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High on the list of my favorite all-time songs is Jungleland, that soaring rock n’ roll epic about swaggering guys who have something to prove cavorting with barefoot girls who recline on the hoods of cars right before a knife is raised high into the shadows of a stark night and everything changes forever.  It’s a pure masterpiece of writing, one that ignores typical conventions and instead surges forward with the haunting rhythm of a saxophone, some blaring and unrelenting guitars, and one of the single most beautiful measures of melody ever tinkled on a piano.  Perhaps even more than anything I’ve read by T.S. Eliot – or anything I ever pretended to read, like Beowulf –Jungleland captures the loss of control and the spinning of the self and the disquieting way that literally anything can happen once the sun goes down.

The song’s lyrics are astounding.  They’re poignant and profound in their construction and visceral in their effect.  The words sketch a portrait of a life most of us will never experience; then they beckon us to take a closer gander before we scurry back to safety.  When I hear the song – even today – I feel transported to a place where there’s a glowing Exxon sign hanging high above the Jersey state line, one illuminating the faces of all those poets who don’t write anything at all.  

To even pretend that it’s possible to compare the work of a musical mystic with Bravo Housewives is an exercise in futility, so I will not be wasting my time trying to locate similarities that don’t actually exist between what I see as the newest incarnations of Good and Evil.  But if I really wanted to reach, perhaps I could say that the lines, “Man, there’s an opera out on the Turnpike…there’s a ballet being fought out in the alley,” remind me a tiny bit of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills because brawls are also being fought there, only they’re being waged by morons and none of it is poetic in the slightest.




I took off my gloves once on a blustery cold January day and handed them to a homeless woman who was standing beneath an icicle-encrusted tree. I bought a student a prom dress last year and lent her my own jewelry after gently explaining that it's very hard for anyone to pull off enormous pink rhinestone earrings. I talked a friend off a ledge one night when she mistakenly believed her boyfriend was cheating on her. I play the peacekeeper in my family so often that I'm pretty sure I should earn a salary or at least get dental benefits.

I say all this so you will know I'm not the cruelest person clomping about this large planet. I say all this because I am about to dive in (self-awareness first) and react with scalding sarcasm and a shit-ton of profanity at the sight of Kim Richards needlessly appearing again on my television screen. I say all this because there's nobody in my real life – even that one guy – who I hate more than I hate this trembling blonde Former Housewife who has spent her entire life blaming other people for the mess she has become, the mess she's chosen to shellac and preserve instead of trying to fix. I say all this because I think Kim Richards is a damaged and damaging asshole and only a small reason for that is due to her addiction, the one she likes to claim (while she's drunk) that she's never struggled with in the least. Yes, the biggest reason Kim acts like an asshole is not because she's a raging alcoholic; it's because she's a raging asshole. 



Remember that scene in Poltergeist when the technician whose job it was to photograph the gazillions of ghosts living and thriving inside the little blonde girl’s closet decided to go into the kitchen late at night to cook himself a steak?  Remember how that steak became infested with ravenous maggots that burst forth from the center of the slab of red meat and the way your pre-teen stomach began to topple and turn as you watched that thing crawl across the white Formica countertop?  Can you also recall what happened next, when the guy went into the bathroom and began pulling the skin off his face in gigantic hunks of blood and tendons until all we saw was a grotesque vision of bone and hollowed-out eye sockets and the sink below him was filled with heaping shreds of plasma-covered muscle?  Yeah, I’d rather watch that scene every single night on a loop and use the sound effects from the sequence as I walk down the aisle on my wedding day than ever fucking hear the word “Munchausen” ever again.



About a month ago – for the first time in more than a decade – I found myself totally obsessed with the NCAA tournament. It sort of started by accident. See, I like to leave the television on while I'm at work so my puppy doesn't feel so alone and I guess I'm willing to pretend that the people on TV make her feel like she's got company. Usually I put on CNN so she can stay informed, but one day I started to grow concerned that her fragile baby canine mind maybe shouldn't be exposed to the tragedies currently plaguing the world – you know, terrorism, people who don't believe global warming is real, Trump's views on women – so I decided to put on a different channel before I left the house. I think Married With Children was airing as I walked out the door at the ass-crack of dawn. I heard a loud roar of canned laughter and the unmistakable growl of Al Bundy and sure, I worried that Tallulah would watch the show and I'd come home and discover she'd shimmied herself into some Lycra and managed to procure a can of Aqua Net and she'd ask me if I knew that Traci Lords could act, but I decided to just deal with those issues if they popped up.

By the time late afternoon arrived and I walked back through my front door, sitcoms from the early-nineties had ended and basketball was on instead. I found myself playing fetch with the dog and getting my stuff ready for work in the morning and doing yoga, all with the TV still on.  The cheers of the crowd and the sound of the rhythmic dribbling offered me some unexpected solace. I didn't go all in – I never drew up a bracket or anything — but I legitimately began to care about the tournament and there were a few teams I started to root for. I wanted University of Michigan, Miami, or UNC to come out on top. Why? Well, there are very good reasons for all my choices!  My ex-boyfriend went to Michigan and I have fond memories of going to those games.  I even remember half of the school’s fight song, yet another little ditty I can’t sing on key. Most of my family roots for Miami so I threw that team into my mix because it's always nice when my family is happy. As for UNC, it's really very simple: the blue they wear is the prettiest shade of blue in all the land. 

I had to DVR the final game a couple of Mondays ago because my top priority was to throw all my concentration at the last part of the Vanderpump Rules reunion. (Yes, it takes a great deal of concentration to describe a collection of leaky douchebags who fancy themselves human.)  With my recap gloriously complete, I finally settled in to watch the game.  I was riveted. After writing about the morons on Bravo, it was inspiring to see people with actual talent appear on a screen in my home – and while I was upset that the team who wore the nice color didn't walk away victorious, it still felt like a lovely way to wile away the late evening hours. Besides, I've found guys line up for you when it's clear you not only don't mind sports, but you show up to watch a game wearing a hot lace bra under a thin tee while holding a bowl filled with the most amazing spinach and artichoke dip known to man.  (The trick is the red pepper flakes.) 

I couldn't help but think about those games and the team rivalries tonight as I watched the season finale of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Sure, on the surface these two forms of entertainment have almost nothing in common, but dig a little deeper. Both the teams and these women have complicated, public histories. Both have fans cheering them on. Both experience the harsh hatred of the public, some of it very much warranted. And I'm imagining that some basketball players harbor vivid fantasies about ripping fellow athletes limb from limb like you know our Housewives dream about on an hourly basis.

As we're at the end (almost – I’m betting there will be a twelve-part reunion where these women can once again discuss arguments that will still not make a bit of sense) of a season that has seemed fucking endless, let's review the blistering battles that have gone down. Since no fight on this show actually gets resolved, the ripples of dissension are still being felt and analyzed. In no particular order of importance – because none of these arguments actually matter – here's a recount of who has hated someone or who currently hates someone:



Once upon a time – I'm guessing during a bright full moon – a production meeting over at Bravo headquarters yielded some magic. The network gathered together a group of women, coined them “Real Housewives,” and threw them on television so we could all stare at lives that appeared awesomely aspirational.  By day, these women brunched and lunched on expansive terraces where the sun beamed brilliantly, providing the perfect amount of backlighting until they all resembled dewy angels who prospered by never eating a single thing.  By night, they entered sprawling closets in their homes that mirrored the appearance of upscale boutiques and selected outfits that could often be described as “glitzy" – or, if we’re talking about Adrienne Maloof, the look might be best thought of as “Christmas-tinsel-chic.”  A bevy of perfectly groomed puppies scampered about their feet as their maids served coffee made from beans that were roasted by hand and their husbands greeted them with warm kisses when they returned home from wherever they ventured each day in order to make heaping boatloads of money.  Vacations were embarked upon year-round and nobody ever questioned if the private jet could hold the weight of so many suitcases.  The Hermes was real and the bonds between the women were strong and the biggest argument that popped up was rooted in the dilemma of whether or not one woman had the audacity to call another woman “insecure.”

That idyllic time is over. Very little remains now of the days spent luxuriating in the sun besides some flowing caftans and a flood of tarnished memories.  When exactly was it that the tide turned into a constant undertow, when the picturesque lives we sighed and wished were our own spectacularly imploded?  Was it when Russell committed suicide and we watched the season before his death play out knowing what the resolution would be and every single time his grim face appeared on television it felt like we were seeing a ghost? Was it watching his allegedly abused spouse starve herself into a trembling pit of oblivion while claiming that being on this show was saving her life? Could the explosion of all that once felt sublime have been caused by the mindless cackle of Kim Richards or the desperate and cruel machinations of Brandi Glanville? All I know is I long for the days when Camille Grammer descended down a grand staircase swathed in couture on Tony night and toasted a man who had already decided to leave her because, devastating as that was, those were the simple days.

It might be a quest to stay on this show and remain perpetually relevant that inspires the current crop of Housewives to battle one another constantly, throwing down empty gauntlets to trigger fights that not one of them can even hope to win anymore. I don't know how else to explain why this group of women – who are clearly not a collection of totally vapid dummies – insist on discussing the same matters over and over again, destroying connections that were at least once enjoyable, even if they were never more than superficial. It's almost sad to see the disintegration of friendships play out before us like an opera produced by Kandinsky and it's made more upsetting that not one of these women at her core is truly awful. What they are, I think, is fundamentally confused. They're confused when they believe every argument will eventually lead to a satisfying ending. They're confused and dismayed that posts on social media will rarely count as undisputed evidence. They were confused when they bought into the idea that what they said off-camera would never be discussed on camera. And they're terribly confused when they expect that everything in their lives will not be consumed and then spit out by friends and enemies alike after they have so willingly blurred the lines between what is real and what is considered entertainment. 




A long time ago, in a galaxy not completely controlled by, people used to go to bookstores.  It was actually a really lovely way to spend some time.  You could browse for hours while good music played at the perfect volume overhead and, should you feel a little pang of hunger, you could wander into the café and procure yourself an almost perfect latte and a Rice Krispie treat the size of your head.  One of my boyfriends and I used to spend a lot of time at our local Borders.  We were young – in our very early twenties – and we didn’t really have a whole lot of money.  Both of us were just months out of college and we each lived with our parents. It was tough returning from the freedom of college and entering homes that were no longer places we wanted to be, so it became borderline essential for us to get out of the house as often as possible. We'd spend a lot of dark evenings and some rainy Sundays perusing the Travel and Self-Help sections in an effort to help us retain what was left of our fleeting sanities.  

More often than not, my boyfriend would eventually head off to the Music section to rifle through CDs and he always contemplated buying some Led Zeppelin box set that was so pricey, it was kept behind the counter. I’d be off in the Book section, almost always in one of three areas: Fiction, Biography, or Cinema.  I only ended up in the Cookbook or Religion sections if I took a wrong left turn caused by a spiking caffeine high rushing through my bloodstream – and the consistency that was my browsing pattern was helpful because it meant that my boyfriend could always eventually find me, even if the store was bustling. I was the one who'd always lose track of time and it was incredibly common that he’d finally stumble upon me and implore me to get myself together so we could go home, reminding me that I probably didn’t need to buy all seventeen books I’d convinced myself had to be mine immediately.  He’d pry about twelve of them out of my hand and promise he’d buy them for me for Christmas and, even if it was March, I’d be somewhat comforted by that statement and he could usually get me out of the store before I tripled his chances at one day having to file for bankruptcy.

It was on one of those balmy evenings when I had an epiphany:  Wouldn’t it be fun to not just visit but also to work at the bookstore?  To be clear, that kind of random thought should be grounds for the closest loved one in the vicinity to have pelted me hard on the head with a hefty eastern philosophy textbook in an effort to get me to stop from compromising a place that only brought me joy by bringing shit like mandatory hours and bosses into the equation.  Still, I was just getting started on my Master’s and my school hours were all over the place.  Some classes were during the day and some were at night and getting an employer to understand and work around a schedule that would fluctuate from semester to semester was already causing me great bouts of stress.  Obviously, I reasoned, I could only work part-time while getting my degree so within about twenty seconds of the idea initially formulating in my scattered head, I’d scored myself a job and Borders changed instantaneously from being my happy place to a place of work.

Let’s just say I don’t always make the best decisions. 

It’s not that working at the bookstore was the worst job I ever had – that distinction belongs to the two whole days I worked at Old Navy, where I spent my morning trapped in a crowded elevator and my afternoon being scolded by a former Marine who ran the section I was placed in who told me repeatedly that I was the worst fucking folder on the planet – but there were some troubles I noticed right away.  Customers either thought you were an uneducated fool because you worked in retail or expected you to have read every book in the entire store.  Creepy men would ask you to help them find a particular title and then follow you to the section, walking slowly enough behind you that you could feel their eyes boring into your ass. The music that played – once so lightly atmospheric – played on a loop and slowly started to drive me insane.  But maybe more than anything, what I couldn’t help being bothered by was the knowledge that so many wonderful books always went unread while others (and not always the best ones) flew off the shelves.  

I actually liked many of the books Oprah chose for her massive book club.  She’s Come Undone became a real favorite of mine, but it was bizarre that all it would take was for the woman to declare to the masses that they should read it and scores of people would come flying into the store as though programmed.  We couldn’t keep those titles in stock.  Anything with John Grisham’s name sold out quickly, too.  But perhaps our hottest commodity was the entire collection of those yellow books with the soft cover – the Dummies series.  Yes, there was Investing for Dummies and The Bible for Dummies and Writing Fiction for Dummies.  Dummies were being taught how to train a Lhasa Apso.  Every single day, I would stumble onto yet another title in the set.  Music Theory for Dummies.  Organizing for Dummies.  My personal favorite was the one called Mindfulness for Dummies – the title alone was fucking hilarious.

I thought about those books today, especially one that was an often-purchased one in the series:  Travel for Dummies.  While I never actually opened the book, I imagine that it lays out some helpful hints about how to make a trip more pleasant.  I’m sure there are tips about how to pack and how to get shit like lotion onto a plane and how to make reservations when you don’t speak the language and how to organize an itinerary so you are able to hit the spa and go horseback riding in the same afternoon.  I also have not a doubt in my mind that there’s a chapter – or at least a long paragraph – devoted to choosing the right companions with whom to go trekking all over the world.  Travel compatibility is not a small thing!  If you’re someone who likes to sleep in, fuck going away with the friend who is going to pound on your door just as the sun rises with a green smoothie in her hand and a grand plan to get you to that yoga class that's taking place beneath the sunrise.  If you’re someone who wants to experience life like the locals, don’t hop on a plane with a guy whose greatest experimentation involves going to TGI Fridays instead of Chili's. If you're single, always travel with at least one very hot wingwoman. And for fuck's sake, if you're a Real Housewife, do not get on a plane to Dubai with a gaggle of women who seem intent on destroying you.



I cannot possibly be the only one these days suffering from intense Housewives malaise, right? It’s a real problem, my friends, but being the proactive type, I have taken steps to try to remedy the issue. My first act – flinging my cable box through a plate glass window – only ended up creating further (and bloody) problems, so I’ve decided to head back to the basics and deal with my challenge logically.  It’s not all that hard to figure out what’s causing me to visibly recoil any time I see an adult female in an evening gown hold out a piece of fruit.  Simply stated, I’m getting really fucking tired of watching grown women fight about pure nonsense and then get paid for it so I have recently taken some important steps to at least attempt to alleviate my pain:

Step 1:  Cut several incarnations of the Housewives from my life like I’m hacking off a limb rotted with gangrene.  I was able to accomplish this particular goal rather easily.  “Au revoir, New Jersey table-flippers!” I shouted from my rooftop more than a year ago, my voice filled with glee that I would never have to figure out which twin’s husband allegedly slept with his mother-in-law or have to definitively ascertain what species birthed Theresa.  “Adios, Atlanta lunatics,” I scrawled in the sand during one warm afternoon on a sundrenched beach when I could have sworn I saw something that resembled NeNe Leakes bobbing in the distance beneath the waves.  “Suck it!” I happily trilled recently to my television set after watching my first (and last) episode of the newest Housewives who reside in and around the exciting city of Potomac.  While I realize I shouldn’t judge a series on only one episode, I’m quite certain that the entire show revolves around a drag queen spewing out lessons in proper etiquette to fools who aspire to be as famous as Vicky Gunvalson.  Those women have been forever sliced from the fabric of my life and I have never felt more free.

Step 2:  For the Housewives shows that I will still watch because I write recaps about them – New York, Orange County, and Beverly Hills – I make it a real point to only view each episode once.  Enforcing this rule can be complicated. It means that one must never accidentally leave Bravo on during a long rainy afternoon because we all know how those marathons can suck in even the most reluctant viewer and, for my sanity and for the safety of those around me, I must refrain from rewatching screaming battles fought by people I do not even know.

Step 3:  Never – but I mean ever – follow a single one of these women on Twitter or Instagram.  If there’s anything remarkably provocative that needs to come out, rest assured that an entire segment of the twelve-part Reunion will be devoted to whatever post one of these women wrote that singlehandedly sparked World War III and know with total certainty that each person on that couch will whip out a phone from between her Spanx-clad thighs to show some evidence that probably won’t end up mattering anyway.

Step 4:  Accept that the people on this show will never really change.  If you like one, you will probably continue to like her.  Might your favorite Housewife fuck up every now and then and cause you to wince because you’ve decided to be on her side and she's momentarily behaving like a possessed toddler? Sure.  But will your allegiance to these strangers actually matter in the long run?  Not a fucking chance.  Also embrace the fact that the Housewives who appear deranged are in fact out-of-their-fucking-mind-crazy and remember that just because one of them is sick, it does not mean that you have to like her now or overlook that she has surrounded herself with a posse of assholes.

Step 5: Cleanse your mental palate every now and again by watching Requiem for a Dream. After viewing the arm amputation scene or the gangbang done in exchange for some heroin, issues like Münchausen syndrome and Kim Richards' inability to accept any kind of responsibility for the misery that is her existence will appear positively minor.

Have I helped cure you of your Housewives Fatigue? Good! Because this episode is about glamorous women who hate each other doing charitable things and I feel like sharing this wellness plan can be my own little act of charity. I'll march for Yolanda and her babies tomorrow, but tonight there are more pressing matters to discuss. See, tonight Erika and a few of her enemies are boarding a private jet bound for New York, and since I've obviously chosen to embrace my philanthropic side, I'd like to caution her guests to sit very close to the emergency exists and perhaps bring along their own flotation devices. Several of them should feel free to use their own tits.




For the love of all that is holy, can these women please stop throwing dinner parties? A plodding exercise in both pure futility and vicious verbal brutality, The Dinner Party scenes on The Real Housewives of Wherever always seem like they should be accompanied by ominous studio scoring. Nobody at the dinner will eat a thing. Not one person will be understood better than she was before she walked in the door and planted two fake kisses on her hostess' cheeks. No woman at that table will suddenly shout, "Eureka!" as she instantaneously decides that you were right and she was wrong during the soup course. Accept it, ladies: the evening will be a long and twisted nightmare from which you cannot awake. You probably won't even be able to escape quickly because your car isn't there since there's apparently a clause in the Housewives contract that requires that you carpool to all events with the person whose name you plucked from one of Kyle's Chanel caps. (Shhhh: the hat is as fake as its owner.) But really, regardless of how I feel about any of these strangers, there's no denying that they're all relatively smart women – except for Kathryn, who comes off as a moron – and I cannot for the life of me figure out the logic behind showing up at someone's house when you just know it's going to end badly.

And really, what is left for these people to discuss? Any retreading of past issues will again lead to no concrete resolutions and gathering together will surely just spawn even further animosity. You know what that means? It means the Reunion will end up being a FIVE-PART travesty instead of a three-part shit show and Kim Richards will show up so she and her sister can cry on opposite couches as they explain to the world at large that the only hope of mending their shattered relationship is to embrace privacy.

This week, it's Erika who is throwing the party and to that I have but one question: Why? While I'd love to pretend that the occasion is to celebrate International Women's Day or that she's officially reclaimed the word "cunt" and believes she must mark the occasion with a cake shaped like a vagina, I'm pretty sure she just drew the short straw at the last production meeting. Erika has already decided that Lisa Vanderpump is a manipulative alligator who likes to slink around in various shades of pink so she can undermine those around her while asking unbelievably intrusive questions like, "So, how long have you known Yolanda?" Yes, the woman is a monster. Erika has also snarled while watching Lisa Rinna question Yolanda's illness and she clearly believes Kyle is a waste of space, to say nothing of the fact that it was confirmed last week that Kathryn completely betrayed her and then blamed Erika for it because she made the mistake of speaking. What else might someone in Erika's position do now except call a caterer and welcome these women into her home? I'm confused. Are we supposed to act like any of this makes sense? Are we expected to think that Erika will seat herself across from Lisa Vanderpump and muse to herself, "I was wrong about this woman! She's a delight!" Are we being asked to develop some hope that this season will skid to an end with all of these women suddenly friends? Or are we just being encouraged to form our very own March Madness brackets and take bets on which Housewife will walk out of that dinner party with her dignity intact? (Anyone who slots Kathryn as the winner is a total sucker. I'd put all of Lisa Vanderpump's livestock ahead of Kathryn's chances at victory.)



Oh, Kim Richards.  She’s kind of a living and breathing version of that creaky wooden rocking chair that sits on the porch of that nice madwoman who lives down the street, the one who maybe keeps a family of four chained in her basement. Like that chair, Kim’s sort of falling apart. Someone once tried to mend her with a little bit of spit and some scotch tape, but she will undoubtedly cause pain to whomever foolishly chooses to straddle her.  Still–splinters aside–I’d rather spend fucking eternity sprawled across that chair than ever be stuck in the same time zone as one of the vilest Housewives of them all.

Now sure, I understand that Kim Richards is an addict. I also understand that the only reason she appears on this show at all anymore is for a paycheck.  I suppose I used to feel kind of badly for her that her options were so limited that she was forced to pimp out her own questionable sobriety for profit, but the reality is that she’s such a lying and deflecting asshole that I have lost any and all empathy I ever pretended to have. I officially can no longer stand the sight of the woman.  I hate her oddly shaped eyes and how they squint and glare wildly at anyone who has figured out her very obvious truths.  I hate her bony fingers, the ones she likes to point in the faces of women who have decided not to believe a single thing this shell of a former human being says anymore.  I hate the rickety voice she uses to spew out lies before begging for mercy from people who had no idea what they were getting into when they casually agreed to climb into the back of a limo with her.  I hate that she still has the audacity to pretend that she and her family have been terribly wounded by people saying aloud that she started drinking again and that she never even considers blaming herself for all of it since – obviously – her actions spurred the stories and the pain.  But most of all, I hate that the appearance of Kim Richards means that she was never really just a terrible figment of my imagination like I’d convinced myself she was and I really hate how her presence makes me feel something that resembles sympathy for her long-suffering sister, Kyle, a preening specimen constructed primarily out of hair and ego.



It occurred to me recently that there are entire stores dedicated to helping human beings try to outsmart dogs.  Seriously, walk into Petco or whatever establishment wants to charge you money for rawhide and just wander around for a while.  There are aisles and aisles filled with products and, regardless of their lovely packaging, the subtext for most of them is TAKE BACK CONTROL FROM THE ANIMAL YOU ALLOW TO LIVE IN YOUR HOUSE AND SLEEP IN YOUR BED, THE ONE YOU INSIST UPON DRESSING IN SWEATERS OR IN A NICE FLEECE WHEN IT GETS CHILLY. I was at one of those stores last month for the third time in one week and I stood looking for a moment at the array of items in my cart that I'd soon pay for and then lug home:

There was a plastic square designed to hold a wee wee pad in place.  I needed this item so my dog might stop ripping her pad to shreds before swan-diving into the pile of crumpled wee wee pad she created in what I think was an attempt to fashion a plusher fluff pad than the one I'd so lovingly provided.

There were sprays of all kinds. One was to stop her from peeing everywhere. One was to cover up the smell of pee when Plan A went to hell. And one was flavored bitter apple and it was designed to stop her from nibbling on my moldings, which my former dog used to wander by without ever showing the slightest interest.

I had two plush toys with tags attached that claimed the toys were demolition-proof. My puppy demolished all of the moose and half of the chicken in two days flat.

She kept knocking over the dishes in her crate, so I found hooks that promised to hang the bowls permanently. Those worked. I also found her a pretty sweater that she happily romped around in for a while before removing it herself because apparently she spends the time I'm at work practicing to be a stripper.

"How's it going with Tallulah?" a friend of mine asked today.

"She's the sweetest dog in the world," I responded with a smile, "but she's having a hard time with some of the commands I'm trying to teach her."

"Which ones?" he asked.

"You know – just sit, stay, and come."

I bought and read three training manuals. I spent twenty minutes trying to decide which training treats to buy. I debated the merits of chicken vs. bacon. I purchased a leash the "experts" recommended for teaching commands.

My dog sits when she feels like it.

What I've realized is that training anything is really fucking hard, especially when you're doing it during the same months you've decided to cut bread out of your life. The benefits my sweet puppy brings to my life far outweigh the difficult moments, but it's not easy and it's made exponentially worse when you realize you've one again been bested by an animal that weighs 4.4 pounds and that means her brain is only, what, half a pound? I think I just always assumed my larger brain would prevail when it came to which one of us would outsmart one another and prove ultimately victorious. I was sadly mistaken.  

The thing is, I know I have to train Tallulah now. I've listened to all the random adages I've heard over the years! I know it's the journey that's important and that success is 90% perspiration. I also know that it's almost impossible to teach old dogs new tricks and that lesson has led me to start thinking about our dear Housewives. What kind of tricks would I attempt to teach them if they were my pets – and more importantly, what kind of dog would each of them be?

Lisa Rinna looks very much like a cute Yorkie I once knew, so I've decided that's her spirit pup. As for what I'd teach her, it might be nice if she learned how to stop over-apologizing for things she really shouldn’t feel so badly for doing.  Of course, should she piss in the corner of my bedroom in dog form, I'd like her to apologize for a day and a half straight. 

Eileen is clearly an Afghan. I'd brush her daily. And while I have no idea about the mathematical capability of hounds, I'd instruct her to take over the financials of her household because all of these references to Vince's gambling this season have started to worry me.