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.

Nov 222019

I woke up Sunday morning sick to my goddamn stomach. 100% pre-show, I’m-seeing-Taemin-today wad of electric nerves in the pit of my gut. The last time I felt this sick before a concert was in 2017 when I saw G-Dragon, and the time before that was in 2000 when I saw The Cure in Australia.

So, now you know.

The concert was in Fairfax, Virginia. I got ready, put my Taemin socks on, stuck my arrived-just-in-time Taemin “Jopping” pin on my sweater, and we were out the door by 7AM.

The pin is based on this frame from the “Jopping” video – Taemin’s signature King of Dance pose:

I always forget how close the DC area is to Pittsburgh, I guess because we typically find ourselves going east into New York or west into Ohio/Chicago for concerts or whatnot, and rarely south. I wish more Kpop concerts played DC because I would gladly choose those ones over fucking NEWARK, please Lord don’t give me any reasons to travel to Newark in the near future unless it’s something that I can’t deny, like a Taemin solo concert. I’d become a Newark resident if that’s what it took for me to see Taemin again, and that’s maybe a tiny bit hyperbolic, but YOU DON’T KNOW ME AND MY SNAP DECISIONS.

Step off!

Our drive was pretty uneventful. We ate a sleepy to-go breakfast from Sheetz, Chooch slept, and I kept chanting “omgomgomgomgomg” while Henry drove with glazed-over eyes.

I took a mirror selfie in some truck stop gas station so I could always remember what I wore when I saw TAEMIN FOR THE FIRST TIME HOLY SHIT. I’m not then type of person who gets all slutted up for concerts or wears band shirts or whatever. I wore the aforementioned Taemin socks and pin and felt that was sufficient, although I did have remorse for not making a Taemin headband like I had briefly considered, especially after we got to the venue and I saw so many various bias headbands and wow, I’m a terrible kpop stan.

Also, “stan” is such a fucking stupid word, isn’t it!?

We arrived in Fairfax, Virginia around 11, I think. Check-in for the VIP tickets was at 3:30 so we didn’t want to go to DC or do anything else too involved, in case something went awry BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW. So we went straight to the venue to scope it out (it was at the basketball arena on the George Mason University campus) – there were numerous parking lots and they were all free so Henry was extremely stoked about that.

I was so excited to see that some of my kpop brethren were already gathering around the arena gates and then the waves of acid in my stomach went from “baby splashing in the bathtub” to “FAT GUY JUST BELLY-FLOPPED IN THE POOL.” Look, it was really hard for me to enjoy any of the minutes preceding the concert because I was in this nervous haze, my heart rate was up (FitBit told me so), and I had the sweats. Maybe similar to the meat sweats? I DON’T KNOW, I DON’T DO MEAT.

Do you get like that before a concert, ever? I very rarely get THIS WORKED UP, but I would always accumulate moderate pre-show nerves, especially ones that I was going to solo. People will tell you that after you do it for awhile, you get used to it, but those people must be way more numb inside than me because I never got used to it, although I was always OK once I got inside the venue and staked out a spot. But man, those moments leading up to that were stressful and semi-sickening.

But this one…this was so different. I never thought I would get to see Taemin in real life, and I know I keep saying “Taemin Taemin Taemin” like he’s the Marsha of SuperM, and I do feel bad about that, because SuperM is dope for real and even if he wasn’t in it, I still would have got tickets to this show. But Taemin. I would pay the price I did even just to see him walk out on the stage and wave for a minute and leave. Just to know that I was in the same state as him, the same building, under the same roof, breathing the same air. He is just such a brilliant artist and I go on about him so much on here because I think everyone should know about him!

After scoping out the venue, we decided to get an early lunch even though food was the last thing on my mind which happens very rarely so you know I had it bad. Come back later for a LUNCH REVIEW. Annyeong.


Nov 212019

I’m still processing my thoughts (i.e. trying to piece my heart back together #sodramatic) so I’m handing this bitchblog over to Chooch, who is going to share his favorite part of the SuperM concert. HAVE AT IT, SONNY BOY.


The tour was overall an astonishing concert, but there was one part, the one part that changed it all:

the main reason in particular that I enjoyed Lucas’ portion of the night was because of the cute background video of him dancing. Not only this though, but also because the song is just, in general, good. Now this song is stuck in my head… good luck! I used a video from Chicago because of the better quality sound and view of the background.

Nov 202019

Pull up a (toilet) seat.

  • It snowed one day last week and I think the general consensus here in Pittsburgh was one giant, jutted middle finger. Not only did it snow, but it was all gray skies and complete mid-January desolation out there, except that it’s still November and we want to be enjoying the blue skies and orange and yellow leaves, you know? Get the fuck off my lawn, snow.
    • There is always That One Person on Instagram though who is like “SNOW! YIPPEE!” So annoying.
  • Speaking of being miserable, I fell this morning walking up the steps at Wood Street Station. I wasn’t running. I didn’t have wack shoes on. I wasn’t looking at my phone. I didn’t slip on a banana peel. I just…missed the step and before I knew it, I was being felled like a thick tree in an urban forest, baby. I bounced back up just as quickly as I fell, but it didn’t matter – the damage had been done. I quickly whispered, “Oh jeez!” over my shoulder and laugh-winced, but I wasn’t brave enough to look all the way behind me to see the extent of the witnesses. Of course, not a single motherfucker even asked if I was OK, but it’s fine. I’m fine. My hand hurts a little from where I caught myself on the edge of the step, but it’s my ego really took the brunt of it, lol.
    • Well, now I can never ride that trolley again. I guess I will start taking the one that comes right before my usual one. Bye-bye, Carrot. (That’s a guy who rides the same T as me and always tries to shoulder his way on before me and also he smells like wet carrots boiling in a pot.)
    • At least my super-supportive co-workers helped me laugh about it this morning and by that I mean they made fun of me. It’s cool. I earned it.

  • I bought some old man chicken noodle soup after work one night a few weeks ago and at least three times a week, I remember him and hope that the soup was good. His name was Everett. He’s a veteran and recently had surgery on his leg and was still wearing the hospital bracelet and then asked me to slow down because I was walking too fast when we were going to Noodles. Anyway, my point is: I fed a stranger and still fell in public.
    • Today on my lunch walk, I picked up a piece of plastic that was blowing down the sidewalk and threw it away in a nearby garbage can so maybe I’ll choke on a fake-ham sandwich as my penance in the next few days.

  • My new torture tactic for Chooch is to make him read old blog posts of mine AND also comment on them. I sent him one that included the picture above (one of my favorite THE SERVICE-era Henry photos!) and then chanted, “DID YOU READ IT YET DID YOU READ IT YET ARE YOU READING IT” and then I heard him giggle and I screamed, “WHAT PART IS IT?!” Maybe when he’s an adult, he’ll appreciate these old dumb blog posts about our road trips more. Anyway, he did comment, but all he said was “wow” and “that was” and “so funny” in three separate comments. He’s so rude.
  • Guys, Henry did a deep-dive into WayV, the Chinese subunit of NCT127, last night because he was inspired to find out where each member was born. That is how Yang Yang accidentally became his bias. (“Oh wow, Yang Yang lived in Germany and can speak German, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, and English!” Henry declines from behind his phone. Honestly though how buttery is this WayV song though:

  • I accidentally talked to Blake the other night outside of the house because I forgot that I was still mad at him over the cheesecake he ate that wasn’t his. When we were at Dorney Park on the carousel, Chooch was like, “That guy looks like Blake” and nodded toward a man standing in line and I said, “I’m sorry, I have no basis of comparison since that man isn’t eating someone else’s cheesecake.” I LOVE BEING PETTY!! It’s basically my best quality. I try to bring up the cheesecake every chance I get.

  • Margie had to get thumb surgery last week so I decided she needed something to spruce up her ace bandage. I knew I had leftover Jesus stickers somewhere from when I had an Easter egg hunt at work several years ago (actually, looking up the blog post for that reminded me that I actually did this two years in a row—wow, I used to be creative and fun at work once) and I found them in a box that I never unpacked from my last desk move because I was too “……..” to unpack fully. So I got to adorn Margie’s wound-koozie with a Jesus Loves You sticker and also adorn my little side desk thingie with my old Xmas decor that I completely forgot that I had! It was also a nice opportunity to toss all the dumb Jonny Craig ornaments I made back then when I used to put up a tree. But yeah! Here’s all my Xmas shit! Those voodoo Santas are still faves of mine. I made them using a tutorial that my friend Brandy did a million blog-years ago. 
  • I was off on Monday and listless and depressed, so what a great time to catch up on “This Is Us” which always is so upsetting because it makes me think about Henry dying and then I get totally clingy which is NOT A GREAT LOOK FOR ME and Henry is always just like, “You’re scaring me” and then it’s just a domino effect of hysterics after that until I’m screaming about how I want to lose 30 million more pounds and then having surgery to get rid of all my weird parts, to which Henry calmly responded, “So…your brain?” Wow, I set myself up for that one.

Well, that’s all my brain can withstand for now. I’m still trying to piece the bits of my head back together after it exploded Sunday night when I saw LEE TAEMIN. Perhaps one day I will find the strength to write about it. #drama

Nov 182019

Friday afternoon, I got a text from Henry that said Chooch got a 4.0, which is something that is more easily attainable for him now that the SHITTIEST ART TEACHER AROUND left and the school actually got a competent replacement who seems to be doing a great job because my kid went from loathing art to actually enjoying it again like he used to when when was much younger. That old teacher was SUCH A BITCH and gave him his first C ever last year because she grades subjectively, which is a bunch of bullshit for middle school.

(Plus, she didn’t like him for god only knows why. I was there in 6th grade for open house and she conveniently “had to go to a meeting” when we walked into her classroom. She was real fucking sketchy about it too.)

So even though Chooch is always on the high honor roll, that broad’s stupid art class would usually drag him down. What a dumb bitch.

Anyway, when Henry told me the news, I was like, “Great now we’re going to have to take him to dinner and he’s going to pick something stupid like Eat n Park and if that happens, I’m not going. I should get to choose because I’m the reason he’s smart to begin with!”

“There it is,” Glenn mumbled when I finished my rant at work. “I knew you’d find a way to make this about yourself.”

I mean, duh.

And of course, the first place Chooch suggested was Eat n Park and I was like, “PLEASE PICK A BETTER PLACE, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!” and after considering it for a few seconds, he said, “Well, I do kind of want Italian….”

“OK COOL SO TILLIE’S IT IS!” I declared, and Chooch was like, “Ooh yeah, Tillie’s!” like this was the best idea he’s ever heard in his whole life and I gratuitously blew on my fingernails while reminding him that I’m the brains of the household.

I will use any excuse to go to Tillie’s though. I have never had a bad experience there – it’s cozy, the service is always wonderful, and they have the best gnocchi in town, you can go on and fucking fight me if you disagree.

For some reason, my family never ate here when I was growing up, and we lived semi-nearby. I actually had never even heard of it until my friend Heather took me here for my 19th birthday and I was HOOKED. It’s not a fancy restaurant by any means, and you’ll usually see a mix of people in hoodies and old men in sports coats, but the food makes you feel like the richest person. Do you know what I mean? Like you’re on vacation in actual Italy and some old broad is slinging some authentic noods on a plate and capping it off with a healthy ladle of family secret tomato sauce.

It’s just good, yo.

When Chooch was really little though, he didn’t like it here because it “stank.”

It was the spaghetti sauce he was smelling and it didn’t “stink” – it makes you feel like you are taking a nap on a soft ravioli after being tucked in by a layer of wet tomatoes…OK maybe that sounds weird, but that smell always makes me feel warm and comforted!

Henry got a new flannel, finally.

It was on sale at Penney’s. He’s thrifty.

I think Henry was just happy that we picked Tillie’s and not some place that has bicycle parking and a roomful of kombucha-speckled handlebar mustaches.

You know your heads are still in Korea when your son thinks the gnocchi looks like tteokbokki, so now he calls it potato tteokbokki. I was so happy to be shoveling these little potato pillows in my mouth but apparently my stomach can no longer take on as much as it used to be able to because I felt like I was going to burst when I was halfway through.

Chooch got fettucine alfredo (classic) and Henry got a personal pizza, which is always super good at Tillie’s. We had a really nice time together, so thank you, Child, for being a brainiac and giving us a reason to go to Tillie’s. Not that we needed a reason, but going to Tillie’s is always more fun when you’re celebrating something.

I found out the next day that when Chooch went to the bathroom, some guy was in there peeing with his pants all the way down to the floor and Chooch saw his ass and then had me doubled over in laughter when he gave me the painful recap. I love hearing about Chooch’s adventures in public restrooms. I wish he would start a blog about it.

I look like a creep here but that’s fine. I can’t change my face, even though this morning I had a low self-esteem freak out and screamed about wanting to lose 30 million more pounds and having surgery to remove all of my weird parts and Henry said, “….so, your brain?” but I was thinking more along the lines of my entire face, but hey, that’s a (un-)wellness post for another day, I guess!

And on that note, I am going for a walk. I was off today because we were at the SuperM concert in Fairfax, VA last night and I have a lot of thoughts to sort through and wow, I just realized that I’m crying lol time to punch myself in the face.

Nov 162019

Tomorrow night, I will finally be in the same room as Lee Taemin, under the same roof, BREATHING THE SAME AIR. This has been my dream for quite some time now and while I’d have preferred to see him with SHINee or solo, seeing him with the other 6 members of SuperM is just as wonderful and I feel so grateful for this opportunity!

I’ve been trying to not binge on SuperM in the days leading up to the concert — this is hard considering I follow a ton of SHINee & Taemin accounts on Instagram plus the Taemin hashtag so my feed is full of videos from the shows that already happened this week and it’s killing me not to watch them! But I want to be surprised! I don’t want to know what else is going to happen in addition to the SuperM songs but I do know that there will be at least one Taemin solo and it doesn’t matter WHAT song it is, I am going to lose my goddamn mind.

I usually have a playlist of all his performances on the TV for background noise when Janna is over here visiting and she has even admitted to getting distracted by his mesmerizing (OMG I had to look up that spelling, I am really suffering) moves and vocals. He is really so much more than just “Kpop.” He is a dancing genius, and his voice is so distinct.

We were watching some of his live performances last night, and through tears I blurted out, “Taemin’s voice is like the sizzle from the flames of the fire you set to painful memorabilia.” Henry gave me the “okayyyyyy” sneer, but I stand by this comparison. His sultry vocal husk is warm, cathartic, satisfying.

Other things I have compared Taemin’s voice to:

  • the fog that covers the road on a late October night while you’re driving with a date through the woods to a haunted hayride;
  • an opulent, ridiculously expensive rich old lady’s shawl from the 1920s, mauve with various elements of silk, crushed velvet and lace. Delicate, but will keep you warm while making you feel pretty.

So, in honor of finally seeing this beautiful artist tomorrow night, I would like to share some of my favorite live solo performances of his and I really think everyone should watch them because he is A DREAM.

“Rise” is in my Top 3 favorite Taemin songs and if I ever got to watch him perform this in real life, I might not survive. It’s one of those times where a song truly transcends language – the first time I heard it, I obviously had no idea what he was singing about, but my heart and brain knew to be moved to tears. This song. This damn song.

It took a minute for “Artistic Groove” to really hit me, but once my mind caught up, I couldn’t stop listening to it and watching every single music show performance of it. The choreo and his sweet baby angel vocals are like a baseball bat to my knees. He is really really putting out some sick 1980s jazz vibes and no one else comes close to matching this! So really, we need to stop calling Taemin “kpop.”

I watched this Music Bank performance approximately 87,000 times during November 2017 and I now associate Thanksgiving with Taemin’s glorious hips. I mean….But in all honestly, this was the song that REALLY MADE MY EARS PERK UP to his unique, smoky voice and who needs turkey when you can just fill up on Taemin’s vocal feast. Keep the mashed potatoes, give me more pelvic pops. I mean, velvet vocals.

YOUNG TAEMIN. This song makes me feel like I’m in high school again, falling asleep to Quiet Storm on WAMO after talking to MY FRIST LOVE JUSTIN on the phone (sorry Henry). I made this comparison once and Henry was like, “THE FUCK” but Taemin’s voice in this song reminds me a bit of Anita Baker. There, I said it, and I will defend it.

“Day & Night” WAS SO UNDERRATED AND UNDERHYPED. Why did so many people seem to sleep on this song?! When I was looking for this video on YouTube, I saw a comment that said so many general kpop fans pass Taemin by, but all of the other idols gather around the stage to watch him record these music show performances. He is a living legend among his peers, you guys.

This was my first favorite Taemin solo song, and I know for damn sure I have posted the actual MV and various live stages of this because I love the dance so much, but this one really shatters that misconception that “kpop idols can’t sing.” Um, plus the end where he takes off his jacket.

OK, I could do this all day but I’ll wrap it up with this medley that Taemin showcased at the 2016 MAMA Awards. I honestly can’t watch him dance to “Goodbye” without silently crying. I am obsessed with people who can express such strong emotions just by moving their body, and Taemin pretty much pens an entire romance novel with one goddamn hip swivel, how does he get away with doing this to us?!

BONUS! Here is Henry’s favorite live performance of Taemin!

I wanted Henry to write two sentences — JUST TWO — about why he chose this video but he’s being a dumb moron about it, and all he will say is that he likes Taemin’s full, plump lips.

So on that note, please enjoy these beautiful performance art pieces from my beloved Lee Taemin.  <3

Nov 152019

I’ve been putting off writing this Part 2 post because it could very well be the LAST AMUSEMENT PARK POST OF 2019 unless I get my Thanksgiving Miracle and Henry takes his loving family to Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri.

Earlier that day, some broad told me at Target that she loved my sweater, and Chooch quickly mumbled, “I don’t.” He hates it when I get compliments in front of him. And then when we arrived at Dorney, the guy at the security check told me he liked my phone case. EAT IT, CHOOCH!

We didn’t do any of the haunt stuff because we didn’t stay late enough on Sunday for when they began, but I will say that of the three Cedar Fair parks we visited during the Halloween season, Dorney was the least decked-out. However, the Street Drum Corps – Blood Drums were performing at one point when we were walking to Demon Drop so that was pretty cool!

Pumpkins make everything better. It’s such a mood. Peter Pumpkin Eater’s wife was so lucky that she got to live in a pumpkin shell.

Wait….did he put there and then eat here?!


The last time I rode Demon Drop was in like…1992 when my family went to Cedar Point and it was one of the worst family trips ever and my stepdad and I fought the whole time and my BFF at the time was with us and my parents (and brothers) liked her so much better than me so I had to deal with that shit the whole time on top of feeling like I was going to die on the Demon Drop, so riding it again in 2019 really brought back some feelings.

IT WAS HORRIFYING. As soon as our stupid cage reached the top, I started shrieking about how I made a mistake, I didn’t want to do it anymore, and coincidentally, these are the same things I screamed when I was admitted for my dreaded C-Section.

This is why I don’t do drop towers.

One of the things I liked about Dorney is that they had veggie nuggets at one of their food places, and also the Beyond Burger. Granted, it was an exorbitant price ($17 for Chooch and me to each get one burger, no fries, no drink) and the “fix-in’s” were self-serve, but it was still a nice chance from the standard slice of pizza that I usually end up eating at vegetarian-unfriendly amusement parks.

Guys. You know what time it is.

Family Carousel Selfie time!

I love this new tradition! I never gave a shit about carousels before but now it’s like “WE CAN’T LEAVE WITHOUT RIDING THE FUCKING MERRY-GO-ROUND, BITCHES.”

Chooch was on the deer until he realized that it didn’t go up and down so then he switched to a horse and I was so afraid he was going to get yelled at because it was right when the carousel alarm sounded, and I hate getting yelled at by ride attendants!! This stems from the time I was 7 and my shoe fell off on the Paratroopers and the ride attendant (I can still picture her!!) yelled at me afterward and made me cry and my friend Amy’s mom was like, “BITCH, DON’T YELL AT THIS CHILD” and then the ride attendant probably cried because Amy’s mom could be really mean and loud.

Also, I never wore sandals to an amusement park ever again after that.

Alsox2, this is probably the 12th time I’ve told this story on my blog, but look – it really shaped who I am, OK?!

Carousel mirror selfie.

One ride I consistently skip at amusement parks is the bumper cars.  I love the look of the bumper cars, and how they’re attached to the weird wire-mesh ceiling and it creates sparks as it moves. I love how it sounds, and how it smells. It’s very nostalgic, but I never feel compelled to get in line.



It’s still my dream to replace my couch with vintage, refurbished bumper cars.

Chooch was excited because one of the dumb claw machines was full of the same exact generic “air pods” he won by selling cookie dough. Those good-good TWSI7s.

This year, we managed to go to 12 different amusement parks. 12! That’s not a lot for hardcore coaster enthusiasts, but it’s a record for my family and I can honestly say that I am living my best teenage life. It has been so much fun riding roller coasters with my family! We’ve had mostly excelsior experiences at each park—I’d easily rank Tokyo Disney Sea as my #1 and drop-kick Cedar Point straight down the elevator shaft—and I’d say that Dorney was a solid middle-ground. I really don’t have any complaints about it, and the only low point of the day was caused my own lack of nourishment and has zilch to do with Dorney’s operations.

We only stayed at Dorney until around 3, because we had a 4 hour drive home, which of course always ends up being way more than that. I really liked our time here and I’d like to go back next summer when the water rides are open, because I love me a good log flume and I think they have one there?!

Nov 142019

Chooch told me last night that people might actually read my blog if I was more relevant. “You need to like, write about boomers or something,” he said, suddenly becoming my blogging manager. Well sorry, but here I am with another post about amusement parks for the 1%! Enjoy!

On our second day of the Weekend Whiplash tour, we visited Dorney Park in Allentown, PA. It’s part of the Cedar Fair chain so we were able to use our passes. This was actually how I convinced Henry to make this autumn amusement park trip – “Oppa-yaaaaaaaaa, we won’t have to pay for the park! It can just be a day trip! I’ll help drive! I won’t eat anything!” but once he agreed, I launched my signature manipulation move by “negotiating” a/k/a whining and crying until he agreed that we could also add Lake Compounce in Connecticut.

“We’re going to be right there!” I cried, and by “right there” I meant 3.5 hours and three states away.

Anyway, you already know this! Now we’ll chit-chat about Dorney, which is a park that I’ve wanted to go to numerous times in the past when we’re on our way home from somewhere else and I see a sign for it, but then forget all about it once we get back to Pittsburgh. It’s definitely on the lower-end of the Cedar Fair chain, as far as size and coaster collection go, but it’s still worth a visit if you’re into amusement parks!

Like most (all?) of the Cedar Fair parks, their kids area is themed to Snoopy so enjoy that, I guess. Chooch certainly did.

We took these pictures while Henry was in the bathroom. Literally, we had just gotten there after stopping at like 87 gas stations and even a Target (I NEEDED TAMPONS OK GOD WHY DO YOU HAVE TO PRY INTO MY BUSINESS) but he still has to immediately bee-line for the nearest rest room upon entry to any given amusement park.

OK, Chooch.

The first coaster we rode was Talon, and it was a walk-on. I didn’t think I would care much for it, but this was a real pleasant surprise, my friends! It was smooth, the first drop was thrilling, and I didn’t get a head-banger’s headache afterward.

I watch this one theme park YouTube channel called In The Loop, and when my favorite vlogger of the crew, Legend, reported from there with his girlfriend Molly (my actual favorite) and talked about the “jojo roll” on Hydra, I completely latched on to that for some reason. I mean, first of all, “jojo roll” is a ridiculous name for an element so of course I’m going to start obsessing over it. It’s actually just a heartline roll, but it’s specifically when that element happens before the lift hill, and on Hydra, it happens as soon as you leave the station.

So we were all, “YEAH JOJO ROLL!” but then after that, it was just “a ride.” Nothing super spectacular, but it’s a really beautiful coaster nonetheless – I loved the color scheme and the Hydra sign! Also, I believe this is the only floorless coaster in Pennsylvania, which seems weird that Hershey doesn’t have one, but there you go. Something to seek out if you’re in PA and a floorless aficionado.

After this, we ran to the main attraction (for us): Steel Force. This was actually going to be Chooch’s 100th coaster before we added Lake Compounce to the mix, because we love us some hypers. I don’t think anything will ever replace Phantom’s Revenge in my heart, because it’s a homepark sweetheart and that second drop is unlike any other in the world, but this one was REALLY FUN.

Chooch and I went straight for the back and Mr. Defiant Henry was like, “THEN I AM GOING TO THE FRONT.” You can see in that picture up there how much of a crowd we had to contend with.

Steel Force line selfie!

I wouldn’t rank Steel Force above Magnum at Cedar Point, but holy shit this was a sweet ride! I think I spent most of the time out of my seat. It wasn’t too painful either, whereas I do experience some back-crunches on Magnum. Yeah, this ride is pretty fucking beautiful. My co-worker Megan told me that she was there one time when people were getting married on it!

I guess it used to be a world record-holder when it was constructed in the late 90s, and it still holds the record for being the longest steel coaster on the east coast. I’m sure this part of this blog post will not age well.

I was annoyed because the one ride attendant who looked like the world’s biggest David Draiman fan made Chooch and I get off the dumb train and run all the way back around and get back into line when we asked if we could just stay on – THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE IN LINE. Ugh, parks and their rules. Whatever. So we had to run like maniacs because we wanted to get on the same one as Henry, since he was still standing in the only line that had anyone in it – the front. We didn’t make it though because a dumb slow couple got in front of us and we were soooo angry.

Anyway, this tiny moment manifested into this huge internal drama where I fucking hated the ride attendant and I was so annoyed because he kept jovially talking to all the people who were in the front row and I was like STOP TRYING TO ACT COOL and then I tried to accuse him (behind his back, because that’s how I do) of not checking my seat belt on our second ride but Chooch said he actually did come back there to my side but I wasn’t paying attention. PROBABLY BECAUSE I WAS SEEING RED.

Then, on our third ride, Chooch and I opted for the front row that time so I sadly had to stand near him.

“OK, I gotta ask,” he started to say to me and I got SUPER TENSE because I DID NOT WANT TO TALK TO HIM AFTER THE INCIDENT*. “Did you get your coat the Cruella DeVille store?”

*(Chooch was over it way before I was. But I didn’t like the way that guy shook his head at us and said, “You have to get off and go back around.”)

Literally, I went years and years without anyone but the one homeless lady who sits outside of the gay bar Images on Liberty Avenue making any type of comment about this jacket when I wear it, but this particular weekend was rife with comments and compliments. (The young girl at Dorney’s gift shop was like I LOVE YOUR COAT and probably thought I was going to say I got it from Forever 21 and not some years-defunct clothing boutique for young sluts. (Contempo, lol.)

I didn’t even bother coming up with a witty retort. Instead, I fake-laughed and said, “Yeah you would think” because YOU WOULDN’T LET US STAY IN THE BACKSEAT AND RIDE AGAIN, YOU DIME STORE ANDRE AGASSI.

I’m sure he’s otherwise a very nice guy. Henry seemed to get along fine with him. But, that’s Henry, the White Knight for all Thoughtless White Men.

Other coasters rode but not shown: Possessed, which is an inverted impulse that I want desperately to call “Possession” instead, like it’s based off pf some imaginary 1980s film noir prequel to “Fatal Attraction” starring Glenn Close. Anyway, it’s a smaller version  to Wicked Twister, a/k/a Spaghetti Noodle, at Cedar Point. We rode this one in the back and it was straight-up terrifying. Henry didn’t ride it because he’s a big baby when it comes to launch coasters, wah wah wah.

We never pass up the vintage cars! Unless the line is long. We don’t care that much.

When we were in line, we witnessed a legit pile-up. First of all, I don’t care how many signs there are posted that say NO BUMPING and STOP HERE – when you’re letting small children zoom off unsupervised, what do you expect is going to happen when they roll up to the station and there is no ride attendant there yelling for them to step on the brake? THEY’RE GOING TO KEEP GOING. And this is exactly what happened when some, I don’t know, 1st grader I guess, came zooming around the bend, ignored the STOP SIGN because he’s like 6, and crashed into the line of cars waiting to go. There was a woman in the process of getting out of the first car in line, and she nearly fell out of it when the crash happened, and then one of the ride attendants was all, OH SHIT, and had to run over to step on the brake because kids are dumb.

I was super worried this was going to happen to us when we were sitting in line waiting to go!

Anyway, the course was really short, but at least we got to ogle some jacks.

Look at dumb Henry, watching us like a proud parent. He also took a video of us cruisin’, which offends me and I cannot post it here because his Instagram account is private like anyone cares enough to creep on him.  People who hate him just lash out at him through me, anyway, so what’s it matter?!

Meanwhile, some Monster Truck event was happening, because Dorney has an entire Monster Truck Thunder Alley which replaced some roller coaster that was probably way better than Monster Trucks but whatever. Anyway, the Grave Digger guy was there and only a few kids were talking to him so I was like, “You should go over there” and Chooch was like, “But I don’t care about Monster Trucks” and I was like, “Yeah, but that guy is here so we should at least pretend.” And that’s how Chooch got stuck having a conversation about the weather with the Grave Digger guy because he had nothing else to say to him.

Nice guy though!!

By now, we were entering the Hunger Zone, and I was starting to sporadically growl the word “CUNT” while spewing demonic pea soup, but instead of sitting down to eat, I decided  to get in line for the last coaster we needed – the stupid Wild Mouse. I guaranteed Chooch earlier that day that it would be the longest line we’d stand in all day, AND I WAS RIGHT. A while whopping 15 minutes. I entertained myself by emasculating Henry via KakaoTalk. The picture above is him reading my texts while his dick folds in on itself in humiliation.

But you guys! All the cars were mice except one, which was a CAT, and we got the cat! That was enough to make me block out the hunger pains!

Yeah boi! View from the top! Look at all those fall colors!

Here you can see “Possession Starring Glenn Close” in the background, and also part of the woodie, Thunderhawk, which was A-OK. I literally don’t remember anything about it.

One last ride on Talon (!!) before leaving and starting the 4 hour drive home. What a great weekend!

Nov 122019

It snowed today in Pittsburgh and I’m low key pouting it hahahaha j/k when am I ever low key with my pouts.

Seriously though, the weekend was so nice and autumnal, and yesterday was straight up gorgeous and 60 degrees for my Monday lunch time walk.

Then today was full of miserable FUCK SNOW Instagram posts from all my local peeps.

But hey, who am I to dwell on misery (lol that is JUST who I am, actually)? Instead I will just recount on all the nice things that happened that PRE-SNOW.

(Come on-hahahahahahaha-nnnnnn, it’s only just the beginning of November!!)

Here’s Chooch matching a church that may be abandoned I couldn’t tell?

Sometimes when I text Henry/Janna/the FBI about Chooch, it autocorrects to Church.

Remember when Chooch sold cookie dough a million years ago? It came in two weeks ago (remember when Blake some of it when it didn’t belong to him??) but we just finally delivered the last of it over the weekend: a box of oatmeal raisin to some single guy named Matt who was like, “Thanks guys! I forgot I ordered this!” so I guess we could have kept it. And then a box of white chocolate macadamia for JEN who IS LIKE NEVER FUCKING HOME and I was getting RULL TIRED of seeing this gargoyle in her front yard. Anyway, she was finally home on Sunday – well, actually her husband was. Chooch knocked like 18 times, taped a SORRY WE MISSED YOU note to her door, and knocked once more for good measure when her husband actually opened the door and Chooch was stunned into silence for the first time in his life. He just stood there holding the cookie dough staring at Mr. Jen (who was holding a tape measure) until he finally sputtered, “Cookie dough. Jen ordered it.”

It felt like a major victory, I’m not going to lie. Fucking cookie dough. So sick of it.

Henry got us these totally apropos Philippine snacks from the Asian market and they are SO GOOD.

^^^ This slut.

Sometime on Sunday, we went to the mall because I wanted to buy clothes but everything I saw was trash and I was a big pouty baby about it, but oh shit Henry treated himself to two flannels and then Chooch was hanging out in some little arcade and the guy in charge was like “hey bud you wanna help me clean up in here and I’ll pay you” and that’s how Chooch wandered off and earned $5 when we weren’t paying attention to him.

I ended up going to Target later and I bought clothes there so I felt whole again DONT WORRY ABOUT ME.

On the way there, “Lies” by BIGBANG came on and I pointed out this one part near the end, literally a two-second line, that reminds me of “Because I Love You” by Stevie B., which made me nostalgically regale Henry with the story of how I used to call the local soft rock radio station constantly in high school to request “Because I Love You” by Stevie B.

“My poor friends were probably brainwashed by all of my obsessions,” I said and Henry mumbled, “Literally nothing has changed.”

“It’s weird that you don’t hear more about Stevie B,” I mused as we drove down 51 to West Mifflin.

“Is it though?” Henry asked.

Speaking of Henry, I learned this weekend that he hates girls who wear tight jeans with frayed/torn cuffs and high-heeled boots, and if he calls you a “Dicknose” he’s very mad.

Then Drew puked because she ate too many treats out of her Christmas mouse treat-dispenser and I yelled upstairs for Chooch to clean up his cat’s puke but he sent some guy named Vorshkoff in his place, and while Vorshkoff mopped up the cat spew efficiently, he also grabbed a box of matches off the table and, with fire-lust in his eyes, whispered that he’s a pyromaniac so I don’t know how credible Vorshkoff actually is. Also, his Russian accent was a bit sketchy.

Also at Target we bought this quaint Christmas chalet cat scratcher for Drew & Penelope but they won’t both go in/on it at the same time because they low-key hate each other (sometimes high-key).

To cap off the weekend, I watched The Walking Dead in real time for the first time in two years because I spent all week getting caught up and I have to say, I AM HERE FOR IT.

On that note, here’s my jam:

(The versions on Spotify are incorrect!!! He must have re-recorded it at some point and I HATE IT.)

(Also, when I would call to request it, I ALWAYS said that I was Susie from Clairton, a neighboring town, and then I would hurry and push record on my tape deck because I couldn’t find the CD at any music store for the longest time and I would just record it off the radio over and over and it always starts with ‘BECAUSEILOVEYOUBYSTEVIEB. SUSIE. FROM CLAIRTON.” My friends were traumatized with the amount of times they had to listen to this song in their cars, and there is all this footage from my camcorder days where you can hear me screeching MY HEART’S AN OPEN DOOR in the background. Oh, those were the days.)

(Also again, my aunt Sharon eventually found his greatest hits CD for me and it came in the mail – I don’t know how she found it since this was pre-Internet Times, but she realllllly loves getting on the horn and calling companies so for all I know, she found out what record label he was on and called ’em up. Sharon was MASTERFUL at getting things.)

(I miss her.)

Nov 112019

Whenever I say, “OMG I MISS KOREA” I can promise you that Chooch has probably already said it three times more than me that day already. Don’t get it twisted though – I’m still Korea’s #1 stan up in this Brookline hanok, but Chooch is some kind of homesick for Hanguk.

I think it’s primarily the bibimbap though. He talks about the bibimbap he had during the DMZ tour at least three times a week like it’s his religion.

Since I didn’t have any plans Saturday afternoon, I decided that we should have a family lunch at Nak Won Garden so that Chooch could finally satisfy his bibimcraving. Nak Won is a traditional Korean restaurant and not some fancy/trendy Asian fusion joint,  so eating there kind of sort of feels a little tiny bit like being back in Seoul and my heart actually stung. I just want more than anything to be back there, you have no idea.

I also want to have the confidence to speak in Korean to the woman who owns this place, but I always end up just smiling like a dumb mute and mumbling, “Thank you” in English instead. I am literally the worst.

Chooch is such a bibimbap hipster. He was all, “I mean, it was ok, but it wasn’t nearly as good as that bibimbap I had at the DMZ….” and then he got all dreamy-eyed and caught up in a gochujang flashback.

Afterward, we went to Squirrel Hill to see “Parasite.” I didn’t think Chooch would want to go but then he really didn’t have much choice because we didn’t have time to take him home first.  In the end, he ended up being obsessed with it and watched YouTube videos about it that night.

It was just awesome seeing familiar faces from some of our favorite k-dramas here at home, in the theater. It was SO GOOD. Please go see it and try to avoid spoilers. I don’t see many movies in the theater, so you know it has to be something special.

Afterward,  I suggested continuing the theme of Korea Day by getting some 빵 at Sumi’s Cakery, a Korean bakery down the street from the theater. 

“Is it really Korea Day?” Chooch ask, slurping on his bubble tea.

“I mean, yeah, I declared it,” I shrugged.

“Oh I thought it was like actually Korea’s independence day or something,” Chooch said.

When we came home, Drew and I watched our favorite Korean cat YouTube channel, CreamHeroes. Henry doesn’t like when we watch it because he thinks it encourages my manic cat personality.

Then I followed along on Instragram as Taeyang and Daesung were discharged from the military so now we have 4/5 BIGBANG members back! (Seungri has yet to enlist but he’s retired from the entertainment industry because of the accusations/witchhunt against him but I have hope that his name will eventually be cleared and maybe in time he will be ready to come back and BIGBANG can be five again.)

One of the hashtags was #dope_discharge_congratz because Taeyang is notorious for wishing people a happy birthday by saying “dope birthday congrats” and I just can’t stand it, the most adorable hashtag ever.

And then Henry and I finally finished watching the k-drama “Romance is a Bonus Book” which we started months ago and was SO GOOD but I am terrible at finishing things in a timely manner.

OH! And I did an hour of Kpop cardio. It was an A+ day. Super daebak. Let’s end this with a BIGBANG video because I need for them to come back, you guys. I need it.

I just want to be back there already. Someday, I hope!

Nov 092019

When I first started looking at information on Lake Compounce, their “haunted graveyard” was an optional event so if you just wanted to go to the park without doing the haunt, you could. I thought that would be a good way to get Henry to agree to, um, extending our road trip because he is a Halloween Scrooge and just doesn’t enjoy haunted attractions that much (“no one ever tries to scare the old guys!” he whined once, so there’s the truth).

But then on the way there, I went to their website to buy the tickets and that option was gone. Now the tickets were one price, and it included the haunt. Henry grumbled about this because he’s a tightwad who is always trying to save a buck, but….TOO LATE TO TURN BACK NOW.

When we got there, there were little day-glo clown vignettes set up here and there and I was like, “Oh wow, I’m so glad we paid extra for this.”

Was this it? The Haunted Graveyard?! It was just a small plot of land dotted with tombstones, and apparently there were several scheduled performances of “Thriller” over there during the course of the night too.

It did make for a really cool photo op, though!

Eventually, we found the area where the actual haunt was. Our tickets said that our time slot was 9:30, and we almost didn’t stay that long because it was SO COLD, but then I was like, “Well, it’s included in our ticket, and it’s not that crowded here, so we might as well just go and check it out.”

HOLY SHIT. Thank god we did, because this ended up being the BEST haunt we went to all season, maybe even the last several seasons. In some little amusement park in Connecticut, no less!

We only had to stand in line for about 15 minutes, where I was harangued by a clown who was obsessed with questioning me about my jacket. Do you know that I have had this jacket since…maybe 1999 or 2000? And this was the first time anyone has ever made Cruella DeVille comments?! And it happened again inside the haunt when someone growled in my ear, “How many dogs do you have?” and I missed the perfect opportunity to say, “I brought two of them here with me.” Then a butcher said he wanted me and mooed, haha.

I’m getting ahead of myself though! The organization of the line outside of the haunt was fantastic – they split everyone into corrals so it kept the line moving faster. There was an older couple in front of us (the guy reminded me of Nicholas Cage and had really dorky commentary throughout) and a larger group of friends behind us so I was originally worried that there were too many of us. The lady at the door of the “church” was like, “Enjoy your 45 minute walk through” and we looked at each other, like, “There is no way we’ll be in there for 45 minuutes” BUT WE WERE and every single second of that time counted. I have to save the details for my haunted house journal but the Haunted Graveyard took us through a myriad of different scenes and themes, and each one was filled with scare actors who gave a shit about their roles.

It was le magnifique, you guys. I was sweating by the time we got out of there, and also, the large group we were paired with was hilarious without being annoying and I loved them.

I asked Henry the other day what his favorite part of the weekend was, and without hesitation he said, “Being there with you” JUST KIDDING he said, “The Haunted Graveyard.” That is really saying something!!

Now, please enjoy some photos of our time at Lake Compounce once the sun went down.

Y’all know we can’t go to a park without a carousel selfie.

We didn’t like Henry’s attempt so we got back on again after it stopped. “Who even re-rides the carousel?” Chooch mumbled.

Us, clearly!

Chooch always takes the best ones so we put him in charge.

But that means we have to take the whole “Chooch’s Carousel Photo Package” which always includes a picture of him patting his horse’s butt and usually a close-up of him forcing himself to have triple-chins.

There were only two downsides to the whole experience at Lake Compounce: it was really cold and I was woefully underdressed (I only let Henry get this close to me because I was that cold) and the s’mores stand, which cost us $12 for two s’mores while a group of morons shuffled around behind the flames, half-assedly toasting marshmallows, running out of Hersheys bars and then leaving their station without telling the customers what was happening, and then serving up s’mores that had no semblance of gooey, melty, campfire goodness. I took one bite out of mine and gave it to Henry. “I’m not wasting calories on this,” I said, and then pouted for a few minutes but I recovered quickly because everything else about the park was so nice and inoffensive.

No line-jumpers!

No weirdos!

No broken down rides!

They even had this county fair food trailer thing that apparently was seen on Stranger Things, Season 3!

The kiddyland area was closed for the season, but it was appropriately clown-themed and I was obsessed.

WTF lol.

DID YOU KNOW that Lake Compounce is the oldest continuously-operated amusement park in the US? Well, now you know, thanks to my blog and my mediocre Wiki-reading skills.

I love riding the little cars in amusement parks to begin with, but it’s even better during the Halloween season!

I’d like to go back sometime during the summer and see what the park’s like during the day, maybe ride some water rides, but I think we got a pretty good feel for Lake Compounce during our 6 hours there last weekend and I would definitely recommend it, ESPECIALLY if you’re a ho-bag for wooden coasters like myself. Boulder Dash is just really on another level and I would even say it’s worth the price of admission—I think we paid $32/person because we had a $5 off code, but prior to the day we were there, I saw on their website that you could pay $29.99 if you were only going to the park and not attending the haunt, so I’m not sure what their regular season deals are like. Plus, it’s in a general proximity to other parks, like Dorney in Allentown, PA, and Six Flags New England in Massachusetts.

Another unusual thing is that there was no one there that pissed me off. Usually, at every park, there is THAT ONE PERSON that acts a fool in line or makes loud nose-noises or whatever I deem offensive at that point in time. And then naturally I see them 87 more times throughout the course of the day. But I guess Connecticut has OK peeps.

(Except for that Sandy Hook motherfucker. We passed signs for that town on the highway and it made me incredibly sad.)

Goodbye, Lake Compounce!

After we left, we drove for about an hour and stayed at some Super 8 in Danbury, and the hotel itself was actually fine and clean but since Henry is the king of waiting the last minute to book a room, the only thing they had available was a room on the smoking floor and Henry took it, thinking it would be fine, but my whole entire overnight bag still reeks of cigarette and I had to mouth-breathe until I eventually fell asleep because it felt like the pillow was smothering me with smoke.

I really liked the blue walls, though…?

Nov 082019

We already had decided to go to Dorney Park in Allentown during the first weekend in November, because it’s included in our Cedar Fair passes, still open for Halloween festivities, plus we were on a quest to get Chooch to 100 coaster credits by the end of the year. This was a pretty easy one to convince Henry of, because Allentown is only about a 4 hour drive.

But you know what’s only another 3 hours away from that?

LAKE COMPOUNCE in Connecticut!

My reasoning was that we were already going to be out “that way” so why not tack on a second park!? Henry was like, “THEY ARE NOT CLOSE TO EACH OTHER AT ALL.” But I just kept nagging and harping and whining and then I had that really Bad Halloween which wasn’t even really that bad but you know me, Queen of Hyperbole.  Finally Henry declared defeat and so we went to Lake Compounce on Saturday, yay! I’m a spoiled brat!

The reason I wanted to come here is all because of one roller coaster – Boulder Dash. It always comes up in various lists for the best wooden coasters and everyone knows wooden coasters are my favorites. But then Chooch apparently watched a video about Boulder Dash on his own, so he started to bug Henry about wanting to go here too and Henry was convinced that I put him up to it (I didn’t, but that’s definitely not something that’s beneath me); sorry, Henry, you live with two coaster enthusiasts. You lose.

Anyway, we rolled up to the park about 30 minutes before they opened at 5:00pm and there were only about 20 other people there. This was our first time ever coming to Lake Compounce, so I wasn’t sure what kind of crowds to expect, but as it turned out, it never really got very crowded as the night went on and most rides were a complete walk-on.

Some young guy in line with us had on navy pants imprinted with sail boats. Oh, Connecticut.

Chooch wanted Boulder Dash to be his 100th coaster, so we had to go on two other coasters first.  Phobia was first on the list and we were the very first ride of the day! And we were the only people on it too which was creepy. This coaster was pretty much exactly like Tempesto at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and I forgot how terrifying it is.

Even Henry rode it because I think he’s going through some sort of midlife crisis where he’s trying desperately to be more a part of our lives and less of a bench-sitter? I mean, he even has his dorky safety-strap for his glasses just so he can ride coasters with us, what a team player.

Ugh, the second coaster of the evening was Zoomerang, the park’s Vekoma boomerang. We were also the first people to ride this one, and Chooch and I were the ONLY ONES ON IT which made it all the more terrifying. Henry sat this one out because he knew it was going to be a rough one, and boy was he smart to do so. This piece of shit was so rattly and jerky that I was honestly unsure if we were going to make it around for our return trip to the station.

I posted this on Instagram and my friend Veronica was like, “Girl you know it’s true” and a more perfect comment has never been crafted.

But yeah, there’s a fun fact for you guys! Who knew?!

OK, finally it was time for Chooch to snag that #100 so we ran over to Boulder Dash which was honestly the only ride in the park that had any semblance of a line that we had to stand in. Chooch and I immediately got in line for the back row because back row is the best row, le duh.

This was a bucket list coaster of mine and I couldn’t believe I was getting a chance to ride it! Boulder Dash is famous for being a terrain woodie – the lift hill is flush with mountain. On the way up, you have beautiful views of the actual boulders that dot the terrain, and the rest of the ride is practically a collision-course down and around the side of the mountain. Hence the name Boulder Dash, y’all.

I definitely felt out of control on it, and the train seemingly jumps the track through the entire ride so the danger-factor is there in full force.

This wasn’t my favorite wooden coaster but it’s definitely earned a spot in my heart for being unique and just flat out wicked!

The sun was already starting to set so it was hard to get any pictures of Boulder Dash, but you can see part of the track on the hillside over there.

We rode it 4 times that night – twice in the back, once in row 5, and I think the longest we stood in line was probably 25 minutes when we wanted to sit in the front seat. I always recommend the front row for night rides, because there is really nothing like seeing an expanse of utter darkness whirling past you, totally throwing off your orientation and bearings.

I think the peak ride for me was when Henry and I rode together in the back at night and the climax of Zedd’s “Clarity” was playing in the station when we came back in. I was so pumped!

Also freezing. It was very cold in Bristol, Connecticut on that November night and I needed approximately 4 more pairs of socks and to swap out my cute-yet-thin cow-print jacket with an Alaskan parka.

When Chooch and I were in line for the front, he decided TO TAKE OFF HIS JACKET to prove to me that it wasn’t that cold and I was like “YOU ARE CRAZY AND ALSO EMBARRASSING” because it was fucking knit-hat weather that night, you guys. I was kicking myself for leaving my gloves in the car (Henry said I wouldn’t need them!!) and here’s my weird kid flexing his hot blood in line for a roller coaster. Everyone there was bundled up but then I stupidly pointed out that some kid who was currently in the train waiting to go was only wearing a t-shirt, so that inspired Chooch to ROLL UP THE SLEEVES OF HIS SHIRT SO IT LOOKED LIKE HE WAS WEARING A TANK TOP. I can’t with this stubborn kid. I just can’t. He kept his shirt like that during the entire frigid ride in the front seat too.

Anyway, here he is on his 100th coaster! Also, I was too cold to put my arms all the way up. And could Henry look any angrier?

One of the times Chooch and I rode without Henry, there was a young couple in front of us in line and the girl said to the boy, ‘I appreciate you” and then was trying to get him to wear her gloves because she was so concerned that he was too cold. I remembered this last night and was telling Henry about it.

“I was like, ‘WTF is happening right now.’ It was so weird.”

“It’s called LOVE,” Henry spat and then gave me his signature “what is wrong with you” look that, now that I think about it, everyone seems to keep in their back pocket, ready to slap on, when they talk to me.

Chooch thought the left seat of the fifth row was the best for some reason, so he rode there alone while Henry and I waited for the back. I don’t know what he’s doing in this picture – pantomiming putting on exam gloves?

The only other coaster at Lake Compounce is Wildcat, a smaller, family-friendly woodie. It was….OK. Not as rough or painful as I thought it would be, but it also didn’t have us running back in line either.

Henry thinks he’s so cool.

I really liked Phobia a lot, and it was a walk-on every time we rode it (one of the times they let us just stay on). But I think Boulder Dash was just wonderful and it was a solid, classic #100 for Chooch!

Going to amusement parks became so much more fun once Chooch finally came around to the idea of keeping track of his coaster credits. Now it’s like a game, one that even Henry likes to play!

Nov 062019

It’s definitely that point in autumn where winter is thrusting its pelvis on the horizon, because all I want to do is come home from work, put my cozy clothes on, and watch TV.

I had the day off on Monday which wasn’t that awesome because I also had my consultation with the periodontist and if you are a regular reader or like, talk to me in real life, you know that this is the reason I had been struggling to get my most recent X-ray from my former dentist which never happened even though they called me at work on Friday (the audacity!) and basically said it kept bouncing back with a tone that insinuated they felt this was my current dentist’s problem? Like, bro, maybe send a smaller file?

Whatever. I couldn’t stand the back-and-forth anymore so I just gave up and went to my appointment Xray-less.

My appointment wasn’t until 11:30 so I had all morning to pace around my house, wash dishes while staring out the window into a flashback sequence of my days skipping through meadows and splashing in babbling brooks while having healthy gums, wailing at the cats about how I’m dying of gum disease…you know, the usual things that people do before leaving for whatever appointments.

When I arrived, I immediately felt OK with the receptionist. She was normal and didn’t talk down to me like the broad at Former Dentist. I was taken back almost immediately (another thing that never happened at Former Dentist – I used to sit there for over 30 minutes, reading shit magazines) and within minutes of sitting down in the exam chair, the periodontist came in, asked me how I was doing (“Well, I’m here, so….not great” I answered while wringing my hands and he laughed), told me to call him Bob, did an exam and assured me that I was not dying and that he was going to get me all fixed up with another deep cleaning that will be done right this time. He promised me that the condition of my gums isn’t as bad as I thought so I immediately relaxed and WOW was I carrying a lot of tension over this in my shoulders!

Oh! And he took a brand new Xray, free of charge, and told me that he’s had problems in the past getting Xrays from FORMER DENTIST and I thought this was interesting because she rudely recommended other periodontists when she found out I was going to him. THERE IS SOME OF KIND OF DENTAL DRAMA GOING ON THERE.

So that part of my day off ended up being OK but now I have to wait for them to talk to my insurance or whatever behind-the-scenes bullshit happens before I can get anything scheduled so now I’m back to panicking again and dreading what’s to come because I’ve had one deep-cleaning already and it was AWFUL. However, it was a hygienist that did it and not to knock her because she was actually the only good thing about visits to Former Dentist, but I feel like having an actual gum specialist doing it this time has got to be better right? RIGHT?

Anyway, back at home, I was now doubled over in pain with cramps which I hardly ever get but that’s how you can tell that I was genuinely super-stressed out that day because wow, did it exacerbate it. So I laid on the couch and started watching last season of the Walking Dead, because I stopped at the first episode last year because my cable is dumb and was like, “Sorry, you have to pay to watch these episodes On Demand even though AMC is included in your cable package” but now the whole season is on Netflix so fuck off, Comcast.

Goddamn, I’m really glad that I didn’t fully give up TWD like I kept threatening because I fucking love Season 9! I’m almost done with it (how you know I’m ready to hibernate – I start binge-watching things) and now Henry is craning his neck and trying to see what’s going on while he’s sitting at his work bench (a/k/a the dining room table) making greeting cards, which is hilarious because he stopped watching this show way back in season 4, I think. But now it’s all, “Who’s that, where’s Rick, look out.”

I had been craving a viewing of Bram Stoker’s Dracula ever since we were at Cedar Point in September and that score was playing at one point during their Halloween event and I felt SO NOSTALGIC. I kept telling Chooch that he should watch it, that he love it, it’s so good, Winona Ryder’s in it, etc etc. He made it approximately 30-45 minutes into it because declaring, “This is boring” and peacing out. I was so offended, like I was Francis Ford Coppola himself. Or Bram Stoker.

When this movie came out, I was the same age as Chooch and I loved IT SO MUCH. I still have the soundtrack! Annie Lennox’s “Love Song For a Vampire” still gets me all choked up! I know this because I made Henry keep the movie on for the duration of the ending credits so I could hear it and see if it still made me cry. YEP. YEP IT DOES.

I thought Gary Oldman was THE GODDAMN SHIT because of that movie.

What else.

Oh! Super M collaborated with Korean Air and made a new safety video for them and now I am desperate to go back to Korea because we used Korean Air both times and loved it but now it’s clearly even better!!

That plane!! Ugh I miss Korea. I really hope I get the opportunity to go back again. ON THAT PRETTY BOY PLANE.

I’m also still kind of tired from the weekend, what with the time change, and also because we drove like 7 hours to go to Lake Compounce in Connecticut and then Dorney Park on the way home on Sunday, and this is how I can tell I’m no spring chicken anymore, because I was all whip-lashed and after that and still feel drowsy just thinking about it.

It’s fun doing these road trips with Henry and Chooch though. Henry actually slipped the other day and said that he likes going places with us so I quickly started firing off suggestions for other places we can do and he was like THAT WAS NOT AN INVITATION TO PLAN MORE TRIPS.

Don’t worry – I haven’t stopped fighting for Silver Dollar City. I am determined to get there during Thanksgiving!

I made popcorn earlier and burnt it so bad that giant tufts of smoke came billowing out of the microwave when I opened the door, and Henry started bitching about the stench as soon as he walked through the front door when returning from The Store.

(Honestly, how often do housewives go to The Store? Because this motherfucker goes like every other day! Shouldn’t he just spend the week clipping coupons and then getting everything in one fell swoop during one trip?! How does it work?! I have no idea! I used to get my groceries at the gas station down the street before Henry moved in with me!)

Nothing that exciting has happened this week aside from the news that my teeth aren’t going to fall out. Work has been quiet. The trolley commute has been uneventful. Today on my lunch break walk, I briefly thought a baby tree was a dead lumberjack being held up by a stick and I screamed a little while on the phone with Henry and he was like, “…………???????????????” so I sent him a picture of the tree and then he was like, “??????????????????????????????????????????????????

Look, my eyes are very strange, OK.

When I came home today, I happened to glance at Instagram and saw that one of the girls from KpopX – Rachel – passed away and I am really sad about it even though I didn’t know her personally. She was in all the old KpopX workouts back from 2015/2016 when I first started following their YouTube channel, and she was my favorite instructor. She was so pretty and seemed like she had a great personality. A few years ago, the leader of KpopX posted on Facebook that Rachel had leukemia, and she stopped showing up in new videos. I’m really sad but I am glad she isn’t suffering anymore. :(

This was one of my favorite routines that she’s in. She’s the one with long hair and bangs (in the video’s thumbnail, she’s the one in the middle):


And now it’s after 11PM and I wish to go to bed, so goodbye.

Nov 042019

What’s a road trip without a stop at some obscure, dilapidated roadside attraction? We had about an hour to kill on Saturday because Lake Compounce didn’t open until 5 pm, so I convinced Henry to finally take me to Holy Land USA in nearby Waterbury, Connecticut. And by “finally,” I mean that I suggested we stop there once in 2013 when we were on our way home from visiting our friend Alyson in New Hampshire and he said “N-O.”

But you know me and odd religious things. Gotta see ’em all!

(Ex: Ultraviolet Apocalypse; Giant Mary, Museum of Religious Statues; Troy Hill Relics.)

Chooch, who had his headphones on for 99% of the trip, was like, “The fuck are we?” when we rolled to a stop at the crest of a hill in what appeared to be a Mexican part of town (I kept begging Henry to stop at one of the Mexican markets so we could get candy but he was like NOT TODAY so I guess the next time we’re driving through Connecticut? Henry has no jams.

I guess this place was built in the 50s and was meant to be an actual, booming religious theme park. Were there going to be rides though? How can you have a theme park without rides? I wish this place had taken off because I could have sold them my plans for the Crucifixion-themed restaurant I’ve wanted to open for like 20 years now – The Rusty Nail. (Side of Pontius pilaf anyone?)

Up until 2013, the land was possessively presided over by a group of nuns called the Religious Sisters of Filippi Greco who got all nuts anytime they were approached by people who wanted to restore it, but apparently they could be bought for $350,000, which is what some car dealer and the mayor offered them on June 20, 2013. So I guess now those goons own the place and so far, all they have managed to do was replace the cross with a new and larger lighted cross, and I guess they cleared away some of the weeds or whatever.

I found this picture when scouring the Internet for more information on what this place was like in its heyday and I found this picture:

Image result for holy land usa

I 100% would NOT recommend crawling inside any of the structures that are still standing at Holy Land. Chooch made me look inside one of the windows and I had so much trepidation, expecting to see the jaw of a cat and Satanic symbols in dried blood, but there was nothing – just dirt and cobwebs.

Thank god.

Although I can’t rule out that there weren’t any demonic spirits swirling about. That’s where I would loaf if I was Satan’s relative.

The whole area was so scraggly and ugly. Someone’s comment on Roadside America said to check for ticks before getting back into the car so then I began obsessing about ticks and Chooch was like, “We’re wearing pants and long-sleeves, and it’s November. I think we will be fine.”

Thank god Henry wasn’t there when I was spiraling-out about ticks (he walked a different direction than us, and then went back to the car to look at Reddit probably) or else I would have received sedation in the form of a Hencyclopedia diatribe about ticks.

The view of Waterbury from the summit of Holy Land, USA.

Chooch slipped on a rock and almost slid down a hill by the cross and then denied it when I was standing right there and saw it happen with my own two eyes, and then wondered why I was all, “NO WAY, MISTER NIMBLE” when he wanted to scale some treacherous pile of rocks a few minutes later, so I kept imitating him slipping on the rock and it’s a wonder I haven’t won any awards yet for excelsior parenting.

I looked inside the Tower of Babel, expecting to see the remains of a Devil’s Night sacrifice, but all I saw was an empty water bottle.


Rando key.

Several other people showed up while we there, with the intent of casually poking around just like us, so Henry was less concerned about trespassing at that point. He is a big follower of warning signs. Like, if I ever wanted to just completely shut myself off to him, a strategically-placed “no trespassing” sign would easily get the job done.


We walked back to the car, where Henry was casually leaning against the hood, scrolling on his phone like a teenager, when Chooch decided he needed to go geocaching and then got tangled in the bare branches of a tree and fell on another rock, so that was cool. If anyone came back with ticks, it was that careless dumbass.

I mean, Holy Land USA was a cool place to stretch our legs, but unless you’re a HARDCORE Roadside America app user and obsessed with marking sights as BEEN THERE, then I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going too far out of your way to visit this run-down plot of ruins.

Nov 022019

Wow hey hello ok—let’s try something new here. It’s 6:07am and we just left the house for Connecticut and normally I would have the unbridled desire to live blog but I am also behind in recapping my totally not-that-exciting life so I thought, hey, let’s just combine the two. Henry’s being an angry mute right now and Chooch has his headphones on so chances are I won’t have much to live blog about anyway so let’s just jump right into last weekend’s roundup.

On Saturday, I met up with Jiyong and gave her some cookies from our G-Dragon Military Discharge Event at work and she was like O-M-G and immediately took a picture of them. I mean come one they were pretty spectacular!

We talked about nicknames at this language session. She has a great nickname (JangJong) but mine is just either ERINKELLY (ugh) or EK (this one is OK).

We have been meeting at this one Panera lately because it’s the most study-friendly but I think I am going to have to suggest a new place soon because their staff is just not great and the process of getting a coffee drink is tedious now that they hired this older woman who has no clue what’s going and talks loudly about the eye surgery she just had.

While I was with Jiyong, Chooch was at home spectating the local Halloween parade and conning candy off the shopowners.

When I got home, he started rapidly talking about his favorite part of the parade. “The dad was Hopper, the mom was Joyce, the daughter was Eleven, AND THE DOG WAS A DEMOGORGON. IT WAS SO CUTE AND I DIDNT TAKE A PICTURE BC IM DUMB.”

He’s distressed about this.

LIVEBLOG: we just left the Holy Sheetz at 6:50am and I’m now properly roadtrip breakfasted. Also, Sheryl Crow is a person I never really cared for.

I’m trying to stop saying “hate” with so much wanton abandon because I have realized over the last three years that there is really only person I actually hate in the whole wide world and that would be Donald Trump (not my President) so I should really reserve that word for just when I’m talking about him.

Speaking of not saying hate…

After my meetup with Jiyong, Henry, Chooch and I went to the Sewickley Haunted Church which has become our tradition over the last 5 years now I think? We just really like it: it’s cheap ($8), fun, and actually kind of scary too but the kind of scary that makes you crack up afterward.

It’s always interesting to see how they’re going to handle the line-formation, because it seems to change every year. This year, they had a giant U-shaped line of chairs set up, with three large tables in the back of the room. When we arrived, all the chairs were filled so the line coordinator (?) placed us at a table with another family. Then, as more groups were being let into the haunt and seats were freed up, we were moved into the chair queue. It was bizarre but perfect for anyone who hates standing in line, except that 75% of the people there could not grasp the concept of moving down as chairs were freed up. IG was hilarious but Henry was so aggravated about it. There was some vampire lady who was attempting to maintain order but she had her back turned when new people walked into the room, breezed right past the other line coordinator and took four empty seats near the entrance to the haunt?!?!?! All because a bunch of morons didn’t move the fuck down!! I was so mad about it but honestly we only waited for like 20 minutes anyway so whatever.

As usual, we had a good time and keeping with the theme of being behind on blogging, I am woefully tardy with my haunted house journaling today. It’s pathetic how much hand-writing cramps my hands these days!

LIVEBLOG: Henry just flipped out because GPS said we had 8 hours and 57 minutes until our arrival but I said, “I looked it up like a million times and I swear it’s only like 6ish hours away” so then he realized he had selected “no toll route” – 6 hours and 18 minutes to go!

The next morning we woke up early and drove to Sandusky, OH because I had the brilliant idea that we should go for the last season so that Chooch could try to get Maverick as his 100th coaster. I kept checking the forecast and it said it was windy so I did research and it was like “here are rides that usually close in these conditions” so I was prepared for some shit to not be running that day except that we got there, waiting for early entry, were let in with the general riffraff because the staff wasn’t even looking at passes and people were literally squeezing around the barricades like goddamn escaped circus animals, so that was great but ended up being a moot point because nothing was running for early entry, and then 90% of the coasters weren’t running all day, so…

Someone on Twitter was like “what’s open for early entry?” and someone replied “the gates.” Accurate!

I know CP can’t control weather but their public relations is pretty shitty and they were giving no updates as the day went on. I put a moratorium on it after about two hours, when only a handful of flat rides and Wicked Twister were running, and some jerk ride op watched Chooch and I standing in line for the kid coaster for like 15 minutes and waited until we were next in line to be like SORRY U NEED A KID TO RIDE and we were like WOW ET TU, KID COASTER?! Everything was letting us down! The dumb candy store didn’t even have the good sugar cookies.

Thankfully, we didn’t have to pay to be there so we decided to just leave and make the most of the otherwise decent day. I mean, it wasn’t raining or anything and once the sun came out, it was a really lovely day to drive around and enjoy the fall foliage assuming that we are the type of the family to do such a thing.

We stopped in some little Ohio town (Vermillion) to eat lunch and of course everything we found on Yelp ended up being closed because all humans but us fast on Sundays, but then we spotted this place called Old Prague Inn that looked visually pleasing to me because I love old world European bullshit. The menu outside said that had:


Locally grown vegetables slowly sautéed with European seasonings and finished with poached eggs. Served over dumplings or spätzles.
Yes. Sign me up. Make it a double. I was fucking GIDDY over this possibility because it’s rare to find anything meatless in a restaurant serving old school European cuisine.
We go inside and it’s a dark and perfect and there’s a pool table so Chooch is stoked. Then the waiter comes over with menus and immediately says they’re out of leczo.
We asked the waiter if there was any other vegetarian option and he was like, “Ehhhhhhh. I mean, we could make you a pretzel?”
I dunno if that was his name.
We rarely do this, but Henry was like, “I’ll just pay for the drinks and we’ll leave” and that is what Big Man Henry did. We got in the car and I almost cried because this day was so frustrating!
I kept trying to find other places to eat but by now my hunger was awakening my dormant explosive anger disorder and it was started to look grisly and red-tinged.
I found one diner and it had PAPRIKASH on the menu just like Prague place so I got angry and said NO and then Henry found another place but it was in a strip mall and I hate strip mall diners for some reason, I can’t remember why, but I know at some point I had a reason.
*lots of screaming & empty threats*
Eventually we settled on a place called Midway’s Oh Boy and it was DELIGHTFUL and also I’m the one who found it, so.

They had veggie burgers – not great ones, but the kind you expect from a small town diner, and I was just grateful they had the option at all because all the other places I found didn’t even have grilled cheese without meat and yes I’m aware I could have ordered it sans meat but the point is that I was angry and you can’t reason with a hot head.

Also when things like this happen and I fly off the handle, I realize that wow I must really be bottling a lot of shit in during the week when I’m busy being “Professional Erin.”

We had a really good waitress, and the joint had one of those fancy jukeboxes that can play almost anything and it had free credits on it so Chooch was tripping over himself to get to it before any of the other patrons…none of which showed any signs of interest in requesting songs.

I was a little nervous, wondering what he was up there so thoughtful requesting, because you never know what weird shit 13-year-olds listen to on their own time when their moms aren’t funneling Kpop down their ear-pipes.

As he slid into the booth, the opening notes of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” filled the diner and he looked so pleased.

“Is this what he requested?!” I asked, and he smugly nodded. So random. The next song was “Come On Aileen” which he also requested because he’s obsessed with it now thanks to “Perks…”

The we gorged on strawberry shortcake and caramel apple pie and it was soooo satisfying and completely turned the day around.

Thank you, Oh Boy. I don’t really understand your secret Oh Boy sauce, but everything else really had it going on. I would be a regular if we lived in whatever town that was.

You guys. PAPRIKASH. I guess we were in a big Czech-populated area of Ohio?! I have never seen the word “PAPRIKASH” so much in my life!

LIVEBLOG: It’s 7:40 and we just passed a billboard for Penn’s Cave. I blurted out, “Are we ever going to go there?!” because it’s tradition for me to ask and tradition for Henry to murmur, “I don’t know” before going back to contemplating how to get out of the next road trip.

Creepy vending machine broad.

We stopped at approximately 27 rest areas on the way home and at every single one, Chooch was panhandling for quarters.

“I told you I don’t have any! Do you think they just generate in my pockets?!” Henry cried and then we had a sidebar conference with the sole agenda of: When Will Our Child Outgrow Claw Machines.

Somehow, Henry’s pants did generate quarters though because at one of the stops, he was like, “Actually…” and that’s how Chooch ended up with three bouncy balls which he hurled against the wall while we waited for Henry to go to the bathroom. He was doing it so aggressively though like he was playing racquetball and passersby were glaring at me for not being a better parent but sorry, that’s because I was in the process of stalking some guy who looked like if our Castle Blood friend Ricky was a big Willie Nelson fan.

“Ok let’s go,” Henry said, back from the bathroom.

“We can’t. Mom’s waiting for some guy,” Chooch said, slamming the bouncy ball off the wall.

“What guy?” Henry questioned, but by then I was too giddy to respond in anything more than Bobcat Goldthwait barks so Henry just sighed and attempted to steal the bouncy ball from Chooch he was actually starting to get sweaty that’s how hard he was playing with this dumb toy.

Yeah Boy!

Then we went to another rest area and he was there too!

On the way out of that one, we were walking through the parking lot when I heard someone cheerful call out, “ERINKELLY!!” Now look, only people from a certain era of my current job call me this, because it stems from when there were two Erins and an Aaron in the office. Some people from that time still work there so it’s inevitable that I still get called that, but there were other people from that time that weren’t so great and I still twitch at times when I’m called “ERINKELLY” because I can hear those other people saying it in their condescending tones and it always reminded me of “Cinderelly Cinderelly!” If that makes sense.

So I got kind of tense, wondering who it was that was calling me ERINKELLY in the middle of a rest stop parking lot in Ohio, but it ended up just being my friend Mary! She used to work in our department but moved to a different department several years ago (Jesus, actually about 7 years now I think?!). Anyway, it was a pleasant surprise! That Sunday had really shaped up to be something good.

Oh, and apparently none of the coasters started to run at Cedar Point until around 4 or 5. What a terrible way for them to end the season. :( I only found that out from irate tweets from people who were there. The official Cedar Park socials were too busy announcing various sales at the gift shops.

I think that about wraps up last weekend so now we can just focus on RIGHT NOW oh boy!

8:27am: Let it be known that I just offered to drive for an hour and Henry stoically waved me off like I just suggested that I join him on the battlefield but that is no place for a woman.

I got coffee at Sheetz (second Sheetz of the day) and usually I tolerate it but it’s not great; however, this cup of coffee tastes super reminiscent to Mister Donut so I began lamenting the fact that they all turned into Donut Connection and now I don’t even think they’re around anymore?! I hated Donut Connection because it was so modern (well, for the 90s) and one of the best parts of Mister Donut was that old, 1950s orange dinette feel it had plus it reminded me of my Pappap.

One time in high school, Psycho Mike took me to Donut Connection for Valentine’s Day. He had a coupon for a free coffee and donut which he used for himself and I had to buy my own, so that was really cool.

11:40am: Guys you’ll never believe it – Henry actually let me drive for 2 hours. I kept offering and he would say NO like a big whiny bitchboy because that way he can complain later on about how I never drive. Anyway, he slept for the first hour and it was glorious because I got to fly along like I used to in my youthful days when I wasn’t dating a professional driver who refuses to be a passenger. Then he woke up and was all OMG SLOW DOWN THE SPEED LIMIT IS 55 YOU ARE DOING 80 GOOD LORD THIS IS A DOUBLE FINE ZONE DO U KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS THE FINE WILL BE $1000 AND YOU WILL PROBABLY GET ALL OF THE POINTS ON YOUR LICENSE!

God, go soak your hemorrhoids, Hank.

Anyway, I just pulled over at an Exxon somewhere past the Promised Land which I thought was going to be a BibliCOOL theme park but it’s just a regular state park I guess. Henry used the unisex bathroom before me and left the seat up so that was cool. When I yelled at him he was like, “It was already up!”

“well you could have put it down when you were done!” I screeched.

And he said, “I wasn’t touching that thing.”

Wow, so leave it for me. Awesome. Maybe next he can procure himself some donuts and eat them in front of me, too.

OMG henry is trying to explain exit numbers to me and I kept saying OK COOL I GET IT COOL but he just kept talking and it’s hard to believe sometimes that he doesn’t teach drivers ed at the community college.

We’re in some town called Port Jervis which is apparently entirely under construction and Henry almost hit a kid on a scooter and then pulled out into oncoming traffic so I was like WOW MAYBE I SHOULD GO BACK TO DRIVING but Chooch said he was more scared when I was driving bc I kept asking what the speed limit was and still did 90.

12:02pm: At this place for lunch and STEELY DAN is playing. Also, Henry dropped his phone on the waitress’s foot.

Chooch just sent our friend Alyson a message to see if she wants to meet us at Lake Compounce tonight because it’s like 2 hours from her. She recently posted on Instagram that she ate a cinnamon roll so he said, “She just ate a cinnamon roll so she should be good to drive.” OK, Chooch.

STAHP. This place actually had a really delicious veggie burger and PURPLE SLAW and now America’s You Can Do Magic is on and I’m in love with this town. Also, bathroom decor on point:

I’m fairly certain our waitress hated us. I tried to compliment the place on their hearty veggie burger (lol) and she was like NO when I asked if it was made there, and then THANKS when I said it was really good.

I could have eaten it plain without a bun or anything.

Our Meanyburger visiting his home.

Of course Arlene & Tom’s has a babbling brook behind their restaurant.

1:48pm: The town of Newburgh, NY is really under Henry’s skin. He saw a CASH ONLY sign for the toll road and panicked that it won’t take EZ pass so he detoured through this town to use an ATM and people here could definitely stand to enroll in Henry’s driving school, also we’re back on the highway and there’s a big MUST HAVE EZ PASS sign so Henry is ready to explode. Lol.

But look how pretty!



2:47pm People are passing us on both sides because Henry is driving below the speed limit. He is the worst.

3:18pm: After a million years, Henry finally brought me to the Holy Land, which is this dilapidated religious “theme park” from the 50s on a hillside of Waterbury, Connecticut.

I’ll do a separate photo dump of this another day. Right now we’re sitting in the car at the gate of it while Henry looks for a hotel and Chooch is crying because he can’t find a stupid geocache and also because he slipped on a rock but is denying it.

Well, I guess I will hit PUBLISH on this piece of shit blog post because we’re almost to Lake Compounce!