Eight Reasons We Need a Real Housewives of the Olympic Village

The Olympics are on and they are totally messing with my Bravo viewing.

I’m not a fan of the Olympics and not just because of the TV viewing disruption. I just think in this day and age, when there are so many other platforms and international competitions and accompanying viewing options for all of your favorite sports (all of which occur without waiting four years in between), the Olympics have sort of lost their shine.

jill zarin skating

If I was into gymnastics and trampoline (that’s a sport!?), maybe I’d feel differently. But since I can literally find even table tennis or rugby on TV in just about every part of the world, I don’t feel the need to tune into the Olympics.

Alexis_Bellino_Sky_Zone
Trampoline: an Olympic sport. I shit you not.

Also, it seems like it’s a total shit show for the host country every single time. A financial disaster, a PR nightmare and little or no return for a lot of effort.

My opinion, however, is a minority opinion. Clearly. You can tell by the all-out, wall-to-wall coverage blitzkrieg NBC is putting on to cover every single second of the games. Since NBC is already live streaming it everywhere, including your phone and OnDemand, I really don’t understand why they have to disrupt the entirety of the Real Housewives franchise.

real housewives ping pong
Table tennis: Also an Olympic sport. Again, not kidding.

Now, I have to wait two weeks to see RHNJ’s Jackie call Teresa a crook to her face (the ONLY thing even remotely interesting happening on Real Housewives of New Jersey this season). Two weeks to see RHOC newcomer Kelly Dodd mess up another dinner party by calling someone the “c” word (my money is on Shannon being the recipient of that particular doozy). Two weeks until we finally see RHNY’s Bethenny break the Tom/Playboy-bunny cheating news to Luann. And I have to wait two whole weeks to see if Brooks ever returns Vicki’s call!

So, what I propose to the Amazing Programming Genius/National Treasure Andy Cohen is that he get stepping and create a Real Housewives of the Olympic Village. Here are just a few reasons why I think this would be a great addition to the franchise:

Home Improvment1) Housewives and Olympians love a home improvement project (see: Heather Dubrow, Chateau Sheree, Moore Manor), and the busted Rio Olympic Village certainly sounds like a major home improvement project. Not only have there been a ton of complaints about the lackluster accommodations, but several countries have apparently brought in their own repair teams to fix damages.

voomvoom.gif

2) Olympians, like the Real Housewives, are a super horny bunch (looking at you, New York crew: ie, Luann, Sonja and Ramona). Hundreds of Rio Olympic athletes are active on Tinder, likely making use of the record 450,000 condoms distributed at the Olympic athletes’ village. Some big name Olympic Tinder users include swimmer Ryan Lochte (the Sonja of the Rio games) and golfer Rickie Fowler.

real housewives lettuce gif.jpg

3) Real Housewives require real private chefs and the Olympic athletes are also enjoying some hand-prepared specialties in the Olympic Village. Although, it’s hard to imagine the ladies of OC or Beverly Hills eating carb-heavy and fried salgadinhos. But I know those ladies would throw down some caipirinhas (also on the Olympic Village menu).

luann yacht gif.gif

4) Real Housewives love an excuse to enjoy a yacht (see: “We Got the Yacht” Luann). So do some Olympians, especially the Team USA basketball crew. They decided to skip the Olympic Village and shack up on a luxury cruise ship that sounds fit for a Housewife. “The boat has beds that will accommodate 7-footers (sorry, Bogut), a spa, multiple dining areas, a bar, a cigar lounge and an open-air pool. A weeklong cruise typically costs about $13,000.”

spa day.jpg

5) Real Housewives like a good spa day, as do many Olympians who are enjoying the services of his-and-her salons in the Olympic Village and getting free patriotic manicures. Or, you could really go the extra mile as the Team USA men’s basketball team did and go to a “spa,” aka, a brothel. I guess the spa on their luxury cruise ship wasn’t exactly providing the services they so desperately needed.

cupping.jpg

6) Speaking of spa services, as we saw on last week’s episode of Real Housewives of Orange County, Shannon Beador is a fan of the Gwynnie-approved therapy known as cupping. Turns out, the US Swim Team is also into cupping, which apparently confused the hell out of a lot of mainstream, TV-viewing Americans the other night. Luckily, thanks to Goop and Real Housewives, I’m up to speed on all the latest kooky health trends. So be sure to be on the lookout for leeches, people.

luggage.jpg

7) Real Housewives like, no, need, to travel with a whole lot of luggage, as do Olympians. In the case of the team from Great Britain, they traveled with 3,000 pieces of luggage (9 of which have apparently gone missing).

taxes are stupid.jpg

8) Finally, just like Real Housewives of New Jersey, the Olympic Village has its’ own tax evader in the form of Brazilian soccer star Neymar. Although, to be fair, Neymar probably isn’t staying in the actual Olympic Village. I’m sure he’s staying on a yacht somewhere with Luann and crew.

Home Renovations and Cambodia’s Spirit Houses

There is an old Cambodian saying: “Open the walls of your house with caution. On the one hand, the evil spirits will be set loose. But on the other hand, you will discover all the mischief they caused behind your walls.”

That’s not really a Cambodian saying, but it totally should be. Especially considering the construction drama going on at our own house right now and the wonderful use of “spirit houses” in Cambodia.

We saw these intricate, small golden shrines everywhere in Cambodia – outside houses and businesses, gas stations, restaurants, just about everywhere. There was even a very simple wooden one at Choeung Ek. Most of the ones we saw looked like gorgeous, miniature pagoda temples or stupas, and were usually on a pedestal or wooden pole just outside the house or in the corner of a lot, around eye-height. Cambodians pray at them every day and make offerings of flowers, fruit, incense.

spirit houses

Spirit houses are sort of like an insurance policy for the home dwellers and one of many ways that religion is entwined with daily life in Cambodia:

“Where does this tradition come from? It is hardly a formal Buddhist practice, though it is so integrated into this very Buddhist society that it is accepted as part of the culture and beliefs. It seems that the spirit houses are part of far more ancient traditions, animist colored by the Hindu beliefs and gods that were part of Cambodian culture and life for a thousand years.”

As this blog notes:

Most spirits are finicky pranksters and they require respect from humans to keep them from interfering with a happy home or business. Offering a beautiful spirit house is the first step in appeasement.

Two thoughts here: 1) I should have bought a spirit house as a souvenir while we were in Cambodia; and 2) we must not have given the proper respect to the spirits that reside in our house walls.

We are getting work done on our house. The house we spent a lot of money buying just three short years ago. The house that was gutted and renovated before we bought it, thereby necessitating no work on our part for many, many years.

Yet, here we are.

We noticed some water damage on the wall under a window in my office. We concluded that the siding was leaking and it was probably time to get it replaced, something that had not been done during the renovation.

We went ahead and replaced all the back windows and the back door, while we were at it. And, we wanted to remove the substrate and install new insulation, also while we were at it. Pretty big project, pretty hefty price tag.

After the siding was removed, we discovered our framing (the original framing) was a disaster of epic proportions. Wood rot, old termite damage, water damage, even beams that had apparently been through a fire at some point and now resemble used charcoal. There’s a whole history of stories that were hidden behind our walls.

house construction

We also learned about the various short cuts the original contractor took during his renovation. Missing beams, particularly headers for window support. (hello, floating windows). Wood framing that doesn’t have the necessary metal brackets in place to protect them from electrical wiring (hello, fire hazard). A haphazard, jerry-rigged oven vent without proper metal plates to protect the wooden frame (hello, grease fire hazard). Short drywall that doesn’t completely rest on any beam and has left a 3-inch gap along the backside of my office that was covered over with interior trim (hello, high heating/cooling bills).

We’re pretty sure the old, leaky siding was the only thing that was holding the back of our house together.

So now we’re in it. We just started week two of this incredibly noisy, cringe-inducing project (there really is nothing like hearing workers repeatedly banging and sawing away at the outside of your unexpectedly fragile yet very expensive investment).

On the one hand, it’s good we know about all these problems and can fix them, even though “the fix” is now causing damage to some of our interior walls (we’re also down two window screens so far). But it also really, really sucks, and is going to cost us a fortune.

Hopefully, we’ve released all the bad spirits and they’ll leave our house alone now. Otherwise, we might be investing in a Cambodian spirit house.

I Bet Princess Kate Doesn’t Have to Deal With Dirty Gutters

I got back from Naples, Italy very late last Wednesday and I’m suffering from carb withdrawals. A pasta depression, if you will.

For example, when I walk downstairs for breakfast in the mornings now, there is no artful display of delicious Italian pastries and nobody brings me a frothy cappuccino. There are no royal apartments to tour and gawk at. No afternoon arancini or cone of misto mare eaten while strolling the quaint little streets and washed down with a Nastro Azzurro. It’s all very, very sad.

My re-introduction into American-style domestic responsibility was a bit bumpy. I had to get up very early on Thursday morning to meet the gutters guy from We Get High Roofing and Gutters. Yes, that’s the company’s name. Which made it an easy name to remember, even though I had gotten the recommendation during a very drinky Thanksgiving event.

Anyway, last Thursday’s meeting was early and it was freezing and I felt bad sending Martin up his ladder to our roof, but our gutters and downspout needed cleaning. And I wasn’t about to do it.

Plus we were particularly interested in getting some of those screens put on the gutters to keep the leaves out so we wouldn’t have to get the gutters cleaned out every fall. Martin quickly burst my bubble.

“You have janky gutters,” he informed me.

“Yes, I know, they’re very dirty. Lot’s of leaves. But if we can put those screens on, I think it will help,” I countered.

“Sure, I can clean them, but you have janky gutters,” he replied.

“OK, I get it. The gutters are janky. That’s why you’re here. So just clean them and install the screens and that will be great,” I reiterate. My man-boss, XFE (who was still in Italy for work) had been pretty adamant about getting the screens installed. I really didn’t want to mess this directive up.

Also, as this point I’m thinking, “dude, you’re being awfully judgmental about my gutters. I mean, I’m sure you’ve seen worse.”

“I cannot put the screens on because you have janky gutters,” Martin informed me.

What the hell? I’m thinking, is this guy trying to upsell me into installing totally new gutters or something? What’s his game?

“Janky gutters are very nice, very authentic, very popular in this area, all the houses have them. They’re historic,” Martin tries to reassure me. “But you can’t put the screens on them because they lay flat. That’s why you can’t see them at the roofline. See?” Martin shows me pictures of our roof that he took on his phone.

Finally, it occurs to me: Martin is explaining that we have YANKEE gutters. Yankee. Not janky. I mean, they were janky, as in dirty and filled with leaves, but they didn’t need to be replaced. And you couldn’t put screens on them.

Martin’s accent and my still-on-Italian-focused ear were not getting along that morning. So, I let Martin get on with his excellent work (I really do recommend them. He did a great job for a reasonable price and provided lots of before and after pictures.)

Meanwhile, I slunk inside, made some non-frothy, non-cappuccino coffee, and wondered if the Royal Palace in Naples had Yankee or janky gutters.

Princess Poe reflecting on chores

SOLD

So, we bought a house. A townhouse here in Old Town, Alexandria, to be more precise. Wait, did I mention that here? I’m not sure if I did or not. It all happened quite fast and now seems beyond surreal. Ah yes, I see that I did mention it. But it bears repeating again. It seems like it’s kind of a big deal.

sold sign
Upside down sign? That seems about right.

It was pretty much all we could talk about on our recent vacation, and my house-purchasing-boyfriend XFE was (quite subtly, to be sure) tied to his iPhone as he dealt with mortgage brokers, settlement companies, realtors, contractors, plumbers, banks, and assorted other leeches who are along for the ride whenever one buys a house. Seriously, is there anyone that didn’t make some money off this deal? I think the title company even slipped in a clause stating that XFE owed money to somebody’s nephew.

keys
Apparently, keys to a house you own (on the bottom) are larger than rental keys (top).

But, the house buying part is (mostly) done and now we’re on to the fun part – changing everything about the newly renovated property we JUST bought! Not really. But there are just a few things we want done. For example, all the floors need to be stained and finished (we’re leaning towards a dark walnut or a stain called “Jacobean.” For crying out loud.)

living room

We’ve got some plans for the island type thing in the kitchen (you can’t put stools under it. Where am I supposed to sit and flip through my magazines while XFE cooks?).

kitchen

We also need something in both bathrooms to keep the water from splashing all over when we take a shower. Seems our very thoughtful developer/flipper did not include shower rods or glass enclosures. Guess he was going for a more “open” look.

glittery sink
I may not have a shower curtain but I do have a glittery glass sink. And a skylight that shines down onto it.

And, of course, there’s the subject of the closets. The current closet configuration might work for normal people, but we’ve both got a lot of clothes. And one of us is super anal about her clothes and how they are organized. I get very angsty if I don’t have a place for every last sweater or pencil skirt. So there is a weekend of assembling custom-ordered closets in our future.

closets
These floors have all been replaced with wide plank pine and will be stained and finished before moving day. The closets also need some customization.

All of this needs to occur in the next two weeks. Grab your measuring tape….it’s going to be a bumpy ride.