Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stood Up

My daughter won a hundred dollars gift certificate from ticket master at her high school graduation party a few weeks ago. In case you’re wondering, her school has something called Project Grad. Instead of the young adults wandering off to parties of their own doing who knows what, the school’s foundation raises money for a giant-supervised party. Immediately after the ceremony, they put the entire senior class on busses, have them turn in their car keys, and take them to a local amusement park until dawn. At the park, they have food, games, gifts, a raffle, and virtually all forms of teenaged diversion except drugs and alcohol. Given that we live in a place where the roads are dangerous even in the day time, it’s a great idea.

For most of the summer, our daughter didn’t think much about the hundred dollars from ticketmaster then it occurred to her that she had the thing and she was going to be 3,000 miles away from home in about two weeks. We were a bit surprised to hear that she’d been voted both the most athletic senior and the funniest (one of the better combinations of things to be at that age) . Unlike me, she’s quite funny though we just aren’t used to thinking of her that way. After pouring over the various options on ticketmaster’s web site, she decided that she wanted to go to a comedy club, though not necessarily an athletic one.

Although comedy usually happens in clubs that serve alcohol, I should first confess that we’ve taken her to see live club comedy on at least four occasions. She was either 14 or 15 the first time and yes some of the material was pretty out there, but we had a great time seeing a bunch of comedians whose names we can’t even remember. Last Comic Standing was still hot at the time, so over the next year or so we saw about half of the comedians who had stayed on the show some. My daughter became a fan of Alonzo Bodden and Gary Gulman. Out of the eleven comics or so, Gulman was probably the only one whose material would be suitable for thirteen year olds. Jay London qualified too, but not many 13 year olds would find him all that funny. My wife’s best friend though whose idea of a great movie star is Harvey Keitel happens to be a huge Jay London fan fwiw. Each time, they folks at the door said “Oh, you’re with your parent. No problem.” I don’t know that they were supposed to do that, but she had a great time and whatever “adult” material she got exposed to didn’t seem to affect her that much at a personal level.

I learned a few lessons First, doing tickets online is great, but it’s not so great if you’re trying to use something like a gift certificate to pay for the thing. While ticketmaster lists hundreds of events, not all of those events are actually through ticketmaster. They have various affiliates and you essentially get kicked to their website where the gift certificate naturally doesn’t work. Bottom line, I wound up paying for tickets with my credit card to a club in the South Bay (we live in the North Bay) and telling my daughter to give us her gift certificate and her mom and I would finally get to go to a concert or something now that she was off at college. Of course, there’s the small matter of paying for college that makes going to concerts essentially unaffordable once the parents have the time to do such things.

Second, my daughter told me that the website had a notice that you had to be 18. She’d turned 18 over the summer, so that was helpful. Of course, the friend she decided to bring along happened to be her only classmate who doesn’t turn 18 until September.
We talked about it and agreed that the two of them alone wouldn’t stand a chance of getting into the club, but maybe if I went with them then well you never know. I guess even at 18, Dads are occasionally useful for something.

I check on the show time on the actual club’s website and it says “21 and over only”. That’s clear, but we were stupid enough , based on all those trips to comedy clubs with a daughter who clearly wasn’t 18, to drive down there and try anyway. Naturally, no one at ticketmaster or any club answers phones in person these days so there was no way to check. I left a message anyway.

About half way down, we stopped for sushi (this is California, teenagers even seek out sushi here) and my wife called on the cellphone to tell me that the club called to confirm their 21 and over policy. We drove the rest of the way anyway. This was stupid. My daughter and I persuaded ourselves that whatever the rules had been at the comedy club just might apply to this one despite their stated policies. We did talk about liquor laws working differently in different cities, but I think the bottom line was we wanted to go see comedy and thought the “I’m her dad bit” was worth a shot.

We got to the door of Rooster T. Feathers and waited for what looked to be a group of women from a bachelorette party. One was 8 months pregnant and they asked for a table in the front row. The lady at the front desk was very nice and professional. She asked for ID immediately. I started to explain our situation and she said “Oh year, I talked to your wife on the phone” as in “What kind of idiot are you?”

Fwiw, Rooster T. Feathers very kindly gave us a refund electronically minus a two dollar service fee, likely charged them by ticketmaster. It was a bit confusing because they do have a discount for college students on Thursday nights, but their sign clarified that it’s for college students who are over 21. They seem like a perfectly reputable establishment and if you’re over 21 and live South of San Francisco, it looked like a perfectly nice place to see comedy.

Not to be deterred, we hopped in the car and decided to try Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco where my daughter and I had already gone to shows even before she was 18. Cobb’s policy is 16 or older accompanied by parent. They then stamp your hand so the waitress knows that she can’t serve the kid drinks. There was a huge line at Cobb’s made up primarily of black people most of whom were wearing some sort of cologne. The cover charge was higher than usual. (40/person plus the drink minimum). There was a guy at the door clearly checking IDs and there was a big sign I’d never seen posted there before, “No guns, knives, weapons, or profanity permitted.” Mmmm….were they expecting a rowdy crowd maybe? I noticed that they had more security at the show than the other times as well.

I got to the ticket window and decided to take the pre-emptive approach by explaining that this was my 18 year old daughter and her best friend. Cobb’s minimum age was 18 or 16 year old if accompanied by parent. The problem was that I wasn’t the parent. I learned from the girls that their licenses say “turns 18 in 2008” not 18th birthday on X date, but I feared the bouncer guy at the door and getting dissed by all those urban types in the line. We turned around and headed home.

The girls had wanted me to try the brazen approach of just acting stupid and letting my daughter’s friend show off her “turns 18 in 2008” license, but maybe I thought the bouncer could actually read. Had the best friend been 18 and my daughter 17 years 10 months, we would have gotten in. Mmmmm…..I could have tried to claim that they were both my daughters, but the best friend is white and they’re only three months apart. My daughter is half-white as well, but does definitely looks like my daughter. For whatever reason, it just occurred to me that all I had to do was claim that the daughter’s best friend was also my stepdaughter. They don’t have step parent ID papers. Okay, when they passed out the fast thinking genes, I got the ones that said “Not so street smart”.

We got home near midnight. Seven hour excursion. One sushi dinner, got kicked out of two different comedy clubs (not the club’s fault) , and half a tank of gas and six hours of driving at 4.50 a gallon. But I got to listen to my daughter sit in the back seat talking to her friend for six hours about whatever young adult females talk about (some of it was funnier than most).

From the girls perspective, the evening was a complete bust. From the perspective of a parent whose daughter is headed off to college in two weeks, I’d tell you in secret that it wasn’t that bad a time.


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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Heroes (Greg McKendry of Knoxville)

Over the weekend a 58 year old man, David Adkisson, walked into a Unitarian Universalist Church with a shotgun and shot up a children's performance of “The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow”. Adkisson had been out of work for some time, his food stamps were running out, and he had started blaming his woes on liberals. It's a pretty short jump to thinking that this might have something to do with the hate that comes off of right wing talk radio, but that may not be what's really interesting about what happened. He managed to kill 2 people and wound 6 others (these counts are never all that stable until a week later) which is news in itself, but as American church shootings go maybe not enough to stay in the headlines for more than a day. The most underreported part of the story though is that the parishioners, at great risk to themselves, jumped on the killer, brought him to the ground, and disarmed him. In particular Greg McKendry 60, one of those killed, threw his body in front of others to keep children including his foster child them from being shot. I think even more impressive is the fact that the minister of the church still refuses to put in metal detectors or check weapons at the door. Who knew that the Unitarians were far braver and tougher than say Chuck Norris? I'm wondering if they'll start putting signs in front of Unitarian Churches “Yeah, we baaad! We've got the real faith-based initiative right here.”

As you know, the Supreme Court just affirmed that it's every American's fundamental right to defend themselves by having a handgun in church. On the other hand your government spying on you or torturing people, not so much. Had those Unitarians been packing, the psycho might have had to stop at just shooting two or three people. Instead, they just had to be ridiculously courageous with their bare hands. Why is it that every time they have these mass shootings in the U.S., none of these people who supposedly carry hangduns to protect themselves and others ever happens to be on the scene? When's the last time you saw a headline that read “Quick thinking NRA members stop mass shooting.”

Maybe they are on the scene and just don't have the guts that even a bunch of Unitarians (some would say that they're not even real Chirstians) listening to kids singing excerpts from Annie. Maybe it's because all those people with handguns are too busy blowing up abortion clinics and keeping their own kids out of the armed forces. In any case, where are all those defensive hand guns when we really need them? These folk have got to have the worst timing ever. They just never seem to be around when the real crazies (you know that tiny minority of gun owners) appear out of nowhere to shoot Amish kids, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois, shopping malls in Kansas City, or who knows where else. After two generations of rhetoric from the NRA, I'm ready to see some results. Next time someone pulls out a gun in church, I want to see someone blow the guy away first. Enough of all this guns as self-defense talk. Let's see some of you actually prevent a high profile shooting.

Now, if I just happened to be a Sunni in Iraq and happened to read this story along with John McCain's claims that we are winning in Iraq, I'd be scratching my head and asking “Are they even winning in America? These are the guys who are telling us that we're murderous barbarians because we have sectarian violence?””

In the meantime, what I know is that some man shot up a church because the congregation supported the ACLU, tolerated homosexuality, they'd somehow prevented him from getting food stamps but not a shotgun with plenty of ammo (76 rounds). In the face of that gun, a bunch of these pinko liberals who are supposedly wrecking the fabric of American society jumped the guy and disarmed him. Interesting that this aspect of the story seems to have slipped out of the news so quickly.


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Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Dark Knight (movie review)

I don't see a lot of popcorn movies anymore. It's not that I don't like them, it's more a matter of not getting to the theater very often. As good as home video has gotten, our home setup just isn't up to reproducing these kinds of movies. Anyway, I had the day off and my daughter talked me into going to a summer matinee of the Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan's second shot at Batman.
In case you were wondering, my personal definition of “popcorn movie” is a big budget action movie that emphasizes special effects over acting. It usually opens in the summer and measures its success primarily in box office receipts. They've always been around, but began to dominate Hollywood about twenty five years ago. My take is that the modern form began in 1981 with Indiana Jones. While Jaws, Star Wars, Ben Hur, etc. all had been huge hits, it was roughly around the time of Indiana Jones that the popcorn movie really began to dominate Hollywood.

Let me get the first bit out of the way. Did I like the Dark Knight? The simple answer is “Yes.” What did I think? That one's not so simple. When Indiana Jones came out, it was liberating. The basic idea was to turn the movie experience back into a visual roller coaster ride (literally so in Temple of Doom) . Lucas and Spielberg's sought recapture the simple pleasures of the Saturday afternoon adventure movie a la Republic films, entertainment that kids could love. Indiana Jones was 's'the wisecracking good guy. The bad guys were not just dressed in black, they were actual Nazis. While it had bits of religion in it, the premise was to dump all pretentions- Let's stop thinking/worrying so much and just have fun. While Spielberg/Lucas's personal politics are quite different, the special effects action genre perfectly caught the mindset of the Reagan era.

In 1981, the viewing public was certainly ready. After a decade of All the President's Men, Midnight Cowboy, Sophie's Choice (actually 1981 too), they wanted to escape the seventies with all its talk of energy crises, hostages in the Middle East, and Small is Beautiful. If you remember, even Jaws had political overtones.

Eighties Hollywood became something of a studio arms race with various movie makers vying to see who could come up with the most spectacular special effects and gather the biggest grosses. In the process, the 100 million dollar gross became the benchmark of legitimacy and things like critics and Academy Awards became secondary considerations. If movies are the most commercial art, then action movies of the time turned them into a pure commodity. It's no coincidence that the last mega-hit movie of the eighties was a John Peters'/Tim Burton production starring Michael Keaton called “Batman”. It was the biggest grossing picture of its time. Any talk of acting was about the performance of Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Batman, the movie, broke with the campiness of the Batman tv series and returned to the comic book's roots of portraying Batman as a complex somewhat tortured soul and the darker action movie (possibly started with Empire Strikes Back) came into being.

For various reasons, both the Batman franchise and the action movie began to struggle in the Clinton Nineties. For one, Batman started casting the likes of Jim Carrey, George Clooney, and Alicia Silverstone in the series and went from Dark to goofy again. More significant, Spielberg went serious with Schindler's List and that was a signal to the heavy hitters in Hollywood to go back to making movies that weren't just about adrenaline and bravura set shots.

So let's digitally fast forward to 2005 and the post-9/11 era. Christopher Nolan revives the Batman franchise by going back to the darkness of Batman 1 and focusing on script and character development not instead of but along with spectacular state of the art CGI effects. It worked. Batman Begins proved to be a dark movie that struck a chord with an increasingly dark time.

In 2008, the Dark Knight turns out to be one of those rare sequels that's better than the original (Batman Begins). As a director, Nolan has always shown an interest in treating traditional Hollywood forms as a serious vehicle. His first movie, Memento, was a sort of post-modernist take on the detective movie that used a device shared by both detective fiction and post-modernism, the unreliable narrator. In the Dark Knight, Nolan's tries to marry film noir to the popcorn movie. In addition to spectacular action sequences and never before seen visuals, he blends in moral ambiguity and a brooding complexity. Most significant, the hallmark of film noir is that the villains tend to be more interesting than the good guys. Traditionally popcorn movies have been all about the hero/heroine with plots that often involved saving damsels from distress. In film noir, the plot often involves one of the two dying at some point. Bottom Line, the Dark Knight shares as much with LA Confidential (Hollywood's last successful attempt at retro-noir) as it does with Indiana Jones.

Darker more complex themes have been present in the genre for some time going back at least to Empire Strikes Back, but the Dark Knight completely dwarfs Spiderman's web of neuroses and Peter Parker's one step forward two steps back courtship of Mary Jane Watson. It appears that Nolan really does want to say something about the relationship between good and evil. The Dark Knight dabbles in Jung, Manicheanism, and bits of Civilization and Is Discontents (or is it Shirley Jackson's The Lottery) though Nolan wisely doesn't directly reference them. My take is that he's attempted something more ambitious than Spielberg. Instead of jumping from Jaws to Schindler's List, Nolan is trying to combine the two in the same movie. Film Noir managed to do that to the murder mystery. Does Nolan manage to take the ultimate escapist movie form and turn it into a serious vehicle for metaphysical discussion? For me the more significant question is should you? Sometimes you get things like the deep fried Snickers bar....sometimes you wind up with something like a lobster milk shake. Which one is the Dark Knight?

Pretty much everything about the Dark Knight is well done. I do have mixed feelings about the way Heath Ledger's death and Christian Bale's personal problems have become more or less a marketing vehicle for the movie ( like all the stars of Poltergeist dying mysterious deaths), but I have to say that Nolan is a skillful even masterful director. The opening bank heist scene that culminates in an escape by school bus with the sound of chattering children just above subliminal in the audio mix manages to both jump the tension and advance the plot all at once. Fwiw, it's also the first hint of my issues with the movie. Nolan uses the audio technique of keeping at least one synthesizer droning throughout the movie whether that's in the many action sequences or the quieter scenes that allegedly develop the characters. Without question it contributes to the sense of tension and menace, but it's also annoying and where a pure escapist movies get away with this sort of thing routinely, I found myself feeling manipulated in a movie that wanted to engage me intellectually as well as viscerally.

The movie itself is strewn with brooding movie shots. There's Batman on his solitary perch surveying Gotham from a tall building. There's batman hanging from a stairwell watching over the Gordon family. There are shots of longing between Batman and his two actor surrogate fathers, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, who both try to remind him of the need for restraint and perspective. These shots connect a series of well choreographed though inevitably chaotic set pieces that repeatedly cross ziplines with hang gliding. In any case the movie hums along, literally in the case of the audio but also in the more abstract sense.

Before I go on, I should mention that I was a bit offended by the presence of yet another sinister Asian banker character in this movie who as it happens lacks the courage to fight back physically. I'm not mad at Batman, it's more that I'm a bit frustrated with Hollywood, but at least it gives them an excuse to get the movie out of Gotham for a bit.

In any case, Nolan overlays a character triangle on top of this action foundation. There's Batman, of course, the man/creature who has channeled his anger over his parents' murder and all the evils of Gotham into an obsessive attempt to set the world right. Has he given up his humanity in pursuit of ultimate nobility? Christopher Nolan has mentioned that one reason he chose Bale for Batman Begins was that the actor was the one candidate who could do Batman and Bruce Wayne equally well. Per Nolan's vision, the character is in equal parts both identities at all times. One is not a cover for the other. Bale's good at it. For one thing, he recognizes that the essence of playing an action hero is less a matter of carrying off the fight scenes than it's a matter of mastering silence and the stiller qualities of the character. In fact, Bale tends to get more power from his character when he's brooding or in silent pain then when he's slugging people or jumping from high buildings. Batman is the anhedonic super hero, he does right but unlike Spiderman, he never gets to take pleasure in it.

So much has been made of Heath Ledger's last performance as the Joker that I was prepared to be disappointed. One of the fascinating things is that in his relatively short career Ledger went from the cartoonish First Knight to playing the heavy in the Dark Knight so well that he outdoes Jack Nicholson's Joker. As the embodiment of chaos, Ledger's joker prances, trash talks, and laughs hysterically just to the point of comic book parody. At the same time, he brings enough humanity to the scenes where he tells different versions of how he got his smile that you feel the pain. Minutes later he's parodying the Jerry Macguire line “You complete me” in full on camp yet the character somehow stays coherent. He leaves us as sort of a Montgomery Clift for the internet age with two terrific complex yet very different performances in Brokeback and Dark Knight.

Aaron Eckhart completes the triangle as the noble DA, Harvey Dent, whose soul becomes Batman and the Joker's real battleground. I'm not sure that this one works quite as well. It might be the script, but Eckhart never achieves the layered quality that Bale and Ledger manage with this. This results in a somewhat unbalanced triangle dramatically in that Eckhart's white knight doesn't really balance Batman's dark knight and his alter ego never comes close to measuring up to the Joker. The bit with the coin flips seemed to be Nolan's nod to quantum theory, but to my taste it got old fast. Another oddity is that Maggie Gyllenhal's character seems purely incidental in the story.

Finally, Nolan goes full on political as he drops in references to Guantanamo, the telecommunications bill, and other bits of the war on terror. Rather provocatively, he drops Batman onto the Whitehouse's side of the debate. I do have to say that Mission Accomplished would have been much more entertaining had the president dressed up as Batman instead. In addition, the Batmobile looks like Arnold Schwarzenneger's favorite Hummer. Given that the Governor of California once made action movies, it's an interesting hint. For a bit, I wondered if Nolan was trying to send a right wing message with this movie. Batman is after all vaguely fascist or at least appears to have roots in Nietzsche's long lost tome Also Sprach Batman.....It then struck me that he was after something a bit more subtle. Nolan is trying to make a super hero movie that reevaluates the need for super heroes and actually argues against them. He's suggesting that as long as Gotham needs to be saved by Batman, the city plan is fundamentally flawed. It's ordinary people who need to find a way to be better. Nolan brings this home in a well done duelling ferry scene towards the end that indirectly references the Millgram experiments.

Bottom line, Nolan does the whole package about as well as it can be done, but I came out of the theater more than a little uncertain. How can you be exhilarated and thinking about moral ambiguity at the same time. It's a bit like the droning synthesizer. It presses all the buttons, but philosophical movies at their best should totally refrain from pressing buttons. I was wondering if I'd just been taken through two states of being that simply don't work well together. I mean do you really take a copy of Nietzche to read while you're on a roller coaster ride? Was some of the pleasure lost in mixing the two?

I'll certainly give the inevitable installment three of this series a shot, but this may be one of those movies that I'll have to absorb for a bit before I decide if I actually like the thing.

P.S. I should mention that Nolan isn't the only one trying this mix. The movie V which Americanized Alan Moore's Graphic Novels (apparently somewhat to Moore's frustration) had a number of similar elements and also had sort of mixed results.


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Friday, July 18, 2008

Jump Start (my adventure at Kragen Auto Parts)

About six weeks ago the mechanic told me that the battery was dying on our 1988 Acura Legend. For the last year, our daughter has been driving my 2003 Honda Civic while I used to the twenty year old Acura to get to work. The goal with the Acura was to make it to August 10, when our daughter heads off to college where she won’t have a car for her freshman year. Jump starting the car every three days just wasn’t working for me so I persuaded my wife that it was worth eighty bucks to replace the battery even if it’s just for a month. I called my local Kragen, the lady on the phone offered me a 10% discount if I “ordered’ in advance, I used one of the office cars to jump start the Acura, and drove the two miles to the auto supply store.

The lady on the phone was behind the counter. She was short, sturdily built, and middle-aged. She wore a badge that said “Diane” and pointed me to the battery and a wrench to unhook my old battery. “Perfect” I thought.

Diane tells me that she’ll ring me up when I’m done. “Even more perfect,” I tell myself.

I go to the car, prop up the hood with a 7 iron. I was last on an actual golf course almost thirty years ago. I last hit golf balls at a driving range about five years ago. I just figure that if I ever decide to play golf again, I’d want them in the trunk and ready. Since the strut that normally serves this purpose in the Acura disappeared some time ago, the 7 iron now gets more use in this function than it did for hitting golf balls around 120 yards with deadly accuracy to the green. Let me put it another way, the clubheads of my woods are so old that they’re really made from wood.

Naturally, tragedy struck immediately. The battery leads for my car didn’t reach the terminal posts for the new battery. I turned it around a couple times, tried cutting the plastic ties that held the leads in place to give them a few more inches of play, but nothing worked. At one point, an older man carrying a bag with an new oil filter comes up to me to tell me that Kragen varnishes the battery posts, so I better make sure I scrape them down before I try to start the car. It’s nice of him, but I’m not to the point where that’s an issue yet. “You need to tell them the vin number of your car, that’s the only way to make sure they give you the right battery. Did you do that?”

I try to tell him that I did, but then confess that I’d just given them a make and model number. The old man wishes me good luck then walks away.

I check in with Diane who’s dealing with a steady line of customers and she looks at my old battery and compares it to a new one and tells me that the posts are identical, “See positive is on the left when you face the label towards the front of the car”.

I agree, they are identical, but I’ve already turned the new battery around twice and the leads still don’t reach. Diane agrees to look at the car. At that point she notices that whoever put out my original battery put out a 24F instead of a 24. Naturally, the 24 has the leads in the other position. I look down at my now grease-covered hands and am acutely aware of the fact that I’m still dressed for work. This is taking longer than expected, but I have no idea what I did with my cell phone. I should be calling my wife.

Diane helps me get a number 24 battery and this one does have the posts in the right spots. There is one small problem, I was dumb enough to put the nut that holds the battery bracket in place on top of the engine block. Naturally, the thing wound up falling somewhere south of the transmission when I was moving things around. I put the leads on with the slightly too-big wrench from Kragen and the alarm goes off. I press one the remote and the alarm still honks away. It’s six o’clock, busy time at Kragen, and my car is parked directly opposite the open front door. I disconnect the cable then go back in to Diane. Maybe it’s the battery for the remote. She goes and finds me a replacement remote battery, a tiny thing much smaller than the car battery. Actually, it’s much smaller than a triple A battery. This time there’s no problem with the orientation and Diane patiently adds it to my tab.

I try again and the alarm goes off yet again. A pair of Latino men show up by my car. They look like gang members, but for all I know they’re accountants who like working on their cars. One of them shows me how to unhook the horn. My inner George Wallace pops out and I momentarily wonder to myself “Mmmm…wonder why this guy knows how to do that?”

The noise stops, but the car still won’t start. Basically, if the alarm goes off then it disables the starter. I thank them and they go back to their evening. In frustration, I decide to take out the new battery and put the old one back in. I tell Diane that I’m just going to go back to the beginning and have a car that works but just needs to be jumpstarted every two days. She shrugs.

I decide to give it one more try and two white guys show up. One has a shaved head, tattoos, and is that a Raiders jersey? He could get cast as an extra in movies about convicts, no problem. The other guy is short, built like a beach ball, and wearing gym shorts. “Looks like you’re having a problem, ” he asks in a soft southern accent.

At this point, I’m thinking “Try to lock the car up, get my laptop off the front seat, along with my bag of electronic gadgets, find a way to call the wife and go home.”

The short guy motions for me to give him the key while I get ready to return a phillips head screwdriver to the back of the store. I have to make an executive decision here and decide to trust these two guys with my car keys while my back is turned in the store and my laptop, probably worth more than damn Acura, sits on the front seat. Anyway, I decide to go ahead and risk being their car bitch.

In the next five minutes, I learn that my alarm remote was made by Peerless and all about how car alarm backup devices work. The one guy finds the switch for the alarm and manages to disable it and the starter clicks in. He then repeats it to show me how. They give me some advice on car alarms etc. and the shaved head guy explains how removing the battery reset the remote and I’ll have to go to a car stereo store if I want to set it up again. I shake their hands and think about offering to buy them a drink or something, but don’t. They were just in a position to do a good deed and I was the lonely mechanically inept guy who happened to need saving.

I go back to the counter and wait for Diane to ring up one more customer. Diane takes me to the back of the store so I can wash my hands and I thank her for the help.
“Did they get you straightened out?”

“Yeah, they were wonderful. Are they mechanics or something.”

“Yeah, more or less.”

“Well we couldn’t let you make a spectacle of yourself out there and scare people off now could we?”

“It’s like you have sort of a community happening around the store.”

She nods as in “What kind of dumbshit are you? Of course, the local auto parts store is like a social club!

She then remembers to give me my ten percent discount. I decide to take a chance, briefly forgetting that Dianne fits in better with the various guys who helped me that day more than she fits in with me and say, “You know I learned a lesson. Some of those guys were sort of scary looking and in reality they’re the nicest guys in the world.”

She nods again and says “Yep”

I’m not sure if I’ve just said the wrong thing.

“So you learned how to disable an alarm and you learned how to install a battery today too.”

“Well, I already knew how to install a battery.”

She looks at me skeptically. I shrug and say “Well, maybe not as well as I thought I did.”

I get home about an hour and a half late where I tell my wife “Sorry I didn’t call, I was being rescued by the cast from that Showtime series Oz with the psychologist from Law and Order SVU playing a priest.”

Mrs. Chancelucky tells me that I should have called.

“Well that was my adventure changing the battery on the Acura.”

She shakes her head at me, “You didn’t change the battery on the Acura, the convicts did. Otherwise, you’d still be stuck there….You should have just taken it to the mechanics and had them put in the battery.”

I suppose that makes sense, but I wouldn’t have wound up with this swell story about prejudging the people who hang out at auto-parts stores. My evening at Kragen is the America that I’ve always loved. We help one another out, simply because it’s who we are. People trust one another because that’s the default mode. It’s the same America I saw when I rode across the country on my bike in 1987 and dozens of people bought us meals, housed us, helped us out in various ways just because. Anyway, these are the people that John McCain's economic adviser, Phil Gramm was calling "whiners".

It’s the saddest thing in the world to me that we’re rapidly losing that America and those instincts. Ninety minutes at Kragen and I meet 6 people who are nicer than I ever would have been. I am the beneficiary of a random act of kindness and despite news of the war, the stockmarket, and shrunken snow packs in the Sierras, I am for the first time in weeks, strangely hopeful.


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Monday, July 14, 2008

Sunday Walk

About six weeks ago, the guy who’s sort of my boss gave everyone pedometers. As an obsessive counter of all things except money, it’s encouraged me to walk a bit more. With our daughter off at yet another volleyball camp, my wife and I decided to walk down to the new smoothie shop in the new center that used to be our town’s bowling alley. A Starbucks and a Subway anchor the center, but the smoothie shop is a mom and pop place. Pop was putting up shelves. Mom was explaining that their cups are biodegradable between taking their ten year old daughter off to the local bible camp. Two vans of Bible campers were in the parking lot. Both had “We love Jesus” written in soap on the back passenger windows. The eight year old was behind the cash register and taking orders. Mom and pop appeared to have three little girls.

Their smoothies were fine, though my wife questioned them extensively about whether or not they used fresh or frozen fruit. Large quantities of wheat grass filled the shelf above the glass counter, something which always makes me think of that Sex in the City episode. We sat in the sun and watched mom and pop enjoy the thrill of opening a new business. In the meantime, the kids kept grabbing the leftover glops from the just-made smoothies in these tiny plastic sample cups. Our town got too expensive for young families a few years back, so it was actually sort of nice to see little kids running around again.

Midway through my giant orange-pineapple smoothie in bio-degradable container, we suddenly remembered that this was the weekend of the teriyaki barbeque at the Enmanji temple down the road. There aren’t that many Asian people in our county, but the town has had a Buddhist temple since 1934. The temple itself was originally built by the Manchurian railroad company ( think Bertolucci’s Last Emperor) for the Chicago World’s fair of 1933 (A Century of Progress). After the fair closed, they shipped the pieces for reconstruction in northern California thus the little town I settled in has a more or less authentic Kamakura style Japanese temple in a county that had a total of about 500 Japanese. (my county is the size of the state of Delaware).

During World War 2, almost all of the county’s Japanese were sent either to internment camps or went to live inland. The temple stayed intact during that stretch. Not long after the county’s Japanese returned here, they apparently started having this fund raiser. Yesterday was the 54th. Hundreds of people attend the thing, most of them aren’t Japanese.

The festival is simple enough. They barbeque huge quantities of teriyaki chicken which they serve on paper plates with a scoop of rice, a scoop of potato salad, a fortune cookie (go figure), and a cup of tea. The current price is ten bucks. Along with this, there are a number of booths that sell drinks (sake and beer), desserts, sushi, and other items that all seem to end in “yaki”. In one corner of the festival, they set up a variety of children’s games like knock over a stack of milk bottles with a baseball. In the main hall, they have bingo (yep, regular old Catholic church style bingo), dice games, and various booths that sell traditional Japanese handicrafts, clothing, food, and origami.

There are, however, no traces of modern Japan. There’s no hint of anime, for instance, high tech gadgets, graphic novels, pokemon, or other artifacts of contemporary Japanese life. Some of the “Japanese” culture at the teriyaki barbeque is actually Hawaiian. Possibly because it’s the middle of summer, a couple of the booths sell shaved ice and they had a musical performer on the event’s one stage singing “Over the Rainbow” while accompanying himself on a ukulele. I checked. It wasn’t Jason Castro. A taiko drum performance followed.

After we finished our fortune cookies and talked about whether or not the teriyaki still tasted the same, we wandered into the temple itself where the minister of the temple a middle-aged sansei woman named Carol Himaka was giving hourly talks about Buddhism and the temple. Traditionally, Buddhist congregations go to the minister’s eldest son. I’ve mentioned once before that the temple is laid out surprisingly like a church. It has rows of pews. Inside the pews they have hymnals, prayer books, and guides to the services. It’s just that there are no crosses and there aren’t many mentions of Jesus. We listened quietly as she explained the centrality of “enlightenment” in the practice of Buddhism.

One of the oddities of our town is that there are a number of Asian-influenced businesses and activities nearby run by non-Asians. These range from two yoga studios, to shiatsu massage, to a small storefront that at one time was offering Feng Hsui consultation, to a crystal store (maybe that’s not that Asian). In fact, for several months I attended Buddhist meditation meetings at the local community center in which I was the only Asian participating.

Perhaps even odder, both my wife and I kept saying that the festival was very much the sort of thing we remembered from when we were kids in the sixties. My wife’s not Asian, but I guess she has memories of local “fairs” that were lo-tech, in which you could hear one another talk, and they didn’t charge admission for everything you might care to do. In fact, the focus was more on running into other people and visiting rather than participating in the paid activities.

I wouldn’t call it a miracle, but I’m still amazed by the way so much history passed around Enmanji temple. It starts with the Japanese invasion of China, the Manchurian Railroad Company was maybe the most prominent symbol of that attempt by Imperial Japan to exploit China’s resources. It runs through the internment. It veers off ever so curiously from the frenetic world of contemporary Japan. I’m not sure who’s keeping the Teriyaki barbeque going still. I’m just amazed that it’s still going.

My wife and I walked home. They remodeled the old liquor store that used to have a sign “Coldest beer in town” painted on its side. That’s sadly now gone. In its place, they have a silver taco truck with a long table in front with mostly Mexican customers. A few feet later, my wife (no doubt in a nostalgic mood) insisted on going into an antique shop where she bought a wicker coffee table for forty dollars. Maybe she wanted to remember the day.

We finished off the night by watching a Bollywood movie called Bhagbhan (which I may review) which turned out to be delightful in its sort of out of time sensibility.

We walked more than 10,000 steps yesterday and every one brought us a little closer to home.


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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Nugs (Bachelorette 4 final 2)

Wow, was I wrong! A lot of us were.

A few minutes after they aired After the Final Rose (without the usual promo for the next Bachelor), I called the police.

CL: I’d like to report a missing person.

P: What’s the name?

CL: Deanna Pappas

P: Wow, you’re not the first one who’s called looking for her. How do you know she’s missing?

CL: She was supposed to turn up with Jason Mesnick and his son in Seattle.

P: And how are you related to Ms. Pappas?

CL: She’s a friend. She’s been in my living room for something like thirteen weeks. She’s America’s sweetheart. She’s the Bachelorette who knew what she wanted only to have Brad Womack let her down. She then got a second chance to find her soulmate. That Mike Fleiss is just so romantic.

P: Usually, it’s only the next of kin or close family who can report a missing person, but you’re clearly very invested in this.

CL: You’re damn right, I was the one who said for weeks that she was going to be at Jason Mesnick’s house this week playing miniature golf with his son Ty. To be honest, officer, I think there may be foul play involved.

P: What makes you say that?

CL: The Deanna Pappas I knew said three things over and over. We got like 15 hours worth of…. 1) I know what I want 2) I’m not going to be like Brad and lead anyone on 3) I want to start my family immediately and to be passionately in love with the man I marry because family is so important to me.

P: So, lots of reality show contestants say things like that.

CL: But, Deanna was more persuasive about it than most reality show contestants because she was so sure of herself. One day she’s crying about a little boy and talking about her heart melting then a week later she’s giving everyone nugs and talking all about fun, adventure, and Jesse maybe getting a gig as a commentator for the X Games.

Another weird thing, she also kept saying how much her family meant to her, then she ignored her father and grandmother’s advice.

P: What about the sister in law though?

CL: Yeah, that was pretty interesting. The sister in law says “You might be less ready for this kind of commitment than you think. You’re a free spirit. What’s more free spirited than a professional snowboarder?”

P: See, she did listen to her family.

CL: No, that whole home visit was like “Let’s flip a coin to decide this” they flip the coin, Deanna looks at the result, then she says “Okay, how about three out of five?” In the meantime, Jason is Mister Salesman, saying all the right things, giving the Dad free chipping and putting lessons, playing up to the grandparents. Jesse’s in the living room doing the sequel to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

P: There’s also the whole matter of how could someone say this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do like four times in two weeks?

CL: Doesn’t that just break your heart?

P: That whole Jeremy comes back thing was pretty damn gratuitous, like they were sending the poor guy to Bachelor Guantanomo. You do realize that this woman who knew exactly what she wanted claimed to have serious feelings for Brad Womack, Jeremy Anderson, Graham Bunn, Jason Mesnick, and Jesse Csincsak all in the course of how many weeks?
She’s either falling in love or in love with each of those guys. Now she announces that she knows what she wants? She told Graham, “You were the one I was falling in love with.” What is it two weeks later and she’s proclaiming that Jesse is her soulmate?

CL: Maybe this isn’t a missing persons case. Maybe it’s more like fraud.

P: Are you saying that Deanna was a fraud? It is okay to find out that you didn’t know yourself as well as you thought.

CL: She’d never heard of the space needle. Might be a clue about her actual prospects of being a lawyer’s wife in Dallas with Jeremy. She did like Ty, but she did seem more than a little awkward with the kid. Come to think of it, she lived with someone once before and supposedly was in love with Brad Womack yet she never talked to those guys about her mother’s death. Jason comes along and she opens up about it and we’re supposed to go “Wow….she finally found the right guy.” Looking back, it’s more like a warning sign that she’s never sought real emotional intimacy.

P: Think about the Graham thing. If you look at their encounters, he was sort of saying he was interested but was cautious about the fact that she was kissing other guys. As in how real is this with me if you can do that?

CL: You’re probably right. Deanna was just one of those people who insists that she knows herself and what she wants, then they reveal that she really doesn’t. TV can do that and it’s what reality tv is supposed to do best. If it’s a fraud, maybe the fraud is Fleiss’s edit.

P: You might have overestimated the guy.

CL: As in why would anyone bring a little kid on a show like this, introduce the kid to Deanna, then let her dump dad in the finals no less?

P: But I don’t think letting poor Jason get on one knee to propose was a Fleiss thing.

CL: The whole edit was a bit strange. Jesse gives the woman this photo book that he couldn’t possibly have made himself. The angles for the final rose ceremony are all strange. But what was up with building up this whole Jason story? There certainly was stuff there to see the Jesse attraction coming through and it could have been an interesting story on its own.

P: Yes, Jesse’s story was like a good installment of Average Joe with the right ending. You’ve got all these dark-haired male model types and the short guy Jesse wins by making friends with her and focusing on her completely, more or less every nerd’s dream. They were both competitive. Jesse won the pushup and the singing contest and Deanna outdrove the guys. They both love speed and they both had a tendency to be socially inappropriate. I mean she kept a guy who talked about farting in front of the cameras. Anyway, why hide the romance?

CL: It wasn’t so much that, it’s more like they hid the real Deanna.

P: The real Deanna was all there. It’s just that everyone was so intent on seeing the “serious” Deanna, they overlooked so much. She was bartending, had gone to Hollywood once before, and after all that talk about family maybe she had some rebellion issues as well. I mean her mom and dad may have gotten divorced while the mother had cancer and three little kids. How are you really going to feel about that?

CL: At least his means we’ll not have to hear Brad Womack’s name anymore.

P: You think maybe something’s wrong when they hit the final episode and she’s still talking about the guy, her family’s talking about the guy, and she’s on After the Final Rose and still talking about the guy?

CL: The trouble with the edit is that this was Bobby Ewing in the shower all over again on Dallas. People want to trust the show. It shouldn’t be like an extended April Fool’s Day prank.

P: You still want to press charges against Fleiss for fraud.

CL: Nah, that’s just who he is. Deanna’s just who she is. She was pretending to be deep and mature when she’s not. How many twenty six year olds can see the romance in hooking up with an insurance salesman and his three year old son? That really only happens in Meg Ryan movies. You saw the Maserati. Deanna’s probably actually closer to Paris Hilton. When Jesse did the wheelies on the ATV, that was her idea of romance.

P: I hear the next Bachelor is Paula Abdul’s ex-boyfriend JT Torregiani.

CL: Now there’s a reason to watch. Maybe they’ll have Paula judge the fantasy dates. “First I want to say, you looked really beautiful tonight, but that wasn’t your best performance.”

P: You think this show has jumped the shark?

CL: They sure had enough of them swimming around Jason and Deanna.

P: So you still want to file a missing person’s report?

CL: Naw….I hope Jesse and Deanna do get forever together. I hope Jason improves his ability to match the women he falls for to the kind of life he wants. If you remember, the first wife wound up in a rock video. I wish Jeremy and Graham well too. You know, there were an awful lot of nice guys in that group….Before I say this, I have to say that I like Jesse and don’t think the romance is “fake”, but it’s like they took Deanna to the finest restaurant in the city and she wound up ordering a hamburger.

P: Nugs all around then. See you next season?

CL: I’m not sure. You remember the New England Patriots last year? They had the best season ever going, then they got to the Super Bowl. Or did they start with Sleepless in Seattle and wind up with Something about Mary? Or….I guess I might be done. Time to go back to my regular writing.

little bits:
1) did anyone catch her story about going home to Jesse after the Men Tell All? I take it they're living in Los Angeles somewhere. That's really different from no in person contact until ATFR. It also suggests that they're just going to set up in LA a la Matt and Shayne. Didn't Matt have a job at one time?

2) the Jesse ending was leaked over the weekend at by Cape who has a pretty remarkable record with getting the inside info on this stuff. It remains one of the great pleasures of following the show, but it's a pain that some of them are always right :}

3) There are also various consipiracy theories about pink flowers vs. white flowers at the 2 final rose ceremonies. You'd think that Fleiss was importing yellow cake uranium from Niger, the way some of these folks analyze this stuff. I'd be very worried if Reality TV acquires weapons of mass destruction to go with its weapons of mass deception.

other Chancelucky reviews
Sir linksalot Bachelor links

Buddy TV Bachelor page
Sirlinksalot Bachelorette


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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Multiple Tygasms (Bachelorette 4 round of 3)

Suppose they get a marriage out of this one, maybe they can go on the new Newlywed Game and Bob Eubanks can ask the couple about the most unusual place they've made love.

If ever there was a Bachelor moment, it came when Jeremy Anderson asked to stop after they drove him off in the limo of shame. He gets out, starts to walk around the walls of Deanna's fortress of roseitude then does kind of a take on Scarlett O’hara’s speech from Gone with the Wind. “As Fleiss will be my witness, I swear that I won’t lose anyone close to me again!”

It was such a breathtakingly good setup for making the guy the next Bachelor, I didn’t get much of a chance to think about all of its implications until well after the whole Jeremy beat down of the Men Tell All. First, the guys accused the Dallas attorney of not being a “team player”. I’d always wondered why gays sometimes talk about “playing for the other team”. If I understood this one, “it was that Jeremy couldn’t be on their team” because he was so busy chasing the one woman on the show instead of making nice with them in the outhouse. I have to say there was more gay subtext to that one than that whole bit in Top Gun where Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise banter about who gets to ride the other one’s tail the next time they fly into combat.

In the next bit, Jeremy got his chance to ask Deanna just when she knew that she wasn’t going to give him a rose. “After all, we just spent the night in the fantasy suite together,” he reminds her. Deanna bluntly informs Mr. Sensitivity that she realized on her overnight dates with Jason Mesnick and Jesse Csinksak that she was more in love with them than she was with Jeremy. I’m pretty sure they edited out the bit where she confessed “You know for such a short guy that Jesse sure had big hands and feet. Wow! Talk about being shredded!”

It reminded me of that exchange in When Harry Met Sally where Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are talking about bad first dates and Harry says “Of course I slept with her, why not?” The big switch though is that the gender roles were completely reversed. Throughout his time on the show, Jeremy came off as a “Sally”. Once he opened up, he talked relentlessly about his dead parents and how much he needed Deanna in his life now that he’d made this place in his heart. Deanna kept proclaiming Jeremy “perfect”, but they missed one major problem. At heart, Jeremy Anderson’s courtship style was completely female. He was the one who would give her all those little kisses who wanted to check in with her on her feelings. His brothers even give Deanna the speech a Dad might give his daughter’s suitor, “We want to make sure you don’t hurt him.”

Yes, there were a few nods to masculinity. He hit baseballs better than the rest of the guys and he rode motorcycles, but did you get a load of the guy’s condo? This guy didn’t want to get Deanna in bed, he wanted to be her best girlfriend. Jeremy and Deanna was all about “Tell me your secrets”, “I’m your special one”, “We’ve got this bond no one else has.”

One of the fascinating things about this installment is that Deanna Pappas is a “Guy” at heart. Notice how unromantic she was about the fantasy suite thing. Where I criticized Matt Grant and Brad “that bastard” Womack, for pretty much pillaging and plundering throughout their fantasy date segments, Deanna was surprisingly and unapologetically not that different. Even early on, she gets to leer at Graham Bunn’s chest and how she wants him to walk around shirtless for the rest of the show. Where women are supposed to be the romantic butterflies flitting in different directions yet wanting to be caught, Deanna was “Dammit, open up to me now and be spontaneously fun so we can start this *($*$ relationship. I’ll tell you just what I want. Who needs foreplay?”

And what is Deanna Pappas’s idea of a good time? She likes driving around in various contraptions really really fast and pushing physical limits. She even tends bar. Sexually, Deanna’s no Sadie Murray. After all her talk about not wanting to be cheated on, she was perfectly comfortable inviting three guys to the fantasy suite and making out with them (Who knows what else may or may not have happened?) By contrast, Jeremy Anderson was “We had that special night together, how could you dump me after I shared my most precious gift with you?”

Anyway, Jeremy Anderson wasn’t a guy’s guy, but at some level Deanna Pappas is a guy who happens to be female. I definitely believed her when she told the guy “Hey we had a very special connection, but you didn’t get out of the friend zone.” It’s what a guy might tell his female best friend when the possibility of “something more” comes up.

All that said, I’ve now thought about Jeremy’s oath that he wasn’t ever going to lose anyone in his life again and I need to say this, “Get over it guy. People die unexpectedly. They let you down. They leave. Unlike your condo, life’s messy. Learn to enjoy it and stop wandering around like you’re Haley Joe Osment in the Sixth Sense and seeing dead people all the time.”

My wife and daughter however thought that Jeremy was just the greatest guy. You know what? That scares the heck out of me.

In the meantime, the show was clearly trying to sell us on the possibility of Jesse without ever being all that convincing. Yes, he does talk about wanting to marry right way and have kids, but the guy was notably evasive about the where and the how? He talked about maybe spending winters in “Breck” with his pal “Dee” where she could work as an abbreviator while he teaches snowboarding. When asked what he’ll do instead of snowboard, he says “Maybe I’ll be an agent or a manager or something.” When it came to the “how”, he got awful fuzzy awful fast.

Jesse makes sense of Deanna’s “guy” nature by treating her like one of the guys. Instead of being her “girlfriend”, Jesse makes Deanna his “buddy”. They hang out, they kid around with one another, and it works surprisingly well because Deanna discovers that she’s really comfortable being one of the guys with her pal Jesse. He does wheelies on his quad, they fall off horses, and he always has her back.

So, how does the whole Jason thing work if Jeremy is the “girlfriend” and Jess is the “buddy”? I think we’re being shown that while Jeremy has everything Deanna says she wants in a guy and while Graham might be what her hormones tell her to want, Jason is the guy who brings out the Deanna, she’s never allowed herself to know. It’s one of the oldest movie romance plots. Jason’s the guy who manages to bring out Deanna’s tender side, her need to be a mother, a part of a family that’s bigger than “What Deanna wants and needs”. He takes Deanna, the control freak, and gets her to let her guard down which in turn allows her to claim her own femininity. The symbolic moment n the story arc is the kayak thing. In the kayak together, Deanna and Jason are just a bit out of control and she’s actually has fun, real fun.

Personally, I’m a little turned off by some of Jason’s salesmanish lines like “Thankyou for helping to learn that I can fall in love again….” or choosing just the right moment to say “right now Ty and you are the things that I think about all the time, but let’s not talk about Ty tonight this is our night.” It comes off a bit like he’s done this close a few dozen times before, but you can see that it’s definitely turning Deanna to mush. This is the place she’s never been and with Jason, she’s not the bossy-direct Deanna that turns so many fans off. She cries spontaneously, turns into a verbal gusher, and seems touched at some deep little girl level. If it’s an act, it’s the best Fleiss has ever done at simulating actual romance. Jason’s the guy who’s giving Deanna multiple Tygasms.

Of course, one of the hot topics appears to be the very real heat between Graham and Deanna that still came across on the Men Tell All. I’m glad that Graham shaved. He also came across as much wittier and way more fun than he ever did on the show itself. The still heavy duty flirting and teasing between Graham and Deanna does suggest that she couldn’t possibly be that hot with anyone else. If you think that, you don’t watch enough romance movies. Yes, there does appear to be chemistry between Deanna and yet another guy who works in a bar. Some chemistry, however, is about explosions and some is all about the slow boil. There are any number of plots that start with the shyer nerdier guy who gets overlooked then wins out in the end. Graham may still be the guy who knows how to press Deanna Pappas’s buttons, but my guess is that they’ll find a way to make Jason the guy who knows how to open them.

Other bits:

1) I was irritated that Fred didn’t get to talk, then they had that cool bit with the attractive dark-haired woman giving Fred his rose.

2) Whatever I’ve said about Jeremy being too feminine. His exit was also pretty classy which suggests that he might make a good Bachelor.

3) Are they going to explain that blue golf ball thing with Ty?

4) If I were casting the Bachelorette movie. I’d do Bob Eubanks (the Newlywed Game host) for Jason Mesnick. A young Robin Williams for Jesse Csinksak, Dermot Mulroney or Dylan MacDermott (I’m pretty sure they’re actually the same actor) for Jeremy Anderson, Brad Womack for Graham Bunn….okay that’s not fair- how about Jesse Metcalfe (no physical resemblance, but they play the same role), and Tiffany Amber Thiessen (when she had dark hair) for Deanna Pappas.

5) I loved the bit with Paul sneaking a bubble bath. Jeremy going into her bedroom to kiss her was a little creepy. It was interesting that Graham would go talk to her and hug and makeup during the filming.

6) I don’t get why Ryan Hoag is so confrontational. Aren’t Christians supposed to turn the other cheek? I thought Deanna was perfectly appropriate with him. She was also right to tell Graham that meeting someone's parents is just part of the show.

7) The mullet chat about Sean was really funny.

8) She said she was engaged, but she didn’t say it was to anyone she met on the show. Maybe Brad comes back and proposes :}

Anyway, I still think this ends with Jason and Deanna with maybe Jason asking Deanna's dad for her hand and Ty popping up in some way. If it doesn't? Then well Frankly My Dear, I don't give a damn.

other Chancelucky reviews
Sir linksalot Bachelor links

Buddy TV Bachelor page
Sirlinksalot Bachelorette


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