Can a Jamaican take Cali?

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Bachelor recap or Beware Jamaica will make you fall in love vol.2.34

There is a commercial I really hate on TV; it is pandering to men and women (which is a rare feat). It is the Miller light ad that features a woman who has been invited to a Chardonnay party but instead is going to buck the host’s wishes and bring BEER to the party under the guise of she would “bring a sledgehammer to a thumb tack.” That is already bad enough, if I invite you to a party follow my bloody wishes but on top of that the beer she chooses as the one to make the point is MILLER LIGHT? That is like telling the host “Not only do I not care about your rules/wishes but I also want to pee on your couch.” I would kick you out of my Chardonnay party if you showed up with that swill. You can show up to a Chardonnay party with another type of wine under the guise of “hey let’s try this” or “I do not drink Chard but I still wanted to drink wine with y’all” or you can just not show up, but YOU BEST NOT BE ENTERING MY WINE PARTY WITH MILLER! “She brings a flamethrower to a bonfire…she brings Miller Lite to a chardonnay party…GTFOH”
Mini Rant over, time for the show:

Aw crap we are still playing this foolish game of watching it alongside of a live studio Audience? Ben’s pastor is there and we see him looking into hisbible and taking notes, because we needed that proof. I hope he is looking up the passage that will excuse this moment, I suggest Isaiah 41:10 (look it up you heathens). And how much am I supposed to buy this guy as Ben’s pastor…Ben lives in Colorado now, we can stop pretending! 

We return to JAMAICA, the island is beating Lauren up and apparently causing her to crinkle her eyes into the sun…or because the producers will not allow her to use sunglasses. JoJo got to use more makeup for her ‘natural’ look.

Ben tells us he is in love with 2 women and he does not know how to handle it. 
Ben’s parents get the free trip to JAMAICA and they are beaming. Ben’s mom looks concerned that he has told 2 women that he loves them; the dad looks like he is wondering if it is too soon to start drinking the rum.

Ben’s mom uses words that I am sure will comfort Jojo when she watches this “Ben did say that he loves Lauren, but he talks like he loves ‘this other’girl too.” Nothing like being the other girl to feel great! The mom calls it disturbing that Ben loves 2 women…but coming on a show with dozens of girls, that part was okay? Lauren tells the parents that she told Ben on the first date that she wants to meet his parents, she pretends it was spontaneity, I suspect calculation.

The dad pulls Lauren aside, and he asks her if she is in love with Ben, she of course says yes. Time for the mom to try to stump Lauren; the mom says that Ben is his worst critic. I cannot even imagine my parents talking to these girls they would ruin these poor girls and they would not care that it is on camera. I guess that is why peeps like me are not on these shows. No way does my dad lead with a softball like “are you in love with CaliJ?” He would probably say something more like “Are you emotionally damaged, why on earth are you trying to date this boy?” And that is IF they even bothered to show up for the taping. 

Lauren tells Ben that she is “totally ready to get engaged” right after telling him that marriage is so important for her because she is only going to do it once. Maybe she meant once on camera?

JoJo shows up looking very nervous and she confesses it to the parents. Ben is one of those guys that tells his parents way too much about his love life explaining that they took a helicopter ride to the Hoover dam but they didn’t see much of it, wink, wink, nudge, nudge. BARF!

JoJo gives the dad a much better answer than Lauren since he gave her an essay question basically; “tell me everything you like about my son and why.”
Ben’s mom tells JoJo that Ben described her as “safe” she seems nonplussed. Safe is something you say about a Volvo, safe is not sexy. The mom seems to really like JoJo.

Ben’s parents seem to be agonized by the decision making process, but for a family that faith is supposedly so important to no one mentions God’s guidance? Does the show warn them not to say anything, or does it cut out religious references? My parents wish God’s guidance to me when I am trying to make a decision like what day to fly home and this kid is going to pick a wife, (and ‘his pastor’ is going to show up) and no one thinks to look to God?

Lauren meets Ben on a catamaran and I think, “This is the way to do island life…if you are fabulously wealthy.” Ben’s convo with Lauren feels like I am listening in on someone who just learned English and is struggling to make sure they use the correct words to convey meaning. 

In the evening Lauren is rocking a dress and Ben shows up in a pullover, A. it is a hot tropical island playa and B. dress up a little man, yeesh. I am missing much of this terrible dialog because I am busy searching Catamaran trips in JAMAICA and wondering if it would be terrible of me to take one out solo! Ben tells Lauren “No matter what happens, you have made me a better person” – great so if he picks JoJo, Lauren has the satisfaction of knowing she improved him for her? This of course leaves Lauren afraid, so we are back to the early season move of Ben shattering the girl and then trying to comfort her.

The good thing about these stupid ‘live studio look ins’ is that I can get through this show faster. “It’s not that Lauren has taken a step back, it is that JoJo has stepped up.” Seriously this kid is going to have a lot of explaining to do to the one he ends up with. JoJo says “they are very friendly here in JAMAICA” yes, yes we are, but that dude who was chasing your car and yelling “Welcome, welcome” just wanted your tourist dollars. Ben takes Lauren to the Blue Hole, great now we have to repair that place! If they wanted to make it the authentic Blue Hole tourist experience they would have had a guide pestering them to show them around.

In the evening, Lauren is wearing an outfit that make me think she is wearing plenty of tape and the post production coordinator (my former job gotta give it a shoutout) was probably panicking making sure that nothing needed to be blurred. E texts me to point out that Ben’s date with Lauren was terrible and that the date with JoJo is going so much better…bear in mind this is even though this date has Ben constantly sighing, stuttering and putting his head in his hands because he cannot express himself.

Ben and Jojo go into the bathroom to escape the cameras, they know they are still mic’d right? I guess not…JoJo again showing that she is smarter (or savvier than Lauren) says to Ben after he tells her “I love you” “but you told her that too didn’t you?” to which he had to say yes. 

A Heidi Klum ad comes on that fascinates me but I would never want anyone to see me watching it.

Neil Lane gets to make his trip to JAMAICA to bring us some gaudy rings and to ask Ben if he has chosen someone, Ben does his usual answer of putting his hand to his head and not using words. Ben says, “Looking down at the ring, I know who I am going to propose to” I guess something about the ridiculous ring triggers thoughts of her? Does that mean she likes looking like a clown? That ring is gaudy as all hell.

JoJo’s dress throws me for a loop it is one step away from a ghetto prom dress, but she is so pretty she is ‘pulling it off’ I think? The Bachelor has not exhausted its helicopter  budget so both girls get helicopter trips despite being on an island that you can drive from one end to the other in under 4 hours…just saying (during the time of filming the new Highway had not opened yet, so now they could do it in under 3).

JoJo and her prom dress arrive first, her voice over has her telling us how much she wants to spend the rest of her life with Ben, I feel like she is about to be slaughtered. JoJo is holding hands with Ben and trying to talk her way into love “it’s crazy to think that in a couple months you have become my best friend and the man I love.” Ben if you are not going to pick her, why let her get that whole speech out? You do not care about someone if you let her expose herself like that and not just let her go. Ben tells JoJo that re love “I found it with you [pause] but I found it with someone else more.” Jojo’s face at this moment: Tell me again how nice a guy he is? E and I are now battling over text about the ring; I think it is so gaudy even a rapper wouldn’t rock it I am now seriously wondering if I could/should buy her a cracker-jack ring for her next birthday, but I do not want to spoil her.

So Ben has told Jojo that he loves another woman more than her but continues to hold her hands and tells her he does not want to let go…really bro? “Can I walk you out?” “If you want to.” Hmm Ben cut himself shaving! How do I know this, because while he is inappropriately hugging JoJo too long we get a close up of the side of his face, again, this is the girl you are dumping…let her go. Jojo’s dress suffers in the daytime; I think it would look so much better at night where it could sparkle under lights but not have the beading show up as it does in bright sunlight. 

Ben calls Lauren’s dad for his permission - that is going to be an expensive call, hope he has international roaming. The dad gives him his blessing and Ben whoops. ..via text E points out something I missed “Her dad said have a great night (wink wink)” I feel like Jojo should have known she wasn’t getting picked when she arrived so early in the day…but hey the heart can trick the brain.

Lauren tells Ben “I love you” repeatedly and Ben pauses and you can see the panic in Lauren’s face. Lauren of course says yes to the proposal. They repeat to each other “you’re my person” over and over again (so this cheesy show is ripping off lines from another cheesy show? Grey’s Anatomy for those scoring at home…and yes that show is STILL on, and still getting good ratings, ShondaLand is strong! )

Another couple tricked by the magic of JAMAICA.

Let’s see if I can survive this ‘After the final Rose’ junk show:

I really do not like Ben’s pastor and that is with knowing NOTHING about the man, I just hate that he is constantly holding the Bible as a prop!

JoJo comes out and Ben continues to prove that he is not the smoothest - “My life has moved on” he is trying to explain that the Bachelor moments with JoJo are over. Jojo tells us that she is good friends with Lauren and “that she is an amazing person.”

JoJo tries to explain her life right after leaving JAMAICA, she said watching the show helped her a lot in putting the pieces together to move on. I would like to think she is now thinking she dodged a bullet.

JoJo is identified as the new Bachelorette…about that diversity thing that the producers promised? Another southern girl – nope that is not diverse. Another white girl – that is not diverse. Another girl with a vague job description – nope that is not diverse. This show cannot even pretend to care can it? I don’t even hate the pick of JoJo she will do fine, I hate the pretense that they were going to go diverse and then gave us much of the same it felt like they were pandering especially coming off the ‘Women tell all’ where they pitted ‘blacks against each other’ and told the black girl “You are complicated.” The racial dog whistles are already very strong with this show, why antagonize and tease the fan base so much more.

Apparently JoJo has said that her mom is Persian could the show really be claiming this as the diversity? Look I know there are peeps that claim that if minorities are put on the show the ratings will go down…well how about we test that? Some of the strongest properties on ABC have strong minority leads and if you think I am kidding, check out the ratings for Scandal, How to Get away with Murder, Quantico, Fresh off the Boat, Black-ish and Grey’s Anatomy. Now check out the ratings for some of their predominantly white programming (I will not shame those shames by naming them) but let’s just say Texas Oil programs did not fare well this year on TV. Minority, led, driven and featuring shows can do well, have done well and are doing well, so let us stop pretending that the country is not ready for it. 

I pretty much glossed over Lauren’s arrival on the stage it was as vanilla as it has always been, cutesy smile, childish giggle, avoidance of big words. Maybe Lauren is secretly sesquipedalian but nothing I have seen this season shows it!

Then there is a segment with Jimmy Kimmel overacting and every one having to over-laugh to get the segment over.

So Ben’s minister is brought out to call Ben’s bluff that he would marry Lauren immediately, and he continues to hold the bible as a prop. It disgusts me; I know it shouldn’t tick me off this much, and I think it is me coming at it from such a personal place as the son of a minister but the bible should not be a prop to sell your authority! Instead of doing the wedding Ben brings out Lauren’s family for a re-proposal…note earlier he said they wouldn’t do the wedding because they needed to do it in front of family and friends but in his re-proposal (reprosal?) he points out “In front of your family, and my family and friends…will you marry me?” Uhmm so all your family and friends are there? I obviously do not think he should be pressured into instant marriage but come on don’t make that the excuse then immediately produce all the family and friends.


Tuesday, March 08, 2016

The Women Tell All, and Jubilee shines!



Some of my coworkers have been very fake recently, that will happen in any competitive environment…except…we are not supposed to be competing. This will be tonight’s Women Tell All, they have already passed the competition stage but they will still be throwing each other under the bus for just that little bit more of screen time.

We start as has become the norm with OMCH (Obvious Man Chris Harrison) and the Bachelor dropping in on various homes to see Bachelor fans. The door to the first home just happens to be open, cause that is completely safe and normal. And of course every house is crowded. Where are the clips of the guy on his couch watching via his DVR while he types on his ridiculously large laptop and plays Words with Friends? Where is the clip of the guy asking “What the hell are you doing in my house?”

Okay finally time to meet the ladies and Tiara has a chicken with her…moments like this make me really question why I watch. Jubilee gets a huge roar from the crowd, so does Becca, Amanda and Caila.

The attacks on Olivia start immediately and the chicken interrupts by trying to fly away. Leah gets booed when OMCH mentions her and she still tries to cover up her lying, as if we do not all have TVs she says “I didn’t intentionally lie.”

Uh oh Jubilee is being attacked for saying she would be the first ‘real’ black girl to make it far, Amber and Jami the 2 bi-racial girls go after her…it is black on black crime. For me even if she said that…so what? She would be right! And that is not taking out the bi-racial girls that is including them, even half black girls get dumped so quickly on this show it makes sense that a black girl would notice and point it out if she seems to be going far. (My coworker K when she finally watched it sent this “Jami is trying so hard to be relevant.”)

I do not think that Amber and Jami realize where Jubilee is coming from, she was not taking shots at them for being half black she was not diminishing their blackness she was pointing out the ludicrousness of the shows lack of diversity that it is a visible thing that a black girl is moving from episode to episode.

OMCH plays pop psychologist with Jubilee and the most important thing to come out of Jubilee’s time on the hot seat is that she is still in the military and just made Sergeant! I have chosen on purpose not to write too much about this moment because it ticked me off and felt like OMCH was just trying to get Jubes to break down and cry, he kept acting as if Jubes needed Ben for validation and to certify her place as a woman.

Lace is next, she is so much calmer now than on the show, which I think has got to disappoint the producers. And then some guy shows up with Lace’s face tattooed on him, I have got to think he is a plant - he got all the way up to the stage and interrupts the show with “I don’t think you are crazy, I think you are crazy beautiful” so that he can get a picture of Lace posing beside his tattoo of Lace? And it works?!?

Olivia, come on down; Olivia is taking a very calm tone, but the ladies are not buying it. Amanda tells her “being a mom is something I am so proud of, being a mom is my jam” that gets applause…this audience will applaud anything – who isn’t proud of being a mom? The twins attack in unison, while I hate the twinning thing, I like this, yup I am a hypocrite. Olivia tries the “I was bullied as a child, severely bullied” play for sympathy – it does not work, the audience does not look empathetic and the girls attack her for bullying them as a former victim of bullying. Apparently Olivia is getting attacked via social media, I never get that, why do peeps do that? I don’t mean jokes, that stuff can be petty but fine, but to personally attack, to threaten, to wish harm, that is the stuff of idiots.

Caila comes down to a tonne of cheers. Caila points out that it was hard to tell Ben she loved him and not have him say it back. She wants closure; I doubt she will get it.

Ben comes out and he is as fake as ever. Maybe that is not fair to him, but I do not trust him, I think he says just what he thinks peeps wanna hear. Jubilee calls him out for telling her one thing and Caila another. Becca finally gets some mic time and it was just as big a waste of time as when she was on the show. Ben proves to us that he can still tell the twins apart…I think he just guessed and got lucky.

The bloopers were pretty fun especially when Becca used the name of the wrong Bachelor and caught herself with “#$#% wrong season” glad she knows she is living her life season to season on this show.




Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Bachelor recap or, no seriously I will never love you, leave now!


I am a very practical man, I know that most peeps are in business just to get ahead no matter the costs of friendship, so when peeps at work do shady stuff I just shrug it off and think in my head “I am better than you.”  I think of the last few weeks of the Bachelor/ette shows like this, these girls are all ostensibly co-workers in the business of manufactured love and they are all willing to cut each other’s’ throats.

 

JAMAICA, Ben’ describes it as paradise, he aint lying, even though he sometimes seems to be pronouncing JAMAICA wrong.

 

We do the usual recap thing where Ben lists the names of the women so we can get clips of them throughout the season. First Caila, Ben is worried that she smiles too much and he might not be able to see beneath her surface…that is a mild way of saying “I think she is fake.”

Lauren: “she is” and Jojo “she is” oh screw this just show me clips of JAMAICA.

 

Caila says, “I have just got to remember to be myself” a fake? Lauren “I just don’t know if I can do it”…telling Ben that she loves him, Jojo would hate if her brothers were the reason she and Ben do not work out.

 

Back from commercial to JAMAICA and we have Ben doing the walk of destiny down a jungle path. First up is Caila

 

Caila:

They raft down the Martha Bae River in JAMAICA the conversation is dead! The rafts man looks bored, I feel you dread! They stop off for some jerk pork and the conversation does not spice up (yeah yeah I could not resist). Caila tells us that she cannot tell Ben that she loves him because there are 2 other women there and it is really bothering her.

 

Night time – decision time:

Caila comes out swinging; she knows what is on the line. She tells Ben that in all her other relationships she knew something was wrong, but with him she knows everything is right so she tells him that she is in love with him. He immediately kisses her (because this is his move when he doesn’t know what to say); she says he doesn’t have to say anything because she can tell in his eyes that he is in love with her. The kiss triggers the appearance of the fantasy suite invitation. Caila does not hesitate or equivocate she is going to use the heck out of that fantasy suite. They do what I always tell peeps they should do - go out to the water in JAMAICA late at night, it is amazing, it is magical and it is romantic… Ben “I could wake up in the morning and know that Caila is the woman for me.” Does that mean he is going to judge it post sex? Does her performance change his mind? To drive home the importance of the night the show lets off fireworks because they are never content to just use mild metaphors.

 

We return to the show with the happy couple still in bed…this show is trying so hard to one day show us sex, I am genuinely surprised a Bachelor/ette sex tape has not leaked yet. Ben kisses her goodbye. Now because of the promos and his not saying “I love you” to her am I to immediately believe she is a goner? This has robbed me of suspense!

 

Lauren:

They meet along the side of the road it looks like Ocho Rios, Ben tells her he has a really great day planned? Really Ben, you planned it? All the way in JAMAICA? I am from the island, I know where everything is, I still have friends and business partners there and I have a hard time coordinating dates and I am supposed to believe YOU, planned a whole day on my island? And YOU knew where Gibraltar Beach was in JAMAICA and knew that you could be there for the release of Sea Turtles? 3 of my friends work for the Fishery and environmental departments and I have a degree in Zoology and I couldn’t get this hook up in JAMAICA but tell me again how YOU set this date up. And yes I know a strong portion of this rant is coming from jealousy…I stand by it. If the sea turtle population in JAMAICA suddenly dips I will blame this show!

 

Ben tells Lauren that he started crying when he was asked what makes him good enough for her, he is putting in more effort with Lauren than he ever tried with Caila. Caila girl I hope those bags are packed, the man kept you there just to play with your anatomical fun house, the other girls are here for the longer haul…but hey you probably get to be the Bachelorette.

 

The Night time is the right time:

 

So something you should learn about the JAMAICAN people, we do not really like to fake many things, so when Ben and Lauren are joining a pretend concert the show has a hard time featuring the other concert goers because so many of those peeps look straight at the camera with stone faces. I love it and I miss that about my peeps.

 

Lauren and Ben are trading off reassuring the other person “no you are the best” “No you are the reason I am here.” The fantasy suite card arrives and Lauren tells Ben she “is very excited to go” to the fantasy suite, she couches it as time to get to know him etc etc…but we know what that is code for. “I need to let all my walls down and really open up to Ben” I cannot even decide if I am being juvenile or just accepting that the show is really trying to play this kind of double entendre up. Lauren tells Ben that she is in love with him and that he is the man of her dreams.

Ben tells here that he has “known for a while that I am in love with you as well.” Lauren looks appropriately shocked! So she repeats “Ben I love you” and he continues with “I love you too.” I wonder what kind of heart-attack the onsite producer initially had when she/he heard Ben say against script “I love you.”

See that people? That is the power of JAMAICA!

 

The next morning we get Ben saying “Honey I made breakfast” and the show featuring clothes strewn on the floor – subtle. There is more post coitus talk than Caila got, with Ben telling Lauren again that he loves her, she didn’t respond to the long pause so he had to continue talking.

 

JoJo:

She runs up and they start making out. Jojo pretends that she does not know what her brothers said to Ben. The helicopter budget kicks back in…seriously compare this season against the Bachelorette, the Bachelorette Leads are getting HOSED! They head to YS Falls, that is great for me since I was just there 2 months ago, I love these little trips down my memory lane of JAMAICA.

 

We get to see that Ben has a terrible tattoo and the blur of his butt crack. Jojo tells Ben that when she thinks about the future she sees him in it and that she loves him. Ben responds “Jojo I love you too.” It catches her by surprise “Are you allowed to say that?” “I am not” and of course they make out…I wonder how she is going to feel when she watches this back…less than 24 hours before, he told the same to Lauren. Her brothers are going to kill him, and Lauren is going to kill him when she realizes he said it to Jojo much faster than he did with her.

 

Night time for the third time:

Jojo keeps telling Ben how shocked she is that he said “I love you” back to her and that it means the world to her. Ben expresses concern about the family dynamic so Jojo finally asks him about it. Jojo says she wishes she could have stuck up for Ben with her family. An aside, one of her brothers was on a reality dating show – the aggressive brother Ben (not to be confused with Bachelor Ben) was on the experimental dating show ‘Ready for Love.’

 

Jojo straddles the middle well; she defends her brothers while telling Ben that she is on his side. The fantasy suite card comes out and Jojo says “I would love nothing more than to spend the night with you.” The one flaw for me with this show now being in JAMAICA is that girls are going to expect this JAMAICA when I take them home! Their suite has a private pool and a private hot tub my home in JAMAICA just has a pool my parents never installed the hot tub, we have the whole deck area for it…does that count? I blame them for my lack of happiness! How am I ever going to find a wife if I cannot give her some hot tub time?

 

We get another post coitus scene with breakfast in bed. But we know thanks to previews that the harmony cannot last and I know through spoilers from Elizabeth (yup you get the full name when you violate the no spoiler rule) that Caila is returning to the forefront before the rose ceremony.

 

Ben “but with Caila I couldn’t say it” he is talking about his inability to say I love you to her, I know the producers are probably pushing him to talk and say these things, but he is coming across like a jackass. Caila tells us that she wants to see Ben because she wants to tell him that a relationship with her is going to be full of fun and surprises…oh there will be a surprise. So Caila goes to Ben’s villa and just roams around it looking for Ben and then runs up to surprise him with a kiss from behind. She really comes across like a little kid playing at being in love via a Disney fairy tale rather than a grown woman in love. Ben by the way was just sitting in a chair staring out at the ocean as one is wont to do when in an island paradise with a bunch of cameras and producers.

 

Ben sits Caila down and we see the hammer being raised and it is looking like it is starting to dawn on Caila that she might be the nail…Ben hammers in that she is not the one by telling her that he is not only letting her go but that he has told the other two women that he loves them and that he cannot tell it to her. Caila might be the next Bachelorette but I hope she does not continue the fa├žade of “I do not think that I can be loved” Ben did it last season and became the Bachelor if she becomes the Bachelorette we will have another season of this being carried forward and it is just a fake line!

 

Caila has a really classy exit for someone who was just bouncing around and professing love, and just as I write that she stops the car from leaving and comes out to ask “Did you know this week?” Basically she is asking “did you sleep with me knowing that you were in love with the other two?” right? It is a fair question and of course one that you will always think about. Caila waits till the car to completely break down in tears. Ben is trying to feign massive pain but I think he is just ecstatic that he does not have to go through the pain and extra awkwardness of a rose ceremony. Caila is telling us that she is ready and was willing to become Ben’s wife while the car drives her back to her hotel but all I keep doing is looking at the places through the car window and from the outside establishing shots to see if I recognize the spots…I do! Never forget, Caila is the one that said that she could tell that Ben loved her based on his breath!

 

Rose ceremony:

You know we still had to have one right? Things are not official without a rose ceremony, plus the show did not spend all that money for locations and setting up shots to just throw it away because Ben cannot keep to the long-term script! Obvious Man Chris Harrison (OMCH) shows up to talk to Jojo first, and then Lauren, I am not typing what he said because all the questions were obvious.

The girls are standing side by side and Jojo breaks the tension “it is just so weird that there are only 2 roses over there” she is naturally nervous while Lauren is just blah. Jojo is also the first to notice that Caila is missing. Ben finally appears. The roses are given out, the group hug occurs and both girls clink glasses thinking they are the only one that Ben has said “I love you” to.

Jojo again showing herself to be the smarter one says a part of her is wondering if he said the same things to Lauren that he said to her.

 

Blooper reel:

They are learning more about releasing sea turtles and tricking nature by releasing the turtles 2 hours earlier than they normally would so as to increase their chances of escaping crabs. Just as this bit of information is being revealed Ben is bitten by a crab…probably not the first time someone on this show has been attacked by crabs.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Bachelor recap or let me fly you all the way here to reject you...

My Monday nights have 2 diametrically opposed shows; Monday Night Raw and the Bachelor, and only one of them can I talk about out loud with my friends…strong hint the one I can proudly talk about has men dressed in tights, who spend a lot of time in close quarters with each other. Raw for me is nostalgia, I watched wrestling with my dad as a kid so I watch wrestling now as an adult, and a few times it can still hit me in the ‘feels’. Last night was one of those times: Shane-O-Mac returned and while it was spoiled by Twitter, Facebook, Deadspin and even the bloody show I was watching at the gym, it still left me giggling with joy when I finally got to see it for myself…I cannot always articulate why I still love and watch wrestling but the moments when it can get me to show real emotion those are the moments when it really works!
 
On to Love and Ratchet (the white people edition, [seriously when this show points to Caila to claim diversity, I can honestly call it that edition]):
 
We start the show in Orange County, CA. with Ben sitting on some rocks looking out to the ocean trying to act like he is deeply contemplating his fate.
 
Hometown 1, Amanda:
Turns out Amanda’s hometown is Laguna Beach, this is the least surprising thing to me. She has radiated OC all season so it is nice to see it validated. Amanda is giving Ben a quick rundown on how to handle her kids. Amanda’s kids show up and she reacts as if she has not seen them in forever…that is not good. One of her daughters looks directly into the camera constantly - she refuses to act like this is normal and that stare makes me think she is looking deep into my soul and judging me. The girls are initially very hesitant to interact with Ben and I wonder if they are thinking “Are you my daddy”
 
Apparently Amanda’s kids like to chase after things, probably a psychological thing, they have been chasing her affection all of their lives. (Screw you I can hear your booing from here).
 
The insta-family drives to Amanda’s home and there is some fussing by the kids in the back seat just the first taste for Ben. John, Amanda’s dad says Ben “looks a bit like a deer caught in the headlights,” the mom wonders if Ben is ready to be an instant dad. I like their home, it seems chill and not too ostentatious like so many of the homes I see on this show…I would love to get on this show if just to have them have the professional designers come in and spruce up the home of my parents, nothing like free interior designing.
 
Amanda asks her mom if Ben is someone she could see her ending up with, the mom equivocates and says “eventually.” Ben talks to Amanda’s dad and the dad tries to point out to Ben that thinking about kids is different from having kids.
Ben reads the kids a bedtime story, it is based on the Bachelor, these kids are scarred for life and this is the moment we can point to!
 
Amanda “I can honestly say that I would be heartbroken if I was sent home after this week” yeah you know it sucks to be sent back home to YOUR KIDS “I would be completely crushed.”
 
Hometown 2, Lauren:
We are now in Portland, Oregon so of course Lauren has flannel on and a jacket - that is the Northwest uniform of choice! Lauren has to explain “these are Portland’s food trucks” I am guessing she just ran out of things to say. She takes Ben to the ‘Multnomah Whisky library’ which she describes as very romantic; I think it is very cool, romantic? Not so much. “I could sit in a room with Ben and not speak a word and feel more fulfilled more content than any other situation I have ever felt in my entire life” DREAM BIG! Based on her scintillating discussion about food trucks and the boring conversation here I realize maybe staying quiet is her best move.
 
Lauren says if I get my family’s approval I will tell Ben I love him, her sister Mollie looks like she could have been a contestant on the show. Lauren’s dad calls her Lolo hahaha I do not know why but it did not seem like something that should come from him, ‘you go gangsta!’ Mollie ‘grills’ Ben first, she asks good questions of Ben his response “there is something about your sister, that I cannot put words to…I don’t know, I feel very lucky.” This bothers me to NO END: Look it is different if a girl springs her parents on you, say you go to her house for dinner and she goes “Hey meet my folks” but when you are going into the home for a planned meeting and know that there will be questions what in the blue hell is “I don’t know” as a response to “why do you like her?” Ben looks away and feigns tears, it works on Mollie (whose name I had to adjust since prior I was typing it as Molly like 99% of people would upon hearing the name, but the show typed it as Mollie so I am going to trust them).
 
Lauren talks to Mollie and they say she has only just gotten over the relationship that ended a YEAR AGO. I think I love hard…I get hung up on my significant others; I know that when I am already dating someone else I no longer pine for the former ‘love of my life.’
 
Lauren’s dad asks Ben how he is coping and Ben responds with “Not well.” Maybe that is a moment of honesty but Ben seems so ill-prepared for this I keep wondering if he thought he was initially going to a different girl’s house and prepped for that instead.
Lauren’s dad reminds her that Ben is still dating 3 other girls - Lauren tells us that she now cannot tell Ben that she is in love with him.
 
Hometown 3, Caila:
Hudson, Ohio never heard of it that is rare for me on this show – I googled it and it turns out it is a suburb of Akron, in the Wikipedia section for Notable People: “Carla Quinn – Contestant on Season 20 of the Bachelor” yup, that is why I have never heard of it.
 
Caila takes Ben to see her high school, what is with this show always taking peeps to high school, is that the last place they felt special? She confesses that she always dreamt of taking someone special to a bench in a park, they dream so big on this show. Caila’s dad is the CEO of a toy company; none of these girls come from poor homes? They design a toy home on paper, and then she takes him into the actual Toy factory to create an actual toy house. The date started off softer than ice cream on a hot day but this is a step up! I would love to have done a date like this…she almost seems to have an unfair advantage…I also think (cynic in me) Ben is just sitting here and calculating how much money Caila’s family must have! He sweeps her off her feet to take her off the factory floor and the factory workers clap…maybe because they can finally get back to real work and stop pretending to like the Boss’ daughter.
Caila’s mom asks Ben “have you ever met Filipinos before?” I was thinking in my head “What a crazy question everyone has met Filipinos before!” but Ben answers “I don’t think so.” Huh, where are you hanging out? He is given all Pinoy food – lucky bastard. Caila’s dad starts to ask questions at dinner and Caila immediately jumps in to avoid her dad asking Ben about “microwaved fame.” The Dad says “I had no idea what I was getting into when I married Caila’s mother.” I leave that with no comment.
 
The mom pulls Ben aside and asks “what is it that has sparked your interest in Caila?” Ben is only slightly more prepared for it this time; “joyful, cute and bubbly” Caila or a puppy? He then repeats that Caila said to him in the Bahamas that she “was not sure that she could love” and Ben says that made him think she was real, funnily I thought that was her fakest moment. Just like I thought Ben’s whole “I am unlovable” shtick is fakeness personified.
 
Caila’s dad tells her he doesn’t want to ask her hard questions because he does not want to hurt her? Maybe you guys need to be tougher with your daughter. She is the girl that broke up with her boyfriend because she saw someone on TV! She starts crying, telling her dad that she wants his validation (validation is the buzzword of this season it is repeated so much). The dad is worried that “she is in for a huge let down and she is going to be crushed.” The mom asks her “is this real for you?” I think the whole family knows that she lives her life like a story book. Hmm, I wonder if this has to do with the dad’s job. I should have kept up with my psychology studies.
 
Caila asks her mom “but do you think he is in love with me?” That is not a question for your mom, child that is a question for yourself and your man. The mom tells her to go jump in Ben’s arms, this family is what ‘The Notebook’ is marketed towards. Caila makes out with Ben and in her voiceover tells us that “all I want to do is tell him ‘I love you’.” She does not however, say it out loud to Ben.
 
Hometown 4, JoJo:
 
Even before seeing this hometown date in Dallas, TX I know that JoJo’s home is going to be lavish since E texted me a screen shot with the words “The front of JoJo’s home looks like a Mormon temple” JoJo walks up and sees a bouquet of flowers and a card, she begins to read it and thinks the note is for her from Ben, she gets almost to the end and then starts yelling “No, No, I don’t want to read this”…because the note is from her ex Chris. Why did it take you so long to figure this out? She calls her ex who tries to get her back via the phone. These girls are the type of emotionally damaged that plays like this while ‘hail Marys’ always have a shot. “If you are done with me, tell me right now” and as that is said Ben walks up to the front door and knocks. This was all clearly producer driven, how does the ex-bf know when she will be back? How does he know when/where to send the flowers? Was he just waiting by the phone? So many questions that can only be answered with – The producers!
 
JoJo answers Ben’s knock with tears and starts to tell him about the situation. JoJo claims that she is only upset about the letter because she is “the happiest” she has ever been thanks to Ben. Again none of this is suspicious…all the other girls were met outside of their homes, Amanda at the beach; Caila the park; Lauren the streets of Portland but JoJo, Ben has to pick up? Sure producers, we cannot see the strings on that puppetry.
 
JoJo’s brothers greet her boisterously; they seem like ‘Bros’ in the truest sense of the rough housing term that connotes. JoJo’s mom while still at the table asks the important words “what sets her apart from the other girls” Ben chuckles “that is easy” sure because by now you have had practice “I am more myself around her, immediately, more than anyone else in my life.” The bros use “y’all” a lot, oh I miss Texas. The family asks Ben where he seems himself down the road, he says he is open to moving (I know this makes him sound flexible, but I just think he means to Los Angeles, namely a neighborhood known as Hollywood).
 
JoJo’s bros take Ben aside, the first bro says they are worried that she will get hurt and Ben mensa member that he is responds with from “[my] perspective there is still plenty of time”, because that is what concerned bros want to hear, ‘I have options.’ Ben has the face of a goober as he says this, it is such a goofy face I screen shot it and sent it to my coworker immediately. “JoJo and I will be having some really good conversations…we are in a really good place.”

 
JoJo tells her mom that she is so scared that she is falling in love with Ben her mom tells her to go for it. In the conversation with the Dad, Ben seems almost half asleep at the start, he by the way is wearing his ‘formal T-shirt’ the dad is wearing a Sports Coat, the contrast is stark. JoJo meets up with her bros and they seem very serious. JoJo does the foolish thing of telling them that she has only been on 2 single dates with Ben, the bros recognize the ludicrousness of that statement.
 
One of the bros while circling the kitchen as Ben walks down the hallway; “Ben you brainwash these girls way too much man, to see my sister like that after just two dates” Ben responds with “there is a lot of noise in here.” Bro points out to Ben that he carries too much power in the situation, the girls are attracted to him because he is the prize, and he does not have to fight for them or their affection. One Bro points out that his intuition tells him that Ben is not right for JoJo while he is talking the other Bro has a dead stare of intensity, he accuses Ben of being coached in what to say. The mom still thinks that JoJo should show more emotion intense Bro says “you need to take a step back” I cannot tell if this was to the mom or to Ben because of the camera sleight of hand.
 
Ben tells JoJo that the brothers grilled him; he appears to be afraid of them.
 
Rose Ceremony:

Lauren gets the first rose, Caila gets the second and as we knew it would be, it is down to JoJo and Amanda. OMCH shows up to do math for us and JoJo gets the final rose. As E pointed out to me via text, Amanda had a very classy exit. Ben takes her to the exit-bench of doom where you get to face the cameras and each other. Amanda brings up the logical question, “why fly me all the way to LA to then boot me?” that question however carries more depth if we then realize that maybe Amanda is not living in OC where she had the hometown date because OC is only 30 minutes drive from LA…just saying. In the limo driving away Amanda voices the common single parent lament of this show “I wouldn’t have introduced him to my kids if I wasn’t falling for him.” Just once I would love a single parent on this show to say, “No I am not ready for you to meet my kids.”
 
Amanda continues “I mean I have never brought someone home to meet my kids…but I have never met someone like him.” “He is an amazing guy, he seemed like he was ready to come into our lives…I don’t know if I will ever find somebody like that.” Ben “I would like her to know that I cared a lot… [Then breaks down crying]” JoJo’s bros are going to have a field day with this.
 
The previews for next week: WHOA WHOA WHOA, “JAMAICA HERE WE COME” My island is about to have an outbreak of Bachelor? Have they been reading my blog for the last four years???????????? Readers I am taking credit for this! We have done it!
 
Blooper reel – Lauren’s little brother asks Ben his thoughts on the fantasy suite, Ben stutters, drinks some wine and then says “I respect your sister a lot…I am not going to put her in a position that is degrading at all [emphasis mine]”

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bachelor recap or Have you had your break today?

Last weekend was the first weekend I went without doing any work at all…it was amazingly refreshing, I miss those weekends!


Looks like the Bachelor has already blown its budget on fancy places so we go to Warsaw, Indiana…and they are trying their hardest to make it seem cool…including giving Ben a shiny red retro truck to drive around in. He meets up with his parents at a diner and does the recap given to him by the producers so that they can show us each woman as they walk down a pathway.


In case you could not tell that it is fall the producers have the ladies play with fallen leaves to really sledgehammer the point home. Emily tells us that she would be happy to come here (Warsaw) and make babies with Ben, someone should tell her that he lives in Denver, and he tells us that often! 
Lauren gets the first one on one and has 30 minutes to get ready…this leads her to panic and say she needs "help to get ready." Look I am not the first guy to comment on how long some women take to get ready, I know the process is easier for me than for a girl, BUT, here the girls were already made up and in Ben’s presence so I cannot understand why she needed THIRTY MORE minutes!


One on One date
Ben claims that this date would be the type of date he would take any girl on. He is a liar! We find out that he was the High School QB (of course he was). Ben thinks that because there is no rose on the line the date will be less stressful for Lauren, he is also an idiot. He takes Lauren to the local youth center, that’s cool and all…but date material? Ronnie a kid that clearly does not care about Ben and Lauren makes a half-court shot to cause Ben and Lauren to kiss.
 
Ben surprises the kids with members of the Indiana Pacers (Paul George, George Hill, the team’s coach and the Mascot)…yup, just like any typical date.
 
Conveniently we have a kid crying and we get to see Ben comfort him… “these are some of my favorite moments” at the youth center “when you see a kid needing support” see earlier episodes of this season to realize that Ben thrives on the pain of others! 
 
Another one on one card arrives to the girls and JoJo gets it.
 
Ben tells us that he is not questioning Lauren anymore, so he takes her to his “local dive bar”…YOU DO NOT LIVE THERE ANYMORE! Lauren looks so glassy eyed in her confessional I begin to worry about her…this is partly my coworker K’s fault: she is trying to make me feel like the percentage of persons who go on reality shows and then kill themselves is so high that I feel like I am watching a death pool.
Overall a boring date. 
 
2nd one on one
 
Ben takes Jojo to Wrigley Field as anyone would on a date, except he takes her literally onto the field. There are jerseys made for them sitting on a railing one says ‘Ben Higgins’, the other says ‘Mrs. Higgins’ - makes me think the Cubs were not told for sure which girl would show up so they could not risk printing her name. It starts to rain while they are on the field and of course instead of running off the field they make out. Ben then takes Jojo up to the Wrigley Scoreboard and they get to adjust the board and make out…look Cub fans, when you do not win the World Series again for the umpteenth time, this is the moment you can blame!
 
Group date card arrives and by process of elimination Emily finally gets a one on one date, she breaks down crying.
 
Back to the one on one and there is a table set up in the outfield just for the 2 daters, look I am a cynic but for all my cynicism I would kill for a date with my girl in the outfield of Turner Field!
Jojo admits to being a bit afraid and Ben says he “question(s) to some extent (where her) feelings are.” We know that Ben needs a woman to feel vulnerable for him to feel strong! So Jojo opens up about problems in her past…this of course excites Ben. Jojo tells him that she is “still team Ben, more team Ben than I have ever been” she gets a kiss. “I like wanna give myself to Ben” (oh really?) “Because when I am with Ben I feel myself falling in love.” Hmm does this mean what I think it means?
 
Group date
The girls go rowing with Ben, well to be more accurate, 2 girls row themselves and one girl rows with Ben, but even that bit of ‘drama’ was boring. Ben points out to the girls that the rose is very important (“the most important so far”) on this date, and that the girl who gets the rose gets a one on one with Ben and the other girls have to go back to the hotel.
 
Amanda gets the first alone time, and they start discussing her kids.
Becca’s alone time is her telling him that she is scared about falling for him and then she tells him to basically cut her loose if he is not feeling it. “Just don’t blindside me” is her whispered plea to Ben. I think she is much more concerned with coming off looking good than ending up with Ben…just a thought. 
 
The girls keep talking about Ben saying that “this is the most significant rose to him” since the girl that wins the rose gets to take him home to see their family. Caila tells Ben that she does “not have super deep roots” so she doesn’t really have the same sense of community that Ben has. Ben asks her if she thinks she is stable enough to stay in the same place for awhile (the stable part gets me). Caila responds with “honestly I think I have been molded to be adaptable” strange turn of phrase but eh I get it…”I mean I could move a lot or I couldn’t, it is up to us.” Not wishy washy at all!
 
Time to give out that rose: “I am going to give the rose to someone that I want them to feel confident that I am ready to meet their family…that I want to meet their family…Amanda.” Ouch Caila, that has gotta hurt after that outpouring of ‘concern.’
Robot Becca starts to cry and says “I feel like I have gotten nothing from him…my family is important too.”
 
Caila’s turn to cry “part of me hopes that taking him to meet my parents is enough, but maybe that is not enough…maybe I am not what he is looking for.”

The girls return to the room to tell the other girls what happened and Jojo ever the pragmatist says “How can you give one person that much validation?” re Ben’s choice to give Amanda the rose and all that comes with it.
Becca continues to cry that her feelings have been hurt I continue to think she is not concerned about actual ‘love feelings; and more concerned that she will be hurt/look bad.
 
Turns out that McDonald’s has apparently decided to sponsor this evening’s episode, we see Ben and Amanda pretending to order [FROM THE ALL DAY BREAKFAST MENU (there McD’s I will help you more than Ben could)] and Amanda having to say that her kids love McD’s (everyone’s kids love McD’s Ben that is a dumb question to ask) then Ben awkwardly (thespian he is not) says “I have always wanted to work here (DREAM BIGGER FOOL) can we come back there and work?” and of course the McDonald’s lady says…YES! Then we see Amanda taking food orders in that baby voice of hers, if I pulled up (cannot tell last time I went to a McDonald’s…not a fan of seeing cooter punching)  I would be concerned to hear that voice taking my order.
 
The Bachelor has had many a time where they pretended someone has wanted to work somewhere, I have wanted to work at plenty of places, I have no problem with ANYONE earning an honest wage but I have a hard time believing that a mother of 2 and a guy desperately trying to become famous wanted to ever work at McDonald’s. And…how low rent has this show become? This was so blatantly an ad for the items available at McD’s that it felt less subtle than them just scrolling food names down the side as the show went on. I mean it was bad the last few seasons when they did the ‘Tide bleachable moments’ where they showed bloopers from the show as things peeps would want to bleach away, or where they pretended the contestant went to a salon and the salon used XYZ featured product. It was blatant and bad when they had Kevin Hart and Ice Cube show up to Ride Along with the contestants to promote ‘Ride Along 2’, but this? Come on McD’s I hope you get your money back, this was janky as hell and someone should get a week’s time out. Okay rant over…for now.

A customer pulls up “You are the guy from the Bachelor, what are you doing here?” See McD’s even the customers see the absurdity of this. I am sure the workers there love Ben describing Amanda working their job as “so good to see Amanda’s goofy side.” This is so dumb; these are the moments that when I finally quit this show for good will be the catalysts. Ben tells Amanda he has another surprise for her, I was really hoping the usual stupid concert would actually happen inside the McDonald’s. Turns out he is taking her to the fair and there is a crowd out to meet them, Amanda thinks it is great that all these people came out who love and support him…she does know this is for TV right? She probably does not. Look if I were on this show and told my dad I wanted to have a large crowd at an event he could get me a large crowd just from our church congregation that would mean NOTHING, I bet 90% of the people there (probably closer to 99% but I like safe bets) were seeing not just meeting Ben for the first time.

Amanda is talking about her date to Lauren and I start to fade out because the word ‘like’ is featured as a star!
 
Emily’s one on one:

They start out on a pontoon talking about swans.
 
Cut back to the hotel and the other girls are dissecting the potential date.

Caila’s claws come out “I don’t see Emily’s relationship as comparable to mine. Emily is a bright eyed puppy everything is new and exciting. But the thing is, she has so much to learn still, I don’t know if she is there yet.” Or less sanitized “Emily is not as good as me, she is a simpleton.”


Back to the date: and Emily gets to meet the family. Emily “talking to people for me can be a hard thing, I just get really anxious that I don’t make an idiot of myself” my brain initially omitted her saying the words “to people.” Emily says she will have to rely on her conversation skills.


 She gets some alone time with Ben’s mom, points out to the mom that she is one of the youngest and then starts talking a mile a minute like a kid who is afraid that once the adults start talking she will never get another turn. Ben’s mom has the glassy eyed look and repeated ‘uh huhs/mmhmms’ of a parent humoring a child…Ben’s dad to Ben “She seems a little young” cut to Emily repeating to the mom “I am young and I have so many goals and dreams I want to accomplish and I dreamed of being an NFL cheerleader for as long as I could remember…so Denver Broncos yeah!” (mom just nodding and probably wondering if she can still Ground Ben)…“I feel like I am so average at everything in my life but I have always known that deep down in my heart that I would be an above average mom and an above average wife.” (Inside Ben’s mom’s head has got to be images of torture and her mental conflict as to how far she can torture her son and still call it love). Mom – “I was very anxious to meet Emily she is definitely a very [pregnant pause and head tilt] fun individual.” “She is young, she is excited but I think she is a little young for Ben right now.”


Emily with the dad “I love watching movies, if I could sit around all day watching movies I would…what I don’t like? That is hard, I like a lot of things…I mean I don’t like vegetables.”

The mom pulls Ben aside, and is using the Socratic Method to tell Ben that Emily is still young and dumb. She starts to break down in tears when trying to find a nice way to tell Ben that he should not marry Emily. Ben’s mom is a lot like one of my exes, she can make anyone feel welcome while at the same time hardening her heart towards them forever.
 
Emily thinks it went well “I’m on cloud nine right now” - Ben probably answering a direct question from a producer “I love Emily, I think she is incredible, but, do I think right now she is ready to be a wife? I just don’t know if she is, I have a really hard decision.” That last part sounded dubbed like they couldn’t even use his original real response. Emily is still listed as ‘Twin’ for her occupation. Back on the pontoon boat Emily “where are we going, you are not taking me home already are you?” oh girl the hammer is coming LOOK AWAY! Ben takes her to a bench outside the hotel (manor/home they are all shacking up in) so the other girls can see him talking to her; they immediately start to analyze body language “She is happy.”
 
Ben, starts by saying that his parents loved Emily’s smile “they were amazed by your smile” this is the carrot before the stick. Now the voice drops, the tone shifts and the face gets stern “I just don’t think I can see you being my wife…and…it’s tough for me to say because you really have been incredible to me in every moment.” So she was incredible to you, but you thought the best way to let her go was by cuddling with her on a bench in front of the others in the house? Cut to girls inside “Is she sad?” “No, they were just talking.” Because you know, words can never make you sad. “Are you sure? It looks like she is sad.” Ben – “I hope that our relationship was good for you, because it was really good for me”…hmm we still talking about the dating experience? Ben lets her walk back in to tell the other girls and he takes off on the pontoon boat…bloody coward; Emily has to tell the girls the bad news by herself while he just sails off.
 
Rose Ceremony time:
Obvious Man Chris Harrison makes his rare appearance. OMCH sits on some steps outside with Ben and asks him “do you see yourself with the potential to fall in love with all of them…honestly?” This OMCH moment lets Ben know that there is one person that he does not see that with!


Three roses to give out and the girls are looking anxious, Lauren gets the first rose. Jojo gets the second because we knew the drama had to come from the Caila vs Becca drama since those are the only 2 who cried this week. Caila gets the rose, which is a move I agree with based on the parameters of this show, why on earth would you keep Becca when her whole thing seems based around her virginity and not wanting to risk getting hurt (not her virginity). To be clear, I applaud her virginal status, that is fine; making it a central theme is NOT fine…Even when getting sent home Becca’s words to him were “I told you not to blindside me” she just does not seem concerned about creating genuine feelings and attractions and prefers to remain Robot Becca. Now, has she gone far enough to be in contention to be Bachelorette? Yes. Do I want her to be the Bachelorette? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.


A coworker of mine says “awesome” much too much, but the preview for next week with what looks like Jojo’s brother calling out Ben with “Ben you brainwash these girls way too much” does actually seem awesome!
 
The blooper reel shows us the girls freaking out from bugs and also how close in the camera men really are to them when they are talking ‘privately.'

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Cali-J ueber alles in der Welt. Some think that I am mean; (I call them friends), in fact I am not that mean. What I am is sarcastic and dry to the sandpaper level. I have friends that I have never said a kind word to their face, but I praise to the ends of the earth to anyone I know and will defend them to the end. That’s just how I roll! My boys know that I am down for them, my girls know that no matter what I will keep them safe (and occasionally flirt with them [If you are a female friend of mine and think I haven’t flirted with you it just means you didn’t notice, it was extremely subtle or…not yet ]). No one is safe from my sarcasm even my own parents; hence of course as a kid I spent a significant amount of time in punishment. I treat people with respect if I think they deserve it – everyone starts off with the same amount of respect from me (a lot). You don’t need to earn my respect; you have to keep my respect.