Friday, July 13, 2018

Recap: Kate Plus 8 "Mother's Day Surprise": Friends, the Mary Kay Leturneau haircut was once cool

Coming up on Kate Plus 8, the high holiest of Gosselin holy days is upon us, a time of fasting and feasting, prayerful meditation, gifting and re-gifting, and celebration. It is .... Mother's Day. No, no, no, do not fill this whole episode with old clips! I hate my life!

So, confession, my own birthday is very close to the day to the Tups, so I too know about how the birthday will every seven years or so fall on Mother's Day or darn close. For me growing up that was never made an issue. Each were celebrated every year as if any other birthday or Mother's Day, just as you would treat a child the same who was born on or near Christmas. And to my great shock, Kate has agreed to allow the children their birthday day, and she will celebrate Mother's Day on another day. That is probably the most unselfish thing she has done in years, and I can't work out what the catch is, there must be one. Apparently Leah was the one who told Kate she felt sorry that Kate had to share Mother's Day with their birthday. Kate's response was Mother's Day can be any day. Wait, rewind. Did Kate say "any" day, or EVERY day? Not sure which one I heard. Because that could be the catch, she'll give them their birthday, but she gets every other day! Moo-ha-ha!

Like good little parental alienated children, Alexis dutifully recites the script that she is most grateful for Kate because she "takes care of us alone!"

Oh, brother. Here we go. This episode aired on May 10, 2015. I know, uncharacteristically timely. Usually we would expect a Halloween episode around about this time. But we're now three years later, and there's a world of difference between trying to brainwash 10-year-olds and trying to brainwash 14-year-olds. See Hannah.

The kids are planning a surprise breakfast for Kate, which mostly consists of Mady ordering everybody else about. Mady is really, really firm with the kids, constantly raising her voice and pushing them around. It's awful to listen to. She learned this from her mother, and it won't serve her well. It won't work for teachers, or professors. It won't work for friends. It won't work for boyfriends. And good luck with marriage.

Kate takes about five minutes to simply tell us she doesn't know what the kids are up to. Yeah, I know people like that. Moments you will never get back.

So, like, Kate left her kids alone with the crew this whole time? Unbelievable. They're probably old enough the crew won't molest any of them easily, but what about their comfort during filming, their safety? Where is their mother to watch out for children who are getting too tired filming, being pushed too hard, are hungry, who need a break from it? Collin is here, and we know now he has special needs! Terrible.

Lol, old pics of Kate. I'm a good deal younger than Kate, yet still close enough in age to be in the same sort of fashion era growing up. It was all about the same for a long period. How come in the late 80's, 90's, all of us kids dressed and styled like 40-year-old tenured school teachers? How was this cool? It's so bizarre. And hilarious. There's Kate, all of 16, and through no fault of her own, dolled up in a snazzy turquoise turtle neck, busy black and white patterned v-neck cardigan thing, little gold necklace and matching ring, dark red nail polish and lipstick, and the Mary Kay Leturneau haircut from her molesting days, bangs and all. See what I mean?! Teacher haircuts were once outrageously cool!

And just some ramblings, but putting myself back in that time period, I'm going to guess Kate was cool. And I think the information we have was she did run with the cool kids, had a cool boyfriend, was a cheerleader, was reasonably popular. What it took to be cool back in the day was often a little money from your parents, to buy the right clothes and get into the right sports, like cheer. Indeed, Kate's clothes look pretty on point for what they are. So all this ungrateful nonsense from her about her parents not treating her right or giving her what she needed to make it, it seems like Kate was doing just fine for herself even back in the teen years. Try being an uncool kid to begin with whose parents genuinely couldn't afford any of these latest styles, or any of the things that would transition you into making cheer (like a little gymnastics lessons) like how I and many of my friends in the rural Northeast grew up. It's not fun at the time, but you grow up and eventually realize everybody did their best and thankfully it doesn't matter one bit you weren't cool then and didn't do cheer and you were probably better off not being part of all that anyway. 

Some boring old clips. Kate tells the story again that she always wanted to be a mom since she was a really young kid, would even have dreams about adopting piles of kids on her doorstep. Pull over the furniture because I want to armchair this. First of all, I don't think it's normal for a pre-pubescent girl to feel that strongly about children just yet. Many little girls will claim they want a baby, but it has more to do with just liking to play babydolls and imagining yourself married to Leo with six kids living in New York City, you're a lunch lady and you drive a Mercedes because that game MASH predicted that, and little to do with what motherhood really entails and the much more complex feelings a mature adult woman often has about having children. 

So, I think Kate's obsession with not one baby but many babies was not normal at her age, and I wouldn't be surprised if the baby obsession was related to her fanciful desire to have someone or many someones love her in the way she thinks other people didn't, namely her parents. Her parents surely loved her unconditionally, but Kate is the type to interpret discipline, telling her no to things, or having rules she doesn't like, as a parent not really loving her. That would be Kate.

Kate says she went to nursing school to bag a doctor husband. Just kidding, she says she went to nursing school to have knowledge about caring for her children and supporting them. You have to be a nurse to care for your kids properly? Can't you just call Kaiser if they get sick? They have a 24/7 hotline and the nurse always helps you out, although the preliminary just-making-sure-this-isn't-an-emergency questions are always kind of ridiculous. If I wasn't breathing I wouldn't be calling a 1-800 number, lady, shouting in my entire ten digit member ID into my iPhone, shouting in the last four digits of my social security number, saying "correct", and shouting 4, then 2, then 4 again, then 1 to finally get to your ass. 

If you want to know how to take care of kids you could also pick up a parenting book or do a basic first aid for babies and children course through the Red Cross and skip the incredible expense of nursing school. It's just a weird reason to go that doesn't really make sense. How about, I went to nursing school to help sick people? Nah, too cliche. 

Also, how was Kate going to get these kids anyhow? Did she even know Jon at this point? Maybe in nursing school she learned how sex works? 

I'm enjoying the old pics of pre-botoxed Kate, though! She truly has progressed over the years. Or, regressed, if you like.

Kate was definitely a girl's girl back in the day, which I can't help but interpret as shallowness. She's always got jewelry on, always in a cute outfit, always has her nails done, always has her hair styled in some trendy teacher hairdo. In an old Halloween photo where she's the spitting image of none of the kids (they all are dead ringers for their dead father), she's got her hair dyed blond and in a tight perm. That can't have been cheap. What did she miss out on exactly during childhood? Because her childhood sure looks happy and privileged enough to me.

Oh, did anyone catch the old clip of Kate talking into the camera about how not-glamorous she felt when the six babies were maybe three months old? It looked just like a screen test tape we always suspected she may have sent off to TLC to get her show. Busted.

Does anyone care about her boring fertility story for Mady and Cara? I sure don't. She had to wait awhile to take a pregnancy test because it's not like today when you can take a test a few minutes after conception. Um, they still don't have those.

Once in a great while Kate will say or do something really genuine, and a tiny part of me wants to like the woman. They show an old home movie Kate herself filmed, showing her pregnancy test with the twins. A faint line. She then pans down to the counter where she's taken two more tests! Much stronger lines. She's pregnant, and it's the most wanted pregnancy ever, she says  Because, yeah, ya totally do line up those tests and keep peeing on them one after another in disbelief! And I almost, almost, teared up a little at year 2000 Kate finding out such good news.

I think you get to a certain age and you just can't help but cry when you hear someone is pregnant especially someone you care about, or even when you know someone else is finding out someone they care about is pregnant! How many of us both laughed and definitely cried as our dearly departed Golly Gee found out she was going to be a grandma not once, but twice, in this lovely tribute video one of her sons made. ("You better not be joking me, I'll kill you!")

Had Kate been more like 2000 Kate throughout these long years, she might actually have some viewers left who genuinely care about her.

Wow Kate needs to stop being, like, a likable person; this episode is getting spooky. She says the twins were such easy-going babies she was like, hm, I'd like another! Dude, I know so many parents who had an easy first child by sheer luck of the draw and were then like, parenting is easy, adulting is a breeze, I don't know what everybody else is talking about with terrible-this or that. Let's have another! 

Famous last words.

There were so many old clips and Kate yammering on I nearly forgot that in "present day" the kids are still making breakfast for Kate. Nothing interesting happens.

Is it just me, or is it really mean when adults say to children, "It's the thought that counts." It's basically just a nicer way of saying your work sucks. I have vivid memories of various adults saying this to me and other kids when I was a kid and even at the time I knew exactly what they were really saying. If there is one thing I caught onto pretty quickly as a child, and still do believe today, it's that many adults assume kids are stupid or don't know wtf is going on. Wrong.

Well, at least the younger girls seem happy and excited to have helped out with the breakfast, including the pancakes and fruit salad. Kids this age desperately need to be assigned mild to moderately challenging tasks and figure them out on their own, it's crucial to normal development and good self esteem.

There's a discussion about "Collin's card-making station" which I guess is where they will make the Mother's Day card, but I don't see Collin anywhere. I'm guessing if he were even still around at this point, this was one of the last episodes he was in the house for, but not actually on camera. It was a slow progression with that kid that gradually took him out of the show.

Mady, who is far too old to still be whining about this, says the day the sextuplets were born was the worst day of her life and it was pretty awful after that too. While it certainly would be hard on a little girl to have so many younger brothers and sisters, now at her age, it's time to grow up. Also in defense of Kate and of course Jon, they went to great lengths to make sure Mady and Cara felt special and privileged and there were many things the twins got to do that the sextuplets were left out of. Mady is, sadly, a selfish and ungrateful child. Some children come by unselfish characteristics naturally, others, like Mady, must be taught and if they're not taught, unsavory aspects become a solid part of their personality, and it's unattractive.

Kate rattles off some of her parenting "rules" as we watching boring old clips. Stick to a schedule, no means no, don't give in. And generally I think her parenting advice is just bad. The first two there are definitely numerous exceptions to when it's beneficial to depart from the schedule as well as just let things go. And don't give in is definitely terrible advice. In fact, most parenting experts will advise you to really pick your battles, that you should only come down hard on the important stuff, and that it's best to let most things go for happy, well-adjusted children and a peaceful family. In other words, you give in a whole awful lot. I'm reminded again of GollyGee, who, in an adorable small video within her video tribute, her son David is refusing to sit up for a family photograph, instead preferring to recline against mom's legs with his hands under his head. GollyGee in short order gives up, shaking her head with a bit of a smile. She gave in! Because at the end of the day, does it really matter David didn't sit up this one time? And you can look back on the photograph and video, as we have, and laugh at the little boy's antics, at doing things his way as kids like to do. No tears, no whining, no battles that day in that house. Had GollyGee "stuck to her guns" as Kate advises, that family photo might very well have turned into a horrific battle of wills and spoiled the whole day. And it didn't result in raising a serial killer. David turned out all right, didn't he? (Thanks for stopping by to say hello, David!) GollyGee was a good mama. Kate is not.

I'm kind of surprised they show the clip of Collin distraught in the furniture store, begging to be changed, because that was surely one of Kate's most evil moments. She's chatting away on the couch as if her behavior in that store that day was normal.

I think the TLCgo app is showing way too many commercials. They just showed ten in a row, followed a few minutes later by seven! I pay for TLC through my cable company, it's not like I'm getting this for free. A paying customer shouldn't have to sit through excessive advertising.

Kate's prattling on about how she taught all the kids to cook. Fascinating. A producer then asks Mady who taught her to cook and she says Kate actually taught Cara, and then Cara taught Mady. Heh. That struck me as kind of funny, though I'm not sure it was a totally fair comment. Who knows who taught her, but I wouldn't put it past Kate to grossly exaggerate how much time she's spent working with the children to teach them to cook and playing the part of the loving attentive mother. Probably not as much as she wants us to believe.

Kate again proves that she doesn't understand child development at all, despite nursing school, when she talks about their eating habits and how the children are trying to "challenge" her with their picky eating. It's not all about you, you cow! Good lord. Picky eating is a completely normal stage of child development and has far more to do with kids genuinely having very sensitive taste buds that don't adjust easily to the plethora of foods that adults easily love and chow down on. In fact a British study found that a child's food likes are almost 75 percent based on genetics. That means it leaves only a small percentage to be determined by a parent pushing it down their throat until they give in and eat it. Kate's so freaking stupid. Most kids grow out of pickiness naturally, as long as they are getting enough variety of nutrients it's just not something to stress about. I woke up one day and loved the things I hated as a kid--salads, feta, coffee, Chinese food, hummus, limes, cheesecake, sweet potatoes, Brussel sprouts, zucchini, carbonated drinks, and lots of other foods kids will often avoid. Love them now! Nobody did anything to push them on me, I just started eating them because my taste buds developed into adult ones.

Kate really is rich talking about how much she struggles with sibling rivalry. Good grief, I can rattle off dozens of examples of both her handling sibling rivalry terribly or even outright encouraging such rivalry. For starters, when you blatantly play favorites with your children, sibling rivalry is inevitable.

Mady says twice that her younger siblings are brats, and there's a perfect example of the kind of completely unacceptable behavior towards one's siblings Kate has allowed and encouraged. It is not acceptable to name-call your siblings with such cruel and nasty names.

The producer tries to get Mady and Cara to say what a hard job of it Kate has raising eight kids, and they actually won't really go there. Mady says in actuality they all make it a lot easier for her. Heh. Well, I like that comment. For all Kate's whining and playing martyr about raising these kids, the kids do their best to help her. And I think that is a fair comment, we've seen plenty examples of the children pitching in and overall cooperating to prove they aren't total nightmares and can be very helpful when it comes to their care. The boys especially seem super easy to me. There's a huge difference between raising a child who is helpful and cooperative versus one who is constantly resisting you (even if it's due to things out of their control like special needs).

Kate gets lots of emails from strangers saying they're worried Mady is mean. Really?! This makes Mady laugh. How does that email go exactly? "Dear Kate, your daughter Mady is mean and I'm concerned. God bless"? Sounds like something GollyGee would have had the nerve to do! Heh! Also, I know I keep talking about GollyGee, but there's a lot about this episode that brings her to mind, and one of them is I think I understand much better now after her death and getting to know better who she was in her private life, why the kids meant so much to her. And I think so much of it had to do with her truly relating to raising three boys. She raised three boys, she did it right, Kate was doing it oh so wrong, and that really bothered her because she knew how much better their mom could have done by those boys. She would never toot her own horn about what kind of mother she was, but we know now she was amazing.

I catch a little glimpse of Collin at the card making station. He looks fine, even politely asking a sibling to hand him a pen and setting the table perfectly, explaining he "observed" how to do that in a restaurant. Aw. He's so cute. This is the kid who needed to be locked up for years? Was this the last episode where we really heard from him? Also he didn't learn how to set a table from his mother? Maybe this is because she eats all her meals standing at the counter.

Kate has a theory and I fall asleep. What the hell is a "girl mom"? She had girls first and so that made her a girl's mom? I really have no clue what she is talking about. Her theories are about as useful as those of the Flat Earth Society.

Oh I see this was just an opportunity to slam the boys for being normal little kids and to make a host of stereotypical and exaggerated comments about the girls. You can guess that the sum of it is the boys don't understand anything at all and all the girls do is have drama. As I have proposed many times, it is women themselves who often set women and girls back the most, and this is but one example of a woman, one who is semi-famous and has a bit of a platform to boot, using terribly exaggerated and untrue stereotypes that girls are all emotional fluttering basket cases who can barely make it through the day without a meltdown worthy of a truck of ice on a 100 degree day. Maybe if Kate did some work as a mother for once to help them better regulate and cope with their emotions, you wouldn't have so much drama. Children need to be taught how to handle intense emotions everyone will feel boys and girls alike, just as much as they need science and math. Make no mistake little girls watch this show, and it is disappointing they have to hear Kate say these things. I hope their mothers are around to set things straight.

I don't much like her comments about the boys, either. If boys are stupid with glazed over eyes all the time, does that mean they don't hold any responsibility for their actions, like when they go too far with a girl who doesn't want to? After all they're just a stupid boy. One could take it there.

Kate gives some cliche advice about doing your best that nobody cares to listen to. Also, I think doing your best is a cop out, because only you the person really knows for sure what your best is, so you can use it as a crutch to do half-ass work all the time because after all, that's just my best!

The kids and Kate do some terrible acting pretending that this all wasn't arranged by producers as the kids finish breakfast and Kate pretends she's surprised and impressed and goes out to eat her pancakes and read her card.

Collin made an incredibly creative card in which you actually can remove the heart from the center of it to hold it. That's really good, Collin! At least Kate takes the time to read each card individually and spend a moment with each child telling them how much she enjoyed the card. They need much more individual time with their parents.

Why is Kate still talking??? Eat your breakfast, bitch!

Shockingly, Kate admits it's not the kids' fault she has so much to do. Of course it's not. They didn't ask her to trick the fertility doctors into having a fuckety billion kids at once. So STFU already.

Oh, I hate her guts. While the kids are cleaning up without complaint, Kate has to say, "who are these children?" Oh shut up! There are piles of tapes in the archives of these kids helping out and working hard. Just stop it.

Ha, the bird is on Kate's shoulder, totally channeling Tanya Harding's stage mother. Nice. From now on this bitch's nickname is Lavonna any time she has that bird. It's just such a great villain name anyway isn't it? Lavonna Golden!

Lavonna Golden

Ick, they made a nice table for Kate to eat at  with tablecloth and all, but instead she eats on the nice couch. I think that's gross. All that syrup and crumbs. She's a slob. And also they made the trouble to put a table together for her, so sit at it!

Gross! The kids are massaging her feet. Yuck. And look up grooming behavior, because it often starts as massages and other gone-too-far touching. I'm not saying Kate would groom her kids, I don't see any evidence of that, but it's still gross to engage in grooming behavior even though you're not really trying to groom them.

Woo-hoo, a clip from the book signing I attended in Santa Monica! I think that will always be my favorite Gosselin memory. I arrived directly from work and Kate was sandwiched in between two narrow bookshelves and WTF? I somehow immediately ran into a Radar online reporter who was maybe about my age, we somehow immediately hit it off which was fun, and she explained that Kate was embarrassed by the low turnout so thought moving her in between the shelves would help. I see, so like, if you move yourself into a tiny house and invite some friends over to it it will make it seem like you have a lot more friends. Good thinking actually. I logged onto realitytvkids to "livestream" from the event and so the night began with a bang!

Why is Kate talking about what the haters say about her? Nobody was talking about that. I thought we were talking about breakfast! Again, she insists she's just doing her best--a cop out, see?

Nobody does everything right so cut me a break! she insists. Um, Kate, nobody suggested you must "do everything right" whatever that means. I hate when she misstates what the criticism is then answers the misstatements. It's called strawman-ing, and it's a cheap debate tactic and she knows damn well she's doing it. Aw, did the book signing bring up bad memories? Poor thing.

Kate wouldn't ask for eight different kids. That's kind of a weird thought to have. Except Collin. She would like to return Collin. I know it's maybe thirteen years and six months past the warranty period, but could they pretty please make an exception for her? She'll accept store credit!

It's kind of irritating to hear the brainwashed kids talking about all the good things about Kate she has drilled into them she does for them, but when you think about it, it's probably a really good thing they are able to see the positives of Kate. Some of them apparently already and soon more of them are really going to have problems with this woman and the choices she made for them (filming, Jon, the physical abuse), but in order to work through all those issues and have a rebuilding point with Kate and develop some trust, they're also going to need to be able to find some of the positives about her. For better or worse she is their mother to deal with, and cutting her out of their lives is always a method of last resort. So, for those who want to keep her on board as their mother, they have to work with what they have and what they do have is a mother who growing up let them have a lot of pets they love, on some level cares for them and on some level loves them. It's a start.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Gosselin v. Gosselin: PA docket shows the children have a Guardian ad Litem, and Kate filed an appeal past the deadline resulting in its denial

The public record docket, linked to us by one of the lovely ladies here, shows some interesting information.

  • The best news of all is that at least one of the children, and hopefully all of them, are now listed as having a Guardian ad Litem, family law attorney Lauren Marks, who is a party to the case and invited to respond to any motions or requests. Marks' bio reveals she's a Penn State grad with experience as a public defender as well as experience as a GAL in "highly litigious" cases. She seems to be over qualified for this post! 
  • Kate filed an appeal of an order in May three days late, to which the Courts asked her to "show cause" (I.e. explain) why the appeal should be heard. On June 14, they "quashed" the appeal due to her tardiness, which means she can no longer appeal. 
  • The filing fee to file Kate's appeal was $90.50. Not to mention attorneys fees, of course.
  • A briefing schedule is in place, which basically means deadlines to turn in your documents, with a brief due Monday July 9 for Kate. It's unclear what the briefing relates to.

The full docket can be viewed here.

June 4, 2018
Per Curiam Appellant, K.I.G., defendant below, filed a notice of appeal from the final
custody order entered April 5, 2018. Appellant's notice of appeal was docketed below on May 8, 2018.
An appeal must be filed within 30 days after entry of the order from
which the appeal is taken. Pa.R.A.P. 903(a). This Court has no jurisdiction to excuse the failure to file a timely notice of appeal. Valley Forge Center Associates v. Rib-It/K.P., Inc., 693 A.2d 242, 245 (Pa. Super. 1997); see also Pa.R.A.P. 105(b) (an appellate court may not enlarge the time for filing a notice of appeal).

Accordingly, Appellant is hereby directed to show cause, within ten days of the date of this order, as to why this appeal should not be quashed as having been filed untimely on May 8, 2018, thirty-three days after entry of the subject order. Failure to respond to this directive may result in quashal of this appeal without further notice.

June 14, 2018
Docket Entry / Representing Participant Type Response to Rule to Show Cause
Quash Sua Sponte
Per Curiam Through this Court's June 4, 2018 Order, Appellant was directed to show
cause why the appeal should not be quashed as untimely. Appellant filed a response on June 11, 2018, but did not present legal argument to justify this Court's jurisdiction. An appeal must be filed within 30 days after entry of the order from which the appeal is taken. Pa.R.A.P. 903(a). This Court has no jurisdiction to excuse the failure to file a timely notice of appeal. Valley Forge Center Associates v. Rib-It/K.P., Inc., 693 A.2d 242, 245 (Pa. Super.
1997); see also Pa.R.A.P. 105(b) (an appellate court may not enlarge the time for filing a notice of appeal). Because the notice of appeal was filed on May 8, 2018, more than 30 days after the entry of the April 5, 2018 order, the appeal is hereby QUASHED.
Appellant's request for leave to file a notice of appeal nunc pro tunc is DENIED without prejudice to Appellant's ability to seek relief in the trial court.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Gosselin v. Gosselin: Jon's Petition to Open and/or Strike Judgement

In jaw-dropping court documents, Jon's attorneys essentially lay out a 2012 agreement in which Kate blackmailed Jon to not seek custody legal or otherwise under penalty of $125,000 in child support arrears plus $8,000 in interest and fees.

According to Jon's lawyers, Kate has been unable to produce the actual documents of the alleged agreement. She is however asking Jon to pay up now that he has asked for custody.

Jon's lawyers are asking the bill nonetheless be reduced to zero, arguing that the 2012 agreement would be prohibited by law, is vague, has not even been produced to review, is against public policy and not in the children's best interest.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Jon has found Collin, and Hannah is with him full time

In a very unexpected sextuplets birthday post, Jon wrote on Instagram that he and Hannah visited Collin for his belated birthday (Jon posted a few days ago on Hannah's birthday that he now has her every day and night). Collin has been missing for two years, and Kate has offered little explanation why, other than he is getting treatment.

A post shared by Jon Gosselin (@jongosselin1) on

Jon also commented:

mandapanda184 @jongosselin1 Oh good. So the reports that Kate shipped him somewhere without letting you know where, aren't true?
jongosselin1 @mandapanda184 that’s true but I found him

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Recap: Kate Plus 8 "Kate's Most Memorable Moments": Nana Janet is dead, next?

Noooo! is all I can say to this one. Not another clip show! Ugh!

You can pretty much guess what this episode will be comprised of. This includes Hannah pooped in Hannah's underwears, cupcake gate, and lots of whining about a divorce that even then was ages ago--over five years ago when this episode first aired!

This is like the T.V. version of clickbait on the internet, draw viewers in with what looks like new material, then bait and switch them with something recycled you've already seen before if not many times before. They seem to do this at least once every season and sometimes more. This episode seems even more gratuitous when you realize that only a few months later they are going to air a three hour clip show ("A Decade of Kate") of much the same drivel. There was only one other "real" episode between this clip episode and the Decade clip show! This is great for TLC's budget but very disrespectful to viewers.

Kate says she wants to look back on the old clips because she has annoying teenagers now and needs to remember when they were little. So go pop in a DVD and look at the old clips. Don't burden viewers' time with this. How rude.

As Kate has said on more than one occasion, it was so much easier to corral toddlers. Well right, you can child abuse a two-year-old into submission a hell of a lot easier than you can to a walking talking 10-year-old with opinions and who can run away and rat you out to mandatory reporters. That must stink for the child abusers.

Babies are so cute so that you don't abuse them, Kate essentially says. I'm not even joking, she actually says this. I'm glad Sherlock over there has figured out the morbid evolutionary reason why human beings are born with big heads and eyes. The editors immediately launch into a clip of Alexis having a diaper blowout as all babies will eventually, and Kate freaking out. So, like, if Alexis weren't cute, Kate would beat the shit out of her for that? Besides, she hit them anyway, cute or not, so I guess her theory doesn't apply to her.

There's no manual how to raise one baby, Kate says, let alone six. What? There are dozens of manuals about raising children out there, delving into all the nuances of babies practically week by week, so I'm not sure what she is talking about. What to Expect the First Year is a popular one, as well as On Becoming Baby Wise and many others. If you have six kids, I guess if you're Kate you just buy six of such books. Funny enough, just days after I wrote this portion of the recap, the Roseanne reboot, which is hilariously sharp and timely, made the same joke. Dan was telling Darlene look we did the best we could raising your kids, there's no manual on this. Darlene looks at him in disbelief and says yes there are! Heh!

They throw in so many little clips, many of which I nearly had forgotten about, and one of them is when Kate is in a battle of wills with young Mady, ordering her to put on shoes she says are hurting her feet. Kate's reasoning? Kate wears shoes that hurt Kate's feet so Mady should put them on. Even all these years later she still blows my mind. Kate is a consenting adult, and if she wants to wear shoes that hurt her feet that's her choice, but Mady is a kid and clearly doesn't want to do the same. Plus, she is a growing kid, so more likely than not, the reason her feet hurt are because she's outgrown the shoes. In any case, no one should wear shoes that hurt their feet--it is a warning sign something is wrong with the fit, and could eventually cause permanent damage in your later years. There are lots of shoes that fit properly and are still cute, this need not be such a big deal.

They show gum gate yet again, and Kate again doesn't take the opportunity to apologize to Aunt Jodi.  She doesn't say anything at all about it this time.

Every moment of when the kids were young was hard. The grouchy moments were every day. That is a very pessimistic way to remember their toddlerhood. Sheesh. 

They show the clip where Kate showed her post-pregnancy belly. At the time I thought that was brave of her to show that, but then she turned it into a freebie for tummy tuck surgery and my good graces vanished. I also don't believe Kate when she says that she never imagined someone would offer her free plastic surgery as result. Please. Today's Kate talks about her old stomach with absolute detest, calling it the jowls of a dog--ouch!  That seems rather offensive to people who are carrying some flabby skin for whatever reason, and can't afford fancy surgery as a quick fix. A post-pregnancy belly isn't usually attractive, fair enough, but it's still you and it's the battle scar of bringing children into the world, which should be special. Kate marks the tummy tuck as the beginning of the rest of her life, and I just find this whole segment very shallow and inconsequential. 

Kate reminisces about the one time they made Korean food with Jon, who is only shown from the hands down. It's amazing the way she is able to speak about this segment in such depth without ever mentioning why the kids are Korean in the first place, due to the sperm donor's ethnicity she selected perhaps online. What an elephant in the room, or shall I say Korean elephant!

This episode is a little disorganized as newer episodes tend to be because nobody in production cares, and we go from the producers feeding Kate things to talk about via old clips to suddenly the viewers asking questions. Can't she answer these questions on twitter? 

Kate's favorite free trip was Australia/New Zealand, which is coincidentally without a doubt the most expensive free trip ever given to her, and she somehow swung it so she could go twice. We kill time reminiscing about the koalas for what feels like an eternity. I forgot how much the kids manhandled those poor koalas. Geez. Woo-hoo, the only old clip I ever enjoy seeing: Brad, the patron saint of haters, telling Kate about herself before pushing her off a high rise.

Kate says she wouldn't let the younger kids do this jump today. They are now the same ages as Mady and Cara when they jumped (age 10). Why? It's perfectly safe. Probably safer than crossing the street to get there. Usually parents get more lenient with subsequent children, not less. If a kid wants to do it and you can afford it, let them. Such drama over nothing and you run the very real danger of imposing your fears on your kids. Contrast this was Amy Roloff, who with gumption and style, jumped out of an airplane to celebrate her one year anniversary with her new boyfriend Chris. She acknowledged she was terrified but stuck to her goals to try new things and do something wild with Chris to mark the occasion. She was optimistic and pleasant the whole time, and as a viewer, I was rooting for her, and eager to see how this would shake out. I had no doubt she would go through with it. I had been cautious of Chris, I suppose I'm always going to worry about someone having ulterior motives when dating a little person, but he seems to have developed into quite a thoughtful and supportive boyfriend for Amy, and she's giddy in love with him. It's cute, and I hope he is what he seems.

Kate reveals the real reason she finally jumped i.e. was pushed off the building by Brad. Because she didn't want her 10-year-olds to be braver than herself. Well, of course the reason has to do with some kind of imaginary competition with her own children from Joan Crawford here. Typical.

Invariably somebody asks her what's with Kate showing no interest in dating, does her blood run cold or something? Kate says she can't meet anyone because she spends all her time in the kitchen or grocery store. The hell? I would almost buy this excuse if she had even a part time job, but she doesn't work. You do not spend 16 hours a day in the kitchen or grocery store, it's impossible. She then goes on to say something even more absurd, in that she would love to get out of the house and check out the great new local restaurant but the right person hasn't come along yet. Just, the f. The F! This woman cannot be implying that one must have a boyfriend in order to have a nice and novel evening out. Abraham Lincoln called, and he wants his century back. Yeeshhhh. We know now that Kate is only interested in dating if she's getting paid to do it, hence her new dating show. Heh.

We launch into another long and boring justification for why they had to get the mansion because their perfectly adequate solidly middle class house was just way, way too small. From all the clips they showed, the old house looks huge. The toddlers have plenty of places to run, the grounds were big, the dining room is plenty big enough for a long table, and the kitchen, although not huge has good flow to it creating the illusion of more space. There is something rather funny about all their excess back in the day happening right smack dab in the middle of a bad recession. They really alienated so many viewers by being so greedy. Kate actually says now the mansion is starting to feel too small too. No, she really says this. I really think that for many adults one of the hardest things to come to grips with is to be happy with what you have, to not always be wanting more. This usually applies to material things like your house and all your stuff. But it can also apply to things like how many children you will have, and your marriage. I've read quite a bit about this because I struggle with it too in some ways and I don't want to get sucked into this "creep." Like when the new iPhone comes out, something in me just wants it. Even though my current iPhone works just fine and I paid a lot of money for it. It's hard to not buy the newest thing, but I'm getting better. 

The best way that helps me conceptualize all this and not worry about the Jones is to think of life not as a fixed pie 500 meter dash where it's you versus the world and if you don't win the next guy is. Rather think of it as a recreational sport, things like cycling or hiking (non-competitive). You can play it alongside people you like and enjoy, but you're really only ever playing versus yourself. How high you can climb, how far you can peddle. You could enjoy it alongside an elite athlete because how he does is irrelevant to you. So don't worry about a co-worker getting a promotion, or that perfect wife of your second cousin's on Facebook, or that great house on the market that's just a little more expensive than yours, so, you can afford it right. Because they're all hiking their own hikes and you're hiking yours.

I believe the number one reason adults find themselves unhappy or unsatisfied in adulthood is because they never really worked on being happy with the way things are. And Kate is clearly one of those. She has a house that should make even the saddest person happy for a dozen lifetimes, and yet there she is, feeling unsatisfied with it. The pathetic thing is Kate doesn't even seem to recognize her own unwarranted dissatisfaction. At least a lot of people recognize it and try to address it.  

We then go into a long recap of all about when they first got the German shepherds. There are a couple telling comments in the old clips, too. One, after the only thing the dogs did was pee in the house (they were very, very little puppies!) Kate has a meltdown and barks at the distraught children "He's going back and I'm not kidding!" Because when a living thing doesn't function just perfectly you return to the manufacturer. See Collin. 

Kate then says when she sent the dogs back to the trainers, she knew they were coming back, or "at least one" would be back. So, all along she never intended to take Nala back, but tricked the kids into thinking they were both going to get training and come back? Vile. 

Nala was high strung and would make a good police dog, Kate remarks stupidly. High strung is not really what they are looking for in police dogs, how dumb is she? And besides, even if Nala would have made a good police dog, Kate probably ruined it by keeping her for as long as she did, interfering with training that often occurs during a puppy's formative years to try to make a police dog out of them.

By the way, just this winter a police dog in California undeniably saved many lives when he bolted for and pinned down an erratic and dangerous criminal who had just abandoned his stolen car to try to run away from the cops on foot. The driver had tried to plow over a female cop with his truck a few weeks before and has a long criminal history and is looking at life in prison for this little stunt of his. The dog's attack was so fierce it accidentally smashed the poor pup's teeth out on the curb! Here is the incredible video. Thank you, Officer Puskas! 

We talk about the then-five years ago divorce for awhile. It's boring, except the part where Kate claims the bright side of this is the divorce taught the kids things, like about trust and people's intentions. The F! One, she just made a totally uncalled for and very nasty slam at Jon, directly implying the kids learned they couldn't trust him and that he has bad intentions. Of course some of the children are estranged from Jon, this has been the narrative they've been brainwashed with for these past five years. One need not literally spell out "You can't trust your dad" in order to implant the idea firmly in a young child's head. And two, no TFW, a divorce is never good for children, no study has ever shown so. Sure, some kids may be better off not having two parents together who are miserable under the same roof, so in that respect it's best for everyone to split up and something that just has to be done, but the divorce itself is never beneficial to the kids. 

How do you say so organized, a very dense fan asks. Kate doesn't! She's a slob.

Emeril when he visited was so gentle and soft-spoken with the children, it's like they just shut down, mouths agape, having no idea how to interact with someone so kind and low key. Kate reveals that all the time she name drops that Emeril cooked in her kitchen. Lol, that must be obnoxious to what few girlfriends are around to hear that.

In a rare sweet moment between Kate and one of the kids, she helps Leah learn to swim in Hawaii. Kate's reaction is appropriately proud and excited, like a mother who adores her kid should react when her little bird finds its wings. You can tell how much this makes Leah happy in turn, not just to swim, but to make her mom proud. The kids desperately needed so much more of these quiet moments and less of all the anger and stress.

Is there anything more irritating than a grown woman trying to make whale sounds at a whale? That is all.

With only 13 minutes left in this episode, the editors for some strange reason decided now was the time for Kate to recap what we're doing here. Like if you came into this episode midway you'd be really confused I guess? Kate sums it all up in a really....slow....manner, weirdly emphasizing random words. Is she reading a cue card, just took her meds, or what is going on here? And couldn't she just say "it's another God damn clip show, people" and that's all anyone would really need to know to understand?

Since I'm really getting bored and the clips they are showing at the moment are absolutely pointless--(we still have 13 minutes left of this, yeesh!), I'm just going to say a few thoughts on the TLC app for Amazon Fire TV. It's basically wonderful. The TLC app I was using before on my computer was and still remains a piece of crap, showing endless commercials every few minutes and refusing to remember the place I last left off. The Amazon Fire app keeps me signed into it unless I don't log in for months, it always remembers my place in the episode even if I leave the app for a long time, and has simple and easy to use one-click commands to play, pause, add closed caption, fast forward at different speeds and the like. I only wish there weren't ads that you can't skip, but there's a handy countdown when they do run the ads (Ad 2 of 5 and so on) so you more or less can guess how much longer you have to go grab yourself a coke with a lemon before the show starts up again. Well done to TLC and Amazon Fire. All the Amazon Fire apps have been good to excellent, which leads me to believe they have extremely strict guidelines for developers that keeps them in compliance with smooth operation.

Nana Janet is dead by the way, and I don't remember Kate ever mentioning that other than in this clip show just now. Google explains that she died in October 2009. Except there are no tears or any emotion from Kate when she explains this. She could just have easily been explaining how one of the children missed her because she was gone to have tummy tuck surgery, as she will a bit later. It's all the same affect, all the same chipper explanations, just literally a short run-down of how helpful Nana Janet was and then out of left field Kate says Nana Janet left us all too soon. She left us.....all too soon? She's ..... DEAD??? Good Lord, I'm glad I knew this before this moment due to reports on the blog, because this news really would have hit like a ton of bricks, wouldn't it have?

We come to that dreaded moment in the episode where the editors realize they're only at 37 minutes and they've got to make it to 43. To kill time they add in some loosely related to not-at-all related clips about everything from bedtime to "I have a weiner" to ice skating. A really long explanation about how the kids I guess remember better because of the show, which I suppose is another excuse why they needed to do this show? But Kate's explanation doesn't make any sense. I'm convinced the kids are not "remembering" the actual experience at all, they are simply remembering the episode. And I still don't know how home movies you make yourself couldn't accomplish the same thing.

Kate is adamant she will never regret the show because of all the memories she made. So like, if you don't have a TV show you can't make good memories with your kids? The hell is she even talking about? And I really can't stand people that go around stubbornly refusing to have any regrets about choices they know damn well were poor ones or at the very least questionable. There have been a heck of a lot of downsides to filming these children she refuses to acknowledge, a little humility about that would do wonders. Let's take it there. God forbid what if someone one day were to ever hurt themselves due to the pressures of this damn show and the fame? Would Kate regret all of this then? I'm just curious how far it would have to go before she would finally give this line up. Time will tell.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Kate to star in TLC's 'Kate Plus Date' about dating

A post shared by Whitney Way Thore⚡️ (@whitneywaythore) on

Kate's last date, with businessman actor Vann, ended with a painfully awkward kiss.

In a brief blurb today, People reported that Kate is nervous and excited about her upcoming show. People revealed glaringly scant other details, like how many episodes will be made or when it will air.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Recap: Kate Plus 8 "Cleaning House": In Memory of Golly Gee

I'm so close to finishing all the still outstanding recaps I can taste it! Your next offering is Cleaning House, 42 minutes of the typical yelling and screaming and watching such an incredible amount of excess "stuff" I have a burning desire to just go live in a tiny house and get away from this despicable consumerism.

In all my years following this show, this is one of the few times Kate looks genuinely pretty to me. Her hair is a toned down blond, straight but with some body, her makeup muted, and she's dressed in a cozy grey sweater, albeit it cut a little tight. She looks her age, but not in a bad way. She is capable of looking very classy, pleasant and approachable, but she usually misses the mark by a mile.

Seemingly out of the blue, at least the way the kids seem to paint it, Kate wants them to clean out the entire house and sort out what can go to a yard sale. Only a few kids are around, and most are complaining about this task. Did they get a warning? Were there parameters set up? Because an open-ended project like this would naturally set even the most obedient of children off.

Oh my god the crap these children have! Plastic, plastic, plastic everywhere, four or five of everything. Doll houses, toy guns, books galore. Enough toys to cover a basement floor. It's insanity. I bet none of these toys got played with more than 20 minutes in their lifetime.

Kylie Jenner, I mean Mady, says something somewhat profound for a teenager, in that when you get rid of your old stuff, all you do is just replace it with new stuff. Now your new stuff is your old stuff, and you'll be getting rid of that too soon, so you might as well just hang onto your old stuff. I think she should expand on this idea and write it in an essay. It would make a good senior thesis. I'm serious. Consumerism and excess are one of the biggest black holes of modern life, and it's getting worse by the year. I'm somewhat proud of Mady for noticing at her young age.

Hannah, Alexis and Mady are being the biggest babies of all the kids about this. Whining and whining about how today was supposed to be Shoka's birthday cake, not cleaning the basement, and Kate promised this would be fun and it's not. While it's annoying Kate seems to have sprung this project on them without warning, their unchecked snotty attitudes about it are completely unacceptable, but instead of just laying down the law, Kate in typical fashion engages with them, which just makes the whining worse. They have eight capable people here, if they would all just shush and get down to business even with all the crap everywhere, I bet they could finish up this clean-out in under 60 minutes, maybe less. A project like this would take all day with only two or three kids handling it, so there are some great advantages of having a whole lot of kids in your family when projects like this come along. In many instances, you should be doing way less work than an average sized family, which is a nice perk.

Joel put a bunch of books I guess they're holding onto on a bookshelf, only he stacks them facing out, one on top of the other, instead of vertically so you can see their titles.

This incident is a glimpse at the very mean streak Kate has, and the potential long-term damage it could do to kids. Instead of just asking him nicely to restack the books correctly, she pulls them all out dramatically in a big messy pile, and then condescendingly asks Joel how he sees books stacked in a library and does the way he stacked them look like the library? I'm sure Joel knew exactly what he was doing and was just doing something dumb like kids tend to do, there is no reason to make him feel badly about it. Why not laugh about it, share a giggle between mother and son over a funny brain fart, instead of making him feel badly about himself? Joel's chagrined quiet little, 'I guess you're right,' says everything about how Kate spoke to him made him feel.

There's an incredibly long segment about baking a birthday cake and wrapping presents for Shoka. I don't know why these dogs are so boring to me. I think because we've never seen or heard about them doing anything but standing there being a dog. Also, they make Kate's Instagram even more boring than it already is.

The screaming and arguing these kids are doing, almost always from the girls, is utterly unacceptable and near constant, and Kate does nothing at all to try to stop it. Eventually after what feels like hours Kate intervenes and requires complete silence. Well, sheesh the solution to kids bickering and hollering is not total silence. Good grief. How about, speak to each other with respect and with our inside voices?

Kate tries to show off for the cameras and goes to spontaneously hug Cara as they're just hanging out in the kitchen. Cara, as expected, blows Kate off. Kate, you're not that family.
By the way, everyone should see Lady Bird. I saw it opening weekend and was riveted by the real and raw dialogue. An imperfect daughter and a really imperfect mother navigate the daughter's senior year of high school into going away to college. It's like Boyhood only with girls and mostly unlikable characters. You have to be okay with watching a movie where you really don't much like anyone, but if you can get past that, you will be rewarded.


I've seen all the contenders for best picture this year, and that film deserves its spot in the crowd, though it won't win. Three Billboards should win, but The Shape of Water will win.

In a surprisingly revealing conversation, the children say on the couch that they really don't hug Kate much, maybe just at bedtime. Only Aaden admits perhaps he might hug her if she's going away, or if he's on his way to school. Right, because, no surprise Kate likely doesn't derive much from that kind of tactile and loving touch so she doesn't bother to give it to her children even if they would benefit. It'd be interesting to hear what a child psychologist would say about this, but it seems to me only one hug a day is very much on the low side for the kind of physical touch a child needs, though probably matters more when they're younger. Which begs the question how far back does this one-hug-a-day rationing go? Because if you've got a four-year-old whose only touch from a parent all day is one hug at night, that is very, very concerning. There's been a lot of interesting studies on this, with hugging and positive touching directly linked to a child's normal development. Researchers have found a huge boost to a child's normal development once they get a good 20 minutes a day of hugs, and loving, appropriate touching (like cuddling up together and sharing a book or talking). One hug at bed time is likely not going to cut it.

The kids want to try the dog cake because that's just how kids are. Hehe, the boys love it, and Kate jokes they'll eat anything. It looks like the girls are spitting it out though. Blech.

I'm just about the biggest dog lover on the planet, but this segment is mind-numbing. And what's pretty funny about the whole thing is Shoka is barely in it! He only appears at the end, outside of course, to collect his cake. Where was he this whole time, chained up to the barn? Sadly that's not a joke. I will never understand people who keep "outdoor" dogs. It makes no sense to me. I'd sooner understand an "outdoor" child you never let inside except maybe on special occasions, and even then only in the laundry room or basement. Huh?

Kate spins a tall tale about how she's always loved and looked after animals. Even once nursing baby squirrels back to health with a bottle. Heh, and I got a bridge to sell ya! A true animal or dog lover is unlikely to go dog-less for the years and years she did. I think she got the dogs because it was a good episode idea, TLC was paying, and it helps pad her instagram. More than likely, she screamed her head off and ran away when she saw a nest of baby squirrels. She then says and she's always looking after babies. What does babies have to do with being an animal lover? Sometimes her throw away comments are so telling, in that she's actually equating a human being to something like a squirrel. Point being, babies, even children, I think she processes more like cute objects, or a lesser species, not human beings. This would be typical narcissistic behavior, there is no normal bond with offspring. Oh, they can put on a hell of a good show engaging with their little successors, but there is no "there" there.

Very tellingly, the long segment ends when it's dark out, Kate goes back inside, shuts the front door, and Shoka remains outside to wander around in the dark all by himself on his birthday. I hate her. That is all.

Why does she do this? The same weekend they're sorting out the entire house, Kate planned Many and Cara's birthday party. There is something wrong with her. I think she purposely over schedules herself to cause stress and get attention and sympathy and perhaps even to watch the kids fall into a tailspin. There's no other reason to do something so ridiculous.

The family arrives at Skyzone for the party, which is basically a big indoor trampoline gym. We have these here and I've been there though haven't really participated. These sort of indoor fun zones were just becoming popular when I was a kid, popping up on every corner, and there was an amazing one called Adventure Quest near where I lived that was just awesome. It had everything from cargo nets and tunnels to a zip line. I tried to find it online to see if it's still around, but no such luck. They can be on the expensive side, but they often run deal days or have coupons, and they are simply a blast and also a good safe workout for kids. I think this was a good choice that pleases both ages of the kids.

I find it so interesting to watch these episodes through the lens of Collin is "dead." Here he rolls up to Skyzone separate from the family, Kate explaining he was with a friend that weekend. I find that odd since it seems the kids so rarely go off on their own like that. Weekends are for crowding on the floor in her bedroom I gather. But sure enough there he is with two apparently younger friends, both girls incidentally. The thought crossed my mind ten is probably pushing it to be interested in having sleepovers with girls or for most parents to find it appropriate, so that's interesting. He has a huge smile on his face and immediately runs to Mady and gives her a big bear hug. Nothing about this interaction seems strange or off, he just seems like such a normal kid with normal bonds with a favorite sibling. As I've said a hundred times, the idea he is so disturbed he needs to be banished from the family home for years now is simply impossible to believe. It's getting to the point where I refuse to believe it, and rather firmly believe it's Kate who can't or won't handle him, not Collin himself who can't be handled by the average decent parent. In other words, it's Kate, not him.

Mady and Collin have been favorites of each other since his toddlerhood, and we don't talk enough about how removal of one sibling from the home damages the other siblings left behind. Mady puts on a tough exterior and would likely never admit this, but she is being robbed of her relationship with Collin, the shared experiences and growing-up memories are being actively stolen from her. The damage to her as well could be irreparable.

On a side note, I think it's very interesting, and wonderful, that in California, they have such respect for the nature of sibling relationships that they have even carved out a rare exception to adoption based on sibling bonds. In other words, if one sibling is about to be adopted by a family and another sibling they are bonded with isn't (that second sibling might be living with another family, or perhaps a parent, or is too old to want to be adopted, etc.), the siblings can assert a "sibling exception" and get a judge to deny the adoption on the grounds that it is not in the best interest of the siblings and their close ties. Granted, it is a hard burden to prove, but at least a statement in the law has been made about sibling relationships.

Kate says doing a birthday party at a place like this is not her thing but this is what the twins wanted, and that's why she did it, because she no longer has control over how things will be. They are fourteen years old! It seems to me any kid old enough to speak is old enough to have some say in his birthday party, within reason. It's their party. It's supposed to be about their birthday, not the parents' ego or desires. Yeesh!

Why are Kate and her girls, left boobie and rightie, front and center bouncing away? Go away, it's not your party. Go stand with the other uncool parents and butt out.

Mady says Kate sometimes writes them off as "teenagers" to which Mady explains she's often acting like she is not because she's being a teenager but because Kate is being unfair. I buy that. We've seen Kate do many things to the kids that are fundamentally unfair, and being a teen has nothing to do with the greater point. So, rock on, Mady.

It's annoying the way Kate exaggerates. They had just done the "world's most stressfulist" (the f?) construction on the house. She's clearly never done some real work to a house. All they did was move around some bedrooms, painted some walls and barely did any decorating at all to make a bedroom a bedroom. What a martyr.

This episode is really another disorganized hodgepodge of random stuff. None of these little stories have anything to do with the other, which is lazy writing. The quality of post-production on this series took a massive dive once it became just Kate Plus 8. It really is like they didn't care anymore, and were just making filler to kill time and collect a pay check. Now the family is at a studio, doing a photoshoot. Kate says most families do periodic photoshoots like them. Um, I would venture to say that's not true at all. Many families can't afford periodic photoshoots, at least not real ones. Most photoshoots in a studio as they have done are very expensive. Even doing them at JCPenney isn't the cheapest thing to blow your money on. I would venture to say many families just take photos of the family with their phone and be done with it, which again puts her very out of touch with the real world.

They have an entire rack of clothes set up for different outfit changes, which is a dead giveaway this is a production photoshoot of some kind. Could Kate just be honest and say this is an official TLC (or some other official) photoshoot that's wrapped up in production's overhead, and not something she arranged and paid for? What nerve she has talking about the expensive things she thinks many families do when she likely isn't paying a dime out of pocket for this.

The little Dionnes are pros at this, especially the boys, who just get on with it and get this over with. Why is Kate the only one I can hear directing this whole thing? She has no idea what she's talking about. She's posing them awkwardly and most of the photos are terrible and unoriginal.

Predictably, Kate is starting to lose it and is yelling and snapping at the kids over stupid things. The only thing worse than a boring photoshoot is your mom nagging you on a boring photoshoot. Why is everyone else in the room hidden from camera? We never see even a glimpse of the photographer, and the part where Kate looks at the photos on a computer make it look like she's talking to a ghost when clearly she's talking either to a photographer or editor. The only person on camera has their face blurred. That is so odd, why would the photographers not want to be part of this? I can't even speculate the reasons for this strange situation!

There's some interesting little details to notice in the extraneous filler shots they show while Kate is blah blahing on the couch. In one, one of the boys has what appears to be a gift bag and is holding a large box, which from a distance looks like maybe a Lego set. What was that, the bribe for all this? Also in the background is some chick packing up craft services. Lots of waters and some foil dishes. So, this was clearly not a one- or two-hour event but rather warranted a full meal or at least a big snack. Sigh.

Kate heads to a local radio station to promote the yard sale. Oh that's totally a normal thing to do, go on the radio as a guest to peddle your old crappy junk. Heh. Kate knows the station from when she was on it to promote a 5k she ran in some years back, back when running was still shiny and interested her. Now Running's gone off to the black hole, taken off its tennis shoes and found a seat right between Aunt Jodie and Beth. Get comfortable, Running.

Kate laments that her biggest 1 percent problem is she has so much stuff it's filled her mansion to the brim and now she must get rid of it. Poor thing!

The yard sale money will go to the Animal Rescue League. Kate tells a story that is alarmingly short on details, that Shoka jumped the fence and so ARL found him and kept him overnight, and she didn't worry about him because they were looking after him.

So....many...questions! How did Shoka jump the fence and why? Was he bored, restless? Where was the rest of the family when this happened? Did this happen at night, or why else would they keep him overnight? Do you not bring your damn dog inside at night even, you shrew? And if she didn't worry about him, is she implying she knew ARL had him but she waited until the next day to get him? Next time he's going to get hit by a car before he's "rescued." What is her plan to ensure this never happens again? This story is such insanity for anyone who has even a shred of compassion toward animals.

Nothing happens over the next five minutes except Kate complaining how much she has to do to get ready for this yard sale, which will be an outdoor sale at what looks like a park. Why aren't they doing this at the family home like normal people? They have plenty of space for it. Having it off site just makes everything so much harder. Oh, lord, please do not ever buy or sell old car seats. It's incredibly dangerous and in some circumstances illegal, such if they've ever been in a crash no matter how small. Throw them out. 

Collin, who has proven to be an absolute sweetheart and one of the most likable of all these children, happily stacks books, remarking that he's excited as he's never done a yard sale before. He has a perpetual good sense of humor and positive attitude, in the face of an incredible amount of negativity around him. He is a good kid, and this long absence that is still not over will forever be disturbing to many viewers.

The editors kill some time by showing clips of old Halloween episodes, which they loosely tie into some Halloween decorations they are dumping. Heh, that was a stretch. I often picture these poor editors in their dark editing bays, putting these episodes together and coming up with a run time of maybe 35, 38 minutes .... and saying to themselves, all righty, we've got 6-8 more minutes we've got to come up with somehow, now what?

You can just guess the kind of sound bytes Kate offers about this thing. She felt prepared but unprepared, exhausted but knew she had to go through with it. She should just tape these little soliloquies and play them over and over for anything she is asked to talk about, it's always the same generic drivel.

Kate goes over to the garage sale site so early it's still dark out. Given this is summer in the northeast, that must have been very early. Mercifully, she let the kids stay home and sleep longer with "someone" staying home with them. Someone? I.e. the nanny? Why not just say the nanny? Good grief.

Kate's pissed Cara is selling some sort of magazine or poster Kate got for her last year from England. Imported from England? Geez, that's not spoiled at all. That's such a great example, ask the kids to give up things they still may have some attachment to and do it with a great attitude but when Kate doesn't want to let something go, she is permitted to stomp and hold her breath. Silly double standard. After all this getting up early, there is little organization or order to the tables, it's all just piles of junk. Wonder if any of Jon's old stuff made the cut.

There are a lot of people lined up to buy their piles of junk. The whole family, especially Kate, seems so very impressed and flattered by this turnout, but garage sale people are pretty intense that I've seen, you might find a line like this at any sale of this size, doesn't matter if the family is famous. Tip: call your garage sale an "estate sale" and your turnout will double. Semantics. I've stopped by garage sales if there's one within walking distance in the neighborhood and if I'm not there as soon as it opens, there's likely nothing good left. (That's why I prefer the app OfferUp for second hand stuff I'm interested in. If I want something and the seller commits to selling it to me, we can work out me picking it up any time. I don't have to be there at 7 a.m.)

Just to make things really hard, they also are selling baked goods and other foods too. It's highly unlikely such a thing like this is permitted on this scale without a permit, but Kate is not one to think of anything like that because she's stupid. They also have a grab bag stand, for 2 bucks you get a brown paper bag of most likely crap. Permits and other regulations aside to sell things like this, I do like the way this involves the kids and gets them engaged and excited about this event. It is probably boring for a kid to stand around watching the adults sell off old blenders and party decorations. The kids love it.

"How much for everything?" a young woman asks, who dolled herself up early and big time for her on camera debut. Hair curled and the whole nine yards. She had a line, so I say give that gal a SAG card. Garage sale people. How much for it all is not an uncommon question with that strange lot.

What's the point of post-production blurring some of the info on the yard sale sign? The sale is already over with. Not like you need to protect the location or something. Weird.

I think Kate is right, and I hate saying that, that it's just easier not to price anything. If people want something, have them suggest a fair price and be done with it. Makes it faster and easier. Plus it's for charity, so it's kind of like, whatever you want to give, 20 bucks or whatever, and take a few items you think are fair to take for that. Kate tends to make things overly complicated, so this no-price hassle free sale is out of character.

Twenty-five bucks plus a selfie with Kate, one gentleman offers for the crap he has collected. Mister, that is quite a bargain. Back in the day at speaking engagements those photos were a pretty penny plus you were expected to contribute to the "donation basket" being passed around so the family could keep their electricity on, and you didn't get any garage sale items with it.

You know how when you become a teenager suddenly your parents' jokes sound really stupid and Mom and Dad become just overall embarrassing? That's Kate, only you don't have to be a teenager to find her jokes so dumb and the woman embarrassing. I just want to cover my eyes when I watch her interact with the general public. But, I give her a tiny bit of credit for being upbeat throughout this sale and engaging with each and every buyer as they approach her, trying to have a bit of a conversation with them, at least from what we can tell. She must have been mentally exhausted but she did it.

Kate pats herself on the back again for donating to this dog shelter, plus, helping the needy, she practically says. She is so perched atop her throne, heh. You don't have to be poor to go to a garage sale! Is that what she thinks this demographic is? Some people just like a good bargain. Some people believe in reusing as much as possible before ever buying new. Some people think it's just fun to look through other people's stuff for treasure. I'm all of that and that's why I often buy used things (though as I said, usually through other venues like OfferUp). Some of these people are also here to get on camera, like 5 a.m. hair-curl chick, and quite frankly there's probably a few lookie loos who just want to see Kate and the whole TLC spectacle. Fair enough. There's nothing wrong with shopping at garage sales because you can't afford things otherwise of course and many people do, but for Kate to think that her garage sale is such a wonderful gift she bestowed on the poor and needy of Wernersville is just hilarious, since there is no evidence that's who attended.

I think it's funny that Kate has no idea how she sounds. She was shocked to meet so many good wonderful people at the sale. Who does Kate think usually attends yard sales for pity sake, murderers and rapists? Somebody's gonna turn up missing after this and be found in a shallow grave six weeks later? Sheesh! I'm glad to hear the commoners so impressed her with their decorum and generally clean criminal backgrounds.

"Do you remember me?" a woman says in a kind of creepy way, real quiet-like. "Your girls are beautiful," she goes on to say breathily. I think this woman just has a naturally breathy voice, but it sounds like the beginning of a bad horror movie. It's Kelly, an old coworker. Despite the breathy voice, she seems really sweet. Kelly seems to have a kid there exactly the younger kids' age--huh. And Kate says she lives nearby. Why not get together with this woman? Make friends with her, and the girls can make friends with her daughter. This was a golden opportunity to exchange numbers and rekindle something that would benefit everyone, but Kate being Kate not only doesn't think of it but I don't think even wants to. Kind of sad.

Kate is so unbelievably shocked to run into people she knows at this sale. If she got out more, she would realize that most people run into people they know all the time, especially in smaller towns but even in big ones. In the town I grew up in it would be rare not to see someone you know when you leave the house. In Los Angeles, I see someone I know out and about probably every other week. Even in a city that size.

I'm not sure who Kate is trying to convince here emphasizing how supportive everyone is and how kind to them and how much they love them. Like, I don't expect people to come to your garage sale and be rude and start engaging you in a moral debate over exploiting your children on television. That would just be odd and inappropriate in front of the children. This was a yard sale, not a meet and greet, and I would expect most people to come and buy something and leave like normal polite people. This sampling in no way represents the general public opinion about how these children have grown up, nor does it prove all her neighbors love her and have no issue with her (contrary to various reports especially from back at the house before this one) so I don't know who Kate is trying to fool.

They made just over $1100 for the animal rescue charity. I think that's pretty good for one morning, and it will certainly be a help to a fine charity. Well done, Wernersville.

In memory of Golly Gee, whose thoughtful perspective and steadfast optimism has been a treasured part of this blog. We toast you, Golly. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Horrifying link: Abusive parents the Turpins wanted to be just like Kate

The recent shocking case of the Turpins, parents who starved and abused their 13 children for years, has a disturbing connection to Kate Plus 8. According to family members, the family wanted to be just like the Gosselins.

"House of Horrors couple David and Louise Turpin wanted a 14th child so that they could land their own reality television show, it has been revealed. "She used to say how they would be perfect for TV and would often ­mention they would be bigger than the reality show Kate Plus 8," Billy Lambert, Louise Turpin's half brother, told the Sunday People. "It is the reason they moved to California to be nearer to Hollywood," Lambert said of Louise's desire to become a star, like Kate Gosselin and her children.

What say you about this, Kate?

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