Book Review: Admission

Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz
Genre: Fiction
Number of Pages: 464
Where I Got It: Own it

First line: "The flight from Newark to Hartford took no more than fifty-eight minutes, but she still managed to get her heart broken three times."

Portia Nathan is an admissions officer at Princeton who lives a quiet, ordinary life with her partner of 16 years Mark. She travels to different schools on the East coast, pitching Princeton to students and then sorting through thousands of applications to choose the best of the best. Then she runs into John, a man who remembers her  from when they both attended Dartmouth, and their meeting forces Portia to revisit a part of her past that she has buried deeply.

I kind of hated this book.

The parts where the admissions process is described was really fascinating.  To get an inside look at this exclusive process and the thoughts that go through someone in Portia's position was really interesting and even motivates me to read more about that.

Then there was the rest of the book. Just when I thought we were getting into something good, it fizzled out. There was too much self-reflection and inner monologue.  Too much of Portia analyzing the system of admissions, the system of admissions at Princeton, the meeting with John, the repercussions of that meeting... the overanalysis just seemed to make the story drag so much.

The final big reveal was a letdown as well - a bit too unbelievable for my taste. Overall, I just didn't enjoy this book.

Final Rating: 2 out of 5

Coming Up Next: Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
Blending fact with fiction, Melanie Benjamin weaves together the story of who is Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Born into a Victorian family of privilege, free-spirited Alice catches the attention of family friend Dodgson and serves as the muse for both his photography and writing. Their bond, however, is misunderstood by Alice's family, and though she is forced to sever their friendship, she is forever haunted by their connection as her life becomes something of a chain of heartbreaks. As an adult, Alice tries to escape her past, but it is only when she finally embraces it that she truly finds the happiness that eluded her. Focusing on three eras in Alice's life, Benjamin offers a finely wrought portrait of Alice that seamlessly blends fact with fiction.


Replacing Reeg

That would be Regis Philbin, the host of Live with Regis and Kelly who announced he will be retiring at the end of this season after 28 years with the show. This is pretty epic. This is up there with Bob Barker leaving Price is Right, Larry King leaving his show and Simon Cowell leaving American Idol.

So now the search is on for someone to replace him and our good friends at People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly have released a list of 10 names, plus a secondary "silly" list, of potentials.

Of course, I hate pretty much all of these names. So let's break them down, shall we?

Ryan Seacrest: NO. Heeeeeeell no. Ryan Seacrest is already involved in way too many projects. Does he really need a morning TV show to go along with a morning radio show, American Idol, and executive producing and hosting on E? How will he ever have time then to be in another Kardashian Christmas card? Seacrest overload. No thank you.

Jeff Probst, host of Survivor: I've never really watched Survivor so I don't know how mad crazy his hosting skills might be, but I'm not sure if he would be able to be a celebrity interviewer after being the Survivor host. Telling contestants that they will be standing on a wooden plank in the ocean for as long as they can to receive a quarter ounce of peanut butter as a reward isn't the same as asking Robert Pattinson just how he gets his locks to look so luscious. I'd still rather see him than Seacrest.

Mario Lopez: Another resounding heeeeeell no from LTD. Kelly Ripa is already the pretty and buff host of the show. Seriously, have you seen her arms? Mario Lopez is slowly ruining his awesome rep as the one and only AC Slater. Being on Dancing with the Stars was fine but now he's all over Extra and hosting the Miss America pageants and I don't like it one bit.

Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor: Now here's a pick I can get on board with. Chris Harrison is the man. The Bachelor/Bachelorette is like a car accident for me - I can't look but I can't look away - and I have the ultimate love-hate relationship with that show. But my absolute favorite moment of every show is when he comes out right before the final rose is going to be given and says "Ladies. Brad. The final rose." and then walks back offset. On second thought, I don't even want him as a cohost anymore. Can he just be waiting in the wings to come out and say "Kelly. New Regis. Justin Bieber." and then walk away? Still if it's between him, Slater or Seacrest, my vote is with Chris Harrison right now.

Chris Cuomo from 20/20: So I don't watch 20/20 so I don't know who this is. But isn't this kind of a career downgrade to go from 20/20 to Live with (insert name here) and Kelly? He just did a yearlong investigation on troubled teens and getting homeless youth off the street. You know what they do on Live with Regis and Kelly? This:

Don't do it Chris Cuomo. You've worked with Barbara Walters.

Anderson Cooper: The Silver Fox himself. This could be an okay choice. Like Chris Cuomo, he's a pretty legit investigative journalist, but I think he'd have a good rapport with celebs and be able to ask really good questions. Plus he's just serious enough to counter when Kelly Ripa turns into a huge ditz on the show - which is all the time. He has my vote too, although the EW article says he's trying to start his own daytime talk show. On second thought he does strike me as the type to fly solo. He is probably a bigger diva than Kelly.

Billy Bush: This guy is like Seacrest Jr. but not as good as the original (as much as it pains me to say it, Seacrest is good at what he does). He's from Access Hollywood I think and he's just a tool and a much less talented one at that.

Neil Patrick Harris: The one. The only. NPH. My vote all the way. NPH would be perfect for this gig. He's witty, he's well-known, he's not obnoxious. He would make me want to watch this show. Do it ABC. Pick NPH. I'm totally drinking the Kool Aid on this one.

Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs and also Ford and possibly jean commercials: This guy is pretty funny but he's the Dirty Jobs guy! He can't be sitting next to Kelly Ripa in a chair in a suit asking Kate Gosselin about her new hairdo. He needs to be out shoveling fish guts from the bottom of a boat or something. He's too manly for this show.

So those are the main contenders according to EW. Additionally there is a secondary list with names that are too "silly" to place next to the top 10 up there. And by silly I think they'd rather be saying "the worst ideas ever, yes even worse than Seacrest."

Nick Jonas: This has to be a joke. He is the youngest of the Jo Bros. He's like 17. I'm not even going to comment further on this.

Bryant Gumbel, Glenn Beck: These two get lumped in together because to me they are both old guys who seem like they're just fine doing what they do currently. If either of these made any kind of cut, I would be stunned.

Tom Bergeron: Bergeron is hysterical. His one liners on Dancing with the Stars are about the only thing that show has going for it anymore to be honest. He should actually be up with the top 10 because I wouldn't mind seeing him get this gig.

Larry King: I'm sorry. Didn't Larry King just retire? Isn't he also just as old and senile if not oldER and MORE senile than Regis Philbin? Why would we swap out one for the other? This is a terrible idea.

My top choices are NPH, Chris Harrison and Tom Bergeron. Fun fact though, when they picked Kelly Ripa rumors like this started floating around too and her name wasn't mentioned ever. Not one single time. So going off of that, I bet they pick someone like Matt Lauer just to keep us all guessing.


Video of the Day 1/24/11 - Double Dream Hands Edition

Ellen has been showing this on her talk show all week long and so far, it hasn't gotten old yet. It really gets going at around 50 seconds. Double dream hands baby.


KINDLE Review: Outlander

Author: Diana Gabaldon

In the first book of a seven-book series, Claire Beauchamp is vacationing in 1940s Scotland with her husband when a mysterious chasm in a rock whisks her back in time to Scotland in the 1700s. Once Claire realizes what has happened, she desperately tries to keep her origins a secret all while trying to find a way back to her husband and modern times. That is, until she meets Jamie Fraser.

I had heard a lot of hype surrounding this book and series so imagine my surprise and delight when it was offered for free for the Kindle. I downloaded it to see what the fuss was all about and although I don't really see what there is to rave about, I will say that I greatly enjoyed this book and want to see what's up next for Claire and Jamie.

These two made the book fly by for me. I really admired Claire's character as she is a super strong, opinionated woman who has no problem standing up for what she believes in.  Jamie complemented her well throughout the book as he has just as much passion and emotion as she does. He's also been through a lot of really horrible situations throughout his life and Diana Gabaldon does an excellent job of turning him into a character that you could really connect with.

On the other hand, some parts of the book were a little chick lit-ish and unbelievable for me. The whole concept of time travel and (spoiler alert here) Claire's decision to just never return to her husband and the 1940s was really hard for me to get. So she just falls off the face of the earth essentially and just decides "meh, I'm gonna take my chances here in 1700s Scotland"? I just felt that her struggle with whether or not to stay or try to get back to her husband could have been more of a prominent theme. Maybe that inner struggle could have been explored more in place of all the sex scenes...

Because there were a lot of them. It got a little repetitive and made the book drag on a bit.  Reading this on my Kindle I didn't realize how many pages it was, but according to reviews and Amazon it tops out at about 800 pages. Yikes.

Like I said though, I am interested to find out where this series go and I have the next one, Dragonfly in Amber, on my Kindle now thanks to a gift card from my boss for Christmas. Overall I was entertained and the book was an easy read with a good mix of action, adventure, and romance. Well maybe a little too much romance.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (I get it, they're sooooo in love)

Coming Up Next: World Without End by Ken Follett
I'm taking a break from Jamie and Claire (after one book, I know) and venturing into England in the 1300s. This is the follow up to "Pillars of the Earth" which stands as one of my all-time favorites and I can't wait to see what this has in store. Set in the same city of Kingsbridge but two centuries later, this book follows four children who meet in a forest and see two men killed. As adults, their lives will become intertwined yet again. They will follow very different paths but will always live under the shadow of the unexplained killing they witnessed as kids.


Video of the Day 1/18/11 - I Love College Sports Edition

Maybe I'm biased, but this video is the reason that I love college sports. Shoutout to my friend Chris who posted this on his Facebook but I didn't watch it until today...


Golden Globes Live Blog

The 68th Annual Golden Globes are about to get underway so it's time for another live blog.  The show is 3 hours long so I will try not to comment on every single thing but well if you know me or have ever heard me tell a story... yeah... we'll see. Ricky Gervais is hosting, Glee is nominated a bunch, I think it's going to be a fantastic night.

I was just watching some sort of red carpet special that involved Carson Daly, Natalie Morales who I think is from the Today show and a British woman interviewing the stars about what they were wearing.  Here are some parting thoughts from that:
- Carrie Underwood's dress is amazing and I want to be her.
- Natalie Portman's dress was cute and pink
- Ummm did anybody else know that Christian Bale is British? How did I not get this memo?
- Somehow Carson Daly has made himself relevant again. Not talented. Just relevant.

Here we go!

5:03 - Ricky Gervais' opening monologue was fantastic.

5:04 - Christian Bale wins Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. I seriously had no clue that he was British. This is really messing with me.

5:07 - LL Cool J is wearing a tux and a Kangol hat. Isn't it time for him to no longer be called LL Cool J? He's not rapping anymore is he? He's on some CSI-ish type show. He is presenting Best Actress in a TV Series - Drama. I have never heard of any of these shows except The Closer.

5:09 - Okay so the woman who just won has been nominated before... for her role as Peggy Bundy on Married with Children. What a career move huh? The cameras showing Ed O'Neil aka Al Bundy while she was getting her award now makes a lot more sense.

5:15 - How do I become this Miss Golden Globe? I would be amazing at it. Smile a lot. Ask nicely that someone stand here and not there. Smile more and follow people offstage. Wear an incredible dress. Seriously where do I sign up? All bets are off that I'll behave myself if Matt Damon or any member of Glee end up onstage though.

5:21 - Yay the first Glee nomination! Chris Colfer for his role as Kurt is up for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series...

5:22 - AAAAAAAH!!! He wins!!! I just yelled and clapped a bunch of times. Oh man this is seriously such a great moment to watch! They are all so so so thrilled for him. Lea Michele is crying for him, Jane Lynch is beaming, his speech is absolutely fantastic. That was super fun.

5:28 - I just tweeted Chris Colfer to congratulate him on his win. Is this super nerdy of me?

5:29 - Eva Longoria almost just slipped and fell coming out on stage. Her dress is awesome though.

5:32 - Something's got the cat all fired up and she's making me nuts.

5:36 - Boardwalk Empire just won for Best TV Series - Drama. I've never seen it but apparently Mark Wahlberg is involved so it must be good.

5:41 - I can't believe that movie Social Network is nominated. Apparently I missed the boat on this one. I'll add it to Netflix.

5:44 - Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Lopez are presenting now and JLo just reminded the crowd that she is a judge on American Idol by way of the most awkward segue ever. Let me remind Jenny from the Block that we're not as excited about it as she is.

5:49 - US Weekly's Twitter just let me know that ::gasp:: Sandra Bullock and Scarlett Johanson came to the Golden Globes in similar dresses and that Bullock is 46. I would love to look like Sandra Bullock when I'm 46.  Shoot I'd like to look like Sandra Bullock now...

5:55 - Toy Story 3 wins Best Animated Motion Picture. I thought Despicable Me would definitely take it. Apparently that movie has changed people's lives because my friends can't stop talking about it.

5:59 - Emma Stone (from Easy A and Superbad) dyed her hair blonde and has a terrible fake tan. Didn't even recognize her. She is nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for Easy A. Seriously? First The Social Network and now Easy A? What is wrong with you Hollywood Foreign Press?

6:01 - Emma Stone does not win. She's super cute and talented but a Golden Globe for that role would have been too much.

6:10 - More boring awards, no fabulous dresses...

6:14 - Claire Danes just won an award and she is really gorgeous. Her dress is pretty awesome. Hot pink, halter, backless. She's working it out.

6:21 - Zac Efron needs to get rid of the barely-there mustache and loosen up while presenting this movie and then I'll take him seriously again.

6:23 - Tina Fey and Steve Carrell win my award for Best Presenters of the Night. Hilarious. Also Tina Fey's dress was really pretty. Top five of the night for me.

6:24 - What the heck? The Social Network just won Best Screenplay - Motion Picture.  Seriously, was this movie THAT good?

6:27 - Oh man here we go, another Glee nomination. Jane Lynch is up for Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series but it's a super tough category. She's up against Boardwalk Empire and Sophia Vergara from Modern Family...

6:29 - AAAAAAAHHHHHH SHE WINS!!!! Wow I seriously didn't even see that coming. Another fantastic speech, this time with some humor thrown in. What a great night for Glee fans!

6:35 - Wooooooah Olivia Wilde's dress is very big and ball gowny. It's really pretty but it's gigantic!

6:38 - Glee nomination #3 of the night! Lea Michele is up for Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical. It's a tough group and Laura Linney (who isn't even there) wins in a very anticlimactic announcement by Vanessa Williams.

6:45 - Matthew Morrison is now nominated for Best Actor in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical. Now I thought that he'd have to be worried about Steve Carrell and Alec Baldwin but apparently this show the Big Bang Theory is good enough that their guy won it. Alec Baldwin looks a little irritated but Matthew Morrison is laughing and stuff.

6:51 - OMG Matt Damon is going to present next.

7:01 - Stone. Fox.

7:02 - What is Diddy doing at the Golden Globes? Probably the same thing Ryan Seacrest is doing except without being a dbag.

7:03 - Angelina Jolie looks very uncomfortable whenever the camera pans to her and Brad Pitt in the audience.

7:13 - I'm surprised Black Swan hasn't won more awards tonight. Meanwhile The Social Network wins ANOTHER award, this time for Best Director - Motion Picture.

7:16 - Can Glee win Best TV Series - Comedy or Musical??

7:17 - AAAAAAHHHHHHHH Glee wiiiiiiinnnnnnnssssssss!!!!!!!!!

7:19 - Dang they fit the ENTIRE cast on that stage - even Korofsky and that kid that stalks Lea Michele and stone fox Blaine are up there.

7:23 - I also want to look like Halle Berry at any part of my life, especially in my 40s.

7:30 - I might add Joseph Gordon-Levitt to my list of normal-acting famous guys that I would love to date. The list is now him and Josh Groban.

7:32 - Natalie Portman is so cute and pregnant in her pink dress. Black Swan finally gets some love as she wins Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama.

7:35 - Ricky Gervais is on point tonight.

7:44 - If this kid wins Best Actor for The Social Network, I'm going to be super irritated. Mark Wahlberg (who has looked really annoyed all night tonight) or Colin Firth HAVE to win this.

7:45 - Hooray for Colin Firth! The movie he won the award for, The King's Speech, looks really good.

7:51 - Cuuuuuute Michael Douglas gets a standing ovation when he comes out to present.

7:53 - You have GOT to be kidding me! The Social Network just won Best Motion Picture - Drama. Honestly can somebody please tell me if this movie, a movie about FACEBOOK, was that good? I love me some Justin Timberlake, but I cannot believe a movie he was in just won a Golden Globe for Best Picture.

That's all folks! Great show, a few surprises, Ricky Gervais killed, but most importantly GLEE WOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNN!  Piechowski... out.


Diet Wars

I've always been one of those "lucky" girls with a fast metabolism and an inability to gain weight despite being able to eat cheeseburgers and Taco Bell (not combined... ew) at least once a week. I never had the Freshman 15 and I only played sports or exercised because I wanted to. I know. I'm THAT girl.

Well now I'm in my mid-20s and although still blessed with a lanky figure (they don't call me Gangles for nothing), I've started to notice some... well... problem areas. Probably due to the aforementioned cheeseburgers and Taco Bell. Actually, change probably to yeah it is very much so due to that.

Exercise-wise, I think I'm good, considering I play soccer up to three times a week, but I could stand to eat a little healthier. Frozen foods and pasta make up the majority of my meals - although I do take pride in the fact that I eat those Steamfresh vegetables almost every night for dinner... I don't care if they're frozen, there's still green on my plate dangit. With the crazy hours I work I've been known to go through a drive thru a couple times a week. Hey, you let me know how motivated you are to cook anything, even spaghetti, after a 4-hour baseball game followed by a solid two hours of postgame recap writing and stat updating. Oh and sidenote: I like beer.

So every once in a while one of those "Top 10 Snacks to Fight Fat" articles will catch my eye and I'll click the link thinking, "Yes. Here is my chance. This is going to really help me out." Yet, more often than not, I'm left afterwards thinking "Ok welp I have no idea how to cook 75 percent of this stuff and even if I could, I can't afford to buy the ingredients so so much for that."

Case in point (case and point?): Women's Health Magazine had a link on their Twitter (yes I caved and joined) that had a 4-week meal plan guide that can apparently help you lose weight in a month. This intrigues me... until I look at the first week of meals.

First of all, way too many measurements. This of course is probably for portion control, but it's a bit overwhelming. 4 oz. chicken breast? 1/4 cup sliced avocado? How do you fit slices of avocado into a 1/4 cup measuring cup? These are the things I think about which is probably why I get so overwhelmed.

Which leads me to my next point. I like to eat. My friends like to eat. My family likes to eat. I have a healthy appetite and I'm not afraid to use it. I guess if I really stuck to this plan and ate all the meals at the portions they designate, I would feel full and satisfied, but just by looking at this plan, I feel like I'd still be hungry all the time. A 4 oz. chicken breast is roughly the size of a deck of cards. Is that really going to cut it?

Finally, there's the overarching issue of how much this will all cost. The healthy food is also the fancy, more expensive food. Kashi cereal and Laughing Cow cheese is better for me, but it's also going to be a good deal more than I can afford to pay right now. For dinner, entrees include salmon, sirloin steak and yes even 3 or 4 pieces of tuna sashimi.

Maybe it's my own ultimate lack of motivation (another post on that to come) or something, but I just feel this kind of a plan is really hard for a normal mid-20 year old working girl living on a budget to stick to. So I get intimidated and I ultimately just stick with my own ways which are fine for now but I certainly can't keep eating like this for the rest of my life. At some point a husband and kids will enter the picture too. At some point I won't be so lucky when it comes to my body type.

A long, long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away it feels like), I wrote on a different blog about how all of the trashy magazines have these foolproof diets that the celebs swear you can do too and how big of a myth I thought it all was. Celebs make a lot of money, have a lot of free time on their hands and have a lot of helpers to get them to look the way they do. Personal chefs and trainers are their reality, but it certainly isn't mine. So where are the tips for, like I said above, the normal 26-year old who works crazy hours and is living on a budget? What is a girl who admittedly has made Starbucks a food group and doesn't consider tofu a meal at all supposed to do?

I'm sure if I really cared that much about it, I would figure out a way to do it. I'm sure that if I was really serious about changing my eating habits, I would. So maybe this whole post is me making one giant excuse for not buckling down and making some changes and an attempt at finding the easy way out. But for now I'm standing by it.

Plus, do you know how nutty the cat would get if I brought salmon and sashimi in the house? For crying out loud, look at what catnip does to her:


Weekend Movie Reviews

Here's a brief look at two movies I watched over the weekend:

The Soloist - Based on a true story, Robert Downey Jr. plays LA Times columnist Steve Lopez and Jamie Foxx stars as Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless man living on the streets of downtown LA. Ayers is a musical prodigy who attended Juliard before being overcome by a mental illness and ultimately dropping out. He plays his cello where ever he can and Lopez stumbles upon him one day and writes a story about him. Along the way, Lopez and Ayers form a very unlikely yet unbreakable bond as Lopez tries to get Ayers off the streets.

This movie was pretty awesome. Emotional and gripping at times, it also gave a pretty hardcore look at how the homeless in the worst parts of downtown LA live which is a real eye opener. I listened to this book on CD and loved it, so I was a little disappointed at how quickly the film version moved. RDJ does a really great job and his chemistry with Foxx makes their onscreen relationship really engaging. Two thumbs up.

Paper Heart - Charlyne Yi (you'll recognize her from a brief cameo in "Knocked Up") doesn't believe in love and doesn't think she'll ever find it. So she sets out to film a documentary about love: what is it, why do people believe in it, how do you know if you're in it or not? Along the way she meets Michael Cera who she begins a relationship with, thus questioning everything she thought about love.

This movie was just so-so for me, mainly because I had no idea that this was literally real life going into it. Did anybody else know this? The parts following her make the documentary are really interesting and the people she interviews are awesome. So then apparently the cameras are on hand as she meets Michael Cera for the first time and so the story shifts to include her entering this relationship with him.

I felt uncomfortable watching Yi and Cera navigate through the awkwardness that is the first stages of dating. I felt like I was eavesdropping on something I shouldn't be watching. It doesn't help that the two of them are pretty awkward as it is, thus making for several uncomfortable laughs and silences. Also, because I really thought that this was a fictional movie, I kept asking myself "Is this real life?" and I struggled with understanding what was happening every time they showed the Yi-Cera portions of the movie. Two thumbs sideways.

P.S. I downgraded my cable to super basic to save some money for the next few months so I will be doing a much better job of actually watching the Netflix movies I get in a timely fashion.


Video of the Day 1/7/11 - Everything is Funnier with a British Accent Edition

Shoutout to my boss for this video. He bet his wife he would clean the bathroom for 2 weeks if she didn't laugh at this. Guess who's NOT cleaning the bathroom? P.S. Alan!


I Cannot Handle This Show

Every season The Bachelor starts and I sit down to watch it. And every season without a doubt this show infuriates me. Except for Chris Harrison the host, every single person on this show annoys me to no end. But do I stop watching it? Nope. It's like a car accident - I can't look, but I can't look away.

Confession time: For about 6 minutes at work today, I explored what it would take to become a contestant on The Bachelor. And for a few minutes I thought to myself "I would make a pretty good contestant."

Calm down everyone. I am not going to apply to be a contestant on The Bachelor. First, you have to send in a 10-15 minute video. Do you know how long it takes to put together 3 minutes of "How Well Do You Know Your UC Davis Goalkeeper?" taken on the FlipCam? Like almost an entire day. Second, you have to send a full body shot. Ew.

You know why else I wouldn't be on this show? Because these chicks are nuts. Let me break it down.

First they roll montages of most of the girls and give background on who they are, where they're from, what they do for a living, and sometimes a weird/interesting/sad thing about them. The weird things are really weird (one girl is a manscaper for a living, another one is into vampires, has actual fangs and "ran into the leader of the secret underground vampire world"), the sad stories are pretty sad, that's how it goes.

So far so good though. These girls (barring the super weird vampire wannabe one) still seem very standard, normal girls. Granted they are all completely beautiful and dress perfectly, but they appear normal.

Then they meet the bachelor.

This season the bachelor is this guy Brad who was on the show three years ago and ditched both of the final two girls and ended up picking nobody. Now he's back for his second chance at love.

So I don't know if this is standard for The Bachelor or not, but the women don't know that this guy Brad is who they're meeting. So it makes them act extra annoying when they meet him.

Here is an in-depth look at what went down during each of the 30 introductions:
- 11 girls knew exactly who he was and had seen him on the show. I wouldn't be able to pick this guy out of a lineup.

- First girl out of the limo slaps him because apparently what he did three years ago was THAT much of a personal blow to her and "all of the women of America."

- 4 girls tell him they have a lot of questions/doubts/uncertainties about him

- One girl straight pinches his ass

- One girl is a "sports publicist" and drops the line that her entire life revolves around sports. WHAT. THE. HELL. THIS WAS MY ONLY IN.

- One girl tells him "You happen to be the perfect guy for me." This is creepy.

- The vampire. Need I say more. She tells him he looks delicious. He tells her she has a nice fang- I mean name.

- One girl straight sprints out of the limo, yells Catch me! and luckily he does because she just jumps in his arms

- She also mentions that she knows nothing about him because she never watched his season. This is a good strategy. 4 other girls do this.

- Another girl makes him pinky swear that he won't break her heart

- Next girl makes him get down on one knee and repeat the words "Will you marry me?", says yes and then says "See that wasn't so bad."

- One girl lowers the window down, sticks her hand out and beckons him over. He opens the door of the limo and she tells him I like a chivalrous man. He apparently takes this to mean she is high-maintenance and votes her off on the first night. Bahahaha.

- One girl straight up says "I'm ready to get married, so we'll have to talk inside."

- One girl is wearing ruby slippers. She is from Kansas, she says it's because there's no place like home and she can't wait to take him home to her family.

- One girl tells him "My grandma always says you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your Prince Charming." Then she straight plants on one him. She got voted off too.

- The girl after her is named J. That is it. Just the letter J. Not one word. One letter bitches. Take that Madonna. Also, it is her birthday.

- Next girl is a Radio City Rockette. No that is not a typo. She is an honest to God Rockette. Then she asks him if he knows what that is. Can you call yourself an American if you don't know what the Radio City Rockettes are?

- Next girl gets all super serious and says "I have to get something off my chest. I have to tell you something about me. I can't snap my fingers." Woah girl.

- Two girls say something along the lines of "I'm so glad it's you standing there as the Bachelor." One even goes so far as to say he was her first pick. What? There is no way you ever in a million years thought that the dbag from three seasons ago would be back. No way.

- The next-to-last girl is a chef and food writer and brings him a brownie. Guess who ends up getting a rose at the end of the night? This is a GREAT strategy and I will keep that in my back pocket so thanks for the idea girl.

So now that we've met all of the ladies, then they get into the house and this is when the fun really starts. Because now all 30 all want to talk to him - all at the same time. And as the night winds down, they will literally do anything to get to talk to him. Including the "steal". This is where girls straight walk up to him while he's talking to another girl and literally ask if they can steal him away. Obnoxious. Also desperate.

As we observe them vying for the fair Brad's attention, one girl tells him a guy broke up with her because he wanted someone with a smaller butt so she straight sticks her ass in his face and asks if he can handle all of this. Weird. Another girl sings to him. Let me repeat that. Sings to him. Then there is the vampire girl.

Then they pass out the roses and the five girls that don't get one literally start crying. You have spent one evening with this guy and you didn't even know it was him when you started the night.

That's the thing with this show. These girls come in with a mission: to get a husband. And the husband will be this guy. Somehow, through watching him on a TV show a season before, they've deemed him to be perfect husband material - THEIR perfect husband material - and that is that.

Oh and the final note for the evening. The Bachelor is 38 years old. One of the girls is 32, three are 30 and the rest - the remaining 26 ladies - are 29 and under. Three girls are 24. Let's hope the whole "Age ain't nothin' but a number thing" is true.

The thing is though, I'm sucked in. I can't stand these girls, I can't stand this Brad guy, but I still have to see what is going to happen to all of them.

But most importantly, why does that girl have fangs?

Video of the Day 1/4/11 - Josh Groban is the MAN Edition

Shoutout to my friend Lizzie for having this posted on her Facebook:


Why Hello There 2011

Happy New Year faithful readers!

Yes, a brand new year is upon us and is it just me or does 2011 sound very futuristic? At any rate, it's here and I'm pretty excited.

As I'm sure most, if not all, of you will agree, a new year means a new start. A new chance at, well, whatever you want. There's a renewed sense of hope and the promise of opportunity. Anything is possible with the start of the new year and there's a feeling that you can conquer the world.

So here's a little insight on what I hope to accomplish with the start of a new year.

2010 was... well... one hell of a rollercoaster ride. I hit some really low lows, but I also experienced some pretty high highs, and in the closing days of 2010 I realized that I didn't want to start all over, but simply wanted to continue on the path that I'm on right now. Are there some areas of improvement? Of course. But I came to the somewhat strange yet liberating conclusion that I, ladies and gentlemen, am happy.

Trust me, there are moments when I think "The other shoe is about to drop at any moment and that's going to be it" and by no means am I saying I've found all the answers or that I don't have bad days. The search for happiness, contentment, satisfaction, whatever you want to call doesn't ever really end, but I've reached a place where I wake up and say to myself "Life is good." And that's a great, great feeling.

What a difference a year makes.

Personally, resolutions stress me out. I get overly anxious over the minutia of daily life enough as it is, so I don't need the added stress that failing at a resolution would put on me. There are a few goals I have set for myself, namely fixing my damn finances (Shoutout to James for the budget help), but that's about the only thing I've set in stone as something I truly need to fix and improve on.

Instead, when it comes down to it, I just want to keep on keeping on. I don't want to dwell on the past and I don't really want to play the "What If?" game and look toward the future too much. I want to live in the now. I want to take every day as one single day in which I can keep striving towards figuring out what makes me tick. I want to own every decision I make. Maybe this is a resolution in and of itself, but I think I can handle "Do me" as my resolution a lot easier. Because I've realized when you start to concentrate on just living as yourself, there isn't any real way to fail.

For once, I'm looking at this year and I don't have one single clue as to what it's going to bring me. And I love that. It's a little scary and a lot intimidating, but it's also very exciting and refreshing that the opportunity to make the most out of every single day is right at my fingertips. And I plan to take full advantage of that.

I am ready for you 2011. I've got old and new friendships, I've got Chloe, I've got my amazing family. Let's do this thing.

Walmart Ridiculousness

It's an age-old debate: Target vs. Walmart. One has better prices, one has classier clientele, both are a one stop shop for basically anything.

What's my stance? Meh, I'll take either one. Usually Walmart for groceries and Target for clothes/shoes (Target shoes are fricken amazing)/anything else.

I do agree that the staff and shoppers at Walmart are, well, a bit on the non-classy side. I mean, not that it couldn't happen but I've never had an exchange like this happen to me at Target:

Random guy: Hey have you seen where the Gatorade is?
Me: Oh I don't work here.
Random guy: I know. I was just wondering if you had seen it while you were shopping?
Me: Oh. Um, no. No I haven't. Sorry.

This is either a) weird, b) standard for Walmart, c) an awesome pick up line or d) all of the above.

Anyway, I really don't have a problem going to Walmart... except for when I get to the checkout line.

Hey Walmart. All of the old people you employ are super cute and very friendly. But please don't let them work the registers. Please.

Without fail, I can get through my actual shopping in under 30 minutes. Then without fail, the checkout line takes me twice as long to get through.

Here are some of the awesome encounters I've had in the checkout line at Walmart recently:

1. I am in line for two things. TWO things. I go to the express lane. My checker is handling her business. However, the checker at the register behind me is having serious issues activating a gift card. So not only is she holding up her own line, but she then holds up my line because she is yelling at my cashier about how she can't figure it out and just wants to go back to the dairy department where she belongs. So right before it's my turn, my cashier leaves and goes to help her. What am I about to purchase? A poster frame and... a gift card. So now I'm nervous because I do not want to be that guy that holds up the entire line. I make a plan that if the woman starts to have trouble activating mine, I'll bail on the gift card. TEN minutes later my cashier comes back and apologizes for the wait. But my gift card gets activated with no problems at all and I'm on my way. But still... 10 minutes to shop, at least 20 at the register.

2. Last night I'm in line with a decently full cart of items. The woman in front of me has decided she wants to use cloth tote bags to put her groceries in. Sidenote: two of them are Target cloth bags. Is this allowed? I felt like some kind of alarm would sound and the Walmart police were going to show up and escort her out, saying "Ma'am. This is Walmart. Target items are not allowed within 50 feet of the premises." So good for her for saving the environment, but this now means that the cashier guy is completely thrown off. Instead of just scanning the items through and putting them in normal bags, he is now hand picking which items should go into which bag. The conveyor belt is not moving forward, ere go there is no room for me to put any of my stuff on the belt. He continues to take his time picking and choosing which item he wants to scan and bag next. I continue to get more and more agitated.

Finally this woman leaves and it's my turn. Now what does the guy do? Place two items in each bag. I know my guns are deceiving, but trust me, I can handle something heaver than two boxes of spaghetti in one bag.

Then he wants to make small talk. Maybe this is something I need to work on in 2011, but I am not a fan of the cash register small talk. Don't know why, just don't like to chit chat. So he sees that I'm buying six eggs instead of a dozen and asks why. What do you mean why? Because I only want six, how's that for why? Then he shares with me how many eggs he eats in a week and how the last time he ate eggs he had them in an omelette with ham. Sir, I don't like ham and I don't like that you're taking up bagging time by talking to me about my eggs.

35 MINUTES LATER I'm on my way.

None of this will deter me from continuing to shop at Walmart though. I hate the grocery story by my apartment, and I pretty much go there once a month, get 100 bucks worth of stuff and I'm good for the month. But I'm going to need the cashiers to get it together. Please.