Jan 272014
 

Henry wouldn’t take us anywhere yesterday because oh no, snow. The big difference between Henry and me, aside from that one us doesn’t have a weener (I know, that could be either of us), is that Henry is fine doing NOTHING all the livelong day. Not me. I need action. I suffer enough throughout the week to feel pretty damn entitled when the weekend rolls around. And I was really looking forward to this particular one! I had a breakfast date with Wendy and Jeannie, Chooch’s piano lesson, Kristy was going to come over Saturday night to teach me how to drink beer without looking like I had just let someone ejaculate in my mouth for the first time, and then we were going to go to a different skating rink on Sunday. BUT THEN: SNOW.

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I could only take so much before I went to Chooch’s room, threw together a random outfit, and said, “PUT THIS ON, WE’RE GOING OUTSIDE FOR A PHOTO SHOOT” and he was all, “NO I HATE YOU” but then I bribed/threatened him and of course I got my way in the end.

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See? He’s fine! Totally content!

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I asked him not to smile for this so please don’t call Child Services on me, thanks. (You know who you are.)

I know I probably shouldn’t say this about my own kid, but he reminds me so much of a young Jeffrey Dahmer in this photo, I can’t stand it. But then my friend Brandy called him “Darling Valentine” on Instagram, so let’s just go with that.

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OK, he may have been shivering here. But we were only outside for < 10 minutes. I’m not that mean.

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Henry was in the basement sanding a jewelry cabinet for me, so he actually had no idea this was going on. I guess what I’m saying is: we were unsupervised and no one got frostbite or cannibalized the other. In my world, we call that success.

Aside from that, this weekend was pretty worthless. Oh well, at least Katy Perry didn’t win a Grammy last night.

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Nov 022013
 

This may have been the most stressful Halloween yet. I almost said it was the worst Halloween, but that’s not true, because Chooch had fun and even though I AM THE MOST SELFISH MOM EVER, even I am able to acknowledge that that’s all that really matters. Right? Right.

You know how I always said I would never put my child in a box, after spending most of my childhood Halloweens being chafed by cardboard thanks to my overambitious mother? (Just nod.) Well, it took seven years, but it happened. We put Chooch in a box.

But first let me say that I repeatedly asked him, “Are you SURE? Do you REALLY want to be this for Halloween?” and he kept saying yes, so I’m not really the bad guy, right? I don’t ever want him to look back on these years and say, “My mom MADE me be this and I hated it.” Not that I know anything about that.

Anyway, I know the Claw Machine thing isn’t exactly original, but I thought it would be fun to make it a little more post-apocalyptic. Have all of the stuffed animals be ripped open and bloody, etc etc.

Oh and also? This didn’t happen until last Friday night. Just the birth of the idea itself, I mean. And we were barely home at all during the weekend, which meant that Henry had three work nights to try and get this done. I’d nervously text him for updates while I was at work and he would give me vague responses, like, “It’s coming along” and “This is Henry’s girlfriend…who’s this?” and “I want a divor—-oh, wait. Haha!”

By Wednesday night though, he swore he was ”like, 95% finished.” So then I was feeling kind of OK until I read the Halloween rules that Chooch’s school sent home which included the most restrictive costume guidelines ever, so why even bother celebrating Halloween!? No fake weapons (OK, I can understand that one!), no makeup, no masks, it has to fit into a bag, and no parents permitted in the classroom to help with the costumes.

Well, fuck. There was no way we were fitting a huge box into a bag and also no way he was getting this on by himself. In fact, I couldn’t even do it. Only Henry could, because only he could understand his own stupid design. Oh and also? Everything else we have laying around the house involves makeup and masks–animal masks, clown masks, gas masks. I couldn’t even resort to the old vintage ghost-sheet standby because god forbid, HIS FACE WOULD BE COVERED IN COTTON. And there was no way I was going to the stupid Halloween store….

….so it was decided that for the school party and parade, he’d wear his old ice cream cone costume.

Oh! And did I mention that no baked goods can be sent along for the class party? Everything has to be storebought and individually-packaged. No creepy cupcakes or cookies, no rice krispie treats or cakepop eyeballs. (I’m pretty sure Henry was actually relieved about this rule, though. One less thing for him to labor over!)

I know it’s not the school’s fault, and I know that these stringent rules have been implemented in schools all over the country, not just Chooch’s. But it just makes me so sad that this generation will never know Halloween like we knew Halloween. All those “Creepy Vintage Halloween” articles have been circulating on Facebook, but you know what? I would even take 1980s Halloween over what it’s become now, thanks to religious zealots and all of those motherfuckers who just can’t help themselves from shooting up schools. You assholes with nut allergies probably fucked this up somehow, too. (Kidding. Save the hate mail for next week’s blog post about Satanic abortions.)

It’s goddamn depressing. So I ranted and cried about this for a long while Wednesday night. I think Chooch genuinely felt bad for me (I do play a pretty fantastic sadsack), and he agreed to take his ice cream cone costume to school the next day.

And then I conveniently got a call from the school nurse that afternoon, telling me that Chooch puked and wanted to come home. I was 100% convinced that he puked his way out of the parade, but he insisted that he got sick off of a taco at lunch. By the time we got home, he swore that he was feeling better and wanted to go back to school for the parade and party. I asked him if he was sure at least 87 times before signing him back into school. (He’s lucky we live close enough that it’s less than a 10 minute walk.) When I was standing in the hallway talking to his teacher, some other mom was there picking up her kid and she overheard the teacher say that Chooch threw up after eating a taco for lunch.

“My son pukes EVERY TIME IT’S TACO DAY!” the mom bystander shared, so maybe he wasn’t actually Tracy Gold’ing it to get out of the parade after all.

45 minutes later, I was walking to school for the 4th time that day to watch the parade, which was scary because Henry couldn’t leave work in time so I had to GO BY MYSELF. Obviously I didn’t know anyone there because I’m so parentally antisocial, and pretty much everyone else was buddied up with other parents. So I stood next to the only other person there who appeared to have gone stag—some mom with a septum piercing.

Luckily, the parade was short…..and very anti-climatic. Tons of kids didn’t even dress up at all! And then there was Chooch, who was doing his best to smile in spite of the fact that he was probably daydreaming of killing me in my sleep.

“Everyone was laughing at me!” he told me afterward (and no, he wasn’t CRYING ABOUT IT).

“Because it’s funny! It’s SUPPOSED to be funny!” I cried. Yeah, I’m definitely going to bite it in my sleep one of these nights. You guys were all right.

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Meanwhile, the school’s stupid costume policies allowed Henry more time to finish the real costume that was supposed to be 95% done but somehow took another three hours to complete. So while Henry did things that required the use of a ruler and math, I figured I could use that time to maim and mangle the stuffed animals. I asked Henry for the fake blood, which he SWORE WE HAD IN THE GARAGE, and it turns out we definitely did NOT have any fake blood. (I know, it’s hard to believe that people like us actually forget to restock our fake blood.)

So I threw a huge fit and Henry was all, “OH YES LET ME JUST STOP WORKING ON THIS AND GIVE A SHIT ABOUT FAKE BLOOD!” He suggested I walk to CVS and just buy some, but hey, FYI: CVS replaces all of the Halloween stuff with Christmas stuff on HALLOWEEN. I even asked one of the cashiers, thinking maybe they could just snag a tube for me out of the back, but she crinkled her nose and repeated, “Fake BLOOD?” like I was asking for a Englebert Humperdinck 8-track.

Actually, that’s a horrible reference because that cashier was like 70 so she would have been happy about that.

I ran back home after that. Me! Running! In the rain! In the rain I ran!

Did I mention it was raining? Of course it was raining—it’s Halloween in Pittsburgh. All fucking day, it was drier than a nun’s kooka* until an hour before trick-or-treating was set to start.

*(Unless it was one of the nun’s in the Italian porn we may have recently watched. And by we I mean Henry by himself because I am too classy for that, obviously.)

With no fake blood to transform the bag of stuffed animals, I focused on doing Chooch’s makeup. This part was pretty stress-free because Chooch suddenly enjoys being made-up and even dug around my makeup box for the shade he wanted around his eyes. (All makeup used was My Pretty Zombie, of course.)

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The final step for Chooch’s makeup was to adhere some stuffing to his cheek, to give it that “ripped open stuffed animal” feel. Unfortunately, in order to get the stuffing, I had to cut open one of the stuffed animals, which was the whole point in buying them from Goodwill anyway. We were going to decapitate some, amputate some, etc etc. Chooch beat me to the bag and furiously dug through it, desperately yelling, “Wait! Not the dog! Not the kitty! No, not the dragon, either!!” and before I knew it, he had almost the entire bag of stuffed animals in his arms, frantically hugging them into his body.

Finally, I found a frog and tried to be all dismissive about it. “Eh, it’s just a frog,” I said with a wave. “It’s not even all that cute.” But son-of-a-bitch, when I raised those scissors up to its chest, I was overcome with a wave of anthropomorphic guilt.

“Mommy, don’t!” Chooch whimpered.

But…I had to do it, you guys. I had to slice open this poor fucking frog that already had the misfortune of being orphaned at a thrift shop. What dumb luck. As the sound of those dull blades slashing through fabric rang through the air, Chooch burst into tears. Like, REALLY BIG TEARS rolling down his poor wolf-cheeks, taking strips of makeup along for the ride.

“Oh for Christ’s sake!” Henry muttered as Chooch sobbed and I apologized profusely, more to the frog than Chooch, if we’re being honest.

Then when Chooch wasn’t looking, I smeared the frog with red paint.

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Chooch, post-cry. I had to reapply his makeup afterward. At least he got to wear his Never Shout Never-inspired wolf hat!

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So, that pretty much killed the stuffed animal idea. Luckily, we had enough pre-bloodied plush options, like the Batman that our friend Bonecrusher zombified for Chooch’s 5th birthday, one of Andrea’s zombie Barbies, Ju-On, a Jason Voorhees plush, the stuffed rabbit I bloodied for my Fatal Attraction costume last year and Chooch has still not forgiven me. All the while, I kept mouthing off to Henry about every last thing, all the way down to his audacity for even having been born. I have medals in this sport, you guys. My endurance for berating Henry is porn star-caliber.

Janna arrived right around this time, and she should really write a guest post about how comfortable and mellow it is to sit on the couch and listen to my mouth flap like your basic Roseanne Barr and Henry quietly simmers in a broth of domestic abuse and emasculation. I think my salutation as she walked through the front door was, “THIS IS THE WORST FUCKING DAY EV-HER-HER-HER-HER-ERRRRRR.”

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He insisted on putting a non-maimed dog in the front with him, but he was telling everyone its name was Murder Victim.

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I know, Chooch looks miserable in the video. But he was trying to look like a sad wolf, OK?! I’M NOT REALLY THAT BAD OF A MOM.

Finally, Chooch was situated in his box and we set off in the rain. We tagged along with our neighbor and two of her kids. Her son Josh is in Chooch’s class and they’ve known each other basically since they were born, since they’re only 2 weeks apart in age. Sometimes they don’t play very well together, but they made a good trick-or-treating duo. I was really glad for that, because this day did not need any more stress! Plus, Josh was really enthused about Chooch’s costume, which made him get even more into it.

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Too bad the rain forced him to take it off after the first block. Totally broke my heart, which I communicated by being a complete asshole and stamping my feet and threatening that I was JUST GOING TO GO HOME. Because you know, it’s all about me and my feelings. Meanwhile, Chooch was like, “Erin, Imma let you finish, but not having to wear a box in the rain is one of the best Halloween costumes of all time.” And frankly, he looked adorable as that stuffed wolf, so I got over it pretty quickly. (Not without verbally raping Henry a few more times though. Because the rain was ALL HIS FAULT! Why didn’t he smear himself with his own feces and crump to What Does the Fox Say beneath the Harvest Moon like a REAL FATHER?!)

I really don’t handle this shit well. I act like every little tiny event is my wedding/funeral. And it always ends up being fine! And we have fun! And we laugh! But there is always that hour where I am such a raging control freak bitchnugget asshole that I have no idea why I still have any friends. Or, you know, a Henry and a Chooch.

So I will summarize the rest (thank god, right) by saying that:

  • it rained like it motherfucker
  • Henry tried to go home
  • some lady in a Blazer almost ran us over and then put her window down to tell Chooch he had the cutest costume, and I said, “Thanks…FOR ALMOST RUNNING US OVER”
  • Henry and I broke up over an umbrella
  • I pointed out all of the things Henry forgot to put on the claw machine and he growled, “THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS I WOULD HAVE DONE IF I HAD MORE TIME.” God, quit your job then, asshole.
  • Henry tried to go home
  • Chooch had to take off the box before we made it off the first block and went the rest of the night as a “sad stuffed wolf”
  • Henry tried to go home
  • Janna had a cold
  • I called Henry a motherfucker (x 87)
  • Henry got to go home

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Fuck you and your purple umbrella, asshole.

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Sopping wet chaperones.

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I don’t even think they noticed it was raining. (Josh had a really cute pirate costume, and it sucked that he had to wear a windbreaker over it. I hate Pittsburgh weather.)

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We probably only saw 15-20 other trick-or-treaters in the 60+ minutes we were out there. And most houses just left out a bowl on the honest

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Tourette’s was trick-or-treating, too!!

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Cast of Claw Characters

“What did you use for the blood?” Henry frowned, rubbing his wet, red fingers together.

“Paint. It was either that or Ketchup,” I said with a shrug, and then when he gave me The Disappointed Father look, I screamed, “OH DON’T EVEN START WITH ME ABOUT THE FAKE BLOOD, YOU SON OF A BITCH.” I mean, good fucking god. Sorry that paint takes so long to dry!

****

Afterward, Henry, Chooch, Janna and I went to Eat n Park for dinner, and miraculously Henry and I quit hating each other long enough to (BRIEFLY) hold hands at the booth. And now Chooch is apparently really into eyeliner. I came home from work last night and he had it on one eye. Henry gave me the ”thanks for THAT, Erin” smirk.

All in all, it ended up being fine and we had fun in spite of the rain. I mean, if I had nothing to bitch about, how would I ever remember this night?!

Did your Halloween go off without a hitch? If so, fuck you.

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Sep 242013
 

Hey, Blog. Remember how two weekends ago I wrote on your skin about how I was going to do a pie pop-baking practice run? And you didn’t tell me I was being ridiculous? Well, fuck you.

In my head, it seemed like such a great idea! So smart and sensible. Henry will take on the regular-sized pies for the upcoming pie party, and I will undertake the legion of tiny pies on sticks that, also in my head, seemed like they would be so darling to bake. I even looked at a lot of pictures on various food blogs and every single one of them screamed ERIN PROOF! One blogger even said, “Hi, my 8-year-old niece made these, they are THAT EASY.”

And that’s what I needed to know. That idiot children could accomplish this feat and wind up with an edible disc on a tiny pie-rod. So two weekends ago, I mentally prepared myself for lots of flour inhalation and…other baking stuff.

But first, I needed to go to the asian market to see if they had persimmon, because I have been deadset on Henry baking me the most sumptuous pie out of that shit for months now. Persimmon is my jam. I’m sorry to all of the apples out there, but I have to say that persimmon is my favorite fruit of all time. Too bad it’s so elusive.

If anyplace would have it, it would be the asian market though. And of course, they didn’t. (They did have the best goddamn kiwis I’ve ever masticated this side of Fruit Mastication Street, though. I think they were Golden Kiwi? What a joy for my tongue.

I decided when we were checking out that Henry and I should inquire about persimmons, which turned out to be a huge mistake because the young Asian girl in her lens-less black frames and Abercrombie hoodie started laughing. I mean, this bitch had her head thrown back in laughter. This was legit laughter. This was the laughter reserved for stupid crackers, that’s exactly what kind of fucking laughter this was.

“Oh no, hahaha, no no no! There no persimmon in September! Hahahaha! That winter fruit! Hahahahaha!” And other shoppers were craning their necks to see what was going on up at check out (I’m sure they figured it involved a fat caucasion fruit-retard) and I pretty much wanted to fork my fingers and spear her eyeballs Labryinth-style through her stupid hipster glasses that she doesn’t even need!

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Friends, don’t make the same mistake I made. There are no persimmon in September. Don’t even bother asking, unless you enjoy being laughed out of the Alamo, OK?

So, I guess no persimmon pie at the pie party, my persimmony pie party peeps.

Totally defeated, we went and got ice cream, I got totally sick from spray paint fumes, and then finally I decided I better try that baking thing before the weekend was officially over. Except that there was a Penguins pre-season game on that evening.

“I’ll just do it during intermission,” I said to Henry. “Get everything ready for me.”

Henry had already gone to the regular people grocery store earlier that evening and bought all of the pie supplies, plus cookie cutters and lollipop sticks. Henry then cleared off the dining room table, rolled out the flour, washed the cookie cutters, prepared various pie fillings in some bowls, and made the egg wash. Then it was the first intermission and I had to actually do foody things which turned out to be so terrible, I can’t even find the words, it’s like my brain is literally sending death threats to my fingers to prevent them from typing out the brutal memory of last Sunday evening.

“Are you kidding me?” Henry sighed during one of his supervisional trips to the dining room table.

“This is so hard!” I wailed. “And booooring!”

“Did you actually read the recipe, or did you just look at the pictures?” And when I didn’t answer right away, he spat, “That’s what I thought.”

And then I tried to get all fancy, which is not something a baking invalid like myself should EVER TRY TO DO, by doing one of those crisscross crust thingies that disgusting grandmas do to their cherry pies so hobos will want to stick their dicks inside once they see how moist and pus-like the innards are. A little bit of a sultry, seductive pie peepshow never killed anyone. (Just maybe stained some already dirty weeners.)

Give me Sculptey and I will crosshatch the shit out of it. Construction paper? Sure, I got this. I was even pretty diligent back in the day at making potholders by criss-crossing stretchy things on a small metal loom.

But give me pie crust and I am all thumbs. And not just normal people thumbs, but medical malady thumbs. Maybe even some monkey thumbs are up in there, too, and everything I try to hold just collapses into me. I also apparently forget what “criss-cross” looks like and this is what happens:

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And then something happened, a lightbulb went off, a burning pie pop sent smoke signals to my brain, something happened: I realized that I just really, truly, absolutely dislike baking. Like with my entire being. I hate it. It makes me feel tired, angry and pretty much like my whole world is ending. So why keep trying? Discovering I’m actually a baking phenom is pretty likely never to happen. I just honestly do not enjoy it! It’s actual mental pain for me and I get bored immediately after I start. And it wasn’t very fun (or tasty) eating uncooked pie crust, but I kept doing it just because Henry kept telling me to stop. It was just a real bad time, you guys, like taking a tour of Snooki’s gynecological history. Like being trapped in a car with someone you can’t stand, except the car is a table and the person you can’t stand is Henry amidst a pile of crappy ingredients.

(Looks like Henry’s To Do list for the pie party has just grown exponentially!)

Finally, after hearing enough of my bitching and moaning and general dramatics (so out of character), Henry released me from the confines of baking and things went back to normal: me leaning forward on the couch screaming at the TV while Henry calls out from the kitchen for the score of the hockey game.

Ah, normalcy.

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Sep 042013
 

SATURDAY!
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Dear Blog,

I will start with Saturday, because that is typically what one does when recounting their weekend. On Saturday, Henry and I went to a co-ed baby shower for my friend Lisa and her husband Matt. They’re expecting their first baby and I’m so stoked for them! Way more stoked than Henry was to be there! I was really hoping he would decorate a onesie, but he totally pussed out.

I drew a mustache on mine and wrote “I [mustache] you to change me.” A total cop-out I thought, given the popularity of the “I Mustache You a Question” phrase these days, but no one seemed to get it, as it hung there shamefully on a clothesline in the kitchen, so then I was just pretty embarrassed. But, that’s what I am 75% of the time, so it was OK. I ate some damn good cookies and moved on.

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I’m always thoroughly awkward at these things, especially because it’s mostly Lisa’s friends from college and church, and I know her from high school. I for real cannot make small talk with a person to save my life. I know that there’s a formula, and it goes something like this:

person asks <x> question.

you answer <x> question.

you ask person <y> question.

person answers <y> question.

repeat until some type of conversational flow is established.

But when I’m involved, it goes like this:

person asks <x> question.

I stutter a lot before attempting to say something witty in a monotone slur which may or not satisfy <x> question.

attempt at wit falls flat. crickets.

but one thing’s for certain: she has the best damn food at her get-togethers. I mean, I’m sure I maxed out my Weight Watchers anytime points for the week on the potato salad alone!

Lisa and Matt’s friends Carrie and Wes were there, and it was nice to see familiar faces. Henry and I met them last year at the Rib Fest (I was only there to see .38 Special, obvi) and then again a few weeks later at Matt’s surprise graduation party. I was super happy the next day when Carrie sent me a friend request on Facebook because that means she doesn’t think I’m 100% boring like I always feel that I am at social events!

Anyway, Lisa looks absolutely radiant for a pregnant lady and I’m a little jealous about that. I allowed one photo of myself to be taken during my baby shower and I looked haggard and beached. I did not have that “glow” that all the women speak of.

Now I’m just rambling. I’m on my 4th cup of coffee.

SUNDAY!

Sunday, as previously mentioned on this blog, was a day full of DIY bullshit. It started first thing in the morning with a trip to the flea market. We’re making pie stands for the pie party so we were on the lookout for things that could be suitably fastened together to form somewhat of an aesthetic Atlas for pies. Dude you guys, this pie party is going to be the best one yet, I promise! The pies might taste like rotten ass, but boy is the décor going to be pleasant to look at. I’m excited to show a little bit of my pretty side for once, which actually does exist. (i.e. no bloody fingers or clown heads on the table.)

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“Mommy, look!” Chooch cried. “Lizzie Borden’s hatchet!” This was met with some winning gawks.

We walked past the right table at the right time and got to witness an angry old man who had recently found out that the GOLD COINS he bought from WEIRD OLD PEOPLE at a FLEA MARKET were COUNTERFEIT. (Please see: last part of the above video.)

YOU DON’T SAY!!!

While he was angrily pacing back and forth, shouting at them, the old man coin swindler never stopped playing his harmonica and his old lady cohort just kept laughing and waving it off.

“WHAT’S THE NUMBER ON THIS!?” the coin chump barked, examining the number painted on the ground beneath the table so he knew officially who to narc on once he GOT TO THE FLEA MARKET OFFICE!! Because that’s where he was headed! I know this because we followed him from a parallel aisle. I wanted to REALLY follow him, but Henry was all, “This might get dangerous” so I never got to see if anyone was taken down by the flea market popo.

And then Henry kept purposely walking real fast by any table that might have held something he thought I would like, so I got all bitch-pouty and stormed back to the car.

But at least we worked on the coffee table when we got home.

Ha-ha, “we.”

Later that night, we drove all over the South Hills until I settled on a suitable establishment for ice cream. I just didn’t like the first two Henry picked and then the third place was closed and Henry was seriously wishing he had purchased that $5 hatchet at the flea market.

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But we settled on Tasty-Crème and I was happy with it, except that ice cream places always give me ordering anxiety because they all look like this at the window:

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Too many choices! And of course after I ordered my vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles, Henry noted that they had TOASTED COCONUT TOPPING, WTF. I totally would have gotten that instead.

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This was some really good soft serve. When I mentioned that out loud, Henry gave me a weird look but I’m sorry — not all soft serve tastes the same, jackass. Try refining your palate.

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There was some vacant-eyed pod family sitting at the picnic table, so we opted to just loiter near our car, lest they suck off some of our life force with their milkshake straws.

LABOR DAY:

Man, did I have some big plans for Labor Day. I wanted to get up early and go have breakfast, which is one meal we rarely go out for together anymore. That doesn’t seem so lofty of a want, until you get to the part where I add, “And also, let’s drive for an hour to accomplish this.”  All weekend, Henry hemmed and hawed, until finally I modified plans so that we could leave later, after working on the furniture refinishing project some more, which, by the way, is taking FOREVER. It was so humid all weekend, and apparently paint doesn’t respond well to that? I don’t know. So everything is taking way longer than I had thought it would, and then I had a can of gold glitter spray paint in my hand for five seconds and completely fucked up a drawer, so now Henry will have to sand it down and start over. Ugh, this is why I hate “projects”!!! I want to be able to come up with ideas and then, wow, look at that, it’s done.

For some reason, that never happens. God, being a muggle sucks.

But that’s another blog entry.

We ended up leaving the house around 10:30 and set off toward Uniontown, which is…south of Pittsburgh? I don’t know. But we hadn’t been in that area since last summer when we went to Laurel Caverns, so I thought it would be fun to eat at some towny diner and then go into the wilderness.

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Henry overshot Uniontown and continued on up into the Laurel Highlands, which was OK but not WHAT I WANTED. So then it was all, “Where do you want to eat?” and I’m like, “One of the many places we past miles ago, duh” but he just kept driving and driving until we ended up Lone Star which was a real shit hole.

Chooch was in a really bad mood for god only knows why. I’m guessing it was because I wouldn’t let him play on my phone when we got there. So he “punished” us by not ordering food. His excuse was that he wanted pancakes but the shitty Lone Star only serves breakfast until 11AM because they SUCK AS A RESTAURANT.

And then he started crying about something Minecraft-related and I just sat there thinking about how my good intentions for a Labor Day spent with my dumb family was totally RUINED.

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Apparently, we arrived at the Lone Star right on the heels of a hunting party, so it took us an hour to get our stupid lunch. I ordered a grilled cheese, you guys. A grilled cheese. It ranked in the Top 5 Worst Grilled Cheeses I’ve ever eaten (and two of those were made by me) and I actually passed it over to Chooch, but he wouldn’t eat it either, so hooray for Henry ending up with two lunches! That doesn’t necessarily mean that he won at lunch, though. Trust me.

The grilled cheese tasted like it had been boiled in water and then microwaved and then possibly smashed with a hot iron long enough to burn one side. And it possibly only had a half slice of cheese in between the wrecked bread. I didn’t even have the will to complain. It was so disappointing and I just wanted to get out of that grimy establishment before any parasites had a chance to crawl into me. I had to pee so bad but the bathroom door was being blocked by some mountain hick in a messy bun so I decided to be stubborn and just hold it. I SURE SHOWED THEM!

Afterward, Henry drove us toward nature things and then turned around because I guess he felt that looking at trees and signs for Ohio Pyle and the Deer Lakes from the car window was what I meant when I said, “And then I want to go and do nature things.”

Obviously I was a huge bitch baby after that. Henry kept trying to hold my hand from across the console and I would shrug my arm away from him and shift my position so I was practically curling up against the car door.

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But at least Henry was wise enough to make up for Lone Star (it was his fault!!) by taking us to Gene and Boots for ice cream, which ended up being my lunch since I refused to eat that gnarly grilled cheese.

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Um, I don’t really know when photographing raised ice cream cones became my “thing,” but I suppose it’s better than some other things I could be photographing. (Depending on who you ask.)

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At the very least, I could now probably put together one really tasty summer montage.

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Seriously, Chooch needs to stop making such a disgusting mess with ice cream cones or he’s going to have to start getting his scoops in a goddamn bowl. Ugh! I can’t even look at him when he’s cone-in-hand.

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How does someone manage to look so angry while eating ice cream? I know this picture wants you to think I’m a liar, but Henry was actually the only one of us who was in a good mood all day.

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Aug 282013
 

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There have been two times in my life when I was so scared I thought I could die, really honestly fucking die:

  • In 1998 when I caused an FBI to flip his car over on the highway. I can still feel blood draining from my face when I think of that day.
  • In 2006 when I arrived at the hospital for my C-section.

But then on Saturday, August 17, 2013, I went to the Lawrence County Fair and accumulated one more for that list.

Everything was great for the first hour. It was a fair we had never before been to so it was nice to see some new things, like the Grand Wheel, which was beautiful. (From the ground. From the top, not so much.)

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I mean, what DOES make Henry smile these days? WHO THE HELL KNOWS.

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I was terrified the entire time we were stuck on the Grand Wheel; it just seemed like it went faster than normal ferris wheels, I don’t know. And no, this was not what made it to #3 on my SHIT THE PANTS list.

 

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I approved of the interesting carousel animals.

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And then disaster struck. OK, luckily for me it stopped just shy of being a legitimate disaster, but it was still enough to inflict some hardcore emotional damage.

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I saw the Vortex before we even pulled into the parking lot of the fairground and got pretty excited because these don’t pop up at the fairs we typically visit every summer. But it was a different midway company supplying the attractions for the Lawrence County Fair, which was one of the reasons I wanted to go. Because I’m a midway dork, OK!? I found this out one night at work when Gayle told me she was going to be selling her jewelry there and I googled, “WHAT MIDWAY COMPANY PROVIDES THE RIDES FOR LAWRENCE COUNTY FAIR?!” because this is what any normal person would do. When I saw that it was the MIDWAY RIDES OF UTICA, I texted Henry and said, “IT IS A MIDWAY COMPANY THAT WE’VE NEVER ENCOUNTERED SO WE HAVE TO GO.”

Anyway, the Vortex was a big pull for me. I hadn’t seen one of those sons of bitches in years and I was pretty excited to ride it. Chooch was 2 inches too short, but he didn’t really give a fuck because there was some stupid bounce-house nearby and he’s still a three-year-old when it comes to that shit. So he and Henry walked away while I stomped up the steps to ride alone.

I should have trusted my gut, you guys. But then again, my gut is usually telling me to eat 5,000 grilled cheeses. The carnies at this fair did not seem interested in their jobs at all. Oh I know, that whole carny stereotype! But actually, even though I poke fun, the fairs we typically go to employ carnies who pay attention to what’s happening on the rides. Their teeth might be falling into your lap when they speak to you, but at least they’re dilligent with safety harnesses, seatbelts, latches.

I sat in my seat and buckled the seatbelt—which was attached to the botton of the shoulder harness—into the thingie on the seat between my legs (NOT MY VAGINA, YOU GUYS, GOD), then pulled the harness down. It sprang right back up, so I thought that probably it just wasn’t time for that yet. The gate to the ride was still open, and kids were slowly trickling in and filling up the rest of the seats. No one ended up sitting in the seat next to me and eventually one of the non-English-speaking carnies came over and pulled down the gate, trapping us into a veritable metal cage. I motioned for the carny to look at my shoulder harness.

“It’s not locking!” I shouted, pushing it away from my body to demonstrate.

The carny gave me the thumbs up sign and laughed. THEN THE RIDE STARTED AND MY HARNESS WAS STILL NOT LOCKED WHAT THE FALALALALALALALALA-UCK!!!!!!!!!

I was like, “YO! WAIT UP HOMIE! DON’T START THE—–”

Boom. Too late. That first revolution around, I honest to god thought to myself, “This is it. This is how I die. OMFG IS THIS REALLY HOW I DIE!?” I went upside down, the harness dropped away from my chest and my body was 100% off the seat. The only thing keeping me from being thrown around inside a cage like a scene kid rag doll was the fact that the seat belt was still fastened, at least. But there was so much slack on it that every time we went around, my head was literally about a centimeter away from slamming into the top of the ride. I kept trying to bear-hug the harness into me, and had my legs spread out with my knees locked in an effort to keep myself as still as possible, but it was futile: every fucking time we went around, the harness dropped and I followed.

After the 14th time, I finally reasoned with myself that I was not going to die, probably. Even if the seat belt were to snap (and I know I’m Chubs City, but somehow I think that seatbelts are built to withstand weight even greater than my own), I wasn’t going to fall out.

Probably.

But then I started to maniacally storyboard all of the different ways I could lose a limb, get concussed, LOSE MY MEMORY, GET SCALPED.

I caught the attention of the kid in front of me. Through the grated partition I called out to him, “SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT, LOOOOOOK!!!” and I showed him how the harness was essentially just flapping in the breeze and that kid’s eyes got all bulgey. Even a kid knew that I was going to perish, maybe!

My heart was beating at a methodical FRIGHTENED RABBIT pace. Then I lost my voice for awhile. I would open my mouth to scream and…nothing. Just a hoarse cry. Like I had lost the will! And what would it matter? Those fucking carnies were probably down there mapping out their rape spots for the night, and definitely not paying attention to the HORROR ABOVE THEM.

And then, oh-ho-ho and then it changed directions and this time, going backward, it was even worse somehow. By this time I was flowing through some fucking mean yoga poses, something that maybe Takasha Shimizu would choreograph if he suddenly decided to leave the horror movie industry and become a Yogi.

Long story ridiculously-lengthed, the ride stopped and my body was freezing cold. And damp with perspiration. When the one carny came over to lift the gate, I shouted at him, “THIS WASN’T LOCKED THE ENTIRE TIME!!!” and angrily threw the shoulder harness up into the air.

HE LAUGHED AT ME.

“No. No, this isn’t FUNNY. That was not a GOOD TIME!” I cried, pointing up into the air at what was now a really sick memory that I get to replay over and over whenever I need to decide whether or not I want to become housebound for the rest of my years.

*****

When I found Henry, I was still yards away and he knew something was wrong. He said he’s never seen me look so white, and I was trembling really bad. I could barely even feel my lips and had some pretty fucking cold sweats going on. I told him what happened and you know it’s a Situation when Passive Henry gets involved. He set off to find a supervisor.

Speaking of carny supervisors, KIRK NEVER WOULD HAVE LET THIS HAPPEN TO ME!

And then I just kind of stood there in the middle of the field, while the rest of the fair swirled around me. I wished I could have went back to ten minutes ago and decided not to go on the Vortex when we realized Chooch was too short. I wished I had trusted my gut, but I didn’t, because my gut is usually always dreadfully wrong. (Because it is lined with paranoia.)

Henry returned with this short fucking troll-lady who made me go back over to the Vortex with her while she shouted indecipherable grunts into a walkie talkie. I did not want to go back over to this ride, but I had no choice. I didn’t want to see someone else get hurt, no matter how much I rant about hating people. She made me point out which seat I was sitting in and then she climbed up onto the ride platform and started yelling at the carnies in Spanish while giving the harness a basic physical.

When she returned to me, she had a laundry list of excuses for me, such as:

  • “Well, you must have made the safety latch release by pushing in and out too many times.” (UM, IT WAS NEVER LOCKED TO BEGIN WITH AND IF THAT’S HOW THOSE THINGS ARE DESIGNED, THERE IS ONE REALLY FUCKING RETARDED ENGINEER OUT THERE IN THE WORLD.)
  • “You weren’t going to like, fall out or anything.”
  • “We actually just had a meeting with the guys this morning about how they need to make sure they check everyone before starting the ride.” (SO IN OTHER WORDS: NOT HER FAULT.)

And then she tried to indulge me by reaching out to give me a half-hug.

I pulled away and said, “Don’t touch me.”

“I know, you were so scared! But honestly, you were safe up there. There are like 4 different brakes that will come on before anything could happen to you.”

And then she said that this happens all the time and then LAUGHED ABOUT IT!

OK, but the main issue here was negligence and I was super pissed with the way it was handled. I was in a major state of shock so at first I said I didn’t want to leave. We walked around for a little bit, me feeling like a ghost, Chooch scolding me for not listening to him when he said I shouldn’t ride the Vortex, Henry hoping to emerge from the fair without hemmorhaging money.

Then Henry pointed out a sign that said “Cowlick Milkshakes, the Best at the Fair” or some other superlative, and I don’t know why, but at that moment I had to have a fucking Cowlick Milkshake. I wasn’t even sure what it was because my brain was still trying to piece itself back together, but I knew that if anything was going to help me heal, it was a Cowlick Milkshake.

Turns out a Cowlick Milkshake is just a regular milkshake in your standard milkshake flavors of chocolate, vanilla or strawberry.

“I thought it was going to be a cowlick flavor,” I said in a pouty tone when we walked away with two chocolate shakes.

“Ew, why would you think that? How could ‘cowlick’ even sound like a good flavor?” Henry asked with a disgusted look wrapped around his moustache.

BECAUSE I WAS NOT THINKING RATIONALLY OK. Maybe I was confusing it with a Cowtail candy thingie. Cowtails are good. I imagine a Cowtail milkshake would be as well. But probably not a Cowlick Milkshake; you’re right, Henry.

About two hours after we left the fair, the shock wore off and I started to cry. I was in total Final Destination mode for the rest of the weekend after that.

Gayle texted me later that night and said that they had stopped running that side of the Vortex, which tells me that this probably happened again to some other dumb asshole!

****

The next morning, I woke up feeling like I had been bench-pressing a car. I had some fucked up Indian brushburn under my left arm, my right shin was screaming, and I had a piercing pain in my right shoulderblade anytime I leaned against something.

I told Henry that I’m done. I’ll never go to another fair or amusement park again. And I HATE that I feel that way. I hate that I’m practically a bubblewrap burrito now, because these were things that were fun for me, and now this one shitty experience could ruin it all for me. What will summers be like without riding shit like this until I get sick? Without getting excited because the Big Butler Fair has a new ride? Without at least one spin on the Zipper?!

I hate this. But I think I might be done riding things, for real. At the very least, I’m DEFINITELY never going anywhere near a carnival or county fair hosted by MIDWAY RIDES OF UTICA. They can suck a fucking dick. MIDWAY RIDES OF UTICA SUCKS, PASS IT ON.

(Um, I might still go on this ride though, if I ever come across it again.)

****

I will now address some FAQs that I have been getting ever since this happened:

Do you actually expect to go to county fairs and be safe??

While I try not to “expect” anything in life, yes, I do go to the fair with some sense of being safe. This is what state laws and regulations are for. This is why rides are required to be inspected. This is why you don’t hear news reports of thousands of people dying at the county fair every summer. Freak accidents can and will happen, but most of this shit can be prevented by the diligence of trained ride operators, which is what I hope to find at these places.

Don’t you know you shouldn’t ride the rides at the fair?! Only amusement park rides are safe!

We aren’t “safe” anywhere. In one weekend this past summer, seven people were injured at Cedar Point when the log flume tipped over while it was ascending a hill and at a Six Flags in Texas, a woman was flung to her death from a roller coaster. Dude, a toddler died after contracting e.coli from a PETTING ZOO at one of the fairs. Last year, some guy was shot OUTSIDE of a county fair. It’s not just the rides. A bitch can get killed pretty much anywhere.

Don’t you think you’re being dramatic?

Look, I was pretty certain after a few seconds that I probably wasn’t going to die, but if you honestly think I’m blowing it out of proportion, well, just pray that something like this doesn’t happen to you someday.

How were you able to squeeze your fat ass into a ride like that to begin with?

An ass-corset made of strategically-placed industrial strength Ace bandages, Spanx and a wreath of tiny elven butt-huggers.

****

On the brightside, before we left the fair, Henry bought me a pretty necklace that some Ugandan broad made out of paper. I wanted two of them, but I guess my near-death experience wasn’t worth $30 to Henry. Oh well, it will be a nice accent for my new bubblewrap suit.

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Aug 012013
 

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We weren’t even on the boat yet, and this is what Henry looked like.

The fact that I was so dead set on taking a boat tour of Cleveland is kind of weird for a number of reasons:  I hate river water. Lake Erie scares me. (HOW CAN A LAKE LOOK SO MUCH LIKE THE OCEAN!?) Being on a boat makes my mind reel with impending cataclysm. ASSHOLES take boat tours. But the biggest weird reason is: what is there even to see on a Cleveland boat tour?!

But for some reason I had fond memories of taking this same tour on the Goodtimes III in 2004 with Henry, which is odd in and of itself because how many fond memories of Henry do I really have from back then?

So you might be able to understand Henry’s confusion when I was like, “WE CANNOT LEAVE CLEVELAND WITHOUT BOATING IT UP.” I just vaguely remembered that there were cool bridges along the Cuyahoga, some of which swung out to allow boats to pass, others of which raised in a drawbridge-esque fashion. Even though bridges also terrify me, I though that perhaps Chooch would enjoy this.

I even bought tickets for the last tour of the day from my phone because I was so afraid it was going to sell out before we arrived. WHO AM I?!

Anyway, after Henry nearly killed us by turning the wrong way down a one-way street in the middle of downtown Cleveland, we finally made it to the boat area place and Chooch and I were practically throwing elbows at people trying to get to the will call window to claim our tickets. Somewhere along the way, we lost Henry. But Henry or no Henry, Chooch and I were still going on this fucking boat. It was my dying wish.

Henry found us sitting on a bench, watching the people from the earlier tour stream off the Goodtimes III, which had just docked. I asked Henry where the hell he went and it turns out he was helping some delivery driver back up his truck. Of course he was.

“And then I had to pee,” he continued over top of Chooch’s and my raucous laughter. He helped some guy back up his truck?! Why does he even tell us these things!? And then he mumbled something about how “assholes” like me and Chooch kept walking behind the poor guy’s truck while he was trying to back up and he couldn’t see. Go be a Good (Driver) Samaritan somewhere else, Henry. You’re stinking up my air with all your do-goodery.

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“I helped some guy back up his truck. What’s so funny about that?!”

Finally, it was time to board so some nautical person barked into a megaphone that wasn’t very mega for everyone to form a single file line. Chooch and I raced to get into line, going out of our way to cut people off, while Henry just walked casually, like a person who doesn’t feel the urgency of boarding a boat.

When we finally crossed the plank-thing, Chooch and I ran for the upper deck. And it’s a good thing too, because there were approximately…..four other people up there. But gradually, more people made their way up to our deck and I quickly began to rack up entire families to hate.

The worst of which were the Ralph Laurens—my polite pet name for the Von Moneyfucks taking up two rows at the front. The patriarch came complete with a sandy toupee and a white sweater tied around his shoulders. At one point, they had a crew member take a group photo of them and their yuppie spawn so they could retreat to Chateau le Douche and show their staff that they slummed it up with their blue-collared people.

“Muffy dear, I couldn’t find the pâté de foie gras, but I procured us some of this bourgeois delicacy that the commoners enjoy at the ball game. I think this might be quails egg yolk on top.” This is what I imagined he was saying in his pompously bombastic tones as he returned from the snack bar with a plastic tray of nachos. CHORTLE CHORTLE, MOTHERFUCKER.

I guess their yacht was in the shop.

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Separating the Von Moneyfucks from us were two couples who weren’t too annoying at first. The one couple was older, the wife was maybe in her early 40s and the husband looked like he was in his 50s and praying for a quick death. They had what I can only imagine was an adopted toddler boy thing. The other couple were in their early 30s and the guy took pictures of EVERY FUCKING THING WE PASSED with his wannabe professional camera while the wife sat there making the older lady feel like shit for being a disheveled mother.

The only real highlight of the tour was when we cruised past an area where a shit ton of murders happened and Eliot Ness couldn’t solve them. Of course the area was some sketchy lot strewn with giant ant hills of garbage and old tires. (To be honest, I actually missed this entire part and only started paying attention when I heard “Eliot Ness” so then Henry had to tell me.)

At one point early on, the mom turned into Speedy Gonzalez and starting making loud ay yi yi arriba arriba noises at her toddler who looked extremely horrified by this and proceeded to sleep for the next three hours probably just to put his mom out of her misery.

NOTICE I SAID THREE HOURS. This was only supposed to be a 2-hour tour, but after an hour into the tour, we were very nearly Gilligan’d.

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So, remember those aforementioned bridges? Well first of all, Chooch didn’t give a FUCK about them because he was too busy obsessing over the snack bar and all of its contents which Henry refused to purchase. Second of all, some dude behind us was deviating from the recorded narrator to tell his kids all the insider info about them, which was ANNOYING AS SHIT at first until I realized that he works for a bridge-building company and then my ears started to perk up because maybe that means he has some money to spend on me. Third of all, the very last drawbridge-esque one we cruised beneath turned out to be quite the motherfucker.

Right after the last bridge, the boat had reached the turnaround spot, and I rejoiced because the last half hour had been total bullshit, all this industrial spanse that no one cared about. “Here is where the city gets their rocks.” NO ONE CARES. So of course, it would be on the most desolate part of the river where something would go awry.

We were headed back to that last bridge, which had JUST WORKED 5 minutes ago, but now the bridge wouldn’t raise. The captain had to brake (?) the boat while the moron bridge operator tried to get the goddamn thing to go up and it just wouldn’t budge. So we had to sit there and watch as all these lucky bastard cars got to cross the bridge while laughing at the sadsack tourists who were now stuck in muddy-brown river water, buoying methodically with nothing to look at but GAS TANKS on the left and I don’t know, piles of dirt on the right. Somewhere nearby, someone was probably getting stabbed over a drug deal gone south. It was that kind of area and I was hoping that I wouldn’t get caught witnessing any wrongdoings by a Mexican drug cartel.

The captain came on and explained that there was a “situation that only happens once in a blue moon, probably just a blown fuse” and that the electrician had been called, so here, just enjoy some crackly AM classics* and please try not to kill one another. We’re just going to keep floating here for another 20 minutes and then everything will be fine, you’ll see.

*(I guess this is the back-up for when the boat reaches the end of the river and there is nothing left for the ancient cassette tape to narrate. At one point in the BEGINNING OF THE TOUR, the tape got all fucked up and you could hear someone frantically rewinding and then fast-forwarding, trying to get it to match up to our location. This trip was doomed from the start.)

Oh at first it was funny. Watching the rich people cuddle to “How Deep Is Your Love”; Henry getting all nostalgic over “Muskrat Love”; laughing alone at “Afternoon Delight.” But then 20 minutes had turned into 45. The captain interrupted “Night Fever” to let us know that the electrician had arrived and you know, it should hopefully be any day now.

Ironically, “Blue Moon” came on and that poor toddler woke up just in time to witness his haggard mother dancing to it. “I wish she’d put her hat back on,” Henry mumbled, because her stupid baseball cap covered half her face and it was nice then. The less we had to see, the better. Then the younger of the two couples started drinking beer and apparently thought they were being HILARIOUS drunks. Mmm…maybe to fans of Dane Cook? Tyler Perry?

Chooch started to stress-cry at one point. I jokingly said, “Gee, Chooch. You just HAD to take a boat tour!” and I half-expected him to pick me up with his rage-muscles and punt me off the side of the boat.

He was, um, pretty pissed that I said that.

Mysteriously, the bridge-worker who was once behind me had disappeared. I wondered if he was on a lower deck, poring over blueprints.

Or getting fired.

Meanwhile, we kept catching glimpses of a hard-hatted man pacing along the top of the bridge like Bob the Fucking Bridgefixer. Unfortunately, it took him quite a while to fix it so the assholes in front of us started searching the boat for a deck of cards. Blue Moon Dancer came back and said that there was apparently one deck on the entire boat and someone beat them to it. Finally, a small victory for me. I don’t think I could have handled watching them play cards, but I also didn’t want to move from my seat because I was certain I would get ill. OH AND MY PHONE HAD DIED. I had to sit on this fucking boat with a dead phone. Motherfucker. (Henry’s was dead too and Chooch’s was in the car, waaaaaaah.)

After a while, I started having some pretty dark thoughts. I watched an airplane fly above us and began to imagine it crashing into the river, so now not only will we be stuck on a fucking boat, but now we’re stuck on a boat floating among plane crash carnage. I started imagining a storm coming in from Lake Erie (there actually were storms on the horizon, it looked so scary) and tipping the boat over. I started imagining that the Von Moneyfucks up there had mob ties and their fortune was primarily drug-money, probably some blood diamonds too, and now we’re about to get shot at from a rival Don who wants Sandy Toupee out of the game and THAT IS HOW I KNOW THE BRIDGE BROKE ON PURPOSE OMG.

I snapped out of my nightmare hypothesis mode when the captain came back on to tell us that the bridge had been successfully repaired, but it was temporarily operating on something that would only allow the bridge to literally creep up. Which meant we still had a good 25 minutes to continue to sit there, watching it raise like Huge Hefner’s penis.

Of course, I didn’t get to capture the entire boat exploding with cheers and applause when we were finally able to pass beneath the bridge and make our way back to the dock—which was another hour out of the day. Nearly 4 hours total, I was so pissed, and also slightly delirious.

“They could at least give us our fucking money back,” I cried angrily to Henry.

“Why? It wasn’t the boat’s fault,” was Henry’s rational response.

“I’M GOING TO WRITE A LETTER!” I bitched.

“To who*? The bridge?!” he asked sarcastically.

YES, MAYBE.

*(Henry doesn’t like saying “whom.” It makes his blue collar itch.)

It was after 7PM when we got off that fucking hostage boat, and nearly 10:30 by the time we got back to Pittsburgh. I can’t wait to add this to the evergrowing list of things Chooch likes to throw back in my face whenever we have an audience. “Remember that time that MOMMY made us take a BOAT TOUR and then the BRIDGE BROKE AND WE WERE STUCK FOR WEEKS WITH NO FOOD?! Oh how I hate her.”

Probably the last boat tour any of us will be taking in quite some time. Maybe even forever. Take THAT, boat tour industry.

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Jul 152013
 

Earlier tonight at work, I checked my email on my phone and was shocked when I saw some angry rant about gerbils and assholes, a la Richard Gere. I couldn’t imagine what I had done, and then I realized, “Oh, this must be spam.”

marcus

But after I read all of it and Googled the company in the email signature, I’m pretty sure it’s real and that Marcus has the wrong Erin Kelly. Amber2 and I were all giggly about it, and then I received another email.

marcus2

WTF Marcus, you’re fucked!!

Nate got involved after email #2 came in and decided that he was going to call Marcus and fuck with him, but then he saw the part about “emergency stress leave” and decided that he didn’t want to contribute to any more stress, so instead we googled some of the main players and found Scott, whose asshole is screaming out for a fresh, large gerbil on LinkedIn. Same company and title, so that part is legit. And he looks like he needs some ass-stuffing, that’s for sure. Pompous prick!

We also found Lisette, but sadly–no photo.

There’s a Marcus from Hamilton County, Ohio who has a mugshot on the Internet, and another one from West Virginia who’s some type of felon, so I can only guess that our Bakersfield, CA Marcus is also a jailbird.

I’ve been sitting around here all night waiting for more emails. Will Marcus get himself out of this hole!? Did Leo think Lisette was cute or not? Will Marcus learn the hard way not to threaten his boss’s asshole over work email? WHAT IS RICARDO BEING INVESTIGATED FOR? I CAN’T STAND IT.

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Jul 052013
 

So, after a weekend spent studying Alyson’s imitation of the Boston accent, this is what Chooch came up with. I was pleased that he made it about hockey but I kept telling him that it didn’t make sense because Ovechkin isn’t a Boston Bruin. But Chooch didn’t care; I think he just likes saying “Ovechkin.”

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May 282013
 
Douchebag in Blue

Douchebag in Blue

So it seems again I have been asked to recap an event that Erin deems blog worthy. Me, I feel it’s just another day in the life. Chooch decided he wanted a funnel cake ,while Erin and him rode the scrambler I was instructed to get. It seemed easy enough since there was no line, just run up order it and sit down and wait. Ordered it,sat down waited, noticed the tall gentleman in blue at the order window above. He placed his order after me while I was taken the picture ( as instructed to by Erin) waiting for my funnel cake to fry up. I said gentleman in blue, which now is going to turn into tall douchebag in blue as he turned from the order window and went directly to the pickup window and proceeded to grab my just finished funnelcake. My mother who was sitting behind me ,just got the words ” he’s gonna take your funnel……” out of her mouth when he grabbed it turned and almost ran past me before I had a chance to get a word out of my mouth. He was actually walking very briskly almost like he knew what he had done. No big deal, by this time his had come up and was ready for pickup. All I had to do was wait for Chooch to get done, so I set ti down on the bench next to my mother not thinking that it might fall off , it was quite windy that day. Well of course right before Erin and Chooch returned the wind had proceeded to pick it up and throw it on the ground, and blow the plate clean across the park. Didn’t want it to go to waste, I mean it fell behind the bench and just hit the ground for a sec so no harm in eating it and Chooch would have eaten it. So by the time they got the I had devoured almost all of it except for the powdered sugar that was still on the ground. Well of course I had to explain what happened and after all the

” eww how could you eat that off the ground”

and the tears from Chooch , I went and replaced the first funnelcake. Got this one wrapped to go so there would be no accidents. We were now leaving and as always the wacky worm is always rode on the way out. As always I had to use the bathroom and walked right past the wacky worm. When I returned I noticed Erin frantically waving her arms at me. Like I’m supposed to know what that means, it also comes with the

” you asshole can’t you tell what I want”

looks. I noticed too late the douchbag was on the wacky worm directly in front of her.

[EDIT NOTE: I did not edit this for Henry. It's time for him to spread his wings and fly. Also, the title of this is mine.

Some other things: now I know the TRUE story. Henry made it sound like he was loafing by the pick up window when Tall Douchebag in the Blue Jacket swooped in and snatched it right from under Henry's nose. I feel less bad now!

Henry was taking a picture of the funnel cake place because I asked him to since Dutch things appeal to me. My phone was dead or I'd have done it myself.

Also, I was gesticulating wildly on the Wacky Worm because I wanted Henry to take a picture of the Douchebag (again, my phone was dead). But since Henry and I fail at Charades, the ball was dropped. Actually, I think he knew exactly what I wanted and just didn't care. This sounds more accurate.]

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May 022013
 

Thanks to the Timehop app, I am reminded of the time 5 years ago that I tried to spearhead a new fashion revolution. (I am also reminded that my tweets were way better than they are these days.) Here are the tweets to back it up.

  • 2:44PM: Wrapped a polka-dotted scarf around my ankle. Henry said it looks real dumb. Hope it catches on.
  • 3:19PM: I hope people will think I tried to slit my ankle.
  • 6:36PM: Kim (my supervisor) just pointed at my anklace (HAHA) and said, “What r u trying to be, Sha-Na-Na?” and I died. Except that I still live.
  • 6+:36PM: Or ankerchief?!!?
  • 6:49PM: Henry, who was 1/2 asleep when I left for work, just emailed me and asked “Were u dressed weird when u left?” IT’S NOT WEIRD ITS AWESOME.

I think that fashion statement needs reinstated.

Other brilliant things that I invented which failed to catch on:

Saying whatevelyn instead of whatev. (I still say this though.)

Referring to the year 2008 as “two thousand double quad, y’all.”

Revolutionary War porn.

The best game ever: Thingieball.

(Apparently, that same day, I was also trying to get kidnapped, but couldn’t decide between an alley at midnight or smeared with the scent of trust fund at a truck stop. God, my life could have been so different right now if I had stopped dreaming and started DOING.)

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Mar 272013
 

“Mommy told me to put the icing on first,” I overheard Chooch telling Henry.

“Wait, what did I tell you?” I said overtop of Henry groaning, “That’s just great.”

“To put icing on the toaster streudel first,” Chooch answered.

“Oh shit, is THAT what you were asking me yesterday while I was exercising?” (Seriously, he waits until I’m in the middle of Bodies in Motion* to expect me to start parenting him.)

“Wonderful,” Henry sighed. “Did you do it?” he asked Chooch.

“No! I didn’t think I should, so I put the icing on after,” Chooch said, sounding appalled that Henry even had to ask.

“Thank god,” Henry said. “That would have been a nice toaster fire. Chooch, if you ever have questions about cooking, please call me. Don’t ask your mother.”

*I enjoy working out to exercise programs where people are wearing LA Gears.

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Feb 182013
 

Alternately titled: It Was All Henry’s Fault

Redbox Warriors

Chooch and I decided to be strong, independent humans Sunday evening, so we ordered a movie from Redbox (“Possession” — we also wanted to be scared independent humans) and then declared to Henry that we were going to walk to the Redbox a few blocks away outside of CVS to retrieve it all by ourselves.

“And I’m even going to buy TOILET PAPER while we’re there!” I decided, noting that we were down to one roll. (I shudder to think what goes on in the bathroom when it’s occupied by Chooch.) Henry seemed bemused by this, to say the least.

However, I failed to note that it was about 10 degrees out there. Chooch at least had a heavy coat and hat on so I figured I was probably still within the child abuse margin of error. Although, we had to walk kind of slow because there was ICE EVERYWHERE.

Chooch and Erin against the elements — a scary thought.

Then! Then we stumbled upon a DEAD BIRD on the sidewalk and let out a collective “awwwwww!” We almost retreated after that, but I really wanted that fucking movie.

“What kind of bird do you think it is?” Chooch asked, after hypothesizing on how it died (his theories were way more violent than mine).

“I don’t know, who do you think I am? DADDY?!” And then we started shit-talking Henry, because that is what we do best.

Faces chapped and burning from the icy wind, we had finally made it to the Redbox outside of CVS. It took me three attempts to swipe my credit card because my hands were frozen flesh bricks at this point. After the final swipe, my credit card flung out of my hands and what a real parlor trick that was, trying to pick it up back up with fingertips I could no longer feel. After all of that, Kiosk B said it had no such record of my reservation so we moved on to Kiosk A, which didn’t acknowledge my now-violent credit card swiping AT ALL. (And yes, I was swiping it the correct way! Ask Chooch!!) By this time, there was a small crowd of people waiting for their turn, so I freaked out and announced, “JUST FORGET IT. THIS IS ALL DADDY’S FAULT ANYWAY!” and drug Chooch inside CVS to hopefully purchase toilet paper without incident. I was totally acting like Splintered Chooch.

Here is a helpful piece of background information: While I have reserved tons of Redbox movies, I have never actually used the machine-thing, except for one time a few months ago, when I thought I would be Really Helpful and walk to the very same Redbox one day and return a movie, but it kept rejecting it. Some woman was standing behind me, causing me severe performance anxiety, and I finally yelled, “FUCK IT!” and went inside to spend money on makeup to piss Henry off, because THIS was all his fault TOO!

Turns out, it was rejecting the DVD case because the DVD wasn’t inside. HENRY’S FAULT FOR NOT PUTTING THE DVD IN THE CASE!!

I called Henry from the toilet paper aisle and completely berated him (in hushed tones, I hate talking on my cell phone in stores!). “This is all your fault! I looked like a complete asshole out there! THIS IS WHY I WANTED YOU TO COME WITH US!” Then I hung up on him.

OK. The part about me and Chooch wanting to be independent humans? That’s not completely accurate. The truth is that HENRY didn’t want to walk there with us so we sort of had no choice but to go alone.

Henry called back. “Were you at the right kiosk?” he asked innocently, which made me see the bloodiest red that ever redded.

I’m not an idiot!” I hissed, still extremely cognizant of the people around me and God forbid I should start fitting the Brookline stereotype of broadcasting my domestic disputes. And then, “Since this is all your fault, why don’t you just come here and do it yourself!” And END CALL.

In the checkout line, two guys in dirty beige coveralls stood behind me, hawking up a storm and being your basic white trash Yinzer pricks. The guy closest to me took a call on his cell and literally it felt like he was standing inside my ear, showering me with this terrible Pittsburgh cachinnation and coating the back of my head with the essence of date rape and Steelers. I kept inching forward but there was no escaping his grating voice. Meanwhile, Chooch is looking at the fronts of all the gossip magazines, asking me, “Who’s this broad? Who’s that? And her? And him?” because if it’s not someone that’s on the cover of Alternative Press, he’s clueless. But every question made my heart race faster and faster because MOMMY IS IN A BAD MOOD, OK SON?! Commotion was all around me! I just wanted quiet!

“How’s your evening?” the young cashier asked when it was our turn to check out.

“Fine,” I said.

But at the same time, Chooch, in his typical high-pitch, shouted, “MOMMY’S CREDIT CARD DIDN’T WORK IN THE RED BOX SO NOW WE CAN’T GET OUR MOVIE!” And of course, he would pick the moment when Pittsburgh Asshole put away his cell phone and approximately 12 other people had joined our line. And of course, I hadn’t paid for the toilet paper and his fucking apple juice yet so the cashier was kind of looking at me like, “Bitch, if you can’t afford a $1.50 movie from Redbox, you might not be wiping your ass tonight.”

“That’s not why!” I snapped at Chooch, while swiping my credit card. At least CVS recognized the existence of my credit card! “It’s because Daddy is an idiot!”

I don’t know how this was Henry’s fault, but give me time and I’ll write a manifesto.

I snatched the CVS bag off the counter and stormed off outside, where Henry was waiting for us in the car. He took my credit card and JUST LIKE THAT the movie was in his hands.

“I SWIPED THAT MOTHERFUCKER A MILLION TIMES! CHOOCH, TELL HIM!”

Chooch actually agreed! He usually likes to pick these moments to be infuriatingly contrary.

“I believe you,” Henry sighed. “Now get in the car.”

“FUCK YOU! I’M WALKING HOME!” I cried, a little confused about why I was still feeling so much anger but still certain it was all Henry’s fault.

Henry just laughed (HE LAUGHED AT ME!) and patiently said OK.

A block away, Chooch and I lost it and started cracking up.

“I bet daddy’s going to be so pissed that we didn’t get him a drink!” Chooch giggled, which made me giggle to the point of tears. Henry has this thing where he HAS TO BUY A DRINK anytime he’s at a store, no matter what store he’s at. Bonus points if they sell those nondescript jugs of iced tea. And anytime I happen to (rarely) go to a store without him, he acts like I cheated on him if I come home beverageless. Bitch works at a fucking Faygo plant! Bring your own shit home! And really, in 12 years, when have I ever thoughtfully picked something up for him at the store without being told to first? He’s lucky I’m courteous enough to order a drink for him at restaurants when he’s in the bathroom.

Everything we went through and that movie wasn’t even all that good. But at least the new episode of The Walking Dead was on right after.

Chooch and I talked A LOT about that dead bird and how fucked we’re going to be if Henry dies/leaves/quits doing shit for us.

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Feb 152013
 

I got a splinter and blah blah Daddy hurt it really bad. i wish i never had a splinter…it felt really bad…daddy had to use a pin and tweezers…he was torchering me.

—————————–

Erin’s 2 cents:

My favorite part was at the very beginning of this incident, where Chooch learned that he had a splinter in his foot. He very casually said, “Huh. My foot kind of hurts. Did I step on something?” As soon as I said the “s” word, he fucking FLIPPED HIS SHIT. He’s never had a splinter before so I’m not sure how he knew that this was going to turn from mildly irritating to OMG I’M BEING KILLED. Maybe it was a lunch table topic one day at school.

He just stood there yelling in front of me, so I said, “Um….go upstairs and tell daddy.”

Which loosely translates into “Tell your dad to deal with this shit.”

Moments later I heard this ungodly, high-pitched shriek so I ran upstairs to spectate. I mean, Chooch + Splinter + a tweezer-wielding Henry = Must See TV.

What I found was a red-faced child flailing on my bed. Henry, ignoring the melodrama, held him in one place with one hand clamped around his ankle, the other hand scraping away at the dead skin around the splinter. He looked so patient, his mouth pursed in quiet concentration. I don’t know Henry does it!

Meanwhile, Chooch’s head was tossed back, one hand draped across his forehead, and he was screaming, “I HATE YOU DADDY! I WISH THIS NEVER HAPPENED! DADDY YOU’RE HURTING ME!!!” It was the performance of a lifetime.

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that we live in a duplex and our neighbors were very much home. I had to counter with my own yells: “IT’S JUST A SPLINTER! DADDY IS JUST TRYING TO HELP! PLEASE NEIGHBORS DON’T CALL THE POLICE!”

Moments later, the splinter had been extracted and Chooch’s tear ducts miraculously plugged themselves. After all that. Life went on.

An hour later, we were watching a man writhing in pain post-zombie attack on The Walking Dead. “He looks just like me after I got a splinter,” Chooch observed sadly, without an ounce of sarcasm.

The next morning, we were walking to school. I still had a limp from the Big Bowling Ball Boo-Boo, which Chooch noted and scoffed, “My limp is worse than your limp.”

“It totally is not!” I cried.

“Yeah, it is. My foot injury is way worse than yours,” he argued.

“You had a splinter. I had a BOWLING BALL DROPPED ON MY FOOT!!”

“Yeah,” he replied smugly. “And the splinter was worse.”

Yeah well….I wrote more sentences than him!

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Feb 142013
 

THIS IS REALLY HOW IT HAPPENED.

I have vowed to mention Henry’s brutal bowling blunder at least once a day on the Internet for an entire week. I have one day left. Maybe I’ll recreate the crime using Homies.

Happy Valentines’s Day, Henry, you brute.

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Feb 112013
 

The Crime: Domestic Abuse

The Perp: Blue-Collared 47-year-old male with an Amber Alert Mustache

The Scene of the Crime: Abby’s Birthday Party at the Playmor

Weapon: 14-Pound Bowling Ball

20130210-174128.jpg

Saturday, February 9th, 2013. The Penguins were playing the Devils.  Kirk Cameron was speaking in Georgia about Christian marriage.  A club in Jersey was having a parade for Snooki’s kooka. We had two birthday parties to attend at two different bowling alleys.  It seemed like a pretty normal, low-key Saturday.

Until a sickening display of barbaric violence shook the Playmor bowling alley to its core.

At approximately 1:25pm, Henry’s blue-collar, calloused hands fumbled a pink 14-pound bowling ball and dropped it on an exact (some might say PREMEDITATED) trajectory to my precious left foot.

(Henry will argue that it was only 12-pounds, but please — let’s not listen to the VILLAIN of this story.)

What made it worse was that I didn’t even realize he had dropped it, so there was no anticipation, no toe-cracking preparedness. All I knew was that one minute everything was fine — an Emarosa song was playing in my head, sparkly fairies were twirling around my cherubic head — and then it wasn’t fine.

My Emarosa song scratched to a halt, the sparkly fairies fell to their death. And my foot, it felt ALL THE PAIN. Time stood still. Henry sounded like a miles-away dick-in-throat Barry White (“Oooooh myyyyyy Godddddd I’mmmm sooooo sorrryyyyyy! Pleassssse don’ttttt castratttttttte meeeeee!”); bowling pins crashing around me sounded like sheets of metal waving over my head; convents of nuns state-wide braced themselves for what Satan-approved words might come exploding out of my mouth.

But I just stood there with my mouth open. I was  too confused to really understand what was happening,  too overwhelmed with toe torture to field-kick Henry’s ballsack, too stunned to swear – props to me on that, since I was flanked by unlimited childrens’ birthday parties.

Not that it mattered, considering that the sound the bowling ball made upon impact was virtually onomatopoeia for: FUCKING OW OW MOTHERFUCKING OW, COCKSUCKER OUCH!.

Potty-mouthing aside, what I REALLY wanted to do was projectile vomit all over Henry’s son-of-a-bitchin’ mustache. Once the blinking neon PAIN, THIS IS TRUE PAIN signs faded out from my eyes, I was able to see Henry had a tangible sheath of AW FUCK clinging to his face, the official Saran Wrap of apologetic, frightened pussies. Bitch, you BEST be scared. There’s a reason I keep some of my old Darkchat friends around!

(For the black magick, duh.)

For the first few minutes, I was too focused on pain management and muttering death threats at Henry to cry. But then my DICK HEAD son came over and motherfucking stomped on my poor damaged foot—the sound his foot made against mine was the orchestral theme song for Evil Son From Hell. Moments later, my friend John, the dad of the birthday girl, came over to get our bowling game started and I blurted out, “HENRY DROPPED A BOWLING BALL ON MY FOOT” followed by an appearance of Pity Me tears.

Henry tried to be a Funny Man about it and said, “Well, I guess we’re done bowling, ha-ha” and seemed like he was prepared to return my bowling shoes.

“Um, I’m still going to bowl,” I snapped, and then asked him if he was capable of finding me a fucking ball without putting me in traction. And preferrably not one that’s 14 pounds, what the fuck.

Determined to be a hero, I bowled TWO FRAMES with an almost- broken foot, icing it in between turns.

Henry and I simultaneously realized that this was not the first time he tried to keep me down by handicapping me. He started to laugh about it but was abruptly silently when I cupped his balls with a hand made of barbed wire, using nothing more than the power of my glaring eyes. I don’t know Henry, it seems pretty wanton at this point.

At least this time wasn’t soundtracked by the sickening crisp of cartilege breaking.

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Henry’s “Please don’t call the cops/Jonny Craig is an angelic singer/I’ll clean the whole fucking house/WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY!?” look of Desperate Remorse.

————–

Right after Abby’s birthday party ended, we had to head straight to another bowling alley for Chooch’s cousin Zac’s birthday party. I made a beeline for Henry’s sister and whined, “Guess what your brother did!?”

Kelly offered an appropriate level of sympathy.

“Are we going to bowl here too?” I asked Henry as I shrugged off my coat.

“No, my finger hurts,” he said.

OH. WELL SHIT. Wouldn’t want him to be in ANY PAIN.

————–

Much later that night, I finally mustered up the courage to peel off my sock and inspect Henry’s ruthless damage. I already knew nothing was broken, as evidenced by my ability to wiggle my toes without agony catapulting me through the roof, but my toes looked like they went skinny-dipping in a blueberry pie.  Shit goddamn motherfuck it hurt so bad that I can’t believe the damage wasn’t greater. It was practically a My Left Foot sequel.

 

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