for three hours, which was definitely not my intention when I started.  I didn't even get into Hope Solo or Yulia Efimova and the countless time and energy spent on things that had almost nothing to do with their performance on the field or in the pool. I'm just frustrated that Gabby Douglas not putting her hand on her heart has got as much attention as Simone Biles' four gold medals.  I'm annoyed that Ryan Lochte will be the swimmer people think of first when they think of the 2016 Olympics instead of Michael Phelps, Simone Manuel, Katie Ledecky, or Katinka Hosszu.  I'm frustrated by the climate in society today where everyone views every comment as a personal attack on their beliefs or their identity, when that really isn't always the case. I'm frustrated that a very biased or slanted meme becomes "proof" that someone is out to get you. I'm especially frustrated that if people have a disagreement on one specific issue, it seems to mean that they can no longer remember the one hundred other things that they agree on and let it ruin their relationship.

But mostly, I'm frustrated that I can't watch the Olympics with the same wide eyed wonder I did as an 8 year old kid anymore.  That was two and a half straight weeks of pure joy for me.  Now it's brief moments of joy interrupted by countless hours of complaining and argument.