Thoughts and Highlights From HITTG–Episode 13 “Noo Ri visits the Viper Club”

I think maybe I’ve been too harsh on SB for the last few episodes. My biggest concern is that she will be a convert to the Cult of the Han Family, bail out on her own family, and become a power and control freak like Evil Mommy. I’ve seen plenty of other comments indicating that SB is keeping track of every slight to her and her family (we know she holds grudges) and working to pay the Han Parents back twice over for every disparaging remark they dish out. I hoped this would be the case, but I wanted to take a wait-and-see approach. So far, so good–after some initial doubt on my part, I’m thinking this is the path she is choosing. Like the wisdom that encourages one to be harmless as a dove and wise as a serpent, SB is indeed the sheep among wolves. She’s a darn smart sheep though, and I can only hope she doesn’t make a single mistake along the way. There’s no room for a misstep.

I wanted to comment on this scene, because as much as I despise Evil Daddy, he says some things here that make a lot of sense. I know, after all the BS and hot air this guy blows around, I was quite surprised to find myself agreeing with him. SB sits down one morning and talks to the Evil Parents about her Dad and Sis–they have failed before, and she is worried that even with the financial help/job opportunity provided by the Han’s, they are going to blow it up and fail again.

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This resonates with me because I know now how lucky I was growing up. My parents both went to college, they helped me fill out applications, and take classes in HS and community college that helped prepare me for my career. But there were a million little things that I learned too, and I then passed down to my kids, that I erroneously assumed every parent showed their kid. Imagine my shock when my son’s HS friends had no idea how to fill out a job or college application, figure out what classes they needed to graduate HS, open a checking account, shop around for auto insurance, or even bake blueberry muffins from a box of mix–just to name a few. I could not tell you how many things came up like this. These parents had left their kids woefully under prepared for life. Some of these kids had failed so often at school, and it was simply accepted as “the way it is” rather than anyone bothering to try and figure out what the problem was. For one of my son’s friends, it was that he had terrible eyesight. After getting glasses, his schoolwork took a major turn for the better. (I’ll tell you that story someday. It’s a doozy!) So much needless suffering.

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I may have not been a cheerleader myself in HS, but I was always a big cheerleader for my kids (and their friends)  growing up. “If you can do this thing..then you can do this other thing too”. “You did fine here, so I know you will do fine over there as well.”

SB has given this some thought.  She comes up with this idea:

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The Han’s have a lot of coin to be sure, but they also possess something else–a vast network of advisers, experts and of course, their own life experiences in being successful. SB is smart to tap into this for her family’s benefit. And if the experts can help her Dad, then she can relax–sort of.

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I could never understand how any kid could possibly study when there was total mayhem going on at home. This is why I took in my son’s friends several years ago–they came from completely chaotic homes. Imagine coming home from school, and the electricity is off because the bill didn’t get paid, or Mom is passed out drunk on the floor. How stressful is it if your family moves from house to house because they can’t afford a place to stay? Or your only pair of shoes has giant holes, so your feet are never warm or dry? Evil Daddy is trying to give SB a break here; worrying over her family isn’t going to be conducive to studying and passing the Bar. I remember telling my kids (and their friends), “You do your schoolwork–that’s your job. I will figure this other thing out–that’s my job.” many times. The end of the scene shows the Evil Parents pleased that SB is trusting them. I still think they are brainwashing SB, but whatever. It’s a small, positive sign, and I’ll take it.

Evil Daddy and Secretary Yang want Secretary Min to atone for her “treason” by watching over Noo Ri. Secretary Min answer is that it’s more complicated now:

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so she will use her relationship with Uncle Cheol Sik to strong-arm him into watching over/controlling his niece. It’s cool how she warns her boss that Noo Ri is already getting a reputation.  Evil Daddy better be paying attention. It appears so–he likes that idea. Keeping your friends and enemies close there, hmm?

SB as Resident Chinese Art and Poetry Expert:

SB is interrupted one afternoon–Evil Mommy needs her, and the secretary gives her a heads-up. VF-Eom brought a painting over, but SB is going to be out of her league since the Vulture Friends have all taken a special art class.  Secretary had a Big Gulp of Clueless Juice this morning. Here’s a clue for ya! Underestimate SB at your own risk. Secretary better keep that Tutor guy around since she’s a slow learner!  Secretary Lee further disses SB’s family by saying that it would be embarrassing to her grandfather if she was wrong, yunno since he was this renowned scholar of Chinese classic literature. You might want to check the expression on SB’s face–that “Don’t mess with me look”!

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SB disagrees–her Grandpa would always refer back to the books, so he wouldn’t be wrong. In yo’ face, Secretary Lee!

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SB comes in to check out the artwork. Evil Mommy then goes for a backhanded slam on SB–what brought this on?

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WTH! Since when does breastfeeding a baby addle a woman’s brain so she can’t study or think properly?! Sheesh. Are you jealous, Evil Mommy ’cause you never bothered to breastfeed your babies, hmmm? Evil Mommy shows her the painting of the grapes as VF-Eom looks on. To her credit, VF-Eom treats SB with respect. She has a quibble over the character for grapes, and another character set: ‘geon’ and ‘cheon’. Your language lesson for the day:

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Note Evil Mommy’s “a-ha” look in the second picture.

SB sets it straight. It’s a poem, duh! The words work just fine. VF-Eom is so tickled to be able to smack down YR with this info–she calls her right away to gloat.

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Evil Mommy scores serious truth points with this comment:

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YR is all–whatever, just sell it for a high price and pay me back the money you owe me. Ah, so that’s the deal–we are still hashing the money lending thing from last episode. SB goes for the kill this time, advising Evil Mommy not to buy the painting. It’s a keepsake, and has more value if VF-Eom hangs on to it.

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SB advises Evil Mommy to lend VF-Eom the dough she owes YR and Evil Mommy takes her advice, and comes out of this debacle looking like a saint. VF-Eom is gonna be loyal to her now. I see what you did there SB, and I bow to you!  AH and Secretary Lee gossip about it, and AH warns Secretary Lee not to take SB lightly or she’ll regret it. This morning’s recap: SB scores points with Evil Mommy, smacks Secretary Lee down again, and is admired by AH and VF-Eom.  “Win-Win-Win all the way around!” as we say at Shamrockmom’s House!

Introducing: The Viper Club–with your host, SJW.

SJW is hanging out in his living room/hotel suite/home bar (take your pick) with several young guys, including IS. Wonder what IS is doing there? He looks so out of place.

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Min Jae, Hyeon Soo, and YJH are up at the bar, kvetching. I am sorry I thought that YJH was a good dude for a NY minute. He’s a young vulture too. But at least they answer my question: IS is there to get business advice–his FiL is starting a business. YJH scores a point with me–he has a clue!

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Yeah, that’s a big 10-4 right there my friend! Jeez, these kids are so jaded and grouchy. They don’t sound like they believe for a second they will find someone who loves and cherishes them.  It all seems like just another tiresome business arrangement. But maybe that’s how it is…I think sometimes I am the last Hopeless Romantic; even most marriages I see in RL seem to be more “business arrangement” than two people who genuinely love and care for each other.

Note in this next scene how IS declines a cocktail from YJH. Drinking with Papa Seo=safe. Drinking here, ehh, not so much! Smart boy, that IS! Note how happy HS looks with her drink…that lemon must have been really sour!

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IS looks completely out of place, and so awkward and uncomfortable here:

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However, he is listening intently as the dudes discuss how hard it is for franchisees to make money. He hears this tidbit too. This applies whether you are running a business or a household, as far as I am concerned.

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IS gets an invite to stay for “fun” but he is too smart for that–if the business conversation is over, he’s out–and of course he immediately calls SB to let her know he’s on the way home. What a good guy!

Uh, oh. That’s Noo Ri in the lobby of that apartment/hotel. This might not be good…Uncle gets a text from Secretary Min. Noo Ri is at a “dangerous level” What does that mean?

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NR enters the suite, and the dudes look at her with what Shamrockmom calls the “Ah, fresh meat!” look–except HS, who gives her the “Ah, crap–she’s serious competition!” look. It’s making me uncomfortable…like those skulls on MJ’s sweater! That’s creepy–what decent girl is gonna go out with a guy wearing that? We call that kind of sweater “female repellent” around here! (More evidence–Shamrockmom is very old, and has to clutch her pearls tightly from time to time.)

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NR makes a big boo-boo here by dropping Evil Daddy’s name to YJH. NR sends Uncle a text–she’s gonna be late. I watch carefully–is someone gonna spike her drink?  Ok, no evidence….

Back to SB, IS and Tutor.  IS calls the world “a scary place” after being in that meeting.  He’s got that right!  He was indeed there to find out about franchises for his FiL. Tutor puts in his two cents/22 Won!

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SB has some sensible advice too!

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IS says he did it because:

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Meanwhile, Uncle and Secretary Min have a meeting in her car. Uncle thinks that worrying over NR is overkill.  NR’s just in a meeting, right?

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But then Secretary Min schools Uncle, laying out in no uncertain terms how the deal works in SJW’s Lair.  (I swear that I had no idea how accurate that word was gonna be when I wrote that last weekend. I meant it in a more traditional sense, but frankly, both definitions work.)

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Whoa!  “Party Room”?  More like a Viper’s Club, if you ask me.

Side note: Vultures are noisy creatures, they flap their wings, pick at old dead stuff and each other. Other animals kill, the vulture just picks at the remains. The Vulture friends pick and snipe at each other, but never really go for the kill, preferring to talk endlessly and flail around a lot. Vipers are different. They want to go for the kill–the ‘fresh meat’, the easy prey. They look for the weak, the defenseless, the unprotected and the vulnerable girls. These guys are dangerous in the extreme. Shamrockmom calls them the kind of men mothers should warn their daughters about–early and often. The Vipers will do each other in too if needed, and never look back. It’s all fun and games–till it’s not. SJW provides a place for these kind of dudes to gather, and corner their prey. What a reprobate he is, letting these guys have a easy and convenient place to take advantage of girls. Aiding and abetting is the legal term, I believe. Even if they’re all technically adults, it’s still sleazy.

Furthermore, no one who is in this room will have a business fail or lose money.  Why?

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If NR got invited up there, it’s not because they want to chit-chat about investments with her, or play a fun board game like Monopoly. Uncle has a solution–he wants to go in and drag his niece outta there. Not so fast, says Secretary Min. Access to the floor is controlled. She coolly gets on the phone and lies about a bottle of wine sent from a Sedong Company, only to find out everyone in the room is gone. Uncle is starting to lose it–where could she be?  Secretary Min says they can’t bring in the cops–NR is a grownup, not a missing puppy or kid.

NR comes back home– how late is it?  Pitch black outside…NR is sneaking up the stairs and down the hall to her room:

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She turns on the light to find Mama Seo sleeping in her bed!  Wow–way to go!  I should’ve thought of that when my daughter was a teenager and would be out late.

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Mama Seo lets us know the time:

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and then starts asking the tough questions. You had a meeting this late? With who? NR looks guilty…maybe a little disheveled too. I have this uncomfortable feeling in my stomach. NR goes on the defense, telling her mom that since SB’s incident, her thinking is paranoid. Mama Seo counsels her to concentrate on her work–after all, IS’s parents are supporting her. NR’s reply–Whether it’s work or a man,

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Mom does not like hearing that!  NR tosses her mom out of the room.

Why, why, why do I get this weird feeling that NR slept with that dude Se Young from the Viper Club? Oh, no–what if she gets pregnant too? He looks like the kind of dude who defines “taking responsibility” as giving a girl money for the abortion and bailing out on her. No, I tell myself–I’m losing my mind like Mama Seo said. No way would the show go there….oh, yeah, I said that about Ho Gu’s Love, didn’t I–and look how whoppingly wrong I was? Yeah, I’m not the best when it comes to predictions. I will be the first to admit I felt trolled/misled by stuff in SLA too. I watched every episode carefully–multiple times. I just knew HW was going to get pregnant. After all, they never used any, ummm…protection. I didn’t want it to happen, but the fear for me was overwhelming…what would she do? (I had no worries about SJ’s reaction.) What would her evil bosses pressure her to do?  What would happen if she went to jail and was pregnant? And then HW would put her hand on her stomach or faint and I would freak out, and start screaming at the screen or running around in circles in my room. (I didn’t have the self control I possess now, Ha!) I lost sleep over this, no joke!

RL Story Time (kinda long, feel free to skip if you wish):

Several years ago when my boys were in HS, I found out about a horrific situation involving one of their friends… a young lady (whose parents had passed away) in their group of friends was living with her boyfriend–I’d definitely call him a “viper”– and his family so she wouldn’t have to go into foster care—where she had been abused before. What started out as a sweetness-and-light arrangement had turned into a situation where she was expected to ummm….have sex in exchange for her room and board. This was all done with the full consent, knowledge and encouragement of the boyfriend’s parents! They also pressured her to stay with their son so he could continue to have his own personal sex toy. I moved her into my home as quickly as I could–there was a lot of legal stuff that needed to be straightened out first. I then told all my son’s friends to put the “Breaking News Bulletin” out–she was staying at my House now, and I knew the whole sordid deal. I had a great rep back then as a Scary Mom who followed through with things. If this guy came over and started something, or called/texted this gal day and night, or harassed her on the way to school, the cops would be summoned immediately, and I would not hesitate to get a restraining order either. The whole point of this story is that it’s bad enough when kids do stupid stuff, but when grown adults not only condone but encourage and aid their bad behavior, it takes it to a new level. More on this RL story and it’s ending later…..

That SJW guy is the lowest level of pond scum for knowing what these dudes are doing, and encouraging it by providing a place for it all to happen. I think he likes it because it makes him popular, he can hang with the cool young people, and he might be the biggest gossip of them all. Good thing he doesn’t have a daughter–I’d fear for her.

So the next morning, it seems that everyone knows something happened between NR and this Se Young guy.  Secretary Lee knows as she tells the renowned big mouth Secretary Kim:

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Jiminy Cricket, what does this Se Young dude do–post every sexual conquest of his on Facebook/Kakao/Line? I guess it’s different nowadays–teens used to put a notch on a bedpost or lipstick case! (Well, not me…but others did!)

Back to YR and HS–my fave Mother-Daughter relationshi(t). YR wants some Mom of the Year nominations. First, she offers her daughter a nutritious breakfast:

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Then adds to her daughter’s self esteem!

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Whatta Mom! June Cleaver, you have serious competition! (/sarc)

HS tries to figure out who NR is, then gets a text–which YR reads over her shoulder. I don’t need a translation of “Heol!” and “Omo!” coming from their mouths to figure this out!

And these three magpies I mean NR’s co-workers know the score too:

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NR’s Sunbae warns her:

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NR gets paranoid and texts SY because his phone is off. Uh oh. Meanwhile YR and SJW meet at the Lair. Like a true reprobate, SJW denies everything, and YR is not in a BS purchasing mood:

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Evil Mommy and VF-Eom get there, and the party begins. Everybody but Evil Mommy knows what happened last night. YR snickers as SJW finally ‘fesses up:

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Somebody needs to call the Fashion Police on SJW. First the printed pants, and now this jacket. Whoever dresses this dude should be sentenced to 30 days of fixing burpy Korean toilets.

Evil Mommy comes home, and she’s on the warpath!  Looks an awful like my Boss coming into work in the morning. We haven’t even done anything yet, and she’s already angry! #JokingNotJoking!

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Evil Mommy has a neck massage from Secretary Lee while she whines about NR. The suggestion is made–send them overseas. Evil Mommy perks up at that plan, even though the Seo’s turned down the “Orchard Home” offer.

Side note: I’m snickering at that idea–Who the heck believes the US is a dumping ground for misbehaving Koreans? Escape from Alcatraz–now that’s more like it. My daughter works/lives/goes to University in a local community with a sizable Korean population. When she was working at the summer day camp, there were several Korean kids there whose parents sent them over here to SoCal to live with pretty much any relative that could house them–as soon as they turned 5 and could start school, they were exiled. This was all done to avoid the brutal school system in SK, according to the aunt of a young boy and girl my daughter watched over. The parents were sending money and working their backsides off in hopes of eventually joining them. This option obviously only works for the fairly well off SK folks who have relatives already here and willing to take in the kids. It was an eye opening revelation for me, and my daughter learned a new level of compassion for these kids who were thrown into summer day camp–without knowing one word of English. I made my daughter a “cheat sheet” of emergency phrases: “Are you hurt?  Are you thirsty?” written out phonetically and in Hangul, which she used until we found an app for the phone that could translate spoken words. That worked pretty well. I wonder if the kids will be back this summer…

The household servants speculate on the rumor. No surprise here: AB and AH are reasonable about the whole thing. AH says this sort of stuff happens–they’re young folks after all. Secretary Lee disagrees–it’s worse due to this:

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AH says it’s just a rumor (!) and AB chimes in that SJW only saw them leave and go to some other club. It’s not enough evidence to back this kind of a rumor. Dang, he should be a lawyer, yunno–using all that logic and reason stuff!  AH is eternally optimistic–after all, NR and SY could get married because supposedly NR is SY’s type.  She must be livin’ in the 1950’s. Secretary shoots that idea down–do scandals end in marriage?  Then she puts this gem out there:

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Ugh. Hearing stuff like this doesn’t help my mental state.  Secretary Lee disses SB by saying she’s lucky–there’s a marriage contract/license and SB walks in, overhearing the diss.  After sweetly inquiring about Evil Mommy, SB tosses this out there for Secretary Lee to chew on–If Secretary Lee marries the Tutor, SB will need to address her as :

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Nice burn there, SB–Even Secretary Lee feels the heat!  SB sure is getting good at this kind of stuff–and quickly too. Secretary Lee must be losing brain cells by the second, as she texts Tutor with a “Let’s Get Married” message, and I don’t think she’s wanting to watch the TV show with him, lol!  Who the heck texts a proposal anyways?!? So Lame!  Tutor fully freaks out, dropping the phone like it has something far worse than cooties!

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IS and Papa Seo meet for lunch:

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This is such a great scene–I love Papa Seo and IS together.  It’s cool how it’s gone from Papa Seo wanting to kill IS in the first episode to their relaxed and calm friendship now. Shamrockmom can relate to this. Several years ago, my daughter snuck her boyfriend into my house in the middle of the night, and it wasn’t to watch a TV show together either! Shamrockmom has this thing about not liking strange dudes in her House at night. So I pounded on my daughter’s door, and ended up meeting this dude for the first time–clad only in his boxer briefs! Yeah, that’s awkward! After a volcanic-level temper explosion by me at 2:30 am, I threw them both out the front door, while my oldest son and his corn-fed friend (6’5″, 250+lbs) stood close by with baseball bats at the ready. Amazingly, this young man had the cojones to apologize to me after I cooled down about a week later. He was a wonderful boyfriend to my daughter for a couple of years until they broke up. We ended up getting along very well; he lived here for a while too, and was a big help to me around the house. He loved to accompany me to Costco or Sam’s Club, and I would buy him a churro as a treat! The two of us are still friends, and send Happy Birthday messages to each other, and a couple of times a year, we try to go to a local car show with my sons, and some of his other buddies. My daughter is weirded out by this, but too bad! She broke up with him–I didn’t!

Papa Seo asks IS how he met SB. IS tells Papa Seo that they met in their junior year. SB had learned English from her mom, and spoke with an accent. All the other kids came from international or private HS’s and spoke at a “native” level. The other kids made fun of her, but she didn’t cry–she whupped them all–and took IS’s heart at the same time!  He bought her pizza as celebration dinner, got her number and they went to English-language-no-subs movies together. Wow. I’m impressed–this is so simple, so low-key and….normal. Then they went to study camp in March, and:

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Seriously, Papa Seo has to be darn happy that SB ended up with this guy, not because he’s rich–but because he’s decent, kind, thoughtful…rich is just icing on the cake! IS admits he’s strange, and doesn’t have many friends. (considering the other young people we’ve seen in this drama, that’s not a bad thing!) Papa Seo starts singing songs with “Bom” in them, right in the restaurant!  Actually, his voice isn’t too bad! Wonder if he got some RL coaching from Lee Joon!

IS and Papa Seo arrive back at Camp Seo–feeling no pain, as the saying goes.  NR is there, but only for a minute as she excuses herself to go back out to work. Uh, oh. What do you want to bet that jerk Se Young hasn’t responded to her messages, so she’s gonna go track him down?

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3 thoughts on “Thoughts and Highlights From HITTG–Episode 13 “Noo Ri visits the Viper Club”

  1. Pingback: HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE. SBS | IKurate

  2. So far, I’m only up to “clutching my pearls lightly from time to time “. ME, too, with the pearl necklace thing. I watched way too many “Life With Father” and “Sheriff of Mayberry Junction” type shows. Must have done something to my head back then!… so funny!
    I loved the recap of HITTG and/or recaps of ” Life with the Shamrockmom Family”” The Shamrockmom Bunch didn’t have the same “ring” to it! Sounds like so much fun, from far away and long ago. Being able to prune, edit, and polish has such a way of making it look so easy when you tell the story in the present, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah, it was pretty crazy around here for a few years. There’s just so much stuff in these dramas by this writer/PD team that I can relate to my life–which is why I love watching them–and they drive me nuts! Glad you enjoy my rantings!

    Like

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