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

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!

 

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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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Oct 252016
 

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I wish I could properly explain the wrath I dealt with back in May when Chooch realized he was going to miss a headlining Summer Set show in Pittsburgh because we were in Michigan for Bledfest (something that only I wanted to do and Henry and Chooch got stuck going along for the ride and hated every second of it). “But it’s cool because you’ll get to see them at Warped Tour!” I reasoned, and Chooch seemed pacified by this.

And then there was more, even greater wrath in July when we realized that The Summer Set was only going to be on the second leg of Warped Tour, so Chooch would have to miss them again. 

And then there was no Pittsburgh date for their fall tour, but there was a Columbus show that fell on a Saturday so Henry and I felt it was worth it. Look, The Summer Set is not necessarily a band I would go out of my way for, but Chooch is really taken by them, for whatever reason. And who am I to deny my kid the pleasure of seeing one of his favorite bands? I mean, look at how bent out of shape I get when I have to miss seeing one of my favorite bands!

If you read my lame-o live blog post, some of this you already know. Like, the fact that Henry booted us out onto the curb and then went carousin’ around Columbus for….litter boxes and ginger tea. Henry knows how to live it up.

The venue was the A&R Music Bar. I’ve never been there before and I get really nervous about taking my kid to venues I know nothing about. But…the show was all ages, so I figured we’d be fine. Here in Pittsburgh, most of the venues won’t let you bring drinks out of the bar area, so I assumed it would be like that here too.

But no! It was a fucking free-for-all. The bar wasn’t separate all, and while I imagined the crowd would mostly consist of underaged girls, there actually seemed to be more adults there.

Drunk adults.

All over.

Being rude.

Standing in front of Chooch.

Talking over all of the bands.

I was just really rubbed the wrong way almost immediately and had this dire urge to have Henry come and get us and then we could just go do something touristy or…I don’t know…go home. I hate when I get those bad feelings! And I just couldn’t shake this one at all.

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Chooch and I were so hateful of the crowd that we opted to go out on the patio and hang out with the all of the smokers, even though it was about 40 degrees out. We could actually see the stage better from out there and the sound wasn’t muted much at all.

That dude up there in the white shirt was the opener. I think his name was Chase? No. It’s Hudson Thames. I pretended for a second to be committed to the art of blogging and actually researched that shit.

Um…Hudson had a great voice! But I wasn’t entranced.  And then after his set, he took off his shirt and threw it into the crowd, like OK Tacky.

William Beckett was next. I had no idea he was on this tour, and when he walked past us when we were standing in line, I was like, “That guy looks familiar” but then figured it was just because he reminded me of someone who would have been in a Sid & Marty Kroft television show, and didn’t think about it again until we were inside and I was buying Chooch his 374872389465th Summer Set shirt, when I looked over and saw the guy again, and then my eyes drifted to the side of his head and I noticed all of the William Beckett merch on the wall and realized that oh shit, that’s William Beckett from The Academy Is… what the fuck is he doing opening for the Summer Set?!

We only stuck around for two of his songs because, ask Chooch, we were surrounded by drunk broads with really annoying voices. I will never understand why people pay money to go to a show and then stand with their back to the stage scream-talking to their friends. Like, just go to a regular bar for that, or have a fucking house party. I guess I just don’t get it. MAYBE BECAUSE I’M TOO SQUARE. I’M SO SQUARE THAT I USED THE TERM “SQUARE.”

After William Beckett, Chooch and I went back inside, on a quest to find somewhere decent to stand where he could see and we wouldn’t be inadvertently wrapped up in a Snuggie of drunk douchebags. We ventured further and further up toward the front of the venue until we were next to the side of the stage. There were several other people standing there, and Chooch was happy enough with the unobstructed view that he didn’t care if he was just going to see the Summer Set’s profiles.

Eventually though, one of the staff ladies came over and said that we were going to have to move back more into the main area when the band came out, and we were like, “Ugh fine.” However, two girls came into the venue with one of the Summer Set guys (Josh, according to Chooch) and stood next to Chooch and the staff lady was just like, “Fine I give up. Stand there. Create a fire hazard. Oh well.”

I mean, probably that’s what she was thinking, and not, “Gotta catch ’em all.”

HERE IS A REALLY DETAILED, ARCHITECTURALLY ACCURATE BLUEPRINT OF THE LAYOUT:

You can see how we were keeping an open area so that traffic could freely flow to and from the exit.

I was so pleased with how this night had panned out! Chooch was in a comfortable spot, I had a thing to lean my old ass body against, the band was playing pleasant pop music that I generally wouldn’t care about but have learned to semi-like thanks to Chooch (I REALLY LIKE THEIR NEW SONG “JEAN JACKET” AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT)….Some old broad had migrated to our area with her niece who was around the same age as Chooch, and she and I were exchanging pleasantries, and that’s when I made the mistake.

I said words.

I jinxed myself.

“This is the perfect spot,” I yelled into my new friend’s hair.

“Yeah it really is!” she said, and we leaned back against the bar, smiling as our young companions danced and clapped to The Summer Set.

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Then that lady left. I don’t know where she went, to the back of the room with her niece, I guess. And then suddenly, a group of 6 totally trashed bitches came barreling up from the back of the room and stuffed themselves into the area area between those of us leaning against the bar and the few people in front of us at the barricade.

They were flailing around, screaming like infants, holding their cans of Coors Light like torches over their perfect heads of hair, sloshing beer around like a stinky sprinkler system, and being generally REALLY FUCKING INTRUSIVE.

Luckily, the staff lady swooped in from her station at the door and yelled, “You guys have to move! We have to keep this area open!”

Of course, they wouldn’t move. Why would they move? They were fucking entitled little bitches who owned the place.

All I knew was that they were potentially going to ruin things for Chooch. I had a feeling that if they didn’t move, that broad was going to come back and make us ALL move. So I kind of nudged one of them so she’d move, instead of pancaking me against the edge of bar like she was currently doing. I mean, they brought major pandemonium to our nice little area of the venue, and everything was happening so fast…

But I didn’t think this prissy little girl was actually going to flip out from being subtly nudged.

“That bitch PUSHED ME!” she shrieked to the staff lady, who was just like, “Oh OK” and then walked away. When she didn’t get the attention she craved, she continued to scream her face off about me pushing her, and I was so confused…was she actually talking about me? Because I used like three finger tips to give her a tiny prod in the direction that the lady wanted her to move, and also it was to get her fucking gross Aztec sweater out of my face.

So then she ran over to the lone guy in their crew and hysterically cried, “THAT BITCH PUSHED ME!” but as I would find out later, she wasn’t the one in the group he was fucking, so he just looked at me and then looked at her and shrugged.

Two of her other friends were oblivious to her plight, and instead continued performing their bizarre, primitive vagina dance which involved them leaning back in their best Limbo pose while facing each other, and making sensual “offering” motions with their hands above their crotches. So I’m like completely mesmerized by this weird menstrual witch jig when I suddenly feel a sharp blow to my ribcage because Aztec Sweater finally found a friend who cared, and that friend—a frumpy bitch in a plum sweater—wedged herself in between me and the nice, normal girl who was originally standing to my left, and proceeded to passive aggressively assault me with her basic bitch elbow while the THAT BITCH PUSHED ME dialogue continued.

Like, really. You’re going to stand there and play these middle school games, like you’re trying to bully me in the back of the classroom while the teacher has her back turned? Because that’s what that shit felt like.

So I dug my feet into the floor and started to push back into her because bitch, you picked the wrong girl. I wasn’t going to move.

But I also wasn’t going to ruin Chooch’s night. Because by this point, my whole body felt like a whistling tea kettle. I could hear the blood rushing into my head, like sheet metal crashing in my ears. I was starting to shake, because what I really wanted to do WAS GRAB THIS BITCH BY THE HAIR. Not even the girl I supposedly pushed! But this fucking plum tunic hag. I wanted to actually fight her and it has been a long time since I felt this out of control in public, and I had literally zero sips of alcohol in me. No, this bitch alone was bringing out pure, unadulterated, primal rage.

Then I looked up and saw Chooch, applauding in between songs, and got myself in check real quick.

CONSEQUENCES, BLAH BLAH BLAH.

This isn’t to say I was going to stand there and be steam-rolled by this fucker. So I turned and tapped her on the arm.

“Excuse me, but I didn’t PUSH your friend,” I yelled into her ear.

“WELL THAT LADY YELLED AT US AND TOLD US TO MOVE AND THERE’S NOWHERE FOR US TO GO SO YOU HAVE TO MOVE TOO!” she yelled back, sounding like an actual brat. I mean, that staff lady didn’t YELL at them, she was just trying to do her job.

“I’ve been standing here since before The Summer Set went on, and my kid is right up there, so no, I’m not moving,” I said, and I was so surprised at how RATIONAL AND NON-HYSTERICAL I SOUNDED. I realllly didn’t want Chooch to turn around and see his mom acting like white trash. 

“OK, well then we’re good here!” she yelled, like suddenly everything had changed now that she knew I’M A MOM and not just another basic OSU bitch? I mean, she said it in a totally asshole-y way without a DROP of sincerity, but she moved out of my personal bubble and her fucking elbow never touched me again, and then in a strange twist of events, the weird vagina dancers actually became pretty amusing to me and we had several moments throughout the night where we laughed at things together and I know that infuriated the other two girls WHO I WILL NEVER BE COOL WITH IN REAL LIFE, NOT IN A MILLION YEARS, I don’t care how much Aztec Sweater looked like Missy Franklin and I LOVE MISSY FRANKLIN.

I can’t even put into words how much it ruined my night, my weekend, my joy of being at a concert, my faith in humanity (not that I had much to begin with but still). Shows are safe zones for me. It’s where I feel at home and comfortable in my skin, where I can leave my stress and tension at the door, and I want Chooch to feel that way too. But all this shit was playing out right behind him and even though he never turned around and saw it all, he was still annoyed by these people for his own reasons. It made me feel like I put him in a potentially unsafe situation and that’s a really terrible feeling for a parent.

But he still said he had a great time, and the guitar tech gave him a pick (you can see that in the end of the below video!).

THE THINGS I DO FOR MY BELOVED SON.

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

I pretty much raged about this to Henry during the entire three hour drive back home to Pittsburgh and he was like, “OK what do you want me to do” because he’s so SUPPORTIVE, so then I texted Chris and Monica who TOTALLY UNDERSTOOD AND WERE ON MY SIDE SO THERE HENRY. And I’m not going to lie, I kind of half-expected them to follow us outside after the show and start shit with me again, so I spent the rest of the show trying to put together some kind of game plan in my head, which was basically just COMING IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL.

And then running.

There were like six of them!

Well, four. Those vagina dancers were way too drunk to fight.

All I know is that I haven’t felt this way in a long time. Because I don’t know about you, but I try to live my life without getting stabbed or thrown in the slammer. 

*****

I was down about it all day yesterday at work. I only told Glenn, Todd, and Wendy because even just talking about it made me feel so shitty all over again. I’m so glad that these things happen so rarely, because I would probably never go to a show again.

When I saw Chooch after work, I asked him if he told his friends about going to see The Summer Set.

“No, not really,” he said, because his school friends just don’t relate to these things. “Well, I did tell them about how that one girl spilled her beer on my leg.”

UGH GREAT. MOTHER OF THE FUCKING YEAR.

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Oct 232016
 

Now that Chooch is back at it with piano lessons, Henry and I have been trying to make the most of the hour of freedom we get on Sunday mornings. Chooch’s instructor Cheryl lives in Lawrenceville now, so we just leave the car parked near her house and meander about like we’re a real life couple or something. Today, we went to Butterwood Bake Consortium for, you know, cake and consorting.

Obviously, I was all about this joint because its aesthetic is like, goth-lite. Neo-Victorian. Shabby nouveau. I don’t know. I’m making these things up. But it really appealed to me and I made myself at home on a church pew. Henry’s big lumberjack body nearly knocked over the table when he crammed his blue collar ass into the dainty chair. He was so angry about being in this place, which made it even better. However, he sure had no qualms with forking his vanilla pecan & lemon curd cake into his moustachioed maw.

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That cake was a thousand thumbs-up emojis. We also got a piece of Olive Oil and Lavender cake for later and now that it’s post-later, I can tell you that it was a thousand and five thumbs-up emojis. (I LOVE LAVENDER SO MUCH! Lavender and maple. Those are my jams. Separately though. I’m not palate professor but I don’t think those two flavors would pair well together.)

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The pour-over serves two but Henry is some weird anti-coffee hobo and kept his cup turned over the whole time, like how rude.

Afterward, we came home and Henry went grocery shopping so that my co-workers won’t threaten to call CYS on him anymore. Chooch and I decided to go for a leisurely stroll around the ‘hood since we spent so much of yesterday being stuck in the car. Plus, today was way more beautiful and warm than yesterday and we gotta make the most of this tolerable weather before the dreary Pittsburgh winter keeps us cloistered in our miserable fortress for the next several seemingly unending months. OMG I’M ALREADY BEGINNING TO PANIC. STOP WITH THE CHRISTMAS COMMERCIALS ALREADY! LET’S ENJOY FALL!

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Anyway, we call this lumbercasual. Here, you will see Chooch reppin’ the Stheart beanie, Emarosa shirt, Mossimo flannel (probably? Henry bought it last night when Chooch and I were at the Summer Set show and he cruised around Columbus running errands like a good housewife) and Vans. I don’t know what his jeans are and I don’t care. Do you care? EXACTLY.

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We chose one of the alleys of Brookline for this fauxtoshoot. Chooch was actually very agreeable and we didn’t fight at all! BECAUSE HENRY WASN’T THERE.

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MOODY AF.

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I wanted him to sit on the steps but he was like, “Uh, there’s broken glass on every step, so no.” Teamwork.

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[Chooch just paused whatever game he’s playing on his DS to squint at CNN and ask, “Is that Katie McGinty?” Whyyyy does he know so much about politics?! Friday morning, I overheard him ask his friend, “Did you watch that Trump/Hillary roast last night?!” and of course his friend was like, “Um, the fuck is that? No.” So then Chooch told him his favorite parts to a resounding response of *CRICKETS*.]

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And now we’re gearing up for The Walking Dead. I’m already emotional. Why do we do this to ourselves?!

HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?!

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Oct 192016
 

Hey guys it’s Riley back again with a review, a haunted house review. So its 2016 finally back in October, back in haunted house season!
So we went to three already and I’m going to tell you about all three.

Hundred Acres Manor

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Hundred Acres Manor wasn’t that good this year but it was still pretty cool. Daddy took us to Hundred Acres Manor. So yeah, you probably guessed I asked daddy to let me use his phone, and he was pissed but I didn’t care. Anyway when we got there daddy started to watch T.V. Shows on his phone like NCIS and Person of Interest. We got in line and i saw a kid that was in 6th Grade at my school, lets call him Paul. But that’s not important, whats important is there was a costume, a person, a person in a costume, A CHAP STICK COSTUME!!!! It was a weird costume but awesome. I was hoping for a fist bump for when i got up front and she did it! I was so happy.

Okay so to the important stuff. When we went in (Finally) it was the exact same as every other year (I WASN’T SCARED) so of course it started with the elevator then, I don’t remember what was next but i do remember this part where there was a guy getting shocked/executed and Paul was scared to go past because the (fake) guy getting executing was blocking the way. So Paul finally jumped out of the way and we got to move on. Then the group in front of us since the group in front of the group we were in (Paul’s Group is the group in front of our group I forgot to mention we weren’t originally in their group) were going so slow we caught up to them. So there was this part where a zombie was above you trying to get down but there is a rail in the way, so he pushes it down and he starts going like *Ahhhh* and this guy (lets call him Joey) was going clueless as hell and didn’t know where to go so Joey was just like *DOOOY* and there was clearly black plastic strips you had to walk through and we were just standing there in perpetuity.

So instead of writing every freaking detail I’ll just tell you the new parts. So instead of having the maze there was an Alien Part where we were going through a UFO of some sort and this General guy told ME (SPECIFICALLY) not to touch ANYTHING in the UFO thingy so I listened and didn’t touch anything. Oh and also it’s good to be petite because I don’t have to duck in the like cave parts where it swoops down and adults have to duck to get under. All I have to do is nothing. I just keep walking. I don’t have to duck or anything.

Then we went into some house that had music playing *Mr.Sandman Specifically* and Children’s Drawings all over the walls ¬†*UGH SO CREEPY* and the lady who lived there lived right next to the Space Craft thingy. So I told her “Are you aware you live next to a giant Space Craft?” and she said “Of course! It’s the best part of living here” (She doesn’t actually live there for the people who thought ‘Wow, she lives in the property of Hundred Acres Manor!’ No she role-play’s like she lives there obviously.)

That was the last part I think. So when we left the building there was a table with two guys giving out some like¬†TEAM NUTZ¬†slip thing and mommy thought it was for bands playing somewhere but then she realized “Oh” its… these. So yeah that is this part of this (Essay?) If you enjoyed this part, comment “Vote H4M”

¬†Allen’s Haunted Hayride & Tavern of Terror

Okay so to start off Me, Mommy, Blake, and his girlfriend Haley went to Allen’s Haunted Hayride first, then we went to the Tavern of Terror.

Okay so we got in line and it was horrible because it was muddy and stuff, so my shoes got dirty. Well they didn’t really get dirty but they were pretty dirty. We finally made it to the Hayride and the first significant parts was that there were TMNT people and they through candy into the hayride and mommy got a piece and i wrestled her and got it and she whined and said “Ha! I found another one!” and I wanted to take it. So she whined the whole time. The second significant part was there was a part with clowns, and Haley hates clowns, so I said “Take her she hates clowns!” so they got in her face and she was freaking out.

The next significant parts was there was ¬†“The REAL Michael” ¬†came, and you’ll see why I call him that in a second. So there was a fake Michael Myers and then mommy was like “That’s creepy” then the “actual” Michael ran at us and Mommy slid away so when I tried to lean back on mommy I hit the girl sitting next to her. Mommy said “OH THAT’S THE REAL MICHAEL!” and moved away and then Michael crouched/tea-bagged me. Okay then there were these girls at the other side of the tractor and they were talking to this guy (said to be named Avery by the girls) and he was supposed to be their friend, but I don’t think he was.

Then one of the Allen’s who sat with the driver got kicked off of the tractor because he was smoking. So we were like “Yeah, You can’t smoke on the tractor.”

So that was the Hayride! If you enjoyed this part go comment “Vote H4YR1D3”

This is the of Terror and there was no one in line for it so we were the first to go in. But we kinda had to wait because the nurse wasn’t in her spot. In the enterance there was a pirate and he told me to go first so I did and there was the bar first. And ¬†there was a bartender and a pirate, like I told you about. There was also another part where you walk through a tunnel and there are these gloved hand that grab you and it’s weird.

There was also a carnival with the Joker and the main attraction Shark-Ini, but he’s gone and you have to escape before he finds you. You had to walk through this mirror tunnel, which was trippy as hell. There was a monster guy who looked a little like Sloth from The Goonies.

If you enjoyed this part go comment “Vote B33R”

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Mommy told Jason that daddy was scared of him so Jason stared at daddy.

Demon House

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So for Demon House I went with Blake and Haley again, but my friend, Dimajio went, too so it was an 1 hour away so it was a boring ride because Maj (What I call Dimajio) was listening to music. But we did play a game on the way there. Okay so skip ahead about 45 minutes, we were in the parking lot of the Demon House van that took you to Demon House. So me and Maj had Gatorade’s and mine was empty so we played catch and football with it. So we did that for another 45 minutes. Then finally, Blake and Haley got there. So we finally got to go in the van to get to Demon House. So I forgot to mention it was Maj’s first haunted house. He said he wasn’t scared. Maj also told me if I or an actor jumped at him he would punch me or them.

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So we got our numbers and stamps that told us we were number 9, to go in. We waited for them to call our number’s and when they did we got to sit down and wait even more. So Maj got jump scared by a ghost groundskeeper and he almost punched him across the face, but he stopped himself in time. So the whole time we were walking through Maj was holding me or Blake in front of him “Because he wasn’t scared.” We were being chased by a chainsaw guy and Maj freaked out and I thought he was going to run home. Mommy ran for her life and I only ran because the chainsaw touched me. Maj ran for the hills, if I didn’t say before.

Then we were playing hide & seek with some girl’s brother and if he found us we were dead. The whole time we were being pushed by Maj through a dark tunnel. Luckily we weren’t found. There was a carnival part and it was creepy as hell. Well Maj was really scared. There was a clown at the end of this weird fence zig-zag we were going through and he screamed in my ear and my eardrum popped.

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Well that was the end of the haunted house, but we still did more stuff.

Me and Maj got Hot Apple Cider and BBQ Lays. But daddy gave me 4$ for balloon pop 3 pins for 1 dollar. So I had 2 dollars and Maj had 2 dollars, so we both got 6 pins. He popped 1 balloon his first try and I popped none. Then with out three last pins I popped 2 balloons and he popped 1. Maj got to get 2 glow sticks and I got bubbles. There was a movie playing called “Dead Alive” and me and Maj hated it, it was so fake. Mommy said “Well, Of Course. It’s supposed to be.”

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On the way back home we got a Basket of Fries from McDonald’s and they were good. Well that brings an end to my review. If you enjoyed this part comment “Vote D3M0N”

Hopefully you vote, oh and you can’t vote twice. Good Bye!

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