Aug 072018
 

Hi, I’m back with the shocking conclusion of my previous post, Being Tourists In Pittsburgh. WOW, HOLD ON TIGHT. Just kidding, feel free to flail around.

After we left the Heinz History Center, we walked Jessi back to the hotel so she could get started with her pre-Rocky Horror performance process. We didn’t want to be the ones responsible for jinxing her by pulling her away from that, so released her to the Omni William Penn and then continued walking to Millie’s because Bill said he was down for ice cream but I think he knew he didn’t really have a choice because I was like, “Millie’s is the best; we’re going.”

Look, Pittsburgh has got a lot of great ice cream options but Millie’s is the one that always wins a spot on my itinerary when I have out-of-town guests visiting. (So like, twice so far, lol.) They just make really delicious, fresh ice cream and sorbet made with local ingredients and they’re always getting involved with the community—you know the types! Just all-around great people and Henry loves it because you can buy little packages of waffle cone pieces which I think is genius because what else are you going to do when you’re making homemade waffle cones and one breaks? YOU DON’T THROW THAT SHIT AWAY.

Also, they plug the butts of the waffle cones with a marshmallow so you don’t get melted ice cream tracks running down your shirt and arms like I generally do everywhere else we get ice cream cones.

The main reason I wanted to go to Millie’s (I mean, other than to treat my awesome friends to some great ice cream!) was because they updated their Instagram that morning with a new flavor: BLUEBERRY PANCAKES.

The description is what really sold me though: fresh blueberry compote, homemade syrup from some dude name Paul, and, this is what sealed the deal for me: real pancakes from Square Cafe in Regent Square. I love Square Cafe and I love pancakes so I wanted to eat this on that day, it was imperative.

It also did NOT DISAPPOINT.

They actually ladle the syrup right on top of the scoop!

Chooch got his standard scoop o’ chocolate, which inspired Bill to do the same. Peer pressure, Bill’s got it. I always mock Chooch for having such a basic palate but Millie’s chocolate actually is indescribably perfect.

I forget what Henry got. One of the sorbets, I think. Who cares.

We went back to the Omni after that and Bill was dumb and invited us into their room without even bothering to squirt us with holy water first to make sure we’re not vampires. Jessi was still getting ready (she was being the Criminologist for that night’s show so she had a lot of costuming to do!) so we decided that we were going to investigate this so-called fifth floor that most of the elevators skipped over. Bill said he noticed that there was one particular set of elevators that actually had a button for the fifth floor, so we sought out that one and then held our breath while it descended.

However, when the doors opened, we were immediately disappointed. I guess I was expecting something out of Nightmare on the 13th Floor*, hallway all blood-red with fancy tapestries and gaslight sconces, Victrola music humming from behind someone’s locked door.

*(HAVEN’T YOU EVER SEEN THAT MOVIE?! It was a 1990 made-for-TV movie that USA frequently played and it scared the shit out of me. Look that up.)

But no, we could tell right away that it was just a floor full of offices.

Such a let down.

Then we went to the room where the convention was happening because there was a raffle drawing about to take place and Bill and Jessi had some stake in it.

“They haven’t checked anyone’s badge the entire time we’ve been here, so I don’t think it’ll matter if you guys come with me,” Bill assured us, and Chooch and Henry were like, “That’s cool” and never thought about it again, while I was being my typical “DEER IN HEADLIGHTS-TOTALLY SUSPICIOUS-LOOK AT THE SPOTLIGHT ON ME-I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE” self.

Henry said that there were some girls asking me about my purse when we walked in but I completely ignored them because I couldn’t hear them over the metallic ringing in my ears BECAUSE OMG ARE WE GOING TO GET BUSTED.

I felt like everyone knew we weren’t actually convention-goers and I was doing everything in my power to burrow myself into Henry’s armpit. I have many layers and one of them is that I HATE STEALING and I felt, in a way, that we were being thieves by waltzing into this convention without purchasing a badge. Granted, we only sat there long enough to watch some broad named MONTANA clean up on all the winnings.

Bill was irate.

We hated Montana after that! Plus, she wasn’t even present to collect her bounty! They should have tossed aside her tickets and drawn again! Don’t get me started on Montana.

Afterward, we went back to Bill and Jessi’s room. Jessi was nearly finished getting into her role by then, but Henry had just enough time to fall asleep in an arm chair.

His favorite thing! Sleeping in other people’s hotel room!

Then we piled into our car and drove back to the Hollywood Theater which is literally about a 5 minute walk from my house. The Hollywood is famous for being in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s also where the Rocky Horror Picture Show and the shadowcast has played for like, decades. Tonight’s show was special because it was going to feature an all-star shadowcast from different cities. Jessi had submitted an audition tape a while back for this and was accepted so when Bill asked us if we wanted to come out and watch her, how the fuck could I turn that down?

Henry and I had a brief parental powwow about whether or not we should take Chooch with us to this but then I reasoned that I was his age when I first watched RHPS. BLOG READERS, WALK WITH ME:

It was Easter of 6th grade (whatever year that was) and my BFF Christy (see also: Crystal Lite and Crystal McGoo-Goo) was sleeping over which meant we were in the market for some horror movie rentals. My aunt Sharon took us to Blockbuster (miss you, baby) and recommended RHPS to us. I mean, if one were to judge a VHS by it’s box, it did look like it had horror movie potential.

However, after watching it that night, we were immediately disappointed. It had it’s grotesque moments but it wasn’t the eye-covering 70s slasher film we were in the mood for. We grumbled about it for a bit and then went to sleep.

When we woke up the next day, however, I looked at Christy and whispered, “Do you want to watch that again?” and she was like “YES” and then WE DID and by the end of the second-viewing, we knew the Time Warp front and back, left to right, and I was writing diary entries entitled WHERE HAS TIM CURRY BEEN ALL MY LIFE. We were shook and hooked, you guys.

There was this one time when my mom hid the video camera inside the fireplace and recorded us doing the Time Warp. I texted her last week and asked her if she remembered this and instead of saying, “No, you must have dreamt that” which is her typical response when she doesn’t want to fess up, she said, “Lol, yes. Hilarious.” I’m sure that’s still floating around somewhere, along with footage of me dancing to Queen’s Radio Gaga with rollers in my hair.

We were so obsessed that we used to sing parts of RHPS songs as roller coasters at Kennywood would be carrying us up the first hill.

“I bet she doesn’t remember that,” Henry scoffed, knowing that none of my friends ever remember the things from our childhood that seemed like BIG MOMENTS to me.

But then I texted her and this happened, so fuck off Henry:

So, all of this is to say that I was pretty excited to be experiencing this all over again but with Chooch this time.

We arrived at the Hollywood before tickets went on sale, since we were basically the Criminologist’s entourage so Chooch, Bill and I sat on a couch in the lobby, where Chooch got his first taste at RHPS as all of the Columbias and Franks sauntered around before him.

He just kept shaking his head.

“You have no idea what you’re in for!” I laughed.

Pre-show selfie! I was so stoked for her, but also experienced sympathy butterflies.

Here’s a picture from the basement bathroom of the Hollywood which I have actually never been in, after literal decades of seeing movies there. I think it’s probably haunted. Anyway, I took this picture because my popcorn purse was getting mad love from all the RHPS convention attendees that day which made me glad that I splurged on this at Everland in Korea. I didn’t want the popcorn (although it ended up being delicious and banana-flavored, because Korea) but when I saw people walking around with it that day in the park I had mad visions of using it as a purse. I mean, it’s pretty clunky and only fits like, lipgloss and some change, maybe a tampon (I’ll have to try) but this bag is everything.

After sitting around for nearly an hour waiting to buy tickets (they weren’t being sold through the theater), Bill finally had enough and said, “THAT’S IT, WE’RE JUST GOING IN.” ANyone with a badge had free admission, so Jessi gave me hers since she was performing, but I still felt like, again, A FUCKING THIEF.

Bill reasoned that he and Jessi had given the convention people enough of their money and us not buying $15 tickets wasn’t going to hurt them, but I still felt so guilty and paranoid walking to the seats that Jessi saved for us. IN THE SECOND ROW. WE WERE PRACTICALLY SITTING DUCKS FOR THE CONVENTION PEOPLE TO SPOT. Chooch was oblivious and just sat there eating popcorn, checking out all the fishnets and corsets, but I was gnawing my fingers to the bone over this.

“WHAT IF THEY WALK AROUND AND ASK FOR OUR TICKETS?!” I hissed to Henry.

“Would you calm down?! They’re not going to do that.”

They didn’t do that.

It was fine.

We assimilated and no one gave us a second glance.

Bill bought Chooch and me prop bags, not considering the repercussions this would have on Henry, who ended up soaking wet and covered in covered by the end of the night. Also, as soon as Chooch was explained the concept of the prop bags, his attention was piqued and he was in it to win it.

Before the show started, they played the audition tapes of all the out-of-town shadowcast participants and we screamed our faces off when Jessi’s was on the screen.

Anyway, the show was fantastic and Jessi killed her part! Second to that, I had so much fun seeing this movie again through Chooch’s eyes. In the beginning, when all the RHPS virgins had to go up to the front and fake orgasms, Chooch was like SRSLY MOM WTF and Henry was just like FROWN FROWN FROWN GOOD JOB BRINGING OUR PRE-TEEN HERE, but then Chooch was so into the audience participation elements that he forgot he was witnessing age-inappropriate shenanigans with his parents and snapped his rubber glove with wanton abandon.

What a fucking awesome night with Bill and Jessi. I mean, all of our hangouts are totally memorable and hilarious, but this night is definitely up at the top. And I can’t think of anyone better to expose Chooch to RHPS than the people who played Cards Against Humanity with him when he was like 8 (and he won). And Henry only slept through some parts of the show, not all!

We went to Tom’s Diner afterward and Chooch had so many questions. So. Many. Questions.

He is in SO DEEP now that by the next morning, he had YouTubed all of the song-scenes, learned a bunch of call-backs, and is ready to go to Michigan to watch Jessi perform there with her cast.

I laughed a little bit to myself at work the other night because my boss was talking to me about Chooch and how many cool experiences he’s had in his short life because of Henry and me. “You guys are great parents! Taking him to all kinds of places that most kids his age don’t get to go!” and in my head, I was like, “Yes, like Rocky Horror Picture Show.” He is certainly well-versed in a myriad of pop culture categories!

***

A few days ago, he came home from the library and said that he was singing “Sweet Transvestite” and Liam and Markie were like, “What is a transvestite” so he explained it to them, and that’s my son, broadening horizons and opening minds.

***

P.S. Bill & Jessi ended up meeting Montana the next day and he said she was actually very nice so we felt for motherfucking her and all her raffle wins. OR DID WE.

Jun 282018
 

Let’s catch up with Chooch! I asked him some questions and then made him do all the typing because I typed all day at work and I AM DONE TYPING FOR THE DAY.

Latest Injury: Well, my latest injury happened on the 26th of June. A little backstory, I was with my friends, lets call them Kyle and Joe, when we decided to ride our bikes and scooters up to the boulevard. After riding up there, we hung out at the Cannon. I noticed my other friend, Bob with his two other brothers, wearing their helmets and dressed all nice, riding their bikes past the cannon. I called for them and they said they were heading for the park to go for a hike. We all tagged along, we started from a group of 3, then doubling to 6. Upon getting to the trail entrance, we split ourselves up into two troops. I was in Troop 1, with Kyle and Bob. We set our rides on the outside of the trail then continued forward. After hiking for a while, we made it to a clearing filled with weeds and tall grasses. We followed a path up a steep hill and we, Troop 1 was far ahead. So, we decided to hide from the opposing troop. I hid behind a tree, as the others did, but I felt like I wasn’t hidden as well. I jumped down deeper into the woods, then felt a pain in my foot. I fell to the ground and called out in pain. Everyone doubted at first, but they soon came to understand that I wasn’t lying. Troop 2 caught up and noticed me holding in the tears. I showed them all the bottom of my shoe, and they all saw it, too. The bottom of a glass shard pierced through. After unlacing my shoe we all saw the glass poking out. I took my sock off, and the oldest kid there said to tie it around the wound to put pressure. As they tried to get the glass out of my shoe, one of my friends called their dad to see if they could come get us, but we were in the middle of the woods, not really knowing where to go. His dad refused, so we just put my shoe back on, then tried to find our way out. I was in a Summer Program before, and we took this trail to get to the local park. We took it often and I kind of remember some of the areas we walked through. We made our way out to the park, and luckily the park had a Rec Center. So I made my way there, stumbling on every 10 steps. I opened the door and told the lady working there. She gave me a band-aid and had me apply some antibiotics on the cut. I threw away my sock and put my shoe back on. I grabbed my scooter from Kyle, then noticed that my other friend, Joe ditched us and went home. Kyle and I started to head home, too. We said goodbye to Bob and his brothers, then rode off into the busy Boulevard streets.

Current Favorite Song: My current favorite song is Empty by Boyinaband & Jaiden.

Current Favorite KPOP Song: My current favorite Kpop song is Energetic by Wanna One.

Favorite Memory From KCON Weekend: My favorite memory from Kcon Weekend is when I peed all over the Hotel Hallway floor! XD

What If Henry Was Into Fishing, Would You Go With Him, Ew Gross: Ha Ha! No! Maybe. Depends on if I like him at that time, and if we put the fish back.

Most-Missed Part of 6th Grade: Nothing. Maybe, my Math teacher I won’t have next year.

Least-Missed Part of 6th Grade: Ms. ~OH I’M SORRY! DR. Smith.

Favorite Thing You Ate In Korea: Tteokbokki! I loved the spiciness that was in there. It was just so tasty in my mouth! Especially the twig-um and the Tteok Kkochi (Tteokbokki on a skewer)!

If You Could Be Any Character On How I Met Your Mother, Who Would It Be and Why? I would be Barney because I love his sense of humor and personality. He is just my favorite character in general. I also liked how he would just stop listening in the middle of a conversation! Just like me!

Closing Thoughts, Advice To The Readers, Freeform: Audience, have a nice day, or night, and do something cool! Like walk around your block and pet some dogs! Adios!

Jun 132018
 

Hey, Chooch here! The last day of Korea went by with many tears and broken heart fragments left behind. The morning was the same as any morning in Korea, with my feet still sore from the pain and agony of the hills and miles we walked the night before. Although, we never know what we are going to do next during the day. I’m pretty sure this day was actually planned; we were going to Itaewon. We took the saddening subway, not because it was gross and disgusting in there, GOD NO! It was pretty much our last time hearing the beautiful subway jingle. I heard the *bloop* as my tear hit the floor. We made it to Itaewon, it was still early so nothing was open, except for the convenience stores that are open 24 hours; like every convenience store. We walked around and noticed that the streets were not cleaned yet after all of the clubbing and drunks the night before.

[Ed.Note: Chooch makes it sound like Itaewon was some unsavory area but it’s just a neighborhood that’s a popular hangout and go-to for bars and clubs. Seoul in general was pretty squeaky clean as far as litter goes which is a mystery considering how challenging it was to find garbage cans!]

As I wept inside my mind just thinking of leaving, I noticed the Line Friends flagship, the main one we were looking for the whole 10 days we were there. The reason we could not find it was because it just wasn’t listed on any website. The main thing that made this particular store so special was because this one sold BTS’ line of animals; BT21. Sadly, they were not for sale the day we went, otherwise we definitely would have got one or two. Other than that, I was promised something from this store because of the agony I went through during our journey through complex Gangnam, you know the city we almost died in because Henry got us lost and said, “Oh. There is no subway we can take to get there faster.” Although, we went back to our hotel through the subway down the street from where we went.

These are the BT21 animals that weren’t on sale. I found it hilarious how the horse/unicorn character is on his head. You know what? It probably isn’t a unicorn. If it was his horn would be snapped either completely or in half.

In the Line Friends store, there were many rooms, being used by the mascots for the company. The one I am in is Brown’s room. He was the most popular.. I should say the main mascot for Line. I should say what Line Friends is. DUH. Line Friends is owned by Line, a messaging company as like Kakao. Koreans use Line, or Kakao instead of the actual texting apps on their phones, I guess because it’s more aesthetic?

Staircase with the BT21 characters on the individual steps. My favorite character is the little cookie! He comes in a group and is just flat down cute.

Sally was my favorite character. No, Sally is not the rabbit on the ceiling of the yellow room, that is it’s own room. Sally is the chick you can see painting through the red, round window. I actually got a stuffed Sally. She is dressed up as a chicken, a grown up version of herself. I don’t love her as much as Peachy Boi “Apeach” from Kakao, though. Peachy Boi is definitely the best of all of Kakao and Line Friends, but Line Friends does have those BT21 character, so I’ll give em’ that.

Turkish ice cream in Itaewon 🍦

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

This guy was really cool! I ordered Turkish ice cream an I guess to show that the ice cream is sticky and sturdy, the man was taunting me by flipping the cone upside down and around, trying to make me grab it, but quickly pulled it back. He then proceeds to tap my nose with THE ICE CREAM. I don’t think he realized, and I really don’t care, but, “DARN YOU, MAN!”

As a conclusion to this post, here are 5 things to know before you travel to Korea.

Number 5: You should know some Korean, if not all. Entering stores, Koreans may not always say hello. They might say Annyeonghaseyo, or 안녕하세요, which is Korean for “Hello!” You would also need to know some Hangul, the Korean alphabet, because you may have to read menus/signs.

Number 4: Be aware of the ajummas, or the old women. They may seem like they hate you, but really, they stare at and push everyone. Don’t feel special.

Number 3: Learn how the currency works. If you don’t understand, obviously, you will not know how to trade in the U.S Dollar for Korean Won. $1 is equal to about ₩1.

Number 2: Know that Northeastern Asia is very mountainous and steep. Many interesting cultural villages are located on a mountain or hill. A VERY STEEP HILL. On the other hand, the pleasant hand, the trek is worth it. The view is also very delightful, from the top and from the bottom.

Number 1: Finally, know how to read a map. It is NOT very hard, especially if you were in the service for a long period of time. You need to know how to read a map because you may want to go  somewhere on the subway and you might not know how to get there, so you need to read a map. If you don’t know how, you will probably get your family and yourself lost.

In conclusion, those are some things you need to know before traveling to South Korea.

Jun 082018
 

Well, today was Chooch’s last day of school thank god. For a minute though Henry and I were convinced that maybe it was actually next week and for some reason I felt panicked about this because I had already posted the above photo on Instagram, GOD FORBID don’t wanna get caught in a lie on zee social meeds.

I’m grateful that we had a relatively drama-free year right up until last week when I made Chooch check his grades and then let’s just say LETTER WRITIN’ ERIN emerged and a terse email was sent to the art teacher but that story turned out to have several layers to it and I worked late shift today and am too tired to regale my three readers (plus the 100s that have come here today because someone posted an old blog entry of mine about a county fair on Facebook and I’m not on there anymore so I can’t see where it was posted but I do expect to be getting some nasty comments at some point because I talked shit on ALL WALKS OF LIFE in that post).

Um anyway, farewell 6th grade, the grade that teaches kids the meaning of being “stressed out.” Trust me, some of the assignments Chooch had to do in his Communications class had him in such a harried state you’d have thought he was writing a college dissertation.

Apr 252018
 

(See also: That Time I Forgot How To Spell ‘Twelfth’ And Had To Look It Up)

Well, it’s here. Another birthday. The one thing that has always stuck with me from when I was pregnant was someone telling me, “Time moves so much faster when you become a parent.” I thought this was a fucking joke because those nine months of being pregnant moved like sludge. But shit, it really does feel true, maybe because I’m so hyper-aware that he becomes less of a kid as every day passes and I just want to go around curb-stomping clocks and burning calendars.

And now he’s 12.

Just like that.

He was 3, just about to turn 4, when I started working at the Law Firm. It feels like yesterday.

My friend Christina was like, “Wait until next year when you have to start adding a ‘teen’ to his age” and that scares me too, but honestly when I  think about, he’s been acting like a teen for the last 10 years at least, so at least I’m sort of prepared.

Maybe?

He was about 3 months old in the above photo. Maybe 4? I’m a shitty mom, lol.

We had a small little celebration last night at Breakout, the escape room down the street. Chooch is obsessed with escape rooms and he and my mom have gone to three or four of them at this point but have never won because it’s always just the two of them, ha! So this time, we wrangled up a group of 7 (Chooch, his bff Sharyn, me, my mom, Janna, Blake and Haley) and we managed to escape with 4 minutes left! I’m so glad my mom joined us. She is hilarious, especially when we had to be handcuffed and she cried about how whoever found the key had to unlock her cuffs first and then I found the key first and made Haley unlock me and then we unlocked Blake while my mom was like, “HELLO” but then Blake was the hero and unlocked her cuffs since I’m an awful daughter, ha!

I didn’t care if we actually escaped so much as I just wanted to do better than Janna. I think she was low-key afraid to go with us because I hit her once playing Scattergories so she was probably thinking, “God only knows what she’ll do to me in an escape room…”

Afterward, we came back to our house and Henry and Calvin joined us for strawberry cake from the Priory, which was really good thank god because I’m a cake snob and it’s technically my birthday too so people should be glad that I was pleased.

It was nice to not have a full-blown party this year, especially since Korea was so close to his birthday, but I suspect that we’ll be doing something festive next year when he turns 13 because that’s a pretty decent milestone. Sigh. Maybe a recreation of his 1-year monster-themed party!?

For as much as we butt heads, this kid is honestly my best friend in the whole world. Who else would put up with my antics, let me slather make up on them and dress them in my clothes for lame photoshoots, cry actual tears with me when we watch videos of the Seoul subway announcement music, die laughing at random people’s birthday party videos on YouTube, learn all the names of 9-member Kpop groups with me, go on roadtrips for concerts, act as my wingman when we walk past my Mexican taco cart boyfriend, and just be the ultimate partner-in-graying-Henry’s-hair? Chooch is the best kid I ever could have asked for. He is so independent and smart, hilarious and sassy, and compassionate and empathetic. He’s wise beyond his years and can hold his own in conversations with adults (don’t get him started on his thoughts about Trump!). My friends are just as much to credit for him growing into such a cool guy. Henry and I are so lucky to have so many great people in our lives who love our kid, so thank you!

And now I will leave you with the last photoshoot of 11-year-old Chooch, taken last weekend. The theme was “stressed businessman” because he had slept over his neighbor friend’s house the night before which meant he didn’t sleep at all and had huge bags under his eyes in addition to being mad that I was keeping him from playing Fortnight.

 

 

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.

Dec 292017
 

Ugh, it was so cold on Christmas and while I would have preferred to stay inside, keeping warm with non-stop kpop workouts, I dragged Henry and Chooch to the cemetery because even though we cut out the hassle of the Christmas picnic this year (which sucks because how magical would cemetery kimbap be!?), I still wanted to get some photos of Chooch — you know, TRADITION, etc etc.

But it was extremely ill-planned and painfully cold, like “Call CPS, these idiots are forcing their kid into a frostbitten state” cold. So we wrapped it up after about 15 minutes and decided to just wait for a day when it’s warmer than in the teens. Plus, Chooch’s pants had cat hair all over them, so….

Hope it’s warmer where you are, friends.

Dec 052017
 

Hi guys it’s me Chooch and I’m going to tell you about how my dumb cat ruined my puzzle and I cried A LOT and then ran to my room and cried A LOT MORE.

No I didn’t cry. You’re right.

I SOBBED.

I WEPT.

Drew is the dumbest cat ever. I take back everything I said about my mom’s cat Penelope. Penelope is like a freakin’ dream compared to that dumbass cat Drew.

She’s not my best friend anymore!!!!

Also, I think Taemin is a really great dancer & performer.

***

Just kidding, it’s me, Erin. Chooch is still crying too hard to relive the trauma through writing. But that doesn’t make all of the above any less true! This puzzle is destroying our lives. First of all, Chooch is constantly nagging me to help him with it because he hasn’t learned yet that you have to let me do things on my own terms or I will freak the fuck out, so then he tells me I’m a horrible mom who doesn’t want to spend time with her son and I’m like, “IT’S BECAUSE YOUR ELBOW KEEPS BUMPING ME AND THEN YOU TRY TO GRAB THE SAME PIECE AS ME AND THEN, THE WORST PART OF IT ALL, YOU TRY TO TAKE CREDIT FOR PARTS I ALREADY DID!!!”

I was crying about this at work today and Glenn was like, “So, two 10-year-olds are trying to put together this puzzle.”

Why didn’t Henry try harder to stop this puzzle from entering our house?!

#BLAMEHENRY

And then it’s making Henry resent us because the puzzle is taking up his serial killer Christmas card work station, right smack in the middle of our busy season, so he’s been using the kid-size desk in Chooch’s room to fulfill orders.

(Speaking of Henry, he just came home with supplies from the craft store and sadly said, “See you guys later,” as he trudged upstairs to his makeshift greeting card sweat shop. I’m dying.)

What I’m trying to say is, even without the feline factor, this puzzle is TEARING MY FAMILY APART.

It all came to a head last night though. Chooch and I went for our nightly walk and he was excitedly telling me about how he’s about to make a big connection between two large chunks of the puzzle that we were working on over the weekend. He was so amped about this and I of course was just like, “Whatever, I did most of it.”

I’m competitive even with puzzles, OK.

Then we came home and it happened. Chooch went to pick up stupid Drew off the puzzle when it backfired. She went limp and then grabbed an entire corner of the puzzle, the part that Chooch, I mean, I was making so much progress on, and FLIPPED IT OVER.

Chooch processed the severity of the situation. Earth-shattering chaos ensued. And then he yelled at Drew! He’s never yelled at her before! But in between yelling, he was cooing, “I’m sorry I yelled at you. BUT YOU RUINED MY PUZZLE! I didn’t mean to yell at you. BUT YOU’RE FUCKING GROUNDED!!!”

I was on the phone with Henry while this was happening, because he was — where else — at the store*. So I relayed the situation to Henry, who was probably heel-clicking in the middle of the sad dad aisle because he wants us to give up on the puzzle so he can take back his table.

*(It’s a running joke in our house that “the store” is where Henry goes to get away from it all by mindlessly pushing around a squeaky cart while getting lost in the dulcet tones of grocery store soft rock. You do you, Papa H.)

With his hands against his head, Chooch yelled, “JUST TELL DADDY TO THROW THE WHOLE THING AWAY! I DON’T CARE ANYMORE!” He stormed off to his room in tears. I told Henry that Chooch was in his room, so Henry, who is able to control Chooch’s Echo with his phone, made Alexa play Dashboard Confessional’s “This Ruined Puzzle.”

That went over real well. Chooch came storming back downstairs which only resulted in him having to look at the puzzle again and then the fury returned. He was still sulking over it, trying to piece it back together, when Henry came home from the store.

More pandemonium ensued because Henry brought home ice cream BUT IT WASN’T THE KIND THAT CHOOCH WANTED SO YOU KNOW WHAT, HE JUST DIDN’T WANT ANY ICE CREAM AT ALL, GOODNIGHT.

It was only 8:30 but he was “putting himself to bed.” A classic page right out of Erin’s bi-polar playbook. As soon as he shut his door, Henry made Alexa play Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River.” Shit hit the fan at that point and Chooch started shouting for us to grow up and leave him alone and I was laughing about it but secretly was scared that maybe he might burn down the house.

He came barreling down the stairs and yelled, “YOU KNOW WHAT?!?!?” like he was about to verbally assault us, but then he stopped and broke down into psychotic laughter/tears and begged me to help him fix the puzzle, so I did because I was afraid of the fall-out.

[SIDE NOTE: Everyone thinks I’m the dastardly parent—I mean, I’m the reason we had CPS called on us once, right?—but Henry is like the sleeper hit of pranks around here. For instance, Chooch lately has been playing ambient sounds on his Echo at night to help him fall asleep; Henry waited until he was sleeping Saturday night before changing it to some horror soundtrack, with some creepy girl saying, “I’M GOING TO GET YOU” over and over. These are the best parts of parenting, my friends.]

“THEY’RE CIRCLING ME LIKE SHARKS!” Chooch cried that night in one of many attempts to perform puzzle surgery, while the cats prowled around under the table, waiting for their chance to pounce on more pieces. This is our life now. Anyone want to come over and finish this fucking puzzle for us? I lost interest in it the night we started it.

Nov 252017
 

After our visit to the Mattress Factory last Saturday, we walked up the street to hang out at Randyland. If you live in Pittsburgh, you probably for sure know about Randyland because it’s the happiest place around. The owner, Randy (obviduh) bought some dilapidated property in the 90s and slowly turned it into a a giant outsider art masterpiece. We were there on a dreary November day, but even then it was bright and magical. I WILL JUST LET THE PHOTOS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES.

환영합니다!

Guys. I’m not trying to get your hopes up, but Janna wrote something about needing a new job on her worry card, and she got a new job literally four days later. Chooch and I both wrote TRUMP on ours so maybe Trump will be impeached? LOL BUT SRSLY PLZ.

Basically what the inside of my head looks like, but please add more gold glitter and kpop idols .

Now if you’ll excuse me, Chooch and I bought a 2000 piece puzzle at Target last night and he’s yelling at me because I’m taking too long of a break but hunching over a fucking puzzle hurts my back! Ugh. Have you ever really SEEN Chooch and I working together on anything? It’s not pretty. Not even a little.

Nov 242017
 

Hey boy hey I’m back with more Mattress Factory photos. Everything you see here will be from the main Mattress Factory building.

I was so entranced by the funhouse-mirror effect that the weird foil stuff on the walls had that I never actually bothered to read anything about this exhibit. I don’t even know what it was called, but maybe I should move my dying plants there because the set-up seems way better than what I have at home.

(Also Janna is going to kill me for posting this picture because that is obviously not what she looks like at all.)

Plant room selfie.

The next room was an Allan Wexler experience in levels and architecture. It was not my favorite but Chooch was really drawn to it, probably because it appealed to his nerdy, analytical mind.

I did, however, enjoy the intravenous coffee table.

Here’s a random picture from the fire escape:

If you don’t take gratuitous selfies in the permanent Yayoi Kusama room, then have you really Mattress Factory’d? This is always the crowd pleaser whenever I bring new people to this joint, and it’s not surprising that this is the only thing that Chooch remembers from his past visits.

I read recently that Russell Wilson shut down the Seattle Art Museum to take Ciara to see the Kusama retrospective for their anniversary. LUCKY.

There’s a permanent Greer Lankton exhibit on one of the floors, but it was recently expanded to include a temporary display of old works that her family lent to the museum, and we were shook. I already liked her a lot, but these drawings and paintings give a deeper look into her life.

Funny enough, we entered this room in reverse order and apparently missed the sign that warned of sexually explicit content, so I had no idea what we were getting into until Chooch wandered off, then came back and said, “UM PLEASE COME HERE” and pointed out a super porn-y drawing which made me crack up. I sent a picture to Henry who was like GOOD JOB ERIN but really he was like NICE THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE ART.

Honestly though, most of it was really sad, emotionally disturbing, and worked as raw and visceral diary excerpts.

None of these are the one that disturbed Chooch, but on the way out, he pointed out another one called, “Cunt on a Stick” and mumbled, “Nice. Real nice.”

And then on the way home, it was all “THAT GREER LANKTON ROOM WAS PRETTY GOOD, DON’T YOU THINK?”

This is the permanent Lankton exhibit, called, “It’s All About Me, Not you.” I highly recommend exploring her work. She was fucking fascinating.

“What, hold on…” Chooch said, before tossing a brooding stare over his shoulder. “OK, now take my picture.” The Mattress Factory triggered his inner model, you guys. He was like this the whole afternoon and it was starting to creep me out a little.

These remind me of serial killer prison art and I would gladly hang them all in my bedroom.

Chooch got a B in stupid art this semester because when he leaves the school to go to the Gifted Center, he misses art class sometimes and therefore is unable to finish projects and I think this is fucking bullshit because:

  • it sometimes feels like the regular school punishes the gifted students in stupid ways like this;
  • art shouldn’t be graded

I feel like having experiences like we had last Saturday afternoon at the Mattress Factory is worth more than whatever bullshit busy work an elementary school art teacher is doling out. (Not knocking art teachers at all but the one at his school has been a pain in the ass since the beginning.) I suggested he write a review of his day looking at real art and turn it in to her, but then I’m afraid he’s just going to be like, “I SAW LOTS OF DICKS DRAWN WITH CRAYONS AT THE MATTRESS FACTORY.”

Nov 212017
 

After being sick for-fucking-ever, I desperately needed to get out and do something fun, and since it’s been nearly two years since I’ve gone to the Mattress Factory, an outing there just seemed right and not full of exertion (i.e. I wasn’t yet ready to participate in a tire-throwing competition or anything like that).

Plus, it’s been at least 6 years since I last took Chooch there, so long that the kid has zero memory of ever being there, and he was really stoked about this. I have been grooming that kid to love museums since he was in the womb, y’all.

Womb is such a gross word.

Anyway, we got Janna to go with us too because Janna is my OG Mattress Factory accomplice. We’ve been going semi-sporadically since I learned in 2005 that we could use our Pitt IDs to get in for a discount. (I was determined to milk that fucking ID for all that it was worth – tens of thousands of dollars, it turned out.) The last time I went to the MF, Janna couldn’t go because she was LITERALLY BUYING A MATTRESS THAT AFTERNOON. Oh god, what are the odds.

I have written about this place a shitload of times on this blog, so if you’re ever interested in seeing pictures of past installations, there’s a search  bar around here somewhere, I think. Otherwise, I will just quickly tell you that it’s a gem on the north side of Pittsburgh, my favorite museum in the city, a hands-on experience, quirky, fun, unique, blah yadda etc. If you live in Pittsburgh and haven’t gone there, you’re dumb (I’m kidding, please don’t stop reading this, I’m desperate for readers!). And if you’re planning on visiting Pittsburgh sometime ever, you should definitely check this place out because it’s cool, yo. It’s cool.

It was actually moderately crowded on this particular day, which is not usually the case. So we were kind of annoyed when we started the day off in one of the annex buildings and could barely enjoy it because a million college kids were pushing their way through the cramped spaces and setting off emergency exit alarms (“It wasn’t us!” I said to the docent who pushed past us to turn it off. “It was those college kids, wasn’t it!” she cried and we were like YES MA’AM!!! Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure she was a college kid, too.)

The installation in this building was the same for years and I was really growing tired of it, but now it’s this crazy three-floor exhibit by Dennis Maher called “A Second Home.” It was like walking through a dollhouse in a way and we were all infatuated. However, it was also kind of dangerous because there were steps where you didn’t expect them and lots of spots where you had to duck – Janna and Chooch both smacked their faces off the same spot and I laughed.

There was this young couple behind us who fucking rushed us through the entire first floor because they were practically walking on our backs. That in addition to the girl making disparaging art critiques almost ruined my day there. Almost. We lost them after a bit, luckily, and our experience was greatly improved from then on.

Chooch was really into it from the get-go. Age 11 has been pretty great. His attention span still kind of sucks, but places like the Mattress Factory are just stimulating enough to hold his interest. He wasn’t blowing past each painting like he used to do at the zoo when he was a kid. Our zoo visits were done at record speeds! It felt more like being at a gallery with my two friends and not just “my friend Janna and my kid Chooch.”

I don’t know what I’m trying to say here, except that my kid is growing up to be such a cool person and I really enjoy spending time with him, especially when Henry isn’t with us because that’s when we get along the best.

Also, Henry thinks art is dummm so he didn’t want to go with us anyway.

Dennis Maher – A Second Home. Haunting!

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

On the way to the second annex, Chooch literally chased down a lady so that he could pet her dog. Ladies and gentlemen, my son the serial petter.

OK, I honestly cannot constructively describe how the first floor of the second annex made me feel, except that I was ready to pack a bag and move in because it fit my aesthetic to a motherfucking T, you guys. To the point where I was frantically trying to figure out which room in my house to completely gut and invite Vanessa German over to construct “sometimes.we.cannot.be.with.our.bodies.part.2.” Sorry Chooch, you can sleep on the couch, mommy needs your room for bigger and better things.

This was around the time Chooch started to get super pose-y and I had no complaints about that.

SHUT THE FUCK UP.

I just wanted to lay down in the middle of all this gaudiness – DO YOU EVEN KNOW ME.

Liberace probably would have ejaculated immediately upon entrance of this room.

We spent a lot of time in this room, taking it in from every angle. There were so many details to see! I need to go back. I miss it.

Eventually we moved on to the second floor.

This was David Pohl’s “furniture music” which we also fell in love with. The mauve walls made me feel so peaceful and it’s a good thing 97% of my current plant collection is now dead because I’m going to tape them all over the walls. The Mattress Factory is always giving me the best interior design tips.

This is probably why Henry hates it so much.

“Take a picture of me sitting on this chair.”

The look on Janna’s face when he said this was priceless. It was totally saying, “Look at the monster you created.”

“squawk.”

I’ll be back later this week with pictures from the main part of the Mattress Factory, where a chunk of Chooch’s innocence swan-dove out the window thanks to some, um, mature art.

Nov 192017
 

Sometime in September, Chooch came home with an order form for some dumb Southern Living cookie dough that the school was pushing the kids to peddle, and I was like, “LOL you can just throw that in the trash because I’m not taking it to work!” Honestly, I hate fundraising bullshit, and I especially hate asking co-workers to buy things when most of them have their own children who are selling magazines and hoagies and slingshots and fidget spinners, I dunno what kids sell these days.

Flash-forward a week or two later. Chooch said he was going over his friend Wesley’s house and we were like, “Look both ways before you cross the street, don’t take candy from strangers, don’t talk to my Mexican taco cart boyfriend without me.”

He came home a few hours later and it turns out, that sonuva took the order form with him and actually made like 8 sales to random people in Brookline!? Of course, his Corgi buddy Bob bought two containers of dough, but I didn’t recognize a single other name on that form! “Oh, that’s the lady who lives next to Bob, she has a dog too. And that’s her mom, who lives across the street. Oh, and that’s Ed’s* girlfriend” because Chooch gets around, man. He fucking gets around.

*(Ed is the guy who owns the gaming place on Brookline Boulevard, and Chooch of course has befriended him because most of Chooch’s friends are adults so why not add another.)

Meanwhile, the order form is all ATTENTION PARENTS, PLEASE SUPERVISE YOUR CHILDREN. DO  NOT LET THEM GO DOOR-TO-DOOR, because the world sucks these days. If this was the 80s, cold-calling would be encouraged! HERE’S THE MILKMAN, SON, ASK HIM IF HE WANTS TO BUY SOME FUNDRAISER FRUITCAKE! He’d have come home with 348 sales!

Unfortunately, Chooch collected checks from two of the houses, and the separate instruction sheet that was sent home from the school says that no checks are accepted, even though the order form states otherwise. So while one of the checks was made out to Chooch’s school, the other one was made out to “Central Middle School” and we were like, “Wtf is this school?” and it turns out it was what the sample check on the order form had written on it, for fuck’s sake. So Henry had to take Chooch back to these two houses to exchange their checks for cash, which is how we realized that one of the lady’s lives in the house behind us, the same house with the garage window that Chooch busted a few yeas ago which turned into a summer-long odyssey of the husband repeatedly showing up at our door to remind Henry that he still had not replaced the window, because Henry is the king of procrastination, which is one of the things that his mom and I argued about last spring when she blamed me for him not doing all the things he promised her he would do and I was like DO YOU THINK HE DOES EVERYTHING I WANT HIM TO DO THE FIRST TIME I ASK HIM TO DO IT, LADY?! My god, guys like Henry are the reason why women have to nag in the first place.

BUT I DIGRESS.

Anyway, the point of this story is that as soon as I saw that he made some sales on his own, I suddenly morphed into Captain Competition and decided that I would take the order form to work and try to outsell him. Normally, people will bring this shit in and leave it on the table by the kitchen and let it sell itself. Not me. I kept the order form right where I could see it, on the counter behind Lauren, and flat-out accosted everyone who walked past with this super-aggressive opening line, “BUY SOME COOKIE DOUGH.” You’d be surprised how many times it worked! I even got Todd to buy a gluten-free tub, and Mitch too who almost definitely has never baked cookies in his whole entire life, good thing he has a wife now.

You guys, I became consumed by selling. I even told people that I would accept Paypal, so I was able to strong-arm Chris and Monica as well, by sending them pictures of their options. This went on for a week until it was time to return the order form to school, which is when we discovered that whoever NANCY is didn’t pay Chooch. “She said that she will pay when the cookie dough is delivered,” Chooch shrugged. “This ain’t no C.O.D!” Henry barked, prepared to scratch her name off the list, but Chooch was all, “WE CAN’T DO THAT! SHE’S SARAH’S MOTHER!” and we were like WHO THE EFF IS SARAH and apparently she is the lady who lives across the street from Nancy and also ordered a tub. Chooch was so certain that Nancy was good for her word, that he SPOTTED HER THE MONEY.

I am so glad there were no cameras on us the evening before the order form was due, because it was like we were all using math for the first time in our lives. It took all three of us to count the money and add the sales, twice, before we finally arrived at the same number. It was beyond stressful.

I know what you’re wondering: “But Erin, did you sell more than your son?” PFFT FUCK YEAH, YOUR GIRL DID. Chooch sold enough to get some janky prizes worth about $7 but more importantly, since he sold more than 20 tubs, he got to go to Pizza Hut in a limo, so even though he didn’t reach his lofty goal of 125 tubs which would have scored him a Playstation or whatever, he was very pleased.

And then I remembered that I was going to have to bring all this shit to work and distribute it, and I immediately regretted the choices I had made.

Nov 052017
 

The Crawford School of Terror was WAAY better than last year and the main reason for this was because it felt like more of the school was used and it was less dialogue and more walkthrough and jump-scare.

To begin, it was decently chilly that day and inside of the school was the line and it was desolate, and dull, it was so gray and dusty. It was about five minutes until we got in and we ended up having to go up with the people in front of us, but thankfully when we got to the top of the stairwell, the staff let them go by themselves.

Inside of the actual “haunted” part there were classrooms (Obviously) and there was a girl sitting at a desk and when we were about to walk into the next classroom, she screamed, “Don’t go in there!” When she said that I took a minute break standing in the arch way in the center of the first and second classroom and then I proceeded. It was pretty plain and mum thought that it was going to suck because there was no dialogue but that quickly changed once we got further into the attraction. There was my favorite-ish part when the fog layer (That one fog room in most haunted houses that have a layer of fog that looks like water) room came and I looked under the layer and saw someone crawling toward us under it hidden and I said, “Uh-oh,” then he jumped up and screamed.

I said, “I saw him coming from under the smoke,” and of course daddy had to say, “No you didn’t.” I just ignored him because I was triggered.

There was a hallway that we walked down and there was a shock thing and it was high up and it started making a taser noise and it was really loud. Then some girl started screaming and talking about how her “trophy?” was stolen and she thought that mum stole it then she said, “I didn’t steal it.” Then the girl said, “Well, then you better find it!” I was really excited! I really thought we were going to have to find her trophy, but no it was just part of the act. ):

Then there was a cafeteria and the lunch lady offered me worms and I said, “Umm, nah!”

Then she replied with, “THEN GET OUT OF MY CAFETERIA!”

I said, “OK, jeez!” and walked towards the door then I came to a jolt when I saw someone sitting at a table and I tried to slide past but she got up and screamed.

The next room I’m pretty sure was a pitch black hallway and some clown guy was banging on the walls and popped out and mum told me that she had almost peed her pants so I told the clown that.

Then the end came and we walked out and thought everything was over until someone popped out from behind the stairs and mum got scared again. I’m pretty sure she did pee her pants that time.

THE END. Have a good day/night!

 

 

 

Oct 222017
 

It’s Chooch back with “The Adventures of Amethyst”. Sorry to make you wait like Game of Thrones because it’s been 2 years.

Drew looked down, and started to tear up.

“What’s wrong?” Penelope asked Drew concerned.

Then all of a sudden, Drew started to laugh. She was laughing hysterically, so loud that her skin started peeling off revealing a hint of steel.

Penelope saw this and started to shout, “Guys, go! I got this.”

“How do we know?” Garnet asked worried.

“JUST GO!”

Garnet started to turn and dash but realized that they were still on a log flowing rapidly down a river. She remembered about the log and waited for it to pass by. She grabbed Amethyst by the forearm and jumped to the log. Her feet skimmed the water and she lost her grip on Amethyst.

Amethyst screamed, “Help! Quick, find something to pull me out!”

Garnet started breathing heavily, and she looked around. Her hands started to glow, and that’s when she remembered the day her parents had died. The day was October 13, the day of misfortune, and her parents had gone to the Never-ending forest to search for the endangered species of Bloorbs. Bloorbs are a furry, fluffy kind of “Lizard” and they only come out on Friday the 13th. So Garnet had to stay back with her nana, Vrov. She was the meanest, most loudest Nan in the town of Hurghston. Before her parents had gone on the trip, they handed Garnet an amulet. That amulet had a chain around it, so she put it around her neck. Her parents had made it to the forest and gotten out of their jeep, and they got all of their equipment in hand. They had walked about a mile in the forest until they heard a crack in the leaves. They assumed it was a Bloorb because they are the only reptile/mammal around at night on the 13th because all the other animals get frightened and burrow or hide.

They said together, “Litinol!” That is the spell for light.

They tip-toed over to the spot where they had heard the noise and they saw a bit of fluff. Garnet’s mom got the net and trapped it, but it didn’t move.

The dad inferred, “Wait maybe…” He picked up the lizard and it was plastic.

They said, “Oh man, whoever did this is going to die!”

They chanted the spell that explodes the radius around them, but in the middle of it, they felt a shift in their spines. They turned around to see a warrior with a hockey mask and what had been jabbed into their backs had been a machete.

Garnet started to whimper and her eyes started to glow. That flashback had made her exasperated. She grabbed the amulet that was around her neck and closed her eyes. All of a sudden she felt an alteration in her bones. Her hand started to glow even brighter and metal started poking out of her hand. It was getting longer and it started to look like a chain. She decided to throw her hand in the direction of Amethyst and the chain shot in the air towards her. It splashed in the water and Amethyst got soaked, she didn’t care because as long as she wasn’t going to die she was fine. She grabbed on to the chain and Garnet pulled the chain back into her hand. Amethyst had landed on to the land.

Despite that, Penelope and Drew were still on the log speeding down the river. Drew had completely broken in to full animatronic now. She had two metal legs that had bolts missing in certain spots, and her chest area was missing a section completely so she was smoking. Drew had swung her arm at Penelope but she had ducked and heated up her arm in the sleeve of her hoodie. Drew had ducked and kicked Penelope’s shins. Penelope reacted very sharply and almost pushed herself off of the log. Drew laughed and went for a shove but Penelope countered it and pushed Drew back. Drew had saved herself from falling but her finger dipped in the finger slightly and it made a spark. That’s when it hit Penelope. Drew is a robot, so her weakness is water and it will screw up her programming. Penelope cupped her hands and dipped it in water.

Then she said, “Hasta Lavista, Baby,” and she splashed Drew in the spot where she was smoking. The water had steamed up that spot even more and it started flaming. With the flames and all of the sparks, it was like Fourth of July, which Penelope is scared of. She lunged at Drew and landed in the water. She came out with 3rd degree burns on her lips and her neck. Penelope was close enough to the riverbank and she pulled herself up and started coughing up water and ash. She looked back and saw Drew no where. Did she escape? Did she keep going?

To Be Continued…