Apr 122022
 

Hello from the road. Today we are driving to Tampa so I have a moment for a Story Time.

We spent Monday at SeaWorld Orlando and it was AN AMAZING DAY. I will get to all the good stuff in the future but today I want to talk about the only low points, both of which happened in the same ride line, but at different times.

1. Adventures in Babysitting

Chooch and I had been wanting to ride Infinity Falls all damn day because it was hot hot hot and also because we had never been on a rapids ride that has an elevator?! That seemed interesting so even though I don’t often run to get in line for water rides, I was down for this.

However, because it was hot hot hot, this ride was also a HOT commodity, you could say. Oh ho ho.

We walked by at one point in the afternoon and saw that the wait time was allegedly 45 minutes so we ditched Henry and dipped in line. However!! As soon as we got through the entrance, some man ran up to us (literally bypassed the British family behind us) and asked, “Excuse me!! Could my girls ride with you two? They want to ride and—”

I will be honest here and tell you that these events were such a blur that I can’t even remember if I even heard his reason. I am presuming it was that the parents didn’t want to ride. I was so flustered that I just blurted out “ok sure” and that is how Chooch and I ended up with two little girls in our care?! And have you ever seen me trying to talk to young kids? Whooo boy. It ain’t pretty. Chooch was giving me the U SO CRINGE side eye and I returned it with the WHAT DO U WANT ME TO DO head shake.

To their credit, they were extremely well-behaved and not like, running amok through the queue landscaping like some other children were.

We were about 15 minutes from the front of the line when the dreaded ATTN RIDERS announcement came on BECAUSE THE DAMN RIDE WAS DOWN. People started to get out of line and Chooch and I are looking at each other and then looking down at our wards, who were quietly sitting on the ground playing with a rock or something, talking about Jojo Siwa, I don’t know what little girls these days do.

I personally would have kept standing in line without giving it a second thought let me tell you this pertinent piece of the story: About halfway into the wait, I looked down and realized that one of the kids was NOT WEARING SHOES. I remember now that she had ran back to her dad real quick when we were still near the entrance and now it was dawning on me that it was probably because she was GIVING HIM HER SHOES to hold.

You cannot ride these things without shoes!! I remember one time at Kennywood, Chooch and I were on Raging Rapids with strangers and one was a teen girl who took her shoes off before our raft thing even departed and the ride operator was like “put your shoes on” and she was like “no” and the ride op was like “I will not send this raft until you put your shoes back on.” It was a whole thing, ok. Trust me. I was there. You weren’t.

So now I’m fixated on this, of course, because I know my luck and I was certain we’d get up there and the ride op would be like “this bitch needs shoes” and I’d be like “this bitch isn’t with me” and then the people behind us would be like “sir, this bitch lying. The bitch is with this bitch. We saw this bitch’s dad ask the bitch if his bitch could ride with her and this bitch said yes. This bitch is with that bitch.”

And then I’d have to do the walk of shame down the exit ramp with my not-kids while my actual kid likely wouldn’t stay on the ride because that’s just the kind of kid this bitch produced.

So now I’m thinking that maybe this was a blessing. This is my out. I squatted down to tell the girls what the sitch was because they hadn’t heard the announcement. They originally said they wanted to stay and my head filled with comic strip swears so we continued to stand in line but then as more people in front of us left, I was like “OK I’m calling it, I don’t want your parents to be worried” and they agreed.

Of course, the MOMENT we got out of line, an announcement came on that said, “ATTN RIDERS, INFINITY FALLS IS….BACK OPEN!”

Apparently the nice British family behind us had motioned to Chooch that they saved our spot and I initially was like YEAH BOI until I remembered the SHOES so I was like “no we are too far back now and it would be cutting” only because I knew that if we got back in our spot, it would be moot because we still wouldnt have been able to ride because I might be a semi-sociopath when it comes to kids but I’m not so far gone that I would allow two small kids to walk down an exit ramp by themselves and then look for their parents, of course I would go with them.

Chooch was BIGLY MAD at me but whatever, get over it. He could have stayed but the reality of the sitch was that I was not riding this ride in either scenario.

The girls’ mom was waiting at the entrance and I explained the situation about how we weren’t sure how long the ride was going to be down and didn’t want them to be worried and she was like, “No I totally understand thank you for trying!” She was really nice and her kids were really cute and I know it was like tres weird that the dad even pawned them off on us in the first place (Henry was like “little did he know, he gave his kids to the person who hates kids”) but I actually would have had no problem with them accompanying us if it hadn’t been for THE SHOES. Ugh.

It was literally an entire day later when Chooch blurted out 갑자기, “I can’t believe you asked them if their daddy was too scared to ride Infinity Falls–”

“I was trying to make conversation!” I cried in defense of my poor peopling skills.

“—and she was like ‘actually my daddy is very brave.”

Shut up, Chooch Who Spoke No Words At All To These Rando Childs.

2. Piss-Head Aussies

Later on in the day, Chooch attempted again to ride Infinity Falls. The line was a tad bit shorter so we were hopeful.

Right off the bat, I was pissed when an Australian family waved over more family members into their group, requiring them to line-jump about 20 people. I really fucking hate that shit. Do you know how many times Henry gets into line much later than us because he either didn’t run or stopped to get a locker? Do we encourage him to line jump and expect people to step aside for King Henry? NO! WE DON’T! Because line jumping is cause for removal from the park!

Even though I have never seen this happen.

Now I was fixated on these wankers. It was four adults – two couples – and a teenage girl, a boy about 8, and a girl who was maybe 4 or 5. One of the guys and one of the women were both wearing GUCCI tennis shoes.

At a theme park.

In line for a water ride.

Cool!

They were so loud and obnoxious the whole time with their big toothy smiles and hya hya hya laughs, and I know this is awful but I have developed a prejudice toward our friends from down under because of numerous shitty experiences at work (we have four Aussie offices) and this family did not help the cause.

Especially when we were almost to the front of the line and I noticed that the two men walked out of the queue and into a small grassy area. I thought that they were looking through a fence at the rapids ride, because the little boy was also with them, but the women in the group were hooting and hollering yes I said hooting and hollering because they were fucking assholes and that is what fucking assholes do, so this is when I really started to pay attention to what was going on, just in time for the boy to go back to the line and the little girl to join the men.

Who proceeded to PULL DOWN HER UNDERWEAR.

AND THEN TAKE THEM ALL THE WAY OFF.

AND THEN CREATE A POTTY SEAT WITH HIS ARMS, SO THAT BOTH OF HER KNEES WERE HOOKED ON HIS ARMS, AND THEN HE AIMED HER BODY SLIGHTLY UPWARD SO THAT SHE WAS BASICALLY A URINATING FOUNTAIN.

Chooch and I looked at each other, totally aghast. Like is this happening. Is this small child being assisted in public urination by this man??

We quickly averted our eyes because neither of us were trying to look at the bare ass of a CHILD?! While both moms and teenage girl were straight cackling back in line.

Chooch said that there were other people who were also watching with stunned looks on their faces but no one said anything because god forbid anyone try to be the voice of reason while standing in line but honestly, I came close. I stood there and GLARED at them and loudly said shit like I CANT BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED THAT WAS SO TRASHY and I REALLLLY wanted to be like EXCUSE ME I DUNNO IF THIS IS COOL IN YOUR COUNTRY…but I’m not gonna like, the one dude looked like a big, slobby bear who wasn’t above hitting a woman and I wasn’t trying to poke that nasty thing. Both women were much much larger than me too and Chooch and I were just out-numbered anyway.

In hindsight, I wish I had said something because they were such white trash motherfuckers the entire time we were in that line, oh well.

Then I had to watch the one mom vigorously pick out a wedgie through her ugly dress. It was so much. Just…so much.

Anyway, I made Chooch take this picture and send it to Henry so he would have somewhat of a visual for when we told him the story, and thanks to this picture he was able to identify them later when the pissing girl through a major tantrum in the middle of the park when they were sitting near him and none of the adults even bothered to stop it. He attempted to record it but Henry sucks at Spy Mode. He’s not like me.

We eventually did get to ride the stupid ride and thankfully didn’t have to ride with the Aussie Pissers especially knowing that the rapids were essentially going to be bathing that little bitch after she pissed without wiping in line.

Well, that’s my story. Goodbye.

Feb 132022
 

*I have no idea what I’m doing anymore. 

Hello from a Sunday in Brookline! I have prepared for you a photo dump of pictures that I commanded Henry to take of me yesterday as I am going through a pre-mid-life crisis, as mentioned in my last post. I think mostly it is because not getting to work in an office has made me sad for the closetful of clothes that I barely have an opportunity to wear anymore. But then I figured – whoever said these are work clothes only, right? So even though we were only going to some casual family restaurant for lunch yesterday, I wore one of my favorite blouses and fun fur cropped coat that I actually forgot I had which is a good indication that I possibly might have too many coats? Lol, never!

After lunch, we went to “downtown” Brownsville which is really just a super tiny town by the river, and collected some LOOKS from the locals who apparently did not appreciate my flamboyant coat. Oh wellz0rz, make way for the real city folk, I guess. (Lol, says the bitch from PITTSBURGH.)

First, I made Henry take a picture of looking like I was ready for PARTY TIME.

Then we walked onto A BRIDGE and it was really cold but I was a true professional as always and told Henry to quit his bitching and take my fucking picture.

He was always standing so far away from me and not even trying to do cool angles – I miss Chooch! Granted, he bitched a ton too but at least he has an artistic eyeball. Henry does not have an artistic eyeball although he claims he used to enjoy taking pictures when he was younger but now I have made it hate it.

“DID YOU USE A BROWNIE CAMERA?” I screamed, laughing to the point of tears as usual. He just mumbled something about dumping me into the river and stalked away, lol.

“Thanks for cutting off half of my foot!” I berated Henry.

“Take a picture of me adorably looking out across the river,” I instructed, because Henry does not take any initiative. (He did take a GREAT shot of his palm right around this point though.)

Truce.

“Really, we walked uphill over ice because this is the red door you saw from the car?” Henry grumbled. I liked how it looked, OK???

I’m actually cracking up here because there was a steady stream of traffic passing us by but Henry was the one who was acting embarrassed, lol.

Just when Henry thought he was off the hook, I made him go to a second location near our house after this and he was like OH BOY THE FUN NEVER FUCKING ENDS I JUST WANT TO TAKE A GODDAMN NAP.

I pulled out all of my REAL PROFESH POSES for this round. (Also this is the same place I took these photos of Chooch several years back!)

I really gave it my all, you guys. I was like WHAT WOULD TWIGGY DO. (LOL, the fact that that was the first model name I thought of, OK Erin.)

I mean, you’ve seen poses like this in Vogue, right?? Or maybe it was Yoga for Dummies.

In between poses.

I had to crop a ton of these because Henry stood 2374982374 yards away from me like he was afraid of getting kicked or punched or something. Like I’d ever….lol.

This is my new arm thing I guess.

LOL something scared me as Henry was taking this and I kept it because it is SO EMOTIVE.

More arm stuff.

This was me walk-lurching toward Henry afterward and I feel like this is a very accurate depiction of me IN MOTION.

New leg pose.

Oh this was fun, because as I was hanging onto the fence, I was pulling it slowly toward me without realizing and then I screamed because I thought it was opening and Henry was like “GOOD JOB, IDIOT.”

Well, that’s all for now. I finished watching All Of Us Are Dead today but Henry just started it so I guess I’m watching it again – maybe this time I’ll count how many times they say 씨발.

Jan 242022
 

I HATE WINTER. I HATE IT I HATE IT. I don’t trust people who like this shitty, depressing, bleak season. Not even taking spycam pics of Henry and HNC shoveling together has cheered me up.

It makes me feel very disoriented too, on top of everything else. Like, I know for sure it has been a big contributor to the shitty feelings I’ve been having about myself lately which is why I’m trying to just purge the thoughts on here and then hope for a better day. There’s a thing I like to tell myself that I totally made up on my own and it’s called THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Literally coined that phrase. You heard it here first folks. Like & subscribe for a chance to win an embroidery of that shit.

I also hate winter because when it snows like this, or drops below 25 degrees, my daily walks get completely hijacked. And we all know I am a person of perpetual routine so even that small change is enough to knock my mental orbit off course.

So I have been doing lots of walking workouts and also walking/jogging in place while watching Netflix but then I can never find anything that holds my attention!

Here are some things I liked recently, so please help me find new shows:

  • Archive 81
  • Maid

Lol ok aside from kdramas, I think that’s it! I need shows that are less than an hour per episode to watch before work while steady jogging, and kdramas are usually like 90 minutes an episode – I need to watch those at night under a blanket on the couch!

I started to watch The Serpent but wasn’t feeling it.

Ugh.

I want to watch Anxious People but have to watch it with Henry since we both read the book.

I need a good, solid CW show like In the Dark.

in other EVERYTHING SUCKS news, Henry slipped on ice and hurt his dumb shoulder AND BUTT lol which sucks for me because he was almost done with the ceiling project but now that’s on hold until he’s able to hold his arm above his head again. Ugh to the max!!!

So, life currently is just: wake up, eat breakfast, find a way to numb the mind while accumulating at least 6,000 steps before it’s time to log on to work at 9, work, dinner, exercise, kdrama or rollercoaster videos.

Sigh.

I was determined to leave the house on Sunday, even if it was just a trip to Target, but then it SNOWED ALL DAY.

So as of this writing, it’s been over a week since I’ve been out in civilization. No wait!!! I went to the library on Saturday. But my security guard friend Robert wasn’t there so I just popped in, grab my holds, self-checked out and that was that. I like when Robert is there because he says nice things like ITS ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU, ERIN and it makes me feel SEEN you know? I have lived in Brookline since 1999 but never became a townie so Robert is the only one ’round these parts who knows me by name.

I wish I was the type of person who could just lean into winter weather and veg out on the couch with some wine and Kardashians (I dunno is that still a popular show for normal ppl??) and not give a shit about anything other that maximizing the cozy levels. But I can literally only do that if I have a fever :( (I mean, minus the Kardashian part.)

DON’T YOU FEEL LIKE U R STUCK ON THE PHONE WITH ME RIGHT NOW.

Oh!! Here’s a good thing that you have to pretend to care about to make me feel good: NCT127 won the Daesang award at the 2022 Seoul Music Awards, and that is the TOP AWARD. I am so proud of them!! I spent most of the weekend with their videos etc on in the background and I feel so inspired and motivated to whip out my credit card and buy the best ticket if they ever fucking announce a North American tour. I told Henry and he just nodded and whispered, “I know.” He won’t/can’t stop me either!! Imagining the possibility of seeing them this year actually fills me old school butterflies and it is great to be reminded that I still have some youth left in me.

Ideally, I wish SM would send the entire NCT conglomerate on tour so we could get all the subgroups on one stage, omg I would pay so much hard-earned money on that.

OK, I have to go and help Henry package the piles of Valentines that are currently accumulating on the dining room table. I’ll try to conjure more content for the rest of the week. I might have to tap into one of my alter egos, though, lol ugh oof.

Dec 172021
 

I was so excited when I went to bed Sunday night because I knew that it was MY LAST SLEEP BEFORE THE GENESIS SHOW! I was also nervous because it was the first concert I’d be attending since 2019 and the thought of being around so many people, even in a mask/vaxxed/boostered, made me feel icky.

But then Monday morning happened. Something you should know about my mornings lately is that they are like walking on the hot coals of Hell because Chooch is SUCH A JERK these days and Morning Chooch and Morning MOMMY do not get along. Literally at all.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: how much interaction do you even have with him now that you don’t have to drive him to school anymore? Well, funny you should bring that up, IMAGINARY BLOG READER IN MY HEAD, because on that day, I did end up driving him to school.

AND HERE’S WHY:

His alarm never fucking wakes him up, so I have to set my alarm for 5:50am to make sure his ass gets out of bed. This in and of itself is fucking ridiculous and makes me so angry especially on days that I’m off, OF WHICH MONDAY WAS ONE! Then I have to set a BACK-UP alarm for 6:10 to make sure that he hasn’t fallen asleep on the couch before leaving. Because that’s a thing that happens.

Anyway! Back to this particular morning. I woke him up and went back to bed. I wasn’t sleeping, just laying there with my BFF Drew who likes to hop into my bed in the early AM hours and attack me. I could hear Chooch getting all of his stuff together in his room and I called out from my room, “Are you wearing the new hoodie I got you?”

Because this is the universal uniform of 15 year old boys. Hoodies. I never see them in anything else and it really annoys me because Chooch has a closetful of nice, long-sleeved shirts and flannels but he won’t wear them BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE HOODS. So I keep buying him new hoodies to try and deter him from wearing the SAME TWO over and over.

My query was met with a SNIP-SNAPPY, “WHAT HOODIE?” You know that tone, too, if you’ve ever been a teenager…? That degrading way they literally SPIT their retorts from their mouths with a flick of their forked tongues. Ugh, monsters, all of them.

So I had to calmly remind him that I had recently purchased him THREE hoodies from Pac Sun, two of which he had already worn the previous week. And the only one he hadn’t worn yet was the purple one.

“PURPLE???” he hissed, like this was some fake ass color I made up on the spot because I’m just your basic delulu mother.

So now I was pissed. I have no patience for this shit and his tone lights a flame inside my bloodstream.

Ignore him, I could hear Henry saying clear from the Faygo Factory. I attempted to take Papa H’s stupid advice and tried to go back to sleep but my whole body was buzzing with FURY VIBRATO. I couldn’t let it go. I needed to have the last word. He was already on his way to the T, but I texted him something about how I’m so happy that I spend all this money on his clothes when he doesn’t wear them and he was like “OMG.”

And then: “GREAT I DON’T HAVE MY MASK AND I MISSED THE T.”

Except, imagine it more like this:

Groiup;

Freayt

Great 

Now i 

dont hav m

mas\k

You have to be familiar with Chooch’s brand of “hurried teenager with fat fingers” texting to translate this so allow me to help:

Great now I don’t have my mask

Oh actually here’s a great example hot off the press:

Because he apparently did in fact change into the PURPLE hoodie and by doing so, he left his face mask in the pocket of his original hoodie from that morning. And now he couldn’t get on the T because you’re still required to wear masks and I just lost it. I don’t know why I got so mad because ACTUALLY THIS WAS MY FAULT but I will NEVER SAY THAT OUT LOUD so instead I went psycho in my replies to him and told him to just start walking back to the house and I would DRIVE HIM even though our car is in the shop because of um, HENRY’S ACCIDENT, and I had to drive our OTHER CAR which is FINE but not GREAT and also I haven’t driven it in so long that I forgot where things were and then I was doubly mad because I PASSED CHOOCH on my way to where he was walking from, thinking he would take my psychic cues and wait for me at the gas station at the end of our street, but instead he kept walking and I didn’t see him and he didn’t see him so when I went to call him I accidentally called Henry and immediately disconnected so I could call Chooch, but then Henry kept beeping in and I was screaming FUCK OFF!!!! while sitting in my idling car in the gas station parking lot at 6:30 wearing glasses and no make up and no bra.

PAUSING FOR A BREATH.

So now, here I am, back at our house sitting in the driveway with CHOOCH THE OFFENDER while swearing because Tourette’s was slowly and I mean slow-slow-slowly, like the actual slowest, walking down the sidewalk behind our car. And waiting for him to pass meant that A BIG DUMB TRUCK got in front of us and I was like I AM NOT DRIVING BEHIND THIS FUCKER so I veered to the left at the light and went a different way, after Chooch was like, “Just take me to 7-11, I’ll ride to school with Zakk” and I was like, “OH NO HUNNY I AM IN THE CAR NOW, AND WE ARE SEEING THIS THRU TO THE MOTHERFUCKING ENDDDDDDDD.”

And then, “HOW DO YOU GET THIS FUCKING RADIO OFF OF AM?!?!?!?!”

Chooch fixed the radio for me and then we drove in silence, except for the 87 times I slammed the steering wheel over every littlest traffic infraction from my fellow drivers, and screamed, “OH THIS IS JUST GREAT.”

And then as Chooch was getting out of the car, I yelled after him: AND THANKS FOR RUINING MY GENESIS DAY!!!!

Then stupid Henry was calling again so I directed all of my hatred onto him and of course he knew what was going on because Chooch the Betrayer texted him.

Back at home, my perfect cats who I love more than ANYONE ELSE IN MY HOUSE calmed me down and then we fed the squirrels together and you know, everything was fine after that really and I eventually texted Chooch an apology for “getting mad” but not for being the ROOT CAUSE OF THE MASK-FORGETTING that morning, lololol.

Nov 052021
 

I mean, it’s November 5th at this point so like, let’s wrap up the October nonsense, Erin. Look Linda, I am CLINGING, OK? Because I swear to god as soon as Halloween happens, it’s like “fuck fall, bring on the shitty Xmas songs, snowstorms, and crippling seasonal depression” you know? NO. WE HAVE TO FIGHT BACK. SAVE AUTUMN! Ugh, I just hate this so much. I want to be able to enjoy and cherish November but winter-harbingers make it so fucking hard. I know if I turn on the TV right now, I’m going to be blasted by some obnoxious Old Navy Christmas sweater commercial and I just don’t have the strength right now, Mary. I really don’t. This morning on my walk, I had to wear a full-fledged winter coat and I am in tears just thinking about that.

We had like, two solid weeks of decent hoodie weather, though if you’re my kid, you will argue that a hoodie is still all you need even though it was 27 degrees (FAHRENHEIT BECAUSE AMERICA) when he left the house for school this morning so I’m really excited that my favorite season of “ARGUING OVER WEARING A COAT” has come early this year.

</3

Anyway, I still have some pictures from actual Halloween to share and some crybaby thoughts to spill so, bundle up, baby. Literally. It’s fucking cold!

My pal Patty sent me this cute witch hat earlier this year and honestly, what better day to wear it. I wanted Drew to pose for adorable pics with me but she is rude.

Literally will never look at the damn camera!!!

When it was almost time for trick or treating (it starts at 5pm in my neighborhood which is way too early if you ask me), we got Trudy primped and moved her over to the window. I made sure her robe was covering her boobs so she wasn’t being too obscene for the children.

No one seemed to notice her anyway :(

I spent two hours being my typical uptight NO ONE IS COMING TO OUR HOUSE Halloween self. I hate this street!!!!

We had ONE KID who came to our house of his own volition. AND NO, IT WASN’T ONE OF HENRY’S GRANDKIDS! Henry had to actually text Blake and tell him to send the kids over before they left to go elsewhere for trick or treating and at first I was so excited because I thought, stupidly, that this was the first time ever that they had the good sense to send the kids to us but NO it was only because Henry told them to.

UGH!

Then there were two youngish kids walking in an entire parental parade, seriously there were a ton of grown-ups all for two kids, and when they started to pass our house, I whipped open the door and stood there sadly with my bowl of candy, making eye contact with one of the moms, who told her kids to go to my house. UGH FINALLY.

Somewhere in the first hour, a group of 4 teens started to walk past, likely going a few streets over to the next neighborhood, but I once again flung the door open and yelled, “COME HERE AND GET CANDY.”

Henry was on the couch behind me, mumbling, “Oh my god, you’re so embarrassing.”

The worst part was that ONLY TWO OF THEM came the door. The other two stayed on the sidewalk, in a silent protest of Naw, I’m Good, while the other two were now on my porch, looking all nervous like  they were about to meet a Hansel & Gretel fate.

I mean, I was wearing that stupid hat after all.

“No one ever comes to my house!” I cried, while telling them to take more candy.

“Oh, well, Happy Halloween,” the kid in some non-descript box costume said in a tone so sad & soothing, like someone wishing an orphan a Merry Xmas. It was absolutely pathetic. I hate myself.

I hope that one day when they’re older, one of them will be all, “Hey Chad, remember when we were on our way to get high in the alley behind the laundormat on Halloween and some crazy broad chased us down with a bowl of candy?”

Then there was the kid going solo, dressed as clown, too busy making a Tik Tok on my sidewalk to notice me frantically shaking the candy bowl in his direction. And for the finale, there two way older – probably too old – kids who I verbally accosted and were kind enough to come to my door. The girl was dressed as some orange furry thing and was like, “LET’S TALK ALL NIGHT!” and she was with Michael Myers, who REJECTED ME.

“No thanks, I don’t really like chocolate,” he said.

Rejected by Michael Myers. A new low.

Then I spotted more people down the street. I started to run down the sidewalk with my candy bowl but Henry stopped me. “Those are adults!” he said. “And also, our neighbors.” He said this in a tone that didn’t sit well with me, like he was implying I was an idiot or something. NO, JUST HAVE BED EYES, BUT THANKS.

Wow. What a fucking Halloween night. So great. Woo hoo.

Just when we were about to call it, there was a knock on the door and I was like HOLY SHIT, THE FIRST KNOCK ON THE DOOR ALL NIGHT??? But then it ended up just being Henry’s grandkids, back from the “good trick or treating,” looking for seconds. Ugh, just take it all.

Fuck Halloween. I’m handing out candy somewhere else next year.

 

Oct 122021
 

I was so excited when I went to bed Friday night because we were going to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey the next day. You know how when you’re a kid and you get that Xmas Eve bellyful of butterflies? That’s how I feel on nights before amusement park visits, lol.

“ONE MORE SLEEP UNTIL SIX FLAGS!” – says 42-year-old Erin, lol.

But then I woke up early as instructed by Road Trip Dad, and talk about WRONG SIDE OF THE BED times 18979312. To say I was in “a mood” is putting it mildly. I was basically on a rampage, prepared to have a terrible day, determined to shred my self-worth to shreds, refusing to let any rational thoughts or reasoning sink into my furious brain. So instead of leaving at 6am like Henry wanted, I threw a 2-hour-long fit, oscillating between I’M NOT GOING to WHY DON’T YOU CARE ENOUGH TO MAKE ME GO to I WISH I COULD RIP THE FLESH OFF MY BONES I HATE MYSELF SO MUCH.

I don’t know why I get this way.

Oh wait, yes I do. Bi-polar.

And an eating disorder/food phobia/body dysmorphia. Lol.

Anyway, two hours later and I had calmed down enough to put myself together and we set off (also because Henry already paid for the hotel and we were past the cancellation deadline lol). But my whole point in telling you all of this is that I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and even though the morning SUCKED and I hate feeling out of control, something good came out of it.

Because a few hours later, we stopped at a rest area near Bedford, PA and as we were walking across the parking lot, I heard someone say, “Erin?” At first it didn’t even occur to me it was actually me who was being addressed, but then when I noticed a woman walking toward me I went into FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT mode.

Then my eyes focused and I realized it was my friend Bridget, who left The Law Firm several years ago to move to Texas! It was honestly a really sad day when she left and I remember trying to avoid saying goodbye to her until the final hour when my friend Lauren came over to my desk and said, “OK look, you have got to tell her goodbye. I’ll go with you.” I might try to act like I’m all cold-hearted and partially agoraphobic, but I am a huge sap when it comes to saying goodbye.

Anyway, Bridget recently moved back to Pittsburgh and she and her husband were actually en route to Lancaster for the weekend, so it was a super happy coincidence that we happened to be traveling at the same time and in the same direction, and that we ran into each other at some rando rest stop!

Henry is angry at himself for missing the opportunity to harangue Bridget for endorsing Magic Spoon cereal because ever since she convinced me to give it a shot last spring, I have been hooked and that shit is not cheap (for cereal). Henry makes all kinds of sarcastic comments to Chooch, like, “No, you can’t get new shoes. Your mother has to buy her expensive cereal.” And “Wow, my cereal costs less AND I get so much more in a box.”

I don’t care, I love this stuff! The satiety factor is so good that I don’t want to eat  my arm off an hour post-breakfast like I usually do with anything else. I even bought the official Magic Spoon spoon!

And from a design standpoint, the boxes are so eye-catching and fun! Here are the fall flavors that I am almost out of and just told Henry I need to buy more at which point he mumbled about IT’LL HAVE TO WAIT because this cereal is apparently A LUXURY EXPENSE and not like when Chooch needs milk and Henry drops everything to run to the store.

Ugh.

Wow sorry. This somehow turned into a SPONSORED POST. j/k I have no sponsors.

Anyway! It was amazing to see Bridget but it made me sad also because I miss the way things used to be at the law firm, but I guess even then I was missing the way things used to be EVEN BEFORE, because we’re never happy in the moment ARE WE?

This was also hilariously the second time I’ve run into a former LAW FIRM friend at a rest stop. The other time was my friend Mary at a rest stop in Ohio on the way home from Cedar Point. WHO WILL BE THE THIRD, AND WHAT AMUSEMENT PARK WILL BE INVOLVED??

After that, we continued on through Pennsylvania, where I was desperate to find a Sheetz before entering the dreaded Wawa Zone, but the only one that was close was smack in the middle of Ren Faire land and traffic off of the exit ramp was a disaster.

So, no Sheetz (or lunch) for me. Henry and Chooch bought snacks at pretty much every single rest stop 7-11 so they were fine but I was going back and forth between I NEED TO EAT and STARVE YOURSELF, FAT GIRL. Saturday was a really good day for me. Lots of self love.

The rest of the drive was completely boring. I went back and forth between listening to an audio book and telling Henry that I hate him which he knows translates into, “I hate myself so much that the hate is overflowing and splashing onto you, I will probably apologize to you for this tomorrow but right now: I HATE YOU AND THINK YOU ARE SO DUMB AND YOU HAVE RUINED MY LIFE, FUCK OFF. P.S. YOUR HAIR CUT IS STUPID.

I am so pleasant!

Then we got to Six Flags Great Adventure and I funneled all of my hateful energy onto the copious amounts of LINE JUMPERS we encountered, so Chooch and Henry enjoyed the several hour reprieve from being on the receiving end of my wrath.

Six Flags stuff up next. Ciao for now!

Sep 232021
 

Now that Chooch is back to school IRL, F2F, old school, however you want to say it, he’s been having to commute like a real life office worker. It’s the dumbest thing – his school is part of the Pittsburgh public school system but because of school bus driver shortages (this predates the pandemic BTW because we were already having to prepare for this for when he started high school in 2020), students at his school are required to take PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Chooch has mastered some pretty major subway systems in his short 15 years, so that wasn’t the concern for me, it was mostly the fact that getting to school requires one transfer no matter what, and he’s have to leave the house before 6AM to ensure he wasn’t late, which is ludicrous for a high school kid. Plus, I worried that he’d fall asleep and miss his stop/transfer/whatever.

Getting home is a piece of cake because he can basically get on any bus outside of his school that is going downtown, and he has numerous places where he can get off downtown and take the T home (way more convenient than buses). And he can take his time too, and oh, believe me, he has been. He and his new gang of friends have been cavorting around Oakland, trying to blend in with all the Pitt students, going to cafes, going to the main branch of the Carnegie library, eating at food trucks. He’s living the teenage dream, you guys, truly.

It’s only a 15 minute drive to Oakland from our house, so I’ve mom’d up (after years and years and years of him only having to walk two blocks to his old school, this is so hard for meeeeeee and me and me and me and only meeeeeee) and have been driving him to school every morning. It really isn’t that bad because I am a total morning person anyway and actually enjoy having a reason to get up an hour earlier. However, Chooch is NOT a morning person so nearly every car ride is peppered with vitriol and teenage angst (from both parties). He mostly just sits there texting his friends whom he will see in a short 20 minutes while responding to all my conversation starters with grunts and snotty quips.

Basically, he so very effortlessly makes me feel like the biggest loser while slumped in his seat like a sack of 15-year-old hormones spritzed with Axe Body Spray and superiority syndrome – it’s great!

Usually, I have Spotify playing BUT one day two weeks ago, I stupidly started driving with the radio on. Henry was the last one in the car and had left it on 100.7 which is just super annoying Top 40 but somehow more geared to soccer moms. I absolutely hate every song that comes on. That one song about date night at Applebee’s?!!? The first time I heard it, I was screaming and called Henry after Chooch got out of the car so I could bitch about it.

“Oh, I knew exactly what song it was going to be before you even told me,” he laughed.

That song is a disgrace to the act of hearing, like a total FUCK YOU to the collective cochlea worldwide.

And then there is some god-awful duet with Miley Cyrus and some dude? OMG kill me. That song is an abomination! You know I hate Miley Cyrus to begin with, but this song makes me want to donkey kick her in the throat. Both of these people sound like they have a skin of phlegm that desperately needs trucker-belched into the nearest spittoon.

All it took was one commute with this station on the dial to get Chooch’s attention though, because they play this stupid trivia game every morning called Escalation. And by “they” I mean the MOST ANNOYING LOCAL DJ THAT HAS BEEN POISONING PITTSBURGH AIRWAVES SINCE EVEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, BUBBA, and his basic bitch cohort Melanie. These people, oh brother. They pass Pittsburghese back and forth between themselves with wanton abandon like it’s some type of Yinzer Covid and they’re anti-maskers. I fucking can’t stand the Pittsburgh accent and I especially hate it when it feels like people are going out of their way to use it or exaggerate it. Like when people ironically say “yinz,” I want to fucking set a pile of Steeler jerseys alight.

Look, I have hometown pride, but my hometown embarrassment sometimes overshadows that. And Bubba is a fucking embarrassment fo’ sho’

OK so back to Escalation. Chooch LOVES games and the only thing he probably loves more than games is being right. So trivia is like a goddamn drug for him. This game is so dumb. You can win up to $100 but the questions start out at like, $5, $10, etc. And you have the option of taking the money or going-or-nothing. The worst part is the amount of times Bubba says “dollars” during this part of his pathetic radio show. I wish he would just start saying “bucks” instead so I wouldn’t have to hear him practically swallowing his tongue while chocking on his forced ‘burgh dialect.

Chooch INSISTS that we keep this station on every fucking morning now so he can make fun of the people who get the answers wrong and lose all  their money. Last week was “Special” because in addition to having the chance at winning $100, each morning’s Escalation player AUTOMATICALLY received Dan & Shay tickets. I do not who these “Dan & Shay” people are but I am willing to wager ALL OF THE ESCALATION WINNINGS that I will hate their music if I heard it.

I am actually in such a bad mood by the time I punt him out of my car every morning that my body shakes. THE WORST PART is that before Bubba (ugh) asks the final question, they cut to a song and it is always something that manages to enhance the tension in my jaw previously caused by Bubba’s grating bray.

But then it got worse. Because after a few days of this, Chooch decided that he was going to try and get on  the air for Escalation. I tried to tell him that I thought this was a terrible idea but yesterday morning, he took the leap and called in. His bluetooth kicked the call onto the car’s stereo, so the car was filled with the pulse-pumping notes of a busy signal. He started screaming at me for “talking over them” when they were saying the phone number so it was probably wrong, and I was like, “OK first of all, STFU I can talk whenever I want in MY CAR. And second of all, the fact that you got a busy signal means it’s probably the right number.”

So he just sat there, letting the busy signal continue to plow through the small space between us.

“Um, hang up,” I said.

“No, they might answer,” he shot back in his FUCKING TEENAGE TONE. UGH.

“That’s….not how that works,” I said slowly, trying to choose my words carefully as we were teetering on the precipice of the Early Morning Quarrel Quarry. “You have to hang up and call back. They can’t just ‘answer’ when you already have a busy signal.”

So then he got all huffy, ended the call and slammed his phone down into his lap.

A few moments later,  I tentatively asked, “Aren’t you going to call back?”

“YOU NEVER TOLD ME TO! YOU SAID IT WAS THE WRONG NUMBER!”

“NO, I FUCKING SAID IT WAS A BUSY SIGNAL AND YOU HAVE TO HANG UP AND CALL BACK!” I shouted right back at him, because oh OK, we’re doing this.

“THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU SAID!” he screamed. “I SAID I WAS WAITING TO SEE IF THEY WOULD PICK UP AND YOU SAID IT WAS THE WRONG NUMBER!”

“I SAID IT WAS A BUSY SIGNAL!!! IF YOU GET A BUSY SIGNAL, YOU HAVE TO HANG THE FUCK UP AND TRY AGAIN!!” My heart was now pounding. This kid can never be wrong and it is infuriating. Then I said, because I’m a tremendous parent and probably echoed a sentiment that TRUMP has spat out more than once to his children over the years, great Erin, just great, “You know, for someone so fucking smart, you’re a real a moron sometimes. You don’t even have basic life skills!”

“Oh, this,” he motioned furiously between his phone and the radio, “is a life skill???”

“KNOWING HOW TO MAKE A FUCKING PHONE CALL? YES!!!!!” I screamed.

We drove in silence after that. The dumb bitch who made it onto Escalation lost because she’s a fucking stoop, too.  By the end of Escalation, we had reached his school. He got out wordlessly and I seethed the whole way home.

***

Later that day, after he had been home from school for a few hours, he came downstairs and sat down on the wheelchair next to me. (Lol, that sounds so normal to me.)

“Traffic was really bad on the way home and I’m in a bad mood,” he growled, loosening his imaginary neck tie. “Also, I’m still mad about this morning.” And then we were maniacally arguing with each other again but this time we were laughing too and Henry was like YOU ARE BOTH THE SAME OMG KILL ME.

P.S. The broad who called in for Escalation today won but she TOTALLY WAS GOOGLING THE ANSWERS IT WAS SO FUCKING OBVI.

Aug 052021
 

We knew that at some point on Monday, the sky was going to piss on us. What we didn’t know was just HOW LONG this storm was going to last! About an hour prior to the very first drop of rain, the park started playing an announcement over and over about how some park operations were going to temporarily stop until the inclement weather passed. Then it changed to ALL PARK OPERATIONS. And SEEK SHELTER.

I’m not going to lie, it was pretty exciting. We snagged a bench under some large alcove in the Irish area and it was surprising how few people took refuge here.

We chilled there (lol it was 95 degrees but cool on, Erin) for a good hour and all three of us even fell asleep for parts of that duration too. I mean, not surprising that Henry did. But wow that storm made me drowsy.

We were sitting right next to a door that opened to some SECRET EMPLOYEE room where Camp Busch Gardens kids were hanging out. Every time they opened the door, a glorious sheath of AC wafted over us like a scentless fart from an ice fairy. I dunno what they do at Camp Busch Gardens but everyone seemed to be having fun each time the door opened and I felt left out.

I’d like to also take this moment to PRAISE BE that no one fucking annoying or scream-y was in our shelter spot. It was actually a pleasant, but boring, experience.

After about an hour, the rain mostly stopped so we emerged from hiding and strolled around the nearly empty park. Everything was still shut down but all the shops and opened.

Even soggy and wet, this park is amazing.

I dunno why I took a picture of this. It holds no significance for me.

Listen Linda, I hate drop towers but even I can admit that this Mach Tower is GORGE.

Post-storm Verbolten is sizzlin’ – no really, look at that steam! It was SO HOT that day.

I was obsessed with this snappy German pop song but Chooch ruined the video by acknowledging the video.

OK. This is where things got depressing. We walked down by Loch Ness Monster and you guys, I can’t even remember if this coaster was that great or not, but I do have a vague recollection of liking it and I was sincerely looking forward to riding it on our highly anticipated return to the park. Earlier in the day, I attempted this TWICE but for some reason, the line was long both times and Chooch was being a big entitled bitch about it. OK cool, almost everything else was a walk-on, but I still wanted to ride this thing!!

#CoasterHistory

It’s actually super creepy down in this area. It’s right by the water and I don’t think many people use this as a thoroughfare because it requires you to walk up steps to get back to the main park area. God forbid. We were the only people there, so couple that with the post-storm dreariness and it felt extra desolate. I fucking loved it.

OK I will try not to be super-wordy about this next part but it was A BIG DEAL to me for some reason. It was around 6pm at this point and none of the rides had reopened yet. However, we noticed that there were small lines formed at some rides, so Chooch and I decided to see if anyone was waiting for Loch Ness.

Two guys ended up walking in with us and I said, “I’m not sure if it’s open,” and  the one guy said that some of the smaller rides were testing, so we decided to press our luck. There were a handful of people in the station! Chooch and I claimed the empty last row and we proceeded to eavesdrop on the conversation that some of the people in line were having with one of the (kinda nerdy but adorable) ride attendants. I wish I had gotten his name! Someone in line asked him how long far away the storm has to be before they’re allowed to restart the rides, and he said he wasn’t sure but that was what Dispatch was there for, to watch the storm. He basically kept giving vague answers, insinuating that the rides were not going to run again that night but that the park wasn’t going to officially call it because then they’d have to issue rain checks.

His partner was sitting over at the controls, looking thoroughly bored. Eventually, she said she was going to “take her 45.” I was confused because I thought that the park closed at 7 so why was she taking a 45 minute break after 6:30??

While she was gone, one of the ride operators from  the nearby Finnegan’s Flight came in and took Nerdy Guy’s place, who was now sitting at the control booth thing. New Guy was so awesome!! I think his name was Jhordan?? I can’t remember but it had a cool spelling and he was TOTALLY CUTE and chatty.

But then, THE PHONE RANG. Nerdy Guy answered and we all got so quiet.

He hung up and Jhordan was like, “WELL??” and Nerdy Guy was like, “They said to cycle it.”

It was about 7 at this point so I thought, “Oh, I guess the park is staying open longer to try and get the rides started” but apparently it was always open until 9 and I was just confused as usual!

I turned to the guys who followed us into line and gushed, “I feel like we were really a part of something there!” I LOVE FEELING LIKE THAT! I think because I don’t often feel like I’m part of a group or anything, so whenever I get to experience something that brings strangers close together, it’s exciting to me. (I mean, as long as it’s not a tragedy.)

Anyway, it turned out that Nerdy Guy didn’t actually know how to get the ride started so Jhordan had to call out directions to him from the other side of the platform, so now I was A BIT SCARED.

But they went through the process of pushing down all of the restraints and then Nerdy Guy shakily did his thing at the control desk and they both put their thumbs up. As the train left the station, the whole building erupted in cheers and applause. It felt SO SPECIAL.

While waiting for the train to do its cycle, Jhordan came over and stood by me.

“Did you see that?” he asked me. “I swear I saw a flash of light out of the corner of my eye.” We both turned and looked out of the station and over to where the Griffon and Alpengeist tracks were.

I did. I saw it. It was definitely lightning, I thought.

While this was happening, Griffon and Alpengeist were cycling test trains too and someone said that the flash of light must have been from the on-ride camera flash. Jhordan did NOT seem to accept this theory though, but still, when the train came back, the restraints came up and the gates opened. Once again, we all cheered as we boarded the train. They had JUST LOCKED OUR RESTRAINTS when the fucking phone rang again.

It was Dispatch reneging on their previous “all clear.”  MOTHERFUCKER. But Jhordan was so relieved. “I knew in my heart that was lightning!” he said. “It did not feel right sending this thing.”

So the restraints came up and we all had to get back on the platform – some people completely exited but at this point, I was invested. All in. Every last egg in this fucking Loch Ness basket. And hilariously, we had now been in line for an hour, so probably longer than we would have waited earlier in the day but noooo, Mr. Impatience wouldn’t do it.

Jhordan taught me about the various color codes that the park implements for storms.  Currently, they were back up to a CODE RED which means no rides can operate. One of the colors means that rides under a certain height can still operate (I think yellow?) and CODE BLACK is basically SHUT ‘ER DOWN AND TAKE COVER, NO ONE CAN LEAVE. He said that actually happened one time accidentally, when it was just drizzling, and it sent everyone into a panic.

Now I really felt like I was part of something special! And it was exciting to see them doing the X with their arms and saying “Cross” every time they had to climb across the track to get to the other side of the platform – even when the rides are down, they follow amusement park law!

Then the phone rang and we all held our breath. When Nerdy Guy hung up, we were like “WELL???” and he said, “Wha—oh, it was nothing important.” My favorite part was when someone squawked over a walkie talkie something that sounded like “code green” and we all froze. Jhordan mouthed, “the fuck???” so Nerdy Guy had to get back on the phone with Dispatch who confirmed that no, it was still very much Code Red. I mean, it wasn’t raining anymore but there was still thunder.

Girl Operator came back from her 45 and we were laughing at how much she missed while she was gone. With her being back, Nerdy Guy got to leave since his work day was technically done. But all he did was leave and come back in a white t-shirt with headphones around his neck, role-playing as a member of the general public and asking if the rides were going to start back up at all. Jhordan was like, “Naw dude, I highly doubt it, you better just leave” and I felt like all three ride operators at this point where sending us signals so we’d stop wasting our time, because as Jhordan told me earlier, they’re not allowed to flat out tell us to leave the line. But I really felt that this was them taking pity on us.

Our friends in the queue next to us had already left and now hardly anyone was still waiting. Plus, Jhordan was now over at the control desk and Girl Operator was standing next to us but she wasn’t conversational like the other two so it just didn’t feel the same anymore. At this point, we had been standing for AN HOUR AND A HALF I think. I looked at Chooch and said, “OK, I’m calling it.” So we dejectedly left the Loch Ness Monster station to the tune of sad trombones and thunder.

Meanwhile, Henry was hanging out under a small pavilion with some other people and was like, “OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY ALMOST LET YOU ON THAT WITH ALL THIS LIGHTNING” and then he showed me the following video he took which is actually less bad than the bout of lightning that happened prior to him filming:

This video is super small because Henry’s phone is dumb.

So, that was my Loch Ness odyssey. We walked around the park for a little bit and bought some souvenirs. I bought several postcards but decided to keep this one for myself as reminder of my supreme stubbornness and also the bonding time spent with strangers staring at a parked roller coaster train.

It was 8pm at this point and it seemed like none of the coasters were going to be cleared to run again so I sadly and with major POUTING LIPS said, “Fine let’s just leave.” And of course, as soon as we walked through the parking lot to our car, I turned around just in time to see fucking Griffon running.

Fuccccccckkkkk.

I comforted myself with  the reminder that this place isn’t THAT far away and we will be back again for Pantheon anyway, so I can ride Loch Ness Monster until I require a neck brace.

OMG wait I can’t believe I failed to mention this in my last post! But after the second time we attempted to ride Loch Ness, Chooch wandered over to the nearby lockers after we got out of line. I didn’t really pay much mind to this at first because I was busy bitching to Henry about how he wouldn’t wait in line. But then I was like, “The fuck is he doing?”

Here, one of his friends from a Discord chat group he’s in was at Busch Gardens a few days before us and left him a note hidden behind a wall in those lockers. So he was looking like a common criminal, retrieving drugs probably and not a note from an Internet friend inside a Ziploc bag. Don’t ask him who it’s from exactly, or what it says, hoooo boy, you’ll be sorry. #ChoochsSecretLife

Anyway, I’m coming back for you, Nessie.  You just wait.

Jul 302021
 

Hi from the miserable car ride home. It’s my 42nd birthday today and Henry thought I’d be ok with it being a travel day. He literally does not know me even after 20 years LOL.

The morning was good at least because we were still in Wildwood, but it all went downhill after we checked out and went to Six Flags Great Adventure but I guess that’s kind of expected because how do you top Wildwood? Surprise flight to Korea, or GTFO I guess.

Some broad offered to take pictures of me and Henry at this WILDWOODS sign when we first got there at 7am this morning and I 100% did not want this to happen but didn’t have the heart to say no so she took a series of really ugly pictures of us that will never see the lift of day and I do appreciate her effort but then we had to pretend like we were leaving so we could come back and take real ones but she hung around for so long with whatever baby she had in a stroller, I think she was its grandma, but who could be sure.

I didn’t have a cake or anything birthday-ish today, although Henry and Chooch did stop in some bakery called Let’s Get Baked in some tiny town called Allentown, NJ after we left Six Flags. They got some cupcakes and a cookie. The cupcakes weren’t terrible but I also think they’re taking great liberties by passing them off as such because they had the consistency of cornbread.

Six Flags Great Adventure was the best Six Flags we’ve been to so far, ambiance and ride attendant-wise, but THREE of their BIGGEST COASTERS were down (one of which we knew about going in, but the other two were surprises) and then while we were there, two more went down, so all of the other big coasters had massive lines even though the park wasn’t crowded at all, because where else was everyone supposed to go?! We did get some rides in (Chooch got his Kingda Ka credit before it went down so – yay? I hate strata coasters so this was not a highlight for me).

We left after about five hours and ate dinner at some place in NJ called Club House Diner which was supposed to have a vegetable panini, grilled cheese, and veggie burger option according to their website.

When we walked in, I was like OH FUCK YEAH THIS IS THE JOINT because it was totally my style: all brown and tacky, looking like one of those family restaurants from the 60s that families probably got a little dressed up for. But now it’s just an outdated diner with a modpodge menu and a salad bar that no one in their right mind should be digging into during a pandemic yet we watched Elders going back for thirds and fourths.

But then guess what guys guess what no really guess I’ll wait.

THE WEBSITE WAS OUTDATED and none of the options i mentioned above were on the menu. CHooch was able to order a grilled cheese off the secret menu (sike, everyone knows you can request a grilled cheese) but I was like NO I WILL JUST ORDER SOMETHING I DONT WANT OUT OF PRINCIPLE so I got the “healthy vegetable omelette” made with egg whites and it might have been healthy-ish until the pile of hash browns sidled up next to it.

I ate about half and wanted to die, and then I got even more angry when we went to leave and I walked past the dessert case to see a delicious-looking CARROT CAKE and also a bangin’ apple pie but NO I wasted my “birthday treat” on a shitty cupcake and mediocre cookie. Choices were made.

If it weren’t for the super friendly waitress and the “my grandparents used to love that place” vibes, I would have been super pissed.

Oh also Chooch made my coffee splash all over my place mat when he got up to go to the bathroom so that WAS ANOTHER STRIKE AGAINST THIS DAY.

So I made him take a mirror selfie with me after he wasted two dollars in the claw machine on the way out.

Henrys trying to say that it’s not his fault today sucks, it’s because Wildwood left the bar so high, like that’s going to work on me.

Anyway. You know you’re old when you have to pause to think real hard about your age and then it ends with finger-counting, calculator math, asking a friend. But I’ve confirmed that I am, in fact, 42 today even though I’m pretty sure I thought I already was 42 for this whole past year.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go buy myself a Mister Softee t-shirt for my birthday.

Jun 142021
 

Whenever we’re visiting a new city (or even an old city that we haven’t been to in a minute) I like to look for fun food places to go. Usually ice cream shops and bakeries because even weekend road trips count as vacations, right? And ya gotta pig out on vacations (says the girl who is obsessed with her weight and calories and weighs herself everyday and cries over gaining several ounces, I mean, wait…who?).

I’m not the hugest donut fan, but I found a YouTube video for the best donuts in DC, so then suddenly I thought out loud, “I could eat a donut(s).” So I gave Henry my list, and then threw in Baked & Wired, a bakery I’ve been following on Instagram for several years because their cupcakes looks fancy AF and by fancy I mean CLASSY.

I actually didn’t look into any ice cream places which, if you read my liveblog, you know we had a TERRIBLE TIME finding ice cream joints outside of DC near the hotel we were staying at in Maryland. So apparently next time I should study a bit harder.

Anyway, I wanted to go to all of these places on Saturday but Henry kept trying in a million different ways, through diagrams and illustrations, in Korean, he even made a flipbook, that where we were in DC wasn’t close to any of these places and it would require various metro transfers and buses and then he was like, “LOOK, WE WILL GET UP EARLY TOMORROW MORNING AND DRIVE TO WHICHEVER ONE OF THESE PLACES YOU WANT” and I said fine but really he was supposed to know that this was not fine, I wanted it RIGHT NOW, hashtag Veruca Salt, etc etc. So this really was the impetus to my impending mental breakdown late on Saturday evening, the details of which will never be discussed and I know Henry and Chooch are already brainwashing each other to forget it.

But all of this is to say that we woke up not even early at all on Sunday and Henry was like, “WE CAN GO TO THAT ONE DONUT PLACE YOU SUGGESTED, IT IS ONLY 14 MILES FROM HERE” or 14 minutes, I can’t remember, and it was actually on the outskirts of DC so it was easy to drive there and park and silly me I’m always forgetting that cities have other, less urban, parts to them.

Here is the place. They haven’t completely reopened yet during covid so only 6 people could be inside at once, masks on, and it was takeout only. We were all able to be inside together and originally were going to get a 1/2 dozen to share amongst each other. We had one selection left and I said to Henry, “Go ahead, you can choose” because my head was still very sore and tired from all the sparking synapses and demonic voices circuiting through like my head was a switchboard to Hell.

But then when Henry confidently told the donut lady that he’d take a Boston cream, I shot him the most disgusted look like he just shat on the ground in front of the donut case. Even Chooch was like, “Worst choice, but OK cool.” (All my Boston cream bitches gonna come for now, lol.) Henry nervously looked at us both and mouthed, “what?” and I was like, “THAT IS NOT WHAT I WOULD HAVE CHOSEN BUT COOK ON.” So then we started silently arguing with just our eyeballs and eyebrows, nostrils flaring for emphasis, right there in front of the donut people and I said, “I AM JUST GOING TO WAIT OUTSIDE.” So then Henry paid and came outside and was like, “WHAT IS WRONG WHAT DID I DO” and Chooch and I were both spitting off variations of “why would you waste the last choice on a Boston cream when there were so many other interesting choices” or “YOU COULD HAVE GONE WITH A GLAZED BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I WOULD HAVE WANTED” so he was like, “NO ONE SAID WE ONLY HAD TO GET 6 I CAN GO BACK IN RIGHT NOW AND GET MORE” and I was like, “I BET YOU WOULDN’T” so he DID and the rational portion of my mind, hidden under layers of spicy ire and roiling rage, whispered, “But we don’t need this many donuts, just be happy with the ones you got” but by now, OH YOU BETTER BUT I WAS RUNNING ON PRINCIPLE AND PRINCIPLE ALONE.

So he came out with a bag and I said, “Which ones did you get” and he said, “Mango coconut and lemon-filled” which made me scream about how I hate mango-flavored things and I don’t like filled donuts and now he was like YOU CAN SHOVE THEM STRAIGHT UP YOUR ASS THEN but of course he didn’t actually say that because he knows better but I could tell by the way he was gripping the steering wheel and waggling his mustache that this is what he was thinking.

Add to this the fact that he had to find us a park of some sort where we could eat the fucking things that no one even wanted at this point because ANGRY FAMILY and that in and of itself was a real folly. He found one park but the road to the entrance was blocked off and then he couldn’t find another way in and had to keep driving until he finally found a frisbee golf park and we were just like, “OH MY FUCKING GOD, WHATEVER, THIS IS FINE” and as Chooch and I started to walk to a pavilion, we turned around JUST IN TIME to see Henry take the box of donuts out of the car and promptly drop two of them on the ground as the box came apart in his hands.

And there were witnesses too! It was a grand fucking display! And then he picked them up and put them back in the box while were screaming at him not to!!

“THEY ARE FINE,” he said, brushing GRAVEL AND PROBABLY BITS OF DOG POOP AND DEAD WORMS off of them. OMFG I HATE HIM SO MUCH is what Chooch and I both said in tandem, sounding like twin teenagers.

And then even the ones that didn’t hit the ground got all fucked up. The only one that I really wanted, a strawberry glazed, now had NO GLAZE on it because it all smeared off onto the back of HENRY’S FUCKING BOSTON CREAM.

OH MY GOOD LORD, I WAS SO LIVID. I donut even like donuts that much but for some reason, I had so much invested in these fucking things. AND GUESS WHAT? THEY WERE NOT EVEN ALL THAT! They just tasted like ok donuts. Like, I wouldn’t complain if someone handed me one while I was enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning, but these were definitely not worth skipping a real breakfast for.

Oh and the ones Henry dropped? THEY WERE THE TWO THAT CHOOCH AND I PICKED AND WERE EXCITED TO TRY. (One was blueberry maple and one was blueberry lemon. By the time Henry scraped all of the Road off of them, all that was left was two blueberry cake donuts with no glaze or icing, aka the parts that made us want them.)

But thank god Henry’s Boston cream was unharmed!!

[Chooch’s review was, “They were alright. I mean, there was nothing that great about them.”]

I realize this was a really stupid thing to want to break up with a man over, and perhaps we can call it projection or whatever, but I’m over it now and even woke Henry up from his nap to stand above him (he always gets so scared when he opens his eyes and sees me looming above him) and say through hysterical, guttural giggles, “I’m not sorry about Saturday night because I was valid in my feelings and will not let you gaslight me, but I am sorry for being mad at you about the Boston cream donut.”

He just stared at me and slowly said, “Ok….” presumably because he was waiting for me to draw the steak knife from behind my back.

Oh and by the way, these were vegan donuts and Henry had no idea until I mentioned, hours later, that Donut Run doesn’t even come close to matching Onion Maiden’s vegan donuts. AND they have interesting and fancy flavors that are actually good (like matcha and rose!) and don’t make me feel sick afterward.

And that’s all. My post about donuts. In case you were wondering, when I do get in the mood for a donut, my go-to’s are SUGAR and GLAZED. Rarely do I fuck with cream or jelly-filled, but I might do a sourdough or blueberry cake if I’m feeling like stepping out of my comfort zone. You feel me?

May 252021
 

The weekend we went to Hershey, we patronized FOUR Sheetz. Three of them were on Sunday alone, and the first was TERRIBLE. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I am Team Sheetz all the way (Wawa can sit on a dick) but our experience at the one in Elysburg that morning was an exercise in blood-boiling.

FIRST, when we arrived there was a sign on the door that said the KITCHEN WAS CLOSED. I stormed back to the car and Henry, who hadn’t even made it out of the car yet because he is an Elder, asked what the matter was. I told him as we all got back in the car and drove away.

“But, did you even go inside and check? Maybe the sign was old…” Henry started to say because WHY DOES HE DO THIS WHY CAN’T HE TRUST THE INFO I AM PROVIDING. We went across the street to a Subway but I DID NOT ACTUALLY WANT A SUBWAY BREAKFAST SANDWICH BECAUSE I WANTED SHEETZ so we left that place too and Henry was flipping through his mental Rolodex of WAYS TO DISPOSE OF A BODY.

“I have to get gas so I’m going back to Sheetz,” he muttered, so at that point, I was resigned to just go inside and get a protein bar and a fucking banana (SOMETIMES GAS STATION FRUIT IS OK) but when I walked in, I saw people ordering at the touch screen stations so I guess the kitchen was open after all HAHAHAHAHAHAugh.

Even though the CDC relaxed the mask mandate earlier that week, most businesses—including Sheetz—still required people to wear masks before entering. Welp, aside from the employees, we were essentially the only people there wearing masks. And, judging by the customers and the area we were in, I’m guessing we were also probably in the vaccinated minority. To make things even better, there were a group of kids who were probably somewhere between 19-22 standing near us while we were waiting for our orders. The ringleader, a lanky dork-ass motherfucker in a camo yarmulke, kept cutting past everyone to peer back into the kitchen in search of his food that he hadn’t even paid for yet. THEN he started rambling on to his friends about how the Democrats created Covid-19 just to get people to buy masks (WHAT—-WHY!??!?! HOW DOES THIS BENEFIT THEM??) and get vaccinated. I looked at Henry and growled, “I’M GOING TO GET A TABLE OUTSIDE.”

I kept chanting in my head, “I will not let this ruin my day” because hello, we were going straight to Knoebel’s after this and I just wanted to have a good day but now I was worried that all the idiotic rural people I encountered inside Sheetz were also going to Knoebel’s that day. Henry was supposed to say, “I doubt it” when I brought it up, but instead, he said, “OH YOU KNOW IT.” Sometimes I just really really really want him to give me the answer I want to hear, but he clearly did not ace the “Easing Your Fake Wife’s Worries” quiz in the back of one of his 1980s PORNO RAGS.

When Henry joined Chooch and me outside at a table in the back of Sheetz, he withdrew a small pouch of hashbrowns that he ordered along with whatever gross breakfast sandwich he got. While he was busy complaining about the fact that they completely doused the inside of his sandwich with Ketchup, which he did not ask for, Chooch and I eagerly stole a hashbrown round from the pouch.

ACTUAL PICTURE OF SHEETZ HASHBROWNS TAKEN FROM THE INTERNET

“AW COME ON!” Henry cried, but he should know damn well that anything he gets for himself that doesn’t have meat in it is fair game.  Chooch and I are like fucking boxcar kids on the run from the orphanage, the way we scavenge and pilfer food.

I mean, there were still two left, get a grip, Hank!

Henry went back inside to get more napkins to aid in his Operation: Ketchup Scrape. Chooch grabbed another hashbrown and I was like I WANT ANOTHER ONE TOO but noticed that there was only one left. “Were there only four?” I pouted, figuring that we should at least leave ONE for Henry. Chooch groaned guiltily and split the third one in half so we could share. Then Henry came back and focused for a bit on sopping up the pools of Ketchup from his sandwich innards while explaining to us for the fifth time that no, he did not ask for Ketchup on his sandwich, he asked for Ketchup for the hashbrowns.

And speaking of the hashbrowns, he jammed his big meat paw into the grease-laden pouch only to withdraw what appeared to be a crumb. And for the 87th time that morning, he cried, “AW COME ON!”

Immediately, Chooch lurched across the table to follow the path of his jutting, accusatory finger. “MOM ATE THEM ALL!” he screamed.

“No, I didn’t!! I had one, plus the half that you gave me!” I fired back.

“Yeah, and then you had the last one, too. I watched you!” He was now hiccuping through GUILT-GIGGLES. Readers, let me explain something to you that I know all too well because he gets this TELL from me: my son cannot lie without laughing. It’s physically impossible for him.

Now I’m fucking pissed. I hate being accused of things, even the pettiest of things like EATING ALL OF THE HASHBROWNS. So you’ll understand why I, at this point in the story, shrieked, “Stop accusing me of eating it, you little pigbitch asshole!”

Henry tried to interject that he only got a quarter of one hashbrown round and I verbally bitch-slapped him with a, “STFU NO ONE CARES THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU” and went back to The Real World-levels of bickering with Chooch while Henry quietly murmured, “But they were my hashbrowns.”

I DID NOT EAT ALL OF THEM. Now, I also can’t verify that Chooch did either because he’s 15 and Mommy doesn’t have to “keep an eye” on him constantly, and knowing me, I was probably cruising Instagram while he was over there hoovering Henry’s hashbrowns.

I started pounding the heels of my palms on the table to accentuate each syllable of my passionate declaration that I DID NOT EAT THE LAST FUCKING HASHBROWN.

“I had one, Chooch had one – THAT IS TWO. Then Chooch and I split the THIRD ONE. There should be ONE LEFT,” I screamed in my throaty Angry Satan voice.

“Well, there isn’t,” Henry said, all deflated. First the Ketchup and now this.

“WELL THEN CHOOCH ATE IT,” I screamed at the same time my lying son word-vommed, “YEAH BECAUSE MOM ATE IT!”

I was so angry that I had tears in my eyes which almost matched Chooch’s except that his were borne from LYING-LAUGHS.

Meanwhile, Henry refused to say who he believed and this was infuriating me even more and if the fucking table hadn’t been bolted to the sidewalk, I would have flipped it.

Henry gestured up to the security camera pointed at us. “I can go inside and ask to see the security footage,” he said and I was like “YES DO THAT!!!! THEN YOU WILL SEE THAT IT WAS CHOOCH!” and Chooch was laughing even harder now and almost puking and if you think I wouldn’t sift through his stomach contents to try and reconstruct TWO AND A HALF HASHBROWN ROUNDS, well, you’re probably right.

This went on for a good 8 minutes and hoo boy, was I HOT.

You’re welcome, Sheetz patrons, for the Sunday morning show.

We went to a second Sheetz on our way home from Knoebel’s and Chooch was whining because they didn’t cut his pizza so Henry told him to just go back in and ask them to cut it but this was too much for Chooch to handle so Henry wrenched the pizza box from Chooch’s hands in the backseat and, on his way inside to do Chooch’s dirty work for him, announced to the whole parking lot that he lives with idiots.

Apr 232021
 

Actually, this is just really an excuse to post the rest of the pictures I took that day, haha.

After we left Palmer Park, we drove back into Monongahela and grabbed some sandwich action at Sheetz, which we took to the Monongahela Cemetery and devoured in front of the chapel. How have I never been to this cemetery before?!!? It’s gorgeous! When I lived in Jefferson Hills in my first apartment, I used to go joy-driving in this area all the time (because gas was like 95 cents a gallon) and I somehow NEVER NOTICED the entrance to this cem!!

Well, you better believe we will be having future Family Times up in this boneyard.

Chooch found THREE geocaches in this location. Only one was the good kind with a prize though. I can’t even remember what it was that he took, but he replaced it with this religious finger puppet that I bought years and years ago when I held my own unsanctioned Easter event at work.

There was a rogue turkey gobbling around this part of the cemetery and we had fun gobbling back at it. I think we were just delirious after the encounter with Pantera Guy.

 

The other geocaches with fake pine cones tied to two different trees! It was really hard to get the capsule thing out of the one pine cone and I broke a pen trying and then I couldn’t put the pen back together because I’m bad at pretty much everything that requires even the tiniest effort so Chooch snatched all the pieces off me and proceeded to reassemble the pen in .000002 seconds and then he shamed me, which was rightfully deserved I guess.

WE ARE BOTH GETTING SO OLD UGHHHHH.

Then I made him take pictures of me pretending the tree was my prom date.

He’d say things like, “You’re making a weird face in this one. You look fake in this one. You won’t like this one” which I appreciate because HENRY DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS. Like, he will let me smile real big for a closeup while I have spinach in my teeth and then act like he didn’t know and maybe that’s true because HENRY THINKS I’M HIDEOUS AND NEVER LOOKS AT  ME.

I made him take another one without my mask around my neck, lol.

Honestly, isn’t this tree so handsome?!!?

Even though geocaching was involved, it was still a really beautiful day. LOOK AT THIS UNFILTERED SKY, BOIIIIII. I was in such a swell mood (lol) that I even told Chooch we could stop for one last geocache on our way out of Monongahela, and this one was supposed to be by the river right past the Sheetz we stopped at.

I mean, the river is super gross no matter how you look at it, but the area was pretty cool. There were like bleacher-type steps you could sit on and …. what? Watch people fish? Gaze at the barges passing by? I dunno, but now that I know it’s there, maybe I will eat my Sheetz lunch there next time I’m in the area!

ANYWAY. Would you believe that the clue led us to another one of those stupid dog poop things?!?! But there was nothing there! According to the info for this one, the owner of the geocache recently had to re-hide it but said the clues were the same?! And people left comments about how when they tried to put it back it got “lost in the abyss”??? I was like, “Bro, I’m not sticking my hand in the actual waste basket part of this thing, if that’s what that clue means” and even Chooch was like, “I know right” but I think we were both silently thinking that if Henry was with us, we’d make him do it.

Chooch left this super professional, detailed comment about how he was unable to find it and I was like, “Wow, you definitely have a little bit of Henry in you” because I’d have been like “The FUCK kind of clues are these? There wasn’t SHIT there! Awful geocache! REPORTED!!!”

Then we drove home and I realized that I am A LOT like Henry’s mom all of a sudden because I narrated the whole drive with, “That used to be a movie theater. That bar used to serve me when I was 19. I got pulled over here when I was 20 by the state police for doing double the speed limit in a construction zone and they searched my car and I had to go to court but the hearing was delayed because the one cop got shot and then my mom knew the chief of police and arranged for me to get off with a warning but I got super mouthy and indignant with the magistrate and my mom was kicking me under the table and the cop was silently doing the Dave Coulier CUT IT OUT hand motions at me and then the magistrate was like HAVE FUN PAYING THIS FINE, HON.”

To summarize: WHAT A GREAT DAY!

Chooch found five geocaches! I found none!

Apr 222021
 

Chooch and I were set free into the wild Sunday afternoon. I think Henry was concerned at first but then probably did the Risky Business sock-slide as many times as a 55-year-old can without getting winded.

One of the “coupons” we made for Chooch’s stupid Easter egg hunt was that I would take him geocaching. Henry actually created that coupon on my behalf BECAUSE HE IS SUCH A SWEETHEART, knowing how much I LOVE GEOCACHING.

Just a reminder*: I do not love geocaching.

*(I was perusing the pages of my very first vacation journal the other night and the amount of times I wrote JUST A REMINDER for things that weren’t actually reminders was hilarious and totally on brand for the idiotic, nonsensical style of writing that I would later grow into.)

I was really annoyed about this coupon on Easter, but then after we got a new car, the idea of driving Chooch to some random location in order to embark on a fruitless scavenger hunt was kind of appealing, I won’t lie. After scrutinizing the dumb geocache app for the entire morning, Chooch finally settled on a cluster of geocaches in some rando place called PALMER PARK in Donora, which is about a 30 minute drive from Pittsburgh, I guess, in a part of town next to the Monongahela River that I used to cruise through all the time back in the late 90s in my 1995 Eagle Talon, bitches. It’s also where I had a semi-tragic experience getting a new eyebrow ring put in, but that’s a story for another day, friendos.

So, we managed to find the dumb park with little to no effort, and thankfully it was a REGULAR park and not one of the gross industrial parks that dot the river along the way. We were screaming at those.

The first geocache was somewhere behind Pavilion #1, and Chooch found it before I even finishing trudging over to him. I guess this would be a fine time in this rickety blog post to explain geocaching to anyone who doesn’t know and doesn’t care enough to google: it’s this dumb fucking “treasure” hunting bullshit activity where you go to the geocache website or app and find coordinates and use the provided clues if needed. Then, if it’s a good geocache, you will find a plastic container in which there should be a paper log for you to record your name and date, and also a PRIZE to take, provided you brought something to replace it. We usually bring whatever junky little toys we find floating around a junk drawer.

For this geocache, Chooch took the little plastic toy duck that was inside and replaced it with this nude plastic baby, haha. I can’t remember why but I bought a whole bag of those babies one time.

The next geocache was within walking distance, so we left our car in the pavilion parking lot and walked farther into the park, where we discovered it was actually bumpin’ with people. There was a giant soccer field past where we parked, and a caravan of minivans was arriving in preparation for a Sunday game.

This meant that there were people around when we arrived at our next geocache: one of those dog poop bag dispensers at the edge of another parking lot.

Dog Waste Sanitation Stations | Pet Waste Disposal Systems

(Not the actual dispenser we were at, BUT JUST SO YOU KNOW WHAT WE WERE CONTENDING WITH.)

Based on the clue, it was 100% clear that this is where the stupid thing was supposed to be but we couldn’t find it. Surely they wouldn’t put it where the actual used bags go, but I also wasn’t comfortable sticking my hands into where the new bags were dispensed, because ew there could be spiders or needles in there!!

I lost my patience after approximately one minute and yelled, “ARE YOU SURE THIS IS RIGHT” and Chooch showed me the clue again and it seemed legit?!

“According to the log on the app, someone JUST found it today,” Chooch said. “Maybe they didn’t put it back?”

“WHAT AN ASSHOLE!” I shouted in my Big Mouth Screech, paired with wild gesticulations. I mean, I had absolutely nothing else to do that day but THIS WAS REALLY CUTTING INTO MY NON-PLANS!

Then Chooch started laughing.

“Look! The people who found it today posted a picture too! ‘Fun day geocaching wirth my hubby’,” Chooch mocked. And then, because we’re professional trolls, we started laughing at how “with” was spelled “wirth.” Then Chooch showed me the picture of the “hubby” and we started laughing even harder. “That’s who you called an asshole!” Chooch wheezed. “Way to go!” I mean I’ll be the first to admit that I would likely NOT call this guy an asshole to his face:

Sick Panera shirt.

Meanwhile, we’re still loitering around this dog poop stand looking SUPER suspish because we don’t even have a dog, like we’re indulging in some joint strange addiction of sniffing dog shit, who even knows. Anything probably seemed possible to the people observing us. Plus we were still giggling like dummies.

But then Chooch stopped laughing and murmured, “OMG look.” And there, across the parking lot, THE GEOCACHING ASSHOLE WAS STANDING A FEW YARDS AWAY “WIRTH” HIS WIFE.

And he was looking RIGHT AT US! Everyone else in the parking lot faded away and it was just the four of us, frozen in time, facing each other like the world’s most awkward showdown.

It was obvious to him that we were looking for the geocache, since he JUST FOUND IT. I didn’t know what to do so I panicked and waved to him.

“What are you doing?” Chooch hissed.

“HI! WE SAW YOUR PICTURE!” I hollered, holding up my phone, even though it was on Chooch’s phone.

“WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE THEM COME OVER HERE!” Chooch cried. And then, “ohmygod” as HUBBY and his wife meandered over to us. HUBBY was a large middle-aged metal head in a Pantera shirt, and his wife was, you know, a wife. I was being over-the-top friendly because I wasn’t sure if they knew we were totally talking shit on them minutes prior to this meet-up, and based on their unsmiling stone faces, I’m going to wager a guess that they might have?

Anyway, HUBBY said, “I take it you’re looking for this?” STRAIGHT OUT OF SOME LAME 1980s CAPER MOVIE, and presented Chooch with a tiny, thimble-sized magnetic capsule. I guess he took it back to his car to open it and write his name in the log, which was a narrow strip of tightly-wound paper that just barely fit inside the capsule. Then he showed us where he found it, which was on the metal stake of the dispenser, right above the compartment for the poop bags.

“It was really obvious where it was hidden, and I was going to actually hide it better, so if you wouldn’t mind doing that for me, I was going to hide it right here—” and then he pointed to an area on the dispenser that was literally right above the original hiding spot, and Chooch just shrugged his surly, disinterested teen shoulders and said, “Sure.”

Then the guy proceeded to tell us his name on the geocache site (which we already knew since we were making fun of it!!) and in order to bring peace upon the situation, I nudged Chooch and said, “What’s your name on there?” Chooch got RULL WEIRD and kept saying “ummm, ummm” while pretending to scroll through the app before whispering in the most defeated tone, “Choochie.”

(Later, he told me that he knew what his name was on there but just didn’t want to say it out loud because it was embarrassing and he was so mad at me for pressuring him, lol.)

Chooch and I awkwardly hung around the dog poop bag thing while the Couple Who Geocache Together Stays Together walked back to their car. “You called him an asshole,” Chooch reminded me. “I can’t believe you.” And then we started laughing our faces off because we are, of course, Forever Jerks. I had to sit down on a nearby bench while Chooch underwent the painstaking task of trying to write his name and date on the tiny paper scroll, because I honestly thought I was going to pee my pants. What are the odds of talking shit on another geochacher and then getting busted for it?

We eventually continued walking a bit farther into the park, and when the couple finally left the parking lot and drove past  us, they were both glaring out their windows.

So of course we started cracking up all over again. Thank god there were other people around or it would have been less funny, more scary, I think.

In other Palmer Park news, I spotted an actual metal slide, the kinds from my youth that have been replaced in pretty much every playground with  those dumber plastic ones. I was so excited to try it! Chooch went first and as he climbed the rickety ladder, he mumbled, “Wow, now I get why these slides are basically illegal.”

There was one other geocache in the park that Chooch wanted to get, but this one at the entrance. There was nowhere to park so I had to illegal park in some trucking company parking lot while Chooch crossed over the busy road.

“Don’t get hit by a car,” I called out, meeting my obligatory Mom Duty quota for the day.

There was a little man-made rock and mini waterfall feature around the sign for Palmer Park and the geocache was supposed to be there somewhere but Chooch eventually conceded defeat.
“I have no idea where it is and I looked like an idiot over there so I give up. Stupid [insert Pantera Guy’s geocache name here] found it earlier, I wish we had seen him so I would know where it was!”

YEAH, ASSUMING HE EVEN PUT IT BACK!!!

Jul 202020
 

It all started a few weeks ago when Chooch started an Instagram account for our cat Drew. It was incredibly annoying to witness as one would imagine, watching a teenager follow a cat around trying to get her to vogue, strike a pose, save a baby from a burning house so he could get a Boomerang for the ‘gram.

And then there was all the times we heard, “Great. You guys just ruined the video” when Henry and I would dare to talk to each other while a CF was being filmed in the next room.

Chooch, determined to get a brand deal (lol), took his excitement next door to his brother Blake’s house and filled him in on the scheme, at which point Blake decided that he was going to make one for his cat too. So Chooch overzealously decides to be Blake’s Instagram coach.

Which I thought was a terrible idea because Blake’s cat is a fluffy Maine Coon-esque tabby who looks a bit like my old BFF Marcy (RIP, girl, you’ll always be my #1) and people love cats who look like that. Chooch gave him all the hashtags he’s been using and then gave him shoutouts on Drew’s Instagram and then suddenly, Blake’s cat Ham got more popular.

“I told you that you shouldn’t have helped him!” I yelled, suddenly invested in this drama.

But at first, Chooch was trying to be the bigger person. “No, it’s OK because we made a deal that whoever gets a brand deal first would help the other person.”

OMFG.

And for the first week, all was sunshine and giggles in Catstagram City. Blake and Chooch (I mean, Ham and Drew) tagged each other in their stories and then hounded us to like their posts, etc. I saw Haley outside one day and she was like, “THEY ARE SO ANNOYING WITH THIS INSTAGRAM SHIT” and I was like “GIRL, RIGHT?” and she said that when Blake leaves for work, he gives her instructions to take pictures of Ham so that he can post them later.

But then one of Ham’s posts got more comments than any of Drew’s and when Chooch realized that it was a picture HE took of Ham, he actually started crying. “I quit!” he screamed. “I’m deleting Drew’s Instagram! This sucks!”

Then I started to get annoyed about it too because I’m super competitive by nature. So I came up with a plan for Chooch to hack into Ham’s account and make him say some “all lives matter” bullshit so that he would get canceled.

“No, I can’t do that,” Chooch said in a small voice.

“OK, BUT DON’T COME CRYING TO ME WHEN IT GETS WORSE.”

To be fair, Ham is very handsome but he’s also pretty boring and all his pictures look the same.

Finally, I was tired of being on the sidelines, so I made an Instagram for Penelope on Saturday, which initially annoyed Chooch, but then I told him, “LOOK, WE CAN TEAM UP. DREW AND PENELOPE CAN BE THE CUTE INSTAGRAM SISTERS AND OH BOO HOO, HAM’S AN ONLY CHILD, HE CAN’T SIT AT OUR TABLE.”

So, that’s what’s happening. And everything was pretty calm until about an hour ago when Chooch found out that Ham has been featured several times by various cat accounts and he is ready to torch Instagram headquarters.

Anyway, I don’t have a fantastic twist ending to this story, but if you want to help us and hinder Ham, here are Drew and Penelope’s Instagrams (LOL this might be one of the most immature things I’ve ever been involved in):

https://www.instagram.com/that_cat_bambi/

https://www.instagram.com/presenting_penelope

Yeah, fucking around with a kitchen and cat Instagrams is where I am right now in Pandemic Times.

[EDIT: OK I feel super guilty fake-trashing a cat, Ham is handsome devil and we love him! But yeah, follow our cats and not him, lol.)

Jul 072020
 

I know you have all been frantically hitting refresh on my blog, waiting with bated breath for an update on my lost package of Korean cassettes. Well, here’s what’s what;

When I told Henry what the USPS dude (BRANDON) told me on the phone, about how it was allegedly scanned in at the 3100 block of my street (I’m on the 3000 block, come n’ get me), Henry was like, “I bet it was delivered to 31xx because they’ve gotten our stuff before!!” and I was like, “THAT MAKES SENSE, I’LL SEND CHOOCH DOWN THERE” because that’s what children are for, right? I think that’s what my manual said, anyway. Page 87: Send children as go-fers to strange houses in exchange for packages?

Chooch grudgingly did as he was told (he was going to walk down there in just socks but like a TRUE MUM I was like, “Boy, putcher shoes on lest you step on some needles or whatnot, shit son use your fucking noggin, this is Brookline not Green Gables. I didn’t send you to a mediocre city school for nuthin’!”

He was gone for a reasonable amount of time, just long enough for me  to forget about him, but not long enough for Henry to be like, “Wait….where’d what’s-his-face go?”

I saw him running up the sidewalk, empty-handed, so I already knew I was going to hate what he had to say.

“No one was home,” he panted. “In fact, I don’t even think anyone lives in that house. It’s that weird yellow one.” And then he named the people who used to live there, like I actually know anyone who lives on this street. Bitch, please.

The next day, Henry and I were walking home from GETTING BEER wow we’re trash, when I walked past the yellow house, stopped, and marched right up to the front door. “If no one lives here, can’t I just open the mail box?” I yelled back to Henry, who was waiting on the sidewalk, not wanting to get involved. I was mindlessly knocking on the door at the same time, not expecting anyone to answer, and was just about to lift open the top of the mailbox when Henry nodded toward the side of the house, WHERE SOME MAN HAD EMERGED FROM THE SIDE DOOR.

I walked down the front steps and met him in the yard. He was looking back and forth between Henry and me, with A WILD LOOK IN HIS EYES. Like he KNEW EXACTLY WHY WE WERE THERE. Like he was HOPING I COULDN’T HEAR THE STOLEN TOTO PLAYING FROM HIS DUSTY RADIO SHACK TAPE DECK.

“Hi, you didn’t happen to receive a package meant for xxxx last week, did you?” I asked in my polite SWEETIE PIE voice. That voice usually works, but not on this GUILTY MAN. THIS GUILTY MAN just looked at me through a glaze of SUSPICION and grunted what I suppose was, “No.”

I thanked him and then Henry and I continued along with our BAGS OF BEER like regular ol’ BROOKLINE FOLK, god, I hate that we were actually carrying beer down the street on the 4th of July like fucking trash.

“He was lying,” I hissed to Henry. “That man has my fucking tapes, Henry. I KNOW IT.” Henry was just like, “Whatever, I can’t wait to crack open one of these sissy beers that I let you pick out.”

Later that night, I checked my email right before going to bed. I had an email from the USPS, with the subject “Your USPS Service Request Has Been Resolved!”

OMG DID THEY FIND MY PACKAGE?! I cried, nearly catapulting Henry off his side of the bed.

WELL, THAT’S A NEGATIVE.

I’m so glad that my lost Korean VINTAGE cassettes are going to help them “work toward improvements.”

They sent me a survey yesterday and I was like, “Oh buddy, I will GLADLY fill out this fucker.” In the additional comment section, I made sure to point out that perhaps if my mail carrier wasn’t constantly talking on the phone every time he delivers our mail, perhaps these mistakes wouldn’t happen. Asshole!

I had to give my work-group the sad update this week because they’ve been ON EDGE about this ever since I pulled them into the fold last Thursday. Lauren said she’s sure that BRANDON and SUSPICIOUS GUY probably split the bounty, and Nate said, “I guess ‘free shipping’ doesn’t mean ‘to your house.'” And Glenn was just shocked that there were other bidders in this auction.

Hearing Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, and Toto on the radio is going to have new meaning to me, now. Sigh. (I didn’t include Saga in this because I don’t know who Saga is and I don’t think I have ever even heard them on the radio, which prompted Henry to yell, “OH I’M SURE YOU HAVE” and then he played me a bunch of their songs and I can promise you that my final answer is still no.)