We’re doing our yearly “shit, this house is a sty, let’s move things around and mask the mess with glitter and paint” song & dance. We have this one bookshelf downstairs that used to be a shelf for books but has somehow become the catch all for our card supplies*, of which we have a lot. Card stock, envelopes, tape, mailing crap…it all lies willy nilly on this shelf and it LOOKS HIDEOUS.
So I thought while Henry was at work today that I would do something nice and start taking everything off the shelf all on my own. I had everything in piles; card shit, my precious stuff, and stuff that looked like garbage but was probably shit that Henry needed because all his crap is boring and looks like garbage.
While I was at it, I started pulling shit off a shelf we have upstairs too. It felt great to chuck things into the trash! And I even found an old Fall Out Boy ticket stub from 2004! And the grilled cheese drawling my friend Sarah made me years ago which I am still going to get tattooed someday. And also a calculus test that I got a 100% on and now Chooch is in awe of me because he apparently missed the thousands of memos I leave around the house that talk about HOW SMART I IS.
Anyway, Henry came home from work and I was all, “Surprise!” while coughing on dust bunnies.
He was surprisingly PISSED?! Apparently he wanted to do this himself and look at the mess I made, blah blah blah and he actually RAISED HIS VOICE AT ME?!
Oh bitch you did not.
“SORRY THAT I WAS JUST TRYING TO BE HELOFUL BUT I CLEARLY ONLY MAKE A MESS!!”
So I did what I always do and ran upstairs to pout, kicking something over in a fit of rage on the way to my room.
Henry came up a few minutes later and calmly said, “I’m sorry I yelled at you….but you have to pick up that stuff you kicked out there” and then he started laughing so I kicked him in the stomach and we’re even now.
Also, I didn’t pick up what I kicked over. He did, haha. And now he’s hanging up pictures at 11pm because I told him I didn’t feel like waiting till tomorrow for it to be done.
Ooh! Ooh! Speaking of tomorrow, we’re decorating Trudy tomorrow night with Corey and Janna! Chooch was like, “Tell Corey and Janna that I will play Xmas songs on my keyboard” and sadly, he was serious. I hate Xmas songs.
“Can we drink lots of wine?” Corey texted me. I read it to Henry and he muttered, “I don’t care what you do.”
Speaking of Trudy, today I yelled at Chooch because he left the front door open and Trudy didn’t have pants on! Rude.
Last weekend, Henry painted one of the walls in our bedroom pink at my request. It’s kind of a nook-ish area of the room where I have a desk that never gets used for anything more than a clothes catch-all.
I’m always bitching about how I never have anywhere around the house to paint my fake-art. Usually, I paint while standing at the kitchen sink and it kills my back. I can’t believe it took me 10 years to realize that this corner of my room was the perfect spot. Plus, Henry installed a swag lamp right above the desk and the lighting situation is on point.
Now that the paint is finally dry, Henry said we could start hanging up the pictures that I picked out because God forbid I make this an easy project for him by stopping at one painted wall.
I was really excited because at the Dance Gavin Dance show, I bought this sweet screenprint and knew immediately it had to be the focal point:
I let him take a break from measuring the wall and taking up templates and we ordered Thanksgiving pizza because we’re super traditional like that.
I dressed Trudy in the meantime.
Chooch hates her and tells her she’s stupid every time he walks past. Once we strangle her with Christmas lights, I think he’ll come around.
Finally, it was time for henry to start desecrating another wall in a house we don’t own! And of course the wall is rock solid because they house is old and stupid, so he broke a drill bit, whatever that means, and had the audacity to say oh well, guess he’ll have to finish tomorrow. But too bad I made him go to Walmart. On thanksgiving. He wasn’t very happy but said that since he was the only one there buying a drill bit and not 870 Christmas gifts, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
While he was gone though, Chooch came upstairs wearing a bandanna and a broken pair of Henry’s glasses. He said he was Hoover-era Henry (a/k/a back when I used LiveJournal and referred to Henry as Hoover because he sucked the fun out of everything, and he wore a bandanna every day) and started saying shit like, “No I’m not taking you to see Emarosa in Georgia! You just saw them TWO WEEKS AGO!”
By the time Henry came home, Chooch had advanced to “Lumbersexual”-era Henry and Henry was just like “OMG why.”
I’m pretty sentimental and obsessed with surrounding myself with framed memories so I feel really calm and content in this area now, which is good because everywhere else in this house is HIGH ALERT: CLUTTER and it makes me feel nervous and frantic.
Man, I really hope that this helps me be more productive because I have become a real slacker lately. We’re putting shelves on the small wall to the left and that’s where I’m going to keep jars of pens and brushes AND MORE SUCCULENTS, obviously. And that’s been my Thanksgiving 2015: lots of bossing Henry around, pouting when things were taking too long, and listening to Dance Gavin Dance on repeat. Hope yours is everything you wanted it to be!
Henry and I were on our way home from Cleveland last night when I started laughing.
“Remember right in the beginning of our relatuonship, when we took our first road trip? And it was all the way to Wisconsin to see Cold?”
Henry said yes, in a tone strangulated with caution and trepidation, like he was waiting for me to say that [name any of my favorite bands] is going to be playing a festival there and omg we need to go.
But that wasn’t it. I was just laughing at how different our relationship is now, 14 years later, but also how some things just don’t change. “Did you ever think to yourself back then that this was just something you had to endure temporarily? That I would ‘outgrow’ the obsession with going to shows?”
Henry just looked at me and smirked like that was a stupid question.
14 years later, he’s still sacrificing sleep and hearing quality just so I can have a few hours of therapy inside some grungey club, swooning over the bands who heal my heart.
I guess that’s love
So here I am, on Thanksgiving Eve, being thankful once again for Henry, someone who never made me stop being me, and never tried to change me or force me to grow up. Someone who gave me a chance to start over with my own brand new family and was confident that I wouldn’t fuck it up.
And I’m thankful that Chooch just rolls with our…untraditional way of life and doesn’t seem to be too emotionally maimed from it. Yet, anyway. I love our idiotic little family.
I am NOT thankful for Henry’s lawn mower-levels of snoring though. But last night was amazing so I’ll try not to curtail his snoring by punching him in the back, like I usually do.
And real quick, I’m also thankful for these things off the top of my head, some simple, some great:
Black Friday ads almost being over
Having the privilege of making art for people
Not having a job I hate
Bleu cheese coleslaw & Froot Loops on vegan hot dogs
Succulents filling the empty pet void in my heart
My friends who stick by me even when I get super annoying/bitchy/emo
We didn’t make plans for tomorrow and I’m cool with that. I just want to hang out and boss Henry around. We’re doing house things, which obviously means I’m sketching things on the backs of bills and then Henry is sighing and turning those sketches into tangible projects. Yay holidays!
12:12pm: Henry and I just left the house for Cleveland. Tonight is the Dance Gavin Dance 10th Anniversary tour and I can guarantee I will be, at the very least, dry-heaving at some point. I want to say that this will be a Liveblog event (lol) but I upgraded my phone and now my WordPress app is revolting. I’ll at least try to get shots of all of the flamboyant frowns that are sure to hijack Henry’s face throughout the day!
12:57pm: I made myself eggs this morning which is never wise. If I were to get sick, would it have happened by now? I feel like I’m starting to get sick now but I can’t determine if it’s nerves or salmonella.
1:00pm: JUST MADE CONTACT WITH THE FIRST TRUCKER OF THE TRIP! He gave me a salutory headnod and Henry frowned. I feel better now. But maybe a candy bar might help too. Meanwhile, we just went through the toll booth thing and the toll booth guy asked Henry how he was doing. “You didn’t ask him how he was doing, rude” I said as we drove off. “He’s sitting in a toll booth making money, he’s fine,” Henry mumbled.
1:06pm: Not gonna lie though, I can still taste those eggs.
1:30pm: when you order an iced latte and they give it to you hot and you don’t have the patience to wait for a new one or to paint your nails anymore for that matter.
Suck a dick, Panera.
2:36pm: Saw a sign on the highway that said “No HM” and Professional Driver Henry didn’t know what it meant!! Google tells me it means “hazardous materials” so hopefully if you were the type to cart around HM, you’d be able to decode such signs.
3:00pm: My favorite store in Cleveland is CLOSED ON TUESDAYS, whyyyyy?!
3:28pm: Just had one of the most satisfying pees of my life in the Burger King bathroom. 30 minutes to kill before the place we’re eating dinner at opens so Henry has been cruising around Detroit Ave since EVERY vintage shop is closed today. Why you hate me, CLE?
3:58pm: We’re about to meet our friend Jason for food at Happy Dog. “Don’t worry I’ll try not to call you BAE in front of your buddy,” I laughed. “How about try not calling me it AT ALL,” Henry barked.
4:05pm: I’M GOING FOR IT.
5:13pm: YOU GUYS, BEST DECISION. MOTHERFUCK WAS THAT A GREAT IDEA. Look at this sexy beast:
And man was it great to see our buddy Jason and talk all things music! His reaction when I told him I went to see Boz Scaggs was priceless.
5:54pm: Officially in line outside of House of Blues after Henry road raged and then his resistance to commit vehicular homocide was rewarded with a parking space right across the street. Also? So fucking old and everyone stared at us when we slipped into line. Don’t fucking care.
6:15pm: just met th Cleveland Stick Man. He was giving away warm hugs but no one would take one. He let me hold his walking stick that he just finished today – it has Saint Nick on it! He reminded me of Henry’s mom, if she were a homeless black man.
6:45pm; Inside HOB now and far away from the couple behind me who made out the whole time and giggled like junior high bitches. I’m armed with a can of cider and ready to have my emotions steamrolled. Meanwhile, some mom-broad just told Henry that she wasn’t trying to play footsies with him, just trying to get her feet situated. He seemed disappointed.
7:31: I waited years to see Strawberry Girls but it was worth it. Zachary Garron basically had sex with his guitar on stage. WE WERE ALL THERE FOR THE MONEY SHOT. Henry’s review: *half shrug* they weren’t bad.
8:09pm: Dayshell is over now. They were ok. I tried to explain to Henry that the singer Shayley used to do clean vocals in Of Mice & Men and now there is bad blood between the two bands, bad enough to that Dayshell gave up their spot on the 2014 Warped Tour because OM&M was also on it. Anyway, henry said he didn’t sound familiar to him at all. The best part was when Rick Astley was playing before they came out and then when it stopped, everyone made various sounds of disappointment. Also, their drummer looks like a young Bieber. Henry’s review: *shrugs & shakes his head*
A Lot Like Birds is setting up now and I’m fucking swooning. KURT!!!!!! What do all the kids say these days? NOTICE ME!!!
8:57pm: ALLB just wrecked me. I might need to pause the Liveblog event & restart on the way home because it’s only about to get worse. Jonny Craig’s dumb band is up next and I purposely haven’t seen him since May 2014 because he sucks. So, this is going to be interesting. Henry’s review: *smirks*
11:15pm: I feel like I was just hit by a semi. We just left HOB. It was amazing. DGD is the best. I got to see Kurt on stage with them again! I think I need time to process this. But I will say that I was a complete brat during Slaves’ set and sat on a stool with my back toward them and played on my phone and then talked really loudly to no one in particular about how they’re all douchebags. Henry was like “Is Jonny wearing a skirt? And leggings? And ELF SHOES?!” And I was like that’s what happens when Amanda isn’t around to style him anymore. Luckily, they were having issues and had to cut their set short and I openly rejoiced and then I mightily flipped them off because FUCK YOU, MISOGYNISTIC HERBS. #NotLit
11:35pm: I’d like to add that Henry did fuck all during the whole show, but during DGD, he actually slow-clapped after every song. Amaze.
11:55 Just devoured a post-show muffin from Sheetz & never did figure out the flavor and then afterward I tried to hand off the muffin’s paper-skirt to Henry but he told me to “just hold onto it” what a motherfucker.
12:19am: when asked if he had fun, I initially thought Henry said “yeah” but turns out he said “eh” which is still better than “nah.”
12:59am: pay that toll, muthafucka!
1:06am: Listening to Balance & Composure and thinking of that fucking hotdog which I have obviously dubbed The Bae. I caught some hate for it on various social media platforms but I won’t back down. I stand by my decision to order a fake hotdog with bleu cheese coleslaw and Froot Loops. It worked, OK? I can’t wait to have another. In the interim, I’ll probably just start sprinkling Froot Loops on everything else I eat.
In case anyone cares, Henry’s hotdog had Everything cream cheese, hot sauce, and a fried egg on it. #basic
1:35am: We just hit downtown Pittsburgh so I’m going to take that as my queue to peace out because as soon as I get in the house, this head o’ mine is hitting the nearest pillow.
Saturday was full of ups and downs. Weather-wise, it was stupidly beautiful for mid-November: blue skies and 60s. But it was in this unseasonable weather that we finally buried Marcy in the Fallen Timber pet cemetery with our other cats: Speck, Don, and Willie. You might remember that she passed away at the end of March. Henry took her body to the cemetery right after that, paid the rest of the amount for her plot, and was told by the Western PA Humane Society that we would be contacted later on in the spring, that the ground had to thaw, etc etc etc.
In the meantime, they happily deposited our check.
Sometime in May, my friend Debbie alerted me to a series of complaints left on the pet cemetery’s Facebook page. Turns out, the Humane Society sold the facility RIGHT AFTER we gave them Marcy to a woman named Rise. She also runs a cat sanctuary, but had her eye on their facility for years and wanted it to supplement the sanctuary of non-adoptable cats she was already caring for. Her plan is to use it for a shelter for animals that can be adopted, but she was basically left with a real shit storm to sort through. She had no idea that the cemetery was part of the deal, and the Humane Society left her with broken burial equipment, a filing cabinet full of records on index cards, and a box of headstones that people paid years ago to have installed on their pets’ graves.
Every time Henry called the Humane Society to complain, they directed him to Rise who was near tears every time they talked because she felt so helpless and completely sorry for us. Apparently, there were several other animals left behind that needed buried as well, so we weren’t alone.
Long story short: Rise rules and the Humane Society sucks. The mess that they left her with was finally sorted out, and she called to tell us that she and her volunteers were finally equipped to bury Marcy. One of her volunteers told us that when they called the Department of Agriculture to come out and inspect the property, that the Humane Society had been operating that place for years without having a license! WTF, Humane Society?!
For as traumatic as the whole situation was, I have to say that because of her overwhelming compassion and the kindness of the volunteer who accompanied us to the burial site, this was the most peaceful funerals of all 4 of my cats. I will always be grateful for that, and for Rise’s refusal to give up on the cemetery. It really is such a pivotal part of the mourning process, and I’m relieved that it’s still available for those who find comfort there — and it’s in much better condition now, too.
Of course, Marcy wouldn’t let this go down without one last hitch: they dug the wrong hole. I have four plots all in a row, and her hole was dug on another plot. Rise was mortified. “These poor people! Oh, I can’t even look at them!” she cried to the volunteer who had come down from the hill to deliver the news.
The grave digger had left to get more fuel for his machinery, so we assured Rise it was fine and that we would just go and get lunch and then come back. We had waited this long, what was one more hour?
My friend Octavia made me laugh about it though by pointing out that even from beyond, Marcy was still wreaking havoc. So typical of Marcy!
We went down the road a bit to Eagle’s Landing, a causal restaurant that’s next to the Rostraver Airport runway, where Chooch announced to the waitress, “I’d like to order an appetizer…” and then almost as an afterthought, “…for the table.” Henry was like, “Oh really? Are you buying?”
And that’s how we got to enjoy a provolone wheel. Thanks for your generosity, Chooch.
Man Eats Coleslaw
Kid Eats Pie
That table of older gentlemen behind Chooch talked candidly about ISIS and I felt such fear. I kept shushing Henry and Chooch every time they would have the audacity to speak over top of this table of men 20 feet away, because I didn’t want to miss anything. Like it was Carrie Matheson and Peter Quinn sitting there, hunched over lemon meringue pies and coffee, discussing field orders.
We watched an older couple pay for their lunch, get inside their little jet-thing, and then perform a wobbly take-off for all of us diners to gape at.
The food was whatever, but we still had a great time, mostly at Henry’s expense. It felt kind of weird to be cracking up over meringue and rural airports, considering we were about to head back and watch Marcy being lowered into her final resting place. I’m so glad that I didn’t have to go through this alone, and that Henry pretty much handled the entire ordeal on his own because he knows I would have just drowned on my uncontrollable waterfall of tears and then landed up in prison after making a series of sloppy threats against the Humane Society.
After lunch, we went back to the cemetery and said goodbye to Marcy one final time. It sucked, there really is no better word for it, and I’m glad that it’s finally over.
“I just wanted her to be with the other cats,” I said to Henry in the car afterward, sniffling.
“Well, now she is,” Henry replied, patting my leg. “And she probably hates you for it.”
I pretty much just clung to Henry for the rest of the weekend.
Barb gave us tickets to go to the Hockey Game! We win every time I go to the game. We won 4-3! I always look for ICEBURGH because he is beautiful! Mommy told me Barb has “FEELINGS” for #9 “Pascal Dupuis”. I was like what do you mean “FEELINGS”?! Then that’s when I figured she meant Dupuis was Barb’s BAE!
Picture of us WINNNING!!!!! YAYAYAY thanks Barb for giving us tickets for a game we won in!
Picture mommy took of me standing in front of Iceburgh! Couldnt get next to him so just took that picture.
Then when the game ended I wanted to take a picture with Iceburgh, but some lady took one first, SHE TOOK 2, TWOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Than another dude wanted a picture. So he asked mommy to take it, while she did that I tried to sneak over to get beside him. But apparently the way I snuck through was a PRIVATE Area. Some usher yelled at me and said I wasn’t allowed to be there. But the game ended what would it matter? So then I had to go all the way around. SO I ended up not getting a picture with him except for the one at the end!
Mommy said that Iceburgh is a dick but I won’t say that because I still love him!
Alternately titled: Shit Barb Said At the Pens Game, 11/17/15.
Barb texted me Tuesday morning to see if I wanted to go to the game with her that night. I was already en route to work but I was like UM YES?! The only thing that would make me say no to a Pens game is if I was already going to a show that night or extreme illness. I waited until I was no longer in the car with Henry before I texted him: “BTW going to the Pens game with Barb tonight, LOL.” I wanted him to be jealous but instead he was just relieved that he wouldn’t have to come downtown to pick me up from work like he does every single evening because I deserve only the best.
I’m always happy to have the opportunity to hang out with Barb since I don’t get to see her every day at work anymore, and going to a Pens game with her is like the Ultimate Hang Out Scenario. The whole night was amaze: it was Fleury bobblehead night; the seats were fantastic; the PENS WON!; and I got to make fun of nearly everything Barb said all night, which brought back memories of the notebook I used to keep of all the dumb things she used to say when I sat next to her at work. MEM’RIES.
Here are some Barb moments for all you BR aficionados to chew on:
We were talking about how much Henry resembles Mandy Patinkin (specifically his character on Homeland) and that sent Barb down a Mandyhole. “How old is Mandy Patinkin, I wonder? Let’s Google it. Oh look, he has his own website! He was born in 1952. When was Henry born? OK so that makes him how many years older than Henry….” I was like “I didn’t come to a hockey game to do math, BARB” so we closed that chapter, each content leaving it as “Henry is years younger than Mandy.”
Then Barb made the mistake of telling me that she got out of bed the other night and made a list of all the TV shows she watches. “Then the next day I saw the list and said, ‘Why did I write this? I know what TV shows I watch’ so I threw the list out.” This is the part of the story where Barb, forgetting who she was talking to, recounted her list to me.
And here’s the part of the night where Barb tells a dumb joke: “Did you know that Fedor Tyutin has a brother named Rutin? Say both names out loud. ROOTIN TOOTIN.”
Then I thought she asked me if I was on the rag, but she was actually asking if I had the bag that our bobble heads were in. And then that made me wonder if anyone ever even says that anymore? I does seem like something Barb would ask someone, though.
“You know what I think when I see [Pens coach] Mike Johnston? MILQUETOAST,” Barb muttered with contempt. (It’s true though! He is like, as blank and non-descript as Henry’s t-shirts.)
Barb was really into this one guy’s pepper pants, so I tried my best to get a clandestine photo as he left the game. Don’t be surprised if you see her wearing her own pair sometime soon.
“He’s so weird looking,” Barb sneered, pointing to Scuderi’s headshot in the program. “I think he looks like Glenn!” I argued. “Pfft, maybe Glenn’s UGLY BROTHER.” I had no idea she was so adverse to Rob Scuderi’s face.
A face she is decidedly NOT adverse to is that of Pascal Dupuis. We talked a bit about how she has feelings for him. She gets really flustered about it, too, so you know it’s real. A few days later, I told her that I told Chooch about this and he was like “What do you mean, Barb has FEELINGS for him?!” and then Barb was all humiliated and also nervous because god only knows what Chooch may do with this new knowledge.
This has nothing to do with Barb, but there was a moment when I got to be A HERO. As I sat down after we scored the first goal, I noticed something on the ground next to me. I picked it up and asked the lady next to me if it belonged to her. “Oh that’s my INHALER!” she exclaimed. “I could DIE without that!” and then her daughter was all, “THANK YOU FOR PREEMPTIVELY SAVING MY MOM’S LIFE!” and I was like, “No problem, that’s just what I do.” Barb missed this entire exchange because I think this was when she was Googling “where to buy pepper pants.”
Barb spun many yarns of the days when the glass was lower and pucks where chucked out into the crowd with greater frequency. “One time I saw a lady get hit in the side of the head. Man, was there a lot of blood.” She looked kind of AROUSED by this memory, though.
Barb took this terrible picture of me and posted it on Facebook but luckily, everyone was too busy fixating on the man behind us to notice my protruding Leno chin. Anyway, that man wound up having the best, most boisterous Ref heckles and he reminded me of the guy who got Kristy and I kicked out of the Pittsburgh Passion game two summers ago. Barb and I bonded with him and his wife later in the game as they openly and loudly complained of the girls behind them who hadn’t stopped talking about everything but the game from the moment they arrived. “I feel like I’m in Charlie Brown Town. ‘Mwahmwahmwah mwah mwah'” We were laughing so hard, and then later Barb was like, “What was he talking about, anyway?” GOD BARB, try to follow along!
Speaking of errant pucks! One flew into the netting near our seats and Barb instinctively ducked. “I SAW THAT! I SAW YOU DUCK!” some old man ridiculed her as he walked past our seats. “God, tell the whole arena, why don’t you,” Barb muttered. “God Barb, it’s like it’s your first hockey game,” I said, getting in one last jab while she was down.
When Barb was taking me home, she meant to pull into the church parking lot across the street from my house but undershot the entrance and instead drove into the grass. “Oh my god, I”m so sorry!” she cried. “Are you literally apologizing to God since this is His house?” I asked. But she was just apologizing to me, it turns out, probably because she didn’t want this to go on my blog. YOU’RE WELCOME, BARB!
God, what a great night. I got to see Malkin score two goals (I LOVE HIM, HE REMINDS ME OF MY CAT DON; RIP DON), and laugh at all the ridiculous things Barb said. Thank you, Barb! You’re the best!
Stuck here at work during the mayhem that we in Pittsburgh know as Light Up Night. Foxing is carrying me over the finish line and I’m in a sharing mood so might you listen to this video that I very generously included.
I plan on doing fuck all this weekend and I can’t wait. I never thought I’d say this without irony, but Netflix and chill for real.
“I think I need therapy,” I said in lieu of normal morning salutations.
“Well…yeah,” Glenn said, implying that this was the most obvious statement.
“No seriously, I’m so paranoid anymore that I feel like I’m going to have a nervous breakdown. Take this morning on the trolley, for instance…” and then I told him the story of the guy in front of me, this white thug-looking dude with a neck tattoo and all dressed up in a gray sweatsuit, who had two metal stick things that I went back and forth between thinking was either a part of a gun or a fishing rod. One of the sticks had rings on it, so who knows.
But he was doing stuff with them, prepping them, I don’t know. And at one point he was doing something with … Thread? String?
I’ve been like this, moderately-so, for probably the last 10 years, but lately the DANGER WILL ROBINSON portion of my brain seems to be usurping whatever dying area of rationality is left up in that dusty cavern and I’m controlled by wild flights of fancy and panic-inducing paranoia. My senses are particularly heightened while I’m downtown, and at least once a week I’m convinced that the person walking beside me has a bomb detonator in his hand, or the man with the casual stride behind me is a serial killer, or the tired man on the trolley is going to stab me and ruin my favorite sweater. (OK, that last one was a valid concern, you have to admit!)
This happens at home too. Let’s never forget the time I freaked out when an old man was knocking on my door because I thought he was a zombie.
There have been times I’ve come back to work from my lunch break early because things just didn’t feel right out there, like two days ago when I was on the phone with Henry and started to walk past this one building but a well-dressed man, standing alone near the entrance, sternly said to me, “Ma’am, you can’t walk over here” and sent me packing to the other side of the street. I described the scene to Henry, who remained calm and unflappable.
“Maybe he just doesn’t like you,” Henry reasoned, but he did the same thing to the man in front of me!
Once I crossed the street, I pretty much ran as fast as I could because I was convinced that there was A Situation unfolding inside the building and that the man who yelled at me was SECRET SERVICE. He was dressed like he could have been, OK!? And he was staring up at the building like he was waiting for something to happen, and that’s when I noticed that one of the windows WAS OPEN!? I was actually on my way to the Point when this happened, and after that, I changed my mind because if something was going down in this building, I didn’t want to be trapped with the RIVER on three sides of me.
I went back to work, out of breath, and relayed my latest precarious situation to Todd and Glenn, who each answered with various versions of “You make this shit up.” And after I told them what building it was, I admitted that I only knew that because I sent Henry a picture of it so he could tell me.
“That’s the only believable part of the story,” Glenn said in his Yelp review of the most recent visit to Erin’s Delusion Theater.
Anyway, back to yesterday.
I texted Henry about the morning’s scene and he was like, “OK?” And then “You watch too much Homeland.” I wasn’t satisfied with his response, so I called him later that day on my break so that I could try to better paint the picture for him.
“COULD THAT HAVE BEEN A FISHING ROD MAYBE?!” I asked him, near-hysterics, praying that he would say yes and that I hadn’t been sitting in such close proximity to military-grade weaponry. “THE ONE METAL STICK THING HAD HOOP-THINGS ON IT!” It looked like it could have been that thing that stick down the barrel of shotguns. WHATEVER THAT THING IS. He had two of them!!
Henry considered this. “I guess it’s possible….” he said with little conviction, and then started asking me questions, like what color it was, and if it could have been fiberglass, etc.
“I DON’T KNOW! I’VE ONLY EVER SEEN CARTOON FISHING RODS!” I cried, and then Henry was pretty much done with the conversation by then, plus I was standing near all of the smokers and they were starting to notice my conversation at this point, so I figured it was time to say goodbye.
The most alarming part to me is that no one else on the trolley seemed to care that this guy looked shady as fuck and was taking up TWO SEATS with his backpack and SUSPICIOUS RODS. Never trust a motherfucker who needs TWO SEATS on public transportation.
I went back to work and tried to resurrect this topic because, like I said, I think I need therapy and spreading my conspiracy theories around the department is the closest thing I’ve got to that right now.
“Well, I haven’t heard anything about a mass fishing rod murder, so you’re probably safe,” Glenn sighed, and it was clear that he was done talking about it, too.
This blog post is brought to you by Google searches of “fishing rods” and “metal things that stick inside guns.”
ETA: My friend Regina has informed me that I was correct to assume that dangerous things were happening at that building because WINDOWS ARE FALLING OUT. She assured me that I wasn’t just being delusional. I told Todd and he was like, “Wow! I was really sure that you were just over-dramatizing the situation, but it actually is dangerous!”
Last winter, I suffered through this bizarre episode where everyone around me accidentally had me convinced that Boz Scaggs didn’t exist, but then he started popping everywhere and I felt a small victory. Hats off to the universe for backing me on Boz Scaggs’ existence.
Thank god I often have old people radio stations playing in my bedroom, else I may not have known that Boz was going ON TOUR and that there was a Pittsburgh show! This was less than a week after I got a new succulent and named him Boz Scaggs; not trying to say I’m magic but I’M MAGIC.
I looked up tickets right away and my heart sank a little when I saw that they were pretty expensive — starting at $67. You have to remember that the shows I go to are for relatively small bands and I’m usually paying less than $20 for a ticket.
But you guys — fucking Boz Scaggs. He played a role in my childhood, and 2015 seems to be The Year of Sentimental Shows for me (Mike + the Mechanics, Howard Jones, SNOOP DOGG?!), so I knew that I had to go, and I also knew it meant going alone because we’re not made of money, you guys. I know it’s shocking that my blog isn’t pulling in the big bucks. But then someone bought two paintings from me on Etsy, which equaled the cost of one Boz Scaggs ticket + fees almost down to the cent. If that’s not fate stepping in…
So I was able to splurge and buy a ticket for the center seat in the first row of the balcony (there were no good seats left on the floor, and I prefer the balcony anyway), which is how I wound up spending what might have been an ordinary Sunday evening at the Carnegie Library Music Hall with several hundred of my elder-mates.
I arrived early enough to go to the “bar area” —which is just a table of Barefoot wine varietals set up in the library— and bought a plastic cup of cheap Zinfandel. I stood alone, laughing to myself, sipping the wine, and texting Henry.
“I am the youngest one here by a very large margin. People are staring at me suspiciously!”
Henry’s response was his famously succinct “LOL.”
There was a teenage girl there with her dad and she looked PISSED.
I wasn’t sure what appropriate “Going to the Boz Scaggs Show” attire consisted of, so I just wore jeans and my favorite Lauren Conrad sweater. I realized immediately that I was just fine with what I was wearing, right smack in the middle of Steelers-sweatshirted Yinzers and over-dressed Big Night Out broads, like this one old woman in a long fur vest who almost fell thanks to the voracity of her seat-dancing during Lowdown, and an old bitch who looked like she was at the fucking opera. Her husband was dressed like he just walked off a yacht to the tune of “What a Fool Believes.” Aging yuppies are amazing to watch.
There were a lot of blazers, loafers, and yes Alyson—a sea of slacks! One woman in her 60s had on a sheer white blouse, and I mean SEE-THRU, with nothing more than a black bra underneath. She was sitting in the front row off to the side, and I sure hope Boz was able to see her from where he stood onstage.
After downing my $5 wine, I made my way upstairs and handed an elderly usher my ticket.
“Oh, this is the BEST seat up here!” he said enthusiastically.
That’s one of the perks of going solo — there’s always that one lone vacancy in the middle of the sold-out seats!
“Don’t throw any of your clothes over the balcony!” he laughed, and then I started cracking up too, at the thought of old ladies throwing bras on stage for Boz.
My seat was right smack in the middle of the first row of the balcony: a perfect view, 100% unadulterated by fat, bobbing heads and wanton usage of cell phones. (However, the Library Music Hall ushers are quick to smack down on recording—pictures are fine, though. This makes me happy, because even though I do love to post Instavids at shows, I can’t stand it when people hold up their phones for the entire show. I like to grab my 15-second clip for sentimental reasons and then shove my phone back in my pocket.)
There was no opener, so I just relaxed in my seat between two sets of old couples and enjoyed the people-watching. I don’t know why, but I expected to see at least one person wearing culottes for some reason and I was really sad when that sighting didn’t happen.
For the record, the only reason I know what culottes are is because my idiot MOM made me wear them in elementary school, because nothing adds to frumpiness like wide-legged knee-length shorts paired with ANKLE SOCKS AND MOCCASSINS, THANKS MOM.
Boz and his band came out a little after 8:00 and the night of blue-eyed soul and soft rock jams. His backing band was incredibly jazzy — there were even a few sax solos! This pleased the old people greatly and much cheering and exploding applause occurred throughout the night. I was happy for these people to be out enjoying an artist that they loved, instead of wasting away at home, eating liver and onions and watching QVC. I hope that I’m still going to shows when I’m old.
Boz played a lot of stuff from his new album, none of which I knew, but that didn’t make it any less enthralling. I love his voice so much, and that band of his was FIRE. His back-up singer, Monet, was a show-stealer though. Halfway through the set, he said, “This is my favorite part of the night, when I get to introduce the talented Monet. But I just have to tell you: better buckle your seat belts.”
Boz took a step back while Monet blew our faces off with her rendition of “Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do).” She can SANG, ya’ll. Every last arthritic body shot up from their seats to give her a standing ovation and I was like, “FUCK YES I was here for that!” Totally following her on Instagram now.
Boz played three of my favorites: Lowdown, Lido Shuffle, and motherfucking JOJO, which he prefaced by saying he wrote with David Foster and I got really giddy because I was obsessed with David Foster in the early 90s when he hosted an informercial for something that I no longer remember but I feel like it was some sort of radio or stereo system? Google is not helping me.
Sadly, “Look What You’ve Done To Me” was not in the set list for Boz’s last show of the tour, and this pains me because I noticed it was played at some of the other shows, ugh. I love that song! There was, however, another slow jam that he played that I didn’t really recognize, but it gave me the “Sitting In Pappap’s Kitchen” feels and I started openly weeping, which should shock no one as I always cry at least once at every show.
(You should have seen me at the Eisley and Copeland show last Friday. Two bands that make me sentimental to begin with, playing on a night that a Paris concert venue was just attacked by terrorists, and then someone gets engaged on stage!? My face was slick.)
Boz ended the last of several encores by 9:45 and said one final good night. I’m not used to getting out of a show so early, but I didn’t mind — now I’d have time to go home and watch The Walking Dead before it got spoiled for me!
What a great fucking show. Boz is like, 71 now, so I’m happy that I got the chance to see him. Even though the very next morning, I pulled something in my back when I was brushing my hair! Tell me that’s not a side effect of being immersed in a crowd of grandparents for a whole evening. It still hurts, too, FYI.
We were talking about the show at work and Todd said, “I knew it was real when Glenn said he knew who Boz Scaggs is.” And then Amber was like, “Oh yeah, how was the…..Bose…..Scaggs concert?” She will never be able to say his name right!
Life is so weird. I started the week having water squirted in my face by Beau Bokan at the Blessthefall show, and now I was ending it in what could have been the set of a new Cocoon movie. BOZ SCAGGS BRINGS THE LIFE FORCE.
(Ugh, now I’m thinking about how dreamy Steve Guttenberg is.)
Somehow, five years has passed since this weekend trip to Lancaster and I’m finding it hard to believe that:
I have inexplicably been back to Lancaster so many times that you’d think we either had
a sickness only shoofly pie can cure
I somehow lost interest in photobombing weeners into pictures of Henry.
Believe me, it’s definitely not because I matured at all
I’m finding it NOT hard to believe that I:
sent someone a post card from the POV of Henry’s eyebrows
It was probably for Alyson
Anyway, enjoy some pictures of Henry being degraded by iPhone-sketched genitalia.
I’m home from our weekend trip to Commercialized Amish Exploitation, f/k/a Amish Country, or Lancaster, PA. It was a bummer, but we still had fun because we were with Tommy and Jessy so shenanigans still played out regardless. I was mostly sad for Jessy because she’s really into shopping for country things but nearly every shop was an overblown tourist trap claiming to be authentic but I had suspicions. We did go to some Amish farm though and bought cheese and root beer from a cute little tow-headed Amish boy struggling with his English. I wanted to swap him out with Chooch, who was being a big fucking asshole that afternoon.
I have lots more to write about the weekend, but I would like to for now just post the pictures I took of Henry in compromising situations. I spent a lot of time laughing at these. Only Jessy thought they were funny. Henry just frowned a lot and Tommy’s was like, “WTF is wrong with you?” while making covert signs of the crosses and thanking God I’m not his girlfriend. Meanwhile, Chooch was like, “How many times are you going to make weener pictures, Mommy?” in an exasperated tone. He is only four, remember. Someday he’ll think this is funny. Unless he decides to just fail me altogether.
This was the one that started it all. I already posted it on Saturday but WHO CARES. Henry, yukking it up in the front seat with his boyfriend Tommy, ooooooh Tommy. I looked at it and the first thing I thought was, “I need to find a big Swedish dick, sopping with sweat, to enter that gaping maw RIGHTNOW.” Good thing I kept Chooch’s Doodle Buddy app on my phone (I was going to delete it last week!). This made Jessy and me giggle in the backseat for a little while.
Later that night, just Henry, Chooch and I went to DUTCH WONDERLAND OMG. Chooch and I were walking out of the Wonder House (I’m building one in my backyard, just as soon as I learn how to use a hammer. And build things.) and Henry was standing there with Duke the Dino pressed up against his side. Henry looked all awkward, like, “I swear I was just standing here and then this thing started side-humping me for no reason at all! Baby, you know I only like yellow mascots!” I was sad because by the time I got my phone out to take this picture, Duke had set his sights on erotically asphyxiating some 10-year-old boy. Turns out it was kismet, as far as weener pictures go.
Henry Goes COCKoo for Intercourse. We won’t be much schlonger now, enjoy the dicktivities!
On the way home, we stopped in Hershey, PA and ate at the Capitol Diner. Is it sad that the picture I took there was completely premeditated? I had been thinking of it since I woke up that morning and then nearly forgot about it by the time dinner rolled by!
I wish making Henry’s life hell was my job. It’s the only thing I’m good at.
I’m really excited to write about something different today, you guys! J/K. This is totally about another show.
But not just ANY show.
During the summer, when I was at the height of my Warped Tour frenzy, my favorite thing to do was watch YouTube videos of it. There was this one YouTuber who was on the entire tour, making videos for one of the labels. I can’t remember which one exactly, but I want to say it was Fearless. Anyway, he was funny as fuck, way better than the “actual” YouTubers who were there as some strange, freak show attraction, so I subscribed to his channel and then made Henry watch all of his videos too.
Oh, his name is Jarrod Alonge. I guess that’s vital for people who enjoy details.
One of the videos he made was a series called Bless the Office, which was a spoof of The Office, starring the band Blessthefall. I have no beef with BTF, but I also never really paid much attention to them. However, these videos made me fall in love with them as people and I figured it was time to actually give their music a chance.
(These seriously make me laugh so hard. Being a scene kid is great, you guys.)
And then, about a month later, they announced that Slaves would no longer be a part of the BTF headlining tour, and that they had replaced them with EMAROSA.
The show was at Mr. Small’s last Monday. It was Chooch’s first time seeing a show there, and we were all really excited because Emarosa is just the best. Henry was excited too, but his demeanor never changes. Bradley saw us when we were waiting in line and he called up to us and asked us how we were doing and Henry was the only one who was able to remain calm and answer him back like a normal human. Chooch and I gave each other the OMG DYING BYE looks and then giggled because we’re 12-year-old girls and someone noticed us.
(I mean, Chooch wrote about all this too but after I read it, I was like, “OK don’t act like this didn’t faze you, liar.” But look, it’s not easy writing about things that hit you hard!)
Once we were inside, the very first thing Chooch noticed was that a girl he knew from school was there with her friends. I think she was in 8th grade when he was in 1st, and they know each other because she was the classroom helper and he was wearing a Pierce the Veil shirt one day, so you know—-soul-mates. She kept waving to him and trying to get him to come over to her but he was Suddenly Shy and practically buried himself under Henry’s arm until Cane Hill started, at which point he began throwing horns with abandon.
I really enjoyed Cane Hill, but then Oceans Ate Alaska came on and my hysterical declaration of “Hashtag Obsessed!!!” was met with a heavy frown etched into Henry’s face. I’ve listened to them before, but hearing them live was a whole new ballgame. Those breakdowns tho. It’s like having the year 2008 wrap its big, warm arms around me.
Seriously, fuck Alaska.
The three of us moved all the way up to the side of the stage for Emarosa because we fucking love them, don’t you know that by now? It’s like #lifegoalsreached now that I get to see them with Chooch. He was 2 when I started listening to them back in 2008, so this is literally the stuff he was raised on and it makes my heart swell to watch him get all excited and smile so big when he sees them walk on the stage. I think this might be my favorite part of parenting, you guys.
Emarosa came out hard, but I could kind of tell that Bradley was feeling under the weather. But you would barely even know it because he was still running into the crowd, doing flips, and spinning Will upside down. He told us after the show that he thought he maybe had the flu, and I just can’t imagine what it must take to still get up on that stage and perform with such fire. I get a tiny cold and I can barely manage to SIT AT MY DESK and do a job which requires 0% LABOR.
So much goddamn respect for this band.
(The sound on this is terrible, but you know me and my compulsion for Instavids.)
After their set, Bradley came out and went right over to Chooch and hugged him, which was amazing. In my mind, we talked for a bit, but what really happened was Bradley tried to make normal conversation and Chooch and I were just like HNNNNNNG. Chooch somehow was able to ask him to sign his new Emarosa shirt, and Bradley teasingly sighed, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll sign your shirt.” Chooch looked at me and started laughing because he LOVES being teased.
Bradley asked if we were going to stick around, but Chooch made it clear all evening that he was leaving after Emarosa. But I stayed because I have this thing about leaving shows early. Plus, after the Warped Tour videos, I felt compelled to see Blessthefall at least once. So I quietly slunk back into the stage area and went straight to the bar for a cider now that my under-aged concert buddy was gone.
Stick To Your Guns was on next and they were OK. I did not feel strongly about them one way or the other, and that’s fine because Chooch was texting me the whole time from Henry’s phone because they apparently came back to Mr. Small’s after Chooch ate and he got to meet the rest of Emarosa and I’m SO JEALOUS because I still haven’t met the rest of them and here’s why: I AM A SHRINKING VIOLET when it comes to meeting bands that I really love. Ugh, I hate myself.
Henry told me later that Will asked him if this was their first Emarosa show. “Did you tell him that I saw them in Buffalo in 2008? With Pierce the Veil?!” I frantically texted back.
“No. You weren’t there, so why would I tell him that.”
“DID YOU TELL HIM ABOUT ME AT ALL?!?!”
And then apparently Bradley was asking him what shows we’re going to next.
“DID YOU TELL HIM I’M GOING TO COPELAND AND EISLEY ON FRIDAY!?” I asked.
And he didn’t! He told him that the next show is Never Shout Never in February. Whatever, Henry. You’re so dumb.
“WAS IT SUPER AWKWARD TALKING TO THEM!?” I asked.
“Uh, no. They’re just regular guys. They were all extremely nice.”
Oh I could just die.
Henry said that Chooch was besides himself, couldn’t even talk.
I can’t blame him! I love that he already has such respect and admiration for musicians, at such a young age.
Meanwhile, I was still inside for Blessthefall and I don’t regret it. Even though I don’t know very much of their music, it was hard not to get swept up in the energy. Plus, Beau Bokan sprayed me in the face with his water and touched my hand, so it was a pretty fantastic night for this scene kid in an old lady suit.
God. That night and all of its feels. I will never, ever forget it.
The next morning, Chooch woke up on his own and promptly threw on his new Emarosa shirt. He couldn’t wait to show everyone at school, and now he wants to buy a frame to keep it in. Everything about this rules.
Sadly, Emarosa ended up dropping off the rest of the tour yesterday because of health issues, and I feel so terrible for them, yet really proud that they were able to play the shows that they could and win over more fans. Forever my faves.
I keep calling Henry “My Little Saul Berenson” and he is not thrilled about it. [SHOUT OUT TO MY HOMELAND-WATCHING FRIEND(S).]
I finally got Henry to hang up the swag lamp that we bought on a really volatile day last July. We’re in the process of turning this one side of our bedroom into a painting nook so that I can stop standing at the kitchen sink when I paint because that’s where my “art studio” currently is. Fake artists have fake studios. It’s cool, though. My back enjoys being stooped.
And when I say we’re “in the process” I mean that I told Henry that’s what I want to do and can we please paint the wall and hang up pictures of all of my favorite bands? You know, for inspiration? OMG GREAT THANKS!
(He is still barking a hearty NO to my GOLD CEILING requests. He can just go fuck right off.)
Our Xmas tree is coming along nicely! I have tentatively named her Trudy. A few more coats and then she can be dressed in tinsel and lights. It might seem ridiculous, but having her in the house makes me feel like A PIECE OF ME HAS BEEN PUT IN PLACE. I have wanted this for nearly 20 years!
I’m glad that Henry goes along with all of my ideas and demands. EXCEPT FOR THE GOLD CEILING. God, he’s the worst.
On Monday, we went to Mr. Smalls. It was my first time there and we went to see Emarosa. But the main band was Bless The Fall, I didn’t stay for that. When we were in line and went up the stairs, Bradley (THE SINGER OF EMAROSA) waved at me smiling and I waved back. At Warped Tour I waited in line to meet him and I told him that he was better than Jonny and he agreed so that is probably how he remembers me.
When we got in there was a guy who gave out paper wrist bands but he drew a smiley face on my hand because I was kid and I wasn’t allowed to drink alcohol.
When I walked in to the stage area I turned around and I saw the eighth grader who had a crush on me in 1st grade. She had her friend with her, and their boyfriends. I felt kind of shy because I hadn’t seen her in a while. When Emarosa came on Me and my mom moved up to the front so I could see better.
I liked Emarosa my whole life because my mom has listened to them since I was a baby.
Bradley is so nice because when Emarosa was over and me and daddy were leaving he came right over to me and gave me a hug. (: He’s not a drugatic like Jonny Craig.
He also gave the other fans who wanted a hug, a hug. Then when I asked him to sign my shirt he said “Allrighttt I’ll sign your shirt.” :P When me and daddy went to leave (mommy stayed for the rest of the show by herself) the whole band was outside packing everything back up. We left to eat and came back hoping they would still be here so I can get a picture with the whole band. We went to Hardees to eat. When we came back for the picture, Bradley came over to us and asked us what we wanted again. When I told him I wanted a picture with the whole band he went around looking for everyone. I also wanted them all to sign my shirt, I got that.
When we got everyone, daddy said “my phone is dying because SOMEONE’S been using it.” Then Bradley kindly gave him his phone to take the picture, and he texted it to daddy. I was so happy that this was happening. So I had the BEST NIGHT of my life. The picture with my shirt signatures is on my Instagram, so check it out. @butt_jam.
This is my favorite Emarosa song because it sounds better than Johnny and also its better the original version of Mad. Maybe you can check out more Emarosa songs!
I spent the evening at the Altar Bar last night. It was surreal, guilt-laden, and also a bit therapeutic in light of the recent Paris attacks. There isn’t anything I can say that will make any difference or impact, or even motivate anyone to be kind to each other. I have no better way to articulate my thoughts or make any better sense of this tragedy than the person before me or after me. I can post all of the pictures of the Eiffel Tower, but it doesn’t matter—connecting with others is what matters. The world is a scary place and I wanted to hug everyone around me last night, even the two Mona Lisa Sapersteins to the right of me, who, on a normal night, would have sincerely pissed me off.
Music is the one thing that always helps me decompress and forget for a few moments about all that is wrong in this world. The fact that one of the attacks happened while people were only trying to do that same exact thing is horrifying, depressing, and gut-wrenchingly sad.
It was a somber night. I was there alone and while I really wanted to just be home with Henry and Chooch, standing in a roomful of strangers brought together by a love for music was like slapping a bunch of bandaids on the ol’ bleeding heart. The music was beautiful, tears were shed, there was a token drunk guy acting wildly inappropriate during Copeland. And somehow, in the midst of all of the chaos, there was a bright spot, a quick moment of hope and joy, when a man got on stage during Eisley’s set and proposed to his girlfriend. Sharing that moment with a roomful of cheering and crying strangers brought about a sense of humanity that really needed to be felt right then and there.
In lieu of hashtags and posting Paris vaca throwback pics, I just want to share music with everyone today. I know, I do that basically everyday; but really, it’s the only way I know how to connect and find comfort. If only things could be so simple.
Maybe I might hug someone today, too. Probably just Henry, though—let’s not go crazy.
I don’t pray, but I do cry a lot. And I’m not just crying for Paris, I’m crying for the whole goddamn world. Because it never really ends, does it?