Nov 162018
 

It’s Friday and I’m still alive, so you know what that means! Here’s some 5 things.

  1. Emarosa

You guys! Emarosa dropped a video for one of their new songs, and when I say new I mean NEW NEW. This is like a brand new Emarosa. Pop-infused. Dance-y. Ready to mingle with Carly Rae record collection.  I’m in love and already can’t wait for the full release in February! A super important fact about this video is that it was choreographed by my friend Lizzie, whom I actually met a few years ago through our shared love for Emarosa. I have really enjoyed getting to know her and watching her lightning-quick progression as a dancer and choreographer. She is amazing and I can only hope that I get to see her perform in person someday! She’s also in this video, and you’ll catch her in the middle of the formation in most of the dance scenes. Lizzie + Emarosa = <3<3<3

2. Taemin light stick

A few weeks ago, I went in on a group Taemin light stick order with the Canada SHINee Twitter group. This particular light stick was made specifically for his recent solo tour in Japan and I needed it like a preteen girl in the 80s needs the latest Bonne Bell or Lipsmackers flavor. Yeah, it was like that.

Henry texted me when I was work yesterday and said that there was package out for delivery and I knew it had to be the light stick, so I thought my shitty day was finally going to have a light(stick) at the end of the tunnel. But then he texted me again later that night because he got a notification that there was a delivery attempt, but no one was home so we’d have to reschedule — HE WAS SITTING RIGHT BY THE FRONT DOOR THE WHOLE TIME AND SAID THERE WERE NO FOOTPRINTS IN THE SNOW ON OUR SIDEWALK. USPS, you lying motherfuckers. So today I was working from home and I left a shitty note taped to the door saying they better not even try that shit again because someone was going to be home ALL DAY so maybe TRY KNOCKING?! Anyway, it was delivered today by the regualr mailman, who just stuck it in the mailbox so why that couldn’t have happened yesterday, who knows, but you better believe I was on the warpath about this and had my ink and quill all ready to go until I realized that sending a letter would just HELP THE USPS so I guess I will email them my totally level-headed complaint instead.

WORTH IT!!

3. Teen Center volunteers love me

Hey remember how I hate the Teen Center because they stole my son? Well I’ll cut them some slack because EVIDENTLY Chooch was talking to the volunteers about going to see Emarosa a couple weeks ago, and one of the guys there knows Emarosa too and thought that was cool, so Chooch told him about how we became friendly with Bradley and then showed them the article that Alternative Press wrote about his relationship with the band, and they were like, “WOW U R C00L” so then he stated showing them other pictures of concerts, etc and told them the most important part, which is that HIS MOM is the one who is into these things and takes him to concerts and they were like WHOA YR MOM IS C00L and then one of the girl volunteers said that she wished I was her mom too, so you know what? Teen Center’s not too bad.

4. Today’s lunch

As mentioned previously, I was working from home today which was fine but then came lunch time and I was like, “shit fuck piss what am I going to have for lunch?” I’m on a slight diet, nothing extreme, but I do need to log my food which is great when Henry is here and I chuck my phone at him and say, “Here, you do this” because only he knows how much hemlock he put in tonight’s dinner. So I called him freaking out and he was like, “Just eat the stuff I prepared for you” BUT I DID NOT KNOW HOW TO LOG THAT so instead, I grabbed a handful of ingredients that I could easily enter into my app and that is how I ended up with this plated slop for lunch:

The egg was supposed to be on top of the Boca burger, but it slid off and almost continued sliding right off the plate, but I saved it with my hand and then the yolk broke so that made me sad because I wasn’t ready for it to break yet, OK.

I thought I could heat up the sweet potato and Boca burger on the same plate, at the same time, but I GUESS I THOUGHT WRONG because I didn’t take Microwave Class in college.

Anyway, lunch was fine. I’m fine. It’s all fine. 괜찮아.

(This is why I eat OATMEAL for lunch every day at work.)

5. More roller coaster stuff

Watching theme park vlogs all week while sick has really saved me, I haven’t had the energy to watch K-dramas on account of having to read subtitles and you know, I HAVE BEEN SICK in case you missed every single post this past week where I have whined about it like I have an actual plague. Henry got really disgusted out of nowhere the one night and actually seemed mad that I’m not a vlogger?! “You would think that after spending your entire teenage years videotaping EVERYTHING that being on YouTube would have been something you’d have been into it early on!” I mean, it’s true — you can ask my family and any friend I still have from my high school years (surprisingly still quite a few of them) and they will surely tell you with absolute disdain that there was at least one occasion they had a camcorder shoved in their face. But to be honest, I hate my voice and it’s a blessing for the world that I never got into YouTube. I did actually upload a video a long time ago of the time I made Henry take me to Cleveland to see Tha Crossroads, literally E.99 and St. Clair where Bone Thugs n Harmony used to hang out (I was a huge Bone fan in high school, before MTV made it “cool” for dumb white people to like them), but I was SO ANNOYING in the video that literal strangers were commenting to say THAT BITCH IS ANNOYING. So…

But also, watching all these theme park vlogs made me remember this time when I was in middle school and my aunt, who worked at the University of Pittsburgh at the time, knew someone who worked in the marketing department for Kennywood and she was able to get a poster of what the park’s brand new coaster (Steel Phantom) was going to look like. She gave it to me to take to school and show everyone and I was so excited to share it! At the time, this was the world’s tallest steel coaster so it was a huge deal. But one of the guys in my class had a strong desire to one-up me so he CALLED Kennywood and got someone to tell him all of the stats for the coaster, just so he could come in the next day and piggyback off me with more information. It was clearly something that annoyed me enough to where I still harbor ill feelings about it. OK FINE I THINK ABOUT IT EVERY TIME I RIDE THAT DAMN RIDE.

In other coaster news, I have vacations planned around theme parks all the way to 2020. Henry is so excited!

Nov 152018
 

In case any imaginary doctors out there are wondering about my health, I am still under the weather. Look, I know it’s just a cold. In fact, I’m certain  that’s all it is, but you would think I had tuberculosis the way I carry on about it.

I wanted to leave work early on Tuesday because I couldn’t keep my head up, and I’m certain Boss Amber would have been like, “byeeeeeee” if I had asked, but then I realized that even if I left early, I DON’T HAVE A HOUSEKEY because I STILL NEVER GOT ONE MADE because THE ONLY GOOD HOUSEKEY WAS LOST BY CHOOCH and all the other housekeys made since then SUCK and I 100% have NO LUCK GETTING THEM TO OPEN THE DOOR.

EVEN BLAKE STRUGGLES WITH IT WHEN HE HAS TO USE IT!

Spare me the suggestions, I know what I need to do! Just let me vent about it OK!? Ugh.

So then I thought, well, maybe I can leave a little bit before Chooch is done with school and text him to go straight home so that he will be there to open the door for me since he somehow has the magic touch and can persuade his fucking bastard key to unlock the door. But then I got caght up in something for work and ended up making it through the whole day and it’s a good thing too because when Henry and I got home at 6:00, Chooch was hanging out on  the front porch because he DIDN’T BRING HIS KEY WITH HIM. Don’t call CYS too hard on us though because he had literally just gotten home from the library, so no, he wasn’t out in the cold for THREE HOURS.

did go home a few hours early yesterday though because Henry was home to open the door for me (look, I realize this sounds ludicrous, because it is, but this is just like…my life now) but then we had not one but THREE VISITORS!? Literally no one ever knocks on our door now that we’re not poor people with outstanding gas bills so usually if there is a knock, I can’t see a silhouette through the frosted glass because it’s some dummy looking for Chooch. But this time there were ADULT SHADOWS, you guys.

Don’t worry. It was just Blake (twice) and then my mom who stopped by to bring us charity deli goods. Then I told her that in my annual review at work that day, I was called “the special little unicorn of the department” and she promptly said, “GOODBYE” and left.

WOW.

(Seriously though, my mom knows how conceited these things make me and she probably had to vomit at least once out the window on her way home.)

This is such an exciting update!

Then we were told last night that if the weather today was shitty, we could work from home and I was like GOD ARE YOU THERE IT’S ME ERIN because I knew I wasn’t going to be feeling much better the next day (TODAY) and wow, call me motherfucking Miss Cleo because I woke up feeling like someone gutted my head and stuffed it like it was practice for next week’s thanksgiving turkey.

But, I still trudged on in to work (on the trolley, no less, THANKS HENRY) in freezing rain that wasn’t treacherous enough to warrant a WFH request and I was so whiny about it for about the first hour of my shift.

I kept imagining that I was at home with a hot washcloth covering my face but that just made it worse, like being on a diet and imagining yourself sensually eating a cake (like a good quality one, not some jacked up hillbilly supermarket sheet cake) in your underwear.

With the mailman.

Then! It was still raining/snowing (OMG IS THAT WHAT WINTERY MIX MEANS?? I THINK I FIGURED IT OUT!) when it was time to take my break so I didn’t think going outside for a walk would be in my best interests. A normal sick person probably would have kicked back with a book or amusement park map but I decided that this would be a good time for me to walk up the full 40 flights of steps inside my building for the first time! Margie was like “that doesn’t seem like a great id—-” but I couldn’t hear her because I was already imprisoned inside the stair well. Since I was already on the 10th floor, I didn’t want to cheat so I first walked down to the first floor, all the way back up to 40 (there was a creepy security camera up there and I thought Interpol was going to come out from the door and arrest me), then all the way back to 1 and back up to 10.

I couldn’t breathe on account of BEING SICK but I did that shit with no break mostly because the stairwells are gross (Lauren and I saw a cockroach in there on Monday when we walked down from a meeting on 28) so no thanks steps, I won’t be sitting down on you.

Carrie told me if I wanted to sweat out my sickness, I should have just eaten spicy food and now I’m sad that I didn’t do that on my dumb break instead.

And that was today’s episode of Erin’s Poor Choices.

Oh and then guess what happened?! The weather actually turned bad and Henry was like “have fun taking the trolley home.” I triple-hate him today. But then he bought our Dollywood tickets so now I’m semi-calm.

But, still stuffy and sniffly so goodbye.

PS this was the treasure I found at the end of my stair-climbing odyssey and yes it’s blurry because I was shaking lol. Walking up steps while congested is like, no joke. And probably the opposite of drinking hot tea and honey.

Nov 132018
 

You guys know how Chooch and I fight over everythang right? From semantics to the hue of the sky to Yanny or Laurel, we will bicker until Henry has to threaten to take away our privileges. I guess that’s what happens when you’re basically the same person. (This is why I can’t be friends with people who are too much like me!)

(Also, can you imagine if Chooch was also a Leo?!)

We even fight over cats, as in, whose cat is better/prettier/smarter/cuter/less smellier.

Last night, everything was pretty quiet. Chooch and I were coexisting peacefully, watching theme park YouTube videos, when I looked at Penelope who was sitting on her tower like a perfectly furry loaf.

“Penelope is so cute, she could be a Disney character!” I cooed. “Penelope, you could be Snow White’s kitty!”

Chooch fake-gagged on his water. “YEAH RIGHT, she’s more like Hunchback of Notre Dame!” And then he kept calling her Quasimodo (after he googled the name because HE WAS TOO DUMB TO KNOW.)

(YEAH I CALLED MY KID DUMB AND I’LL CALL YOU DUMB TOO SO GO AHEAD, REPORT ME.)

So in retaliation I looked at HIS CAT DREW and in my effort to come up with a better burn, I blurted out, “Yeah well Drew could be Ursula’s….SHOULDER PAD!”

Chooch gaped at me. “WTF?” he cried. “That doesn’t even make sense!”

“YES IT DOES!” I was now on my knees, laughing so hard that my eyes were birthing pure drops of comedy rain, picturing Drew perched on Ursula’s shoulders, a natural extension of her oceanic hideousness.

Chooch continued to scoff at me so I ran upstairs and woke up Henry so I could tell him my sick burn.

He too just stared at me. “You’re so dumb,” he murmured. But he just wasn’t awake enough to fully grasp the perfection of this insult, the smartly crafted nuances of my name-calling.

I came back downstairs and continuously called Drew “Ursula’s Shoulder Pad” until Chooch eventually blocked me out. Later, I laughed myself to sleep.

********

This morning, Chooch was still dwelling on it. “And Ursula doesn’t even wear a shirt that would have shoulder pads,” he argued, desperately grasping for straws but MAMA OWNS THIS SODA SHOP OF SICK BURNS, BOY. NO STRAWS FOR YOU.

On my lunch break, I was on the phone with Henry as usual. He’s like obsessed with me and makes me check in with him every afternoon. (Lolz.) He had just gotten home from work and was starting to say something about Drew.

“Ursula’s Shoulder Pad,” I corrected him and he flipped out about how dumb it is. So triggered!!

“Do you think it’s just as good or better as when I used to call Speck [RIP] ‘Breakfast Nook’?” I brayed which is how I talk when I’ve reached Critical Giddiness.

“THAT WAS JUST AS STUPID,” Henry barked. Wow, Henry’s got no jams.

I kept randomly thinking about this all day and I’d have to stifle my snort-laughs at my desk. Finally, I went over to tell Glenn and Todd. Todd stopped listening as soon as I said “cats” because he hates cats. But Glenn heard me out.

“That’s…really stupid,” he said, BUT HE WAS TRYING NOT TO SMILE. “It doesn’t even make sense. Why….?”

By the time I told Lauren, I was Bobcat Goldthwaiting all up in her space but she thoughtfully considered it and said, “No, you know what? It is funny. I don’t really know why, but it is. I’m on your side!”

YESSSSSSSS. I couldn’t wait to tell Henry.

“No, it’s still dumb, and Lauren is dumb too for encouraging you,” he sighed when I told him after work.

Just a few minutes ago, I was dancing to the Ursula’s Shoulder Pad jingle which I made up on the fly. “I really think this is the funniest thing I’ve ever said,” I said while sliding around in my socks. “I’ll never be this funny again!”

“It’s literally the dumbest thing you’ve ever said, so….” Henry sighed.

TOUGH FUCKING CROWD.

But seriously, look at those arm barnacles!

(Henry just said I’m dumb again and that’s literally all he ever says to me so I think that means he has a crush on me.)

(YOU GUYS I JUST MADE THAT PICTURE THE LOCKSCREEN ON CHOOCH’S PHONE HE IS GOING TO BE SO PISSED!)

ETA: Or is she really HENRY’S SHOULDER PAD?? Oh shit did I just … MAKE SENSE of this?! Did I just … TIE THIS ALL TOGETHER? Wow, that’s almost like real blogging.

Nov 122018
 

I started to feel sick yesterday and whined about how I thought I had a fever and Henry was like YOU DONT HAVE A FEVER so then I made him take my temperature and guess who HAD A FEVER?

It wasn’t a big one but it was enough to make me feel like a slug so I spent most of last night writhing dramatically on the couch while watching theme park vlogs; I dragged Henry down into this with me – we’re really into the In The Loop YouTube channel. My favorite vlogs are the ones with Legend and his girlfriend Molly. I LIKE HOW HER VOICE CRACKS and she seems like a nice person.

Oh! And I also like when Reese tags along in Clint’s videos. I have an open crush on Reese. Henry’s fine with it.

This In the Loop group is a freaking sausage party though, aside from the occasional appearance of wives/girlfriends. I briefly considered contacting them to see if they have any room for a girl correspondent or if that would rock the WHITE MALE boat too much, but then I realized that my amusement park reviews would be full of me screaming LOL LOOK AT THAT ASSHOLE’S HAIR (and then zooming in on Henry obviously) and likening thrill rides to Bathory’s Iron Maiden while the rest of them are like legit coaster nerds who say things like THAT IS A LABAMBA HYPER COASTER FROM ROMANIA WITH A JOJO SAWA ROLL AND -172 GRAVITY AIR TIME YEAH BOI.

I’m just like “There is a purple coaster. It has black cars and a bunch of douchebags in line. Let’s ride it.”

I am now also determined to go to DisneySea in Tokyo and I think Henry is half on board with it but we’ll see. One of us will likely have to get a second job lol.

But seriously, I wish I had jumped on that train a long time ago because my family literally plans trips around amusement parks (we’re going to Dollywood over Thanksgiving weekend!) and how amazing would it be if that was our actual job? Ugh I fucked up, man.

(I also berated Henry out of nowhere for not being a roller coaster engineer. He took it stride.)

So that’s what I was doing again after work, watching theme park vlogs, until a few minutes ago when my friend sent me a message reminding me that the new Taemin video is out! I just watched it and it was like medicine being pelvic-thrusted into my system. NOW I WANT TO RIDE ROLLERCOASTERS WITH TAEMIN. NEW LIFE GOAL, COME THRU.

Nov 102018
 

We went to Castle Blood with my friend Lima. He wasn’t scared at all, but he never stopped talking in line, sort of like me. He was excited to go in, though, it was his first haunted house! When we went in, we found out that the talismans were a spirit, a skull, and a staff. Castle Blood is a quest-type haunted house where we have objectives that need to be completed throughout the house. Immediately, I noticed that there were a whole bunch of new cast members. When we were presented with a puzzle, daddy was dazed and confused, but I understood most of them. For example, in the new lab, there was a puzzle where we had to get a machine working to transform tissue in an organ. What we had to do to solve the puzzle was look around the room for what each letter is, for example A=⇑. The switches on the machine were labeled A.N.S.W.E.R.S. and we had to find out each letter. I ended up getting it, but I took too long, so it blew up…

In the fortune telling room, the gypsy told us that we were in grave danger! The spirits of the house didn’t like us being there and in order to protect our souls,  we needed a special item, the spirit! That was our first talisman collected! Now we were extra protected, with our weakest daddy having the Beads of Protection, and mum having the spirit, we were all safe! Well at least they were…

Later, we found out that when we die we will turn into zombies. We figured this out because we all had to pick up a skull and whatever it said under it, is what we are. Majority rules, so we were zombies. The librarian didn’t like that we were zombies, she preferred us to be ghosts, because she likes ghosts. She offered us a brain, because we needed one, but daddy needed one more so she gave it to him.

We entered the cemetery, the reaper told us to follow him, but we caught up to the next group, so we had to wait. Finally, we were able to go and the reaper told us to go up to the spider queen. She had many spider lings on her lap and she asked if we had anything for her. I placed my foot on her stairs and she screamed at me and told me to take it off. Lima told her that he had something and she told him to give it to her. Instead of going up the stairs, he decided to just reach to her and hand it, but he got yelled at, too. He had to go up the stairs and give it to her, in return she gave him a spider.

Then, was the last puzzle, we were told to place a bunch of rocks in cauldrons so that the first one had 5, the second had 6, and the third one had “none”. In total, there were 15 stones. We put 5 in the first, 6 in the second, and had 4 left. We were stumped, then right when I was about to get it, mum put stones that spelled “none” in the third bucket. She got a stick, oh sorry I mean staff, and we were told to exit the cemetery and go back into the building. This was the part where we get our fangs! We showed that we got all of the talismans and we got our fangs! Lima put his in and he got his first picture at his first haunted house!

Sewickley Haunted Church is a cool haunted house because they really don’t care if they’re a church, all they care is if you don’t use profanity. We went in and mum was going way too slow, so I kept stepping on the back of her shoe, making it come off. The haunted house was actually jumpy because the walls were tarps, so people just jumped out from behind them. It was really creepy when we got into a large room with hanging objects and a girl singing the Lizzie Borden theme. Then it continued on in the next room, with her dad sitting at a table with an ax in his head. Other than that, though daddy got scared badly. He should’ve been the one holding the, “I peed a little,” sign.

Thanks for reading! Those were Castle Blood and Sewickly Haunted Church, I recommend these haunted houses, but for next year!

Nov 092018
 

Moodiness & political drama aside, November has started off pretty nicely. Sometimes I get so bogged down by the news and the pissiness of people around me that I forget that things under my own roof are just fucking swell. So here are some things from the last week that have made me excited, smile, or just laugh my ugly face right off.

(Otherwise known as “I’m Trying To Clean Up My Camera Roll So Here Are Pictures.”)

  • A SATURDAY NIGHT IN WEST VIRGINIA

Shit, I know what you’re thinking: How fun could a night in WV honestly be? But look, listen. There was one last haunted house I wanted to go to before slamming the door on another successful haunt season, but it’s TWO HOURS AWAY in Weston, WV. I’ve been twice before and I can tell you that it’s worth it, so I got Janna to agree to go too and Henry reluctantly drove us (I’m not great at night-driving, OK?! It’s a miracle I got us home from Fright Farm a few weeks ago). Chooch and I were rambunctious from the start because there is something about Janna that just seriously activates our Giddy Mode. It’s not even that she instigates us or anything, but more so that she is so freaking easy-going and basically ignores us that it just makes us react even harder. As you can imagine, Henry LOVES this. For instance, we stopped at a Sheetz in some rural area and Chooch was getting a “Hollywood Snack” pack and became deadset on getting Janna to buy one too. She eventually conceded and while we were cackling over this like hyenas in the car, Janna calmly said, “I HAVE HAD THIS BEFORE, CHOOCH, IT’S NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL.”

OMG BUT IT WAS!

Then we were laughing because we she was taking so long inside Sheetz so we just left her in there. When she finally came out, she wasn’t even hurrying back to the car! SHE WAS IN THERE FOR SO LONG THAT HENRY WAS CHECKING THE OIL AND CLEANING OUT THE TRUNK!?

I’ll skip the haunted house part because I’m going to make Chooch write about that (lol, I love bossing him around) but we got stuck with an annoying family (I mean, aside from my own) so the haunt wasn’t as great because of that (the dad of all people was the one who ruined it for us because he was such a slow idiot and even the rest of his family was like “PAUL, GO FASTER!” because other groups were catching up to us, and it wasn’t until the next day when I was like,, “Oh shit, they were actually saying ‘Pa'” and then that just made it even funnier to me). By the time we got out of there, it was after 9 and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so Henry took us to DJs 50’s and 60s Diner, which is where we ate last year on the way home from the same haunt, but this time it was blessedly uncrowded. (Last year, it was after some football game so that place was packed with Trumpers.)

Chooch took this picture of his loving parents. Henry’s face was varying levels of anger and annoyance throughout the meal, especially when he summoned our waitress after we ordered because he wanted to tack on an appetizer for himself but when the waitress came over, Chooch cut him off to ask her what the wi-fi password was and then they were both talking to her at the same time and she was like WHAT TO DO but she ultimately chose to make Chooch’s request her priority and I thought Henry was going to flip the table especially later on when she came back with his appetizer and we all lunged for it so he ended up with only one deep fried banana pepper.

The trials and tribs of Henry J.

Chooch and I were fighting each other for Janna’s “good fries” because I am a super ridiculous fry snob with very narrow criteria that Henry hasn’t been able to decode in the 18  years I’ve been snatching “good fries” from his plates, and I managed to pass this trait down to Chooch which sucks because he knows EXACTLY the ones I like and has himself convinced that HE likes them the best too and now there is always a war over fries, even worse than when America was mad at France and took it out on french fries by renaming them FREEDOM FRIES.

But look, Chooch and I aren’t complete savages about this – we have enough civility to BARTER. Yes, that’s right, for every “good fry” we steal from someone else’s (read: Henry’s) plate, we toss in one of our own rejects. Janna was getting tired of us launching our unwanted fries onto her plate and eventually yelled, in her own way, “Oh my god, just take the ones you want! I don’t care!” and the fact that we managed to get Janna worked up over this made Chooch laugh so hard that he had to run to the bathroom to maybe-puke.

BUT HE TOOK A FRY WITH HIM!

Meanwhile, the waitress (a very sweet young girl who patiently endured our hour-long visit) came over to refill my coffee so I purposely held my cup over Henry’s lap and I was trying to hold back my giddy bray the whole time which only made it worse and the whole sitch ended up being awkward because I’m sure she thought I was laughing at her, but no, I was just being an asshole to my own people.

And then I got Janna to subscribe to my blog after 11 years!!

And then I took a picture of my gardenburger and cracked up all over again because who seriously takes a picture of a diner veggie patty.

AND THEN WHEN WE WERE LEAVING, WE SAW THIS PICTURE IN THE VESTIBULE. LOLOLOLOL..

Oh for god’s sake, I needed all that laughter. My cheeks felt like they were going to split!

  • CUTE BLOUSES WITH THINGS ON IT

I’m a sucker for blouses with things on it. I don’t care how juvenile it is! I recently bought these two cutie shirts from F21 and they put me in a great mood:

The horse one has such great sleeves, which is another thAng I’m a sucker for.

(I had a friend who hated when I said thang instead of thing and even though I use it sparingly these days, it’s not without a bucket of smugness.)

CLOSEUP OF MY BEE BLOUSE. I love bees.

  • OBLIGATORY CAT PICTURE

  • MORE LIBRARY DRAMA

Well, Son of the Year finally had his library ban lifted so he went there the other night to get a book for his next genre report but he was DENIED when he went to check it out because he allegedly has three overdue books, about which I know NOTHING, and he naturally came home and couldn’t find them and look, I’m not dealing with this shit. He can rake some yards to pay off his library debt or go to Book Jail for all I care.

So then the other night I was like, “Oh yeah, when do you need to choose a book for your report?” thinking that maybe we could just go to like, Half Dollar Books this weekend but he said, “Tomorrow.”

TO-MOR-ROW.

Because they have to turn their books for the teacher’s dumb approval before they can start working on the reports, you know?

I was like, “YOU LITTLE SON OF A—-” and then stormed off into my bedroom to find him a book to use. (Luckily I have lots of young adult books, lol.) I intended to lend him Charlotte Sometimes (the book that inspired the Cure song of the same name!) but then he was like WHAT IS THIS ONE and that’s how Christopher Pike’s seminal classic Chainletter became the subject of Chooch’s genre report.

You’re welcome, 7th grade Communications Teacher.

  • TAEMIN’S JAPANESE SELF-TITLED ALBUM

Look, you knew there was going to be at least one mention of Taemin in this post. He’s all I have while G-Dragon is fulfilling his military duties! Anyway, I have been loving Taemin’s latest release, which is Japanese and I usually don’t like Japanese versions of K-pop songs, but it’s TAEMIN so I’m OK with it. Plus, the new “just-for-Japan” tracks are killer. My favorite so far is HOLY WATER:

And also this immaculate performance of Eclipse. If I ever get to see him perform live in front of me, under the same roof,  I don’t know if my legs will be able to hold me up. Taemin, come  to America and let’s find out!

Well, on that note, I’m gonna peace right on outta here. Have a great weekend,  don’t jaywalk, etc etc etc.

 

Nov 082018
 

It’s been a minute since I regaled this cobwebbed corner of the internet with stories from my dumb lunch break walks, but autumn has officially blanketed the city so I felt inspired to get snap-happy.

The blue skies have been very welcome after the dreariness we’ve been experiencing here in Pittsburgh, and I’m not just talking about the weather. Anyone here who says that Synagogue hasn’t affected the city clearly never leaves their house because the atmosphere downtown last week was solemn and at times just straight up electric with anger.

I witnessed two men verbally arguing about Trump, in front of the August Wilson Center, to the point where one of the men was chest-butting the other guy and screaming, “COME AT ME.”

The next evening, I was walking through Market Square after work and stumbled right smack in the middle of an argument about profiling between a small crowd of strangers. One of them screamed, “I’M A JEW!” and another one spat back, “SO AM I!” while the Christmas Market was being assembled several yards away.

‘Tis the fucking season.

Another day, I was walking back to work when I was approached by a middle-aged man. I saw it coming, he had that look of desperation and I have the look of GULLIBILITY, so I wasn’t shocked when he veered toward me.

“Excuse me, ma’am, can you do me a favor?” he asked.

My reflexes are so terrible in these situations because I always feel like I’m damned if I do, etc etc. Of course I always want to ignore these solicitors but at the same time, I’m afraid of angering the wrong person, so I generally at least pretend to be nice for a few seconds.

I figured he was just going to ask for money, because that’s what it always is if it isn’t the extremely rare request for my phone number from someone who is clearly blind. So I figured I would save him his whiskey-breath by shrugging and saying, “I’m sorry, I don’t have anything.”

Usually this works! But not on this day. As I turned to walk away, this ballsy man said, “Come here” as he grabbed me by the sleeve of my coat and attempted to pull me toward him!? OH BITCH HELL NO DO I NEED TO GET SCRAPPY?!

I wrenched my arm back until the fabric slipped from his fingers and, still trying to be SOMEWHAT POLITE because GOD FORBID A WOMAN DENIES A MAN SOMETHING, I said I was late for work an proceeded to walk backward because I was afraid to take my eyes off him. Women get stabbed for shit like this everyday, you never know what you’re dealing with out there!

He just kept talking, too! I think he even said he liked my leg warmers?! Like them all you want, just NEVER TOUCH ME AGAIN, GOOD LORD.

I came back to work and was SHOOK. I went straight to Lauren’s desk and told what happened and only then did I realize that it  had upset me so much that I was near tears. I just kept thinking about all the ways that could have taken a turn for the worse.

However! Yesterday, I had quite the opposite experience. I was walking across one of them there bridges, headed back toward the office, when a man about my age stopped before passing me.

“Excuse me, are you from here?” he asked.

HOO BOY, HERE WE GO.

Like a moron, I said yes. For someone who hates people, I sure fucking engage with them willingly. #ContraryMary

“What’s the white building over there?” he said, pointing at something across the river. I braced myself but when I saw what he was pointing at, I was like YES I KNOW THIS. I KNOW THIS!!

“Oh, that’s um, the uh…convention center,” I said with zero conviction because I couldn’t remember the name of the convention center but at least I knew that it was a shelter for conventions!!! It’s also the biggest eyesore in downtown Pittsburgh, if you ask me, but no one ever does.

“Oh, that makes sense,” he said. “And what about that?” Now he was pointing a different direction, toward Mt. Washington.

Shit.

“Um, I think those are just condos?” I said, my tone the verbal embodiment of a shrug.

“And there’s a casino here, right?” he asked, like I was wearing some ASK ME ABOUT PGH sandwich board.

Now I felt like I was on some hidden camera quiz show.

I knew the general direction of the casino, so I felt like I was doing well, a lot better than the time the in-a-hurry businessman from NYC stopped to ask me where to catch a cab.

LOL, IN PITTSBURGH? Good luck.

Anyway, turns out this dude’s name is Adam and he came here from Vancouver for the dumb Steelers game which is tonight I guess, and I only know that because I accidentally walked to the dumb Heinz Field and got trapped in a mess of tents, some dumb THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL stage being set up, and people being excited about dumb football. This was actually where I was walking back from when I ran into Adam.

His friend’s flight wasn’t until later that afternoon, so he was killing some time by walking around the ‘Burgh when he ran into the city’s worst tour guide. He said that Pittsburgh was bigger than he thought (it’s small, you guys) and he thought it was “very nice.”

I did tell him about the incline on Mt. Washington though, because I do think that’s a thing that all visitors should do when they come here because who doesn’t like a good view of a city, you know? It’s our version of a sky tower, I guess. But Adam kept wanting to think  that the track I was pointing to was steps, so he was like, “Oh OK and so you can walk up that hill…” and I was like, “NO IT IS LIKE A FUNNICULAR, ADAM, YOU RIDE ON IT, PLEASE TRY TO KEEP UP.”

It was almost as bad as the firsts time Bill & Jessi visited and Bill was 110% convinced that the Incline was literally someone’s house that drove up and down a hill all day long. I think he’s the one that I also had convinced was going to go super fast like a rollercoaster whenever we were about to board.

I might not be a verified tour guide, but I am a verified motherfucker.

Adam and I shook hands and I was starting to walk away when he called my name with urgency.

SHIT, PLEASE DON’T ASK ME THE NAMES OF THE RIVERS. PLEASE DON’T ASK ME THE NAMES OF THE RIVERS. I’LL HAVE TO PHONE A FRIEND AND THEN THEY’LL THINK SOMEONE DIED BECAUSE I NEVER PHONE A FRIEND.

“What’s that sandwich place that everyone here likes…?” he asked, and I laughed to myself because I was literally just telling my friend Kyoung from Korea about this that morning in our Kakao chat when we were talking about food that our cities are known for.

(Of course, his town is known for legit dishes and I’m like, “I dunno…a sandwich that comes topped with fries and coleslaw?”)

“Oh, Primanti’s,” I laughed knowingly, like it was some inside Yinzer joke but it’s not because Primanti’s has expanded to like, dumb Ohio so it’s not exactly a secret.

Of course then he wanted to know how to get there and I wasn’t sure if there is one in Heinz Field because I have never been there because I don’t like football or anything else that would ever happen there unless it’s like, The Cure or a Kpop festival which will likely never happen. So I gave him weird arm-twisty directions to the one in the Strip because I think that’s like, the original?

And then he asked me what I get when I go and I started cracking up big time because this guy has no idea what a half-assed Pittsburgher I am, man.

“Well, I don’t eat meat, so I would just get cheese. But other people, um, get ones with lots of meat, I think,” was my super convincing answer. And actually, I have only gone to Primanti’s twice in probably 20 years because it does nothing for me.

I came back from my walk and went straight to tell Todd about my encounter because he loves listening to stories about me awkwardly interacting with strangers, and I knew he would think it was even more special that the conversation was about Pittsburgh Things.

“Well, if you were really on a game show and the question was ‘Most Popular Primanti’s Sandwich,’ you’d probably want to say pastrami,” Todd said and honestly it’s been so long since I was in the meat game that I can’t even think of what pastrami is so that’s what Henry and I talked about last night when he picked me up from work: how pastrami is not Pâté  (literally I was picturing a Primanti’s pâté  sandwich and couldn’t understand why that would be the most popular?!) and how Adam picked the wrong motherfucker to get insider tourist tips.

*******************

Bonus “reporting from work” fodder:

I went to visit my old area today for some Chatty Time.

“I was thinking earlier about how Glenn used to choke all the time for attention. Does he still do that?” I asked, since I don’t sit over there anymore to keep track and also Glenn was gone for the day so I couldn’t ask him to his face.

“Yeah, but I don’t think he’s doing it for attention,” Todd said, in full White Knight regalia. “In fact, he was actually choking earlier and I thought to myself, at what point do I step in?”

“That’s because he eats peanuts!” I cried, not willing to give up any pity. “Look, he has a huge industrial-sized jar on his desk right now!”

“Are you talking about how Glenn is going to choke to death someday and I’m not going to know?” Lauren said, pivoting in her chair.

“Ugh, he totally fakes it!” I cried, and Todd was behind me shaking his head at the camera. “Remember that one time I asked him if I could NOT get him a glass of water?” I asked. CLASSIC ERIN.

“I always feel really bad when it happens!” Lauren said, because she is a good person.

“One time, I told him to stop because it was annoying me,” I said with a shrug, and Lauren was like, “ERIN OMG!” Hahaha, I’m the best.

They totally miss me sitting over there.

Nov 072018
 

It’s crazy to think that I was going to shows (alone, mostly) 5 or more times a month before my life did a 180. There just isn’t much in that scene that has grabbed my attention since I felt in love with Korean music, even though I thought I would be able to maintain both lifestyles. But then Emarosa announced a very small and limited run of super-intimate club shows and I was like, “OK, I’m in.”

Still, it was hard to get back into that “changing clothes and leaving for the show straight from work” groove that used to be my norm! It was a struggle man, especially when we got to the South Side and had a hard time finding a parking spot because there were at least two other shows going on Thursday night.

And it was raining.

And I was tired.

And I was hungry.

But…Emarosa.

The show was at Smiling Moose and I was stoked for that because I love that little spot so much. I feel at home there and not super anxious like some other venues make me feel – like Mr Smalls; I don’t mind that place when Henry is with me but anytime I went alone I felt like I was slowly dying.

This was Chooch’s first time at Smiling Moose, somehow! He’s been to nearly every other venue in the city but this one so I was excited to scratch it off his list (I don’t think he cared either way; he’s 12 and only cares about Fortnite and, thankfully, school).

The show started around 7 with local band Milly who I swear I have seen before but after googling, I think maybe not?! OMG I WAS WRONG ABOUT SOMETHING? I have to be honest here and say that I was kind of in a mood and was sort of prepared to be unimpressed, but these guys proved as usual that I am a prejudiced asshole because they fuckin’ slayed, OK? At least I can admit when I’m wrong!

I saw Chooch pull out his phone and add one of their song names to a Note, so that is like the ultimate seal of approval – an opening band not only holding my kid’s attention, but inspiring him to make a note to check them out at home?! Well done, Milly.

Apparently, they toured with Bradley (Emarosa’s frontman) years ago, before they were Milly and before Bradley was in Emarosa, so that was interesting to know! I like full-circles.

I would definitely go see Milly again. They held my attention and I didn’t drift off into a daydream once, which is surprising because I was really tired that day.

After Milly’s set, I was reminded of the only thing I dislike about the Smiling Moose and that is the super awkward stowing of equipment along the sides of the room. There is no “backstage” so all bands have to load in and out from the front, which means that you’re in the way if you stand in the center of the floor, and then they stack all their shit along the walls near the stage, so you’re in the way if you stand to the side as well. The only place I haven’t been in the way was all the way in the back at the bar and in the bathroom.

SPEAKING OF THE BATHROOM, the last time I was there, I lost a brand new lipstick in there! It fell out of my pocket and I didn’t realize it until I got home and I was sad but at least it wasn’t any of my good Korean lip stuff, just some lame Cover Girl thing probably I think who cares, IT’S OVER NOW.

Oh, did I tell you that Henry wasn’t even with us for Milly? He was at the bar, being a cool boy. But then he encroached on our spot near the stage in between bands and was all cocky because Bradley saw him back there and said hi. Get over yourself, Hank.

The second and final opening band was another local one – Secret Eyes. Immediately, we were annoyed because one of their people, a very nice girl, kept asking us to move because she was setting up some extraneous, gratuitous light fixture on both sides of the stage, and of course one of them needed to be planted exactly where Chooch was standing. We all took a step back, but the guy next to me was unwilling to move so it was tight quarters during the entire soundcheck and set, but thankfully that was cut short due to technical difficulties which prevented one of their guitarists from performing with them so they had to play as a three piece and it really threw them off big-time. I felt bad but at the same time I was like maybe you shouldn’t have worried so  much about these dumb lights that aren’t even adding anything special to your set, boys.

I’m not sure if I would have liked them or not, and it was hard to tell based on the version of the band we got that night, but the singer did at times sound like the guy from A Skylit Drive, so I was into that. Until they played a cover of the Weeknd and then they lost me.

We were elated when the girl came back to retrieve those lights afterward,  freeing Chooch to dip back into his corner spot. That dummy next to me still wouldn’t move though even though he and his girlfriend had a wealth of space next to them, but whatever. I wasn’t trying to let my inner stodgy old person get the best of me on this night. TIME AND A PLACE, ERIN.

TIME AND A PLACE.

Emarosa came out, no frills, no gimmicks, and proceeded to rip our faces off. The stress almost immediately melted off my shoulders. I had no idea how much emotional weight I had been lugging around, and how much I needed to be there that night. My sanity needed it.

The music is obviously what keeps me coming back for more, after all these years, that long hiatus, lineup changes, and a gradual but progressive change in sound, but what REALLY sets these guys apart for me is the stage presence, the inter-band camaraderie, the fan engagement, and the easy-going humor that shines so naturally in between songs. Bradley could easily stand up there, belt out every song with the sheer perfection that we all know and love, and call it a day. But instead, he treats the audience like we’re in on a joke, like we’re part of a club (#peachclub represent), like we’re actual people and not just faces in a crowd. And he is FUNNY. Like Chris Pratt-funny. Like dad joke-funny.

It’s been a bit over a year since we last saw them, and even longer since they delivered their last album to our eager ears (2016, I believe). But they’ve been hunkered down for the past year, writing the new record, and it’s scheduled to drop this February! In the meantime, they embarked on this super quick run of intimate shows before jumping on another tour to support Hands Like Houses, and Pittsburgh just happened to be the FIRST STOP on this tour. Which means that we were the first ones to get a sneak peek at the new jams! They performed two of them for us that night, and Bradley made us swear we wouldn’t record it.

He told us to just be in the moment, but then laughed and said it was also because they weren’t even sure if these new songs were in final form, lol.

I don’t have anything to share, and I wouldn’t do that to them even if I did, but I can tell you that one of the songs had major Carly Rae Jepsen vibes to it and it fucking slapped.  If it’s any indication to how the rest of the album is going to flesh out, then get ready to hear a lot more about Emarosa, you guys. I think they’re not going to be my little secret for much longer.

But I’m ready to share them! They deserve all the exposure.

I love that Bradley was wearing a vintage Michael Jackson shirt and that the two girls in front of the stage were dramatically singing every song to each other and that some guy in the back kept screaming, “YOUR DRUMMER LOOKS LIKE POST MALONE!” and finally Bradley was like, “I KNOW, MY DRUMMER LOOKS LIKE POST MALONE” and that the crowd was just so pure and involved and THERE FOR IT.

I’m awful at remembering set lists, but I looked at the one for the show after ours, and I’m 99% sure it was the same:

  • Blue
  • Young Lonely (I love screaming this one)
  • Helpless
  • *new song*
  • Miracle
  • People Like Me… (so stoked for an older jam!)
  • Cloud 9
  • *new song*
  • A Hundred Crowns
  • Hurt
  • Sure

Afterward, we begged for more and Bradley said they had time to do one more, but everyone had to agree on it, and it had to be something they already played (wtf lol) so of course everyone started screaming their choices, which Bradley narrowed down to “Helpless” and “Cloud 9” but then we all had to agree on one of those and Helpless won so I was so excited!

But then they played Cloud 9 again too! I KNOW THAT SOUNDS DUMB LIKE WOW THEY DID THE SAME SONGS TWICE BUT IT WAS SO FUNNY AND THE ENERGY IN THAT ROOM WAS OFF THE CHARTS!

Oh I felt cleansed.

Afterward, we hung back so that we could say what’s up to Bradley, but he ended up coming over to us on his own and gave us all hugs (I was annoyed that Henry got one too, though, because it made Henry feel like he was special or something lol) and we got to chat with him a bit about Emarosa’s upcoming album, more tours, special surprises — it was just really cool and I was so happy to see them again. It’s always a pleasure and I’m so glad that this went from something that I was into by myself to a band that my whole family loves, as Kumbaya as that sounds (I’m still Satan, so don’t get too excited).

Is it weird to say that I’m proud of them? Because I really am. That band was nearly decimated by their old singer, but they forged ahead and haven’t looked back. They are so much more than the post-hardcore band I first fell in love with ten (!!!) years ago.  Long live Emarosa. <3

To conclude, here are some Emarosa videos that I love a lot, in hopes that maybe some stranger out there will too!

Nov 052018
 
  • I was having a, well, Moody Monday, but then Sandy texted me that she saw Downtown Jesus having a rest outside of CVS, and it made me smile. I love that my co-workers text me now with Downtown Jesus’s whereabouts! I almost landed in his lap Friday morning when I was leaving the trolley station, because as I rounded the corner to take the steps, he was all sprawled out at the bottom and I almost stepped right onto his crotch! I feel like he would have forgiven me. #WWDTJD
    • But then I think about voting tomorrow and I’m right back in a MOOD. A REAL BIG MOOD, AT THAT.
  • There’s another movie being filmed in Pittsburgh for some reason and so on Friday, there was a flurry of activity because it was going on right down the street from work. I guess Ewan McGregor* is in it? He’s not Korean, so DON’T CARE. Anyway, I went outside that afternoon for my daily walk and there was a crowd gathered on the sidewalk up ahead so I was like “I GUESS I WILL CROSS THE STREET” but before I had a chance, some FUCKING POLICE MAN came over and shouted at me (some might even say he BERATED me and by “some” I mean “me” when I write my letter to the mayor) that I was not permitted to continue walking along the sidewalk and that I would have to CROSS THE STREET at which point I scowled at him and said that I was well aware but then he fucking ESCORTED ME and I was so mad about this – I am already standing on weak, wobbly legs and this fucking pushed me over the edge. I was on the phone with Henry at the time and felt invincible so I started loudlymouthing off about how this jerk-cop was being rude to me and that this movie is SO DISRUPTIVE TO THE CITY because I turn into a bratty 15-year-old in the face of authority and start talking super loud so that everyone will know that I am upset about a thing, and Henry was like, “Please don’t get arrested.” Then I ran into my friend Chris and told her what happened and we had a moment of hateful solidarity because she gets it, man.
  • *(CORRECTION: IT IS SETH ROGAN. THANK YOU, CARRIE!)
  • SPEAKING OF FEELING INVINCIBLE: I lost two more pounds recently (thx, Noom) and anytime that happens, I start to feel invincible, like I can stuff any kind of foods into my fat maw and I will just miraculously keep losing weight; luckily Noom has been helping me veer away from that kind of destructive thinking. But I’ll tell you what doesn’t help: a co-worker bringing in not one but TWO majestic platters of pre-holiday cookies and I want to fucking SWAN DIVE into them, you have no idea. I’ve inventoried each one like 4 times in an hour because I am forever fat and during one of my inspections, I noticed that there are also BUCKEYES in there. I’m crying. Homemade baked goods are always coming for me.
    • TODD IS GETTING COOKIES RIGHT NOW AND I AM JEL.
      • Pfft. Dieting, amirite?
      • I will probs have a Snickerdoodle eventually though because YOLO and ‘why so srs,’ etc. etc. etc.
  • This Is Us jumped on the Hallyu bandwagon and I was left feeling pretty uncomfortable after watching the last episode. It just didn’t feel like an organic story arc and even referencing kpop felt cheap to me. I really like this show but that was a big no for me, like they just want to put their big American meathooks into the Korean craze like all the other dumb media here.
  • Speaking of kpop!! (LOL, like I need a segue for that.) I’m pretty excited about some recent comebacks. One is the mighty EXO, and it’s a really huge deal in Kpopland because they haven’t been given a proper comeback in over a year which is almost unheard of in this industry. They are super super super big in South Korea too so I can only imagine how exciting it is over there right now! Anyway, below, I will share their new video and also a live music show performance of their second song which I think I like better than the main single, actually. Also, I saw their album yesterday at Target. TARGET!!
    • Maybe This Is Us will have one of their songs on their next episode. ㅎㅎㅎㅎ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwd8N6K-sLk

(Chanyeol is my favorite, in case you were wondering.)

  • When I ask Henry if we are definitely going back to Korea next summer, he says things like, “probably” and “I don’t see why not” and that’s great and all, but the answer I am looking for is a big fat solid YES.
    • I want to go there and have birthday bingsoo. If I have to turn 40, let it be while I’m face-first in some fancy-ass Sulbing.
  • Today when I left work, IT WAS DARK OUT AND THAT MADE ME MOODY AGAIN.
  • Then I came home and everyone immediately started fighting over Chooch’s stupid Halloween candy. The accusations were flung and flying, you guys, I forgot how much I LOVE this time of year. Chooch and Henry mostly fight because Henry is a fucking chocolate hog and eats like 85% of Chooch’s haul every year, and then Henry gets all defensive and uses the “I AM THE PROVIDER OF THE HOUSE AND LAST TIME I CHECKED I CAN DO WHAT I WANT” and I’m like “HOW ABOUT ADDING ‘THROWING OUT WRAPPERS’ TO THAT LIST OF THINGS YOU CAN DO, BIG GUY!” because that’s the role I play in this annual argument – I don’t care who eats what, just fucking throw your garbage away, assholes! There was an Almond Joy wrapper on the coffee table and Chooch was like I DON’T EVEN LIKE ALMOND JOY and Henry was like, “I DID NOT EAT THAT” so now I guess I have to interrogate the cats and Trudy the Mannequin, OK. (AND NO IT WASN’T ME BUT HAD I KNOWN THERE WAS AN ALMOND JOY, YES, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ME.)
    • BUT I WOULD HAVE THROWN THE WRAPPER AWAY BECAUSE I’M NOT A BARBARIAN.
  • Chooch and I just walked to CVS and he was all excited because his favorite cashier JOHN was working and I was happy too that it wasn’t that weird meth lady who ruined my Halloween candy buying experience last week. So we got in line and I was like, “Oh well, we’re not going to get John” because he was still checking out the people in front of us when the younger guy at the next register said he could take us. Chooch got all dramatic like it was life or death for John to check us out so I awkwardly said, “Oh. Um, he’s…waiting for John…” and the younger guy (WHO I LIKE TOO BECAUSE HE ALWAYS SAYS WITTY THINGS THAT HENRY NEVER RESPONDS TO BECAUSE HE PROBABLY DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THEM) said, “Ugh, whatever! Fine!” and John was all, “What? What’s going on?” and the other guy said, “Ugh, they’re waiting for YOU!” all theatrically and it was hilarious. John peeked around the people in front of us, and when he saw who it was, he happily exclaimed, “OH! HENRY!” which is what he jokingly calls Chooch because Chooch goes there all the time after school and uses Henry’s phone number for the CVS card lookup thing so now John just refers to him as Henry as a joke. Meanwhile, the lines got all screwed up because of this because since we weren’t moving over to the other guy’s register, people behind us thought they had to stay in our line for some reason so John’s line was growing while the other guy was like, begging people to come to his register. Way to go Chooch.
    • When the girl in front of us left, she stopped to say that she loves my cow print coat and asked me where I got it, but I couldn’t remember which Young Girl store it was: Contempo, Delia’s, or Wet Seal; but in any case, it was probably 20 years ago so it’s basically vintage at this point. I always feel like I’m such a plain jane but then cold weather comes and everyone is like I LOVE YOUR COAT. Anyway, she was disappointed when I didn’t say “Forever21, last weekend!”
    • One time, Chooch told me, “I like John a lot, that’s why I would never steal from CVS” and I was like, “That’s great but how about just don’t steal from anywhere because it’s wrong!?!?” Dum dum.

Well guys, we had a bunch of card orders come in today so I guess I’m going to wrap up this moody blog post and annoy Henry while he does card stuff. Be back later in the week with a recap of the Emarosa show (!!!!), stuff from Saturday night, and probably more Chooch haunted house reviews.

Nov 042018
 

    Dark View’s theme this year was carnival, although every other year was a creepy house. We were the first ones here on this cold day, and by first ones I mean the first people to actually get in line. We got popcorn while we waited for a good time to get in line. I sat by the fire trying to warm up which helped a lot. We walked in line, making us the first in line. Not long after, the line started to fill up and more people came. We were placed in a group with a guy named Eddie and mum and him talked about horror movies and Conneaut, it was awkward. Eddie had 2 girls with him, they looked like they were the same age as me, 12. The old man that was there last year told us a story about how someone owned this carnival and had many freaks, but you can’t call them that anymore. He mentioned that there was a fat man, a sasquatch, and elastigirl. He said that people from all around the world came to see he because they liked to see her stretch her….then he motioned around the chest area. He then continued by saying that at least it wasn’t an elastiboy. He let us go and we went into a small shed, and sat down. Oh! I forgot, there were two other people in our group as well. When we sat down, a video started playing in front of us, it was a fat guy about to take our picture, but he was allergic to ugly people, so he had a rough time. He also kept farting and sneezing on us, so it held back the picture. He took 4 photos in total, and one of the was a jump scare behind us, and I wasn’t phased at all. 

   Then, onward we went into a showroom where some guy was doing magic. He said that he was going to make a clown doll disappear, then reappear. By disappear he meant throw over a wall, and by reappear he meant a giant clown was going to pop out from behind a wall. Then we enter the room where the animals were kept in cages. There was a sasquatch and a tiger, the sasquatch was farting and the tiger was growling. The next room was really cool because it was a closet type room with many clothes and then a giant teddy bear that turned out to be a real person. After a while, we realized that our group must be good because they went a decent speed and weren’t annoying. After the carnival, was a graveyard and the clown, Fatso, told us to call the caretaker stupid. The caretaker sighed and made us follow him through a crypt and then down a trail which had a house with an old lady sitting on the porch. When she noticed us, she started talking about how her mother made the best pumpkin pie and they had picnics in Parkview. Then she told us not to run in the forest because the trees will grab you by the ankle and trip you. Then I looked behind us and saw that there was a scarecrow walking slowly towards us. I was scared and wanted to go, then the lady told us to go and watch out for the tree people.

    I quickly realized that the tree people were men dressed in a Ghillie Suit and they were creepy. Then there was a lady who did rituals or something and she wanted to save some girl who was going to get sacrificed by a demon. The lady asked if two of us would sacrifice ourselves, so I raised my hand and another lady in our group did, too. The woman said in order to avoid getting killed, we had to walk slowly, do not run, and do not look back. If we do, he will kill us. So we went in the front of the group and walked very slow. We avoided looking back, while we heard other members in our group get caught looking back. We didn’t know when we were allowed to look back and run, so we just kept walking slowly, until we reached a cabin. The cabin was a hunting cabin and the guy who was outside of it told us to hurry in. Apparently, there was a zombie outbreak and they were trying to get in, so we stayed inside. Then all of a sudden, the lights shut off, they must have cut off the power circuit. The guy told us to run and when the lights turned back on, a zombie appeared from the shadows and ate the hunter. We ran and made it to a foggy fence maze. There was a sniper tower flashing a light down on the maze. We kept going through the maze and we saw a guy, I looked down at his hands, and he was holding a chainsaw. I held my breath and knew better than to run from when we went to Hundred Acres Manor because he would chase me. So I just kept going and he followed us while his chainsaw revved. Mum screamed and pushed me into the guy. She ran full speed ahead, but the guy didn’t chase her, so we all ran and made it to the end.

My opinion of Darkview this year is very good because I liked the part where we had to be very quiet and move slowly. 

Big Papa eating his Big Papacorn. <—ERIN WROTE THIS.

Nov 032018
 

Sorry November, I still have some Halloween-y things to cover up in here.

One of my favorite haunts, Castle Blood, has a no-scare matinee that they do on Sundays, where they keep the lights on, there are no overt scares, and kids of all ages can wear a costume and go trick-or-treating through the house. As you may know, this place has been on haunted house mainstay list since the mid-90s, and we started taking Chooch to the matinees when he was two (though he quickly graduated to the actual nighttime tour).

Well, Calvin has him beat now because he just broke onto the haunted house scene at the young ol’ age of 1! I was so excited when Blake and Haley said they wanted take him! He even dressed up like a little werepup! Here are some snaps from our afternoon in an old, haunted funeral home.

Here he is being completely unimpressed in the parlor!

The cool thing about the Castle Blood matinees is that they still do the whole story/adventure so even though the lights are on, you still get to solve the puzzles and barter for talisman so it’s a win for adults too (especially when Haley grabs a Snickers out of one of the candy bowls for you after your own so blatantly ignores your request).

Calvin was completely smitten with the psycho lab assistant.

We were just there two nights prior to this so Chooch knew all the answers to the puzzles. Our friend Chris was working in the lab that day and when we saw him afterward, he said, “I’m glad I caught you guys! Riley solved that puzzle in the lab faster than anyone has this whole season,” and Henry and I looked at each other, like, “Should we tell him?” Lol. To be fair though, he solved it the first night we were there too, but not as immediately as he did that day!

(I wouldn’t have been able to figure it out, so props to my kid, even though we’re in constant competition with each other, ugh.)

Chooch was scared because he knew his new frenemy was coming up – a super surly spider queen who snapped at him for daring to put his foot on her throne.

Chooch adores Calvin, it’s pretty awesome.

GUYS, WE WON. And Chooch and Haley didn’t even fight once!

It was really fun and I’m glad we got to expose Calvin to the creepier side of Halloween at such a young age so that someday soon, he’ll hopefully be joining us on the annual haunted house hop. GOTTA START ‘EM YOUNG, GUYS.

Chooch will be back on here at some point with his recap of our nighttime Castle Blood tour; his friend Liam came with us and I was so excited to show up with a new recruit!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my Taemin videos on YouTube.

Nov 012018
 

Man, this was one of the most apathetic Halloweens ever. I was trying to keep in good spirits because historically, this has always been my favorite holiday but it felt like no one was in  the mood. I mentioned this previously, but Chooch was just like *hands in the sky* as far as costume ideas went.

(Maybe he should have been the Cure’s “Edge of the Deep Green Sea” PROPS IF YOU GET THAT REFERENCE.)

Finally the night before, he texted me when I was still at work because of course I was late shift the night before Halloween and not home jerryrigging together some elaborate costume for him because he is TWELVE NOW AND I AM SUPPOSED TO NOT BE CARING ABOUT THIS SHIT ANYMORE. So he texts me and says he’s going to be One-Punch Man and: “I need yellow pants, a yellow jacket, a bald cap, and red boots and gloves.”

“Oh and a cape.”

UM, THE FUCK YOU DO.

By the time I came home from work, it was 8PM. Still no decision. I was like, “DON’T CARE DON’T CARE DON’T CARE” because I am retired.

But ugh, I felt bad for him because he was struggling and I know that this could potentially be his last time trick-or-treating, who knows, so I sat there and secretly brainstormed about relevant things, and “Hereditary” popped into my head because we watched that last month and loved it so I showed him a picture of Peter as King Paimon and he was like, “YES. YES, THAT IS THE WINNER.”

And it was so easy! All I had to do was pull Henry out of bed and send him to Burger King for a crown (“I can’t just walk in and ask for a crown,” he mumbled, trying to get out of it. “THEN ORDER AN ICED TEA, MOTHER FUCKER” I yelled, and he was on his way.) which we then spray painted gold (always have gold spray paint on hand, have you SEEN my house?).

Right before Chooch left the house yesterday for trick-or-treating, Henry bandaged his nose and I thickened his eyebrows and gave him a mole.

THAT WAS IT. BYE NOW.

This was almost as easy as the Kevin Bacon costume, and definitely cheaper! Plus, Chooch’s friend Trevor said it was an amazing idea for a costume, and this may have been the first time ever that someone Chooch’s actual age knew what he was supposed to be. So that was another win.

(Although I still think the one Top 40 song title idea I had for this year would have been good but BLAKE made me question it. MAYBE ANOTHER TIME.)

Since Chooch is way beyond the age where it’s acceptable for MOMMY to  tag along, this was my first year staying home and passing out candy since he was born, you guys. (I stayed home last year too but I didn’t pass out candy because I got drunk off soju instead and pouted.)

(And the only reason I still went with him two years ago was because he was Bullet with Butterfly Wings and could barely see where he was going, so he needed parental helpers with him.)

Sorry, I get distracted by thoughts.

Earlier that day, I had walked to CVS to get candy. There were signs that said some of the candy was Buy 1 Get 1 (in Korea, they call that 1+1 so that’s what I say in my head when I see dumb American BOGO signs) but the date said 10/27 so I decided not to chance it and only grabbed one, plus a bag of some other not-on-sale assortment. When I got in line, I noticed that there were more displays of the 1+1 candy, so I decided I would inquire about the validity once I got to the register.

And then I saw it was the weird, probable Meth-head lady who started several months ago and she has ZERO personality, like even less than me, so negative personality I guess, and she just makes me feel extremely uncomfortable.

(Or, as Chooch’s neighbor friend would say, “uncomfy.”)

And she’s kind of dumb too. There, I said it.

But still, I pressed my luck and asked, “Is that buy one get one candy sale still good for today even though the date on it says 10/27?”

She looked at me like I was the one on the Meth.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

I reiterated my question, this time making large gestures and using smaller words.

She seemed to understand now.

“Oh, no. That’s…..no, that’s not,” she slurred.

OK then.

So she started ringing up my candy.

“Oh, this one is buy one get one, so you can go get another if you want,” she said to me, in a tone that did not imply at ALL that we had previously discussed this.

I just looked at her and then slowly said, “Yeah, that’s what I was asking you.”

“Oh, I didn’t know what you were asking,” she said, staring at me blankly.

?!??!?! Isn’t this like Basic Cashier 101?!

There was a line behind me now so I quickly ducked out of line and grabbed another bag of candy from the big 1+1 display.

“Oh, it has to be the same kind,” she said BUT DOES IT THO?! It was the same price, from the same display, part of the same sale!?

Again, there was a line so I just sighed and grabbed a second bag of glow-in-the-dark-wrapper Kit Kats as quickly as possible because fuck it all, man. I hate shopping.

There is no big ending to this story, I was just thinking about it and how annoyed I was when some choosy girl picked one of the Kit Kits out of the bowl last night and I swear to god DISGUSTEDLY asked me what kind it was and I wanted to be like HEMLOCK but I just sweetly told her that it was regular with a special CHILDBLOCKING wrapper SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT, HONEY.

Because when that happened, it made me start thinking about my annoying time in CVS all over again and it’s just a vicious cycle!

Anyway, I was excited for like a second to hand out candy last night since it’s been so long since I last did this. I got my first customer before it was even 5:30, like slow down little ma’am, you know? But then she turned out to be Asian so I was like “HERE HAVE 5 SNICKERS AND AN INVITATION TO BE MY LITTLE SISTER.”

Sorry, that was creepy.

I quickly remembered that I’m not a huge fan of kids though so this was a good acting challenge for me. I thought I was doing SUPER good but Henry, who was being a couch spectator, sneered at me and said I sounded fake as hell, especially when some dumb kid fell on my porch and I asked him, apparently in Robot Staccato, if he was OK.

OK, I admit that portion of the night was pretty fucking awkward.

And I never once asked anyone who they were supposed to be because I didn’t care, not even a little.

The kids were few and far in between, but I performed a spirited variation of the Running Man while waiting.

“This is my ‘waiting for trick or treaters’ dance,” I said to Henry.

“Then you’re going to be doing that a lot,” Henry mumbled, because our street hardly ever gets trick-or-treaters.

I diligently paused my K-Drama every time I saw someone approaching – I had the front door open because it was warm last night. This was mostly fine except for this one time when I saw someone coming so I jumped up and grabbed the bowl just as the person had reached my porch and was straight peering into my house.

I opened the door and thrust the bowl at him, but he waved me off and said, “Oh I’m sorry, I have the wrong house. I’m looking for my aunt” and as he turned to leave, Henry said to me, “Why would you think that was a trick-or-treater? He was an adult. HE HAD A BEARD.”

I’M SORRY, MY EYES ARE BAD AND MY HOPES ARE HIGH.

I told some little bitch to take two and she took like 6 and I was starting to get angry when I realized two things:

  1. I was STILL going to have like 90 pieces of candy left over;
  2. She probably was below counting-age.

My last customers had very deep voices. I don’t know what they were dressed as, but they definitely had costumes on and they were very polite to me. I dumped fistfuls into their reusable Trader Joe’s shopping bags and as I came back in the house, Henry incredulously asked, “Were those guys your age?!”

I just shrugged. Who cares. They were in costume and said trick or treat, so they broke no HalloLaw in my book. YOU KNOW!?

Meanwhile, Henry was like where is our son, because it was past 7:30.

I joked and said he was probably at the Teen Center because that’s always the best guess. A few minutes later, Chooch came stumbling through the door around 8, like someone’s dad coming home from the war. It was super dramatic. He flung his sugar-swollen pillowcase over his shoulder and onto the chair and started jawing off about this house and that house, and taking a different route, and losing the neighbor kid on purpose because he didn’t want to get stuck with the kid’s weird stepdad, and now he had no one to hold him back, and then he went to the Teen Center—

“KNEW IT!” I cried.

“Well, my bandaids were coming off and I went there to get new ones!” he yelled in defense.

As usual, mostly no one knew who he was supposed to be, and he said a lot of people were concerned that his nose-injury was real.  He was proud of that.

He also went to Coco’s house! Remember the dog we helped catch over the summer and it was a super big deal even though Henry doesn’t believe that it was because he was too busy at home, sleeping? Well the owners of Coco recognized Chooch and in addition to his candy, they gave him a pencil and a ruler which I think they just randomly grabbed from a junk drawer so that Chooch would feel rewarded.

Well, it worked, because he was so excited to show us.

Who knew King Paimon was such a dork.

And then Chooch and I watched the finale of last season’s The Walking Dead (#omg) so all in all, not the worst Halloween.

Still, I hope Chooch marries someone who won’t get in my way when it comes to being a Halloween Costume Grandma, because I STILL HAVE IDEAS.

 

Oct 312018
 

Not gonna lie, it sure doesn’t feel like Halloween. I’m still relatively numb and dead inside so my goal for today is HAPPY THOUGHTS and staying busy because you know what they say, life goes on muthafuckas.

I mean there was a show called that and everything. (Corky Forever.)

Lets start with this inspirational graffiti I took a picture of last week before some asshole walked into a synagogue and made an entire group of people feel otherwise:

Things to be excited about/happy thoughts/good moments/etc etc:

  • I’m working on a Cure mini-Valentine set for my shop! It’s been on my back burner for too long so I’m forging ahead, finally.
  • Taemin’s Japanese solo album!! He just did a bunch of huge concerts over there and watching fan videos from it on YouTube have been breathing actual life into me. I finally found more than just a 30 second snip of him performing my favorite song Rise. I swear, it’s a life goal for me to hear/see him perform this song live. I’d pay VIP prices just for that alone. Especially now this song just sucker punches my heart.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGcf0dq74UY

And this! Taemin, you give us so much:

  • Going to see Emarosa tomorrow night at Smiling Moose! That’s going to be weird. I’m so far removed from Western music/concerts and it’s been like a year and a half since I was last at Smiling Moose when it felt like that place my second home for a minute there. So funny how different my life is now.
  • Margie, our new-ish admin person, told me last week that I remind her of Phoebe from Friends and I was like, “I WILL TAKE THAT AS A COMPLIMENT.” I think I was telling her about Trudy, our resident Xmas mannequin, which came up because my other work friend Nate was talking about this one lady on a different floor and I said, “Oh she likes me, we bonded when she gave me her mom’s wig.” Margie was like “??” and I said, “Oh it was for Trudy” and then I remembered she probably didn’t know Trudy, so I tacked on, “My mannequin” and Margie was still like “??” so I said, “She’s my Christmas tree” and then we reached the point where words didn’t work anymore so I just showed her pictures on my phone and she was like, “!!”

  • I am still not over DramaFever abandoning us, but thankfully YG Future Strategy Office is on Netflix (it’s an Office-like show about Seungri from BIGBANG running YG Entertainment’s new agency and it’s extremely over-the-top and hilarious. (Probably not for anyone who doesn’t know who Seungri is. Or YG. Or BIGBANG. Or Kpop. Or South Korea.) I also started watching some new shows on Viki and that platform is fine (they have Running Man at least, which DramaFever had lost the licensing for!) but I still have no way of finishing the shows I was already watching on DF, like “Devilish Joy,” “Third Charm,” and “The Bride of the Water God” so if anyone is reading this who has any K-Drama intel, please help! I need my Seo Kang Joon fix.

Image result for seo kang joon

  • We had a huge Halloween blowout last night because I said again, for the second year, that I am fucking RETIRED as Halloween Costume Idea Come-Upper but then it was All Hallows Eve and Chooch was like a mass of undulating question marks and every idea he had required going to the Halloween store/overnighting shit from Amazon/heavy duty construction/$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ and I was like, “THIS IS WHY I STARTED PRODDING YOU ABOUT THIS IN JULY.” I gave him two pop culture/Top 40 song references to use and he was going to go with one of them but then Blake told him no one would get it so I got mad and screamed JUST FORGET IT but then I thought of something easy and Chooch was like, “Love it” and it only requires two easily acquired things and this is the story of how I got to spend the rest of my evening watching “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” (really great k-drama I’m watching on Viki!) and a documentary on YouTube about some unintentionally creepy roadside theme park in Oregon that was built entirely by one family. It was a good night free of cutting cardboard boxes and hot-gluing felt. Halloween just doesn’t feel like Halloween anymore! Take me back to the 80s please.

  • ^^^^^^^^This is like the best metaphor of Janna’s friendship with me.
  • This isn’t a happy thought at all but Some People’s President was in my city yesterday, even though he was asked repeatedly not to come, and I had the extreme displeasure of being out on my lunch break walk (I was late shift yesterday so I took my break at 4) when the motorcycle cops started screaming at people like the jackasses they are (seriously, every motorcycle cop, man—why are such assholes?!), blocking intersections in preparation for the Douche Parade, so I figured, eh, why not, I’ve got time. I hung out on the sidewalk across from the Greyhound Station, and there weren’t very many other people to greet the Great Orange Racist, that’s for sure. I was on the phone with Henry and he was nervous because my temper and extreme disdain for authority can get out of control (I’m all mouth, don’t worry), and I’m like, “Hey man, will I go to jail if I flip him off” and Henry was just like, “Please god, be careful” so then I just opted for the mature “thumbs down” instead which was fine but not the greatest carrier for my vitriolic message, but whatever. So there was just a very small throng of people booing and thumbs-downing, with some people cheering too, let’s be real THERE ARE TWO SIDES AFTER ALL, AS BEWILDERING AS IT MAY BE, and as that fucking dreary procession oozed past me, I felt so angry and helpless. There was an older businesswoman standing next to me who was also exercising her right to demonstrate her feelings, and some fucking pudding-faced MAGA hat-wearing pot stirrer approached her and asked why she wasn’t supporting Trump and at the same time, even thought he didn’t ask me, we both said, “Because we’re not racist.”  He kept trying to provoke her and said said, “Sir, I’m not doing this with you. Have a good day” and marched off and then I walked back to work among people who were saying things like, “I don’t want him in my city” and it felt good to be a part of that but I didn’t realize how sick to my stomach it was going to make me, knowing that I was that close to such a complete and utter piece of shit.  I can honestly say that I have never actually hated anyone in my life, in spite of my tendency to overuse that word, until now. I hate him.

  • But!!!!!!!! Then I saw Downtown Jesus cruisin’ on foot in the middle of the street afterward and it made me feel oddly calm.

  • I’m off work today (I use my floating holiday for Halloween every year, lol) and patrolled Brookline Boulevard – it’s my favorite in October because a lot of the storefronts are decorated and even Maureen at the post office was in good spirits and made sure I took some candy from the bowl on the counter. My Mexican boyfriend cheerfully yelled Hola! to me from behind his taco cart, and the broad at 802 Coffee was sporting a witch hat while she made my overpriced latte. And today is one of the only sincerely perfectly-fall days we’ve had here all October – bright blue skies, yellow leaves, and 60 degrees. It’s like an autumn paradise out there — for now, anyway. It’s supposed to rain later, probably right when Trick or Treating starts because why not.

I took a Snickers. Thanks, Maureen! Thanks also for scanning in my envelope without 20 questions or telling me about your latest family drama.

This is how the front of Brookline & Sinker (har har) is decorated. This bar is the diviest of all dives on Brookline Blvd. It’s where recently some guy tried to rob it with a machete. WHAT IS IT WITH THIS CITY AND MACHETES?! Jason Voorhees would be so fucking proud.

NO FILTER ON THIS BEAUTE.

Me, today. I stole Chooch’s Lucipurr shirt.

Well guys, that’s about all the happiness I have to share for this week. I have to conserve my energy so that when Henry comes home, I can resume jumping around him while chanting TAKE US TO DOLLYWOOD which is my current strategy to get him to TAKE US TO DOLLYWOOD.

Oct 292018
 

I don’t have anything profound to say about the tragic and senseless events that the Jewish community and my city suffered at the hands of yet another hateful domestic terrorist. It’s not shocking, because nothing is shocking anymore: schools, concerts, churches, movie theaters – we are running out of places where we are safe.

And then it happened in my own city. In a beautiful neighborhood called Squirrel Hill that Mr. Rogers literally called his own. Where Jack takes a young Kate to an Alanis Morrisette signing at Jerry’s Records on This Is Us (except that wasn’t the real Jerry’s Records they showed BUT STILL).

It’s where I sometimes meet friends for breakfast and get delicious bread at the Asian bakeries, try to guess who lives in the big fairy tale-esque houses, and pass by Tree of Life synagogue on the way to one of our favorite cemeteries.

And now it’s on the map because some evil madman slaughtered a group of people for what? Being different? Believing in something different? Our whole city was attacked.

Fuck, it is still so raw. Today on the trolley, a small group of strangers opened up to each other about it and it felt bonding just being there to witness people coming together, like last week when a small clump of us were waiting to cross the street and witnessed some young guy, in a stupid hurry, run into oncoming traffic and cut in front of a turning bus so tightly that he had to BEND HIS BODY to keep from getting clipped by the bus. The bus driver laid on the horn and we all stood there for a split second, holding our breath, hoping that we didn’t just witness a Faces of Death scene, but then we all exhaled and laughed when we realized he made it. And I mean laughed, because we had so much anxiety to release. And it was really cool, like we were a club now, after sharing this near-trauma together.

That’s how it felt on the trolley too. That human connection that I usually shirk, but today I needed it.

Pittsburgh is a beautiful melting pot. Yeah, I complain about living here, but for being a little-big city, it’s got the best mix of people, you guys. And there is no room for racism, bigotry, prejudice, homophobia, misogyny – not in this city.

I’m heartbroken, angry, panicked, and frustrated. We have got to be better. We have got to beat the racists, misogynists, xenophobes, bullies – all of them. We have to put anti-Semitism back in the past. We have to get rid of this country’s volatile figurehead and all of the hateful rhetoric and smug, blatant White Nationalism that comes with him. He is stoking a very dangerous fire. Evil people feel way too invincible in this current social and political climate, but this is not “their time.” It will never be “their time.”

I’m going to vote my fucking face off next week and I hope you will too. Shit won’t change over night but at least it’s a start.