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.

Mar 282017
 

Chooch’s Instagram account is linked to mine because that kid breaks every phone he gets so whenever he wants to post or check out his feed, he has to do it on my phone. The downside to this, for me, is that when his friends get particularly chatty, my phone blows up with notifications. Last night, it was because Chooch is part of a group chat on Instagram with kids from school, & this is how I found out that David Bitchfucker (I wanted to include his full name but Henry was like ERIN!) planned on fighting Chooch’s buddy (we’ll call him….Jerry) today!!!

I got really upset about this because I like Jerry. He comes over every morning to retrieve Chooch and makes sure he gets to school in one piece, and you know, has his shoes on or whatever.

Things I should be doing.

Plus, dude is polite as shit and calls me MISS KELLY and not MRS ROBBINS which is false. 

Anyway, I talked to Chooch about it this morning and he was all, “It’s not going to happen. Jerry doesn’t even care” etc etc. 

So I was like OK IF JERRY DOESNT CARE THEN I DONT CARE. 

But then today at 4, the group message started blowing up again and this time it was because David Fuckercunt posted a video of him and Jerry fighting after school!!!

I got really upset and made Todd watch it (he’s Team Jerry too) and first he was like, “This isn’t too bad—-oh, shit. Damn! These kids are in fifth grade?!” And then I watched it and it wasn’t like totally barbaric—no blood or whatnot—but it still wasn’t pleasant and I got really upset, especially when I scrolled through Chooch’s feed and saw that some other kids were posting the video, like “oh my man David Twatflicker is litAF” — uh no he’s not, he’s a stupid little prick kid who probably has negligent parents because he also posted a video of himself blowing smoke out of his mouth. 

OK MOTHERFUCKER, YOURE 10. GO CLIMB A FUCKING MONKEY BAR. 

And this bitch-kid is all, “Yeah I whooped his ass” and I’m like “No, you knocked him over with your chunky body, sat on his chest, and slapped him in the face with the sleeves of your pink hoodie, you fucking knob.”

By the time henry picked me up, I was ENRAGED. I wanted to DO SOMETHING. 

My first plan was that I was going to beat him up. 

“No, I’ll just cyber bully him.”

Henry frowned. 

“NO ILL FIND HIS PARENTS. I WILL GO TALK TO THIS DELINQUENT’S PARENTS AND TELL THEM THEYRE DOING A HORRIBLE JOB AND THAT THEIR KID IS A PIECE OF SHIT.”

“Yeah, that’s a great idea. You’d get so fired up you wouldn’t be able to say anything and then you’d end up hitting someone. And then it would be you in a video on Instagram.”

OH OK VOICE OF REASON. 

You will be pleased to know that I reported the video from every one of my accounts (I have so many IG accounts, it’s almost like the LiveJournal days) and IG removed it! 

A small victory. 

Next, I considered showing the video to the principal (it’s still available in the private group chat that Chooch is a part of) but then Jerry will get in trouble too because that’s how shit works, and I don’t even know if Jerry wants me to get involved. OH WHAT TO DO. 

Henry keeps telling me to “stay out of it” and attempted to lock my phone up in a safe when I was going to comment on some other asshole’s IG account who posted the video with the caption “My man!” 

My comment was going to be, “DOESNT LOOK LIKE A MAN TO ME.”

And also “YOU FUCKING DICKHEAD.”

It’s hard to remember that these kids are in fifth grade when they’re parading around town like little cracker-thugs!!! 

YOU DONT WHAT IT EVEN MEANS TO BE LIT AF!!!!!! YOU ARE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, ASKING FOR PERMISSION TO TAKE A PISS, IDIOT. 

It just so happens that Henry and I will be at the school tomorrow morning anyway because Chooch’s class is doing some dance thing? I have no idea what I’m going to be watching but I think I heard Chooch toss around the word POLKA. So I’m going to hone in on David FutureDropOut and proceed to intimidate him with my MENACING GLARE. 

Oh and my favorite part of all this is that yesterday he posted some lame picture about loving God.  YEAH WELL GOD DOESNT LOVE YOU, DAVID DUMPSTEROFNEEDLES. 

I can’t tell if this is my MOM POWER coming out or just the standard ERIN RAGE, but I’m dwelling. That much I know.

Why can’t theae kids just settle their shit with a civilized game of kai bai bo?!

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Mar 272017
 

One of the best things about Boots destroying the other side of our duplex is that it inspired the landlord to finally, after so many years I lost count, fix our backporch. The roof had basically collapsed, making that space completely unusable, and I used to use it a lot back in the day! 

So the landlord had the contractor guys redo the entire thing for us while they were next door fixing up the disaster Boots left over there. DAEBAK!!

(I peeked in the front window and it looks REALLY nice so I’m hoping he raised the rent and some non-lowlife moves in.)

We spent the weekend adding a little flair to the space. Henry is going to paint the floor but said he waits for it to be warmer because….and I quit listening. So I threw down the Devil rug for the time being. And we have no furniture out there other than a wheelchair so if you come over, bring a tuffet, Little Miss Muffet. 

(That just brought back a horrible memory of the time we were playing Scattergories at game and the category was furniture. My answer was tuffet and everyone tried to veto it! IM SORRY BUT IF THAT MUFFET BITCH SAT ON IT, IT COUNTS.)

The fact that I said “I want to get lights for the porch” and Henry not only bought lights but HUNG THEM on the same day is ground-breaking. He either really loves me or is just officially on auto-pilot. 

While we were at Target on Saturday in search of them, we spotted someone we knew and didn’t feel like talking so we did the whole “hiding in the toy aisle” thing. I was like, “Man thank god Chooch isn’t here, his big mouth would totally give us away. ‘WHAT? WHERE? WHO ARE YOU HIDING FROM? HER? HIM?'” 

Ugh, kids, amirite. 

However, I texted my mom and told her what was going on because THIS IS WHERE I GET IT FROM. I remember hiding in the attic with her when I was in elementary school because someone from the PTA was knocking on our door with a bunch of shit they wanted my mom to type. 

And people wonder why I run when the pizza guy comes a’knocking. 

Anyway, a few minutes pass and then I hear some Target boy come on the intercom, saying, “Would Erin Kelly please report to her car?” And he releated it THREE TIMES. 

“I can’t believe my mom did that!” I laughed incredulously. 

I can,” Henry smirked. 

When I told Octavia, she said, “That sounds like something you would do to Chooch!” And I guess we all know where I get it.

The cats are terrified of the HORRIFIC porch and refuse to go out there, so my plants are safe for now. 

Henry let me paint some bricks! He knew it would keep me quiet. While I was painting, I had a flashback to a time in high school when some guy (pick one) called me weird and whatever teacher quickly interrupted and said, “She’s not weird! Erin is, um, artistic.”

OK, but I identify more with weird and have never been offended by it. Do you know how many times I’m called weird at work?! It’s fine. 

Octavia sent me this beautiful European circus posters years ago and I was saving them until I found a grand way to display them, but this will do for now. It’s time for them to get some spotlight!

Originally, I thought the wood paneling was tacky, but now it’s growing on me. I feel like the theme to All in the Family should be playing quietly in the background every time someone walks out there. Needs more burnt orange and burgundy. 

(Also, it’s better than the PARTICLE BOARD that used to be out there omg.)

I’m going to add some more pumpkins at varying lengths.  I’m also looking for one of those big plastic light-up Santas, because I want this room to have a loose holiday theme. 

The floor is blah right now and henry has rejected my idea for glittered epoxy so we’ll see how this pans out as time goes on. But even just at this stage, every time I step out the door, I’m like 아싸!

I’m really excited. This is like a blank canvas for me and I can’t wait to Pollock the FUCK out of that bitch. 

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Mar 262017
 

I think that Henry was hoping we would just go back and sit in the car for a few hours to kill time after the whole succulent show clusterfuck went down, maybe do a crossword puzzle or some other equally frugal activity. Because in Henry’s eyes, he saw our refusal into the succulent show as a major money saver. But then the rest of us made the unanimous decision to walk across the street to the Museum of Natural History instead and Henry had cash register sounds wafting from his ears and nostrils.

Oh lighten up, Hank!

Squirrel whisperer

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Passed this fat squirrel on the walk there and I could have just spent the afternoon with him, if we’re being honest. I LOVE SQUIRRELS. Except for the time I was at the cemetery and walked into a squirrel convention—-there were HUNDREDS of them perched in every tree and they ogled me intently as I nervously walked by and prayed that they wouldn’t launch an attack. I’m not here to steal your fucking nuts, I promise!

Inside the wonderfully non-crowded museum (because everyone was at the Botanical Gardens, apparently!), Blake and Haley convinced us to add on a ticket to one of the planetarium shows and I was all, “Yeah sure, that sounds great!” even though it was about JUPITER and I am terrified of outer space. You should have seen me when I was forced by my advisor at Pitt to take a dumb class on the planets. I was nauseous in every class and had awful nightmares. It was way scarier than the class I took on Vampires!

I had a flashback to the time I was pregnant and Henry and I went to COSI in Columbus to meet some friends and I had a red slushie and then we watched some IMAX thing on Vikings and I was like OH SHIT IT’S COMING—-no, not the baby, but the vomit. So I had to run to the bathroom and didn’t make it all the way in the stall, and just fucking SPRAYED THE WALL with puke. The slushie made it look like I was a vampire projectile vomiting some bad blood, like maybe I had tried to dine on TRUMP and realized that his blood is not that of a human, but the poisonous puss of a demon snake.

Chooch and Blake competed to see who could get the most drops of water on a penny and Blake won by one drop. The girl overseeing this bare bones science experiment asked Blake if he was being honest because she couldn’t say, “Bitch, you lyin’!” like she wanted, I guess.

The most dangerous animals look so friendly though!

We meandered about at a leisurely pace, killing time until the LIVE ANIMAL SHOW started at 1:00, which Blake dutifully noted on the sign by the entrance. He even did his due diligence by asking a museum docent where the LIVE ANIMAL SHOW was going to be held. And yet, only Henry and I were there when it started.

So Blake, Haley and Chooch missed the horrifying opening scene as the ancient animal handler started off the show by slowly counting off the animals that can be admired in the outdoor habitat. Right off the bat, he told us that there WERE two sea otters, but then one died a week prior. From there, he told us about the coyotes.

“It’s a really interesting story, how we acquired them…” and then proceeded to tell us a tale of vehicular coyote-slaughter, and how the slain coyote was PREGNANT and it just so happened that the man who killed her had his dad with him, who was A VETERINARIAN, so the dad pulls out his birthing bag from the trunk (I guess?) and proceeds to perform a C-section on the dead coyote, saving her four babies, who are then cared for at the coyote orphanage (I dunno, some place in Texas where the terrible murder of their mother occurred), and then only THREE were adopted by the museum, so they left one sibling all alone.

HEARTLESS.

Anyway, that’s how the one lone coyote at the Cleveland museum acquired three friends.

Incidentally, this is also how I started crying in the middle of the museum, surrounded by strollers and screaming kids who didn’t give a shit about a single word this old man was uttering. They just wanted to see the LIVE ANIMALS.

SAMESIES.

First, we got to see some kind of owl that looked the owl from Labyrinth but I already forget what it was. It pooped on the old man’s arm while he was holding it though. And it had the same colors as my cat Penelope.

The rest of our crew had joined us by then, just in time to hear the old man play five thousand different owl sounds on his phone. Apparently, after one particular hoot, he made some off-color  remark about it sounding like a woman being murdered, so Henry, Blake and Chooch were like, “OMG HAHAHAHAHA” and I was all, “WHAT? WHAT JUST HAPPENED” and when they told me, I felt like falling to my knees and screaming NOOOOoooo! Because of course when something exciting finally happens, I’m not paying attention.

I asked if the moms in the crowd were all gasping and clutching their chests, but Henry said that not a single person flinched.

Blake said the man mumbled it like he knew a thing or two about what a woman being murdered sounds like.

And the weird thing is that I was thinking in my head that it sounded like murder, as I mindlessly checked Instagram for G-Dragon updates, so then I wondered, “DID I MAKE THAT OLD MAN SAY THAT OUT LOUD!? DID I TRANSFER MY THOUGHTS TO HIS TONGUE?!” and now I know what my answer will be next time someone asks me what I want my superhero power to be, BECAUSE I ALREADY HAVE ONE.

Satisfied with the amount of owl noises he shared with his inattentive audience, the old man finally started talking about the next animal he would be showing us – A PORCUPINE! We were all like, “Fuck yeah, porcupine!”

But before bringing out the porcupine, we had to endure a long presentation of what the porcupine eats:

When we came to see live animals and…

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Ugh x8!!!

The porcupine finally came out but the man had him positioned with his back to the crowd and this was the breaking point for us. so we unanimously decided to go outside to the habitat even though wet snow was falling from the heavens and we all complained about freezing, it was still better than being lulled to sleep by the old ass animal lecturer.

Then it was time for the Jupiter show in the tiny planetarium auditorium thing, and even though we arrived early like instructed, we still struggled to find seats. Finally, some broad and her son offered to move over so we could all sit together and she became the hero of the day because I didn’t want to sit alone with Henry, like we were on a date or something.

Some lady behind us was laughing so obnoxiously and kept saying JONATHAAAAAAAN and Haley muttered something about hating her and I was like OMG ME TOO. It was a real bonding moment.

And then the show started, and Henry immediately fell asleep. I’m not kidding, like IMMEDIATELY. He’s so embarrassing. Haley made it about halfway through before she finally succumbed to the zzzzz’s as well, but she’s pregnant, so.

This show was called Beneath the Veil, and it wasn’t wedding porn like Henry had hoped, but it focused on the Juno spacecraft’s mission as it orbits Juniper.

OK, I might be scared to death of outer space, and learning, and sitting in the dark with strangers, but this show was good and I enjoyed it and MAYBE it was because my heart and hormones immediately glommed on to the museum guy presenting the show (even though I couldn’t see him in the dark). I felt an instant connection with his comedic timing and lowkey Trump administration shade-throwing (“You can look at more pictures of the mission on NASA.org. That website is still available….for now.” SIC ‘EM, PLANET NERD!)

The annoying lady behind us spent the ENTIRE show loudly agreeing with the museum guy’s narration, and would grunt, “MMMM HMMMM” and “YEP” every 2 minutes and I was like, “Wow, maybe you should get up there and narrate the next one?”

For whatever reason, I was crying by the time the lights came back on. I have no idea why I get so emotional.

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We left right after the show, because it was finally time for MELT, and then it was time to go back home and have Chooch hound us for quarters at every rest area we stopped at, and I was like, “If I didn’t have quarters at the last one, why would I have quarters now? My pockets don’t just generate quarters” and then I spent the next 15 minutes imagining pants that build currency in the pockets, like you could just tell it, “Bake me up some won, pants. I’m in Korea and want to buy some soju” and then I started crying silently to myself because I’m just here, in dumb America.

Someone gave him quarters.

Then we got home and I realized I forgot everything we learned at the museum, except for that owl that sounded like a woman being murdered.

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Mar 252017
 

Mayday, mayday. I’m here at Chooch’s school for something called Night at the Museum which was all a SICK RUSE but I’ll get to that in a bit. 

I asked if I was going to be bored here and Henry was all “God yes, you’re always bored” while at the same time Chooch muttered, “Yeah. there won’t be any KPOP there, god forbid.”

But then I asked if there would be cookies and Chooch said probably so here I am. 

TURNS OUT IT’S SOME EVENT FOR DORKY CHILDREN TO SHOWCASE THEIR NERDY SCIENCE PROJECTS AND EVERY TIME I WALK PAST ONE OF THEIR TABLES, THEY START TALKING TO ME. 

I had to pretend to care about some bitch’s SEASHELLS. 

WOE IS ME. 

WHAT IS MY LIFE. 

But then I was actually enrapt in some tiny child’s display on inertia* and was all OH TELL ME MORE, OH YOU DONT SAY and as we walked away, I said to Henry, “HE WAS SO CUTE!”

*LOL I just walked by and it was FRICTION not INERTIA so I guess I didn’t really care that much. 

And under my breath, I creepily whispered, “Because he’s Korean!”

I’ve seen many foes here so far and it’s only been 15 minutes. 


Chooch and I made it almost to the top of this staircase, ignoring Henry’s warnings of “Don’t go that way. Don’t go that way. You can’t go that way” and then when we looked up and saw the caution tape, it all started making sense. 

There were witnesses. 

Meanwhile in the cafeteria, they have a table of food set up, food from Ireland I guess? There were Irish potatoes which I hadn’t had since some kid brought them in to class when I was in elementary school. There were also birthday cake cookies and I wasn’t sure if they were just for kids so it became this big game of me whining about it and Chooch saying “Just go get one” until he finally threw his hands up, marched over to the table and yelled, “Can my mom have a cookie? She’s TOO AFRAID to ask” and everyone laughed at me. 

Chooch found his friend Sharyn so we’re chilling with her grandma who is one HIP LADY. I like her a lot. 

“She reminds me your mom,” I said to Henry. “But not as—-”

“—crass,” Henry finished as I was saying “abrasive.”

Someone gave Chooch a hammer. 🙄

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Some dumb geode-smashing experiment. They gave Chooch a hammer. I stood far away. 

****

I just outed Chooch as a butterfly phobe in front of a cute broad from the Carnegie who brought insects for the kids to scream at and now a bunch of his peers are mocking him and he totally loves it. 

Payback for outing me as cookie-taking scaredy-cat. 

Ok I just learned about Islam from a Yemen family here and now I’m woke.  

I asked Chooch why he didn’t contribute anything to this event, like some artifacts and a poster board about his fake Siberian heritage, and he just shrugged and said “because I didn’t know about it.” 

He is so dense. 

There is no Korean table here so I’m pouting. 

Henry and the principal* just complimented each other’s beards but Henry pointed out that the principal’s is grayer. “I guess you have more stress in your life,” Henry laughed.

Oh you’re saying I need to up my game?

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. 

* (The principal knows us pretty well, it’s safe to say.)


I mean, a real school would have written that in Hangul, but whatever. 

“You should have made a Korean exhibit,” Chooch said. 

Yeah, that would have looked legit. Some dumb Caucasian mutt sitting behind a table of red bean taffy, ttkeokbokki, and Kpop lightsticks, talking about kai bai bo and BIGBANG. 

Such credibility. 


Protecting Sharyn’s identity because I’ve already been this down this road once LOLOLOL. 

On the way home, Henry asked Chooch who the lady was at the concession stand. 

“Why?” Chooch asked. 

“Because she knew your name,” Henry said, with a silent but implied, “and that makes me nervous. 

“Because he’s NOTORIOUS,” I sang, and when no one responded, I said, “That was supposed to be Duran Duran.”

And still no one said anything. 

Turns out the concession lady was the mom of one of Chooch’s friends. I knew it definitely wasn’t MISS DEBBY THE MISERABLE LUNCH LADY because she actually smiled at Chooch. 

(I’m trying to get Chooch to blog about his years-long war with MISS DEBBY.)

Anyway. Now I’m home. It was fine. The kids did a good job I guess, ugh—THE PAIN! I feel like I need to flip off an elderly nun now or something. 

ETA: Henry just pulled up my blog on his phone and said, “Oh great, I can’t wait for all the parents to read this” and I was like “WTF, I was actually really nice! I said nice things about Sharyn’s grandma and that Yemen lady, and—”

“Erin, you called the one girl with the sea shells a bitch, and the rest of the kids dorks and nerds, and that was just in the very beginning!”

But I mean, that’s not super bad. 

(That seashell girl was super pushy with her seashells though. She was all, “Pick the up for a closer look.” Bitch, you pick them for a closer look! UGHHHH.)

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Mar 242017
 

  1. GET OUT: Chooch and I went to see Get Out at the Hollywood Theater last Sunday. The people behind the snack counter kind of gave Chooch a questionable once-over, which always happens when we roll up to the horror movie. But it wasn’t too bad as far as gore or sex goes, and the social commentary was so very relevant, which gave us a lot to talk about afterward. My favorite part was when there was a (super explicit) Jeffrey Dahmer reference and Chooch was like, “Yeah, I know who that is, yawn” — it was a very weird mixture of proud parent moment and WHAT HAVE I DONE TO THIS KID. Oh yeah, Janna and her friend Jeremy were also there, but he was having some type of domestic drama and spent most of the time texting while Janna hovered over him and I’m not even sure if either of them watched the movie, so it was pretty annoying. But yeah – Get Out! It was good.

2. HANGUL: This has nothing to do with the above picture of Drew, but I know Hangul now! Granted, I have no idea what I’m saying/reading most of the time, but it’s a good starting point. I’ve been trying to read song lyrics all week and now I can write BIGBANG and oppa in Hangul! And also, on the way to work this morning, Maddy from KpopX posted pictures of the new shirts that are for sale, and beneath KpopX was a line of Hangul. It took me a few seconds of sounding it out in my head, but then I screamed, “FIGHTING! Henry, it says FIGHTING! I COULD READ IT!!” and he was like, ‘That’s great, get the fuck out of the car and go to work.” So then I ran inside and shoved my phone in Amber and Todd’s faces to show them my new trick and I think they may have been genuinely impressed. Later, I sent them all a video on patbingsoo, because red bean has been QUITE CONTROVERSIAL up in the law firm lately (see #4), and then I went out on my break, and while I was out there on my break, pacing about the streets of Pittsburgh, I started thinking of the sounds of patbingsoo and tried to picture it written in Hangul. I’m still at “pen and paper” levels of this lesson though and can’t yet visualize the sounds, so when I came back to work, I grabbed my Korean notebook. As I scribbled out the Hangul characters 팥빙수, I thought to myself, “This is probably wrong, but at least it’s a starting point.” So I wrote out what I thought it might be and then looked it up online AND I WAS RIGHT?!?! I was so excited that I cried out my achievement to Lauren, who asked if she could see it written out, so I took my notebook over to her and she was like *supportive words!* and it was a very nice, encouraging moment. Someone on Instagram told me that they lived in Korea for a year and barely learned it, so I’m determined to keep going. It definitely isn’t easy, but even the very very very little I have learned so far has been worth it. Henry said my obsessions are annoying, and I’m like ㅗㅗ. 

3. RUNNING MAN: Oh my god, Running Man. Henry and I watch it every day and laugh so hard. Sometimes Henry gets so excited, that he has to stand up! (Sike. I have no idea why he’s standing in this picture. I think he just came home from the store and stopped to see what was going on, who knows. HENRY IS A MYSTERY.) But this show has been helping me practice Korean and I’m so attached to the RM members which always happens to me so then when it inevitably ends, I’m going to need antidepressants probably. My favorite is Ha Ha and I can spell his name because it’s only like the same two characters repeated. I’m remedial, OK?! I made Glenn watch a clip from one of my favorite episodes but didn’t realize I sent him without subtitles so even though he was SORT OF laughing, he was angry that he couldn’t understand it. I should send Todd a clip and send him down the rabbit hole, like when I sent him a Bledfest video and then he spent the next hour watching videos of guys hardcore dancing. I’m good at brainwashing my co-workers. 

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4. INTERNATIONAL CANDY: I already mentioned my Halloween pumpkin full of Asian sweets on here, but I added some additional international flavor to the mix this past week with an assortment of what we believe to be Russian confections? Some type of Eastern European? Greek? I don’t know, but I purchased them at the international market next to the Hollywood Theater (Janna’s d-bag friend was like, “What makes this candy special?” and I was like “LOOK AT THE WRAPPERS, IDIOT.” God, that guy suxxxxxx. Anyway, the general consensus of the Russian chocolates was “they’re OK,” with some “ew”s and “it’s strange” thrown into the mix. Wendy spit one out, and I will admit that there was one I had that had jelly inside, like a thick, gooey block of cheap-tasting gummy, and I wanted to spit it out but this candy was inexplicably expensive so I swallowed and had so many regrets. Lauren thought that they were OK until she heard me tell someone that it was like “not-quite-chocolate” and then after that it never tasted right to her. Sad chocolate, is what it was. Meanwhile, Gayle had apparently tried one of the White Rabbit red bean taffys and had a LOT to opine. “It was PUTRID!” she said, folding up her face into an anti-red bean pamphlet. “Well, don’t eat it then!” I said all huffily, and the air in our quadrant immediately grew pregnant with tension. She went on to say more disparaging things, and I yelled, “YOU’RE OFFENDING ME. THERE’S AN ENTIRE COUNTRY THAT LOVES RED BEAN!” and Gayle calmly said, “Well, they can have it!” before walking away. I was so incensed! Like I had cooked and pulled that fucking taffy in my own kitchen! With my own muscles! Glenn muttered something about hostile work environment and Lauren was like “…….” and I can’t remember who else was standing there now but I know my face was red and I can’t believe I was so upset about this! “That was like an affront to your people,” Glenn said, and I know he was probably joking but EVEN SO, HE WAS RIGHT. I am so protective of S. Korea. Anyway, this facilitated an entire conversation about red bean and adventurous candy later that afternoon, and three people (Lauren, Lori, and Amber) tried the red bean taffy and while they weren’t exactly breaking out into Mentos commercial reenactments, they all admitted that it wasn’t bad at all! I mean sure, the weird, translucent, flaky wrapping on it is mildly concerning, but I’ve been ingesting it for several weeks now and I don’t think I’ve experienced any internal bleeding or whatnot. I’ve been trying to explain that red bean is used in a ton of Korean desserts, and I think that the next logical step is for me to bring in some Samanco! (I’m going to make you try it, GAYLE!!!)

Meanwhile, Wendy rejected the preserved kumquats because she felt like she was eating flesh, so then I mistakenly relayed this info to Todd, who decided he had to try one after that and AGREED WITH WENDY, saying he felt like he was chewing on an earlobe, which concerned Lauren because it was so oddly specific. The Hi-Chews have been a big hit though. Wendy used her shirt as a shopping bag after discovering them, walking off with a fistful of candy nice and snug in her makeshift shirt-bag. 

Candy brings us all together, you guys. 

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Lots of words, little substance. The usual!

안양 !

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Mar 232017
 

This song hurts so good. 

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In other spring-ish news, our back porch is completely finished just in time for warmer weather! I’m excited to decorate it and have friends come over to sit back there. 

That sounds so exciting.

Maybe we can make beeswax candles too, and darn ye ol’ stocking socks.

Wow, get stoked for that invitation, guys.

The guys who have been working next door are a definite improvement from Boots, but still kind of weird. 

“They’re not weird,” Henry said defensively. “I’d drink with them at a bar.”

Henry has high aspirations. 

Once I can retire my big yellow coat for the year is when spring will officially have sprung, though. And today is sadly not that day.

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Mar 212017
 

Several weeks ago, Blake, Haley, and I made plans to attend the Midwest Succulent Society show thingie at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, and then we told Henry we were going and that he had to drive us.

That’s his purpose in life, isn’t it?

Honestly, I was mostly just excited to be going on a daytrip with Blake and Haley. They put Chooch in his place effortlessly and it’s really fun for me to watch. 

It takes about 2.5 hours, roughly, to get to Cleveland, and since Haley is pregnant, Henry even rented a larger car so she would be more comfortable. 

The ride there was uneventful. Chooch talked nonstop and asked us for quarters at every goddamn rest stop and then Blake asked me to put on TT by Twice and I was like MY PLEASURE. 

And then it started snowing and Henry’s head was halo’d with expletive-filled thought bubbles and a comic-strip depicting impending doom en route to the plant show. 

We arrived unscathed around noon, two hours after the Botanical Gardens opened, and there was still a line outside to get in. That made me nervous. But I’ve been known to stand in long lines to look at a plant.

Haley’s not in this picture because she weasled her way inside the Botanical Gardens to pee. The botanical bouncer at the door told her that he couldn’t deny a pregnant woman in need.

Shortly after this picture was take-tuck-tooken (GRAMMAR SHOWOFF), some chubby Jonny Craig-looking doucher emerged from the building, toting a big box o’ succs (that’s what we in the scene call succulents), and with his beady little eyes fixated on us line-standers, he called out A LITTLE TOO JOYOUSLY, “Hey guys. The show’s sold out. They’re sending people away.”

As people in line began to murmur to each other, his equally douchey girlfriend echoed his caveat while he stood there looking a bit too smug for my liking. 

“That can’t be true,” I said, thinking they were just playing some weird hipster game with us basics. But then a broad with an official Cleveland Botanical Garden nametag AND CLIPBOARD came out and said the same thing, with her face pulled long into a well-rehearsed mask of “I’m so sorry to have to tell you.”

Uh, ok girly sue sue, go fuck yourself. 

WITH YOUR CLIPBOARD. 

“And even if you come in, there’s still an additional 90 minute wait just to get into the room,” she added for those of us who had the audacity to linger in uncertainty. “You could always come back tomorrow.”

OH REALLY? JUST LIKE THAT? We rented a car for this thing! There were no do-overs! Fuck you and your “come back tomorrow.”

But it was here when I realized that I wasn’t as crestfallen as I anticipated. Maybe I’m over my Succulent Mania? I have been fairly preoccupied with my new k-lifestyle, afterall. 

We were going to still pay to tour the gardens, since that was a separate thing altogether. I guess the succulent show was just set up in one room. But then we were all so angry that we decided to just go across the street to the Museum of Natural History, which we had seen on the way there. Fuck you and your lame ass plants, Cleveland. PITTSBURGH HAS PLANTS, TOO. 

[Insert a fun-filled recap of our afternoon at the museum, which will be posted about separately, because that’s how I decided to write about our day. OUT OF ORDER AND PIECEMEAL. It’s called “being a fake writer,” guys. You wouldn’t understand. Yawn.]

Right as we were getting ready to leave the museum to go to Melt, Blake checked Facebook and saw that someone from the Midwest Succulent group posted in the event page saying that they had no idea why the employees of the Botanical Gardens were sending people away, that it wasn’t sold out at all! 

I was like, “Oh well, it’s too late now” but Blake already had made up his fire-ensconced mind that he was going back over there and they were going to let him in for free. 

They melted snow with their footsteps of fury, while Henry and I casually walked back to get the car (and he tried to hold my hand?!). I was content waiting for them in the car, listening to “Cafe” super loud, and hating on all of the smug assholes exiting the gardens with their boxes of trendy plants. 

I know, I know–that used to be me! But I wasn’t collecting plants because some home interior blog was telling me to. I was trying to fill the void that Marcy left in my heart when she died and I wasn’t ready to get another pet. I needed something to take care of (lol – something easier than Chooch) so I started a plant orphanage, and then I gave them all names which was dumb because I became infatuated with their imaginary personalities and look where that left me – digging another ditch in my psyche. Which basically looks like an ant farm by now. 

(I’m writing this while standing up on the trolley, thanks Henry.)

They didn’t get in for free like they hoped, but Chooch did, only because they faked like they were going to make him wait stay in the entrance area and wait, so the rude Botanibitch employee let Chooch in for free. HA SUCKERS!!

When I saw the two guys in moto jackets and man-buns strut past our car with an armful of cacti and echeveria, I blurted out, “Oh for fuck’s sake, now I’m glad I didn’t go!”

And then when the crew came back (with a small bounty!), they confirmed that it was a pretentious asshole convention up in there. They said the room was very small and packed, most of the plants had been picked over, and the ones that remained looked like they might die in a week. 

Chooch said people were literally Facetiming with their friends about which plants to buy (like OMG, what would A Beautiful Mess do??), and that there were more people who were there taking Instagram pictures than actually buying anything. 

And all the cacti were gone. :(

But Haley got a hanging plant like she wanted and they also bought us some small succulents, so all was not lost!

My favorite part I think was all the smug and self-righteous plant-whores who posted on the event page saying that people should have gotten there early like they did, pitched a tent outside the greenhouse in the late-March Lake Erie snowfall, and then maybe we would have gotten what we came for. OH OK MIGHTY CLEVELAND RESIDENTS. Why don’t you go sit on that fucking cactus that you beat us to. 

Ugh I hate the succulent scene! So many neutral colors and man-buns. 

What? I’m just guarding them. Yeah, that’s all.”

Aaaaaaand this is why I stopped bringing plants into the house. I suppose I could have hanging planters protruding from every ceiling in my house, but I really liked lining my windowsills with interesting/weird/ugly vessels from Goodwill. Boo hiss, cats. Boo fucking hiss. 

Nevertheless, I’m still going to repot these babes and put them somewhere, anywhere, and pray that my cats will forget about them. 

When I went to work Monday morning, Glenn mockingly asked me how my plant was. And then I told him what I just told you, dear e-diary, but I don’t think he cared. 

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Mar 202017
 

When I had some old friends over last week, we were talking about my penchant for picking up hitchhikers—it was honestly like a sport for me. I would go out for drives specifically to look for them, like some bizarre reverse serial killer, like a fisheman who throws the fish back into the sea. 

I even have pictures of some of them because I ALWAYS had my 35mm camera with me back then. 

But one of the other things I used to do with 

  • wanton abandon, 
  • complete disregard for my safety, 
  • literally no forethought, 

was invite perfect strangers off the street and into my house every time I was having a party. 

I mean, this all ended after I started dating Henry (although I still got a few blind dates in there before he made me stop), but I had a really great run. I even briefly dated one of my street invitees!

But specifically, Sarah and I were talking about the time I had a party in 2000 because The Cure was nominated for a Grammy. (I like having parties, ok?)

Of course I had my trusty Canon and took a bunch of pictures of my friends who were tired of having their pictures taken. 

I found the roll of undeveloped film a few years later, after misplacing it, and when I had it developed, I discovered amongst the shots of friends at my Cure celebration party, a picture of a guy I didn’t recognize. 

I figured he must have been a friend of a friend, but when I showed the picture to my brother Corey, who was there that night, he said, “No! That’s that guy you called in from the street!”

And he went on to say that I flung myself out of the front door like I was known to do when I spotted someone passing by my web, I MEAN, HOUSE. I allegedly called this bro up to my front door and asked him if he wanted to come inside and celebrate the Cure’s Grammy nomination, and he said he was going to the gas station to buy cigarettes, but he would come back. 

So the story goes. 

And everyone was all, “LOL yeah, he’s not coming back, Erin. You fucking freak.”

BUT THEN HE CAME BACK. 

AND I HAVE A PIC SO IT HAPPENED. 

I honestly barely remember this and I remember almost everything so I must have had a lot to drink that night. But Sarah said she remembers this and she was there that night, so. 

I wonder if that guy remembers that night, if he ever tells people about the weird girl who practically chased him down the street until he promised to come to her party. I wonder if he even likes The Cure??

This concludes my story. 

(And no, The Cure did not win a Grammy. ㅠㅠ)

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Mar 192017
 

We were in Cleveland yesterday with Blake and Haley for a succulent show at the botanical gardens, which I will tell you ALL ABOUT in a separate post. I know you can’t wait. I was excited for that, but even more excited to meet up with our pal Jason afterward at Melt. It’s been a minute since we’ve seen him, and even longer since the last time we went to Melt – I think almost two years! For someone who’s favorite food is and always will be the mighty grilled cheese, this place is Mecca. Even better — they cater to us anti-meat’ers by having veg substitutions for nearly every item on the menu.

Except for the Korean BBQ grilled cheese – nooooooooooooooo!

This was Chooch, Blake, and Haley’s first time at Melt and I always love being there for the popping of a Melt cherry. I knew Chooch would be underwhelmed because he hates everything, so he opted for the Melt veggie burger, while the rest of us were in decision-making agony.

All Chooch cared about was getting the eating portion of dinner over with so he could go play one of the arcade games.  And then Blake saw a sign for some barcade down the street called 16 Bit and then that was all HE could think about, but Chooch and Haley would have gotten carded so then Blake was all JUST FORGET IT and that sounded really familiar but I couldn’t…

…quite….

…put my finger on it.

Blake and Haley decided that they would each get a different grilled cheese and then trade halves, and I was SO SAD because I wanted to do that as well, but I’m the difficult vegetarian with no one to share with.

But then Henry sighed and said, “Which ones do you want?”

And I said, “What does it matter, you won’t get the vegetarian version,” in that totally un-spoiled tone of mine.

“I’ll eat fake meat, it doesn’t bother me,” Henry said.

Oh, oppa!

So I got the faux chicken and waffles and he got Mom’s Meatloaf or something even though I told him to order the Smoky Russian but he went rogue and made his own decision, what the fuck?

But I was too happy for the rare opportunity to deep throat some melted cheese to make too big of an issue out of it.

Plus I didn’t want to be a bitch in front of Jason, hahahaha.

Ha.

(Speaking of ha, today I learned how to read and write Ha Ha’s name in Hangul!)

(Ha Ha is my favorite person on Running Man.)

COME TO MAMA.

We all pigged out on kung pow Brussels sprouts too.

Holy shit. Game changer.

(Henry just brought served me a cup of coffee and when I exclaimed, “Thanks, oppa!” he frowned and said “We’re not friends.” LOL ok.)

My favorite thing about hanging out with Jason is that I get an opportunity to actually talk about music with someone who knows the bands I’m talking about. I mean, he’s the editor-in-chief of Alternative Press so he kind of has no choice.

“I have to tell you, Jason, I’m kind of out of the loop,” I prefaced my confession with trepidation. “I got sucked into the Kpop black hole.”

Jason started laughing without mirth, and looked at Henry, who was making covert Hostage Eyes at him. YOU KNOW THAT LOOK. Like when someone is with their kidnapper at a toll booth, making silent cries of HELP ME HELP with just their eyes.

So I started blabbing about BIGBANG and when I got to the “I can’t believe I wasted eight years on Jonny Craig when G-Dragon was over there this whole time” part, Jason pulled out his phone and said, “OK, you got me curious now.”

And he started Googling G-Dragon!

After reading a bit and seeing G-Dragon’s net worth, he said, “So maybe I should just start Kpop Press…” He might have been being sarcastic, but I was too busy listening to the new Got7 song in my head to fully notice.

“I’m in deep,” I sighed, and everyone laughed but Henry looked like he was going to cry.

There were many high points to our Saturday in Cleveland, but this was the apex for me. Grilled cheese and grilled great people – that’s a pretty perfect combo. And wow, Henry the Carnivore must really love me to take a hard pass on animal flesh just so that I could share a sandwich with him. 

Even though he didn’t order the Smoky Risisian like I suggested. 

#neverhappy

(I look at that picture and all I can see is the stains on Chooch’s pants. HE ALWAYS HAS STAINS.)

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Mar 172017
 

  • I woke up the other night to a commotion that had Boots’ name written all over it. I sincerely thought he was back next door and my heart started racing. Should I call the police? Grab my battle ax? Weep quietly in the shower? But turns out it was just my asshole cats recreating the sounds of a construction site with their tiny but mighty bodies. Honestly, how are such small creatures so destructive? They pretty much knocked over anything in Chooch’s room that wasn’t bolted down, and even managed to move my desk chair. Granted, I didn’t actually SEE them doing this so it could have very well been a poltergeist or the Man in the Attic. But Drew looked really fucking guilty when I confronted her in the morning.

  • At Crazy Mocha the other day, the barista stared at me quietly after I placed my order and said, “Your hair almost blends right into your coat.” And then there was another pregnant pause while she gave my hair/coat combo another once-over before finally making my fucking latte, and I spent that time giving myself 7 chins while looking down to see what she was seeing. And that’s when I realized that SHE WAS RIGHT. My coat has tan faux-fur on it, but the coarse kind, like a lion’s mane, and it appears to be an extension of my hair. This made me kind of happy because I’m a Leo and I’ve been told before that I look like a lion so roar, motherfuckers. (I still think I look like a turtle though.)
    • Also, file this under Awkward Crazy Mocha Convos. I should just start a category for that on here because they happen so frequently.

  • Henry still takes an abundance of naps.
  • We’re going to Cleveland tomorrow for a succulent convention which is great except that I can’t bring any succulents into the house anymore (see first bullet point re: tiny bulldozers). However, I’m really excited because we’re probably going to go to Melt and I love Melt because do you know me? Grilled cheese would be my last meal if I was on death row. Also, Melt is ultra accommodating to vegetarians, OH WHICH I AM. I know it’s hard to remember all the things I am when I don’t hashtag my shit constantly. “There are only, like, two grilled cheeses on the menu that can’t be made vegetarian and guess what one is?!” I cried to Amber and Glenn. Glenn didn’t take the bait, but Amber said slowly, “Um….is it something Korean?” “YES it’s the KOREAN BBQ” I wailed. All of the other meat/chicken ones can be made with seitan or other soy-based meat substitutes SO WHY NOT THE KOREAN BBQ. Ugh, I just  know that’s what Henry is going to order, too.

  • I wore green today even though St. Patrick’s Day got no jams in my book. (THAT MEANS IT’S NO FUN FOR ME. #kpopslang)
  • OMG last week, Henry causally told me that he drove a school bus for a month in 1989!? And he never, until now, found that this was significant enough to tell me?! Anyway, the route he drove was through one of the worst neighborhoods in the city and he said it was awful, and luckily he got a different job and was able to quit. (Henry’s one of those Adults who never quits a job without having another one lined up – I have never once done that, lol. I’m like I QUIT and then I get home and it’s like OH FUCK.) Anyway, I couldn’t stop laughing about this. It was almost as funny as the time he told me he was a paperboy or when he mentioned that the apartment he had before he moved in with me had steps that went to the basement and I became so obsessed with this that I still crack up to this day when I think about it, LIKE I AM RIGHT NOW, and then he gets so angry because he doesn’t understand why it’s funny.
    • I’m not sure, either, actually. IT JUST IS. I remember writing about it on MYSPACE. So it must have had an impact on me.

  • My Korean textbooks finally arrived! Stupid Chooch opened the package while I was at work because he knew it would incense me AND HE WAS RIGHT. I’m going to start my studies on Sunday so DON’T FUCKING BOTHER ME.

  • I wore this pin to work on Thursday and had to say, “But don’t really, because I haven’t learned it yet” to everyone who read my pin. My goal is to be able to read and understand it enough to get by, but I do not have high aspirations to be able to actually speak it because I can barely speak English. This morning, in the kitchen at work, I was talking to Carrie and what I wanted to say was, “Did she know” but TWICE IN A ROW I said, “Did she knew.” DID SHE KNEW. And as I was saying it the first time, I tried to stop myself, I even held up a finger as though to say “let me try this again” so I started over and said the exact same thing again. Carrie very soothingly said, “It’s OK. I know what you were trying to say” and in my mind, I was playing a reel of all the instances where I could have suffered head injuries in my sleep because something is definitely happening to me. HENRY, WHAT ARE YOU PUTTING IN MY FOOD.

  • I walked to Lotus Foods on my break yesterday and brought back a beautiful assortment for my work peeps (the adventurous ones, anyway). The preserved kumquats are  out of this world, you guys. Even Amber liked it and she might be one of my biggest skeptics (probably because she has witnessed me fuck with so many people). My personal favorite is the red bean taffy which I give everyone a disclaimer when they reach for it and usually that results in them dropping it and taking something else. But look – this is a candy that you have to work for. It starts out hard and plastic-y (Nate described it as tasting like grass in the beginning stages) but then once it begins to soften, that’s when that sweetly pungent red bean flavor fills your mouth. Nate thought it was “actually ok” and Glenn said he was surprised at how good it ended up being. But it warrants a quick explanation because I don’t want someone giving up after a second and wasting it!! I love red bean. I also exotic candy! There’s a middle eastern grocery store near my house that has a dazzling array of foreign candies and I might stop there this weekend and grab some to mix up the diversity of my jack o’lantern. I like interesting flavors, OK?!

  • Today’s Friday video was BIGBANG’s Sober, because I haven’t forced BIGBANG on my work friends in a few weeks. I lifted the ban and let Glenn watch it and he actually finished the whole thing and had nothing negative to say! But I mean, it’s BIGBANG and G-Dragon is a perfect angel baby and if I ever saw him in person, be ready to bury me. G-Dragon’s sweater in this video was the inspo for the blazer we made Chooch a few weeks ago. The more you know.

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Um, I don’t know what else. My life is just so fucking exciting. Maybe next week I’ll talk about the fucking Planned Parenthood protesters who impede my walk space every goddamn day when I’m on my lunch break because WHY SHOULD I CHANGE MY ROUTE?  Or I don’t know, what else do you want me to talk about. Leave one of those invisible ink comments.

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Mar 162017
 


Lisa is moving to Idaho in a few months so I have been trying to squeeze in as many hang-outs as possible.  She and I kept saying we wanted to hang out with our pals Sarah and Liz again so I had them over for some kind of girl’s night thing, I guess. Liz brought delicious pizza and I brought the Kpop.

“I was wondering on the way here, ‘Is Erin going to invite anyone in off the street?'” and Henry just groaned before leaving the house with Chooch because Too Many Girls, but I’m sure he probably also felt very thankful that my penchant for poaching strangers off the sidewalk to attend my house parties was several lifestyles ago, currently replaced with a K-lifestyle.

Sarah and Liz were supportive of my new lifestyle and even encouraged me to try and audit a Korean course at Pitt, and Liz said that she even has a friend who tutors Korean, and then they were like, “Yes, play us some BIGBANG, Erin” while Lisa sat there disapproving of the whole scene.

“I feel like I’m in high school again and this is Bone Thugs n Harmony,” she said without even attempting to mask the disgust. It’s so true though! Lisa has known me a long time.

“You’re always obsessed with something,” Sarah laughed.

I told them that I feel like I imprinted on the whole entire country of South Korea.

Blank stare.

“You know, like Edward and Bella,” I explained.

Blank stare.

“From Twilight?” I mumbled sheepishly, realizing that I just admitted that I’ve read that piece of trash. IT WAS FOR POP CULTURE RESEARCH, OK?!

Anyway, I want to make a genuine effort to hang out with these girls again. I even had Henry put out the good fruit (the pineapple that Andrew gave him as a thank you for hanging out, and my cherished persimmon) so you know these are good peeps.

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Chooch took this picture for us when he and Henry came home, and after Sarah chased him around the house mercilessly. “We learned all about G-Dragon,” Liz informed Henry, who just gave me the How Do You Have Friends? frown.

***

On Saturday, after visiting Robbie, Nikki and the brand new twins at the hospital, we went to our friend Patty’s birthday party. This girl has had a rough time of it lately, but she still was the most joyful person in the room. She really is an inspiration and I was honored to celebrate her birthday with her.

My favorite part was when Chooch kept getting mistaken for a girl, I guess because of his hoodie. He was playing Checkers with the boy in the above picture, and a teenaged girl was helping the boy out; for some reason they both kept using female pronouns when referring to Chooch and he was STEWING. Henry and I were on the receiving end of his murderous glares and we were just like “Shrug?” I mean, Chooch even said, “I’m a boy” at one point but then later, when they were playing Battleship, the teenager exclaimed, “Wow, she is REALLY good at Battleship!” and Chooch tossed us an “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME” look over his shoulder. I almost had to leave the room, I was laughing so hard.

And before you’re calling Child Services because Oh Honestly Erin is giving her kid a complex, please know that I wouldn’t have laughed if he was genuinely upset. But you know, when you reside beneath the Roof of Schadenfreude, these are the situations you relish. 

Besides, Henry was laughing too!

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Meanwhile, there was a girl sitting across from me who I briefly met a few years ago when I went to a Horror Realm after party luau thing with my friend Kristy, and she seems so cool and I wanted so badly to start talking to her, but I just couldn’t do it.

How did I go from being the girl who picked up hitchhikers for sport and invited strangers straight off the street to her parties, to someone with crippling social anxiety and a paralyzed tongue who can’t even make conversation with a girl sitting across the table from her.

I loathe myself.

But then I had cake so who cares.

I was surprised at how good the icing was because I’m so picky with cake and was prepared to not like it. “It’s probably because I got a piece that had a pot of gold on it” I reasoned later on to Henry, who said, “all of the icing tasted the same, Erin.”

DISAGREE. 

When I was saying goodbye to Patty, I mentioned that we had to go home because Henry had some printing jobs that he had to do.

“Yeah right, she just wants to watch her Korean shit,” Chooch scoffed, rolling his eyes in my direction.

What a little fucker!

But really, we were both telling the truth: while Henry was busy printing things, I was watching my “Korean shit.”

And then when I was saying goodbye, Choochetta popped a balloon, causing everyone in the room to turn and stare at us which is my favorite thing in the whole world. 

***

The thing Henry was printing the night before was actually a large picture of the Millennium Falcon and numerous cut-outs of Monica’s head, so that people could play Pin the Monica on the Millennium Falcon at her birthday party on Sunday, which was at Spoonwood.

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I had one beer and also one sample of another beer and was so fucking worthless for the rest of the day.

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Nate, April, Sandy and Zoe were also there! I let Zoe play with the Num-Noms that I keep in my eyeball purse and Sandy told me that after she left, Zoe said, “That lady with the yellow hair was so nice.”

THAT’S ME SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT.

I’M THE LADY WITH THE YELLOW HAIR.

AND I’M NICE.

Chooch spent more time roaming around, pestering Monica, trying to get Chris to adopt him, and asking Nate random video game questions. I observed this and started to hate myself again because how does my kid have more social skills than me? Furthermore, where did he LEARN those social skills?? He eventually ditched us all together and moved over to Nate and April’s table, and made them put together a puzzle with him.

“Little do they know he’s theirs now,” Henry whispered into his beer.

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Chris made these peanutbutter Deathstar cups and MOTHERFUCK they were divine. And also these Princess Leia and Admiral Ackbar cupcakes!

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(Like I know what I’m talking about.)

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There was a girl there who looked like Carly Rae Jepsen! I didn’t take her picture though. I was trying not to be creepy.

Henry ordered a hummus plate and I was like, “This would taste better if it came with kimchi” and Henry was like, “PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT KOREA” but he knew I was right.

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Henry finally trimmed his beard!

Did I mention that this was a Star Wars-themed party?

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The birthday girl and her frenemy!

Chooch for whatever reason assumed that Chris and Monica were coming over later, and Chris was like, “Sorry, we can’t! We’re going to be here all day.” Chooch’s face fell into this pathetic look that said, “I’LL PUT OUT THE GOOD FRUIT FOR YOU!”

He’s obsessed with Chris, if I haven’t mentioned that on here a million times over the last three years.

Anyway, what a great weekend full of great people! I felt so happy afterward–I love my friends!

Now I’m torn between throwing a huge house party or camping out in Misanthropy Cave for a while.

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Mar 152017
 

Here’s another chapter from my imaginary (Don’t Read This To Your) Children’s book, “Lunch Break Tales.” Just, wow.

***

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It was really busy this one day last week and we were short-staffed, so I told Glenn that I was just going to short lunch, just long enough to run out to Crazy Mocha and grab some coffee, I said.

Won’t be long, I said.

Like, 10 minutes, I said.

Except that it was actually busy that day, and I had to stand in a line full of people who had never ordered coffee before and questioned everything on the menu. And then two aging punks came in and tried to line-jump but I called them out on it in the most Pollyanna way I could muster, and it turns out that it was an accident anyway, so they got in line behind me and the older of the two, who reminded me a bit of my friend Jason from Cleveland, wouldn’t stop raggin’ on me for being mean to an “old man” and it was funny at first, but then I was like, “OK STOP TALKING TO ME NOW” except a few minutes later, a Depeche Mode song came on and he started singing it and then his friend was talking about some Italian band who did a really great cover of it and then I was like, “OK, I’ll talk to you!” because I wanted so desperately to butt in and me my old nosy self (or nebby, if you’re from Pittsburgh) but the coffee broad was handing me my coffee and really, I didn’t care that much.

I left with my coffee and right as I turned to make my way back to work, I spotted a very familiar face walking toward me, pulling a small suitcase in his wake.

IT WAS TRAVIS WALL FROM SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE.

And I knew for a fact that it was him because the week prior to this, I was walking past the Benedum and saw him on a poster for an upcoming show, which happened to be that night. We made eye contact and I started to open my mouth like I was going to bark, but then I lost my nerve and let him walk by in peace.

But then something came over to me and I thought to myself, “NO. I AM NOT GOING TO THROW AWAY THIS CHANCE TO SAY HELLO TO TRAVIS WALL’S FACE.” So I turned around and followed him.

I’m not proud of this.

But look you guys, I was never into dance before until right after I had Chooch and couldn’t do much but splay out on the couch like Jabba the Hut while Chooch nursed, and that’s how I accidentally started watching SYTYCD right when the second season auditions started. And man, I thought contemporary dance was A JOKE and kept waiting for the judges to laugh those fools off the stage, but instead, they were practically q-tipping their dickholes in pure fervor and screaming, “COME GETCHER TICKET TO VEGAS!” Travis was one of those dancers. He ended up making it all the way to the finals of that season but lost out to a swing dancer. However, the judges recognized Travis’s ridiculous talent and eventually had him come back as a choreographer. ALL OF HIS DANCES MAKE ME CRY.

Travis taught me that watching people dance can have the same effect on me as music. And some of those routines moved me even more than music ever has! So I had to at least say hello.

I only had to follow him a few yards before he stopped at a door and was trying to open it when I very tentatively approached and, keeping my distance, asked, “Travis?”

He turned and yes, but had a “NOT TODAY” look on his face. I don’t want to make it sound like he was a d-bag, but it was obvious that he was very focused on getting to where he needed to be, and I didn’t want to be That Person who disrupted a celebrity’s day when they were clearly “off-duty” or whatever; however, I feel like if I were any type of artist/celebrity, I would want to know that I had affected a person. 

And then I just stood there with my jaw unhinged because I hadn’t planned that far ahead. So there was a frozen moment in time where we just stood there looking at each other, him assessing my level of stalker psychopath and me assessing the quickly depleting cache of words my tongue was capable of spitting out. 

So I just very quickly said, “I just wanted to say hello and that I think you’re awesome” because my vocabulary peaked in 1st grade, I guess.

He thanked me and then as I awkwardly turned to walk run away, he called after me, “It was nice to meet you.”

So there was that at least.

Meanwhile, some older businessman had taken this all in and fell into step with me.

“Who was that?” he asked. I filled him in and he laughed. “Wow, you spotted him fast!” And then I couldn’t get this weirdo to stop talking to me about it! He walked all the way back to my building (which was only half of a block away BUT STILL) with me and I was just dying from the emotional duress of so much human contact crammed into one excruciating 20-minute session.

SO  MUCH FOR THAT QUICK COFFEE RUN.

Meanwhile, Henry had the nerve to say, “Pics or it didn’t happen”like it’s 2012 or some shit. I was NOT about to ask Travis for a selfie after that lukewarm reception.

Then I went back to work and couldn’t find anyone who cared.

(GOD, why didn’t I at least say “have a good show tonight!” Or “How about that bench dance you did with Heidi, amirite?”)

***

There was another dumb day last week where I was just like FUCK IT ALLLLLLLL and put on my surliest “Pee Wee In an Alley After His Bike Was Stolen” demeanor before hittin’ the meat streets of Pgh. I was making damn sure to avoid all eye contact with every last pedestrian, but then as I walked onto the Point, some dirty hippie college student stopped me and said, “Here, have a flower. Have a great day!” as he handed me a tiny white rosebud thingie. It turned my whole day around.

ONE DUMB FLOWER!

I was like, “You know what? I WILL have a great day.” And so I did.

***

***

I almost didn’t go out for a walk today because Glenn said it was SO COLD OMG but I was like whatever Glenn, eff off, and went out anyway. Turns out it was SO COLD OMG but not as much as it was yesterday, so I was prepared.

I decided that I was going to kick it no-frills style and stopped at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts (after almost getting hit by a car and then another car, and then passing the older black lady who screams into her phone all the time and I’m 99.999999997% sure that no one is on the other end) for a macchiato. Nothing exciting happened while I was inside, and no one was outside silently protesting donuts while wearing a tutu, either.

(This is a thing that happens downtown, trust me. Add it to your travel itinerary!)

As soon as I stepped out of DD, this old lady waddled up to me and she is straight bawlin’.

(Not ballin’.)

Tells me the age-old spiel about being homeless, can you spare some change, just want a hot coffee, etc.

I never ever ever have cash on me, except for the time that I did and specifically went for a walk in search of my favorite homeless guy so that I could FINALLY give him a buck or two because he always says things to me like, “YOU’RE TOO PRETTY NOT TO BE SMILIN'” and then the next thing I know, I AM SMILING.

I mean…

DON’T TELL ME TO SMILE, ASSHOLE.

Anyway, this homeless broad is like squirting tears all over my feet and I must have been at a vulnerable point in the day because she totally suckered me, motherfuckers.

I didn’t have any cash on me, so I told her to come with me, and I took her inside Dunkin’ Donuts and let her order some type of sausage thing and then she got an OJ out of the cooler and said, “I’ll just have this instead of coffee” and I said, “It’s so cold out, you can have coffee too if you want.” She looked like she didn’t want to press her luck with me, so I turned to the TOTALLY ANNOYED Dunkin’ Donuts guy and told him to add a medium coffee to her order.

This broad was crying all over the place and I was glad that I was in the position to help someone out a bit. However, the whole way back to work, I kept expecting something horrible to happen to me, like a piano falling on my head or tripping over a tumbleweed and right into the crossfire of a duel.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE I WALK.

Then I came back to work and was extra mean to Lou in order to right my devil/angel ratio.

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Mar 132017
 

I’m obsessed with this Got7 song mostly because I really love the Kpop dance workout routine for it that I do like 8x a night because I’m a k-kardio psychopath, but also because there’s a part at 2:30 where a girl comes in and says:

“Just do whatever you want

It doesn’t matter to me

I’ll just go to sleep.”

And I crack up every time because it sounds exactly like something Henry would say (and has said) to me. And when I played it for him, he twisted up his furry mouth so hard. Gotta keep fighting off them smiles, Hank. 

(I just tried to dance all up in Henry’s face while this song is on and he PUSHED ME so then I came back in here and continued dancing/flailing and then I started to roll my ankle but caught it just in time. I’m really good at dancing!)

While we’re talking so caj about Henry and Kpop, I stayed up late one night recently and made him this cute banner of his favorite TV show, Boys Over Flowers, and he barely appreciated it:


Well, that’s all for today. I’m still recovering from the weekend, where I emerged from social dormancy and hung out with other humans for three days in a row. And now, I can’t tell if I want to withdraw back into my cave of misanthropy or host a huge house party. 

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Mar 122017
 

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This has been plastered all over every social media platform I (over)use, but I’m just really excited, OK?! Henry’s oldest son Robbie and his fiancee Nikki welcomed their twins into the world on Friday and they are totally adorbs. And chunkers too, considering they’re twins! Levi weighed 6 lbs and Eli was 7 lbs 4 oz, yo. Nikki had a whole lotta baby in her!

We got to see them in person yesterday and I can attest that it was the happiest I’ve seen Henry in a good long while. I think he’s going to be a good grandfather. Probably not as good as my Pappap was, but maybe close. We’ll see.

“He’s probably going to teach them about planes,” Chooch said with an eyeroll, and I heartily agreed. Henry was too busy making googly-eyes at Eli to frown at Chooch’s remark though.

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Chooch immediately tried to teach Levi to say “cat” and then tried to smuggle one of their stuffed elephants up his shirt because he desperately wanted it. “Well, they have two,” he reasoned. Always thinking of himself.

He must get that from his dad.

I held Eli for a little bit but then started freaking out because he was moving and OMG BABIES so Robbie had to relieve me. Chooch definitely got his baby-holding skills from. (Or lack-of. However you want to look at it.)

“How are you so good at that??” I asked Henry.

“I have three kids! You don’t just forget how to hold a baby—-” and then he remembered who he was talking to. I swear I was great at holding Chooch! But I am so terrified of dropping other people’s babies.

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Also, can I just say that Nikki looked amazingly pretty and glow-y for someone who had just birthed 13 pounds of living beings? And Robbie already looks like a dad. I don’t mean that in a bad way – I mean that he looked completely confident and natural holding his new baby sons and it was just so cool to see that. These two are going to be incredible parents and I can’t wait to watch these twins grow!

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Mar 112017
 

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Something amazing happened last Friday. It was so great that I suddenly wasn’t so sad to be riding the trolley to work.

Henry texted me and said that his new co-worker asked us to hang out that Sunday.

Not just Henry.

But me, too!

The reason this is a big deal isn’t because we’re like, mountain moles who never get invited to do things, but in the 11 years Henry has been at his job, I have never actually met anyone he works with!

(Because this is how Henry prefers it, I suppose. Me and my mouth, god knows what will happen!)

“This is—-”

“—scary,” Henry cut in as I was about to say, “monumental.”

It’s also a big deal because his new co-worker — Andrew– is from ENGLAND and has only lived here for the last three years. Yes, I want to hang out with a British dude!

When I got to work, I cried to Glenn and Todd in my standard brand of hyperventilation, “Guess who I get to hang out with on Sunday?!”

“G-Dragon!” Glenn guessed in faux-excitement. 

And then I wasn’t as excited because now I was just thinking about how I could have been hanging out with G-Dragon instead. 

In some alternate reality. 

So how it all went down is that a few weeks ago, Andrew asked Henry if he had ever heard of St. Anthony’s church, the home of the largest collection of relics outside of the Vatican. Henry told him that yes, he had heard of it, and that I had actually been there. Andrew and his wife were interested in checking it out and asked if we wanted to join them. UM, YESSIR WE DO!

Also, I love St. Anthony’s. It’s one of Pittsburgh’s many hidden gems. I had never heard of it until my religion professor at Pitt mentioned it once in class and I was all, “OH HELLO I’M WOKE MY NAP. TELL ME MORE.” I have these types of things! It took a few years, but I finally visited the venerable Troy Hill church in 2011 and I won’t lie even a little – actual tears were shed.

I even bought this St. Rita medallion in the gift shop, which is a third-class relic. That means it touched either a first-class (actual bone/body part) or second-class (article of clothing, etc) relic, for all you relic dunces out there.

I keep it in a poison tin on my desk at work:

Needless to say, I was so fucking stoked for last Sunday!

We found Andrew and his wife Karen across the street from the church, in the gift shop. Henry continuously blocked me from actually entering the gift shop though, because he’s tired of all the religious memorabilia I’m always trying to smuggle in the house. (My bathroom is church-themed.)

Right off the bat, some old man came up to Henry and placed a stack of burned DVDs in his hand and told him if he watched them, he’d have a halo over his head.

Henry was like, “OK cool story, bud” and then we all went upstairs to check out the museum (literally just two small rooms – you can read all about that in my original blog post about St. Anthony’s if you feel so compelled), and Andrew told us all about the old as shit churches in his hometown in England, and Chooch looked like he was going to cry because England is to him what Korea is to me, and anytime it comes up in conversation that I’ve been to England, like, 8 times, he gets furious.

Last night, he found out that I’ve been to Paris numerous times too and steam began unfurling from his nostrils.

This is the shit I live for as a parent.

Anyway, I immediately got good vibes from both Andrew and his wife and felt comfortable talking to them. I can definitely come off stiff and standoffish at times when really I’m just BEING SHY.

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Finally, we went to the church! There was some large church group there getting a tour, so we were told to just join them and then come back again for a full tour, which was kind of bullshit but OK fine. I’ll come back. I can’t resist the seductive charm of those goddamn relics.

There was literally only 10 minutes left of the tour, and the docent was speaking so softly that it wasn’t even worth it. Henry and Andrew drifted off and started looking at things on their own, but I was determined to try and infiltrate the group by sticking around for the Q&A session. Some old ass broad asked if there were any relics of Pope John Paul II and the docent was all, “No I wish…” and then the priest that was with the group pulled something out of his pocket and said it was a PIECE OF FABRIC FROM THE POPE MOBILE, but I couldn’t tell if he was kidding or not, and then he laughed and said, ‘I’ll sell it to ya!”

WAS HE LYING OR WAS HE FULL OF THE GOOD LORD’S WORD, WE MAY NEVER KNOW.

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Meanwhile, the old man from the gift shop tried to give Henry more DVDs and Henry said, “You already gave me some in the gift shop” and then they had a good laugh because the old man said, “You look different without your hat!” Of course, I had no idea what was actually being said because I was too far away and didn’t want to talk over the docent, so you know it was killing me until I finally had an opportunity to ask what they were talking about.

I always need to know what people are talking about.

It drives Henry mad.

My Pappap used to always say, “Are you writing a book? Well, leave that chapter out.” Because I’d always sidle up and cry, “What? What?” when adults were hush-hushing.

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After the tour, we hung out in the church and just took it all in. In addition to the whole relic thing, St. Anthony’s has one of the only two near-life-sized Stations of the Cross in the U.S. Because they’re such masterpieces, there’s a brass rail guarding them with signs posted that say an alarm will go off if you touch the rail or try to cross it, so of course Chooch kept playing chicken with the alarm and I was SO NERVOUS. Why does my kid have to be a church hooligan?!

“What is this even supposed to be, anyway?” Chooch asked.

“It’s where they gave Jesus the cross to carry and then he fell a lot,” I said with a shrug, and Henry was so disappointed. What? I mean, that’s basically how it went!

Then Chooch demonstrated the only thing he remembers from his brief and tragic stint at Catholic school, which was doing the sign of the cross with holy water.

Except that I don’t remember the finale of touching two fingers to your lips and pulling them away with a kiss. I guess things have changed a lot since the last time I went to church.

Outside of the church, we discussed lunch options while Chooch literally played in the street.

I mentioned that Chooch and I are vegetarians but we could pretty much always count on grilled cheese no matter where go, so we were fine with anywhere.

“My favorite food is Korean,” Karen said, and Henry and I exchanged “OMG” faces.

“OMG ARE YOU SERIOUS? IT’S MINE TOO!” I cried, taking a giant step closer to her.

And that’s when she told us that her ex-husband was Korean AND THEY OWNED A KOREAN RESTAURANT TOGETHER.

I never in a million years saw this coming. It was kismet. I felt so giddy!!

Chooch, on the other hand, started grumbling about how this was the worst thing ever. Which made it even more fantastic for me! Karen started giving Henry cooking tips and it was music to my ears. TALK TO ME ABOUT GOCHUGARU.

And then, in true Erin fashion, I showed her a picture of what the inside of our refrigerator looks like, because it’s about 75% staples of Korean cuisine. I’m so proud of my lifestyle that I actually took a picture of my refrigerator. As if I even know what to do with any of those ingredients!

And that’s how we ended up having lunch at Korea Garden in Oakland.

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Chooch is so thrilled! Also, Heil Hitler much, Henry? Yikes.
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Kimchi jeon all day long.
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While we were there, BIGBANG’s “Fxxk It” came on and I interrupted everyone to squeal, “THIS IS MY FAVORITE KPOP GROUP!” Henry did the “please don’t embarrass me” sharp intake of breath, but Karen just laughed and said, “You’re funny.”

Give it time and that’ll change to “You’re annoying.”

It was just a really satisfying afternoon and I hope that we hang out with them again! Henry needs his own friends. I dropped subtle hints about the Bayernhof, because I’m dying to go back there again even though it’s not Korean.

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