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.

 

Sep 112017
 

Hi Guys! Chooch here and I am going to be telling all about my Injuries all over Chicago!

So this one is very much important and I am flipping off Trump Tower because long story short I fell down the steps on the back and twisted my ankle, but not that bad.  :P Trump should leave America alone and worry about making his steps great again.

Next, this pho was taken directly after I had been slammed in the trolley door. So we were getting off at this stop and all of a sudden Daddy stops and I am tapped in between the doors and I can’t go anywhere. Then all of a sudden, the doors closed and I was stuck for a split second. But thankfully daddy started moving and I got out!

Another injury happened when we were walking to some pizza place and daddy stuck his hand down my pants “Accidently” and so I did it to him, and he put his elbow back to push me away but he ended up hitting me right in the mouth. So it looked like daddy abused me.

 

The last injuries that happened both in the span in 30 seconds, was at Rite-Aid and I got medicine because I was sick. But I also went into the bathroom because I had to, and I hit my elbow off the door, and I was like “Ow!” and then when I went into the stall I slammed my finger in the door on accident and it hurt for like 10 minutes.

So there you guys go, those are the 4… Oh hey! I missed one!

So the pizza place we were headed to, when I got hit in the mouth (See Sentence 3), we ended up not going to because it was crowded and I was kind of crying soooooo we didn’t go there, we went to another pizza place really close by. And I stopped crying so it was fine until we got a table and we were ordering and I banged my elbow of the edge of the table, I was fine but it stung for a second.

So there you go, that was the 5 injuries I had in Chicago, I hope you enjoyed! Make sure you SMASH that like button, and also Subscribe to Ohhonestlyerin and leave a comment telling what you liked and what you maybe thought was dumb that I added! PEACE!

 

Aug 252017
 

With Erin & Chooch

I volunteered to work the last three Friday late shifts for August because we get to work those from home and I thought to myself, “Golly wouldn’t it be swell to spend some of these last summer Fridays with my little baby boy?!” 

Lol. 

On every one of these Fridays, we went out for breakfast. And that is what this blog post is about, ok?

On the first Friday, we walked to Orbis Cafe in Mt. Lebanon. It took about 25-30 minutes to get there but it was a beautiful, mild summer morning so we didn’t show up sopping with sweat or anything. Don’t worry. 

Hilariously, we had just been joking around at work about someone who listed “third wave coffee” as an interest on their resume, and now here I was, at a cafe that totally promoted that movement, what with their multiple, confusing brewing options. 

I panicked and just got a pour over,  because I was only familiar with that and French press. Then I had to choose a coffee blend and it was a real high-anxiety experience, almost as bad as waiting for public transportation or being randomly called on in class. 

I’m easily rattled ok?!

I’m conflicted with this place. The two women working that day were pleasant but the service was…..

Just not that wonderful. For starters, I stood at the counter the entire time the one barista was making my pourover because I noticed other people standing around too. I had Chooch grab us a table while I continued waiting. 

I stood there for at least 8 minutes before one of the girls walked out from behind the counter and brought Chooch’s breakfast to him (fruit and nut yogurt, and a bagel which he could have had at home but whatever). 

Apparently the people standing around were waiting for their to-go drinks. I didn’t have to be standing there at all, yet neither of the two baristas said anything to me, or even asked me if I needed something! THEY JUST LET ME STAND THERE LIKE A LOST SHEEP. 

So I went and sat down with Chooch, feeling stupid and completely spotlighted. It was about 15 minutes later when I had finished my coffee and he had finished his breakfast, when I started to hard-core wonder where the hell my breakfast wrap was. I kept looking over shoulder at the counter and couldn’t tell if it was still being heated up or what. 

“I mean, I DID order it right?” And of course Chooch made me doubt that my order had gone any further than just being a thought in my head. But then I started doing the math and confirmed that I definitely paid for it. 

I was about to go up to the counter and just ask for a refund (or possibly a CHEMEX) when one of the baristas started asking, “Breakfast wrap?” to every table she walked past. Then she met my eyes and suddenly realized that it was mine and she had FORGOTTEN ABOUT IT. 

“I’m so sorry!” she said, setting down the lukewarm wrap in front of me. It had obviously been abandoned on the counter for quite some time. 

I’d give them a free pass if the joint had been exceptionally busy but it was boasting a basic hustle and bustle that morning. 

They’re lucky I’m a sell-out and all up on the Third Wave Coffee train now because their pourover was EXCEPTIONAL and just delicious enough to not only drink black, but to forgive them for their wrap-dementia. 

I’ll be back for coffee but not breakfast. (Although their display of baked goods looked pretty good.)


For our second Friday, we were treated with a very heavy downpour. We tried to wait it out as long as possible but we were both swinging from hunger’s lunacy fringe so we left the house with our one shared umbrella and dealt with it. 

Everything was mostly fine. We walked past our old neighbor who didn’t go very far—just down the street—and a split second after cutely saying hello (she loves us and thinks we look like twins so take that everyone who always says that they see no resemblance) we were puddle-splashed in the most dramatic fashion by some FUCKSTICK in a truck.

Even if we had been double-umbrella’d, there was no protection from that one. 

So that was swell!

We reluctantly opted for Dorstop this time. I say reluctantly for two reasons:

  • Dorstop is majorly over-rated and their figurative head is entirely too enlarged from That One Time they were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives like 10 years ago. 
  • We’ve been anxiously awaiting this one place called Parker’s to open. They used to be across the sreeet from Dorstop in Dormont, but they moved to a great spot on Brookline Blvd — basically still the same walking disgance for us but we spend more time walking on Brookline Blvd than we do on the street where they used to be located, plus this new spot is bigger! We always chide Henry because he’s never been to Parker’s so we treat it like it’s a club he doesn’t belong to. “You act like you guys were regulars there but you only ate there like theee times.” Twice, and both times were memorable because PARKER HIMSELF talked to us and he is AWESOME and no I DONT HAVE A CRUSH ON HIM OK I DO.

I mean. 

So we begrudgingly went to Dorstop and I was just really happy to get away from the rain. Of course it was packed, even on a weekday morning, because Guy Fieri ate there once, y’all. 

:|

Of course everyone turned to look at us when the bells on the door jingled and I hadn’t even told them Large Marge sent us yet. 

 Right off the bat, a synthetic ginger broad asked us how many in a disgruntled grumble, coupled with a very surly, “Follow me.”

I was ready to walk the fuck out because what a rude twat. But…rain. 

Luckily we had a nice young waitress who gave me coffee immediately and our food was fine. (I had potato pancakes; Chooch had an omelette which wasn’t nearly as good as the one he had at The Twist, the one that had him throwing down glitter on “Honk If You Love Artichokes” signs.)

It was fine but I would never recommend it nor would I take any out-of-town guests there. 

Which brings us to today…

Our last Friday Breakfast Club meeting for the foreseeable future. :(

Me: I’m sad that this is our last day of Friday Breakfast Club.

Chooch: We literally only went to breakfast three times, though—how is that a club?!

Ugh shut up Chooch. 

This time we went to Tom’s. We could have went there last week instead of Dorstop but we had eaten at Tom’s for dinner (WITH BARB, UGH BARB) two nights before. 

I originally suggested Cain’s Saloon which is open early on Fridays for breakfast (allegedly) but Chooch was all, “Um I feel like that’s a place that daddy would want to go to with us so we should just go to Tom’s” and I’m not a fool I know it’s because Cain’s is a longer walk and he was itchin’ to get home and play with his dumb friends. 

NO ONE IS BETTER THAN MOMMY, CHOOCH—NO ONE!!! I WONT LET THEM TAKE U AWAY FROM ME!

But yeah! Anyway! You know! Can’t go wrong with Tom’s! I had the Greek eggs Benedict and Chooch had eggs and home fries I guess. All I remember is him complaining about the nerve of restaurants that serve jelly packets with their toast, assuming that everyone uses jelly. 

Turns out Chooch is not a fan of jelly on his toast. 

“It just belongs on PB&J and nothing else,” he shared with me and I BET HIS DUMB FRIENDS ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THAT DONT THEY? I AM SO OUT OF TOUCH. 

I’m not having feelings about him starting sixth grade on Monday. Pfft. That’s you,  not me. 

UGH JUST GO AWAY. 

Jul 152017
 

Henry had to work for a few hours this morning, so Chooch and I were over here unsupervised. I decided that I didn’t want to make coffee so I woke him up and suggested that we walk down to Brookline Boulevard so I could get an iced latte from Cafe Noir. I used to hate Cafe Noir because it moved in when Cannon Coffee closed, and the first latte I had tasted strange, not bad per se, but just kind of off. However, I’ve been there numerous times since then and the lattes have been phenomenal so now I think it was a problem with the soy milk that day? MAYBE IT WAS ROTTEN?! I don’t know.

Anyway, Chooch and I made it all the way there without disaster or talking to strangers or getting bit by dogs. I guess it was too early for domestic disputes, and the bars weren’t open yet, so the Boulevard was pretty quiet.

Las Palmas didn’t even have their insanely popular taco cart set up yet — it was that early.

Even too early for any strippers to be leaning all slinkily inside doorframes. (Chooch and I actually passed a trio of suspect hookers/strippers the other evening. When I mentioned it after we walked away, Chooch said, “Oh I didn’t notice. Why do you think they’re strippers? Because the one had on that that black shirt that was open all the way down to her bellybutton with a small bra underneath—”

And I interrupted to say, “Yeah and she had on that leather—”

“Choker,” Chooch finished knowingly. OK but yeah, he didn’t noticed.)

But yeah, back to this morning.

We made it to Cafe Noir, where I finally got my morning fix and Chooch ordered his Arnold Palmer with a strangulated stutter and then dwelled on it for the next minute, and probably even longer had we not noticed a small lump on the sidewalk two storefronts up from Cafe Noir.

At first I thought it was a furry leaf, but upon further inspection, Chooch and I found out that it was a MOTH! The largest moth I ever saw in real life! It was laying on its side with its wings together, so it just looked like a basic moth. I didn’t like that it was sitting out in the path of walkers, joggers, bikers, skaters, dogs, future serial killers who love to pull wings off beautiful things….so I said urgently to Chooch, “We have to move him. He’s not safe here!”

Chooch dove headfirst into the deep end of the animal rescue pool. If he was wearing long sleeves, this would be where he rolled them up in a serious LET’S DO THIS motion. JUST LIKE ON TV.

Ever since I was a child, I was always told DO NOT TOUCH A MOTH BECAUSE YOU WILL RUB OFF THE POWDER FROM ITS WINGS AND IT WILL DIEEEEE. So I have never touched a moth or a butterfly because I’m not a murderer.

Of animals or insects, that is.

So I grabbed the nearest leaf and gently tapped it against the moth’s legs or whatever they’re called.

And it was at that moment that it twitched and sat up straight, and in the most dramatic fashion it spread it’s huge wings open wide to reveal the grandest markings I have ever seen on this side of a slideshow in a darkened science classroom.

Chooch and I cried a seriously impressed “WHOA!” in unison, and leaned in closer to admire this total babe all spread out in front of us. People were walking by giving us double takes, because what are those dummies looking at, last night’s puke? A discarded syringe?

NO, JUST A GIFT FROM NATURE, RIGHT HERE IN FROM THE RECORD STORE. YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND.

I swear to god, this majestic moth was the size of half my hand. We expected it to fly away now that it’s wings were open, but it still just sat there.

“Maybe it’s injured,” I said sadly. We tried a few more times to move it, to at least scoot it over closer to the window of the record store where it was out of the direct path of foot traffic but it was becoming increasingly clear that it wasn’t going to budge.

“We can’t do this without something sturdier to slide under it. I hate to leave it but I don’t think there’s anything we can do for it without touching it with our hands and I don’t want to hurt it!” I cried.

“Too bad we don’t have like, a plastic lid or something,” Chooch shrugged hopelessly as we started to walk away. And then 10 feet later, no lie, there was an old red tupperwear lid laying on the sidewalk.

WHAT ARE THE ODDS, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? IT WAS A FUCKING OMEN! Just like the time Chooch was singing some semi-obscure song from the 80s that I can’t remember at the time of this writing, and then it came on the radio at Eat n Park. He has a bit of magic in him I think. OR HE’S REALLY GOOD AT HIDING HIS SORCERY SCHOOL SYLLABUS. Why did I capslock that, who knows with me, I have blogging dementia. 

Chooch grabbed the magically materialized lid and we excitedly ran back to our post-caterpillar charity case and if this were a silent film from the 20s, the caption at the bottom would say HELP IS ON THE WAY! as Chooch and I crashed into each other and fell into a heap of incompetence and idiocy.

With steady concentration and determination, we were able to scoop the moth up on the lid. There was a small grassy area — you know, like a tree bed or whatever you call those parts of sidewalks that are grassy with flowers and bushes and usually some small trees too — a few feet away from our starting point, and I made it almost all the way there before the moth flopped back onto the sidewalk.

“Nooo!” Chooch and I yelled with unbridled anguish. We sat back down on the sidewalk, trying to essentially tickle the moth back onto the lid with a leaf.

An old man stopped.

“Wow, that’s a big Monarch butterfly!” he exclaimed and we were like yeah whatever guy it’s not a butterfly, probably, but we don’t know, so maybe. (Actually, we used our Phone a Friend lifeline later and asked Chris via text, who confirmed that it was a moth so…..sucks to be wrong, old man.)

I explained that it appeared to be injured so we wanted to move it out of harm’s way so that he wouldn’t think we were mothnapping it for our bug prostitution ring or something.

“Oh it’s injured?” he repeated.

Well I mean it’s NOT FLYING AWAY SO EITHER HELP US OR LEAVE, OLD MAN, UGH.

He lost interest and left.

But then a couple who had passed us earlier paused on their way back. The man part of the couple got real close to us and asked tentatively, “So, what’s going on here?” while the girl part of the couple stood far back, shaking her head in an UH UH, NOPE, NO BUGS FOR ME fashion.

We sighed and explained once again our mission, but this man, this kind brave avuncular soul said to us, “Oh, I have something that I can help.”

He set down the shopping bag he was carrying and I waited for him to pull out the butterfly net or the Magic Moth Dust jar, but instead it was two Avon flyers. He placed one on the ground, on either side of the moth, slowly pushed them together until the moth was in the middle of the makeshift gurney, and asked us, “Where we taking it?”

Chooch pointed to the grass next to us, and our wonderful Samaritan gently laid the flyers down and let the moth free in its new safe haven.

“Oh my god, thank you so much!” I cried.

“Oh, you’re welcome! I like helping animals too. Oh, and while I’m at it….” he said, pausing to reach into his shopping bag for the chloroform-soaked handkerchiefs to help him turn Chooch and me into the latest items of his People of Brookline trafficking catalogue. “—I’m helping my daughters sell Avon, so you keep that flyer and here’s an Avon book, too,” he said, handed me all kinds of Avon literature, which I happily accepted because I’d rather wear gross Avon perfume than a chloroform handkerchief any day.

The guy’s name was Marcus, and I will never forget him.

As we parted ways, saying one last goodbye to Moth, we turned just in time to see a man walking his pug straight into the path of where we had originally found Moth.

“DID YOU SEE THAT?!” Chooch yelled with his hand over his chest like a Golden Girl. “THAT is why we had to move that moth!”

I wholeheartedly agreed.

We walked the rest of the way home, sucking on our Cafe Noir drinks with the force of two firefighters, exhausted and dehydrated from putting out some 5 Alarm blaze, recounting our Super Big Exciting OMG Can You Believe It Morning, adrenaline pumping and egos flaring. Then Chooch and some old man crashed into each other on Pioneer Ave, and then awkwardly stood in a weird embrace as the old man struggled to regain his bearings, and Chooch wiped his Arnold Palmer spills from his shirt. It was great to watch as a third-party bystander.

As soon as we got home, I sent Henry this text:

He literally had no fucks and negative cares to give about this. Chooch and I were extremely offended.

“What exactly did you save it from?” Henry went on to text from work.

“Imminent death?!” I replied, like duh, what a dumb question, and Henry replied that he thought I was being a bit extreme.

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

“Why didn’t you just pick it up?” Henry asked me just a little while ago, so I told him about what I had learned as a kid.

“Didn’t you ever hear that?” I asked.

“No!” he laughed, and his outright skepticism made me google it just now and turns out IT’S NOT TRUE! So I basically missed out on 30+ years of moth touching? I did read a lot of things just now that say while it won’t kill moths and butterflies, it could still shorten their lifespan and handling them incorrectly could fatally injure them. So probably it’s for the best that we didn’t pick up Moth with our fumbling, uncoordinated meat-mitts. I also read that they like to play dead, so hopefully that means Moth wasn’t actually injured, but just in some type of self-preservation mode.

A few hours ago, Chooch and I walked back to where we left Moth, and he was gone! We took that as a good sign, that Moth presumably flew home to his family in….a bush or wherever they live, with Saturday morning donut crumbs from Party Cake bakery. What I refuse ti believe is that some dumb dog devoured him or that it hopped out into the road and…..don’t make me spell it out for you. :(

God, it feels great to be a hero though. If I was a Girl Scout, I bet I would have earned a badge.

Jul 082017
 

I woke up bright and early on day two of KCON and demanded that Henry go down to the lobby and score us breakfast muffins since Chooch and I are pathetic children with little-to-no life skills and depend on our burly manservant to keep us alive.

In other words, I didn’t have my makeup on yet.

When we went downstairs to wait for our Lyft, the lobby was bustling with tour groups preparing for a day in NYC, and I felt a twinge of jealousy.

Originally, we were going to skip the convention on the second day and go to NYC instead since we were so close that we could actually see it from Newark and it was TANTALIZING. But then I ended up scoring that fan engagement for Up10tion on the day we registered, and that was scheduled for 11am on Saturday. We considered going after that, but I started to panic about all the unknowns: the traffic; getting engulfed by the dark underbelly of the city, never to resurface; being seduced by the bright lights and losing all track of time; getting stabbed in Central Park — YOU KNOW, ALL THE NORMAL NYC THINGS.

Plus, none of us have ever been to NYC (I’ve only been to JFK and LaGuardia airports, which don’t count) and would a few hours on a Saturday afternoon truly be enough to satiate the naive tourists in us? So we decided that we would come back another time, when we have nothing else to do, and can devote a whole weekend to shuffling around in fanny packs and sun visors.

Alas, our Lyft driver rolled up around 9:45 and Henry started tersely whispering, “Sit in the front. Erin, sit in the front. Please sit in the front.” And then as I slid into the backseat next to Chooch, “Fuck you.”

I guess he felt uncomfortable sitting in the passenger seat next to the young girl driver? Lol.

Chooch and I both preferred Friday’s Lyft driver over this one. Friday’s was super talkative, but Saturday’s was very stiff and quiet. She had vinyl stickers all over her car, begging for a five-star rating. Girl, Jessica Simpson was playing on your radio when we got in the car. No 5 stars for you.

This reminds me: the Lyft driver from KCON day one had on some Top 40 radio station from NYC and the DJs were talking about Charlie Puth, how in his latest song “Attention,” there is a part where his voice cracks a little, and how most pop singers would have been like, “I need to re-record this part” but Charlie was like, “No, keep it. This is real and my emotions caused this” or whatever. I’ve heard that song several times prior to this but never noticed the part they were talking about until they played it and isolated the exact word where his voice kind of turns into a whisper and it gave me actual chills. Now I have much more appreciation for Charlie Puth and have listened to that song a million times since that day because it moves me to tears.

I will always think of riding in the backseat of Lyft Driver Carolina’s car, past the Newark airport and into the industrial section of Newark, every time I hear this song.

The second day of the convention was mostly the same, but with different panels and fan engagements. We hit up all the booths again, filling up on more free samples, and this time we managed to get Henry in on the Drama Fever action. We chose the Goblin background this time but it was dumb with three of us because the whole point is that you’re supposed to wear a red scarf and then stand facing to the right with your arm outstretched so it looks like you’re pointing at the Goblin’s sword BUT WHATEVER IT’S FINE.

Every single person in line in front of us won at the wheel spinning thing so we had a feeling that we were about to kill the streak. Plus, the people remembered my Instagram name and I think they were like, “OH SHIT, CAN’T HAVE A DOUBLE WINNER!” so we lost, UGH. I was hoping to win a Twice fan engagement but WHATEVER IT’S FINE I’LL LIVE.

:(

We should have posted the picture on Chooch’s Instagram instead. I’m so stupid.

Around 10:30, I made my way to the area where the fan engagement lines were. Since I was just in the basic no hi-touch audience for this one, I felt much less stress. That is, until the boy in front of me dipped under the yellow queue tape because there was literally no one line so I followed suit AND WHO IS THE ONE WHO GOT YELLED AT? ME! THE SHEEP!

Ugh, that’s the second time I got scolded at one of these damn things! I will try harder to stand up straight and be a perfect Pollyanna rule abider next time! God I felt like such a dick! But then I also had rage because hello THAT GUY DID IT FIRST, yell at him, too. :(

But the next security person I encountered totally made up for it — she was such a character and really made the most of her job of checking our fan engagement tickets and clicking her little people-counter thing by interacting with us, dancing, and just being a damn fool. The girl several people in front of me apparently had a hi-touch card and the security lady was all, “OOOH SHIT GIRL, you in the WRONG LINE! You better get your butt over there so you can touch your cute little Korean boys!” and then she made sure the other security people let the girl into the correct line. It was so nice of her!

I loved that lady. Why couldn’t they all be as nice as her? :(

This time, I was smart and left my purse with Henry so that I didn’t get all held up in that fucking bag-check fuckarow again, although it seemed like they had sorted out the system by Saturday and the lines were moving pretty smoothly.

Similarly to KNK, I didn’t know much about Up10tion but these fan engagements really make it impossible to not fall in love with the groups, regardless of how well you know them. Kevin Woo was the MC for this one and they jokingly asked him to be their 10th member, since one of the guys left, taking them down to a nine-member group and making their name awkward. (Kevin Woo used to be in the kpop group U-Kiss, in case you didn’t know, but now he’s the host of an English kpop show in Seoul called After School Club. Now you know.)

Up10tion said that they were going to debut their new song “Runner” at the show that night, and then one of them sang a quick verse and I knew I was going to like it. Then some older woman in front of me farted, which was already horrible, but another woman was fanning herself with one of the cardboard fans that 7397498274 booths were handing out, and in the process she was essentially volleying the other lady’s fart right into my face at break-neck speeds. It was like fart-concentrate, not having the chance to disperse on its way to my nostrils. I was straight up gagging, you guys. Straight up gagging.

Even with the farts and scoldings for fake line-jumping, the Up10tion fan engagement was worth it. It was similar to KNK’s, in that there was a brief and language-barrier’d Q&A session, and then they also played charades (the audience’s category choice was overwhelmingly “animals” which was not my pick — I was in the minority who wanted them to act out kpop songs, but whatever). Super fucking fun though, especially watching their awkward display of aegyo.

(I’m obsessed with aegyo. I wish Henry more of it.)

Up10tion are freaking adorable.

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Meanwhile, Henry and Chooch were across the street in the other part of the convention that had all of the food and kpop vendors, but more importantly: the large, air-conditioned Amazon Mobile Masters tent. Chooch pretty much camped out in there and it was soooo boring to me. However, while I was in my fan engagement, Chooch got involved in some contest inside. There was an area with a bunch of Amazon Fires set up, and every so many hours there was a new game challenge going on. From 10-12, it was Crossy Roads. Chooch loves that game, and the top 3 high scores won prizes. First places got an Amazon Fire, and Chooch was determined to win. By the time I made my way over there, he had the current high score with 30 minutes left.

He was stalking that area like a cat looking for a mouse. All the Amazon volunteers thought it was hilarious and kept teasing him. “That guy’s coming close to beating your score, you want me to kick him?” one of them jokingly said to Chooch who looked like he was about to chew through his lip.

He was making me nervous with his pacing, so Henry and I went outside to look at all of the things he wouldn’t let me buy because I’m not a 16-year-old with a locker to decorate, UGH. However, I did buy a Twice pin at one of the booths, because they were raffling off a Twice Candybong (that’s what Twice’s light sticks are called,  I TEACH YOU SO MUCH!) and in order to enter, all you had to do was purchase one Twice-related item from their booth. I had my eye on the Twice zombie pin anyway, so I gladly bought it. The girl at the booth told me that I just had to put down my contact info on a clipboard after some other girl was finished with it, so I was standing there patiently when some fucking pushy dickhead guy came barreling through the crowd and said, “I WANT TO ENTER TOO” and started PULLING THE CLIPBOARD from the girl while she was still writing, I couldn’t even believe his audacity, maybe because I wasn’t raised to have total disregard for those around me, and it always blows my mind when I witness this kind of ME ME ME I WANT IT NOW behavior. It was the only disheartening moment of all of KCON, fan-wise, which I guess is a good thing. Most people were super chill and not pushy assholes at all.

“You have to buy something from this booth in order to enter,” I said, but he completely ignored me and went right on scribbling his shitty info down.

“He’s going to be the one who wins, too,” I cried to Henry afterward, who asked if I said something to the girl at the booth, but NO I DIDN’T because I’m tired of always being the fucking tattle-tale in life. I didn’t want some pointless confrontation to sully my experience at KCON so I chose to move on with my Twice pin shining brightly on my shorts next to G-Dragon. <3

(Spoiler: I didn’t win the Candybong.)

Back inside the Amazon tent, things were heating up. Chooch made frenemies with some guy who didn’t care about the challenge until he found out what the prizes were, and then he came close to beating Chooch’s score while Chooch was nervously hulking around, wringing his hands and dabbing his brow.

One of the Amazon guys came over and asked, “He yours?” and then started cracking up when I said sighed. Chooch won over all the Amazon people in there and I feel like they were would have been just as sad as Chooch if he lost.

Butttttt, he doesn’t lose. Because he’s freaking Good Luck Chooch. So then we had to stick around while the brat was presented with his Fire and got his picture taken in the Winner’s Chair.

Maybe I should have entered that Candybong raffle in Chooch’s name. :(

“I’m glad I came in first and not second because that prize was an Echo, and I already won one of those yesterday,” Chooch said with a wave of his hand, like the Echo was quite literally yesterday’s news. I can’t believe this kid and his luck.

I drowned my bitterness in a piping hot cup of ttkeokbokki after that and all was right in the world again.

Then after lunch, we were walking past the convention stage and the I Love K-Food people were there, tossing some of their products out into the crowd. OF COURSE Chooch’s grubby hand shot up and snatched the very last thing of ramen that was chucked.

Ugh.

My favorite part of KCON (aside from the actual concert) was all the dancing. Can you tell that Henry agrees?! 💃🏼

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This video is actually from the first day, I think, but I can’t stress enough how much fun I had watching people dance. The dancing is really what drew me into kpop in the first place, because the exercise routines I do adapt a lot of moves from the music videos and incorporate it into the aerobics. I have very little rhythm and fail miserably anytime I try to learn legit choreography, but this method works for me. I wish I could do the official dances though! I’ll keep trying and hoping that it clicks.

After milling about for another hour or so, we decided to leave so that Chooch and I wouldn’t be totally drained at the concert later, like we had been the night before. That’s a lot of time under the sun. We wanted to get ice cream, anyway, and I can’t believe that there were no stands at KCON serving patbingsoo, or any type of bingsoo for that matter! What a disservice to the KCON patrons!

This was the line for one of the fan engagements as we were leaving.

We took a Lyft back to the hotel and grabbed our car. I found a place on my least favorite app, Yelp, called Nasto’s. It was supposed to be a classic establishment in Newark but I was more interested in going because of the name.

It turned out to be a good choice because they had a thing I’ve never heard of called tartufo – I had the peanut butter version and it was AMAZING. Like a large ice cream version of a buckeye.

Are buckeyes regional? I don’t know, but my Grandma Kelly used to make them all the time when I was a kid and they were the best buckeyes I’ve ever had. Literally just a small nug of PB coated with glorious chocolate. The best. So this was like an inflated one of those, with a delicious mound of vanilla ice cream underneath that cap of chocolate, with ribbons of sweet-ass peanut butter swirling through it like candied veins. Ugh, it was so good that Chooch immediately ordered one too after just seeing mine.

Henry got a scoop of cannoli and something else that he can’t remember because he’s lame. I feel like we were not getting along around this time for some reason and it probably had nothing to do with the fact that I needed a nap.

Copying me.

I consulted Roadside America for some adventure ideas but almost everything was in NYC. I did find some type of cemetery that had like, tunnels in it or something, that wasn’t too far away. Henry was so angry because we ended up having to go over some toll bridge, and then I started flipping out because I looked to the right and the Statue of Liberty was RIGHT THERE, like very close, and I am seriously terrified of the Statue of Liberty, to the point where I’m pretty certain I will never be able to tour it like a true American and that’s something that I will have to carry with me on my own, OK, so don’t try to reason with me!

But then NYC was right there too, a stone’s throw away, and Chooch was freaking out because he wanted to go so badly and I did too (mostly because there are 58 different ice cream places over there on my list) but there was just no way we could swing it. And then the cemetery we were looking for turned out to be super small with no parking and some type of festival/farmers market was happening so we were like FUCK THIS and went back to the hotel to get some rest before the concert, and by “get some rest,” I mean that Chooch and I went to the fitness room and proceeded to sweat our asses off like maniacs training for the Giddy Olympics while Henry went to Subway to get us dinner.

Only one more part left to go of the KCON saga. OMG, can you manage to trudge through to the end?!

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.

May 192017
 

I have a lot of bands that I really love lots like tater tots, and I love the feeling I get when I see them live. But there is no feeling greater than the one I get when I see Emarosa. It’s so much more than just a concert: it’s an actual show. It’s crowd involvement. It’s an intense wave of raw energy that makes you forget everything else happening in the world, because for that small amount of time, Emarosa is inviting you into their world. And it’s chaotic and honest and nearly as beautiful as G-Dragon’s face.

You guys, they are my favorite band to see live, and I see A LOT of bands live!

Chooch and I already had tickets to see them last week in Pittsburgh, when  they were supporting Pierce the Veil, but when I saw they were also doing a handful of headlining shows on their off-dates from the PTV tour, I quickly bought three tickets for their Cleveland show at Mahall’s. Emarosa twice in one week? SO FUCKING BLESSED.

Plus, Mahall’s is a very intimate venue and I was excited to get all up close and personal. You gotta see Emarosa up close.

After spending a lovely afternoon polluting Cleveland with our idiocy, we got to Mahall’s right around the time doors were set to open. Do you even know me? I am rarely late to a show. I need to see it all! Anyway, Chooch spotted Bradley in the back of Emarosa’s van when we were walking past, so he started doing that thing he does where he starts to approach, then backs away, then approaches, then flings himself against a wall in anguish. I don’t know where he gets that. I have never had a problem talking to musicians. In fact, I’m the greatest at talking to musicians. No one talks to musicians in a more bigly great fashion than me. My confidence is uuuuge. So many people came out to see me talk to the last musician I talked to. So many!

#fakenews

But back to Chooch. There were several other people standing around, observing Chooch on the brink of a nervous breakdown and it was so awkward that I couldn’t watch any longer. “Please go with him, for Christ’s sake!” I hissed to Henry, giving him a gentle (lol) shove toward the van. So Henry was like FML and went to the back of the van to get Bradley’s attention.

I stayed by the door to Mahall’s because I’m too cool for that shit.

SIKE.

I was too busy staring into my phone screen, willing it to suck me in and away from this situation. I’m always so worried that Bradley is going to think we’re psycho stalkers, or that we’re trying to use him for perks or whatever, but that is totally not who we are – we all, as a family, love Emarosa and their music so much. There are very few bands that all three of us equally enjoy, so it really brings us closer as family (lol, j/k – we fought like 87 times that day, but the fun we had negated that so we’re cool, guys, don’t worry).

Bradley came out of the van and hugged Chooch, etc but I still wouldn’t go over there because I was too scared, for god’s sake. I’m 12, remember?

According to Henry, Bradley said something like, “Wow, you don’t stop!” to Chooch, since he had just seen him FOUR DAYS prior. Then he said that if he saw Chooch in the crowd, he was crowdsurfing that night.

I laughed when Henry told me, like what a cute threat, amiright?

Meanwhile, some guy standing near me outside saw Chooch with Bradley and he asked me, “Are you guys friends?” I wish! But I told him that we just casually know him from going to so many Emarosa shows and that Chooch really looks up to him. I mean, my kid rarely gets starstruck, but you put him near Christofer Drew from Never Shout Never or Bradley Walden from Emarosa, and that boy has eight tongues that are all tied together and then shot 4 times with Novacaine.

He’s not talking anytime soon.

“Bradley’s a good role model to have!” the guy said, and I was like, “Yeah, he really is.” Especially when after seeing Emarosa, Chooch pulled out his Sing Machine for the first time in like, a year. I  think he feels really inspired by them and that is just the best thing any parent could ask for.

Please, please, please let him have a future in music!

Then when we were inside waiting to get our tickets, Bradley came in and hugged me and I was like JUST BE COOL, ERIN, DON’T DIE.

Really though, how far we’ve come from the days of being ridiculed by a former singer for driving five hours to see his band play in Buffalo because I couldn’t get the night off work to see them when they were in Pittsburgh (OMG I’m such a loser for having a job and being broke but STILL making the drive to see your shitty face) to having the current singer say it’s nice to see me.

But enough about the past – back to the show!

There were five bands playing that night much to Chooch’s chagrin. He just wants to get in there, see the band he wants to see, and go the fuck home. Eleven-year-olds, you know? Pfft. He survived the first band – Keys and Corridors – but then “had to go the bathroom” which means he wanted to go back out to where the pinball machines were.

I liked Keys and Corridors though! Anytime there’s a girl in the band, I hope with all my heart that I will like it because we need more bands with girls.

And this one had two!

Chooch came back before the second back, Forage and Wander (I think?), started to play but he was being so fidgety and making me nervous, so I made Henry take him outside. Like he’s a dog. Take the dog for a walk, Henry! And here’s a bag for his messes.

Thank god Mahall’s has re-entry. God bless you, Mahall’s.

Anyway, the second band was fine. Nothing that my ears found inoffensive.

But the third band! Oh my sweetly-spanked Mussolini, this next band was everything I needed right then.

That sweet, melodic post-hardcore vibe taking me back to 2010? Check.

Immediate excitement that made me type things like #OBSESSED all over social media? Check.

Super hot frontwoman in a leather jacket with a voice that could knock you on your ass? Double check. 

I texted Henry and said, “You’re missing this band with a super hot girl singer” and LO AND BEHOLD, minutes later, Chooch and Henry sidled up next to me.

Wow, such coincidence.

Oh! Their name is Leav/e/arth. I even love their name!!

Honestly though, they gave me that excited feeling I used to get when I was younger, seeing a local band at Nick’s Fat City and thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe this band is from Pittsburgh!” That’s how I felt during their set: “Wow, Cleveland is so lucky that have this band!” I would try to see them as often as possible if I lived in Cleveland.

Just saying, Jason!

Also, I just saw that they’re on InVogue Records so now I’m going to start hounding the appropriate parties on Instagram for a Hotel Books / Leav/e/arth tour!

Next was Cedar Green, who are on this whole mini-tour of Emarosa’s. I thought that their name sounded familiar and then I realized that I saw them three years ago in Allentown, PA when they opened for Hands Like Houses and Slaves (ugh). Cedar Green had some technical difficulty during one of their songs (ER from Emarosa came out to help them behind the scenes which was so cool of him) but honestly I thought they were wonderful regardless. They had great energy and I know I say that a lot but have you ever seen a band that’s just kind of like…there? Then you know what I mean. I was happy to be able to support them, and when they did a Twenty One Pilots cover, Chooch was on board too.

I went over to talk to the guitarist after the show that night, and asked if they’re from Allentown. He confirmed this and seemed sincerely shocked that I not only had seen them before, but remembered it, too. He called the singer over to tell him, and he was also super excited about this. I love young bands that still have that humble graciousness – it’s adorable and it makes me so excited for them! I really hope they garner lots of new fans on this tour.

They remind me of summer. <3

Ugh, and then it was time for Emarosa! I’m going to cry at the memory of it because it was one of those nights that you wish you could gather up and stuff inside a snow globe, to relive with every gentle shake. LE SIGH. My emo heart, it bleeds.

I hope that if you’ve read any of my past Emarosa posts, you’ve taken some time out to listen to their music. If not – PLEASE do yourself a favor and check out their most recent album, 131. Their whole discography is beautiful and perfectly encapsulates each era of their journey, from Chris Roetter to Jonny Craig to Bradley Walden.

But…this current era with Bradley is tops, and it’s the best starting point for a new listener. PLEASE GO LISTEN AND REPORT BACK. I’ll wait.

At an Emarosa show, you’re going to get everything from:

  • charmingly funny stage banter that doesn’t come off as trite
  • literal acrobatics: Bradley usually does a backflip or two; picks up their bassist and spins him upside down;  gives their guitarist a piggyback ride through the crowd; and if there’s anything around for him to climb and hang from, he’ll find a way,
  • tons of crowd immersion (sometimes I think he spends more time singing in the middle of the floor than he does on stage),
  • but most importantly, incredibly well-written, passionately-performed music.

And this night, Saturday May 13th at Mahall’s in Cleveland, had all of these things.

(Except the climbing, although it did seem like at one point Bradley was casing the ceiling for something to grab onto it.)

Here, just watch this. JUST WATCH IT!

Young Lonely 💖

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I was in tears from all of the beauty, when, in the middle of “Helpless,” Bradley pointed to Chooch and summoned him on stage. Chooch was trying to convince himself that the attention was actually for the girl next to him, but even she knew what was going on and turned to make room for Chooch.

So he goes on stage and I’m like OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW ARE YOU KIDDING ME and then Bradley picked him up like a regular sack of potatoes and slowly launched him onto the waiting hands of the crowd. My fucking kid was crowd-surfing. I oscillated back and forth between: “FUCK YEAH MY KID IS CROWD-SURFING!” to “OMFG PLEASE DON’T GET DROPPED!”

I can’t even believe it. I mean, I can. Bradley doesn’t make idle threats, I guess. I mean, the night was already 100/100, but this just sky-rocketed it to extra-terrestrial levels of outrageousness. How is this band so great?!

My kid got his first crowd-surf out of the way. At age 11. 😳

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Chooch of course ran over to the merch table after the show so he could once again act all quiet and awkward in front of the band, and get another photo for his ME&BRADLEYFOREVER scrapbook (I’m just guessing he has one).

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(The lighting was awkward!)

While I was getting my phone ready to take the picture, Bradley started whispering something to Chooch, and I figured it was probably something like, “Hey kid, stay in school” or “Be nice to your mom & dad, they love you” but NO.

Chooch told me as we were walking away that what he said was, “Why do you let your mom have that phonecase? Tell her to get rid of that.”

Ugh! Whatever! My phonecase is….lit? OK fine it’s dumb and clunky and something only someone riding on the back of a unicorn should have, but I love it. I mean, the manager at CVS asked to Snapchat it, for fuck’s sake!

It’s fine. No, I’m OK. I still love Emarosa.

(OK but seriously, if you made it to the end, now you have to go and listen to at least one song. And then buy their album. And a t-shirt. And then go see them. I’ll go with you, even. Maybe. If it’s within driving distance. And you’ll feed me.)

Apr 242017
 

My brother Ryan asked Chooch to pick somewhere he’d like to go for a birthday dinner, and I was bracing myself for the inevitable Burger King (he likes their veggie burgers) or Denny’s, but he shocked me with his off-the-cuff response of “Tillie’s.” I thought he hated that place! When he was little, he used to whine loudly that it stunk in there and we’d be like, “THAT’S THE BEAUTIFUL STENCH OF HOMEMADE SPAGHETTI SAUCE, MORON.” But I guess his palate is finally starting to mature past the age of cereal and (faux) chicken nuggets.

Before we left, I made him pose for some pre-11 birthday photos, because the glory days of 10 are waning quickly and I NEVER WANT TO FORGET HIS PRECIOUS DECADE-OLD CHEEKS.

These birthdays slaughter me, you guys. Being a mom hurts. WHERE DID MY BABY GO.

(Be prepared for a landslide of gratuitous throwbacks tomorrow on his actual birthday. Sorry in advance.)

*finger hearts*

I let him wear my G-Dragon pin because I guess I love him.

We picked up Judy on the way, and she proceeded to jut a finger at every vacant lot we drove past en route to McKeesport, informing us of whatever dance halls, bars, and diners used to be there, and how her ex-husband used to sing at some lounge that had since burnt down, which caused Henry to have lots of questions.

Not of the fire, but of the singing, I guess.

“There used to be a place I went to on the river down there,” Judy mused, staring out the passenger window as we crossed over a small bridge into McKeesport.

“The Palisades,” Henry said, causing Judy to laugh uproariously for some unknown reason and shout, “No! It was down on the river!”

“Yeah, the Palisades!” Henry argued, and Judy was nearly crying at this point, she was laughing so hard, and we had no idea why. DID SOMETHING HAPPEN TO JUDY AT THE PALISADES?!

“I forget how to do it,” said my gifted child as he handed his beaten bread across the table for Henry to finish buttering.

Dinner was so great, as usual.

“I haven’t been here in about 30 years,” my mom said at one point, inspiring me to say that I had never heard of it until my friend Heather took me there for my 19th birthday.

“I’m surprised Pappap never came here,” I said.

“No, he did,” my mom said, telling me the name of the friend he used to frequent the place with.

“Wow, your Pappap actually didn’t take you somewhere,” Henry chided. Fuck off, Henry.

Meanwhile, Chooch regaled the table with his tragic toothpick story, which made Ryan remember the time he drove one of his 80-wheeled remote control cars into my hair when I was laying on the floor (probably daydreaming of rollerskating on clouds with the Care Bears).

I don’t know how Chooch managed to eat any of his spaghetti in between gulping for air during his non-stop monologue. That kid could have a future in MCing variety shows in Korea. HE ALWAYS HAS SHIT TO SAY. ALWAYS.

Unless there is a pretty girl nearby.

I tried to get Henry to stop my brother from picking up the tab.

“Ryan’s our dongsaeng, and in Korea, dongsaengs would never be expected to pay for a meal!” I explained.

“Well, this isn’t Korea,” Henry sighed, while my mom rolled her eyes and Ryan shrugged it off as Erin being Erin.

Later on, we got some obligatory ice cream at Handel’s and managed to make it through an entire evening without arguing!

Apr 062017
 

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Chooch in 2013, when he was known to wear a wolf hat just like his idol, Christofer Drew.

On Sunday, I got to do one of my favorite things in the whole entire world: go to a show with Chooch.

We hadn’t gone to a show together since last fall when we saw the Summer Set in Columbus! So when Never Shout Never announced a throwback tour, there was definitely no question that we were going. Henry bought two tickets and cheerfully said, “Have fun!” as he mentally planned all the things he was going to do without us that night, such as: eat meat, read the circulars, chip away at his tunnel to freedom, and sleep?

I actually have no idea what he did after he dropped off at Stage AE. I tried to get out of the car as quickly as possible, before too many people in line saw me and thought that my DAD was dropping me off. Ugh, the horror.

Except that Chooch was with me, immediately marking me as a mom. Oh well. That and my gray hair.

The line wasn’t terribly long, but long enough to make Chooch grumble. These whippersnappers and their instant gratification! They don’t know the satisfaction of good things and waiting, or whatever that fucking bullshit adage is.

I’ll tell you one thing though: there were a lot of girls there with flower chains all up in their unwashed hair. Oh, that neo-hippie couture. I was just wearing jeans and a striped shirt. You know, my uniform.

Meanwhile, an ice cream truck rolled up! What smart marketing. Too bad Papa H didn’t give us any cash, so we had to stand there like peasants and watch all of the other kids rush over to grab a Push-Up.

And by “all of the other kids,” I mean four of them.

“Wow, their prices are high!” Chooch scoffed.

“Are they? Those ones over there are like, a dollar….”

But he didn’t hear me because he was too busy mentally comparing the prices with other ice cream trucks he’s seen around town, like he’s suddenly into the economics of ice cream on the go.

I was like, “OMG stop sounding like such a nerd right now, we’re in line for a fucking concert, ugh, STFU.”

Meanwhile, some Stage AE broad was pacing back and forth like a drill sergeant, yelling for all the guys to move over to the line on the right where they could proceed to the obligatory pat down from a male security person, while us girls got felt up by fellow women because that makes it better.

I had to send Chooch into the man line and I acted like I was sending him off to war.

“Are you sure you’re going to be alright?” I called after him like a smothering mother. “Wait for me inside!” That last part may have been muffled by the sound of me drowning on my tears.

But then Chooch came back because I forgot to give him his ticket, lol. This allowed some of the girls ahead of us in line to notice him, and once he got his ticket and went back to the Man Line, they started gushing loudly.

“DId you see that kid?! He was wearing a Dance Gavin Dance shirt!”

“He’s the coolest person here by far.”

“I want to take a picture of him!”

“How old do you think he is, like 13?”

OMG I was dying to holler, “Hi! Hello! It’s me! It’s me, his mom! And he’s only 10, btw!” But I didn’t want to be all High-Strung Mother so I just kept my mouth shut.

“That’s the kind of mom I’m going to be,” one of the girls said and I took a leisurely lap around Validation Bay.

Chooch was waiting for me, unscathed and un-abducted, after I emptied my jacket pockets to show the security broads that there was no room for drugs or switchblades next to all the ramping, lipgloss, and plastic toy capsules. They seemed satisfied that I wasn’t a terrorist or just your standard American delinquent with a sinister cherry bomb agenda.

Chooch and I claimed a prime spot against the railing, which I knew would be good for him since he’s a shortie with a predilection for resting on his laurels; our spot was sparsely populated so he was able to sit down without being tripped over.

There was only one opening band: Me Like Bees. I thought they were ok, definitely inoffensive to the ears, but I had listened to them before and they just didn’t stick with me. Seeing them live didn’t really change that—I was kind of bored. They reminded me a bit of Modest Mouse, calmer and less musical, and just kind of boring to me. IM SORRY.

I did enjoy their cover of Beastie Boys’ Sabotage though.

After Me Like Bees’ set, the couple next to us asked how we heard about Never Shout Never. I told them that Chooch was the one who actually got me into them, leaving out the part where I had already known who NSN was but refused to give them a chance because in my mind, it was just some lame kid who got YouTube famous for singing whiny songs. I’m glad that I let Chooch change my mind, because Christofer Drew is actually a talented song-writer and let’s be honest, he can jam that ukulele. His music just makes me really happy, and I love that it gave Chooch and I something to share.

Anyway, they were shocked that Chooch has seen NSN five times already in his young age (and met them once!), and the guy part of the couple (I think they were actually just friends, but whatever) said that when he’s a dad, he hopes he can do the same thing with his kids. That was the second time that night that my parenting style was commended by a stranger – I can’t even describe the awesome feeling it gave me.  I love getting to share these experiences with Chooch: going to shows, falling in love with new bands, fighting over who which member of BIGBANG is the best — this is my favorite part of being a parent!

Never Shout Never put on a fantastic show as always. Chris’s banter was fiery as usual, but Taylor wasn’t there to volley it back, so that was sad. But they sure busted out the throwback jams, that’s for sure!

  • Big City Dreams
  • Trouble
  • Your Biggest Fan
  • On the Brightside
  • California
  • Piggy Bank
  • Cheatercheaterbestfriendeater
  • I Love You 5
  • Coffee and Cigarettes
  • Happy
  • Love is our Weapon
  • Sellout
  • First Dance
  • Harmony

During Harmony, Chooch shouted in my ear, “He should sing this song to Donald Trump!”

Indeed, my little friend.

Two of my favorites were played: “On the Brightside” and “Cheatercheaterbestfriendeater” so I was happy. Chooch sang along to every single song, and in between screamed, “Jane Doe!”

Sadly, Chris did not grant Chooch’s wish.

“Ugh, I feel like I’m in middle school again! This is great!” I heard the girl next to us yell to her friend at one point, and that made me happy because nostalgia can be such a precious thing.

It also made me feel REALLY OLD because I was already in my late 20s when Christofer Drew debuted in the scene.

💖This song gets me every single time. 💖 Long live Christofer Drew. 💖

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

 

“All of it,” Chooch said just now when I asked him what his favorite part of the night was. What a perfect way to end the weekend!

 

Feb 262017
 

There’s this kid who lives down the street and for no real concrete reason, he’s my least favorite neighborhood kid. There’s just something sneaky-looking about him and I don’t even try to keep my disdain for him a secret. He knows I don’t like him and he probably doesn’t like me either AND I DON’T CARE. One of the things that really annoys me about him is that he’s younger than Chooch but totally sasses him!

I flipped out about this in the car on Saturday and started ranting about how Americans could stand to learn a thing or two from Korean culture. They take age and kinship very seriously over there and if someone is even just one year older than you, then there’s a certain way you have to address them. IT’S KIND OF A BIG DEAL. So in Chooch and this kid’s case, Chooch would be considered his “hyung,” like an older brother-type relationship.

“In Korea, you respect people who are older than you. Chooch is his hyung and that brat should respect him more!” I cried.

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“Oh you’re one to talk about respecting people who are older than you,” Henry sneered, and then I realized he was talking about my complete and utter lack of respect for him, 14 years my senior.

That’s not true—I call him oppa sometimes!

(Also, I have to tell Blake that he needs to start calling Chooch his dongsaeng, which is totally going to piss off Chooch.)

****

I went to visit my friend Jessy in the hospital on Saturday, but since we had some shopping to do later, Henry and Chooch came with me and just chilled in the cafeteria. I was with Jessy for a little over an hour, regaling her about BIGBANG and whatnot (my life is so exciting), and when I went back to the lobby, I found Henry and Chooch sitting with some really old lady. I thought maybe Henry knew her somehow, but apparently she just decided that all of the 100s of empty chairs could fuck off because she wanted the one right next to the only other people sitting in the whole entire lobby. A halmeoni* can sit wherever she pleases!

*(My Korean textbooks** haven’t arrived yet so god only knows what I’m talking about. Everything I’ve learned so far is from YouTube vlogs from Canadians living in Seoul, kpop translations, and variety shows. Although when Glenn sneezed at work the other day, I said, “I need to find out how to address your sneezes in Korean!” but then I quickly learned that sneezes are not acknowledged with any type of traditional blessing in Korea and that if you do say “bless you” in Korean, people will look at you weird. So I texted Henry this new piece of info so that we can know to just ignore sneezes when we’re in Korea so that no one will look at us weird. “They’re already going to look at us weird,” Henry replied and I sent him the biggest TOUCHÉ of my life.)

**(I’m old school and cannot learn a language through an app. I NEED GOOD OLD-FASHIONED BOOKS.)

As we walked through the hospital parking lot, Henry recounted all of the food he had to eat in the cafeteria (pizza, Chooch’s rejected red velvet cake, and his own piece of coconut cake) and then they both told me the somber tale of the time Chooch thought he was abandoned when he went to the bathroom and came back to find Henry GONE from the lobby, so he went to the desk and asked the ladies, “Have you seen a man?” and didn’t even describe him or offer up a composite drawing, which is a shame because I would have drawn Heidi’s grandfather, fresh from the mountains.

Seriously though.

Have you seen a man.

That’s my brilliant kid.

(I can disrespect him all I want because he’s merely the maknae of the house.)

Turns out, Henry went to the bathroom a little bit after Chooch, but went to a different one, AND THEN COMEDY ENSUED.

Again, our lives are so exciting.

****

On the way to various stores (the Asian market of course and also the craft store because I’m a clothes designer now remember), we had an in depth conversation about China White, because I had referenced it the night before, totally randomly and Henry was like, “Wow OK 1990s” and I argued that I thought it was more of a thing in the 80s but then I never got a chance to look it up because Robbie and Nikki stopped over and I forgot about it because HUMAN INTERACTION. So then in the car on Saturday, I was like, “LOL remember China White” and then I started googling it again so that’s why my search history looks like that OK?!

****

Also on Saturday, I had breakfast with Jeannie at Pamela’s (after she completely ignored me on the sidewalk when I waved and yelled, “HI!” to her, and then let the door shut on me, RUDE.) Wendy was supposed to meet us there but she ended up having to help her husband fix his car or something, I didn’t read the whole text because I was tired but it was definitely something about a brake line and bleeding and then I pictured Wendy in bloody Michael Myers coveralls with a wrench protruding from her pocket.

And then I made Jeannie tell me things about Seoul because she was there once, twenty years ago, and she said that if Henry reneges on his promise to take me next year, she will go with me so SUCK IT HENRY, I’m going to Korea one way or another.

(I don’t think Henry will renege. He knows I’m serious because I’ve already cut back the number of concerts I go to, merch I purchase, weekend trips I take, etc etc – I basically do nothing now and I’m fine with it because get me to Korea. Henry was actually looking up flights the other day just to get an idea and he never looked more hot to me in my whole life.)

****

Later, we went to Eat n Park for some dessert action and we found ourselves reminiscing about all the times Jessy’s husband Tommy made Chooch cry, and then all the times our friend Bill made Chooch cried, and Chooch just shook his head and smiled fondly at all of this. Somehow, we got on the topic of Chooch’s old school, that piece of shit Catholic school across the street from us, and in a moment of honesty, I blurted out, “Chooch, did you ever know about all of the trouble I caused over there with the parents?” And Chooch just scoffed and said, “Yeah because of your blog” so I guess I must have told him the story already at one point, probably on a night when I was drinking wine, because boy do I like to talk when I’m drinking wine.

And because I TOTALLY LEARNED MY LESSON, I started mocking one of the mom’s who confronted me and Chooch was like, “Yeah, why did you even hate her anyway?”

“Oh I didn’t hate her at all prior to that. I hated her husband. He was some total douche who irritated me on one of your field trips,” I laughed. “But, I did call the mom Horse Face after that though.”

“Oh my god,” Chooch sighed. “What was I thinking, taking you with me on a field trip? Of all people!”

Hindsight, etc etc.

****

OK, I have things to do now. Annyeong!

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.

 

 

Feb 042017
 


Before I start off, I’d like to give a shout-out to the person who gave me this book, Octavia.

I just finished “Through The Woods” by Emily Carroll. The book was really well  illustrated but one thing that I hated was how creepy she illustrated the teeth and how close she drew them, look closer. It’s hard to explain just look at it yourself.

The teeth were very crooked and deviously shaped and were very wide gapped.

The storyline was awesome, and there were five different stories that took place near the dark abyss also known as the woods, In most of the stories either the main character’s friend or sister/brother dies and it gets very creepy. Also Janna is in this story and I wont spoil the role she plays because you have to read it yourself to find out. And honestly I recommend this to people who can handle horror I’m looking at you Janna and Mommy (Though I could just tell mommy because she’s beside me right now watching Big Bang videos, though I shouldn’t disturb her)

Next time maybe I’ll write about a book you recommend me to read… No history books plz!

Bonus here’s a book I’m reading that my mom and I made together. Most of you should have already heard of it because it was our gift to daddy for Fathers’ Day. But yeah just going through Memory Lane and looking at what we did in 2013!! Omg!

Signing off for now! Leave a suggestion in the comments for a next review. :P

The pros and cons of being a cat:

Pros- I’m a cat…

Cons- None to be heard of

-William Shakespeare