Where’s The (Roast) Beef?

Last Monday was Thanksgiving here in Canada, which means a lot of people ate turkey until they turned into one. Not me. I’m always a turkey. No idea why I said that or what it means, but let’s keep going.

I don’t really like turkey, so my family gets roast beef instead.

Turkey is dry like a desert and drowning it in gravy will only be a mirage that will disappear as soon as it enters my mouth. I shouldn’t have to trick myself into thinking turkey is not dry. If gravy made everything better, then I’d put it on cantaloupe and eat that every day.

Cantaloupe makes me gag. Don’t know why, it just always has. It’s my kryptonite. 

Whenever Thanksgiving rolls around and people post on their Instagram stories a nice big turkey that they can’t wait to eat, I am unable to relate. Is their turkey not dry? Is there a secret I’m not aware of?

What are they tasting that I’m not? Is this like how dogs can hear things humans can’t? I want answers!

In different presentations, I do enjoy turkey. Sometimes my mom puts it in a broth and that is always delicious.

(Insert rant about how soup is just seasoned water. Not hating. Just saying.)

I also enjoy the turkey you can get at the deli and put in sandwiches – I eat that on a bagel with lettuce, tomato, onions, and sometimes cheese, multiple times a week. It’s delicious. Shoutout: Cuddy Montreal Smoked Turkey.

I like that turkey because it’s a wetter turkey. It’s a turkey that says, “I’ll play out in the rain without a jacket and wave my hair like I just dare care.” Plus I think it’s healthier than other deli meats. Don’t quote me on that, I’m just a Paul.

So, yeah. Roast beef is my preferred holiday meat.

When I was a kid, I always said my favourite food was pizza. And then in Grade 8, my Grade 3 teacher came into my class to drop off our time capsule that we put together five years prior.

Her first question for me was, “Is pizza still your favourite food, Paul?”

What? Is that my brand? Is that how I’m identified? How did she remember?

Apparently, in Grade 3, I had written on a sheet of paper that pizza was my favourite food and put it in the time capsule.

This is shocking to none of you, I’m sure. But in Grade 8, I felt attacked by this question. Just the way it was asked. As if I should’ve graduated to a more grown-up food to claim as my favourite, by then.

So for a few years I told myself that roast beef was my favourite food. How grown up of me! And it was. It is. I love it. The roast beef at Mandarin (maybe 6 of you know what this is) is my favourite.

But then I realized that pizza is my true love and I’ll name it as my favourite food even when I’m 100 years old, so it regained its position at the top of my food podium.

The roast beef we had last week was the best we’ve/I’ve ever tasted. It was just yummy in my tummy and I never wanted it to end.

I’d say it was restaurant-quality, but it was better than that. I’m going to start drooling any second.

If people enjoy turkey, they can enjoy turkey. I just can’t ignore how dry it is, even if it’s covered in gravy. It does nothing for me. I struggle to find purpose with it. Don’t worry, this post isn’t about to go down a philosophical road.

OR IS IT? This post has layers, okay. Pay attention.

Should I mention that I also don’t like ham, or would that be too many revelations? Oh well, we’re here now. I haven’t had ham in a long time, so I’m unsure of what I dislike about it, specifically, but I’m pretty sure I find it dry and salty.

Just like turkey, I like the ham from the deli, just not the big holiday ham that you cook in the oven and show off in photos, while it sits there, getting cold.

While I’m digging this trench for myself – bacon is good, but crispy bacon is disgusting. FIGHT ME. If I wanted to eat a shingle, I’d take a fork up to my roof.

I love lamb, though, if that wins any of you back to #TeamPaul.

To recap: I don’t like turkey, but I eat its cousin (turkey from the deli) multiple times a week. They’re cousins, right? Roast beef is simply the best, better than all the rest, better than anyone…I’ve gotten carried away here. Ham is just…ham. Bacon is good, but crispy bacon is ridiculous. Lamb, c’est bien.

Thanks for digesting this with me!

Let’s beef.

What do you eat on Thanksgiving, or other holidays where feasts are had? Do you also think turkey is dry? Should we form an alliance?

Bonus Question: What was your favourite food when you were a kid and is it still your favourite food?

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Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

50 Thoughts XXIX

1. Technology is getting too complicated and unnecessary. I don’t want a new update every two weeks – I want it to be perfect the first time, and I want it to last for 20 years like my Nintendo 64.

2. I’m surprised people don’t make a big deal about the fact that our ears never stop growing.

3. When I wake up in the morning, I feel like there’s a half-hour window for me to eat or drink something, or else a headache is going to manifest itself and show up later in the day.

4. This little piggy went to market, whereas this little piggy went to Marquette. Just wanted an education, OKAY?

5. The song, “Welcome to the Jungle” is about 75 seconds too long. All the momentum in the beginning is lost halfway through and I just don’t care about it anymore by the end.

6. I’ve seen way too many people speeding through a school zone, lately. Are they having diarrhea in their pants, or are they just really stupid?

7. I try not to judge the people who order at the touch screen kiosk at McDonald’s because that might be easier for them. On the other hand, germs and stuff. Literally.

8. I’ve been saying the word, “shambles” for over half my life, but only now have I seen other people using it. I’d like a royalty every time it’s uttered.

9. I’m tired of tweets that end with, “That’s it. That’s the tweet.” Do something else.

10. Shiitake mushrooms feel like elephant ears.

11. If you ever wondered why chefs have prep cooks, it’s because peeling a clove of garlic is a nuisance.

12. Peeling a clove of garlic is like peeling a sunburn. Try it at home!

13. I don’t like being told to download an app.

14. It takes me a long time to find the emoji I want to use.

15. When people say, “Save your breath”, what they really mean is, “Don’t talk” because what are you saving your breath for? A 50 pack of balloons?

16. I do this thing where I lose two pounds and gain two pounds and lose two pounds.

17. I like when talk show hosts ask their guest if they’ll stick around after the break, as if the show hasn’t been carefully planned out for a week.

18. I find “stoop and scoop” signs funny.

19. NFL referees have too much of an ego to overturn pass interference calls, whereas CFL referees seem to have no problem doing it.

20. There’s so much outrage in sports about referees missing calls. Well, yeah. Standing on the field/playing surface isn’t the best vantage point.

20.5 I should do a blog post about this.

21. I like roast beef more than turkey.

21.5 There will be a blog post about this.

22. The internet is just a place where you learn stuff from people who Googled something before you did.

23. I thought El Camino was a nice follow up to the end of Breaking Bad, but about an hour in I was asking myself if  I was watching a movie, or just a really long episode.

24. I’d find it more suspicious if the chicken didn’t cross the road, honestly.

25. What if the internet stopped working and never came back? How would internet friends continue their friendship?

25.5 I feel like I just unleashed an existential crisis on all of us.

26. I will not eat pancakes at a restaurant.

27. Construction never really goes away. It just expands.

28. At some point, they have to create original movies again, right?

29. Do Americans know what Nanaimo Bars are?

30. Whenever someone calls me, “Sir”, I feel like I need to tip an imaginary top hat at them.

31. Sunglasses are the unsung hero of life.

32. We should not be afraid of robots rebelling against us. We can stop making them at any time. They can’t reproduce on their own. And, we can throw water at them. Stop worrying.

33. All Elite Wrestling is up and running with weekly Wednesday shows and it’s such a breath of fresh air.

34. Sometimes, answers appear when you stop asking the question.

35. “Running Up That Hill” is one of those songs that I’ll look up as many renditions to it as I can find because all of them are good in their own way.

36. The last season of Fear The Walking Dead was almost unwatchable. They’ve turned all the characters into soft, delicate flowers, when the situation calls for…NOT THAT.

36.5 This may also be a blog post.

37. As someone who was voted, “Most Likely To Be Prime Minister of Canada” in Grade 8, I think it’s time I released my official, unofficial campaign hashtag: #PrimeTime4Paul.

37.5 Now hiring a campaign manager for the next election cycle because the current one shall not be talked about.

38. I did a left brain/right brain quiz and it said I am Left Brain Inclined (63%) which means I prefer order and aren’t really creative. TELL THAT TO MY BLOG, QUIZ THINGY.

38.25 I feel like I’m an equal mix of left brain and right brain qualities, though, and lean toward the right brain more. Could just be my posture.

38.5 My university’s slogan was, “For Both Sides of The Brain” so I guess it worked in developing both of mine.

39. Life has spiralled into this never-ending game where we ask people younger than us if they know what something is (normally an item from our childhood), and then we laugh at them if they don’t, which only emphasizes how old we’ve gotten.

40. I’ve never had a lollipop.

41. At the end of every decade, I feel like we should get the option to go back and have a do-over.

41.5 It’ll be very Harry Potter-esque, where we’ll run into a wall at train station and board a train that says, “Next Stop: 2010”.

42. I’ve been holding a petty grudge against Domino’s Pizza since 2011, but a recent commercial on TV advertising a large two-topping pizza for $5.99 has slowly been chipping away at me for the last few days.

43. Some people walk through forests and think of it as a nice nature walk, whereas I can’t wait to get the hell out of there. Always feels like something bad is going to happen, like I’ll stumble over a dead body or be attacked by a family of squirrels.

44. There was a two-week stretch this summer where I was addicted to granola, and then I didn’t like it anymore.

45. Aliens probably don’t call themselves aliens. They probably think we’re the aliens.

46. Almost every week this season, there’s been a player on my fantasy football team who has provided me with 0 points because they’ve gotten injured.

46.5 I am a hazard to their well-being is the takeaway here.

47. My mom says I am Jimmy Kimmel.

48. Am I the only one worried that there will come a day when a sports team has retired too many numbers and there won’t be enough available for each player on the current roster, so they’ll have to use three digits or decimals?

49. I’ve been out of school for six years and still wake up thinking I forgot to hand in an assignment.

50. Good people deserve more recognition.

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Watching Big Brother

It’s been two weeks since Season 21 of Big Brother came to an end. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a very good one, which seems to be a trend in recent years. But I won’t stop watching. Why? Uhh….I’d like a lawyer if this line of questioning is going to continue.

Sorry, I’ve been watching too many crime shows lately.

Anyway, as someone who has watched Big Brother since its second season, way back in 2001, I can’t help but feel like the game has lost its edge.

For the uninitiated, Big Brother is a reality TV game show where 16 strangers (most of the time) are locked in a house without access to the outside world for three months. Each week, they have a competition to crown a Head of Household (HOH). The HOH then nominates two people for eviction. There is then a Power of Veto (POV) competition where the winner can remove one of the nominees from eviction, forcing the HOH to nominate someone else. And then someone is voted out at the end of the week. Last one standing wins $500,000 (in the US version, at least).

I don’t even know where to start in regards to how the show that tells us to, “Expect The Unexpected” has slowly lost touch with what it is. I guess it starts with the tone.

Back in the early seasons, the show was promoted as this house that is isolated from the outside world and a group of people must strategically plot to eliminate each other from the house.

The show felt ominous, dark, secluded, and raw.

Maybe a lot of that can be attributed to the “production value” of the early 2000s when reality TV was on the rise and people were so excited to watch “regular people” compete for money.

Somewhere along the way, the show transitioned into a, “we’re going to cast young people and make it seem like a party”.

It’s no longer ominous. It’s cookie-cutter, clean, and pristine.

You can see in the way the intro video has evolved since the beginning. Feel free to skip Season 1 – everyone tries to forget about it and sees Big Brother 2 as the real first season. The intro for Season 2 (:23 mark) is what I grew up with. Hmm maybe that’s why I have a fondness for the sound of violins…

For about the first 10-12 years of the show, it truly felt like the contestants were there to do anything to win. Everyone had a strategy. Everyone was lying. Alliances were broken. There were surprise evictions. It was great pandemonium.

Now, it just feels like they’re casting people who look good with their shirt off. They’re casting people who have never watched the show (more on that in a minute), and don’t have the first clue as to how to play the game.

Every year, there is an “old person” in the cast because I guess it’s funny to look in a room full of young people and see one person who looks like their parent?

Maybe it’s because I was a kid, but the earlier seasons felt like they had a wider age range. It wasn’t just a group of 20-somethings and an old guy. It was a mix of real adults and some young pups.

Twenty-somethings seemed so much more mature fifteen years ago. What happened?

I don’t care to see people on this show, who are only there to collect Instagram followers so they can post sponsored content. I already watch The Bachelor for that, thank you.

I mentioned that they cast people who have never seen the show. I think the excuse behind that is, “If they’ve never seen the show, they’ll be more likely to make moves that an experienced viewer would consider wreckless. Therefore, ENTERTAINMENT AND CHAOS!”

No. Just the opposite.

You get people who don’t know what they’re doing and just do what someone else tells them. They are basically furniture. It is infuriating.

You don’t see Survivor casting people who aren’t fans of the show. And what happens? Every week someone gets blindsided by their eviction because the players actually want to make moves.

The cast of Big Brother does a series of one-on-one interviews before entering the house, that can be found on YouTube. You can always tell who has never seen the show because when they’re asked who their favourite players are, they reply with whoever did well in the previous season.

Why is that their answer? Because before they enter the house, they sit in a hotel room for about a week, all by themselves. They’re in sequester. And the show provides them with DVDs of the last couple of seasons, so they can watch, kill time, and get an idea for what the game is about.

This is paralyzing the game, if you ask me. In recent years, we’ve seen a large alliance form within the first few days and it’s all the “cool kids”.

The only thing I hate more than large alliances is when they evict someone on the first day. That needs to stop.

This season, there was an alliance of eight. EIGHT. They called themselves, “Gr8ful”, while Twitter called them “H8ful” because they were bullies.

Last season, there was an alliance of six controlling things.

It’s just so many people. There are only 16 people in the house, so if you feel the need to get into an 8-person alliance in the first week, that tells me you’re really insecure about your chances of forming bonds and getting people to like you enough to not vote you out.

And because the 8 people not in the alliance couldn’t bond over their own “cool kid” vibe, they were kind of just there as leftovers, not really knowing what was going on.

When half the house is in an alliance, it makes for very boring and predictable gameplay.

You have HOHs who are too scared to ruffle any feathers, so they go with “what the house wants” and nominate two people who aren’t threats to win anything, just so they don’t have “blood on their hands”.

I hate that so much.

All season, they talked about not wanting to get blood on their hands. Hello? This is Big Brother! You’re supposed to get blood on your hands! You’re supposed to betray others! You’re supposed to lie!

But since they’ve only watched last season, which was all kumbaya, they don’t understand they’re in an environment where being ruthless is encouraged. Hence, they take everything as a personal attack.

I hate when houseguests get on their high horse and say, “I didn’t lie, I stayed true to myself” in their final speech, right before they’re evicted. Yeah, that’s why you’re evicted. See ya.

I also hate when they start their speech by thanking CBS for the opportunity, saying hi to their family, and telling the houseguests they had a great time and want to keep playing. STOP. Give a proper speech, built on reasons why they should keep you. It may not work, but at least try!

Somewhere along the way, the eviction speech lost its meaning and most of them think it’s an opportunity for them to give thanks and say goodbye.

If you’re not going on this show and trying to win, stay home. Do not occupy my life, three times a week, with your non-committal self. Play the game.

I don’t even know what the biggest game move of the season was this year. There wasn’t one. On top of that, the cast was so unlikable and they didn’t even know it.

There were some good people in the cast, like Ovi and Nicole, but most of the rest were just impossible to root for.

I miss what Big Brother was. I miss what it is supposed to be.

Production of the show has changed over the years, too. Small things, like getting rid of the key wheel at nomination ceremonies.

There was this wheel, it was like a Lazy Susan on steroids, that held every houseguests key, except for the HOH and whoever they nominated. The HOH would pull out the first key and say, “_____, you are safe.” Then that person would pull out the next key and so on.

It was so dramatic and built anticipation. Plus, you could play some psychological warfare by having someone pull out the key of their enemy and forcing them to tell them they are safe.

Now, there’s a “nomination block” with two keys. The HOH turns each one and their face appears on a wall to show they are nominated. It’s very lazy, I don’t care if it saves them time in the episode.

I miss how the host, Julie Chen, would interview the HOH in the HOH room on eviction night.

I miss food competitions, where they could only eat the foods they win.

I miss multiple competitions that have been gone for far too long.

There was one where they had to lay down outside, and whenever they thought one hour had passed, they had to ring a bell or something. Whoever was closest to being right would be the winner.

Maybe it wasn’t flashy enough for TV, but I loved it. Imagine trying to pass time in your head and guessing when an hour was up.

There was also one where you had to complete a certain task if you wanted to stay in a competition. Maybe you had to shave your head, or allow someone burn a piece of your clothing, or agree to be a “Have-Not” for the rest of the summer.

It was a competition that forced you to decide how bad you wanted to win and imposed real punishments on you.

Now, “punishments” are having to wear a costume for a week, or baking cookies whenever a noise goes off, or something else that isn’t so much a “punishment” as it is something to do in a house with nothing to do.

This show has a few endurance competitions every year, where they force the houseguests to hold on to something for as long as they can. Lately, it’s gotten repetitive, to the point where the contestants know what’s coming.

There’s always a competition where they stand on the side of a wall, but they just change the look of it based on the theme of the season.

There’s also one where they hold a rope and swing in a circle, as something hits them as they pass a certain section.

And all these competitions include having them doused in cold water, or paint, or something else that is meant to shock viewers. Those competitions go for an hour or two, which is far less compared to how long endurance competitions used to go.

I get it, the producers need time to edit it all together for the next episode and don’t want 10 hours of footage from one competition. But still.

I think my favourite competition in the history of the show is, “Pressure Cooker”. It hasn’t been around in a while, maybe since Big Brother 6. Until I looked it up, I thought it was called, “The Box”.

Essentially, everyone is inside the box holding onto a button. If you let go, you’re out, and must open one of the prize boxes which may contain a reward, or a punishment. However, you can only leave the box is groups of three. So if you’re the first or second person eliminated, you have to stay in there until the next person is out.

Here’s a look at it:

I think that competition went for 14 hours. Imagine that. And imagine being eliminated but being held hostage in there because you must exit as a group of three. I’m sure bladders were working overtime for that competition.

THAT competition is what Big Brother is to me. You want to be HOH? Let’s see how bad you want it. A simple task made difficult. Just hold a button for as long as you can.

It’s like an old school, “Last person touching the car, wins it” contest, but with higher stakes.

In recent seasons, the show has tried to implement twists by awarding players with secrets powers. They’ve all been a bust. The players tell someone they have a power and then get evicted before they can use it.

Or, the opportunity never arises (or they’re too chicken) for them to use their power, so it expires. As a viewer, it’s deflating when that happens.

It’s a reflection of timid gameplay where no one wants to make a big move because they assume they’ll be the next person voted out.

And then we get a season full of unanimous evictions and people just doing what the rest of the house does.

I want players to draw lines in the sand and I want the show to encourage that based on competitions and twists.

On the second season of Big Brother Canada, Ika had to decide between $5000 or giving the rest of the house letters from home. She made her decision in private (or so she thought) and took the money.

THEN SHE PROCEEDED TO BERATE THEM AND SHRED THEIR LETTERS WHILE THEY WERE WATCHING FROM INSIDE (unbeknownst to her).

It was an iconic moment and made her a legend of the game. You need to watch it.

I’d love to see a situation like that be forced upon the houseguests of the US version. Because as of right now, it feels like the show has gotten complacent and doesn’t really know what else to do.

They’re relying on the same formula every year and it’s not working.

I could keep writing forever about things like “jury management” and how a bitter jury is just proof that the players can’t acknowledge that lying and being deceitful is a part of the game.

I’ll end this by saying that Dan Gheesling and Britney Haynes are two of my favourite players to ever play. Dan was just brilliant and used every minute in the house to his advantage. He also staged his own funeral, which saved his game and is the best moment in Big Brother history.

Britney was really smart and knew how to navigate her way through the game. She was also hilarious in her Diary Room sessions, which I enjoyed because a lot of people are robotic in there and sound scripted.

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say. Thank you, YouTube, for having all these moments available for me to add in here.

Not to sound like a high school essay, but…in conclusion, I will always love this show and be a fan of great strategic gameplay, as well as players who can be funny and entertaining.

Here’s hoping Big Brother 22 will bring a house full of people who want to win and aren’t afraid to make big/any moves.

Thanks for reading!

Posted in TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Not September

Did you ever stay home from school for three days in a row because you were sick? Then you go back on the fourth day and the random kids, who you weren’t really friends with, ask you where you’ve been all week, as if they didn’t already know.

Then your day of discovery begins.

You can tell someone has been sitting at your desk because your Duo-Tangs (do kids still use Duo-Tangs?) aren’t aligned to the right anymore. Your pencil is gone (someone needed it), your chair is different (someone switched it), and a block letter “S” (you know the one) has been drawn on the corner of your desk.

There’s also a wrapper in your desk for reasons I still don’t understand.

It seems to be a universal understanding that if you’re missing from school for more than two days, your desk becomes a garbage disposal.

Everything is different and all you want to do is blend right back in, act like you were never gone, and didn’t watch The Price is Right for the last three days, while eating lunch, and trying to remember what it’s like to breathe through your nose. Nope, not you.

Well, that’s how I feel right now, as I type up this blog post and publish it for all of you to read for the first time in over a month.

This feels a bit awkward, but it shouldn’t. It’s me. Paul. Cue the confetti the cannon!

Alright, that was a good warm-up. Let’s go.

My birthday was exactly a month ago. There wasn’t a blog post about it. There wasn’t a list of, “28 Things I’ve Learned In 28 Years” that I struggled to think of. My birthday just felt like another day this year, for a few reasons I don’t want to mention.

Did you know that unless you publicize your birthday on social media, no one knows it’s your birthday except for maybe two people? Try it at home.

I tried not to be bitter about it, but you don’t forget when people forget your birthday.

September has always been my favourite month of the year. Part of it is because of my birthday. Part of it is the weather. But a big part of it was it felt like the beginning of a new year.

I think having the school year start right after my birthday (sometimes the day of), played into that.

To me, September feels like January more than January feels like January. A renewed sense of purpose permeates my body and carries me into October.

I didn’t feel that this year. And, honestly, I had felt it less and less since I had finished school. All of a sudden, September was lacking everything I had always known it to be.

Part of me is in denial that I am 28. It doesn’t feel real.

And I’m trying to bite my tongue, or in this case, fingertips, and try not to say that, “I’m old!” because I know there is someone out there older than me who will just write in the comments section, “Oh Paul, you’re not old!”, and I’d rather not have to deal with that.

I don’t feel old. There, happy? My age just feels inflated. Swollen, even. Like it just got its wisdom teeth taken out. But not to fear, after a few days the swelling will go down and it’ll be 23 again.

Except it won’t.

I guess I’m just bothered by what the expectations are for someone who is 28. I’m someone who will try to find the joke in most things and oftentimes, I’ll share that on social media.

But while I do that, there are people my age sharing photos of themselves getting married, or buying a house, or getting engaged, or having a kid, or their latest vacation spot.

Side note: Why does it feel like everyone else is always on vacation? I swear, it’s like an international relay race. One person comes back from Italy and they hand the biscotti off to someone who goes to Paris, who comes back and hands the baguette off to the next person to go to Spain. It just never ends.

Can you not just stay home, sit on your couch, and watch football for ten straight hours on Sunday like me? What is in Paris that you can’t see on Google images?

That last line is tongue- in-cheek, but only if you have a problem with what I said.

Maybe I’m just wary of crossing over into the “bad Dad joke” lane of social media content too soon.

Or maybe I’m comparing myself to others, even though everyone says you shouldn’t do that because life moves at a different pace for everyone.

I know. I KNOW. I get all that. But that doesn’t mean we don’t compare. That doesn’t mean I don’t compare. It’s hard not to. Even if you shut yourself off from social media, you still know what people are up to.

And when you get to be 28, the comparisons are no longer about, “What did you get on the exam?” The comparisons are about life.

I can sit here and say it’s weird to see former classmates get married and have kids, but really, it shouldn’t be weird. Of course they’re doing that. They’re adults. They’re almost 30. So, good for them!

But then there’s me – feeling like I’ve been searching for a hot air balloon for the last few years and it’s nowhere to be found. All I should have to do is look up, see it, and let it carry me to where I want to be, but it’s not there.

Where the hell is my hot air balloon?

That’s an alternate title for this post, by the way.

And as I went through September, trying to find a purpose, I just felt overwhelmed by time. I felt like it had sped up on me, without warning. I felt betrayed by the calendar.

I felt trapped. Stuck. Buried beneath the days I’ve already lived.

Does anyone else just sit and recall random memories from their past that involve other people, and wonder if they remember those moments too?

I feel like I have a rolodex (kids definitely don’t use this) of memories that play in my mind like a screensaver. Whenever my mind goes stationary for five minutes, it takes over.

I’ve always had some sort of ESP, or premonitions, or whatever you want to call them. Lately, they’ve been quite strong? Busy? Active? Prevalent? Pick a word, any word.

A few weeks ago, I woke up with the thought that I needed to get my mom a new keychain. When I went to Ottawa in Grade 8, I got her a keychain with a Canadian flag and a moose on it that said, “#1 Mom”. I got one for myself that said, “Paul.” Cue the confetti cannon!

Sorry, did you forget I made reference to a confetti cannon at the start of this post?

Anyway, the letters on her keychain have been falling off one at a time for a while. This isn’t a recent thing, but I woke up that day thinking about needing to replace it as soon as possible.

Well, later that day, my sister (who was on vacation – it’s a global epidemic) sent me a picture of that keychain with my name on it and said, “Look what I found!”

She had no idea I had thought about that keychain that morning. I told her to buy the one that said, “#1 Mom”. She did. Bam. Keychain replaced in less than 24 hours.

Weird, right? Normal for me, though.

Want another story? Good because this blog post is off the rails.

Yesterday afternoon, I sang in my head, “I want something else, to get me through this semi-charmed kind of life.”

I don’t know why I was reciting the lyrics to, “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind. That song is not on any of my playlists. I don’t listen to it. I just have it lodged in my brain from the early 2000s. Outside of that, I have no connection to it.

Fast-forward to the evening and I’m watching an episode of The Good Place and doesn’t one of the characters start singing, “I want something else, to get me through this semi-charmed kind of life.”

Really. Can’t make this stuff up.

Sometimes I’ll pick up a book and read the next chapter without even thinking to myself, “I’m going to read now.” I just do it. And then something I read is something that could be applicable to my life at that moment.

Signs and hints and clues are everywhere around us, aren’t they?

Not to get all horoscopial (this isn’t a word) or spirituolo (neither is this) on you here, but whenever things like that happen, it makes me feel like someone is looking out for me and sending signals my way to say everything will be okay.

All I wanted to do in September was come on here and write about a bunch of things, but something kept holding the words back.

But, it’s not September anymore, so here they are.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

21 Tips For First-Year Students

Initially, I had Americanized the title to read, “21 Tips for College Freshmen” but deep down in my maple syrup filled heart, I couldn’t let myself go through with it. So you all get, “First-Year Students”. Learn to love it.

I feel like everyone gives the same advice to students before they enter a post-secondary institution. Join a club, meet new people, don’t procrastinate, get enough sleep, sit in the front row, ask questions if you don’t understand, don’t eat chicken fingers and fries for every meal.

Honestly, all of that advice can be daunting, especially if you’re an introvert being thrown into the deep end of a new environment, who just so happens to enjoy chicken fingers and fries.

This is where I come in. Here are some real non-traditional tips to anyone beginning college/university this year. Heck, even returning students might find these useful.

I put “real” in bold and italics so you know that I mean serious business.

1. Don’t be the reason why the fire alarm goes off at 2AM and your entire residence building has to evacuate to the parking lot in the middle of a nippy November night, only to be allowed back in the building and find puke in the stairwell. Be smarter than that.

2. Go to class. I know, this one is cliché. You caught me. But I’d like to think you’d rather not spend thousands of dollars, just so you can sleep in and rely on scribbled notes from a friend, who doesn’t know which version of “there” to use. Hotels are cheaper, you can pay them if you want to sleep.

3. Become friends with the cafeteria staff. You’re going to see them multiple times a day. Thank them. Talk to them. Let your conversations be an escape from the assignments and essays waiting for you in your room.

4. Don’t wear a lanyard with your student card around your neck. I know, it’s handy and you feel cool being able to swipe into buildings. But everyone else is laughing at you. If you don’t take this advice, you’ll eventually come to this conclusion yourself after three weeks. I’M TRYING TO HELP YOU.

5. If you’re living in residence, bring a doorstop. This is especially important if you’re a bit shy and aren’t the type to “go to the crowd”. I get it. Let the crowd come to you, especially in the first week. Keep your door open, people will say “hi”, or see something on your wall, or notice your gaming system and invite themselves in and BAM YOU JUST BECAME BEST FRIENDS.

6. The Freshman Fifteen is just a fancy alliteration. I lost 22 pounds, so be like me, I guess. Take the stairs, walk across campus a million times a day, and go for two dinners on pasta night.

7. Don’t take the stairs in your first two weeks in residence. Take the elevator. You’ll slowly meet people from other floors, as well as people from your own. That small exchange of, “Oh, you also live on this floor?” when you both get off, could lead to a friendship…or you’ll never hear from them again.

8. Naps are your friend. It doesn’t matter when you sleep, as long as you do sleep. If you know an all-nighter is in your immediate future, find some time after lunch or dinner to take a snooze.

9. Time your trips to the cafeteria so you arrive before classes let out. At my school, the lunch items were put out at 11:30AM. Classes let out at 11:50AM. If I wasn’t in a class, that’s my 20-minute window to get my lunch and grab a table/take it back to my room. You do not want to arrive when everyone else does. Hungry people are your enemy.

10. Explore every inch of campus. It’s yours to discover. Find the places you like and go there often. At my school, people always complained that there were no microwaves. Well, if they had made their way over to the International Building, like I had, they would’ve realized there were six microwaves in there. SIX. It was like Hollywood Squares, minus a row.

11. You didn’t get stupid overnight. When your first essay mark comes back and it’s about 25% lower than what you got in high school, don’t panic. It’s the wake up call you need. See #12 for more.

12. Take an outline of your essay to your Professor/TA during office hours. I’m not saying you have to start writing your essay a week or two in advance. God knows I didn’t. Just bring a sheet of paper, with a few bullet points that outline your main arguments, to your Professor/TA and let them green light it. Then you can go play video games, knowing you’re on the right path.

13. Trust yourself. You’re going to be in a lot of group projects, which means you’re going to work with people who will make you wonder how they even got accepted into university. If you know you’re a good writer and editor, can put a finished product together, and make it look nice, DO IT. Take that responsibility. Don’t trust “Johnny What’s a Comma?” to do it.

14. Make memories. Yeah, you’re there for school, but not really. Your diploma is the smallest thing you’ll take home with you on graduation day. The biggest thing is the years of memories and stories you’ll be able to laugh about forever.

15. Don’t be homesick. Suck it up; bring a photograph. There’s plenty of time to live back at home. You’ve already done it your whole life. Stay the weekend in residence. Build those friendships with your floor-mates. Your family isn’t going anywhere. Your school family, however, will disperse at the end of the year.

16. Avoid the passive-aggressive post-it notes in the bathroom, telling your roommate it’s their turn to clean. They’re just going to show their friends your notes, turn people against you, and vote you off the island. Just talk to them! Better yet, clean it yourself if it bothers you that much!

17. Embrace the challenge. Got a wall calendar next to your desk, telling you that you have two midterms, four assignments – one of them with a group, a seminar presentation, and a few other minor things to do in a week? Embrace it! No matter what, it’ll all be over by Friday night. Plan a pizza and video game night with your roommate as something you can look forward to.

18. You’re an adult, Harry. (I’m a what?). Act like one. As much as everyone wanted to call you an adult while you were in high school, you weren’t. That’ll become crystal clear when you go back to “visit” and pick up your yearbook. Don’t bring your childish antics, like congregating in the middle of the hallway, to university.

19. The only acceptable TV options in the cafeteria at 11AM are: The Price is Right, and sports highlights. Unless there is impending doom, don’t you dare get up and change the channel to the news without asking permission. Can you tell this one happened to me? I’m still livid about it. LIVID.

20. If you’re writing a final exam in the gym, at an individual desk, check the desk to see if it wobbles, before sitting down. If it does, choose another desk. Also, check the chair and be prepared to discreetly switch it out for one that doesn’t wobble. Then, don’t make eye contact with the person who sits down in your former wobbly chair. You don’t want them to know what you’ve done.

21. It’s never too late for McDonald’s. Eating a Big Mac meal at 2AM is like Winnie The Pooh hugging his pot of honey. It just feels good.

And those are my tips! Results may vary, but probably not. If you follow everything I said, your success is guaranteed.

Do you have any non-traditional tips to add to my list? Let me know in the comments below.

Posted in Humour, Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Football Fever in August

Three years ago, I was sitting in a hotel room in Cleveland wondering why ESPN was only talking about the NFL. It was August. The season hadn’t started yet. Where are my baseball highlights?

I didn’t understand. When a new season begins, for any sport, there’s excitement. Trust me, I know. But this love for football that was coming through my TV screen was on another level.

Is this how Canadians come across when hockey season is about to begin? Perhaps the football fever I saw was just me looking in a mirror, failing to accept that what I was seeing was the same song, just a different chorus.

Three years later, I get it. I understand the football fever in August. Why? Because I currently have it.

Last year, I played fantasy football for the first time. Up until the moment I created the league, I was doubting my interest in it. I had lost touch with the NFL. I didn’t know most of the players. I didn’t know how to draft a team.

I’d say I was a fish out of water, but even a fish out of water is aware of its surroundings.

I remember doing my first mock draft and not recognizing any of the names after the second round. Two weeks later, I knew all of them, their position, which team they played for, and whether they liked their water cold, or at room temperature.

I have a good sports memory. Don’t ask me to remember names of characters in TV shows. Don’t ask me about plots in books. Don’t ask me what I ate for lunch yesterday. Can’t tell you.

Ask me about pretty much any athlete and I can tell you their sport, team, position, and maybe their number, as well as my own personal assessment of how good they are.

That stuff comes easy to me.

Being in a fantasy football league drew me back in to the NFL. All of a sudden, I had a new favourite team, I had players to watch every Thursday, Sunday, and Monday, and I had a reason to watch games in their entirety.

Sunday afternoons on the couch were stressful, exciting, and fun. I was a full-fledged football fan again.

Ever since I lost in the finals of fantasy football last year, I’ve been waiting for this season to start. And now, it’s less than four weeks away.

I reactivated my fantasy league on August 1st because if people can start listening to Christmas music as soon as Halloween ends, then I can start thinking about fantasy football as soon as July ends.

It’s a rule, look it up.

This is the part where I tell you that I’ve already done too much research on NFL players and who to pick in my fantasy draft, which isn’t until September.

This is also the part where I tell you that I’ve blown through about a dozen draft strategies in my head already, convincing myself that each one is correct, only to think of a different one the next day.

The obsession is real right now.

If I didn’t have maple syrup still flowing out of my finger tip, you could probably convince me that I had turned into an American citizen, who has an unhealthy addiction to football, chairs with cup holders, and condiments.

Some of the people in my fantasy league will read this blog post and probably comment, “I haven’t even thought about our draft yet.”

That’s fine, I’m just a weirdo who is elbow deep in football information, struggling to find a way back to a life that doesn’t involve figuring out how I’m going to build a winning team with the 10th pick.

I loved the NFL when I was growing up and knew most of the players, thanks to video games.

But when you move away for school and spend your Sundays on intramural fields and/or your bed napping, you tend to skip out on watching the Buffalo Bills play at 1PM.

It’s 2019, someone needs to tell whoever is in charge that people living in Southern Ontario don’t care about the Buffalo Bills. Give us anyone else at the 1PM game on CBS.

Should I mention my school was ten minutes away from Buffalo, or no?

We would get the Buffalo nightly news – so many Bingo Hall cancellations at the bottom of the screen whenever there was a snowstorm. I think I’ve only ever seen (the outside) of one Bingo Hall in Canada. Buffalo seems to have about 467 of them.

I’m getting off track.

Football has taken over my life. Three years ago, I never would’ve imagined this to be true about me, but then again, this seems to be a pattern in my life. I reject things, or don’t fully understand the hype, and then a few years later I’m obsessed.

Still waiting on my Pokemon obsession, though. I’ve been rejecting it since I was in Grade 4. I don’t think it’s coming.

So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. With velcro.

Now, if you don’t mind, I need to go look at player rankings again. Why? I have no clue. I have them memorized.

This is my cry for help.

Are you excited for the football season to start? Do you play fantasy football? What are you looking forward to this season? Do I need help? Have you ever found yourself obsessed with something you didn’t think you’d obsess over?

While you’re here, one of my long-time blog friends has started a new blog. Her name is Jess – you may remember her. Her new blog is called, Loch Jess Monster. Click on that link and go follow her! She writes entertaining things! Do it!

Posted in Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Viewing Notes: The Bachelorette (Hannah) – Ep. 13

This is it. Get a ticket, grab a seat, and say you were here because this is the final episode of this season of The Bachelorette. I’d say this recap is a rollercoaster, but it’s more like a raindrop making it’s way down a window – you don’t know which way it’s gonna go, but you’re pretty sure.

Before we start, I just want to thank Cass for helping me out with these viewing notes every Monday. This show is tough to get through, but knowing someone else was in the boat with me made it easier. Plus, when you combine our thoughts, it’s pretty entertaining and in my mind is 1) better than the show, itself; and 2) the best recap on the internet.

“I am the greatest. I said that even before I knew I was.” – Muhammed Ali

So, thank you Cass for your dedication and for always making me type things on my blog that I can only shake my head at.

Cass’ thoughts will be in BOLD. Enjoy!

NO NO NO NO.

I didn’t realize I wasn’t taping tonight’s finale & I just turned it on 20 minutes in & Tyler was crying…..

SOMEONE FILL ME IN QUICK

~ Chris Harrison welcomes us inside a studio, where he prepares us for doomsday by saying there will be: love, a proposal, betrayal, and LIES.

~ Batten down the hatches.

~ Back in Greece, Hannah is waking up and reading her Bible.

~ Tyler is off picking out a ring with Neil Lane. He picks one that is, “loud and proud”.

~ Jed picks out an oval-shaped ring because they can always come back to where they started. Oh, really?

~ “I feel like Jed is as honest with me as I am with him – that’s what you want in a life partner.” – Hannah

~ On the drive over to the final rose ceremony, Hannah starts crying and asks to get out of the car.

~ She’s walking down the road and trips over a pothole. HANNAH DOWN. HANNAH DOWN.

~ She says she can’t do this, while sitting on the road in her dress.

~ We’re back from commercial and she’s magically recovered and is now waiting for the first guy to show up. Someone probably read her the LARGE print in her contract.

~ It’s Tyler, which means she’s about to break his heart.

~ SOMEBODY CHECK ON CASS.

~ Tyler goes into his speech about how she’s the best and he wants to marry her. Is this necessary? She’s not picking him anyway.

~ OH, she listened. She just cut him off.

~ “I am so lucky to be loved by you…my life with you would be amazing…I love someone else.” – Hannah

~ “I wish you a perfect success with Jed.” – Tyler

And away he goes, crying in the car. It almost feels like he should float away in a hot air balloon instead.

~ So, she didn’t pick Tyler…..

~ I’m not crying, you’re crying (kidding, I’m crying).

~ YOU MESSED UP GIRL.

~ Back in the studio: “Can Jed give Hannah the love and trust she needs in a husband? We’ll find out next. (Insert huge glare of disdain)” – So that’s a no

~ Jed shows up to meet Hannah WITH HIS GUITAR.

~ So here comes Jed with his guitar….

~ We need a wrestler to show up so he can smash that thing.

~ Are we sure Hannah doesn’t like his guitar more than she likes him? Let’s go around the class and discuss.

~ Jed starts talking and she’s only holding one of his hands BECAUSE HE’S HOLDING HIS GUITAR IN THE OTHER.

~ Oh, now he’s going to sing a song. Fantastic.

~ After all that, Hannah finally tells him she’s picking him.

~ Honestly can’t believe she picked him over Tyler…

~ And here comes the proposal.

~ “Hannah….will you marry me?”

~ He didn’t even say her full name? Does he even know it?

~ She said yes.

~ I can’t even be happy for her right now.

~ Jed’s excitement level is about a 6.5/10 right now.

~ Hannah is about to regret all that “Mr. Right” stuff in a few minutes.

~ In the studio: “Hannah thinks she has found her soulmate.”

~ DUN DUN DUN…

~ “Jed is about to face the music.” – THAT’S WHY THEY PAY CHRIS THE BIG BUCKS

~ Time for the post-engagement stuff, we’re ready. 

~ Now it’s time to pull the thread and watch this unravel.

~ We’re being shown videos of how happy they were when they met up after filming.

~ The second night after they got engaged, Jed told Hannah he was hanging out with “this girl” before the show.

~ A few weeks later, Hannah sees a magazine article about Jed’s ex that says he didn’t end the relationship before going on the show.

~ “Jed has muddied the waters of our future together.”

~ The Final 4 should all have to turn over their cellphone for the lead person to go through. This could’ve been avoided.

~ Jed is now going to meet Hannah at their hideaway house to discuss things.

~ I’m getting Becca & Arie vibes. Please let them sit on a couch.

~ Jed: “Missed you.” Hannah: (Silence)

~ THEY SIT ON A COUCH.

~ Jed says it never felt exclusive or like a relationship with his ex.

I’m going to call her, Ms. X.

~ They also went on a trip to Gallenberg, alone, and stayed in a cabin – for free.

~ This sounds relationship-y.

~ “And you’re not dating?” – Hannah

~ Jed says there was never a label on their relationship.

~ Fair play, label makers are so 1997.

~ So he is downplaying the whole thing with his ex-girlfriend. 

~ Then Ms. X and her parents get Jed a trip to the Bahamas for his birthday, but the trip is on Ms. X’s birthday.

~ And then he gets offered to come on the show and he tells Ms. X about it. He tells her he loves her, but said it while he was drunk and regrets it.

~ This is disgusting.

~ But then he told Ms. X he loved her via text and phone call on the day he left. He had her believe he was going on the show for his career and would return to her afterwards.

~ Hannah feels humiliated and betrayed.

~ You know who would never lie to you: Tyler

~ You know who would never betray you: Tyler

~ You know who would never “end it in his heart, but not verbally say it”: TYLER

Ohh, I wanna play along!

You know who would never give up you, let you down, or desert you: Rick Astley TYLER

~ Did I do it right?

~ She feels like he’s using her and their relationship for his career.

HE TOLD YOU THAT EARLY ON. WE COVERED IT IN THESE NOTES. IT’S DOCUMENTED.

~ LIES AFTER LIES AFTER LIES, I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE.

~ Jed doesn’t want to cry on camera. Does he not know what show this is?

~ The camera keeps showing that Hannah is still wearing her engagement ring.

~ Jed keeps saying he loves her and wants to be with her forever.

~ “I want to be someone that you’re proud of.” – Jed

All this time he was pretending, so much for her happy ending. Bam, you just got Avril Lavigne’d.

~ “This (pointing to engagement ring) doesn’t mean the same thing.” – Hannah

~ She took it off and placed it on the table. IT’S DONE.

~ DAMN THE RING IS OFF.

~ You tell him, Hannah.

~ Back in the studio, Hannah comes out and the crowd goes wild, but deep down they all think she has poor judgment and should’ve picked Tyler.

~ NOW THAT IS MY FAVOURITE DRESS YET!!!!!!!

~ It’s totally a, “You’re gonna regret being a dick to me” dress.

~ She’s recapping with Chris how she found out about Jed having a girlfriend.

~ Hannah confirms that she is not with Jed anymore. The crowd cheers.

~ Dare I say this opens the door for Tyler?

~ Out comes Jed to about 5 claps.

~ LOL only like 2 people clapped for Jed.

~ On average, 3.5 people clapped for Jed. The 0.5 didn’t clap their hands, but slapped their knee instead.

~ So Jed came out before Tyler, could it be what I think it could be?

~ Jed goes into a long speech where he apologizes to Hannah.

~ So if Jed’s ex didn’t speak out to the media, he probably gets away with this.

~ Jed says he will always be in love with Hannah. Easy there, Whitney Houston.

~ “I know you hurt me, but I’m not trying to hurt you right now.” – Hannah

~ “I’m sorry for both of you.” – Chris Harrison

~ Exit stage left, Jed.

~ She was a whole lot nicer than I would have been, Hannah handled tonight well.

~ “I don’t need a husband, but I want one…I’m hella strong.” – Hannah

~ IT’S TYLER TIME.

~ They’re getting back together aren’t they?

Her feelings for him “just didn’t go away”. How convenient.

~ Out comes Tyler and my ears just popped.

~ The place is going nuts for Tyler.

~ Chris compared this to The Beatles walking in. I’m sorry everyone, but this to me is better.

~ LOOK AT THAT CHEMISTRY.

~ He literally doesn’t have a bad bone in his body.

~ Tyler says some things about how he wanted to be with her. Hannah says their relationship just didn’t go away and “I still have feelings.”

~ “What are those feelings?” – Chris Harrison

~ I can answer this one! Her feelings are that she feels embarrassed for being the only one in the world who wouldn’t pick Tyler and wants to pick him now before they offer to make him the next Bachelor.

~ “You’re an incredible guy and I’m a single girl…” – Hannah

~ Told you.

~ HANNAH JUST ASKED HIM OUT & HE ACCEPTED, OMG.

~ She asked him out for a drink and to hang out. “Tell me when, I’m there.”

~ There wasn’t even a date card?

~ “I will send a date card.” – Chris Harrison. HE HEARD ME.

~ If Chris Harrison can “ship this”, we all can.

If I were Tyler, I wouldn’t have said no to her on live TV, but deep down I’d be thinking, “You chose someone else and only realized how good I was after you finally realized Jed was there for his career, and all the fans called you out on social media for not picking me.”

~ I’m way too into this. I need a new hobby.

~ In the end, Hannah didn’t find a husband. She found a guitar with no strings attached, ditched it, and ran back to the runner-up because the rules state that if the winner can’t fulfill his obligations, the runner-up will take over.

~ All is right again in the Bachelor world.

~ This feels like the end of a Santa Clause movie.

~ Oh what, DEMI WAS IN THE AUDIENCE?

It’s been a crazy night, it’s been a crazy season. I don’t know how we did it, but we did. Huge thank you to my pal Paul for inviting me back week after week. I’d like to say it’ll be nice to have Monday nights back, but Bachelor in Paradise starts next Monday, so yeah! We survived!

Thanks again, Cass!

And thank you to everyone who read these recaps! We hope you found them entertaining! If you didn’t, read them again. I promise they’re great!

Bachelor in Paradise starts up next Monday, but we aren’t recapping it. We need a five-month break to prepare for The Bachelor in January.

From outside the Bachelor mansion, goodnight.

(Hey, we’re technically outside the Bachelor mansion, don’t question it!)

Posted in TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Viewing Notes: The Bachelorette (Hannah) – Ep. 12

We made it. Welcome to Part 1 of the season finale of The Bachelorette.

Joining me once again is Cass – her thoughts will appear in BOLD. Let’s get this show on the road.

We’re back! Only two more of these before you’re done with us till The Bachelor.

~ Chris Harrison greets us in front of a lively studio audience and asks a bunch of rhetorical questions that subtly tell us Hannah won’t have a happy ending.

~ I now expect Avril Lavigne to perform, “My Happy Ending” at the After The Final Rose episode, just as Air Supply did last season.

~ We go back to the Rose Ceremony in Greece, where Luke was banished, and Hannah still has two roses to give out.

~ Starting off with Hannah freaking out & Chris nonchalantly moving the rose table back.

~ This Rose Ceremony has already carried on for too long, let’s get on with it please.

~ Really upset the salmon jacket didn’t make it this far, clearly it belonged to one of the guys who was sent home. 

~ The first rose goes to Jed.

~ The second rose goes to Tyler.

~ Tyler always says her whole name & it’s the freaking cutest thing in the world. 

~ Peter Pilot will be flying home.

~ Later Peter.

~ I reallllly hate the back of that dress.

~ She tells Peter Pilot he is her Ken doll and did nothing wrong. We go back to the studio and Peter Pilot has landed in the seat across from Chris Harrison.

~ We’re back in the studio, time to fast-forward.

~ I am going to fly through this episode if it means I can fast-forward these studio segments.

~ Back to Greece we go and Hannah’s family is there to meet the final two. First up, Tyler.

~ OMG, time for Tyler to meet the parents.

~ Tyler arrives with flowers and a golf shirt that says, “I just came from a country club.”

~ Tyler reveals that he took a bunch of dance classes in college because he got kicked out of his English class and got a D in Economics, so he had to take summer classes and dance was one of them.

~ Hannah’s mom is very impressed by Tyler: “He was pretty amazing all the way around.”

~ Hannah’s dad is also impressed by Tyler.

~ OMG I’M JUST MELTING OVER HERE.

~ This just in: Cass is also impressed by Tyler.

~ That went so damn well!

~ GO TYLER.

~ Oh Jed’s time, let’s see how this goes.

~ While Hannah is outside greeting Jed, Hannah’s mom tells the rest of the family that she’ll give Jed a fair shot, but Tyler set the bar high.

~ It’s been five seconds and Jed is already talking about being a musician.

~ The family doesn’t look impressed.

~ Hannah’s dad pulls him aside and asks about his plan for the future and how he’ll support Hannah.

~ Jed tells him he’s signed a deal with a dog food company. He wrote a jingle for them.

~ LOL, Jed going on about how he signed a contract with a dog food company to write their jingle…

~ Remember when Jed admitted to coming on the show to further his music career, but that changed when he realized how great Hannah is?

~ Jed says Hannah’s parents seem concerned about the financial aspect of their relationship.

~ “They don’t think I’m adequate or something.” – I’M DEAD

~ Do her parents not know that most contestants who make it this far end up being social media influencers and get paid to sell products no one needs?

~ “How do you think about Jed and I together?” “He has qualities….”

~ OH MAN.

~ Hannah’s parents prefer Tyler because he’d be able to support her.

~ All signs from her parents are literally pointing towards Tyler.

You can tell Hannah came into this wanting to pick Jed, but her family likes Tyler, so now she’s confused.

~ Hannah tells her dad that she can provide for herself and her family as well, and doesn’t need to rely on a man.

~ I’m just so glad that date didn’t go well at all.

~ Time for the final date between Hannah and Tyler.

~ They are going horseback riding….again. The horses cooperate this time.

~ Tyler and Hannah sit down on a blanket with wine and Tyler tells her he wants to be with her.

~ Guys should be watching Tyler & actually taking notes.

~ The night portion of the date is more of the same.

~ “I could see being in his arms forever.” – Foreshadowing?

~ It’s time for the last date between Hannah and Jed.

~ They’re on a boat. This is the 74th date this season that’s taken place on a boat.

~ Of course, they do the Titanic pose. I’ve never seen Titanic.

~ “I don’t know if I like all these rocky waters.” – Hannah

~ Hannah feels sicks.

~ FORESHADOWING?

~ Hannah getting sea sick while on her date with Jed is a serious sign.

~ Jed’s conversations with her are less about how they’ll spend their life together, and more about worrying what will happen in the next few days and what her family thought of him.

~ Jed, you aren’t here for the right reasons, so shut your mouth. 

~ Safe to say, he knows her family preferred Tyler.

~ It’s time for the night portion and Jed admits that he’s feeling anxious. Hannah is, too.

~ Jed reiterates that he wants to be with her.

~ Hannah is confused about who she wants to be with.

~ She slept with Tyler tonight & didn’t with Jed – that’s another sign guys!

~ Back to the studio we go, to wrap up the episode.

~ Chris Harrison: “Will Hannah get the happy ending she deserves or will it be the most shocking finale in Bachelor history that might leave all of Bachelor nation in tears?”

~ Probably the latter, Chris, by the way you worded that. Geeze.

~ Hannah is now telling us that since the last day in Greece, the last few months have been really tough and emotional and Hannah doesn’t know what will happen tomorrow, but has a lot of questions she needs answers to.

~ Another PSA from Hannah, it’s been one of those seasons.

~ They’re buttering our pans so hard right now.

~ Chris Harrison wants us to get our rest because tomorrow night is like nothing we’ve seen before.

Alright, Chris. Goodnight.

Thanks Paul for letting me be a part of this tonight, & since you can’t get rid of me that easy I’ll see you all tomorrow….

One more episode to go. See you all back here tomorrow for the conclusion of this season.

Do you think she’ll pick Tyler, or Jed? Will Chris Harrison yell at someone? Will Hannah have a happy ending? Will Avril Lavigne show up? We’re dying to know your thoughts! Literally, we’re dying here. It’s been a long season. 

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Hockenheim

Soak it in because…FINALLY, the rain has found its way back to a Formula 1 racetrack on race day! There is nothing better than watching twenty cars struggle around every turn because the ground is wet.

It’s just hours of un-fastforwardable entertainment.

The German Grand Prix took place yesterday in Hockenheim and it was chaos. Oh, how I love chaos with my sports.

I don’t care that auto racing likes to show off fast cars that can get from Point A to Point B in the blink of an eye. I want there to be a struggle. I want every car to have a chance to run near the front. I want the unconventional and unlikely to happen.

I WANT RAIN.

Earlier this week, I added Hockenheim, Germany to my phone’s weather app for the sole purpose of checking to see if there would be rain this weekend.

Sure enough, THERE WAS.

It’s like I stubbed my toe and went to heaven.

If you don’t follow Formula 1, let me lay out this season for you very quickly.

It started with a behind-the-scenes Netflix documentary, which turned into Mercedes dominating every race, and Ferrari looking like bumbling fools at every turn, except in Canada where Vettel ran away from the cameras, but came back to put the first place sign in front of his second place car because wooo pettiness, but let’s not forget about Red Bull essentially being a one driver team, or the fact that Lance Stroll qualifies 18th for just about every race, while the Williams team is three seconds slower than everyone else.

That’s it, you’re caught up.

Needless to say, this season has been boring. There has been no doubt who has the fastest car and everyone is just driving in circles trying to get excited about a 7th place finish.

The great equalizer is rain. Anyone can spin off at any time and strategy comes into play multiple times throughout the race. It’s just mayhem and I love every second of it.

The German Grand Prix yesterday was the most entertaining race I’ve seen since I started following Formula 1 again in 2016. It was the first time, in a long time, I didn’t have to fast forward through any of it.

I won’t bore you with all the details – if you didn’t watch it, you won’t understand what I’m saying. I will list off some of my favourite moments, though.

1. LANCE STROLL WAS IN FIRST PLACE FOR ABOUT 45 SECONDS. I was laughing so hard. I still can’t believe it. Here’s a guy who is consistently 18th in qualifying, leading a race. The camera never showed his car while he was in first. I also found that funny.

2. Lewis Hamilton – resident golden boy – had a pit stop that was nearly a minute long because he hit a wall right before the pit lane and broke his front nose, so his team didn’t have time to prepare anything for him before he arrived.

I love unscheduled pit stops. They make my heart sing. The frantic scene that unravels, while the car sits still for way too long, coupled with the commentators voices getting more urgent – it’s just incredible.

3. The word, “Bollard”. Hamilton darted into the pit lane by crossing over the grass, instead of entering the lane properly on the right side of the BOLLARD. I just love that word and how the British commentators say it. BOLLARD.

4. Hometown hero, Sebastian Vettel, started in last place and finished second. Of course he did. Ferrari is really good at concocting a race strategy when they have nothing to lose. Time for new tires? Sure, why not! Let’s roll the dice!

He was so enthusiastic after the race in interviews. It sounded like he had fun for the first time in years. Hopefully, this sparks something in him and reminds him who he is and what he’s capable of.

5. Daniil Kvyat got his Toro Rosso on the podium in third place. When cars that aren’t supposed to be on the podium, get on the podium, I love it. Some people like greatness and enjoy seeing the same people dominate. I don’t.

6. If I had a dime for every time they said someone was off at the penultimate corner, I could probably sponsor the German Grand Prix and keep it alive beyond this season. I like when cars go off the track, as long as the driver doesn’t get hurt, obviously.

It normally leads to some sort of safety car and forces teams to make split-second decisions on whether to pit, or stay out. It just injects uncertainty into the race.

I didn’t enjoy seeing Charles Leclerc go off, but it was for the greater good. He’s young and will be around for the next decade. It’s fine.

7. The Haas drivers don’t play nice with each other and I love it. In a world where all every team wants is for their drivers to give each other space on the track, Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean refuse to go an entire race without bumping into each other.

It’s like a square on a Bingo card at this point. Did the Haas cars touch? Yup! Cross it off.

8. Max Verstappen won the race. Red Bull is like the Alternative music genre. They won’t get the attention on the radio stations, but will sneak up on you and say, “Hey, we sound better than them!”

My loyalties are split between Ferrari and Red Bull, so it’s always good to see Red Bull do well.

9. Kimi Raikkonen’s car is the epitome of “old man strength”. All the young kids on the track are driving around in the rain for the first time, feeling things out, and there he is just cruising around like it’s no big deal.

He’s such a character. You can’t understand a word he says in interviews because he speaks on the same breath for the duration of his mumbled collection of sentences, but it’s endearing.

10. I thoroughly enjoy watching a team be the first to take a gamble on dry tires. It could pay off, like it did for Stroll and Kvyat, or it could be catastrophic. There is no in between. But as soon as the other teams see that dry tires are working…EVERYBODY INTO THE PITS!

If you can’t tell by now, I enjoy a busy pit lane.

11. Honourable mention to Ted Kravitz – pit lane reporter. For some reason (which I won’t get into), he isn’t at every race this year. It’s a shame because he brings so much joy to the broadcast. He transfers his passion and knowledge of F1 to each viewer at home.

Those are my favourite moments from the race. I’m probably missing some because the whole race was my favourite moment.

It’s a shame there won’t be a German Grand Prix next season. It’s a great track, which is surrounded by a gazillion trees. It’s quite the site/sight.

I enjoy the old-school feel to it, with grass on the side of the track, as well as different areas where you can pass. Plus, it’s Germany. How can you not have a Formula 1 race there every year? They basically make cars there for breakfast.

I’m still mad they aren’t going back to Malaysia, so don’t get me started on this whole “not returning to certain tracks because of money” thing.

That being said, if they find new countries with racetracks that provide great entertainment, I’ll shut right up and enjoy it. But the last thing this sport needs is more tracks where overtaking is impossible.

Anyway, I just wanted to write this post because the race was so much fun to watch. I hope there are more wet weather races this season. And if they aren’t, I urge F1 officials to set up sprinklers on the track to get it nice and wet.

Anything you need to do to bring out the wet tires, do it.

I still long for the days when they didn’t just have wet tires, but also monsoon tires.

MONSOON TIRES.

Those two words still get me pumped up.

Tomorrow I’ll be adding Mogyorod, Hungary as a location on my weather app, to see if rain is expected for next weekend’s grand prix. Let us pray.

Thanks for reading!

What are your thoughts on yesterday’s German Grand Prix? What quirky aspects of your favourite sport do you enjoy?

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Viewing Notes: The Bachelorette (Hannah) – Ep. 11

This will be the shortest Bachelorette recap we’ve ever done because the first twenty minutes of the show is all we’re discussing. The rest of the episode was The Men Tell All which I refuse to sit through.

After a week away, Cass is back to make sure I don’t fall into this sinkhole alone. Her thoughts will be in BOLD.

I’m back, sorry for leaving y’all last week (very sorry Paul for abandoning you, won’t happen again).

Let’s get this going.

~ Chris Harrison is in front of a deathly silent studio audience because this show must be serious about everything at all times.

~ We’re now seeing footage of the Rose Ceremony in Greece, after Hannah sent Luke “home” last week.

~ Peter Pilot, Tyler, and Jed are wearing the same suit, just different colours. Are they triplets now? What’s going on here?

~ The overlapping audio is Hannah trashing Luke, which is only about nine weeks later than when the viewers started doing it.

~ That is one interesting dress.

~ I’m just so glad she finally came to her senses about Luke.

~ Surprise, he’s on his way back…

~ Cut to Luke in a car, filming himself en route to the Rose Ceremony. The studio audience is shocked he’s coming back. SHOCKED, I tell you.

~ HE HAS A FREAKING RING.

~ I CAN’T GUYS, I CAN’T.

~ Luke says he still loves Hannah and this isn’t over for him.

~ The Bachelor producers have (probably) convinced him to come back to talk to Hannah because they don’t care about how it’ll make Hannah feel seeing him again. They just want the drama.

~ Luke walks into the Rose Ceremony and takes his place in the police lineup.

~ Meanwhile, off-stage, Chris is telling Hannah she has three men and two roses.

~ OMG she has no idea, omg my heart can’t take this.

~ This is all a set-up and Chris Harrison knows it. He’s an evil mastermind.

There’s probably a producer in his earpiece telling him that Luke has arrived and he can stop stalling Hannah.

Hannah is on her way…

~ Wow, she walked those stairs so gracefully, I would have wiped out.

~ Hannah arrives and sees Luke standing there.

~ “Why are you here?” “I need to talk to you.” “No.”

~ This is a script straight out of a Grade 9 drama class.

~ The look on the guys faces right now. 

~ Pretty sure you can’t just wander onto a TV set if the crew/security doesn’t let you. They let him. He’s not crashing anything. He’s being permitted to torment her further. That ain’t right.

~ HIM PULLING THE COMMUNICATION CARD.

~ “I’ve already sent you home.” – The guys in line look relieved.

~ Go Hannah!

~ Peter, Jed & Tyler are trying so hard not to laugh. 

~ The guys are now stepping in to create a buffer between Luke and Hannah.

~ STEP ON IN, BOYS.

~ Jed talking to him like he’s a dog. “Get”…”Go”.

~ Where’s Chris Harrison with a broom to sweep him away?

~ Oh, there he is. No broom. No pepper spray. Just a stern look.

~ This whole Luke thing is seriously a piss off. 

~ “So, Hannah, what do you want? This is all up to you.” – Chris Harrison

~ Oh, shut your mouth. Don’t let Luke back on the show in the first place. That’s what she wants.

~ “I don’t want him to be here.” – Hannah

~ Thank God Chris stepped in, I mean it took him long enough.

~ I almost feel bad that they (probably) put Luke up to coming back for the Rose Ceremony.

~ Luke clearly just wanted to extend his stay in Greece.

~ “He has a ring in his pocket right now. He was ready to propose to you.” – Chris

~ He didn’t get the ring on his own. The show obviously gave it to him. What a set-up. Chris is twisting the plot.

~ “We just watched Luke’s shocking return, crashing the Rose Ceremony in Greece.” – Chris

~ Shocking? Crashing? You had someone drive him there and then allowed him in front of the camera, probably while wearing TV makeup that your crew provided.

~ We’re transitioning into The Men Tell All recap in front of the live studio audience and I have no interest in watching.

~ Shoot, Paul SOS. They stopped it for The Men Tell All.

~ That’s my cue.

~ Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to put wine in the fridge for next week, see you next Monday!

Next Monday is the finale. Next Tuesday is the two-hour After The Final Rose episode because this season insists on being a dumpster fire until the very end and they need two hours to tell us why we wasted our time.

Sorry if my tone came across as annoyed, but I am annoyed. Cass was great, at least.

Bye.

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