Monday, September 29, 2008

More About Camping- Now, With Pictures

Hi hi.

So, as promised, here are some pictures from our "camping" trip to Big Bear last weekend.

I drove up on Friday night with Devin, my sister Katie, and Seamus the dog. Devin drove, while I spent the whole time trying to find one acceptable station on Sirius Radio and Katie fought for space in the back seat with Seamus. Also, she and I were car sick. I think this blurry picture helps convey the car sickness. We had to wind our way all the way to the tippy top of a mountain, where the air was cool and thin.

We'd left work early to hit the road at about 4:45. Our friend Ryan, who spearheaded this whole adventure, was supposed to have gone up to the cabin early in the day to get the keys out of the lockbox and get everything ready for everyone else.

When we arrived at the cabin, we were alarmed to discover that it was very dark. It appeared no one was home. Immediately, I called Ryan.

"Hey Bri"
"Where are you?"
"I'm almost there...I got, er, delayed."

And so we set about finding the lockbox and attempting to open up the cabin. This doesn't sound hard...but there was no light anywhere, except for one porch light around the corner.

Once inside, we were surprised to find that it was quite homey. We settled in, unpacked the bottles of wine, and made a cheese plate. Over the next hour, everyone else showed up in groups of 2 or 3. We were all very cozy, and pretty tipsy.

Note Devin in the back, left, with whiskey bottled resting on his chest.

I got in a cooking mood and whipped up some linguini with clam sauce. Here I am with the pasta, and Julie with her vodka & cranberry.

Don't be concerned about that strange man on the other side of the glass door. We weren't being stalked. That's just our friend Tomas.

Later that night, we all crammed into the hot tub. We managed to displace about half the water in the tub, sending it cascading over the edge and soaking the deck.

Note Devin still holding whiskey bottle.

The next day, after spending about 3 hours making a giant breakfast for everyone, and then 2 minutes eating said breakfast, we drove down to the lake to rent a pontoon boat.

Because it was Ryan's birthday, and because no one else had driven a boat before, he was the captain.

It looks like it's all fun and games in this picture, but he was very bossy and drove us into choppy waters. We'd all severely underestimated how cold it would be on the lake. And with Ryan speeding around like a mad man, we were all chilled to the bone by the strong winds.

Eventually, we found an arbitrary place to stop the boat and attempt to fish.

Seamus, while nervous at the start of the trip, eventually grew to enjoy boating.

My sister and I are not into fishing, so we enjoyed coronas and used our new Big Bear beer cozies. (I'm on the left, btw.)

In fact, there wasn't much for the ladies to do while the men exchanged horrible ideas about how to improve their odds of getting a big fish. So, we had more beers.

Later on, we found our way into a nice cove, where we dropped anchor and decided to fish some more. This is where everything went wrong. The rope of the anchor got tangled up with the rope of a buoy. It seems like this combo would have made us doubly secure, but in fact the boat drifted into shore, dragging the buoy with it. While everyone at the anchor end of the boat was busy figuring out how to untangle everything, those of us on the opposite end of the boat couldn't help but notice we were rapidly drifting into shore. And, more importantly, toward a private dock with a very nice and expensive looking wooden boat.

"Hey guys... guys...we need to do something about this."

We drifted closer, and closer. Meanwhile, Mike had jumped into the lake to untangle the anchor.

"Guys...seriously. We're going to hit that boat."

As we neared the dock, Julie (the smallest person on the whole boat), jumped onto the dock, held onto a post, and used all of her strength to keep the boat from going any further.

It was simultaneously hilarious and scary. Also, I'm pretty sure we were damaging some property...and that's never a good thing.

Eventually, we freed the anchor, pulled Julie back into the boat and sped off.

That night, everyone was pretty pooped after a day of adventure at sea. But before we all passed out, we celebrated Ryan's birthday with some really brightly frosted cupcakes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Hills Recap: The Cheese Stands Alone

I have to say that I was intrigued and delighted when I read the title of this week's episode of The Hills.

"When Lauren's Away."

Refreshing, isn't it?  Let's say that again.  "When Lauren's Away."  Take a deep breath.  The air is cool, crisp.  Like after the first winter's snowfall.

Inside you feel mischievous, like when your boss is away on vacation. There's so much potential for joy, but you know you're supposed to be your same, solemn self.

"When Lauren's Away..." Ah, it's a sentence I can't wait to finish.

So where is Lauren? She's off to Italy, for reasons unspecified. I'm sure it's either a well deserved vacation or a hard earned opportunity.

Audrina: So are you excited for your trip?
Lauren: Not especially. I mean, it's just Italy, you know?
Audrina: I guess...

And while Lo and Audrina assure Lauren that the two of them won't fight while she's gone (or, at least they won't draw blood), poor Audrina doesn't look so convinced.

"When Lauren's Away...Lo shaves off Audrina's hair while she's sleeping."

Later that day, once Lauren's long gone, Stephanie drops by the house, unannounced. She rings the front buzzer, startling Audrina, who is idling chopping vegetables in the kitchen.

Audrina: Um...hello?
Stephanie: Hey slut, whats up?
Audrina: Who is this?
Stephanie: Stephanie.

Audrina: Who?
Stephanie: Lauren's friend.
Audrina: Oh...
Stephanie: Can I come in?
Audrina: Lauren's not home.
Stephanie: Yeah I know.
Audrina: Okay. Well she won't be home for a long time. She's in Italy.
Stephanie: I know.

Audrina: I don't know how else to put this...go away?
Stephanie: I wanted to talk to you.
Audrina: I see.

Stephanie waits a moment for the sound of the front door buzzer. There is only silence. Still, she makes an attempt to open the front gate. It's still locked. So, she rings the buzzer again.

Audrina: Hello?
Stephanie: It's still locked.
Audrina: I'm aware.
Stephanie: Audrina, please just let me in. Come on, people are starting to notice me standing out here. It's embarrassing.

Stephanie can hear the sound of Audrina sighing heavily through the speaker. Then, a buzzer.

As Stephanie enters, Audrina tries to put on a happy face.

Audrina: So...hi. You look nice. You know, nice for you.
Stephanie: Oh thanks. Sorry to drop in on you like this. I hope I'm not interrupting.
Audrina: Well, a little. I was just making a salad.
Stephanie: Were you gonna eat it or something?
Audrina: Not really...Ok, you got me, I have nothing but free time. What's going on?

Stephanie: I need your advice. This guy asked me out and I don't know if I should go on a date with him.
Audrina: You should. I mean, you have no other options.
Stephanie: You don't even know anything about him.
Audrina: Who is he?
Stephanie: Doug.
Audrina: Lauren's Doug?
Stephanie: Yeah.

Audrina: Then no, don't go out with him.
Stephanie: I knew it was a bad idea. Lauren would be pissed huh?
Audrina: Ha! Shyeah. But also, Doug's lips are the same color as his face...which is the same color as his hair. The whole thing's just weird.
Stephanie: That's an interesting point...

The room is quiet. Audrina continues chopping vegetables while Stephanie shifts around in her chair.

Audrina: Seems like we're done here so...
Stephanie: Oh, right. Bye.

"When Lauren's away...someone takes her place and no one really notices."

Meanwhile, at SBE, Heidi stops by coworker Kim's desk for some inane chit chat.

Heidi: You working on that event?
Kim: Yeah. I'm looking at skate ramps now.
Heidi: This is my favorite.
Kim: I know, right?
Heidi: I think I'm going to bring Spencer.
Kim: Awesome.

"When Lauren's away...the bullshitting continues."

Attempting to forge ahead with their new pretend friendship, Audrina and Lo meet for lunch.

Lo: I really miss Lauren.
Audrina: You do?
Lo: You don't? Hmmm.  I'm sure she'll be interested to hear that.
Audrina: Oh please don't. We're supposed to be rekindling our friendship right now. La-aaaame.
Lo: You don't deserve her kindness and...and warmth...and guest house.
Audrina: You think I'm bad, you should hear what Stephanie's up to.
Lo: That bitch! I'll kill her.
Audrina: She's going on a date with Doug.
Lo: Doug? Doug Doug?
Audrina: That very Doug.
Lo: That bitch! I'll kill her!
Audrina: You mentioned that.

"When Lauren's away...lunch dates become 35% more awkward."

That night, having learned nothing from their earlier outing, Audrina and Lo get all dolled up to go to the club. Once there, they nestle into a booth and begin rhythmically stabbing their straws around in their cocktails. Silence follows. And then, thank heavens, the evening's entertainment arrives in the form of Heidi and Spencer.

Heidi: Wow, hi guys!
Audrina: Hiiiii!

Lo clears throat, fusses with sagging tube top.

Heidi: I never though I'd see you guys here! I mean, I had hoped. I mean...I sort of thought you might be here. And I thought hey maybe if I just get dressed and go to Goa, I might just happen to run into some friends. And I've been trying that all week but worked! Crazy! Now I won't have to spend another night at home sitting through Spencer's made up card tricks or watching him reorganize his DVDs from most to least kickass. Hahahahahahaha. Who's talking a lot? I AM! It's like I'm nuts but I'm not. I'm SO happy. SO in love.
Audrina: Um...that's...

Spencer: Hey, Lo! Something about Lauren.
Lo: What? What about her?
Spencer: Something, I don't know.
Lo: You can't just say "something," dipshit.
Spencer: Whatevs sketchface, I'm tired. Heidi, can we go home now? Play a little Wii tennis?
Heidi:(shaking violently) NO GOD DAMN IT! Ahem. So, Audrina. Any gossip?
Audrina: Did you hear Stephanie's going out with Doug?

"When Lauren's away...Heidi will play."

Later, we find ourselves at the X-Games party that Kim and Heidi planned. Audrina and Justin drop by to hang out. Spencer entertains them all with the witty dinner convo he's been practicing for days.

Spencer: You guys see Batman?
Justin: Yeah.
Spencer: So good. The good.
Justin: Uh-huh.

Audrina and Heidi start a little side conversation where they discuss the two things they have left to discuss at this point. Item 1: What's up with Stephanie? Item 2: We used to be such good friends. In the beginning. It was always us going out. It was so fun. We should be friends, etc.

While these good times are going down, Stephanie and Doug are out on their infamous date that Audrina won't shut her yap about.

Stephanie:You look nice. Your lips are really shiny.
Doug: Oh yeah. It's natural.
Stephanie: Well thanks for bringing me out.

Doug: Sure thing, babetard. After Lauren ditched me I was like, "I'll be damned if I'm getting kicked off The Hills." You know?
Stephanie: What?
Doug: You look pretty.
Stephanie:  Aww. Thanks.

Just as they're about to tuck into their appetizers, Brody's mom strolls up to their table. And Stephanie gets a little glimpse into her own future. And it ain't pretty. It's just...odd.

They make small talk and Doug introduces himself. "Oh YOU'RE Doug," says Brody's mom. Ruh-roh.  This isn't good.

When she shuffles off, Stephanie looks a little queasy.

Stephanie: Do you think she'll tell Brody?
Doug: Probably. Do you think she dug me?
Stephanie: Oh my god. Lauren will have my head for this!
Doug: I think her friend mighta liked me too. MILF. Hahahaha. MILF.
Stephanie: Then what will I do? Make NEW friends? Ha. Between the two of us we've already met everyone worthwhile.
Doug: Are you gonna eat your gazpacho?

"When Lauren's away...things get interesting."

But don't get too comfortable. Looks like Macky's back in town.

Lauren: I'm hoooooome
Lo: Lover! Oh I've missed the smell of your hair.
Audrina: How was Italy?
Lauren: Italian. I dunno, boring. I'd rather hear about the lives of the 3 people I know. Tell me everything I've missed.
Lo: Oh, um.
Audrina: Uh. Well.
Lauren: What?... What?
Lo: Stephanie was gonna go on a date with Doug.

Lauren: My Doug!? I mean, oh, that Doug? My ex Doug? Who I didn't like. I was done with him anyway. I don't care.  No sir-ee-bub.
Lo: You're not mad?
Lauren: Pssh. What? No. Anyway, she'd never go through with the date.

Don't know quite why there was such a breakdown in the gossip machine all of a sudden. Didn't they hear she WENT on the date?

One good date deserves another, and so Brody and Lauren go out for some Mexican food. Oh, I see where this is going. And it doesn't matter when or how Brody broke the news of the ACTUAL Stephanie/Doug date to Lauren. All that matters is this precious look on her little face.

What's the Italian word for betrayal?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Roughing it, and drinking wine in a hot tub.

I just got back from a weekend camping trip in Big Bear.  

Ok, it wasn't like full-on camping camping.  This was more like a bunch of friends renting a cabin with a full kitchen, cable and internet, a big deck and a hot tub. 

This is a big step up from previous camping trips with friends.  A while back, when Devin and I had only been dating a few months, he invited me along on a weekend camping trip.  With tents.  And bug spray.  And sleeping bags.  You know, camping camping. 

Eager to make a good impression in this formative stage of our budding relationship, I said "I'd love to go!"  

I'm kidding.  I was honest.  And I frowned and protested, "But I hate camping!"  I'd always hated it, even as a kid.  Growing up in Central New York, we were about a 10 minute drive in any direction from a patch of wilderness worth camping on.   And though I'm certain my family and I went camping many times, I can only recall two instances (the rest, I believe, I've blocked from memory)(or, more likely, I'm just growing forgetful in my old age).    

On one camping trip, we went to the Thousand Islands.  It rained all weekend, leaking through our tent and forcing us into a dry island of blankets and backpacks in the center.  During the night, raccoons got into our cooler and ate everything except for the cans of Spam.  The presence of these cans of Spam was sort of a mystery, given my mother's disapproval of both meat and preservatives, but I digress...

The second camping trip was in the Adirondacks, I think.  By this point I was in my early teen years and therefore eternally bored.   I don't remember much about the trip, only that while we left the campsite to get dinner in town, a black bear reportedly chilled out on our picnic table for a while.  We learned this from our next-door tent neighbor who was forced into her car, fearing for her life.  I did not sleep well that night.

But I don't think it's these experiences that caused my distaste for camping.  I mean, really, I was a kid.  I'm sure I mostly had a blast.  

The real problem with camping is that it's all just a way for us to inconvenience ourselves for no good reason.  We voluntarily throw ourselves into a situation with no running water or indoor plumbing, no cushy mattresses, no cell phone reception.   We get no sleep whatsoever. At night, we freeze our asses off, wearing a wooly hat and 3 sweatshirts, tucked into a sleeping bag.  And then in the morning, at like 6 am, the sun comes out and begins baking us inside our tents as though we are some manner of puff pastry.   Oh, and, AND! Everything we need for the trip --layers upon layers of clothing, aloe vera gel, etc. --is shoved into backpacks, which are then shoved into a tent.  Then, every time we need something, we have to climb into the tent, being sure not to drag in dirt or allow a moth to fly in, and then rummage around, tossing our belongings in all directions, so that they inevitably become entangled in a fleece pullover or a blanket or even the tent lining, and then the next time we crawl in the tent, we can't find anything.  

Anyway, I went on that first camping trip with Devin, despite myself.  And I went again the next year.  And sure enough, I was cold.  And restless.  And somehow, always sitting downwind of the campfire so that my clothes and hair ended up smelling all smokey, like hot dogs or something.  

At bedtime, we'd all nestle into our tents, where we would spent the entire night wide awake, scared to death of the mysterious rustling noises in the bushes.   On the second camping trip, when we all woke up after the first night, we gathered over breakfast and concluded that no one had slept a wink because we were all convinced that a yetti or bear or madman was stomping around outside our tents.  Devin had even slept with a knife clutched against his chest.   

Then, before going to bed that night, we divided our weapons among the tents.  Someone had a machete (for some reason), Devin had his Rambo knife with (for some reason) a belt holster thingy, another camper had a shotgun (what?), and Devin lent out his hatchet.  

I'll stop here, and remind you all that in no other situation and during no other form of vacation does one need to worry about their personal safety like this.  Camping...why do we do this to ourselves?  

And so, I was relieved to learn that this year's annual camping trip would be gloriously tent-free, and lead us instead to a cozy cabin with a fireplace and a dishwasher, and a washer/dryer.  Hell, those are 3 things I don't even have in my own apartment.  

And it was a great weekend.  With lots of drinking.  Lot and lots of drinking.  Because, it turns out, there's not much else you can do while camping unless you're actually hunting and preparing your own meals.

I'll go into more detail later, including the near-shipwreck of our pontoon boat, if and when I get pictures to show you.

Until then, cheers to the new way to camp! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A likely story...

Help help! I'm being held hostage at work! They're making me earn my money! It's ruining my blog. There are people who need me to write bitchy things about The Hills. And I'm failing them.

Monday, September 15, 2008

New, Improved Grown Up

So. Today's my birthday. I'm 26. This means I'm officially closer to 30 than 20. And I'm okay with that.

Sure, 30 seemed really really old when I was a little kid. And when you see actors playing 30 year olds in movies and TV, they all look about 40.

But when I look at all of my friends who are 30 or older, they look 25 and act 22. The future seems manageable.

I already celebrated my birthday on Friday by going out to my favorite neighborhood bar. My sister brought a cake and we had pizza delivered. My friend Ryan commended me for hosting the first pizza party he's been to since he was a kid.

And I didn't get really drunk. And aside from Ken playing Christmas songs on the jukebox, nothing too inappropriate happened. Perhaps I'm growing up after all.

That is to say, it was a big step up from last year's birthday cirque du disaster. It began with sake bombs, moved on to me mashing my hands into an ice cream cake while laughing hysterically, and then to a shouting match between my friend Shannon and two of my lesser guests who refused to pitch in to pay for dinner. Shortly thereafter, I ran into an old friend on the street and congratulated him on his marriage (which had taken place about 10 months earlier...). We were then kicked out of one bar for being too drunk, and then a second bar, again for being too drunk, but more so because we'd bum-rushed the karoake stage, stolen the microphone and sang a not-so-pleasant song about how the bar and all its patrons were horrible people. Then, we made our way back to my apartment to sing Oxygen On-Demand Air Karaoke with a group of random people my sister picked up at the supermarket while out obtaining us some completely unnecessary new bottles of booze.

So thanks to all of my friends who came out this year, remained calm, and gave me cute presents. It was nice not to wake up Saturday morning wondering how I'd gotten home, where I'd put my shoes, and why my kitchen floor was all sticky.

And now, back to work.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Hills Recap: Vegas Is For Babies (Part I)

I present to you part 1 of this recap. I woke up early this morning and finished the darn thing for you lovely folks. And then my blogger whacked out and DELETED EVERYTHING I WROTE THIS MORNING. So, here's what survived. (And now I'm going to throw my computer against the wall.)

When we last left our gang of lovable lice, Spencer was up to his usual douchebaggery, Stephanie made nice with Lauren, and Lauren told Doug he'd have to find a different gal to bore during expensive dinners.

And now it's time for the Hills cast's biweekly excursion to Vegas!

Somewhere in Van Nuys, Lauren, Lo and Stephanie make their way across the hot tarmac, ready to get aboard Doug's private jet. Yeah, a few things of note. First, Lauren is going on a trip with her ex Sort-Of Boyfriend, or"S.O.B." Indeed, is going to Vegas with her ex S.O.B...Is going to Vegas with her ex S.O.B. AND her other ex S.O.B. Brody.

Other thing of note: Doug's private jet. Guess this answers my question about last week's episode featuring Doug's Hollywood hills house overlooking all of the city.

Once on the plane, everyone settles in with a relaxing cocktail.

Stephanie: Well here we all are.
Lo: Yeah.
Stephanie: I'm glad we're all hanging out because we all get along.
Lo: Yay!

Lauren: Hey, Lo? You know how the other day I was doing my laundry and you were following me around and asking if I needed help folding my panties.
Lo: Oh yeah.
Lauren: And then you were asking if you could make me a bowl of oatmeal or an omelette or a mojito...
Lo: Right.
Lauren: And then you asked what I was doing this weekend and I said "We're going to Vegas..."
Lo: Yeah.
Lauren: I didn't mean "we" like you and me. I meant like me and my ex S.O.B.s and my questionably sincere classmate and younger sibling of my nemesis, Stephanie.
Lo: More champagne please!

Just when everyone's beginning to enjoy themselves, it's time for Brody to kill their buzz. And totally make my day.

Brody: I'd like to make a toast to Stephanie. Having her here is almost as good as having Spencer here.

I'm not even sure on what level that was meant as an insult but I know it's in there somewhere! And cue awkward silence. And now we touch now in good ol' L.V.

Once their private plane lands, they're picked up by a limo and brought The Venetian. And then they settle into their luxury suites. And then I cry into my glass of Charles Shaw and wonder why these chuckleheads who are years younger than me and never worked a day in their well-documented little lives get to have all the good stuff.

As they begin to unpack, Lo starts in with her usual shit.

Lo: So, Lauren. Who do you think you're going to kiss this weekend? Brody or Doug?
Lauren: Um.
Lo: I think it's going to be Brody.
Lauren: Well, I'm not kissing anyone. I'm moving on. It's time for a new man!

Stephanie tries to stifle her laughter and it comes out as a snort. Lauren shoots her a death stare.
Lo: Well maybe you'll just get really drunk and, I don't know, kiss a girl or something. Wouldn't that be funny? Ha...ohmigod.
A painful hush blankets the room. Lo's eyes dart back and forth.
Lo: Hey Stephanie, it was really assholey what Brody said about you in front of everyone on the plane.
Lauren: Yeah, that was really inappropriate.
Lo: Blue scarf.

Now let's see what's going wrong back in L.A.

Heidi comes home from a hard day at work to find Spencer shooting aliens in his home arcade. He's holding the red gun and the blue gun...he's Player 1 and Player 2 all at once. This man knows nothing about sharing.

Spencer: Pew pew. Psh psh psh. Take that, alien scum!
Heidi: I see you're enjoying your video game.
Spencer: Oh, I was talking to you. The game's just alright.
Heidi: Outstanding.
Spencer: So how was work? Did everyone like your stripey dress?
Heidi: Yeah Spencer, they did. They all had a meeting about it. Are you done with your game now?
Spencer: I'll just pause it. Sup?
Heidi: My sister's moving out here. And she's going to live with us for a little while.
Spencer: What? No! She's gonna be in our way all the time.
Heidi: She'll have her own room. I'll give her the guest room and she'll keep to herself, I'm sure of it.
Spencer: The guest room? That's where I keep my sweatshirts!
Heidi: (Sigh) Spencer...
Spencer: Can I go back to my game now?

Meanwhile in L.V., Lauren and pals are unpacked, happy as clammy clams and ready for some rum and cokes and coke. They gather in Brody and Doug's (and Frankie's, like we care) massive suite to sit around and come up with a game plan. Oh, and also to talk about Audrina behind her back.

Lauren: Audrina's meeting us later, but...we aren't getting along.
Doug: Who wants some shots?! Anyone...?
Lo: Damn it, Doug, Lauren's upset.
Doug: Just thought we could have some fun...finally.
Lauren: I was at the club the other night, and Audrina was out with a few people. I saw down at her table and she didn't even say hi.
Doug: Maybe she was embarrassed to be seen with you.
Brody: Doug!
Doug: I'm just saying no one thinks you're cool. Whatever. I'm taking a shot.
Frankie: Dude, I'll have one too.
Doug: Do I know you?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Hills Recap: The One Where I Prefer A Hole In The Wall

When I tuned in to Monday's episode of The Hills, it was already 10:08 pm. I figured I couldn't have missed more than the "last time..." recap, some shots of people walking around the streets of West Hollywood, and a People's Revolution convo between Lauren, Whitney, and Whitney's sinuses.

But then by 10:10, I realized I had apparently missed something huge. Heidi's sister had moved in with her and Spencer, and Audrina and Lauren were no longer on speaking terms after a fight in Vegas. They went to Vegas? How had this all happened in the first 8 minutes of the show?

Well, it didn't. Although I wish the story really did move along that quickly because it would save us all a great deal of our precious time.

Turns out, there was a special episode of The Hills on Sunday night. Had I known this, I would have been thrilled to tune in for a bonus dose of maddening frivolity.

But instead, I spent all of Sunday night restlessly flipping through the channels. Eventually, I gave up hope of finding any quality programming and then went into the sort of TV coma one usually enters while hungover, or home sick with the flu, or in an otherwise weakened state. You know, the TV coma where instead of seeking out the best thing on TV, you begin to search for the worst.

And on Sunday night, the TV coma led me to a few interesting things. For instance, from 9-11pm, I watched back to back documentaries on TLC about the lives of 5-year-old beauty pageant contestants and the mothers that mold them into future meth addicts.

But before that, at 8pm, I watched Hole In The Wall on Fox. This is a new show where contestants have to fit themselves through a hole in the wall.

No, really.

You see, they gather contestants in 2 teams of 3, and then dress them up in hilarious silver outfits. With helmets!

Then, the contestants line up at the edge of a shallow pool of water and wait. Next, the host yells "It's time to face the hole!" (That's what she said.)

Then there's a countdown and a loud siren noise.


And then a wall with 3 holes moves toward the contestants. Their objective is to fit through the holes, or they'll be knocked into the water.

Sometimes the holes are vaguely people-shaped.

Sometimes they are not.

And mostly, the contestants wind up in the pool.

This went on for 30 minutes on Sunday. But apparently for the rest of the season the episodes will be one hour long. One hour. Of holes. And walls.

What frustrates me is that I want to say something like, "Damn, they really do think Americans are stupid, putting this crap on TV." But instead, all I can say is, "It's funny when they get stuck in the holes."

While I was watching this, Devin was on the couch with me, but was reading Something Very Important and so wasn't paying much attention. Eventually he looked up, just in time to watch one of the contestants jump up to reach a hole a few feet off the ground, miss completely, slam into the wall, bounce off, and then fall into the pool.

"Wha...what's this?"

"Hole In The Wall."

"Yeah, but what show is this?"

"Hole In The Wall."

"This is the whole show?"


As you may have guessed, this show originated in Japan, the land of preposterous gameshows. The only difference is in the Japanese version they outfit contestants in yellow unitards with hoods, giving everyone a stick-of-margarine appearance.

I know, I didn't think the ensemble could get any better than the American one either.

And so because of Hole In The Wall and a couple of pageant moms, I'm down 4000 brain cells and, with my new pea-brain, I have to write about not one but TWO Hills episodes.

But don't worry, recaps are a'comin'!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Hills Recap: The One Where No One Gets Any...Ever.

Here I am, back from an accidental week off from Hills coverage.  And believe me, I've learned my lesson.  You see,  I skipped last week's episode, which was chock full of gloriously nonsensical conversation and adorably identifiable plot points.  And now I'm stuck with this week's stinker of an episode, chock full of dead air and Stephanie's stupid face.  

But oh well.  We must forge ahead.

The episode begins inside the mysterious walls of People's Revolution.  Whitney and Lauren are busy writing out price tags for all of Kelly's high fashion hideous nightmare clothes.

Lauren: Wait, is this the right price?
Whitney: I think it needs more zeroes.
Lauren: Good call.
Whitney: So I'm going to New York tomorrow.
Lauren: Really?  How come?
Whitney: Well when I got promoted yesterday Kelly told me I'd need to be ready to go to New York at a moments notice.  And I guess she meant we're goingk right away.  Thankfully I have no friends outside of work, so I had no plans to cancel.

Lauren: You got promoted?
Whitney: Yeah... Why?
Lauren: No, it's just interesting.  I mean, it's a show about me and here I am constantly following in your footsteps.  No promotions ever.  
Whitney: We can trade places if you want.  And you can be the one with a real job and then I can be the overpaid brat who designs a line of hideous dresses made entirely of jersey knit cotton.

Lauren: Okay, that's enough.
Whitney: I'm just sayingk your dresses look like my sheets.  Anyway, not to kick you while you're down, but how are things goingk with Doug?
Lauren: Not so good.
Whitney: (Sucks air in through teeth) Are you over it?
Lauren: It's not so much that I'm over it...I mean he's just as bland as anyone I've ever dated so I can deal with him...but I think it's about time I break up with a guy before he breaks up with me.  You know, for street cred.
Whitney: Yeah.  You were startingk to look pathetic.
Lauren: Exactly. Who does he think he is anyway? He's just a Laguna cameo. And I just remember liking him more than this the first time around. When I was 17. I'm just surprised I don't like him the same amount again.
Whitney: Yeah that is weird. Everyone likes the same things they liked in high school. So when are you goingk to end thingks?
Lauren: (Deep breath. Big sigh.) I guess at the end of the episode? After I tell everyone about it. And make him look like an ass.

The following day, Lauren meets Stephanie on their Fashion Institute campus to discuss a very important matter gunking up the works. See, last week Stephanie threw herself a little birthday bash, and Lo and Lauren were invited. All was well until Stephanie's beautifully evil brother Spencer showed up with Heidi, bearing gifts and attempting to make nice. This pissed Lauren off, as she felt Spencer had no good reason to be at his sister's birthday festivities. Clearly, Lauren's nemesis only reared his white-haired head to cause her undue distress.

Aaaaand action:

Stephanie: Good morning.
Lauren: What's up?
Stephanie: My brother disowned me.

Lauren: Cool.
Stephanie: Yeah, I mean, it's weird. He's like, my only brother so I sort of thought it would be cool if we spoke to one another.
Lauren: But he's an asshole. And he always has been. If you think about it, you'll realize.
Stephanie: No, I know you're right. He's always been a jerk. There was this one time I was sick with the flu and he set all my Barbie dolls on fire. I mean, it was hilarious and it cheered me up at the time but--
Lauren: But those were YOUR dolls. Don't you see?

Stephanie: Their little faces melting off...haha. (Clears throat, snaps out of it.) Yeah, no I see. Um, anyway, are we still friends?
Lauren: Let me think about it for a second.

Lauren looks off into the sky. Stephanie chews her fingernails and rocks back and forth.

Lauren: I have decided...
Stephanie: Yeah? Yeah?
Lauren: That we can still be friends. I deem you worthy, good sister. You may live.

Stephanie: Thankyou thankyou thankyou. You're such a good friend.
Lauren: If I wasn't your friend, I'd be nothing at all at this point.

Meanwhile, across the nation in New York City, Whitney's working at Kelly's side.

And this woman is wishing her ass wasn't caught on camera in this particular pair of pants:

When Whitney arrives at the office, Kelly practically falls to the ground.

Kelly: We're so damn busy I'm about to shit myself. Thank god you're here!
Whitney: Oh, wow. Okay well what can I do?
Kelly: Come with me. There are all of these guy models and they need to not wear shirts.
Whitney: I see.
Kelly: Move! Move! Move! For the love of all that is holy!

She runs off screaming like a madwoman and Whitney follows her to another room, where a bunch of male models are meandering around clothing racks like lost cattle.

Kelly: Hey, Other Girl. Looks who's here. It's Whitney!
Other Girl: Oh fabulous hell! Help me Rhonda! We need you NOOOOWW!
Kelly: NOW!
Other Girl: AAAHHH!
Whitney: Well it's a good thing I got promoted and ended up here. What can I do?
Other Girl: Take these models, and put them in onesies.
Whitney: Onesies? Wait. I thought they were supposed to be taking off their shirts.

Kelly: Don't undermine me, you little booger. I need them in onesies now. Glamorous, package-highlighting onesies.
Whitney: Um. Got it.
Kelly: Onesies, woman!
Whitney: I've. Got. It.

Whitney gets to work randomly pulling t-shirts and jeans and onesies off the clothing racks and handing them casually to the models. Thank heavens she showed up, or Kelly would've been forced to put her intern (or her 8 year old niece or that homeless guy hanging outside of their building) on this incredibly difficult job assignment. As Kelly eyes all of the models, one man in particular catches her eye.

Kelly: Hey you. What's your name?
Alex: It's Alex.

Kelly: Where are you from?
Alex: California. I went to USC.
Whitney: I went to USC.
Alex: Really?
Other model: I went to USC too.
Kelly: Shut up, dipshit. I'm talking to Alex for a reason.  Alex, please continue.
Alex: (To Whitney) What house were you in?
Whitney: I wasn't in a sorority. I was actually too rich to be in one, so...
Alex: Awesome.

And so Kelly, finding herself quite taken by this enchanting young man, invites Alex out for drinks with the People's Revolution.

Back in the city of angels, Spencer and Heidi go out for a romantic dinner. Spencer rolls up to the valet, looking as bad ass as ever.

Once seated, Speidi discovers they have even less to talk about than the public and the show's producer's speculated.

Heidi: So...
Spencer: It's nice to finally be out together with you. After your sister's 2 day visit I was beginning to worry we'd never have any time alone again.
Heidi: Well, at least my sister still likes me.
Spencer: Give me a few months. I can fix that.

Heidi: You know, maybe you should just get over yourself and make up with your sister.
Spencer: Make out with my sister? What's wrong with you, pig?
Heidi: I said make UP, not make OUT. And anyway, you're pathetic.
Spencer: I'll make UP with my sister the day she stops being friends with LC.
Heidi: Oh, that's the other thing I meant to nitpick you about. No one calls her LC anymore. That was so Laguna. Anyway, I just want you to know I miss spending time with Stephanie.
Spencer: Then go hang out with her. Just don't come home to me.

And then Spencer delivers his deliciously evil line of the episode: "Well, time to get in bed and cuddle, my dear."

I get chills, Spencer. I just get chills.

Later that night, Lauren's out on a date with her pseudo boyfriend Brody. And, much to my infinite glee, she is sporting a hairstyle with braids on BOTH sides of her head instead of her

As soon as she sits down, Brody points out all of her bracelets and wants to know what they're about.

Lauren: (To left arm) These are my sparklies (then, to right arm) and these are my friendships.

In the voice of a 6 year old.  "These are my sparklies and these are my friendships."  I make 75 thousand dollars an episode.

Lauren then goes on about her friendship bracelets.

Lauren: This one's for my momma (gag me with a spoon) and this one's Stephanie.

To this, Brody conveys the same exact eye-rolling, exasperated, why-am-I-putting-myself-through-this? reaction that I felt while watching this episode.

Brody: Stephanie?  I just don't trust her.
Lauren: Yeah, you mentioned that. I don't see why not. There's nothing about her natural appearance that makes her seem oddly suspicious. It's not like you'd take one look at her laser-eyes and think "she's up to no good."

Brody: Fine. Just keep doing what yer doing.
Lauren: Hey, 1999 called. It wants its shirt back.
Brody: Hey, I'm rich and famous and I don't really give a shit called.  And it said to say what's up.
Lauren: That's not how the joke works.
Brody: You're not how the joke works.
Lauren: Brody!

And then homeboy decides to put the moves on her. Brody's actual line: "Can we talk about us getting naked tonight?"

Lauren, ever the ill-advised prude, turns him down. Turns him down! WTF? Ok, I admit that's a horrible line, but if it was delivered by the only guy who likes me, and that one and only prospect was actually pretty cute, and if my public was watching my show and beginning to wonder if I had some debilitating sex-phobia that prevented me from behaving like a normal 22 year old who gets drunk and hooks up with rich boys just so they can get a free meal...well then I'd take the bait. So just man up, Lauren Conrad.

Anyway, so back in NYC, Whitney waits in the lobby of a hotel to have drinks with her coworkers and newly-forced-upon-her model Alex. When he shows up, the two exchange a painfully awkward hug/cheek kiss combo, and then he sits down and launches into an even more uncomfortable conversation.

Alex: So did you guys book me for the job?
Whitney: Ah...uh,,,,
Alex: No. I'm kidding I'm kidding.
Whitney: Oh my gosh, you're hilarious!
Alex: But really. Did you book me?
Whitney: My phone's ringing.

And it's Kelly calling to let her know that she isn't coming and that Whitney will indeed need to fly solo on this little date she's arranged. I sense a love affair brewing!

Lauren's getting no love, meanwhile, as she shows up at Stephanie's apartment, ready for a night out on the town.

Stephanie: Wow you look so cute!
Lauren: I do? I wasn't sure. Usually Lo tells me that I look nice but she's been mysteriously absent all episode so I needed some reassurance.
Stephanie: Well trust me. You look good. Your outfit reminds me of this pirate wench Halloween costume I bought from Rite Aid when I was in 10th grade.
Lauren: Thanks.
Stephanie: I have no idea what I'm gonna wear though.
Lauren: Oh really? You're not dressed?  Then your loungewear is something else!

Stephanie: So...
Lauren: So...
Stephanie: So here we are on my couch. It's fun, huh?

Lauren: Yeah, I've been thinking I should get an eighth couch in my house.
Stephanie: It's lonely around here though. Sometimes I'm forced to talk to my hamster.
Lauren: I thought you had a guinea pig.
Stephanie: Whatever. Hamster/guinea pig/underfed servant boy.
Lauren: Well is he like this big?

Stephanie: Yeah.
Lauren: Then it's a guinea pig.
Stephanie: Thank god it's not a servant boy.  I didn't wanna have to pay him.
Lauren: You pay yours? 

Stephanie: No! Hahahaha.
Lauren: You're hilarious!

The following day, Stephanie drops by Heidi and Spencer's apartment and she brings a peace offering.

Spencer: I don't know, Steph. The packaging's a little...loud.
Stephanie: But it's fun. And Lauren helped me pick it out and--
Spencer: What? Who did what now?
Stephanie: Um. Nothing. Please just open my present.
Spencer: Fine.

Spencer rummages around in giant gift bag. Produces book on the C.I.A.

Spencer: Alright. This isn't half bad.
Stephanie: Yay! I knew you'd like it.
Spencer: You know, since I don't work, I spend my 24 hours a day of free time reading books. I'm up to a 9th grade reading level now.

Stephanie: Good for you!
Spencer: And I've been so into the C.I.A. lately. Some effed up stuff. Did you know that they are fully aware and can prove the existence of alien life, but they're hiding it from citizens?
Stephanie: Everyone knows that.
Spencer: Did you also know that a few years ago members of the C.I.A. met with top television executives to create an irresistable program about a group of uninteresting overprivileged kids who just sit around and shoot the shit in one another's apartments? It was part of an experiment to see how many working drones out there would waste their time watching the show.
Stephanie: Really? And did the experiment work?
Spencer: Pretty much. C.I.A. operatives found that the subjects who became most obsessed with the program were the talented, intelligent ones who could probably find a better use for their time.
Stephanie: That's fascinating.
Spencer: You think so?
Stephanie: Not really.  I don't care about anything. 

And then the episode finally begins to wrap up. "But wait," you interrupt. "I thought Lauren hated Doug now. Isn't she supposed to break up with him?"

Yes, of course. And so she shows up at his appropriately sized bachelor pad to break the news.

Lauren: Thanks for inviting me over.
Doug: After you didn't return my calls for a few weeks I got nervous. But I feel better now because I know that when someone drives over just to talk after being completely unavailable for a period of time, it's usually because they're looking to get some.

Lauren: Right. Well, um. I just wanted to say...Hey, do you mind if I don't look at you for the rest of the time I'm here?
Doug: No problemo, babetard.

Lauren: Thanks. I've been thinking and--
Doug: Hey, do you want some garlic bread by the way? I just ordered some lunch and I feel bad that I didn't get you anything.
Lauren: No, Doug. That's fine. As I was saying, I have been thinking and I'm just not sure I see this working between us.
Doug: That's bullshit. We were obviously having a good time. Here, have some garlic bread and shut up.
Lauren: I don't want your god damn bread, Doug. I want you to listen to me. This isn't working. There are no sparks. There's no chemistry. We can be friends, but I don't see us being more. There's no future. Do you understand?

Doug: Not really.
Lauren: I don't want your bone...dude.
Doug: Ouch. Not cool.
Lauren: Sorry.
Doug: Well whatever. Can I just hug you good bye so you leave now? If we're not gonna do it then I'd like to get back to this lunch. Killer alfredo!
Lauren: Very well. Good bye, Doug. I look forward to being your friend. And I'm sure you'll come to treasure our friendship. I am, after all, a good good friend.
Doug: K, skanktastic my food's getting cold. Peace.