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The BEST 6 New Obsessions: From Lip Tar to Hoes

By Nora Zelevansky / February 14th, 2013

It’s been ages — ages I tell you! — since I last posted simply about my latest obsessions.  It’s about time, I say!  (Why am I talking weird and old timey?)

I know I actually neglected to post about The Bachelor this week too, but — you know — what was there to say besides Tierra is a pyschopath, who treats others terribly and then somehow manages to feel like a victim, Lesley and Catherine should get a room and Des’ hometown date looks potentially psychotic.  (The operative word is potentially, since the possible confrontation they teased may well have been a red herring, since she seems like the most likely final choice.)

SO!  Moving onto “real” life, here in Park Slope, Brooklyn and the my wee day-to-day pleasures:

1. LIP TAR from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (*pictured above)

I’m not much of a bright lipstick girl because I don’t really have the massive lips to support it.  However, I’m so damn pale from NYC winter that a burst of color seemed like the only solution, so — the other day — I channeled my inner Zooey Deschanel (or okay Jess) slathered on this neon pink stuff and discovered that it’s brilliant.  It’s so opaque and bright that it’s like painting your lips, but it goes on thin and shiny like lip gloss.  I may be walking around looking like a fool — who knows? — but I am loving this stuff because it’s unlike any other lip sitch I’ve tried before.  And at least I don’t look as much like a zombie.

PS Also, I’ve been known to like natural products.  I’ve also been known to like chemicals and lasers.  However, I was happy to learn that this company is totally cruelty-free & vegan.  Now I feel even more virtuous wearing the stuff!  Their store is LES, but their products are sold all over.

2. LA ROSE DANCE WEAR & HOSIERY

Generally, I stick with Spanx tights/stockings.  Actually, that’s a lie: Generally, I stick with the random and sad assortment of stockings that have someone landed in my closet over the years.  Stolen from my mom?  Left by my sister?  Borrowed from a friend?  Gifted at some party?  (That last one refers to a pair of neon green fishnets that blend into my skin and make me look like I have scales from far away.)

But I digress: Yesterday, I picked out a dress for the next day’s Nanette Lepore Fashion Week show and then realized that I had no intact, hole-less stockings left.  It was already evening and I was late for The Gin Lovers book party, where I was meeting my editor and another author.  What to do?  On the advice of one very generous salesperson at a store down the street, I stopped into this old school Park Slope dance shop on 5th Avenue.  It’s really no frills, but the owner was there and let me in, despite the late hour.  She explained to me that I was looking at the wrong size for my proportions (she says the size chart is useless).  And she sold me two pairs of tights.  That are amazing.  And fit perfectly.  And feel like they won’t run.  For $8 each.  I am never spending $40 on stockings again.  The End.  Try a dance store near you!

3. THE SOUP BOWL

Locals will mostly know, but Drewser and I just happened upon this “pop up” spot that serves only soup and bread.  The menu is revolving — the man there said there are about 200 options — and range from Lobster Sweet Potato Bisque to Sausage & Eggplant (like red checkered tablecloth Italian food, as soup).  Bacon & Lima Bean soup AND Turkey Bacon & Vegetable have both been highlights for me.  The people who work there are lovely and you can sample any soups you choose — it’s so cozy and delicious during the cold winter.

Anyway, I am totally obsessed and I’m going as much as possible because they close, most likely, by March 1.  Then, they go back to being an Uncle Louie G. Italian Ices spot.  Which I sort of can’t complain about because I love that too.  Only, couldn’t we have both?  Couldn’t we?  Actually, I think it’s a totally brilliant idea; people should always split their shops by seasonal offerings.  Genius!

*They list what they have for the day on their site, but you should get their early if you have specific desires because they do run out of various kinds, especially if it’s snowy and cold!

4. UNIQLO LOUNGE WEAR

It’s cheap.  It’s super cozy.  It’s thicker and more substantial than you expect.  In need to buy three more pairs.  Need I say more?  Also, have you tried the FLUFFY SOCKS?  OMG.  Don’t get me started.  Let’s just say, it’s surprising that I leave my house.  (And I often do — with them inside my rain boots!  What?  Yup.  Blow.  Your.  Mind.)

5. FINE COLLECTION Sweaters

I have never been so thrilled (well, maybe at some point) than when I discovered that one of my favorite Nolita boutiques, Poppy, was opening up shop just blocks from my house.  I love their stuff, they have great sales.  It’s just reliable and good.  Anywaaay, actually the Manhattan store this week, I happened upon a Fine Collection sweater that was on sale — the price point is reasonable anyway — and just seemed like that item I’d been looking for all fall and winter without success.  It’s a completely simple, long-sleeves, non-itchy, over-sized but not without shape sweater in a color that sometimes looks slate and sometimes looks green.  It’s amazing.  And now I am super curious about the collection in general.  Eyes out!

6. RENOUVE

I honestly can’t say enough about this product.  I am completely obsessed.  This is brilliant: A hand sanitizer that’s the consistency of a serum and acts both as an anti-bacterial agent AND an anti-aging product.  I mean.  If you aren’t intrigued in this flu season, with harsh colder weather, you’ve lost it!  Lost it, I tell you.  Anyway, I am a fan 4-EVA because it doesn’t smell like alcohol or strip your hands of moisture and it dries super quickly.  That’s it!

Anyway … That’s all for now!  More later, as I explore the challenging world of  … I dunno.  Not bare midriffs.

xo – N.

 

BEST BACHELOR QUOTE: “YOU ARE THE SIX FOR ME!”

By Nora Zelevansky / February 6th, 2013

[Is this not such a good picture of Sean that you almost think it’s not him?]

Hello!  And welcome to another episode of Tierra Gets Injured.  Tonight’s chapter is entitled, “Ms. Munchausen Takes The Plunge.”

I mean, I know the editors are making Tierra look even more insane than she is, but she is creepsville, man.  What isn’t she capable of?  Either I’m remembering incorrectly or she’s one of the creepiest Bachelorettes in the history of the show.  Am I right?

But I’m getting ahead of myself … first things first:

Did you know that Sean loves Canada?  He thinks it’s really genuine and has a good heart (ahem, rack).  Just kidding.  He didn’t say that, but I did see him try to give a moose a rose.

Still, Lake Louise in Alberta looks insanely pretty.  I kinda want to go there now, so being featured on The Bachelor works evidently.

Meanwhile, I’m starting to think we should all hang out with Sean cause he’s magic!  Did you know that Catherine never gets cold when she’s with him?  Even though they’re playing during their one-on-one on a GLACIER.  He must be like a human force field.  Anyway, they go on a one-on-one and she’s all adorable and they giggle together in the freezing snow.  Apparently, that proves she’s fun.  (Um. No thanks.  That looks COLD.)

She tells him her traumatic story, which is about seeing a fellow camper get killed by a falling tree at 12-years-old.  It’s sad and you can tell it still really makes her upset.  Sean says “thank you” in response–I guess, for sharing?  But it makes no sense.  I kind of get the feeling he’d say “Thank you!” in response to almost anything:

Catherine: “Sometimes I stab myself in the eye, Sean, and that’s why I wanted to meet you.”

Sean: “Why, thank you!  I can tell you have a sweet heart.  I mean, rack.”

Anyway, that’s all well and good and then the group date happens.  For some reason (a.k.a. he don’t like the chick), Sean has skipped Daniella’s one-on-one, though she hasn’t had one yet, and chooses Des.  I’m guessing because they had a weird uncomfortable exchange at the last cocktail party?

And now … the group date is the moment we’ve all been waiting for thanks to the promo of Tierra on a stretcher!   Turns out they’re Polar Bear Plunging.  Lindsay (wedding dress girl) is excited.  Lesley (DC girl) is attached to Sean at the hip.  Selma, who I normally think is annoying, gets points in my book for saying, “HELL NO.”  But not in those words, of course.  AshLee F. is almost in tears, but does it anyway.  Daniella hopes they can get “hot and cold” together, whatever that means.  Poor girl.  She’s so obviously going home soon.

They jump in the water.  It’s sort of hard to see, but, from what I can tell, they all run out into towels except for Tierra, who opts to hop around freezing until she turns blue and needs a medic.  (Of course, there is a medic on hand because this season is not only about TheMostSincereBachelorEver, but also about how best to injure aspiring starlets, looking for love.)  Anyway, Tierra, who is “not a drama person,” creates drama as usual and needs to be rushed home for warmth, so she doesn’t get hypothermia.

All I can think is, this girl has it DOWN.  How does she always injure herself enough for emergency care and extra Sean time, but never enough for lasting damage?  I mean, there is a one armed girl CANOEING for goodness sake and all anyone can do is worry about Tierra???

Anyway, Sean visits her in bed while she’s recuperating and then tells her to stay home for the rest of the date because he feels secure in his feelings for her (which should be the feeling that she’s certifiable).  Anyway, as if that’s going to stop Ms. Munchausen.

Meanwhile, back at the group date, Sarah shows Sean pictures of her family and freaks him out.  Ruh roh.  The girls debrief on Tierra as a damsel in distress and have a good laugh about her concussion from falling UP the stairs.

Then, Tierra shows up like a psycho psycho psycho.  Brilliant Lesley calls her a Tierra-rist, which is GENIUS!!!  Love.

Lindsay says, “If Sean winds up with her, he’s going to exhausted.  Blegh.  That’s my nightmare.”  They also say that Tierra is too young to get married, which makes me want to check Tierra’s age … cause isn’t Lindsey only 24-years-old?  They’re the same age.

Lindsay makes out with Sean the whole time.  But Lesley gets the rose!

Later that evening or maybe the next day, Sean returns and pulls Sarah aside.  He’s not feeling it and, frankly, it’s a little heartbreaking, as she says guys always tell her that’s great … for someone else.  Cause I believe her.  Poor thing.

Next up is the one-on-one with Des.  They’re repelling down a mountain and that is apparently a big metaphor for relationships.  Only I think it’s a metaphor for doing something semi-dangerous in Canada.  Des says she has opened her heart (rack) to the experience.  Sean says she has a big heart (rack).  And so on from there.

During their bonding time in the evening by a fire, Des confides to Sean (and us) that she grew up with barely any money in tents and trailers and such.  She says it’s because her parents prioritized family and love.  Maybe?  But wouldn’t that kind of include not making your kids live in a tent?  Maybe not.

She also says that her upbringing is why she is “so humble” and again I am struck by the fact that people who are actually humble don’t say things like that.  If Tierra wasn’t around, I think we’d notice some bad behavior on Des’ part.  Just saying.

Anyway, she and Sean are lovey dovey.  He’ll probably pick her in the end and then she’ll dumb him four months later and become the next Bachelorette or like a host on E News.

Then, there’s the cocktail party and, honestly, Sean probably won’t pick Lindsay in the end, but he should, because the other girls are all about crying and their trauma and she just wants to make out and laugh.  Plus, she’s the nicest one at core, it seems.

He has to send two ladies home and this is the first time I’m not sure who he’ll send.  Daniella is a given (she is SO Bachelor Pad!), but who else?  He just blindfolded AshLee F. and kissed her, so she’s staying (despite the appalling spelling of her name).

In the end, it’s Selma who goes, despite having given him a pretty awkward and chaste peck earlier (and despite the fact that the kiss would shame her family).  Maybe it’s because she didn’t Polar Bear Plunge, but I doubt it.

And now is when it gets good because the remaining six girls are all contenders (well, expect Tierra).  Toasting with champagne and promises of tropical weather in St. Croix, Sean professes, “I’d developed feelings for both those girls, but I was just overwhelmed by a sense of clarity.  I know you six are the ones for me!”

If that’s not romance, then I don’t know what is.

xo – N.

THE BEST BACH QUOTE: My Wife Might Be On The Blue Team

By Nora Zelevansky / February 5th, 2013

This week on TheMostSincereBachelorEver, we learned some very important lessons:

1. When Tierra was a baby, an evil wizard (who must not be named) tried to destroy her after hearing a premonition that she would one day destroy him.  She was saved by her mother’s love.  The result was a scar in the shape of a lightning bolt that … wait.  No.  My bad.  That was Harry Potter.  I don’t know what her scar is from.  She probably walked into a wall.

2. Tierra has a tell when she’s lying or about to act insane: Her right eyebrow raises much higher than her left, as if it’s pointing to her and calling her crazy.  [See above Exhibit A.]

3. Girls be ganging up on bitches.  It’s true.  But let’s be honest: On The Bachelor and Bachelorette, the person who is most hated in the house is never a normal person.  Get it together, Sean!  Do you not remember Kalon and Ryan?

4. Sean thinks Lindsey (wedding dress girl) has a good heart and he can tell that Daniella is a genuine person.  That’s a surprise.  Seriously: Can we just agree that Sean thinks EVERYONE has a good heart and a sweet temperament and move on?

OR, better yet, I say we start a game where we replace the word “heart” with “rack” every time he says it.  That would actually be more accurate, as in: “Des has a really good rack!” or “I know your rack is in the right place.” or “I just don’t want my rack to get broken.”  I mean, we’d all relate to that more, right?  Because who would want their rack broken??

5. Tierra demonstrated that she’s “not a drama person” by cackling like crazy person (eyebrow alert! eyebrow alert!) at the news of her two-on-one date, showing up like a total stalker at the group date and then pulling the “Scorpio” card during an argument with Robyn at the cocktail party.  I feel that I can safely say as a Scorpio myself that it’s girls like her that give us a bad name Zodiac-wise.  (She’s probably also a Wiccan, who thinks she’s a “feminist” because she’s a “goddess” and thinks that being psycho and vengeful has something to do with harnessing her feminine power.)  Also, let it be known that anyone who proclaims things about themselves like “I have the biggest heart” and “I’m such a sweet girl” isn’t.  Don’t even get me started on third person talk.

6. Sean is beyond flummoxed by what’s going on in the house, although it’s pretty evident that he could just get rid of toxic Tierra and be drama-free.  For some reason, he seems to be blaming the other girls.  Is he afraid to go back on his First Impression Rose (or as I like to call it “FIR”)?  Is Tierra that skilled a manipulator?  Or is it just that he really connects with her “heart” (wink, wink — get it?  Rack!)?

7. Somehow Tierra is getting hypothermia or something tomorrow night, but we don’t know how.  I now officially believe that she threw herself down the stairs a few episodes back to get attention.  She’s such a Munchausen-er.  Thank goodness she’s not a drama person.  What would THAT look like?

8. Sean’s wife might be on the blue team.  And a more brilliant statement has never been made.  I know it’s been years, but THIS IS STILL AN INSANE WAY TO MEET YOUR SPOUSE!

9. I really think Sean was about to send Tierra home on the two-one-one date, but then she pulled the deceased boyfriend card.  I feel like she’s been saving that one.  Maybe that’s cynical of me.  I don’t know.  Either way, it worked.  I mean, I think that was also the first time we heard Jackie speak, so it wasn’t much competition.

10. There’s another episode tomorrow night!!!!

Anyway, that’s all for now, as Tuesday night will be another brilliant display, no doubt.  It’s an embarrassment of riches!

Literally.  I should be embarrassed to be so excited about a double dose of The Bachelor.  But I’m not.  Instead, I’m just sitting here on the couch in my new Uniqlo lounge wear, waiting to see who Sean chooses, “heart” in hand.

xo – N.

The Most “Sincere” Bachelor EVER!

By Nora Zelevansky / January 8th, 2013

Hi Folks!

That’s right.  It’s our favorite time of year again: It’s BACHELOR TIME!  Time to greet Chris Harrison!  Scoff at tacky pageant gowns!  Marvel at multiple helicopter rides and picnics!  Watch someone who is afraid of heights bungee jump!  See one girl emerge as “the bitch”!

(Is my excitement a testament to how sad I am?)

If I’m honest, I have to admit that I was worried that this would be the “dullest” Bachelor ever as opposed to the “craziest” or “most romantic.”  Sean is, let’s just say, well-behaved (Is that a good euphemism?), at least judging by his role in Emily’s season.  And a strange “bro-mance” moment between him and Arie at the beginning of this season premiere made me (and the ladies I watched with) nervous about what was to come.

How naive we were!  How silly!  How wrong!  After all, The Bachelor is the greatest.  We must learn to trust in it.  Believe in the power.

Plus, we have made it through some pretty painful “main characters.”  Anyway, Sean is “sincere” as the promos keep reminding us — not the “most exciting” or the “most surprising.”  But at least he’s not annoying.  And it doesn’t seem like he’ll suddenly reveal himself to be psycho or angry like Jake or Ben F.

Well, lots happened on this episode, including the appearance of the requisite wasted girl, dubbed “50 Shades of Drunk.”  All the familiar types are in play.  I’d tell you who I bet on to stay, but I can’t remember their names.  Aren’t they all named AshLeeeee?

That former foster child/professional organizer seems like a decent bet for final three.  We shall see!

I’m too busy digesting to recap in depth, but let’s just say, this season seems promising.  I forgot how good it gets.

xo – N.

The Lint Collector: The Bachelor Is Now “The Courtney Show”

By Nora Zelevansky / February 14th, 2012

Screen shot 2012-02-14 at 7.57.31 PM

I realize that this post is a day late (and possibly several dollars short), but Time Warner Cable must have a vendetta against me because my TV literally went out 30 seconds into the episode.  Is that some kind of sign that I'm killing brain cells or does Chris Harrison remotely control my DVR and this was the only way to shut me up?

I wish.

DATES

Anyhoo, it's all about The Bachelor's upcoming hometown date, so this time in Belize is just gravy en route there. (Yum.  Gravy.)  I'm a little surprised that they didn't visit the rain forest, but I guess it's harder to go shirtless there, so what's the point?

I'll make this short and sweet since I'm tardy anyway:  The ladies are informed that there won't be roses on the one-on-one dates; only on the group sitch.  First, Ben has a one-on-one with Lindzi, who still insists on spelling her name that way.

She's chill.  He likes her.  Blah, blah, blah.  She reminds me of every girl who likes horses a ton.

Next, he has a one-on-one with Emily, which sends Courtney "the model" into tearful talking heads.  Wow.  This is the first proof that we have that she's possibly human and not some kind of evil model-bot.  If you never watched the show before, you might almost think she was a normal person.  Almost.

Courtney is upset because she hates Emily (who Ben insists on keeping around) and she hasn't gotten a one-on-one date in a while, but I think – as opposed to being sad because she wants to spend time with Ben – she's actually bummed like a bratty child refused a toy.  That or she's on the rag.

Emily and Ben have a date that seems fine, but sort of formal and like there might not be tons of attraction there.  Plus, I don't believe for a hot second that he actually wants to date someone smarter than him.  Although dating dumber definitely shrinks the pool.

Whether or not she's smarter remains to be seen though, since she calls Ben "spontaneous."  Really?  Again with this pretending the producers don't plan the dates and didn't plant that lobster guy?

Next, Courtney does in fact get the third one-on-one date.  She tells Ben how much she hates Emily and the other girls, but for some reason this is not cause to condescend to the model-bot lie he did with Emily.  Instead he fawns over Courtney.  She smartly tells him she isn't sure she feels it for him anymore, so he feels like he's pursuing her.  He practically flat out tells her that he wants to pick her.  He seems desperate.  Model-bots can do that to half-men.

Toward the end of the date, Courtney says she feels "the spark" for him again and Ben tells the camera (America!) that he thinks it's a good sign that she was able to get the spark reignited so quickly.  Yeah, Ben.  Or it's a fucking TERRIBLE sign that she lost interest that quickly in the first place.  Moron.

He says he wants a woman "with edge" and who is "weird," which is just clueless lamo speak for "I'm attracted to crazies" and that's true of every guy who isn't actually ready to have a real relationship.  Boooring.  Could you BE more predictable? [Spoken like Chandler Bing.]

The group date is shark swimming with Rachel, Kacie B. and Nicky.  They're woken up at 4am by Ben unexpectedly.  (Considering how some of those girls probably look without makeup, I'm surprised he didn't send them ALL home.)  They're given time to get dressed, put on makeup and, yes, shave their pits before heading out on a boat.  Ben spends lots of time with Rachel, but we all know she's going home.

Kacie B. confesses her love for him in that awkward way that happens on The Bachelor because he's literally not allowed to say anything in return.  They kiss and then stare at each other in uncomfortable silence until she says, "Surprise!"  That makes me laugh.  Kacie B. gets the group date rose, which means he's going to meet her family, which he says is because she poured her heart out, but is really because she's only one of the three who he actually likes.  Or maybe he's always wanted to see Tennessee.

The girls warn Ben about Courtney, which he is totally not going to hear.  In a talking head, Courtney says she's not threatened by Kacie B.  "She's a little girl in a little boy's body," she quips before complaining that the other girls are catty.

THE ROSE CEREMONY

Then, it's the cocktail party, which doesn't happen because Ben has already decided.  He does pull Courtney aside to ask if she's sincerely interested in him.  She says, yes.  That's surprising.

In the end, he sends home Rachel and Emily and offers them no explanation and doesn't walk them out.  Because he has no class.  And once again I'm sort of missing Brad and his therapist.  At least he was trying to better himself.  Maybe he dismissed Emily because Courtney is holding the reigns or maybe it's because he didn't want to jump her bones (literally – she is so skinny).  Either way, she's bye bye.

Meanwhile, Courtney endures of course because she's the world's best TV, except I'd really love to see him glimpse her insanity and react BIG.  If he chooses her, he's in for a rude awakening.  But maybe that's what Ben needs.  That and a kick in the head.

xo – N.

The Lint Collector: The Bachelor or “Despicable Ben”

By Nora Zelevansky / February 7th, 2012

Screen shot 2012-02-07 at 12.07.44 AM

Holy shite.  Holy shite.  Holy shite.

This week, on the most unwatchable and cringe-worthy episode in Bachelor history, many interesting things happened.  But I only know about half of them because I literally couldn't bring myself to watch the humiliation.  I had to avert my eyes.

Anyway, here goes:

The crew arrives in Panama City and Ben says they're starting off fresh … again.  It sounds like he's hoping.  I am watching with my friend A.P., who is basically a dating expert, and she calls it right away: Ben is feeling both distracted and guilty about the Courtney skinny dipping.  I totally agree.  On one hand he's obsessed; on the other he feels like he broke the rules or betrayed the other chicks.

One-On-One

Anyway, Ben & Kacie B. go on her second one-on-one date.  Courtney "the model" hopes the sweet and innocent Tennessee girl will get sent home, but that is so not happening yet.  Kacie B. & Ben F. go to some deserted island by … helicopter.  What else?  When he reveals the date plan, I think I even detect a note of irony from him.  Or maybe he's just constipated.

Anyway, they cut open a coconut, she thinks he's hot and everything seems basically fine, except he seems a little grumpy and distant and he barely touches her.  He doesn't crack a smile.  Does he not feel it anymore?  Is he burnt out on the process?  Does her innocence seem lame in the face of Courtney's midnight hand jobs?

There's only one clear answer to that bevvy of questions and extreme over-analysis: He's just not that into her!

Maybe I'm just not that into him.

I dunno, man.  I just think he's an asshole.  He's condescending and arrogant and believes his own hype and he's too cocky about being the object of a model's affection to notice that Courtney is out of her gourd.  I've decided he's almost as bad as weird aggressive Jake Pavelka.  What say you?

Anywaaaaay, Kacie B. reveals – in answer to some very clipped and rapid fire questions from Ben – that she's particularly mature because she used to have an eating disorder.  And in case you were wondering which one, she reveals that her parents "caught" her in the act.  T.M.I. for The Wine Guy?  Ben can't send her home in the face of that information, but he seems like maybe he wants to — which I admit is very surprising to me.  I usually think he likes this girl. Maybe he's just bummed about the state of his hair, but it sort of seems like he wants to send everyone home and take a nap.  No sense of humor this guy.  He has the vibe of a spoiled child, all sour.

Group Date

The group date is a canoe trip and Ben perks up (no pun) at the sight of Courtney's boobs, when they all put on traditional garb and she chooses to go without a cover-up under intermittent beads.  Ben thinks this is great because she gets into the spirit of things and also he gets to see her boobs.  But she clearly hasn't embraced anything cultural because she just walks around shaking her exposed breasts at everyone back-and-forth and then looking down and admiring them.  She even shimmies them at a group of small children.  Ew.

As usual, she monopolizes Ben's time, but it's Lindzi who gets the rose.  He likes that the horse girl is laid back.  And who can blame him?  At least she's not drama.  They both agree that they don't believe in fighting, which is weird because he seems filled with rage.  Also, fighting isn't like Santa Claus.  It's not really a debatable thing.

Meanwhile, Jamie (Who? Yes, I know, you've never seen her before!) decides to try to come out of her shell and kiss Ben, but gets distracted when Courtney intentionally struts around in a white bathing suit behind them.  She is so painfully obvious that I can't believe Ben can't see through her crap, but then maybe he doesn't care because she's so pretty.  I want to believe that better men would find her pathetic despite the hotness, but – let's be honest – maybe not.  This is going to sound weird, but I think Brad would have sent her home by now.

Meanwhile, after being condescended to yet again by Ben, who actually hates the fact that she's smarter than him despite claiming the opposite, Emily the Ph.D. apologizes to Courtney for having bad mouthed her (who knows why?).  Courtney seems at first like she might accept, but then informs her blond nemesis that she's not just going to "bend over."

Class. Act.

Two-On-One

The next day is a two-on-one with Blakely (The "VIP Cocktail Waitress" a.k.a. escort) and Rachel-with-the-bangs.  That means that one person has to be sent home during the date.  Blakely is at least feigning bizarre excitement over the date, even though everyone watching is like – bye bye.  So obvious that she won't last.

The date happens.  They salsa dance, which Ben says is "sweaty and sexual."'  Blakely is better because, well, I think she's a stripper, no?  Plus, she can stomp, remember?  It's awkward.  But it's not THAT awkward until Blakely pulls out a scrapbook all about Ben that looks like a project some pre-teen girl made in middle school detention.  Maybe in special ed.  Sorry.  But it's true.  It's humiliating enough that she's a grown woman spending her time doodling his name, but then she can't stop crying too.

Then they do this:

Screen shot 2012-02-07 at 12.33.59 AM

Then, what seems like two minutes later and not a trick of editing, he sends her packing.  It's a bad scene.  I mean, why would you stick your tongue down her throat, just to send her home?  He had to know what he was doing by then!  He so has no right to fault Ashley H. for letting him get on one knee.

Anyway, he walks Blakely to the van and she sobs on his shoulder.  Seriously.  She won't let go.  Of course, he uses his signature suave line, which OBVIOUSLY makes the girls feel worse: "I'm just so much farther along with other women."  Do you always have to say "SOOOO," Ben?  I wish one of them would tell him off.  I want to write him a letter.

Scandal

Anyway, next the girls are hanging out, when Chris Harrison comes in and asks to speak to the other Kacie.  Kacie H.?  Kacie S?  Who knows?  Again, you're probably saying, wait who???  This is Courtney's blonde beta, who basically never talks or gets on camera. Chris Harrison says he's heard she's still in love with someone else in Chicago, but I think this is a reach.  It turns out that she has an ex-boyfriend who won't marry her, who she's trying to get over.

Chris brings her to see Ben and tell him and, because Ben F. is SUCH A DOUCHE, he's really mean to her about it.  She ugly cries and we have to watch her sob incoherently about a relationship at home that seriously has no bearing at all on the show.  "Maybe I need to be in therapy," she wails and I think she has a good point.  But she didn't come on under false pretenses.  She just wanted to be free of this former attachment.  But Ben is pissy.  He tells her he thinks she should go home, as if he's commanding it, even though she's obviously already going home.  That's why she's THERE, stupid.  Stop trying to act like it was your decision.

This guy blows.

Cocktail Party

Anyway, just when you thought things couldn't get more pathetic, Jamie decides to make her move at the cocktail party before the rose ceremony.  She gets Ben alone and awkwardly tells him that she thinks about "doing things" with him at night.  Then, in a dress where she really can't move her legs, she proceeds to try to climb on top of him and straddle him.  But she's shy and this is not her thing and it's just awkward.  And every time they start kissing, she starts giggling and, since he is so effing bitchy this week, he reprimands her for laughing.

She climbs off and they try kissing again with her literally instructing him on when to open and close his mouth and then FINALLY it stops because he says he can't take it anymore.  Neither can I!  And the rest you will have to Youtube because I hate scary movies and this was basically a horror show.  My eyes!  My eyes!  My ears!  My ears!  I will never truly recover.  This was not for the Bachelor novice.

Rose Ceremony

Well, it's no mystery who is going home, although Jamie says she doesn't know what Ben is thinking.  Really, Jamie?  You seem like a smart girl relative to the others.  You don't know where this is going?  Well, maybe you just lose perspective when you're being brainwashed for this show.

Anyway, he sends Jamie home and they're off to Belize because … well, it's close by.  And at least Courtney doesn't announce that she was just there two months ago this time.

And, just like that, another Bachelor episode comes to a close.  Although this time I feel I need some time to recover.

xo – N.

The Lint Collector: The Bachelor Gets To First Base (At Least)

By Nora Zelevansky / February 1st, 2012

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Yeah, I know.  My Bachelor recap was conspicuously absent this week.  Mostly because I watched the show with some friends and got to vent my utter disbelief on the spot.

But still I must exchange at least some thoughts with you all.  (PS I have a cold, so if this makes no sense, blame the Nyquil.  Is that even how you spell Nyquil?)

Anyway, the gang is off to The W Retreat & Spa in Vieques, Puerto Rico.  "If you don't get a rose, you'll be on a plane back to the United States," warns host Chris Harrison.  I love me some CH, but isn't Puerto Rico IN the United States?

Anyway, the first date card is in Spanish and, well, you can just imagine how our girls fair with that situation.  The PhD Emily interprets the message for them … of course.

Nicky gets the date and is all excited, dressed up in a heinous asymmetrical number that's anything but flattering.  I recommend wearing dresses with two shoulders.  It increases your chances of staying.  Just saying.

The date is good enough so that Ben doesn't send her home (and it even affords him the chance to kiss her in the rain — so wonderfully on the nose!), but I don't think he likes her enough that she'll be sticking around for long.  She exchanges her soaked one shoulder dress for an even uglier handkerchief frock plucked from some local store and, well, I would have sent her home just for picking it out.  She seems nice though.  She remarks that "any woman would be lucky to have" Ben and I'm not convinced.  But anyway.

Back at the house, the group date card is read and Patty from Millionaire Matchmaker (truly I can't remember the girl's real name anymore) will be getting the one-on-one.  She's super excited, even though everyone and her mother at home knows she'll be sent packing.  Actually, Courtney — psychopath though she seems to be — says that Patty will be going home: "I hope I get her number.  I could use a personal trainer," she quips.  Always a kind word.

The group date is a baseball game … in a porno.  The girls are dressed like Hooters waitresses in short shorts, but they're as ladylike and classy as a pack of drunk Red Sox fans.  (Requisite dig from a Yankee fan — sorry!)  The girls are separated into teams and only one group will get to spend the evening with Ben, who BTW has even worse hair in Puerto Rico than everywhere else.  Sure, it's not as flat, but now it's a frizzy poof.  Bad scene.

Blakely, Emily, Rachel and the nurse (whose name I am blanking yet again) lose and Blakely is CRUSHED.  When the inevitable helicopter comes to pick up the other team and Ben, she shouts, "I hope you guys throw  up!"  She's gone coocoo for Coco Puffs, if you ask me.

Kacie B. gets the group date rose, which isn't too much of a shocker and, for once, Courtney is worried.  Ben has his date with Patty, which is really too brutal to get into.  Suffice it to say that she wears a one shoulder dress too and has a total breakdown when he sends her home mid-date.

Afterward, Ben goes back to his hotel room and Courtney — who is obviously HAMMERED — sneaks over in just a robe and underwear and convinces him fairly easily to go skinny dipping, full monty.  She literally tells him, "I'm about to rock your world."  I'm starting to think she's mostly insane because she's drunk all the time.

The scene is pretty racy as far as I'm concerned because they're clearly buck naked and making out in the water.  We speculated about whether they had sex, but we think probably it was just heavy petting.  But who knows?  Courtney knows!

Anyway, at the cocktail party, PhD Emily apologizes to Ben for trash talking about Courtney the week before … and then proceeds to do it again.  Don't get me wrong: This strikes me as unwatchably awkward.  I want to scream "No!  Don't do it!" like I'm watching a horror movie.  But Ben's response is a HUGE turn off.  He is incredibly condescending, speaking to her as if he were disciplining a child.  "What I encourage you to do … blah blah blah."  Between this and the totally harsh way he dismissed simple Samantha last week, I'm starting to think maybe he's not such a nice guy.  Maybe he and Courtney deserve each other?

And then there's the rose ceremony and redhead Jennifer goes home, I'm guessing because she's got the friend vibe.  I guess the best kisser in the house paled in comparison to the best ocean hand job giver (that's Courtney).  But now is when it gets good because he's mostly got girls left who have at least SOME shot.

See you next week, when Courtney does something else insane!

xo – N.

The Lint Collector: The Bachelor Goes To Utah

By Nora Zelevansky / January 24th, 2012

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Here we are in Utah, a state that's quite familiar with multiple women dating one single man!  Woo hoo.  Well, it's Sundance right now in real time in Park City, so I have to imagine they timed it that way for some reason?  Or maybe it's a weird coincidence?

Anyhoo, the Bachelor episode opens and sister wife Kacie B. is freaking out.  She says she needs another date with Ben this week or she's going to lose it.  Um.  Kacie B.  It's gonna be a while before you have a second one-on-one.  There are still like 700 other girls.

Still, her panic reminds me of JP on Ashley's season and starts to make me think that maybe she actually really clicked with Ben and that they might end up together.

Anyway, it's Rachel's one-on-one date.  And she's gone mute.  She's crazy shy maybe?  She keeps talking about all the pressure of first dates.  They're on a row boat and it's so dull that the massive amount of mosquitoes are pulling focus.

Back at the house, the girls hate Courtney – newsflash!  She says she blossoms around Ben and shuts down around the girls.  If that's how you want to describe it, el psycho!  Anyway, she's all prepped for her first group date and PhD Emily says hopefully Ben will see the truth about her.

Back on the date, Rachel gets a rose, probably because she has a cool voice, she's pretty and she admitted that she has trouble "opening up."  By that I guess she means talking?  They swap marshmallows.  That's not a euphemism for anything.  He describes their potential relationship as a "slow burn."

Ben shows up on the group date on a horse. That's soooo Lindzi.  It is beautiful there, I have to say.  One of the girls says, "How attractive does he look right now?"  A few comment on how nature doesn't get more beautiful AND it's only better because they're with Ben … and a bunch of other hoochie chicks.

Courtney says the date isn't about catching trout.  It's about catching Ben.  She says the other girls aren't on their game, but Ben is paying attention to Kacie B.  Courtney says she's going to turn the date into a one-on-one.  But Lindzi isn't having it.  Don't matter though because Courtney catches a fish and apparently that's exciting.

At drinks, Ben chats with Kacie S., who I thought was Samantha.  Whatever.  They're both blond.  Blakely is wearing a terrible hat.  Nicki connects with him over losing loved ones and we find out that a friend of Ben's died right before he started the show.  Just then, Samantha shows up and acts like an idiot.  Such bad timing!  She's clearly dumb as dirt and tries to challenge him, asking why she hasn't gotten a one-on-one.  He gets pissed and pushes back.  Don't test him, mofo.  He has a temper.  We saw it when Ashley dumped him.  I kinda like it.  He don't take crap.

He tells her that he's observed that she's overly emotional on group dates.  He sends her straight home, saying that she doesn't take the whole thing seriously enough.  She was absurd, but — wow — that was harsh.  He thought she was being a bitch, but she was actually just being a moron.  Sorry, Samantha.  Bye bye.

Courtney, always eloquent and kind, says, "It's nice to see Ben sending girls home.  Another one bites the dust."

Ben gives Kacie B. one-on-one time during the date.  He likes her, for reals.  He always gives her extra time.  He likes her a lot and he says that he's "in trouble."   They still have to go through this whole process!  He says, "I might end up with her.  She's wonderful."

Then he's with Courtney and he is so whipped by her model ass.  She manipulates him into giving her the rose by saying that her feelings are wavering.  But she's so hot that he panics.  (BTW — his hair is wet and away from his face and he looks SO much better.)

The other women are all upset.  But what else is new?

The next one-on-one is with "good kisser" Jennifer, who I think he might keep around for making out purposes, but not for real.  I don't even know why I feel that way.  They're going to climb down/rappel into a crater.  Meanwhile, all I can think is that I want to re-color her way too red hair.

They lower into the water.  It's a metaphor for a relationship, unknown waters blah blah blah.  It rains etc. blah blah blah.

Back at the house, Blakely is doing Emily's highlights.  Obviously, she's not so hated anymore.  They all hate Courtney and — wait! — that girl Jamie who took care of her siblings when her parents died is still around.  I didn't even realize!  We haven't even seen them talk.

Back on the date, there's a country music concert and OMG thank goodness — it's not an awkward personal show.  Phew.  But just when I think we're safe, they go right up to the stage and sway.  Eek.

Anyway, on to the cocktail party, where Emily tries to warn Ben about Courtney and instead ends up looking bad.  Courtney is evil, saying Emily is on her "shit list."   She's such a psychopath and I can only imagine that Ben is blind to it because she's so hot (as evidenced by "scenes from next week," when she strips down completely and goes skinny dipping with him).

Monica — who appeared to possibly be into Blakely on the first episode — is sent home and is upset, but it's confusing because her goodbye with Ben makes it seem like they've barely talked.

I'm worried about next episode, when Emily seems to try to warn Ben AGAIN for some stupid reason and Courtney just gets naked to get her way.  I guess we'll have to wait and see.  Ben can't rightly go skinny dipping with her and make out naked in the water and then send her home, so I'm guessing she'll be sticking around.

Still, my favorite moment in the entire episode?  When Ben announces that they're going to "Vieques, Puerto Rico!" at the end and — amidst the other girls' shrieks of happiness — Courtney pouts, "I was just there two months ago."

Really, Ben?  Really?  I'm not even going to talk about the accent he used when he said "Puerto Rico."

xo – N.

The Lint Collector: The Bachelor a.k.a Bitches Be Crazy

By Nora Zelevansky / January 18th, 2012

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So many awkward moments, so little time … on this episode of The Bachelor, featuring Ben's hair flat-ironed YET AGAIN.  For the love of all things holy!  PLEASE stop styling his situation. It's at least a little better left shaggy!

Anyway, here are my top 10 favorite moments from the night:

1. When Emily and Ben climb The Golden Gate Bridge because she's obviously admitted to the producers that she's afraid of heights despite being a PhD candidate who should know better.  (If it was me, I'd tell them I was afraid of sushi and massages … although I am kind of scared of those together on a reality show date actually.)

2. When Emily freaks out like she might fall off the bridge and Ben says, "Talk to me, Goose!" to try to comfort her.  Um.  Ben.  Goose dies.

3. When Emily, who seems mildly intelligent, says that Ben's kiss gives her the strength to get up the rest of the bridge.  P.S. Why are people not worried about drivers seeing them, getting distracted and crashing?

4. When Ben says that Emily is smarter than him and she doesn't disagree.  (Okay, I realize that this is a lot of Emily action, but she got the first one-on-one date and also she's my new favorite cause she cursed a bunch during the episode and sort of seems the most normal.)  I also liked during their private fireworks display, when the girls back at the hotel could see and you heard one of them screech, "I'm so ssssad right now."

5. During the group date, when Ben informs the girls that they're going, "snow skiing."  I think that's just called, "skiing," Ben.  Then when they strip down to bikinis to ski like it's a porno and there's a weird SF guy with a long beard and scraggly hair watching.

6. When the grandma girl Brittany decides to go home for some reason (Is she too insecure?  Does she really feel that she doens't deserve a chance with him?  Is she freaked out by the circumstances?  Turned off by his hair?).  Either way, grandma will be bummed.

7. When he then takes Lindzi on the date instead (why the pancake makeup, girl?) and they are forced to dance during a private concert.  So awkwaaaaard.  When they kiss only because it's better than having to dance.  And when they go to a speakeasy and she tells that bizarre story again about getting dumped via a text that read, "Welcome to Dumpsville, Babe.  Population you," but it gets even weirder because she says that was the only time she's ever been in love.  I feel like that reflects really badly on her because either the guy was the biggest douchbag on the planet, she never really knew him in a year and a half of dating and/or we're not getting the full story.  Or maybe she was dating Bentley.

8. When Ben tells the redhead that she's the best kisser in the house, which she takes as a huge compliment despite the fact that he's admitting to having made out with almost everyone else in the house.

9. Of course, when Shawntel the furneral director from Brad's season shows up and they try to make her a villain, but she's kind of not.  (Of course it's her BTW because she also has parents who can't spell a name normally and that's the theme of this season.)  Is she being set up as the next Bachelorette or was this just an attempt to liven up the season?

10. The whole last 10 minutes:

A. When the personal trainer (who I call "Patty" because she looks like Millionaire Matchmaker) just sits there watching, when Ben obviously wants her to leave so he can talk to Shawntel.

B. When the girls all start crying, even the crazy pants model and blonde Rachel with the bangs, who has a rose.

C. When PhD Emily says it looks like they had chemistry.

D. When I of course see a few girls I don't recognize at all because it's the third episode and that's when girls who you swear have never been on before show up.

E. When the girls are too DUMB to realize that Shawntel and Ben have met on The Bachelor circuit, probably doing appearances, and Patty the personal trainer shouts/shrieks at Shawntel (in the WORST Jersey accent), "You don't know Ben!  You were with Brad's season!"  She was WITH Brad's season?  Okay.

F. When that blonde girl with the not so pretty face (sorry) Jaclyn, says, "What IS this?" in response to Shawntel showing up.  I want to scream at the screen, "A REALITY SHOW! Isn't it grand?"

G. When I notice that Chris Harrison's hair is getting longer.

H. When someone says on V.O., "On a scale of 1 to 10, I feel like I'm going to throw up."

I. When Ben calls Samantha's name during the rose ceremony and I'm like, "Who?"

J. When the girl with the black curly hair who made fun of Shawntel's thighs has an anxiety attack (or maybe faints from not eating) and then gets sent home anyway.  Oops.  And Ben says, "Well, I wasn't expecting that."

K. When crazy pants model Courtney shows her true colors by chiding Ben for his antics at the rose ceremony and swearing she'll go home if he keeps Shawntel.  As if.

L. Well, I can't say when Shawntel goes home cause I kinda wanted her to stay.  She's pretty and I like her!  But it was classic when Courtney yelled, "Sianara!" as Ben walked Shawntel out.

M. When Shawntel says that Ben was silly to send her home out of fairness, when this is about his future wife.  (I kinda agree).

N. In scenes from next week, when everyone looks INSANE again!

For the record, my frontrunners are: Kasie B. from Tennessee, Rachel with the blonde bangs, Emily the PhD girl and, well, only cause I want him to like her, that nurse girl who took care of her whole family.  I actually don't think that redhead is going to be the thing and, when he does pick someone, that other girl is going to be PRETTY pissed that he called her the best kisser.  Maybe Nicki is up there too.  Wait?  Is Nicki the nurse?  Is that the same person?  Eh, who knows?  It doesn't matter!  This is reality TV!

Until next week!

xo – N.