Dec 032019
 

I am very pleased to say that our Thanksgiving was very nice. We actually quit making a big deal about it several years ago because who wants to be stressed and depressed?! Now we go into it with very laid back non-plans and now it usually ends up exceeding expectations!

Even Penelope had a nice day cuddling with Doll!

Our day started off with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, which I liveblogged for absolutely no reason aside from the fact that I was bored and needed to keep myself entertained while waiting fro NCT127’s performance. Then my mom texted me and, to my surprise, said that she changed her mind and would accept our invitation to come over if the offer was still on the table! I had asked her a few days prior to come over because I hate the thought of her being alone in her house on a holiday and even though we weren’t having a real “dinner,” I still thought it would be better that she came here and chilled with us and by that I mean we held her hostage on the couch and made her watch kpop videos and our Thanksgiving tradition of WATCHING RANDOM PEOPLE’S BIRTHDAY PARTY VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE!

This was the ONLY bad part of the whole day: while Chooch was searching for our favorite birthday party video, the one that started our obsession, we realized that IT WAS GONE. The YouTube channel was TheMommyAndGracieShow, a mom and daughter doll-unboxing duo who are SO FUCKING ANNOYING and purposely do that “derp” voice thing which is NOT FUNNY OR CUTE. Anyway, we accidentally found dumb Gracie’s…11th? birthday party video several years ago, which incited so many inside jokes between Chooch and me, to the point where I even printed and framed a still from that video. But then recently, Gracie decided she didn’t want to be a part of Mommy’s dumb unboxing videos anymore, and I guess MOMMY TOOK DOWN A BUNCH OF VIDEOS THAT GRACIE WAS IN, INCLUDING THE BIRTHDAY PARTY ONE?!

“She was probably getting bullied at school for her lame ass videos and fucking weird mom,” I said and Henry the White Knight shouted THAT’S NOT NICE from his serial killer Christmas card-making jail cell in the dining room.

Anyway, we found some other birthday party videos to watch and my mom was just like, “The fuck is this.” Welcome to our traditions!

For the dinner portion of the night, Chooch and I had these glorious #ThanksLiving vegan premade dinner sets made with love and care by our favorite local veg establishment: The Zenith.

Chooch is picky and didn’t like the butternut squash soup, but I certainly did.

Henry’s only plan for himself was to make a pizza, so that is what my mom also got to eat, because we are such great holiday hosts. She seemed OK with it!

Conveniently, she had just given me this pretty Asian-style platter that was from my Pappap’s house, so Chooch was very excited to use it for our dinner. Turns out it made the pizza look way more classy and less like it came from the freezer section. (I tried a piece that didn’t have meat on it the next day and that pizza actually was pretty good – it was Detroit-style whatever that means.)

(Yes, from Detroit, I realize that. Thanks pizza’splainers – I KNOW YOU’RE OUT THERE.)

We had some makgeolli left from our quick trip to Fairfax, VA a few weeks ago. My mom didn’t want any at first because she doesn’t trust anything about me but then she finally said FINE JUST A DROP and admitted that IT WAS PRETTY GOOD.

Makgeolli is the greatest. If you’ve never had it, I highly recommend running out to the nearest Asian market (preferably a Korean one) and seeing if you can snag a bottle. If you live near an H-Mart and don’t have like 9 bottles of the banana variant in your fridge right now, we can’t be friends because if I lived near an H-Mart, I’d have 9 bottles in my fridge AND a mini-fridge in my bedroom just for makgeolli nightcaps.

Anyway, makgeolli is a Korean rice wine — not really comparable to sake though. This is more…milky? Cloudy? Also fun fact about me, I can spell “makgeolli” in Korean with zero effort but I almost always misspell it when I’m typing it out in English.

NO TURKEYS WERE HARMED IN ORDER FOR CHOOCH AND ME TO PARTICIPATE IN THANKSGIVING.

The best part of the dinner was the pumpkin pound cake that came with it. Oh good lord, I was stuffed after shoving this down my fat American gullet.

Chooch also really loved the cake, not sure if you can tell by his “died and gone to dessert heaven” pose up there.

My friend Wendy gave me a DUTCH HAVEN shoo fly pie last week, so Henry and my mom we’re also able to have Thanksgiving dessert.

We REALLY went all out this year lol. It’s amazing that Henry actually brought out the decent plates and not the ones that have been microwaved a million times, have accidental stove burner indentations in them, and gouges from years of having food cut on them.

Chooch and I took my mom home around 8 that night and passed a really bad accident. Someone was slumped over in a car, and it looked like another person in very critical condition was being put into an ambulance. It was chilling and extremely sad to see; you never want to see something like that on any regular day but when it’s a holiday, it’s just so much more heartbreaking.

“I think I might have just seen my first dead body,” Chooch said quietly. So, that was a really stark and somber reminder to appreciate the people who matter most to you and not get all hysteric over dumb things like I did the next day when I thought we weren’t going to be able to go on our Thanksgiving Weekend road trip because sometimes Spoiled Solipsistic Erin forgets how to be grateful, there, I said it. Ugh I’m the worst.

I made Henry take this picture of Chooch and me before I changed into my workout clothes and proceeded to spend the rest of the night exercising my fat face off.

The end.

Dec 012019
 

Blasting “Jackie Blue” while in the Ozarks can be crossed off my bucket list now (I only just added that to the list last night lol).

Anyway, this is apparently a “scenic overlook” and then afterward I screamed when I realized I’m wearing BLUE while listening to Jackie BLUE in the OZARKS.

It doesn’t take much.

This one time, years ago, I mentioned at work that I liked that song and BARB was shocked that I knew it but I have always listened to old ass music especially when growing up. Then, some time later, I had a birthday party at the roller rink and “Jackie Blue” started playing exactly at the moment Barb walked in and we pretty much died.

Found a better overlook, btw lol.

Nov 302019
 

Our Thanksgiving roadtrip to Branson, Missouri has started out pretty clunky. First of all, we almost didn’t go. We were initially going to leave Friday evening after Henry came home from work, but he ended up HURTING HIS BACK that morning at work, bad enough that he actually admitted it – usually he just swallows pain and conveniently manages to not mention injuries whereas I’m broadcasting mine all over social media and shouting it from the hilltops.

I mean, I was compassionate for.000006 seconds before diving into my self-centered whine-fest and sobbing, “So we’re not going now???!!” Finally though, he came home and said, “Look—let me lay down with the heating pad, drink this bottle of Ibuprofen*, rest, and we’ll just leave early in the morning.”

*(Did you know I can’t say this word out loud in real life?)

So that’s the truncated version of how I got my way and now we’re en route to Branson after having to turn around two miles from home because Irresponsible Son didn’t bring a coat.

We’re not going to Florida, sonny boy.

I was so mad at him! I hate wasting time! I mean, who really likes it?!

Chooch, I guess.

Then we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts so Chooch and I could get Beyond Sausage breakfast sandwiches even though he doesn’t deserve to eat after the hassle he caused this morning.

Thank god for more and more fast food places providing veg options.

Henry just looked at me and, with a Sheetz muffin in his mouth, asked, “ARE YOU LIVE BLOGGING?”

It’s 7:28am and we are finally in West Virginia. We’re not going to get to Branson until 6:50pm tonight but obviously much later than that because Henry will have to stop a million times because of his back ugh. I offered to push him out of the car when we stopped at Sheetz but he declined. Ok struggle, then.

I’ve asked him so many times if we’re going to see the St Louis Arch thing that he doesn’t even respond anymore.

We’re somewhere near Columbus, OH and just left a Pilot where I tried to get Chooch to buy winter accessories because I always worry that he’s not going to be warm enough which is one of the few signs that I am, in fact, a mom. But then Tightwad Henry gruffly said, “WE ARE GOING TO STOP LOTS MORE TIMES WE CAN GET THAT STUFF LATER” so now poor Chooch go to school in his flashy truck stop accoutrements.

We’ve only been on the road for three hours. Thank god for this 2nd generation Kpop playlist that has zero BTS in it (no offense BTS but your fans have been poppin’ off even more hatefully lately).

I put on the new EXO and Henry turned the volume up super loud like OK Kpop dad.

Fucking Henry sneezed so LOUDLY a few minutes ago that I almost had a heart attack and the sound-memory is still ringing in my ears. Ew now he’s blowing his nose in Dunkin Donut napkins and we are STILL in Ohio – this is truly the car ride from hell.

Henry told me that some Sheetz back home has purple lighting in the bathroom so that the heroin addicts can’t find their veins oh lord please help me because all of my veins are twinging now at the thought of that, ugh.

11:38am, Spiceland, IN: We just stopped at Mr. Fuel to pee and refuel (ie I needed coffee) but it was weird there and I felt uncomfortable. The color scheme was black red and yellow like an ugly pair of boys roller skates from 1978. There were three old men in suspenders sitting at a table, talking about war stuff probably, and they looked at me weird. I didn’t appreciate it.

Next to it was some school bus garage and Chooch started blabbering on and on about how we should buy a school bus and turn it into an RV and then a minute later I was screaming, “YOU HASHTAGGED MAKEAWISH?? DELETE THAT!”

Ugh that kid.

12:26 and we’re here now, awaiting our vegetarian fare (we’ll not Henry. He got chicken.)

We’re in Indianapolis btw. In a strip mall.

You guys, this food was fantastic! I went with the house veggie burger which came with this tangy, spicy sauce on a ciabatta bun, and cassava fries. Chooch got the Beyond Burger and regular fries, and Henry got a chicken burger with cole slaw (I can’t believe I missed out on that photo op FUCKKKK) and potato salad which was FANTASTICO!!

I asked Henry if he liked his and he said, “IT’S JUST CHICKEN” and then INHALED HALF OF IT IN ONE SOLID BITE. Chooch and I lost it in tandem, like laughing to the point of tears, and Henry was like JUST STOP.

My second favorite of lunch was when Henry was walking back to our table but looking off to the side and didn’t notice that there was an old man standing there until he almost walked into him. He stopped right at the last minute so they were face to face, looking at each other, and then Henry mumbled, “Excuse me” and side-stepped him. It was SO AWKWARD. I LOVED IT.

HENRY STORY TIME: we just passed a billboard for BOOT CITY and he blurted out, “I had a pair of cowboy boots once. When I was in the service. I wore them once and they hurt so I never wore them again….”

“OMG DID U ACTUALLY THINK THEY LOOKED GOOD?!” I wheezed.

“No….I don’t know why I bought them. Actually, I don’t think I ever even wore them out of the house.” Now he has this faraway gleam in his eye, thinking about his SERVICE days.

Hello, I’m back in action after driving for the last two hours while Henry slept. Nothing too exciting happened except for when I thought I was getting pulled over for doing 15 over the speed limit but apparently the State Police were more concerned with chasing down a felon. Oh, and the time went back so it’s only 3:42 and we should be passing through St Louis soon.

Just crossed the Mississippi River for the first time ever and now we’re in Missouri!

We still have 3.5 hours left to go though.

I just made the mistake of saying out loud that this drive hasn’t really been that bad and the look Henry shot at me could have castrated a herd of cattle. I keep forgetting about his back which is actually hard to do considering how often he flinched, winces, groans, rolls himself out of the car like a Weeble at every rest stop. But I guess I’m just really talented at not caring about his problems lol.

Ew one of the traffic signs said:

Mash potatoes

Not your head

Buckle up

WOW.

6:55pm pit stop to the URANUS FUDGE FACTORY.

Because the best fudge COMES FROM URANUS.

View this post on Instagram

👽

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

There were three kitties living there and we got to pet one!!!

Highlight of the day so far.

Also, the employees shout WELCOME TO URANUS every time someone walks in and it was quite lovely.

They also sold this gross Trump candy though. “Is Missouri Republican?” Chooch yelled and all the people in flannels and trucker caps side-eyed us.

I just freaked out because the moon is suddenly really low and Chooch said, “Yeah I’m pretty sure it’s because we’re on a hill now.” Also–8:29 and we’re still not there but we’re getting close judging by the giant tourist trap billboards that are stationed all over both sides of the road.

9:08pm: WE’RE HERE. I already forget the name of the hotel but they gave us oatmeal raisin cookies when we checked in and now Chooch and I are going to the fitness center.

10:03pm: Chooch and I exercised for 25 minutes while Henry went to the store to get Chooch gloves for tomorrow because Chooch packed for the beach, not the Ozark Mountains in December. Anyway, I asked him if he also got a heating pad for his crooked back like he said he was going to and he went, “AW SHIT.” So, that’s a no.

Then he sneezed and murdered our ears. I swear his sneezes are like military-grade aural assault weapons. And then he yelled at Chooch, “And we are NOT watching this* all night!!”

*disney.

I brought up some tourist guide from the lobby to see how to get to the Ozarks but it’s just all dinner shows and mini golf, and ads for places like TOOL TOWN USA where you “make unusual discoveries.” No addresses for Ozark Mountain!!

Henry claims he doesn’t need a brochure and that he can “figure it out” himself.

Well, it’s giddy time so ANNYEONG SUCKAS.

Nov 292019
 

Every time I sit down to write about this night, I drift off to my own version of La La Land that’s located on a soft, velvet cloud floating right above Seoul. I told Chooch to make sure I actually get it done this morning for real though because we’re going on two weeks now but don’t worry, it’s not like I forgot anything — I watch YouTube videos from the show every single day.

I’ve made Henry watch them.

And Janna.

And my mom.

I tried to get Chooch to make Blake watch them too but I don’t know if that ever happened. I figured it would be a nice change from Boss Baby, which Calvin makes Blake put on 24:7, apparently.

The concert was at EagleBank Arena, which was George Mason University’s basketball arena. It was a nice mid-size venue and I was cool with that because the other closest show we could have attended was at Madison Square Garden, and I didn’t want to deal with a concert of that magnitude. (Also, please note that SuperM is the first Kpop group to ever play at MSG aside from KCON, which is an entire convention! Usually kpop groups play Newark for their “NYC” date.)

Speaking of, the first night of their tour was in Ft. Worth, but the members kept calling it Dallas throughout the night and some asshole sports writer who was probably just surly because he was assigned the show to review, wrote this totally curmudgeony piece berating them for “insulting” Ft. Worth, flailing on stage trying to stay in sync (dancing, I think that’s called?), and not having a backing band (hello, most kpop groups do not bring bands on tour with them; yes, G-Dragon and BIGBANG do, but certainly not a brand new group who basically had a whirlwind tour thrown together seemingly last minute and real kpop fans aren’t going to concerts to hear the music stylized by a live band – we’re there to see our idols sing and dance, so HUSH YOUR BITCH AS MOUTH, SPORTS WRITER). The worst part was then he proceeded to then tweet that kpop is music for thirteen-year-olds, and anyone over the age of 18 who likes it should reconsider their life. Excuse me, sir? I have liked many different genres of music throughout my life and got trashed on by co-workers and friends for every single one, so this was nothing new to me. But it still pissed me off because let people listen to the music they want to listen to! This guy got DRAGGED on twitter by journalists who actually are employed to write about kpop (h/t Jeff Benjamin) and and this guy named Jack Phan, who is a CEO and tech entrepreneur who accidentally went viral a few months ago by asking “What is MOMO?” when he was shocked to see that #momo was trending at #1 and not Apple. 

Look, I have seen bands tweet about coming to Pittsburgh and half the time, they spell it without the “h,” or when we see shows 45 minutes away at our outdoor pavilion concert venue which is closer to West Virginia at that point than Pittsburgh, bands still say “WHAT’S UP PITTSBURGH” and NO ONE CORRECTS THEM BY SAYING, “Sorry, Marilyn Manson, but this is actually Burgettstown.”

Furthermore, these seven guys are from South Korea and just know that they flew into Dallas/Ft Worth, so lay off.

Jesus, why are middle-aged men SO THREATENED by kpop?!

Anyway, Mark referred to the area as DMV several times (DC/Maryland/Virginia) so nice save, Mark!

Our seats were on the floor and Chooch was like, “Wow, these seats are great!” at the same time I was crying, “WE ARE NOT CLOSE ENOUGH!!”

“You could be in Taemin’s lap and that wouldn’t be close enough for you,” he sighed.

Anyway, the stage had a catwalk with a smaller stage at the end, which that security guy in the yellow shirt is standing next to in the picture above. So anytime the guys were on that part of the stage (which thankfully was a lot!), our view was divine. But when they were on the main stage, we had to rely on the screens at times. Which was fine, I guess. IT WASN’T FINE. I AM NEVER HAPPY.

I brought my Taemin lightstick from his Japan tour! No, I wasn’t at any of the shows, but someone from a Canadian Shawol (SHINee fan club) group was selling an extra one that she had left over from a group order and I was like WHY NOT I MIGHT ACTUALLY NEED IT ONE DAY but never thought I actually would!

Oh, and guess who was sitting next to us?! The older woman who was in line behind us when we were checking in earlier that afternoon! We started talking and she’s actually originally from Pennsylvania and works remotely from a Pittsburgh-based company! What a small world. She is also a huge Taemin stan, so I was in good company. She was wearing a Taemin headband and I had major remorse for not making one, or at least a sign, like I kept saying I was going to do. Why am I so lazy!?

Well, friends, here is the part where I lose my mind, forget that I’m a 40-year-old mom, and become the best version of my 16-year-old self that will never be put to rest because I’m pretty sure that’s when I peaked.

I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to react when they took the stage. I have all kinds of different concert personalities: leaning against a wall in quiet introspection, sitting at the bar being too-cool-for-school, standing in the back with my arms crossed, in the middle trying to dance/jump/something, paralyzed and crying.

When I saw G-Dragon, I was “paralyzed and crying.” Literally just stood there, stunned, mouth agape, staring at the stage in disbelief for two and a half hours.

So I wasn’t sure which Erin was going to be present on this night, until the intro video ended on the screen and SuperM rose onto the stage amidst the fog and flashing lights, and I saw Taemin for the first time in real life and not on a screen. That’s when the rare “FULL-THROTTLE SHRIEKING BANSHEE ERIN” came out. I couldn’t stop it. It just happened. It was like this, “Oh….MY….GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHYWQIOR9328492!!!!!!”

I was a motherfucking mess. Chooch was like, “Here we go” and I’m not being hyperbolic at all when I say this, but he had to grab my arm twice because I was screaming so violently that I was knocking the wind out of myself. That couldn’t have been healthy but ironically I can’t remember when I last felt SO ALIVE.

I managed to avoid (most) setlist spoilers so I didn’t even know that their first song was going to be Can’t Stand the Rain, which is THE JAM. However, right after that, the lights went down and I was like, “OOH WHAT IS GOING TO BE NEXT??”

Taemin’s motherfucking solo, that’s what! I WAS NOT PREPARED. I really didn’t think this was going to happen so soon into the concert! I heard people in line outside saying something about “Sherlock,” which is a SHINee song, so I was confused and thought they meant he was going to perform that on his own, but what actually happened was that he did his debut solo song, “Danger,” with elements of “Sherlock”* – it was so good and the whole time I was blinking back tears and thinking over and over, “Holy shit, I’m watching Taemin dance. That is LEE TAEMIN dancing a few hundred feet away from me. How did I get so lucky?!”

*(Some parts of “Sherlock” were swirled into “Danger” and it was brilliant, really.)

And then the next song he did was “Goodbye,” and that choreo is legendary. I did cry for this one. Like, full-on scrunched up my face and let the eye water run like a faucet. Oh, I was a mess.

Here is a good video of it:

After that, Taeyong came out and performed his brand new unreleased sole “GTA.” Like I said, I did a pretty good job staying ignorant to the set list so I had no idea that new songs were prepared for this tour, so I was excited to hear them for the first time since I avoided it all on Instagram and YouTube!

Next, Mark, Taeyong, Ten, Baekhyun, and Taemin came together for “Super Car” which features Taemin’s legendary “vrooom”:

I COULDN’T STOP SCREAMING MY FACE OFF.

Next, Ten graced us with his effortless dancing when he performed his two solos, “Dream in a Dream” and “New Heroes.” I yelled, “I LOVE THIS SONG!!!!” at Chooch’s bleeding ear when “New Heroes” began. Honestly, even if Taemin wasn’t in SuperM, the chance to see TEN would have had me tossing my wallet into the sky and dancing beneath the raining credit cards with wanton abandon.

This one is actually my video:

Next, we had Chooch’s highlight of the night, Lucas’s unreleased solo “Bass Go Boom,” which was adorable and entertaining (I only know Lucas from NCT reality show-type videos on YouTube so I don’t have a very good feel for him as a performer – this was a really good showcase for him!), and then Baekhyun came out with “Betcha” and “UN Village,” which I love and the whole time I was thinking, “Wow, this is really Baekhyun.” I have never seen EXO and at this point, I’m starting to think I’m never going to now that a bunch of them are in the military and for some reason, SM Entertainment likes to deprive America of their artists.

I’ve said it hundreds of times, but I think EXO deserves more attention and accolades than BTS, the group they are always pitted against. Seriously, those two fan bases harbor extreme feelings of hatred for each other, it’s chaos.

Afterward, the whole group reconvened and hit us with an acapella intro to their new song, “Dangerous Woman,” which I am desperate for them to record and release because I think it’s my new favorite SuperM song!? Also, that dick-noodle sports writer who said SuperM lipsynched through the whole concert can suck a dick, because they were clearly singing. Granted, I will admit that there are times where they rely on the backing track but that’s because they’re busy dancing their fucking faces off. We made Janna watch one of their videos and she was like, “Whoa, look how sweaty they are!” YES JANNA IT’S BECAUSE THEY ARE WORKING HARD TO GIVE US THEIR ABSOLUTE BEST BECAUSE THAT’S HOW DEDICATED THEY ARE TO THEIR ART, GOD!

This song is EVERYTHING to me. Watching Taemin sing so joyfully, so close to us, it just sent me over the edge. I had the vapors. Pass me my fainting couch, thanks.

Next was 2 Fast, and then Ten and Taeyong performed their NCT U duet, “Baby Don’t Stop,” which I totally called months ago when this tour was announced! The one thing I also called that I’m really shocked didn’t happen and really think SM slept on a golden opportunity, was to have Taemin perform “Pretty Boy,” one of his solos which features Kai! WHY, SM?!!?

Mark got to take the stage next with his brand new solo “Talk About” and Chooch went nuts because Mark is his bias. Mark is so talented! SM had him in every NCT subunit and there was this joke when it was announced that there would be a Chinese unit that they asked Mark to say hello in Mandarin, and that was enough for them to put him in WayV, lol. Shockingly though he’s not actually in WayV!

Kai also got a brand new solo to perform, “Confession,” and when he coyly lifted his shirt at one point, I was like, “OH DAMN HENRY IS REALLY MISSING OUT!” I did get a short clip to send him though and he was like, “Wow, thanks” afterward. He won’t own up to the fact that Kai is his bias but I think it’s cute because TAEMIN AND KAI ARE BFFs.

“No Manners” was next and I died because they performed this on our part of the stage and prior to the concert, it was my favorite song on the SuperM release!

AGAIN, CAN I PAUSE TO SCREAM MY FAT FACE OFF???

Ugh, these boys! My heart! They have it! They took it back to Korea! OH WELL, GUESS I’LL HAVE TO GO BACK AND FETCH IT.

Another new song was next, they were really blessing us hard with the new-new. This one was called “With You” and it was so uplifting and light-hearted! During this song, they each had a basket full of balls that they were tossing out into the crowd and I wanted one SO HARD. Here’s Chooch’s instavid of this song and it’s hilarious how fast he put his phone away once he realized it was the FREE SHIT portion of the night:

WHEN TAEMIN DOES THAT CUTE HIP SWIVEL OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG.

Breathe, Erin. You can do this. You made it this far! One more song!

The finale of the show was obviously a performance of their big single, “Jopping,” which I will admit I wasn’t SUPER BLOWN AWAY WITH when I first heard it but goddamn if that song didn’t grow on me faster than the 11th toe I picked up from that one time I accidentally dipped my foot into the Trump supporter gene pool.

This isn’t the greatest, but here’s someone’s recording of the big screen during “Jopping.” I just can’t enough of this choreo….and Taemin in those plaid pants. There was this girl who came over before the show started to talk to the girl next to my new friend and she had recreated his outfit from this song sooooo perfectly. I complimented her on it and in hindsight I wish I had asked to take a picture of her because it was pretty impressive.

That’s some dedication!

And that was it – an hour and a half of pure Korean bliss. My whole body was buzzing and Chooch and I were smiling so big by the time we met up with Henry at the car that we probably looked like our faces were splitting. I can only imagine how deranged we looked!

I wish that I had been able to also go to the NYC show,  or that any of the shows on their second leg of the tour were close enough for me to attend. I would just get cheap seats! I don’t care! I just want to be there again! I heard that they slipped during the NYC show and said something about seeing us again in the spring….so maybe there’s hope after all?!

Oh my motherfucking sweetly-spanked Mussolini, I can’t believe that I saw Lee Taemin. I saw him in real life, his precious angel baby face, and I heard his smoky vocals and saw him dance like the devil himself had stepped into his body. Holy fucking shit, I will never stop being grateful of this moment in my life.

“I was trying to get Taemin to wave to me just so I could say ‘haha Taemin waved to me and not you,'” Chooch said at one point on the way home and I was like fuck off, nerd alert.

****

We were supposed to spend the night in Fairfax and hang out in DC the next day, but dumb Chooch told us a few days earlier that he had PSATs on Monday and that nerd was actually crestfallen when I reminded him  that we weren’t going to be home, so that is why we ended up canceling the hotel, making a quick stop at the local Fairfax H-Mart for makgeolli and other Korean goods, and then driving straight home through the night.

Henry ended up going to work that next day, but I kept my day off and spent it lying around wistfully with an arm slung across my forehead, watching videos from the concert and sobbing to the point where I had to take my contacts out. It was a bad scene.

Then Chooch came home from school and screamed, “OMG THE PSATs WAS THREE HOURS LONG! IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!”

Get the fuck out of here.

No really, you can go now. Until next time!

Nov 282019
 

I never care about the dumb Macy’s parade but I’m watching it today for NCT127 and when it was just announced that the balloons will fly, I TEARED UP?!?! My emotions are like gremlins running amok. I have no idea what they’re going to do anymore.

Well, I guess I’m live-blogging this because Chooch is watching it with me now and #FUTUREMEMORIES or whatever.

9:08am: Chooch has groaned in the Key of Teenager at my hyperbolic parade-outbursts at least 15 times so far and it only just started 8 minutes ago, and 3 of those minutes was just the announcement of what’s to come. #ThanksgivingBytheNumbers

9:25am: “‘I GOT MY OWN INFECTION!!!’ Ugh that song sucked but I can’t stop singing it!” – Chooch, Celine Dion’s parade performance.

“Are you saying INFECTION?” I asked.

“Yes,” Chooch said.

“It’s IMPERFECTION, you idiot!” I laughed.

“Oh. Well ‘infection’ sounds better.”

Agreed.

And then he said “wait—” and resang it as “infectSHAWN” and said “There, that sounds more like her now.”

What you missed before this was me ranting for a solid 3 minutes about how Barbra Streisand is better than Celine and she can take that fucking Titanic song and shove it up her ass and then we speculated why Celine was holding her stomach and my theory was that she was trying to keep her colostomy bag from slipping out of her dress but Chooch said maybe it was her breast implants leaking?!?

Wow.

9:35am: remember when Al Roker fat? God I can’t stand him.

This Hades thing is boring so we’re both looking at our phones now.

9:39am: OH OK LET’S ALL LAUGH AT ERIN FOR DROWNING ON HER TEARS DURING THAT ET COMMERCIAL THING THAT ACTUALLY HAD HENRY THOMAS IN IT UGH SHUT UP CHOOCH.

9:41am: When does Al Roker fall off the Roker Cycle? Please tell me that’s scheduled into this dumb parade.

9:44am: OMG Chooch doesn’t know who Tina Turner is. What a Dumb. But he just went on record saying that this lady who emulating Tina Turner sings better than actual Celine Dion, and I agree. Fuck off, Celine. Go home and practice your weird speech impediments on a chunk of stinky French cheese.

9:49am: Ellen commercial incited a riot in my brain and I shouted, “Oh and fuck you too Ellen. Fake ass bitch.” Pause. Chooch giggles. Pause. I giggle too. Then we just flat out start laughing like drunk bastard hyenas. Oh, Thanksgiving!

9:53am: Wow. There’s um…such diversity among the Rockettes. Whatever. I used this time to jog in place.

9:57am: WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT HOW ELMO RUINED SESAME STREET. BREAK THE SILENCE.

10:08am: Wait, country singers look like hipsters now? I’ve been so out of the loop with American things.

10:13am: Choochs favorite float so far is the NY Life / Kelly Rowland one. “All the black singers are so much better,” he said, thank you for the most obvious statement of the year. But then we started making fun of the robots surrounding the float so don’t worry—we haven’t lightened up.

10:20am: If I wore the padded outfit Ciara was wearing, I wouldn’t be able to get out of my front door.

10:27am: all these marching bands are boring. Unless someone is going to mess up, I don’t care. Oh shit that was a band from Pittsburgh. “Yeah that’s the school where the kid stabbed someone,” Henry said, interjecting himself into our parade narrative 90 minutes after it started. HE IS NOT EVEN IN THE SAME ROOM AS US.

10:34am: Wow the Ronald McDonald balloon GOT A TEAR mid-route. You just can’t predict what will happen next at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Truly.

10:39am: ONE MINUTE OF NCT127 PERFORMING HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN WAS STILL BETTER THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THIS BORING ASS PARADE. It even brought Henry into the room!

Haechan looked so sweet, I thought I was going to die.

10:43am: Why hasn’t Henry been invited to join the 610 Stompers?! Holy shit.

10:44am: Gushing about how Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth was THE SHIT when I was in 5th grade. “There was even Electric Youth perfume,” I said apparently too passionately because Henry started snickering from the peanut gallery, aka the dining room table where he’s making serial killer Christmas cards, happy holidays.

10:48am: I wish Billy Porter was my dad. Also, his float is the best, as it should be.

10:53am: there is still an hour left. I already saw NCT. Can I stick it out? Ugh, this is painful.

I love them! Jungwoo wasn’t there because he’s resting and that’s Henry’s bias so he was pretty bummed lol.

10:56am: the kids dancing in this Universal Kids performance thing all look like they just got done shooting a United Colours of Benetton ad and I just realized that i never hear about that brand anymore and I used to HATE it when I was in middle school! We had one of their stores at the mall and my aunt was always trying to get me to wear their clothes but I was fat and it never looked cool on me.

I also had braces and a really bad perm which definitely didn’t help perpetuate the aesthetic Benetton was aiming for.

11:03am: TLC! Chooch said, “I thought you hated them?” And I did a dramatic gasp with a hand on my chest. “Oh, is it just the song No Scrubs you hate?” he asked and was really perplexed when I said no. “I swear you hated something about scrubs…” and then we came to the conclusion that it was the TV show Scrubs that I hated.

I was telling Chooch about how Lisa Left Eye López died and he countered with a history lesson about Richie Valens and Buddy Holly. I…had no idea he knew about them. Now he’s singing “La Bamba.” “I like that song,” he said as he left the house and now I just realized I’m the only one still sitting here watching this dying horse of a parade.

11:09am: I dislike country singers and Christmas songs so you would think I would hate this current performance but it turns out that “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” is one of the few Xmas songs I genuinely like and this dude’s voice isn’t too twangy and he’s sans cowboy hat so this is tolerable.

11:19am: OK ASHANTI WITH YOUR UN-AGING SELF. RUB IT IN.

11:20am: Apparently Henry snuck (yeah I know “sneaked” but snuck sounds so much better!) off to Blake’s house next door I guess because there was too much parading for him.

11:26am: SORRY JIMMY FALLON BUT EVERYONE KNOWS THAT PEE WEE HERMAN HAS THE MOST LEGENDARY PERFORMANCE OF WHATEVER THAT BIRD SONG IS.

Anyway, NCT’s 90 second performance is already on YouTube:

I’ll just watch this over and over while Lea Michele’s performance is happening. She is so fucking annoying.

11:39am: another fucking marching band.

11:48am: I have suffered through so much. Marching bands. Broadway performances. Al Roker. Hoda. Commercials. Celine Dion and her infection. A ripped Ronald McDonald. I don’t think I can continue to the end. I can’t imagine that the finale will actually be that grand.

11:55am: this “man with the bag” performance is making me uncomfortable bc I’m not thinking about Santa, but a serial killer with a burlap sack wide enough to fit the forth of my dead body.

11:57am: Santa is overrated. This finale was flat. I’m out. Happy ThanksLIVING everyone (that’s what all of us cool veg-people are saying this year according to social media).

Nov 272019
 

Image result for SUPERM GROUP PICTURE WITH NAMES

Before I post my review of the SuperM concert, I think it would be beneficial to do a quick explanatory post because I’m in teacher mode and you know how I love to drag shit out. A normal blogger: goes to a concert, recaps it that night/the next day in 500 words. Maybe includes a video.

A hyper Erin blogger: goes to a concert, dwells on it, drops little teasers that no one cares about for 3 days, makes a post crying about how she misses the concert, spends a day YouTubing concert footage, starts to sort through the pictures on her phone, takes a break to look for enamel pins from whatever kpop group she just saw, starts to finally write about it, gets distracted by FEELINGS, exercises instead, forgets half of the things she was going to write so just types out a bunch of CAPSLOCK sentences to convey excitement but instead succeeds in annoying the two people left reading this shitty site.

I guess right now I’m at the point where I finally started uploading my pictures to WordPress, so…progress. But then EXO had their comeback today and I got sucked into that and I decided to do a breakdown of the SuperM composition instead.

OK, let’s pretend Thanksgiving came early and DIG THE FUCK IN.

SuperM is a super group comprised of various members of boy groups from the kpop agency SM. SM is HUGE, one of the biggest, and their groups are powerhouses in the genre. They’ve contributed a lot to Korean tourism, and even have this interactive museum of sorts called SM Town where you can see awards won by the artists, costumes, photos, eat at the SM-themed cafe, etc etc. Yes, we visited both times we went to Korea and I have no regrets!

SM carefully selected members of four groups and curated an elite conglomeration of talent, and then gave it the “meh” name of SuperM. Yeah, it’s not the greatest name and I was a bit underwhelmed about it, but let’s be real: it’s about the music. And they delivered.

The members are:

  • TAEMIN (SHINee)
  • BAEKHYUN (EXO)
  • KAI (EXO)
  • MARK [NCT127/NCT U/NCT Dream (formerly)]
  • TAEYONG (NCT127/NCT U)
  • TEN (NCT U/WayV)
  • LUCAS (NCT U/WayV)

Related image

l. to r.: Lucas, Mark, Taeyong, Taemin, Kai, Baekhyun, Ten

You know it’s Taemin that brought this girl to the yard, but in all honesty, I’d be here for SuperM even if that lineup didn’t include Taemin, because SM produces quality jams and all of those guys up there are beasts. Ten is my favorite, second to Taemin!

So, let’s dip into some videos of each member’s groups, shall we? I already posted a whole damn post last week dedicated to Taemin’s oeuvre so here we’ll enjoy him with SHINee instead!

SHINee is an iconic kpop group, and it pains me every day to think about how I have never seen them perform live. Out of all the groups that the members of SuperM belong to, SHINee is the elder.

Next, let’s talk about Baekhyun and Kai’s group, EXO, which come next in order of seniority. I personally think that they deserve international fame more than BTS does, but I digress! They have what I can only describe as a more “mature” sound, more r&b and soulful than a lot of the boy groups out there. They’ve also had several members leave, one who is still considered part of EXO but hasn’t been involved in the last several promotions, and they also have several members in the military right now, so their lineup is always in flux. Anytime I make EXO cards for my shop, I never know who to put on it!

Here is their newest MV, which just came out today! Kai is the one with blue hair and the bondage-y croptop, and Baekhyun has the white-ish hair:

And here’s an older one from one of the end of the year award shows, which I really like because it has some of their best choreos IN MY HUMBLE OPINION:

Baekhyun had a solo release over the summer, and what a great time to enjoy the video together:

Chooch and I have actually seen Mark and Taeyong twice since 2017, thanks to NCT127 playing back-to-back KCONs. I went from knowing nothing about them to immediately getting sucked in from the moment they took the stage. Mark and Taeyong are the rappers of the group, and Taeyong is also the leader. I swear, this group gets better and better with every comeback. Mark is Chooch’s favorite and he also happens to be Canadian so he did a lot of the speaking during the concert. Anyway, here are some NCT vids, but you should honestly just go on YouTube and put on an NCT playlist because these boys are a FUCKING DREAM.

 

NCT U is an NCT unit that has revolving members, which is an interesting concept. This particular song has Lucas, Mark, and Taeyong in it, but no Ten:

And here is an NCT U song that features the duo of Ten and Taeyong – and they performed this on the SuperM tour! I had a feeling they would and I shredded my throat when they started singing it!

Ten and Lucas were, I dunno, “drafted” I guess? into what is kind of like the Chinese sub-unit of NCT, except that it includes some rookies who aren’t affiliated with any of the other NCT groups. One of the members of NCT127, Winwin, was also chosen to be in this group, so it definitely as an NCT-feel. Anyway, I love WayV a lot and who knows if they will ever come to the US, so being able to see Ten and Lucas with SuperM was a real treat. Ten is SUCH A DISGUSTINGLY GOOD DANCER. Almost Taemin-levels, but his style is different.

OK, now I feel like I got this Kpop Lesson out of my system and can finally start to squirt from my heart all the flowery SCREAM-WORDS about the concert onto this blog.

Nov 262019
 

After lunch, I wanted to go back to the George Mason campus so we could walk around and digest which really just means I wanted to burn off all the nervous energy I had coiled around every last muscle in my body. YES EVEN MY TONGUE, YOU DON’T KNOW.

We were creeping near the basketball stadium where the concert was being held because we saw all the tour trucks. Look, I’m sure motherfucking Lee Taemin was not skulking around the loading dock, hauling amps out of the backs of the trucks, BUT YOU NEVER KNOW – maybe he wanted to step outside and breathe in the basic Virginia air!? Chooch got a bit too brave and one of the security guards was like YOU CAN’T CROSS OVER HERE YOU GOTTA GO AROUND and Chooch was like, “yeah, I knew that, I wasn’t trying to do anything funny MY MOM MADE ME DO IT I’M FUCKING SORRY OK.”

Whatever, there were gaggles of girls standing across the street being just as creepy as us, but at least they’re in the proper demographic I guess.

We had to walk over to this one pond—I guess it was like the “centerpiece” of the campus—just because there was duck floating in it. Just the one. But Chooch has to talk to any duck he sees, so there was no way around it.

Somewhere by the pond, Chooch found a stick and wtf is it with boys and their constant need for walking sticks!? Like, when does he outgrow it? I guess never because don’t grown men like sticks too!? Anyway, he was annoying me so badly with this jackass stick that when he eventually dropped it (this part is always inevitable) and it started to bounce down a set of steps, I raced him to it, got there first, and stomped on it with my foot.

The sound of splintering wood was so satisfying!

Would you believe me if I told you he made himself cry over this? Probably. You know he’s my son, after all.

He wanted to buy glue so he could repair it, LOL I love doing mean things to Chooch. I MEAN, LIGHT-HEARTED MEAN THINGS.

God. Whoever called CPS on me in 2011 probably has a publishable log kept on me at this point.

Chooch was obsessed with these adorable robot food deliverers. Some COLLEGE GIRL caught him chasing after one and waving, and she smiled at him which made him blush. The last time he was at a college was a few weeks ago with his school when they visited IUP and he said some college girl acted all disgusted and scoffed at him in the cafeteria when he exclaimed, “OOOH, PIZZA!”

I mean, I can only imagine how annoying he was being.

Then Henry had to “go to the bathroom” and found the student union building, so Chooch and I sat on a couch and talked about how embarrassing Henry is, shitting at a college, and for some reason I was telling Chooch about the time that me, Janna, and our friend Wonka went to Buffalo, NY and Wonka and I tucked a phone book under Janna’s mattress while she was in the bathroom to see if she noticed and the verdict was:

SHE AIN’T NO PRINCESS YO.

I don’t know why, but Chooch and I got super giddy in this place and couldn’t stop laughing and then Chooch got the hiccups so by the time Henry was DONE, we were walking over to meet up with him and Chooch hiccuped SO LOUD and people were like, “the fuck. get out of our college.”

Anyway, I really want Chooch to go here now because guess where else they have a campus? OH, INCHEON, SOUTH KOREA, BOY.

By now, it was almost 3 so Chooch and I decided to walk back to EagleBank and get in line for check-in.

Thankfully, the line wasn’t too long, and we were entertained by chatting with the friendly people around us, including a woman even older than me who also loved Taemin! Every once in awhile, we would see people go running frantically through the courtyard because someone would appear and begin handing out freebies. I kept using Chooch as my runner so we wouldn’t lose our place in line. Once, he came back with a little package of Taemin stickers. I sent him back to get some for the lady behind us but they were all out by then; he said people were like mobbing the girl handing them out and screaming, “DO YOU HAVE BAEKHYUN! KAI! TAEMIN!” K-pop is a real scene, you guys.

Another time he came back with a homemade “SuperM” bead bracelet, which he said he was keeping for himself. Rude. We also got a banner for Baekhyun and Mark, made by their fan sites.

My other scene was not like this at all. Granted, we used to get a lot of free swag at Warped Tour, but that was mostly from local bands giving away samplers or clothing companies doing contests, etc. This is all stuff from fans, and it’s so awesome. I love how much the fans love each other and their idols. Especially in this case, with SuperM bringing together 4 different fan bases.

When he wasn’t being lackey, Chooch stood quietly in line, reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which is a real uplifting read.

Anyway, the doors opened promptly at 3:30, which I loved, and we were inside at the check-in table in no time. I loved how organized it was! Once we claimed our VIP merch (a collectible VIP lanyard, canvas bag, bandana, hat, and a reallllly high-quality tour poster that I would classify more as a print and is going to get matted and framed here very soon), we got to go to a special merch booth to purchase additional goods without having to wait in line with the common folk, lol. Chooch really wanted the official SuperM lightstick and I really wanted him to have it because it just feels wrong going to a kpop concert without a lightstick, but it was $60! It pained me, but I bought it because, I don’t know, YOLO or whatever. We wanted to show our support for SuperM so it was worth it in the end!

On the way back to the car (Henry was like, “Fuck no, I’m not waiting out there with you”), soundcheck started and we were able to hear part of Can’t Stand the Rain and Jopping! This is Chooch’s “Hark, is that Mark’s part I hear?” expression. We were REALLY GETTING STOKED NOW!!

But…we still had two hours to kill. Henry suggested we walk across the street to Dunkin’ Donuts, so we hung out there for a little while with some other SuperM fans pre-gaming with Coolattas and breakfast sandwiches. I kept trying to get Henry to buy himself one of the single nosebleed seats that were still available, but even the $50 tickets came out to be almost $80 by the time Ticketmaster was done inflating it like a trendy unicorn pool float. I think he was beginning to feel a bit of FOMO because no matter what anyone thinks, Henry likes k-pop and SuperM and yes, Taemin singularly too.

By the time we got back to the EagleBank parking lot, I was ready to keel over with nerves. Chooch and I ended up getting in line around 5:30 and of course the dumbest duo of moms waddled over behind us and proceeded to say, “THEY NEED TO JUST OPEN THE DOORS” and “WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO LET US IN” and “THIS IS RIDICULOUS” back and forth to each other like some weird SNL skit that forgot to be funny and I was like, “Doors don’t open until 6, though?! It clearly stated that on the tickets? Why is this confusing?” I swear some people get off on complaining. We are such an angry nation.

Guess what time they opened the doors? 6:00. BOOM.

NEXT POST: THE ACTUAL CONCERT OMG HOLD MY HAND AND TELL ME IT’S GONNA BE OK.

Nov 242019
 

Hello, here I am to tell you all about the vegetarian lunch we had in Fairfax, Virginia last weekend because sometimes I like to pretend that I’m a really shitty food blogger, except that I don’t have to pretend the “really shitty” part.

After scoping out the venue for the SuperM concert last Sunday, we decided to get lunch over with and by that I mean, Henry and Chooch were ready for lunch and I was silently hyperventilating because my stomach did seem very open to the idea of jamming food into it. I wanted to find a vegetarian/vegan place and Henry did not attempt to veto this because deep down, he’s into vegan cuisine and driving long distances for kpop concerts.

That’s our Papa H.

I used my nemesis Yelp to find this place called Sunflower. Most places in that area seemed to be chains or just salad joints. Sunflower also seemed to be an Asian establishment, which was good because those types of restaurants generally tend to do meatless dishes mush better and with less pretension than your typical hipster ding-ding-basket-on-my-bicycle-ding-ding places.

Chooch and I were off to heated start right away because there was a help wanted sign but he spotted it first and I was so pissed! I still tried to get it with my JobSpotter app on the way out, thinking enough time had passed, but it was REJECTED because it was a DUPLICATE.

We got there right around noon, which was GREAT PLANNING, and that joint was packed! But it was all normal people and no one who was going to squint at us to see if we had enough tattoos or were wearing vegan TOMS.

Honestly you guys, I have been a vegetarian since 1996 and certain vegan types make it so hard. Like, just be cool about it and dial back the anger! I swear it’s gotten to the point where the size of one’s record collection is now a factor into how good of a vegan they are, and us lowly vegetarians just don’t even count anymore more.

So I was happy when we walked in and the whole place was filled with mostly Indians and some random other families. No one stopped to stare at us to determine just exactly how meatless our lives are!

There was this one mother/son combo seated near us that were SO ANNOYING though. I tried not to fixate on them but the son waved the waiter over constantly with requests: more ice in his water, chopsticks–BLACK ONES, specifically–take this plate away! It was crazy how demanding he was. So much so that I made a conscious effort to be even nicer to the waiter.

Besides, the service there was wonderful and efficient!

There was a small two-seater table next to ours and Henry grimaced when a young couple and their baby were seated there.

“Let’s move our table over to give them room,” I whispered while they were still standing and getting their baby shit situated. There was enough empty space next to me that we could easily afford to shift our Sunflower spot.

“No,” Henry said curtly.

“Yes!” I shot back, moving my side of the table over so now I was sitting alone, basically, because all the tables were two-seaters that were pushed together to accommodate larger parties.

“No, I don’t want to,” Henry muttered.

“Oh for God’s sake!” I cried, and started pulling his and Chooch’s table over to rejoin mine until he reluctantly helped me.

And the couple thanked us profusely, because now the husband didn’t have to swan dive over the tables to get to his seat, so there Henry.

I TOOK ALL THE CREDIT FOR THAT ONE.

And even better, their baby wasn’t too annoying. But Henry hated the wife because she was, god forbid, wearing tight jeans with ripped edges and HEELED BOOTS. That’s his current least-favorite women’s fashion trend, apparently. He ranted about this a few weeks ago and I was speechless for once.

Henry got the SUNFLOWER SATISFACTION. I don’t know what it was but it had some cool mushrooms and peppers in it, and some type of soy product.

The special of the day coincidentally was a Korean tofu casserole and I was SO CLOSE to ordering it and if we didn’t have that concert looming overhead, I definitely would have, but my nerves. They were vocal. So I played it safe and ordered a tempeh sandwich, you’re welcome, Stomach.

It was delicious and came on the nicest ciabatta roll. I love ciabatta.

Chooch also opted for a sandwich but his was orange chicken and I had food-envy.

We also got an order of daikon radish cakes which were to DIEKON FOR if you know what I’m saying. Now I’m desperate for Henry to make them for Christmas, or, I don’t know, some fake book club meeting.

Here’s a better view of Henry’s lunch, photo taken by Chooch, because we use this vegetarian food rating app called ABillionVeg and for every 10 reviews of veg/vegan food you submit, they make a donation to various animal rights organizations. Chooch cracked up afterward because the tomato on Henry’s plate is actually Chooch’s refuse.

Then we finished it with a piece of lemon tofu cheese pie to share. It was SO GOOD. I always pretend that vegan desserts are like zero calories but just because they might be made with “healthier” ingredients does NOT make this diet food. Henry and I once had a raw cheesecake at some vegan joint in Cleveland and I think it was like 2500 calories, seriously, lol. Cashews, man!

My only regret is that we don’t live close enough to eat our way through their menu. It was extensive! I made sure to tell the waiters that everything was great when we were on our way out, which I think always embarrasses Chooch but at least I’m never KAREN ASKING FOR THE MANAGER.

Nov 232019
 

Way back in August, when we left Dolce Bita, G-Dragon’s uncle gave us an autographed picture of GD as a gift, which of course made my head spin with ideas on the perfect way to frame it.

We bought the frame a few weeks after we came home from Korea and I immediately settled on covering the matte with red velvet. But then the picture just sat on a chair for months because Henry is L-Z sometimes when it comes to fulfilling my projects.

But finally today I dragged his ass to Joann for the velvet and I also found the perfect daisy embellishments, because you know me and gilding lilies!

Anyway, after a lot of yelling and emasculating (lol), Henry finally hung it up to my liking and now I’m happy.

First the balloons were hung with string, but then I had the brilliant idea of using my peaceminusone bulldog clips that I got from his Act III MOTTE solo tour in 2017 and sometimes wear on my clothes because fan girls don’t care.

So then Henry was like NOW I HAVE TO FIND HOOKS, FUCK but he did because luckily every drawer in our house is a junk drawer and you never know what you’ll find.

I’m really happy with this corner of the house now! Still working on the new piece that will maybe someday before I die go above the couch but every time I mention it to Henry he gets v. Stressed.

I ended up taking my VIP badge off the lanyard and tucking it into a corner of the picture frame, which you can see in the picture below:

It just happens that this corner also contains our house prie-dieu so the new rule is that before anyone leaves the house, they have to kneel down and say a prayer for GD (or to GD, if you’re really down with idol worship). HOUSE RULES.

Now I wish I had set this up last night–I’d have prayed for the G-Dragon Nikes that were released today and sold out in 49 countries within 5 minutes, US included. Sigh.

Nov 222019
 

I woke up Sunday morning sick to my goddamn stomach. 100% pre-show, I’m-seeing-Taemin-today wad of electric nerves in the pit of my gut. The last time I felt this sick before a concert was in 2017 when I saw G-Dragon, and the time before that was in 2000 when I saw The Cure in Australia.

So, now you know.

The concert was in Fairfax, Virginia. I got ready, put my Taemin socks on, stuck my arrived-just-in-time Taemin “Jopping” pin on my sweater, and we were out the door by 7AM.

The pin is based on this frame from the “Jopping” video – Taemin’s signature King of Dance pose:

I always forget how close the DC area is to Pittsburgh, I guess because we typically find ourselves going east into New York or west into Ohio/Chicago for concerts or whatnot, and rarely south. I wish more Kpop concerts played DC because I would gladly choose those ones over fucking NEWARK, please Lord don’t give me any reasons to travel to Newark in the near future unless it’s something that I can’t deny, like a Taemin solo concert. I’d become a Newark resident if that’s what it took for me to see Taemin again, and that’s maybe a tiny bit hyperbolic, but YOU DON’T KNOW ME AND MY SNAP DECISIONS.

Step off!

Our drive was pretty uneventful. We ate a sleepy to-go breakfast from Sheetz, Chooch slept, and I kept chanting “omgomgomgomgomg” while Henry drove with glazed-over eyes.

I took a mirror selfie in some truck stop gas station so I could always remember what I wore when I saw TAEMIN FOR THE FIRST TIME HOLY SHIT. I’m not then type of person who gets all slutted up for concerts or wears band shirts or whatever. I wore the aforementioned Taemin socks and pin and felt that was sufficient, although I did have remorse for not making a Taemin headband like I had briefly considered, especially after we got to the venue and I saw so many various bias headbands and wow, I’m a terrible kpop stan.

Also, “stan” is such a fucking stupid word, isn’t it!?

We arrived in Fairfax, Virginia around 11, I think. Check-in for the VIP tickets was at 3:30 so we didn’t want to go to DC or do anything else too involved, in case something went awry BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW. So we went straight to the venue to scope it out (it was at the basketball arena on the George Mason University campus) – there were numerous parking lots and they were all free so Henry was extremely stoked about that.

I was so excited to see that some of my kpop brethren were already gathering around the arena gates and then the waves of acid in my stomach went from “baby splashing in the bathtub” to “FAT GUY JUST BELLY-FLOPPED IN THE POOL.” Look, it was really hard for me to enjoy any of the minutes preceding the concert because I was in this nervous haze, my heart rate was up (FitBit told me so), and I had the sweats. Maybe similar to the meat sweats? I DON’T KNOW, I DON’T DO MEAT.

Do you get like that before a concert, ever? I very rarely get THIS WORKED UP, but I would always accumulate moderate pre-show nerves, especially ones that I was going to solo. People will tell you that after you do it for awhile, you get used to it, but those people must be way more numb inside than me because I never got used to it, although I was always OK once I got inside the venue and staked out a spot. But man, those moments leading up to that were stressful and semi-sickening.

But this one…this was so different. I never thought I would get to see Taemin in real life, and I know I keep saying “Taemin Taemin Taemin” like he’s the Marsha of SuperM, and I do feel bad about that, because SuperM is dope for real and even if he wasn’t in it, I still would have got tickets to this show. But Taemin. I would pay the price I did even just to see him walk out on the stage and wave for a minute and leave. Just to know that I was in the same state as him, the same building, under the same roof, breathing the same air. He is just such a brilliant artist and I go on about him so much on here because I think everyone should know about him!

After scoping out the venue, we decided to get an early lunch even though food was the last thing on my mind which happens very rarely so you know I had it bad. Come back later for a LUNCH REVIEW. Annyeong.

 

Nov 212019
 

I’m still processing my thoughts (i.e. trying to piece my heart back together #sodramatic) so I’m handing this bitchblog over to Chooch, who is going to share his favorite part of the SuperM concert. HAVE AT IT, SONNY BOY.

*****

The tour was overall an astonishing concert, but there was one part, the one part that changed it all:

the main reason in particular that I enjoyed Lucas’ portion of the night was because of the cute background video of him dancing. Not only this though, but also because the song is just, in general, good. Now this song is stuck in my head… good luck! I used a video from Chicago because of the better quality sound and view of the background.

Nov 202019
 

Pull up a (toilet) seat.

  • It snowed one day last week and I think the general consensus here in Pittsburgh was one giant, jutted middle finger. Not only did it snow, but it was all gray skies and complete mid-January desolation out there, except that it’s still November and we want to be enjoying the blue skies and orange and yellow leaves, you know? Get the fuck off my lawn, snow.
    • There is always That One Person on Instagram though who is like “SNOW! YIPPEE!” So annoying.
  • Speaking of being miserable, I fell this morning walking up the steps at Wood Street Station. I wasn’t running. I didn’t have wack shoes on. I wasn’t looking at my phone. I didn’t slip on a banana peel. I just…missed the step and before I knew it, I was being felled like a thick tree in an urban forest, baby. I bounced back up just as quickly as I fell, but it didn’t matter – the damage had been done. I quickly whispered, “Oh jeez!” over my shoulder and laugh-winced, but I wasn’t brave enough to look all the way behind me to see the extent of the witnesses. Of course, not a single motherfucker even asked if I was OK, but it’s fine. I’m fine. My hand hurts a little from where I caught myself on the edge of the step, but it’s my ego really took the brunt of it, lol.
    • Well, now I can never ride that trolley again. I guess I will start taking the one that comes right before my usual one. Bye-bye, Carrot. (That’s a guy who rides the same T as me and always tries to shoulder his way on before me and also he smells like wet carrots boiling in a pot.)
    • At least my super-supportive co-workers helped me laugh about it this morning and by that I mean they made fun of me. It’s cool. I earned it.

  • I bought some old man chicken noodle soup after work one night a few weeks ago and at least three times a week, I remember him and hope that the soup was good. His name was Everett. He’s a veteran and recently had surgery on his leg and was still wearing the hospital bracelet and then asked me to slow down because I was walking too fast when we were going to Noodles. Anyway, my point is: I fed a stranger and still fell in public.
    • Today on my lunch walk, I picked up a piece of plastic that was blowing down the sidewalk and threw it away in a nearby garbage can so maybe I’ll choke on a fake-ham sandwich as my penance in the next few days.

  • My new torture tactic for Chooch is to make him read old blog posts of mine AND also comment on them. I sent him one that included the picture above (one of my favorite THE SERVICE-era Henry photos!) and then chanted, “DID YOU READ IT YET DID YOU READ IT YET ARE YOU READING IT” and then I heard him giggle and I screamed, “WHAT PART IS IT?!” Maybe when he’s an adult, he’ll appreciate these old dumb blog posts about our road trips more. Anyway, he did comment, but all he said was “wow” and “that was” and “so funny” in three separate comments. He’s so rude.
  • Guys, Henry did a deep-dive into WayV, the Chinese subunit of NCT127, last night because he was inspired to find out where each member was born. That is how Yang Yang accidentally became his bias. (“Oh wow, Yang Yang lived in Germany and can speak German, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, and English!” Henry declines from behind his phone. Honestly though how buttery is this WayV song though:

  • I accidentally talked to Blake the other night outside of the house because I forgot that I was still mad at him over the cheesecake he ate that wasn’t his. When we were at Dorney Park on the carousel, Chooch was like, “That guy looks like Blake” and nodded toward a man standing in line and I said, “I’m sorry, I have no basis of comparison since that man isn’t eating someone else’s cheesecake.” I LOVE BEING PETTY!! It’s basically my best quality. I try to bring up the cheesecake every chance I get.

  • Margie had to get thumb surgery last week so I decided she needed something to spruce up her ace bandage. I knew I had leftover Jesus stickers somewhere from when I had an Easter egg hunt at work several years ago (actually, looking up the blog post for that reminded me that I actually did this two years in a row—wow, I used to be creative and fun at work once) and I found them in a box that I never unpacked from my last desk move because I was too “……..” to unpack fully. So I got to adorn Margie’s wound-koozie with a Jesus Loves You sticker and also adorn my little side desk thingie with my old Xmas decor that I completely forgot that I had! It was also a nice opportunity to toss all the dumb Jonny Craig ornaments I made back then when I used to put up a tree. But yeah! Here’s all my Xmas shit! Those voodoo Santas are still faves of mine. I made them using a tutorial that my friend Brandy did a million blog-years ago. 
  • I was off on Monday and listless and depressed, so what a great time to catch up on “This Is Us” which always is so upsetting because it makes me think about Henry dying and then I get totally clingy which is NOT A GREAT LOOK FOR ME and Henry is always just like, “You’re scaring me” and then it’s just a domino effect of hysterics after that until I’m screaming about how I want to lose 30 million more pounds and then having surgery to get rid of all my weird parts, to which Henry calmly responded, “So…your brain?” Wow, I set myself up for that one.

Well, that’s all my brain can withstand for now. I’m still trying to piece the bits of my head back together after it exploded Sunday night when I saw LEE TAEMIN. Perhaps one day I will find the strength to write about it. #drama

Nov 182019
 

Friday afternoon, I got a text from Henry that said Chooch got a 4.0, which is something that is more easily attainable for him now that the SHITTIEST ART TEACHER AROUND left and the school actually got a competent replacement who seems to be doing a great job because my kid went from loathing art to actually enjoying it again like he used to when when was much younger. That old teacher was SUCH A BITCH and gave him his first C ever last year because she grades subjectively, which is a bunch of bullshit for middle school.

(Plus, she didn’t like him for god only knows why. I was there in 6th grade for open house and she conveniently “had to go to a meeting” when we walked into her classroom. She was real fucking sketchy about it too.)

So even though Chooch is always on the high honor roll, that broad’s stupid art class would usually drag him down. What a dumb bitch.

Anyway, when Henry told me the news, I was like, “Great now we’re going to have to take him to dinner and he’s going to pick something stupid like Eat n Park and if that happens, I’m not going. I should get to choose because I’m the reason he’s smart to begin with!”

“There it is,” Glenn mumbled when I finished my rant at work. “I knew you’d find a way to make this about yourself.”

I mean, duh.

And of course, the first place Chooch suggested was Eat n Park and I was like, “PLEASE PICK A BETTER PLACE, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!” and after considering it for a few seconds, he said, “Well, I do kind of want Italian….”

“OK COOL SO TILLIE’S IT IS!” I declared, and Chooch was like, “Ooh yeah, Tillie’s!” like this was the best idea he’s ever heard in his whole life and I gratuitously blew on my fingernails while reminding him that I’m the brains of the household.

I will use any excuse to go to Tillie’s though. I have never had a bad experience there – it’s cozy, the service is always wonderful, and they have the best gnocchi in town, you can go on and fucking fight me if you disagree.

For some reason, my family never ate here when I was growing up, and we lived semi-nearby. I actually had never even heard of it until my friend Heather took me here for my 19th birthday and I was HOOKED. It’s not a fancy restaurant by any means, and you’ll usually see a mix of people in hoodies and old men in sports coats, but the food makes you feel like the richest person. Do you know what I mean? Like you’re on vacation in actual Italy and some old broad is slinging some authentic noods on a plate and capping it off with a healthy ladle of family secret tomato sauce.

It’s just good, yo.

When Chooch was really little though, he didn’t like it here because it “stank.”

It was the spaghetti sauce he was smelling and it didn’t “stink” – it makes you feel like you are taking a nap on a soft ravioli after being tucked in by a layer of wet tomatoes…OK maybe that sounds weird, but that smell always makes me feel warm and comforted!

Henry got a new flannel, finally.

It was on sale at Penney’s. He’s thrifty.

I think Henry was just happy that we picked Tillie’s and not some place that has bicycle parking and a roomful of kombucha-speckled handlebar mustaches.

You know your heads are still in Korea when your son thinks the gnocchi looks like tteokbokki, so now he calls it potato tteokbokki. I was so happy to be shoveling these little potato pillows in my mouth but apparently my stomach can no longer take on as much as it used to be able to because I felt like I was going to burst when I was halfway through.

Chooch got fettucine alfredo (classic) and Henry got a personal pizza, which is always super good at Tillie’s. We had a really nice time together, so thank you, Child, for being a brainiac and giving us a reason to go to Tillie’s. Not that we needed a reason, but going to Tillie’s is always more fun when you’re celebrating something.

I found out the next day that when Chooch went to the bathroom, some guy was in there peeing with his pants all the way down to the floor and Chooch saw his ass and then had me doubled over in laughter when he gave me the painful recap. I love hearing about Chooch’s adventures in public restrooms. I wish he would start a blog about it.

I look like a creep here but that’s fine. I can’t change my face, even though this morning I had a low self-esteem freak out and screamed about wanting to lose 30 million more pounds and having surgery to remove all of my weird parts and Henry said, “….so, your brain?” but I was thinking more along the lines of my entire face, but hey, that’s a (un-)wellness post for another day, I guess!

And on that note, I am going for a walk. I was off today because we were at the SuperM concert in Fairfax, VA last night and I have a lot of thoughts to sort through and wow, I just realized that I’m crying lol time to punch myself in the face.

Nov 162019
 

Tomorrow night, I will finally be in the same room as Lee Taemin, under the same roof, BREATHING THE SAME AIR. This has been my dream for quite some time now and while I’d have preferred to see him with SHINee or solo, seeing him with the other 6 members of SuperM is just as wonderful and I feel so grateful for this opportunity!

I’ve been trying to not binge on SuperM in the days leading up to the concert — this is hard considering I follow a ton of SHINee & Taemin accounts on Instagram plus the Taemin hashtag so my feed is full of videos from the shows that already happened this week and it’s killing me not to watch them! But I want to be surprised! I don’t want to know what else is going to happen in addition to the SuperM songs but I do know that there will be at least one Taemin solo and it doesn’t matter WHAT song it is, I am going to lose my goddamn mind.

I usually have a playlist of all his performances on the TV for background noise when Janna is over here visiting and she has even admitted to getting distracted by his mesmerizing (OMG I had to look up that spelling, I am really suffering) moves and vocals. He is really so much more than just “Kpop.” He is a dancing genius, and his voice is so distinct.

We were watching some of his live performances last night, and through tears I blurted out, “Taemin’s voice is like the sizzle from the flames of the fire you set to painful memorabilia.” Henry gave me the “okayyyyyy” sneer, but I stand by this comparison. His sultry vocal husk is warm, cathartic, satisfying.

Other things I have compared Taemin’s voice to:

  • the fog that covers the road on a late October night while you’re driving with a date through the woods to a haunted hayride;
  • an opulent, ridiculously expensive rich old lady’s shawl from the 1920s, mauve with various elements of silk, crushed velvet and lace. Delicate, but will keep you warm while making you feel pretty.

So, in honor of finally seeing this beautiful artist tomorrow night, I would like to share some of my favorite live solo performances of his and I really think everyone should watch them because he is A DREAM.

“Rise” is in my Top 3 favorite Taemin songs and if I ever got to watch him perform this in real life, I might not survive. It’s one of those times where a song truly transcends language – the first time I heard it, I obviously had no idea what he was singing about, but my heart and brain knew to be moved to tears. This song. This damn song.

It took a minute for “Artistic Groove” to really hit me, but once my mind caught up, I couldn’t stop listening to it and watching every single music show performance of it. The choreo and his sweet baby angel vocals are like a baseball bat to my knees. He is really really putting out some sick 1980s jazz vibes and no one else comes close to matching this! So really, we need to stop calling Taemin “kpop.”

I watched this Music Bank performance approximately 87,000 times during November 2017 and I now associate Thanksgiving with Taemin’s glorious hips. I mean….But in all honestly, this was the song that REALLY MADE MY EARS PERK UP to his unique, smoky voice and who needs turkey when you can just fill up on Taemin’s vocal feast. Keep the mashed potatoes, give me more pelvic pops. I mean, velvet vocals.

YOUNG TAEMIN. This song makes me feel like I’m in high school again, falling asleep to Quiet Storm on WAMO after talking to MY FRIST LOVE JUSTIN on the phone (sorry Henry). I made this comparison once and Henry was like, “THE FUCK” but Taemin’s voice in this song reminds me a bit of Anita Baker. There, I said it, and I will defend it.

“Day & Night” WAS SO UNDERRATED AND UNDERHYPED. Why did so many people seem to sleep on this song?! When I was looking for this video on YouTube, I saw a comment that said so many general kpop fans pass Taemin by, but all of the other idols gather around the stage to watch him record these music show performances. He is a living legend among his peers, you guys.

This was my first favorite Taemin solo song, and I know for damn sure I have posted the actual MV and various live stages of this because I love the dance so much, but this one really shatters that misconception that “kpop idols can’t sing.” Um, plus the end where he takes off his jacket.

OK, I could do this all day but I’ll wrap it up with this medley that Taemin showcased at the 2016 MAMA Awards. I honestly can’t watch him dance to “Goodbye” without silently crying. I am obsessed with people who can express such strong emotions just by moving their body, and Taemin pretty much pens an entire romance novel with one goddamn hip swivel, how does he get away with doing this to us?!

BONUS! Here is Henry’s favorite live performance of Taemin!

I wanted Henry to write two sentences — JUST TWO — about why he chose this video but he’s being a dumb moron about it, and all he will say is that he likes Taemin’s full, plump lips.

So on that note, please enjoy these beautiful performance art pieces from my beloved Lee Taemin.  <3

Nov 152019
 

I’ve been putting off writing this Part 2 post because it could very well be the LAST AMUSEMENT PARK POST OF 2019 unless I get my Thanksgiving Miracle and Henry takes his loving family to Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.

Earlier that day, some broad told me at Target that she loved my sweater, and Chooch quickly mumbled, “I don’t.” He hates it when I get compliments in front of him. And then when we arrived at Dorney, the guy at the security check told me he liked my phone case. EAT IT, CHOOCH!

We didn’t do any of the haunt stuff because we didn’t stay late enough on Sunday for when they began, but I will say that of the three Cedar Fair parks we visited during the Halloween season, Dorney was the least decked-out. However, the Street Drum Corps – Blood Drums were performing at one point when we were walking to Demon Drop so that was pretty cool!

Pumpkins make everything better. It’s such a mood. Peter Pumpkin Eater’s wife was so lucky that she got to live in a pumpkin shell.

Wait….did he put there and then eat here?!

I HAVE NEVER REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT THESE WORDS BEFORE.

The last time I rode Demon Drop was in like…1992 when my family went to Cedar Point and it was one of the worst family trips ever and my stepdad and I fought the whole time and my BFF at the time was with us and my parents (and brothers) liked her so much better than me so I had to deal with that shit the whole time on top of feeling like I was going to die on the Demon Drop, so riding it again in 2019 really brought back some feelings.

IT WAS HORRIFYING. As soon as our stupid cage reached the top, I started shrieking about how I made a mistake, I didn’t want to do it anymore, and coincidentally, these are the same things I screamed when I was admitted for my dreaded C-Section.

This is why I don’t do drop towers.

One of the things I liked about Dorney is that they had veggie nuggets at one of their food places, and also the Beyond Burger. Granted, it was an exorbitant price ($17 for Chooch and me to each get one burger, no fries, no drink) and the “fix-in’s” were self-serve, but it was still a nice chance from the standard slice of pizza that I usually end up eating at vegetarian-unfriendly amusement parks.

Guys. You know what time it is.

Family Carousel Selfie time!

I love this new tradition! I never gave a shit about carousels before but now it’s like “WE CAN’T LEAVE WITHOUT RIDING THE FUCKING MERRY-GO-ROUND, BITCHES.”

Chooch was on the deer until he realized that it didn’t go up and down so then he switched to a horse and I was so afraid he was going to get yelled at because it was right when the carousel alarm sounded, and I hate getting yelled at by ride attendants!! This stems from the time I was 7 and my shoe fell off on the Paratroopers and the ride attendant (I can still picture her!!) yelled at me afterward and made me cry and my friend Amy’s mom was like, “BITCH, DON’T YELL AT THIS CHILD” and then the ride attendant probably cried because Amy’s mom could be really mean and loud.

Also, I never wore sandals to an amusement park ever again after that.

Alsox2, this is probably the 12th time I’ve told this story on my blog, but look – it really shaped who I am, OK?!

Carousel mirror selfie.

One ride I consistently skip at amusement parks is the bumper cars.  I love the look of the bumper cars, and how they’re attached to the weird wire-mesh ceiling and it creates sparks as it moves. I love how it sounds, and how it smells. It’s very nostalgic, but I never feel compelled to get in line.

SHOULD I RIDE IT NEXT TIME?!

MAYBE I WILL.

It’s still my dream to replace my couch with vintage, refurbished bumper cars.

Chooch was excited because one of the dumb claw machines was full of the same exact generic “air pods” he won by selling cookie dough. Those good-good TWSI7s.

This year, we managed to go to 12 different amusement parks. 12! That’s not a lot for hardcore coaster enthusiasts, but it’s a record for my family and I can honestly say that I am living my best teenage life. It has been so much fun riding roller coasters with my family! We’ve had mostly excelsior experiences at each park—I’d easily rank Tokyo Disney Sea as my #1 and drop-kick Cedar Point straight down the elevator shaft—and I’d say that Dorney was a solid middle-ground. I really don’t have any complaints about it, and the only low point of the day was caused my own lack of nourishment and has zilch to do with Dorney’s operations.

We only stayed at Dorney until around 3, because we had a 4 hour drive home, which of course always ends up being way more than that. I really liked our time here and I’d like to go back next summer when the water rides are open, because I love me a good log flume and I think they have one there?!