Remember in the beginning of quarantine, way back in that month that some of us might remember as “March,” I was doing a Friday 5 recap of my work weeks in quarantine? And then I gave up after less than a month because it made me feel worn out and no way was I going to keep that up for what, an entire month? MAYBE TWO MONTHS? Lol, that was so super cute when some of us thought we’d be going back to work at the end of April, May at the latest.
Anyway, that was my intro for the edition of Friday 5.
Remember how Chooch and I are obsessed with getting our cats to be more popular than Blake’s dumb cat on Instagram? Well, two days after I started an account for Penelope, I found this thing called a “follow loop” and sorry if you already know about this but I have never been in this numbers game before on the ‘gram, so I’m walking on new ground over here. Anyway, if you don’t know what it is, it’s this dumb thing on Instagram where you have to tag some friends and then follow everyone the Follow Loop account is following, and then the Follow Loop account starts following you so that everyone who joins also follows you, and, and, and, breathe. But yeah, it’s dumb and tedious but I went, I mean Penelope went from like 50 friends to 500 in a day and Chooch and I were cracking up because Blake, I mean, Ham, had more followers than us before this and then we both blew past him. Henry was like THAT IS MEAN but we were like DO NOT TELL HIM! WE KNOW HE IS YOUR FAVORITE SON BUT PLEASE KEEP OUR SECRET! and it was real tense there for a while because we weren’t sure what Henry was going to do.
THEN!!! One of our dumb ass mutual friends became a HOST for a follow loop and she POSTED ABOUT and tagged HAM so then HAM joined a follow loop and got a bunch of new followers too! I was so pissed and Chooch was like, “THAT’S IT, I’M QUITTING INSTAGRAM.” Meanwhile, Chooch and I, I mean Drew and Penelope, both got added to some pet group chat where everyone posts three emojis when they post a new picture and then the members of the chat are required to go and like that picture, but some people are also like VOTE FOR MY DOG and then someone in the group chat accidentally video-called all of us and then spent the next hour apologizing and every day I say I’m going to leave the group chat BUT I NEVER DO. I have GROUP CHAT GUILT.
Last week, I spent my entire turn in the weekly meeting whining about the Instagram drama and then followed up with an email containing screenshots of all three cats’ profiles so my coworkers could see how much cooler Drew and Penelope are than BASIC HAM but then my one co-worker missed the point completely and her reply was all about how HAM IS SUCH A GOOD-LOOKING CAT AND SHE LOVES HIS NAME and I was like NO JOYCE! INCORRECT!! YOU LOST THIS ROUND!
Meanwhile, Chooch is quitting follow loops because not everyone follows him like they’re supposed to and he only wants cat accounts as friends. “Now I have an aquarium following me! I hate it!” he cried in anguish and I couldn’t stop laughing at the thought of an actual aquarium holding a phone and scrolling through Instagram.
Anyway, my screen time is so high lately because I have to spend so much every day fulfilling like and follow promises on Instagram and commenting things like, “Hey furiend, have a purrfect weekend! Lookin’ good in that bandanna!” Ugh I hate my life. But! Penelope has been making lots of friends, like this dog who also likes Taemin, and a cat who loves the Cure, lol.
I was on my way to the library during my lunch break walk on Tuesday, but I cut through some side streets in order to prolong my arrival time because god forbid I arrive too early for my scheduled curbside pickup time. Anyway, I was walking down a sidewalk when I passed some broad asking (aka screaming across the street) a neighbor if he knows who’s been putting dog shit in the back of Dan’s dump truck, and she was RULL mad about it, but the real question is: what cunty things has Dan done to have dog shit put in the back of his dump truck. Also, RIP to the ears of the baby she was bouncing on her hip while hollering across the street to Mike the Neighbor.
From what I gathered, this is apparently an ongoing thing. Mike the Neighbor sadly did not know who the culprit is but hollered back that it was “rull fucked up” and he’d “let yinz know” if he saw anything.
Isn’t a dump truck just a giant garbage can anyway?
I texted Henry about how I walked past neighbor drama but KakaoTalk changed “drama” to “dramatically” and Henry said that he would have liked to have seen me walking past neighbor, dramatically.
This next one is literally the biggest thing that has been going on in my life, you can ask Henry and Janna – they will confirm with a heavy sigh. So, one day last week, a video titled “Train to Coney Island” came up in my YouTube feed, apropos of nothing. Naturally, I clicked on it and was super stoked to see that it was from the late 80s! Just some friends, one of them with her two children, going to Coney Island on a train, no big deal right? But then more videos from this YouTube started auto-playing and I was like, “Oh OK so this gay dude from NYC basically videotaped his whole life, like I used to do in the 90s.” Still, didn’t think too much of it but left it on in the background.
Something made me look up and pay attention though when this one video came on. Well, not just “something” – it was titled “Nelson’s Last Video” or “Tape,” I can’t remember. It was just him, his dog Blackout, and his friend walking around on July 3, talking about the cookout that’s going to happen for the 4th of July, and how much the piers have changed since the 70s, nothing too life-shattering….until the video ended with a note that said it was his last video BECAUSE HE DIED OF A HEART ATTACK LATER THAT NIGHT OMFG. It made me feel totally rocked, for some reason, I can’t really explain why — I obviously didn’t know him, but just watching a handful of his personal home videos felt so intimate, like some kind of boundary had been breached. Anyway, I started poking around the YouTube channel where his videos are uploaded and learned that he was a videographer/documentarian of his friends and NYC in the 80s and his video collection has been digitized. That’s when I started to notice some of the titles of the videos included names like RuPaul and Andy Warhol…so I googled him and he was actually really good friends with RuPaul before RuPaul was a superstar, as well as Keith Haring and music journalist Michael Musto (pictured on the right up there) who I am now obsessed with after watching hours upon hours of these videos.
I never really knew too much about the Club Kid scene but Michael Alig and James St. James appeared in a bunch of these videos too and I was like….wait, isn’t that Party Monster? So I fell down deep and started watching Geraldo episodes with the Club Kids and then made Henry watch Party Monster with me last weekend and I have been having nightmares about Michael Alig ever since and also I had no idea that DJ Keoki ran in that circle and was Michael Alig’s boyfriend!?!? I used to love DJ Keoki!?!?
I keep texting Janna and making her watch these videos and it’s just crazy to me because he was literally vlogging before anyone else. He even has a video where he says his resolution is to put the camera on himself more often and he wonders if people will think that looks weird…in the 90s, I was always shoving my camcorder in everyone’s faces. I have a boxful of 8mm that need to be digitized, and I’m sure it will be excruciating to watch these now, as a 41-year-old, hearing myself talk in my weird, fake-ditzy babydoll voice, but I am so glad that I was so into recording shit back then (no sex tapes, shockingly!) and watching Nelson’s tapes reaffirms that sentiment.
They also make me feel an ache in my heart that I can’t quite explain because how do you miss a scene that you were too young to be part of? I certainly wasn’t going to drag shows and Michael Alig’s Outlaw Parties when I was 8.
OR WAS I.
I think also it just makes me sad on a really deep level to see all of these people hanging out without cell phones up in their grills. actually talking to each other. Strangers knew how to talk to each other back then! And it makes me have a vague recollection of how outgoing I used to be at one time and I think I would have really loved being part of that group. :(
Well, this is timely. Remember in my last post when I mentioned that Chooch’s punishment for breaking his phone screen is to read vintage Oh Honestly Erin blog posts, starting with my infamous Vegetarian Dinner Party from 1996. If you read that post, you know that SPOILER we had to call the cops because someone was stalking me and by doing so, we panicked and dumped out the bottle of white Zinfandel that I had been saving for 10 years, having received it as a kid from my godfather who said, “For the girl who has everything.” Or some kind of sappy sentiment like that, but I remember REALLY latching onto this gift because I was…what…6 or 7? And a bottle of wine was such an adult gift! The idea behind it was to obviously save it for a special occasion when I was old enough to pop the cork and I really felt like this “adult” dinner party I was hosting at my house senior year while my family was out of town was a totally special occasion – I mean, right? It was all of my closest friends!
So yeah, someone was like, “Yo we’re a bunch of teenagers with no adult supervision here with an opened bottle of wine and the police are coming” – I mean, why didn’t we just hide it? I dunno what we were thinking and I don’t feel like re-reading that damn thing to see if it explains that thought process at all, but the point here is that one Twitter, one of my friends replied to the post and said, “I’m angry about that wine!” or something to that effect and I was about to reply and tell her that I actually still have the empty bottle after all these years but thought, “Wait, I’ll go and take a picture of it too so I can add that to the tweet” but I couldn’t find it in any of the spots where I could see it in my mind, which I thought was odd, but didn’t feel like doing any deep investigation into the matter because it was late and I’m not very good at looking for things anyway.
This morning, I was emptying the recycling bin in the kitchen, which I don’t normally do because Henry has giant clear bags for the recyclables so I let him deal with it, but I was in an angry cleaning mood when I woke up and I didn’t know where he put those bags so I decided to just use small blue plastic bags. You already know where this is going, but after clearing out about half of the bin, I was going to stop because I usually only go halfway when cleaning, but something made me get one more bag to fill…
…and that’s when I saw it.
Way at the back of the bin.
I knew it without even seeing the label.
It was my wine bottle.
SOMEONE HAD TOSSED MY WINE BOTTLE AND SURPRISE SURPRISE, NONE OF THE ASSHOLES I LIVE WITH WILL ADMIT TO IT.
Honestly though – what are the fucking odds that this happened now?? Honestly, if Amanda hadn’t even said that on Twitter, I wouldn’t have even noticed that the bottle was gone, and what if I hadn’t been the one to empty the recycling bin!? Oh man, my head was HOT this morning. Both of my roommates got a tongue-lashing.
“A BOTTLE THAT I HAVE HAD SINCE I WAS SIX YEARS OLD!!!!!!”
A few weeks ago, the sidewalk near Chooch’s former school was torn up and replaced and he was so upset because his initials were carved into the old sidewalk. On my birthday, Henry and I were walking to the post office (see? I told you my birthday was a fucking snooze) and on our way there, we passed a section of freshly-paved sidewalk next to his friend’s house so I texted him and said “now’s your chance.” On our way back, we saw that he had indeed cashed in that chance, but he fucking tagged his cat’s Instagram handle. Literally, all it said was “@that_cat_bambi.” I thought it was funny, but Henry, Sidewalk Law Expert, was PISSED.
“Oh! That’s just fucking great! Now this can be traced right back to us!” he cried, and I was like, “….is this illegal or something?” (Oh shit I just googled and it’s considered vandalism if you don’t own the sidewalk; I’m a 41-year-old child learning the laws of the land. Leave me alone.)
This sidewalk is only a block away from our house so Henry stormed through the front door and was all, “YOU BETTER GO AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT” at the same time I was saying, “You should have put “@gentleman_ham is a racist.”
But Chooch only honed in on what Henry was screaming about and you could see the sweat forming a beaded chain on his brow as he laughed nervously. So he ran back up the street and apparently just scribbled out everything but “bambi” and Henry was like, “WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU” because the sidewalk is literally next to Chooch’s friend’s house, and that girl knows that he calls Drew “Bambi,” and her dad is like BIG CRAZY.
“What if she sells me out?” Chooch said, his voice quaking like Sally Struthers. “Like, ‘I know who has a cat named Bambi, [insert full ass name] living at [insert address].'”
Literally minutes later, HER DAD CAME OUT OF THE HOUSE (Chooch was watching sheepishly like a coward from our front porch) and smoothed out the whole thing so now it says nothing, it’s just a big smear.
“OMG WHAT IF HER DAD SAW ME DO IT??” Chooch cried, biting his nails. Her dad is not to be fucked with, like he has terrorized his kids in public before because one of them ate his chips and he hunted them down on the boulevard to interrogate them. Chooch was a witness and said it made him appreciate us, his lazy parents who make empty threats and dole out weak punishments, like “OH HO, NOW YOU’VE DONE IT! You will read my blog.” Anyway, Chooch was legit pacing and panting off and on for an hour after this, waiting for a knock at the door, and then he heard POLICE SIRENS and nearly broke his neck whipping his head toward the door and back to us. “The police wouldn’t come for something like that, would they?” he asked, his face blanched, lips white.
Oh shit, I was loving it. It was, now that I think about it, the only time on my birthday that I felt really good!
He’s been careful about keeping his head down lately when we walk past that house, now with weirdly-smudged sidewalk, but this morning when we were walking to get breakfast, Big Crazy was waiting to pull into his driveway and Chooch started frantically whispering, “OHGODOHGODOHGOD WE MADE EYE CONTACT GO GO GO.” Lol.