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Bachelor Recap South Africa

One thing we know about Brad. This is a reality show in that no one is writing his lines. Could he possibly be so slow as to not realize even the strongest of women is going to have a little trouble with watching you, their potential mate, hang on other women? I mean, unless you're Charlie Sheen's harem, and you know what you're there for -- you take the money and run. Only THEN, are you going to appear to be completely secure in oneself. Since it's not about the cash, Brad. We have to assume these women have feelings.

Not that your over-thinking can change that, but you are certainly capable of arguing yourself into oblivion. And no, this is not entertaining.

His fears over Chantal? Maybe a roller-coaster.
His fears over Ashley? He doesn't know where her feelings are and he wonders where her heart is. She scares him a bit.
Emily -- she's one in a million (ie., out of his league) and he's a better self around her. He makes her giddy. She's a truly sweet woman, but her past intimidates him. Naturally, that's not his insecurities or anything. Pot? Meet Kettle. Sigh. I'm starting to believe in the Law of Attraction watching this.

Random fact: Elephants are my favorite animal.

Brad's afraid of being alone. That is not a great omen for future success in a relationship. No one can complete you. It's just a line from a Tom Cruise movie. Nothing more.

First up Chantal in safari gear and Daisy Dukes. They're going on safari. They come across a pride of lions. This is not a dream of mine. I'm good at the lion. I didn't let my son go on Safari with his grandfather because they're so many plane crashes in Africa. Yes, I'm a freaky mother. But watching this, I feel completely right. Can't you see all this at Disneyworld?

So they're going on a picnic. Next to the river. Have these two never watched the Discovery Channel? Don't they know what can pop out of that river?? There's a hippo in the water. Do you know that hippos kill more people than lions? See, they're too ignorant to know and they're just picnicking. There is a guide with a gun. I imagine he knows the statistics on hippos. Chantal is saying she really trusts him to take care of her. Girlfriend, trust the man with the gun.

I don't think they've even seen "The Lion King" at this point. They're toasting in front of the hippo. Now we're at a meal and Brad gets all intense (or as my daughter says, cheesy) He tells her he's most comfortable around her. Never has falling in love been less romantic. They both will talk this relationship to death.

Ah, the fantasy suite where Chris Harrison pimps out a room. Or in this case, a tree house. That SUUUUCKKS! Are you kidding me?? Just a rose-petaled bed in the middle of the freaking veldt! But Chantal's in love and calls it an adventure/fairy tale. I'm not in love and I see a bad backyard date with wild animals. Blech!

Emily has also opted for boots and Daisy Dukes. They're going for an elephant ride!! A HUGE African elephant. OKay, I'd take this date, but I'd be happy to do it again at Marine World. Just saying. Emily, being a mom, has seen "The Lion King" so it's a good thing she wasn't on the hippo picnic.

Dinner with Emily is awkward. The two of them have a lot of words, but it feels like nothing has really been said. She's trying "to put herself out there" and Brad loves it because he reads so much into it, but now comes the fantasy suite card.

In a plethora of words, she says yes to the fantasy suite, no to hanky panky. Emily gets a real room. I wonder if Brad gets to pick who goes on which date. More awkward talk, only now we're inside. Emily needs an editor.

She tells him she's falling in love with him. He says right back atcha.

Ashley's turn. She's also in Daisy Dukes, only they're torn on the side. Ashley's biggest fear is a helicopter. In South Africa, I'd be really freaking. She's in full-on tears and he says it's safe. He'll keep her safe. Earth to Ashley, if you're going down in a helicopter, he's going down too. I have a thing about flying in Russia or Africa. So I'm with Ashley on this one.

Now they've landed on "God's Window" -- and it is gorgeous. And yay, a picnic! Brad has concerns that Ashley has a life. And that might not mesh with his life. I don't know, I totally see a dentist with a barkeep.

Interrupted for "Dancing with the Stars" contestants. Don't watch that, but..
Sugar Ray Leonard. (Yummy.)
Chelsea Kane
Romeo ???
Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid)
Petra Nemkova (Supermodel) They're revealing more later.

Back to Ashley. She talks like a Valley Girl. It gets to me. Okay, so like what I felt for you when I like, first met you, well, not like when I first met you, but like AHHH!! I seriously want to kill myself listening to these two You're on your own. I'm skipping. They end up having an awkward dinner because she hadn't realized that Brad had so many fears about their relationship.

He's hoping to make it up to her in the fantasy suite. But nope. She's not having it. He wants the carefree Ashley he fell for, back. Ie., He doesn't want to be called on how he overthinks everything until you want to punch him. He has the natural connection with Ashley and he's going to blow it and not pick her I'll bet. That natural connection where it's easy to be around her and laugh and have fun, is WAY more important than thinking she's the most beautiful (Emily) If he sends Ashley home over Emily, he's an idiot.

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During the rose ceremony, to make it more awkward, Brad pulls Ashley aside. THey're still overtalking and more awkwardness. Ashley's told goodbye before the Rose Ceremony. He's pretty cold at this point, and the fact that she called him on it throughout the show proves my point, listen to your gut!! IT's not lying to you. It's totally him, Ashley. Not you. And he's actually mad she won't hug him and "feel the love" -- like she hasn't been in there when you go back and party with a toast to the last girl's absence.

Brad is a tool. Run Chantal. Run Emily! This is a man who spends half his morning deciding what color sock to wear. Ashley says they got "lost in translation" Maybe if she grunted more.

Honestly, I have never cared less who a bachelor picked. He needs to know the women and he are in this together. Oh. My. Gosh. They're not in this together. Unless you're planning a move to Utah.

DWTS:
Kendra Wilkinson
Hines Ward (sports guy?)
Mike Catherwood ???
Wendy Williams
Chris Jericho ???
Kirstie Alley -- okay that one I'm excited about!!



Employees Anonymous

Okay, sorry for the whining. I had a quiet ride home from mom's to ponder the situation. (After the Cash Cab game was over -- dang my kids are smart. I really think Trey should try out for teen Jeopardy. He beat all the kids on there this week in front of Grandpa! He's got my ability to remember, only he remembers stuff that matters! And he didn't learn his geography from "The Bachelor" and "Ghost Hunters International" like I did.)

So for the job, I'm going to take it one day at a time. My problem is not urgent. It just feels urgent because I like to have something to fall back on and sometimes, we don't get that cushion. Which so STINKS! I'm anal and it just feels like I work so much, that I'd like to see it pay off and not be drained by the sheer amount of caffeine I have to consume to do everything. Though I'm trying Pilates instead for energy. FYI: Caffeine tastes better and doesn't hurt. Gloria Gaynor (who shares my birthday incidentally) once said she knew God wouldn't make her poor because she had too good of taste. Amen sister! I will Survive!

Pilates and edits await. One day at a time. Breathe in, breathe out...

Here's the ACFW Operating Board hard at work (my computer is there working without me LOL):

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A Real Job

I've been away from home for two weeks. One in St. Louis for the ACFW board meeting and one with my kids at my mom's house.

Working under these circumstances is hard. Because as a writer, you're paid for what you produce and then, there is so much that goes along with that. You have to edit, re-edit, read the galleys for typos, do the promotion for the books, etc.

It's getting to be a lot for me with my ADD. Right now, I'm editing galleys for "Perfectly Invisible", writing the third Y.A. and just finished "Smitten" so turning that into the publisher. I'm doing a lot of radio spots to promote "A Billion Reasons Why" and the board work for ACFW. Plus, the Ovarian Cancer book, "Rejoice in the Lord Even on Bad Hair Days" is coming out. Now add four kids with real lives and a house I hate living in and it's hard to find motivation. And a real job is looking better and better.

Since DH hasn't been working for some time, add in budgeting the household expenses, thinking twice about Starbucks and going home to a house I hate. I feel the need to do something about it. I've been waiting, trying to make sure I'm not overextending myself worse because I had sick kids home with the flu for two weeks prior to these two weeks. So I have to take in reality, but when reality gets overwhelming, my addled brain tends to shut down. The idea of going to work, and coming home with a paycheck is very appealing at the moment. Anyone gone back to work after 17 years at home with kids? Got any advice?

Silicon Valley is not exactly the place to live with four kids and a creative job. I'd move if my kids weren't at the worst age for that and hadn't moved too often already. I feel like we're a military family. Without the benefits. : )


Charlie Sheen: We now know who the 1/2 refers to in Two and a Half Men


Charlie-Sheen

Narcissism is the hallmark of addiction. Once allowed to believe their own delusions, addicts all sound the same. They're the only ones who are brilliant and the world is out to get everyone. In Charlie Sheen's latest rant, which sounds remarkably similar to Mel Gibson's rant, he claims he's clean.

If he's clean, he's better on the drugs. And that can't be good. Because he is one angry man and nothing is his fault. He's "O for 3 in marriage" so he's not going to sully his current relationship because the statistics don't lie. Apparently, it's marriage that's the problem, not Charlie. Want him girls?

He says he "doesn't have time for these clowns," but he does have time to give Obama advice. I love a drug-induced political hack who "should be" running the world according to them. He's being demonized he claims, but says he's excited to get back to work. He has everything, and people around him have "nothing." Then, he goes onto attack his Jewish producer. That works in Hollywood. Good luck with that.

So this rant is online, and the DJ seems to see him as the innocent he is. The thing is, people like Charlie need no one to demonize them. They do it for themselves.

I've never seen that show, is it any good? Will it be able to move on without Mr. Giving Tree as he calls himself?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/25/charlie-sheen-rant-audio_n_828186.html


Empathy

I have a really strong sense of empathy, really to the point of sickness. I often have to ask myself if I feel badly or someone near me does. And I know, that is weird beyond belief. I don't pretend to know what it means, only that I can "feel" things. Today, I could not wake up. I literally slept all day and woke up about four p.m.

When I awoke, there was a message from Diann Hunt saying that her CA-125 marker is once again, high. There is a possibility her cancer has returned. I'm just sick over the thought and I want to fight for her so that she doesn't have to endure it. My own fatigue lifted once I knew the issue and could focus prayer where it needed to go. I'm so tired of watching my friends suffer and I want this to be nothing more than a false alarm and a sign God wanted to hear from us.

Our new devotional to raise money for Ovarian Cancer. Feeling a little useless.

Delight Yourself in the Lord…Even on Bad Hair Days

Cancer sucks!! Rejoice in your health today.


Oscar Sunday

The Oscars are up this Sunday night. Will you watch? My favorite movie is on the Style channel tonight. (Bridget Jones's Diary) I never claimed to be high brow. But I'm so excited to show my mother the movie. She doesn't get my Pride & Prejudice obsession and maybe this will help her. It will certainly help her understand Colin Firth.

Back to the Oscars. Colin Firth is my segue. Will you watch them? What will you root for? And what do you think of ten movies up for the best Oscar. I'm not sure that's worth sitting through, since even though more types of movies are up for the Oscar, do they really stand a chance? I mean, "Toy Story III" and "The King's Speech" are going to be around for a lot longer than "The Kids are All Right."

Here's the movies that are up for Best Picture, what do you think?

Black Swan
Um, no. Dark ballet movie with mental illness and self-love thrown in for ratings.


The Fighter
Angry Irish mom fighting ugly for her family. Been there, done that with relatives. LOL No thanks.


Inception
Could not finish it. Do not get it, but a movie needs more than a complicated plot. it needs characters we care about and this movie fails here.


The Kids Are All Right
Didn't see it, but will. BFF loved it, so I'm sure it's good and I love Mark Ruffalo.


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The King's Speech
Colin Firth. Need I say more? Okay, I will. This movie is brilliant. A perfect screenplay. It has it all. Characters, including a King, that we can identify with, people behaving badly forcing another into greatness and a message that speaks to us all. We love to see the underdog triumph and I'd like to see this 73 year old screenplay writer win as well.


127 Hours
I've heard this screenplay is fabulous, that the timing and flashbacks really work in a movie. But I really have an aversion to James Franco. Which will make it hard to see him as host of the Academy Awards. I still like him best as the stoner on "Freaks & Geeks."

The Social Network

I refuse to see this movie. I cannot see Silicon Valley geeks as heroes any longer. It's too fresh, too conceited, too close. I also hate the message that "winning" financially without concern for relationships is winning at all. Connection people. You can't touch your Facebook friends.

Toy Story 3

Love this movie. The scene where all the toys hold hands when they're going to die, and when Andy leaves the toys behind makes me cry. Best animated film, but not overall for me.

True Grit
My dad and sons' favorite. To testosterone-fueled for my liking.


Winter's Bone

Poor, depressed people in the Ozarks. Give this one the William Faulkner award for life sucks, then you die theme and call it a day.


The Contented Life...

After arriving home from St. Louis, my kids were off school for the week (President's Week) so we moseyed on up to my mom's house in the country. I'm almost scared by how easily I can relax. Usually, I'm so wired and racing to the next thing, who would have thought I could slip into lazy so easily?

The weather is a great excuse. Right now, it's snowing and the fireplace is going. My mom is cleaning the kitchen from the gourmet breakfast we ate, and now I'm thinking, who he heck wants to work? I want to curl up like a cat and struggle with the decision of whether to watch Bear Grylls wear a seal-skin wet suit (and eww!) or take a nap under the electric blanket. Maybe a bubble bath with my Kindle?

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There are an infinite number of ways in which I could be lazy. Prolific with words today? Not so much. The weather has sucked my energy source. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Taking me seriously...

I just got off of my second radio interview for the day, and let me just say, there will be no more radio interviews until my kids are back in school.

I'm at my mom's, and all four kids are here. My brother is deaf, and he is LOUD, so I find the quiet room in the house and head inside and warn the kids by way of pain, not to bug me. I get in there, and they turn on the tape recorder, and my mother's singing clock goes off and so it sounds like I'm on a ride at Disneyland. Then, the dog starts barking at it. Then, the other dog starts barking at the little dog.

Can you say, shoot me now?

Enter the second interview. I learn my lesson. I find another room, and I send my brother downstairs. And again, I warn the kids, don't bug me! So we start the interview and I'm about half-way through when my mother's cheap phone dies. So I run into the other room where my kids are laughing at me, and the second phone won't pick up. (Apparently, it's a different line.) So I shout at my mother who answers the downstairs phone, I run down there, grab it and get back on the phone, which excites my dog so she starts barking again. Oh. My. goodness! I am everything they tell you NOT to do on a phone interview.

But the DJ recovers fine, and thank goodness, it's taped, so we start again where we left off, but I am having a hard time taking myself seriously at the moment. I have a degree in advertising/marketing. I did PR for years. I know all these things, the problem is, my family doesn't and if I've learned anything in life it's that you can only truly control yourself.

I need a trip to the spa.


Real Men

One of the reasons I wrote, "A Billion Reasons Why" is that I wanted to harken back to the era when men were men and took care of their families. They took pride in protecting and providing for their families.

Chick flicks have done so badly in recent times because they want to be politically-correct and in the process feminize men and make sure women "save themselves." Listen, I understand that women don't need to be taken care of, but I also understand the desire TO BE taken care of. Women need to feel safe to have children and know they'll be provided for, and let's face it, no matter how PC we get, women have to take time off to have babies. So while girly men will call that gold-digging, real men will take pride in the fact that they can provide for their families.

While traveling this weekend, I met some real men, and I'm so thrilled they are alive and well! First, I sat next to an engineer whose three year old son had just been diagnosed with a fatal disease. Usually, these kids don't make it past age 15, but he'd researched a cure and had gone to his boss in Silicon Valley to secure the funds to pay for the speculative drug that could cure his son, and he was on his way to Vegas to talk the drug company into selling him the drug.

He had a gorgeous family (he showed me a picture) and his wife was home dealing with the day-to-day business of caring for the children while he "did something." Most men can't stand to sit still in the protecting game. Remember when the Colonel says in "Sense & Sensibility" to give him a task or he shall go mad? Manly.

On the way home, I met a guy whose mother lived across the country and took care of his stepfather, who had become disabled from a stroke. He was taking the kids to take care of his stepfather and give his mom respite. His wife and mom were going to Vegas to see some shows. A man who looks after his Mom is definitely manly.

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Traditional roles are so non-PC, but trust me, a woman will pick a man's man any day of the week over a feminized one. I'm not saying traditional roles can't be reversed, but it becomes hard to respect a man who doesn't have a purpose and I've seen too many men put their own needs over those of their family. In the church, it seems a lot of men want the respect without doing the work. Providing and protecting. It's a beautiful thing. Even if they do watch sports and "Star Trek."


American Idol's James Durbin

James Durbin is my favorite right now, and I do hope he makes it. There are many reasons. One is he has an unbelievable range. Two, he's a young daddy and with Aspergers that means a lot to me. He's succeeded at keeping a relationship together. (Not easy for Aspy.) And he's found a way to connect to music and go outside of his Aspergers. That's a success story to me.

I'm not a fan of Beatles' night and while I think it's unfair for these kids who don't get that music to have to perform it so early, I also think as a music lover, I know ALL music eras, so I don't get these people who want to be musicians and don't have an understanding of the classics.

Same goes for writers, I suppose. If you don't know why the classics are around, you need to go back to the drawing board and doing some reading.

All that said, WOW, they sure have kicked it up a notch. The talent is so enormous and they're requiring so much more of these kids early on in the process.

Ashley the bride on the Vegas wedding has the crazy gene for the arts. Let's hope she pulls it off. : ) Nothing says lasting love like an impromptu Vegas chapel wedding.

What did you think?

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