Aug 302016
 

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After proving that Chooch & I can be trusted to make it through a day alone at Kennywood, we decided to try it again this summer too. SPOILER: we made it again!

So this was last Tuesday when this shining example of bravery of Big Kid Pants went down. I took the day off work so that Chooch and I could get one last totally excellent day out of the quickly waning summer, and it was beautiful. The weather, the company, the crowd-level—the whole day was just so fucking GOOD.

(Except for Henry not being able to make oh there, but whatevelyn–we persevered without his calloused hand to hold.)

(Sorry, Henry, but somehow Chooch and I seem to get along better when you’re not around — probably because we’re not fighting for your attention. Sigh.)

We elbowed and shoved past a gaggle of shambling elder-zombies who were bottle-necking the damn entrance. Like, run guys! IT’S KENNYWOOD! Ugh, I hate people who aren’t in a hurry.

The first ride we went on was the Phantom’s Revenge, where I was reminded by the amused yet moderately concerned looks given to me by the guys in front of us that I am a fucking fool on this coaster. I don’t know why I even bother riding it because it feels like a death wish every time! But then it pulls back to the station and I’m like, “FUCK YEAH, I’M SO GLAD I SUGGESTED THAT WE RIDE THIS!” And Chooch is like, “Cool let’s go on again!” and I’m like, “Maybe next year.”

We did end up going on it again later and I think I sincerely alarmed the mom and young girl in front of us. My mouth man, I can’t stop what comes out of it on some of these rides.

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This kid was in front of for the Exterminator and I couldn’t imagine why his parents were yelling at him for swinging on the railings and being generally spastic until Chooch finally said, “I think he’s alone” and then we panicked that he would try to ride with us, like that time we got saddled with some weird little kid on Delgrosso’s version of the Exterminator who wasn’t tall enough to ride without an adult, but thank god the ride attendants sent him off alone in his own car, BON VOYAGE MOTHERFUCKER.

I love that Chooch is at an age where he too dislikes children.

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Noah’s Ark brought the whale back and changed a bunch of the interior which is a huge improvement but I can barely remember what it used to be like, so yay!

Stoked to be in a whale’s mouth or to be behind that striped ass? Only Chooch knows.

One thing didn’t change though: Chooch and I were giddy as fuck up in that ark. How can you not be? God, dark rides are just the best. I wish I was in charge of Kennywood. I would put in at least two more. Maybe have someone recreate the old Castle Dracula from Wildwood and 100% rebuild La Cachot so we could have new generations of devious children calling it the Lick-a-Shit like they invented it.

OK new life goal: OWN A DAMN AMUSEMENT PARK.

Don’t fuckin’ judge me, Noah!

Then it was Turtle Time!

Some mom-type turned to me in line for the Turtles and asked, “Are you guys having fun?”

Wow, how nice, I thought. That this stranger-mom cared about our fun quotient.

But it turned out she mistook us to belong with the school group that was there on a field trip.

“WE’RE THE CHARTER BUS 16 GROUP FROM MRS. BLAHBLAH’S CLASS!” the chattiest of the children said to me, like it was some sort of BRAG or something. Like, cool story, IDGAF?

Meanwhile, the chaperone had completely turned her back on us once it was revealed that Chooch and I were just commoners and not part of some stupid field trip.

That kid kept talking to me and finally Chooch was like, “MOMMY STOP TRYING TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH KIDS OMG.”

Well sorry that no one my own age wanted to talk to me!

 

Seriously though, we get such a fucking kick out of the Turtle and if you ever wanted to see Chooch and me in our true forms, this would be a good time. We practically choke and gag on our laughter but then Chooch unfailingly gets too close to the opening of the turtle and I start screaming, “MOVE OVER! YOU’RE GOING TO FALL OUT!” and he’s like, “OH, OK ‘MOM'” and then we start cracking up again and that’s when we start to notice that no one else around us seems to be consumed by our level of hysteria, so what are they doing wrong!?

Oh Christ, I started to lose my voice before we even made it through the first hour. I’m a fucking hyena at these places.

Guys, oh guys, let me tell you a story about this little old ride called Enterprise. It looks like a Ferris wheel laying on its side but then it starts spinning and before you know it, you are upside down and nothing has you strapped down! I have always loved this ride and I think it’s because it’s one of the first grown-up rides I rode on my own as a child and I felt like such a fucking bad ass.

But this one time, pre-third grade, I was at Kennywood with my friend Kristen and her family. I do not remember a single other thing about this day except riding the Enterprise with Kristen, and as I exited the car, it swung back and caught me on the back of my heel.

And it fucking killed, man.

I vaguely remember not being very comfortable with Kristen’s family so I didn’t want to cry in front of them, so I tried to downplay it but I was bleeding through the back of my (ruffled) sock. They must not have deemed it necessary for a trip to the first aid shack, because I have a VIVID memory of going back to  my house in South Park and having to soak my socked foot in the bathtub because my sock had adhered to the exposed wound thanks to the CONGEALED BLOOD.

It took so long for that cut to heal too, because of its location.

Now this ride is called the Volcano and it’s almost always closed — apparently they were having a hard time finding a part that they needed to repair it? Maybe I dreamt that? I’m not the Kennywood Insider, for fuck’s sake.

When we saw that it was actually opened, Chooch cried, “OMG I finally get to ride it?!”

People around us in line are always so jealous of our glamour lives.

When we boarded our desired car, Chooch tensed up.

“This is it? We just….sit here? There isn’t a seatbelt or a harness or CHAINS TO HOLD US DOWN WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.”

I tried to explain that it was science-y physics centifiblahblah something or other, oh just shut up and enjoy the ride, my child!

Oh man, even the WHIRRING SOUND of this damn thing takes me back to better days, when people were losing pocket change on the Flying Carpet and the Pirate Ship didn’t literally make me seasick.

Our day was off to a great start, and I know this because we made it AT LEAST three hours before calling Henry!

****

This is taking me so long to write, because if we’re being frank here, I AM STALLING. I know that technically the calendar says we have a few more weeks of summer, but let’s be real: summer is done. School’s back in session. This day was our last hurrah and as soon as I put it in words, that’s it–the last thread of summer is going to be yanked from my soul.

Ugh. I’ll be back with tales of Lemon Equality and JOHNNY’S SISTER OOH LA LA.

 

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Aug 292016
 

First day of fifth grade, how did it come to this? I literally have to do nothing now in terms of getting him ready for school. Like, I wake him up. That’s it. No more micromanaging.

His friend Dimajio arrived early so they could play Xbox, just like last year, so at least some things are the same. Omg I’m going to start crying on the trolley.
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“Let’s try to go the whole year without the school calling,” I said to Chooch, hugging him goodbye on the sidewalk.

Dimajio laughed. “Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to happen!”

Ugh, me either.

This concludes the obligatory “how did my kid get so old/where did the time go/lets go back five years” post. :(

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Aug 282016
 

Today was decidedly much better than yesterday even though I woke up on the exact same side of the bed so who even knows.

It started with good Anthony Green coffee, which Henry didn’t serve me in the intended cup it came with but don’t worry because I yelled at him to get back into the kitchen and make that right.
 

While I drank my Anthony Green coffee, Henry and I watched a documentary about Missy Franklin and Kara Lynn Joyce and I cried all my makeup off. (I’m not over the Olympics, wah.)

Then, after fixing my makeup, I had a reunion-type lunch with my friend Spring, who was a great friend of mine growing up but we lost touch after high school. Catching up with her gave me life!

Later in the afternoon, I collected Henry and Chooch and we went TO THE MALL which is always depressing because this is 2016 and I’m in a mall, but also because it looks like the zombie apocalypse every time we go there: more weeds sprouting through the cracks in the unused parking lot, more stores closed – scratch that, ENTIRE WINGS closed, and obviously barely any other human beings in sight.

But, there’s a Journeys there and we needed to get Chooch new shoes for school (tomorrow is the first day!).

“I hope SAM is there,” I said obsessively, which would have sounded more appropriate if I had braces too.

“Who’s Sam?” Henry asked, and I got really angry that he didn’t know.

THE MANAGER AT JOURNEYS WHO LIKES DANCE GAVIN DANCE!” I cried. Ugh, try to keep up, Henry.

Anyway, Sam was there! I tried to play it cool and decided to just go my standard route of trying to blend into Henry’s non-descript shirt and not say a word.

“I like your shoes,” Sam said of my pink TOMS.

“THANKS YOU SOLD THEM TO ME,” I said, robotically probably. (BRB, It’s Britney Bitch is performing on the VMAs right now and I already sat through 79898 Beyoncé songs waiting for this.)

“I remember…Dance Gavin Dance, right?”

Henry’s eyes had rolled so far into his head that he was looking back into his SERVICE DAYS.

I was fanning my heart though because MUSIC CONNECTIONS are the best connections for me.

Meanwhile, Chooch’s wide ass cinder block Barney Rubble feet couldn’t find anything to squeeze into. I had suddenly become Cinderella’s stepmother and was trying to force him into being OK with the Vans hightops currently making him wince, but Henry stepped in and declared it a miserable fail and said we would have to go somewhere else that had a bigger kid selection, so we didn’t get to give Sam a sale and I was SO ANGRY.

I should have just bought myself a pair of shoes. I’m so dumb.

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And then came ice cream, and my fat ass DGAF that it was twice in one weekend because it was so fucking hot out and I NEEDED IT.

Henry’s akimbo for that ice cream bimbo.

Came home and painted a ham sandwich because bitch I said I would.

“Mama Cass Vibes.” I told Henry to hang it up but it’s mysteriously still sitting on the coffee table so I’m not sure if he’s leaving me a message or what.

I’ve been drinking this Clown Shoes beer for literally three hours while watching the VMAs. I can’t chug that shit like I can chug wine, y’all.

These VMAs are such a fucking parody, I can’t stand it.

This whole day was soundtracked by the new Carly Rae Jepsen “Side B” bonus record that was released on Friday. My god, it’s pastel-tinged 1980s vibes.

He never wants to cry-y-y-y-y….or does he? #carlyraejepsen

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

I honestly don’t know how she is, but she makes the most perfect 80s pop and there are days when I think back to seeing her last winter and I just start crying because I love her so much — don’t ever change, CRJ!

And now Sunday is nearly over, and I have way less brain cells thanks to the VMAs. Thanks, MTV! At least I got to see Michael Phelps!

ETA: the VMAs managed to end on a high note. I love Rihanna so much and Drake made it through traffic in time to present her with the Vanguard award and I really thought he was going to PROPOSE. C’MON DRAKE!!

 

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Aug 272016
 

Today has been pretty miserable, so miserable that I DIDNT EVEN WANT TO LEAVE THE HOUSE FOR ICE CREAM. (Don’t worry, Henry brought it back for me.)

I was laying on the couch being miserable and I kept telling Henry to please turn the channel because 2 Broke Girls was on and I’m sorry but every single voice was sodomizing me and I just couldn’t handle it for one moment more while Henry was slowly scanning the cable guide menu thing so I grabbed the remote and blindly put it on the first thing I saw which was a Mamas and Papas special on WQED – you know the kind of special, where they show a truncated documentary about the band, spliced with YOUR DONATION MAKES A DIFFERENCE!!! interruptions, where they try to wow you with a CD set that can be yours for the GENEROUS DONATION OF $256.

I love these things. We recently watched one on the Carpenters and I was in some weird 1960s fugue state for the next 6 days.

KEEP QUALITY TV ALIVE!

Thanks to Michelle Phillips, I fell down the Knots Landing rabbit hole. That was one of the shows I watched when I was a kid in the 80s, thinking it made me so cool and sophisticated because it was a grown-up show (along with Falcons Crest and Hunter, obvi). I remember watching some comedian on an HBO special at my Pappap’s house; he did lots of sight gags and pantomiming, etc, most of which went right over my head, until he tied knots in several pieces of ropes and tossed them in the air.

As they landed on the ground, he looked at the audience and said, “Knots landing.”

I thought it was the funniest shit ever, mostly because finally, I understood a thing he was doing.

Actually, I was just thinking about this guy at work a few weeks ago and asked Glenn if he knew who I was talking about because Glenn is old but he said no and that’s because Glenn doesn’t like humor.

[ETA: Bob Nelson! His name is Bob Nelson. Henry is better at Googling than me. My searches are too narrow. I’d get fired for that at work. WORK JOKE, YOU WON’T GET IT. (Actually, that’s not a joke.)]

(ETAx2: it was balloons, not ropes.)

Naturally, I had to look up the Knots Landing opening theme on YouTube, at which point my Joan van Arc hatred was reignited.

Fuck that bitch.

“When are they going to get the part where she dies?” I asked Henry, referring to Mama Cass, obviously.

“Um….the end?”

Once they got to the 1970s portion of the biopic, every time they would start a sentence with, “And then Mama Cass—” I would rush to say, “CHOKED ON A HAM SANDWICH!”

“That’s not really how she died,” Henry sighed.

“Yes it is. That’s how I drew the Mama Cass Glenn at work, so….”

So then it got to the part where Michelle Phillips nonchalantly talks about how Cass calls her one night after a show and is all, “OMG I’M SO HAPPY” and how surprising it was to hear the next day that Cass had died—

“EATING A HAM SANDWICH!!!” I cried as Michelle calmly said, “—in her sleep.”

Henry gave me a disappointed frown.

“Yeah, in her sleep, on a ham sandwich,” I argued.

“That’s not true, that’s just a rumor that the fat shamers started,” Henry sighed.

“No, here, I’ll google it—OK yeah, it says it’s an urban legend but that’s just because they’re trying to preserve her pride,” I explained.

By the end of the show, Michelle Phillips is talking about how she’s the only one left and—-

“Michelle Phillips killed them all! Michelle Phillips is the ham sandwich!” I screamed.

“Did you just tweet that out?” Henry asked, basically all of his energy drained by this point. You would think he would be used to my obsessive latching-on to the small things by now.

Like when I became obsessed with freeing some guy who went to some island and got accused of killing of a person and he totally didn’t do it because he was so handsome but this was like 2009 and I can’t remember what island or who he killed, or you know, his name.

But anyway, remember when Henry said “tweet that out”? God, what an ElderDork.

“I wonder why Cass’s daughter never sang?” Henry mused out loud.

“She could have been in Wilson Phillips!” I yelled.

“Yeah but then it might not have been called Wilson Phillips,” he pointed out.

“They could have been called H—”

“Ham Sandwich,” he finished for me, rolling his eyes.

I AM GOING TO LISTEN TO THE MAMA AND PAPAS ALL NIGHT NOW. I am not going to eat a ham sandwich though because ew, meat. I might actually paint a ham sandwich, though.

Also, what was up with some of those early album covers where their name was spelled Mama’s and Papa’s?! Who approved those?! Probably the same person who approves my blog posts! (Oh wait, that’s just me and my unwillingness to proofread.)

Now some Italian d-bag is singing for more WQED donations. What a fucking Saturday night. And to think I was just going to take some pills and go to bed at 5.

(Kidding. I don’t take pills. Because I don’t have pills.)

Ooh, I hope that Gino Vanelli concert re-airs at some point tonight!!

GINO😍

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Aug 262016
 
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Boy, guys, was this Friday OFF THE CHAIN!

I mean, OFF THE HOOK!

I mean…it was really OFF ITS ROCKER.

First, the work day was shaping up to be preettttty fucking dull. But suddenly! Sue sent an email to the whole office:

Something about PEPPERS, REALLY HOT PEPPERS being up for grabs on the table by the kitchen.

At that moment, I caught a glimpse of Glenn in my periphery, rising from his desk and disappearing in the direction of the kitchen.

I turned around and asked Todd, “OMG do you think Glenn is going to get pepper?! He got up awfully fast!”

“I thought so too at first,” Todd said, “but then I realized that the timing wasn’t right. He was already standing up whenever the email came in.” And then, “He doesn’t even get up that fast for cake.

“Dammit, that’s true” I said, really hoping that Glenn was really in a huge rush to have first dibs on the HOT, REALLY HOT PEPPERS, imagining him body checking Terry out of the way, reigniting their feud from last summer.

“Did Glenn go to get some of those peppers?” Lauren asked from her desk in front of me.

“Apparently not, but we’re trying to cause speculation,” I admitted.

And then word finally traveled down to Amber2, who rose from her seat and called out to us, “Did Glenn get up for the peppers?”

This was A HUGE DEAL. WILL GLENN PEPPER OR NOT PEPPER?! Only time will tell.

Talk about scintillating ‘zine fodder!

“You guys, what an exciting Friday!” I laughed, and then we all giddily waited to see if Glenn would, in fact, come back with peppers.

AND OH LORD ALMIGHTY, HE DID!

He had one small red pepper in hand and we all fucking DIED.

He looked confused at first but then quickly wrote it off because he’s used to this hootenanny by now.

Then he put the pepper on my desk and everyone was starting to gather around and I was like, “Guys, I’m not eating this.”

And then that was that.

***

After work, Henry, Chooch, Judy and I met my mom and Corey at Bob Evans for dinner where we had a waitress who said “thank you” constantly and Chooch basked in the fact that his novelty has not yet worn off for my mom and she giggles at every idiotic thing he does.

HIS SCHTICK WILL GET OLD EVENTUALLY. TRUST.

Anyway, I put on the new Carly Rae Jepsen “B-Side” release and Judy screamed from the front seat, “WHO IS THIS, ERIN. OH. WELL, SHE CAN SING.”

CRJ, you’ve got Jude’s official seal of approval.

Meanwhile, at Bob Evan’s, they were out of chicken pot pie and Corey was SO SAD and Chooch acted like he never buttered a biscuit before and before he even ate the bitchin’ thing, the table looked like a biscuit battlefield and Henry frowned, wondering where he went wrong, living in a house with not one but TWO people who don’t understand how to properly use a butterknife.

Halfway through dinner, we all became aware of a fly that was buzzing around our table. When the waitress brought us the check, Judy gruffly asked, “You gonna give us a discount for that fly?!” The waitress just nervously laughed and apologized, but Judy wasn’t done talking about this.

“This place ain’t open 24 hours, so they should, you know, what d’ya call it….fumigate? They should do that when they close.”

“Yeah, maybe hang some fly strips,” Corey said and we all started cracking up but Judy seemed on board with that idea.

I’m pretty sure Henry has taken me to “restaurants” with fly strips hanging around, all appetizing and sanitary.

During one of our waitress’s last visits to our table, Judy suggested, “And you should tell them to do something about this broccoli. Terrible.”

If I hadn’t been so giddy to begin with, I might have tried to climb inside Henry’s frown and hide.

After dinner, we went to Target, where Judy screamed across an aisle, “WILL YOU BUY ME BENGAY??” and then held up a sheer blouse I was buying and asked, “Will you wear something under this or no?”

Well, I’m not wearing it to the Moulin Rouge, so….

And then Mat Kerekes solo album was released today, and it’s a real gift of sound: 

Anyway, today was pretty good when you add up all the moments.

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Aug 262016
 

This week has been whack like crack* so let’s unwind with a video.

*(Except for Tuesday! Tuesday was the shit because Chooch and I went to Kennywood but today’s not the day for that because I’m lucky I can spell my name correctly right now.)

What you’re about to see (or hear, rather) happened last month and I think it’s safe to say that it was the highlight of the summer as far as Neighborhood Happenings go. Maybe tied with that lame church festival across the street.

Let me set the scene: I was home alone on a Saturday when I heard a loud, gutteral barking. It was a man’s angry voice, one that I had never heard before – it wasn’t Tourette’s, and it wasn’t Larry bitching about having Pokemon cards stolen.

And then it dawned on me – it was HOT NAYBOR CHRIS. I couldn’t believe it. In the too-many-years we have lived next door, I have not once heard that poor man raise his voice.

Then I heard another gutteral barking, which I recognized immediately as his wife-thing’s loud Yinzer throat-scrape. Look, I have heard her gone berserk plenty of times over the years, but this one sounded so sinister that my legs were actually shaking, kind of, and I didn’t want to get busted, so please enjoy the view of the few succulents my asshole cats have not killed yet, on account of them being too afraid of the kitchen sink.

Some things to note:

  • The other male voice (the one accusing her of sexual harassment) belongs to the guy who lives on the other side of them, He was in the garage working on his car which is evidently another thing that Wife Thing hates.
  • I think the catalyst to this argument was that HNC was washing his car and “oil was draining down the sidewalk” and DON’T YOU KNOW THE GRANDKIDS PLAY OUT HERE.
  • I can’t figure out what she’s saying about the car parked in the driveway and “your little wifey….”
  • SERIOUSLY HOW MANY TIMES DOES SHE SAY BULLSHIT?! I’ll send a prize to the first person who gives me the correct amount.
    • It probably won’t be a great prize though.
  • This is the first time I’ve heard HNC fight back. Usually she goes off on her daughters and he just sits in the basement, huge headphones over his ears, solemnly playing his electric drums.
  • Henry’s mom is scared of HNC for some reason and won’t talk to him unless Wife Thing is there too which is strange to me because I never got any rapey vibes from him.
  • At one point, I considered calling the police.
  • This was literally days after she had been screaming at Chooch over the sidewalk lights, and I was terrified of him coming home from the  neighbor kid’s house and encountering her after this, so when he finally came back home, I pulled him in the house, led him upstairs away from all the windows and hoarsely whispered, “STAY OUT OF THEIR YARD TODAY BC SHE MIGHT ACTUALLY CAPTURE YOU AND STUFF YOU INTO AN OVEN. THIS IS NOT A GOOD DAY. IF YOU WANT TO GO TO MARKIE’S, DO NOT WALK THROUGH HER YARD, CROSS THE STREET AND GO AROUND THE BLOCK IF YOU HAVE TO, I DON’T EVEN KNOW.”
  • After the fight fizzled out, HNC and the neighbor guy went back to quietly working on their cars. Every once in a while, I’d hear the metallic sound of a tool hitting the cement, but it was clear that they were not ever, ever ever ever, never ever going to speak of what they had just endured.
  • This is my brother Corey’s favorite video and he listens to it when he’s having a bad day.

I don’t know, it maybe wasn’t as exciting as when that drunk guy got concussed in front of my house two summers ago or the time Henry got to be a HIT&RUN HERO, but it was still pretty lit…fam.

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Aug 242016
 


In a bizarre turn of events, I think HENRY has a crush on ME now*?! He randomly showed up downtown to visit me on my lunch break and it felt really scandalous for some reason, like I was part of an illegal beverage deal? I kept tossing shifty glances all around me until finally I cracked and shouted, “OK THIS IS WEIRD GOODBYE” and I went back inside my dumb work-tower. 

Henry was also sending me totally clingy texts all day too so he either took some estrogen up the ass or he’s cheating on me and is overcome with The Guilt. 

Gotta go. Judy is trying to tell me things about America’s Got Talent. “SHE USED TO BE A MAN! I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT. NOW SHE’S A COMEDIAN. SHES FROM FLORIDA” and then some guy sang “In the Air Tonight” and Judy doesn’t understand why all the judges love him. “He just came out of a depression or something, I don’t know what bis story is.”

*(I had a crush on him last week. Our crush cycles never align.)

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Aug 232016
 

Bun had been haunting Gillcrest for the last 10 decades,

No one had bothered him, not even the wool-clad Mormon mission-maids.

But then one Tuesday a stranger arrived with a bag—

The new resident of Gillcrest, it was a horned stag!

Bun watched this scene unfold from a darkened upstairs window,

and wondered, “How in the hell can I chase off this bimbo?”

The new resident brought with him nine pounds of lunch meat in a chest,

three truckfuls of IKEA and paint swatches tucked near his breast.

His name was Bart and he was quick to make himself at home,

Tucking into bed with a trashy airport tome.

Bun waited for Bart to close his eyes for the night

Before pulling out a nightmarish delight.

A mannequin, green like slime and with nary an arm

Out from the closet to cause all sorts of harm.

When Bart arose the next morn’ with a stretch and a spit,

His heart skipped a beat at the sight of the broad’s plastic tit.

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“I swear this tart wasn’t here when I turned off the light,”

He swiped at the beads of sweat along his lip, butt clenching in fright.

Bart fled from his room and sank down into a corner,

Wondering if he was dealing with the supernatural or a burglar.

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Bart thought he heard some blips, some gurgles, and a bleet,

Coming from the basement far under his feet.

“That’s probably just the house groaning, or feral cats under the foundation, boning,”

Bart laughed nervously, thinking he might call his Mother for some chaperoning.

Oh, but it was Bun, partaking in his daily routine:

A rousing game of Pacman and a few swigs of hooch at 10:14.

Bun floated back upstairs just in time to hear Bart on the phone,

Talking to his mommy who made him feel a little less alone.

She said to vacate the spooks behind the peregrine doors,

“You need to redecorate, and make this house yours!”

Bart assessed his new home from a red corner chair,

and thought, “How can I change things up around here?

I’ll knock down this wall and tear up that shag carpet,

and turn that grand bathtub into a germ-filled ball pit.”

It was like reliving his midlife crisis of 1994,

Which came with a Porsche and an affair with a Gabor.

(Not Zsa Zsa.)

“He wants to put a ball pit right here in my loo?

I gotta get rid of him with something stronger than ‘boo.'”

Bun needed to sit down and have a good thought.

So he went and did just that on the master pot.

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Bun considered going the poltergeist route,

Tossing around dishes, chucking an old rubber boot.

Not wanting to break his things, he went with something more malleable,

And summoned an army of one of each stuffed animal.

Teddy bears and puppies and some weird doll-thing,

Surged upon Bart, pinning him to the wall like one big butterfly wing.

 

“It was probably just a fluke, something-something about gravity,”

Bart’s mom sighed over top of her daytime TV.

“You know what you need, a good healthy lay.

Go call up Bernice from 1-900-PONYPLAY.”

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Bart knew she was right, some company would do him good,

So he tried to fix himself up, he did what he could.

He lubed up his horn and filled his satchel with smelling salts,

Then when downstairs to wait for Bernice and all of her faults.

(Daddy issues.)

After waiting in his chair for more than an hour,

Bart thought he saw something, a figure the trees tried to devour.

“Is that Bernice?” Bart thought, bringing his binoculars  up to his eyes,

(He always kept them handy in case a neighbor bared their thighs.)

But what he saw didn’t resemble a hag rode hard and put away wet,

No, this looked more like…somebody’s Easter pet.

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And what was that, just behind the bunny and to the left?

A head in a ditch, the chin had a cleft.

Was that Bernice, beheaded by this cuniculus killer

But Bart rubbed his eyes, and the bunny was gone, nothing out there but filler.

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Bun came back into the house and changed his clothes,

Killing that stripper bitch left him bloody and anxious for her to decompose.

Bun knew that if he played his cards just right,

He’d have his estate back by the end of third night.

Just a few more moves left in this game by his pawn

Before Bart would be shitting his pants on the front lawn.

 

Bun spent time in the game room with his clown crew

While elsewhere in the house, Bart’s paranoia grew.

Was this some real life Amityville Horror ghost attack,

Or just another Vietnam acid flashback?

The bedside phone rang on Bart’s third night,

Not once but thrice, the trill giving his  faint heart a bite.

The first two calls were white noise, static silence,

Not even the slightest semblance of a sentence.

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But the third call exploded with the angry bellow of Bun:

“Bitch you’re in my house, best run motherfucker, run!”
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That was enough to get Bart to peace the fuck out, see,

So he called up a ride from the Teenage Hooker taxi company.

He waited and waited by the window, so harried and eager,

His hooves percussing the floor to the beat of Bob Seger.

“A real man would have lasted more than one day times three,”

He could already hear his mother say in between sips of her tea.

But mother can suck a dick, Bart thought as he ran out of the door,

To jump in the back of the cab driven by a whore.

(Out of Uber territory.)

Bun rejoiced on the deck beneath the sun’s bright rays.

“I got my house back and I have lunch meat for days!”

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Aug 222016
 

This last weekend was relatively boring, which I guess is what can happen when you purposely decide to make zero plans. 

Just watched a bunch of Olympics and then straight up cried my eyes out last night during the closing ceremonies. I won the gold medal in denial. (Monica said that’s because I didn’t have to go up against that Linda Lasky and she’s totally on point with that assessment!)

Other than that, we drove around aimlessly through South Park on Saturday looking for decent pavilions for the upcoming pie party because I apparently chose a really popular day and both of our go-to pavilions were already rented, along with 85% of the other ones. 

Don’t worry, we found one. 

Then later we went to Loving Hut for some meatless buffet action and Henry is now suddenly an expert at soy-based foodstuffs. 

Sunday was YARD WORK day at the Gillcrest which really only affects Henry. Don’t worry – he likes it. He gets to talk to deer and turkey and look up into the sky at random birds. 

I feel like we also ate a lot of cookies all weekend too and then I wonder why I gained a pound. 

Anyway, here are some pictures. 

Chooch had this shirt screenprinted at Warped Tour. Don’t worry – he knows he can’t wear it to school, God. 

The theme of this year’s pie party is “exotic.” One of my old high school friends asked if it’s family friendly and I was like “Pffft why wouldn’t it be” and then remembered the Facebook event page’s cover picture is a pie that says whore, so….

I ate one of these because fuck the patriarchy. Henry was so smug when he bought them, too. 

I’ve had snapchat since its inception and never bothered with it until one day when it occurred to me that waaaaaait a minute, this is just another platform on which to harrass Henry. Duh. 

Chooch is coming around to the idea that there is a new Corgi puppy where Maverick used to be. :(

This fucker. 


Chooch got a free cat cookie over the weekend and still cried about life. Biggest whiner ever. 

On that note, it’s Monday morning and I’ve got my own shit to whine about to all of the lucky people here at work so ciao for now!

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Aug 202016
 


Watching Olympic rhythmic gymnastics this morning and it will never not remind me of Get In Shape, Girl, the pastel “fitness” kits for girl-kids in the 80s. I had several of them but the ribbon one was by far my favorite. 

If I had known back then that this was an actual Olympic sport, maybe I would have kept it up. I was so good at twirling that shit! All I needed to learn was rhythm, grace, teamwork, and you know, actual gymnastics. Instead I just got fat. Oh well. 

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Aug 192016
 

Gilbert was adopted yesterday afternoon after years of living in my art orphanage. His story is below. (This was back when I used to sell monster paintings as a way of tricking people into buying my short stories, HAHAHA-ugh.)

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There was something about the way the sunset ensconced Gilbert’s head in a fiery halo that made Maryannsuellen think of the stained glass in her church, and how she was always afraid that the colored panes would come crashing down around her; the crudely created depiction of The Crucifixion vivisecting her, unfurling her skin into flesh ribbons which the paramedics would likely chuck out the back of the ambulance for sport as they barrelled past Feck Farm, leaving the local pigs to feed on skin suey. 
Maryannsuellen gave a little chest pop to ping the paranoia pressure away and hugged Gilbert a little tighter, a bit more desperate than she tended to embrace someone. Just in case.
Gilbert scraped her from himself and laughed nervously. “Maryannsuellen, please.” With one last uncomfortable chuckle, Gilbert saw himself out of Maryannsuellen’s brownstone and began his walk home.

A Newport hanging from his bottom lip, and a cowlick in his bangs, Gilbert rummaged in his slacks for his lighter. Realizing he must have left it on Maryannsuellen’s night stand after their post-coital smoke (which he mostly partook in to combat the awful glaze of funk she left on his tongue), Gilbert made an impromptu stop at Calvin’s Corner Club for Cheap Crap. He didn’t typically patronize this particular store of convenience, as it was located at a crossroads known for amateur ninja violence. He saw it on the news nearly every night. But he really wanted a cigarette, and also to possibly see what kind of naughty rags they had behind the counter.

So Gilbert really shouldn’t have been surprised when, getting no further than the threshhold of the store, his carotid artery was stabbed by a Kohga ninja throwing star.

The next morning, Maryannsuellen read about Gilbert’s murder in the paper. She was still sobbing in her grits hours later when her cat began rubbing against her ankles, a hint that he would like to be eating his lunch now, please.

Snapping out of it, Maryannsuellen’s gaze lifted from her now-congealed grits to the scratched Zippo laying on the crest of piled porno rags from Calvin’s and the bills for her oxygen tank.

She picked it up, twirled it around between her thumb and forefinger and ran a ragged fingernail along the etchings left by too many meetings with the asphalt. “At least I’ll always have this small part of him,” Maryannsuellen said fondly of the stranger she brought home the previous afternoon from the furry convention. And the impatient beckoning of her 3 o’clock john distracted her from any more thoughts about Gilbert.

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Aug 192016
 

I’m so mad about this that now I can’t sleep so I woke Henry up to yell at him about it and he’s like “ok wow” & is sleeping again already while my eyelids are being propped open by STICKS OF RAGE. I’M GOING TO WRITE A LETTER.

What makes me feel even more sad for humanity is that if you replaced the Victorian aspect with  “for arriving with their same-sex partner” or “for looking Muslim,” it would seem almost less shocking because we’re “used” to hearing about that type of discrimination and that’s just fucked up that this is where we are as a society. (This is not to say that being “used” to those types of headlines evokes any less anger because BELIEVE ME BROTHER, it doesn’t.) Life is too short to make people feel like shit for being themselves. I hate that it’s 2016 and this is a real thing that happened. Seems so dumb. Everything is so dumb. 

These people are beautiful and they can come to my garden any day, but just please call first so I can make a garden real quick out of paper plates, construction paper, and Henry’s underwear.   

Sorry for THREE POSTS IN A DAY, what is this–LiveJournal? No, this is mania. 

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Aug 182016
 

This will be my last viewing party with Judy, so sad. I don’t really care about anything that’s on but I’m watching anyway because there’s nothing else on. 

  • Henry’s sitting on the floor like the dog he is, eating an Air Head. Stay cool, bro.
  • We’re watching the three American runners get their medals and Judy screamed maniacally, “I WONDER WHAT TRUMP THINKS ABOUT THIS?! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” ??????????
  • Henry’s talking about the Olympic medalists having to pay taxes and Judy is all THATS RIDICULOUS and I’m like SNORE. ZZZ.  
  • Someone’s daughter was on Price is Right and had to pay taxes. 
  • Taxes.
  • More taxes. 
  • I just asked Judy what she thinks about Ryan Lochte’s latest controversy and she got real somber. “How ’bout that! Ain’t that something? ……why would he do that? All them robberies n’at they have over there and they have to add to it? What a disgrace to the United States.” Henry interjected a bunch of HEARSAY in there too like he’s some kind of third rate Matt Lauer or something God go to bed Henry.
  • Henry just asked what the decathlon is?! I was like “it’s when they do 10 different things, asshole. THAT’S WHAT DECA MEANS.” God, forget about going to bed. Go back to school. 
  • Omg Judy is giving herself a hernia with all her pole vaulting exclamations. And then in a calm voice, she said “Nice looking man.” He was ok. 
  • “I wouldn’t have gotten it that far,” she said as a javelin was thrown.
  • Judy is all over Ashton Eaton right now. Phelps is but a memory. 
  • “Oh I love this commercial. My favorite commercial.” It’s the “Make America Great Again?” commercial where Trump is on Letterman being exposed for having his clothing line made in China. “OH ID LIKE TO SMACK HIM.”
  • Judy’s concerned because the men are milling about before the 1500m portion of the deca and no one is talking to each other. “why don’t they TALK to each other?!” 
  • Henry’s doing math. I’m so bored. This night is boring. I miss swimming. :(
  • They just called Ashton Eaton a walking talking action hero like WOW he doesn’t seem that great to me. 
  • “is it cold there?” Judy just asked and Henry is like ARE YOU DUMB, NO. 
  • “That’s as fast as they’re allowed to go???” Judy cried and Henry said no they can go as fast as they want. “well they’re NOT going VERY FAST. Oh give me a break, people! I thought they were just WARMING UP!” She is so disappointed. 
  • I asked if Eaton won and Judy just yelled at me for not knowing. “YEAH!” God sorry Judy. What an anticlimactic win. 
  • OH SHIT I JUST REALIZED ASHTON EATON IS THE GUY IN THAT BEST BUY “First!” COMMERCIAL NEVER MIND I LIKE HIM. 

  • Judy made an “ew, ugh, gross” noise like she saw a spider and then threw down the advertisement she was reading about Trump. Whoever thought Henry’s mom and I would ever have things in common?!
  • Too much milling about in between races so Judy is distracting herself with a magazine. She just yelled DO YOU LIKE THESE???ANIMAL PRINTS?! and held up a page of workout clothes. I gave her a noncommital “sure” and she pointed to the ones she liked, some wild looking leggings. Maybe that’s what she’ll wear when she outruns those slow-ass decathlon 1500m runners. 
  • Judy critized this Dalilah Muhammad broad for being too skinny (“I thought they were supposed to have some meat on them”) but look who won the damn race. 
  • “That Jamaican boy” is coming on next. 
  • Judy’s beloved Ashton is being interviewed but she’s too busy reciting some white tuna fish recipe in Shape to no one in particular. 
  • Judy is not invested in track and field. She’d rather talk about ricotta and “that balsamic vinegar.”
  • Henry just said some Canadian runner looks like an older version of one of choochs friends and Judy and I just adamantly agreed so now Henry has this smug, self-satisfied look on his face. Don’t get too used to it, asshole. 
  • Oh hey Usain bolt just won a thing. 
  • “They have BMX in the Olympics?” Henry asked. “you’re asking us?” Judy said incredulously. 
  • I was reading out loud about the two Australian swimmers banned from the closing ceremonies because they were out past curfew and Judy said “yeah! They don’t mess around over there. That’s where they should send murderers. Chop their fingers off or something.” ????? I don’t know if she’s talking about Rio or the IOC. 
  • It’s 10:11, too early for Judy to take her pills. 
  • It’s a commercial now. Judy is appalled because she got a letter from her eye doctor saying its been a year since she’s been there. “I was just there in May! Simple people. I was going to call them but they don’t even deserve a phone call. You know they pay people to send those things out. That’s a shame.” 
  • Smuckers Team USA commercial has Judy feeling some type of way. “I LOVE peanut butter and jelly, omg.”
  • Some Puerto Rican got kicked out of this hurdle race for a false start and Judy told him to go get drunk. Then they showed an American and she said “is that our boy?” But I just ignored her because I don’t know who our boy is. 
  • This Olympics doesn’t feel right without Bela Karolyi. My mom said he was on during the gymnastics (like, duh) but I never saw him which is why I had ZERO INTERST. I need to go paint his sweet Romanian face (again). I miss him so much. 
  • Announcer: her entry was not very good. “Oh for CHRISTS SAKE lady,” Judy spat in vehement disagreement. Now she’s chastising some Chinese girl for not being as good as her fellow Chinese diver. “That’s not gonna cut it, girlfriend. Trust me I know.”
  • After the commentater critized another diver, Judy just yelled THEN YOU GET UP THERE AND DO IT BITCH. Well, she did—-in 2000. And she won the gold. So….
  • “I’m going to punch her.”
  • Judy’s mad that this 15yo Chinese girl doesn’t look happy that she won a gold but it’s hard to be emotive when you’re a robot, you know?
  • “these are the times im glad I don’t have a computer” and I think she’s implying that she’d be starting flame wars in the comment section right now. That’s what Amber2 thinks that Glenn does all day at work. 

OK GOOD NIGHT. 

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Aug 182016
 


Love this band, love this song, love this video. 10/10. 

(I guess you could consider this a “GREETINGS FROM ERIN’S LUNCH BREAK” since I’m on my late shift break and the song is called POSTCARD. God, will the wonders ever cease over here at OHE.)

(Also, I ran out of people to send lunch break post cards to so if you want one, holler at me in the comments.)

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Aug 172016
 

With the exception of Warped Tour, Henry hasn’t gone to a show with me since JUNE. While I’m mostly ok with being a loner these days, it’s still nice to have the big dum dum with me so I told him he was going and he answered with a sigh that could be heard around the ‘Burgh.

I woke up Monday morning feeling positively giddy at the prospect of Henry going to see Sianvar with me after work. Sometimes I kind of enjoy his company, I guess, I don’t know. Stop looking at me like that.

As the door guy was putting my rubber ducky wristband on me, I dorkily cried, “Were you at the John Carpenter show?!”

He looked taken aback but then smiled and said that he was.

“I knew that was you!” I said. “I couldn’t imagine where I knew you from but then I realized it was from here.” I mean, god knows how many wristbands he’s applied to my arm.

So then we talked about how great that show was and Henry was all, “WHAT WERE YOU TALKING ABOUT I’M A JEALOUS BOYFRIEND” after I rejoined him.

God Henry. Maybe if you wouldn’t send me off into the wild without a chaperone, these connections wouldn’t happen.

We had some time to have a drink in the back of the room, where we talked about the OLYMPICS with the bartender. There a million reasons why I absolutely love going to shows at the Smiling Moose but a big one is that the bartenders there are so FUCKING NICE. I’m not a big bar-talker, but any time I have gone there, I have engaged in the most pleasant conversations with the girls behind the bar. The bartenders at the Altar Bar were absolute assholes and that was one of the reasons I didn’t give a fuck when that venue closed. Smiling Moose forever!

While we were leaning against the bar with our drinks, some older man with a cane came limping toward us and said, “Sup crew?”

I was so fucking excited at the prospect of being in someone’s crew that I way too happily exclaimed, “Hi!”

He looked at me weird and then repeated what he said, which was actually, “Restroom?”

:(

I pointed the way and the bartender laughed. “It’s because you guys look like you know what you’re doing!”

I mean, duh. Don’t ask me for directions to the restroom at work, but if we’re at any music venue in the city, I can draw you a map on your palm with my eyes closed.

Meanwhile, the first band had started playing and I was s-s-s-stoked because it was one of my favorite local bands, False Accusations! Henry was like, “Oh boy” as soon as he recognized them. I chugged my Ace, slammed down my empty glass, and left Henry at the bar in favor for a spot near the stage.

THE SCREAMER WAS WEARING AN ALEXISONFIRE SHIRT, WOOOOO!!

A video posted by Erin (@ohhonestlyconcerts) on

 

Henry joined me just in time to put his hand on my shoulder and gently pull me out of the way before I got cold-cocked with the neck of a guitar. Guys, I love your band but I’ve got some brittle bones! Go easy on this old broad.

These are the times when Henry wishes I liked Coldplay or Of Monsters and Men like other ladies my age.

What DO other ladies my age like?! I’m so out-of-touch with my demographic.

(Also, see the guy in the dress shirt in that video? NEMESIS. I hated him at another show at the Smiling Moose but now I can’t remember show or why. BUT I DON’T FORGET A FACE.)

The next band was Atlas Decay. They had a lot of family and friends there because they’re local. I liked them well enough but I was anxious for Sianvar so I drifted off a lot. Also, I started to recognize some people in the crowd, like this one girl who was also at the Hail the Sun show last year and wound up becoming friends at the bar with a guy who is security at Mr. Small’s; a photographer we talked to outside of Diesel while waiting for the doors to open for the Hotel Books show (Henry stopped me from saying hello to him because he thinks I get weird when I talk to people); and my high school Instagram friend who started following me two years ago after some other show at Smiling Moose (Henry wouldn’t let me say hi to him either because he thinks 37-year-old women talking to 17-year-olds at shows in weird).

Also, there were a ton of people who were there alone! This is never the case when I’m there alone! There was a girl in a Circa Survive shirt who I totally would have talked to if Henry hadn’t been there with me. She ended up buddying up later with some other guy who was there alone and at one point I think they were talking about the upcoming Anthony Green show and I believe they were trying to remember what band Mat Kerekes (who is opening for him) is in and I SO BADLY wanted slide into their real life DMs and say, “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but overhear, and I believe CITIZEN is the answer you’re looking for” but Henry gave me the “DON’T DO IT” look.

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After Atlas Decay was Save Us From the Archon! Oh, how I love these proggy Pittsburgh peeps. Their bassist Samantha recently left the band to pursue her career so I was pretty bummed about that because the scene needs as many girls as it can get. And Samantha was a fucking bitchin’ bassist, you guys.

“What’s her career?” Henry asked.

“I don’t know but I bet she’s stupid-smart, being in a band like that. So probably an astrophysicist,” I shrugged.

SUFTA was recently signed to Tragic Hero Records, so they weren’t just playing at Smiling Moose that night because they were local support: they were playing there because they’re actually ON TOUR with Sianvar. I’m so stoked for them! They had a ton of family and friends there that night, including one of their moms, who dragged a stool right over to the stage and sat there in her denim farmers dress, literally headbanging and screaming.

INSPIRATION.

#MOMGOALS

My heart soared.

I love them. Henry does not.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Henry was ready to murder his eardrums around this point and his frown was getting so deep and droopy that I feared it was going to usurp the whole lower half of his face, like an actual Snapchat filter.

“You should just be happy that you’re spending time with me!” I shouted over the mathy vibes.

“I’d rather be doing that at home on the couch,” he grumbled.

“Yeah, but this is like…a date!” I said optimistically.

“Dates are when both people have fun,” he sighed.

“Eh…not always.”

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Here’s Mom chatting up my photographer friend and Circa Survive girl.

Around this time, some guy arrived wearing a Number 12 Looks Like You shirt and I got unreasonably excited about this.

“Remember when I liked them?!” I cried.

“Not really,” Henry mumbled.

“Yeah it was probably in like 2006 or something. When I went through my really heavy screamo* phase.”

“Nope.”

*(Real screamo as in “not the Used” or any of the bands that are commonly mistaken for screamo because people JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND.)

So I wanted to tell that guy I liked his shirt but then some other guy stopped and said, “Hey man, I like your shirt” so then I couldn’t because I was standing right there and I would like a TRY-HARD.

UGH, my life.

MY DUM DUM LIFE.

My Iron Lung was next. I was totally in their way when they were trying to get all their shit before they set up, because I am always in the way no matter where I stand in that place. It’s inevitable. Even Henry was like, “Stop being in the way” and I was like, “WHERE DO YOU WANT ME TO GO THERE IS LITERALLY NO PLACE FOR ME ON THIS EARTH.”

God, what a deep fucking realization for me, you know? Life parallels. Ugh.

So yes. My Iron Lung — they were great! The singer reminded me a bit of Pacey from Dawson’s Creek meets Alex Vincent all grown-up from Child’s Play, so I was into it. But again, I was anxious for them to be done because Sianvar.

My iron lung

A video posted by Erin (@ohhonestlyconcerts) on

My Iron Lung reminded me of the Iron Lung Glenn that I made for Halloween at work one year. (It’s totally blurry, too bad so sad.)

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OK, but then it was finally time for Sianvar, and as each of them walked past us to take the stage, I made all kinds of swooning/fainting couch pantomimes and Henry just frowned.

(Did I mention that earlier in the night, he elbowed me and said, “There’s Will”? Because he did. Because he reluctantly knows everyone in this scene whether he likes it or not!)

Quick summary: Dance Gavin Dance is one of my all-time favorite bands and if you didn’t already know that then this must be your first time here (I’m sorry). The founder/guitarist of that band is a brilliant man named Will Swan, one of the most underrated musicians if you ask me (and a lot of other people, probably). Sometime ago, Will started his own record label called Blue Swan and it is the home to some of the most magnificent, unique post-hardcore bands of our time. There is a distinct sound associated with this label, and Will had curated some beautiful groups of musicians to represent that.

One of those bands is a Blue Swan supergroup, featuring Will, Donovan from Hail the Sun (they’ve recently been signed to Equal Vision, a bigger label so you can’t blame them), Sergio from Stolas, and Michael and Joseph from A Lot Like Birds. Together, they gel into this mystical, sonic beast and even Henry was like, ‘They were good.”

I mean, they were fucking exceptional. My eyes didn’t know who to look at! So much talent!

Henry said he hates how Donovan moves and I was pretty offended. Henry can be so judgey sometimes. I mean, how would Henry like him to move?! How would HENRY move if he was a singer on stage?!

Donovan moves like Pinocchio at times and that appeals to me, so suck it Henry.

Also, I love how Donovan stares over everyone’s heads with an intense, murderous gaze and sings so hard that he starts to rage-shake. I think he’s an amazing frontman and his voice is unreal, like why aren’t more people talking about this time? Why isn’t Hail the Sun a household name? Why did Chooch RUIN MY HAIL THE SUN EXPERIENCE AT WARPED TOUR?!

(I realize I just saw them last winter, but I’m not over my sour Warped Tour HTS experience. Thanks, son.)

I had a really crappy day but then Sianvar saved it. 💗

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

I liked that Sergio chilled up on a windowsill at one point, like “I’m just gonna sit here and casually play these complicated guitar parts while staring dreamily out the window at Carson Street.” Henry just rolled his eyes when I asked him if he too thought that was awesome.

Henry just doesn’t get excited about anything and I feel genuinely sorry for him. That cunt.

After the show Henry asked me if I wanted to talk to Will Swan and then we both just laughed because yeah right – me, talk to someone in a band? I don’t talk, I blubber. And then I cry. So we just left before any of that could happen. I’ll just be over here admiring you from afar, Will Swan. Le sigh.

***

After the show, we stopped at GetGo for our super fancy date dinner and when we got back in the car, Henry dropped the car key and spent the next fifteen minutes swearing while practically fisting the space in between the car seat and console where lip gloss, change, prosthetic fingers, and apparently car keys go to die.

It was so stupid that I started to crack up and then, you guys — get this: HENRY STARTED CRACKING UP TOO.

God, what a great night. Thank you, Sianvar.

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