What I’m Reading: Vampire Academy

Since I’m spending a large chunk of my work day in a drab basement room (with no cell reception) pumping, I decided I needed an easy book to read to help pass the time down there. Where better to look than the top of the bestseller list for tweens? Enter: Vampire Academy. Set to be a movie here soon, it’s the first of a six-book series.  I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’ll actually read all six, but the first one is entertaining enough and it’s one of those books I don’t mind putting down and picking up – it keeps my attention and interest for the short spurts I need it to.  Luckily, the movie appears to take a light-hearted approach because I really wasn’t going to be able to stand it if they took it all very seriously (a la the Twilight drama disasters).

VA poster

Have you read it? Any recommendations for what I should read next?

P.S. Do you recognize the lead actress, Zoey Deutch, from the cancelled Sarah Michelle-Gellar show Ringer? I forgot about that show…

The Bachelor Recap episode 4 – Juan Pablo

bachelor-recap-ep4

Well folks, it’s starting to get good.  It’s the first international trip of the season and this Juan’s got Seoul.  Because they’re in Seoul, South Korea. Okay, too much? If there’s anything more annoying than how far we’re going to take the Juan puns, it’s the amount of literal and figurative baggage the girls all bring on this trip. It’s a lot. Luckily their swanky suite has plenty of room for it all.

Group Date: Chelsea, Cassandra, Elise, Danielle, Kat and Nikki – “Pop”

At a dance studio the girls and Juan Pab join South Korean sensation 2NE1, who I’ve never heard of but apparently they’re huge. Like N*SYNC of their time but in girl form. That huge. All the girls are super excited (mainly because most of them are dancers), well, everyone except awkward Nikki whose best move is the sprinkler. The jerky, needs-a-little-maintenance sprinkler. Kat seems to find her calling on stage and we have to seriously wonder at this point if she’s one of those girls on the show to simply propel some sort of show business career because she seems waaaay too eager to be a backup dancer.  I thought for sure Cassandra would be vying for attention but, we hardly get a glimpse of her shakin’ it on stage and when we do, it appears to be lacking coordination and enthusiasm. I thought she was an NBA dancer?

In case you forgot how much Nikki hates hate hates this date, here’s how she clarifies:

Nikki’s outside face looks like this: 🙂
Nikki’s inside face looks like this: 😦

Capisce?

P.S. Gotta get me some of those sparkly white chucks. Fancy!

Later that night Kat tries to show her serious side while behind her back, Nikki complains about how fake she is.  And so it begins. Elise steps up to the plate as the first girl of the season to play the friend card, warning him vaguely that there are girls there for the wrong reasons. You can all say goodbye to Elise now.  Clearly Negative Nikki is rubbing everyone the wrong way, and the astute gent that he is, our man man Juan P flat out asks Nikki how she feels about Camilla (recall Elise’s vague “I think some girls aren’t ready to be moms” comment)…but oh ho ho, does Nikki have everyone beat!  She’s a pediatric nurse for goodness sake. She wins. Who doesn’t want a nurse to be their kid’s stepmom?  Sorry girls, she’s golden and gets the rose.

Juan-On-One Date: Sharleen – “Are you my Seoul-mate?”

After exploring the city (naturally), an open-air market (of course) and shopping (duh), Juan Pablo takes Sharleen to a traditional tea house.  She seems impressed but then I hate her because she decides she needs to  s p e a k   s l o o o o o w l y  for him to understand her. Pretty sure he gets what you’re saying, lady, it’s you that has a hard time getting him. And I get it. Boy, do I get it. With a husband who is known for his mumbles (and known as Mumbles, no less), I totally get it.  Someone get this chick some subtitles.  Heck, get us some subtitles while you’re at it. It’ll make it easy to keep drinking wine while watching without missing a beat. Plus, I’m getting tired of rewinding this show. Frankly, Sharleen she seems bored and unimpressed but then she goes and says something like this:

“He is open-minded, curious about other people and the world…he is more…fun than expected.” -Sharleen, being totally confusing

Later, she calls their time together effortless and says their conversation flowed freely. Excuse me…? In the next turn of head-scratching events, Sharleen seems downright offended that Juan Pablo would ask her to sing for him. “On the first date?!” She does, reluctantly, afraid somehow that her being an opera singer is so impressive that it will make him like her more??  I’m getting the impression that she feels she’s got cultured celebrity status and men have been enamored with her occupation in the past. Not quite sure. It is impressive, I’ll say, and Juan Pablo thinks so too.

And after all that, this date has somehow transformed skeptical Sharleen’s feelings toward being on the show and about Juan Pablo. She now believes she could fall in love with him, and he’s already said that she’s his favorite so far. So, now it’s interesting because Juan Pablo asks a very, very important question: “how many kids do you want to have?” to which she quickly deflects back to him. Easy for him. The answer is that he’d like two or three more. Ruh roh.  Sharleen’s face is totally busted on this one and you can see the thought of kids – all sticky and loud – is repulsive to her.  Truth is, she doesn’t self identify as a mom. And that’s okay. It’s just not okay when the dude you’re dating has a daughter and wants three more to join his brood. In another twist of events, Sharleen shares that she dated someone once with a daughter but – not a shocker – she wasn’t ready to handle it. Juan Pabs seems to understand and empathize with her honesty about struggling with said ex, all because she felt some sort of lost connection knowing that she wouldn’t experience that “first” of having kids with him. Juan Pablo sagely nods in understanding, and again, Sharleen is impressed. Hard to tell if it’s with him or with herself, seeing that she’s getting away with all this BS…only time will tell, I guess, because she walks away with a sly grin and a rose to boot.

Group Date: Renee, Andi, Clare, Kelly, and two brown haired girls that don’t get much air time. (Lauren and Alli) – “Let’s get krazy in Korea”

Fun-loving karaoke in a doll-house-like setup is followed by playful paddle boat rides, and topped off with fish pedicures (oh, ya know, the kind of spa treatment where little fishes nibble dead skin off your feet. Eww, right? But yeah, that’s a thing). Next up? Korean street food like octopus, which makes Clare all flustered but pisses Alli off because, yeah, you can order calamari anywhere in the U.S. It’s not that exotic. And, as Kelly poignantly points out: she’s surely swallowed bigger things than that. Oooooo, girl. Feisty!

That night during alone time with Juan P, Renee is hoping to get a kiss but all of a sudden Juan Pabs decides that kissing lots of ladies is not cool (little Camilla would be so disappointed grossed out if she saw) so he declares he won’t be kissing anyone on this date. (A collective sad sigh is heard).

Juan Pablo is clearly smitten with Andi. I confess, I am too. Gosh that girl is darling.  During their cute little snugglefest, they flirt and joke and Juan Pablo explains sadly that most people don’t get his sense of humor, but happily Andi gets him.  Good sign, friends.

Not a good sign: when Lauren asks him for un beso and he rejects her, she takes it to mean he’s not that into her (which seems spot on) and then she proceeds to ugly cry about it. Wave goodbye to Lauren now, everyone.

Just a few minutes alone with possessive Clare is all Poor Juan Pablo needs to break his no kissing rule. But pure physical attraction doesn’t always win out, and Andi receives the rose. (Yay!)

Cocktail Party:
Despite the group coming to a consensus that the girls with roses should give the girls without roses the quality time with Juan Pablo, Nikki can only hold out about five minutes before she tracks him down.  Clare has cleverly watched this show before (hey, you gotta do your homework when you’re husband hunting!) and knows that tattling to Juan Pabs about Nikki’s negative side would only put her in the friend zone. And she’s not about to give up her spot on the I-make-out-with-you list.

Roses:
Nikki
Sharleen
Andi
Renee
Chelsie
Kelly
Danielle
Cassandra
Alli
Clare
Kat

Going home: Elise and Lauren.

Next up: Vietnam. Boat rides, brown water, beaches, funny hats, and maybe Clare goes too far.

So, spill. Who’s your favorite so far? Are you totally girl crushing on Andi like me? 

Maleficent

Did you see the trailer for Disney’s new movie Maleficent during the Grammy’s? Angelina Jolie looks wicked good as the evil sorceress, don’t you think? And Lana Del Rey’s “Once Upon a Dream” cover is simply eerie. You can download the song for free this week.

P.S. Mumbles and I watched Oz the Great and Powerful this weekend and it was so vibrant, magical and fun. Have you seen it? 

The Bachelor Recap episode 3 – Juan Pablo

bachelor-recap-ep3

Welp, I told you this season was going to be really rough for me. Case in point? Last night, Mumbles and I went to bed at 8 in the p.m.  I didn’t even realize until I woke up for a 1 a.m. feeding that the night before was Monday and I missed my couch date with our fave guy, Juan Pablo.  Oops.  Also, Declan must be going through some sort of growth spurt or teething or something because little dude was up every hour last night. Every hour. Today was rough.

We’re down to 15 gals for our guy Juan P.  Here’s how it went…

Juan-On-One Date: “Love is a wild ride.” – Cassandra

“I haven’t had a first date since I was 18 years old.” — Cassandra

Juan Pabs seems to think Cassandra is a little shy. I happen to think she’s a bit vapid. They’re entire date she’s half giggling in surprise and exclaiming “ohmigod!” It makes a lot more sense when she further explains that the last date she keeps talking about – the one at age 18 if you didn’t hear her the forty times she said it – was only a mere three years ago. She’s 21. She can hardly drink all that alcohol the show provides.

Their date is pretty epic as we discover that the funky looking jeep-like vehicle is actually an amphibious car — and it really hauls. Looks awesome. Again, I say these producers are getting cleverer with their dates. Well done, people!

Following their afternoon in the water (we only get a glimpse of a makeout session), the date continues at his residence with homecooked dinner and dancing. For dessert they try a bunch of chocolates and get out their brag books (well, she has photo prints – so old school for such a young’un! but Juan Pablo is allowed to have his phone. Did you know that the contestants aren’t allowed to have phone access?)

I’m not quite sure I understand Cassandra’s spastic kissing style but apparently he’s into it because she gets a rose.

Group Date: “Let’s kick it!” – Kelly, Renee, Sharleen, Danielle, Alli, Lauren, Andi, Christy, Lucy, and Nikki

It’s not clear why Juan Pablo quit playing soccer after his daughter was born, but clearly he still loves it. And clearly he’s still in shape. This would’ve been the perfect chance for ABC to get some shirts versus skin action on screen but somehow we aren’t that lucky.

Juan Pablo coaches the girls through some practice drills, Alli feels like she’s a cut above the rest since she’s played soccer her entire life but the other girls aren’t going to sit on the sidelines. It gets brutal. It’s tough to watch. Sharleen is taking more balls to the face than…well, you see where I was going with that.

Nikki sits down for some alone time but she seems rushed and a bit abrasive compared to his calm, cool, collected style.

Andi and Juan Pablo sneak behind a concession counter where she confesses that things got a bit more serious for her today. Amidst the hot dogs and nacho cheese (mmmm…nacho cheese), Juan Pablo sneaks a hot kiss with Andi. Come to think of it, that’s pretty much my dream right there.

Alli wants four or five kids – she’s sucking up when she says she wants to build a little soccer team.

Danielle shares she was adopted when she was two days old. But that’s all we get to know about that.

Juan Pablo tells Sharleen she’s got class and he likes that. And then he goes in for the kiss and she doesn’t quite look like she likes that. Or maybe she wasn’t ready for it? Either way, it was weird. And then she asks for another because she’s “not quite sure.”

The group date rose goes to Nikki and she is surprised, along with Andi and Sharleen who wonder what else they have to do with [soccer] balls to get a rose around this joint.

Juan-On-One Date: “Do you trust me?” – Chelsie

After singing and dancing in the car, then stuffing their faces with Venezuelan food, what else is there to do but hurl yourself off a bridge to see if it all comes up?  (Sad side note: the bridge is near where I grew up and had a reputation for jumpers…so much so that it is known as Suicide Bridge – not very romantic, ey?) Juan Pablo is using his best sexy, soothing voice to urge Chelsie to jump but whenever she responds to his quiet coos to console her, she’s practically yelling in his ear.  And then she’s crying. And then they’re jumping. And you know how the story goes: now she’s super duper happy she trusted him and took the leap. And then they make out upside down.

That night they have a romantic candle-lit dinner at Pasadena City Hall, which is actually way prettier than it sounds. At this point in the show, Mumbles wonders aloud how easy it would be to be the music guy on this show — “lots of simple piano tunes,” he says, “I could probably do that.”

Chelsie gets the rose because according to Juan Pablo she’s fun, she smiles and she cares about people. Cute.

And wait! There’s more! Just when she thinks it can’t get any better…Juan Pablo surprises Chelsie with a private concert by Billy Currington (an artist she actually knows and likes!). She seems genuinely thrilled and happy to be singing and dancing, clutching that rose.

Juan Pablo declares Chelsie to be “a keeper” and I gotta say, they do look sweet together.

Pool Party:
Juan Pablo sneaks into the mansion to make a traditional Venezuelan breakfast as a surprise for the girls. It’s a fun little social experiment to see who wakes up looking good with no makeup on. Smart man.

Then, instead of a formal, stuffy cocktail party, Juan Pablo declares that he’d like to mix it up with a pool party before the rose ceremony. Getting to see the girls in their bikinis before handing out roses…that Juan Pablo is much, much smarter than we all give him credit for!

It’s not long before the girls have all picked the girl in the house they love to hate: Kat.

Sharleen is the girl this season that is struggling with the cameras and the fierce competition. Next thing you know she’s sniffling into Juan Pablo’s shoulder. And he might be speaking English but it’s probably sexier to assume he’s whispering sweet nothings in Spanish to console her. And, oh! what do you know that the next minute she’s keeping watch to make sure the other girls can’t see them making out. So, Sharleen seems to be the manipulative one this season.

When Clare needs to cry in the bathroom for a while, surprise surprise, house mom Renee is the first to her rescue. Funny thing is Clare is pissed about not getting face time with Mr. Bachelor, yet she’s hiding out behind closed doors.  I do not envy these Bachelors who pretty much need a double major in Women’s Studies and Psychology to juggle all the emotions and estrogen.  Whew…that’s rough.

Roses:

  • Cassandra
  • Nikki
  • Chelsie
  • Andi
  • Renee
  • Kelly
  • Sharleen
  • Elise
  • Kat
  • Allison
  • Clare
  • Lauren
  • Danielle

Going home: Lucy and Christy.  

Next week: South Korea, Sharleen sings, Clare gets clingy, and oh, the crying.

P.S. Don’t forget to watch Sean & Catherine’s wedding, which will air on Sunday at 8 p.m.

P.P.S. Our Bachelor is quite controversial, no? 

Hank Azaria on Fatherhood

hank azaria's fatherhood logo

“I am not a children kind of person. I don’t like kids, I don’t gravitate towards them, they make me nervous when I’m around them…I didn’t particularly like myself as a child.  I feel about kids the way I feel about most people, which is most of them are annoying. Children are no exception — they’re just like annoying short people.” — Hank Azaria, on kids.

Hank Azaria can’t quite understand why anyone would want to be a parent. So, he starts filming a documentary asking his actor friends about being fathers and what it’s like raising kids. A short while into the project, though, Hank gets a big surprise. He finds out he and his long-time girlfriend will soon become first-time parents themselves. Well, that changes things a bit now doesn’t it?

The first episode in this web series is fantastic. It’s full of heartwarming nuggets of advice and insight from some very famous folks like Jim Gaffigan, Mike Myers, Rainn Wilson, and Kevin Bacon.

“It’s a tradeoff; you get the joy and the love, but you also get the worry.”  — Bryan Cranston, on becoming a parent. (as if we couldn’t love him any more — his interview is totally endearing.)

hank azaria fatherhood

What’s the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you about being a parent?