Apr 032019
 

I needed a recent non-iPhone picture of Chooch so we had a super-quick photoshoot yesterday before dinner, and Chooch was less-than-thrilled but he did go along with it without too much fuss and didn’t even hold out his hand for payment like he normally does these days.

Right before we went to go outside though, HNC had just parked across the street so I told Chooch I wanted to wait for him to go in his house because I’m more paranoid and twitchy than a tweaker under a Seattle bridge in 1991. It took him so long to cross the street, I couldn’t even believe it. Every time I looked out the window, he was STILL in the street so then I wondered if he was playing Frogger, maybe that’s what he does to blow off some steam after a day of doing whatever it is HNC does.

Finally, Chooch looked out and said he wasn’t there anymore, so I flounced out of the house like a weirdo with my camera, but HNC WAS STILL ON HIS PORCH, UNLOCKING HIS DOOR. And then Chooch came out of the house so HNC was all, “WHOA! YOU LOOK LIKE SNAZZY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!”

And Chooch just got all nervous and mute, so I said, “Oh, we’re just doing a photo shoot.”

“Oh! Where?” he asked, probably giving us way too much credit and thinking we were going to…Olan Mills, lololol.

“Um, behind the house,”  shrugged and he was just like, “Oh…ok. Have fun!”

But then I did that thing that I do where I’m trying to act like we’re not doing anything weird (and we actually weren’t!!!!) by continuing to spit out superfluous small talk.

“Thanks! Yeah, I need some 13-year-old pictures of him,” I over-explained, and then after HNC said he understood, I tacked on, “Plus, I like to abuse him” and nervously laughed.

“Nothing wrong with that!” HNC laughed, and we walked away.

“Why did you say that?” Chooch hissed. “Now he’s going in his house and calling CPS!”

LOL.

But really, hopefully he didn’t.

So last week, Chooch had to give a presentation on the project he did for Black History Month. His subject was James Beckworth and after two months of hearing about this guy and going to the main Carnegie library to look for books on this obscure guy, all I can  tell you is that he climbed mountains.

I don’t even know when he was alive.

Anyway, his Communications teacher is real uptight when it comes to things like this, which I actually appreciate because he is going to be so prepared for high school reports, etc., and she makes these things super formal. So even though the presentations only last 5-10 minutes, she expects every kid to dress up for it. Usually, Chooch waits until the last minute to drop this on me, but this time he gave me three whole days notice only because he wanted me to buy him a lavender suit!?

Trust me, I love the idea of a lavender suit. So many styling options! Such photo ops! But I wasn’t buying him a lavender suit for a five-minute presentation.

Perhaps for his first dance or…mock trial?

So my response to that was BOY YOU WILL WEAR SOMETHING YOU ALREADY HAVE IN YOUR CLOSET and then I remembered this red blazer that I bought back during my shortlived I AM GOING TO BE AN AVANT GARDE FASHION DESIGNER phase but that quickly ended once Henry was like, “No, I am not buying you a sewing machine because you’ll never use it and then I’ll get stuck finishing your projects.”

….so?

Doesn’t this red blazer look fabulous with his watermelon shirt?! Even he agreed that it was the next best thing to a lavender suit, so we didn’t have to go through our usual head-butting routine. This is what he wore for his presentation and we all lived happily ever after.

KOREAN LESSON TIME: The word for watermelon in Korean is SUBAK.

EXTRA CREDIT: The word for pumpkin in Korean is HOBAK which sounds like ho-bag which makes me think of high school because ho-bag was the cordial “hey bitch” greeting of the 1990s.

He said his teacher’s reaction to his outfit was, “….THIS CHILD.”

Lol.

I can hear her saying that too. She is super sassy and has super-threatening acrylics. Chooch is always like “UGH Ms. SMITH” like everyday but I think he secretly likes her and she definitely likes him because she pushes him extra hard and he is obsessed with getting the best grades in her class.

In other Chooch news, this happened on Saturday:

They’re actually going to have tteokbokki for him this month! I’m not sure if I ever said it on here before, but that Teen Center (it’s actually called the Teen Outreach) is amazing and our neighborhood is so lucky to have it. They offer all kinds of extra-curricular activities like cooking classes, yoga, improv (which Chooch just signed up for) and he also gets paid to attend these weekly “Manhood” classes where he is being taught all the important things (re: PUBERTY, sex, etc.)  that Henry hasn’t talked to him about, and also things like HERE IS HOW TO RESPECT WOMEN, which we do talk about but how many boys don’t know these things!? A ton. And this awesome group is doing their part in preventing future date rapes / domestic violence / sexual harassment.

And yes, I did notice that there is something similar offered for girls, as well.

They even have field trips! He went geocaching last week and learned about aqua pods or something equally as boring, I can’t remember. And they go on hikes during the summer so they’re not actually all sitting around on dirty couches playing video games like I originally thought.

Man, I can’t believe I used to make fun of this place and get annoyed that he spends so much time there.

Anyway, that concludes my obligatory Chooch update.

Jan 072019
 

Look, we all make mistakes. My latest one was falling for some Instagram ad for this awesome looking tiger* coat that LOOKED like something one would wear outside in the cold, and  the price was reasonable so I bought it and then quickly realized it was coming from China, so RIP my hopes and dreams. 

*(The description on the website says it’s a Dragon but it looks more tiger-like to me?)

**(OK, I sort of get the dragon-esque vibes now.)

It took a month and a half to arrive and I knew before I even opened it that it was going to be a dud. The package was too small and light! Oh, that’s because IT’S NOT A COAT. It’s more like…a robe. And it feels like something you would buy at the Halloween store! Like Dracula’s cape! I had just finished sending them an irate, increasingly ALL CAPS email threatening to burn their warehouse to the ground, when I turned around to see Chooch modeling it and I was like OK FINE WE’LL KEEP IT. He made it look cool!

He wore it to his piano lesson yesterday (“I feel like this is something G-Dragon would wear,” he said, which made it even better of course) and his teacher Cheryl loved it. (She has a neck tattoo now?! She is even cooler than before! I love neck tattoos! Well, the cool ones, not the prison ones.)

Then we did a quick photoshoot which didn’t involve any arguing, surprisingly (between Chooch and me; I emasculated Henry for a good seven minutes straight, don’t worry.

It’s an empty bottle guys. I think it might even the same bottle that was there when we took pictures at this same location 2 years ago so you can go ahead and put down that phone now. 

I’m so mad this isn’t a legit coat! I’d have fucking worn it everyday. But as it is now, Chooch likes to throw it on (along with a gas mask) when he hears Blake and Haley going outside to smoke NO NOT BECAUSE HE’S GOING TO SMOKE WITH THEM PUT DOWN THE FUCKING PHONE but because he likes to lecture them on how smoking is bad for their health. So this is like his uniform for that new role in life. 

We watched Bird Box last night but Chooch wasn’t wearing his new “coat” during it.  I was mildly interested after hearing all the DON’T DO THE BIRD BOX CHALLENGE warnings, but truth be told, Sandra Bullock is one of my least favorite actors in the whole entire world and I have been pretty successful in avoiding her for the last decade or so. But my mom was all, “You have to watch it! I watched it 5 times!” 

So we watched it.

My spoilerless thoughts:

  • What a waste of Sarah Paulson
  • It didn’t live up to the hype in my eyes (horror is my favorite genre) but I did like it and it did freak me out and made me scared that this could be the future
  • I’m glad it didn’t go the Cloverfield route
  • S.Bullock was mildly acceptable in this role

This is also isn’t a spoiler but she had two kids in the movie: a boy and a girl named Boy and Girl. Chooch said he was surprised that I didn’t name him Boy and I told him I almost named him Orphan instead SERIOUSLY STOP CALLING CPS IT WAS A JOKE. 

Chooch’s final thoughts on the jacket was that it reminded him of something that a rich man would wear while laying in bed with 10 prostitutes, so…a Huge Hefner robe? I don’t know how he knows about that. Go ahead, you can call CPS on Henry. 

After all that,  I texted my mom and she said she hated the ending so I was like THEN WHY DID YOU WATCH IT 5X.

PROBABLY THE SAME LOGIC I HAD FOR BUYING THIS DUMB GIGOLO ROBE.

Nov 272018
 

The last time we were in Tennessee was in 2011 with our friends Bill and Jessi, and we missed them so much this time around! I remember when they invited us to go with them that year, I was like, “Ew, Tennessee. What’s even in Tennessee?” and then found out that this area in particular is A FUCKING WONDERLAND. It has something for everyone! Country crap for country people. Old people shit for old people. Church garbage for Christians. Outdoor junk for nature nerds. AND A ZILLION TOURIST TRAPS FOR ME.  We will get to all that stuff later.

On Saturday, aka Dollywood Eve, we made some time for some Smoky Mountain action, because you can’t go to the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area without doing at least a little bit of nature shit.  I made sure Chooch changed out of his stained hoodie (literally got like 48 stains on it just in the four hours it took us to get from our hotel in Beckley, WV to Tennessee — just watching him eat lunch made me realize that I failed as a mom because my kid is 12 and still needs a bib) and into socially-acceptable garb beforehand, and then we set off for the Great Smoky National Park or whatever, where Henry was immediately at wit’s end with us and praying for a bear attack.

He’s so mean. :(

I’m not the most nature-y person, but damn, it’s really fucking beautiful there you guys. Not a bad view anywhere. (Unless someone with a MAGA hat gets in your line of vision.)

Second time in the Smokies and I still don’t know how to spell it.

Senior picture practice.

He’s a good sport (mostly) about these photoshoots and always has a pose or two of his own to contribute. Um, like this one.

We actually kind of got along during our scenic stroll through the bear-laden woods. (I was so afraid of getting attacked! Are they hibernating yet? I’M NOT SURE!) I felt like we were, I don’t know, making family memories or something. Like some day, Chooch will fondly recount this day to his future kids and they’ll be like, “What’s a mountain? What’s a tree?”

OMG WHY DID I TYPE THAT NOW I’M SO DEPRESSED.

Mood.

Here’s some more that I took with my phone-y-phone-la-la-la.

My favorite part was when Chooch and I were practicing exaggerated walking moves from Leslie Sansone walking workouts and didn’t realize that there was a family having some type of celebratory picnic nearby, watching our every move. THEY WERE SO JEALOUS OF OUR CREATIVE WALKING. I think this was the point where Henry ran back to the car ahead of us and tried to lock us out.

It’s nothing short of a miracle that he didn’t:

  • faceplant on a rock
  • fall into the water and get swept away into the jaws of a bear

How many murders have happened in these woods.

In Korean, the word for mountain is SAN (산) which you would know IF YOU READ MY KOREA TRAVEL BLOG POSTS.

God, you guys. The things you could learn from this stupid blog! IT IS A TREASURE TROVE OF TRIVIA.

We kept making Henry pull over at overlooks and he was getting so pissed because people weren’t parking to his liking.

We came here last time too!

Man, for only being in Tennessee for two days, I have so much to tell you! So, check back or whatever.

Oct 172018
 

Being off work this week, I didn’t expect to see Chooch much at all because he always has places he “needs” to be after school. However, I was graced with his presence both Monday and Tuesday, but it turns out that’s just because the stupid Teen Center where he loafs (lol, such a dad word) is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and he’s on the library blacklist until Saturday.

(“All the librarians hate me! I don’t even do anything there!” he cried incredulously when explaining to me his latest banning. This time, his sentence is for two weeks and “Denice” hates him so much that she even intercepted him when he popped into the library last week to use the water fountain. “I was CHOKING, my throat was SO DRY! They wouldn’t even LET ME HAVE A DRINK!” he wailed. I don’t even want to know what goes in that library, but his latest offense couldn’t have been THAT bad because that damn library has our phone number and no one called.

And by “our” number I mean Henry’s number, lol.)

After he finished his homework on Monday, we decided to watch a horror movie. We settled on “Open House,” which is part of Netflix’s cache of shitty horror. It wasn’t the greatest, but it was home invasion and that always gets me good. Chooch and I bonded over it because it’s centered around a mom and son; the dad recently died when he went to the store to get eggs (AND HE FORGOT THE MILK THAT HIS WIFE ASKED HIM TO GET) so when Henry said he was going to the store later that night, we were like, “WE WILL GO WITH YOU. WE DON’T WANT YOU TO DIEEEEEEE.”

Of course Henry was clueless because he’s never part of our things.

So we went to Giant Eagle with Henry, which he loves because it guarantees he’ll spend 5x more money and get treated to a grand finale of Chooch dramatically reading tabloid headlines in the checkout line.

We made Henry buy some ugly squash hybrid because it looked like a corpse and he was not thrilled about it and I just looked in the kitchen and noticed that it’s gone so apparently he cooked it already and I ate it without even knowing?!!?!?!??!!?!?!?!?

Chooch came home after school on Tuesday too and after he did his homework, we were bored because Henry still wasn’t home from work so I was like, “Let’s go for a walk” and Chooch was like, “OK” and then I also grabbed the camera on the way out the door and Chooch was like, “Wait—I didn’t agree to this” but then he was posing with nary a cue from me because this is his second nature, guys.

He’s a poser.

Henry drove past us on his way home from work and covered the side of his face, pretending like he doesn’t know us. OK HENRY, YOU’RE SO COOL.

We walked down Brookline Boulevard and I wonder if people in Brookline are like HERE COME THOSE WEIRDOS AGAIN like we do about people in Brookline. I mean, it’s almost always the same people carousing the boulevard and we’re part of that, when you think about it.

OMG WE’RE LOCALS.

Henry saw this picture asked, “WHERE IS THAT” like he was all paranoid that we’re hanging out at some drug shack or something.

On the way back home, we saw two of his jerky little ex-friends who we hate because they think it’s cool to use various “gay” slang in a derogatory manner, and they harassed one of Chooch’s friends and called him fat, then got all aghast and offended when Chooch stood up for the friend. I already hated the one kid and he knows it, so both of these little brats got all nervous when they saw me walking with Chooch, and Chooch and I started giggling.

Oh, the best part is that they’re only in 4th grade, hahaha. I stared them down once from the front door and Henry was like, “Wow, you’re bullying fourth graders. I’m so proud of you.” Whatever, Blake hates them too!

The best part is that they try to prank call Chooch but they call Henry’s phone, thinking it’s Chooch’s, and leave the dumbest messages like, “Hi this is the drug store. Come to the Teen Center if you want to buy weed.” Like, OK dumbass 4th graders, good job.

The Teen Center is open today so I probably won’t see Chooch right after school but he better not be TOO LATE because we’re going to Rich’s Fright Farm tonight with Jannnnnnnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

(I have a lot of pent-up energy. I love being off work but good god damn, I am not great at being alone!!!)

Sep 182018
 

Wow, what a classic combo. Ice cream and laundry. That was our Sunday, ya’ll! Here are some pictures of us doing those things, taken with my phone and also the “good camera” that I always forget to use because I half-ass everything I do in life. That’s the ERK-way!

I made the poor choice of going to Al’s Cone Zone which would have been fine had I not seen their sign boasting PUMPKIN SPICE SOFT SERVE IS BACK. I wasn’t even feeling particularly pumpkin-y on Sunday, but there I was, standing in front of the order window, hearing myself slow-mo slurring the words, “Pumpkin ice cream cone, juseyo” and being served some frozen chemical sludge inside a cone.

Oh it looks pretty, sure! But it tasted like how a pumpkin Yankee Candle smells and I just couldn’t get down with it, no pumpkin patch square dances for us, this cone and I were over before we started, aniyo aniyo aniyo, etc.

Luckily, I have a sucker of a boyfriend who promptly traded his regular-tasting twist for my frozen fall cologne cone.

But the whole point was, I don’t know, FAMILY TIME or something. Chooch is at that age where he’d rather just stay home alone or go to the dumb Teen Center than be seen with two old heads, so I guess we should have felt #blessed that he even joined us. Whatever! I’m still cooler than he’ll ever be.

Later, we joined dumb Henry at the laundromat because I felt like doing a photoshoot but Henry was like IT IS SUNDAY EVENING, THERE WILL BE PEOPLE THERE and he was right, but Chooch and I still acted like dicks so Henry left us and went and sat in the car after putting in a load of clothes. Henry is ashamed of us.

Chooch and I eventually got bored (after 10 minutes) so we walked home and left Henry there to do all the laundry labor.

And that’s all. Ice cream and laundry. The end.

Mar 192018
 

Here’s a story about shoes because I am just that boring these days. Last weekend I was at the mall because I wanted new shoes for vacation. First I went to Journeys because I wanted Adidas, but for some reason I ended up gravitating to this one pair of Vans. The kid who brought out my size would not stop hovering and it was so awkward because each shoe was 100% unlaced so I had to struggle with that while under a spotlight and it was just too much for meek ol’ Erin. Like, can a girl lace up her shoes in private, please?  I barely tried them on. I got one on my left foot, wiggled my toes around, declared it A Fit, and then checked out. As the kid was sliding the box into the bag, the Journeys guy at the register next to him looked over and said, “Ooh, Vans platforms! Nice!”

I laughed nervously and as we walked out of the store, I whispered to Henry, “What did he mean by that?” and Henry was just like, “I only pay attention when people are talking about plain New Balances, so I don’t know.”

I quickly looked up the shoes on my phone and they were definitely platforms, like an entire inch and a half. I hate platforms! I’m 5’4″ and like being on the shorter side! So now these shoes just looked like fucking pee Wee Herman shoes to me. “Well, I can’t wear these. We have to take them back.”

Henry wanted to do it right then but I was like, “THAT IS EMBARRASSING. You can return them tomorrow.” Lol.

So he did, he went to a different mall the next day and returned them for me. Then I went to a third mall on a mission to just buy the fucking Adidas I had my eyes on in the first place, and even though Henry tried to veer me in the right direction, I was like, “No. I want to try this place first.”

And that is how I ended up in a store called Jimmy Jazz, purchasing a pair of soft pink Pumas from the juniors section. I loved them for half a day until I wore them to work the next day and realized after the fourth time I tripped on the walk to the trolley that they were just too big. How did I not realize this at the store!? The fact that they’re a 6.5 and my other kids’ shoes are a 5 should have probably been a good indication, but I hate shopping and just want to get the hell out of the mall and all I cared about was that they felt cozy.

Of course they felt cozy! They’re nearly two sizes too big! My fucking feet could have a banquet in there! They were flopping around like it was the 1990s and slam-dancing was still a thing!

I don’t know what that means!

Let’s just say that the shoes were too big and I looked like an idiot shuffling around downtown in clown shoes.

Even aside from wearing them, Henry had already thrown away the receipt so I couldn’t exchange them for a smaller size. So I gifted them to Chooch who doesn’t want them because OMG they’re pink and hello they’re not even really PINK, thank you, but more of a CORAL!! in the key of Rick Grimes.

Maybe even you could say salmon.

He won’t wear them to school but he did wear them out around the neighborhood yesterday (and almost immediately stepped in a pile of HUGE dog shit logs). I MEAN IF THE SHOE FITS, AMIRITE?

Anway, here are some pictures of him in the shoes because if I can’t get my $45 back, at least let me use them as a goddamn prop.

I also forgot to mention that I bought a really cute pair of Iron Fist shoes to wear on Valentines Day and they too were too big and have sitting in a box in the backseat of the car for over a month because Henry and I keep putting off sending them back.

I don’t know you guys, I think they’re cool as hell and Chooch can honestly pull it off, pink or not. We did have to turn around and run into an alley at one point though because he saw jerks from his school and didn’t want to be seen, but I’m not sure if it was the shoes or his MOM he was more ashamed of.

Well, that’s my story about how somehow after 38 years I have turned into the goddamned Goldilocks of shoes. I’m 0 for 3. Bye now.

Feb 262018
 

*(I asked Chooch what he wanted to call this set and he said, “Furry. No. Wizard Fox. No! You’re a Wizard, Harry, but spelled h-a-i-r-y, get it?” Ugh.)

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I shoved pictures of my kid in your face. But my mom got him a Spirit Hood for Christmas and I promised her pictures, so blame her and the fact that I finally upgrade my old Canon Rebel after 10 years of abuse and mostly loyal service so I need to get used to this new one over the next month else I lose my temper in Korea and punt the bastard into the East Sea.

(The camera, not Henry.)

So far, it hasn’t angered me!

His shirt says “It’s all about the journey” and when we were walking to CVS later, some broad commented that she liked it and he gloated so hard because people usually are usually saying they like my purse or phone case or rings or tattoos OR ALL OF THE ABOVE because if it that were my shirt, it would have said, “It’s all about the accessories.”

The lady down the street who we don’t know but almost drove him to summer camp one day two summers ago (IT’S A LONG STORY) told him he has nice kicks and it was everything I had in me not to scream, “YEAH WELL I PICKED THEM OUT.”

(Chooch will be in his 50s and still bringing up that time I almost let him get into a stranger’s car. SHE TOLD US HER NAME AND SHE HAS A CUTE DOG, I’M SURE YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE, CHOOCH.)

We were out there for a full 7 minutes and didn’t fight! Well, except for the fight we had right away when I yelled at him for having food on his face as usual.

Thank you for eye-balling these photographs. Carry on now.

Nov 072017
 

On our nightly walk last night, Chooch’s butt was cold.

“It feels like I just had Botox,” he said, describing his cold ass. “Kind of. Maybe. Nevermind, I don’t know what Botox feels like.”

So we dipped into the laundromat in order for him to warm his butt up. (It’s not even winter yet!)

For some reason, I felt compelled to to go back to the laundromat again tonight and take pictures. And not just because I was looking for an excuse to walk past my taco cart boyfriend!

(Henry’s favorite time of the evening is when Chooch and I go on these walks, though I wonder if he ever gets nervous that we’re running amok in Brookline.)

So, here is a fake photoshoot at the laundromat with Chooch. This Tuesday night honestly had nothing else going on. (Except voting! Which I did. Get off my back.)

Henry rolled his eyes when we showed him this picture. #jealous

Right after I took this picture, some broad came in to get her clothes out of the dryer and gave us the “WTF are yinz doin'” look that we know all too well. So we dipped out of Suds after that. Thanks, yinzer lady.

I wonder how we look to outsiders.

Henry thought it was hilarious that we were at the laundromat since neither one of us ever helps him with laundry. Maybe we’ll go with him next time, check out his laundromat (we’ve never been there, since he switched without telling us, remember?!?!), and do another photoshoot.

OMG MAYBE WITH ACTUAL SUDS?!?!

Sep 162017
 

 

Chooch volunteered to do a photoshoot the other day because he wanted me to buy him Roblox money, whatever that means. So we went to an alley in Brookline because the weeds and garbage are on point back there.

Kpop vs Everybody, you guys. It sure feels like that sometimes! Although, Chris came over last night and completely let herself be immersed in our crazy culture takeover. Henry even made us japchae, and we watched Running Man and Bigbang videos and THEN WE DID SOME KPOPX.

It was such a fun night. Especially when Chooch and I took her on a Friday night walking tour through Brookline to get ice cream and she got to hear a bunch of people screaming because BROOKLINE.

I mentioned this once before, but this garage door is at the back of Las Palmas, a Mexican grocery store here in Brookline. About a year ago, some racist pricks (Trump supporters, for sure) spraypainted Mexican slurs on it but sucks to be them because this beautiful mural was Brookline’s response to THAT noise. Don’t fuck with our peeps.

(I have a major crush on one of the guys who runs the famous taco cart out front of the store. He has an eyebrow ring and he very sweetly says hello to me when I walk by which is often I’m a psycho walker, but if Henry is with me, THERE IS ONLY SILENCE. Henry ruins all of my crushes.)

Chooch got his hair cut a few weeks ago and it was TOO SHORT. But it’s growing, slowly but surely, and Chooch is starting to look like his old self again.

Still, some of these pictures make me do a double-take because he looks too old and I hate it.

Because he was getting paid in fake Internet money, Chooch was fucking FULL of poses on this day, man. He’d be talking all casually and then see me raise the camera and get all Blue Steel on me.    

This picture was on SCHOOL GROUNDS. I was like “Do you think we’ll get in trouble?” and Chooch pointed at a sign that said something about how absolutely NO USE of the school grounds was tolerated without permission from the superintendent or something. “I mean….” Chooch shrugged.

And that was that. 45 minutes of picture-posing and NO FIGHTING. It’s because Henry wasn’t with us.

 

May 292017
 

The first game of the Stanley Cup finals is on right now and I’m trying to keep from ripping out my hair by editing photos.

So here are some photos of Chooch being mad that he’s a part of my therapy.

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Taking these pictures took all of five minutes but he was SO PUT UPON because his dumb neighbor friends were waiting for him to start some lame Roblox game for them to join, whatever that means.

The end.

May 202017
 

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Oh hey, today I woke up and decided that I wanted to boss around Henry and Chooch some, and the best way I know to do that is to find some schmancy get-up to stuff Chooch in and then yell at Henry to hand me whatever lens I need. I DON’T KNOW THEIR NAMES. I AM A FAKE PHOTOGRAPHER.

We went to Buttermilk Falls, which was the location of the picnic we had once in celebration of me not dying on a carnival ride in 2013. (I just made the sign of the cross, because I’m religious when I feel like it.) Instead of just dumping these so-so pictures here, I thought it would be fun to ask Chooch some questions about his life currently.

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Me: I’m going to ask you some questions now. Isn’t this fun?

Chooch: *heavy sigh*

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Me: What’s your favorite thing about 5th grade?

Chooch: I don’t know. Why do you make me do this.

Me: Was the grilled cheese Wesley’s mom made you better than my grilled cheeses?

Chooch: You don’t even make grilled cheese…..do you?

Me: No…

Chooch: Exactly.

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Me: What is your current favorite Kpop song?

Chooch: Ugh. No. Um, “Signal” I guess?

Me: What is your current favorite food?

Chooch: Veggie burger.

Me: Talk about being a vegetarian.

Chooch: It’s amazing.

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Me: What is your favorite TV show?

Chooch: Um, hard to say. I have a lot that I watch on Netflix.

Me: Well, just recommend three of them.

Chooch: They’re all kids shows! No one cares!

Me: UGH FORGET IT. NEXT QUESTION.

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Me: What was it like to crowd-surf at the Emarosa show?

Chooch: Spooky, and scary…skeletons.

Me: You’re wearing a Cardboard Swords shirt in these pictures. Would you recommend them to people?

Chooch: Sure. You recommend every band you like to people, so why not.

(I think what he means is that I shove my music faves in everyone’s face constantly.)

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Me: Talk about Spencer.

Chooch, in his weird Corgi Mania voice: Spencer!! *throaty giggles* Spencer’s awesome! Spencer’s a Corgi! No, not a Corgi. An amazing Corgi. A Corgi who walks past my house everyday and I pet him and he loves me!

(Chooch honestly gets delirious in Spencer’s presence. He was excited yesterday because now Spencer rolls over when he sees him and I was like “Yeah probably so you’ll think he’s dead and leave him alone!”)

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Me: Why do you reject Korean food?

Chooch: Because YOU like it.

(Oh that little fucker better wait. His birthday cake next year is going to be one giant chapssal-tteok.)

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Me: Why don’t you have a hand in this picture?

Chooch: I went to a bar and someone stabbed it off of me.

Me: Any big plans for when Grandma Judy watches you alllllll summer long? Family Feud marathons? Go Fish for money?

Chooch: I’ll be going to Wesley’s all day.

Me: What if Wesley goes to camp?

Chooch: Well then I go to camp.

(WHAT IS SO FUCKING GREAT ABOUT WESLEY.)

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Me: If you started a band, what would you call it?

Chooch: The Bambi Penises. 

(He’s been calling Drew “Bambi” lately, and we call Penelope “Penis” sometimes, so there’s that.)

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Me: what’s so great about those dumb spinners that every kid has suddenly?

Chooch: They come in a whole bunch of different varieties!

Me: Wow. Riveting. DONT YOU KNOW YOU CAN DIE FROM THOSE. 

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Me: If you were a tour guide in Pittsburgh, where would you take your tourists?

Chooch: Spencer’s house. *erupts in giggles. 

Me: *MEGA EYE ROLL*

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Me: Do you think the Penguins will win the Stanley Cup?

Chooch, with that cheery monotone enthusiasm of Today’s Youth: Yeah. Hopefully.

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Me, bothering Chooch while he’s trying to concentrate on some adult connect the dots book he got today, and not “adult” as in connect the STDs to each porn star, but as in each page has hundreds of numbers: Quick do a haiku. 

Chooch: Bambi is special / Peen Lop never gives a crap / She needs more friends quick. 

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Me: If you could be penpals with any celebrity in the world, who would it be?

Chooch: Dan & Phil.

Me: That’s two people, and they’re not even celebrities, they’re lame YouTubers. 

Chooch: They live in the same place! Fine, just Dan. 

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Me: Do you want to go watch Running Man with me. 

Chooch: NO.

Feb 272017
 

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Sunday was another beautiful day! I was (mostly) in a good mood and Henry and Chooch were (mostly) cooperative with my whims.

The highlight was meeting up with Amber1 for lunch at First Watch. She got a new job recently so I was really happy to see her–we all miss her smiling face, boy band obsession, and conversations about pink salt at work. :(

This was a first time for both of us at First Watch and we both quickly decided we would go back again soon because the menu was full of healthy bullshit and we like that.

“I have to bring Brian here,” Amber said about her fiance. “I think he’ll love it!”

I was about to say something about bringing Henry, but I think he would hate it. They have avocado toast on the menu and Henry is confused by this trend. Personally, I loved the place! Amber and I both had amazing kale juice and I felt like a Californian…or someone in Lawrenceville. Amber got the aforementioned avocado toast and luckily didn’t make the same fatal mistake I once made by eating avocado toast without taking a picture of it first because if you eat avocado toast without taking a picture first DID YOU REALLY EVEN EAT  AVOCADO TOAST?

This same thing happened to me two weeks ago with Halo Top.

Meanwhile, I had major ordering remorse when I got some granola stuff which was delicious, but only would be good if you were a solo diner or with someone who does most of the talking because that shit does not make conversing easy. Every time I tried to say something, I think I flung some oats out of my dumb mouth. My jaw hurt from all the chewing! I eventually gave up and asked for a take out container, at which point I nearly missed the container altogether and came oh-so close to dumping that nutritious shit into my lap.

“My boyfriend usually does this for me,” I nervously laughed as the waitress stood there waiting for me to act like an adult and take care of shit so she could take my empty bowl away.

Speaking of the waitress though! She was really fantastic and even brought us samples of the juices to try. One had turmeric in it and our waitress went on to sing its praises. She had both of us convinced that we need to introduce turmeric pills into our daily routine, so of course I ran home and told Henry that I need turmeric pills.

“Koreans don’t use turmeric,” he said, and I totally believed him but now I’m wondering if he just said that because he doesn’t want to get involved with the turmeric industry.

Anyway, it was so great to see Amber1 and it made me realize that aside from various parties (and the Color Run!), we have never really hung out with each other outside of work. I hope that we make hanging out a habit! We have lots of BIGBANG things to discuss.

When I came home, Henry was standing on the steps, measuring the wall so that he could hang up my Circa Survive tour poster that he finally bought a frame for. He was on the second step from the top, and I was all the way at the top, telling him about all the wonderful food at First Watch that he would probably hate because grains n’ quinoa n’ at, when SUDDENLY he lost his footing and ALMOST FELL DOWN THE STEPS!

He caught himself just in time and then proceeded to fuck with the measuring tape like it was no big thang what just happened, so I did all the freaking out on his behalf. And by that I mean I screamed, “OH MY GOD, YOU ALMOST JUST RUINED OUR WEEKEND!”

And then down the steps, I yelled to Chooch, “DADDY ALMOST FELL DOWN THE STEPS AND RUINED OUR WEEKEND!”

“Ugh, I wish he would have,” Chooch sighed. “Then I wouldn’t have to do this stupid photoshoot.”

Oh yeah, about that.

A few weeks ago, I bought this black velvet blazer at Goodwill with the intention of dressing it up kpop style for Chooch. One night I was looking at it and I thought to myself, “What Would G-Dragon Do?” and since I’m not a billionaire fashionista who hangs with Karl Lagerfeld, I went to the craft store and bought fun-fur and googly eyes.

And then I told Henry what to do with the fun-fur and googly eyes. And after he hot-glued them up his ass, I had him put the rest on the blazer.

We went to Homewood Cemetery later that afternoon. It’s been a hot minute since we desecrated that place with our shitty presence! Long story short, the first fifteen minutes were VERY VOLATILE and I got busted throwing a major temper tantrum by a trio of college girls who were traipsing around with their cameras. I tried to play it off like I wasn’t about to go all Mo’ Murda on my family, but I JUST DON’T LIKE IT WHEN THINGS DON’T GO MY WAY!

And then I flung my hand in the air in exasperation and one of my rings flew off my finger and I couldn’t find it!

“What ring is it?” Henry asked calmly, prodding the grass with his hands.

“THE GOLD BAND,” I wailed.

“What does it look like?”

“It’s a GOLD BAND,” I repeated.

“But what does it look like?”

“ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING IT’S A MOTHERFUCKING GOLD BAND, MOTHERFUCKER. IT LOOKS LIKE A BAND THAT IS GOLD,” I seethed.

For fuck’s sake!!!

(It’s a ring I got in Greece and I wear it on my ring finger so that I can pretend I’m married.)

Thank god Henry found it. I’m wearing it on a fatter finger now so that won’t happen again.

(Meanwhile, Chooch just sat in the grass, taking this whole scene in and smirking because his parents are fucking idiots.)

ANYWAY, here are some pictures of Chooch in his new haute(glue) couture blazer, looking fucking fabulous and he knows it.
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“I feel like this is something G-Dragon would do,” Chooch said, looking all aegyo. I AM BRAINWASHING MY FAMILY AND I LOVE IT.

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Praying for it to end.

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Hey guys, before you send the Cemetery Popo to my crib, please know that these flowers were discarded on the road. We didn’t steal them from someone’s grave – WE’RE ONLY DICKS ON SATURDAYS. After Chooch was done with them, he picked a lonely grave to lay them down on because he is a good, good boy (THAT’S A G-DRAGON SONG).

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I showed this picture to Glenn and he was like, “Did you hot glue those to his eyelids too?” and then made some CYS joke and I was like, “OH HO HO CYS has already been to my house for photos I’ve taken in the cemetery.” (Truth. We can laugh about it now.)

(But honestly, WE JUST USED TAPE and it was CHOOCH’S IDEA. HE WANTED THOSE ON HIS EYES. HE ASKED FOR IT OK.)

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Oh yeah, he hates this.

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We had to use a lint roller on the blazer every 4 minutes because I didn’t buy designer fun-fur, OK? I bought the $2 pelts that shed like a cat with alopecia.

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GOOGLY EYE SELFIE.

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After all the initial fighting, it turned out to be a great afternoon in the cem! One of the reasons I like to do these fauxtoshoots is because it gets us out of the house doing shit for free, and then we usually end up having a pretty good time. And I get to add to my collection of Embarrassing Photos of Chooch to Show His Future Dates.

If nothing else, this blog post taught me that it’s TURMERIC and not tumeric.  Who knew. Not me.

Feb 182017
 

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Today was a perfect Saturday, mostly because we all got along (an amazing feat) and Chooch even let me take pictures of him without any push-and-pull or bribery! However, when I asked him what we should call this photo set, he said, “I don’t give a fuck” so there you go. IDGAF.

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The other night, Chooch told me that I looked like Lady Gaga threw up on me. I’ll take that as a compliment.

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That eyebrow/scowl combo, you guys.

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Chooch got his hair cut last Friday by some guy with a handlebar moustache. It looks nothing like the picture of TOP we gave the barber for reference, but it’ll do. Henry bitched the whole time about the salon being such a hipster cesspool, but then pacified himself by perusing the barber’s own line of beard oil. Oh, Henry.

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Afterward, we walked to Scoops to get ice cream and even though the place was packed, I felt no anxiety at all. On another day, I probably would have said NOPE and left Henry and Chooch standing half inside the shop. That’s how I know for sure today is a good day. I think Korea is saving my life.

Feb 062017
 

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Well guys, one of these days Chooch is going to smother me in my sleep and can you blame him? His little neighbor friend walked over when we were taking these pictures in the backyard, stopped abruptly, and then slowly backed away.

Chooch was like, “Great. Awesome. Thanks.” Meanwhile, he had told the kid that he couldn’t play right now because he was “doing chores.”

“Yeah, I’m uh…’doing the dishes’. I’ll be over in a half hour,” he said when the kid called him on Henry’s phone*. THIS IS MY LEAST FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD CHILD TOO. Of course he’d come snooping.

*(All the kids call Chooch on Henry’s phone. Chooch knows better than to give out my number. #kidallergy)

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One of the things I wanted to do this year was actually use my half-broken camera more often instead of relying on my iPhone all the livelong day. Little did Chooch know that he was going to get roped into helping me uphold this fake resolution.

LOL who are we kidding, he totally knew.

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This only took about 20 minutes though, and then he was back to being a normal 10-year-old kid again, running amok with that jerky neighbor kid.

“Just think,” I said. “Someday, we’ll have an entire portfolio of fashion shots for you to show your future girlfriends.”

“Future girlfriends? I’m not showing them this shit!”

Lol duh. That’s my job, dummy.

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I made Chooch a hair appointment for this week, and I’m sure he’s really glad about that now after being tortured with hairspray and clips. I honestly can’t believe he lets me do this shit. Which makes me believe that he secretly finds this SO MUCH AWESOME FUN.

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Right? Look how much fun he’s having!!

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“FML.”

Oh well, I got paid back later when Henry went to do laundry, leaving me with the daunting task of making dinner for Chooch, and as if microwaving his French bread pizza wasn’t hard enough, he wanted it cut into quarters as well?! I BURNT MY HAND trying to cut that shit.

And then he could only eat three of the quarters because the one was rock solid from over-microwaving. So there.