Sep 262020
 

(Random pic of Peenlop)

Remember in my last post when I mentioned that we were taking a daytrip to Maryland today to go to our favorite Korean market and stock up on makgeolli and soju? Well, I had been internally bugging out about it all week because I just want to be as COVID-compliant as possible and I definitely know that crossing state lines for Korean liquor is far from “essential” travel. But Maryland isn’t one of the states we’d have to quarantine after visiting, we wouldn’t be staying over night or eating in restaurants…and everywhere I look, I see people on social media getting on planes to Florida and going to Disney, so I felt like what we were planning should be OK, right?

But then this morning as we were getting ready to leave, Budget called Henry to tell him that they regrettably had no cars (our car has some mild issues that need attended to but it keeps getting pushed to the bottom of HENRY’S EPIC TO DO LIST so he wanted to be safe and take a rental). Henry reserved a car an entire week ago, but OK cool story Budget. So then he was going to rent a car from Enterprise at 8:30 this  morning but I was like, “Look. This is a sign. This was a dumb idea. Let’s just stay home and get more stuff done” and I could tell he was sad, but that’s how it has to be. I MAKE THE RULES. So now he’s at the local Asian market and that will just have to be good enough for him for now, lol. 

So I’m sitting here on the porch while the weather’s still nice enough for morning porch sits, drinking a latte, and I just talked to Chooch’s favorite neighborhood dog Spencer and his owner Bob, and now I’m writing in you, Dear Blog, because it feels like it’s been a while since we were freeform and candid with each other.

(Speaking of the porch, I’m really going to miss all of the pretty flowers when the stupid motherfucking piece of shit winter comes in and takes them all away. I really hate winter so much. I’m getting fucking angry just thinking about it and we’re only like one day into autumn.)

I mean, it’s also been a while since I really had much to say….

  • I was watching the sequel to To All the Boys…on my day off last week and some indie cover of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun was in it. Because this version was much slower and also the closed captioning was in, I learned something. “HOLY SHIT THATS WHAT CYNDI LAUPER WAS SAYING THERE?” I screamed and Henry just stared at me blankly so I repeated “when the working day is done????” Henry was like wtf did you think she said and that’s easy: “what in the world ohmmmmmblahhuhgirls they wanna have fun.”
    • Yeah, I was off on Monday and Tuesday and I can summarize those days for you real quick: I took copious walks and read books. The end. 
  • Sasaeng fan alert: I paid $3 to get exclusive texts from Taemin in the Lysn app and look, I know that he’s not sending them JUST TO ME, I’m not that much of a delulu, but he does actually send them because I’ve seen him do it in his Insta Lives, etc. and sometimes he sends voice recordings too and do I always know what he’s saying? No. But is it worth it? FUCK YES. I get so excited when I get the notification that he sent a message! He was really quiet the other day but that was expected because it was the day the SuperM album was released so I know he was busy, but yesterday there was a flurry of messages from him and he said he’s going to clear his schedule so we can eat together at 2pm (KST) on Sunday so watch me set my alarm. Anyway, sometimes I like to send screenshots to Chooch but he refuses to read them. I sent him one last night and then walked over to him at the computer to urge him to read it, but instead, he googled this:

 

  • Some guy just jogged past my house and I swear it was my old boss from when I worked night shifts at FedEx as a billing broad and it would be so quiet in that office and then he would suddenly appear out of nowhere blowing an airhorn and I fucking swear to god I have a little bit of PTSD from that shit. Great guy though, but I feel confident that every single person who worked there has attended at least 8 Trump rallies since then. When I worked there, it was during the 2008 election and let’s just say my Obama bumper sticker stoked a lot of racist fires. Ah, the joys of being a liberal woman in a workplace full of right wing testosterone.
  • Sorry, I took a break to chase a squirrel around the block, trying to feed him peanuts, while my cats watched with secondhand embarrassment from the porch.

  • Oh shit, on Thursday, I worked late shift so Chooch was able to walk with me on my lunch break since he was done with school for the day (it’s been really weird going for walks by myself on most days now that he’s back “in” school). He was chatting away and I was like, “WAIT. NO, NEVERMIND. I thought I heard a goat, lol.” Then we took a few more steps and I heard it again! WOULDN’T YOU KNOW, THERE WAS NOT ONE BUT TWO GOATS in this random person’s backyard in Brookline!? If you’re reading this and don’t live in Pittsburgh, Brookline is a city neighborhood so, you know, it’s not everyday you stroll past pet goats in this area, but what a treat! City goats!
    • When I was growing up, we had sheep, ducks, mallards, and at one point, a donkey. But we lived on a private street in the suburbs, surrounded by woods, so that was less weird though I guess people were still like, “wtf you have sheep?” when they’d come to my house, and I’d be like, “wtf you don’t?”
  • Speaking of when I was growing up*, I’m in LOVE with the SuperM album and this is my favorite song (so far) and I want you to listen to it.

    • *Because this song reminds me of the smoooooooth r&b slow jamz I had on constant rotation back in the mid-90s, duh.
  • I have to laugh when people assume that Henry is in hell because of kpop and Korea stuff, but when he came home from work yesterday, he sat down and said, “OK, put it on” because he knew there was a new SuperM video and he wanted to see it, and then we had a nice chat about it afterward and that never used to happen back when I liked post-hardcore, etc. He would just be like “it was fine” or “Jonny Craig is such a douchebag” but now he says things like “I wish there wasn’t so much English” and I catch him smiling when it’s Taemin’s part DON’T DENY IT HENRY, YOU FEEL AFFECTION TOWARD THAT PERFECT SPACE ANGEL AND YOU KNOW IT. Henry also sat through 45 minutes of a SuperM reality show and chuckled openly and then watched episode 4 of Taemin’s reality show and laughed when he got everything set up for a BBQ and then invited friends over to do all the cooking for him, lol. Taemin is so relatable. 
  • Henry’s back from the Asian market and of course he got all the good snacks for HIS GRANDCHILDREN next door UGH. But at least we got banana kicks!

OK well now that Henry is home, Imma wrap this up because I have to make sure he starts his chores and also I’ve been tasked with finding a place to get vegan takeout for dinner tonight, and that’s definitely something I’m good at!

Have a good weekend! Listen to SuperM and Taemin’s recent solo release! Stan Taemin!

 

Sep 182020
 

Lol – lofty statements.

1. Brookline Gets a Veggie Burger

…and is this the best picture of it? Nope. But it’s the best you’re gonna get from me at least because I was in a big hurry to start gnawing at this beast and couldn’t really bother with angles and close ups, etc etc. This picture makes the veggie burger look like a Frenchman though. SEE IT?

Up until a few weeks ago, Brookline had zero veggie burger options. I mean, I could walk a few blocks away to Dormont and get one at Eat n Park but they literally serve Gardenburgers like it’s 1999 but without the party.

You guys know I loved Brookline’s sandwich shop, Parker’s, and shed legit tears when the proprietor (I just realized that I think this is one of my favorite words and it started in high school but that is a story for another time) announced he was closing in order to focus on the bar he had recently opened. Parker’s last day was about a year ago now, I would say, and it sat there, dormant for months and months until one day last winter, the paint changed from Parker’s signature bright blue stripes, to some plain blah neutral color that would be right at home in Henry’s basic wardrobe. I did a lot of muttering and foot-stamping over it because PARKER’S 4 LYFE, but I have to admit, every time I walked past (which is like every day because I’m a seasoned Brookline walker) I’d cup my hands around the windows and try to squint through the darkness to see if I could make out a menu on the wall or any semblance of a decor.

One night, Chooch was able to get a glimpse of the menu on the wall inside and he cried out, “VEGGIE BURGER!!!” I hesitated to get too excited. This could mean anything. A nuked Boca Burger, maybe dressed up a little with some Heinze pickles and enveloped in a Mancini’s bun? A sad attempt at a “homemade” black bean burger, dry as fuck, on a Wonderbread roll?

Then one day a few months ago, they painted their name on the storefront!

I checked them out and they’ve had an Instagram presence for quite a while because they’re not exactly new, it seems. I guess they have been operating as a pop-up at various local breweries (which would explain why I’ve never heard of them – I avoid any brewery event like the plague; that is NOT my scene) and have amassed a bit of a following. The food that they’ve posted in their feed is like hipster gourmet, if I had to terminology-ize it. (SMRT PPL MAKE UP WURDZ.) I was kind of like, “But is that gon’ fly in Brookline?” I remember when there was a rumor that the old Zippy’s Bar (a total Yinzer den) was going to be a wine bar, and people on the boulevard were buggin’ out over that (OK actually just the waitress at NO NAME CAFE, but if she was acting like, I can guarantee others were because, herd mentality. TRUMP TAUGHT ME THAT WORD.)

(J/k, I already knew it but laughed when he said herd mentality instead of immunity the other day and by laugh I mean I screamed OMFG I HATE YOU, YOU DUMB ORANGE PIECE OF SHIT.)

(This is why I lost 70847203947 blog readers. GET TO THE POINT, ERIN,  YOU STUPID YOKEL.)

On their Instagram, I saw that they have, in the past, created NUMEROUS versions of veggie burgers, and they all looked like BEASTS. You could tell they were “from scratch,” the buns looked artisinal AF, and they had toppings with names that only a true gourmand would understand. I was ready.

They opened last month and we ordered take-out (the only thing they were offering until this week when they decided to open up with limited seating and I’m like, “OK but did you not see that news report that came out over the weekend? You know, THIS ONE?

Adults With COVID-19 Twice As Likely To Have Eaten At Restaurants, CDC Study Finds

But OK, go on.

Anyway, holy.fucking.shit. This burger. It had goat cheese and carmelized onion jam and cucumbers and tahini and and and…it was PRECIOUS. Not like, “Aw, look how precious Erin looks when she’s eating an ice cream cone and thinking about Taemin” but THAT RING IS MADE FROM PRECIOUS GEMS INFUSED WITH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. That kind of precious.

WOW. Just wow. It was a taste sensation. Not vegan, of course, because of the goat cheese, but if you’re just a regular veg like me or someone who enjoys a meat fast every now and then, this is where it’s at. I imagine even the most professional carnivore would enjoy sinking their teeth into this fake flesh.

And we also got a side of the “chipped cabbage” which booted every cole slaw I’ve ever had right the fuck out of my heart. This shit was fire. I mean, literally because it had Thai chilis in it that I didn’t know about and wow that was a nice surprise. (No really, I like spicy stuff.) And it had parsnip in it! I love parsnip! Such an underrated root vegetable! (It’s a root vegetable, right?)

So, on their Instagram, I kept seeing their regulars Q-tipping their dickholes* over the biscuits. So finally, I caved and told Henry to get some the other day. WOW BOY, ok. I get it. I get it now. I’m not a huge biscuit person, and usually find them to be too dry, but these ones are monstrous mountains of carb-fluff. I don’t even have any pictures because I inhaled mine. But they’re on the “sweets” section of the menu because they come with a side of lemon curd and some type of house jam. GOOD GOD DAMN. This is where it’s at.

The one I had ended up being my dinner that night and I was fulfilled. I will happily get another one soon for, um, photographical purposes. I’d do that for, you.

*(So one time, way back when I was on LiveJournal, I submitted my journal to this stupid LJ Review community that was full of the meanest, most pretentious assholes** you’d ever meet, including Yours Truly eventually, and everyone was like “A+ let this bitch in” except this one dude was all salty and said, “I mean her journal is OK but nothing to Qtip my dickhole over” and I thought that was the best review of all time and about once every 4 years, I like to sling that saying as an homage to the guy who didn’t want to let me in and never did end up liking me.)

**(I’m still friends with some of those assholes, lol.)

2. Corneal Capsaicin

Wednesday evening was a memorable one.

Henry wasn’t home from work yet and Chooch was loitering in the kitchen, mumbling about wanting something spicy for dinner. He called Henry to bitch about being hungry and Henry was like “there is plenty of food in the kitchen, you and your mother just don’t know how to make it” which always pisses me off when he says that, like he’s some Food Magician or some shit. They had some dumb argument about this which ended with Chooch yelling, “DON’T BRING ME FOOD HOME” and Henry said, “I WON’T.”

“Make some of that buldak ramen,” I shrugged, only half-caring because I’m a great mother.

Chooch was pretty ambivalent about this idea but set about putting water in the kettle (side note: do you use a water kettle? It is apparently uncommon for American households to use one but I’ve one for years which I use to make coffee and I would be lost without it).

So everything is going fine, and the ramen is done, and I come into the kitchen to grab a set of chopsticks because I just want a bite (THE CHICKEN FLAVORING IS ARTIFICIAL). Chooch has just finished squeezing the packet of sauce into the bowl and had turned around to go to the sink when suddenly…

“OMFG. I touched my EYE. I AM SO STUPID WHY DID I DO THAT OMG,” and I was like “Haha” and about to snare some noods with my ‘sticks when I realized that oh shit, my kid isn’t just being hyper, he’s actually scream-crying and dry-heaving into the sink.

He started doing a FIRE IN THE HOLE dance in the middle of the kitchen, half bent over, arms fluttering, squealing like a pig.

“HELP ME!!!” he screamed.

And I’m standing there, chopsticks in midair, paralyzed as I often am when confronted with Mom Duties.

Or, Any Duties.

“UM, SPLASH WATER IN IT!” I yelled over my shoulder, running to get  my phone, where I proceeded to Google, “HOW TO FIX PEPPER EYE.”

The first thing that came up:

Do not put water in eye. It will make the pain spread.

“OK, DON’T PUT WATER IN IT!” I yelled from the family room, to which he responded in a gurgle of snot and saliva, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME I HAVE BEEN WATERING MY EYE THIS WHOLE TIME” and then punctuated the sentence with an ungodly wail.

Now, I don’t know what this means* but whenever I’m confronted with a situation like this, my fight or flight response is, well, to FLY FAR AS FUCK AWAY, but also to laugh. I CAN’T HELP IT!

*(OK, look I know it means I’m an asshole, but I was hoping that some armchair psychologist would stumble upon this and reason that it actually means my empathy is SO INTENSE that the brain actually can’t handle the stress and just straight up splinters.)

By now I had found that the most common remedy is a cotton ball soaked in milk.

I swung open the fridge door and muttered, “Oh shit.”

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I HATE HIM!! I HATE HIM SO MUCH! HE NEVER GETS MILK!!!!” Chooch screamed. Now he was rocking back and forth on the kitchen floor and I was trying so hard to eat my laughter that I was coming very close to peeing my pants.

Chooch meanwhile was still screaming about hating Henry and how it was all Henry’s fault even though he wasn’t home, and I was like, “YES, THIS IS HIS FAULT. DOWN WITH HENRY! LET’S PILE UP ALL HIS THINGS AND BURN IT!” I let the narrative take this turn while I quietly slipped into the into the bathroom, where I was able to unleash a minute-long torrent of hearty, wheezy laughter. I emerged, red-faced with tears streaming down my cheeks, so now it looked like I was sharing a sympathy sob with my son, like the good little fucking mommy that I am.

We had both been trying to call him during this whole fiasco but he wasn’t answering.

Do you know why? Because he stopped at Oak Hill Post to get me the aforementioned biscuits, LOLOLOL.

Here’s Chooch fanning his eye while trying to unsuccessfully call Henry for the 80th time.

Things had finally started to calm down when Henry eventually came strolling in through the front door with the stride of a man who did nothing wrong and we immediately started screaming at him.

“How was this my fault?” he scoffed.

“Because you weren’t here to make dinner!!!” we screamed in tandem, always in sync when Henry is the common enemy.

“What’s this!?” Chooch screeched as Henry handed him a hunk of something in foil.

“It’s falafel. I stopped at Pitaland.”

“I TOLD YOU NOT TO GET ME ANYTHING!!!” Chooch screamed and then started sobbing, because is nothing if not a flesh bag created to hold my access emotions. He flung it down in the counter and ran off screaming, “THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!”

“Yeah,” I said smugly, biscuit crumbs spilling out of my mouth. “You made all the dominos fall.”

“YOU’RE THE ONE WHO TOLD HIM TO MAKE THE RAMEN!” Henry yelled. Shit. This is what I was thinking all along but kept hoping that the focal point of the hate stayed on Henry. I looked at Chooch, silently pleading with my precious (Not like, “THAT RING IS MADE FROM PRECIOUS GEMS INFUSED WITH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST” but “Aw, look how precious Erin looks when she’s eating an ice cream cone and thinking about Taemin) eyes.

I watched as Chooch connected the dots. “Hey! YEAH, YOU TOLD ME TO MAKE THE RAMEN!”

OK moving along!!!

3. WHAT? MORE SIDEWALK SAGA?

Remember when Chooch tagged a wet-cement sidewalk with his cat’s Instagram handle and then Henry was like THAT IS A CRIME and made Chooch think he was going to go to jail and then oh yeah the sidewalk belongs to his friend’s family up the street from us and her dad busted him when he went back up and tried to cover it up but Chooch failed to tell us that part until weeks later when he couldn’t take the pressure of his sins anymore and confessed in one long-winded blurt? Well, now the city is doing work on the entire street (gas line stuff? I think I have also seen the water company out there?). This has been going on for weeks now and is slowly working its way closer to my block. They spraypainted the areas where the work (aka THE DIGGING) will be happening and one of those places was The Sidewalk. We were like OH SHIT ARE YOU KIDDING but no, they weren’t kidding, because they started working on this week!

I walked by yesterday and there is now a huge hole in their yard and the sidewalk is gonzo.

Also, speaking of the road work, these guys doing the work are complete assholes. (Maybe they used to review LiveJournals!?) In the beginning, I used to smile and say hello when passing but they would just grunt or ignore me so now I have this bubbling hatred brewing from within and I finally upchucked a freshly baked Karen Cake from my mouth yesterday when I went for a walk and they had the sidewalks all cluttered with their manly accessories and machinery and then they PARK ON THE SIDEWALKS as well and loaf against their trucks, bullshitting with each other, while I’m left to zigzag from one side of the sidewalk to the other. I was on the phone with Henry and this is always when I’m the most passive-aggressive and feel emboldened to shout to him all the things I’m feeling about these people so that they will hear me and, you know, definitely not cry about it in their thermoses. But it still feels great to get it off my shoulders!

“AND THEY’RE SO FUCKING RUDE TOO! THEY TAKE UP THE WHOLE ROAD AND SIDEWALK AND THEN ANYTIME I TRY TO BE NICE AND SAY HI THEY IGNORE ME BECAUSE I’M JUST A LOWLY PEDESTRIAN WHO DARES TO SPEAK TO MANLY ROAD WORKERS.”

“Wow,” Henry mumbled on the other end.

“ASSHOLES!” I yelled over my shoulder. Then I went home through an alley so I wouldn’t have to pass them again HAHAHA.

4. Slut Life Moves to Florida

Remember that asshole who lives next to HNC and they had all kinds of drama and HNC wrote a letter to the landlord and name-dropped me in it three times because I was his ally? Well, HNC ended up signing a proverbial peace treaty with that dumb fuck because Slut Life’s grandma got involved and made him behave. I think what happened was that somehow they realized that have a family connection or something because it is SO BUDDY-BUDDY over there now and I hate it because HNC got me all fired up and made me the star witness of his imaginary trial and then abandoned me to steep alone in my solo-hate.

Yeah that’s right, I still hate the guy. He is so obnoxious the way he peels in and out of the driveway and into the road, never even looking before pulling out! Henry and I witnessed him nearly cause an accident three different times when we were sitting on the porch.  (Oh also Slut Life told HNC he doesn’t like Henry so we always laugh whenever we’re outside and he goes out of his way not to look in our direction haha.) Anyway, not only is he a truly shitty driver (he almost hit me, remember?!), he also has extreme anger issues and will fucking scream at other drivers in his grating high pitched voice – trust me, we have front row seats for his outbursts as they often happen when he’s pulling out of the driveway.

Well, I overheard him telling HNC a few weeks ago that he’s MOVING TO FLORIDA IN OCTOBER. BITCH, BYE!

5. TAEMIN HAS BLACK HAIR AGAIN

This was originally going to be about how I’m still getting emails for other Erin Kellys and last week, I received an e-gift card for $150 CAD from Barbara Kelly, who even included a sweet note and I was like, “Barbara, you are lucky that I believe in karma and don’t want to cash this in and then get hit by a Facchiano truck” but I have already written nearly 3000 words on a FRIDAY FIVE, ARE YOU KIDDING, so instead let’s watch this video and be so excited that Taemin has black hair again!!!

 

Aug 212020
 

It’d be a true feat if I can even come up with five things today because this past week has been a snooze and a half so let’s not even front and just make this a free-form, who-gives-a-fuck type o’ update (as if there’s any other type ’round here!).

First of all, I finished (mostly) my front door revamp. And my “mostly,” I mean that I have a trio of plastic tigers en route which I want to place on each tiny window ledge, and I also want to get two or three strands of fake jungle-like foliage to hang down.

I can’t remember if this was in my last update, but I added sheets of colored plastic to each window too and it looks really cool from the outside at night so I’m pleased.

I’m feeling super smug about this door only because unlike Henry*, when I start a project, I finish it. Chooch and I were coming home from a walk the other night and he said, “What if we walked in the house, and dad had everything finished?”

“Yeah, maybe if he was on a cocaine bender,” I scoffed.

“Ohhh…we should get him to start doing cocaine!” Chooch said giddily, rubbing his hands together.

*(See: Seoul Subway sign, coffee table redo, OH YEAH THE KITCHEN.)

Yeah, I know, the trim needs repainted big-time, but I leave the boring parts for Henry.

I’m telling you, I just don’t know what to do with myself anymore. I’m bored but I have so much energy but then my back is busted so I can’t exercise so instead it’s like “give me something to paint/desecrate/destroy.” By the time this pandemic is over, my house is gonna look like a fur coat after a PETA protest.

In kitchen news, my custom neon sign arrived! I have always wanted my own neon sign, something that I designed myself, and this was the perfect opportunity because it’s not an 80s kitchen without a neon sign!

It means “I’ll eat well” – something that you would say right before a meal, kind of like, “thanks for the food.”

Drew approves!

Henry actually has the cabinet/sink area almost done. He repainted everything and is in the process of putting the cabinets back up. The drawers are ready, at least! But man, this is taking forever. That side of the kitchen is still trash right now. I mean, we still have a drop cloth on the floor on that side. Sigh.

Here’s my precious Penelope! She’s still really enjoying being an Instacat. Blake’s cat hasn’t posted in a week so some of the edge has been taken off of the competition. Haha.

Oh! The other night, I was the 666th follower of one of our fave vegan joint’s extra-curricular pop-up, Chick Habit, and it was kind of cool because the main restaurant is called Onion Maiden and their whole theme is like, black metal and Satan (ooh, Satanic panic was big in the 80s, I should put some devil worshiping shit in my kitchen too) so it was apropos that I would be the 666th follower, but then CHOOCH wanted to be the 666th follower so he made me unfollow them so that he could screen record himself being the 666th follower and I actually gave in and complied. This is a seldom talked about sacrifice of parenting.

It was nice being the 666th follower for that brief amount of time, though.

I watched bits and pieces of the DNC this past week and man, it blows my mind that there are still AmeriKKKans who are going to vote against humanity.

I’m currently reading three books at once and it’s pretty stressful, but I wanted to read all of them so much and couldn’t choose just one!

Speaking of books, my local branch of the library opened for in-person book pick-up and limited computer use, but when Chooch and I went there on Thursday, it was like, “HELLO. WHAT DO YOU WANT. WHY ARE YOU HERE.” And we were so confused. I said that I thought the library was open again and the guard was like, “OK, I’m going to have you go up there and talk to the librarian” so I approached the librarian sitting at a desk behind a sneeze-shield and she was like “HELLO. WHAT DO YOU WANT. WHY ARE YOU HERE.” I said I needed to pick up some books I had on hold, and she was like, “FOLLOW THE SOCIAL DISTANCING CIRCLES TO THE CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK” so I did that and the librarian behind the desk was like, “HELLO. WHAT DO YOU WANT. WHY ARE YOU HERE.” So I told her I had books on hold and she was like panicked about this but managed to scan my library card on my phone without hyperventilating too much and then she gave me my books and was like, “YOU CAN FOLLOW THE ARROWS OUT” but on the way out, someone was coming in and we were at a socially-distanced standstill, like WHO GETS TO GO FIRST but the security guard waved us through so we burst through the doors and ran away. It was so tense. I have never felt more unwelcome somewhere (untrue, I feel unwelcome in varying degrees basically on a weekly basis) in my life. I mean, it’s not like they were still closed to the public and we forced our way in, Funny Games-style. We were wearing masks! And the proper way too, not the Karen way.

Anyway, next time I have books available for pick-up, I will just go back to the curbside option because that was entirely too stressful. Here’s my current (physical) TBR:

Two of those books are from local Little Libraries. I still want to make my own Little Library, but as I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t think the location of my house is very conducive to a successful Little Library.

Oh you want a Chooch update? Here’s one. He was sitting at the computer with an iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts in front of him, watching stupid videos on YouTube and one of them had a jump scare in it, which made him throw his head forward for some reason and he crashed into the straw of his drink with his nose hard enough that he needed to put a bandaid on it and now he has this stupid mark on the tip of his nose that looks like dirt, or rust, and I can’t even look at him. Oh, and school starts on the 31st! The first 9 weeks (at least) will be done entirely online so we have to go to the school next week and get the school-supplied laptop, so at least he will briefly get to go inside his new high school.

Man, this situation is depressing. I feel fortunate that my kid is at least at an age where I won’t have to micro-manage him or play teacher’s assistant everyday. But I know he’s pretty bummed and stressed about not being able to meet his new teachers and classmates in person, and he’s afraid that it will be hard to make new friends but I was like, “Dude, you make friends online constantly. Just pretend it’s Discord.” For once, he gave me credit for having a good idea.

This past week was pretty &^(*^*^$^&%&*(*&) at work – nothing like majorly bad or anything, but just stressful things here and there, today especially, so when 5:30 rolled up and I logged off UNTIL AUGUST 31ST, I was like “BYE BITCHES.” Doesn’t it always seem like work is the worst right before you’re “on vacation”? I mean granted, I’m not going anywhere, but it will be nice to have a full week to just, I dunno, exist somewhere away from a computer screen. Henry is going to try to take a day off next week so we can maybe go somewhere local-ish and wilderness-y, a road trip lite. I suggested Erie since it’s still in Pennsylvania and his work only requires him to quarantine for 2 weeks if we go out of state, but he gave me a WHY WOULD WE GO TO ERIE look and I was like I DUNNO BC WE CAN’T GO TO KOREA?! OR EVEN CLEVELAND, FOR THAT MATTER!? God, everything sucks. Just take me somewhere. I will wear my mask and stay the fuck away from people, but please, let’s just go somewhere.

Hey, maybe this actually was 5 things?! I can’t count today. Please don’t make me count.

Aug 142020
 

Hi peeps. Doesn’t it seem like, in spite of having nothing to do, these weeks are still somehow zipping by? Is it just me? March and April seemed to move in slo-mo, but everything after that has been a whirlwind. Which is strange considering every day is pretty much the same.

Anyway! Here we are, in the midst of another Friday already and lucky you, my keyboard is ready to let loose with a huge bowel movement of crap-words up in here, with the assistance of my fingertips.

That…

…was gross. Sorry.

  1. Kitchen Update

Nothing major has happened in the kitchen lately so I didn’t really have enough to fill an entire post. But! All of the cabinets have been painted – Henry is just “too tired” during the week to actually hang them, so we still have no cabinets. And he hasn’t started on the drawers yet, so that entire side of the kitchen may not be able to have the “big reveal” it so deserves until autumn at this point. Really excited with how slowly everything is happening!

Anyway, I made the cabinet pulls for the cabinets on that side of the kitchen. I thought it would be fun to do Corey Cabinet theme, and even added in Mr. Corey Hart in a game time decision.

I mean, you can’t get much more 80s than that!

It’s too bad my brother Corey was born in 1990, or I could have included him too. :(

Anyway, we just bought basic wooden knob-things online and matching cabochons, which Henry is kind of an expert on since he’s dabbled in pendant-making so many times over the years, lol sorry Henry. Then I made the Corey heads on 80’s geometric backgrounds, and voila. That’s how you make a Corey cabinet pull when the stores don’t sell them and you have to make them yourself. Ugh.

Then, I was like, “You know what this kitchen is missing?” Henry got real pale and whimpered, “What?”

“A framed picture of Nelson Sullivan and Michael Musto,” I answered, and he was like, “Oh, whew. OK, I’ll do that now.” I dunno why he was so scared there for a second…

And obviously Keith Haring too. <3 I have a framed Keith Haring print that I bought in Switzerland when I was a teenager and it was a really big deal because my aunt Sharon let me go off on my own to buy it and I thought I was so fucking cool, this American teenager walking around and shopping in Lucerne all on her own. I was obsessed with Keith Haring in the 90s and sure I probably could have bought this print somewhere in the States, but now it has so much meaning to it, you know? Anyway, obviously that picture is still with me but it lives in Chooch’s room and unlike the Tom Selleck head, he wouldn’t part with it so I found this Haring print online which I liked very much and it matches the kitchen better anyway, so there, Chooch. You’re not taking that other one to college with you I HOPE YOU KNOW.

2. Speaking of Tom Selleck…

Two weeks ago, I posted a picture of the Tom Selleck head on Instagram and someone commented with three men emojis and one baby emoji and I was like, “OK cool” and then hours later in hit me, Three Men and a Baby, oh for shit’s sake, I am so daft sometimes!

But yeah, that made me laugh because I haven’t thought that movie in quite a while even though Short Circuit keeps popping into my brain lately and both movies have Steve Guttenberg in it and then I start thinking about how much I loved Steve Guttenberg back then, like LOVED-LOVED him and and…OK sorry, where was I.

Three Men and a Baby. Right.

So then the other day, I saw on Twitter or somewhere, who knows, that they’re rebooting Three Men and a Baby with Zac Efron and I was like, “Why can’t they just leave old movies alone!? Does no one have any original ideas anymore?!” I mean, truly, if they’re not remaking movies from the 80s, they’re remaking films from other countries and pretending like it’s something brand new. HOW MANY JUON RIP-OFFS DO WE NEED?!

I thought that was kind of creepy timing, but THEN!!!! In (one of) the book(s) I’m reading, I saw this!!!!

Three times in as many weeks?! WHAT DOES IT MEAN?! Is someone going to dump a baby on our porch thinking we’re three men living here?! I don’t understand the universe sometimes. I REALLY DON’T.

3. WHAT I HAVE BEEN WATCHING ON THE TELLY

Speaking of things I really don’t understand sometimes, Chooch and I recently watched the second season of The Umbrella Academy. Goddamn this season was even better than the first even though all the time travel stuff makes my brain bleed.

Chooch is an avid binge-watcher. It’s what he excels at, truthfully. Me, on the other hand? Not so much. Unless I’m sick. Then I will lie there moaning while repeatedly reminding Netflix that YES I AM STILL WATCHING.

Lately, I haven’t been able to focus on TV. I think that’s why YouTube appeals so much to me – watching short videos is about as much as I can handle these days. But when Umbrella Academy’s second season finally dropped, I was ready.

And by “ready” I mean that two days went by before I finally said, “OK I’m ready to watch the first episode.” Chooch was like, “OMFG IT’S ABOUT TIME” but then when the first episode ended, I turned off Netflix and said, “OK, see you tomorrow for episode 2!” and steam was coming out of his ears by then.

I think I did pretty good though because we watched the whole thing in a week and a half! And actually, we watched the last 4 episodes all on one day (just not back to back) because I was like, “OK THEY’RE REALLY GIVING BEN SHIT TO DO THIS SEASON, I’M INVESTED.”

*clears throat*

Anyway, so yeah, I’m in love with this entire cast (well, Luther is kind of too milquetoast for my liking) and every time I’m like, “That’s my favorite character” the scene changes and I’m like, “No, wait, THAT’s my favorite character.” I mean, how can you choose.

Also throwback to when Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance and also co-creator of the comic books that Umbrella Academy is based on) gave Chooch a shout out on Twitter for his 8th birthday and all these MCR fans were like, “WHO IS THIS PERSON CALLED @DOUCHECUP??” and then “OMG HE’S LIKE AN 8-YEAR-OLD KID?!?!!?” and Chooch got all these followers and was famous for fifteen minutes but then got locked out of his twitter account for years and lost his followers, lol.

The other show I’ve been watching is the second season of POSE, which I didn’t realize was on Netflix! I watched season 1 last year because the episode started playing by mistake and I fell in love with it. I fucking love found family storylines and man, what I wouldn’t give to have a support system like Blanca fosters in her House.

If you’ve never seen it, it’s about New York City’s Black and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in the 1980s. It’s by the same people who do American Horror Story which I used to love by then started to hate after the first several seasons because it wasn’t scary and it got way too try-hard, but THIS!! THIS is like redemption. First, a show featuring transgender people played  by actual transgender people? Yes, thank you! Second, the MUSIC? This show has a phenomenal soundtrack. (Then again, so did the American Horror Story: Hotel, AND ALSO UMBRELLA ACADEMY!! Public Image Ltd was featured in the last season!!! I never thought I would hear them on a TV show.) Third, it is fucking educational. Look, as a white girl who was a suburban kid in the 80s, I didn’t know much about AIDS. It didn’t reach me my community of family that I know of. In school, I only remember learning about it because of Ryan White. Because, of course.

Anyway, between this show, and a book I recently read that was set in NYC in the late 80s and focused heavily on ACT UP and AIDS, I just feel like my knowledge on the subject has expanded exponentially. It’s heartbreaking to read about and see how the gay community was attacked by the virus, and how no one fucking cared as long as it didn’t touch their white hetero lives. I don’t think I make it through an entire episode without ugly crying or feeling angry for the injustice their community faced (STILL FACES) but there is also SO MUCH JOY in this show.

And Billy Motherfucking Porter is a goddamn TREASURE.

4. CATSTAGRAM

Running a cat’s “Public Figure” Instagram page is hard fucking work. I spend entirely too much time primping and priming Penelope to give good face, but the problem is that she SLEEPS SO MUCH. She has over 1600 followers but it doesn’t even matter because stupid Ham from next door posts a picture of himself being basic and boring and gets 100s of likes (including a like from Henry!!!)  and Chooch and I just about ready to write off Ham and his dumb owner, blood relation or not!!

My pictures of Penelope are so much better and way more varied that dumb stupid Ham!!!

I have to move on from this topic because I get really pissed off about it.

5. In the “Things Chooch Has Made Recently” Category….

He’s apparently into making chocolate now:

In last week’s Friday Five, I mentioned that he was into making messes in wet cement, and I have new information on that! He and I were walking home today from our lunchtime stroll around good ol’ B-Line, when we passed his friend who lives in the house next to the sidewalk Chooch vandalized.

She smiled and said hi like any other normal person would, while Chooch was acting like he was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, pupils dilated, hands wringing…the whole paranoid package.

“OK good! She doesn’t seem to know!” Chooch hissed out on top of an exhale after we were a safe distance away. “I guess it’s all blown over,” he added. I didn’t say anything, because whatever, old news, etc etc. But then Chooch, without any prodding, blurted out, “OK FINE I’LL TELL YOU.”

Well, it turns out her dad actually busted Chooch when he went back to their sidewalk to get rid of what he etched in the wet cement and Chooch tried to play it off like wasn’t the one who did it, but rather, a concerned citizen who happened to be walking by and noticed fresh vandalism, at which point he took it upon himself to wipe it out. Because that’s normal, a teenager doing reverse-graffiti.

His friend’s dad barked, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? THIS IS EXPENSIVE!” and Chooch said sorry and walked away.

Hilariously, the city has been doing massive work on our street and have marked off where they’re going to be digging and that particular spot of The Sidewalk is one of the areas, lol.

Anyway, Chooch asked me not to tell Henry so hopefully he doesn’t read this HAHAHA.

*********************

Have a great weekend! Hopefully you find something fun to do. I’ll just be at home nagging Henry to get shit done. I put our Etsy shops on vacation mode so now he won’t be able to use the “I have to make serial killer cards” as an excuse to stop doing manual labor.

Also, I’ve noticed that I have been intermixing the words “done” and “down” a lot lately when typing. So that’s another cool brain-flaw.

Aug 072020
 

Remember in the beginning of quarantine, way back in that month that some of us might remember as “March,” I was doing a Friday 5 recap of my work weeks in quarantine? And then I gave up after less than a month because it made me feel worn out and no way was I going to keep that up for what, an entire month? MAYBE TWO MONTHS? Lol, that was so super cute when some of us thought we’d be going back to work at the end of April, May at the latest.

Anyway, that was my intro for the edition of Friday 5.

FOLLOW LOOPS

Remember how Chooch and I are obsessed with getting our cats to be more popular than Blake’s dumb cat on Instagram? Well, two days after I started an account for Penelope, I found this thing called a “follow loop” and sorry if you already know about this but I have never been in this numbers game before on the ‘gram, so I’m walking on new ground over here. Anyway, if you don’t know what it is, it’s this dumb thing on Instagram where you have to tag some friends and then follow everyone the Follow Loop account is following, and then the Follow Loop account starts following you so that everyone who joins also follows you, and, and, and, breathe. But yeah, it’s dumb and tedious but I went, I mean Penelope went from like 50 friends to 500 in a day and Chooch and I were cracking up because Blake, I mean, Ham, had more followers than us before this and then we both blew past him. Henry was like THAT IS MEAN but we were like DO NOT TELL HIM! WE KNOW HE IS YOUR FAVORITE SON BUT PLEASE KEEP OUR SECRET! and it was real tense there for a while because we weren’t sure what Henry was going to do.

THEN!!! One of our dumb ass mutual friends became a HOST for a follow loop and she POSTED ABOUT and tagged HAM so then HAM joined a follow loop and got a bunch of new followers too! I was so pissed and Chooch was like, “THAT’S IT, I’M QUITTING INSTAGRAM.” Meanwhile, Chooch and I, I mean Drew and Penelope, both got added to some pet group chat where everyone posts three emojis when they post a new picture and then the members of the chat are required to go and like that picture, but some people are also like VOTE FOR MY DOG and then someone in the group chat accidentally video-called all of us and then spent the next hour apologizing and every day I say I’m going to leave the group chat  BUT I NEVER DO. I have GROUP CHAT GUILT.

Last week, I spent my entire turn in the weekly meeting whining about the Instagram drama and then followed up with an email containing screenshots of all three cats’ profiles so my coworkers could see how much cooler Drew and Penelope are than BASIC HAM but then my one co-worker missed the point completely and her reply was all about how HAM IS SUCH A GOOD-LOOKING CAT AND SHE LOVES HIS NAME and I was like NO JOYCE! INCORRECT!! YOU LOST THIS ROUND!

Meanwhile, Chooch is quitting follow loops because not everyone follows him like they’re supposed to and he only wants cat accounts as friends. “Now I have an aquarium following me! I hate it!” he cried in anguish and I couldn’t stop laughing at the thought of an actual aquarium holding a phone and scrolling through Instagram.

Anyway, my screen time is so high lately because I have to spend so much every day fulfilling like and follow promises on Instagram and commenting things like, “Hey furiend, have a purrfect weekend! Lookin’ good in that bandanna!” Ugh I hate my life. But! Penelope has been making lots of friends, like this dog who also likes Taemin, and a cat who loves the Cure, lol.

DUMPSTER DRAMA

I was on my way to the library during my lunch break walk on Tuesday, but I cut through some side streets in order to prolong my arrival time because god forbid I arrive too early for my scheduled curbside pickup time. Anyway, I was walking down a sidewalk when I passed some broad asking (aka screaming across the street) a neighbor if he knows who’s been putting dog shit in the back of Dan’s dump truck, and she was RULL mad about it, but the real question is: what cunty things has Dan done to have dog shit put in the back of his dump truck. Also, RIP to the ears of the baby she was bouncing on her hip while hollering across the street to Mike the Neighbor.

From what I gathered, this is apparently an ongoing thing.  Mike the Neighbor sadly did not know who the culprit is but hollered back that it was “rull fucked up” and he’d “let yinz know” if he saw anything.

Isn’t a dump truck just a giant garbage can anyway?

I texted Henry about how I walked past neighbor drama but KakaoTalk changed “drama” to “dramatically” and Henry said that he would have liked to have seen me walking past neighbor, dramatically.

NELSON SULLIVAN

nelson sullivan | Tumblr

This next one is literally the biggest thing that has been going on in my life, you can ask Henry and Janna – they will confirm with a heavy sigh. So, one day last week, a video titled “Train to Coney Island” came up in my YouTube feed, apropos of nothing. Naturally, I clicked on it and was super stoked to see that it was from the late 80s! Just some friends, one of them with her two children, going to Coney Island on a train, no big deal right? But then more videos from this YouTube started auto-playing and I was like, “Oh OK so this gay dude from NYC basically videotaped his whole life, like I used to do in the 90s.” Still, didn’t think too much of it but left it on in the background.

Something made me look up and pay attention though when this one video came on. Well, not just “something” – it was titled “Nelson’s Last Video” or “Tape,” I can’t remember. It was just him, his dog Blackout, and his friend walking around on July 3, talking about the cookout that’s going to happen for the 4th of July, and how much the piers have changed since the 70s, nothing too life-shattering….until the video ended with a note that said it was his last video BECAUSE HE DIED OF A HEART ATTACK LATER THAT NIGHT OMFG. It made me feel totally rocked, for some reason, I can’t really explain why — I obviously didn’t know him, but just watching a handful of his personal home videos felt so intimate, like some kind of boundary had been breached. Anyway, I started poking around the YouTube channel where his videos are uploaded and learned that he was a videographer/documentarian of his friends and NYC in the 80s and his video collection has been digitized. That’s when I started to notice some of the titles of the videos included names like RuPaul and Andy Warhol…so I googled him and he was actually really good friends with RuPaul before RuPaul was a superstar, as well as Keith Haring and music journalist Michael Musto (pictured on the right up there) who I am now obsessed with after watching hours upon hours of these videos.

I never really knew too much about the Club Kid scene but Michael Alig and James St. James appeared in a bunch of these videos too and I was like….wait, isn’t that Party Monster? So I fell down deep and started watching Geraldo episodes with the Club Kids and then made Henry watch Party Monster with me last weekend and I have been having nightmares about Michael Alig ever since and also I had no idea that DJ Keoki ran in that circle and was Michael Alig’s boyfriend!?!? I used to love DJ Keoki!?!?

I keep texting Janna and making her watch these videos and it’s just crazy to me because he was literally vlogging before anyone else. He even has a video where he says his resolution is to put the camera on himself more often and he wonders if people will think that looks weird…in the 90s, I was always shoving my camcorder in everyone’s faces. I have a boxful of 8mm that need to be digitized, and I’m sure it will be excruciating to watch these now, as a 41-year-old, hearing myself talk in my weird, fake-ditzy babydoll voice, but I am so glad that I was so into recording shit back then (no sex tapes, shockingly!) and watching Nelson’s tapes reaffirms that sentiment.

They also make me feel an ache in my heart that I can’t quite explain because how do you miss a scene that you were too young to be part of? I certainly wasn’t going to drag shows and Michael Alig’s Outlaw Parties when I was 8.

OR WAS I.

I think also it just makes me sad on a really deep level to see all of these people hanging out without cell phones up in their grills. actually talking to each other. Strangers knew how to talk to each other back then! And it makes me have a vague recollection of how outgoing I used to be at one time and I think I would have really loved being part of that group. :(

WINE BOTTLE

Well,  this is timely. Remember in my last post when I mentioned that Chooch’s punishment for breaking his phone screen is to read vintage Oh Honestly Erin blog posts, starting with my infamous Vegetarian Dinner Party from 1996. If you read that post, you know that SPOILER we had to call the cops because someone was stalking me and by doing so, we panicked and dumped out the bottle of white Zinfandel that I had been saving for 10 years, having received it as a kid from my godfather who said, “For the girl who has everything.” Or some kind of sappy sentiment like that, but I remember REALLY latching onto this gift because I was…what…6 or 7? And a bottle of wine was such an adult gift! The idea behind it was to obviously save it for a special occasion when I was old enough to pop the cork and I really felt like this “adult” dinner party I was hosting at my house senior year while my family was out of town was a totally special occasion – I mean, right? It was all of my closest friends!

So yeah, someone was like, “Yo we’re a bunch of teenagers with no adult supervision here with an opened bottle of wine and the police are coming” – I mean, why didn’t we just hide it? I dunno what we were thinking and I don’t feel like re-reading that damn thing to see if it explains that thought process at all, but the point here is that one Twitter, one of my friends replied to the post and said, “I’m angry about that wine!” or something to that effect and I was about to reply and tell her that I actually still have the empty bottle after all these years but thought, “Wait, I’ll go and take a picture of it too so I can add that to the tweet” but I couldn’t find it in any of the spots where I could see it in my mind, which I thought was odd, but didn’t feel like doing any deep investigation into the matter because it was late and I’m not very good at looking for things anyway.

This morning, I was emptying the recycling bin in the kitchen, which I don’t normally do because Henry has giant clear bags for the recyclables so I let him deal with it, but I was in an angry cleaning mood when I woke up and I didn’t know where he put those bags so I decided to just use small blue plastic bags. You already know where this is going, but after clearing out about half of the bin, I was going to stop because I usually only go halfway when cleaning, but something made me get one more bag to fill…

…and that’s when I saw it.

Way at the back of the bin.

I knew it without even seeing the label.

It was my wine bottle.

SOMEONE HAD TOSSED MY WINE BOTTLE AND SURPRISE SURPRISE, NONE OF THE ASSHOLES I LIVE WITH WILL ADMIT TO IT.

Honestly though – what are the fucking odds that this happened now?? Honestly, if Amanda hadn’t even said that on Twitter, I wouldn’t have even noticed that the bottle was gone, and what if I hadn’t been the one to empty the recycling bin!? Oh man, my head was HOT this morning. Both of my roommates got a tongue-lashing.

“A BOTTLE THAT I HAVE HAD SINCE I WAS SIX YEARS OLD!!!!!!” 

SIDEWALK TAG

A few weeks ago, the sidewalk near Chooch’s former school was torn up and replaced and he was so upset because his initials were carved into the old sidewalk. On my birthday, Henry and I were walking to the post office (see? I told you my birthday was a fucking snooze) and on our way there, we passed a section of freshly-paved sidewalk next to his friend’s house so I texted him and said “now’s your chance.” On our way back, we saw that he had indeed cashed in that chance, but he fucking  tagged his cat’s Instagram handle. Literally, all it said was “@that_cat_bambi.” I thought it was funny, but Henry, Sidewalk Law Expert, was PISSED.

“Oh! That’s just fucking great! Now this can be traced right back to us!” he cried, and I was like, “….is this illegal or something?” (Oh shit I just googled and it’s considered vandalism if you don’t own the sidewalk; I’m a 41-year-old child learning the laws of the land. Leave me alone.)

This sidewalk is only a block away from our house so Henry stormed through the front door and was all, “YOU BETTER GO AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT” at the same time I was saying, “You should have put “@gentleman_ham is a racist.”

But Chooch only honed in on what Henry was screaming about and you could see the sweat forming a beaded chain on his brow as he laughed nervously. So he ran back up the street and apparently just scribbled out everything but “bambi” and Henry was like, “WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU” because the sidewalk is literally next to Chooch’s friend’s house, and that girl knows that he calls Drew “Bambi,” and her dad is like BIG CRAZY.

“What if she sells me out?” Chooch said, his voice quaking like Sally Struthers. “Like, ‘I know who has a cat named Bambi, [insert full ass name] living at [insert address].'”

Literally minutes later, HER DAD CAME OUT OF THE HOUSE (Chooch was watching sheepishly like a coward from our front porch) and smoothed out the whole thing so now it says nothing, it’s just a big smear.

“OMG WHAT IF HER DAD SAW ME DO IT??” Chooch cried, biting his nails. Her dad is not to be fucked with, like he has terrorized his kids in public before because one of them ate his chips and he hunted them down on the boulevard to interrogate them. Chooch was a witness and said it made him appreciate us, his lazy parents who make empty threats and dole out weak punishments, like “OH HO, NOW YOU’VE DONE IT! You will read my blog.” Anyway, Chooch was legit pacing and panting off and on for an hour after this, waiting for a knock at the door, and then he heard POLICE SIRENS and nearly broke his neck whipping his head toward the door and back to us. “The police wouldn’t come for something like that, would they?” he asked, his face blanched, lips white.

Oh shit, I was loving it. It was, now that I think about it, the only time on my birthday that I felt really good!

He’s been careful about keeping his head down lately when we walk past that house, now with weirdly-smudged sidewalk, but this morning when we were walking to get breakfast, Big Crazy was waiting to pull into his driveway and Chooch started frantically whispering, “OHGODOHGODOHGOD WE MADE EYE CONTACT GO GO GO.” Lol.

Aug 062020
 

I need to shoot out some thoughts, bullet-style. Stick around – my word bullets are basically just styrofoam pellets so it won’t hurt too much if you get hit, but you mind your eyeballs on those typos. Goggles might help.

  • Henry started working on my Seoul subway sign again on my birthday, per my wishes. Prior to this, I don’t think he even looked at it since May. MAY! An entire season ago! He was “waiting for a part” to be delivered and then when it was, after 2 weeks of the UPS mishandling it, it was damaged (of course) and he had to return it and then wait until he received a refund to reorder it because he’s a cheap-ass, and then (and then and then!!!) by the time the replacement product was delivered, he had already moved on to a new project, which was the coffee table redesign. So now here we are with two unfinished projects plus an unfinished kitchen! LOVE TO SEE IT. Oh is that the wrong use of that? Sorry. I’m 41.

  • You guys, I’m loving the fact that my local library is one of the branches that’s open for curbside pickup!! What I don’t love, however, is that I have to fucking call them and schedule a time to pick my books up, which completely negates my favorite part of the library: self-checkout. And the one librarian always acts like it’s such a struggle to check the schedule to see if my suggested time is OK and you know what? It’s always OK! There is never a line out there! But on a positive note, the library security guard is the one who actually goes inside to get the books for us readers and he is such a fucking joy, I swear to god. And he knows my name now! It feels so good to hold books in my hands again, you have no idea. I dumped them all in Henry’s lap last weekend and screamed DO YOU WANT TO LOOK AT MY BOOKS? He said, “oh boy” but he read the synopsis for each one.

  • Speaking of books, one of the best ones I read this year was made into a movie and Netflix just released the trailer!!

  • Chooch broke the screen of his iPhone yesterday and I don’t know what’s happened to me but instead of igniting a wildfire throughout my neighborhood using nothing but my sheer fury as a flint, I calmly told Chooch not to cry about it and we’ll get it fixed.  I mean, sure, I have ulterior motives, like making him do 5x as many chores and reading one post a day of my choosing from my blog archives. (We started with this classic and he was not amused.)
  • I found on eBay a copy of Soap Opera Digest from 1984 (my best year) with HOPE and BO on the cover and now I’m desperately trying to figure out how to incorporate this into my 80s kitchen.
    • Also, last week I revisited my love for Battle of the Network Stars which is basically where I binge videos of this stellar show on YouTube every 5 years or so and gush about how much I love Robert Conrad, who I didn’t KNOW DIED EARLIER THIS YEAR!? I woke up Henry to tell him and he said he thought that I knew that, that we had already dissected my sorrow and grief every which way back in February when it happened, and maybe we did? Everything pre-COVID feels so far away. Anyway, I was like, “OMG I should find Robert Conrad/Battle of the Network Stars memorabilia for the kitchen except that Robert’s last appearance was in the 1979 games!!! He came back as a commentator after that, but it’s not the same. Pictures of mid-tug-of-war shirtless Robert or GTFO. Meanwhile Chooch was like, “The fuck are you even watching?” I kept trying to get him to be interested in it, but it wasn’t holding his attention — not even the infamous Kristy McNichol obstacle course DQ!!!! (I mean, spoiler alert.)

  • Chooch was thirsty the other day so he made a party punch for our household of 3, as you do during a pandemic. It was OK. He keeps insisting on using my good wine glasses to drink this in though and I get so fucking nervous about it. “I’m not going to break it!” he screamed, trying to make me feel bad for treating him like a child, so I made sure to remind him about the iPhone screen he literally JUST CRACKED.

  • In other beverage news, one of my fave local cafes, Black Forge, announced a new specialty drink for this month called the GOD FORBID, which has cayenne pepper in it as well as a communion wafer topper, and hoo boy did that give my throat a nice fiery slow-burn. I loved it. Spicy drinks are my thang and it makes me sad that I can’t stomach Bloody Marys because I think I would love those spicy ones, but you know, I can’t get behind the tomato part of it. My aunt Sharon used to always drink those on the plane and the smell would make me want to puke.
  • Chooch showed me the “secret playground” he goes to sometimes only it’s not a secret at all, it’s part of some rec center, and I made the mistake of going on the spinny thing and then almost didn’t make it back home in time to log on to work after my lunch break, also I almost left my wallet-thing there because I clearly don’t know how to leave the house properly anymore.
  • Henry gave Chooch’s locks a covid-cut tonight and he hates it but he was dying to get it cut, and it’s not like he’s going anywhere anytime soon so I’m sure he’ll survive.

Also, he hates this picture so of course I had to post it. Also, I painted that door!

Wow, anyway, I’m going to end this here or else I won’t have anything left for Friday Five tomorrow, oh no, wow, that would be the worst.

Jul 312020
 

Celebrating a birthday during a pandemic is pretty depressing, especially when pre-pandemic you had a 5-day amusement park-laden road trip on the calendar. I’m not going to lie and pretend like I was a big girl yesterday and being grateful for the good things because come on–we all know I’m a bitch baby Leo suffering from crippling me-me-me syndrome. So instead of recapping my actual boring AF 41st birthday (I’ll do that another day when I’m done pouting lol you think I’m joking), I thought I would bask in the past and revisit my 5 favorite birthdays of the last decade.

Because why not. Gotta get it out of my system so then I can move on and adjust to Year 41.

  1. 34th Birthday Dinner at Shakespeare’s

I don’t remember why I was so adamant about having a birthday dinner at this Shakespeare-themed restaurant outside of Pittsburgh, but I just remember sitting at the table, looking at all of my friends, and feeling really lucky to know such awesome people. Sadly, a TON of people at that dinner no longer live in Pittsburgh but I am at least still in touch with all of them. Actually, now that I think about it, I have more friends scattered across the country than I have in Pittsburgh, so that’s pretty depressing.

AnyWHO:

My 34th Birthday at a Castle

2. 32nd Birthday at the Roller Rink

I got gypped out of a big 30th birthday celebration (I think I spent the day helping a friend move into her new apartment and then I had a grilled cheese for dinner and to be fair, grilled cheeses are one of my all-time favorite foods, but come on guys). I was determined to have a re-do, so two years later, I rented an entire roller rink (it actually wasn’t as expensive as you’d think plus we were friendly with the owners) and invited all of my friends and pretty much the entire department at the law firm. My friend Kaitlin made me a Robert Smith cake and Roller DJ played a mix that I gave him which was full of post-hardcore, Phil Collins, Billy Ocean and “JACKIE BLUE.” It was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had!

My 32nd Birthday Roller Skating Party

3. That Time We Did a Southern Road Trip For My 35th Birthday

This trip was SO MUCH FUN. If you click on the hyperlink in the title, it’ll take you the entire category so you can read all of the posts, but for the purpose of this post, I’m singling out the photo-post from my actual birthday where my friend Octavia showed us around her hometown of Savannah and even though it was like 100 degrees, we had the best time with her and learned so much!

Savannah Sights

And she took us the storied Bonaventure Cemetery! Traipsing around cemeteries in new-to-me cities with finally-met-IRL friends are the makings of an excellent birthday!

Bonaventure!

4. SEEING MOTHERFUCKING G-DRAGON WHILE TURNING 38

Any chance I get to repost this moment in my life, I will SURELY take it! I splurged (and by that I mean I used my tax refund) to buy VIP tickets to see G-Dragon on his solo tour in Toronto ON MY BIRTHDAY in 2017. I was within FEET of him and I’m not kidding when I say that I still get chills and Jello-legs when I go back and replay the video of that moment. This was honestly one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen, a real experience, and it was my first time in Toronto. Henry and I had a really great 3 days there and only fought once, on my actual birthday, and it was, of course, over where we were going to eat lunch because I am basically an infant when it comes to feeding time. But aside from that, it was just the best weekend, and my actual birthday was like a fucking dream because, um, you know how much I love G-Dragon, right?

Act III:Motte, Part 2: Where I Left My Body On Earth & Wafted Up to the Heavens

5. Turning 40 IN KOREA

Look, I don’t think I will ever have a better birthday than I did last year and I really honestly am grateful for that, all bitch-baby wah-wah jokes aside. Henry even pointed out on the eve of this year’s birthday that I have been very spoiled over the last several years and he’s not wrong; I was basically setting myself up for disappointment this year and COVID made damn sure to drive that one home, lol. Nothing I could have planned for yesterday could have topped last year, which was spent walking along the Chungyecheon, eating naengmyeon at a traditional Buddhist vegan restaurant in Insadong, and then attending a live taping of The Show, one of the Kpop Countdown shows that broadcast weekly in Korea. That whole entire trip was EVERYTHING and even though I’m Forever Sad that I’m not there everyday, my heart experiences a special type of swelling whenever I think back to that trip. You might call it obsession, but I call it—-yeah, OK it’s obsession.

The Day I Turned 40 in Korea: The Show! 7/30/19

When I think back to all of these great birthdays, I feel loved and excited and lucky that I get to have these great friends and experiences in my life, so maybe my 41st birthday was lame and non-descript, buy maybe GET THE HELL OVER IT, ERIN. They can’t all be great ones! And I mean, I did get to have cake, at least.

More on that sometime later! I fell into this spiral of Nelson Sullivan home videos on YouTube and I am fucking obsessed and wishing I was a club kid living in NYC in the 80s.

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.