Archives

My Unofficial Guide to (Smart, Funny, Thoughtful) Bachelor Podcasts

The Bachelorette comes back tonight! As I mentioned last week, I’m excited for this season even though I haven’t watched in awhile (didn’t watch Peter’s season at all; it would’ve been a different story if they’d chosen MIKE). I’m excited because of the drama we know about, and being compelled by having some different types of leads, and seeing how it’s’ going to play out in quarantine, and also let’s be real because nothing else is on.

So yeah, for all those reasons, I’m psyched. For the show, and for the return of podcasts recapping the show.

(Oh and I’m going to take a side note to say that something I said last week is a bit wrong, and I couldn’t be happier. In Matt James’ season, currently filming in PA, there is a contestant who’s hard of hearing, so that makes a second person on the show, in what, eighteen years, with a disability).

Back to podcasts! I listen to a lot of Bachelor-related podcasts out there. Even more during this endless quarantine. While writing this, I may or may not but definitely do have an old episode of a Bachelor podcast playing in the background.

Broadly, I’d divide the podcasts into two categories: those hosted by people associated with the show, and those hosted by people who aren’t associated with the show, by fans. There are some fun ones hosted by people who’ve been on the show, and I’ve listened to some, (Bachelor Happy Hour, A Beautiful Podcast to Fall in Love, Almost Famous, etc) but I personally enjoy the ones by fans and commentators a lot more.

So I’m going to highlight four podcasts hosted by people who aren’t associated with the show. All of these can be found on Apple Podcasts or wherever else.

2 Black Girls, 1 Rose

I love this podcast so much. During the early days of quarantine, I heard about it from another podcast (either Here to Make Friends or Bachelor Party) and binged the whole podcast from the beginning and spent way too many hours addicted to Justine and Natasha’s commentary on the show.

One thing I love about 2 Black Girls, 1 Rose is how they incorporate so much into the podcast. Their recaps go from discussion serious topics of race and representation (and their was an episode, and I don’t remember which one because I binged them all so quickly, where they talked about disability on the show, and you know I’m here for that) to commenting on fashion.

Continue reading

Better Call Saul Episode 106 “Five-O” Recap

bcs106Wow, the Netflix description of this episode is…almost misleading. It’s all about Jimmy going to further lengths than he thought he would to help Mike. While this is technically true I suppose, it amounts to spilling a cup of coffee. And very little screen time for Jimmy.

This episode is all about Mike. After knowing him from the Breaking Bad Season Two finale onward throughout his time on that show, now in this prequel, we finally get Mike’s backstory.

Episode Summary

Teaser

It opens with Mike getting off a train in Albuquerque. Inside the train station (which is so fancy it took me quite awhile to figure out it was the train station), he meets Stacey, his daughter-in-law, who seems, well, not exactly thrilled to see him. Before leaving, Mike indicates without outright saying it that he needs to use the bathroom. He goes into the women’s room and gets a maxipad from the dispenser and then goes into the men’s room, where he reveals a bullet hole in his shoulder. He changes the dressing, using the maxipad to redress the wound.

Then Mike is at Stacey’s house, outside, playing with h is granddaughter Kaylee on the swings. Eventually, she goes inside while Mike and Stacey sit down and talk outside. She wants to know how long he’s staying. “For the duration,” he says. They talk a bit about Mattie, Mike’s son, Stacey’s husband, Kaylee’s dad, who died. Mike says he’s here now, he wants to help. He’s better than he was, he says. This is the first hint that Mike had quite the drinking problem after his son’s death.

Continue reading

My Origin Story with The Bachelor franchise

It’s kind of an odd show for me. I’ve never been into reality TV all that much.

I mean sure, I watched some early seasons of The Real World back in the day, and there was a summer where the guy I lived with watched a lot of reality TV (the summer of 2006) so by proxy I saw a lot of Big Brother that summer, and Rock Star (I think that’s what it was called, where people competed to be the lead singer in a band) and some real trashy shows I only vaguely remember. I’ve seen a season or two or three of Survivor and got majorly turned off when there was a contestant with a disability, I think she had a prosthetic leg, and some other girl on the show bullied her and all these people said all these horrible disability tropes like she’s doing it for sympathy and shit like that. I was OUT.

But other than a couple other random shows here and there, none that I remember enough to even know by name, and other than singing shows, I prefer my TV scripted.

And then…enter The Bachelor.

bradandemily

Continue reading

Better Call Saul Episode 105 “Alpine Shepard Boy” Recap

bcs105This episode starts something that continues through much of Better Call Saul, and that’s Jimmy and Mike having separate storylines. Sometimes, an episode will cut back and forth between them, that’s more typical, but in this one it’s more like a relay race, with Jimmy’s world getting the bulk of the airtime before he passes the baton onto Mike.

Summary

Teaser

Unlike some others, this one doesn’t jump into a different timeline but picks up right where the last episode left off, with the five-dollar bill Chuck left on his neighbor’s driveway when he stole the newspaper. The neighbor has called the cops.

Two cops go to Chuck’s door and ask him to open up. “We know you’re there, you’re casting a shadow through the peephole.” Chuck says he’d rather not, that he has a condition, that he can’t go outside. They don’t believe him since he was just outside stealing his neighbor’s newspaper.

He starts to cite law on probable cause when one of the cops goes around to the other door and calls the other one over. They see all of Chuck’s camping stove fuel and they think he might be cooking meth (hello, Breaking Bad resonance) and go back to the front door. Chuck still refuses to open the door and says they can only come if they don’t bring any electronics. No cell phones, no flashlights and especially, especially, no tasers..

They break open his door, and go in, and taze him.

Continue reading

My Pop Culture Digest – September 2020

Music

For music, along with sprinkling in a whole host of other albums, the ones I’m listening to over and over are largely unchanged from last month. folklore, Gaslighter, Such Pretty Forks in the Road and Petals for Armor are my mainstays.

Taylor Swift

Earlier this month, Taylor performed “betty” for the Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony. This was the song that got to me most on my first listen to folklore and has stayed one of my favorites off the album ever since, so of course I tuned in. I don’t have cable, but, there are ways around that.

Her performance was pitch-perfect, from the music to her voice to the outfit to the guitar. Here it is:

Since this was on TV and all, she had to change “Would you tell me to go fuck myself?” to “Would you tell me to go straight to hell?” and it most definitely doesn’t have the same punch as the original line. God I hope we get live concerts again before too long because I want to scream this line, the real line, along with Taylor and tens of thousands of fans. I miss live music.

I hope one day, I can play this song on guitar. I reeeeeeeally want folklore guitar and piano books!

Continue reading

Better Call Saul Episode 104 “Hero” Recap

Summary

Teaser

bcs104As these teasers like to do, we once again take a little trip to another point in time. This time, the time is Jimmy’s old days in Cicero, IL. Or I should I say “Slippin’ Jimmy’s” old days? For the first time, we see a con start to finish from Jimmy’s younger years.

It starts with Jimmy a guy walking about at night, talking about picking up girls, and howling like werewolves. Which like shouldn’t actually be tried as a pickup line (howl?) because I think most responses would like, umm what? and a blank stare and then a retreat. But anyway, they’re walking and talking, and then they come across a wallet. And it’s full of cash. A thousand bucks or so. Looking at the ID in the wallet they see it belongs to a guy who they see passed out in the alley.

Jimmy tries to awaken the passed out guy who grunts, flips them the finger and mumbles some beautiful drunken nonsense poetry about how he’s going to fuck them up, go into McDonald’s and get them fired (what) and it just sounds like the babbling of one very drunk dude. He quickly passes out again.

Jimmy sees his watch and takes it off the passed out man and pockets it himself. His howling friend wants to see it and reluctantly Jimmy shows it, a Rolex. Jimmy pretends not to know what that is but the howler wants the watch, saying it’s worth way more than the money. He gives Jimmy the wallet full of cash, plus $580 of his own money and Jimmy gives him the watch. The howler thinks he has won the night.

Continue reading

Better Call Saul 103 “Nacho” Recap

bcs103In a way, this feels like the first true Better Call Saul episode, since the first two had Tuco, such a memorable Breaking Bad character. In “Nacho” we’re fully entrenched in the BCS world.

Also, every time I sit down to watch this show to write a recap, I’m like, oh damn, this show is so freaking good. Sometimes, thinking about it ahead of time, it can feel like one more thing to schedule in but once I’m watching, I’m so absorbed. I really, really, really like BCS.

Summary

Teaser

We start with a flashback to Chuck and Jimmy when they’re younger, though I couldn’t help thinking that Chuck’s younger makeup wasn’t so convincing. Jimmy’s been arrested for a “Chicago Sunroof” and is in danger of getting on the sex offender list because of it. In this teaser, it’s not revealed what a Chicago Sunroof is, but as a little tease of what’s to come if anyone’s watching for the first time, give it a couple episodes, and Jimmy will reveal it. Oh how he will.

At this point, Jimmy lives in Cicero, is in Cook County Jail, and Chuck had to come from Albuquerque to meet with him. They reveal that Jimmy hasn’t spoken to the family in five years, and that when he got arrested he called his mom, who has a soft spot for him and got Chuck to go see him. At first Chuck is not having any of it, but when Jimmy promises to do better and be better, he reconsiders.

Continue reading

Better Call Saul Episode 102 “Mijo”

saul 102Wow, so, these first two episodes really feel like one two-part episode instead of two separate ones. I believe they aired that way back in the day when the show was premiering. Like many good two-part TV episodes, this one tells a self-contained story.

Summary

We rewind a bit from where the last episode left off but see it, this time, from Tuco’s perspective. Then Tuco’s grandma comes in with the twins, the one of them still pretending to be injured. They’re speaking really bad Spanish, asking for money, and then one of them makes the ultimate mistake by calling Tuco’s grandma a “biznatch.” This fuels Tuo’s rage for the rest of his time in the episode.

Tuco tries to get his abuelita upstairs watching her shows so he can take care of the twins. She comes down a couple times and sees a stain on the rug, which Tuco assures her is salsa, but we know has to be blood.

Jimmy comes to the door, which we saw from Jimmy’s perspective at the end of the last episode and now see from Tuco’s. Jimmy talks Tuco down from hurting the twins. Tuco’s about to release them…when they say that Jimmy put them up to it. Which, technically, he did. It just wasn’t supposed to be on Tuco’s grandma but Betsy Kettleman.

Continue reading

Better Call Saul Episode 101 “Uno”

saul 101Well, it’s been awhile. Since I posted any recaps of anything in the Breaking Bad universe, and since I last watched the pilot.

I forgot how good it was, especially now that it’s been awhile since the most recent season (five) aired. How vivid this world is with its big Albuquerque skies and desert landscapes. How vibrant the storytelling.

Anyway, since I’m discussing the episode, there will be spoilers. And probably won’t be that interesting (or easy to follow) if you’ve never seen the episode. Which you can watch on Netflix.

It probably makes sense to start with a summary of the episode. I’m going to go in-depth on the summaries because from talking to people, I think some want to use these recaps as a way to refresh themselves on everything that happened, before the final season comes out, whenever that may be.

Continue reading

Creativity Goals Check-In August 23, 2020

Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

goals5

  • journal about Moonchild (writing project) at least once – oops, I completely forgot. I usually journal about it on Sunday mornings and today I just got up and went to my regular Moonchild work.
  • collect all relevant old notebooks from storage and bring them up into my apartment – still on here, gotta do it – DONE today!
  • work on Moonchild all seven days – and to get more specific with what I’m working on with this book project, my goal convert all reeeeeally old Moonchild files that are locked in old ClarisWorks and AppleWorks files (.cwk) into files I can read and search – DONE – there were two files that were too corrupted to be salvaged, but all the rest are salvaged, converted, and saved.
  • work on blog at least five days – DONE.
  • journal about blog at least once – DONE.
  • bank two Better Call Saul recaps for this site – DONE – recaps for “Uno” and “Mijo” are written and scheduled.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – did six, will do one extra this coming week
  • get up through song 90 of book one of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – instead of a new lesson this week, it’ll be a lot of practice integrating from the last several lessons – DONE.
  • seven keyboard practice sessions – DONE.
  • get up through page 55 in my Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book – yes, this is the same page as last week; it’s a loaded page – and get through the G major/minor scale building and exercises – DONE.

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 153 nights (five months) in a row – DONE, except my math last week was bad, 147 + 7 = I’m up to 154.
  • read through page 477 in All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which I’m reading for the NOAH (National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation)’s PWA Book Club – DONE. I’m LOVING this book, sad I’ll soon be done with the whole thing!
  • write Morning Pages every day – six out of seven.

Reflections on the Week

Continue reading