Jun 222017
 

As usual, we got on the road a good hour after we originally planned. And then we realized we forgot things when we got to the end of the street and had to do the obligatory road trip back-track. 

The drive to Newark from Pittsburgh was plain, uneventful. Chooch slept for a lot of it and I dozed off and on a lot too because I think my mania is finally catching up with me and I am so goddamn tired. 

I had one weird Sheetz restroom encounter with an older woman, an ahjumma if you will, who was standing in line in front of me and she said, “You know, I travel A LOT for work and rarely see lines in the Sheetz restrooms” which is weird because I was thinking the same thing! Only, I didn’t feel it was necessary to initiate small talk over it. 

Then she let a woman with her small (BAREFOOT) son go ahead of her and turned to me and said, “Maybe I shouldn’t have done that–as I get older, the more I leak!” And then she started throwing her body around, like her laughter was a poltergeist pummeling her in the gut, and hit her head off the hand dryer. 

IT WAS SO WEIRD. 

And then I realized I didn’t even really have to pee but I had already stood in line for 5 minutes and was locked in. 


We ate lunch in Danville, PA at a Friendly’s we ate at once with the Handa’s after an event at Knoebel’s Amusement Park. I didn’t want to eat lunch at all because it was encroaching on our ETA – I needed to get to the Prudential Center before 5pm so we could pre-register for KCON. I watched a lot of YouTubers bitch about past KCONs and the discord that went along with the registering process and if there is one thing I don’t need right now it’s MORE STRESS. 

But we needed to eat, so we stopped at Friendly’s and I got all Token Nutritionist at our table because the menu had the calorie count of every single item and I was like WHAT AM I GOING TO EAT?!?! Turns out the grilled cheese and tomato sauce was actually the best option which worked out perfectly considering I’m a vegetarian and calorie-count aside, my options were slim, people. 

I also spent a lot of time bitching about how I didn’t like the looks of those Friendly’s guys on the wall (see above photo) and went as far as labeling them as SHARKS which is weird because there was some seasonal drink on the menu that had gummy sharks in it. Fuck you and your unnecessary calories, Friendly’s. 

Meanwhile, Chooch and I played some trivia on the game thingie that every table comes with. Henry was all, “THAT COSTS MONEY” and we were all, “NO IT DOESNT, TIGHTWAD.” 

And then when we got our bill, Henry was like, “LOOK AT THIS LAST ITEM” and it was a whole whopping $1.99 for those priceless 5 minutes that chooch and I were harmoniously working together to win at trivia. 

Get over it, Henry! 


We made it to Newark around 4:15 and got our wristbands and scratch offs to see if we were able to get any fan engagements. (The higher-tiered tickets came with a guarantee for one high-touch experience with one of the idol groups, and one guarentee to be in the audience for a fan engagement with one of the groups. The rest of us peions just got a “chance” for a fan engagement.)

Henry was like, “WHY DONT I GET TO SCRATCH ONE?!” as Chooch and I furiously scratched away at the four tickets we scored. They all said “sorry” — except for one of mine!! 

Up10tion is one of the only groups there this weekend that I know pretty much nothing about BUT I WILL TAKE IT. Their fan engagement is Saturday at 11 and I’m excited to witness the awkwardness of it all!

Chooch and I immediately put our wristbands on even though they’re not needed until tomorrow but Henry was too cool for that. Of course Chooch put his on too tight and has been complaining about it ever since. 


Early registrants!

We got to see a bunch of the booths being set up and I got this giant surge of giddiness. I am going to do ALL THE KOREAN THINGS this weekend. 

On the way to the hotel, Chooch’s neighbor friend Markie called him to see if he could come out and play. Chooch kept telling him he was in NJ and it just wasn’t clicking. When Chooch needs to be firm with him, he calls him Mark. 

“Mark, listen to me. We’re not playing today. We’re not playing tomorrow. Or Saturday either. BECAUSE IM IN NJ! I keep telling you that!” He was so mad and frustrated!

The he hung up and said “he’ll be knocking on our door in an hour.”

Chooch also talked to two of his other friends after that – he’s like a teenage girl in the 90s. Just sits in the backseat with his leg crossed, talking on the phone and looking out the window. 

My favorite was when he was explaining to one of them why he was in NJ: “I don’t know, some convention for my mom” he mumbled. 

We checked into our hotel around 5:30 and Chooch and I went swimming while Henry supervised and by that I mean he sat on a lawn chair and looked at his phone/nodded off. 

Henry splurged and got us a hotel that didn’t have cigarette burns in the shower curtains and questionable stains on the sheets. Chooch and I were acting out our own episode of Rags to Riches and Henry was like, “That’s enough.”

Then we went to Killer Vegan for dinner! I had the Gunslinger – a homemade veggie burger with BBQ seitan on top. It was good but not $11.50 worth of good. And my side of Brussels sprouts was just OK. 

Chooch had a pizza burger with vegan mozzarella and Henry had vegan gumbo. 

Now you know what we ate for dinner because that’s the kind of blogger I am. ALL MINUTIA ALL THE TIME. 

MY BURGER ALSO HAD ONIONS!

(On the real tho: Chooch got fries and they were the mystical kinds that I have gone through life talking about but rarely eating. They were The Good Kinds. The kinds that are perfectly crisp without being dry or hard, and they just melt into a beautiful pile of greasy potato ash on your tongue. God help me.)


All in all, it was an adequate dinner and it felt good to eat healthy, but I was hoping for actual entrees and a better ambiance. 

Came home and pissed around in the fitness center for some amount of time and then Chooch and I “explored” the hotel (some Wyndham business hotel) because they was always my favorite thing to do as a kid and it’s even better when you have a partner. We ran up and down so many stairwells and did the whole “look at the ceiling and whistle” every time we passed some asshole in a suit. My favorite part was when we turned a corner on the third floor and saw some tall man slowly vacuuming the floor with his back toward us. 

“What if he’s dead?” Chooch tersely whispered. 

“OMG I hope he is!” I whispered back. 

He wasn’t. :(

Then we walked around outside in the dark and eventually came back to our fourth floor room, banged on the door, and got yelled at by Henry because “people are trying to sleep.”

Lol ok. 

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Jun 212017
 

Tomorrow morning, we leave for KCON. I think all three of us need this long weekend to get away from all the bullshit and remember how to be a family. 

Even if it is in Newark. 

It’s not fine. But it will be. 

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Jun 192017
 

There was one majorly super awesome thing that happened last Tuesday, you guys. Baby Calvin was born! It seemed like Haley was pregnant forever, but now he’s here and the three of them have become the perfect little family. I’M LITERALLY CRYING AS I TYPE THIS because I have known Blake since he was eight and it’s been a crazy and awesome journey watching from the sidelines as be grew from a little human Bart Simpson to this sweet, excited dad. 

BLAKE IS A DAD!

AND ROBBIE IS A DAD!

So many dads and babies!

It seems like just yesterday when Blake & I were getting sick together on carnival rides,  making STD cookies with Janna, and going to Warped Tour….

Where did the time go?! 

Haley is already assuming the role of super cool mom and her happiness is contagious! It almost makes me wish Chooch was still a baby…

They brought Calvin over yesterday for a visit and seeing Henry holding his grandson made me forget all the bullshit because this is what life and family is about. THIS. 

Three grandsons for Henry! This is totally his year. I’m so happy for everyone! Congratulations, Blake & Haley! Calvin is so lucky to have you as parents!

(Also, Chooch completely missed out on the visit because he was too busy hanging out at his second family’s house, a/k/a Wesley with the two trampolines, a poodle, and a mom who cooks.)

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Jun 182017
 

Everything sucks. But this custard / Fruity Pebbles combo was nice. 

In related news, I deactivated my Facebook account because after 16 years, some people still can’t seem to stay the fuck out of my non-marriage. I have to say, being Facebook-free has been pretty wonderful and I don’t regret it, even though it took being told that I’m a terrible mom and even worse girlfriend to get there. 


They’re probably looking at a list of all the ways I’m super shitty. 

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Jun 162017
 

There was an episode of some talk show I watched once in the 90s—Maury or Donahue or Sally Jesse, who cares—about people who survived gunshots to the head.

What always stuck with me was that every person on the panel said the same thing: it didn’t hurt.

One person said they only felt “an icy sensation.”

That’s how my head has felt all week but without the bullethole.

Anyway, due to my invisible head trauma, please look at some pictures of Pittsburgh that I’ve been collecting during the last several lunch break walks. I’m on the tourism board, you know.

These were some street art installations that sprung up during the annual Three Rivers arts festival. I actually was walking by the day the artist was making one of them. He had paint on one side of his face that looked like tire tracks. I’m pretty sure it was intentional and I would have much rather hung out with him than go back to work, wah.

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Hey guys, this was the general area where that lady got hit by a car and I cried and was so worried about her all day—me, caring about another human!

I remember the day I took this picture in the Strip District because it was a deliciously uneventful walk. Sometimes a stroll without attracting weirdos or witnessing domestic disputes is a welcome reprieve!

That time I was standing in line at Crazy Mocha and Journey’s “Who’s Crying Now?” came on the radio and all five people in line started mindlessly humming along.

Here’s a picture from some church on the Northside, which I walked to accidentally and then almost didn’t make it back to work in time and I panicked even though no one else is a clock-watcher but me.

Random view down some street. It rained later that day, and then Pittsburgh was lit with the pungent bouquet of wet hobo piss on a hot summer’s day. Ugh, that stench.

I walk past this storefont nearly every day and somehow never noticed how pretty it is until today. Also today, I got caught in a storm without a umbrella so I ran inside the Westin and thought I was out-smarting mother nature by going into the gift shop to buy an umbrella, BUT THEY WERE ALL OUT?! I literally just made fun of Todd the other day, too, for his horrid luck at getting stuck in downpours on his lunch break, so I guess I was due for my own afternoon shower.

Luckily it didn’t last long and I was under shelter the whole time, so there.

Hey, speaking of head shots, this song was banned by some of the Korean TV stations for having graphic lyrics about violence. I get to see them next week at KCON and I hope they perform it!

I’m hoping KCON breaks the sad spell that’s been cast on me. The other night, Henry was so desperate to cheer me up, that he willingly suggested that we watch G-Dragon videos and then Chooch offered to watch Running Man with me and he HATES that show because it’s subtitled. I said no to all of those things, but turns out Soju shots was also an option and that felt great until it didn’t.

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Jun 142017
 

Currently enduring some of the worst parts of mania. Who cares though. Here’s some happy things cuz fake it till u make it amirite lol. 

1. I got to see my buddy Nina and her kids a few weeks ago when she was visiting from Virginia! Wendy and I had lunch with her and some of her other friends and it was really great. Always great to see her pretty face. I miss working with her! She used to take care of me, like the time I broke the Keurig and she fixed it for me before I cut myself or broke a sweat or whatever. 


2. Lori made me a G-Dragon Countdown calendar and even did it all in Hangul which makes me so happy because I can read it, mostly! I’m actually learning a different number system though, so now I’ll know both sino-Korean numbers along with native thanks to this! I love that there are people who encourage my obsessive behavior :) 

3. testing out the filters on the Snow app on Glenn & Todd at work yesterday. I love this app!

​https://instagram.com/p/BVTBXdRAU6n/

4. It’s summer, almost?

5. It’s storming and maybe I can possibly get struck by lightning?

Well, I guess that’s it at the moment. Everything else sucks.  I’ll try harder next time. 

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Jun 132017
 

We went to visit Robbie & Nikki on Sunday to see the babies. Robbie made bomb veggie burgers that weee gigantic and Eli & Levi kept staring at me. It’s because they can smell fear!

Meanwhile,  Chooch decided he’s old enough to graduate fifth grade so that happened on Monday. I DIDNT CRY ON MY WAY TO WORK OR ANYTHING. His buddy Dimajio is going to a different school next year so it was their last morning hangout, which was doubly sad. :(

Henry’s a grandfather (with a third grandson arriving this week courtesy of Haley & Blake!) and we have a kid going into middle school. Time can kindly slow the fuck down now.

 It feels like yesterday when Blake & Robbie were teaching me how to play Neopets and having my kid was the furthest thing from my mind. 

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Jun 112017
 

WOOOOOO PENGUINS! SUCK IT, TRASHVILLE! Go choke on your booing and terrible fucking National Anthem singers. You’re the worst. 

I love how hated my team is. Everyone else gets so up-in-arms when they win the Stanley Cup! It makes it even more fun for the rest of us! 


Wow it’s really hard to believe that all those disparaging Crosby & Murray chants didn’t impede on their ability to win the Stanley Cup. And I bet Crosby’s feelings were really hurt when everyone was screaming that he sucks as he skated around joyously with the Conn Smythe and the Stanley Cup. 

BEST.TEAM.EVER. Penguins 영원히!

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Jun 102017
 

I started off the day learning the hard way that you musn’t spray canola oil on a hot pan. If I hadn’t already lost most of my eyebrows during the Great Overplucking of the 90s, today would have been their funeral fo sho. 

I was running around screaming about the injustice of it all, like who is supposed to know that would happen?? when Henry calmly said, “Well, everyone. It says it on the directions.”

“The PAN has directions?!” I cried. 

“No! The can of cooking spray!”

“Srsly? Why does a can of cooking spray need directions? Like, who would read that?” I said indignantly. 

“People like YOU are the reason those directions are there,” Henry sighed. 

(I know you guys: how does Henry “tolerate” me? He must be a “Saint.” “Job is going to shake his hand when he gets to Heaven.” Because our relationship is something he “tolerates” or “puts up with.”)

Honestly though, that flame went up SO HIGH. This is what happens when Henry takes too long waking up and I take breakfast matters into my own hands. :/

It’s all his fault. Just like it was his fault for failing to buy me a bag of coffee for work, creating a MAJOR CRISIS last Friday which culminated in Catherine and I colluding in a dangerous k-cup robbery from Lori’s office which I tried to reason was ok because one time she told me I was welcome to the candy she keeps in the one drawer and her k-cups were one drawer beneath that one, so…And then Catherine was so fraught with guilt that she left a dollar on Lori’s desk. The much anticipated conclusion to this is that Lori returned to work on Wednesday amd Catherine FLEW into her office before Lori even set her purse down, blurting out her confession and waiting to receive penance. There was a tense moment when we weren’t sure if Lori was going to throw a stapler and yelled, “Cash me ousside!” but turns out she had used up all her fucks on games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup finals and had little left in the tank to use on a stolen k-cup. She even gave Catherine her dollar back (had I known, I would have stolen that too!) Then when Todd got to work later that day, he said, “Oh yeah, I’m telling Lori you stole from her” and I was like OMG SHE ALREADY KNOWS! EVERYONE KNOWS! I’M A DIRTY THIEF!

I mean…

Ahem. 

SUBJECT CHANGE. 

Here are some pictures from this day, Saturday, June 10, 2017. 

We moved Chooch’s keyboard out of his bedroom and onto the backporch. Well, let me rephrase that: Henry and I kept saying that’s what we were going to but Chooch is the one who finally did it on his own accord because he was tired of waiting for his parents to finish watching Running Man and take care of him. 

Last night, I walked past him and saw that he had found the music for BigBang’s “Haru Haru” and decided to try and learn it! The coolest part is that he realized one of the notes was off and FIXED IT. He’s really good at playing by ear, which is something he definitely didn’t get from either one of us. 

He played it for Henry and made him guess what it was. Henry knew it was Bigbang right away but not what song because Henry never knows song names except for Ted Nugent ones. 

Early afternoon, we went to Kohl’s so I could buy new jeans and for the first time in years I didn’t have an emotional breakdown in the fitting room, 고맙습니다, Korea!!!!

Anyway, the whole point of mentioning Kohl’s is that there were these two middle-aged women loudly airing their dirty laundry RIGHT NEXT TO THE LAUREN CONRAD SECTION so I had to stand practically butted up against them, enduring their not-even-interesting drama. They were there every time I came back around and at one point I said loudly to Henry that they should take their lame bitch fest out to the parking lot instead of polluting our ears with it, because that’s how I handle conflict with strangers: passive aggressively, with loud immaturity. 

It was honestly the only time I was mad all day though so that’s pretty huge. I’m usually mad MANY times. 


I imprinted on this red leaf banana thing at some nursery we went to today. 

“Who imprints on a banana leaf plant?!” Henry cried. 

Um, me — I literally just said that?!

Henry wouldn’t buy it because it was $80 and that’s like a lot for a plant I guess? I literally do not know the value of a dollar. 


Chooch chose a plant for himself and mused, “I’ll name him A-ha, because I want to take him on.” OK, 80s kid?


Pet cemetery visit:( Chooch and I got really emotional and Henry didn’t know what to do so he just walked away because he doesn’t love animals. 


Obligatory ice cream from Yough Twist down the street from the pet cem. “Ugh I forgot this place has the inferior sprinkles!” I cried with my head back, dramatic damsel I am. 

“What’s wrong with them?” Henry and Chooch asked in tandem. 

“Well in addition to not being properly rainbow, they have a chalky taste,” I snapped because duh, just look at them. 

Beneath the inadequate sprinkled shell sat a perfect black raspberry & vanilla twist though, so once I hate-ate the sprinkles, I was good to go. 

Henry and Chooch also had ice cream, blah blah blah. 

Drew is like, “No really, you can trust me. I’m just gonna sit on them and help them grow.” 🙄


But seriously, these little propagations are coming along swimmingly in spite of PENELOPE digging them up once a week. 


Henry made me a snack plate with pineapple, kimchi, and pickled daikon – it was so refreshing. So refreshing that I went back for more pineapple which I then left out on the kitchen counter.  

“You left the pineapple out,” Henry said when he was visiting the kitchen later on. He sighed and put it away. 

Which is the exact outcome I expected, so why bother putting it away myself?

*******

In other news, G-Dragon’s new music is the most wonderful thing I’ve heard in so long and it made it to #1 on iTunes in 39 countries including the US which is crazy to me because most Americans I know are incredibly narrow-minded & ignorant when it comes to anything that’s not in English. Omg so weird and inferior. 

I still can’t believe I’m going to see him next month! I was thinking about it on the trolley yesterday, trying to imagine how I will react when I first see him, and I started to cry openly in front of people which sadly isn’t the first time that’s happened on the trolley. Dat bi-polar life, y’all.

******

It’s 8’oclock now and Chooch has stains all over my treasured Howard Jones shirt. Should I cry, laugh, or burn down the kitchen for real this time? I JUST DONT KNOW. GOODBYE. 

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Jun 092017
 

Well, it finally happened. Lisa made good on her threat to leave me and took her whole family to Idaho on Wednesday.

FOREVER.

UGH!!

She had a going away thing on Saturday at Rock Bottom. The whole time I was like DONT CRY. DONT YOU DARE CRY, ERIN. But then she hugged me as Henry and I were on our way out and my eyes started sweating, probably an allergic reaction to the strange beer concoction I let the bartender sell me, and not at all because EVERYONE LEAAAAAAVEEEESSSSS MEEEEEE.

I think the last thing I said to her was “I hate you.”

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So I decided that instead of dwelling on the Great Betrayal, I would make this a happy hop down memory lane, or whatever.

Lisa and I have technically known each other since 6th grade (199-You shut your damn mouth) but only had one middle school interaction (during the 8th grade Halloween dance when she threatened to kick my ass after I had a fight with my ex-bff who she also happened to be friends with) before becoming legit besties in high school.

She’s also the only person who has been able to break through my anti-hug barrier, as seen in the picture above. It took a lot of violence to get to where we are now, hugging freely and without force.

I just had a random memory of the time I had a Pampered Chef party (HENRY MADE ME DO IT) and when the Pampered Chef lady asked everyone how they knew me, Lisa said we met when we were working the same corner.  I think she and I were the only people who laughed at that.

Anyway, the above picture is from the first night in my first apartment in 1998 when we were all 18-year-old babies! AKA THE GOOD OL’ TIMES.

Lisa and I have a very strange love for the classic rock band .38 Special. Don’t ask. (No seriously, please ask me so that I can direct you to this wonderful essay of Lisa and my strange love for the classic rock band .38 Special!)

The above photo is from the one time we went to see them in 1997 at the Rostraver Ice Garden. I look like I have no hair, but I had recently undergone a very terrible hair shearing at the hands of some Borics follicle assassin. (I had a stylist at a real salon, but Lisa and I were at Borics with her friend Kim who was just getting a trim so wasn’t worried of the outcome, and I was strong-armed into getting my hair cut too but BORICS CAN’T DO LAYERS, YALL. So I wore a silk scarf* around my head for the first two weeks and then spent an additional month pulling what remained of my hair back in a crappy ponytail.)

*(Not to be confused with the time I got braces in fifth grade and wrapped a silk scarf around my face like the Invisible Man for a whole week.


Back then, Lisa was my ultimate haunted house partner. Sometimes we would hit up 3 different ones in a night! This is us at Castle Blood, and note that my hair still had not grown back.

We hung out at Denny’s so much that our favorite waitress Maryanne carried our senior pictures in her wallet. She was the best. (The Denny’s in the valley was always preferred over the one on the hill.) Anyway, this was taken the night of Evan’s art show at CMU, which was one of the best nights I had that year, but don’t let Lisa’s bored face tell you otherwise.

I think this was from 1996. The same year our crew tricked Lisa into going to see ICP and she slipped on the Faygo-coated steps of Club Laga. OH MEM’RIES!

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Lisa moved to Colorado for a while after undergrad, but we always hung out when she was home for a visit. Here we are one summer in 2007 when I still had most of my pregnancy weight a full year later, go me!

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Lisa with a teething, slobbery Chooch.

And then I was tired of looking through old photos because I have no attention span and nostalgia makes me sad AF.

Anyway, all sadness and self-pity aside, I’m excited for Lisa and her family and hope that their new adventure is everything they want it to be, even though it means that Pittsburgh loses. WOE IS ME!

****

Full disclosure: I didn’t know where Idaho was until Thursday night. I was texting with Lisa and asked her how far they made it so far on the drive to their new home. She said Minnesota and I thought, “Wtf—why did they drive past Idaho?”

So I felt inspired to look at a map, a good old-fashioned (Google) map. WOW, I had no idea Idaho was all the way over there! I thought it was in the middle.

Well, at least now Henry has a reason to take me on that cross-country roadtrip I’ve been dying to do thanks to my handy Roadside America app!

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Jun 082017
 

When I went to bed last night, there was a little over 5 hours left before G-Dragon’s comeback. I’m on late shift today and usually try to sleep in a bit, but my internal fan girl alarm woke me up a few minutes ago and the first thing I did was go to YouTube to see if the new MV was out and it is and it is beautiful and now I’m over here crying. My love for G-Dragon is reaching critical Robert Smith levels. 

His album is being released on a USB drive, why is he so cool omg. 

“Bullshit” was supposed to be his first single, but I guess in light of recent events with TOP, he decided to go with this softer track and I’m glad. I can’t imagine how stressful this is for him to have to go through a record release and a world tour thy starts in two days while TOP is in the hospital from a drug overdose, which is all I have been able to focus on this week, constantly refreshing for updates and praying that the guy doesn’t die!

When the news first broke early Tuesday morning, I went to work all shook over it and Glenn of course was no help, mocking the situation every which way, until I finally marched over to Amber’s desk and cried, “I think Glenn and I need to be separated today!” Ugh!

“If this happened to someone you like, I wouldn’t make fun of them!” I yelled at him. “Like, what if this was happening to, I don’t know, Jethro Tull?!”

“I wouldn’t care because I don’t know him personally!” Glenn laughed. 

OMG sociopath! 

I had so many emotions going through me that I probably would have flipped a table if I wasn’t at work. I mean, I’m fine. Nothing to see here. 

But in related news, Amber awarded me with the Golden Thumb* for the week due to my emotional trauma. I chose BBQ Pringles as my prize.

*(This is what my group passes around to whoever did a great job which is obviously always me but apparently we have to let other people get it sometimes too. 🙄)

Anyway, the whole TOP sitch is so messed up (last I heard this morning, he had finally opened his eyes) and it makes me sad that the pressure from Korean society basically did this to him. Being a Kpop idol is no joke, guys. And it makes me worry about G-Dragon too. I just want to hug all of them and I hate hugging people. 


#StayStrongTOP 

Maybe GD’s album will wake him up??

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Jun 072017
 

I can’t believe how good this oatmeal tastes,” I said enthusiastically yesterday at work. 

“Ooh, what did you put in it?” Lauren asked. 

“Nothing,” I shrugged. “I just followed the directions on the box for the first time.”

****

OK, let’s back up.

Typically I eat cream of wheat or oatmeal everyday for lunch at work because it’s instant gratification and I can barely handle much else, other than slopping some fruit salad (pre-made by Henry) into a tupperware thing and praying that it doesn’t leak in my bag on the way to work.

If I’m feeling particularly whimsical, I will add some sprinkles to it. If Gayle has honey at work, I might add that too. Usually I have a bruised banana that will find its way into the hot slop, too.

I always tell Henry when it’s time to buy me more instant cereal for work, but sometimes — this is going to be hard to fathom for some so make sure you swallow first if you’re eating or drinking — I will go to CVS during my lunch break and buy it myself.

I KNOW.

ME!

I CAN DO THAT!

Recently, something crazy was going on with me and I tagged along with Henry to the boring grocery store (as opposed to the magical Asian markets, which I happily visit every weekend). I knew that I needed to restock on my work lunch stash, so I bought kids oatmeal (complete with dinosaur eggs, thank you) and some healthy oatmeal thing that had flax seed and whatever in it.

Turns out, that healthy oatmeal is a kind that I’ve bought before and I HATE IT! It turns out so watery, basically just warm cloudy water with grain things floating in it. Disgusting! Two days in a row I suffered through this sad-sack lunch, complaining about it at length to Glenn who had the Don’t Care glaze over his eyes, until something occurred to me yesterday.

“Maybe I should try to make it the way the box says to make it,” I said mostly to myself, reading the directions at my desk.

“Well, how have you been making it?” Glenn asked hesitantly, probably wishing he could recall his question.

NO TAKE-BACKS.

“Well, I dump it into my mug and then fill it up with the hot water from the spout on the coffee maker,” I said. “But then it just stays watery! Nothing happens!”

“Oh my god,” Glenn mumbled, and I couldn’t tell if that meant he was shocked my method didn’t work, or if he had just looked at a really great picture of G-Dragon.

So in the kitchen, I followed directions. I dumped the oatmeal into my cup. I filled the now-empty paper oatmeal pouch up to the line with water (not from the hot water thingie though – I’m not that dumb, you guys! Plus there is a warning sticker on it). Then I poured it over top the oatmeal and baked it in the microwave for two minutes.

And it exploded like a fucking 5th grader’s volcano science project. I had to take the glass thingie out of the microwave and clean it, ugh! Aaron walked by when this was happening and I sheepishly said, “I made a mess…”

“Is that your banana tea?” he asked, because one time he saw me cutting up a banana in the kitchen (with a plastic knife, don’t worry) and putting it in my coffee cup and then for the next year, he secretly thought I was literally adding bananas to my tea and expressed his concern (and disgust, probably) to Jeannie, who later told me about it and we had a great laugh.

Ugh, yes it’s my banana tea.

After I cleaned up the mess (burning my hand in the process), I took the remnants back to my desk and was amazed at how wonderful it tasted!

Glenn said I should have taken it out of the microwave every 30 seconds to stir it.

“Well, how would I know to do that if it doesn’t say on the box?” I cried, and he went back to trolling comment sections on fake news sites.

Later, I struggled to get the burnt oatmeal off my Goonies mug and considered just throwing it out and getting a new one, but then Gayle was like, “Just soak it….?” and hello, I know about that dish-washing secret, but the oatmeal was caked to the OUTSIDE of the cup too. I ended up just scrubbing it really hard and now my wrist hurts and I need to blame someone for this but I haven’t decided who yet. Probably Henry for not training me to be a grown-up, which by the way, he threatened to do over the weekend “in case something happens.” Something happens? Like he grows a pair and leaves?! Monica said she always just assumed Chooch and I would just move into Chez Chronica if that happens, kind of like she and Chris are our godparents.

I still should just get a new mug though. A G-Dragon one!

****

Today, I remembered Glenn’s sage cooking advice and stalked the microwave, stopping it every thirty seconds and giving the oatmeal a good stir.

With 45 seconds to go, I had a bad feeling. I could sense something wasn’t right, so I stopped it before the timer got to 30 and IT HAD OVERFLOWN AGAIN!!!!

Another day of cleaning the microwave! UGH. Where is Barb when I need her?!

Still though, it’s amazing how wonderful food tastes when you follow directions.

“Did the instructions give you options based on the microwave wattage?” Henry asked me on the way home from work, as we sat in traffic for an hour and he tried to resign from being my chauffeur.

“Huh?” I asked, scrolling through my Spotify kpop playlist.

“Never mind,” Henry sighed.  But then he had the audacity to ask me if I was trying to microwave the oatmeal IN THE POUCH, like I’m so dumb that I didn’t know to dump everything into a cup or bowl first, I AM SO INSULTED.

“It was so weird, it looked like it expanded somehow!” I gushed, as though I was telling the Story of Oatmeal for the very first time, to a bunch of pioneer people sitting on logs around a cauldron.

“That’s because it literally did expand. It absorbed the water, you idiot,” Henry sighed.

WOW. No need for name-calling!

“Anyway, who knew oatmeal needed to be baked. I guess I’m a baker now.”

“You’re not a baker. You cooked it in a microwave.

I’m going to try and bake other things in the microwave this weekend. Baked beans, probably.

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Jun 062017
 

Today is dear Henry’s birthday. My oppa, my bae, my ride or die, my Papa H, my All Of the Things He Hates Being Called. I am going to try and be extra nice to him all day (which is easy since most of that day we’ll both be at work) and not boss him around (as much — I’m still going to want him to feed me tonight).

I think everyone knows how great Henry is, whether you know him IRL or just from watching me drag his name through mud on here over the years. But it’s still worth the reminder and really, who doesn’t deserve a nice shout-out on their birthday? (OK, there are definitely people who don’t, so no need to answer that. I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE ON ONE PERSON WHO MATCHES THE HUE OF THE PHILADELPHIA FLYERS.)

(That’s ORANGE if you are colorblind.)

Let us pay tribute to the big guy by remembering some of the best frowns from the past year.

The “You Have Your Own Ice Cream, Step Away From Mine” frown.

The “Oh Boy, Riot Fest Again (but secretly loving it)” frown.

The “Resting Frown Face” frown.

The “Posing For a Picture Outside of Another Haunted House I Didn’t Go In” frown.

The “All We Do Is Eat Ice Cream” frown.

The “Nothing Impresses You Once You’ve Been in THE SERVICE” frown.

The ubiquitous “What Are You Up To” father of all frowns.

****

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And here are some of Henry’s best moments over the years!

OK, that’s enough.

Henry, thank you for keeping Chooch and me safe and alive, and most importantly – spoiled rotten. I can’t imagine any one of my past boyfriends tolerating my obsessions and eye-roll inducing phases and my heart-wrenching imprinting on the entire country of South Korea. But you deal with it with panache and an absurd amount of patience. HOW.

Come on, guys — give it up for Papa H!

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Jun 052017
 

Hello. Good morning. 안녕하세요.

I decided that I would liveblog my workday because I haven’t done that in a while and quite honestly, I have nothing else to write about because everything in the world sucks, you know?

And this morning sucks because it’s raining REALLY hard and I had to walk to the trolley thing and now I look like a drowned rat and my umbrella blew back and slammed me in the forehead and it HURTS and I made the mistake of telling Glenn.

“Oh wow, Glenn has a smile on his face so early in the morning!” Catherine said when she walked back to her office with her coffee.

“Yeah, because I injured myself!” I spat, and everyone laughed but NOT ME, I DIDN’T LAUGH.

And then Todd said I should blog about the NBA finals because that would take my blog to the next level. NO.

So, here’s my liveblog prologue. We’ll see how the day goes. Check back or don’t, I don’t care! Ugh!

9:14am: Lauren just got here and I let her talk a whole lot before I told her that I’m liveblogging today and now she’s mad that I didn’t give her a disclaimer before she started talking. EVERYONE BETTER WATCH WHAT THEY SAY TODAY. Just kidding. I don’t want to get fired.

9:36am: I can’t get an email to send and Todd just asked me if I pressed “send” and now I’m ready to flip a table!

10:32am: Just had an argument with Lou (typical) and then we got an email about something to discuss at this afternoon’s meeting which I guess we’re still having because “But it’s raining” isn’t a good enough reason to not have one or something which seems dumb.

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Current candy situation ^^^ 

Everyone seems on board with the current stash of candy I’ve provided, although there has been some heavy discussion on the Pollito Alvbros (???) which some people claim has a slight chicken taste to it.

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What nationality’s candy should we try next?! Glenn said we should do what Conflict Kitchen does and provide candy from the places that the US has conflict with, but given the temperament and idiocy of our current “leader,” that could pretty much be anywhere soon.

11:50am: I just briefed Todd on the latest in the T.O.P. marijuana scandal (Glenn has his earphones in, acting like he doesn’t care), and Todd said, “Thank god it isn’t G-Dragon though. I don’t know what I would do with myself” and I said, “I KNOW RIGHT” before realizing he was being sarcastic, ugh.

12:10pm: I’m currently eating one of these milk candies. They’re my favorites out of this recent candy batch because they’re Korean and I can read the package because my name is Erin and I’m amazing:

12:31pm: Remember when I said I was amazing? I was just in the kitchen and I couldn’t open my packet of oatmeal and one of my co-workers had to help me and it was mildly embarrassing because I was really trying to handle that shit on my own. I think my grunts and whines of, “Ugh, I can’t do this!” gave me away. It’s not even good oatmeal that’s worth the struggle either. (That would be the dinosaur egg oatmeal that I left at home.) UGH RAINY MONDAY.

Also, Lou has spoken to me 4 times without permission today.

1:48pm: Just came back in from my lunchtime walk and guess what — it’s not raining anymore! Today still sucks though. Some homeless guy snagged me (they always do because I have that deer-in-headlights naivete about my dumb turtle face, I guess) and when I said I didn’t have any change, he decided he wanted to talk about the good ol’ days, so I felt compelled to be his audience as he wove yarns about being a carefree kid and how then you grow up and they only things you think about are life and death, and then he had a massive coughing fit, and now I’m fucking depressed, man.

Also, I finally saw the Umbrella Sky Project at the Arts Festival that everyone has been posting about on Instagram and SORRY PITTSBURGH but my boo Seoul has one that’s much more fabulous, because: Korea.

2:44pm: We just had our weekly meeting and talked extensively about patchouli. Now Glenn is leaving for the day after giving me zero fodder for this liveblog.

2:55pm: UGH I was just filling in Amber on the whole T.O.P. pot scandal (Chooch gleefully pointed out that TOP is pot backward) and Todd started laughing. I called him out on it and he said that in his head, he was thinking, “Run, Amber, run.” SO RUDE!

3:41pm: It’s raining again so this blog post title is still relevant. Also it started raining after Todd left for his lunch break so that’s what he gets for laughing at my somber Kpop talk.

4:44pm: I picked a dumb day to liveblog. There is nothing happening here! So here is a special peek into Glenn’s locker thing:


Amber1 and I put those dead flowers in there over a year ago I think inspite of Todd’s protests (I think he called us Mean Girls) and I’m not sure Glenn even knows it’s there.


Um, all the other stuff is his, though.

4:51pm: WENDY just came over to get candy from the magical candy pumpkin. “What are these?” she asked, holding up one of those aforementioned chicken lollipops so I got really mad and yelled, “IF YOU WOULD HAVE READ MY LIVEBLOG, YOU’D KNOW.” I mean, hello. Anyway, she is like totally grossed out because it’s the shape of a chicken on a spit, and Todd happily pointed out that I, the sanctimonious vegetarian, ate one of those. “There’s something you could liveblog about – your hypocrisy,” Todd suggested smugly and I was so mad. And then Lauren started cracking up because she was thinking of our conversation last week when I said the word “gleeking” and how we became concerned after the fact that it might not mean what I thought it meant. “My friend Chad Green taught me about it in fifth grade!” I cried defensively. “It’s when you spit from under your tongue, typically when eating something sour!” And then Lauren was all, “Oh great, I just trusted you based on something you learned from a fifth grade classmate!” I want to google it now but then it might take a turn like it did a few weeks ago when I was googling Iraqi candy shop.

5:39pm: Hey you guyyyyyys. I’m here in the car with King Uber, aka Henry. He was like “I HAD TO CALL PAYPAL. I GOT HACKED! FOR $2.99! IT WAS FRAUD!” And I was like “You mean this app that Chooch bought?” and showed him the email that I got on my phone. So now Henry is mad that he has a fraudulent son. 

Henry made me forward the email to him and he snapped, “WHY IS THERE HANGUL ON THIS?!” Because my email signature is in Korean? Le duh, oppa. 


Plus, proof that it was raining today. 

I just filled in Henry on my day. “I liveblogged today but it was boring. I think when people found out I was liveblogging, they quit talking to me.”

:(

6:06pm: Still in the car because traffic is terrible and now Henry is threatening to make me take the trolley HOME from work everyday now too as if one way isn’t terrible enough.  But anyway, I was just reminded of the best part of today, when I was in the elevator this morning and some broad said she liked my bag and in a cheerful voice that came from one of my happier personalities, I said, “Thanks it’s from the 80s!” And she was like “OK cool.”

6:59pm: Henry’s supposed to be making my dinner but then Chooch interrupted with some kind of fabricated bike crisis and I’m just sitting here getting high off the wonderful tteokbokki fumes, but whatever who cares that all I’ve eaten today was crappy oatmeal and Korean milk candy. 

7:29pm: my favorite part of the day! Dinner and Running Man!

8:23pm: “No.” – Henry’s response when I asked him if he wants to say something for my blog. Now we’re watching the hockey game and I feel sick. Remember when I loved James Neal and called him my Prom Date? Well that doucher can fuck right off now. He just looks like a soap opera villain to me, like he was shot and pushed off a cliff by the ISA but then came back to life as a Nashville Predator with an uglier face. 

8:41pm: A hearty head shake. That’s wat I got when I asked Chooch if he wanted to say a thing for my blog. STICK A FORK IN THIS THING, IT’S DONE. 

8:47pm: Here’s a song for the liveblog. This came on my playlist on the car on the way home from work, causing me to dance zealously with my fists (i.e. rhythmically punching), resulting in Henry roaring, “OK!!!!!”

Jeez. 

9:00pm: Nashville fans are trash. TRASHVILLE. Go choke on a catfish. I find it so hard to enjoy hockey anymore. 

9:53pm: Well, Henry ditched me about an hour ago for the sweet temptation of bed, leaving me alone with this dreadful hockey game and the ever-biased commentating of NBC. I painted my nails and have a headache but I think I will go and do some more kpopx while imagining that I’m stomping on the entire city of Nashville and their classless, twangy fans. I’M MAD. 

10:20pm: crying over hockey and T.O.P. all at once because I’m a gold medal sobber. Boo fucking hoo. No cheesy kimbap for me. 

I’d like to point out that I have been blogging since 2001 and this, my friends, this right here is the best I can do anymore. 

11:14pm: Penguins lost and I just stress-ate a buttered bun while watching Drew hang off the window screen like she’s auditioning for the cat circus. This is real life, NO GLAMOUR, people!

DREW JUST BROKE SOMETHING. Eh, Henry will clean it up in the morning. On his birthday. HAHA. 

In other “blogging just to blog” news, I bought a new phone case and it’s supposed to be delivered tomorrow so no more Unicorn Tears after that. Don’t worry – my new one is certainly not anymore mature. 

But it’s very accurate. 

11:41pm: OK WOW THX FOR YR PERMISSION??

11:55pm: Well on that note, it’s almost tomorrow so I guess that’s my cue to wrap this shit up. Hopefully tomorrow is sunnier and less boring. I mean, it is Henry’s birthday after all. 

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Jun 032017
 

Lol. Possibly in my Top 5 Worst Blog Titles Ever.

I recently had this urge to visit Laurel Caverns, especially after Chooch said he didn’t remember anything about his last two visits other than Henry wouldn’t let us play mini-golf while we were there. So I decided what better way to honor the war people than by skulking around inside a cave-thing.

This meant that for the second straight year, we were going to miss the lame Memorial Day parade that clunks and trips past our house every year. We were mildly sad about that because it’s entertaining for all the wrong reasons, but caverns trump* lame parades.

*(Gonna have to find a new word to use next time. Don’t want to dumb down this blog anymore than it already is.)

Somehow, we were all in a good mood even though we were leaving the house before 10AM which usually entails tons of whining and snapping at Henry.

But we managed to have a nice, leisurely drive to the Laurel Highlands (a little over an hour’s drive, I think). And when I say leisurely, I mean that Henry is now officially one of those old people who gets passed by every single car on the highway.

“I’M ALREADY GOING OVER THE SPEED LIMIT! WHAT DO THESE PEOPLE WANT FROM ME?!” he yelled when I pointed this out to him.

I was happy to see that the parking lot for the Caverns wasn’t too full, which lowered the odds of having douchebags in our group.

Remember the last time we were here when I was making fun of those people—” I started to say as we walked to the main building.

“When don’t you make fun of people?” Chooch interrupted at the same time Henry said, “That could be anywhere.”

We paid for our admission and milled about the gift shop for just five minutes before the next tour was ready to embark. I was sad because the observatory deck was cordoned off! It’s ritual to go out there and take pictures but NOT ON THIS DAY, I guess.

As soon as our tour was called over the speaker, I got a surge of giddiness coursing through my veins. There is just something about being underground that makes me lose control of my behavior. Memories of acting like an asshole with my Girl Scout troop come flooding back; and the time we were there with the French exchange student who was living with us and my dad’s godson fell so my dad started calling him Bobo Bobolinksi (for whatever reason, this made tons of sense at the time); or the time Corey and I went there and photo-stalked some yuppie couple we hated.

Laurel Caverns is just the best! It’s the ultimate funnybone activator for me because I’m an asshole.

Almost immediately, I imprinted on our guide. He had the most adorably sardonic science-y sense of humor and I was ready to lead him down some dark, unexplored part of the cavern where we could start our own society IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

And if you don’t, I mean that I was prepared to have all of his babies.

BEING ON TOURS IGNITES MY IMAGINATION, OK.

We were in a group of maybe 15 people so it wasn’t too bad, and no one blatantly stood out and begged to be mocked, so that was good but also kind of boring because what am I supposed to do if I can’t be a lowkey dick?

OH THAT’S RIGHT, THINK ABOUT POPULATING THE CAVERN WITH MY TOUR GUIDE OFFSPRING.

Rocks.

More rocks.

Even more rocks still.

There’s a joke here somewhere about us being dumb as rocks.

Chooch spent most of the time walking ahead of us and trying to latch on to other families. That’s what he’s best at. Always looking for the better option.

The last several times we visited, we learned about the terrible bat crisis. Our guide (I can’t believe I don’t know his name, by the way) was telling us that in 2007 or something, they counted over 12,000  hibernating bats in the cave, and this past year it was down to 12.

No, I didn’t accidentally omit any zeros. That’s a 12. A 1-2. One and a two.

TWELVE.

Twelve bats! That’s it!

“Did they like, migrate?” some dumb broad asked.

“Oh no, they’re dead,” our guide said matter-of-factly, causing us to laugh, not because a dying breed is hilarious, but because his delivery was perfect.

This part of the tour kills me every time. I AM SO SAD FOR THE BATS!!

As everyone filed out of the cavern after the hour-long tour, I blurted out, “You’re the best guide I’ve ever had!” and then promptly ran away as he was stammering to thank me.

“I totally have a crush on him,” I squealed when he was out of earshot.

“Ugh, I knew it,” Chooch said with disgust and Henry just sighed, “Of course you do.”

I DON’T THINK HE WAS WEARING A WEDDING BAND AND GUESS WHAT NEITHER AM I.

Afterward, we played a round of mini-golf and I MURDERED the competition. It was almost sickening how good I was, and Chooch and Henry were so annoyed. Especially Henry, since he’s accustomed to being “the best” at mini-golf because he’s usually the only one who tries but I was succeeding purely off luck and shit-shots.

I love winning! I love being me!

There was some little bitch and her mom behind us (they weren’t on our tour) and she kept starting the hole while we were still on it and her mom was barely scolding her! And she kept calling her mom “Mother!” which was really grating my nerves. Stop encroaching on our game!

After Laurel Caverns, we drove home through Uniontown while blasting kpop and garnering confused looks from people at every red light we stopped at.

I’ve driven through Uniontown a million times in my lifetime, and even dated a guy from there for about 3 years, but I have never actually walked around it. The downtown area is so cute!

We ate at Randall’s on the way home. I had a grilled cheese and felt myself getting immediately fat like I do when I stray from my K-diet. Henry and I had coleslaw and it was too mayo-y.

Afterward, we went to Bill’s for ice cream. I was mad because I was forced to order abruptly without adequate menu-gazing time. I piggybacked off of Henry’s “small twist with crunchies” order BUT IT WASN’T WHAT I WANTED.

I was unsatisfied.

Then Henry went back inside to pee and in that short amount of time, Chooch got in a fight about something that I can’t even remember now and spent the whole car ride home not speaking.

THIS WAS RIGHT BEFORE THE FIGHT.

We’re OK now, don’t worry. I’m still a mom, I guess.

Well, now you know how we spent our Memorial Day. It was fine. The Penguins won the first game of the Stanley Cup finals later that night so that was a good ending!

As you were.

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