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.

Jul 302019
 

Monday was an action-packed day. Most of it was spent at Lotte World, which is the world’s largest indoor amusement park (a portion is also outdoors) and known as Korea’s Disneyland. It was so much fun and very exhausting!

But that’s not why I’m posting.

We ventured back out around 8:30 and things got super giddy right from the start when the elevator doors opened and people were already inside – Chooch started to have a laughing fit and was hiding in the corner while Henry glowered. He HATES our giddiness. By the time the elevator left us off in the lobby, I was laughing too and Henry stormed off. We caught up to him but he purposely slowed down so he was behind us because he didn’t want to be seen with us or something, who knows.

Henry being pissed going down into the Hongdae subway station.

Chooch is going to make a great travel partner for someone someday because he masters public transportation in a scary-quick way. I’m all stumbling around, getting turned around, tripping on nothing but solid ground, and he knows exactly which line and exit to use every time.

(To Be Fair, Ive been operating with ONE EYE on this trip although last night I said eff it and put both contacts in so Henry said that when my right eye falls out, don’t go one-eye-crying to him.)

It was so good to see the DDP again! I love this place so much, especially at night! It’s like being on a spaceship.

Seeing this gate was so significant because we walked to it on our first night in Korea last year, when we were fresh from the plane and super delirious. It’s crazy now to be back and have things look and feel familiar to us.

Chooch and Henry were hungry so we walked through nearby Gwangjang Market, which is the one they always feature on street food shows so if you’ve ever watched anything about South Korea, you have probably seen this. Chooch got bindaedduk which is a mung bean pancake, to take back to the room and then we were urgently summoned over to another stall by this adorable grandma who, in a series of hand motions, basically told us, “I’m going to put this food on a tray and you’re going to eat it, give me 10,000₩.”

Henry and I had makgeolli with our snacks and I barely drank any but REALLY FELT IT so the next portion of the night was awesome as Chooch (naturally drunk) and I (also naturally drunk but now actually drunk too) were totally slaphappy, especially because we were plied with sugary hotteok before leaving the market, but also because we decided to walk to the area we stayed at last time, in Jongno. Oh for god’s sake, being there again made us fucking die with laughter, just straight up choke on giggles, and Henry was whatever emotion comes on the Rage Totem Pole three pegs after “agitated hemorrhoids” but one before “caught the wife cheating.”

He stormed off ahead of us and muttered something about us being embarrassments and the disappeared into the subway station, completely ignoring Chooch’s cries of “Please reenact the subway scene!” referring to last year when he lost us and we have a video of him popping into the frame of that same subway station, with his arms out and making the “WHAT THE HELL” motion with his dumb head.

There is something about Henry’s general presence that KILLS Chooch and me. Like, we oscillate between being totally disgusted by him (“I hate him so much” is like our whispered catchphrase) to being absolutely entertained by everything he does but not in a way that’s flattering to him. Chooch mocks him so perfectly (he does this weird Paul Eugene-esque grunt to symbolize Henry’s voice) and I lose it every time and have to do the trying-not-to-pee squat.

Then when we got back to the hotel, THE SAME PPL FROM THE ELEVATOR were coming back at the same time and I had to make Chooch wait outside with me because I knew I would piss my pants if I got back on the elevator with those people.

If Chooch and I had forgotten which room was ours, we could have just followed the trail of steam that Henry left behind from his ears and nose; his patience was straight BLISTERING when we found him.

I dunno what it is about being in Korea but it’s like Chooch and I are mainlining laughing gas which is a HUGE problem for Henry but a blessing for the rest of us!

Bonus picture from yesterday morning, waiting for the elevator, a/k/a our Chuckle Chamber.

Anyway, we just got back to the room after a fun time day on the Chungyecheon Stream and Insadong, and now we’re resting for an hour before heading out to Digital Media City for a live taping of SBS MTV’s The Show!

Jul 282019
 

We took a train to Jeonju yesterday for a fun little day trip. We saw and did a lot but the purpose of this quick post is just to tell you about the Jeondong Catholic Cathedral, which was built to honor the Catholic martyrs of the Joseon Era. You don’t see many Catholic churches here so it was pretty interesting and very clearly a popular tourist spot.

We sat inside for a bit and listened to the choir practice and look I’m not just saying this because I’m Korea-biased but they sounded better than any dumb American choir I’ve ever listened to. The one girl had a voice that moved me to tears and Chooch was like “oh god.”

But god didn’t answer so I guess he wasn’t home.

There was a souvenir shop and you KNOW I needed to get some religious relics for my bathroom collection. I bought some crucifix decal thing and also Chooch and I got religious friendship bracelets! They had pretty much any saint you could think of and I almost got Rita since I was obsessed with her briefly but honestly Saint Francis is my all time homeboy so I scooped him up.

Chooch was obsessed with one that was called “Pie Jesus” so he chose that one. We googled it and the only thing they came up was some Sarah Brightman (“whoever that is,” Chooch scoffed, lol) song so it turns out it’s just regular old Jesus I guess.

Anyway, I like them because it has the names in Hangul and also because Henry doesn’t have one.

Today we’re going to Lotte World so look forward to that post in the future I guess lol.

Bonus picture of Chooch and me in Jeonju:

We were ridiculously giddy that day. (Not Henry though.)

Jul 272019
 

Daily hotel elevator selfie, pre-abandonment.

On Friday, we took a day trip to Incheon, which is a city about an hour outside of Seoul (also where the international airport is). In order to get there, we had to make several transfers on the subway. The last transfer was already quite a bit outside of Seoul and unfamiliar to us.

Now you should know that we weren’t under any time constraints. We didn’t have any sort of appointment we needed to make.

Yet! Somehow! For whatever reason! when we made it to the platform of the last train we needed to get us to Incheon, the doors were about to shut but Henry decided it was absolutely necessary for him to ballet-bound through the doors, causing Chooch to have the knee jerk reaction to leap after him just as the doors were closing.

They turned around just in time to slowly wave goodbye to me as the train pulled away, leaving me on the platform. Me, who didn’t have “get vivisected by shutting train doors” on the itinerary for the day. Me, who didn’t understand what the hurry was.

“Get off at the next station,” Henry texted me and I was like “NO SHIT YOU ASSHOLE” and then proceeded to wait the whole whopping two minutes for the next train to arrive before calmly and orderly boarding like a normal person and not Henry the Lumbering American Oaf.

I wasn’t even angry because I’m capable of getting on a freaking train on my own; HOWEVER when I arrived at the next station, they were nowhere to be found?!?!

This is when the texting frenzy started. First I thought asshole Chooch had turned on me and managed to talk Henry into hiding from me with him like we would typically do to Henry but after a quick walk around through the station I realized this was not the case.

“We’re here, where are you?” Henry responded to my rapid-fire succession of angry WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?s.

Well, they were not there, let me tell you.

So I walked back down to the track thinking that maybe I just didn’t see them. Because let me tell you about something that I have been dealing with since the day we got here: EYEBALL MALADIES.

My right eye has been beyond agitated since the plane ride because SOMEONE forgot to pack saline solution on the carryons so I couldn’t take my contacts out which is a HUGE TRAVEL FOUL, I know this. So I believe I have a corneal abrasion now in my right eye and haven’t been wearing a contact on that side.

Well, by Friday, I decided to be a big girl and just, omg, wear my eyeglasses.

Ok so look, I haven’t had a pair of eyeglasses in YEARS but I specifically got a pair last winter in preparation for, LOL, the plane ride. Have I worn them at all in the interim? FUCK no. In fact, they didn’t even fit on my face without flopping all over and thank god I had the foresight (ugh, “sight”) to walk down to the eyeglass place on Brookline Boulevard the Saturday before we left for Korea in order to get them properly fitted.

So not only am I abandoned in a foreign country’s train station, but I’m also visually impaired because I CANNOT HARDLY WALK STRAIGHT while eyeglassed and waited until I was across the world to try out the damn things for the first time. What is: A Thing That Makes Sense In Erin’s World.

Since I wasn’t used to wearing glasses, I felt off-balance every time I looked around, plus my right eye was screaming and wanted nothing more but to be closed. So when Henry kept texting me “WHAT STATION ARE YOU AT” I wanted to fling myself onto the tracks.

You can tell I was really fuming because that’s when my Hulk Thumbs make typos and don’t bother to change them.

I felt like Brenda in Adventures in Babysitting when some homeless person steals her glasses while she’s sleeping in the bus station and replaces them with a pair that don’t work and Brenda is left stumbling around, abandoned and blurred, except that I didn’t mistake a rat for a cat and Henry and Chooch didn’t meet Thor or sing in a blues club on their way to collect me.

Some dear old man train attendant came over to me, probably noticing that I was on the verge of tears, and asked me where I was trying to go. All I could do was wail “IM LOSSSSSSTTTTTT. My family LEFT MEEEEEEE” and he was able to at least tell me what station I was in because I couldn’t see the signs through my water-filled eyes.

Not my picture, but these are the steps I clumsily walked up and down in my frantic search for my hateful family. I cannot walk on steps while wearing glasses without white-knuckling the railing and my knees knocking like a baby deer’s.

Anyway, eventually I saw them ON A DIFFERENT SET OF TRACKS so we were reunited but it didn’t feel so good because I seriously wanted to eviscerate Henry for doing that to me and he was all “OH HA HA HA YOU WERE FINE” but can you imagine if the tables had turned and Chooch and I had done that to HIM? HOOOOOO LAWDY he’d have verbally-spanked us right there in whatever small Korean town we were in.

So it turns out that the train I got on after Henry’s was the correct one, and if he hadn’t been role-playing in his head that he was the popo chasing a perp onto a departing train, he’d have maybe noticed that his train wasn’t going to Incheon and actually SWITCHED TRACKS which put him and Chooch on the other side of the station, so it was no wonder we both thought we were at “the next station” but couldn’t find each other.

It was really frustrating and I mean at the end of the day, if I’m going to be lost, let it be in South Korea BUT STILL.

Oh, we can laugh about it now. But at the time it was the worst thing in the world and I felt like a discarded puppy.

Anyway, we eventually made it and I will of course have a full Incheon post at some point when I get home but here is a picture from Fairytale Village next to Chinatown and now you know why I was wearing glasses ugh for days.

The rest of the day ended up being wonderful in spite of Henry’s jackassery.

(This Post was written on a three-hour train ride to Jeonju while eating chestnuts and admiring the guy in front of me for his nonchalant public corn-on-the-cob eating skills.)

Jul 252019
 

One of the things we did on our first full day yesterday was have lunch at Tongin Market. Here, you have the option of putting together a lunch box-style meal using a roll of traditional coins. Most of the vendors in the market participate in this activity–their stalls are clearly marked–and most items cost 2 coins so one roll could get you 5 different things.

First though, I had to take a picture of Henry’s bias Cha Eunwoo from Astro, which he knew I was going to do and rolled his eyes in advance.

The stomach in my head thought for sure I could eat two coin rolls’ worth of food but thank god my real stomach overruled and only bought one roll because that meal had me set for nearly the rest of the day.

I couldn’t even finish the roasted sweet potatoes in that cup up there and I love roasted sweet potatoes so that says a lot.

This was perfect for Chooch because he’s so picky but he knows exactly what he likes when it comes to Korean market food so he filled his tray with confidence. He said the thing that he thought was potato salad was actually apples in “potato salad sauce” and that they were really refreshing and maybe his favorite thing. It was good to see him actually eating Korean food though because he is not all that adventurous but he really does try when it comes to Korean food, so props to Chooch.

I was happy to get my fill of lotus root – I love lotus root so much and am always begging Henry to make it because it’s obviously not something that’s readily available in dumb Pittsburgh but Henry doesn’t care about my wants and needs and has only made it twice in three years.

I also got japchae, some kind of Korean wrap which I have never had or seen at any of the markets there before, and my beloved teokbokki. Henry gave me one of his kimbap and we both ate the too-spicy-for-Chooch rice cakes that Chooch got from the kind elderly Korean woman who kept teasing him that it was too spicy but he swore it was fine–stubborn Chooch! He also got some sort of egg wrap thing which he said was satisfying.

Henry got meat.

This was a really fun way to eat lunch and I would highly recommend it for the experience but obviously, if you’re looking for more options and more “famous” food items, I would suggest going to Gwangjang Market which is HUGE and has all the crazy stuff you see on street food and travel TV shows.

Don’t forget to wash down your food with some BTS cold brew, though.

Ok that’s all for now. I have to get ready for another day of bossing around Henry and making my kid walk three marathons around Seoul.

Jul 242019
 

After what felt like five days on the plane with the girl behind me ramming the back of my seat the whole time, we have made it safely to Seoul.

Also, Chooch took one for the team and let me have the window seat so I didn’t have to listen to henry snore! I am milking this birthday trip for all it’s worth!

The ride from the airport to our hotel was excruciating because we could barely stay awake but then we got a second wind and walked around Hongdae for a bit because I wanted to find Taemin’s birthday billboard and we did!

“This is so embarrassing,” Chooch hissed through gritted teeth.

Then I ordered street food for him and Henry said I sound more confident with my Korean now and I disagree but I will take that compliment!

Chooch won me a stuffed toy from the same balloon game as last year!

Even Henry loves Hongdae.

First of many 바나나 우유!

View from our floor.

안녕 but not for long!

Jul 222019
 

This is going to be my last weekend update from Pittsburgh for the next two weeks! Aside from Janna taking me out for my birthday dinner, the weekend was pretty chill. But you know me and there are ALWAYS things I want to discuss because I’m conversation-starved, so let’s do it.

Kpop Billboards

On Saturday afternoon, I had my last language exchange with Jiyong before leaving for Korea. I am still nowhere ready to have conversations in Korean, but I am definitely more prepared than I was last year. Anyway, I mentioned to her that since Taemin’s birthday was last week, I was hoping to have a chance to see his birthday billboard while I’m in Seoul.

So, Korea really appreciates their kpop idols and fansites will pitch in to have billboards put up in the subway stations in honor of someone’s birthday, or the anniversary of an entire group’s debut. It’s freaking adorable and we had fun spotting them the last time we were in Korea.

Anyway, Jiyong was like, “Oh! Let’s see if we can find it…” and she searched on her phone and FOUND IT! It’s in one of the subway stations near where we’re staying and it’s supposed to remain up until August 8th, so hopefully we will see it!

Also, I had a lot of fun explaining the term “got screwed” to Jiyong. Language exchange is a blast.

Sunday Shoe Shopping

Chooch and I wanted to get new shoes for vacation, so Papa H took us to the mall on Sunday. We rarely go to The Mall, but we needed a Journeys.

I just realized I have been buying shoes from Journeys since I was in middle school, minus the block of time when JOURNEYS WAS TAKEN OUT OF THE MALL.

Anyway, we walk in and some super young girl with braces immediately greets us and asks us if we’re looking for anything in particular. She seems like an underdog so I like her right off the bat. Chooch and I pick out some shoes and give her our sizes, but Chooch strikes out as usual (he wears a 7.5 in mens which is apparently rare, according to the saleskid from another shoe store we went to!?) and I’m not fully committed to the pair I picked, so I decide to keep looking.

While I’m browsing, some other salesperson, who already tried to hijack us once but I ignored her because she didn’t have trusting, kind eyes and spoke like a robot, came over and told the original girl she would take us off her hands, since the original girl had another customer she was also helping.

?!?!?!

It was SO RUDE and UNPROFESSIONAL the way she usurped us like that, and I was 100% turned off. Like, how embarrassing for the underdog girl! She kind of just put her head down and said OK, but I was not giving sales credit to this other bitch, no way.

So I kept stalling, pretending to be interested in a row of Adidas, when some other salesperson cried out, “ARE YOU WEARING A DANCE GAVIN DANCE SHIRT” and I was like, “Yes, sir” and in my head the rest of the sentence was, “And I guarantee I liked them way before you.”

He rubbed me the wrong way; he was one of those loud talkers, the ones who talk loud on purpose because they think their words are so interesting and golden that they want everyone to hear. His voice was honestly the only thing I could hear clearly over the din of the entire store and it was so fucking grating.

We dipped out around then to try the Journeys Kids across the floor, which was where Chooch had initially started out but they didn’t have his size in the shoe he liked so the kid working, who looked like he could have been Neighbor Kid Markie’s older brother, told Chooch to try the main Journeys. They didn’t have it over there either so Chooch went back to see what else he could find. Every time he chose a shoe, Markie’s Older Brother came back with a box and said, “We didn’t have a 7.5, but here’s a 7.”

Three times he did this, and I was like, “Bruh, you know that a 7 is too small” so finally I said, “Do you have any shoes here that go up to a size 7.5?” AND HE SAID NO.

SO HE KNEW THAT WHOLE TIME!? BUT KEPT GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS?!

Oh my god, I just can’t with teenage clerks.

Anyway, we went back to regular Journeys and I sought out the first girl because I was determined to get shoes that day and she was the one who was going to get credit. I explained to her what I needed the shoes for, and how they needed to be comfortable right out the gates because I’d be doing a lot of walking with no time to break them in. She was so helpful and basically steered me right back to the shoes that I had in mind in the first place. Also, she said she loved my shirt and we started talking about Warped Tour and she said, “WOWWWWWW” in amazement when I told her I went to Warped Tour every year from 2007 to last year and then she loved my phone case and thought it was so interesting that I’m going to Korea and basically, the girl doted on me and this is how you sell a bitch a shoe, ok.

Maybe even both shoes!

As she was ringing me up, she said, “I really appreciate that you came back and asked for me,” and I was like, “Oh, I wasn’t letting anyone else get this sale!” and you know, I like that she recognized that I did that.

Afterward, Chooch struck out at 5 or 6 other places, one of them being the place where the saleskid called his size “rare” and then lost interest in the middle of helping us and walked away. So we went back to Journeys one last time and the girl I liked wasn’t there but the OTHER ONE was and she was all, “WELCOME BACK GUYS” and then slithered over hungrily.

So I decided to try and explain to her Chooch’s plight, thinking that perhaps she could make some suggestions. But instead she said, “Oh, that sucks. Well, let me know if you see something you want to try on” and walked away.

Where are all the Al Bundys when you need them.

(Was he even a good shoe salesman? I can’t remember. Probably not.)

Seriously, no one gives a shit about doing a good job anymore.

(Except for the girl who sold me my shoes!)

(And Sam, my favorite Journeys manager who I haven’t seen in years because the mall he used to work at closed and he was transferred to a different Journeys and only HENRY has seen him since, ughhhh.)

Meanwhile, At CVS…

Having a CVS several blocks away from our house is incredibly convenient and we go there often enough that all of the cashiers are familiar faces. I like everyone who works there except for this one who I have definitely mentioned in here before. 

I used to call her Laverne because she just looks like one to me, but lately I’ve been calling her 1212 because a few weeks ago, our total was $12.12 and the way she said “1212” all monotone and stripped of any personality whatsoever made me crack up for days (I EVEN HAVE A VIDEO OF IT).

Anyway, Henry and I were there last night and some young girl in a sports bra and shorts came storming past me, screaming to her friend who was at the other end of the aisle, about the bitch employee who barely offered her any help when she asked about something she couldn’t find in the cosmetic aisle and apparently the employee said, “I don’t even know what that is” with “LIKE, MAJOR ATTITUDE.”

At first I was pissed because that’s my CVS and I don’t want some hoe-bag talking shit on my cashier bros but then Henry came slinking around the corner from another aisle and chuckled. “You know who she’s talking about, right?” and then we both screamed “1212!” so suddenly I was Team Hoe-Bag and even considered encroaching on her bitch fest to tell her that I dislike 1212 as well, but really, the more I listened to that girl purposely scream about her poor service I realized that there really wasn’t a good side to pick in this dog race.

Then we went to pay and THANK GOD we didn’t have 1212 as a cashier, but some young girl with a dermal next to her eye, which was weird because the other day I was thinking about the phase I went through about 8 years ago when I desperately wanted a dermal on my hand. But that’s neither here nor there, kind blog-folk. While Henry was struggling to have the chip in his debit card be recognized, the cashier asked, “This is probably a weird question, but you are Riley’s parents?” and we were like, “OH GOD WHY” but it turns out it was this girl he knows from when he was in 1st grade and she was in 7th or 8th grade, and we used to see her and this other girl, Chooch’s first love Courtney, at Warped Tour every summer. The cashier (Lacey) said that when it was Twins Day, she and Chooch, years and grades apart, both wore a Pierce the Veil shirt and she still has a picture from that day.

This was the sweetest thing!

Also, she said he looks just  like me, so…

We stopped at CVS on Saturday night after ice cream and as Chooch walked in, one of the cashiers was walking out and said, “Hi Riley” because literally everyone knows him. It’s funny to me because Henry’s other son Blake was the same way when he was a kid – just like, everyone knew him. We would be out somewhere and other kids would come up to Henry and ask, “Are you Blake’s dad?”

And now it’s happening with Chooch!

****

That’s all I got.

Jul 212019
 

Originally, when Janna suggested that we go to dinner for my birthday, I wanted to go to Apteka which is a vegan restaurant that specializes in like, Hungarian and Polish comfort foods. I personally love the food so much so that the pretentiousness of the joint is easy for me to ignore but Henry pretty much said he ever wants to eat there ever again.

So it seemed like a good opportunity to go there since he wouldn’t be joining us but then I thought it would be nice to go somewhere I’ve never gone before and the first place that popped into my mind, because I knew I wanted some different kind of ethnic cuisine and not just like some American gastropub fare, was Kavsar. It specializes in Russian and Uzbeki cuisine and that appeals to me. I heard about it several years ago and it’s been one of those “Why don’t we ever go there?” places that I reference periodically to Henry.

Anyway, I sent the website to Janna and thought for sure she’d say no because she used to date a Russian guy who ladled Borscht into her mouth when he wanted her to shut up and even though it was awful for her at the time I guess she misses it probably because he was trampled and killed by a buffalo when they were on a date at the game preserve and she blames herself because he had jumped the fence to pick her a dandelion which he thought was Janna’s favorite flower but he was confusing her with the cashier at the Ushanka hat store that he dated briefly in high school after his dad dumped her.

But Janna actually agreed to dine here and I assumed it was because she enjoys feeling like shit about the past but apparently she recently found out that his death was faked by the Russian government and he’s back home teaching a course at a community college on how to hack elections so she doesn’t feel guilty about the buffalo thing anymore.

Janna didn’t order borscht though. She got some dumpling things called Manti, with pumpkin and spinach filling.

I’m getting ahead of myself. Janna made reservations for 6:30 and when she wasn’t at my house by 6, I started frantically texting Henry, who was down the street at Eat N Park with Chooch who was pouting because he wasn’t invited to my birthday dinner so Henry has to ply him with a wholesome family dinner at a chain restaurant to get him to shut it.

I read Janna all the texts later that night when we were back at my house after dinner, like the one where I said WHO KNOWS in response to Henry’s simple question, “Did she forget?”

By the time Janna arrived (at 6:20!!) she had the audacity to get out of the car like she was going to come in my house and sit a spell but I flew out to her car and screamed GET BACK IN THE CAR JANNA, WE ARE GOING TO BE LATE!

I feel like our entire friendship can be summarized by her being late and me waiting at the door panicking about it.

Anyway, we got there at exactly 6:30 and Janna was so smug but just so you know, that’s what time we parked the car and then we still had to walk a minute to the actual restaurant so whatever.

Once inside, we were taken to this super cozy little table for two in an upstairs room and I started cracking up because it was like The Date Table.

We had the best (and only) waitress and I wish I had asked her name but she was super personable and informative; for instance, she told us that we HAD TO ORDER the bread and holy hot straight-from-the-oven damn, what great advice. This was some of the best bread I have ever had in a restaurant: it was warm and chewy, coated with sesame seeds, and required no butter whatsoever. Plus, it was fun to pull it apart and tasted even more amazing once I got my entree: Lagman, which is a traditional Uzbeki dish of noodles, broth and vegetables.

YEAH BOI. The noodles were so delicious and reminiscent of the homemade noodles by grandma used to make (she was Slovenian) and I laughed about how the menu said “all entrees topped with dill” but damn that dill was a nice touch!

The dill topic made Janna segue into the age-old cilantro survey and apparently she is a member of the anti-cilantro camp. She said that, to her, cilantro tastes the way stink bugs smell and I found that interesting because I like cilantro and stink bugs don’t bother me.

God, why are Janna are I even friends!

Oh yeah, because she takes me to dinner on my birthday and buys me Taemin albums lol.

Our waitress was sweet and took a bunch of pictures of us sitting at the special table. Then she told me she loved my tattoo of Marcy so we started talking about cats and she said she loves them but a very allergic and also allergic to dogs so maybe she will have to get a turtle and I hope Janna left her a big tip!!!

Then we came back to my house and allowed Chooch to walk to Scoops with us to get ice cream and he was annoyed because KEN, the old man who drove everyone to the camping trip last week and was SO ANNOYING and wouldn’t drop Chooch off straight at our house, was there.

“Did you even say to him?” I asked after we left and he said, “Hell no! I hate that guy.”

And then we came back to my house and Chooch made us watch videos of some guy and his emotional support goose named George.

Also, I’m glad I didn’t say what Chooch told me to say to the waitress because it apparently means “hello bitch” so that’s great.

Jul 202019
 

Thursday was our last Summer Breakfast Club meeting before Korea break starts! We went super basic and old school and chose Eat n Park which is OK, it gets it done. While we were waiting to cross the street to get there, though, some guy in a pickup drove by and yelled, “STOP GROWING UP!” out the window and I panicked because I always assume someone is heckling me, but it turned out it was the proprietor of Parker’s! So we laughed and waved to him – he’s always telling Chooch to stop growing up so fast so it all made sense once we realized who it was.

But then he was stopped in traffic RIGHT IN FRONT OF EAT N PARK and so now he knows we were cheating on his place.

Eat n Park was practically empty but guess who was there? TOURETTES!!! This was the first time he and Chooch saw each other since the BIKE INCIDENT. 

That was the most exciting part of breakfast.

My mom came over for a bit after that since I was working from home and something miraculous happened – Drew actually didn’t hide! Drew is super skittish and half the time she doesn’t even recognize her own family, but usually when someone comes over, she trips over herself in mid-air trying to run away and then we won’t see her until hours after the person leaves. But this time, my mom just walked right in because the door was unlocked and I think since there was no knocking, Drew wasn’t set off. She sat under the dining room table for the first few minutes, staring at my mom curiously, but my mom kept dangling her phone charger in the air, until Drew eventually approached with caution. Then my mom fed her like half a bag of treats and Drew let down her guard. Penelope came downstairs a few times too but she’s not the one I was worried about, so now I feel less anxious about leaving them for two weeks. I think they’re going to not miss us at all with my mom being here!

I was so tempted to blow off work yesterday and hide under the coffee table with Drew. Hiding seems like such a sweet plan sometimes.

Speaking of my mom, she got me this precious G-Dragon wine glass for an early birthday present! I can’t keep it on the mantle with my other kpop stuff though because of psycho Drew the acrobat so it’s safely tucked away in my curio cabinet, probably the last place in the house that Drew has not yet figured out how to access.

Last night we finalized one of the last parts of our itinerary by buying Disneysea tickets! I really wasn’t sure that we were going to be able to swing this part of the trip but we found a reasonably-priced flight to Tokyo from Seoul and Henry had already booked a hotel several months ago in hopes that it would pan out. I was telling one of my co-workers our itinerary in detail and she was like “I feel exhausted just listening to this” but hey, this is how we vacation, OK?!

I bought a new travel journal too which arrived the other day so now I’m really feeling READY TO GO.

But also not ready at all.

This is my current favorite picture.

Apropros of nothing, but I was recently washing the dishes and got angry at how many bottles of dish soap Henry has scattered around the sink (THREE! all different brands/flavors). I flipped out about in front of Chooch because I swear to god there is always one that IS INSIDE THE SINK WITH ALL THE DIRTY DISHES and one on the counter, and one next to the faucet so I’m forever collecting them and putting them together in a neat row only for Henry to, what, juggle them and them leave them wherever they land?! WHAT DOES HE DO WITH THEM?! Sometimes I will even take two of them and toss them under the sink to get them out of the way but then lo and behold, THEY COME BACK.

Chooch apparently has been having the same concerns about this as me.

“I never even see him buying them,” he said. “Like, where do they come from?”

Does he have a subscription box for dish soap!? What a weird compulsion!

I painted my nails Thursday night and realized that they matched Trudy.

Did I ever tell you guys about the young guy who rides the T with me who kind of resembles Shaggy from Scooby Doo and he smells like carrots? Well, he’s super fucking rude and on Wednesday when the trolley rolled up, he completely cut in front of everyone in line and stood right next to me, waiting for the doors to open and I was like, “Look you Carrot Fuck, I was here first and I am not backing down” so when the doors opened, we ended up both walking on at the same time, shoulder-to-shoulder, and it was so awkward and also super obvious to everyone around that we were silently fighting over who was getting on the damn thing first and I hope to god no one video’d it, like I did the other day when I was walking through the trolley station behind American Psycho and had a prime advantage to document his Perry Wright-From-Big Little Lies-ness, so I just started shooting and then I sent it to Henry with no caption and his response was, “American Psycho?”

And I said, “Yes. But…who’s the psycho now.”

“You, lol,” he answered, because he is a professional answerer of rhetorical questions.

Chooch is really into sheet masks.

I took this yesterday when I was walking across the river on the Northside in the 90 degree heat, which was not great but I really have to walk away from my desk for an hour a day or I will petrify, probably.

That’s all I got for right now, I think. Today is my last language exchange with Jiyong until I come back in August, and then later tonight Janna is taking me out for an early birthday dinner so I’m really looking forward to both of these things except that I just realized I forgot to study one of the lessons Jiyong and I did last week so now I have to hurry up and do that so I don’t look like a STU-P-I-D this afternoon, ugh.

Jul 182019
 

I am a creature of habit. I come home everyday from work, I change into my workout clothes, I eat my dinner which is lovingly prepared by Chef Henry, and then I exercise. I allow for a little wiggle room, and sometime I even — GASP — make plans on a weeknight, but typically this is what I do.

And god help me, I look forward to it ALL DAMN DAY.

So last night, when I was knee-deep in a Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution cardio workout and someone started knocking on my door, I WAS FUCKING PISSED.

Of course, Henry and Chooch had gone to the grocery store and I would normally just ignore answering it. However, moments before this happened, I briefly glanced out the window and saw two women standing by Haley’s car, so I considered the possibility that it was either Haley or Blake. Maybe they needed someone to watch their kids or they were trying to borrow a cup of sugar, I don’t know. But they’re family after all, so I begrudgingly paused my workout in the middle of crab kicks and opened the door while sweat rolled into my eyeballs.

Too bad it wasn’t enough sweat to blind me because coming to face-to-face with Chooch’s nemesis Larry WAS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED. I mean, seriously, he nearly slumped down the side of the door and right into my house, that’s how close he was.

So, I’m stunned that it’s Larry, and he’s stunned because that’s how he always looks but also probably because I was literally soaking wet with sweat and my face was fire engine red.

“So, that woman hit that car over there—” he said, pointing to Haley’s car and this is when I noticed that the two women I saw minutes prior were not Haley and her mom but the perp and her daughter.

My eyes were darting back and forth from Larry to Haley’s car, and I was panting, not having yet come down from cardio, and I probably looked like I had just been interrupted disposing a body because I excel at BEING SUSPICIOUS.

“That’s not my car,” I huffed.

“I know, but I knocked over there and no one answered,” Larry replied, watching me wick away sweat from my face with my forearm.

“I was exercising,” I panted, and he just nodded because I’m pretty sure the whole block knows that I am almost always exercising.

Now the lady who hit Haley’s car was walking up my sidewalk. SHIT FUCK GODDAMMIT. This is not what I wanted to be doing on my Wednesday night during Exercise Hour!!

“Hi, I really don’t think there is any damage, but if you want to just go and look—” she started to say, and I curtly replied, “OK but it’s not my car, so…”

And now I’m outside, in my sweaty workout clothes, hair nearly 100% moist with perspiration, face pulled into a scowl. I looked at the mirror. It seemed fine. My reflection in said mirror, well, that was another story.

But I still attempted to knock on Blake and Haley’s door anyway, because this wasn’t my car and I didn’t want to make that call. Decisions are for the grownups!

NO ONE ANSWERED.

“You can come look at my mirror too — it’s fine. There’s literally no damage,” the Broad-Perp said as she strode away up the sidewalk to where she left her car. Meanwhile, her daughter was staring at me, probably judging my stinky-state, so I spat, “I was exercising.”

NOW, VARIOUS NEIGHBORS WERE COMING OUT OF THEIR HOUSES. MY FAVORITE THING EVER – BEING LOOKED AT BY THE NEIGHBORS. Then one of the Italian Brothers, the Shirtless One, came home and did this whole song and dance of pretending to walk to his house without rubber-necking, then gave up about halfway down the sidewalk and blatantly snooped.

While I was standing at the broad’s car, feigning interest in her no-damage mirror, HENRY AND CHOOCH CAME HOME FROM THE STORE. They parked across the street and as they waited to cross, I made frantic “come here” motions with my hand.

Henry shook his head no.

I waved franticlier,

Henry shook his head no again.

THEN HOT NAYBOR CHRIS CAME HOME AND WAS MILLING ABOUT TRYING TO HEAR WHAT WAS HAPPENING AND I JUST WANTED TO DIE OK.

“That’s the father-in-law of the car’s owner,” I said to the lady in a high-pitched voice, desperate for Henry to come and take the reins so I could go back to being blissfully irresponsible of all adult goings-on. Henry meandered over to see what was going on and then went over to knock on Blake’s door because I guess his knock is different from mine and Larry’s and will magically bring Blake to the door.

“I thought you said that was his car?” the Broad-Perp asked me.

“No, it’s his daughter-in-law’s,” I corrected.

“Oh…but he lives…with you…” she said, pointing to my side of the house, trying to piece it together. “He’s your husband?”

“Eh,” I shrugged.

“Significant other,” she laughed, adjusting the elastic of her too-big gray sweatpants and I suddenly realized that I was still standing there talking about my personal life with some reckless driver so I did that thing that I do best which is turn and leave abruptly without even so much as an Excuse Me, Pardon Me. But before I could make it into the house, the daughter of one of the Italian Brothers had just returned home. She just recently opened a boutique in this spot on the Boulevard where four boutiques before hers failed. She gave me a pitiful smile, probably mentally styling me in some workout apparel with cliched girly slogans appliqued across the chest, like FRIYAY or YAAAAS QUEEN.

Maybe this could go on the town bulletin board!!!!! Ugh. I cracked the front door and slithered back into the house, never to be seen in public again.

Henry came in a few minutes later, after getting a hold of Blake via phone, who asked, “Is there noticeable damage? OK, then I don’t care” and that was that.

“TELL BLAKE I SAID THANKS A LOT FOR MAKING ME BE AN ADULT!” I screamed while doing jumping lunges. “I WAS SO PISSED! LARRY WAS LEERING AT ME AND IT TOTALLY RUINED MY WORKOUT AND I HATED HAVING TO TALK TO PEOPLE!”

Henry laughed and recounted the scene that played when he and Chooch drove past in the car:

“Oh shit, your mom’s outside,” Henry said with trepidation.

“Wow, who let her out?” Chooch mused.

And that was when they figured that Something Happened in order for me to have actually stepped outside to mingle with strangers.

But, I think the main takeaway here is STOP PARKING ON THE FUCKING STREET, PEOPLE!!!

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Jul 172019
 

I have been a fan of PVRIS nearly since their beginning, and they continue to be one of the few western bands I keep an eye on. Their frontwoman, Lynn Gunn, is such a strong, badass lady and when she posted last week that they had a new video coming out, I pretty much set a reminder on my phone.

This song is everything I could have asked for. I love how they keep growing and evolving as artists without losing their identity. They still sound like PVRIS, only consistently better and stronger every time.

Lynn is my forever Woman Crush Wednesday…and Thursday, and Friday, AND SO ON AND SO FORTH.

Anyway, check back tomorrow for a blog post on how my night was interrupted.

Jul 162019
 

All I can think about is the fact that we leave NEXT TUESDAY for our vacation and I am having such a hard time focusing on anything else, including blogging. Also, the last two nights I have had the worst sleeps and I think it’s because I’m so excited/wired/nervous about this trip that my nerves are firing on all cylinders. I can’t wait!!

But in  the meantime, here are some things going on here in Pittsburgh which is not as great as Seoul but it’ll do.

  • I had another meet-up with Jiyong on Saturday, this time at the Cathedral of Learning. I thought it would be a cool locale because it has a bunch of Nationality Rooms (Korea included) and she’s never been there before. I love taking people here (we took Maya and Scott when they were here a few years ago because I love sharing those Harry Potter vibes with my friends!) and I thought it would be cool to do our “studying” there too and I say that loosely because Jiyong is really good at English and needs very little help from me, while I sound like a fucking Hooked on Phonics candidate. She is so patient with me though and gives me tips on how to say things more naturally in spite of what the textbooks teach and I appreciate that greatly! She said I’m doing great but if I’m not mistaken, the tone she used was the same one I used when potty-training Chooch and he shit his pants.
    • She did have to quickly make throat-cutting motions at one point though when I thought I was saying the word “shoe” but my pronunciation was so jacked that it sound more like the word for “fuck” so that was a good learning moment.
    • Meanwhile, Jiyong asked if it was possible to go to the top of the Cathedral and I was like, “YOU BETCHA, I DIDN’T GO TO PITT AND NOT LEARN ALL THE TRICKS OF THE CATHE—-oh shit” because they changed the elevators so now instead of just pushing an up or down arrow, there are there electronic pads where you have to enter the floor number you want and guess what—I didn’t know it! So there was a young guy waiting for an elevator across from us and even though Jiyong was like, “No it’s OK” I was like “I AM GETTING YOU TO THE TOP OF THIS DAMN TOWER” so I asked the guy if it was still accessible and he said he was actually going there so we could hitch a ride with him! Inside the elevator, he asked if we’d ever been to the top before and I said, “Yes, I went to school here back when the elevators were, you know, regular.” He just chuckled and nodded but in his head he was probably like, “Cool story granny.” But success – Jiyong got to look out the windows and thankfully she didn’t ask me questions about the city and the directions of things.

  • I mentioned in an earlier post that Chooch abandoned me on Friday and went camping with the teen center. Well, he apparently didn’t get much sleep because he came home with the worst post-camping attitude ever and we started fighting immediately which pissed me off because it’s EXACTLY what Henry predicted and I hate when he’s right! Anyway, Chooch passed out super early that evening and then was back to his old, affectionate self the next morning. (I mean…)

  • Rare picture of the cats interacting. My mom is going to be watching them for us while we’re gone and I’m really relieved about that because they are super sensitive and I think it will help them to have someone actually hanging out with them and not just coming over to feed them, but that’s a lot to ask of someone to be honest. Luckily, my mom is a super-animal person and I think she is also looking forward to watching our Netflix which is fine by me – I just hope she doesn’t start any While You Were Out home improvement projects like she did one time when Henry and I were away for a few days a long time ago, but then she never came back to finish! Haha. I had to warn her not to park in the driveway for any extended amount of time, lest she start the War of Pioneer Avenue with our neighbor who apparently owns the driveway which is news to me because I HAVE LIVED THERE THE LONGEST but whatever, I’m not bitter about that or anyth—GIVEMEBACKMYTHRONE.
  • You guys know how I always joke that I have a Mexican taco cart boyfriend in the neighborhood? Well in all seriousness, he genuinely is someone that Chooch and I say hello to every time we walk past the Mexican market down the street because he is out there 99% of the time, griddlin’ up some tacos for all the locals and hipsters who come from 10 towns over because tacos are on trend. Anyway, HE HAS NOT BEEN THERE IN TWO WEEKS and I’m not trying to be in poor taste here, I am genuinely concerned for him what with the way our piece of shit government is handling migrants. Henry said he could very well have gone back on his own because his visa expired but I just feel so concerned. :( Henry said he should be fine if he has a sponsor and I was like “if he doesn’t, can I be his sponsor?” And Henry was like “Um you have to own a business that employs him” SO THEN HE CAN MAKE MY SERIAL KILLER CARDS! Problem solved!
    • ICE can go fuck themselves. How do they sleep at night!?
  • The firm I work for is finally loosening up a little and adopting a “dress for your day” policy where we can wear “smart” (lol) jeans and office-appropriate shirts and shoes if we’re not going to be interacting with clients or outsiders or whatever and for most of the people in my department that means EVERYDAY can potentially be jeans day. It started today so I happily wore jeans but as soon as I got inside the office, Marlene blew her imaginary whistle and yelled at me for wearing tennis shoes. “Marlene, I just got in! I will change them at my desk!” I cried. Jesus! Then I noticed that neither she nor Carrie were wearing jeans. Then I continued down the hall and checked Margie and Lauren – ALSO NOT WEARING JEANS. But then I got to Glenn and I knew he wouldn’t let me down – totally wearing jeans and not giving a shit about it. WHEW. Turns out, there were very few of us who actually took up the new sparkly offer to wear jeans, which is weird because I thought everyone liked wearing jeans to work!? Later that afternoon, I was walking past Sue’s office when she called me in to excitedly talk to me about how I leave next week and she said she was really stoked to hear all about G-Dragon’s pension, etc. So then I was walking back  to my desk and Marlene stopped me. “Was Sue talking to you about your jeans?” she whispered. “No!” I cried. “We were talking about my vacation, god, Marlene!” She like REALLY WANTED me to get in trouble for breaking wardrobe laws today, lol. My jeans were ok! I don’t know if they’d be considered “smart” because they can’t like, call home or order a pizza, but they were clean and not ripped or frayed.
  • I started watching Big Little Lies on Sunday because there were no new episodes of Divorce on and I try to watch at least one American television program at a time so that there’s at least something that regular people can find relatable about me. Anyway, WOW – I just started season two tonight which should tell you a lot about how much I like it because I’m not a big binge-watcher. And I will say that it has really made me appreciate Henry so much more. That Perry motherfucker was driving me crazy in the first few episodes until I finally realized it’s because he reminds me EXACTLY of this guy on the trolley who I refuse to sit with even if the seat next to him is the only empty one because he is so fucking polished and manicured with his tailored suits, perfectly-gelled hair that is for sure cut twice a week, and Italian leather shoes and man purse. I not-so-jokingly call him American Psycho because I’m certain he kills people on weekends. Twice now I’ve heard him making spa treatment appointments during the ride to work!? Anyway, maybe I should change his name to Trolley Perry. This morning I sent Henry a video of me walking behind him out of the T station with no caption and Henry immediately asked, “American Psycho?” But really, who’s the psycho now, amirite.
  • FOUR MORE WORK DAYS LEFT BEFORE WE LEAVE!!

I think that’s all for now. I started doing Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution again and tonight I made it to Level 12, the final level, and I am FUCKING BEAT. That series is no joke but so worth it. I never would have been able to do this a few years ago!

Jul 142019
 

When Chooch and I came home from breakfast the other day, there was a package waiting for me and I dramatically cried, “For me?!” which made Chooch roll his eyes.

Anyway, it was an early birthday gift from my great chingu Janna! She knows how much I covet Taemin and how HENRY let me down on V-DAY and MOTHER’S DAY when I said all I wanted was Taeminnie’s new album.

Would you look at this stunner?! He is the most beautiful human being in the world I swear to god.

Speaking of god, that dude didn’t just stop with looks–he gave Taemin an inhuman amount of talent as well. It’s almost not fair.

I hope I get to see him perform live someday. <3

고마워요, Janna unnie!

Jul 132019
 

Chooch went camping yesterday with the teen center and Henry is working (when isn’t he anymore), so I’m sitting here alone on a Saturday morning getting way too intimate with my thoughts and I don’t like it! The morning started off great though – I lost some weight and decided to try on these old Mudd jeans that I have been hoarding since I was 20 because they were favorite jeans ever and also a tangible artifact of the Before I Got Fat era that I like to cling to because I just can’t ever let go of the past.

So I tried these jeans on, a juniors size 9 from 1999/2000 so god only knows what that would translate to now, and they were too big on me. Which makes sense, because I have some juniors jeans now that are 7s and too big, and in “regular lady” sizes, I’m a 4 and 6 depending on the brand.

All of this you would think should make me fall to my knees in happy tears, because yay all my hard is paying off (and it is HARD WORK – I exercise super religiously and the shit I do is maddening), but instead I’m just sitting here fixating on how I still feel like the giant in the room and how I still hate my legs and wearing shorts makes me feel so self-conscious and my underarms are still flabby (I make Henry watch me as I make my arm fat swing like a pendulum and he is so over me) and so on and so forth, like one of my elementary school teachers used to say.

My brain is trash. Absolute garbage. Henry is right – I will literally never be happy with myself, no matter what the scale or the tags on my clothes say. I’m fucking hopeless, lol.

But I will still exercise my fat face off today and tomorrow and the next day because I have a legit addiction.

Anyway, in other “vintage Erin clothing” news, I go through these phases every so often when I start mourning the loss of my favorite t-shirt. Let me tell you about it! So, when I was in high school, maybe this was 1996, Nick at Nite had this super-hyped marathon of Sid & Marty Kroft shows that they dubbed Puf-a-Palooza. I was OBSESSED because why wouldn’t I be. I wanted Sid & Marty Kroft to be my daddies, you guys. Their brains were…well, about as warped as mine! During the commercial breaks, ads would run for a commemorative, limited edition t-shirt, and this back in the day when you had to actually PICK UP A LANDLINE and call to order!  So I made my mom do it and I treasured that shirt:

This sadly isn’t a picture of my shirt, but one that I got from Google.

I don’t know why I never brought it with me when I moved out, if that was even the reason why I don’t have it now. So I texted my mom, urgently, and asked her if she knew where it could be. She said that she thought I still had some clothes in the attic and that she would look BUT IT HAS BEEN A WEEK NOW WHERE IS MY SHIRT.

Hold on, I’m texting her about it again…

Anyway, I was whining to Henry about it and he said it’s the first time he’s ever heard of this. WHAT. This was such a huge part of my life?! My HR Puf-n-stuf and Sigmund the Sea Monster plushies have been on a shelf in Chooch’s room since he was BORN?! Henry never wondered why I had those!? Or a boxed set Kroft collection on VHS?!

Wow, Henry. Why to keep up with my life.

Anyway, I want that shirt back. I looked online and every once in awhile one goes up on eBay but it’s always like, an XL and $500. I haven’t told my mom that though because if she finds it, she will definitely sell it, lol.

(She hasn’t responded to my text yet.)

The best part of that shirt was that it was a ringer tee and those are favorite kinds of t-shirts! 1970s forever!

In other news, Chooch and I had another Summer Breakfast Club meeting yesterday since it was my dreaded Friday late shit (and I really annoying one at that). We pre-planned to go to Pitaland for this one because even though we shop there regularly (Henry is like part-Syrian or something and needs to eat pita and yogurt to stay alive) we don’t eat at the cafe very often. Actually, it’s been like three years since Chooch and I last ate breakfast there, and every time we’re there I say to Henry, “Why don’t we ever eat here?” and he just shrugs.

We arrived right after they opened and enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the morning deliveries and the soothing Middle Eastern music playing throughout the store. It was really relaxing. And then while waiting for our food, we mused about how everyone else has beautiful cash money and America has dirty green bills. So plain.

My cup of Arabic coffee was SUPERB, my friends.

I ordered the shankleesh and eggs and knew immediately that Chooch was suffering from order remorse.

He ordered the Fatteh without remembering what it was, and said it was “fine” but that the yogurt tasted “weird” a/k/a it tasted the way it was supposed to taste because it was real yogurt and not like, strawberry banana Dannon. So I sighed and said, “Do you want to switch?” and he happily took me up on my offer which was partially selfish on my end because I tried his and it was DIVINE. Chick peas and pine nuts swimming in warm, savory yogurt on a bed of crispy pita? Fuck yes.

I ate almost all of it and felt so full for the rest of the morning which usually doesn’t happen. I almost always leave breakfast feeling so unsatisfied and ready for second breakfast (unless I get pancakes, then I want to throw up) even though my stomach is like, “Girl, don’t do it.” So this was a great breakfast!

Then the Pitaland lady came over and gave us two giant, puffy pieces of freshly made, still warm pita and we were like, “BLESS!”

Another great breakfast meeting of the minds. It’s really nice to spend quality time together i.e. commiserate over all the ways Henry has pissed us off recently.

(I mean, he definitely didn’t piss me off last night when he finally booked our trip-within-a-trip flight to Tokyo!)

In other Chooch news, he was at the library last week when the power went out on the Boulevard. He wrote this about it on Instagram and I don’t know why, but it just cracked me up:

Me at the library: playing some good, quality Minecraft.

Power: I’m outta here.

Lady next to me: AW DAMMIT! I was on the last page of my Women in Religion essay for Carlow University and the deadline is tomorrow!

Me: that sounds fricking boring. *leaves*

“Who even ARE women in religion, anyway?” Chooch asked me later. “Mary….Jebediah. No, not Jebediah.”

Wow, perhaps we should have enforced CCD on the kid after all.

And to conclude this mish mash of thought sundry, I almost wasn’t around to even make this post because I ALMOST GOT HIT BY A CAR ON WEDNESDAY! I was crossing the street on the way to work, right in front of my building. I had the walk sign, and it wasn’t even counting down yet. To my left, traffic was stopped at a red light. But suddenly, when I was in the middle of the street, some fucking piece of shit in a muscle car decided that he couldn’t wait any longer for the light to turn green so he revved his engine and FLOORED IT, speeding through the intersection so fast that my hair actually blew forward. I had JUST stepped onto the other lane, so if he had done that .0001 seconds sooner, I would have been a goner. As it was, he very nearly clipped the back of me. It was so startling that I actually jumped in the middle of the street and screamed “OH MY GOD!!” and there were people on the sidewalk who were yelling and gasping, too. Some guy spat, “Yeah well, he ain’t going nowhere” because he immediately hit another red light, this time with other cars in front of him. So he did all of that to travel like, 200 feet.

I couldn’t stop shaking for about an hour after that. When I told Glenn, he looked super amused because he didn’t understand the GRAVITY of the situation. “This is why I think every street should have a pedestrian bridge!” I cried. “I don’t care if I have to walk all the way to the other end to cross, I will happily do so if it means a car won’t smash me!”

“And can we call them Erin Bridges?” Glenn asked dryly. THANKS FOR THE IDEA GLENN. I will make sure to suggest that in my next letter to the mayor!!!!!!!!!!!

Let’s end this on a good note, with this sizzler from Baekhyun (there’s an official video as well but I love these live performances more):

One of the verbs that Jiyong has been making me study is in this song so I excitedly texted her “백현 says 원해 in his new song!” and she was proud of me lol.

Jul 112019
 

This blog post from 2016 came up in my memories the other day and it cracked me up because I can vividly remember how irritated Henry was that day. It also made me sad because of the way things ended with my grandparents house (I don’t think I even officially wrote about it, but in the end, we weren’t able to save it and some a-hole bought it and is flipping it I guess). 

(I don’t know why I said “a-hole”up there and not just asshole.)

Anyway, I’m glad we were able to get a few months of quality time with the house, and that we managed to eke out some more really good memories of our time there trying to fix it up. This is hands down one of those good memories!

***

We’ve been working on the outside of Gillcrest lately since we’ve reached a point with the interior where actual handymen will need to be hired. There is a ton of overgrowth happening in the backyard plus some felled trees, so today Henry bought a CHAINSAW.

I know what you’re thinking: what kind of man doesn’t already own a chainsaw? Aren’t they like born with one?

I don’t know why I was so excited about this. I knew the moment that Henry fired it up, I would probably pee my pants because HAUNTED HOUSE TRAUMA.

Still, I begged him to let me pick out the chainsaw, but he shouldered me out of the way (!!!!!!) and gruffly said something about “MAN PICK CHAINSAW. YOU NOT MAN.” Then he proceeded to put on this huge show of browsing the chainsaw showcase when we all knew he was just going to buy the cheapest one there.

C’mon now, Henry.

My favorite part was after he determined which was the cheapest, he asked the Home Depot guy, “BLAH BLAH BLAH?”

And the Home Depot guy was all, “BLAH BLAH BLAH.”

And then there was a MYSTERIOUS CAN HAND-OFF.

Followed by more BLAHs and another hand-off of A THING OF STUFF.

You guys missed so much. I’ll  bring the camera crew next time.

Back at Gillcrest, no one was there yet and I was like, “Do I really want to be alone here with a chainsaw-wielding Henry?” But then my mom and Corey were there and I realized it wouldn’t have mattered much because it took Henry FORTY-FIVE MINUTES to get the chainsaw started.

WOW MUCH MAN, VERY TESTOSTERONE.

I helped by throwing crab apples at him while Corey meandered about the backyard, taking pictures of trees.

Us Kellys are notorious for our yardwork ethics.

Henry was really starting to get extremely pissed off, so I wasn’t exactly sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing when he finally got it started. I’m not sure what the issue was other than Henry just not being masculine enough? The guys at the haunted houses never seem to have a problem getting it started.

Just sayin’.

(Please enjoy Corey’s and my obnoxious gang-laughter in the above video. It really helps Henry deal with stressful situations.)

After about 20 minutes of chainsaw’ing, I noticed Henry milling about quietly so I went over to berate him for being a slacker. He held up his finger to show me that he had WOUNDED HIMSELF ON THE CHAINSAW!!!

“OMG DID YOU CHAINSAW YOURSELF?!?!?!” I screamed, bracing myself for impending faints.

“No, I burnt myself on it,” he said quietly, probably trying to hold back tears while praying that he his penis would eventually come back to him after being engulfed by the cavernous VAGINA that had opened up in its place. God Henry, you’d never know you used to be in THE SERVICE!

“Oh,” I said, disappointed that his injury wasn’t more manly and valiant. So I went back to sitting in the grass

Apparently the reason he burned himself was because the chain was too loose and in his attempt to tighten it, he touched some silver part whatever that means. Once he stopped crying about it, he picked up the manual and sat down for some summer reading.

Then my mom came back with PIZZA which was great because Corey and I had been working very hard, dragging chopped down branches into the woods. My mom said she did a spit-take when she saw me in the yard, working.

I have callouses now, maybe.

Our new tradition is eating pizza in the formal dining room that I don’t think my grandparents ever used after the year 1983, while blasting the soft rock station over the kitchen speakers. Usually, there is at least one Phil Collins/Genesis jam that plays, but today we were treated to BROKEN WINGS by MR MISTER.

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MR MISTER PIZZA PARTY

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My mom didn’t understand what was going on and thought that I was filming the pizza because the song goes with pizza (“That song goes with pizza??” she’s incredulously asking in the background of the video) but it’s really just because I needed to focus on something while capturing some glorious notes of Broken Wings, you know? And why not pizza?!

After pizza, Henry casually announced that someone was there, and we all fucking lost our shit because it’s been HAUTE TENSION since March 30th, OK? Turns out my mom had recently renewed the insurance on the house and it was just some dude from the insurance agency who was there to take photos for the file or something, I don’t know, I wasn’t the one talking to him.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go and put that Mr. Mister record on right now. KBYE.

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Jul 102019
 

1992 in the house! (Or, in the pool.)

I was fortunate to have really great birthday parties during pretty my whole childhood, to the point where it became ingrained in me that birthdays were important, my birthday was important, and parties should be expected. Throughout the years, I have thrown birthday parties for a bunch of my friends because BIRTHDAYS ARE IMPORTANT! And obviously I have tried to give my kid memorable birthdays as well, whether it’s in the form of a party or a destination birthday (it will be hard to beat his Disney surprise!).

Because my birthday is in July, I almost always had pool parties at my Pappap’s house, only deviating from that two or three times when I opted to have my party at VIP in South Park because they had, wait for it, a pool and an outdoor skating rink. I requested T’Pau’s Heart & Soul as my birthday skate song every time.

And because I was a spoiled rich girl, there were also several occasions when I aged a year in Europe. (*blows on fingertips* lol) Henry LOVES when I bring up those birthdays. I had a very golden childhood, OK? I can’t help it!

But the best birthday memories were definitely the ones I had my Pappap’s house because he loved playing the role of Grillmaster and would brag to all of my friends about how great his grill-skills were. He was the best and while some girls would be embarrassed if their dad or whoever had the audacity to speak to their friends, I was always so proud because everyone loved my Pappap!

He died in the winter of 1996. My 16th birthday was that summer and while, if things had been different, I probably would have had the big blowout co-ed (omg lol) bash that we had been talking about, I fell into a depression and shoved away any attempt of acknowledging my birthday. Lisa tried to have a small dinner for me at Houlihan’s and I just couldn’t bring myself to it because it was my first birthday without my Pappap and I WANTED TO BE ALONE. #Chapter16ofErinsSobStory

I have a vague recollection of allowing Lisa and Christy to come over and eat birthday cake for my 17th birthday while standing in the kitchen and my brothers running around being jerks.

My 18th birthday was spent in Psycho Mike’s piece of shit 1980-something Omni with no A/C, driving around looking for places that was selling the new Bone Thugs-n-Harmony CD that came with the commemorative coin. We eventually found it but I’m pretty sure we also had a huge fight and I cried a lot, so happy 18th birthday to me.

(No, I don’t still have that coin.)

My royal 19th.

By the time I was about to turn 19, I was ready to give parties another go. I threw myself this ridiculous three-day long birthday party marathon, each night bringing different people to my townhouse in Payne Hill, and while it was incredibly fun in the moment, it culminated in a bipolar breakdown which saw me leaving my own party on the last night, in the wee hours of the morning, and driving with no direction while scream-crying to Foo Fighter’s Everlong.

So, that was that…

I spent my 21st birthday in the hospital because I was suicidal and some of my friends dragged me there kicking and screaming.

I spent my 30th birthday helping a friend move into a new apartment and need I remind you that my birthday is in July so yay heatstroke. I think Henry made me a grilled cheese for dinner that night. Happy 30th birthday to me.

And now my 40th birthday is coming up. Another milestone and I really didn’t want this to pass by with no celebration. However, I am tired of throwing myself parties and I’m not going to expect that any of my friends will do it–they’re busy and have their own shit to think about! And trust me, I’m lucky if I even get a fucking birthday CARD from Henry, hahahakillme. I know this is probably shocking, but I am a SUPER DRAMATIC LEO, especially when it comes to birthdays. I’m like, what did Prince say about his mother that one time – never satisfied.

So I decided last year that I was going to take matters in my own hands and that was when I declared that I would be spending my 40th birthday in Korea like I’m still that little spoiled brat who grew up in Jefferson Hills and not an only-just-barely-not-poor adult living in shitty Brookline.

I didn’t want to go into this with dread, like, “OMG I’m officially so old now” because 40 isn’t old, just like 30 wasn’t old. And now, after working hard to make this happen (thank you, tax refund, for all your help), I get to be in my favorite place, with my favorite people (Henry and Chooch, in case it wasn’t clear, lol), doing all kinds of fun things for like 12 days!

So far, the definitive set-in-stone required-a-reservation already-booked plans we have are:

  • attending a live recording of a Kpop countdown show on my actual birthday (SBS MTV’s The Show.)
  • visiting the DMZ/Joint Security Area
  • spending a night in the VIP room of G-Dragon’s Dolce Bita pension in Pocheon!

Other things we will be doing:

  • Lotte World amusement park!
  • A day trip to Jeonju, birthplace of bibimbap
  • Spending some time in Incheon, which is home to Korea’s largest Chinatown and a little boardwalk park called Wolmido (it has one of those crazy Disco Pang Pang rides)
  • Eating as much bingsu as possible
  • Getting giddy over the subway jingles

And so much more! I want to be more relaxed this time. Our first time there, I feel like all we did was run around like crazy people, trying to figure things out and see everything on my list, and of course we had fun, but wow – the stress levels were high on that one.

We’re staying in Hongdae this time, which is my absolute favorite neighborhood of Seoul. Buskers galore! It’s near Hongik University and there is a lot of youth and vibrancy in this area so hopefully some of it will get absorbed into my soon-to-be 40-year-old hag-skin, haha.

Yesterday in the work kitchen, Sandy asked me if we’re going to Korea every year now. Don’t I wish! This was an exception. We are not rich people!

So basically, my 40th birthday will only suck if I let it!