Jul 162019
 

All I can think about is the fact that we leave NEXT TUESDAY for our vacation and I am having such a hard time focusing on anything else, including blogging. Also, the last two nights I have had the worst sleeps and I think it’s because I’m so excited/wired/nervous about this trip that my nerves are firing on all cylinders. I can’t wait!!

But in  the meantime, here are some things going on here in Pittsburgh which is not as great as Seoul but it’ll do.

  • I had another meet-up with Jiyong on Saturday, this time at the Cathedral of Learning. I thought it would be a cool locale because it has a bunch of Nationality Rooms (Korea included) and she’s never been there before. I love taking people here (we took Maya and Scott when they were here a few years ago because I love sharing those Harry Potter vibes with my friends!) and I thought it would be cool to do our “studying” there too and I say that loosely because Jiyong is really good at English and needs very little help from me, while I sound like a fucking Hooked on Phonics candidate. She is so patient with me though and gives me tips on how to say things more naturally in spite of what the textbooks teach and I appreciate that greatly! She said I’m doing great but if I’m not mistaken, the tone she used was the same one I used when potty-training Chooch and he shit his pants.
    • She did have to quickly make throat-cutting motions at one point though when I thought I was saying the word “shoe” but my pronunciation was so jacked that it sound more like the word for “fuck” so that was a good learning moment.
    • Meanwhile, Jiyong asked if it was possible to go to the top of the Cathedral and I was like, “YOU BETCHA, I DIDN’T GO TO PITT AND NOT LEARN ALL THE TRICKS OF THE CATHE—-oh shit” because they changed the elevators so now instead of just pushing an up or down arrow, there are there electronic pads where you have to enter the floor number you want and guess what—I didn’t know it! So there was a young guy waiting for an elevator across from us and even though Jiyong was like, “No it’s OK” I was like “I AM GETTING YOU TO THE TOP OF THIS DAMN TOWER” so I asked the guy if it was still accessible and he said he was actually going there so we could hitch a ride with him! Inside the elevator, he asked if we’d ever been to the top before and I said, “Yes, I went to school here back when the elevators were, you know, regular.” He just chuckled and nodded but in his head he was probably like, “Cool story granny.” But success – Jiyong got to look out the windows and thankfully she didn’t ask me questions about the city and the directions of things.

  • I mentioned in an earlier post that Chooch abandoned me on Friday and went camping with the teen center. Well, he apparently didn’t get much sleep because he came home with the worst post-camping attitude ever and we started fighting immediately which pissed me off because it’s EXACTLY what Henry predicted and I hate when he’s right! Anyway, Chooch passed out super early that evening and then was back to his old, affectionate self the next morning. (I mean…)

  • Rare picture of the cats interacting. My mom is going to be watching them for us while we’re gone and I’m really relieved about that because they are super sensitive and I think it will help them to have someone actually hanging out with them and not just coming over to feed them, but that’s a lot to ask of someone to be honest. Luckily, my mom is a super-animal person and I think she is also looking forward to watching our Netflix which is fine by me – I just hope she doesn’t start any While You Were Out home improvement projects like she did one time when Henry and I were away for a few days a long time ago, but then she never came back to finish! Haha. I had to warn her not to park in the driveway for any extended amount of time, lest she start the War of Pioneer Avenue with our neighbor who apparently owns the driveway which is news to me because I HAVE LIVED THERE THE LONGEST but whatever, I’m not bitter about that or anyth—GIVEMEBACKMYTHRONE.
  • You guys know how I always joke that I have a Mexican taco cart boyfriend in the neighborhood? Well in all seriousness, he genuinely is someone that Chooch and I say hello to every time we walk past the Mexican market down the street because he is out there 99% of the time, griddlin’ up some tacos for all the locals and hipsters who come from 10 towns over because tacos are on trend. Anyway, HE HAS NOT BEEN THERE IN TWO WEEKS and I’m not trying to be in poor taste here, I am genuinely concerned for him what with the way our piece of shit government is handling migrants. Henry said he could very well have gone back on his own because his visa expired but I just feel so concerned. :( Henry said he should be fine if he has a sponsor and I was like “if he doesn’t, can I be his sponsor?” And Henry was like “Um you have to own a business that employs him” SO THEN HE CAN MAKE MY SERIAL KILLER CARDS! Problem solved!
    • ICE can go fuck themselves. How do they sleep at night!?
  • The firm I work for is finally loosening up a little and adopting a “dress for your day” policy where we can wear “smart” (lol) jeans and office-appropriate shirts and shoes if we’re not going to be interacting with clients or outsiders or whatever and for most of the people in my department that means EVERYDAY can potentially be jeans day. It started today so I happily wore jeans but as soon as I got inside the office, Marlene blew her imaginary whistle and yelled at me for wearing tennis shoes. “Marlene, I just got in! I will change them at my desk!” I cried. Jesus! Then I noticed that neither she nor Carrie were wearing jeans. Then I continued down the hall and checked Margie and Lauren – ALSO NOT WEARING JEANS. But then I got to Glenn and I knew he wouldn’t let me down – totally wearing jeans and not giving a shit about it. WHEW. Turns out, there were very few of us who actually took up the new sparkly offer to wear jeans, which is weird because I thought everyone liked wearing jeans to work!? Later that afternoon, I was walking past Sue’s office when she called me in to excitedly talk to me about how I leave next week and she said she was really stoked to hear all about G-Dragon’s pension, etc. So then I was walking back  to my desk and Marlene stopped me. “Was Sue talking to you about your jeans?” she whispered. “No!” I cried. “We were talking about my vacation, god, Marlene!” She like REALLY WANTED me to get in trouble for breaking wardrobe laws today, lol. My jeans were ok! I don’t know if they’d be considered “smart” because they can’t like, call home or order a pizza, but they were clean and not ripped or frayed.
  • I started watching Big Little Lies on Sunday because there were no new episodes of Divorce on and I try to watch at least one American television program at a time so that there’s at least something that regular people can find relatable about me. Anyway, WOW – I just started season two tonight which should tell you a lot about how much I like it because I’m not a big binge-watcher. And I will say that it has really made me appreciate Henry so much more. That Perry motherfucker was driving me crazy in the first few episodes until I finally realized it’s because he reminds me EXACTLY of this guy on the trolley who I refuse to sit with even if the seat next to him is the only empty one because he is so fucking polished and manicured with his tailored suits, perfectly-gelled hair that is for sure cut twice a week, and Italian leather shoes and man purse. I not-so-jokingly call him American Psycho because I’m certain he kills people on weekends. Twice now I’ve heard him making spa treatment appointments during the ride to work!? Anyway, maybe I should change his name to Trolley Perry. This morning I sent Henry a video of me walking behind him out of the T station with no caption and Henry immediately asked, “American Psycho?” But really, who’s the psycho now, amirite.
  • FOUR MORE WORK DAYS LEFT BEFORE WE LEAVE!!

I think that’s all for now. I started doing Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution again and tonight I made it to Level 12, the final level, and I am FUCKING BEAT. That series is no joke but so worth it. I never would have been able to do this a few years ago!

Jul 142019
 

When Chooch and I came home from breakfast the other day, there was a package waiting for me and I dramatically cried, “For me?!” which made Chooch roll his eyes.

Anyway, it was an early birthday gift from my great chingu Janna! She knows how much I covet Taemin and how HENRY let me down on V-DAY and MOTHER’S DAY when I said all I wanted was Taeminnie’s new album.

Would you look at this stunner?! He is the most beautiful human being in the world I swear to god.

Speaking of god, that dude didn’t just stop with looks–he gave Taemin an inhuman amount of talent as well. It’s almost not fair.

I hope I get to see him perform live someday. <3

고마워요, Janna unnie!

Jul 132019
 

Chooch went camping yesterday with the teen center and Henry is working (when isn’t he anymore), so I’m sitting here alone on a Saturday morning getting way too intimate with my thoughts and I don’t like it! The morning started off great though – I lost some weight and decided to try on these old Mudd jeans that I have been hoarding since I was 20 because they were favorite jeans ever and also a tangible artifact of the Before I Got Fat era that I like to cling to because I just can’t ever let go of the past.

So I tried these jeans on, a juniors size 9 from 1999/2000 so god only knows what that would translate to now, and they were too big on me. Which makes sense, because I have some juniors jeans now that are 7s and too big, and in “regular lady” sizes, I’m a 4 and 6 depending on the brand.

All of this you would think should make me fall to my knees in happy tears, because yay all my hard is paying off (and it is HARD WORK – I exercise super religiously and the shit I do is maddening), but instead I’m just sitting here fixating on how I still feel like the giant in the room and how I still hate my legs and wearing shorts makes me feel so self-conscious and my underarms are still flabby (I make Henry watch me as I make my arm fat swing like a pendulum and he is so over me) and so on and so forth, like one of my elementary school teachers used to say.

My brain is trash. Absolute garbage. Henry is right – I will literally never be happy with myself, no matter what the scale or the tags on my clothes say. I’m fucking hopeless, lol.

But I will still exercise my fat face off today and tomorrow and the next day because I have a legit addiction.

Anyway, in other “vintage Erin clothing” news, I go through these phases every so often when I start mourning the loss of my favorite t-shirt. Let me tell you about it! So, when I was in high school, maybe this was 1996, Nick at Nite had this super-hyped marathon of Sid & Marty Kroft shows that they dubbed Puf-a-Palooza. I was OBSESSED because why wouldn’t I be. I wanted Sid & Marty Kroft to be my daddies, you guys. Their brains were…well, about as warped as mine! During the commercial breaks, ads would run for a commemorative, limited edition t-shirt, and this back in the day when you had to actually PICK UP A LANDLINE and call to order!  So I made my mom do it and I treasured that shirt:

This sadly isn’t a picture of my shirt, but one that I got from Google.

I don’t know why I never brought it with me when I moved out, if that was even the reason why I don’t have it now. So I texted my mom, urgently, and asked her if she knew where it could be. She said that she thought I still had some clothes in the attic and that she would look BUT IT HAS BEEN A WEEK NOW WHERE IS MY SHIRT.

Hold on, I’m texting her about it again…

Anyway, I was whining to Henry about it and he said it’s the first time he’s ever heard of this. WHAT. This was such a huge part of my life?! My HR Puf-n-stuf and Sigmund the Sea Monster plushies have been on a shelf in Chooch’s room since he was BORN?! Henry never wondered why I had those!? Or a boxed set Kroft collection on VHS?!

Wow, Henry. Why to keep up with my life.

Anyway, I want that shirt back. I looked online and every once in awhile one goes up on eBay but it’s always like, an XL and $500. I haven’t told my mom that though because if she finds it, she will definitely sell it, lol.

(She hasn’t responded to my text yet.)

The best part of that shirt was that it was a ringer tee and those are favorite kinds of t-shirts! 1970s forever!

In other news, Chooch and I had another Summer Breakfast Club meeting yesterday since it was my dreaded Friday late shit (and I really annoying one at that). We pre-planned to go to Pitaland for this one because even though we shop there regularly (Henry is like part-Syrian or something and needs to eat pita and yogurt to stay alive) we don’t eat at the cafe very often. Actually, it’s been like three years since Chooch and I last ate breakfast there, and every time we’re there I say to Henry, “Why don’t we ever eat here?” and he just shrugs.

We arrived right after they opened and enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the morning deliveries and the soothing Middle Eastern music playing throughout the store. It was really relaxing. And then while waiting for our food, we mused about how everyone else has beautiful cash money and America has dirty green bills. So plain.

My cup of Arabic coffee was SUPERB, my friends.

I ordered the shankleesh and eggs and knew immediately that Chooch was suffering from order remorse.

He ordered the Fatteh without remembering what it was, and said it was “fine” but that the yogurt tasted “weird” a/k/a it tasted the way it was supposed to taste because it was real yogurt and not like, strawberry banana Dannon. So I sighed and said, “Do you want to switch?” and he happily took me up on my offer which was partially selfish on my end because I tried his and it was DIVINE. Chick peas and pine nuts swimming in warm, savory yogurt on a bed of crispy pita? Fuck yes.

I ate almost all of it and felt so full for the rest of the morning which usually doesn’t happen. I almost always leave breakfast feeling so unsatisfied and ready for second breakfast (unless I get pancakes, then I want to throw up) even though my stomach is like, “Girl, don’t do it.” So this was a great breakfast!

Then the Pitaland lady came over and gave us two giant, puffy pieces of freshly made, still warm pita and we were like, “BLESS!”

Another great breakfast meeting of the minds. It’s really nice to spend quality time together i.e. commiserate over all the ways Henry has pissed us off recently.

(I mean, he definitely didn’t piss me off last night when he finally booked our trip-within-a-trip flight to Tokyo!)

In other Chooch news, he was at the library last week when the power went out on the Boulevard. He wrote this about it on Instagram and I don’t know why, but it just cracked me up:

Me at the library: playing some good, quality Minecraft.

Power: I’m outta here.

Lady next to me: AW DAMMIT! I was on the last page of my Women in Religion essay for Carlow University and the deadline is tomorrow!

Me: that sounds fricking boring. *leaves*

“Who even ARE women in religion, anyway?” Chooch asked me later. “Mary….Jebediah. No, not Jebediah.”

Wow, perhaps we should have enforced CCD on the kid after all.

And to conclude this mish mash of thought sundry, I almost wasn’t around to even make this post because I ALMOST GOT HIT BY A CAR ON WEDNESDAY! I was crossing the street on the way to work, right in front of my building. I had the walk sign, and it wasn’t even counting down yet. To my left, traffic was stopped at a red light. But suddenly, when I was in the middle of the street, some fucking piece of shit in a muscle car decided that he couldn’t wait any longer for the light to turn green so he revved his engine and FLOORED IT, speeding through the intersection so fast that my hair actually blew forward. I had JUST stepped onto the other lane, so if he had done that .0001 seconds sooner, I would have been a goner. As it was, he very nearly clipped the back of me. It was so startling that I actually jumped in the middle of the street and screamed “OH MY GOD!!” and there were people on the sidewalk who were yelling and gasping, too. Some guy spat, “Yeah well, he ain’t going nowhere” because he immediately hit another red light, this time with other cars in front of him. So he did all of that to travel like, 200 feet.

I couldn’t stop shaking for about an hour after that. When I told Glenn, he looked super amused because he didn’t understand the GRAVITY of the situation. “This is why I think every street should have a pedestrian bridge!” I cried. “I don’t care if I have to walk all the way to the other end to cross, I will happily do so if it means a car won’t smash me!”

“And can we call them Erin Bridges?” Glenn asked dryly. THANKS FOR THE IDEA GLENN. I will make sure to suggest that in my next letter to the mayor!!!!!!!!!!!

Let’s end this on a good note, with this sizzler from Baekhyun (there’s an official video as well but I love these live performances more):

One of the verbs that Jiyong has been making me study is in this song so I excitedly texted her “백현 says 원해 in his new song!” and she was proud of me lol.

Jul 112019
 

This blog post from 2016 came up in my memories the other day and it cracked me up because I can vividly remember how irritated Henry was that day. It also made me sad because of the way things ended with my grandparents house (I don’t think I even officially wrote about it, but in the end, we weren’t able to save it and some a-hole bought it and is flipping it I guess). 

(I don’t know why I said “a-hole”up there and not just asshole.)

Anyway, I’m glad we were able to get a few months of quality time with the house, and that we managed to eke out some more really good memories of our time there trying to fix it up. This is hands down one of those good memories!

***

We’ve been working on the outside of Gillcrest lately since we’ve reached a point with the interior where actual handymen will need to be hired. There is a ton of overgrowth happening in the backyard plus some felled trees, so today Henry bought a CHAINSAW.

I know what you’re thinking: what kind of man doesn’t already own a chainsaw? Aren’t they like born with one?

I don’t know why I was so excited about this. I knew the moment that Henry fired it up, I would probably pee my pants because HAUNTED HOUSE TRAUMA.

Still, I begged him to let me pick out the chainsaw, but he shouldered me out of the way (!!!!!!) and gruffly said something about “MAN PICK CHAINSAW. YOU NOT MAN.” Then he proceeded to put on this huge show of browsing the chainsaw showcase when we all knew he was just going to buy the cheapest one there.

C’mon now, Henry.

My favorite part was after he determined which was the cheapest, he asked the Home Depot guy, “BLAH BLAH BLAH?”

And the Home Depot guy was all, “BLAH BLAH BLAH.”

And then there was a MYSTERIOUS CAN HAND-OFF.

Followed by more BLAHs and another hand-off of A THING OF STUFF.

You guys missed so much. I’ll  bring the camera crew next time.

Back at Gillcrest, no one was there yet and I was like, “Do I really want to be alone here with a chainsaw-wielding Henry?” But then my mom and Corey were there and I realized it wouldn’t have mattered much because it took Henry FORTY-FIVE MINUTES to get the chainsaw started.

WOW MUCH MAN, VERY TESTOSTERONE.

I helped by throwing crab apples at him while Corey meandered about the backyard, taking pictures of trees.

Us Kellys are notorious for our yardwork ethics.

Henry was really starting to get extremely pissed off, so I wasn’t exactly sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing when he finally got it started. I’m not sure what the issue was other than Henry just not being masculine enough? The guys at the haunted houses never seem to have a problem getting it started.

Just sayin’.

(Please enjoy Corey’s and my obnoxious gang-laughter in the above video. It really helps Henry deal with stressful situations.)

After about 20 minutes of chainsaw’ing, I noticed Henry milling about quietly so I went over to berate him for being a slacker. He held up his finger to show me that he had WOUNDED HIMSELF ON THE CHAINSAW!!!

“OMG DID YOU CHAINSAW YOURSELF?!?!?!” I screamed, bracing myself for impending faints.

“No, I burnt myself on it,” he said quietly, probably trying to hold back tears while praying that he his penis would eventually come back to him after being engulfed by the cavernous VAGINA that had opened up in its place. God Henry, you’d never know you used to be in THE SERVICE!

“Oh,” I said, disappointed that his injury wasn’t more manly and valiant. So I went back to sitting in the grass

Apparently the reason he burned himself was because the chain was too loose and in his attempt to tighten it, he touched some silver part whatever that means. Once he stopped crying about it, he picked up the manual and sat down for some summer reading.

Then my mom came back with PIZZA which was great because Corey and I had been working very hard, dragging chopped down branches into the woods. My mom said she did a spit-take when she saw me in the yard, working.

I have callouses now, maybe.

Our new tradition is eating pizza in the formal dining room that I don’t think my grandparents ever used after the year 1983, while blasting the soft rock station over the kitchen speakers. Usually, there is at least one Phil Collins/Genesis jam that plays, but today we were treated to BROKEN WINGS by MR MISTER.

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MR MISTER PIZZA PARTY

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My mom didn’t understand what was going on and thought that I was filming the pizza because the song goes with pizza (“That song goes with pizza??” she’s incredulously asking in the background of the video) but it’s really just because I needed to focus on something while capturing some glorious notes of Broken Wings, you know? And why not pizza?!

After pizza, Henry casually announced that someone was there, and we all fucking lost our shit because it’s been HAUTE TENSION since March 30th, OK? Turns out my mom had recently renewed the insurance on the house and it was just some dude from the insurance agency who was there to take photos for the file or something, I don’t know, I wasn’t the one talking to him.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go and put that Mr. Mister record on right now. KBYE.

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Jul 102019
 

1992 in the house! (Or, in the pool.)

I was fortunate to have really great birthday parties during pretty my whole childhood, to the point where it became ingrained in me that birthdays were important, my birthday was important, and parties should be expected. Throughout the years, I have thrown birthday parties for a bunch of my friends because BIRTHDAYS ARE IMPORTANT! And obviously I have tried to give my kid memorable birthdays as well, whether it’s in the form of a party or a destination birthday (it will be hard to beat his Disney surprise!).

Because my birthday is in July, I almost always had pool parties at my Pappap’s house, only deviating from that two or three times when I opted to have my party at VIP in South Park because they had, wait for it, a pool and an outdoor skating rink. I requested T’Pau’s Heart & Soul as my birthday skate song every time.

And because I was a spoiled rich girl, there were also several occasions when I aged a year in Europe. (*blows on fingertips* lol) Henry LOVES when I bring up those birthdays. I had a very golden childhood, OK? I can’t help it!

But the best birthday memories were definitely the ones I had my Pappap’s house because he loved playing the role of Grillmaster and would brag to all of my friends about how great his grill-skills were. He was the best and while some girls would be embarrassed if their dad or whoever had the audacity to speak to their friends, I was always so proud because everyone loved my Pappap!

He died in the winter of 1996. My 16th birthday was that summer and while, if things had been different, I probably would have had the big blowout co-ed (omg lol) bash that we had been talking about, I fell into a depression and shoved away any attempt of acknowledging my birthday. Lisa tried to have a small dinner for me at Houlihan’s and I just couldn’t bring myself to it because it was my first birthday without my Pappap and I WANTED TO BE ALONE. #Chapter16ofErinsSobStory

I have a vague recollection of allowing Lisa and Christy to come over and eat birthday cake for my 17th birthday while standing in the kitchen and my brothers running around being jerks.

My 18th birthday was spent in Psycho Mike’s piece of shit 1980-something Omni with no A/C, driving around looking for places that was selling the new Bone Thugs-n-Harmony CD that came with the commemorative coin. We eventually found it but I’m pretty sure we also had a huge fight and I cried a lot, so happy 18th birthday to me.

(No, I don’t still have that coin.)

My royal 19th.

By the time I was about to turn 19, I was ready to give parties another go. I threw myself this ridiculous three-day long birthday party marathon, each night bringing different people to my townhouse in Payne Hill, and while it was incredibly fun in the moment, it culminated in a bipolar breakdown which saw me leaving my own party on the last night, in the wee hours of the morning, and driving with no direction while scream-crying to Foo Fighter’s Everlong.

So, that was that…

I spent my 21st birthday in the hospital because I was suicidal and some of my friends dragged me there kicking and screaming.

I spent my 30th birthday helping a friend move into a new apartment and need I remind you that my birthday is in July so yay heatstroke. I think Henry made me a grilled cheese for dinner that night. Happy 30th birthday to me.

And now my 40th birthday is coming up. Another milestone and I really didn’t want this to pass by with no celebration. However, I am tired of throwing myself parties and I’m not going to expect that any of my friends will do it–they’re busy and have their own shit to think about! And trust me, I’m lucky if I even get a fucking birthday CARD from Henry, hahahakillme. I know this is probably shocking, but I am a SUPER DRAMATIC LEO, especially when it comes to birthdays. I’m like, what did Prince say about his mother that one time – never satisfied.

So I decided last year that I was going to take matters in my own hands and that was when I declared that I would be spending my 40th birthday in Korea like I’m still that little spoiled brat who grew up in Jefferson Hills and not an only-just-barely-not-poor adult living in shitty Brookline.

I didn’t want to go into this with dread, like, “OMG I’m officially so old now” because 40 isn’t old, just like 30 wasn’t old. And now, after working hard to make this happen (thank you, tax refund, for all your help), I get to be in my favorite place, with my favorite people (Henry and Chooch, in case it wasn’t clear, lol), doing all kinds of fun things for like 12 days!

So far, the definitive set-in-stone required-a-reservation already-booked plans we have are:

  • attending a live recording of a Kpop countdown show on my actual birthday (SBS MTV’s The Show.)
  • visiting the DMZ/Joint Security Area
  • spending a night in the VIP room of G-Dragon’s Dolce Bita pension in Pocheon!

Other things we will be doing:

  • Lotte World amusement park!
  • A day trip to Jeonju, birthplace of bibimbap
  • Spending some time in Incheon, which is home to Korea’s largest Chinatown and a little boardwalk park called Wolmido (it has one of those crazy Disco Pang Pang rides)
  • Eating as much bingsu as possible
  • Getting giddy over the subway jingles

And so much more! I want to be more relaxed this time. Our first time there, I feel like all we did was run around like crazy people, trying to figure things out and see everything on my list, and of course we had fun, but wow – the stress levels were high on that one.

We’re staying in Hongdae this time, which is my absolute favorite neighborhood of Seoul. Buskers galore! It’s near Hongik University and there is a lot of youth and vibrancy in this area so hopefully some of it will get absorbed into my soon-to-be 40-year-old hag-skin, haha.

Yesterday in the work kitchen, Sandy asked me if we’re going to Korea every year now. Don’t I wish! This was an exception. We are not rich people!

So basically, my 40th birthday will only suck if I let it!

 

Jul 082019
 

Before I start my always-scintillating weekend recap, I want to say that I had to absolutely drag  my ass out of the house this morning, having not had to be in the office since last Wednesday. I was feeling pretty miserable about it too, especially when I got to W.Liberty Avenue and hit the button for the crosswalk BUT THE WALK SIGN WAS SKIPPED OVER and I couldn’t cross, so I started to yelling to Henry, “WHO CAN I CONTACT ABOUT THIS!? THE WALK SIGN OFFICE OF AMERICA??” and he was like, “I don’t know…probably something in Dormont…” but then I was reminded of the COP WHO NEVER EMAILED ME BACK so that really topped off my morning glass of Pissed Off Juice.

After managing to successfully jaywalk to the other side of the road, which entails me flailing like a wild animal released from a cage, blindfolded, I was approached by a tall older man, maybe like Henry’s age, so—old. I tensed up immediately, figuring he was going to ask me for directions, for bus fare, for when the R-Bar across the street opens.

But then I was even more scared when he started with, “Hey, I just want to tell you—”

TELL ME WHAT? THAT I’M FAT? THAT MY SHOE’S UNTIED? (I fell for that one before!) THAT YOU’RE GOING TO COME TO MY HOUSE AND SKIN ME ALIVE? THAT YOU’RE THE LINDBERG BABY? THAT I HAVE A BIG NOSE? (Ever since some asshole told me in 6th grade, while in line for lunch in the cafeteria, that I have a big nose, it is literally all that I see when I look in the mirror. And that guy tried to friend me on Facebook a few years ago and I was like, “OH NOW YOU WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH BIG NOSE, I THINK NOT.” Shit, what was that guy’s name though…)

“—that you’re really pretty. Remember that on a rainy day.” And then he smiled, gave me a thumbs up, and continued along down the sidewalk.

“What was that?” Henry asked through the phone, because HE IS SO POSSESSIVE OF ME. So I told him and he was like, “Oh, was he a weirdo?” because god forbid a functioning human would ever think I’m pretty, right Henry?

Anyway, that really turned my day around and then the cherry on top was when I passed by Muddy Cup, a cafe in Dormont, and my favorite barista was sitting by the window, waving to me. So, maybe Mondays aren’t always so bad.

BUT it still has the distinction of being The Day After the Weekend, which sucks even more when you’re coming off a glorious, long 4-day holiday extravaganza! (Yeah, yeah, I had to work in the morning on the 4th, but at least I was home.)

Saturday and Sunday were both really nice days, regardless of their extended holiday status. So let’s get into it!

I met up with Jiyong at Adda for some coffee and she surprised me with a pop quiz and I panicked and almost chose flight over fright but instead, I stayed seated at my table and struggled to figure out how to translate the super simple English sentences into Korean and I swear it was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in a long ass time, since probably…well, since I was in actual school. But Jiyong is really patient with me so this time, I have been reciting and memorizing my dumb face off so I will be READY next time!

Isn’t this drink goddamn gorgeous?! It’s a pea blossom matcha latte and it was worth every cent. I told Henry that my goal for this meet-up was to not spill anything on myself but I splashed it as soon as I picked up the glass from the counter so I had a green stream sluicing down my hand by the time I brought it back to our table.

Jiyong pointed out that my latte matched my phone case so she took a picture for me.

Then some mom in head-to-toe REI and her dumb little kid who was probably 3 took it upon themselves to sit at the same table of us right when I was in the middle of struggling to read Korean out loud and I felt like Billy Madison.

I can probably read Korean out loud better than that baby can read English though so there!!!!

The barista told me he liked my shirt and I couldn’t remember what I was wearing because I’m almost 40 now and automatically can’t remember things. I bought this recently at Target for like $6, bam.

Chooch and I binged the new season of Stranger Things, but my version of binging (binge’ing?) is to watch like 2-3 episodes a day, tops. So, we started on Friday, but by Sunday, I was in full-blown Netflix warrior mode and said super-seriously, “OK, let’s do this.” So we finished the last episode by 11:30 last night. (Look–I need to take exercise breaks, OK? This broad can’t rest on her laurels for long periods of time, whatever laurels are. Is it like a tuffet? A toadstool?)

During one of our breaks on Saturday, Henry and Chooch left for Target as I hollered after them, “Buy me a present!” but they were too far away as I followed it up with, “And not a candy bar!”

So Chooch sent me this picture of a STEVE HARRINGTON pillow and asked “Do you want this?” Um, le duh. It reminded me so much of the time in the early 90s when my dad bought me a Jason Priestley pillow and I was so annoyed because everyone knew my heart belonged to Luke Perry (RIP). But still, J.Priestley was no slouch, so I couldn’t complain too  much.

So I was all excited thinking I’m getting this hot pillow but then HENRY said he wasn’t paying $20 for a PILLOW. What a fucking cheapskate.

And he didn’t even bring me a candy bar!!!

Sunday was a super slothy day – it stormed off and on so we stayed home except for an after-dinner trip to Baskin Robbins for Stranger Things ice cream. We went to a Baskin Robbins that’s out in an area we don’t visit very often, and on the way there we passed a building that triggered a quick memory.

“I used to work there,” I said, pointing out the window. “For like, a day,” I added, and Henry just frowned.

Actually, I think I only went there for an interview, with my then-friend Cinn, and we were both hired but then I was like, “Hahahaha just kidding” and she got stuck working there without me. I think it was just telemarking probably because that’s what all my jobs were back then since I had such a glowing personality.

(That’s not a joke. I was like, super-likeable back then instead of the plain cardboard cutout I am now.)

“Yeah and then after the interview, we went to Long John Silvers and bought hush puppies with a bag of Susan B. Anthony coins that Cinn found in her house and she bought fish and shared it with [my cat] Marcy even though they hated each other,” I finished.

Actually, this picture was taken that day!

I took this with my camcorder I think?!

Anyway, then we got to Baskin Robbins (we’re back to present day now, please keep up) and it was so annoying because they had this TV screen that was playing a slideshow of all the Stranger Things ice cream they had but everything Chooch ordered was either “out” or “discontinued” so he got the only option they (barely) had – the USS Butterscotch, which was what I was going to get so then I panicked and said FORGET IT I DONT WANT ANYTHING and Henry was like FOR CHRISTS SAKE and I heard one of the scoopers day to him, “Does your wife want anything?” because I had walked away to pout and I was like IM NO ONES WIFE!!

But I got this dumb commemorative picture of Chooch:

His face is nearly all healed from the sunburn! I was applying ointment (lol) to it on Saturday and it was sooooo grody (kiss kiss, 1992) and scaly so I screeched, “EW YOU FEEL LIKE A REPTILE!!” and he snatched the Cortizone from me and spat, “OOOOHkay, I’ll do it myself.” I’m a really great parent who definitely has not spent the last 13 years sculpting a multi-headed complex on my son.

Came home, went for a walk, finished Stranger Things and cried. What a weekend.

*(OMG that means Saturday & Sunday. I’m a language genius. 일+일=이)

Jul 072019
 

One of the biggest downsides to being a kpop fan (and avid kdrama-watcher) is that eventually your faves are going to have to enlist in the military, which is mandatory for Korean men regardless of celebrity status. Being American, this was maybe one of the biggest culture shocks when I started really deep-diving into all things Korea and while it’s a HUGE reminder that the Koreas are still technically at war with each other, it’s also refreshing to see that at the end of the day, make celebrities are still Korean citizens who are required to serve their country.

4/5 of BIGBANG have been in the military since 2018, but TOP was the first to enlist in 2017 so he actually was just discharged yesterday and friends, what a big fucking sigh of relief.

TOP is better than entire rap-lines of other groups put together and his talent transcends kpop and Korea entirely. FIGHT ME.

The Korean media is always seemingly routing against BIGBANG and loves to drag their name through the mud. And TOP had a big drug controversy shortly after enlisting. Allegedly, he had smoked pot at his home with a kpop trainee a few months before enlisting and “someone” narc’d on him later on, causing him to have to leave the military and go to court (marijuana is a big deal in Korea) and then he ended up in the hospital after taking too many pills so this is how stressful and high-pressure it is to be a celebrity in Korea. In America, no one would give a shit if they found out their fave was smoking! But it’s a different culture and as an American, who the fuck am I to judge.

Thankfully, TOP recovered and the military accepted him back as a civil servant, but his discharge date was pushed way back to make up for the time he missed. It was really sad and scary, not knowing what was going to happen to him and I was so afraid he was going to try and commit suicide.

Because of this, the korean media has been rabid about his discharge and a huge crowd of them surrounded the facility he had been assigned to, waiting for him to come out. What they didn’t know was that one of the BIGBANG fansites has arranged a secret meetup between VIPs and TOP, who snuck out through a back door, totally ditching the media, and arrived at the secret location where he greeted the special group of fans who were privy to this! I watched a bunch of videos of it and it was so fucking heartwarming!

My favorite Kpop group’s fandom did this. They came together in an intimate, organized manner, gave the man his space while showing him support and love at the same time. VIPs are so amazing.

Now that TOP is back, I hope he takes as much time for himself as he needs, plus some. And then when G-Dragon is discharged this fall, I hope the two of them pair up and deliver the biggest clapback that Kpop has ever seen.

Jul 062019
 

Kpop is a really expensive lifestyle, my chingu. And when groups come here around the same time, we have to choose wisely.

Because we skipped out on this year’s KCON (lineup was not worth the $$$ for me, not a knock against those groups though!) I decided to try and snag tickets for GOT7’s upcoming North American tour instead, since the last two times they were here we couldn’t go because of other concerts.

GOT7 is Chooch’s ult group and he is always mumbling about how it’s not fair that we go see the groups I like, blah blah, so I figured it was time to throw him a bone. I was able to get seats in the front row of one of the nosebleed balcony sections and then told Henry, “Oh yeah, and it’s in Toronto.”

He was not pleased, especially when he realized it was a Sunday. Toronto’s not that far of a drive from Pittsburgh – 5 hours – but when you’re driving there and back in the same day, that’s a whole ‘nother story, broski.  He found a nice parking spot next to a fountain and slept/watched Netflix/walked to Union Station to pee, you know — Henry things.

Meanwhile, Chooch and I managed to get inside ScotiaBank Arena with little problems; it’s apparently the same place I saw G-Dragon in 2017 but just has a different name now. The people who scanned our tickets were so friendly, and then while we were in line for merch, another staff member came over and said to us, “If I told you there was another merch table a few gates over with a shorter line, would you believe me?” Of course it was true, because why would he lie!? So we were able to snatch a tour t-shirt in no time. The staff at ScotiaBank was SO NICE. Trust me, I have been treated like shit by venue staff before, so when staff members do things like give us merch tips, that’s something that can make a good concert experience GREAT.

By this point, it was a little after 7 so we started to enter a stairwell to begin our ascent to the third floor. A security guard blocked our path, and I was starting to wonder if our good run of friendly staff was coming to an end. He told us that the upper levels were closed and I said, no, that was impossible, our seats were in the third level.

“They’re giving out ticket upgrades at the guest relations table,” he said, pointing us the right direction. I couldn’t imagine why this was happening, I have never received ticket upgrades for any show I’ve attended, so I was paranoid. But we got in the fast-moving queue and some broad handed us two tickets for seats in the 100 section so we shrugged and set off to find our gate, at which point we realized that we were like, RIGHT TO THE SIDE OF THE STAGE, only about 20 rows up from the floor, whaaaaaat.

We were so giddy about this, but then I looked around and realized that this was probably pretty shitty for GOT7 though, because it looked like maybe they didn’t sell as many tickets as they anticipated. I mean, they were performing in a huge arena, the same one that the Toronto Maple Leafs play in, and it looked like they closed off the upper levels and literally moved everyone down to fill the seats, and even then there were a lot of empty spots.

:(

But, we went from $80 seats to $125 seats, so that was pretty awesome for us!

GOT7 is pretty popular here in the States, and I think maybe what happened was BTS announced their stadium tour right after GOT7, and people went crazy and chose that over GOT7, because the BTS hype is fucking insane. For us though, we just saw BTS last fall and choosing GOT7 was a no-brainer.

And let me just say, it was WORTH IT. Even though I was suffering through a stomach ache during their whole concert and the entire excruciating drive home to Pittsburgh.

Especially because GOT7 can SANG, motherfuckers. They can SANG SO GOOD.

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Eclipse & aegyo. 💖

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

They came out with Eclipse, their most recent comeback track, and I don’t know why I continue to be so stunned at how well the talent of these groups translates to these giant stages, but there is not even a millisecond of slouching or phoning it in. They are ON POINT, and seeing that choreography spill out on the stage in front of us is honestly breathtaking. GOT7 has some of the best dances out of any boy group out there right now. It’s literally sickening.

GOT7 is interesting because they’re not just made up of Koreans: Mark is American/Taiwanese, Bam Bam is Thai, and Jackson is Chinese (Hong Kong). Chooch’s bias is Bam Bam, and luckily for him, Bam Bam is fluent in English and did A LOT of the talking that night!

My bias is Youngjae! He reminds me a bit of Daesung from Bigbang because his vocals are STRONG, LOUD, and SOLID.

He has my favorite part in my current favorite GOT7 song, 1°:

Chooch’s favorite GOT7 song is “Confession Song,” which was this cute little Christmas-y song from 2015 and he kept screaming, “PLAY CONFESSION SONG!!!!” I was like, “Buddy, I don’t think they’re going to play that song.”

They didn’t.

But Chooch still loved every minute of the show. He even got really emotional and teared up when all the members were talking in between songs and Jinyoung said that he wanted everyone to know that even though he doesn’t show his emotions very often, that he still has just as much fun as the rest of the members. It was really sweet but Chooch caught me off guard with how affected he was by that moment..??!

My original favorite GOT7 song is “If You Do” because it was one of my favorite kpop dance workout videos from Sarahkpop, but alas, they did not perform that song so I had to join Chooch in the “NO PLAY SONG” boat.

Still, their set list was pretty solid so we didn’t have any complaints!

  1. Eclipse
  2. Never Ever
  3. Skyway
  4. Ride (JB solo)
  5. Gravity (Youngjae solo)
  6. Intro + God Has Returned + Manana (Rap unit stage)
  7. Jinyoung & Yungyeom unit stage
  8. Stop Stop It (fun fact – this was the first GOT7 song I ever heard when I first started doing KpopX!)
  9. Sign
  10. I Am Me (this song made me cry)
  11. Come On
  12. Just Right (!!!!!!)
  13. Paradise
  14. Thank You
  15. Save You
  16. Teenager
  17. Page
  18. Look
  19. Lullaby
  20. Hard Carry
  21. Fly
  22. Go Higher
  23. Before the Full Moon Rises
  24. OUT

This setlist is actually inaccurate because I know for sure they also performed “Miracle” at some point.

I learned that night that GOT7 is almost entirely self-produced. JB, their leader, produces most of their music and Yungyeom does a lot of the choreography. I had no idea about this and it tripled my respect for them, honestly. Especially since kpop has the reputation of being mass-produced factory music.

After Bam Bam pointed this out, he said that he hopes that one day they will be recognized worldwide as a group who make their own music. Imagine how frustrating it is to be other groups in Korea, busting their asses and brimming with talent, only to be eclipsed by another group who just happened to hit it at the right time.

Ugh I could write an entire blog series on this BUT I WON’T.

Guys, I swear Youngjae waved to me. YOU WEREN’T THERE, OK.

Either Chooch finally getting to the age where an entire concert can hold his attention, or he just genuinely likes kpop better than rock/emo/post hardcore because he’s been so present for these last few concerts we’ve gone to together. Usually, he’ll start to drift off (he fell asleep during BTS and all the non-kpop shows would have him looking at Fortnite shit on his phone) but especially for GOT7 he was screaming his face off and just loving every second of it so sorry Henry if driving to Toronto was annoying for you because Chooch really had a great night.

(But oh lord, that drive home, kill me.)

Anyway, go listen to GOT7! Support them and love them, they deserve it!

Jul 052019
 

My job gave all of the US offices the day off today and even though I am uncomfortable celebrating anything related to glorifying this strange and backward country right now, I am still happy to not have to go to work after volunteering to work yesterday’s holiday shift which exploded on me right out of the gates and I was pretty surly about that. So anyway, my point is, you would think that today’s Friday Five might actually be a good one since I’m home all day to write it but you better tuck that sentiment back into your pocket next to the Tic Tacs, Tammy Faye Bakker obituary, and severed toe because I am still just as disjointed and typo-prone as always!

  1. WET SIDEWALK

Hoo boy, last Tuesday I was in a real mood. I was power-walking some of the steam off around town on my lunch break and had just finished ranting to Henry about the people who won’t be invited to my G-Dragon Party (I never graduated middle-school, you know that, right?) when I had to pop into the post office to mail some orders because this is my everyday routine which is fine, I clearly live for going to the post office. There are three different ones around town that I split my services among because god forbid I should become a regular and they all have annoying things about them so better to be annoyed about different things than the same one over and over I guess.

On this particular day, I went to the one on the Northside which is annoying because the postal clerks sit behind protective glass and I can never tell which one is occupied or when it’s OK to come forth. And they are always super put out to have to do work but that’s fine, at least they’re speedy and all understand what a scan sheet* is.

*(The amount of postal clerks who scrunch up their noses when I hand them a scan sheet, say, “Yeah, this doesn’t scan for me” and then scan ALL OF MY ENVELOPES INDIVIDUALLY is….getting better, I’ll be honest, but there are still some stupid asses out there sporting the USPS emblem on their polos!)

I was annoyed right off the bat when I rounded the corner because the sidewalk in front of the post office was being repaved so I had to slalom around a path fashioned from yellow tape and orange cones. but whatever. I walked right past the cement guys and they didn’t say a word to me.

So I did my thing inside the post office and then called Henry back as I was walking out the door (TALKING ON THE PHONE INSIDE STORES, ETC IS RUDE) and thank god because he was able to witness one of the jackass cement guys yell, and I do mean, BELLOW, “DON’T STEP ON THE SIDEWALK!”

I hate being yelled at. I mean, who doesn’t, right? So this, how do you say, SET ME OFF. I stiffened and did this thing that I do where I get super loud and passive aggressive.

“THESE DUMB ASSHOLES LITERALLY JUST TOLD ME NOT TO WALK ON THE WET SIDEWALK LIKE I’M SOME KIND OF AN IDIOT. WHY THE FUCK WOULD I WALK ON A WET SIDEWALK WHEN IT’S CLEARLY BLOCKED OFF AND THEY ARE CURRENTLY LAYING THE CEMENT? WHAT FUCKING ASSHOLES!”

“They’re standing right there, aren’t they,” Henry asked rhetorically, with a sigh.

“MAYBE THAT CAN MANSPLAIN TO ME WHY I SHOULDN’T WALK ON WALK CEMENT,” I continued and Henry was like, “OMG please drop it” and so I walked away but I immediately experienced regret that I didn’t go back and slam my foot into their precious moist sidewalk but also I didn’t want to get cement on my shoe….

I just hate being yelled at by men. HATE IT. It makes me want to cull forth an army of Diva Cups and go full-blown reverse “Carrie” on them.

Then I started rattling off a list of all the men of AUTHORITY who have yelled at me and when I got to “and that fucking FBI agent,” Henry interrupted and calmly pointed out, ‘Yeah, but you made him flip his car over and nearly die, so…”

“HE DID THAT TO HIMSELF!” I screamed and then circumvented my wind tunnel of WOMAN SCORNED cursing onto our own Henry.

Then I purposely walked back to the post office, nearly causing myself to be late getting back to the office, just so I could take a picture of these douchebag women-haters who probably make their moms cry at the dinner table.

I went back there on Wednesday and there was a steady trail of shoe prints on their beloved sidewalk, and I could tell it was FROM A MAN.

2. MIDSOMMAR

Midsommar movie poster

Photo from A24

Last year’s “Hereditary” was one of the best horror movies I had seen in a really long time, so I have been eagerly anticipating Ari Aster’s second foray into the genre, and ever since I saw the first trailer for “Midsommar,” I was super amped. I love The Wicker Man (the original one from the 70s, bitch plz) and this looked like it hints of those creepy cult pagan themes. Horror movies that could really happen are definitely the scariest, in my opinion.

Chooch had no interest in seeing it so I was going to go by myself, but Henry was all, “OMG LET’S GO TOGETHER” and kept billing it as a date which was creepy in itself but whatever, I let him go with me even though I was like, “You’re just going to fall asleep” and “You’re not going to understand it!”

(Probably his least favorite thing of all the things I say.)

Henry actually did fall asleep but it was just while we were sitting there watching all the pre-previews bullshit and I was reminded of why I hate coming to the big theaters as I drank my $5 bottle of movie theater water and lamented the fact that it was being shown at the quaint, single-screen threater down the street from us which is where I see all of my horror movies, but whatever. It was fine. There were only 2 other couples there so at least I didn’t have to contend with rude movie-goers.

And it was 90 degrees outside so what a great reprieve!

OK, so I’m not wild about reviewing movies but I just want to say that this movie, while perhaps not EXCEEDING my expectations, at least lived up to the hype. To be able to take a movie that is filmed literally entirely in bright daylight and make me feel cold with dread, you are a master. And Ari Aster is just that – he juxtaposed blinding sunlight in a beautiful Swedish meadow with what could be deemed as gratuitous gore if done by anyone else, but in Ari’s hands, it was cinematic perfection and it added to the story. It wasn’t gore for the sake of shock value. It was more like, “Here is this thing that just happened and just so you know, this is what a person’s body would look like after that. Oh, and aren’t these flowers fucking beautiful? Sweden, man.”

I can see where the Wicker Man comparisons would arise, but it never felt like it was ripping anything off from that movie. It’s a modern take on ritualistic cult horror with moments of levity, haunting music/singing, and a subtle psychological study of human relationships that goes from a slow-burn into outright chaos.

I watched an interview the other day with Ari Aster where he says that this is more of a movie about a breakup and goddammit, it’s true.

When we were walking back to the car, I felt sick to my stomach and extremely uncomfortable, which was the same way I felt years ago when I watched Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, which is this really haunting Czech surrealist horror movie from 1970 that made me feel like I wanted to peel my skin off and hide in a dark hole somewhere.

The saddest part for me is that also in that same interview, Ari says that he won’t be making another horror movie for quite some time – DISLIKE.

This is definitely not a movie for everyone. If you like Jordan Peele’s take on horror, and if you thought “Hereditary” was a masterpiece that stuck to your brain-ribs like a hearty meal of meatloaf and family dysfunction, then you will likely walk out of the theater feeling satisfyingly disgusted and excited about the growth of a genre.

I’m obsessed and can’t wait for the Midsommar pins to drop.

This picture has nothing to do with anything but perhaps there is a market for pictures of Henry eating bananas because he is SO SUBCONSCIOUSLY SEXUAL ABOUT IT. I have a “Henry’s Sexual Banana Time” jingle that I sing every time he walks out of the kitchen, deep-throating one. 

3. The Rice Krispie Treat

The weather has finally gotten hot and humid here in the ‘Burgh, not that I was excitedly anticipating it (the heat is fine but the humidity can go walk off a cliff with Taylor Swift). One day last week, it was particularly toasty out there so I decided to grab a Rice Krispies Treat from our snack table and take it to my favorite homeless lady. She is always sitting in a wheelchair on Liberty Avenue, usually outside of Images, and she is pretty friendly. She has complimented me on my coats and accessories numerous times over the years so if I have a dollar on me, I always make it a point to seek her out.

I passed Jeannie and Aaron in front of our building and tried to hide the Rice Krispies Treat behind my back, like they would even care if they saw it but I didn’t want to be like, “HELLO THIS IS FOR MY HOMELESS FRIEND” because it would be JUST LIKE Jeannie and Aaron to scrutinize the things I was carrying and then interrogate me about it because they live to make me uncomfortable, I swear to god. (Like, in a teasing sense, because they know how easily agitated and paranoid I can get.)

But I made it past them and my snack-hand went unnoticed.

On this particular day, my homeless friend looked pretty down and was definitely not her animated self. I started to hand her the snack and she waved it off. “Oh honey, I can’t eat that. My stomach hurts so bad, I can barely even keep down this water” and that’s when I realized that she didn’t just look like she was having an off day, she looked pretty sick. Even when I tucked a buck in her collection cup, she barely moved.

Look, my compassion only goes far, so I had NO IDEA WHAT TO DO AT THIS POINT. I nervously told her to take care of herself and then I ran away because I’m terrible when it comes to adversity.

But now, I was stuck carrying a Rice Krispies Treat in 95 degree heat, with no purse to put it in.

“Just throw it away,” Henry said when I frantically called him for advice.

Yes, advice.

This was a SITUATION, OK?

“I can’t throw away a perfectly good Rice Krispies Treat!” I cried, even though at this point, it was getting so soft from the heat that my fingers were starting to sink into it, wrapper and all, like a sweet, sticky cereal quicksand.

Is there porn that has a scene of guys sinking their dicks into a swimming pool-sized pan of Rice Krispies treats? Because there should be.

Henry would watch it.

Anyway, my backup plan was to find another homeless person to treat BUT THERE WAS NO OTHER HOMELESS PERSON ON MY ROUTE, for the first time ever! I guess the heat had them retreating underground, I don’t know, but none of the regulars were out. I did see this one older man sitting on the sidewalk with a service dog but I couldn’t tell if he was homeless and I didn’t want to offend him.

“He might just be a grifter,” was my exact play-by-play commentary to Henry, who, let me tell you, LOVES THESE AFTERNOON PHONE CALLS.

“Isn’t that the same thing as a homeless person?” Henry asked.

“No, I think it’s, like, a guy who ran away from his wife,” I said, giving Henry ideas BUT WAIT HE DOESN’T HAVE A WIFE.

Then all of these sidewalks were closed and I couldn’t go the way I wanted to go and I had to jaywalk, and this RICE KRISPIES TREAT was still in my hand, which was now cramping from holding it, and I cried to Henry, “WHY CAN’T ANYTHING JUST BE NORMAL FOR ME?!”

I ended up leaving it on a bench at the Point, but first I had to be all awkward and “pretend to sit on the bench” for a whopping 2 seconds so it didn’t look like I was just littering, and Henry was like, “I hope someone sees you leaving it there and returns it to you” and let me tell you, I would not have been shocked at all if that happened, because: my life.

4. Dinner with BARB

It’s so difficult to organize group dinners, even for just four people, but the stars aligned and Jupiter was sniffing Uranus at some precise moment, enabling Wendy, Jeannie, Barb and me to convene for dinner Wednesday night. We chose Proper and miraculously got a table after work. Jeannie and I walked over together and had enough time before Barb and Wendy showed up for Jeannie to peer pressure me into ordering some blood orange gin and tonic and I usually steer clear of gin ever since the time Psycho Mike and I took a whole bottle of gin from my Pappap’s basement bar and downed it on a hill in South Park and I SHOCKINGLY got SO SICK. So I usually avoid drinks with gin but Jeannie is convincing so we both ordered one and I was drunk before sipping even a quarter of it so you can imagine how I was feeling after slurping the last few drops.

Meanwhile, Barb had arrived and realized she left her glasses in the car so the waitress was like, “Oh, we have some cheaters behind the bar, BRB” and came back with a Moscow mule for the vision impaired.

Then Barb had to also turn the flashlight on her phone to help her see the menu and Wendy took that as her opportunity to hitch a ride on Barb’s poor eyesight train and get a good view of the menu. I can’t even laugh about it though because my eyesight is pretty terrible too.

Anyway, we had such a nice dinner! Group dinners can usually be chaos, with numerous people vying for a piece of the conversation spotlight, but I think 4 is a good number and we’re a really good mix! I’d like to think that no one walks away feeling left out afterward, and I just wish we could do this more regularly! I barely see Barb anymore and Jeannie is so busy at work that even though I see her everyday, we don’t get to talk very much! I can’t shake Wendy, though. (Just kidding, Wendy! You’re the best!)

Barb dropped me off afterward and it’s a good thing too because I was pretty drunk! I may have walked off the trolley platform if I tried to take the T home. Henry was just like, “WTF, seriously?” when I came into the house and then spent the rest of the night making sure I didn’t fall and hit my head.

Jeannie even texted me the next morning to see if I was hungover. NO, I WAS NOT.

Surprisingly.

Man, I cannot drink liquor anymore!

5. Summer Breakfast Club Week #4!

I love Summer Breakfast Club! Luckily, since I had the day off of work today, we were able to breakfast-it-up this week. I wouldn’t have been able to do it yesterday since I was working. :( Originally, Henry thought he was also going to have today off so Chooch and I had a secret huddle to discuss whether or not we should invite Henry, and if so, if we should go somewhere outside of our walking radius. But then Henry had to work so it was moot.

We were originally going to walk to this diner in Mt. Lebanon, Simone’s, because they have crepes, but Chooch got REALLY BAD SUNBURN on Monday because he’s a moron and did a piss-poor job applying sunscreen at the pool and then NEVER REAPPLIED even though I told him to (I wasn’t with him) and he also completely forgot to put any on his face, so he is a fucking mess right now. He’s finally past the shivers/fever/pain stages, but now he’s advanced to the “does that kid have a skin deformity?” stage of peeling, and it’s especially bad on his face because he had literal blisters so his face is like tri-colored right now. He looks like Freddy Krueger’s half-human son, and decided that he didn’t want to walk all the way to Mt. Lebanon looking like this (hello, teenage vanity) so we kept it local and went to Tom’s Diner which is always fine with me because I have never had a bad meal or service at Tom’s. It’s a classic! And if you go during the day, chances are the same older lady waitress will be there and she kind of reminds me of if Reba McIntyre was from Greece, maybe? I think that is what he accent is?

Then we spent the whole time googling sunburn remedies on our phones which culminated in Chooch insisting that he needs a mortar and pestle so that he can grind Aspirin into a paste and spread it on his skin.

I bet those weirdo Swedish cult members have excellent sunburn remedies.

Jul 032019
 

Can we take a moment to appreciate two great things, cats and kpop? I have plenty of both in my life!

I put this bag on the floor just to see how long it would take Drew to jump inside. The answer is: not long.

This is the only picture of Penelope you’ll see here today. She is so good at avoiding the camera! Also, Chooch totally body-shames her so she’s very self-conscious. :(

Drew on the other hand is like, “HOW’S THIS POSE?”

I hate how possessive she is of Chooch and I remind her daily that I AM THE ONE WHO CHOSE HER, NOT CHOOCH. Honestly, Chooch wanted this elusive black cat that he saw for a split second and then it never came out from whatever it was hiding under, so I said, “Well…what about that one?” and pointed to Drew, who at that time, was known as “Troublemaker” by the owners of the house she was born in.

What a fucking accurate moniker.

I have been missing G-Dragon with full-blown desperation lately. I told Henry that we have to have a party for when he gets discharged from the military in the fall and of course Henry was like, “I know” but I think he’s probably banking on the fact that none of my friends give a shit about this and Janna will be the only one who even shows up and  that’s probably just because she’d be afraid not to, and also because she knows Henry will likely be making top notch party food because when doesn’t he so that right there will probably get people to come because lord knows I’ve attended many a party solely for the food.

Some of my friends like to make disparaging comments about him (his fashion sense is confusing to mere plebs, I guess) so I dramatically flipped out and told Henry that they can have fun sitting at home and looking at Instagram pictures of the party they weren’t invited to and Henry was like, “How can I do that, too….?”

Honestly, sometimes I take breaks at work just to worship my G-Dragon photo card. It helps hold me together, you know? HE IS KING.

Drew always lays down on the Devil rug right next to the nude lady.

She is seriously living her best life though.

The cats are definitely invited to my G-Dragon party!

Jul 022019
 

What are: the components of a satisfying Saturday.

The weather was SO GOOD on Saturday and I had this big urge to walk to Orbis Cafe in Mt. Lebanon so of course I dragged Chooch along with me. It’s only about a 25-minute walk and he gets to pet lots of dogs on the way, so he accompanied me with little resistance.

We ended up walking nearly the entire way there in a small, accidental group that included us, a young Asian couple, and a girl/lady in a dress and silver sequined Converse high-tops who we found out later, as she was helping a random guy in a wheelchair cross the street to his doctor’s office, that she was going to a bridal shower that she would have been perfectly fine with missing.

Aside from  that, none of us had actually spoken to each other, yet in my mind, we had all become pedestrian pals over the course of the 8 or so blocks we had traversed together, so when we all went our separate ways as Orbis Cafe loomed ahead, I felt empty inside.

IS THAT WEIRD OR IS THAT WEIRD.

In my head, I like to pretend that I belong with a group. Sigh.

Anyway, at Orbis, I had a very refreshing cinnamon latte and Chooch had a banana muffin and iced tea which I knew he wasn’t going to like because it was unsweetened and I was right because I know everything about that kid. He wanted to throw it away but I made him carry it all the way home and put it in the fridge for his unsweetened tea-obsessed dad to chug later.

This is a church that has a nice roof. I’ve never been inside though. It might be a dump.

Later that afternoon, I went to Jiyong’s apartment to learn to make kimbap! Kimbap, in case you don’t know, are rolls filled with things such as eggs, sweet pickled daikon, pork, cucumber, etc. It’s similar to sushi in that they’re completely customizable, one-shotters wrapped in seaweed (kim) and always filled with rice (bap). It’s a popular picnic food and parents will usually send their kids on field trips with a roll or two.

Henry makes it occasionally but I have never once sidled up to him and asked him to teach me his rice-rolling ways so he was kind of like REALLY when I told him I was going over Jiyong’s to learn just that.

It was so much fun! She put on Winner and did all the prep work while I just stood there like a useless cardboard cutout which is what I was born to do. Literally my greatest talent.

She had me watch as she made the first one and I’ll tell you what, she made the Spreading of the Rice look so goddamn easy but when it was my turn, I was like “oh.” The struggle!

“It’s like doing crafts,” she mused, as I frantically peeked at hers to see if I was on the right track. I thought I was doing alright but then she reached over and rearranged my rice–mildly offensive!

J/K – she just wanted to salvage my roll because we had to eat it at some point so I wasn’t too hurt, I guess.

Omg the rolling process was no joke. She kept helping me with it and I would have been totally OK with her just rolling all of mine for me to be honest because wow, push-ups have made my wrists weak I think.

Here I am with my first roll of Kimbap!

I like that Jiyong will sometimes suggest that we take a picture because I’m still in that awkward getting-to-know-you stage where I want to be snapping away but I’m unsure.

Jiyong made one roll with ham in it too. “For Henry,” she said. Everyone always thinks of Henry!!

Jiyong also made a veggie-laden 떡볶이 (tteokbokki) which is an insanely popular street food / comfort food in Korea. Basic tteokbokki consists of rice cakes (not like, those dry discs of puffed rice that you eat while dieting, but stubby, chewy rice tubes that are the exact opposite of a diet food), fish cakes, and a sweet but intensely spicy sauce made primarily from gochujang, a Korean red pepper paste. I really liked Jiyong’s version of it because it was loaded with carrots and cabbage and green onions. (“파!” I blurted out to show her that I know what it’s called in Korean, lol.)

While she was preparing to set the table, she asked me if I could use chopsticks and I super causally said yes because I was afraid if I answered her too eagerly, I would give away the fact that I use chopsticks to eat my mostly-Asian dinners every night and I have a set of five animal design chopsticks that I could at work to eat my fruit or whatever.

“You can tell which ones you made,” Jiyong said as she examined the array of kimbap while we ate and I’m not sure if that was a compliment, or…

Anyway, what a great afternoon!

Later that evening, we went to some soft serve ice cream by where Henry works because I just wanted a plain vanilla cone with crunchies, nothing fancy.

Carousel Crew, back in action!

Henry’s a poor substitute for Janna though.

While we ate our ice cream, I made them walk down the street with me because I saw a HELP WANTED sign on some store we drive past and I needed to take a picture of it for my Job Spotter app.

“Where was it?” henry asked skeptically, because we weren’t in the best area.

“I dunno, down by that laundromat,” I shrugged, forging ahead.

“I literally just told you that someone was recently raped behind that laundromat but ok…” Henry sighed. Whatever – I got my Job Spotter entry and it was worth 96 points! THAT IS NINETY SIX CENTS IN MY WALLET, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Came home and just chilled the rest of the evening since we had to get up early on Sunday and drive to Toronto. Speaking of, my liveblog was trash (not that it’s usually treasure) because I got so sick after eating lunch, to the point where Henry was worried I had suddenly developed a gluten allergy or something. Something I ate clearly disagreed with me and my stomach honest to god puffed out like I was pregnant with rocks. It was so awesome. Especially when I had to go to a three hour long concert that night.

But that’s another story!

Jun 302019
 

Hola, 안녕, hi-ho: it’s bright & early on a Sunday morning and we are currently en route to Toronto to see GOT7 so what better time to liveblog because I tried to liveblog from work before and that only goes so far.

7:47am: We just made our first Sheetz stop of the day after only being on the road for 15 minutes and Henry and Chooch are bickering over who knows more about spilling things, I don’t even know but now I have a headache and suddenly Henry is an expert on LSD. This is going to be a long day.

8:38am: Still in the car. Literally nothing is happening. Chooch has his headphones on and is pretending to not be associated with us.

8:48am: We just passed Aunt Bee’s!

9:03am: “Look: a little bird chasing a big bird,” Henry pointed out the window. And then, “It’s a nice day out. 72 degrees.” This is the kind of riveting discourse you get when in the car with Henry. Meanwhile:

9:37am: Just stopped at Getgo and Chooch and Henry had a fight at the register because henry bought a cookie and pretzel crisps and Henry yelled, “I DIDNT HAVE BREAKFAST THIS IS MY BREAKFAST” and the old ladies at the registers were like WOW and now we’re in the car suffering through Henry loudly eating his pretzel crisps and Chooch just asked him why he has to breathe when he eats. “YOU KNOW THE ALTERNATIVE IS THAT YOU TWO ASSHOLES CAN DRIVE YOURSELVES” and then he missed the exit and had to drive onto the shoulder and Chooch yelled “who are you-JANNA?!” and then he asked if he could have some of Henry’s cookie lololol.

He just threw his cookie at Chooch and now Chooch is choking on his laughter. Henry is not even close to laughing ahaha.

11:09am: We’re passing through Buffalo, about to cross the bridge into Canada and SHINee is the perfect road trip soundtrack.

I’m gonna have to power off my data here soon but I will continue the liveblog in Notes and update as I come across WiFi! #YouCare

11:16am: made it through in less than 2 minutes even though Henry is King of Suspicion. Omg he answers every question with such limp-wristed uncertainty.

12:11pm: Stopped at Tim Hortons for coffee and almost got ran over by some asshole who looked like he just got off his Canadian yacht and then attempted to linejump in front of us inside Tim Horton’s while loudly talking in a thick Canadian accent to his slutty second wife who he probably makes call him Captain, and his princess teenage daughter gets to sit shotgun while mommy rides in the back. Wow. (That last part is FACTS because henry saw them when they were pulling out of the parking lot.)

Also, when Henry pulled off the exit, he said, “Where’s Tim Hortons” and I said what I always say when he’s looking for something, that it’s up his butt, but then I lost it and couldn’t stop laughing because I was picturing Tim Horton literally making donuts inside Henry’s ass and that was 25 minutes ago yet here I am, laughing again like a weirdo and no one in the car is even bothering to ask what I’m laughing at.

1:56pm: We’re at Cosmic Treats in Kensington Market and Henry is being such a HORNET. I hate road trip Henry!!

Here he is being a TOURIST and not knowing how to PAY FOR PARKING.

DURRRRRR.

This place is playing CLASSIC 1980s soft rock. “That’s What Friends Are For”?!? “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You”??? The best. Plus our waitress looks like 1982 Madonna.

3:33pm: True to form, I ate a meal in a restaurant and now my stomach is hosting a sword fight.

We walked to Uncle Tetsu’s to get a Japanese cheesecake to take home and then Henry proceeded to act like an asshole on the walk back to the car and now everyone hates each other.

Basically, this could be any trip!

4:49pm: I might actually kill henry omg he is so annoying. We drove all this way out of downtown Toronto for bingsu and the place was cash only but he kept trying to Pay with his debit card and everyone was staring and we had to leave and now everyone hates each other and meanwhile there is a bingsu place literally where we came from in Toronto and Henry was all I DID NOT SEE IT WHEN I WAS SEARCHING and I was like ITS THE FIRST ONE THAT COMES UP IN YELP?! So now we’re going back to Spadina Ave and I told Henry he’s a Spadina and Chooch is hiccuping from laughing so much but I genuinely do hate Henry today I think!!!!

5:51pm:

We finally made it to this place in Chinatown called Snow Lava which is billed as Korean bingsu even though everything is in Chinese so…Anyway, Henry panicked and decided to go to an ATM first after the last bingsu attempt failed. So then we get to the place and he hands the guy a 20 but dude is like, “Oh I’m sorry I don’t have change for that” and Henry’s head nearly exploded but then the guy was like, “can you just pay with a card?” But Henry kept trying to give him the 20 and said, “Can you just give me 10 back and don’t worry about the rest of the change?” And the guy was like LOOK I SAID I DONT HAVE CHANGE FOR A BILL THAT BIG and Chooch and I were like JUST PAY WITH THE CARD!!

Then we sat at a table next to three young kids who were so giddy and spitting their bingsu everywhere and I was like “Let’s move, they’re annoying” and Henry was like, “They’re just like you and Chooch though?!” So then we moved and once our bingsu arrived, Chooch and I started cracking up over Henry eating and I spit my bingsu all over the table.

Full circle.

11:03pm: Well shit, I forgot to sign off before we went to the concert but now it’s over and it was amazing but that will be a blog post for a future day. THANKS FOR READING.

Jun 292019
 

Thursday night, SOMETHING HAPPENED.

Chooch and I went to the CVS a few blocks away from our house. I walked, and he rode his bike, which was whatever except that I got stuck carrying the bags (we bought a big jug of water plus some bottles of iced tea so it was HEAVY) because he was all, “Oh, I can’t carry those on my bike, sorry bro” and then pedaled off into the sunset.

Also, our least favorite cashier* was the only one working at that time so Chooch and I couldn’t play our desperate game of “PLEASE LET US GET THE OTHER CASHIER” where it’s like a secret race that the two cashiers don’t know they’re playing and I fucking swear our least favorite cashier ALWAYS WINS because some asshole in the other line has to start disputing prices or something, ugh. But on this night, the lady in front of us was like a verified meth head who had to stand with her legs staggered in horse stance just to stay upright, so she actually made Laverne seem normal.

*(I call her Laverne because she looks like someone named Laverne who lives in a trailer park but now I call her 1212 because one time I was there with Henry and our total was $12.12 and the way she said “twelve twelve” was so monotone and Laverne-ish that it just took a life of its own. I was fortunate enough to be clandestinely recording this and I thought it was greatest thing ever and kept using the hashtag #1212 when texting Henry after this monumental occasion and I would randomly blurt out “twelve twelve” in conversation until finally Henry asked me why I was doing that and WOW I GUESS THIS ONLY HAD AN IMPACT ON MY OWN LIFE, SORRY THAT I THOUGHT WE HAD SHARED SOMETHING SPECIAL TOGETHER IN WITNESSING LAVERNE SAYING OUR TOTAL WAS 1212.)

None of this is important to the main story, but I just had to share.

Anyway, I had to walk home alone in the dark and it was also starting to rain so that was really awesome, and the bags of beverage were ripping my arms out of their sockets, but that’s fine. I’m fine. You do you, Chooch.

Right when I got to our block, I noticed a shape looming under a tree. I jumped a bit when I realized it was a man, shuddering and murmuring to himself, but I didn’t stick around long enough to get a better look, figuring it was one of the people who work at the mental house on our street, because sometimes they stand on that corner to smoke cigarettes.

But just then, Chooch came zooming up to me on his bike.

“DID YOU SEE TOURETTE’S?” he panted.

Now, Tourette’s is this older gentleman who has been carousing around Brookline for as long as I’ve lived here. He actually used to live a few houses up from us but moved years and years ago, though he’s still somewhere in town because we freaking see him numerous times a week. I call him Tourette’s, which is terrible, I know, because he is always walking alone and blurting out swears. Like, he will often walk down our street, shaking his fist at all of the houses, screaming, “YOU MOTHERFUCKERS.” One night a few weeks ago, we heard commotion outside and I was like, “Oh god, is it a fight” but I looked outside, exhaled in relief, and said, “No, it’s just Tourette’s. Everything’s fine!”

If you’ve been around on this blog for awhile, you may remember my People of Brookline postcard series – he was on one of them!

Lately, I have been making some headway with him. For instance, sometimes I will pass him in the mornings when I’m on my way to the trolley and I’ll say hello, at which point he will say, “Good morning good morning good morning” in a sing-song way and it fills me with joy. Sometimes he’s even been on the trolley with me and we got off at the same stop downtown! I wonder what he does downtown!??!

So now Chooch and his friend Marky have been making a point of saying hello to him too and it seems to have been going well….

OK, where was I…Chooch asked me if I saw Tourettes. I said no, I hadn’t seen him, no one had passed me on my super sad, solo walk home from CVS.

And then Chooch just started blurting out frantic words and what I was able to get from it was that he was riding his bike home with no bags from CVS when he noticed Tourette’s walking up the sidewalk by our house, and Tourette’s wasn’t paying attention so Chooch had to veer around him. While doing so, Chooch decided to also say hello to him, since they’re like bros now or whatever.

However, since Tourette’s head was up in the motherfucking clouds, Chooch’s salutation startled him.

“WHAT THE FUCK! ARE YOU INSANE?! ARE YOU CRAZY?!” Tourette’s allegedly shouted loud enough that Henry, who was probably in the middle of erotically masticating a banana, looked out the window to see what was going on—or as we say here in Pittsburgh, TO NEB.

I just asked Chooch what he said in response and he said, “Nothing, I just rode away like ‘wtf, no you’re crazy.'”

Meanwhile, Psycho Asscrack was outside of his house (THEY ARE IN THE PROCESS OF MOVING, AND SO WE REJOICE) and as Chooch was putting his bike away, Psycho Asscrack glared at him and then asked Tourette’s if he was OK and Tourette’s hollered that he was FINE.

“Psycho Asscrack sided with Tourette’s!?” I yelled with faux incredulity.

“I don’t care!” Chooch cried. “I don’t want that asshole taking my side, anyway!”

That’s when I realized that the shadow-shape I saw under the tree must have been Tourette’s, trying to calm down after BIG SCARY CHOOCH startled him by audaciously saying hi.

For something that I didn’t even witness with my own two eyes, this whole thing is relentlessly hilarious to me and I almost fell to my knees in laugh-tears when I was telling Glenn and Todd at work on Friday.

“You can never move,” Glenn said.

I KNOW! There is too much free entertainment right in front of my house.

Jun 272019
 

Ever since I found out the mom of Baby Huey a/k/a Psycho Asscrack works at this hole in the wall diner (literally) on the boulevard, I’ve been dead-set on adding it to the summer breakfast club schedule. It’s called The No Name Cafe and Chooch was way against going here and kept saying we should just go to Parker’s instead.

Honestly, in all of the years I’ve lived in this town, I have never even bothered to look at the menu taped to the window, probably because I’m always too busy ragging on the shitty quality of the hand-written signs. (RESTROOM FOR CUSTOMERS ONLY, etc etc.) I mean, it looks like they handed a Sharpie and a notepad to a 90-year-old with arthritis, confiscated their glasses, turned off the lights, and then made them scrawl out the signs in their opposite writing-hand.

I didn’t take any photos because there is always a perpetual parade of people on the boulevard and I already look like I’m up to no good. However, the diner is closed now so I texted Chooch who is currently next door to the place at the teen center and asked him to send me some pictures of the signs, so here they are, photo cred goes to Chooch, god forbid:

Steeler Country, yo.

Ask Henry how many impassioned speeches I launch into about these signs, and how I would offer to make better ones for them with ONLY THE REQUEST of free grilled cheese for life as my payment.

I do not think this is too much to ask.

But then one night last week, I actually stopped and looked at the menu and exclaimed, “OH SHIT THEY HAVE BREAKFAST BURRITOS.”

I never knew that was a selling point for me but my subconscious self spoke, you guys.

This morning, I woke up at my normal “get up for work” time even though I’m late shift, that’s how inexplicably stoked I was today’s breakfast adventure. I woke Chooch up at 7:30 and he was like, “OMG SRSLY.” But he got up and headed straight to the shower because he was secretly amped for this, I just know it.

First, we had to walk to the ATM because CASH ONLY which I know thanks to a badly-written sign which apparently is still able to get the job done even without bubble letters, glitter pens, or like, a well-placed bloody handprint.

Now typically, I will see some elderly people enjoying their grits or whatever when I walk past the joint, but of course on the day we chose to go, NO ONE was at NO NAME. Just the waitress/cook on duty, who was not the mom of Baby Huey a/k/a Psycho Asscrack but another lady who I recognized because look, I do a lot of walking on the boulevard and she is often sitting on a chair outside of the diner and sometimes the neighboring bakery, weather permitting.

At first, it was really uncomfortable because it was just us and her, no music was playing, no, TV, nothing. And if you’ve met Chooch and me, you know that we can make even the most neutral situation awkward AF. We even made ordering beverage weird.

Stupid Chooch ordered the breakfast burrito (HOLD THE MEAT) and even though my gut was saying, “burrito me!” I panicked and ordered the french toast instead.

Then the waitress lady went around the counter and prepared the grill and I was like OMG SHE IS COOKING RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF US and I don’t know why this made me nervous but suddenly I felt like I was in her house and things just got way intimate – why am I such a spaz.

Chooch and I kept nervously looking at each other and giggling, but then some old guy came in and sat at the counter and I think it was her dad? He didn’t order anything, but they were talking about how her daughter lost $7 or something, maybe at the pool. Then she brought our plates over and apologized to Chooch for not being good at folding burritos but HOLY SHIT his breakfast burrito was a Morning Monster of delicious A.M. foods! There were eggs, onions, peppers, and taco cheese spilling out in a greasy pool of THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY.

And look, my french toast had none of that fancy shit on it. It wasn’t stuffed with cream cheese and berries or crowned with a dollop of whipped cream. No, it was CLASSIC FRENCH TOAST, no gilding of the carb-lillies here, and it tasted just like the french toast my grandma used to make me while I sat patiently at the kitchen counter wrapped in a swathe of soft rock ballads.

OMFG I miss my grandparents’ house so much.

Anyway, that Dad Guy left and then it was just us and the lady, who was sitting on the other side of the counter looking at her phone. I don’t know what prompted me to do this, because I hate talking to strangers – I would make a terrible townie – but there is this bar on the boulevard that recently closed and it looks like the Parker’s people bought it but I forgot to ask the last time we were at Parker’s because I was too busy talking to Mr. Parker about Korea, so I turned in my seat and blurted out, “DID ZIPPY’S CLOSE?” and thus began a lively discourse about the happenings of Brookline and we found out that she’s my age, grew up here, has a daughter who goes to Chooch’s school (she’s younger, but he knows her), and is just a really cool, hard-working lady who is sick and tired of her kid leaving slime all over the house and I was like, “OMFG ME TOO! WHEN IS THIS FAD GOING TO END AND SHOULDN’T A 13 YEAR OLD HAVE OUTGROWN THIS BY NOW??”

I was so happy after we left because sometimes I forget about how I used to be, before life and society stifled me, how I used to be a TALKER and would talk to everyone and I actually had a personality. So, thanks Zippy’s Bar for making me curious enough about your status that I dared to ask a stranger for intel!

Later that day, I went to the post office and had a good chat with MAUREEN the postal clerk about tattoos because as soon as I walked in, she said, “Yeah see, I wouldn’t ever think that you had tattoos” because I was wearing a tank top since this was like, the first legit hot day of the year, it seemed.

What a strange & chatty day! Summer Breakfast Club is the best thing ever! I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL NEXT WEEK’S BREAKFAST! WHO WILL I TALK TO THEN?!

Jun 262019
 

Shall we do another Woman Crush Wednesday kpop girl group edition? Yes, I think we shall. Here are some videos of the latest lady lalala’s that I’ve been enjoying.

RED VELVET – SUNNY SIDE UP

This isn’t the title track of their latest comeback but I like this song so much more! It has that sleepy-feel to it that makes me think of summer days lounging around my Pappap’s pool. God I love Red Velvet.

SOMI – BIRTHDAY

Somi was my first favorite from the Produce 101 girl group IOI and it was pretty upsetting when their contract expired and everyone went on to join other groups or went solo, and Somi was just…sidelined. But she finally debuted last week and the “you’re not invited” Part has been playing hard in my head because people are always pissing me off and I want to uninvite everyone from my actual life sometimes DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

CHUNGHA – SNAPPING

Wow speaking of IOI, my other fave from that group is Chungha who went solo after the disbandment of IOI and literally everything she does is pop perfection. I still think I like her last comeback song (“Gotta Go”) best, but this one is strong too. Chungha is a fucking queen, bottom line.

(G)I-DLE – UH OH

Real talk, the first time I listened to this morning, it didn’t really stick to my ribs which is what I want my bubblegum jams to do immediately. But the second listen came through. (G)I-dle has a very distinct style that makes them easily distinguishable from other girl groups.

CLC – ME

It’s devastating to me that CLC isn’t way bigger than they are. Their songs are so strong and the message is SO GIRL POSITIVE. Well, I guess I answered my own question. Anyway, the chorus is literally “beauty is me” which is something that we all need to learn to say about ourselves!

TWICE – BREAKTHROUGH

I’m a sucker for Twice and their Japanese releases are sometimes better than their Korean ones. This one especially! It has such an 80s vibe to it and the video is striking. Their choreo is always flawless but this one especially has a classic, nostalgic feel to it.

OK that’s all for this round of girl groups you should learn and love. Girl power!