Monday, October 7, 2019

Optimistic October

October is the tenth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the sixth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. The eighth month in the old calendar of Romulus c. 750 BC, October retained its name (from the Latin and Greek ôctō meaning "eight") after January and February were inserted into the calendar that had originally been created by the Romans. In Ancient Rome, one of three Mundus patet would take place on October 5, Meditrinalia October 11, Augustalia on October 12, October Horse on October 15, and Armilustrium on October 19. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar. Among the Anglo-Saxons, it was known as Ƿinterfylleþ, because at this full moon (fylleþ) winter was supposed to begin.

October is commonly associated with the season of autumn in the Northern hemisphere and with spring in the Southern hemisphere.

October's birthstones are the tourmaline and opal.  Its birth flower is the calendula.  The zodiac signs for this month are Libra (until October 22) and Scorpio (from October 23).

The last two to three weeks in October (and, occasionally, the first week of November) are the only time of the year during which all of the "Big Four" major North American professional sports leagues schedule games; the National Basketball Association begins its preseason and about two weeks later starts the regular season, the National Hockey League is about one month into its regular season (check out this beaut of a goal from the last night's Stars game vs. Detroit: ), the National Football League is about halfway through its regular season, and Major League Baseball is in its postseason with the League Championship Series and World Series. There have been 19 occasions in which all four leagues have played games on the same day (an occurrence popularly termed a "sports equinox"), with the most recent of these taking place on October 28, 2018. Additionally, the Canadian Football League is typically nearing the end of its regular season during this period, while Major League Soccer is beginning the MLS Cup Playoffs.

October also celebrates the following festivities: 
  • American Archives Month
  • National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month
  • National Arts & Humanities Month
  • National Bullying Prevention Month
  • National Cyber Security Awareness Month
  • National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
  • Filipino American History Month
  • Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month
  • LGBT History Month
  • Polish American Heritage Month (more info to follow!)
  • National Work and Family Month
  • And of course, it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  If you haven't already scheduled your mammogram, pick up the phone now and call your doctor!
Here's the link to this month's Action for Happiness calendar:

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Self-Care September

I love the Action for Happiness monthly calendar and print out several copies the beginning of each month.  I keep several copies around -- one at work, one on the fridge at home and one in my personal planner.

This month is all about self-care.  As women, we always put everyone else first whether it be our kids, our husband, our jobs and, as a consequence, we keep going and going until it's too late.  And then we're exhausted and burnt out.  And as I was writing yesterday's post, I'm prone to this type of behavior based on my Zodiac sign. 

I am incredibly fortunate to have a husband who understands and respects my need for some down time.  I work in the hospitality industry and have people wanting something from me all day long.  No one ever calls and says, "Hey!  What can I do for YOU???"  It can be draining at times.  Coach doesn't mind if I disappear in the bathtub for a couple of hours with a good book and some good music.  The water has to be scalding hot, lots of candles and a ton of lavender Epsom salts. No wine because between the hot water and the Epsom salts I'd probably pass out and drown in the tub.  Most people listen to soothing spa-type sounds when they're in the tub but that does nothing for me but make me more agitated.  I do not find flute or piano music relaxing at all.  My play list is very weird and totally random.  There's a little Drake, some Jay-Z, a couple of Guns and Roses songs, some AC/DC, Fleetwood Mac, Mac Miller, Travis Scott, Spandau Ballet, Sam Cooke, Queen, Taylor Swift, Normani, Missy Elliott, Beastie Boys, Ella Fitzgerald, Eminem, Migos, Snoop, Bob Marley, Spice Girls, Meek Mill, Kehlani.  You just never know.  But I like to sing in the tub and shower and I sing loud. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Libra Power

Libra (♎) is the seventh astrological sign in the Zodiac. It spans 180°–210° celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between (northern autumnal equinox) September 23 and October 23 and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits the constellation of Libra from approximately October 31 to November 22.

 The symbol of the scales is based on the Scales of Justice held by Themis, the Greek personification of divine law and custom. She became the inspiration for modern depictions of Lady Justice. The ruling planet of Libra is Venus. Libra is one of the three zodiac air signs (the others being Gemini and Aquarius) and represented by the scales.  Interestingly, the scales are the only inanimate object of the zodiac (the other eleven signs are represented either as an animal or mythological characters throughout history).  This association reflects Libra's fixation on balance and harmony. Libra is obsessed with symmetry and strives to create equilibrium in all areas of life. In astrology, a broad description of those who are born under these signs are calm, rational, and detached when dealing with situations. The sign of Libra is symbolized by the scales and is associated with the Roman deity Iustitia. According to the writer Manilius, Roman judges are born under the sign of Libra.

The Moon was said to be in Libra when Rome was founded and this was based on the historical passage, which state "qua condita Roma".  Everything was balanced under this righteous sign. Manilius once said that Libra was the sign "in which the seasons are balanced". Both the hours of the day and the hours of the night match each other. Thus why the Romans put so much trust in the "balanced sign". Going back to ancient Greek times, Libra the constellation between Virgo and Scorpio used to be ruled over by the constellation of Scorpio. They called the area the Latin word "chelae", which translated to "the claws" which can help identify the individual stars that make up the full constellation of Libra, since it was so closely identified with the Scorpion constellation in the sky.

According to the tropical system of astrology, the Sun enters the sign of Libra when it reaches the northern autumnal equinox and the southern vernal equinox, which occurs around September 22. Libra is said to be compatible with Aquarius since they share a sense of fairness and curiosity for design. 

These air signs are the aesthetes of the zodiac.  Ruled by Venus, the planet that governs love, beauty, and money.  Libras adore high art, intellectualism, and connoisseurship. Suave Libras need to surround themselves with stunning objects and create environments that reflect their exquisite tastes. Accordingly, these air signs make excellent designers, decorators, art critics, and stylists.

Intelligent, kind, and always willing to put others before themselves, Libras value harmony in all forms and adores a life that looks good. As the master of compromise and diplomacy, Libra is adept at seeing all points of view, and excels at crafting compromises and effecting mediation between others. This sign has a rich inner life yet loves other people, and they're always happiest with a large group of friends, family, and coworkers on whom they can count.
An air sign, Libra can often be "up in the clouds," and while he or she is amazing at making big plans, follow through can be tricky. Working with detail-oriented signs, like Virgos or Capricorns, can help Libras actually manifest their dreams into reality, especially in the workspace. But don't call out Librans for daydreaming—their imagination is one of their biggest assets, and they often put their imagination to work by finding careers in the arts or in literature.

Libra is a cardinal sign, which means Libras are accordingly great at launching new initiatives. Because Libras consider multiple perspectives in all pursuits, however, these air signs struggle with indecision. Instead of constantly seeking outside perspectives, Libras would do well to develop (and trust) their own intuition. Their characteristic ambivalence aside, Libras can navigate virtually any social situation, effortlessly resolving conflicts by simply turning on the charm.
While Libra's opposite sign, Aries, represents “me,” Libra symbolizes “we.” Relationships are paramount for Libras, who find balance in companionship. When Libra falls in love, he or she falls hard.  They love harmonious partnerships with fashionable mates, especially those who make attractive arm candy. (Libra governs the skin, and these air signs are highly motivated by physical appearances. There's no way Libra would rather relax than with a luxurious face mask.) Libras are regularly coupled, and when they are, they must be careful about seeking attention outside the agreed-upon boundaries of their relationships. Since they try to keep everyone happy and engaged, they may find themselves tempted to push the limits of their agreements with their partners. People-pleasing Libras must remember that the happiness of their loved ones and the health of their relationships is more important than maintaining the attention of distant admirers. 

Libra is fiercely attracted to intelligence, which is just as important as appearance when it comes to the partners they end up falling for. This sign is all about cerebral connections—role-playing, dirty talk, and games in the bedroom all serve to amp up their interest. Physical connection is nice, but a sexy Snap can truly crank up a Libra's libido.

Libras believe that they're directing their own lives, and they take a big-picture approach in making that life look and feel the best it can be. They spend a lot of time figuring out what's missing from that big picture, and they may feel unhappy if they become too focused on one thing, whether it's work, a partner, or a family member. Librans are at their best when they balance their schedule to include plenty of time for self-care rituals and personal pursuits, and when they give themselves enough flexibility to change focus.

Although Libra appears self-confident to outsiders, he or she might struggle with insecurity, especially as it relates to personal identity, which sometimes feels mutable. This sign's lifelong question is: "Who am I?" They may find their identity shifting based on where they are in their lives and who they're spending time with. In order to feel more confident in their identity, social Libras need to get comfortable spending time with themselves and getting to know their gut and their internal voice. 
Libra's everyday vibe is this gentle reminder: "Let's just all get along." For this sign, compromise is key. Librans don't do well when anyone in their orbit isn't happy, and they're especially adept at inviting other signs to see things from a different perspective. A Libra doesn't strong arm or use coercion, but rather relies on his or her communication prowess to help everyone see another side to a story.

Libra is great at making everyone happy—but what good is that if Libras themselves don't feel fulfilled? While the Scales have a fine-tuned internal compass, they sometimes ignore what they want in favor of what makes everyone else happy—and this habit ends up backfiring in the long run.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Do you Remember (September)

September (from Latin septem, "seven") is the ninth month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, the third of four months to have a length of 30 days, and the fourth of five months to have a length of less than 31 days. In the Northern Hemisphere September is the seasonal equivalent of March in the Southern Hemisphere. In the Northern hemisphere, the beginning of the meteorological autumn is on 1 September. In the Southern hemisphere, the beginning of the meteorological spring is on 1 September.

September marks the beginning of the ecclesiastical year in the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is the start of the academic year in many countries of the northern hemisphere, in which children go back to school after the summer break, sometimes on the first day of the month.  Growing up in New York, we always went back to school on the Tuesday or Wednesday right after Labor Day. 

September was called "harvest month" in Charlemagne's calendar. September corresponds partly to the Fructidor and partly to the Vendémiaire of the first French republic. On Usenet, it is said that September 1993 (Eternal September) never ended. September is called Herbstmonat, harvest month, in Switzerland. The Anglo-Saxons called the month Gerstmonath, barley month, that crop being then usually harvested.

The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (or Très Riches Heures, (English: The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry), is the most famous and possibly the best surviving example of French Gothic manuscript illumination, showing the late International Gothic phase of the style. It is a book of hours: a collection of prayers to be said at the canonical hours. It was created between c. 1412 and 1416 for the extravagant royal bibliophile and patron John, Duke of Berry, by the Limbourg brothers. When the three painters and their sponsor died in 1416, possibly victims of plague, the manuscript was left unfinished. It was further embellished in the 1440s by an anonymous painter, who many art historians believe was Barthélemy d'Eyck. In 1485–1489, it was brought to its present state by the painter Jean Colombe on behalf of the Duke of Savoy. Acquired by the Duc d'Aumale in 1856, the book is now MS 65 in the Musée Condé, Chantilly, France.

The birth flowers for September are the forget-me-not, morning glory and aster.  The zodiac signs for the month of September are Virgo and Libra whose end and start are related to equinox date (usually 22 or 23 September).

September's birthstone is the Sapphire.  And perhaps the most famous sapphire in the world belonged to Princess Diana.  Lady Diana Spencer and Charles, Prince of Wales, became engaged in February 1981. Her engagement ring consisted of 14 solitaire diamonds surrounding a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-karat white gold. It was created by then-crown jeweller Garrard.  Diana's selection of this ring was unusual. It was neither custom-made nor unique and was, at the time of her engagement to Charles, featured in Garrard's jewellery collection and available to anyone for purchase. Some commentators say Diana selected it because it reminded her of her mother's engagement ring, while others say that she chose it due to its big size. The ring is said to bear a resemblance to Queen Victoria's sapphire-and-diamond wedding brooch, which was chosen for her by Prince Albert. Diana continued to wear the ring even after her divorce from Prince Charles.

After Diana's death, Princes William and Harry selected mementos from their mother's possessions. Harry chose the engagement ring, while William selected Diana's £19,000 yellow gold Cartier Tank Francaise watch. They eventually exchanged mementos. When Prince William proposed to Catherine Middleton in the autumn of 2010 in Kenya, he gave her the ring.  William later said that giving the ring to his fiancée was a "way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement."[Middleton eventually had the ring resized because she had lost weight prior to the wedding. Her finger being an H, she asked Crown Jewellers G Collins and Sons to attach two platinum studs to it to make it a size I.

After the engagement was announced, some called the ring the "Commoner's Sapphire," a reference to the bride's non-royal origins. Others considered the ring a tragic symbol associated with Diana's failed marriage to the Prince of Wales and untimely death in a car accident in Paris.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Righteous Gemstones

Coach and I started watching The Righteous Gemstones on HBO this week.  This (dark) American comedy television series follows "the world famous Gemstone televangelist family, which has a long tradition of deviance, greed, and charitable work, all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ."  The series, created by Danny McBride, premiered August 18, 2019 on HBO and stars McBride, John Goodman, Edi Patterson and Adam DeVine.

Shot and set in South Carolina, The Righteous Gemstones focuses on a family of evangelists:  The Patriarch Eli Gemstone (Goodman) is part preacher and part spiritual bully, mostly still reeling from the death of wife and empire cornerstone Aimee-Leigh (played by Jennifer Nettles in flashbacks). Eldest son Jesse (McBride) revels in the excess of his lifestyle, supported by smokeshow wife Amber (Cassidy Freeman).  Youngest son Kelvin (Devine) is a youth ministry hot-shot with an ambiguous private life that includes the ubiquitous presence of former satanist Keefe (Tony Cavalero). Finally, there's middle child Judy (Patterson).  Judy's neglected and rarely allowed to be part of the male-dominated, faith-based circus that has given the family a vast compound with an amusement park and a character-specifically designed house for each kid and his/her individual dysfunctional family.
The family has a string of megachurches throughout the South, a ministry that spreads the word of Jesus Christ around the world and an evangelically solid reputation built on a successful television show that Eli and Aimee-Leigh hosted in the 1980s. What they don’t have, or at least their three children don’t have, is a moral code of any kind. They’re all bullies with a very high-profile pulpit.   Jesse is the most ethically compromised of the bunch. He lies to his wife, insults his siblings and kids at every opportunity and indulges private habits that involve cocaine and prostitutes.  
Jesse, Kelvin, and Judy spend most of their time tearing each other down and doing their best to earn the favor of their father. That’s apparent in the very first, funny scene, where Kelvin and Jesse have joined their dad in Chengdu, China, to assist with a mass 24-hour baptism. While standing in the middle of a pool and ushering believers into a bonded relationship with God, Jesse and Kelvin start arguing over who’s doing a better job of dunking followers’ heads under the water. Eventually, their disagreement devolves into a splash fight and then somehow the wave-pool function gets activated. What was supposed to be a sacred experience turns into total shit show. 
Danny McBride has an affinity for frustrated and unsuccessful men.  Danny McBride makes shows that broadcast at a very specific and targeted frequency, or maybe a very specific volume. On Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals, characters rarely spoke when they could shout, never hung up a phone when they could throw that phone to the ground and smash it into a million pieces.  It's been a McBride trademark that as his men are pitted against one another in mutually assured destruction, the women sneak in and, by design, steal the story.

With his central role in The Righteous Gemstones, the actor and writer-director has pulled off a frustrated, unsuccessful man hat trick.  Like the other characters McBride has played on HBO, he’s basically an asshole. But unlike Kenny Powers (Eastbound and Down's disgraced major league pitcher determined to get another at-bat in the sun) and Neal Gamby (a high-school administrator who gets passed over for the principal gig and — with help in season one from a fellow irked white man — makes the life of the woman who wins the position a living hell in Vice Principals), who engendered empathy given how much they have fallen and failed in life, Jesse hasn’t done any of that. He has a beautiful, loyal wife, three healthy children, a laughably huge home, and an enormous amount of inherited wealth. He’s been given everything and has seemingly done little to deserve it. There is no good reason for him to be such an ass.   

      The Gemstone cast is incredibly strong. Anchored by John Goodman, Adam Devine, Edi Patterson and McBride, they lampoon megachurches with enthusiastically performed coarse language.  The Gemstones are devout, but you'll spend much of the time questioning which members of the family believe the message they're selling — denominationally nonspecific — and which are driven solely by opulence that their professed creed has yielded. No matter their sincerity, they're all dedicated in some way and The Righteous Gemstones critiques them and their family unit far more than it critiques either religion in general or the commodified piety the Gemstones provide for the largely unseen masses, who definitively are not treated with contempt.  The characters belittle, emasculate and eviscerate each other.  
The show itself loves these characters and illustrating every aspect of their world, from the meticulous detailing of each Gemstone home to their never-arbitrarily-chosen wardrobes or hairstyles, including McBride's curly pompadour (with graying mutton chops for gravity) and Devine's youth-group-friendly spikiness. McBride is fascinated with the ugly side of masculine competitiveness — peacocking stripped to its subtext-free essence via male full-frontal nudity — and much of the show's humor comes from the unfiltered and uncouth bantering and from a cartoonish escalation of tension.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Real Deal

Jessi Combs—vehicle builder, racer, fabricator, TV personality, and all-around automotive legend—was killed on Tuesday in a crash while attempting to break her own land-speed record in southeast Oregon. She was 36. The crash occurred as Combs was piloting her jet-powered land-speed car on the Alvord Desert, a dry lake bed where several land-speed records have been set. According to local reports, the crash happened shortly after 4pm local time.

Combs held the title of "fastest woman on four wheels" after setting a record of 398 mph in her jet-powered North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger in 2013. More recently, she had piloted that same car to 483.227 mph in a single shakedown run in October 2018, though that run ended prematurely with mechanical troubles. (Governing bodies require two back-to-back runs in opposite directions to set an official speed record.) Combs was a legend in the automotive world. Trained in fabrication and hot-rod building at WyoTech, she soon made her way to automotive television. Combs was a host, builder, and technical expert on shows like Xtreme 4x4, Overhaulin', Truck U, and Two Guys Garage. She brought about Velocity channel's All Girls Garage, and was a host and builder on a season of Discovery Channel's Mythbusters.  When not on camera, Combs competed in a wide variety of racing venues. She was the first woman to place at Ultra4's King of the Hammers; she took home a Class 10 podium finish at the Baja 1000; and she ran in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles, an all-women rally race. She was even the first woman to compete in The Race of Gentlemen, racing a twin-engine 1913 Ford Model T.

Combs joined the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger team as driver in 2013. Her goal was to pilot the car (built from a decommissioned fighter jet) beyond 512 mph, the record for Fastest Woman on Earth, set in 1976 by Kitty O'Neil.

Combs' team member Terry Madden confirmed her death in an Instagram post this morning:
So I don’t know how to say any of this but it all needs said. I have never loved or been loved by anyone as much as this amazing woman @thejessicombs she was truly my unicorn and I enjoyed every single minute that I had with her. She was the most amazing spirit that I have ever or will ever know. Unfortunately we lost her yesterday in a horrific accident, I was the first one there and trust me we did everything humanly possible to save her!! I’m not ok, but she is right here keeping my going-I made her a promise that if this didn’t go well that I would make sure and do good with it, please help me with that, you are all going to see things on news please believe non of them.. we the family have drafted a release and it will come out today with more proper info, but I was just woke up by the media tracking me down and I need everyone of her true friends to do what she would want “take a deep breath, relax” and do good things with this. Please donate to nothing, I know there will be people try, we are finishing the documentary as she wished and the world will know the truth and her foundation will use those funds to do amazing things in this world and make her legacy live on properly. In the coming days her family and I will get the proper channels put together that you can then donate to that foundation but until you hear it from me wait please-I don’t want some asshole profiting off this (all ready had one try to sell us a video)... . . Love you all and thank you all for being such amazing friends to her, she dedicated her life to helping support others dreams and I promise I will continue that.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

I hope y'all are happy now

This was a very, very heavy John Paul Jones episode and I'm here for it!  Finally!  I’m still processing the weirdness of it all, but his adorkability helps.

Who would have thought that the romantic hero we all needed was blond, baffling, and bilious? Who knew the man we were all looking for was someone who would laugh at his own jokes like Ray Liotta in Goodfellas while talking like Ralph Lauren Spicoli. Me!  That's who!  I've been saying it all along people!  Pay attention!  There’s only one man shaving his own nipples and cartwheeling into our hearts, and his name is JOHN PAUL JONES — and, yes, you have to say all three.  Finally, we got what we (I) needed: two ROCK-SOLID HOURS of JOHN PAUL JONES madness.
We start off with Derek being sad about Demi breaking things off with him.  Kristina and Tayshia are looking for someone else to date. Kristina recommends Derek for Tayshia and she loves the idea so much, she heads off to end things with John Paul Jones right away.  Wait.  What?  I mean What.  The.  Actual.  Hell??  Look, none of us (other than JPJ.  "She's really the only woman I can envision a long-term relationship with" he says) really thought that the Tayshia and John Paul Jones “relationship” was going to stick, right? But Tayshia says she can’t see JPJ being her “future husband,” so she gently encourages him to go on a date with one of the new women scheduled to be arriving this week. This made me so sad.  JPJ is into her and tells her she's a pretty looking Beyoncé with really big eyes.  Wow.  That's romantic.  “I just want to make sure you’re happy,” she says. In other words, I’m gonna play the field, bro, and you should too.  Instead of Tayshia framing the conversation as her wanting to explore other connections, she asks John Paul Jones, "Is there anyone else you want to see come down the stairs?" When he says that he wouldn't really want to go on dates with anyone other than her, she insists that he should go on dates if he wants. Really, JPJ. Like, you should totally go on dates if you want to. 
So how does this manifest? Tayshia has just decided that she’s ready to settle down with a Serious Man, so she’s no longer interested in an untroubled boy like JOHN PAUL JONES. It’s this odd combination of “He’s Older So He’s a Man” and “I Need a HUSBAND” that leads to Tayshia unleashing the Chaotic Wholesome that is JOHN PAUL JONES into the world. She tells him that he should take advantage of everything Paradise has to offer.
And Paradise has to offer Tahzjuan.  You rememeber Tahjuan, don't you?  Tazjuan "I was there for two seconds."  From Colton's season?  Well, Tahzjuan just walked down the stairs, and she has her hard, little heart set on JPJ. Tahzjuan is really hot.  For real.  She's sweaty and overheating.  I don't know if she's pre-menapausal or if this is poor planning on  her part.  She didn’t clearly didn't pack well before heading into Paradise. This bitch did not buy sunscreen. This bitch did not pick out a setting spray or matte foundation. She also did not familiarize herself with the temperature in Mexico. She’s too warm and she’s not having fun. Also, Tahzjuan is saying everything a bad bitch would say but she does not have the actual attitude of a bad bitch. She’s talking smack but she’s also about to cry. “I’m here to take everyone’s man … [sniffle].”  Also, as Blake confirms, "She wasn't at Stagecoach."  I see what you did there Blake.  Very funny. 
Tahzjuan asks JPJ on her date and he agrees. After taking a shower and doing some manscaping, he says, "Well, Tayshia, I know what I'm looking for. I'm looking for you. But if you really want me to go on this fucking date, I'll do it."  JPJ escorts Tahzjuan to dinner, though he’s still very much hung up on Tayshia. It also seems like he might have arrived at dinner already drunk, or high, or maybe he’s just insane?
The date is one of the oddest ones in BiP history. For some reason, both Tahzjuan and JPJ are extremely giggly to where they can barely talk. He asks her the "epitimology" of her name. They talk about whether you're supposed to eat the "date food." Tahzjuan seems to simultaneously think it's fake and will give her salmonella, and she might have a point because JPJ seems to get sick after eating the congealed date food. (It may have something to do with why he barely function the whole next day. Just saying.) After JPJ defies the laws of Bachelor date food, they go swimming and make out. Tahzjuan says, "John Paul Jones might be the strangest man I've ever met, but I love strange." She really does, as you'll see. "I'm having the best time!" she says. 
Meanwhile, Haley and JPJ are getting along famously on their date.  This is a match made in blonde hair heaven.  He agrees to her date offer. They ride horses. When they come across a beach, JPJ says, “I should have brought my goggles.” That’s a man who lives to get wet.They drink champagne. He rubs sunblock all over her butt. Things go well.

When they get back from their date, Tahzjuan declares that horseback riding is “lame” and demands to know whether Haley and JPJ kissed (they did). It’s very awkward.  Tahz’s “jokes” that she considered spitting in Haley’s wine. She also keeps going on about how she and JPJ are seagulls while Haley is a pigeon.  The Twin steps away so JPJ can sort things out with Tahz, which he does by making a rambling toast that ends with, “I’m physically and emotionally drained right now.”

Now that Derek has had 12 whole hours to get over his breakup with Demi, Tayshia thinks he’s ready to start dating again. “Derek is someone that stood out to me since day one,” she says.
Unfortunately, Derek still can’t even talk about Demi without crying, and he’s not even sure he should stay in Paradise. “I don’t know how to take a next step while I’m here,” he says sadly. Tayshia tells him to take some time and reflect before he makes any decisions.
Meanwhile, back at the resort, Caelynn is talking to Demi and bartender Wells about Dean.  While she doesn't seem to have asked for advice, they have a lot of it. “I’ve never felt more comfortable and more myself with anyone,” gushes Caelynn. She wants to push aside her worries about Dean’s “reputation,” but Demi warns Caelynn to keep her guard up. “He has a way of making people feel really special,” she says. “You need to lay down the law.” Wells agrees: “No one’s been able to, like, wrangle him.”
They think she needs to make her feelings very clear to him, so if he leaves her for someone else, he won't be able to claim he didn't know where she stood. Bachelor in Paradise is weird in that you don't necessarily want to define the relationship after only a few days together, but if you don't, the person will keep going on dates. (And sometimes even if you do make yourself clear, they make out with someone else in a pool right in front of you.)
Caelynn says in her confessional, "I guess it's my mistake for thinking everyone comes here with the intention of having a relationship." Um, it's not your fault. That's the point of the show. Sure, not everyone ends up being there for the right reasons, but they are at least operating under the general idea that they'd be cool with dating someone. As we'll talk about further down, Kristina seems to be cruising by just so she can hangout at a resort, but even that is different than starting to date someone and then telling them you don't really want to date anyone on a dating show.

 We also see Blake telling Caitlin that she’s “100 percent” getting his rose.  Oh hey, there’s Kristina! She wants to make sure that Blake is making “good use” of his rose: “If you’re not sure about Caitlin, you shouldn’t lead her on.” Then she pulls out her big guns: “I kept your ass around.” The reverse pep talk seems to work because Blake then turns around and tells Caitlin that he’s “not 100 percent sure” what he’s going to do with his rose. Comedy! And also, as Caitlin puts it, a pretty “s—-y” move.
JPJ, meanwhile, goes from doing cartwheels on the beach with Tahzjuan to play-fighting with Haley on the daybed about whether it’s rude to say “yo” to your girlfriend. But in his heart of hearts, he still wants Tayshia. She, however, wants something else.

It’s time for the cocktail party. The unoccupied women all head in with an agenda. Tayshia is going to lock down Derek.  After a crazy couple of days in Paradise, JPJ is still into Tayshia. We find out more about his feelings when Tayshia and Derek hit it off at the party before the rose ceremony. Derek tells Tayshia, "We have this friendship weird thing and I would like to break that barrier and see where this takes us."
JPJ pulls Demi aside to hang out with her and Kristian is upset to see Demi maybe flirting with someone. She says, “This is not what I signed up for.” That's funny.  I didn't realize she actually signed up for this.  She also makes the really great point that there’s no one there for Kristian to be tempted by. So they’re just not even pretending to be part of the show anymore. We’re just watching two people go on a couple’s trip.
It’s time for the rose ceremony and Chris says they’re going to be doing things a little differently. Demi is going to give Kristian a rose first and — oh, that’s it? Okay. “Paradise is all about finding love, no matter what that looks like,” says Harrison, adding that he’s going to “change the rules” by letting Demi hand out the first rose of the evening.   Obviously Demi and the producers discussed the possibility of her bringing Kristian to Paradise before she even arrived. 

The episode ends with Dean taking Caelynn down to the beach to talk. No one knows if it's going to be positive or not, including Caelynn. She's even more into him at this point, because he gave her a birthday cake at the cocktail party. Maybe he had a change of heart on the whole going to dinner parties and talking about emotions thing.  We all can see the breakup (ON HER BIRTHDAY) coming a mile away.
To be continued …

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Rico Bye!

Paradise giveth, and Paradise taketh away.  Last night Paradise  took Jordan and Christian away from the show but not before giving Bachelor Nation a look at their piñata throwdown in its full, ridiculous glory.

The last episode of ABC's Bachelor in Paradise left us literally in the middle of a physical fight. A physical fight that started because of a piñata. The Mayor (Jordan Kimball) decided to knock down the piñata Rico Suave (Christian Estrada) had set up for Numnuts Nicole which then led to them pushing each other back and forth...

And this is where last night's episode picks up.  After the pushing escalates, The Mayor of Paradise body slams Rico Suave off of one of those daybed platform things and they continue trying to fight each other on the beach. At this point, security rushes in to pull them off each other. Jordan moves away from the situation with no problem, but Rico Suave breaks free and tries to run back to The Mayor.  Jordan. Twice. Of course, the, like, eight security guards catch him easily. Rico also takes off his shirt while security is walking him away.  Because.  Ya' know.  He's Rico Suave.   

This goes on for a few minutes, even after producers and security get involved. Christian keeps trying to break free to pummel Jordan, who keeps calling him a “bitch.” “I would be pissed if I was Christian, too,” mumbles Blake, while Mike faults “both parties” for being stupid. As for Nicole, her reign as Queen of Paradise has come to an abrupt and sobering end. “It’s one thing to be, like, this fiery guy, but it’s another thing to put someone in danger and, like, physically hurt someone.”
The production team agrees. “Anybody who touches anybody else, we can’t have it,” a producer tells Rico.  Though the rest of the contestants are worried that production is going to be shut down completely (again), Troop Leader Chris Harrison arrives to tell them that The Mayor and Rico have been sent home… and it’s back to business as usual in Paradise.  "We had to send two men home," Nicole says, dramatically. Well, they served their time.
Speaking of NumNuts, with Rico Suave on the next flight back to Miami, she conveniently finds comfort in Clay Harbor once again. She wanted a man who would be more aggressive in pursuing her, she says of the fight, "but not like this." Nicole and Clay kiss on a daybed next to what appears to be an unacknowledged plate of petit fours. All is well.
Also with Jordan and Christian gone, now only two men are set to leave at the rose ceremony. Two men gone means two more men get to stay this week. But who will give Paradise’s current floaters — Cam, Kevin, Wills, and JPJ — a rose? One possible source: Onyeka. “I have the power!” she says. “Like, woo me.” Anyone? Anyone? But no one seems interesting in forming a “connection” with her.  The rose that is most up in the air is Hannah Godwin's.  Poor Hannah's debating between Vitamin B and Vitamin D.  I see what you did there Hannah! 
Dylan takes his shot by setting up a picnic spread complete with a cheese plate and Hannah’s favorite candy, gummy worms.   Blake tries to top that by commissioning a mariachi quartet by saying, "Tonight I want to remind you why you have a little bit of a crush on me" and they swing dance (Blake's signature move).  Nobody swing dances to Cielito Lindo! Even so, Hannah LOVES it.   Blake and Hannah start making out, right where Dylan can see them. "Everyone’s like, 'Don't watch,'" says Dylan. "I'm like, 'I need to see it.'" He cries.  Man, can this guy cry!  Again with the smooching Blake right in front of Dylan! “Hannah, come on, baby,” says Mike The Man. “Don’t do my boy Dylan like that… You know better.” “She’s putting me through so much s—,” says Dylan through tears. “It’s not fair.” Again with the crying.  
On to the Rose Ceremony! 
Before the ceremony even begins, Onyeka Ehie announces that she'll be leaving. As she says in her confessional, "I just feel like I've been passed by by every person here ... The same girls are going on the same dates." That really sucks. It also sucks that this is hard for her to the point where she feels she can't just chill on the beach and drink margaritas with Wells Adams. You can tell the pressure really got to her.

Chris Harrison is mid-preamble when Onyeka interrupts. “Can I say something really quick?”
“I can’t give out a rose to anyone tonight,” she says tearfully. “I’ve met amazing friends, so I’m not leaving here with nothing.”  With this revelation, now three guys are going home.

The next day, a new lady enters Paradise. I vaguely remember this woman from Colton’s season of The Bachelor, but nothing really jumps out.  After getting the polite brush-off from Dean, Derek, and JPJ, Caitlin decides to ask her old Stagecoach buddy Blake on the date.  Yes.  You read that correctly.  In what has to be the greatest moment of the night, Blake confirms, "We met at Stagecoach.  Nothing happened!” Are you shitting me right now??  Good lord, was there some kind of Bachelor Nation tent at the festival or something? In case anyone was wondering about Stagecoach:  here's the link to the 2019 line-up:  Some pretty big names.  2020 dates for the Indo, CA festival have been announced:  April  24-26. 
Either way, Blake is just happy that someone is into him. Their date activity is Tantric yoga.  Let’s get those sexual chakras flowing.  
After the intense stretching, Blake fills Caitlin in on his Paradise (and pre-Paradise) history with the women on the beach. It is a long monologue punctuated only by Caitlin’s confused “Uh-huhs.” When Blake’s finished, Caitlin assures him that it’s all “fine,” and they make out in the pool. 
Producers are all, Don’t get too happy too quick, Blake! As soon as he and Caitlin return from their date, Sydney finds a date card addressed to Dylan. Of course, he asks Hannah to come, much to Blake’s chagrin. “It sucks that they’re, like, dating right in front of me,” he complains.
Moving away from that mess, Dylan and Hannah finally get some alone time that isn't full of tears and the threat of Hannah and Blake breaking into dance. At dinner, Dylan can’t help but be a little too eager. First, he tells Hannah that the reason he fought so hard for her is because he was inspired by his mom, who fiercely held the family together when his dad was diagnosed with cancer. Then, he drops a partial l-bomb: “I’m starting to fall in love with you.” She doesn’t reciprocate exactly, but Hannah assures Dylan that she is “all in” with him.  Um.  Congratulations??  “I know that she’ll get there,” says creepy Dylan. And cue the Aztec warrior-dancers!
Back at the beach, Katie and Chris are being all flirty and cute. He thinks his sixth Bachelor show might really be the charm. Back in 2015, Chris hit “rock bottom” when he exited Paradise by walking through a beach bonfire. Today, though, he’s “in a better place” and “excited about Katie.”
And Tayshia and John Paul Jones are also all flirty and cute. JPJ admits that he feels "like a nervous schoolboy," "completely incapacitated," and "foolish even going after her." But he also calls Tayshia "the most incredible woman [he's] ever met in [his] life." He can't believe a woman as beautiful as her is giving him the time of day, and even says he's starting to fall in love with her.
JPJ reveals to Tayshia that he was in a serious relationship after college and was close to getting engaged, but he decided she wasn’t the one. “I’ve known for a long time that I’m ready to settle down,” he says. “I’m looking forward to spending more time with you.” Indeed, JPJ is a little sad that he didn’t get to see much of Tayshia until night fell, but she has a perfect excuse: “It’s not my fault that you take 12 naps a day, JPJ!” Wow, this man may be my spirit animal.
“I think it’s bizarre that JPJ and I are hitting it off like we are,” she admits. “He’s extremely intelligent and very good to look at.” And she seems to be into it, going in for a kiss and admitting in confessional interviews that there's a lot more to JPJ than meets the eye. Although what meets the eye is, as she puts it, "a really hot version of Heath Ledger," which is nothing to sneeze at either.  My prediction for season's end is that JPJ and Tayshia won't necessarily walk away engaged, but they will have a cute time in the fantasy suite and leave with each other's final roses.
The final act of this episode however, is all about Demi. Derek, The John Krasinski lookalike, says Demi is helping to heal his “wounded heart.” Unfortunately, Demi is still thinking about Kristian, the woman she was dating back home. “One of them deserves to have all of me.” It’s hard for her to make a choice, Demi continues, when one of her options isn’t there with her in Paradise. Hmmm… something tells me that’s going to change. But first…
Yes, former Bachelorette Hannah Brown has flown all the way to Mexico to give Demi a pep talk about being her true self, etc. As soon as she’s done catching up with Hannah, Demi pulls Derek aside for an “open and honest” and, one would think, share some news with him about how she feels. But instead, it's just the same thing she's been saying all along about liking him and liking the the girl back home.  “I really, really think about [Kristian] a lot, and I have so many feelings for her,” she says. “And I have so many feelings for you, too, and I’m so confused.”   And as he has been all along, Derek is chill and says he just wants to spend whatever time with her he can.  Derek is understandably disappointed, but he believes that they have a “special connection” and he doesn’t want to walk away from their relationship yet. “It’s okay to not know how you feel,” he adds. “I’m not giving up now… I want you in my life.” Awww, is this guy a gem or what?
And the episode ends on a cliffhanger (of course!) with Demi requesting to speak with Chris Harrison. 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

November New Releases

Looks like there's a little something for everyone on November 22.  Here's a quick look at the new movies coming out in November: 

November 1

An orphan raised within the Ku Klux Klan attempts to rehabilitate into a better life. The Andrew Heckler-directed film won the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

The biography of Harriet Tubman: a real-life hero who led hundreds of slaves to freedom. Cynthia Erivo stars in the Kasi Lemmons-directed drama.

Motherless Brooklyn
A private investigator looks into his mentor's murder in 1950s New York. Edward Norton, Bruce Willis and William Defeo star. Norton also directs the film based on a novel of the same name.

Paradise Hills
Uma (Emma Roberts) awakens on a fairytale island retreat for young women. But sinister intentions and deep-rooted secrets threaten the island paradise as they know it.

Terminator: Dark Fate
Sarah Connor and the original Terminator come to the aid of a new hybrid cyborg-human (Mackenzie Davis), who is eyed as a target by a new Terminator. Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Edward Furlong reprise their roles in the follow-up to Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991).  Linda still looks like a bad-ass. 

November 8

Doctor Sleep
The world will shine again in the sequel adaptation to Stephen King's terrifying story, The Shining. Danny (Ewan McGregor), the little boy from the 1980 horror classic, is all grown up now and is battling the personal demons from his terrifying experience at the Overlook Hotel all those years ago.

Honey Boy
Shia LaBeouf writes and stars in the autobiographical story of his childhood and the relationship he shared with his father. Lucas Hedges stars as a young LaBeouf.

Last Christmas
Kate (Emilia Clarke of GOT fame) meets Tom (Henry Golding) at her new job as Santa's elf at a department store. Her life of lousy decision-making then takes a quick turn. Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) directs.

US Navy sailors and aviators (Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Nick Jonas, and Aaron Eckhart) partake in a major turning point of World War II: the Battle of Midway. Roland Emmerich directs.

Playing with Fire
After rescuing a group of siblings from a fire, a trio of firefighters (John Cena Keegan-Michael Key, and John Leguizamo) must take on their biggest challenge yet: babysitting.  I love John Cena.  He's such a blockhead and plays the buttoned-up / up-tight perfectly. 

November 15

All Rise
Based on the novel Monster by Walter Dean Myers, the film follows a 17-year-old honors student who is charged with felony murder. Jennifer Hudson and Jharrel Jerome star.  I hope Jennifer Hudson looks better in this than she does in the new Cats movie. 

Charlie's Angels
A new set of Angels (Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska) go global to complete a dire mission. Elizabeth Banks helms the latest reboot of the classic crime-fighting squad.

Ford V. Ferrari
Automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and race car driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale) join together to create a Ford model car that can beat a speedy Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race.  Caitrona Balfe co-stars. 

The Good Liar
A wealthy widow (Helen Mirren) finds herself growing fond of a conman (Ian McKellen).  I wish there was a little more info on this film.  Helen Mirron and Ian McKellen are absolute legends. 

The Lodge
Mysterious secrets haunt a young family who find themselves isolated in a remote winter cabin. Riley Keough (Elvis's granddaughter) and Alicia Silverstone star in the chilling psychological thriller.

The Report
Senate staffer Daniel Jones played by Adam Driver (fun fact:  Adam Driver was also in Logan Lucky with Riley Keough) uncovers 'enhanced interrogation techniques' adopted by the government after 9/11. His investigation leads him to discover that the CIA and White House are covering up far more information than originally thought.

November 22

21 Bridges
In an effort to catch a duo of cop killers, an NYPD detective (Chadwick Boseman) puts New York City in lockdown.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
A journalist for Esquire (Matthew Rhys) is assigned to a write a profile on the children's television personality, Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks).

Frozen II
Elsa, Anna, and Olaf embark on a new journey to save the kingdom. The animated follow-up finds Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown voicing new characters.

November  27

Knives Out
A dysfunctional family gathering goes terribly wrong after the patriarch is found dead. Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, and Michael Shannon star in the darkly comedic whodunit murder mystery.

Queen and Slim
During his first date with Queen, Slim has an unfortunate run-in with a cop which leads the couple on a cross-country journey.

Friday, August 16, 2019

October Must-See Movies

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