Oct 072015

Today is the Dip Off, Dip Day, Day of Dip, whatever we’re calling it when everyone brings in a dip to work. Originally, I was going to give Henry a reprieve since the pie party is coming up and he will be doing all kind of kitchen work for that day. But then one day last week I looked at the sign up sheet and noticed that no one was doing anything along the lines of SAVORY PUMPKIN. And I mean come on now, autumn. So I asked Henry if he would consider making a savory pumpkin dip and he muttered, “Whatever you want.” Because of course it’s whatever I want.

I found a delightful-sounding pumpkin parmesan dip on the Internet and it seemed easy so I didn’t think Henry would mind too much. Plus, I knew for a FACT that we had a can pumpkin guts already on hand.

I put myself down on the “dipper” side though, just in case Henry bitched out. Then I could just bring in pumpernickel pretzel rods and call it a day.

On Friday, I was filing some stuff away and happened to glance at the sign-up sheet when I saw it.


I did a whole bunch of verbal fist-shaking at the back of Glenn’s head and he just mumbled, “Looks like you should have signed him up for that then.”


I mean, OK — good point. But still!


And then I found a light and refreshing-sounding green pea dip. So I sent it to Henry and he said, “We’ll see.”

Then it was 7:00 last night and I was like, “Well…are you making the dip or what?” and he was “Jesus Christ, Erin!” So then he went to the store and made the dip and I thought it was terrible and we had a fight about how “it has to sit for a while!” and I cried, “WELL YOU BETTER JUST GO AND GET THOSE PUMPERNICKLE THINGS BECAUSE I CANNOT TAKE THAT SHITTY DIP TO WORK!” It was after 9 by this time, and there he went, back out to the store.

I tried the dip this morning and it tasted much better! So look at me, now I had a dip AND a dipper to bring with me!

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The secret ingredient in my dip (haha, “my”) is tofu but I didn’t broadcast that very widely because god forbid tofu. I think because there is no heavy cream or cheese of any sort in it, it might be kind of healthy?

Glenn is less immature than me so he actually had nice things to about the dip. Todd, too, until he learned of tofu’s presence inside the dip. So finally, I decided I would try Glenn’s dumb dip and made a big production of telling everyone within earshot that it wasn’t that great, OK at best. But really, it was super good and I knew it would be because why else would I have chosen that SAME RECIPE FOR HENRY?!

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Here is a very real life, non-curated photo. Shit’s real here at the law firm. We make messes sometimes.

Meanwhile, Gayle brought a separate dip with no bacon in it just for me because she’s scared of my fury;  I was hesitant to eat it because she told me this in front of Glenn and Todd, and who knows if they keep bacon bits in their pocket. I would not put any level of dip sabotage past them.

In other news, I’m not saying I’m magic or anything but don’t you think it’s curious that a week after I named my succulent Boz Scaggs, the real BOZ SCAGGS announced that he’s coming to Pittsburgh?!

What a great, sultry photo of Mr. Scaggs.

I excitedly told everyone about this today and Glenn felt inspired to fire up some old school Scaggs hits on his computer in an effort to teach Amber2 and Todd of his existence. The consensus after hearing Lowdown and Lido Shuffle was, “Nope.”

“He’s like the poor man’s Barry Manilow,” I said to him and Glenn vehemently disagreed with me so now I think Boz is his brother.

“Glenn come on. He’s a second rate Barry Manilow!” I argued. I mean, I love Boz Scaggs, clearly, but barely anyone even knows who he is anymore!

“He was really big there for awhile,” Glenn muttered in defense of the Scaggs.

“Yeah, but none of us were alive then!” I laughed, meaning me, Amber, and Todd. Obviously Glenn has been alive for hundreds of years. And then I taught Glenn about Yacht Rock, which he didn’t know existed and you just know he’s at home right now Googling it.

And then in non-work news, I was on the phone with Henry while outside on my break and he told me that he dropped on a pallet on the same foot that was run over by a pallet jack and I wheezed, “OMG OK I HAVE TO GO NOW” and then ran back to work so I could tell everyone, as I doubled over with laughter.

There was a collective round of Poor Henry after that.

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Oct 062015

Hi blog-diary thing. I need you to be there for me right now. I already ranted about this on Facebook, but now I am feeling more things and need to enjoy the glorious release of typing it out. 

One of our weirdo neighbors was waiting for us to come home from work, on his bicycle no less, and immediately confronted Chooch about stealing his paintball gun and some Pokemon thing that is like, collectors edition? Both of these things he kept in his garage which is always opened. (And as Blake said: lock your shit up! This is the city not a farm.) Anyway, Chooch was all blindsided and was like “what I didn’t do it” and basically we all know it was some asshole down the street and the accusatory neighbor knows it too but since Chooch is the oldest out of the neighborhood kids, this is automatically his cross to bear?

Yeah no.

You know who else was blindsided? Me. It took me a while to figure out what was going on because I was in my After Work Hunger Famine stage that happens everyday from 5:30 – whenever Henry chucks some dinner at my face. I was just trying to cross the street to get to food, not pay attention to some middle-aged bully straddling his bicycle and interrogating my kid. Ok, tough guy. 

Anyway, we got the douchebag neighbor off our back and onto the other kid’s back (and that kids mom wa a screaming at him because she knows her son is a thieving cooze too) so you would think that all was well. But no. Because I say here and stewed all evening. Hours later, I snapped. My snarling bitch fest went something like this: 

“Henry, this is fucked up. I’m PISSED. I just want to come the fuck home from work and eat the dinner that you’re going to cook for me, not be accosted by some rando neighbor on his lame ass bike for god knows what?! YEARS I lived here in peace and harmony, never having to deal with a fucking neighbor, and then we had to go and have a KID and now this?! Fuck these people! This is why I don’t go outside! CHOOCH SHOULD JUST STAY INSIDE TOO. WE CAN ALL STAY INSIDE TOGETHER. LETS GET WORK-FROM-HOME JOBS AND NEVER TALK TO A PERSON AGAIN.”

Henry is not on board with this. 

NEW PLAN: Henry does all the handling of the neighbors. I’ll talk to Hot Naybor Chris BUT THAT IS IT. 

The rest of them can suck my dick that they’ll never see because I’m a hermit now and also because I don’t have one. 

I liked this neighbor better when he was on house arrest and our house was out of ankle bracelet range. 

Actually I didn’t even know who he was until after I recovered from my dumbfounded stupor and asked “who the fuck was that?!” as he pedaled off into the horizon like Miss Almira Gulch.  And Henry and Chooch yelled, “LARRY!”

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Oct 062015

 I’m not over here blowing on my fingertips or anything, but I am basically the (un)official Pittsburgh haunted house tip line, OK? Of all the things to be an expert of….Anyway, I decided to repost this thing I wrote two years ago since it’s the beginning of the haunted house season and even though some of the things in this are dated (some of the referenced haunts aren’t around anymore), it’s still PRETTY HELPFUL — so read it, don’t read it, print it out and send me your heavily red-lined copy of it — it’s a free country. Also, if you live in Pittsburgh and want to go to a haunted house with me and Chooch, WHY YES WE WOULD LOVE TO.


Every Halloween season, I get pretty nostalgic about the “old days.” Way back in the age of flowing flannels and Contempo Casuals (where I would buy all of my slutty “I’m a slut who has money” slut uniforms), it was possible to go to two, sometimes even THREE haunted houses in one night for under $20. True story! It seemed like every last VFW, YMCA and Boy Scout Troop had hoarded enough black garbage bags over the course of a year and used their dues to stock up on slipshod Halloween masks from K-Mart to pull off a “haunted house.” And it may have been hokey and rudimentary, full of blacklit Jason Voorhees masks and “accidental” boob-brushes, but fuck if it wasn’t fun.

In high school, I would scour the newspaper for haunted house ads and then my friend Lisa and I would stuff her parents minivan with our ragamuffin group of friends and proceeded to exercise our god-given vocal prowess. We were Those Kids that everyone else hated standing in line with. And I was That Girl who flirted obnoxiously with Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, hoping to make my crush Evan jealous. (HE NEVER EVEN NOTICED.) There was the Bethel Park Haunted Yard, Clairton’s Haunted Pool, the Glassport Haunted Fire Station, and then all of the Haunted Schools: Castle Shannon, Victory, the Tri-City Jaycees one that I lost my keys in and then it burnt down (no correlation to my keys). Before there was Hundred Acres Manor, there was Phantoms in the Park and Terrors By the Lake. Before Kennywood had their Fright Nights, Station Square transformed into Station Scare and offered carnival rides just in case all of the fog machines, hyper-jealous boyfriends and diet pills* didn’t get you nauseated enough.

*(What? My weight issues go waaaay back.)

But then the behemoth, corporate haunted houses started popping up and taking over. The ones that pay to have haunted house listings and the Travel Channel call them the #1 Haunted Attraction. The ones that make you wait in line for upwards of 3 hours because OMG WE ARE THE BEST IN THE BIZ SO STAND AND WAIT, JAGOFFS. They pour loads of money into their advertising, production and animatronics, but they lack the true Halloween spirit and moxie that the smaller haunted joints have. Money can’t buy moxie, you guys. I’d rather walk through a haunted trail lit by flaming jugs of moonshine in some hick’s backyard than give those corporate bastards my money, if we’re being totally frank here.

People are usually shocked when I start waxing contrary about the city’s most popular haunted attractions, so I have compiled a list to offer some insight into what makes a “good” haunted house.

Here is the official Oh Honestly Erin Haunted House Criteria:

1. Will There Be Chainsaws?

It doesn’t matter how many times Henry exasperatedly assures me that there are no chains on the chainsaws, the moment I hear that whirring, no matter how far away it is, I am suddenly in booty shorts at Camp Crystal Lake and Jason Voorhees is mad as fuck because I just had sex on a hammock, and where the hell did this adrenaline come from? I don’t know, but look! I can scale the backs of the people in front of me!

Even when I’m standing in line chanting, “I hope there are no chainsaws. I hope there are no chainsaws” the truth is that there better be at least one fucking chainsaw guy who takes his position really fucking seriously because I just gave you $15 to scare the shit out of me, so please, do just that. Henry does my laundry, so what do I care.

*THIS SEASON’S UNOFFICIAL WINNER*: Chainsaw Guy at Cheeseman Fright Farm. It was really cold that night on that bale of hay, and your persistent wielding provided warmth to my shivering extremities. Also, you didn’t give up even when I used my 7-year-old son as a shield. Good for you, Ambitious Non-Hockey Mask-Wearing Chainsaw Guy. You were way better than the apathetic Voorhees-wannabe at Freddy’s Haunts who whir-whir-whirred for approximately 10 seconds before walking away.

2. Will There Be the Possibility of Simulated Horror Porn by Michael Myers?

So, maybe it’s just me, but when I’m singled out in a crowd by some dude who looks like his face got violently bear-hugged by bologna slices and green olives, maybe even corners me and snorts and snarls in my ear, I am REALLY FUCKING EXCITED to be there at that haunted attraction. Especially if it’s a particularly sexy-savage Michael Myers. And for those 30 seconds you’re towering over me with your fake machete and vacant eyes, I promise to pretend that you’re not actually some pizza-faced 17-year-old band nerd. NO, YOU ARE A FUCKING HOT PSYCHOPATH WHOSE EVERY PRIMAL INSTINCT IS TELLING YOU TO KILL ME, BUT WAIT! WHAT’S THAT!? YOU ARE FALLING IN LOVE WITH THIS CHUBBY MOM-BROAD WHO IS SCREAMING HER FACE OFF!

And then I’ll go home and write about it in my haunted house journal and it goes something like this: Holy fuck, I am so hot for Michael Myers! I bet he doesn’t pay that much attention to anyone else in that wing of the haunted maze! When we made eye contact, I think he winked at me but it was hard to see over the strobe lights. AND SPEAKING OF HARD! I’m not sure if that was Michael’s tumescent cock-machete or the Pizza-Faced-Kid-Dressed-As-Him’s satchel of dork dice, but I’m totally probably maybe pregnant now, you guys, right?

Just to really illustrate my alarming Michael Myers crush, my kid wouldn’t exist today if I hadn’t thought his dumb dad looked like Michael Myers when he would wear his stupid blue Weiss Meats coveralls back when we were co-workers in 2001. THAT IS WHAT MADE ME WANT TO SLEEP WITH HIM, OK?


*THIS SEASON’S UNOFFICIAL WINNER*: Rich’s Fright Farm Michael Myers. You smashed your fist into the wall in front of me every time I tried to escape and at one point BROUGHT ME TO MY KNEES while Janna stood off to the side, staring at her imaginary watch. I could feel your hot murderous breath on my neck and it was, well, fucking hot. Now your demon seed is sprouting inside my womb. Womb, womb, womb.

3. Will Someone Please Entertain the Fuck Out of Me?

Hi. I just dropped the cost of a concert ticket* down on your haunted establishment, so please prove to me that I didn’t make a mistake. *(What? I like underground bands, you guys.) If you’re charging me approx. $18 for 30 minutes, then I better come out the other end feeling like I just came. I mean, feeling entertained. Ridicule my blondness with your biting wit! Tickle my eyeballs with your macabre decor! Make me follow directions! Engage me! (No really—do you want to get engaged? Because Henry apparently doesn’t.) Pay attention to me, to me, to me!

*THIS SEASON’S UNOFFICIAL WINNER*: Castle Blood, duh. You still never fail to call me out for being a dum-dum. (Remembering three talisman is trying. IT’S HARD FOR ME TO PAY ATTENTION, OK!?) You still make me believe I’m going to be poisoned in Professor Scrye’s lab and turned into mortal mana pua by some convincingly realistic witch. (I don’t know why I picked a Hawaiian food that I have never eaten.)

But let me tell you something about this sanguine estate—if you came looking for chainsaws and robotic corpses hemorrhaging on toilets, queue the Sad Tuba soundbite. This is half past Saw, more toward Nosferatu. Castle Blood’s tagline is “Halloween the way it oughta be” and they mean it. It’s elegant and unique, it’s intelligent and interactive, it’s humble and passionate about the season. I’ve been going to Castle Blood since the late 90s and it’s still just as refreshing and inspiring as it was when I was a teenager. We’ve been taking Chooch since he was a baby (first to the no-scare matinees; he’s since graduated to the nighttime tours) and he loves it because it’s magical while still maintaining a high creep-factor—-plus, sometimes Henry gets presented with a death certificate.

4. Will You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman Teenager Again?

As previously mentioned, I long for the old-school haunts of yore. The ones in vacant buildings that charge $12 and under and probably meet the safety standards of a treehouse in 1954. The ones that aren’t mentioned in the obligatory WHAT TO DO THIS OCTOBER newspaper write-up or any of the haunted house listings online. The small haunted house put together by members of a local community and advertise by tacking up flyers in Spirit Halloween stores or sticking bright orange signs in the ground next to the highway. I like giving these people my monies! They know how to crack me up while also making me pee my pants. (I had a longstanding reputation at the now-defunct Victory Haunted School, and every year, from the moment I set foot inside, the “monsters” would start chanting, “Erin’s here! Erin peed her pants!” So fucking obnoxious but I loved every second of it.

If I’m in such pitch-blackness that I need to walk with outstretched arms while simultaneously screaming to no one and everyone that I AM SO FUCKING SCARED OMG WAS THAT A BREAST I JUST TOUCHED, then this haunted house rules. If I’m told, “GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES AND CRAWL THROUGH THE TUNNEL OF LOVE…OR DEATH!” and I literally find myself scrambling on my hands and knees over top of what I really really really hope are pieces of a CLEAN mattress and I start screaming about how I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVE TO DO THIS! I AM SO SCARED! OW I JUST HURT MYSELF! then this haunted house rules. If the volunteers are so over-the-top with their theatrical lines and fake gunfire that I am literally doing pee-squats from laughing so hard, then this haunted house rules. If I tell the guide that my name is Erin and he decides that “Smellvin” is a better name even though that would only make sense if my name was Melvin, but everyone else thinks it’s hilarious, then this haunted house rules. If some kid pops out of nowhere and freaking feeds me a mouthful of Silly String and even HENRY laughs, then this haunted house rules.

*THIS SEASON’S UNOFFICIAL WINNER*: Ohmygod it’s a tie! Teen Quest’s Scaremare in Mon City and the haunted basement of the Sewickley United Methodist Church. Can we please admire the irony here, that two of this heathen’s favorite haunted houses are Christian-based? IDGAF, these two haunts made me laugh until I almost peed. (ALMOST, I swear!) It was like being in high school again, faced with the threat of falling down a staircase and inhaling asbestos. And the volunteers at these two places had way more enthusiasm than any of the ones anywhere else, especially Terror Town, who apparently pays their actors and that is just ridiculous because for the last two years, their “employees” were relatively ineffective and I’m officially done giving them Henry’s hard-earned Faygo money. Especially after seeing one of those “actors” on Facebook turn her nose up at people who, god forbid, volunteer their time to play zombies. The people at Scaremare and the church in Sewickley had HEART. The church even had a babydoll displayed in a very horrific, decidedly un-Christian way! I applaud them for that, for being able to recognize that it’s OK to be outrageous and controversial in the name of Halloween, and for being so balls-to-the-wall. I actually wish I had the time to revisit both of these places this month. Even if it’s just essentially dropping money into a collection plate. I’m OK with that.

5. Do You Have a Worthy Haunted House Companion?

Chances are, during this season you are going to sometimes be driving great distances and are probably going to get lost at least twice (are you going to a hayride on some jackass’s farm? Yeah, good luck trusting your GPS with that), so you better make sure you don’t bring some douchebag along with you who is going to drive you so insane that you need to buy your first pack of Camel Wides in 7 years at some sketchy gas station in the middle of downtown Sharon, PA. (True story.) And then once you’ve arrived at the haunt, you might be standing in line for an hour at least. DON’T BRING A DUD OR YOU ARE FU-HAHAHAHA-UCKED. I was lucky this year and have gone to haunted houses with quality peeps (and Henry), but I have been pretty unfortunate in the past. Your company can make or break the haunted house experience, especially if you are so fucking over-the-top annoyed at who’s ripping your shirt in faux-fear that you forget about the actual haunted house itself. Did you like it? WHO EVEN FUCKING KNOWS?!

*THIS SEASON’S UNOFFICIAL WINNER*: And the award goes to my good friend Janna. No one handles being pushed and shoved into chainsaw guys with quite the panache as she, nor can anyone tolerate my extreme giddiness with such a steely veil of patience. Except Henry, but he hates going to haunted houses. I like to believe that every time I scream, and I mean SCREAM, “JANNNNNNAAAA LOOOOOOK OUTTTTT!” that I’m actually saving her life for real. And she just kind of chuckles a little at first, but by the end of the night, I sometimes detect some eye-rolling and sighing.


Those are my unofficial winners because I still have at least four more haunts to attend before Christmas starts shitting all over my fun. And remember, all of this is subjective. The things that I look for in a haunted house might not be the same things that make you scream like Laurie Strode or make popular local radio DJs jack off into each others’ cupped hands. If your haunt isn’t going to be gonzo enough to scare the FUCK out of me, at least entertain me. Make me laugh, make me push Janna into a chainsaw guy, have a hot Michael Myers, make me have some F-U-N if I’m giving you twenty goddamn dollars out of Poor Henry’s wallet.

(And let me just tell you, now that Chooch is brave enough to go to every haunted house with me, October is officially waaaaay more costly than December.)

Some extra tips:

  • Look for coupons! Sometimes haunted houses will offer them on their website. Hundred Acres Manor usually offers $3 off coupons at Eat n Park or Burger King. (They’re only good on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, I believe.) And you know, check Groupon and Living Social or have a boss that forwards every single haunted house deal to you like I do. Maybe stop in your local corner pub and gather up enough barflies to qualify for a group rate. Just trying to save you some bucks, OK?
  • Go on off-nights! If a haunted house is open on a Sunday or Wednesday night—GO THEN! You will beat the crowds and probably have a better victim:monster ratio. Have you ever gone through a haunted house with just the one person you arrived with? SCARY AS FUCK. Real talk.
  • Try to remember that no haunt is perfect and “bad nights” can be expected. Maybe I went to Cheeseman’s Fright Farm last weekend and had a blast, but you went earlier in the month on a night where they happened to have a lot of volunteer no-shows. Shit happens, ya’ll, and most of it is behind the scenes. This is why I try not to do too much bashing. (And believe me, I’ve been to a few duds this year.)
  • If you go to a haunted trail after it’s been raining all day, you’re PROBABLY GOING TO GET MUDDY. Don’t be that dickhead who complains about it. Maybe you should have stayed home and watched a Duck Dynasty marathon instead.
  • Bitching about standing in line isn’t going to make the line move any faster and pro tip: NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR YOUR STUPID YINZER MONOLOGUE ABOUT IT, EITHER.
  • Pretend that you are actually running for your life. BECAUSE YOU JUST NEVER KNOW.

Hey! Why don’t you leave me a comment and tell me about your best (or…worst) haunted house experience?


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Oct 052015

This weekend was good, a strong start to October. I got one painting started, another finished, and yet another closer to its anticipated deadline. Baby steps. No pressure. Constant loops of Pentimento and State Champs music videos on YouTube. This is how I function. 

Did you know that Henry is a wedding handyman on the side? It’s true. He’s in the process of helping Chris and Monica build a display for their wedding desserts so we had to run to the craft store Saturday afternoon, which usually I bitch and moan about because the craft store is annoying but I love it in October because of all the Halloween shit. Plus, I had stuff to get for the upcoming pie party, decoration-wise. When we were checking out, the elderly cashier asked us what we had planned for the burlap sacks we purchased. First of all, none of your business? Also, Pinterest-approved body bags.


I was in a mood on Saturday.


Moving on.

Chooch is bona fide infatuated with YouTubers (what 9-year-old isn’t) and has much love for Hannah Hart. We actually just had a huge argument because made the mistake of telling him  that I have known of her existence for quite some time now and fun fact about Chooch: he knows everything and also, he knew it first. He’s worse than a hipster in that regard.

Anyway, all last week he was begging us to take him to Barnes and Noble because he wanted to get her book and if you read my blog like a good little pair of Internet eyeballs, you already know that Henry took him there on Friday and they struck out.

Well, Saturday evening we were on our way to a haunted house in Sharon. Chooch fell asleep because he was pouting about something or other, it all blends together. Henry, feeling a moment of charity, pulled off one of the exits and stopped at a B&N, where he successfully procured said book and Chooch was one happy jerk-son when he arose from his backseat nap.

(I like Hannah Hart. I used to watch My Drunk Kitchen and thought it was hilarious. But this book….? It makes me seriously think any ol’ motherfucker can publish pages of basic thoughts and call it a book.)

(John Green wrote her foreword. Apparently it’s a thing for YouTubers to have John Green help them with their books? I learned this from Chooch the other day when he told me that if I ever wanted to be an author, I would have to seek a LOT of help, maybe from John Green.)

After the haunted house, which Chooch is supposed to blog about, Henry and his deep pockets took us to the Middlesex Diner in Middlesex, PA which made Chooch and I laugh hysterically and Henry yelled at us for being 12-year-olds.

Our waiter was new. Possibly even new at life. He screwed up nearly everything but in such adorable fashion that I implored Henry to leave him a decent tip. Poor guy.

I got a salad with oil and vinegar and Henry to walk me though the ratio process.

Then there was a guy whistling and I sincerely thought it was a prelude to murder, like after receiving the chicken salad he came to pick up, he was going to whip out an Uzi and let loose.

I’m super paranoid. I think it might be a bordering on an actual psychological condition at this point. The amount of times I’m walking around downtown, see something shady, say “Nope,” and then change directions is alarming.

Oh wait, I just remembered that’s normal.

There was hand sanitizer behind Chooch which was a good thing because that kid needs it. Also, I ordered coconut cream pie and the waiter brought me french silk. I really liked that kid, I sincerely did, so in lieu of slinging it back to him Chinese throwing star-style, I peacefully held the pie out to him and in a gentle tone said, “Thanks, but I could I have the coconut instead?”

“Right,” he sighed, “because that’s what you ordered. I’m so sorry.” And then I thought he was going to punch himself in the head, but maybe he waited until he was locked in the broom closet at Ma’s house to do that.

My pie was eh. I always have high standards for diners when it comes to pie because if you’re calling yourself a diner, you should have the homemade pie to back it up. This pie was definitely not homemade. It was firm yet gelatinous, and had a layer of skin between it and the meringue, which was the worst part for me, the meringue. I really dislike meringue and prefer my coconut cream pie to have a heavy helmet of fresh whipped topping on it.

I peeled off the meringue and threw it on Henry’s plate, which was really Chooch’s plate of pumpkin pie that he didn’t like so now Henry was eating that along with my meringue, in addition to his own dinner and also half of Chooch’s dinner because WASTE NOT WANT NOT or whatever your grandma had embroidered on her idiot tea towels.

On the way home, Chooch and I had such strong laughing fits that Henry barked, “If he pukes back there, you’re cleaning it!”

The next day, we went to visit Wendy and baby Summer after Chooch’s piano lesson! (Don’t worry, I ended up not actually being sick like I thought I was on Friday. It was all in my head, even though everyone kept telling me that and I was like, “No no no this is West Nile.”

Is West Nile still a thing? Don’t tell me. I don’t need to know. Anyway, look at how miserable Henry made Summer! One look at his grizzly visage sent her over the edge, man. Don’t worry, Summer, that mean man has the same effect on me.

Wendy looks amazing, by the way. A-MAYYYY-ZING. I was like, “How the hell is it possible to look so good one month after birthing a child?!” I still looked like a sebaceous glob for a good year after Chooch was born.

Fine. Two years. Then Jillian Michaels helped me.

Then I got fat again.

Then, Jillian.

Next, fat.

Now, Jillian.

It’s a vicious cycle. Chooch has actually been working out with me and he hates Jillian but I think he is secretly enamored of her. I know I am! At first, he bitched about it but here’s the thing: 4th grade was when I started my journey to Fat Status. And that journey was at break-neck speed, you guys. I was unlocking that level faster than my mom could replace my wardrobe with huger sizes. Without giving Chooch a complex, I’m trying to subtly teach him that fitness and exercise are such important things to make a habit of at an early age, plus healthy food. Otherwise, he’ll be 36 and terrified of food just like his broken mother. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that I wish someone in my family would have come to my aid back then instead of waiting two years and then flipping out because I looked too hideous to be a junior bridesmaid in my aunt’s upcoming wedding, thus putting me on Slim Fast. Because that’s normal, right? For an 11-year-old to be substituting meals with Slim Fast shakes and getting Slim Fast popcorn in their Easter basket?

So yeah, exercise was done over the weekend, too.

Then we went to Castle Blood! That will be its own post though. I think Chooch and I both going to review it, so that should be interesting.

These weekends are just the absolute best. I love you, October!

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Oct 032015

I have been playing the shit out of the new Better Off album “Milk” for the last few weeks. There is this deliciously messy image of a multi-layered PB&J on the cover that has  been triggering some fierce feels for me lately and I finally put my finger on it the other day.

It reminds me of my old hair stylist, Gwen.

In the fall of 2001, my friend / co-worker Carol arranged for me to visit her stylist Gwen after I endured the worst dye job ever at J.C. Penney’s. My hair was tiger-striped and I had to wear a hat.

I do not rock the hat look well, you guys.

I liked Gwen immediately. For the first time in my life, I felt comfortable enough in the swivel chair to engage in non-stop conversation with a stylist. Typically, I would just stare off into space and pray that I wouldn’t be spoken to. I walked out of the salon that night with haute highlights and a new regular stylist.

Full disclosure though, Gwen was far from perfect. She had abhorrent time-management skills;  it would take her upwards of four hours to complete my cut and color because she was always running off to call her mom or have a smoke or flat out forgetting what she was doing. One time she even left me sitting there idly while she ran across the street to get a cappuccino.

It would anger me so badly that I would always consider walking out. But then she would come back and apologize profusely and we would start bullshitting and she would tell me I was funny and all would be forgotten. An abusive relationship if anything.

About a year later, she lost her job at the salon. She was accused of stealing. But she didn’t do it, honestly, you guys! I only half believed her. She gave me her home phone number and from then on, I would get my hair managed in her garage. She lived in a nice house in the suburbs near my old turf. She had a handsome husband who worked for the FBI and two beautiful daughters who I would eat three-layered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with at their kitchen counter while waiting for the dye to set. Gwen made sensational PB&Js. So good that I became spoiled and when Henry would attempt to make me one, it would get tossed back at his face.

(That may have also had something to do with that pesky bi-polar thingaling too, though.)

Every other month, I’d arrive at her house for my appointment. If I was lucky, she would remember and actually be home to open the door for me. Other times, her husband would come to the door and tell me he didn’t know where she was, but I was welcome to wait. Sometimes, no one would be there at all and I would sit on the front steps like a lost puppy with mange.

After some time, her appearance began to change. The skin on her legs were marred with red bumps and scabs and her hair consistently looked unwashed. She would tell me stories of her new friends that were prostitutes. Legit prostitutes!  I was horrified but at the same time loved hearing stories of how she picked up these mythological creatures and drove them to “appointments.” How does a suburban housewife get such a gig, I wondered. I don’t think Craigslist was around then.

Sometimes, Gwen would forget to have the dye ready and I would have to drive her to the beauty supply store five minutes away. Seems like a hassle, but for gas money and a candy bar, there’s little I won’t do.

Despite her erratic behavior, my hair still came out shining.

Gwen was more than just my hair stylist, though. She had become my sounding board. I would cry to her about my nightmare job at Weiss Meats, and she understood because she knew the people there.  Gwen was someone who I might not have been able to rely on in terms of being on time to do my hair, but I could tell her anything and feel comfortable doing so. I could talk candidly about Henry and she was one of the few people who never made me feel weird or self-conscious about our age difference, which seemed way more extreme when I was 23 and Henry was 37.

She became sort of a running joke with my friends. “How long did Gwen leave you sitting on her front porch this time?” they’d ask. No matter how angry she would make me, she would always do something to make up for it, like only charging me half price or plying me with chocolate, and I would leave her house smiling.

My then-friend Keri’s wedding was coming up and I was desperate for hair therapy. Gwen eventually called me from her mother’s house; her husband had kicked her out, but if we made the appointment while he was at work, she said, we could sneak into her house. It was like renegade hair styling with her, you guys. A true, ridiculous adventure every time. She gave me highlights the week before the wedding, and then scheduled me to come back the morning of the wedding so she could style it. When I told Keri, she panicked. “Oh my God, she’s going to make you late! Do I have to remind you that you’re my bridesmaid?” But Gwen pulled through with plenty of time to spare. It made me think that she was turning over a new leaf. Maybe she bought a watch?

And then I never heard from her again. I’d call her, but her voice mail was perpetually full. The last I heard, she had been picked up in a park for prostitution and was even heavier into drugs. It made me realize that you could have the nicest house in a suburb called Pleasant Hills, for Christ’s sake, and still succumb to a stereotypical life led by someone living in a tenement.

I quit calling her and found a new stylist, one who worked within walking distance of my house and never, and I mean never, left me waiting.  I eventually just stopped wondering about Gwen altogether.

One August morning in 2006, Carol informed me that in the beginning of July, Gwen had OD’d. She was 41.

I realized then that I didn’t have any photos of Gwen. I wrote in my journal that I was afraid I was going to forget her. Yet here I am, nine years later, listening to Better Off, eating a three-layered PB&J that Henry made me per request, and thinking of the whirlwind in my life that was Gwen.

Henry’s PB&J still doesn’t have the same magical effect as Gwen’s crustless creations had, but it made me feel some kind of comfort.




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Oct 022015

Guys, I’m panicking. Ever since I read an email at work about FLU SHOT registration, I have started to feel like I’m getting sick. And I can’t get sick because there are haunted houses to run amok through this weekend.

So I’m trying to take it easy at work by not working. (LOL, just kidding. It’s a slow night. And ugh, GLENN is filling in for GAYLE on late shift so that’s annoying. He’s already insulted me 216391874 times, but that’s just fine. I’ll get my revenge.)

This morning I watched the latest Scream Queens episode and I have to say, I have a ton of faith invested in this series. It’s everything I liked about Glee (except for Lea Michele, but I’m learning to tolerate her) and American Horror Story mashed into one edgy television delight. However, I started to hate Glee after awhile, and AHS always finds a way to disappoint me, so I’m trying to not let Ryan Murphy break my heart again.

I also did some painting. I’m trying to force myself out of this rut and I think I’m almost there. Maybe.

Then something alarming happened at work. I got on the elevator to leave the office for my lunch break and I accidentally pressed “4” instead of the lobby. Then some guy got on at 7 and I thought to myself, “OH BOY HE’S IN FOR A SHOCK WHEN THE ELEVATOR STOPS ON 4 AND NO ONE GETS ON.” So I was going to tell him that I accidentally hit the wrong button but then I remembered my allergy to small talk so I said nothing. When the doors opened at 4 and no one got on, he said, “Must be a ghost. Oh well, I guess it’s the right time of the year.”


He cringed.

“What, you don’t like October?” I asked sadly.

“Eh, I don’t know. It’s just depressing. Everything starts getting cold…”

“Yeah, but, haunted houses!” I said as the elevator deposited us on the ground floor.

He laughed. “OK, there’s that.”

Now we were walking out of the building together, talking about the creepier side of October.

“I can’t help it, I’m goth at heart,” I said, and he laughed.

By this point we were outside the building. “You know, the best haunted house I’ve ever gone to was in Smithton—”

“RICH’S FRIGHT FARM!” I yelled in tandem, except that his version of “Rich’s Fright Farm” was said in a calm, normal person tone.

I told him about how now they have a new addition where they blindfold you and—

“They blindfold you? No. No, I wouldn’t do that,” he said matter-of-factly.

“Well, you can opt out of that part,” I reassured him.

I mean, I know what you’re thinking at this point: By golly, Erin, take him to the Courthouse already!

But alas, it ended as abruptly as it started, with us waving as we went our separate ways.

Man, that guy gave good small talk. AND I DIDN’T EVEN ASK HIM HIS NAME.

In other Friday Late Shift news, I’m eating squash that Henry roasted for me but he didn’t take the skin off so it looks like I’m eating an actual Gremlin. I mean, it’s still good though, but looking at it kind of makes me gag so I have to close my eyes.

I keep missing my mouth.

Because I’m eating with my eyes closed.

Meanwhile, Henry just texted me from Barnes and Noble. That is this place where BOOKS are sold. How weird and antiquated right? Anyway, they’re there because Chooch is obsessed with YouTubers, all of the YouTubers, YouTube as a whole, but Hannah Hart is one of his favorites (he hijacked my phone once and made me follow her on Instagram) and she’s inspired him to learn how to cook, so he made Henry take him  to the book store so that he can buy her My Drunk Kitchen book, which apparently they couldn’t find and had to ask about it, which probably made him feel awesome since he had his nine-year-old son in tow, who, by the way, likes to tell people that his dad is an alcoholic (?!).

(You know which YouTuber I love and it makes Henry so mad? Shannon Taylor / HeyThereImShannon. He will literally walk away if I play her videos. LOLALLTHEWAYHOME.)

[EDIT: Now that I’m home from work, I got the full story, which is that Chooch stood in the middle of the store, saying, “I need help!” and then a B&N employee was like, “What are you looking for?” at which point Chooch said, “My Drunk Kitchen” because that seems like something a 4th grader would want, right? They didn’t have it so the person asked Chooch if he wanted them to order him a copy and he said yes at which point Henry butted in and said, “NO.” Henry was really annoyed while Chooch was telling me this story. “I was like, ‘Hello, talk to me, not the 9-year-old!'” Sounds like someone is just jelly.]

Ew, there are hard parts to my squash that I have to keep spitting out! HENRY, YOU ARE THE WORST. WHERE IS MY 7TH FLOOR SOUL MATE?!

I was helping some dude via email and he told me I’m enlightening AND a lifesaver and Glenn almost puked, but I bet if I showed him my Gremlin-skin squash, he’d puke for real.

The other night, I stupidly let Chooch read one of my short stories. Watching the expressions on his face was priceless and I thought he liked it! But then I mentioned something about how I once was considering putting together a book of “children’s” stories, and he said it was a good thing that I didn’t do that. I asked him why and he shrugged. “I mean, you’re not an author. You would have to get someone good to help you. Like….John Green.”


He shrugged again and did that nervous laugh he does when he just finished delivering a piping hot truth stew and now he’s going to try and back-peddle and act like he was just kidding. Nothing like being put in your place by your NINE-YEAR-OLD.

(This is the story I let him read. IT WAS PROBABLY JUST TOO ADVANCED FOR HIM.)

I want to go home and have soup. :(

Ugh, I had other things I was going to say, but: SICK-ISH. So I’m going to spend the rest of my late shift shivering under my blanket. I’ll leave you with two pictures of my OK-ish city that I  took yesterday. Now you know what two small parts of my city look like. Wow.

P.S. I just went back and looked at that email again and noticed that “lifesaver” was ITALICIZED — THAT IS HOW MUCH THAT GUY MEANT IT. Doesn’t make me feel any less sick-ish though.

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Oct 012015

My sister Amy texted me this Michael Myers picture today and I was like, “FUCK YEAH OCTOBER.” I’ve been in the best mood all day! (Henry is like, “FALSE.”) Look, I know I’m not alone in this October love-fest. We all have that basic white girl in us that comes out extra strong in October so let’s just embrace that shit and sprinkle ourselves with pumpkin pie spice. It’s OK–I put some in my cream of wheat today and I am not even the slightest bit ashamed.

You can have the Starbucks PSLs though, and if we’re being honest, just typing out those letters made me feel like a sleazy contributor to the cause. I like eating actual pumpkins, but if we’re talking flavoring, I gotta take my best girl Maple to homecoming.

Here are more obvious October thangs I fan-girl for:


It’s been my October anthem since 2004. I highly encourage you to listen to it!


Those tombstones are always up on my desk. I have officially decided to not do a Halloween desk theme this year because I have some other things I need to focus on, but who needs to decorate anyway when YOUR SOUL IS ALREADY DECORATED WITH BATS AND CANDY CORN?!



Lol, Just kidding.


Even though I was savagely mocked for it at work yesterday!



Horror movies are pretty much the only movies I watch, ever, but they just feel so much better in October. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE HORROR MOVIES?!


Below are my favorite ones ever that Blake graciously modeled for back in 2009. Those were the days.

2009 Nov 01 040 2009 Nov 01 081  2009 Nov 01 045 2009 Nov 01 031 copy

2009 Nov 01 080 2009 Nov 01 021 2009 Nov 01 020 2009 Nov 01 047

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Sep 302015

I can’t believe how far I’ve fallen behind with the RIP Glenns. Internet, you must have been stumbling around blindly! HOW HAVE YOU KNOWN WHO DIED?! Anyway, here is a collection of dead celebs from April through September. I’m sure I missed a ton, but sometimes they fly under the radar, OK? I do have other things to do here at work! (Hard to imagine, I know.)

Glenn makes an effortless Rosie the Riveter, doesn’t he?

I thought it was pretty bizarre that BB King and Ben E. King died so close together. Unless they planned it that way?!


Here’s a rare, behind the scenes look at a sheet of Glenns pre-Glenning, with my dumb fingers in place for scale.

The quintessential Dracula. RIP, OLD FRIEND. (Fun Fact: This is actually what Glenn looks like every day IRL.)

Man, Mary Ellen Trainor had some golden roles in the 80s, but I chose to depict her in all of her broken arm glory as the mom on Goonies. #momgoals




I was a big fan of WWF (I guess it’s WWE now, though?) when I was a kid in the 80s. The Undertaker was my favorite, obviously, and I have super fond memories of splaying out on the floor of the family room, wrestling on in the background and my Lisa Frank stationary fanned out before me. Because that’s when I was also super heavy into penpalling, you guys. I got my first handful of penpals from the back of the Alby’s Big Boy kids menu (there was a section for pen pals, can you believe it!? The 80s were such a darling time—no way would any parent let their child’s name and address be printed and mass-produced on a restaurant menu) and it just spiraled from there.

I’m getting off topic. I started to write all of that in an effort to say that even though I was big into wrestling back then, I don’t really have many memories of Dusty Rhodes. Luckily, Facebook and my co-worker Carrie alerted me to his death. But after staring at his picture long enough, I feel like I really knew the guy. :(

I honestly thought he was already dead. No offense, Sharif estate. Also, I spelled his name wrong because I’m a terrible, ignorant human.


Now THIS is a wrestler I remember! His death was weird because he apparently had just given a statement a few days prior regarding the whole Hulk Hogan fuckarow, and then BAM. Sudden death. :(

This whole Bobbi Kristina situation was plumb fucked, you guys. I was happy to draw Whitney Houston as an angel, though.




THE WORST. I wanted the MTV Scream series to give him more of a tribute than just the measly 10 second In Memory Of they flashed on the screen before the season finale of Scream, but whatever. It’s not like he’s a horror LEGEND or anything.


You know Glenn has a hidden library stocked with Jackie Collins’ entire smutty oeuvre.


I honest to god just can’t with this one. The goddamn Log Lady, you guys. And right when this whole Twin Peaks continuation is about to (hopefully) happen, and she was on board with it. I’m devastated over this and will probably be dressing up as the Log Lady for Halloween, provided that Henry dresses as my log.

I have a Frank Gifford Glenn sitting on my desk, but I don’t like it and want to make a new one. Other than that, now you know most of the important people who have died since April. Basically, if I don’t know who the person is, I don’t make a Glenn. I CAN’T KEEP UP WITH ALL OF THEM!

[As always, if you’re new here, you can read the origin of this project here.]


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Sep 292015

Here is a handy compartmentalized list of things and thoughts that have happened lately that perhaps I would like to remember. YOU NEVER KNOW.

PARENTING – I’m doing a mediocre job!

  • Henry had to go back down to work to have an affair one night last week, leaving me in charge of feeding Chooch. Thankfully, there was Hungry Man in the freezer and that’s what Chooch decided he wanted to eat, so I was like, “Phew! Thank god! Here, you can just go ahead and make it yourself, then.” But then Chooch was like, “‘Remove plastic from sauce.’ Wait—-is this the sauce?” And I was like, “Of course that’s the sauce, you idiot—wait. IS that the sauce?” And from there, it took the two of us, The Dream Team, to squint at the instructions, stab some of the sealed compartments with a knife, peel back the seal of other compartments, straight up REMOVE portions of the tray…it was all so much. So exhausting. We are FUCKED if Henry ever leaves us for his mistress oris murdered when I find out that he has a mistress.
    • Henry came home later, saw the empty box in the garbage, and sadly said, “Hey. That was my Hungry Man.” WELL MAYBE IF HE WOULD STOP IMPREGNATING PET SHOP BROADS, HE WOULDN’T BE SO HUNGRY.
  • Saturday night, Chooch and I decided to go see this Austrian horror movie that was playing at the indie theater down the street (“Goodnight Mommy” — it was wonderful and here, you can read Chooch’s thorough review if you would like). I had a slight concern because itwas rated R; my concern wasn’t that it would be inappropriate for Chooch to watch, but more that he wouldn’t be allowed in. “I mean, I guess technically I am his guardian though, right?” I said to Henry, trying to work this out in my mind. “Um, you’re his mother, so….”
    • The movie is in German so it had subtitles. This didn’t faze Chooch a bit — he’s been watching Asian horror for years so subtitles are like whatever for him. I feel like that’s a parenting win, right? Don’t be that person who bitches about having to read a movie.
  • Some shady business opened up in our ‘hood where people can go and play video games. I know what you’re thinking, Oh an arcade? WRONG. It’s just an empty storefront full of TVs and gaming consoles. Anyway, some of Chooch’s friends go there after school so Chooch asked if he could go too. This stumped me. “I don’t know…..can you?” I mused, hoping the Universe would send me a sign. Meanwhile, Henry was all, “No! Do your homework!” So it appears the correct answer to that Parenting, Expert Level question was: No.
  • We went to lunch on Saturday at the North Hills Grill. Chooch was real surly because he had fallen (or “falled” as I had originally typed) asleep in the car and then we had the audacity to wake his sorry ass up. He was so fucking miserable and said he didn’t want anything so Henry and I said that was fine because we don’t play his games anymore (I mean, I usually get suckered into them if I’m alone, because I’m weakand also I thrive on fighting with my kid, or anyone for that matter). But then he snapped, “FINE I GUESS I’LL HAVE A BURGER” and I was like “IDGAF because this joint had quinoa salad as a side plus mypanini comes with pesto and literally that’s all that matters to meright now. Eat or don’t eat, whatever forever.”
    • And I mentioned that we were going to get him new clothes afterward and he did this thing that I just love, where he throws his arms up and squeals, “SERIOUSLY?!FML” before falling into a slow simmer. (I should mention that this was after he decided to join us; he was originally sitting alone at his own table. Thank god we were the only people there.) It must seriously suck to have parents who feed and clothe you! I would hate my life, too!
      • Parents of children younger than 9 — I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t get better. There will be days when you think it is, but then you’re jerk-kid will do something catastrophic or utterly douchey to remind you that, nope; parenting still fucking sucks. Bring on ze booze.


This is when he decided that FINE, he would come over to the dark side and sit at the same table as his crappy parents.


  • One day last week, Last Mail was making her rounds and Gayle, at the last minute, shouted, “Lisa, wait! I have something I need mailed.” Big deal, right? Except that I was bored as fuck and decided to chastise Gayle via email for speaking too rudely to Last Mail. “She startles easily!” I typed, and Gayle was all, “I WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN, MASTER, I SWEAR TO YOU, MASTER.” We had a good laugh (eh, not really) and then went about our day. The next afternoon, Amber1 walked by and said that Gayle was in the kitchen talking to Lisa and—-“Oh shit,” I interrupted, pretty sure I knew where this was going. Amber went on to say that Gayle was APOLOGIZING TO LISA for being “rude” and I was like, “But she wasn’t even rude!” Amber said, “Yeah, I didn’t think she was either, so I’m not sure why she was apologizing…” So I explained to Amber that I jokingly sent Gayle that email the day before but I was totally just kidding. “Oh, well she apologized and I was the witness!” Amber said, and I started cracking up. “I MADE THAT HAPPEN!” I cried. “I totally orchestrated that!” OMG I’M LIKE A LAW FIRM PUPPET MASTER. Hands down the most exciting thing to happen to me at work last week.
  • Until Terry came over to invite Glenn to some secret after-hours cook out! Todd kept sending me antagonizing emails, knowing that I was about toupchuck my giggle-lunch all over my lap.
    • Unrelated to this particular episode, I mentioned to Glenn that I thought Terry might hate me ever since The Lunch Invitation was delivered. “Yeah, and I should, too!” Glenn snapped, and then Todd and I died of laughter but then the aliens from MAC and Me came down from 1988 and brought us back to life.
  • Some people are really stoked for the pie party, and others are practically sprinting away from me as a try to invite them. FINE! I’LL STOP TRYING TO BE FRIENDLY AT WORK! #boohiss
  • It was pretty quiet during  my Friday night late shift so I made some egocentric signage with salt water taffy on the counter behind Todd. I figured for sure I would come to work on Monday to find that Glenn had defaced it, but lo—it was just as I left it! Later in the afternoon, I went back there and dismantled it myself because that way, I wouldn’t have to expend energy hating someone for doing it first. Glenn and Todd were just like, “Wow, such logic.” It’s true though, you know how badly I pout when the tables are turned.



  • GUYS. Remember all of those Riot Fest posts I wrote that you probably didn’t read because I’m so fucking annoying? Well, in one of them, I went on at length about how seeingAlexisonfire for thefirst time ever was the best moment of all three Riotous days for me andsubsequently sparked yet another unhealthy music obsession as I realized that something about their set had resonated with me, and even though I was a casual fan back in the day, now I was IN LOVE WITH THEM and about to call the tattoo shop to make an appointment to have their logo tattooed on my head. I got it bad for them, like, weak-in-the-knees, Glasgow-smiling-at-my-desk-for-no-reason bad. Anyway, a week later, at the Toronto Riot Fest, they announced during their set (they were the headliners—they’re Canadian and way bigger there than America) thatALEXISONFIRE IS BACK AND THEY’RE NOT GOING TO LEAVE US AGAIN. I cried so hard. SO HARD! OH, THE JOY! I tried to excitedly talk about it at work and everyone was like, “Why can’t you just watch soap operas instead like otherladies your age?” And then the other day, I was reading my usual music news sites on the trolley and one of the headlines wasALEXISONFIRE CONFIRMS THAT THEY ARE NOT OFFICIALLY BACK TOGETHER. My heart sank! I came into work near-tears (OK, some of the tears were a lot closer than “near”) and Glenn snapped, “You need to stop being so emotionally invested in bands! They don’t give a shit about you!” Wow, harsh. A few minutes went by and I swiveled around in my chair and said, “But seriously, why would they say they were back together if they didn’t mean that they were back together?” Glenn made a noise that sounded like a laugh, but it may have just been his patience whimpering away.
    •  I helped A-ron with a project and his email response to me was Erinisonfire and it was like, the greatest thanks I’ve ever received in my whole life. (I mean….maybe not.)
  • You know that hedge fund doucher who jacked up the price of that AIDS drug and then the Internet found out and everyone hates him now? (I excel at layman’s terms.) It was also discovered that he was an investor (like big-time backer) in Geoff Rickly’s record label Collect Records. Geoff, you might know, was the singer of Thursday and they were a massively influential and revered band. I miss them so much and have tried to support Geoff’s other projects whenever I can over the year because I feel like he brings so much to the scene and is just an overall stand-up guy. (Plus, remember when he spit in my face and it was amazing?!) But then this happened and I was like fuuccckkkkkk Geoff how can I keep supporting you now?! Luckily he did the right thing and announced the next day that Collect Records had severed ties with Martin because OBVIOUSLY. The downside to this is that now Geoff’s label is in danger of capsizing and taking down a bunch of really incredible bands with it. If you are reading this and love small businesses who were born of the desire to help nurture and promote the dreams of artists, might you consider going to the label and purchasing a thing?I personally bought the new release from Geoff’s current band No Devotion which you will LOVE if you’re a fan of the Cure, Thursday (duh!), 80s synth, or just good musicingeneral. It is seriously the shit but….Geoff can do no wrong in my eyes.
    • Also? He notoriously has super bad luck. A few days after this happened, he was POISONED and robbed in Hamburg. I mean he’s still alive. But POISONED.


  • Guys don’t worry. I’m still obsessively stroking my succulents like some shaky-cam herbiporn. Below, please meet the babe Bambi Sickafoose. I used to see her name in the credits for Twin Peaks and became instantly obsessed. I would shout BAMBISICKAFOOSE and Henry had no idea why. I recently found her on Facebook and got unrealistically excited.

  • I just bought this gal over the weekend! Her name is Alexis and Henry said he hopes she catches on fire. :(

  • I actually took this picture for Artifex Pereo because the name of their last album is Time and Place and the cover art is a pattern of leaves, so they were wishing everyone  a happy Time and Place day on the first day of fall and it just so happened that we had autumnal cupcakes at work that day with plastic leaf rings topping them! I did t want to eat a cupcake so I told Glenn to go and get me a ring. According to Todd, Glenn was having a hard time trying to guess which one I’d like because there different colors and designs I guess. He came back and threw one at me and started bitching about there being different designs and I was like, “But I thought there were just leaves?” “yea he, but there were MAPLE and OAK and….” Omg so boring.  Then Carrie and Amber2 (in a moment of uncharacteristic kindness) gave me theirstoo yay!
    • So I took this picture with my plant-babes in the background, posted it on Instagram, and Artifex Pereo commented with heart eyes. Love those guys!


  • Man, how about that Pope, huh? I made Henry watch my favorite religious channel,EWTN, so that we could watch PROPER coverage of the Pope’s arrival. And oh, the entertainment! Those newscasters are um, pretty colorful. I was really stoked because there was ample attention given to CardinalWuerl and I’m obsessed with that guy. IN CASE YOU DIDN’T KNOW, he usedto be the Bishop here in Pittsburgh. Back at that time, my friend Brian/Chooch’s godfather, was in the Seminary so he had gotten to know the Bishop pretty well. For a short time, Brian used to live right next door to me, in the housecurrently inhabited by HotNaybor Chris. There was some special mass thing happening at the church across the street, and so the Bishop and Brian were both there. Afterward, Brian invited the Bishop over for tea or whatever you offer the Bishop, and he told me afterward that he was so afraid I was going to stop over because that’s when I was super slutty and smoked a lot of cigarettes. OH HOW EMBARRASSING.
    • No seriously, it probably would have been pretty embarrassing. I was like oneNickelback CD away from being white trash verified back then.
      • (IT WAS JUST A PHASE. There is a fine line between the hard rock scene and white trash. I learned that the hard way.)
      • Now you know how I bagged Henry. LOL.
  • After our recent experience withLyft in Chicago, Henry decided it sounded like it could be a good part-time gig, so he applied and then was immediately hired, because #ProfessionalDriverStatus. Anyway, his mentor is some younger guy who apparently has had four accidents in the last year, so this is already off to a great start. I was watching Henry setting up hisLyft driver profile on the app and was trying desperately to help him, but he was basically just leaving the default responses for everything. There was a music question and I wanted him to put post-hardcore, but he left it on “Whatever suits my mood” or somethingequally as boring. Henry could havehad the opportunity to be the most colorfulLyft driver in the Tri-State area, but he blew it. Have fun being boring like everyone else, idiot.
    • Seriously, can you imagine if you were waiting for your Lyft and Henry rolled up? I hope he smiles a little. Otherwise, he just looks like an angry mountain man. But…at least he knows his way around. But there might be an axe in the trunk.
  • Seriously Donut Friend? Joyce Lavender? KILLING ME.


  • I posted this on Instagram and BARB yelled at me. GO AWAY BARB! No I’m just kidding! BARB DONT GO!

    • Seriously though, he acts shocked every time.

OK. I could go on and on but I’m stopping while I’m ahead.

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Sep 272015

No Spoilers Ahead: Me mommy and Corey went to see Goodnight Mommy. Corey was late so we couldn’t get a mask. They were handing out masks because it was the mask the twin boys wore to scare their mom. Their mom had plastic surgery and they wanted their mom back because they thought she was acting differently. They looked like our friend Kara’s son Harland but older. So Kara should be scared. When it was over I said that wasn’t scary that was sad. It wasn’t English it was German. But don’t worry it had subtitles. I almost fell down the stairs but that doesn’t matter. You could sometimes see the moms man boobs sometimes. That’s when I covered my eyes. Mommy had to cover her eyes sometimes, too. But I’m not going to say why because that would be a spoiler. I didn’t understand the movie it was strange and creepy. After mommy and Corey explained what it was about I understood it. I was sad mommy was scared. We saw it at the Hollywood Theatre in Dormont.

I would recommend this movie to people who aren’t pregnant or have kids. There was no funny parts all creepy.  The movie is abusive.

I was the only kid there! (;    If I had a kid I wouldn’t bring them to see this movie. Just saying. But you suit you. I’m not your MOM.

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Sep 262015

Sometime over the summer, I was outside taking a walk during my lunch break when Terri texted me that Armor For Sleep had announced a very small tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their best album, What To Do When You Are Dead. I freaked out. Then I saw the dates and my heart sank when I saw Pittsburgh wasn’t on the list.

Philly was, though! And it was a Saturday show! However, it also happened to be the weekend after Riot Fest.

I knew there was no way Henry was going to go for this, but I called him at work anyway and his response was LOL.

So then I went back to work in a complete huff and whined to Glenn whose response was LOL.

Of course, I could just go by myself, and that’s what I probably would have wound up doing because the thing about Armor For Sleep is that they were an extremely influential band for me in their short existence and they’ve been broke up since 2009.

I was lucky enough to have seen them at least once, in 2008, but unlike a lot of bands, they didn’t do a grandiose “farewell” tour, except for a random reemergence at the 2012 Bamboozle which I tried to get Christina to do to with me since this was during one of our brief, short-lived “makeup” stints, but the one major thing that happened to Christina during the Great Tragic Friendship Blackout was that she basically “grew up” and quit caring about music. Don’t worry, not everything was different—she was still a gigantic lying piece of shit! Thumbs up for consistency!

This was our band! This was the album we would listen to together on so many late night drives to Cincinnati. (I used to make her take the Greyhound to Pittsburgh so I wouldn’t have to drive to Cincinnati alone, hahaha. Somehow, I was fine driving back home by myself though.) In a nutshell, What To Do When You Are Dead is a concept album from 2005 about a boy who kills himself and then quickly realizes all he’s left behind. I love me a concept album when it’s done properly, and this one was fresh, poignant, and timeless. In fact, it was so relatable, that I had to stop listening to it for a certain chunk of time in my life.

The wonderful thing about Henry is that even when it seems like he doesn’t get it, like all those years I cried in his face while listening to this album, he actually really did get it. He knew that this was one those “can’t miss” shows for me, and that is why he changed his mind and said, we will go to Philly but you and Terri can go without me.

(When I told Glenn that I got my way as usual, he was pretty disgusted and said, “Henry needs to stop rewarding bad behavior.” Oh god, did I laugh!)

The show was at the Trocadero, which I was happy about because it’s so beautiful inside. We started the night with drinks up in the balcony and of course I chose a spot right in front of two Chatty Chats who only spoke louder to each other once the opening band, Cold Seas, started playing. Terri and I kept tossing annoyed glares over our shoulders, but they were oblivious. How are people so unaware sometimes?! I had to laugh because they applauded and “Woo!”d after some of the songs, and then at one point, one of them shouted to the other, “I love mellow shit like this.” Terri and I made eye contact and started cracking up. “How are they even listening!?” she cried.

They split after the first band so we were able to enjoy Prawn without incessant Bro Talk being projected at the backs of our heads. But then I realized that a piece of my bracelet broke off so I was too focused on exploring the floor under my feet and experiencing mild anxiety because I only just bought that bracelet at Riot Fest and I hate when jewelry breaks! I have an entire drawer full of broken jewelry waiting for Henry to fix them. Terri ended up really enjoying Prawn a lot, and after their set, I found the missing piece underneath the girl’s butt who was sitting in front of me, so now that my bracelet is whole again, I will have to give Prawn my undivided attention at home.

After Prawn, we went downstairs. We had a really great spot up there in the balcony, but I just really needed to be down there on the floor for this. It didn’t feel right any other way. Terri was fine with whatever, because she is the BEST, so we squeezed and tiptoed our way to about three heads back from the stage, and over to the side. There was literally no one on the right side of us and for as packed as the Troc was that night, we somehow managed to make it through the whole show without incident! Except for some mad-looking girl who kept edging her way closer to Terri and one of the security guys who made me hit my head off the archway I was standing in front of when he pushed his past to pull some guy out of the crowd. Other than that, and the 87 times I hit  my head on my own, it was great!

I’m not going to get into great detail here, because short of splashing the computer screen with a bucket of my hot, salty tears and blood, how else can I really describe the “Ow” factor of this show? The came out and, with minimal fanfare, launched right into “Car Underwater” and my heart fucking stopped, restarted, and then exploded like a water balloon filled with Spring of 2005. It was like that, and on and on, over and over, for 90 minutes of pure, sentimental, turn this moment into a commemorative Christmas ornament, bliss. I can’t remember the last time I sang so loud at a show (sorry, tall black guy in front of me) and it felt so cleansing to purge even more of those pesky lingering feelings. Not all of them. I’ll keep some. But the amount I’ve been hoarding all of these years is unhealthy and makes me feel like a broken record.

They didn’t play the album in complete order, and they did sprinkle in some songs from their other two albums, which I was ambivalent about at first, but then I realized that if they only played WTWYAD, that show would’ve ended much earlier and I wanted to spend as much with these guys as possible. Just seeing them together again on that stage was beautiful. I don’t know what this means for them as a band, if they will decide that they missed making music and consider getting back together, so I am so grateful that I got the chance to see them that night. This band, and especially that album, has touched so many lives over the years and it was really nice to see that the reception for this short run they’re doing has been great.

^^^Back in 2005, I had emailed the band to tell them how much I loved them (probably in my most psychotic manner). My email signature was a link to my old my LiveJournal and it said “Have you had your Vagynafondue today?” PJ was the one who replied to my email and we had this ridiculous discussion about “vagina fondue” and seeing him all these years later made me crack up at that memory. I wish I still had that email.

Did I cry a lot? YOU BET YOUR INTERNET-STRAINED EYES I DID. Especially during “Basement Ghost Singing” because that song has some twisted meaning to me. However, it wasn’t a sad cry really. I promised myself when I woke up that morning that I wasn’t going to let the past dictate how tonight would make me feel. I refused to get that awful, sick-to-my-stomach feeling of crippling grief and heartbreak. I was going to enjoy the music that was prevalent during a very formative time of my life. It was going to be good.

And instead, it turned out to be amazing. Because I was there with my friend Terri, who gets it, who doesn’t judge, and who loves this shit just as much as I do. I’m so glad that I got to share this experience with her! Armor For Sleep 4ever!

Another intensive therapy session in the books.

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Sep 252015


I came across this idiot photo of myself from a Girl Scout field trip to Triple B Farms in 1987 and that fucking bow on my dome made me laugh because basically I was a style icon to 2000’s-era scene girls everywhere. I always wore those puffy, cushiony bows back then like it was a compulsion. My mom bought them at Children’s Place and Kids R Us. It definitely brought to mind all the scene queens we used to see specifically at Chiodos shows, just a fucking sea of pastel-haired Minnie Mouse-bowed waifs flitted about on wafts of their own ennui, waiting for a chance to bat their fake gooey eyelashes at Craig Owens.   

For old time’s sake, I googled “scene girl at Chiodos show” and then laughed because the second thing that came up was a link to my blog.    God, did I have my finger on the comb-over fringe-haired pulse back then or what.  

Welcome to Oh Honestly Erin, not spell-checked since 2008.   

Then I did an image search and saw that Blake and Robbie, Henry’s sons, are in the first few pictures, so I was like “haha oh shit” and texted a screenshot to Henry, who replied with, “Yeah, keep scrolling down. Thanks, Erin.”    

 HILAR. Henrietta, the ultimate scene queen. 

Of course I ran right to Facebook with this because that’s just what I do: stroke my succulents, fuck grammar in the ass, and emasculate Henry on social media. Robbie commented on it with a succinct “haha” to which Henry replied, “Don’t laugh to [sic] hard. Your picture comes up also.”

Yeah but at least there’s an actual girl in the picture with Robbie.

Henry can try to fight it all he wants but he IS A PART OF THE SCENE. 

As a Friday night bonus, here is a picture of him frowning at his first Chiodos show in 2008.     



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Sep 242015

Let me preface this with a preemptive apology because I know without even reading it that this post is sloppy as fuck. I wrote it like a lunatic on frosted Ritalin. I JUST GET SO EXCITED ABOUT THESE THINGS! One day I will come back and edit. Months later. I’m such a professional.

Sunday was a great day! We had the best weather of all three days (dry, sunny and warm!), a really great Lyft driver (Venus!) who dropped us off at alternate entrance which had NO LINE. And apparently the main gate hadn’t opened yet because there was practically no one inside. It was eerie and quiet. We had time to kill before any of the bands started, so we finally got some shopping in. I’m still daydreaming about all of the merch booths, to be honest. (Just to be clear, you know that anytime I say “to be honest,” everything else is a bold-faced lie, right?)

Interestingly, we noticed that the schedule for Sunday had been revised because a band had dropped off, so now there was a block of time for one of the smallest stages that just had three question marks in lieu of a band name. “WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!” I asked Henry, who gave me his standard IDGAF glare.

Our experiences at Riot Fest really couldn’t be any more diametrically opposed. It’s like comparing Julie Andrews spinning around in the hills of Saltzburg to Charlie Sheen in Platoon. How we work as a couple is a mystery.

The third and final day of Riot Fest was the one day were I didn’t have a ton of bands that I absolutely needed to see; there were really only three. But there were a few playing on the two smallest stages that I had a passing interest in, so we spent a large portion of the day in that area. This was also the most sparsely populated area, so Henry was extremely thankful. The bands playing on these two stages all day were mostly in the emo/indie category, if I’m forced to pigeon-hole them. It’s a sound that I really love, that No Sleep feel, so I wound up walking away with several new bands pinned to my heart. Loitering at those stages was like being at a mini Fest, which attending has been on my bucket list for years.

(Not Henry though. His review of basically every band we saw all weekend is “*shrug*” so I quit asking him to contribute to these posts.)

  • Signals Midwest – Indie/punk band from Cleveland; they had a slight Balance & Composure feel to them, and I was down for it. Solid start to the day and a sneak peek of what the small stages had in store for us that day. I wish that all of the bands had their own merch booths there, like at Warped, because I would have for sure bought their record or a shirt.

  • Foxtrott – I really am super picky when it comes to female-fronted bands. I don’t know what it is about me and the female voice, but we aren’t friends. However, on the drive from Pittsburgh, I looked up Foxtrott on Spotify and, while there was only one song on there, I actually liked it. When I saw that there was nothing else going on at the same time, I added them to the schedule in my Riot Fest app. (Isn’t technology strange? I barely remember the days where we’d scrawl set times on our hands at festivals. There actual schedules being handed out at the gate every day at Riot Fest, but if you programmed your own schedule into the app, you’d get fifteen-minute reminders to get your ass to a certain stage, and believe me — those were really convenient.)

Henry’s style icon during Foxtrott. He also had another style icon who looked like if a young Jeffrey Jones was a gym teacher in the 70s.

  • Cayetana – Caught a minute of them because Signals Midwest gave them a shout out so I figured, sure, why not. Turns out they’re a girl band. What is my issue with girl bands?! I think it stems back to my strong adversity to 4 Non Blondes. (Sorry, Linda Perry. You just don’t do it for me.) Let Henry use the porta potty and then we split for the Riot stage.
  • Kevin Devine – If you can believe it, this was actually Henry’s pick. I never really gave Kevin Devine a chance before (although I did briefly like his collab, Bad Books, with Andy Hull), so when Henry asked me who he was, I was just like, “I dunno, dude. A man who sings with a band.” He’s one of those guys whose music blends into the background for me, but we had nothing else pulling us in a different direction at that time, so we made the hike over to the main stage. And it was a great set! Totally one of those situations where I like a band better live. “Good call, Henry,” I said, giving him a hearty pat on the back. He just sneered at me. Like he does.

  • Souvenirs – On the drive to Chicago, I was reading the bios of some of the bands I hadn’t heard of, and Souvenirs mentioned in theirs that they’re influenced by Sunny Day and Mineral. This was enough to get me to the Revolt stage at 2pm. My plan was to watch them for 15 minutes and then run to the main stage to see Hum, but they were so goddamn good that I wound up staying for almost the whole set and sacrificing the beginning of Hum. While we were at their stage, I got a Riot Fest alert saying clarifying the mysterious “???” addition to Sunday’s schedule: Taking Back Sunday were going to fill the slot! I thrust my phone into Henry’s face and even he admitted that it was cool. TBS on that small-ass stage? I consulted the schedule and saw that this conflicted with Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness. But TBS on a stage that small? Sorry, Andrew; can’t pass that one up.

  • Hum – As a fan of shoegaze, once upon a time, I needed to see Hum. They were playing the main stage and while they sounded great, it was hard to engage in them because we weren’t very close. It definitely brought back some memories, but I definitely would have preferred to see them in a club venue. I feel like something got lost in translation out there midday, on such a large stage.
  • New Politics – We watched two of their songs, but they were pretty bland, radio rock-sounding, and low-energy. Ditched them and went back to the two smaller stages, and thank god for  that because the band playing on the Revolt stage was much better.

  • Modern Chemistry – Skipping out on New Politics proved very fortuitous because Modern Chemistry was way more my style. Also, it turned out that I was standing near them during Souvenirs set earlier, when I kept saying to Henry, “God, why can’t you dress like THOSE guys?!” Cling is currently my favorite song of theirs and I’m really anxious to see them again, hopefully soon.

  • Taking Back Sunday – Thank god we had already been loitering around this stage, because once word spread about the surprise set, people fucking poured into that tiny area, which guaranteed hadn’t seen that much of a headcount all weekend. There really isn’t a way to describe seeing TBS on such a small stage with no frills, other than FUCKING AWESOME. Total Warped Tour vibes and honestly, I thought it was better than their headlining set. I don’t know many people in my demographic who don’t find certain nostalgia in this band. And there was something special about seeing them that day, all humble and #soblessed to be playing a second set in the middle of the day; it just intensified the feels and hearing those old songs (admittedly, I stopped following them after Louder Now) was such a goddamn throwback. I don’t need all the fancy lights — I just want to see Adam up close, swinging that fucking mic. “We are Riot Festing SO HARD this weekend,” he said at one point, and it was just really nice to see a band of that size and stature so into it and genuinely excited to be there. The crowd was great too and Henry actually said these 30 minutes (yes, they stayed within the 30 minute set time that was vacated!) was the highlight for him of the entire weekend.

    • Later on that afternoon, Henry nearly knocked me over when he excitedly pushed my shoulder and said, “LOOK LOOK LOOK!!! It’s Adam!” as Adam Lazzara casually strolled past us as we walking from the Riot Stage. It’s so amusing (and adorable) to me that he (unwittingly) knows so much about the scene that he can recognize people.

  • Manchester Orchestra – Man, I kept telling Henry all weekend, “Just wait until you see Manchester. They are so goddamn good. You’re going to love them!” I have only seen them once before and it was one of those shows I attended with a pile of fake Mexican shit (akaex-BFF) so I generally try to block it from my mind. This particular show was in Cleveland, and Manchester was opening for Brand New. I was already a casual fan of theirs, but I remember being 100% blown away by their stage presence. Unfortunately, Christina and I started fighting pretty much right after their set ended, so the memory of this show is completely tarnished for me. It was such a terrible night that I didn’t even blog about it. Ugh. Needless to say, I was really looking forward to a do-over and because of this,Iwantedto be up front. They were playing on the main stage, but itwasstillearly-ish so it wasn’t impossible. I was at the barricade, off to the side (seriously, I can’t stress this enough—never underestimate the power of side-stage) and the girls I was standing next to were so fucking nice, itwasalmostconcerning. The one was obsessing over my finger tattoos and the other was admiring my jewelry and at one point I thought I might get mugged? But no, they were just really nice and added to the beauty of the Manchester Orchestra experience.
    • I haven’t seen pictures of them in awhile, so when the band came out, I was waiting and waiting for Andy Hull until some other guy who sounded exactly like Andy Hull began singing, and that’s when I realized that holy shit, Andy Hull lost a TON of weight.
    • They were just as excellent as I remembered.
      • Um, apparently not according to Henry, though. He had a major adverse reaction to them, to the point that he said it was literally the lowest point of the weekend for him and that he was almost falling asleep and that he hates them. We actually had a mild fight about it last week because I was pressing him for more details. I don’t CARE that he hates them, but I wanted to know WHAT exactly he hated. Andy’s voice? The songs?Theactual music? The fact that Andy made a mockery of Henry’s beloved industry by wearing a trucker hat when he clearly is not a trucker? But Henry was all, “I don’t know! Stop asking me! Don’t make me hate you, too!”Oooh, OK tough guy.
        • It didn’t help that when we were in Philly, Terri had the same questions because she too enjoys herself a little Manchester every now and then.

Cookie Time during Manchester.

  • Superheaven – total 90s grunge vibe with these guys and I loved it. Again, those two small stages were killing it on Day Three. I didn’t get a chance to check out the line-up over there on the other days and I have much regret. There were a few bands that I already know and like who were playing there that I had to miss because Riot Fest just has way too much good shit going on at once, bands like Joyce Manor, Sleep On It*, Foxing, Knuckle Puck, and Have Mercy. That might be the biggest first world problem I’ve ever had.

    • FUN FACT: On Day Two, a group of guys walked past us early in the day, before any bands were playing, and one of the guys stood out to me. He was wearing a Fuck Seaway shirt and I suddenly had the urge to enthusiastically cry, “THAT’S SICK!” It dawned on me that it was the singer from Bonfires, who recently opened for The Spill Canvas. I excitedly texted my brother Corey about it and then I found out later that Sleep On It brought him out for a song, but of course I missed it.

  • Beach Slang – I almost didn’t stick around for them. I’ve listened to them in passing and it was one of those “I don’t care either way” feelings. I definitely didn’t hate it, but it didn’t leave a lasting impression on me. However, seeing them live flipped a switch inside my ears. They’ve got it all: musical ability, good songs, entertaining stage presence, a frontman who could be the next Charles Manson—he’s that effervescent and charismatic. I fell for them hard. HARD. After 30 seconds, Henry leaned in and said, “I’m gonna, um, move back a little and sit down,kbye” and I just murmured, “Yep” and then moved up closer. When James broke a string on his guitar, he tried to get their guitarist Ruben to do the Jonathan Davis beat box from “Freak on a Leash,” but Ruben was like, “No, I will not do that in front of these people” so then some guy in the crowd said that he could do it, and James let him come up to entertain us. It was pretty funny and props to that guy.
    • Also? James has the best, most adorable laugh of all time and I will definitely be seeing them again. THAT IS A THREAT, BEACH SLANG. I am going to come to your show and love you and then not talk to you, so there!
      • Not at all the music, but his voice reminds me a little of Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs) and Blair Shehan (Knapsack/The Jealous Sound <3).
      • Take all of my money.


  • Airborne Toxic Event – Caught the end of their set on the main stage while waiting for Snoop. It was OK. I never really got into them much.
  • SNOOP -Guys.SnoopDogg.Themotherfucking D-O-G.Doggystyle ruledmyfuckingLYFE in high school. My notebooksandfolderswere covered in Lodi Dodi lyrics and sketches of Snoop. My parents fucking hated this era. HATED. I was such a yo-girl, it was scary at times. And when Riot Fest announced that Snoop wouldbeperformingDoggystyle IN ITS ENTIRETY? Oh snap. We started out closer to the stage, probably around the area we were standing for Faith No More, but I got ridiculously paranoid. This was a much different crowd. Lots of former frat boys, drunk off their asses, high as fuck, looking to relive their youth. We still had about 20 minutesbeforeSnoopwas scheduled to come out and I was alreadyfeelingagitatedand also slightly concerned for my well-being. “Back, move back,” I shouted over the boisterous crowd to Henry. We ended up moving two more times before I finally felt safe and comfortable, and we were REALLY FAR back by then. But I didn’t give a fuck. I could enjoy it just fine back where we were. I really just wanted to know that I was in the same general vicinity of this rapper who was such a huge, defining part of my life. I know that sounds dramatic, maybe, and I wish I could force all of my old high school friends to weigh in on this (probablywithexhaustedsighs and annoyed eye rolls). Anyway, Airborne wrapped up their set on the neighboring Riot Stage and the Rock Stage lit up with green lights. And then…nothing. 7:45 came and went, still no Snoop. 8:00 came and the lights shut off. People started booing.Trashwas thrown on the stage. We waited and waited, for an announcement, something, anything. People started chanting his name. “I don’t think he’s coming,” I said wistfully to Henry. But we stuck around,justin case. And finally, around 8:15, the lights came back on and some DJ came on stage making some grand, flourishing introduction for Snoop, but then Lady of Rage came out instead and started performing Afro Puffs and those of us who weren’t drunk (definitely not the man in front of me) were like “The fuck?” This weird intro just went on and on, because clearly they were stalling, something was definitely happening behind the scenes. I started to get worried that we were going togetsomesecond rate,last minute MC in Snoop’s place, but then he finally came out, flanked by two gyrating dancers and someone dressed as a dog. It was NUTS. However! He didnotplayDoggystyle in its entirety, which was really disappointing. Especially when Drop It Like It’s Hot happened. I hate that song. But!Hedidperform Lodi Dodi and I am not afraid to admit that I cried and then buried my head in Henry’s shoulder. AndIrememberedall of the words, even though I honestly haven’t listened to that album since probably 1996.
    • He spent more time BS’ing on that stage, making big productions of smoking his weed, and was eventually told that he only had 3 minutes left. At this point, he had only performed for about 25 minutes and was supposed to have an hour set, but Riot Fest gave zero fucks that he got a late start. They weren’t going to let him go past 8:45, because Modest Mouse was ready to go on the Riot Stage. So he gets his 3-minute warning and flips the fuck out. I mean, he’s Snoop Dogg, so even when he was flipping out, he was still talking slower than Janna on a Sizzurp high. “Thesebitchassmotherfuckerstryna tell me that I only got three minutes left!Pssssssh, fuck that shit!” and he went on to allude to the fact that it was Riot Fest’s fault that he was late to begin with, and then told his security team to guard the monitors to make sure no one tried to unplug him. He had just finally startedtomoveonto a new track when BOOM, plug pulled. Riot Fest was not fucking around. Snoop’s stage completely shut off and Modest Mouse started playing on the Riot Stage. Right on time. The crowd collectively was like, “AW SHIT!” Who does that to Snoop!? It was hilarious, but it really did suck too because I was looking forward to seeing him all weekend.
        • Still, those 30 minutes were enough to resurrect a little bit of Yo-Girl Erin. Mostly though, it just made me crave Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, which I listened to the next day on the drive back to Pittsburgh. Henry was thrill-thrill-thrill-thrill-thrilled.

  • Modest Mouse – I can’tevenpretendto be a Modest Mouse fan. I genuinely liked them in 2004 because it was hard not to. They were fresh-sounding. “Float On” was the jam. That was back when I was really into that type of music, like Death Cab and honestly pretty muchanythingonBarsuk. Riot Fest provides this magical, flower petal-lined path down my musical timeline and it is undeniably funtorevisitall of these old sounds that dominated so many formative stages of my life. We didn’t stick around for much of Modest Mouse, but just having them on my radar again inspired me to dig back into my archives for other old bands I used to listen to love around that same time, like The Prom, French Kicks, Now It’s Overhead, Kind of Like Spitting,TheNotwist, Ugly Casanova.AndobviouslyXiuXiu, but I never stopped listening to them.
    • Vintage feels, man. Vintage feels.


I’m beyond depressed that it’s over. But I took so much away from the weekend. Imagine spending one day trudging along from stage to stage at a music festival when music isn’t really your jam. Now tack on two more days and think about how bad that must have sucked for Henry. I don’t know many people my own age who would think something like this is fun, let alone a 50-year-old. I gotta give props to Henry for doing this for me and for barely complaining. I’m going to admit to something GROSS, but we even held hands a lot. Probably because I was in such a state of euphoria that I had no idea what I was doing. But man, I love Henry. I couldn’t spend three intense days like that with anyone else. Thank you for making this whole weekend possible, for making sure I ate enough to survive, and for preventing me from getting lost in some random Chicago ‘hood. Adult supervision is a good thing in some cases. This was one. Henry, you da man.

Shows in general are so therapeutic and cathartic for me, so festivals like this are the equivalent of a lobotomy, I guess. I never realize how much stress I’m carrying and how many bad feels I’m internalizing until I leave a show and realize that I’m holding my head higher and gritting my teeth less. Music chases the bad noise out of my head. I know a lot of people reading this can relate, and if you can’t, just think about the thing in your life that gives you the most pleasure: watching movies, eating fancy food, 10-inch weeners on midgets.

It’s like that.


Last night, I had a dream that my brother Corey was picking me up for work, but he couldn’t find my house. I was getting really pissed because how could he not know where I lived? He asked me to text him directions, so I sent him a map.

It was the map of Riot Fest. The fucking illustrated map of Riot Fest with all of the stages and the Ferris wheel and the bright green Douglas Park grass. Because in my dreams, that is where I live.


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Sep 232015

As much as it sucked to part ways with Terri and Christian after breakfast at Panera (where Henry’s confident stride was in full effect thanks to Panera Worker Nikki, who was brusque and disgruntled to Chooch & me but apparently very sweet and accommodating to Henry), I was anxious to get on the road because it meant it was almost DUTCH HAVEN TIME.

It’s impossible to be anywhere in the eastern part of Pennsylvania without stopping for my favorite Dutch delicacy: motherfucking shoofly pie.

What? That’s what they call it. At night, after the bonnets come off. Motherfucking shoo-fly pie.

OK, you’re right, Google Translate. It’s probably moederfucking shoo-fly pie.

Actually, I wasn’t even going to ask if we could stop, because I had a feeling Henry was going to grunt something in a fatherly-fashion about how “it’s either shoo-fly pie or the shoe house; pick one!” and if I had to choose….it was going to be the shoe house, you guys. I know! What kind of fair-weathered shoo-fly pie eater am I? (Actually, I’ve eaten the shoo-fly in various types of weather.) So I kept my mouth shut and was rewarded when Henry suggested, all on his own, that we stop!

Some man working behind the pie counter asked us if we wanted a sample and we were like, “Pshhh, fuck that molasses-y noise, we want a SLICE.”

“Oh, you’ve been here before,” he said, but did not seem very excited about it. That’s OK. I wasn’t looking for enthusiasm to put in my mouth. Just some shoo-fly pie. Put it in there.


(Do you guys remember the great shoo-fly pie tragedy of last fall? I’m #soblessed to have had the opportunity to eat the fuck out of it twice since then.)

Chooch has become obsessed with pumpkin pie somehow, behind my back, so that’s what he had. We were all very quiet and still while enjoying our pie outside of Dutch Haven.

Applauding the autumnal offerings.

Before we left, we stopped at the neighboring building, which used to be this creepy BBQ joint and is now a creepy popcorn joint. A young employee was outside on the porch, working hard at a popcorn machine. “Please, help yourself to the samples on the table inside,” he said in a strange robot-trying-to-act-human staccato. I think he was probably recently estranged from Amishdom, so not quite a shitty human being yet.

There were two elderly women in there, and the one was determined to make sure Chooch tried all of her favorite flavors, and then when that was done, she started pressing him for information on his favorite flavor profiles and he kept tossing me furtive glances, like I was even thinking about saving his annoying ass. HOW DOES IT FEEL, SUCKER? ANSWER THE QUESTIONS! The lady’s companion finally pulled her off of us and we were able to enjoy samples at our own leisure and without her staring at us expectantly.

We each chose a small container to buy and the other woman cried, “Well, what did you choose?!” It’s like they’re reporters for the Popcorn Times.

Or, you know, “just friendly,” according to Henry.

The only other notable moment of our drive home was when we stopped to eat the the Summit Diner in Somerset, and Chooch decided to reenact the time last December when Henry asked the waitress for a napkin, not knowing that there was an entire napkin dispenser on the table. So Chooch asked our waitress for our napkin, and then shot us giggling glances as the waitress said, “There’s some right there on the table, hon.” It was incredibly awkward because it looked like he was laughing at the waitress and she totally picked up on that; and since I was the one sitting next to the dispenser,  I had to go through the motions of getting him a napkin that he didn’t even need.

“Thanks for making me play a part in your stupid reenactment,” I mumbled, crumbling the napkin and chucking it at his face.

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Sep 222015

A few years ago, we were going to Lancaster, PA for a Pierce the Veil show and I thought it would be incredibly fun to stop at this storied house that’s shaped like a shoe in Hallam — a true road tripper’s wet dream. I had seen it on some local roadside attractions show and started obsessing. Like I do. Since it was off-season, I emailed them two months in advance to see if we could stop by for a tour. The reply I got was curt and also kind of rude. I don’t remember what they said exactly, other than it made me rage vocally at my desk. I mean, don’t live in a shoe  if you don’t want people to email you about it!!

Fast forward to several weeks ago. My anger had subsided a bit over the years and I decided to look the house up again since we were going to be in the area in a few weeks. The website announced that not only was this still peak season, but the house had new owners! I asked Henry if we could stop for a tour on our way home from Philly this past weekend, and he said yes, which leads tme  to believe that he is either cheating on me or dying.

I excitedly told Glenn  that not only did I get my way about going to Philly, but Henry was also taking me to the shoe house!

“He really needs to stop rewarding behavior,” Glenn sighed. He was really happy when Henry initially said no to Philly because I came back from my break crying. But you know, THINGS CHANGE. It’s harder for Henry to say no to me in person, anyway.

The Haines Shoe House is really close to Rt. 30, so Henry couldn’t bitch about it being out of the way, like he did about every single place we stopped at on the way home from vacation last month. The man who built it in the 40s put it close to the highway so it cold be seen because it was essentially advertising his shoe company.

The tour is $5 a person, what a steal.

“Nope, I’m good,” Henry said as he handed me $10. Chooch wasn’t too excited about this either, but I was like, “DO NOT MAKE ME TAKE THIS TOUR ALONE, PLEASE, I BROUGHT YOU INTO THIS WORLD.” And he was like, “Yeah, a world full of stupid novelty houses to tour.” He and Henry just don’t get excited about these things.

After I paid the lady in the gift shop, she asked Chooch for his hand so she could stamp it. I stuck mine out too and she said, “Oh, no. We just do this for the kids.” She laughed a little and then realized my hand was still there. “But I mean, that’s fine, if you want a stamp too.”

“I mean, she basically is a kid, so…” Chooch said with a roll of his mean eyes. Shut up, Chooch.

She stamped my hand but didn’t even bother to re-ink the stamp first so it looks STUPID.

It’s supposed to be a shoe! You can’t even tell! Chooch’s was so much nicer than mine.

So then our tour guide came in and retrieved us. Immediately, she made a passive aggressive comment about not sitting on the furniture, because of course as soon as we entered the house, Chooch’s ass helped itself to an armchair cushion. But you guys, his leggggs. They were so tireddddd. He was so exhausteddddd. His life is so roughhhhh.

We learned some boring ass facts about Mahlon Haines and his shoe company. He was really into pimping out his company and even ran for Congress at one point just so he could essentially advertise his company with promotional compact mirrors. I didn’t know what else to say, every time the guide stopped talking and looked at me expectantly, so I just kept saying, “Wow, he was like, really smart.”

Chooch just looked really bored and annoyed the whole time, but I swear to god it was really cool to walk around and see that even the windowsills were curved. The guide kept encouraging me to take photos, and I’m so used to being told to not take photos so that I have to take clandestine spy-cam shots the whole time that I actually felt too nervous to take more photos than I did.

In the early days of the shoe house, Mahlon held contests for newlyweds to honeymoon in the shoe. In the honeymoon suite, there’s a laminated letter of marital advice he typed up for his guests. “YEAH, TAKE A PICTURE OF THAT!” the guide said when she saw me awkwardly taking out my phone. I felt so on the spot through the whole tour!

He really thought highly of himself.

My favorite thing about the house’s interior was the eccentric color scheme. The upstairs bedroom was mint and lavender, for fuck’s sake. I commented on this and the tour guide said that the new owners are actually in the process of repainting all of the walls neutral colors. “They’re trying to get the house back to the way it originally was, since the people who owned this for the last 15 years had it painted this way,” the guide continued, practically turning her nose up at the glorious hues. Apparently, they’re using old black and white photos as their reference. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT. You own a house shaped like a shoe! Why try to downplay that with a neutral interior of beige and egg white? Go big or go home!

In the maid’s quarters, the guide said, “I bet you’ve never seen one of those before!” pointing at an old sweeper leaning against the wall.

“It’s a vacuum. Mu grandma has one of those in her house,” Chooch said, spitting chunks of ennui onto the floor for the invisible maid to sweep up. He was just not impressed by a single thing in this giant shoe, but at least he was being quiet about it.

And then the guide instructed us to sit at the kitchen  table so she could take our picture, because that is apparently what all of the other tourists like to do. I got really nervous and stressed out because I hate having my photo taken and what if one of my furry-lovers sexted me while she was holding my phone!?

(Just kidding. I don’t have any furry-lovers. Yet. #Anthrocon2016)

But would you look at my happy face!? And Chooch’s pained expression.

Our guide said something about the arch at the top of the steps, so I took that as my cue to take a picture of it.

The tour was over after a soft 10 minutes. We found Henry in the parking lot, leaning against the car, and looking at boring Henry-things on his phone. Probably pallet DIYs and computer part auctions.  I made him go back into the gift shop with me because I didn’t have my wallet and I wanted a post card and a magnet to add to my growing tourist trap desk-shrine at work.

It’s actually pretty nightmarish, now that I really look at it. I found out later that Henry had checked in to the Haine’s Shoe House on Facebook, like he was actually so stoked to be there. He didn’t even go inside of it! What a shoe house poser fan.

There’s even a shoe-shaped doghouse in the yard. And Chooch wants everyone to know that he was “as calm as [he] was at the stroller place.” I asked him if he learned anything at the shoe house and he said no.

After we left, Henry kept asking me questions about the Haines shoe company and my response to every question was a solid, “I don’t know.” So, I guess I didn’t learn much either. Except that I need to do a better job advertising all of my crappy wares. Maybe Henry could build me a Jeffrey Dahmer-shaped house?


Today after work, I asked Chooch if he told any of his friends about the shoe house.

“Nah,” he shrugged. “I told them we went to Panera, though.”

OK that was cool too because it was when we had breakfast with Christian and Terri, but the Panera was not SHAPED LIKE A SHOE.

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