Thursday, October 19, 2017

Cocktails and Dinosaurs: VeganMoFo 2017 Edition

The consistently random posts where I utilize my strengths which include drinking cocktails and sharing a bullet point list of shit I found on the internet.  I love you, internet.

First off, it's VeganMoFo and I actually did one of the daily prompts.  For day 19, "a dish with five ingredients or fewer (not including cooking oil and salt and pepper)" I made quinoa with kale stems and roasted vegetables (shallots, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes).

  • As a person who identifies as bun-curious, I'm excited to try out Meera Sodha's recipe for vegan mushroom bao. (via The Guardian)
  • Every one in a while the internet gives you a gift, like when you're trying to find the article about the Nicolas Cage potato snacks sold in Japan, so you google "Nicolas Cage Japan" and you are delighted by a collection of absurd Pachinko commercials.

  • Side note: I might just start putting "Japan" at the end of all my searches.  
  • Jane Goodall, at 83, still inspiring and making a difference for the animals in this great interview at Scientific American

    “Every single individual makes a difference every single day,” she says in her quiet but determined British accent. “We get to choose what sort of difference we’re going to make.”
  • Try to force out of your mind images of Spencer Pratt with his crystals and embrace this beginner's guide to crystals. (via The GirlieGirl Army)  Don't let him ruin this for us.
  • The director of Drive and Neon Demon, Nicholas Winding Refn, is introducing his own free streaming service.  "Each month will feature a different restored movie (thanks in part to Harvard Film Archive) that fits into a theme that'll change every quarter."  The service launches in February, but beta registration is live now.  (via Engadget) 
Cocktail of the Week:  Gin and Tonic

Email that crap out of us @ monicatara[at]  Or just comment here!  We would love feedback and cocktail ideas!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Cinema with Comestible Accompaniments: Dragnet

A safe place for lovers of movies and pun-based food recipes with a fondness for TBS's Dinner and A Movie.  Oh yeah, and all the classic Dinner and A Movie recipes will be veganized. 

The Movie
Dragnet (1987)
Leonard Maltin Review:  **1/2 D: Tom Mankiewicz.  Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer, Harry Morgan, Alexandra Paul, Jack O'Halloran, Elizabeth Ashley, Dabney Coleman, Kathleen Freeman.  Aykroyd is a comic reincarnation of Jack Webb, playing Sgt. Joe Friday's dense but dedicated nephew in this parody.  Hanks is fun as his freewheeling new partner, with Morgan, Webb's onetime sidekick, now promoted to captain of the L.A.P.D.  Starts out quite funny, then goes flat...but the punchline is a howl.  Aykroyd co-scripted with Mankiewicz and Alan Zweibel.

Spoiler Alert:  There may be spoilers peppered though the movie portion of this post, consider yourself warned.

First, let's take a look at the title theme because it is so painfully and beautifully 80's.

"Just the facts, ma'am." -Joe Friday

Dragnet, originally an American radio series started in 1949, that portrayed the cases of a Los Angeles police detective, Sergeant Joe Friday, and his partners.  (Wikipedia never lies)  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a radio series, it's like a podcast that streams live by using radio waves to carry information like sound.
This classic buddy cop comedy is filled with intrigue, car chases, girls in bikinis, a virgin in a white dress, an evil group raining havoc on the city of Los Angeles, but at the heart it, it's about friendship...and the defense of pornography?

"Friday, these animals were trapped and stunned and roped and crated and shipped.  Dropped into cages.  You think they were out in the wild, forming lines, jockeying for position saying, 'Take me.  Take me.  I wanna live on the damn cement'?"  - Pep

At the beginning of the movie, we get the strong impression that Pep Streebek, Joe Friday's new partner, might be a vegan/vegetarian concerned with animal rights issues.  First, he argues with Joe that dragging an animal out of its natural habitat and trapping it in a cage to live in a zoo for the rest of its existence is animal cruelty, both valid and true.  Then, he lectures Joe on his unhealthy chili dog habit whilst eating a mixture of fruit and lettuce with chopsticks.  However, halfway through the movie he kills a 30 foot anaconda with a handful of hallucinogenic drugs and asks Granny Monday if she's ever eaten a chili dog off the back of a motorcycle.  Is this a commentary on the fickle nature of hipster youths or just inconsistency?

Enid Borden (Kathleen Freeman) has the best lines in this movie:
"That goddamned pus-faced little pimp stick!"
"Useless scum lapping shit bag!"
" there's nothing you can do about it, you slimy little jizz bucket!"
"That miserable little bag of puke!"

Peter Leeds, Kathleen Freeman (above), and Harry Morgan (M*A*S*H) were all cast members of various earlier "Dragnet" shows. (IMDB)

"Look out!  Moppets!"  -Joe Friday
What happened to movies with car chases that destroy fruit carts or hit piles of stuffed animals?  I googled moppet and it means a small endearingly sweet child.  I'm so glad they didn't hit any of them.

"Surf's up, beach boy, but not for you.  You'll be hanging ten downtown." -Joe Friday

"Well, Emil...I guess it's just you and me...and...your balls and this drawer." -Pep

"Kill the good!  Kill the good!  Kill the good!  Kill the good!" - P.A.G.A.N. (People Against Goodness and Normalcy, aka the bad guys)

Connie Swail's house (shown above) was used as Ray Peterson's home in The'Burbs (1989).  It was later used as Susan Mayer's house in the television series Desperate Housewives (2004).  (IMDB)

"Now, if you'll both excuse me.  I'm afraid the second-highest duty calls." -Reverend Whirley 
This is a poop joke...right?

It is stated that one of the Bait Mate April's favorite movies is The Sound of Music (1965), which featured Christopher Plummer (Reverend Whirley). (IMDB)

"Granny, have you ever eaten a chili dog off the back of a motorcycle?" -Pep

"Reverend, you have balls as big as church bells." -Jerry Caesar

The photograph of Captain Gannon's wife behind his desk is the same photograph as Colonel Potter's wife in M*A*S*H (1972).  Both parts were played by Harry Morgan. (IMDB)

"You know, in spite of every logical instinct I've ever had in my life, I consider you a friend, a real friend." -Pep

This movie was the second time Tom Hanks and Dabney Coleman worked together.  The first time was The Man With One Red Shoe (1985).  (IMDB) 

"Muzz, you weren't even born with the sense God gave the common dog.  Don't you know that's my partner?" -Joe Friday

"Just close your eyes and think of Christmas." -Joe Friday

The Recipe
Just the Facts, Tofu Ham

To veganize this recipe, I had to mashup an Isa Chandra Moskowitz recipe with the Claud Mann recipe.  If you would like to make the inspirational Sweet and Smoky Glazed Tofu Ham, you can find it here or pick up The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook at your local bookstore.  Actually, you should pick up three copies, one for travelling with, one to keep in your kitchen, and one for paging through while you're in the bathroom.  It's a good read and has lots of pictures, but I shouldn't have to explain myself.

  • 1 12 oz. block of tofu
For the marinade:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup 
  • 6 oz. stout beer (for help finding vegan stout try here or here)
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
For the tofu ham:
  • 1/2 cup of each: chopped onion, carrots, and celery
  • 6 oz. stout beer
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced 
  • Whole cloves (a bunch of them)
For the glaze:
  • 3 tbsp orange or apricot marmalade
  • 1/2 cup marsala or sherry
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 6 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • The will to serve (hot) and to protect (your reputation in the kitchen)

 1.  In a shallow dish or gallon size zipper bag, whisk together all the marinade ingredients.  Place the block of tofu in the marinade, turn to coat, and marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hour, and up to overnight.
2.  Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

3.  Toss the vegetable and sage around in the beer.  (This kind of makes no sense, but I wanted an even coating of sage on the veggies.)
 4.  In the square pan I set aside for brownies and mac-n-cheese (9x9?), arrange the orange slices in an even layer.  Place the marinated tofu in the center.

5.  Lightly score the top of the tofu with a sharp knife in a latticework design, about 1/4 inch deep.  Press the whole cloves into the intersections of the cuts.

6.  Add the vegetables around the sides of the tofu and drizzle some of the leftover marinade over everything.

7.  Bake for an hour.
8.  Mix together the Marsala, marmalade, dry mustard, and maple syrup.

9.  After the tofu has baked for 1 hour, brush the Marsala mixture over the surface of the tofu.  Bake an additional 30 minutes, basting the tofu  with the Marsala mixture every 5 minutes.

10.  Allow the tofu to cool for about 5 minutes before slicing to serve.
10.  You've finished your work, what do you see...just a tofu ham?... Well, that's not all I see.  Mister--I see the good people of this city lined up with arms akimbo waiting to try an honest piece of bean curd grown by thousands of proud soy farmers working hard to produce a leaner, more healthful soy product.

Tara's review: "It was delish.  Good texture, opposite of bland...I think if I were to change anything, it would be less citrus."

Happy VeganMoFo!

Sunday, October 1, 2017


Happy October 1st, everyone!  Monica and I are gnawing the air with excitement about VeganMoFo 2017.  We got the opportunity to traipse through London, Paris, and Dublin last month and have glorious European food porn to share; here's a snap of our lunch at Vx all-vegan restaurant and shop in King's Cross:

You're staring at Vx Burgers with sides of chips.  The wheat burger patty, spicy ketchup, and cheese were yum-o.  The chips were a touch undercooked and could have greatly benefited from some of that spicy ketchup (and perhaps a dab of vegan mayo).  But an American loser can't be a chooser.

In addition to posting more Euro-meals, I'll be brewing some "flavors of autumn" lattes (Will the infamous PSL get included? Warning: Yes.), whipping up a few of Jason Wyrick's Vegan Tacos, and crafting a spine-tingling Halloween dessert. 

Monica will dive in shortly with her VeganMoFo dreams and schemes.  Let's rock! 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Cinema with Comestible Accompaniments: Only the Lonely

A safe place for lovers of movies and pun-based food recipes with a fondness for TBS's Dinner and A Movie.  Oh yeah, and all the classic Dinner and A Movie recipes will be veganized. 

The Movie
Only the Lonely (1991)
Leonard Maltin Review:  *** D: Chris Columbus.  John Candy, Maureen O'Hara, Ally Sheedy, James Belushi, Anthony Quinn, Kevin Dunn, Milo O'Shea, Bert Remsen, Joe V. Greco, Macaulay Culkin, Kieran Culkin.  Chicago cop, who still lives with his mom, falls in love--and has to overcome both his mother's resistance and his feelings of guilt over leaving her.  Sweet, sentimental update of MARTY shines with performances that are right on-target, including O'Hara's first since 1973's THE RED PONY.

Spoiler Alert:  There may be spoilers salted and peppered though the movie portion of this post, consider yourself warned.

Sometimes it's good to be a cop, sometimes it's not.  Although according to this movie the only time it's not good to be a cop is when you accidentally drop a corpse out an apartment window, but we'll get back to that later.

"I can't skip bingo.  I love it." - Rose

Danny (John Candy), a single Chicago cop, lives with his mother Rose (Maureen O'Hara).  His partner, Sal (James Belushi), is having problems with his wife after he surprised her with some sort of sex toy that she had mistaken for a giant centipede.  His brother, Patrick (Kevin Dunn), puts an unreasonable amount of pressure on one of his three sons, Billy (Macaulay Culkin), and is super aggressive about getting Danny to move out to Florida with their mom.

Good to see Macaulay doing his own stunts.  He's such a professional.  Chris Columbus, according to IMDb, said he was an incredibly charming kid when he worked with him on Home Alone (1990) and brought him and Kieran back for a cameo in this movie.  When the film was released, Home Alone was still in theaters.  At the end of the weekend, this movie finished 4th in the box office with Home Alone finishing in 11th.

"Your friend there's fluthered." - Frank

Fluthered, what a great word!

"Okay fine.  Take the body back.  He can't drink anyway.  What did you do, sew his lips shut?" - one of Tommy Bones' friends

After the corpse of Tommy Bones is taken into O'Neill's for his final drink with his friends, we meet Theresa Luna (Ally Sheedy), the girls that paints dead people's look like famous people.

"I don't believe this.  I'm getting romantic advice from a widow and two bachelors." - Danny

"I'm sorry.  See, I just got lucky in there with a girl.  I didn't mean it like that.  It's not what you're thinking.  She does everybody in there.  Not in that way but she probably did that guy there for example...I got to go." - Danny

Nick, the Greek neighbor, is in love with Rose, but Rose is a complicated woman and is not into his aggressive courtship.  She might also have some deep-seated hatred for Greek people, it's unclear.  The Sicilians, for sure, but the Greeks, not so sure.  He does seem to know how to charm her on occasion.

"Rose, have you forgotten what a sweet thing romance can be?" - Nick

Danny and Theresa's first date is at old Comiskey Park and was filmed not long after the final baseball game was played there.  In the establishing shot above, you can see both the old Comiskey Park and the new Comiskey Park, renamed US Cellular Field in 2003 and Guaranteed Rate Field in 2016.

Back to the corpse and the most memorable part of this movie when I originally watched this as a child.
As Danny and Sal are lowering a corpse tied to a fire hose from an apartment building window, Sal accuses Danny of being "pussy-whipped" for wanted to go on a second date with Theresa instead of going to a football game with him.  Sal, there is a reason you are sleeping on the couch.  **cough cough** misogyny **cough cough**

"You think I'm going to that door alone?  What if it's a crack maniac dressed up as Frankenstein or a rapist dressed up like Elmer Fudd?" -Rose

The Irish stew I prepare below went slightly better than the meal Danny makes for their first sleepover date.
This line stood out to me for some reason.  As some of you may know Ally Sheedy starred in Maid to Order (1987) where she plays a rich girl who becomes penniless and must take a maid's job to earn a living.  Only the Lonely came out in 1991.  Is this a not so subtle reference to Maid to Order?

"Rose, I know you realize it's the nineties.  I'm just not sure you realize it's the 1990's." -Polish priest

Even though his mother, brother and partner Sal discourage him from pursuing his relationship with Theresa and Danny deserves a shot at love.  Rose beats up a bunch of terrorist to prove that she'll be fine on her own and Danny can move to New York City to be with Theresa.

"Everything in life does relate to sex, Danny.  I mean, think about it.  Do you realize that 45% of these people in these buildings right now are having sex of some sort?  That's a statistic, Danny." -Sal

Let's take a moment to appreciate the soundtrack for this movie: the title song Roy Orbison's Only the Lonely, Etta James performing Otis Redding's I've Got Dreams to Remember, a couple Van Morrison songs, Jimmy Durante, Mario Lanza, Dean Martin.  

"I love you, ma." -Danny
"I'm not so lovable." -Rose
"True enough.  I'm kidding." - Danny

Some More Fun Fact from IMDb:

  • Chris Columbus wrote the script with Maureen O'Hara in mind for the role of the mother.  What he didn't know was that she had long since been retired and was living on St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.  Knowing her brother, Charles B. Fitzsimons was still in the movie industry, Columbus contacted him and had a script sent.
  • This would turn out to be Maureen O'Hara's final feature film with the exception of three TV movies (1995, 1998, and 2000).
  • During filming, Maureen O'Hara would often tell John Candy that he reminded her of Charles Laughton, citing that underneath the clown character had existed a powerful, complicated actor.  O'Hara told Candy to trust his talent as an actor and not always play the clown.
  • This is the only John Hughes film where he wasn't the writer.
  • Producer John Hughes insisted to writer/director Chris Columbus that Ally Sheedy be cast as Theresa. 

The Recipe
Irish Stew for One
(for original recipe click here)

(also pictured some whiskey on the rocks with a sprig of rosemary because I bought a lot of rosemary)

For the stew:

  • 1 block of tofu, cut into 1-2 in cubes (but I think tempeh would work well in this recipe as well)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 each: bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic clove
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 3 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 10-oz can cannellini beans (I used 15-oz)
  • salt and pepper
For the soda bread:
  • 2 cups flour 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 cup almond milk w/ 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (combine and set aside 5-10 minutes to make buttermilk)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 copy "How to be Your Own Best Friend"
1. Preheat oven to 250⁰F.

 2.  Prepare the stew: Heat the oil in a large, heavy (oven safe) pot over medium-high heat.  (It's times like these I wish I had a dutch oven, but instead I used my cast iron pan and wrapped some heavy duty foil over it when it was time to transfer to the oven).

3.  Brown the tofu in 3 batches, then return all the tofu to the pot and add the stock, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.
 4.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the preheated oven.  Cook for 45 minutes.
5.  Meanwhile, cut the vegetables.
 6.  Add the potatoes, onions, carrot, cannelini beans and chopped parsley.  Cover and continue cooking until the vegetable are tender.  (The original recipe says this is about 20 min., for me it was about 1 hour and 40 minutes.)  This will take some time, hopefully you didn't have any plans tonight.
 7.  Prepare the soda bread: Preheat the oven to 375⁰F.

8.  Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and rosemary in a mixing bowl.

9.  In a small bowl, mix together the tomato paste and buttermilk mixture.

 10.  Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and knead the dough until it holds together.
11.  Shape the dough into small, depressing, 1 person loaves and brush with a little olive oil.  Bake about 15-20 minutes, or until done.
(I read this whole part wrong and made one big loaf and forgot the olive oil.  It still came out good though.)

Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Nick Nick Doom: Death of the Bachelor Posts

Disclaimer:  Tara wrote the following several weeks ago while I was busy curled up in the fetal position stress eating, signing every online petition I could get my hands on and putting my senators on speed dial.  Needless to say, we will not be recapping the rest of the season.

Monica and I have decided to end our recaps of Nick's season; this should provide some clarity.  Furthermore, in light of our new fascist regime, we need to retreat to our titanium bunker carved into the side of Mount Haystack and plot over bowls of room temperature corn niblets.  If anyone wants to share protest experiences, conversations with senators' staff, methods of self-care, etc., we'd love to get privy.

To make the oncoming radio silence less painful, here are the Blog 'Scuse Me Official Predictions of Bachelor Shenanigans to Come:
  • Taylor will rip Corinne's face and hair off to reveal she's been a vengeful gopher on stilts this whole time. 
  • Nick will convert to Eckankar and get too busy trying to achieve God-Realization to focus on dating (I've lost count of how many times this has happened on reality tv). 
  • The cast will receive order from Chris Harrison and an "anonymous collaborator" to vacation in Russia, where Nick will ride a stallion topless and unceremoniously toss Corinne into Klyuchevskaya Sopka.
Sorry, Nick, much like your production team we have failed you.  (Monica again)

On the bright side, Rachel is going to be the next Bachelorette.  She'll be making history as the first black lead on the show after 21 seasons of The Bachelor and 12 seasons on The Bachelorette.  Let's just hope we will get our shit together in time to recap her season.

Love, bouncy castles, and puppies, until next time/season!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Nick Nick Boom: Week 2 Recap

Welcome to blog 'scuse me?'s Bachelor Season 21 Recap.

We will continue the tradition of me (Monica) writing in blue and Tara in orange even though if you read this on a feed reader you probably won't be able to tell, but who cares.

**Needless to say, if you haven't watched episode 2, there are spoilers below.**

Side Note: I'm not sure if you can start with a side note, but I'm doing it.  I've been thinking about this Corinne/Nanny business for a week now and I think I might get it.  Other household assistants (i.e. maids, butlers, &c.) only provide services like cleaning, greeting guests, preparing food but having a nanny is like paying a stranger to fulfill a mom/daughter relationship without conflicts.  The only time you could disappoint your nanny is if the check doesn't clear.  Otherwise, you spend time baking cookies, watching Gilmore Girls arguing about whether or not Rory is a good journalist while she teaches you how to knit.  Who is suppose to hold my hand while I'm crossing the street when my mom's at work?  My nanny, that's who!

Let's get into the episode!  

From the opening scenes, we can see that they are plying the girls with liquor.  Rachel makes a comment about only getting 2 hours of sleep.  I feel like The Bachelor production team is showing their cards this season or maybe I'm just starting to notice it.  Liquor plus sleep deprivation plus dehydration equals crazy girls and good "reality."

Josephine is "bursting with excitement", thankfully not hard enough to explode the clasps on her overalls, because Nick is so attractive with his "genuine nature".  Can we get our hands on what I assume is a collection of VHS tapes hidden in a government vault that show this alleged genuine quality?  All I've seen thus far is a languid but persistent hunger for reality show fame. 

Chris Harrison stops by the mansion with a little exposition and a date card.  This week will have 2 group dates and 1 one on one date.

1st Date Card - Always a Bride's Maid...
w/ Corinne, Vanessa, Sarah, Alexis, Hailey, Lacey, Brittany, Jasmine G., Raven, Danielle L., Taylor, Elizabeth

Nick prances up to the group wearing dark button-down and slacks, looking like a hungover lounge fly, and Lacey tells the camera he looks great, but then again, he could "wear a potato sack" and look amazing.  This conjures an intriguing image because Nick is a human potato sack. 

The theme of this date is wedding photos with Franco LaCosta.  Franco has a rack of bridal gowns that each have a cute little theme.  Vanessa is the 80's bride (my favorite dress) with Raven and Jasmine G. as her bride's maids.  Alexis is our pregnant shotgun bride because after being a shark/dolphin last episode we need a shot of balancing a drink on her pregnant belly.

Alexis expresses her disappointment over this look, telling the camera she thought "shotgun bride" meant "looking hot and sexy with guns".  Nineteen hundred gold stars.

Brittany is the Adam and Eve bride because that's a thing and it's not The Bachelor if they don't make one contestant get near naked on the first group date.  Sarah is the Las Vegas bride.  Hailey is the biker bride.  Danielle L. is the boring traditional bride with Lacey as her bride's maid.  Taylor is the princess bride which sadly has nothing to do with the movie.  Corinne is the beach bride which involves just a bikini and a veil.

Corinne is feeling super confident about her bikini "gown" since all the other girls are all covered up in taffeta and lace.  Nick won't be able to see all their lady parts.  How's he supposed to know the difference between them and Chris Harrison.  And then Brittany walks in with her leaf covered bikini bottoms and nothing but her long wavy hair covering her nips.  Challenge accepted, Brittany.  Corinne is here to win... a vacation in Mexico on the next season of Bachelor in Paradise.

Highlights of the date:  1) When the ladies march down the steps for their fake wedding photos with Nick (who appears to be wearing a suit made of mylar), the "TGIF sax" version of wedding march music plays. 2) Whoever plants one on Nick during her respective shoot gets a response that makes lukewarm corn syrup look like mulled wine.  Nick should have laid out a "no kissing until Episode 4" policy when the girls first got the mansion.  He is literally a dead body getting dragged around by Franco in "Weekend at Douchey's".

Let's take a moment to appreciate Franco's outfit.

Corinne wins the challenge and sashays out with a triumphant giggle while the other girls applaud and smile in a rare show of sportswomanship:

(The woman in the foreground is Franco).

Corinne ups the ante for the group date after dark activities.  After a thorough make out sesh (with Nick), Corinne interrupts not one but two other contestants time with Nick.  Classic taboo in the TV dating world.  When Taylor, the second girl to get interrupted, decides she good enough, smart enough and gosh darn-it people like her and she deserves her time with Nick.  Corinne can't boss her around.  Taylor comes back and asks if she can interrupt.  Boosh!

I am officially fucking sick of Basic Bitch Corinne.  When a person makes me long for the fang-baring "can i steal you....AGAIN" days of Olivia, there is a tremendous problem.  I'm 260% sure the producers have already drafted a rider to Nick's contract forbidding him from kicking her off until she makes it to the Final Six. 

Corinne's sloppy behavior gets her a safety rose, which incites well-deserved cynicism in a few of the empty-handed ladies.  Quoth the Raven:

"If you want a woman who leads with her sexuality, no wonder it's your fourth time.  I know that's mean, but..."

I have nothing against a person who leads with his/her sexuality and disagree with anyone getting shamed or dismissed for such, but Raven bringing up this is Nick's fourth go-round (you know, because he's a fucking failure and a half) gets her the biggest blue ribbon at the state fair.  


Quotable quote from Corinne:  "When I was talking to Nick, he was, like, LISTENING.  Like, guys don't LISTEN to me!" 


2nd Date Card - Our Relationship is About To Take Off...
w/ Danielle M.

There is not much to say here.  Typical Bachelor date: Helicopter to the yacht to the hot tub to the dinner that never gets touched.  She tells Nick about losing her fiancee to drug addiction.

(Is it just me or are they rushing all the story lines they usually space out through the season?  What do they have up their sleeves?)

Nick whines about getting dumped by both Andi and Kaitlyn after making it to the Final Two on their respective seasons, and how when you love you have to be vulnerable, or something.  Danielle M. hangs on every word, enraptured:

When Danielle M. is getting candid with Nick about her fiance's death, he looks like he's biting his tongue to keep from saying "Ah, come on, babe, don't talk on our first date about other bros you slept with. Daaang."

3rd Date Card - We Need To Talk...
w/ Christen, Josephine, Astrid, Jaimi, Kristina, Liz

Before this date, Liz tells her new friend/fellow contestant, Christen, all about her post-Jade-and-Tanner-nuptial coitus with Nick.  Great idea!  This won't backfire.
The theme of this date is break ups because Nick has some baggage from nine months ago that he needs to dump. 
Apparently, Hollywood has a Museum of Broken Relationships and when a man takes you here on your first date it means you will not make it to the final four.  Prove me wrong, Nick.

We get to see a relic from Nick's history here in the museum, a dead rose and his engagement ring to Kaitlin (the second bachelorette to dump him).
It's a bit much. 

Poor Christen was giddily clasping her hands, hoping they were going to be on a talk show.  Instead, she's forced to visit an emo breakup exhibit and listen to Nick whine about Kaitlyn the Heart-Smashing Canadian.  The producers would rather film this shit than show the gang traipsing around with Jimmy Kimmel?  Okay. 

All the girls get to break up with Nick in cute little skits.  Astrid hands him his rose back, Kristina does some dental hygienist-esque thing, Jaimi tells him he's messy, Christen's was forgettable because I forgot it (she accuses Nick of calling her, is some latent self-shaming coming to the surface, Christen?  Are you okay?), Josephine slaps him and won my heart, and Liz... oh fuck, why?  Liz retells the story of them meeting at a wedding in front of all the other girls and only Christen knows it's actually true.  Everyone else just thinks she's a shitty story teller/dumper. 

I love Liz's turn from second one:

Liz: *cracking mini notebook* "So Nick..."


(forty minutes later)

Liz:  "I came to learn that I was afraid of letting you in..."


What now lives in Pulp Fiction-esque infamy as The Liz Situation is proving itself quite the burden on Nick's good time, and the world can hear the exit limo's engine revving...

Why did I write "David Blaine" in my notes?

During group date night time activities, Nick fishes for information as to whether or not the other girls know about him and Liz's past.  Christen spills the beans!  She knows and Nick is not happy.  After an awkward conversation with Liz, he sends her home before she can do more damage.  Good job saving face, Nick.  Now Nick can control the narrative of their night together as he comes clean to all the girls on group date.

Liz feebly tries to explain why she never got in touch with Nick after the sex, and all she accomplishes is looking like a generic brand Julianne Moore and making no sense.  When Corinne begins to look like a more valuable competitor, it's time to pack your bags.  Did Liz not learn from Frasier that "we need to talk" is always a death knell? 

FYI, Kristina's accent is Russian!  Not knowing was killing me.

Episode Stinger:  Alexis celebrates her boobs' birthday with Nick.  Sigh.