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.

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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.

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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 ūüíĖ

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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. ūüė≥

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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.)

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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!

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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.

ūüíĖThis song gets me every single time. ūüíĖ Long live Christofer Drew. ūüíĖ

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“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!

 

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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 TOUCH√Č 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!

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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

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Jan 302017
 

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These balloons are over a week old at this point and getting on my fucking nerves. I get all tangled in them while I’m KpopXing — they’re determined to fell me like a fat, stumpy flesh tree.

This morning, I opened the bathroom closet and a yellow one floated out! HOW.

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Chooch’s face when he says he’s hungry and I say WELL CONSIDER THIS WORKING FOR YOUR FOOD THEN. I love being a parent!

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#burntout.


BONUS: this last one was taken with my phone and edited with the Hongdae filter in Hipstamatic. Oh, Hongdae. <3 My heart bleeds.

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Jan 222017
 

I mentioned a while back that Chooch called Henry from his gifted program to see what his heritage is, because he needed to know for an assignment. Henry’s grandma was from Syria apparently, but Chooch misunderstood and thought he said Siberia.

Chooch is letting me put his essay on here, so meet Bogdan, Chooch’s fake ancestor who helped him get an A on his gifted project…?

***********

Hi I’m Bogdan, I am the leader of a Nomad tribe named the Enets. In the 13th century a small part of our area in Russia was conquered by our arch enemies the Mongols. One of our other tribes migrated north to hide from the Mongols. But our tribe stayed and fought.

Well, that’s our history. Let me tell you about our clothing. Well, we wear Red Turbans bedazzled with jewels, sparkles, and glitter. And sometimes it’s very cold so we wear fur coats made with fur from a wolf. Our diet is mainly raw foods, anything that should be cooked, we eat raw.

WHY I CHOSE SIBERIAN:

So, I chose Siberian because my great-grandma is Siberian. I’ve never been to Siberia. I’ve never been out of the USA but I am soon. Not to Siberia, but close. Siberia is interesting to me because they eat raw meat like it’s no big deal!

So this was my Siberian side of the family and how they survive and what their culture is all about! Toodles!

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(I’m obsessed with this mask he made of Bogdan — it’s going on my wall with my other masks!)

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Jan 152017
 

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We fought a lot today, but everyone’s friends again. Don’t worry.

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I have my own similar “brooding through a chain link fence” emo band shot of myself. Not ashamed. 

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Brought to you by hateful yelling, BIGBANG style inspo, early-00’s Contempo outerwear. 

The end.

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Jan 052017
 

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Going to the Einst√ľrzende Neubauten show.

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How Hulk loafs around in the privacy of his home is none of your concern.

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Cat torture attire.

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Lower half is ready for a night of gothic boot-stomping at the Bat Cave, top half is ready to drink craft beer while building a terrarium at PLANT NITE.

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If John Waters had directed Mary Poppins.

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Dec 262016
 

Oh boy, guess what time it is?! Annual Christmas portraits of Chooch in the cemetery! And as usual, it was the only time we fought all day because I get so irritated with using my actual camera anymore.

I use this excuse every single time, but my camera is like a dying¬†dog that needs puts out of its misery. But buying a new one is just not something I care about right now (priorities: concerts and traveling for concerts) so I keep dragging the old, broken bitch out of the house when the time comes, which really is only about twice a year these days because I’m lazy and apathetic as fuck. But at least this time I remembered to charge the battery the night before!

As usual, there was tons of fighting in the beginning. The camera was all out of whack and I started launching death threats at Henry because everything is his fault. But then he fiddled with the setting and everything was OK but I still hated him so he hung back and let us do our thing. We eventually walked across the street to the other side of the cemetery and Henry completely left us alone, and suddenly Chooch and I were best friends and I hadn’t yelled, “JUST FORGET IT!” and marched off in a huff¬†in at least 10 minutes! A record!

Anyway, here are pictures of my kid, age 10, on Christmas 2016 after eating a lazy picnic of egg salad sandwiches and Chips Ahoy that Henry half-assedly tossed into a tiny cooler. These picnics are dying the same slow death as my camera!

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It looks like Chooch is so congenial here! But what was actually happening was he was saying, “FUCK MY LIFE” with a mirthless laugh.

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And here he is laughing at my camera-caused anguish.

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This was probably when I was yelling, “EVERYTHING I DO FOR YOU AND YOU CAN’T SMILE FOR ONE FUCKING PICTURE!?”

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Things got OK from this point on. I wasn’t feeding off of Henry’s presence anymore and my blood pressure was starting to level out.

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I don’t know why, but somehow the theme became “Sad Mouseketeer” – I just rolled with it because Chooch was actually being pleasant to work with and sometimes you just have to let the model take the lead.

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The “please adopt me” face.

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This is the look he’s usually giving me at any given moment of the day.

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When we got in the car to leave, Chooch said to Henry, “Daddy, everything was fine once you left.” SEE?! Henry is the catalyst.

And then the rest of the day was fine because I didn’t have a camera in my hand. Henry said it probably just needs serviced and I was like YOU NEED SERVICED UGH.

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Oct 262016
 

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I’m really excited guys, because my kid has agreed to be the next People Feature subject! If you’ve met him in person, chances are you like him more than you like me. It’s just the way things go and I have learned to accept it. I mean, I’d like him better than me, too!

He’s really into cats, Pokemon, watching stupid things on YouTube (it’s the thing of his generation, you guys), being right, knowing everything, busting shoes within two months, and MATH for some dumb reason.

Contrary to popular belief, Chooch is not my kid’s actual, birth certificate-printed name. We had already settled on the name Riley before he was born, but it was one of those strange things where you get a pet, and you name that pet, and then you call that pet a million other names. It was like that. I looked down at him when we were still in the hospital and blurted out, “Aw, my little Choochie Cabrera!” And he’s been Chooch ever since, even though he’s at that age where he is trying furiously to just be Riley.

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(Chooch rhymes with butch. People who have heard me say it out loud still insist on calling him CHOOOOOOCH and that’s just wrong. If you only knew how long I deliberated over the spelling.)

OK, now that you know his name origins, let’s ask him some questions! 10-year-olds are weird!

You love watching Friends reruns, so it’s a good thing they’re always on, constantly. What character on Friends do you relate to the most?

Ross, because he’s weird. I guess. I don’t know.

What would be your dream vacation and why. And would you take me?

Maybe Tokyo because it’s beautiful and big and it has the Nintendo headquarters and Pok√©mon stuff. And no, I would not take you.

Who are some of your neighborhood enemies?

Larry! Because he accuses me of stealing stuff. He once accused me of stealing his stupid paintball gun, yet when we were doing a photoshoot in the backyard, it was laying right on his bench!

Jackie the Witch.

Ruth.

What has been the BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE so far??

Getting [my cat] Drew. Not going to Disney World because I had to leave Drew.

Remember when you thought we were taking you to your new foster home when really we were going to pick out a kitten?

Yeah.

You’ve been a vegetarian since July. What made you want to go meatless?

Because veggie burgers have NO MURDER in it and why would I want to eat animal slaughter? Also, because a lot of my favorite singers are vegetarians/vegans such as: Christofer Drew (Never Shout Never) and Oli Sykes (Bring Me the Horizon).

What’s your favorite vegetarian meal?

Boca chicken patty because if it tastes like real chicken, why go back to eating actual chicken?

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If you could be a member of any TV family, which one would it be and why?

The Simpsons because their life is crazy and you never know what might happen. Actually can I change my answer? Why would I want to change my family? My family’s fine!

OH LAYING IT ON THICK! Bravo. Pretend like one of the lunch ladies is tired of listening to the radio and is ready to branch out. Give her 5 of your favorite bands to listen to:

  1. Pierce the Veil
  2. The Summer Set
  3. Emarosa
  4. Dance Gavin Dance
  5. Jule Vera. Had to throw that in. 

Speaking of lunch ladies, one of them hates you. Let’s talk about that!

She doesn’t really hate me….anymore. She doesn’t like me. She always says Are you sure you’re a vegetarian and I’m like “have I ate meat?!” Last year when my friend pushed me in the road & a teacher almost hit me, because she said she wasn’t go “fast at all” which she was, the lunch lady said YOU GOT [NAME WITHHELD] IN TROUBLE! since my friend is her FAVORITE and that’s it.

She probably says “yinz” and supports Trump. 

She does say yinz. That’s true.

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Describe your perfect day:

Drew invites me to her birthday party in Hawaii and she made a cake made out of Penelope fur.

Since I recently learned that you’re a haiku aficionado, write a haiku about Henry:

He didn’t let me

Get chips that were on sale for

2 for 5 at Kuhn’s.

If you were old enough to get a tattoo right now, what would it be?

Obviously like the one you have of Marcy, but with Drew. With a banner that says Peace and Love. Never Lose.

You’ve been going to shows since you were 6! What’s the best one you’ve been to so far? 

That Pierce the Veil Misadventures concert because their set was pretty cool and they played all of my favorite songs, and most of the other shows I’ve been to have been at crappy venues.

Draw a picture of HENRY being scared at a haunted house. 

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I love that Henry is almost always in some varying state of nudity in your depictions of him. Final question, and this is A BIG ONE: who do you love more, me or Henry?

You.

(YESSSSSS I WIN!!!!!!)

(There wasn’t much conviction in his answer but still….YESSSSS I WIN!!!!!!)

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