Home Sweet Sarah

Micromanaging their fun

When I first noticed this phenomenon, I felt bad about myself and my parenting. Then, as I noticed it more, I got mad and now I'm in a place where it just annoys the shit out of me. What is this?, you ask. It's parents micromanaging their kids' fun. Let me 'splain.

In California, where the weather is beautiful and gorgeous, we spent a lot of time at the playground. Invariably, there would be some parent (usually more than one) holding their kid's hand as they went along the play structure, or following their kid around as they played atop the giant lizard statue, or saving their kid from the two-foot drop off the spider web-looking thing. Sometimes, there'd be parents actively playing with their kids, going down the slide themselves or swinging on the swings.

I found all of this weird for several reasons, first of all because the play structure sign says Ages 5-12, not ages 5-35. I found it weird because I think it's healthy for LG (and other kids) to figure out how to get themselves out of sticky situations without their parents' help, because their parents are not going to be there to do things for them all the time. I found it weird because as a parent, I can be anxious about the swingy bar with a far drop to the ground, but it's my job to internalize that anxiety and let my kid play on her own, rather than be overtly nervous about her falling five feet off the swingy bar onto the ground. (I was very nervous about the swingy bar but I did not want to let LG know I was nervous about the swingy bar. I want her to be brave and fearless.)

I mostly found it weird, though, because if my kid wanted to play with another kid, oftentimes that meant also playing with that other kid's parent and here I was, on a bench nearby, listening to a podcast or reading a book and seeming like I was uninterested in my kid as she played with another kid(s) and their parent. Now, this would actually not be untrue! I did not take LG to the park for my fun, unless you count the podcasts or books as fun, in which case, I guess I did take her there for my fun, but not in the, "I'm going to heave my giant ass through this tunnel and pretend to be a monster" kind of fun.

Listen, I don't ever want to grow up and I spend a fair amount of time doing non-grown-up-type things, like doing improv. The other day, at LG's initiation, I pretended there was a sleeping dinosaur in our garage and we had to be veeeeeeeery quiet when we got in the car and then we freaked out about the dinosaur and we talked about the dinosaur several more times throughout the day. Yesterday, at LG's request, I reenacted her birth in our kitchen. It was less messy than the first time and I kept all my clothes on, but my point is, I do indulge my kid in fun things. I am not a monster.

However, when we go to the playground, that is LG's time to play with other kids her age, not her lame mother or other adults her lame mother's age. It's the time where 4-ish-year-olds convene and work shit out among themselves. It is Lord of the Flies out there, except it's only for an hour or so. And then, if it turns out some kid is being an asshole, we can talk about it either right there, or later that day and we can have a discussion about how some people are assholes and here is how you don't act like an asshole.

This brings me to the current day, where it's cold and snowy and you can't play at the playground, so you play at the library. Our library is pretty great. The entire downstairs is for the kids, so they can run around and be themselves without the constant, "SHHHH!" from their parents, because there are people trying to study or research or play online poker at the computers a few feet away.

The problem is, I see library time as I saw playground time, which equals reading time for me. I have no interest in sitting in the kid-sized chair and watching LG play a game on the iPad (WHY DO THEY HAVE iPADS AT THE LIBRARY? Different rant for a different day.) Without fail, though, there are other parents at the library, following their kids around as they play and then when my kid tries to play with their kid, it turns into their weird game where the kids are being refereed by this other parent as they, like, do puzzles, and there I am, reading Fates and Furies (still not finished) and looking very disinterested. BECAUSE I AM! Because I have plenty of work to do at home, but I am here, for my child, so that she can learn and grow and become independent and a problem-solver and make friends. I don't need some other woman monitoring whose turn it is on the iPad. I don't need some lady saying to my kid, "Are you here with your grandma?" as if that would make the absence of a parent make more sense. Oh, tired grandma is taking a rest, for surely if your mother was here, she'd be hovering over you, telling you how to do this puzzle correctly.

I don't know, maybe I'm the asshole.

Filed under: LG 3 Comments

4Q15 books

The first day of 3Q15, I started a new job. The last week of 3Q15, I moved 2,000 miles away. So, not a lot of time for reading this summer. Luckily, I found the library in my new town and took up reading once again.

Beautiful Day, by Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand might be taking over as James Patterson for me. That is, I seem to go for her books when I'm looking for something to just read. Not to think about too much, just to enjoy and finish quickly. (So to speak.) Anyway, her books have a formula that works for me; this one was no different. All her books take place on Nantucket and this time it was about a wedding, complete with lots of family drama. I found most of the characters charming and it wrapped up nicely.

The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty, by Vendela Vida

I heard about this on NPR awhile ago and finally got around to checking it out from the library. It's about a woman whose belongings are stolen right out of from under her at a hotel in Morocco and how she takes the lack of ID and money as an opportunity for adventure. It's written in second person, which kind of tripped me up at the end when I realized I'd read a whole book strictly through, basically, her thoughts, but it ultimately served as a useful vehicle to provide background information on the main character. Recommend.

Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter

This was really fun. It takes place over several decades and in different countries and then all ties together at the end. It also takes place in a fairly obscure part of Italy, which had me Googling and busting out my atlas, and I love that kind of stuff. It ended nicely, save for the ending of one character. That one just pissed me off, but since there ended up being several other main characters, it didn't stand out as, like, the entire ending. Recommend.

The Girl Who Chased The Moon, by Sarah Addison Allen

I think this is probably a YAF book, which is NOT my genre, but luckily it had two main characters/storylines--one of a teenager and one of an adult. It was one of those magic-/supernatural-type stories, which, other than Harry Potter, is usually not for me. Despite all signs pointing to the "no" column, this was actually cute and I was not mad at it. I'm still not going for magic teenage fairy books, though.

Past Perfect, by Susan Isaacs

(I actually finished this on January 1st, but forgive me, I am adding it to the 2015 list.) I looooove Susan Isaacs, so I was excited for this book. BUT, it was a bit of a slow burn and didn't really even get to the good stuff until the very end and then the ending wasn't even wrapped up well. Like, I had to go Google, "past perfect susan isaacs ending" to see if someone else could explain it. Unfortch, all that yielded was a lot of reviews on Goodreads about how much people hated this book. So.

I am currently reading Lauren Groff's Fates And Furies, but since I have to keep a dictionary at hand to even get through one page, I am not sure it's for me.

What have you read lately?



2015 was a year. A year, it was.

1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
Performed weekly with an improv team. Lived in the Midwest.

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made any resolutions. I am not making any for 2016.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister-in-law!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you didn't have in 2015?
(Haha, last year I said, "A finished kitchen." Since we sold our house, now I don't give a fuuuuuuq about my kitchen.) Anyway, I would like a goddamn vacation.

7. What dates from 2015 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
September 15, the date our shit was packed up and headed off to Illinois. September 19, the date we left California for Illinois.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Being asked to perform weekly on an improv team, finding a job I really liked, being a very supportive spouse.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I don't think I failed at anything.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I can't really think of anything that I bought that was that great. Champagne?

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Chris got promoted! He's a badass. LG continued to be chill and took all the big changes in stride. I was, once again, a very supportive spouse.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
After marriage equality, when people continued to passive-aggressively quote Bible scripture on Facebook as if to make some stupid point...STOP IT. The only point you're making is that you're a bigot. Go away.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Mortgage/rent, daycare, food, booze.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Being asked to be on an improv team!

16. What song will always remind you of 2015?
"Changes," by Langhorne Slim and The Law. I heard this in my last yoga class in California the week we moved and I cried and then I couldn't find the song anywhere and then a few weeks ago, I randomly heard it during an Auto Trader commercial and I was like, There's that song! And also I need to send my yoga teacher a Christmas letter! Life works in funny ways sometimes.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: A) happier or sadder? B) thinner or fatter? C) richer or poorer?
A) Same.
B) Same.
C) Richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Improv or anything else comedy-related. Stand-up, sketch, etc.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Ate fried food.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
The three of us spent Christmas at home, just us and a shitton of food. The usual.

21. Did you fall in love with 2015?

22. What was your favorite TV program?
All the Real Housewives, as usual; The Affair; Homeland; The Americans; Better Call Saul; The West Wing; Vanderpump Rules.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

24. What was the best book you read?
Yes Please, by Amy Poehler.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I recently downloaded Grace Potter. I dig it.

26. What did you want and get?
More comedy!

27. What did you want and not get?
A family vacation!

28. What was your favorite film of 2015?
Haha, "film." I don't think I saw any movies this year, except the Peanuts Movie, which was really quite stupid, and Inside Out, which was not stupid, but which made me cry.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Chris and I went to San Diego--alone!--and hung out with friends and went to the bar where we met. I turned 32.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
It was a pretty legit year, so I can't say there's more I would have wanted. Don't be greedy.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2015?
All I can think of is that most recently, it's puffy coats.

32. What kept you sane?
Running, yoga, podcasts.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
There are too many shootings in this country and I don't know how to solve it, but it needs solving because what the fuck is going on?

34. Who did you miss?
My mom and dad. They came to almost every improv show and I loved seeing their faces front row center every Wednesday.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
My bosses; my old cubicle-neighbor, who has turned into a real friend; and improv people.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015.
Just say yes--adventure is a good thing! Be loyal to your family--ride or die.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"Gimme one reason to stay here and I'll turn right back around..." (LG and I have been listening to a lot of Tracy Chapman.)


Christmas menu!

After going to four different stores (meat market, Trader Joe's, regular grocery store, Italian market), we're ready for Christmas! Here's what's on our menu:

Christmas Eve breakfast

Chris has to work on Christmas Eve and I'm a big believer that Christmas Eve doesn't start until the first showing of A Christmas Story airs on TBS, but since both LG and I are off, and since Chris doesn't really like sweets anyway, I bought us ladies some imported chocolate croissants for breakfast. They could be awful, we'll see.

Christmas Eve lunch

See above re: not really Christmas yet. We'll just have leftovers or whatever for lunch. Possibly more croissants.

Christmas Eve dinner

Appetizers! My friend Caitlin talked me off a ledge and convinced me to just buy appetizers from TJ's instead of doing a whole big stressful cooking thing. She's smart. Here's what we're having (it's inadvertently Greek/Middle Eastern-ish, the latter being fitting, when you think about it):

Pastry Pups (pigs in blankets) + mustard
Hummus + veg + crackers
Caesar salad
I also have a large block of Dubliner cheese if we find we need more food
We'll probably drink the usual libations...wine, G&Ts...can't get too crazy since we Chris will be putting a (shhh!) bike together and we I will be texting with my parents--the bike-givers, THANKS MOM AND DAD (I love you)--during A Christmas Story ("Okay Black Bart, now you get yours.")

Christmas breakfast

Bagels (everything and cheese) + cream cheese + a ham steak
Bloody Marys!

Christmas dinner

Bone-in ribeye steak (Chris will grill, since it's supposed to be a balmy 46 degrees that day)
Ricotta + spinach stuffed shells with marinara
Roasted potatoes
Green beans

Christmas dessert

I bought some delicious quartet of cheesecakes from Trader Joe's. Also port.

What are you having for Christmas? Merry day to you all!


Thanksgiving menu

So it snowed last weekend. Our first snow! Today I went for a run and while it was very nice (I do enjoy running in the (somewhat) cold), I also quickly realized that my shoes are serious dry-weather shoes. So I'll be buying some new ones that don't get my feet soaking wet.

LG enjoying the snow.

Anyway, this week is Thanksgiving, aka: my favorite holiday ever. We're sticking close to home this year (uhh, by which I mean we are just...staying home), which is sad, but good. Sad because no family, we have to do all the cooking. Good because no family, we get to do all the cooking. Here's what's on our menu this year.


We debated on doing Bloody Marys and bagels with lox, but then I randomly bought bagels and lox a few weekends ago and so that didn't sound great anymore. We decided to just do Bloody Marys and appetizers instead, so here's what apps we're having:

Meat, cheese, and crackers
Brined items
Potstickers (Costco, from a bag)
Jalapeno poppers (leftover cream cheese from bagels and lox day + bacon that needs to be used + jalapenos that need to be used)
Shrimp and cocktail sauce (homemade sauce, Ina's recipe)


We'll probably eat around 2pm or so. Maybe a little later, depending on if we're starving or if I decide to make an emergency flatbread with the pizza crust I stress-bought last week.

Turkey with sage and Kerrygold rubbed all up on it
Stuffing with sausage
Mashed potatoes (from a box! But I am roasting garlic to add in)
Green bean casserole (topped with onion rings, Chris's favorite)
Maybe a salad (the produce here sucks and so the spinach we bought a few days ago is already bad. It's either go to the store this week for new salad ingredients or...just forgo a salad)
Possibly roasted carrots (this is the portion of the show where I start to worry we won't have enough food)
Cranberry sauce
King's Hawaiian rolls


Smitten Kitchen's Pear, Cranberry, and Gingersnap Crumble, but with apples instead of pears, and vanilla bean ice cream on top
Irish coffees

What are you having for the big day?



...from the Midwest! Hi, yes, we moved to Illinois. I figure you already know this because you follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter and/or you're my mom or grandma. If none of those apply, then what a surprise for you! Anyway, so we're here now and seem to be surviving just fine. I found a school for LG and am looking into my options for comedy (which are great if you're IN Chicago, but less-great if you're in the suburbs, which we are.) It has not snowed, but my weather app shows a snowflake for next Saturday, so that may be my first opportunity to bust out my fancy Sorel boots and Lands' End down coat. I am sure they'll get five minutes of play before I go back inside the house like a normal person. Meanwhile, I tell everyone I meet who mentions the mild weather we've been having, "Yes, I am here from California and I brought it with me you're welcome." Just trying to endear myself to the locals. People here are very nice, which makes me highly suspicious (WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?) but I am trying to go with it. Luckily last night, I had the opportunity to call our old eye doctor in California and yell at him (long story), so I am feeling much more myself.

In makeup news, I bought Benefit's They're Real! mascara for not the first time a few months ago and...did they change the formula? Because it suuuuuuuuucked. It's not waterproof, yet it would. not. come. off. EVER. I felt like it was ruining my eyelashes, like one day I'd wake up and they'd just be these little mascara-covered stubs. I threw it away and wen't back to L'Oreal Voluminous and am much happier.

I also picked up Maybelline Color Blur Cream Matte Pencil (in Berry Misbehaved) and I quite enjoy it. My new thing for winter, I think, will be buying brightly-colored lipsticks. And also maybe snow-shoeing.

Alright, I have to get the little one off to school. Stay warm, my friends.


2Q15 books

Well hello! Time flies when you're having fun, I guess. I obviously have stopped recapping the NYC Housewives, which actually makes me super sad. (Especially this week, when we finally got to see, "Be cool. Don't be, like, uncool" happen.) Speaking of recaps, it occurred to me today that I never reviewed the books I read in the second quarter of the year, so I thought I'd better do that now. There are a whopping two books--I really committed to reading the past few months. (Nope.)

The Castaways, by Elin Hilderbrand

I read an Elin Hilderbrand book last year and enjoyed it quite a bit, so I randomly picked this one up at the library (my library always has a lot of her books on the shelves, which is nice when I forget to put a book on hold, which is always.) This is kind of a murder mystery story (that's actually a stretch, I have to admit, but there is a death and there is confusion around the death, so...murder mystery it is.) It's set nearish to Nantucket, as most/all Hilderbrand's books are, which made for a good beach read. (Even though I read it in April, on my couch.)

The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty

(Not to be confused with Liane Moriarty, who I also like quite a bit.) This was a great read. The first little bit started out slow, but when it ramped up, boy did it ramp up, and I could not put it down. The story is fiction-ish, in that one of the characters--Louise Brooks--was a real person, but the rest is made up. Of course, I'd never heard of Louise Brooks until I read this and now she keeps popping up everywhere. It's like when I finally saw Lord Of The Rings and then realized what everyone had been referencing all those years when they were talking about "elevensies." (Hashtag filthy hobbitses.) One thing I did know about before reading this book was the orphan train (thank you Stuff You Missed In History Class podcast!), so at least that portion of the book wasn't new to me.

That's all I got! Read anything great lately? Maybe I'll put something on hold at the library.


RHONY Recap: That caviar is a garnish

Quick note: Bravo has been airing reruns of RHOC in tandem with previews for the upcoming season that starts in a few weeks and I've noticed that there are only five OC housewives in this upcoming season, as opposed to eight (8!) NY housewives. I'm guessing Bravo can't legally show that much spray tan in one sitting without some kind of warning or disclaimer. Anyway, onto NY!

It's raining in NYC as we meet up with Dorinda and Ramona. Ramona is sick but is going to go out anyway because she's single and ready to mingle. This is exactly the approach I used to bag Chris, so I recommend it. The ladies talk about their husbands, boyfriends, and the Berkshires. It's a very boring conversation.

Meanwhile, Carole is running for a spot on her building's co-op board and has amassed a group of NYC's political movers and shakers to help with her campaign. She's even wearing a suit! This should be fun. Everyone starts throwing around words like "messaging" and "transparency," and we do find out that Carole came home (ostensibly drunk) at 3am, sans keys, and had to have the fire department break the door to let her in. Ramona took the words right out of my mouth when she said, "DoorGate!"

Dr. Amador is back! Bethenny immediately gives him shit about his tie. WHAT IS WITH THIS WOMAN. Doctor A and Beth rehash Beth's talk with her stepfather. Doctor A calls out Beth's stepfather for not acknowledging or apologizing to Bethenny and Bethenny loses her shit on Doctor A.

Commercial break...

And we're back!

Bethenny and Doctor A continue their conversation and finally start to get real. The crap she's saying about her stepfather once again begs the question, WHY would she want this person in her daughter's life? WHY? Ugh, these therapy scenes are hard to cover because I like to pay half attention to this shit and the whole point of therapy is to pay full attention.


SonJa shows up to a SonJa In The City fete (SonJa's big with the Latinos, did you know?) with a leopard-print umbrella and a leopard-print coat. The ladies show up to SonJa's event and Heather asks if SonJa's clothing line is going to be in Kmart. Everyone on SonJa's team freaks out. The dress is Italian fabric, thankyouverymuch.

Commercial break...

And we're back!

Carole is throwing what might be a loser's party or what might be a winner's party. She's serving two-year-old frozen pigs in blankets. I can dig it. Bethenny gets mad at Heather for asking about Bethenny's custody arrangement. Bethenny thinks Heather's wish for a Maleficent tattoo is a bad idea. Both women may be right here.

Meanwhile, Kristen pulls SonJa aside to apologize for doubting her business. I refuse to apologize yet. One dress prototype does not a business make.

Carole gets the important call and finds out she was elected to the board!

Commercial break...

And we're back!

Apparently Ramona owns a restaurant (I refuse to dig deeper into this--didn't Ramona learn anything from Britney Spears's NYLA?) and she and her partner are interviewing potential employees. It's super great, I must say. Behold:

Ramona's Restaurant Partner: "What are you doing right now?"

Ramona's Potential Employee: "I'm here."

RRP: "No, are you working somewhere?"

RPE: "I am currently between employment...Things disappeared."

RRP: "On your application, we asked you to list any other office machines you could operate and you put 'stapler'."

Commercial break...

And we're back!

Carole and Bethenny meet up to shop for furniture/housewares. Bethenny defends why she's not going to the Berkshires for Dorinda's 50th birthday and then cries about her daughter. Carole seems terrified by Bethenny's crying. Carole is giving Bethenny a run for her money in the empathy department, let me tell you what.

Although the ladies (sans Beth) are going to the Berkshires, Lu decides to throw Dorinda a caviar birthday celebration in the city before they go. Basically it's an excuse for Lu to eat caviar. No really, she says as much. Ramona shows up with the tall drink of water she met in the Hamptons, then Dorinda arrives with her...short glass of RC Cola.

Lu makes a toast to the ladies and it turns sour when Ramona talks shit about Heather and Lu. Then it turns sour-er when LuAnn calls out Ramona for talking shit about Dorinda's boyfriend John (who is, conveniently, in the bathroom, probably doing coke with the caviar server.) Turns out, Ramona and Lu talked shit about John together, but then Ramona went and told Dorinda. (This all seems very juvenile, as Ramona has already told Dorinda to her face what she thought about John. Why bring it up again, if only to roll LuAnn under the bus? Anyway.)

Commercial break...

And we're back!

John's back from the bathroom--sniffling, may I add; I CALLED IT--and now Ramona is mad at Dorinda for telling LuAnn that she knows what Lu and Ramona said about John. (Seriously this is all so dumb.) The whole thing ends with Dorinda in her confessional saying she knows Ramona was using LuAnn as a scapegoat. The best part of all this is how awkward and regretful Ramona's date looks.

Next time: Dinner parties gone wrong--YAY!


RHONY Recap: Heavyweight fighting

It's Turtle Time! Ramona is still celebrating her birthday with her 30+ closest friends (aren't YOU popular, 'Mons.) Bethenny and Ramona talk shit on Heather behind her back and it's not that they're not valid ("Holla!", "Hey Mama!", etc.) but it's as equally annoying to talk shit about someone for the quirky things they say as it is to say the quirky things in the first place. Anyway, Carole and Bethenny rehash the come to Jesus that Bethenny had with SonJa in Atlantic City. SonJa speaks to a Swami Priestess about her vortex of energy. SonJa thanks Bethenny for their come to Jesus, but in her confessional, SonJa says Bethenny's projecting. The biggest takeaway here is Bethenny's forest green nail color, which is ON POINT.

Ooooh, Dr. Amador! Ooooh a flashback to that terrible boat trip Bethenny and Jason took! Bethenny starts out by complaining about how hard the talk show was (cry me a river), then they get into some good therapy talk about trust and being guarded, and then Bethenny says she's going to meet up with her stepfather who she hasn't seen in some time. Her reasoning for it is that she wants her daughter to have family on Bethenny's side of the family, whether that family is positive or negative. ABORT, ABORT. If someone's negative, no, you do not want them part of your life. Family for family's sake isn't a good reason, Beth.

Commercial break...

And we're back!

Carole reveals she fell in love with boxing while watching a Jack Johnson documentary while taking testosterone. I kind of can't with this woman. Anyway, Carole, Lu, and Kristen watch a boxing match and Kristen gets a boxer's sweat on her leg. Ramona shows up and we find out that Bethenny's not coming because she has her kid that night. Kristen digs at Bethenny, saying that Bethenny's not making an effort and if Kristen can get childcare for her two kids then why can't Bethenny with her one? I...don't think that was the point, Kristen. I think it was Bethenny's, like, assigned night with her daughter. You're comparing apples and oranges there. More boxing. Yawn. The ladies head out for post-fight drinks. Kristen orders tea and Ramona orders steamed greens beans. The real fight begins, as Lu and Carole argue about Adam, Carole's new boyfriend/Lu's chef/Lu's niece's ex-boyfriend. What's the population on the island of Manhattan? Aren't there enough men to go around?

Commercial break...

And we're back!

Bethenny's at a restaurant in Miami and immediately starts giving the waiter shit. SHUUUUUT UUUUP. Bethenny catches up with an old friend and starts telling stories about how her stepfather beat her mom and also once got into some kind of altercation with her (Bethenny.) And this is a person you want your daughter to know? BETHENNY. NO.

Back in NYC, Dorinda and Ramona meet up for a workout. Minus s-e-x, Dorinda hasn't worked out in years. Ramona makes fat jokes about Dorinda's boyfriend John, but then in her confessional says she believes John's not in it for the right reasons. We find out John doesn't live in Manhattan. Does this mean he lives in...Jersey? Quelle horror! Anyway, I do agree with Ramona--John seems terrible.

Back in Miami, the ladies hit up Art Basel, where Lu's daughter has a piece of art showing. Victoria is all grown up and pounding champagne. Yes, good practice for the future, Vic. Bethenny and Lu talk about how Bethenny hasn't been showing up to events. As suspected, Bethenny says her priority is to spend every moment she can with her daughter. Seriously, the other ladies can suck it on that point. Bethenny spends $3 to feed a hobo clown an ice cream sandwich and it's legitimately the most disgusting thing I've seen in a long time.

Commercial break...

And we're back!

SonJa has a personal training session in her bathroom. Is SonJa a hoarder? She has shit EVERYWHERE.

Commercial break and an ad for Odd Mom Out. Are we going to watch this? I think yes.

And we're back!

Possibly Carole has finally started to write her book...or not. Adam calls from Nicaragua and they talk about honey and the weather. Seriously, that's it. Yawn.

Bethenny meets up with her stepfather and they rehash the past and talk about what an awful person her mother was and how awful her childhood was, what with threats of mafia violence and her stepfather beating her mother. Then shit gets really sad as Bethenny's stepfather says he's mad because Bethenny hasn't talked to him in over 20 years. Umm, exqueeze me? Bethenny, RUN. RUN FAR AWAY. Seriously stop wasting your time even talking to this sack of shit.

Commercial break...

And we're back!

Bethenny and her awful stepfather continue their fight and I want to reach through my tv and strangle this guy, who seems like he wants some kind of medal for going to visit 14-year-old Bethenny in boarding school "three or four times a year." THIS GUY. WHAT IS HAPPENING. Well, joke's on me, I guess, because Bethenny and the stepfather hug it out and Bethenny thinks the talk went well. HOOOOKAY.

Next time on the Real Housewives of New York, LuAnn wants to stick Ramona's head in a bowl of caviar. That caviar is a GARNISH!


RHONY Recap: LateGate

We begin amid a fight! Already? EXCELLENT. Everyone's mad at SonJa because she won't let anyone in her house as she packs for Atlantic City. A lot of "Lady Morgan" is being thrown around by Heather. Dorinda and Kristen are annoyed but hoooo boy, Heather is HOT. Ramona meets these three on the street; turns out she was allowed to come in and use SonJa's terlet, but then was given the boot as well. Finally the limo arrives and the ladies, abandoning their suitcases in the street, escape the rain and start searching the limo high and low for a bottle opener. Yes, please, get these broads a cocktail, stat. Bethenny arrives (late, apparently; who knows what time they were supposed to leave originally) and apologizes profusely for being late. Now, listen. Heather seems rightfully mad at SonJa. It's raining and you're being forced to stand outside with your luggage while the trip's hostess does whatever inside her dry apartment? Yeah, I'd be pissed too. But being mad at Bethenny as well seemed a little misplaced. It sounds as though Beth called to let people know she'd be late, which is more than can be said for SonJa. Not to mention, SonJa was later arriving at the limo than Bethenny. So WhoTF cares at this point that Bethenny is late! Anyway, some SkinnyGirl margs are opened and the ladies begin their journey to AC. Lucky for us, the fighting continues (I think Heather needs a snack...maybe?) and Ramona finally shuts the shit down, saying she wants a nice, chill birthday. YES PLEASE FOR ONCE EVERYONE LISTEN TO RAMONA.

Bethenny has to pee, but unfortunately there's no bucket around, so the limo has to make a stop on the side of the road so Beth can cop a squat. Oh, yay, flashback to Bethenny pissing in a bucket! Ramona tried to pee on the side of the road, but couldn't. Get Ramona a glass of warm water!

Commercial break...

And we're back!

We have officially entered the Garden State! Praise be! The ladies are staying at the Borgata and Bethenny has kindly sent ahead an array of SkinnyGirl treats. I AM ROLLING MY EYES. I am assuming all the SkinnyGirl merch is part of her contract this season, but I am wearying of it and quickly.

There's some talk of farts, Heather floods her bathroom, and Carole and Lu arrive before finally, it's time to go out. Carole is sporting bunny ears. Kristen is wearing two different colored shoes and is, I must say, rocking it. Kristen, please put that on your blog! (I also like, btw, how Kristen compares AC to a bat mitzvah in Manhattan, basically saying she'd never wear two different shoes to a bat mitzvah in NYC, but in AC, who cares? I agree. I'm afraid of teenage Jewish girls too, Kristen.)

Oh good someone (Bethenny) brings up everyone (mainly Heather) being late for dinner. It's LateGate, guys! The finally do arrive at dinner, order a metric ton of alcohol (GOOD, YES, KEEP THIS UP) and then Bethenny gets mad at a "shot" Carole took at her for comparing Lu to a European, when she's really from Connecticut. Really? WhoTF cares, Beth? Bethenny then starts laying into SonJa and...

Commercial break...Coming up next, SonJa's vagina!...

And we're back!

Bethenny suggests SonJa take a Xanax, SonJa starts crying, Bethenny feels really bad, SonJa cries and eats edamame, SonJa claims she works in PR, finally Lu tells them all to STFU.

And it's time for tequila shots! Nothing goes with sushi quite like tequila, I must say.

Lu awkwardly tells Ramona she likes her better now that she's not with Mario anymore. Too soon, Lu, too soon.

The ladies finish dinner and head off to the blackjack tables. Carole pops up wearing a tuxedo t-shirt with boobs. I am horrified.

After winning some and losing some, the ladies go to da club where Ramona pets Carole's boobs, SonJa tries to make out with Lu, and then Lu appoints herself SonJa's Snatch Guard. Half a night in AC and we're already throwing around snatch, huh? Okay.

Oh great, more tense conversation between Bethenny and SonJa.

Commercial break...

And we're back!

Oh wait, it's just to see Carole laying down in a muppet sweater getting her makeup done and talking about hickeys. Let's move on.

Real Housewives of OC is coming back June 8th! YAY!

And we're back in AC!

SonJa's drunk and Dorinda draws the short straw (by way of everyone else ditching her) and is charged with taking SonJa to bed. SonJa rambles that she was a model in the UAE, she's an artist, she partied with JFK, Jr. and Madonna.

The next morning, the ladies gather for brunch. By some kind of gift from god, SonJa looks great. SonJa goes to Bethenny's to have a sober come to Jesus. SonJa admits that maybe some of the vitamins she takes don't react well with alcohol. MKAY. Through their whole exchange, I do have to give it to Bethenny for keeping it together and bringing all of SonJa's shit to the forefront. I've not been Bethenny's biggest fan this go-around, but I liked her calling SonJa out. It seems to me what Bethenny is saying is falling on deaf ears for SonJa, though, and in her confessional, SonJa says Bethenny is projecting, so there you go.

Next time on the RHONY, there are clowns and abundance candles and Lu comparing Carole to SonJa and OH NO SHE DI'IN'T.