Brunch and Bitch 🍷 RHONY Season 7 Episode 3 Recap

Here we go, at last! As saggy as RHONY has been in the ratings the last couple of seasons it’s still one of my favorite franchises, partly because it’s one of my original recappees but largely because I just love New York. Who doesn’t? I really feel like RHONY is at it’s best when New York feels real, like another character in play on the show, so let’s hope for more of that this season, shall we?

It’s morning in the Hamptons, and the Fun Girls, who are staying at Kountess Lu’s, are lounging on the couch debating which of the dueling brunches to attend and freaking me out with talk about braiding Radzi’s toe hair. Eeew, eeewww! It seems that after Bethenny made the grievous social faux pas of inviting one of Mo Singer’s houseguests to brunch, Mo decided to have her revenge by planning her OWN brunch and inviting everyone to that. What to do, what to do? Kountess Lu suggests they split the difference by going to both, which is totally what I would do because brunch is my favorite meal, and I’ll take any excuse to have a Bloody Mary.

Holla wants to know whether her new acquaintance Bethenny is a drama queen. HELLO. In response, Lu (Switzerland) offers the anecdote that when Mo was a guest on Bethenny’s failed show, she spilled something on herself (Turtle Time!) and asked to borrow a Herve Leger, which she left wearing and never returned. Cast that tale against Mo and So’s 20 year friendship drought over a sample sale dress and clearly, drama queen or not, there is drama to be had here.

So first the Fun Girls go to Bethenny’s Skinnygirl Showhouse, where all the accents are conveniently red, and all the products are perfectly placed. I have to wonder whether she bought or rented this house because of the red, or put it there. Radzi shares that she’s been in Oscar gifting suites with less product. Bethenny claims she is unfazed by the previous evening’s confrontation with Mo, other than the fact that she has “weeded out crap people” and now here’s another one. They do tend to come along with the seven figure contract, Bethenny. (Oh, also: she’s not mad about the dress. Not at all. Not that she didn’t notice the photo Mo posted of it on Instagram months later.)

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So anyway, Beth’s brunch is fun, although no one seems to eat anything, not even the unappetizing looking Skinnygirl bars or crackers. Certainly not the bacon. Beth (you know she would hate being called “Beth”) wants to know what she’s been missing among these bitches while she was off unsuccessfully trying to scale the media ladder, and Holla tells her how So’s toaster oven never happened and now she’s got 10,000 things in the air with nothing actually happening. Beth knows she’s just the girl to bring So back to reality. RIGHT-o. You just know So’s got all those assistants responding to every email she gets from Mr. Herbert Obadu in Nigeria.

Speaking of So, she and the other hung-up-wets are waiting for the Fun Girls in some local establishment so they can start their brunch “in honor of Doritos”. After So downed the beer in her purse she apparently missed the entire episode the previous evening between So and Beth and demands to know what Mo did to make Beth so mad; Mo is so enraged that So dare question her that she gets literally nose-to-nose with her, hissing she did nothing. NOTHING I TELL YOU!

Finally, an hour into the Doritos Brunch, the Fun Girls finally leave the Skinnygirl Showhouse, red blenders and other products in tow, and arrive just as Doritos is leaving to get back to The City. Doritos feels there is such a thing as a bad brunch, and that would be one that involves “no people, no food, just old bitches fighting”. She still got a Bloody Mary out of the deal which should count for something. She and So roll out with Egg McMuffins to go. Mo claims to be blithely unaware that there was any other social event going on, and demands to know why she wasn’t invited. Lu unapologetically informs her that it’s because she launched a fracas in the street with Beth just the night before. Doesn’t she remember? Mo insists she did no such thing. NOTHING I TELL YOU!

Back in New York, Doritos has lunch with her fat dry cleaner and berates him for taking a call from his bookie while they are supposed to be spending special time together, but not publicly romanticizing. I think if she doesn’t want to be witnessed kissing Joe Guidice’s cousin then she should not be dating him, let alone be on reality tv. I am bored with Doritos already.

Beth returns to New York to oversee yet another gut renovation of yet another apartment, since He Who Shall Not Be Named will not vacate the one she so publicly renovated for an entire season of her last solo show, Bethenny Never Stops Talking. She’s using all the same crew for this job, minus the lady decorators, because who needs high-priced fancy decorators to slap a Skinnygirl label on everything? Whatever. 2.5 episodes in and this is already too much Beth.

Kountess Lu is lunching with Mo at the Mopartment. The Mopartment still displays lots and lots and lots of Mariobilia and I think Mo needs both a decor upgrade and atmospheric revisit altogether. Maybe a little feng shui. After spending all last season pretending there was nothing to see here, Mo is now getting candid, probably because she’s operating under threat of downgrade to FOH if she doesn’t. And you can’t come back from that, not unless you are a Kountess!

No, Mo’s ready to talk, and talk she does: yes, Mario was poking it in some rat he met at the gym, although she was over 30 for what it’s worth. No, she has no idea where he’s living now even though the dog is visiting him wherever it is; she assumes he’s sleeping on someone’s couch and pining for her. No, Avery won’t speak to Mario. No, she doesn’t think he was doing this always (no matter what the Moroccan psychic said); she thinks he’s having a midlife crisis and is not right in the head. Yes, she’s dating, just not on Tinder or Grindr or whatever, and no, she doesn’t care if Mario is on those sites (well, Grindr would be an issue). And she’s filed for divorce. Lu is astounded; this is the first normal conversation she’s ever had with Mo! Us too!

Next, Lu heads to another lunch at Dos Caminos with Beth and Holla. Holla is all fancy lady because she was just featured on some business show on MSNBC that Beth tries to deride and play all coolly dismissive of but you know she’s just seething that she’s not invited to play businesswoman on TV other than on Bravo. They order complex custom cocktails and get to talking about Mo. It seems Mo texted an apology to Beth, who really isn’t interested in taking the reconnection further because she does not want Mo on her jock. Holla offers Beth a lengthy psychoanalytic analysis of the Many Faces of Mo Singer but Beth isn’t into it. Honey badger don’t care! Throughout, Lu plays Trivia Crack on her iPhone, as do I.

For Lu’s next event, she’s traipsing through a commercial kitchen with Gummi Bear in tow to host a “single girls’ night” at a renowned UES speakeasy/pick-up joint. Lu claims she wasn’t planning to drag Gummi Bear along, but ran into her at another something and spontaneously invited her. I’m buying it; Gummi is wearing a ratty, rayon-looking cardigan and her holey t-shirt seems to have been washed more than her hair has recently.

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Apparently Lu has invited all the single ladies of this franchise, which means we’re on a collision course. And sure enough, after SoMo rolls in and Radzi saunters in wearing thigh-high hooker boots, here comes Beth in all her glory and Skinnygirl lingerie-as-top-under-blazer, immediately spotting Gummi Bear and commencing the seethe. She parks herself at the bar and chats up two unattractive men, supposedly unnoticed by the other single ladies (as “unnoticed” as the only other woman in the place, camera crew in tow, could be), snippy that she did not get a “warning” of Gummi’s presence. Finally Lu spots her, calls her over, and dismisses her Gummi issues outright as she couldn’t warn Beth of an event she didn’t know was going to happen. No one dismisses Bethie in a snit. No one.

Two European dudes named Dominik and Erik have somehow gotten mixed in with these broads, and So has declared intent to possess on the brunette while Lu sneaks off to the nap room or something with the blonde. Mo finds a man with a beard, then another guy who looks altogether too much like Mario. No one is paying attention to Beth so she takes off her shirt. Still nothing. Radzi is amused. It’s an old people’s singles club! Then why are these two young Europeans here? I am starting to think they are call boys. Then, suddenly: SCANDAL. The fat dry cleaner is here – without Doritos. She might lose her man to that model!

Next time: Mo goes dating. Doritos and The Fat Man fight. Radzi makes a play for Lu’s son’s friend, and Holla and Beth have it out over Kristen. Let the petty bitchery commence!

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Love Bites 🍷 RHOBH Season 5 Reunion Recap

Three episodes of some of the most painful snarling we’ve had on any reunion of any franchise of Housewives is a lot to play-by-play, so I am going to tie this one up a little differently by assessing our players performance, okay?

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Let’s start with Yo; that was sad, no? I am glad they were nice and respectful, but also appreciated that they didn’t completely pass on a real conversation about how she enables The Glands. For all her confidence in what sort of positive energy and loving presence she puts into the world, at times I feel like Yo needs to be a little more self-critical. I suspect that somewhere in the back of her head there’s at least a teeny-tiny bit of fear that if she really drops the hammer on The Glands (which she ought to), she’s gonna git it like everyone else.

But more than anything, I can’t help but question whether the state Yo is in is altogether her condition, or at least partly overmedication. She’s gotten pretty testy in the past few weeks as traditional medical professionals have questioned her treatment (and even her diagnosis), so far be it from me to chime in with doubts, but she’s certainly got a lot of something on board and it’s not just vitamins. Didn’t Avril Lavigne recently come out and say she also has been suffering from Lyme Disease? What sort of ticks do they have in LA? I know a lot of people who live deep in forests full of deer and not one of them has Lyme Disease. Anyway, poor Yo, and I hope she gets sent in the right direction soon because where she’s at doesn’t look good to me.

Moving on to Lady Pump: not much to say about Lady Pump this reunion, unlike last, other than that peuce thing was the single ugliest dress I’ve ever seen. Certainly on Housewives, possibly in my life.

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Horrible color, old lady cut – talk about ice skater! Just did nothing for her whatsoever. Jewelry was disappointing as well. I think Stassi revenge-styled her.

Eileen: I did not like this hair:

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I like this hair:

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Dress appears to be from the Mo Singer for HSN Kollection. Anyway, Eileen didn’t have much more to add to this reunion than Lady Pump. Will she be back? I liked her, more than I expected to, and I think she brings a lot of normal to this operation (she drives a Flex, for God’s sake!), which may or may not work under the circumstances. I kind of feel like Eileen and Lipsey are in or out as a unit.

The Glands: I don’t even want to talk about her, but I will. What has she done to her face now? It’s like only the skin around the lips has nerve stimulation. Lips themselves are too stuffed to bend, and the rest of the face is frozen. She has got to get a higher-quality derm. And I am so tired of hearing her whiny shrieks, and so over the fact that she dishes shit out that she just can’t take, because, you know, her kids. And the deflections, and the viciousness, and the crassness. She is a pest, and played out, and I really hope somebody blinks because she’s making this show irredeemably tiresome for the other ladies and the viewers. The crack about Lady Pump wishing she’s the one who knocked boots with Amsterboy was just gross. I felt for Eileen. I wanted to send her a Crazy Creek so she could sit on the floor on the other side.

Most of the action, obviously, was with the Richards Sisters, and it was just painful to watch. (As was Kim’s decrepit appearance, all the more haggard in comparison to her sister who looked oddly, if well, refreshed and smoothed over. I don’t know what exactly Kyle is doing but it looks good, in sort of a bewildering way as she is looking less and less like Kyle for it…) So much is going on here, well beyond the context of this show, and it seems to me that in The Glands Kim has finally found someone who will validate her at every turn. Kim is like an old person who has fallen under the influence of a plotting caregiver and has changed her will to make them the sole beneficiary.

So either we’re only getting a fraction of the story here, or Kim has basically chosen The Glands and The Dog over The Sister, out of no small degree of anger and spite, which has left Kyle bewildered and betrayed. I can’t blame her one bit. (And I seriously don’t believe for a second that Kathy is such a wonderful, better sister; I think she’s too full of herself to overly involve herself in Kim’s business, so their relationship is more of a lightweight association with the occasional free meal thrown in.) I am not going to get into the Pit Bull issue, as I know many Pit Bull owners and to a one they feel their beloved pet is victim to bad publicity. All I know is that Pit or not, a dog that bites – ever, let alone repeatedly – is a problem. And an owner who resents and refuses to take responsibility for that beloved animal having a problem aspect is the biggest problem of all.

Kim’s rage that Kyle exposed Kingsley as a problem animal might have been slightly understandable given the vast publicity that inevitably followed, but her absolute refusal to address the situation in any reasonable fashion eliminates any pity I have for her. She doesn’t get to fire cannons at everyone and play the “my kids” card for herself. Her dog is a problem, if she isn’t going to explain how she’s dealing with it then the only reasonable conclusion is that she’s not and the problem continues. That’s not acceptable. (And I can’t help but think she’s been told in no uncertain terms that there’s no “solution” for Kingsley other than putting him down, which is a very sad and tragic result, but also speaks for itself.) I am a total dog person, and cannot imagine being in Kim’s shoes, but if she can’t be moved to deal with it when Kingsley bites her adored niece, who is the person he needs to attack (and what needs to result) before she does something about it? Kyle’s anger level didn’t really make any rational sense until the dog thing came up, but if I were in her shoes I would be furious. Mr. Andy was astounded, and so was I, that the dog is the real issue. The Glands could not have been quieter. It’s hard to enable sometimes, isn’t it? Now that people are suing Bravo for Kingsley’s actions I wonder whether they aren’t going to have to cut the cord with Kim. Kyle might be more interesting without her.

I’m left perplexed by Lipsey altogether. I’ve heard speculation that she was difficult and they don’t want her back, but it seems to me if they want Eileen they are going to have to have Lipsey too, and Lady Pump will stick with her as well. What has she been doing offscreen? On screen she’s timid and backs off in a flash, off she’s on the attack with her iPhone as shield. She can’t seem to make up her mind what confrontation level she’s comfortable with, which seems sneaky. The baloney about her daddy issues? Girl, please. I’d like to meet a woman of her age with a dad of his who doesn’t feel Dad didn’t take her quite as seriously as she would have liked. Best dressed, though. And I do hope she’s back, because I think she’s fun, she seems to have a real side, and the makings of genuine relationships. And I want to know: did she just wear the Depends, or did she test them out?

So that’s that; sucky and disappointing, I know, but this has been unexpectedly unhappy near the end, no? Maybe Mr. Andy can bring Camille back and fire up some good times for season 6.

Next time: back to the Big Apple! I’ll pick up the crazy ladies from one of my favorite cities in a day or two.

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“More Like A Flintstone” 🍷 Southern Charm Season 2 Episode 5 Recap

I’m doing it, people! Yes, I am plunging into recapping Southern Charm. I am a little behind and slightly unclear who some of these new people are, but let’s just get rolling, shall we?

I think the reason I love this show, other than the obvious eye candy, is the setting. Charleston! Lawd, it’s a delight. (Same reason I really love RHONY season over season; the setting is a character along with everyone else, and the escapist element is that much more pronounced for it.) Plus it’s just lightweight stuff, Senate races and irreversible reproductive choices notwithstanding.

And who epitomizes all that is fab about Southern Charm more than Patricia Altschul? This woman is the sort of socialite the RHONY ladies wish they were, and I find it terribly amusing that she has gladly taken such a visible position on this show whereas you and I both know there isn’t a skunk’s chance in traffic she would be caught dead as a Housewife. Lady Pump has real swans; Miss Patricia has ironic inflatables. And she’s more housewife than some of our Housewives, as we meet her today… scrapbooking. Yes, really! She’s assembling a scrapbook memorializing son Whitney’s tabloid appearances over the summer as he romanced some mystery model all over Europe. (This is all the more mysterious as Whitney seems at best asexual to me, but Kathryn screwed him so there’s no accounting for taste or choices, I guess.) Anyway, Miss Patricia is optimistic that Whitney’s latest relationship could possibly end in a wedding, if not lifelong married bliss, and thereby give her an excuse to wear Valentino couture, and she’s practicing her scrapbooking skills with this Smythson edition before investing in the Cricut and getting really fancy.

Whitney, who has stopped by, fills Mother in on the goings-on at TRav’s recent “fundraiser” out in the swamp, at which both Kathryn and TRav’s new “professional” campaign manager, “Sandy Duncan from hell”, voiced their disapproval of the presumably Robert Palmer-style campaign ad Whitney produced for the candidate. (I missed the footage but it sounds really inspiring; certainly can only set TRav apart from his opponent, Lindsey Graham. Well, that and the reality show. And the other stuff.) Both Whitney and Mother think it’s perfectly ridiculous that TRav is trying to be a “serious candidate”, an effort that will inevitably fail. Mother and son share a mirthful laugh before turning their attention to Miss Patricia’s newest purchase, jewel-encrusted flats.

As for the gainfully-employed, Cameran (who could not be more adorable) arrives at her real estate office to get a call from the candidate informing her that he found a proper “city” home on his own and won’t need her help after all. Cameran’s a little irked to lose the commission, but glad for Kathryn’s sake that she’s at least getting relocated from the boonies to the ‘hood, and hopes this is a step in the direction of legitimizing their little family. I’m not altogether sure I think that’s remotely in anyone’s best interest, but we’ll let this play out a bit I suppose.

The real focus of this particular episode is our dashing friend Craig, who as cheeky, attractive, and well-turned out as he is is not living on the same playing field as the other men of Charm. Craig is no trust-fund dilettante; he not only needs to earn a living, but he has school loans to pay! So he better get serious about this law career, unlike Shep, who just has to do his thang, man. Here’s another difference between these two: Craig is 26 and just got out of law school, which basically means that he had one year (at best) between undergrad and graduate school and is still an amateur adult, even if he does have older friends. Shep is about to turn 35. And as filming apparently took place in the fall it looks like Craig was shooting for the February bar exam, so no, he really can’t be blamed for giving himself a hall pass, even if he could work a little harder on showing up at the office during daylight hours from time to time. At least he’s set up a LinkedIn profile. (And has joined the “Referrals over Cocktails” networking group.) Regardless, I do agree with Shep that the skill to know when a night is over and it’s time to skedaddle is worth developing regardless of one’s age.

Craig

Since TRav’s last fundraiser in the swamp seemed only to attract the usual – and tapped-out – suspects, Sandy Duncan has schemed up a “Carolina barbecue” to show the public at large that the candidate is a man of the people. And, to get people to show up to make this discovery, they are going to throw this bbq at TRav’s own plantation and let just any lookie-loo who wants to stop by come on over. A Bravo Superfan political fundraiser? This woman is a professional? Kathryn is more than a little alarmed that a whole bunch of strangers are about to storm her place of residence, and retreats to the cellar nursery with the ambassador of common sense, Cameran, and some other chick. No one puts baby in a floodprone basement – except T-Daddy!

The girls finally emerge to warily make sure nothing crazy happens. And nothing especially crazy does, except Kathryn wears a sheer YSL-logo t-shirt from Chinatown over a bright orange bra, and TRav thanks everyone for their support – except his babymomma. Not that public thanks to one’s age-inappropriate piece of fecundity is really ever a good gesture on the campaign trail. But he could have generally thanked his “family”, or something vague. Hell, these are all Bravo superfans – who cares?

Someone named Cooper is having a male fashion show and is using the new girl cast member, Landon, to help him stage it. Has anyone at all mentioned that artsy girl with the half-shaved head, empty house, and mystery sexual benefactor from last season? Or have we all forgotten about her? Whatever, Landon seems cute. Craig is apparently going to model in this event-of-the-season, so Shep stops by to rouse him from his hangover and fetch him up, discovering Craig’s worrisome “housekeeping” in the process. We don’t even get a good look at it in the dim and dank, but I fear the smell, and the rodents. Shep, ever the model of responsibility and maturity, is worried about Craig. But at least if all else fails he’ll have his good looks to fall back on. (BTW, per LinkedIn Shep did two of three years of his MBA at Vandy and since then seems to have abandoned ship for greener reality TV pastures.)

 

 

Shep

Also hitting the fashion show is Miss Patricia, whose butler is bringing her her “dressing drink”. Holy fuck YEAH! And it not only needed a name, but a Jeeves to bring it. Patricia reminisces about her last fashion show, which was in Paris, front row, Lagerfeld or some such, and now she’s off to a B&B “for bow ties”. And along comes her son-escort in “porny” sunglasses to pick her up. As the after party is scheduled for a nightclub, the two agree to make dinner reservations instead such as to avoid an awkward interaction with the inevitably-inebriated babymomma spitfire Whitney most recently offended last week. Jeeves brings Miss Patricia her shoes on a silver platter and off they go in the Benzie. Damn! Patricia Altschul lives right.

Meanwhile, Shep has delivered Craig to his modeling appointment on time, even if he has not been able to prevent the pre-show imbibing Cooper has forbidden the models to engage in. Shep and Cameran have a great time chilling before the show, whereas Whitney’s buzz is killed upon arrival when his seat ends up being precisely next to Kathryn’s. Meep! And it’s time for the show, which features a lot of highly improbable menswear including cat-print velvet suits and red pimp coats, but it’s entertaining, and I think Cameran may have been a bit overserved for all the catcalling. Just not done at a fashion show.

The afterparty is at Shep n’ Craig’s favorite venue for chickstalking, Republic, and off the bat Craig is half in the bag and Shep’s getting a little out of line in talking about it. Specifically, to TRav, of all people, who seeks to give Craig some unwanted and unsolicited cautionary advice. MEEP. This is not going to go well.

Next time: Shep officially turns 35; Cameran tries to strategize a way to trick TRav into a ring; and more campaign strategy debate. Come on, we all know he doesn’t win, so can we just stop pretending?

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Ahoy, Mickey! ⚓️ Travel

OHmiword!

Despite what it may have seemed like, I did not drop off the face of the earth. I have not experienced a crisis or catastrophe. I have not been abducted by aliens. (Close, though.)

I have been on a Disney cruise.

Yes, I have missed about three weeks of critical recapping because of one 7-night experience at sea. Trust me when I tell you that this excursion required my full-time attention to preparation in the week prior to departure, and has taken well over a week to recuperate and regather my wits. I am now here to share with you the unvarnished truth about Cruising With Mickey.

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I should first explain that this was my first cruise, and not my idea. My mother loves cruising, and took my family and my sister’s family on this adventure as a Christmas gift, which was very thoughtful. My sister has twin girls who, like Big, are nearly 11, and if we’re going to be perfectly honest about it I think my mother’s primary motivation behind this extravaganza was to get to see Cinderella with them, at sea. One of the twins has a thing for Minnie and they generally appreciate the Disney princesses as much as the next girl; other than that, none of us is particularly a Disney “person”, and we’re not really theme park people, either. So while I risk sounding like a grumbler, I think the point of view of the non-Mouse-obsessed on this seaborne odyssey has to be of some value to someone questioning whether taking a Disney cruise (said by many to be “the best vacation” they’ve ever taken) is worth it.

First, the positives:
* the PEOPLE are amazing. The staff, who come from all over the world and spend literally months away from their family and friends to tend to strangers’ every need, are absolutely delightful. They are friendly, kind, solicitous, patient, and hell-bent on making every person HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY. On a Disney cruise, you have not only your assigned room host but also two assigned dinner service people who attend to you every night. I genuinely miss Tom, Dinesh, and Ozum, and wish them the very best wherever life leads them.

* the boat (we were on the Fantasy) is impeccably crafted. It’s just a beautiful environment.

* and it is C-L-E-A-N. I know cruise ships give a lot of people the heebie-jeebies; I don’t know how they pull it off, but that whole ship not only is spic-and-span at departure (just hours after the previous 3500 guests got off the damn thing), but maintained that way throughout. Well, other than the poop my niece found on one of the water slide stairs. (When she told Big she found “poo” on the stairs, his immediate response was “Winnie the Pooh?” The poo did in fact seem that unlikely under the circumstances, whereas the presence of a rotund, honey-licking bear waiting in line for the water slide perfectly conceivable.)

* while the Disney stimulation level is high, it manages to stay just slightly shy over sensory overload. The decor is subtle and tasteful. The requisite Disney entertainment is there – ALL there – but other than on the pool deck, if you don’t seek it out you don’t have to be exposed to it all that much. (The pool deck is a bit of an exception, but more on that later.)

* security, as it turns out, is very discreet. We found this out when a dad was detained for having done something “inappropriate”, and never seen again. I do not know if the cuffs are shaped like ears.

All in all, the quality on a Disney cruise is exactly as advertised. They really do all that stuff exactly right, and there’s not a person who could be disappointed. Except maybe with the food, which is fine, but nothing memorable.

Now, the negatives:
* So we were told, by anyone and everyone, that they have these “amaaaaaaazing” kids’ clubs on the boat, and that the kids would just love them and be there all the time and we’d have so, so much time to ourselves to be adults, to connect, to relax. And the experience is definitely designed for this purpose, because there are a truly remarkable number and array of “adults-only” zones where the alcohol runs heavily, if anything-but-freely, while the corresponding kids are checked into their designated club, unable to escape until their inebriated parent comes to bail them out. Big was eligible for the “tween” club, so he spent an hour or two there on maybe three or four occasions. But Medium and Small? 40 minutes. TOTAL. Before I got the text on my magic boat phone informing me they wanted their freedom. And damn, were they mad when I finally got there ten minutes later.

Needless to say, the kids declining to participate in “their” own activities meant Mr. Little Mama and I could not, either. In fact, on an occasion where we attempted to fulfill some of our marital obligations, we were unceremoniously burst in upon by not one but two of our children, one through the front door and the other literally exploding through the veranda curtains. Unsettling is not the word for it. And I even got a Brazilian wax for this.

* The kids’ pool situation is a total joke. There’s just no excuse for it. The pool deck, which is all of floor #11 and #12, has large adults-only areas at the fore and aft. One seemed quiet, the other seemed thisclose to hosting a wet t-shirt contest. The middle is taken up by the two smokestacks or operation areas or whatever they are, one of which also plays host to the “Aquaduck” water coaster (basically a water slide; fun enough, less exciting the fifth or sixth wait in line for 30 minutes), and in between there are two pools, set before a giant screen on which Disney everything is projected all day, every day. And these two pools are, combined, approximately the square footage of the pool in my backyard. One is a kiddie splash pool 18″ deep, which I saw drained for baby caca at least once. The other is a little over 5′ deep, oval, and no more than 20″ in length, which means it can accommodate 30 or so bodies bobbing up and down and going no place. It’s basically a plunge pool, and that’s all there is (other than one other water receptacle that basically amounts to a fountain about 8 kids can sit in at a time). So if your kid wants to “swim”, good luck. On the plus side, no need to bring the water wings or any of that crap, because your kid won’t get a chance to use them.

* Castaway Cay, the Disney “private island”, was an absolute disappointment. Yes, it’s a private Bahamian island with not a soul to be found thereon…. until the other 3,499 cruisers march (or scooter) off the boat and take up their lounge chairs. Yes, the water is a beautiful Caribbean blue… and so polluted with sunscreen that it’s too cloudy to see your feet. Yes, there are wonderful water slides and swim-up structures for the kids to play on… unless it’s low-tide, and they are closed. Yes, you can snorkel… after you pay $15 for a yellow vest even assuming you brought your own snorkel equipment, but don’t bother because the only fish in the water are transparent, and blend in seamlessly with the cloudy sunscreen water. The best part of Castaway Cay was watching a seagull snatch up an entire hot dog and take flight.

* Someone on this boat needs to figure out how to properly scramble an egg.

I, personally, have come to realize I am not a cruise “person”. I slept approximately one hour each night, which over time really took its toll, and whether it was motion- or anxiety-induced, was so queasy the last three days I could not eat. I felt terribly cooped up, and my plans to work out, read books, and relax went entirely unfulfilled. I also found it incredibly demanding to have to eat at designated times and locations, complete a million and one advance forms and processes (none of which seemed to accomplish much for me in advance), and show up with an assortment of miscellany such as lanyards, pirate costumes, and enough sunscreen to pollute an entire sea, without which we would have been a bit screwed. And after a point, the seemingly-endless number of PEOPLE, especially the Mouseheads with their t-shirts and door name tags and random pouches hanging from their knockers to store exactly what I do not know just became enough already!

But that said, there were many things about this experience that were great, and even with no interest in characters or Disney entertainment (90% Cinderella at the moment, as you might imagine) my boys did still have a great time and a real adventure. And just as importantly I think my mom did, too, and she was paying so that matters. If you love Disney, if you love cruising, and especially if you have girls, do it. If you don’t meet one of those criteria, well, you aren’t going to have a bad time, but it may not be the best vacation you’ve ever taken, either. And you may, as they say, need a vacation from your “vacation” after. Consider yourself warned.

Coming soon: a recap of the This Little Family after-trip to Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade! And I’ll be back to recapping with a wrap-up of RHOBH, the return to NY, and possibly the launch of a Southern Charm edition. I’ve missed you! So glad to be home.

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The Unfortunate Misadventures of Amsterboy 🍷 RHOBH Season 5 Episode 18 Recap

One more episode to tie it all up with a bow, or a bondage strap and a nipple tassel depending on how The Glands’ shopping turned out in Amsterdam. Meh. Having done the porn shopping our ladies meet up in a Dutch flower market, because, you know, Holland = Tulips. This is where we find out that last night, in the Red Light District, The Glands got picked up by Max Pump’s childhood friend, and then went home and did the horizontal lambada. Max Pump is, what, 20? At best? And dear friends with Horshack? Yick. The Glands’ judgment in men about equals her taste in fashion, today on display in a vest made of Snuffleupagus and a pair of Mrs. Roper’s sunglasses. Yes, she packed that shit. Checked the bag and paid $50 to get it to Europe. She doesn’t just own it, she’s paying extra to take it out in public.

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So having gotten laid The Glands is in a far cheerier mood than we’ve seen her thus far, and she thinks she’s going to get back in Lady Pump’s good graces by giving her a handful of daisies and giggling “sorry!” in a flippant sort of way. Lady Pump is not having it; she may not have been slapped hard, but she was slapped all the same, and it’s never appropriate. She thinks The Glands needs to think before she does things. Yes, yes! The Glands thinks it was a joke that went to far, and Lady Pump has taken jokes too far with her many times, too. No, no! This is not unlike the situation on this past Wednesday’s Survivor where the fat Blue Collar guy with the pubey beard tried to “apologize” to the girl barrel racer with the weird growth on her neck by saying he was sorry for being an asshole but it was really her fault. And, no.

 

The Glands gives up and slinks off with her fistful of weeds, leaving Lady Pump with Yo, who tells her she tried really hard to talk to The Glands about her behavioral issues, “in the sweetest way”. Why are you doing it the “sweet way”, Lady Pump demands to know. Yo acknowledges that The Glands can be an asshole. “She’s your asshole, not mine,” declares Lady Pump. Yo does not want this bony asshole either.

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Back at the hotel, it’s teatime, and Lady Pump calls Mr. Lisa at home in LA to tell him what a nasty old broad The Glands is being, and he is pissed. Never a good idea to piss off Mr. Lisa at the close of the season, Glandsy. Buckle up. Meanwhile, Yo swings by The Glands’ room to give her a reprimand, dressed in her most Dutch dominatrix ensemble. The Glands is wearing a pink polka dot nightie thing from JC Penney while she spackles herself. Yo tells The Glands that at this point everyone hates her and apologizing isn’t going to cut it anymore, so The Glands says fine, I hate you old dried up menobags anyway, I’m going out to dinner with Amsterboy! So there! Off she giraffes in her Snuffey vest over a dirty-looking negligee to get overserved, drool in Amsterboy’s lap, and play hide the rookwurst. She’s so having the best time, guys, just check out her Instagram.

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Having unloaded The Glands on a play date that she thinks was her own idea, the mature women of RHOBH don their capes and assemble canalside for an elegant al fresco dinner. Lady Pump is slightly horrified that The Glands is giving the clogs to the child her Maxie went to nursery with, but on the other hand The Glands “can hump 22-year-olds” all she wants if it means Lady Pump doesn’t have to have dinner with her. Max is going to have a fit, she predicts. If this is going to tweak the unflappable MAX then you know banging The Glands has truly and irredeemingly foul implications.

So without the vilest of their companions, Kimmy is left to sit very, very quietly while the other ladies enjoy their last night in Amsterdam. Yo regales them with the story of how her ex boyfriend Julio Iglesias introduced her to this very restaurant some thirty years ago. To all the girls he’s loved before! Lady Pump somehow turns the talk to the live sex show she saw in Mexico some many years ago, involving donkeys and everything! Yo’s brother tells them he knows a great place they can go after dinner where the ladies get bananas up their cabooses and even smoke cigars rectally. Must we? Yo rises, thanks them all for coming, and cheers them all, even including the fallen and absent Glands. Ching ching!

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Back to LA, where life has been carrying on as usual. The Glands and Yo meet up at a “medispa” where Yo gets an IV vitamin infusion and Yo is getting 14-karat GOLD painted on her face. I think she needs a thick coat of hydrogen peroxide, myself, but that’s me. Yo tries to give The Glands her latest effort at a stern mommy lecture, but The Glands waves her off that she’s in crisis; Guy “Daddy” Glands is in the hospital experiencing some health issues related to his faulty heart valves, and as he’s still not talking to The Glands because she is embarrassing she’s left to get a ridiculous facial and meow about it rather than do something actually useful. So she gets all weepy on the facial table and the aesthetician has to wait until it’s over. The Glands is sad about dad, and whiny about the fact that “everyone else can do what they want” and she can’t. Yo tells her she can speak freely as long as she doesn’t “go below the belt”, which we all know means shut it. Yo still claims she believes Yo has a good heart, and thinks she fears rejection which is why she acts like an asshole. Yo, on the other hand, “comes from the heart”, so that’s why she gets to wear white capris and float around playing the harp.

Meanwhile, for reasons totally unexplained, Kimmy pays a visit to Yo Adrienne Maloof, who is preparing a public venue for some sort of mysterious event to promote some menthol-cigarette-flavored malt liquor or something. Kim thinks Adrienne is so incredibly easy to talk to; I think Adrienne is so incredibly boring. Kim tells Adrienne how she’s so mad at Kyle because after Kim got nasty and provoked Lipsey on Night 1 in Amsterdam, Kyle ran out the door in the vague direction of Lipsey, and general escape, rather than cling to her sister’s pantleg. Adrienne hems and hums and generally expresses pity. Meh.

Kyle, meanwhile, is lunching on kale with Lipsey and sharing their bliss at being back in LA where dogs wear clothes and ride in thousand dollar strollers, as they ought. Kyle shares that she and Kim are in another one of the many stretches they have experienced over their shared 40+ years in which they are not speaking; she intends to remedy this by inviting Kim to come to “the desert” alone where they can have it out. O dear. We all remember the first big Richards Sisters meltdown over “the desert”, don’t we? Before they go, Lipsey makes sure to tell Kyle that The Glands is running around LA telling everyone and everything that she, too, is concerned about her dear friend Kimmy’s sobriety, and even went so far as to suggest she needed an intervention. Well, actually it was a little more of a suggestion that everyone needed an intervention, but that part got sort of left out by Lipsey. Oh here comes.

Kyle gallivants off in her Maserati to Palm Springs to prepare her new, fabulous, palatial, very beige desert home for Kim’s arrival. She has worn her most orange caftan in order that she and her brown house can go totally INVISIBLE when the desert sun passes the horizon. On the way up or down, either way! Kim’s gonna freak!

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Back in LA, Lady Pump presides over her first big fat gay wedding at PUMP. Dominic and Magno are our grooms, and I have to question whether this is the first time they have met.

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Enough of that: Kyle swans around her super-fancy, totally devoid of personality desert upgrade lighting every smelly candle she could find at the area Kirkland’s and preparing to show her poor-relation sister just how much she’s upgraded her living arrangements from the inherited shithouse she stole from Kim just four seasons back. Kyle’s version of that oft- and yet never-satisfactorily-told story is that when Mama Richards died she left the house to all three girls. Kathy and Kim, per Kyle, wanted to be bought out because they already had homes in Palm Desert, so she and Mauricio obliged. (The whole issue of whether Kim’s childhood acting income actually bought the house for Mama Richards in the first place is left unaddressed.)

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Kim arrives in her chaufferred “MUSIC 08″ Suburban and questions why she has been brought here and cornered alone. Kyle greets her, shows her around, and tells her to put on her own caftan so they can lounge in the fourth living room. Water is poured. Here goes.

Kim is infuriated with Lipsey for conducting an investigation into her sobriety efforts which are none of her business. Kyle thinks it’s perfectly Lipsey’s business because she was at Eileen’s house where Kim had been popping pills, the logic of which I think means that everyone there for the poker party is now endowed with subpoena power. Kim starts meowing about how The Glands defended her, so Kyle pipes up with the news that after defending her The Glands started giraffing around LA on a campaign to launch Kim’s intervention.

And that’s when the wheels come off. Kim starts screaming about how Kyle stole her house and then sold it and didn’t give her a chance to even enter it one last time because Kyle put it in a “short escrow”, a claim Kyle swiftly shoots down by pointing out that Kim had enough time to ask that Kyle give the listing to Kim’s own daughter. So this now somehow rounds back to whether or not Kim was voluntarily bought out of the Stolen House, assertions that Kim was “not in a position to share a mortgage” at the time, and screams of “LYING!” Kyle wraps it up by telling Kim that The Glands is going to break her heart, they finish burning dinner, hug it out, and by sheer luck neither gets their curtain of hair caught on fire.

Next time, on the season FINALE: Nicky Hilton emerges from irrelevance to have a book signing at Kyle’s Caftan Palace; Lipsey backtracks on whether The Glands wanted to stage an intervenion; The Glands storms off; and Yo Adrienne pops out of a Happy Meal box or some such at her Big Fat Thing.

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“I, I, I…” 🍷 Vanderpump Rules Season 3 Reunion Part 2 Recap

A pfffft to the finish for Pump Rules; with all reunions I usually find that we could easily cover the material in one less part. If it’s a two-part reunion we only need one, if it’s a three-parter we’re usually about done after part deux. And last night was no exception.

We pick up where we left off with the discussion of Lady Hitler’s abandonment of henchman K2. K2 points out that she actually felt cut off from LH before Miami even happened so its not all because she went on Scheana’s bachelorette party; in fact, after the 2s went to their first couples therapy session Lady Hitler didn’t even ask how it went, so that sealed the deal on her decision to tag along. “You are thinking of it so black and white!” Lady Hitler despairs, causing EVERYONE to throw up their hands and roll their eyes, for there is no room for grey in the eyes of Lady Hitler.

It seems Lady Hitler was at least partly irked because it got back to her that K2 made some unflattering comments about Lady Hitler’s relationship with Snuffleupagus. K2 freely admits that she has had serious concerns about the way Lady Hitler has abandoned all pretense of independence for a life as a “kept woman” with Snuffy, and that she, K2, is entitled to her opinions about it whether Lady Hitler wants to hear them or not, especially considering how free LH is with her own on everyone and everything. “I, I, I….” stammers Lady Hitler, which immediately earns her the pile-on by T1. It’s always all about Stassi! So the subject shifts to her various unflattering remarks. “You know me,” she cries plaintively, just ninety seconds after claiming none of these people know her, insisting her comments are really funny jokes, you guys, especially that one about T1 being “half weasel, half vagina”. That’s some image.

Anyway: how did she feel about having to sit with Scheana at the club when she lost the bet? Like a loser. How does she feel about Jax’s weird Day of the Dead tattoo homage to a “hybrid Stassi and Carmen”? Weird. As does everyone else, to be fair. How does she feel about Lady Pump not being on Team Stassi? Well, Lady Pump doesn’t understand her, and is also an “old lady”. Lady Pump’s elephant eyelashes narrow.

Moving on: Jax acknowledges he was overly invested in trying to pry the 2s apart and that his meddling was a mistake. Scheana acknowledges that no one could or would “motorboat a dick”, least of all K2. Lady Pump praises K2 for how nicely she’s grown up this season, and T1 offers her a slow clap for being “most improved”.

On the other hand, K1 has regressed into infantile idiocy; even her sort-of-friend Lady Hitler tried to shut it down when the Miami thing got obsessive. Mr. Andy asks her to set the record straight on how exactly That Miami Girl ended up in LA and K1 explains that (a) she initiated contact with her on Instagram (I Instagram so infrequently I didn’t even know this was a feature); (b) The Miami Girl came to LA to visit her dad at her own expense; and (c) K1 didn’t have control of the timing, odd as it was coming on the heels of what seemed like a peacemaking come-to-Jesus with the weepy T1 in Miami. Just, whatever. She’s over it now. And so is Horshack, who didn’t like her unhealthy obsession, but was willing to live with the crazy, because they are so in love. Dumbass.

T1 and Ariana point out that none of the various accounts and details made sense, whereas T1’s explanation of events was the only version that did. Horshack insists that The Miami Girl’s description of T1’s wanger was a smoking gun of course, but K2 dismisses that entirely on the grounds that a wanger looks like a wanger, and the suggestion that T1’s “takes a hard right or something” is a little bit absurd (and also, perhaps means The Miami Girl is confusing T1 with Bill Clinton because as I recall from my young adulthood in the 90’s a similar claim was made of the presidential penis by one or the other of the brazen hussies he tried to hump). K1 now acknowledges that she deserved to be fired after the disrespectful scene she made at SUR. T1 claims Horshack learned all the bedroom tricks he now uses on K1 from him, which is (a) gross, and (b) best left unexplained further.

Mr. Andy shifts the subject to Scheana’s Big Fat Tacky Wedding. Scheana defends her crop top wedding dress and says there are like four people on Pinterest planning to copy it. Lady Hitler does not want to take back her rude comments about it, and T1 points out that the difference between Lady Hitler and others is that she has “no heart behind” what she says, just a big black hole.

All of a sudden everyone is talking at once and the only interesting part of this whole reunion comes out: it appears that Stassi once made a video of herself masturbating and sent it to “a boyfriend”, who shared it with Scheana, who told people about it and, per Stassi, was going to take it to TMZ. And now all this time Stassi has been so busy being mad and bitchy about this unspoken crisis without actually looking like she had any reason to be when she really, really did so that’s why she’s not friends with Scheana and never will be.

So on the one hand that explains a lot of things (why she was so mad at Scheana, why she considered K2 befriending her even a little something of a betrayal), and when I first heard about this had me speculating whether the boyfriend in question was Jax and that’s the source of the horrible things she has to live through daily that she keeps hinting at. But now Lady Pump is tweeting about how everyone (all the cast Stassi hates so much as not her friends) made a pact not to speak of the tape all season, how Lady Pump (who Stassi dismisses out of hand) paid the boyfriend off herself to make it go away – and how no one intended to bring it up at the reunion until Stassi did herself (possibly thinking the reference to it would be edited out). So given all that, I now think Stassi is even a bigger asshole than I gave her credit for (and a moron, too). Also, I am still wondering whether Jax gave Stassi The Unscratchable Itch.

Mr. Andy changes topics to K1 and Horshack’s fight in the parking lot. No, no! We are not interested! But wait; what is wrong with K1’s face? It’s droopy on the one side, like uneven Botox or something. Also, does she have gray roots? Blech. Then he asks Jax about his varying accounts about whether or not T1 Had Sexual Relations With That Miami Girl and he finally acknowledges, once and for all, that he was not there, that he was at CVS buying beer, that he would not know either way, and that he repeated what the girl told him as fact that he knew firsthand, which it was not. K1 pipes up that maybe, just maybe, she isn’t the root of the problem. Oh you are still the root, girl!

Also: when are the 2s getting engaged? Not yet, even as at the time of taping T2 was just one week away from the six-month deadline imposed by K2. I’m just glad he didn’t propose at the reunion because that would have been horrible.

Finally: is Lady Hitler really leaving SUR for good? She says yes, and that she’s really excited to walk out of this reunion. Ariana thanks her for telling K1 to shut it on the subject of the Miami Girl. Stassi and K2 will not be friends again; Stassi wails that K2 “changed the rules”, and of course no one changes the rules except Stassi. Lady Pump is done with her, too, and of course so is Scheana. Stassi intends to move on to a podcast, like The Glands, which sounds so Napster-era to me. Here comes irrelevance! Lady Pump praises everyone but K1 and Stassi for growing and showing, and they all drink sangria. Cheers, bitches! The End.

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Dutch Oven 🍷 RHOBH Season 5 Episode 17 Recap

Since I usually watch RHOBH on the DVR I can’t say I have ever really watched the intro. Does Eileen look a bit like Charo here to anyone besides me?

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It’s morning after the Space Cake Incident and all the ladies have seen their glam squads and are ready for the day. All except Yo, who has taken to her bed (you know, the Lyme Disease). Kyle is very upset that Yo is unwell and it seems more than a little out of self-pity than Yo-pity, does it not? Yo tells Kyle to go forth and deal with her sister Kim, who is “God’s gift” and/or burden to her whether she likes it or not. Kyle does not like this advice. Meanwhile, the Lisas have come down to find Kim and The Glands at breakfast and decided to accept their invitation to go shopping. Wha?

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Eileen arrives wearing a leopard top, a pleather vest with fur collar, and carrying a befringed purse, and cannot believe this. Especially from Lipsey, because even thought they managed a courteous bicycle ride the previous day nothing, as far as anyone else is concerned, was really settled after Kim’s explosion and the wine-throwing incident. So Eileen says no thanks and waits for Kyle and they go to a museum instead, because they are all high-culture and like to talk about the artwork’s representations of male genitalia and stuff like that. The shoppers buy nipple tassels and assless panties and test out vibrators and get along swell. Eileen is at a loss; she does not know what to do. Lipsey is somehow sorted out and she’s still in a fight with Kim? Kyle waves her hand in the air vaguely. This isn’t her first rodeo.

After shopping and culture the Days vets reunite in the bar for a glass of wine before their night’s activities. Eileen is wearing a stretch lace unitard from her 1980’s Kristen wardrobe, and I really have to wonder about her. Does she shop at the Malibu Country Store in her pegged Z. Cavaricci jeans?

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Eileen demands to know how Lipsey is all sorted out with Kim and she’s still hanging; Lipsey offers a weak admission that she and Kim hung out that day and it was cool, so maybe Eileen needs to start her own fight with Kim so they can have it out and get cool and hang themselves? Eileen is appalled. She wants Lipsey to come to her defense with Kim, but Lipsey is scared of her and just trying to stay out of the shithole.

Their night’s excursion involves dinner on a barge on a canal. I bet it smells fantastic. Yo has rallied and is in her best white Foodsavers ensemble; Kyle’s is red and is Leger. Kyle’s nose is way, way out of joint having everyone act cool with each other, including Lady Pump, and she is so not fine. Lady Pump feels they are all just going for that English “stiff upper lip”, but Kyle is not English. She can’t even sit at the damn table with these bitches. (Actually, I am not entirely sure she can sit at all in that dress as she barely made it on the barge in the first place.)

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The Glands shoots eye daggers at her before starting a reconciliation talk with the Shoppers by acknowledging that she has “been a dick”. “Congratulations for owning it – you’re an asshole!” thinks Eileen, and me. The Glands launches into Eileen for calling her an alcoholic, and Eileen corrects her, correctly, that she didn’t call The Glands an alcoholic, she said she’s “mean when she drinks”, which she is, and The Glands has said so herself, even if she now claims no one has said that to her before. Bullshit! Quick, The Glands deflects: let’s all be nice because this is Yo’s Dinner Cruise and she doesn’t feel good.

Now Kim piles on and starts accusing Eileen of saying bad things about The Glands and also about her; who is EILEEN to remark upon her pill popping at the poker game? Well, she made a damn huge scene at EILEEN’s house, which EILEEN’s husband practically popped popcorn to watch from his viewing perch in the garage, so I think she’s the hostess of a fiasco who has perfect right to comment on it. “Where do you decide to look the other way?” Eileen wants to know. “Sue me for giving a damn.” Kim and The Glands continue to squabble about all the ways that Eileen has uttered “life damaging” remarks about them while Eileen rolls her eyes and says she’s sorry they are confusing her concern with personal attack. Yo’s had enough and tells Kim and The Glands to “absorb” the apology, drop it, and move on. That shuts them up.

The Glands decides to kick off The Reconciled Hour by gaily labeling Eileen a “homewrecker”. Yeah, that’s not “life damaging” in the least, nor, per Eileen, is it remotely accurate. Kim thinks Eileen needs to lighten up. The Glands launches back into the “angry drunk” issue and Yo throws up her hands and leaves altogether, heading off to start dinner, alone, but quickly joined by Lady Pump, then Eileen, and Lipsey, leaving the Richards Sisters and The Glands to duke it out over how The Glands has invaded the sisterly sphere. Kyle is so mad she can’t fight well; The Glands is shrill and become a slapper; and Kim is all weepy about how hard it is being ignored by her sister and her friends. Dinner, however, “is good!”. “It’s a Dutch Oven,” Yo helpfully explains to Lady Pump.

Finally the rest of the ladies come to the table and The Glands’ bra is hanging out.

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Yo really doesn’t know what to do with The Glands. She tried a cleanse, it failed, she’s tried lectures, they failed; now she’s resigned to the fact that The Glands needs all new friends, elsewhere. YES SHE DOES! Paging Mr. Andy!

The Glands now suggests, in her saccharin way, that they go around the table saying nice things about each other. O lord. Someone needs to talk to her about her nails; there is nothing nice about those.

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Everyone is a wonderful mother, everyone is a strong person, Lipsey “loves” Kim, and The Glands compliments everyone’s physical assets (for Kyle, her hair. Of course.) When everyone else has gotten their ego stroked The Glands leaves the table, because she “just doesn’t want to be part of it”. Lady Pump thinks The Glands doesn’t love herself enough to accept compliments. The Glands insists she just doesn’t want to to listen to “old ladies make stuff up about her”, which sounds about right to me. This is where we find out that The Glands came out for the evening in a flasher coat, no pants.

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So that’s the end of that, except: when they are getting off the barge, for whatever dumbass Glandsy reason she decides to get into some one-on-one encounter with Lady Pump about how she’s “Julie from the Love Boat” which ends up with The Glands slapping her. Slapping Lady Pump! Oh noooooooo. It didn’t look like a hard slap, but it was a slap nonetheless and in no way appropriate. Lady Pump sighs and says that The Glands “always goes too far” with her. WORD.

Finally, a new day, and Kyle and Lady Pump teeter up a set of steep, steeeeep stairs to eat pancakes while Yo and The Glands stay on a ground floor cafe, and they all discuss The Slap. Yo is appalled and tells The Glands that she needs to learn “boundaries”. Everytime she takes a step forward she takes two back. Kyle thinks The Glands is mean and “makes up stories”. Lady Pump is “over it”. AREN’T WE ALL?

Next time: The Glands does her sugary thing trying to make nice, then meets a clueless dude. Kim has a meeting with Adrienne (?) of all people, and The Richards Sisters duke it out some more. I am tired of Amsterdam.

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“Don’t ‘Dude’ Me” 🍷 Vanderpump Rules Season 3 Reunion Part 1 Recap

My apologies if you feel I abandoned you last week. Something had to go, and frankly, final episodes of any Bravo season are easily dismissed. Well, maybe except the one where Tammy Barney threw the glass of wine in Jeana Keough’s face, making Jeana’s pocket gay yap like a Chihuahua. But generally, any SUR “photo shoot” is essentially a throwaway. I am inclined to suspect that the SUR staff’s Pump Rules contracts all offer this gratuitous display of “hotness” to compensate for the paltry sums of recompense for publicly surrendering their dignity, and our servers sign on the dotted line claiming this is going to boost their side “careers” whereas in truth they not-so-secretly crave the attention and adulation that goes along with appearing nearly naked on television for a full one hour. That’s my theory, at least. I didn’t watch.

So it’s time to reunite and feel so good about it, and was it just me or was this one of the more fractured reunion conversations Mr. Andy has ever hosted? Usually he at least attempts to group his questions/discussion topics into some form of focus between commercial breaks, but we were all over the damn place last night. Which maybe stands to reason given the material.

OK, so anyway, we’re getting together at SUR and everyone looks… not awesome. Outfits are predictably questionable, some uninspired (Scheana’s labia-toned plunging sequin thing, K1’s ugly Dress Barn find), and some downright misses (what is that black thing on Ariana’s upper arms? Who dressed K2 in the ill-fitting peuce piano recital frock?). And then of course there are the men, doing their usual thing; Horshack is about to show us his third nipple. But the worst part is the lighting. Oh my word. The shine… the pores… the texture. These kids need Barbara Walter’s furry filter to diffuse this situation. Only Mr. Andy looks well, of course. (It’s hard to see what the light is doing to Lady Pump under all that hair.)

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Mr. Andy starts off launching one to Jax about how long it’s been since he last had a conversation with Lady Hitler, which Jax bats back with a lie that he hasn’t talked to her in at least two years, immediately taken down by K1 (she heard they had lunch with Carmen), Lady Pump (she heard they talked on the phone before filming started), and T1 (he heard they got married last week). I couldn’t care less because I need to know what has happened to Jax’s face. His jaw has gone beyond puffy into John McCain misshapen-and-uneven territory.

No one mentions this; we just have a short meow about how everyone can still be friends with Jax while his erstwhile fuckmate K1 is a pariah. T1 thinks Jax is forgivable because he does this stuff because he’s just dumb, insecure, and acts according to basic instincts. Horshack thinks whether or not screwing around with people can’t be helped “depends on how hot you are” and everyone is confused by this statement, no one more than me, although the one person apparently not confused is K1 who really should be because it sounds to me like she’s not forgiveable because she’s not hot. Which she is not. Jax whines about how his breakup with Lady Hitler was so, so hard that he accidentally stuck his thing in it, twice.

Moving on to, of course, The Miami Girl. Mr. Andy wants to go back to episode 1 and how Ariana felt hearing this rumor from Scheana before her birthday party. Ariana rolls her eyes and details how she knew aaaaaaalll about it before that, how she’d seen the lame smoking gun texts, and how she found T1’s side of the story perfectly believable because no one else made a bit of sense. It may not be impossible, but in Ariana’s viewpoint it’s always POSSIBLE someone is doing something and having “proof” that makes no sense is only marginally more reason to get all worked up than having no proof whatsoever. Plus, that chick’s not hot. T1 makes the solid point that her motivation to “clear her name” makes no sense at all seeing as she’s the one who sold her story to the tabloids in the first place. In other words, “clearing her name” keeps her in play longer (and also gets her a little Bravo time. I hope she had a fried goat cheese ball while she was at SUR.) T2 backs up his boy, saying he was there all night and it didn’t happen. Can we be done with this?

Boring discussion of Jax’s nose before-and-after, car selfies, Carmen, Amal Clooney, San Diego, Miami (the bachelor/ette party, that is). Blehhhhhh.

Moving on to Jax’s blabbing and K1’s ceaseless cage-rattling about whether or not T1 hooked up with Ariana while they were together. T1 says that Jax throwing him under the bus about The Miami Girl and whether he ever hooked up with Ariana before is totally meaningless because everyone knows Jax will make shit up in retaliation when he feels backed into a corner. Jax acknowledges this is totally, totally true. K1 announces that she no longer cares at this point, except she really cares that T1 stayed over at Ariana’s the night she and T1 broke up “according to your phone”, which T1 claims was entirely innocuous as they were (a) best friends, (b) Ariana was grieving the death of her father, and (c) he needed to stay the hell out of the apartment and go somewhere. Sounds like a good enough explanation to me.

Next, we segue through Jax’s mysterious relationship with John the Gay Guy (yes, they kissed, but that’s all it was and Jax kisses all his gay male friends on the lips) and the 1’s embarrassingly emotive come-to-Jesus on the patio in Miami (Horshack claims all is behind his girlfriend and she is head-over-hells in love with him now; right, K1?) K1 shrinks further into her oversized neck:

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She’s looking more and more like a turtle with every episode) into the subject of Lady Hitler and how mean she was to K2. T2 thinks she should be mortified by how she treated he supposed best friend, and Jax offers that Lady Hitler has had a “crazy three years” and that he’d always be there for her (suggesting she should do the same for others because, come on, he’s JAX and his max capacity should at least exceed the normally-expected bare-minimum of human decency). So let’s bring her in, shall we?

After a big swig of booze backstage Lady Hitler swans in wearing a black and white picnic tablecloth as a dress, giant peplum and all.

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This is the woman who scorned the crop top wedding dress, may I remind us all. First, Mr. Andy wants to know why Lady Hitler was so damn hysterical about the prospect of actually laying eyes on Jax; she claims she doesn’t want to be “Stassi n’ Jax” anymore, plus also there’s the matter that he’s a big fat liar and bound to say just about anything. Which, mind you, he could do with or without an actual personal encounter, and if said encounter took place on film, well, then there’s evidence.

Why hasn’t her Snuffleupagus Boyfriend Manly Man Patrick been introduced yet? Well, it’s “not his scene”. Jax, for his part, thinks Patrick has to be enormously insecure, because Lady Hitler dropped talking to him immediately once Patrick freaked out about it. T1 pipes up that he’s heard a rumor that Patrick has threatened to break up with Lady Hitler if he finds her even in a room with her ex. Isn’t she in one now?? Jax claims he’s emailed her and gotten no response; Lady H says she’s blocked his emails. T1 thinks that’s interesting because prior to that Lady H had called Jax crying and needing to borrow money, so it’s all a matter of convenience, isn’t it?

This is when K1 pipes up in Lady H’s defense and it becomes clear that they are friends again; Lady H mewls that it’s only because K1 is the only person who will talk to her. They both start plaintively whining about everything Lady H “goes through” every day and how no one understaaaaaands how hard it is! No one reached out to her! Even though she has them all blocked on email, social media, and her iPhone. How hard is it to make crappy necklaces and bitch about people all day? What is she going through? Am I the only person who suspects Jax gave her some really nasty venereal disease?

T2 and Scheana could not care less what her problems are. T2 is sick of Lady H’s “superiority complex”, and Scheana thinks she’s incapable of caring about anyone else or being nice about anything that doesn’t center around herself. Lady H insists she will always love K2, but it looks like that’s a one-way street; K2 attacks. Cutting her off with an audible snip was so extreme; Lady H treats people like disposable things. She is the most selfish person K2 has ever met in her life, and K2 did nothing wrong to her. SHAZAM!

Next time, more crap about Lady Hitler, who really was so irrelevant this season I don’t know why we’re still talking about her. And why did Jax now tattoo her FACE on his arm? And will T2 give K2 a real ring that’s not from Claire’s? Till then…

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Amsterdammitall! 🍷 RHOBH Season 5 Episode 16 Recap

I’m BACK! No, I did not fall in a hole, but things have been wild and crazy at the Rancho with a week of winter getaway in the middle. And while I was offline, all I missed was increasing bitter aggression from Kim Richards, it sounds like, and now we’re in Amsterdam geared up for more.

So I finally got to sit down long enough to watch this week’s episode, and you think I am kidding but I am not. The ladies disembark their fat bus at the Hotel De L’Europe which could possibly be the hostel I stayed at some 20+ years ago significantly renovated (no more bunk beds; hot water).

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I missed last week but I can only conclude we’re in the land of tulips and wooden clogs because of Yo’s Sick Momma. It also appears that Lady Pump and Eileen have met this crew across the pond while Lipsey Rinna had to hang tight and hold on for dear life while strapped into a flying aluminum thermos along with Kim and The Glands. She seems seriously worse for wear upon arrival and it can’t just be the jetlag. Relieved to see her best girls, the Lisas and Eileen have a drink in the lounge so Lipsey can unload about Kim’s “addict behavior” and the angry way she attacked Lipsey en route. I know I missed something, but I don’t care. Lady Pump gets the check billed to her room so Bravo can pay it.

Time for din-din, and everyone gathers up downstairs, all in black, black, black. Kyle is not just in black, she’s in a Batgirl costume, while Kim shows up in what appears to be a black vinyl straitjacket. And off they go, traipsing through the Red Light district. Kyle wants to know if everyone needs to offer their services as a prostitute in Holland; Yo says no, but that she’d do it to pay the bills for her kids. Isn’t that sweet?

They arrive and assemble in the empty early-bird dining room, with Yo taking the head of the table and declaring to all, “let’s share”. She wants to “share” about their struggles, their shared humanity, and offers up that #2 got a DUI recently. As if they don’t all read TMZ! Lady Pump makes some clucking sounds about the ups and downs of motherhood. Lipsey chirps up that her sister died of a drug and alcohol overdose when Lipsey was a mere 6 years old (the sister was 21, it should be noted), which left her scarred with anxiety, and now with Husband Harry’s brothers dying of the drink she is just overly wrapped up in these concerns which she projected onto Kim and for that she is truly, truly sorry. It is a genuine apology. It reflects an uncharacteristic level of self-awareness for a BH Housewife. And Kim is having none of it.

Rolling her eyes, Kim again snaps at Lipsey for getting overly involved in her business and for actually caring. She’s been sober for three years, dammit! Well, except that episode a few weeks ago where she popped a pill and started waving dildos around at Eileen’s house. (So glad spellcheck knows how to correct the plural of ‘dildo'; I was spelling it like ‘potatoes’. So very W of me.) Yeah, Kim’s SOBER, dammit! Her real friends and family know it, and while Lipsey’s all worried about Kim, Kim’s actually worried about what’s going on at Lipsey’s house, she drops silkily. Lipsey’s eyes go wide. Eileen has had enough and steps in, causing Kim to shout “I’ve had enough of you – you beast!” “How DARE you,” Eileen retorts, in full YATR mode. She didn’t earn that Emmy for nothing.

But oh no, Kim dares, and she keeps on rolling that there’s nothing to like about Eileen; not her face, not her hair, and not her meddling. Kyle pipes up to try to shut Kim down for indefensible behavior, and Kim snarls at her that her real sister, Kathy, would have her back. I am going to presume Kathy indeed would which explains how all Kathy’s children have turned out the way they have. So Lipsey unwisely pipes up for Kyle that Kim is now treating everyone badly and it has to stop. “Have a piece of bread,” Kim snaps, before unloading the mother of all bombs about Husband Harry: “Let’s not talk about what you don’t want to have out!”

And with that Lipsey goes berserk.

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Wine is thrown, glasses shatter, Kyle runs screaming into the street, cape trailing in her wake. Her girls follow while The Glands stays inside, shocked, but not shocked enough to leave. Kim continues to hiss and bubble that she knows secrets about Husband Harry. And if Lipsey wants to “harm” Kim’s children by vocalizing concern about her narcotic-popping, vape-sucking, nonsense-spewing behavior and thus cast doubt on Kim’s THREE YEAR epic sobriety, then goddamit, Kim’s gonna take that bitch DOWN!

Yo returns to the interior section to pointlessly attempt to reason with Kim. “This is no way to communicate,” she informs her, disapprovingly. Kim doesn’t want to discuss it any. More. Kyle and her best girls take off and go back to the hotel to figure out what the hell that was all about. Eileen feels sorry for Kyle and thinks Kim demeans her; Kyle agrees. Lipsey thinks Kim is abusive; Kyle agrees. Lady Pump thinks it’s weird how Kim and The Glands, two abusive, nasty bitches, found each other. Girl, it’s called casting; they found you the same way. The Daysgirls ponder leaving the country but Kyle insists they stay and protect her. Well, okay. So now that that’s over, Yo’s all excited to go visit her mama and take these bitches along for the ride!

Morning has broken, and Lipsey gazes pensively out her balcony window like a finalist on The Bachelor. Just then, a knock on the door: who is it? It’s KIM! Oh dear Lord. She’s come to sort of make peace, without completely apologizing, but by expressing the Housewife Dispute Refrain (“You should have come to me first”). Lipsey accepts this as fair enough, but points out that going after Husband Harry was low. Kim asserts that she had to do so to make Lipsey back off, and Lipsey, unbelievably, allows that so they can both move on. Christ.

So it’s off to ride bicycles among the wind-meals, you guys! Yo sweeps them all up in the morning and herds them onto another fat bus to the countryside of her yoot, where they mount too-large bikes sans helmets and pedal away. It’s a glorious day among the wind-meals and Yo posits buying one before they randomly encounter some pube-bearded old wind-meal proprietor who claims he hooked up with Yo back in the day. Yo does not have any recollection of this – you know, the Lyme’s disease!

I like big bikes and I cannot lie!
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Finally they arrive at the apartment of Yo Mama who is being tended to by beloved brother Leo. They all have a nice cup of tea and goo over Gigi’s modeling shots. (None of #2, conspiciously.) The plan for the night is for Leo to take them all to a coffeeshop so they can get baked; wouldn’t that be good for Yo Mama, the cancer patient, too? No, she’s not going, and neither is Kim, because, you know, SHE’S SOBER.

So they get rid of the bikes and get dolled up for the evening, Kyle in a fur coat and booties which are going to smell terrific after a night in a weed den. They peruse the pot menu and all of a sudden everyone starts meowing how they can’t possibly partake because they are all mommies and it would be such a bad example. All except Lady Pump, who thinks it would be rude not to. Come on, isn’t that why you’re here? It’s not like you got lost looking for the Anne Frank Museum or something. Let’s be honest about our intentions, ladies.

Kyle insists it’s a “parenting choice”, which causes The Glands to leap up and trill about how the last time she personally smoked weed it was WITH Kyle, so, bullshit! Lady Pump puts and end to it by ordering a “space cake”, having seen it all in London in the 80’s and done plenty, and makes everyone partake. I think these broads are just scared of getting the munchies and eating something with a carb.

Out on the street, not stoned in the least, Lady Pump rounds up on The Glands for making that obnoxious comment about Kyle, which causes The Glands to explode about “hypocrisy”. Here we go again, moans Eileen.

Next time: more tourism, more fights, and All About Eileen.

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“Hug Off” 🍷 Vanderpump Rules Season 3 Episode 16 Recap

You guys, Scheana Shay is in the house! Yes, the deed is done and the Shays are eternally bound, forevermore man and wife. K1 thinks it’ll last, because she’s faithful and he kisses her ass, which is more than we can say about a lot of marriages so best of luck to them. The cast assembles for a photo.

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And now it’s time to celebrate. There are shot glasses, there are boob glasses, but mostly there are plastic glasses with terribly small pours. The pours are probably a good idea considering the inevitable to come, but plastic? We could not rent glassware? Are we dining off paper plates, too?

Right off the bat K1 is enemy #1. Horshack is wandering around trying to get her attention and bemoaning the fact that he gives her love and she doesn’t give it back. Dude, you’re an idiot. In swanning about without her boyfriend, K1 just happens to cross the Pumps’ path; Mr. Lisa gives her the chilly Glandsian dismissal so K1 gets in Lady Pump’s face. “Oh, hullo,” says Lady Pump. “Lovely to see you here!” chirps K1, as though she’s surprised. Things swiftly go sour as K1 asserts her life is just fantastic now that she’s no longer working at SUR, that she should have quit long ago (we can all agree on that), and that Lady Pump never liked her. Lady Pumps clarifies that she never liked K1’s attitude, and warns her not to spoil things for the Shays. K1 departs after clutching Lady Pump to her bosom against her will. “Why does she always have to end things with a hug? Hug off!” Lady Pump tells us.

The only two SUR people not invited to the Sch/ay nuptials are Lady Hitler and her sidekick Anonymous. Someone has either Instagrammed a photo of Scheana’s wedding getup or texted it to Anonymous, who shows it to Lady Hitler so they can have a good giggle. Lady Hitler is horrified and sizes it up as a “skanky quincereana” dress, the ugliest wedding dress ever. And she hasn’t even seen the backfat.

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They also think Scheana is wearing too much makeup for a “blushing bride”, and that Lady Pump’s bondage dress is an odd choice for a wedding, and that Mr. Lisa and Giggy’s matching purple suits are hilariously Prince, and while I can’t stand these girls I have to agree with them all around. They may be missing an open bar but they have kept their pride and dignity, and do shots to the crop top. I don’t think there’s a lot of dignity here, actually. Later they retreat to Lady Hitler’s place for strawberry margs because they have no friends, and acknowledge that if the wedding getup was tackadoodles at least the decor is gorg. The end.

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Back at the wedding, Jax is trying to work Carmen over and she is having none of it and stalks off when he makes a crack about moving on to Vail. Vail is flirting with Pirate Peetah who came in his SUR uniform of unbuttoned black shirt and black pants. That is the best he could do? I really want Vail to get that Obama growth off her lip.

It’s time for the big entrance of the wedding party and at least it’s not to to “Eye In The Sky”. But it is carefully choreographed to some dumb dance song and when that starts at the wrong time the bride loses her shit again. “The whole reception is fucked!” she shrieks.

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Well, yeah, screaming profanity at your reception tends to do that. Finally the inept wedding planner manages to get the DJ to restart the song so that the new Mr. & Mrs. Shay can emerge onto the staircase balcony at the exact right moment and: start jumping up and down like they are celeb hosts at a Vegas nightclub. That’s what this is about? The first dance starts off slow to some uninspired song, before it segues into an opportunity for Scheana to twerk. Klassy. Mr. Little Mama’s and my first dance was a mambo to “Let’s Get It On”.

The party continues and some people are having fun and some are not. T1 and Ariana are in love and hanging out far away from the crazy table. Horshack is assigned to the crazy table, and being half in the bag before dinner even begins is getting all bellig on K1 who is trying to avoid him. The bride gets up and instructs the assembled NOT to have any drinks on the dance floor, please! The 2s stroll off to a private moment in a gazebo where he offers her a small box as a token of his commitment, and it contains: a small rose-gold band on a chain. Yes, the dreaded “ring on a string” that K2 has always told him never to give her. She’s upset and crying and disappointed, and he’s confused and dejected and made at the person at Jared who sold him this shitty little 9th grade birthday present. T1, who does not have commitment issues, commits his tongue to Ariana on the dance floor. Watch the spittle! Carmen tells Jax she’s not spending the night with him and summons Uber.

Lady Pump just happens to stumble upon K2 feeling sorry for herself as the inept wedding coordinator collects garbage (yes, paper plates). K2 spills her guts about the disappointing “ring on a string” and Lady Pump wants to know whether this silly boy is really worth all the time and waiting K2 has put into him. K2 has to think about giving him an ultimatum.

Bridezilla finds her wedding coordinator on garbage detail and explodes on her that nothing – NOTHING! – has gone according to plan! She wants to do the dollar dance! (What is the dollar dance?) She wants to do the garter (UGH) and cut the cake (necessary) and throw the bouquet (always awkward). And she wants to do it NOW! Dammit, garbage lady, take charge of that DJ! You know I didn’t have a wedding planner and I had none of these problems.

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K1, meanwhile, has decided she’s had enough fun for one night and is going to Uber home with her bearded, smoking trainer, Trevor. Horshack, still stalking her, chases her into the parking lot to apologize for being a drunken ass and find out what exactly is going on. So he gets all up in K1’s face while the trainer casually leans against his Prius, smoking a cigar, and enjoys the show. Which quickly becomes a shitshow when K1 tells Horshack they are “done” (clearly temporarily forgetting she’s his houseguest) and he yells at her that she is “unmanageable” (true), to which she responds by smacking and then punching Horshack in the face before making a break for it. Yow!

Having lost Carmen and insulted a number of women by calling them “large”, Jax resorts to trying to flirt with Lady Pump and gets negged. K2 recuperates from the disappointing ring on a string enough to climb into the fountain to dance. Horshack returns to the reception and tells T1 that K1 punched him. T1 is so happy to be with Ariana now, with whom he will always be able to go on vacation simply by looking her in the eyes, and whom he may never actually have to marry because she’s not that into it.

The reception finally wraps up and everyone goes to a villa for an afterparty. In the morning, Scheana awakens in full makeup (crusty!) and rallies her troops to help with garbage duty as Mr. Shay sleeps it off. Scheana is in a bad mood because K1 “ruined” her wedding (she didn’t even know anything had happened until Horshack told her at the afterparty?) but rallies with a little beer and candy for breakfast. And we’re done.

Next time: we’re back to the campaign to destroy T1, and this time K1 is bringing in the big gun: Lady Hitler.

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