Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nemesis Brewing: A Work in Progress

When Nick Kallman and Michael Zaremba became friends in their early 20s, they had no plans to go into business together. They weren’t even brewing beer at the time, Michael having never done it and Nick having stored his brewing equipment away long before. Their love of beer, however, sparked each of them to take it up.

They started with extract batches, the common way for people to break into homebrewing. Extract brewing means the brewer uses a malt extract rather than grains, cutting down on the brewtime and equipment needed. Quickly they moved on to all grain brewing and their own recipes.

The boys with their homemade wort chillers.

Michael says “I was looking for a creative outlet and hobby, and I always enjoyed beer. I thought it’d be fun to make my own and see how terrible it’d be, fully assuming that I wouldn’t be good at it, which is why I actually used Nick’s equipment for like the first year or so. I didn’t want to commit to buying my own and hating doing it.”

So they brewed. They brewed a lot, and they helped one another out. Whether brewing together or apart, they brewed as often as they could depending on how many bottles they had around to fill up. All of their friends, this writer included, drank a lot of beers.

Some of these beers were really bad. Especially at the beginning, there were a lot of watered down mistakes or slightly off flavor notes that, over time, were worked out. As they got better at the process of brewing, their beers got better. They moved on from bottling to kegging, and each built their own kitchen kegerator. Every step of the process was DIY: in addition to the kegerators, they built fermentation chambers, wort chillers, and mash tuns, among other things. Each new creation brought them closer to the idea of turning this hobby commercial.

The dream, of course, was to have a brewery featuring their recipes as brewed by them. The issue: “Money,” says Michael. “Money, money, money, money.” He elaborates, saying “I’m fairly confident that if we had the money, I would drop everything to do it right now. Other impediments would be land issues, licensing issues, and all this other stuff. Lots of legal fun things and I’m sure it wouldn’t go through. But the main problem is money... to an extent that we did not foresee when we shockingly, drunkenly, talked about this idea. Also, in comparison to a lot of other business like this where you can start from nothing, like if you want to say... bake cakes or something, you can start with something really small to try and get funds. With this, you really can’t because it’s alcohol. So it’s really hard to just build a name like that.”

An abandoned brewery name. This logo was made by our brilliant and talented friend Holly Gordon.

So the dream was postponed, and the boys changed tacts... a number of times. Michael explains; “it was originally a brewery, and then we said no. Then we went to the brew pub, and then to the community brewing place, like a brew-on-premises idea, like a brewery where there are small setups and you can just brew your own stuff there. This has taken on many incarnations, basically.” Nick explains a few more, saying “we knew we wanted to do something with beer. We enjoy beer, we enjoy the friendship that it brought it between us. Definitely something we bonded over. We always floated around ideas of what we could do with it, what can we do to keep doing this rather than it being a hobby. We had ideas of a brew truck, similar to like a food truck, but there’s no way you’re serving beer out of a truck in Massachusetts. We had a homebrew supply store idea, but we’d still be putting up just as much money as we would for a small brewery.”

That last sentence is really the biggest issue: no matter what, these business ideas require money they don’t have, which requires bank loans they can’t get. So what are a pair of brewers to do? Well, they’re not entirely sure yet.

There are many options. A good bunch of people are brewing craft beer, as we all know. What some are doing is brewing a sort of specialty craft beer that is only available directly from the brewers or local stores, who are frequently working out of their own homes, garages, or rented warehouse space. While these nanobreweries are ill-defined, they are producing decidedly less than a microbrewery (your average local beer pub) which brews less than 15,000 barrels of beer each year. In other words, these are small breweries. It seems the most likely scenario for Nick and Michael.

“That’s probably what we’re going to end up doing, something that’s super small, super quality... very Etsy-like, homemade, quality stuff that’s got a lot of hands on involvement,” Nick says. He’s referring to this idea of a nanobrewery, popular these days if one wants to continue brewing, but is talented enough, as these two are, to want to turn a (very small) profit. Nick sells to a friend now and again for his own consumption at home, and the two worked together to brew a couple kegs for another friend’s wedding rehearsal dinner, their gift to the couple. Last October, Michael’s Scotch Ale took fourth place at the Beer Nut Homebrewing Contest.

While they’re still far from where they ultimately want to be, they’re on their way. The money will continue standing in their way (as Nick explains it, it’s like “trying to buy a house but you’re buying a mansion when you live in a cardboard box”), but they each have good day jobs and free weekends to brew to their hearts’ content. While you won’t be seeing Nemesis on the shelves any time soon, bump into Nick or Michael at a Cambridge bar and you just might be able to find a way to try it for yourself.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Success of SIFE

by Shannon O'Neill

SIFE is one of UMass Boston’s newest groups, but they’ve accomplished quite a bit in their first semester. SIFE, or Students in Free Enterprise, was put together at light-speed by founder and Chief Executive Officer Jared Ward. While most groups spend their entire first semester fundraising and recruiting members, SIFE did that in their first two months together. By the third month, they were already prepared to participate in a competition in New York City against other colleges’ chapters of SIFE that had been established for years.

SIFE is an international organization that works on local, national, and global levels to empower people in need. Unlike many service groups, SIFE’s number one goal is sustainability rather than immediate but short-term efforts. They help by teaching others how to help themselves and believe in the motto “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.” The motto is something that Ward long believed in and is a belief that is now being shared with all SIFE members and, on a larger scale, with the entire UMB community.

Since their start in January, SIFE has had many successes, but there have been setbacks too. I spoke with Linda, the Global Opportunities Director for SIFE, and she expressed how difficult it was to get a service project off the ground. Initially, Ward and Janine Brown (the Chief Operating Officer) wanted to work with the organization Invisible Children, a group they were both passionate about long before the UMB chapter of SIFE was formed. “Unfortunately, Invisible Children was very busy and didn’t have the time to send a representative to Boston to train us on how we could help,” Linda said, “It’s good for them because it means a lot of other people are interested in joining the cause, but it was disappointing to us because all of us in SIFE wanted to work with that organization.”

After the group was unable to work with Invisible Children, they looked into working with another organization called Heifer International. This organization keeps with SIFE’s goal of sustainability, as they give farm animals to people in poor countries and teach them how to manage the animals. Often, the animals donated are cows or goats that produce milk, or chickens that will provide fresh eggs. The people who are given these animals will be able to use the resources as food for themselves as well as a form of livelihood, as they can sell the milk or eggs.

Heifer International seemed like the perfect organization to get involved with, especially because SIFE planned on involving Boston-area middle schools with high drop-out rates – something that would make this project both a local and international effort. “One group member mentioned that when he was in middle school, his class raised money to donate a cow to an impoverished family in another country,” Linda told me. “While they didn’t raise the cow or work with animals, they learned a lot about how their fundraising efforts could help someone in need for a really long time, and he said everyone [in his school] was really excited about it.”

Unfortunately, SIFE found that many area middle schools were uninterested in participating in Heifer International. “We contacted a lot of schools in and around Boston, but they either didn’t get back to us or didn’t want to participate,” Linda said. “I think it would have been a great project both for the kids and for those, internationally, that the animals would help. We are going to keep trying with this project, but we’re going to look into new projects as well.”

Despite a couple of downfalls, it hasn’t all been disappointments for SIFE. One major accomplishment was a dodgeball tournament held in early April as a fundraiser. The turnout was great – 120 people participated and about $400 was raised. Even when SIFE needs to raise money for their own purposes, they stick to their selfless mission to help others; while the event was a fundraiser for the group, they didn’t keep all the funds for themselves. “We used what we needed for the competition in New York,” Jared told me, “but we donated all that was left to the Jimmy Fund.”

In addition to the success of the dodgeball tournament, SIFE triumphed at a SIFE USA Regional Competition that they attended in April in New York City. The group did so well, in fact, that they brought home two trophies. One award was for Rookie of the Year – a real honor as it means they were considered the best new chapter of SIFE in the region. The other award was for First Runner-Up. “The overall experience was phenomenal,” Jared said, “and competing on the same playing field as older, more established chapters of SIFE was a great opportunity. Coming home with two awards was really inspiring because it shows that, even though we’re a young group, we must be doing something right!”

Jared expressed that the trip to NYC served as a great bonding experience for members who attended, as it built friendships among members which has strengthened the group overall. Also, doing so well their first time at a competition has motivated everyone in the group to work even harder. Next year, the UMB chapter of SIFE is looking to take home the First Place trophy in lieu of this year’s First Runner-Up.

SIFE is still a young group here at UMass Boston, but they are already making waves on campus and amongst other colleges’ chapters of the group. In a less than a semester, they brought in a large number of members, put together a successful fundraiser, and attended a major, renowned competition. Now, there are about 75 UMB students who have joined SIFE – 20 students are members on the Executive Board and there are about 55 students serving as general members. The size of the group is impressive and it is still growing, as new members join with each meeting.

The group and group meetings have a fun dynamic, which makes it no surprise that so many students have already joined SIFE and more and more want to join. At meetings, business is tended to in an orderly and efficient fashion, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for jokes. Most meetings are filled with laughs, and SIFE is certainly the place to make new friends. Everyone is welcoming to new members and after one meeting you’ll feel like you’ve been friends with the rest of the members for years.

So what’s next for SIFE? While I can’t say for sure, I have high hopes for the group and, by looking at their short history, it’s clear that they’re capable of achieving all of their goals.

If you’re interested in joining SIFE and getting involved, “Like” UMass Boston SIFE’s page on Facebook, visit the SIFE website, or contact Jared at

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

A few months ago, I stumbled across a martial art that really piqued my interest. Many people are very aware of mixed martial arts because of the popularity of the UFC aka Ultimate Fighting Championship. Some of the most important techniques used in MMA are Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu focuses mainly on grappling and ground fighting. It is not only known as a martial art but also a sport that people use for staying in shape and to build good character with discipline. 

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s origins begin when a Judo expert named Mitsuyo Maeda left Japan and arrived in Brazil in 1914. There, he trained a man named Carlos Gracie, who became a student of Maeda. Carlos learned from Maeda for many years and then taught his own brothers the techniques he learned. The techniques then spread across generations. The Gracie family is still to this day an important part to the sport. When the UFC first started back in 1993, Royce Gracie was the first to win the event. This is when Brazilian Jiu-jitsu started to become popular but showed that a smaller fighter was able to defeat a much larger and muscular opponent.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s main difference to other martial arts is that it mostly performed on the ground and involves little striking. Instead of striking, techniques such as chokeholds and joint-locks are used to win a match. One reason it is becoming such a popular martial art for someone to learn is because size does not matter for the most part. It utilizes leverage and technique, instead of strength and large size to defeat an opponent. This is one of the main reasons I was interested in it, since I’m not really a big guy and was intimidated by other combat sports. 

Depending on the type of training, some people wear a gi, which is a cotton jacket and trousers with a cloth belt to keep it closed. The belt used to hold the gi together is usually a specific color to indicate the ranking of the student. White belt is the lowest rank someone can have, while black is usually the highest. Usually a student must be at least 19 years old and have spent 1 year as a brown belt before they can receive a black belt. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can also be performed without a gi, which is how the UFC fighters compete. Some believe that by using a gi, it is easier to grapple because they act as “handlebars” to grab an opponent easier.

There are not many negative aspects health-wise with the sport. Unlike most martial arts there is no striking or hitting, so it less likely for any brain damage such as concussions to happen. Since most of the training is spent on the floor, skin infection can be a problem. Conditions such as ringworm, herpes and staph infection can occur. To prevent this, it is important to shower with antibacterial soap after training and making sure the training mats are sterilized correctly. Another possible health risk with training is that a condition known as “cauliflower ear” can happen. This is when the ear receives trauma and becomes swollen. This causes the ear to become deformed. Wearing headgear that protects the ears from damage can easily prevent this. The sport also utilizes submissions that could cause injury to those inexperienced or not disciplined. Being choked unconscious can happen if someone does not tap out. Tapping out is when someone taps their opponent to indicate submission.

With my recent interest in the sport, I decided to ask some people who train in the sport. Randy Bailey has been training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu for 15 years. I asked him why he originally decided to train and why he enjoys it. Randy states, “ I originally started doing karate as a kid but I got bored with it. I came across a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor who convinced me to try it out. I loved it right away.” Randy continued to say, “When it comes down to it, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is like a physical chess match. You have to think of what your opponent’s next move will be and counter it. That is what I love about it.”

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has also gained a big following with women. I talked to Nicole Costa about why she decided to start training. Nicole told me, “I was bored with normal cardio at the gym and decided to try something new. My boyfriend at the time was training and told me that women train too.” She continued to say, “I was surprised how sore my muscles were after my first class. It has kept me in shape and is actually fun to do.”

Eric Cortez, just recently joined a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class at his local gym. Eric told me, “I have only gone to a few classes but I’ve really started to enjoy it. It is intimidating at first but everyone in the beginner class is new to it as well, which made it less scary." He continued to say, “It is definitely something that I will continue to do since I feel like I’m doing something positive for my body and mind.”

With all the positive comments I’ve received from people who train in the sport, I plan on attending classes this summer. If you are looking for a new activity that can keep you in shape physically and mentally, then you should give Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a try as well.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Traditional Students vs. Non-Traditional Students: Who Has the Advantage?

As a non-traditional student going back to college after a lapse of enrollment of eighteen years, I was very apprehensive about whether I would have trouble fitting in. I worried that I would look foolish for being the oldest person in a class full of traditional aged students (18-24). I was concerned about what the faculty would think of me as I would probably be around the same age some of my professors. Worst of all, I feared that I had wasted my youth by having waited too long to return to school, having fallen way behind my friends who did not drop out of college and were thriving in their chosen careers.

In my previous experience, college was a young person’s domain. I do not recall ever seeing a person over the age of twenty five in any of my classes (on those rare occasions I did attend class) and if I did encounter a person significantly older than myself on campus, I assumed that he/she was a professor. But within the last fifteen years, the face of college has changed dramatically. Non–traditional students (25+) are flocking back to school for myriad reasons, ranging from wanting to learn new skills, to fulfilling a life-long dream, or to just finish a journey they started many years ago.

All of my worst fears disappeared on my first day of school, sitting in my college algebra class when a man who looked to be in his sixties sat down next to me. We exchanged smiles, relieved grins that seemed to say, “Thank goodness I am not alone! We are not the only old people in school and there are many more just like us!” We instantly became study buddies. Encountering this camaraderie had me thinking about the differences between traditional and non-traditional students. Were we all in school for the same fundamental reasons? Does the faculty treat younger and older students differently? Do older students have an edge over younger students in the current economic climate?

The results of my research were surprising. Indeed, there is very little that separates younger and older students, except age and life experience. Parental and societal pressure has very little influence on students regardless of age. Both traditional and non-traditional students were unanimous in saying that they were in school because they really wanted to go to college. They all agree that having a college degree is very important for their plans for the future. “If a degree wasn’t necessary, I would opt to forgo school and go straight to teaching elementary school,” says Corey, 21. “My parents didn’t necessarily pressure me and were kind enough to help pay for me to attend.”  Suzanne, 46, also realizes that college is the place to go help decide what to do in the future. “When my youngest daughter Sophia went into first grade, I found myself with six hours a day of free time. I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do with my life after raising kids for almost twenty years and I felt that college was a good place to figure that out.”

The social aspect of college is viewed differently by younger and older students. While making friends and having a good time is an important part of the college experience, partying is regarded as less of a novelty to older students than it is to their twenty-one year old counterparts. However, all parties (pun intended) agree that business comes before pleasure. When asked if she had trouble balancing schoolwork with her social life Sharon, 21, replied, “I organize my social life around my schoolwork and while that does not always work very well, I am coping the best that I can. That’s not to say that I don’t occasionally skip my homework in favor of going out with friends.” Older students are much less interested in the social aspect of school, opting to forgo making close friends and attending social events in order to concentrate on their studies. “My partying days still exist but on a much smaller scale and are independent of the college experience and are wholly different then the way I behaved in my early twenties, says Chris, 36.  “I haven’t been seeking friends but at the same time don’t keep myself closed off to the possibility.”

When asked if they thought faculty members treated younger students differently from older students, those surveyed say they do not perceive any outward difference and pretty much left it at that, but when posing the same question to a faculty member, a professor in the English Department, I received a very enlightening response. “I try not to accord more respect to older students, attempting to treat all students equally. However, most older students are more respectful and carry themselves like professionals in a way that some others usually do not; therefore, I suspect that I respond and treat them in kind.” Although faculty members often find themselves teaching students who are the same age as they are, they do not consider older students to be their peers. “Though I may share some similar cultural experiences with certain older students, I do not regard them as peers. Contemporaries, yes, but to regard a student as a peer would erase the professionalism from our relationship and I believe that would be detrimental to both of us, but particularly to the student.”

The last question posed to traditional and non-traditional students was a hypothetical one. When asked if two job candidates, one younger the other about ten years older, with the same level of education, were in the running for the same job, who they feel has the better chance of being hired, the answers boiled down to a single deciding factor, previous life experience. “I definitely think that I would be at a disadvantage if I was competing with someone with more life experience,” says Sharon, 21. “Someone older has had more opportunities for personal and professional development. If I was hiring for the job, I would portably assume that the older candidate is better qualified for the position. Corey, also 21, agrees; “I feel that maybe the culmination of a lack of life experience and a lack of ‘need’ for the job, a need to provide for a family as well as myself, would make me pale in comparison.”

Non-traditional students also feel that having more life experience will most likely put them over the edge of a younger job candidate. “In some respects, I feel I have a better shot at the job,” says Chris, 36. “I feel for a lot of employers, life experience goes a long way. I feel more confident now than I did ten years ago as well.” Suzanne, the oldest student surveyed, likewise concurs that age and experience gives older students a distinct advantage. “Actually, I can’t say that I feel I would have just as good of a chance as one who is younger than myself in acquiring a job because I feel that my age would work for me and not against me. As an older individual, I feel that I have a greater sense of responsibility and dedication to offer my future employer that a younger applicant may not yet possess because of lack of life experience.”

In light of these responses, it is safe to conclude that not much separates traditional and non-traditional students. We all seem to take school seriously, we all tend to wear the same uniform (jeans, T-shirts, sneakers, backpack) to class, and we all have an overwhelming instinct to succeed. In this instance, age is only a number but experience is big plus.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Jonah Hex

Directed by Jimmy Hayward, Jonah Hex is a film based on the DC comic book character of the same name. The film was released in 2010 and stars Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender and Megan Fox. Do not let this great cast (except Megan Fox) fool you; it is one of the worst movies you will ever see. It was one of the biggest box office bombs of 2010 and it is no surprise why. Most comic book movies usually have some entertaining aspects to them but this one barely has any.

Jonah Hex is a former Confederate soldier of the American Civil War. His family killed, he's critically wounded after he refusing his general's order to burn down a hospital. Native Americans save his life with mystical powers, but since he was half-dead, he gains the power to speak to the dead. Jonah Hex, now searching for the general who murdered his family, meets a prostitute, played by Megan Fox. Jonah must not only kill his former general, but also stop him from using a “super weapon” that he plans on using for terrorist acts against America. They never even explain what that super weapon is! It is just giant exploding balls. Yep, the super weapon is just a bunch of exploding balls. The plot jumps around so much that it is hard to follow what really is going on. 

This movie is so crappy that it is only a little over an hour long. It seems like a R rated movie that was edited to PG-13. I’m going to assume that is why it is only a little over an hour long because it was edited so heavily. It might have been a little more entertaining if it wasn’t so edited down. It makes the plot harder to follow because so much is going on in such a short period of time.

Even great actors like Josh Brolin and John Malkovich could not make this movie watchable. I wonder if these guys just wanted a paycheck instead of actually reading the script before taking the roles. That has to be the reason because no way they could of read that script and actually thought this movie would be good. Megan Fox reminds you how bad her acting really is. She absolutely terrible and is basically just eye candy in the film.

One of the only positive things about this film is the musical score. The heavy metal band Mastodon did the scoring for it. The heavy metal score really made some of the scenes bearable. It was cool seeing the Civil War era with heavy metal music playing at the same time. They seemed to fit well together in a weird way. Unfortunately, this still doesn’t make the film watchable.

This movie is such a waste of time, even if it is only 81 minutes long. When I went to go see it in 2010 at the theater, so many people walked out and I almost did as well. It is not even bad in a “good” way, where you can actually enjoy how bad it is. Save yourself a headache and watch paint dry instead. That is more entertaining than this crappy film.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Meet the Spartans

by Shannon O'Neill

Going on a double date with a couple you’re not particularly fond of is never a good time. I was once dragged on a double date with a couple whom I did not care for, and, to make matters worse, said couple decided Meet the Spartans was the perfect movie choice. Both the double date and the movie were anything but perfect.

The year was 2008 and I was a junior in high school. I still don’t know what possessed me to agree to seeing the movie (perhaps it was because my 17-year old self was more compliant than I am today), but it’s safe to say Meet the Spartans was the worst movie I ever sat through. I can easily follow and understand comedies and action movies, but I could not follow nor could I understand any of this parody.

The Scary Movie-esque parody mocks ancient-time action movies. While this movie came out in 2008, it most obviously mocks blockbusters like 300 from 2007 and Brad Pitt’s Troy from 2004. Basically, this movie consists of Spartan warriors trying to fend off invading Persians. One might think that such a basic plotline would be simple enough to follow, but a lot of weird stuff happens in between. “Weird” is a relative term, and often weird can be funny. In this case, weird is not funny – it is just confusing and literally left me scratching my head.

One of the oddest things about this movie is that, while it’s supposed to be a parody of films that take place in ancient times, there are a lot of references to people who were relevant in the early 2000s. For example, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton impersonators each make a cameo as part of the Persian forces. Why? I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense in the context of the film. The randomness of these cameos could be overlooked if they were actually funny, but they weren’t…at all.

Paris Hilton is played by a man who has one ogre-like arm and a hunchback. No tabloid ever claimed that Hilton was an ogre-like hunchback, so portraying her in this way is a complete mystery. Likewise, in Britney Spears’ appearance her head is shaved, she is holding (dangling) a baby, and she is wailing. We all know Britney had a tough 2007, but this “social commentary” the film attempts to make fails miserably, as no commentary is actually made. It doesn’t make light of or say anything about Ms. Spears’ personal dilemma, it just includes her because she was a relevant figure.

The script of Meet the Spartans was just horrendous, and the acting wasn’t any better. There are no big-name actors in the film except for Carmen Electra, and that isn’t saying much. While she may be a well-known name, it’s also well-known that she has lackluster acting skills. She plays an über-slutty Queen Margo, but delivers her lines with little to no enthusiasm and it looks like she is actually reading her lines from a cue card. Just as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears are in the film for no reason other than relevancy, the scantily-clad Electra is only in the movie for the amount of skin her togas do not cover.

After the first ten minutes in the theatre, I spent what was left of those 86 minutes hoping that it would be over soon and thinking about how much money my date had wasted on the tickets. The warriors with drawn-on six pack abs, the awkward cameos, and the terrible acting did not keep my attention and didn’t evoke a single laugh. It was so bad that my then-boyfriend actually apologized for making me sit through it. Needless to say, our relationship ended shortly after that fateful double date, and I’m sure Meet the Spartans had more than a little to do with the break-up.

If you're looking to waste time, be utterly confused, not laugh, and passively put an end to a relationship, then Meet the Spartans is the perfect film for you.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lifetime's "7 Days of Sex"

Oh, the things I have seen that cannot be unseen. Last night I tuned into the new Lifetime series “7 Days of Sex,” a show that follows two couples who have lost their sexual spark (or it has at least seriously dimmed) and pledge to have sex every day for a week in an attempt to get it back. With a camera crew around. For a major television network.

How much do you enjoy watching obnoxious people fight? Your enjoyment depends on this.

First, my disclaimer. I like sex, and I like discussions of sex. I think they’re necessary and productive. I think it’s a great idea to examine what happens in long term relationships that often (but not always) leads to a cessation of sexual activity.

Second, my disgust. While this show attempts to look at these issues, it does a terrible job. In the particular episode that I watched, it was so gendered that it scared me. The women withhold, the men are sad. Because, as we all know, men are constantly aroused and women are killjoys. The men claim to “want it more,” despite studies generally debunking this myth, and the women meet with their friends to eat carbs and talk about their feelings.

I’m not saying that I don’t meet with my friends to talk about my feelings. I’m not saying that sometimes women don’t want to have sex. All I’m saying is that these are potentially dangerous stereotypes, and Lifetime ran with them to make a bad TV show. Since this is what Lifetime is best at, I am not surprised.

But back to the things I’ve seen that cannot be unseen. Nothing is so terrible, aside from each couple being rather unlikable and the general ickiness I feel when watching total strangers in dark bedrooms talk about the intercourse they’ve just had. While I am generally one very excited to hear intimate details, I do think there are some things best kept between two people (or at least kept away from just anyone with a television and cable box). Watching these people stumble through the week while throwing out ridiculous clichés and gross euphemisms was less than thrilling.

What did the program do well? It had its saving graces, like the examination of trying to maintain a sexual connection with babies and young children everywhere. Watching the couples relearn their own sexual powers and lose some of their inhibitions was nice. I simply wish that they had more inhibitions about inviting me into their bedroom.