The Bachelor Brad Womack, Episode 6: To The Bat Cave!

Brad + Eight girls + Costa Rica = Yep, thousands of lonely girls and their television on a Monday night. Who am I kidding!? Married women watch this, too, and that means married men watch. Yes, I’m talk about you Jonathan. You know it’s not just your wife watching. You’re winning the Nashville Fantasy League and since I’m the Commissioner of said Fantasy League, and I write this blog, I can call you out on national internet. You just got a genuine Brad Womack “WoSmack”!

The show begins. Brad first lead the girls to their Costa Rican villa, then gave them the first date card. The clue was, “Close your eyes, hold on tight. Love is in the air tonight,” and it went to Chantal O. This marked her second one-on-one date of the season. They take a helicopter ride up to an overlook where they eventually zip line over the rain forest. A zip line is where you’re harnessed in to a long wire and coast in a downward motion to certain death. In order for it to work properly, you need to launch from a higher spot than where you want to end up, thus allowing gravity to WoSmack you down to the grave. What am I talking about? It’s totally safe, that’s why Brad and Chantal zip lined over and over, they even spoonzipped. Awesome! It’s like spooning on the couch… except on a zip line. It’s probably called “spipped” or “zippooned” or something. Either way, they spipped a couple of more times down “the longest zip line in the world.” Ok, thanks. I don’t believe that. And I don’t believe this is “the most controversial season ever.” Next, they had a picnic dinner by a river and it rained again so they moved to Brad’s bachelor pad. She pretty much is in love with him at this point, and he’s sweet on her, too, so he offered her a rose. The group date went to Jackie, Michelle, Emily, Ashley H., Shawntel and Britt. They did some repelling, which pissed off Michelle because she thought repelling was just for her and Brad. They all did well repelling. Or did they?

“Jackie might have soiled herself.” -Britt about Jackie repelling.

They all warmed up in the hot springs. Brad got some alone time with Jackie and Emily. Guess which one made it awkward and guess which one was cute? Michelle also got some time with Brad and admitted she was upset Chantal got a rose earlier in the episode. Guess which one was manipulative and which one finally grew some Costa Rican cohones?

“Meet me at the altar,” the next date card clue for Alli. She and Brad rode burros through a field and ended up near a bat cave. OK, they’re probably horses, but I like saying burros out loud. Brad said the cave was 40 million years old, much like we’re going to be when this date ends. And why does she get the cave date after Shawntel got a shopping spree? Call it a WoSmack to the face, but unless there’s a Batmobile about to take them to Makeout Bluff overlooking the downtown lights of Gotham City, this date was forgettable. “Holy charity date, Batman!” Brad and Alli had dinner out by the hot springs.

“We’re sinking.” -Alli on date with Brad. Like the Titanic, Alli, like the Titanic.

Of course Michelle had to do something scary, so she showed up at Brad’s house. Yeah, it worked out for the wrestler last season, so sure, go for it. That’s the story you want to tell your kids one day. “Hey Mikey, let me tell you how I met your father. There was this show…” meanwhile Brad’s thinking, “KKKK MMMM NNNN!!!” (reference to The Big Bang Theory). Before the rose ceremony Brad confronted Michelle about her behavior, Shawntel played the quiet game with Brad, kissed him, and then lost the quiet game. Ashley H. practiced adding the letter ‘a’ to words it doesn’t belong in, ie. “perfact.” Chantal O. told Brad she’s in love with him, the first girl to do this and on a completely related note, she’s also the girl with the most points in the Nashville/ Oklahoma City Fantasy Leagues. Isn’t that just perfact?

Girls who got a rose: Chantal O., Ashley H., Emily, Britt, Shawntel N. and Michelle.

WoSmacked: Alli and Jackie.

P.S. Remember the Rockette Keltie Colleen? She plays the lead actress in this phenomenal music video and song by Christina Perri, check it out:

Where Are All the Men

Last week I saw a rerun of Friends. At one point, Chandler was asked to do some handy work, and he said to wait while he goes to get his wife’s tools. I was struck immediately with the thought, “Is this the American man now?” That episode probably aired ten years ago, of course, so I understand it’s a bit outdated. But I wonder if there are more Chandler Bing’s out there now. Men who are not tough.

I remember when men on tv were ones I could look up to, men with character that were chivalrous and strong: MacGyver, Cliff Huxtable, Uncle Jessie, possibly Danny Tanner (although he wasn’t very tough except in the episode where he dressed like a rockstar to play at D.J.’s fundraiser), Mr. T, the father on Boy Meets World, Tom Selleck, James Garner and Tony Danza (Who’s the Boss?).

But over the course of a couple of decades they’ve turned into Charlie Sheen (Two and A Half Men), the guys on Big Bang Theory, Barney Stinson, the Situation, and professional athletes that get in trouble for domestic violence. It seems like men in the spotlight now are either over the top, or way under the top. Womanizers, or pansies. We’re persuaded to tolerate those kinds of guys and that tolerance creates more of those kinds of guys. We mock the jerks on The Bachelor, and yet we tune in every week to watch. I guess I’m just tired of seeing the pansification of men in America. I’m tired of contributing to it.

Bring back the men that open doors for women, that don’t call or text after 10pm. Men that can budget money. Guys that play football on the weekends and go to church, too. Men that are less concerned if their fingernails are clipped and more concerned about securing leaks in the house. Men that rough house with their kids, nieces or nephews but will not tolerate outsiders who do the same. Men that care less about matching their shoes with their belt, and more about making a woman feel pretty and wanted. Men that get down on one knee to ask their girlfriend to marry them not inspite of it being old-fashioned but because it’s old-fashioned. Men that would give their life to protect the ones they love. They drive trucks. They have a dog. They may even cuss a little when they get fired up. They eat horse radish because it puts hair on their chest. It’s ok to have calloused hands. It’s ok to believe in something and disagree with someone who believes differently. Tolerance is for the birds. Buck up and be a man. Respect women. Cook burgers and steak. Grill chicken and eat all of it that night. Eat broccoli because it’s healthy, but it’s ok if you don’t enjoy it. Eat a salad and take care of your body. Excercise and get strong. Compete. Compete fairly. Own tools and use them. Be old-fashioned. Don’t be a Chandler. Be a Fred Wilder. He plays the drums. He travels weekly. He’s been married for over forty years to one lady, my mom. He still enjoys washing his car and hers on the weekend. He was in the Coast Guard for twenty-seven years and served in Desert Storm. So he’s tough, but he also likes Hallmark Channel movies. He’s got a truck and a beagle. He has four grown kids that he makes an effort to see or talk to regularly.

He’s an example of what men should be. Well, he and MacGyver.

What Faith Is

It just takes some time,
Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything, everything will be just fine.
Everything, everything will be alright, alright.
“The Middle” -Jimmy Eat World

During a discussion a few days ago this question arose, “What is faith?” The answers varied but most included the themes of trust, belief, and God. It’s true, when the word “faith” is spoken, it’s most often in the context of spiritual behavior. But in it’s simplest form, the word means confidence or trust in a person or thing. You have faith in the chair you sit in at work. You have faith when someone calls you that your phone will ring. Those are examples rooted in proven results. You believe your phone will ring because that’s what it’s done in the past when someone called. That’s a learned faith. There’s a second kind, blind faith. I like to think of blind faith this way: trust without experimentation. Without any testing or experiences to rely on, you still choose to believe.

During the conversation, the word “unnatural” kept coming to my mind. People that accomplish big things do so by having faith in the work they put in, faith in the operating system, faith in their ability, faith in something. But to have faith in anything is counter-intuitive. It’s not natural because we, as humans, typically don’t trust first. We experiment first. We stick our toes in to weigh if the experience will hurt us or help us. We want the best for ourselves, and having faith in something else means giving up our own comfort, or more accurately, giving up the control over our own comfort. Faith is self-denying, or else it’s not faith. And to deny yourself is not natural.

As a child, you have faith your parents will feed you because why? They’ve fed you before. In religion, whether you’re raised to believe in God, that there is no God, or anywhere in between, it could be said that all belief systems have this in common: faith is trusting something you can’t prove. When a person is asked to prove God is real, they could very easily turn the question around and ask you to prove He’s not. I’m sure both sides of that argument could produce strong evidence on why God is or isn’t real and it takes faith to believe either side. I believe God created the earth, the universe, and everything in it. I can’t prove it. But it’s easier for me to believe that than to believe little tiny particles crashed together millions of years ago and now as a result mankind (products of that crash) created something as mysteriously wonderful and technically advanced as the Motorola Drrrroooooiiiiiid. Let’s face it, Droid phones are phenoms like we’ve never seen. iPhones don’t even have a physical keyboard or free built-in navigation. I’m just saying.

People claim the earth is millions of years old. I have no doubt that carbon dating and various tests are probably accurate. But could it be true that God created the earth to look like it was millions of years old? Afterall, He created Adam as an adult male. Any test you did on him would tell you he’s an adult who’d been alive for decades, yet it may have been only days since God created him.

Adam and Eve in the garden

Those with faith in what the Bible says believe that while they are sinners, they are saved from Hell. Martin Luther expressed this quite well in his phrase: Simul justus et peccator. At the same time just and sinner. The faith that they are forgiven and justified even though they are sinners. To turn around and live that as if you’re life depended on it, that’s faith. And that’s really what faith is all about. Putting action behind what you believe.

Afterall, what good is faith in anything if it doesn’t change everything you are about? An unnatural choice to trust first.

Have you ever stared into a starry sky?
Lying on your back you’re asking, “Why?”
“What’s the purpose?” I wonder, “Who am I?”
If you’ve ever stared into a starry sky.
“Have You Ever” -Brandi Carlile

Why Does X Go First?

Does anyone know why X always goes before O in Tic Tac Toe? Here are a few theories, in order of those with most public support…

Conan O’Brien recently marked his next target, George Lopez, by putting an X on his back!

because X is the Xavior of the alphabet.

because O doesn’t mark the spot.

hugs always come before kisses (xoxo).

because O is never associate with a good reaction… “Oh geez!” “Oh gosh!” “Oh no!” “Oh boy.” “Oh wow, that smells.” “Oh well.” “Uh oh.”

because the Executive Officer (XO) made the strategy “X first” mandatory, with approval from the CO, of course.

because of the previous administration’s goal: “no X left behind”.

the Big Bang Theory banged an X first.

the O’s are well-known for hiding behind the X’s when Chuck Norris is looking at them.

Never “O first,” it just makes an ox out of you and me.

X’s love attention. Just look how many divorced couples always talk about the X!

O’s were first until the landmark case of X vs. Tinklefern, 1963.

O is the home team, so X’s bat first.

The O is always opening the door, sending flowers, sending sweet texts, and letting X go through the buffet line first. Such a gentleman!

and without checking wikipedia, any idea why a tie is called a “cat’s game”?