Jul 272016
 

Did you know that Chooch is a vegetarian now? Well, he is and I’m not sure how long it’s going to last, but it’s pretty entertaining for now. His choice to cut out meat is twofold:

  1. He was heavily influenced by the PETA people at Warped Tour
  2. He wants to “beat me” at the Who Became a Vegetarian At the Youngest Age game. (I was 16 when I became one, so GOOD JOB winning something that I currently have no control over, a-hole.)

Anyway, he hasn’t grown a taste for any of the advanced meat substitutions yet (although he’s love tofu since he was a toddler!) so we’re starting out super basic with baby steps so tiny, it’s really just a shuffle.

Vegetables.

Like, what a novel concept, serving a vegetarian vegetables, right?

I suggested that we go to Hello Bistro and pig out on the salad bar, where Chooch could control what kind of earthy vittles he ingests. And of course he started complaining as soon as he sat down because something “tasted like shit.” He thought it was the dressing but Henry tasted it and confirmed that it was actually the lettuce, it had some kind of bitter bite to it or something.

I wouldn’t know, because I opted for the MIXED GREENS because I’m not a fucking n00b. Lettuce is the actual worst, and so useless! You know a restaurant is Henry-levels of Michelin stars when the house salad is disgusting, brown-edged lettuce. Like, God is probably laughing at us because he meant for lettuce to be a weed, or, I don’t know, something to use as a scooper when your pet goat shits in the markets of Nazareth.

Chooch picked around the lettuce and ate all the tofu and chick peas and whatever else he put in there, I wasn’t paying attention because my salad mattered more.

Obviously, I’m not pushing this on him (I only do that with music, haha) so if he decides he’s had enough, I’ll only shame him a little bit. I’m just surprised he’s made it this far (like, almost two weeks?).

After dinner, I demanded ice cream because what a day. Also, ice cream is fine for us vegetarians who aren’t strong-willed enough to be straight-up vegan. (Unless they put bacon in the ice cream which I wish was a thing pre-1995 when I still ate meat, you know?) My friend Sandy had recently checked-in to Graeter’s in Wexford, so thank you Facebook for making it so easy to stalk our friends because I had no idea that we had a Graeter’s in Pittsburgh! (It’s a Cincinnati thing, along with lying fake-Mexicans.)

Henry was initially perturbed when we walked in because it looked like the clientele was going to be “not his kind of people” but I mean, that’s pretty much everywhere. He’d have to go to a McDonald’s in Appalachia for ice cream to feel comfortable, probably. But it wasn’t uppity at all – the people slinging the ice cream were absolute DOLLS, especially the older man who waited on us – I think he may have been the manager. I was so pleased with the service that I want to go to Sugar & Spice’s facebook page and tell them to go to Graeter’s to learn how to SMILE while scooping out ice cream, but first GO FUCK YOURSELF SUGAR & SPICE.

Maybe then they’ll be able to smile!

Anyway.

I was so irritated because Henry went first and ordered the SAME TWO FLAVORS I was considering, and what this means in The Laws of Ice Cream is that if we got the same flavors, how could we SHARE and by SHARE I mean that I would help myself to as many spoonfuls of Henry’s ice cream as I damn well please while he is only permitted one puny sample of mine.

So as the Graeter’s man handed Henry his dish of stolen flavors, I said to him, “Actually, he stole my order so I’m just going to take his” and the man laughed and went to duplicate the order for me before I held up a hand and said, “No I mean I’m literally just going to take his” and walked away with Henry’s Cheese Crown and Bourbon Pecan.

“Oh…” the man said with surprise, while Henry sighed and ordered something different, which I also liked a lot! (Salted caramel and Buckeye.)

Chooch got chocolate and vanilla. Sigh.
27967911354_6b90da1fa4_b MY ICE CREAM WAS GOOD. IT WAS COLD AND SWEET. THE SCOOPS WERE A GOOD SIZE. IT CAME WITH A SPOON. THE SPOON WAS GOOD AT SCOOPING. I WOULD PROBABLY DEFINITELY GO BACK AGAIN. – That’s going to be my Yelp review. I guess this place is so new that my YELP NEMESIS hasn’t been there yet! There are already two reviews from different people though so I can’t just say “First!” and then move on with my life.

Learning about how Graeter’s makes their ice cream while I steal from his dish.

Here’s Henry, looking angry as he finishes Chooch’s waffle cone. Chooch can never finish a waffle cone. Literally, Henry is the only person in the world who can make ice cream-eating look like a fucking chore.

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Then we went to North Park so Chooch could fly his stupid drone that my mom bought him and Henry bitched at him for not doing it right which is code for “It’s my turn to play with the drone” while I sat on the bleachers being bored and depressed.

Chooch won that shirt at Warped Tour for doing something at the Truth tent that I wasn’t there to witness because I was watching Oceans Ate Alaska. Maybe Chooch will tell you about it if he ever lets me INTERVIEW HIM ABOUT WARPED TOUR, ugh.

And that was our Saturday.

 

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Jul 262016
 

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I have been to many Warped Tours over the years and have seen a ton of my favorite bands perform there, everywhere from the smallest stage to the main stage. Every year, there is at least one highlight, that one moment that was so outrageous that I can’t wait to come home and tell my cats about it and then let my death row pen pals know by the next day’s post.

But the last two year’s, that highlight has gone to the same band, and if there was a Warped Tour homecoming court, CROWN EMAROSA KING OF WARPED TOUR.

I don’t know how many different ways I can say it, but Emarosa just makes me so alive. I was having such a shitty day at Warped Tour this year, which is completely unlike me. We almost left before Emarosa even played, and I would have hated myself forever if I had actually followed through with my crybaby bluffs. Because as soon as they came out and started playing “Miracle,” I felt like my heart was being stapled and sutured right there in front of the Poseidon stage — it fucking hurt so bad I could have screamed, but I knew it was going to heal. If you’re reading this, I know that you know that feeling because why else would you slough through these self-serving diary pages?

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You would think that when a band exudes  as much energy and crowd-participation as their singer Bradley does single-handedly, that I would look like your basic broad suffering from Beatlemania….but no. I am practically paralyzed with emotion and can barely manage to do more than just sway back and forth like a psych ward patient.

Oh, and I cry a lot too while mouthing the words and also looking at the ground with great introspection because I never stopped playing the part of Angela Chase. I honestly cannot help it. I am shocked and awed by Emarosa.

AND THEN THIS HAPPENED:

This.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Bradley is the most perfect person to front Emarosa and I will never ever ever forget the day that I found out Emarosa was finally back, after thinking that one of my favorite bands was dead, a band that would wind up on some lame BuzzFeed post-hardcore graveyard lists. It has been so much fun having them back, watching them rise to the top with their latest album, and seeing their reputation as THE BAND TO WATCH O WARPED TOUR spread like wildfire through Twitter.

And then you guys, and then OMG Bradley motioned for security to let us through the barrier and onto the side of the stage.

I thought my legs were going to give out. If you had told 2008 that one day Jonny Craig would no longer be the singer of one of my favorite bands but don’t worry because they’ll get a new singer who is even better (you can slap my face at this part to get me to stfu and listen) I would have started mouthing off and then you’d have to slap my face to get me to stfu and listen. And then if you had told me that one day I’d be watching them under the amphitheater at Warped Tour from sidestage at the request of their singer who is way better than Jonny Craig, I’d have slapped YOU across the face to get you to stfu.

Take me back. :(

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

 

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!!!!

Bradley’s wife was there too and she is even more beautiful in person, like a young, even prettier Alyssa Milano, and at one point Bradley turned his back to the crowd and sang a line directly to her while she pointed to him and sang it back and I was like I HAVE GOT TO DUMP HENRY AND FIND MYSELF A LOVE LIKE THIS.

And probably Warped Tour is EXACTLY the place for me to find it. Maybe during Oceans Ate Alaska’s set – their male fans seem like my type kind of

EMAROSA ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

OMG I could just die. I just want to type “OMG OMG OMG” over and over and not bother with trying to string together anything more intelligble (OMG intelligble?! SEE I’M BRAIN DEAD. EMAROSA SHOT ME IN THE HEAD WITH ALL THEIR ELECTRIC FEELS). I just want get “131” tattooed inside my lip now OK. You can’t stop me. You don’t own my inner lip.

I have to honestly stop myself from tweeting about my love for Emarosa as much as I want to because they probably already think I’m a fucking stalker but I swear to god, I’m not trying to be an actual groupie! I just get so excited and I wanted to reply to all of their tweets and remind them how much I love them and that I’m trying to get every single person I know to buy their album and if they could all just send me one tiny lock of their hair I swear it’s not to mix up with Henry’s blood and hemlock in my cauldron while chanting the lyrics to Young Lonely in Latin because that just sounds like some crazy shit and I’m not crazy.

JUST CRAZY ABOUT EMAROSA.

Also just crazy about not getting enough sleep apparently.

OK, reel it in, Erin.

Bands only get to play for like 35 minutes at Warped Tour and this just isn’t enough time for Emarosa. However, it’s enough time for them to continuously win over new fans at every Warped date because it’s one thing to have a gimmick or a schtick (in this case, Bradley’s hyper crowd-immersion and stage gymnastics) but to also have the songs and raw talent to back it up really sets them apart from a lot of the bands on the tour. And trust me, I like a lot of those bands! It’s just that none of them make me feel like Emarosa does.

After their set ended, Bradley jumped off stage and ran straight up the hill to their merch booth so that he could meet fans. Chooch was like, “K BYE!!!!” and started to run back down the steps so he could go to the merch booth too and I saw Bradley’s wife stop him and say something to him and I was like “WHAT DID SHE SAY TO YOU YOU’RE SO LUCKY YOU GOT TO TALK TO HER WHY AM I SO SHY I HATE MYSELF?!!?” Chooch said she asked him if he wanted to meet Bradley and his response was, “I’ve met him many times” and then walked away — SO HE COULD GO AND MEET BRADLEY. That kid is usually so good at talking to strangers but if it’s a hot girl or, I don’t know, Bradley, he honestly needs either cue cards or a straight-up life coach.

While we waited in line to see Bradley, we realized that once again we were terrible parents and let the sun deep-fry our son (EVERY FUCKING YEAR, no matter how much we slather him with sun screen!) because he was wearing a tank top and usually only wears t-shirts, so he had some fresh pale pelt for the sun to greet. I told him he should put on his new Choonimals shirt he didn’t want to take his tank top off so he tried to put the shirt on over top of the tank and then take the tank off that way and it was just a tragic display of social awkwardness, especially once Henry tried to “help.” This sideshow went on for a good five minutes and it was so embarrassing.

“STOP LOOKING AT MY DAD DRESSING MY LITTLE BROTHER!” is what I wanted to shout at all the scene kids spectating this gross demonstration of parenting.

Ugh.

Then it was our turn and Chooch and I answered Bradley’s questions with scared, one-word answers while Henry just stood there and sighed. WE GET NERVOUS AROUND HIM OK LEAVE US ALONE.

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Just the best, the absolute bestedy-best-best-best.

He told us to let us know if we were going to any other Warped Tour dates because he would guest list us and I made puppy-dog eyes at Henry who immediately said something like, “HAHA, we’ll see” because he wanted to look cool in front in Bradley but then later he was like, “NO WE’VE GONE TO ENOUGH THINGS THIS SUMMER.” Ugh. Not like I would have taken him up on that offer anyway — he offered back in March to guest list us for Pittsburgh, and to just message him beforehand to remind him, but I freaked out and didn’t do it because I didn’t to look like I was using him, I DON’T KNOW?! My head is made of wasps nests of insecurity and paranoia.

I just really enjoy Emarosa’s music and I don’t want it to ever seem like I’m some sleazy hanger-on. They’ve already done so much for me!

Henry’s favorite song from 131 is either Cloud 9 or Miracle, by the way. He couldn’t pick just one. It’s a huge deal that he even has any favorites at all because this is Henry and usually having a “favorite something” is an indication that you have some semblance of a personality.

Don’t tell Henry this but I kind of like that there’s a band we ALL ENJOY AS A FAMILY. Oh for Christ’s sake, curl my hair and stick an over mitt on my hand, because that may have been the most Donna Reed-ish thing I’ve ever said.

Fuck, I can’t believe I almost missed this.

Watch that video and then tell me if you’re going to see them with us the next time they come to Pittsburgh!?!?

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Jul 242016
 

When I used to work with Barb, she would quote from Steel Magnolias a lot – it’s like her thing, so if you’re ever looking to get Barb a gift, just order her an aardvark cake or force a cup of juice into her face and yell at her to drink it.

And usually I would groan because that was my signature response to Barbisms, but anytime she would quote from the pivotal cemetery scene, I would get on board and buckle up. If you’re some weirdo who’s never seen that movie, there is a part where Dolly Parton’s character says, “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

That’s what I was counting on to get me through Saturday, when we had our memorial service for Sharon, and also my grandma, who died almost exactly 5 years ago. My brother Corey went above and beyond, doing all the leg work with the funeral home, church, and cemetery to make sure all the arrangements were made. It was a huge burden off of our mom and will forever be appreciated.

I’m not trying to be morbid or tacky (though these qualities come so easily for me) by recapping this but I honestly want to remember it as a day where friends and family came together in Sharon’s memory, and how it provided a sense of normalcy for some of us to have that experience this time around. Corey did such a wonderful job organizing everything and I never want to forget it! And it was really comforting to see the familiar faces of my friends Lisa, Chris & Monica, Angie and her fiance Keith; and family members I don’t get to see very often like my aunt Susie and her husband Larry, my dad and brother Ryan, and my cousin Karen and Aunt Donna. Corey had his friends Dan and Michelle there, and my mom’s friend Debbie came, plus Henry’s mom Judy, so it was a chapel filled with friendly faces and it really helped me breathe better. We kept it simple and casual, and it was the best way to go, I think. Especially after how traumatic and stressful the last several months have been for us.

My meager contribution was making a photo collage of Sharon, which was certainly in my wheelhouse because I am obsessive when it comes to photographs and knew where every picture was before I even got started (which is why I literally waited until the night before to start piecing everything together – I work well under pressure kind of, but not).

And then when we realized that prayer cards hadn’t been ordered, I decided to save Corey the extra baggage by offering to just make them myself. I mean, I made them for work once so I kind of have experience?

I found some images of old, antique prayer cards, back when they were printed on actual lace. I thought they were so pretty and knew they’d be perfect. They just screamed elegance to me. I spent some time looking for appropriate poems/prayers to put on the back, and then Henry did all of the printing because I don’t get my hands dirty with that stuff.

Once we arrived at the church, I kind of started panicking. I mean, I modeled the prayer cards off of ones I already have in my collection (for my Pappap, dad, etc.) so they were the standard size and whatever, but I felt very self-conscious about them since they were DIY and would Jesus frown upon that? I mean, he was a carpenter so he should be proud when someone makes something on their own, right?

Turns out, they took on a life of their own. After the mass, we congregated in the foyer of the church and people started murmuring about them. Monica told me that Sister Mary Eunice (the resident nun’s Monica-given name) approached her and said, “I’m sorry for your loss, but do you know where these prayer cards came from?”

I snagged this photo from Corey’s Facebook because that’s how I do.

So then she found me and started pumping me for info.

“Did you get them from the funeral home? No? You made them!? Do you have a business?” she asked.

I mean, technically, I do have a business…but it’s serial killers not prayer cards.

And then, “Do you mind if I take a couple extra for the girls in the office?” I mean, who can say to such a sweet old nun? She was so earnest about it.

That provided some much needed levity, as well as my dad pointing out that the church left the key in the door and maybe I should take it to have a copy made so that I can come back anytime I want (you know, since I’m SO HOLY), and my eyeball purse making the family service worker and Father Dan bust out laughing at the cemetery. (Thank god Chooch wasn’t there. He hates that purse so he would have been real angry that it was getting attention as usual.)

Laughter through tears, you guys!

After the cemetery, some of us convened at Blue Flame for lunch, and that’s when I realized that Chris and Lisa are some sort of strange, parallel people with nearly the same hair cut (swooped to opposite sides), nose rings on the same side, and a penchant for chair-dancing to whatever 80s monster ballad was playing on the radio — in tandem without realizing it. By the end of the lunch, they were making plans to go kayaking together!

This was also when I learned that Chris knew she wanted to be friends with me when she saw my quotation mark finger tattoos – I never knew! So between that, the waitress nickel-and-diming us (“Just so you know, that’s an upcharge. Just so you know, that doesn’t come with it. Just so you know, that will be considered an extra side.”), and Henry’s dumb face, we had a lot of laughs and it felt so good.

AND THEN PHIL CAME ON THE RADIO! So I got to make a Phil Party Instavid, wherein I instructed everyone not to talk but my brother Ryan didn’t get that memo and NEARLY RUINED THE VIDEO by asking, “What are you doing?” Ugh, Ryan. Just ugh.

Phil Collins Party at Blue Flame that MY BROTHER RUINED.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

After lunch, we took Chris and Monica back to The House so they could see it for the first time, and Corey and I got to share childhood stories with them with also helped with the healing process. I had to laugh because right as we were getting ready to leave, it started hardcore thundering. I think it was Sharon telling us to wrap it up in there, because she would always get so antsy and nervous any time people came over. We heard you, Sharon. :)

***

I went home that day feeling very peaceful and thankful to have known Sharon, to have such wonderful people in my life (a lot of my friends who couldn’t be there reached out via text & Facebook and it really meant so much), and to finally have that sense of closure.

Also, that was the second time in a week that I found myself in church and lived to talk about it. I fell right back into the motions of genuflecting, “Peace be with you”ing, and reciting the Our Father FLAWLESSLY thank you, so now I’m considering making this a weekly thing, maybe? Chooch seemed to enjoy all the parts where he got to repeat after the priest, so maybe he’ll go with me.

Laughter through tears. Every time.

***

The next morning my mom called me and said that her friend Debbie called to ask her about the prayer cards. She sounded so annoyed, haha. Those fucking prayer cards.

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I will end this with a picture of Sharon in her signature Bon Jovi shirt. <3

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Jul 232016
 

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Much wow, this was Henry’s 8th Warped Tour (I think? I don’t feel like counting, but it’s less than my official tally that’s for sure because I’m more legit than he is). What this means is that he is basically a seasoned, grizzled pro at this point. Let’s ask him some questions about his long-term relationship with Warped Tour and if he plans on siring any illegitimate children out of wedlock with them, too. JUST LIKE HE DID WITH ME.

Do you plan on siring any illegitimate children out of wedlock with Warped Tour?

Say that again!? [WRITER REPEATS QUESTION.] I don’t know. Is that even possible?

There were several times when I went off on my own during the day. What did you and Chooch do that I missed?

We just walked around and got some Twix [they had a booth there] and Chooch spent some time in the water tent. We saw a little bit of Cold Rain but then he saw some vendor and then we ventured off. I don’t know, we just walked around and then he kept wanting a bucket hat. [There were some merch booths selling them because nothing screams POP PUNK like a bucket hat?]

Out of all the Warped Tours you’ve attended throughout the years, give us your top 3 worst moments.

Great, now I have to think. [He is seriously thinking about this too OMG. No wait, he’s watching something about the Kennedy assassination. No, he’s thinking again!]

#3. I don’t know what year it was, but having to listen to Katy Perry sing.

#2. Whatever year it was when it was 1000 degrees there and it was miserable. [I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t that every year?? But this one year it was actually so bad that someone died, I think, maybe.]

#1. Breakdown 2016. [You guys I think he’s referring to the 87 times I wanted to leave last week because I’m emotionally cracked.]

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If you had a booth at Warped Tour, what would you be selling?

Individually-wrapped prunes. [LOL JUST KIDDING THAT WAS ME, THE WRITER, ANSWERING FOR HIM.]

Huh. What would I sell….[Literally, he has no imagination.] I don’t know. Let me think about that one.

[TWENTY MINUTES LATER] Your art, and meat products, because there’s way too much vegetarian shit there.

[Um, if he’s referring to the ONE tent that Peta2 has there, then yeah: SO MUCH.]

Kevin Lyman, the founder of Warped Tour, asks you personally for a list of bands to forever blacklist. I guess he feels an affinity to you because you’re both middle-aged with probably have the same amount of callouses. Anyway, what bands are on your list? GO HOGWILD, BOO.

Slaves

[Wow, this just in: Henry doesn’t care when disgusting, misogynistic bands like FALLING IN REVERSE and ATTILA play at Warped Tour, that’s why they didn’t make his list. Oh OK, privileged white male! Way to use your god-given Caucasian penis for good.]

It’s the morning after Warped Tour, i.e. DEAR DIARY TIME! What do you write on the back of the Faygo Red Pop label* about this year’s experience at Warped Tour?

I can’t have secrets and then tell you! [I won’t stop looking at him until he answers.]

When you look at me like that and start typing, it scares me. I don’t like your line of questioning. Too much thinking involved. Why can’t it just be yes or no answers. [Ew he just told me he doesn’t like my attitude?!]

*[That’s what I imagine Henry’s diary to be: a clump of Faygo bottle labels crumbled into a ball and punched under the mattress.]

OK fine, pretend like it’s a postcard that you’re sending Chris & Monica from the great bustling parking lot that is Warped Tour:

Is this a new question? Why would I write Chris and Monica a postcard?

[I’ll start it for you: DEAR CHRIS AND MONICA]

[I just asked Chooch the same question since Henry’s brain is creaking and smoking as he tries to think. Chooch would just write: ‘Sup.]

Dear Chris & Monica,

Having a great time, as always. [I think he’s sarcasming.]

Brought my A&D ointment which I have been applying liberally right around the TENDER AREAS inside my thighs. I wanted to wear booty shorts today but I had to wear regular-lengthed basic white man shorts on account of all the CHAFING. Thought we were going to leave early because Erin was being a psycho but then somehow we ended staying later than ever before, wtf guys. I got to eat an ice pop and it reminded me of the days when I was a paperboy except that it cost approximately $8 more. Um, I bought my work-husband the Masked Intruder CD not because I’m thoughtful or anything but because he is my dom.

[OK fine, I might have taken some liberties after the “having a great time” line because I was tired of him sitting here saying, “Um…..uh…..”]

You seem less irritated about having to chaperone Chooch and me than you have in earlier years. Can you confirm this is because you’re sufficiently dead inside, or do you secretly LIKE WARPED TOUR now?

I think it’s a little bit of both. I like some of it and I’m pretty much dead inside because of you and Chooch.

But you hated Bled Fest – why?

I didn’t hate Bled Fest I just didn’t like it. I never said I hated Bled Fest! It was just too hot—and it wasn’t my type of music!

[Let me translate this for you, because I’m well-versed in reading between Henry’s blue-collared lines: Not enough booty shorts.]

 

Talk about how you’re able to sleep every year through super loud, heavy bands (the lucky bands this year were Secrets and Waterparks):

I don’t know it’s just something I can do.

[WOW GET THIS MAN ON AMERICA’S GOT TALENT.]

If Warped Tour was around when you were a teenager, what bands would you have liked to see in the line-up that was probably printed in the PITTSBURGH PRESS along with the date that the tickets went on sale so you would know when to go to KAUFMANN’S at CENTURY III MALL to buy them. I’ll just go ahead and start you off with Ted Nugent:

  1. TED NUGENT
  2. Iron Maiden
  3. Judas Priest
  4. Probably ZZ Top
  5. CCR
  6. The Guess Who

[Wow.]

[ED.NOTE: Don’t post pictures of illustrated weeners on Facebook because you will be reported for it and it will be removed, even if it looks like a Simpsons’ weener.]

Speaking of weeners, last year, that ginger-fuckerbitch Jonny Craig got kicked off Warped Tour for flapping his weener at his merch girl. Would you rather have Jonny Craig’s weener flapped in your face at such a close proximity that it gets tangled up in your beard, or would you rather get caught flapping your own weener at Jeffree Star and have him paint it with his lipgloss line? You can be honest, I won’t tell anyone:

Really? You’re not going to tell anyone? Pfft. [He just mumbled “Boy, you’re having fun with this.”] Probably the latter because I don’t like Jonny Craig.

2016 highlight:

Bradley [from Emarosa] hugging Chooch [during their set. Don’t worry Henry, I’m here to beef up your answers].

ON THE REAL HENRY, like how giddy do you get when Bradley talks to us?

How WHAT? Giddy? I don’t. I don’t need to get giddy; I have you two that get giddy and quiet.

[Oh OH, Bradley is totally his #mce (Barb, that means Man Crush Everyday).]

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In closing, what advice would you give another dad who is going to Warped Tour with his kids for the very first time? And don’t say “Drop them off”:

Well that was going to be my answer, drop them off. Since I can’t say that….um….bring lots of cash for merch and food. I don’t know what else….but I’m sure you do.

[Yeah, I do: FORGET ABOUT HAVING ANY AUTHORITY, OPINIONS, OR FEELINGS THAT DAY BECAUSE IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, IT’S ABOUT YOUR KIDS, SO STEP OFF, DAD.]

 

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Jul 212016
 

I have never been one to try and hide my deep-rooted love for soft rock. I don’t even try to downplay it by calling it “my guilty pleasure.” No, I’m PROUD to be a card-carrying member of the octogenarian set who sway in their rockers and walkers to Engelbert Humperdinck and Barry Manilow.

Ever since we determined that the kitchen stereo speakers still work, the first thing I do every time I go to Gillcrest is immediately crank up the soft rock. It brings a sense of normalcy to all of us I think, and Corey has even started listening to the soft rock radio station in his car.

This particular station is also a breeding ground for sweet, blissful 80s pop. Prince was on last Sunday and I was like, “EVERYONE STFU SO I CAN MAKE MY WEEKLY SOFT ROCK DANCE PARTY INSTAVID” but naturally, you can still hear Chooch’s big ass mouth in the background.

PRINCE PARTY AT @thestonick #prince #whendovescry #chandelier

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

And then Phil came on because why wouldn’t he?

PHIL PARTY AT @thestonick

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Anyway, tonight Chooch and I were sitting when he said something like, “That sounds fun….no, now it looks boring” and I looked up to see a commercial for the ROCK AND ROMANCE CRUISE?! A cruise jam-packed with a ton of soft rock bands from the 70s that I FUCKING LOVE so I nearly pushed Chooch off the couch for saying it looked boring.

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Firefall?? STEPHEN BISHOP? Oh you know he’s going to sing that Tootsie jam. I literally just woke up Henry to scream-read this line-up to him.

“AND GUESS WHO THE CELEBRITY GUEST IS??” I squealed. “DELILAH!” That was his cue to fall back asleep.

But holy shit, Ambrosia, you guys. Ambrosia.

“You’re the Only Woman” is the only song Henry and I have danced together to (back when we liked each other, like way before Chooch was born, lol) and even when I was a kid, I would think to myself, “GOSH I HOPE SOMEDAY THIS IS HOW SOME IDIOT FEELS ABOUT ME.” Same with Foreigner’s “Waiting For a Girl Like You” but come on like what girl doesn’t have a diary entry about that one, I mean right. That song is #goals.

Anyway, sometimes when I feel like I need help falling back into like with my blue-collared man-friend, I will listen to some Ambrosia, and say a wistful “Aw” out loud. I have that song on my the DJ’s play list for my imaginary never-wedding, right smack in between Army of Lovers and Cock Robin. It’s too bad I’ll never get married, because in my head, it’s a FEAST FOR THE SENSES. You’d walk away feeling thankful it wasn’t your own wedding, but also inexplicably sad that it’s over. And hopefully slightly scared that it happened at all.

OH WELL HAVE SOME AMBROSIA.

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Jul 202016
 

After another night of shitty news, I decided that the only way to end things on a good note would be to go and deep throat an ice cream cone.

We ended up stopping at Sugar & Spice since it was on our way home and our first choice was too crowded. (I WAS NOT IN THE MOOD TO STAND IN LINE WITH PEASANTS.)

Look, listen, do whatever it is you do to pay attention: I have no beef with this establishment. I definitely wouldn’t put it in my top local faves list but it’s not like, disgusting there or anything.  However, on this night, some RUDE FUCKING BROAD was at the window and, after already being annoyed with the people in front of us (the one girl had on cam sweatpants with flip flops and it just rubbed me the wrong way), she set me off before I even opened my mouth to order.

I’m sorry, but you have over 30 flavors of soft serve which I could not peruse until I got up to the window, so don’t fucking rush me  I hate being rushed. Go wipe down a counter or something and I’ll call you back when I’m ready, maybe?!

She was scowling and I didn’t want to stand there any longer than I had to so I blurted out “Cinnamon” but immediately had remorse and then Broad asked in a rude tone what kind of tone and I started to say sugar because I always confuse the cone-types and she cut me off to spit, “WE CANT PUT IT IN A SUGAR CONE. THE SOFTSERVE IS TOO HEAVY” and I totally looked like some sort of soft serve n00b to the guy who was still standing there waiting for his milkshake.

But the way she cut me off, I can’t even. My tolerance was already down real low, like the lowest rung of limbo, and this bitch and her highfalutin’ soft serve superiority was about to knock the pole right onto the rink IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN and I hope you do because my rollerskating analogies are a little bit rusty.

You guys, I then had the AUDACITY to ask her for sprinkles.  Whaaaaat was I thinking! I’m an alien sent to earth for my first ice cream and I fucking blew it, apologies to the Mother Ship.

“YOU CANT PUT SPRINKLES ON THIS, ITS TOO SOFT.” Wow, really, you have to straight scold me about this? You’re the one dishing out limp soft serve, you dumb ice cream cooze.

I literally snatched the cone from her hands and, as she was muttering in her bitch-voice about “putting the sprinkles on the side” I cut her off and in a PURPOSELY FAKE UPBEAT VOICE THAT WASNT TOO SOFT TO SPRINKLE WITH SARCASM, I sniped, “OK GREAT NO THANKS BYE” and stomped off through the parking lot while making loud, passive aggressive declarations to my 10-year-old son and the man who was waiting for his milkshake that I would NEVER come back to this place again.

PUT THE SPRINKLES ON THE SIDE. Oh for fuck’s sake. If I want to make a mess with my ice cream cone that I’m paying for, that’s 100% within my right as an American! IF I WANT SPRINKLES, DUMP THAT SHIT ON MY ICE CREAM AND TELL ME TO HAVE A NICE NIGHT AND I WILL SAY THANKS, YOU DO THE SAME

THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD HAVE PLAYED OUT. I have read from this script plenty of times

Henry tried to play devils advocate which is basically the only character he knows how to play because he’s so one-dimensional and I interrupted his empty words to shriek, “I’VE HAD THIS SAME SOFT SERVE AT OTHER PLACES AND GOT SPRINKLES ON IT!” And it is definitely the same soft serve because all those places use the same OMG 30+ FLAVORS sign and it’s the same machine!! Sugar & Spice isn’t unique! This isn’t their own creation! They use the same mix that every other place uses and I know this because I eat a lot of fucking ice cream.

I know my fucking soft serve.

Henry was stuck there at the window because he still had to pay, but I had already marched off to the car. I considered viciously pitching my cone in the garbage can on the way there but let’s be real: I’m too much of a tightwad to waste money like that so I leaned against the car and angrily lapped at my stupid too-melty-for-sprinkles ice cream while shuddering with rage.

What a dumb, surly bitch. I continued to spout off vague threats as we drove past her on our way out, like how I wanted to chuck my cone against her stupid window. “I don’t think she can hear you,” Henry mumbled.

“Oh I’m going to leave a really nasty review,” I growled against a background of mirthless laughter, cutting down my melty ice cream cone with my razor-edged tongue. And as soon as I opened the Yelp app to destroy this establishment with my hateful prose (“Not only do your employees have no chill, but either does your ice cream!”), the first thing I saw was a review from my MORTAL YELP ENEMY.

A FUCKING 5-STAR REVIEW.

So of course I had to clear my throat and read it out loud to Henry in my best Robin Leach voice.

“A den of sug’ry iniquity hidden in a seemingly innocuous suburb and building” — get the fuck over yourself.

ALSO HE WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO REVIEW THIS PLACE.

One time he sent me a message and was like “you should add some pictures of yourself to your profile” and I was like “That sentence was too simple. Needs 87 more adjectives.” I hate him so much. (Projecting? Or naw?)

I should probably just go to bed.

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Jul 202016
 

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For years now, Warped Tour has been my escape, the one day a year when I set aside all responsibilities and sadness and just LET IT ALL GO. It’s the one day where I don’t feel self-conscious. Where I don’t feel fat. Where I don’t feel judged. Where I don’t feel like a fucking lonely outsider. I have never had a bad experience with anyone in the crowd, and Henry and I actually hardly fight on this day (he knows not to fuck with Our Lady of Warped on this day). I’ve gone to therapy, I’ve done the anti-depressant thing, but nothing has ever helped me like this one day does.

But this year was different.

I mean, I could fill this post with a bunch of lies about how perfect the whole day was, but I’m not a liar. This isn’t OhLyingErin.

It wasn’t Warped Tour’s fault. It wasn’t that I didn’t like any of the bands. It wasn’t that I was feeling suddenly jaded around all the young scene kids. It wasn’t that Henry and I were fighting. It wasn’t any of these things.

It was that, for the first time ever, I am honestly feeling that low and depressed that I couldn’t fucking shake it off. Things have been Not Great for me and my family over the last few months. I try to smile through it and continue on with life, but I think maybe I’ve been doing too great of a job with bottling it all up and now that bottle has sprung a leak. Maybe 15 leaks.

I think the impetus was answering my phone that morning when I shouldn’t have answered it. We had literally JUST WALKED THROUGH THE GATES and were running up the big hill to the Vans tent on the other side when I got the call. I thought it was a florist that had been trying to deliver flowers to my house and kept missing me, so I answered it. But instead, it was an estate attorney I had contacted the day before, calling to get some background on my situation and I was like, “Well, I’m kind of at Warped Tour right now…?” but she was all, “This will just take a few minutes.” So there I was, crouched next to a tree, holding a hand over my free ear to try and hear this lady over top of three bands who were starting to play on nearby stages, wistfully wishing I was any one of the hundreds of kids jogging past me with literally no cares in the world while I’m on the phone talking about wills and estates and reverse mortgages. This isn’t me. This isn’t who I am. Talking about adult things? Ew.

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It just made me realize that there is no escaping this one. Not even being “home” at my beloved Warped Tour was enough this time.

I hung up the phone and rejoined Henry and Chooch. I was totally out of sorts, high-strung, and emotional. We started to watch In Hearts Wake and after one and a half songs, I turned to Henry and said, “I can’t be here. Let’s just leave.”

He and Chooch were both like, “Are you fucking kidding, we just got here and you love Warped Tour?!”

Four times this happened. I wanted to leave and ran off to the exit, but then Henry convinced me to stay. I was: on edge, lunacy fringe, snapping at both him and Chooch, walking off in the middle of Knuckle Puck without telling them where I was going, throwing an actual hissy fit during Hail the Sun, a band I fucking love and was looking forward to seeing again but Chooch kept trying to talk to me and I projected and stormed off, blaming him and Henry for ruining my day, being a certified psychotic asshole, and literally not giving a shit who saw me flipping out because EMOTIONS.

I haven’t felt this out of control since my mid-20s. The thoughts I had swirling through my head were scary and I never want to let them back in.

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During a rare moment of stability after my first public break down.

But then I got sucked back into the emotional spin cycle again, synapses playing laser tag death matches in my brain, which left me straight sulking and pouting alone in a seat under the amphitheater, not even caring when Masked Intruder walked past me.  That’s some heavy duty saltiness, right there.

But finally by the afternoon, I calmed down. Corey and my mom both texted me and assured me that leaving Warped Tour wasn’t going to do any good, that I should stay and make the most of it, and even Chooch was like, “MOMMY, LOOK, YOU KNOW YOU DON’T WANT TO LEAVE. YOU LOVE WARPED TOUR. CALM THE FUCK DOWN, EMAROSA PLAYS AT 3:25.”

And thank god I didn’t leave. Because once I stopped hyperventilating and took a moment to just sit quietly alone on the hillside, I felt ready to salvage the rest of the day. I hate that the first quarter of it was so tainted with my mental poison,  considering my motto is “No Bitching at Warped Tour.” But I just don’t even know who I am anymore.  This was kind of my wake-up call. I’ve been so busy worrying about how the current situation is affecting everyone else, that I haven’t taken the time to mourn properly. No place better than Warped Tour to open up the flood gates, I guess.

Plus, Chooch pointed out this guy and that was pretty amusing.

Honestly, god bless Chooch for staying so calm while I was saying things like I JUST WANT TO FUCKING GO HOME AND STAY IN BED FOREVER because that’s the kind of excellent example I set. DRAW MOTHER A GIN BATH, SONNY BOY!

Look at him up there, reppin’ Cardboard Swords. This kid is so immersed in the scene, and it makes me extremely proud. I hope one day he’s in a band, playing Warped Tour! He better save room in the bus for his MOMMY.

Eventually, I was able to smile again and let my shoulders relax.

I stayed for the whole thing and, like all of the years before, it really did help clear my mind and calm me down. It just took a little longer this year. Which is why we should have gone to a second Warped date, HENRY. #DoOver

I think on my gravestone, it will say something like “AT HOME IN HEAVENLY WARPED TOUR” or “RESTING IN PERPETUAL WARPED TOUR.” Or “IN GODS ARMS AT WARPED TOUR.” I don’t fucking know. Something like that. I’m counting on you, Chooch.

[Next: either band stuff or a Chooch guest post?]

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Jul 202016
 

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When you’re hurting so bad but you’ve got this great album to cry to and it’s so fucking FIRE that it dries your tears before your face gets too ugly.

 

 

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Jul 192016
 

Sometimes I feel like I’m toeing the MOMMYBLOG line, and other times I feel like “wait have I mentioned my child enough on the Internet this month for him to be real?”

So here are some updates about that kid who gave me a SCAR THAT STILL TINGLES.

1. camp

Chooch is in camp.

I’m not quite sure what he does in camp because every time he starts talking about it, I drift off. Not relevant to my interests, you know?

So he’s been in camp for most of July now and seems to really love it. They do academic shit in the morning and then Venture Outdoors comes in and take them outside to do things. Apparently he went fishing (and had lots of things to say about NICO*, like how NICO is the most popular kid at camp so of course NICO was the only kid that caught a fish, THAT DICK) and geocaching oh thank god. You know how he loves his fucking geocaching.

*(UPDATE: Chooch and Nico are bros now.)

But all of this almost didn’t happen when the bus never showed up for him on the first day of camp. I was already en route to work on the trolley so I basically just short-circuited because I’m unable to think logically when things don’t go as planned. Luckily, Henry was able to get a hold of HOT NAYBOR CHRIS who drove him to camp (it’s just at a school on the other side of our town, like a 2 mile walk and maybe if it was 1987 I would tell him to just hoof it but hello, it’s 2016 and the world is full of danger. So hooray for HNC being a hero!

(I spelled “hooray” like this at first: hurray. I need help.)

So then Henry was all, “You’re going to have to tell work that you’re going to be late tomorrow because someone needs to wait for the bus with him to make sure it comes this time” and of course I wanted to die because ew parenting. So I told Glenn what was going on and he was all, “OK? Why are you telling me?” and I was like, “Hello because that’s our new protocol? To tell Stupid Team Lead Glenn when we’re going to be late?!” Literally we were just told to do this like a week prior and he already forgot.

The next morning, I dragged Chooch down to the street corner where this mystical bus was supposed to vaporize. Henry told me what time it was supposed to be there, which I immediately forgot, and then something about waiting because it could be late? I gave up pretty immediately, because waiting for school buses just isn’t for me. I was totally stressed out and when the lady whose house we were standing in front of came out with her dog, I felt the need to psychotically explain to her what we were doing.

Now, this lady only lives 5 houses down from me and I have seen her a thousand times, but we never talk.

I always thought she seemed bitchy, but when I told her about the bus incident from the day before, she became concerned.

“Where is the camp? Do you want me to drive him?”

Like, totally neighbor-like, you know?

I felt inclined to maybe wait a few more minutes for the bus, since I had really only given it five minutes before wanting to give up.

My texts to Henry were pretty ridiculous and panic-stricken. Chooch was calm, though.

Neighbor went back inside with her dog and I was like, “Oh thank god, now I can call Henry and scream at him.” So that’s what I was doing when Neighbor came back outside with her coffee cup.

“It still didn’t come?” she asked incredulously. “Come on, let’s go. I’ll drive him. I have 6 grandkids, this is just what I do.”

This was one of those THINK, ERIN! moments. On one hand, I was tired of standing there waiting for a make believe bus.

But then….stranger danger.

But then we introduced ourselves, so that’s OK right? Her name is Catherine. I could just tell Henry, “Well, I don’t know why he didn’t come home from camp, Henry. I mean, I saw him get in Catherine’s car and then they drove off together, presumably in the right direction.”

LUCKILY the bus pulled up the curb right then so I shoved him on and then literally ran all the way to the trolley and GUESS WHO WAS A PARENT AND STILL MADE IT TO WORK ON TIME?

(And um, don’t worry people, I probably wouldn’t have let Catherine take him. Probably.)

(Speaking of Catherine, I said hello to her this morning and she acted like she didn’t even know who I was, WOW JUST WOW. I thought we shared something that morning.)

2. that fucking Doll.

I went to get into bed the other night when I felt HAIR on my pillow. Like real life hair. So I screamed, “OMG WHAT IS THAT?!” which woke up Henry, and then I proceeded to go back for seconds and thirds while screaming, “OMG SRSLY WHAT IS IT?!” and Henry was all, “YEAH SO KEEP TOUCHING IT” while I nearly knocked over the lamp in my effort to turn it on. Turns out it was that motherfucking doll. Man. Just when I thought Doll was dormant.

Well played, Chooch.

3. Summer Accusations

On two separate occasions, I heard Chooch being screamed at by HNC’s fake wife. The first time, I was like, “DO NOT WANT TO DEAL” so I went back to painting and pretended like some psycho Yinzer wasn’t interrogating my kid, because I have to tell you, it’s not always worth defending him because he’s not always innocent, OK? It sounded like she was yelling about her porch lights, but whatever.

The second time, Chooch was outside with one of his friends when she started laying into him again about the same thing. But then Henry came home from the store so she retreated because she won’t yell at Chooch in front of us. As soon as Henry came in the house, I was like, “Wait for it…” and sure enough, she came back out and started Yinzer-yapping about it again. This time, I went outside and asked, “What’s going the problem out here?” because I WAS FEELING LIKE A FIGHT. She immediately lowered her voice and quickly said “Oh, I’m not blaming him, I just want him to know that if he knows who broke my lights, he can tell me.”

OH YEAH SURE PSYCHO. Believe me, no one is going to tell her if they accidentally break her shit because she flies off the handle so freely.

So she continued to talk about how it just sucks to leave the house at 5am for work and see that her lights are broken, and that they “mean a lot to her.”

I know what you’re thinking. “Are they HEIRLOOMS? Did Thomas Edison pass these down to her?!”

FRIENDS. These are literally those cheap ass sidewalk lights that you can get at the dollar store.

They cost like $3 at Dollar General.

SHE IS LITERALLY JUST BITCHING TO BITCH and also they’re not even broken, they were just knocked out of the ground.

Also I know Chooch didn’t do it because he knows to stay the fuck out of her yard because YOU NEVER KNOW IF SHE’S GOING TO STUFF YOU INTO HER OVEN.

The next day, Chooch ended up sleeping over his friend’s house and I decided that since he had an alibi now, this would be the perfect time for me to go out there and assault her stupid yard-bulbs with a baseball bat.

Henry frowned at this idea, so I removed the violence and destruction from the plan (sigh) and changed it to just “gently knocking them over” so then I could be all “OH BUT CHOOCH WASN’T EVEN HERE LAST NIGHT,  BETTER GET A NEW SUSPECT” but Henry said, “OR YOU COULD JUST LET IT GO.”

:(

(It’s probably a good idea that I listened to Henry because she just had a huge fight with HNC and another neighbor last weekend and I honestly thought I was going to have to call the cops. Don’t worry, I have audio of it.)

It’s going to be a long summer.

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4. CHOOCH AND PURPLE PANTS!!!!!!

We were waiting to cross the street and Purple Pants walked by so I took this picture of her with Chooch!! That’s all.

5. Chooch vs. Meat

Every year after Warped Tour, Chooch decides he’s going to be a vegetarian (there is a lot of Peta2 propaganda there, which obviously doesn’t bother me because hello I’m a vegetarian) but then it fizzles out. However, this year he seems to really be trying and is pissed because there are no meatless options at camp. This goes hand-in-hand with the whole “parenting” thing I guess, but I didn’t know that he skipped lunch yesterday because of this! He said he told the lunch lady that he doesn’t eat meat, and she screamed, “TAKE THE TRAY!” Henry thinks he’s exaggerating but I have this scene painted so vividly in my mind that I refuse to consider that it could be hyperbolic. Anyway, Chooch ended up just eating a piece of bread for lunch?! I feel like there should be dietary options but I don’t feel like calling because I’m not Henry, so instead I put on my mom jeans tonight and made Chooch a PB&J to take with him tomorrow He supervised, don’t worry. I guess I did it right.

6. Probably Not a Serial Killer

Chooch just came in the house and said, “Marky’s mom has—-” and then he STARTED SOBBING before straight wailing, “—this small ass cat! It’s so cute!” He continued crying so hard he could no longer get any more words out. Then he turned around and went back outside.
 
Probably, he’s not going to grow up to be a serial killer.
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I nodded off several times while writing this but posted it anyway. WITHOUT PROOFREADING. (Like I ever proofread.) I live so recklessly, where’s my helmet.
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Jul 182016
 


This is from 2011 but still relevant, if only for the fact that Henry still wears booty shorts. Too tired for any new content right now. Check back later, next week, next year. 

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Jul 162016
 

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Guys, people laugh when I say that I made a lot of friends during my time on LiveJournal, but it’s TRUE and I have been lucky (and in some cases….unlucky) enough to have met quite a bit of them. Bill is one of the ones who falls into the “I’m Lucky” category. Bill is from Michigan, and the first time we met was in 2008 when he came to Pittsburgh for one of my game nights. He brought his then-girlfriend now-wife Jessi with him and the rest is AS THEY SAY, HISTORY. Those two have been integral players in our lives since then, coming to Chooch’s birthday parties, taking us on vacation to Tennessee with them, showing us the wonders of FRANKENMUTH. (I’m going to try to get Jessi up in here too for her own People Feature.)

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Here you can see Bill elbow-deep in his side-gig: balloon sword creator for children’s birthday parties. I just went through all of my Birthday Party albums in Flickr and in each one, there are pictures of Bill and Jessi with their sleeves rolled up, hanging decorations, icing cookies, blowing up balloons — these guys are gems and I’m crying right now because EMOTIONS.

Bill is one of the friendliest, most hilarious people I’ve ever met. His comedic timing is flawless; hates Guy Fieri; and he is always down to encourage and egg on any random obsessions I have, especially when the side effect is terrorizing Henry. Bill is also part-owner of a comic and game shop in Wayne, MI called Warriors 3 – he has literally built a career around having fun. That’s how fucking brilliant he is. And he loves Chooch so much that he arranged for GERARD WAY (My Chemical Romance) to give him a Twitter shout out on his 8th birthday:

Bill is also the kind of guy who will take one for the team and ask the weird waiter at Dollywood if he could take his picture when you’re too afraid to do it yourself. In other words: Bill is an A+ friend, would recommend, would hang out again and again and again. Get yourselves a Bill!

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1.Walk us through a typical day in the life of Bill: 

Most morning start with the sounds of Bob (my cat) waking me up outside the door, or Louise (my dog) barking to get in. Then I usually do all the requisite pet feedings and then take care of the morning constitutional and bathing rituals. From there either catch up on TV or head out to work at the store. Then I spend the day working and doing my thing there. From there, me and Jessi head home and mellow out and watch TV. Once Jessi heads off to bed, I usually pop on and play video games with Worm on his stream for a few hours, then hit the sackadoodle. Wednesdays are bum fight days where I randomly go to hobo camps and challenge their leaders to hand to hand combat. Plus Saturday is for tacos.

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2. You’re supposedly into bowling, I hear. Build your dream bowling league, anyone in the world, fictional, dead, alive:
Well, any bowler worth his salt knows you need the Dude and Walter. I would add Abraham Lincoln because I am an admirer and I feel like he would know how to tickle the lanes. Finally, I would want Bullseye, the Daredevil villain because he never misses and every game would be a 300. Maybe Chaka Khan.
3. If you and Jessi had met via Craigslist, what would your ad have said to lure her in?
When I was single in the early double 00s, I always used the headline “50 Million Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong” on Yahoo Personals. It worked once, but it was a very bad experience. But then, because of that experience I met Jessi, so ………..
4. Chooch started calling you a “douche cup” a few years ago over a Lego dispute. Now it’s the year 2025 and you and Chooch are business partners, marketing a brand new game by the same name. Explain the rules to us:
I always imagined douche cup to be a party game. The judge has to make a semi-ordinary claim, like “I just got back from New York.” Then everybody else playing has to come up with a crazy way to one-up them like “Well I just got back from Geroge Wendt’s private sauna in Montana.”  The winner gets a point. After 5 points, you are the Douche Cup!
5. Guy Fieri is visiting your town of Wayne, MI and the mayor assigns you the responsibility of showing him around. Where do you take him?
The garbage dump, I imagine that’s where he gets all his recipe ideas and style from. Get some aloe for that sick burn on you Guy Fieri!
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6. Being one of the owners of Warriors 3 Comics & Games, you’re pretty much the President of Game Night. What are five of your all-time favorite games to bust out when you have friends over?
My first call is kind of an old hat these days, but Cards Against Humanity has been the source of some of the most laughs I’ve ever had. One of my fondest memories is of me and Chooch teaming up to bust heads with that game. My next current super favorite is Camel Up, a camel racing game by Z-Man games. You pretty much bet on a camel race that usually goes back and forth and is fun as hell. 7 Wonders from Asmodee Games is another favorite. You draft cards and try to build up victory points. It’s pretty groovy. Every Christmas when we throw our party, we always break out Charades. A true classic, but fun as hell when everybody is loose enough to act out whatever craziness the other team can come up with. Another is Clusterfight by some company whom I can’t recall the name of. You go around and play a “hero” to fight on your behalf, then once everybody picks a fighter (a myriad of fictional and historical figures), then everybody bets on who will win, then everybody gets to play an action card to influence the fight in the way of their choice. Yay.
7. You’re forced to hear the same song play every single time you flush the toilet, any toilet, and it was chosen by your mortal enemy which means it’s a song you hate. What song is it??
It’s gotta be “Far Behind” by Candlebox. I have no idea why I would divulge something like this to you, but there it is. Either that or any part of the Toby Keith discography.
8. I love knowing what people were like in high school. So tell us. (Also, knowing the answer to the above question totally had me sitting here with steepled fingers, doing that throaty giggle I do when I’m about to troll the fuck out of someone.)
Honestly, I was pretty plain and quiet. I wore bands shirts and was, “Hey, it’s that fat guy. Hi dude.” I had 0 self esteem and failed all of my courting attempts miserably. I had some great groups of friends, despite the fact I was an opinionated dickhole when it came to movies and music. I’m kind of surprised I still had any friends, yeah that bad. Otherwise I was a pretty dope guy I suppose.

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9. Many years ago, you, Jessi and I tried to interview a bait shop owner with NO SUCCESS. What advice do you wish the seasoned fishing industry gossip columnists would have given us young, up-and-coming bait shop journalists on how to TACKLE the underbelly of worm dispensaries and get real answers to the hard questions?
First off, I wish they had told us to dress is camouflage head to toe. I feel like it would have made the former bait shop proprietor at ease to be in his native garb. Second, I think they would have told us to find a phone number and call ahead, but I disagree. How will you catch their nefarious deeds if you plan your prying eyes ahead of time. I think it helps to know your native fish, so you can have good icebreakers like, “How’s them halibut jumpin?” should halibut be native to your bait shop owner’s baitable body of water.
10. Write a short poem about your love for Hardee’s.
       The sweet smell of cinnamon and raisin
       Hark, are those fresh buttered biscuits tickling my nose?
       The sausage sizzles like a lion, heading for his next Christian meal
       There better not be a fucking Mega Bus in my way!
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And that’s my friend Bill! If you ever find yourself in the Detroit-ish area of Michigan, looking for a place to hang with cool people, I IMPLORE you to check out Bill’s shop, Warriors 3. I’m not a gamer or comic book-reader, but anytime I have visited, the sense of camaraderie is overwhelming. GEE I WONDER WHY.
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Jul 152016
 

8:53am: En route to WARPED TOUR and we all hate each other so bad woooooo!! Trying to order morning beverage at McDonald’s and Henry wants to kill us for being two strong-willed sassy ass individuals who know what they want. 


Yay I got my cup of flavored ice milk, thanks McCafe. 

Also, I hesitate to live blog these days because the WordPress app loves to take my pictures and shrink them down to near-thumbnails, or flat out flip them upside down. NO THATS NOT ME TRYING TO BE EDGY. That’s WordPress being a cunt*. 

*(Or, a Cindy, in my auto-correct’s opinion.)

9:29: Henry just went to Shop n Save to get us granola bars so we don’t perish during the day, and now he is getting gas: ALL THINGS HE SHOILD HAVE DONE LAST NIGHT. 

10:01: We just pulled in the lot and Henry is talking about really important things like “I don’t remember these lanes being so narrow. Did they make them narrower?” And something-something about how if you have 3 or more people in your car, blah blah who cares. 

10:05: Chooch is reading the names off the band tents as we drive through the parking lots. “Chelsea Grin–she’s always here.”  LOL N00B that’s a band of guys not a girl, idiot. 

10:12: Now I’m here in line ALONE while Henry goes to guest services to get his FREE PARENT TICKET lol. 

Lol I was just going to write about how parent-y Henry is and then some teenage girl behind me in line kept saying she was so hungry and she should have eaten breakfast so I turned around and gave her a granola bar out of my bag LIKE A TOTAL MOM but my bag is a BLED FEST drawstring so that helps negate my momness….I think?!

10:40: Kids behind us are talking about how great Neil Patrick Harris is (agreed) and they’re all name-dropping all of his projects, and being all “yeah I’ve seen that, yeah I love that” and then the one kid was all “What about Doogie Howser?” And the main know-it-all was all “Whassat?” And I thought he was kidding but the other guy has to explain what it was and I’m dying. #NPHN00b

11:15: well my plan of using Warped Tour as escape failed. The mess of my personal life has followed me here and I’m in tears and just want to go home. 

Henry and Chooch are making me stay but I’m so dead inside LOLOL

11:30: ok I drank water and breathed I think I’m ok for now lol also Silent Planet is screaming at me so that is good. 

11:45: Chooch just excitedly yelled something and made a beeline through the crowd toward the stage New Found Glory is playing on and I was like wow, I didn’t realize he was such a fan? But then he kept running straight to this: 

12:32: just played our favorite game: Lose Henry In a Crowd. So now Chooch and I are sitting here watching him run his hand through his hair in frustration and I feel a lot better about life. 

1:40: Chooch got some kind of Popsicle thing and the shiller was all, “Lucky, this is the last one in the flavor” and then Henry tried to buy the same flavor after dude JUST SAID Chooch got the last one. Henry, you’re an embarrassment. 

2:50: Worst warped tour of my life. Not your fault, Warped Tour. 

3:59: Almost left but stayed and Emarosa made everything better. I have a heart again, apparently! Bradley got us side-stage and I could have just passed out from the sheer joy of it all. I love that band so much you have no idea or maybe you do who knows. 

5:42: I think we’ve made it THREE HOURS without me flipping out and projecting! Things are looking up. *eyeroll emoji factory* I’m glad that Henry didn’t let me leave the 87 times I said I was going to. Emotions man, amirite. You should have seen my hissy fit at the front of the stage while Hail the Sun was playing. Am I 36? Nah. Guess not. 


In other news I’m staying hydrated. I think Henry and Chooch are too? I’m not responsible for them. 

5:52: Oh look who’s back. 

6:42: OH SHIT I never did get any coffee today after the McCafe blunder. FEELING IT. 


Shoes don’t tie themselves at Warped Tour. 

8:15: Leaving Warped Tour. Mixed feelings. I usually feel so at peace here but today all of my problems kept weasling their way in and I feel so stressed. Aside from that bullshit, I saw so many great bands, Emarosa put some sutures in my heart, and Chooch and I had a lot of fun (once we stopped fighting, which was only the first 1/3 of the day so we’re getting better!). I’m really glad that Henry wouldn’t leave when I wanted to. Now it’s time for FOOD. 

8:54: post-Warped coleslaw and coffee, BLESS YOU, KINGS. 

Choochs annual “I just spent all day surrounded by PETA propaganda” post-Warped Tour stint at vegetarianism: a veggie burger which he is struggling to get through. 

10:13: WELL BLOG I’m home now. My brain is swollen right now I think? So goodnight. 

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Jul 142016
 

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Drew and Penelope were like “bitch you better post some pictures of us on the blog because we’re cute and maybe someone has had a bad day and needs some cat pics in front of their face, you never know.”

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The most beautiful cat in the world

A video posted by Riley (@butt_jam) on

Warped Tour live blog tomorrow, maybe?

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Jul 132016
 

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John Carpenter played at the Carnegie Music Hall on Sunday and I was so happy to be there. I bought my solo ticket a few months ago and I was legitimately looking forward to going alone, sitting alone, and not talking to anyone.

YOU KNOW HOW IT IS.

In case you don’t know, John Carpenter is basically a god. Not only did he direct my favorite horror movie of all time—“Halloween”—but he also composed its theme. Going to horror conventions isn’t my cup of succulents, so when there was a chance to see him in this kind of setting, I was all for that.

Chooch and I fought the entire way there over whose phone needed charged more and I think Henry wanted to just push and roll me out of the moving car by the time we got to Homestead. I made him drop  me off a little bit down the street so people wouldn’t think my DADDY and BROTHER had driven me there. Big Trouble in Little Chevy Cruze.

Once all the ladies at the door finished gushing over my raygun purse (I HAVE AWESOME PURSES, it’s the only interesting thing about me) I went to the makeshift bar area, made no eye contact with anyone, bought my traditional sippy cup of wine, stood in the slow-as-fuck merch line for a poster, and then found my seat in my favorite spot: balcony right, second row near the end. The view is perf.

I was familiar with most of the movie themes played that night, but JC and his band also performed some tracks from his non-movie albums as well, and I was into it. Those tracks were just as dark and sleazy, like cruising in Christine through the fog to the porn shop after doing a fuck-ton of cocaine and stabbing your dealer in the throat, and now your heart’s EKG is tracing geometric Trapper Keeper designs because coke and murder.

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There was no opening band, but I think the dream line-up would have been Goblin, Angelo Badalamenti, and John Carpenter. RIGHT!?

Every so often, John would fork his fingers and make the “I’m watching you” to some random blob in the audience and I SHIT YOU NOT he did it to me, I don’t give a fuck what that mousey bitch in front of me thought. He looked right over her dumb face and jutted his fingers at ME and I was all, “I SEE YOU TOO, JOHN CARPENTER!!!!”

I tried to share this memory with Henry when I got home that night but he just rolled his eyes, probably because he was jealous. He knows how much I love old guys.

Clearly.

YOU GUYS, JOHN CARPENTER. #LEGEND #halloween #michaelmyers

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

I’m not even going to pretend to be anyone but That Guy who was there primarily for dem Michael Myers vibes tho. And when that jam was finally plucked away on the keyboard by the very tips of John Carpenter’s finger tips, I felt seized by extreme adoration and amazement.

The night was loaded with moody, synth-driven 80s instrumental rock that gave me chills even though it was 99 degrees in that theater. I half expected to go home to my art-deco house—you know, the one with random glass block windows and pastel abstract art prints—and finding a black-gloved killer waiting to spring out from my closet and stab me to death on my waterbed, getting blood spatter all over my rad shoulder-padded blazer.

What a dream. John Carpenter, you and your band are too fucking cool for slasher school.

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