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.

Jun 042023

Canada’s Wonderland has been on my TO DO list ever since we became coaster thoosies. I have watched so many videos on this Cedar Fair park, so I was kind of surprised at how underwhelming this place was.

First of all, it has 17 coasters (three or four of those are kid coasters) but honestly only about 4 of those are re-ridable. In fact, I experienced some of the WORST coaster rides in the two days we were at Canada’s Wonderland.

We’ll get to that later. First, let’s do a quick recap of Day One.

We arrived at the park around 2, after driving all morning. This place is about 20-30 minutes past Toronto, I think? My immediate impression was that it was visually stunning. As soon as you walk through the entrance, you’re facing the iconic mountain and waterfall. That entrance is so dramatic and actually might have been one of the few parts of this joint that were actually better in person as opposed to what I had seen in videos.

Lookit! It’s so pretty and there are actually three coasters that interact with the mountain, and I loved all three of them.

Our first coaster of 2023 was actually one of the mountain coasters! It was a cute little family mine ride called Thunder Run, super short – it did two quick laps around a track inside the mountain with some lighting effects, but my favorite part was before the operator sent the train, she made everyone scream CHOO CHOO and you know I practically made my throat bleed with the sheer force of my CHOOing.

Also, I missed the memo that it was Purple Day, I guess. I actually did pack a purple shirt too, which I wore the next day, but it was more of a lavender so I guess I still lose.

Next was Wilde Beast, an old piece of shit woodie. FUCK THIS RIDE. Literally, this fucker set the tone for the rest of the day for me, and probably also Henry. But then difference between the two of us is that I will keep riding things because even though I don’t count credits, I want to ride the same coasters as Chooch especially because it’s the only TOGETHER TIME we have anymore since he is TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL when we’re home and usually only speaks to me in grunts and sneers. (Although he is being SUPER TALKATIVE to me this weekend because he has a project for school that he needs my help with and we will discuss this later.)

But seriously, this was one of the worst woodies I have ever ridden, and I have ridden Son of Beast and Blue Streak in Conneaut, both of which no longer exist. It was so rough, and that paired with the heat of the day and possibly being mildly dehydrated really sent me on a tailspin of nausea and pain that I couldn’t climb out of for the entire day. Trust me, it only got worse.

After this, Chooch and I got in line for the park’s shitty Vekoma boomerang, The Bat. Well, we attempted to get in line. But as we were walking through the switchbacks to get to the end of the line, I turned around to see that an entire group of people were cutting the line behind us instead of walking through the empty queue which I knew was going to happen but there were people in front of us, so Chooch and I didn’t want to be dicks and do that same thing (you know – going under the railing to bypass the empty switchbacks that you would need to walk down in order to get to the end). So by the time we made our way back to the end of the line, there were about 20 people who had cut in front of us but what really set me off was that even now that we WERE THERE AT THE END OF THE LINE, people were still jumping over the empty lines and cutting in front of us to join their fellow linejumpers who had previously cut the line. I just lost my mind and said OH WOW OK REALLY?? FUCK THIS and made Chooch get out of line with me. I’m sorry, but I’m not enduring that type of bullshit for A VEKOMA BOOMERANG. I knew we were coming back the next day and figured we’d just cross it off the list early before it got crowded, because for some unknown reason, these shit-loops are general public favorites.


I was in a foul mood at this point. Probably needed water. Definitely required a feeding. But was determined to persevere and try to get in as many coasters as we could on Day One, despite the crowds. (It wasn’t THAT crowded, actually but it was the fact that the people we were encountering all day weren’t exactly nice, dispelling that age-old Canadian stereotype. However, I think you can also argue that amusement parks in general bring out the absolute worst in people.)

The other thing that pissed me off was that CW’s wait times in the app were extremely off. It said that Yukon Striker was a minute wait so I figured, let’s just get in line for this because this is one of the park’s most popular rides and minutes seemed reasonable. Yeah, until you get so far into the line and realize that there is an entire second section of switchbacks that wasn’t visible at the ride entrance. I guess it wasn’t THAT bad but it was fucking hot and we were essentially cooking under a tent with a horde of strangers. None of them were blatantly terrible at least EXCEPT for this one dad that was a few people ahead of us who got on his phone halfway through the line and started DIRECTING the rest of his crew to his location. I HATE THAT.

I always hope that people in line won’t let the line jumpers through, but it almost never works out that way. In this case, it was the guy’s wife and teenage son, who were shrugging their way through the line with their recently-procured Beaver Tails (um, a delicious Canadian take on fried dough and one of the highlights of the day).

I was so pissed and proceeded to glare at the dad for the rest of our duration in the line. He looked like a Jersey Shore hothead, to be honest.

Other than that, the line wasn’t too horrible but I would say it was at least 20 minutes longer than the stupid app said it would be.

I don’t know that I would say it was worth the wait but it was definitely one of the best in the park, and as far as dive coasters go, I think it would be my #3 (I’ve only ridden 4, lol). Dive coasters just don’t really do it for me, but I so really like the one at Busch Gardens Williamsburg a lot.


My favorite part was actually the loose article bin system! You put your stuff in while you’re next in line, and then as you get on the coaster, the bins (which are made to look like old-school luggage) go up a conveyer system over top of the coaster and then when you return, the “luggage” is waiting for you in the exit!

Jersey Shore Dad was on the same train as us and was screaming, “WHERE THE FUCK IS MY STUFF” or something along those lines that included SWEARS, as everyone was exiting. What a fucking douche-noz.

I ate here! Well, after Henry waited a good 15 minutes for the register to be shut down and restarted so that he could pay.

Vegetarian moussaka! I was so excited for this and it was pretty good for amusement park food! Usually as a meat-free person, I’m stuck getting pizza or whatever shitty veggie burger they might have hidden in the back of a freezer somewhere. But this was nice!

Chooch and Henry went to some place called Lazy Bear Lodge or something, which was actually my back-up plan because I heard that they had Impossible stuffed-peppers.

After eating, I was like HARK, DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR? as we walked past the mountain. Of course, Henry 100% couldn’t because he can barely even hear me when I’m right next to him, but even Chooch was like, “You mean people screaming and a waterfall falling?” So we had to search out the nearest speaker in order for Chooch to hear.

OK, let me back up. The day before, Chooch had said he got in an argument with someone from school about Alanis Morrisette because he seriously thinks she’s terrible and look, I’m not her #1 fan, not a saesang for Alanis or anything, but I do genuinely like her as an artist and really enjoy a lot of her songs (this came later in life though — I didn’t really “get” it in real time when she was a new artist in the 90s and all over MTV, etc. I remember my friend Christy asking me in the car on the way to tennis practice if I had heard of her and I was like, “Yeah, this is not my thing” because I was super into rap and R&B at the time and also never wanted to like the same things my friends liked LOL why am I like this).

Anyway! I got really annoyed with Chooch, especially considering I’m always on edge whenever RYAN REYNOLDS comes up, so I started forcing him to listen to her songs that I like the most and one of the ones I sent him after he escaped back to his room was UNINVITED from the City of Angels soundtrack.


WTF, wow, OK, I get that we were in Alanis Country but that would not be the choice from her discography that I expected, so I was super surprised and pleasantly surprised, because that song is THE FUCKING SHIT.

YES. Back when women sang with their real voices. We love to hear it.

Anyway, that happened.

Then Chooch and I rode some really whack darkride / coaster called Something Mountain Guardians or something. Um first of all, SIX OF THE SEATS in one of the trains were out of order, so Chooch and I got the entire train to ourselves. I had no idea what to expect because I had never seen much content about this in any of the videos I’ve watched, which was good because in the last room, something unexpected happens which caused me  to scream SO LOUD like I was being murdered, only for theh door to open and our train to proceed to the exit which was right next to the line of people waiting to get on.

So everyone heard me scream and they were all staring at me.

It made me crack up so bad because this was 100% not a thrill ride but if you based it on my screams….

Anyway, as far as darkrides go, that was very outdated and also the audio wasn’t working. But the beginning and end made up for it, in my opinion.

Already posted these, but here is one of thee first #carouselfies of 2023 again!


I think this is the one that will make it on the carouselfie wall.

OK, whatever I said earlier about Wilde Beast? Quadruple it and that’s how I felt this fucking piece of shit called Mighty Canadian Mindblower or something. What a disaster of a coaster. But first, let’s back it up and talk about that ride attendant up there who BELLOWED, “GET. DOWN. FROM. THE RAILING!!!! at every railing-sitting perp she eye-balled. There was a group of young guys behind us and after she screamed at one of them, his friend was like, “Yo, I would NEVER let someone yell at me like that. ARE YOU KIDDING?” and he was so stunned that this little bitch with the big mouth was flexing her authority with no clapback. I mean, I didn’t really disagree with him. I can see if she was having to tell the same person over and over again to get off the railing – then OK fine. But she was SATAN-ROARING this shit on first time offenders and it was so startling every time.

So yeah, I feel like if she had mouthed off on me in that way, I would have pushed back. I HATE being yelled at. HATE IT.

But also, I know not to sit on railings. So…

There was a young girl in line in front of us with her two friends and at the last second, she wussed out and asked if she could cross over to the exit instead of boarding the train. In hindsight, I wish I had followed her lead because this ride actually completely ruined the rest of the day for me. The jackhammering was unrelenting and I screamed IN PAIN through the entire duration. Even Chooch was in pain and he is a teenager who feels nothing. And it was a LONG LAYOUT too! Torture! Please RMC this abomination!!

Ugh I was so sick after this but STILL got in line for Behemoth, the park’s hyper coaster. One of the things I loved about this one was the CREW! They had a guy in the station who was overlooking the line below and would literally sound off a SIREN and then call out linejumpers over his megaphone. It was glorious.

They were assigning rows but I said, “Can we please have the back?” and made prayer-hands. That is the key. Henry said also “being cute” helps but that’s not me so it must be the prayer hands. They always act like they want to say no, but then they end up sighing and nodding. YESSS. It doesn’t hurt to ask, you guys! Back row is the best row! (Well, mostly.)

Anyway, I think this was my favorite ride in the park. I just LOVE hypers in general. The downside though is that as soon as it came to a stop on the brake run, my nausea and headache immediately came back with a vengeance and all I could think was, “OMG am I going to puke on a stationary coaster?” Literal, I was close. The puke was tickling my ghost-tonsils, is all I’m saying.

Shitty coasters aside (not including that beauty in the background), this park was so aesthetically pleasing. This shot was taken facing the entrance, with the moutain behind me.

I wanted a Beaver Tail all day! Look how happy The Purples look!

I went with the nutella version and it was perfect park snack. Not too heavy, just right. (I did share with Henry, ugh.)

We were going to leave after this, but then we realized we hadn’t walked over to this medieval section of the park yet. There was a coaster back there called Dragon Fyre and Henry pointed out that it was a walk-on. I knew, KNEW, that I should have JUST SAID NO, but I am always trying to prove that I am the parent who can be counted on, so I said, “Chooch, let’s get you one last credit today” and honestly I don’t even think he cared one way or the other. But we did it, we got on this piece of shit corkscrew and it KILLED ME. My brain felt so jostled, my face was hot yet clammy, I couldn’t get my vision to merge back into one. It was soooo bad.

“That wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be,” Chooch said, all upbeat, as the train returned to the station, and I hissed, “Speak for yourself. Burn the bitch down.”

I had to go and sit on a stone wall next to some fake lake thing while Henry and Chooch went off in search of water for me. I have somehow managed to make it 43 years without ever puking in an amusement park but that streak came so close to ending on this day. I felt so wrecked, you guys.

We left about 20 minutes before the park closed at 8 and the whole drive to the hotel, I was chanting in my head, “Please don’t puke, please don’t puke.” I went to bed at 9:30 that night, you guys. 9:30. Dead to the world.

In summary, day one at Canada’s Wonderland wasn’t the WORST day I’ve ever had at a park, but it still left a lot to be desired. STAY TUNED FOR DAY 2. Was it better? Was it worse? NO SPOILERS.

Jun 022023

Here are some (FIVE TO BE EXACT) things that I have on my mind today:

  1. The First Ed Sheeran Song I’ve Liked (accidentally)

OK look, I don’t specifically hate Ed Sheeran or anything. I think he is fine, he doesn’t bother me, but I also could not ever pick his voice out of a line-up. It’s just, whatever. But then I was doing a cardio dance workout a few weeks ago to afrobeat songs and one of the songs WAS SO GOOD that it got lodged in my head until I finally looked it up to see who it was and apparently ED SHEERAN is featured on it?? I guess now that I know that, I can tell sort of, but this was not something that struck me the other times I heard this song. “Oh wow, and there is Ed Sheeran chiming in.”

I think my brother would be disappointed in me because he hates Ed Sheeran but I just recently found out that he likes Taylor Swift, the most vanilla basic bitch out there, so I guess we are even.

Anyway, there is an official MV too that I am just now watching for the first time and I guess ED makes a cameo in this too lol. But yeah, this is such a fire summer jam and I have been putting Fireboy DML on replay these last few days:

2. Firefly Lane

Dude. I had been really dragging this second half of the season out, just stretching it as far as it would go, because I knew it was going to rip me apart. But I finally watched the last episode Wednesday night and, well, I’m not OK! LOL. I was crying so hard that I had to keep covering my face, or looking at my phone to distract me, or shower the closest cat with unbridled attention. I was a wet mess. I didn’t read the book and will probably not at this point because why torture myself further, but I thought that show was very well done and the casting was on point. I always was meh about Katherine Heigel but that actually made me like her and also her character reminded me of my aunt Sharon a little bit?? (The good parts of Sharon.)

(I have been thinking of Sharon SO MUCH lately and I think it’s because I am finally ready to go through the mourning stages…..7 years later.)

3. New neighbors!

You guys, we have a family of groundhogs living over the hill in our backyard! So far, I’ve counted 5 babies and a mom (I call her Bertha – she is so mean to her babies!). The squirrels are like WHO ARE YOU AND ARE YOU PAYING RENT?

I dunno if I’m just officially OLD but I could fucking sit on my backporch all day and watch the backyard wildlife. I love them all so much.


Some of the Mr. Gray Guys came running when I call them now – they know their names <3

Meanwhile, my favorite – Girl Buddy – has been snubbing me all week and I know it’s because she’s pissed that we were gone for part of Memorial Day weekend.

4. Dance Telephone Challenge!

You guys! NCT Dream was on Good Mythical Morning recently! Chooch said this means he can’t watch GMM anymore, whatever hater. Anyway, I thought it was extremely cute and funny, obviously. Janna watched the whole thing and you should too!

5. A Call About a Cat Carrier

Last Friday, HNC texted me and asked if we have a cat carrier that he could borrow. I sighed, retrieved one of the cat carriers from a shelf in the basement, and took it over to him. Apparently, they needed it for the weekend to take their cat to their camp, which is a thing that both HNC and Wife reference quite frequently but I have yet to care enough to ask any questions about it. Such as, “Where is it?”

Anyway! Tuesday evening, HNC’s wife returned it to us, which I appreciated. Punctuality when it comes to returning borrowed items is something that I don’t get to experience very much in life, I feel like.


The next day.

Another HNC text: “When u get a min, can u call  me? It’s about the cat carrier.”

REALLY? Why do we have to have a telephone conversation about this? I let you borrow it. You returned it. The end.

I waited a few minutes. Considered ignoring it. Sighed. Called him.

It quickly turned into a multi-point inquisition:

  1. What brand was the cat carrier? It fit their cat perfectly (purrfectly?) and he would like to get the same one.
  2. Do we buy our cat litter in plastic containers? If so, where do we buy it? Can he have the empties to use to store rock salt FOR THE CAMP?

And then, what I believe to be the main purpose of the phone call, the rest was just friendly filler:


Ugh! How about just embrace them as they are GOD’S PRECIOUS CREATURES??? Did I tell you that she has FORKS sticking out of her planters, tines up, as a squirrel deterrent?!

Bonus: I heard HNC’s wife’s ring tone for the first time the other night when she was giving me avocadoes – I WAS MADE FOR LOVING YOU by KISS!???!!! I was almost shocked into silence because that was not what I expected. The Nokia tone, maybe? A Dwight Yoakum midi?

Jun 012023

Last week, I heard a slight commotion outside as I was working. Looked out to see some asshole lounging at the end of HNC&Wife’s sidewalk. I thought maybe he had suffered an injury at first (those stupid city scooters are also flying by and I’m perpetually braced for an accident) but he seemed pretty calm. I assume that is his friend with him – he was pacing back and forth, looking down the street as if waiting for a ride. Who can be sure.

HNC’s wife was leaving her house during this time and called me immediately from her car to tell me to beware. She said she asked the kid on the ground if he needed help and he sniped, “I’m just CHILLIN’.”

“He has a real smart mouth,” HNC’s wife advised me, and honestly one of my biggest fears in the possibility of engagement with a shitty teen/young adult. I don’t trust them. So that was my cue to 100% stay on high alert.

They left after about 30 minutes of this. Kid in orange was walking fine, nary a limp, so I have no idea what all that was about. BUT I DIDN’T LIKE IT.

I preordered this NCT127 sweatshirt in December from the SM Shop and it finally arrived last week, just in time for the impending 80-90 degree days we have in store (aka right now).  Anyway, I got a Doyoung poca with it and if I’m not mistaken, I think this is my first Doyoung poca (photocard)!

Anyway, this sweatshirt was worth the weight. It’s so cozy and rich-feeling, lol.

Thank you, thank you.  Gifts are happily accepted.

Reading a new favorite (The Hundred-Year House) on the back porch with Penelope while Chooch and his friends took over the living room last Saturday instead of staying contained to the designated HANG OUT SPOT in the attic.

It’s fine.

At least we have an extra room.

Even if it’s barely being used.

This is usually where you can find both Drew and Penelope every day for three seasons of the year.


(I literally never heard that term until several years ago when someone referred to the back porch as such and I was like, “Wait…wha—? Ohhhhh.”

A vegan cinnamon roll franchise opened up in East Liberty and I made Henry go get some. He and I split a lemon one and a coconut cream pie one – both were delectable. Chooch got some kind of fancy berry one all for himself.

I want to go back ASAP.

I forget what it’s called already?? Cinnaholic, I think.


I just finished my nightly cardio and I am BEAT. It was something like 90 degrees today and I felt like I was going to pass out during my lunch break walk. Now I just want to spend the rest of the night sitting on the couch and staring dumbly at the TV.


May 302023

I didn’t liveblog any part of our weekend Canada road trip because the drive itself was extremely boring. But! After we left Canada’s Wonderland yesterday, we stopped at Odd Burger for lunch because there was one a few minutes away! I was so excited to eat here again, only three mths after the first time, because they have an extensive all-vegan menu. I really wanted to try one of the breakfast sandwiches, so I got this maple thingie with bacUN and ‘ham.’ The egg is tofu, and it’s topped with a hashbrown. Oh, and ‘cheese’! My eyes are always so much bigger than my stomach when we come to places like that and I was really convinced that it wouldn’t be enough, but yo – it was. I was comfortably stuffed.

I also had a small orange milkshake which I couldn’t finish so Henry and Chooch got to enjoy the dregs.

Chooch got a taco salad, and Henry got the chickun cordon bleu (which I got last time) and poutine. Totally satisfying.

The only other thing I wanted to do while we were still in Canada was eat a nanaimo bar again, since that was seriously the highlight of our last trip to Toronto (aside from the Kang Daniel concert, of course!) (even though we weren’t in Toronto at all this time). Henry thought he was so great because he found a bakery several minutes away from Odd Burger. They only had one nanaimo bar left. It was just OK – the one I had at Bunner’s really spoiled me, I guess.

Then, I immediately fell asleep for about 30 minutes, which is very unlike me. I hardly ever sleep in the car, mostly because Henry’s driving has gotten so bad lately that I’m terrified to close my eyes while he’s at the wheel. But Jesus Christ, I felt like I was drugged. It was barely even 80 degrees that day, but I think it was just the fact that it was our first theme park of the year and honestly it hasn’t been very hot in Pittsburgh so this was like, baby’s first day in the sun. I didn’t get burnt or anything but I think I must have been partially dehydrated and possibly a little heat-strokey? Who can be sure, but man I felt like my life-force had been sucked out like marrow from a bone.

And then we sat in traffic for about two hours because jackass truck drivers were clogging up the road leading up to the border. Henry was trying to explain it – I guess all the big trucks / 18-wheelers have to get into the right lane but a lot of trucks were trying to stay in the left lane for as long as possible to bypass the truck-traffic and then once they had no choice but to get over, the trucks in the right lane were like FUCK OFF CUNTS so the trucks in the left lane came to a complete stop while trying to merge, blocking the highway for us non-truck people.

Then!!! Some asshole in a tow truck-thing in the right lane MOVED INTO THE CENTER OF BOTH LANES literally right as we were passing, nearly side-swiping us, just so he could block the trucks in the left-lane from passing. It took me basically the entire time we were stuck in the traffic jam to understand what was happening, no matter how many times Henry explained it. I think my brain was definitely going through it yesterday. (And Sunday – Sunday was a rough day in general for my precious brain.)

But yeah, what a douchebag that tow truck guy was! I kept screaming, “IS THAT LEGAL? CAN WE CALL THE COPS?” The audacity!! I am so fucking glad that we just barely made it past him before he pulled that stunt because I would have been p-p-p-p-p-issed if we were stuck behind him while he was taking up two lanes.

Other than that, I spent the ride home finishing one of the best books I’ve ever read: The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai. This was the third book of hers that I’ve read, and all three have been 5-stars. Love her. I think she is a crazy genius, honestly.

Got a shitty dinner at Get-Go in Erie, which is where we always stop when we’re out that direction and I actually kind of hate it BUT at least they have a vegetarian AND plant-based menu which is way more than I can say for Sheetz. Get it together, Sheetz. It’s 2023!!

Obviously, I will recap our time at Canada’s Wonderland separately, and I can tell you that the three of us barely fought (except for yesterday when we were making fun of Henry for, I don’t know, coughing weird probably, and snapped, “YOU TWO ARE THE REASON PEOPLE BECOME SERIAL KILLERS” or something and I wanted to say that actually no, there are other reasons people become SERIAL killers, but sure, we are probably the reason why a person could become a CRIME OF PASSION or DOMESTIC killer. Henry thinks he’s so fucking cool.

Oh yeah, like on the way to Canada, when we had just gotten back into the car after stopping at THE STUPID ERIE GET-GO, and Henry announced that he had to go back in because he forgot to buy THROAT LOZENGES and Chooch and I, in tandem, said in a bored tone, “Wow you’re so cool” and “mm, cool” only for me to then snap out of it and cry, “WHY CAN’T YOU JUST SAY COUGH DROPS? Ugh, you’re so embarrassing.”

What was I saying? Oh yeah, we all managed to get along for the most part considering this was our first overnight trip as a trio since Dollywood (Chooch didn’t go to Toronto or Chicago with us, YOU MIGHT RECALL) but for some reason, I just felt off. It wasn’t that I didn’t have fun or enjoy myself, but I guess I felt kind of disoriented? It could have been also that it was my first time this year wearing shorts in public and I am so vain/mildly body dysmorphic I think, that this is something that can easily knock me off my axis. I really wish I wasn’t this way.

Chooch and I did get in a small argument though because I truly enjoy Tim Hortons but he is a Dunkin lifer.

Anyway, my general malaise has carried over a bit into today and all I want to do is say ciao for now and go to bed. So, ciao for now.

May 282023

Hello from Canada! Vaughan, Canada specifically. I didn’t live blog our drive here today because I wasn’t really feeling great and then we got here and it was really one of the first days this year that I spent a considerable amount of time in the heat paired with some pretty rough coasters and lots of very rude people so you can imagine how much I am LOVING this comfortable hotel bed I’m chilling in right now while CNN’s The Eighties is on and Chooch is spitting some very contemptuous opinions about very well-loved 80s bands while waiting for Henry to come back from Tim Hortons.

Oh yay he’s back.

Anyway, thank god Canada’s Wonderland closed at 8pm today because my nauseated ass could not last one more minute. It was a rough one and I almost thought I was going to puke and I honestly don’t think I have EVER puked at an amusement park?! We came close today. We came close.

Also here is our first carouselfie of 2023. :)

May 262023

Every month or so, I go out to dinner with some recently-retired ladies from work which has been really nice because I am a huge fan of keeping in touch with people. Some might say slightly obsessive and unwilling to let go, but you know, I’m just being me over here.

Anyway, Marlene chose Rico’s for our most recent dinner and I was cracking up because way back when I was dating Psycho Mike, my grandma gave me a gift certificate to Rico’s because it was given to her before my Pappap died and they never got around to using it. She said she had no use for it and wanted us to have it. If she knew what a piece of shit Mike was, I’m sure she would have been like, “Why don’t you and Christy go and have a nice BFF dinner at Rico’s and leave your abusive boyfriend at home to cry about it?”

The gift certificate was the PAPER KIND IN AN ENVELOPE! That was how long ago this was. Sigh.

We decided to go there for our shitty one-year anniversary, so this must have been 1997, the fall after senior year (or, you know, freshman year of college for those who weren’t high school drop-outs lolololol ugh).

Yes, the pencil-thin eyebrows align with the date, lol. This was also when I had a Carrie Brady-from-DAYS hairstyle, literally pulled out pages from Soap Opera Digest to take to the salon.

“Give me the Carrie Brady but make it puffy,” is apparently what I requested.

I also remember buying that shirt at Contempo (RIP to my FAVE STORE) specifically for this stupid date. I do not remember what I ordered (I was a vegetarian already so probably plain-ass pasta), if I liked it, what Mike ordered – all that has stuck in my mind for all these years is the fact that I supposedly knew this was an establishment with valet parking and PURPOSELY didn’t tell Mike so that he would be HUMILIATED when we rolled up in his beat-up silver Omni circa 198-something.

That definitely set the tone. I’m sure it was a wonderful drive home that night, his anger brewing all throughout dinner like a strong pot of vitriol, providing him with LOTS of energy to remind me over and over how much of a STUPID BITCH I am.

Um, yeah anyway. My Rico’s Replay was much better! Better company for sure. Jill joined us this time and it is always really nice to see work friends “outside of work” and by that I mean in actual real life.

Being a vegetarian, “upscale” restaurants always fall flat with me because I have nothing to judge it on other than pasta. My only option was the angel hair in a cream sauce. It was good! Was it $27 good? Um…no lol.

I was the youngest person in that whole place though, that’s for sure. I’m sure it was super uncouth of me to take a picture of food but I don’t think anyone was looking and also, who cares?

The only negative part of the evening was that our server was an asshole. I rarely complain about these things because I have a ton of respect for people in the service industry. I know that it’s hard ass work and customers can be such dicks. But this older woman server was just not nice. Even apart from the fact that she was extremely inattentive, she was just very rude and cure. I was watching her interact with other tables, clearly occupied by “regulars,” and she was like a completely different person with them.

When I asked for a box, she brought me a plastic container that was cracked all the way down one side! I didn’t notice until after I put my leftovers in it. I called her back over and asked if I could have a new one and at first, it was like she wanted to argue that there was nothing wrong with it. She actually picked it up to inspect it like she didn’t believe me?! And then she said, WITH WHAT SOUNDED LIKE EXASPERATION, “Oh. I didn’t know it was like that” and stormed off to get me a new one. She could have just said, “Sorry about that” but somehow, she made me feel like it was my fault! Like what she wanted to say was, “It wasn’t like that when I gave it to you.”

I am clearly still fixating on this.

Anyway, I don’t care how much rich old people like Rico’s. I doubt I will ever be back. NOT EVEN IF SOMEONE’S GRANDMA GIVES ME A $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE.

May 252023

Today, May 25th 2023, is the 15th anniversary of SHINee’s debut. This group means so much to me. They were one of the first kpop idol groups that I fully stanned when I fell down the 토끼 hole and to this day, they remain so iconic. Actual legends. Get outta here with your “but my faves paved the way” bullshit and pay your respects to the daddies, is all I’m saying.

I have been happy- and sad-crying off and on all day, watching tribute videos and SHINee’s own chaotic live that they did earlier today, and revisiting some of my old standards by way of SHINee-bombing my work friends with music videos on Jabber, lol. Even Glenn was only half-sarcastic in his response!

The evolution of SHINee has been incredible to watch. They are so unique as a group and also individually with their solo work. How many groups can say that all of their members have successful solo careers outside of the group?

Anyway, please watch some SHINee vids with me! In this world, we could all use any little excuse to celebrate, amirite? SHINee have suffered and endured so much, and came out, well, shining – they deserve to be celebrated. Here are some of my faves that I was sharing today at work:

Aside from BIGBANG (which is never going to happen, I lost hope years ago), SHINee is the ONE group that I would take out a loan, sell my plasma, list all of Henry’s shit on eBay in order to see.

My forever favorite <3

I couldn’t listen to SHINee for quite some time after Jonghyun passed. One night, this song came on Spotify and woke me up – I cried so much, so so so much. Jonghyun’s death hit me in a way that no other celebrity’s death ever has. My heart still hurts at the thought of him, but I am glad that I am able to listen to his voice again because it is too beautiful to give up.

Sharing the music show version of this because the ending fairy is so cute.

I asked Henry what his favorite SHINee song is and he said Ring Ding Dong with barely any hesitation!

(This song is CLASSIC SHINEE.)

Happy 15 years with SHINee!

May 232023

I don’t know what the fuck I inhaled the other week but I was a goddamn whirling dervish. Knee jerk reactions. Irrational responses. I try to be a kind person every day but sometimes, like the other week, I have no energy left in my mind to hold up the anger dam any longer and I…snap.

Look for me on a Netflix documentary one day, fam.

Anyway, on this one particular day, we’ll say it was a Wednesday, I was minding my own business, working from home, feeding the squirrels, sending extremely reasonable demands to Henry via text, when suddenly, a cleanup crew arrived on my street to remove the leftover shit in the vacant side of my duplex. I dunno what Blake was doing over there, but he and his family clearly left so much shit behind when they moved in March that it warranted my landlord to send an actual garbage truck and crew to clean it out.

I was fine with this until suddenly, MUSIC BEGAN TO BLAST. They must have set up a radio right on the other side of the wall near where my desk is set up, because it sounded like it was coming from my side of the house. You need to know this about me: I FUCKING HATE HATE HATE HATE HEARING SOMEONE ELSE’S BASS THUMPING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF MY WALL. I mentioned this to Janna and she was like, “Oh yes, I know this about you.” It’s not a secret, sweetie, OK?! I hate it. I will literally Hulk out and start smashing shit against the wall in retaliation. You think I’m playing for the blog but I am telling the truth.

I allowed this to play for all of 3 seconds before I FLEW OUT  THE FRONT DOOR, leapt off my porch and yelled, “CAN YOU PLEASE TURN THAT MUSIC OFF I AM TRYING TO WORK IN THERE.”

I can only IMAGINE how I appeared to this crew of young guys who were just trying to make the most of a day spent cleaning trash out of some slob’s vacated house. There were three of them in the yard at this moment, one had JUST walked out of the house and was in the middle of crossing the yard, but he stopped DEAD IN HIS TRACKS. Another guy, who I determined to be the leader, immediately said, “Of course, I am so sorry!” and snapped his fingers at the man who was now frozen in the yard staring at this fucking asshole frenzied Karen with her arms akimbo in a sloppy hoodie and leggings looking more like she was busy changing diapers all day and not reviewing engagement letters while getting pulled in 17 different directions by people in her department.

I looked rough is all I’m saying. I know my face was beet red too because I could feel the flames fanning on the other side of my flesh.

“THANK YOU!” I said in a huff and slammed the door on my way back in.

About 30 minutes later, there was a tentative knock on my door. It was Leader Guy, looking nervous.

“I’m so sorry to bother you, but is it OK if we back this truck down the driveway?” he asked, wringing his hands. I noticed several of his minions were looking on, bracing for fall-out.

I said it was fine and then he said, “We’re going to be pretty noisy for a bit but we’ll try to make it fast.”

And then it was at this point where I was reminded that these guys were human JUST LIKE ME, just trying to do their jobs JUST LIKE ME, so I softened and said, “Hey look, sorry for being such a Karen earlier—” and he cut me off to say, “No no no, I totally get it! Thank you for being so cool about this!”

Um, OK but I was literally being the OPPOSITE of cool when I came out of my house in a red HOT rage earlier, but whatever. Truce!

Then! That following Friday, it happened again. Did I tell you, old blog frendo, that the guy ROB who had moved into the other side of HNC’s house last fall was also moving out right after Blake? OK well now I told you. Anyway, ROB hadn’t really bothered me much while he was living over there, but for some reason, he waited until the very last days of living there to start parking his large kidnapper van in our driveway. So now we had THREE kidnapper vans down there: his, and TWO of HNC’s (one of which is broken down and hasn’t moved since like 2015, I don’t even know anymore). Basically, our parking sitch in the back down there goes like this: Henry’s car, HNC van, HNC van in a row. Then I would park my car in front of one of HNC’s vans (the broken one) and HNC’s wife would park her car in front of HNC’s other van (which sometimes works). It’s…a whole thing. But then ROB was like, “No, I am going to park my gigantic tank in front of HNC’s broken van” so I have just been parking in the church lot like old times because the YOU WILL BE TOWED sign lost it’s power after a few mths and people started parking there overnight again.

I don’t really give a shit that much about the parking situation, but the thing that was pissing me off was that Rob didn’t even live there anymore when he started parking his van down back. Like, he and his girlfriend would come here in some shitty minivan and sort of move stuff around in the garage, and then he would pull the van up closer to the garage to, I guess, put stuff in it, but every single time, he would park it right in front of HNC’s van and then LEAVE.

FOR DAYS. SOMETIMES OVER A WEEK. Bro. You don’t live here anymore! This is not your long-term parking lot!

It just really started to grate on me, you know? I kept asking Henry to text HNC to see if he had any intel on when Rob was going to come back and take the van but also HELLO HNC CAN YOU PLEASE GET RID OF YOUR VANS TOO??

I can’t even explain how insane it is on this block with white men thinking they can fix broken cars. It’s like the Pioneer Ave Junkyard Collective. Come visit me sometime and I will give you a tour. And if your brakes are squealing or something….DON’T TELL LARRY OR HNC OR THEY WILL WANT TO FIX IT AND THEN SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR CAR BECAUSE IT LIVES HERE NOW.

Anyway, it was two Fridays ago and I was so excited because ROB was back and it looked like he was finally leaving with the van! He had pulled it up the driveway a bit so it was next to not-his garage while he was presumably moving more stuff. I saw him get in the van and it looked like he was pulling it forward, like he was going to leave, but then he BACKED IT UP INTO HENRY’S SPOT JUST AS HENRY WAS COMING HOME FROM WORK. So now Henry had to park his car across the street because not only did ROB steal his spot, but his idiot minivan was farther up, blocking up the entire driveway to begin with.

You guys, I don’t know what came over me, stress in general, my body begging for a release, but for the second time that week you could find your girl BALLET-LEAPING over the porch steps, only this time I kept going, rounding the corner and storming down the driveway. THE MINIVAN was the first thing I came upon and Rob’s girlfriend was sitting in the drivers seat. I must have really come up on her like a wildwoman because she gasped, clutched her chest, and exclaimed, “What? What? Did I back into something??” and I fucking roared a string of obscenities about Rob and his fucking van etc etc and she goes, “Ok! Ok! Geez, I’ll tell him! Geez!”

(Honestly though, imagine you’re just calming sitting in your car playing Wordle or doom-scrolling thru Twitter and suddenly I pop up at your window, shrieking like a mad lady with absolutely no build up or provocation. Here I am, 갑자기!)

I stormed back up the driveway just as Henry was walking across the street looking nervous AF because he said he could tell something was HAPPENING and that I had just flipped out. IS MY MANIA THAT OBVIOUS?? COOL.

So now Henry and I are both in the house and my heart is racing because I honestly can’t explain what possessed me to do that. Like, it’s a van, yo. In a fucking driveway. It’s not bothering anyone. It’s not worth yelling about?? Potentially getting SHOT OVER?? People get shot for far less!

I guess the girlfriend relayed my message because I could hear ROB getting BACK into his van to move it out of Henry’s spot and back in front of HNC’s broken van, all the while shouting, “FUCK YOU!” at my house. So now I’m shouting passive aggressive shit back out the window, like, “OK YOU FUCKING WEIRDO” and Henry is nervously laughing with absolute fear in his eyes because is this going to turn into his moment to decide if he’s man enough to protect me?!

Especially when THERE WAS A KNOCK ON THE FRONT DOOR and he was just about to say, “Don’t—” but it was too late because by this point I was chomping at the bit for a fight so I marched over to the door and flung it open to see a totally strung out and shaking Rob pacing on my sidewalk. “WHAT???” I yelled and he was like, “I’M ALLOWED TO PARK BACK UNTIL THE 19TH JUST SO YOU KNOW” and I was like “I DON’T CARE, IT SHOULDN’T BE BACK  THERE AT ALL, YOU DON’T LIVE THERE” and he was stomping furiously through the yard, into the minivan that whisked him away from THE HORRORS OF PIONEER. I literally heard his girlfriend telling some guy who had pulled in front of their house probably for a drug deal while blasting a religious sermon on his radio that “yeah, we’re moving, Rob is sick of the bullshit on this street.”


So, that happened. And then I couldn’t calm down. Like, he pulled away and I instantly felt like SHIT. The adrenaline wore off and I sat at my desk with my head in my hands and regretted every single moment of that interaction. Yes, it’s annoying that he’s parking there, but that didn’t give me the right to fly off the handle when there had literally been NO OTHER CONVERSATION between us about this van. It’s not like, “Well, I asked him nicely 6 times so now I guess it’s time to threaten to shove shit up his ass” oh wait, that’s HNC’s wife’s go-to.

I just didn’t feel good about this, and it honestly ruined my whole weekend because I don’t like being a bitch anymore. It does nothing for me. I don’t feel “cool,” I don’t feel “tough.” I just felt like an asshole. I felt small and embarrassed. I don’t know this guy! I don’t know his life, I don’t know if he’s going through rough times, I don’t know if he’s the type of guy to come back with a fucking shotgun.

So yeah, I was awash in a sea of regertz. Not only is it just shitty to treat people that way, but it’s also, frankly, unsafe.







You know? I wasn’t being smart and I’m truly lucky that it didn’t end in tragedy.

And then the 19th came and went and his van was still fucking back there so I got mad all over again. LOL.

Just kidding. I mean, not really, but it was more like, “OK I’m now officially validated,” you know what I mean? Was I going to fucking call and have it towed? Yeah, no. Because again, at the end of the end, who fucking cares.

Earlier this evening, Henry said, “Look, Rob’s back and he moved his van!” I looked outside and saw that he had pulled it across the street in the church parking lot and was standing over there talking to his girlfriend, who was sitting in her parked minivan.

“Do you think I should go over there and apologize?” I asked Henry, but before he could answer, I had already abandoned my dinner and was crossing the street.

You guys, being a bigger person sucks. It felt like I was walking the fucking plank or something, but I did it – I went over there and I said, “Hey, I just wanted to apologize for the way I acted the other day. I was being an asshole and it wasn’t cool, you didn’t deserve that.” Of course, talking to Rob is an exercise in futility and there was not much emotion coming from him, and frankly, I’m not even sure if he remembered what happened, but his girlfriend did, because I also apologized to her face too and she said, “That really means a lot – god bless you, sweetie” which you know, kind of ruined the moment, but still.

And then I got stuck over there for a solid 15 minutes listening to Rob talk about how he used to work for the OG landlord since he was 13 (current landlord is that guy’s son and he is not great, Patty) and other Pioneer sundry, until a tow truck arrived because apparently the transmission on Rob’s van is bad and that is why he was keeping it in the driveway, because he was waiting to have the money to get it towed. HOO BOY, KICK ME IN THE ASS AND CALL ME AN ASSHOLE.

The moral of this story is that I lost control, but I got it back. These last few weeks were really emotionally draining and made me remember that madness is the most life-sucking out of all the emotions and I will happily go back to working on my anger management skills. Admitting that you’re wrong really sucks, especially when it involves an explosive situation, but owning it really made me a great wave of relief. I am ready to move on. How did I used to be like this all of the time?? Being a bitch is not a good look on me, I know that. I felt so fucking ugly after both of those screaming episodes.

Oh, one final thing – the guy I yelled at about the radio? Didn’t know it then but EVIDENTLY!!! he is the landlord’s son and he’s moving into Rob’s vacated side of HNC’s house. GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION HE HAS OF ME. Very fucking excited about that.

Wait, one more final thing – today also happens to be 143 Day in Pennsylvania, a day to commemorate Mister Rogers by spreading kindness. Mister Rogers used the code 143 to mean “I love you,” and it ALSO just so happens that Stray Kids have a song called Case 143 so let’s end this tense and uncomfy blog post on a high note! I already posted the official MV for this song when it came out, but here’s the performance video!



May 222023

I will from this day on revisit this short NewJeans clip anytime I need a serotonin boost.

For a Monday, today was not as bad as expected. I had two meetings today, they were fine! My small team was understaffed – still fine! I went on two nice walks – more fineness!

Oh! Another good thing about this Monday is that Chooch’s friend’s mom drove them to school this morning! My last couple of morning trips to Oakland have been rife with near-misses, construction, traffic. It was nice to not have to deal with that this morning, so thank you Zakk’s mom!

I also had some cute interactions with my squirrel fan AND at one point when I was in the backyard with my pumpkin pail of peanuts, a rabbit came SPRINTING over to me and asked with adorable eyes if he too could have some. I’m assuming it’s the same rabbit that has been hanging around occasionally for the last few weeks and I’ve been chucking peanuts to – now he knows I’m a friend!! One of my little Buddys watching this from a branch above and was NOT having it so he came down and was trying to steal peanuts from the rabbit!! My job as nature ref is neverending, truly.

Two weeks ago, I had two separate confrontations outside of my house, which I am still dwelling on, sorting through the ugly feelings, understanding why it happened and remembering that I need to keep my explosive anger IN CHECK because people get their heads shot off for much less than mouthing off over trivial bullshit. More on this later. I need energy to recap it. But all of this is to say that I’m coming off the tail end of some pretty stressful & negative weeks that truthfully didn’t really need to be that way, which makes me realize I’m starting to lose control and I don’t like that.

Basically what I want to say is that the firm’s wellness thingie is happening again and I need to do all I can to make sure my blood pressure is chillin’ before I make my appt so I am trying to do like…MINDFULNESS bullshit which really isn’t my thing so instead of using an app or listening to self help podcasts or whatever people do, I am just trying to be aware of my stressors and triggers and do that whole BREATHING shit. I’m trying to fold more fun into the life batter too. The last few weekends were fun and this weekend will be too I hope.

“The Freshmen” which is currently playing on my bedroom radio.


I’m going to bed. 잘 자용!

May 212023

My friend Rachel’s daughter is currently playing Mimi in a local production of Rent. She texted me the info to me the other day in case I was looking for something to do this weekend, and you know what? I was actually. And also, it was timely because there was a Rent question in Trivial Pursuit when we were playing on the night of Chooch’s belated birthday cake celebration and he was so pissed that I got it right without having ever seen it. I don’t really like musicals, ok??

But what I do like is supporting local theater and my friends’ kids, plus I recently found out that Janna is some kind of Queen Rent Head so I figured it would be something for us to do together that was a change for her coming to my house and being hostilely quizzed on the 23* members of NCT.

*(Actually, it’s 22 now. Lucas officially announced his departure from WayV & NCT. DO NOT GET ME STARTED.)

The ComTra Theater is in Cranberry, which is like 35 minutes away, but all I know is that the whole time I kept thinking, “When did Cranberry get so far away? Has it always been this far away??” It really felt like it took for-fucking-ever to get there. And then as soon as we walked in, I was like, “OH SHIT” because it was much smaller than I thought, and very hot. I almost immediately started to sweat through my shirt so I can only imagine what it must have been like for the performers.


PRE-SHOW SELFIE. I liked Janna’s shirt a lot!

Anyway, she immediately asked me to switch seats with her so she could be on the end and I was like “UGH FINE” but then she ended up having the stage partially obscured by a pillar so who’s laughing now?! A dad and his young daughter filled the last two seats in our row, and the people in front of us were normal. No one sat behind us. I was content with our section.

The show started around 2pm and I thought it was really cute! (Is that weird? I mean, the subject matter isn’t “cute” and I’m sure the teens performing in it would not appreciate being called “cute”- BUT THEY FUCKING WERE!)  I mean, I had almost NO idea what was going on for most of it because I couldn’t hear a lot of the lyrics (the house band was WAY TOO LOUD) and also I was getting v. antsy. Intermission didn’t happen until 3:30 (!!!) and I said, “Isn’t this supposed to be over at 4? Will they be able to get the rest done in 30 minutes?” and Janna goes, “Oh, there’s still an entire other half. There is no way this is over at 4pm.”

Do you know me? I hate sitting. Even when I am being entertained! So, while I was enjoying the show very much because those kids were insanely talented, I also was ready for it be over. It’s who I am, OK? I am also like this during pretty much every movie I go to see in a theater, slyly checking the time on my FitBit.

One of the guys looked so much like Judd Nelson specifically in his Breakfast Club role that it was all I could see throughout the whole entire show. It was crazy. I saw him up close afterward and while the resemblance was less uncanny, it was still there. I hope to god that is his next role.

My other thought was that the one main kid looked like the spitting image of Janna’s high school boyfriend Matt which amplified his annoyance to me. I’m not sure if his character was meant to be annoying but I definitely kind of zoned out whenever it was one of his songs, sorry kid.

BUT THEN DURING INTERMISSION, JANNA GOES, “That kid that plays <striped sweater guy / I could not keep track of the characters’ names> is sooooo cute!” and I died. Honestly.

I didn’t tell her until afterward when we were walking to my car that he reminded me of MATT so it was not shocking to me that she basically imprinted on him as soon as the lights went down. She was like, “O M F G” and then tried to say she only thought he was cute because he had floppy hair.


Overall, it was an enjoyable afternoon! I was happy to support Rachel and her daughter, who is a freaking powerhouse. Girl can perform her ass off! The only downside was that the theater’s website lists all of kinds of ADULT BEVS but all they had was WATER and SOFT DRINKS so I guess the HARD WETS are for evening shows only?! I was going to treat myself to a White Claw (the website had approx. 12 varieties of tastes listed) but it was probably for the best considering I was driving and the journey home was fraught with missed exits and merging mayhem. Anytime I have to drive on BIG ROADS, I’m screaming like Pee Wee driving over a hillside, thanks to Henry conditioning me to being a perma-passenger and hardly-ever-driver.

When I wasn’t emitting battle cries every time I had to merge, I asked Janna lots of questions about Rent and she seemed happy to answer them because this was like her time to shine, you know? For example, I texted her just a bit ago and asked what the fuck was the significance to the drywall bucket that kept popping up in some scenes and she explained that one of the characters was using it as a drum in the beginning and then they were using it to panhandle later. Those were the examples she gave me, but I SAW IT POP UP MORE THAN TWO OCCASIONS so I was wondering if there was an INSIDE JOKE or something that someone who pays her rent wouldn’t understand. It just felt like someone was always carrying it like maybe it was the stage pet or the communal security blanket, I dunno.

Also, I still don’t understand why that Joanne person was on the phone so much. Who was she talking to? Out of all the actors, she was the one I could hear the least and I feel like I missed a lot. Maybe I should watch the movie. (I will probably never watch the movie.)

And that concludes my once-every-four-years attempt to be cultural! It was an enjoyable afternoon which left me swearing that I will do these things more often but…we know how that goes!

May 192023

Sometime in the beginning of April, Chooch casually said that he needed a ride to the Northside.

“For sailing?” he said, like we are so fucking dumb for not knowing this.

Anyone who has ever dealt with a teenager in any capacity knows how hard it is to pull one concise strand of information from them. They like to give it in pieces. Over time. Cryptically. Usually omitting pertinent chunks because you’re expected to ‘use context clues’ to ‘fill in the blanks.’ Why should they have to do all of the work!? Relying information is HARD. Especially when it is PROBABLY IN PAPER-FORM HANDED TO THEM AT SCHOOL BY A TEACHER WITH THE ASSUMPTION THAT IT WILL MAKE ITS WAY TO THE PARENT/GUARDIAN.

OK, so anyway. All we knew was that some of Chooch’s friends had signed up for some sailing class thing and I guess Chooch decided to also go.

We asked questions like, “Where on the Northside is this?” “What time is it over?” “Does it cost anything?”

Of course, these queries were met with a snarly scoffed, “I don’t know.” 

I thought it was like, a one-time thing? But he’s been going every Saturday and apparently, it’s some type of a certification program!?!? He came home from school one day and said that he had to take a swimming test for this…this…whatever this is. To which I said we’d have to talk to his doctor about first even though swimming would probably be ok with a knee injury (I don’t know!).

He goes, “Ok well, I already took it and passed, here sign this.”

Why do I even bother attempting to parent this person who evidently is an actual adult who doesn’t need any help and goes through his own alternative channels (forging our sigs when needed, obtaining them after-the-fact if possible).

Well, apparently the swimming test was so that he could participate in the CAPSIZING TEST which happened last Saturday. In the RIVER. IN THE RAIN. Ugh.

THEN! One day last week, he didn’t come home from school until around 6. No texts, nothing. Henry and I were like “????” when he strode through the door in a manner so relaxed he should have been also casually chewing on a piece of hay. He looked at us like we were the ones in the wrong, and goes, “I was at sailing?” like we were supposed to know this.

I asked how he got there, and he said, “Dr. K.”

WHO TF IS THAT?? Apparently, a teacher at his school. So now the pieces are starting to fall into place. Somehow his school is involved in this…

And I’m sure SOMEWHERE there are papers that he was probably supposed to give us to read. (Probably already “signed” by us though.)

At work, my friend Nate said, “It’s like National Treasure! You and Henry are racing to figure out the mystery of Chooch’s nautical activities.”

Yes, exactly! Racing to figure out the mystery of his life in general! He has always been like this, dropping crumbs for us and then leaving us to figure it out on our own, for as long as he’s been old enough to leave the house. So, basically since he started school.

I still don’t really know much about this, except that sometimes the location of the “classes” is the Carnegie Science Center, and that now he has a yellow rope which he sometimes absent-mindedly carries around with him, swinging it lazily.

SIDE NOTE: I don’t think I ever knew what Christopher Cross looked like!??

May 182023

I have had every intention of sitting down and blasting out an update re: Chooch’s random new extracurriculars but as per UJE the work-week has sucked me dry, boy-o. I can’t put my finger on what is different this year but it is…something. And I feel like I am splashing uncontrollably in the deep end and just can’t keep my head up man.

So instead I exercised a bunch tonight which is v. smart since my back has been hurting more lately and also basically all of my body too, and watched coaster vlogs because both things are security blankets for me. WHAT ARE YOURS?

I think I feel disoriented a little? I don’t think it’s depression. Just stress. Work stress. Travel stress. Social stress. Who’s gonna move next door to me stress.

Oh!! One piece of good news is that Chooch had his final knee check-up the other day and doctor cleared him for all activities! So today he rode his bike to school which I do not support because I’m a spastic worrier and riding his bike entails him taking his bike on the T to downtown, and then riding his bike from downtown to Oakland. He is sooooo city and I cannot relate because I was sooooo suburban as a teen.

This was a pointless post really but I have this weird thing where I don’t like going more than a day without writing here?! Why am I like this. Barely tweet. Pretty inconsistent on Insta these days. But the place where I have the sparest audience?? Gotta give it my all!

Oh yeah and please enjoy that old picture up there that I found while scrolling thru old FLICKR albums. It’s from 2014! What was I even doing in 2014?! Not reading whatever book that is.

May 172023

We had Janna over on Saturday night for some cake and games in celebration of her birthday the day before. I wonder if she felt trepidation as she walked onto my front porch, wondering what surprise horrors were waiting for her? I know, I know, why would anyone be suspicious of my intentions! Right?? LOL.

Janna’s Poopy B-Day Cake circa 2003, happy 20th anniversary!

Anyway, I swear to god we just had a casual evening planned! Henry bought a variety of cake logs from Prantl’s (Pittsburgh famous!) after dropping Chooch off at sailing (separate post on that forthcoming, get your boat shoes ready). However, I told him to get 4 and he only got 3, completely leaving off the one  that I had said numerous times sounded really good (chocolate sour cream!) so his punishment was NO CAKE except that I couldn’t eat all of mine, so he ended up getting my leftovers, sigh.

Chooch, basically an adult now, insisted on cutting the cakes for us. I honestly felt like I had gone into sugar shock after this cake buffet  but it was worth it. I hadn’t had anything from Prantl’s in a long-ass time and really forgot how magical their burnt almond torte is. The red velvet and whatever the white chocolate cherry thing was also were super decadent. I HOPE JANNA LIKED IT.


Post-cake, we moved the party up to the game room, wherein Chooch had a fit because PEOPLE WERE EATING SNACKS IN A CONFINED SPACE AROUND HIM.




(But Chooch did later, as evidenced by tinsel shreds on the floor.)

There is this 80s and 90s song humming game that I love but HENRY was teammate and it was a SHIT SHOW. He is so bad! Chooch was also super angry at his partner arrangement and said that if he and I were a team, we’d have won by a landslide and wow, did Chooch just actually say something complimentary?! Anyway, one of the songs Henry was humming sounded STRAIGHT UP like a funeral dirge and I was getting chills (not the good kind). It ended up being “Keep On Loving You” – REO Speedwagon!? Maybe if someone slowed the record player down, jesus christ. I can’t remember if this was a rule or if Chocoh made it up, but you could also steal if the other team didn’t guess and Chooch kept stealing every time Henry couldn’t guess my hums because he is a STOOP. It was dreadful, we lost so badly, which is really saying something considering Chooch’s teammate was Janna who would spend most of the  time thinking about how the song goes and then would hum ONE NOTE. Like, how is my team going to steal?

Ugh, it was so frustrating lol.

First though, we attempted to this Vampire game that is similar to the MAFIA GAME that kpop groups are always playing and I simply do not understand how to play. Chooch attempted to teach us this game and then quickly deemed us as too old and dumb so we moved on to the HUMMING game, which I stupidly thought the other Olds in the room could handle.


We were being so fucking with the windows open that a group a young girls walking by started cheering up at us, which of course inspired me to run to the window, hang halfway out, and cheer back, to which Henry muttered, “Please don’t” and then when I suggested inviting them in, he REALLY said, “PLEASE DON’T.”

I hated this game, especially because Janna beat me by one point and also because I was better at the Millennial questions than the Gen X ones – do NOT revoke my Gen X club membership, please. Yes, I know 1979 is RIGHT ON THE CUSP, but please, let me continue to believe in my pea brain that Gen X is the Kids Who Grew Up in the 1980s Squad.


Then Janna and I stayed up until 2am talking and watching NCT videos while I quizzed her on members – she is really bad at remembering them!!!!

And that concludes Janna’s Non-Poopy B-Day Celebration at my stupid house playing games with us annoying bitchasses.

May 152023

This was one of the nicest Mother’s Days I’ve had in some time (minus the SHAVED ICE incident) and I’m so glad that Chooch and Henry were both on board with my idiotic wish if driving 3 hours for vegan junk food.

I really really really enjoyed our post-lunch digestive walk about the nearby rose garden. We were laughing (OK I was laughing) at one point when I realized that all the other mothers there that afternoon were dressed in spring dresses or some type of feminine equivalent and here I come in my pink vans and NCT127 shirt, bitches.

You know, becoming a mom is one of the best decisions I ever made in my whole entire life, but going hand-in-hand with that was my decision to not lose myself when becoming a mom. Sometimes I wonder if Chooch would have preferred a real MOM-mom in lieu of the landychild mom he was born to. Hold on, I’m going to ask him. I’ll report back.


Cool. Cool cool cool.

Also, check out that mini-bitch ruining our photo!!

I was going to try and remove those people from my picture but then I felt too tired/couldn’t care anymore.

Two crazy parts about yesterday:

  2. we didn’t encounter any annoying people anywhere we went

Let’s be real though for a second – I have to plan my own Fun Times or else we’ll just stay home and I’ll sit here all day waiting for something that’s never going to happen. I think that’s why I actually like stupid Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers” – because that’s basically me even though I’m not single (or am I??).

Sometimes you just gotta make your own happiness, you guys!

May 142023

(I should put this disclaimer in all of my blog posts but please be advised that I write most of my posts from my phone and sometimes words get autocorrected answers I don’t notice, or I just create typos all of my own volition but I’m a stoop in that way. Apologies in advance. Bueno bueno.)

Hello good morning sweateeees I wasn’t going to LiveBlog but now I feel like it. It is currently 9:27am and we just had a fun stop at Sheetz in Wheeling. Some broad came rushing over to me and legit cried, “I JUST HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT I LOVE LOVE LOVE UR SWEATER. ITS FANTASTIC!” And it was a really nice Sheetz moment, you know? Chooch came slithering around the corner and hissed, “WHAT did she say?” Because as you know, Chooch hates it when I am the recipient of compliments.

Then as we were walking away from the check out, someone came up behind us and fucking ROARED their cigarette order in a marbled slur, making us all whip our heads around to see TO WHOM THE VOICE BELONGED. As expected, it was a very large (in height and girth) truck driver.

11:02am: at a rest stop somewhere in Ohio and I just screamed out the name of a coaster enthusiast that I have been trying to think of since last night and no one cares lol. (It is SLOAN by the way – I kept saying “it’s an ambiguous name and also the name of a character from a popular 80s movie” like I knew the name the whole time but was just trying to get other ppl to guess??)

All you have missed so far is me bitching about social media attention-grabbers.

11:29am: Chooch just asked if we were going outside anywhere, like…we didn’t just drive all the way to Columbus to sit in the car, so…?

I asked why and he said, “because somehow* I got Dunkin all over my shirt.”

*SOMEHOW. Because he is still a child!! Henry just said, “I guess we need to start bringing the diaper bag with us in the car again.” Honestly!! 17 years old but some things never change.

He just asked for an I Love Ohio shirt to change into lol.

Waiting for our fooooood!

Lunchin’ with Mikey!

Ok, this has got to be top 3 best vegan places I’ve eaten at, now that we’ve had two experiences I feel like I can safely and confidently say that. I got the fish sandwich and nearly wept into it.

General Tso’s wings – amazing. Chunky bois. Lotsa umami. Chooch got the sandwich version, and Henry got the Buffy Mac which is a chicken sandwich with Mac and cheese on it.

We were all satisfied. And also happy that we got there within five minutes of the lunch time rush, phew.

Meanwhile, since seventeen year old still travels like a toddler and ended up arriving in Columbus with stains and spills all over his shirt, we had to buy him a shirt from the place we’re eating lunch at and now it’s like he’s That Guy who wears the band’s shirt to their concert OMG no lol.

1:12pm: we just left some rose garden thing and it was a nice way to digest after that filling lunch.

We managed to not fight once! Chooch was mostly distracted by the online auctions he’s bidding on.

1:51pm: SOUND THE BUZZER! Henry finally managed to ruin my day!!!!!! We went to Belle’s Bakery because they presumably have shaved ice which I stupidly thought was the Americanized way of saying they have kakigori. Since the bingsu place is closed on Sundays, I figured the Japanese version would suffice.

It was REALLY crowded so Henry said he would wait in line and then me and Chooch walked over to a Japanese gift store, at which point I lost him, but then found him again when he texted me and said he never left the store??

Anyway, when I saw Henry walk out of the bakery with literally just a cup of shaved iced a la Rita’s, I was sooooo mad. He at that point went back in and got the matcha soft serve that I had specifically asked for, in a separate cup, but it just wasn’t it, dawg.

I really thought it was going to be the GOOD “shaved ice” and not “actual shaved ice” so I poured bigly but now we are going to a vegan bakery to salvage the day.

Meanwhile, Chooch has been bidding on a “smart oven” all day, whatever that means, and keeps giving us updates.

2:12pm: just stopped here for spoiled son to get a game:

It was actually less creepy inside.

Healthcare send Heidi phone why need like cell? I have Spotify I don’t know why you talking about quiet woman here this time I think you would like that I thought of you like to wait for you little while 70s hits really put its way.

^^^^^ UM my phone auto-typed that based on the convo Henry and I were just having. Definitely leaving it in haha. 

2:37pm: Happy Little Treats!

Lady working here was very nice and the bakery itself is a delight! Interior design inspo….???

I got the cherry almond Poptart and it righted the wrongs created by Henry and Belle’s Bakery. It was JUST RIGHT.

3:59pm: We’re finally making our way home after taking a detour to NEWARK, OHIO which I am here to confirm is basically as a smaller but still shitty version of Newark, NJ. We went there because they had a gaming place but their board game selection was really slim so we walked in and basically walked right back out and Chooch was embarrassed about this for some reason.

I made Henry drive us through “downtown” and it was pretty shitty but the courthouse was pretty.

Then we passed the Longaberger Basket building!!

True story: I dated a guy briefly in high school whose mom was a Longaberger salesperson and every time I would call their house, the machine would say YOU HAVE REACHED BARB* FROM LONGABERGER BASKET” and it always sounded wrong to me, like she had meant to say “longberger” without the “a.”

*I actually can’t remember her name now just that she really didn’t like me which is on brand because none of my boyfriends moms ever liked me. Most of my friends moms don’t like me either so I guess it’s a “me” problem.

5:07pm: at a rest stop in Ohio somewhere between Zanesville and Wheeling. When Henry and I were getting out, Henry was being deaf as usual so Chooch said, “OMG I said it twice…three four times” harkening back to our second time in Korea when Henry flipped out on us at a cafe in a Jeonju (while sharing bingsu, coincidentally!!) because we were moving him and he said something about how “OK! You don’t have to repeat it twice three four times!” Of course, Chooch and I latched on to this and STILL reference it. So today in retaliation, Henry said, “fuck off two three four times.” OOH OK TOUGH GUY.

After peeing, Henry proceeded to do some weird ceremonial circling around the car and he was making us so nervous. Chooch kept yelling WHAT ARE YOU DOING I WANT TO GET HOME (apparently “getting the circulation flowing”) and at this same time I noticed that Chooch had a bag of HOT MUSTARD Doritos in the backseat with him so I exclaimed “Ooh I want to try it!” Chooch got real triggered by this and snapped I DONT WANT TO OPEN THE BAG so I said, “Wow, OK. It’s Mother’s Day but whatever” and he shouted OH MY GOD and threw the bag at me.

Hot mustard Doritos are good, you guys!!

7:50pm: Hello, checking in from home. Henry pretty much IMMEDIATELY went upstairs and collapsed into bed which is making me really scared to get old(er) because this was just a day trip? We didn’t do that much? He went to be bed at 11pm last night and we didn’t wake up to start getting ready to leave until around 7am. I was up until after 2am chatting with Janna and trying to teach her the names of THREE NCT members. Just three! I’m the one who should be passed in bed but mmm. Cook on, Henry.

To summarize, today was really good aside from the SHAVED ICE incident!