Tuna Tar-Tart

I suck at everything. Probably more than you do. I enjoy experimenting with cheese and playing with glue sticks. You might know me from that other joint, LiveJournal.

Aug 052020
 

I don’t even know where I am in this whole progress post process anymore. But here are some pictures of new additions. Things have been getting more fun for me because all of the big stuff is done (wall-painting, floor-laying, Ikea stuff-building, etc) and I’m free to add all my stupid touches.

Like a pastel Caboodle to hold all the band-aids and sundry that Henry loves to pile atop the fridge!

My friend Courtney made me those Golden Girl magnets a few years ago – they were perfect then, but even more so now! We’re also turning a bunch of pictures of ourselves from the 80s into photo magnets, so that’ll be super obnoxious.

My phone arrived over the weekend! (Sorry if that crooked photo bothers you but please note that I straightened it after I took this photo and didn’t feel like retaking it because I’m a lazy blogger whose life is anything but curated.)

Henry the amateur electrician is going to find a way to make it light up (we think it still works, according to the eBay description) and if the kitchen gods decide to smile down on us, he’ll hopefully be able to find a way to get it to do what I REALLY want, which is to turn on a Bluetooth speaker in the kitchen when the receiver is lifted, at which point the room will be filled with the joy of 80s new wave.

But with the way things have been working out, I’m not holding my breath! In any case, it’s a fun decoration.

Another thing that we finally checked off the list was the spice rack!

This is actually how the whole thing started, btw. It was sometime last spring and I said to Henry, after watching the video for Damien’s song Cassette, “We should make a spice rack out of old tapes.” I don’t know why my mind went specifically to “spice rack,” but it did and from there, it turned into, “Actually let’s just redo the entire kitchen in an 80s theme. You know, to match the spice rack.”

It took Henry about a half dozen attempts until he finally understood my vision and built something that was (mostly) what I wanted. I mean, not that it matters, because I don’t cook and have no use for spices, but Chooch is already bitching because he can’t see what anything is, so I was like, “Uh, just alphabetize them? Then at least you’ll know a roundabout starting point.” He was super thrilled with my solution.

It just needs an LED lightstrip underneath it.  I mean, obviously.

Fun fact: That’s my favorite Cure album. That’s not my favorite Phil album though. (Come on, No Jacket Required.)

Meanwhile, if you would have told me six months ago that I’d be up until 1AM working on one (1!!!) cabinet door on August 3rd, I’d have cracked up in your face and said, “yeah OK I’ll be on the Erin’s 41st Birthday Mini Cross Country Amusement Park Tour then and also ew, I hate my kitchen, it’s a dump.” Oh, how covid has changed our lives.  I decided that only the top two cabinets will have this design and the rest will just be painted in geometric quadrants in the 4 colors of the walls. Because this is best used in small doses, I think – even I know my limits!

The cabinets, being as old as they are, have clearly been through the war. So even after Henry sanded them down, the surface was still pretty pocked on both. I was originally going to make stencils and handpaint the shapes, but I knew because of the bumpy surface it would like ass. So instead, we made vinyl stickers, which didn’t really save too much time because handcutting these were a bitch, and  then I did all the black squiggles by hand and that’s what took the longest. My hand and back hurt so much by the time I was done, but I was determined to get at least one banged out in one sitting. I made the second one last night so I’m excited to eventually have cabinets again!

This is just sitting in there right now, for picture-purposes. I think it will look even better once we make “The Coreys” cabinet pulls! Also, I need to get some old teen magazines from the 80s to make a collage inside the cabinet doors.

Still on the To Do list: Making the curtain for the kitchen door, the neon sign (which is paid for and in production!!!), whatever Henry can manage to do with the phone, the rest of the trim needs painted and reattached, and supposedly Henry is redoing the countertop but we’ll see how that actually pans out because Henry and epoxy aren’t the greatest of colleagues. Oh, and I still haven’t found a ceiling light that makes me happy.

But even in the state it’s in right now, it is a million times better than the den of despair it was as recently as June, and walking in there doesn’t make me want to put my fist through a wall anymore!

Aug 042020
 


I was up until 1am working on one (1!!) kitchen cabinet FML but I still woke up early to watch Taemin’s new video and I am super delirious & giddy, ugh my coworkers are probably thanking COVID right now because I have “be incredibly annoying” punched in on today’s agenda – I guess we know what I’ll be screaming about in my weekly meeting today.

So…a new Taemin video came out today and it’s also the first day in three weeks that I haven’t spent the morning walking half-hunched with a hurt back. Coincidence? NO – THE HEALING POWER OF TAEMIN!‬

Ugh. Taemin. I’ve waited a long time for this!

Aug 032020
 

Hello. I meant to write about last weekend, well, last week, but I get so one-track-minded sometimes that I wasn’t able to pull myself away from whatever other nonsensical bullshit I was doing, so here we are. And honestly, it’s not like I did much aside from – wait for it – kitchen bullshit. 

But here are the 2 standout points.

Wimbledon ’92

On Saturday, the ghost of Erin 1992 whispered in my ear, “Remember Wimbledon 1992…..” and suddenly I couldn’t get to my Roku fast enough. I NEEDED TO WATCH ANDRE AGASSI WINNING WIMBLEDON IN 1992. Because I’ve reached the next level of coronavirus which is: relive Andre Agassi’s first Wimbledon win on YouTube and cry like it’s 1992 and you still have a collection of Agassi-related newspaper clippings & drawings in a neon yellow see-through binder. What?

“Oh man, you have NO IDEA how much I loved Andre Agassi,” I moaned as Henry walked past me to go and do actual labor on the kitchen. (These fucking cabinets, man, lol oh god kill us.) 

“Um, yeah, actually, I do,” Henry scoffed, because apparently being with me for 20 years makes him an expert on my obsessive personality. 

I have a vague recollection of making congratulatory signs after Andre won and hanging them at the end of my street. Also, I posed this on Instagram and my friend Liz commented that she remembered my AA obsession fondly. We were really close in middle school and she got dragged down in a lot of my bullshit, like when I would listen to nothing but the cassingles for Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” and Sophie B Hawkin’s “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” (that b-side, good lord) in my walkman on our trip to Lake Chataugua or when we go to the movies and I would have to have an empty seat next to me in which to place my Paul Coffey hockey card because I had the hots for me, which is exactly how my dad would phrase it if you were to ask him, “How did Erin feel about Pittsburgh Penguins Paul Coffey in 1992?”

So yeah, I had the entire Wimbledon finals match on that day and felt all the emotions when Andre won (and also every time he lifted his shirt to wipe his face OH MY FUCKING GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD) and then all these other old tennis matches played on YouTube for pretty much the entire day because no one could be bothered to change it.

Erin Calls 911
 
Henry and I had just returned home from a Target run on Sunday afternoon. When we were crossing the street to our house, I was semi-aware of a man who had seemingly emerged from one of our neighbor’s driveways and had crossed the street. I didn’t really pay much attention to him, but Henry, who was outside still trying to get the paint off the cabinets, came inside and told me to look out the window. 
 
The man was still outside, right across from our house, and he was very clearly under the influence of…something. Pills? Heroin? It seemed much worse than alcohol. He kept taking things out of his pockets and dropping said things all over the sidewalk, one of the things was a pill bottle, which was empty as evidenced by the way nothing dropped out when he turned it upside down and shook it.
 
So then he started licking the inside of the bottle.
 
I see a lot of weird shit on the street and usually I’ll just let it go, but this guy looked like he was a danger to himself. At one point, he was walking in the middle of the street and cars were having to swerve around him — I don’t live on some sleepy suburban street, you guys. It’s a pretty busy thoroughfare and I definitely wouldn’t recommend taking a leisurely, impaired stroll down the center of it. 
 
So I called 911. Which is scary because I always hesitate to get the police involved in any situation because who the fuck knows if it will escalate, but hey – the subject of my call was a white man, so at least he had that going for him.
 
Sigh.
 
I kept my eye on him while waiting for the cops to arrive, and that man was a dumpster fire. His pants were falling down, he was swaying, picking stuff up off the ground, re-dropping the same stuff, examining the empty pill bottle….it was so fucking depressing to watch.
 
Anyway, the cops came and talked to him for awhile, then eventually cuffed and searched him. Finally, the paramedics rolled up and took him away. I mean, I’m sure that didn’t end up being in the magic wake-up call that he needed, but I can only hope that it prevented him from hurting himself or someone else, at least on that particular Sunday. 
 
I don’t like making assumptions, but I’m pretty positive this was a drug thing and I just can’t emphasize enough how much I fucking hate drugs. I hate seeing what they do to people and it scares me how all it takes is one wrong choice, or having a surgery and becoming dependent on pain meds, or maybe you made a new “friend” who likes to “party” and just one time won’t be enough to hurt you…Well, whatever the case it might be for the man on Pioneer, I hope that he’s able to find the support and strength to get sober. Because that was so depressing and disturbing to watch and I kind of want to throw up just remembering it. 
 
Well, on that somber note: ciao for now!
Aug 012020
 

Ughhhhhhhh. Full disclosure, I have been off-and-on throwing bitch-ass tantrums about this since my actual birthday on July 30th. Like, I could say something Pollyanna-esque such as: Henry and I both had the day off work so I got to spend time with him and Chooch and in the end that’s all that matters…

And ok deep down that’s true and I KNOW it’s true and five years from now I’ll look back on this birthday and think “Well, Covid canceled my plans and I was stuck at home but that’s ok because I was in good health—” OH STFU FUTURE ERIN you know damn well you’re gonna be recounting in your head then list of people who forgot your birthday and the things Henry COULDA done but DIDNT do because while he is great in many ways, sweet surprises and planned-out activities are not his strong point and yeah he spent the day working on projects around the house at my direction but it would have been nice if he was like “Get in the car! We’re having a picnic in the wilderness!” or something like that I don’t know!

But I know in the Other Deep Down that anything he would have suggested would never have been enough because it always goes back to the fact that I miss my Pappap on this day more than ever and how do you compete with the greatness that was John Stonick? I mean, really.

My childhood best friend texted me on my birthday and said “wish we were swimming in your pappap’s pool today” because she knows. Christy knows.

So instead of eating the omelette Henry made me for breakfast, I made myself toast using the heels of the bread because that was all that was left of the loaf and what a perfect symbol for the day, and then I salted it with my tears and ate it with my lip protruded.

We went back and forth like this all day. It had its good parts though.

We got take out from Green Pepper for dinner. I really wanted mul naengmyeon, which is a Korean cold buckwheat noodle dish and Green Pepper is the only korean restaurant around that had it on their menu.

(Last year on my birthday, I was having vegan naengmyeon in Insadong, I’m not crying, you’re crying, oh wait your tears are from rolling your eyes so hard that you hurt yourself.)

Of course, because it was my birthday and nothing goes right on my birthday, it ended up being more of a “bibim” naengmyeon which means it’s mixed up in a sauce (gochujang) and that was OK but the noodles were definitely not buckwheat and it just wasn’t what I wanted even though it was still good. Also, they charge extra for kimchi (???) and are super skimpy with it too. My noodles cost like $13 which is hilarious because in Korea it would have been like $5 or $6 maybe even less but whatever America sucks.

I would also like to point out that jamming your chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice, a la Chooch up there, is extremely BAD FORM in Japan! I believe it has something to do with symbolizing death? I’m not sure if any other Asian cultures have anything similar to this so it’s probably best to just never stick your chopsticks in bowls of rice, as a rule of thumb. Look at my blog being educational! Now if only I could start proof-reading like the old days.

Ignore the mystery stain on the non-table cloth, but here I am trying to be natural, lol.

I cropped this photo when I posted it on Instagram because the way the shirt is laying, it looks like my boobs are super-droopy?! I swear to god that’s just the shirt!

I do love that shirt, btw. I wore it especially for my “birthday dinner” since I pretty much have had no reason to wear anything other than band t-shirts and yoga pants over the last 4 months.

I chose a matcha cake from Sumi’s, and it was honestly the best part of the day. Even Henry, who doesn’t like green tea, thought it was just lovely.

It even had a tiny bit of pat (sweet red bean) in it! Chooch immediately picked it out of his slice when I mentioned it, so I should have just kept my mouth shut.

So yeah, it wasn’t the greatest birthday but I can definitely confirm that I have much worse (like my 21st birthday where my friends tried to have me 302d because I was suicidal/losing my motherfucking mind – that was a good one). I would have much rather been in the midst of the amusement park extravaganza that I planned for myself but at least I made it to 41, blah blah blah, hashtag blessed, etc.

At the time of this blogging, I have spent the last three days pouting and having mood swings and being nostalgic and ungrateful, so when I hit “publish,” that means I have to officially walk away from this year’s birthday and move on with my damn life, lol. Jesus, I hate myself.

Jul 312020
 

Celebrating a birthday during a pandemic is pretty depressing, especially when pre-pandemic you had a 5-day amusement park-laden road trip on the calendar. I’m not going to lie and pretend like I was a big girl yesterday and being grateful for the good things because come on–we all know I’m a bitch baby Leo suffering from crippling me-me-me syndrome. So instead of recapping my actual boring AF 41st birthday (I’ll do that another day when I’m done pouting lol you think I’m joking), I thought I would bask in the past and revisit my 5 favorite birthdays of the last decade.

Because why not. Gotta get it out of my system so then I can move on and adjust to Year 41.

  1. 34th Birthday Dinner at Shakespeare’s

I don’t remember why I was so adamant about having a birthday dinner at this Shakespeare-themed restaurant outside of Pittsburgh, but I just remember sitting at the table, looking at all of my friends, and feeling really lucky to know such awesome people. Sadly, a TON of people at that dinner no longer live in Pittsburgh but I am at least still in touch with all of them. Actually, now that I think about it, I have more friends scattered across the country than I have in Pittsburgh, so that’s pretty depressing.

AnyWHO:

My 34th Birthday at a Castle

2. 32nd Birthday at the Roller Rink

I got gypped out of a big 30th birthday celebration (I think I spent the day helping a friend move into her new apartment and then I had a grilled cheese for dinner and to be fair, grilled cheeses are one of my all-time favorite foods, but come on guys). I was determined to have a re-do, so two years later, I rented an entire roller rink (it actually wasn’t as expensive as you’d think plus we were friendly with the owners) and invited all of my friends and pretty much the entire department at the law firm. My friend Kaitlin made me a Robert Smith cake and Roller DJ played a mix that I gave him which was full of post-hardcore, Phil Collins, Billy Ocean and “JACKIE BLUE.” It was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had!

My 32nd Birthday Roller Skating Party

3. That Time We Did a Southern Road Trip For My 35th Birthday

This trip was SO MUCH FUN. If you click on the hyperlink in the title, it’ll take you the entire category so you can read all of the posts, but for the purpose of this post, I’m singling out the photo-post from my actual birthday where my friend Octavia showed us around her hometown of Savannah and even though it was like 100 degrees, we had the best time with her and learned so much!

Savannah Sights

And she took us the storied Bonaventure Cemetery! Traipsing around cemeteries in new-to-me cities with finally-met-IRL friends are the makings of an excellent birthday!

Bonaventure!

4. SEEING MOTHERFUCKING G-DRAGON WHILE TURNING 38

Any chance I get to repost this moment in my life, I will SURELY take it! I splurged (and by that I mean I used my tax refund) to buy VIP tickets to see G-Dragon on his solo tour in Toronto ON MY BIRTHDAY in 2017. I was within FEET of him and I’m not kidding when I say that I still get chills and Jello-legs when I go back and replay the video of that moment. This was honestly one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen, a real experience, and it was my first time in Toronto. Henry and I had a really great 3 days there and only fought once, on my actual birthday, and it was, of course, over where we were going to eat lunch because I am basically an infant when it comes to feeding time. But aside from that, it was just the best weekend, and my actual birthday was like a fucking dream because, um, you know how much I love G-Dragon, right?

Act III:Motte, Part 2: Where I Left My Body On Earth & Wafted Up to the Heavens

5. Turning 40 IN KOREA

Look, I don’t think I will ever have a better birthday than I did last year and I really honestly am grateful for that, all bitch-baby wah-wah jokes aside. Henry even pointed out on the eve of this year’s birthday that I have been very spoiled over the last several years and he’s not wrong; I was basically setting myself up for disappointment this year and COVID made damn sure to drive that one home, lol. Nothing I could have planned for yesterday could have topped last year, which was spent walking along the Chungyecheon, eating naengmyeon at a traditional Buddhist vegan restaurant in Insadong, and then attending a live taping of The Show, one of the Kpop Countdown shows that broadcast weekly in Korea. That whole entire trip was EVERYTHING and even though I’m Forever Sad that I’m not there everyday, my heart experiences a special type of swelling whenever I think back to that trip. You might call it obsession, but I call it—-yeah, OK it’s obsession.

The Day I Turned 40 in Korea: The Show! 7/30/19

When I think back to all of these great birthdays, I feel loved and excited and lucky that I get to have these great friends and experiences in my life, so maybe my 41st birthday was lame and non-descript, buy maybe GET THE HELL OVER IT, ERIN. They can’t all be great ones! And I mean, I did get to have cake, at least.

More on that sometime later! I fell into this spiral of Nelson Sullivan home videos on YouTube and I am fucking obsessed and wishing I was a club kid living in NYC in the 80s.

Jul 302020
 

My French press broke last month so every morning, Chooch and I have been walking to various local cafes in order to get my AM fix, and even though it has been consistently in the 90s, yes, I still get a gigantic hot black coffee.

Luckily, I finally got a new French press and by that I mean I got a new French press immediately after my other one broke but it was a different size/style/make/model/whatever and I didn’t feel like reading the instructions to see what the water:scoop ratio was so it just sat there for three weeks while I shuffled through the early morning streets of Brookline every morning to get fix until Henry finally was like “for God’s sake” and showed me how to use my new French press.

Anyway! The point of this post is that some notable things happened during my coffee foraging days.

1. TOURETTES

OK look I say this all the time and I know I need to come up with a new name for my favorite local character and I suppose I could call him Dave which is what his name apparently is, but he’s always shaking his fist and screaming obscenities at garbage and I saw the movie “Niagara Niagara” so I clearly am a certified expert on the subject.

Anyway. Chooch and I had two (2) encounters with this vocal fella during Dire Coffee Days. The first incident was when we were waiting to cross West Liberty Avenue at the same time as him, and when the walk sign came on, some asshole in a work van nearly killed us by not recognizing the fact that he was prohibited from turning right on red, and he had to slam on the breaks when he was already halfway over the crosswalk! Tourettes (OK fine, let’s call him Brookline’s Best from now on) hollered, “WHAT THE HELL!?” and Chooch and I were like, “YES WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME SIDE FOR ONCE.” It really felt like we had experienced something special and deep with him, you know? Even though he never acknowledged the fact that we were standing there too.

Then!! That same week, Chooch and I were on the same route, because we were on a donut-kick* for a week where we found comfort and a simple pleasure in treating ourselves to a donut at Potomac Bakery and then skipping across the street to Muddy Cup for our morning refreshment. 

*(See also: the kitchen was still kind of a mess to be in and we used any excuse we could get to grab food that didn’t need prepared at home.)

As we were approaching the bakery, I noticed that BB was peering into the front window. Then he started mouthing off about something, fished around in his pocket, and crossed the street: 

“Maybe he doesn’t have any money,” I said and the briefly had a vision of me buying him a bag of pastries and him either being very happy or calling each breakfast bun a motherfucker while punting them into traffic. But it turns out, he was digging for his mask, which he found and then put on, only to come back across the street to the bakery. However, we made it there before him and there is a sign saying that only 3 people can be in there at one because it’s so small and, you know, social distancing is still a thing. There was already someone inside so I worried that he was going to be angry that Chooch and I beat him there, but it turns out occupancy issues are not his concern because he just flung the door open and strode right on in, but to his credit he did hunker back in a corner while the rest of us were being waited on.

Chooch and I got our donuts and as we were walking out, BB was being waited on.

“I’LL TAKE THAT CHERRY ONE. YEAH. YEAH YEAH YEAH. YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH. THE CHERRY. AND THAT APRICOT ONE THERE TOO. YEAH YEAH. YEAH YEAH YEAH!! YEAH! THE CHERRY AND THAT APRICOT ONE. YEAH!” 

It was so exciting! As we stood outside of Muddy Cup, waiting our turn to enter, we watched BB continue his jaunt up Potomac. I wondered out loud where he was going and then remembered that I would occasionally see him on the trolley in the mornings back when “going to work” required leaving the house, and he got off at the same trolley stop downtown as me. I wonder what he does down there?!

2. MASK SHAME

One day last week, Chooch decided to make breakfast for us so I walked to Muddy Cup without him to procure our AM beverages. My favorite barista was working and I told her that Chooch was at home making breakfast and that’s why I was acting all tense but she probably thought to herself, “No, you’re acting the same as usual, weird and strung out with paranoia like you just lit up a church” but she just smiled and commented that Chooch and I seem to have a really great relationship and then I did that thing that I do where I get all self-deprecating to the point where now I’ve just painted myself as an abusive parent, so that’s how coffee-procuring went.

When I left Muddy Cup, I had a drink in both hands so I just left my mask on, because god only knows how many clusters of people I might have to pass on the sidewalk and now it wouldn’t be as easy to get the mask back on without stopping somewhere to set down the drinks, and ugh do you see how difficult my life is?

So, I’m walking home and thinking about how it’s a good thing that I opted to keep the mask on because I did in fact pass quite a few people, and not all of them were masked, and look I know there are articles out there that are like YOU DON’T NEED TO NEED TO WEAR A MASK WHILE WALKING ETC but isn’t it better to mask than not mask, as a general rule of thumb? I know I for sure don’t ever give someone a side-eye for wearing a mask while walking with no one around. In fact, good for them. THAT’S HOW YOU NORMALIZE MASKS!

I made it all the way to my block without incident, actually that’s not true, some asshole in a contracting company truck nearly ran me over when he failed to stop at the stop sign as I was crossing the street and the amount of times this happens is actually disgusting, and usually the person driving gets all indignant and throws their hands up at me like it would have been my fault if they ran me over and ruined their precious day. Usually this would happen on my walk to the trolley for work, because people are in such a hurry to blow through that stop sign and then….sit in traffic. 

But this guy was overly apologetic, which actually felt worse, because he was so over-the-top with his contrition that I feared he was going to pull over and want to talk it out or something. I was just like, *nervous muffled mask laugh* hoping that he would go away, but then after he let me (so gracious and cavalier!) cross the street, he made his dumb right hand turn onto my street and JOVIALLY YELLED OUT OF THE PASSENGER SIDE WINDOW about being “Sorry, again!” and then he made a joke that I didn’t hear so I just laughed along anyway and prayed that he would just drive off into the ether.

HE WAS ONLY BEING NICE BECAUSE HIS EMPLOYER’S NAME WAS ON THE TRUCK AND HE DIDN’T WANT ME TO CALL AND COMPLAIN, I AM PRETTY FUCKING SURE.

But whatever, I’ll take his overzealous niceness over what happened next.

I was THREE HOUSES AWAY from my own house when I approached a man who was, it appeared, cleaning out his dad’s house. I think the guy who lives next to Chooch’s nemesis Larry either died or was moved into a home because the son was bringing out all kinds of wheelchairs (too modern, not for collecting) and other medical equipment whenever I passed earlier on my way to get the coffee. Now he was standing near the sidewalk talking to some men who presumably had come to pick up some of this stuff, because they were wearing matching neon yellow t-shirts and drove a pick-up, unless they’re just in a neon gang or something, that could be.

One of the guys was all, “OH SORRY” and moved out of my way even though he wasn’t actually in my way but I appreciated his noonchi (that’s Korean for SELF-AWARENESS/TACT). However, the supposed son of the home owner sneered at me, “There’s more than  6 feet, I think you’re fine.” 

I didn’t understand what he meant at first so I just nodded and kept walking, but then I realized, what a bitch ass motherfucker, he was shaming me for wearing a mask. And then, to the mask-wearing woman who was directly behind me walking her dog, he said, “Oh what, no mask for your dog too?” 

I was so pissed after I walked into my house and just kept replaying that dumb slob’s stupid ass remark over and over, but then I was momentarily distracted because Chooch was done making breakfast and I was starving but also wanted to make sure that he didn’t damage anything in the kitchen hahaha like I would even know, so I forgot about it for a bit but then later on when I ranted about it online, my friend Shawn was like, “and then did you pull down your mask and cough on their baby?” NO BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T HAVE A BABY BUT I LIKE THE WAY YOU THINK. You know how sometimes shit like this happens and it doesn’t fully register in the heat of the moment until you’re removed from the situation? That’s how this was. 

It’s been a week and I’m still angry about it. Why are we still being bitch-babies over masks? Just fucking wear one so the rest of us can not die/stop having video meetings/send our kids back to real life school/go on our postponed vacations/ride a fucking roller coaster/etc. I don’t even care if these pieces of shit wear MAGA masks because at least it means THEY’RE WEARING ONE. 

Anyway, those are the most exciting experiences that I had while having to leave the house every morning to get coffee and the whole time I was writing this all I could think was “hoo boy I can’t wait to finish this so I can go and make coffee using my new French press” and you know what? THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I AM GOING TO DO RIGHT NOW. Have a blessed (???) night. 

Jul 292020
 

AHAHAHAugh…fucking kitchens.

I had to look at the calendar on my phone to see if I even have the weeks straight because it feels like this project has been going on as long as COVID’s been in town, but I guess that this is technically the end of the week 4 since we started this on July 2. I really thought we would be done! I guess it would help if Chooch and I could be trusted with tools and whatnot, because this has basically been Henry’s solo project. (See the drawers in the background? Those are from the coffee table that we started redoing in June and then never finished because the kitchen happened.)

I had been dreading this part of the process because I was concerned that my lack of doing anything painterly or artisterly lately would hinder my ability (and patience). But it ended up being OK and didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would! I didn’t time myself, but maybe it took a total of 90 minutes? I did part of it while the door was upright and then Henry took it off the hinges for me and that was moderately better except that I had a hunchback for a while afterward. Also, that Memphis design is programmed into my muscle memory for life now I think so if you need anything with a 1980s pattern scribbled upon it, I’m your girl.

Chooch wasn’t impressed. (Actually, he did walk past once and say, “That looks good” which was super alarming because he never cares about anything I do.)

Henry finally did some of the trim so now one side of the room actually looks finished!!

The door matches my coffee cart, lol. I couldn’t find a coffee canister that I liked so I made this one out of a basic canister from Target: just painted the top pink and got a vintage Alf figurine to use as the topper/lid pull/whatever. And my Korean ahjumma instant coffee sticks are perfectly contained in a Goonies cup.

My Baseball Card Vandals Phil Collins card is right at home here!

Meanwhile, Henry finally finished stripping the paint off all of the cabinets so hopefully this weekend we can start painting those so that another side of the stupid room will be kind of complete. And we went to Eide’s (a big music store/comic book place in Pittsburgh which used to be way cooler than it is now and it’s where I used to go in the late 90s/early 00s to get all of my Cure bootlegs!) because I needed a couple more cassettes to be able to start working on the spice rack. I had snagged a lot of 30 tapes from the 80s on eBay but it turned out that I needed about 6 more. I’ll tell you what – vinyl may have made a comeback and I know it started to be trendy a few years ago for bands to release limited edition cassettes, but it’s been surprisingly difficult to find used tapes! We went to the Exchange and Henry went to a few Goodwills, to no avail. And honestly, Eide’s only had one small display that held maybe 75-100 used tapes, but IN THAT COLLECTION WAS, OMG…..

THE BACK TO THE BEACH SOUNDTRACK!!

Henry was the one who actually saw it and I yelled, HOLY FUCKING SHIT, although it was muffled because I was wearing my mask. They also had GLORIA LORING which was a no-brainer because she was on Days of Our Lives and that soap took up a huge chunk of my life in the 80s! IT’S THE ONE THAT HAS “FRIENDS AND LOVERS” ON IT.

Henry started building the spice rack on Sunday and now it’s Wednesday and still unfinished because that’s how Henry rolls. He starts a project and then doesn’t touch it for days (sometimes months, you can ask the Seoul Subway Wall Hanging that’s been chilling in the basement, untouched and unloved, since May, no big deal).

I even let him include one (1!!!) Ted Nugent tape in the rack, and now I’m about to take it back because he doesn’t deserve it!

(OMG Henry is actually finishing the spice rack as I write this so maybe I’ll be able to include it in the next round of updates.)

Jul 272020
 

Hello. Earlier today I had a migraine (I think??) and then ended up puking up a smoothie bowl and sleeping from 7pm-9pm and I feel better so now I’m all HERE I AM! but everyone else in my house has moved on with their lives* and don’t care that I’m out & about so I’m entertaining myself by looking through old pictures which I brought downstairs over the weekend because remember when I said I thought it would be fun to include pictures of Henry and me from the 80s on the fridge? Don’t you listen to anything I say?

*(Actually, when I stumbled downstairs at 9pm Henry was near-catatonic on the couch while Chooch was fully immersed in minecraft & I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned for a split second that Chooch had actually poisoned us so that he could open up our house to his guild of Dischord misfits.)

I found a nice assortment of oldies but of course I was stoked every time I found one from Wildwood and then I would try to explain each photo in agonizing detail to Henry who was barely listening because he was nailing trim to the wall or whatever, like that’s more important. But then I realized, I can come here and do that thing that I do where I hear myself saying the words that I’m typing out loud, in my head, and I picture that I’m presiding over a table full of syncophants who are hanging off my every hyperbolic word, probably with better manicures than my own but they’ll pretend not to notice that I use drug store nail polish because they’re infatuated with my BRAIN not my APPEARANCE. Except that they covet my accessories. I mean, who wouldn’t? It’s OK. I’ll tell you where I got my teeth cameo if you ask.

I chose this picture to talk about tonight because it warms my heart even though, yes, it features my brother Ryan WHO RUINED MY LIFE WHEN HE WAS BORN. I still to this day tell people that my favorite number is 4 because that’s the last good age I had before my Only Child Crown was wrenched from my blond dome. (Don’t get me wrong, I love Ryan! I mean, now.)

So this would have been the summer of 1985 because Ryan was born in May of that year and there he is looking like he still cannot support his own dumb head, what a loser. Anyway, this was taken at either the Olympic Motor Inn or the Waikiki, which were two of the motels we used to always stay at on our family trips to WILDWOOD, NJ, the best place ever (until I discovered that South Korea existed). I always loved the “motel” scene in Wildwood and would get so fucking excited every time we arrived and parked in the garage, because I couldn’t wait to get a Dole Fruit Bar from the vending machine outside of the swimming pool area and use the outdoor shower to get the sand off my feet before going back into the room.

Oh man, would you look at the wood paneling?! The best! That makes me think that this was probably the Olympic (which I think still exists but they took out “Motor Inn” from their name since now people associate motels with and quarter-fed vibrating bug-infested beds and sleazy affairs. But in Wildwood, it meant FAMILY VACATION TIME!) because we only ever stayed elsewhere twice: once at the Waikiki which as the name alludes was Hawaiian themed and I was so excited about because there was A ROOFTOP RESTAURANT and I thought I was fancy sitting up at breakfast drinking orange juice out of a glass with my hair all pulled back in a bun. And then the last time we ever went was in the early 90s after my other brother Corey was born and we stayed at this newly built resort where we had a whole-ass 2-family townhouse thing to ourselves, an immaculate pool, and a private beach: I HATED IT. It didn’t feel like Wildwood. This was also after I started to realize that I had become fat and ugly and had to be seen in a bathing suit and oh yeah I had braces too, and now there were two additional grandkids for my grandparents to pay more attention to and I basically just hated life anyway so it probably wouldn’t have mattered where the fuck we stayed, to be honest.

My grandparents always came with us, which made these trips even better, because my immediate, core family could never sustain a healthy. functioning vacation on their own (I still have nightmares about the terrible time we went to Niagara Falls and my mom decided she was going to leave my step-dad and I was like YES THIS IS THE BEST TRIP EVER but then she didn’t and I was like “Niagara Falls sucks.”

But you know, just like with my brother Ryan, all the love for my dad!

OK back to this picture. I loved that night gown – it had a panda on it, and I am 100% holding a plate of my mom’s specialty: buttered toast with sugar and cinnamon. Oh man, every time she made that for me, I was like, “MY MOM LOVES ME.” I’ve tried to make it several times as an adult but it’s just OK. It’s like how sandwiches taste better when someone else makes them for you, but that logic probably doesn’t apply if I’m the one making you the sandwich, just so you know.

It was weird looking at this picture, because I could instantly remember how that toast tasted (LIKE A MOTHER’S LOVE BEFORE SHE WENT ON TO HAVE TWO ADDITIONAL KIDS AND PAID LESS ATTENTION TO YOU AND ALWAYS TOOK YOUR STEP-DAD’S SIDE IN YOUR KNOCK-DOWN DRAG-OUT FIGHTS SO YOU TRIED TO JOIN A GIRL GANG AND THEN DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL…), how that orange blanket felt (kind of scratchy, tbh) and just generally how that room smelled (like Wildwood, duh). I also remember that Wildwood had Nickelodeon before our cable company in Pittsburgh offered it so it was a TREAT to go there every summer and watch THE MONKEES and YOU CAN’T DO THAT ON TELEVISION (Alastair 4ever).

I always talk about the Boardwalk whenever Wildwood comes up, but to be honest, the Olympic (and Waikiki that one year with the rooftop OJ!) was such a huge part of these vacations that just thinking about it makes me get super choked up and emotional. I want to go back there so badly but I know in my heart it won’t be the same and now Chooch is a teenager and he’s going to be like, “I’m here with my parents and everything sucks” and maybe I’ll just wait until he goes off to college and Henry and I can have an Old Person Beach Escape but then who will ride the rides with me on the boardwalk!? UGH.

And if I ever go back, it will be nice having the option to JUST SAY NO to Cape May, which my grandma always insisted on day-tripping to every summer during MY WILDWOOD TIME and I hated it so much, going to endless shop that all sold the same dumb beach art and jewelry while she filled my head with fat-shaming microaggressions and then one time I bought Mexican jumping beans and thought they were magic. There is a picture floating around somewhere of me looking like I’m contemplating feeding myself to seagulls while we were on a dolphin-watching boat tour, I look like I’m the epitome of pre-teen angst and am looking for ways to peel off my skin, step outside of myself, and swan-drive into the raging sea. So FUCK YOU CAPE MAY. (Although, according to Yelp, it looks like there are some cute vegan restaurants there now. NO! I WON’T BE SWAYED!)

WILDWOOD CREST NJ Olympic Motor Inn Ocean Ave | eBay

Jul 262020
 

*Fun Fact: I spell quarantine wrong every single time.

So this was supposed to be a Friday Five but then Friday came and went and I was too lazy to care. But here are some pictures and words about things that happened last week in case years from now I need to look back and remember exactly when it was that I fed a squirrel bread and apples, but you never know, because this one time recently, Henry and I were trying to remember the name of a restaurant we ate breakfast at when we went to see The Cure in Maryland in 2016 and I was like, “Hold on I’ll check my blog” and you guys, I NEVER MENTIONED IT IN MY BLOG. That literally almost never happens! We checked Yelp and everything, looking for “pancakes” in and around Columbia, Maryland, to no avail. Thoroughly invested at this point, Henry went through all the charges in our bank account from around that time until he finally found it and you would think by now it would be ingrained in my head and I’d have ordered a t-shirt with their logo on it to wear as a night shirt, but no, I’ve forgotten it again.

Anyway, things happened last week! They weren’t ground-breaking, but they were nice memories. So here we go.

   

Chooch made delicious snickerdoodles in the kitchen and he was so stoked. “My first bake job in the new kitchen!” he declared, but still couldn’t be bothered to fully clean up his mess afterward. New kitchens don’t totally change a person, I guess. But damn, these cookies were great. I think it helps that he’s no longer using an oven from, well, probably the 80s so it’s kind of ironic (always use this wrong) that the oven was one of the things that got the ax when we started our 1980s Dream Kitchen makeover.

I really did feed a squirrel though! I’m not sure if they’re the same, but last Friday during my lunch break, I noticed that Drew (a/k/a that_cat-bambi on Insta) was acting all weird at the window, and then I realized that there was a squirrel on our porch and he was TOTALLY trolling her. I mean, he was literally playing peek-a-boo with her around one of the porch columns, it was hilarious. So I threw him some bread and an apple and then went outside to talk to him while he was eating. He was so brave and cocky! I actually started to worry that he was going to push his way into my house, so I came back inside and closed the door.

There is something about wildlife in my front yard that brings out my inner Snow White and I have to drop everything (even a baby if I was holding one which why would I ever) and feed them.

Anyway, the next day, either the same guy or his buddy came around so I fed them another course and it made my heart burst with happiness. 

What else. Last Friday after work Henry and I had to go to Ikea and so far during this pandemic, it was the most people I’ve had to be around and even still, it wasn’t much, but my heart was racing. At least Ikea brings out the demographic of people who aren’t anti-mask assholes, though. And Henry got sexually assaulted by a male cashier who accidentally closed the gate to the one we were in and it smacked Henry’s ass.

“There, I got him for you,” the guy said to me. Ikea is a riot.

Saw this incredibly weird sign last weekend. REALLY EXCITED for August 1!

Now that I started an Instagram for Penelope, that’s all Chooch and I do all day is try to force the cats to do cool things for the ‘gram. Unfortunately for me, I got the cat who is extremely difficult to photograph because she mostly just sleeps in really ugly locations most of the day and then when she actually is up and about, she moves as soon as she sees me lift up my phone. 

Anyway, Chooch and I managed to catapult both accounts so that we now have way more followers than Blake’s cat and we’re so smug about it but Henry said we’re mean girls and he acted disappointed in us because Blake is his favorite son.

I had to lure Penelope onto my painting desk with treats and she gave me approximately .0002 seconds to snap this pic after she finished chewing. 

Saturday night before I went to bed, I was sitting on the couch and noticed that Chooch was standing by the beverage buffet. I figured it was because Drew was over there looking out the window and that he was trying to get a picture of her, so I didn’t think anything of it. Then he turned around and was like, “Um….” and he had this silicone shit all over his hands. I shrugged and was like, “Don’t look at me. Go ask your dad.” 

So then I went up to bed while Chooch was in the kitchen trying to wash it off. I still didn’t think anything of it because I don’t know what that shit is, and it wasn’t on my hands, so why should I care? Just then, Chooch came barging into our bedroom and Henry was very thrilled to have to get out of bed to assist Genius Son in removing his new silicone skin from his hands.  He came into our room looking like he had on Mickey Mouse gloves, it was great. “He’s lucky we had paint thinner in the house or he’d have to live with silicone hands!” Henry yelled. (Actually it was more of a mutter; Henry never yells.)

Also, this was a great reminder to put harmful household things away because 14-year-olds are just as dumb as three-year-olds.

This was also a great learning experience for both Chooch and me because I had no idea that stuff would be so hard to remove from skin??? But at least it has 40% more flexibility in case Chooch would have had to live with it. 

Got some new books from the library during the week!

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Excited to finally move Illuminae into my #tbr!

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I had to do some more friend weeding over the past week because if you seriously can’t understand and get behind the notion that BLACK LIVES MATTER, if you seriously don’t understand that the sentiment is not diminishing the value of OTHER lives but rather stating that ALL LIVES cannot matter until BLACK LIVES MATTER TOO, then why are we even friends in the first place? It’s one thing having values and morals that vary from others in your lives, but this is one that I cannot negotiate with and cannot make or accept excuses for. So good riddance to bad apples. Let’s stop politicizing a person’s race and skin color, for god’s sake. 

I think the highlight of last week was ordering take out from our favorite veg restaurant, Zenith, on Thursday. As soon as I saw that they had their famous tofishy sandwich on the menu for the week, I was like WE ARE ALL IN. This is my favorite thing from Zenith (well, besides their sickeningly divine vegan bundt cakes and eccentric collection of antiques). 

OK, I think this is it for now. I have a long day of more kitchen projects – WE ARE SO CLOSE TO BEING DONE! I’m really happy with the way things are turning out and I also won an eBay auction Friday night for this one item that I had in mind since we started talking about redoing the kitchen and if Henry can make some magic happen with it (see also: take my fantastical conceptual ideas from my brain and turn it into working reality) then I might actually publicly declare my love for him.

TOODLES!

Jul 242020
 

Still over here pouting about all the amusement park action we’re missing out on although I guess you could say that this covid experience has been a real roller coaster ride. Here is a Flashback Friday to the time we went to Kennywood with our Castle Blood friendos. Adding this to the list of shit I will no longer take for granted!

***

It’s become a tradition for us to go to Kennywood on Father’s Day, rain or shine, but this year Henry was all, “We have too much going on this week, so no Kennywood.” I was about to pitch one of my signature wailing fits over this, but then I remembered that we’re going to an amusement park later in the week in Indiana so I silently resigned to the fact that there would be no June Kennywood outing this year.

Look at me, acting my age.

But then on Saturday, our friends the Handas asked if we were going, because THEY were going and also so was Ricky, better known as Gravely of Castle Blood fame.

“Chris just asked if we were going to Kennywood tomorrow,” I sighed dramatically. “Because they’ll be there.”

“IT’S ONE OR THE OTHER!” Henry reminded me in Dad Voice. “YOU WANT TO DO ALL OF THESE THINGS!” Then he went outside to check on that kid that we occasionally parent.

A few minutes later, he came back in and sighed. “Do you really want to go tomorrow?” he asked me in a peaceful tone.

“YES!” I squealed, when I realized that I was about to get my way again because I’m the best, bitches!

And that is how we ended up at Kennywood by noon on Sunday. Chris and Kari were 5 minutes late, god forbid, and Chooch was flailing around on a bench openly preaching about how bad he hates his life for having to wait an additional handful of minutes in front of Kennywood. His story could basically be the Diary of Anne Frank of his generation. But then he became distracted by the three people next to us who each brought their own can of Pringles, which Chooch felt was overkill.

“REALLY? THEY ALL HAVE TO HAVE THEIR OWN PRINGLES? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” And they were only three feet away from us, so that was lovely. Meanwhile, I was busy mocking all of the families that arrived in matching t-shirts but secretly I wished that I had made Team Douche Troop shirts for my group.

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Stupid Chooch and Katelyn beat us on the Racer (that’s the name of RACING ROLLER COASTERS for those of you who do not have the luxury of going to Kennywood and knowing these things) and kept bragging about it for like a full 3 minutes which was annoying in and of itself but even more annoying to me was their lack of dedication to the bragging, because if it had been me, I would have mentioned it for the rest of the day, in a variety of ways. Spelling it out in ketchup and cheese fries if I had to. BECAUSE THAT IS HOW TRUE WINNERS ACT.

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I have always been terrible at shooting galleries, but have really fond memories of my Pappap kicking ass at the one in Kennywood. Henry taught Chooch how to aim at the targets and I was like, “Henry, Henry, Henry, teach me, teach me, teach me” while tugging on his shirt but he conveniently acted like he didn’t hear me. OH OK FATHER OF THE YEAR. God, fuck you. I’ll get some nice even-older gentleman to show me the next time and then you’ll be sorry.

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YES YOU WILL BE SORRY.

Sadly, it seems that our Father’s Day luck has run out because the park was actually crowded. Henry and Chris kept arguing that it wasn’t that bad, but look: I have grown accustomed to sashaying my fat ass right onto any ride I please with nary a wait in line.

So when I saw that there was maybe a fifteen minute wait for the Log Jammer, I was like, “OH ARE YOU KIDDING? NO JUST NO.” So Chris took Chooch and Katelyn on it while I hung back with Henry, Kari and Ricky and whined about needing food and beverage and then Henry snapped some generic retort at me so then I got all pouty and Fuck You-y and Ricky just stood there taking it all in.

“Wow, you must have really great angry sex,” he said.

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God only knows what sorts of competitions Chooch and Katelyn engaged in on the Log Jammer. They get along surprisingly well for kids that age but there’s still that underlying “We are opposing genders and must meet the quota for pointless arguments” theme going on.

Like when we were eating lunch and they were competing over who knew more math and who had the healthier meal.

God, these kids are such hooligans.

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About that lunch. We ate at the cafeteria, but there was nothing there that I wanted so Henry hurried up and got me pizza from a different part of the park before I freaked out in front of his bros, OMG.

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We constantly had to wait for the grown-ups. Ugh. Grown-ups are slow. COME ON, GROWN-UPS. My favorite part of the day was later when we were heading for the Swing Shot and Chris told Katelyn to stop running.

“But Erin’s running!” she cried. Damn right Erin’s running. The faster I run, the fewer the bitches that get in line before me. Please, let me write an Amusement Park Handbook.

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 It was a full day of weird poses. pulling faces and line-standing contortions. I was just thankful that there were very minimal pleas to play games, which is my least favorite thing to do at amusement parks.

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EXCEPT WHEN THE PRIZES INCLUDE STUFFED UNICORNS ARE YOU KIDDING!?

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 Sadly, I didn’t win a unicorn. BECAUSE HENRY NEVER GAVE ME MONEY TO PLAY!

(Did I mention that I lost my wallet last week? Because I lost my wallet last week. I canceled my debit card but still haven’t gone  to the bank to ask for a new one because I clearly don’t have adult priorities.)

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All day long, Chooch was whining about wanting to ride Kennywood’s newest ride, the Black Widow, but no one would volunteer as Sucker Tribute because that ride just looks like a swinging heart attack. It’s actually similar to that German torture device I rode last year at Canobie Park with Alyson, but it goes much higher in the air.

“Ricky will ride it with you,” one of the grown-ups joked. I wasn’t paying attention who was saying what at the moment because I was too busy trying to calculate how many rides we still needed to ride versus how much time was remaining. I AM A TYPE A AMUSEMENT PARK GOER.

“What am I riding?” Ricky asked, blissfully oblivious.

“The Black Widow!” Chooch shouted triumphantly.

“What’s that?” he asked.

“It’s just a Kiddieland ride,” I laughed.

But then Chooch told him what it was exactly and Ricky said, “Oh, it’s an actual ride. I thought you were talking about your mom.”

It took me awhile to process this, but then I laughed. GOOD ONE, RICKY.

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Thunderbolt idiots!

Chooch is finally tall enough to ride everything in the park! This was his first year riding the Thunderbolt now that he’s a magnificent 52 inches in height, holla atcha yardstick. When we were in line, he accidentally touched this white foamy stuff on a bush and I was like, “OMG YOU TOUCHED SPIT! THAT’S SO GROSS!” But then later when we were telling Henry, he was like, “That sounds like it was spider eggs to me” so I was like, “OMG HE TOUCHED SPIDER EGGS! THAT’S EVEN WORSE!” God, my kid is disgusting. I hope none of those eggs found their way into his ass. That’s all we need.

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Chris and Ricky sat in front of us on the Thunderbolt and I was so excited to see Ricky’s white locks billowing in the wind. It was as majestic as…billowing white locks on the Thunderbolt.

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Then we went on Noah’s Ark, which used to be the best dark ride that ever dark rode, but has been super lame for me these last several years because they changed it so much and I hate change, but this time, Chooch and I got to lead the group and for some reason this was extremely hilarious to me and I got super hyper and kept screaming cries of faux fear and concern and then I had the bright idea to turn the flash on and start taking sneak attack photos of Henry and the rest of our group from behind corners, and  then Chooch and I would cry with laughter and run away real fast.

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Here is where I’m pausing to breathe.

This kept going on and on through the whole Ark until we got to the end and discovered that random people had managed to insert themselves in the middle of our group, so we were mostly just being assholes to strangers.

Otherwise known as: Any Other Day.

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This was Henry’s standard “You guys are fucking idiots” reaction. And then we all sat at a table while Henry told us stories about how he watched Actual Noah building the Actual Ark.

Because Henry is old.

Fun fact: Henry wore that same shirt to Kennywood last year, too.

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This is the first year that Chooch didn’t spend the entire time “wanting.”

“I want ice cream.”

“I want stuffed animals.”

“I want games.”

“I want the deed to Kennywood.”

Except, he did have a moment in line for Noah’s Ark where Henry was The Worst Dad He Ever Had because he wouldn’t buy Chooch lemonade at that exact moment.

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THANK GOD he got his fucking lemonade afterward though and calmed down enough to take the 57th selfie of the day with me. Right after this photo, I ran into one of my old high school friends, Heather the Ken! I hadn’t seen her since 1998, so it was pretty awesome/awkward. “You ain’t kidding,” Henry drawled when I later said that it was kind of awkward. I suck at seeing people I know, but it was still cool.

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Call it old age, but these last several years, I have felt SHEER TERROR every time I even just glance at the Phantom’s Revenge. And every year I make the conscious decision to not ride it. But then every year I somehow find myself in line, doing the pee jig. This year, it was just Henry, me, Chooch and Chris who rode it. Henry and I sat behind Chris and Chooch and I wasn’t aware that I was being loud enough for Chris to hear my panicked narration, but when we got off the ride, he said, “You are my new official soundtrack of the Phantom’s Revenge.”

It starts with the ascent up the inaugural hill, which is where I moan, “Oh, I forgot how much I hate this part…..oh god we’re going to die….WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG?!” and then after we reach that daunting daunting zenith, I am an emptying bag of battle cries. I also enjoy letting every one know each and every time I feel the slightest twinge of pain, like, “MY BACK JUST BROKE! I ALMOST LOST MY ARM!” And then I usually cap it off with a finale of Nancy Kerrigan-approved “WHYYYYYYYYYYYY”s.

And then the ride coasts back into the station and I’m all “Fuck yeah, Phantom!”

Afterward, the rest of my party turned into unfocused loiterers and I was getting so anxious! I even walked far away from where they were sitting at one point to see if they noticed that I was gone. I DON’T THINK THEY DID!!! I was in a BIG HURRY because I wanted to ride the Exterminator next and that’s basically the best ride in the whole park in case you don’t live here or just have bad taste in amusement park rides. I nearly pee my pants on it every year! (And sometimes you can scratch out the “nearly.” FULL DISCLOSURE UP IN HERE.)

While waiting for my group of Southern Meanderers, aka Careys, I stood and watched the Black Widow do its thing. When we were in line for Phantom’s Revenge, I caved and told Chooch I would ride it with him, but ONLY so that I would have leverage for the future because that’s my solid gold parenting style. Just watching it Jello-fied my legs, but a promise is a promise. However, I started imagining every last worst case scenario, so that really helped.

(NO IT DIDN’T HELP.)

Finally, everyone started walking toward the Exterminator and I was like, “YES YES YES!” and started to get in line, but then they all went and fussed with the lockers and in the meantime, approximately FIVE PEOPLE got in line in front of us.

THANKS A LOT, GROWN-UPS.

The line was kind of long and Henry kept trying to put me on blast by pointing out how whiny I was being when I really didn’t think I was being whiny just because I kept letting my body go limp against him and saying things like “WE HAVE BEEN STANDING IN LINE FOR-EVHAHAHAHA-ER.”

But whatever, the Exterminator is worth the wait. It’s basically like the Crazy Mouse but INSIDE A DARK BUILDING. It makes me choke on my own laughter every single time, like I have a disease.

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Chris got in a car with Chooch and Katelyn, leaving me, Henry, Kari and Ricky to squish ourselves into the next one. Except that the car we picked was “sensitive,” whatever that means, and the bored Kennywood worker made us get into the next available car all the way at the end of the line. This meant that Chooch, Katelyn and Chris had returned to the station before our ride even started, since there were four cars in front of us.

“They’re going to think we perished when they see that we’re not behind them anymore,” I laughed. And we found out afterward that they sent our car through empty since it was malfunctioning, so when the kids saw an empty car return to the station, they got scared. HAHAHA.

Anyway, I managed to not pee my pants this time but fuck, I laughed so hard that my face hurt (I know, I know, it’s killing you guys too). It’s such a satisfying ride!

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After that, I rode the Whip with Chooch and Katelyn, whose relief that we hadn’t actually perished on the Exterminator had worn off by then. It took us forever (read: 5 seconds) to get in line though because we couldn’t get around dumb Henry who was walking excruciatingly slow and totally Whip-blocking us. That motherfucker.

Every time our car would whip us around the bend, we would scream “WHIP SELFIE” because it’s imperative to be obnoxious at amusement parks. Also, because we had just taken a Whip selfie:

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The next day, I noticed that my Facebook friend Kelly had checked into Kennywood on Sunday as well, and I commented to tell her that I wish I had seen her. She said that she saw me speed-walking by when she was getting on the Whip, so it must have been right around this time. It made me laugh so hard to know that someone witnessed me being an impatient maniac.

Right after this, Chris, Chooch and I convinced Katelyn to ride the Swing Shot and she basically hates us forever now. As soon as the ride started, I remembered how horrible it is and screamed, “MY TEARS ARE REAL!” at one point, which I’m sure did wonders to ease Katelyn’s nerves. Henry, Kari and Ricky were watching from a table and said that looked like an actual cartoon during the whole ride.

I mean, she didn’t cry, but she certainly was NOT happy.

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Henry trying to escape.

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Then it was time for ice cream!! This is my favorite part of the day, food-wise. Most people will tell you that Potato Patch fries are the creme de la creme of Kennywood cuisine, and I won’t argue there because those are the most perfect french fries in the entire world. But I rarely hear anyone mentioning how delightful the Golden Nugget square cones are! You guys can get soft serve anywhere. Gimme my square-edged chocolate-dipped delight.

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Cone-dipping consternation.

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Sprinkle carpet.

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Henry and Chris were talking about how they used to think it was just a Klondike shoved into a cone until they saw the Golden Nugget workers actually cutting blocks of vanilla ice cream. It never occurred to me that it could have just been a Klondike, and Henry was like, “REALLY!? I THOUGHT IT WAS AN OBVIOUS ASSUMPTION SINCE KLONDIKE’S ARE FROM HERE!” in that belittling tone he loves to use on me, except I’m paraphrasing here because clearly “assumption” is too big of a word for him.

Fun Fact: Klondikes are apparently from Pittsburgh. I just learned this on Sunday because I’m seriously the worst Pittsburgher ever.

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This was right before the hardcore amusement park riders ditched us for Kiddieland. They were gone for an hour! (Don’t worry: Chris went with them.) The rest of us hung back and found ourselves in a discussion about Mr. Big, Extreme, and Meatloaf which met Henry’s criteria of “Anyone but Jonny Craig.”

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Ice Cream Brones.

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Look! It’s a Henry in its natural, agitated state.

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Gross, I know.

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Chooch is finally tall enough to ride the Sky Rocket, which is Kennywood’s newest coaster. It’s nothing too spectacular, but it does go upside down. Henry, Chris and I had to beg Chooch to go on it. It wasn’t the upside down-ness that had him scared, it was the first hill, an inversion, that was freaking him out. (And he didn’t even know that it was one of those launching coasters.) At one point, he sat down and put his face in his hands, but then he turned around and started to twerk. Hey, do what you gotta do, right? Twerk it out son.

There was a guy in line with us who had an apple tattoo and I wanted to sow him mine so we could be apple ink bros but Henry stopped that from happening.

Spoiler alert: Chooch made it through his first Skyrocket ride alive. His reaction was, “That was it?” I just kept screaming, “IT TICKLES!” the whole time and Chooch was like, “Please stop embarrassing us.”

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I asked Chooch for a quote expressing how he felt about riding the Bayern Curve with Katelyn and he said: “I’m a cat.”

So anyway, this was a hilarious moment for the rest of us because the Bayern Curve is one of those rides that pushes the front rider into the back rider so Chooch was like FML through the whole ride. It was incredibly rewarding to watch, as a parent who is verbally abused by her son on the daily. (His sass is off the charts these days.)

WHAT’S UP NOW, MOUTH?
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Remember when I said that Chooch mostly made it through the day without tantrum? Well, that’s because he was waiting for the VERY END, when the park was closing, to project his exhaustion and hunger on the fact that Henry wouldn’t buy him Dippin’ Dots because Henry is a terrible person who doesn’t feed his children. He was outright CRYING about this and it was so annoying and disgusting, so I guess 8 is not the magic age where kids stop acting like spoiled assholes in amusement parks.

We left the park and Henry fed him a burger and miraculously, Chooch was fine.

“Ugh, he’s so much like you,” Henry muttered.

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As always, it was wonderful spending a day with the Handa’s and Ricky being there was an added bonus even though he MADE FUN OF ME a lot and even when he was just saying regular things to me I think he was still making fun of me but sometimes I’m too dumb to realize.

I feel like I’m forgetting lots of things.

And now we get to do this all over again at a different park on Thursday, wooo!!!

P.S. We never made it on the Black Widow. Chooch and I were in line for approximately one minute before he said, “So….maybe I should just wait until I’m talk enough to ride ALL of the rides here*. And then I’ll ride the Black Widow.” Then he ducked under the railing and left me standing there alone.

*(There’s only one ride he can’t ride yet and it literally never running every time we’re there.)

SONOFABITCH. All that positive thinking I put myself through, for what.

Jul 232020
 

When we last left off, Henry was ready to demolish the entire kitchen to get the pantry to fit. I’m pleased to tell you that he was able to finagle it into that tight space without coming in on a wrecking ball, thank god. But now it’s way too close to the stove so he has to get some kind of metal sheet thing to put on the side of the pantry, apparently, else the kitchen goes up in flames.

Drew is so excited to have new things to explore, much to Henry’s chagrin, lol.

Her own shelf!

My rug came in the mail last week too so I put it down immediately but then Henry was like WE NEED TO GET SCOTCH GUARD and he ordered some but then still hasn’t sprayed the rug, so that’s cool.

I mean, I suppose I could.

I’m excited because we’re getting closer to the time when I can finally start adding my magical flourishes! I have been carefully curating an 80s themed art collection for the room, which is great because I’m running out of space on the walls in every other room in the house. #junkhouse

And my fabric arrived over the weekend! I’m excited for Henry to take off his contractor helmet and put on his pin cushion headband to make curtains out of this beauty!

Meanwhile, I busied myself by adding Memphis design details to light switch plates.

Over the weekend, Henry FINALLY STARTED TO  TACKLE THE FOURTH WALL! I never knew that the window could be so clean! He even took down the screen and cleaned it!!

One of the things I wanted to include, decor-wise, was framed postcards from 80s-era Wildwood, NJ. My family vacationed here every summer from the time I was a baby* until I was 11. I’m not sure why we stopped going, although I like to blame the birth of my brother, Corey, lololol. I get that warm coating of nostalgia in my gut anytime I think of this place and when I started scrolling through the options on eBay, hoooooboy, mama got blasted to the past.

*(I asked my mom about this the other day and she said that when she was a kid, they went there every summer with my great-grandma, and I honestly never knew this and why have I not seen any pictures of these trips!? Unless they perished in the house fire that happened when my mom was a teenager….God, there are so many things I don’t have the answers to and I wish I had asked my grandparents to tell me more shit when they both still alive. I’m a failure.)

I mean….duh.

I knew I wanted stripes on this part of the wall but I didn’t feel like painting them so I found this glittery black tape on Amazon and told Henry to have fun.

Henry was going to throw this cart/shelf thingie away but I was like WAIT!! There is nothing spraypaint can’t improve, I fucking swear. So this ugly cart is now sparkly silver and ready to hold all of my coffee stuff. Tom Selleck needs to be hung up, but he’s going to live right above the cart. I love him and I’m so glad that he’s one of the things we salvaged from my grandparents’ house

I have a plain, basic coffee canister from Target, but I bought an Alf figurine from eBay to use as the topper so I will include that in my next update post! (God forbid I should use a plain coffee canister.)

This design is programmed into my muscle memory for life now, I think.

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Tom lives in the kitchen now.

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

I loathe to post this, but this is what the sink sitch currently looks like. The cabinets are still not stripped and that whole bottom part needs to be cleaned and repainted. The drawers need to be painted too. I looked up Corey Haim and Corey Feldman cabinet pulls but SHOCKINGLY they do not exist (see also: non-existence of Phil Collins cookie jar) so now we have to make our own, I guess. I’m sorry, but I’m not going through all this effort into cultivating an 80s haven and then using regular cabinet pulls?!

The one thing we CAN’T make ourselves is the neon sign. We shopped around from some prices and I think we found a good place but we keep dragging our feet. I don’t want to commit to anything until the design we came up with and the proof they send us is 100% perfect because custom-made neon ain’t cheap, would have guessed.

(Actually, who would ever think that neon signs are CHEAP?)

I’m considering this my birthday present to myself since I can’t do anything else for my birthday this year, lol ugh.

Vintage Halloween masks! The one on the far right is pre-80s, I think, but I didn’t want him to be left out.

She takes over EVERYTHING.

My current project is finishing the design on this door (Henry has to take it back off the frame because I need to assume my official artist posture which is HUNCHED OVER a/k/a Chiropractor’s Dream Patient. Once the door is down and the trim is put back, I think the room will finally start to come together! TOO BAD I HAVE NO PATIENCE.

Last but not least for this update, I suggested that Henry and I find a picture of ourselves from the 80s to also include in the room (maybe just in a magnetic fridge frame?) and he proudly presented this gem last night:

Oh, you guys. This is fucking perfect. Plus, it was when he was IN THE SERVICE!! I hate how nice his legs are! They still look like that, too.

“I can’t remember if that was my dorm room or the one next door. Nope. That’s mine because there’s my Atari 7200.” This was when he was living in Indiana!!!

Well, tune in next week to see if any progress is made, I guess.

Jul 212020
 

The other day, Chooch made me go through my phone to look for old pictures of the cats so he could do throwbacks on their Instagram accounts (this is what pandemic life is like on Pioneer, yo) and in the process of doing so, I came across videos from when Chooch and I went to Carly Rae Jepsen at Mr. Small’s in 2016. I got RULL caught up in all of that emotion and felt inspired to share a clip of CRJ performing her mega-hit “Call Me Maybe.” One of my friends commented and told me I should listen to this show called The Session On Air, where the host breaks down “Call Me Maybe” and at first I was like, “Is she setting me up for a temper tantrum?” because people love to rag on me for liking not just this song, but Carly Rae Jepsen in general. Then I went and watched The Session video on YouTube and it was AMAZING. The host, Christian James Hand, takes songs and breaks them down, layer by layer, piece by piece, so the casually music lover can really understand just how much magic goes into one track. So he starts off by telling the other people on the show that he has these amazing speakers that cost like $5000 and the song that he always uses to show his friends how awesome the speakers are is “Call Me Maybe,” and then goes on to say he thinks it’s one of the greatest pop songs ever written, to the shock and disbelief of the others on the show.

But listening to him gush and fanboy over every nuance, every blip, every layer of this song brought actual tears to my eyes and then I was openly crying while telling Henry how amazing her concert was and IDGAF who thinks she’s a “one hit wonder” (um, she’s really not) or a manufactured piece of bubblegum pop, because I know in my heart how pure and talented she is, and to hear this man sit there and say the things that I feel in my gut, it was VALIDATION.

Also though, I learned that Dave Ogilvie of Skinny Puppy fame mixed “Call Me Maybe” and my mind was BLOWN. I had no idea! This makes me love it even more because I went through a heavy industrial phase in my late teens and loved Shinny Puppy! Anyway, all of this culminated into me thinking back fondly to the summer of 2012 when Chooch and I were OBSESSED with this song and had a dance party because Henry found someone’s phone and the alarm kept going off and….well, here—JUST READ IT FOR YOURSELVES!

ROSS’S BLACKBERRY

August 2012

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Chooch came barreling into the house yesterday, having just come home from the grocery store with Henry.

“MOMMY! DADDY FOUND SOMEONE’S PHONE ON THE ROAD AND HE GOT OUT OF THE VAN TO GET IT!” Chooch blurted out in one quick breath.

“Jesus Christ,” Henry muttered, coming in the door after him. “Why do you have to announce every single thing I do?” I think Henry expected me to be all apathetic about this turn of events, just like he was, but instead I got all excited and screamed, “OMG let me see it!”

“It’s just a Blackberry!” Henry barked, shouldering past me as I tried to snatch it from him. “God!”

The owner’s contact info was on the home screen, so Henry said he was just going to email him (his name is ROSS) and let him know he has it.

“OK, but let me think about this first. We should make it into some kind of fucked up, psychological mind game,” I murmured, mind reeling. “Kind of like ‘Saw’…” But before I could tell Henry to demand that Ross send us one of his teeth (or at least a nude), Henry had already sent him a Normal Person email reassuring him that his precious phone was not in danger. Goddammit! There were so many different ways this could have gone.

The rest of the evening was interspersed with me asking, “Did he reply to your email yet? How about how? Now? Or now? Here, let me email him—”

The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like fate. I looked up the Blackberry owner on Facebook and went into full-blown Cinderella Story mode. I became convinced that Henry was meant to find this phone so I CAN FINALLY HAVE A HUSBAND YOU GUYS OMG. And then I saw that Ross went to school for mechanical engineering so surely that must mean he has a better job than Henry. However, the only activity he had listed on Facebook was fishing, and his profile picture was him holding a gigantic fish, which is really gross to me, and I couldn’t really see his face because of the giant fish carcass, but that’s OK because it made it easier for me to imagine he looks like Ryan Lochte.

And then I woke from a dream about Ross’s phone at 7:20am to Ross’s alarm going off, which means he must work normal hours unlike Henry whose alarm goes off at MIDNIGHT. I began fantasizing about having a normal relationship with a man who keeps normal hours, waking up together every morning in the same bed….

God, I hope he doesn’t snore.

But then I couldn’t get the alarm to stop, and it proceeded to go off every five minutes for the rest of the day, which will probably be the impetus to our first fight.

“Just take the battery out,” Henry said wearily after I called him for the 87th time in a row. (Hello, if he would just ANSWER the first time, I wouldn’t have to keep calling.) But I didn’t feel comfortable taking the battery out of some other person’s phone. Besides, then I wouldn’t be able to monitor his incoming calls.

I mean…what?

At 11:00, my sanity had splintered. Could not take the sound of that alarm anymore. So I came up with the best solution ever: A “Call Me Maybe” dance party! I put it on loud and on repeat, and Chooch and I totally wilded out. That song is like fucking sunshine for the ears, OK?

I should note that by “dancing,” I mean that I jumped around for 90 minutes, speed-bagging the air like one of those big inflatable balloon monsters outside of car lots, while Chooch repeatedly punched me, vigorously and with closed fists. I guess he learned that by watching me “dance” with Henry.

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CHAIR DANCING TO “CALL ME, MAYBE”!

Even with Carly Rae Jepsen singing at her loudest, I could still hear the fucking phone alarm, so I ran upstairs and smothered it beneath Henry’s pillow. I could still hear it, but at least it was muffled, and at that point, it didn’t sound worse than any of the other sounds in my head, so who am I to complain, really.

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“Look Mommy! I’m Ju-On dancing!” he cried, squirming beneath the chair like his favorite Japanese horror villain. OK. Whatever.

Weirdo.

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UNICORN MASK DANCE PARTY! SAME SONG, DIFFERENT HEAD!

And then Henry came home and pooped on all of the fun. Turning down the volume to the best song of all time, he informed that he was meeting Ross (who lives right down the street, how convenient for my future booty calls!) at 6pm; Ross said if he can’t make it, he’ll just send his girlfriend.

Just like that, my dreams were dashed. Now I’m really regretting not taking all of those pictures of myself with his phone like I had considered. God, I’m so stupid.

As soon as we got in the car (read: The Juice Van; our car is still not fixed), “Call Me Maybe” came on the radio. Chooch and I cheered in tandem as I turned up the volume and began dramatically lip synching.

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The “I’m Trying So Hard to Frown But It’s Hard To When I Secretly Love This Song, Goddamn You, Carly Rae Jepsen” faux-frown.

“Try to get a picture of Ross!” I called out over my shoulder when Henry dropped me off at work. I know he totally won’t, but I’m still in the best mood ever today.

***A FEW HOURS LATER***

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Oh, Ross. If you only knew.

****
EDIT! Just learned that Henry didn’t get Ross’s “I’ll be wearing a blue polo” email until after the fact, so he proceeded to approach every man in the CVS parking lot, asking, “Are you waiting for a phone?” like it was code for “Are you selling blow jobs?” Meanwhile, Chooch was laughing at Henry’s awkwardness and then when they finally found Ross, Chooch was sure to tell him how annoying his phone was.

God, I wish I had been there. I like blue polos.

****

Back to present day 2020. Another thing I always think about when I hear this song is the Summer Olympics from 2012 because the US Swim Team made a lip-synching video to this song and if you know me, you know that I get emotionally attached to the Summer Olympics and OMG don’t even talk to me about how doubly depressed I am that COVID ruined the 2020 games.

This song is already so iconic and it hits me in the same way that classic songs like “In the Air Tonight” do, where if they come on the radio right when you pull into the place you’re going to, you do NOT turn your car off until the very last note of that song plays. “Call Me Maybe” is one of the songs and always will be!

Jul 202020
 

It all started a few weeks ago when Chooch started an Instagram account for our cat Drew. It was incredibly annoying to witness as one would imagine, watching a teenager follow a cat around trying to get her to vogue, strike a pose, save a baby from a burning house so he could get a Boomerang for the ‘gram.

And then there was all the times we heard, “Great. You guys just ruined the video” when Henry and I would dare to talk to each other while a CF was being filmed in the next room.

Chooch, determined to get a brand deal (lol), took his excitement next door to his brother Blake’s house and filled him in on the scheme, at which point Blake decided that he was going to make one for his cat too. So Chooch overzealously decides to be Blake’s Instagram coach.

Which I thought was a terrible idea because Blake’s cat is a fluffy Maine Coon-esque tabby who looks a bit like my old BFF Marcy (RIP, girl, you’ll always be my #1) and people love cats who look like that. Chooch gave him all the hashtags he’s been using and then gave him shoutouts on Drew’s Instagram and then suddenly, Blake’s cat Ham got more popular.

“I told you that you shouldn’t have helped him!” I yelled, suddenly invested in this drama.

But at first, Chooch was trying to be the bigger person. “No, it’s OK because we made a deal that whoever gets a brand deal first would help the other person.”

OMFG.

And for the first week, all was sunshine and giggles in Catstagram City. Blake and Chooch (I mean, Ham and Drew) tagged each other in their stories and then hounded us to like their posts, etc. I saw Haley outside one day and she was like, “THEY ARE SO ANNOYING WITH THIS INSTAGRAM SHIT” and I was like “GIRL, RIGHT?” and she said that when Blake leaves for work, he gives her instructions to take pictures of Ham so that he can post them later.

But then one of Ham’s posts got more comments than any of Drew’s and when Chooch realized that it was a picture HE took of Ham, he actually started crying. “I quit!” he screamed. “I’m deleting Drew’s Instagram! This sucks!”

Then I started to get annoyed about it too because I’m super competitive by nature. So I came up with a plan for Chooch to hack into Ham’s account and make him say some “all lives matter” bullshit so that he would get canceled.

“No, I can’t do that,” Chooch said in a small voice.

“OK, BUT DON’T COME CRYING TO ME WHEN IT GETS WORSE.”

To be fair, Ham is very handsome but he’s also pretty boring and all his pictures look the same.

Finally, I was tired of being on the sidelines, so I made an Instagram for Penelope on Saturday, which initially annoyed Chooch, but then I told him, “LOOK, WE CAN TEAM UP. DREW AND PENELOPE CAN BE THE CUTE INSTAGRAM SISTERS AND OH BOO HOO, HAM’S AN ONLY CHILD, HE CAN’T SIT AT OUR TABLE.”

So, that’s what’s happening. And everything was pretty calm until about an hour ago when Chooch found out that Ham has been featured several times by various cat accounts and he is ready to torch Instagram headquarters.

Anyway, I don’t have a fantastic twist ending to this story, but if you want to help us and hinder Ham, here are Drew and Penelope’s Instagrams (LOL this might be one of the most immature things I’ve ever been involved in):

https://www.instagram.com/that_cat_bambi/

https://www.instagram.com/presenting_penelope

Yeah, fucking around with a kitchen and cat Instagrams is where I am right now in Pandemic Times.

[EDIT: OK I feel super guilty fake-trashing a cat, Ham is handsome devil and we love him! But yeah, follow our cats and not him, lol.)

Jul 182020
 

Hi my fellow Taemints! It’s still technically Taemin’s birthday, so let’s celebrate!

Taemin is Drew’s bias, but he was mine first so I’m not afraid to get into a catfight over him!

I hope he’s having a wonderful birthday, resting, and eating lots of food! Also, his hyung Onew was recently discharged from the military, so I hope they got to spend time together!

On that note, I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! Listen to some Taemin today and make it even lovelier!

Jul 172020
 

During these trying times, I’ve been biting my tongue every time I start to cry or whine about how I want to go here or there or ANYWHERE, because I would rather stay home and keep OTHER people healthy rather than risk going to, I dunno, Kennywood just because they’re open and the desire to ride a rollercoaster is making me weak and then suddenly I’m That Person who now has covid even though she did wore a mask and did everything right except for THAT ONE TIME. Because that would be my luck. 

But man I gotta tell you, right now I’d be happy to even go to Conneaut, and if you know anything about parks, you know that this one is pathetic. I still managed to have a lot of fun there last June with Chooch and Janna, rain storm and all!

Let’s revisit that day, because it’s the end of another very long week and my back still hurts and I’m pretty bitter and depressed about staying home but I’m doing it anyway because I want this fucking nightmare to be over already. PLEASE WEAR YOUR MASKS AND STAY THE FUCK HOME. You know, like how all the other countries did it. 

Fun fact: this was also the day that started the CAROUSEL SELFIE tradition!

CONNEAUT: A BLOG POST FROM JUNE 2019, WHEN WE COULD STILL LEAVE THE HOUSE AND DO SHIT.

Janna follows some frozen custard place on Facebook and mentioned that she had wanted to stop by and get some but that perhaps driving 90 minutes to Conneaut Lake was a bit much just for ice cream but I was like BITCH PLZ, BEST REMEMBER WHO U BE TALKIN’ 2 so after I took off my queen bee rapper chains, I quickly convinced her that this was the best idea she’s had probably ever and that I would be happy to accompany her.

In my head, I had it billed as some big deal GIRLS DAY OUT and wonder who would be Romy and who would be Michelle, and I was so giddy about this all last week! When Saturday rolled around, aka THE BIG DAY (god, my life is so rich), Chooch was moping around. “Where did you say you and Janna were going again?” he asked, and then sadly murmured, “…oh” when I told him.

Later that morning, when I was upstairs drying my hair, MOM GUILT crept in. “Do you want to go with us” I texted him. A moment later, he bounded up the steps, dove onto my bed, and screamed, “Yes!”

Janna was like “Sigh.”

No, j/k, we’re all BFFs here.

The plan was to swing by Conneaut Lake Park for an hour or two as well even though it’s sad and decrepit…but, it’s there and it’s $10 for a ride-all-day, lol. They have a really old wooden coaster and a pretty rundown but fun dark ride, too. Janna surprisingly was on board with this even though rain was in the forecast all day…

…and it started literally the moment we turned off the highway on the Conneaut exit.

I blamed Janna because it took her so long to come and pick us up!!

We were going to alter plans by going to a cafe first so Janna pulled over in some spookily small town so we could troll Yelp but since we weren’t in some metropolitan area, the options were very slim. I got frustrated and eventually just decided for the whole car that we would continue on to the park even in the rain.

In the few minutes it took to get there (Janna had to turn around a few times), the rain had ceased! It was still a dreary day though, and kind of chilly too so I was glad I wore a jacket. Janna parked basically in a field and we immediately found ourselves surrounded by LAKE FREAKS. Just like, you know, townies trying to enjoy a rainy day at the broke down amusement park, same as us BIG CITY CREEPS.

STICK IT TO THE DEVIL.

We rode the Devil’s Den right away, as soon as we got our wristbands. (Janna reluctantly bought one too once she realized that otherwise, she would have to buy $5 worth of tickets just for one ride–maybe Henry could have found her a coupon during one of his Bored Housewife Coupon Hunts.)

The ride operator has to actually push the cars into the entrance and around a corner until the car catches the chain on the small lift hill. Basically, Henry might be able to build something like this, is all I’m saying.

I thought it would be funny for Janna to go first for some reason and then the next day, I started cracking up because what if we had sent Janna in alone and SHE GOT MURDERED. I tried to tell Henry this but it came out as a indiscernible bray courtesy of my giddiness.

Janna was playing some podcast about the Susan Powell case during the whole ride there and back so I guess I just had murder on the mind.

I don’t know why I’m laughing like a maniac here because the ride isn’t really all that great but it has been long enough since my last jaunt through the Den that I forgot enough of it to make actually scream. But yeah it’s most just a bunch of darkness and Kmart decorations from the 1970s.

When we rode it the second time, we were all supposed to ride separately so that we could each take a picture of each other but then Janna wasn’t privy to that plan I guess because after Chooch departed alone in his pretzel car, Janna got in the same car as me! So then there was no one to take my picture!

I mean, the obvious solution to this would have been to get back in the non-existent line and ride again, but we were over Devil’s Den by then.

One of the things I was most looking forward to was riding the Witch’s Stew again, I guess just because it looks cool?! I mean, the ride itself isn’t that great and it’s actually in pretty bad shape. There were cobwebs in the car Chooch and I chose and when the operator slammed the door shut behind us, a swarm of tiny gnats awoke and fluttered out from god knows where, you guys, it was creepy and I was afraid of inhaling them.

Anyway, the ride takes forever to start because the cars can only be loaded one at a time due to the fact that there’s not an platform that people can walk up to access the cars that are on the incline. So jacked.

Janna stood by the fence and diligently took photos of us like she was our mom. It was adorable. WE ARE ADORABLE.

lol jk we’re annoying.

Yeah boi finally time to ride the Blue Streak! It wasn’t running when we first arrived because it had been raining. I was really stoked about this one and let me tell you something: absence make the body forget pain because in my mind, all I remembered was, “Yeah, I think this one is pretty rough if I remember correctly, but it’s not like, the worst.”

Oh no. It’s actually the worst. I mean, it starts off great! You go straight into a tunnel that seemingly goes on for miles and Chooch was screaming, “I love this already!” and we were pretending to pull Janna’s hair, Janna who stupidly sat in front of us, Janna who had no idea this ride was going to be the difference between a relaxing Sunday at home and a painful Sunday getting fitted for a neck brace in the ER.

As soon as we began the ascent up the first hill, I started to have flashes of recognition and suddenly wondered if this would be the worst idea we made that day. The ride is in BAD SHAPE. I mean, the track going up the hill wasn’t even straight! It was all warped and the wood looks like a termite commune. And then as soon as we hit the bottom of that first hill, the discs in my back cracked like knuckles on a cold day and Chooch started howling in pain and Janna passed out and then slid out of the car and her limp body somersaulted into the woods of Conneaut where the townies came and made pinwheels out of her vertebrae and then stole her ride-all-day wristband for their five-year-old who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome.

DAMN JANNA, YOU AND THOSE PODCASTS.

Chooch’s review was, “I feel like an old man. I never want to ride that again.”

The best part honestly was the two weirdos running the ride. They had more personality than all the fishermen on the lake COMBINED.

We had to recuperate on the carousel after that.

Carousel crew. I love this picture so much! I need to get a frame for it and keep on my desk at work to remind me OF THE GOOD TIMES. This is also such a great depiction of the relationship the three of us have – it’s not like “me and Janna and my kid” but it’s like we’re all the same age and just hanging out for the day. Chooch has always been one of the grown-ups! Or maybe it’s just that I have always been one of the kids…maybe Janna feels like she’s our babysitter?!?

For years, I wouldn’t ride carousels because I have a fear of heights, even low heights, and I would GET STUCK on the horses because I’d be too scared to try and get off when the ride ended. Many embarrassing episodes resulted from that. I actually almost fell off the one I rode a few weeks ago at Waldameer.

You guys. This ferris wheel is NEW FOR 2019! I’ve seen nicer ones at church carnivals, but Conneaut’s trying, I guess. I mean, this place is on the brink of shuttering it’s proverbial windows every season so this is a good sign!

We walked over to the lake for a brief look-see and Chooch immediately tripped and nearly took a nose-dive into the wet sand that might as well just be mud.

Hotel Conneaut is haunted!

We saw a wedding party getting their pictures taken in the “midway” of the park which is cool if they were going for a post-apocalyptic carnie style.

These were supposed to be pictures of us “relaxing” but we just look like Janna roofied us.

Chooch took this picture as an example of the shitty framing Henry does when we ask him to photograph us and I love how it turned out because I was literally in the middle of bitching about Henry so I imagine this is how my face must look the majority of my days.

Meanwhile, we were in front of the hotel and Janna said, “Wow, I guess this is where those people got married. That’s weird.”

This infuriated me.

“Why is that weird?! People get married here all the time!” I exclaimed. “Did you think they got married in the amusement park?!”

“No, but I mean, this is just a weird place. Like, why here?”

“BECAUSE IT’S A BEAUTIFUL HOTEL?!” I screamed, and then I realized what Janna was talking about was the chairs set up in THE CAR PORT in front of the hotel. Like, they literally got married in a glorified driveway and so then I was all touché, Janna.

And then it started raining again, pretty hard too, so we left and went to get Janna’s beloved frozen custard. Chooch and I were actually getting pretty hungry at this point (Henry wasn’t home to make us lunch before we left) so it’s a good thing we left when we did because our OTHER FACES were going to show very soon.

Conneaut needs another coaster, like a Wild Mouse or something, and maybe a log flume. Then it would be more worth the whole whopping $10.