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Real Housewives of prison?!

How is it even possible that I forgot that today was sentencing day for the Giudices on their mortgage fraud cases?!? I had followed this story, and even blogged at length about it quite a bit (see my prior blogs for details) and now the day has come. 41 months for Joe, 15 month of actual jail time for Tre. She begged for house arrest and leniency, but the judge said no (even though the judge still gave her a lighter sentence than what was expected. Let’s break it down, should we?

First off, I have made no secret about the fact that I believe Joe and Teresa are guilty of fraud. I came to this conclusion after taking the time to view the mortgage docs that are on public record. I have a mortgage underwriting background, and I could see that signatures didn’t match, stories didn’t add up, and it was clear that assets were being hidden. The proof is in the legal documentation. I believe they did someone they shouldn’t have, although at times I am not sure how much Teresa knew. I think she may have been in the dark about SOME of it, but definitely not ALL.

I also feel like this year, Andy got her to agree to do the show, perhaps in return for cashola and a “good” edit. Regardless of what you think of Teresa, she hasn’t gotten a “good” edit the past couple of seasons, and if she had a PR person, I have said it before that they should have been fired before this year. When you’re filing for bankruptcy,it doesn’t behoove you to be flaunting your cash and assets (then claim you don’t have them). Teresa needed someone in her life to tell her to sit down, shut up, and stop buying shit. Add to that the storylines with her fighting with her family, and being a troublemaker sure wasn’t helping her image.

This year, we saw a quieter, more humble and demure Teresa, one who kept her nose to the ground and played up her “family card”, this time making sure not to actually fight with them. She made sure to play the “I’m keeping this situation quiet and personal” role, even though she was in fact playing it out on national television. When the gossip from crypt keeper Gotti game out, Teresa was probably told to tell someone, so she tells Dina, says she’s not going on the trip, and goes silent. It’s kind of what we saw with Melissa the past few years, but this time it seemed more believable that she didn’t want to get involved. Melissa, Andy, you guys win. You sold me. I found Teresa way more like able this year, and you got me to feel bad for her. Yep, I said it.

I never really thought I would utter those words, but it’s true. Maybe it’s because I see Gia, and I know that she is probably scared to death. I am a mom, and I know that Teresa probably can’t stop worrying about her kids. A mistake made a few years ago has come back to bite her royally in the ass, and at the expense of her kids. That’s a lesson learned REAL fast. I thought the judge was pretty lenient, yes, I know Teresa wanted house arrest. Keep in mind folks, she’s living in a mansion with private gates, and probably has some hired help if she needs it. She’s not living at my house, in all my chaos. Yeah, I’d beg to go stay in her mansion for a few months too! Instead, after getting into that mansion at the expense of others (yes, mortgage fraud does hurt other people financially) she is going from the woman who got skeeved by living in a house someone else had lived in, to a woman who is gonna be living in real close quarters with people I think she’ll probably find skeevy. That being said, she’s not going to a hard core prison. I don’t think Crazy Eyes and Pennsketucky are going to be roaming around. She’ll probably do 6 months at a minimum security prison, and she’s not going to be shacked up with murderers. Joe will be home while she is in there, and then he’ll go in once she’s done. He’s not getting deported. They got off…light, in my opinion considering they had over 30 charges. Still, I feel bad for her as a mother. I hate being away from my kids for a night, never mind 6-10 months (she’ll probably get time off the 15 months for good behavior).

Oh, one more thing. I was surprised the cast and others didn’t get why Jim didn’t hang with Joe. It’s probably a conflict of interest, and frankly unwise for any of them, Jim investigates fraud, joe is accused of fraud. Them going out for beers is going to raise eyebrows and could likely compromise an investigation. At the very least, it would raise a few eyebrows. Jim is an interesting character on the show. Weasely and whiney, yet I feel he’s got plenty of inside scoop that he seems to enjoy sharing. Certainly more interesting than Bobby, who is too busy hiding in the bathroom to be of any use to anyone.

So now what? She told the judge she’s not interested in tv shows, but there’s still a few episodes left, as well as a reunion. Who can’t wait for the reunion? This girl!

One last thing… People may wonder about Andy in all this. Andy is brilliant at what he does. He got Teresa on this year and promoted they would follow her as she went through this. He probably promised her a “nice” edit, and she got one. She came out this season looking like a good , hardworking mom who was humble, and they stripped her of the blatant entitlement and backstabbery she was exhibiting in other seasons. She came out like her shit smelled like roses this year. It probably helped her case a bit, in my opinion. It showed a softer, sorrier side. Had she gone to sentencing after the table flip, she would have had a tougher sentence, in my humble opinion. Let’s face it though, after the cast has been shuffled a few times, it’s a sign things are losing steam. When the stories have all be told, and you need new faces, it’s often a sign that they are grasping to fill a hole. Last season of RHONJ was almost my last, because I felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Same story, over and over. I stopped caring. This season, regardless of what you thought of Teresa, still could get you in the feels when you saw her daughter knowing her parents might go to jail. Andy also gets the benefit of the upcoming reunion. You KNOW that reunion is going to be big fat gooey ratings! I know I’ll be watching!

Teresa, seriously, I haven’t been a fan, but I wish you guys well over the next few years.

Share your thoughts with me!

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RHONJ…..love it, hate it, we still watch it.

Well, hello Loveys!

Y’all know I couldn’t let the season of RHONj pass all the way to the reunion and not throw my 2 cents in there! It’s been a long ride for the housewives, and for us. Does anyone feel, however that we just watched the last few seasons all over again, but with different costume changes? I feel like we have watched the same cast, having the same fights, the same conversations, and the same drama, at the same damned party, no less. Yet some people still care! Boy do they care a lot too. People are all sided up like we are fighting a real war here! Regardless of where you stand, we all keep watching, and waiting. For what, exactly, I’m not sure.

Personally? I am so OVER the war between Teresa and Melissa. They really are quite similar. Most of the time when you dislike someone, it’s because they mirror something about yourself you don’t like. When this came up at the reunion, they both got the same stink face about it too. Look ladies, we get it. T is hellajealous that JoeyG isn’t all about her, and Melly doesn’t like T infringing on her relationship either. I get it. Those who are saying “she’s out to DESTROY her” about either one of them….Lordy Lordy, you are quite the drama queens! Nobody is DESTROYING anyone, they are talking shit. That’s all. They talk shit, they keep enough dram to hock their wares, and they take home the checks. They signed up for it. The contracts basically say they are selling their good name to the devil for a few bucks….all in the hope of turning their name into something they can attach a sellable item to. AND THEY LOVE IT.

Look, I think we all know this so called “Reality TV” isn’t so much reality. There’s editing, scripting, and all that jazz involved. Yet….I’ll throw opinions on it.

Mel and T. Suck it up, learn to be civil and move on. Stop being jealous divas. Nobody likes a jelly bitch. The sooner you learn to get along, the better, T, learn to apologize and mean it. You said ALL season until the end you had nothing to do with all the bullshit, the. It’s “well, I kinda sorta was mad and I kinda sorta mighta”. If you had said from the get go…”look, I did some shit because I was mad at the time, it was wrong, I won’t do it again, and I’ll prove it to you”, well the respect level would have gone way up. Then again, Andy would be crying in his millions.

Caroline, I have done a turnaround on you over the years, and I enjoy you a lot these days, although the whole “Caroline is only here to offer advice and be the voice of reason” was getting a bit old. I enjoyed seeing you and Al spend some good times together, but I was really bummed to hear of the infidelity. I should have guess it was coming. They always show couples extra lovey like right before they stab you with the “you’re husband’s a cheater” rumors, This whole “I expect he has cheated but I would leave if I knew it for sure” deal is freaking me out. My gut feeling is, if he cheated, you know about it, but I think you have a lot invested in the marriage and family at this point, I’d like to say anyone who gets cheated on should leave, but I guess maybe I could understand why some people stay. Regardless, I love the rapport you have with your kids.

Jac, I can’t imagine what you go through with Nick, it’s nice that you are using our voice to promote autism awareness, but I miss your funny one liners. I’m happy to see your little boy doing well, and that you’ve made peace with T.

Kathy, I felt bad for you at your event when everyone showed up late. Sometimes families take liberties like that, and it sucks. Your kids seem awesome, and totally normal/supportive of you. You’ve done something right with those two! I see T posted a blog (which she then took down, because, well, it’s all about planting the seed) about Victoria dating Johnny the Greek’s nephew. Now, I know my parents never knew any of my teenaged boyfriend’s extended family. Jeez, I rarely introduced my parents to boyfriend’s parents. And even if you do know those two, I don’t care. I’d pretend not to know a hairstylist with a hairpiece that bad too.

Penny. Penny. Penny, Girl, you are a stylist…and what friend of your lied to you and told you that shitty ponytail matched you hair? Somebody lied to you, sister. Oof. You need to take a cue from Jac and hit that person with a stiletto. I must say though, have you all read Penny’s page? It took me a while to figure put who all the characters were, but miss Penny has a “fiction” page where she spills some beans, but in a way Bravo’s lawyers can’t get to her. I found it interesting. It basically confirms the show is mostly bullshit. You can catch it here: http://fauxrealityentertainment.com/penelope-pitstop-fictitious-hw-of-garden-state/

The reunion…well, it seemed like everyone had made nicey nice and now it’s all quivering back towards the same old bullshit. I’m curious about the second half. I don’t know why. It’s probably setting the stage for the same exact show next season. Then again, I’m sure contract time is around the corner, so they have to keep the drama high to end on a cliffhanger for next season. Me? I’m just curious as to how T’s trial will play out. Now that will be interesting.

Toodles!
Messy xx

Fraud, lies, and Real Housewives?

You know I’m a “Housewives” fan. I love almost all the franchises, but RHONJ is probably my favorite. Sometimes, I don’t know why, because it drives me mental. I love the cast, I enjoy some funny moments on the show, and I have always hoped that the families could all fix their broken bonds. This franchise is probably the most polarizing of the franchises, with “Tre Huggers” going against the non-Tre fans. Personally, I’ve always felt a tad bad for Teresa, as I think she stuck married to a guy who probably doesn’t treat her all that well. I think they are trying hard this season to convince us all that their marriage is great, but the c bomb last season kind of set the tone, don’t you think? I wouldn’t put up with half the stuff Teresa does, and I am left wondering why she does put up with it. My suspicion is that these new charges are going to rock the boat….a lot. I’m not sure if she will be left standing or underwater, but it’s going to be interesting.

People have asked me my take on the indictment of Twresa and Joe Guidice. I’m gonna tell you what I think, because I have watched people do exactly what they have been accused of.

In brief, T and J are accused of, among other things, fraudulently getting mortgages on properties. I’ve had people say this wasn’t a crime, and that everyone did it. People say that the banks collapsed the housing market. Frankly, I worked in the mortgage business, and I can tell you it was a combination of people, the mortgage brokers and the banks. Teresa and joe apparently lied on applications about their income. Do I believe it’s likely? Yes. The banks were doing what people referred to as “stated loans” or “liar loans”. You state the income, and the bank will take you on your word, as long as it looks legit and your work history backs it up. That was the theory, anyway, in reality, mortgage brokers lied their asses off, and bank management allowed these loans through, even if underwriters complained, Here’s the deal though, copies of all these documents were sent to the borrowers, they signed them and signed them at closing. Anyone who tells you they didn’t ok that income is not telling you the truth. They were presented with it, they signed the documents.
If you think this doesn’t effect you, you’re wrong, Every time people get into a mortgage they can’t afford, it touches other people. The houses go into foreclosure, appraised values drop, houses lose equity and people suffer.

The only saving thing in her favor is that it’s clear that Joe forged her name on mortgages. Don’t believe me? Go look up the mortgage images for the Morris County land records. You can clearly see when Teresa signed docs, and when Joe forged her name. Joe will likely go down, but will Teresa?

Some of Teresa’s fans say she is innocent, and I’ve had several tell me she is too “flighty” “unaware”, and “stupid” to have done this. What’s worse, you’re a cunning liar, or you’re just too dumb to know better?

Here’s where I go off of the “she didn’t know” wagon. T got docs, signed them, got on a stand, raised her hand and swore to tell the truth about things. She lied. She omitted assets. She has an IDEA. And if she doesn’t have a basic idea, then she’s full of shit, because she has an idea. Those two thought they were getting over on people, 120grand on furniture, in one spree? On television? Shopping sprees, cameras in your house, in your cars, watching you spend money and keep spending it even after you say you’re broke? Really? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

Look, I feel bad that they have kids and both are facing jail time. I do. But I also think these two knew EXACTLY what they were doing and thought they were too slick to get caught. I think Joe is a snake of a guy, who probably dragged Teresa into a big mess saying “everyone does it”. Yet pleading dumb isn’t cutting the mustard for me this time. Not at all. I’ve watched people do EXACTLY what they are accused of doing. Hell, I caught people and reported them for doing it. I reported people for forging documents, overstating income, and even sending false tax docs. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived it. I’ve fought against it, tracked down those that have done it, and put a stop to it.

Anyone’s house still worth what it was in 2006 pr 2007? Anyone work their whole life to watch it all crumble when the housing market collapsed? Anyone watch property values plummet due to foreclosures in their neighborhoods? Know what caused a lot of that? People who did what Joe and Teresa are accused of. People that aided others to do what they are accused of. It’s not a “victimless crime”, as some people have dismissed it as.

I wish their daughters well, and hope that the family rallies around the kids during this time. I am interested to see how this will all play out..

Life Lessons from the Real Housewives?!?

The Mr. doesn’t understand my love of Real Housewives.  He lightly scoffs at my desire to watch multiple seasons, simultaneously.  I’ve tried on occasion to explain why I enjoy the shows but I’ve never really been able to articulate why.  Tonight I gave it some thought, and I realized that even during the madness of some episodes, I have learned some great life lessons from some of the housewives, and one in particular that I will get to later.  Love them or loathe them (or at least who they are on TV)  there is much to be learned.

From Gretchen and Tamra, I learned that sometimes, misjudgements on someone can cause a series of problems that can be difficult to get past.  Yet they CAN be overcome.  Sometimes friends can come from the most unlikeliest of places, from the most unlikely of histories.  A bit of humble pie and a willingness to admit mistakes can turn a relationship completely around.

From Kyle Richards, watching a loved one battle addiction is a constant battle of two opposites….the fight to help them and to hide the embarrassment they cause themselves, and the knowledge that sometimes you have to let go enough for them to hit bottom so they can get help.  That’s one of the hardest parts of loving an addict.  When you most want to hold them tight, to help them you must often let go.

From Jacqueline: She kept trying to have a baby, and held the hope no matter what happened.  When it did happen for her, it wasn’t necessarily what she envisioned.  She jumped into the mode of finding out whatever she could to help her son.  Nick is a beautiful little boy, and I have no doubt her efforts will help him to succeed in the long run.  This reminded me that sometimes, life takes you down a different path than you might have expected, but it’s just a different way that may make you take a bit more notice of the world around you, and will be just as amazing.

From Ramona: While people say they like a straight shooter, who tells it like it is, they kind don’t.  Sure, we all say we want the truth, but sometimes the truth needs a touch of padding and love behind it.  Blasting out what’s YOUR truth doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s truth.  Sometimes saying something hurtful even though it may have some truth to it doesn’t make you a hero…it just makes you kind of an asshole.

From Kim Z: Married men are never good for single gals.  A man that will cheat on his wife has a flaw in his morals and lacks courage.  Is that someone you want to be with?  The fact is, if you’re spending all your time with Mr wrong or someone you know is Mr. Right Now, a REAL Mr. Right isn’t going to want to get involved with you.  This goes for anyone in a relationship.  Don’t waste your time because you don’t want to be alone.  Someone who is right for you and has a strong moral character isn’t going to be around you if you’ve got one foot in a relationship with someone else.

From Cat:  If you say Bollocks, you will score points.  Immediately.  But only if you do it in a British Accent.

From Teresa: oh T, where do we begin?  Families have fights.  But loving people means that sometimes you have to recognize that relationships change.  Nobody can destroy you.  Only you can destroy you.  Never tolerate a spouse who talks down to you, treats you badly, or possibly cheats.  Why?  because while he’s treating you like garbage there’s a better guy who will treat you like a treasure!  Lastly, if everyone around you is saying you’re messing up, sometimes, you gotta look inward and figure out what they are seeing that you’re not trying to project.

Lastly, my favorite of all….comes from Lisa Vanderpump.  One night, after the Laid Back Kid had done me wrong, disobeyed his momma, and made me really angry, we talked it out.  At the end, I told him “always remember one thing…mommy loves you.”  I make sure to tell them that often.  I hope that becomes a catch phrase that when I start it, they finish it.  When I am gone, and they have strife…I want my kids to hear my voice in their head saying “always remember one thing…mommy loves you”

Thanks Lisa!

Night Loveys! xx