Wednesday, September 25, 2019

It's the End of the End of the End. #BB21

I keep forgetting that tonight is the finale of Big Brother 21.  And I keep forgetting that there are three house guests still trapped inside that sound stage, likely chomping at the bit to get the hell out of there, but probably dreading what lies ahead, even just a little bit.

Did you ever think that Jackson, Holly and Nicole would be the Final Three?  It certainly seemed unlikely on Day #44, the day that Jackson talks about so often.  (That is the day that Jackson's alliance BLEW UP and he learned they were turning on him, nearly evicting Kathryn instead of Sam.)


I turned on the live feeds for about an hour yesterday while I cranked out a non-profit tax filing (Form 990) and it was just as boring as it looks here.  Holly was alone in the kitchen, all bundled up in layers of sweatshirt and flannel, eating a plate of what looks like a roasted vegetable medley while sorting and arranging bits of cereal.

Holly rarely speaks to the live feeders.  She used to do it from time-to-time, but she seemed to think we all referred to her as "Hols" and she wanted to do some sort of a daily "show" on the live feeds where she interviewed the other house guests in what was surely a desperate play for camera time.

Of course, that is far from an original idea.  Just ask BB19's Dominque Cooper.


Holly took her sweet time arranging these colorful bits into a pattern and shape, clearly trying to send a message to someone out there.  If she addressed them by name verbally though, I was not aware of it.

I can now announce that the cereal is Froot Loops, based on seeing the box in another picture.  I know I brag about this every summer, but I have never tasted Froot Loops before, and am somewhat offended by the incorrect spelling of the word "Fruit".


So, I guess this message means something to somebody.  Holly loves you, "N + C".  Or "Nic".  Or who or whatever.

Holly could have won some points from me if the message said "Help Me" or "I Hate Him" or some other fun message like that.  Nicole and Jackson were both in bed so it's not like they would have seen it anyway.


I took this picture a day or so earlier to represent what is often the only spoken words on the live feeds lately.  Holly doing the Baby Talking with Jackson.  I saw a tweet that said she threatened Jackson that if he cut her at the end of the game, taking Nicole to the Jury instead, she'd be sure to poison the Jury against him.

That sounded interesting to me, so I took the time to flash back to watch that conversation, but the quote was taken out of context in the tweet.  Holly said it in her Bedroom Baby Talk voice and they were kind of laughing about it.

Personally I don't think Holly needs to worry about that.  I think Jackson will take Holly to the end, and one thing I will look forward to is his speech pointing out how her game was vastly inferior to his game all summer.  In fact I think he might drag her by saying he dragged her to the Finale.  Which is somewhat true.

You may recall that Mike Boogie got to the end of BB7 All Stars with Erika, his showmance, and said some horribly rude things in his speech, including saying that he "used Erika up for all she was worth", or something along those lines.  I doubt Jackson wants to break his "Southern Gentleman" act right there in front of God, the World and Julie Chen Moonves, but he wants to win and will do whatever is necessary to make that happen.  If he's sitting next to Holly and she starts ripping on him, I think he'll go where ever he needs to go with his comments to get the job done.


And here is Holly with her bundled-up Fall look in the house.  Maybe those are Jackson's clothes.


These two don't have the sort of conversations that it seems like you would have after a few months of "dating", but maybe the cameras interfere with that.  Maybe they're too young or haven't had many different experiences in life, but it seems like people who are friends and want to get to keep getting to know each other would have a lot of things to talk about.  You know, stories and what not.

But these two talk constantly about how cool the competitions were, basically how each competition that they compete in is their favorite, and how they would go outside and play it all over again if they could, just for fun.  They also talk about how good the food is, basically that same adjective over and over and over again.  Not tangy or spicy or crunchy or satisfying.  It's all "good", a word that would get you fired if you were a judge on Chopped.  And of course, these two are not judges on Chopped.


During Holly and Jackson's discussion of how "good" the food was, the camera crew's mind wandered and they focused on various still life scenes around the house, like this owl for instance.  Do you think they know how many owls are present in that house?  Maybe that's a tie breaker question for tonight.  You never know.


Nicole has been stuck in the house with these two and is likely ready to climb the damn walls by now to get away from them.  She's been talking to the cameras frequently and told both Holly and Jackson that she'd like to have separate discussions with them last night.  Because as you know, Nicole isn't in the running to be the Final HoH---only Jackson and Holly can win that title because they both won the first two stages of the competition.

Nicole can only sit and wait and see who wins the final competition on tonight's live Finale and then try to wedge herself in there to be the one they take to the Final Two.


***WHAT DOES DERRICK THINK ABOUT THIS?***

Derrick hasn't been constantly glued to the live feeds this season, but he watched Nicole's pitches to Holly and Jackson last night and generously shared his thoughts about the conversations, including his view of their body language and responses to each other.  Derrick used his expertise in interviewing that he learned from being a police officer for so many years combined with what he knows about the house guests and here is a summary of his views.

Nicole's Pitches

Derrick said she covered the same basic information with each person, saying that the Jury's votes could go either way.  Derrick said Nicole clearly thinks Holly is more malleable and that she has a better chance of swaying her decision, because she was more open with Holly and didn't dip much below the surface in her conversation with Jackson.

Derrick:  Nicole thinks that Jackson has already made up his mind that he is taking Holly with him, and that Holly will lose the game if she goes to the end with Jackson.

Derrick thinks that Nicole's pitches were good, but she was clearly nervous and should have been doing the same thing for the last three days, pushing the topic softly every few hours with each of them to get in their heads.


Jackson's Demeanor

Derrick says Jackson's conduct and mannerisms are very obvious to him, and that Jackson clearly thinks he will win the Jury votes against either Holly or Nicole in the Final Two.

Derrick:  Jackson is nervous about Holly cutting him at the end because he knows that she should cut him in the end if she wants to win.  That's why he keeps saying "don't burn me" to her.  He's very nervous about that aspect of this and this concern is transparent.  He thinks he can beat either of the women because he was a better physical competitor winning all of the comps and also  had a better social game and is a better talker.  Jackson is pretty full of himself and I think he will go after Holly in his closing speeches and arguments in order to win.

Derrick said that Jackson is "a heavy breather" but Derrick couldn't see his chest clearly during his conversation with Nicole to see how he was impacted by the conversation.  Derrick saw that Jackson "clenched up" every time NIcole mentions that the Jury vote could go either way.

Derrick:  Jackson was yawning, too, and I haven't watched him enough to know, but sometimes the yawning represents anxiety or nervous energy.

Holly's Demeanor

Derrick thinks Holly's conversation with Nicole was a different story than Jackson's situation.  She knows she will have a hard time winning against Jackson because his game was "leaps and bounds" above her own game.  Derrick also said some interesting things about her relationship with Jackson.

Derrick: I'm not trying to be disrespectful, but there's a difference between a showmance and a sexmance, and I think both Jackson and Holly know this is a temporary relationship.  And to compare this with Jeff and Jordan, I wouldn't even be bringing this up about them, because there was no question that they planned to have a relationship with each other after the season ended.

Derrick noted that Holly was very closed off and reserved during her conversation with Nicole.  He saw that she looked up and to the right during the conversation and that he's not necessarily a strong proponent of this type of analysis, but other investigators are.  He explained that some people think looking up and to the right indicates you might be creating a story, while looking up and to the left is the side that indicates logic and factual information, but he's not a strong believer in this.

(As a lifelong lefthander, this is shocking to me because I thought the left side indicated creativity, but I'm not sure current psychology backs that up.  All I know is that I went home from grade school one day and told my mother that the teachers tied my left hand behind my back so I wouldn't write with it and my mother went down to that school and had a Come To Jesus meeting with the teacher about interfering with the way I express myself with a pencil.  But I am actually ambidextrous and use scissors, kitchen knives and a desktop calculator with my right hand.  If I were to bat during a softball game (NEVER) I would bat right, and my golf swing (TOOK LESSONS IN FLA) was right, too.)

Derrick thinks Holly was very careful about what she said to Nicole because she was concerned Nicole would tell Jackson and he might fly into one of his rages and evict her for it.   But Derrick does think that Holly was more open to Nicole's pitch than Jackson was, and Nicole clearly knew that.

Derrick:  But the relationship isn't emotional for either Holly or Jackson.  It's just sex and they can get that anywhere once the game is over and they leave the house.  It's strictly a binary decision for both of them, ones and zeros, all about the money.  And I can say this....I've talked to Cody about this, and besides the stool (ie the "sex stool" in the HoH shower) Cody and I were a lot closer to each other than Jackson and Holly.  We both knew we would be friends outside of the house and the game.

You can find this conversation on Derrick's twitter feed...he's obviously very astute in his observations and packed a lot of information into about 30 minutes of chatter.  I think he feels that Nicole can beat Holly, but Holly will lose against Jackson.  He also said that Nicole gets very nervous about public speaking and this may hurt her if she's trying to convince the Jury she should win.  (But if she's sitting next to Holly......well, we've all seen what Holly's "speeches" are like.  Not persuasive or even coherent at all.)


Eric from Reality Recaps says Holly told the live feeders that she is carefully considering Nicole's offer, so there is still a chance that Nicole can get to the end of the game.  I have to say that in the past Eric hasn't been a live feeder and blindly repeats stuff that people on his chat say without confirming it.  I have been very frustrated with him over the years and stopped listening to his podcasts years ago.

Just being honest.  There are a lot of sources for BB information these days, and only so much time we all have to devote to this situation.


There was a lot of chatter this week about a competition analysis that RHAP's Taran Armstrong issued last week.  Basically Taran was making the point that the game is increasingly favoring physical players at the end of the season.  It's more than just an increase....if these values were depicted on a chart it would be called a "hockey stick" in business circles.

Derrick also commented on this, saying that during his season he thought that all of the knowledge-based competitions were designed to give Donnie a chance to win, but he knows now that was not the case.  Derrick said that the competition set designers have to submit schematics for each competition in advance so there is no way they could tailor the events to give one player or another a better chance to win.

(Of course they have to plan way in advance....Allison Grodner's production company produces this show using a strict budget,  with the constant goal of making a profit.  Allison has a budget for each department which gets broken down by week, and by day, etc, including the amount of labor needed to create, test, set up and break down each competition set.  To me that seems fun, but of course I work with numbers and money all day so I'm dorky like that.  But to succeed and survive with anything, you need to make more money than you spend.  So I'm a dork who has built up a cash surplus, even after the significant spending I have been doing this summer to update my house.)


And speaking of dorks and charts, I do love a good infographic, and even most of the bad ones.  Pictures tell a story, people!

I don't know who created this or where it came from, but I think I saw it on Twitter at some point this week. I am happy to update this with credit for that hardworking and well-organized BB fan if I learn more about it's source.


The Jury has been hard at work on the usual kindergarten-type projects.  They usually auction these paintings off after the season ends.  I have to say that I LOVE Christie's Taco Tuesday painting.  Of course I love to talk about and look at food though.  I have a beautiful painting of a slice of chocolate cream pie that is one of my prized possessions, and I told you about the painting I bought (last summer, I think?) of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  The PB&J painting is hanging right where I can see it every day and every day it makes me happy to look at it.

Kat has a message for the world.  And Brett.  And maybe Nick, too, if they're still speaking to each other.


And speaking of Brett.  A Brett-Kathryn face-to-face meeting would be fun to watch, right? That's something to look forward to.


The backyard interviews will take place as always, but usually CBS only airs their own on the live feeds and we have to wait a day or so for the other news outlets.  But Rob and Taran will both be on hand for the RHAP interviews, JC is going to be doing interviews for PoP TV, and Rachel Swindler will be in the backyard for AfterBuzz TV.

And BONUS:  Kaitlyn will be getting wasted tonight and doing Instagram videos, or whatever.  Maybe she will even put some moves on David Alexander, after saying he was one of the most attractive men she's ever seen in person during her brief visit inside the house to host a competition.

So that is exciting.



Tyler remembers where he was and what he was doing last year on Finale day.  And look what has happened to him and his life. 


And I saw this tweet from Zach and am posting it for old time's sake.  I still love Zach and love his phrase here because it reminds me of Justin Duncan from BBOTT.

Justin:  Well you already know.  You already know.  You already know.

But in a more charming and amusing fashion, of course.


And finally, let's try to be nice to these people.  They are just trying to enjoy themselves and celebrate the end of an amazing experience.  Please don't try to make yourself part of the story in a negative manner.

(But of course some of you are doing it already.....)



Thank you for visiting me this summer.  I know my coverage wasn't nearly as good as it has been for recent seasons, but I think we can all agree that the game itself wasn't nearly as good, either.  Some might even say it was a bad season and they are glad it is over with.

And I might be one of those people.  Particularly for the back half of the season.

As for me I am doing fine and will taking a road trip out of town this Friday to spend time with an old friend who will be in D.C. this weekend.  We are going to party our asses off and go to the National Air and Space Museum on Saturday.  We are also going to hit a bunch of vegan restaurants so if you see me at Shouk (H Street location) or at Pow Pow or Veg City Grill please say Hi.

I'm going to be out there, doing stuff.  And I've been writing.  I even entered a writing contest in the midst of a huge auditorium full of writers, many of whom are published writers who have been in the game for decades.  And I won.  By unanimous vote of all of the judges.  It's a small thing, but it is validating for me and proves that all of the emotional turmoil I've been experiencing is giving me that whole "I don't give a damn what other people think" attitude that is so crucial in artistic self-expression.


 I will probably write about some post-season action next week to close the season out, but this weekend I will not even have a computer with me, and am looking forward to it.  Things might get ugly and to me that is a beautiful thought.

UPDATE:  Of course I'm taking a computer with me, a small Chromebook.  What if SOMETHING HAPPENED and I needed to SEE STUFF. 


Thursday, September 19, 2019

I'll Do Anything For a Way Out of My Head. #BB21

So, I'm sure you know by now that Jackson won the final PoV competition of the season.  And it is the most powerful PoV medal to have around your neck, too, because it allows the holder to choose who will leave the game in 4th place.

Because right now there are only four house guests in that house, sharing that large space in the final days of this very long season of Big Brother.


This is how things stood just before the PoV competition:

HoH:  Nicole

Nominations:  Holly & Jackson

Sole Vote to Evict:  Cliff

So now that Jackson will be saving himself, there is only Cliff to replace him in the nomination chairs, and only Jackson to place the vote to evict live tonight on the last Thursday night show of the season.  And we'll finally get a Jury segment tonight on the live show.  At least one segment, maybe two, because trust me there is not much to see from the live feeds.  And what there is to see is pretty eye-rolling.

Like in this picture of Jackson and Holly with more of the tender love embraces.  I know you have noticed how we have to witness Holly slowly straddling Jackson at least twice now on every damn CBS episode.  I think it's funny how shady her edit is....they only show Holly doing one of the following activities, because in reality this is ALL SHE DOES in there:

*  Straddling "Mickey" and holding on like a toddler
*  Putting on makeup, particularly her extra-annoying mascara application process
*  Compulsively arranging her hair to ensure adequate camera coverage
*  Agreeing with "Mickey" and acting as a sounding board for his soliloquys and tirades


At one point of this season, Holly seemed like she was ready to play this game and resented her obvious portrayal as being just "with some dude".  But I guess somewhere along the way she slipped and fell into it.  We even saw subtitles last night with her saying she loves Jackson, but he didn't say it back.  Jackson seems to only love his Mama, and has frequently talked this summer about being friends with Holly after the season ends, but I don't think she's aware of that.  Earlier this summer Jackson even said he would hook up with other girls during the post-season parties in Las Vegas,and said Holly would be okay with that and would party right alongside all of the action.

We'll see about that.  I'm sorry for Holly because I know she will be very hurt when she learns more about what was really going inside and outside the house with regard to her game.  But it is what it is at this point, Holly Allen.  You have another week to straddle Jackson in your Forever 21 fashions.

I boldly stated the following in Holly's pre-season scouting report.  I know it sounds mean, but often I say mean things in those scouting reports and end up LOVING the house guests in the game. (Like Kathryn Dunn this season, JC Moundiux last year, etc etc etc.)  Unfortunately I stand by this statement.  Sorry Holly.


Jackson was understandably very, very happy to win this PoV comp.  There is some chatter out there about how Production helped Jackson by giving him some sort of extra information during the competition.  But I looked into that and apparently Nicole and maybe even Holly needed the same type of clarification from Production.  It sounds like they emphasized certain words in a sentence so they could understand the meaning.

So I understand this narrative is juicy and fun to speculate about, but I have doubts that it's true.  I know Jackson looks like the type of BB winner they'd like to have at this point, but they also know how problematic he is for many reasons.  But to Joe Casual, kicking back on the Lazy-Boy recliner watching the show, Jackson is likely a hero.


There is no way in hell that Jackson is going to evict Holly tonight, no matter how hard Nicole and Cliff try to make that happen.  Holly is the only one who will take Jackson to the Final Two without question, so he has to take her in case he doesn't win the final HoH competition.


Cliff's knee got all banged up and he's definitely feeling pain as he moves around the house.  I think that fight that Tommy and Jackson took quite a toll on Cliff.  Everything took quite an ugly turn and the atmosphere in the house is very different after Tommy left the game.

I'd be lying if I said I've been watching a lot of live feed action.  I haven't.  When I turn on the feeds it is usually Jackson and Holly laying in bed and Cliff and Nicole spending time by themselves doing various activities.

There is lots of chatter out there about Cliff seeming to lose his grip that he's had on the game all summer.  He's making questionable decisions, and being very unrealistic about the choice Jackson will make tonight on the live show.  Immediately after the PoV competition, Cliff actually told the live feeders he thought Jackson would honor their deal and go to the Final Three with him and Nicole, which is absolutely delusional.

Cliff doesn't think that now, though.  Cliff knows he's leaving tonight, and is especially disturbed to know that his family won't be sitting in the audience on Finale Night. Only the top three players have family who get to sit in the studio audience.  Cliff's family will watch the Finale from the Green Room, if they choose to travel to Los Angeles for the event, that is.


Jackson is pretty sure that he is going to the Final Two, and certainly plans on winning the big prize, with that damned confetti on his shoulders, of course.  I believe he's mentioned that a few times on the CBS episodes.


This was the last night in the Big Brother back yard for Cliff, and it might be one of the last of the season, since Production starts setting up the final competition sets and the backyard interview areas during the last week of the season.  Cliff talked to the cameras, of course, clutching that stupid owl.


He got into the hammock by himself without falling and congratulated himself for that.  Is that difficult to do?   Does the hammock flip over frequently?  I've been in a few hammocks but don't make a habit out of it, so I don't know.


Jackson played Nicole at chess, and is the silent type while playing, while Nicole babbles nonstop both to herself and also the cameras, obviously nervous and anxious about Jackson easily beating her.  I don't know if Nicole plays chess very often, but it would have been nice to hear Jackson coach her up a little about why certain moves should or shouldn't be played.

That's one ugly chess set too.  Truly fugly.


Nicole and Cliff have been very upset with Jackson for breaking his deal with them, but in reality they were planning on doing the same thing to him, booting him to leave Holly in the game with them if they got the chance.  So I don't get where all of the self-sanctimonious posturing comes from.  They would have done the same to Jackson if only one of them had won the PoV.

And now Nicole feels stupid that she's stuck in the Final Three with a showmance. And I think Cliff regrets his decision to send Tommy out of the game last week, but he knows how many votes Tommy would have had on the Jury, so it's not like keeping him was a great option.


It's all been pretty boring, and I'm bored with it.  This has not been a good season for me at all, with all of the players who held my attention on the live feeds leaving the game so early.  I know everyone loves Nicole, and I like her too, but I hate how the Big Brother community "stans" house guests and then decides that if that person isn't your favorite player, you're trash.

It's a community of followers, basically.


This was the most interesting thing to happen lately---Cliff pseudo-blackmailed Jackson by telling him that if Jackson sends him to the Jury this week, Cliff will have six days to influence the Jury and says he will use that time to make sure that Jackson doesn't win the game.

It got to Jackson.  The idea that he might come all of this way and then have the confetti fall on him as the person walking out in front of him wins really seemed to knock Jackson for a loop, as they say.

He told Holly in the wee hours of this morning that he has answers to every question that the Jury might ask...every single person and every single question.

Jackson:  The only thing that could change that is if they are bitter voters who don't use the game when they cast their vote.  That's the only way.

(UM....what about TYLER?  And PAUL?  And PAUL again?)

Jackson:  I refuse to tug on heartstrings like Cliff would do.  And bringing stuff  into this game like 401K accounts and his family. Mentioning his family all of the time, this "STK 143" all the time is a strategy for him.  We all have family.  I have to send him home, it's the end of the road.  And if he goes back on his word and doesn't use game to cast his vote than that's on him.  He'll be a bitter juror.

(UM....Holly is the one you plan to sit next to Jackson.  She wants to win, too.)


This picture is so funny to me.


Fessy went to the colosseum, it appears.  And I had one hell of a time trying to spell that word.  I'm still not sure it's right, but I'm moving on anyway.

Fessy is still one good looking em-effer, ya'll.


I watched Tommy's extended interview with Julie, easily found on YouTube on the official Big Brother page, or whatever that is called.  Tommy calmly answered her questions and handled himself quite well.  It was obvious that Julie enjoyed talking with him.  He thinks that Nicole and Cliff made the wrong decision to evict him and not Holly, but graciously admitted that the two of them are very good players and could make it on their own to the Final Two.

Tommy:  ....but it would have been easier for them if they kept me.


Tommy got choked up during Cliff's goodbye message, as Cliff said he decided to stick with the alliance that he and Nicole made with Jackson and Holly.

Cliff: ....and also we needed to do it because you were too good of a competitor...

Tommy:  I KNEW IT!  I KNEW IT!


Tommy didn't even seem angry at Jackson for making up such a treacherous lie during the last 24 hours and then sealing Tommy's fate when Nicole and Cliff appeared to believe him.  (Cliff did tell Tommy in his message that they DID NOT believe Jackson.)

Jackson:  I'm so sorry, but I just couldn't risk Holly leaving the game..

Tommy nodded and said he knew that. He was a good sport about it all, but maybe that is the showman in him.  Maybe he will be sad later and let it all out.


He was touched to see Nicole, clearly fond of her and said he understood as she spoke, as if Nicole herself could hear him.


While I was on the YouTube site, I watched Christie's extended interview with Julie Chen as well.  And the detail on the knee of Julie's red dress is fantastic.  Perfect for this type of camera shot.


Christie was remarkably self-composed during her interview, for someone who got the boot during a live double eviction.  She didn't even get to pack her things before leaving.  But she recovered nicely and told Julie that all of her tears were 100% real.

Christie:  Oh, but maybe once....after Sys was evicted everyone was crying and I felt bad that I wasn't.  So I tried really hard but nothing came out.


Julie also asked her if she really has a sister (YES) and reminded her about a few of the times that Christie lied and swore on her sister's life.  Christie sort of cringed at that but it didn't shake her up as much as maybe Julie would have liked.

Christie also said she'd love to play BB again but might need a year off to process things.  She also said she's watched the live feeds before, but I don't know if we can verify that.  She certainly didn't sound like she understood how the live feed cameras worked while she was in the game, but maybe that was strategy, even though she was very upfront with the house guests about loving the show for years.


***TITLE SONG***

I tried to think of a clever title song that would somehow encapsulate what is going on in the house right now, but I'm fresh out of good ideas, it seems.  I listened to this song four times this morning, and I will probably listen to it another four times before the day is done.  It's just calming to me.

It's called Come Back to Earth, by Mac Miller, who left the earth way, way, way too early.  I listened to a lot of music that was new to me this summer, which is sort of exciting, actually.  It's opened up my world quite a bit, which is a good thing.




***ALSO***

What a strange summer it's been for me.  The demolition of my master bath was unexpectedly scheduled on the first day of the live feeds, and the project and it's adjacent list of things to do are slowly crawling to a halt, probably a week or two after this BB season ends.

If I had known everything that the project might entail, and the mess of emotions it would put me through, I might have been tempted to push the project back another year.  But the result was and is stunning, so I need to be grateful for that, and grateful to be able to do this for myself, as well as the resale value of my house when I eventually sell it, which might be many, many years from now.

When we last spoke of this, the Non-Italian Floor MotherFuckers had shoved all of my bedroom furniture into my newly-renovated master bathroom, and had been rude to me and made me cry.  Once they finally finished all of the coats of whatever they put on the new floors, they came to my house last Saturday morning, two new guys I hadn't seen before, and they installed the shoe molding and then put my furniture back in it's place.

The damage I could see is was multiple instances of nicks and scratches on my freshly-painted walls and wooden trim around the doors, nicks on one of my new cabinet doors, and floor stain all over at least four of the 12 x 24 Italian floor tiles.  Those bastards didn't even try to avoid splashing their stain (or whatever) all over my new tile.  Even if it was old tile, and an old bathroom, shouldn't they at least try to avoid damaging it?  Especially since I was already a "problem" person for them.....they already knew I wasn't happy.  They already knew I was going to be a bitch about it.

I knew that the TDH GC was going to come by on Monday to take a look at the damages left behind, but I decided to send the owner of the Floor Company an email with a list of the things that I found, just glancing around.  He ended up coming over to my house on Sunday afternoon and getting on his hands and knees with a knife to scrape off the stain glue (or whatever) from the tiles, as well as some tacky blue tape that was still sticking out under the piece of wood that transitions from the tile to the wood.  It's shocking to me that the worker bees left things like that, and I doubt that the owner of the company will even talk to them about it.  He seems too interested in buying fancy new cars and getting way, way, WAY too close to me.  When he asked me if I had a knife he could use I said sure and walked to the kitchen to get one.  When I stopped to open the kitchen drawer this guy ran right into my back....he had actually FOLLOWED me to the kitchen to get the knife, which I thought was very strange, but WHATEVER.

For whatever reason I am attracting a lot of male attention right now, I guess.  It's just not always the right kind of male attention.

***OK.  LET'S GET THIS OVER WITH.***

This isn't going to have a happy ending, so I'm warning you now.  I'm not unhappy about it though, but to be honest I'm still processing things and will need some time and perspective to put everything in it's proper mental space.

The last time I had been in front of the TDH GC in person was over a week ago, on the last major day of our renovation project.  And it was an INTENSE experience together that wanted to go someplace, but it never did, and I could look back and say I should have said this, or done that to transition to the next level, but in retrospect everything happened exactly as it should.  (Here at the bottom of this post.)

That whole experience left something heavy in the air, like some sort of loss, but I can only speak to that on my end of things.

He was scheduled to come see me on Monday, but he ended up calling me Monday and saying he had three guys blow off work without calling so he was dealing with all of that and we ended up having a pretty great conversation about how hard it was to be in charge sometimes and to motivate employees to do the right thing.  I told him I was a very understanding and forgiving person and he said that was "beaut-y-ful".

So he planned to come by on Tuesday morning to see the remaining damages and also bring over my barn door so he could have someone else install it later this week.  But from the moment he arrived on Tuesday (with a big hug) he seemed really stressed, and said he forgot to bring the door (unusual for him) and would have to come back later in the week with it.  We talked about some changes I want to make in my bedroom and he gave me his opinion about how I want to move the cable hookup and also some of the electrical outlets.  But unlike other meetings in the past, my bed is all made up in the middle of the bedroom because I'm sleeping in there again, so that was sort of weird.  There was a weird energy and it felt like he was shutting me out, keeping a distance with his eyes and his words.

When we were in the bathroom looking at the damage to the walls and cabinet door, I was trying to find the right way to describe how I took the Upper Hand back from the Floor Guy and I wanted to use Tony Soprano as an example of how where you are sitting and how other people approach you signifies power, so I said, "you watch The Sopranos, right?" and he sort of shook his head in surprise and said that The Sopranos is his favorite show and he sat outside just the night before with a drink and some paperwork and watched two episodes on his outdoor system (or whatever).

I felt the connection again as we discussed how Tony wields his power at the Pork Store and so forth,  but the TDH GC's energy was really down.  He seemed sad and he was being careful not to hold eye contact too long.  I remember thinking that the situation wasn't giving us the opportunity to build on what happened last time, and that he intended this to be the case.

I went out to the garage with him to check on how much paint we had left, and walked out to his truck with him and we chatted while he arranged some things here and there and then he came over to me and held his arms out for a goodbye hug. It was very warm outside and the sun was beating down on us as the clock ticked closer to noon.  I was standing on the curb, so suddenly I wasn't a short girl hugging him.  I was normal sized for a change, and because he was sort of bending down my face was right up against his.  Right cheek to right cheek.  So....I smooched his right cheek.  I couldn't help it, it just felt natural to do that.

Then the kissing started.  Right out there on the street, which was probably the safest place for us, or him, more likely, since it was far away from my fluffy cloud-like bed.  I was totally in the moment and sort of blacked out and didn't really stop and think about what we were doing and where we were until he stopped and was obviously very upset and told me he just couldn't do this.

SPOILER:  The TDH GC is married with a son.

Yep.  And I'm shocked now because he doesn't sound like he spends much time with his wife and certainly made his life sound single to me.  His wife didn't change her name, so she didn't show up in any exploratory Google searches I did months ago. I actually sort of know who she is and she couldn't be any more different than me.  She's the same nationality he is, so that is a familiar thing and they socialize with other couples who are the same, with intertwined lives and businesses.

He didn't do anything wrong.  He participated, but I pushed it.  I'll be honest, I'm kind of hard to resist right now.  I'm looking good all over, and I purposely wore cute clothes and was always sending "I LIKE YOU" vibes to him whenever I was around him, for at least the last month, anyway.

In a way it's a relief, because I was wondering why he didn't initiate some sort of outside date, because after all he's an Alpha Alpha Male who would not be scared to do that, and he clearly knew I was interested and seemed to appreciate so many things about me.  I am older than him, so thought that might be the problem.  But now I don't see it that way at all.  The problem is that he's not free to get involved with me, and if we did I don't think it would have been a "one and done" type of situation.  He's a good guy and doesn't want to make a mess of his life, I guess.  And I am a very understanding and forgiving person.  I told him that.  And it's true.

It makes things easy for me because now it's clearly over and I am going to move on and pursue other opportunities and directions.  I'm sort of peaking right now and I'm grateful to him for waking me up emotionally and making me interested in dating again.

BUT TODAY:  He asked me if I wanted the barn door installed today, on Thursday, or Friday.  I chose today and he told me he'd stop by to bring the door.  But today he pulled up outside and left the door leaning against the garage and then he left.  He didn't come to the door, but we would have been here alone again and what's the use of that at this point.

I'm not sad about that. I understand.  And I forgive.  And here I am with this sort of exciting story to tell about my summer renovation.  And he's so goddamned handsome with the kind of looks that will get better and better as the years go by.  Men are so lucky that way.

I have new projects I'm doing.  My closet is being installed soon and the bedroom walls and ceiling are being painted.  GET THIS:  An artist is coming over in the coming weeks to paint a mural on the trey ceiling in the the bedroom, a cloudy sky.  But a moody cloudy sky, not too cheerful, with lots of white fluffy clouds that will pick up the gray color on the walls (Sherwin Williams Dovetail).  That's why I want my bed to look like a fluffy white cloud.  And I have a new white ceiling fan being installed that looks like a prop airplane propeller.  So that will look cool against the cloudy sky.

I'm really going for it with these exciting changes, and then I'm going to step back and stop spending money like this.  (I just ordered a new dresser from Ballard Designs that is TO DIE FOR but won't ship until February, so that will be more money too.)  I'm not sure how the TDH GC will fit into the bedroom changes we already discussed, and the guy who installed the door today told me that the TDH GC will need to bring new handles for the door because the screws are too long or something like that.  I'm going to play it cool when and if that happens, but I'll bet he'll show up with one of the painters since they need to paint the door.

We need a chaperone now, apparently.  So I know it's not the happy ending that some of us hoped for, but it's rather fitting, in a way.  A summer romance that didn't really happen.  Just like this season of Big Brother that felt like it never really played out correctly to me.

OH, AND HERE'S THIS:   Anyone who says Friday the 13th is unlucky wasn't in my house that day.  I texted an old friend that I used to walk my dog with and asked how he was. He told me he and his dog miss me and my dog, and that he had a present for me if I would be able to meet him a few blocks away in about 10 minutes.  I thought he might have a picture of my dog and his dog together or something.  But it turned out that a member of his family suddenly passed away from mixing pills and alcohol while away on vacation recently, and it was my friend's task to stop by the house and do a sweep to remove anything embarrassing  (like porn, probably) but he ended up finding QUITE A BIT of weed and he gave it all to me.  I've never had this much weed at one time and it makes me a little nervous.  But I'm certainly appreciative of the gesture and put it in an old glass spaghetti sauce jar so my whole house won't smell dank.

So, the dead guy's weed is certainly numbing any pain that I might be feeling about the loss that I've just suffered.  There is symmetry to that, somehow.  And totally out of the blue.  So I truly will be floating on a cloud soon, after I press the Publish button and go downstairs to watch Cliff's live eviction. I truly will be out of my head before Cliff sits down to meet Julie Chen, and for that I am thankful.

I will try to post again before the end of the season.  Thank you for caring, ya'll.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

It's Just a Silly Phase I'm Going Through. #BB21

This season has turned into the season of Live Eviction Day Fireworks, hasn't it?  Ever since the explosive events of Day #44, each Thursday has given us something to watch and wonder about, perhaps due to the way the nominees have waited to start campaigning until Wednesday.  Or maybe because each week the players on the block really want to play the game.  And at this phase of the game, each of the remaining house guests gets paid another $5,000 if they make it through another eviction, so that helps them fight harder, too.

Before I start, please note the tribute that the house guests made out of Froot Loops on the ottoman below, to pay respect to the people who lost their lives and worked so hard to save lives on September 11, 2001.  Tommy said his dad used to work in the World Trade Center, but about a month before the tragedy his entire office moved to a new location (either in Connecticut or New Jersey).  That's rather chilling, isn't it?


Okay, so in the past few days it became clear that Cliff and Nicole planned to vote together to evict one of the nominees tonight, because if they didn't Jackson would be casting the tying vote as the current HoH.  But the choice of who to evict is a little more complicated, because keeping one over the other benefits either Cliff or Nicole, but not both.

It's better for Cliff to evict Tommy, but it's better for Nicole to evict Holly.

It seemed they planned to evict Holly, and Cliff started doing work with Jackson to let him know he planned to do what Nicole wanted to do, trying to grease the skids so Jackson wouldn't blame him after Holly leaves.  We can say many things about Jackson, but he's no Average Dumbass.  He wasn't going to just lay back and let Holly get evicted.  Because let's face it, Holly is the only one left in the house who is certain to take Jackson to the Final Two with her if she's the one making that important decision.

I'm not going to even pretend that I watched all of this happen last night on the live feeds.  I found this on Reddit this morning, thinking by the title that it was going to be a post about all of the food Jackson was shredding in the middle of the night.  While I would have enjoyed a complete a description of that, what I found was much more important.  I'm giving credit to the member of the Big Brother community who was on the case here, rather than trying to take credit as some other (***ahem***) Big Brother reporting organizations do.  And that's all I have to say about that.


I am waiting for the stragglers to send me their DAMN TAX INFO so we can file their business tax returns before the deadline this week, so I turned on the live feeds to see the fallout of Jackson's late night shenanigans.

Nicole and Cliff were whispering, going over every angle of the situation, seeming to believe that Tommy was playing them.  They even covered plans to go back to Jackson and tell him that they realized Tommy had been playing them, trying grease their own skids with him so he wouldn't be so angry about their plan to evict Holly.


I learned to use this phrase when I lived in New York.  Basically it means you are planning ahead to make things smoother.


They talked about many facets of the decision they need to make, including who on the Jury would be voting for Tommy to win, and also comparing the competition skills of both Tommy and Holly.  They discussed the type of competitions they would face in the remaining days of the game, and concluded that Tommy posed a bigger threat.  They know that Jackson leaving in the 4th spot needs to happen if the two of them want to win this season, but now they aren't sure if Tommy would actually evict Jackson if he has the chance, knowing full well that Holly wouldn't do that.  They have doubts now about Tommy's loyalty to them, so Jackson's evil little plan clearly had an impact.  And he knows it, too, smirking at the camera as the various events of this morning started to play out.

Cliff:  I think we might be overthinking this decision.  We're thinking about who would take us forward, when we might need to think about who we want to take with us.

Nicole:  Maybe we need to think about who we can beat in the competitions.  And that's Holly.

Cliff:  I'm thinking of this as a partnership, Nicole.  I'm looking to do what helps both of us get to the end, even though one or another option might benefit us better personally.

They discussed plans to confront both nominees separately, and what they would say, and also plans to have a group meeting to get everything out into the open.  As you probably know, the prospects of such a meeting are very, very exciting for all of the live feeders, no matter where their loyalties lie.  As they spoke, they started leaning towards not speaking privately with Tommy at all, and then Nicole got called into the Diary Room.


It's a bit irritating to me when Cliff starts his little speeches to the live feeders, because I am SO OVER him talking to his wife and dancing around all the time.  Okay, you can call me a bitch to say that, but I'm just being honest.  It just feels like a blatant Beg Fest to win America's Favorite Player.

But in this case he talked to us about how he's going to be a different person after all of this, and if we could see a brain scan right now, all of the thinking and strategizing he's been doing would light him up in a way it's never been.

Cliff:  I'm not going to betray Nicole here.  We're gong to work together on this.


Upstairs Jackson and Holly are in the HoH bed together, not really sleeping but just laying there, with Jackson clearly awake and already watching the Spy Screen.  Big Brother interrupted to ask Holly to get a new microphone or something, and she jumped up and wondered what they wanted from her....she was just laying there.

Clearly Production knows that some shit is about to go down, and they want all house guests to be mic'ed up and prepared for the fallout.  I had to step away for a moment, but when I returned Nicole was out of the Diary Room, and Tommy was in the RV talking to both Cliff and Nicole, his voice shaking with emotion as he tried his best to defend himself against what happened last night, which he might not have even been aware of until now.


We saw Holly with her ear to the door, listening.  Apparently Jackson was also listening to Cliff and Nicole's conversation last night, too, just like he was eavesdropping on Cliff's "Cliff Notes" conversations at the beginning of the season.  He even sensed when Cliff moved to the door to open it, and would scurry away before that happened and then return to hear more action.


Another view of Holly listening.  She's taking a backseat to Jackson's gaming right now, but he is a powerful ally, clearly, so even getting dragged to the end with him is better than going to the Jury, prize-wise, so it is in her best interest to let Jackson's dirty deeds pull her along at this point.


Tommy's voice is shaking as he denies Jackson's claims that the two of them are working together.

Tommy:  Why would it even make sense for me to do that?  I'm alone in this game right now!  Let's all meet and get it out in the open!  I have nothing to hide!

The tone of this conversation did feel as if Nicole and Cliff were re-thinking their decision, and maybe Tommy was the one who needed to stay in this game after tonight.  Maybe leaving the twosome of Holly and Jackson together in the game was a very bad idea, after all.


Nicole stood up and announced she wanted to call a House Meeting, but when Holly mysteriously appeared she said she'd speak with her first, before they started the group meeting.

Holly started saying that "Micky" filled her in on everything that he said to them last night, but blah blah blah blah blah.  She's not very good at negotiating and pleading her case, but then again, neither is Tommy.  Jackson is the one they need to be aware of, pulling the strings and yanking everybody's chain in there.

And then, just when everyone was primed and on the edge of their seats, waiting for the House Meeting, the feeds suddenly went down, first from FISH to the puppies, which always signals some lengthy behind-the-scenes action that the live feeders won't be allowed to watch.


This little puppy looks like he's sleeping in a spaceship, doesn't he?


And this little puppy looks like a Schauzer-Beagle mix, which tugs at my heart in ways you can't imagine.  If I lived anywhere in Southern California, I would have already called the shelter to get directions and let them know that I was coming for this little angel with the waggley tail.

I'm not ready to get another dog right now, so that is why I'm not looking at rescue websites or at shelter dogs.  Once you fall in love, they are coming home with you immediately.  I know that.  I still have two trips booked this fall (New York City, Washington DC) and two painting projects (master bedroom, main living area and loft) and a potential remodel of the powder room with the TDH GC, none of which are conducive to adopting a new doggie.

But once you fall in love, everything changes.  That's why I'm trying not to look.


Are you kidding me right now?


***ALSO***

I was wracking my brain to think of a title for this post when it suddenly came to me.  And it's perfect. This is a very old song that topped the charts at one point, and was also on the soundtrack of The Virgin Suicides, and likely a few other movies over the years.  (Guardians of the Galaxy, maybe?  Didn't see it...)



How cute is David?  Let's not forget about David Alexander, please.  He's running loose in the Midtown area, where he apparently lives, so all of you ATL peeps should keep an eye open for him.


***ANOTHER CONSTRUCTION UPDATE***

But this time, a happy one.  I have no new information yet about if there is damage to my new master bath (see discussion here at the end of this post), but I feel relieved and happy anyway.  I've been in limbo, waiting for the floor finishing guys to do their thing each day and then for the furniture to be moved back into place so I could see the fallout from the incident that happened over a week ago.

I don't usually go to the gym on weekday mornings, but since I was expecting the floor guys to visit sometime this afternoon to apply the third of three coats of whatever they put on the wood, and because I'm still waiting on some messy tax clients to follow through, I decided to walk down there bright and early to get a good workout in.   It never hurts to do that.  Well, sometimes there is pain afterwards, but the good kind.  I'm never sorry that I exercised, let's put it that way.

I was going through my weight routine, and thinking carefully about what I should do about the situation.  I was wondering how things would be if the floor team came on Friday to put my furniture back.

Thoughts like:

*  Will I be able to tell if there is damage or do I need help to do that?
*  When is the TDH GC going to appear and will his timing allow him to inspect the master bath for potential defects with me?
*  If I pay the floor guy the rest of the money I owe them, which he will surely ask for, how messy will things be if the TDH GC finds damages later?
*  Are the floor guys going to gang up on me again and be mean?
*  Am I going to start crying again in front of them?
*  Did the TDH GC forget about me now that he hasn't seen me for over one week?

And then something CRAZY happened.  If this was a movie, I would roll my eyes and think the screenwriter was one lazy bastard to take such a shortcut on the script.


GET THIS:  I was on the weight machine closest to the door of LA Fitness (tricep pressdown) in between sets and the OWNER OF THE FLOORING COMPANY walked in the front door, dressed to work out.  YES, that happened.

I watched him swipe his membership card and then move into the room, scanning the crowd and looking directly at me. He's a man, and they look at women.  And I was there, looking cute but with a baseball cap on so he didn't recognize me at first glance. And I'm usually wearing more clothes when he sees me, obviously.  I let a second or two go by, and then I gave him a big smile. I could see him thinking, hey, that girl is smiling at me, and then he realized who I was and probably wanted to turn around and run.

But to his credit, he didn't run.  He walked over and said hello.  I said I was glad to see him and mentioned the schedule for the week and referenced how upset and shocked I was when I saw him last.  He said he was sorry because they did what they always do, and didn't stop to think I might expect something different.

(Well, I TOLD HIM at the time what I expected, but there was no sense in bitching him out about it again.)

Me:  It was just a really bad situation for me.  You know that I have to have someone look at the bathroom after the furniture is removed to make sure it's okay, right?  You know I have to do that, right?

He nodded and I said I didn't want to have bad feelings with him and I'm sure the floors will look great, but I can't just take their word for it that everything is A-OK with my new bathroom and everything in it.  Then we parted ways and I continued my workout.  I was thinking that now if I didn't pay him the full amount I owe him, he would understand that I want to get someone to inspect for damages.  So I felt better about things.

I lost sight of the Floor Guy in the gym.  I know he had on a kelly green T-shirt, and I looked out of the corners of my eyes for him as I did the rest of my regularly-scheduled routine.  At one point I thought he must have left, or was hiding in there somewhere, but maybe he stepped outside to make some phone calls.  Because when I finished my workout and walked towards the front door, he suddenly appeared out of nowhere and told me that the finishing team would be at my house today between 2:30 and 3:30 to put on the final coat, so the furniture could be put back in place sometime on Friday.

So I thought to myself:  Self, don't be a chicken.  Talk to the TDH GC and tell him the schedule so he can maybe show up to deliver my barn door and inspect the damages at the same time.   I sat in a chair in the lobby of the gym and texted him to ask him to call me when he had a minute, because I had some news for him.

I pushed the button to send the text and walked outside, and I had just cleared the outside of the building when my phone rang.  It had been 20 seconds, tops, and the TDH GC called me back.  It was nice to hear his voice and I made sure to ask him about what is going on with him first, so everything isn't always about me.  Then he asked me if the news was bad, and I said I don't know, but something crazy just happened and I'm not sure what to make of it.

First I summarized what happened on Wednesday for him, since we had only texted about it. I told him that the way they treated me felt like a slap in the face and it was four-on-one and it felt really ugly.  I told him that I considered the Big Picture and it didn't make sense for me to go ballistic and ask them to move the furniture again, since they would be really angry about it and might not be so careful, and I was just going to have to wait to see what happens next.

(Not So Subtle Message #1:  I'm a cool, reasonable girl who tries to think before she acts.)

Then I told him about the Big Floor Guy coming over to me and kind of getting in my face about it, and how I then started to cry and lost the battle and the war when that happened.  I asked him if he knew about the "Upper Hand" and explained that the person who has the Upper Hand has the advantage in a situation, the most power, and is generally in control.  I told him that when I started crying I just threw away the Upper Hand and had to give up and go upstairs and let it all play out.

(Not So Subtle Message #2:  This situation was traumatic and I needed some help with it.)

(I didn't really cry, I just welled up with tears as I told you last time, but for simplicity in the conversation I told him I did. In person I would (and might) tell him about the lack-of-husband thought that took me there, but not over the phone. Just an instinct.)

When I mentioned that I started crying, he made a sound on his end of the phone. I was walking home and there was traffic and road noises, so I can't recreate that sound in my head, but hearing it was everything to me.  It bothered him.  He's that type of guy.  Just like I knew he was.  It's just easy to forget and have doubts when you don't see someone.  Texting loses flavor even when both parties speak the same first language, but I think it's even harder to communicate properly when there are different native tongues trying to talk to each other.

I told him that when the Floor Guy had to walk over to where I was sitting at the weight machine and talk to me, I took back the Upper Hand and described the conversation.  When I told him the furniture would likely be moved back on Friday, he disagreed with that immediately and started describing how the wood floor finishing process goes, saying the oak planks quickly soak up the first coats of finish, but the last coat absorbs slowly and is the most important.  It should be longer than 24 hours before I even walk on the new floors, he said, and up to a month before I put an area rug down.

He said he talked to the floor guys he uses (how I WISH I had used them instead...) and also said he could give me a number to call for the wood plank manufacturer if I wanted to double check that information.  Which of course, I don't.  I trust him 100%.  So I said that I would tell the Floor Guy that they can move the furniture back on Saturday, if they work on Saturdays, or they can come first thing Monday morning if that works better for them.  I have the Upper Hand again, and I am going to call the scheduling shots now.

The TDH GC told me that he will come by Monday to inspect the room and then said  "if you want me to do that" and then I knew that he really has no idea how I feel.  He knows I think he's hot, because he's very handsome, but he's not sure if he's reading me right, probably due in part to language differences and not wanting to offend me.  (Thank you reader Matt for explaining that to me....I think you may be right.)  He has to drop by both of his big jobs first, to get his workers pointed in the right direction, but then he's coming over.

So I feel great about  things now.  Even if there is damage, which I hope there is not, I know he's going to help me with it.  And I need to get my shit together and make myself a little clearer to him.

Since then, the floor finishing team came over this afternoon and did their thing.  Previously I said they were both hot as fuck, and they still are, but it turns out they are father and son (LOL).  They heard that I was at the gym with their boss today, and said the boss would be here to see me tomorrow, on Friday.  The son tried to tell me that the furniture could go back in after 24 hours, but I'm not going for that line of talk.  We need to wait another day, at least, because the TDH GC said so.  And he's in charge of them now.  They just don't know it.  I will gladly give the TDH GC any Upper Hand I have in this situation.

Wait until they get a load of the TDH GC, if they get to see him.  He can squash them like a bug.  Even the big one who got nasty with me.

I LOVE THAT.