Oct 212022
 

A short one because this has been the opposite of a short week.

1. The Corey Show

My bro Corey and I are avid Michael Myers simps and so obviously had to go to the theater to see the new Halloween which is also allegedly the last of the franchise (hmph we’ll see). We went to the Hollywood Theater to see it which is honestly my favorite place to see horror movies – it’s cheap, old, and has a balcony. And a creepy basement bathroom! Plus, we can walk there from my house.

Anyway, two highlights:

  • The theme song from The Lost Boys (“Cry Little Sister”) was playing in the lobby when we got there and that song always gets me the mood for some good-ass horror.
  • Corey being so giddy because of the fact that very first spoken word of Halloween Ends was his name, lol.

Um, other than that, I don’t have many positive things to say. I went in with low expectations and somehow failed to set the bar low enough because this was bad. I tried so hard during and immediately after to find some redeeming qualities, but I really couldn’t. And then the more I sat with it throughout the week, the angrier I got and finally I was able to say, “No, you know what? Fuck that trash movie. I hated it.”

Can’t believe JLC signed off on that shit.

2. Jo’s

It doesn’t truly feel like Halloween in Brookline until Jo’s Salon swaps out their window display for scarecrows and pumpkins. Maybe this weekend and I’ll do a walking tour of the Blvd and take pictures of the other storefronts because it’s moderately festive up in this ‘hood.

3. Meanwhile

…in my crib, this is really the most I’ve done for Halloween, lol. I mean come on though guys. My house is like one big gaudy year-round decoration as it is – you wouldn’t even be able to notice if I actually decorated for holidays. I mean, we eat off melamine Halloween plates all year round as it is.

OK also I’m lazy, there I said it! I DON’T FEEL LIKE DECORATING because then I have to put it all away at some point and that’s annoying.

4. Mmm….cookies.

We let the kids decorate Halloween cookies during our weekly Babysitting Prison Sentence (j/k – we asked for this!) and it actually went surprisingly well. Calvin and Lily worked harmoniously and Milo was…well, a one-year-old fisting sprinkles.

And then there was Chooch who came down, put one squirt of icing on a cookie, and left.

“When I’m done, I’m going to look all around your house,” Calvin declared, as if this was his first time here?!

5. The Black Queen

In October, I always play the shit out of the Black Queen. The dark, moody synth is the perfect soundtrack for driving to haunted houses, especially when they’re out in the boonies.

This past week, I turned two people into new fans, on two separate occasions: Nate at work (we had been Jabbering extensively about Mick Smiley) and my brother Corey, who went on to listen to more and then replied, “I AM A FAN.”

I love when that happens!

Anyway, this isn’t my FAVORITE song by them, but it is the one I always send to people to introduce them to Greg Puciato’s sultry vocals without kneeing them in the balls with a Dillinger Escape Plan track, lol.

I can listen to this in the middle of a summer heat wave and suddenly it’s autumn vibes, fullstop. This is one of the few good takeaways from a failed friendship with a girl from Philly who I thought was so fucking cool and someone who spoke my language (we loved so many of the same bands and even went to an Armor For Sleep reunion show together in Philly back in 2015). She recommended the Black Queen to me back then and I was hooked. I guess she wasn’t hooked on me, though, lol.

There. Five things. On a Friday.

Love you lots like tater tots.

(Wow, old school sign off.)

Oct 072022
 

Hi. Let’s get it.

  1. Chooch: Driving my car and driving me crazy.

After Chooch turned 16, I thought he would be hounding us to drive but, aside from casually pissng around with the online permit practice test while standing in line for roller coasters, he kind of just dropped it. Something happened at the pie party though, maybe SOMEONE ASKED HIM IF HE HAD HIS LICENSE YET, because he started pressuring us bigly to teach him to drive. I couldn’t take it anymore, so last Saturday I screamed, “CLEAN YOUR ROOM AND THEN WE’LL SEE.” Then I forgot to actually check to see if any cleaning was done, lol, but I took him to Jefferson Memorial for some “bad weather” driving practice. He said he needs 5 hours experience of driving in bad weather, so I guess tooling around the cemetery, dodging squirrels in the rain, counts.

He actually did OK, although my right foot was cramping from all the times I practically standing up in the passenger seat to stomp on the imaginary brake. I’m sure Henry was a nervous wreck  – we left him at home because he had chores to do – because he is A PROFESSIONAL DRIVER and probably felt like I stole something from him by taking Chooch without him.

It’s kind of cool though because this is where I learned how to drive too – my friend Lisa taught me in her family’s Jeep.  My parents refused to take any part in this process because I was a “bad seed” and could not “be trusted” so I actually didn’t even get my license until about a month before I turned 19 and again, it was my friend Lisa who took me to the DMV in Uniontown to take my test – twice, lol. I liked that this is where Chooch is learning how to drive now too, ALMOST 30 YEARS LATER, ugh.

So he was all ready to go and take his permit test but Idiot Henry can’t find where he put Chooch’s social security card, so he had to go and request a new one on Monday. I had to laugh (HA HA) because when the guy at the social security office looked up Chooch’s info, HENRY WASN’T LISTED AS HIS DAD LOLOLOL. The guy was like, “Oh, that’s usually what happens when the parents are married” and instead of giving Henry a hard time about, somehow let the request go through.

But yeah GOOD JOB NOT MARRYING YOUR SON’S MOTHER, ASSHOLE.

Anyway, every day this week, Chooch has stormed into the house after school, barking, “DID MY SS CARD COME YET” in lieu of the HELLO that I deserve. It actually came today, which surprised me because that was less than a week! So now Chooch thinks he’s going to the DMV after school but his fate rests in Henry’s hands, as usual. We’ll see if Henry gets home from work in time, or if he will remain on Chooch’s shit list.

2. HATER HATER TALK TALK

I got a surprise shirt in the mail yesterday! Henry and Chooch immediately confirmed that they don’t care enough about me for it to have been from them, so I asked Instagram and I should have known it was my NCT bestie, Veronica!! We have been going ham lately over this NCT127 tour. She just went to the LA date last night and I watched some of her Instavids (trying to avoid it though because I want the setlist to be a surprise!) and immediately started sobbing. I haven’t been this stoked for a concert since probably the last time I saw the Cure!!

I don’t have a lot of friends with common interests so when I do get one, I cling tightly!

3. 28 Reasons Why I Love this Song

OK I’m not actually listing 28 reasons because I’m too distracted as usual but Seulgi’s solo debut is more than I ever could have wanted. The way this song and her beastly choreo give off stong Taemin vibes to me….This has been in my head ever since it came out the other day. (She’s, IMO, the best part of Red Velvet and I’m so glad she finally got her own solo!)

4. Red Jeans

I dunno what made me think about it, other than the fact that I was going through old pictures from when I was in high school, but I started thinking of my signature scent back in the day – Versace Red Jeans. I thought that it had been retired, but when I googled it, I found it on Amazon! I added it to the cart just for funsies and then it arrived a few days later because Henry saw it and actually experienced of moment of goodwill, and contrary to what was previously stated in #2 of today’s Friday Five, actually bought it for me.

OMG that first spritz TOOK ME BAAAAACK TO…..

5. This one October night in 1997

I’m always inspired to look back through old haunted house journals this time of the year and this one night in particular remains one of the best haunted house hopping nights of my life. It was me, Lisa, Angie, Angie’s bf-at-the-time Mike, Lisa’s little Youth Group friend Darren, and a family friend of Lisa’s – Bill. I just remember going all over the place in Lisa’s minivan (not the van that I learned how to drive in!) and then my Psycho Mike ( :/ ) meeting us later at Home Cookin’.

Fun fact about Darren (middle): He grew up to be the screamer in a successful Christian metal band!

Ugh Psycho Mike. I have a vivid recollection of him extremely dick-ish this night because he hated Lisa (for no other reason than she was my friend and he wanted nothing more than to isolate me from everything and everyone, you know, classic abuser behavior). Somehow, we ended up hanging out in my grandparent’s yard (their yard was huge so no one even knew we were there) until like 3am, completely sober but using our natural reserves to act like complete giddy morons.

This was when I was at the height of my Jacki Sorenson aerobic obsession and would use every opportunity to break out into one of the many routines I had memorized.

And then I apparently hurt myself in doing so, lol.

These pictures are also making me remember that I had to wear my hair in a ponytail every day around this time because I was in the process of growing out a REALLY BAD HAIR CUT. OK here’s what happened: I was with Lisa and our friend Kim. Kim had (probably still does) extremely long and straight hair. Like, LONG. We were in Century Square (probably to go to PHAR-MOR which I hated but Lisa and Kim always wanted to go there ugh) when Kim decided to stop into Fantastic Sam’s to get her hair trimmed. Now, a place like that isn’t going to fuck up a trim when the hair is long and straight so good for Kim. But something made me, the queen of layers (back then: THE RACHEL GREEN), decide to also get a hair cut.

Oh, chingu, the way they slaughtered my layers. It was a hot mess, before people were saying “hot mess.”

You can bet I had the delicious notes of Red Jean wafting in my wake on both of these occasions: fun night and bad haircut day. (I had to pause and sniff my wrist just now. Yessss. 90s Erin is BACK!)

OK, signing off. Henry just texted me and said that Chooch passed his permit test so I guess this weekend will be full of “CAN YOU LET ME DRIVE NOW??” begging. Pray for us.

Sep 232022
 

Yo when was the last time we sat down and had a good old fashioned Friday Fiver? Legit can’t remember. But if someone asks you this tomorrow, you can say, “Hey guy, it was just yesterday!”

  1. The Witch of Pioneer

Have I mentioned lately how much I truly hate HNC’s wife? She is actually the most miserable person I have ever known, maybe even more so than Henry’s ex-wife! Anyway, on Wednesday I was sitting here working, just minding my own business. I work at a desk in the dining room, right next to the window that faces her side of the house. So I get to hear her out there putzing around in the driveway, screaming at HNC, threatening neighbors with baseball bats because they parks too close to the entrance of our shared driveway which INCOVENIENCES HER (never mind the fact that her one daughter can come over and park at the top of the driveway, effectively blocking us in, because Mummy is Queen of Pioneer). Anyway, yesterday she came out of the house with her white trash daughter on speaker phone. She was out there fucking around with her stupid porch plants when suddenly she starts getting more and more worked up. I couldn’t tell what was happening, but then I heard her say “people who live outside of the country…” and my ears perked up thinking she was about to go on some MAGA anti-foreigner rant but then she ended it with, “HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE FEEDING WILDLIFE.” OK, so she was talking about the countrySIDE…but wait, what?? NO, SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT ME.

“THEY HAVE NO RESPECT FOR ME! I PUT SO MUCH MONEY IN THESE PLANTS JUST FOR THEM TO BE DESTROYED. FUCKING SQUIRRELS!!!”

I’m assuming by “they” she is referring to us. Because we are the only people who feed the squirrels. /sarcasm. Do you know how many houses in our neighborhood have those cute little squirrel feeder picnic tables!? A LOT. WE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES WHO ENJOY THE SQUIRRELS.

She is the odd one! She is the hateful bitch who finds no joy in anything!

So then I was like “OK two can play at this game” and I called Henry and started screaming to HIM by the open window about how THEY have no respect for US because they have turned our shared driveway into a fucking LOT OF BROKE DOWN CARS. “THE CARS! THE FUCKING CARS!” I screamed in a replica of her nasty Yinzer voice.

I was so ridiculously stressed out over this that it actually ruined my entire Thursday as well. Like, I kept picturing myself fighting her, I don’t give a shit that she’s in her 60s.

Fuck that bitch so hard. I hope a squirrel attacks her.

2. Chooch’s Mexico Gallery Wall

Just posting this because writing about HNC’s cunt wife got my heart rate up and I needed a happy visual. How can this not make you happy?? Look at those colors!

3. A Super Social Tuesday

This past Tuesday, I had plans with some people from my old team to have dinner after work. But then MARGIE scheduled our department casual lunch on the SAME DAY so then Wendy was like, “Oh good, we can have an in-person meeting that day too” and then the admin people of the whole entire Pgh office were like RSVP FOR SOCIAL HOUR TUESDAY AFTERNOON!

I was really stressed about this day because we have recently switched to a hoteling situation so most of the desks were stripped down to just one monitor. I cannot work like that!  I have a very particular, Type A set-up! So my plan, which was very clunky and stupid, was to come in from half the day, attend the meeting, have a piece of pizza at CASUAL LUNCH, go home and work, then come back for dinner.

Really dumb, amirite?

When I got to work on Tuesday, I immediately went to Margie’s desk and pouted about the new sitch and she was like, “Just sit in that office right there – it has two monitors and it’s not assigned to anyone” so just like that, my biggest problem of the day was solved and then I was able to be moderately normal (by my standards at least) for the rest of the day.

It was really nice getting to see so many of work friends on one day! I opted out of the office Social Hour though, claiming that I was people’d out but really it was because I was nervous of being around more food and then going to dinner, love this weird fear of food that controls my life. But it’s easier to blame social anxiety because that feels more acceptable and reasonable than saying I’m scared or food omg hold me.

Then I went to dinner with Amber, Lauren, Megan, Carrie and Wendi! It wasn’t the original dinner plans for that night but it was just as lovely! I was fucking starving by then though, having only had a small bowl of cereal and literally the smallest, driest piece of pizza I could find for lunch. Carrie and I shared a burrata salad and ravioli and I BEASTED my halves. Carrie also treated Megan and me to a bottle of wine for our recent bdays and I was feeling GOOD, MY PEOPLE.

I am really lucky to work with friends. That is all.

4. Nooworks #1 Fan Girl

Nooworks released a new print on Sunday night and I had to buy a shirt because LOOK AT IT. THE DESIGN. THE COLORS. It was like it was made for me. I love Nooworks so much. #NotSponsored but #IWishItWas.

5. Pie Party Prep

You guys the first pie party since 2017 is happening this Sunday. The weather is supposed to be absolute TRASH too, of course. We’ll still go through with it though – the pavilion is big and has a roof, after all! I think it rained at another pie party once too and while it wasn’t ideal, the pies didn’t care.

Henry did a trial-run on one of his pie prospects last weekend and it tasted so good, so there’s that. My only responsibility up to now was working on the play list. It’s up to over 8 hours and the party is only 6 hours long so I think I can cross that off the to do list now.

I dunno man, this was a lousy Friday Five but I’m beat, says Erin from 1975. We’re going to the pass holder Fright Fest sneak peek tonight at Kennywood and that’s all my mind can focus on right now. Perhaps one day things in my brain will change and I will be able to to tell you how I got my blogging groove back, says Erin from 1998.

May 132022
 

This week was one of the slowest weeks I’ve experienced in forever. I kept thinking it was the next day, almost every day. Maybe it’s because I went into the office twice, I dunno, but yesterday in the office felt like the longest work day since before the pandemic. Megan said it was because we didn’t get to go out for a lunch break walk and she’s probably right. It was also a lot of socializing and I am still so exhausted, like I have a chatting hangover. It was…a lot. I think I’ll stick to my one-day-a-week routine, thanks.  The older I get, the more I learn about my extremely fickle social preferences and one of those is that I definitely prefer 1-on-1 chats.

Anyway, the rest of the week was same-old. Here are some fivers on my mind(ers). Please do be enjoying.

  1. Slushie Standoff

Chooch has really been going through it at work lately, to the point where sometimes I forget he’s only 16 because he comes home SOUNDING LIKE ALL OF US. Valid gripes, training woes, stupid people rants, managerial clashes.

The latter is what brings us here today, my fine blog-eyeballers. Because when Chooch came home from work Monday, practically foaming at the mouth as he angrily recounted his night, I thought of YOU, DEAR READERS, and how much I wanted to tell you this story.

OK so there is new-ish manager at McDonald’s. We’ll call him FRED for the purposes of this story. Now, FRED and Chooch have been butting heads for a few weeks now, it seems. In Chooch’s words: FRED came from BURGER KING, where things are done DIFFERENTLY so now he thinks everyone at McD’s is doing it WRONG and he’s fucking shit up, essentially. Like, sit down FRED, amirite? Now Chooch has told me a whole collection of maddening stories so far, like FRED telling him he’s in the way (“when it’s actually FRED’s big ass that’s in the way, but cool” Chooch spat the other day), and at one point Chooch purposely told some other co-workers that he doesn’t respect FRED, knowing it would get back to FRED because hi, teenagers.

(This cracked me up because it reminded me of when I worked with ELEANOR as some of you might remember. Her strategy was to lodge complaints to the snitches in the department knowing full well they’d go scampering TO THE OFFICE with these bread crumbs of employee unrest. She killed me.)

(I mean, not literally, I’m still here. Although we did have a fight over scissors one night which could have gone terribly awry.)

“Did FRED find out?” I asked.

“Yeah! He cried about it to [another manager] but she didn’t give a shit!” Chooch laughed.

At work on Monday, someone came thru the drive-thru and ordered three blue slushies. According to Chooch, their machine is wonky but the work-around is that you have to defrost it or something, who cares, I was zoning out when he explained it – Chooch takes his job very seriously. So, FRED does not know this fix and was struggling. Instead of helping him (because anytime Chooch tries to help, FRED tells him he has an attitude problem and calls him YOUNG BUCK), Chooch just stood there and watched with delicious anticipation.

FRED, now realizing this was going to take a bit, told the car to pull over and he’d bring them out.

So then he finishes the blue slushies, leaves them at the machine, and goes out to the car to tell them that they were done and he’d bring them out.

“Wait, but if they were done, why didn’t he just take them out with him then?” I asked a la Fred Savage being told a bedtime story.

“Exactly! Because he’s a moron,” Chooch said.

While FRED was out there doing a questionable attempt at customer service, another car came through and ordered a blue slushie. So…Chooch (being Chooch) took one of FRED’s slushies and gave it to them.

BECAUSE CHOOCH WOULD.

Now, FRED is back inside expecting to collect THREE BLUE SLUSHIES. Here, Chooch pantomined FRED counting the slushies and going ballistic. “WHERE IS THE THIRD SLUSHIE?? I HAD THREE SLUSHIES!!”

Chooch calmly told him that he gave it to another car.

“BOY, DON’T BE GIVING AWAY FREE SHIT!” FRED shouted.

“I didn’t. They paid for it,” Chooch said in the only way Chooch knows how: full of teenage arrogance and heavy on the sarcastic monotone.

Then FRED told another manager that he was taking his break because he needed to get away from “that kid.”

He reminds me SO MUCH of me when I was a young worker person.  

(Sorry, I love this ^^^^ story so much that I will take any chance I get to link back to it!)

Anyway, Chooch was going to put in his two weeks notice today and then just get a new job when he comes back from Mexico in August but then he said, “What will I do with myself for all of June??” so I think he’s going to stick it out for now. I gotta hand it to him – he genuinely enjoys working. Thank god he got something good from his dad!!

     2. Chooch Ran Away

I made Henry go for a walk with me after dinner since I missed my afternoon walk. Look, I’m an addict, OK? I’m a food-phobic, exercise-maniac, walking-addict. Do I need therapy? You bet. Do I care? Not currently.

Anyway, now that I got that honest confession off my chest, I dragged Henry around Dormont for a walk. He got to stop and get cold brew at Dunkin’ so he was mostly content. (I almost typed “sedated,” and I guess that too; dude practically sleep-walks through life.)

We got home and 10 minutes or so passed. I wanted to tell Chooch something so I ran up to his room and started banging on his door with FIRE ALARM vigor like I normally do, which normally causes him to hiss, “WHAT DO YOU WANT” but this time – silence.

I yelled, “I’m coming in!” and when I burst through his door like a firefighter, I found it empty. HE WAS GONE.

“Chooch ran away!” I screamed to Henry as I came barreling down the steps. He of course ignored me because I was making this way too dramatic and it wasn’t worth the energy.

“He’s probably riding his bike somewhere. It wasn’t in the basement when I was just down there,” Henry mumbled, probably cruising the listings for some auction site that he is OBSESSED WITH lately and it’s so annoying.

Then I got caught up watching roller coaster videos on YouTube (my visual Snuggie, OK?) and forgot that my child was gone. I mean, he’s 16. He comes and goes as he pleases.

He burst through the front door about 20 minutes later and I was like, “Oh. It’s you” and he was like “I saw [friend from elementary school] but didn’t say because my face is so numb.”

Now my mommy-panic was activated. It’s always during times of bodily harm that I’m catapulted into Mom Mode. Yes, it’s alarming even to myself. “OMG why!? What happened??” I screamed.

He just started at me. And then, slowly, “Because I was at the dentist….”

OMG THAT’S WHERE HE WAS! I totally forgot that he had an appointment. Good thing he remembered and that he’s able to take himself there via bicycle because Henry and I SURELY didn’t remember while we were out gallivanting around Dormont like two non-parents.

And that’s my story about how Chooch ran away, straight into the dentist’s chair.

3. Baby Buddy & Bambi (aka Drew)

Are you sick of hearing about my squirrels? OH WELL probably everyone at work is too, to be honest. We have a new lady on our team and every Tuesday I’m like DAWN LOOK AT THIS VIDEO OF MY SQUIRRELS and she’s like “*nervous laugh* oh jeez.” Anyway, look at Drew, that unbothered queen.

 

4. RiverPOUNDS

OK that makes no sense, but let’s roll with it.

Today one of my coworkers asked me if I had plans tomorrow and I said YES’M I AM GOING TO CEDAR POINT and she was like OH OK because apparently she had won some Riverhounds tickets (THAT IS A PGH SOCCER TEAM IN CASE YOU ARE FROM LIKE, OTTAWA, AND DON’T KNOW) and had planned to take her niece and nephew but they have prior commitments so now she’s trying to find people to go with her and I’m sure I was not the first person she asked but THANKS FOR THINKING OF ME.

Anyway, the whole point of this is that way back in like 2000, I quit my job that summer and then babysat the two daughters of one of my ex-co-workers. The older one, ERICKA, was such a biotch, I fucking swear to god. Like, the highlight of that summer for me was when she went away to some church camp and I only had to deal with the younger girl for like a week and that was fine because she was sweet but as I’m typing this I cannot believe that anyone trusted me to watch their kids ALL DAY LONG when I was 21 and a total irresponsible moron and not only that but they let me drive them places in my EAGLE TALON which I drove like a fucking race car and I took them to places like THE SOUTHSIDE which was still cool back then and full of punks and other boho types.

Then Ericka came back and was inexplicably obsessed with the song HOOKED ON A FEELING and asked me who sang it and then proceeded to not believe me even though I know everything about music but cook on little middle school bitchdemon.

Wow, I really hated her. My brother was in the same grade as her I think. I about to text him to see if he knows what she’s up to now that she’s like 30.

Oh wait, my point!!

So Ericka played soccer and I was always having to take her to her dumb practices at Mowry Park. There were some Riverhound players at one of the practices and I guess it was a big deal but I had no idea we even had a soccer team (maybe it had just formed at that time?) so I was not impressed. But the reason why I remember this is because this was the day I was sitting on the side of the field and ERICKA came over at one point and apropos of nothing other than the fact that it was true, bluntly said to me, “You really need to lose weight.”

I WAS WEARING AN ORANGE SHIRT THAT DAY TOO AND NEVER WORE IT AGAIN THANKS YOU DUMB BITCH.

So my point is that every time the Riverhounds come up (which is periodically because our Firm is always giving out tickets it seems, I think we’re a sponsor probably), I can hear that brace-faced bitch telling me I’m fat IN SO MANY WORDS.

5. THE CARPET MAN

You guys. Henry found my fake poem collection in the attic, in a binder, printed on old-school see-through printer paper with light gray type. I was so excited!! I went through a heavy fake poetry phase in 10th grade because my friend MELISSA/MARTHA/POPTART was actually serious about writing poems and kept a poetry notebook in her bag at all times, so I, being the BULLY OF A FRIEND that you all know to me, decided that I too would be a poet. I even gave myself a pen name – EMERALD – which two entire teachers began calling me when I asked them to (my 9th grade english teacher Mr. Gershna and one of the gym teachers MR ROSENSTEEL, loved both of them).

Anyway, my friends mostly thought this was so dumb, except probably Janna who enjoyed being the subject of many poems, such as the JANNA IS READING A BOOK TRILOGY. But my favorite was the FIVE POEM SERIES spawned by the fateful time my mom took me to HUGHES FLOORING to pick out new carpet for my bedroom and I imprinted on THE CARPET MAN, but not in a romantic sense for myself, but moreso in that I was orchestrating a grand imaginary romance between him and my mom.

Then of course I borderline stalked him, even making my friends Keri and Ken drive me to the carpet store for literally no reason other than I wanted to cachinnate all over the carpet samples and then choke on my idiocy.

Anyway!!! No one understood why I was so fixated on him but I just was and it gave me so much joy to scribble out stupid “that’s a real stretch” poems about him. Having this back in my life inspired me to google him and I think the found the obituary for his mom!!! :(

I thought it would be super hilar to make a little chapbook dealio for my mom for Mother’s Day, since the Carpet Man series happened because of her. I made the background of the cover and every page various pictures of CARPET, naturally, and then I needed to add more poems because Shutterfly was like “we will not make a five page book for you, that’s fuckin’ ridic” so I added some other Val-inspired poems as well. It arrived yesterday and I have been CRACKING UP over it ever since!

I’m taking it to her tonight and she is either going to like it or be super confused.  If she even says she doesn’t remember this phase, I will die.

THIS WAS A WHOLE FUCKING THING. It happened when I was in 8th grade and I was SOOOOOOO OBSESSED with it (for literally no reason) that I even tried to explain it to my homeroom, going so far as to draw a diagram on the chalkboard and I was laughing so hard that I almost peed and blacked out and Scott Ash called me a SPED which I never understood until I was thinking about it recently and it clicked. All this time I thought he was calling me derogatory term for lesbian.

THE MONKEY BAR IS A LOCAL BAR IN THE TOWN WHERE I GREW UP.

This was maybe my MOST FAMOUS POEM. I think I wrote about this in greater detail at some point, but this one is a classic that I wrote after she called the police on me in 10th grade because I took a streak knife to the family portrait and then locked myself in my room and she was scared about what my explosive anger and I were planning next. 👼🏼 Meanwhile, all I was doing was sitting on the floor, being a depressed teenager, and listening to Bone Thugs n Harmony. They ended up taking me to the ER by ambulance. The EMTs that fateful afternoon were two seniors who sat near me in study hall. But no, I wasn’t embarrassed. And once I guilted my mom into signing me out of the ER (the doctor wanted to admit me–for what, I’m still not sure 👼🏼), she took me to McDonald’s on the way home and we all got a big laugh out of it. She did say that I wasn’t allowed to go to Kennywood for school picnic day after that but then school picnic day came and guess who was at Kennywood, jotting down notes for the KENNYWOOD SERIES of poems she was going to pen?

👼🏼

Actually, this was a supremely bad time in my life. I was going to a child psychologist, medicated, and having severe explosive anger issues, and also was self-harming to an extent and also dabbling in anorexia which I told myself wasn’t that but just a form of punishment – I mean, all functioning people withhold food from themselves. 10th grade was….awesome.

We were actually just fondly reminiscing about this day recently. She said the family portrait is still in her shed if I want it. I had no idea she kept that??

I sent this to my brother and it prompted a whole text discussion about how we looked like a family that had it all but we were sooooo dysfunctional. I mean, how many people can say that they have a normal family though, right? What even is that.

👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼 👼🏼

WOW I’M SENSING A REAL THEME WITH THIS POST AM I HAVING A BREAKTHRU.

 

May 062022
 

It’s Friday. I haven’t done a “5” in a while. Here’s an amusement park palate-cleanser:

  1. Troop Beverly Hills, what a thrill.

After all of my HENRY HAS NEVER SEEN TROOP BEVERLY HILLS / HENRY IS NOW WATCHING TROOP BEVERLY HILLS / HENRY THOUGHT TROOP BEVERLY HILLS WAS ‘NOT BAD’ Internet postings a few weeks ago, my pal Heidi got an Instagram ad for Troop Beverly Hills shirts. She shared it with me and I immediately the above shirt, and also another design too because I NEEDED TO. My heart *and* my head were saying it was the right choice. When I told Henry I bought two, I think he was initially scared because he thought I meant I bought two of the same shirts, one for me and one for him.

WHY DIDN’T I DO THAT.

Oh well, Father’s Day and his birthday are both coming up…

Pink and green is my ult color combo, ever since I was a youngin’ and had a green dress with pink hippos on it. I love that dress so much and also it was when I was still cute & and an only child, so I relate these colors to the best days of my life.

I have a faux-suede moto jacket that I thought would look adorable with this shirt so I stupidly asked Henry to take pictures of me in it when we went to the cem for a walk later that day last weekend.

Bro, we’re still in the same city, stand back some more.

Honestly, what goes through this man’s head when I ask him to take a fucking picture? “Take a picture of me but also make sure I’m just a blip on the screen.”

I had to actually take a test photo for him because he did the same fucking shit here too!!! AND IT WASN’T EVEN LEVEL.

Where is Chooch when I need him. Oh yeah, WORKING.

I dunno what these poses are. I don’t even care anymore.

And then instead of helping me down from the wall, Henry took pictures of my flailing descent. (I am terrified of even the smallest heights and have found myself paralyzed in fear before having to dismount from things even shorter than that wall. One time I got stuck in a tree – only like 2 feet off the ground – and Henry took a picture of me crying in it.)

2. Hunting for Chocolate Chip Cookies

After we left the cem, I was craving chocolate chip cookies. However, it was now around 3pm and god forbid bakeries be open past like, 1pm. So we were stressing about where to go and I remembered that one time, Henry stopped at this ice cream shop on the North Side and we were pleasantly surprised to find that they had outrageously good cookies. So we rolled up and it was CLOSED FOR VACATION. But! I remembered that literally right across there was another bakery-type place that I thought might be open because they also serve food. CLOSED FOR TECHNICAL ISSUES. Henry was like, “Oh, Adda coffee is on this street too – they usually have baked goods.” CLOSED SEVERAL MINUTES AGO.

The worst!!!

Literally every other option nearby was closed according to Google and Yelp, but then I saw a listing for this Mexican bakery called Panaderia in Mt. Lebanon, which is on the way to picking up Chooch from work, so we stopped there because they have NORMAL PEOPLE HOURS.

It was very small and narrow so I didn’t take any other pictures, but everything we got (and we got a lot because we’re pigs for baked goods) was wonderful and not too sweet so I ate so much without getting sick!

Now I’m jealous of all the authentic treats Chooch will be smashing in Meridian this summer.

In case you were wondering, I did get a chocolate chip cookie the next day when we went to pick up our pints at Sugar Spell Scoops. It was literally exactly what I wanted. A choco-fucking-chip cookie. How hard is it?! I would have been happy with a pack of Chips Ahoy, honestly.

(I dunno what it is about Chips Ahoy, probably the nostalgia talking, but sometimes those are all I ever want. Even over Oreos. Gimme a fistful of the Ahoys with a cold cup of milk, boy-o.)

3. Girl Buddy’s Babies

Well guys, it was inevitable. About a month or two ago, Girl Buddy was stealing stuff from our yard to use in her nest, which apparently was INSIDE HNC’S PORCH ROOF. I know this because I watched her run next door with all her nesting supplies in her mouth and begin to run up HNC’s sidewalk, only for his wife to come barging out of the house and literally yell, “SHOO! SHOO SQUIRREL!!” Girl Buddy tried to come back again a few minutes but this time was shooed all the way down the driveway to the backyard.

What a hater HNC’s wife is.

Nevertheless, Girl Buddy prevailed and made her nest up in there, and then two weeks ago, the little babies started poking their heads out of the roof opening! And as of last week, they were old enough to leave the nest and were tentatively climbing down the wall. This was super cute but also awful because Ruth was home and they were making a racket. So I was standing on my porch, tossing grapes down the driveway in a desperate attempt to lure them away from her damn porch, because she has been going BALLISTIC lately. Not just with the squirrels (although she did come home one day and bellow MOTHERFUCKING SQUIRRELS!!!), but with everyone. She started a fight with one guy because he parked his van on the street and was pulled forward too far so that she couldn’t easily back out of the driveway and she threatened him with a baseball bat.

I have a recording of it. It was…wow. Just wow. To be that miserable.

So my days have been spent policing the squirrel sitch because I’m so afraid she’s going to come home with a BB gun one day and I am trying so hard to protect these precious beings.

MY HEART.

The other evening, Ruth was other there having a conniption. They’re messing with her plants, I don’t even know. She needs to get over herself because her porch is not that nice. Anyway, she was on the phone screaming to HNC about it and he was like “i will take care of it” (she had him on speaker so the whole neighborhood could hear). So she’s out there yelling about it and sweeping (OMG our porches are little square slabs and she is out there sweeping with a compulsion, like numerous times a day, I truly don’t know what is left for her to sweep) and while this was happening, Girl Buddy started hopping over to the porch steps, like “SAY IT TO MY FACE!” I was fucking dying. Girl Buddy is ruthless.

4. HEARTSTOPPER

See the source image

If you read all of my book wrap-up posts, well, you’re a real one. But also, then you might know that I have read and ADORED Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper graphic novel series (the way the backs of my eyes are stinging with looming tears right now). Well, I had been anxiously awaiting the premier of the Netflix adaptation and it was worth the wait. This series is everything. The casting is IMPECCABLE. I watch every episode while hugging myself so that my heart doesn’t explode.

I can’t explain how or why but the confusing emotions and coming-of-age strife and giddy love conveyed in the graphic novels are so palpable. It made me feel like I was back in 9th grade. And the cast totally takes everything Alice Oseman has given them and just fucking sparkles on screen. I love it so much and I’m hoping that we get a season for each book?! I don’t care if you think this out of your demographic. It’s amazing and sweet and pure, and you will love it. Imagine how many kids this is helping right now, how many adults wish they had this when they were growing up. That’s the part that really makes the ice crack a little around my heart. Whew.

Also, I’m obsessed with Kit Connor.

Alsox2: This is GOOD:

Netflix’s ‘Heartstopper’ Is Its Highest Scoring Critic And Audience Hit In Ages (forbes.com)

See the source image

5. Coaster Socializing

We finally bit the bullet and joined a coaster club/organization. I can’t remember if I mentioned this on here already but I feel like I did? Or did I have some self-deprecating tweet about it? Who knows. But originally, we just signed Chooch up because he is allowed to bring two guests to most of the events. But then saw  that this club is organizing a Nordic trip for the summer of 2023 and excuse me, sir, but I want in on that action. It’s for member’s only so now Henry and I are members too, lol.

Honestly though, I really am hoping that this works out because we don’t have any friends who are into this shit and I am dying to talk to someone about the rumors that Hershey’s Wildcat is going to get RMCd. You know. Roller coaster thangs. We tried this club action before with the Dark Ride and Funhouse Enthusiasts and it was cool to get to do some behind-the-scenes stuff but literally no one in that group talked to us and we felt so out of place.

We’re already off to a bad start with this coaster one because the guy hasn’t emailed us any info like he was supposed to and we need a fucking membership # in order to register for any upcoming event we want to attend, so this is annoying.

Well, I have shit to do so let’s end this on a dreamy note….an NCT DREAMy note, that is!

Mar 042022
 

I dunno why, but I hate the word “female,” yet here we are, being hypocritical for the sake of alliteration. What is my life.

In today’s dumb Friday Five edition, I want to share some of my current fave Kpop girl groups that have been helping me reach my morning goal of 6,000 steps before logging on to work. Usually I will jog in place while watching a Kdrama or I’ll do Kpop cardio, but sometimes I like to just put on Kpop videos and freestyle (sadly for me this is all Running Man and an occasional chest bump, with lots of JUMPING filler – that’s it,  that’s my dance move repertoire).

Also, I know you’re shocked that I actually pay attention to other groups than NCT! Especially with spring approaching, I’m more inspired to listen to the spunky girl side of Kpop. It makes me want to run in a bright green field,  while unfortunately probably sneezing because….spring. For instance, I’m blasting a 2022 Kpop playlist right now in order to block out the shrieks emanating through my wall from the fucking daycare facility next door.

OK, let’s kill this Friday Five. This bitch’s got other shit to do today!

  1. VIVIZ – BOP BOP!

Once I realize this was some of the girls from the recently disbanded GFriend, it made sense why it’s such an instant BOP BOP.

2. IVE – ELEVEN

I did a cardio dance workout to this song without ever hearing it before and immediately went to watch the music video afterward. This song is randomly in my head at given moment of the day. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE ELEVEN. It’s such an interesting song structure too, how the tempo abruptly slows down before the chorus. Love it!  I hope these FEMALES stick around because this is some potential here. [In my head,] I’m in the industry, so I can say things like that.

3. STAYC – RUN2U

I was enamored with STAYC last year when they released “ASAP,” and I think I can now safely say that STAYC is a group whose comebacks I will continue to anticipate. Can I get a shout out for that truly awkward sentence?

 

4. KEP1ER – WA DA DA

When my brother Corey was little, he used to make this sign with his hands and growl, “DREADED TRIANGLE.” It was actually pretty nefarious. He was a scary little boy. Anyway, Kep1ar do a similar hand motion in their choreography and it reminds me of that. Chills. (He also used to call me B.I.O. and it was this big mystery until he finally revealed that it meant Bitch In Overalls. I mean, I did wear overalls a lot in high school. And I was a bitch, lol.

 

5. APINK: DILEMMA

Last but not least, one of my OG favorite girl groups since I got into Kpop just recently had a comeback and I have been so nostalgically awash in their nostalgic sound. I know that it’s cool to be all WE DON’T NO NEED MAN/WOMAN/OTHER but sometimes we really are pining and just NOT OVER IT too, you know? That’s where Apink excels.

On that note, I bid everyone a fair Friday. Take some time to stab a pillow with a sharp knife in your backyard this weekend.

Feb 252022
 

Hi hello hey ho ho ho! I thought that maybe it could be fun to a round-up of some of my favorite 80s walking workouts for today’s FRIDAY FIVE. Mostly because three of my go-to YouTube fitness channels uploaded one in the last two weeks, totally randomly. And I don’t know about you but I have been less than inspired to venture out in the cold this winter and have been relaying on  these types of workouts to get in my steps (and get off my dumb ass). I have been pretty unmotivated lately because of winter blues and work stress and just the world in general, but these five videos have been doing more than their share to get me stoked for walking.

  1. Up To the Beat

I love Gina B so much which is actually pretty off-brand for me because she meets all the criteria for someone who would typically get on my nerves – am I changing? Growing as a person?!?! Maybe it’s her accent.

2. Get Fit with Rick

Dude, I love the tracks he chose for this!!

3. Moore2Health

Careless Whisper and Easy Lover. Here for it. This doesn’t even feel like exercise!

4. Reps to the Rhythm

This guy’s videos always make me smile because his foster cats are usually raising hell on the sidelines!

5. emkfit

This is more of a classic Fonda aerobics workout but it has some great jams, like NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP. Let’s goooo.

***

I hope you find something here that makes you wanna get up and move! I’m all about promoting physical activity and while I try to not be over-the-top and pushy about it, there’s still a big part of me that wants to wear a whistle around my neck and blow out everyone’s ears with it.

Feb 042022
 

Hello from an ice-encrusted Pittsburgh. Due to winter sucking, Henry’s job actually let everyone stay home today and Chooch got to do school remotely (COVID ruined snow days lol). Anyway, as you can imagine this has not been contributing to a calm and balanced work environment for me. It’s bad enough I have to spend my days listening to those animalistic grandkids of Henry’s next door. Apparently they have a baby gate right on the other side of the wall near where my work desk is so that is the mysterious “banging metal pipe” noise I have been hearing incessantly. I hate it so much. God help me.

Well, here are five rando’ thangs to read on this “ok” Friday. Let’s keep in short-n-sweet though. I’m ti-red.

  • Henry and Chooch just came back from the post office & getting my books at the library. Henry: He’s mad because he had to carry all your books. Chooch: Yeah. I felt like a nerd. And a shut-in. #OUCH. Anyway, OMGWHICHBOOKSHOULDIREADFIRSTTTTTT?

  • On Instagram last week, one of my friends was like WHAT ARE SOME GIRL-CENTRIC TOYS FROM THE 80S I AM BLANKING ON THIS and before flipping in my two cents, I scanned the other comments and was SHOCKED—nay, STUPEFIED—to see that none before me had mentioned the pre-teen jewels that were SWEET SECRETS. Or Get In Shape Girl! So I tippy-tapped my contribution with a triumphant flare. THEN several days later I was digging around in one of my millions of memento containers (you can’t tell I’m a hoarder because everything is stuffed into precious boxes and trunks) and I found this picture of me at my Pappap’s house with a tableful of Sweet Secrets! (And Pound Puppies, which had been mentioned by many in the Instagram comments.) This must have been my 7th birthday, perhaps? 1986? 1987? I can’t tell my age anymore when I look at old pictures, WHAT A PITY.
  • SPEAKING OF PITY: I was friends with a girl back when I was the same age as above. She had a speech impediment and used to say “pity” instead of “pretty” so whenever she’d tell me something of mine was pretty, I thought she was degrading me. She was kind of an asshole and a bully back then, so she probably actually was degrading me, now that I think about it. Oh well. THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT MAKE ME, ME. That’s the title of my next imaginary children’s book. You’ll love it. It’s sold in Romania truck stops only though, sorry.
  • Earlier this morning, Henry and Chooch went down the street to get coffee. Chooch asked me wanted and, with the utmost confidence, I blurted out: YES A PLAIN GIGANTIC BLACK HOT. There was a pause and then Chooch said, “That’s disgusting.”
  • Oh speaking of Sweet Secrets, there was this one time when my Aunt Sharon (of the Moroccan Trip fame) bought me some new ones because I was spoiled AF but my childhood BFF Christy was with me at my Pappap’s house when this happened and Sharon, knowing Christy would be there, also bought her one too and I remember being #SoAnnoyed because that was ONE LESS FOR ME. I told Henry this story recently and his response was a deadpan, “Wow, that doesn’t sound like you at all.”

There. Five things in the bag, biotch! I’ll leave you with a compilation of Mark Lee from NCT laughing in case you are having a bad day.

Jan 212022
 

For this installment of Friday Five, here are five things I found in the attic several weekends ago when we were cleaning it out only to never return because it has been too fucking cold.

  1. A Whole Bunch of Australian Boarding Passes, etc.

First of all? Literally do not remember my flights being on Air New Zealand?? But seeing “Century Travel” printed on that ticket brought me WAY back to sitting in the travel agency inside of Century III Mall with my mom, who told me on the way there that she was only going to help me if I LIED to the travel agent and said I needed to go to Canberra for a wedding and not a concert, because the truth was “soooo embarrassing.” Um, ok?

I also remember being a nervous wreck on that flight to Sydney, not because I was scared of flying (that psychological affliction wouldn’t come into play until a year later, after 9/11) but because I was so panicked about seeing the Cure and frantic to find a way to meet them.

(SPOILER ALERT: I met them.)

(It’s actually amazing how impactful this one-week period in my life turned out to be.)

2. BUT WHO TOOK THIS PICTURE?

OK, based on my hair, this was the fall of 1998, and Lisa and I were certainly at a haunted house, and these were definitely guys we must have befriended in line, but I don’t really remember? I think this could have been at Allen’s Haunted Hay Ride? (Hey Erin, why not grab your old haunted house journals and check, that’s what they’re for, you know.) Actually, I think I kind of remember them, and one of them saying, “Whatever sinks your ship” in response to one of us saying “Whatever floats your boat”??? Also, why am I looking at them with such gross adoration?

But really, I want to know who took this picture.

Also, I don’t remember my hair being that curly. I thought I usually straightened it back then??

Also x2 I fucking loved that pleather jacket so much. It was from Contempo!!!

Sometime this weekend, I will peruse the ol’ haunted house journals and report back with THE DEETS. Maybe I’ll even TRANSCRIBE the whole sordid write-up. We’ll see how bored I am.

3. Before There Were Smartphones…

I used to scribble things that I wanted to blog about (back in the LiveJournal days!) on whatever scrap of paper I could find. When I stumbled upon this in the attic, I screamed because I totally remember what all these things reference: It was the spring of 2004 and these were things that happened while Henry and I were walking in one of the cemeteries on the Northside and Henry gave me the NOW INFAMOUS “moss is bad” speech, which my friend Alyson and I still reference and crack up over TO THIS DAY. Also, I remember wanting that sandwich (I think I was on the phone with Christina when I decided I needed this sandwich and wrote it down as a command for Henry, who dutifully went to Fredo’s in Dormont and procured said roasted veg sandwich for me.

The way I remember the most useless things, though…

4. MY PHIL COLLINS CONCERT PROGRAM!!

This is pretty self-explanatory but when Henry held it up from his corner of the attic, I screamed because obviously seeing Genesis in December had opened the floodgates of Phil Collins concert memories, and I could not for the life of me remember what happened to that program, and had figured I probably just never brought it with me when I moved out of my parents’ house in 1998.

Also, look at all the junk in the background! I swear we’re not hoarders. A good chunk of the stuff in the attic was all baby shit (a Pack-n-Play, stroller, etc) that we kept “just in case,” even though I was certain from the moment of THE C-SECTION that I was one-n-done, my friends. So, most of that stuff is now officially out of the attic. We still have a long way to go, though, because Henry has so many computer parts and other assorted accessories up there, and you can’t just throw that shit away. Plus, I have a TON of VHS tapes. So we have to find somewhere to donate those, at some point, ugh. Cleaning is so boring.

5. GAMEBOY PRINTER, ANYONE? 

I can’t even remember ever using this, yet here it is in my possession. I was hoping that maybe this was something that had turned into a hot commodity over the years, but according to eBay, these things are a dime a dozen. So now it went from cluttering the attic to cluttering my bedroom.

So, these are five things found during round 1 of Operation Attic Purge. Also found: literally like 4 boxes of letters from my penpals, such as my prisoner pen pal Aaron who used to complain to me about his baby mamas and then one day CONFESSED THAT HE LOVED ME and Henry was like, “Oh boy, took him long enough.” He might be out of jail at this point. He didn’t kill anyone, just shot some guy in the ass.

Dec 242021
 

Omg for this edition of Friday Fives, Henry is visiting to tell us about his fave reads of the year! Which* means he will tell me a botched title and then I will try to coax some descriptive words from him while he’s cooking shit for tomorrow’s Christmas dinner and then I’ll do all the typing too.

But sure let’s call it a guest post.

*(wtf I tried to spell this as ‘whitch’ THREE TIMES even though spellcheck was frantically trying to tell me I’m a big stoop.)

Oh, just a heads up that Henry’s opinions are based off the audiobooks alone. He doesn’t have time to read physical books but he powers through the audio versions while working and I’m so happy that he has been doing this because it’s been so much fun having a built-in book club at home.

Fun fact: Henry’s favorite genre of book is THRILLER. (“Probably,” he added as an afterthought.)

1. Bunny – Mona Awad

“It bas a unique premise.”

2. Bear Town – Frederik Backman

“The story and characters were well-written.”

See also: Henry has a voice crush on the narrator.

3. Nothing To See Here – Kevin Wilson

“It was a very interesting story….and it had the same narrator as Bear Town.”

4. House In the Cerulean Sea – TJ Klune

“My favorite character was the antichrist kid.”

5. The Diviners Series – Libba Bray

“I just liked the story and the characters through all the books, I dunno.”

****

Well guys that was literally the most I could pull from his brain. He didn’t even want to do that much and I was screaming JUST GIVE ME ONE FUCKING SENTENCE FOR EACH BOOK THEN OMFG.

So there you have it. If you ever wanted to read like Henry, now you can. Merry Christmas.

Dec 032021
 

Hi, Friday Fives. It’s been awhile! Did you miss me? I missed you. Let’s pretend like I never forgot to recount five things on a Friday and just, I dunno, base-jump right on in. Here are five rando things from the past week-ish, off the top of my fried brain. Like it or don’t like it, BUT JUST REMEMBER THAT HO HO IS WATCHING (or, Him Ho as my cats call him) (or Santa as everyone else calls him). This will probably be a quickie though because my blogging tank is running on E this eve.

  1. SPOTIFY STUFF

Oh Spotify, serving up some seriously shitty designed graphics for everyone to spam their Instagram friends with. Yes, I am everyone. My top genres cracked me up though. I’LL ALWAYS HAVE ROOM FOR SOFT ROCK IN MY DESICCATED HEART.

And in case you were wondering, my top 5 artists were SHINee (duh), NCT Dream, NCT 127, Taemin (duh), and DANCE GAVIN DANCE. I will always love my post-hardcore bands. Oh, and all of Henry’s top 5 songs were Kpop, because he’s KPOPDAD. I still laugh when people assume that he doesn’t like kpop and is living in hell over here. He will happily watch every music show performance of whatever comeback song has me screaming lately. SOMETIMES HE EVEN REQUESTS IT.

2. Shot Solidarity

Henry and I were off work on Monday and Tuesday. The cats had their annual check-up on Tuesday which included RABIES SHOTS so in order to take one for the team, Henry and I found somewhere that was giving the covid booster without appointments necessary. It was under this bridge in McKeespo—lol sike. It was just at a pharmacy inside Shop n Save. It was definitely less exciting than getting the actual vaccine, that’s for sure!

I had read numerous articles about how mixing the vaccine when getting the booster can actually be beneficial to building immunity, so when the broad asked if we wanted to stay with Pfizer or switch to Moderna, I blurted out that I wanted to switch. Of course, I had major vaccine-allegiance remorse right after that, but Henry followed suit and we both cheated on Pfizer like redheaded hoes and LOOK PFIZER, I’M SORRY I REALLY AM. I wish I could take it back, especially the next day when Henry and I felt like we were both dying after having no side effects whatsoever with either dose of Pfizer aside from a sore arm.

Luckily I work from home, because halfway through the day on Wednesday, I really felt like I was at death’s door (OK MAYBE I JUST FELT A LITTLE FLU-ISH AND THAT’S MY DRAMA STUDENT ALTER EGO TALKING). I didn’t have a fever even though I really like it should have been like 137 degrees FAHRENHEIT because I’m a dumbo American.

Anyway, by that evening, my back was BROKE, bitches. I dunno if it was a nerve thing or what but I was having actual problems standing without the support of my hand on a wall or whatever. I was getting pretty scared and even wondered if I was going to need to go to the hospital. I ask, was this the fault of MODERNA or me being a stupid workout freak?

Henry went to bed at like 8:30 that night because, and I quote, “WHEN PEOPLE AREN’T FEELING WELL, THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO REST AND THAT IS WHAT I AM GOING TO DO” so he left me alone downstairs and I kept looking at my FitBit, feeling anxious that I only just barely made my step count for the day and I really felt like I still needed some kind of supplemental workout since I had been half-lying on the couch in a fugue state most of the night. So I did a 20 minute Paul Eugene CHAIR WORKOUT FOR SENIORS.

They say that every little bit of movement helps, and…that’s exactly what this was: a little bit of movement, lol.

The next morning, I texted Henry and told him I did that and he was like YOU ARE UNBELIEVABLE but I think he meant actually INCREDIBLE.

And also maybe I’m addicted to exercise. Yeah, I am. There I said it. It’s a sickness. But a….healthy sickness?

3. FIRST XMAS CARD OF THE YEAR!

And it’s from my good friend, Alyson, who really knows how to address an envelope, lemme tell you! This cracked me up so hard!

It’s been so long that I almost forgot what started this and then I remembered that it’s because Henry’s mom, back in the day, kept sending cards addressed HUGELY to Henry and then my name would be a tiny (& Erin – usually spelled wrong) squished at the end like the most squiggliest afterthought of a period. And the actual reason it used to irritate me was that I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE MAIN, OG RESIDENT OF THIS DUMB BROOKLINE SHANTY. I lived here for like 3 years before letting idiot Henry move in but oh my god, MAN OF THE HOUSE trumps all.

4. Henry’s colorful bowls

Henry has been making me really beautiful salads lately. This is a seasonal switch from the just-as-beautiful smoothie bowls he had been previously making me until it started to get too cold for that and I said that he was going to need to make me hot smoothie bowls, to which he said, “so….soup?” Oh yeah, soup lol. But for now, salads will do!

5. GHOST GLASS

I forgot to show you people the cute color-changing glass I bought myself as an October pick-me-up from Etsy! The ghosts change from brown to white as the glass cools. I love it and am also terrified that one of these dumbos in my house will break it – oh wait, they’d have to actually wash the dishes for that to happen HAHAHAHA.

***

Also, this just in: Chooch came home from work while I was tap-tap-tappin’ away and said that he’s burnt out from working at McDonald’s and is going to start looking for something new. He’s definitely not tired of making money but he wants to make more of it so I dunno, good luck FIFTEEN YEAR OLD.

Oh wait here’s a bonus video because I’m re-obsessed with Pierce the Veil and my love for this song was rekindled truly & madly & deeply in the car over the weekend. They are currently recording the fifth album and I am so excited!!

Have a great weekend, where ever you are, and whoever you are lol.

Oct 292021
 

The weather in Pittsburgh this week has been chilly & rainy. Now, I’m no sissy when it comes to walking in the rain, but sometimes I do prefer getting my steps in without fucking around with an umbrella. Thank god for walking workouts on YouTube, amirite? In honor of Halloween, I thought it would be fun to share some of the ultra fun “spooky”-themed walking and dance cardio workouts I’ve been supplementing my exercise regimen with this week!

  1. Sharona’s Hill

I just found this person’s channel  this week and she has lot of fun themed dance and walking workouts that are low-impact and great to get the heart pumping in the morning! She has one with German pop hits too and that one is my favorite. If you hate exercising, this routine is guaranteed to make you smile instead of grimace! Oh, and BONSU: she also has a really fun RHPS one too!!

2. EMK Fit

I appreciated this because I such at intricate, extensive choreo but this broad only gives you two different steps for each song, and they’re done HIIT-style. So I actually kind of felt like I was dancing! And she deviates from your standard usage of “Thriller” and “Monster Mash” and uses great songs like “Disturbia,” “Rama Lama (Bang Bang)” and “Heads Will Roll.” I had so much with this one!

 3. Aqua Jade

It was pouring down rain this morning so I swapped out my post-breakfast stroll with this one which had me cracking up because it was basically like if I decided to start making YouTube workout videos, let’s be honest. This was kind of a mess but so much fun and I LOVE THAT “I JUST DIED IN YOUR ARMS TONIGHT” AND “SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME” ARE BOTH INCLUDED, YESSSS.

4. Up to the Beat Fitness

You just can’t go wrong with Gina B. She never fails to make me feel great! Even when I’m crampy and bloated and refusing to “take it easy,” I know that I can find a nice, low-impact dance cardio routine on Gina’s channel that will give me an energy boost. And it’s even better when it’s Halloween themed!

5. P.E. with Mr. G

OK listen, Linda, this is totes for children but I did it to kill time one day and it literally made me giggle out loud because it’s so stupid.

So, hopefully if you’re looking for a quick, easy workout to do at home, you’ll  try one of these! And as a bonus, here’s the brand new NCT127 video, which is vampire-themed – just in time for Halloween!

Oct 082021
 

There is nothing quite like a Friday in October to get the butterflies in my belly all boisterous. I love this month so much!  I am going to write about FIVE THINGS today that have me in a GOOD MOOD, which means I can’t write about the ongoing DOMESTIC DRAMA on the other side of Hot Naybor Chris’s house, because that is not very good mood-inducing and is actually just very sad and depressing so we’ll save that one for a rainy day, literally.

  1.  Autumn always has me thinking about that good ol’ goth chatroom I used to frequent back in the late 90s, Darkchat (don’t Google that because whatever you’ll find is 100% NOT where I used to spend my Internet time!). I was living in my first apartment, this was back in 1998, and didn’t have a computer of my own. My mom had just bought this BRAND NEW THING called WebTV where you literally used your TV to connect to the Internet. I started going over there late at night after I was done working (at EchoStar lolol) just so I could fuck around on this Internet thingaling. I literally cannot remember how this happened, but as a joke I found this goth chatroom and thought it would be fun to infiltrate and pretend I was goth except that I immediately made a ton of friends and realized that I actually kind of fit in there. WHO KNEW. Anyway, my little bro Corey, who must have been about 9 at the time, started going to this chatroom too, using the name “Franklin” (literally after the Nick Jr cartoon about the turtle) and would enter the chat by saying, “Good eve, all.” I just thought about this the other day and was cracking up so bad because I don’t think anyone realized an elementary school kid was so very deftly holding his own in a chatroom-full of brooding goths. This into has nothing to do what I’m about to say next but I just wanted to share it because I thought it was so cute! But the real point of this is to say that “Franklin” grew up to become PITTSBURGH’S #1 REAL ESTATE AGENT! THAT’S MY LITTLE BRO, YOU GUYS!!! I am so proud of him and look forward to the day when I can really push him to his limit with my very specific criteria of: COTTAGE CORE BUT ALSO TURRETS, ROOM FOR HENRY TO BUILD SECRET PASSAGES, POTENTIALLY HAUNTED.

2. Speaking of being PROUD of people younger than me, our very own Chooch has his first job interview today after school. This kid has been salivating at the prospect of getting a job since he was like 10. He is money-hungry, ambitious, and self-motivated the nth degree and now he is finally of age to get a part-time job. Neither Henry nor I have told him that he has to get one – this is all him. He went around collecting job applications on his own, got the necessary shit from the guidance office at school, and even went to the fucking Board of Education in Oakland on his own to get his student work permit. (I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW HE NEEDED TO DO THAT, THANK GOD HE HAS ASKED ME TO LIFT NARY A FINGER IN THIS WHOLE PROCESS.) And now, today after school, he has an interview at a nearby McDonald’s where one of his friends also works, which he is able to easily access via the T. On one hand, I’m like, “Where did this child come from” but then I remember that I also was super into the idea of getting a job when I was in high school and applied EVERYWHERE which is how I memorized my SSN# and never forgot it. However, when I did eventually get a job, it was at the dollar store at the mall. On my very first shift, I got into an argument with a customer, went on my break and never came back. Never bothered to get another job in high school after that lol. Last night on the way home from a haunted house with Janna, he was calculating how much his paychecks could potentially be if he gets the job and how he will take $20 out of each paycheck for afterschool spending money and save the rest. Please let him always have these values, oh god, please.

3. Speaking of HAUNTED HOUSES, Chooch and I went to Rich’s Fright Farm last night with JANNA. It was only my second time hanging out with her since Pandemic Times started, and Chooch’s first! Anyway, even though she was 40 MINUTES late getting to my house last night, Chooch and I managed to forgive her and we all had a WONDERFUL time. I forgot hw cathartic it is to push her into chainsaw guys and scream JANNA LOOK OUT every 2 seconds. My chest actually hurt from screaming and laughing so hard AND it wasn’t crowded so at all so that was a big relief because even though I had my mask, who wants to be herded through a haunted house with a crowd of people who may or may not be vaccinated, NOT ME. This place used to have a SLIDE that was really well placed so that when you reached the bottom, not only were you a bit disoriented, but now you’ve got monsters in your face. I remember specifically the one year we landed ourselves right in the middle of a bunch of undead debutantes twirling around at a BALL. It was amazing and creepy.

I call this one: JANNA EXITS THE PORTABLE POT.

4. The other day, I found the little Flatwoods Monster figurine I bought at the Flatwoods Monster Museum a few years ago when we were on our way home from Dollywood. It was in one of my billion purses, none of which I have been using much over the last year and a half since I don’t go anywhere aside from amusement parks these days. But anyway, I was so happy to find it because I thought it was LOST. I put it on my very special Souvenir Shelf, which is one my fave spots in the house because, well, isn’t that why we buy souvenirs? To be reminded of the fun we had in awesome places?! I’m super into souvenirs, even if it’s just something simple and cheap like a magnet (although, hello inflation – magnets aren’t very cheap anymore!!). Anyway, here is my Souvenir Shelf! Also, Henry cut this shelf from neon acrylic!

That penis-shaped thing is my favorite, lol. It came on top of a bottle of medicinal wine from Jeonju, South Korea. I guess you’re supposed to drink from it. Most of the stuff on the shelf is from Korea, but there’s also stuff from Japan, Italy, Morocco, Toronto, Australia, and a seashell from Wildwood lol!

5. Do you guys ever have that thing happen where you think of something that you haven’t thought of in a really long time and then it comes up 2 or 3 more times in the same week? I used to know the name of that phenomenon but now I forget. Oh what’s that you say? Google it like a real professional blogger would? OK hold please.

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon (a.k.a. the Recency Bias or Frequency Illusion) The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, otherwise known as the frequency illusion or recency bias, is a situation where something you recently learned about suddenly seems to appear everywhere.

Ehhhh…..sort of? In this case, it wasn’t something that I just learned. We were watching Squid Game last week and I made some offhand comment about how the character Kang Sae-Byeok resembles, in a way, the OG Swedish Pippi Longstocking. It’s the shape of her face and freckles that does it, I think. Of course Henry was like, “Um OK sure” because we never agree on anything. But then, after I said it, I was like, “Aw, Pippi” in my head because I loved/hated that when I was a kid. It was actually quite terrifying!

OK, so then a few days later, The Best Realtor in Pgh texted me and was like REMEMBER WHEN I WAS OBSESSED WITH PIPPI LONGSTOCKING, THE SWEDISH ONE? And I was like, “Bruh.”

THEN!! Yesterday, my beloved TOP from BIGBANG posted this on Instagram:

WHAT.DOES.IT.MEAN? Aside from that I need to re-watch this as an adult, pronto.

Bonus Friday Fact: My birth dad’s last name was actually Pippi!! Thank god my mom remarried when I was so young so that I didn’t have to go  through school as Erin Pippi. Granted, now I go through work days being erroneously called Kelly in emails by people outside of the department, but whatever. I’ll take that, I guess.

Also!! Chooch is an idiot and fucked around in Oakland after school instead of getting right on the bus to come home for his job interview, resulting in Henry having to meet him at the T-stop near McDonald’s so that he could change his clothes in the car, and he made it into McDonald’s right on time…..for them to tell him the interview needs to be rescheduled.

For tomorrow.

When we will not be in town.

NEVER MIND!! Henry just called me and apparently they’re doing his interview now after all.

Sep 172021
 

Hello. Here is a very half-hearted Friday Five. I have had a pretty down week.

THE RACCOON

There was a raccoon on our porch two nights ago, helping himself to the squirrel food in the bistro. It was so exciting! I screamed about how I had never seen a raccoon that up-close before, and Henry gave me the REALLY look and then I was like, OH….YEAH. Anyway, I wanted to give him some other things to snack on, so I grabbed a pack of cat treats that Henry recently bought for our cats because, unlike me, he is not aware of their finicky palates and did not know that this was a kind of treat (or TRIT as they call it) that they will not eat.

They watched me retrieve the bag. “Look, you guys don’t like these ones,” I reminded me, and put two on the ground for them so they would see which ones I had. Yeah, you’re right, we hate these, they said with their noses stuck up into the air.

But then they saw me toss some outside for the raccoon and oh, oh KAPCHUGGI they remembered that they too like these treats and went back and ATE THE TEST ONES I PUT OUT FOR THEM.

Totally out of principal! Cats really are such dicks. Lol.

Anyway, the raccoon was totally cute and using his cute (but probably deadly) paws to drag the treats closer to him and I wanted so badly to run out there and throw my arms around him but HENRY MY CONSCIOUS was like, “Erin…”

NEW RING

I bought me-self a new ring from Little Rooms <3 Commence a bunch of pictures of me pretending to be a hand model in 3…2…

I QUITE LIKE IT. I also bought a necklace that says TRUST ME on it, with a hand with crossed fingers LOLOL because that’s me.

A DELICIOUS PROJECT

A few weeks ago, Chooch and his friend Zakk went to the Exchange near our house and came back with a Goonies movie poster. I guess Chooch told him that I like that movie and Zakk bought it for us! This meant that I needed to make sure it was framed properly. When I told Henry that my newest project idea involved Baby Ruth wrappers, he was out the door before I evenhad a chance to finish the sentence, lol. This was a project he GLADLY contributed to!

The gold coins came from whatever recent arcade ticket cash-in transaction Chooch was a party to.

제가 바나나들예요

Oh boy, another Nooworks shirt! This was actually the first I ever bought. I love banana prints!

BUDDY

OK. I have been dreading this day, and I don’t even want to write/talk about it, but I will just say that on Saturday evening, Henry and I found one of my Buddys in the road by our house. We had literally just talked to him on our way to CVS. I was scolding him because he had tried to cross the street and a car had to abruptly stop to avoid hitting him. He ran back onto our side of the street and jumped in a tree where he watched me while I shook my finger at him and pleaded with him to be more careful. My heart was pounding but I was relieved he was OK.

Then, only about 10 minutes later, we were walking back from CVS and I saw him lying in the road, on the same block as our house. Henry kept saying things like, “Um, no, I don’t think that’s a squirrel….” but I knew. My eyes are bad, but they’re not THAT bad.

It was one of my Buddys. Pretty sure the same one we had talked to moments before. He didn’t appear to have been hit by a car, because he was fully intact and there was no blood, and oh my god this is killing me to relive….but he was dead, you guys. I asked Henry to bury him but I think he was already prepared to do so. I couldn’t just leave him in the middle of the street! So he is now buried with a peanut behind our house and my heart aches so bad. What if we had been a minute faster in CVS and we could have prevented this!?

I knew this day would eventually come. I am beyond attached to these guys and we live on a busy street, and…it was inevitable. Life is so fucking awful. Nature is horrific.

I want to believe that…maybe he was old? Maybe he was in the process of crossing the street, and his heart was like, “It’s time…” It still sucks, but that is what I need to believe.

Girl Buddy is still here, and a bunch of other Buddys, and the Mr. Gray Guys. But it still hurts knowing that the gang is now minus one big bushy brown tail.

</3

Aug 272021
 

Yeah, I’ve got very little in me right now so let’s see if I can actually dredge up five whole things from the swamp that is my mind.

1. Hubcap Heaven

I saw this picture of Clarissa Explains It All on Instagram the other day and cracked up because for some reason back when this show was on TV, my mom had really latched on to the fact that she (Clarissa, not Melissa Joan Hart, certainly not the Nickelodeon set designers) had hubcaps on her wall.

So then my mom was like HUBCAPS AS DECOR? LET’S DO IT TO YOUR ROOM. And for some reason, I was like, “Sure let’s” even though I can’t imagine why middle school me would have been into hubcaps.

Even though we were $$$$, my mom decided that in lieu of purchasing shiny new hubcaps, we would just collect them from the streets. “You know, they’re always falling off of cars. If we see one, we’ll just grab it,” she said, like we were some fly-by-night design team.

Do you know how many we collected?

ZERO.

But to this day, every time I see a fucking hubcap on the street (LIKE YESTERDAY ON MY WALK HOME FROM THE DENTIST), I think of this and how excited my mom was to turn my room into an auto body shop.

My room was actually way more awesome than Clarissa’s, now that I’m really looking at it. Ew.

2. Speaking of the dentist….

I went to the dentist yesterday and for the first time since the whole DENTAL DEBAUCLE started back in…2016? 2017? when my childhood dentist retired and I went on a tail spin, I had a GREAT exam! The hygienist first of all loved my dragon fruit purse and we had a great chat about accessories and she told me that my gums looked great and then the dentist came in and was like WOW WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT LOOKING GOOD and I had to look around for the hidden camera because usually he is very doom & gloom and telling the hygienist things like, “WE HAVE TO KEEP AN EYE ON THIS” and “I DON’T LIKE HOW THIS LOOKS” and then he will make grumble sounds under his breath and I panic.

“I HAVE BEEN WORKING REALLY HARD,” I blurted, and he said that HE CAN TELL.

Friends, let this be a warning: do not lapse on your dental exams because you will end up having to get TWO deep cleanings (one by the regular dentist and another ULTRA INTENSE PROFESSIONAL DEEP SCALING by a real life PERIODONTIST). This is what happened to me. I switched dental insurance and my childhood dentist didn’t accept the new insurance and instead of looking for a new dentist, I fell into a FIVE YEAR dental hiatus and that was enough to cause damage even though I was vigilant with brushing and flossing on my own.

3. Henry’s Blue Bunny Honey

Ok let me try to rewrite in a more thrilling manner the story that Henry told me last week about his new WORK BEAU.

Henry has been back on the road, making FAYGO deliveries while they’re short a driver at Faygo Factory. He happened to be making a delivery at this one store last week at the same time as a Blue Bunny ice cream delivery guy. While Henry was in the store, the Blue Bunny guy was going through the store’s order and came upon a STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE popsicle that had the stick protruding from the wrapper. Unable to include damaged product in the order, the guy told the store owner that he would write it off. Then he turned to Henry and said, “Here,” AND GAVE HENRY THE DAMAGED BUT STILL EDIBLE FROZEN DELIGHT.

Honestly, I find it hard to believe that Henry didn’t call me to tell me this straight away, as receiving a free popsicle seems like something that would be worth a telephone call by Henry’s excitement standards.

But no, I didn’t hear about this at all until later that same week, when Henry and the Blue Bunny guy crossed paths AGAIN at another store. This time, Henry overheard the Blue Bunny bro telling the customer that he would credit them for a smashed ICE CREAM SANDWICH. Hearing this likely gave Henry a hard-on, to be honest. Sadly, he did not present Henry with the day’s damaged goods. OR SO HENRY THOUGHT.

Because after it was Henry’s turn to talk to the customer, he went back outside to leave and saw that BLUE BUNNY BUD HAD LEFT THE ICE CREAM SANDWICH ON HENRY’S TRUCK!!!!!

Oh shit son, I was sweating with the giggles at this point. Henry has an admirer!!

(he just walked past me and said that he hasn’t seen him since then. FUCK. What if that guy moves on to a Pepsi guy in Henry’s Faygo-scented absence?)

4. Siblings at Cedar Point

My mom texted me this picture from I believe 1993 and wants us to recreate this and I’m like, “Wow, go back to Cedar Point? Twist my arm.” I can confirm that these…what do you call these things? I can’t remember!! are still there so it’s a viable plan. Both of my brothers say they’re game so let’s see what’s up, fam.

Also, I think it’s funny that the height order is now reversed, almost 30 years later. My brother Ryan said, “I’d still be in the middle though” and this is true. Somehow the youngest sibling has become the tallest – Corey towers over both of us!

5. Let’s End On a Hot Note

I was super into Andre Agassi when I was a YOUNGIN’ so I decided that I need to incorporate this picture of him into my 1980s kitchen somehow and then I fell down the rabbit hole and ended up buying a tennis racket from the early 80s from eBay and Henry was like, “the fuck we doin’ with this now” and I guess I want him to hang it up in the kitchen too!? My cats have never seen a tennis racket before and were NOT INTO IT when I was using their cat toys as tennis balls and serving that shit all around the house.

Man, I miss playing tennis. I was so good at it as a teenager but am willing to bet that I’m a pathetic frump at it now. Also, tennis is the reason my back is EFFED for life. Still love the game though!

***

Well, on that note, I’m going to sign off because the humidity is making me ooze down my chair on a sheath of sweat. Maybe something exciting will happen this weekend but I doubt it. CIAO FOR NOW.