Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm Here

I made it to Enders Island.  Thus far it's going well.  I have not yet been able to log in on my computer but I'm borrowing a friend's laptop to keep the blogs going for at least one more day.

The drive down wasn't too bad.  I only lost control of my car once and it was more or less clear sailing once I crossed the Connecticut state line.

It's great to see everybody.  My biggest concern now is that I forgot to pack my alarm clock, but I'll find a way to manage.

Tomorrow we start workshops.  Should be a good time.  Hopefully my computer will be up and running by tomorrow night.

Here We Go

We got a lot of snow, but it's not as catastrophic as it was predicted to be.  The measurable snow will stop around 10 a.m., says Dylan Dreyer of 7News.

I'm gonna give it a go later this morning.  Wish me luck.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Dual Dilemmas: Ham and Nor'easter

I have lots of leftover ham from Christmas dinner, courtesy of my mom.  (It was inspirational to see her so soon after major surgery.)  I will be living on an exclusive diet of ham until I leave for residency.

Also, Murphy's Law has struck again, as a nor'easter is schedule to hit eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut beginning Sunday evening and continuing through Monday afternoon.  Monday, of course, is when I leave for residency.  Channel 5's Harvey Leonard is calling for as much as 20 inches.

This is going to be a fun 36 hours.

It's Christmas Miracle

My mom is out of the hospital, and all my other family members are recovering from their bumps and bruises. I'll be heading over to my mom's.  Beats Chinese food for Christmas.

Merry Xmas everyone.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Things To Do Before Residency, Addendum

Yesterday I came up with a list of things to do before residency.  The good news is I can scratch two of the five items off the list.  I now have pants.  And I've decided to bring the laptop.  (Whether it'll work or not on an isolated island with chance of much precipitation is another story, but...)

On the down side, I realized I have two other things to do. 

* I have to identify a five-minute passage from my novel for a public reading I'll be giving.

* I have to introduce my mentor, which means I have to write a 90-second introduction.

So two more items that'll take an estimated 6 1/2 minutes, added to three minutes of emptying out my binder and maybe a half-hour of packing.  39 1/2 minutes prep time total.  I'm all stressed out about it. 

Oh crap! I also forgot about revising my novel.  Cancel Christmas.  There goes the rest of the next three days.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Things To Do Before Residency

I get stressed out for no real reason.  Exhibit A: I have some things I need to do before the Fairfield U. MFA winter residency.

My past experience is that if I write it down in list form, it's not as intimidating.  So, here goes.  I have to:

* Take my binder, empty out my workshop samples from last summer and put in the samples for the coming residency.  This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about.  It should take roughly three minutes, yet it's really bugging me.

* Go to Wal-Mart and buy a pair of sweat pants, a couple of pairs of jeans, socks and a bottle of olive leaf extract.

* Finish up my revisions from being workshopped in last summer's residency.  (Third-semester critical essays have a way of delaying this 'til semester's end, particularly when they're nearly 50 pages long.)  It's not like I HAVE to do this,  but I am writing a novel and there's no reason to put it off, especially since the novel is my thesis and will be due next Dec. 1.  Plus, whoever my mentor is this semester will probably want to see at least part of what I've written this far.

* Pack.  When it comes to packing, I'm a notorious minimalist.  There's nothing I can't get at CVS if I forgot it.

* Make a final decision on whether to bring my laptop.

So there it is.  I have a few days left, it should be easy to knock each item off the list.  Unless I stress about it. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Participatory Democracy

As I mentioned in a recent blog, the Worcester city council has been talking about reclassifying apartment buildings as commercial property.  So, last night I went to a Worcester City Council meeting.

It seems that unlike many municipalities, Worcester has different property tax rates for residential and  commercial property.  The commercial rate is much higher (probably because commercial property owners tend to have larger properties, and many don't live or vote in town).  My landlord was understandably upset about this proposal.  He said his tax bill would double if it passed.  So he encouraged everyone in my building to attend the meeting and speak out at the public hearing portion of the agenda.

I served an 8-year sentence of attending town meetings -- it was called being a newspaper reporter.  I wasn't too excited about attending one last night.  Plus, a lot of older people live in my complex and they love to go to city council meetings.  Then I thought, if it passes, my landlord will pass the tax increase onto me in the form of rent.  Not good.  Besides, there wasn't much on TV last night -- Skating With the Stars, and Louisville and Southern Miss playing in the Chunks 'o Beef Salmonella Bowl. 

It dawned on me that it might be in my best interest to attend.  So I trudged out to Worcester City Hall. 

I was the only person in my complex to attend.

Now the pressure was on.  I got on the list to speak publicly.  My big mistake was not writing down what I wanted to say beforehand.  Still, I thought I sounded relatively articulate.  A couple of city councilors came up to me afterward and introduced themselves to me.  My landlord, who also attended, loved me.  A couple of other landlords who attended also thanked me for showing up.

It turns out the proposal was not up for a vote (some of the councilors do seem to support it, but apparently the city needs some sort of approval for the state in order to make this change).  So I didn't even need to attend.

But I'm glad I did.  Too often we shirk our responsibility of being a citizen because we'd rather watch TV or surf the 'Net.  And that sort of apathy is what allows selectmen and city councilors to think they can get away with raising taxes or misusing their position for their own gain. (I say this as a generalization of politicians everywhere, not as an accusation of any of the Worcester city officials, who seemed pretty accountable and happy for the public input.)  I spent 2 1/2 hours at City Hall, but I killed the time by reading 40 pages of Jasper Fforde's Shades of Grey while I was waiting for my turn to speak.

And let's face it, going to a town meeting to speak your mind is the essence of being a New Englander.


I'm not the most patient person in the world, but I try.  I don't snap at people unless they really get on my nerves.  I try to tolerate the constitutional right of idiots to vote.  And if I'm in a bad mood, I don't pick up the phone.

But this morning, my patience was really tested as I was cut off three times on my way home from the gym -- twice in the same parking lot.  It's particularly frustrating on the morning after our first measurable snowfall, when everybody either drives as slow as a snail or as if nothing happened, both of which leads to unnecessary aggravation on my part.

I'm home now and safe, at least safe from bad drivers.  Then again, if anyone can find a way to plow their car through a third-story window, they'd do so through my living room.

The one silver lining -- I really didn't know what to write about today and slept on it.  At least in that sense, my patience was rewarded.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

18 Is the New 16

There's been a lot of talk recently about extending the NFL season from 16 to 18 games.  It looks as though the owners have made this a non-negotiable item as owners and players try to hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement.

Players have been less than enthusiastic.  From Hines Ward to Ray Lewis to Tom Brady, players seem pretty pissed about the idea.  They claim they will sustain more injuries.

Normally I live by Tom Brady's teachings, but this is crap.  Under the current schedule, each team plays 4 preseason and 16 regular season games, with one bye week.  Under the new proposal, each team would play 2 preseason and 18 regular season games, with most likely two bye weeks.  The total number of games either way is 20.  Dirty little secret: players get hurt in preseason games, too.  There will most likely be the same number of injuries.  Plus, an extra week off gives players extra time to heal. 

An 18-game schedule will be a win for the fans, who have to buy the two meaningless preseason games as part of the season ticket packages.  That's like forcing someone to buy a TV that gets crappy reception on CBS.  It's bad business.

And, memo to Hines Ward: nobody's forcing you to play.  You've had a good career.  You can always walk away from the game.  But if you play pro football, the potential exists for injuries and post-career complications.  You know full well that's what you signed up for when you started playing football.  If it bothers you that much, retire.

(Tom Brady, if you happen to read this, please don't retire.)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ask, Tell

A few days ago I wrote about the defeat of a bill to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on gays openly serving in the military.

Our legislators rarely get anything right, but Saturday they did when they reversed themselves and repealed DADT.  I congratulate them for coming to their senses.

I particularly applaud three Republican senators from New England -- Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine -- for crossing the aisle and playing key roles in allowing this legislation to avoid a filibuster and allowing this to come to pass.


This sucks.  Apparently the Worcester City Council is considering a measure that would treat apartment buildings as commercial, not residential, property.

My landlord may raise my rent $100 a month is this goes through.  I don't live in a business.  I live in an apartment complex.

It's going to be on the agenda Tuesday. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 17, 2010

For One Day, I Was Not a Prick

Yesterday I saw somebody post something that I know is incorrect.  I could've e-mailed them to point it out.

But what would it have gained me?  As incorrect information goes, it was pretty benign.  It wasn't going to cause someone to get cancer, make a bad financial decision or enter into an unhealthy relationship.  And I would've just looked like a know-it-all prick.  So I decided it wasn't worth it.

Today, all bets are off.  I could end up acting highly obnoxious today.  But I can say this for the record.  For one day, I was not a prick.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Live Free or Die, Man

In a recent "Daily Beast" survey, the University of New Hampshire comes out on top as the "druggiest college in America."  But it doesn't stop there.  The top four schools on the list are all in New England.   Northeastern, Bryant College and Maine round out the Fried Four.  Williams, Vermont, UMass and Hampshire College also cracked the top 50.

I have mixed feelings about this.  I was an occasional (once or twice a month) pot smoker in and shortly after college. But I stopped because after awhile, I realized it didn't do anything for me.  (At least alcohol gave me a nice buzz.)  I never did crack, heroin or any other hard drugs because for me, the potential for dying on the first attempt overrode any theoretical benefits.

That said, while I don't do drugs anymore, I also feel the decision to partake in drugs is one's personal choice and think it's silly to legislate these sorts of things.  Prohibition was a big disaster, which is why it was repealed after only 14 years -- by constitutional amendment, no less; you know it's bad public policy when three-fourths of the state legislatures, which usually can't come to agreement on the state bird, are motivated to repeal it -- and to me the War on Drugs is just prohibition with a more militaristic name.  In that sense, it's kind of cool that the top four, and 8 of the top 50, "druggie schools" are in New England.  New Englanders have never been keen on having the government infringe upon their civil liberties.

I also find it delicious that a school from New Hampshire tops the list.  New Hampshire has one of the most right-wing conservative papers in America (The Union Leader of Manchester; I wonder how this news went over in the Union Leader's editorial board meeting).  Yet there's also a sizeable libertarian contingent in the state.  They may not want their tax dollars used to promote drug use, but they also don't want the government dragging them to jail if they do use drugs.

So I think this deserves a special celebration.  I say we all toke up in tribute to UNH and the other seven schools on the list.  Live Free of Die, Man.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Form Letter

I'm not the most organized person in the world.  An example: when I sent out my most recent short story in an attempt to get it published, I submitted it to 10 different fiction journals.  But I forgot to keep track of which ones.

It wasn't that big a deal.  After four of the journals rejected it, a fifth, the rather interestingly named "Hobo Pancakes," was pleased to let me know that they really liked it and wanted to include it in their latest edition.  Great news.  Except that there were five other journals I applied to and by now (a month or so had passed) I couldn't remember the names of the remaining five.  In fiction circles, if you've mutiply-submitted a short story and one of the places wants to publish it, it's considered proper etiquette to inform the other places of its pending publication so they can remove it from consideration for their publication.  So forgetting the other places constitutes a real jerk move on my part.     

Thankfully, one of the remaining five did some of the heavy lifting for me, sending me an e-mail last night.  I've redacted the name of this publication, since I figure that's between me and it.  But other than that, the text of the e-mail is reprinted here verbatim: 

Dear Phil,

We regret to inform you that we will be unable to accept your submission, "BMW Supermodel," at this time. DO NOT let this discourage you from writing creatively.  Continue writing, and continue submitting your work.  If you choose to revise this piece, please feel free to resubmit it to us, and we will be more than happy to reread it.
Thanks again for your submission.


XXX Review

This is by far the nicest rejection letter I've ever received.  For anything -- job interview, fiction submission, college application, etc.  I actually felt good after reading it.  Maybe this particular journal likes to make people feel good about themselves.  But it sure doesn't feel like a form letter.

Now if only I could remember the other four places I sent my short story to....

Monday, December 13, 2010

Surgery Update

My mom is okay.  She's resting comfortably after a six-hour surgery.  Things seemed to go well.  She will have to have another surgery in March, but I'll knock on wood that everything goes smoothly from now until then.

I hope to return to more Phil-like topics beginning tomorrow. I just want to thank all the well-wishers and appreciate their support. 


As I write, my mom is in for surgery. It's kind of a big one.  And you never know what'll happen.

Thus, I'm trying to do some things to take my mind off of it -- lunch with friends, laundry, etc.  But overall, I'm just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Fast Lane, The Sequel

So I just got home.  The writer's group was a blast; the Yankee swap was a great idea.

The big deal, however, was on the way to and from the meeting.  I tested my new Fast Lane transponder.  I was frightened going into the lane; you don't get a ticket.  I was on the Mass Pike for the scariest 20 minutes of my life, hoping and praying that the transponder would work. 

I tentatively drove into the lane at the 128 exit....slowed down and waited.

The green light went on.  "Thank you," said a sign inside the green light, which is slightly creepy.

Whew!  Off the hook.  On the way back, same story.  I can only pray that the transponder did indeed work, or else the police won't be kicking my door in while I sleep. 

Fast Lane

First of all, my apologies -- I think this is the latest in the day I've ever blogged.  However, I'm pretty stressed out.

I finally got one of those Fast Lane transponders so I can go through the automated lanes of the Mass Pike.  It's something I've been meaning to do for years, and I finally realized I could sign up for it online.  Two days later, it showed up in the mail.

Perfect, right? Wrong.  Now I have to mount it on my windshield.  I'm not a dinosaur when it comes to tech, I can generally get by.  But this is the perfect situation for something to go wrong and prevent the ETC lanes from reading it properly.

Tonight I will be on the Pike.  This will be the acid test.  I hope the next time I'm blogging it's not from jail. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Take a Stand

Yesterday a bill to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ban on gays in the military died in the Senate. 

The president is the commander-in-chief, right?  Obviously presidents have a method to their madness (not the least of which is, whether it's politically expedient to pass a certain public policy at a particular moment).  But if Obama really wants to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," as commander-in-chief he could just say, "Look, folks, this is how it's gonna be going forward.  If you don't like it, come home."

I've never served in the military.  I'm humbled by those who do.  That said, I can't understand the logic behind banning gays in the military. 

And I would argue that, if you're more concerned about whether the guy next to you in the foxhole is thinking about what you look like naked, and less concerned about an enemy who wants to destroy the American way of life, a way of life in which the protection of civil liberties is cherished, then maybe you shouldn't be serving.  Someone like that doesn't give me confidence that they'll have their priorities straight in the heat of battle.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dec. 8, 1980

I feel stupid.  Here is my memory of 30 years ago yesterday, the night John Lennon was murdered:

I was 8.  The Patriots played the Dolphins in Miami that night on Monday Night Football.  It was a big game with playoff implications.  This was back when the Orange Bowl jinx -- the Patriots went 19 years without winning a game in Miami -- was still on.  My parents allowed me to stay up to watch the first quarter.  I was in bed when Lennon was shot and killed and my parents actually got me out of bed (oftentimes I had trouble sleeping as a kid; come to think if it I still do), after Howard Cosell announced, with seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Patriots lining up for a potential game-winning field goal, that Lennon had been shot and killed.

As an 8-year-old, I barely knew who the president was.  My first thought was: "Wow, John Lennon.  I've actually heard of him."  My second thought was: "What's the score?"

Patriots kicker John Smith missed the field goal.  My parents let me stay up a little while.  The Patriots lost 16-13 in overtime; the loss eliminated them from playoff contention.

The next morning, my third-grade teacher said there was a big news story last night and could anyone explain what it was.  I raised my hand and grumbled, "Yeah, the Patriots had a chance to make the playoffs last night and they blew it."  I could tell pretty quickly that wasn't the news story she was thinking of.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Cable Company That Almost Stole "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Monday evening around 7 my cable went out.  Bad timing (90 minutes before the biggest Patriots game of the year, but not insurmountable.  I called up my friend Mark, who generously allowed me to watch the Patriots game over at his house.  However, when I got home Tuesday morning at 1 it was still out.  I called Charter and the automated response said there was a high-wind-related outage in my area and the cable company would call me when the problem was fixed.

I woke up a few hours later and the cable was still out.  I call Charter again -- five times.  And promptly get disconnected each time.  Encouraging.  I've said it before but it bears repeating -- Charter is the bastard child of cable companies.  When I had Comcast I had lousy customer service and questionable bills, but at least I knew I'd have cable service 24/7.

This cable outage is a serious problem.  Because Tuesday night at 8 is the holiday event of the year -- A Charlie Brown Christmas -- and I can't not watch it.  (After Mark allowed me to come over Monday for the Pats game, I think asking to come over again Tuesday to watch Charlie Brown might've been pushing it a little).  By now I'm panicking something fierce, the way Charlie Brown was when he was trying to direct the Christmas play.   Charter is about to ruin Christmas!  I'm thinking about calling the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, but Martha Coakley ran such a lousy campaign for Senate earlier this year I can't imagine she'll be very proactive about this.   

I try calling Charter back at noon.  I finally get through to a live person.  I explain the situation.  She says the outage from Monday night should be fixed, and I should try to unplug the cable box, wait 30 second and replug it.  I do so.  It's still not working.  She tells me they can't figure out the problem and will have to have a live person come to my place to fix the problem -- Wednesday.  After A Charlie Brown Christmas.   

This is no good.  I give the lady a Linus-esque lecture  about the true meaning of Christmas.  I mean, everyone knows the true meaning of Christmas is being able to watch Linus lecture everybody about the true meaning of Christmas.  As I'm lecturing her, voila, the cable magically comes back on.

Christmas is saved!  I'm glad I didn't let all this commercialism get me down. I guess now we truly know what Christmas is all about.  Now I need to go find myself a Charlie Brown tree.  (Yes, they still make wooden Christmas tees.)    

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Haters Are Out And About

There's nothing like a 45-3 beatdown of the Jets to bring all the New England Patriots haters out in full force.  Now that the Pats seem to be a legitimate Super Bowl threat, over the past few hours I've seen blogs and posts accusing Tom Brady of being a "pre-madonna" (whatever that means, I think they meant prima donna but I don't expect Patriots haters to know how to spell) and accusing Bob Kraft of screwing Hartford over back in 1999 by going back on a plan to move the Pats to Connecticut.  Maybe, but methinks the venom should be directed more towards then-Gov. John Rowland, who crafted a multi-million-dollar agreement with public money, that was also filled with loopholes to allow Kraft an out to stay in Massachusetts. Rowland later spent time in jail for tax fraud, granted it was for an unrelated matter, but it certainly speaks to his character.

Anyway, I'm just gonna sit here and enjoy the moment.  I don't know if the Patriots will win the Super Bowl.  They still have some holes but they're certainly improving.  We'll just have to wait and see.   

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Upset Special

NFL pre-game shows don't offer much.  There's the occasional funny moment.  There's an occasional funny moment at a funeral, too, but that doesn't mean it's a good time.  Ostensibly, the former NFL coaches and players hired are supposed to have some insight that everyone else does now.  Today, however, I officially determined they know nothing more than me.

On CBS's The NFL Today, the panelists were asked to give their "Upset Specials," picks of underdogs they expect to win on Sunday.  Dan Marino and Boomer Esiason picked Jacksonville over Tennessee; Shannon Sharpe picked the Jets over New England.

Those are upsets?  Going into Sunday's game, Jacksonville (6-5) had a BETTER RECORD than Tennessee (5-6).  The Jets and Patriots are tied at 9-2, and currently the Jets hold the tiebreaker.  Why not pick 8-3 Chicago over 2-9 Detroit as your upset special?  I mean, the game WAS in Detroit.  To me, it hardly counts as an upset when the Jaguars post a 17-6 win over a Tennessee team that has The Version of Randy Moss That Doesn't Care and a quarterback who hasn't started regularly in two years (Kerry Collins).

Too many people in America settle for mediocrity.  It's too bad the NFL's pre-game studio hosts have settled as well.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Worcester Phillies

Everyone who knows me knows that I'm a repository of useless facts, a function of my addiction to Wikipedia and other sites where you can find obscure information.  Recently, I was doing some mindless surfing of 1880s Major League Baseball, and found that, from 1880 to 1882, Worcester, Mass., the town I currently call home, was home to a National League franchise.

This franchise is fascinating to me for several reasons.  One, this franchise pitched the first perfect game in major league history, on June 12, 1880.  Because it hailed from Worcester, it gave Bay Staters a choice for their baseball rooting interests.  You didn't have to root for the Boston Braves (the Red Sox were still two decades away from inception).  I mean, come on, if you're from Pittsfield or Springfield and you want to go to a major league game, would you rather drive to Worcester or Boston?  It's a no-brainer.

There's also an amazing amount of mystery shrouding this team.  For starters, there seems to be a heated debate on such basic matters as the team nickname., a pretty reliable source, says the team was called the Worcester Ruby Legs, which is either a 19th-century or an incredibly wussy way of calling them the Worcester Purple Sox.  Other sources call them the Worcester Brown Stockings.  Yet Wikipedia says the team had no nickname.  Now, Wikipedia is hardly the final arbiter -- I mean, there's nothing stopping me from vandalizing the Wikipedia article on the team and renaming the team the Worcester Porn Stars.  But there's some credence to the Wikipedia article, which I will get to shortly.

The other mysterious thing about the team is what happened to it.  Seems the Worcester franchise was, perfect game notwithstanding, pretty fucking bad.  The team posted a 90-159 record in three seasons, including a wretched 18-66 in 1882; many sources maintain the team folded after that year.  But another theory is that the Worcester franchise is alive and thriving today, under the alias of...the Philadelphia Phillies.

If you look at the 1882 and 1883 National League seasons, you'll notice there's only one change of venue between the eight teams -- Worcester leaves, and is replaced by the Philadelphia Phillies (though they were originally called the Quakers, the Phillies became the de facto nickname and eventually it became the official team name).  Yet that's where the mystery begins.  While it seems logical that the Worcester team moved to Philly, Wikipedia claims this did not happen, that the Worcester team folded and the National League simply awarded another, unrelated franchise to Philadelphia.  And here's where Wikipedia has some credibility: Wiki cites none other than itself, which notes that none of the players on the 1882 Worcester team played for Philadelphia in 1883.

However, it gets better.  The Phillies themselves claim the Worcester team was purchased by a new owner, who then moved the team to Philadelphia.  As for the Wikipedia question of why nobody from the Worcester franchise played for the Phillies, well, I can see how an owner inheriting an 18-66 team might be inclined to fire the whole team.  I mean, that's a .214 winning percentage; even the worst team in the majors rarely has a winning percentage of less than .400.

So, while I can't say for sure, it seems there's a legitimate case can be made that the Phillies were originally the Worcester Whatevers.

It doesn't affect my loyalties.  I've been a Red Sox fan my whole life and will continue to be until the day I die and beyond.  Boston is the cultural capital of New England and its pro sports franchises are essentially New England's teams (except for those traitors in southwestern Connecticut who root for New York, and those traitors in northern Vermont who root for the Montreal Canadiens).  I mean, Worcester's great, for the time being it's a good place for me to live.  But I don't expect to live in Worcester forever.         

And, as I was saying earlier, I spend way too much time enthralled by useless facts. 

Going Against the Grain

Yesterday was the earliest sunset of the year. Some people get depressed when the sun sets so early.  Not me.  To me, a 4 p.m. sunset means that NFL football games that start at 4 are a big deal, with playoff implications.  It doesn't get much better than that.  I love early sunsets.  I say bring 'em on.  I wish the sun would set at 3 p.m.

This may make me weird, or a vampire, or something.  But I've gone against the grain my whole life. 
Yesterday was the earliest sunset of the year. Some people get depressed when the sun sets so early.  Not me.  To me, a 4 p.m. sunset means that NFL football games that start at 4 are a big deal, with playoff implications.  It doesn't get much better than that.  I love early sunsets.  I say bring 'em on.  I wish the sun would set at 3 p.m.

This may make me weird, or a vampire, or something.  But I've gone against the grain my whole life. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Bachelor, Part 2

According to ABC's recent commercials, Brad Womack, the guy who famously picked neither of the final two contestants in the 2007 season of The Bachelor, is back at it this season.  Once again, he'll be picking from 25 eligible bachelorettes in the hopes of finding true love. 

Now that's a much better gig than sitting at home, playing The Bachelor video game.

But what's his motivation?  If you're Womack, why not just diss all the girls again and lobby to keep coming back for more season after season?  You get to hang with 25 beautiful women over and over again.  There's no downside -- some of the girls are gonna be mad at you no matter what.

Seriously, how do I sign up for that?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Bachelor, Part 1: The Video Game

I was doing a little research for a blog (see tomorrow) when I came across this:

The Bachelor: The Videogame

·         Chris Harrison is your host in the game and will take you through the single player mode that is structured like the TV show
·         Compete against your "frenemies" in multiplayer mode
·         Sabotage your opponent's dates to prevent them from receiving a rose?or they may sabotage yours!
·         Features real-life The Bachelor and The Bachelorette contestants
·         Take personality tests and view your dating profile and compatibility results

The quest for love doesn't have to end after the show's final rose. Now, you can experience the excitement of the TV show in your very own adventure and compete for the affections of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette! It's up to you to make an impression that will leave your suitor with only one offer you the final rose!

The Bachelor is my guilty pleasure reality TV show, so I get a kick out of it.  Not sure I understand the concept of a Bachelor videogame, though.  Clearly they don't have me in mind, since you can only play the role of the female suitors and not the role of the bachelor/-ette.  The only role I would play is that of the one who's handing out the roses.  But I'm not sure why women would play this game either; it seems silly to be vying for a fictitious version of a guy who was on The Bachelor three seasons ago and already picked someone who 1) wasn't them and 2) unceremoniously broke up with the woman he picked two months later.

I guess I'm onto something, as I went onto Amazon and found this review, from a jilted woman who gave The Bachelor video game only one star:

I love the show, hate the game. After seeing the trailer I thought it looked really cool, I went to buy it the next day. After playing for about half an hour I got bored. The only thing your doing is playing mini games, thats it. The only way you can "sabotage the other dates" like it says on the back of the wii box is by beating them in a mini game. I really really want to return this game.

Good stuff.  ABC needs to get this woman as a contestant next season.

I Knew I Was Forgetting Something

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep I kept thinking I was forgetting something.

As I woke up from a dream in which I was told by Meredith Vieira that I failed everyone, it occurred to me.  I forgot to blog.

I've posted some wicked long blogs lately, and maybe I just ran out of gas last night.  Anyway, if I left anyone hanging I apologize.

I think the world will survive, though.