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Top 5 Love Lessons from “The Bachelor” (Camping, Not Glamping)

January 27, 2015

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photo via @BachelorABC (the caption read: “One of these virginities will be taken tonight.” Brilliant.)

The fourth episode of ABC’s “The Bachelor” featured more Emmy-worthy editing, from the tiny violins playing over Ashley “Kardashian’s”s tragic princess soliloquy to the close-up shots of her weave to the sad, foreboding music behind Jillian’s tasteless “Who Would You Rather” inquiry. That said, we would revoke all Emmys for the misleading season teaser they made a few weeks ago which suggested premature pre-fantasy-suite humping happened in a tent. Lying liars!

While the catty interpersonal drama we’ve come to love and expect is a little lacking this season, and Prince Farming’s personality is nowhere to be found, we can still glean some important life lessons about love and dating from “The Bachelor”:

  1. It’s 2014. Can we please dispense with the retro myth that virginity = value? Just because you’ve never experienced the presence of a penis in your vagina does not make you “marriage material.” (And while we’re at it, let’s dispense with that old-fashioned “marriage material” term, too!) Respect given should not ebb and flow in relation to the number of partners a person has had. (Chris: “It makes me respect her more.” Say wha?!) Are you in touch with your sexuality and enjoy sex with open and honest communication? Great! Are you abstaining until you’ve found the right person? Great! But please don’t whip out your V-card and flash it around like it’s a Black Amex.
  2. Lipstick, concealer, bronzer, and contour makeup have no place on a camping date. It’s okay to get glammed up for special occasions (though we’d reconsider the fake, tarantula-leg eyelashes), but a quick run to the corner store to pick up croissants and the Sunday New York Times for you and your lovie should not require three and a half hours of prep in front of the vanity.
  3. Little girls under the age of six can get away with calling themselves “Disney Princesses” — just barely. But if you are an adult woman, you should not consider yourself a princess, expect to be treated like one, or refer to yourself as such in public with zero shame. This is the real world, not Far Far Away; you are a grownup, not a spoiled brat. Self-infantilization is not attractive.
  4. Before this becomes the official Poop on Ashley I. Parade, let’s switch gears: It’s your life and your body, do with it what you want — but when revealing past personal choices, consider the nude modeling slightly more potentially scandalous than the called-off engagement.
  5. It is a HUGE red flag when you gently ask the person you’re dating a legitimate, challenging question and they become so enraged that they cannot form a complete sentence — indeed, they cannot even finish a single sentence. (Verbatim: “I guess, ah, I see two sides, like, a, Kaitlyn has a lot of different facets that are, not, and I don’t, those aren’t, I see the Kaitlyn that’s just, you know what I mean? I mean obviously, I mean if you like her or dislike her, I don’t see, I don’t look at Kaitlyn like being some really, I mean I’m not rewarding inappropriate behavior, you know, by giving roses to people that are, and I, if you view it as that, um…”) When the expression on your date’s confused face reads “Can’t talk, must punch,” it’s probably a good idea to back up slowly and then briskly walk away.
Read up on last week’s love lessons learned from “The Bachelor.” 

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12 Snowy Movies to Watch During Snowmageddon

January 27, 2015

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A snow day for the two of us means repeated sing-a-long screenings of Frozen with our respective kids. But for all of you who are lucky enough to be enjoying a Winter-Storm-Juno-related snow day without kids, here are twelve awesome movies – all of them better than 2007′s Juno, by the way – to cuddle up with. Pour a little whiskey in your hot cocoa, grab a blanket and a loved one, and think about how superior the East coast is to the West.

 

1. Fargo (1996)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forget about yellow snow — in this movie, the snow is blood red. The Coen Brothers’ small town murder movie is gory, funny, gorgeously exacted, and, you betcha, snowy. And the famous wood chipper scene is a great excuse to jump into someone’s lap and hold on tight.

2. The Shining (1980)

Think you’ve got cabin fever? Then you don’t know Johnny. And you’ve never been a snowed-in janitor at an isolated hotel. After watching Stanley Kubrick’s snow-white horror movie, drenched in both blood and snow, your own home will feel extra warm and cozy.

3. Alive (1993)

It’s amazing the random supermarket items people feel the need to stock up on before a snowstorm. Yesterday, Em saw a woman with only a loaf of bread and a pineapple in her cart, yet she felt she somehow was supposed to be at the supermarket before the blizzard. Anyway. We digress. This true-story survival pic, about the Uruguayan rugby team’s plane crash in the Andes, will make you think twice before complaining about how little you have left in the fridge because you forgot to stock up before the storm.

4. Dumb and Dumber (1994)

Nineties Aspen ski fashion, poop jokes, and three memorable life lessons: Never steal your best friend’s girl; never travel on a scooter in winter; and never, ever lick anything frozen. This movie is an awesome palate cleanser after some of the bleaker titles on this list.

 

5. Planes Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Those aren’t pillows! In another hilarious palate cleanser, John Candy and Steve Martin bond in cheap motels and burnt out cars during their very own snowmageddon.

6. Frozen River (2008)

A single mother earning minimum wage and struggling to survive in a mobile home in freezing temperatures? Not so many fart jokes in this one. It’s bleak, but brilliant, taking place near a border crossing on the Mohawk reservation between New York State and Quebec. The frozen river is a tempting but dangerous smuggling route, and (spoiler alert) OH MY GOD THE BABY!

7. Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1997)

Smilla Qaavigaaq Jaspersen (just saying that name makes it snow harder) is a 37 year-old woman of Eskimo origin living in Copenhagen. When her 6-year-old neighbor (a boy from Greenland) dies in a suspicious accident, she decides to investigate. With bonus sexy tension between Julia Ormond and Gabriel Byrne.

8. Groundhog Day (1993)

Imagine this snow day over and over and over again. Then imagine being a weatherman experiencing this snowy day over and over again. You wouldn’t think that hilarity would ensue, but, as we all know, it certainly does.

9. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even Jake Gyllenhaal’s smoldering gaze can’t warm things up when global warming spawns a new ice age. He and a bunch of other people who manage to look attractive even while dying hole up in the New York Public Library and burn books to stay warm. (How warm do you think your Kindle wold keep you in the next ice age, huh?!)

 

10. Misery (1990)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may be a tad annoyed at your loved one by the end of snowmageddon, but it could be worse: You could be a novel who just killed off an obsessed fan’s favorite fictional character. And you could just happen to crash in the snow and get trapped inside, at the mercy of this pissed off, obsessed fan. Yeah, it could be a lot worse.

 

11. Hanna (2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna, a 16-year-old who never has to deal with mean girls and teen acne and boys who don’t like her back because she has been living in snowy isolation and being trained to be an assassin. And all you managed to do during the blizzard was bake cookies.

 

12. Frozen (2013)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fine, fine, we’ll admit it: It’s a good freakin’ snow movie! It makes fun of the whole fall-in-love-in-a-day trope, and the ultimate message is one of sister love. Just let it go, people! If you don’t have kids, there’s always the Frozen drinking game.

 

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Blog Snog: Why I Plan to Be Fully Submissive to My Husband

January 23, 2015

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photo via flickr


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Dick of the Week: William Giraldi

January 22, 2015

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photo via flickr

William Giraldi wrote a personal essay for The Baffler called “This Brat’s for You.” Have you encountered this polished turd being bandied about the internet yet? In the piece, Giraldi bemoans the fact that he got paternity leave from his employer for the birth of his first child, became so utterly bored by his “surfeit of free time” (because, he says, “let’s be honest: even in self-consciously progressive households, it’s a rare new father who does as much baby work as a new mother”), and subsequently developed a drinking problem that resulted in “medieval hangovers that vanquished entire days” along with “migraines and dehydration that felt downright malarial.” The alcoholism apparently ended when he went back to his job.

The essay is, indeed, truly baffling. Is the piece a joke? An attempt to rile up progressives, see if we’ll take the bait? Is it supposed to be a brave, unapologetic, politically incorrect defense of men who know and aren’t afraid to say what it truly means to be a Man? The piece tries so desperately to be funny and provocative and soul-baring, but fails so miserably. He just comes across as an entitled, whiney, pretentious, self-centered dickhead — a man so consumed with becoming a great white male novelist cliche, so amused by his own thesaurus-inspired ramblings, and so clueless about his own blessings, that he apparently misses his only child’s first nine months. Ha, ha, hilarious!

I’m not certain how this enlightened advance came about, but I instantly pictured a phalanx of ultra-modern men parading down Commonwealth Avenue, jabbing placards that read “It’s My Seed, So Give Me Leave,” or some such slogan.

Ha! Fathers wanting to be active participants in the raising of their kids? That’s so earnest it’s embarrassing.

[S]ome of the men I know [at Boston University] might begin impregnating people just to earn a semester off with pay.

Ha! Male college professors as welfare queens. Too funny.

[T]hink of the tremendous ennui and the earthquakes of personhood that can occur when men are laid off or retire. After my grandfather quit working in his sixties, I’d often catch him standing in the basement, staring at a cinder-block wall.

Ha! It’s almost comical the extent to which men — and men alone — need to keep their brains active and keep pursuing their passions with serious, important work in order to maintain purpose and meaning in their lives, while women — silly women — can do whatevs and apparently be content.

So far the best response to this watercolor with feces masquerading as revelatory personal essay is Mallory Ortberg’s parody “I’d Love To Help My Wife Do The Dishes, But I’m Trapped Under Something Heavy”:

My wife’s capacity and willingness to do everything necessary for the care and comfort of our child has flooded me with awe. In fact, I am so flooded with awe that I cannot move. It is all I can do to grin weakly at her, trapped as I am under a sea of my own admiration, as she struts powerfully by, dressing our son at several hundred nautical knots per hour while knitting his college application essay with her teeth…. I wonder what my son’s name is. Perhaps it is Jonathant.

Now that’s fucking funny. Giraldi, take notes.

Another pointed response — this one by Erin Elizabeth Clune on her blog “Life After NY” — addresses the seriously hard work of raising a kid without extra support:

BORDEM MADE YOU DRINK?  CRYING MADE ME DRINK.  Literally.  I cried from exhaustion more times than I can remember, and only the glass of wine at night, by myself in the kitchen, made me feel better.  Those were some of the easy days.  I once had to fight off the instinct to shake my baby, because nobody was there, and I was so tired, and I wanted her to sleep so badly, and she wouldn’t.  Thank God my mom intervened with a bottle, and let me sleep one night.  My husband couldn’t get up at night in my place. He didn’t have paternity leave.

And we also love this literary takedown by math professor and novelist Jordan S. Ellenberg — who we assumed was a woman (shame on us) but were delighted to discover is an honest-to-goodness man — called “William Giraldi Only Cares for Beauty,” which includes excerpts from other similarly offensive and sexist pieces by Giraldi:

Reading Giraldi’s prose feels like sitting in an extra-fancy bathroom, with black and white tiles and gold trim everywhere and a fur-lined toilet, and no windows, into which someone has just sprayed a perfume whose label identifies it as “woodland fresh.”  Or like listening to William F. Buckley on an off day.  Or like listening to William F. Buckley on an off day in that bathroom.

Besides some genuinely entertaining response pieces, the greatest benefit of the publication of Giraldi’s essay “This Brat’s for You” is to ensure that no one accidentally buys one of his novels.

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Top 10 Love Lessons from “The Bachelor” (Wedding “Crashers” Episode)

January 20, 2015

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photo via ABC’s The Bachelor

Last night’s third episode of ABC’s “The Bachelor” continued the season’s new style of embracing the humor along with the histrionics (often via some heavy-handed editing at the women’s expense). For examples of this trend, see Ellen DeGeneres’s recent season recap:

Is Chris Soules so boring that the producers’ only recourse is to turn the show into an ongoing bloopers reel? Probably. Is it kind of uncool of them to caricature the women’s poor drunken choices, their fashion faux pas, and their mental instability with clever camera work and cruel cuts. Um, yeah. Is it still incredibly entertaining and addictive and we’ll never be shamed into not watching? Of course! As always, we’ve sacrificed our own brain cells for your benefit. Behold, the best dating advice “The Bachelor” can give!:

  1. It may be trendy, but clown-color lipstick is not a good choice if you’re hoping for a late-date make-out sesh. We’re all for men wearing make-up, but it’s got to be their own choice.
  2. You don’t have to pretend to be the “cool girl”, as defined by Gillian Flynn in “Gone Girl,” in order to get the guy: “Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl… Men actually think this girl exists.” We were reminded of this passage when Kaitlin said she wouldn’t mind if Chris slept with all the women in the fantasy suites, even if Kaitlin and he ended up engaged, because it was all “part of the process.” Yeah, right.
  3. When pursuing a romantic interest, do not bring along a funnier, more interesting person as your wingman/wingwoman (that goes double if said wingperson is a famous celebrity, triple if they’re a famous celebrity comedian). They will upstage you while underscoring your flaws.
  4. Ass crack should not be a fashion accessory, ever.
  5. Five words you should never say on a first or second date: “Let’s pretend it’s our wedding.” Similarly, avoid cheesy pick up lines and canned prefaces to first kisses, e.g. “You’re a man and I’m a woman, so I just wanted to take advantage…” (You may also want to avoid  the phrase, “Salty and warm, that’s not stuff I like in my mouth.” Then again, asserting that upfront may be a good thing, depending on how you roll.)
  6. Not rushing into things, saving something for later, and leaving something to the imagination are all legitimate dating strategies (and not only when you’re one of 18 people trying to play one-on-one tonsil hockey with the same person). We’re not suggesting you play games, we’re just saying the beginning of a relationship is one of the most fun parts — why not draw it out and make it last?
  7. Never underestimate the transformative power of knowing how to dance, even if it’s only the “Shopping Cart” and the “Fishing Rod.” Prince Farming got 80% more attractive once he exhibited his moves on the dance floor of the wedding he “crashed” with his date. It’s called rhythm — get some.
  8. While we would caution against employing a Kardashian look, we must insist unequivocally that you never publicly admit that you actually have “a Kardashian look” that you sometimes employ.
  9. While we understand there’s no time like the present, we question the wisdom of dropping the details of a personal tragedy to the object of your affection in the middle of an event like a fun, flirty, boozy pool party…while dressed in wet bathing suits. (Don’t even get us started on wisdom of wearing a foreheadband.)
  10. In the immortal words of Rosy Grier, it’s alright to cry (see below) — for instance, over the tragic suicide of your husband and baby’s father. However, it is NOT alright to cry because someone won’t get out of a hot tub.
Read up on last week’s love lessons learned from “The Bachelor.” 

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Blog Snog: The 29 Steamiest Movie Sex Scenes of All Time

January 16, 2015

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still from the movie “Titanic” via PopSugar


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How to Ruin a Date in 5 Words

January 15, 2015

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Some hashtags come and go on Twitter faster than a teen boy on prom night. But #RuinADateInFiveWords is still going strong, and it’s been weeks now! That’s some stamina worth paying attention to. Here are some that have been posted just in the past hour or so: I’m not thirsty, Mr. Cosby by @JohnFugelsang and What size fursuit you wear? by @DailyFiasco. Though the winner, at least, in our opinion, is, Oh, it’s my playdoh dispenser (click on the link for key visual hint – the original poster deleted the Tweet, apparently publicity shy). Anyway, bad dates are our speciality, both professionally and personally (though, happily, the latter is now ancient history). So here are our top 20 contributions to #RuinADateInFiveWords:

1. You’re not a feminist, right?

2. My mom chose this shirt.

3. I write my own jokes.

4. You just yucked my yum.

5. Sex is better without condoms.

6. But I like to top.

7. I thought you meant ice-cream.

8. Your place? My mom’s home.

9. But my ex loved that!

10. You’re a really good person.

11. What’s wrong with baby talk?

12. But the guy always pays!

13. Do you have a sister?

14. Discussing our STDs is unsexy.

15. No, really, pull my finger.

16. I don’t bother to vote.

17. Gotta run, my soap’s on!

18. Hillary just seems so bossy.

19. Sex toys are a crutch.

20. Where is the handcuffs key?

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Top 5 Love Lessons from “The Bachelor” (Prince Farming’s First Dates)

January 13, 2015

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photo via ABC’s The Bachelor

Last night’s second episode of ABC’s “The Bachelor” proved to be quite entertaining, despite Prince Farming having the personality of a soybean. The producers seemed to pepper the episode with the kind of zany, kooky, funny stuff usually reserved for the closing credits — in order to make up for Chris Soules’s snooze-inducing flat affect, perhaps? Hey, we’ll take it, since the bloopers reel they play at each finale is the highlight of every season!  Of course, between the wise cracks and the drunken twerking, there were still plenty of love lessons to be learned!:

  1. On “The Bachelor,” as in life, there are no hard and fast dating rules. If you change your mind about someone or want to give them a second chance, that’s fine — in fact, it’s open-minded, open-hearted and quite generous. Just be sure you’re not leading them on. If you know, deep down, there’s no hope for a future relationship, quash it quickly, as Chris did with Kimberly (a.k.a. Oliver, as in “Please sir, may I have some more?”)
  2. Do not humiliate your date by parading her around town like a sex doll. For example, making her walk in public places (that aren’t the beach or the pool) wearing only a bikini — in the freezing cold, no less — while you enjoy the benefits of full length shorts and a hoodie during your stroll is Uncool with a capital U. Equal opportunity objectification, people! (And are bikini bottoms really the appropriate attire for riding on tractors and sitting on hay bales? Wethinks Prince Farmer would say no, so he should have advocated for the dignity and comfort of his dates as an expert in this field, no pun intended, and just as a decent human being.)
  3. Don’t kiss and tell (we’re looking at you, Mackenzie) — at least to people who fall into one or more of the following categories: near strangers, singles, the recently broken-hearted, people interested in the same person you just swapped spit with. Otherwise, you come across as, at best, insensitive and, at worst, mean-spirited (or else just totally clueless).
  4. We don’t care whether you’re drunk or stupid, it’s not okay to put other women down in order to try to elevate yourself into a higher dating bracket. It never works; in fact, it always backfires. No matter how pretty, in shape, or hair free you are, you will come across as a bad person. And nobody wants to date a bad person. Cheap shots — whether we’re talking personal digs or alcohol (ahem, Jordan) — are never a good idea (even though they, admittedly, make for great TV).
  5. Just because someone isn’t into you, doesn’t mean you’re unworthy of love. It just means you didn’t quite click. Buck up, cowgirl. You’re still so young! You’ve got plenty of time to sow your wild oats. Eventually you’ll find a farmer made just for you whom you can sow some serious cereal grains with.
Read up on last week’s love lessons learned from “The Bachelor.” 

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What Did You Think of Jeremy Renner’s “Globes” Joke?

January 12, 2015

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screen shot from the Golden Globes on NBC

J. Lo wore one of her, shall we say, memorable numbers to the 2015 Golden Globes, the kind of outfit that draws the unblinking stare of even the gayest gay man like greedy raiders of a lost ark. So when she and Jeremy Renner were about to announce the winner for Best TK, and Lopez said “I’ve got the nails” (meaning the long fingernails to best open the card with the winner’s name), Renner quipped, “You’ve got the globes, too.” So, what do you think? Poll below the Vine.




Blog Snog: No, Your Penis Is Not Too Big to Fit in a Condom

January 9, 2015

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Swedish pop star Zara Larsson’s condom-ed leg, via Instagram


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