Vanilla Ice Saves a Blogger

Once, on a flight to Vegas, I sat between a large man who took up part of my seat and needed a seatbelt extension and a woman who had her face in the vomit bag before the plane even took off. Meanwhile, my husband sat between two hot blondes. Another time, on a flight to Colorado, the man sitting next to me farted the entire way there. Only it didn’t hit me in the face until we landed and he stood up. Till then it had been muffled, building up for its grand entrance to my face.

Then there was the time we were heading home from Jamaica when our driver got into an accident with a motorcyclist on our way to the airport. 

All of those traveling instances were 87% less annoying than traveling in today’s climate. It’s not so much the rules and regulations that are a pisser (I will say, though, that for all the publicity masks get, they don’t protect against farts. You need actual Covid for that, which I find ironic). It’s the aftermath that’s made traveling less-than-ideal.

Recently I paid a visit to California after a 7-year absence. The political reason I was there was to support my husband at an event. The actual reason I was there was to finally get to see SUR: the setting of Vanderpump Rules – a show I used to write about and now really can’t stand but I’ve been planning a trip to SUR for years and wasn’t ready to give it up.

In years prior, I’d always flown into Ontario or Burbank. But since I wasn’t sure when I’d be heading back to California, I decided to arrive as a real-life tourist. So I opted to fly into LAX. 

On a Saturday.

Arriving at 4:30 p.m.

Following my anti-climactic arrival, it was time to start the driving portion of the trip. It had been a minute since I’d driven a car that wasn’t mine and also, I’d never driven by myself in LA before. I picked up my rental and off I went, all Britney Spears Brave New Girl style.

For a while, I was really feeling the LA vibe which was nice considering I’d been in need of a confidence boost. Driving down the 101 was helping. At one point, a guy who was easy on the eyes was signaling at me which made me giggle like I did when I was in high school and Kenny the hot senior patted me on the head (which I took as flirting because of course I did).

Anyway, I needed some better music to go with my mood but changing the station was a pain in the ass because it was dark and I couldn’t make out the dials. 

And then it hit me.

Why the guy signaled at me and why a handful of cars had been flashing their lights at me.

I’d been driving with my lights off and the people flagging me down were trying to keep me from killing them. In my defense, I am an incredibly spoiled American and have a car that has auto-lgihts. So I forgot that sometimes they need to be turned on manually. I am also a dumb American. I miraculously made it to the event, which went better than my drive to it. I got to meet Danny Trejo so that was cool.

image0                                                                        Danny Trejo is cool

But then the next day…

In planning my excursion to SUR I thought I had everything covered. I knew what I was going to say if I ran into Lisa Vanderpump, how I would get on camera, how Stassi would be there and we’d become best friends. I was prepared.

What I hadn’t prepared for was nearly the entire city of West Hollywood being closed on Mondays – the day of the week I happened to be there. 

In an attempt to cheer me up, my husband and our friends (a couple that accompanied us) took me to the Santa Monica Pier, the only thing that appeared to be open that day. It didn’t help. Fortunately, we didn’t stay long because the fog rolled in and we had to outrun it. 

I couldn’t believe I’d come all this way just to be in a straight-to-DVD sequel of The Fog. So, I decided, fuck it, we’re going to SUR. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to just pass by it or break into it and snap a pic, but I came to California to see that stupid restaurant and I wasn’t leaving until I did. 

So off we went, being chased out of Santa Monica by the rolling smog of death.

20 minutes later there it was, looking nothing like I thought it would. 

I needed to get closer so we parked… illegally because at this point what did it matter? What did anything matter?

There I stood, peering into the window where I watched 2 workers move furniture around. 

I tried to wave them down.

They ignored me. 

Typical LA.

Anyway, I got my pictures of SUR with absolutely nobody from the show in them so who cares.

image3                                                                                       A pic of the closed entryway, blocking off my dreams

image1                                                                               “How do I get inside SUR?”, I wondered to myself

image2                                                                              “Lisa’s in there, I know she’s in there.”, I said aloud

I’m not the only one who missed out on some good Instagram footage. It turns out, my friend Hannah had her own Typical Jenn vacation only 95 times cooler than mine, which is very typical for me.

Last month, Hannah, her husband, Kirk, and his parents headed to Steamboat for some skiing and to take in some shows from a few of their favorite Americana bands. In addition to Covid, their flights were of some concern as they were traveling during the 2 weeks when all of those flights were getting canceled.

They made it to Denver fine, and then stayed there the rest of the day as their final flight to Hayden was canceled. The next day, they barely made the last flight to Hayden for the weekend. Unfortunately, their luggage did not.

After purchasing a wardrobe for the weekend, they discovered that skiing was going to be a bit of a challenge as the venue was completely packed. Everywhere they went, a crowd seemed to follow made evident by the fact that when they went to the concert venue they were unable to get into the majority of the concerts they wanted to see due to the place being at max capacity.

Right when she decided that she’d fucking had it, a superhero came in and saved the day.

A superhero who, by day, goes by Rob Van Winkle. At night and in times of need, he goes by Vanilla Ice. For reasons we’ll never know, Ice took the stage and performed his mega-hit Ice Ice Baby, and he wasn’t alone.

Performing alongside him, dancing to a beat of her own, was Hannah’s mother-in-law. While her MIL had the time of her life, Hannah and Kirk stood there and watched, emotionless, waiting for it to end.

It didn’t.

Her performance got her, Hannah, and Kirk backstage passes to hang with Vanilla Ice. Hannah’s MIL happily accepted and spent the remainder of their time there taking shots with Mr. Van Winkle and having the time of her life. 

And they were unable to document any of it. Ice’s security guard wouldn’t let them take pictures or video. They also wouldn’t let Hannah’s MIL keep any memories. After one too many shots, Kirk literally carried her over his shoulders to their Airbnb and, when briefed on her night with Vanilla Ice, she couldn’t remember a thing.

With no luggage, no souvenirs from any concerts, and no account of the conversation that Hannah’s MIL and Vanilla Ice had thanks to her alcohol lobotomy, they headed home, concluding one of the best shitty vacation stories I’ve ever heard. Way better than my I-didn’t-get-to-go-to-a-restaurant story. 

Tune in next week when I complain about my Apple watch not holding a charge. 

The only thing worse than Vanderpump Rules

With the exception of McDonald’s hamburgers and possibly the year 2020, nothing lasts forever. I know that. You know that. The former couples from 90 Day Fiance know that. But there’s one group of people that haven’t received the memo, and that would be BravoTV (and possibly the Mayans).

A couple of years ago, I landed my first paying freelance writing gig – it was for the website Tasteofreality.com and my gig was writing comedic recaps of BravoTV reality shows, with my main show being Vanderpump Rules. I loved that show until, I spent a year writing about it.        

When Vanderpump Rules debuted, it was a breath of fresh reality TV air. It wasn’t a talent show and nobody had to eat bugs or feces for money. It wasn’t a show about rich people who had everything and fought about nothing. None of that. Just a bunch of 20-somethings (and Jax) trying to make it in Hollywood while working as servers and bartenders in one of the busiest, most trendy restaurants in town. Who couldn’t relate? And the cast brought the drama from the beginning with the first season kicking off with Scheana Shay apologizing to Brandy Glanville for sleeping with her husband for two years and ending with Jax admitting to Stassi that he cheated on her in Vegas. OK, so the drama was just people being salacious but that was enough for me. 

That was in 2013 and while the show returned season after season, the cast was kept in some reality TV timewarp where the only thing that changed was their faces. Season 8 Scheana looks so different from season 1 Scheana that if it weren’t for her obsession with boys and herself you’d be forgiven for believing she’d been replaced. Other than the introduction of new people and face transplants, every season was the same thing: vacations that God knows my income from my waitress days couldn’t have paid for, fights about them sleeping with each other, Jax lying and ruining lives, Scheana and her boy problems and auto-tuned songs, Kristen crying, Stassi and Katie getting wasted and losing their minds. Every so often one of them would deal with an actual real-life problem but those situations don’t bring in ratings so, at best, their airtime was kept at a minimum. But that didn’t matter because we, as the kids say, were here for it. 

Then, in season five, it appeared to take a turn. They started doing adult-like things: getting married, dabbling in new business ventures, they quit sleeping with each other unless their name was Kristen. And you know what – who wants to see that? Not very many of their fans, apparently. So, BravoTV did what any network does when a top-rated show is starting to flounder: they added MORE people. And not just one or two like they’d done in the past. They added FIVE. Five new stories to tell. This is where it all went to hell because honestly, nobody cared. The show was still the same same-y show it had been except there were new people filling in where the OGs semi-left off. Naturally, this didn’t sit well with a few of the old school castmates so how did they react? They turned it up to 11 to get that airtime which was an even bigger turn off than the notches on Max’s bedpost. This past season was a huge waste of time, partly because the only thing new was the new people and they were pretty boring, but also because of terrible editing. By the way, ‘terrible’ is me putting it nicely. Whatever below ‘shameful’ is, that’s what the editing was this season. 

And then…

Then they started getting in real-world trouble and there’s no editor that can fix it. I can’t speak for everyone but when it comes to reality TV, I like to believe that on some level, these people are just showing off for the camera (with the exception of Jax who I’m pretty sure is 100% horrible 100% of the time). However, after Stassi, Kristen, Brett, and Max were fired from the show last week for racial remarks and actions, it’s pretty clear that the show has created some entitled assholes – that’s a hard vision and realization to come back from. Not only did they break the fourth wall, they pretty much tore every wall down. The “reality” that we enjoyed watching is too real now, it’s no longer entertaining. They ruined the magic trick; they’re just shitty all the time.

So now what? Every article I’ve read has mentioned a season 9, one article going as far as to say the new cast was going to “bring it”. Bring what, exactly, I’m not sure because there’s really nowhere else for this show to go. I would argue that the show should make like a 90s boy band and split. It would be great if the show were like the band Menudo where they could just keep replacing members for decades and continue to attract a new fan base. Unfortunately, this season they’ve proven to be more like 98 Degrees where the head of the group (in this case now Tom and Tom) will go on to make a bunch of money thanks to their significant other (Lisa Vanderpump) and will probably branch off and find solo success, possibly in the form of a spin-off. The rest will do podcasts and knit, I guess. 

The point is, regardless of (but not discounting) the situation that they’re currently in, the show has been over for some time. The majority of them own million-dollar houses in Beverly Hills for Christ’s sake, a far stretch from when they were in apartments that only allowed for one appliance to be plugged in at a time. And the new people are a little too been-there-done-that. We’ve seen it all, including a Scheana clone that manifested towards the end of season 8. I cannot take two Scheana’s. No. FUCKING. Way. 2020 has been bad enough, let’s not carry it over into 2021 – especially not with two Scheana’s but more importantly, not with one single Jax. The only thing worse than the show is him. 

Photo by: RealityTea.com