Jan 122012

I was sitting here watching “Friends” (I have a rough life) when I heard the UPS man drop a package between the front doors, at which point I then heard a tinny Spanish children’s song cue up. I thought it was the UPS man’s cell phone and started to laugh, but when I opened the door to get the package, I realized it was coming from inside the box.

Whatever it was, I loved it already.

And then, from within the box, I pulled out the most amazing APPLE DOLL.



Jesus, I love it so much. Thank you, Andrea and Amanda! Marcy loves it too!

(Someday I’ll remember to hold my phone horizontally.)


Dec 042011


The day started with breakfast at Andrea’s beloved Eat n Park, where Henry went on some weird breakfast buffet hate spree and some other man there had the SAME LAUGH AS HIS.  I could not wrap my head around this, which is weird considering how pliable it is.

Andrea was feeling a little run down* but was all, “Bitch, don’t think I’m missing out on a trip to the motherfucking flea market.

buy metformin online buy metformin generic

” I mean, all flea markets are basically the same, with their dirty ass rag dolls and rusted hacksaws, but at least you get different clientele based on the region. And nowhere but a Pittsburgh flea market are you going to see some asshole wearing head-to-toe Steelers logos. Jesus, go fuck yourself with your football.

(*I even brought her a Jonagold and she was like, “Holy shit, I can’t believe you’re giving me an entire one of your apples.” I know, I could hardly believe it either.)

The very first thing Andrea and I saw was this resplendent shadow box shrine to Saint Rita of Cascia. She had a fucking bullet hole in her forehead, you guys. A BULLET HOLE.

“That’s $75,” said an old man with a hugely distracting mole under his right eye. “Sixty-five years of selling at flea markets and I ain’t never seen nothing like it. One of a kind.”


I did my Phoebe-run all the way down to Henry, who tends to make himself scarce in these situations and it’s only a matter of time before he just leaves me there altogether.

“Do you have $75?” I panted. I tried to pull taut my best “YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW DIRE THIS IS” pained visage.

“What? No!” Henry spat, after doing that thing where he briefly stares at me in disgust to alert all the decayed-teeth, teased-haired Yinzer women in the vicinity that he’s free for the takin’. And then, curiosity getting the best of him (maybe it was a pony play starter kit I had spied, he might have thought), he finally asked me why.

“There’s some saint bullshit—-” I started but then he turned around and continued to browse bins of medicated hemorrhoid wipes.

Some guy there was totally eating an apple and I almost died.


Meanwhile, these assholes were strutting around like they owned the goddamn place. I kept trying to take their picture, but they weren’t actually stopping anywhere to peruse other people’s roughly-used merchandise, so I would have to literally run ahead of them, stop a few tables down, spin around and blatantly point my phone at them.

“Do you think people ever notice me acting weird at the flea market?” I asked Henry later.

He mulled this over for a bit before saying that everyone else there is just as weird as me, so probably not. I was momentarily relieved, but only until I became offended.

Almost every vendor has Steelers shit for sale. And even if they had no Steelers merchandise, they were all yukking it up with customers about today’s game.

I could scrawl the word “Steelers” on a Post-It note, have Ben Rapelisberger wipe his ass with it, and some jackass Yinzer would buy it.



Autographed picture of the Jersey Shore cast, anyone? Someone else was selling this for $400. That’s fucking criminal.

One of the sellers inside was blaring some super sad Jesus music, which totally engaged my stigmata. It almost inspired Andrea to buy a rosary from the Flava Flav collection. (I think that’s the second time I referenced him this week, for no good reason. I guess Snooki’s out, irreverent VH1 reality stars are back in.)

Inside the flea market, Andrea bought something off this lady who I am utterly obsessed with. She has permanent residence there, tables and tables that are absolutely dumped upon with chintzy pearls and ancient Happy Meal toys. If someone picks something up, she rushes over as soon as they walk away to make sure it was put back in the right spot. I want to go there someday and fuck with her so bad, just start pulling shit out from the bottom and watching with glee as she’s buried under an avalanche of 40 years of hoarding.

But, she’s nice to me sometimes so then I feel guilty for having such thoughts. I will say it’s a blessed miracle that Chooch hasn’t given her a stroke yet.

Andrea has decided that Marc-Andre Fleury is her favorite Penguins (and of course our back-up goalie was the one playing in last night’s game; she was so disappointed), so she was rifling through boxes of trading cards in hopes of finding one of his to keep in her wallet, finally replacing that one of Scott Baio that’s currently in there. When she wasn’t looking, I bought a set of the commemorative holographic tumblers that Pizza Hut was selling two years ago and gave her the Fleury one.

“Holy shit, you’re breaking up the set for me?!” she said in awe.

I know, it’s out of character. But I wanted her to have a goddamn Fleury something-or-other.

Right as we were leaving, the man with the saint Rita thing was packing all his shit up.

“Ask him if he’ll take $25,” Andrea suggested. I tried to make Henry do it, did a whole bunch of whining and even tried dragging him over there, but he was like “Fuck  you, no.”

“Will you do it?” I asked Andrea, and she locked eyes with my super-sad, pitiful puppy-eyes and she said, “Goddammit, fine.”

But as expected, he wouldn’t budge. We had to stand there and listen to his sob story (he’s going in for a heart catherization you guys!!) which basically climaxed with him saying that this was probably his last weekend there.

“Do you even know the story about Saint Rita?” he asked us, his mole bobbing buoyantly as he squinted at us skeptically.

buy furosemide online buy furosemide generic

We tried to say we did, and he goes, “About how she had twins and lost them?” He gave us this tired “You girls don’t know shit” sigh and filled us in on her story, which I completely forget but I can tell you this: it was DEEP.

I am so fucking pissed that Henry didn’t buy it for me. Even more pissed that I literally only have $23 in my account right now or I’d have bought it for myself as a pity present.

“You bought Chooch a puzzle!” I whined all accusatively, like how dare he buy our child something and not me.

“It was TWO DOLLARS! Besides, he knocked all that shit over so I felt obligated to buy something after that.

buy amoxil online buy amoxil generic

I guarantee that guy will be back,” Henry said in his dad tone, but I was too busy serving up red velvet cake on Bakery Story to give a shit about anything he said at that point.

Anyway, if anyone has one of those Saint Rita things,  I will buy it off you. Or trade you Chooch for it.


We dropped Andrea off at her hotel so she could “rest” (code for: have a little peace and quiet; I’m the type you want to have in small doses) and then Henry took me to Soergel’s so I could PICK MY OWN APPLES THIS TIME, OMG HELLO APPLELAND!

I was absolutely giddy, touching all of them and asking, “Will I like these kinds?” but then moving on to the next one before Henry had a chance to answer.


They even had little things telling me what each apple tasted like! (I am new to shopping for things like this.)

But within a minute, I had come full circle around the apple display. “Is this all they have?” I shouted in disappointment. “I’ve already tried half of these!”


“It’s not apple season!” Henry yelled in extreme annoyance. This picture was taken at the pinnacle of the aforementioned extreme annoyance. Bitch, I’m learning. Try having some patience.

But then beets caught my attention, at which point Chooch and I simultaneously mock-vomited, causing Henry to say “I hate you” and shoulder his way past us.


“Ew, this meat comes from the WEENER?” Chooch exclaimed in front of a yuppie mom and her son, who were trying to enjoy their scoops of yuppie ice cream.


“Buying two of each apple, huh?” the young cashier said amicably as he rang us up.

I was just about to give him my “I’M NEW TO APPLES” story, but I figured I’d spare Henry this one time. But someday I’m going to go back and ask to touch their apple trees. And I do mean hump their apple trees.

Nov 302011

Barb and I found out recently that our co-worker Bob is dating some broad from Morocco, but we’re not supposed to know that Bob is dating some broad from Morocco which means we can’t outright ask him about it because then he’ll know we know when we’re not supposed to know.

So we have been thinking of ways to bring it up in conversation, when I realized, “Holy fuck! Let’s just talk about my Moroccan souvenir bracelet that I just got from the flea market!”

And that is just what we attempted to do earlier this evening, except that Bob wasn’t paying attention when Barb loudly exclaimed, “OH WOW IS THAT A PRETTY BRACELET WHAT IS IT SUPPOSED TO BE?” to which I giddily replied, “WHY IT IS A MOROCCAN SOUVENIR BRACELET. FROM MOROCCO.” And then I had to turn and face the wall to hide the fact that I was laughing.

Nothing. Not even a slight twitch indicating that he heard us.

buy grifulvin online buy grifulvin generic

But because I hatch plans like Michelle Duggar hatches flesh-suits for her Biblical name collection, I wasn’t deterred. One of the reasons I was at Barb’s desk in the first place was because I had brought an unmarked apple to work with me. The sticker must had fallen off en route.

Side Note: I am keeping a log of all the different apples I eat because that is what obsessed people do, and probably also people who murder their mother and use the corpse as a body pillow. Henry has been trying to purchase different hybrids of apples each time he goes food shopping; however, I had already eaten one of each of this last batch. So I knew that the apple in my hand was one of probably five, and not knowing wasn’t really going to affect my “research” considering I had already sampled one of its kind. Different apples really do taste different! I never would have imagined.

I thrust my right apple-clutching fist near Bob’s face and said, “Do you know what kind of apple this is?

buy aurogra online buy aurogra generic

” while creating subtle wrist quakes paramount for a good bracelet-jangle.

A thing you should know about Bob: he knows pretty much everything. So my inquiry was not dismissed, yet embraced by a do-or-die mission to prove to me that he knows some shit about a goddamn apple.

He considered this thoughtfully, turned the apple in his palm, held it up the light and began spouting off some nonsense about its shine. Of course Bob would be some sort of apple dork.

“I really want to say Honeycrisp, but something about it is screaming ‘Gala’ to me. Why don’t you just eat it and find out?”

I laughed at how nonchalant this suggestion was. “I’m just learning about apples, Bob!” I said. “I’m not going to be able to tell.”

Now, I really didn’t give too much of a fuck about this apple other than the fact that it had a hot date with my mouth later that night and we were going to go all the way. But now I felt like I had to pose my quandary upon Nate as well, who sits in front of Bob, to make it seem more realistic.

Nate immediately went for his phone and typed in “What kind of apple is this?” When that produced no results, he resorted the archaic methods of just looking at it. I believe he also guessed Honeycrisp, but I can’t remember for sure.

A few minutes later, I returned to my desk to find Nate, in a thoughtful crouch, gazing intently at my apple. He retreated with slumped shoulders, unable to be the apple hero of the day. I could hear him and Bob intently discussing the apple case behind me. A veritable produce parade of apple varieties were being tossed about in serious tones.

Then Nate came back with his phone, which he held up next to the specimen to compare it to photos of other apples. Bob soon joined him with a KNIFE and I was certain he was going to snatch my apple and pare into it in a manner better reserved for Grizzly Adams. Or that Survivor Man who drinks his own piss.

Barb was just coming back from the kitchen, so she stopped to watch Nate and Bob stroking their chins thoughtfully, knowing that this was all because of Bob not taking the bait when we loudly talked about my Moroccan bracelet. Glenn, who would rather be riding the Wacky Worm, paused to see what the fuss was about.

“Why don’t you just eat it?” he suggested in his “I’m Too Old to Understand All This Hullaballoo” tone. (Note: Henry has this same tone.)

“Because I eat my apple every night at 7pm,” I explained like that was the most natural thing in the world.

“Oh, right. Of course,” he said sarcastically while shaking his head.

Then someone asked me what the big deal was with me and apples and I said, “Oh, because I just learned that I like them.” I was met with no less than three blank stares, so I elaborated that it was mostly because I just learned to cut them.

Bob was incredulous at this point. “You don’t need to cut apples to eat them!” he exclaimed.

“You do when you don’t like to bite into them,” I said. Glenn was giving me one of those Henry Looks so I said, “I have fears, OK?”

“There’s a lot of issues going on in this corner over here,” he said, waving his hands around my desk.

I resented that.

Later on, Barb sent over George, whose family has apple orchards.

“It looks like a Fuji,” he said and looked at me with an ‘Am I Right?’ smirk. At his desk, I heard Nate say, “Ooh, that’s the first time Fuji came up!”

I sat in silence for a few seconds before realizing that George thought this was some type of afternoon work quiz and was looking for his prize.

“Oh, I have no idea what kind it is.”

“Where did you get it?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know how you acquired this apple?” he asked slowly, with a hearty dose of skepticism.

“Oh. Some store, I guess. Henry does all that grocery store stuff.”

“You know, I wouldn’t be shocked if that was a Pink Lady,” George said, before walking away. Final answer?

Apple o’clock has come and gone and I have since eaten our little anonymous John Doe. At first I was like, “Oh this is not pleasing.

buy stromectol online buy stromectol generic

” But then by the second slice, I was all, “Wait. This is good.” It was crisp, which I actually do not like, and slightly tart with a strangely familiar, sweet aftertaste. My produce palate is about as refined as Flava Flav so that’s really the best I can do. Does that help?

Maybe pictures will. It has to be one of these type:

Gala, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Ambrosia, Jazzy (Jazzies?), Cameo. Whatever it was, I want another.




EDIT!! HOLD UP! I got in The car after work and was excitedly telling Henry about the night’s events. Before I even got a few sentences into it, he interrupted and said, “It’s an Ambrosia. Chooch took the sticker off but I made sure I checked first.” Oddly, another co-worker, Aaron, was telling me earlier that he recently ate an Ambrosia and it was the only apple he’s ever disliked. He said it had a soapy bite to it and now suddenly all I can taste in my throat is something akin to goddamn Palmolive. Sonofabitch.

Game over. Everyone loses.

Oct 272011

Or: How Barb Found Another Way To Ruin My Life

Or: That Fucking Tomato, The Sequel

Before Barb left work on Monday, she had to go and fuck up my whole world by offering me an apple. I just smiled and said thanks, but what was really happening at that moment was that a vignette of cumulative  botched apple-cutting situations began whirring around in my head,  my inner-wrists started tingling at even the suggestion of wielding a paring knife, and my teeth were curling back inside my gums at the thought of biting into a whole apple.

Meanwhile the ghost of Johnny Appleseed openly mocked me from above my desk.

It just sat there all night, to the left of me, this glowing red/yellow orb of temptation. If I had been the original Eve, the Bible as we know it (and I don’t really know it) would be drastically altered, because I have a feeling Adam would have been too busy exploring holes with his dick to cut a fucking apple.

We might all be walking around nude right now.

Eventually, I tossed it into my purse, thinking I would just find some way to eat it at home. And by that I of course mean Henry would put a Gerber bib on me and slice the apple into Erin-appropriate wedges.

That night at work, I ate peanuts and Halloween candy instead. Fucking apple.


I forgot the apple was in my purse until the next morning and Henry had the audacity to not drop everything and come home from work wearing his produce armor to cut my fucking apple.

“Where did you get an apple?!” he asked, probably thinking I was trying to eat random growths from neighborhood trees again.

Gee, I don’t know, Henry. An old fucking lady brought it up to my cottage window while goddamn bluebirds sang Disney songs behind her.

“Barb gave it to me last night and I put it in my purse! Don’t act like you don’t go through my purse!” I answered defensively, like I was trying to deny an affair with a bait shop owner.

(This all happened via Facebook; look at me, making it appear that Henry and I have real life conversations that don’t take place via the Internet, text, and Post-It Notes!)

Seriously, when will apples shake their stigma? WE NEARLY BROKE UP OVER THIS.

I had people on twitter sending me tutorials but the first I watched said I needed a melon baller and I started to break a sweat because I was pretty sure we don’t have a melon baller and also because I think I used a melon baller as a torture device in a short story I wrote a long time ago.

I decided to just wait for Henry to come home from work.


Henry hadn’t yet had a chance to get both feet through the door before I was blocking his path and shoving an apple-fist in his face.

He looked tired and disgruntled.

“Give me the fucking thing,” he said, snatching the apple from my hand. As he disappeared into the kitchen, I heard him grumble, “You’re pathetic.”

Nice to know he worries about my safety and the possibility of apple-induced arterial spray.

He practically frisbee’d a plate of shoddily-cut apple wedges at me before storming out the door to pick up our son, who will have to learn how to cut his own apples if he ever so much as dreams of eating one when Henry is away from the house.

This was definitely the product of a pissed off man with a knife. I call it Henry Sliced the Apple: the shocking conclusion to How Will Erin Eat Her Apple?


When I got to work later that day, I regaled Barb with the horrors of what had come to be known as Applegate. I did a lot of hand-wringing to further illustrate the distress her stupid apple had put me under.

“Oh, honey,” she said in her Babying Erin Voice,  which you might have figured gets a ton of use. “You should have just used the apple corer we keep here.”


I took a picture of Barb demonstrating, so I could look back on it for reference.

That night, Barb left me another apple, the apple corer thing, and an assignment: to try it by myself.

I waited until everybody but the late shift people had gone for the day, just in case I wound up causing a scene. You never can be too safe. My first attempt propelled the apple with great force against the kitchen wall, knocking over the paper towel holder. (Speaking of the paper towel holder: The roll was empty the other night and I put a new one on all by myself. So now no one can say I haven’t helped out around there.) I think I didn’t have it properly centered because I might not have been paying attention.

My second attempt sent me lurching into the kitchen counter, but I did reach some low level of success. I couldn’t get the blades to split the apple the whole way through and wound up having to break it off the corer thing, but this was a win as far as Things Erin Tries To Do In The Kitchen goes.

Then I happily ate my apple, while  saying, “I did this myself!” to everyone who walked by. (And by everyone, I mean just Carey.)

And that is how I learned to cut an apple at work.

(You should see me with an orange.)

Oct 122011

[I have to re-read this every year to remind myself that no matter how caught up in the October spirit I think I am, going to the Apple Fest is a fucking stupid idea. This is from 2008 and I’m reposting it because I can.]

Today we took Captain Vulgarity to the Apple Fest in the ultra conservative farmlands of Western Pennsylvania. One has to park in various fields several miles from where all the apple action goes down and board chool buses doubling as shuttles. Our bus was pretty quiet, and the whole way there I sat with clenched muscles and pinched nerves, praying that Chooch wouldn’t start snarling spontaneous “Asshole“s to the elderly couple adjacent to his seat. The excitement of being on a school bus for the first time seemed to work effectively as a cuss retardant, thank the fucking Lord, so I was able to focus on the adorable lesbian couple in front of me, mouthing along to West End Girls and kissing the top of each other’s heads. Seriously, I wanted to paint a cupcake couple painting for those lucky assholes. (I don’t know WHERE Chooch gets that word.) I tossed a few resentful glares over my shoulder at Henry, who does NOT mouth the words to awesome synthpop songs or kiss me lovingly atop my crown. BUT MY GIRLFRIEND DOES.

If you like kettle corn, the apple fest is a fine place to spend a Sunday. If you like personalized wood-carved toy flutes and crafts made with puffy paint, then the apple fest could potentially complete your mantle collection. Do you like face paint? YOU WILL LOVE THE APPLE FEST. How about the tones of Jimmy Buffet cover bands colliding with whining kids and the grinding horror of chainsaws? Then the apple fest is like one mother of an orgasm contained on one whopping acre.  Is the tied and bound body of your latest victim incomplete without an apple gag? You can buy ’em by the BUSHEL at the apple fest!

For someone who is not interested in any of the above (the last one, maybe someday), my typical I Hate The World venom was sort of tempered. I only said, “This is so fucking lame, ” once. ONCE. (I’m either growing up or someone plopped a Valium in my tea.) I had one goal, and one goal only: Eat some applelicious delicacies.

buy amitriptyline online buy amitriptyline generic

Keep that pulled pork away from me.

We let Chooch go on some kiddie rides and molest some farm animals. (I saw a retarded man clap after he pet a sheep and I seriously almost died. Between that and the drugfreeworld.

buy caverta online buy caverta generic

org commercials, I’m wondering what the fuck is going on with my heart-frost and estrogen levels.)

Ninety percent of the apple-humpers there were sporting Steelers jerseys and I felt slightly angry about it. But then I saw THREE WHOLE PEOPLE in Penguins shirts and I felt less alone. Chooch cheered when he saw one of those people, too, and I shouted, “That’s my boy.” Then I looked up to the heavens and mouthed “Thank you” when Chooch didn’t tack a gritty “Asshole!” to the end of his cheer.

We followed some shoddy and ill-placed signs for a hayride, hoping to keep Chooch’s attention masturbated since it was growing close to his naptime and his ornery side was beginning to peak. The designated area for the apple fest just isn’t large enough to hold all the fruity wonders and delights that are to be had, so the activities and vendors tend to leak down onto a nearby street. The hayride depot (I don’t know what I’m talking about) was situated next to a church. Henry pointed to a sign on its steps and said, “Let’s go see that.” Because my eyes are as bad as my ears (if not worse), I read it as “Come see the trans.” I was intrigued that a church would have transvestites on display for us hee-haw apple-folk. “How progressive,” I said out loud.

But it was just some model train display.

In the church’s basement, a bevy of booths were set up. As I walked past a stand of necklaces, I accidentally made eye contact with its purveyor, who flitted her hand and said, “They’re made from paper mache!” I fake-smiled and said, “OH OK” and hurried along before she compelled me with the Holy Spirit and Mod Podge. It stunk really bad in there, like church craft fairs often do. Some kind of horrible odor bomb of cooked cabbage, Avon perfume and shitty diapers. Chooch began acting like an orphan who was force-fed caffeine capsules and then turned loose on the world, so we yanked him out of there in time to go on the lamest hayride ever, where I was seated across from some older God-fearing woman who glared at me every time I looked up at her and her teenage daughter who had a broken foot and chowed on a bag of kettlecorn while staring dispondantly off into the horizon. Chooch only said “asshole” once, but no one heard him over the put-put of the tractor’s engine.

The tractor-driver let the wagon glide to a rest on top of a hill, where our screams would be heard by no one for miles and miles and miles. Slowly, he turned around, and as though he were in some sort of cigar and whiskey-flavored fugue, he slurred, “Six feet of snow….nothing but the moon in the sky….what do you think the view would be like up here?” No one seemed to know what to say, so I looked at Chooch and said awkwardly, “Pretty awesome, huh?” The only other person who humored him with an answer was the God-fearing woman, who curtly replied, “Nice.” I kind of felt bad for that old hick; he was just trying to fire up some camaraderie, after all.

Maybe if he would have added flagellation stations and bleeding Stigmatas to the vision, God-Fearer would have been more excited.

There really wasn’t much to see out there. Several cows, but that novelty wears off pretty fucking fast, especially when Chooch got to pet pigs and sheep on the actual festival grounds. In fact, I’m not even certain the hayride was a part of the apple fest. It was probably just some neighboring farmer trying to make a quick buck because his crops sucked this year.

After that disaster of a hayride, I finally got to have some sugary apple slop. Standing in line, I was certain I wanted apple crisp, but as we got closer to the front, that apple pie looked simply to die for, so I changed my mind. Henry went with the apple crisp and we took our plates of fat and calories inside where some old broads were quilting on a raised platform, watching everyone eating at the tables. Awkward.

After two bites of my pie, I stole a bite of Henry’s apple crisp, deemed it tastier than my pie, and arranged for a switch.

“Good thing I know you so well,” Henry grumbled. “I was going to get pie myself, but I figured you would be disappointed and wish you had ordered the crisp.” It’s a good thing, having someone studying my indecisiveness so thoroughly since 2001. He’s somehow always one step ahead of me.

After that, we got in line  to board a bus back to the lot. Some older gent, who took his job way too seriously, shouted commands at us before he’d let us get on. “THE BUS IS APPROACHING. BEGIN FOLDING YOUR STROLLERS NOW.

buy tadacip online buy tadacip generic

GET IN THE BUS AS FAST AS YOU CAN AND PLEASE FILL UP THE SEATS STARTING AT THE BACK OF THE BUS FIRST.” A hearty brow-swipe followed, and then he stepped to the side to let us through. I’m certain he was reliving the good old days of the Korean War.

We were the first ones on and I was determined to follow instructions. That guy seemed like the type to march aboard the bus and throw out the rule-benders by their ears. So I plunked down in the very last seat, just like my friend Rosa.

Five minutes later, the bus was pulling away, and there were only about ten of us on there. An old man in front of me mumbled, “He was so adamant that we fill up the back of the bus, and there’s hardly anyone on here.”