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.

Apr 222021
 

Chooch and I were set free into the wild Sunday afternoon. I think Henry was concerned at first but then probably did the Risky Business sock-slide as many times as a 55-year-old can without getting winded.

One of the “coupons” we made for Chooch’s stupid Easter egg hunt was that I would take him geocaching. Henry actually created that coupon on my behalf BECAUSE HE IS SUCH A SWEETHEART, knowing how much I LOVE GEOCACHING.

Just a reminder*: I do not love geocaching.

*(I was perusing the pages of my very first vacation journal the other night and the amount of times I wrote JUST A REMINDER for things that weren’t actually reminders was hilarious and totally on brand for the idiotic, nonsensical style of writing that I would later grow into.)

I was really annoyed about this coupon on Easter, but then after we got a new car, the idea of driving Chooch to some random location in order to embark on a fruitless scavenger hunt was kind of appealing, I won’t lie. After scrutinizing the dumb geocache app for the entire morning, Chooch finally settled on a cluster of geocaches in some rando place called PALMER PARK in Donora, which is about a 30 minute drive from Pittsburgh, I guess, in a part of town next to the Monongahela River that I used to cruise through all the time back in the late 90s in my 1995 Eagle Talon, bitches. It’s also where I had a semi-tragic experience getting a new eyebrow ring put in, but that’s a story for another day, friendos.

So, we managed to find the dumb park with little to no effort, and thankfully it was a REGULAR park and not one of the gross industrial parks that dot the river along the way. We were screaming at those.

The first geocache was somewhere behind Pavilion #1, and Chooch found it before I even finishing trudging over to him. I guess this would be a fine time in this rickety blog post to explain geocaching to anyone who doesn’t know and doesn’t care enough to google: it’s this dumb fucking “treasure” hunting bullshit activity where you go to the geocache website or app and find coordinates and use the provided clues if needed. Then, if it’s a good geocache, you will find a plastic container in which there should be a paper log for you to record your name and date, and also a PRIZE to take, provided you brought something to replace it. We usually bring whatever junky little toys we find floating around a junk drawer.

For this geocache, Chooch took the little plastic toy duck that was inside and replaced it with this nude plastic baby, haha. I can’t remember why but I bought a whole bag of those babies one time.

The next geocache was within walking distance, so we left our car in the pavilion parking lot and walked farther into the park, where we discovered it was actually bumpin’ with people. There was a giant soccer field past where we parked, and a caravan of minivans was arriving in preparation for a Sunday game.

This meant that there were people around when we arrived at our next geocache: one of those dog poop bag dispensers at the edge of another parking lot.

Dog Waste Sanitation Stations | Pet Waste Disposal Systems

(Not the actual dispenser we were at, BUT JUST SO YOU KNOW WHAT WE WERE CONTENDING WITH.)

Based on the clue, it was 100% clear that this is where the stupid thing was supposed to be but we couldn’t find it. Surely they wouldn’t put it where the actual used bags go, but I also wasn’t comfortable sticking my hands into where the new bags were dispensed, because ew there could be spiders or needles in there!!

I lost my patience after approximately one minute and yelled, “ARE YOU SURE THIS IS RIGHT” and Chooch showed me the clue again and it seemed legit?!

“According to the log on the app, someone JUST found it today,” Chooch said. “Maybe they didn’t put it back?”

“WHAT AN ASSHOLE!” I shouted in my Big Mouth Screech, paired with wild gesticulations. I mean, I had absolutely nothing else to do that day but THIS WAS REALLY CUTTING INTO MY NON-PLANS!

Then Chooch started laughing.

“Look! The people who found it today posted a picture too! ‘Fun day geocaching wirth my hubby’,” Chooch mocked. And then, because we’re professional trolls, we started laughing at how “with” was spelled “wirth.” Then Chooch showed me the picture of the “hubby” and we started laughing even harder. “That’s who you called an asshole!” Chooch wheezed. “Way to go!” I mean I’ll be the first to admit that I would likely NOT call this guy an asshole to his face:

Sick Panera shirt.

Meanwhile, we’re still loitering around this dog poop stand looking SUPER suspish because we don’t even have a dog, like we’re indulging in some joint strange addiction of sniffing dog shit, who even knows. Anything probably seemed possible to the people observing us. Plus we were still giggling like dummies.

But then Chooch stopped laughing and murmured, “OMG look.” And there, across the parking lot, THE GEOCACHING ASSHOLE WAS STANDING A FEW YARDS AWAY “WIRTH” HIS WIFE.

And he was looking RIGHT AT US! Everyone else in the parking lot faded away and it was just the four of us, frozen in time, facing each other like the world’s most awkward showdown.

It was obvious to him that we were looking for the geocache, since he JUST FOUND IT. I didn’t know what to do so I panicked and waved to him.

“What are you doing?” Chooch hissed.

“HI! WE SAW YOUR PICTURE!” I hollered, holding up my phone, even though it was on Chooch’s phone.

“WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE THEM COME OVER HERE!” Chooch cried. And then, “ohmygod” as HUBBY and his wife meandered over to us. HUBBY was a large middle-aged metal head in a Pantera shirt, and his wife was, you know, a wife. I was being over-the-top friendly because I wasn’t sure if they knew we were totally talking shit on them minutes prior to this meet-up, and based on their unsmiling stone faces, I’m going to wager a guess that they might have?

Anyway, HUBBY said, “I take it you’re looking for this?” STRAIGHT OUT OF SOME LAME 1980s CAPER MOVIE, and presented Chooch with a tiny, thimble-sized magnetic capsule. I guess he took it back to his car to open it and write his name in the log, which was a narrow strip of tightly-wound paper that just barely fit inside the capsule. Then he showed us where he found it, which was on the metal stake of the dispenser, right above the compartment for the poop bags.

“It was really obvious where it was hidden, and I was going to actually hide it better, so if you wouldn’t mind doing that for me, I was going to hide it right here—” and then he pointed to an area on the dispenser that was literally right above the original hiding spot, and Chooch just shrugged his surly, disinterested teen shoulders and said, “Sure.”

Then the guy proceeded to tell us his name on the geocache site (which we already knew since we were making fun of it!!) and in order to bring peace upon the situation, I nudged Chooch and said, “What’s your name on there?” Chooch got RULL WEIRD and kept saying “ummm, ummm” while pretending to scroll through the app before whispering in the most defeated tone, “Choochie.”

(Later, he told me that he knew what his name was on there but just didn’t want to say it out loud because it was embarrassing and he was so mad at me for pressuring him, lol.)

Chooch and I awkwardly hung around the dog poop bag thing while the Couple Who Geocache Together Stays Together walked back to their car. “You called him an asshole,” Chooch reminded me. “I can’t believe you.” And then we started laughing our faces off because we are, of course, Forever Jerks. I had to sit down on a nearby bench while Chooch underwent the painstaking task of trying to write his name and date on the tiny paper scroll, because I honestly thought I was going to pee my pants. What are the odds of talking shit on another geochacher and then getting busted for it?

We eventually continued walking a bit farther into the park, and when the couple finally left the parking lot and drove past  us, they were both glaring out their windows.

So of course we started cracking up all over again. Thank god there were other people around or it would have been less funny, more scary, I think.

In other Palmer Park news, I spotted an actual metal slide, the kinds from my youth that have been replaced in pretty much every playground with  those dumber plastic ones. I was so excited to try it! Chooch went first and as he climbed the rickety ladder, he mumbled, “Wow, now I get why these slides are basically illegal.”

There was one other geocache in the park that Chooch wanted to get, but this one at the entrance. There was nowhere to park so I had to illegal park in some trucking company parking lot while Chooch crossed over the busy road.

“Don’t get hit by a car,” I called out, meeting my obligatory Mom Duty quota for the day.

There was a little man-made rock and mini waterfall feature around the sign for Palmer Park and the geocache was supposed to be there somewhere but Chooch eventually conceded defeat.
“I have no idea where it is and I looked like an idiot over there so I give up. Stupid [insert Pantera Guy’s geocache name here] found it earlier, I wish we had seen him so I would know where it was!”

YEAH, ASSUMING HE EVEN PUT IT BACK!!!

Apr 202021
 

It’s hard to feel happy about today when a life was sacrificed to get us here. Let’s never forget George Floyd’s name & this moment.

Hopefully George’s family and loved ones and everyone affected and touched by his MURDER can rest a bit easier today, and that progress doesn’t stall out here.

And as always, FUCK WHITE SUPREMACY.

Apr 192021
 

I stumbled across this old blog post a few minutes ago and immediately needed to give it a second life because I miss Barb and the shit she says SO MUCH. I also miss being a hockey fanatic.


Alternately titled: Shit Barb Said At the Pens Game, 11/17/15.

Barb texted me Tuesday morning to see if I wanted to go to the game with her that night. I was already en route to work but I was like UM YES?! The only thing that would make me say no to a Pens game is if I was already going to a show that night or extreme illness. I waited until I was no longer in the car with Henry before I texted him: “BTW going to the Pens game with Barb tonight, LOL.” I wanted him to be jealous but instead he was just relieved that he wouldn’t have to come downtown to pick me up from work like he does every single evening because I deserve only the best.

I’m always happy to have the opportunity to hang out with Barb since I don’t get to see her every day at work anymore, and going to a Pens game with her is like the Ultimate Hang Out Scenario. The whole night was amaze: it was Fleury bobblehead night; the seats were fantastic; the PENS WON!; and I got to make fun of nearly everything Barb said all night, which brought back memories of the notebook I used to keep of all the dumb things she used to say when I sat next to her at work. MEM’RIES.

Here are some Barb moments for all you BR aficionados to chew on:

  • We were talking about how much Henry resembles Mandy Patinkin (specifically his character on Homeland) and that sent Barb down a Mandyhole. “How old is Mandy Patinkin, I wonder? Let’s Google it. Oh look, he has his own website! He was born in 1952. When was Henry born? OK so that makes him how many years older than Henry….” I was like “I didn’t come to a hockey game to do math, BARB” so we closed that chapter, each content leaving it as “Henry is years younger than Mandy.”
  • Then Barb made the mistake of telling me that she got out of bed the other night and made a list of all the TV shows she watches. “Then the next day I saw the list and said, ‘Why did I write this? I know what TV shows I watch’ so I threw the list out.” This is the part of the story where Barb, forgetting who she was talking to,  recounted her list to me.  
  • And here’s the part of the night where Barb tells a dumb joke: “Did you know that Fedor Tyutin has a brother named Rutin? Say both names out loud. ROOTIN TOOTIN.”
  • Then I thought she asked me if I was on the rag, but she was actually asking if I had the bag that our bobble heads were in. And then that made me wonder if anyone ever even says that anymore? I does seem like something Barb would ask someone, though.
  • “You know what I think when I see [Pens coach] Mike Johnston? MILQUETOAST,” Barb muttered with contempt. (It’s true though! He is like, as blank and non-descript as Henry’s t-shirts.)

  • Barb was really into this one guy’s pepper pants, so I tried my best to get a clandestine photo as he left the game. Don’t be surprised if you see her wearing her own pair sometime soon.
  • “He’s so weird looking,” Barb sneered, pointing to Scuderi’s headshot in the program. “I think he looks like Glenn!” I argued. “Pfft, maybe Glenn’s UGLY BROTHER.” I had no idea she was so  adverse to Rob Scuderi’s face.
  • A face she is decidedly NOT adverse to is that of Pascal Dupuis. We talked a bit about how she has feelings for him. She gets really flustered about it, too, so you know it’s real. A few days later, I told her that I told Chooch about this and he was like “What do you mean, Barb has FEELINGS for him?!” and then Barb was all humiliated and also nervous because god only knows what Chooch may do with this new knowledge.

  • This has nothing to do with Barb, but there was a moment when I got to be A HERO. As I sat down after we scored the first goal, I noticed something on the ground next to me. I picked it up and asked the lady next to me if it belonged to her. “Oh that’s my INHALER!” she exclaimed. “I could DIE without that!” and then her daughter was all, “THANK YOU FOR PREEMPTIVELY SAVING MY MOM’S LIFE!” and I was like, “No problem, that’s just what I do.” Barb missed this entire exchange because I think this was when she was Googling “where to buy pepper pants.”
  • Barb spun many yarns of the days when the glass was lower and pucks where chucked out into the crowd with greater frequency. “One time I saw a lady get hit in the side of the head. Man, was there a lot of blood.” She looked kind of AROUSED by this memory, though.

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  • Barb took this terrible picture of me and posted it on Facebook but luckily, everyone was too busy fixating on the man behind us to notice my protruding Leno chin. Anyway, that man wound up having the best, most boisterous Ref heckles and he reminded me of the guy who got Kristy and I kicked out of the Pittsburgh Passion game two summers ago. Barb and I bonded with him and his wife later in the game as they openly and loudly complained of the girls behind them who hadn’t stopped talking about everything but the game from the moment they arrived. “I feel like I’m in Charlie Brown Town. ‘Mwahmwahmwah mwah mwah'” We were laughing so hard, and then later Barb was like, “What was he talking about, anyway?” GOD BARB, try to follow along!
  • Speaking of errant pucks! One flew into the netting near our seats and Barb instinctively ducked. “I SAW THAT! I SAW YOU DUCK!” some old man ridiculed her as he walked past our seats. “God, tell the whole arena, why don’t you,” Barb muttered. “God Barb, it’s like it’s your first hockey game,” I said, getting in one last jab while she was down.

  • When Barb was taking me home, she meant to pull into the church parking lot across the street from my house but undershot the entrance and instead drove into the grass. “Oh my god, I”m so sorry!” she cried. “Are you literally apologizing to God since this is His house?” I asked. But she was just apologizing to me, it turns out, probably because she didn’t want this to go on my blog. YOU’RE WELCOME, BARB!

God, what a great night. I got to see Malkin score two goals (I LOVE HIM, HE REMINDS ME OF MY CAT DON; RIP DON), and laugh at all the ridiculous things Barb said.  Thank you, Barb! You’re the best!

Apr 182021
 

Hello and welcome back to the Erin Can Read Bookz show. In this episode, we’ll be recapping the second half of March which I can’t even remember anymore, but here we go!


9. Charming as a Verb – Ben Phillipe

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I apparently gave this a 4 but after having some time to let it simmer, I think it was more of a 3. Main dude Henri is trying hard to get into Columbia because he hasn’t yet realized that this is really his dad’s dream. Meanwhile, his school nemesis who also lives in his building blackmails him into helping her become more “social” because one of their teachers wrote her a college recommendation letter that mentioned her lack of social skills. Yadda yadda yadda, you know the drill. Of COURSE there is a conflict and I don’t want to give it away but it gave me so much anxiety and also has me dreading the college application process which is fast-approaching since freezing Chooch in a block of ember to keep him a smol child did not work.

10. Writers & Lovers – Lily King

Writers & Lovers

Completely blown away by this book. Legit gave a shit about the main character. Rooted for her so hard that I gave myself a headache. The writing IS SO RAW AND BEAUTIFUL. We’re following Casey, who I believe is in her early 30s, mourning the recent death of her mom, drowning in debt, working an emotionally abusive and toxic job as a waitress in some fancy restaurant in Boston, all while struggling to write a novel. There were parts of this book that gave me a visceral reaction, and by the end, I just put my head down and cried. Like C-R-I-E-D. Not because it was depressing or tragic, per se, but just…it was so real and I FELT THAT. I just want Casey to be happy, you know?

Also, this takes place in 1997 and it gave me strong pre-mumblecore vibes. I could picture it as an indie movie starring, I don’t know, Parker Posie or Hope Davis.

This book was totally my style.

11. Elatsoe – Darcie Little Badger

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This book was all over Booktube and it sounded interesting – it’s set in a world where the supernatural is present and known and our main character Elatsoe is tasked with solving the murder of her cousin and I liked that her parents were involved too!  I thought it was cute and the dialogue was sweet and snappy and even made me laugh a few times, but I was also kind of bored. I think I would have loved this a lot if I read it as a young teen though! The ghost dog was e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

We get a lot of Native American mythology taught to us in this, which was interesting. Also, the main character is a 17-year girl who is asexual and I think that is fucking amazing. But at the end of the day, I was just the wrong demographic for this book.

12.  Too Good to Be True – Carola Lovering

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Oh shit this hooked me from the start and I was so excited about it! I love books with multiple narratives, especially when it’s not immediately clear how everyone is connected, and one of the narratives was even set in the past so that was extra intriguing!

I have a pretty low bar for domestic thrillers because I don’t really go into that genre expecting to be blown away by the writing. I just want to be entertained! And this one did entertain me, until the last quarter. I absolutely hated how it ended. It was so unbelievable (and I know, most thrillers are super far-fetched!) but this one was even far-fetched in the way some of the characters reacted to/handled the conflict. I really just didn’t buy it at all.

Also, I pretty much hated everyone in this book, so I really didn’t care who came out on top.

13. Memorial – Bryan Washington 

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We’re following two guys, Mike and Benson, who are at a crossroads in their relationship. The book is split into two parts: Mike’s POV and Benson’s POV. It’s uncomfortable, sad, sometimes light-hearted, but by the end of the book, I was kind underwhelmed. I don’t necessarily need novels to be wrapped up nicely with a bow and a gift tag by the last page, but this one was just kind of like…pointless to me? I really really really loved Mike’s mom who visits from Japan, and the quiet relationship she forms with Benson while Mike is back in Japan spending time with his dad. I really thought that that part of the book would have been my favorite, because I love when books are set outside of the US, but Memorial just didn’t leave a lasting impression on me and I am sad because I really expected to LOVE IT LOVE IT.

14. The Project – Courtney Summers

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After obsessing over Summers’ last book, Sadie, I was highly anticipating the release of The Project. SADLY, it was a dud for me. The writing itself was wonderful – Summers is a fantastic writing – but the characters and story just wasn’t it, sir. And I was shocked by how bored I was because it was about A CULT and one girl trying to save her older sister from their hold on her.

The cover is pure art though, isn’t it??

15. A Pho Love Story – Loan Le

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This is a very modern Romeo & Juliet retelling: the son and daughter of two rival pho restaurants meet in high school and fall in love, but have to keep it a secret from their families. Turns out, the rivalry predates the restaurants and the reveal was actually my favorite part of the book because the adults were fascinating characters and I would LOVE to read a spin-off featuring both sets of parents!

This book was just really cute with perfectly placed dollops of heaviness, Vietnamese culture, and LOTS OF FOOD DESCRIPTIONS so get a snack ready before you sit down with this one!

16. They Never Learn – Layne Fargo

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A book about a female serial killer? OH HELL YES. Told from dual POVs, this was wonderfully fast-paced, infuriating, with a twist I wasn’t expecting. Super entertaining and a quick read. I was so happy I ended the month on a high note and it also gave me a much-needed booster shot of GIRL POWER.

Apr 162021
 

I’m really sad as I sit here writing this post about the wonderfully warm & sunny weekend, because it’s like 45 degrees and drizzly out. Womp womp.

But the weekend was so wonderfully warm and sunny! Henry and I went out to some flower places on Saturday (previously mentioned) and bought some flowers and pots. As we were checking out, one of the plant ladies said to us in a very school marm-y tone, “You know these can’t be planted yet right?” I was slowly shaking my head no as Henry was emphatically insisting in his Confident White Man voice that of course he knows this, he was in the SERVICE, for shit’s sake! He knows everything!

Regardless of what Henry allegedly knows, I appreciate going to these types of plant places where the employees actually know what they’re doing and will teach you shit. I also appreciate that the pandemic made me care about my yard. In the billion years I have lived here, last year was the first year we ever planted anything and I’m excited to make it look even nicer this year now that we already have a base to piggyback off of! Apparently, Blake and Haley are taking initiative with their side this year (last year, we just took it upon ourselves to plant flowers on their half too) so now I’ve turned it into a secret, one-sided competition, just like with the cat Instagrams.

We went to this one roadside farm stand thing and the guy kept pressuring us to try an Amish fry pie like I really needed “pressured” into that, the hardest part was choosing which filling I wanted! Ultimately, we went with cherry and as we were walking out the dude was like YOU’LL BE BACK FOR MORE FRY PIES and I mean, it was pretty good but I’d rather drive to a real Amish land and get a fry pie straight from the source, not off the side of Rt. 51. That’s just me though.

I don’t remember what else we did on Saturday. Probably fuck all. I think I went for lots of walks and annoyed the squirrels.

The next day, we went to a different plant place but this time Chooch came with us which was a rarity because he never likes going out with us anymore, but he wanted to get his own plants so whatever.

My dad inexplicably has one of these in his backyard!

We had a lot of fun picking out flowers that can’t  be planted in the ground yet because of FROST (I’m learning so much) and then we went inside their market thing where Chooch and Henry both wanted cookies from the bakery so they had to ding the bell on  the counter even  though the lady was right there in the next room doing shit with pies (she was like, glazing them or something, IDK!). The broad was not very happy and sighed, “I’ll be right there” and then when she finally came out, she just stood there with this annoyed look that said “well??” so Chooch picked a wrapped cookie off the top of the counter and said, “I’ll have this” and I thought she was going to shoot through the ceiling.

“You didn’t have to ring—” she started to say, but then Henry interrupted her to tell her that he also wanted a cookie, but his was actually in the case so YES WE DID HAVE TO RING THE BELL, YOU SNOTTY PIE BITCH.

That was the only negative part of the whole day. We had great experiences in all the other parts of the store, like when Chooch and I went upstairs and he discovered a cabinet full of handmade soy candles and if you know my son, you know he is OBSESSED with candles. Now his bedroom smells like a delicious pecan pie, baked by the AMISH and not that SNOTTY PIE BITCH.

When Henry was paying, he said GO WAIT AT THE CAR!! but instead Chooch and I made ourselves comfy on the two adirondack chairs out front. I’m sure we looked like supreme douches.

Then we came home and Henry potted some of the flowers under Buddy’s supervision.

“OK plant the yella ones next, sir, I gots some nuts ta bury innit.”

Henry’s not afraid of no frost! There’s no telling him when to plant flowers! (That’s why they’re currently covered with plastic since it’s going to go below 40 degrees tonight, good one, HortiHenry.)

All of the Buddys and Mr. Gray Guys are loving the new….digs.

Apr 142021
 

You guys, SHINee is back again and I am IN LAHHHHHHHHHVE with this video and song and the outfits and the dancing and Onew’s sweet smile Taemin’s lavender hair and Key’s Prince-esque purple sequined get-up and Minho’s signature swagger, and and and….how is SHINee so consistently this good?? I shared it with my friend Nate yesterday at work and he said he reminded him of the underwater levels of Super Mario Bros which made me like it even more and then he made the fatal mistake of asking me what it means that this song is from the 7th full length repackage album which sent me spiraling into the abyss of Kpop facts and I’m sure he was sorry he asked but he *did* say that he was going to listen to more SHINee so I think it’s safe to say that we will be calling Nate a Shawol any day now.

This new song is also on the repackage and I really think it’s my new current favorite SHINee song – that Onew falsetto!!!! I have said before that if it wasn’t for Taemin, Onew would be my SHINee bias. His voice is not talked about enough:

Area brings me to tears. This is so signature SHINee, my eyes are actually burning right now help me. I keep saying “Alexa, play it again” like I’m in a trance.

In semi-related news, Henry and I went to get a new car last night. We have been a one-car family for, well, forever because pretty much right after Henry moved in with me a million years ago, he totaled his car and then we just always had one which actually hasn’t been too much of an inconvenience since we were always either working opposite shifts and then I was able to easily commute to my current job, plus we live in an area where most things are super accessible by walking. However, our current car is nearly paid off so we felt it was time to add a second and the next logical step to my transitioning lifestyle was clearly to go Korean.

So we chose a Hyundai Kona!

Henry and I had to go to the dealer last night to make it official, and before we left, I mused in half-seriousness that I needed to choose a purse that made me look more “mature” and Henry literally scoffed at this. I guess he didn’t notice what I had chosen, because when we got out of the car at the dealership, he said, “Really? That’s the one you went with?” I mean, considering my options are anything from souvenir theme park popcorn carriers, sparkly animal purses from the little girls section at Target, and bloody butcher knives, I think this was a pretty good choice!

It was between this one and my NCT127 Cherry Bomb purse that has the see-through window to show off my NCT enamel pins. Who has time for bland grown-up purses?!

Anyway, we already had the car picked out and did the financial stuff online beforehand, so it was mostly just a lot of sitting around and waiting for the finance guy to be ready. I was more than happy to let Henry do all the talking to the sales guy up until then because B-O-R-I-N-G but I got irrationally up in arms when it came to the point where the dude was setting up our Bluelink and needed a pin. He asked HENRY even though it had been stated numerous times that I was going to be the primary owner/driver of this car. I shot Henry an icy look that he completely failed to read, and he proceeded to give the guy the last 4 digits of his phone number to use. I sat there with my mouth hanging open and glared at Henry.

“What?” he mouthed to me.

The sales guy turned to his computer to start adding the info and I LITERALLY PUT MY FINGER IN THE AIR, leaned in, and said, “Actually? Can we use *-*-*-* instead?” The sales guy was like, “Oh, certainly!” while Henry groaned and said, “We could have changed it ourselves later!”

“Yeah but I want it to be this RIGHT NOW,” I sat back smugly. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless. Sometimes we don’t always the have big mallet on hand when smashing the patriarchy, and have to make due with taking out small gouges with a grapefruit spoon instead.

What does that even mean. I didn’t sleep well and have a headache.

Henry said he was bracing himself for me to blurt out my Ode to Korea when the finance guy asked us what made us choose a Hyundai, but I was too tired. We had been there for like 3 hours by then and I just wanted to stop scribbling my name everywhere (usually I LOVE TO WRITE MY NAME) and go home where Chooch was pouting because of course I texted him while we were there and told him we wee actually unable to get a new car after all because having a kid mean fucking with their emotions constantly (oh no, is someone going to call CPS on me again??).

Anyway, after being the last fucking people left in that place, we drove home with two cars. And because this happened smack in the middle of a new SHINee comeback, I decided to name my new car Jinki, after Onew. (Onew is his stage name, Lee Jin-ki is his actual Korean name.)

We are tentatively going to venture back into the world of road trips here soon, once we’re fully vaccinated so we will definitely be getting a lot of use out of Jinki! Also, I haven’t had a white car since my very first car – my beloved Eagle Talon, Cassie Lane!

I gotta get some SHINee accoutrements for this pretty boy.

Awkward photos. HNC was outside and I wanted to hurry up before the obliggy “YINZ GIT A NEW CAR?” convo happened.

I’m fully prepared for our Cruze to shit the bed now because isn’t that how life always works?

Apr 122021
 

Hello. I read a bunch of books in March. These are the books that I read.

  1. Super Fake Love Song – David Yoon

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I love David Yoon. I read his book “Frankly In Love” last year and adored it so I could not WAIT to pick this one up. Classic “boy likes girl, girl thinks boy is someone he’s not, hilarity and cringe ensues” young adult romp but David Yoon writes characters that feel so real, it makes the trope feel fresh.

2. If I Disappear – Eliza Jane Brazier

If I Disappear

I was really excited for this. I mean, get a load of that cover! And the plot? A true crime podcast host goes off the grid and her number one fan GOES TO HER HOMETOWN to search for her? Unfortunately, it just didn’t do it for me. I did not feel thrilled, nor did I care about a single character. It just lacked tension. However, it’s being developed into a series, I guess, so maybe I will check that out because like I said, the synopsis seemed very compelling to me.

3. Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinborough

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OK, speaking of books-to-TV, this one was recently made into a Netflix show and I am super glad I read it before watching it because this was a motherfucking TRIP. I mean, you have got to REALLY suspend disbelief with this one or else you will probably just hate it. But I was really into this and by the time I got to to the end, I was laughing out loud and screaming WHAT? Not because it was hilarious, but because it was a WILD RIDE. I was thoroughly entertained!

I did start to watch the series but it was so similar to the book that it felt kind of like I was just wasting my time since I had *just* finished reading the book. Although, I might just go ahead and skip to the last episode because I’m interested in how that was lifted from page to screen.

Anyway, if you like super cray domestic thrillers, try this one lol.

4. Smash It! – Francina Simone

Smash It! (Smash It! #1)

A fresh take on the classic “bucket list” trope, written by a well-loved Booktuber. I needed a fun and upbeat audiobook to listen to one weekend when I was going out for a walk and this book did a fine job of distracting and entertaining me but I have to tell you a secret. The day I started listening to this book, it was a windy but super sunny and beautiful Saturday. Henry and Chooch had left to go pick up takeout from a new African restaurant and I was like I AM GOING TO GO FOR A NICE LONG WALK AND ENJOY THIS EARLY SPRING WEATHER, BITCHES so I left the house for a good hour at least and when I came back, THE FRONT DOOR WAS WIDE OPEN. And we do not  have a screen door anymore so if the front door is open, WELCOME TO MY HOUSE, STEP RIGHT UP, COME ON IN! I have no idea how long the door was open, but after I tentatively stepped in and yelled HELLO IS ANYONE HERE, the cats came out of the basement looking scared as hell, like, “OMG LADY A GHOSTESS BLEW OPEN THE DOOR WHILE YOU WERE GONE AND WE HERE ALL ALONE WITH IT AHHHHH!!!”

Of course this happened because I do not have a house key (Henry had a new one made for me and I lost it and then I found it and then I lost it again lol) so when I leave the house I have to leave it unlocked and apparently I also did not shut the door all the way either so, that’s how that happened.  Anyway, I 100% did not tell Henry about this but then the secret was causing me physical pain so one night last week when we were on a walk, I blurted out, “SOMETHING HAPPENED.” And then I told him and he just murmured, “ohmygod.”

So now I will always associate this book with that. Lol. I’m so good at book reviews!

5. The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes 

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When I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with this book called The Westing Game, which was about a millionaire who died and named a bunch of seemingly unrelated people in his Will, but they had to play a game in order to win the inheritance. LOVED that book and to this day, I still have an urge to swish with Bourbon when I have a toothache. This was a super valuable lesson I learned at the ripe age of like….8.

Anyway! This book is similar: super fucking rich guy kicks it and leaves everything to some rando teenager but of course there is a game involved and four super hot grandsons to work with. Not as good as The Westing Game by any means, but this was FUN and basically just what I  needed at that time – a nice, fun read that wasn’t going to add additional stress or heartache to my life. Evidently, this is going to be a series so I will definitely pick up book two when it comes out!

6. & 7. Heartstopper, Vol. 1 & 2

I’m not an avid graphic novel reader but I am always hearing about how great this series is, and having read Oseman’s “Radio Silence,” I’m already moderately familiar with her.  So finally, I requested Volume 1 from the library and proceeded to accidentally devour it in one sitting. THE HYPE IS REAL. If something like this was available when I was in high school, wow. I would have loved it even more but even as a crusty old broad, I was basically swooning as I flipped my way through this. What an adorable, realistic exploration of sexual identity and love for teenagers.

Charlie and Nick for-fucking-ever. I can’t wait to read Volumes  3 and 4!

Oh!! And this is also being turned into a series!! I CAN’T WAIT.

8. The Lost Apothecary – Sarah Penner

The Lost Apothecary

The book cover and concept of The Lost Apothecary are fabulous, but the actual book was…it just wasn’t it for me. Basically we have some broad who catches her husband in an affair right before they’re set to take a 10-year anniversary trip to London so she’s like “fuck it, I’m going by myself” and while there she goes “mudding” in the Thames and unearths a super old apothecary jar and then sets off to find out more about it while rediscovering her dreams that were “lost” after she was married.

Then we travel back in time to some Victorian era where we follow the broad who runs the secret apothecary that exists for women to kill the shitty men in their lives. I really wanted more from this book. The characters were so flat to me and the chapters where we went back in time were so boring where I expected them to be the juicy parts, you know?

I just didn’t care for this book, sadly. But maybe you will!


OK, that’s the first half. I think I read about 6 more book in March so I will recap those ones later this week because right now my stomach hurts and I want to watch some coaster videos before hopefully being well enough to exercise and probably watching the new SHINee video 18 more times, wow, now you know my Monday evening agenda.

Apr 112021
 

I have always been a super emotional person, for example, if I have no choice but to return a cart to an empty stall, I will dwell on it for hours, feeling SO BAD that I left an INANIMATE OBJECT alone in a parking lot, never mind the fact that other carts probably joined it before I even pulled out of the parking lot. I’m just super sensitive I guess – but then I can also be super callous and uncaring toward people so welcome to my contrary universe.

However, I find that it’s definitely getting worse as I age. I woke up Thursday morning to what I anticipated to just be a normal day. I was working late shift, so I had some time in the morning to take a walk, read a little, watch some coaster videos on YouTube, etc. While I was doing the latter, I heard my neighbor Ruth call out, “Yinz guys cutting down that tree?” and I looked outside to see this piece of shit truck blocking the entrance to the church lot across from my house:

And oh yes, they were preparing to cut down that big, glorious, grandfatherly tree you see pictured to the right. This is a tree that I have spent the last 20 years of my life admiring in the spring, summer and fall (and ignoring in the winter, lol). I have taken pictures of Chooch next to that tree. Hid from Henry behind that tree. JUST THAT MORNING I WAS WAVING TO BUDDY THE SQUIRREL AS HE SAT IN THAT TREE!!!

Something in me snapped and I just lost my shit. I tried calling Henry multiple times but he didn’t answer so I proceeded to text him: 911!!! When he finally called me back in a panic, I straight up wailed, “HENRY THEY’RE CUTTING DOWN THAT TREEEEEEEEEE” and then I started SOBBING and couldn’t finish because my throat was doing that EMOTIONAL WOMAN BREAKING DOWN constricting thing.

I eventually managed to gurgle out, “Gary and Sons, whoever the fuck THEY are!” when Henry asked me WHO WAS CUTTING DOWN THE TREE.

Then he of course started to White Knight them, must be hard carrying around the weight of all that CHAIN MAIL constantly, isn’t it Henry?

“Well, they’re only doing what they were paid to do. It’s probably rotted,” he said in the calm tone of a white man who does not get bothered by anything because the world is his motherfucking oyster.

“NO YOU’RE ROTTED!” I cried and hung up.

Then I started pacing wildly. What could I do?! There must be something! Run across the street and throw my arms around the trunk in defense?! The one guy had a chainsaw and I did not want to get close to that (haunted house flashbacks) so instead I kept storming out onto the front porch and shooting them my patented DISGUSTED SCOWLS while flipping them off. But all the while, I could NOT stop crying. I’m not sure if this was something bigger, maybe I was subconsciously holding onto to some shit that needed purged by way of my tear ducts, or maybe I just really am the president of the Tree Huggers Club, but I was a legit MESS that morning. As they were packing up their forestry murder kit, I went out to get the mail and said loudly, “OH YEAH THAT LOOKS REAL FRUCKING GREAT. ASSHOLES!” They all turned and looked at me and I glared at them but they sadly didn’t burst into flames so I guess I am losing my touch.

I had a video meeting that afternoon at work and I was STILL doing the post-cry sniffle-shudder right before it started but luckily I am ace at smiling my way through this shit but you know how after you cry really hard for an extended amount of time, your face feels so heavy and swollen? Yeah, I had that, bigly. My head was THROBBING through the whole meeting and when it was my turn to talk, I very nearly almost blurted out SOME ASSHOLES CUT DOWN A TREE TODAY AND I’M SAD but I held it together and instead just talked about my squirrel obsession – was that really the less crazy route though? Maybe.

We drove past GARY AND SONS (I almost left them a terrible Google review but I had no energy left after all that crying) which is apparently run out of a house on the other side of the church WHERE THEY JUST FELLED THE TREE, and OF FUCKING COURSE they have a giant Trump 2020 flag proudly flying at full staff in their junk yard.

Fuck you, Gary, and your shit-eating sons, too.

Side note: this is the same tree that was damaged in a storm last summer, which led to Henry and HNC getting to be traffic-directing HEROES.

In addition to this TRULY TERRIBLE TALE OF TREESON (??), I was also angry because Henry got his first vaccination on Tuesday. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled that we are now both halfway to some semblance of immunity & normalcy, but his next shot is scheduled for two days BEFORE MY NEXT ONE, even though I got my first one the week before!! I was SO ANGRY about this that I sent an angry text to my work group chat – three of got the first shot at the same vaccination site, a day apart. Amber replied and said that for some reason, we were all scheduled to come back in 4 weeks instead of 3, even though we all got the Pfizer one. Then Nate said that his wife was also curious about this so she looked it up and they did it this way for “logistical reasons,” whatever that means and look, I know I should just be happy that I was able to get the damn vaccine IN THE FIRST PLACE but I am super competitive with Henry and this feels like TOTAL INJUSTICE.

When he came home that day, I was still very mad and pretended like I was going to punch him on his vaccine-spot, and that is when I noticed that not only is he going to be fully vaccinated TWO DAYS BEFORE ME, he also got a WONDER WOMAN BANDAID ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING?!!? All I got was some weird circular window sticker thing!!

What a fucking week.

Apr 102021
 

Henry and I went to get plant stuff earlier today in an area that’s about 45 minutes away from us and as we drove past this one shopping center, I casually mentioned that I have never been there. Henry said that’s untrue, that we went to a Subway there once and just like that, super vivid memories came flooding back and I screamed, “OH YEAH IT WAS WHEN WE WENT TO THAT ONE WEIRD PLAYGROUND AND BLAKE AND ALISHA WERE WITH US AND THEN WE WENT TO TCBY” and Henry was like “…………………”

I distinctly remembered the pictures I took that day and found them on Flickr. They’re from August 2009 and somehow, I NEVER posted them on here, nor did I even write about the day because I guess this was back when I had a life and didn’t blog every single fucking thing I did because I had a better understanding back then of the idea that NO ONE CARES.

Well, since I have no energy for anything else right now (I expended a lot of it on the squirrels, picking out flowers, and exercising, aren’t you jealous of my full life?), here are the pictures I took that day because Summer of 2009 Chooch was so fucking cute (and sweaty) and also Blake wasn’t a dad yet which is wild and now Alisha lives in ARKANSAS and probably does not miss me making her pose for stupid pictures.

So proud of these ground apples.

Seriously though this playground has a certain type of vibe, yikes.

Well, that was a fun trip down memory lane. Maybe I should start taking out my “real” camera more often like the olden days.

And speaking of Dance Gavin Dance (see: Blake’s shirt), their singer Tilian Pearson has a new solo album out and this video is making me CRAVE A DGD CONCERT.

Apr 092021
 

I really love Easter so much and this year’s bunny day did not disappoint. The weather was perfection (in the low 60s and sunny!) and we actually all got along even though Henry’s chewing and breathing was really beyond extra that day.

First, we had to wake up Chooch and give him his “basket.” Chooch is definitely my kid, in that he is nearly 15 and still wants TOYS and FUN and all the things his little niece and nephew next door are enjoying as toddlers. We decided to fill a small basket with what Chooch claims to be the only sponges he can use to wash the dishes which is clearly just an excuse to not have to wash the dishes. I plopped in one piece of candy for good measure and then at the last minute, I added a bath bomb that he had gotten earlier that day when he was at the store with Henry (not pictured).

Of course it took us forever to get him to wake his ass up. I left the fake basket on the dining room table for him to find, totally exposed so there was no fun involved. He actually took it all in stride, and laughed a lot, so I’m not sure if it’s a reflection of the GREAT JOB Henry and I have done raising him that he didn’t act like a petulant shit when that was “all he got,” or if he’s been conditioned over the last decade to know that there was something better in store if he just rides it out—probably the latter, lol.

Then I needed to get him BACK into his room because Henry left DOLL on his computer desk with one lone Easter egg. OMG for a kid who never wants to leave his room, it was surprisingly hard to get him to go back into it! Granted, the reason I used was probably a bad one: I told him that our new Easter tradition was going to Church with Blake, Haley and the kids and that he needed to go change into something nice, which made shit hit the fan. he became INEXPLICABLY distraught at the prospect of suddenly having to go to church after all these years of living in the lap of heathenism.

Finally got him to go into his room, where he hurled himself down on his bed and proceeded to cry some more. God, this kid!! We should have kept him in Catholic school! Why did we ever pull him out? Oh right, my blog. LOLOLOL.

Anyway, I had to point out DOLL to him just to speed shit up and that set him off even more. “OMG YOU MADE ME GO THROUGH ALL OF THIS JUST SO I COULD SEE DOLL?? UGH!” and he stormed off back downstairs without even realizing that DOLL contained an Easter egg, because DUMB HENRY stuck the egg up her dress instead of just setting it in her lap like I told him to, so then I had to carry DOLL downstairs and thrust her at Chooch, who refused to take her and instead gave me this bewildered look, like “I’m used to you acting insane but you are being TRULY STRANGE this morning” so then I had to EXTRACT the egg from DOLL’s dress and chuck it at Chooch, who finally started to realize that this was an effort to make Easter fun for a surly teen. Except that now DOLL’s egg message didn’t make sense since he was supposed to open it IN HIS ROOM, but now he was in the dining room so he asked, “All of the eggs are hidden in the basement?” Ugh. This dumb scavenger hunt WAS NOT THAT COMPLICATED.

We only hid 8 eggs the night before, just on the first floor, so this hunt should have been over relatively quickly but instead my DENSE SON dragged it out for nearly an hour because he is sooooo obtuse! We were giving him all these dumb hints and he was just standing in the middle of the room, looking lost.

Although, to be fair, one of my hints was “Something you could find at the circus” and he cried THAT COULD BE LITERALLY THIS ENTIRE ROOM!

Anyway, all of the eggs contained a piece of Russian candy and a “coupon” for things like “trip to the Columbus Zoo” and “Dad takes out garbage for month of April.” (In response to that one, Henry wrote out a coupon that says “Geocaching with mom, no less than two hours!”

I hate geocaching.

After he found all of his idiotic eggs, he was sitting on the church pew (oh the irony) watching TV so I ran upstairs to get his real basket, which I’m not entirely sure he was expecting after going through the rigmarole of collecting Easter coupons.

I wish I still got an Easter basket! I am fully planning on giving Chooch an Easter basket (and any future partner/spouse he might wind up with) for the rest of my life.

Later that afternoon, we drove out to Economy Park, which we haven’t to been to in quite some time but the playground is cool because it has this big electronic game that Chooch and I always think we are obsessed with until we get there and remember that it’s broken. The road to the pavilions is closed so we had to park at the playground and walk for about a half mile (??? I’m really bad with measuring distance!), all of which was without Henry who had to go back to the car when we made it out of the parking lot because he forgot the BUNNY PLATE I bought specifically for our EASTERgayo sandwiches, so he ended up being way behind us on the walk which was hilarious to me and Chooch but probably actually super peaceful for Henry.

You might remember that I deemed these sandwiches our “new Easter tradition” two Easters ago. They are based off the Inkigayo sandwich in South Korea, which is a multi-layered sandwich served in the cafeteria to idols performing at the Inkigayo weekly music show. The idols love them so much that various convenience stores in Korea attempted to recreate them and let me tell you, we ate some v. tasty ones on our last trip! Anyway, there are several variations floating around the Internet.

Here’s my OG post about it if you’re interested!

Easter 2019: Idol Sandwiches & Crappy Woodland Treasure

After lunch, I made these lugs pose for family pictures with me. I also *tried* to coordinate our clothes so we were all wearing Easter-y pastel shades, which made Chooch happy because it meant he could wear his pink/salmon hoodie and not A DRESSY SHIRT OMG BOO HOO.

 

You guys, we got Henry to jump!!

Oh man, what a GREAT DAY, honestly. I mean, I almost threw up on a spinny thing at the playground afterward, but it was still just a wonderful holiday. I love you, Easter.

Apr 072021
 

I know there are vocab purists out there that will argue that EVE only applies to the EVENING before whatever day, but I’m going to be talking about everything that happened on Saturday, pre-Easter, that was note-worthy OH WELL!

Don’t worry, there’s not too much to talk about, haha ugh covid.

In the morning, Henry and I went to some new Russian/Turkish/Easter European market that opened in Robinson. There is one right down the street from us too but this one is brand spanking new (I just literally realized that this refers to a doctor slapping a newborn?? Wow, tons of things suddenly make sense when you’re in your 40s, I guess) and 3x the size of the one by us. ALSO THE YOUNG GUY WORKING THERE WAS SO FUCKING CUTE.

I mean, they had lots of candy! We wanted to get some additional things for Chooch’s, Calvin’s, and Lily’s Easter baskets. (Henry, the laziest grandfather of all time, hadn’t even considered getting Calvin and Lily baskets, that was all me. See? I’m OK sometimes.) Hershey’s and whatever is all well and good but I do love adding some international candy flava to the holiday mix, yanno? I don’t think Calvin and Lily care yet (they just wanted their toys), but Chooch was like, “Fuck yeah, some kind of Russian juice box, thanks Easter Bunny!”

I bought a bag of these sugary corn curls based on the packaging alone, but holy shit are these GUD.

Literally thought these were BBQ-flavored marshmallows but Henry was like, “USE YOUR BRAIN, DUMDUM THOSE ARE FOR S’MORES.”

Wow.

But I bet somewhere in South Korea, you can find BBQ-flavored marshmallows.

Speaking of Korea, this joint had a decent Lotte Choco Pie selection!

I also bought some filberts, almonds, and pecans for my Buddys and Mr. Gray Guys! They LOVE filberts. The one Buddy takes them across the street and buries them at the church. Whatever makes you happy, Buddy. (It’s actually the Buddy that let me feed him outside the other day! I can tell which one he is because he has a little smattering of tawny spots on his left side by his butt, lol. I am so fucking pathetic. Please send help. Or a friend. I need a friend. A human one.

Later that afternoon, Henry and I went for a stroll at our favorite cemetery and it was OK except that I was wearing a pair of TOMS that I got last summer and hadn’t yet broken in, in an attempt to, you know, break them in, and my one heel was sah-creem-ing. Then we went to pick up our Trinidadian vegan Easter dinner from ShadoBeni, who introduced us to the famous Doubles a few years ago at a farmer’s market and I had been obsessed ever since. How lucky Pittsburgh veg/vegans are to have this awesome guy here cookin’ up delicious meatfree Trinidad cuisine!  There was no way that I could wait an entire day to eat this so Henry prepared it that evening for a pre-Easter dinner and it was ALL SO GOOD but hoo boy, I had to roll myself away from the table afterward.

You guys. Doubles.

OH YES.

It is so messy and sloppy and spicy and ugh, just SO FILLING AND DELICIOUS!

This was after Chooch and I were like YOU ARE CHEWING SO LOUD, lol. Ah, family dinners.

Apr 062021
 

You guys. My patience and obsessive nature finally paid off yesterday. One of the Buddys let me hand-feed him! Normally, the brown squirrels (never the gray ones; they’re super skittish) will accept snacks from my hand through the window but I wanted the challenge of feeding them from outside of my house.

Two weekends ago, I was getting RULL close to success but the Buddy I had targeted kept doing the handshake-fake out on me every single time, like to the point where I expected him to run his hand paw through his hair fur.

Yesterday on my lunch break, I was sitting on the porch, trying to coax my favorite of all the Buddys to TAKE THE FUCKING PECAN when Haley came outside to water her plants. She started laughing at me because this is like A Thing now, not a secret, and I wailed, “I AM DETERMINED!”

“I mean, he’s sitting right there on the porch with you so he’s clearly not afraid of you, you’ll get it!” Haley said, in the encouraging words of a True Mom. And you know what? I took her words and ran with them and I DID INDEED GET IT!

It turns out he didn’t want a pecan – he wanted a WALNUT! Good thing I have a veritable squirrel buffet inside my house to choose from. We currently have: peanuts, walnuts, pecans, filberts, and various types of seeds. Don’t worry – I always check first to make sure what I’m feeding them is safe! For instance, not all peanuts are good for them!

Squirrel watching has really kept me going through the pandemic. Being home so much, especially WORKING FROM HOME, has been pretty depressing but these little guys are so entertaining and I don’t care what anyone says–they’re my best Buddys. Sometimes when I feed them through the window, their tails brush my hand and IT IS THE BEST FEELING I LOVE THEM SOOOOO MUCH OMG HELP ME I NEED A LIFE.

This picture cracks me up – squirrel soirée! Also, don’t mind the messy porch/yard. Henry started redoing the flower-area and true to form, he moved on to other things before finishing. (He will read this and start yelling about how IT IS TOO SOON TO PLANT FLOWERS AND HE WAS JUST GETTING IT READY blah blah OK Farmer Henry’s Almanac.)

 

Apr 042021
 

Happy Easter Sunday to those who care about that holiday! And if not, happy beautiful spring day in April!

We had a lot of quality time together as a family today (which is happening less and less the older Chooch gets – ugh, teenagers!) and I will definitely be recapping our Easter happenings soon. But first, here are some pictures I took after our Easter lunch at a playground!

Hey, it might not be cherry blossoms in South Korea, but these are still beautiful and give me HOPE THAT THINGS ARE GONNA GET BETTER.

He looks so freaking tall here and I hate it. Remember when he was *this* small on Easter??:

Petal Face.

(That’s my beloved sea-glass from Busan around my neck, FYI!)

Wish I could always use flowers as a mask! This picture was actually an accident but I kept it because I look v. srs. which was 100% not how I actually felt all day. Also, you can see my eyebrow piercing scar, which I often forget exists but this was a nice reminder and now I’m reliving that ER visit in my mind and cracking up. I think I have referenced it here once a long time ago but perhaps I will write an updated account of my eyebrow-piercing-gone-bad, because it was a Bad Idea from start to finish—lemme know if you want the story, haha. I mean, I have nothing else to blog about!

My signature dumb, unflattering pose.

Today was just really nice. Easter continues to be my second favorite holiday (behind Halloween, obv.).

Apr 032021
 

Hello to everyone on this fine Good Friday! Easter is my second favorite holiday after Halloween, not for Jesus-rising reasons, but I think mostly because Easter = spring even though it was 30 degrees here in Pittsburgh yesterday AND SNOWING, OK April. So even though I’m working dreaded Late Shift today, I’m still in pretty good spirits knowing that we have a pre-Easter Trinidadian vegan meal to pick up tomorrow, and we’ll hopefully be noshing on our now-traditional Eastergayo sandwiches on Sunday, hopefully in some lovely forest-type of setting?? HOPEFULLY? HOPEFULLY I CAN SAY HOPEFULLY MORE TIMES IN THIS POST??

(HELLO, THIS IS ERIN FROM THE NEXT DAY, STOPPING BY TO SAY THAT I DID NOT GET VERY FAR WITH THIS POST YESTERDAY SO NOW IT’S SATURDAY AND LET’S SEE WHAT WE CAN ACCOMPLISH.)

  • Last Saturday morning was super nice and sunny so Henry and Blake went outside to do yardwork. At first I was like NO THANKS because I wasn’t feeling social, but then I heard Blake and Henry start to gossip so I was like DID SOMEONE SAY LASCIVIOUS THINGS WITHOUT ME? So I went outside to eavesdrop. UNFORCH, Blake’s kids were out there and immediately latched on to me because, come on, I’m the super mysterious cool girl next door. I’m pretty sure they literally have no idea who I am in relation to them, but that’s OK because I’m too young to be a grandma anyway. I mean, we were playing some fun make-believe zoo game and that was cool but I was desperate to get in on the adult convo. I may have had my own thoughts to share, depending on the subject! I AM A GROWN-UP TOO! Except that you would never know it because I am literally forever at the kids table. Then Buddy made an appearance and I was like “oooh it’s Buddy!” and got up to go play with him but Calvin was like, “No come back and play with me!” and I was like “BUT SQUIRRELS!” and yeah.
  • Speaking of Blake, he and his wife Haley had a new baby on Monday! His name is Milo. Haley’s mom was staying at their house watching Calvin and Lily, so we were all outside playing on Tuesday, waiting for them to come home (baby turnaround time is a lot quicker these days, it seems?!). I found a bunch of Chooch’s old action figures and took them outside for Calvin and Lily. One of them was a muscular man with a big shark head. Calvin kept asking me who it was and I was like “the fuck if I know” but in a more kid-friendly fashion, and then Chooch was like “I DON’T KNOW, STOP TALKING TO ME” and Haley’s mom was like, “Surely you must know, it was something you played with at some point!” but he insisted he had no idea and honestly, it might as well have been the first time seeing this damn thing for me. Then Blake and Haley came home with the baby and as Blake walked past our porch, he shouted apropos of nothing, “Ooh, Street Shark!” Of-fucking-course Blake would know.

  • Recently, one of the bigger names in the kpop pin community passed away. She was an American expat in South Korea and made some really stunning pins, and while I never had an online relationship with her, I still knew her name and was actually shocked to find out that she had died. Someone started a hashtag for her and asked everyone to post a picture of their kpop fan lightsticks last week, using the hashtag. I was honored to have a chance to contribute to this online outpouring of love and I only hope that her family and close friends were privy to this so they could see how much of an impact she had on the kpop community.
  • I’m glad that April Fool’s Day doesn’t seem to be a thing anymore.

  • Drew’s face was me after doing two noon-8:30 late shifts in a row. I don’t know why, but these late shifts really do a number on my sanity. I was blessed with two relatively quiet nights but last night, one of my co-workers asked me to help him with something at 8:27 and I was like YOU ARE SO LUCKY YOU HAVE BEEN NICE TO ME FOR THE LAST 11 YEARS.
  • This morning, Henry and I went to a new Russian/European market for some last-minute Easter basket stuff. We got Turkish cotton candy and now I am disgusted at the SHIT that we have been fed at American carnivals and circuses all this time! Um, I guess I will talk about that in a future weekend recap though.

BRB WALKING TO THE LIBRARY TO PICK UP SOME BOOOOOOOOOOOKS!!!

  • We babysat for a bit Thursday evening (it was supposed to be Henry and Chooch doing the entertaining since I was working late shift but guess who’s more fun and Calvin knows it?). Here’s a picture of Uncle Chooch being completely put-out and knowing exactly how it felt for me and Henry every time Young Chooch wanted to “play” Mouse Trap, lol, fuck that game.
  • Matt Gaetz did it.
  • I didn’t have too many side effects after my first Pfizer shot – just a mild headache and an ache at the injection site that actually got PRETTY uncomfortable later that night and hurt when I lifted my arm for most of the next day. But I am preparing for the worst after I get my second dose. I requested off work for the day of and after already so hopefully it’s approved and I can be miserable on the couch with the cats all day. I’m low-key a little scared! But thinking of having somewhat of a “normal” summer & not potentially dying from Covid is all I care about right now. I was Kakao’ing with my friend Kyoung who lives in Korea and he was asking me about how the situation is here currently and I was like, “Well, there are still a lot of people who won’t wear masks and are therefore making it worse for the rest of us normal, sensible people” and he is like, FLABBERGASTED that there are Americans who are still anti-mask and his response to that was “They can have their freedoms after corona!” EXACTLY. WHEN WILL AMERICA WAKE THE FUCK UP.
  • Henry found this timelapse he took the first time we were in Korea and only thought to send it to me last week, wow, thanks.
  • In case you guys were wondering about what I dream about now, it’s feeding squirrels and animals that either shouldn’t be in my backyard (sea otters) or don’t exist IRL (miniature gray-boxy-furry alligator things on leashes), also men dressed in unicorn onesies. (Yes, I was feeding the unicorn man, too. Carrots, if you were curious.)
  • In case you were also wondering about my current culinary quests, I recently decided that I was grown-up enough to tackle the creation of smoothie bowls on my own, unsupervised. Henry went out and bought me a ton of healthy, vegan ingredients, powders, mix-ins, etc and even bought a better blender-thingie for me to use and can you guess how many times I’ve used it since this all started two weeks ago? If you guessed any number other than zero, then 딩 동 댕! Sorry Henry, but I am just too chicken to use this damn thing! So instead, I just wait for him to come home from work and he makes me smoothie bowls for dinner. His presentation is lacking though. And the one he made me last night was brown so I thought he went the chocolate PB route but no, it was acai and pineapple?! It was so hard for me to get past the color, knowing it wasn’t chocolate! It never tasted like anything other than “brown” after that.

Well, it’s almost time for me to eat some pre-Easter Trinidadian vegan foods so I will wish you all a wonderful Easter and leave you with a picture of Penelope and Jackson Wang’s newest MV!

THE 80S VIBES WITH THIS ONE!!

Apr 012021
 

I didn’t have to log on to work until noon today so I decided that I was going to turn off my alarm and actually try to sleep in for once. But then my Boss Amber texted me at 7am and said that Spartan Pharmacy had opened up their vaccination site today for ALL RESIDENTS 16+. I was like “LOL OK, we’ll see” because Janna had also recently sent me something similar and that sucker was booked up before I could even click the link.

BUT THIS ONE WORKED!! I was able to snag an appointment for later that morning!! Screw sleeping in, I’m getting that sweet pfizzy arm cocktail, boooiiiii!!

Chooch is on Spring Break this week so I dragged him with me for moral support. I mean, he sat in the car the whole time and watched YouTube videos, but knowing that I had someone waiting for me was ENOUGH FOR ME, YOU KNOW?

The vaccination station was actually at a firehall that my ex-friend Keri had her wedding reception in back in 2003 and I kept periodically cracking up over this as I stood in line for nearly an hour, through bursts of snowfall and blustery winds. Of course the climate would revert back to winter vibes on April 1!

I was really impressed with how quickly the line moved though. There was very little “standing still,” and everyone mostly shuffled like the most lethargic zombies. Shockingly, nothing exciting or weird happened the entire time I was standing in line, which is outrageous because when have I stood in line and not been, at the very least, bothered by something??? I think also, it’s been SO LONG since I’ve stood in a line so my threshold was pretty good. In fact, I kept pretending it was training for all of the roller coasters I’m going to be standing in line for this summer!!

(Yes, I know, just because I’ll be vaccinated doesn’t mean I can go hog wild! I will still be super smart about what I do and obviously I’ll be social distancing and still wearing a mask when necessary, which doesn’t bother me one bit!)

Anyway, once I reached the entrance, I started panicking because I could hear a volunteer up ahead telling everyone to make sure they had “1 and 3” of their consent forms but mine were 2 & 3?? I was starting to sweat at this point was waiting for her to sigh and slap a clipboard against my chest so I could fill out whatever form I was missing but she looked at what I had and was like “OK YOU’RE GOOD” and then from there it was like literally being led around like cattle. “Go see Dave, he’ll photocopy your license and insurance card.”

“Go wait at that table to sign in.”

“Go stand behind that tall guy in the puffy jacket.”

“Go to the lady with her arm raised.”

(This was when I finally got my coveted jab! It literally only took the amount of time needed to shrug out of my coat, sit down, tell the lady my age because I missed that question on the form, and then BAM DONE.)

“Take this card and stand by the green sign.”

“Here’s your next appointment. Go sit down for 15 minutes. If you feel OK, you can leave.”

I was dizzy from all the directions.

And then swirly and pfizzy from The Science.

Someone there said they liked my coat too and I was like “WELL ISN’T THIS JUST THE GREATEST DAY EVER!?” I was in such a great mood, and I even had enough time to take Chooch to Sheetz before logging on

I had to stand in the weirdest pose to get this, and apologies to Marcy (RIP!) for the headshot, but it is my favorite puncture wound of all time. (Well, maybe tied with the one I’ll be getting on April 29th!)