Amber L. Carter
Writer. Professional Intuitive. Pop Culture Obsessive.


The Hills S1 Recap: Intro + Meet the 1st Season Cast!

When The Hills first premiered on May 31, 2006, I was 27, and had just moved from Northern Wisconsin to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I was renting a tiny bedroom in a South Minneapolis bungalow while I worked as a counselor for a maximum-security unit of male juvenile offenders. After losing the better part of my early twenties to lonely, dead-end stints in Iowa and Wisconsin, an intense, troubled romantic relationship that had ended in fatal tragedy, and the deep, dark maw of grief that had swallowed me whole afterward, moving to Minneapolis felt like a fresh beginning…a chance to finally start the kind of glittering, cosmopolitan life I had been putting on hold for so long.

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Out of Breath

But then one afternoon I was hanging out on the treadmill, speed-walking like a champ, when I could feel myself getting out of breath. Since I was on a time crunch, I didn’t want to lower the speed and make my workout longer. Instead, I thought about the breath work exercises I had been studying the week before, and casually started to practice them to see if that would help.

And all of a sudden, it all CLICKED.

Cardio as BREATH WORK.

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Khaki Wishes and Cookie Dreams: "Troop Beverly Hills" is Almost as Old as Your Dad's New Girlfriend!

The thing about Troop Beverly Hills is that every moment is just a joy…it’s written and shot so as to be a pure delight, and it delivers. Based on creator and producer Ava Ostern Fries' “true-to-life anecdotes” of leading her daughter’s area brownie troop, it features a beautiful, fashionable, plucky heroine, a handsome hunk of an estranged husband/dad, a troop of girls I could actually see myself being friends with (or whom might actually be nice to me while they gently turned down the offer of my friendship), some adult situations (which was my favorite kind of thing in a movie, second only to rich people stuff), and a campy romp into the lives of the Beverly Hills rich and famous.

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Obviously fans of Max Lucado might feel personally attacked by this post. I only semi-apologize for that.

It’s quiet. It’s early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.

And so many times, I’ve been all, “I don’t care about any of that stuff anymore! I’m just going to blog like I used to, when it was fun and I shared everything and didn’t care who was reading it or whether it fit into a niche or could be monetized into an ebook!” And I would start for a little bit, and then I would stop. Start, and then stop. Start, and then, whoops!, stop. That’s basically been my whole adult life - starting and stopping, starting and then going on to the next thing, starting that and then stopping for another thing. And you know what? SO. WHAT. I used to get so annoyed at my own lack of consistency or follow-through and used to regard it as one of my biggest personal flaws, but about two weeks ago I was like, “Who GIVES a shit - it’s not like I swore I would find the cure to cancer and then was like, ‘Yo, peace out, I’m now putting all my time into Yogilates’. Literally nobody was standing around, hoping I could help save their life with my blogging.”

Which is all to say: Today is a new f*cking day, and I’m starting something new.

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[Bachelor Monday Rewind] 'The Bachelor' S17 E10: Finale...I'm Dumping You, But I Also Love You

Well, my friends, our amazing journey has come to an end on The Bachelor: Sean Loves Jesus, Texas, & You!

This will be a very special recap...I'll mostly just hit the high points, since last night I had to mix Advil with some wine so I could suffer through the pain of breaking my ass long enough to make it through the THREE HOURS of this season's Final Rose/After The Rose I don't really remember a lot of specific dialogue???

And was there a talking alligator that hopped up onto Sean's deck to give him advice during the deliberations? Was that real? And what about Barney coming back to sing the "I Love You" song after Sean gave Catherine the final rose? That was awesome! And then he gave them a ride to McDonalds on his back?! Talk about a twist on the ol' sunset/declarations of love that usually happen after the proposal!

So yeah, let's get to it, because I've only got two hours left of this last dose of pain meds, and then after that, this girl is hopping a sleepy train to codine-dream town.

More totally coherent points and intelligent choices after the jump! 

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Beverly Hills, 90210: Hello & Goodbye

To me, Beverly Hills, 90210, is sunshine, blue skies, and palm trees; airy California houses with sandstone-colored walls in nice, quiet neighborhoods; the Louis Vuitton Chantilly purse; “All For Love” by Bryan Adams, Sting, and Rod Stewart; dreaming about moving out to sunny LA, buying a convertible, and working on movies like The Three Musketeers; wearing bodysuits with Guess jeans and mod headbands; going to bright, sprawling malls with sky lights; going to see Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in the movie theater, crushing over Christian Slater, and spending a week of summer vacation waking up early just to sit in front of Vh1 all day and wait for them to play the music video for Bryan Adam’s “Everything I Do, I Do It For You”; dreaming about moving to the sunny South of France and buying a castle with Bryan Adams while he sings that song to you every night before you go to sleep; sporting L.A. Gear high tops, scrunchy white socks, polka-dot cotton bike shorts, and (shamefully) Hyper-Color t-shirts; smelling like Neutrogena, Sun-In, and Love’s Baby Soft (or Exclamation, if you wanted people to think you were experienced); and having endless, heated debates with your friends over who you wanted to be your boyfriend - Brandon or Dylan.

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[Bachelor Monday Rewind] S17 E9: Overnight Dates...This Wasn't Just Fun & Games, You Guys

It's Overnight Dates, and the gang is all in Thailand for it, because why shouldn't those lucky fucks get to go to one of the more exotic and interesting places in the world, right?

Also, this is the part in the season where half the episode is comprised of flashback filler - Sean looks out on to the horizon and takes us back on the Amazing Journey that he's been on with each of the three remaining women. It's boring and I hate it - obviously if you're this far into the show, you should have some recollection and understanding of who these women are and why Sean likes them. If you don't...well. I'm sorry about your short-term memory loss, and I hope that you have someone to take care of you during this confusing time.

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[Bachelor Monday Rewind] 'The Bachelor' S17 E8: Hometown Dates...Vindication Is Mine!

Welcome to this season's edition of Hometown Dates on The Bachelor: Sean Loves Jesus, Texas, and You! Let me just state for the record that I tend to find Hometown Dates to be the most boring episode of the entire Bachelor season.

And this one was no exception!

Find out about more stuff I'm right about after the jump! 

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[Bachelor Monday Rewind] 'The Bachelor' S17 Episode 7: Welcome to St. Cry!

Welcome to Episode 7 of The Bachelor: Sean Loves Jesus, Texas, and You!

This week we find Sean and the girls on the tropical island of St. Cry Croix, where dates both boring and more boring happen among the bikinis and crying!

Ready? More after the jump!

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[Bachelor Monday Rewind] 'The Bachelor' S17 E6: How 'Bout Some Dates With Death, Eh?

Welcome to Episode 6 of The Bachelor: Sean Loves Jesus, Texas, and You! This is also the second part of a marathon two-episode week of The Bachelor. You may have wondered, "Why would they do that? Why would they gives us Bachelor goodness twice this week?" and then you tuned in at the regular time and realized, "OH! ABC is going to force me to watch a cooking show at the regular time so they can scoop up some Bachelor ratings before the real main event starts at 8! Fuck you, ABC!"

Because seriously. Cooking competitions. Who cares, right?

Anyway! The kids are in Canada, and people almost die. 

More stories of how the producers are on a quest to kill all the girls in the most stunningly painful ways possible after the jump!

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Amber Carter
[Bachelor Monday Rewind] 'The Bachelor' S17 E5: Love Lift Us Up Where We Don't Belong

Welcome to the first of the most dramatic/exciting/epic two-episode event yet of The Bachelor: Sean Loves Jesus, Texas, and You!

This week we're not only taken to new heights in love and drama, but also to new heights in helicopters and insanity. 

Strap in your seat belt after the jump! 

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[The Space You Take] Chapt. 1: Something Always Breaking Us In Two, Part 1

“OI! OI! OI! Oi!”

“See me riiiide out of the sunset!” Grayson sang. “On yourrrr…color TV screen!”

“Out for all that I can get! If ya know what I mean!”

“Me singing by myself this time!” Grayson yelled over the music.

“Alright, do it!” I mock-yelled back. 

“Ain’t got no gun, ain’t got no knife, don’t you start no fight!”

“Cause I’m T-N-T! I’m dyno-mite! T-N-T-” 

“NO, Amber! ME singing!” 

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[Bachelor Monday Rewind] 'The Bachelor', S17 E4: A Slow Dance For No One

Welcome to the fourth episode of The Bachelor: Sean Loves Jesus, Texas, & You! 

Last night, mountains were climbed, the divide between Muslims and Christians got a little smaller thanks to quality reality programming, a Bachelor producer got fired for coming up with a horrible, horrible idea for a group date, and a redux of Pretty Woman turned out pretty much the exact opposite way of how the real story should turn out.

Ready to get beat down by love? Then make the jump once again into this amazing journey!

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[The Space You Take] Chapt. 1: Something Always Breaking Us In Two, Prelude

The sky looked like dread. 

Sliding my hands over the studded arch of the tan leather steering wheel, I stared out at the sky from under heavy lids and tried to shove that thought from my mind. I used to love coming up with descriptions like that - hey, look how clever I am, did you know I secretly wanna to be a writer? - but now, thoughts like that were needling, annoying…like being reminded of a bill you had to pay, or an apology you still needed to make.

So I resented the thought.

Almost, but not as much, as I resented that sky. 

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[Bachelor Monday Rewind] 'The Bachelor' S17 E3: It’s All Confetti & Bikinis Until Everyone Starts Crying!

There’s confetti. There’s kissing. There’s bikinis. There’s crying. There are necks that look like they were broken, but weren’t. There are cardinal rules that look like they were broken, and DEFINITELY were. There’s champagne on hotel rooftops, there’s champagne by a pool, and there’s champagne in an amusement park. And then there’s more crying.


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[Bachelor Monday Rewind] 'The Bachelor' S17 E2: The Most Undramatic Rose Ceremony EVER!

Welcome to the second episode of The Bachelor: Sean Loves Jesus, Texas, and You! Thanks for joining us on this amazing journey, everybody.

On this part of The Amazing Journey, we are taken in a helicopter to a dare date…then to a photo shoot group date, and then we cap it off with a little champagne and hot tub action, and round it out with some roses.

Let’s review – helicopters, dare date, photo shoot group date, champagne and hot tubs…yep! This is The Bachelor.

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[Bachelor Monday Rewind] 'The Bachelor' S17 E1: Sean Loves Jesus, Texas, & You!

Well, kids, it's that time of year again...time to pop open the white wine, fire up the hot tub, and crank up those unrealistic expectations of what real love looks, feels, and acts like!

The Bachelor is back!

This season, on The Bachelor: Sean Loves Jesus, Texas, & You, we'll be taking a journey into the heart of this Golden Texas Boy as we ask the question: Will Sean find true love? And do we care as much as we do about him taking off his shirt some more?

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[Bachelor Monday Rewind] 'The Bachelor' S17 Intro: The Original Virgin Bachelor

If this show was about meeting someone whom you could see yourself dating for the next four years because you’re not quite ready to settle down yet, then…then nothing. None of us would f*cking watch that show. And also I’m going to start suing every single Bachelor and Bachelorette who does that to us, because that’s actually fraud and I didn’t just give you three hours out of my Monday nights for months just for you to take it slow.

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