Jul 102020
 

Here I am, reporting from the Pioneer Ave construction site. Kitchen is still not done. SOS. How hard can this really be? Anyway, here are five things going on right now that may or may not be kitchen-related, and no, the irony of a person who has little use for a kitchen complaining about not having a functioning one is not lost on me, thanks. (Literally, in our team meeting this week, Glenn butted in to ask, “Do you even know what a kitchen is for?” and I said, “YES, IT’S FOR HAVING A WINDOW WHERE I SPY ON MY NEIGHBORS, NICE TRY, GLENN.”)

  1. THE YACHT ROCK WEEKEND

I mentioned in my dumb weekend update post that I went to Home Depot with Henry but what I failed to mention was that I stayed in the car and listened to the YACHT ROCK STATION which I never knew existed. Yacht rock is my favorite subgenre of soft rock so I was perfectly fine to hang back while he was in the store, especially when England Dan and John Ford Coley came on and I am happy to report that I still know all the words to their masterpiece “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” which I fucking SCREAMED theatrically. Oh shit I love that song so much. Then Grover Washington’s Just the Two Of Us was next and I was shrieking “BUILDING CASTLES IN THE SKY” like a fucking maniac, please send me back to the 80s.

(Side note: that song always makes me thinks of the time Henry sent Chooch and me to CVS to buy a newspaper and we were panicking because we couldn’t find it, but then “Just the Two Of Us” came on and I found the newspapers! WE CAN MAKE IT IF WE TRY!)

(Side note 2: on Twitter last week, I erroneously said that it reminded me of the time Chooch and I conquered the RedBox but that was apparently a separate incident which also involved CVS. We have many incidents.)

Anyway, I was really inspired by this station, so when we went back home, I blasted more yacht rock while Henry worked on the kitchen and every once in awhile he’d emerge in time for me to ask him  things like, “Did you dance to Paul Davis’s ‘Cool Night’ at your prom?” and then when the video for Key Largo came on, it was “Did you ever dress like Bertie Higgins?” He actually had me convinced for a second that he did.

2. The Soft Rock Encyclopedia Girl

All this yacht rock over the reason had me going through lots of feelings, and that in addition to the fact that I talked to my friend Carol last week had me thinking a lot about The Bad Place where she and I shared an office and also where Henry and I met thousands of years ago. For as many shitty (and I mean S-H-I-T-T-Y) memories that I have of that place, I have some good ones too, and also some neutral ones.

One of the things I remembered thanks to yacht rock triggering, was how the owners of the company, a pair of older-man brothers who I guess were in their 60s at the time, found out that I, a 20-year-old girl who loved goth music, was a fountain of knowledge when it came to the lighter side of rock. I can’t help it, I grew up with LiteFM swarming all around me! I spent 90% of my childhood in my pappap’s house, in his car, and in restaurants, and guess what was playing in all of those places? SOFT ROCK.

Anyway, whenever I would have to go into the bosses’ office (usually for some dumb reason like getting their lunch order or being bullied by their meat-thrusting—no, literally; I was a vegetarian working in an actual meat place and they loved to fucking torment me. There isn’t enough therapy in the world to help me get over some of the shit I went through there LOLugh), they would love to say, “QUICK! Who sings this?!” I mean, sometimes that would be the actual reason why they called me into their office in the first place, because they actually couldn’t remember who sang something. They thought it was wild that I knew about this “old stuff” even though some of it was only from the 80s, it wasn’t like classical music or something.

I will never forget this one time in particular when I knew who Aaron Neville was and one of them was so entertained by this that he slammed his glass of whiskey down and howled.

I can still hear them. “Call the girl in here and see if she knows!”

(Yeah. I was “the girl” for 4 years. It was super awesome.)

3. COFFEE TABLE REFURB

Several years ago—wow, maybe around 8??—we found this cheap-ass coffee table at Goodwill and made it into a photo collage which was great until someone spilled water on it and we found out that Henry hadn’t sealed it good enough so one part of it started to rise up. The underneath of it was like particle board or something so it basically ballooned.

You can click here to see the old table:

Future Heirloom: Fini!

Then, over the years, some of the photos just became irrelevant (see also: they featured people who paddled their douche canoes right the fuck over me) so I was like, “Bro, we gotta change up this table.” So Henry ripped out the center and we repainted the table, then ordered the new pictures, which–surprise surprise–are all from our Korea trips because I can’t imagine ever tiring of looking at those, lol.

So now I have all of these pictures ready to go but the kitchen takes precedence, so we’re basically using a piece of unfinished wood as our coffee table. Truly, our house is a fucking wreck right now and I could cry, but one day, everything will be nice and COVID will be a chapter in a closed book and you guys (anyone? hello?) can come over and pretend like my house didn’t recently have a torn up kitchen and two holes in the ceiling from where the bathroom is leaking and the landlord hasn’t fixed it yet. This might not be until 2025 and it could be a completely didn’t house in a different town by then so don’t ask me for directions just yet.

4. TAEMIN – DOOR

This might be my favorite pin of all time. Pins (mostly just kpop and horror designs) are the ultimate impulse purchases for me so when I saw this Taemin design on Etsy, I didn’t even hesitate. Buying myself little gifts here and there is how I’m surviving the pandemic, OK?! (Well, that and diligently wearing a mask and social distancing.) This pin is a commemoration of Taemin’s legendary “Door” performance and the pin maker really nailed the vibes. Usually, when I post kpop stuff on Instagram, only fellow kpop stans like or comment, but this time, a lot of my friends liked it and some of them were even like “ok, that’s pretty awesome.” I mean, you can’t deny it!

Anyway, please enjoy Taemin’s “Door” performance, because I haven’t shared a Taemin video in a hot minute! (He’s supposed to have a comeback this summer and I’m over here waiting, and waiting, and wai-HEYHEYHEYHEY-ting.)

5. Nightly Walk with Chooch

Just got back from a nightly neighborhood walk with Chooch. I like these walks because it’s like being part of an ambling, rambling talk show where I rarely get a word in edgewise, but I learn so much about my kid. Tonight’s route took us into the bowels of Brookline and it was borderline alarming when Chooch started out all of the houses he’s sold cookie dough to in the past, you know, when we didn’t know he was walking around like an under-aged door-to-door salesman, cold-calling Yinzers. So that’s always cool.

But then we got to this one block and Chooch said, “Oh, this is a dead-end, btw.”

“I know,” I said in a sneer-tone. “I saw the No Outlet sign.”

“Ooooh, is that what that means? I always thought it meant there was no electricity.”

OMG you guys. He wasn’t kidding either. That’s our gifted son!

**********

Well, that’s a wrap. My stomach hurts because I had to make my own dinner tonight while Henry was at Lowe’s for the 87th time. Good bye.

Jun 262020
 

Hello from Erin’s Day Off! It’s silly how giddy having a day off makes me considering I haven’t been going into the office since March but just knowing that I didn’t have to log on and sit in front of the computer all day (as I’m sitting here on my laptop, lol) made me feel so light! And it’s a beautiful day, weather-wise and also because today Chooch and I kick-started the new Summer Breakfast Club series! Woo hoo! Let’s just start with that, shall we?

  1. Summer Breakfast Club

OK, full disclosure, I’m still not about that restaurant life so our work-around was to walk to Orbis Caffe and grab some take-away breakfast and then find somewhere safe and secluded to devour it. I made sure we were masked and had hand sanitizer in my bag, and then we set off this morning for Orbis Caffe in Mt. Lebanon, which always has the nicest people working there but some of the most stuck-up clientele. (See also: Mt. Lebanon.)

Today, Orbis had an extensive selection of quiches to choose from, and Chooch and I both settled on the tomato, chick pea, black bean, something or other. Chooch also got a hefty peanut butter blossom and I got something called a Chocolate Cloud which was like a giant macaron smashed into a Ferrero Rocher, I don’t know how else to explain it, but it was delicious yet very difficult to eat.

Anyway! We managed to make it through the ordering process without being touched or sneezed on and and then we walked to the nearby cemetery to have a little AM picnic with our dead friends. 

It was actually pretty perfect, you guys. We got to support a local business and spend quality time together (mostly, we bickered a little but that’s par for the course when we’re together for more than 4 minutes) in a safe, controlled environment. Go on, call me a pandemicnoid, but I’m trying to do my part to keep the curve down so that I can FUCKING GO TO A GODDAMN AMUSEMENT PARK without wearing a mask or making a reservation, OK? But until then, MASK IT UP, BITCHES. 

Chooch was like, “This isn’t weird at all” because it’s not like we haven’t ever picnic’d in a fucking cemetery before. This was just our first breakfast in the cemetery!

2. Speaking of Quiche….

I have for sure talked about him on here before, but in the summer of 1992, my mom surprised us all by arranging for a foreign exchange student to spend the summer at our house. And when I say “surprised us,” I mean that she literally waited until the night before he was set to arrive to be all, “Oh yeah, by the way, hahahaha” and none of us believed her until she rolled up the next day with Laurent, 15, from France in tow. So, that happened. And my dad was P-to-the-ISSED. And I was annoyed too because I would have liked to have been a part of this decision and also I was annoyed because he immediately liked my friend Christy better than me, god forbid (though I can admit now that I would also like her better than me if I was a boy in 1992, no hard feelings toward Christy!). 

So this one night, my aunt Sharon (bless her) tried to do something nice and offered to order a quiche from god knows where (honestly, where did that quiche even come from!?) and when she brought it over to our house for dinner, we all sat around the table and my dad, in his patented condescending smirk-tone, goes, “Real men don’t eat quiche.”

Silence.

Then I started giggling, because again, I didn’t like Laurent, and this was the ONE SUMMER that saw my dad and I aligned, bonding over our mutual dislike for this dumb French kid, forgetting for 2 months that we were generally mortal enemies. 

OMG my mom was so pissed. And I’m not sure Laurent even knew what my dad meant by this because his English was a little spotty, but it was one of those moments that I will probably retell every time I see/eat/hear about quiche until I eventually take it to the grave. 

Man, what a summer that was. 

3. RIP Joel Schumacher

Man, this one hurt. (See also: should I start all of my sentences with “Man,” from now on?) You all know how much I love The Lost Boys and I had been holding out for YEARS for a real Schumacher-helmed sequel (those weird follow-ups that came out in the 2000s DO.NOT.COUNT). 

Obviously, I’m mega-inspired to watch The Lost Boys in his honor this weekend, but I also want to watch St. Elmo’s Fire, which I FUCKING LOVE and haven’t seen since probably the 90s when I was obsessed with it and made Lisa and Janna watch it once when they slept over my house but THEY FELL ASLEEP.

Also, that movie made me become obsessed with David Foster.

OMFG I am straight sobbing on my living room couch in the middle of a Friday afternoon in an empty house and I need someone to come here right now and hold me (from 6 feet away).

Which also reminds me that I used “Hands Across America” as a lead-in to a training presentation I gave at work last week, as a way to remind everyone that WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, AS ONE DEPARTMENT, CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG, and it was so well-received that I took a step further by suggesting that once we return to the office, we recreate it, as “Hands Across [Our Department’s Name]” only we’ll just stand 6 feet apart.

Manager Amber was like, “……yeah” and then quickly changed the subject, lol. 

4. WHAT DID YOU SAY? WHAT DID YOU SAY TO ME?

Man, in my weekend recap the other day, I failed to mention that when we were hanging outside with Haley and the kids Saturday evening Tourette’s lumbered on by and we all collectively held our breaths, because you never know with him.

But he seemed to be in a pleasant-by-his-standards mood and jovially hollered, “WOW LADY, YOU GOT A TOUGH JOB THERE” to Haley and Henry was like, “Maybe thinks we’re all your kids” but then as he walked away, Calvin (who is 3, mind you) started yelling “soccer” because he wanted Chooch to throw a ball to him. 

Tourette’s, now in front of the next house, stopped in his tracks and shouted, “WHAT DID YOU SAY?”

When no one responded immediately, he yelled with more agitation, “WHAT DID YOU SAY? WHAT DID YOU SAY TO ME?” 

“He said ‘soccer’,” Haley answered, before Tourette’s decided to come back and what, fight Calvin? Who knows! That guy is a loose cannon! Never forget when he flipped out on Chooch last summer!

5. GTFO MAGA

Update on the gross MAGA house on my street: one of the banners is back :( Imagine being the type of person that lets a flag like this fly freely in front of their trash palace.

Never mind, I started to imagine but I don’t like how it made me feel. 

Speaking of that barf bag, I was so proud of my Kpop fam for the A+ trolling they did on the Trump campaign last weekend, that I was spamming all of my work friends about it on Monday. 

“I read this one headline about kpop stans – was that a typo?” Amber asked me, and I had to then explain in a group email what a stan is and then we even talked about it in our team meeting which then prompted Amber to watch the Eminem “Stan” video and she was, as expected, disturbed, lol. 

“I guess we should have warned you,” Nate said, and Lauren was like, “Yeah, just the audio would have been sufficient.” I really love my co-workers, lol. 

On that note, I think the new Blackpink MV is the perfect way to cap off this segment of Friday 5:

YEAH TRUMP, HOW YOU LIKE THAT.

***

Man, this was a pretty weak Friday Five but it’s also my day off and I want to do something other than sit and type which is what I DO EVERYDAY LEAVE ME ALONE UGH. 

Jun 192020
 

Oh boy, another Friday, another list of 5 worthless things. Well, maybe some of these things will be worthy? But first, a rando photo from the Boulevard: 

I sure hope Jo’s Salon survives COVID-19 because this place and its ever-changing window displays is a true neighborhood institution. (I have never been inside, mostly because I think you have to be an AARP member to receive services.)

1.Henry decided he wanted to get chairs for the front porch (which, as you may know, is barley a porch but there is enough room for two outdoor chair things but we always just sit on the steps and then wonder why our butts and tailbones hurt). This prompted an evening-long Internet search for chairs between Henry and Chooch, who is also very invested in our yard cleanup project after taking one (1) landscape class at the Gifted center last year. At one point, I misheard Henry, and thought he said he was searching for “Clown chairs,” which naturally piqued my interest! But no, he was merely searching for “lawn chairs.” Anyway, this inspired me  to search for clown chairs myself, but the only cool ones I found were actually antiques and cost $500 and up. Um, not for a porch in my hood. So then I started searching “swan chairs” and “porch thrones” and “chairs with feathers” and “flamingo chairs” which yielded no results that impressed me, however, I did accidentally find two flamingo planters which are currently en route to my house. Meanwhile, Henry said fuck it and bought two generic porch chairs from Big Lots which I refuse to sit in because they’re plain. Where is the glitter?! WHERE ARE THE SPARKLES?! Maybe I can make rhinestone tentacles to attach to one of them. WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY. Or so I’m told. 

2(a). My workplace has been really impressing me with their commitment to continuing the conversation of race. Last week, they invited the president of the NAACP to speak with us via WebEx and it was AWESOME. I felt so grateful that we had the opportunity to listen to such wise words and real experiences from someone in that position. This past week, the president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund spoke with us, but my audio was super wonky so I have to go back and watch the recording of that one at some point. Also, the firm is launching a pro bono initiative for equal justice, focusing on voting rights, criminal justice reform, and equal justice for indigenous people. I signed up as a volunteer because it sounds like an amazing thing to be part of and I really don’t feel like I’m doing enough as it is. Making donations, posting on social media, and making changes to my own self just seem to only go so far and I feel like I need more action, I don’t know. We’ll see what this entails and if I suck at it or not!

2(b). Re: how I’m working on myself. With all the reflection and introspection in these recent weeks, I remembered this time about 10 years ago which really shows that even though I have always considered myself “not a racist,” I was 100% not handling situations properly. I live in a duplex, and at that time, a Black family lived on the other half. I never had any issues with them, and they still to this day were my favorite neighbors BECAUSE I NEVER HEARD THEM. Anyway, in the duplex on the other side of our driveway lives HNC and his wife. His wife has always been SUPER TERRITORIAL of the driveway, it’s legit insane. So it was only a matter of time before my neighbors performed, in her eyes, some ungodly driveway infraction, resulting in a fullblown screaming match IN MY FRONT YARD. HNC’s wife’s daughter was also involved, and as the verbal fisticuffs escalated, well, out came the slurs. I have always been slightly terrified of HNC’s wife because she seems like the type to go all knives out and massacre the whole block. Sounds dramatic, but…. So instead of flying out the front door the moment I heard the n-word being flung about all willy nilly, I waited until later and then went to my next door neighbor, knocked on the door, and told her, while crying, that I overheard the argument and wanted her to know, whether it made a difference or not, that my family and I did not subscribe to those same hateful sentiments and that I was truly sorry that happened, and that I was on her side. But all these years later, knowing what I know now, I WASN’T DOING A VERY CONVINCING JOB TO PROVE THAT I WAS ON HER SIDE. Because I hadn’t done ANYTHING. I let HNC’s wife run her mouth instead of confronting that racism head-on, because THAT is how you fight the good fight. Not waiting until later and telling your Black neighbor that you don’t hate Black people because let’s  be honest, while I wanted to believe I was telling her this to make her feel better, didn’t I also, deep down, do it to make myself feel better too? Yeah, I’ve learned. That won’t happen again. I can’t say I’m an ally otherwise. (I seriously am terrified of that neighbor though, but there was this one time several years ago when I heard her outside erratically accusing Chooch of breaking her sidewalk lights and I was NOT IN THE MOOD so there was a real confrontation that day which she clearly wasn’t expecting and we have never had a problem since then, is all I’m saying.)

This has nothing to do with the photo of a creepy stairwell that I peeped on one of my nightly walks down the boulevard because the door was left open, but I overheard Chooch refer to Henry and me as his “housemates” the other night when he was talking to god only knows who on the phone. 

3. Last weekend (or the weekend before? The calendar in my mind should be in a Dali exhibition), Henry and I drove past a Chili’s, and it occurred to me that I have eaten at a Chili’s so rarely, that I couldn’t think of a single thing that would be on their menu, and then I felt amazed that this is a restaurant chain that has somehow survived all these years while evidently being so basic that I have never once in the last 20 years even CONSIDERED it as a dining option?! And then I started to freak out and wonder how I have forgotten about its existence all these years when I used to always frequent the shopping center that this particular Chili’s franchise lives and realized that I only have one very vague memory of eating there when I was in middle school, with some friends who weren’t close friends and it was actually kind of weird that we were all even together—why were we together?!—and I think we had probably also gone to the movies because there is a theater right there too but I have no idea what I ate and only remember going home and realizing that I left my camera there and my mom had to call the damn place and then drive me there to get it, and I’m certain I must have eventually gotten that roll of film developed because I have always been a memory hoarder, but what photos did it contain!? AND WHERE ARE THEY NOW!? Wow, thanks for the deep dive into my past, Chili’s. (I’m looking at their menu now. Black bean patty substitute option,, “awesome blossoms” sounds familiar, and corn on the cob is a cool side option, but otherwise this is a vegetarian’s nightmare. No thank YOU, Chili’s.)

How great is this Bong Joon-Ho and his Oscars pin I scored from the pin goddess The Idol Collective? If you still haven’t seen Parasite, what are you even doing with your life?!

4(a). I had to give a training presentation at work yesterday and I was nervous about it because it was the first time I was presenting to more than like, 2 people and even though they’re all my work-buds, my nerves do not discriminate. My lead-in was a throwback to when I was pregnant and freaking out as the nine months drew closer. My calculus professor at Pitt (god, she was the best, this older woman named Joanne who once accidentally sprayed Windex in her face when she was trying to wipe down her projector screen) told me, “Just remember: the birth is only one tiny moment out of your life. You can get through it!” So I decided to apply this to yesterday’s training, which my coworker Nate thought was an excellent strategy even though he’s never given birth, but then I admitted to everyone that on the day of my scheduled C-section, I tried to leave the hospital and the nurse was like EXCUSE ME and I was like YEAH I CHANGED MY MIND I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS NOW which is what I tried to do yesterday but it didn’t work – I had to forge ahead with the training session and you know, it was fine. I did fine. There was applause at the end. 

4(b). When I was trying to think of ways to make myself the most calm during the presentation without resorting to shots of soju beforehand (I was afraid I would wind up accidentally drunk and make it all worse), I wondered if I would feel safer having Chooch sit next to me or if I should put him out in the yard. I opted for the latter. 

4(c). What made it worse though was that I had to do this on the tailend of a check-in call that was only supposed to run for an hour but ended up being TWO HOURS AND 20 MINUTES which is unacceptable in everyone’s book, I think. I was so fatigued after that. But! Like my Pitt professor once said 14 years ago, it was only a small moment out of my life and afterward, I was like YEAH LET’S GOOOOOOOOOO, like all this energy and adrenaline came rushing back to me and I had nothing weighing me down anymore!

Sugar Spell did a charity pint sale last week so we scooped (lol) some up because what’s a little weight-gain when it’s for a good cause, and Henry even snatched a sundae kit too, the contents of which I attempted to photograph but then Penelope photo-bombed it and the dire need to shovel vegan ice cream into my gaping maw was too great to prolong any longer, so I never did go back for a better shot:

5. It’s looking like my department will be easing their way back into the office sometime around late July and I am excited only because I have bought some new shirts, jewelry, pins, and phone cases over the last several months and I miss the random compliments I get while walking around town on my lunch break YES I’M A NARCISSIST AND ALSO A LEO. We thrive on compliments. I’m not excited about the trolley though. Or dealing with the new safety procedures that have been implemented. I have had conversations with several work friends though and there are some of us who think this is too soon. I mean, I think restaurants have reopened too soon as well. Because this whole “green light” thing is giving people the misconception that things are back “to normal” and they’re not – we’re still in the middle of a pandemic with no fucking vaccine!? WHY AREN’T PEOPLE WEARING MASKS? I swear to god, these maskless assholes running amok are going to be the first people to go on social media asking people to pray for them after they get COVID-19 but ok have fun at the movies and Olive Garden,  you selfish assholes! IT’S JUST A HOAX, RIGHT? 

UGH. On that note, I’m about to go wake up Henry and tell him I’m ready to be fed. Go do something you enjoy. (Unless it’s illegal, then I don’t condone it!!! ESPECIALLY IF IT INVOLVES ANIMALS! UNLESS YOU’RE STEALING AN ANIMAL FROM AN ABUSE HOUSEHOLD. THEN OK! My mom actually did that twice, to the same person. The most proud I’ve ever been of her.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 272020
 

Weekend bulletpoints? I DON’T MIND IF WE DO. 

  • Sugar Spell did another presale of pints last week, with the pick-up set for Saturday. The last time they did this, I came to the party too late (you snooze you lose etc etc) and the flavors I wanted were sold out. This time, I set an alert on my phone and then proceeded to sit in front of the computer, hitting refresh like I was waiting for kpop tickets to go on sale. It was stressful. But I got the flavs that I craves, oh god, I just said that for real in my head and I felt like the biggest asshole. Oh well. We all have our moments. Then when their site went live, I accidentally clicked one of my favorites in my favorites bar instead of the pint flavor I was eyeing up, so that was a whole panicky moment that resulted in Henry telling me to calm down, who’s the asshole now.  Anyway, when Henry went to pick them up on Saturday, he learned that I was the 10th order they received, whew. I love winning. Even when winning means beating a bunch of people but still having to pay $30 for ice cream. 
    • That Hydroblahblahblah flavor you see up there was a game time decision but has quickly become one of my new favorite Sugar Spell….flavs that I craves. 

  • We started a new audiobook on Saturday – a Japanese crime novel as previously mentioned in my Memorial Day recap. It was so good that we made a point of finishing it before the weekend was over. Here’s Henry maxin’ out on the porch, engrossed in his phone (he’s Reddit-obsessed) yet somehow also paying attention to the book and I know that he was actually listening to it because during the movie, he kept pointing out all the differences. Whatta nerd. 

  • Another thing I did on Saturday was start to vacuum but then I got instantly bored and quite deftly passed it over to Henry while it was still on and then I walked away. I could feel him staring at my back, but then he eventually finished the chore. If there’s one thing in life I excel at, it’s passing things off to other people. (Not STDs though.)
  • Chooch and I went for a walk around the town that afternoon and from his incessant stream of consciousness chit-chatter, I learned that he won’t eat pierogies that don’t look attractive. NOTED. 
  • Later that night, I heard commotion from down the street so I paused the TV. It sounded like a fight, but when I looked out the window, I saw that it was Tourette’s, doing his weekly patrol down Pioneer, shaking his fist at the houses and screaming obscenities. This time it was the worst one ever – he shouted “RAISE THE SWASTIKA.” What the actual fuck. That guy is nuts, like literally there is something wrong with him. 

  • On Sunday, Henry and I went to another cemetery to walk and listen to more of our book, but it was SO CROWDED because of Memorial Day and everyone was so old, it was terrible. It was also very hot. I don’t think anything memorable happened aside from the fact that someone was parked where Henry “always” parks (I mean, it’s where he parked twice, so I guess it’s his spot now) so he parked somewhere different and it really threw off the whole atmosphere for me, for some reason, I have no idea why.
    • NO WAIT SOMETHING DID HAPPEN. We saw a guy in a pickup truck with his business magnet on the side and he apparently goes to cemeteries and plants flowers for people – what a lucrative (is it?) job! Now I want Henry to start his own business. We’ll do it better. I mean, Henry will for sure do all the work but I’ll be the mouth telling him how to do things better.

  • After the cemetery, we (well, Henry – I stayed in the car because if it’s not necessary for us to both go into a store, I send him in solo) went to Pink Box and Sumi’s Bakery (two Asian bakeries that are literally across from each other) so that we could get our fill of red bean and whatever else Henry chose without consulting me. He was a good boy and picked me up a cream bun from Sumi’s because Korean cream bbang has my whole heart. Goddammit.
  • Sunday night, Chooch strode into the living room with a smug look on his face and said, “I took down those hanging lanterns in the back porch since Easter is way over, you’re welcome.” I fucking FLIPPED. Like, I know it was ridiculous to get THAT upset about it but I love my festive decor so I stormed back there and screamed, “OMG HE TOOK THEM ALL DOWN! HENRY! FIX IT!” like he fucking killed a cat or something irreparable and Henry once again dropped the calm down bomb and I was like  I HATE ALL OF YOU THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF  MY LIFE! THESE WEREN’T EASTER DECORATIONS, THEY WERE FOREVER DECORATIONS!” and then I ran away while yelling tear-slurred demands for them to fix it and from the living room, I heard Chooch mutter to Henry, “OK but they’re literally Easter eggs, though.”
    • Don’t worry, they’re hanging back up again. Whew.
  • Speaking of dumb decor, I told Henry that I want to redo the kitchen so it looks like a 1980s Trapper Keeper, and he mumbled, “Great. Can’t wait for that.” Sometimes I wonder what it’s like for him living in what’s essentially the sister shack to Pee Wee’s Playhouse.  I mean I guess we know now what it’s like for Chooch, after the #EasterLanternIncident. #neverforget

That’s all I got, friendos. 

May 222020
 

This week’s list is here for you with no intro because who cares.

  1. Another quarantine work week in the books.

This week was fine but hectic. I had so many check-in calls this week (yesterday especially) that Chooch was like, “Honestly, how are you supposed to do your actual work?” and I was like, “One day when you’re the big boss of some nerdy tech company, remember that and be good to your minions.” I don’t know why I dislike these calls so much, I guess because I feel pressure to act like I’m all fine and dandy and not bursting out into tears over a commercial that I remembered from 1999. You know how it is. However, yesterday in my video call, I discovered that I could use my own pictures as backgrounds so I got to talk to one of my groups from Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul. That was fun. But then my cat Drew was like, “NOW THEY CANNOT SEE ME SKULKING AROUND IN THE BACKGROUND” so I went back to my typical background of “Cluttered House in Brookline.”

(Meanwhile, Chooch was just on a call with one of his classes and he goes, “I already know all of this. I’m leaving.” AND HE LEFT THE CALL! JUST LIKE THAT! He didn’t even say bye! Motion to be more like Chooch? Aye!)

We had one department-wide call as well and the director ended the call with something like, “I miss you guys and hope to see you again” which made me burst into tears. I mean, I don’t mind working from home, don’t get me wrong, and I for sure don’t miss the trolley, but I do miss things about the office, like saying hi to some people and rolling my eyes at others  (don’t worry, it’s to their faces, so it’s not a secret). I miss my jack o’ lantern of weird snacks. I miss Sue bringing in Fig Bars and personally delivering a blueberry one to me because she knows they’re my favorites. I miss all the cute stuff on my desk (OMG did I turn off my marquee?!!? Oh well, batteries are dead if not lol).  I miss my lunch break walks even though today it’s raining and kind of warm which means the stench of piss would be in full effect downtown. I miss walking over to my old side of the floor to tell Glenn and Todd dumb stories about my neighborhood (it’s not the same when I have to email them!).

2. Produce Attack

Ever since the whole situation with Slut Life started and Henry gave HNC my phone number so that we could corroborate the facts on how Slut Life almost ran me over,  I will get occasional texts from him, always neighborhood-related. Lately, they have been things like, “I have some baked goods from La Gourmandine, do you want them?” and like, yes, yes, I do. But since I said yes once, it opened the floodgates to a whole new game of grocery sharing. The next day, he texted: “I have some extra romaine lettuce and celery – do you want it?” and no, I don’t, because I hate celery and romaine lettuce is my least favorite salad leaf, but I didn’t have the heart to say no, so he brought it over and did a socially-distanced hand-off with Henry on the porch (wow, that sounds erotic yet sad).

But then he called me earlier this week and I missed the call so he left a voicemail that said to call him, which is the worst kind of voicemail ever because OMG did he find my blog?? So I called him back and he explained that pre-corona, he used to volunteer with the food bank and got to know some lady there, and now she was across the street in the church parking lot, handing out extra food to anyone who needed it and I didn’t want to say no, so I just thanked him and said I would try to make it over there, but hello, I was working. So I didn’t drop everything and run over there, you can understand, especially when we have food and I didn’t want to, you know, take food away from people who might really need it. So I didn’t go out there, but then Chooch, who was in the front yard making a sculpture out of nature for his sculpture class, came in and said, “Chris wants you to call him.” THE FUCK. So I called him and he was like, “Yeah if you’re going to go over there to get food, you better do it now because she’s getting ready to leave” and I was like, “Oh that’s OK, I’ll catch her another time, I’m good for now” so then he texted me a bit later and said that he got too much stuff for her and would I like some apples and two peppers and potatoes?

UGH.

Henry thinks this is wonderfully hilarious and that I deserve it after all the years I’ve hassled him with the fake HNC bromance.

So he brought he produce over and then an hour later said, “Hey I got this blueberry crumble cake but only wanted a pc*, do you guys want the rest?” and then sent me a picture of it.

AND THUMBPRINT COOKIES!

AND THEN SOME TYPE OF BUNS WITH PEPPER IN IT!

I mean, I do appreciate the baked goods, though. It’s the neighborly contact that I’m not down with. I hate when people call me! It makes me feel very attacked.

3. A TAEMIN MUKBANG*!

In case you don’t know, I have a fetish where I love to watch G-Dragon and Taemin eat. I will for real sit on my couch and watch video after video on YouTube of eating compilations. Drinking, too! The other day, Taemin gifted his fans with a video of him eating at a restaurant and it made me squeal like a little fucking middle school bitch, you guys. Ugh, his joy of eating is so contagious – how can you not sit here and smile like a lunatic while watching him shovel it in?! (Meanwhile, Henry can eat the smallest, softest morsel of food in my presence and I will shriek, “OMG YOU ARE SO LOUD! UGH, YOUR MOUTH-SOUNDS ARE DISGUSTING!! DO YOU WANT TO DIE?!!?”)

***In Korea, there is this phenomenon where people will post videos/livestreams of themselves eating tremendous amounts of food, usually with the microphone clipped to their collar so you can really hear the chewing. It’s call “mukbang” which literally means “eat room.” Some of these people make millions of dollars off it! My favorite mukbang channel is this small girl who just absolutely binges, it’s amazing.

I hate this picture so much.

4. BANANA SHIRT!

I bought this banana shirt. Some of the bananas have boobs. I’ll probably still wear this to work though, if we ever get to go back.

5. Row that fucking boat out of my head

For the past week, I have QUITE INEXPLICABLY had “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore” stuck in my head. Sometimes I will let the “hallelujah” part slip out of my mouth and it’s very concerning.

The first time I heard this song was when we had to sing it in kindergarten. For a really long time, I thought the song was about my classmate Mike S.,  because he was the only Michael I knew at the time so clearly he was the only Michael in the whole world and for fuck’s sake, row that damn boat so we can stop singing this song, Mike!

My mind’s jukebox also has “It’s a Small World” and “Gloria” by Laura Branigan queued up to play at a moment’s notice, so be jealous you’re not in my head, guys.

****

Well, that’s all I feel like writing about on the spot. I’ll sign off now with a rare of my cats in the same spot:

 

 

May 082020
 

Here are some things (FIVE to be exact) that I will be talking (TYPING) about today. Put your reading glasses on. (Speaking of, I need those now I think.) But first, random picture of Drew and a dead plant in a pumpkin planter.

  1. Geromino Jeff

The other night, I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, when OUT OF THE BLUE (or, in Korean, kapchuggi) I had this vivid flashback to the time my ex-boyfriend Jeff  told me this story about how when he was super little, maybe like 4 or something, he was in the backseat of his mom’s car, and somehow, as she was driving down the road, he managed TO FALL OUT OF THE CAR?! This was clearly the 80s when kids graduated from car seats at age 1 probably, so I’m sure he was just popping a squat in the back without the confines of a Graco straight jacket holding him inside a cushioned bucket, so I guess back then something like this happening was more plausible. If I remember the story correctly, his mom didn’t notice right away so he was just like, chilling on the side of the road, I guess. I think he said it wasn’t a major highway, and he didn’t get hurt, so I imagine it must have been a small, back road in their hometown (he grew up in a hick-ish town about an hour outside of Pittsburgh where you could essentially fall out of your mom’s backseat and not see another car pass you for quite some time while you’re crouching in a field of cattails next to a rotting possum carcass.

Now, me being me, I latched on to this story HARD and made him tell it to me over and over like it was my favorite page in the Fucking Bedtime Stories for Young Adults Who Should Still Probably Be Living with Their Parents book. That’s my sociopathic personality—Ruby—winning out against the other more reasonable, empathetic ones.

Sometime after this, Jeff and I went out to dinner with his mom and stepdad, and my dad. I was 19 years old and had much less of a filter than I do now, so without even thinking about it, I blurted out that Jeff had told me the story of how he barrel-rolled out of a moving car except that I start cracking up so bad that I could barely finish saying it and I was also crying & choking because my giddiness comes at me HARD. In my dumb head, I assumed that Jeff’s mom would join me in laughing at this hilarious memory, but she was HORRIFIED and said, “That was one of the worst moments of my entire life” and then the tone grew super somber except that I still wanted to continue laughing so now I was in physical pain trying to use all of my power and brain-drawer of sad memories to stifle it.

Later on, Jeff’s stepdad asked me how the job search was going which was great because I told Jeff earlier in the day to make sure no one said anything about that because I didn’t want my dad to know I quit my job because then he would figure out that my mom was paying my bills, so it was a great dinner.

Anyway, the whole point of this was that when I remembered it the other night, I started involuntarily cackling, like side-splittingly, to the point where Henry woke up and mumbled, “What” with a sludge of reservation in his tone because my laughter scares him lots. So I told him the story and he slurred, “Yeah, you told me that before” and fell back asleep WITHOUT EVEN A TINY CHUCKLE. Wow, Team Jeff’s Mom, I guess.

2. Zoinks

Wednesday night, Chooch and I went on a stealthy nighttime stroll around the neighborhood. There are less people out at night now which makes social distancing easier but it’s also sketchy because, you know, Brookline. So we stick to the sidewalk on the main road to be safe DON’T WORRY! On our way back, we were in the middle of a conversation (thankful I have a teenager who still talks to me but also sometimes he talks too much; I’m never satisfied) when a car full of young people drove by and screamed something in jibberish at us from their open windows. Look, I’m a highly sensitive person, so not only did I scream, nay—shriek, but my feet fucking left the ground. Like the force of my startled yelp boosted me into the air long enough for my fucking feet to pedal the air.

“Did you just actually SCREAM? Oh my god, you’re so embarrassing,” Chooch muttered.

“Why, did you know them!?” I cried, hand still clutching my pearls.

“No! But now what if you inspired them to turn around and do it again? Oh my god, I hate you. You’re like Shaggy from Scooby Doo!” and then he kept yelling ZOINKS at me and I was like STFU.

It was scary, OK?!

Not as embarrassing as the time Henry and I were walking and some kid yelled out of a moving car (without falling out of it, a la Jeff), “Your shoe’s untied!” and I was like, “OMG thank you so much!” and bent down to tie my shoe which was not in fact untied because it didn’t even have laces.

“You’re an idiot,” Henry muttered and left me there to figure it out on my own.

3. Fufu for MeMe

A few weeks ago, I read this book called Slay and in this book, there was the briefest mention of a Ghanaian comfort food called FUFU, which is a soft bread-like foodstuffs made from plantains and cassava, which is then used as a serving device for soups or stews, such as PEANUT STEW. I of course latched on to this, the greater message of the book flitting out of my brain like a spurned butterfly of social consciousness. I started sending Henry recipes for it, which then turned into him watching one YouTube video after another of Ghanaian women churning out fufu on their stovetops, until he was finally ready to commit to the cause.

And this is how, Sunday evening, our house was ALIVE with appetizing African aromas. Henry was unhappy with the consistency of his final fufu, but it tasted AMAZING. You just plop a fistful of it in a bowl and pour whatever soup or stew your heart desires (I mean, you have to make it first, don’t just expect your heart to conjure it up, unless you’ve got that kind of magic, and if that’s the case, do you need a roommate?) around the fufu hill. To be most traditional about it, you should pull pieces of fufu from the mound and press them down into tiny bowls in which to scoop up the soup.

The fufu was a fucking delight, but the stew was the real winner here. It was filled with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, some other things probably, with fresh peanut butter used in the stew-y part, and garnished with peanuts.

I mean, it doesn’t make for the most attractive meal, but WE EAT WITH OUR MOUTHS, NOT OUR EYES.

In one of the books I read earlier in the week, they had Persian jeweled rice so now I’m hounding him for that and he’s all, “ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER? I NEED ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER FOR THIS?” Lol. No one ever said being with me is easy.

4. Subway Update

Henry is slowly but surely making progress on my massive Seoul subway wall art. I think he now he has all the lights in place, but they haveto be adjusted so that they match the colors of the lines they’re representing, and he still needs to get a sheet of plexiglass to attach the actual subway map to, then he has to build a frame for it, and finally attach the sound box thingie that will enable it to play the actual subway jingles at a press of a button.

Pray for him.

    5. Nightmare Nun

Wednesday night, I had this awful dream where I was a kid, maybe 7 or 8, and I was speed-walking along a street in my old hometown, Old Clairton Rd, with a mom who wasn’t actually my IRL mom, and a man who was a plain-clothed priest. We were in a hurry yet trying to remain inconspicuous, because presumably someone was after us/me. I kept hearing this low, demonic grumbling all around me, coming from the trees and empty houses. We were headed toward my old middle school and then turned down a road that I used to drive on all of the time when I still lived out that way yet I can’t remember the name of it. There were people standing outside of their houses on this street and they were yelling things at us, but the priest kept shielding me from them and was shouting, “DON’T LISTEN TO THEM” over and over and this when I realized that something was wrong with me, and I was crying but they kept dragging me along with them, down this residential street which was never scary to me at all in real life because it’s like the quintessential suburban utopia, houses with actual flower boxes hanging outside of their windows and shutters painted thoughtfully to match the aesthetics of the rest of the house – you know these houses. WHERE FAMILIES ACTUALLY SIT DOWN AND EAT DINNER TOGETHER, probably. But whatever.

In real life, when you get to the bottom of this street, there’s an intersection with other residential streets, and then they all spill out onto one main road that take you past the police station. But in my dream, there was an empty parking lot at the end of the road, one that hadn’t been used in some time, so there were cracks in the pavement with weeds growing through them. I know this because I was walking with my eyes down. We all stopped here in this parking lot and I turned around to say something to my mom, but before I could finish, she started to scream and as she screamed her mouth grew wider and wider until the red-tinged silhouette of a nun came out of her mouth and FLEW INTO ME WHILE YELLING A BUNCH OF SCARY JIBBERISH and in real life, I woke up SCREAMING THE JIBBERISH THAT THE NUN WAS SAYING and my cat Drew woke up on my chest and looked at me over her shoulder like, “THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU” and as I waited for my heart rate to go down, I realized that the jibberish the nun was saying was the SAME JIBBERISH THOSE KIDS SCREAMED AT ME EARLIER THAT NIGHT FROM THEIR CAR.

****

Welp, that’s all for me. Gotta get ready for my loathsome Friday late shift. :(

Apr 302020
 

I’m a damn mess. Here’s a splooge of bullets because I really just need to hear my fingers typing. I just need that. Let me have that.

  • In one of the recent books I read, I learned about a Ghanaian food called fufu, became immediately fixated on it, and now Henry has watched numerous YouTube videos about cooking it and said he’s going to try and do that this weekend, so that
  • Co-workers sounding all upbeat on our weekly check-ins on Tuesday is something I just can’t keep up with. I can’t fake that anymore. Every time I open my mouth, I use up more energy blocking the four horsemen from stamping out to a Wumpscut-produced funeral dirge, holding a ragged banner declaring WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE. I even requested off next Tuesday so I can avoid another weekly check-in. This is nothing against my coworkers AT ALL. I just need a fucking break.
    • Chooch and I had our first real fight since quarantine started because we were doing a Kukuwa cardio dance workout together (begrudgingly on his part; it was “gym class” for that day) and he made some snide comment about how I was doing it wrong and this was after the previously mentioned weekly check-in call and let me tell you, my temper was pulled taut like a rubber band and I fucking snapped, considered running away (TO WHERE – NOTHING IS OPEN), contemplated quitting my job, sent Henry a slew of suicidal texts, contemplated texting a friend but remembered how hard it is to ask for help and everyone else is going through it anyway so why bother them; so instead I watched a booktube video about Asian author recommendations*** and cried, Chooch apologized and let me slap his arm, then Henry came in the door right after that and I said “let me punch your arm” and then I was ok(ish).
    • We are all really going through it, aren’t we? And it’s so weird when you sit down and really try to put your depression / impatience / dread / etc into baskets….”Stuck in the house” just seems like a really silly excuse. But you know it goes deeper than that. Humans are fragile. Some of us have cracked our shells during this.
  • *** Speaking of Asian book recommendations, tomorrow (May 1) is the start of Asian Read-a-thon which I am so excited about and have spent the last week building up a hearty virtual TBR (to be read) shelf. I’m going to post separately about that tomorrow, but rest assured, Henry and Chooch are already SO OVER IT.

  • Two weeks ago, I hit the point in quarantine where my lightswitch plates started to bother me. Especially the one that’s in the background of the video calls I have to make every week. So I went on eBay in search of clown ones and the options are actually a’plenty, but then this super adorable/creepy cuckoo clock-esque one caught my eye, and well, THE REST IS HISTORY as they say. Or, you know, I clicked that “Buy Now” button in case you didn’t understand what I meant. When it arrived last week, I used a butterknife to swap it out with my old one and then I posted a picture on Instagram which got way more attention than most anything else I post, so I see your niche interests, Instagram feed. But yeah, this made me feel nice, like there was one thing I could control in this house while everything else is peeling and falling, lol.
  • We got Chooch a three-day Hello Fresh box for his birthday and the shit he made was MAGNIFICENT (I feel like I used to use that word constantly as a kid and now I’m just like ‘awesome’ and ‘cool’ so thanks, Retro Erin). Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of third meal (some strange flatbread that I don’t think he cared for either because we all kind of ate it quietly and never spoke of it again) but there was a divine chickpea-ish taco thing and then green bean tempura or something that I wouldn’t mind eating for the rest of the my life, on alternating days. PICTURES BELOW:

  • I bought myself some charms and pins from Idol Collective because that’s how I have been coping with life, by TREATING MY BITCH SELF. They arrived on Chooch’s birthday and he was so pissed because he thought it was a birthday present for him and I was like, “Nah boy, this is a gift for my C-section incision scar, no piss off.” I love Idol Collective because not only does she make my favorite kpop pins, but she also has some gnarly horror designs too and that is like the perfect cross-section of interests for someone like me. Anyway, in addition to this glorious Digging Up the Marrow pin, I bought her Hereditary and Midsommar charms because that girl knows good horror. I hadn’t seen Hereditary in a while, so I conned Henry into watching it with me on Sunday and he was really scared even though it was daylight when we watched it. Also, I don’t think he understood it. (God, I LOVE THAT MOVIE SO MUCH.)
    • Speaking of Hereditary, I saw that Toni Collette is allegedly going to be in the adaption of “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” which I recently read and I LOVE THAT FOR HER. Toni Collette is so awesome magnificent.

  • In other weekend news, our lilac bush has bloomed and will proceed to delight us for about two weeks before going back to resemblig a large, hearty weed-bush that grows back and doubly-unruly no matter how much Henry tries to trim it.

  • Henry has been making some progress on my Seoul subway picture and I’m really hoping it’ll be done this month, god please let it happen. I am so ready for new wall stuff.

  • Peenlop was really interested in whatever poetic opinion Kayla from Booksandlala on YouTube was waxing. (She’s my second favorite Booktuber, in case you were wondering and I’m pretty positive that you weren’t but for the sake of this blog post, pretend with me.)
  • My neighborhood has been so quiet. I’m not sure why I thought that a stay-at-home order would rile shit up around here, but people really do seem to be staying inside and not, you know, drunkenly shambling around but I guess the state stores being shuttered could have a lot to do with that. So yeah, I’m really missing my local windowsill entertainment. Oh well.

Well, I can’t stretch this out any longer than this. I’m sad, bored, empty, opposite of magnificent.

Apr 242020
 

Guys, hold the phone – tomorrow is Chooch’s 14th birthday so I’m devoting today’s Friday Five to my five favorite birthday parties that I threw him hahaha because it’s all about me, why bother asking him for his opinion?!

It’s going to be weird not having a party for him tomorrow or taking him to dinner at the very least, but we will make the best of it and for as much as I scream at him for acting spoiled, he’s actually not that bad (considering who his mother is) and he’s pretty content with laying low and having a Netflix Party with some of his friends. 14 is a weird age, anyway.

OK, in no particular order, here are some of the birthday parties he’s had! Click on the links to go to the original blog post for each party, where you can see more pictures and probably multiple paragraphs where I complain about how stressed out I was, make me a martyr already.

  1. Rollerskating Party

This is kind of weird to include this one on the list because it was his first birthday party right after the BLOG CONTROVERSY at his old Catholic school wherein I wrote about some of the bitch-moms and they found it and there was a confrontation and shit got real and then they punished me by not letting their kids go to his party, because yes – I’m the one who suffered there. Some of the kids did still come, but we had a lot of friends who turned this into one of the most funnest parties ever! We rented out the roller rink and even though one of my friend’s son’s fell and broke his wrist, it was quite a nice 6th birthday!

We had become pals with the people who ran the rink at the time (it was since taken over by some not-great people with questionable beliefs so we don’t go there anymore), and they were so generous with their contributions to the party!

2. THE CAT PARTY!!

I was so proud of how this party turned out! We had all kinds of cat-themed food and games and a cat-themed photo booth and so many people came and Lisa’s baby puked on Janna and Bill had a feud with a kid and stole one of his toys and threw it out when he was in the porta-john, and seriously, when I think back on these parties, I love my friends so much, lol.

Bill and Jessi came all the way from Michigan (I mean, this can be said for nearly every one of Chooch’s birthday parties though, they are legit family to us, man) and it was so much fun decorating cat cookies the night before. Party prep is so much more tolerable when you’re drinking with friends!

This party was a great blend of friends, family, and Chooch’s school friends. Let’s be real though, his real friends are my friends, which should be annoying to me but I guess I’m OK with sharing my friends with him. (Most of them like him better than me anyway, lol!)

3. The Disney Shocker

For Chooch’s 10th birthday, we took him on a surprise road trip to Disney World. He thought we were going to visit Henry’s “Uncle Walt” right up until we arrived in the parking lot of Disney, he’s so dense. This one was really hard for us to pull off because we are not rich people and, you know, Disney ain’t cheap, yo. We were even less rich 4 years ago so it was nothing short of a miracle that we managed to scrounge together the funds to make this happen. He was so happy though and this honestly was such a huge win for us as parents. I love giving the gift of EXPERIENCE!!

4. The Zombie Party

cake

I just remember that a bunch of people showed up for this at my mom’s house and we had a little graveyard set up where people could get their photos taken and Bill accidentally scared Chooch too hard and made him cry, which was promptly added to the list of Times Bill Accidentally Made My Kid Cry (surprisingly, many times, but they are still best douche-cups for life!).

billchoochfeast

I’m pretty sure I have a picture of Chooch crying on the actual blog post, so you don’t forget to click those hyperlinks!

charlievictim

My friends are such great sports!

kara

Kara and her son Harland, who I can barely remember ever being that tiny!! He’s so tall now!

I’ll also remember this as the day my friend Christy (Chooch’s godmother) told me she was pregnant with twins!

5. The Surprise Butterfly Party

IMG_0614

For Chooch’s 11th party, I realized that while we had that surprise birthday trip to Disney, we never actually had a surprise PARTY for Chooch. And I used to be the QUEEN of throwing surprise parties! It was like, my thing back in the day, to the point where probably everyone expected one eventually. But look, you have to know this thing about me: I thrive on taking things that people HATE and using those as themes because I’m fucking rotten.

TO THE CORE.

I mean, I have a rotten apple tattooed on my arm for God’s sake.

My child is not exempt from my devious ways.

Anyway, he was surprised and annoyed all at once, and then happy when he looked around and saw the people who were here but tried to play it off by saying he was just happy for getting a balloon, because he resorts to untimely awkwardness just like his dad.

Oh wait, I mean, his mom.

Tomorrow will be low-key, but I will still try to make his 14th memorable. I mean, turning 14 during a pandemic is memorable in and of itself, I guess.

Apr 102020
 

*(People with calendars, I guess.) Anyway, here’s another work week, pandemic-style. Keeping track of our mundane lockdown life is at least giving me something to do, I guess. 

Monday:

I literally can’t think of a single highlight. Work was normal. The weather was nice so Chooch and I went for a quick walk during my break and saw Wesley’s mom ugh. We talked from afar and she gushed about how wonderful Chooch is and I guess that’s how Glenn feels whenever people at work gush about how wonderful I am.

Our neighbors had friends over that night because evidently you can only contract COVID from strangers not friends.

Ugh that generation. Whatever comes after Millennials. I can never remember. 

And our neighbors on the other side have had every single family member and their respective units in and out too like a fucking Grand Central Coronastation.

I think people misunderstand the concept of social distancing, but OK.

TUESDAY:

Some ragtag family oozed past our house and the Kindergarten-aged daughter must have fallen or something because she was crying and her fat dad in the neon yellow construction company t-shirt barked, “YOU’RE FINE” and she was like, “Noooo I need a Band-aid” and he was like, “WHERE THE HELL DO YOU THINK I’M GOING TO GET A BAND-AID RIGHT NOW?! JUST WAIT UNTIL WE GET HOME!!!” and if I had had a fishing rod, I would have flung a Jojo Siwa Band-Aid to them from my window, in compliance with social distancing, but I do not have a fishing rod, or a robot that I could have sent out on my behalf, Band-aid presented all….robotically from a tray.

Figures, the one time I have an urge to be nice to a child…

Thanks, COVID-19, for keeping me true to myself.

By the time Henry came home from work, I had so much stored-up energy, that I took to sprinting from one side of the house to the other, which eventually made Chooch snap because he was “on a call” with his friend Markie which only entails them bickering over Minecraft and Markie saying, “That’s what she said” as a response to everything, only making sense .01% of the time. Finally, Chooch got up and came at me so I grabbed a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps and then he in turn snatched one of those long stove lighter things in retaliation and lots of tribal screaming ensued, all the while Henry kept calm and cooked on in the kitchen.

The church across the street had a super loud drive-in broadcast that night, the word of the Lord blasting out from loud speakers, permeating through the ether and straight into my house which I thought was kind of rude, but also fitting to the theme of the night because earlier I had found some new African gospel workout called Afro-Praise that included PRAISE PULSES, Zulu dancing, and some lady unable to get up off the floor at the end.

I live for these kinds of workouts. 

Wound down with a matcha latte made from matcha powder I bought at Osulloc in Seoul, one of the Osulloc items that TSA did not steal from my luggage in New York.

Assholes.

Oh, we are certainly enjoying these fun days together, lol.

Wednesday

1:00am Storm!! I actually thought it was a tornado and got very scared. 

I did this African dance cardio workout and I think I’m obsessed with that…genre? of aerobics now. Kpop cardio will forever be my favorite though, and my boy Give Me Five Thailand has continued to upload new routine from his house during the stay at home order. I love him!

At some point during the day, Chooch disappeared. It turned out he was in his room, actually reading!! I was so happy about this…until I found out that he was reading a Shane Dawson’s MEMOIRS. He’s banned from our house, but apparently I bought him this damn book several years ago, so I GUESS I ONLY HAVE MYSELF TO BLAME.

“You bought me PewDiePie’s book, too,” Chooch said in this shitty “Who’s the asshole now?” tone.

A conversation:

‪Me: I wish I was skinny so I didn’t have to carve out time to exercise and I could just sit here all day and read instead. ‬

‪CHOOCH:‬ THATS why you want to be skinny? Ok. Wow.

(I know, how archaic of me. Omg I want to be skinny. Wah wah wah. But honestly, I should have said “I wish exercise wasn’t necessary…” TOO LATE ERIN. TOO LATE TO BACKTRACK. YOU SAID IT. NOW WE ALL KNOW U HAVE BARBIE DOLL BODY IDEOLOGIES.)

We walked to Dunkin’ Donuts – they are open for pick-up only so Henry orders from the app and then runs in to retrieve our drinks. It’s like, a tiny treat we give ourselves to give life the appearance of being normal for several minutes. On the way there, we were talking about how it’s weird when people don’t have any pets, and Chooch accused Henry of not having any childhood pets, to which Henry defiantly spat that he had dogs and cats growing up and now he has, shoots us a disgusted look over his shoulder, “animals.”

WOW. 

I might have nearly peed my pants right there on the sidewalk. I’m an emotional time bomb. 

THURSDAY

Oh look, another day. Our face masks arrived from Korea. Sorry, I didn’t feel like jumping on the bandanna bandwagon when I can order masks from Korea and get them in like 4 days, free shipping. God, I love you Korea.

Speaking of Korean face masks, Chooch treated himself to a spa night:

I finished “Gingerbread,” a book that I had been struggling to read for a week and I went from hating it to loving it, I think?! I can’t be sure, but I watched an interview with the author, Helen Oyeyemi, and I for sure love her, at least.

FRIDAY

The Easter decorations I ordered from Oriental Trading arrived. Easter is my second favorite holiday for some reason (actually I know why but maybe we can wait until Easter to talk about that ok cool) and I am determined to make this one as “normal” as possible even though we’re essentially confined to the house. So we’ll see how that goes.

Other than that, the highlights of today were:

  • My favorite booktuber Kat uploaded her March book review video;
  • Gina B uploaded a new 20 minute walking workout

Wow. My days are so full!

Ah, perspective. Perspective.

My workweek is officially over, dinner has been eaten, and now I’m making Henry watch these fucking vanilla Christian YouTube videos about “fun family Easter games.” It’s, a thing. This one broad keeps interrupting herself to coo at her baby and then she knocked over her camera with her head so that was more entertaining than any of the games she’s talking about.

Now we’re watching this really annoying family with 87 subscribers hide Easter eggs from each other and it’s so cringey. This is totally our new version of making fun of birthday party videos.

Goodbye.

Apr 032020
 

Look. I’m over this. All the days blend together. What did I do on Monday? THE SAME THING I DO EVERYDAY, APPARENTLY. So here are some highlights broken up into five categories I guess, because I have little left to give. Full day recaps? To quote the letter HNC wrote the landlord, “that ain’t happening.”

  1. BAKED GOODS

Chooch has been on a roll with the baking. Here are the delights he whipped up over the course the week. Not shown: the healthy banana pancakes he made for breakfast on Thursday which were delicious but the recipe told him to cook them for 3 minutes before flipping and we almost got smoked out of the house.

Healthy carrot muffins. God yes. 

Weight Watcher-approved lemon bars. I refuse to believe these were WW-approved, and I’m not doing WW or anything but I appreciate that Chooch considers the fact that I am uber-conscious about the food I eat, especially now that we’re on lockdown and overeating is soooo easy to succumb to. Trust me, I would love to sit around all day and snack but I have to try even harder now to not do that!

37-calorie brownies – these were a big hit!

He just needs to work on presentation, haha.

2. FIGHTS

  • I lost my shit on Tuesday because Chooch watches Shane Dawson videos everyday (after like a three year hiatus!!), and if he’s not watching Shawn, he’s watching Shane’s boyfriend Ryland, whose stupid sister is always making appearances and I might perhaps hate her the most. So I banned all three of them from our house. “AND THEIR STUPID FUCKING FRIEND WITH THE GLASSES TOO!” “Garrett?!” Chooch cried. “Yes, that douchebag! I don’t want to fucking see his face or hear his voice!” “How do you even know him?” Chooch cried, and I screamed, “BECAUSE OF THAT ONE VIDEO WHERE RYLAND AND HIS DUMB SISTER TRY TO SPEND NOTHING FOR ONE DAY AND THEY GO TO HIS HOUSE AND HE MAKES THEM LUNCH FROM SHIT HE BOUGHT AT 7-ELEVEN AND MAKES THEM SIT ON THE FLOOR BC HE JUST CAME BACK FROM JAPAN.” Chooch’s face lit up with question marks. “You left that video on the TV the other day when you went to your room and your dad and I watched almost the whole thing because we had no COVID-motivation to turn it off!” Honestly, even if I have headphones on while I’m working, I can hear every single one of those idiots’ voices over top of it and it gets under my skin so much. WHY DO THEY SCREAM SO MUCH?! I HATE THEM! THEY ARE WORTHLESS! FAMOUS FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! 
  • Henry and Chooch fought over the carrots for the previously-mentioned carrot muffins.
  • HNC’S WIFE AND SLUT LIFE HAD A FIGHT WEDNESDAY EVENING FROM THEIR RESPECTIVE PORCHES!!! I couldn’t hear what was said because it was really windy and we live on a busy street, but I was excited to see a fight that complied with social distancing guidelines.
  • Me vs Henry, re: everything down to his breathing.
  • Chooch vs me, re: both of us knowing everything.

3. WORK

  • I miss my co-workers, but the ones I have at home are pretty great. Fine, even Chooch, who today said, “Teamwork makes the dream work” when I helped him fit some crap in his backpack. “Wow, that’s the second time I heard that since yesterday!” I laughed, and he said, “Yeah, I only said it because I heard someone say it on the work call you were on yesterday.” Ugh. I will say though that at least when I’m in the office, no one steals my seat if I get up for more coffee.

  • I mentioned already here that Tuesday was Cheryl’s last day so Amber arranged a virtual toast for her. It was super awkward, but I had luckily had done all of my crying earlier that day when Cheryl and I were emailing with each other for the last time. I chose strawberry soju for my toast of choice. It was a good decision.

  • I keep it cold enough in the house that a blanket is necessary, to help me feel like I’m actually in the office. 
  • Yeah, I have nothing exciting to say about work. We’re all kind of shell-shocked, I think. We have these check-in calls and everyone either seems starved for conversation or speechless. On one of the calls, one of my co-workers told this 15-minute long story about people hiding wine outside of her house, and something about Malort, I actually have no idea what was happening so we all just laughed nervously. It all happened so fast yet also dragged on for an eternity, please explain how that’s possible. Time is a mystery during a pandemic.

4. BOOKS

  • I can’t tell you how impeccable my timing was when I decided I wanted to carve out time for reading. Books have been my saving grace during lockdown At first, I was so sad that the library was closed, but then I remembered that Chooch has an old Kindle, so my new thing, while working through the stockpile I was able to check out from the library on that last day (I only have 4 more left though!!), is to download both the ebook and audio versions of books so that I can listen to them while I’m working. I HAVE to have the print copy of books in front of me while listening to them though because otherwise I will zone out and not pay attention. Obviously, I have to pause it a lot if I’m working on something that requires my undivided attention, but it has been going pretty well. I can’t do this in the office though because I like to be aware of my surroundings. I guess I’m just weird. 
  • I read two REALLY EXCELLENT books in a row, yesterday and today, and that has really given me life, you guys. I will talk about them in my APRIL book recap so look forward to that I guess? I busy myself by adding books to my “Want to read” shelf on Goodreads and watching BookTube videos to get hyped on new books. It’s really helping to distract me from the doom and gloom of the outside world.

DEPRESSION & OTHER MINUTIAE

  • I admit it, I’m fully depressed at this point. To be fair, I’m bipolar and my depression comes and goes like leaves in the wind (literally) so I could have been depressed right now even without a pandemic acting as a catalyst. But I am really struggling. I’m one of those people who are both introvert ad extrovert, depending on the situation, so the prospect of being housebound only appeals to a small percent of my brain, while the rest of me is like I NEED TO BE IN THE OFFICE. I NEED TO MAKE MY ROUNDS AND TALK TO MY BUDDIES. I NEED TO GO ON MY DOWNTOWN LUNCH WALKS AND SEE WHAT STRANGE INTERACTIONS BEFALL ME. I NEED TO JUST BE OUT WITH PEOPLE. It can be a very confusing and contrary way of life, but this who I am and I am suffering. I have little energy and have to force myself to exercise everyday, I am finding that I am clamming up when I’m on group calls at work even if I have things to say, which is strange because you’d expect me to start blurting my own versions of people hiding wine stories, and god knows I have neighborhood to say! But instead, I say nothing because I’m tired and my soul aches. I still manage to get dressed most days, but I have stopped caring about my nails, even. I’m just sad. 
  • Snail mail must be back in vogue now that everyone is housebound because both of our card shops have enjoyed a jump in sales. I’m about to look for penpals. 
  • Right now, we were supposed to have been on a plane to Frankfurt. I know that there are much more important things to care about right, like being thankful for good health, family/cats, and having a job, and that if we all come out of this OK, we’ll go another time. But it still adds to the depression because we worked so hard to save the money for that trip and I feel super antsy and caged-in. Anyway, I gave back my vacation days because I didn’t want to use them if we weren’t going anywhere, but I did keep today off. I mean, it was no different from every other day, except that I didn’t have to sit at my desk and work. Sigh.

  • But on a good miscellaneous note, we got take-out from Zenith because they had the super coveted TOFISHY sandwiches on the menu. This is my FAVORITE THING that Zenith makes and I pretty much inhaled it. No one told me to slow-down, so I ate with piggish abandon.
  • Meanwhile, Slut Life has a blue convertible now so his music will be even more audible as he peels in and out of the driveway a thousand times a day. SRSLY WHERE IS HE GOING?! We have no idea, but I guess no one told him about the Stay Home order. Most of the time, he is only gone for 10-15 minutes before he comes back again! Then he goes through the process of struggling to park his dumb car in the tiny garage, only to leave again in a few minutes!! He doesn’t seem like a drug dealer, so then I thought maybe he’s a pizza delivery guy? Like, maybe he works at one of the local pizzerias and they have him stay home because of social distancing and then they call him when an order is ready to be picked up? Maybe he’s Doordash or Grub Hub? I mean, he’s not going far! 
  • I’m still on an MTV Challenge kick. I was watching some old highlight reel and Henry laughed quietly and whispered to himself, “Abram!” like he was delighted to see an old friend. Then he goes, “IS THAT BETH?” It’s so funny when Henry knows their names, lol. 
  • This song is really good. There’s a small guitar solo in it that has Chuck Mangione vibes and transports me back to the 80s, sitting in a booth at the Blue Flame with my pappap. Chuck Mangione came on the radio there a lot, at least in my memories.

OMG I’m so fucking sad. 

Mar 272020
 

Hello from Week 2 of Covid House Arrest. Things are still weird but I’m grateful that I have a job that allows us to work from home, where I can stay safe with Chooch who is mostly fine to be around, I guess. We both have our moments. Then Henry comes home and creates all of the waves. Anyway, here is a weekday recap because perhaps one day when Chooch is an old man, he will want to reflect on these times with his grandchildren who will shake their heads and ask, “You mean people in 2020 didn’t have Pluto pods to retreat to while the Space Medics eradicated the virus harbingers with lasers?” and Chooch will be all, “No, things were super primitive back then. Civilization had a lot of rebuilding to do post-Donald Trump.”

MONDAY

Oh great. Another week of no structure/routine/discipline. Chooch and I scream randomly now for no reason and respond to each other with aggressively curt “ok cool”s. Welcome to Hell House.

I decide early on that I won’t lose myself to news alerts. This lasts about 36 seconds and I’ve circled back to Chest Pain City.

Chooch lit crackers on fire and threw them outside into the rain. This is where we are now, activity-wise. Setting food aflame. Can we consider this some sort of school experiment? A home-ec/science crossover event?

“Put your headphones back on and listen to your dumb audio book,” Chooch spat after I told him to do something worthwhile.

My team at work has an email thread going where we’re sharing pictures of our pets but mine are sleeping in their secret spots so I share a picture of my non-furry pet instead – he is so happy!

He was in the middle of menacingly saying “what are you going to do with that?”

Henry forwarded both of us a text from the school and we both responded with CAPSLOCK’d shittiness, unbeknownst to each other. Mine was “OH FUCKING KAY.”

Chooch went outside to kick a soccer ball against the house and it hit him in the face, so I’m just going to go ahead and call that as my highlight.

Henry has been home for over an hour but is “napping.” Now we’re screaming MAKE FUCKING DINNER up the steps.

He finally came down and made dinner. I can’t remember what he made. Everything has melded together in my mind. I have to constantly look at my phone to see what day it is.

My friend Veronica alerted me to this!!

TUESDAY

Today is my mom’s birthday. Unrelated, Henry found her toilet paper and dropped it off on her porch. Weird timing, but happy birthday! Enjoy your toilet paper!

Meanwhile, Chooch and I are decidedly office nemeses now. I was trying to listen to an audiobook (“Station Eleven” – super good and um, very timely) but I kept hearing his stupid YouTube videos playing in the other room, even over my headphones so there was a lot of TURN IT DOWN!!!s happening. And he was like, “I can hear your stupid audio book through your headphones!” and I was like, “I HAVE TO KEEP IT LOUD TO BLOCK OUT YOUR STUPID SHIT AND THE BABIES CRYING NEXT DOOR!”

Then I had to call into a meeting and Chooch kept screaming, “SHE SAID YOU’RE ANNOYING!”

“I have it muted, dumb-stick,” I scoffed. Like, does he think I was born yesterday?

It really was a super long meeting though. In other work news, one of the group emails I was on featured a discussion about what cozy clothes we were wearing and I had zero will or desire to participate. I’m basically feral at this point. Don’t talk to me.

No wait, talk to me! I DON’T KNOW WHAT I WANT ANYMORE!

On my break, Chooch and I ran laps around the empty church parking lot across the street. I’m too afraid to venture anywhere farther than that.

Then we looked up allegedly “easy” vegan recipes that we could potentially make during the day since our chef isn’t home, but the first one I put on immediately wanted us to peel a potato and I screamed PEEL IT YOURSELF and started to look for another recipe video but lost interest at an alarming speed and put on a Booktube video instead. But then Chooch found some “Easy Naan-type bread” video but it called for lemon juice for some reason and we don’t have that, so he texted Henry “bring home lemon juice” 8x and Henry responded, “Do you need lemon juice?” because he thinks he’s so fucking funny, about as funny as a fifth grade science teacher from the 70s.

Anyway, Henry came home from work with the lemon juice and suddenly Chooch is a bread baker. I had zero hand in it, which is probably why it turned out ok. He came out of the kitchen with a ball of dough in his meat-mitts and said, “Mom! Look!” and I was like, “Holy shit, that looks like real dough and not that weird-ass paste shit we made last week!” which, to be fair, we determined was my fault because I threw the recipe in the air and just plopped everything together in a bowl at once, and apparently there is a reason why you need to mix the dry ingredients alone and then SLOWLY add the wet shit LITTLE BY LITTLE. Who knew?!

I guess a trillion bakers before me.

They turned out really good and we’re actually un-raw in the middle I like the ones we made last week.

Other than that, we just screamed at each other A LOT and fake-fought.

I finally started watching Itaewon Class that night and finished two books. Henry said, “I hate ‘Reading Erin'” and Chooch said, “Same.” Apparently I shush them too much and get really irritated when they try to live their lives around me.

Image result for itaewon class

Park Seo Joon is so good!

Then I finished reading “Confessions” by Kanae Minato (40th book of the year!) and went to bed.

WEDNESDAY

Somehow I broke my back. It’s probably from sitting in a non-office chair all fucking day long.

The law firm wanted people to submit selfies of their home work spaces and I looked much better in my other attempts but I had to use this one because Drew’s in the background. I dunno, kind of cheesy but I appreciated that they’re trying to do things like this to keep the mood light-hearted during these stressful times. It’s like, every time I start to feel like I’m going to have a heart attack, I remind myself that literally the whole entire world is in this together. Kind of make it seem a little less lonely?

Back to reality: Major mom/son conflict off and on all day. We are basically just siblings fighting control.

Henry came home and immediately started talking to me while I was clearly listening to an audio book so I snapped.

“She does this to me all day,” Chooch said, buddying up to Henry. “I hate Book Mother.”

“I hate Book Mother, too,” Henry mumbled but then Chooch and I reunited in our mutual need for dinner so we both turned on Henry WHO WENT AND DID LAUNDRY INSTEAD so we had to make our own dinner?! Faux-chicken nugs it is.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Henry confirmed that he takes sanitary wipes into the laundromat so that he does not have to touch anything, because I am sure someone is probably side-eyeing up a storm.)

Oh wait back up: before Henry went to do laundry, he first had to take his daily “post-work nap” which lasts forever. While he was up there, I was scrolling through Instagram. My friend Jessy posted a video of her husband cutting down a tree in their yard with a chainsaw. My phone was still connected to the Bluetooth speaker in our bedroom so I let the video play on full blast, promoting a string of “WTF” and “fuck you” texts from Henry. Quarantine entertainment.

While Henry was doing laundry, we found a three-ingredient peanut butter cookie recipe but we didn’t have sugar substitute so Chooch texted Henry and asked him to get some but then proceeded to ignore all of Henry’s texts asking “WHAT KIND OF SUGAR SUB” because he was too engrossed in Minecraft which he has literally been playing since he was like 4 at this point when will it end. So Henry brought home a box of generic Splenda and Chooch and I had to open packet after packet to fill a half cup but halfway through a 1/4 cup, I decided to actually look at the recipe and felt suspiciously like we were doing it wrong – it was the wrong kind of sugar substitute! We needed granulated stuff that sounds like urethra. I forget what it’s called now. Anyway, Henry said to just use less and it would be fine but holy fucking shit Chooch essentially baked Splenda patties with a peanut butter essence. I had two cookies 90 minutes ago and my stomach hurts and I feel like my throat is coated with sweetener please send help, should I swallow fire?

We scream-laughed a lot today. We’re all perched on the lunacy fringe over here. Come visit. Oh wait, you can’t.

Watched the This Is Us season finale and promptly went in the backyard to dig my grave.

This drama premiered tonight in Korea and I hope that it finds its way to Netflix or Viki soon because KIM MYUNG SOO as a CAT? Yes.

‪Auto correct on Duolingo changed “butcher shop” to “bitch ship.” I have little else going on so this is in the running for highlight of the day. ‬

I’m going to bed soon, with the frightening wonder of what food project Chooch will attempt tomorrow.

THURSDAY

Woke up to a new Winner video! I shared it with my team at work, and received approx. zero replies.

I was so fidgety before logging on to work for my late shift that I, get this, CLEANED THE DISH STRAINER in the kitchen. I DID THAT! I don’t think I have ever performed an act of greater domesticity. COVID-19 has broken me.

Don’t worry, the rest of the kitchen is still an absolute pit.

While I was at the sink, I observed that HNC and Slut Life were both in the driveway!! HNC was fiddling around in his garage while Slut Life was preparing to drive out of his garage. I’m not sure if they had any interaction prior to this because I wasn’t paying attention, but I started watching just in time to catch Slut Life peel out of the driveway, causing HNC to stand at the bottom of the driveway, hands akimbo, watching him retreat while shaking his head in disgust.

I started speaking to Chooch in a new, made-up accent. He immediately asked me to stop.

Chooch was watching some video about death row inmates’ last meals and he’s angry for some reason that Timothy McVeigh chose two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

“Why is that so terrible?” I asked.

“He probably got a stomach ache!” Chooch cried.

“He’ll probably be dead before he notices his stomach hurts!” I yelled and so that’s how we fought about mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Yay henry ordered us dinner from Zenith! He said when he went to get it, one of the owners asked, “Do Erin and Chooch have cabin fever yet?” I love that the Zenith people know us haha.

Yeah boi seitan BBQ, rice noodle salad, and pumpkin cake.

Chooch got lasagna and then remembered that he doesn’t like lasagna after he ate nearly the whole thing. Teenagers are fucking dumbos.

OMG Peenlop’s tongue lol.

Well, all hell just broke loose and we had a faux-battle because Chooch wants to make oatmeal raisin cookies and I was like, “But we got cake from Zenith” and he was like “YOU RUIN EVERYTHING” and I was like, “GOOD GOD JUST MAKE YOUR DUMB COOKIES, BITCH BOY” but he was like JUST FORGET IT and started fake-crying so then I went over and we started play-hitting and Drew was like THIS HOUSE IS STRESSFUL and then Henry tripped over the cat tunnel and I almost peed my pants and Henry was like YOU TWO ARE FUCKING ANNOYING and went upstairs to take a nap…at 5:45PM. Cool.

Meanwhile, Chooch the Crybaby is in the kitchen making his stupid cookies because he apparently has awakened a latent baking gene while in COVID-lockdown.

Here’s where we are right now, 7:30PM:

I wish Janna never showed him how to use this lighter!! (Actually, I secretly secondhand learned how to use it then too lol.)

Knife throwing starts next week.

Thursday ended with us watching the first two episodes of the new Kim Myung Soo drama that I posted the trailer for in yesterday’s recap which sent me on a full-blown Infinite video watching spiral (Kim Myung Soo is a member of Infinite when he’s not busy lighting up televisions with his perfect cherub visuals) and then Chooch got super cat-psycho (he gets so annoyingly affectionate with our cat Drew) so we screamed at him to go to bed and you know now that I think about it, aside from Chooch and I being home together during the day for the time being, things are honestly not much different than they were pre-quarantine: it’s still fucking pandemonium here.

FRIDAY

It is 3:07pm and I have almost nothing to report. Today is the blandest of all the other bland days. I spent a lot of time on calls for the first half of the day and that was greatly annoying to Chooch but,  you know, welcome to the world of shared work spaces, pal.

I finished “Lock Every Door” by Riley Sager. It gave me strong “Nightmare on the 13th Floor” vibes, where all of my Made for TV movie fans at!? Holla at me if you remember that one.

Nightmare on the 13th Floor | VHSCollector.com

Meanwhile, Chef Chooch-R-Dee accidentally paid $2 for some vegan recipe app which angered Henry but I was like, “Oh well, start cookin’, buddy.”

During my lunch break, we braved the streets of Brookline so I could mail something. I took tissues with us so that I wouldn’t have to touch the handle of the mail box outside of the post office. It seemed like the few people who were out were practicing safe social distancing measures, except that we saw our nemesis CVS cashier—“1212”—-standing outside of the store talking to someone and there only seemed to be TWO FEET of space between them so that’s cool.

One of the groups I’m a part of had a check-up call today and it was really awkward because we had to take turns talking alphabetically while everyone else stayed muted, so it just felt like I was bombing at open mic night, big time. I’d say something and pause, and of course no one was responding because they were muted, and I was like gulping for air on my end. It was so uncomfortable. In my other group, it’s just like a free-for-all on these calls, lol.

Chooch’s Instagram memories reminded him that on this day two years ago, we were at Everland, an amusement park in South Korea. THANKS, INSTAGRAM. I’m going to wear my Everland headband in honor of that memory.

Henry is home now. Chooch is showing him a recipe from his new $2 app that he wants to make and it requires a “nine-spice mix” and Henry was like “the fuck is that” and it turns out it’s another recipe, so basically a recipe within a recipe, and now Henry is like, “THIS IS TURNING INTO A 5-20-FORTY DOLLAR RECIPE!”

“We have warm water,” Chooch said, reading off the ingredients five minutes later. Literally one of the only ingredients we have, lol. Henry wants to kill him.

Oh! Henry brought home fudge brownie M&Ms which now holds the title for highlight of the day. CAN ANYTHING TAKE THE CROWN? Only time will tell.

Friday afternoon lunacy selfie! One day, Chooch and I will have so many stories to tell about this time while we’re roasting chestnuts over an open fire, preferably in whatever haunted mansion he’s bought me from his math genius career earnings. I’m tired of sitting at this desk, but thankful that that’s pretty much my only complaint right now.

Chooch is revisiting his Shane Dawson obsession so I have heard his big dumb mouth in the background pretty much all week and I am definitely not a fan.

Holy fucking shit, in the last hour, Slut Life has come and gone at least 5x!! Like, he leaves and then returns within 10 minutes – maybe he should just walk!? And it’s so annoying because his bass is SO LOUD in his car and it takes him forever to maneuver the car into the narrow-ass city garage that we have in these houses. I just texted HNC about it. I AM “THAT NEIGHBOR” who watches the neighborhood from the dining room window and I literally do not care. This shit runs in my family. Gimme my binoculars.

(We actually did find binoculars at the living room window when we had to clean out my Pappap’s house. My Aunt Sharon was serious about Neighborhood Watch.)

Logged off work and Chooch and I went across the street for some churchyard Fündopop fun times!

Also!! HNC texted me back and said that he and Slut Life got into it the other day and Slut Life peeled out of the driveway (I witnessed that!!) and he apparently kicked up a chunk of asphalt in the process! HNC is writing a letter to the landlord since calling him didn’t work. He said he mentioned me in the letter. I’m so excited! I get a mention!! No one ever mentions me anymore!!

On that note, I think I will put this weekday roundup to bed. If anything amazing (doubtful) happens between now and the time I go to bed, you best believe I’ll be updating this. But life in isolation is pretty boring, and you know what? THAT’S JUST FINE. I feel, I dunno, blessed to be bored right now, like I should have an embroidery of that hanging in my kitchen or something.

Mar 202020
 

MONDAY

Made Chooch exercise first thing in the morning. This isn’t vacation! I picked a workout that was annoyingly strenuous though and I don’t like hard workouts in the AM, so I guess the joke’s actually on me.

Chooch started watching some stupid show on Netflix called On the Block. I hate it.

The school is handing out Grab-n-Go lunches for the students. Chooch was like, “Thank god” and went to get one but I was like WHAT ABOUT MEEEEE?! Much to his chagrin, they were also passing out assignment packets, so now he has legit work to do, which made my PROFESSOR MOMMY’S ASSIGNMENT LIST backfire. :( He still wrote about bibimbap though because he could see how sad I was that my Thinking Chores don’t matter now.

At one point, I realized I hadn’t seen him in a while so I started screaming his name. He called back from his bedroom so I was like, “OH NO, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SPEND ALL AFTERNOON LAYING IN BED WATCHING TV” but when I went up there, I found him sitting in a chair with a book. “You told me to read a book so I’m reading a book. ‘Mandatory reading time,’ remember?”

Oh yeah, I did say that.

So far, isolation was *shrug* because I work from home at least one day a week anyway, but WE’LL SEE HOW LONG THE NOVELTY LASTS. Adding a smart-mouthed teenager to the package really adds a new layer, though. But at least he doesn’t expect me to do things for him. I mean, he’s known me for 13 years now and is quite aware of what I am and am not capable of.

TUESDAY

I forced Chooch  to start the day with 20 minutes of K-pop cardio! He actually kind of put forth a bit of effort.

Chooch wishes he knew how to hard-boil eggs. “Same,” I say. Later, Henry comes home from work and points out that we already had hardboiled eggs in the fridge. We did not know.

Henry came home from work and we mauled him. WE’RE HUNGRY! FEED US! we cried.

Jesus, it’s only day 2, he sighed.

On my break, we walked to the library so I could dump some books off into the return thing BUT IT WAS LOCKED – originally, they were still going to accept book returns during  the isolation period, but I guess they changed their mind and there was a sign that says to just hold on to your materials until they reopen, ughhh I was hoping that at least one tiny part of my beloved library process would still be intact.

Don’t worry, we maintained social distance on our walk to the library, touched nothing, talked to no one, entered no store. Came home and scrubbed our hand-flesh off.

  • That’s too loud.
  • What are you watching, that’s dumb.
  • Shut up, I’m on a call.
  • Turn that down.
  • Shut up, I’m in a meeting.
  • Go watch a documentary.
  • Shut up, I’m in a training.
  • Mandatory reading time!

— Chooch’s compendium of things I yelled today, apparently, recited back to me in A TONE THAT WAS NOT A FAIR REPRESENTATION OF HOW I TALK, THANKS.

Saw an Instagram ad over the weekend for fire blankets and panicked that we might need those so I made Henry buy two. Instagram ads is the QVC for the next generation. Today they arrived. I didn’t even open the box because the excitement had already worn off.

WEDNESDAY

Chooch is letting me use his fancy gaming headphones for when I have to call into meetings, except that I found out the hard way that the mic doesn’t work. I emailed the Help Desk and they responded with instructions that were more than 2 steps so I replied, “That is too complicated. I will just continue to call in using my cell phone.”

Some group emails are going around because people apparently miss each other. I mean, I guess I miss some people but I’m perfectly fine in my covid-less cocoon at home, thanks.

Chooch chose the Zac Efron Ted Bundy movie as his choice of documentary when I urged him to watch something educational. I mean, that probably counts, right?

Then the Census came in the mail!

So far the most exciting part of isolation was cracking up with Chooch while trying to find what best describes Henry’s relation to me. We are deep in the throes of cabin fever slap-happiness. Check back tomorrow when we’ve surely resorted to acute psychological torture for fun. We ended up selecting “opposite-sex unmarried partner” in the end because I was afraid of going to jail, also one time before I started working at The Law Firm, I tried to get a job with the census and I had to take a test in the basement of the library but I guess I failed because they never called me back. I mean, it DID have word problems on it.

Why, tho.

THURSDAY

Chooch, at 8;50am: Don’t you have to start working soon?

Me, from the couch: Yes.

Chooch: Are you already logged on?

Me: Yes.

Chooch, in a parental tone: Oh OK, I was just making sure you’re ready.

NO HE WASN’T. HE WAS JUST HOPING HE COULD USE THE COMPUTER.

Chooch and I had a play-fight with an empty water bottle, still made less noise than Blake’s crying kids next door.  Our cat Penelope has basically stopped coming downstairs now because we’re here all the time and she hates it.

Had to call in to a short meeting using my cell phone on speaker. “Holy shit that was boring,” Chooch said from the living room when I disconnected. YES, I KNOW. THIS IS MY LIFE.

Around 5:00, Henry left to go and pick up our dinner from Onion Maiden because we wanted to try and be supportive I guess, saints that we are. I was still working so I was sitting at the computer for a good 5 minutes talking to Chooch only to find out from his silence that he went with Henry.

While they were gone, a cop car went flying past the house with the sirens on and then a police helicopter circled overhead for approx. 10 minutes. That combined with the coronavirus really gave me that nice “end of the world” sensation.

 

War Pig with cashew cheese and jalapeños, and Crucifier Rising dumplings. Chooch got the Kimmy Gimmler (comes with kimchi yessss) and the Bunn O))).

I love Onion Maiden but I don’t eat there very often for some reason that probably involves the fact that I don’t eat out at all very often because I’m pretty sure I have some type of eating disorder.

Henry wasn’t allowed to sit on the floor with us because he had meat. He was like WHATEVER I CANT SIT ON THE FLOOR ANYWAY and then that made me think of my birthday lunch at a traditional Buddhist restaurant in Seoul where Henry almost couldn’t get up after sitting on the floor and now I am so fucking sad. I miss you, Korea. Hopefully this pandemic ends someday and I can go back.

Chooch and I also shared a piece of Terrormisu. What a nice little quarantine picnic!

7:46pm: Chooch just chased me around the house, throwing an old spare key at me and I ran to Henry for help but he’s half-asleep in bed and mumbled for us to separate. Then Chooch laughed too hard and almost threw up on Henry.

It’s a…real haven up in here.

FRIDAY

“Chooch, we’re going to make bread today.”

“……without HIM?” (HIM = Henry, clearly.)

“Yes! Someone posted recipes on Twitter. It looks easy.”

“Well, THAT’S something I can tell I’ll be quoting you on for the rest of my life.”

OK, scratch that idea. I just went back to the recipe I saw on Twitter and realized that there was way more to it than just this:

Apparently, the rest of the recipe was in the comments. It’s involved. Do we have baking powder? What is kosher salt? Something about sitting in a greased bowl for 30-60 minutes? I’ll pass.

In good, non-COVID news, Taemin has black hair again! Also, I really wish I was going through this pandemic hell in S. Korea, not the fucking dumb US. God, can we screw this up anymore? FORGET I ASKED THAT. DO NOT HOLD ANYONE’S BEER. GET BACK INTO ISOLATION.

UPDATE, 12:09:

Chooch is making the bread on his own. Where the fuck is the baking powder, he asked, gesturing to the open cupboard full of UNLABELED CONTAINERS OF WHITE POWERS.

‘This could all be cocaine for all we know!” I cried. Now Henry is on speaker phone. He is very unhappy about how this Friday is progressing.

Apparently the baking powder is in a plastic container that says “baking powder.” I would have hung up on Henry’s ass by now.

OMG IF I HEAR “BAKING POWDER’ ONE MORE TIME. This call has dragged on for like 11 minutes. Henry just yelled, “I have to go! I don’t have time for this!”

Lol, I found the baking powder immediately  and now Chooch is mad. He dropped the butter on the ground so I told him  to just wash it off but then we both looked at it and I said, “Um, just throw it out.” Then we fucked up because I dumped all the water in at once, before Chooch had a chance to “mix the dry ingredients” and then apparently even the the water was supposed to be added gradually? Why? It’s all going to end up in the same place eventually anyway?

I feel like we made some progress because after stirring it for a but, it resembles real life dough! I got bored though so now Chooch is doing the rest alone.

12:44PM This might go down as the worst idea ever. The dough is like melted paste – is this right!?

The recipe never told us what to do with the butter. We used our collective noggins to assume that it was for greasing the bowl, so then Chooch made me wash out the Pam that I had originally (handsomely) spritzed it with. We are now letting the dough sit for 30-60 minutes. Is it going to expand into a carb-loaded Jabba the Hut and suffocate us? TIME WILL TELL.

1:50PM: Time to cook this gooey blob! I just noticed that the recipe on Twitter said to HEAT A GRIDDLE. THE FUCK? I was like “Can’t we just use the oven?” and Chooch was like I don’t know so I was scrolling through the Twitter comments and I said, “Oh look! This person asked, ‘Can I use an oven'” and Chooch goes, “Yeah that was me. That was LITERALLY ME.”

I have a headache.

Good thing we have those fire blankets.

YOU GUYS I’m positive we didn’t make these as intended but, against all odds, they taste fucking delicious. The first one came out the most normal looking. The rest are like, dough scraps but still delicious.

We made a penis-shaped one for Henry!

A half hour later, I glanced in the kitchen. “I guess we should just leave this for him to clean up?” And then Chooch and I scream-laughed our faces off. I think we’ve reached peak isolation. It has to be all downhill from here.

Oh wait, but then Henry told me that he ripped his pants today and didn’t realize it until he went back to the office and one of his coworkers said, “Nice underwear.” Yes, this is my favorite part of today’s isolation.

In case you were wondering if beverage deliverymen are essential during a pandemic, that would be a yes. Henry still has to work and his skin is basically burning off his hands from manic-application of hand sanitizer.

5:00PM: Henry just came home and is so mad. “I’m not cleaning that!” he yelled, but now he’s in there cleaning it. Chooch let the “dough” dry on the rolling pin and Henry is very upset about this. Also, he tried the bread and threw it back on the plate. Chooch and I were so insulted, but then I took a bite, and you know, now that they’ve been laying there for a few hours, I can tell that um, these actually aren’t fully cooked, lol. It’s pretty raw, is that why my stomach hurts do you think?

Chooch reminded me that there wasn’t egg in it at least.

I doubt anything exciting will happen for the rest of the evening. My plans are:

  • cereal for dinner
  • exercise
  • read
  • watch “Kingdom”

If anything noteworthy goes down, I will update this!

Feb 222020
 

…I got distracted and didn’t finish writing it, so now it’s Saturday and you can have four things instead of five because what good are rules if you don’t ever break them? Fuck off, Friday Fives! We’re here for Saturday…Fours now.

    1. It Always Comes Back to Days Of Our Lives

Yo, I was watching SuperM on some YouTube video from when they were doing their US promotions and they were each asked to name a song that’s the playlist of their lives, or whatever, and I had to do a doubletake when Baekhyun chose PEABO BRYSON?!!?

How fucking random. I feel like a ton of Americans wouldn’t even know Peabo Bryson, but I know him because he sang STEVE AND KAYLA’S SONG FROM DAYS OF OUR LIVES:

Also, when it was Taemin’s turn, he picked one of his own songs, haha, I love him so much.

[ETA: Ok when I first was writing this I could have sworn that it was Hope & Bo’s song but LE DUH that was a DIFFERENT Peabo jam, “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” god I’m so dumb.]

2. Math Mystery Night

For the last several years, Chooch has been attending the Gifted Center once a week during school. Every year, they have this thing called Math Mystery Night and he always either forgets to tell us, or tells us 10 minutes after it started, or actually gives us the flyer in advance which gives us plenty of time to make excuses for not being able to go. Ew, math on a weeknight? No thanks.

But this time, I saw the flyer in his backpack and as soon as I noticed that it was on a Thursday night, I stuck it up on the fridge and told Henry to go.

“I don’t want to,” he whined.

“Well, I can’t go because that’s my late shift. So, you can go. It’s his last year there!”

Thank god for late shift, haha.

So, that’s what Henry ended up doing Thursday night while I stayed at home and worked. He said Chooch was the only 8th grader that showed up and all the other kids were like, elementary-age. But, Chooch was happy to solve dumb math problems and collect prizes, and apparently Henry even managed to solve one.

It was probably some basic word problem like, “Susie has 8 soft pretzels. She eats 7 of them while watching an episode of NCIS while sitting in her car in the Shop n’ Save parking lot. How much salt is on the car seat now?”

Anyway, later in the evening, Henry said they were in one of the classrooms when some bitch-mom was whining to the teacher about how her son didn’t get into SciTech and Chooch piped up, “I got into SciTech.”

WOW, SON. Maybe we should enroll in SciTACT, you know what I’m saying?

(When I told Todd and Glenn this at work the next day, Todd said he didn’t know what I meant, so I explained it and he was like, “Sike, I knew what you meant, I just wanted you to have to explain the joke.” COOL.)

Henry said that he actually wasn’t mad at Chooch for his ruthless outburst because the mom in question was a bitch.

“She reminded me of [name redacted for my own protection]’s mom, only—”

“—alive?” I offered, because that mom kicked it last year.

“Wow. No. I was going to say ‘mouthier,’ but OK,” Henry said, shaking his head at me.

3. Beetle Ring Story Time

Sometimes when I’m rummaging through my jewelry boxes, I stumbled upon shit I forgot I had, like this here (wow I typed “hear” at first please send me back to 2nd grade) steampunk-esque ring that my ex-bff bought for me years ago on Etsy because I said I wanted it and back then, all I had to do was say that I wanted something and it was mine because she was like, some pimp salesperson at a window company at the time and always bragged about how much money she made so I was like, “OK cool then buy me shit” and she would because I’m the best, have you not figured that out yet?

Anyway, the very same day, the ring arrived in my mailbox and I was like HOW THO. Turns out, the maker actually lives in my neighborhood so when she saw my address, she packaged it right up and just walked it over to my house. We struck up a casual friendship through Etsy because of this and ended up meeting – she had moved her from San Francisco after spending years being the number fan of this local college-rock legend Weird Paul and then he was like “Be my girlfriend” I guess and so that’s what she did. I went to their house one time for tea and snacks, and she pretended to use a banana as a telephone and then we watched some documentary about a photographer I think, and then another time she and Weird Paul came to my house for game night and brought a bag of pretzels (“If Weird Paul brings a bag of pretzels to Erin’s game night and Henry eats the whole bag, how high is Henry’s blood pressure?”) and a vintage board game called Uncle Wiggily.

I have to laugh because Weird Paul’s Pittsburgh popularity has had a bit of resurgence lately and smugly think to myself, “He came to one of my game nights, so…”

MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE ANOTHER GAME NIGHT SOON?! The last couple were kind of…eh.

4. A Psycho Surprise

I have this little gold picture frame on my desk at work that contains a vintage photo of a dead man in a coffin  that I used years ago for one of my Halloween displays but then ended up keeping it as perma-desk decor because, hey, that’s just who I am, a person who enjoys looking at real life photos of finely-dressed corpses throughout the work day. Sometimes, when I’m struggling through a particularly sticky conversation with a lawyer, I stare at that picture and remember that someday, I won’t have to talk to people on the phone anymore because I too will be a corpse.

I SHOULD MAKE MOTIVATIONAL POSTERS, I KNOW, YOU’RE RIGHT, THAT’S A GREAT FUCKING IDEA. TIME TO OPEN UP A CAFE PRESS STORE.

Well, one day recently, I noticed that the picture was all askew, and I would accuse the cleaning people of bumping it but we all know that they never dust our fucking desks so who knows who the culprit was; in any case, I opened the back of it so I could adjust the picture, and this photo came fluttering out:

THAT’S A FUCKING PICTURE OF MY EX-BOYFRIEND PSYCHO MIKE FROM WHEN HE WAS A CHILD! I can’t remember why he gave this to me when we were dating, BUT HE DID, and then eventually I covered it with a picture of my boss from Olan Mills and I guess the dead guy has been in there for 6 years now, which evidently is long enough to make me forget that Child (but still psycho, no doubt) Mike was in there, lying in wait.

It was real jolting and I had to stifle a scream, since this happened in the middle of the work day and you’ve probably never been to my office but it is usually so quiet there that you would think you were in a morgue, so my Dead Guy probably feels quite at home. Then I started laughing because the fact that I was more scared of a picture of my psycho ex-boyfriend than one of a dead guy in a coffin is extremely telling of our sordid relationship.

***

Well, hell. That was fun. Let’s do it again sometime.

Feb 132020
 

I am a tightly-wound ball of nervous energy this week. Let’s bullet it out.

  • Yesterday, I was waiting for the elevator to go down to the lobby. One of the mail room guys was waiting with me, but he was going up. When one of the elevators stopped, he held the door open and said, “This one’s yours!” I was like “Thanks Mister” but as I stepped onto the elevator and watched the doors slowly close, it occurred to me that in the 10 years I’ve been working in this building, I still have no idea how to determine if an elevator is going up or down.
  • Last month, I splurged and bought a bunch of pins from Etsy. These pins are Korea-specific and they’re sold by an ex-pat living in Seoul. I mean, she has Seoul subway station pins, one of which happens to be the line we used every single day on our last visit – we stayed right off of the Hongik University stop! I honestly burst into tears when this package arrived the other day and I started digging through everything. I’m wearing the Ghost Face and Michael Myers ones to work for Valentines Day!

  • Speaking of Valentines Day, I started to make department-specific Valentines to pass out at work but then I stopped. I’m tired. My brain hurts. Only 1/4 of the people there would even appreciate it anyway. Besides, we were very nearly in over our heads with our actual card business this season so I didn’t really have the time or energy anyway. This was the best season we’ve had yet! I am so grateful and humbled that perfect strangers out there like the stuff I design, and rave over and over in the feedback they leave over the quality of Henry’s work. We really care about our products and the last thing I want is to send someone something that’s sub-par. I’m glad that our customers recognize this! But at the same time, it will be nice to have a clean dining room table now that our busy season is over, oof.
  • Have you seen Parasite yet? How much did you love it? I am having the most fun watching videos of the cast and crew celebrate and the least fun every time I run into a comment saying that BTS paved the way. Please, BTS is not the be-all end-all of South Korea. Anyway, how fucking great are these movie posters for it? I want them all on my wall, to be honest:

  • I am still on a heavy reading kick. I’m sure a slump will hit me here soon, but I am really enjoying the excitement of picking up requested books at the library and getting recommendations from Booktube, but I gotta say, the last several horror recs I got from Booktubers (such a stupid term), have been pretty bad. Are my standards just that high? I mean, I’m not some literary snob and I am the LAST person who will turn down a cute/fun/teenager love Young Adult novel, so I don’t think my standards or expectations in general are lofty. I just really am craving GOOD HORROR but man, I have read some doosies this month. I’ll have a full recap at the end of the month, but the last one I finished yesterday had me so angry. Henry was like, “Wow.” But at least he didn’t tell me to calm down (UGH) or snidely suggest that I just write my own.

  • I was inspired to clean off my old painting desk the other day. It had becomes a catch-all for folded laundry that I didn’t care to put away; old, dried-up paint brushes; layers and layers of dust. So I dusted off my clowns, readjusted the picture frames, and tossed all the old art stuff because let’s be honest, I’m not sure when the painting bug will bite me again and even if it was tomorrow, I’d still have to get new supplies anyway because I’m the worst at taking care of that shit. I pointed out my cleaned off desk to Henry, and the first thing he said wasn’t the “good job” I was craving, but a nit-picky, “There’s still paint on it though…?” YEAH, IT’S A SOUVENIR. AN HOMAGE TO MY PAST SELF. GOD-uh.
    • Penelope was like “Woo hoo, I can sit up here again.”
    • Coincidentally, right after I tossed all my supplies, people started asking me to do art shit for them and saying no felt so empowering. I used to hate saying no and I RELISH IT. Like, I want to squirt my “no”s on a fucking vegan hotdog and eat it in front of the people asking. MMMMMMMMMMnonononono.
  • HEY GUYS remember a few weeks ago when I got all nostalgic about pagers? NO? YOU DON’T READ EVERY SINGLE BLOG I PUBLISH? I mean, it’s cool. We all have lives. I get it. You can click that link and read up, maybe during The Bachelor commercial breaks (do people still watch The Batchelor? Do people still watch any TV in real time?). Anyway! a few days after I wrote about that, my old friend Shawn from high school sent me this picture on Instagram and I died. Page me sometime:

Embarrassingly/shamefully, I had to crop this picture because this was back in the 90s when I thought it was super cute to tell everyone they were a gaybo; wow I was a real peach. So cool. Very edgy. Ugh, thank god I don’t have any political aspirations.

  • Henry gave me an early Valentine’s Day present last night by way of booking our flights for our next trip! No, not Korea this year. :( But we’re going to be spending Easter break in Germany/Luxembourg/Belgium/The Netherlands – of course this was all my idea and the main reason I wanted to go is because there are some theme parks in that region of Europe that I desperately want to go to, but it will also be Chooch’s first time in these countries so I wanted to make sure that he actually gets to SEE STUFF while we’re there, so I whittled the list down to the three I most want to go to. (Henry is so excited.) Our itinerary is still very fluid at this point, but it’s looking like we will be spending Easter at the park that inspired this entire trip: Efteling. I AM SO EXCITED!!

Image result for efteling

Image result for efteling

AHHHH!!! After my boss Amber approved my days off, she was like, “Where are you guys going?” and when I said, “Remember last year when I sent you that website for the weird fairytale amusement park in The Netherlands….” and she was like, “Oh for God’s sake!” Haha.

Well, cook on, mothercheffers!

 

Jan 302020
 

These bulletpoints are brought to you by: lack of sleep, Fran Drescher’s bray, and the Korean letter ㅊ which always reminds me of those weird twig-person things from The Blair Witch Project which, coincidentally, I made a bunch of several years ago when I decorated my co-worker Mitch’s office with a “Blair Mitch” theme for Halloween and several of my work friends kept the twig-things as a souvenir of my Halloween Reign of Terror so I see them every day.

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(See also: this blog post.)

  • On Monday, Blake texted Henry and told him that the coroners were on our street, pulling a body out of a house. Chooch didn’t have school that day so I started bombarding him with texts because I was freaking out, man. He was about as interested as you’d imagine a 13-year-old with a brand new iPhone 11 and Nintendo Switch might be. He sent me a picture of the forensics truck in the neighbor’s driveway and left it at that. All Henry and I could figure was that it was the house next to Hot Naybor Chris’s, where Chooch’s buddy lives with his grandparents, but there are two other units in  that house, so an older woman also lives there, and this mysterious girl who looks like she could be in her mid-20s or 40s, because, well, drugs. We also have suspicion that she was providing various, you know, services. Just last week, the first responders were there but it didn’t seem like anything major happened so we stopped peeking out of the window and WOW I AM BASICALLY JUST LIKE MY AUNT SHARON AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE. Anyway, I begged Henry to text Hot Naybor Chris, who immediately called him and knew nothing because he hadn’t been home all day, so he said never fear, he’d send his wife to question one of the residents (provided she wasn’t already busy yelling at people for taking her parking spot.) She reported back the next day that it was the girl, and she OD’d. FUCKING DRUGS. I am so pissed off about this. It’s extremely disconcerting knowing that someone died in that way only two houses up from us, and yet life goes on. So fucked up. I didn’t know her, and only saw her several times over the summer when she would run across the street in see-thru dresses and jump into the car of whatever John was there to pick her up that evening, but it makes me feel super depressed.
    • Speaking of sadness and depression, I’ve definitely got it because I spent a good 90 minutes on Sunday crying violently over the death of Kobe Bryant, and you need to know that I was not a fan of his, and basically ambivalent toward him in general, but the news alert rocked me in a way that I cannot explain which is how I know that my heart and brain were looking for a reason to cry it out. Sometimes you just gotta cry.
  • The one thing I was looking forward to all weekend was Cafe Day with Chooch and Henry, and Henry even said I could interrogate him for a Henry’s Coffee Klatch-type of blog post, but then the combination of my heightened sensitivity (see above bullet) and Chooch’s teenage mean streak made me have an emotional break down while waiting for our coffee at Reginald’s, which was really Sad Times because that place was cute, the seasonal latte choices were unique (I got the winter spice, which had ginger, cinnamon, orange zest and “more,” whatever that means, but it was fucking delicious and not overly sweet or syrupy), and my friend Chris’s honey was available there! Oh well, maybe we’ll go for a do-over sometime soon and leave Mean Chooch at home.

  • Speaking of coffee though, the day before, I had my weekly meeting with Jiyong at Panera. Henry drove me there because we needed to go shopping in that area afterward and you know, One Car Family. But now that he’s on the precipice of coffee addiction, he decided to come in with me and get a cold brew. I think Jiyong initially thought he was going to stay there the whole time and maybe she was contemplating charging for Korean lessons now that it was turning into more of a classroom, but I was like, “NO HE IS NOT STAYING, EW!” because no way. While Henry and I were standing in line to order, I noticed that there was some type of friendly exchange going on with the guy who was ordering, the cashier, and the people in front of us, but I couldn’t figure out what was happening and Henry is deaf and oblivious and also  too distracted looking at the pastries, so he was no help in my investigation. Anyway, after we placed our order, we found out what the commotion was: some dude left his change with the cashier to pay it forward, and apparently the people in front of us decided to pass it on to us and HENRY ACCEPTED IT which I think he should not have because we didn’t NEED to use it and I very quickly became overcome with guilt and dwelled upon it for the remainder of the day.
  • Guys! Suddenly, I like basketball:

I’m so excited that G-Dragon’s in America right now!!! I had a dream two nights ago that he was my boyfriend and it was the sweetest, most pure dream ever and I was in such a great mood the whole next day. Apparently, they even played his song “Superstar” during the game and he was cutely embarrassed I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

  • We’re in the thick of our “busy season” for serial killer Valentines, so I told Henry I would make my own dinner in order to keep him chained to his work station, making cards. But “making dinner” started with me turning on the kettle to heat water for some instant noodle cup thing and then whining because it looked unsatisfying so Henry was like, “put an egg in it” and I was like, “OK you do that” and then I exchanged places with him and now he’s in the kitchen enhancing my bland Whole Foods instant pad thai thing OK never mind he just brought it out to me and he somehow managed to make it worse, so cereal it is.

In other news, I have been very diligent with reading since I set my goal at the beginning of the month! Since tomorrow is the last day of January, I think I will do a quick recap of the books I read this month. Speaking of, I AM GOING TO GO AND READ MORE OF MY LAST BOOK FOR JANUARY!