Tag Archives: chicago

OMG, it’s The Bachelor!

At the urging of one of my most hilarious friends, I last night watched the first episode of the new season of ABC’s The Bachelor.

In the important pre-show briefing between friend and I (carried out by telephone between a hotel in Chicago and a backyard deckchair in Tucson) I learned that there would be much ridiculousness, high levels of “boy craziness” and that a post-show debrief would be essential.

So I tracked down the show that evening and within moments was scrabbling around for pen and paper with which to capture just a taste of the truly amazing content. Here are some of the sparkling gems…

“I’ll be disappointed if Ben doesn’t eat some cow balls.”

This was from Amber, a big game hunter and a woman with clearly defined culinary views. I think she knows what she wants from a relationship.

“It’s really hard to have a conversation with him when he’s blindfolded and being fed different kinds of…candy!”

From across the room comes this objection from a contestant who probably wishes she’d thought of blindfolding the amazing Ben and feeding him something (presumably not cow balls).

“Rode in on a horse? She makes us look bad!”

Such are the whispers, bordering on outrage, that were to be heard after the entrance of a horse loving contestant on, you guessed it, a horse. How dare she?

“I’m at the point in my life where I’m a model…”

This is a comment from deep thinking contestant Courtney, reflecting on where she is in life. She also makes it clear during the evening that she has no need to feel jealousy as she is – has she mentioned? – a model.

Courtney may be above jealousy, or so she says, but there is plenty of it on display from everyone else. One contestant gets so overwrought that she spends the second half of the episode bawling in the bathroom and is late to the all important Rose Ceremony. The drama!

“He’s so real!”

And we mustn’t forget that our beloved bachelor Ben is from the get-go absolutely adored by each and every of the 25 contestants. No one says “well, he’s cute but I’d like to get to know him first.” No, they are all oozing phrases like these: “He’s so real!” and “He’s so sincere!” (Ladies, I saw the bit after the episode where we’re shown “highlights” from the rest of the season and, well, good luck with that. He appears to sincerely and really like several of you, possibly all at the same time but I couldn’t really tell.)

What a tragedy that I will not be able to watch what happens next, as we don’t have ABC in the UK and I don’t think abc.com or Hulu will let me in from overseas! I’ll never get to find out firsthand whether Ben ate some cow balls.

I think I’m going to have to go away now and cry in the toilet.

Views of cities from above, within and in reflection

Well, I went to Cincinnati and I walked around the block and I walked right in…

to my friend’s house.

And then we walked around the block again (or, uh, had a wild car ride to 4th and Race), hopped on the Megabus and went to Chicago. Took over the whole back row of the top deck with our food, crochet projects and feminist pop culture mags.

The American road looks something like this from the back row of the top deck of the Megabus.

Six hours later, Chicago looks a bit like this. (If it’s dark, you’re on a bus and don’t hold your camera still.)

It looks like a lot of other things too. In January, it can also look very snowy and be a sea of down coats. It can look like this from 96 floors up, at sunset

and like this when reflected in a Bean.

There are many more stories to tell of Chicago.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati, the Queen City, can be seen from above as well, if one wends one’s way through the maze of the Carew Tower to the observation deck. Wear your hat, gloves and scarf, children, it’s still January and we’re still in the Midwest. This is one view from above (49 stories up this time).

And this is one view in reflection.

There are many more stories of Cincinnati, too.

But what I will say for now is

Thanks for the donuts!

(And the ice cream.) See you again one day, and many more stories to come…


So I thought it might be an interesting challenge to try to publish at least one blog post a week. I got the idea when I received an email from WordPress inviting bloggers to take up a ‘new year’ challenge of blogging every day. Me, I know my limits. Once a week is good.

I was thinking, for me, 2009 was a bit like a river, which emptied into the sea of 2010. I’m pretty sure I know what I mean by that, but I’m not sure what that makes 2011. Doesn’t matter.

What I want from 2011 is adventure, confidence and connection. Again, I think I know what I mean by that. While I ponder the year ahead, have a look at some pretty pictures from a hike I did today with my sister. We hiked the Bear Canyon trail in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

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We were in t-shirts, soaking up the desert sunshine. Really, really lovely to find myself exactly where I was (am!).

Next I’m off on a mini tour of the Midwest, where I will reacquaint myself with the concept of cold. Especially on the Chicago leg of my tour.  Gives me something to blog about, no? (Later in the month I may well blog about Unemployment Strikes Again, Top Ideas for Getting Out of the House, and 101 Ways to Doctor your CV. But for now, adventure, where I find it.)

If anyone’s reading, what are you hoping for in the year ahead? Please comment if the whim strikes…