My Prediction on Who Ali Fedotowsky Will Choose for the Finale, Plus “The Men Tell All”

Seriously, it’s my job to mockingly keep a count of how many times Kasey says “guard and protect your heart”, not Chris Harrison’s.

Currently stealing my thunder and my idea of the "Ali Tally".

The Bachelors did a good job of making fun of themselves and each other, like when Kasey sang a newly written song for Ali entitled “You Left Me on a Glacier” and when Craig challenged Justin to an olive oil wrestling match.  That means there’s not a lot for me to do here today as far as recapping.  But still, my job is to pick out the idiosyncrasies of the show, calling out its the subtle and almost hidden agendas.  And thanks to Justin, “Bachelor Pad”, Jessie Sulidis and Kirk,  I’m still able to do that.

America is supposed to equate this man with a Communist spy.

Agenda #1: Get everyone to agree that Justin did a bad thing.  What an easy target.  We’ve all already established what he did was stupid back when his final episode air, but just to make sure we realize that Justin committed a cowardly reality TV show crime, Chris Harrison gave anyone on set a chance to throw a stone at the memory of the three-timing Canadian wrestler.

Agenda #2: Advertise for the new upcoming trashy Bachelor spin-off called “Bachelor Pad”.  Of course it looks like something Fox would have aired circa 2001.  Needless to say, I will not be recapping any episodes of it, nor will I be tempted to watch it.  Chris Harrison told us it has everything that Bachelor fans want to see; more like everything Rock of Love fans want to see…

Agenda #3: Give Jessie Sulidis more unnecessary air time to attempt to kick-start her acting career.  (Her resume is all over the Internet.)

"Most Likely to Succeed in Being Picked as the Next Bachelor"

Agenda #4: Try out Kirk as the new Bachelor.  Same thing happened with Jake Pavelka on “The Men Tell All” last year.  He’s the only Bachelor they put in the “hot seat” without trying to embarrass.  Kirk was portrayed sympathetically as a guy who “got his heart broken on a journey to find love”.

My Prediction on Who Ali Chooses:

Call me old-fashioned, but I’m not a cheater.  While it would be pretty easy to find out Ali’s pick from some blabbermouth website with about 45 seconds of research, I choose to wait like the rest of the country until it’s officially announced next week.  From just nine short weeks ago, when I did my first recap for Ali’s season, here were my initial thoughts, as cited in Ali Fedotowsky the Bachelorette: Episode 1- Cowboy Boots.

Predictions of who will “win”, if anyone:

My wife- Frank

Me- Roberto

Our mutual runner-up: Chris L. from Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Well, if Frank wouldn’t have ended up already having an Italian girlfriend back home in Chicago, he would have obviously been the winner of this thing.  And while Chris seems like a solid choice, he’s probably more like the kind of guy who should be chosen as the next Bachelor, not end up with the current Bachelorette.  But since, as previously mentioned, the Bachelor producers have already decided that Kirk gets that coveted role, it looks like Chris will be left out in the cold.  Literally, in Cape Cod.

Roberto, with his soap opera good looks, will be the one Ali chooses.  And if I’m right about that, I will be quite amazed I predicted it right from the first episode.  If nothing else, I should give myself a pat on the back, for the right reasons, of predicting the Top 3 along with my wife.

But ultimately, it’s all meaningless.  While Ali chooses Roberto, I see it as a short-lived thing.  Like really short.  Maybe three weeks.  This is not a spoiler, just a gut-driven prediction.

If I’m wrong, my reputation as a writer is on the line and you’ll never read one of my recaps ever again.  If I’m right, then it means I’m really good at analyzing The Bachelorette and making accurate predictions.  In the words of the Simon & Garfunkel song “Mrs. Robinson”: “Either way you look at this you lose…”

When Our Life Expectations are Faster Than the Speed of God

Roll the dice.  Press the buzzer.  Time to play America’s favorite game.  “Solitaire: Life Expectations Edition”.

Life is often a difficult and careful balance of two extremes. Not any two certain extremes- each situation has its own.  But one in particular of these balances has proven consistently annoying: The balance of being a motivated, goal-oriented, hard-working American as well as living in accordance to God’s timing.

I have an agenda, a set plan, an order of events, a timeline by which I’m already behind on, according to me.  Yet on a yearly basis, I’m stalled by a classic answer to many of my prayers: “wait, it’s not time yet”.  And that’s what I call being faster than the speed of God.

Obviously, God, in all his power and lack of limitations can not be outrun.  But by pointing him to my calendar and its several missed and delayed events, I’m simply reminding God of my inability to keep up with him- since his calendar doesn’t simply just move forward; he’s in every moment of the past as well as the present and future.

When God misses my appointments for his involvement in my life expectations, it also serves as a reminder that man-schemed plans are often irrelevant in the face of God.  My life expectations are nothing more than an often-frustrating check-off list of a game that I am playing, involving other people at times, as my volunteers and spectators.

Graduate college and get a job.  Check.  Get married by age 27, which is the national average of American men when they get married.  Check.  Buy a house.  Check.  Have a baby by the time I’m 30.  Check (of course, Lord willing).

Good for me.  I’ve met some of my goals.  My American society-influenced landmarks.  Of course there are plenty more that I’m only beginning to scratch the surface of.  So by playing the rules of my own game, I lose.  Conveniently for me, though, I’ve still got the rest of my life to play this game, and accomplish these goals.  Yet still, the humbling truth is that this game still doesn’t matter to God.  His checklist for my life is much simpler, yet much more complicated.  And from everything I can tell, it mainly just revolves around loving other people.

As for the film based on my non-fiction book, Scenic Route Snapshots, starring James Franco, it’ll have to be postponed until 2013.  Because after all, I need to publish the book first.  And according to my calendar, that’s scheduled to happen next year.

And yet I return to the pointless game of Solitaire: Life Expectations edition.

Which Role Do You Play in Your Family?

As I a guy who doesn’t know anything about cars or building stuff, or even computers, or how to really fix anything, or sports (golf included), or politics, or business (investments and stock market crap), there aren’t seemingly many important roles left for me as a man in a family. 

Sure, I can tell you which actors from Saved by the Bell are Jewish and which songs were hits in 1983 and how tall Albert Einstein was and I can solve a Rubik’s Cube in less than five minutes every time, but how does that fill any kind of necessary void in family dynamics?

I am a walking Wikipedia with an unforgettable memory of life events, sometimes nearing borderline Asperger’s.  So by default, what is my role in my family of six?  And to see the full picture, what are the roles of each member of my family? (My parents, my sister, her husband, and my wife.)

Me: The storyteller, the writer, the historian, and the event planner.  What drives me are memories.  Good memories take place because of events.  So I enjoy planning the family’s activities. 

I tend to be the one in the family that decides what we will do with our time when we’re all together.  And if I didn’t have an agenda for everyone to follow, it’s possible we would all just sit around and do nothing.  It’s possible we wouldn’t know where to go to eat, and end up settling for something mediocre like Outback or Chili’s. 

But I take the responsibility on myself for the six of us to decide where those memories (including potential funny stories and inside jokes) will take place.  And because “life happens” around food and entertainment and going to new places, my niche is being the one to set the backdrop for those events.

My role doesn’t fall into any of the typical manly stereotypes; I am the Montgomery Moose, the Desmond Hume, the John Cusack, the Pat Sajak.  The host, the MC of the evening, the narrator, the journalist of past, present, and future.  I just can’t fix anything.

My wife: The organized one, the teacher, the nurturer, the listener.

My dad: The mechanic, the electrician, the carpenter.

My mom: The financial expert, the chef, the encourager, the conversationalist.

My sister: The interior decorator, the helper, the initiator.

Her husband: The computer whiz, the tech expert, the sports enthusiast. 

Not that anyone can limit the talents and capabilities of their own family members down to just a few roles.  Because family members are not just stereotypes or TV characters.  They’re family.

What brought all this to mind is by watching the wonderfully crafted sitcom/drama Parenthood.  I love the dynamics of the family and how they all interact.  It hit me that the members of my family all have specific roles like the characters on that show.  And also, it seems the entertainment world is oversaturated with superheroes. 

I just wanted to know what my “superpowers” are.  Now I know. 

(And in case you’re still curious, Screech and Jessie were played Jewish actors, on the show Saved by the Bell.)

Would you, the random or regular reader, be willing to share with me your role and your family members’ roles in your family by leaving a comment below?  This isn’t a clever marketing ploy to boost my numbers or make this post seem more interesting.  I am just truly interested in this topic and want to know what other random family roles are out there.