Oct 232020
 

Do I really need an intro.

Terrordome

This damn ticket to a haunted house is 25 years old. I always keep it tucked into a frame of a picture on a wall so it’s kind of like permanent decor at this point, but I was looking at it the other day when I took it down to dust said picture frame (and by dust I mean I just gave it a good swipe with my hand, housewife who now?) and felt awash with memories. (Or maybe that was just the dust particles.

Some thoughts I had while looking at this ticket:

  • $13.50 is CHEAP AF for a haunted house nowadays but I remember in 1995 thinking that it was expensive (actually, I probably didn’t give it a second thought – I was 16 and my mom paid for everything!). But this was a big deal because it was located in the old Civic Arena, which is where the Penguins used to play, and this was back when haunted houses were in old schools and VFWs so it was exciting to have some big budget, commercialized haunt to attend (and now I wish we could just go back to 1995 where haunted houses were all garbage bag walls and gratuitous gropings, le sigh). I wish I could tell you if it was “worth” the whopping $14 bucks, but I honestly can’t remember the inside at all aside from ELVIRA being there one night (we went like three times lol) and getting her to sign a picture for my dad. But what I do remember is that they had some of the best monsters entertaining the people in line outside and I became obsessed with two of them, one of whom I would run into a few years on the Southside and practically accost, all excitedly screaming I REMEMBER YOU FROM TERRORDOME and she was like I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY DO I NEED TO USE IT. Anyway, I would run into numerous times after that on purpose because she went on to become local legend PHAT MAN DEE and my friend Wonka and I used to attend her performances back in the day. This one time, she actually sat with us in between sets at the Lava Lounge and we thought we were literally the coolest fucking people ever, or at least at that bar.
  • I mentioned that we went several times that season, but it was because we had so much fun hanging out outside of the venue that my friend Keri and I begged my mom to take us back. OK FINE THERE WAS A BOY. Keri and I became friendly with Jason Voorhees and ended up hanging out with him outside of the arena for like, hours. I had the biggest crush on him ever but OF FUCKING COURSE Keri snagged him because that was her sole purpose in life, pushing up her boobs and doing things with her tongue. I remember her shot-gunning his cigarette while we were sitting there and I was so pissed, and then of course she only dated him for a hot minutes because she couldn’t have meaningful ANYTHINGS back then and probably now too but I wouldn’t know because I haven’t talked to her since 2006 when she sold me out to Henry’s ex-wife because she was hanging out at the bar his ex worked at and was getting free beer. YEAH, FREE BEER FOR GIVING HER THE INSIDE SCOOP ON MY LIFE. MORE LIKE BLOOD BEER!!
    • Jason Voorhees (I don’t remember his real name) wasn’t even that cute when he took his mask off.
  • LOL @ the now-defunct Bell Atlantic as a sponsor.

 

MOLE DAY

We finally got Chooch a gaming computer after years of crying for one and begging Janna to give him hers. For the first couple days, he was very grateful and being super helpful around the house but now he’s back to normal. It was nice while it lasted. :(

I was “getting ready for work” yesterday morning (by that I mean I still brush my hair and do my eyebrows because you never know when a surprise video call could happen). Chooch was “in Chemistry” and from the bathroom, I heard his teacher say, “Tomorrow is a special day in Chemistry. Anyone know why?

“I bet it’s Mole Day,” I whisper-screamed from the hallway.

Chooch ignored me.

Anyone want to try and guess?” his teacher asked again from the computer screen.

“Mole Day!” I repeated.

“I’m not saying that,” Chooch grumbled, because in his mind HOW CAN A MOTHER KNOW THINGS.

I’ll give you a hint: it relates to a number in chemistry,” the teacher sounded sad and desperate now, just like I was TO HAVE MY ANSWER PASSED ON.

“TELL HIM IT’S MOLE DAY!” I wheezed, hopping from foot-to-foot in frustration.

It’s Mole Day,” the teacher sighed to the virtual classroom of stoops.

“TELL HIM I KNEW THAT!” I screamed. “TELL HIM YOUR MOM KNEW!”

“No because then everyone will know that—”

“–that what, your mom is smarter than them!?”

“–my weird mom is being creepy and listening in to  my class,” Chooch sighed.

We are so over each other.

NEIGHBORHOOD VEG HOOKUP

OK you guys look I am really guilty about this because you know how much I LOVED PARKER’S, the local sandwich shop with the cool aesthetic and “we’re all family here” vibes that the owner gave off, and I cried when they announced they were closing, and then I vowed to hate whatever took its place, but LOOK, OAK HILL POST IS THE SHIT, OK? I CAN’T HELP IT. Granted, I can’t eat 90% of what’s on the menu because meat, but their veggie burger is the best around, and the cauliflower soup I had a few weeks ago was garnished with GINGERBREAD CRUMBLES and you can fucking fight me right here, right now if you don’t think it was delicious. And don’t get me started on their fluffy, soft buttermilk biscuits with lemon curd and house jam, omfg.

Anyway, earlier in the week they announced on Instagram that they were going to debut a vegan sandwich. OK, look. I have had “vegan sandwiches” at carnivorous eateries before and it usually equates to the kitchen dumping some basic veggies (zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers generally) onto a wrap and calling it a day. I mean, OK that’s fine. But you’d be surprised at the wide array of disappointing veggie wraps I’ve had in my life! In fact, there was one road trip recently where I had like three in a row that made me want to cry.

But I had a feeling that this one was crafted with thoughtfulness and quality ingredients, and hoooooo boy-o I was correct-o-mundo. First of all, that bread. Thank you for one-upping a basic wrap, Oak Hill Post. Sincerely, thank you for serving these quality vegetables on a high-class carb vessel.

Oh and in between the bread-flaps? MOROCCAN SPICED CELERY ROOT. Did I know that I liked that!? Not until Wednesday. Now it’s all I can think about. Also: lettuce and red pepper hummus. But the celery root was what carried this thing, man. I couldn’t stop eating it and then I was so sick afterward because my stomach is not used to hearty vegan sandwiches, but the pain was worth it. It’s so comforting to know that I have a viable veg/vegan food option within walking distances, right here in my ‘hood. #blessed

ALEXA SHOW ME HENRY CELERY ROOT RECIPES.

LC4LYFE

I opened Instagram after work and the first thing I saw was Lauren Conrad posting an IGTV video of a Laguna Beach reunion and I was like OH HOLD THE PHONE, dropped everything and watched the entire 30 minute. I was LIVING for it. I loved Laguna Beach so fucking much and I still support LC with my whole heart (well, part of it – my heart is pulled in a ton of different directions).

Anyway, at the end when everyone was saying goodbye, tears started SQUIRTING out of my eyes and I scream-laughed OMG WHY AM I CRYING and henry just smirked and mumbled, “I’m not surprised.”

Almost all of them look / the same so good still! Stephen Colletti especially there I said it.

Man I miss the early 2000s so much.

Now of course I’m watching Laguna Beach compilation videos on YouTube.

TV TALK

In an earlier post, I whined about not liking Haunting of Bly Manor but then I finished it and while I still stand by the opinion that it was not scary at all, I ended up really loving it when I realized that holy shit, this is a goddamn love story. I cried SO HARD throughout the last episode (and am crying again thinking about it, I hate myself) that I had to hide my face with a pillow because Henry was sitting next to me and even after 19 years I’m still like DON’T SEE ME when I’m crying.

Then for shits and giggles, I started watching Emily in Paris earlier this week, thinking it was like some Teen Nick show. Nope. Not even. I rarely binge shows but I had this one devoured in two days. It helped that the episodes were only like 20-30 minutes though! Was it cheesy? Yes. Did I learn how to say raunchy things in French? Yes. Is Lily Collins totally fucking likeable? Yes. Will I watch Season 2 if it happens? TRES OUI.

Henry and I watched The Lodge over the weekend. I thought it was really great and pretty scary but he was like, “eh.” I LIKE CULT SHIT and the plot was A+. But seriously, Henry is the worst person to watch horror movies with because he rarely likes one and is “never scared.” I did get him to admit that the only horror movie that ever scared him was It’s Alive, but he quickly clarified that he saw it when it came out and he was “just a kid.” Mmhmm. Anyway, The Lodge was made by the same people who did Goodnight, Mommy, and that movie WAS SO FUCKING GOOD. This one wasn’t as good, but I would recommend it all the same. The atmosphere was so stark and cold, the cast was great (would have liked to have had more Alicia Silverstone though!), and it was actually less predictable than I imagined. Incidentally, it was the second time in a week that we watched something with Riley Keough in it and I had previously never even heard of her (I’m vicariously living in Korea, remember?). Turns out she’s Elvis’s granddaughter.

Oh! And I watched An American Murder or whatever the fuck that new Netflix documentary is called. Chooch started watching it with me but then had to go play Fortnight or something and said he’d watch the rest later and then when he overheard me say something to Henry about the husband killing his wife, Chooch was like WOW OK SPOILER and I was like, “This isn’t fiction though, it literally happened and we already knew it was the husband!?” But yeah, what a fucking demon dick and also the broad he was cheating with wasn’t that great, so nice one, asshole. Also Part 2, I was extremely uncomfortable that they used actual text messages in it, like I didn’t need to know how the wife was horny.

In Korean drama news, I finally started watching It’s Okay to Not Be Okay and I think the real Korean title actually translates to Psycho But Fine….my Korean skills are limited but “psycho” is “psycho” in both languages, so. Anyway, only 2 episodes in and I love it but show me a Korean drama that I won’t love, truly. The reason I was finally pushed to watch it is because the main character is a, well, psycho writer of children’s books, and the books featured in the show (dark fairytales in the vein of Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman) were made into actual books and I really want to buy them to use for learning purposes, so maybe if Jiyong and I ever get to hang out again I can bring cute books instead of text books and we could read those together instead while she makes me repeat the hard words over and over until my tongue swells and then I start hating those books, god I miss those days.

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Honestly, I can’t recommend Korean dramas enough, especially now that all there is to do is binge shit. I have been trying to get JANNA to watch one BUT SHE HAS NOT DONE SO YET WHAT A BITCH HI JANNA.

***

Anyway, today is my last day of work before my annual Halloween Vacation starts so cheers to that, etc etc.

Happy fucking Mole Day, I’m out.

Oct 222020
 

My music tastes aren’t as seasonal as they once were (let’s be real: I’m Kpop nearly 24:7 these days); however: fall really tugs the nostalgia strings in my brain and I start craving certain bands/songs. Tonight, during my late shift I succumbed and put on some Balance & Composure. The way my body reacted was insane, like having a bucket of hot emotions poured on my head. Wooo boy the tears were sprung but it felt good.

Anyway, let’s relax a little, burn our tongues on some hot apple cider, sniff some pumpkin candles, etc. blah yadda. Here are some songs I like to achieve these vibes and maybe you will them too.

It has sadly been 4 years (right after the last election, to be exact, it was somber) since I’ve seen Balance and Composure and then they broke up soon after. Anyway, every time I saw them live it was BIG WARM FEELS man like an infinity scarf pulled over my face by a high school crush.

Love this band so much, but now I wish I was on my way to a haunted hayride while this is coming out of my car speakers. </3

(P.S. I was wrong! The last time I saw them was May 2017! You really care!)

Black Queen makes me want to walk around empty city streets in the middle of an October night with some hot goth I met on Darkchat and obviously this is 1999 because I am so totally devoted to Henry you guys come on this is not a Today Fantasy.

Exile is my favorite Gary Numan album ever and one time when I lived alone in the late 90s, I fell asleep with it on repeat and had some of the most wicked, vivid nightmares that I still think about to this day.

I was home alone the other night and played this in the kitchen with the lights out and yes, still has the same hair-raising effect on me and I fucking LOVE IT.

PVRIS is such a mood. As soon as a chill hits the air, I’m ready to crunch some crispy leaves in the cemetery with PVRIS as my soundtrack. The synth, the alt-goth aesthetic, the LYNN GUNN. Their old albums bring back memories of Ex-BFF so sometimes when I need to have that “swishing a cavity with bourbon” feeling in my heart, this is the fo-sho go-to.

I used to put this song on every mix CD I made back in the early 2000s and I just recently felt inspired to cue it up – yep, I’m ready to go on a lite night drive with foggy windows IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. Chino Moreno and Mike Patton with some Goblin-esque elements simpering in the background, how can you go wrong?

(Speaking of Goblin, that will be my next kitchen LED light show tune, I think.)

***

OK, well now that tonight’s debate is over, I think I need to throw these jamz on a playlist and go take a bath in the dark. Happy fall y’all (wow, I really just said that out loud as I typed it, do I have to throw a wreath on my front door now?).

Oct 202020
 

Hola mi amigos, says the girl who had 3/4 of a year of Spanish in 12th grade.

It occurred to me recently that the 20th anniversary of meeting the Cure was on the horizon and I was like, “yay another reason to post the best picture ever taken of me!” and then of course the ACTUAL anniversary was yesterday and I forgot to post it so I dunno, pretend it’s still Monday. Also, apologies to anyone who already saw this on Instagram but 20 years is a big one and I wanted to commemorate that here too. (“It’s my blog, blah blah blah…”)

Most people in my life have heard this story so many times that it’s basically turned into my Big Kahuna moment but to summarize: in October 2000, I got on several planes and flew, alone, to Canberra, Australia to see The Cure perform the last leg of what Robert Smith swore was going to be their last tour ever. Now, I had never had the chance to see them before and they were (still are) my favorite band. They had recently toured the US but didn’t come to Pittsburgh and I had just started a new job, which meant I didn’t have vacation time yet. But when they announced the Australian tour several months later, my office mate, the one who was also in charge of payroll, was like, “You go to Australia and don’t worry about it – you’re getting a paycheck.” I mean, everyone at that job knew I was batshit for The Cure, so this kind of a big deal for them that I was doing this!

Super summary: I get to Canberra and start calling local radio stations, telling anyone who will listen that I’m some rando 21-year-old broad from America who is obsessed with The Cure, and oh won’t someone help me meet them? The alternative radio station played me on the radio – they thought it was really awesome that my love was that insane intense that I would fly thousands of miles on my own to see them. They wanted to give me a ticket to the show but I already had that, at least. They took down my number at the hotel just in case something changed. A day before the concert, they called me and asked if they could record the call. I was like, “Sure,” thinking they were just going to ask me what my favorite Cure album was again, stuff like that, filler for commercial breaks. But no, they wanted to tell me that they had someone on the line who wanted to talk to me…no, it wasn’t Robert Smith, but it almost as good: it was a local guy who had won a meet & greet that the station had held a week before, and when he heard me on the radio, he thought that I deserved to meet The Cure much more than he did, and wanted to transfer his pass onto me.

CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THERE ARE REALLY ANGELS ON EARTH?

So that’s how I found myself in the same room as Robert Smith, the man whose voice and words had buoyed me through countless bouts of depression and also soundtracked some of the happiest, manic moments of my life, too.

I actually have a video of this meeting but it needs converted from 8mm so check back another time, I guess.

MEANWHILE, and this is actually my favorite part that I think about A LOT, back in Pittsburgh: Henry was starting a new job at the same place I also worked. His initial impression of me when shown my empty desk was that I was some crazy girl who ran off to Australia to see some band.

Then I came back, we became work frenemies (lol—because that’s how I flirt) and then a year later we started dating. So not only is it the 20 year anniversary of meeting The Cure, but it’s the 20th anniversary of knowing Henry. And honestly, I haven’t changed one bit because I’m still obsessed with everything and NEEDING to travel for concerts (obviously not currently though, sigh), only now I’m dragging him along with me. You can’t say he wasn’t warned!

Literally no one thought we’d stay together this long, yet here we are.

Oh and The Cure IS STILL TOURING.I have seen them five more times since Canberra (zero times in Pittsburgh though!) and four of those times were with Henry. God bless him, he’s traveled to California (Coachella), Cleveland (Curiosa), Chicago (Riot Fest), and Columbia, Maryland to see them with me.

I made this for him several years ago and have definitely (bluffingly) thrown it in the garbage can during fights but he always takes it back out. I guess he’s a pretty good guy, but don’t tell him I said that.

(SIDE NOTE: I’m sitting here cracking up thinking about who I was as a person back then, like for instance how I called my job several times from my hotel room – COLLECT – so I could keep them updated on what was happening* and all the guys would pass the phone around in the breakroom saying, “it’s the girl! calling from Australia! the girl!” And if Henry was there when that was happening, was he thinking “who the fuck IS this girl!?”)

*(What? Social media didn’t exist yet!)

Oct 192020
 

As previously mentioned, some latent pumpkin-carving obsession has awoken in Chooch and we can’t supply him with enough fresh, uncut ‘kins fast enough. He’s like a fucking machine.

Penelope is 100% not a fan.

(Fun fact, chooch and I locked ourselves out right after this and the cats were FRANTIC. Drew was hanging off the door handle at one point and then maniacally clawing at the bottom of the door. Henry was in the basement and didn’t hear us banging on the door right away so it was pure drama for 30 whole seconds.)

I had wanted to get a Biden sign for the yard but apathy and ambivalence won out and now it just seems dumb because it’s so late in the game, so I had Henry get me five small pumpkins during one of his myriad trips to the store over the weekend (he’s either having an affair with a Fresh Thyme cashier or he just REALLY loves that self-serve peanut butter…or both. Together. OMG EW) and my old-ass acrylic paints were like OMG WE HAVE PURPOSE AGAIN?!

Hopefully my mom doesn’t roll up and smash them.

Anyway yeah I’m really feeling it! Usually we don’t decorate at all because we’re so busy running around to haunted houses and amusement parks that October slips through our fingers before we can sling up nary a cobweb (luckily our house is full of the natural ones because dusting, what’s that?).

I wonder if I can get Chooch to carve me a Taemin or G-Dragon pumpkin….

Oct 172020
 

Hello. Today we will be discussing the second half of the books I thumbed my way through in September. You’re welcome.

9. Allegedly – Tiffany D. Jackson

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OK listen Linda, for a fucking YA novel, this book fucked me UP. In in, we follow a 16-year-old girl, Mary, who has been in the system since she was 9 (I think?) for allegedly killing the baby her mother was caring for. Sprinkled throughout the book is information from her case files, interviews, etc. and it is so frustrating reading the trials and tribs of this clearly very intelligent girl who may or may not have killed a person, as she is clandestinely studying for the SATs while being knocked down every step of the way by the other girls in Juvie and also the fucking staff members who are, naturally, hateful and pathetic at their jobs.

This was actually more chilling than I imagined it was going to be and I found myself shouting ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME several times because Mary wasn’t likeable per se but she was written so well that I immediately felt super protective of her and was over here rooting for her until the end. This was a great, if not disturbing and depressing, book. BRB, I’m about to devour everything that Tiffany B. Jackson has written.

10. The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater

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I finished an entire series this year! I didn’t think I would, but the Raven Boys cycle was pretty damn good, you guys. I have a disclaimer though: I didn’t really understand the actual plot, lol. “But Erin,” you ask, “isn’t that the whole point?” You would think! But I was SO INVESTED in every single fucking character of this book, you have no idea how much I loved them. Not quite Harry Potter levels of love, but Maggie Stiefvater really wrote so much life into these people, and….there are several love interests and one of them just kind of quietly happened and I was THERE.FOR.IT. Like, full-blown crying and cheering.

However, I really did find myself drifting off from time to time whenever it came to the thing that they were all there to do. So, as a series whole, I have to give that a 3.5 but the characters? Solid fucking 5. I will stan Gansey until the day I die.

(If you want to know about the plot, please just click the link up there because I’ll just be like, “I’unno. Raven King and magic forest, etc. Dreams & psychics. Whatever a ley line is.”

11. I’ll Be the One – Lyla Lee

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I mean, if you didn’t know who BTS is already, you sure will by the time you’ve made it past the first chapter. SO MANY BTS REFERENCES. Good lord.

All that aside, I thought this was a cute book with an important, body positive message, ESPECIALLY for Koreans. Man, have you checked out their beauty standards? Unattainable. So I loved that this book was about a Korean American who tries out for a kpop talent show in LA, like, “Look, I’m not skinny, but I can fucking sing and dance my ass off and you are going to give me a chance.”

I enjoyed it. And that cover gave me color palette inspo for the next room I redo in my house (sorry, Hen).

12. Luster – Raven Leilani

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OH SHIT this book was incredibly uncomfortable and made me so happy that I met Henry when I was 21 and settled down early because I can 100% guarantee my life would have been as sexually reckless and awkward as Edie’s, a young Black woman in between jobs and about to be homeless who becomes embroiled in a relationship with a man who is in an open marriage, and then accidentally becomes kinda/sorta friends with his wife and somewhat of a Big Sister to their adopted Black daughter.

There were times when I was actually cringing because it was SO UNCOMFORTABLE, I had secondhand embarrassment. But what I really want to remember about this is that Leilani’s writing IS SO GODDAMN BEAUTIFUL. It made me jealous. Every sentence has purpose and punch. Her prose is brilliant without an ounce of pretension. You will laugh out loud at times and also have your breath taken away by her effortless poignancy. Raven Leilani is the real deal, and it’s hard to swallow the fact that this is her DEBUT NOVEL.

Get ready to be uncomfortable.

13. Almond – Won-Pyun Sohn

Almond

I have read a lot of translated Korean books this year and I think it’s safe to say that Korean authors are my favorites (I know, you are shocked). Almond is mean to be a YA book but I really think by American standards, it would be more considered adult even though it does follow a young boy, Yunjae, who was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia, which prevents him from being able to feel or process emotions like fear and sadness. It’s a very cold and chilling book, really, but it’s told from Yunjae’s POV, so it really should come off with no emotion.

At its core, this is a very inspiring coming of age story, but it has some really dark elements that reminded me of Korean dramas like Come & Hug Me and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes.

Also, can we talk about how lovely this cover is?! I see all colors as potential wall hues now, sorry Henry.

14. I Remember You – Yrsa Sigurðardóttir

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I hated this. Pure and simple. Not scary, it dragged, I hated the setting, everything was so cold and drab, blah blah, didn’t care a single speck about any of these goddamn insufferable characters except for the dog.

Oh, what’s it about? I don’t know, a ghost story, apparently. I wasted so much time reading it that I don’t want to waste another single second reviewing it. Go read Peter Straub’s Ghost Story instead. I just might do that as a palate cleanser.

***

And that’s it! My 14 books from September. October is half over and I’ve already devoured some real good ones that I’m excited to gush about on here!

Oct 162020
 

Why hello friends. (I would never say that IRL btw. I always say “hey guys” so I’m not sure what happened there aside from me trying on a salutation that didn’t suit me.)

Today is the perfect autumn day here in the ‘Burgh. Blue skies, fiery leaves, and just the right amount of CRISP in the air (and not CRIPS as I originally typed. I’m not sure if Pittsburgh has CRIPS? Do we? Hold on…)

(Yeah, yeah we do. And they are apparently on my side of the river.)

Anyway, I thought it would be nice to blow some autumnal cheer in your face (and not bullets in your brain because I’m not a CRIP) by sharing some photos I took of Halloweeny/fall-ish shit around my neighborhood. 

Blog friends, meet Jo’s Salon. I’ve never utilized their services, but I definitely like to admire their ever-changing window displays. She is Halloready!

My lunch break walks used to take me through the alleys downtown but luckily for me, Brookline has some great alleys too. I was particularly struck by this garage’s crown of October leaves. 

This one gave me farm vibes. 

Much like Jo’s Salon, this mysterious SACRED place gives its Window Mary new props every month or so and it makes me so happy because I have nothing else to be excited for, really. It’s all waiting for the mail and checking Mary’s accessories these days. That’s my life. 

There’s another salon farther down from Jo’s and they have some…interesting gothic Halloween art on display. Looks like it’s for sale, too!

Pitaland swapped out their summer flowers for some fall blooms with white pumpkin boobs. 

I LIKE IT WHEN ESTABLISHMENTS ARE LIKE HAPPY HALLOWEEN HELP YOURSELF. Our local post office usually does this but I haven’t been inside the post office in MONTHS and also the infamous Maureen transferred to a different branch so I’m not even sure if her replacement cares about us enough to ply us with candy. But the kind peeps are 802 Cafe care! Chooch was like DON’T MIND IF I DO and hip-bumped me out of the way.

On the fall flavor tip, I ordered the maple latte and it was just OK because my least favorite barista (I think she might be the owner lol) added hazelnut because the flavor du jour was actually maple hazelnut which I knew because I can read the dumb signs but I ordered JUST A MAPLE LATTE. Anyway, this is how I learned that maple and hazelnut are pretty disgusting together but I still drank it because it wasn’t the worst latte I’ve ever had, not by a longshot. Chooch tried it and blurted out, “EW IT TASTES LIKE…NUT.” 

Then we went to visit the City Goats, which isn’t exclusive to fall, but had to throw that in there.

Saw some fun yard decorations on our walk too. 

:(

The scariest yards we walked past though were the ones with the Trump signs and flags. Mega le vom.

Meanwhile, back at our house:

We (“we” more like “Chooch”) carved pumpkins last night. I can’t remember the last time we carved pumpkins. We’re usually too busy going to haunted houses to care about pumpkins. OMG I MISS PRE-2020 OCTOBERS SO MUCH. 

OK, shhh. Calm down, Erin. Don’t be a brat. 

There actually are some haunted houses that are open but….I just can’t justify it. Yes, this coming from the broad who has kept meticulous haunted house journals since 1995 is like, “Nope, don’t care about your covid-19 safety measures, not gon’ risk it.” 

Do you know how hard it is for me to not succumb to my deep-seated desires of being chased by chainsaw guys?! I might spend some time this weekend leafing through old journals. Maybe I will transcribe an entry or two for the blog. I was REALLY OBNOXIOUS in…well, all of them. Are you shocked? That I was That Loudmouth Bitch at the haunted houses? Nah, didn’t think so.

Well, on that note, I’m going to watch some horror movies and boss Henry around now that my work week is over.

Oct 142020
 

Sometimes I like to use the calendar feature on my blog to see what I was doing around this time in the past and then I sigh and say, “Wow, remember I hung out with friends?” (But honestly, was it really a pandemic that changed that lol.)

Apparently, five years ago, I was using my annual pie party as an excuse to show off my beloved succulents, because that’s a thing that normal people do…Every single one of them are DEAD NOW. I especially mourn Jonny Maplebitch. :(

***

At some point on Saturday, in between gluing sequins on my Pie Party sign and shadow dancing around Baker Henry in the kitchen, I had the greatest idea of all time. I was upstairs when it came to me, and so I screamed for Henry to hurry his ass up to our room. He loves when I do that because sometimes it’s an actual emergency just often enough for him to fall for it every time.

“What?!” he asked, panting and mildly concerned.

“Greatest idea ever,” I began, and he immediately regretted falling victim to my wolf cries. “In addition to the pie party….SUCCULENT MEET N’ GREET.” I paused for a beat, smiling and waiting for him to crumble to the floor under the weight of my brilliance.

Instead, he just stood there, arms akimbo, that patronizing smirk plastered across his dumb bearded face.

Good thing I’ve never been one to look to my BEAU for validation. Speaking of BEAU, Bo Brady probably would have supported Hope in her decision to have a succulent meet n greet.

No, you’re right. That’s definitely false. Bo thought Hope was silly and frivolous. Oh, until she was about to marry LARRY WELCH, that is.

(OMG remember when Henry was my Bo Brady?)

Later that night, we were getting ready for bed and I was still yammering on about my succulent meet n’ greet. “This is just really exciting, I’m really excited about this, and I think it’s just full of excitement, so much excite,” the words spewing out in an auctioneer’s cadence. Henry must have been delirious from baking all day and night, because he just stared at me with an amused look on his face, and that is unlike him. The looks he gives me are typically basted with disgust, contempt, and frustration. Occasionally rage, but Henry is pretty laid back so one must really give him a series of forceful shoves for the anger to really shine through.

“They’ve never gone anywhere before!” I reminded Henry.

“Well, they’re plants, so….” he muttered.

Sunday morning, while Henry was filling the car with unnecessary, boring items like forks and plates, I was carefully considering which of my succulents to bring with us. I couldn’t bring some of my faves, like Bae and Panne and Suzy Banyon, because their pots are too fragile and breakable.

“I really want to bring Johnny Maplebitch with us, but I’m worried because there will be kids there…” I murmured mostly to myself, staring at that beautiful beast on my coffee table.

“Well, you could change his name for the day,” Chooch suggested. “Like, maybe….Johnny Mapledick?” he shrugged, completely serious about this.

“Yeah, good one, Chooch,” Henry sighed, stomping past us with more unessential pie party things, like pie.

I ended up bringing him in the end, because I don’t believe in succulent censorship.

I placed them all gently inside a carrying case while Henry was wasting time rounding up the beverage and making sure Chooch was dressed and not in danger. A little help would have been nice, but knowing Henry and his meathands, he probably would have just jammed my babes into the car all recklessly, like they’re not his real children.

Of course they’re not.

They’re the Devil’s.

I lined all of the picnic tables in the pavilion with craft paper and then had all of the succulents introduce themselves and say a little thing about pie. Because it was a pie party.

I TIE THINGS TOGETHER. It’s what I do.

IMG_9647

Chris and Monica asked me what vasterbotten pie is and I shrugged. “I’unno. I just googled ‘swedish pies’ and then didn’t get much farther than that.” So then Chris googled it and actually read about vasterbotten, and now we’re obsessed with vasterbotten pie because it’s basically just cooked Swedish cheese and I hope that Chris and Monica are currently reorganizing their wedding menu as I type this.

Henry always rolls his eyes when I bring up Phil Angie.

Leopold is the succulent I found in Savannah! I brought him so it was like having Octavia there in spirit. <3

And I had to bring Stefano so Monica could meet him in person, since she is the one who named him. (Also, two Days of Our Lives references in one blog post! And I haven’t even watched Days since 2005! <—sadly.)

Bambi had to give a shout-out to her favorite show, Twin Peaks. HOLLA.

I named this one after my favorite gymnastics coach of all time, BELA KAROLYI. He was happy to bring some Romanian flavor to the party. Isn’t he handsome?

 

Henry frowned at this one.

Some people seemed very eager to meet the succulents! Other people were like, “Why.” Henry was like, “This is why you don’t have friends.”

Anyway, if you couldn’t be there on Sunday, I hope you enjoyed this virtual meet and greet!

Oct 132020
 

I was off on Friday, so three cheers for long weekends, amirite?

It was a pretty chill weekend. The weather was wonderful, so I got in a lot of great neighborhood walks while Henry stayed home and did chores, lololol. Anyway, let’s bullet our way through this, but first, here’s a picture of Drew in the JZZBAR:

  • As we work our way through redoing various rooms, our living room gets more and more cluttered. It’s currently the catch-all for all the things that need new spots to live. It’s pretty annoying but I am trying to be patient because one day everything will be to my liking – just in time for us to pack it all up and move, probably. But while we’re on the topic of the living room, we ALMOST had the coffee table finished on Saturday! But then Dumbo Henry realized that he measured and math’d wrongly so we ended up not having enough pictures to put down so WHAT’S ANOTHER WEEK WITH AN UNFINISHED COFFEE TABLE YOU KNOW? Henry can be extremely frustrating to work with sometimes/all the time. We could never have our own DIY show. Or maybe we could, actually. The drama would be real. Might even turn into a snuff film.
  • Henry and I finished buddy-reading “The Devil All the Time” on Saturday and this was a solid 5-star for me. But more importantly, we were able to watch the movie on Netflix that night and it was really good, fairly true to the book although before it started, I adamantly punched my leg and shouted, “THEY BETTER INCLUDE THE CARNY PARTS” and GUESS WHAT, THEY DID NOT!!! So, that was a sad time for me. I have to say, I’m not sure that I would have enjoyed the movie, or even had been inspired to watch it AT ALL, if I hadn’t read the book first, but Tom Holland nailed it as Arvin Russell. Have you read the book or watched the movie? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS (lol).

  • I was so gung-ho about decorating for Halloween this year but then this is the most I’ve accomplished, lol. We even went to Spirit over the weekend and I was just like, “eh.” I knew this would happen and I’m so angry with myself that I let ambivalence win.
  • I started watching The Haunting of Bly Manor on Sunday because I had cramps and felt like doing nothing but being supine and whiny. It’s pretty engaging but not nearly as scary as The Haunting of Hill House was. I think I only have two episodes left and this bitch better go balls to the wall or I’m gonna be sad.

  • Taemin and I had our 30 day Bubble anniversary on Sunday! Getting voice messages from him is the best $3.something a month I’ve ever spent.

 

  • I’ve had numerous lithops over the years but this is the first one that sprouted a flower. Plants are so fucking weird and cool.

  • Speaking of plants, I redecorated this corner of the house and filled several bottles and vases with some of the flowers from our yard and I’m kind of like WHO AM I but also I LOVE WHO I AM NOW. Henry had to install an electrical outlet on this wall so that I could plug in the neon popsicle. And again I say, get ye a person who knows wires & currents & etc.

I made that painting for Henry several years ago for his birthday probably and I have thrown it in the garbage in various fits of rage over the years yet here it still is. It has a collection of all the music festivals I have dragged him to since 2001. I realized yesterday that I never added KCON to it so I took care of that posthaste!

  • A big reason why I’m always like HELLO I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY laterly is because the only thing I have been concerned about is the upcoming motherfucking election. I feel like my blood is powered by hot coals these days and I could fill this stupid site with rant after rant but I am not a political blogger nor am I coherent when I am angry, but OMFG when will it be enough!? The motherfucker literally infected the White House with covid and then said IT’S NOT A THREAT. BUT YOU ALREADY KNOW THAT. That piece of shit leaves the hospital for a joyride through his throngs of rabid, brainless sycophants while people HAVE DIED/ARE DYING/WILL DIE/WILL LOSE A LOVED ONE TO THIS FUCKING VIRUS and he’s telling his crazy-ass lunatic MAGA pedants not to let it control their lives?! CONTINUES TO BELITTLE AND UNDERMINE SCIENCE AND THE NECESSITY OF SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WEARING A MASK? I haven’t seen my friends, family, been to my office, eaten in a restaurant, traveled, rode a roller coaster, etc SINCE MARCH because LEGIT SCIENCE HAS PROVIDED GUIDELINES FOR US and I’m sorry, but when the FUCKING PRESIDENT struts around with his middle fingers up to Dr. Fauci and the rest of the world who are trying SO HARD to come out the other side of this pandemic, I just want to fucking dropkick him into a vat of scorpions and BLM bumper stickers. I’M SORRY BUT CAN WE STOP BEING THE LAUGHING STOCK OF THE PLANET YET? Can we call please be SMARTIES and VOTE FOR BIDEN on November 3rd!? CAN WE EVICT THIS RACIST BIRTHER PIECE OF SHIT FROM THE WHITE HOUSE AND FILL IT WITH PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY GIVE A SHIT ABOUT AMERICANS? THANK YOU.

I’m going now. I’m so angry.

P.S. I WISH HE WOULD HAVE FUCKING DIED.

Oct 112020
 

In today’s edition of Completely Uninspired Pre-Election Depression Blog Posts, I give you pictures from a Halloween party I had when I was in 8th grade in 1992, because I recently found these pictures and figured that looking at these and marinading in the memories might be the closest I get to embracing the Halloween spirit this year, biggest le sigh of all le sighs. 

My mom was super into Halloween and she’d always be like WHY DON’T YOU HAVE A HALLOWEEN PARTY and I think it was mostly because she just wanted to decorate and ghost-host it rather than have her own Halloween party and have to deal with my dad’s friends.

#speculation

According to my photo album, this was in 1992 and it was my third Halloween party. Now, my memories have been pretty muddled lately what with every day being the same but if I were pressed to provide more information, I would feel compelled to say that this was also the same party where my dad led us on a haunted walk in the woods* and unbeknownst to everyone but me, my uncle Mark was dressed as Freddy Kreuger and hiding in a tree, and when he jumped out in front of us, Amy L. got so startled that she fell backward on her ass and everyone was like HAHAHA, reveling in the Halloweenity of it all, having a spooky ol’ good time, etc etc, but then AMY L went to school and tried to get people to be mad at me about it, because EIGHTH GRADE. 

(See also: Amy L was the Ultimate Purveyor of Teen Drama and if social media had been around back then, she would have cyber-bullied half of us to psychological breakdowns or worse.)

*(My childhood home is surrounded on three sides by  many acres of forest, something that TRUMP might consider a FOREST NATION, and for a long ass while we contemplated having a legit haunted trail open to the public but then, you know, insurance etc etc)

I don’t know what I’m doing in this picture, but I remember my mom being so disappointed when I was like, “I don’t really care, this one I guess” when it came to choosing a costume, because she always liked to make my costumes, and it was so annoying because I never got to be what I wanted to be and even still, I grew up to be the same exact type of mom, forcing my own GENIUS costume ideas over the head of my own kid. 

(Trick or treating likely isn’t going to happen this year but I am still arguing with him over what he should be.)

The girl in the back with the curly hair was REALLY into The Beatles and had a Christmas caroling party one year at her house. It was super wholesome. She’s one of the only people in these pictures that I never found on Facebook back when I used it so I have no idea if she is still a nice person or a MAGA dumbo.

Also, I was mad at Christy for literally just wearing that hat and saying she was Private Detective, so I guess I already had a little bit of Halloween Pageant Mom already brewing inside me. I remember being all, “YOU COULD HAVE TRIED HARDER, CHRISTY” because she was ult BFF back then so I felt supremely comfortable yelling at her about trivial things, whereas I was just acquaintances with some of the people who just rolled up in sweatshirts and orange socks so I didn’t shame them or anything.)

AHHHH PERM AND BRACES, MY BEST LEWK.

I don’t think this was the same party where I made everyone watch Paper House. That may have been the year before. 

My mom had her friend Karen be a fortune teller. I’m sure we all thought it was dumb at the time but now I’m like AW THAT WAS REALLY NICE OF KAREN TO DO THAT. Before the pandemic, I thought it would have been fun to let Chooch have a Halloween party this year since he started a new school, but obviously that can’t happen now and it sucks because he already has a Friend Group (I knew he’d make friends easier since everything is online right now!) so now I can’t force JANNA to dress up as a fortune teller, oh well, maybe next year. 

Oct 092020
 

I don’t have anything to say other than hello, welcome to Friday, and here are five subjects for you to read.

ERIN & CHOOCH GO TO THE BAKERY

Thursday morning, I dragged Chooch with me to the library because I had 4 books waiting to be picked up. On the way there, he said he also wanted to go to the bakery and I said that’s great but I didn’t bring my wallet because, with my role as An Irresponsible Adult, leaving my wallet behind is Step #1 (Step #2 is not locking the door).

I literally don’t even carry a purse anymore.

Anyway! After another awkward installment of Are We Supposed to Go Inside the Library or Not?, we went next door to the bakery. They limit 5 customers at a time during the pandemic, and there were only three people in there BUT!! Two of them were wearing masks UNDER their noses. For the love of god, why is wearing a motherfucking mask SO HARD FOR SOME AMERICANS?! So we waited outside and when one of the people came out, he looked at us like, “Yinz coulda gone in by now” and I was like “JUST WAITING FOR YOUR UNCOVERED SCHNOZZ TO EXIT THE BUILDING, THX.”

Right away, Chooch was like “I WANT THAT” and pointed to the case of mini pumpkin cakes and the bakery girl was like “OK” and then Chooch was like, “Wow, did I really just say it like that” and I was like, “You mean like your three-year-old nephew demanding a toy? Yes, yes you did.”

But then I was like I WANT THAT TOO because I felt like pounding some cake in my face that day. I had been having a bad week, OK?! Thursday morning brunch-cake sounded smashing. Plus, the little tag said they were .95 cents which I thought was very cheap.

THEN WE SAW THESE!!!

At first I was happy that there were so many more Trumps than Bidens because my logic was that it meant more Biden supporters had visited the bakery that morning that MAGAsses, but then I was like, “OR DO YOU THINK THIS MEANS TRUMP SUPPORTERS ARE PURPOSELY BUYING THE BIDEN ONES SO THEY CAN DO MEAN THINGS TO IT??” and Chooch was like, “Remember when we agreed you wouldn’t talk to me in public.”

I proudly said, “And we’ll take the last two Bidens!” hoping that it would spark a sense of camaraderie within the bakery walls but no one cared.

While she was adding up our order, I whispered to Chooch, “You DO have cash right?”

He pulled out a wad of crumpled bills. “Yeah, I have like $7,” he said and right when I was like, “OK good it definitely won’t be any more than that,” the bakery girl said, “That’ll be $8.96.”

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!?

“How much are those Biden cookies,” I asked her in a strained I’M NOT PANICKING tone.

“$1.99 each.”

Chooch was mathing it up quietly and he said, “Yeah OK that makes sense,” but then I was like, “WTF how many of those pumpkin cakes did she give us then?! WILL WE HAVE TO GO PANHANDLE ON GODDAMN BROOKLINE BLVD NEXT TO THE OLD LADY WHO PICKS UP CIGARETTE BUTTS” but by then, Chooch had magically conjured up exactly $9.

“Thank god,” Chooch said as soon as we were back ojut on the sidewalk, deeply exhaling in unison. “I really didn’t want to have to be like, OK NEVER MIND” and I was like, “Yeah, I was about to run away and move to a different town with a new bakery.”

I was inspecting the receipt though to figure out if we got screwed or not and YES & NO.

Those stupid pumpkin cakes were actually $2.49. SO THEY WERE MISLABLED.

“Yeah, I was wondering why they were called ‘Gems,'” Chooch shrugged.

So, now Chooch only has 4 cents to his name, but at least we got to enjoy Biden cookies and pumpkin cakes on an otherwise non-descript Thursday morning.

P.S. I felt so bad about it that I called Henry said, “You have to give Chooch $10,” and of course he asked, “Why” in a very hesitant and worrisome tone.

WE HAD AN ACCIDENT AT THE BAKERY OK JUST LEAVE IT AT THAT.

MOUTH STUFF

I’m off today, had to get a deep cleaning/scaling procedure done at the periodontist since the dumb dentist that did it three years ago didn’t do a very fine job (YOU MIGHT REMEMBER THE COPIOUS DENTAL DRAMA BLOG POSTS ABOUT THAT FALL-OUT). Anyway, the guy who did today’s procedure also did a gum procedure on me (some laser thing if I remember correctly) after I got my braces off in the 90s. He’s still relatively young-ish so he must have been only been in his early 30s back then. Anyway, I was very scared to do this because of COVID obviously, having avoided any legit human contact since March, but they had very strict safety procedures in place, for instance, I had to call them from my car when I got there so they could let me know if it was clear to come in (mask on of course), at which point they immediately had me hand-sanitize and my temperature was taken. So that made me feel OK.

I guess.

Anyway, when that dumb dentist did this, she (actually it wasn’t even the dentist it was the hygienist and she wasn’t dumb; I liked her very much, but that whole office was kind of SUS, to use a word I learned from AMONG US) did one side of my mouth and it took 90 minutes, and then I had to go back to have the other side down. It was SO PAINFUL.

But this guy is a specialist and he did 3/4 of my mouth (he determined one side didn’t need it thank god) in an hour. Also, he administered the most painless doses of Novacaine I had ever received. I mean, he fucking pumped me full of that shit though, to the point where, after he left the room to let it do its thing, I was laying there with heart palps, wondering if maybe I could die.

And he had the calmest, most gentle voice! He kept telling me I was doing a great job, and at the end, he was like, “My day can only go downhill from here, you set the bar so high.” And I was like, “Ahskjdha lahfduyalsueiry” and he was like, “No, thank YOU. You handled this exceptionally well” and if there is one thing that you should know about me, and my co-workers will definitely attest with a hearty eye roll, is that I am still a five-year-old who needs copious accolades and praise dumped upon her. So I was ready to do cartwheels out of that place (except that it was almost a somersault when I tripped going down the steps).

Also, he said he was confident that this procedure is going to bring back my gum health to about 95% and that is what I want to hear. I have always been neurotically obsessed with my oral health – you should see my google search history – so I feel relieved that hopefully that’s one less thing to worry about.

(I drive Henry nuts about it. I mean, among other things.)

CHOOCH GOES WITH ME TO FILL A PRESCRIPTION

Then I had to go to CVS and get a prescription for amoxicillin because the guy wants to be extra aggressive with treating it and he thinks that taking this for 5 days will help and I am all for that. But the problem is that I HAVE NEVER HAD A PRESCRIPTION FILLED BY MYSELF BEFORE. I don’t think I have?! Or maybe it’s just been so long that I can’t remember?!

Either way, I had to text Henry how to do it and he was like, “Take it to CVS.”

Um. OK. But I need more detailed instructions. Like, what do I need to bring? Will it cost hundreds of dollars? Then I had to send Henry a picture of my insurance card so that he could verify if it was correct.

It was.

(I don’t know, OK?! I have three different cards for things!)

Chooch had a little break between classes so I begged him to go with me. On the way there, I asked, “Do you think I will need my ID? I’ve never done this by myself before.”

“I don’t know!” Chooch cried, “either have I!” and then I was like, “Oh yeah, you’re 14.”

Anyway, at least I knew where to go once inside CVS, but when I went to the drop-off window and managed to mouth-marble, “I need a prescription filled” while gurgling on saliva, the guy was like, “No, please step over here” and pointed to the consultation window and I was like THEN WHY EVEN HAVE SIGNS but whatever.

Chooch had to stay near in case he needed to translate for me since honestly I have never had this much Novacaine in my mouth at once and could barely talk.

Anyway, turns out that I didn’t need my ID at all, just my insurance card, but when dude asked for it, I thought he said “charge card” and I hesitated, like, look pal I know I’m all numb & numb right now but when did I time travel to the 80s also will you accept Diners Club?

GOOD SMELLS / FOODZ / MUSIX

In the “THINGS I AM LIKING” category of today’s Friday 5, I present to you:

  • Soohyang candles from South Korea.

I bought a few samples just to see if I would like them even though I was pretty sure I would, and shipping was free because Korea is he fucking BEST. And they arrived in about 5 days!

Boy’s Neck is my favorite. Chooch has absconded with Figue, but Gangnam 8 is a fucking nasal jamboree as well. Highly recommend these candles!

  • Sweet Potato Burger from Zenith

And in the “good foodz I masticated in the last week” category, I have for your consideration another beastly burger from Zenith: this one is sweet potato and it was INCREDIBLE. I can’t wait until we’re able to safely eat at restaurants again so I can go there and give those peeps a high-five (or elbow-bump, because will touching other people ever be OK again?) because they have been keeping our spirits lifted during this pandemic but consistently offering weekly curbside pickup.

Also, their Instagram posts always make me smile. They’re such good people! Even if you’re a meat-head, you should give them a try. If Henry likes it, you will probably like it too!

  • WISH YOU WERE HERE, BY SUPERM:

Don’t even tell me this isn’t adorable.

CLOWN CORNER

I made some more progress in the Popsicle Room! You know how I love me some fucking stripes, fam.

I have one additional thing that I need to add (HENRY BROKE IT WHEN HE WAS TRYING TO HANG IT SO HE HAD TO BUST OUT THE SUPER GLUE) but I don’t want to “gild the lily” (gotta meet my quota since I apparently say it ALL THE TIME according to my son) because those stripes are too nice to be covered!!

A few years ago, we were at a red light and I saw this sign on a telephone pole. The fair was over by then so I felt it was fair game to run over and pry it off the pole. I actually forgot that I had it until we started the walls in this room and Henry found it with a bunch of other shit that I’ve accumulated over the years that are waiting in line to be framed. The color scheme is almost identical! It’s like kismet YOU COULD SAY.

This is definitely my new favorite area of the house. It will be especially fun the next time I have a video meeting at work because it’ll be in the background and Wendy hates clowns so much haha.

Penelope doesn’t care, just as long as she can still spy on HNC when he’s in the driveway doing man stuff.

***

OK, that’s it. That’s 5. Now I’m going to go and read the rest of Home Before Dark, which is shaping up to be the best Riley Sager book I’ve read so far, but there’s still time for it to go downhill. Also, all of the Novacaine has worn off and I’m getting a little OUCHY. Alsox2, I have to go find where Henry ran off to – he quietly slipped away because I think he is tired of me talking about my teeth and gums but hello, I got my wisdom teeth out in the first month of our relationship and was the High Priestess of Dramaville, so he knew what he signed up for.

Oct 072020
 

I’m a few days late with this because blog apathy (lol j/k – life apathy) but my little furchilds has themselves a birthday on Sunday! They’re five now, those little old ass ladies!

Please enjoy some pictures of them eating their treats and playing with their new toys (some were more interested in the treats, others were more interested in the toys, lol).

But then I moved the treats out of the way and Penelope was like, “fine, I’ll play with this dumb thing.”

And then later, they actually hung out together on their cat tower, which happens rarely.

Guys, I’m in the middle of a bad work week. My brain hurts and I’m angry, and tonight’s debate will likely exacerbate the ire lava, but at least I’m off on Friday (although I’ll be spending the morning getting a deep cleaning at the periodontist, which I have been trying to get done since LAST SEPTEMBER but I couldn’t get a consultation until November, and then my insurance was all NOPE because it hadn’t been a full two years since my last (not great) one. By the time insurance finally approved it in January, the earliest appt I could get was April, but then…well, we all know the history of 2020.

I’m pretty nervous about this, from a pain AND covid-POV, but this guy is a specialist and I’m sure he wouldn’t be like, “OK great we’re back in business” if it wasn’t safe, right? RIGHT??

Sorry for that aside. Back to the cats. Happy birthday, you little fluffy psychos! Thanks for making the WFH experience a billion times less lonely except that now I’m going to be going to return to the office talking like a fucking cartoon, but that’s OK.

I wish my job was to just play with Drew and Penelope everyday. It’s the only thing I’m really great at, to be honest.

Goodbye.

Oct 052020
 

While the White House Virus continued to spread, we were over here in Brookline redoing the dining room.

Being home almost 24:7 since March has REALLY made me angry about the state of our house. I have already mentioned this like a hundred times, but because of Chooch’s school, we’re not actively looking to buy a house right. (Long story short, anyway.)

(Unless the perfect home presents itself to us like a bride on her wedding night, then I guess we will talk.)

ANYWAY! There really isn’t anything WRONG with our place, aside from the fact that, well, it’s just old. It needs remodeled, but if the landlord does that while we’re living here, our rent will skyrocket. So, I can deal with the oldness, but what I can’t deal with is just the CLUTTER and disaster zone feel of the place. So much of that stems from our card business. You would be SHOCKED to see all the supplies and equipment a small Etsy greeting card company requires. Our dining room table is unusable 90% of the time because Henry has card-shit stacked everywhere. 

I just want to NOT be embarrassed when friends unexpectedly drop by (though, the probability of that happening any time is slim) instead of nervously laughing, “HAHAHA IGNORE THE TABLE” or grabbing garbage from someone who is en route to throw it away in the kitchen and screaming in the tone of a tweaker, “HERE I’LL GET THAT FOR YOU” and then slipping in through a 3/4 closed kitchen door before anyone can see what lies behind it. Well, we can definitely erase the kitchen from the Rooms of Shame list!

The dining room was also the only room left on the first floor with, GASP, white walls. This is the room where I work from so I was really starting to nitpick at it after spending so much time in there. I knew that at least getting some color on the walls would be a step in the right direction. Once that happens, everything else starts to fall into place and trust me, I’m pretty sure Henry was clenched while he painted the walls, wondering what else was in store for him. 

Don’t even pay attention to the shitty floors. They’re well beyond anything we can do to make them look presentable. Also, who else has cat toys on the floor in every picture they take of their house? Our cats are literally toddlers. 

Anyway, these were the first walls Henry the Painting Man painted. The dining room table used to live beneath the Get Stoked sign, but I made Henry take the middle part out of it (why did we even need such a large table? There are only 3 of us! I think we must have put that center in it for a party a long time ago and then never removed it) and move it to the other side. We’ll get to that later!

I need to find a credenza or a buffet to put against this wall now, hopefully something that has enough storage to stuff the overflow of card-shit (we have an entire shelf at the bottom of the steps that’s reserved for just card shit, but it’s still not enough, ugh). Ideally, I’d just like to get something second-hand so that I can paint it.

Henry snapped at one point. He was particularly angry with that purple paint because its coverage was terrible. We had to go to Lowe’s to get more and there was a young couple there blatantly not wearing masks and I was SO FUCKING ANGRY. FUCK YOU. 

Actually, the purple wall was the first wall I wanted to paint, several months ago. Because I had this image of filling that wall with picture frames painted the same color as our dining room chairs, and how poppin’ with that look against a deep purple!? But I didn’t want the entire room to be purple because that’s so dark, so I started looking for various color schemes involving a purple of that shade, and that’s how I landed on the yellow, orange, and berry shades of the other walls and once we brought the samples home, I realized that it held a striking similarity to the original Popsicle brand popsicles, and while maybe that would deter some people, it made that much more confident in the chosen palette. 

It just feels so fun!

We took down the curtains, which were a very dark and heavy maroon velvet that took up almost the entire wall. So now we’ve gained back a bunch of wall real estate and the table looks so cute over there! This is where my dining room table was when I first moved in way too long ago, so I was v. nostalgic. 

There’s really not much we can do about the computer desk. 

These curtains are 100% from Target’s kids’ line, Pillowfort, but THEY VIBE SO PERFECTLY!

We have a small wooden table that the printers usually live on but it’s in the middle of getting painted yellow.  Also, imagine that purple wall full of pictures of Korea inside frames the color of the dining room chairs. Le sigh. I have a bunch of the frames painted already, but I need to get some pictures printed. 

Don’t worry, we never eat at the table anyway.

That small wall behind Drew isn’t finished yet – the other two wall colors still need added to the stripes. Henry was supposed to do that tonight but he was allegedly “too tired.” Mm, ok. Sure. 

 

It’s so nice being able to walk through this room now without zig-zagging and weaving and tripping over Henry’s industrial paper cutter. I want him to just get a card table and make the greeting cards in the basement but every time I suggest it, he does that murderous mustache twitch, so I guess that’s a no. 

Popsicle vibes or naw?!

So right now, the entire right side of the room is basically a cat playground. Also, our light is consistently missing at least two bulbs at any given time, lol. I’m going to replace that soon, anyway. That light came with this house and I’ve never liked it. 

But yeah, that’s how we’ve been constructively spending our time. It only took a pandemic for us to stop living like slobs in a junkyard. To our defense, we were always doing shit and going places, so we never had the time or money to devote to the house! But who knows how much longer we’re gonna be on house arrest – I want to not feel like the walls are closing in on me. Our place isn’t perfect but at least I’m not full of hell fire every day when I wake up and come downstairs. 

Oct 042020
 

I had a slow book month in September, apparently – only 14! Here is how I felt about the first half.

  1. Then She Was Gone – Lisa Jewell

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OK Lisa Jewell, I see you. My second book of hers and I am now fully on board. I’m always down for a good thriller, and she’s delivered 2/2 times for so far, so I’m gonna be adding more from her oeuvre to my TBR queue, for sure.

I don’t even know where to start with this but it starts with the disappearance of a teenage daughter, and goes back and forth between that timeline and present day. There are your expected twists and turns, as with all thrillers, but I think what really grabbed me was the way the mom was written. She was a solid character and I felt her pain.

This was just a great escapist read. Would recommend. I think I have it 4/5.

2. The Seep – Chana Porter

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This book was so weird and made me feel so uncomfortable that I don’t even really want to recap it. It was VERY short though and that’s the only reason I didn’t DNF it.

I guess it’s sci-fi, sort of? An alien invasion had taken place and the survivors of the world’s population have kind of adopted the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” policy by giving in to “The Seep,” which is what the aliens are called. It’s basically like doing psychedelics, where you let The Seep into your body and you can transcend to some bizarre utopia. For instance, the main character’s wife decides one day that, with the help of The Seep, she wants to be reborn again.

No, like literally. Reborn as a baby to a new family.

The main character, Trina, goes on a downward spiral after that, dealing with the loss of her wife. It’s just weird, but not the kind of weird I like, and not that I’m saying I wanted it to be longer because I honestly wasn’t into it at all, but it just felt like there wasn’t enough time in the pages provided to really hit the mark. I had a hard time even envisioning any of the characters or the world itself. I just kind of kept picturing Eisley Cantina for various scenes.

Even Henry was like, “This doesn’t seem like a book you would like,” when he read the synopsis inside the book. One of the many times Booktubers have lead me astray.

3. You Should See Me in a Crown – Leah Johnson

You Should See Me in a Crown

This was cute but not as great as everyone on the Internet was saying (but again, I’m not an LGBTQ+ teenager, so this book definitely probably hits harder for them).

We follow Liz, a Black queer girl in a small town, as she runs for Homecoming Queen strictly because there is a large reward (her town is REALLY into homecoming) that she desperately needs in order to attend the college she got into. Liz is an extremely relatable, likable character, and it was fun reading about her stepping out of her comfort zone, and then my chest tightened when she was outed, and my face got second-hand redness when she had confrontations with other classmates, because ugh high school kids amirite.

I dunno, I had fun with this one even though it 100% was not for my demographic.

4. Burn Our Bodies Down – Rory Power

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I picked this up because people kept saying it gave them Children of the Corn vibes. That would be a negative, pals. I think that Rory Power has an interesting writing style, which I really liked, but the story itself was like….I was really in it for a bit, pretty hooked after a certain point, but it just didn’t really take me there. I needed more. I mean, the “creepy small town holding secrets” vibe was there, the stern and overbearing grandma in the weird farmhouse was written well, the “OMG DO THESE TWO GIRLS LIKE EACH OTHER” tension had me flipping the pages…but Rory Power never really drove any of this home for me.

Also, I don’t even know how to explain it. Girl finds out she has a family outside of her mom and runs away from home to meet her grandma, even though mom has spent the girl’s whole life hiding her origins from her. OMG but why? I don’t know, read the book. It’s pretty fucked.

5. The Great Believers – Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers

OK hold on. I just started spontaneously crying as soon as I saw this book cover.

THIS BOOK.

SOLID 5/5.

Jesus Christ.

I know that I’m a pretty sensitive person in general, but I think even I wasn’t, I still would have full-on sobbed at times while reading this, and then I got all choked up while trying to explain it to Henry. I guess I have a sick fascination with reading books about the 1980s AIDS crisis, because that is LARGELY what this novel about and it is fucking heartbre—hold on, I’m crying again OMG.

In The Great Believers, we follow two separate timelines: one is in the 80s, where we meet Yale and his group of friends and watch as they navigate the murky waters in the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. At first, I was worried that too many characters were being introduced, but I felt that each one was so fleshed out, they practically jumped off the pages. I became extremely, uncomfortably, attached to Yale and rooted for him SO FUCKING HARD.

The second timeline is in the late 2010s, which finds us in Paris with the sister of one of Yale’s friends, as she tries to track down her estranged daughter. A lot of reviews I read said that they could have done without this timeline, and I can see that. I was definitely less into these chapters, but it does all tie together for one extra curb-stomp to the soul.

I have also seen this book likened to a lighter version of A Little Life, which I want to read but after how devastating THIS book was to me, I’m even more terrified of picking up A Little Life.

Earlier today in the car:

Me: I really want to read A Little Life but I’m afraid it’s going to make me want to die.

Henry: Then don’t read it.

Me: But I really want to read it.

Henry: Then read it.

Henry, being an ambivalent sounding board to Erin R. Kelly since 2001.

6. He Started It – Samantha Downing

He Started It

OH MAN this was a FUN THRILLER. A group of siblings can’t get their inheritance left to them by their recently deceased grandfather until they embark on and complete the exact same road trip he took them on as children, only this time he’s with them in the form of his ashes.

There are so many twists, so many laugh out loud moments, so many OH SHIT moments — I can’t stress how fun this book is. I mean, come on – a sibling road trip, and by the way, none of the siblings particularly like each other.

The ending is a little….controversial. I think I would have given this a solid 5 had it not been for that “huh” ending, but it was still good enough that I asked Henry if he wanted to read it before I had to return it to the library, AND HE DID. And he liked it too! Except for the ending. He was a little mad about it.

Man, this also made me REALLY want to go on a road trip :(

7. The Silence of Bones – June Hur

The Silence of Bones

I knew nothing about this going into it but wow, I really enjoyed it! It’s historical fiction, set in Joseon Dynasty-era Korea, about a 16-year-old orphan who is basically a servant to the police bureau, from what I understood it was so she didn’t have to live in an orphanage. She finds herself assisting the young police inspector when a noblewoman turns up murdered.

I’m not typically wild about historical fiction, but this was so dark and gritty, and I always enjoy learning more about the history of Korea (this one talks a lot about the persecution of Christians in 1800s Korea, which was scary & interesting). I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys learning about the history of Korea while also trying to solve a mystery.

8. The Wife Between Us – Greer Hendericks & Sarah Pekkanen

The Wife Between Us

OH.MY.FUCKING.GOD. This thriller is a motherfucking roller coaster track of twists and turns. My work friend Megan had recently read it and loved it so I was like OK I WILL READ IT TOO TWIST MY ARM. I kept sending her messages like “WTFFFFFFF I HATE RICHARD” and she would be like INORITE.

First of all, it’s always intriguing me to when a book has two authors. I feel like I would never be able to write a book with anyone because I’m one of those Type A megalomaniac people who will be like, “OK. I can see where that would be a great idea….but we’re doing it my way.”

Anyway, holy shit this book! Every time I thought for sure I knew what was going on, what people’s motives were, etc etc,. everything was turned on its head, giving me reader’s whiplash. Hopefully Henry never planned on reading because on one of our nightly walks, I asked, “Can I tell you about that book I just finished OK great here it goes…”

Read you a book that makes you excitedly vomit the plot all over the sidewalk.

****

On that note, I’m gonna go back to screaming at the news. FUCK TRUMP FUCK TRUMP FUCK TRUMP FUCK TRUMP FUCK TRUMP.

 

 

Oct 022020
 

OK look, to be fair, I haven’t decorated at work for the last two years (or three?!!?) so I can’t really be too much of a bitch-baby about this. YOU NEVER KNOW: This could have been my big comeback year! But you know, it’s hard to decorate a desk that you haven’t occupied since March. I felt really sad and nostalgic about that today so I took a stroll down memory lane and I honestly can’t believe it’s been EIGHT YEARS since the October that birthed the Glenn Defacement Project.

Hold my hand (VIRTUALLY!!) and walk with me down blog boulevard to October 2012, won’t you? Also, sorry for the shitty photo – I was clearly obsessed with Hipstamatic in 2012. *cringe*

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Finally, we got the approval to decorate for Halloween again this year! I’ve known since last October what I was going to do this year. Last year’s was so graphic and murder-y, so I decided to go a different route: clowns. It seems like most of the department are coulrophobic! And it just so happens I have a few clowns in my collection.

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Henry and I had a huge fight about the fabric. I’m sorry but fabric stores are gross! I didn’t want to be there at all, and I threw a massive fit about how ridiculous it was that I couldn’t find striped fabric.

“You only looked in one rack!” Henry cried, whic prompted me to scathe, “Oh, don’t you talk to me that way!” and storm out of the store. Sunday was a fabulous day!

(Obviously, I sent him back out for the fabric.)

(The randomly jutting clown shoe scares Brad.)

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So, one of the first components I began working on last week was defacing pictures of Glenn.

Watching me turn Glenn into a Juggalo, Lee asked, “What started your beef with Glenn, anyway?”

This gave me pause. You know, I can’t be certain exactly what happened, but I know that he sassed me one time. And for that, he will forever be my joke-pony.

Anyway, the seedling of my idea was to get a bunch of those prize machine capsules and fill it with candy and a picture of Glenn (collect them all!).

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Crooked Cop Glenn!

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Stripper Glenn!

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I also made a bunch of department-centric fortunes. My favorite is: Never underestimate the power of a Barb Riley Nastygram.

So I did all of these things, ordered those plastic vending capsules in bulk, and then thought to myself, “WTF am I putting these in?” Certainly not just a random bowl. So I made a beachball-sized paper mache clown head (with Henry’s help—I’m not allowed to use the hand mixer). It took all weekend and was one of the most frustrating projects of my life (hi, I hate crafts, remember?), but I am so in love with him now! My babe!

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It’s surprising to me how many people either hesitated or flat out refused to put their hand in his mouth, like I am so untrustworthy! Barb is so thrilled she gets to stare at the back of his bald head all day.

And what goes along with carnivals and circuses? Side show freaks! [Message from Erin 2020: There is only ONE PERSON out of all of these circus freaks that still works at the Law Firm *sad face*]

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Carey as the Tattooed Lady! A Fiji Mermaid!

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Midget pacifier-sucking Brad! Bloody circus peanuts!

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Ringmaster A-ron!

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Chris and Lee, Ultimate Law Firm Bromance! (Lee is so angry and traumatized about this.)

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Moustache and beard lollipops!

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Fiji Mermaid up close!

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Barb the Contortionist!

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Random babies in a bottle!

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So, this is why I haven’t been writing much on here lately: I’ve got a one-track mind!

Mostly, it’s been received very positively. I mean, it’s fun! It’s interactive! It’s mean-spirited toward Glenn (who secretly loves it)! Even some people who don’t usually talk to me have stopped to appreciate it. I just hope that the few anti-fun people here don’t get upset and complain. But if last year’s Murder Desk was allowed to carry on throughout the entire month, I don’t see why this one can’t, too.

I heard through the grapevine that Glenn liked last year’s Murder Desk better than this year’s Carnival Desk because he got to be the killer. (I’m going to pretend that he wasn’t being sarcastic.)

So I decided to incorporate his murderous streak into this year’s theme, too.

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I’ve been calling this Candy’s Corner.

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Remains of Candy mingle amongst circus peanuts.

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I figured I could use Glenn to tie in Candy’s Corner with all the department sideshow freaks, so I made a newspaper article. (The picture of Candy is random — I didn’t want anyone here to be all, “OMG WHY DO I HAVE TO BE THE VICTIM!?”)

(But really, aren’t we all?)

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The “unknown metal object” will be officially revealed next week when I have Candy’s stomach contents on my desk.

I tried to throw in a few shout-outs here and there, like Barb’s newfound predilection for tacking on “holla!” to the end of random proclamations and Amber1’s publicly shared affection for her wiener dog.

And Brad’s midget-ness.

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Another new addition: creepy old jack in the box!

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Candy’s wig and bow.

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Sean and Glenn checking out the latest Glenns on the wall. The real Glenn got Little Orphan Glenn in today’s clown head digging. George got Jesus Glenn, and to quote Lee: “George gets ALL of the good Glenns!”

Here’s a sampling of Glenns:

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 Glenn Close Glenn (Henry didn’t get this one!), Chef BoyarG, Luau Glenn, Glenn in the Hat, Miami Vice Glenn, Glenn Danzig Glenn.

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 Elton John Glenn, Glenn of the Corn, Darth Glenn, Gary Bettman Glenn (NHL Commisioner, FYI), Jigsaw Glenn, Pulp Fiction Overdose Glenn.

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 Devo Glenn, Einstein Glenn, Sea Monkey Glenn, Batman Glenn, Bill Cosby Glenn (with Puddin’ Pop and Jello!) [HELLO FROM 2020 ERIN: was Cosby a known-rapist yet when I made this!?!? Yikes.], Captain Ahab Glenn.

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 Damsel in Distress Glenn!

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 ALL OF THE GLENNS!

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Also new for this week was Candy the Clown’s stomach contents, which was a big fail. I had Henry make a big batch of slime, and then I added paper clips. Because that is what Glenn the Clown made Candy choke on, you see. Paper clips. Someday I will explain the paper clip obsession.

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I can’t imagine why no one wanted to plunge their phalanges into that.

Oct 012020
 

It’s October 1. Thank god you’re reading this or else you’d have never known.

Anyway, that song up there used to be my favorite. It was such a mix CD staple! It popped into my head the other day and I got sad because I couldn’t remember who sang it for the longest time. How?! It eventually came to me today so I decided it was a sign to share it here with…whoever is left in this wasteland.

Historically, October has always been my favorite month. I grew up with a mom who LIVED for decorating the fuck out of our yard and always let me have Halloween parties (and uh, let’s not get into the costumes she used to make me when I was in elementary school – that’s been covered to death on the slog blog). I mean, I started watching horror movies when I was in the single digits because my mom just didn’t care, lol!

October was also the month I met The Cure in Australia (ok ugh and also the month I met Henry—the same year even, just not in Australia lol)!

Sadly though my absolute favorite October activity is going to as many haunted houses and hayrides as I can jam in, but clearly that is not going to happen this year. And you know what? I’m not gonna be a bitch baby about it. Maybe I’ll just break into ACTUAL haunted houses?! Find some creepy urban legend-y places to poke around in? Jump in piles of all the money I saved from NOT going to corporate haunted attractions?

It’s actually been a long time since we carved pumpkins (we never have time, usually because we’re busy, you know, going to those aforementioned haunts lol) so maybe we’ll actually do that this year. Decorate the yard a little? We haven’t done that in a long time either because we’re never home!

I think I will also spend (more) time in cemeteries, possibly while listening to good horror audiobooks? Maybe take a day trip to point at fall foliage? I mean, clearly I will be watching the fuck out of horror movies.

The whole point of this is that I’m not gonna let it get me down. There are bigger things to be mad at right now. October can (and will) still rule!

(Is trick or treating even going to happen this year?! I mean, if ever there’s an apropos time to wear a mask….)

I mean, if Jo’s can be Halloready in spite of it all, I can too!