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The Bachelor – Recipe for love or insanity?

19 Sep

For years now I have been hooked on what I consider to be one of the smuttiest series on TV. The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Season after season I have resisted and then caved and watched people’s relationships go into flames.

Who would have thought that dating 25 people at once, going on the most insane and unrealistic dates of all time and not having to worry about work, buying groceries, looking after your pets, kids, and family members would give you the wrong impression of someone! So far after 21 seasons, Trista and Ryan from the first season of The Bachelorette are the only couple to get engaged on the show, get married and stay together.

As if The Bachelor / Bachelorette wasn’t enough, last year The Bachelor Pad was introduced. Memorable personalities from various seasons of the existing shows were brought together in a house Big Brother style. You can only image what went down in house full of super hot people crazy enough to go on TV to find love in the first place. It was insanity.

The finale of the Bachelor Pad aired one week ago Monday, and I got to thinking – how do these people seem to fall in love so quickly? And also how does Michelle Money have SUCH GREAT HAIR?

The second question will likely remain a mystery, but seriously. I’m not hating on falling in love at all. In fact I’m quite a big supporter of finding a great partner to share your life with, but I can’t wrap my head around what I saw go down on The Bachelor Pad this season.

Let’s take  a look at Holly Durst for example. Holly was first a contestant on The Bachelor, then she met former Bachelorette contestant Michael Stagliano, they fell in love, got engaged, broke up, got back together, broke up again and then 3 months later, both ended up on this past season of Bachelor Pad.

It looked like there was a chance that Holly and Mike would get back together, but alas, Holly fell for Blake instead. On the finale of Bachelor Pad it was revealed that Holly and Blake got engaged.

Some quick math – Holly and Michael break up 3 months before the show, the show films for TWO WEEKS ( yes TWO WEEKS), and then there is like a month or so before we see the finale. So in the matter of five months Holly went from being engaged from one guy to another. How the hell does this happen?

Then there is Ames, a fan favourite from Ashley’s season who on the finale tells the audience that he has broken up with Bachelor Pad cast-mate Jackie that he had sacrificed the $250,000 prize for. Ames talks about how dating in the real world made him realize that Jackie was not really the one for him. Jackie tells Ames she didn’t leave her room for a week when he dumped her. Everyone boo’s poor Ames for being honest – but why?

In real life, if you dated someone for a week and they never phoned you again you wouldn’t even think twice. If I walked around talking about how after my week long relationship ended I was so upset because I thought I would marry the guy, my friends would check me into the looney bin without a doubt.

And it’s not just Jackie and Holly, there are countless others every season who fall in love at light speed and then can’t understand why it just won’t work out.

Is The Bachelor, Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad truly a place to find love, or is it merely a clever ploy to get those who love love more than the rest of us all in one place so those of us at home can watch them self-destruct?

A New Lily? A look at TV babies of the past.

23 Aug

Television has been pulling this since the beginning of time. Babies are cast, and then it’s realized that babies don’t do much so they’re swapped with older doppelgangers.

Recently it was announced that Modern Family was going to replace the baby that plays Lily – Cameron and Mitchell’s adorable adopted baby from Taiwan – with four-year-old Aubrey Anderson-Emmons. I was quite sad to hear this as I felt that part of Lily’s charm was the fact that she was a silent accomplice to Cameron and Mitchell’s hilarious agenda to be the coolest gay Dads around.

Baby Lily - We will miss you!

But baby Lily’s departure from the show made me think about other kids who have come onto the scene only to be replaced by more interesting older versions of themselves.

Let’s start with Boy Meets World. When the show started, Corey and Eric had a charming little sister named Morgan. Morgan was Eric’s ticket to the ladies. She was adorable and hilarious but yet her time came to an end so soon.

Morgan Matthews - wingman extraordinaire.

Anyway, in the middle of the second season of Boy Meets world Morgan disappears without any explanation. Then miraculously in the fourth season she returns as a much older version of herself. Cory greets her saying “Long time no see!” to which pre-teen Morgan responds “That was the longest time out I’ve ever had!” Well played, Morgan. Well played.

Next we must take a look at the tortured world of soap operas. It is well understood that nothing that happens in soaps makes any sense. People get possessed, lost in fields where they meet their blind soulmates, and people frequently don’t die – but other people think they did. But the most puzzling mystery of all is the insanely speedy growth of children into adults.

Let’s take Nicholas Newman of Young and the Restless fame. Wikipedia has December 31st, 1988 listed as his birthday, but in 1994 Nicholas was replaced by the then teenage super-stud Joshua Morrow (Editors note: Joshua Morrow is still a super-stud). Regardless, Nick Newman SHOULD have been seven years old in 1994 but instead he was 16. Today Nick should be 33 but instead he is 38. Who the hell is in charge of math at Y&R anyway?!

38 year old super-stud Nick Newman

Interestingly enough while Nick Newman has been aging at an insanely rapid and (albeit confusing) pace and impregnating the likes of Sharon Collins – the rest of the show was moving like molasses running uphill on a cold day. I guarantee if you turn on the Young and the Restless today you will be caught up on the plot line with 4 minutes.

The only child that seems to have been able to hold down a long-term spot in the limelight was Full Houses’ Michelle Tanner.

Doesn't matter if you don't think this baby is cute. This baby is a money maker.

The Olsen Twins were not the cutest babies in the world – but somehow Miller-Boyette Productions knew they were ugly ducklings and let them flourish. I’m not sure how you go about starting a production company at the age of 7 – but if I could turn back time I would likely follow in their footsteps and do the same.

So all of things brings me back to the replacement of Lily. Where could Lily be in ten years from now? Coining catch-phrases? Making billions? Working the drive-through at White Castle? Now we will never know…

This needs to stop – Foursquare check ins

13 Jul

Ok, so before I get started on this rant, let me first say that I generally have no problem with foursquare or other check in and review services as a whole. I am in fact a huge fan of Yelp and love the idea that people can share helpful information through services like this. Key words in that sentence are “helpful” and  “information”.

Now with that said, let’s get into this. Do you know what I find annoying? When my Twitter stream is filled with foursquare check-ins at parking garages, toll booths and rest stops. Do you know what other people don’t give a shit about? When you are at a toll booth or where you park your car. The only people who care where you are parking are people that break into cars, and I would think that these are the kind of folks you don’t want knowing where and when you park your car.

I would also like to take this time to let people know that Twitter and foursquare are very public forms of social media. That’s right, in fact, it could be said that this is the entire point of these platforms. With that in mind, why would anyone think that it would be a good idea to tweet about ditching work, or foursquare check in at a bar in the middle of the day on a Tuesday? Maybe I am missing something but I doubt that this sort of behaviour is ideal for helping you advance your career. I would think that most employers would prefer their employees to be at work at 3pm on a Tuesday and not at the local pub.

My final concern is with the future of this sort of thing – what’s next? People checking in at the bathroom and the pharmacy (oh wait I have already seen that done). I am all for sharing but I think that we need to use a little more common sense and a little less of our foursquare app.

This Needs to Stop – Halifax Edition

14 Jun

When Pete and I lived in our last apartment there was a beautiful wooded park nearby with tons of running and biking trails, and I ran there a couple times a week throughout the spring, summer and fall. All summer I’d get up at 6:00, get into my running clothes and head out for about 40 minutes to start the day. Sometimes I would take a route through town and other times I’d head for the park. It was a nice place to run – lots of birds, squirrels, people walking dogs, people pushing baby strollers, joggers and bikers. Other days I’d run after work or in the evenings before dark and it was always the same – busy, yet quiet.

I never felt out of ease there except once in a while I’d see a shady looking character near where the park came close to the highway. Like, why would a man be out walking in the park in jeans at 6:30 in the morning? He didn’t look like a typical exerciser and always seemed a little disheveled and weird, like he might be on something. He was also very starey. I’d stare back at him. “Make eye contact and appear to be assertive and bold”, is what you always read about how to deal when you feel threatened by someone’s presense.

I’d turn around sometimes and he’d be looking back in my direction. I’d just pick up the pace. I never worried too much. After all, the park was busy and full of people and seconds later a biker would whizz by or a man would be walking a black lab within sight. And by the time I looped back on my way home, the weird guy would be gone, or I’d see him on his way out of the park.

We moved out of the apartment last July and I had my last run in the park and thought the whole time about how I’d miss it and how I’d never find as nice a running trail in our new neighbourhood (and I was right).

On Sunday, a 19-year-old female jogger was sexually assaulted in the park at 9:00 p.m. She ran past him, he grabbed her from behind and pulled her into the trees. When I heard that news I felt like puking. I have been in that park alone more times than I can count, with my iPod on, probably at 9:00 p.m. or even later. I never had any way of defending myself and never worried about it. I never considered that things like that would happen in a park so close to home on a sunny day when people are just going around walking their dogs and riding their bikes. It makes me feel stupid and naive and scared and sick.

I hate that shit like this happens. I hate that there are a handful of assholes out there ruining things for everyone. I hate that this girl’s life will never be the same again. I hate that whoever this creep is he’ll probably be 100% free and clear and may even do it again. I hate that people will now be scared to use the park. I hate that I am now scared to go to a park alone. I hate worrying that every somewhat “off” man I encounter is a potential rapist. I hate prejudging people like that and I hate that I have to.

It really sucks that you can’t go for a goddamn jog without having to fear for your life.

What is the point of this post other than to vent? To remind people to always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back? To warn against jogging by yourself in parks? I don’t even know. I feel frustrated and helpless.

More monsters, less dead women.

8 Jun

Remember the days when music videos were mostly party scenes, choreographed routines and boy bands dancing in the rain? Well times have changed and in recent weeks we’ve been introduced to some shocking, and arguably pretty darn offensive music videos. Thanks to Kanye West and Jay-Z we can now enjoy (or be appalled by) their “Monster” music video that has recently hit the airwaves and raised more than a few eyebrows. So here, for your consideration, are some preliminary impressions of “Monster” by Kanye, featuring Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross and Bon Iver. Be warned before you click on the link, this is probably (most definitely) not safe viewing for work.

http://perezhilton.com/tv/Kanye_West_Monster_Ft_Rick_Ross_Jay_Z_Nicki_Minaj_and_Bon_Iver_/?keyword=monster&ptvid=bb2922b2959c8&start=0&end=16

I want to like Kanye. I really do. But I’ve never quite been able to forgive him after his Taylor Swift VMA microphone thievery. While I think that he’s extremely talented musically, I can’t say that he’s done much to impress in the personality department lately. And this video does not help his cause. Monster starts out with a written warning that the following content is not intended to be misogynistic; it is an art piece and should be taken as such, which is basically like saying: You’re about to see some hard-core woman-hating imagery, but my lawyers and PR-team strongly advised me to include this warning so that you won’t make a big deal about it. So yeah, enjoy this “art”.

Anyway, we immediately move in to a shot of a bunch of women who appear to be dead, hanging by their necks in their underwear. Then we get to the shot where Kanye is in bed with 2 probably-dead women whose limbs he is adjusting in to various poses. We also get to see Kanye holding a woman’s severed head, various sexy-lady monsters, a guy with his guts being eaten, and a double-shot of Nicki Minaj (who has just as much screen time as Kanye or Jay-Z, and is quite enjoyable). At the end of the almost 6 minute video, you’re just kind of left wondering “Ok, so you’re a monster, that part is cool, but why on earth did you have to put so many dead girls in there?” I’m simultaneously kind of offended and underwhelmed. Does a semi-nude, deceased female really pass for art these days?

So here’s the plus side – the song is not bad. Assholery aside, Kanye can certainly put together some clever lyrics, and the same can be said for Jay-Z. It stands to reason that when their powers combine, they’re going to come up with some pretty good tracks (although I had to cringe at the rhyme-pairing of ‘sarcophagus’ and ‘esophagus’, and the less than pleasant phrase in which the words are delivered). I understand that the video was intended to shock and spark discussion, because that’s what good “art” does. But they were trying to walk a fine line between controversial and offensive, and ended up somewhere closer to simply distasteful. Although maybe that’s just my bias, as a woman. Ultimately, the video ends with the lyrics “I crossed the line, and I’ll let god decide.” Crossed the line indeed. I know I’m no expert at video directing, and far be it from me to try to stifle anyone’s creative process, but here are some words of advice for next time: more monsters, less dead women.

Are Whitney Port and Ben Nemtin over? Yes they are.

7 Jun

Update: In Touch Weekly and Perez Hilton are now both confirming that Whitney and Ben have indeed split. Celebuzz (where Whitney hosts her website) confirmed to me last week that the photo of the guy in the post below plays for the other team. So clearly we don’t have him to blame for this. But check out the post to see why our gut feeling on this one was right. Sad sad sad.

Now I realize this is the fluffiest of the fluff. But recently my spidey senses have been tingling and I fear that my favourite MTV couple Whitney Port and Ben Nemtin have split.

Ben Nemtin and Whitney Port. Get cuter!

For those of you who aren’t in the loop Whitney Port was Lauren Conrad’s office mate and confidante on The Hills. After proving that she was more than just a pretty face – and an amazing head of hair – Whitney got her own show, The City. The City chronicled her move from LA to New York where she pursued her dream of becoming a fashion designer. On the show Whitney’s squeaky clean image earned her little luck in the love department. Her relationship with Tamarama singer Jay bit the dust and our dear little Whitney was left to keep her eye on the prize. Her clothing line.

Lucky for her she struck gold and Whitney Eve has done exceptionally well. Along with a hot collection, Whitney also penned the book “True Whit” which is a guide to 20 – something women transitioning from college to the real working world. Whitney always seemed extremely grounded and determined to earn her place in the fashion world by working hard instead of leaking topless pictures of herself. In a world full of terrible role models Whitney is someone young women can look up to and relate to.

Next we have Ben Nemtin. Ben is from Victoria, BC and along with three of his University friends filmed a documentary called “The Buried Life”. The premise was that these four guys would travel across North America in a purple bus named “Penelope” and check things off their list of 100 things to do before they die. But rather than just complete these tasks, they also connect with people along the way and help them complete one of the things on their list. They have done everything from built skate parks to reuniting a homeless man with his daughter.

The show got picked up by MTV in 2009 in an effort to shift away from the otherwise smutty content. The Buried Life boys are changing lives across North America and are incredibly adorable to boot. Oh yea, did we mention they’re Canadian? What’s not to love!

SO you can only image my excitement when these two MTV starlets crossed paths and started canoodling in front of the cameras. Pictures were popping up everywhere of the duo and Whitney was more than happy to post picture of Ben at Port family events on her blog. They seemed to be the perfect match.  Tall, gorgeous, hard working and also used to the crazy schedule that filming a television show brings.

Now we come back to my spidey senses.  Lately I’ve noticed that Whitney has been out on the town an awful lot. She is frequently

Picture posted on Whit's blog, June 2nd. That boy is NOT Ben Nemtin. That is a boy with something to hide.

tweeting about the next girls night out and recently posted a picture of her locked arms with a Justin-Bobby lookalike. So where is Benny? The Buried Life is filming right now so obviously Ben is on the road, but something is not right.

Last night was the icing on the cake. The 2011 MTV Movie awards. All of young Hollywood’s finest come out to play – especially the kids of MTV. Ben Nemtin tweeted “Heading to mtv movie awards. Goin w this guy.” But no, it wasn’t Whitney it was one of the Buried Life boys. WHERE IS WHITNEY?

The awards show was held at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. A mere hop, skip and jump from her home. Not to mention Whitney being in the fashion industry, loves an opportunity to get her name out there, and show off Ben as her arm candy. But she was nowhere to be found last night.

This can only mean one thing. They’ve broken up. I’ve Googled my little heart out and found nothing. I’m not sure why I care so much but I guess it’s because it was nice to finally see two people putting their fame to good use and not behaving like donkeys.

So what do you think? Do bad schedules and lack of on-camera appearances have me jumping to conclusions? Or am I sadly right on this one. One thing is for sure. If Whitney has left the lovely Ben Nemtin for the musical stylings of Tamarama’s Jay – she needs to call me, and we need to talk this one through.

Royal Wedding Photo Coincidence? I think not.

13 May

Recently a picture has been circulating the internet that has warmed our hearts even more and truly made us believe that the Royal Wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William truly was a fairytale wedding. The picture below shows William and Kate next to newly-wed Disney characters and then shows Beatrice and Euginie (Fergie’s loovely daughters) next to an image of the ugly stepsisters from Cinderella.

When I saw this picture I swooned. I thought wow, these two really are the fairytale couple. Then my incredible knowledge of Disney movies got the best of me. Now let it be known I do not like raining on people’s parades especially that of the love story surrounding Will’s and Kate. But all you suckers out there need to know the truth. Those pictures are fake.

Let’s start with the Disney wedding that happens to look pretty much exactly like Willam and Kate. Who the hell are these two? The only brunette Disney Princess was Belle. Sometimes Sleeping Beauty looked like she had blonde hair but that is simply bad lighting – it was made in the 1950’s after all. Also, no Disney prince in history has been a member of the British Army, and if there was  one that I’m missing, I highly doubt her was recently dubbed Colonel of the Irish Guards which is what allowed William to sport that handsome suit on his wedding day.

This leaves us thinking that the photo must be of the one and only Cinderella. Cinderella had beautiful flowing blonde hair and did indeed marry her Prince Charming. However, after extensive research it is important to note that there is no proof that “Charming” is actually a Prince at all! In fact, the term Prince Charming is given to a man “with great attractiveness”, which I’ll give him. He is pretty hot for a cartoon. But if Prince Charming’s father dies, he will become the King of Nothing.

And finally we now must take a look at Beatrice and Eugenie. Although these poor girls are much like myself and have names most commonly found in an old folks home, they showed up looking like quite the spectacles at the Royal Wedding. Again, seeing the Disney picture of these two had me SO excited because I had said they look like the Ugly Stepsisters from Cinderella from the get go. Now while they’re outfits do have a striking resemblance to Drizella and Anastasia they are not actually in fact the same colour.

So today I must break the shocking news that these images circulating the internet are in fact fakes. Photoshop is a powerful tool my friends, and it has blindly lead us to believe that the Royal Nuptials were the product of a life imitating art phenomenon.

Below are the two original images from the Disney movies. I will preface this by saying I have used Photoshop to resize these photos but have made no other alterations to the photos.

Sorry kids. But you needed to know the truth.

This Needs to Stop – Sneakers & Business Casual

27 Apr

It has come to our attention at TNTS that many of you are throwing the most basic of fashion tips out the window on your daily jaunt to and from work. We aren’t here to point any fingers, but merely provide some guidance when putting your best foot forward. Ok fine. First we’ll point fingers and then we’ll guide. Nothing like a little shock therapy to whip you into shape.

So, do you know what needs to stop? Wearing sneakers with business casual attire. If you just looked down at your feet to check to see if you are breaking this fundamental fashion rule you likely are. That is unless you’re Justin Timberlake in which case our lives are about to get a hell of a lot more interesting.

But seriously let’s imagine this. It’s the middle of July. Kate Middleton and Wills are rumoured to be in town. You are busting it to work when all of a sudden you see them. And trust us, Kate sees you and you’re crazy white cross trainers. What would Kate do you ask? She would likely throw back her glorious mane of hair and laugh while simultaneously reaching into her Birkin Bag and tossing you a pair of spare flats that she carries around at all times just in case.

While this would make for a great story on your part, Kate is now leaving the city thinking, “Goodness! Halifax was a quaint place, but heavens do they have horrible footwear! Tut tut!!” Now the rest of us get stuck in this mass generalization that our shoes suck.

In today’s world full of giant purses and amazingly good bargains there is no reason for you lovely ladies to be clomping around in your sneakers en route to the office, merely to change into more stylish footware upon arrival. While we can completely understand the functionality of pairing a bright white sneaker with a black pencil skirt and silk blouse, for obvious reasons we can’t understand the fashionability behind it.

So we’d like to introduce to you your new best friend, the flat. Flat’s have been around since the 18th century so it’s not like we’re trying to force you into a dress made out of meat or something. Flats can be just as, if not more comfortable than sneakers AND because they are available in just about every colour imaginable you have no reason to avoid them when putting on your favourite Monday – Friday outfits.

Flats are also an affordable way to spruce up your closet. Joe Fresh is a great place to pick up a great pair of flats you can usually find them on sale!

H&M also has some great flats in their summer collection and for under $20!

Joe Fresh Flats $39 (left) H&M Peep Toe Flats $19 (right)

If you thinking no WAY are fancy little flats more comfortable then my LA Gear kicks we challenge you to a street race. That’s right. We will run all the way down Barrington St. at full speed and prove that we can win races and look great while doing it.

So please, unless you’re in appropriate leisure attire, put away those sneaks. You’ll be glad that you did.

Official Theme Song for ThisNeedsToStop.com!

20 Apr

This Needs to Stop has a theme song.

I know what you’re thinking: None of my other favourite blogs have theme songs. But doesn’t that say more about them than it does us? Why wouldn’t you have a theme song when you’re this awesome?

You’d be crazy not to. Crazy. Not. To.

So, we commissioned friend of the blog Brad Murray (bradmurray.org) to create a song for us.

And he nailed it.

Please, take a look and tell your friends. And think about whether you’d want to read a blog that didn’t have a theme.

A big WTF?! To Halifax Metro Transit

18 Apr

By Leslie Flemming

Let me begin by saying that I am not too good for public transportation. I had a bus pass for several years of my life, and I’m as handy with a Halifax Metro Transit map as anyone you know. However, I have had the good fortune to live in cities where public transit allows for the smooth and efficient delivery of individuals from point A to point B with little pain and minimal expense, and Halifax is not one of those cities.

My negative encounters with Halifax Metro Transit have been numerous. I’ve watched drivers pull away from the curb as would-be bus riders runs toward them, arms flailing, only seconds away from the bus door.  I’ve been told to switch busses because the brakes on the bus I’ve been on for the last 10 minutes weren’t working. I’ve also had several experiences in which the bus scheduled to arrive simply does not materialize. At all. Ever.

Inefficiencies, missed busses and screwed-up schedules are pretty much par for the course with all public transit systems across the world, but my dissatisfaction with the Halifax Metro Transit services reached ultimate heights this weekend.  My boyfriend and I were invited to dinner at a friend’s house, and as we do not have a car, we sometimes use the bus to get to destinations that are not within walking distance. The #20 bus runs up Spring Garden Road (near my apartment), around the rotary, and close to my friend’s house, so it seemed like a reasonable plan to take this bus to and from the dinner.

The journey around the rotary and to my friend’s house went smoothly enough, and I was feeling pretty good about my own mastery of the bus system. But my successful transportation-induced high was not to last. After a lovely dinner, I called Go Time (the primitive dial-in system used to check the Halifax Metro Transit bus schedule) and we made our way to the bus stop. We stood on the side of Herring Cove Road awaiting the #20 bus that would take us back downtown, and after a few minutes we saw it approaching. We moved forward to the absolute edge of the sidewalk, stood in the street light to make ourselves quite visible, got our bus money ready, and then watched the bus DRIVE RIGHT BY US. It didn’t slow down even a little bit… just barreled through, and left us in its wake. The #20 is the only bus on this route, so our choices were to wait another hour for the next bus (which may also blow right by us), or hoof it around the rotary and up the hill to Halifax Shopping Centre, and hope to catch a bus from the terminal there. We opted against spending an indeterminate amount of our Friday night huddled in a bus stop on Herring Cove Road, and after trekking to the mall (in heels that were not make for walking), we ended up taking a different bus and eventually arriving home 1.5 hours later.

Now, fortunately I had a companion on this unfortunate series of events and we were able to figure out a solution (albeit an inconvenient one) to our problem. But what if I had been travelling alone? What if I had a physical limitation that rendered me unable to walk to the Shopping Centre bus terminal? Well, then I would have been shit outta luck, because apparently punctuality, reliability, and the safety of their would-be customers are not things that Metro Transit is too concerned about.

It’s ridiculous that a city like Halifax can’t figure out a way to provide reliable public transportation to its citizens. It’s preposterous that a driver would drive by a stop on its route, where people are clearly waiting, and not even slow down. And it’s INSANE that there is nowhere on the Metro Transit website to complain about this! So here’s my uncensored rant. I am tired of the crappy public transit service available in Halifax. I’m so incensed that I’ve been driven to create a visual representation of my anger (and I am not artistically inclined). Metro Transit, when your service is so unreliable that it puts bus riders in potentially dangerous situations and forces them to create artistic abominations so that they can express their feelings, it’s a problem. This needs to stop.

Follow Leslie on twitter: @ljflemming