Nov 262020
 

It’s 9:00PM already on Thanksgiving (2020 is on goddamn warped speed) and I am so tired and content. This was quite possibly the nicest T-giving my little fam-trio has had, because the pandemic brought with it LOW EXPECTATIONS. I will pop back on here sometime this weekend to give a proper recap but I wanted to use this day to say thanks to those of you guys who read this, whether we know each other in real life, became friends via the Internet, or maybe you’re a friendly stranger who occasionally reads but doesn’t comment: I’m thankful for you guys! I enjoy writing about the daily minutiae of my life and that anyone cares to read it really means so much to me. I don’t say thanks enough!

I also wanted to take some dumb family pictures to immortalize this Thanksgiving, which was blessedly sans arguing (mostly) and we all pitched in (mostly) and everything turned out wonderfully (100%)!

Henry and Chooch changed clothes IMMEDIATELY after this, so in the next post you’ll see them chowing down on Thanksgiving fare in their super-casual attire.

If Henry looks exhausted/harried, it’s because he was in the middle of cooking and I made him throw on a flannel and sit for an entire 5 minutes while we pretended to be at Olan Mills.

Anyway, I hope my fellow Americans found a way to maintain some traditions while not breaking any pandemic laws. Trust me, I’m not thrilled about how things are playing out either because our new-ish tradition has been to spend a quiet Thanksgiving at home and then go to an amusement for the weekend, and you better believe I was super bummed when summer came and went and an end to covid was still not in sight. I pretty much made peace with the fact months ago that we’d just be staying put for Thanksgiving weekend, and it’s ok. Life goes on (it might not though if you don’t follow covid safety measures!!).

And now I’m going to go and roll myself out of these jeans and into sweatpants, and maybe scroll through Instagram to check out all the pies my friends made. That’s my favorite part of Thanksgiving! ALL OF THE PIE. Speaking of, Chooch made a delightful one and I will talk about that in my Thanksgiving recap.

Byeeeeeeeeeee.

Nov 242020
 

Let’s be real, it’s been hard to make lemonade out of the dirty ass lemons that the coronavirus has chucked at us this year.  With all the staying-at-home that has been mandated since March, the one thing that has really kept me from spiraling out has been giving our rental home a refresher. I can’t even stress how much just a simple change in wall-color has boosted my mood!

But one of the biggest problems we’ve ALWAYS had is CLUTTER. We just don’t have a lot of room to put things (I mean, we’re not hoarders, but we’re…just messy. And by “we” I mean “Henry). After we redid  the dining room, I was like, “AND YOU NEED TO FIND SOMEWHERE TO KEEP THE CARD-MAKING SUPPLIES.” We have a shelf at the bottom of the steps, but that evidently isn’t enough because his supplies kept spilling out onto the dining room table, under the dining room table, next to the dining room table, on the dining room chairs…you get the picture. It’s his card-making station, you guys, and I can’t be too finger-pointer-y about it because we sell cards very consistently so he just got in a routine where he would leave the main supplies out, since he was “going to need them again tomorrow.”

Basically this is A LOT of words to say that we could never even sit at the table to eat because his paper cutter, his crafting knives, his tape, his envelopes, his etc etc etc, was always strewn across the tabletop.

So after we redid the dining room, he moved all of his supplies to the basement until we found a good storage solution. I knew from the start that I wanted a buffet-type piece that could be useful if we ever get to host parties again but also double as hidden storage. I didn’t want to buy something new though – I wanted to find something at the thrift store so that we could dress it up in my dumb aesthetic, which varies.

We ended up finding this really solid mid-century buffet a few weeks ago for like $60 and it was, um, very worth it because the manufacturer is a very good one (we found out that this piece could possibly be worth between $1500-$3000…good thing we used good paint?). As usual, I have no before photo but just know that it was ugly and like, off-white.

Henry finally put it back together last night and brought it up from the basement and I love it SO MUCH. It’s perfect!

We bought the cabinet paint from Lowe’s and the cashier was like, “THIS IS A GREAT COLOR.”

Yeah, no duh.

I knew before we even found a buffet that I wanted to use some of my Pappap’s wallpaper on it. I felt that the print from the master bedroom of the Gillcrest House was the perfect complement to the pink I picked (literally typed “pink I pinked” the first time). Henry used actual wallpaper paste-stuff and the sheets went right on the doors like it was made just to sit around for 50 years waiting for this moment.

I chose gold glitter ribbon as an accent because pink and gold glitter is my signature, like it’s hard to believe I wasn’t in a sorority sometimes, like hee hee, bitches.

Here’s what the wallpaper looked like in the Gillcrest master bedroom.

When I was a really little kid, I used to sleepover my grandparents’ house a lot and I would always sleep in that room with them. That room was fucking magical, the bathroom alone was like no other, and I am so happy to have a piece of that room here in my house, on a repurposed piece of furniture that will hopefully live on for many more decades. (I mean, I can picture this in Chooch’s house someday, can’t you?)

I just fucking love it and can’t wait until I can have people over here again so I can load it up with snaaaaax.

Henry was mad because I posted pictures of it on Instagram without including one of it with the actual buffet flap-things open. “THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT A BUFFET!” he yelled, because he wrote a thesis on midcentury furniture, didn’t you know?

Hilariously, when we first found this at the thrift store, it was SO UGLY TO ME, especially when Henry opened the flaps. I screamed, “OMG WHAT IS THIS????” and he calmly said, “A buffet…” and I was like, “Oh thank god, I thought it was some kind of exam table.”

Wheelchairs? Yes. Funerary paraphernalia? Fuck yeah. Exam tables? GTFO.

I have my limits, you guys.

True to form, Henry left the inside blank. I mean, I guess if he was refurbishing this to sell as a OOAK piece, he’d have gone the extra mile and fluffed up the innards, but we’re only going to stuff it with non compos cards supplies (and cats, apparently), so who really cares, you know?

Drew really fucking loves it.

“Thanks for the new spot!” she said.

So anyway, that’s my buffet story. It would have been really cool to have had this back when I had that vintage food party!

I must be officially old, because I’m getting all hot and bothered over attractive, yet functioning, storage solutions.

Nov 112020
 

Long time readers (lol) might remember when we got some cheap-ass coffee table years ago from the thrift store and refurbed it into a Mod Podge-sponsored photo album. Well…it didn’t hold up very well. All it took was one spilt water bottle to make the underneath stuff expand and bloat and then even after that a bunch of the photos didn’t age well (see also: I included photos of people who ended up being assholes and we no longer speak) so I mostly just kept the table covered.

I think it was last May or June when we decided to finally redo it and got as far as stripping off the old pictures and repainting it, but then Kitchen Redesign 2020 took precedence and the table just sat here with a piece of wood-stuff on top of it for, well, months and months.

Long story short, Henry mismeasured and then ordered the wrong amount of pictures and I was ready to take an axe to it and just buy some generic geometric thing from Target or whateverthefuck, but Henry was like NO, I WILL PREVAIL and then finally took speed or something and got the thing done last weekend.

Here’s what it looked like the first time around:

While all of those photos told a story and 90% made me smile on the daily, there were some that….didn’t age well. Because they featured people who turned out to be…assholes. You know how it is.

So this time around, I decided that I wanted to use photos that would ONLY trigger HAPPINESS. Obviously, those are pictures of my favorite people in my favorite country.

I am a super sentimental person and have always been a hoarder of photos. For god’s sake, pretty much the only things I took from my grandparents’ house was photo albums! I’m always looking for new ways to display photos because sadly I’m running out of walls. (See next photo, lol.)

Pardon the mess in the background, but everything around here is still very much “in progress.” Lol.

I chose this color scheme because it’s similar to the colors used on the palaces in South Korea, and I used photos from both trips and it was so hard to choose!

But the TV in the background, tho!!!!!!

Also, anything you see scattered around the floor is 99.9% of the time a cat toy.

Henry still has to fill the holes in the trim (HE USED A NAIL GUN AND ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT WAS HAPPY GILMORE’S CONSTRUCTION JOB BOSS) but I love how this version of the table turned out. And I can’t wait until we can have people over again so I can make them sit here while I point out and explain EVERYSINGLEPHOTO on this table, like some bizarre Pinterest-age version of a1960s vacation slideshow. Oh, brace yo’selves, future visitors.

I look at these pictures and feel like everything is going to be ok. You know that episode of The Walking Dead were Carol is like, “Just look at the flowers, Lizzy”? If you’re planning on killing me, just tell me to look at the table. Let these pictures be my flowers.

Maybe someday I will just project all of my photos onto the side of the house. The neighbors would love that.

Penelope thinks it’s just OK.

OK, I’m signing off now. Lemme know if you have any cool ideas for future photo display projects. I want to do something with amusement park photos next!

Nov 022020
 

Welp, to use the most annoying phrase of all time this side of “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”:

IT IS WHAT IT IS.

Luckily, we’ve had, what, 7 months to get used to dashed plans and all the dusty nooks and crannies of our homes, so it wasn’t like Halloween was THE MOST DEPRESSING day of the year. And ironically, it managed to be one of the only Halloweens in recent years where I didn’t flip out over last minute costume malfunctions or the general concept of things not going my way.

God forbid.

I mean it was annoying when, for the second year in a row, Henry’s son took the kids trick or treating in some uppity suburban utopia which is whatever, but they live RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO US and couldn’t be troubled to bring the kids over for a second so we could at least see what they were dressed as. No, we instead had to find out the next day via Instagram. How fucking precious.

Oh well, they’re not even my actual grandkids so what do I care. It’s just outrageous how self-centered and oblivious that generation is. The one after the millennials. What are we calling that shit? Generation Z. Thanks, Google. Actually, looking at the dates, those two are actually the combined forces of Millennials AND Generation Z! No wonder why they have literally no life etiquette or courtesy. Or, as we call it in Korean, noonchi. 

It’s the 눈치 없다 generation.

I think Chooch was actually more upset about this than me, and Henry just shrugged it off entirely because Blake is just like him so he doesn’t really have the room to complain.

But whatever, on to better things.

Like Chooch’s costume!

We knew he most likely wasn’t going trick-or-treating this year (you know, being a big bad ninth grader and all), but it didn’t feel right not making a costume. I mean, nearly right up until the end I had begun to accept that my career as Halloween pageant mom really, truly was over.

“But Erin, you say that every year, etc etc.”

No, for real this time!

But then the damn VP debate happened and the fly nested in Pence’s helmet hair for a hilariously long amount of time, and the Internet went nuts over it, and I started screaming CHOOCH, WE HAVE A COSTUME!

We bought him a gaming computer a few weeks ago so he is pretty much at our mercy, at least for the next couple of months. So he was like, “Yes, ma’am that surely seems like a great costume idea and I will happily wear it.”

It also ended being one of the cheapest costumes we’ve made, as well! Those glasses were $5, the ski mask was from Henry’s work, the wings are made from wire hangers and wax paper, Pence’s face is made from cardboard we already had, and a few sheets of foam paper that came to like, $5. Oh, and the pipe cleaners were about $3, if even that. And Henry probably used a Michaels coupon because he is a seasoned craft store shopper.

Man, we just couldn’t help ourselves.

And yes, I made sure to give Pence pink eyes since his eyeballs were basically bleeding during that debate. What a gross man.

Most of the day, aside from costuming, was spent working on projects around the house and before we knew it, it was time for trick-or-treating to start. It wasn’t canceled or anything in our area, but we wanted to make sure it was safe on the off-chance anyone actually came to our house  (we live on a busy street so most of the kids tend to stay on the inner streets). I set up a bowl of candy on one of our wheelchairs and nestled a bottle of hand sanitizer next to it. We hid our Echo under a porch chair and had haunted house music playing all night which upset our cats bigly.

Last year, we only got one kid. This year, during a fucking pandemic, we got 4 groups! Plus the pizza delivery guy who I called back to the porch and forced to take some candy, lol.

Then we ate pizza and just chilled without having any arguments! It was actually a really nice, cozy Halloween in spite of the state of the world. Here’s hoping Trump gets voted the fuck out and we can get legit adults in the White House who will focus on working with the rest of the world to find a way to kill covid. Props to everyone who celebrated Halloween responsibly!

Oct 302020
 

Today is my last day of my annual Halloween Vacation and honestly, it doesn’t even matter because it’s not like I’m returning home from anywhere cool or having to actually go back to the office on Monday. It’s just been more of the same, but without sitting in front of the computer for 8 hours a day. I was going to post a Friday Five, but I don’t know that I can scrounge up an entire FIVE THINGS to drone on about, that is how motherfucking this week has been. Let me summarize it for you quickly.

I have:

  • read a bunch of books;
  • gone on A LOT of walks;
  • sort of helped Henry with a gallery wall;
  • carefully placed objects on some shelves that Henry made from neon acrylic;
  • shoved a spoon in some spooky scoops whenever the fuck I wanted;
  • said, “wow it’s raining again” about 4589 times.

Guys, seriously, I don’t think I have done anything else. I haven’t even watched a full horror movie, just had some classics on in the background while I stared wistfully at the wall and begged the cats for attention. I really DO NOT do the whole “staycation” well at all.

Here are some pictures of the shelves tho:

This shelf is on the “popsicle wall” and displays some things collected from my travels. And no, that’s not a weener, lol. It’s the top from some traditional medicinal liquor we bought in Korea. The camel and Coke bottle are both from Morocco; the vegemite and honey are from Australia, that weird broken vase thing is from Pompeii. The pictures are Chooch with two BIGBANG dads (Seungri’s and G-Dragon’s!). The little hanok is also from Korea.

And then this one is in the kitchen:

   

I like how it looks like it’s glowing. Anyway, Henry made these shelves from sheets of acrylic but it seemed like it was a pain so probably next time we will just buy ones already made and pay the exorbitant shipping from the UK, lol. (Although Henry has already been reading up on how to polish acrylic and apparently he needs a blowtorch and he seems pretty excited to try that out, so who knows.)

Oh I know! I also worked on Chooch’s Halloween costume but that didn’t take long at all. He’s not going trick-or-treating but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make a certain costume and he half-heartedly agreed to go along with it so THERE, I WIN ANOTHER HALLOWEEN BATTLE, BOO YEAH.

Oh I knowx2! On Monday, I took a picture of myself to submit to the office because, since this year is my 10th anniversary, I have the opportunity to update my employee picture, which is hilarious because I tried to be proactive about this last fall, knowing that they circulate a giant poster of all the people having anniversaries (in 5-year increments) and I DID NOT want my current picture to be used because I look hideous and unrecognizable.  So Margie arranged for several of us in the department to have our picture retaken by some broad and it was incredibly awkward because I had to stand in her small office while she took my picture with her phone and I didn’t like a single one of the pictures but just said, “Sure, that one is fine” and that it didn’t matter anyway because she never had it put on our Firm’s directory even after I emailed her twice to remind her, and then the pandemic happened and I was like, “is it petty to still be upset about this or nah?” Finally last week I was like, “OK, enough time has passed and everyone is back to complaining about dumb shit again and losing perspective so I am going to email her again,” but then I forgot and a few days later, SHE EMAILED THE GROUP OF US WHO HAVE ANNIVERSARIES, giving us the option to submit our own picture to her!!!

Of course, I couldn’t pass up  the opportunity to be passive-aggressive and petty, so I emailed her and said, “Hi you took an updated picture of me last year but it was never put on Compass, can I just send you a new one?” LOL at my cry-babyness forever.

Henry was off (much to his chagrin since I did nothing but yell at him all day) on Monday so he had to help fashion a backdrop since we have no white walls left in the house thanks to Covid-redecorating. It was a mess and I yelled a lot, but I finally got a picture and then was annoyed because there’s a strand of hair in my eye but it’s the best one I took otherwise and I figured it will be so small anyway that no one will see, except for you – now it’s all you will be able to see!

Ugh she better fucking replace this old one!! I will never forget the day it was taken. I was a temp for the first 5 or so months I worked there so I only had a temp badge with a yellow circle in lieu of a photo which was fine by me. Then I was hired by the firm and one random day I came in to an email that was like, “Hello please come up and have your picture taken” and I was like, “TODAY?!!?” because, not that I was ever super put-together, but I remember being exceptionally harried and a general mess that day. Also, the lady who took my picture was the same one who took it last year and I remember she was asleep at her desk and I had to gently wake her up. Now she has her own office to take get some private napping in.

Wow, I guess I had more to ramble on about that I imagined.

Now I’m just waiting for Chooch to finish geometry so we can go for a walk to a cafe in Mt. Lebanon and get some of that hot bev bev.

I literally don’t know why I said that. I have never once called hot beverage that in my life. Sometimes I think I lose consciousness while I’m writing on here and the virtual spirit of Mona-Lisa Saperstein takes over.

I will leave you with two MVs that I am sincerely feeling deep into my bones today:

Obsessed with the eye imagery in this!

Janna’s ult bias is back with another banger!

Oct 282020
 

Sometime early Monday evening, my work friend Lauren texted me and asked if I would be willing to submit one of Chooch’s carved pumpkins because our department was having a pumpkin carving contest, but only like 5 people submitted one.

I mean, I’m not shocked. Four years ago, Carrie and I were in charge of organizing a Halloween party for the department and barely anyone participated, and this was waaaaay before the pandemic! I think there were 5 of us who dressed up. It was just super depressing. We just don’t work with very festive people, I guess. This is why I didn’t even bother to put  my name in the hat for the new party committee that was assembled at the beginning of the year, because I get so angry when the efforts are unappreciated!

Anyway, I didn’t pay much attention to the emails that went out about this last week because I knew I wouldn’t “be there,” since I’m off the whole week before Halloween and didn’t think I would be eligible because I’m sorry – I love my co-workers but I am not logging on to a WebEx on a day off!

Sadly, all of the pumpkins Chooch carved are half-rotted because of the hot weather we had been having last week, so I was like, “Ew, I’m sorry but I can’t submit a picture of any of those in good conscience” but we were actually already out when she texted me so I asked Chooch, “If we stop and get a new pumpkin on the way home, will you carve it?”

Chooch made some mumbling sounds that, when strung together and played in reverse while standing in a graveyard at midnight, loosely translated into, “Go fuck yourself.”

“There’s a cash prize, I think,” I added with a shrug and he was suddenly like, “Sure mother, this sounds like a swell idea; Father, please purchase the pumpkin at your earliest convenience.”

Now, I was only doing this to be a team player, and I have a hard time saying no to people. So I told Chooch it didn’t have to be anything magnificent which quickly turned into, “OOOH WILL YOU DO A G-DRAGON ONE!?” and he was like, “Wha—no!!!” So then I thought out oud, “You know what would be quick and simple? You could just do a 2020 and then set it on fire. Bam. Done.”

He liked the idea because it was easy, so that is why there was the stench of burning pumpkin cocooning our house Monday night and I’m here to tell you that it was a far cry from Yankee Candle. Yikes.

I got the picture submitted to Lauren that night and it was eligible for voting the next day. I didn’t think too much about it and then Chooch was like, “What’s going on with that pumpkin competition? Did I win, or…?” and I was like, “Oh shit, I didn’t think we were actually in it to win it” which is how you know 2020 has taken a toll on this tried and true Leo, because when have I ever entered a contest without the expectation of winning?!

“Did anyone vote for me?” he asked, and I was like, “I dunno, and I’m not logging on to find out. I’m on vacation!” But then on Instagram, my friend Colleen commented on the pumpkin and said that she voted for it so for a second I felt mildly inspired, enough to text Todd and say, “TODD.”

And then nothing else for a full minute because people love that about me.

“Vote for Chooch’s pumpkin.”

So he did, because hello, people do as I say around those parts.

Then I went back to not caring, aka “enjoying my time off” until later on in the evening when I saw that my friend Megan had texted to say that she and Chooch tied for first place! I actually found out about an hour after Chooch and I had a full-blown screaming match IN PUBLIC on our walk to Dunkin’ Donuts for beverage after dinner, when he tried to take credit for it and I was like, “Yeah, I mean, you carved it but it was my idea” and he was like, “No it was my idea, you just said to make one that said 2020 and I said yeah and we can set it on fire.”

UM – NEGATIVE. Why would I suggest to just carve 2020!? The whole point from the very genesis of the idea was to set it on fire! And if you know me at all, you know that I CANNOT STAND WHEN SOMEONE TAKES CREDIT FOR MY IDEAS EVEN IF THAT SOMEONE IS MY OWN SON, I WILL NOT HAVE IT. So we were actually yelling at each other next to a gas station on a busy street and you know what, I didn’t even care who was watching HONESTLY!! I even turned around and stalked off at one point but then I remembered that I wanted fucking coffee so I came back.

“You’re a typical Leo,” Chooch muttered when we were on our way back with our coffee. “You make everything about you!”

“And you’re a typical Taurus!” I slapped back. “FUCKING STUBBORN! ALSO, YES I MADE THAT ABOUT MYSELF BECAUSE IT WAS MY IDEA AND YOU WERE TAKING CREDIT AND I’M NOT GOING TO STAND THERE AND LET THAT HAPPEN!”

Can you guys see now why I never chose a creative route as a profession? I literally CANNOT work with others when it comes to ideas and creations and whatever.

It was so bad that I even called Henry and asked him to solve it for us since he was in the car when the whole thing was born, and he literally said HE DIDN’T KNOW because he is FUCKING SCARED OF US BOTH.

WOW THIS BLOG POST WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THIS ANGRY YET HERE WE ARE.

Anyway, then I found out that the pumpkin tied for first place and Chooch and I bonded over the fact that OUR JOINT EFFORTS paid off.

I mean it’s just like how I design the serial killer cards and Henry makes them, you know? I come up with ideas and then these fools execute them. The only difference is that Henry doesn’t mouth off like Chooch does.

Oct 272020
 

During these #UghTimes, it’s so important to forage for all the little things you can find that boost your mood. For my household, it’s treating ourselves to the occasional Sugar Spell Scoops pint presales. We were always just the casual scoop procuring customer pre-pandemic, but we really want to support this insanely good local business which is owned by the nicest, sweetest, cutest couple who have always been so friendly to us, and that really makes all the difference in the world. I used to be such a fangirl of another local ice cream shop, Millie’s, but a series of disappointing interactions with employees left me with a bad taste in my mouth (rivaled only by their sorry attempt at vegan ice cream) so I have happily giving Sugar Spell all of my business since then.

Plus, they do vegan ice cream BEAUTIFULLY and SKILLFULLY. The flavors they create are creative and artisanal, and soooo good that even Highbrow Hank will happily stick in a spoon. The pints are a bit pricy, but vegan ingredients ain’t cheap, yo. Which is why I thought FOR SURE Henry would be like, “JUST PICK THREE” when the entire collection of Halloween flavors was unveiled last week, but instead, he said, “Just get all of them.”

IT FELT LIKE CHRISTMAS!!

Until I remembered that the presales can often sell out quickly, especially when there are seasonal flavors. I have been (freezer?) burnt in the past by rolling up an hour or two too late, only to see the flavors I wanted are long gone. So now I will typically set a reminder on my phone to ensure I get what I want.

However!!!! I knew that this one in particular was going to be like Hunger Games, because every single flavor was special. And I wanted them all! So I devised a strategy: Henry and I would go to the site at the same time. I would get the first 4 flavors listed, he would get the rest.

And maybe if you have walked past our house last Thursday at approx. 7:02pm, you would have heard me screaming like Monica Gellar because while I was able to snag the first four pints, Henry’s phone was spinning on the checkout page. And he was just sitting there ever so calmly?!

“WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?!!?” I screamed at him, like he accidentally threw away the Hope diamond.

“I can’t get it to stop spinning. Just go back and place the second order yourself,” he shrugged with an “It’s just ice cream” nonchalance.

When I went back to the order page, TWO OF THE FLAVORS WERE ALREADY SOLD OUT, thank god they were the ones I already ordered though! So I tried to order the three that Henry failed to snag, but the pumpkin one couldn’t be added to my cart! I was FUCKING SCREAMING because it was the one I wanted the most.

“Just get the other two then!” Henry said, ready to slap me in the face with a wet fish to bring me back to IT’S JUST ICE CREAM reality.

So I got the other two and then spent a solid minute berating Henry for fucking up the system. Almost all of the pints were sold out at this point, but the pumpkin one didn’t have the “sold out” circle on it so I was confused. I tried to add it to my cart again, and Henry was like, “IT’S BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO SELECT AN OPTION!!” since it was the only one that had a GF/non-GF option, and I didn’t even notice it! So once I selected something from the drop-down, I was able to purchase it!

IT TOOK THREE SEPARATE ORDERS BUT WE GOT ALL FLAVORS! And every single one of them was sold out within 15 minutes, it was insanity.

Then it took a good hour for my heartrate to go down. It is literally comparable to purchasing kpop concert tickets, ISTFG. In the moments leading up to the order form going live, I get the Ticketmaster queue stomach cramps and pee-jigs. Whew!

Sunday was pick-up day and Henry said when he went inside to get our pints, Amanda the Scoop Genius said to her partner, “Oh, I think they have like 127 orders.” Lol.

We are not usually this indulgent (I think the most we ever purchased at one time was 4, but usually we just get 2 or 3 and they will last us a good while!)  but it’s Halloween and we are sad. This makes it feel more celebratory!

l-r with descriptions taken straight from Sugar Spell:

  • Vampire’s Blood (you can’t tell in this picture but once we dug in, the blood swirls were poppin’!): sweet cream base with coagulated blackberry red wine reduction. (The red wine is the fucking flavor burst we all need right now.)
  • Wake the Dead: Black coffee base with GF cookie dirt and white chocolate skulls. (Apparently, this contains activated charcoal!)
  • Wolfman’s Lint Roller (Henry’s favorite): First of all, how fantastic is this name? It’s chocolate coconut ice cream with chocolate coconut fur, chocolate syrup slobber, sliced almond claws, and puffed rice ticks.
  • Trick or Treat: PB ice cream with caramel ribbons, crushed peanuts, candy-coated bits, house-made PB cups, and topped with an assorted spooky shaped chocolate. (Fun fact: Chooch always corrects me because I say CARMUL and he says CARA-MEL, yet whenever I read it, I pronounce it his way in my head.)
  • Witch’s Brew: lavender ice cream with matcha whipped cream swirl and bubbling cauldron sprinkle spread. (Um, hello, a mash-up of two of my favorite flavors in the entire world???? This one had a lot riding on it.)
  • Ecto Cooler: You guys, no description needed. This literally tastes JUST LIKE THE HI-C VERSION.
  • Pumpkin Cookies & Cream: self-explanatory!

So….at first I was like, “do not make me choose a favorite” but I’m going to say it: Witch’s Brew and Vampire’s Blood have my heart. ALL OF THE FLAVORS ARE TO DIE FOR (haha) please don’t get it twisted, but if I had to go back in time and ONLY choose two, it would be these two.

Mmm, coagulated blackberry blood, boiiiii.

I’m so grateful to be in a position to support small businesses during these dark times. I know at the end of the day, ice cream isn’t essential, but giving your mental health some TLC definitely is, and what better way than treating yourself to fun vegan ice cream while knowing that you’re helping to keep a local shop afloat AT THE SAME TIME? All while wearing a mask, of course!

I love this place so much that if they had a street team like Warped Tour-type bands used to have in the 2000s, I’d sign up and pass out stickers on Brookline Boulevard for sure. I might even make sampler CDs of kpop groups to go along with it. There are a lot of ice cream/dessert-themed songs in kpop land, like this one!

 

Oct 052020
 

While the White House Virus continued to spread, we were over here in Brookline redoing the dining room.

Being home almost 24:7 since March has REALLY made me angry about the state of our house. I have already mentioned this like a hundred times, but because of Chooch’s school, we’re not actively looking to buy a house right. (Long story short, anyway.)

(Unless the perfect home presents itself to us like a bride on her wedding night, then I guess we will talk.)

ANYWAY! There really isn’t anything WRONG with our place, aside from the fact that, well, it’s just old. It needs remodeled, but if the landlord does that while we’re living here, our rent will skyrocket. So, I can deal with the oldness, but what I can’t deal with is just the CLUTTER and disaster zone feel of the place. So much of that stems from our card business. You would be SHOCKED to see all the supplies and equipment a small Etsy greeting card company requires. Our dining room table is unusable 90% of the time because Henry has card-shit stacked everywhere. 

I just want to NOT be embarrassed when friends unexpectedly drop by (though, the probability of that happening any time is slim) instead of nervously laughing, “HAHAHA IGNORE THE TABLE” or grabbing garbage from someone who is en route to throw it away in the kitchen and screaming in the tone of a tweaker, “HERE I’LL GET THAT FOR YOU” and then slipping in through a 3/4 closed kitchen door before anyone can see what lies behind it. Well, we can definitely erase the kitchen from the Rooms of Shame list!

The dining room was also the only room left on the first floor with, GASP, white walls. This is the room where I work from so I was really starting to nitpick at it after spending so much time in there. I knew that at least getting some color on the walls would be a step in the right direction. Once that happens, everything else starts to fall into place and trust me, I’m pretty sure Henry was clenched while he painted the walls, wondering what else was in store for him. 

Don’t even pay attention to the shitty floors. They’re well beyond anything we can do to make them look presentable. Also, who else has cat toys on the floor in every picture they take of their house? Our cats are literally toddlers. 

Anyway, these were the first walls Henry the Painting Man painted. The dining room table used to live beneath the Get Stoked sign, but I made Henry take the middle part out of it (why did we even need such a large table? There are only 3 of us! I think we must have put that center in it for a party a long time ago and then never removed it) and move it to the other side. We’ll get to that later!

I need to find a credenza or a buffet to put against this wall now, hopefully something that has enough storage to stuff the overflow of card-shit (we have an entire shelf at the bottom of the steps that’s reserved for just card shit, but it’s still not enough, ugh). Ideally, I’d just like to get something second-hand so that I can paint it.

Henry snapped at one point. He was particularly angry with that purple paint because its coverage was terrible. We had to go to Lowe’s to get more and there was a young couple there blatantly not wearing masks and I was SO FUCKING ANGRY. FUCK YOU. 

Actually, the purple wall was the first wall I wanted to paint, several months ago. Because I had this image of filling that wall with picture frames painted the same color as our dining room chairs, and how poppin’ with that look against a deep purple!? But I didn’t want the entire room to be purple because that’s so dark, so I started looking for various color schemes involving a purple of that shade, and that’s how I landed on the yellow, orange, and berry shades of the other walls and once we brought the samples home, I realized that it held a striking similarity to the original Popsicle brand popsicles, and while maybe that would deter some people, it made that much more confident in the chosen palette. 

It just feels so fun!

We took down the curtains, which were a very dark and heavy maroon velvet that took up almost the entire wall. So now we’ve gained back a bunch of wall real estate and the table looks so cute over there! This is where my dining room table was when I first moved in way too long ago, so I was v. nostalgic. 

There’s really not much we can do about the computer desk. 

These curtains are 100% from Target’s kids’ line, Pillowfort, but THEY VIBE SO PERFECTLY!

We have a small wooden table that the printers usually live on but it’s in the middle of getting painted yellow.  Also, imagine that purple wall full of pictures of Korea inside frames the color of the dining room chairs. Le sigh. I have a bunch of the frames painted already, but I need to get some pictures printed. 

Don’t worry, we never eat at the table anyway.

That small wall behind Drew isn’t finished yet – the other two wall colors still need added to the stripes. Henry was supposed to do that tonight but he was allegedly “too tired.” Mm, ok. Sure. 

 

It’s so nice being able to walk through this room now without zig-zagging and weaving and tripping over Henry’s industrial paper cutter. I want him to just get a card table and make the greeting cards in the basement but every time I suggest it, he does that murderous mustache twitch, so I guess that’s a no. 

Popsicle vibes or naw?!

So right now, the entire right side of the room is basically a cat playground. Also, our light is consistently missing at least two bulbs at any given time, lol. I’m going to replace that soon, anyway. That light came with this house and I’ve never liked it. 

But yeah, that’s how we’ve been constructively spending our time. It only took a pandemic for us to stop living like slobs in a junkyard. To our defense, we were always doing shit and going places, so we never had the time or money to devote to the house! But who knows how much longer we’re gonna be on house arrest – I want to not feel like the walls are closing in on me. Our place isn’t perfect but at least I’m not full of hell fire every day when I wake up and come downstairs. 

Sep 132020
 

Dear friends and foes*,

I am currently reading a book about a roadtrip and it’s bumming me out more than all the dystopian books I’ve read this year about viruses and pandemics. I miss hitting the road! But I’ve also been enjoying taking some strolls down memory lane and being grateful for the fun experiences we’ve had over the years.  Tonight, I want to (re)share with you the time I made my cohorts take a detour on the way home from Chicago to a town called MUNSTER in Indiana, so I could frolic in a psychedelic grotto. (AS THE TITLE OF THIS BLOG POST INSINUATES.)

So, here it is. Read it or not, but I’m going back to my book. (He Started It by Samantha Downing – I AM TOTALLY HOOKED.)

*(It’s OK! I hate-read my own blog every now and then too! And then grudgingly go into edit mode to fix the copious spelling errors.)

***

September 2017

Way back when I was live-blogging our boring-ass drive home from Chicago, I mentioned that we stopped at a religious-y place and that it would get its own blog post…and then of course it got put on the back-burner. But tonight I finally sorted through the pictures and I AM READY TO GET THIS CHURCHY BLOG POST PARTY STARTED, BOI.

Let’s start with a quick backstory: the first time Henry and I went to Chicago in 2014, I stumbled upon this place on Roadside America unofficially dubbed “Ultraviolet Apocalypse” in Munster, Indiana. I begged Henry to take me here on the way home, but then I saw that it’s only open on SUNDAYS. Ugh, leave it to a church to only be open on Sundays.

What it actually is: the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Monastery founded by Polish friars who emigrated to the US in 1950. But the big ticket item is the man-made grotto on the grounds, which is three-stories tall and fashioned from 250 tons of sponge rock–I had to look this up because I actually thought it was made from geodes. From what I read online, parts of the grotto are illuminated by black light and the photos I saw looked like the holy version of black light posters sold at Spencer’s.

This place was MADE FOR ME. Religious AND tacky? Take me there.

I looked it up again during this last trip and noticed that it said you could call ahead to schedule a tour. So while we were in the Lincoln Park Zoo that Sunday, I made Henry call (begrudgingly so) and he confirmed that the broad in the office said that the grotto would be open, especially since Monday was a holiday (Labor Day).

HOT HOLY FISH FRY, I WAS GOING TO THE GROTTO!

I couldn’t wait to finish breakfast the next morning and set off to Munster, Indiana, which thankfully wasn’t very far out of the way. We rolled up into the mostly empty lot but I did notice the occasional parishioner moving to and fro.

I wanted to save the grotto for last, obv., so we casually strode around the grounds, looking at the Stations of the Cross like we were knew what we doing, and oohing and awing at the statues. I know the general consensus is that I must be a fucking asshole at places like this, but actually, I’m very respectful and truly enjoy being around these things, even though I don’t have a lick of faith left in my Hell-charred bones.

And surprisingly, Chooch is also very interested in these types of places too, and we get a lot of joy out of reading plaques and running our fingers across the cold marble faces of saints we’ve never heard of.

The grounds were so lovely, and it was still early enough in the morning that it felt like fall, so Chooch and I happily wore hoodies.

I love the woodwork of this shrine!

OH SHIT SON, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Except that those steps were so hard and cold, covered in puddles and razor-edged pine needles. I was in pain (which was the point, I guess, because Jesus died on the cross, etc.) and at one point took my hoodie off and tried to use it as knee pads but that proved futile and I only ended up sopping up the puddles with it.

Meanwhile, Chooch scrambled up to the top like he was being chased by Jason Voorhees and then gloated for the next hour because it took me an extra five minutes to pull my fat body up to the top.

But I did it.

For Christ.

Henry, on the other hand, was like, “Nope” and walked around tp the other side where reverence wasn’t required.

My fucked-up knees.

The steps Henry took didn’t go all the way to the top, so he asked us what was up there.

“Um, I don’t know. Jesus on the cross, I guess,” I mumbled, pulling pine needles out of my busted knees.

Beneath this was an underground level which featured Jesus’s tomb, but the door to it was locked. I was half-expecting that though from reading the tips on Roadside America. And it was time to check out the Grotto anyway, so I wasn’t crying too much about it.

EXCEPT THAT THE GROTTO WASN’T OPEN EITHER!!!!!

HENRY!!!!! YOU SAID!!!!

Helpless, we walked back to the parking lot. “Maybe we should look for someone,” I said, and we walked over to the church, which had a few old people inside praying.

“That one guy looks like a priest or something but I AM NOT INTERRUPTING HIM WHILE HE’S PRAYING,” Henry rushed to finish before I could even ask. And the office had a “closed” sign on it.

THE FUCK, HENRY?!

So we hung around in our car like total fucking creeps for the next 30 minutes, deliberating. I didn’t want to leave, not after coming this close after three years of attempts. At some point, an older broad rolled up with a young kid, and we watched them waltz right on into the closed office! So then I got it in my head that she worked there and she became my new target.

So we went into the office too and it was completely dark. We noticed the lady and the boy went into the chapel, which was connected. They were just chilling on a pew and again, Henry was like, “I AM NOT INTERRUPTING PRAYING PEOPLE.”

Back to the car we went. We were just about to leave when another car pulled in and a lady in a pink shirt got out. She also had a small kid with her. The other lady came out of the chapel and was talking to her, so then we deduced that it was actually Pink Shirt who was in charge around there. She was pulling bins out of the back of her minivan, which made us feel like she worked there. Like maybe they were filled with Bible Study props or something.

It became clear that Henry wasn’t going to be proactive about this situation, so Chooch and I got out of the car and approached Pink Shirt.

“Let me guess, you’re here for the Polish school, too!” she asked happily. Immediately, something about her reminded me of Clea Duvall and I felt instantly at ease.

“No, the Grotto actually!” and I dove right into my sob story about how we came from Pittsburgh—-

“—Not just for this, I hope!” she interrupted with a laugh. “I mean, it’s great, but….”

I explained that we were coming home from Chicago, that I had been trying to see this place for years, and that someone in the office told us that it would be open that day but it wasn’t.

“Hmm, you’ll need to see Father [John*]. He’ll be able to help you,” she said.

*(I can’t remember his name, one of the perils in waiting a million weeks to blog about these things. #amateur)

I asked her what he looked like, and she laughed and said, “Polish!” but then she set down her huge plastic bin of Polish school supplies (maybe??) and brought Chooch and me into the office just as Father was emerging from the chapel.

He was a robust older man in shorts and a tshirt and I 100% never would have thought he was the guy I was looking for.

Pink Shirt explained to him our predicament and in a thick, beautiful Polish accent, he exclaimed, “Oh I don’t know who would have told you the grotto was open today!”

I shrugged and said, “My….husband spoke to a woman when he called the office yesterday.” Chooch shot me a sneer when I said ‘husband’ and later I explained that I didn’t want to say BOYFRIEND. ‘Husband’ sounded more legit since we were in a church, and not “Hi we are a couple of heathens and this here is our child born out of wedlock. Toss us them there keys to the grotto.”

“SO YOU LIED,” Chooch pointed out.

CAN IT, CHOOCH.

Father was super harried. Turns out he was the only one there that day, which meant he was getting pulled in a million directions. “Oh boy, let me see,” he sighed, blowing frustrated air up into his face. “Give me five minutes. Uh, go look at the church or something,” and he spun around to see about getting the key.

I LOVED THIS MAN. I loved his earthy accent, I loved his utter refusal to hide the fact that he was seriously annoyed by me and my ill-timed request, I loved that even though he was busy he was willing to pause his actual church work to help some dumb broad from Pittsburgh see a roadside attraction.

Long story still long, Father John found a dude to open the grotto for us! Which was fortuitous to the handful of people who had arrived in the interim and now got to reap the rewards of my relentless puppy dog-eying the Polish father. (He was a friar maybe? I’m not sure.)

No pictures, no words, can do this place justice. Walking into the grotto, I expected to be disappointed. Ok, not disappointed….but maybe the sense that this wasn’t worth the trouble.

Nope. Did not feel this way at all. It was an operatic “ahhhhhhhhhhh!” moment and I immediately began to touch EVERYTHING (later Chooch would point out a sign that said “do not touch the walls.” Oops.

This grandfather/grandson power duo happened to be there as the doors were unlocked, so Chooch and I went in with them and let the little boy be our tour guide. He kept yelling, “GUYS, COME ON!” and his grandfather would just chuckle and say, “Let them go at their own pace.” But we humored the kid and let him tug us through all three levels of the beautiful grotto.

Yessssssssss.  I need my basement to look like this.

There were various pieces of quartz and crystal* encrusted in some spots of the walls, which was why I originally thought the walls were made from split open geodes.

* (?? I’m not up on my geology—I did so terribly in my geology class at Pitt because it was during the last trimester of my pregnancy and I didn’t fit in the desk because it had an attached chair so a janitor had to find me another desk and I was having hot flashes constantly so that’s what I think of when I see things like this)

Henry wasn’t with us, and it turns out he was stopped by another guy from the church who didn’t speak English, and that guy went into the closed gift shop and brought out a guide for Henry to borrow. So Henry got to walk through on his own with a book of info. Like he even cared!

After being mesmerized by the grotto, we walked back over to the holy steps to see if the tomb was opened now too and it was!

It was bigger than I imagined, with several alcoves, one of which had the next ultraviolet spot of the whole joint:

It was breathtaking, honestly. Even Henry said he was glad we stopped and things worked out, because it was worth seeing. It made my heart feel so big and swollen for a little bit (probably until around noon when I started to get hungry).

If you are ever in the Chicago area, I highly recommend taking the detour to Munster, Indiana. Just make sure if it’s not a Sunday, you’re prepared to hunt down some Polish Fathers for assistance.

Sep 102020
 

Hello! Coming through with another kitchen update because the side of the room with the cabinets is FINALLY done.

To be honest, the cabinets and drawers were painted and put back on a few weeks ago but remember I told you that we had lost a drawer a long time ago? Well, I was waiting for Henry to essentially make a new one from a drawer front he found at some construction junkyard place. He found a drawer that was an identical match to one of the larger ones you see below and made the smaller drawer from that. He even BEVELED the sides, which I didn’t even know was a thing until now. This dumb kitchen makeover is teaching me so much. Anyway, the drawer he made is that dark blue one on the far right. It’s just a fake drawer and doesn’t open but it’s better than having a gaping hole there!

Ignore the MISSING TRIM over there on the left because HENRY CERTAINLY HAS.

Overall, I’m happy with how this turned out! I mean, we did the best we could considering we don’t own this house. The cabinetry is about as rudimentary as you can get but I definitely wasn’t about to put any money into upgrading that shit, and our bastard landlord has been updating the kitchens in all of his other properties when people move out, so when we finally move, he’s just gonna demo this entire room anyway! But anything we spent any considerable amount of cash on (basically all of the stuff on the other side of the room) will be coming with us anyway.

So anything that’s imperfect, like the old-ass counter top, is whatever. We originally talked about redoing it with epoxy but honestly, it’s not worth the effort.

Painting these doors was SO SATISFYING except that I almost passed out several times from blowing too hard through straws, and then there was one time where I suffered a considerable blow-back and got paint all over my face and hair.

Top blue drawer is the fake one!

The Corey cabinet pulls make me so happy everyday!! I can’t tell you how nice it is to actually want to be in this space. Usually I would run in to make my coffee and then do my best to avoid it for the rest of the day because it was such an actual pit.

Oh! And our fridge magnets came last week, and I really like how they turned out!

Chooch was like, “OK cool, my parents were alive in the 80s. What else do you want me to say?” when I was like “LOOK AT THESE PICTURES. LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT THEM. WASN’T I FUCKING ADORBS??”

I mean, I really was though. I’m a classic case of “What the hell happened to her?”

Well, I can tell you that it all started to go downhill in 4th grade…

…and then I got braces in 5th grade….

…and also a perm…

…and gained like 20 pounds…

…and wore moccasins with socks…

I recently wrote a blog post about that picture up there of me and my DUMB BABY BROTHER RYAN (I love him now but when he was born I was like MY LIFE IS OVERRRRRRRR).

Yeah, now that I think about it, most of the pictures of me are from Wildwood and the ones of Henry are when he was IN THE SERVICE. Lol, age differences.

Over the weekend, I got Henry to do one of my favorite things ever which is MAKE THINGS LIGHT UP. He installed LED lights under the cabinets but had to do things like CUTTING WIRES and ADDING THINGIE-CONNECTORS and BLEEPY-DE-DOOS. At one point, while watching him thread wires into a thing, I asked, “How do you know how to do that?” to which he mumbled (probably with a pencil in his mouth), “It’s basic wiring.

OK Him-Man (that’s what the cats call him).

Anyway, it seemed to take forever and then he needed more of Something or Other and I had to wait TWO MORE DAYS for that Something or Other to arrive in the mail and do you know how much I hate waiting? I’m the queen of instant gratification. And Henry is one of those turtles winning the race type of people and it fucking infuriates me and then we get into a fight about it and he throws down his Wire Wand Tool Thing and huffs, “OK FINE IF YOU WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE SHIT I’LL DO IT FAST THEN” and then I’m like “WOW OK TOUGH GUY” and he usually sulks off to the back porch where he will sit and stew while scrolling through Reddit and then suddenly he remembers we need bread or milk or something and off he goes “to the store” which is his safe place. Usually, he will treat himself to a candy bar or some gross Hostess processed nightmare and then he’s ready to get back to work.

Like clockwork.

Anyway!! He finished it on Labor Day (lol the perfect day) and was like, “here’s your fucking lights” while probably envisioning jamming the remote control down my throat.

I’m so happy with it!!

Now he just has to do whatever it is he needs to do with the “switch” he keeps talking about to make the Conair telephone turn on the lights when the receiver is lifted. COME ON, HENRY. I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT. FIGHTING!!

Meanwhile, I bought this vintage pinball backglass on eBay and it arrived today so now Henry has to add that to the list. He needs to build a lightbox-type frame for it and then hang it up above the spice rack.

Of course it needs to light up!

Oh and now that I’m looking at this picture, it reminds me that he never finished the cabinet pulls on this side of the room!! (Michael Jackson, Boy George, and Rick Astley – I literally pictured the first three singers that came to mind. Also, this made Chooch ask, “Who the hell is Boy George?” and I was like “You know who he is” and I showed him pictures at which point he was even more perturbed and said, “No I really don’t” and I was like, “Yeah, the Culture Club. You know—” and I started humming Do You Really Want To Hurt Me and by now, Chooch was looking at me like he just walked in on me cooking a pot roast, so then I queued up some Culture Club on Spotify and he was like I HAVE LEGIT NEVER HEARD ANY OF THESE SONGS, fast forward a few days and he’s all, “Alexa, play Karma Chameleon.” Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout, Willis.)

*DEEP BREATH*

What a dumb fucking family! I love it!

I found a lot of places online that make reproductions of pinball backglass but they cost just as much in some cases, and I liked the imperfections of a vintage piece, knowing that it used to live in a machine that was played by many. This particular glass was made in 1979 (my birth year!) and even though it’s not specifically from the 80s, it was on the cusp and that was good enough for me! According to the description on eBay, it came from the estate sale of an avid arcade game collector, and I hope that wherever that person now is, dead or alive, they know that it’s going to continue to be loved and admired!

Aside from all this, we spent all weekend looking for a specific type of frame so I could make the ceiling light fixture, which is about 75% done so hopefully the next time I come back with a kitchen update, it will be to tell you that we finally have a ceiling light that’s not just an ugly exposed light bulb (I know those are on trend, but not the one we have in our kitchen now!), the Coney Island glass is framed and hung on the wall, the telephone turns on the lights, and all of the trim is back on. OH YEAH, and the curtain is made, which I keep forgetting about even though the fabric has been hanging over a dining room chair for two months now and I’m actually looking right at it.

See?! That ceiling light is not cool.

(Henry is going to read this tomorrow and run away.)

Sep 082020
 

The day has finally arrived. I’m officially the mom of a ninth grader. This whole online-schooling thing really made it kind of anticlimactic though. There was no making him a lunch (THANK GOD) or sending him off with a new backpack.

Making sure his shoes are tied while I’m running around getting ready for work, making sure my OWN goddamn shoes are tied.

Nope, instead I popped into his room and asked, “Are you like, ready, or whatever?”

He was, but of course the entire school district was having technical difficulties so kids kept getting booted from calls all day. He got booted from his Civics class right when it was his turn to introduce himself, and by the time he got back in, they had moved on to someone else and he was happy about it. I would have been mad. I always liked introducing myself in classes (but typically hated speaking any other time, especially whenever I’d have to read my own writing OH LAWD SCRAPE ME OFF THE FLOOR). I remember on the first day of this Indo European Folktale class I took at Pitt (it was fantastic btw), I blurted out, “AND I JUST FOUND OUT I’M PREGNANT!!” after all of my responsible friends and Henry were like, “OK but let’s wait until you’re at least in the second trimester before making any announcements” and literally the next day I posted on LiveJournal and then branded myself as a weirdo growing a baby in a college class where I was already considered “old” (I was 25, god forbid) and every one stared at me every week like I was a science experiment they were waiting to change.

Another time, I was in a training class for some dumb cable company job and we had to go around and say our name with an adjective starting with the same letter and I was like DYING FOR THEM TO GET TO ME because I didn’t want any other “E” person to steal my word which I don’t think was going to happen because literally no one else cared about this challenge but me and when it was my turn, I stood up and cried, “EFFERVESCENT ERIN!” and everyone glared at me, and it really set the tone for weeks of regular glaring (only from a certain bitter section of the class; I was popular with thw bad kids and that’s all that mattered!)

WOW look at me, making this all about myself.

That’s super unusual and out of character for me.

Anyway, we’re in the middle of making over Chooch’s room but it’s mostly done and already much more comfortable for him than it had been. He had an Ikea loft bed which was really fun for him for several years but obviously he’s outgrown it so Henry dismantled it and now he has a regular bed on the floor and a desk that he doesn’t have to smash his head while ducking underneath his loft bed to access.

(I had definitely banged my own head off his bed many times while attempting to clean off his desk. (Or leave him naggy notes on his white board, lol, no not me.)

His new high school is so STEM-hardcore that he’s taking geometry, Algebra II, biology, and chemistry all in 9th grade. (Geometry and Chemistry this semester, Algebra II and biology next semester.) I mean, I had to take a full school year of each of those and still struggled, so I can only imagine how fast-paced this curriculum is going to be and I only hope that I do not have to get involved with any of it, thanks.

What strange times though. I mean, I’m glad that Pittsburgh Public Schools made the decision to go full-blown online learning (do we not call it cyber school anymore?) for the first semester, especially after seeing so many spikes happen around the country as schools reopen.

So, yay, go 2020-2021 school year. Rah rah rah. Boom boom hiss or whatever.

Sep 062020
 

I’ll try to make this short-n-sweet because who cares, but we made it to Erie and the rain miraculously held off the whole time we were there. This was great, but it also scared me a little bit because I worried it would make the fake beaches crowded. (They’re not really fake, but it’s not the actual ocean so it’s kind of like whatever and you know we must be pressed for action when I was like YAY WE’RE IN ERIE!!)

We had to drive past Waldameer Park to get to the entrance of Presque Isle and I was so sad—that’s the closest I’ve been to an amusement park since last year when we went to Silver Dollar City over Thanksgiving weekend. OH, THE PAIN, THE HEARTACHE. To really dump salt into the ol’ wound, you have to drive RIGHT UNDERNEATH Ravine Flyer II on the way into Presque Isle, and that is one of my favorite woodies.

Ode to COVID19:

You really fucking suck

But you sure make me

Appreciate the small things

 

Is that right? I can’t remember the haiku format and don’t feel like looking it up so instead I will spend the same amount of time typing out this sentence, also one time when I was doing Blogathon, I didn’t count my haiku syllables correctly and JANNA WAS A BAD EDITOR AND LET IT SLIDE and of course since it was LIVEJOURNAL, I got eaten alive. People on LJ were ruthless. That’s why back then I used to proofread my posts 8x before publishing whereas now, no one cares about my rookie grammar mistakes and bouts of brain-blackouts.

Oh shit, I can remember this one I accidentally used “don” instead of “dawn” and this one bitch was literally telling me how disappointed she was in me for confusing homonyms (homophones? SEE WHAT I MEAN??) and I’m pretty sure she actually threw a *cringe* in her comment. Whatever. She made really shitty art, so I guess we both suck.

Isn’t it funny how people’s nastiness sticks with you over the years? LIKE CHEWING GUM ON RIBS. Or whatever.

Presque Isle has a bunch of different areas for you to park and be outdoorsy. We went to whatever this place ^^^ was first, and stupid ass Henry forgot to put the memory card in the good camera so he had to stalk back to the car in a huff while I motherfucked him from afar and Chooch was like, “I just remembered that road trips suck” and then it started to rain, hahahahahahahaha.

Anyway, I took some pictures of Chooch with my phone while waiting for Henry to untuck his weener.

There was bird shit everywhere, but aside from that, this was a pretty cool area of Presque Isle.

I’m actually kind of jealous of Chooch’s shirt and I need to try it on at some point because if it fits me, we’re sharing.

Then I made Chooch take a picture of me jumping by this lighthouse thing so that “it looks like we’re having fun” but I guess we were kind of having fun, well, maybe not Henry.

Chooch was just like, “I hate doing this.” Basically, we were relearning a lot of things that day, lol.

Then we got  back in the car and drove some more, looking for a good section of the beach which, I mean, how do you know? You can’t see anything from the little parking lots. But we found one that didn’t have many cars and got really lucky when we converged upon the beach and saw that there was just one other family there, flying a kite (that antiquated activity really seems to have made a big comeback thanks to COVID), and they were really far away.

So I got to take photos of Chooch in peace, well, not really because taking photos of Chooch is like taking photos of a magpie surrounded by Shiny Things; that kid is so fucking easily distracted. I had to keep snapping my fingers to get his attention just kidding I can’t snap my fingers, I was just screaming, “FUCKING STOP MOVING AND DO A POSE THAT TAEMIN WOULD DO!!!”

All he wanted to do was build a “beach house” out of driftwood and trash, so that’s what I had to contend with.

Henry and I actually left him and walked down to another section of the beach because I was antsy from sitting in the car so long and just wanted to walk. We saw a couple taking selfies and I was like “we should do that too so I can post it on Instagram and make people think we still love each other” and Henry was like “ok but I actually do still love you, so” and I was like, “Stop yapping and hold the phone up high so I don’t look fat, thanks.”

Anyway, every picture was shit because the sun was making me squint and also because I’m just bad at posing for pictures anyway, but then I saw this one on my camera roll and deemed it a keeper because god only knows what we were laughing at but I’m sure there were death threats being thrown around too.

We walked back to were Chooch was and pulled him away from his Lake Erie construction site to take pictures of us and Henry was like, “HERE I WILL JUST SHIELD YOUR BODY” since I’m always like, “No I look fat, delete it” and then everyone involved is miserable and tired of hearing me say, “just one more.”

Anyway, here we are trying to look “normal.” Then I was like “Lake Erie is boring and I’m hungry, let’s go eat” and Chooch was like BUT MY HOUSE! Fuck your house, bitch. Mama’s ’bout to show you how the Big Bad Wolf gets shit done.

So we left Presque Isle and Erie has like no good vegan/veg places so we went to Sheetz and got our signature MTO (that’s MADE TO ORDERS for you people whose lives are devoid of the best gas station ever known as SHEETZ) delights, also mostly because we still choose not to dine inside restaurants. We never used to eat out much anyway, pre-pandemic, but we DEFINITELY enjoyed patronized little family restaurants anytime we were on a road trip, so that was kind of a bummer.

Actually, we just drove past this one local restaurant the other day called Frank & Shirleys and I got this really depressing feeling deep within my chest, not because I was a regular and sorely miss their food or anything, but I had a very visceral flashback to the feeling of sliding down into a vinyl diner booth and wow. Lots of emotions. Never would have imagined I would have missed that sensation so much!

Wow. Where was I? Oh yeah, we had a Sheetz feast in the car, nothing too noteworthy, and then on the way back home, we took a detour to Hank’s Frozen Custard, where Chooch and I went last year with Janna. I had their daily special – black cherry – with a scoop of vanilla. It was OK but not nearly as good as I remembered it to be? It was also strange to see the corrals that they made in the parking lot to accommodate social distancing during the busier hours, but luckily when we went, it was still early on a Friday afternoon and only two other cars of people were there.

“‘Just OK.”

It was also dripping everywhere because Henry made me give him a taste and as soon as he did so, it was like he opened a custard dam and that shit just started dripping down in goopy rivulets and I was actually screaming about in the middle of the parking lot while he and Chooch just stared at me, calmly licking their tidy fucking custard cones.

Fuckers.

One final noteworthy thing happened, and it surely wasn’t when I tagged along with Henry later that night when he went grocery shopping (his least favorite place to take me because I simultaneously make him spend $100 more than he anticipated while also whining about being bored within the first 5 minutes). I saw a sign for antiques and made Henry turn around (actually, I yelled, “OOH ANTIQUES” and then waited for him to drive another mile before flipping and saying, “WOW SO I GUESS YOU REALLY AREN’T GOING TO TURN AROUND AND GO TO THE ANTIQUES PLACE THEN, WOW, YOU’RE SO FUCKING COOL” (see also: when Henry can’t remember if I’m his longtime life partner or 16-year-old daughter WOW THAT WAS CREEPY YOU’RE WELCOME).

Henry: Do you want me to turn around?

Erin: OMFG YOU’RE A FUCKING STOOP! CLEARLY YOU DON’T WANT TO OR YOU WOULD DONE IT ALREADY ON YOUR OWN ACCORD!!!

Henry: *calmly turns around while daydreaming about how wonderful his stay in Heaven is going to be thanks to enduring years of my emotional abuse without stuffing me in trunk and pushing the car into a river*

I was actually looking for stuff from the 80s to get for the kitchen, maybe some coffee cups, etc., but what I ended up finding instead was this old Pachinko machine:

I kept ogling it and eventually even Henry got a little bit interested in it and then at one point we actually left and were about to get in the car when I started dragging my feet and saying things like, “I don’t know, I just feel like I’ll regret it if I don’t buy it. No never mind. Wait should I? No it’s fine let’s just go. TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!” and that is how we ended up going to Erie and coming home with a vintage Pachinko machine that honestly I only bought for the history and art of it, but now Henry is like cruising through Pachinko forums, determined to get it back to working condition.

He probably will, too.

I mean, after he finishes painting Chooch’s room, connecting all the LED lights together under the kitchen cabinets (“it’s basic wiring,” he said when I asked him how he knows how to do this shit), gets the old Conair phone to light up, finishes the coffee table refurb, finishes the Seoul subway sign (that’s a running joke in our house at this point except no one laughs), and helps me with my dining room gallery wall. I’m sure I’m missing some stuff here. I heard him mumble earlier today about needing to fix the lawnmower but I haven’t approved that.

 

Sep 042020
 

OMG you guys, we’ve been so pressed for summer action around our clown house, that a 2-hour day trip to Erie was something that actually gave me the anticipation butterflies. I think that’s one of the only positive things to come out of this pandemic, is that it’s forcing us to appreciate the little things and just be grateful that we’re able to do anything at this point. 

But for real though, I woke up early Friday morning and was READY TO GO. Henry actually took the day off (SIKE! He still went in super early and came home around 7:30am, because he’s a fucking simp* for Faygo.) so we could have family fun time.

*(Chooch taught me this word and I always use it wrong.)

We started fighting almost immediately in the car so it was really like the Olden Times (i.e. 2019)! I forgot how annoying road trips are but also OMG I missed road trips! We fought over where to get our crappy road breakfast and eventually settled on Dunkin Donuts because they have Beyond sausage. Nothing more to really say about that. 

Halfway to Erie, it started POURING. Like, typhoon-style. I got really upset about this because it was beautiful (mostly) ALL WEEK but that dumb dick Henry was hemming and hawing about taking time off work and finally settled on Friday when there were no other days even left at that point, and also this is the second time  this week that I actually typed the phrase hemming and hawing so I think I am officially not a kid anymore, Toto. 

Speaking of Toto, we listened to yacht rock for a bit and that lovely Paul Davis tune, “Cool Night,” came on and I got so warm-feeling. I’ve always loved that song so much! Good ol’ Paul, he just wants to hold you by the firelight, and if it don’t feel right? You can go! No rapey vibes here!

(BENNY MARDONES COULD HAVE LEARNED A THING OR TWO FROM PAUL. )

(Quickly googles Paul Davis to make sure he didn’t lead a secretly despicable life.)

(OK, he seems to check out, dot dot dot question mark. But I admittedly left my Sleuthing Cap at the office, so I might not have really poured much energy into it. Also, his other big hit “I Go Crazy” always makes me want to die, FYI.)

Anyway! We decided that we’d make a pitstop to this place in Titusburg where there’s a lot of fish (it’s on Roadside America as “Where the Fish Walk On the Water” or something because it’s a feeding spot and they’re fatties waiting for those bread crumbs). We were in rural Pennsylvania by this point and I am sad to report that there are many corn fields supporting Trump 2020. I briefly considered canceling corn and Henry was like, “Yes please stop eating corn!” because he always has to scrape the kernels off the cob for me and he hates doing it like it’s suddenly a fucking chore to serve me?? 

While we were toiling around the backroads, looking out for Malachi and Isaac, I had switched the music back to Kpop because my heart was starting to ache without it. I can only go for so long without hearing the Korean language, OK? I put on this one Spotify playlist that I like, that features all the newer songs, and I somehow completely slept on the fact that Wonho (ex-Monsta X) recently came out with solo music and his first single is FU-HAHAHAHA-CKING BEAUTIFUL. Like, tears-spontaneously-springing-forth amazing. 

“I wish someone felt this way about me,” I said wistfully to Henry. 

“Me, too,” he mumbled.

OK, but please listen to this beautiful, heartbreaking song. I haven’t shovel-fed you guys Kpop as much as I normally do, so one video won’t kill you!! (And it’s in English.)

Then we got to the fish place but the fish weren’t at the surface because no one was there feeding them. 

But the seagulls were out and on high alert. 

It was just us and a van full of several disabled Amish people? Mennonites? I always get them mixed up, but I feel like one time we were at a nearby amusement park and there were Mennonites there on a field trip, so I guess that’s what was happening here too. I needed to pee super bad and there was a small group of them congregating over by the restrooms. They watched as I attempted to rip open a locked bathroom door, and one of them spoke to me!!!!! She said, in her German-y accent, “This one is not locked” and gestured to the one she was standing near with someone in a wheelchair. 

I was so excited!

Anyway, the bathroom was a real, well, dump as you can imagine for a public fish-feeding place. Pandemic or not pandemic, I washed my hands so hard that they were practically pure enough to fondle a Mennonite’s bible. Then I spotted some hand sanitizer near the soap and figured I’d go the extra mile because I might not very sane but at least I can be sanitary. 

Except that after I left the bathroom, I noticed that the sanitizer was not drying into my skin as I wrung my hands, but it was LATHERING. Apparently, I had been rubbing regular hand soap into myself and now I couldn’t go back and rinse it off because the MENNONITE HAD GONE INSIDE WITH THE PERSON IN THE WHEELCHAIR. I mean, I had bubbles floating off my phalanges at this point, and Henry was like, “You look stupid,” and then, “Now you look even more stupid” when I resorted to shaking rain water off of a tree and onto my foaming fists. 

Eventually, the bathroom became vacant again and Chooch also had to wash his hands so we went in together and got to have Mother-Son Bonding Time while dry-heaving at the stench the Mennonites left behind. It was pretty bad. Henry went in after us and didn’t mind it though. His big man-man olfactory system is strong & can withstand even the toughest turd fumes with no complaints. 

I’m going to stop here, because I’m listening to a fun audiobook and I want to go back to that! Check back for part 2 which will basically just be a photo dump from the fake beach at Lake Erie. Thrilling!

 

Sep 022020
 

I’m here to finish telling the tale of my Staycation Day 4 and as usual I teased that there would be lots of action & drama but come on, we all know hyperbole was my first word (OK, third, right after I’m obsessed).

So what happened was that we finished our Zenith feast and Chooch & I decided to walk to Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee. I know, I just spent half of my last post ranting about how Starbucks is sucks and believe me, DD’s specialty drinks are no better but if I’m getting just a plain hot coffee or an iced coffee, it’s fine. (But they do piss me off a lot with their inconsistencies!!)

(In fact, I just FILED A COMPLAINT the other day and have not yet heard back!? WHERE IS MY $3 REFUND.)

OK so we get to DD and Chooch goes in to fetch the drinks; we always order ahead on the app so that one of us can just run in all hunched over like we’re sidestepping through a COVID landmine, grab the drinks and split. I was waiting outside and noticed that Chooch had the drinks, but couldn’t leave because some man was blocking the door with a stroller. I used my HUMAN INSTINCTS to determine that he needed help exiting since he was trying to push open the door with his back, so I went inside the vestibule and grabbed the door for him like a good sweetheart. 

As soon as I opened the door, vulgar noise pollution from  inside the store came billowing out because EVIDENTLY that guy was in the middle of verbal fisticuffs with one of the DD workers! The first thing I heard was him hollering about calling the police and that something was harrassment and the cashier was like GO AHEAD AND CALL THE POLICE and then he was like YOU DUMB BITCH YOU WORK AT DUNKIN DONUTS YOU CUNT and I’m just standing there holding the door open while he backs out with a stroller that it is halfway on its side with a small child in it!!

Chooch followed him out and gave me this raised eyebrow smirk, like, “wow that was real cool” and I was just super angry because that dumb Eminem-look-alike motherfucker didn’t even thank me for holding the door!!!

ALSO, HIS SUPERMAN MASK WASN’T COVERING HIS STUPID COKE NOSE.

Chooch said it was real exciting being inside the store while the fight was happening. There were other people in there too, standing in line for their weak coffees and donuts, becoming accidental spectators of this white trash Yinzer row. According to Chooch, the fight had already started by the time he walked in and there were no context clues to help him construct the fight’s origin story. Dammit.

We couldn’t wait to go home and tell Henry what he had missed! We made it all the way back to our street, a block away, when it started storming – HARD. So now we were like WOW THIS DAY HAS REALLY HAD LOTS OF EXCITEMENT because when you’re in the midst of a pandemic you’ll take any kind of action that doesn’t involve hand-washing and mapping hotspots. 

Halfway into our block, we noticed that a huge tree branch had fallen on a car! And not just a parked car, but a car that was actually driving past the tree. We were like, “OH HOLY SHIT” because it looked like it could have been really bad, and then Chooch screamed “Oh shit do you think Dad knows?” and I was like, “I’m sure he already has a 911 boner” because Henry is like Mr. Neighborhood Watch, a professional Boy Scout. I’m actually surprised he never pursued a career as a 911 dispatcher or started his own grassroots Pioneer Avenue Patrol Squad. 

But as we got closer to our house, we realized that the front door was open, so I said, “Oh yeah, he must already be standing there watching” but Chooch cried, “NO HE’S OUT THERE, HAHAHAHA!!!!” 

Yep, of course he was out there in the thick of it! My favorite part? HNC let him borrow one of his windbreakers, so they were matching! Like they were the official Pioneer Ave Road Crew!!!

And then a truck came by and Henry got to perform his favorite duty of all time: GIVING DIRECTIONS TO A TRUCK DRIVER!!!! YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH HENRY LOVES TO GIVE DIRECTIONS IN GENERAL, BUT IF THE LOST RECIPIENT OF SAID DIRECTIONS IS A BURLY TRUCK DRIVER, HENRY FEELS SO FULFILLED!!!

LOOK AT HIM DOING THAT THING!!!!

My other favorite part is that the whole time, he was holding the yard sign that Chooch got from his old school, congratulating him on graduating 8th grade. I thought he was using it as some sort of homemade traffic flag, but it turns out he was only holding it because the wind blew it into the street while everything else was happening and he got stuck holding it the whole time. It’s almost as good as when he was holding a baggie of raw chicken during another Pioneer Ave emergency. 

Sadly, Henry was not the one who actually through to 911!!! He tried to call when the branch first fell, but there was a high call volume so he hung up and directed traffic again. HNC’s wife was the one who eventually got through – I bet Henry gave himself a good old-fashioned flagellation that night. 

Anyway, once the cops rolled up, Henry was like, “I GUESS MY JOB HERE IS DONE” and let the “professionals” have at it. But HNC stayed out there! And then when some dude rolled up with a chainsaw to start sawing the tree, HNC brought out brooms and helped the cops sweep the debris off the street! What a suck-up!! 

(I can’t believe Henry didn’t stick around with this heroic custodial work. Instead, he stood on the porch and criticized the chainsaw guy; I can’t remember what for, poor form or something? His slowness at getting the chainsaw started? Henry was salty about something.)

I guess I should have mentioned way back there somewhere in the beginning that the family inside the car was fine, albeit very shaken. Henry said it was a family of three and the mom was in the backseat holding a small kid, so thank god the branch landed where it did!

“HNC came over and thanked me for my help afterward, but I was the one who was out there first!” Henry ranted later that night in a very rare fit of jealousy. Usually Henry is like the ultimate at altruism, but I guess even the most noble heroes want a little credit every now and then. 

We let Henry sit on the porch and cruise Reddit on his phone for the rest of the night. He earned it.

Literally just the other day we were talking about how nothing exciting has happened on our street lately but I guess no one thought to knock on wood. 

Sep 012020
 

This day had a super weak start. Chooch was crying about wanting some stupid Starbucks fruit drink and even though I hate Starbucks, like, it will be the my last resort of we’re out somewhere and I need coffee (this usually just happens on the driving part of roadtrips, and since everyone’s default Christmas or birthday gift is a Starbucks card, I usually at least never have to pay for it with my own money!). Luckily, we have three real, non-chain cafes within walking distance, plus a Dunkin’ Donuts for when I feel like slumming it so I’m set.

However, Chooch is being brainwashed by The Family Next Door (ie his brother and fam). Blake and Haley BOTH work at Starbucks and are extremely loyal to that bottom barrel chain. They will occasionally bring home stupid ass fruit beverages in exchange for Chooch’s babysitting services so now he’s hooked and desperately wanted one Wednesday night, so I promised him we would walk to the closest one (where Blake works) and he could get his stupid ass drink.

It’s about a 25 minute walk, and we stopped at the cool wooden playground in Dormont on the way to sit down and figure out our order on the stupid app that I had to get to store my stupid gift cards, ugh, stupid Starbucks. There was some little bitch at the playground called Fiona and we know that because her mom kept saying in a way that made me feel like she bragging that she named the bitch Fiona? Like, OK? Good for you, now cook on, ya dumb Shrek-stan.

Then some grandpa got all flustered because “too many people” were there now (coincidentally, he started spouting off about this right as Chooch and I arrived and sat down) and kept telling a kid in a stroller that it was time to go but then they weren’t actually leaving, they were just standing there while he kept wringing his hands and talking about how crowded it was and literally there were like 8 people there and it’s a really big playground and no one was any closer than 20 feet and also most of us were wearing masks (HE WASN’T). We literally weren’t even swinging on the monkey bars or breaking a sweat near any other human, we were sitting on a bench and ordering Starbucks!

BUT WAIT, THERE IS MORE COVID STUFF.

After we placed the order, we walked across the street to the shopping center where Starbucks is. I haven’t ever visited a Starbucks since the pandemic started, so I’m not sure if all the stores like this but there are green X’s outside the door with one tall table in the middle for the barista to come out and place the drinks. When we got there, some young-ish (in his 20s and did not appear to be overtly MAGAesque in any sense) was leaning against the table, bandanna half-assedly covering his face, telling a barista that his order was wrong. So she was like, “OK I will fix that” like wow what a shocker, we get there and immediately witness a Starbucks fuckup. A Starfucks.

No, that didn’t work. We won’t use that again.

Anyway! Dude pulls his bandanna down and GOES INTO THE STORE. Like, face-naked Just strolls into Starbucks like it’s 2019 and he’s showing off his bare mouth & nostrils to the world, like HERE I AM, VIRUS! He goes right up to the counter and starts paging through some menu thing while he’s standing there. There were two girls standing outside with us (way ore than 6 feet away) also waiting for their drinks, and they were screaming, “OMG NOW HE’S TOUCHING SHIT!” and basically Myron Coping his every move. Then he started rubbing his face. And not just like a gentle stroke with a pad of two or three fingers, but fully palming his face with both hands and aggressively scrubbing like he was taking a dry shower in the middle of Starbucks, in the middle OF A PANDEMIC where we are told over and over NOT TO TOUCH OUR FACES.

THEN HE STARTED COUGHING. OMFGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. Blacklist this guy from Starbucks—nay, society—STAT.

Ugh, and then my drink (some kiwi bullshit) was basic at best and I was like THANKS A LOT CHOOCH, but he loved his stupid ass fruit drink so whatever.

“Fiona’s still there,” Chooch casually pointed out when we passed the playground. “Let’s have a Fiona’s Over party.” Fuckin’ Fiona.

When we made it back to Dormont about 15 minutes later, we ended up behind that dumb grandpa and his dumb grandkid-in-a-stroller. “Ha, you caught up to us!” he laughed and I was like WOW YOU’RE TALKING TO US COVID CARRIERS. Sike, he was actually pretty jovial and we were the ones wearing masks, not him, so…

So all of that happened in the morning. We came home and I read for a bit and who knows what else I did, that was practically a week ago. I do know that when Henry came home from work, we had to go to Chooch’s new school to pick up his laptop since he’s cybering it for at least the first semester. That went off without a hitch (except for when Henry made 87 wrong turns because I guess he’s not as professional of a driver as he’d like some of us to believe.

Since we were in Oakland and that’s close to Southside, we ordered takeout from ZENITH because it’s been a minute since I stuffed my face with some of their glorious homemade vegetarian food. All three of us ordered the Toficken sandwich because everyone has to copy me. Henry thinks he’s so fucking special because now when he orders from there, they know who he is since I’m Instagram pals with the people who own the place and he gets this dumb schoolboy giggle. Anyway, they asked how the kitchen is coming along, which made me laugh.

Wouldja just look at this big boy, though? Shit.

OK, I’m gonna split for now and come back later with part 2, which is full of so much DRAMA and ACTION, you’ll be wondering when the Lifetime movie is coming out. And more importantly, if Kristy McNichol will come out of retirement to play Henry!