Dec 012016
 

The wildfires in Gatlinburg have broken my heart. We had the good fortune to vacation there in 2011 thanks to our awesome friends Bill and Jessi. The resort we stayed in unfortunately did not escape the flames. Here’s some pictures & words from our first day there, when me n’ Gatlinburg became lovers. I will always associate this place with Bill & Jessi. So grateful they invited us there that year!

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Henry: “The Smokies are pretty big, you know.”
Me: “Yeah, like your asshole.”
Henry: “I don’t even know why I talk to you.”

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We’re here! The trip down was not very eventful, except for THE MYSTERY HOLE which deserves its own post and I will do that when I’m home since I can’t get the pictures off the camera and am relying on my good ol’ iPhone to write this.

However, we did almost wreck minutes outside of our destination when some douchebag knocked over a traffic cone in front of us on the highway and Henry swerved into a barrel trying to avoid it.

I printed out two pictures of Jonny Craig to keep at my bedside while here. Henry was perturbed & disturbed by this, and threatened to stay home.

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We did some grocery shopping in Pigeon Forge this morning and you know I hate that shit but no way was I passing up the chance to snicker openly at the Tennessee drawls dripping like honey over the Food City intercom system. However, Chooch and I were being a bit rowdy, maybe running around too much, because I began to notice that we were on the receiving end of some nasty glares from other patrons. So we left and went to some souvenir shop next door where I got a wonderous Jesus pen (he’s real Big In Tennessee):
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Then Chooch got yelled at by a cashier because while I was trying to pay, he found an axe and was running around the store with it. True story.

Later, we followed Bill, Jessi and Tammy to downtown Gatlinburg which apparently is owned by Ripley’s. We had JUST gotten out of the car when Chooch bit down wrong on a candy bracelet and tears instantaneously sprung from his eyes. Then he was embarrassed because his idol Bill saw him crying so he started crying even harder.

I was able to calm him down and then Bill gave him a piggy back ride, which brings us to injury #2. Bill was bouncing Chooch up and down and didn’t realize that he had stepped underneath a store front roof and bashed Chooch’s face right off it.

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BIG TEARS ensued. Because I’m such a great friend, I pointed out that this was the second time Bill had injured my kid via Piggy Back.

Bill bought him ice cream to make up for it and then took him to look at a mini golf course after he spontaneously started sobbing because he misses our cat Speck.

Later on, a cashier in another store asked, “Who knocked you upside the face, boy?” and we all joyfully got to point at Bill.

I guess I shouldn’t be so smug considering I turned out and smacked him in the OTHER EYE with my big fat camera. (Injury #3, if you’re using a scorecard.)

More BIG TEARS ensued, but at least there wasn’t an audience for that one compared to the veritable Dinner Theater that Bill had.

Chooch almost fell down a flight of steps too.

(Chooch, when you’re taken away from us & dumped in foster care, please try to remember the good times.)

In between all this, we went into some optical illusion exhibit where Bill slammed a door in Henry’s face, I bought some cheap but amazing rings and AMISH PEANUT BUTTER, Bill had his palate scorched by salsa and I had to try to be sympathetic but really I thought it was pretty funny, and Henry scanned the area desperately for a barber to shear his luscious Kristy McNichol locks.

Tennessee rules. Here are some more pictures:

I miss this stupid porch.

This was moments before The Accident. It’s all fun and games until somebody gets punched in the face by an overhang.

Minutes later: friends again. Are you serious? I’d have made Bill beg for it. Chooch is way too forgiving and he so does not get that from me.

He at least got an ice cream cone out of it. I’d have asked for more. Like maybe money. Lots of it. OR MAYBE HIS WIFE.

On a weener prowl.

Every other store was Jesus n’ guns. Henry was getting some pretty big ideas.

Trying to DROWN my kid now.

The courtyard inside one of the little shopping areas in Gatlinburg. It made me wish I was wearing a Snow White dress.  Or at the very least, a tutu.

There was even a shoe store that sold TOMS. I had to hold back from buying a houndstooth pair.

So, this was an interesting week for Chooch and telephones. We’re one of the many families that have eschewed a landline for cell phones, so Chooch has never known anything but a cell phone. However, he quickly caught on that if he knew Bill and Jessi’s room number, he could call them from the phone in our room. Trust me, he memorized that shit quicker than the Situation memorized the number the STD clinic.

But then this happened one day:

Chooch, holding the receiver out: Oh shit. I dialed the wrong number.

Me: Then hang it up!

Chooch, slams it down and then picks it back up: Ew, what’s that noise?

Me: Well son, that there is what the pioneers call a DIAL TONE.

It’s just so weird to me that  landlines are becoming so archaic that my 5-year-old is as confused as you or I would be if we had to send a telegram. Also, when I was five, I was playing on a motherfucking Speak and Spell, not a computer.

Now imagine his double-excitement when he got to stand inside a payphone.

Chooch wants to be photographed everywhere now, and he can be a little bitchy divo about it. “Not on THOSE rocks, THESE rocks!”

I’ve created a monster.

Chooch and Bill inside a genie’s bottle at some Optical Illusion attraction that was good for a few laughs.

Stupid me, I almost didn’t take a picture of him hugging the fiftieth wooden bear sculpture, but he made sure to school me in front of a bunch of strangers. Everyone laughed and thought it was so adorable. I was tempted to lift my shirt and show them the welts from where he beats me with a scalding poker.

Pretending to like each other.

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Nov 302016
 

Some of us do this thing at work where we share music videos on Friday morning. It started mostly as a means for me to force-feed my work friends all of the scene music I obsess over, and then Amber1 will retaliate with a boy band and Amber2 will send something featuring Michael Bolton on a horse, and then Glenn will be like, “Hold on, how do you spell Engelbert Humperdinck?” I think Todd fired back with some Paula Abdul “Rush Rush” action one time though and it felt kind of nice to be 12 again. And then Lauren won with TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART.

(The original, not that Nicki French snooze fest.)

Anyway, I’m sitting here alone at 11:30PM on an average Wednesday night, the Penguins just lost 3-5 to the Islanders, and my throat is starting to mildly hurt which in my mind means I’M DYING, when my friend Lizz Snapchatted me this video, and now I am laughing so hard by myself that I’m crying actual tears from the Women on the Edge collection, thinking of me and my work friends dancing like this on Friday as we share videos with each other.

TIME TO LAUGH MYSELF TO SLEEP.

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Nov 292016
 

When I saw that old arcade game sign at the antique store over the summer, I didn’t stop to consider how we would get it to hang on the wall because I keep a secret, all-purpose tool on hand AND HIS NAME IS HENRY. One of the great things about Henry is that he knows how to do things. Like, things that require tools to be done.

One of the not-great things about Henry though, is his proclivity to procrastinate. Which in turn makes me a NAG, but come on — there really is no good way to constantly tell someone to do something, you know? That fucking sign sat on our chair for nearly 4 months before Henry finally heard my desperate nags. Probably because he finished binge-watching Person of Interest on his phone.

I decided that first, we needed to paint the wall because I felt that the Mouse Attack sign wouldn’t POP as much with a white background. Of course, Henry sighed wearily at this because he’s so sick and tired of painting walls. We had some pink leftover from our bedroom, so I decided he could just use that because I love pink so, so, so much. So he painted that on Thanksgiving, and naively thought he was finished, but I was like, “Oh, lol – sorry, did I forget to tell you that I want stripes?” And he just hung his head in response.

I wonder how Henry feels about living in Erin’s Playhouse? Lol, wait—who cares.

We woke up bright & early on Saturday and I was ready to get the home improvement show on the road. So basically after Henry properly fed us and Chooch and I fought 7 seven times, we were ready to go to Lowe’s by 11:30. Typically, I would just stay home but I needed to pick the color of the stripes Henry would be adding to the pink  wall.

Henry’s favorite activity: a trip to Lowe’s with Chooch and me tagging along like drunks!

Chooch and I fought over that, too. We picked hues of blue that were literally .0004 shades away from each other and henry was just like OMG THEY ARE BASICALLY THE SAME?! We went with my choice obviously but then henry remembered that we’re poor and we were looking at the premium people paint, so we had to start the deliberating process all over again in front of the poor people paint swatches.

We went with Summer Splash.

Then it was time to look at booples and woodles, and lurvies and blurbies.

You know, things that Henry needed to hang up the Mouse Attack sign.

Like I said earlier, this is the part I didn’t think of. My mind moves like this:

  1. Sees old arcade sign on floor in shop.
  2. NOW IT’S ON MY WALL, ALL LIT UP AND SPARKLY!

I don’t fuck with the in-between.

Apparently, this was going to be a Big Project, because we were hanging it on the wall above the fireplace, and if you’re like me, you’re thinking, “But a wall is a wall is a wall.” I learned that this is untrue! And that this particular wall was pretty much the worst wall in the whole entire house because there are BRICKS behind it, because FIREPLACE = CHIMNEY. And Henry was concerned because he didn’t know if the bricks behind the wall were neat and orderly or just basically piled in a heap.

So he had to consider things, which he did while I painted my nails, drank coffee, watched music videos, updated my secret avocado toast porn blog — you know, Erin things.

This is how he knew he needed to go to the METAL SHAPES AND RODS AISLE!

Wow, this is an aisle that exists. I was there!

“Boring. Dumb. Stupid. Idiotic. Wrong,” I said as Henry selected and examined metal shapes and rods. He was starting to get very irritated when Chooch came barreling into us.

“Did you hear that announcement about aisle 13?” he panted. “Well, I was there when it happened.”

Wait—-did we know that Chooch wasn’t with us? Eh. Oh well. He’s here now and that’s all that matters!

Also, I decided I didn’t want to know what happened in aisle 13 while Chooch was there.

Meanwhile, Henry was trying to sound cool by talking about how he was buying brackets or something to mount to the wall, and I was like, “For what?”

He looked at me like I was stupid or something.

“To hang up your fucking sign!” he cried incredulously.

“That seems really involved,” I said around a yawn. “You should just use a magnet.”

“Oh, yeah, OK. A magnet,” he scoffed. “And how are we attaching the magnet to the wall?” he asked in that infuriating Dad Who’s Also an Industrial Arts Teacher tone that seems very specific but not when you know Henry.

“Glue,” I shrugged. “No! Another magnet!”

“Oh for Christ’s sake,” Henry mumbled as he elbowed past me.

In some other boring aisle, we were naturally in some guy’s way, so he gently placed a hand on Henry’s shoulder and cordially said, “Excuse me, buddy.” I immediately started shaking with laughter because LOWE’S BRO CODE. Henry flashed me the “STOP IT” look, which everyone knows is the worst thing to do.

Tool World: I’ll say!

This was the section where Chooch and I were getting so out of control and causing scenes that Henry banished us to the Christmas decoration aisle. :(

Don’t worry, he came to fetch us when he was ready to check out, and that’s when we learned that a cashier has to come over to examine the goods when you’re using the self-check out if there are plants involved in the transaction, because people try to steal things in trees!

“You’d be surprised the things we see people try to sneak out of here inside larger plants and trees,” the Lowe’s guy laughed. “But uh, I think you guys are good to go,” he said, pointing to the tiny cactus Chooch bought.

I learned something at Lowe’s!

Sunday morning, Henry painted the stripes and it was exactly how I envisioned! I waited until he was finished to tell him that my color scheme inspo was Miami Vice and his frown leveled-up to a scowl. Why though, Miami Vice ruled.

I’ll spare you the boring details, because to be honest I wasn’t paying attention to most of the process, which required MEASURING and me fetching Henry his LEVEL which I proudly announced, “I KNOW WHAT THAT IS!” And then there was another moment when he made me mark the wall with a pencil while he held one of this metal shape things and you know I did a lot of huffing and puffing about that, because I was in the middle of playing a game on my phone, you know?

A video posted by Erin (@ohhonestlyconcerts) on

Anyway, I remember that there was a lot of drilling, and then TA DA! My damn arcade thing was mounted to the wall!

AND I LOVE IT. This is what I pictured that day in July when I saw this poor, abandoned Mouse Attack sign languishing alone on the floor of an antique shop. It needed to be a centerpiece! And my house needed upgraded to the next tier of tackiness.

Henry and my friend Shawn still have to figure out a way to modernize the light source inside of it, but I’m just super thrilled that it’s on the wall and not collecting dust on the floor anymore.

Thank god Henry knows how to do these things. Otherwise, there’d be a lot more duct tape on my walls.

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Nov 282016
 

Some things:

  • I hate that I share “sore winner” traits with Trump. At least I have (marginally) better hair. 
  • I had the day off today and had every light on in the house for no reason other than I’m wasteful, which Henry was not thrilled about when he came home. 
  • The Affair is back on and I still hate Noah!
  • Watched the Gilmore Girls reboot over the weekend and my heart feels like it free-fell through a paper shredder. Lisa and Octavia texted me to make Henry:Luke comparisons and I’m like IKNOWGUYZ! I thought a lot about it during my day of doing nothing, and it made me wonder if he was sent to me by my Pappap, because NO ONE else could have the patience and ingenuity to make me happy. Henry is the ultimate Luke. Sorry, but this year has promoted me to whatever level is above emo and all I do is think about super mushy things and cry my ugly face off. 
  • Don’t worry, no GG spoilers.
  • Remember the derelicts who are working next door? Well, they apparently were fighting so bad at 2am that Henry woke up and wondered if he should call the cops but someone beat him to it, so awesome – the people who aren’t even technically living next door to us have already had the police break up a domestic dispute. HOW DID I SLEEP THRU THIS? I let myself down. 
  • I want to adopt something, maybe a kid,  but Henry said no. :( Maybe I’ll just do an imaginary adoption after I get imaginary married. 
  • Bumper cars are expensive. 

  • Someone bought two sets of my Dahmer Christmas cards! This is definitely my most popular Xmas card design. Today, I made a new BTK one for this year, so you should ch-ch-check it out!
  • I also painted something today and did gospel aerobics so I guess my day off wasn’t TOO unproductive. 
  • Oh and I listened to Balance & Composure! You’re shocked. 
  • We’ve had these cats for almost a year & everyday we have to get them to remember us, like it’s 50 fucking First Dates.  They give us Stranger Danger stares and then, “Oh yeah, you guys.” 
  • My tattoo is still in the OMG ITCHY phase and I’m driving Henry nuts with my whining but that could be any day, really. 

  • Chooch ruins every picture on purpose. He has to actually try though, whereas it comes naturally for me. I win again! SUCK IT! IM THE BEST AT BEING UGLY!
  • I still like The Walking Dead. Sorry, guys. 
  • Henry’s eating yogurt. 
  • He just said “So what? You’re so dumb.” HE CALLED YOU GUYS DUMB. 
  • This one time last week, Gayle sewed a pompom back on my poncho thing and it was a super big deal (for no one but me):

  • I bought an old wheelchair over the summer but everyone is too afraid to sit in it because the seat is like wicker sort of so it’s just been chilling here looking pretty but then I decided to use it as a supplement to the beverage buffet, so it’s now a bar cart! We’ll see how well that works when I have a holiday party here in a few weeks. 

  • I’m a sad doll lately. 
  • I offered Henry one bullet point but he said no. 
  • When I woke up Saturday morning, I became extremely sad that Henry isn’t Dracula. Ugh. 
  • I changed Penelope’s name to Peen Lop. She answers to it. 
  • Remember when Henry told me I was overreacting over the people next door and now he’s complaining about how they woke him up at 2am? LOL. 
  • Last week I was on my way to work and someone sat next to me on the trolley which is usually never good and then to my surprise, he said, “Erin?” So my knee-jerk reaction was to say no but then it ended up being my high school Lawson so it was OK! I haven’t seen him since I was 17 so wow, that was a long over-due reunion. Lawson was part of L.A.M.E. (Lisa/Ang/Melissa/Erin – the boys in our crew didn’t get to be a part of the acronym) and man we had some ridiculous/fun/stupid times together. I never see anyone I know on the trolley (mostly because I hide behind my hair) so that was a really great start to the day!
  • I briefly considered learning how to cook but then I got bored before I could finish the thought in my mind. 
  • OH YAY THE ASSHOLES NEXT DOOR ARE HOME. 
  • I don’t have another show to go to until December 12th :(
  • OMG for like 7 years I’ve been telling Henry I want Flex Seal (I might need it for something—YOU DONT KNOW WHAT I DO) and he’s always waving me off but a commercial for it just came on and now all of a sudden he’s like “That’s what we need.” UM NO SHIT?! Apparently, he has an actual use for it and doesn’t just want to buy it because it seems like a cool thing to have. 

  • Peen Lop, boys and girls. 

That’s all. You’re dismissed. 

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Nov 272016
 

Last Saturday was such a day of highs and lows that I have been putting off even summarizing it because I get so angry and then happy and then angry and do you see how this is a cycle!? But here it goes.

  • It started out on a high. I woke up and listened to music, which is my favorite thing to do. Weekend music is the best because I’m not in a rush trying to get ready for work or whatever, so I can just be LEISURELY with it and really hear it. We listened to the new Saosin record, and by we I mean me and Drew. Drew loves the record player.

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  • And then came a low! One of my friends on Facebook posted about the Hamilton/Mike Pence debacle. I commented, saying something about how Trump’s tweet regarding it was probably the funniest thing I’ll read all day, and there were maybe two or other people who commented as well. No one was particularly heated with their words. But then, THANK GOD, some dude rolled up and started off his comment with: “I only see women commenting here, so I as a man shall interject.” He went to essentially offer nothing of importance or value, but thanks man, for reminding me that my vagina renders my opinion useless! Seriously, what the fuck is wrong people. My friend’s post had literally nothing to do with gender. NOTHING. I am so easily ruffled anymore that this actually came close to making me grab a hammer and go hogwild on gender barriers. I started to reply to this asshole’s comment, but then stopped and asked myself: “Is this worth it? Do you really want a bunch of Facebook notifications ruining your evening?” No. No, I didn’t want that. So I closed out of Facebook and Henry gave me a hug and muttered something about “Please don’t lop off my penis, please remember I’m not one of the bad guys. I am a feminist. I PAY MY DUES EVERY DAY BY LIVING IN THIS HOUSE WITH YOU.”
  • Henry and I met Blake and Haley at the Smiling Moose for dinner. This is one of my favorite places, with some really grade A company, so this automatically goes into the “high” column. I was still kind of simmering over the mansplaining incident, so I had TWO BEERS and if you know me, you know that I’m not much of a drinker anymore (drinking made me fat as fuck in my 20s). I had two pumpkin beers because I’m still taking baby steps. However, I finally had Pumpking after years of being told that, as someone who can barely gag down a Summer Shandy, I wouldn’t like it. WELL JOKE’S ON YOU FOOLS BECAUSE I DID! It also made me pretty drunk, though. And also if you know me, you know that me being drunk can go one of two ways: adorably precocious or FUCKING BELLIGERENT BIOTCH.

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  • Which leads me to the ultimate low of the day: the Hands Like Houses show at Diesel, where I was a FUCKING BELLIGERENT BIOTCH. Now let me make some excuses for myself here, because I truly believe that my environment had a lot to do with my intolerance for humanity. Diesel sucks as a music venue. It’s a nightclub and should only be used as such. I had one good experience there and it was last June when I was at a show with only 20 other people. It was chill as fuck. This show was way too crowded for this venue, and also it started an HOUR EARLY with NO NOTICE, so by the time we got there, not only did we miss the first band (Out Came the Wolves) but all the decent spots were taken. Also, since the show was on a Saturday night, this brought out all the fair-weathered concert goers who were mostly there to party and get drunk, and apparently Diesel wasn’t relegating the drinkers to the upstairs area like most clubs do. Nope, they were ALL AROUND ME, sloshing their Bud Light around and putting my surly face in the background of all of their salacious Snaps. By the time The Color Morale came on, I was so angry that I was shouting at people and making angry, intense eye contact at the Tallest Guy In the Room who felt compelled to STAND ON A PLATFORM in front of me. I HOPE HE THOUGHT I WAS A WICCAN BECAUSE THAT’S THE VIBE I WAS GOING FOR WITH MY WITCHCRAFT GLARE. And then it was time for co-headliner Our Last Night, who I have seen twice before and they do nothing for me, and by this time, it was so crowded that I couldn’t breathe and so many people were scream-talking around me and I just kept running my mouth, and running it and running it and running it, and Henry was giving me  the “Please, not here, not now. Please don’t make me take a punch for you. I only LOOK rugged, but 16 years with you has turned me into a pile of buttercream and craft patterns, PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME BE A MAN.” I knew that I had to leave. I love Hands Like Houses, but I was honestly losing my fucking mind, standing in that sleazy pit of Big Night Out yinzers and so I looked at Henry and said, “We need to leave. Like, now.” And Henry did a little twirl before happily leading me out of Diesel, but not before I loudly scoffed, “THIS VENUE SUCKS” as we walked past the asshole in charge, who apparently admitted that he knew for hours that the show’s time was pushed ahead but was “too busy” to update the Facebook event page. Fucking amateur.
    • Two small highs happened though, one was the numerous times I got to see my Aussie baes in HLH milling about behind the scenes and I got all day-dreamy thinking about them taking me home to Canberra with them, where I could relive the week I spent there in 2000. And the second was when Garrett Rapp from A Color Morale was being accosted by fan-bros right behind Henry, and I tried to push Henry into him while shouting, “HENRY THERE HE IS! TELL HIM WHAT YOUR FAVORITE SONG IS!” And Henry’s frown grew so large that he was able to step into it like a pair of pants and disappeared into the world of Leave Me Alone.
  • On the way back to the car, we past the old Schwartz Market, which was full of art now. I slowed down a little to get a better look, at which point some hippie woman smoking in the doorway said, “Come on in!” and grabbed me by the arm and led me through the door, at which point Henry was like, “Yeah, I’m good” and stood outside by himself while I was given a cup of HOT APPLE CIDER and a delicious vegan pumpkin pastry while learning all about the For One Peace Cooperative, a group of amazing creative-types who hang out and make art while also doing things to bring the community together, like organizing coat drives for the homeless, etc.  I was in the for about 30 minutes I guess, talking to Joe—he appeared to be the leader, and he showed me a watercolor technique using coffee filters, because he has multiple sclerosis and it’s difficult for him to hold paint brushes. I told him about the horrible experience I had down the street at Diesel, and he said, “Everyone stumbles in here for a reason.” I’ll say. It happened so fast that I can’t even remember now how I went from casually looking in the window to eating their food. And then, as I was signing up to be a part of their group, Joe excitedly told me that soon they’ll be cleaning up litter by the river. “Women are getting jumped by the river,” some guy mumbled around bites of vegan food. “Yeah, that’s fucked up,” Joe murmured, looking at the ground. “But, we’re not sending her to the river alone!” And then looking back at me, Joe reiterated, “We’re not sending you to the river alone. We”ll be in groups, and it will be during the day, of course!” And I just laughed because I already loved my new crew. When I met up with Henry and excitedly recounted all of this to him, he just frowned and muttered something about a cult. “You wouldn’t understand, Henry. You had to be there,” I said dismissively. “It’s about community.” Henry looked at me, all aghast, and cried, “You don’t even like community!” Yeah, that was the OLD Erin. But now I’ve been saved now I have a crew. I even let Joe hug me and I liked it. I’m basically a hippie now.

After I got my tattoo Wednesday night, I was walking down Carson Street waiting for Henry the Chauffeur to pick me up, and one of the guys I met from the co-op walked by. “Hello!” he said cheerfully, and I was like, “OMG HI YOU REMEMBER ME!” because I have this complex where I’m certain no one ever remembers me, even less than a week later. I was so excited to tell Henry when I got in the car!

“Who!?” Henry asked. And then, “Oh.” Whatever Henry. He’s just allergic to tie-dye, I guess

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Nov 252016
 

So our fridge was slowly dying because why not? ANYTHING GOES IN 2016!   Finally last week, Henry declared, “Ok we need to get a new fridge now before we don’t have one at all” and so be picked one out but I was like THIS IS NOT INTERESTING ENOUGH and then he showed me the prices of INTERESTING FRIDGES and I was like “SO BORING FRIDGE IT IS!”

But by the time Henry finally chose one that he felt confident would fit through the narrow kitchen doorway, it was Saturday and our fridge had officially bit it.  And then when Henry went to hit the big fat ORDER button, our electricity went out and he had to wait for the computer to reboot. It was one of those things where it felt like everything was against us. 

Let me use this space to type out my millionth Thank God For Henry shout-out of the year because if I lived alone, I never would have considered “cubic feet” and if the doors can come off and switch sides so that they don’t slam against the wall when opened. WHO WOULD CONSIDER THESE THINGS?! Henry would. That’s who. 

If it were left up to me, there’d be an Erin-shaped hole in my kitchen wall right now and good luck watching TV around the too-big fridge chilling in my living room. 

So the fridge was supposed to be delivered Monday night but Best Buy waited until 8pm to leave Henry a voicemail saying that “Oh btw the fridge it out of stock, see ya Saturday!”

WHAT THE FUCK BEST BUY. 

Docile Henry called them back the next morning and got them to put us on some priority list but because it was out of stock, the best they could promise was Friday. So let’s just say we’ve been eating lots of noodles and take-out this week. 

Uh, good thing we weren’t hosting Thanksgiving up in here! LOLFOREVER. LOLCORNUCOPIA. It would have to be a “bring your own food” event. Like, all of the food. We’ll provide the chair. 

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After not having a fridge for a week, the delivery guys are finally here setting it up which means Chooch and I are hiding upstairs, giggling like hyenas. Chooch thought they left at one point and went flying down the steps only to run right into one of them, who cheerfully greeted him with a, “What’s up, buddy?” 

“Nothing,” Chooch said, before running upstairs where we cracked up together from our hiding spot in my room. 

My favorite part was when Henry was outside talking to the delivery guys and Chooch opened my bedroom window and screamed, “YOU’RE NOT MY DAD!” 

“I can just picture Henry down there with his hands on his hips, desperately wanting to help them,” I laughed. 

“Yeah like, ‘hey man I like your tools—is that an x360 WRENCH?! DId you know I was IN THE SERVICE?!'”

We are fucking dying.  Now Chooch is creeping on the staircase, recording them. 

Ok now they’re gone we came out of hiding. Henry said I should have stayed down here because one of the guys kept talking about HOW MUCH HE LOVES THE ART IN OUR HOUSE. 

HELLO THAT IS MY OWN ART HE IS TALKING ABOUT. 

Spying on the fridge delivery guy and Henry.

A video posted by Riley (@butt_jam) on

Yay, now we can go buy food! Lol, I mean yay now Henry can go buy food. And now I can hang my magnets back up!

Oh how I missed the sweet melodic hum of a fridge. 


LIVIN’ LARGE, BABY. 

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Nov 252016
 

I never get into the Black Friday festivities of fist-fighting over a microwave or leaving the house at 3am for Uggs or whatever. I don’t even know what the HOT ITEMS are these days. Because – not a grown-up.

What I am interested in is all the holiday merch and limited edition pressings that my favorite bands have been rolling out today! It’s one of the small and few pleasures I still have in life SO BACK OFF EVERYTHING ELSE SUCKS. 

I was lucky to snag a limited edition anniversary vinyl of Alexisonfire’s Crisis album (my favorite) which was no easy feat because their website kept crashing because hello Alexisonfire! Even Henry was trying to buy one. 

I drool every time I look at this. I love you, AOF. 

And then Dance Gavin Dance released their holiday bundle, which includes SALSA (their song Chucky vs the Tortoise has lyrics about pico de gallo which has spawned a ton of memes) and a COCAINE CRINGEFEST CREW NECK which is hilarious because when their album was released, everyone thought the lyrics were Cocaine Christmas and DGD was like NO IT’S CRINGEFEST and the fact they made this crew neck made me laugh so hard that I started crying and then I was just straight up sobbing because 2016 has frayed my nerves, people. FRAYED MY FUCKING NERVES. 

So happy fucking Black Friday to me, I guess. This makes up for the fact that I had to work from 6am-noon. 

If I ever find someone foolish enough to propose to me, my registry is going to be on MerchNow. 

Chooch and I were walking home from getting coffee and hot chocolate on the boulevard and I blurted out, “I’m so excited about that Alexisonfire record — did you see how beautiful it is?!”

And Chooch said earnestly, “Honestly,  no one gives a fuck.”

:(

****

In other news, we had a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving just hanging out and spending time together without fighting or trying to meet any kind of familial expectations. I’m not ruling out traditional Thanksgiving dinners in the future, but for right now, this is good. 

We ended up at Denny’s and while it mainly just had the feel of a basic, every day dinner, we laughed a lot and made fun of Henry and it just felt right, you know? Like don’t cry for us, Argentina. 


<3

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Nov 242016
 

It goes without saying, but I am thankful everyday for these two guys: my baes, my ride-or-dies, my boo-thanks, my–*barf*. You get the picture.

Today more than ever though I’m reminded of how much they’ve made my life better. When you draw a shitty hand in the game of Family, make your own. Even though we might not be doing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner thing today, at least I don’t have to spend it alone.

Also, we’re watching the Gilmore Girls marathon on Up (some Christian channel that beeps out “damn” and “hell”) and it’s the episode where Lorelei is receiving mixed reactions to marrying Christopher because everyone in Stars Hollow is like “but….Luke” and I said to Henry, “I feel like that’s what would happen to me if we broke up and I married someone else; everyone would revolt and hate me and my new husband.” And I shouldn’t have said that because now Henry is gloating.

Also pt. 2: Henry painted the wall above our fireplace mantel pink in preparation for finally hanging my Mouse Attack light! Except that there is an issue with mounting it because there are bricks behind the plaster and other things I tuned out, and also now my friend Wonka is going to help us figure out how to get the lights to work because Henry only knows how to do electrical thing, not electronic, and evidently there is a difference.

I love Thanksgiving house makeovers!

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The Mouse Attack sign:


Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving. Or, as I call it, Happy “Google search for restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving” Day!

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Nov 232016
 

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As someone who is very into haunted houses and has been keeping haunted house journals since 1995 (!!!), it was a no-brainer that I needed this tattoo when Erin from Kyklops posted her original painting of it on Instagram.

I just got it today after work and I am so smitten with it! It’s on my upper back and it’s been a long time since I got tattooed on my back so that was a nice eye-opener. (And thumb-biter.)

It took Henry fifteen minutes in three different rooms with 726397 different variations of lighting to try to take a picture, and none of them were right. So then Chooch took over and got it done in two tries because Chooch is the best. (Just ignore the fact that part of the left side is cut off and my hair is in it. I take what I can get around here.)

Anyway, now I’m stoked for next October! 

Thanks for another supremely magnificent tatttoo, Erin! And I only almost passed out once! 

 

 

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Nov 222016
 

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Shit, it’s been a hot minute since we went roller skating, thanks to my pernicious moods and “unrealistic” rink standards (according to Henry). But Chooch got invited to a birthday party at our old skate headquarters and even though it was taken over by lame-o Christians, I sucked it up and stuck around to skate it out. Sometimes you just gotta take the high road.

SO THEY SAY.

Roller DJ isn’t even there anymore. :(

Anyway, parents got to skate for free, courtesy of the birthday boy, so that made it even better – now I didn’t have to get the rink my own money! Henry claims his “foot hurt” so he opted out and I know that he wanted to just drop us off and go and run errands or whatever you call that stuff that grown-ups do but I was like “YOU CANNOT LEAVE ME HERE WHAT IF A PARENT TALKS TO ME.”

So he stayed and guess what? No parents talked to me! I must have a certain look or something. Or maybe it was just because they were so intimidated by how badass I am on skates.

(LOL, I was actually super shaky because it’s been a year since I skated last, almost!)

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Henry was really opposite-of-stoked when the DJ spun “Man in the Mirror” and he couldn’t swirl around on skates to the inspirational lyrics. 

Meanwhile, Chooch’s “nemesis” was in attendance (they love/hate each other) and she really can’t skate. She had to snail along the rink behind one of those training triangles (aka a walker with wheels) and Henry was like, “Wow, finally something that Chooch can do better than her.” And then, “I feel bad for her.”

“Pfft! I don’t! Let her suck at something for once!” I spat. 

Henry frowned. This is why kids can’t come over to Chooch’s house. 

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Riley reppin’ Riot Fest at the roller rink. 

I wanted Chooch to skate over to the lame ass DJ and dare him to play a single band listed on the back of his Riot Fest shirt. 

But instead, Chooch did something better! He requested CALL ME MAYBE! How do I have the best son in the world?! Oh yeah, because I’m the best, too! Henry was in mid-sentence when that candy-coated pop sensation started playing and I screamed “GIRL BYE” as I glided away from him like a motherfucking swan on quads. 

Henry’s used to not being able to finish his sentences though. Sometimes when we’re on the phone, I just hang up without a word when I’ve heard enough. 

The fact that there is a huge, universal pox upon 2016 was not lost on me and I had concerns that I was tempting fate by the mere act of even lacing up my skates. If ever I was going to break a limb on the rink, this could be the day. But I made it, even with all the little wheeled-terrorists out there, skating against traffic, causing bottle-necks and pile-ups, looking at their phones — I could have perished out there, but I made it out unscathed. 

I was lucky though because someone dropped their idiot locker key on the rink and I happened to see it before tripping over it and cracking my skull open. The last time I went skating, I tripped over CANDY and when I tried to tell someone about it, they made me feel like a LIAR because the evidence was supposedly GONE. Yeah, probably because it was all ground up under my skate! 

Anyway, I flagged down one of the apathetic skate guards and told him to go pick up the key. 

Literally. I was like “You have to pick it up. I’m not picking it up lol.” Because I’m too afraid to stop in the middle of the rink with all those amateurs out there! It’s like stopping in the middle of a highway. 

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to say that I have been in a huge funk and have also been feeling extremely combative on top of that. The night before this was incredibly poor, I was in a sour mood and feeling absolutely belligerent, and I had some fears that being among dummies at the skating rink would do more harm than anything good, but it turned out to be just the opposite. I had a lovely time pretending to grind my opposition and oppressors beneath the wheels of my skates to the tune of Ke$ha’s “Tic Toc” and instead of raging when Meghan Trainor came on (TWICE!), I simply exited the rink and sat on the bench in silent protest of shitty music. 

I still don’t like what that rink has become, but options are few and far between these days so I guess it’s either deal with it or skate down an abandoned street during the zombie apocalypse a la Carl and Enid. 

*****

“Wasn’t I so well-behaved?” I asked Henry before we left, and he just frowned at  me because I guess “being well-behaved” is expected and not something we should stop the earth from spinning in order to celebrate on the few occasions I do it. Whatevelyn.

Here's a minute long video of people falling on a skating rink. Not the game for me.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

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Nov 212016
 

Today was the first day of the school year that truly required a winter jacket and not the casual windbreaker Chooch has been skating by in (when he even wears a jacket at all). 

I gave myself a mom-pat for remembering to fish out his puffy winter coat before he left this morning. That entailed yanking every last article of outerwear and old purses from the closet. 

Purses I don’t even remember buying. Coats that I never wore last year because they were hidden behind purses I regret buying. So I’m tossing all this shit over my head with wild, careless abandon, like someone would do in a cartoon except this is real life and I haven’t grown up yet and was that a torn bag of Henry’s forgotten dreams and broken balls I just tossed?

Chooch was waiting behind me with a look on his face that said, “Oh god, please don’t get one of your weird ideas and send me to school wrapped in garbage bags set alight, I swear it’s not that cold. Here, I’ll just double up on the layers.”

Flaming garbage bags might be a bit extreme, but what if I MICROWAVED them for warmth?! WE DO WHAT WE HAVE TO DO TO KEEP THE COUNTY AGENCIES AT BAY, SON. 

Anyway, you can exhale now because I finally found one of his old red puffy coats in the back of the closet, entangled in an octopus of Erin’s Impulse Buys. 

“Here, put  this on,” I panted, worn out from all the last minute mothering. I began kicking and punching things back into the closet (but not everything because I wanted to leave some shit strewn about for Henry to put away because why should I have to do it all); when I turned around, I found Chooch standing like a scarecrow, completely stuffed into what turned out to be his coat from first grade. The arms stopped at his elbows and he looked like he was doing a juvenile impersonation of Fat Man in a Tiny Jacket. The look on his face was one of sadness and also disappointment in his mom’s lack of maternal savvy.

But then my eyes floated over his shoulder and I saw, laid out like a dead man’s suit, his actual puffy jacket! Henry had beat us to the punch and plucked the coat out of the closet for us, draping it over the wheelchair like a beautiful yet smug YOU’RE WELCOME, clearly anticipating either a hysterical phone call from me or one later from the school social worker. 

Chooch sighed in relief, peeled the tiny coat from his husky 10-year-old frame, and easily shrugged into the proper coat. I even made sure he had a hat and gloves! (The gloves didn’t match but when do they ever?!)

Thank god Chooch has two moms. 

*******

At least I didn’t let him go to school the way he tried to leave the house on Saturday, in shorts, no shoes, and an unbuttoned shirt:

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Nov 192016
 

I had been tossing around the idea of attending this year’s Four Chord festival because I can always use a good music festival in my life, but I was mostly interested in seeing all of the smaller bands. I don’t know why, but somehow in the last 10 years, Mayday Parade has not managed to charm me, so I knew for sure if I went, I wouldn’t be staying for the whole thing.

But then my work friend Debby came over to my desk one day last month and was all, “Hey, you know how mu niece is dating that guy in that band? Well, they’re playing—-”

“Four Chord Music Festival!” I enthusiastically blurted, because as soon as someone broaches the topic of music, I go from nodding off to be super-caffeinated/high-alert/auctioneer-voiced.

Long story short, Debby said that she would ask him if he could get me tickets, because she lets the band crash at her house when they’re in town. And he said yes! And Henry said, “That’s great but I’m not going!” but man, even though I would have to go alone, this was something I needed in my life right then, you know? Alone time with music. It was going to be fine.

I wasn’t sure if Debby was going to give me physical tickets, or if this was going to be a name on the list type of thing, but then she went on vacation before everything was ironed out and I was low-key panicking. But then the day before the show, she got my number from a co-worker and said that everything was OK, just go to will-call and I’d be fine.

So last Sunday, on the way to Chooch’s piano lesson, Henry dropped me off at Xtaza. Henry’s kind of like a soccer mom these days, you know? Dropping me and Chooch off here and there and then getting to spend his child-free time at the grocery store.

So, I get to the window. Doors opened about 30 minutes prior to my arrival, so there wasn’t a huge line. Just a few people behind me. A few people behind me who got to hear me TOTALLY GET SHOT DOWN.

The ticket guy was so smirk-y about it too. “Nope,” he said, flipping through the list. “No Erin Kelly.”

I just quickly said, “OHOKTHX” and then dipped on out. 2016 has taken away every last bit of fight I had left in me, so I wasn’t even about to try and argue or even smooth talk my way in.

Instead, I texted Debby that there were no tickets for me, and then sat on a loading dock, trying not to cry. This was the worst scenario for someone like me: I’m a nervous wreck about EVERYTHING plus I was there ALONE and now I just looked like some washed-up groupie who thought she was entitled to free entry.

I was preparing to just pay my way in when Debby replied to me and said that she texted her niece’s boyfriend and he said that my name should have been on the list and that he was going to talk to the promoter, and told her to tell me to stay there, that they were on their way.

So I continued to sulk outside of Xtaza, while all of these people walked by on their way to Four Chord and I was so sad because they were all there with friends and not LONERS LIKE ME.

Anyway, Debby advised me to try again in a few minutes, so I waited for TWENTY minutes because I was so nervous that it was going to happen again and I didn’t want to be that asshole! The ticket guy sighed when he saw me, because he knew that my name was now on the list. There was another guy there with him this time, possibly the promoter, who laughed and said, “Pays to be persistent!” as the ticket guy grudgingly scratched out my name and mumbled about getting a wristband at the door.

KTHXBYEEEEE.

God, that felt satisfying!

It was 1:00PM at this point, and I had missed the first band, but whatever. I needed time to gather my bearings since I hadn’t been to this club probably since 2008, when it was Club Zoo. Henry and I used to go to a ton of shows there back when it was Metropol, especially back before Mr. Small’s was around to provide a much better show experience. Xtaza is just way too nightclubby for my liking. It’s hard to get a good spot, the balcony is VIP now (it used to just be 21+ back when it was Metropol) and it’s fucking cold as shit in there. I kept my jacket zipped all the way up to my chin and I was still shivering.

The place was still pretty empty when I got there, since it was so early and most people probably were only interested in the main, national acts that were playing after 6pm. It went straight to the bar because my nerves are sometimes popping off when I’m alone at a show, and I was having a hard time adjusting to the darkness of the venue and couldn’t shake the disorientation I was feeling. But, even just ordering something at the bar proved to be a challenge for my high-anxiety self. I didn’t want liquor and I couldn’t see what beers they had, so I panicked and ordered a YUENGLING because that’s what the guy next to me had and I DON’T LIKE THAT KIND OF BEER. So then I went and stood by the railing and had to discreetly hold my nose while I took large sips because I just wanted it to be over.

This is what I was doing while Smile My Dear was playing on the main stage. They were OK! Nice, local pop punk. I was feeling it.

I was thankful that the transition from main stage to second stage was smooth and painless. You basically just turned around and walked a few feet and then you were at the smaller stage set up by the entrance. And there was only about 5 minutes in between each band, which was a blessing because it meant less downtime for me to stand around awkwardly looking like I was lost and maybe crying.

The first band I saw on the second stage was Check Engine Light from Long Island and I loved them lots like tater tots! I started excitedly texting Henry about them and he was like “Ok.”

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It was during their set when I started to calm down a bit and just really let the music do its thing. I was determined to make the most of my day alone, to not let anyone ruin the vibe, and to keep an open mind with every band there (ugh even the two ska bands which I did not like but I won’t say that they SUCKED because I just really don’t like ska so my opinion is biased).

Immediately following Check Engine Light was In Your Memory and I was heart-eyes right from the start. They reminded me a bit of Nonpoint and letlive. and I giddily sent Henry a video.

“Who’s that” was his response and I don’t know why he bothers to ask because HE TRULY DOES NOT CARE.

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In Your Memory 💗

A video posted by Erin (@ohhonestlyconcerts) on

Skashank Redemption was up next on the second stage and I will admit that I did not move from my spot because I JUST DON’T LIKE SKA. I can’t really put my finger on it but I think it’s just that it’s too happy and trumpet-y? I don’t know. The Jamaica Ska scene in Back to the Beach is THE ONLY PART OF BACK TO THE BEACH I DON’T LIKE.

So no, I don’t endorse this band.

But the next band to play on the main stage won my heart: Look Out Loretta from Jeanette PA. I was already looking forward to seeing them based on their band name, which is something that Mike Lange uses after a Penguins goal  FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO AREN’T PENS FANS, BOO.

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<iframe style=”border: 0; width: 100%; height: 120px;” src=”https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/track=4199829923/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/” seamless>WKND GTWY by Look Out Loretta

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I really liked these guys a lot, a lot, a lot! Which is weird because I don’t like the any of the bands listed on their Bandcamp under the “for fans of” section, lol. You just never know with me. It depends on my mood.

After them was Worst Kept Secret from West Virginia. They were metal and I enjoyed it but I know that Henry would have hated them. I need metal in my life here and there, you know?

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I was really looking forward to Modern Chemistry because we saw them at Riot Fest in 2015 and I vaguely remember liking them but also I think we were eating good donuts during their set too so I could be projecting my donut euphoria on their music? The Four Chord program said they sound like Circa Survive, and I for sure would have remembered if they sounded like Circa Survive.

As soon as they started playing, I was able to confirm that no, they don’t sound like Circa Survive. But I did like them a lot! They were very pleasing alt-rock and I wish they had gotten a longer set time, but it was still enough to leave a memorable impression on my dumb brain.

However, I listened to them on Spotify the next day and it didn’t resonate as much with me as it did live.

Here’s a sampling of Look Out Loretta and Modern Chemistry, which you would know if you just read the caption of the Instavid, but here I am doing the work for you:

Head Injuries was next on the small stage but I wasn’t feeling them so I went back over to where I was standing by the main stage, and that’s when I realized that this was like the third time that day that I kept accidentally standing next to someone’s dad, like I was subconsciously missing Henry or something.

Patent Pending was next and this was another band that, on paper, I should not have liked at all because they were PURE POP ROCK. I realize that I was at a festival that specialized in pop rock, but I am pretty picky with that genre. I tend to lean more toward the serious pop punk bands….or maybe that’s not the best way to explain it. Maybe I should say that it’s the joke-y pop punk bands I don’t like. I enjoy The Wonder Years, State Champs, Real Friends….bands of that ilk. I’m probably speaking an alien language to you right now, but together, we can get through this dirty toilet bowl of a blog post. We’re almost there!

This was the first time, four hours in almost, that a band spoke up about the election. The singer was basically like, “I want to believe that we’re all on the same side here, and none of you look like douchebags, so….” Political stance aside, these guys were incredibly entertaining and I did all the things they told us to do and if you know me at all, you know that I won’t go through the motions of jumping or doing jazz hands unless I’m a true fan of the band telling me to do these things because I’m 37 fucking years old and sometimes a bitch just wants to lean against a railing and causally nod her head.

But yeah, they had me doing all the things because their energy was infectious. INFECTIOUS. And then they had a song about not putting off your dreams any longer and I was like THIS IS A SIGN and I felt so inspired and stoked and once again grateful for Debby getting me into this damn thing.

Whoever would thought I would like a band that sings about Mario and douchebags. This band was A+, would see again. They were so much fun!

Finally though, it was time for Let It Happen! I was really excited to see them because anytime there is any connection like this one with Debby and her niece, I get so interested.

I have to say that out of all the bands who had previously played that day, Let It Happen was the most fashonable. This was my first impression. My second impression was that they are really funny and have good banter. My third impression was that they are LEGIT! How are they not more well-known?! According to their bio, they’ve been around since 2009 but I never heard of them until last year when Wendy was all, “Haha, some band is staying at Debby’s house, you have to ask her about it!” and it turns out they were actually playing a Hit the Lights show that night that I hade been considering going to because Tiny Moving Parts were also playing and I love Tiny Moving Parts and am I losing you again?

SORRY, I GET ALL TANGENTICAL.

But guys, I urge you to listen to Let It Happen!

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They’re from Cincinnati and said that Pittsburgh is prettier, so LOL Christina.

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They had some very die-hard fans in the crowd, so that was fun to watch. I would for sure go see them again, and now I’m kicking myself for not going to the Speak Low If You Speak Love show they played at last month at Smiling Moose, because that would have been a beautiful venue to see them at. I love Smiling Moose. I do not love Xtaza. Xtaza is cold.

They were totally worth enduring a day alone among strangers.

Eternal Boy was next and it was big deal because the singer—Rishi—is the guy who organized Four Chord. Eternal Boy used to be the Space Pimps which is a band that pretty much anyone who was even remotely a part of the local Pittsburgh scene over the last decade should have least heard of. And again, another band that I might have been quick to dismiss if there was an option to see a different band on another stage, but I’m REALLY GLAD there wasn’t because they were great. Rishi at one point was like, “I have a mic and you don’t” and went on to voice his disdain for the current state of things, and then dedicated the next song to minorities, LGBTQ, women, and anyone who feels at risk, and then apologized on behalf of this idiotic country, at which point I lost my shit and just sobbed like a baby because I’m a woman and probably about to be on my period.

Right guys?

Any band whose tag line is “music for the nostalgic and broken-hearted” is right up my alley.

Keep Flying was the last band to play on the small stage and they were mildly ska-ish but I tried! Oh lord, did I try. I also tried to buy a fucking Four Chord shirt but the credit card thing wasn’t working by then so it was cash only and HENRY ONLY GAVE ME $15. And that was just because there was supposedly a food truck outside just for Four Chord but then there was no re-entry, so…..?

By this point it was after 6. I watched a little bit of Hawthorne Heights for old time’s sake but shit, I was so cold that I was actually shivering and standing with my hands tucked under my armpits like I was some kind of bro, and I was beginning to get dizzy because I was hungry and I can’t even just be hungry without a side of MAJOR DRAMA AND THEATRICS. So Henry and Chooch came and got me and we went to Eat n Park where I ordered the salad bar and ate with my jacket on because I COULD NOT WARM UP.

I had so much adrenaline coursing through me for the next several hours, as I excitedly recounted to Henry and Chooch all of the bands I saw that day, but then 9:00 rolled around and I was so exhausted that I couldn’t even watch The Walking Dead.

What a great day. <3

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Nov 182016
 

I’ve been avoiding bullet pointing on here because the format always gets wonky and words smoosh together after I hit publish, but bulleting just feels right tonight. My brain’s got nothing more to give than thought blurbs. So let’s do this together. I’ll type and then you read. That’s the only way this relationship is going to work.

  • Adele’s “Send My Love” was on when I got in the car on Sunday. Henry admitted that he could never figure out what she says during the chorus. “Right……here!” Henry cried when the part in question came on. “You mean, ‘Send my love to your new lover? Treat her better?'” Chooch and I pretty much answered in sync. “Oh….I though it was “Send my love to your new left hand bag.” God, Henry.
  • There was some gross blood drive happening, which spurned a conversation between Lauren and me about needles and how awful they are. “Tattoo needles don’t bother me at all, though,” I mused. “I guess because I know afterward, I’m leaving with something I want.” “Hepatitis?” Glenn piped up at his desk behind me. I HATE WHEN HE LISTENS TO MY CONVERSATIONS UGH.
  • Look, I liked Bernie too but now that everything is over I feel like I have to be honest and tell you that I hated, and I mean HATED, his campaign slogan. “Feel the Bern” does not sound pleasant or motivating to me whatsoever. I makes me think that someone has a STD and their dick has burning sensations.

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  • Holiday cards are in full effect! Which means Henry’s been working his ass off. Being co-owner of a greeting card company is hard work, you guys.
  • Henry texted me while I was at work yesterday. His text said, “Can we talk?” and I quickly responded with, “No, Tevin. No, I can’t.” He was like, “WHO IS TEVIN*” so I let him stew on that for a bit before sighing and explaining that Tevin Campbell is an American R&B singer who had a big hit in the mid-90s with his song, a BET classic, “Can We Talk?” File this under: Shanice Likes Your Smile.
    • *Actually, Henry was using “talk to text” so what he really asked, and I’m quoting directly from my phone: “What is Kevin Log Cabin Tavern tea heaven.”
  • During one of my neverending social rants to Henry, I told him that it’s not even that I’m like some crunchy hippie who wants to give the world a great big hug; in fact, I dislike pretty much all people the same. Like, just don’t talk to me when I’m standing in line for the trolley or washing my hands in a public restroom, I don’t care who you are. Unless you’re in a band. However, this doesn’t mean that I want anyone to have their rights taken from them and I have cried so much lately over HUMANS that I’m worried I’m starting to become one myself.
    • Um also, I won’t ever judge a person based on their skin color, sexuality, religion, etc, but I will judge you on your actions. So if you’re like the asshole on the trolley with me yesterday who turned his snot into a disgusting, bubbling instrument, then you can fuck right off.

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  • I’ll judge cole slaw with a quickness though. We went to Bob’s Diner in Castle Shannon last Saturday night and had wet cole slaw. #girlbye
  • So we’re in the process of buying a new fridge but I felt that the one Henry is settling on isn’t interesting enough, so he was like “LET ME SHOW THE PRICES OF INTERESTING FRIDGES.” Ugh, get fucked Henry. GET FUCKED WITH A PLAIN DILDO.
  • Chooch ran for secretary of chorus and lost to a girl who JUST JOINED CHORUS THIS YEAR when this is Chooch’s THIRD YEAR! And curiously, president and publicist went to two other girls who are like BFFs so you tell me if you think this election was RIGGED.
    • FUCK!!!!

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  • BRB looking at pictures of Obama and crying.
  • I just now watched a live Facebook announcement from my friends Elaine and Tery – they’re eloping and I’m so happy for them! Henry saw that I commented “I’m crying!” and he said, “No you’re not—-oh. Yes, you are.” Ugh, I might be ambivalent toward people in general but man do I love it when my friends are happy. <3
  • We were in the car last night and Chooch was asking annoying math questions and I was like DO YOU THINK ANYONE HAS EVER SNAPCHATTED A MURDER and Henry was just like, slowly dying at the wheel. Now you know what it is like to be in a car with us.

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  • We’ve been seeing so much of Blake and Haley lately and I love it, but no one loves it more than Chooch. My lord. They came over last Saturday, so Chooch got back-to-back evenings of playing games with adults.

Chooch conned people into playing games with him twice this weekend so far–he's on cloud nine right now.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

  • I am always cold at work (they don’t call me Heartless for nothing, yo) but it was especially frigid there one day last week. SO COLD that when I got my print job off the printer, it felt so deliciously warm in my hands that I held it up to my cheek and throatily murmured, “This paper feels so nice and warm.” Glenn and Todd were like, completely disgusted by this.
  • Since tonight is Light Up Night in Pittsburgh, Amber1 hung up a string of Xmas lights on her desk so I was like GOD OK FINE I’LL DECORATE TOO STOP NAGGING UGH. I used to have a little tree which I decorated with Jonny Craig ornaments but fuck Jonny Craig and fuck Xmas trees! So instead, I just laid out some voodoo Santas and my old garland of Glenns. And obviously my Jesus pen that I bought at Christ in Smokies:

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  • My aunt loved Bon Jovi. The fact that they released an album called This House Is Not For Sale the same year my aunt died and we lost my grandparents house because of her is not lost on me. Weird fucking coincidence.
  • Speaking of family, this year has been so disgusting that I’m trying to convince Henry to just take us away for Christmas. I don’t want to see anyone. I just want to eat high quality ice cream and chill with Henry and Chooch. They are all I need.

  • My mood for the last couple weeks. ^^^^ FUCK WITH ME.
  • Woke up nauseous: pregnant, or Christmas music on the radio?
    • Speaking of, last week Octavia innocently asked me what my favorite Christmas song and I was like NONE!!! FUCK XMAS!!! but really that was just misguided anger because, you know, 2016. I really am not a big Christmas fan and holiday music generally does irritate me, but then this morning I heard some version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Xmas” and so I texted her and told her that one, that’s my favorite. Because every version I’ve ever heard has made me feel sad, and y’all know this emo queen stays youthful by drinking her own tears. I have two vivid memories of this song though, and both are from elementary school:
      • one is playing this song on my old Casio keyboard in the basement over and over because I was a self-taught keyboardist which means I played with one hand and only knew like 6 songs.
      • the second is from the 1985 Days of Our Lives holiday episode when Liz sings it OH MY GOD I’M CRYING.
        • Everything always goes back to Days of Our Lives, somehow. It was a prominent aspect of my childhood.

  • I’m obsessed with the Joe Biden memes just like everyone else, but when someone merged it with a common Dance Gavin Dance meme, I literally rolled off the couch, onto my knees, and raised my hands to Kevin Log Cabin Tavern tea heaven.
  • Henry asked me where some restaurant is downtown and somehow didn’t know exactly where I meant when I said, “I think it’s right near where the guy with the bomb detonator sometimes stands.” 16 years in, and he still expects to get coherent answers to directional inquiries. What a dreamer.
    • Related: I asked Henry what kinds of girls he likes and he said obviously annoying ones.
    • Also related: on the way to Cleveland last week, Henry randomly tried to tell me about some bitch he had a crush on when he was in 6th grade and I was like, “THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT I’M THE ONLY ONE YOU’VE EVER HAD A CRUSH ON, BOY.”
      • BRB, casually rifling through Henry’s lefthand bag for incriminating receipts, condoms, pregnancy tests, marriage certificates.
  • I see you, Craig Owens. AND I LIKE IT:

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND. USE BIG WORDS TO CONFUSE YOUR ENEMIES BUT DON’T USE ARTIFICIAL SWEETNER, PER DR. OZ. UNLESS YOUR PUTTING THE SWEETNER IN YOUR ENEMIES’ EYES.

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Nov 172016
 

I revisit this Hands Like Houses song a lot, but it seems especially relevant lately. If the lyrics resonate with you, then we’re on the same team. <3

Love,

Liberal Whiner

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Nov 162016
 

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Here is my Obligatory School Picture post! Every year, I’m ever so thankful that he smiled normally and didn’t pull that weirdo chipmunk face he loves so much. 

Fifth grade has been going much better than fourth grade (KNOCK ON WHATEVER WOODEN ANNIVERSARY GIFT I’D HAVE GOTTEN IF HENRY MARRIED ME FIVE YEARS AGO). However, it’s been the year of girls girls girls and I’m like “Can we slow down?” I mean, he doesn’t give a shit about anything other than being a brainiac and watching YouTube videos, but these girls, man! They are relentless. 

 I get Chooch’s Instagram notifications on my phone. I want to say it’s because I’m a watchful mother, but really it’s because he wanted an Instagram account years ago and didn’t have his own phone, so he used mine and we’d just swap back and forth between accounts. 

There’s this one girl who is friends with his buddy Dimajio, and it started with harmless tagging in kumbaya-type memes.  So I started looking through her shit because that’s what I do, creep on the internet, and I saw that she was flat out posting pictures with captions that professed her LOVE for Chooch, etc etc, and was even writing a story about him—nothing gross, but she didn’t know how to spell out cat Penelope’s name so if you’re ever at my house and you hear us call her Pelonpe, now you know why. 

So last night, she tagged him in some dumb meme, and then I noticed that her next picture was of herself and the caption was something like “I’m about to ask out my crush, send advice please.”

So I’m like NO OH GOD NO. She and I already exchanged words several weeks ago because my phone was blowing up while Chooch was at piano; she was sending all these messages about how other girls at her school were telling her that he’s dating THEM and one of them was like “we’re linked up like a chain” and that just sent me over the edge so I was like THIS IS HIS MOM (oh yes I went there) and he’s not dating anyone because he’s TEN, so…

And this girl was all, “if this is really his mom, you’re really pretty” because clearly I make him post pictures of us on Instagram so all his lame friends can see how awesome RILEY’S MOM is. #vanity

So then I was like, “AW OMG HENRY LOOK” and Henry was all “STAY FOCUSED.”

Good advice, Hank. 

So Chooch gets a message request from some sock puppet account that’s supposed to be Dimajio or something, but hello GIRL I see you:

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I had to call Chooch over and he was like tell her I like [girl at his school] but I didn’t want to turn this into An Ordeal and then the next thing you know, she’s assaulting Chooch’s actual crush with a sockful of Chuck E Cheese tokens. 

Then a message comes from Girl’s actual account:

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I was like, “Chooch get your ass over here and deal with this shit” and he said “Nah, I’m good.”

#%^*+!?!*%#

So then I was like “WELL TELL ME WHAT TO SAY” and Chooch was like TELL HER ALL OF THESE DISPARAGING THINGS and I couldn’t do that!! So I went with my gut and said “I like you as a friend. I don’t want a gf.”

And she was all “I thought you hated me??? You’re always so mean to me when you’re around Dimajio” and I was like, “Chooch! Is this true?!”

“Well, she’s pretty annoying, so…”

Ugh! So then I had to have a refresher course on how he needs to be nice to girls, even the annoying ones, for gods sake. 

I thought it was over, but today when I was at work, she asked him out AGAIN! This time she phrased it differently just in case that made a difference. 

My work friends were ON THE EDGES OF THEIR SEATS as the saga continued. 

So I had to tell her again that I, I mean Chooch, wasn’t interested in her in that way, sorry. I made sure that I didn’t word it in a way that would give her hope and I definitely didn’t use a sad face or anything because Chooch would never try to sugarcoat these things. 

She said she “understands,” and I hope that her understanding doesn’t expire after 24 hours again and that she’s not planning on breaking into our house and boiling Pelonpe. 

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