Sep 012014
 

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My dear friend Kaitlin got married last Saturday! Henry and I couldn’t make it to the ceremony, but we wound up being the first ones at the Lemont for the reception, so we had to sit at the bar, where someone walked past and brought with them some pleasant aroma that brought back the strongest sensation of my Pappap’s presence that I’ve experienced in quite some time, so I sat there trying not to drop tears into my $9 amaretto sour.

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Henry in a suit: I approve. And he didn’t even put up a fuss about wearing one! He must be growing up, or just losing the will to fight.

Eventually, the banquet room was ready. Wendy and Shawn had just arrived so we walked down with them and Henry and Shawn basically imprinted immediately. Especially after Wendy told me to show Shawn pictures of the Get Stoked sign Henry made me. Their first man-date will probably be to Home Depot.

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Then Barb arrived and shocked us by saying that she managed to NOT CRY at the ceremony! She wandered off for a bit because she wanted to find some of the people from the Penguins organization (Danny, the groom, works for the Penguins!). A few minutes later, Barb came rushing back over to us with her arm hooked around a man and cried, “LOOK WHO I FOUND! JOE MACHI! FROM LAST COMING STANDING! ON NBC!!!!” Then she practically chucked her phone at me and made me take her picture with him. It was all happened so fast, you guys.

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After the Joe Machi experience, Barb was like, “Sure. I’ll pose for a picture with you, Erin Kelly. But you’re no Joe Machi.”

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This cake was just for ceremonial cutting purposes. We all had crème brulee instead, and it was fantastic!

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You might remember that Kaitlin used to work at The Law Firm and won all of our hearts with her otherworldly baking prowess. Well, she is such an overachiever that she baked 80% of her own wedding cookies, which were booby-trapped with sheaths of tulle during the cocktail hour. We took turns pacing back and forth with our tongues wagging.

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The signature KrollWedding2014 drinks were a cocktail of vodka, lemonade, mint and basil. And they were delicious. And free-flowing. I was pretty blitzed before the cocktail hour was over, and Henry was not happy about this. Haha!

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Mary arrived soon after Barb, completing the Law Firm table.

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The happy new couple, Shawn and Henry, taking in the view together.

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I love these broads. <3

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I hate that I don’t know what they were laughing at!!!

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Table 24 was the best table.

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This was when Wendy was trying to clean crème brûlée from my skirt with a centerpiece flower.

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That’s JOE MACHI standing behind Henry, you guys! JOE MACHI!!!!!!! Side note: Mary held a butter knife up to Henry’s neck several times during the night, further ingratiating herself into my life.

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Photobooth fun! Before I went in with Henry, I grabbed the “Soon to be Mrs” sign and said, “Oh here, hold this up. It’ll cause an outcry, I guarantee it.” And it did, haha. People thought we were announcing our engagement but I was like, “Sigh, no. We were just being dicks.”

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Ugh you guys. Kaitlin was the most beautiful bride! I cried as soon as she and Danny walked in and Henry was like, “Jesus Christ, here we go.” This might be my favorite picture of the night. Henry kept trying to duck because we were all trying to take pictures of Kaitlin, so she came right over and hugged him, haha!

Then Wendy and I made the mistake of relying on Henry and Shawn to take group pictures of us, and we wound up with a collection of photos that are just asking to be made into derp memes.

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This is what happens when you give a man the simple task of taking a picture for you: Barb gets cut out of both pictures and one looks like it was developed by a drunk person at Foto Hut in 1978.

I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot. I was pretty drunk, but we all had the best time and Henry and I didn’t fight at all! I was too busy staring at him with heart-eyes all night because underneath my layer of assholeness, I’m just a stupid girl who loves love and you guys, it was such a nice night. I was honored to be there. Congratulations, Kaitlin and Danny!

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Aug 292014
 

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I had this large piece of canvas just hanging around and I needed something to occupy myself so I started painting random people that I am/have been obsessed with at some point in my life. Just, off the top of my head, I picked celebs and it was oddly comforting. If I don’t have something to do, I’ll sit around and think about things and no one needs me thinking about things, believe me. Pittsburgh will inherent a pollution problem.

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It took about a week, but I finished it last night! Henry is super stoked to have to see it every day for the rest of his life, but he’s going to be even more stoked when he has to go out and find the perfect gaudy frame for it.

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Shortly after Chooch was born, Henry and I stumbled across Season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance and it was one of those things where we were fucking exhausted, Chooch was nursing so much that I was basically a couch-prisoner, and all we wanted was mindless entertainment. So we left it on. And then became obsessed. I never knew watching people dance could make me cry so much! So I picked Nigel Lythgoe, one of the original judges, to be the first person on the painting.

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If you’ve been my friend since at least 2008, you know my love for gymnastics guru Bela Karolyi runs deep.

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One of the best things about the advent of digital cable was The Game Show Network. All of those new channels to flip through and my friends and I never changed it from GSN. Especially if Match Game was on! I looooved Match Game and all of it’s amazing 1970s fashion and complete disregard for political correctness. My favorite panelist was Brett Somers and to this day, I covet those bug-eyed frames she wore with such panache. Fuck, she was fantastic.

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My mom took me to see Hot to Trot starring Bobcat Goldthwait in the 1980s and ever since, I think of him every time I lose my shit with giddiness because my punch-drunk laugh sounds remarkably just like his retarded bray-like way of speaking.

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Tammy Fay Bakker because she was such a train wreck. I was so obsessed with her for awhile that Henry made me a LiveJournal icon with her popping up from behind a hill. I don’t know, it’s just what I wanted, OK?

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I was obsessed with “Romancing the Stone” when I was a kid, because why not. What a great kids movie, right? I watched this movie a lot because I thought Michael Douglas was so goddamn hot. Billy Ocean’s “When the Going Gets Tough” will never fail to make me think of this movie and how much I miss the 80s. AND THEN MICHAEL DOUGLAS, DANNY DEVITO AND KATHLEEN TURNER WERE IN THE VIDEO!

After I picked Billy to be one of the people on my painting, I decided to listen to him on Spotify for some inspiration, and was instantly reminded of the time in middle school when my friend Christy and I were at the mall and I decided to buy his greatest hits from the record store Waves on the third floor. But for some reason, I was embarrassed about this, I guess that was before I quit caring what people thought about my musical choices. So as I was paying, I loudly and theatrically shouted to Christy, who was only standing a foot away from me, “I SURE HOPE OUR FRIEND SUSIE LIKES THIS CD.”

I still have that CD too, and I regret nothing.

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I’m sorry, Beyonce fans, but Barbara Streisand is the greatest female singer in the world. Sit the fuck down, Kanye. I have loved her ever since I was a kid, ESPECIALLY HER GUILTY ALBUM WITH THE BEE GEES OMG. But yeah, Barbara Streisand is the fucking shit and I will white knight her until I die.

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Jeffrey Dahmer was my first foray into the dark underbelly of humanity. I remember watching the news coverage in real time and just thinking, “Holy shit, this is real life?” I’ve been super intrigued by serial killers ever since—obviously not in an adoration sense, but you know what I mean. I thought it would be apropos to include at least one serial killer on this painting since Henry and I spend so much time making our serial killer greeting cards and Jeffrey was actually the one that spawned those. The Christmas card with his mug on it was the first one I ever made.

So, there’s a quick little summary of what I was thinking when I painted this. I’m pretty excited that it’s done and I have eight random slices of my own personal pop culture preserved forever!

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Aug 292014
 

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If I was forced to submit one quintessential quote to sum up my childhood, it would be “wolfman’s got nards.”

I was in elementary school the first time I saw The Monster Squad. Probably third or fourth grade? It was on HBO and my little brother Ryan and I were like, “…the fuck is this!?” It instantly became a Kelly Family Classic and I was so proud of myself when I caught it from almost the beginning one time and recorded it over top of my dad’s recording of Platoon. (Haha.)

I still have that VHS tape somewhere in a box in the attic. It’s labeled Monster Squad, etc. on a piece of masking tape and I watched the shit out of it all the way into my 20s until a few years ago, when I excitedly bought the DVD for Chooch. He liked it just fine, I guess, but didn’t latch on to it like he did with The Lost Boys. I was disappointed, but at least I finally got to watch it from the very beginning and without the 5 seconds of Platoon/brief static/slo-mo transition into the first scene of Monster Squad that I had grown accustomed to throughout my childhood. This flick was right up there with The Lost Boys, Goonies, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and Midnight Madness, as far as my childhood goes. We even named our pet rabbit Rudy after one of the boys!

It is a fucking timeless classic.

The other day, Kristy (one of the only people I know who shares my adoration for this movie!) texted me and said that the theater in the Waterfront, which I usually avoid like the plague, was going to be showing Monster Squad on Wednesday and I was like WE WILL BE THERE. Chooch was like, “What movie? I don’t know. I guess” and was totally blah about it because he IS SO TIRED AFTER HIS LONG, HARD DAY AT SCHOOL, YOU GUYS. SO VERY TIRED.

I was hoping my brother Ryan could go, because what better way to relive our childhood together than by shouting Monster Squad quotes at the big screen, but he sadly had to work.

When we arrived at the theater Wednesday night and Kristy’s daughter Sarah had a Slushee in her hands.

Let me tell you a short story: The night before this, we had met Chris and Monica at Antney’s for an ice cream date, and after rejecting his strawberry ice cream and then half-heartedly eating a consolation chocolate peanut butter cone, Chooch wanted a Slushee. Of course we were like, “Fuck you, spoiled brat. You just had two kinds of ice cream when you really shouldn’t have had ANY” so he proceeded to sit there and literally interrupt HIMSELF with whines about wanting a Slushee. He was so tired and irritable, that we should have just left him in the car. (I mean, with the window down! Cracked, at least.) That little fucker bitched about his lack of Slushee the whole way home. “My throat is so dry and you won’t even stop at a GAS STATION to get me a Slushee. What kind of parents ARE YOU?! I know I was a mistake!” He had basically written his emancipation speech before we even pulled into the driveway, and then he proceeded to go straight to bed. So, good riddance.

Flash forward to the next night and now he practically has a Slushee doing a striptease in his face, so I was like, “OMG I WILL BUY YOU A FUCKING SLUSHEE HOLD ON.” Turned out to be the best decision ever, because he nursed that bitch through the whole movie, like he was sucking it straight from a unicorn’s teat.

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Slushee Date.

I was happy to see that there was a relatively decent tour-out for this viewing. I didn’t realize until I was an adult how underrated and unknown The Monster Squad actually is. Henry had never heard of it until he fell into my dark vortex (my life or vagina?) so I mocked him endlessly until I realized that he was actually part of the majority on this one. Unfortunately, he opted out of watching it on the big screen because Lowe’s was calling his name. Good riddance.

Before the movie started, some dude with a microphone talked about all of the upcoming classics that they’re going to be showing, and when he mentioned the Robin Williams tribute night, Kristy whispered, “Don’t cry” and I was like HOW DID YOU KNOW!? Because I was totally crying, just at the mere thought of a Robin Williams tribute night. Sigh.

And then the guy finally shut up and Monster Squad started and so did my tears. Again! I hate how emotional I am. I blame Chooch. I never fully recovered from pregnancy.

You guys, this movie holds up so well. It was just as funny and exciting as it was when I was a kid, because now that I’m an adult I understand more of it, haha. And for Chooch, who hadn’t watched this since he was probably 3 or 4, it was like seeing it for the first time. He was cracking up really hard, and EVERYONE clapped during the pivotal “Wolfman’s got nards!” scene (that quote is right above the signature line on my checks!). IT WAS SO EXCITING!! I LOVE THIS MOVIE SO MUCH!!

“Dracula just doesn’t give a shit,” Chooch yelled at one point. Unsurprisingly, his favorite part of the movie was all of the swearing. Especially since it’s mostly kids doing the swearing. And then near the end, there is one part that has always ALWAYS always made me cry, and I glanced over and saw that Chooch was straight sobbing during the same part. We’re so emotionally fucked.

The next day, I was on an actual Monster Squad high. And all last night, Chooch would say things like, “Remember when Dracula was like give me the amulet you bitch?” And “Remember when Shawn was like hey asshole, you looked?” It reminded me so much of when Ryan and I were kids and would leave each other notes full of quotes from the bad movies we loved. I think I need to plan a Kelly Family Classic movie night soon.

Kristy, THANK YOU for the heads up on this! I would have been so sad if I missed it!

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Aug 272014
 

Today I’m going to tell you about some things I’m currently obsessed with, because don’t you all give so many shits about what I like? Obviously.

1. This version of PVRIS’s “St. Patrick” makes me feel like I’m being emotionally cuddled. (There’s no screaming in it, if that usually deters you from clicking “play” when I post YouTube videos, haha.

2. Cantaloupe! I know, such a small thing to obsess over, but usually cantaloupe is that one fruit I pick out of fruit salads because it’s always so over-ripe (under-ripe?) and tasteless. But Henry has won the cantaloupe (and watermelon!) lottery this summer and has been bringing home some of the sweetest, juiciest melons this side of 1990s porn.

3. Emarosa. Big surprise. But I can’t remember the last time I felt this much anticipation brewing inside my gut for a new album. I thought this band was never coming back, and now here they are, with a singer who is a million times better than Jonny Craig, and every single song and snippet I’ve heard thus far has felt like dynamite in my heart. I get to see them again in 2 weeks at Riot Fest and I’m so excited that I could just fucking SCREAM. They just released another single yesterday, and this is the one I’ve been craving ever since they played an acoustic version of it last May when I saw them on the Devils Dance tour. It is amazing. It is brilliant. It is so Emarosa and I must have listened to it 87 times last night after we came home from an ice cream date with Chris and Monica (or, Chronica). Here is Henry’s face during the Emarosa marathon:

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Here’s the album version of “People Like Me…” even though I posted the live version last week. YOU SHOULD STILL LISTEN TO THIS ONE BECAUSE IT’S BOMB AND WHEN BRADLEY INTERRUPTS HIMSELF AND SAYS, “NAH, FUCK IT” I GET SO STOKED.

I fucking love you, Bradley Scott Walden. I’m ready for this fresh start, in so many fucking ways. #Goodbye2008

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 4. Halloween Desk Planning! I came up with this year’s theme a few weeks ago and have already started collecting some key elements. I’m pretty excited for it, but also worried that it will be a huge failure because taking last year off kind of makes me feel like I’m off my game. Barb even said that I’ll never be able to out-do my Murder Desk from 2011 and believe me, don’t I know it. This year’s theme will be subtle (kind of) but also requires a lot of work and searching for things. (Luckily, these are all things that I have been wanting to add to my collection anyway, so acquiring them won’t be superfluous.) I can’t wait to tell you what I’m doing! Secrets are not  my strong-suit.

5. Painting faces. Actually, just painting in general. These last several months have not been the greatest for me (just inside my head; not anything serious, like job-related or with my home life). I feel like slowly, things are starting to come back to me, even after years of not practicing, even though some people still call my art “paint-by-numbers” and kind of roll their eyes when I try to show them things I’m working on, because they’d like me better if my “talents” were more of the culinary variety, I guess. So sorry. Juvenile art is the best you’ll get!

(ALERT! Jeannie was just over here and she said that she likes my art and that I have a very distinct style, so suck it, haters. Jeannie is hard to please!)

(OMG you guys, my family gave me such a complex, I apologize, lol.)

Anyway, I painted this one of Jesus yesterday, because why not:

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Also, this beast that’s still in progress:

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6. Henry In a Suit. OK, I haven’t written about Kaitlin’s wedding yet because I need to do that at home and not sporadically at work like most of my blog posts come into fruition, but can I just post this picture of Henry here and chirp about how much of a crush I have on him when he wears a suit? Heart-eyes for days.

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A quick list of things I’m currently NOT obsessed with:

  • CHRIS LEAVING THE LAW FIRM, BOOOO.
  • Summer basically being over.
  • Volatile mornings (a/k/a “Getting The Kid Ready For School”).
  • Being strung along; luckily, strings can be cut.
  • The neighbors.
  • Not having all of the time in the world.
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Aug 262014
 

Guys! Did you know that Glenn is having a baby? Well, his wife is, anyway. So we had a baby shower for him today at work!

There was a group card for everyone to sign, but….come on. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to ridicule Glenn in front of the department once again. So I made my own card.

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It’s just too easy sometimes.
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And then Glenn had to pose for pictures and pass around my card for further humiliation. In other words: IT WAS A GOOD DAY.

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Aug 252014
 

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Well, you guys. Chooch is home from his first day of third grade and you’d think he’d just worked a 15 hour day on Wallstreet with how EXHAUSTED, IRRITABLE and STRESSED he is.

“I haven’t had a chance to relax ALL DAY!” he wailed when we got out of the car after they picked me up from work. “I JUST WANT TO GO IN THE HOUSE.”

Henry and I just kind of paused and watched him lurch himself dramatically up the driveway and into the house, where he proceeded to lie down in bed for approx. 5 minutes before one of the neighbor kids came to get him and now suddenly he’s Mister Sunshine.

Ugh. Kids.

(OMG WHY IS HE IN THIRD GRADE ALREADY????)

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Aug 242014
 

Oh boy, has today been a day. Actually, you could say that for the whole weekend. Some exceptionally high points with some shitty lows sprinkled in. You know, for good measure. Keep that shit balanced, I guess. Definitely the highest point of the weekend was Kaitlin’s wedding yesterday! (That gets its own post, though, obvi.) But a low point was drinking waaaay too much for my low tolerant body and then basically laying awake, miserable, from 4AM on. This was my expression at many points throughout the day today:

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I had a fight with the neighbor yesterday. A parent fight. Just what I wanted, you know? I’m like, BITCH CAN’T YOU SEE I’M TRYNA TO PAINT MY FUCKING NAILS AND LISTEN TO EMAROSA? STEP OFF. Seriously, one of the worst parts of being a parent is DEALING WITH OTHER PARENTS. This is the same bitch who accused Chooch of punching her son in the face and giving him a bloody lip at school, when their teacher flat out said it DID NOT HAPPEN. And then they expected me to walk their kid to school every day last year?

Anyway, apparently Chooch kicked him yesterday (in the balls, lol) and THIS IS THE SECOND TIME IT’S HAPPENED AND IT’S GOTTA STOP! ONE OF US IS GOING TO HAVE TO MOVE! MY SON IS A FUCKING BULLY! These are these things she was screaming in my face immediately when I opened the door after she was BANGING ON IT seemingly with a sledgehammer. And Chooch was standing next to her, crying.

I’ve seen these two idiots playing together (which I don’t know why they even bother since they clearly don’t like each other) and they both do it to each other. They’re boys. They play rough. Yes, it gets out of hand and they’ll pout separately for a half hour, then go back outside.

So she’s screaming this shit at me without actually even looking at my face and then storms off before I can even really get a word in, which is definitely for the best because I fly off the handle at an alarming pace and I’m much bigger than her meth-addicted, drug-scabbed frame.

She retreated to her house and I called Henry on the phone and started screaming to him about it. I was shaking so bad and he was like, “Don’t stoop to her white trash level.”

I KNOW, I’M TRYING!

I talked to Chooch about it and he didn’t deny it. But then he calmly told me the other part of the story, which is where the kid rips Chooch’s phone from his hands and then shoves him to the ground when he asks for it back. And I believe this because I’ve seen that oaf-kid do these things and there’s not a doubt in my mind. So I asked, “Did his parents see all of this?” and he said no BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T OUTSIDE. But they heard their lame kid do his patented fake cry (honestly, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve scowled at him when he’s pulled this shit in front of me) so his mom came running out and started screaming because that is 100% all the Yinzer bitch knows how to do and let me just tell you how hard it is for a person who doesn’t speak like a yokel to decipher what the hell is being said/screamed.

This was the lowest low of the whole weekend, and I started drinking as soon as I got to Kaitlin’s wedding reception, because NO, JUST NO.

Then today, another mom came over to talk to me and basically sided with me because she spends a lot of time around both kids (her kid is 6, so she makes sure she’s outside most of the time when they’re all playing together) and she said that the bully kid’s mom yells at Chooch A LOT without ever seeing what happened, and she says things like, “You’re not innocent” and has her son spouting off things like, “Your parents think you’re so perfect.”

Yes, we think he is SO FUCKING PERFECT. Bitch, STFU. I don’t think my son is perfect but I think that he’s a boy and this is the shit that boys do, if you don’t want your precious cargo getting nicked, then don’t let him out of his room. I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO TELL YOU.

Other Mom also said that she sees a lot of these fights and that—shocker—Chooch isn’t the one who starts them. But god forbid he defends himself. And she also said that Chooch is always the one to try to make up and move on, but the other kid will say things like, “No, you’re stupid.”

He also calls people homos and faggots, so you see the savory sort of people we’re dealing with here. If I had 100% control of the situation, I wouldn’t let Chooch play with him AT ALL. But they are drawn together like destructive magnets.

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I felt pretty good after that conversation. And then we went to Station Street Hot Dog for lunch, and I felt even better. And then BILLY OCEAN came on while we were waiting for our hot dogs and I was like, “OH SUNDAY, YOU SEXY DAY YOU.”

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Remember my post about Henry on Friday? Yeah, forget that. I have a new boyfriend now. THIS GUY. ^^^^

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Also, when I was talking to Nice Mom, she interrupted herself at one point to gush about how much Chooch looks like me and I was like, “LADY YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH THAT MEANS TO ME.” Everyone thinks he looks like Henry and not me at all, which makes me sad because I think we look a lot alike. And then later, I was being my typical animated self which involved me pulling faces to get my point across, and she yelled, “OMG I SEE YOUR SON MAKING THAT FACE ALL OF THE TIME!”

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I got a vegetarian taco hot dog, yessss.

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We took everything to the cemetery for a picnic on rocks.

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You know what else Nice Mom told me? That bully kid’s mom told her that Chooch doesn’t talk to her kid at all in school, and if he does, it’s only to pick on him, but then he turns around expects her son to play with him all summer.

ARE.YOU.FUCKING.KIDDING.ME. First of all, Chooch tries to keep his distance from him because that a-hole gets him in trouble all of the time. Every year, the teachers learn that they have to keep them separated. I actually JUST pointed this out to Henry a few weeks ago, how it’s convenient for him to play with Chooch in the summer when he’s got no one else, and he’s guilting Chooch into buying him ice cream from the ice cream man. (THIS HAPPENED!!!! I WAS LIVID!! THAT A-HOLE’S MOM WAS RIGHT THERE TOO AND NEVER EVEN BOTHERED TO OPEN HER FUCKING PURSE, OMG I HATE THIS WHITE TRASH FAMILY SO BAD.) But then I KNOW he’s going to turn around and go back to being a super-dick to Chooch once they’re in school again. HE knocks on OUR door! Chooch never initiates it!

Ugh, I miss the days when Chooch’s only friends were adults.

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Henry yelled at Chooch for “getting moss on his pants,” thereby furthering his passionate stance on the fluffy green stuff.

Then we went to the worst Target in the city, which is always full of college kids and hipsters, and Target is usually such a happy place for me, BUT NOT THIS ONE. And then Henry bitched because we spent $100 more than he wanted to and I was like, “OH OK BITCH JUST GO RETURN ALL OF MY STUFF” and he was like, “NO I DON’T CARE, I WAS JUST SAYING” and then I was already still so mad about having to weave and wind through so many hipsters, it was like knowing what a damn Mumford & Sons concert must be like, so I just started yelling incoherent things and then bitched because it smelled in the car AND WHY DOESN’T HENRY JUST CLEAN IT ALREADY OMG.

So then he was like ,”Do you still want ice cream?” and I was like “OMG yes I almost forgot!” so then it was going to be a high point again, going to Oh Yeah! to get ice cream, but there was a long line with only one person working and my Perfect Son was being decidedly Imperfect so I stormed out and marched back to the car and Henry was so annoyed when they finally caught up to me.

ANOTHER LOW POINT.

But then we decided to just go and get some of these amazing Leona’s ice cream sandwiches but then got into another argument because he was making me look up where we could buy them and I hate when he makes me do that because then he will unfailingly ask impossible questions, such as, “What is the address?” and I’m like “I DON’T KNOW STOP PRESSURING ME!” and then he will yell, “FUCK YOU WE’RE GOING HOME!” and then I’m like, “OH THIS IS TYPICAL, THE ONLY THING I WANTED ALL DAY AND NOW I CAN’T HAVE IT” and he will scream, “THE LAST 457 THINGS YOU GOT TODAY ALREADY WERE SUPPOSEDLY THE ONLY THINGS YOU WANTED TODAY!” and then Chooch will be like, “Does wherever we’re going have wifi?” and we’re all like, “UGHUGHUGH.”

But then we eventually found a market in Lawrenceville that sells Leona’s and also tubs of vegan chicken salad!!!! So we bought that and each got an ice cream sandwich and we were all happy again. Mostly.

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Then we came home and I started working on this piece called “People To Watch Over You.”

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Chooch goes back to school tomorrow. I’m sad that summer is over, but it was time. Yesterday’s blow-up definitely proves that.

What a fucking bipolar weekend, you guys.

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Aug 222014
 

Yesterday, I was thinking about the awful time Henry and I were in my ex-friend Keri’s wedding. This was back in 2003 and we had been together for two years at this point, but fought like we had been married for 22. Sometimes I feel like we really, actually hated each other and I wonder what made us stay together.

Anyway, I texted my brother Corey because he was at that wedding too and I figured he would have some embarrassing pictures that I could post here. As usual, above and beyond, Corey!

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All I really remember of this night was getting trashed (Keri’s step-dad passed me a bottle of blackberry Schnapps under the table, in addition to whatever other liquor I was knocking back) and being forced to AWKWARDLY dance with Henry. And I mean AWKWARDLY. It was like the two of us had NEVER TOUCHED before. So uncomfortable and embarrassing and the wedding photographer ate that shit up. “Erin, over here!” he’d call out gleefully, and I’d fall for that shit every last time.

Anyway, Corey also found this picture of Henry and me hating each other, Christmas 2002. (Very similar to the other random holiday picture I posted on my birthday.)

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I don’t think anyone thought we were going to last back then. I know I sure didn’t.

These pictures made me think a lot about what I like to refer to as The Dark Pit. Henry and I started out as a secret. For me, secrets are FUN. Exotic. Scandalous. OK, fine, we WERE a scandal. Let’s just call a spade a spade. But as soon as we weren’t anymore, it was like, “Fuck, now we have to get to know each other? Now we have to be a regular couple?” And there were other extenuating circumstances that really snuffed out our flame, you guys. It was kind of sucky for awhile there. But, something made us stick it out.

I remember going to Coachella with him in 2004 and fighting so much that I actually had rage blackouts. There is very little that I remember from that long Californian weekend, and if you know me and my ridiculously vault-like memory, you know that’s a big statement. It’s amazing one of us didn’t bury the other in the desert that weekend.

It’s kind of mind-boggling that Chooch was planned, when I think about it. Because our relationship was fucking rocky and schizophrenic. I was also a lot crazier then. But I actually sat down with Henry during the summer of 2005 and said, “I want to have a baby. Do it.” And even after Chooch was born, things were still…blah. I recently read something that I wrote on LiveJournal in 2006 about how I wasn’t sure if I even knew what love was. I don’t think Henry and I loved each other. Not really. And there were so many times I almost left, and he almost left, but laziness got the best of both of us and we stayed. We dealt. I got a job working nights so we barely saw each other.

It shouldn’t have gotten better. But somehow it did. I don’t remember EVER looking at him the way I do now. (Adoringly! And with way less disgust and contempt than ever before!) Maybe I needed to grow up, I don’t know. Maybe it was because I hated MYSELF so much back then. But suddenly, something changed and the last 5 or 6 years have been completely different from the first 6 or 7.

OK, fine. I can actually pinpoint it exactly: it was Game Night 2007 and we were playing Catchphrase. All Henry said was, “Um….female singer…” and I cried, “CARLY SIMON!” And it was motherfucking CARLY SIMON. You know who can pull that mind-reading shit off?! Soul mates. That’s who. We even dreamed of cabbage at the same time once.

OK, maybe that’s not exactly what made our relationship take a turn for the better, but it was definitely when I began to realize he’s my BFF. I guess I never saw him that way before. We communicate way better than we used to and we have way more fun now. Which is crazy considering how OLD Henry is.

You guys, I asked him last night how annoying he thinks I am, and he said 99% of the time, I DO NOT ANNOY HIM. You know what that means?! HE HAS FINALLY LEARNED TO LOVE MY QUIRKS AND PECCADILLOES. It takes a special person to be able to handle me, and he does it with patience and panache. I mean, anyone who could put up with the whole Erin/Christina saga is a fucking saint.

Or…maybe this is just a really sweet way of saying that he has finally earned his Masters degree in Blocking Out Erin.

This whole post could just be a super adorable way of me admitting defeat, but I guess I kind of like that motherfucker now. Enough that Chooch is always groaning, “Ugh, stop kissing!” Maybe not getting married was the trick.

(LOL J/K. I STILL WANT MY FUCKING WEDDING.)

(Now Henry is going to read this and think I cheated on him.)

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Bonus! Here’s Janna, Lisa and me at the aforementioned wedding in 2003:

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ETA: Henry just read this and leaned over to presumably say something nice to me so I freaked out and punched him in the crotch.

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Aug 212014
 

Today I decided to check in with Past Erin and post what I was doing five years ago near this day, because that is GOOD BLOGGING, y’all. And not at all lazy. So, here is a story about this one time, when my friend Alisha and I went to Target. (We’re not friends anymore, and now that I think about it, it’s no wonder why.)

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Most of Saturday was spent with Alisha while she did some big girl shopping. You know, boring shit like housewares and groceries. Mostly I just got in the way, although she did force me to help her stow a heavy shelf in the bottom of the cart at Target. It was funny (to me) because I was basically just touching it with my fingertips while she did all the grunt work.

While standing across from an acreage of paper towel choices, we witnessed quite possibly the funniest thing since miscegenation: A mom-type squeezed past us with her cart, followed by her (I’m guessing) 4- or 5-year-old son who was erratically pushing his cart, if a cart is really his wheelchair-bound grandma. That sight in itself was mildly amusing, because the kid kept skidding the wheels into the sides of the aisle. But then suddenly the mother bellows, I mean full-on unleashes the wrath of nine generations of pissed-off mothers, “Michael! That is NOT FUNNY!” because apparently Michael decided to turn granny’s wheelchair into a New for 2009 ride at the county fair, complete with sparking wheels and popping bolts, and nearly toppled her. And Michael, while his mother is coating his face with a sheen of scolding-saliva, is doing this unrepressed high-pitched giggle, like he knew what he did was wrong but it was just so goddamn funny.

I couldn’t control it. I was dying so hard on the inside that I had to back into the nearest aisle, lean over a shelf and laugh into my folded arms. Then I happened to catch Alisha’s eye, and she looked like she was going to pee herself as well. I REALLY want there to be a reenactment of that for the next Hover Round commercial. “Don’t let THIS happen to YOU.” It could be the next best thing since “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”

Somewhere between the bath aisle and toiletries, Alisha was on the prowl for measuring cups. As we’re standing there, a couple encroached on our personal space. The woman part of the couple saw something on the other side of Alisha and let out some high-pitched exclamation that only those fluent in kitchenware can understand as she reached across us to get a closer look. Catching herself, she looked over at us and apologized for being rude, which saved her from becoming an entry in Alisha’s Death To You notebook. Her husband immediately joined in and joked, “Just hit her! That’s what I do!” Now, I was already giddy from Michael and the wheelchair shenanigans, so this whole situation was seriously fanning the giddy wildfire taking over my body. Alisha still looked a little uncomfortable by the fact that this intensely social couple was pulling us into their conversation. We learned the woman’s name was Melanie and that she’s never peeled an avocado but would consider doing so if she had the clever avocado tool she saw hanging on the wall. It was about two minutes of high energy hysteria before they left Alisha to pick out measuring cups in peace. (She found orange ones. Orange is her favorite color and she says it in two syllables.)

I called out, “Bye!” making Alisha squint her eyes shut like she does so often when we’re together. (She doesn’t like that I encourage strangers to be social beings around us.) They turned around and loudly wished a good day upon us.

Now, I’m not ALWAYS down with situations like that, where strangers randomly try to strike up a conversation while I’m shopping, but there was something about them that I really liked, almost like they were inviting us to their inside joke party. It was bonding at its most purest. They were leaving right as we were checking out, and Mel and me (yeah, we got it like that) pointed at each other and laughed. As I watched their Steelers jerseys disappear out the doors, I felt my heart sag.

“I’m going to miss them,” I confided to Alisha. “Like, I keep picturing us having a barbeque with them. I might even let them talk about the Steelers.” THAT IS HOW MUCH I LIKED THOSE PEOPLE.

Of course I brought them up a ton of times throughout the day, and at one point I said, “I think I’m going to think about them forever.” Alisha’s  reply, which tested positive for sarcasm, was, “No, not you. You NEVER obsess over ANYTHING.”

Within minutes of leaving Target, I received a text from my friend Justin, whom I haven’t seen in years. He was my first “OMG I’m going to kill myself if we break up” boyfriend back in high school, but we’ve always kept in touch. The text said, “Hey were you just at Target? I thought it was you but wasn’t sure.” Now at this point, Alisha and I were walking through the Toys R Us parking lot. I read the text out loud to her and yelled appallingly, “He wasn’t SURE if it was ME? What the fuck, he’s been in MY VAGINA, for Christ’s sake, and he wasn’t SURE it was me????”

I guess Alisha wasn’t expecting that because she sort of looked a little blanched and her eyes turned into a spinning marquee of #!#@#$%$#@%$, kind of  like a  WTF-version of a slot machine. She kept murmuring, “Why? Why? Why did you have to say that?” while rocking methodically in the passenger seat.

“Well, you know me. It’s what I’m good at.”

“Putting people in your vagina???” she cried.

“No! Making people uncomfortable.” But the more I thought about it, both I guess.

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Aug 202014
 
  • This summer has been weird. I’m still slightly disoriented because CHANGE and there also has been a void since I vowed to back off from county fairs since I almost died at one last summer. County fairs were my summertime livelihood and I have felt so empty these last few months.  And then we just haven’t had many free weekends to go toall of the small amusement parks like we usually do and Henry has been all “CONCERTS OR AMUSEMENT PARKS, PICK ONE” because he is theSTINGIEST DAD EVER. Fuck you, Henry.
    • But…at least it’s almost fall! And fall is always good. One day a few weeks ago, it was really chilly when I was outside on my break, and I swear I could smell fall in the air. It was amazing and made me smile, which probably looked annoying to all of the people around me who had Work Face on.
  • Remember the Supposed Bomber? SAW HIM AGAIN TODAY! This time it was under a bridge and he looked like he was thinking about jumping into the river.
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  • Robin Williams. Fuck,I’ve been trying to avoid this. I was with my friendElissa when I found out. It was last Monday evening and I had met her while she was out walking her dog,in order to give her Gina’s birthday present. About a minute before we parted ways, my friend Nina texted me and all it said was “Oh no, not Mrs.Doubtfire!” Somehow, I knew exactly what this meant but still thought to myself, “No.” As soon as I said goodbye toElissa, I pulled up Facebook (always the credible news source, right?) and one by one, people started posting links from ACTUAL credible news sources, confirming that it was true. It’s been a long time since I felt that up-ended over a celebrity’s death. Definitely not since Elliott Smith’s suicide/homicide in 2003 (it’s still a grisly mystery).
    • And before that, it wasTupac and Gianni Versace.
      • I was obsessed with Versace when I was in high school. My friend Lisa was actually the one who broke the news to me. She called me from the people’s house she nannied for (oh hay, awkward syntax, I still got it) and was like, “OMG I hate to be the one to tell you this, but…” I will never forget it: I was using the wall phone in the laundry room and literally slid down the wall until I was in a crumpled heap of despair on the floor. I watched a lot of Days of Our Lives back then, so I was theatrically prepared for this moment.
    • The very next morning, I was getting ready for work and Elliott Smith’s “Angeles” came on my Spotify playlist and of course the album cover is a picture of Matt Damon and Robin Williams from “Good Will Hunting” so I started crying my dumb cat eyes right off my face.
      • I have a lot to say about mental illness. How I can relate. How it doesn’t matter how many people are like, “I love you and you mean something to this world.” Sometimes, you just fucking feel really alone. Even in a roomful of people, I just feel really fucking alone. Not glorifying suicide, but I get it. I also get that there are ways to change it. And I have always opted to fight, because I’m a stubborn fucking bitch and that’s what we do. We fight and we get by. And sometimes we have to ask for help. I wear one of my To Write Love on Her Arms bracelets almost every day. It’s a good reminder. It’s Zoloft on my arm.
    • When Terri and Christian were here, we had a lengthy convo about Robin Williams movies while standing in the middle of the Exchange. I think we were trying to remember the name of Patch Adams, and Terri said that “Awakenings” is one of her favorite movies and I said that I had only seen it once, a long time ago, and that I would have to watch it again real soon. The day before that, we were in Dave’s Music Mine, and I held up the soundtrack for The Mirror Has Two Faces and admitted that I not only own it, but I still fucking love that Bryan Adams/Barbra Streisand duet from it. A little more than a week later, Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall (who was in The Mirror Has Two Faces!!!!) both died. TERRI AND I ARE KILLING PEOPLE.
    • I realized over the weekend that Chooch has never seen a Robin Williams movie, so I made him watch “Hook,” which I randomly selected on Netflix. He was pretty entranced throughthe whole thing, but at the end, at the VERY end, he stood up and cried, “Oh, some kid’s movie, MOMMY. There were stabbings and some kid died. A KID DIED. Yeah, great kids movie!” and then he stormed off.
      • Aside from that, he was convinced that the Lost Boys were shouting “bangarang” because of Skrillex.
    • No Robin Williams Glenns have been made yet. Too soon. But one day it will be time, and I will make a glorious collage of all the best Robin Williams. Because just one isn’t good enough. Not for him. :(
  • Henry makes me a sandwich for lunch every day so that I won’t roam around downtown, playing tug-of-war with pigeons for bread. But yesterday, something felt off. The sandwich felt flatter yet heavier. I took it out of the Ziploc and it was soggy on one side, like practically wet. I smelled it, but my sense of smell is weird and I just couldn’t place it. I took a cautious bite and threw it to the side. Even the inside was wet! It felt heavy like a PB&J, but it wasn’t that! I texted Henry, panicked that I grabbed the wrong sandwich and I was eating some disgusting creation ofChooch’s BECAUSE WHO KNOWS WHAT HE DOES WHILEJUDY IS WATCHING HIM. Anyway, it turns out it was fig and cream cheese which is definitely something weird that I would like but I guess because I’m so used to cheese and fake meat everyday, I just wasn’tprepared. Similar to have something slipped in the wrong—-well, you get the idea. I was so angry about this sandwich, even after discussing with Chris how delicious figs and goat cheese sounds, that I totally laid into Henry when he picked me up from work and made sure he understood that he was never going to win Master Chef if he kept making me wet sandwiches with mystery ingredients. And then he was like, “YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN SANDWICHES FROM NOW ON.”
    • But guess what I’m eating right now? A cheese and fake meat sandwich that Henry made for me. Good one, Henry.
      • Today’s sandwich is fantastic, btw.
  • Henry and I watched a series of Mr. Mister videos on YouTube last Friday. #foreplay And that’s how I learned that the first CD he ever bought was one of their albums! I can just hear him telling his mom about it. “Mommy, I bought this really swell compact disc by a musical group called The Mr. Misters!” And then feeling uncomfortable when “Broken Wings” comes on and he has a boner.
  • All summer long, we were under the impression that Chooch goes back to school after Labor Day. Butthen Judy was talking to one of the neighbors and it came up off-handedly that school starts next Monday. So she told Henry and me and we were like, “No, that person is wrong because it’s after Labor Day” but then we decided to open the back to school packet that came in the mail and oh—it’s Monday. I guess that’s what we get for going by an 8-year-old’s word.
    • Guess who’s going back-to-school shopping tonight?
  • I am unable to process everything that’s happening in Ferguson, but thank god Henry pretends to listen to me rant about it.
  • On a lighter note, Mean Amber found this big bug thing on the floor so Catherine decided to leave it on Glenn’s desk, which is hilar but you KNOW that when he comes in tomorrow morning, I’m going to be the #1 suspect. And he gets here 2 and a half hours before me, which is ample time for him to retaliate. So…great guys. JUST GREAT.

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  • I kept stalking Wendy’s office because she told me the other day, “OH YOU CAN HAVE ANYTHING IN MY FRUIT BOWL, FRIEND!” But whenever I would go over there, someone was always in there talking to her so then I’d go over and stand in front of Barb’s desk looking sad. So Barb tried to office me a plum and I snapped, “I DON’T WANT A PLUM I WANT A PLUOT!” Because those bitches are good. So finally I caught Wendy alone and said, “I don’t want to talk, I just came for some fruit!” and she was all gracious and sharing about it, but then all she had was an apple and some cuties! I took a cutie, but made sure to spit, “THANKS, BUT I WANTED A PLUOT” before storming back to my desk. UGHHHHH. TERRIBLE DAY.
  • Last week, Chooch called a group of jaywalkers “a big dumb pile of bitches.” WHERE DOES HE GET IT WHO KNOWS.

And I will leave you with “Angeles” by Elliott Smith. The very thought of this song in my head makes me tear up.

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Aug 192014
 

Henry’s mom has been staying over a lot this summer to help out with watching Chooch since my schedule changed and Henry’s work is constantly jerking him around. Now, don’t get it twisted, I like Judy a lot. BUT if I have to hear one more second of the Family Feud music, Ruby might make a comeback.

(Ruby is my bi-polar psycho personality, for those who haven’t been graced with her presence.)

Try to imagine how you felt when you were 16 and too many grown ups were around. That’s how I feel. It’s bad enough when it’s just Henry!! Now I’m surrounded!!

Last night, I pouted in my bedroom and listened to Touché Amore REALLY LOUDLY and waited for Henry to come in and ask me what’s wrong so I could cry NOTHING!!! UGH!!!

Judy’s downstairs watching the Bachelor now I think. Sigh.

You guys? My life. This is it. What a fantastic summer this has been.

Tonight, I’ve been replaying the same Emarosa song over and over and crying because I am the ultimate emo song personified these days. Ever since I heard them play this song on the Devil’s Dance tour in May, it has haunted to me. It makes me feel like my heart has been carved and sculpted into a wigwam and I’m curled up inside it. YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN DON’T LIE, FUCKER.

^ That song title is wrong, FYI.

I salivate every time I think of this upcoming album. Less than a month until it’s released (I preordered it of course)! And then a week later I’ll be seeing them in Chicago at Riot Fest and that will make up for my lame summer.

(Oh boy, now Henry’s here to completely not listen when I try to talk about my FEELINGS.)

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Aug 182014
 

I know. Motivationless isn’t a word. I get it. I scored a perfect on that dumb vocabulary quiz that’s going around Facebook, so there. But for the sake alliteration, god forbid, it is now.

Ugh. Anyway, here are some pictures of shit that’s been going that doesn’t involve my mind birthing droves of emo bands. That is to say: be thankful if you’re not Henry because I have been all kinds of hyper-dramatic and whiny lately.

1. PROJECTS:

I can’t tell you how many unfinished projects we’ve got laying around the house: things that need put together, things that need hung on the wall, things that are only half-painted. But, this is the age of Pinterest so I’m willing to wager that 80% of the people reading this are probably nodding their heads right now. BECAUSE YOU KNOW. I’ve been cracking down on this shit though, and I got Henry to finally take down the dingey dining room light that came with the house and, up until last week, had four different light bulbs in it, including those spiral-y lights that are so great for the environment but ugly as fuck. Anyway, the only solution I could see to dressing this bitch up was to spraypaint it with purple glitter and buy pretty light bulbs for it. And, since this was a light fixture that we needed reinstalled sooner rather than later, Henry actually got it done super fast and it looks like gorgeous, guys. Liberace would be proud:

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Next up was this old Coca-Cola crate that I bought at a flea market in 2009 and has been sitting on a windowsill behind curtains ever since I finished painting it. Henry finally hung it up and now it doubles as a shelf! (Not shown: the two empty embalming fluid bottles which now perch majestically upon the crate’s lip.) I’m so happy it finally has a place!

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 2. Marcy

Because…Marcy. <3

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3. Super Stoked for Sibling Sesh!

My brother Corey recently came back from a kayaking adventure in Montana, so we met up last week at Gianna Via’s to talk about it over some dinner. I had a pumpkin martini and it was great, but now I’m in an autumn mindset and want to go to haunted houses STAT. Anyway, Corey has this really loud, boisterous laugh sometimes and it came out a lot over dinner, which instantly put me in the best mood. KELLY SIBS, WHUT:

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4. Weird Fruit

One of my co-workers bought a pint of ground cherries at the farmer’s market that happens downtown once a week. She told me she only bought them because there were two hipster guys buying an armful of them, like it’s the Pabst of produce. They told her that they love ground cherries because they taste like pineapples and vanilla, depending on which hipster you were asking. I was really anxious to try one and it excited me that each one came swathed in some weird paper-like wrapper that first needed to be peeled off. At first I was like FUCK YES this is great and I emailed the bearer of ground cherries to express to her my gratitude for the gift of fruit. I ended the email with #blessed but then deleted it because who knows. She told me to just take them because no one else liked them. I thought they were great, I said! But then the more I ate, the more I realized they tasted like semi-sweet tomatillas and now I don’t like them anymore.

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5. Geese Police:

Apparently in Pittsburgh, this is a necessary thing.

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 6. Zombie Luau!

I met Kristy at a zombie luau this past Saturday night. My work friend Patty was also there so that was nice. She even scored me a cigarette later in the night, which Kristy and I passed back and forth at the bar like we were in 7th grade, smoking in the locker room. So sad.

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Kristy went as a zombie tiki cocktail. I went as a casual passer-by with a limp, because I didn’t have it in to me to throw together a costume and I had hurt my foot earlier that day in the cemetery. There was a hula hooping contest, which Kristy got suckered into but I ran away because no. It was the after party for Horror Realm, which is a horror convention here in Pittsburgh. Lew Temple was hanging out, and I was internally very excited about this but I don’t really know why?

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And thank god, Frankenberry was there! (Spoiler Alert: he won the costume contest.)

7. Mike the High Waiter

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Hey man, I’ve been meaning to finish recapping the time I got to spend with my pals Terri and Christian a few weeks ago, but I think I’ve been suffering some sort of withdrawals. I hate goodbyes! But anyway, the last night they were here, we all went to dinner at the Double Wide Grill which has a decent meatless offering. Henry was concerned because the few times we had gone there in the past, we had horrendous service. But I figured enough time had past that we should be in the clear.

Wrong.

Our waiter Mike stumbled over to us and began mumbling incoherently about the weather while essentially pretending to take our drink orders. I’d like to have seen what he was actually writing on his pad, I have a feeling it was akin to the clock that Will Graham draws in “Hannibal.” willsclock

 

After coughing on the side of Terri’s neck 4 times, he did a quick shuffle away from our table before getting everyone’s drink order, and we all just kind of  sat there stunned.

“Well….I’m glad this at least wasn’t your FIRST impression of Pittsburgh?” I threw out there hopefully.

Then we got a new waiter and figured Mike was probably puking on some homeless guy’s cardboard house by then.  20140812-141409.jpg

 

Terri and I both ordered a vegetarian TV dinner, which was novel and mostly good. I was mad because the grits in the picture on the menu had blueberries on them, not cheese. BUT WHATEVER. I think my favorite part of the dinner was watching Christian longingly eye up the puzzles on Chooch’s placemat, before finally snatching up a crayon and solving one of the word scrambles with great satisfaction and relief.

Afterward, we walked to the Milkshake Factory, because that’s where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes used to go when Tom was here filming “Jack Reacher” so that seemed like a good tourist attraction, somehow. I’m really bad at this.

Then Chooch became obsessed with karate and wanted to pose for a picture in front of some studio with some Happy Buddha statue, which he pointed out has “man boobs like Henry.”

“Dude,” Terri laughed at Henry. “You’re a saint!”

“Here’s Henry,” Christian said pointing at a spot on the wall. “And here’s the rest of the world,” he pointed to his umbrella, before beating the aforementioned “Henry” spot on the wall. And even Henry laughed at that, because it’s true!

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I miss those guys!

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Aug 172014
 

My joke painting of Tony Stewart was so fun to do that I couldn’t stop. At the request of my lovely friend Octavia, I made her a Tom Waits:

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For my friend Gina’s birthday, I made her a Jenny Lewis:

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And I really wanted to show my friend Kristy how much I appreciate her (she’s been getting me out of the house for some adventures lately!), so I was going to make her a Jenny Lewis too, but then I decided to make her a George Romero instead, because she is the biggest zombie aficionado I have ever known! I gave this to her last night at a zombie luau and her reaction was the best!
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Art therapy, my friends. Art therapy. (Even though Glenn referred to my art as “paint by numbers.” REAL COOL, GLENN. I think he’s just trying to downplay his awe and admiration so that when the Tony Stewart painting goes missing, I won’t suspect him.)

I don’t anticipate my manic energy/insomnia to dissipate anytime soon so I’m sure this week will produce more fake art.

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