May 192019
 

I came home on Friday after a relatively quiet, boring day, to find a package on the front porch. I thought it was probably another box of boringness for Amazon-addict Henry (j/k – everything he orders from Amazon is actually supplies we need for koi’s greeting card business but it’s still boring shit). When I got closer to the porch though, I SAW THAT THE BOX HAD A PICTURE OF WINNER ON IT!

It was from my Kpop-bestie Veronica! What a wonderfully unexpected surprise!

Veronica recently attended the Korea Times Music Festival in LA and got to swoon over Taemin for the both of us, and she picked up a t-shirt for me too! As of that wasn’t glorious enough, she even topped it off with an assortment of Kpop swag such as photocards, stand-up cut-outs, and postcards of some of my biases!

My fireplace mantel has so much beauty on it, I can’t even.

Henry tried to steal some of them for his desk at work, and Chooch tried to walk off with the TOP photocard. It’s hard being a Kpop family who hates sharing.

I love everything so much! I don’t have any other friends who are into Kpop so people are always sending me news articles and stuff on BTS because that’s all they know which is nice and I appreciate it, but to have a friend who actually knows which groups I’m bananas for feels like such a luxury!

Ugh, forever my ultimate. <3

Oh man, I am so grateful! Thank you so much, Veronica, if you are reading this! I have been re-looking at everything all weekend and giggling like a weirdo.

(As I’m typing this, Henry is watching Instagram videos of Taemin performing at the Dream Concert that happened this weekend in Seoul. Oh Henry.)

Then later that night, I splurged and bought Chooch and myself tickets to see GOT7 and Henry is too exhausted these days to even do the whole “shaking fist in the air” rigmarole that he used to when I had a impulsive ticket-buying spree. But I justified it by reminding him that this cost like, a quarter of what KCON tickets would have been had they actually released a lineup worthy of our money and travel this year but no, they didn’t. So now we will go see GOT7 in Toronto instead and Chooch is excited because this is his bias group and we missed them the last two times they were in the US because Kpop tickets are $$$$. Ugh.

The next day, I had a coffee date with a new friend I made on HelloTalk. If you’re not familiar, HelloTalk is a language-exchange app, where you befriend native speakers of the language you are trying to learn, and you help each other. It’s kind of frustrating though because even though there is a strict NOT A DATING APP policy, people are still trying to weasel their way in. This is actually how I made my first and only native Korea friend, Kyoung! We don’t use HelloTalk to chat anymore, just KakaoTalk, and he is very respectable and treats me as his noona (older sister).

However, just a week ago, some Korean man from Vancouver started sending me messages and I thought it was going OK but then he was like ADD ME ON KAKAO. I WANT TO CALL YOU. And that freaked me out.

Around the same time, I got a notification that someone named Jiyong added me on there. And then I saw that they live here in Pittsburgh! Finally, I thought, maybe I can make a Korean friend here who can help me learn Korean. Plus, Jiyong is also G-Dragon’s name so I felt like this was meant to be! The next day, we started to exchange messages and they asked, “So, you like Bigbang?” because I have that in my profile, lol #koreaboo.

Henry was like, “Please don’t embarrass yourself…”

(I was able to read this, because it’s Korean that’s relevant to my interests so I could figure it out, lol.)

But they seemed OK with chatting about kpop and they also weren’t asking me things like ARE YOU MARRIED ARE YOU SINGLE CAN I CALL YOU IMMEDIATELY SEND ME SELCAS so I felt good about this. I suggested that we meet up for coffee, because they were also looking for help with their English. Jiyong is from Jeonju, South Korea and moved to the US about 3 and a half years ago for work. Jiyong also lived in Hongdae, which is my favorite neighborhood in Seoul!

Henry kept joking that I was going to leave him, and I was like, “Hahaha, yeah but seriously will you drive me to the cafe and stay in the area in case things go awry?” And on the way there, I was starting to feel a bit of nerves and said, “I wish that it was a girl I was meeting. I would feel more comfortable if it was a girl, and this would feel less like a blind date.”

“You’re so awkward around girls, though,” Henry pointed out, BUT STILL, HENRY.

We had set 2:00pm as the meet-up time, and the cafe was only open until 5. I told Henry that I highly doubted we’d be there the whole time, probably just an hour, so he said he wouldn’t go far.

Anyway, he dropped me off and when I walked into the cafe, the first thing I noted was that there was a Korean woman sitting alone at a table. We made eye contact, but I started looking around for a Korean man when I realized that she was starting to stand up.

“Erin?” she asked, and that is how I found out that—PLOT TWIST—Jiyong is a girl!

YOU GUYS, I FELT SUCH RELIEF.

Anyway, I won’t bore you with the details of me interrogating her about the ins and outs of her native language (thank god she came prepared with a notebook because we used the hell out of it), but it was a really great time and I felt like it was hopefully the start of a new friendship! She was really surprised at how much I knew about the culture, like certain TV shows, food, locations of Seoul, and I tried to shrug it off like it was just a casual thing and not because I’m a fucking crazy lady who gets Korean news alerts on her work computer and watches about 90% full-Korean television programming.

She did mention at one point that her name is commonly only used for boys (NO KIDDING!) but that her grandma really wanted a grandson and already had the name picked out! It’s a good, strong name, though, and I think it’s beautiful either way.

The cafe we chose for our meeting was Arriviste and I had the most spectacular honey latte which honestly was just the cherry on top at this point.

The next thing I knew, it was nearly 5 and I had missed a text from Henry that said, “I guess it’s going well…?” Apparently, he was sitting in the parked car, watching The S.H.I.E.L.D. for three hours, LOL.

Jiyong took this picture of us, with evidence in the background that we were actually doing language things, lol. Also, #MyFakeSmile

We already have plans to hang out again in two Saturdays! I may be a lost cause when it comes to speaking Korean at this point in my life, but I’m hoping that I can get to the point where she can talk to me in Korean and I can at least understand her enough to answer her in English. I’m like, learning disabled in my old age.

What a great weekend so far! Hope Game of Thrones doesn’t completely ruin it tonight, haha.

May 172019
 

It’s Friday, you guys, which means I’m that closer to the next amusement park trip! However you have to get through the work week, amirite?

Anyway, here’s some stuff – well, five to be exact since it’s FRIDAY – that went down this week. Can’t promise it’s going to be exciting or informative, but I’ll throw in some photos that may or may not enhance the narrative.

1. RING THE BELL

Not a shocking secret about me but I live across the street from a church and I don’t ever remember the church bells ever ringing but suddenly, for the last several weeks, the church bells have awoken and are here to fucking announce every goddamn hour of the day from 8am to 9pm and it is fucking obnoxious, this relentless throbbing-tinny hourly countdown. I don’t know if they got a new priest over there who was like “Well shoot y’all this church has got BELLS? Let’s dust those Heaven-horns off!” I’d like for him to dust the NOVELTY off because this shit is wack and after last Sunday, I can’t hear them ding-donging without bracing for a dragon to come forth and torch my town.

I’m going to report this for a noise violation or whatever you call it.

Random picture that Henry found on his phone from the trick eye museum in Korea. 

2. Happy Broken Family

You guys know how Henry’s son Blake and his fam live right next door to us? Well, you can imagine how often Chooch is flitting back and forth between the two houses—he is obsessed with his big brother Blake. Well, yesterday he came back in the house and said, “Something weird happened. The shirtless Italian guy with the dog who lives next to Blake saw me coming out of Blake’s house and said, ‘So is that uh…..um….your….uncle?’ and I said, ‘No, it’s my brother’s house’ and he said, ‘Oh, and your other dad lives next door?’ I said yes, but thought it was weird that he called you my ‘other dad,'” Chooch said to Henry with a shrug.

I thought this was unusual as well, but then Henry said, “He probably thought you were talking about Calvin when you said it was your brother’s house.” Calvin is Blake’s son, Chooch’s nephew. So he thinks Blake is Chooch’s dad! I AM FUCKING DYING AT THE THOUGHT OF THIS, Chooch having “both dads” living right next door to each other!

This morning when I left for work, Calvin was at the window playing with his cars so I was waving to him when I noticed that Italian Guy’s Shirted Brother was outside with the dog, watching me. We waved and said good morning to each other and as soon as I was far enough down the sidewalk, I started laughing all over again because those guys must think , “Wow, those people really get along great for a broken family!”

3. LA ANNUAL STICKING OF LA FINGER

Ugh, why do I put myself through this every year? Oh yeah, for better insurance rates or something, I think? Anyway, my appointment for the wellness screening was at 10:06am on Tuesday, and I had chosen to fast. I was running around the department like a crazy person that morning, crying to everyone who would listen and repeating, “ohmygodohmygodohmygod” over and over. “It’s like Jeffrey Dahmer is running the place,” Glenn said, having already gone up for this screening. “Blood everywhere!” I screamed at him to shut up and I know it was a joke but now I was picturing blood dripping down the windows of the 28th floor and was starting to get that ol’ familiar nervous knee-knocking.

Finally, Amber saw me cowering at my desk when she was en route to her appointment, which was about 40 minutes earlier than mine, and said, “Oh for god’s sake, just go up with me now” YES, LET’S GET THIS OVER WITH.

I was so spastic that I was actually trying to pull the pen out of the lady’s hand while she was using it to point out the spots I needed to fill in on the consent form. Like, I was aware that I was doing it and it was coming across as super rude, but I literally could not let go of the pen. It was so embarrassing. What is wrong with me.

DON’T ANSWER THAT.

First, some broad called me over to weigh me and measure my waist, etc. I was like, “IS THAT AN OK NUMBER??” about my waist size and she said, “Yes, all your numbers are good!” So that made me feel better. Then she was having a coughing fit and trying to talk to me about it but I was like, “Look, this is about me and my numbers,  not your damn windpipe, alright.”

She sent me back to the fake triage area and I was supposed to be the next person to get called back for the actual fingerstick portion of the traveling blood bath, but the next available screener was adamant about taking Amber first even  though Amber tried to defer her spot to me. Turns out,  this was a blessing because the screener I got was A-MAZ-ING. She had two thick bleached strands of hair framing her face, and I could picture her being a total badass in the 70s. She looked at my form and said, “Oh, my birthday is the day after yours! Well, with about a 20 year difference,” she laughed.

“Yeah! Leos are the best!” I exclaimed and we spent nearly the whole time talking about how amazing our zodiac is and I was really on the verge of asking her if she wanted to hang out sometime but thought maybe that would be inappropriate since she was in the process of stroking blood out of the pad of my middle finger.

Guess what you guys?! This was the best screening I’ve had to date.

“All of my numbers are in the ‘desirable’ range!” I bragged to Henry via Kakao.

“That’s good,” he replied and I was annoyed that he didn’t seem more stoked about this. He didn’t even use any emojis!!!

That’s fine, I guess I’ll just take my hotly desired blood elsewhere.

 

4. CHOOCH THE RUTHLESS

Call me old fashioned, but I’m a firm believer in the dying art of sending thank you cards. YES, SOMETIMES I FORGET TO DO THIS MYSELF, because life is a trainwreck sometimes, but I thought it would be nice for Chooch to send Thank Yous to the people who came to his recent birthday dinner in order to teach him some etiquette (meanwhile Henry’s over there desperately trying to teach him to use double negatives).

The thing with Chooch is that he may be naturally brilliant in so many things, but when it comes to shit like correspondence, he has no clue. He will put his own name on the envelopes of cards being given to other people! HE DID THAT TO MY MOTHER’S DAY CARD….

LAST YEAR!

Anyway, I noticed that he was writing all of his messages on the left side of the card, leaving the main side all blank and weird-looking. So I suggested, in a nice, non-pageant-mom-y way, that perhaps he could draw a picture on the sides that he left blank, so they would look less weird. So of course he drew a clown on Haley’s and Wendy’s because they hate clowns (Wendy’s also featured Meghan Trainor) and then for Janna’s, after insulting her on one side, he drew a picture of her mom beating her and this is funny because we have this joke all the back from 2014 where Janna’s mom beat her for using her car when she went to Nemacolin Castle with Corey and me. Her mom originally said she could use the car, but then forgot about it I guess because once we arrived at the castle for the tour, her mom called and was like WHERE IS MY CAR and Janna was like MOM, YOU SAID and Corey and I were AW SHIT, JANNA’S GON’ GET IT! But Janna insisted that everything was fine once she hung up with her mom.

Later that night when we went back to Janna’s to get our cars, Corey joked that if we waited long enough, maybe we would see the silhouette of Janna getting whipped by her mom and Henry to this day still doesn’t think this is a funny story but Corey and I would cry-laugh every time it came up.

Uh, anyway, this card was a nice homage to old times.

5. JANNA’S BIG DEAL BIRTHDAY

I took Janna out to dinner for her birthday on Wednesday. She originally said she wanted to go somewhere with good desserts so I was like, “Maybe something Italian then?” and she was like “I COULD DO ITALIAN” so then I spent ALL THIS TIME on that app that I loathe (#UghYelp) only for her to suggest The Abbey hours later. THE ABBEY IS NOT ITALIAN. But I wasn’t mad though because that let me off the hook of searching for the perfect birthday dinner venue which I am not great at because we all know I’m such a megalomaniac (see above re: LEOS RULE).

Then Janna wanted to sit outside and I was like “Ugh fine it’s your birthday” but I am not a fresco diner! I prefer sitting inside almost always, especially at The Abbey because it’s an old funeral home! Instead, I did what any mature girl would do and pouted and whined about being cold and then said NO FORGET IT every time Janna offered to lend me her sweater. I am a great dinner companion.

I got the vegan mushroom and spinach ravioli and seitan meatballs and I have to say, the ravioli were FANTASTICO but I have had better-prepared seitan in my travels. It was OK – I liked that it was almond-encrusted but it was very tough and even though the almonds tasted good, it made the whole thing extremely dry. Another annoyance was that my salted lemon tart was so fucking small that I actually thought it was a mistake. It was $6!! And the size of a shot glass! I AM A CHEAP PERSON AND ALSO A FOREVER FAT WHO WANTS BIG DESSERTS.

I mean, it tasted wonderful but I WANTED MORE.

Also, it was really hard to cut through the pastry because it was SO SMALL AND DENSE. I was afraid I was going to send it sailing across the patio with one wrong move of the knife.

Janna got food too.

Afterward, she hung out at my hell house for a few hours and Chooch was in rare form, looking for his wallet while in “meth addict” character and I had ONE BEER at dinner so I was like scream-laughing over this, and kpop videos were blasting on the TV, and Janna was yelling, “Come on, Chooch, stop it!” while Henry quietly sat at the computer and it was a total throwback to high school when I used to have friends over and my brothers would be going batshit with butcher knives and the dogs would be barking and my mom would be quietly laying on the couch watching figure skating, blocking us all out, and it was just a flurry of pandemonium, or as we Kellys called it: “a normal night.”

I had one beer at dinner was so CRUNK (yeah I said it) even by the time we got back to my house that my every movement was exaggerated and amplified, and Henry immediately was like, “Wow you had a beer, I can tell. You always get an attitude when you drink a beer.”

A beer.

That’s me!

Anyway, we made Janna sit through a bunch of Kpop stuff and when the NCT127 appearance on James Corden came on, she asked, “Which one is my bias?” and I said, “Well jeez Janna, NONE OF THEM BECAUSE THIS ISN’T BTS!” (I made her choose a BTS bias a few years ago and she chose Taehyung.)

Yep, just a normal night.

May 162019
 

I am obsessed with the new Winner single, you guys. Straight obsessed. I love how they maintain that upbeat summer vibe without coming off as pigeon-holed or trite. Their songs are just pure happiness and make me want to drag a lawnchair* out onto my tiny patch of front yard and smile and wave to everyone who walks by.

I like to share things like this here because maybe someone is having a bad day and stumbles upon this, clicks on a whim, and experiences a bit of 심쿵 (“shim-koong” – happy feeling in the heart, y’all).

This is why I love Kpop so much. It motivates me to smile and spread the happiness! And when you get one downer of a news alert after another all day long, don’t you deserve to hit pause on real life and give yourself a couple minutes of pleasing colors and upbeat sounds? I think so. Give Kpop a try. Forget about not understanding what they’re saying. Just enjoy how it looks and sounds!

*(Henry, go buy me a lawnchair.)

P.S. Janna was here last night and the new WayV video came on and she said “oh is this one that you put on your blog last week?” except she called it my “journal” like it’s 2005 but never mind that, the point is that JANNA READS MY BLOG! So if JANNA can click on a video, you can too!

May 142019
 

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we’re not exactly the traditional kind of family so I didn’t wake up to a food tray full of french toast and mimosas atop my chest or a bouquet of flowers, or…shit, Chooch didn’t even get me a card! But Henry got up early and CLEANED THE HOUSE (well, he straightened up) which was really all I ever want, so that put me in a good mood and I didn’t even care that Chooch didn’t write me a cheesy poem or that he immediately ran next door to Blake’s house.

I did, however, accuse him of not wishing me a happy mother’s day but Henry was like, “That was literally the first thing* he said when he came downstairs” but when he said it, he was hugging the cat so I thought he was saying it to her, for some reason?

*(Actually, the first thing he said was,”It’s Janna’s birthday today.”)

I almost didn’t even realize it was Mother’s Day this past weekend until a few days prior when Chooch told me that he was making me a coffee cup in his ceramics class at Gifted, but he was pissed off because they didn’t get to use the kiln in time or something, #excusesexcuses.

Originally, my brother Ryan and I were going to take our mom to lunch or dinner on Sunday, but she was feeling under the weather, so Henry, Chooch and I went with the Korean Food Backup Plan and I chose Green Pepper for the venue in which Chooch could shower me with gratitude and reverence.

I just really needed some bibimbap in my bibimbelly, and it was wondrous.

The TV in  the restaurant had a variety of Kpop videos, K-drama clips, and other Korean sundry playing which made the experience better, in spite of what some of the restaurant reviews said. (eg. “Food was great. The Korean music videos playing on the TV were a different story.” How about fuck off then?) Anyway, one of the videos that came on was “your Dog Loves You” and the whole video was just…well, dogs. Chooch got SUPER emotional and kept fanning his face and then eventually he gave up and let the tears flow. It was adorable but also a super great reminder on Mother’s Day that no matter how many times people shout “HE LOOKS JUST LIKE HENRY AND BLAKE OMG,” he is all me aside from his looks. So there.

OMG now I’m tearing up writing about Chooch tearing up.

Henry took this hideous picture with his terrible phone. But at least I’M WEARING MY G-DRAGON PIN!

After lunch, we walked down the street to Pink Box and gorged on Asian breadstuffs. I love Pink Box. As usual, Henry picked the best one (pineapple bread stuffed with red bean) so I kept stealing bites of his.

Sweet red bean is so underrated in America.

The rest of the day was spent lazing around because it was gloomy and rainy and every time I eat bibimbap, I’m in a food coma for most of the day. It was a good opportunity to watch a movie, which says a lot because I have to be IN THE MOOD to watch a movie. Literally, all the planets have to be aligned, my brain chemicals have to be perfectly balanced, the weather has to be a certain way — I’m really particular about watching movies. Wait, let me back up – ever since Chooch saw End Game with my mom a few weeks ago, he has been dying to talk about it freely around the house but neither Henry nor I have seen it. I’m one of those people who hate knowing spoilers even if it’s for something I have no desire to watch. I know nothing about Marvel; in fact, when Chooch told me that Batman dies at the end of End Game, I yelled at him for telling me. Yeah, I totally fell for that! Henry said that I could get away with just watching Infinity Wars or whatever it’s called before seeing End Game, but no–it’s all or nothing with me.

But then I was talking to Carrie about this last week at work and she was like NO, YOU WILL LOVE IT, THOSE MOVIES ARE SO GOOD and just listening to her talking passionately about it made me get emotional (see above, re: Chooch and the dog video) and suddenly I felt ultra-inspired to watch it. I asked her where a good starting point would be and she suggested Iron Man, so we watched that Saturday night.

“Is she in all of them?” I asked Chooch.

“Pepper Pots? Yeah, she shows up in more of the movies,” Chooch said.

“But no, I mean, her specifically. Gwyneth Paltrow.”

Chooch had to look it up for me but he confirmed that yes, it’s Gwyneth Paltrow all the way through. GOOD BECAUSE I HATE RECASTS. I think that’s one of the reasons I gave up with super hero movies. To me, Batman is Michael Keaton, for example.

Anyway, I liked Iron Man! So then we watched the first Avengers movie on Sunday afternoon (with Drew, a/k/a Jinjoo, her new Korean name, who was exhausted, probably because I keep changing her name).

I had a lot of questions during Avengers and also a lot of anger (“YOU TOLD ME HE’S IN ALL OF THEM AND NOW HE’S DEAD?!!?”), but I liked it, so I asked my work friend/Marvel expert Nate to give me a list of all the movies I need to see in order, and he delivered! Chooch is so excited about this and I guess it’s nice to throw a bone to the kid who made me a mother in the first place, right? Even if it means sharing MY DAY with him? I mean, kid’s 13 so I better start savoring these last bits of attention he’s giving me. Ugh.

All in all, it was a good day even though no one bought me Taemin’s latest album (still waiting since February), the weather was less than desirable, and Game of Thrones was a shit show that left me feeling extremely disoriented and disappointed.

One final note: I’m really grateful that my mom and I are on good terms again, even if it was enduring the trauma of my aunt Sharon’s illness and the devastation surrounding my grandparents’ house that ultimately had to bring us together; you know what they say about “reasons” and “everything happening.” I was just texting with her yesterday about the time in 1999 when I used the corporate AmEx to “invest” in an “internet mall” after getting something sent in the mail about it and thinking, “wow, this is relevant to my interests of sitting around at home and getting rich quick doing nothing” and when my mom found out that I charged $3000 to her company card, I had  A LOT OF ‘SPLAININ’ TO DO. To be fair, the internet mall people told me that I would make that back plus some in no time so I figured that by the  time my mom got her statement, I’d be sitting on roughly $500,000 and could just chuck her some spare change to cover the bill, right? Except that American Express freaking called her when they saw what appeared to be a fraudulent charge and apparently, I was very “lucky” that there was a loophole since I used a corporate card to essentially invest in another company (or something? It was boring so I quit listening) so they were able to cancel the transaction, thus ruining my changes of becoming a self-made millionaire.

“That was around the same time I use that card to my buy myself that big purple hand chair from Archie McPhee,” I said, and my mom’s response was “Lolol” but probably she was seeing images of cold hard cash being flushed down the toilet.

Anyway, my point is that I’m grateful I was able to have that text-convo with her yesterday and it’s always great to remind her of the WONDERFUL DAUGHTER I’ve become (i.e. I don’t spend her money anymore, lol).

May 122019
 

I haven’t felt like blogging lately. But here’s a bullshit bulletpoint cop-out post because it’s a rainy Sunday morning and there’s nothing else to do right now so I remembered this thing exists.

  • Chooch is like falling apart since we began working out in December. He acts like he’s some ancient being with creaky joints and broken parts. He was begging Henry to massage his shoulders the other night and Henry, as usual, was half-assing his end of the request, so Chooch lamented, “I wish you were a massaginist.” So does Henry, but sadly, he never managed to advance past “Mansplainer.”
    • I was telling Henry that I made this joke on Twitter but it bombed as all of my jokes on Twitter do and then I proceeded to explain it to him and he was like, “YES I KNOW, I GET IT, I GOT IT” but I was laughing so hard that hit my hand off the door jamb on the way out of the room. Worth it.
  • My mom took Chooch to see End Game last Saturday so Henry and I thought we would be adorable and go to Millie’s in Market Square since I’m not mad at them anymore after they handled my complaint with grace and a free pint (which I still haven’t claimed and didn’t claim in this day either because we took the trolley and Henry said IT WOULD MELT by the time we got home, OK Big Science Boy). Anyway, I wanted to go specifically because they were doing a fundraiser that weekend and donating a $1 for every scoop of their vegan mint chocolate chip to a Cat Cry Syndrome foundation, and had a third grader with this syndrome design the labels for the pints and everything. I thought that was really sweet, plus I’m always game for vegan ice cream. Henry got their new “Scoop Shop” flavor which was supposed to have the whole sundae fixin’ kit and caboodle in a scoop; however, his (paltry, baby-sized) scoop contained no such add-ins and was basically just plain vanilla and he was so surly about this. WOW I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THAT FEELS. And my vegan scoop was “just OK” and didn’t really taste like the Holy Grail of Dairy Free Scoops like Millie’s and all of their blind followers have been screaming about. I don’t know, I try not to act Miss Manager Hair but man, I am really disappointed in Millie’s lately. Henry is like 100% done with them now but I’m going for the whole “three strikes and you’re getting dragged on social media” tactic. So we’ll see how my next experience is, which might be in two weeks when we have some team members visiting from Chicago.
    • Henry believes that Millie’s has grown too fast and they’re so caught up with their expansion and gaining followers that they’re forgetting to focus on what got them this far: THEIR ONCE-INCREDIBLE ICE CREAM AND SERVICE!!!!
    • Also, their scoops have gotten RILL skimpy lately. We’re fat Americans, remember? ACCOMMODATE US.

(I was a pig and got two scoops which was basically the size-equivalent to one scoop at any other ice cream shop and though the mint chocolate chip wasn’t the GOD’S GIFT that Millie’s and their cult wants the rest of Pittsburgh to believe, that scoop of olive oil next to it was REFRESHING AS FUCK.)

  • Oh my god, I was watching a coaster vlog and one of the guys said he rode Lightning Rod so many times in one day that he STARTED TO COUGH UP BLOOD. I was like GOALS and Henry gave me a disgusted look. He’s just not on my coaster level.
  • I had the most realistic dream that I was dating G-Dragon. It was platinum faux-hawk era GD and he was so fragile that I treated him like glass and protected him from everyone. I was so depressed when I woke up, to texts from my stupid regular-person boyfriend. UGH. MY HEART.

Image result for g dragon gif

  • Hey speaking of Kpop, can I just tell you how fucking sick to death I am of BTS fans? They are making me not like BTS and I don’t want that to happen! But their fans have zero respect and regard and for the rest of the Kpop world and act like there was no one that came before BTS, which is annoying in and of itself but the latest incident that has me rolling my eyes harder than a Catholic virgin being exorcized is that they had the audacity to get mad that there were flyers being passed out at BTS’s concert in LA, promoting an upcoming Korean music festival this summer, which includes a performance from one of the guys from Got7 (Jackson). Cool, right? Now concert attendees will know about another Kpop concert that they may want to attend, because it’s relevant to their interests since, you know, THEY ARE CURRENTLY AT A KPOP CONCERT. Anyway, it turned into a THING and spread like wildfire on Twitter because these fans are petty as fuck and in their warped minds they think they’re “protecting their boys” so they started harrassing Jackson on social media, telling him to “call off” his promoters and accused him of “riding BTS’s coattails.”
    • Um, first of all: This is how concert promotion works BABY GIRLS. Concert venues always have flyers for upcoming shows posted, and there are usually always people handing out event flyers afterward. These kids just don’t get it. They live and breathe for ONE GROUP only and refuse to believe that there any other groups out there worthy of people’s attention and I’m just so fed up with it.
    • And second of all: JACKSON AND NAMJOON (from BTS) are GREAT FRIENDS. So these dumbasses are attacking the personal FRIEND of one of their beloved BTS members. So pathetic. This is why I get lowkey bristled when people only want to talk to me about BTS because I like Kpop so I must only like BTS because the two are mutually exclusive.
    • In fact, we had some developers visiting our department last week. One of them sat with me and watched me work, which was SO MUCH FUN NO IT WASN’T, I’M KIDDING. Amber said that the managers and directors went out for drinks with them on their last day and they were telling the guy who sat with me that I really like Korea and Kpop and he told them that when he was in NYC a few weeks ago for some conference, it was nuts because BTS was there performing on Good Morning America. I said, “No, it wasn’t BTS. It was NCT127” and Amber was like, “No, he said it was BTS.” I DON’T CARE WHAT HE SAID IT WAS NCT127, BTS WAS BACK IN KOREA AT THAT TIME I THINK I WOULD KNOW!!! Ugh. America can’t handle knowing more than one Asian music group at a time.
  • Now that I’m on an unpopular opinion roll, can I also just say THAT I HATE JON SNOW, ALL THE EARLY SCENES OF HIM AT THE WALL HAD ME SNOOZIN’, I HAVE NEVER THOUGHT HE WAS GREAT, HE WAS JUST SULKS AROUND DOING NOTHING BUT THEN HE GETS LAUDED AT THE END, AND I DON’T CARE IF HE DIES. Aside from the shit-writing and direction of this season’s Game of Thrones, I still really love this show and am sad it’s ending but I only care about the wolves and dragons, really.
  • I changed Drew and Penelope’s names to Jinjoo and Bora. I think they’re taking it to it, but Chooch refuses to accept it. Their full names are Song Jinjoo and Kang Bora. So, remember that if you ever come visit.
  • Chooch must have really been going through something last night because he was begging Henry to be a dad and play catch with him, so finally Henry was like, “OH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, FINE” and then I swear I heard him whisper “Ouch my aching bones” under his breath as he put his shoes on. And then at the same time, I was doing the dishes like we were some vintage American family from Iowa or something, and it was so bizarre.
    • Granted, I was only washing A DISH.
      • I only wash my stuff and leave everyone else’s in the sink haha.
    • When I opened the door to see what Henry and Chooch were doing, Chooch was verbally lambasting Henry for not even trying to catch the ball. So, that’s about right.

OK well, that’s all the time I feel like spending on here. Waiting to see if Chooch has his piano lesson today and then we’re going to get MOTHER’S DAY BIBIMBAP, BOY.

And just because:

May 092019
 

I love it when there is an incredible comeback on days when I’m working from home because I can fucking blast that shit full volume on repeat all day and answer to NO ONE. (Except maybe our next door neighbors when I wake up the babies.)

Today, the Chinese subgroup of the NCT conglomerate—WayV—released the MV for their new comeback song and I would say “I’m here for it” but I was doing a PopSugar workout the other night and one of the background broads said that an estimated 58 times and it was nauseating so now I’m trying to completely freeze that out of my repertoire. But, you get the idea.

I was not prepared to like it as much as I do! Halfway through the first viewing, I was struck by the Arrow of Obsession. I don’t delve into other Asian pop very much; I recently tried to watch a Chinese drama and couldn’t get hooked and I honestly think it’s because the reason I’m so into Kpop and K-dramas is literally because my ears are embroiled in a steamy love affair with the Korean language. It’s a linguistic thing, you guys. But WayV…I don’t know, maybe it’s because I was already familiar with some of these members because of NCT, or maybe it’s just because SM Entertainment is really that masterful at churning out polished hits, but something about this collection of talent really grabs my attention and it suddenly doesn’t matter to me that they’re not singing in Korean. I do like how the Chinese language (I don’t know the difference between Mandarin and Cantonese, so I’m not sure which this is) has a lot of “sh” sounds since “x” is so predominant in their words….OK, sorry, I got carried away with typing out the conversation I was having with my other personality inside my head.

My WayV bias is Ten and he is NOT PLAYING AROUND in this song, you guys. My favorite part of his starts at 1:37 and I also love the dance breakdown later on! I AM SO ENTHRALLED WITH THIS VIDEO!

I was going to write something deep and meaningful on here today, but my one-track mind is occupied with a train to WayV Town, so maybe tomorrow. LOL j/k, I never have anything deep and meaningful to share on here. I’m all roller coasters and Korea. Byeeee.

May 082019
 

Obviously, I’m hyper-enthused about amusement parks because they are fun as fuck and appeal to my childlike interests, but also I love them because when we do things like this as a family, we almost never have a bad time. It’s like we all just put on our best behavior bottoms and act like an actual, well-adjusted family for an hour day! I mean, until Chooch loses at some stupid midway game and doesn’t get some lame made-in-Taiwan stuffed animal he’s been coveting.

(Literally happens at every park.)

So even though we had one experience trying to order food, it wasn’t enough to kill the mood of the day for us. Not even the rain could, you know, rain on our parade. I think this is why Henry is generally so agreeable when I say I want to go to an amusement park – he knows he’ll get to eat junk food and spend lots of quiet time alone on benches – and if any military aircraft happens to fly overhead, that’s what you would consider A Perfect Day for one Henry J. Robbins.

That being said, when we were still in the parking lot and realized that we left our portable phone charger thing in the car, Chooch and I made sure we had our tickets and didn’t even pretend like we were going to wait for Henry. We were already inside the entrance of King’s Island, fully searched, tickets scanned, when Henry called me and said, “You guys might as well just go in, I fucking forgot my wallet in the car, now.” Lol, cool thanks for the permission, bro, but we were already halfway to getting in line for our first ride of the day – Vortex.

So….if you read my last King’s Island post, you know that I called this coaster “trash,” and then if you read my most recent blog post, you know that I felt bad about that afterward and even started to tear up on the trolley to work when I was thinking about it because I am a HYSTERICAL WOMAN WHO NEEDS TO CALM DOWN, obviously. But honestly, this coaster is just fine, but these types of steel coasters are not my thang, you know? It was a pretty uncomfortable head-banger, HOWEVER it was also our first coaster of the 2019 season so I can’t be too much of a hater because the bottomline was that even though it wasn’t an excelsior ride, it still made Chooch and me nearly pee our pants with giddiness because we were BACK IN ACTION.

Also, there was no line and we just walked right on, so that’s always a bonus.

Henry was waiting for us when we got off the ride and I was like, “DID YOU TAKE PICTURES OF US” and he asked, “Pictures of you doing WHAT?”

Uh, living our best lives?

Mystic Timbers was my second favorite ride in the park, right behind Beast! In fact, there were times when I thought that maybe I liked Mystic Timbers a little  better, especially when Chooch and I got some incredible evening rides on it in the rain. I love how some of these newer wooden coasters are manufactured, which is why over the years, my love of woodies has surpassed steel. This particular coaster is a GCI babe, and it was incredibly smooth and fast, but I think I still like RMC more because I was spoiled with so many incredible rides on the Lightning Rod in Dollywood last fall!

I like how they have theming and an element of suspense surrounding the brake run, so instead of just sitting there waiting to go back to the station, you’re actually sitting inside of the shed that you were warned not to enter, waiting for something to happen. I won’t spoil it here because it’s fun going into it not knowing what to expect, but I thought it was cleverly done and it made Chooch and me have Hall & Oats’ “Maneater” and Gary Numan’s “Cars” stuck in our head, because those are the two songs that were playing in the shed each time we rode Mystic Timbers.

This coaster was actually the reason why we opted to go to King’s Island over Hershey Park for Chooch’s birthday, and I’d say it lived up to the hype. My favorite moment was when we were standing in line during one of our evening rides and struck up a conversation with two ladies in front of us who had never ridden it yet.

I told her I liked it because it was smooth, even though Chooch disagrees with that assessment. One of the women asked Chooch now he would compare it to the Beast and he super confidently said, “Well first of all, I wouldn’t compare this to the Beast, I’d compare the Beast to this.”

“Wow! That’s a bold statement!” she explained, and later Chooch told me he wasn’t even sure what he meant by that haha.

I think my favorite thing about Mystic Timbers, aside from how it hauls ass and has great theming, was how the ride operators said, “We hope you enjoyed your ride on Steel Vengeance!” which is funny because SV is a wooden hybrid that the mother of all Cedar Fair parks, Cedar Point, debuted last year, which totally stole the spotlight from Mystic Timbers.

Diamondback was one the few rides Henry actually went on! He never screams or anything when he’s on roller coasters, it’s so weird.

Oh! I didn’t get any pictures of this one, but Chooch and I loved Backlot Stunt Coaster! When I was last there, Paramount still owned King’s Island so it was called the Italian Job then. It was also the ride’s first season, so my only memory was standing in line for a really long time and ex-BFF’s sister starting an argument with someone over something trivial, I’m sure, and Henry being so pissed off but internalizing it because that’s what Henry does which is why one day, when you see Hot Naybor Chris on the news saying, “I just can’t believe it. Lived next to the guy for YEARS and he was the NICEST guy,” you can say, “Yeah well reading two pages of Oh Honestly Erin was all I needed to not be surprised.”

But yeah, I don’t remember if I enjoyed the ride back then, but it was super fun on this day!

Instead of riding the log flume earlier in the day when the sun was blazing and the temps were in the high 70s, we waited until the clouds usurped the sky and the degrees plunged faster than Charlie Brown’s log-shaped boat. Dumbest idea.

I was trying to put up the hood on my windbreaker and I thought the ride operator was yelling at me to keep my hands in the boat but then it turned out it was just a recording, which Chooch pointed out right before I had the chance to snidely inform the ride operator that I don’t BREAK AMUSEMENT PARK LAWS, I MAKE THEM.

It was mediocre as far as log flumes go but I still enjoy even the worst ones and am still pissed that Kennywood removed theirs even though it was old and decrepit and they’re putting some record-breaking steel coaster in its empty lot.

(And then named it after the Steelers, and you know how much I hate the Steelers!)

(Ugh. I’ll still ride it though.)

Oh shit, I loved the Bat! It’s been a MINUTE since I’ve been on an old-school suspended coaster and I forgot how terrifying they are! I loved the vintage feel of this guy, and I also loved how secluded the area is around it. You could probably easily miss this ride if you weren’t paying attention.

People kept booing whenever their train would return to the station and I don’t know if this is like an inside joke at King’s Island because I’m not A LOCAL, but I thought it was pretty funny. My expectations were pretty low once it was our turn but I was pleasantly surprised! The location is so scenic and I actually was pretty scared as soon as we left the lift hill and the cars started swinging.

Whenever we got back to the station and the ride operator asked how the ride was, we kind of clapped a little but everyone else was stone-faced so she was like, “Oh well, go find a ride that you like better, BYE-EEE.” It was hilarious—I loved the ride operators at King’s Island!

Banshee was the longest line we waited in — about 40 minutes — which wasn’t surprising because a of the coaster enthusiasts I follow rave about this one and I will say — it was worth the wait and I enjoyed it (I liked that the station was themed after a haunted chapel and the queue was surrounded by gravestones) but we weren’t inspired to run back in line. Chooch said it gave him a headache.

The one thing I remember most about this ride was that while we were slowly dying in line, Henry was standing near a fence EATING AN ICE CREAM CONE with his HAND ON HIS HIP, totally TAUNTING US. I was so mad! I wanted an ice cream cone too! But instead I was standing in a line around weird Ohio-Kentucky people and it was starting to ride!

We managed to finagle Henry into riding the Racer with us but we made him ride him alone on the opposing train. My favorite part was when the annoying little bitches in front of us got reprimanded by a King’s Island employee for sitting on the railing. YEAH, YA DUMB COOZES, GET YOUR ASSES DOWN.

Henry will point out here that the girls were like 10 but IDGAF.

LOOK AT THAT PUDDING-FACED SMILE! I CAN’T.

This was another ride that had EXCEPTIONAL ride attendants. This makes so much of a difference, you guys, I can’t even stress enough! Especially when the main purpose of our park visits are to ride things, not eat, shop, see shows, or play games, the interactions we have with the employees working the rides are what leave a lasting impression for me. I want the ride operators to get us AMPED. I want them to make us SCREAM. I want them to TEASE US! It’s all part of the experience, and King’s Island definitely has some winners on their payroll.

Good job, King’s Island!

Anyway, Henry’s stupid train won and I was PISSED.

Kennywood’s Racer is better than King’s Island Racer, though and I’m not just saying that to be a hometown hero.

YAY WE GOT OUR ICE CREAM! It was blue raspberry softserve and I was worried I would hate it because here are some flavors I tend to hate when it comes to ice cream/candy:

  • blue raspberry
  • cottoncandy
  • bumblegum

Now you know a thing about me.

Because this blog isn’t filled with millions of things about me.

But yeah, that ice cream was great! It was raining so we stood under a roof near the kiddie coaster and mindlessly licked our ice cream while watching dumb kids on a baby coaster and I’m sure that didn’t look creepy.

Then I finally got to ride Woodstock’s Whirlybirds!! I had been obsessing over it all day, because I love these types of kiddie land things. Chooch and I get very invested in what color car we want on certain rides and for this one we wanted—-nay, NEEDED—-the pink one. But we did a headcount while in line and realized we were one away from securing Pink Position, so I turned around and asked the family behind us if they wanted to cut ahead. “Cuz we want the pink one,” I explained. The dad looked very perplexed about this but eventually let his kids get in front of us. When the ride attendant opened the gate for all of us, the dad asked “And you guys will get your pink, right?” He was so concerned about it! But yes, we snagged the pink one.

It was a whole ordeal. You had to be there.

I wanted Henry to take a picture of us while we were on it but he took a stupid one where you couldn’t even see us so then I was pissed. He needs a tutorial on being a better Instagram Dad, honestly. He lets so many memories slip through his fingers like sand in an hourglass so are the Days of Our Lives.

Sorry, that just happens naturally.

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Our fave ride obvi.

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

No wait for Boo Blasters which was great because that ride isn’t wort waiting for but it was raining so WOW LET’S GO BLAST SOME BOOS! Except that my gun wasn’t working right so I threw a fit and then said, “JUST FORGET IT” and rode the rest of the ride with my arms crossed over my chest while Chooch gloated because he had the highest score and I made sure to remind him that my score on the Gobbler Getaway at Holiday World was approximately 27x greater than his and Henry’s.

So…

The rain started around 5pm and was sporadic over the next three hours but it hindered us not. None of the rides we cared about closed and the crowds had drastically dispersed so we were able to enjoy an evening of walk-ons! Now I regret not going back to re-ride Adventure Express, which I thought was a pretty underrated family coaster that everyone on the ride with us made fun of but my “WHEEEE”s were genuine and without even a shade of irony, I need you to know this. Mine trains tickle me in a certain way. I think my favorite was the one in Indiana Beach that broke down while Chooch and I were on it.

Mine trains are everything! I wish Kennywood would get rid of Thomas Town (it literally just opened in 2018 lol) and put in an outrageous mine train.

I need to take over Kennywood. I have so many plans for it.

Diamondback at night.

It smelled like poop-feet in the arcade but then again, don’t all arcades.

I spent the last several hours trying to snap as many pictures as possible because I realized I didn’t take as many as I normally do. In fact, I feel like we barely saw much of the park outside of the rides and I have some real REGERTS about that so I guess we’ll just have to go back but first I want to go to King’s Dominion and ride Twisted Timbers, their new RMC woodie!

You can go up the fake Eiffel Tower but we did not do so because I was too busy getting whiplash and having my lumbar crunched.

We didn’t even check out anything on International Street! Maybe if we hadn’t spent half the day waiting for food and Flight of Fear, we’d have had more time to leisurely explore the non-ride areas of the park, haha.

Overall, we had a great time at King’s Island! The crowds weren’t as bad as we anticipated, I had a delicious Impossible Burger, THREE TRAIN OPS, and we got in some incredible rides on Beast and Mystic Timbers which is the whole reason we made the 4 hour drive!

The only downside was that we had to, you know, drive all that way back that night which I thought would be a great idea and a money-saver, but yeah. Let’s never do that again.

May 062019
 

Chooch and I just went for a walk and he was telling me about how he cried at End Game (he conned my mom into taking him to see it and she didn’t find out it was 3 hours long until an hour in, lol) and I admitted that I found myself getting emotional just hearing other people talk about it even though I know nothing about Marvel and the only movie I’ve seen is Thor and I didn’t even know that was Marvel at the time.

Here’s an example of my super hero knowledge deficiency: Chooch told me Batman dies at the end of End Game and I believed him.

Anyway, I said, “Sometimes I think I’m an empath,” and Chooch cried, “OMG! Same!”

“Like, today on the way to work, I was thinking about how I called the Vortex trash on my blog the other day and I suddenly felt so bad! So I started to tear up! On the T! A lot of people worked hard to design and build that rollercoaster and probably felt so proud when they were done, and here I am, calling it trash!”

“Yeah,” Chooch said, gearing up for his turn. “And like, sometimes I feel bad after we make fun of Dad.”

“Oh, I never do,” I waved him off. And that was the end of Five Minutes of Empathy with Erin & Chooch.

May 042019
 

We have had a long streak of good luck with theme park crowds where we, usually accidentally, pick an off-day and end up enjoying a ton of walk-ons. Our Saturday at King’s Island was the second Saturday of the 2019 season, so we were bracing for some long-ass lines. However, it actually wasn’t too bad! We did enjoy several walk-ons with certain rides (like Vortex, but that’s because that ride is trash) and most other lines only required about 20 minute waits which was reasonable for a Saturday at a park of this size.

However, there were two times that required us to linger in line for much longer and one of those lines was pretty unacceptable and the only negative experience of the day.

The first long line of the day is one that Henry and Chooch will probably never let me live down. Look, I love dark rides, and I love roller coasters, so when you put a roller coaster inside and turn off the lights, I am a bitch in heat for that shit. Therefore, one of the only things I remembered from my previous trip to King’s Island in 2005 was Flight of Fear, their indoor coaster. I kept talking about it on the way there last week and could NOT wait to plant my fat ass into it.

But Henry checked the app at one point and mentioned that it was closed. I was heartbroken! I was looking forward to riding it again! But then on our way to the Racer, Henry took the wrong path and accidentally lead us right to Flight of Fear, which was OPEN! The outdoor queue was almost completely full so I knew that it was probably going to be a long wait, but I was ready for it. Chooch, spoiled by all our past walk-in experiences, did a lot of bitching and moaning, especially because this wasn’t HIS idea.

Thirteen is such a wonderful age.

Chooch kept asking me what the ride was like and I was like, “Can’t anything just be spoiler-free?” But really, I couldn’t quite remember anything other than maybe there was a launch? Perhaps there were inversions? I knew it wasn’t just a Wild Mouse in a warehouse, but this kid wanted me to practically draw out a blueprint of the track layout.

So, 25 minutes our wait, we had just snaked through an area of the queue line that brought us right behind the ride attendant manning the entrance of the ride. There was a telephone on a pole right in front of her that rang, and as she answered it, I just knew in my heart that we weren’t getting on this ride.

“Sorry guys!” she called out after hanging up the phone. “The ride is temporarily closed. You can stay in line if you want, but the ride is not currently running!”

UGH.

There was a mass exodus of people hopping out of line, but the dumbasses in front of us weren’t moving so we had to climb over the railing. I fucking busted my leg in doing so because no matter how “in shape” I am, my sloth ass cannot climb things. I’m happy I didn’t straight fall onto my face, but my slo-mo hurdle over that fucking railing was devoid of any semblance of grace.

So, we went on to ride some more shit and then came back about two hours later to find that it was open again! And this time, the line was much shorter — the end was almost to the point where it enters the building so I was stoked! Except that there were these two middle-aged PDA predators in front of us that were either having an affair, or they were each freshly divorced and learning to love again and lucky us with the front row seats.

After about 10 minutes, we finally, for the first time, made it inside the building where the spaceship lives! It was starting to look more familiar to me and my anticipation was building. I needed to ride this thing.

We had just about made it to the entrance of the spaceship when the dreaded announcement happened.

It was down again.

The ride operator’s killjoy news rained down on us from the overhead speakers, like a bored grocery store clerk asking for a cleanup on aisle 5. He did say that it was “minor” maintenance issue and that we were welcome to stay in line. It was pouring down rain outside so Henry was like, “We might as well just stay….”

Chooch was not fond of this decision.

We waited an additional 20 minutes. PDA Pals in front of us had relinquished each others tongues and turned to their phones for entertainment, so we at least had a reprieve from THAT annoyance. I did hear the guy say to her, “This always happens to us when we get in this line!” so I guess this ride is notorious for breaking down.

Finally, a ride operator came out of the spaceship and said that the issue had moved past being minor and that we were now looking at about a 2 hour wait, so he encouraged everyone to exit the building and come back later.

Chooch wanted to fucking kill me.

I understood Chooch’s frustration, but also recognized that behind his fury was an underlying hunger causing him to project. Some might say I’m an expert at Mom’ing, but most would say I just know these things because he’s a near-exact replica of myself.

Which brings us to our next line, which was really the only thing that managed to piss me off this whole entire day. I can accept standing in line for a ride, but I HATE STANDING IN LINE FOR FOOD. This is why food truck round-ups are usually lost on me. I’d rather just make a grilled cheese in my own kitchen (read: tell Henry to make me a grilled cheese in “his” kitchen) than stand in some clusterfucked hipster-populated food-queue.

And also, I’m not one of those people who go to amusement parks to eat. I go to RIDE THE RIDES. I’ll grab a slice of pizza maybe at some point and a bottle of water just to keep from blacking out on some spinny-ride but I will always pick something that is fast and has little to no line. Last year at Kennywood, we had to stand in line for like FIFTEEN MINUTES at our favorite ice cream stand and even that was insanity to me and I bitched and moaned the entire time.

However, new for 2019 at King’s Island is the Miami River Brewhouse, which is relevant to my interests only because they have the illustrious Impossible Burger on their menu. If you’re not in the know with veg/vegan current events, this is the premier veggie burger of our time. IT’s popping up in more and more restaurants now, thank god, but to have this offered at a theme park? Fuck yeah. We had planned months in advance to eat here, and I was craving it all week.

I assumed it was a, you know, restaurant. The kind where you sit down and have a waitress, I mean, you know how restaurants work. But instead, you had to stand in a line and wait to place your order with a cashier in the front of the restaurant. There were two cashiers, but the line, every time we walked by, snaked all of the way out the door. By the time we were ready to try our luck, the line was only to the door so we thought it wouldn’t be too bad, especially since the line split into two near the front since there were two cashiers. There were menus posted everywhere, plus an employee kept trolling the line, handing out paper copies of the menu. There were not many items on the menu, so people should have had PLENTY OF TIME to figure out what they wanted by the time they got to the cashier.

Oh, well, if you thought that, you would be wrong. Every motherfucker got to the front of the line and then LOOKED AT THE MENU ALL OVER AGAIN and then ASKED QUESTIONS.

IT IS A BURGER PLACE. THIS IS NOT SOME CRAZY ICELANDIC-RUSSIAN FUSION WHERE YOU HAVE TO ASK WHAT IS BORSCHT AND IF IT COMES WITH SKYR.

It was unreal how slow those lines moved, and of course once the line split, we chose the line that ended up moving even slower because that is just how we do. The line length odds are forever against us.

We could have probably ridden Banshee twice in the amount of time we spent here, just saying.

When it was finally our turn with the cashier, Henry banged out our order in record time (the people behind us were probably cheering) and then we grabbed a booth.

Once we sat down though, I started to process the fact that it cost $47 for three burgers, one of which was supposed to be free because Henry paid extra for one park ticket that came with a meal plan, which he had the cashier scan before he paid. So I started to think that he got screwed and still was charged for one of the meals but we didn’t have the receipt, so he had to go back up the cashier, much to the chagrin of everyone still in line, and she was like NO I GAVE IT TO YOU so he came sulking back to the booth and started accusing me of losing the receipt and I was like, bitch why me?

He went back to the cashier who was probably at this point like “look I don’t get paid enough for this shit” but then she found the receipt on the floor behind her! CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.

But the receipt just had our order number and listed three drinks with no other items and no total price?! Eventually, he found a manager who was like no you got a free meal but the drinks were all $5 HAHAHAHA.

WOW. I paid $5 for a paper cup of ice? Cool.

Here’s the manager telling Henry that perhaps poor people shouldn’t be eating at his establishment.

So yeah, I’m not like an expert on food prices at theme parks because I leave that for the adults to tend to, but Cedar Fair really seems to be running a racket there.

Sure, my Impossible Burger was fucking delicious but so are the ones in Pittsburgh restaurants…I’ll just stick to my go-to pizza slice next time!

We rode some more things after eating, but then I lured my reluctant cohorts back to the Flight of Fear, which was open again. Third time’s a charm?

Look, I was NOT LEAVING THIS PARK without riding this piece of shit, OK? I was determined by now. The ride attendant at the front this time was the guy who told everyone to leave the last time. So I strode right up to him and asked, “Is the ride open?”

He looked at me like I was a dumbo because the line was now the longest than it had been any of the other times we were there that day, and said, “…yes.”

SORRY FOR BEING SUSPICIOUS.

 

THE DREADED PHONE. It actually rang while we were standing there and I don’t know what the deal was, but he never turned around to tell us the ride kicked the bucket again, but oh, the suspense in the air was THICC.

I have never been so clenched and nervous when standing in line, constantly waiting for that theme park version of “Christmas is canceled.”

Eventually, we slowly snaked our way inside the building again, until we finally made it past our record of “closest spot in line.”

And then we made it through the spaceship and to the actual station!! We did that!

Shit you guys, I almost pissed my pants with pure joy-urine when the gates opened and we were actually able to SIT IN THE CAR! Henry sat in front of us and he looked miserable as we waited for the ride attendants to check our restraints–he was probably willing it to break down again because he kept saying all he could remember about this ride was that it beat the shit out of him last time. But before he had a chance to finish his religious spell, the launch engaged with no notice and even though I had a slight recollection of this, it still caught me off guard and I started screaming Impossible Burger fumes all over the other riders.

After being launched through a straight tunnel of darkness, we careened up into the main building which was just dimly-enough lit that I could see the track layout and I felt SCARED FOR MY LIFE. It looked pretty shoddy and there was a distinct rattle; all I could think about was, “Hi, this ride broke down three times (that we know of) today—WHY.” Yeah, that was definitely the most terrifying ride we went on that day, and, cumulatively, the longest line we stood in.

But was it worth it? Fuck yes. I love launch coasters.

(Henry and Chooch gave it a hard no, though.)

May 032019
 

Whenever the winter-frost on my heart starts to thaw and the windows in the house can finally be thrown open, I usually feel inspired to listen to some smoothAF tunes. For instance, during the spring of 1998 when I lived in my first apartment, I went through a heavy phase where I spun nothing but Ultra Lounge compilation CDs that I used to buy at Eide’s. People would walk in all confused because I’d be blasting weird-ass bossa nova shit while laying on the couch, all a’wash in black light, staring up at the glow-in-the-dark Slinkies I had hanging from the ceiling. That was a good vibe and now I think I need to revisit blacklights and glow-in-the-dark hangy-things.

Currently, and I know this will probably be very shocking, I’ve been listening to various Korean R&B-ish playlists at night and it really helps me unwind. It’s that perfect springtime vibe where things are picking up after winter but not yet moving full-throttle like they do in summer. When I think of spring, I think of relaxation and, you know, leisure. It’s that time where stop complaining about the calm and aren’t yet ready to bitch about the heat. It’s that perfect patch of time, and here today I am sharing five perfect K-Chill tracks to soundtrack this fleeting season.

*This song is probably my favorite out of this collection. It came on in the car on our way to King’s Island on Saturday and I replayed it like 4x times and I don’t even think Henry noticed.

*Fun fact: no matter how many times I practice while walking to work, I cannot master the pronunciation of this guy’s name and it kills me.

I wish I was sitting by the Han River right now, at night, listening to these songs.

May 012019
 

I didn’t realize as I was hypnotizing Chooch into thinking that going to King’s Island for his birthday was his own idea, but the last time I was there was when I was pregnant with him! I mean, I didn’t know it at the time because it was like, right at the beginning (Henry kept saying he was conceived at King’s Island and I was like, “Please don’t ruin amusement parks for him, he’s the only person who will ride on coasters with me, thanks.”), and actually my only memory of my one trip to King’s Island was frantically checking for menstrual tendrils in between every ride I went on (which wasn’t very many because it was crowded that day and we were with ex-BFF and her psycho sister who kept starting fights with people in line).

Oh! And seeing a vagina.

So that was memorable.

It’s curious to me why we even went to King’s Island that day because as I remember, I went through a pretty long phase where I had no interest in theme parks or parking lot carnivals anymore and had somewhere along the way developed a crippling fear of steel coasters. But I obviously worked through those issues because now I’m constantly planning the next theme park road trip.

I hate hate hate anytime we have to go near fugly Cincinnati, but the pull of King’s Island’s wooden coasters was just too strong. I had no recollection of riding the Beast (Henry swears we did, but it turns out we actually only rode the SON of Beast that day) so I was eager to sit my fat ass down on that one, and also their new GCI woodie, Mystic Timbers. I would say that if I had to specifically list my theme park kink, it would be wooden coasters. It was darkrides for a bit (especially darkride/coaster combos—LOVE THEM) but something went off inside me last year when Chooch and I rode the T-Express at Everland in South Korea, and no, not just because it was a roller coaster in Korea! It was, at that time, the best wooden coaster I had ever ridden. (Google it, you guys, it ranks up there among the best coasters in the world.)

But then later that summer, we went to Holiday World and that was when I imprinted on a roller coaster for the first time, the VOYAHHHHHGE. After that, we went back  to Knoebels in October where I quickly remembered why the Phoenix was once my favorite coaster (don’t let those small, rural parks fool you — Knoebels and Holiday World have WORLD CLASS WOODIES). But the icing on the 2018 Coaster Cake was our late-season trip to Dollywood where we rode the infamous Lightning Rod and yes, it lived up to the hype. It was at that point that I realized I had become a snob for the wood and ever since then, I have been chomping at the bit to get back out there and ride more.

So for Part 1 of my King’s Island recap, I’m going to just focus on just the Beast, because I have not been able to stop thinking about this gnarly wooden hunk ALL WEEK. OK, Henry, you’re right — this is getting scarily close to becoming a fetish.

Ideally, Beast would have been my first ride of the day but instead it was the second because we got lost (yes, even with a park map, which Chooch always snatches up immediately upon park entry) so we ended up riding Vortex first (it was pretty awful). Henry bitched out so Chooch and I got in line without him. We only had to wait for about 10 minutes and then the line splits so you have to choose front of the train or back. We chose the back but there was a ride attendant assigning seats and she put us at the beginning of the back section, so we were essentially in the middle of the train. It was fine but I do prefer parks that let you queue up where you want (unless it’s super crowded, which it definitely was not on the day we were there).

Anyway, after taking one ride on the Beast, I could easily confirm that I have never ridden it before because you better believe I would have remembered that! WOW, WHAT A RIDE! I love the wooden coasters that make you feel like you’re out of control and this was definitely that. And it had numerous tunnels, which make me so giddy—something about them makes me scream my face off even harder than I would generally.

The trim brakes were a little disappointing but I know that they’re needed so I tried not to be a big baby about them, but that second lift hill and everything that followed made me forget about that minor gripe.

We ran straight to Henry afterward and heckled him for being too scared to ride it and he was like I AM NOT SCARED, IT IS TOO EARLY AND I HAVE A HEADACHE.

Mmm, OK.

I think we rode this about 5 times that day. We went back later in the evening and BitchBoy Henry actually got in line with us and we were like OMG HE MUST HAVE CALLED CHEETAH GIRL* FOR COURAGE.

*(That’s the make-believe stripper we invented for Henry to date in our imaginations. Sometimes we crack each other up so much with our scenarios that we make ourselves vomit.)

Chooch and I snagged the backseat this time and then doubled over in a giggle-fit when some kid slid in the seat in front of us, next to Henry. The kid’s friends were sitting in the car in front of Henry, and they were all talking to him which was KILLING US because we couldn’t hear what they were saying, but Henry was all, “Hyuk hyuk” and trying to act like he was all tough and was probably thinking of a way to mention that he was in the SERVICE or, I don’t know, rode a skateboard once.

Oh, and did I mention it was also raining during this particular joyride into the woods? Getting sprinkled with wet cloud-darts while careening around break-neck bends is next-level exhilaration, my friends. Chooch and I were laughing so hard, because of the rain slapping us and also because Henry had new friends, that I worried I was giving myself internal bruising. Look, I don’t know what goes on in there, OK?!

Apparently, the people manning the photo stations at King’s Island give zero fucks when people take pictures of the screens with their phones, so I snapped this one of Henry and his new crew. (Chooch and I got cut out of the photo!?!?)

#brosbeforehoes #friendsforever

Chooch rode the Beast several more times once the sun set, once in the front seat while some girl elsewhere in the car shrieked, “I THINK I SHIT MY PANTS!!!!” over and over, and then, “I CAN FEEL IT RUNNING DOWN MY LEG!” and it was all fun and games until we rolled back into the brake run and then someone got annoyed and screamed, “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” and apparently the “I think I shit my pants” girl’s sister or friend was sitting in the seat behind us so she tool offense to this and started screaming “EAT MY ASS” and then it was just really awkward and everyone hated each other so that was fun.

Our very last ride on it was in the last seat and Chooch accidentally hit me in the face when we were barreling through one of the tunnels, and that’s how you know a coaster is great, when you leave the park with welts and bruises.

I really love this ride — it’s powerful and the ride time is beefy – 4:10 (granted, the two lift hills are included in that). For a brief moment, I started to fret that Beast had edged out THE VOYAHHHHHGE from the #1 spot in my heart, but at the end of the day, I think THE VOYAHHHHGE is safe, although I told Henry I’mma need to go back to Holiday World this weekend to ride it again and verify. Henry laughed but it was devoid of humor.

Anyway, that’s all for this installment. Unless you wanna read more about the aforementioned vaginas and periods? Then here, have a 2005 LiveJournal entry within a blog post!

While I would love to sit around the campfire with hot cocoa, recounting tales of all my favorite rides at King’s Island (Son of Beast was the most funnest you guys), all I can really remember amidst the whirlwind of clanging metal parts and side-stepping fresh gum in my path is one thing: checking for my period.

I came prepared. The arsenal of tampons was just short of being strapped to my body like dynamite—I had one waiting in each pocket of my cargo pants in addition to a surplus of “just in cases” in my purse. If I had worn boots, I would have tucked one or two in there, also…next to my switchblade. Which I don’t have yet, but someday. Someday.

“Check me! Do I have stainage?” These were my pleas to Henry, Christina and Cynthia every ten minutes while we were held hostage in one line after another. Oh, how I yearned to make fun of others in my proximity, but feared to in case Karma came back to paint a large blood target on my crotch.

I got lucky when we disembarked Flight of Fear, an indoor ride, as no one was around me. “Block me,” I whispered hoarsely to Christina as I leaned forward and spread the legs of my pants apart nice and wide, to inspect for wetness. Doing this while keeping a steady pace walking down a slanted corridor takes skills. Skills which I possess. I like to compare it to performing magic amidst a ring of fire.

But something good came out of my obsessive bathroom breaks–the highlight of my amusement park junket.

Picture it: You’ve just emerged from a stall with eyes raised to the Heavens (bathroom ceiling) above and are silently praising the Lord Almighty for no blood stains on your panties (if you’re a man, picture it anyway. It’ll help build character). As you’re washing your hands real good because this place is dirty (and if you had a more accelerated condition of OCD, you probably would be convulsing and foaming at the mouth by now), you start to panic as you wonder when your next chance will be to “check.” Everyone in your group groans as you drone on and on about your need to “check,” but you can’t shake the paranoia and obsessive need to make sure you’re not drizzling menstrual blood down your legs; the fabric of your cargo pants is thin and blood will seep right through in no time.

You slowly snake the paper towel around your wet hands, sopping up the water and looking at yourself in the mirror, wondering when you became so uptight about the small things. You contemplate telling Christina you want drugs (ask and she’ll do it) so you can relax and if you end up floating around town with curdled blood around your thighs, big deal; you’re too busy goo-goo’ing and ga-ga’ing at the giant unicorn smiling down at you from a cloud.

And then you start thinking about unicorn porn.

Wait, where were you? Bathroom, hands, drying. So, you turn to your left and casually pitch the paper towel into the large garbage can, when you happen to get a glimpse of something extraordinary. So extraordinary it snaps you back to the here and now. No more unicorn.

The bathroom stall directly in your line of vision is slightly ajar, with its occupant standing hunched over, jean shorts and white cotton underwear down around her knees. Before you even have a chance to scold yourself, your eyes slip down a few inches and that’s when you see it.

Your second real life vagina.

And you don’t mean in general, because hello porn, but this is your second OUT IN THE WILD vagina-spotting. You feel your friend Christina tugging on your arm and saying in a terse whisper, “Erin, let’s go. You’ve seen enough” but you can’t pull your eyes away from the hairy mound of flesh ten feet in front of you. Your body slightly lurches as you feel the giddiness building up and you’re ready to explode into a conniption of giggles. Christina steers you to the exit and you run and tell your friends what just happened, waving your hands like you’re approaching the climax of a jazz dance routine, and rubbing it in their astonished faces. “You don’t know what you just missed in there!” you say smugly, trying to catch your breath. You feel like you’re on a safari. Then you make them stand around, in the way of hundreds of fast-moving patrons and strollers, so you can point out the woman whose vagina you saw. They don’t really care but you make them wait anyway, and when she comes out of the restroom with her kids, you jump and point and they shrug and start walking away.

And that’s my big exciting highlight. It would have been cooler if she was being scalped or having her face painted at the same time I saw it, but what can you do.

My second favorite moment was eating at the Festhaus. I had pizza and fries, but not just any fries: Fries with a buffet of condiments. I derived great, some might even say ecstatic, amounts of pleasure by deliberating in which pool of sauce each fry would be taking a bath: would it be the succulent marriage of ketchup and mayo, the tiny basin of honey mustard, or the thick and rich vat of creamy nacho cheese? My companions had long since finished eating and sat around idly while I dined on one single fry after another. It was heaven.

Lately I’ve been really into dipping things.*

*(Editor’s Note: Yeah because I’d find out a week later that I was PREGNANT. #CondimentCravings #PeriodNeverCame)

Apr 292019
 

I don’t know whose bright idea it was to make the 4+ hour drive home from King’s Island on Saturday (more on that later), but that’s exactly what we did and it’s insane how exhausting the simple act of driving a car can be (or in my case, being the passenger who stays awake out of solidarity). It was around 2:30AM when we made it home, which is nothing for all those people with heavy social lives, going to the clubs and bars, etc. But we had been up since 5:30AM in order to get to the park around the time it opened, so yeah wow, that was a near-24 hour day for us.

Don’t even get me started on the lack of Sheetz in Ohio. I know they exist in some areas because they have saved our asses plenty of times on the way home from concerts in Cleveland, but the area around Cincinnati sucks and we had to settle on, oh my god just thinking about this is making me gag—SPEEDWAY. I felt so uncivilized! The only option for me was a veggie sub which is NOT WHAT I WANTED, I WANTED A WRAP but all their WRAP OPTIONS had MEAT IN THEM and there was nothing on the menu for a CUSTOMIZED ONE. Ugh! The guy behind the counter could sense my ire and asked if I needed help but you know what, I didn’t like HIS TONE so I said NO I DIDN’T NEED HIS HELP!

Then Chooch slapped his receipt into Henry’s palm and said, “TELL THEM HOW I WANT IT TOASTED” before running off the bathroom. So Henry tried to tell THAT GUY to toast it and the guy was all, “YES, IT WILL BE TOASTED” but Henry was like, “No, I mean, he wants it toasted afterward” and the guy goes, “No that’s not how we do it. We just toast the bread first and then put everything on it” and Henry said, “Yes, but he would like it toasted afterward” and the guy said, “BUT IT WILL MESS  UP THE INGREDIENTS, LIKE THE PICKLES…” and Henry was like, “HE KNOWS. THAT IS HOW HE WANTS IT.” Jesus Christ! We were telling Chooch about this later in the car, as he was eating his fully-toasted sub, pickles and all, and he shrugged and mumbled, “The customer’s always right.”

Usually, Chooch handles this himself. He completes his order, grabs the receipt, marches up to the pick-up area with confidence and yells, “EXCUSE ME, I’D LIKE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT TOASTING MY SANDWICH.” Look, the kid knows what he wants, OK.

The one thing that kept me going was that my friend Veronica was sending me requests to her Instagram Lives from the Korea Times Music Festival in LA where LEE TAEMIN WAS PERFORMING. Guys, I was LIVING through her Instagram on that ride home, you have no idea. Henry thanks her too because every time one of her live videos would end, I would start screaming NO NO NO!! and the sheer volume of my voice did more for his alertness than any of those cans of energy drinks he was double-fisting.

When we got home, I barely brushed my teeth; kicked off my shoes; peeled the contacts from my eyes; collapsed into bed, still in my clothes and a face full of makeup. Did not even care.

Sunday was one of those days where I don’t even know why I bothered to change out of my pajamas because I felt like shit and pretty much figured I wasn’t going anywhere that day. I spent most of the day watching theme park vlogs on YouTube, still riding that high from the day before (Henry’s reading this and thinking, “Yeah right, she would be watching these videos even if we hadn’t just gone to an amusement park”–LOOK, IT’S HOW I RELAX, OK!?”) Having just ridden the Beast numerous times really reignited my wooden coaster (or “woodie,”  but you non-coaster fanatics wouldn’t understand, sigh) and so I started watching videos about that and then started pining for my old wooden love, THE VOYAGE in Holiday World. I began to wonder how the woodie aficionados compare the two, and then before I knew it, I had watched 19 POV videos of the Voyage (Chooch and I pronounced it “Voy-AHge”), at which point I launched into an impassioned speech about how much I love this ride and if I had to craft the perfect day in my head, marathoning this beefy grid of manly lumber (at night!!) would definitely make the cut.

Henry was giving back NOTHING in return, so I spat, “I’ll just wait for Chooch to come home. I can’t talk  to you about this. You don’t understand. You didn’t even ride it.”

Yeah, but you’re not just talking about it. You sound like you’re talking about a boyfriend.”

Ugh, I wish.

BAE.

Meanwhile, I was getting sicker as the day went on. My body felt really weak and I was shivering, and my stomach had that I’M ON A BOAT feeling.

As the day progressed, I started to wonder if I had measles. Maybe it’s because it’s very Another Day, Another News Alert About Measles lately? So I started grilling Dr. Henry about all things measles. I can’t google things of this nature–medical maladies, curious symptoms–because I will throw up and fall into a spiral of obsession and paranoia. But I needed to know things like “will I know if I have measles? Will it hurt? Will I die right away?” And then Henry started to talk about rashes and I was like, NO STOP TALKING ABOUT IT I DONT WANT TO KNOW! and then Henry was like GOOD LORD, GO TO BED. YOU FEEL SICK BECAUSE YOU BARELY GOT ANY SLEEP AND YOU ARE EXHAUSTED.

Oh ok Dr. Henry.

(Ever since he mentioned rashes, I have felt universally itchy.)

The one thing I recently read was about how adults who think they are vaccinated or perhaps never got the second shot, travel to measles-prone countries and then BRING IT BACK WITH THEM.

“Thailand and India are two countries on that list and Lauren from work went to both of those countries last year!” I hysterically screamed to Henry, who calmly said if she brought home a souvenir rash, and I wasn’t vaccinated, I probably would have contracted it a long time ago and you know, died.

This fretting continued on this morning because I got another news alert on the way to work and I want to fucking line up anti-vaxxers and run past them swinging an orange-stuffed sock. Fucking assholes.

I sat next to some nice man on the trolley who said good morning to me (like, no one does that on the T) and I had to pretend like I was a normal lady and not someone melting internally from maybe-measles.

At work, Carrie was like, “You could just ask your mom if you have all your shots…” so I did that, I texted her and it took her like SEVEN MINUTES to respond and all she said was “I think so.”

THAT IS NOT A YES.

Then I saw Lauren and flipped out on her but she was like “I promise you I’m fully vaccinated!” But then I think she started to get scared too when I mentioned THAILAND AND INDIA.

I was still dwelling on this by the time Henry picked me up for work.

“What exactly do you from with measles? A big fever? Do your bowels fall out?”

“Yes Erin, your bowels fall out,” Henry sighed.

I think I’m just going to go to the doctor and double-up on some vaccinations. Is it possible to over-vaccinate?

Apr 282019
 

Suh, my pallies (whoever is left – I stopped paying people to read this). Here are some recaps of the current work week, because things happened, as they often do in that game called life. Please also enjoy some photos of DOWNTOWN which I took on Friday. It was a gloomy day.

  1. Staff Appreciation Day

Wednesday was Staff Appreciation Day, which meant there was some breakfast thing in the partnership center which I gave no fucks about because I do not like jostling about with plates of food in front of strangers who also work here. However, we did get a nice gift card from the firm so I definitely appreciated that, and Boss Amber signed off on an email to our group by wishing us a happy Staff Appreciation Day. I smartly responded, “If you really appreciated us, you’d write each one of us a poem telling us so!” and then I went about my day because that’s what I do, reply-all with something dumb and then lose myself in some work duty. But Amber rolled out of her Poetry For Dummies class with this creative ode for me!

Rose are red

Violets are blue

Long live k-pop

And G-Dragon, too!

Of course this turned Glenn’s complexion pallid, Cheryl was like “I needed that laugh,” and one of our new team members based in our Chicago office emailed and asked, “Erin, what is G-Dragon?”

Oh Vicki, thank you for opening Pandora’s Box! I AM HAPPY TO PROVIDE ANSWERS! So I shot her off a reply with a quick summary of who GD is, a picture of his Adonis-esque face, and a link to his wiki. Vicki replied and said that her son also loves kpop and all things Korea and is determined to travel there and has a translation app on his phone, and and and…OMG! I was so excited to make this discovery! We don’t know our Chicago counterparts very well since our only form of communication with them is email and the occasional meeting where they call in, and Amber and I have been trying to find ways to bridge the gap, boost morale, etc. Now I finally have a connection with Vicki! I told her that I went to Korea last year and will be going back this summer, so she asked if I mind fielding some questions for her and her son and I was like “NOT AT ALL!” Trust me, at least once an hour I want to blurt out, “When I was in Korea…” but I sit on it because Hello, Annoying. But when someone actually WANTS to talk to me about it? I start salivating harder than I do when eating a pot of kimchi jjigae that’s just come to a rolling boil.

I shared this new discovery with Glenn and Amber and they were like, “OMG wow amazing cool.” They’re just jealous that I’m over here making strides with team building thanks to my copious interests!

(Seriously, when Chris was new in our department, we because work-bffs because we both like weird fruit. Copious and obscure interests can sometimes help in the workplace, you guys. Don’t be boring.)

2. Bring Your Kids to Little Korea Day

In addition to the Staff Appreciation fun, I had another opportunity to gush about my K-interests on Thursday when Missy briefly brought her two young kids and two nieces into the office. They were downtown with her husband for Bring Your Child To Work Day or whatever, which Chooch gets all up-in-arms over every year because we’re technically not supposed to bring kids to work in my department because of confidentiality or whatever and Henry has been driving again at his job so, like, there’s pretty clear liability issues there with stowing your uninsured minor in the passenger seat of a Big Delivery Truck. Missy only had the kids there briefly after lunch and when she was walking them by our desks on the way to her office, the girls shuffled closer to my desk and gaped at all of my childlike things scattered around. “Who’s that?” one of them asked, jabbing a finger at my standing Taemin vinyl. So I got really excited and gushed to them who he is and they looked at me, and then looked back at him, and then looked at me again like they were perhaps trying to assess my age. “But she doesn’t LOOK like a sixteen-year-old…” I imagine is what they were trying to work out in their minds. Missy was like LEAVE MISS ERIN ALONE and corralled them into her office, where her son and daughter promptly counted the pictures of them that Missy has on display and I couldn’t tell which one was upset but one of them definitely realized that there were more pictures of the other so Missy had to, excuse my WORK PUN, resolve a conflict.

A few minutes later, she ushered them out of her office and down the hall, but those girls walked REAL SLOW past my desk and tossed several lingering glances over their shoulders at Taemin. Yeah girls, I get it. I turn around and look at him many times throughout the day, as well.

Poor Missy kept trying to leave but somehow they ended up at my desk again and her son was like WHAT IS THAT and I was like A FIJI MERMAID and one of the nieces was rummaging through my spiderweb bowl of Asian tea and coffee packets and asked WHAT IS THIS and I was like TEA THAT TASTES LIKE FLOWERS because I can’t say the word chrysanthemum and then the daughter was like WHAT ABOUT THIS ONE and I was like THAT IS GREEN TEA LATTE so in the end, the girls each took a packet of instant green tea latte which became a thorn in Missy’s side because they wanted to make it RIGHT NOW and she was like NO WE HAVE TO GO and it was just the most entertaining afternoon I’ve had at work in some time, that’s all.

Hopefully they went home and looked up Taemin.

3. Co-Workers Try the Inkigayo Sandwich!

After telling some of my work buds about the Inkigayo, nay—EASTERgayo, sandwich we had on Easter, Lauren and Margie expressed interest in trying it. Margie especially was like, “No, it doesn’t make sense and I don’t think it could taste good!” so when Henry was making Chooch one for his school lunch (Chooch’s request!), I asked him to make an extra one for me to take to work. He added crab meat to that one, as the supposedly official recipe for it calls for.

(There are TONS of variations out there! One even adds ketchup to it. I have no idea. I’ve never eaten in the Inkigayo cafeteria and likely never will, unless I get a job there, wearing a hair net and making the actual sandwiches. That’s one way to find out!)

Lauren wasn’t in yet, so I took the sandwich over to Glenn and Todd and explained to them what it was. “No thanks,” Glenn said drolly, but Todd, whom I’m sure wasn’t even listening to my explanation, said, “Yeah, I’ll try it.”

Margie cut a piece for a Glenn anyway and told him not to be a baby, so all three of them ate a piece and UNANIMOUSLY said, “Wait…that’s actually good. But, how?!”

I made sure to point out to Glenn that he was eating a sandwich that G-Dragon likes. He seemed thrilled.

Meanwhile, Cheryl was leaning back in her chair and watching us from her open office door.

“Cheryl, come try this!” I called out and I swear to god she was popping a piece in her mouth before I even had a chance to explain what it was, so I just stopped mid-sentence and surmised it with, “It’s a sandwich that kpop idols eat.” Even she liked it!

Todd said he was going to write about it on his blog which would be awesome if he had a blog. And Margie said it’s what her kids would call a “Do-Over” which is what they say when she makes them something new and they like it, they give her their approval and permission to make it again. So I joked that I would send Cheryl the recipe to put on the department Wiki BUT MAYBE I WILL. I mean, Memorial Day is coming up and this sandwich is basically a picnic between bread.

Then Lauren arrived and I watched her eat the piece Margie had pre-cut for her. She said it was it good but then immediately started asking me work questions and I was like, “This is not why I came over here, Lauren.”

Later, Glenn said that Lauren has a seafood allergy and I started panicking but Lauren was like, “Oh my god, I think you would know if I had a food allergy. I mean, I sit next to this thing, after all!” gesturing toward the Pumpkin of International Food Horrors.

“That’s true,” I laughed. “And I mean, some of the things in that pumpkin might actually create allergies.”

She did not disagree.

The last taste-tester was Carrie, but unlike everyone else, she said when she saw the ingredients, she felt it was something she would like. So now I felt extra-pressure watching her chew, because I especially needed her to like it now! Thank god, she did! We agreed that a godo word to describe it is “refreshing” and I’m not trying to be bossy here or anything but I think she should take this recipe to the new restaurant she works at and see if they’ll add it to the menu.

YOU NEVER KNOW. It could be a sandwich sensation with their collegiate clientele.

4. Altrolleyism (see also: Altruism on the Trolley, duh) Begets Soy Karma

When I got on the trolley Thursday morning, it was pretty packed because of the aforementioned Bring Your Kid…blah blah, so instead of walking as far to the back as possible before plopping my ass down like usual, I took an empty seat near the front. Unfortunately, That Annoying Family I Hate slipped onto the same train as me at the last minute and they always sit at the front (which is why I go to the back). There was one empty seat in front of me, so they sat the daughter down there and then both parents were standing in the aisle, smothering me with their HAPPY VALLEY PTA vibes. Just as the dad started to pull out a Berenstein Bears book to read out loud for the whole front of the trolley, I started to get really anxious and wanted to get out of my seat immediately. I didn’t want to look like an asshole though, you know, so I masked my asshole motives by tapping the mom on the arm and saying, “WOULD YOU LIKE TO SIT HERE?” She exclaimed, “Oh my, thank you!” so I mumbled “no problem” and practically barrel-rolled out of the seat and ran to the back where I was rewarded with ONE EMPTY SPOT next to a very quiet, unassuming passenger, and it was far enough back that I couldn’t hear Dad jawwing off about fictional bear families. Meanwhile, I was acutely aware of people smiling at me for my valiant act of altruism and I was like mentally curtsying in my head over this. I LOVE WHEN I LOOK LIKE AN ANGEL.

Meanwhile, the DAD took the seat and the MOM stood the whole time. That family fucking kills me. (For instance, on Friday, the daughter threw a huge tantrum and started shrieking at near dog-whistle levels about how the dad HURT HER FEELINGS and it was such a blatant display of crocodile tears, it made me sick.)

Later that day, I went to Prestogeorge in the Strip because I was in the mood for a cinnamon latte and their lattes are just really comforting to me. (Not their chai lattes though! They make theirs the same way as Starbucks, by using that refrigerated chai concentrate shit and I hate that because it always tastes like spiced water to me – I prefer when places use the chai power. Perhaps I will write a dissertation about this another day because I have feelings.)

Anyway, none of my faves were working that day, so a guy I’ve never seen before named Josh took my order. He was very jovial and I felt confident that this would still be another great Presto experience. (Seriously, this is the kind of the place that pulls you right into ongoing banter between employees–you’ll walk out of there feeling like you’re a regular even if it’s your first time!) I ordered my cinnamon soy latte and I don’t know why I did this because there was no one standing behind me waiting to order, but instead of leaning against the counter like I normally do, I took a step over the side and stood there instead.

Maybe 15 seconds after I moved, Josh extracted the carton of soy milk from the cooler and gave it a hearty side-to-side shake, except that the cap wasn’t on all the way and ribbons of high-speed soy milk arched through the air, hitting the exact spot I was originally standing in. Josh stopped mid-shake and we looked at each other, our mouths and eyes widening in slo-mo, and he sputtered, “OH MY GOD DID THAT HIT YOU?!” I laughed, like REALLY LAUGHED, and said, “No, but I had literally JUST stepped away from that spot!” and then we were both cracking up and he was like, “WOW, SOY MILK REALLY TRAVELS” as one of the other employees came over with a rag, sighing and wiping up the lactose-free lake.

Then the espresso machine was jammed and the same lady who cleaned up the milkfree mess had to come to his aid again.

“This process has just been a failure every step of the way,” Josh sighed, and I started cracking up all over again. I mean, I felt bad for him but he was really taking it in stride and was quick to bandage the situation with humor. That’s my kind of person—I will small-talk my face off with people like that!

Finally, he crossed the latte finish line and as he handed the cup to me, he said, “This latte is cursed. Drink it quickly and dispose of it immediately!”

The latte, cursed or not, was perfectly crafted, in case you were wondering.

As I sipped it on my walk back to the office, I wondered…if I hadn’t given up my seat on the trolley that morning, would the soy milk’s trajectory have been different? Would I have ended up taking it to the face? I think so. I faked my Good Samaritan act well enough that I scored some good karma for Thursday!

Apr 252019
 

I guess I should thank my kid for acting like a smart-ass teen simmering in a vat of sarcasm for the last 8 or so years, but it still is super startling to me that he is officially a teenager as of today.

For as much as we butt heads & word-snipe at each other, I’d like to think that we have a tight relationship and he hasn’t reached that point yet where he’s ashamed to be seen with me and Henry (I just verified this with him right now). It’s been a wild 13 years but wow, you guys, he’s really grown into such a cool homie.

He sent me this text ^^^ yesterday – like, how fucking sweet, amirite?! Granted the present was a load of banana bread that the Teen Center ringleader made, but still! He said he was originally going to give me the loaf that he had already taken a chunk out of, but then decided to give me the full loaf instead. WOW, SUCH GENEROSITY.

Everyone at work always wishes me a Happy C-Section Incision Anniversary on this day because it’s wildly known that I am super neurotic about my phantom incision pain. IT IS REAL AND I HAVE IT.

I was mad that he didn’t even have the decency to dry his dumb-ass 1970s John Ritter hair.

(As I type this, Chooch randomly has the 1980s Music Choice channel on TV and “Spring Love” by Stevie B is on but he keeps having the audacity to TALK OVER IT so I yelled, “I don’t care if it’s still your birthday, I’m trying to listen to this song so STFU!” and he murmured “Wow.”)

What else can I tell you about 13-year-old Chooch…he still loves dogs and asked every dog-walker we pass if he can pet their dog. He is desperate to get a job because he wants to build a gaming computer so he hoards every cent he gets. He loves the lottery (Henry played his birthdate for him and Chooch screamed I HAVE TO CHECK THE NUMBERS earlier tonight like a fucking 80-year-old). He still gets along better with adults. He calls everyone a dingo. He is super independent – during his spring break, he and his friend Haojie rode their bikes to one of the malls six miles away and let me tell you, I was a nervous wreck but at the same time I was like YOU DO YOU CHOOCH because I never would have thought about leaving my neighborhood when I was 13!

However, he’s also as dense as a loaf of fucking potato bread because when they decided to take the trolley home from the mall, he couldn’t find the trolley station and I was like it’s in the giant parking garage past Eat n Park, so he sent me a screenshot of a map of the area and asked me to DRAW IT?! Nate heard me bitching about this at work and came out of his office holding up the satellite view on his phone and said, “YOU MEAN THIS PARKING GARAGE, ERIN? THIS SIX-STORY PARKING GARAGE IN THE MALL PARKING LOT?” I mean, if he couldn’t see that, perhaps he shouldn’t be riding his bike miles away from home?

Anyway, they eventually found the fucking thing and I told him not once, not twice, not thrice, BUT FOUR TIMES to make sure they took the red line.

They took the blue line.

“Don’t worry,” he texted. “The driver told us what to do.”

They actually made it home, somehow.

Oh, another thing about him is that he is really charitable, like he’ll buy his friends drinks from CVS or give a homeless person a buck, but god forbid don’t ask him for one of his French fries. We had a HUGE fight over this last week which resulted in me shrieking about how I shared my body with FETUS-HIM for nine months and then spoonfed his pathetic baby-ass for however-the-fuck long but he won’t give me one fucking fry?!

He gave me two after that.

We walked to Scoops for some birthday ice cream after dinner, and I realized that this might have been the first year we didn’t get him a cake?! Is that weird? Do I get some sort of parental penalty for that oversight? Maybe I can buy him a Hostess cake from a gas station on the way to King’s Island on Saturday, or a cake pop from Starbucks? I don’t even think he cares. He got to have a sopapilla at his birthday dinner and I’m pretty sure he prefers that over cake.

I can’t wait to have patbingsu on my birthday….in Korea, hahahaha, whaddup, Chooch?!?

Anyway, here’s to thirteen happy years with my little BABY-WABY and also 13 years of having a battle-scarred, incision-twingey body thanks to my little BABY-WABY. I hope we’re always close and that when he’s an adult and I’m dead or whatever, he thinks back on his childhood fondly and tells his kids stories about how his mom was so fucking super cool and SACRIFICED HER ABILITY TO COMFORTABLY WEAR A CROP-TOP EVER AGAIN. I mean, I hope he tells them about how his parents took him everywhere and how their friends treated him like he was their friend too and how his mom was the cooler one but the dad was alright too.

(Ugh now Taylor Dayne’s “Love Will Lead You Back” is on this stupid music channel and I might be crying.)

Apr 242019
 

OK, confession/unpopular opinion time: You might know that Twice was once my ult girl group. But the last song I really liked by them was Likey, which came out in…2017?  Their music just wasn’t grabbing me like it had in the past. (I low key hated Dance the Night Away, please don’t kill me.) Maybe it was a “it’s not you, it’s me” deal, but anyway what I’m trying to say is that my name was starting to rub off my Twice fan club membership card and I’ve had some mild panic growing in the back of my mind.

So when I saw that they were going to have another comeback this month, I was nervous because I always want to love it! It’s so awful to say this, because, you know, GIRL POWER or whatever, but girl group comebacks lately haven’t been captivating me nearly as much as the boys, which is sad because when I first got into kpop, I was such a devout stan of girl groups!

But wow, I am back to straight stanning these nine babes, you guys. They somehow managed to ramp up the maturity while still maintaining their signature upbeat, at-times-twinkling Twice sound and it’s everything I didn’t even know I needed. I must have watched the MV 187 times since it dropped on Monday and every time I get a new favorite part! I love how the video oscillates between the girls looking like they sprung out of a 1997 Delia’s catalogue one minute to modeling the latest Lip Service clubwear. The MV is dark, yet still colorful but more so in a neon edginess, and not in their typical bubblegum brights.

Ok I’ve dropped too many words on this. The whole point is that Twice is back, and they are better than ever. Please enjoy this and support Twice, #WCW always!

P.S. Please give Jihyo a solo, JYP. It’s what the world needs.