Currently on our way to Cleveland for the Never Shout Never show AND HENRY IS WITH US! Yay! He had me thinking for like a month that Chooch & I were on our own for this.
K bye!No tags for this post.
The weather in Pittsburgh took a turn for the worse late Friday afternoon and it was starting to look like we weren’t going to be able to make the Goblin show. The fact that I was dismissed from work around 4:00 because it was starting to SLEET was a pretty good indication that the roads might not be OK. (I could even hear the ice pelting my office window.)
I took the trolley home and it didn’t seem too bad. But Henry the Weatherman was all, “LET’S JUST WAIT AND SEE OK IT’S SUPPOSED TO GET WORSE.” That is definitely not what I was trying to hear, you guys.
Finally around 5:30 I started to cry so he huffily stuffed his blue collar feet into his boots and left to pick up his mom so that she could babysit for us. It took them a really long time to come back so I admittedly felt pangs of guilt, like maybe the roads really were super terrible and they had skidded off into a ditch and were being devoured by wolves. Because that happens a LOT in Pittsburgh. But they made it back and I was all, “HOORAY LET’S GO NOW OK BYE CHOOCH!”
And we experienced approximately zero problems getting to Homestead, so take that, Pittsburgh metereologists.
“Yeah, but it’s supposed to snow really hard tonight, so it will probably be a mess by the time we leave,” Henry warned wisely. God, he always has to be so negative.
We had about 45 minutes to kill before the doors officially opened, and since we had never been to this particular venue for a show before, we basically roamed around with question marks over our heads. When we’re lost, we’re obviously lost. But then a staff member informed us that we could go to ”the bar,” which was basically a cold, cafeteria-esque room with a bunch of bottles of Barefoot wine and some guy slinging slices of pizza out of a box.
As usual, I wasn’t paying attention and failed to notice that there was a wine list taped to the counter in front of my face, and thought my only choice of wine was merlot, which is not my favorite wine at all, but that’s OK. I was too excited to be a bitch about it. (For once.)
Henry bought a slice of pizza and a plate of weird, frozen mini cheesecake thingies for me. Definitely the most interesting food I’ve ever eaten at a concert. But then, I don’t usually eat at concerts so there’s that.
We had fun sitting there and guessing who was going to go home and murder someone after the show. But mostly everyone there was pretty chill. And old! For once, Henry was at a show for his own demographic! I think I was the youngest person there. One of the youngest, anyway, which was a nice change.
We made our way back to the music hall entrance around 7:30 and lingered around the merch table where I chanted, “Can I please get a poster? Can I please get a poster? Buy me something. Buy me something,” until Henry walked away and hid in the mens room. Of course I’m going to gravitate toward a $30 poster and not a $5 patch.
Henry was mad that his genuine smile in this picture got so much attention on Facebook, so he tried to force-frown for this one. Look at him, wearing a non-Faygo t-shirt!
The Carnegie Music Hall is super beautiful! When I ordered our tickets last October, I chose two seats in the balcony because I fucking love balconies.
And then I proceeded to spend two months panicking that the seats were going to suck.
They did not, in fact, suck. Well, view-wise, anyway. My friend Sandy had warned me earlier that day at work that the seats are really uncomfortable and that we should bring something to sit on. Of course, I ignored her sage advice and almost immediately upon sitting, I found myself wishing that my ass actually had MORE padding.
I texted Sandy immediately to verify that her assessment of the seats was painfully accurate. “We saw Kevin Smith there last year and I thought I was going to be paralyzed,” she swore. Luckily, the opening band—Zombi—took the stage precisely at 8 so we were slightly distracted from our tailbones’ misery…for a few minutes, anyway.
Henry and I saw Zombi back in 2004 when they opened for Q and Not U at the World (better known to most Pittsburghers as Rosebud). They’re actually from Pittsburgh, so it was really cool to see that they snagged the opening spot for the second leg of Goblin’s North American tour.
Zombi is just two guys, one on synthesizers and bass, and one on drums. I don’t remember very much from when I saw them nine years ago, but I was definitely on board Friday night. Their music is very atmospheric and spacey, with just enough eeriness to leave you feeling unsettled. It made me think of the music I tried to play on my shitty Casio keyboard when I was in elementary and REALLY INTO recording myself telling horror stories that I made up on the fly. (They were as great as you probably imagine them to be, with lots of abrupt cries of anguish when I would fuck up for the millionth time and have to rewind and re-record.) They also did the score for the horror movie Murder, Set, Pieces, so that automatically makes them cool in my book. Not that my book matters for much, but you know.
I appreciated that the stage lights changed color every time a new song started. That was probably extremely helpful for those not able to keep up.
Henry was honestly asleep in his awful wooden seat before the first song was over.
Zombi finished their set before 9:00PM and I was overjoyed to stand up. Henry and I had the last two seats in our row, so we mostly lingered in the small space next to our row for the entire duration of intermission. That’s not true; Henry went to buy contraband M&Ms at one point and smuggled them back in. I thought for sure he was going to come back with the fucking poster I wanted but he was clearly staying true to his cheap ass ways.
My lumbar was on fire from that seat. I literally put my back against the wall and slid all the way down into a crouch, like I was attempting to birth a child in the wild, and not caring about what it must have looked like to all of the middle-aged geeks in their various Dario Argento t-shirts. I’m certain that Elizabeth Bathory had furniture akin to those seats in her torture chamber. Totally barbaric.
Goblin came on right around 9:00 though and I mostly sat lurched forward the entire time in excitement, which simultaneously kept me nice and stretched, so that was nice!
Sometimes I get bored really easily when bands don’t sing, and I was honestly afraid that this would be the case that night. I didn’t know what to expect, and I’m kind of glad I went into this without ever YouTube’ing their live performances. From the moment they took the stage, it was motherfucking electric. They killed it on every song and it was pretty difficult to lose interest when there were so many talented musicians on that stage to ogle. And they brought this creepy (in a good way) interpretive dancer with them who totally made my skin crawl every time she came out. She really added that extra punch of Scary to the songs she performed on.
Goblin performing the “Suspiria” theme!! The dancer came out in full-blown Susie Banyon-mode and I almost peed my dumb pants. Goblin more than likely never would have been on my radar had it not been for my love of “Suspiria.” When Janna and I were walking to Gina and Elissa’s Christmas party on Saturday, I asked Janna if she remembered how obsessively I looked for a copy of that movie in high school (this was back when you had to get out the phone book and start calling around to video rental stores, you guys. Oh, the horror!) and how I made her and Lisa come over to watch it when I finally found a Blockbuster that carried it, and as if that wasn’t adequate, I also had one of them take my picture standing next to the TV after pausing it on the title screen. And Janna was like, “Um, yes. And fuck you for making me walk to a Christmas party in 18 degree weather when I’m a Jew with poor circulation.”
When I like something, I REALLY LIKE IT.
I really can’t describe how special this night was for me. All of it was great, I was 100% enrapt for each song and I loved that they incorporated film snippets on a screen at the back of the stage, but when Massimo Morante (who. from where I sat, looked exactly like Henry’s mom in a black wig) was handed a bouzouki*, I just knew it was time for “Suspiria” AND I WAS RIGHT, GODDAMMIT.
*(I originally thought this was a mandolin, but figured maybe for once in my life I could actually fact-check a thing before writing it.)
It was the most incredible feeling, to sit there and literally be enveloped in the notes of that song that has stuck with me for so many years. Goosebump City, is what I’m trying to say here.
The dancer came back during the “Zombi” theme and danced as a, wait for it, zombie. Duh. She was scaring me!
God, aging Italian prog rock musicians are just so fucking adorable! Especially when they can just barely speak English. It was a really special evening and I am so glad that the snow didn’t stop us from hearing this music that manages to be beautiful yet so spine-tingling all at once. And did I mention that our very own Henry Robbins APPLAUDED after every single song? Because he did. I couldn’t believe it. I thought he only applauded for Judas Priest!
The whole night was really incredible and we walked out of there knowing without a doubt that we had just witnessed something special. If you have never heard of Goblin before, I seriously urge you to turn off all of your lights and YouTube them. And then go buy their albums!
Here, let me help you with that:
Oh, and guess who got that poster?
I can’t wait to find a majestic frame for it!
The next morning, I made Henry’s mom listen to Goblin.
“This isn’t bad!” she exclaimed with what sounded like shock in her voice. “I could honestly listen to this!”
It was probably the most bonding moment I’ve ever had with her, until she started talking about her neighbor’s band.
“He plays that real hard rock stuff,” she spat. “You know, like that Rod Stewart stuff.” And then I ruined our bonding moment by laughing.No tags for this post.
Cemeteries, Chooch stewing in a wheelchair, me & an uncharacteristically (god that word seems way longer than I remember) smiley Henry, Marcy with an American Horror Story backdrop, my big fat ring, Henry craning his neck to see what’s going on with Vampire Diaries even though he pretends to think it’s stupid. (And it is stupid anymore.)
Aside from that, I’m just eating pizza, listening to 80s music (Chooch learned that you NEVER EVER TALK DURING TOTO’S AFRICA, GOD!!), and waiting for Janna to come over so we can go over Gina and Elissa’s and stare at their Christmas tree. I’m making Janna walk there so we can both drink, but it’s like 18 degrees out so I’m sure she just can’t fucking wait. I actually wasn’t going to tell her we are going to walk there but then Henry had to butt in and say, “YOU BETTER TELL HER SO SHE CAN WEAR BOOTS SINCE THERE IS SNOW EVERYWHERE.” Christ, he’s such a Father.
Being friends with me isn’t a cake walk, you guy.
I don’t fucking know what a cake walk is.
Have a good weekend! OR ELSE.No tags for this post.
It’s not often my love of horror movies and music come together, but tonight will be one of those rare occasions because Henry and I are going to see Goblin at the Carnegie and I AM SO EXCITED I DON’T KNOW HOW I WILL MANAGE TO MAKE IT THROUGH WORK TODAY!! They’re an Italian prog rock band from the 70s and this is literally the first time they ever toured North America. Pittsburgh wasn’t even originally supposed to be a tour date, but their initial fall tour was so well-received that they decided to do a second leg, THANK YOU GOBLIN.
Of course, Henry is “whatever” about it, but Suspiria is one of my all-time favorite horror movies, and the music had so much to do with it. I remember being so excited in the late 90s when one of my Darkchat friends sent me the Suspiria soundtrack on cassette, haha. I’m just so appreciative and grateful that I get to see them perform live tonight, you have no idea!
Sorry for the incoherent ramble. I’M JUST EXCITED OK. I hope I have nightmares tonight!!No tags for this post.
Chooch and I were DELIRIOUS by the time dinner was over. What else is new? It’s not like we’re going to keep it classy just because it’s a holiday.
Chooch suckered Corey into playing Mousetrap and Corey was thrilled that “Stacy’s Mom” came on Pandora literally minutes after he wrongly accused another song of being “Stacy’s Mom.”
(That song and all songs that sound like it suck, btw. If I was a writer for a music magazine when that song came out, that would be the extent of my review. What else can you really say about it? “Fuck that song with a flaming pine cone” is using more words than that song deserves.)
Chooch decided to start Googling pictures of Ted Nugent, since we love talking about the time Henry went to see the Nuge in the 1980s, you know—the time he pushed over some broad in a wheelchair! Earlier that day, while Henry was still cooking, Chooch put Ted Nugent on Spotify and was cracking up really bad. He decided that he loves the song “My Bow and Arrow” (WTF? I know nothing about Ted Nugent). But then some spoken word-ish song about HUNTING came on and I almost broke my neck in an effort to turn it the fuck off. I don’t want to hear things about hunting, you guys. It was so graphic!!! Now every time my friend Alyson talks about Ted Nugent’s Meat Emporium (Palace of Flesh? What do you call it, Alyson!?), it will make much more sense to me.
Anyway, having his fill of Ted Nugent, Chooch decided to take requests. Corey immediately shouted, “LILLIE MCCLOUD!” because that was his favorite contestant on X Factor. My request was for “butt unicorns” which made me start laughing so hard I almost peed all over my wheelchair. I didn’t even look to see what came up other than a picture of a butt with a unicorn tattoo.
And then there was a point where everyone except for Mike pulled out their phones so we could discuss the merits and frustrations of Simpsons Tapped Out.
It was literally the most serious time of the night. Look at Chooch’s consternation!!
Fuck you and your lame Springfield, Henry.
So, this was moments before Chooch took an extreme close-up of Janna and then started laughing so hysterically that he barfed all over the floor. This happens often. God only knows what he puked up since he literally ate zero things for dinner.
While Henry mopped up the puke, Chooch posted the puking catalyst on Instagram. It was a good night.No tags for this post.
This last week has been TRYING as far as parenting goes. I definitely feel like I’ve been screaming at Chooch more than anything else, because he is so fucking bull-headed (i.e. SO UNLIKE ME). The whole “There goes another Christmas present!” tactic totally doesn’t work anymore, by the way. I guess I’m going to have to swap out “Santa” for “Satan.”
“SATAN’S WATCHING YOU, YOU LITTLE ASSHOLE!”
And he definitely still believes in ghosts, so I can always go that route too.
Mornings and late evenings are especially bad. Sometimes he wakes up as Contrary Chooch and will battle me on EVERY LITTLE DETAIL down to the SOCKS I laid out for him to wear. My response is usually, “YOU ARE FUCKING 7 YEARS OLD STFU AND GET DRESSED.” Sometimes I try to kill him with kindness or make jokes, but in the end, I usually end up losing my temper and yelling. I hate power-struggles. I HATE PARENTING!
Last Wednesday night, I was walking home from CVS and he was outside waiting for me. I KNEW he was going to try to bombard me with snowballs so I sternly said, “Do NOT throw snowballs—the snow is too icy!” But that son of a bitch whaled one right at my fucking face and it slammed hard into my temple. I instantly started to cry because that HURT, OK? And once Chooch saw that I was straight sobbing (I’m pretty good at embellishing), he got scared. He knew he done fucked up, but god forbid he should apologize. Instead, he starts making excuses and laughing nervously, and by the time we fought each other to storm through the front door, we were both SCREAMING hysterically and Henry came out of the kitchen like, “WTF?”
I stood in the middle of the living room screaming, “I THINK I’M LOSING MY EYESIGHT AND HE DOESN’T CARRRRRRREEEE!!!” and Chooch is yelling, “SHE HATES ME!!!!!!” simultaneously and the neighbors probably have their fingers poised to dial that last 1 in 9-1-1.
It’s been that kind of week.
But then there are really sweet moments, too. And wine. And those are the things that keep me from getting that artists loft that I keep dreaming about. Like the one BO BRADY had in the 80s on Days of Our Lives. But seriously, how great would that be? I’d fill it with old mannequins and pretend like they were my friends. :(
Oh, right. Sweet moments. Like last night when Chooch was talking about the Santa Shop that’s happening this week at school. He wants to get something for our friend Andrea, but he became very perplexed because “it’s not like they’re going to have any death there.” Henry and I started cracking up but Chooch was very serious. He should write a letter to the paper about how the Santa Shop discriminates against people who collect dead things in jars.
Unless one of us kills the other before then, Chooch and I are going to see Never Shout Never next Wednesday in Cleveland. Henry isn’t sure if he can go because his job is stupid and I am PANICKING about this. Chooch and I haven’t gone further than like, 50 miles away without Henry. And that’s probably a gross exaggeration. Maybe closer to 25 miles? Sometimes it’s just really hard for me to get into Responsible Parent Mode. I like it better when Henry can just deal with that and I can skip around being flighty and immature. Because that’s my true nature.
If you live in Cleveland and see two dummies flailing about in Lake Erie, send the Coast Guard because I clearly drove off the map.
(PLEASE DO YOUR RELIGIOUS SPELLS SO THAT HENRY IS ABLE TO GO WITH US, OMG.)
Look, no one wants to put their kids on blast, but it is important for me to write about the lows and not only the highs. Because having shit like this to look back on makes me appreciate the highs that much more. This is real life.
We argued the whole time we were in the cemetery on Sunday. But then by that night, we were able to co-exist peacefully on the couch and watch the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead together. (OMFG THAT SHOW IS KILLING ME.) And then the next morning, we were walking to school behind our Morning Nemesis and she was SCREAMING at her kid for pretty much no reason and that kind of made me take a step back and appreciate that at least Chooch and I can walk to school together without putting our disputes on display. That’s a small victory, right?
So no, things aren’t perfect around here. But I guess they’re not really THAT bad either. And when I do start to lose the will to parent, I just go back and look at pictures of Chooch being, well, Chooch. And then it’s not so bad.
(That fucking snowball did really hurt though!!)No tags for this post.
Let’s pretend for a moment that Henry goes by “Hank” so that I can call this year’s autumnal feast “Hanksgiving” without anyone asking me why.
There was only one reason I wanted to host Hanksgiving this year, and no, it wasn’t because I wanted to drive Henry to a stress-induced heart attack. I just wanted to put together a nice, memorable evening for Chooch, Corey, Janna, Laura and Mike because let’s face it: holidays just aren’t what they used to be. Especially if you don’t have any or much family in town. But that’s no reason to surrender to seasonal misery!
I have such a love/hate relationship with Thanksgiving. I loved it as a kid because hello: time off from school! Food! Parades! But what I didn’t like was suffering through whatever family feud was playing out at the moment, someone was always giving someone the silent treatment, my grandma was always taking passive aggressive jabs at me. And then some years we would go to my dad’s parents’ house and that was always uncomfortable. I wasn’t really close with any of them, and my dad was always losing his patience with his mom. It was just awkward.
But they did have that electric organ I loved to play…and Grandma Kelly’s homemade buckeyes….OK, maybe those Thanksgivings weren’t too bad.
And then as an adult, after my parents divorced, my mom would kind of try to put together nice Thanksgivings for us, but there was always that underlying bitterness and creepy facade of normalcy. Like you just expected the walls to crumble in. I would typically end up leaving in tears and then going home to drink Maniscevitz “wine” alone. That’s not what I want for Chooch! I want him to grow up with good feelings associated with holidays.
And even though I told everyone it would be a casual affair, I still wanted to make it pretty. We even used real plates as opposed to the paper fare we slopped food upon the last time we hosted Hanksgiving (back when we were still calling it THANKSgiving like the rest of you weirdos).
Corey was even surprised when he found out I used real flowers on the table, and not fake ones, haha.
Chooch was clearly stoked! He gets really hyper and excited when he knows people are coming over, and he unfortunately got too crazy and ended up pissing off Laura immediately after she arrived. I’m still not sure what happened, but hey, what’s a holiday without tears? Made it seem that much more “down home.”
We ran out of chairs so I conveniently used my wheelchair to sit at the head of the table. “Are you sitting in a wheelchair?!” Corey asked in disgust as he sat down to eat. “I hate you. In the best possible way.” My dream, in case you’re new here, is to buy a house and then have Henry build a dining room table out of pallets or old disgusting doors and then have all old wheelchairs as the seats.
REAL FLOWERS, OMG. This is what I did while Henry slaved away over various food-things in the kitchen: made things look nice to distract from the rest of our shitty shanty. Although, to be honest, we’ve been slowly sprucing things up as best as we can muster in a place we don’t own. And it’s been nearly a week and the house is still clean! At least the rooms that we can’t hide behind closed doors, anyway. My bedroom still looks like a dorm room.
I sliced that cheese!! And placed the deviled eggs accordingly! I was really excited for Hanksgiving, obviously. I used to love hosting parties when I was younger and the house was nicer and I WAS SINGLE. But you know, things change.
Henry made this cheese! I bought him a DIY cheese kit because I buy him things that I will benefit from. That cheese was some good shit, too. Even though Laura looked horrified when I told her it was homemade. :( Whatever, it made me feel like a legit hostess.
Speaking of Laura and homemade and cheese, Mike brought some sort of amazing creamed corn side dish that was loaded, and I mean LOADED, with cheese. I wanted to swim in it while “accidentally” forgetting to close my mouth.
This is normal at our house.
Here is Janna, probably scolding me for something. Speaking of Janna, she brought these sweet potatoes that were absolutely drunk off bourbon. Holy shit, were they good.
I wish I had some right now.
Mike’s first tofurky! He was already sliding some onto his plate before he found out what it was. You can see how excited he was! EAT IT! EAT IT!
Corey gives hanks for tofurky. Can I also just say that this is only the third time in my life I have been BLESSED enough to have tofurky on (T)hanksgiving?? Henry usually “forgets” to buy it, and one year he bought it but then “forgot” to cook it. One of the only Thanksgivings I had it was at my mom’s house. Henry made it at home and we brought it with us and I was ridiculed mercilessly by my aunts to the point that I almost didn’t eat it. It was traumatizing! My mom kept making puking noises everytime I cut into it.
Even from a non-vegetarian standpoint, I genuinely like tofurky! That shit they stuff it with is the bomb.
Not pictured: persimmon pudding. Oh for Christ’s sake, who has four desserts for eight people? So ridiculous. Shout out to Sandy for the cake hook-up!
Chooch ate approximately nothing. Sadly, his older brothers were unable to make it, because they could have shown him how to eat a Hanksgiving dinner.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I would consider the first official Hanksgiving a success. THANK YOU, HENRY. Maybe next year he will finally let me invite some vagabonds. Perhaps by then we’ll have more wheelchairs.
Pee Wee’s ass wants to wish you all a Happy Hanksgiving.No tags for this post.
My big contribution for Thanksgiving was making punch(es). I took this extremely seriously because alcohol is such an important component to holidays, especially for people who are prone to stress-cries. Plus, Henry FINALLY finished that desk/cabinet thingie I found in the garage over the summer (apparently painting chevron stripes takes time) and I definitely wanted to build everything else around that. Because that’s how my mind works. Also, because I’m obsessed with it.
(Note that it’s missing the hardware. Henry had temporarily lost all of it. Now that he’s found it, though, I have decided that I want new knobs and handles. So I guess this project isn’t quite finished yet.)
I wish you could see how sparkly this thing is in person!! The blinds look like that because I literally have the pom-poms clothespinned to them. I even got tangled up in it at one point: the perils of decorating while home alone, I guess.
It was a painstaking process, but I finally narrowed it down to two punches days before Thanksgiving. Finding the perfect seasonal spiked beverage is serious business, you guys. I went with a pumpkin spice punch, which was primarily apple cider, two bottles of pinot grigio, bourbon and pumpkin spice, all of which I capably dumped into a bowl all by myself. But then Henry had to slice the apples and oranges for me. I can only do so much.
Next up was a delicious (and potent) cranberry sangria. This is where I learned that fresh cranberries are disgusting.
So this was basically just cranberry juice, brandy and a bottle of red. I forget what I used now. Also: cranberries (I measured a whole cup on my own!!), persimmons (how could I not choose a sangria that calls for PERSIMMONS??), and an orange which I managed to cut without help.
I helped myself to a glass of this before anyone arrived on Thanksgiving and my edge was nice and soft by the time dinner started. Thank you, Beverage Buffet.
Not pictured: wine from NARCISI WINERY, holla! And Henry’s dumb beer.No tags for this post.
It’s finally here, you guys! The new Oh Honestly Erin-inspired eye shadow set from My Pretty Zombie! It’s no secret to some of you that I have been besties with the mastermind behind MPZ for quite some time now, and Andrea and I are super supportive of each other’s endeavors. So we wondered what would happen if we made those two things collide like genitals on the Jersey Shore. We took six recurring themes from my blog and Andrea whipped up the perfect color counterpart for each of them. I couldn’t be more excited! None of it resulted in inbred juiceheads!
In fact, I’M SO EXCITED that I’m giving away two sets to two lucky readers/eyeshadow fans/random viewers who wound up here by Googling “best meth dens in Pittsburgh.”
First, let’s meet the new shades!
Melon Shirt: In a nutshell: my boyfriend Henry wore an orange shirt one time and got super angry when people would call it an orange shirt when it was clearly MELON. Because suddenly he’s a color wheel authority. So while you might expect this to be some deliciously fruity shade of green, it’s actually a bright orange matte and it’s actually the best eye shadow shade to wear if you’re going out to pick your own carrots at the carrot orchard. The carrots will want to mate with your eyelids so they’ll just pop right out of the ground. Disclaimer: This eye shadow is in no way affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers, Little Orphan Annie or Cheetos stains.
Wacky Worm: Have you ever ridden the Wacky Worm? No, I’m not talking about that time you had psychedelic relations at Burning Man. The Wacky Worm is the BEST AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE IN THE WORLD! According to my own survey, anyway. It was very limited. I only asked myself. I love this ride so much that I even made a t-shirt about it. Andrea recreated its friendly green hue in powder-form and it’s going to take everything in my being not to wear this every day while screaming, “YESSSSSS! WACKYYYY WORMMMMM!” in all of my co-workers’ faces.
Frown of the Day: Henry’s normal resting face is a furrowed brow and disappointed frown. When I think of his frowning, I imagine a facial storm cloud, so Andrea recreated that image for the eyelid. This babe is a shimmery silver with dainty flecks of black glitter, like moody pre-hurricane skies. Too bad Henry’s actual wrath is more comparable to a light, springtime shower. He’s all bark and no bite.
Bayernhof: There’s this German music box museum here in Pittsburgh that I made Andrea tour when she was visiting me one time and it immediately became her own personal hell. She hated every last second of it, and it was a two and a half hour tour! She especially hated our tour guide (pictured on the label), and I loooove to harangue her about this every chance I get, so of course I wanted Bayernhof to be a shade. I’m surprised she actually made it a pretty color! It’s a deep, shimmery pink akin to the glaze of freshly cooked flesh that the Bayernhof caretaker butchered in his “canning room.”
Ginger Jesus: So, I have been in TRU LUV with a singer named Jonny Craig, since 2008, you guys. People who have known me for at least a month will straight groan at the mere mention of his name. I even had a doll made in his likeness! Unfortunately, he is a huge douchebag and even referred to himself once as The Ginger Jesus. Rather than go for the obvious shade of Carrot Top Orange, Andrea smartly took the subtle route and created a true ginger shade. Practically a neutral, this shade is perfect to wear to your side job of selling Bibles to motel chains. Andrea and Henry both hate him, so I’m sure it will be really awesome for Andrea to have to look at his face every time she prints out a Ginger Jesus label. So that means you should definitely buy this one.
Blue Collar Boyfriend: My boyfriend Henry and I couldn’t be any more different. I had the whole “silver spoons” childhood, while Henry was growing up eating cans of pork n’ beans. Things haven’t changed much. I’m still a spoiled little princess and Henry is a blue-collared warehouse manager, driving around pallets of Faygo. He takes me on dates to glorified nursing home cafeterias and one time on vacation, he made me stay in a veritable hooker hostel, but it’s OK—I like my blue collar boyfriend. Andrea modeled this shade off of dark, brooding blues, which coincidentally matches the shade of the navy coveralls Henry used to wear when we first met! (He was a meat delivery driver, haha!)
HAHAHAHA. I didn’t even try to apply this neatly.
And now for a parade of awkard close-ups of me; I am notoriously terrible at taking pictures of my makeup:
Now I can finally say that Jonny Craig is on my face.
I promise I’m not this pale. Don’t call the cops on Henry for making me malnourished! I think I was standing too close to the bathroom light. But anyway, pink and green is one of my favorite color combos of all time, and I’m so pleased with how harmoniously Wacky Worm and Bayernhof complement each other.
This is such a majestic holiday look! You should wear this to your office holiday party. Unless you’re Amish. Then it might be too flashy like electricity.
TO ENTER: Head on over to My Pretty Zombie and then come back here and comment with your favorite shade. Share this on Twitter, Facebook, etc for additional entries! (For example: If you post about this on Facebook, you can leave another comment that says “OMFG I shared this on Facebook!”) I am trying to keep this as simple as possible! Internetting can be hard work, you guys. I hear you.
Contest is open until Friday, December 6th, 12:00PM EST. Please comment with a VALID email address so that I can reach you easily if you are one of the two winners.
EDIT: CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! THE WINNERS ARE:
Jodi and Nicole, check your email!
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After telling us a story about some Spanish winemaker who passed out and drowned in a vat of his own wine, Roberto led us back into the gift shop and upstairs into a small, empty dining room for the anticipated wine-tasting portion of the tour. I was relieved to see that tables were set up based on our respective parties, so we wouldn’t have to bump elbows with unsavory strangers. Roberto led Corey and me to a table next to the Bangs Party, but there was enough space in between us to keep us happy.
Roberto disappeared to fetch the wine, leaving enough silence for us to focus on the music.
“Is this the symphony version of ‘Titanium’?” Corey asked in bewilderment. I agreed and this opened the door for us to savagely criticize the Narcisi sound system. “Oh my god, that Michael Bublé soundtrack during the tour made me want to shoot myself,” Corey laughed, and I started cracking up too at the thought of us both internally fixating on the same thing during the tour.
(Ironically, Corey and I both watch X Factor and OF ALL PEOPLE, Michael Bublé performed live last week.)
On the heels of “Titanium (Old Folks Home remix)”, that over-played Philip Phillips song queued up and I thought Corey was seriously going to skyrocket out of the Narcisi Winery. “I hate this song so bad!” he groaned through clenched teeth. “It seriously ruined the Olympics for me last summer!” Now I know what song to play if I ever need to smoke Corey out of my house!
Roberto returned with five bottles of wine right before everyone started to riot. I noticed he had a bucket of some sort on the table with him and I wondered if he was going to walk around and have us all take turns spitting out our wine like mouthwash, but thank god “Spit” wasn’t part of the 4 S’s of wine tasting that Roberto was about to teach us. Actually, I can’t remember what they are now. I forgot pretty much right after he taught us on the first glass, because after that we had to do it ourselves and I pretty much just went right for (S)chug.
It was something like this:
SEE THE BEAUTIFUL COLOR!!
SWIRL WITHOUT SPILLING!
SNIFF THAT SHIT!
SAVOR THE FUCK OUT OF IT!
I was pretty bad at swirling.
Having only eaten a yogurt for breakfast, and being a light-weight to begin with, I started to feel PRETTY GOOD (read: pretty stupid) right after the second tasting. And sadly, these weren’t even anywhere close to full glasses. I am THAT intolerant of alcohol these days. So naturally, Corey and I sat there trying not to choke on mouthfuls of Stella and Granato while stifling giddy laughter because EVERYTHING WAS FUNNY at that point. And then Roberto would come over to give us more wine and we would sweetly say, “Thank you!” in our fake sibling voices, only to start cracking up again as soon as he moved to the Bangs Party.
Corey said that one of the members of the Bangs Party tried to share a moment of laughter with me but I totally missed it. Apparently, she leaned over toward me and made some sort of flapping arm-motion to emphasize her laughter.
Corey took this of me when I was unaware and I’m glad because it is a good reflection of my undying devotion to every single syllable that Roberto uttered (even though I promptly forgot it all).
Roberto has a WIFE :(
I snagged this one from Corey’s Instagram–he got a great shot of Roberto’s expert pouring prowess. Ugh, Roberto’s wife is so lucky. I bet he pours so good for her.
Anyway, Corey and I enjoyed all five wines, and we were both pleasantly surprised at the Stella especially, because neither of us are particularly fond of dry reds. But for me, that could be because I mostly drink hobo wine, and not the good stuff.
(J/K. I physically can’t drink cheap wine because it makes me super sick. I went to a gay bar one time and made the mistake of drinking two glasses of their “house white” and had the nastiest hangover of my life. Oh, and a word of advice: don’t go to a bar in Brookline and order wine. Ever.)
And just like that, the last glass was imbibed and Roberto said goodbye. Those all too familiar pangs of “There Goes My Inexplicable Crush” sadness enveloped me as I watched him descend the staircase. OH ROBERTO, WILL WE EVER MEET AGAIN?
I got over it quickly though when I realized that it was time for our lunch reservation! AND THAT MEANT: TUSCAN SUNDAE!! We left the Bangs Party to roost at their table and went back downstairs to be seated in the main dining room, which was a big, open space with high ceilings and Italian tapestries hanging from the walls. We were seated next to a birthday party, but it wasn’t too rowdy considering all of the kids had their noses buried in their parents’ phones.
And that’s when Corey was able to check his sources before confirming to me that he did, in fact, know one of the younger members of the Bangs Party because he’s FRIENDS WITH HER ON INSTAGRAM. How incredibly awkward. I hoped that she didn’t find me through his Instagram, because literally the first picture I posted that day had a caption of “WE HATE EVERYONE ON THIS TOUR WITH US.”
As you can see, I’m really awesome at learning my lesson.
And then of course the Bangs Party was seated at a table behind us, but poor Corey was facing all of them. But thanks to Instagram, we learned that it was Sarah Conner’s birthday, haha. Happy birthday to you and your dumb bangs.
We waited for our food while sipping glasses of Niagara and ravaging a basket of bread and murdering it with delicious dipping oil like we hadn’t eaten in days. I went with a grilled salmon salad since I knew I was going to be eating A TUSCAN SUNDAE. Corey got some kind of Narcisi pasta stuff. The food was really great and our waitress was wonderful but she tried to give us our check without asking if we wanted to order A TUSCAN SUNDAE. Usually when this happens at restaurants, I take this as a sign from the Fat Gods to mean that I don’t need dessert and I should leave while I can still get up from the table without the assistance of Strongmen.
But no. Not today. I NEEDED that sundae. I really can’t explain why, but I just did. I snagged her before she had a chance to retreat and said, “Actually, we wanted to order the TUSCAN SUNDAE.” She apologized and came back with the dessert menu which I pretended to look at before saying again that we wanted THE TUSCAN SUNDAE. Corey had already agreed to share it with me so I didn’t feel too gluttonous. (Don’t worry, I ate grass and twigs for dinner that day.)
When our waitress returned with Corey’s to-go container, she also set down a plate with two spoons and a fucking steak knife, so we were really intrigued at that point. WTF was a Tuscan sundae, anyway?!
Meanwhile, Corey’s to-go container wouldn’t close properly due to a disfigurement so he had to ask for another one, but then that was also malformed so he had to operate on it with a butter knife. It was probably the most stressful moment of the day, second to DO WE HAVE TO SPIT?!
And then our waitress, whom I’m fairly certain called me babe at one point and she was definitely younger than me so that left me with confusing feelings, placed the most magnificent piece of edible architecture down before us and I was like, “OK now please leave so I can fuck this shit up.” LOOK AT IT! Homemade scoops of ice cream resting peacefully in a boat of sweet dough, like Moses sailing down the stream, crisscrossed with streaks of chocolate and caramel sauce and crowned with a splooge of airy whipped cream. OMFG I need to come back for seconds and fifths, TUSCAN SUNDAE. I definitely need to bring a sharing partner with me though because not even Corey and I together could polish off that beast.
Even Corey was like, “Good call on the TUSCAN SUNDAE, sister. You are the best at everything! Thank god you exist!”
After lunch, we made our way back to the front of the winery, hoping to see the Broad, but she wasn’t at her station. So we went to the gift shop and bought some souvenir wines. The man next to me walked away with an entire case and I fucking hated him.
We were prepared to leave after that, but then we saw that Broad was back behind the wine-tasting counter! I actually was pretty bloated at that pointed, maybe even burping bubbles, but there was no way we could leave the winery without SOME modicum of interaction with the beacon that led us there in the first place.
So we set down our bags and approached the counter tentatively, where Broad disinterestedly told us that we could have three complimentary tastings. Corey and I stood there, pouring over the list in a very “doo-do-doo” manner, until I finally asked Broad what her favorites were. She sighed and pointed to the list: “The Cab Sauv and Stella.”
We totally weren’t charming her at all. Every time she’d finish pouring us a glass, she’d shuffle back against the wall and stand there like a bored statue in age-inappropriate boots. I was almost scared to make her refill my glass two more times!
I can’t even remember what we tried now, except for a sangria that I was pissed I didn’t taste before buying the wine because I totally would have bought that too. Which I guess is the whole point of tasting wine BEFORE purchasing, but you know how I love to do things backward.
We finished our last tasting and thanked Broad profusely, swearing we would be back, which prompted her to reiterate the winery’s hours in a very business-like tone.
Overall, it was a really great experience and the wine was fantastic. But if I ever go back, I’m printing out a list of wine questions to ask Roberto that will require answers so lengthy, he will say, “Come see me after the tour and we will discuss this further” and then you know, what happens in the winery’s private room stays on this blog forever for the entire Internet to read at their leisure. (And it will hopefully be NSFW.)No tags for this post.
I’ve never been a very big shopper, so Black Friday does not appeal to me at all. I was, however, happy to have the day off work and spent it being leisurely with Chooch. We walked to Cannon Coffee on Brookline Boulevard and got some hot beverage.
Chooch somehow ended up with “100 People Who Are Screwing Up America” or something, and decided to read aloud from the first chapter, which was about shiesty lawyers turning us into a sue-happy nation and it coincidentally started off with a Simpsons analogy. Since Chooch is also OBSESSED with Simpsons Tapped Out, he was fucking thrilled about this.
Came home, tortured Marcy.
Henry came home around 3:30 and I abandoned him and Chooch. My friend Nina was visiting from Virginia and Wendy was hosting a small get-together for her. Everyone was all, “OMG Erin drove here all by herself!” like I don’t know how to drive or something! I just barely get to go anywhere on my own since we only have one car, you guys! I’m not THAT helpless.
Barb was there with her tricked-out boots, and also Sean and Angie who ditched the Law Firm last spring, so I was really happy to see them. Several of Nina’s non-Law Firm friends were there, too, but poor Sean was the only boy…
…so it was inevitable that he learned about Kegels.
Angie and Nina!
This is also the same face Wendy makes when ordering My Pretty Zombie eye shadow.
Barb and Baby Q!
OMG I miss working with Angie so much.
I think Wendy fed me an entire can of whipped cream while I was there. I need a fucking detox!
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When I think of Pittsburgh, abrasive Yinzers yelling about football, Mr. Rogers, and pot holes are among the first things that come to mind. Not wineries. In fact, I didn’t even know that a winery existed so close to Pittsburgh until two weeks ago when Corey and I were looking for things to tour and found the Narcisi Winery in Gibsonia! And then some of my friends had either been there or said that they heard of it, so I felt confident that this wasn’t going to be just a grape graveyard in some beer-bellied hillbilly’s backyard shed.
Our tour was scheduled for 10:30 Sunday morning, and we somehow made it there promptly without getting lost, no thanks to Henry who refused to give us directions as part of an experiment to make us grow our wings. Thank god for GPS.
There was a small group of women who walked in right before us and I felt relieved that this probably meant the tour was legit. Everyone immediately stopped in an awkward cluster on the other side of the entrance, and that’s where we stood until the BROAD emerged from the back and told us we could go stand in the gift shop, probably because she didn’t want to have to stand there and look at us. Corey and I looked at each other with wide and knowing eyes because OMG THE BROAD! So then we all moved into the gift shop where we could at least spread out from an awkward cluster into more of an awkward dotting.
Meanwhile, Corey had decided he hated all of the women right off the bat. Wow, that really reminds me of someone….
“Especially the one with the bangs,” he muttered. “Oh wait, there are several with bangs. The one that looks like that bitch from The Terminator, then. Sarah Connor.”
And I knew exactly who he was talking about because SHE DID LOOK LIKE SARAH CONNOR.
A younger couple showed up after awhile, and they seemed pretty inoffensive, and then more people arrived for the Bangs Party. “Oh, I think I know her,” Corey mumbled while quickly pivoting out of sight. He didn’t say anything else after that though so I figured he was just pretending to be a Pittsburgh Celebrity. The Bangs Party had grown into a group of about 8, mostly older bitchy women, but the group was also interspersed with a few younger ones holding Kate Spade clutches, too. It appeared to be a party of some sort, which I deduced after my hyper-observational skills noticed some of the broads arrived with GIFT BAGS. So then I decided I would hate them, too. Sibling solidarity and all that.
And then Broad emerged from a side door and said hi to us! To just Corey and me!! Like we’re celebriwinos! (If that wasn’t already a thing, it is now.)
Suddenly, Corey began to have a mild anxiety attack. “Wait—when we do the wine tasting, are we supposed to spit?”
I shrugged, because although I’m quite decorated in the whole spit/swallow debate, I have never been to a real life wine tasting. While Corey Googled, “to spit or not to spit at a wine tasting,” I started to picture several scenarios of me spitting wine back into a spittoon, one of which resembled wine spurting out of my mouth like water from a firehose, and I promptly decided that no matter what, I would just swallow. Unless there was an option to spit into a Kate Spade.
We must have been left to wither away in the gift shop for a good half hour staring at wine-relevant novelty items like wine charms and bottle stoppers before ROBERTO finally came out and started the tour by dripping his hot, velvety* Italian accent all over our faces. I imprinted with him almost immediately, but let’s be real here, we all knew I would.
*(Not to be confused with hot Velveeta. Although now I’m picturing him covered in hot Velveeta AND IT AIN’T BAD.)
He was thankfully not an old man like I had been anticipating, but somewhere probably in his late 30s/early 40s with a beautiful shock of perfectly manicured Italian hair and probably a Vespa in his garage, if you know what I mean.
(Do you? Because I don’t really.)
Over top of a loud Frank Sinatra jam, Roberto began telling us the history of the winery. Here is what I learned:
Then the tour moved into a warehouse-like room with big tanks and more talk about wine, a lot of which I had a hard time hearing over the bombastic Michael Buble Pandora station. I took pleasure in cutting off Corey’s Enemies-With-Bangs on the way out to the tank room, because it was a race, after all.
It’s always a race.
In this room we learned how wine is made and Roberto really started to get into his wine zone and even began telling some jokes, all of which I laughed SUPER HARD at while maintaining rape-y eye contact with him.
A LIVE RECORDING of Edwin McCain’s diarrhea-inducing hit “I’ll Be” came on and I wanted to curl up in one of those tanks and die a slow, drunken death. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, various members of the Bangs Party began ASKING QUESTIONS.
In particular, Shirley MacLaine’s doppelganger asked, “Which wine has the least amount of sugar? Like for, say, a diabetic.”
Roberto answered, “Any dry wine. Dry wines actually have zero sugar in them. Are you a diabetic?”
Shirley MacLaine, confused: “No.”
Roberto went on to explain the mysteries of dry wines and fermentation and other things that I couldn’t hear very well on account of the noxious collective fumes of the Bangs Party perfume penetrating every orifice of my body.
Shirley MacLaine interrupted. “But which dry wine has the least amount of sugar?”
Roberto: “None of them have sugar.”
Shirley MacLaine: “Yes, but which has the LEAST?”
Roberto: “Literally, all dry wines have zero sugar.”
Shirley MacLaine: “So, like a Cabernet—-”
Roberto: “If it is dry, that means it has no sugar.”
Shirley MacLaine: “So—-”
LOOK LADY, ALL DRY WINES ARE AS DRY AS YOU, SO STFU.
I couldn’t make eye contact with Corey at all during this because I knew I would start choking on throaty laughter.
And then one of the younger members of the Bangs Party decided to ask a question just to hear herself talk, and it was so pointless. “How many employees do you have here?” she asked. WHO CARES? WHEN DO WE DRINK??!
Then we looked at a bottling machine while the Bangs Party People said things like, “Oh wow” and “Huh” before it was finally time for the wine tasting.
P.S. Erin + Roberto 4ever.
[Up next: Part 2, where we move the tour upstairs for the wine tasting, eat a Tuscan sundae and INTERACT WITH THE BROAD.]No tags for this post.
This morning, Henry woke up and resumed all the cooking that he started last night. Meanwhile, I’m catching up on the X Factor (OMG those stupid dancers they insist on using have got to go!!) but it’s really hard to hear over Henry and his persistent mixing of foods in the kitchen. God.
I think only three people are coming over tonight but we have enough food for probably three dozen. WE EVEN MADE HOMEMADE CHEESE! (We=Henry. I got bored and took a bath instead.)
This used to be my least favorite holiday but I’m really starting to like it. Happy Tofurkey Day!!!No tags for this post.