Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Recap: Kate Plus 8 "Kate Goes Skiing... Sort Of... ": The third time the family has never been to New England

Coming up on Kate Plus 8! The Counting On promo segments are at it again, with the host doing an impromptu play on The Newlywed Game. Where is the craziest place you've had a Bible study? she asks. Ooooh, this could get wild. I bet one time somebody even did it in the kitchen, right there on the counter next to the lunch meat and mayo. So kinky.

Watch someone else take a skiing trip. Watch someone else have an expensive vacation.

Tubing is "da bomb," says one of the kids. Da bomb? Apparently the kids were born in 1989, which makes them way older than the toddlers Kate insists they are.

Skiing scares Kate because she can't go down, who will take care of the kids? Who I guess are still suckling at the teat. I don't know why driving her car doesn't give her the same fear, since you're far more likely to be hurt or killed pulling out of your driveway than you are skiing, though skiing is admittedly more dangerous than the average activity. And following the logical line of succession,  the kids will go to Jon if she kicks the bucket, so I don't know what she is worried about.

A long explanation how, why and when they chose to go skiing that you can basically tune out until she gets to the part where she says they had not "done" the New England states before.

Except when they did, time number two, in an episode called "New England Adventures", lol. And except when they did,  time number one, when they met that weirdly obsessed fan Em from Connecticut and ran in the Rod Dixon Kids' Marathon there, Kate, kids and all. So, this would be Kate's third trip to New England that we know of.

I'm not sure anyone has a good explanation for why Kate has no memory of their two other free trips to New England, or why she didn't realize she was in New England on those trips, or what is going on with that strange comment. Who even knows at this point.

Does anyone get the feeling the two boys, who by the way are about as chill and awesome as can be, are mocking this whole thing at this point? With a little snicker, Aaden says he felt "emotional" to hear he was going skiing. Joel was "happy." Heh, they're too much.

We kill some time flashing back to some other boring ski trip. Oddly, we completely skipped the obligatory 15 minutes of packing and yammering, plus boarding the flight, before we finally get to the destination. I just realized the episode actually starts with the family already in Vermont, unpacking a bunch of bins from a trailer. Well that is a welcome break, since the only thing I could care less about than a family's vacation is a family packing for said vacation. I wonder if production reads here, since we always complain about the boring packing segments every time they show it.

I guess they rented a house, though it's hard to get any context here with the tight camera angles and little explanation. The twins complain the lavish vacation house has a weird layout. How very Love it or List It. Sheesh.

Why is poor Alexis always getting screwed? This time, it appears she might be without a bed, and stuck with a couch. I think the kids are far too demanding on vacations, but I don't think it's too much to ask one has a bed to sleep on, instead of a couch. And why is there always a shortage of beds when this family travels? With Air B&B, it makes it very easy to see exactly how many real beds you are getting. If you aren't sure, you need to ask. I understand they are a big family, but there are many listings that accommodate big groups, you just have to filter for them. We've traveled with extended family several times and never had a problem finding places. It makes me suspicious that when TLC books these they intentionally pick odd numbers of rooms and a shortage of beds, to cause conflict. If that's the case, it's really sick, since the odd people out are always going to be kids like Alexis.

Kate of all people saves the day and somehow finds a bed tucked away in a closet, pulls it out and sets it up. Thank you--geez!

For kids who don't ski, except for Cara (who is a regular skier by all accounts), they sure have quite a lot of ski clothes and accessories. The plastic bags and other packaging everywhere is a dead giveaway they had it grifted to them for the trip.

I like the intern class this summer, who choose a variety of rap and pop music for a segment in which nothing happens. This show has never had music like this before, very cool.

Aaden is yawning and rearranging pillows on the couch as they explain their skiing lesson. I guess that's his version of picking lint. If it's boring for a person to talk about their own vacation, one can imagine how boring it is for a stranger to watch a person be bored talking about their vacation.

Kate and the kids are right that snowboarding is so different from skiing and incredibly hard. I've tried it a few times and I found it so disorienting and difficult I was afraid I would break my neck at any moment. And I can ski, skate, and rollerblade just fine, and don't usually quit things right away without giving it a good try. After trying snowboarding, I was done in a few minutes. Still, Mady is being very childish about falling and blaming things on her instructor. She is Kate's daughter.

Kate is surprisingly encouraging, telling her she did well, which she actually did, and that falling is just part of it. It really is. It's darn hard, and as long as you learn to wipe out without popping a collar bone, you're good. I don't mind Kate this first day, shockingly. She actually let the kids just do their thing and didn't try to make it all about her. She is really at her best, and even tolerable, when she lets the children be.

These private lessons with Jason and Sarah, or is it Suzie, must have cost production a small fortune.

Kate says she was setting up a spa day in case it rains tomorrow. Oh yeah, I'm sure the boys will love that, and the less prissy girls like Alexis. Sigh. So that's why she was so easy going today, she was thinking about massages and pedicures tomorrow.

We're back, and just Kate's luck, it's raining. Spa time!!!

She's so flipping selfish, making the boys do the spa day she wants. Why doesn't she leave them be for the afternoon with the nanny who is surely there and go do this herself or with whoever wants to come? C-nt.

The easy going awesome boys are all about it, because they're awesome. Because I don't think I've ever seen them complain about anything, ever. Because they understand not to judge a book by its cover and if you're just game for everything, life usually turns out way more fun, even if there are a few misses along the way. But, can I say, that just because you have awesome and agreeable boys, doesn't mean you should make them do girly prissy things like spa days that are really more about your own selfish wants or your girls' wants. It is wrong to take advantage of someone just because they're easy going. (Yet happens all the time to such personalities.) But, I'm glad they're down and not unhappy about this lame activity. I'm not sure who is more awesome, Joel or Aaden. Joel says with a big smile he'll probably get made fun of at school for all this, but it's all good. Aaden says eh, not into spas, but I took one for the team. God, how did she end up with boys like this? (Answer: Jon) It would be nice if Kate and the girls took one for the team for the boys for once. Geez.

On a side note, I love, LOVE Kate's grey and brown vest pullover. I see a logo on the breast, but can't make it out. Where can I get it?

Kate gives a handy tip, don't get kids hooked to spas young. Writing that down. I can see why the reaction to this episode was more nasty than usual, as for one thing, it really does feel very 1 percent, which I think is a turnoff for most viewers, even well-off ones. There is something uncomfortable about watching people flaunt money. Some viewers may be jealous or feel left out, sure, but even if a viewer is not necessarily jealous, they're still embarrassed for them, and neither feeling is pleasant when one is simply trying to veg out and watch T.V.

I guess it stopped raining, because they're back at the slopes with the private instructors who surely cost a fortune. I see three separate private instructors. We're approaching thousands of dollars at this point for two days of this for seven people.

Oh, ya'll knew we were overdue for a big slam on Kate's childhood, and here it comes. She actually blames her lack of adventurous spirit on her childhood, in which she didn't have a lot of opportunities, unlike her children.

Does she think adventurous people must be born into wealth and opportunity? Tons of adventurous people come from humble backgrounds, and tons of adventures are cheap or free. One of my favorite places to road trip in California is the humble town of Bishop. There are lots of adventures to be had off the 395 highway in California. For example, you can go free climbing in Bishop, without ropes, for maybe a hundred bucks for the mats, which last years. I've seen those guys and gals, and nobody looks rich to me. Kate really is obnoxious with comments like that, implying it's her parents' fault she is neurotic. Bitch, STFU!

Do you want an adventurous child? Then teach them that life is an exciting and interesting gift, and that each new and strange experience and landscape and people should be embraced and cherished. Teach a child to not be afraid to fall, try new things, talk to fellow human beings, or take the unbeaten path. Sleep in your car at Mono Lake, hoping a ranger won't come by to kick you out (they won't.) Pig out on a breakfast burrito in Lone Pine the next morning then drive down the 395 and stop at whatever town along the way and see where it leads. This costs next to nothing, Kate, you tool.

Mono Lake, CA, by Admin. After car camping for free
until sunrise with several other adventurous spirits! 
I'm betting her parents gave their kids plenty of adventures and opportunities, they just weren't the things Kate wanted to do, like eat lobster, have a spa day, and go to Disneyland. Just because you subjectively don't like your parents doesn't mean that objectively they were bad parents, just saying. Rant over.

Why is the music so ominous? Alexis sails down the slopes on a snowboard and suddenly falls backwards and says her wrist hurts. Oh, that's why the music was creepy! They immediately head to a clinic and get an X-ray. She's fine, just a hairline fracture, she doesn't even need a cast. Much ado about nothing but heavily promoted on the previews. At least it was a little bit more than a splinter, justifying the dark music.

We're only 25 minutes in?? Ugh, this episode feels much longer than the one last week.

The day is wrapping up, now back to the house. Our Kate really knows how to stuff her face with pizza, lol. Is it really necessary for Kate to explain what charades is to us? What's next, she'll explain what a hairdryer does? I mean, really, TLC.

As per the usual, Mady is stacking the teams heavily in her favor. That gets so old. Mady, Cara and Joel all say the family really does not play games together much. They're not that family. Well, we figured it was all for show for the cameras.

Watch another family play charades. Mind-mouth, mind-mouth, mind--and, I'm falling asleep.

I'm going to fall over about how nice and sweet the boys are. They both agree their sister Mady is pretty. It would be so nice if just once the girls showed some kindness in turn to them.

You know the funny thing is, I predict that when this woman Kate here is someday old and grey, it's going to be these boys dealing with the bulk of her issues. Picking the nursing home, dealing with selling the house, sorting out the bills, calling insurance, talking to the lawyers. The girls will have their excuses why they can't commit to helping with any of this of course. Just started a new job, got kids to deal with, money is tight, work is so busy, yada yada. But the boys will be there no matter what, though. At the end of the day, it's clear they truly understand what love, loyalty and family are all about on a much deeper level than anyone else in this ridiculous group. I hope Kate appreciates it because they're the ones I recommend she call when she gets into a bind in her old age.

Mady's team loses, to which sadly I have to say, good. That's good karma for her trying to artificially stack the teams like she always does. It's immature and unfair, even mean. And this is proof it doesn't always work anyway, so I don't know what the point is.

The next day, I guess, they go tubing. Now this is more my speed! Oh the hours and hours of fun I had as a child tubing at the park with family and friends.

Hey, ya don't gotta pay a swanky ski resort to go tubing. Just grab some cheap ones at Costco and head to any old hill. Done. Feels like a big waste of money to me.

The twins spend an inordinate amount of time begging Kate to go tubing. Leave her be, twins, it's not worth the aggravation. Of course Kate agrees to go and it's all a bunch of yelling and drama. I'm rather surprised and more than a little skeptical that Kate finds this so scary. She was raised in Pennsylvania, tubing is practically a way of life, right alongside hoagies for lunch and pierogis for dinner. Let me guess, her parents never took her tubing or whatever other B.S. that is all their fault.

At the end of the gentle ride down the hill Kate walks away from her tube, dramatically proclaiming she is done. At least pick up your tube and bring it back, you slob! One of the kids, apparently somebody with manners, retrieves it for her. Heh.

All the kids adore this activity. Now that Kate has quit it seems their fun is even greater. The boys especially love it, proclaiming they must have been going 200 mph on those things. Heh, more like 20-30 tops, but when you're a child, it really does feel like 200. I love childhood because of stuff like that. You somehow feel everything so much more deeply. Music, tubing, adventures, all feel so intense. Like drugs without the drugs, heh.

They hit the slopes again on their last day. I'm a little unsure how long this trip was, but if we go by what we see, it was short, only three or four days. I'm unclear if tubing was its own day or on the last day.

At least Kate didn't cause a whole lot of drama about skiing until the last day, when she finally decides it's been about the kids for far too long and she would like to suit up herself and try it. She has her own private instructor naturally, more thousands of dollars.

The music the interns chose gives me a chuckle, it's very Olympian and dramatic. Heh.

Kate is incapacitated with fear, whether genuine fear or fake. She's not even skiing yet, but can't even walk to the start of the ski lesson area. Grow up, TFW.

Alexis is right back out there on the slopes, so I'm guessing her injury was truly nothing or a doctor would have forbid further skiing.

Kate screams, whines, protests, and bursts into tears. The histrionics are out of this world. If she hates it this much, stop. Don't ruin everybody else's fun. The patient instructor should not have to work under such conditions. Also, the kids should not have to spend their time reassuring her as if she's the child and they are the parent. Heh, even Mady is not buying Kate's excuse that if she breaks an arm there will be no one to take care of all the toddlers she has. Mady's like, we're almost 17 and the younger children are 13. Seriously!

The segment goes on forever. Poor kids dealing with all this embarrassing drama. Mercifully, the episode is finally wrapping up. They head up for a nice meal at a restaurant at the top of the mountain, though we never see them actually eating. Wonder if they couldn't get a permit. They have to ride a gondola up. That's loads of fun. They ski back down the mountain and everyone seems to love it. Kate is over the top impressed the kids could figure out skiing on this trip. Yeah, most 13-year-olds and 16-year-olds could handle this just fine. She's always seemed rather ignorant of their abilities and developmental ages. It's too bad Kate refuses to get over herself and learn this great sport too so she can do something fun like this with them and not always be that parent who just "watches". The instructors are still with them. That seems unnecessary at this point, and very, very expensive.

You guessed it, it was one of the best moments in their childhood. Kate was in tears. They all skied!! Collin who?

I generally keep personal stuff to a minimum in recaps, but this is such a major life milestone, it's too exciting not to share. I bought a house. My first house! And perhaps even my last, that's how much I love it and how perfect it is for me. I've been saving up for a down payment for five years. At times it felt daunting. At times the American dream seemed impossible, even though I've been very blessed to have had steady employment every year since school. But since school, real estate couldn't be more haywire. Watching housing prices crash then skyrocket again, and all the other mountains and valleys the market has been through over the years, has been intimidating to those wanting to dip in, and at times tragic for those who already had. Finding a house that was just right, beating out several other competitive offers, and making it through escrow was one of the most challenging things I've been through. Through it all, I just kept saving and pressing on, believing that through hard work and discipline, this dream could be a reality.

We just made it through escrow and I sign papers tomorrow. And you know what, the years-long wait has made it so much more rewarding. I lived in shitty apartments with shitty neighbors and shitty landlords and put up with it. The rice and beans, coupon cutting and bargain hunting, working long hours and several side jobs, and putting off "wants" in favor of needs was my life. When I finally step through my roundtop wooden front door, with its cute little built in look-out window, I'm going to know this house actually is mine, all mine. Well, twenty percent of it anyway! The bank has the other 80%, but that's okay, it's a mortgage I can afford, one that won't keep me awake nights.

Nope, I'm not rich. I don't go on free trips, unless you count a few whirlwind business trips now and again, usually in August when the humidity is 90%, I don't go to the spa on someone else's dime, or at all, and I don't have a corporation handing me a company card. Like most people, things are rarely just handed to me, other than maybe an extra donut. But man, somehow even without all these so-called perks, life feels darn good right now. Working hard for something and having to wait for it is good for the soul. And that's all I can pray for for the Gosselin kids, that they too will know hard work and rewards and life's little and big joys that have nothing to do with some network plastering your likeness all over T.V. and paying your way.

Welcome home to Admin.