Jan 192019
 

I’m admitting defeat. White flag is up and waving. I’m surrendering to my body. I will hereby try to get rest this weekend!

I mean, my version of rest basically means that I will take breaks from moving around like a lunatic…?

But wow, I really do feel like a fucking rag doll today. I’m certain that 80% of this is stress but I also think I have some mild virus that my body is kickboxing.

Today’s agenda consists of catching up on Divorce (I’m halfway through season 2 and now Henry suddenly decides he needs to watch it too which is the most annoying thing ever), making Valentines (it’s the busiest time of the year for us!), starting a new high school K-drama with Chooch (he walked in on me watching Revenge Note and became obsessed), watching Henry make kimchi, planning for our whirlwind trip to Toronto next weekend, and waiting out this snowstorm that we’re supposed to be getting.

Pretty chill, and just what I need after the hectic week that just passed!

One good thing about today is that Henry and I were coming back from a walk and just as I was getting ready to grumble about how gross all the dirty, melty snow looks, I realized that we are already halfway through January and that is my least favorite month ever so I felt really inspired and hopeful that I will make it through another winter without succumbing to the blues (grays?)!

Whooo boy I preach about being positive all the time but sometimes that it one fucking difficult thing to practice!

THIS JUST IN: I fake-fainted in front of Henry and he didn’t even flinch.

My favorite thing about Divorce is the awesome 70s soundtrack. Also, I love that Sarah Jessica Parker still has the voice of a teenage girl—her voice has always been my favorite thing about her. Also x2, if Henry and I ever get a fake-divorce from our never-happened-marriage, I hope he NEVER DATES AGAIN. I made him promise that today, and then I texted Chooch at the Teen Center and told him to make sure Henry doesn’t ever try to give him a new mom. Then Henry walked into the room wearing an ugly army-colored t-shirt with a bright blue thermal shirt under it and I realized I HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.

On that note, here are some pictures from last week.

Henry made Kimbap and bean sprout soup for dinner last Sunday and I was there for it. He’s also making a batch of kimchi—he is my little ahjumma!

Against our better judgment, we bought Chooch a puzzle so now half of Henry’s work station has been usurped. I also bought this hot pink furry coat which Chooch was more than happy to model for the purposes of this picture.

Here I am, being multi-fandom AF in my BIGBANG scarf and Jonghyun pin. I love wearing my Kpop faves!

Well, back to my afternoon itinerary which involves roller coaster YouTube vlogs and harping on Henry to finish Kpop valentines. Stay warm, my muffins!

Jan 182019
 

Wow, I have been slacking with the lunch break tales! I still go outside for a walk everyday, in spite of the gross winter weather, but I have to speed-walk to stay warm and that makes me less observant to all the oddities transpiring around me.

However, human interaction happened 7 TIMES in the last week that have pulled me out of my winter bubble and I declared a revival of thee ol’ Lunch Break Tales positively necessary.

6 of those were on THE SAME DAY. So let’s start there.

The Day of 6 Human Interactions 

Alternately Titled: What Is This, 1954?

It was Friday of last week and I had just stepped out from the revolving door of the law firm and into FREEDOM when I saw an old lady sitting on the ground a few yards away. Immediately, I knew that this probably wasn’t good and the unfortunate part (I mean, aside from  the fact that someone’s grandma had taken a tumble) was that I appeared to be the only person around.

Falalalala-uck.

I fought my inner misanthrope and tiptoed over to assess the sitch. Thankfully, a man carrying groceries was approaching from another direction and together, we reenacted a scene from whatever episode of Sesame Street teaches you to put down your groceries and help your neighbor.  All I was capable of doing was holding out my phone and asking repeatedly if she needed me to call 911 while Grocery Man kept slowly asking, “MA’AM, YOU OK?” But Ma’am continued to sit on the ground with her legs outstretched, rubbing her thighs and not answering.

Now I was starting to wonder if this was a pick-pocketing ploy because that’s what I think everything is, a pick-pocketing ploy, until she slowly turned to look at us, and with ONE SINGLE TEAR FALLING DOWN HER CHEEK OMG, she whispered, “No, I’m OK…..I don’t know what happened. My knees just gave out…”

Grocery Man said he had heard her fall so I guess she screamed or something? I don’t know!

There are chairs inside the lobby of my building so I asked her if she wanted us to help her inside. At least she could sit down and get warm while deciding what she was going to do. She nodded, so Grocery Man and I each took one of her arms and lifted her up. The whole time I was whipping my head around, looking for the news crews, like, “I’M DOING IT! I’M DOING IT! LOOK AT ME!” in my head, because altruism is not a word in my limited and egocentric vocab.

We had just about got her to the doors of my building when some tall fucking white man in a nice suit and coat strode over with the shittiest shit-eating grin on his pudding face and asked, “Do you need help?” while basically TAKING THE OLD BROAD AWAY FROM US and escorting her into the building himself!!

WOW WAY TO COME IN AT THE TAIL END AND CLAIM ALL THE GLORY, JACKASS. Grocery Man was like, “That’s fine” because he wanted to get back to his groceries, which he left on the ground and we get all kinds of weirdos walking by, like Downtown Jesus may have meandered over and started digging in the bags for bread to turn into fish, or cigarettes, you don’t know.

I started to ask Briefcase Hero if he needed my assistance for anything, but then I was like, “Ah, fuck it” and I went about my merry way.

To….

Crazy Mocha, where I had the fourth human interaction of the day!

The barista was a new one, or new-to-me anyway, because it had been a few weeks since I went to this particular Crazy Mocha. She was young and running on all cylinders, the kind of person who was rearin’ to talk to ANY FUCKING BODY. She was taunting her co-worker about some picture she had taken of him, so then she decided to pull me into the convo and showed me the Polaroid.

“Oh, I keep Polaroids in my phone case!” I said, and showed her pictures of Chooch in the cemetery on Christmas. So then we chatted about Polaroids and she said she liked to surprise her co-workers with snap-attacks so that they wouldn’t have a chance to fake-pose, and I briefly imagined doing this at the law firm and I wonder how well that would go over since everyone knows my motives are questionable.

As the barista in the Polaroid made my chai latte, Polaroid Girl started singing EXTREMELY THEATRICALLY all up in the other barista’s face and he gave her zero reaction which was pretty weird, but then I was like, “Wow, this song sounds familiar…” and then I realized it was a song from Hamilton (“Satisfied”) and I was so proud of myself for knowing that considering that I have still NEVER LISTENED TO THE SOUNDTRACK even though I saw the show and loved it.

Side bar: A few weeks ago one of my co-workers admitted to me that she thought Hamilton was a president and I felt SO MUCH BETTER ABOUT MYSELF because yo, I thought that too, and she is actually way more educated me so I was like, “OK, it’s not just me. There are others. More of us. I am not alone.” But yeah, during Hamilton, I wondered several times, “So, when does he become President tho….”

Remember when I saved that broad’s life before I met Polaroid Girl? Well, the next interaction I had was when a traveler with suitcases approached me and asked me where the Megabus pickup is and so I told him and then realized I gave him the wrong directions, so I had to chase him down screaming, “Sir! Sir! I gave you the wrong directions!” so then I had him go a different way and I felt better about myself until on my way back from my walk when I saw that the Megabus was picking up people exactly right across from where we were standing when he asked me so it turns out BOTH OF MY DIRECTIONS WERE WRONG. Man, I saved a life and then maybe stranded a guy in Pittsburgh.

I’d call that a wash.

The final interaction of that walk was when a lady walked by me and yelled, “cute coat!”

YEAH IT IS!

Man, what a day! I talked to so many people! I REMEMBERED HOW TO TALK!

The Absinthe Anecdote (AND ANTIDOTE)

Tuesday was a terrible day. I mean, as far as work goes, that is. I had to go into the bathroom and stress-cry at one point, it was that kind of day. I had to sit at my desk and think of worse days that I have had just to bring the perspective, but then I started thinking about the time the church school moms found my blog and essentially met me in the parking lot with torches and pitchforks, and this just made me feel even more terrible so wow that strategy backfired.

Finally, I broke away and went outside for my walk because sometimes that is the only thing that gets me through the day – I need my hour walk, man. Get me away from my desk!

I usually don’t pre-plan my walks, I just walk in the opposite direction of where the derelicts seem to be when I step out the door. On this day, I headed toward the Strip District and then decided that I was going to Prestogeorge for a latte because I fucking needed a treat, OK?! My favorite barista Lori was working – we have had great convos about tattoos, kids not knowing what landlines are, and my awesome phone cases. I really like her a lot so even though I was having a shit day, when she asked me how it was going, I said it was going well and it felt like it was true! She just gives off good vibes, man.

As she was ringing me up, she paused and, with a lowered voice, asked, “Do you like absinthe?”

I said yes without hesitation, but then backtracked and said that while I wasn’t a big fan of the taste, I really appreciated the lore and culture behind it. She nodded and slid a book across the counter.

“I’m going to tell you a story while I made your latte, and you can take a look at this book.”

It was a worn book of absinthe recipes, and her story was about how she met a professional magician in San Francisco some time ago, and it turned out he was one of the authors of this absinthe book but she didn’t find out until afterward and was bummed that she missed her chance at getting the book signed. Apparently, she and her friends have thrown many parties around this absinthe book so it’s very special to her and all I kept thinking was, “How do I ingratiate myself into her circle of friends?!”

Anyway, her story was captivating and culminated in the fact that her realtor friend called her up and said, “You’ll never guess who I sold a house to” and it was THE MAGICIAN – he’s moving to Pittsburgh and bought some huge house on the north side, and so the realtor friend invited Lori to lunch with him and he signed Lori’s book; she showed it to me and it said, “Let’s throw a party” so she is freaking throwing a party in his mansion and I can’t remember the last time I was this stoked for someone I barely know!

There isn’t an actual date yet but I told her I’m going to troll Prestogeorge’s until it finally happens so she can tell me all about it! I love hearing about people obsessing over obscure things and then getting starstruck over something that most people would think nothing of. This is how I felt when PAUL EUGENE the Gospel Aerobics guru emailed me a Valentine and yes I realize it was just because I signed up for his newsletter, but maybe I’m the only one he sent it to! LEAVE ME TO MY DREAMS!

I walked out with my cinnamon latte and realized that the tightness in my chest was gone. Maybe human interaction is actually….THE KEY?! Ugh.

 

Jan 172019
 

Yesterday I was hit with possibly the worst cramps I have ever gotten in my life and for someone who rarely gets them (I know, I’m such a bitch) it basically felt like I was dying. It came on out of nowhere at work and I swear it felt like I was graying out. Then I realized I was actually sliding off my chair, that’s how much pain had taken over.

I half-collapsed onto Carrie’s desk and whined, “Carrie omg I have cramps” and she put on her pharmacist lab coat and doled out some pills. Then she told me to go home and that’s all I needed to hear so I half-crawled to Wendy’s office and asked to leave which I hate doing and can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve had to do this in the nine years I’ve worked there but whatever I had swords inside me.

Dear Henry was able to pick me up from work but oh if you could have seen me shambling around downtown to the spot where he was picking me up, you’d have thought I was just a typical strung-out townie.

SIDEBAR: have you ever had an Envy apple? I’m eating one right now and it’s divine, like it was handed to me from Satan himself.

It hurt so bad at one point that I actually started to wonder if I had broken an abdominal muscle.

Anyway, Henry dropped me off at home and I was like WHERE DO YOU THINK YOURE GOING, GET THE HEATING PAD but he couldn’t find the heating pad?! And then we remembered I BROKE the heating pad because I kept using it as a heated blanket.

Henry finally returned with a RUBBER WATER BOTTLE like this was the 1940s and I was laying on a fainting couch. I mean, it was fine until it wasn’t hot anymore and I didn’t know what to do but then I remembered the Phone-A-Henry option and he answered me just as I was getting ready to microwave it.

So then I started ranting about why did we even have a rubber water bottle and they are really stupid!!! and Henry said it was because a long time ago I read something about…something…and that something involved me needing a hot water bottle for…something??!! I don’t remember this AT ALL. Must be just like those Salonpas Henry accused me of having and I know THATS NOT TRUE.

Henry is trying to poison my mind, I think.

So my day at home was a lot of me laying on the couch, moaning dramatically even though no one was home, and watching roller coaster videos but then feeling even more awful imagining myself on a roller coaster while feeling the way that I felt so then I was worried that I was going to condition myself to not like roller coasters so I watched This Is Us instead. I usually cry during that show but this time I was like “whatever I’m in more pain than you assholes.”

Around 3 I texted Chooch and told him I came home from work sick and all he said was “feel better I’m going to the Teen Center.” WOW JUST WOW.

(Omg Chooch is talking shit on me to Henry right now, I heard him whisper something that started with ‘she’ and I AM THE ONLY SHE IN THE HOUSE unless he’s talking about the cats BUT I DONT THINK SO.)

So eventually my cramps subsided but then I was just really nauseous and shivery, but I never actually puked. I felt like that most of today as well, like I was seasick but Marlene gave me COKE SYRUP and it helped.

HOT WATER BOTTLES AND COKE SYRUP. Maybe I should start reading the farmers almanac too.

It occurred to me at some point that I felt similar to how I felt in my FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY which is ironic (I don’t care if I used that rightly or wrongly) because yesterday morning, it was really slippery outside and Henry made me take the T so I texted him and told him that I fell on my way there and I hope he was happy and he very fakely responded “omg are you ok” like he actually cared and I told him that YEAH I WAS FINE because some man helped me up.

And then we had sex.

And now I’m pregnant.

So wow, I’m so good at lie-texting that I actually convinced my body to have pregnancy symptoms.

IM NOT PSYCHO YOURE PSYCHO.

So that’s the story of how I had other things to say on here but then I basically went into FAKE LABOR because my lies are that powerful so instead you got this.

Don’t worry. I’m ok.

Jan 152019
 

In an effort to be a better businessbroad, I’m trying to actually promote my greeting cards for this Valentine season, like, with actual time to spare instead of waiting until February 10th like I normally would. So expect to see some veritable advertisements on here this week in between my usual sub-par content.

Tonight, let’s ohh and ahh over another set of Valentines! I’m still really proud of the Golden Girls Valentine collection, and I wanted to give them some love on this blog by….reposting what I wrote last year because let’s be real, I love these cards but not enough to write a brand new script for them!

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

I couldn’t sleep one night and I was thinking, “How can I further expand my card line/release some of this psychotic energy that’s keeping me awake?” And then I wondered if the Golden Girls would be a good fit with the serial killers and vintage porn stars of noncomposcards and you guys, I think it’s a good fit. I mean, someone bought two GG cards and a porn star set so…

Condoms! Condoms! Condoms!

I know I’m not alone in deriving great comfort from Golden Girls reruns. Like so many others, I grew up on this show in the 80s. Of course, back then, it was way too “adult” for me, and most of it went way over my head, but I still watched it because I loved Rose and her St. Olaf tales and Dorothy’s relationship with her mom and Blanche was always GOALS. I used to sleep over my grandparents house on Saturday nights and it honestly feels like yesterday when I would sit on the couch next to my Grandma, wearing some old oversized beer t-shirt as a nightgown, watching The Golden Girls and Empty Nest. (And Hunter but was that on Fridays? I only ever watched Hunter at my grandparents house.)

Very little in life has felt more comfortable and warm to me than those childhood Saturday nights on Gillcrest Drive.

I think like there are a lot of people who can relate to this!

Cheesecake & Chill?

Vertubenflugen

Blanche Devereaux Girl’s Night 

Funny story – one time many moons ago I sent Henry to the video rental place down the street and made him ask the guy in the back for Revolutionary War porn, so he was already flustered about that, and then he turned around and accidentally knocked over an entire rack of pornos, cutting his knuckle in the process and to this day I still refer it as The Porn Wound. He gets so mad.

Now you know something about me! Well, about my boyfriend.

The backs are cute AF, IMO.

Literally, not once in this Valentine promotion series have I had presentable nails. I’M SORRY, YOU GUYS. I’m hideous.

But enough about my chipped polish, what I like about these cards is that there’s something in there for both platonic friends and people you’re legit hot for.

This Sophia one is my favorite though because I love vintage porn and Sicily 1969 porn is probably pretty hot. Especially if it’s Mt. Etna-themed.

I know, I know – “Bea Mine,” what a fucking cop-out. But I wanted to get these done for you in time! I’m already jotting down ideas for a second set for next year, so I will redeem myself for being so basic.

Most of these are adapted quotes from the show, and I thought the Sophia one up there was actually super romantic if you think of it in terms of “Hey, let’s grow old and toothless together.” You know? Maybe I do have a heart after all.

Similar to the serial killer, porn, The Cure, and kpop sets (god, what a collection), there are 16 different cards in this set, perfect for passing out like you’re still a kid in elementary school when the only care was, “YEAH BUT WHAT CANDY COMES WITH IT” – oh wait, that’s still a major concern! Fuck off with those fruit-flavored tootsie rolls!

And there you have it. $8 for the whole set!

Jan 142019
 

Saturday night, Wendy and I (fine, and Henry too) went to a going-away party for our friend and former co-worker Amber aka AG1, the Original Amber of the Law Firm. Aside from the horrible service at Bubba’s Gourmet Burgers (owned by one of the long-time local radio personalities here and I have HALF A MIND -shut up – to call his dumb radio show and tell him that his restaurant sucks; he was actually there that night too and I was not even the slightest bit excited to see him), it was really nice to see Amber for what might be the last time in a while since she is moving to ALABAMA.

The last time I checked, ALABAMA AND PENNSYLVANIA ARE NOT THAT CLOSE TO EACH OTHER!

I started to tear up immediately when I saw Amber because I am a weak human being even though I’m all, “ROAR ROAR ROAR I HATE PEOPLE.” It’s called a defense mechanism, OK!? But then Amber pointed out that she and her husband are only going to be 4 hours away from DOLLYWOOD so now the plan is to MEET THEM IN PIGEON FORGE AND HAVE ALL OF THE FUN. I told her husband this when we were leaving.

“We’re going to Dollywood!” I cried, and then I realized he thought I meant just me and Henry so then I explained that WE ARE ALL GOING TO DOLLYWOOD and he was like, “Wow…”

He was excited, I think.

Anyway, I thought it was funny that Amber referenced the two memories I wrote about in my card to her before she even opened the card, so I guess they really were solid memories! Usually I am the only one who latches on to a moment and then the other party is like, “I sort of remember that?” and it is crushing. CRUSHING. One of those memories was the time we had a Chinese Auction in the department in 2015 and you know what, I like this memory so much that I am going to reshare it here and not just because I’m looking for a cop-out because designing and marketing new Valentine cards has me mentally drained except that’s 90% why.

So here you go, a blast from the blogging past, from my archives to your eyeballs.

***********

 

See also: Waffle Whining

****

In order to raise some extra money for the food drive that the Law Firm is currently embroiled in, our department had a Chinese Auction yesterday. I don’t normally pay attention to these things because most of the items donated always seem to be things I wouldn’t ever use, like spatulas and laundry baskets. (These are standard Chinese Auction things, right? I honestly never look!)

I can tell you for sure that I didn’t bother to participate the last time this happened because I was still in my old position here and pouting literally every day. I remember hearing sounds of mirth and camaraderie coming from my work friends on the Other Side as they admired all of the wares and bought tickets, which made me slump in my chair and cross my arms over my chest. It was Dark Days back then, friends.

And honestly, I probably still wouldn’t have given a shit this time around either, except that I accidentally noticed it.

The best prize in all of the land.

A waffle maker.

I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED A WAFFLE MAKER! Henry is always “eh” about it when it comes up because he knows that I’ll be having him make some lavender fig chia seed monstrosity stuffed with some out of season exotic fruit that needs to be special ordered from a treetop garden in Tasmania.

And not that it comes up a lot, but I do read some bohemian lifestyle blogs for some reason even though I am neither Bohemian nor lifestyle, and they sometimes post photos of post-night, ante meridiem recipes (also known as: breakfast) for their fancy waffle maker sisterwives to say things like “amaze” and “so much yum” to on Instagram. Waffles are the shit. Waffles over pancakes any day. (Only because pancakes often make me sick, though.)

Our new admin person, Carrie, was the point person for the Chinese auction, so after digging out a crumbled dollar bill from my jacket pocket, I strutted to her desk and proudly thrust it at her in exchange for a ticket. Glenn, having heard my cries of waffle ecstasy, bought FIVE TICKETS and said he was going to put them all in the waffle maker raffle bag! AND THEN APPROXIMATELY EVERY OTHER PERSON IN THE DEPARTMENT DID THE SAME.

AND THEN GLENN BOUGHT FIVE MORE TICKETS!

This waffle maker was a hot commodity. I felt a little relief knowing that there were two of them being auctioned off, at least. Two winners. MAYBE I WOULD BE ONE.

But then something terrible happened. Amber AG1 declared that she too wanted to win the waffle maker. This could ruin our friendship, I thought to myself nervously.

And then LOU bought some tickets from Carrie and I overheard him tell her that he wanted the waffle maker and I got so enraged. He’s already my least favorite analyst! (Don’t worry, he knows. I told him.)

“They’re both broken,” I shouted, trying to deter him. He just laughed and walked away with his Cheater Tickets and I was 100% wringing my hands at this point. Literally everyone wanted the waffle maker. Who even knows what else was over there! WAFFLE MAKER.

Glenn spent the rest of the day taunting me mercilessly. He said if he won, he was going to sell it, just not to me. Meanwhile, Amber was way more upbeat about her desire to win and was over at her desk practically singing “I want the waffle maker” to the tune of New Kids On the Block. This was in stark contrast to how  I was expressing myself, which was by moping, whining, and panicking about my odds all day.

I just knew I was going to lose. I never win these things!

Stop pouting, I told myself. Maybe out loud, even. The drawing hadn’t even started yet and I already had myself losing. I went outside for a walk to cool off a little, and I called Henry.

“Never mind,” I said with a big sigh as soon as he said hello.

“Never mind what?” he asked tentatively.

“Just forget it,” I sighed Eeyore-ishly.

“WHAT DID YOU DO?” he asked.

“IfIwonawafflemakerwouldyouuseit?” I blurted out in an auctioneer’s cadence.

“I mean, I guess,” Henry slowly answered, waiting for the other shoe to fall. And then I started gushing about the day’s events, and how I remembered that I actually brought my wallet that day and I had FIVE MORE DOLLARS to buy more tickets, and then Wendy felt so much pity for me that she put a ticket in the waffle maker bag too, even though she has a scar on her arm from a hotel waffle iron and basically never wants to look at one again, and then I begged Gayle to put in a ticket for me, too, and she originally said no but then I was like GAAAAAAYLE!!! and so she did it and OMG I’M GOING TO LOSE AREN’T I?!

Henry didn’t have much to say about this. Apparently, when I call him at work, he’s actually working, and doesn’t have “time” to care about my “problems.”

Back in the office, Carrie sent out an email saying that the first drawing was going to happen at 2:30. Glenn was all Glennish about this because he leaves at 2:30 everyday. I could barely hear his bitching overtop of my own pitiful wails of, “I WANT THAT WAFFLE MAKER SO BAD! I’M GOING TO PEE MY PANTS! OMG MY STOMACH HURTS.”

“Oh Jesus Christ, if I win the waffle maker, you can have it,” Glenn mumbled, slapping his tickets on my desk on his way out.

“SERIOUSLY?!” I cried.

“Yeah. I don’t want to have to hear about it if you lose,” he grumbled. I wonder what he put his other tickets in for. Probably this old army lunch box thing that someone donated.

At 2:31, Sue came over with two bags and had Carrie and Allison pick a ticket out of each one.

One of them was for the first waffle maker.

I was bouncing from foot to foot in anticipation, clutching all of my tickets in my hands. (The winning number for each item was emailed to the whole department, so no one but me bothered to actually go over and watch this happen.)

Allison drew in her breath and turned away from me a little.

“What?” I asked nervously.

Then Carrie looked at the ticket that Allison drew and she made a strangulated noise as well.

“WHAT? IS IT MINE?!” I yelled, knowing that it probably wasn’t because they didn’t know what numbers I had. So it must have been someone who wrote their name on the back. OH GOD PLEASE BE GLENN! I prayed. And then I felt gross for rooting for Glenn.

“It’s Amber,” Carrie said quietly.

DON’T BE A SORE LOSER, ERIN. GO SIT DOWN AND BE A GROWN-UP, ERIN. THERE IS STILL ANOTHER WAFFLE MAKER, ERIN.

Amber was so happy that she won, and I wanted to be happy for her too! I really did! When she walked past me to claim her prize, she stopped cheering and said, “Aw, but I feel bad!”

“IT’S FINE,” I tried to say in a happy, supportive tone but it came out through gritted teeth because OMG WHY AM I SUCH A BRAT. “I never win anything anyway, so I’m used to it,” I added just in case I hadn’t already come off as an industrial-sized, leaking douchebag.

WHY AM I SUCH A CRYBABY. There were no less than 87 moments that day when I floated outside of my body and looked down upon myself, frowning in disappointment. I guess, at least I’m aware?

A few minutes later, I went to get something off the printer and ran into Carrie, who was making copies. “Hey,” she said. “If you don’t win the other one, I’ll bring one in for you. I have one in my kitchen that I never use, and I swear you can have it. It’s not as fancy as this one, but it’s still good.”

And at this moment, I realized that I needed to stop thinking of Carrie as “Barb’s Replacement” because she is an awesome lady in her own right and has seamlessly fit right into our department in less than two weeks. CARRIE, YOU CAN STAY.

Seriously, that was a really touching moment. Until you remember that this was all over A WAFFLE MAKER.

A.WAFFLE.MAKER.

I mean, waffles are the motherfucking jam, but are they worth this much drama? Probably not. But I was already up to my neck in it. Now I had to see this through. I shouldn’t have let myself drift off into all of the daydreams about opening a waffle stand in my front yard, mass-producing edible Frisbees (Waffbees? Frisfles?), costing Henry an arm and a leg in upscale waffle ingredients and a camera upgrade because you can’t eat fancy waffles without photographing it on a stained pallet surrounded by baby’s breath and monogrammed-stamped baby forks.

I was really getting ahead of myself. Goddammit.

Throughout the afternoon, more drawings took place, but there was so much time in between each one that it felt like when you’re taking a test in school and all you can hear is the methodic, amplified ticking of the clock.

Wendy ended up winning the weird army lunch box thing, and I have no idea why she even put in any tickets for that. It was probably just her against Glenn. And then Patrick basically won everything else because he’s a baller and bought like an entire spool of tickets.

Todd came back from lunch before the final waffle maker was won, and he asked me with faux-interest if anyone had won them yet.

It was hard to push the words out around my big, pouty bottom lip, but I somehow mustered the strength to tell him that Amber had won the first one.

“All that was missing was the trumpets,” I said melodramatically, and Todd started laughing. And then he said something along the lines of, “There, there. You still have one more chance.”

Right before the end of the day, Sue walked over to Amber’s desk with the waffle maker ticket bag and told her since she won the first one, she had to draw the ticket for the second.

“Oh no, Erin’s fate is in my hands!” she said, and I was so nervous that I got up and walked around. I DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO KNOW, YOU GUYS.

Sue gave the drawn ticket to Carrie, who in turn sent out the email to the department. I figured it was going to be Patrick, since he had a billion tickets in each bag.

And then I heard, “OMG I WON THE SECOND ONE TOO!”

My first reaction was: WAH!

My second reaction was: OMG CAN I HAVE IT!!!???

“Can I give it to Erin?” Amber asked Carrie, who shrugged and said she didn’t give a basic fuck.

“SERIOUSLY?!?!?!” I screamed as Amber passed it off to me like the goddamn Olympic torch.

“Yeah, I don’t need two!” she laughed. “Now we can both have one!”

AND THAT IS HOW WE WERE ABLE TO LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

Allison was just like, “Wow. What a relief.” I keep forgetting that she is still relatively new. We must look like a gang of fucking imbeciles to her.

“Wait. There’s something I have to do,” I said, and I walked over to Lou’s office with my waffle maker. “I just wanted you to see what I looked like holding the waffle maker,” I gloated, and he kind of hung his head a little and told me I’m mean.

SORE LOSER AND SORE WINNER. That’s me.

But don’t feel too bad for Lou, because the last drawing of the day was for the biggest prize of all: a hug from Ethan, who absolutely hates hugs. And Lou won! He seemed happier with that than he would have been with a waffle maker. Me? I preferred the waffle maker because I, too, hate hugs.

IMG_4250.JPG

Here’s a picture of my reflection while waiting for the elevator, with my WAFFLE MAKER IN MY ARMS! Amber, you are the best! We should have a waffle party!

****

When I got into the car after work, Henry did one of his patented mirthless-laughs and shook his head. “Great,” he mumbled.

I quickly relayed the day’s events to him and he said, “Were you a sore loser? Why am I asking. I know you were.”

Later that night, Henry, upon realizing that he had never even heard of the brand, googled the company’s name and discovered that it doesn’t even exist outside of eBay.

Buy It Now: $6.95.

I bought $6 worth of tickets, and I probably would have had to also pay for shipping, so all in all it’s still a deal if you ask me.

“It’s probably going to burn down the house,” Henry mumbled.

I’m going to use the FUCK out of this thing. And by that, I mean that I’m going to search the FUCK out of the Internet for waffle recipes to send to Henry.

****

In case you were wondering how the winning hug played out, here’s a video! A group of us gathered around noon and formed a big circle around Lou and Ethan, so it was like they were inside of a hug while hugging. It was fucking precious.

Apologies to all of my co-workers who probably have a waffle aversion after all of this. It escalated pretty quickly.

I can only imagine how disgruntled this waffle ordeal would have made the other Amber if this happened before she went on maternity leave. I can practically hear her saying, “Oh for God’s sake!”

Jan 132019
 

What’s up, Diva cups, I’m checking in to show you the new non compos cards Valentine set for 2019. I have had this collection on the back burner for a minute now and am so pleased to finally have finished it this weekend.

The Cure is my all-time favorite band, as in: cash in your savings account and fly to Australia to see them after they hastily announce that they’re not going to tour again after that but that was in 2000 and you have since seen them like 6 more times because Robert Smith lied but that’s ok!

True to form, this is a cringefest so get your groans ready.

The set contains 16 different mini-cards, just like the kinds we used to pass out in elementary school except much cooler because, you know, The Cure.

Henry was like I DON’T GET IT and I’ll tell you why – it’s because he’s not actually a “fan” of The Cure.

This set is now available in my shop and I am so happy about it! Part of me wants to track down all my old friends from the long defunct chatroom I used to frequent in 1998/1999 called Darkchat and send them all one of these cards (and by frequent I do mean I used to stay up until like 5am private messaging with all of my goth paramours). God, those were the days! Now when I tell people that The Cure is my favorite band, the general response, “I don’t know who that is.” Well, just break my goddamn heart.

I think this set goes wonderfully with all the serial killer ones, the vintage porn star collection, the Golden Girls series and of course all the Kpop varieties in my Hello Hanguk shop too! I’ll repost all of those ones throughout the week in case you missed them last year. I love Valentines so much!

Interested in purchasing a set of The Cure valentines for all the lovecats in your life? Click right here!

Jan 112019
 

Hola it’s me, the non-nutritionist, un-doctor, fake-fitness instructor, here to tell you about how I lost weight because a few people asked after I posted this side-by-side comparison snap on Instagram last weekend:

But first, here’s some history:

I started to get “fat” in 4th grade. I don’t remember off-hand if my diet was trash but I know that I wasn’t super active back then. I didn’t play sports and spent most of my time reading books, building frog hotels, trying to make eye shadow by slamming rocks into the driveway and collecting the gritty dust. (#safe.)

I’m fairly certain that genetics played a big role too. And my grandma taught me at a young age how to be incredibly vain and self-conscious, such gifts.

When I was in 6th grade, I went on Slim Fast (this is a whole other rainy day story!). Wow, such healthy choices. I remember getting bags of Slim Fast popcorn in my Easter basket that year and being excited about it, not knowing that this was basically the beginning of a lifelong weight obsession.

But that same year, I also discovered a TV channel that played exercise workouts and I became addicted to Bodies in Motion and Denise Austin. I managed to lose a bunch of weight and maintained that pretty well through middle school and high school. I also started playing tennis in 7th grade and I was OBSESSED with that and began weight training. So I was never what you would consider “skinny” because of that but what the kids these days call THICC I guess. (Chooch would cancel himself if he knew I wrote that!)

I was at my thinnest right after high school, probably because I had just moved out and rarely had food in my apartment. I was 120 then and thought I was fat, so if I could go back in time and punch any version of myself, it would be 1998 Erin!

Me thinking I was huge but not yet knowing about body dysmorphia.

But my 20s were rife with depression, drinking, and you know, having a BABY. I think I was around 230 at my heaviest during pregnancy and then pretty much hovered at 200 but I didn’t have a scale so this is a guess and probably more accurate than when I would whine to Henry about being 87000 pounds, until something woke me up two years after giving birth and I started doing Jillian Michaels workouts and dieting. I lost weight pretty fast – I’ll never forget one of my coworkers at the job I had at the time telling me that it was really noticeable and I was like FUCK YEAH I CAN DO ANYTHING. But here’s what happened, and what ALWAYS happened after I started losing weight – I started to feel invincible. And not as in “wow I am so strong now I can do anything!” But more so “ok I lost some weight and now I can stop exercising as much and eating oatmeal for lunch every day and excuse me while I face-plant into this chocolate cake because I’ll never gain the weight back.”

LOL. Oh 20-something Erin. So foolish.

I yo-yo’d into my 30s. Lost some weight rollerskating, gained it back from office-snacking. Rinse, repeat.

Another thing you should know is that I have never been a slovenly person. You’d never catch me just lounging around all weekend on the couch, watching TV. Even at my heaviest, I was pretty active but not regularly enough. And my activity wasn’t combined with that shitty d-word we all hate – diet.

So in 2013 I started Weight Watchers and I lost 20 pounds fast! But then I plateaued. And here’s why – WW is not the greatest for vegetarians, especially vegetarians who literally cannot fend for themselves. I was so hungry all the time and had NO ENERGY to exercise. Plus, I was eating a ton of Lean Cuisines and other frozen meals because the thought of tracking points freaked me out and those were the easiest to track, but hello unhealthy.

Also, fruits and vegetables are “unlimited” so I was gorging on fruit and I remember my friend Amber pointing out that I needed to be careful because fruit also has a lot of sugar and I was like BUT WEIGHT WATCHERS SAID and then I wondered why I was a bloated fruit-basket-bellied whale.

But I do credit WW with helping me lose the first chunk of, well, chunk.

And I will say that WW changed the way I was eating for the most part so I was pretty good about not gaining back the weight I had lost, but I wasn’t making any progress otherwise. I didn’t have a routine to follow so I was basically just going through life weighing myself occasionally and hoping for the best. I was only exercising when I would think to, so maybe like 2 or 3 times a week, and let’s be real here, that’s not enough.

Everything finally clicked for me at the end of 2016 and it was by sheer accident. It was a super bad year for me. Obviously, The Election. But also a pretty substantial family tragedy occurred and that was dragged out for nearly the whole year, so even though I initially lost some weight through that, it turns out you eventually gain back the weight you lost by violently stress-puking.

I had finally got to the point in my life where I was 100% ready to commit. Really, you can’t go into something as major as weight loss without being all in. I realized what the problem was all those other times: I was bored. I was hungry. I was frustrated. I got distracted. I wasn’t ready to make changes and dedicate myself to a program.

Here is how I did it: THE KOREAN SYSTEM a/k/a K-Diet.

If you’re laughing, that’s fine. All of my friends and co-workers laughed at me in the beginning too and now they’re like TELL ME HOW YOU LOST THE WEIGHT and I’m like I DID AND YOU LAUGHED, REMEMBER.

(Just a side note to remind you that I was also laughed at when I said I was going to be a vegetarian and THAT WAS IN 1996, so…clearly your laughter is what fuels my dedication.)

Exercise

So, at the end of 2016, I decided I need more happiness in my life and I remembered that a year ago, I had discovered kpop aerobics on YouTube, so I thought, well, I’m hovering at 170 pounds here. I need to start exercising again and that music makes me happy, so why not.

Not only was I working out nearly every day, but my mindset had shifted from Doom & Gloom to I Can’t Wait to Go Home and Workout! And I was having so much that it didn’t even feel like exercise!

So, find the right workout for you. Look, it doesn’t have to be some fucking insane meathead program like CrossFit or whatever the fuck. Start by taking daily walks, like I said earlier, and go from there. If you like dancing but don’t want to take classes (that’s my phobia!), check out YouTube because Zumba workouts are a dime a dozen on there.

There’s Bollywood workouts, even! Caribbean dance workouts! They probably have Alpine ones too, who knows!

So the trick is basically, well, tricking yourself into forgetting that you’re exercising.

However, I do also like legit workouts, especially strength-training, so I also do Jillian Michaels (Chooch and I are currently doing her Body Revolution program). The trick is to have a variety so it’s not a draaaaag.

If anyone is interested, the links to the Kpop dance fitness YouTube channels I frequent the most are below. THEY ARE SO MUCH FUN!

Non-Kpop Channels:

But wait, there’s more: you know how “experts” always say that there’s no secret to weight loss, it’s literally just diet and exercise? Well, I wish I could say that they’re wrong and that mystery wrist-salve I bought off an infomercial in 1999 was the real key to weight loss, but they’re right. At least from my personal experience. Fuck the pills. Fuck the gimmicks. Maybe even fuck the gym membership – because if you’re interested in starting the process without getting burnt out, just start WALKING like I said before. I can’t stress enough how amazing the simple act of walking-for-exercise can be. And while you’re walking, start thinking about how you can change your diet.

Wow, what a segue!

DIET

When I was a kid, I thought diets were mainly Melba toast and cottage cheese and then when I was 20, I thought diets were starving yourself and then eating an entire pizza in a closet at 2am on a Tuesday. Then when I was 30, I thought diets were eating bland cabbage soup every day for a month. But like, apparently…you can still EAT while on a diet as long as you pay attention to the choices you make and then maybe also do that portion control thing that Oprah probably cried about in the 90s on her show that I didn’t watch.

Since I had become so entrenched in Kpop, it was a natural progression into other parts of Korean culture and one of those parts was the cuisine. I had started watching all kinds of YouTube videos and decided that South Korea was the place for me, and in order to feel closer to it, I asked Henry to start making me Korean food for dinner.

Of course, he was like, “Whatever” because this certainly wasn’t the weirdest thing I ever asked of him, and to be fair, Henry really enjoys cooking. My modified Korean meals are either rice or noodle-based and loaded with vegetables. Sometimes they’re broth-y, sometimes that have a wonderful dollop of gochujang. They’re almost always topped with either a poached or fried egg. I also eat kimchi nearly every day. My meals are nearly 100% unprocessed and around the 300-calorie range, and I am fucking FULL afterward.

Perhaps Henry could guest-blog sometime with some recipes, haha.

Choosing an ethnic cuisine to base a diet on is also really fun because it keeps it new and exciting! We do the bulk of our grocery shopping at various international markets, mostly Asian ones, and it’s exciting whenever I see a new-to-me fruit or vegetable! Choose a diet that allows you to be adventurous! Rice and veggies only sounds boring but the rice and veggies eat for dinner is super exotic and filling.

Currently, my breakfast is either a little bit of rice with kimchi, a poached egg, and laver (dried sheets of seaweed) or a bowl of Cinnamon Life with almond milk. I’m not a big breakfast person but you know what “they” say – don’t skip your breakfast!

My work-lunches are really sad and that has nothing to do with dieting. For years I have been having either oatmeal or Cream of Wheat, usually with an added banana. The reason for this bland meal is because I honestly cannot stand eating a heavier lunch and then having to sit at my desk for the rest of the day. If I’m not at work, my lunches are similar to  my dinners. But at work, I eat lightly and bookend it with a morning and afternoon snack – either a hardboiled egg (good thing I’m not a vegan because I eat a ton of eggs) or fruit. Depending on what our snack options are at work, I might grab something like a Special K pastry thin or a Fig Bar.

And sweet potatoes. I eat sweet potatoes like candy. OMG roasted sweet potatoes are like Nature’s Motherfucking Candy Bar, for real. There’s a reason why this is a popular Korean street food, you guys.

I also eat chocolate if I want to, and I’ll have a cookie if I want to. But I think about it first. Because the third part of my made up weight loss regimen is….

Food Tracking

Since I started this two years ago, I’ve lost 20 pounds. Remember when I said I lose weight slowly? Yeah. Genetics. But then I plateaued this summer because we were traveling a lot and my eating was getting out of whack. Like, I was having bagels for breakfast every morning and snacking on Cheez-its at work. I knew that I still wanted to lose about 10 more pounds, so around October, I signed up for a free trial of Noom. I thought it was just a food-tracking system, and it mostly is, but it also teaches you a lot about the psychology behind weight loss and weight gain. I know, that sounds terrible. But Noom does it in a way where it’s interesting and conversational, and it only takes about 5 minutes a day to plow through.

What I like about it is that they break up food into three color-coded categories and tell you how much you can have, based on your weight loss goal. So things like chocolate and whatever are obviously considered “red” but I know that I can have so many calories of them a day, so I don’t feel like it’s off-limits or that I’m being deprived. And even foods like almonds are considered “red” — they’re good for you but only in limited quantities which is something I always liked to purposely ignore because I love almonds and want to eat them all.

For me personally, it’s the perfect tracking system.

Since starting Noom, I’ve lost 10 more pounds and I’m happy where I am! It has helped me regain that willpower which I had lost. So now when I’m at my desk at work, thinking about snagging some chocolate, I will have a conversation in my head to see if I REALLY want it or if it’s a fleeting craving. Usually, it’s fleeting and I’ll just chug some water and refocus on whatever annoying work thing is in front of me, or I’ll get up and do a lap around the department. But if I’m still writing sonnets to See’s chocolates in my head, then I’ll go and have a piece and move on with my life.

Man, typing this out makes it seem so simple and implied, but these are all things that I honestly had to be taught.

I’m pretty sure there are free tracking apps out there too and you could always go analog and use a paper journal to log your food! But the reason why I opted for Noom was because I knew that if I was paying for it, I would use it. That’s just how I am.

Oh yeah….WATER

Drink it. Drink lots of it. Even when you feel like you can’t possibly gag back anymore, chug away motherfuckers! I didn’t realize how dehydrated I was until I started actually keeping tab on my water intake. I started feeling better almost immediately and my skin is great!

***

To wrap this up, the last thing I want to say is DON’T LET YOUR WEIGHT CONSUME YOU.

I’m not going to lie, this is something that I’m still working on. I still get obsessed with the number on the scale and I am working so hard to stop being afraid of food when it’s out of my control, for example: a work lunch that interrupts my routine and forces me to eat something that I can’t easily track. I know better than to get mired down by these things but sometimes I succumb. But, when my work group had our Christmas lunch, I ordered a big fat gourmet grilled cheese and enjoyed it without panic. I just didn’t eat for three days afterward.

I’M KIDDING! DON’T DO THAT!

So, more than “losing weight,” my goal for 2019 is to calm the eff down and stop being so hyperactive about progress, plateaus, and (p)routines. I feel like I’m really close to finding a balance now that I know better what works for me and what my no-no foods are.

You know that annoying thing fitness gurus say about how this is a lifestyle change or whatever the fuck? I’M SORRY but they’re right ugh. I learned that I am always going to have to be mindful of what I eat and keep fitness a part of my daily life otherwise all my hard work is gonna be flushed down the commode. No more invincibility.

My whole point, from what I personally have learned, is that weight loss is going to be different for everyone. What works for you might not work for me, and while cardio-dancing to BIGBANG and Sistar and eating rice and noodles works for me, it…you know, might not work for you, lol. I finally learned that I had to tailor a program to suit my own personality, interests, and lifestyle, and I had to reason with myself that my goal weight might not actually be the weight my body wants to be – I do have a lot of muscle, after all!

And this reasoning is what worked for me.

So, I’m sorry that I didn’t have an easy answer! Trust me, I wish it was as easy as taking a pill everyday (my friend Brian and I were devastated with fen-phen was banned, lol), drinking apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, or rubbing mysterious salve on my wrists. But I had to actually work for it even though most days, it feels less like work and just like, I don’t know, living.

(Just want to reiterate that everyone is different, I am not a doctor or any sort of licensed expert although I do have a bartending license thing so don’t do something dumb and then try to sue me. This is just the system I’ve found that works well for myself, but hopefully it gave you some insight!)

Jan 092019
 

First full week where I’m in the office every day since November probably and bitch it shows. I’m struggling.

We had a new admin start on Monday and today she had to suffer through two whole hours of being trained by me. I asked her if anyone had showed her the supply room yet and when she said yes I guess I looked noticeably sad because she said, “We…could go again?” So we did! But it was sad because the supply room guy told me that they’re no longer stocking my favorite red pens — they’re his favorite too so we bonded over that and he encouraged me to take a bunch since they’ll be NOTHING BUT A MEMORY soon.

It’s fine.

Anyway, new admin told me that she thought we were the same age and she is only in her late 20s so I will be keeping this one.

This drive-by blog post is brought to you by my burnt out brain and this great Winner video:

ETA: Lol just realized I posted the wrong video not that anyone cares but we’ll leave that one there as a bonus bc this a cool rookie group, and here is the actual Winner video, wow such generosity on my part:

Jan 082019
 

I woke up Saturday morning at some unholy hour and had an idea for a new greeting card, and then any chance I had of falling back asleep was slaughtered.

Here’s some Kpop lore for you, which you will need to know to fully understand this card: Korea has an abundance of music countdown shows, similar to TRL, where Kpop groups come on and perform their latest single. One of the shows is called Inkigayo (“popular song”) and they are notorious for selling a sandwich that the idols go wild over.

Legend has it that G-Dragon has been known to use those sandwiches as a carrier pigeon to get his number to whichever female idol he had his eyes on at the time. Look, I don’t know if this is true or not, but Seungri (from G-Dragon’s group BIGBANG) said it once on a variety show!

And now that there’s a new dating “scandal” in the kpop world with Jennie (Blackpink) and Kai (EXO), this whole Inkigayo sandwich rumor has returned and the memes are so entertaining!

So I thought to myself, while half-asleep, wouldn’t it be funny to make a card shaped like the Inkigayo sandwich where the sender could hide a message inside…

I started picturing a children’s pop-up book, where there are also tabs to pull, and I thought, “Maybe it could be a piece of lettuce that could slide out of the sandwich…”

But that’s because silly me forgot for a second that this is a Korean sandwich, which are way different than American sandwiches that are stacked with lunchmeat and cheese. I googled Inkigayo sandwich just so I could have an accurate depiction for my design, and quickly realized that there are no trimmings of lettuce or tomato sticking out that I could use.

Do you guys know what’s in an Inkigayo sandwich?

It’s three layers.

One layer has cabbage, cucumber, apples and corn. It looks like a coleslaw. I’m down for that.

Another layer has boiled potatoes, eggs and crab. So, like an egg and potato salad combined with some crab thrown in. I don’t eat seafood, but maybe it’s fake? If so, still down for that.

But you guys.

The middle layer, though.

It’s…strawberry jam.

At first I was like, “What, no.” But I gotta say, I think I’d STILL BE DOWN FOR THAT.

I LOVE putting jam or jelly on grilled cheese so, maybe this is similar?

Apparently, these sandwiches have become so popular that the 7-Elevens in Korea sell them now so that might be my first stop when I go back, you can judge me, I’m cool with it.

Picture from Korea Herald

So, since I had no protruding produce to work with like on a beefy American ‘wich, I made an “Inkigayo Sandwich” label which the actual sandwiches do have, according to the pictures I’ve seen, and that’s what you pull out to reveal the message!

I used Jennie and Kai for my example message. Have you SEEN Kai rock a croptop though? Jennie is so lucky.

Image result for kai crop top

Kai, you’re rude.

The back of the card is gold glittered cardstock, making it nice and sturdy.

View this post on Instagram

If you’re up to your neck in Kpop gossip like me then you have definitely heard the lore behind the infamous Inkigayo sandwich. Legend has it (thanks, Seungri!) that G-Dragon used to give his number to female idols by hiding it inside the super popular Inkigayo sandwiches. With the latest dating news of Jennie and Kai, the Inkigayo sandwich has been coming up a lot again and I thought it would be fun to make a card based on this where you could hide a message and have the recipient pull the Inkigayo tab to reveal it. Call it the InkiHELLO card, if you want! This card is blank, and backed with glittery cardstock. It still fits in the standard-sized envelopes (don’t worry – we tested! Just stick it in there on a diagonal!) so you don’t have to walk this card to your friends house and hand-deliver it, unless you feel like you really need the exercise. • • • • #idolsandwich #bangtanboys #kai #exo #jennie #gdragon #valentine #greetingcard #kpop #kpopmemes #kpopgossip #kpoptea #bigbang #winner #ikon #blackpink #bangtansonyeondan #wannaone #superjunior #daebakdesigners

A post shared by Hello Hanguk! (@hello_hanguk) on

I’m obsessed with this card! You could use it for so many things! Here’s the link to it – go snatch one up!

 Let’s cap this off with a video of BIGBANG performing Bae Bae on Inkigayo!

Jan 072019
 

Look, we all make mistakes. My latest one was falling for some Instagram ad for this awesome looking tiger* coat that LOOKED like something one would wear outside in the cold, and  the price was reasonable so I bought it and then quickly realized it was coming from China, so RIP my hopes and dreams. 

*(The description on the website says it’s a Dragon but it looks more tiger-like to me?)

**(OK, I sort of get the dragon-esque vibes now.)

It took a month and a half to arrive and I knew before I even opened it that it was going to be a dud. The package was too small and light! Oh, that’s because IT’S NOT A COAT. It’s more like…a robe. And it feels like something you would buy at the Halloween store! Like Dracula’s cape! I had just finished sending them an irate, increasingly ALL CAPS email threatening to burn their warehouse to the ground, when I turned around to see Chooch modeling it and I was like OK FINE WE’LL KEEP IT. He made it look cool!

He wore it to his piano lesson yesterday (“I feel like this is something G-Dragon would wear,” he said, which made it even better of course) and his teacher Cheryl loved it. (She has a neck tattoo now?! She is even cooler than before! I love neck tattoos! Well, the cool ones, not the prison ones.)

Then we did a quick photoshoot which didn’t involve any arguing, surprisingly (between Chooch and me; I emasculated Henry for a good seven minutes straight, don’t worry.

It’s an empty bottle guys. I think it might even the same bottle that was there when we took pictures at this same location 2 years ago so you can go ahead and put down that phone now. 

I’m so mad this isn’t a legit coat! I’d have fucking worn it everyday. But as it is now, Chooch likes to throw it on (along with a gas mask) when he hears Blake and Haley going outside to smoke NO NOT BECAUSE HE’S GOING TO SMOKE WITH THEM PUT DOWN THE FUCKING PHONE but because he likes to lecture them on how smoking is bad for their health. So this is like his uniform for that new role in life. 

We watched Bird Box last night but Chooch wasn’t wearing his new “coat” during it.  I was mildly interested after hearing all the DON’T DO THE BIRD BOX CHALLENGE warnings, but truth be told, Sandra Bullock is one of my least favorite actors in the whole entire world and I have been pretty successful in avoiding her for the last decade or so. But my mom was all, “You have to watch it! I watched it 5 times!” 

So we watched it.

My spoilerless thoughts:

  • What a waste of Sarah Paulson
  • It didn’t live up to the hype in my eyes (horror is my favorite genre) but I did like it and it did freak me out and made me scared that this could be the future
  • I’m glad it didn’t go the Cloverfield route
  • S.Bullock was mildly acceptable in this role

This is also isn’t a spoiler but she had two kids in the movie: a boy and a girl named Boy and Girl. Chooch said he was surprised that I didn’t name him Boy and I told him I almost named him Orphan instead SERIOUSLY STOP CALLING CPS IT WAS A JOKE. 

Chooch’s final thoughts on the jacket was that it reminded him of something that a rich man would wear while laying in bed with 10 prostitutes, so…a Huge Hefner robe? I don’t know how he knows about that. Go ahead, you can call CPS on Henry. 

After all that,  I texted my mom and she said she hated the ending so I was like THEN WHY DID YOU WATCH IT 5X.

PROBABLY THE SAME LOGIC I HAD FOR BUYING THIS DUMB GIGOLO ROBE.

Jan 062019
 

Hello. Hi. Annyeong. It’s been a minute since I did a bulletpoint recap of my life (I think? I can’t remember what bullshit I spray up onto this piece anymore!) so here is a pointless, themeless collection of pictures and thoughts that I need to preserve like some kind of basic berry because I’m obsessed with memories.

  • I have become increasingly curmudgeonly on my daily lunch break walks, especially when I’m strolling through the Strip District and just so you know my version of strolling is what most other people would consider speedwalking. I’m always in a rush, OK. Anyway, I am so fucking sick of people walking in trios and quads and taking up the entire girth of the goddamn sidewalk! It’s even worse in the Strip (“So just stop walking in the Strip,” some people might say and I just might say DON’T TELL ME back to those some people) because you get all the local tourists who have to stop and lollygag  in front of every store and then I’m like crashing into them because HELLO WHY ARE YOU STOPPING ABRUPTLY? One day last week, some broad had to actually grab her husband’s arm and pull him to the side after he continued to stand in my way EVEN AFTER SEEING THAT I WAS TRYING TO PASS HIM and I just fucking lost it inside my head and decided that I AM GOING TO RUN FOR MAYOR to which asked, “What good will that do?” BECAUSE THEN I WILL PATROL THE SIDEWALKS, obviously.
  • Did I tell you about Chooch’s crossword puzzle obsession? As of this writing, he seems to have cooled it but for about two weeks, he was terrorizing Henry and me with crossword inquiries and it was so annoying because we basically were completing every puzzle for him!
    • Chooch: I’m still trying to figure out what ‘to break bread’ means… Me: EAT?!
    • Chooch: So I guess the sound a raven makes is “cad.” Me: “Caw.” Chooch, in a smart-ass, challenging tone: Oh OK then what’s an unwanted plant?? Me: “Weed.” Chooch, whispering: ……dammit. I had “dead.”
    • Chooch, crossword mode: “That smarts”…..? Me: Hurts. Chooch: Hurts? Me: Hurts. Chooch: Hurts. Hurts…..hurts….? Huh? Me: HURTS. THAT SMARTS. THAT HURTS. Chooch: …. Me: I KNOW. ITS DUMB. BUT ITS THE ANSWER. *5 minutes later* Me: Did it fit? Chooch, smug: It was “ouch.”
      • I’d come home from work and in lieu of a “hello,” I’d be hit with an urgent “WHO IS BLANK LUPINO??”
        • Finally I realized that if he’s doing crossword puzzles, that means he’s NOT PLAYING FORTNITE so now I want him to go back to asking us annoying questions.

  • Three more weeks until I get to see this sweet face in person! (From like, far away, but still — under the same roof!) I even made a pendant in honor of that:

  • Henry made the mistake of saying last night that he never watched the 90s TV show Life Goes On so then he had to suffer through an hour of YouTube clips and endure the story of the the time one of the episodes was about Becca’s school having a Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance and my dad absolutely latched on to this in the way that only he could – with hyper aggressive giddy obsession* – and for years he would randomly assault us by blurting out DADDY DAUGHTER DINNER DANCE! at any given moment. I still sometimes find myself saying this out loud for no reason!
    • *I think about this a lot and laugh because my dad is actually my stepdad, yet I have the same knack for hysterically obsessing over little nuances. I know I have told the story on here about his quest for Caramel Caribou ice cream, but I always think about this when I’m on the hunt for something random and obscure that probably no one else wants, and then I have a long think about nature vs nurture.

  • My favorite walk leader (lol) from the Leslie Sansone walking workout series on YouTube released a new video on New Years Day and I am so giddy about it! Chooch is NOT – he hates these workouts and yes, they are corny as fuck and Leslie Sansone laughs like Janice from Friends and I hate her, but these workouts are good for days when it’s too cold or wet to go outside for a real walk, OK?? I will go into greater detail later this week because at the request of one whole person, I am going to write a bit of a summary of my diet and fitness routine so if you don’t care about that, be prepared to skip it!

  • The day after Christmas, I took Chooch to the science center and I don’t have much to say about it because I’m an ignorant dumbass who hates learning, but we did have a pretty nice day because it wasn’t too overly crowded and Henry wasn’t with us (lol). The above picture is us getting ready to watch some dumb planetarium show about that asshole Elmo going to the moon. It was really boring but I needed to sit down so. Later, Chooch volunteered with four other (little little kids) to be a taste tester in some presentation about the tongue. All the other kids were given things like salt water, sugar water, lemon water, I forget the other one, but when it was Chooch’s turn to guess what he had, he scowled and said, “SOY SAUCE.” Hahaha, he was given the umami example! He hates soy sauce so much, so this was worth the price of admission for me. (They all just had to swish it around and spit it out, so Chooch didn’t actually have to DRINK soy sauce, don’t worry.)

  • The other day, Chooch asked Siri for healthy desserts for people on a diet and now she’s giving him the number to the suicide hotline and asked him if he wants her to dial it for him. That took a turn.
  • On New Years Eve, we were trying desperately to get Henry to wake up from his nap and he kept shrugging us off so then Chooch had the brilliant idea to pretend that he cut himself and he put fake blood all over his hand and we ran into the bedroom screaming like lunatics and Henry didn’t believe us for even a second, he’s the worst caretaker ever, but then Chooch’s fake wound looked so realistic that I started dry-heaving and this was AFTER I threw up in my mouth because there was a hairy raisin stuck to the side of my shoe, so that was our NYE in a nutshell.
  • I realized yesterday that this is the year we get 4 of the BIGBANG boys back from the military and to say that gave me life is a huge understatement. I AM FUCKING LIVING FOR THIS.
  • I had Korean food for dinner at Nak Won Garden with this girl Bethany I met randomly a few years ago when we were zombie Golden Girls together because it turns out she used to teach in Korea back when G-Dragon was getting ready to make his solo debut and has no one to have Korean food with here! I was nervous because aside from that zombie thing, we’ve never hung out and you know how socially backward I can be. But it was a really nice dinner and fun to (finally!!!) have someone here who understands my love for all things Korean, plus the first thing she said to me when I walked in, after telling me she loved my coat (sorry Chooch!) was that I lost a lot of weight and looked great, and you know, when I got home that night, I was trying to figure out the year we did that zombie thing so I was scrolling through Flickr and it turns out it was way back in 2014 and for god’s sake, I did lose a lot of weight. I never do the side-by-side thing because I feel weird about it but there was one picture in particular I saw that was taken of me when I was doing some volunteering thing for work and I could not believe that was me. So I think maybe today I will have Henry take my picture and I will post a comparison in my upcoming health post because I didn’t realize how far I really have come!
  • And last but not least, Ikon won the Daesang at the Golden Disc Awards the other night and I am so happy and proud of them and of YG for representin’ and keeping the legacy alive even while BIGBANG is on military hiatus (oh and speaking of, they won the Bonsang award for their single Flower Road, which was released after they enlisted, and they won that award for a song that had no music video and had absolutely no promotions done for it. LEGENDS DID THAT.) Here is a video of Ikon’s performance at the GDA, because it is so good and they deserved to win that award for Love Scenario, which was a total jam. Also, when we were in Hongdae last year, they were walking around giving out hugs and I’m fairly certain that we saw Chanwoo but dumb Henry made us cross the street, ughhhhh.

 

 

Jan 042019
 

I’m one of those super uncultured losers who aren’t into the theater at all, especially musicals, and I have someone managed to make it to the year 2019 without hearing a single song from the soundtrack. But I at least knew the gist of it though, because I’m a moderately-educated American.

For instance, Chooch was surprised when I mentioned something about Aaron Burr the other day.

“You know about that?!” he asked, incredulous at the prospect of his lame mom knowing anything at all about Hamilton.

“Well, yeah,” I cried defensively. “I went to school!”

But in reality, I only know about Aaron Burr thanks to that Got Milk commercial from the 90s, but hey – AT LEAST I KNEW.

Our tickets were for this past Wednesday, January 2, which was perfect because it was still close enough to Christmas that it felt like a Christmas present for Chooch, and it was the second performance of the Pittsburgh run. Part of me was like, “Cool let’s get this over with” but there was definitely a part that was curious as well. People kept telling me that I had to listen to the soundtrack first or else I probably wouldn’t “understand” the show, but I never got around to it. Guys, when I’m obsessed with something, I have blinders on. There was no room in any of my days to listen to this.

Henry brought Chooch downtown on Wednesday. When I walked over to the car to get him, Henry was like, “Um, watch where you stand” and I was like, “?????????”

I looked down at my feet and there was a puddle of something near them.

OH, JUST CHOOCH’S PUKE, YOU GUYS.

Apparently, he drank bad egg nog at school and by the time Henry brought him downtown, his stomach had had enough and he puked outside of the car.

I started to panic. Was he going to make it through this night? Was I going to have to quickly sell these tickets? But Chooch was like, “No, I’m fine! I’ll be OK, I swear!” I had planned on taking him to V3 for pre-show pizza, but he was like, “I had pizza for lunch…” meaning, the puddle on the sidewalk was his pizza. He was like, “I just won’t eat, I’ll just get a drink” but then he agreed to split a personal pizza with me. He seemed to perk up after that, but I had flashbacks to when I was the same age as him and my mom took my best friend Christy and me to the Fulton Theater downtown to see Annie, the only musical I have ever truly loved. (OK, and RHPS, too.) Prior to the show, we stopped and had pizza. Christy started to complain halfway through the show of a stomach ache.

By the time the show was over and we were leaving our seats, she had apparently gotten worse. I kept jokingly pushing her down the steps in the aisle, in spite of her warnings that she was going to puke. I laughed like the greatest friend that I am and said “Yeah right!” as I gave her one final push. Her final plea was cut off halfway through as her words were replaced by a spewing geyser of vomit.

It was one of those AND TIME STOOD STILL moments. I vividly remember this little girl walking by with her rich-bitch mommy in a fur coat and screaming, “EW MOMMY LOOK!” Christy was mortified, my mom was like, “She’s not with me” and I was laughing because well, I was a dick even back then.

To this day, Christy gets mad when I bring this up.

Was Chooch going to yak during Hamilton? Did we have an aisle seat?! WAS IT TOO LATE FOR HENRY TO COME BACK AND TAKE MY PLACE?!

But, by the time we finished the pizza, Chooch was feeling fine. I knew he didn’t want to miss this show  but I still kept asking him over and over because PLEASE DON’T EMBARRASS ME. Karma, come back another day!

He seemed completely back to normal once we walked over to the Benedum – maybe seeing the lights and all of the Hamilton posters chased the spoiled egg nog away (his idiot Communications teacher gave it to him and it was from the class Christmas party THAT HAPPENED BEFORE CHRISTMAS BREAK. WTF was she thinking?!). We had about an hour before the show started but I’m always nervous before any type of event so I was like, “WE’RE HERE SO WE MIGHT AS WELL JUST GO IN OMG YOU DIDN’T BRING A SWITCHBLADE DID YOU?” as we walked through the security checkpoint.

He didn’t, thank god. And I brought a tiny purse with nothing other than my phone and lipgloss in it so we breezed right through and then got in the merch line to pay a fucking $40 t-shirt (a steal when compared to the $50 water bottle that Chooch originally wanted. A FIFTY DOLLAR WATER BOTTLE.)

After that, we had 30 minutes to kill before we were allowed to go to our seats (which, btw, were not on the aisle) so we sat near a balcony and judged people.

“Even with all  these rich people here, I dare you to find a nicer coat than mine down there,” I challenged Chooch, and after craning his neck for several minutes, he reluctantly conceded that my awesome goldenrod tapestry coat was indeed the best coat in the whole house. *blows on fingertips*

Our seats weren’t as terrible as I thought! We were in the balcony but the view was great.

Our seats were right next to my friend Lori from work and her mom. Lori and I went and bought our tickets at the same time at the box office several weeks ago so the box office guy gave us seats next to each other, which was cool. She took a picture of me looking at my phone and posted it on Facebook with the caption, “Sorry Erin, there are no Koreans in this production” or something and of course all the people liking it were our fellow co-workers, ugh! It’s true though that I did look up the cast in advance to see if any Koreans were in it and I was excited for a second when it looked like  the guy playing Washington was Korean but it ended up being a different traveling cast, ugh.

I’m not gonna lie – I was nervous when the lights went down and the first scene started, because like I said, I hadn’t listened to any of the songs and people were essentially shaming me for this. But I got into it very easily! Maybe just people who aren’t familiar with rap/hip hop should listen to it first? I don’t know, but that’s the music I listened to for most of my teen years so I wasn’t like, shocked, and if anything, even though it did have a lot of flava to it, it still mostly sounded like a musical to me.

I won’t go into every single detail here but my lord, that by far surpassed the hype, in my opinion. And I’m one of those people who’s extremely stubborn and will often hate popular things right away without giving it a chance because I’m not a very agreeable personality. This is also why I was glad that we got tickets for the second night because it seems like nearly our entire department is going to see it at some point and I feel like if I had to sit there and hear people around me talking about it every day, I would probably get tired of hearing about it and lose interest, maybe? This is the type of person I am. You’re learning lots about me today!

BUT WAIT BACK UP — this is really about Chooch. I was scared that he would lose interest at some point because he’s like that – even when we’re at concerts for bands he likes, he’s like checking his phone for Fortnite updates and getting fidgety. But on this night, he sat up straight, never took his eyes off the stage (except for a few times when he was trying to look at things in the program, which was adorable), and he fucking applauded like this was 1942 and he was wearing gloves at the Opera. I kept sneaking peeks at him and it was absolutely heart-warming to see the expression on his face! 100% worth the hassle and cost of those tickets (Henry has reminded me numerous times that my G-Dragon tickets cost nearly 3x what I paid for Hamilton LOLOLOL all the way to the poor house).

By the end of the show, my face was wet from all the tears. “I KNEW you would cry!” Chooch laughed.

I wasn’t prepared for how emotionally draining it would be! I am so happy that we went. I learned a lot too, lol! I would 100% not only recommend this to everyone I know, but I would go see it again for sure. It really felt we were watching the theatrical masterpiece of our generation.

When we got home that night, Chooch had to do his homework still so he put on the Hamilton soundtrack and started writing Hamilton-related sample sentences using prepositional phrases, but only after he opened up the program and underlined all of his favorite songs after seeing the show live. So, I think it’s safe to say that this really was Chooch’s “big” Christmas present — and he didn’t embarrass me by puking!

[P.S. Someone on Instagram asked if we “let” Henry come too and 1. we aren’t rich people who could afford three tickets to that, thanks;  and 2. Henry preferred to stay home and have his own private musical called “Henry Has the House to Himself.” Act 1: Whoa, Time to Watch AMERICAN TV! Act 2: Sleeping on the Couch with the Cat.]

Jan 032019
 

The best part about the end of December is that all of the major Korean broadcast networks put on these huge televised “song festivals” where the biggest songs of the year are performed and some of the bigger Kpop agencies put on “special stages” full of collabs and mashups, medleys and rearrangements. It’s really fun and some of the stages are CRAZY. I wanted to share some of my favorites here because I’m excited about them OK and I was a big advocate of “show and tell”  in preschool. SO LET ME SHOW AND TELL.

OK, first up is the one I have gone back and watched the most because it’s nuts. It requires some background info for any non-kpop fan to fully appreciate: So, one of the big Kpop agencies, SM, did this really genius thing where they created something more than just a Kpop boy band. They put together a literal LEAGUE of talent called NCT which stands for Neo Culture Technology and the whole point is to have members from various cities around the world (for instance: Johnny is from Chicago and Mark is from Vancouver). NCT is then split up into sub-groups: NCT 127 (127 is the longitudinal coordinate of Seoul on a map); NCT U; NCT Dream; NCT 2018 (features all of the members); and the upcoming Chinese subgroup slated to debut this month, WayV. I know, it’s kind of a lot to absorb and even I don’t fully know all of the members. For instance, Mark just “graduated” from NCT Dream and I don’t know what that means!? And I also just learned that the members of NCT U change based on each concept. IT’S TOO MUCH. But I think you probably get the gist.

Now, knowing all of this, one of the big stages saw each NCT unit performing a snippet of a song before coming together as NCT 2018 for the final song. It was so powerful and exhausting to watch, especially because Mark (the Canadian!) is in each unit and had to run from each stage to join the next group. There are days when I come home from work and don’t want to do anything but lay on the couch, but then I think of the NCT boys and I’m like, “Fine, I’ll do an old person walking workout or something, ugh.”

My NCT bias Haechan was sadly missing from this performance because he’s recovering from an injury. :(

Related image

This next one doesn’t really need an explanation because Kai’s rose-in-teeth dance intro is um, more than enough:

Mino, a/k/a G-Dragon’s apprentice, has killer stage presence, and Winner as a whole always put on such fun and joyful stages – how can you not smile during this?! (Also, that’s my bias in the YouTube thumbnail for this, le sigh.)

Seulgi (Red Velvet) and Daehwi  (Wanna One) joined Sunmi for a collab of her song Heroine and I felt it:

I know, I know, where’s the BTS videos?! They were all over the end of the year shows, but what I really liked the most, even more than the medley of old songs they performed, was that they each did a portion of their solos. I really like when they get to shine as individuals because that’s when the casual observer can really understand why Kpop groups have so many members sometimes: everyone adds something to the mix! They are so talented on their own, and this really shows it:

(Not to sway your decision, but J-Hope’s and Jin’s solos are my favorites.)

However, while we were watching these over the weekend, I couldn’t help but feel that there was something lacking, and then of course I realized it was BIGBANG. Ugh, I hate this military hiatus! BTS might be the current kings of Kpop (well, let’s just call them the princes) and you guys know I love them a lot, but IN MY OPINION, they don’t have quite the effortless stage presence as BIGBANG. When I first started to poke around the rabbit hole of Kpop, I was instantly snatched by BIGBANG. I remember thinking, “Well, I like them but I probably won’t like, ever know their names or anything.” LOL flash forward to me watching video compilations of G-Dragon eating, learning Korean, and booking a flight to Korea. BIGBANG was my gateway drug, you guys, and I miss them so much that I will put on old videos of their music show performances and cry (I was doing that this morning, you can ask Henry).

Also, BIGBANG is UNDENIABLY the best-dressed group in all of Kpop Kingdom.

I miss you, GD.

Well, there you go. Some videos to distract you from work or whatever boring thing you’re doing right now (watching your kids?).

Jan 012019
 

On Sunday, we went to the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland because I’ve been on this “must see the Christmas decorations” kick and figured that would be the last chance. I like to visit the Cathedral every so often because it brings me great peace which is funny considering that whenever I was an actual student there I felt sick to myself every single time I walked in that place. Lol.

(Afterward we went to Sumi’s for some Korean 빵 and boba tea. The girl working was listening to Wanna One and Henry kept trying to get me to talk to her but I wouldn’t because I am the epitome of awkward shut-in when it comes to spontaneous social interactions.)

Anyway, these are the last pictures I took in 2018 because I worked dumb late shift from home on New Years Eve and instead of going to any parties I opted to stay in and watch rollercoaster and Winner videos because you know what, THAT IS WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY which leads me to my 2019 resolution which is CONTINUING MAKING MYSELF HAPPY.

A few years ago I realized that the key to (my) happiness was being selfish. Yeah, I’m a selfish person when I need to be, I say no way more now than I used to, and I don’t feel guilty for opting to make more time for myself. It makes me less stressed which in turn makes me more bearable to be around (mostly, right Henry? Lol).

2018 was a real rollercoaster (lol) but this was the first time in years that I made it through a year without it giving me the proverbial bad taste in my mouth. Yes, politically and socially shit is more fucked than ever. But on a personal front, 2018 didn’t do me too dirty.

Of course I had my lows. How can you highs without the lows? I basically don’t want to remember the month of June at all but at least I can say that I made it, I moved on, I grew (a little bit?).

But man, the highs were so high that they made the lows seems like super distant memories. We went to goddamn Korea, the trip of my dreams, and my life was changed.

We went to NYC twice, and a bunch of awesome amusement parks beyond Kennywood like Everland, Holidayworld, Knoebel’s, and Dollywood.

Overall, when I think of 2018, one word comes to mind and it is F-U-N.

So why fix something that’s not broken? I want to fill 2019 with even more fun! More amusement parks, more trips, more Kpop concerts (we’ve already got two coming up!).

Another thing that will continue into 2019 is my obsession with overall wellness. It was New Year’s Day 2013 (OMG that feels so long ago) when I was tipping the scale at 200 pounds and FINALLY got the wake-up call to make changes. My journey has been extremely slow and my methods have changed over the years, but the bottom line is that my main focus is always on my health/fitness, and I’m happy to say that even though it has taken me since last spring to get myself into the “healthy BMI zone” whatever the fuck that even means, the mindset and routines are cemented into my brain now. Sometimes I’m SOOOOO near-sighted when it comes to this part of my life and I get all stressed out over gaining a pound or two when the bigger picture is that I have lost over 50 pounds and am way more physically active than I have ever been!

I don’t give myself enough credit for that. So this is me, I don’t know, giving myself credit. As cringe-y as this makes me feel!

But the whole reason I brought this up is because Chooch has willingly, on his own, decided that he’s ready to make lifestyle changes too! I’m so excited about this! We started working out together (he’s now a huge fan of Jillian Michaels lol) and I’ve been helping him make healthy food choices. He’s even agreed to eat the same things I eat for dinner now which makes Henry happy because he used to have to make us separate meals since Chooch is so picky and I’m so Korean (lol). In just a week, Chooch has already noticed a difference in himself and has begun to look forward to our workouts! It’s a really great feeling to know that I’m contributing to what hopefully become lifelong healthy habits for him and not looking for the easy way out, fast fixes, and crash diets like I used to do because I didn’t have anyone in my life who was like, “Lose the Slim-Fast and try actually eating healthy meals.”

(LOL @ Henry sleeping in the back of the class)

During one of our Leslie Sansone walking workouts (you guys, they’re so dumb and we make up back-stories for everyone in her walking crew, like this one broad who we have pegged as a chronic adultress), I suggested to Chooch that we start our own YouTube workouts and he was like “big fat NO to that.”

Now that Chooch is a nutritionist, he’s been criticizing Henry’s poor choices. Henry snapped one day and yelled, “OH, AND YOU’RE JUST THE PICTURE OF HEALTH!” Henry is so supportive, basically the manager of our fan cafe.

Chooch made a food-shaming video of Henry eating an ice cream in the car on the way home from the grocery store last weekend and it is EVERYTHING. Chooch’s laugh in this video makes me nearly pee my pants:

The more I reflect back on 2018, the happier I am with how it turned out. There is always room for improvement though so I’m not going to be a slacker during 2019 by any means! I definitely don’t like how easily I succumb to negativity so that’s on the list of shit to work on. Baby steps! My power of persuasion can only get me so far. It’s not actually a super power!

I just asked Henry if he has anything he wants to say about 2019 and he said, “Yeah, 2019 you’re on your own” because that’s his “resolution” that he has been threatening Chooch and me with for the last few days, something about how he’s not going to do anything for us anymore and we’ll have to feed ourselves, blah blah blah.

LOL ok Henry.

Well, here’s to another year of riding roller coasters, staying off Facebook (honestly the best decision!), laugh-puking with Chooch, and maybe Korea again!? And on that note, I’m going to rest for a bit because I have my annual New Year’s fever – it’s the weirdest thing. I almost always start the new year with a fever WHAT DOES IT MEAN.

SHINee Taemin sexiest dance moves

Dec 302018
 

Before I start spraying misspelled words down on this page like a n00b with a machine gun, I just want to say that I hope everyone who may be reading this (even hate-reading this) had a wonderful December 25th, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. It’s such a rough time for so many people to get through and that was definitely heavy on my mind all day.

That being said, our Christmas was very lowkey and minimalistic. We do that wasteful thing every year where we feel like OMG THE BOTTOM OF THE TREE NEEDS TO BE STUFFED so we end up buying a bunch of crap that Chooch doesn’t want or need, just to beef it up, and what’s the point of that? It’s useless. So this year, we only got him several small things like t-shirts, a set of vintage Bambi glasses that I found on Ebay because he’s still obsessed with Bambi, a gaming mouse…things that we knew he would actually wear/use. Plus, he’s 12 now and that’s a really weird age. He’s not into “toys” anymore and aside from a gaming PC (big fat nope) there was nothing that he was specifically begging for. I thought it would be fun to give him “adventure presents,” such as a trip to the Science Center the day after Xmas, because Henry kept promising him for years and never actually took him so I got to be the hero which is my whole purpose as a parent. And also, we tacked on an extra day for our “Erin Bought Winner Tickets So I Guess We’re Going to Toronto Now” trip next month so that Chooch can actually see some sights and we’re going to swing by Niagara Falls too, which he’s never been to. Things like this are far more special than a new video game or whatever, and I think he’s finally starting to appreciate that and he understands that the less money we spend on materialistic junk, the more opportunities we’ll have to travel.

(Henry’s reading this and thinking, “But when will ERIN understand that…?” Lol.)

“Patiently” waiting for Henry to get his ass downstairs so he could start opening shit.

The kid is still really into Bambi, like I said, so he didn’t even care that this was:

  • not actally Bambi;
  • from the women’s section of Target

This fucking ornament came just in time on Christmas Eve, fucking Miles Kimball and their slow-ass shipping. I had to get in it unpersonalized because each hat could only have 8 letters, so I just did it myself. They didn’t have an ornament with two kids on a roller coaster while the dad sat on a bench in the background, so this one will have to do. Chooch loved it and immediately hung it on Trudy’s boob, I mean, bough.

We both love the movie The Lost Boys so when Blvck Cat did another limited run of these shirts, I couldn’t pass it up. Funny story though, I apparently pre-ordered it last September/October and proceeded to forget about it until a week before Christmas when I got an email notification saying that it shipped. What a happy surprise!

We also printed and framed this picture of Henry that Chooch took in Busan – this damn picture made us publicly crack up to the point of tears and you better believe that Henry was not OK with this. I love giving memories as gifts and thought it would be something that could make Chooch laugh on bad days. I made the gift tag say it was from the Ahjussis on the Subway – Chooch said his favorite part of Christmas is looking at what I write on the gift tags, so that made me super happy because it’s such a simple little thing but it somehow became “tradition” along the way. For instance, his ornament was from Dolly Parton’s Big Gigantic Boobs, since Dollywood was the last park we visited.

Chooch’s one big gift this year was Hamilton tickets because it’s in Pittsburgh for the month of January and Chooch LOVES it. I won’t even go into the trauma and stress I experienced trying to get tickets to this fucking thing, but I will say that it was funny listening to my co-workers stress out over it too and I was just like, “Yo, try getting tickets to a KPOP concert, though…”

Anyway, I had a mild nervous breakdown because tickets, even the shitty ones that I managed to snag, were so expensive, but my work friend Lori validated it by reminding me that this is like the Shakespeare of our time and that it’s a major cultural experience for Chooch, so it’s worth it. Then Henry was like, “Um, you paid more for BTS tickets so I don’t know why you’re acting so sick over this?”

Yeah, but it’s different when it’s something for me!

#SelfishErinIsSelfish

“How can we package this so that a really great present starts out as something traumatic?” I wondered aloud, and Henry and I decided that we needed to make a fake minigolf envelope to put the tickets in, so that Chooch would first think he was getting a gift certificate for minigolf which he would HATE after we went to that one minigolf place in Tennessee and he declared that he hates minigolf and never wants to play it again, got mad at us for laughing, and then almost set the place up in flames with the power of his pissed-off mind alone.

So I made this fake minigolf logo which Henry glued to the front of the envelopes that the tickets came in, but I still didn’t feel like this was good enough….

…so then we stuck the envelope in Doll’s hand and wrapped her up in a box for his last present.

When he opened it, he was like, “REALLY” because he fucking hates Doll, but then he saw what was in her hand and his face started to get super red, like, “WE WERE HAVING A GOOD DAY, YOU GUYS, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE ASSHOLE PARENTS” but then when he saw what was inside in the envelope, he was like, “OMG.”

Full disclosure, while Chooch and Henry had a fine day, I still let my dumb emotions and ill-feelings toward the holiday get the best of me and so I stormed out of the house mid-morning, snarling over my shoulder that I JUST WANTED TO BE ALONE so I went for a dumb walk and as I was halfway down Brookline Boulevard, I started to pass the man on foot in front of me and realized THAT IT WAS MY EX-NEIGHBOR BOOTS.

So for half a second, I was WALKING WITH BOOTS.

Wow, that was enough to bring me back down to earth. I went home after that and I was fucking fine for the rest of the day, that’s for damn sure.

Later that afternoon, we decided to go to the cemetery for a walk. Usually, Henry would prepare something small to eat and we would have a quick (and usually, freezing) picnic in the cemetery but we skipped it last year and to be honest, I didn’t even think about doing it this year. THINGS CHANGE, YOU GUYS. It’s OK to eschew “traditions” sometime.

However, on the way to the cemetery, we noticed that Pink Box, a delicious Asian bakery, was open! So Henry squealed the car to a halt and we stocked up on some delicious Asian breads.

This ended up being way better than having our usual picnic because we didn’t have to sit down on the cold December sod to eat, we could take it to go. So, new/revised tradition, maybe!?

Chooch was definitely on board with it!

Freakin’ egg tarts too, son.

It was a really beautiful day, and not too terribly cold either. Plus, we didn’t have a photoshoot like usual so that meant – NO FIGHTING!

Henry took this weird picture of Chooch and me standing in front of the weird maintenance house thing that I’m positive is a hideout for a serial killer.

That night, I was being a spoiled brat and Henry was like WHAT IS WRONG and finally I blurted out YOU DIDN’T GET ME ANYTHING (so, I guess we could consider this a Xmas tradition?) even though he spent all afternoon getting my Mouse Attack light to finally light up:

…and I apparently said to him that if he took us to Dollywood for Thanksgiving, that would be my Christmas present which I don’t recall saying but it DOES sound like something I would say in a moment of sheer desperation. Look, I’m not going to lie and make you guys think that I’m an actual adult because I’m not – I’m a big fat bitch-baby who thrives on GIFTS AND THINGS AND STUFF.

So Henry was like, “Oh for God’s sake” and then three days later, Taemin’s Japanese solo album arrived for me:

Yay, thanks Henry oppa!

Also, no Oh Honestly Family Xmas card for 2018, sadly. We were too busy making cards for other people!

So, that wraps up Xmas 2018. Overall, it was a good one and it was extremely pleasing to see that, unlike his mother, Chooch was satisfied with everything he was given, even the really small things. I guess he has a little bit of Henry’s genes in him after all, lol.