Aug 272014
 

Today I’m going to tell you about some things I’m currently obsessed with, because don’t you all give so many shits about what I like? Obviously.

1. This version of PVRIS’s “St. Patrick” makes me feel like I’m being emotionally cuddled. (There’s no screaming in it, if that usually deters you from clicking “play” when I post YouTube videos, haha.

2. Cantaloupe! I know, such a small thing to obsess over, but usually cantaloupe is that one fruit I pick out of fruit salads because it’s always so over-ripe (under-ripe?) and tasteless. But Henry has won the cantaloupe (and watermelon!) lottery this summer and has been bringing home some of the sweetest, juiciest melons this side of 1990s porn.

3. Emarosa. Big surprise. But I can’t remember the last time I felt this much anticipation brewing inside my gut for a new album. I thought this band was never coming back, and now here they are, with a singer who is a million times better than Jonny Craig, and every single song and snippet I’ve heard thus far has felt like dynamite in my heart. I get to see them again in 2 weeks at Riot Fest and I’m so excited that I could just fucking SCREAM. They just released another single yesterday, and this is the one I’ve been craving ever since they played an acoustic version of it last May when I saw them on the Devils Dance tour. It is amazing. It is brilliant. It is so Emarosa and I must have listened to it 87 times last night after we came home from an ice cream date with Chris and Monica (or, Chronica). Here is Henry’s face during the Emarosa marathon:

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Here’s the album version of “People Like Me…” even though I posted the live version last week. YOU SHOULD STILL LISTEN TO THIS ONE BECAUSE IT’S BOMB AND WHEN BRADLEY INTERRUPTS HIMSELF AND SAYS, “NAH, FUCK IT” I GET SO STOKED.

I fucking love you, Bradley Scott Walden. I’m ready for this fresh start, in so many fucking ways. #Goodbye2008

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 4. Halloween Desk Planning! I came up with this year’s theme a few weeks ago and have already started collecting some key elements. I’m pretty excited for it, but also worried that it will be a huge failure because taking last year off kind of makes me feel like I’m off my game. Barb even said that I’ll never be able to out-do my Murder Desk from 2011 and believe me, don’t I know it. This year’s theme will be subtle (kind of) but also requires a lot of work and searching for things. (Luckily, these are all things that I have been wanting to add to my collection anyway, so acquiring them won’t be superfluous.) I can’t wait to tell you what I’m doing! Secrets are not  my strong-suit.

5. Painting faces. Actually, just painting in general. These last several months have not been the greatest for me (just inside my head; not anything serious, like job-related or with my home life). I feel like slowly, things are starting to come back to me, even after years of not practicing, even though some people still call my art “paint-by-numbers” and kind of roll their eyes when I try to show them things I’m working on, because they’d like me better if my “talents” were more of the culinary variety, I guess. So sorry. Juvenile art is the best you’ll get!

(ALERT! Jeannie was just over here and she said that she likes my art and that I have a very distinct style, so suck it, haters. Jeannie is hard to please!)

(OMG you guys, my family gave me such a complex, I apologize, lol.)

Anyway, I painted this one of Jesus yesterday, because why not:

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Also, this beast that’s still in progress:

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6. Henry In a Suit. OK, I haven’t written about Kaitlin’s wedding yet because I need to do that at home and not sporadically at work like most of my blog posts come into fruition, but can I just post this picture of Henry here and chirp about how much of a crush I have on him when he wears a suit? Heart-eyes for days.

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A quick list of things I’m currently NOT obsessed with:

  • CHRIS LEAVING THE LAW FIRM, BOOOO.
  • Summer basically being over.
  • Volatile mornings (a/k/a “Getting The Kid Ready For School”).
  • Being strung along; luckily, strings can be cut.
  • The neighbors.
  • Not having all of the time in the world.
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Aug 262014
 

Guys! Did you know that Glenn is having a baby? Well, his wife is, anyway. So we had a baby shower for him today at work!

There was a group card for everyone to sign, but….come on. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to ridicule Glenn in front of the department once again. So I made my own card.

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It’s just too easy sometimes.
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And then Glenn had to pose for pictures and pass around my card for further humiliation. In other words: IT WAS A GOOD DAY.

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Aug 252014
 

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Well, you guys. Chooch is home from his first day of third grade and you’d think he’d just worked a 15 hour day on Wallstreet with how EXHAUSTED, IRRITABLE and STRESSED he is.

“I haven’t had a chance to relax ALL DAY!” he wailed when we got out of the car after they picked me up from work. “I JUST WANT TO GO IN THE HOUSE.”

Henry and I just kind of paused and watched him lurch himself dramatically up the driveway and into the house, where he proceeded to lie down in bed for approx. 5 minutes before one of the neighbor kids came to get him and now suddenly he’s Mister Sunshine.

Ugh. Kids.

(OMG WHY IS HE IN THIRD GRADE ALREADY????)

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Aug 242014
 

Oh boy, has today been a day. Actually, you could say that for the whole weekend. Some exceptionally high points with some shitty lows sprinkled in. You know, for good measure. Keep that shit balanced, I guess. Definitely the highest point of the weekend was Kaitlin’s wedding yesterday! (That gets its own post, though, obvi.) But a low point was drinking waaaay too much for my low tolerant body and then basically laying awake, miserable, from 4AM on. This was my expression at many points throughout the day today:

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I had a fight with the neighbor yesterday. A parent fight. Just what I wanted, you know? I’m like, BITCH CAN’T YOU SEE I’M TRYNA TO PAINT MY FUCKING NAILS AND LISTEN TO EMAROSA? STEP OFF. Seriously, one of the worst parts of being a parent is DEALING WITH OTHER PARENTS. This is the same bitch who accused Chooch of punching her son in the face and giving him a bloody lip at school, when their teacher flat out said it DID NOT HAPPEN. And then they expected me to walk their kid to school every day last year?

Anyway, apparently Chooch kicked him yesterday (in the balls, lol) and THIS IS THE SECOND TIME IT’S HAPPENED AND IT’S GOTTA STOP! ONE OF US IS GOING TO HAVE TO MOVE! MY SON IS A FUCKING BULLY! These are these things she was screaming in my face immediately when I opened the door after she was BANGING ON IT seemingly with a sledgehammer. And Chooch was standing next to her, crying.

I’ve seen these two idiots playing together (which I don’t know why they even bother since they clearly don’t like each other) and they both do it to each other. They’re boys. They play rough. Yes, it gets out of hand and they’ll pout separately for a half hour, then go back outside.

So she’s screaming this shit at me without actually even looking at my face and then storms off before I can even really get a word in, which is definitely for the best because I fly off the handle at an alarming pace and I’m much bigger than her meth-addicted, drug-scabbed frame.

She retreated to her house and I called Henry on the phone and started screaming to him about it. I was shaking so bad and he was like, “Don’t stoop to her white trash level.”

I KNOW, I’M TRYING!

I talked to Chooch about it and he didn’t deny it. But then he calmly told me the other part of the story, which is where the kid rips Chooch’s phone from his hands and then shoves him to the ground when he asks for it back. And I believe this because I’ve seen that oaf-kid do these things and there’s not a doubt in my mind. So I asked, “Did his parents see all of this?” and he said no BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T OUTSIDE. But they heard their lame kid do his patented fake cry (honestly, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scowled at him when he’s pulled this shit in front of me) so his mom came running out and started screaming because that is 100% all the Yinzer bitch knows how to do and let me just tell you how hard it is for a person who doesn’t speak like a yokel to decipher what the hell is being said/screamed.

This was the lowest low of the whole weekend, and I started drinking as soon as I got to Kaitlin’s wedding reception, because NO, JUST NO.

Then today, another mom came over to talk to me and basically sided with me because she spends a lot of time around both kids (her kid is 6, so she makes sure she’s outside most of the time when they’re all playing together) and she said that the bully kid’s mom yells at Chooch A LOT without ever seeing what happened, and she says things like, “You’re not innocent” and has her son spouting off things like, “Your parents think you’re so perfect.”

Yes, we think he is SO FUCKING PERFECT. Bitch, STFU. I don’t think my son is perfect but I think that he’s a boy and this is the shit that boys do, if you don’t want your precious cargo getting nicked, then don’t let him out of his room. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO TELL YOU.

Other Mom also said that she sees a lot of these fights and that—shocker—Chooch isn’t the one who starts them. But god forbid he defends himself. And she also said that Chooch is always the one to try to make up and move on, but the other kid will say things like, “No, you’re stupid.”

He also calls people homos and faggots, so you see the savory sort of people we’re dealing with here. If I had 100% control of the situation, I wouldn’t let Chooch play with him AT ALL. But they are drawn together like destructive magnets.

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I felt pretty good after that conversation. And then we went to Station Street Hot Dog for lunch, and I felt even better. And then BILLY OCEAN came on while we were waiting for our hot dogs and I was like, “OH SUNDAY, YOU SEXY DAY YOU.”

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Remember my post about Henry on Friday? Yeah, forget that. I have a new boyfriend now. THIS GUY. ^^^^

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Also, when I was talking to Nice Mom, she interrupted herself at one point to gush about how much Chooch looks like me and I was like, “LADY YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH THAT MEANS TO ME.” Everyone thinks he looks like Henry and not me at all, which makes me sad because I think we look a lot alike. And then later, I was being my typical animated self which involved me pulling faces to get my point across, and she yelled, “OMG I SEE YOUR SON MAKING THAT FACE ALL OF THE TIME!”

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I got a vegetarian taco hot dog, yessss.

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We took everything to the cemetery for a picnic on rocks.

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You know what else Nice Mom told me? That bully kid’s mom told her that Chooch doesn’t talk to her kid at all in school, and if he does, it’s only to pick on him, but then he turns around expects her son to play with him all summer.

ARE.YOU.FUCKING.KIDDING.ME. First of all, Chooch tries to keep his distance from him because that a-hole gets him in trouble all of the time. Every year, the teachers learn that they have to keep them separated. I actually JUST pointed this out to Henry a few weeks ago, how it’s convenient for him to play with Chooch in the summer when he’s got no one else, and he’s guilting Chooch into buying him ice cream from the ice cream man. (THIS HAPPENED!!!! I WAS LIVID!! THAT A-HOLE’S MOM WAS RIGHT THERE TOO AND NEVER EVEN BOTHERED TO OPEN HER FUCKING PURSE, OMG I HATE THIS WHITE TRASH FAMILY SO BAD.) But then I KNOW he’s going to turn around and go back to being a super-dick to Chooch once they’re in school again. HE knocks on OUR door! Chooch never initiates it!

Ugh, I miss the days when Chooch’s only friends were adults.

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Henry yelled at Chooch for “getting moss on his pants,” thereby furthering his passionate stance on the fluffy green stuff.

Then we went to the worst Target in the city, which is always full of college kids and hipsters, and Target is usually such a happy place for me, BUT NOT THIS ONE. And then Henry bitched because we spent $100 more than he wanted to and I was like, “OH OK BITCH JUST GO RETURN ALL OF MY STUFF” and he was like, “NO I DON’T CARE, I WAS JUST SAYING” and then I was already still so mad about having to weave and wind through so many hipsters, it was like knowing what a damn Mumford & Sons concert must be like, so I just started yelling incoherent things and then bitched because it smelled in the car AND WHY DOESN’T HENRY JUST CLEAN IT ALREADY OMG.

So then he was like ,”Do you still want ice cream?” and I was like “OMG yes I almost forgot!” so then it was going to be a high point again, going to Oh Yeah! to get ice cream, but there was a long line with only one person working and my Perfect Son was being decidedly Imperfect so I stormed out and marched back to the car and Henry was so annoyed when they finally caught up to me.

ANOTHER LOW POINT.

But then we decided to just go and get some of these amazing Leona’s ice cream sandwiches but then got into another argument because he was making me look up where we could buy them and I hate when he makes me do that because then he will unfailingly ask impossible questions, such as, “What is the address?” and I’m like “I DON’T KNOW STOP PRESSURING ME!” and then he will yell, “FUCK YOU WE’RE GOING HOME!” and then I’m like, “OH THIS IS TYPICAL, THE ONLY THING I WANTED ALL DAY AND NOW I CAN’T HAVE IT” and he will scream, “THE LAST 457 THINGS YOU GOT TODAY ALREADY WERE SUPPOSEDLY THE ONLY THINGS YOU WANTED TODAY!” and then Chooch will be like, “Does wherever we’re going have wifi?” and we’re all like, “UGHUGHUGH.”

But then we eventually found a market in Lawrenceville that sells Leona’s and also tubs of vegan chicken salad!!!! So we bought that and each got an ice cream sandwich and we were all happy again. Mostly.

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Then we came home and I started working on this piece called “People To Watch Over You.”

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Chooch goes back to school tomorrow. I’m sad that summer is over, but it was time. Yesterday’s blow-up definitely proves that.

What a fucking bipolar weekend, you guys.

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Aug 222014
 

Yesterday, I was thinking about the awful time Henry and I were in my ex-friend Keri’s wedding. This was back in 2003 and we had been together for two years at this point, but fought like we had been married for 22. Sometimes I feel like we really, actually hated each other and I wonder what made us stay together.

Anyway, I texted my brother Corey because he was at that wedding too and I figured he would have some embarrassing pictures that I could post here. As usual, above and beyond, Corey!

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All I really remember of this night was getting trashed (Keri’s step-dad passed me a bottle of blackberry Schnapps under the table, in addition to whatever other liquor I was knocking back) and being forced to AWKWARDLY dance with Henry. And I mean AWKWARDLY. It was like the two of us had NEVER TOUCHED before. So uncomfortable and embarrassing and the wedding photographer ate that shit up. “Erin, over here!” he’d call out gleefully, and I’d fall for that shit every last time.

Anyway, Corey also found this picture of Henry and me hating each other, Christmas 2002. (Very similar to the other random holiday picture I posted on my birthday.)

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I don’t think anyone thought we were going to last back then. I know I sure didn’t.

These pictures made me think a lot about what I like to refer to as The Dark Pit. Henry and I started out as a secret. For me, secrets are FUN. Exotic. Scandalous. OK, fine, we WERE a scandal. Let’s just call a spade a spade. But as soon as we weren’t anymore, it was like, “Fuck, now we have to get to know each other? Now we have to be a regular couple?” And there were other extenuating circumstances that really snuffed out our flame, you guys. It was kind of sucky for awhile there. But, something made us stick it out.

I remember going to Coachella with him in 2004 and fighting so much that I actually had rage blackouts. There is very little that I remember from that long Californian weekend, and if you know me and my ridiculously vault-like memory, you know that’s a big statement. It’s amazing one of us didn’t bury the other in the desert that weekend.

It’s kind of mind-boggling that Chooch was planned, when I think about it. Because our relationship was fucking rocky and schizophrenic. I was also a lot crazier then. But I actually sat down with Henry during the summer of 2005 and said, “I want to have a baby. Do it.” And even after Chooch was born, things were still…blah. I recently read something that I wrote on LiveJournal in 2006 about how I wasn’t sure if I even knew what love was. I don’t think Henry and I loved each other. Not really. And there were so many times I almost left, and he almost left, but laziness got the best of both of us and we stayed. We dealt. I got a job working nights so we barely saw each other.

It shouldn’t have gotten better. But somehow it did. I don’t remember EVER looking at him the way I do now. (Adoringly! And with way less disgust and contempt than ever before!) Maybe I needed to grow up, I don’t know. Maybe it was because I hated MYSELF so much back then. But suddenly, something changed and the last 5 or 6 years have been completely different from the first 6 or 7.

OK, fine. I can actually pinpoint it exactly: it was Game Night 2007 and we were playing Catchphrase. All Henry said was, “Um….female singer…” and I cried, “CARLY SIMON!” And it was motherfucking CARLY SIMON. You know who can pull that mind-reading shit off?! Soul mates. That’s who. We even dreamed of cabbage at the same time once.

OK, maybe that’s not exactly what made our relationship take a turn for the better, but it was definitely when I began to realize he’s my BFF. I guess I never saw him that way before. We communicate way better than we used to and we have way more fun now. Which is crazy considering how OLD Henry is.

You guys, I asked him last night how annoying he thinks I am, and he said 99% of the time, I DO NOT ANNOY HIM. You know what that means?! HE HAS FINALLY LEARNED TO LOVE MY QUIRKS AND PECCADILLOES. It takes a special person to be able to handle me, and he does it with patience and panache. I mean, anyone who could put up with the whole Erin/Christina saga is a fucking saint.

Or…maybe this is just a really sweet way of saying that he has finally earned his Masters degree in Blocking Out Erin.

This whole post could just be a super adorable way of me admitting defeat, but I guess I kind of like that motherfucker now. Enough that Chooch is always groaning, “Ugh, stop kissing!” Maybe not getting married was the trick.

(LOL J/K. I STILL WANT MY FUCKING WEDDING.)

(Now Henry is going to read this and think I cheated on him.)

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Bonus! Here’s Janna, Lisa and me at the aforementioned wedding in 2003:

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ETA: Henry just read this and leaned over to presumably say something nice to me so I freaked out and punched him in the crotch.

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Aug 212014
 

Today I decided to check in with Past Erin and post what I was doing five years ago near this day, because that is GOOD BLOGGING, y’all. And not at all lazy. So, here is a story about this one time, when my friend Alisha and I went to Target. (We’re not friends anymore, and now that I think about it, it’s no wonder why.)

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Most of Saturday was spent with Alisha while she did some big girl shopping. You know, boring shit like housewares and groceries. Mostly I just got in the way, although she did force me to help her stow a heavy shelf in the bottom of the cart at Target. It was funny (to me) because I was basically just touching it with my fingertips while she did all the grunt work.

While standing across from an acreage of paper towel choices, we witnessed quite possibly the funniest thing since miscegenation: A mom-type squeezed past us with her cart, followed by her (I’m guessing) 4- or 5-year-old son who was erratically pushing his cart, if a cart is really his wheelchair-bound grandma. That sight in itself was mildly amusing, because the kid kept skidding the wheels into the sides of the aisle. But then suddenly the mother bellows, I mean full-on unleashes the wrath of nine generations of pissed-off mothers, “Michael! That is NOT FUNNY!” because apparently Michael decided to turn granny’s wheelchair into a New for 2009 ride at the county fair, complete with sparking wheels and popping bolts, and nearly toppled her. And Michael, while his mother is coating his face with a sheen of scolding-saliva, is doing this unrepressed high-pitched giggle, like he knew what he did was wrong but it was just so goddamn funny.

I couldn’t control it. I was dying so hard on the inside that I had to back into the nearest aisle, lean over a shelf and laugh into my folded arms. Then I happened to catch Alisha’s eye, and she looked like she was going to pee herself as well. I REALLY want there to be a reenactment of that for the next Hover Round commercial. “Don’t let THIS happen to YOU.” It could be the next best thing since “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

Somewhere between the bath aisle and toiletries, Alisha was on the prowl for measuring cups. As we’re standing there, a couple encroached on our personal space. The woman part of the couple saw something on the other side of Alisha and let out some high-pitched exclamation that only those fluent in kitchenware can understand as she reached across us to get a closer look. Catching herself, she looked over at us and apologized for being rude, which saved her from becoming an entry in Alisha’s Death To You notebook. Her husband immediately joined in and joked, “Just hit her! That’s what I do!” Now, I was already giddy from Michael and the wheelchair shenanigans, so this whole situation was seriously fanning the giddy wildfire taking over my body. Alisha still looked a little uncomfortable by the fact that this intensely social couple was pulling us into their conversation. We learned the woman’s name was Melanie and that she’s never peeled an avocado but would consider doing so if she had the clever avocado tool she saw hanging on the wall. It was about two minutes of high energy hysteria before they left Alisha to pick out measuring cups in peace. (She found orange ones. Orange is her favorite color and she says it in two syllables.)

I called out, “Bye!” making Alisha squint her eyes shut like she does so often when we’re together. (She doesn’t like that I encourage strangers to be social beings around us.) They turned around and loudly wished a good day upon us.

Now, I’m not ALWAYS down with situations like that, where strangers randomly try to strike up a conversation while I’m shopping, but there was something about them that I really liked, almost like they were inviting us to their inside joke party. It was bonding at its most purest. They were leaving right as we were checking out, and Mel and me (yeah, we got it like that) pointed at each other and laughed. As I watched their Steelers jerseys disappear out the doors, I felt my heart sag.

“I’m going to miss them,” I confided to Alisha. “Like, I keep picturing us having a barbeque with them. I might even let them talk about the Steelers.” THAT IS HOW MUCH I LIKED THOSE PEOPLE.

Of course I brought them up a ton of times throughout the day, and at one point I said, “I think I’m going to think about them forever.” Alisha’s  reply, which tested positive for sarcasm, was, “No, not you. You NEVER obsess over ANYTHING.”

Within minutes of leaving Target, I received a text from my friend Justin, whom I haven’t seen in years. He was my first “OMG I’m going to kill myself if we break up” boyfriend back in high school, but we’ve always kept in touch. The text said, “Hey were you just at Target? I thought it was you but wasn’t sure.” Now at this point, Alisha and I were walking through the Toys R Us parking lot. I read the text out loud to her and yelled appallingly, “He wasn’t SURE if it was ME? What the fuck, he’s been in MY VAGINA, for Christ’s sake, and he wasn’t SURE it was me????”

I guess Alisha wasn’t expecting that because she sort of looked a little blanched and her eyes turned into a spinning marquee of #!#@#$%$#@%$, kind of  like a  WTF-version of a slot machine. She kept murmuring, “Why? Why? Why did you have to say that?” while rocking methodically in the passenger seat.

“Well, you know me. It’s what I’m good at.”

“Putting people in your vagina???” she cried.

“No! Making people uncomfortable.” But the more I thought about it, both I guess.

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Aug 202014
 
  • This summer has been weird. I’m still slightly disoriented because CHANGE and there also has been a void since I vowed to back off from county fairs since I almost died at one last summer. County fairs were my summertime livelihood and I have felt so empty these last few months.  And then we just haven’t had many free weekends to go toall of the small amusement parks like we usually do and Henry has been all “CONCERTS OR AMUSEMENT PARKS, PICK ONE” because he is theSTINGIEST DAD EVER. Fuck you, Henry.
    • But…at least it’s almost fall! And fall is always good. One day a few weeks ago, it was really chilly when I was outside on my break, and I swear I could smell fall in the air. It was amazing and made me smile, which probably looked annoying to all of the people around me who had Work Face on.
  • Remember the Supposed Bomber? SAW HIM AGAIN TODAY! This time it was under a bridge and he looked like he was thinking about jumping into the river.
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  • Robin Williams. Fuck,I’ve been trying to avoid this. I was with my friendElissa when I found out. It was last Monday evening and I had met her while she was out walking her dog,in order to give her Gina’s birthday present. About a minute before we parted ways, my friend Nina texted me and all it said was “Oh no, not Mrs.Doubtfire!” Somehow, I knew exactly what this meant but still thought to myself, “No.” As soon as I said goodbye toElissa, I pulled up Facebook (always the credible news source, right?) and one by one, people started posting links from ACTUAL credible news sources, confirming that it was true. It’s been a long time since I felt that up-ended over a celebrity’s death. Definitely not since Elliott Smith’s suicide/homicide in 2003 (it’s still a grisly mystery).
    • And before that, it wasTupac and Gianni Versace.
      • I was obsessed with Versace when I was in high school. My friend Lisa was actually the one who broke the news to me. She called me from the people’s house she nannied for (oh hay, awkward syntax, I still got it) and was like, “OMG I hate to be the one to tell you this, but…” I will never forget it: I was using the wall phone in the laundry room and literally slid down the wall until I was in a crumpled heap of despair on the floor. I watched a lot of Days of Our Lives back then, so I was theatrically prepared for this moment.
    • The very next morning, I was getting ready for work and Elliott Smith’s “Angeles” came on my Spotify playlist and of course the album cover is a picture of Matt Damon and Robin Williams from “Good Will Hunting” so I started crying my dumb cat eyes right off my face.
      • I have a lot to say about mental illness. How I can relate. How it doesn’t matter how many people are like, “I love you and you mean something to this world.” Sometimes, you just fucking feel really alone. Even in a roomful of people, I just feel really fucking alone. Not glorifying suicide, but I get it. I also get that there are ways to change it. And I have always opted to fight, because I’m a stubborn fucking bitch and that’s what we do. We fight and we get by. And sometimes we have to ask for help. I wear one of my To Write Love on Her Arms bracelets almost every day. It’s a good reminder. It’s Zoloft on my arm.
    • When Terri and Christian were here, we had a lengthy convo about Robin Williams movies while standing in the middle of the Exchange. I think we were trying to remember the name of Patch Adams, and Terri said that “Awakenings” is one of her favorite movies and I said that I had only seen it once, a long time ago, and that I would have to watch it again real soon. The day before that, we were in Dave’s Music Mine, and I held up the soundtrack for The Mirror Has Two Faces and admitted that I not only own it, but I still fucking love that Bryan Adams/Barbra Streisand duet from it. A little more than a week later, Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall (who was in The Mirror Has Two Faces!!!!) both died. TERRI AND I ARE KILLING PEOPLE.
    • I realized over the weekend that Chooch has never seen a Robin Williams movie, so I made him watch “Hook,” which I randomly selected on Netflix. He was pretty entranced throughthe whole thing, but at the end, at the VERY end, he stood up and cried, “Oh, some kid’s movie, MOMMY. There were stabbings and some kid died. A KID DIED. Yeah, great kids movie!” and then he stormed off.
      • Aside from that, he was convinced that the Lost Boys were shouting “bangarang” because of Skrillex.
    • No Robin Williams Glenns have been made yet. Too soon. But one day it will be time, and I will make a glorious collage of all the best Robin Williams. Because just one isn’t good enough. Not for him. :(
  • Henry makes me a sandwich for lunch every day so that I won’t roam around downtown, playing tug-of-war with pigeons for bread. But yesterday, something felt off. The sandwich felt flatter yet heavier. I took it out of the Ziploc and it was soggy on one side, like practically wet. I smelled it, but my sense of smell is weird and I just couldn’t place it. I took a cautious bite and threw it to the side. Even the inside was wet! It felt heavy like a PB&J, but it wasn’t that! I texted Henry, panicked that I grabbed the wrong sandwich and I was eating some disgusting creation ofChooch’s BECAUSE WHO KNOWS WHAT HE DOES WHILEJUDY IS WATCHING HIM. Anyway, it turns out it was fig and cream cheese which is definitely something weird that I would like but I guess because I’m so used to cheese and fake meat everyday, I just wasn’tprepared. Similar to have something slipped in the wrong—-well, you get the idea. I was so angry about this sandwich, even after discussing with Chris how delicious figs and goat cheese sounds, that I totally laid into Henry when he picked me up from work and made sure he understood that he was never going to win Master Chef if he kept making me wet sandwiches with mystery ingredients. And then he was like, “YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN SANDWICHES FROM NOW ON.”
    • But guess what I’m eating right now? A cheese and fake meat sandwich that Henry made for me. Good one, Henry.
      • Today’s sandwich is fantastic, btw.
  • Henry and I watched a series of Mr. Mister videos on YouTube last Friday. #foreplay And that’s how I learned that the first CD he ever bought was one of their albums! I can just hear him telling his mom about it. “Mommy, I bought this really swell compact disc by a musical group called The Mr. Misters!” And then feeling uncomfortable when “Broken Wings” comes on and he has a boner.
  • All summer long, we were under the impression that Chooch goes back to school after Labor Day. Butthen Judy was talking to one of the neighbors and it came up off-handedly that school starts next Monday. So she told Henry and me and we were like, “No, that person is wrong because it’s after Labor Day” but then we decided to open the back to school packet that came in the mail and oh—it’s Monday. I guess that’s what we get for going by an 8-year-old’s word.
    • Guess who’s going back-to-school shopping tonight?
  • I am unable to process everything that’s happening in Ferguson, but thank god Henry pretends to listen to me rant about it.
  • On a lighter note, Mean Amber found this big bug thing on the floor so Catherine decided to leave it on Glenn’s desk, which is hilar but you KNOW that when he comes in tomorrow morning, I’m going to be the #1 suspect. And he gets here 2 and a half hours before me, which is ample time for him to retaliate. So…great guys. JUST GREAT.

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  • I kept stalking Wendy’s office because she told me the other day, “OH YOU CAN HAVE ANYTHING IN MY FRUIT BOWL, FRIEND!” But whenever I would go over there, someone was always in there talking to her so then I’d go over and stand in front of Barb’s desk looking sad. So Barb tried to office me a plum and I snapped, “I DON’T WANT A PLUM I WANT A PLUOT!” Because those bitches are good. So finally I caught Wendy alone and said, “I don’t want to talk, I just came for some fruit!” and she was all gracious and sharing about it, but then all she had was an apple and some cuties! I took a cutie, but made sure to spit, “THANKS, BUT I WANTED A PLUOT” before storming back to my desk. UGHHHHH. TERRIBLE DAY.
  • Last week, Chooch called a group of jaywalkers “a big dumb pile of bitches.” WHERE DOES HE GET IT WHO KNOWS.

And I will leave you with “Angeles” by Elliott Smith. The very thought of this song in my head makes me tear up.

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Aug 192014
 

Henry’s mom has been staying over a lot this summer to help out with watching Chooch since my schedule changed and Henry’s work is constantly jerking him around. Now, don’t get it twisted, I like Judy a lot. BUT if I have to hear one more second of the Family Feud music, Ruby might make a comeback.

(Ruby is my bi-polar psycho personality, for those who haven’t been graced with her presence.)

Try to imagine how you felt when you were 16 and too many grown ups were around. That’s how I feel. It’s bad enough when it’s just Henry!! Now I’m surrounded!!

Last night, I pouted in my bedroom and listened to Touché Amore REALLY LOUDLY and waited for Henry to come in and ask me what’s wrong so I could cry NOTHING!!! UGH!!!

Judy’s downstairs watching the Bachelor now I think. Sigh.

You guys? My life. This is it. What a fantastic summer this has been.

Tonight, I’ve been replaying the same Emarosa song over and over and crying because I am the ultimate emo song personified these days. Ever since I heard them play this song on the Devil’s Dance tour in May, it has haunted to me. It makes me feel like my heart has been carved and sculpted into a wigwam and I’m curled up inside it. YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN DON’T LIE, FUCKER.

^ That song title is wrong, FYI.

I salivate every time I think of this upcoming album. Less than a month until it’s released (I preordered it of course)! And then a week later I’ll be seeing them in Chicago at Riot Fest and that will make up for my lame summer.

(Oh boy, now Henry’s here to completely not listen when I try to talk about my FEELINGS.)

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Aug 182014
 

I know. Motivationless isn’t a word. I get it. I scored a perfect on that dumb vocabulary quiz that’s going around Facebook, so there. But for the sake alliteration, god forbid, it is now.

Ugh. Anyway, here are some pictures of shit that’s been going that doesn’t involve my mind birthing droves of emo bands. That is to say: be thankful if you’re not Henry because I have been all kinds of hyper-dramatic and whiny lately.

1. PROJECTS:

I can’t tell you how many unfinished projects we’ve got laying around the house: things that need put together, things that need hung on the wall, things that are only half-painted. But, this is the age of Pinterest so I’m willing to wager that 80% of the people reading this are probably nodding their heads right now. BECAUSE YOU KNOW. I’ve been cracking down on this shit though, and I got Henry to finally take down the dingey dining room light that came with the house and, up until last week, had four different light bulbs in it, including those spiral-y lights that are so great for the environment but ugly as fuck. Anyway, the only solution I could see to dressing this bitch up was to spraypaint it with purple glitter and buy pretty light bulbs for it. And, since this was a light fixture that we needed reinstalled sooner rather than later, Henry actually got it done super fast and it looks like gorgeous, guys. Liberace would be proud:

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Next up was this old Coca-Cola crate that I bought at a flea market in 2009 and has been sitting on a windowsill behind curtains ever since I finished painting it. Henry finally hung it up and now it doubles as a shelf! (Not shown: the two empty embalming fluid bottles which now perch majestically upon the crate’s lip.) I’m so happy it finally has a place!

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 2. Marcy

Because…Marcy. <3

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3. Super Stoked for Sibling Sesh!

My brother Corey recently came back from a kayaking adventure in Montana, so we met up last week at Gianna Via’s to talk about it over some dinner. I had a pumpkin martini and it was great, but now I’m in an autumn mindset and want to go to haunted houses STAT. Anyway, Corey has this really loud, boisterous laugh sometimes and it came out a lot over dinner, which instantly put me in the best mood. KELLY SIBS, WHUT:

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4. Weird Fruit

One of my co-workers bought a pint of ground cherries at the farmer’s market that happens downtown once a week. She told me she only bought them because there were two hipster guys buying an armful of them, like it’s the Pabst of produce. They told her that they love ground cherries because they taste like pineapples and vanilla, depending on which hipster you were asking. I was really anxious to try one and it excited me that each one came swathed in some weird paper-like wrapper that first needed to be peeled off. At first I was like FUCK YES this is great and I emailed the bearer of ground cherries to express to her my gratitude for the gift of fruit. I ended the email with #blessed but then deleted it because who knows. She told me to just take them because no one else liked them. I thought they were great, I said! But then the more I ate, the more I realized they tasted like semi-sweet tomatillas and now I don’t like them anymore.

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5. Geese Police:

Apparently in Pittsburgh, this is a necessary thing.

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 6. Zombie Luau!

I met Kristy at a zombie luau this past Saturday night. My work friend Patty was also there so that was nice. She even scored me a cigarette later in the night, which Kristy and I passed back and forth at the bar like we were in 7th grade, smoking in the locker room. So sad.

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Kristy went as a zombie tiki cocktail. I went as a casual passer-by with a limp, because I didn’t have it in to me to throw together a costume and I had hurt my foot earlier that day in the cemetery. There was a hula hooping contest, which Kristy got suckered into but I ran away because no. It was the after party for Horror Realm, which is a horror convention here in Pittsburgh. Lew Temple was hanging out, and I was internally very excited about this but I don’t really know why?

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And thank god, Frankenberry was there! (Spoiler Alert: he won the costume contest.)

7. Mike the High Waiter

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Hey man, I’ve been meaning to finish recapping the time I got to spend with my pals Terri and Christian a few weeks ago, but I think I’ve been suffering some sort of withdrawals. I hate goodbyes! But anyway, the last night they were here, we all went to dinner at the Double Wide Grill which has a decent meatless offering. Henry was concerned because the few times we had gone there in the past, we had horrendous service. But I figured enough time had past that we should be in the clear.

Wrong.

Our waiter Mike stumbled over to us and began mumbling incoherently about the weather while essentially pretending to take our drink orders. I’d like to have seen what he was actually writing on his pad, I have a feeling it was akin to the clock that Will Graham draws in “Hannibal.” willsclock

 

After coughing on the side of Terri’s neck 4 times, he did a quick shuffle away from our table before getting everyone’s drink order, and we all just kind of  sat there stunned.

“Well….I’m glad this at least wasn’t your FIRST impression of Pittsburgh?” I threw out there hopefully.

Then we got a new waiter and figured Mike was probably puking on some homeless guy’s cardboard house by then.  20140812-141409.jpg

 

Terri and I both ordered a vegetarian TV dinner, which was novel and mostly good. I was mad because the grits in the picture on the menu had blueberries on them, not cheese. BUT WHATEVER. I think my favorite part of the dinner was watching Christian longingly eye up the puzzles on Chooch’s placemat, before finally snatching up a crayon and solving one of the word scrambles with great satisfaction and relief.

Afterward, we walked to the Milkshake Factory, because that’s where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes used to go when Tom was here filming “Jack Reacher” so that seemed like a good tourist attraction, somehow. I’m really bad at this.

Then Chooch became obsessed with karate and wanted to pose for a picture in front of some studio with some Happy Buddha statue, which he pointed out has “man boobs like Henry.”

“Dude,” Terri laughed at Henry. “You’re a saint!”

“Here’s Henry,” Christian said pointing at a spot on the wall. “And here’s the rest of the world,” he pointed to his umbrella, before beating the aforementioned “Henry” spot on the wall. And even Henry laughed at that, because it’s true!

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I miss those guys!

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Aug 172014
 

My joke painting of Tony Stewart was so fun to do that I couldn’t stop. At the request of my lovely friend Octavia, I made her a Tom Waits:

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For my friend Gina’s birthday, I made her a Jenny Lewis:

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And I really wanted to show my friend Kristy how much I appreciate her (she’s been getting me out of the house for some adventures lately!), so I was going to make her a Jenny Lewis too, but then I decided to make her a George Romero instead, because she is the biggest zombie aficionado I have ever known! I gave this to her last night at a zombie luau and her reaction was the best!
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Art therapy, my friends. Art therapy. (Even though Glenn referred to my art as “paint by numbers.” REAL COOL, GLENN. I think he’s just trying to downplay his awe and admiration so that when the Tony Stewart painting goes missing, I won’t suspect him.)

I don’t anticipate my manic energy/insomnia to dissipate anytime soon so I’m sure this week will produce more fake art.

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Aug 162014
 

When I was offered the new gig at work, the first thing that I thought of was, “I’LL GET TO GO TO ALL OF THE CONCERTS!!” Working a regular daylight shift has been FANTASTIC, I can’t even stress enough how stoked I am to not have to pick and choose and then request days off at work. (If you know me, you know that I HATE USING PTO. I’m a hoarder. Barb gives me quarterly lectures about this.)

Anyway. A few weeks ago, I happened to see that United Nations was coming to Smiling Moose. But, let me back up. Perhaps you’ve heard of a little now-defunct band called Thursday? Fucking sick post-hardcore band that blew through the scene and, in my opinion, really shook shit up. I remember hearing “Understanding in a Car Crash” on our city’s alternative/hardrock radio station and thinking, “Holy shit, they’re actually playing Thursday on the radio?” I thought that was going to change things, like maybe next I’d start hearing Thrice and Glassjaw on the radio too, like maybe post-hardcore was going to become The Next Big Thing.

But, no. And that’s probably for the best.

Thursday did go on to become a pretty big deal though. I remember being really excited to see them in Coachella and Henry was just like, “Oh great. This fucking band.” And I remember like it was yesterday, Geoff Rickly passing out on the stage because it was 113 degrees in that fucking desert, and for some reason thinking “Now Henry will like them!” and he was like, “Why, because their singer passed out? I mean, I feel bad, but no. I still don’t like them.”

That was in 2004. I saw them again later that summer at The Cure’s Curiosa festival. Robert Smith had met them when they played Coachella that spring and really liked them, so he personally invited them to be a part of Curiosa. Can you imagine being a young band like that, and oh hello, Robert Smith wants us to join his exclusive summer music festival, no big deal.

So, I got to see them twice in 2004 and then….not ever again. They called it quits in 2011 and I kicked myself. There have been so many times over the years where self-kicking over missed music opportunities have happened, and you know what? I’m not missing things anymore.

And that is why even though Henry was like, “I am 100% for certain not going to this show with you,” I still bought my fucking ticket for this “little” screamo super-group called United Nations that just so happens to be fronted by Geoff Rickly.

Henry dropped me off at the Smiling Moose after work on Thursday, where I sat at the bar like a girl who had been stood up, chugging two Redd’s Apple Ales and then going upstairs for a night of screamo/post-hardcore.

Worn Colors, a local Pittsburgh band, had already started by the time I walked in, but it was still early and I was one of 8 people in the room. The singer spent most of the set coming out onto the floor to sing, which was great but also made me nervous because he kept standing next to me and I wasn’t trying to have any interaction because, you know, I’m Erin. I’m stand-offish. Don’t look at me.

At first, I was like, oh this band is going to be dumb, because: Pittsburgh. But they were fantastic and really hurt my heart. They were kind of Touche Amore-ish, if you’re into that type of music. Which I am. I teared up a few times during their set.

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I sent Henry a video of them and his reply was “glad I’m not there.” Henry just doesn’t get it, you guys.

 

The next band was Kid Durango and I thought I was going to hate them too because they were sitting at the bar when I got there and the singer reminded me of that douche from Puddle of Mudd. (Also, my eyes are bad, so who knows for sure.)

“We’re going to play a song right now, but just so you know, the set hasn’t started yet. We’ll let you know when it starts,” the singer said, and I was like, “What? I hate you.” But then they started playing Toto’s “Africa” and I was like, “FUCK YOU I LOVE YOU!!!!” They played the whole song and then the singer was all, “OK now our real set is starting.” And they launched into 30 minutes of some kind of neo-grunge and I surprisingly was OK with it. Also, I think I’m in love with the singer now, but you expected that.

Meanwhile, some kid coerced me into buying a copy of his Socialism magazine and then wouldn’t stop talking to me about it and I was like, “Kid. There’s a band. I’m trying to listen.” He kept asking me to come to some socialist revolt this weekend at Pitt and finally I gave him my fucking email address just so he would go away.

Two minutes, he sent me an email with details for this weekend’s couch-burning rally and then 30 second after that he was at my side again, asking me if I got his email. Fuuuck. Still, I texted Henry and said, “I’m a socialists now. Bye.”

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The third band was Frameworks from Gainesville, FL. I don’t have any pictures of them (there’s a video though, down below there) but man. They were beautiful and touched my soul with their perfect, melodic hardcore. I love this genre of music so much, because how else can I cater to my polarizing sadness and anger all at once? It is the perfect drug for people with personality disorders.

(Henry just walked by and said this band is not melodic to him at all. Haha.)

It was still pretty empty there during Frameworks. I was standing next to a wall about 10 feet back from the stage and the whole middle of the floor was empty. So, all this room, right? Yet some guy still decided to stand right next to me. Like, so very next to me that people probably thought he was my boyfriend. Henry doesn’t even stand that “next to me” at shows. (Big surprise.) First, he kept “accidentally” nudging my foot with his. So I would cross my right leg over my left to create more space. Then his fingertips kept grazing my arm and I was like “WHAT, BECAUSE I’M HERE ALONE AND I’M A BROAD, RIGHT?!” God, fuck off!

It’s not often that I go to a show where I feel that the entire line-up is solid, but this was one of those times. There wasn’t a single moment where I was like, “OK, please be done now.” Although, I’m a little sad that the fucking DC show got a special guest as the opener and it turned out it was motherfucking Will Butler from Arcade Fire. (Just found out a few days later BOTH Butler brothers played!)

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BUT THEN IT WAS TIME FOR UNITED NATIONS~!! Oh you guys, it’s been a minute since I got to enjoy some real, authentic screamo and since Henry wasn’t there worrying about getting his hair mussed and his non-descript shirt ripped, I got to enjoy it from the front of the stage. And that is absolutely what I needed after these last few weeks of manic, nervous energy keeping me awake at night and making me feel like I’ve lost control of everything I’ve worked so hard to keep contained.

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You guys, I have been wading through some kind of emotional turmoil recently and now I was five feet away from Geoff Rickly, having his screams cauterize the pain in my heart and just feeling sheer AGGRESSION.

FUCK.

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OMG being directly on the receiving end of these vocals is literally the equivalent of a day at a spa for someone like me:

The only sad part for me about that night is not having any glorious pictures of Henry’s frowns, because I can only imagine how chiseled they would have been during this particular show. Oh well, maybe I’ll get some good ones of him during Pianos Become the Teeth’s set next month at Riot Fest. RIGHT HENRY?

Here’s a compilation of the short clips I recorded during the night. I am awful at recording shit at shows because I just want to be in the moment, but I still try to get a few seconds of each band as a memento. Also, I’m usually never holding my phone properly, haha.

The next morning at work, Glenn asked me in his typical dry monotone how my “screaming show” was.

“Oh my god, it was so good!! Geoff Rickly spit on me!” I cried.

“That’s great. I bet Henry wishes he could spit on you every night.” GOOD ONE GLENN.

**********

Even if this isn’t your thing, I do recommend reading about their history, because it’s exciting. Geoff Rickly gives zero fucks. More bands should be like this.

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Aug 142014
 

You guys. Remember on Sunday when I was like “OMG TONY STEWART MURDER NASCAR AHHHHHH!!!!!”? Well, after I posted that on here, things got worse. Because you know me and taking obsessions too far.

The problem is that I have some friends who are just as asshole-y as I am, so when I was sitting there thinking, “Who do I know who would appreciate this so we can commiserate together?” my friend Bill immediately came to mind.

Now, Bill was around back in  the day when I developed an unfounded obsession with Phil Mickelson and a poker-hot hatred was formed for Payne Stewart simply because he beat him one time when I was paying attention. Bill actually just brought this up when we were visiting him and Jessi last June. So I thought, “Bill will understand this new thing for Tony Stewart.” So I texted him and he totally fired back with a string of texts, encouraging me to paddle away in my douche canoe and making me nearly pee myself with laughter.

“He might be homicidal, so that’s a plus. Not as cool as dying in a plane crash….” Bill replied when I told him that Tony is my new Payne. Bill continued to fuel my fire and I was scream-reading his texts out loud to Henry, whose mustache was writhing in frown-formation.

“He must be hardened by the sad facts of his hero Tony Stewart being a homicidal maniac,” was Bill’s reason for Henry’s non-laughter. So then it was decided that Henry REALLY LIKES Tony Stewart and I was practically bashing my head off the wall out of pure, extreme mania.

Henry left for about an hour to go grocery shopping and I was just sitting around, twiddling my thumbs, trying not to explode with giddiness, when it occurred to me to paint a portrait of Tony for Henry as a surprise gift. And that is what I did Sunday afternoon while Henry was running bitch errands at the grocery store.

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Even Chooch was like, “Mommy! Calm the fuck down, OMG. It’s not funny.”

When I texted Bill the picture of the final product, he said, “I can’t see any outcome that doesn’t involve Henry dropping to his knees and sobbing tears of pure joy and appreciation.”

I KNOW RIGHT?!

WRONG:

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“Seriously?” he sighed, when I produced the painting from behind my back. This was after I called him and, around outbursts of throaty giggles, asked him to please hurry home. He sounded really scared, and then he LOOKED really scared when he was getting the groceries out of the car. Probably because I was standing at the door with my hands behind my back, smiling.

Sometimes I wonder what it’s like for the people who have to look at me when I get like this. I must look insane. BUT NOT THREATENING AT ALL, I’M SURE.

“This explains why you didn’t call and text me constantly when I was at the store,” he muttered. So really what he was saying is that he was already scared before I even called him to tell him to hurry home.

Later that night, Bill texted me a picture of race car-shaped chicken nuggets and said, “In honor of Tony Stewart, I’m eating these for dinner.” Bill is basically like the drug dealer to my extreme giddiness addiction.

****

Meanwhile, Henry totally didn’t want to take Tony to work with him, so I took it to my dumb work and now he resides on my desk, where Glenn makes excuses to look at him every day because he just can’t get over how fantastic it is. I told Glenn the whole back story and he was like, “Wait, do you like him because he killed a guy, or do you hate him because he killed a guy?”

GOOD QUESTION. Both? I don’t know. I’ve been really been confused lately. Help.

Then the other day, my boss was walking past and she stopped abruptly.

“Is that….Tony?” she asked hesitantly.

“OMG YES!” I cried, happy that someone recognized him. I quickly recapped the story of how I found out Henry is a secret NASCAR fan (which he is still denying, FYI) and Sue said, “Well, wait…did you paint this before what happened, or….”

“Oh, totally after the incident. That’s why I’m obsessed with him now.”

“OK….” she said slowly, and then shook her head and laughed because Oh Honestly, Erin.

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Here’s Tony guarding the blueberry snickerdoodle ice cream sandwich I scored for signing up for community service at work. I actually saved that motherfucker all day (and I worked from 9am-8:30pm that day!) so that I could share it with Henry after work, because on the real, even though Henry was like “*frown frown frown*”, he is the only person I’ve been with who has ever let me just be me. It’s true! I have been thinking about that a lot this week, how painting Tony has made me remember how much I used to love to draw, how I was going to go to the Art Institute (I dropped out after orientation, lol), how I used to fucking write stories nearly every day. And then I stopped for a long time and I was thinking about why, what made that happen, and it’s because all the guys I dated before Henry kept me in the shadows. It was always about them: their band, their music, their writing, their art. And so I just kind of stopped doing everything. Not to get all Norman Rockwell Painting up in this piece, but Henry is kind of the best and he lets me grow instead of keeping me smashed down under his thumb.

So thank you, Henry and your secret Tony Stewart fandom, for making another piece of me fall back into place. Maybe one day I’ll be myself again.

***

I just asked Glenn if he thinks Tony will be safe on my desk when I’m not here, and he very dryly said, “Yeah. I’m sure no one will take him.”

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Aug 132014
 

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It always ended the same way.

A door cracked open after years of being padlocked. They tried to play it cool. But “how was your day?” and “have you heard this album?” always turned into “I miss us” and “why did you leave?”

They tried to be friends. But the secrets carved scars into their hearts like fault lines and repressed jealousy lashed perfidious words from their tongues like whips.

They would go years without contact. A single phone call on a birthday could be a taste of chaos. The most innocent text could be gasoline on fire. Theirs was an opiate that could only be quit cold turkey. But the psychic connection was still there. The silent “I need you” somehow heard and answered from an entire state away.

And so the cycle continued.

She says: Come here.

“I can’t” means “there’s someone else now.”

She says: There’s never been room for me in your life.

“When you’re in my life, there’s no room for anything else.”

And hey, here comes the guilt again. Dwelling on the past because they have no future.

Promises are made to “figure it out” because neither wants to say out loud that there isn’t a solution. There never was. Just blown-out stars, chest pains and a dirt trail of broken hearts. Collateral damage.

It’s Heaven & Hell. It’s thumbtacks pushed into skin and banana cream pie from Hyde’s. It’s geographical distance and cosmic closeness.

They did this over and over, like ghosts puppeteered by Venus to replay their deaths.

She says: We need to make new memories so we can stop living in the past.

But the other doesn’t respond because she’s already making new memories, with someone else.

It always ended the same way.
One of them floated away.

She says: Maybe we can be together when we’re dead.

“We already are.”

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Aug 122014
 

For months, I had been giddily anticipating a visit from the only Flyers fans I like. Terri and Christian got into Pittsburgh the day after my birthday (WHICH IS JULY 30, PUT IT IN YOUR BOOK THINGS) and came over to hang out that night. Terri baked me chocolate chip cookies, you guys, and they were incredible but CHOOCH somehow seemed to eat most of them because “Those are mommy’s birthday cookies” means nothing to him.

We spent most of the time talking about music (which put me on a Felix Culpa kick, so thank you guys for rejuvenating my love of that band), shows that we’ve been to, bands we’ve met (Terri fucking drove Greg Dulli to his bus one time; how do you even recover from that??) and then Chooch was like, “OK, enough. Now you will all sit here and watch me play Xbox.”

Like myself, Terri and Christian are both vegetarians, so I was happy that I’d get to eat at places that actually offer more vegetarian fare than just shitty freezer aisle veggie burgers, because most of my carnivorous friends would rather than die than throw me a (tempeh) bone and go to a vegetarian restaurant. They’d just point out that I could at least get a salad, even at the meatiest of places. And even on my birthday! Vegetarians get no love.

That being said, Christian and Terri picked me up from work the next day around noon and we went to the OTB Cafe on the Southside, where seitan ruled the menu and we all ate happily beneath a ceiling laden with bicycles. I had a veggie burger with PB&J, go fuck yourself.

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Terri ordered fried pickles and seitan wings for us to share and I can’t remember the last time my belly was so happy. Goddammit.

Also? Our waitress looked like a young, bleached blond Mariel Hemingway with tattoos and gauges. And that will probably be the last time I think about Mariel Hemingway’s existence for another 20 years.

Afterward, we pissed around on Carson Street for a little while, because Henry was supposed to meet us but then his work fucked him over (or maybe that really is actually his euphemism for “Sorry, I’m banging my mistress”). Terri wanted to buy some Pittsburgh-centric magnets but we couldn’t find any and the one time I bothered to ask some I was sneered at like I was wearing orange in a city of black and gold (oh shit, I just realized that I actually was, too). When I was a kid, there was a store at the mall that sold a bunch of Pittsburgh souvenirs. It was called—wait for it—-The Pittsburgh Store. I couldn’t think of a single place comparable to that nowadays. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Time to expand my Etsy empire to include tourist-y Pittsburgh magnets.

Magnet-less, I took them to Dave’s Music Mine, where we flipped through bins of used CDs and shared our dirtiest, guiltiest pleasure albums.

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If I cared  a little more, I could have gotten my Christmas shopping for Henry out of the way.

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On the way out, Terri mentioned that she had the Livin’ La Vida Loca single from back in the day.

I didn’t even have that!” I laughed mockingly, to which she cooly replied, “Oh please, after all the albums you just admitted having? I think you’re way worse.”

And she’s totally right. But I just can’t get rid of my 90210 soundtrack, OK?!

Then it was time to ride the Incline, which is a true Pittsburgh installation. It’s essentially a funicular that goes up and down Mt. Washington, which arguably provides the best view of the my fair city. Anytime someone is visiting from out of town, it’s imperative to take  them for a spin up and down a treacherous hillside. It’s just what we do ’round here and I never really think anything of it.

But this time, I was with rational people who value safety. The plan was to park at Station Square and ride the Incline up, but as we passed the track on the way to the parking lot, Christian piped up from the backseat and said, “THAT’S IT?! No. I’m not riding that.”

I thought he was joking at first, but then I looked out the window and tried to see the incline from his perspective, and you know what guys? That’s some fucking scary shit, for real. I still laughed at him for it, though. Terri was still partially on board, probably because she was driving and didn’t get to really take long, lingering looks at it like Christian had.

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So I suggested that we just drive to the top of Mount Washington and then they could decide from there if they wanted to ride it because for some idiotic reason I thought that looking DOWN at the Incline would be so much more convincing. “Yes, you too can ride this super old-fashioned contraption clear down the side of a steep hill!”

“Is that it?!” Terri asked on t he drive up the hill as her car passed beneath the track. “Oh, well now that I’ve seen the underneath it, I’m definitely not going on.” And this prompted Christian to start muttering once again about how terrible of an idea Inclines are and how he can’t believe President Obama hasn’t put an end to this yet and why don’t we just skateboard down the hill, that would be safer.

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Alas, being at the top didn’t change their minds. It only solidified to them the fact that Pittsburghers are Sidney Crosby-loving reckless hillside travelers. Oh, how I laughed at them! But then my stomach flopped around like a fish chased out of water by shitty Katy Perry music blaring from a submarine. You know, just like that.

But we stayed on one of the overlooks long enough for me to take a touristy photo of them:

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Fuck yeah, Pittsburgh!

After getting some iced coffee at Grand Brew, Terri and Christian went back to their hotel, presumably to “rest” but really they just wanted privacy to watch a bunch of videos of the Incline doing terrible things.

Later that night, we all met up at Page’s Dairy for ice cream, which is just as much of a Pittsburgh-y institution as anything else, so suck it, Incline. I apparently hate the Incline now. PEER PRESSURE.

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Aug 102014
 

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ESPN woke me up at 4:30AM with this breaking news, and then again later in the morning to tell me that this guy is still going to drive in a race today, hours after committing vehicular manslaughter. So now I’m obsessed with all of this and have been watching news reports on it all day, which is irritating Henry. (Have you seen the video? WHY DID THIS GUY EVEN GET OUT OF HIS CAR??!! Ugh.)

“I’ve never even heard of this guy,” I said.

“That’s because you don’t follow NASCAR,” Henry reasoned.

“Well, YOU knew who he was, so are you a secret NASCAR fan?!” I cried my accusations.

“What? No!” Henry spat, clearly flustered.

“Oh I’m sure. All those times you’re like ‘I have to work late, the drivers aren’t back yet,’ you’re really sitting in your office watching NASCAR!” I yelled, cramping my fingers from all the excessive air quotes I was throwing out.

“NASCAR’s on Sunday, asshole,” Henry sighed.

“Ok, so then you’re watching NASCAR highlight reels on YouTube!”

And then ESPN showed a tweet from Dale Earnhardt Jr., in which he expressed his condolences on the whole sitch.

“Wow, I’m surprised he spelled ‘lose’ correctly, and not like, you know, ‘loose’,” I laughed, but honestly I was being serious.

“Why, because he’s a race car driver? He’s not a dumb kid!” Henry said defensively. “He owns his own business!” Then he tried to call me out for “stereotyping.” OH OK, Henry.

“Eh, his PR person probably wrote that tweet anyway,” I said, and Henry’s head exploded.

He’s not talking to me now.

THIS JUST IN: Tony Stewart has ultimately decided not to race today after all, and I would like to think me posting about him on Instagram and Twitter was the deciding factor. I mean, according to Klout, I have lots of influence.

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