Home Sweet Sarah
9Apr/170

1Q17 books

I am making a conscious effort to read more books this year. I say that every year, but this year I am really focusing on reading when I would normally be doing other things. Like today, when I spent most of the morning on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, I could have been reading Pines, by Blake Crouch. See? It's working well!

Here's what I read during the first three months of the year...

A Summer Affair, by Elin Hilderbrand

This is another of the Nantucket-based housewife drama stories that Hilderbrand is known for. In general (for all books, not just Hilderbrand's), the whole, "I'm a wife and mother and now I've lost my purpose" trope is eye-rolly for me, so I was meh on the main character and more interested in the supporting characters--the Irish sister-in-law, the rockstar ex-boyfriend, the former friend. Their stories were more intriguing and while we did get small glimpses into their lives, the crux of the story was with the main character and her annoying life. Anyway, it was a quick and easy read.

Winter Storms, by Elin Hilderbrand

This is the final book of Hilderbrand's winter trilogy and it was a nice little bow on an overall enjoyable reading package. (CHRISTMAS-RELATED REFERENCE INTENDED!) This is the kind of book where everything gets sorted out at the end--not necessarily in a positive way, but there's closure nonetheless--and it's a quick, quick read. Throughout the trilogy, I found all the characters to be likeable in their own ways and would definitely read another book centered around this family or any of the individual characters.

The Passenger, by Lisa Lutz

Similar in style to all the 'Girl' books--Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, etc.--this quick read centers around a gal on the run. Mystery abounds--why is she running?, what is her real name?--but the mysteries get solved piece by piece as you read the book. This is nice, so you're not sitting around until the very end to get all the closure. And, up until the end, tiny twists keep coming, which is also fun. Overall, it was an interesting look on going on the run unnoticed. How easy would it be to just disappear?

Not That Kind Of Girl, by Lena Dunham

Lena can do no wrong for me. I love that she's having the conversations that need to be had, no matter how uncomfortable. I found her book of essays very relatable and often and inspiring. As a performer or creative person, there are times when you have to take chances and make choices and sometimes things don't land. That doesn't mean you run offstage or stop trying to make your point or change the things you're trying to change. We're all human and we sometimes say things that are dumb, but we are trying. How else are we supposed to grow and learn and further causes (or make people laugh) if we don't bomb every now and again? Lena's fighting the good fight. *Chris Crocker voice* LEAVE LENA ALONE. Anyway, as far as this book, there were many times when I was like, "OMG me too!" and that's always fun in a book.

A Gentleman In Moscow, by Amor Towles

I looooooooved Towles's first book, Rules of Civility, when I read it a couple years ago and have been patiently waiting for him to write another book. This one--about a gentleman in Moscow, you don't say!--takes place in one hotel over many decades. Towles's writing is truly beautiful, although after all the "quick and easy" books above, it took a a little getting used to for me. Once I got in it, though, I was IN IT and I loved this book. How can a book where the setting does not change be good? I don't know! That's the magic of Amor Towles, I guess. Also the historical look at Russia was fascinating, given our current state. REC. OM. MEND.

Superficial, by Andy Cohen

This is the first book I've read by Andy Cohen and what fun it was! This is his second installment of diary entries and here were the biggest takeaways for me:

  • If you're a Bravo/Housewives fan, you'll love it
  • Andy parties a lot; I don't know how he does it
  • Andy's mom is amazing
  • I want a glass of rosé

Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch

This was really weird and really good. I heard it's been optioned by Sony for a movie, and I'm excited to see that movie because hopefully the director will be able to visualize some of the more confusing parts of the book. I don't want to say much because I feel it would give away the whole plot of the book, but there's some weird science-y stuff and major life drama ensues. So weird, so good. Recommend.

What are you reading right now? And you should sign up for my friend Hillary's newest venture, Make America Read Again! I don't subscribe to any newsletters except hers and they are fantastic.

16Jan/17Off

Stuff to do in 2017

I am usually not one for making New Year's resolutions. A lot of times it's "do less of xyz" or "stop doing xyz" and no thanks, I do not live my life by 'cannots.' (Unless that cannot is, like, meth.) But, in looking back, I realize that when I have made a commitment to something, I have often stuck with it. For example, one year I decided I was going to floss every night. This was like 15 years ago and guess what? I still floss every night. So, I figure there's probably nothing wrong with making some choices for my overall well-being. Here they are:

Bring a snack to school pickup for LG
Homegirl can be cranky after school and it occurred to me when she was in daycare over the winter break and was SO NICE when I picked her up after lunch that DUH, she is just hangry after school. I figure if I just shove food in her immediately when I see her, then we'll all be happy.

Take LG somewhere after school once-ish a week
Currently, we come home from school and LG unpacks her stuff and then retreats to watch PBS Kids while I work. On Wednesdays, she does gymnastics, but the other days of the week are activity-less. I don't feel bad about her watching tv (she learns a lot from PBS Kids, no really, she does), but there's probably also some value in going and doing something. It will all depend on my work schedule, but I am hoping we can implement this most weeks. I'm thinking library in the winter and when the weather gets nicer, then we can go to the park.

Continue with the yoga
I set out to "do more yoga" in October and have been keeping up with that. Since I am now a member of my yoga place, that makes it even easier. I can sign into classes through the app and then sneak in through the backdoor and I never have to talk to anyone. It's great. My general goal has been a minimum of two classes a week/eight classes a month.

Run more
While 625 seems like a lot of miles completed in 2016, the truth is it was a lot of walking. Summer here was disgusting--so humid and gross--and winter was too icy for running, so I ended up slogging or gingerly tiptoeing through a lot of walks. It was fine, but I'd like to get back to actual running when I'm not yoga-ing.

Read more and READ MORE
I read nine books last year, which is...not a lot. I want to read more this year and in addition, I want to READ MORE than just the same old authors. I get stuck in ruts with the same authors I always know I'll enjoy, which is okay for a little bit, but I would like to give some new authors a chance. I have the following books queued up at the library:

  • A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles (I love, love, loved Rules of Civility, so I am hoping this one doesn't disappoint)
  • The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware
  • Superficial, by Andy Cohen
  • Winter Storms, by Elin Hilderbrand (I CANNOT QUIT ALL MY FAVORITES)
  • The Passenger, by Lisa Lutz
  • Not that Kind of Girl, by Lena Dunham (I will spare you the "LEAVE LENA DUNHAM ALONE!" tirade I went on on Twitter the other day)

Say yes to more fun things Chris suggests (get your mind out of the gutter)
Chris is our resident spontaneous fun person, whereas I would stay home all weekend and read books or lay around watching tv. On the day before New Year's Eve, he suggested we go into Chicago for the night and normally I'd come up with some reason not to, but I didn't and we had so much fun. More fun!

Write a cookbook!
More to come on this as we progress, but Chris and I are going to write a cookbook! This weekend we planned what will most likely make it into the cookbook (it was harder than you'd think to come up with meals that are truly "ours" and not adaptations from others). Next up is scheduling everything for us to cook throughout the year so that we can test and nail down the recipes. We also need to buy a kitchen scale and, dream of dreams, a second dishwasher like Queen Ina Garten. Anyway! Follow the hashtag #sundaykindofdinners for updates, etc.

3Jan/17Off

4Q16 books

Here's what I read the last few months of the year.

You Should Have Known, by Jean Hanff Korelitz
Considering the idea for the plot was pretty solid, this book should have been a lot better. Basically, a bad thing happens to a woman and she has to come back from it. There was absolutely zero ounce of humor in this book. I kept thinking, when is something entertaining going to happen? A wacky best friend or grandma...something? Related, and not that it spoils the story, but the main character had no friends. It was kind of consistent with the main plot of the story, but it was something I noticed that made the book more boring. Like, no one even wants to be friends with this woman? So why am I reading about her? This was a snooze.

Eight Hundred Grapes, by Laura Dave
This was a very cute book. Fairly predicable plot, but I enjoyed reading about California wine country--HOW I MISS YOU SO. This book also had dynamic characters GO FIGURE. Recommend for a cute, quick read.

The Bullet, by Mary Louise Kelly
While this was my favorite book of the year, I am not saying it was the best book ever, just that it was the best book in a series of slightly mediocre books. That's not to say it wasn't good! Just that giving it the Best Of title kind of over-sells it. It was a very good book. I recently recommended it to my mom. I recommend it to you.

3Jan/17Off

2016 review

I guess I'm a little late with this one, but oh well, I DID IT. Here's how 2016 shaped up. (I am kind of with my girl over at Life of a Doctor's Wife--it might be time to update some of these questions.)

1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
Went to improv camp! Went on a week-long family vacation. (Related: Went to New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts.) Went to Michigan! Went to Wisconsin! Went to (brunch in) Indiana! Went to Mt. Hood! Went to a lot of new places!

2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any. I might for 2017, check back here.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope. (I always feel like I must be forgetting someone. I hope not!)

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Nope.

5. What countries did you visit?
None.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you didn't have in 2016?
Clarity/direction around what I'm doing with regard to comedy.

7. What dates from 2016 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
November 8th was a real shit day and YOU KNOW WHY.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
I sent my little infant baby off to kindergarten. Towards the end of the year, I made a commitment to do more yoga, and I did something like 30 classes in three months. My teacher said she could tell my practice was improving and that I was getting stronger. I walked/ran 625 miles, the most I've done since I started keeping track in 2013.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I did a lot of thinking about what I'm going to do, instead of just doing.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope. I am fairly certain I didn't get sick once--a far cry from 2013, where I was sick CONSTANTLY. Of course, for the last three months, I've been waiting for the winter cold to make its appearance, so that's fun.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Anything related to our family vacation.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
All of us who stood up for what we believed in.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
YOU KNOW.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, travel, cocktails, dinners out.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Family vacation! Improv camp!

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
That dance dance dance song by Justin Timberlake.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: A) happier or sadder? B) thinner or fatter? C) richer or poorer?
A) Maybe a little sadder.
B) Fatter. Who even cares.
C) About the same? Maybe a little richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Read books.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Drank booze.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
The three of us spent Christmas at home, just us and a shitton of food. The usual. (I kept this answer from last year because as I said, it's the usual. We're pretty predicable.)

21. Did you fall in love with 2016?
NOPE.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Vanderpump Rules, Below Deck, all the Housewives, Gilmore Girls (old school and reboot), The Americans, Billions, The Night Of (so good, so sad), Shameless, Stranger Things, Ladies of London, The Affair, Homeland.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
NOPE. I HATED HIM LAST YEAR TOO.

24. What was the best book you read?
The Bullet, by Mary Louise Kelly.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Maren Morris!

26. What did you want and get?
A family vacation!

27. What did you want and not get?
Comedy comedy comedy.

28. What was your favorite film of 2016?
I do not think I watched a new movie except for Moana on Christmas Eve. So Moana.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
On my actual birthday, we went to dinner here in town and then the next day we went to Chicago and went out to dinner there. I turned 33.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
IF HILLARY CLINTON HAD WON.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2016?
Work from home running and yoga clothes shower at 4pm and put jammies on chic.

32. What kept you sane?
Running, yoga, my friends, my family, avoiding the news.

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
DISGUSTING FLOPPY HAIR.

34. Who did you miss?
My mom and dad.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
Even though I haven't seen them much recently, I did meet fun new improv friends here in Chicago.

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
Don't get too comfortable and don't believe what the pollsters tell you.

37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Last year I quoted Tracy Chapman and I'm doing it again this year. "Don't you know / They're talkin' about a revolution"

7Nov/16Off

3Q16 book

It appears that in my last update, I counted some books that I hadn't actually finished in the second quarter. I am sure this is critical to your book review-reading, but I wanted to be honest. I AM NOTHING IF NOT HONEST. Anyway, here's what I read over the summer. It's not really as pitiful as it looks, because of the great book miscount of 2016, but it's still kind of pitiful.

Winter Stroll, by Elin Hilderbrand
This is the second in the Winter series and I enjoyed it. I like all of Elin Hilderbrand's books, so there's no complaint. I am not sure if the third book is out yet--I'll have to check into it. Anyway, this follows the same family as in the last book, almost a year later. There are a bunch of different characters and while the chapters mostly focus on the main ones, the tertiary characters do pop up from time to time and it's fun to get their perspectives.

What are you reading lately? I am trying to finish out the year strong, so any recommendations are welcome!

8Sep/16Off

1 & 2Q16 books

Well I guess I forgot all about this, didn't I? Whoops. I've not been as great of a reader as I'd like--I have binge-watched Nurse Jackie, The West Wing, and The Sopranos, so I've been productive--but at any rate, here's what I've ready so far this year.

Fates And Furies, by Lauren Groff
People went kind of crazy for this book. I found it to be mostly infuriating until halfway through. Infuriating throughout, though, was the fact that I needed a dictionary to look up every other word. Anyway, I think people liked this book because of the s-e-x, but I didn't find it very racy. It's an interesting character study once you get to that halfway point...but first you have to get there.

The Rumor, by Elin Hilderbrand
I don't even remember what this was about, but did it have Sancerre and Nantucket? Probably. I'm sure it was enjoyable, as all Hilderbrand's books are for me.

The Art Of Fielding, by Chad Harbach
Okay. OKAY. Everyone loved this book. I had to slog through it. This book might be what almost single-handedly killed my reading mojo for the year. The plot(s) were good. The characters were interesting. The way the book jumped from point-of-view to point-of-view kept it engaging and enjoyable (although it was long, hence the slog). UNTIL THE VERY END. THIS WAS THE DUMBEST ENDING I HAVE EVER READ. Perhaps because I am not literary, maybe I didn't get the meaning or something, but MEH. (This article that my girl Jennie shared years ago, on how this book came to be written/published at all, is a fascinating read. Recommend.)

Winter Street, by Elin Hilderbrand
This is Hilderbrand's first winter-themed novel and I enjoyed it! It's very short, I finished it in two days. It was nice to read in the summer, when it's hot as balls and you're just looking forward to Christmas.

The Royal We, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
This was cute. It's based-ish, I guess on Prince William and Kate Middleton (who I'm sure have actual titles by which they should be referred, but whatever). Anyway, the ancillary characters were probably more interesting than "Prince Nick" and "Bex" themselves, but there were a lot of those characters to cover, which is good. If anything, this novel did take me back to the royal wedding, which I was up early (late?) watching when LG was 9-days-old.

Right now, I'm finishing up the second in Elin Hilderbrand's "Winter" trilogy, and then I'm not sure what's up next. What have you read recently that's not total dreck?

4Jan/16Off

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?

30Dec/15Off

2015

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?
No.

5. What countries did you visit?
None. (CRYFACE EMOJI.)

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?
Nope!

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?
Nah.

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?
Nope.

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.)

16Jul/15Off

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.

27May/15Off

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.

Onward!

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!