Sep 112017
 

Here is one of those stories that starts out with, “Henry was so mad!” when I’m telling someone in real life, and then it takes 30 minutes to get to the part that made Henry mad.

So a few months ago, maybe the end of May, beginning of June, I was walking down Brookline Boulevard when I noticed that the old BBQ joint had newspaper taped to the windows, with coffee cups and burgers hand-drawn all over. There were also random “P”s drawn on it, and a word bubble that said, “Coming soon.”

I was mildly excited, but really how often do I patronize any Brookline establishments? I figured it was going to be another meat place, because that’s all that seems to ever go into that one spot. BBQ meat. Southern soul meat. Meat meat. Whatever the latest meat trend is.

But then one day as I walking by, I was looking at those “P”s and I thought to myself, “THOSE Ps LOOK FAMILIAR.” It eventually occurred to me that it looked similar to the font used by this sandwich shop in Dormont that Chooch and I like.

“CHOOCH, I THINK PARKER’S IS OPENING A LOCATION ON BROOKLINE BLVD,” I screamed to him as I flung open the front door, all out of breath from my courageous journey home to desperately deliver to him this wild speculation.

Chooch was excited, because we love Parker’s! But we still weren’t sure this was a thing that was happening. I kept stalking them on social media until finally, weeks and weeks after my first Velma-in-an-orange-turtleneck hunch, there was an official announcement on their Facebook page that they were moving to a larger location in Brookline. I love being right! Save me a seat in the Mystery van, yo.

This commenced a summer-long waiting game. The “coming soon” was never replaced with a date, but eventually, two peep holes were made in the newspaper on the windows, into which Chooch and I peered around cupped hands, like two little orphans hungrily ogling a porridge shop.

“You guys are pathetic,” Henry sighed, not giving in to any peeping desires.

“We love Parker’s!” Chooch yelled.

“You wouldn’t understand!” I spat. “You’ve never been there!”

“Well, you two have only been there like three times and act like you’re regulars there,” Henry tried to reason but I saw right this and determined that HE’S JUST JEALOUS. HATERS GON’ HATE. SHAKE IT OFF.

#WhatWouldTSwiftSay

“Twice, actually,” I said, and Henry just threw his arms up to the Heavens and walked away in defeat.

I don’t really know why Chooch and I had only gone to Parker’s twice though, because we really enjoyed our experience there: the sandwiches (with pop culture-friendly names, like the Regina George, Shooter McGavin, Piano Necktie…), the ambiance (group convos galore!), and most importantly: the proprietor, Parker himself. Every time (ALL TWO TIMES) Chooch and I were there, he looped us into the counter conversation and made us feel like we were a part of something.

Being included in the reindeer games is basically all I want out of life, so this made Parker’s extremely appealing to me.

And yet, we only went twice. I think it was mostly because we usually eat out for dinner, and Parker’s is one of those joints that closes early, like at 3pm. And on weekends, if we’re going out for lunch, we’re already out and about in some other area, not in our neighborhood.

Excuses, excuses.

And it’s not like the old Parker’s was so out of the way. It was actually probably the same distance away from our house as the new one is. Brace yourselves for my super high-quality map that I drew today at my desk specifically to illustrate to…someone, I hope…exactly where my house is in relation to each location:

The first time Chooch and I went to Parker’s was Black Friday, 2014, and then a year later with Janna.

Two whole times. But you’d think we ate there so much, they named a grilled cheese after us. Or at the very least that Parker kept my senior picture in his wallet like my favorite waitress from Denny’s did when I was in high school. Oh, Maryann.

I was off two Fridays ago, because that’s the day we left for Chicago (much later in the day than planned, though). I went for a walk that morning and saw some people going into Parker’s! I rubbernecked on my way past and sure enough, the lights were on and there people at some of the tables! Some broad from the deli next door was outside smoking a cigarette.

“Looks like they’re finally open!” she said in the expected husky bray of a Pittsburgh smoker. “I been waiting all summer for this!”

“Did you ever eat there when it was in Dormont?” I asked.

“No, I never even heard of it before!” she coughed.

“It’s so good!” I said, calling on my old telemarketer’s enthusiasm (I was a fucking excelsior telemarketer back in the day). “And the guy who owns it is so nice!”

The broad said she was even more excited to check it out now, and I waited until she was out of earshot to call Henry and giddily tell him this transgression.

“YOU ONLY ATE THERE TWICE!” he yelled.

Sadly, we were gone that whole weekend, and since they close at 3 every day, we didn’t get a chance to check out the new digs until this past weekend. I was SO EXCITED to wake up Sunday morning and walk there.

“Wow, you and Chooch must be so happy to visit your old stomping grounds,” Henry said, tufts of sarcasm unfurling from his flaring nostrils.

I mean, yeah. Yeah, we were.

We were practically skipping, locked arms, with a rainbow underfoot.

We walked in around 9am and I was totally floored by the design of the space. It is DOPE. Exactly the type of place that Brookline needs! I was still in the middle of looking all around and silently saying, “WOOOOOOOOOW” when the man himself, Luke Parker, came out from behind the counter and said to Chooch and me, “Where the hell have you guys been?!”

LOL HENRY WAS SO MAD! All that build-up, acting like we were regulars, and the owner actually remembered us! Henry was like, “HOW. HOW HOW HOW.” Oh my friends, it was so satisfying! He even came over and talked to us (i.e. just me and Chooch) about the trials and tribs of moving to this new spot, adding to the menu, needing to hire more people — it sounds like the first week was a success and they haven’t even had their official grand opening yet, as far as I could tell. I’m so glad for the whole Parker clan!

“You two must have really made an impression,” Henry mumbled.

Somehow, the breakfast sandwich I ordered tasted even better than I remembered: egg whites, avocado, sprouts, tomato and mayo on a whole wheat bagel. Plus a cup of delicious Zeke’s coffee, which I spilled over myself because I didn’t have the lid on right and Henry was all, “Haha, serves you right.” I’d last through approximately one coffee order if I ever got a job as a barista.

I’m excited to frequent this place more often, especially now that it’s in an area where I do most of my walking. Even if I’m just popping in for a cup of coffee. I want this place to succeed so badly. I’m going to bring all my friends here. Who wants to go?

I’d tell you that if you ever stop there for a pop culture sandwich, to tell ’em that Erin & Chooch sent ya, but we’re not on a name-knowing basis there yet.

YET.

I’m not giving up on my grilled cheese namesake dream. My goals are askew.

Sep 102017
 

On Saturday, we had donuts and coffee at some point while in Chicago. I’m not a big donut connoisseur by any stretch, but that might be because Pittsburgh doesn’t really have much to offer in that vein. (Although I still haven’t tried Duck Donuts and that place seems appealing to me.)

(And please don’t say BUT PEACE, LOVE, LITTLE DONUTS because I fucking refuse to support an establishment owned by a homophobic bigot piece of shit. It saddens me how many pieces have seemed to either overlook that or have forgotten. But I never forget!)

I wanted to try Firecakes though because they’re reknown for their donut ice cream sandwiches. Unforch, we stopped here right after eating pizza and I did not have it in me to find room in my stomach next to all that cheese. Ugh. I always have big plans of visiting a city and eating all their trendy food and then end up only eating two meals. 

(Honestly, aside from breakfast in Indiana that morning, the late lunch pizza was only sit-down meal for the day in Chicago.)

If there is anything pistachio on the menu, I will snatch that shit up without a secondary glance. This Sicilian pistachio old-fashioned was a DELIGHT. My donut preference is light and non-messy. Nothing filled. I hate filled donuts! And I’m not big into chocolate-y ones either. I like ones that get most of the flavor from the actual donut dough, and that’s how this one was. Not too sweet, with a gentle, light-handed pistachio nuance. #doucheyYelpreview

I didn’t want to share, but I did because I wanted to try Henry’s which was good but messy and filled. :( It was butterscotch praising, which I almost ordered but now I’m glad I didn’t because that pistachio was everything I wanted in that moment. 

(I just stared dreaming at the photo of it for a couple seconds into the Inappropriate Zone.)

Chooch got a red velvet but I didn’t try his because, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, I think I’m over red velvet. We had a long, good run together though! 

Later that evening, we hit up Goddess and the Baker because it was the only non-Starbucks cafe open at that hour within walking distance. Henry hated  it immediately because he hates coffee and everything about that scene. Chooch was down though because he’s a hot chocolate aficionado. 

I got a pourover and later had major order-remorse when I noticed the specialty drink menu — so many interesting flavored lattes that appealed to me! I’m really into honey, floral, and maple—not all in one latte, but you know…if I wander into a coffee joint that has those options beyond your standard pumpkin spice and caramel, I will happily overlook the pretentious third wave coffee klatch I’m inevitably walking in on. 

(Speaking of, there is a place here in Bloomfield that has an impressive list of housemade floral syrups and maybe I’ll stop there today—YOU DONT KNOW MY SCHEDULE!)

That pourover was delicious though. However, while I was waiting for it, some suspicious guy walked in, came right up to me because why wouldn’t he, and said something like, “Excuse me, miss” and then a bunch of words in a tone entirely too low for me or most normal-eared humans to possibly hear. I panicked because he had a very questionable aura to him so I blurted, “I DONT HAVE ANYTHING IM SORRY” because I assumed that he was asking for money or my pledge to Christ. 

There was a moment of uncertainty where I was braced for a knife in the gut, but then he nodded and walked slowly back out onto the street. 

I kee expecting this sign to say “eat now caffeinate later” and that would just be so fucking wrong. 

Overall, I would go back to both of these places in Chicago (they each have multiple locations, too) and probably would try to save room for a donut ice cream sandwich next time because I have The Regrets. 

Thank you. This has been a coffee and donut intermission. 

Jun 102017
 

I started off the day learning the hard way that you musn’t spray canola oil on a hot pan. If I hadn’t already lost most of my eyebrows during the Great Overplucking of the 90s, today would have been their funeral fo sho. 

I was running around screaming about the injustice of it all, like who is supposed to know that would happen?? when Henry calmly said, “Well, everyone. It says it on the directions.”

“The PAN has directions?!” I cried. 

“No! The can of cooking spray!”

“Srsly? Why does a can of cooking spray need directions? Like, who would read that?” I said indignantly. 

“People like YOU are the reason those directions are there,” Henry sighed. 

(I know you guys: how does Henry “tolerate” me? He must be a “Saint.” “Job is going to shake his hand when he gets to Heaven.” Because our relationship is something he “tolerates” or “puts up with.”)

Honestly though, that flame went up SO HIGH. This is what happens when Henry takes too long waking up and I take breakfast matters into my own hands. :/

It’s all his fault. Just like it was his fault for failing to buy me a bag of coffee for work, creating a MAJOR CRISIS last Friday which culminated in Catherine and I colluding in a dangerous k-cup robbery from Lori’s office which I tried to reason was ok because one time she told me I was welcome to the candy she keeps in the one drawer and her k-cups were one drawer beneath that one, so…And then Catherine was so fraught with guilt that she left a dollar on Lori’s desk. The much anticipated conclusion to this is that Lori returned to work on Wednesday amd Catherine FLEW into her office before Lori even set her purse down, blurting out her confession and waiting to receive penance. There was a tense moment when we weren’t sure if Lori was going to throw a stapler and yelled, “Cash me ousside!” but turns out she had used up all her fucks on games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup finals and had little left in the tank to use on a stolen k-cup. She even gave Catherine her dollar back (had I known, I would have stolen that too!) Then when Todd got to work later that day, he said, “Oh yeah, I’m telling Lori you stole from her” and I was like OMG SHE ALREADY KNOWS! EVERYONE KNOWS! I’M A DIRTY THIEF!

I mean…

Ahem. 

SUBJECT CHANGE. 

Here are some pictures from this day, Saturday, June 10, 2017. 

We moved Chooch’s keyboard out of his bedroom and onto the backporch. Well, let me rephrase that: Henry and I kept saying that’s what we were going to but Chooch is the one who finally did it on his own accord because he was tired of waiting for his parents to finish watching Running Man and take care of him. 

Last night, I walked past him and saw that he had found the music for BigBang’s “Haru Haru” and decided to try and learn it! The coolest part is that he realized one of the notes was off and FIXED IT. He’s really good at playing by ear, which is something he definitely didn’t get from either one of us. 

He played it for Henry and made him guess what it was. Henry knew it was Bigbang right away but not what song because Henry never knows song names except for Ted Nugent ones. 

Early afternoon, we went to Kohl’s so I could buy new jeans and for the first time in years I didn’t have an emotional breakdown in the fitting room, 고맙습니다, Korea!!!!

Anyway, the whole point of mentioning Kohl’s is that there were these two middle-aged women loudly airing their dirty laundry RIGHT NEXT TO THE LAUREN CONRAD SECTION so I had to stand practically butted up against them, enduring their not-even-interesting drama. They were there every time I came back around and at one point I said loudly to Henry that they should take their lame bitch fest out to the parking lot instead of polluting our ears with it, because that’s how I handle conflict with strangers: passive aggressively, with loud immaturity. 

It was honestly the only time I was mad all day though so that’s pretty huge. I’m usually mad MANY times. 


I imprinted on this red leaf banana thing at some nursery we went to today. 

“Who imprints on a banana leaf plant?!” Henry cried. 

Um, me — I literally just said that?!

Henry wouldn’t buy it because it was $80 and that’s like a lot for a plant I guess? I literally do not know the value of a dollar. 


Chooch chose a plant for himself and mused, “I’ll name him A-ha, because I want to take him on.” OK, 80s kid?


Pet cemetery visit:( Chooch and I got really emotional and Henry didn’t know what to do so he just walked away because he doesn’t love animals. 


Obligatory ice cream from Yough Twist down the street from the pet cem. “Ugh I forgot this place has the inferior sprinkles!” I cried with my head back, dramatic damsel I am. 

“What’s wrong with them?” Henry and Chooch asked in tandem. 

“Well in addition to not being properly rainbow, they have a chalky taste,” I snapped because duh, just look at them. 

Beneath the inadequate sprinkled shell sat a perfect black raspberry & vanilla twist though, so once I hate-ate the sprinkles, I was good to go. 

Henry and Chooch also had ice cream, blah blah blah. 

Drew is like, “No really, you can trust me. I’m just gonna sit on them and help them grow.” 🙄


But seriously, these little propagations are coming along swimmingly in spite of PENELOPE digging them up once a week. 


Henry made me a snack plate with pineapple, kimchi, and pickled daikon – it was so refreshing. So refreshing that I went back for more pineapple which I then left out on the kitchen counter.  

“You left the pineapple out,” Henry said when he was visiting the kitchen later on. He sighed and put it away. 

Which is the exact outcome I expected, so why bother putting it away myself?

*******

In other news, G-Dragon’s new music is the most wonderful thing I’ve heard in so long and it made it to #1 on iTunes in 39 countries including the US which is crazy to me because most Americans I know are incredibly narrow-minded & ignorant when it comes to anything that’s not in English. Omg so weird and inferior. 

I still can’t believe I’m going to see him next month! I was thinking about it on the trolley yesterday, trying to imagine how I will react when I first see him, and I started to cry openly in front of people which sadly isn’t the first time that’s happened on the trolley. Dat bi-polar life, y’all.

******

It’s 8’oclock now and Chooch has stains all over my treasured Howard Jones shirt. Should I cry, laugh, or burn down the kitchen for real this time? I JUST DONT KNOW. GOODBYE. 

Jun 072017
 

I can’t believe how good this oatmeal tastes,” I said enthusiastically yesterday at work. 

“Ooh, what did you put in it?” Lauren asked. 

“Nothing,” I shrugged. “I just followed the directions on the box for the first time.”

****

OK, let’s back up.

Typically I eat cream of wheat or oatmeal everyday for lunch at work because it’s instant gratification and I can barely handle much else, other than slopping some fruit salad (pre-made by Henry) into a tupperware thing and praying that it doesn’t leak in my bag on the way to work.

If I’m feeling particularly whimsical, I will add some sprinkles to it. If Gayle has honey at work, I might add that too. Usually I have a bruised banana that will find its way into the hot slop, too.

I always tell Henry when it’s time to buy me more instant cereal for work, but sometimes — this is going to be hard to fathom for some so make sure you swallow first if you’re eating or drinking — I will go to CVS during my lunch break and buy it myself.

I KNOW.

ME!

I CAN DO THAT!

Recently, something crazy was going on with me and I tagged along with Henry to the boring grocery store (as opposed to the magical Asian markets, which I happily visit every weekend). I knew that I needed to restock on my work lunch stash, so I bought kids oatmeal (complete with dinosaur eggs, thank you) and some healthy oatmeal thing that had flax seed and whatever in it.

Turns out, that healthy oatmeal is a kind that I’ve bought before and I HATE IT! It turns out so watery, basically just warm cloudy water with grain things floating in it. Disgusting! Two days in a row I suffered through this sad-sack lunch, complaining about it at length to Glenn who had the Don’t Care glaze over his eyes, until something occurred to me yesterday.

“Maybe I should try to make it the way the box says to make it,” I said mostly to myself, reading the directions at my desk.

“Well, how have you been making it?” Glenn asked hesitantly, probably wishing he could recall his question.

NO TAKE-BACKS.

“Well, I dump it into my mug and then fill it up with the hot water from the spout on the coffee maker,” I said. “But then it just stays watery! Nothing happens!”

“Oh my god,” Glenn mumbled, and I couldn’t tell if that meant he was shocked my method didn’t work, or if he had just looked at a really great picture of G-Dragon.

So in the kitchen, I followed directions. I dumped the oatmeal into my cup. I filled the now-empty paper oatmeal pouch up to the line with water (not from the hot water thingie though – I’m not that dumb, you guys! Plus there is a warning sticker on it). Then I poured it over top the oatmeal and baked it in the microwave for two minutes.

And it exploded like a fucking 5th grader’s volcano science project. I had to take the glass thingie out of the microwave and clean it, ugh! Aaron walked by when this was happening and I sheepishly said, “I made a mess…”

“Is that your banana tea?” he asked, because one time he saw me cutting up a banana in the kitchen (with a plastic knife, don’t worry) and putting it in my coffee cup and then for the next year, he secretly thought I was literally adding bananas to my tea and expressed his concern (and disgust, probably) to Jeannie, who later told me about it and we had a great laugh.

Ugh, yes it’s my banana tea.

After I cleaned up the mess (burning my hand in the process), I took the remnants back to my desk and was amazed at how wonderful it tasted!

Glenn said I should have taken it out of the microwave every 30 seconds to stir it.

“Well, how would I know to do that if it doesn’t say on the box?” I cried, and he went back to trolling comment sections on fake news sites.

Later, I struggled to get the burnt oatmeal off my Goonies mug and considered just throwing it out and getting a new one, but then Gayle was like, “Just soak it….?” and hello, I know about that dish-washing secret, but the oatmeal was caked to the OUTSIDE of the cup too. I ended up just scrubbing it really hard and now my wrist hurts and I need to blame someone for this but I haven’t decided who yet. Probably Henry for not training me to be a grown-up, which by the way, he threatened to do over the weekend “in case something happens.” Something happens? Like he grows a pair and leaves?! Monica said she always just assumed Chooch and I would just move into Chez Chronica if that happens, kind of like she and Chris are our godparents.

I still should just get a new mug though. A G-Dragon one!

****

Today, I remembered Glenn’s sage cooking advice and stalked the microwave, stopping it every thirty seconds and giving the oatmeal a good stir.

With 45 seconds to go, I had a bad feeling. I could sense something wasn’t right, so I stopped it before the timer got to 30 and IT HAD OVERFLOWN AGAIN!!!!

Another day of cleaning the microwave! UGH. Where is Barb when I need her?!

Still though, it’s amazing how wonderful food tastes when you follow directions.

“Did the instructions give you options based on the microwave wattage?” Henry asked me on the way home from work, as we sat in traffic for an hour and he tried to resign from being my chauffeur.

“Huh?” I asked, scrolling through my Spotify kpop playlist.

“Never mind,” Henry sighed.  But then he had the audacity to ask me if I was trying to microwave the oatmeal IN THE POUCH, like I’m so dumb that I didn’t know to dump everything into a cup or bowl first, I AM SO INSULTED.

“It was so weird, it looked like it expanded somehow!” I gushed, as though I was telling the Story of Oatmeal for the very first time, to a bunch of pioneer people sitting on logs around a cauldron.

“That’s because it literally did expand. It absorbed the water, you idiot,” Henry sighed.

WOW. No need for name-calling!

“Anyway, who knew oatmeal needed to be baked. I guess I’m a baker now.”

“You’re not a baker. You cooked it in a microwave.

I’m going to try and bake other things in the microwave this weekend. Baked beans, probably.

May 282017
 

Friday was one of those days where you hate to complain because when the words come out of your mouth, all you can think is “WOW THIS IS PETTY.” But I was stuck in that “wrong side of the bed” mindset and every little thing was under my skin. 

It was raining. I had to walk to the trolley in the rain. Some asshole car splashed me in the face. I was sitting on some yellow stain of ill repute. I got talked over a million times at work until I eventually just went silent for awhile. Everything was annoying. I had a headache that wouldn’t go away even after visiting Gayle’s Pharmacy. My umbrella blew inside out as soon as I went outside for a walk. I was so vicious to Henry on the phone but he took it like a champ because this is his norm. 

Stupid stuff, but sometimes that shit builds up and I can’t just brush it off everyday. Some days I just lack the resolve and gotta let the hate flow. This was that day. 

After work, Henry and I were supposed to meet our friend Jason and his girlfriend at the 68 show at Smiling Moose. They ended up having to cancel earlier in the day, but we still had tickets and a babysitter, so our plans were the same. 

Except that by the end of the work day, I was DONE. My headache was still there. I was hungry. My hair was frizzy from the rain. I forgot to bring a shirt and shoes to change into and I just felt UMCOMFORTABLE. I had no joy left in the tank.

From the moment I got in the car, I started bitching. Henry was calm as ever because he knew the nucleus of this bitchfest was hunger. Feed the girl, save the world. 

Originally, we were going to eat at the Moose before the show, but I knew all day that this wasn’t happening because I forgot to ask earlier in the week if I could leave work early and I knew by the time we got there it would already be packed since it was Friday. 

And I was right. 

FUCK EVERYTHING! LIFE SUCKS!

I mean….now, now Erin. Let’s not be petty. 

So we canvassed Carson St and I haughtily shot down every one of Henry’s suggestions with a flaming arrow of estrogen and hanger – that mix you fuck with only if you want to die. 

Henry kept trying to make me laugh and I was like YOUR JOKES ARE NOT SUPPRESSING MY HUNGER. Maybe put a fucking punchline inside a bowl of bibimbap, dumbass! UGH!!

Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to blow off the show even though at one point I had been genuinely looking forward to it, because I wasn’t sure if a crowd was going to exacerbate my total bitchfaced attitude or what. 

“Let’s just go home!” I yelled and Henry calmly said, “Ok. Whatever you want. I’m just glad to be spending time with you” and then I had to pause to puke in a discarded pizza box because bitch, please. 

Driving out of Southside, Henry suggested we try Onion Maiden, a metal-themed vegan restaurant we had been wanting to try since it opened but then forget about it every time we’re looking for a place to eat. 

You know how it is. 

So we rolled up to Onion Maiden and the dinner rush hadn’t yet hit so at least I didn’t have to be overwhelmed by a crowded restaurant on top of everything else. 

It wasn’t the Korean food that I was craving, but they at least had some Korean-inspired menu items. 


We started with a plate of cashew cheese, chutney, mini baguette, apple slices, and “Killing Yoke” deviled (faux) eggs. That’s what’s up.

Henry shared his order of Graves at Sea with me, and also ordered Coffins (I had a bite and immediately had ordering remorse). I got the Kimmy Gimmler of course because: kimchi. 

It was great but definitely wouldn’t have held up as a dinner entree on its own. Luckily, we had that cheese plate and tots too or I would have been ready to eat my arm an hour later. 

Henry got some vegan donut for dessert and I had the cheesecake special: The New Rose, which had like, rose, beets and hibiscus or something. 

It was good BUT—not as good as the raw cheesecake I had at this one vegan restaurant in Cleveland. I can’t remember the name of it now. Earth Something, probably. 

Props to the punny menu. It lifted my spirits and smothered the fury rising up from my belly. I was in a much better mood after that!

(Zenith is still bae, though.)

Aug 122016
 

We took Henry’s mom to the Grant Bar for dinner on Wednesday, which is down the street from Mr. Small’s and has THE BEST COCONUT CREAM PIE ON EARTH.

I’m not kidding. I’m a coconut cream pie savant, having studied all types of crust, custard, and creamy caps (I prefer a whipped topping over a meringue, for your information). I know a good coconut cream pie. I’ve been disappointed, I’ve been underwhelmed, I’ve been satiated, but rarely have I been WOWED. That old dude at Grant’s knows what’s up. Honestly, I can never even remember how I felt about the actual food every time I’ve left that joint, because it’s the pie that stays on my mind.

THAT FUCKING GOLD MEDAL PIE.

“You’re going to love this place,” Henry said to Judy as we walked in. “Everyone here will be your age.”

And sure enough!

We had a great time at Grant’s except that I hated our waitress. I mean, she wasn’t THE WORST but she was definitely stand-offish and having a rough night and I’m sorry, but if I’m afraid to ask a waitress questions, then what’s the point, why didn’t I just go to a fucking vending machine for dinner.

First of all, I asked for cole slaw in lieu of a potato product for my side, and she MIGHT HAVE TOLD ME at that time that all sandwiches COME with a small side of cole slaw, but instead, she brought me like three servings of cole slaw and I was like, “Oh. OK, wow.” I mean, perhaps I would have asked for cottage cheese instead!

Second of all, I decided after we ordered our food that I wanted some type of beer so that I could calm my nerves because I was going to the show alone and walking into the venue is always the hardest part for me because NO FRIENDS, SO SAD. I didn’t have a drink menu but Henry pointed to a sign on a wall that had some kind of dumb beer special on it so I was like excuse me can I have that and she made a huge deal about needing my ID and then took forever to come back to check it and I was so frustrated because she made me feel like I was abusing my power as a customer by ordering a bottle of beer and I’M SORRY I HAVE SOCIAL ANXIETY AND NEED THIS RIGHT NOW PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME FEEL WORSE.

Third of all, I realized she reminded me of an old boss and that just made it worse.

Meanwhile, Judy was all, “LEMME TRY SOME OF THAT BEER” and took a swig.

28658800690_58dc6d1d9d_c

She wasn’t impressed.

She shrugged and made an “eh” expression and Chooch leaned over and said, “That moment you make the Trump face” and it was PERF.

hipstamaticphoto-492718242.866027

“I was always more of a whiskey and water person,” she said matter-of-factly.

And then we got the last three pieces of coconut cream pie!! Henry had to settle for lemon cream so he acted like a little pussy bitch about it.

I wish you could taste this pie right now. I wish I hadn’t eaten a grilled cheese so I could have had two pieces of pie and Chooch could have gotten apple instead, I don’t give a fuck. I wish that old man pie baker lived in my kitchen cupboard.

Apparently, Judy’s mom made a killer coconut cream, so we all braced ourselves  and waited for her to denounce Grant’s limp-writ

Because I was going to a show, I didn’t get to watch the Olympics with Judy that night and I was pretty sad about that. But we got some swimming action in last night! She kept talking about Linda Lasky and I was like, “WHO IN THE FUCK IS SHE TALKING ABOUT’ so I googled her and all I found was a bunch of basic, non-medaling women. Eventually I realized she was referring to KATIE LEDECKY.

The fuck.

Also, she doesn’t care WHAT color Ryan Lochte’s hair is, because MMM MMM MMM. He’s darling! Also, it’s “Lockie” not Lochte. She was very perplexed when he didn’t medal and kept murmuring, “Lockie, what happened to you?” over and over, and it was so depressing.

Judy’s favorite swimmer is Esther Williams. I hadn’t heard of her and when I looked her up, I realized she is old as fuck—so old she’s dead.

Then it switched to gymnastics and she was filling me in on a lot of the things I had missed during the week. “And there’s Aly and….the black girl.” Oh Judy.

Henry took her home today at work, so I had to watch all the swimming stuff without her so no surprise Phelps got a SILVER. NOTHING FEELS RIGHT!!

I just realized I’ve been watching TV all night on the non-HD channel. I’ve been spending way too much time with Judy.

Mar 212016
 

As opposed to Sunday, when we ate each others’ bitter words and empty threats because welcome to the cuckoo house!

I mean, anyway.

Pictures of ice cream cones from Millie’s kept popping up in my Instagram feed last week, because they were having a grand opening. I decided that it was imperative we go and get some on Saturday because we’re whores for ice cream and god forbid we’re left in the dust. It turns out that Millie’s is in the old space Oh Yeah! used to be, which is kind of funny since it was only a few weeks ago when Chooch and I did a drive-by and saw that something new was moving in there.

The menu is not very extensive, but it’s all homemade and I heard one of the ladies there telling a customer that they only thing that’s not locally sourced is the almond extract that they use to make their waffle cones. So if you’re into that type of thing, Millie’s is the place for you.

I think that’s great, I guess, but all I really care about is one thing: UNUSUAL FLAVORS. And they definitely had a few. I went with one scoop of fig because figs are my spirit fruit; and also a scoop of the sweet ricotta, which was littered with pistachios and cherries. You guys, it was so dreamy.

Chooch really lived large and got one scoop of vanilla and a scoop of chocolate. Slow down, Chooch. Your palate’s getting a little too mature there.

And Henry got a scoop of the spiced rum banana in a bowl even though I tried to coax him into the orange marmalade poppy seed. NO ONE LISTENS TO ME ANYMORE.

Henry forced me into letting him taste the ricotta and he liked it so much that he had to go up and get a scoop for himself. I was unreasonably irritated about that. I guess because my #FOREVERFAT stigma would never allow me to go up for seconds at an ice cream shop!

UGHHHH!!!!!

Meanwhile, Chooch and I had a huge argument on the way home because I casually mentioned that I thought the little dab of marshmallow at the bottom of the waffle cone was a nice touch, and Chooch spat, “There wasn’t any marshmallow in that cone!” And then Henry was all, “It was probably just ice cream” and I said, “OH OK, DRY AND STICKY ICE CREAM?!” and then it was a big fight by this point.

Later that evening, I found THIS:

I WIN, MOTHERFUCKERS.

I’ll definitely go back to Millie’s (sooner rather than later) but I won’t pretend like I don’t miss the weird vibes and one-way window on the bathroom door of Oh Yeah. It’s going to be hard for any ice cream shop to usurp the empty spot they left in my heart. Ugh, that place may have been sorely mismanaged, but their add-ins were ON POINT. And their interior had way more personality than Millie’s, which is your typical, unoriginal bright-lights and candy-colored stripes.

Click that Weekend Picturepalooza thing down there for some Oh Yeah memories….(BONUS: there are also pictures of Marcy on this old blog post!)

Weekend Picturepalooza

To counteract the afternoon ice cream splurge, Henry made me this delightful plate of color for dinner, featuring his SEXUAL SALAD DRESSING!

Usually Henry ladles me plates of browns and beiges so this was a nice change.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, Chooch got some kind of rare baking bug up his ass and hounded Henry all day to let him bake something. Henry found a recipe for sopapilla cheesecake squares that seemed safe enough for a nine-year-old to follow, and if you didn’t already know this about my child, he LOVES sopapillas. Like, I could probably slide a sopapilla under his door on his birthday and do nothing else, and he would probably be happy.

LOL, OK let’s not  get carried away.
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It was actually quite delightful. Henry said that Chooch very competently did most of the baking, and that Henry really only handled the oven part. I’m impressed! I would have quit before Henry had all the ingredients all lined up. One of my friends commented on Facebook about how at least now they know I won’t starve when I’m old and this is a really good part. Stay in the kitchen, son.

In other news, I just did some hip hop tabata workout that I found on YouTube and for the last three minutes I thought there was an alarm going off somewhere in the house but it turns out that’s just the ringing in my ears.

That might be the ice cream alarm.

Feb 182016
 

Henry and I have many recurring arguments, usually over his unwillingness to put the seat down or let touring bands crash at our place.

(He at least picks up his socks now, either that or he just stopped wearing them since I retaliated by throwing away every sock I found of his on the floor, and now he just doesn’t have any left.)

The other night, we live-acted another episode of The Things We Fight About Most: Season 15, Episode “Henry Eats An Orange Again.”

We were standing in the kitchen together, peacefully co-existing, when it happened. The initial SQUIRT SMOOSH SMACK SLURP of his teeth and tongue tag-teaming in a juicy mastication match, wet nectar spraying through the air like a carefully choreographed money shot.

I’ve never felt more uncomfortable around someone eating a piece of fruit; it feels like walking in on your parents fucking. This should be done in private or at least not until others in the house are provided a pair of ear plugs. He sounds like he’s performing oral sex in citrus porn EVERY TIME HE EATS ORANGES. Must be how some of you feel when you hear the word MOIST or OINTMENT, like nails on a chalkboard that’s also being used to administer a pelvic exam on you.

Just imagine his beard glistening with post-coital orange jizz interwoven between those grizzled bristles.

I just can’t stand it.

And every time, it comes as a shock to him, being called out for being the sleaziest Sunkist gourmand this side of the fucking Green Door.

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UGHHHH go fuck yourself with that orange! YOU ALREADY SOUND LIKE YOU ARE.

Feb 142016
 

You know how some people can be together for a decade+ and still want to swathe themselves in sequins and put on matching UNDERGARMENTS for Valentines Day? Henry and I are not that couple. In fact, I can’t remember the last time Henry wore sequins. :( So I don’t even stress over February 14th anymore. Especially after I baked him a cake one year and painted him an adorable ode to our polarizing feelings on music festivals, and he never does anything for me. NOT BITTER. Not even a little bit.

This year, my Valentine is Chooch, and we’re spending it with Never Shout Never at Mr. Small’s.

But then yesterday, Chooch ended up having his own pre-Valentines play date, so Henry was like, “Well, do you want to go to dinner or something?” SUCH ROMANCE!!

I decided that since this was the best he was going to do in the Valentine department, that we should go to Zenith since it’s my favorite and he never wants to go because he has it in his head that it’s a breeding ground for “pale, peaked* vegan hipsters.”

*(Pee-kid, not peeked—don’t get it twisted!)

His exact words. I have rarely encountered this human subset at Zenith, but full disclosure — I’ve never been there for their Sunday brunch so for all I know, that’s when all the vampire-complected Bon Iver fans come out to play, half-decapitated on their infinity scarves.

It’s almost as though I majored in Stereotyping.

We got there sometime after 5 because we’re nearly at earl-bird status, and I was smug to point out that there were only three other tables of patrons there, and none of them were boasting any offensive air of pretension about them.

One Man, Four Cups.

I’m not a big tea-drinker, but one of the things I always have to do at Zenith is order from their extensive tea menu. It’s part of the process! Kara will tell you. She knows. If I had spent half the time studying textbooks as I do that fucking tea menu…well, I’d still be in the same position I’m in now. Never mind. I forgot that I didn’t get far in life because of a different kind of stupidity. Hahahaha. Oh god.

I was torn between the Earl Grey Lavender and Maple Vanilla, so I asked the waitress for her opinion. She got all stressed out and called over to the proprietor, Elaine, for help.

“I don’t do anything lavender,” Elaine brusquely called over, scrunching up her nose. “So yeah, Maple Vanilla.” Elaine is my homegirl so I went with her choice, and it was a smart one because I’m currently chugging my Sunday morning coffee and crying that there’s no maple.

Elaine brought the pot over to our table. “Now, don’t pour this right away,” she said. “I mean it! I tell people all the time that it’s not ready, and then I go back in the kitchen and I can SEE them pouring it! I’m like, it’s gonna taste like crap!” God, I fucking love her.

OMG it’s a salad. You’ve never seen a salad before. Henry had to finish mine because I’m really picky with salads.

“Look at those lamps back there,” Henry casually pointed out, and I gave myself whiplash in my attempt to beat all of the invisible people around us in a race to see it first. Up in the corner, there were two majestic holy lamps dangling like carrots, begging me to buy them.

“YOU HAVE TO ASK HOW MUCH THEY ARE!” I cried, to which Henry responded with his patented “get real” smirk. I mean, why else would he point these out to me if he didn’t secretly desire to furnish our home with them!?

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“I bet they’re $100 a piece,” he quietly guessed, before stabbing the rest of my salad with his fork.

“Well, you could be wrong!” I frantically said. “I thought that our wheelchair was going to be $500 and it was only $40!”

“Why would you think that wheelchair was FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS?” Henry asked in disbelief. Because I’m an idiot, OK? Is that what you want to hear?! The value of the dollar confuses me.

Meanwhile, on Facebook, Kara was 100% encouraging this purchase. It’s a wonder that Henry hasn’t tried to get me to stop being friends with Kara yet. (Jokes: No man controls my life.)

Our waitress reported back that the lamps were $80 for one, $150 for the pair. Henry thanked her and kept shoveling food in his mouth without giving me a definitive answer and I was losing my mind.

I was annoyed that Henry ordered the Moroccan stew, because that’s what I ordered and I wanted him to get the seitan so we could share. He’s so fucking selfish. He apparently didn’t “feel like seitan and asparagus” on this night. At least he ordered a different kind of vegan cake though, so we could share the chocolate blueberry and strawberry almond. Seriously, there are times when I consider stopping by just for tea and cake. Their actual food is always good, but those cakes. Those goddamn cakes.

Maybe I should have my birthday party there this year.

Meanwhile, guess whose puppy-dog eyes won the war of the majestic holy lamps!? I think once I cried, “IT CAN BE THE FIRST FUCKING VALENTINES DAY PRESENT YOU’VE GIVEN ME IN 10 YEARS,” he was overcome with guilt and decided that $80 was a small price to pay for an evening free of me pouting, slamming doors, and breaking glass objects.

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So this guy came out with his ladder and Henry was all upset  because he didn’t want the man to have to do this during dinner hours and kept saying, “I’ll just tell him we can come back for it” but I was like, “You shut your face, he looks very happy to be shoving tables out of the way and untangling wires.”

(He kind of didn’t.)

But I needed to leave with that lamp that night. I had already imprinted with it.

“Where the fuck are we even going to put this?” Henry asked, the regret of pointing the lamps out in the first place rising up in his eyes like mercury in a thermometer.

“In our bedroom, duh.” It’ll be the perfect complement to the crucifix collection I’m starting on the wall behind our bed. Sometimes he just doesn’t think.

Here’s Henry acting like a Big Help by doing nothing more than standing with arms akimbo.

“Now you screwed us all up!” Elaine joked, standing by the kitchen door as Henry walked back to the table with one of the lamps. Now they had to find another lamp for that corner. But that’s what happens when everything in your restaurant is for sale, I guess! Anyway, they said it’s from Woolslayer in Bloomfield, whatever that means.

My favorite part of Zenith has always been the post-meal store perusing. This was way less fun with Henry. He wouldn’t try any of the vintage dresses on for me like Kara does. :(

On again, off again.

I don’t think there has ever been a time I visited Zenith and left without taking a picture in this bathroom.

There were other things that I wanted to buy but Henry had that steely look of DON’T EVEN etched all along his weathered face, so I just figured that I’ll wait for the next time I’m there with Kara.


“You should have bought them both,” I said on the way home, knowing as soon as the words came out of my mouth that it was going to stir the pot in a big way.

“You’re never happy!” Henry cried. “You get one, you want two. If you got two, you’d want three!”

He’s not wrong.

****

I started writing this post last night, but then I was interrupted by an evening of violent vomiting. Henry thinks it was food poisoning since I woke up feeling fine; not food poisoning from Zenith though, because we both ate the same things. “It’s probably whatever you had for lunch,” he suggested with a tinge of accusation in his tone. This is a strong possibility, considering I made my own lunch and god only knows what goes on when I step into a kitchen.

However, what I think actually happened is that I brought something home with that lamp, some type of holy spirit, and it literally was exorcising me last night. Thank you, lamp. I feel less demonic than usual today.

 

Sep 162015
 

While I’m trying to sort through my cluttered, unsophisticated 15-year-old’s diary full of thoughts on all the bands I saw this past weekend, let’s talk instead about the VENDORS.

Music festivals are RUDE. You’ve already spent Heaven’s rent on a ticket (and if it’s more than a one-day festival, plan on eating lots of pb&j for the next month since you just sacrificed  your grocery money) and now there’s all these food vendors and merch tents lining up to take your car payment too.

I mean, unless you do a better job at planning for these things than I do. Which, thankfully, Henry does. He had been saving for months! What a novel idea that I didn’t even consider.

The downside to this is that he had been hoarding actual cash money so that we wouldn’t have to use our debit cards at all that weekend. I say “downside” because that money was in HIS wallet so I had to constantly ask him if I could buy things and I felt like Chooch, begging for every shiny thing.

What a strong, independent woman I am!

I’m so used to going to Warped Tour, where we’re at the mercy of the venue-provided food options. And it’s overpriced bullshit food too, like chicken tenders and nachos that cost $10. A vegetarian’s nightmare. But Riot Fest is a foodtruck Valhalla, and almost every food vendor has vegetarian fare for all of us plant gourmands. I was really sad last year because I felt like I didn’t have time to take advantage of this bevy of meatless options lining the perimeter of Humboldt Park. This year, I vowed to eat a shit ton of foods!

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Aaaaand….I failed to eat a shit ton of foods. I’m sorry, but food < music. All three days, we grabbed something quickly for lunch before hitting the stages, and if there was enough downtime in between bands at some point, I would declare that a second feeding was allowed.

Henry didn’t like this rigid feeding schedule that I put us on, but shit gets real out there in the field, OK? Those food lines get so long after a certain point in the day and that’s time that I just don’t have to waste.

Day One:

As soon as I saw the Dark Matter tent, I was ON IT. I have been smitten with this coffee ever since last year’s Riot Fest, and I occasionally order bags of their coffee online—they’re the reason I drop-kicked my Keurig to the curb and bought a French press. God love them.

Henry handed me some cash and took off for a porta-potty, leaving me to approach the Dark Matter tent with way too much enthusiasm. There is something about Henry’s presence that keeps my exuberance dialed back (I think this is also known as STIFLING), so anytime he leaves me alone, I can get kind of over-the-top.

Like a dog off its leash.

“I LOVE YOUR COFFEE,” I yelled at the guy in lieu of saying of hello. I don’t even know if he is the Dark Matter guy. I don’t think he was expecting to be yelled at in such a positive matter that soon after the gates opened. “I’M FROM PITTSBURGH AND SOMETIMES I FIND MYSELF SITTING AT WORK, DREAMING OF DARK MATTER.”

“Oh wow, that’s really cool!” he said after I finally shut the fuck up. “Here, take some stickers and a pin,” he insisted, pointing to the free shit along the counter. And then, after filling up a cup for me, he said, “Wait right here,” before walking to the back of the tent.

Henry had returned by then and asked me why I was still standing there.

“I don’t know, he told me to wait here,” I shrugged, dreamily sipping my cup of wet happy. And then the Dark Matter guy came back and handed me a free t-shirt!

God, I love Dark Matter.

And I love Riot Fest.

AND I LOVE YOU.

(I didn’t bother giving my nails a fresh painting for Riot Fest. They barely hold up during a regular show, let alone a three day fest.)

Quickly scarfed down a vegan taco from Tica’s Tacos. It was OK. It had a plantain on it and plantains are good. But all I cared about was chewing that shit up quick-like and running to the next stage. Henry ate ribs or something. I’m not sure.

I made a mess of my taco.

I was really excited about Puffs of Doom after Googling them when the Riot Fest food vendors were announced.I was going to get some banana Nutella concoction but at the last minute decided that my mouth was feeling particularly contrary to bananas that evening (I have flip-flopping taste buds) so I yelled “NO GET THE PEACH ONE” to Henry who has to do all of my food ordering because I get anxiety. (I hate decisions!)

I’m OK in actual restaurants though. I just get nervous when there is a line of hungry people behind me waiting to order their food and here I am, being in the way as usual, god forbid.

And there’s another tangent no one cares about.

The peach thing was just OK. I split it with Henry and usually I want to eat all of things for myself. He ended up getting some delicious white chocolate dessert egg roll thing and split that with me and it was much more delightful than my peach puff.

Henry had fries for dinner because it was the shortest line and Faith No More was about to start; I had nothing because in case you missed it, Faith No More was about to start!  Food was the last thing on my feeble mind at that point.

I had a late vending machine feast at the “hotel” – generic chex mix and half of a Snickers. Concert lyfe,  y’all.

Day 2:

Older than Henry!

We got some Connie’s deep dish as soon as we arrived at Douglas Park. I know, I know, it’s no Giordano’s or whatever, but it got the job done.

Later I had Guinness ice cream because I love beer-flavored food but not beer-flavored beer. It was really good. That’s my Yelp review.

Dinner was another hectic scramble because we had a very small window of time and everything was crowded except for that idiotic Puffs of Doom place and some Billy Goat burger stand next door. So I had a savory artichoke puff which I ate so fast because I was in such a hurry to get to Billy Idol’s stage  that I don’t even remember what it tasted like. Spinach artichoke dip inside of a puff pastry, I’m going to wager.

Day 3:

Again, we got there before any of the bands started, so we hit up the Fat Shallot, where Henry got some type of weener and I got a grilled cheese. It wasn’t too fancy, but it got the job done. I don’t know why I was so excited about the food vendors being announced, because I knew that this was going to be a weekend of eating out of necessity and nothing more. To be honest, I probably could have gotten by on protein bars. Goddamn Henry, throwing wrenches in my festival schedule with his annoying habit always having to eat.

We spent a good portion of Sunday afternoon at the two smaller stages because the lineup over there was tight as fuck. Dinky Donuts was in the vicinity, so Henry bought a bag of chili cinnamon ones and they were so moist. MOIST MOIST MOIST.

Warm and moist.

I loved them.

 

We split curry fries later that night while waiting for Snoop Dogg.

I know, we really lived it up.

As far as merch goes, there was so much I wanted! One of my favorite Etsy sellers, Martha Rotten, had a booth there. (Not to burst your bubble, but her name is FRANCENE not Martha.) I was excited to meet her in real life, and we had the most awkward exchange of all time, because ETSY PEOPLE ARE AWKWARD. I should know. I’m one of them.

Anyway, I own one lone Martha Rotten piece:

dollring

I was really trying hard to add to my strange jewelry collection (she has a pewter Last Supper cuff that I had my eyes on) and I think that Henry was actually going to cave and give me money (Weak, Dependent Woman Almost Gets Permission From Big Man, story on page 6) but you know what happened next? I suddenly turned selfless and decided that I would just buy something from her shop at a later date, and instead just bought my KID things because I missed him so much and like my mom before me, I know all about buying a child’s love.

We bought him this cat shirt from Harebrained Designs (they’re partners with Period Panties, lol):

And one of my favorite t-shirt companies of all time, Choonimals, was there again! I’ve been following these guys for years, ever since they first started popping up at Warped Tour. This past summer, they actually partnered with Warped Tour and not only sponsored the two main stages, but also designed the 3D commemorative ticket for 2015. I love their animal designs so much and as usual, it was tough to choose one, and I started to get real gushy at this booth too, like the t-shirt version of Dark Matter coffee. “I GO TO WARPED TOUR EVERY YEAR AND JUST LOVE CHOONIMALS AHHHHHHH” as I shoved my bulging eyeballs back into their sockets. Henry was like, “OK PICK A SHIRT SO WE CAN LEAVE BEFORE THIS MAN CALLS THE COPS.” We ultimately settled on this one for Chooch, which he’s excited to wear for picture day:

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It was cute — he was like Choonimals!! as soon as I pulled it out of my Epitaph bag.

Last year, this artist–-ChuckU—was there and I was drooling over his prints but Henry was like POOR PEOPLE DON’T BUY ART, MOVE ALONG. This year, I finally talked him into buying one of the cat designs for Chooch, who already has the best cat art collection in his room.
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Some of my other favorite vendors were there again too, like Then Now Always (I bought one of their necklaces at Riot Fest last year and every time I wear it, I feel happy) and KoalaCore (the best t-shirts!) but Henry kept reminding me of his blue collar status and also the fact that we’re going to Philly this weekend and we don’t want to sleep in the car, do we? I hate having his gruff voice of reason in my ear CONSTANTLY.

(Don’t even make me calculate all the money he spent on beer, though! But, I guess he had to numb the pain somehow.)

Stheart was there again too and I was straight casing their tent; I think I was alarming them. I just really wanted Henry to buy himself one of their slouch beanies because I like him in beanies but I like him best in SLOUCH beanies because then he looks slightly more my type. He was so close to picking one out but then was like “NOT RIGHT NOW” so I guess I’ll just get him seven of them for Christmas, along with a closetful of fitted flannels, gray jeans, TOMS, a neck tattoo, and The Artist In the Ambulance on vinyl.

***

Today at work, I low-key cried at my desk because my body is nothing more than a giant flesh-chalice of  emo blood and I can’t even go to a club show without collapsing into a melodramatic lump of post-show depression, so how do you think I’m handling the first week after three entire days worth of music? NOT VERY GRACEFULLY.  I will try not to be too ridiculous with my music recap posts. NO PROMISES.

Henry’s response to my “I JUST CRIED AT MY DESK, WAH RIOT FEST” text was “oh erin.” He must have been too tired to type out “honestly.”

I’m very fragile right now. Handle with care.

Aug 232015
 

After a few miles of listening to Chooch jaw off Octavia’s ear about video games and Henry suffering mild road rage, we found a place to park downtown. Octavia put her tour guide hat back on and we began our leisurely walking tour of Savannah. But first, Octavia needed to feed me because even though I had on my SWEET LITTLE ERIN facade, my hunger was quickly reaching Hulk levels.

Octavia suggested Kayak Kafe, knowing that there were vegetarian options. There were so many veg options, in fact, that it was difficult to choose! I eventually went for some sort of vegetable panini thing which came with LATIN SLAW!

On my birthday!

That whole cabbage challenge had me consumed for the entire month of July. There were times I ate coleslaw even when I didn’t even want to eat coleslaw just because it was endlessly funny to me.  I feel like my dumb self-appointed cabbage challenge consumed more than should have. You know how they say that it takes x-number of days to make something a habit? Usually when referring to exercise? Well, after 31 days of forcing myself to reference cabbage in some way, I find myself automatically doing that still, almost at the end of August. So dumb. I’m pretty sure I won my challenge, because no one told me otherwise.  Someone started to call me out on one of my posts and then realized that I dropped a Savoy bomb up in there. SAVOY IS A TYPE OF CABBAGE in case you’re a cabbage dodo. Now you know.

So step off.

(I actually didn’t know this until July, when I spent entirely too  much time Googling “cabbage” and now I know everything in the world there is to know about cabbage, including a recipe for Transylvanian cabbage pie and home remedies for hemorrhoids using raw cabbage leaves. Facts.)

Now that I have you thinking about inflamed anal buttons, here’s a picture of my food!

I ate way too fast, as usual. And Chooch was fancy and ordered lemonade with strawberry pulp in it, which I didn’t see on the menu, so I was jealous. He was so smug about it, too.

During lunch, Octavia brought up THE SERVICE, because she too was in the Air Force! This is important to note because it was the first time Henry smiled in Savannah, when she asked him earnest (as opposed to Erin-style, a/k/a dickheadish) questions about what he did there. He was a crew chief!

“Did I know that!?” I squealed through my laughter.

“Yes,” Henry mumbled.

“No I didn’t! You never told me that!” I was almost choking on this.

“No, I did. A long time ago. You just didn’t care,” he mumbled.

I wonder if Henry ever feels bullied by me.

And then Octavia said, “So your name was on the plane then!” and Henry modestly nodded and I was practically flipping tables at this point.

HIS NAME WAS ON THE PLANE, HAHAHA! Oh my god. I just asked him if it was his full name, middle initial and all, and HE SAID YES. A plane with “Henry. J. Robbins” plastered on it! Oh god, thank you, Octavia, for uncovering this gem buried in Henry’s past!

After lunch, we went to a toy store that looked like my parent’s basement in the 80s. So much nostalgia, and so many “NO!”s to Chooch’s incessant toy-begging.

Finally, it was time for ice cream at Leopold’s, which was why it didn’t matter to me where we at lunch; I have been too fixated on Leopold’s even since Octavia first told me about Savannah’s ice cream parlor.

Here is a picture Octavia took of me not listening to Henry. <3

Octavia got lemon sorbet (or custard?); Henry got rum bisque because Octavia said that was her husband Dustin’s favorite and Henry is a follower; Chooch got something dumb probably; and since lavender wasn’t available, I felt an obligation to tutti frutti, since Leopold’s famously claims to have invented it. I’m not sure I’ve ever had tutti frutti before, and it’s not something I would typically order, but I really liked it! It was like a (good) fruit cake in ice cream form.

I liked Henry’s better though. :( DON’T I ALWAYS.

Here’s a picture of Chooch stealing another friend from me. Ugh. Anyway, Octavia is adorable!

One of the things I really appreciated about Octavia (and believe me, there are many!) was that she patiently listened to Chooch and I fight over who was going to tell the story of DONNA on the ghost tour, and then endured us racing to finish sentences before the other one tried to hijacked the story, because this is what happens when there is a story to tell and both of us want to be the one to tell it. And not only that, but she was totally on our side about it and started berated Donna along with us, so then “don’t be a Donna” became a thing and now I want to make t-shirts and Henry is like, “No, you mean, now you want ME to make t-shirts” and he hates the ghost tour even more now.

Chooch found a new Frederick. And also never shut up. OMG.

Meanwhile, I know that Henry must have been having an OK time because he was updating his Facebook and he never does that. He checked into Bonaventure and Leopold’s, you guys! I’m a Henry expert, so I know that these were good signs. Plus, we didn’t exchange any clandestine “I hope you fucking die” looks with each other at any point during the day, which is what we normally do when he’s having an awful time and I’m catching his bad vibes.

I guess Henry likes being in the south!

One of the last things we did during our afternoon stroll around Savannah was stop at the Coffee Fox for iced coffee, and Chooch excitedly borrowed my phone so he could take a picture of “boobs”:

I think it’s important to note that both Octavia and I like foxes (her photography business is named Two Fox!) so this somehow managed to make my iced horchata latte taste even better. Foxes are special. This whole day was special. I want to go back!

I took a bunch of pictures with my “real camera,” so I’ll post those separately. Don’t be a Donna.

Sep 192014
 

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The aptly-named “Riot Feast” food vendor list.

When we go to Warped Tour, I usually smuggle in some granola bars because:

1. Food there is exorbitantly-priced

2. There are basically no options for vegetarians. It’s burgers and chicken strips or GTFO.

I was pretty worried about the food sitch at Riot Fest, since we’ve never gone to it before. But apparently, this year’s Riot Fest was the biggest one yet, so I don’t think a lot of people really knew what they were in for it. Which was: food trucks for daaaaays. It was the best of the county fair and local staples all lined up on one street and even the options for vegetarians and vegans were downright staggering. There was so much for even me to eat that I was sad I ran out of time!

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We honestly had no time at all to do any tourist-y things in Chicago (it was literally: get up, stand in line, watch amazing bands for 10 hours, go back to the hotel and crash), so it was really awesome to still get to eat like we were vacationing in the city. And we could see the city skyline from Humboldt Park, so there was that, too.

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Riot Fest didn’t start until 2pm on Friday, so we only ate once that day. Henry had some sickening duck sausage contraption and I had a fucking fat Thai-tofu wrap. This bitch was goddamn rotund, all distended from the gluttonous amounts of tofu and vegetables rammed into that sturdy wrap. It was cold and raining when I got it, and I ate it like a hobo in a snowstorm: double-fisted, jacket sleeves half-covering my hands, hood pulled up over my face, like I hadn’t eaten since that day 6 weeks ago when someone threw a can of anchovies at my forehead. I kept talking about how good it was, but really I’m not sure if I was even able to recognize tastes and flavors at that point of the day, because the weather was so miserable and we were exhausted and overwhelmed by hordes of people. But I sure as fuck felt 1000% better after that was able to quickly go back to dictating which stage we needed to slip-and-slide to through the mud.

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The thought of drinking coffee at Warped Tour makes my belly ache. But last weekend at Riot Fest, the temperature fluctuated between 40-65 degrees. Coffee was welcome. Especially on Friday when it was so cold and wet that I’m not sure it wasn’t actually snowing at one point, but the line for Dark Matter was Cedar Point-levels of long. We actually couldn’t even find where it ended because there were so many people everywhere, that food lines just kind of snaked around in no real order and then disappeared into the masses. So I did my standard JUST FORGET IT!!! foot-stamp and went back to shivering beneath my flimsy, lightly-lined windbreaker. It was OK though, because I hit it up the next day before a line formed and it was delicious. Coffee is such an efficient attitude-adjuster. Henry can attest to that.

The only gripe I have is that Dark Matter apparently teamed up with the band Mastodon to make a limited edition blend that’s aged in bourbon whiskey barrels. Mastodon was playing Friday night, so I feel like this would have been an obvious thing to have available. But I know that I will be ordering a bag online, at least!

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THIS CHEESE, YOU GUYS. THIS CHEESE WAS EVERYTHING. The menu:

Queijio de Coalho Brazilian-style Grilled Cheese on a Stick:
Original w/ black rum maple syrup
Hatch Chile w/ hot pepper jelly
Garlic w/ mojo de ajo
Smoked Bacon w/ pineapple chipotle

The Hatch Chile was my favorite. Also, I liked it better when I thought their name was Drunkow.

Over the course of the weekend, we had each of the top three. Surprisingly, Henry didn’t get the smoked bacon one for himself, unless that’s what he was doing one of the 8298374892759093245 times he slipped away to “pee.”

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Ugh, I wish I was eating this damn stick-cheese right now. I CAN STILL TASTE IT IF I SQUEEZE MY EYES SHUT TIGHT ENOUGH.

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I also buried my face into an arepa on Saturday, which is like a savory corn cake and mozzarella, cooked on a griddle. I miss arepas. I want more arepas. Fuck the pie party, let’s have an arepas affair. (Thank god Pittsburgh’s Conflict Kitchen is focused on Venezuela right now because I’m going to eat the ever-loving shit out of some arepas this weekend.)

At some point on Saturday, I also inhaled a bowl of sweet coconut rice loaded with fresh blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, so I was in a pretty mild mood. (Henry thanks you, food trucks.)

(And this is not to mention all the STRONGBOW I chugged all weekend too. Strongbow is my favorite cider in the whole entire world, and pretty much nothing was going to bring me down with that shit in my system. Not even the $7 Henry had to continually hand over for beverage tickets.)

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On Sunday, I finally grabbed a grilled cheese from the Cheesie’s truck I had my eye on all weekend. I got the only one that didn’t have MEAT on it, the Caprese. A grilled cheese is no longer a grilled cheese once you start desecrating it with meat, I’m sorry. Those sandwiches need to have another name. (No offense to my carnivore bros out there.) It didn’t matter though because my Caprese was wonderful and it came with a small tub of pesto mayo, of which I made sure to scrape clean and I didn’t give a fuck who was looking. Pesto is the shit.

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I also had more stick-cheese, and also a roasted red pepper and goat cheese tamale from Dia De Los Tamales, which was so good that I wish I had ordered more than one. I’m such a food-ordering fuck-up. At some point, we also ordered some baos from Wow Bao (mine was vegetable wheat, Henry’s was who cares) and they too, like everything else lined up in that park, were a mini riot fest for the mouth.

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I think Henry ordered something from Big Pork, but I was way too involved in my own masticating to give his stuffed maw even a glance. I wanted him to get a Chubby Wiener just so I could tell Facebook that Henry was eating a chubby wiener but he “wasn’t in the mood for a hot dog” and I was like “Who said anything about a hot dog?”

Oh and we split a peach and bourbon hand pie from Blue Sky Bakery! I liked it but Henry wasn’t impressed, probably because it cost $4 and was really small. Every time we walked past their cart that weekend, I swear their menu kept growing and I wanted to eat it all. But….bands > food.

Oh, but we didn’t gain a single pound*. I estimated that we probably only sat down for a total of 30 minutes a day (and by “day,” I mean a Riot Fest day, which was approx. 10:30am-10:00pm; Friday was only about 12:30-9:00, though). The rest of the time was all walking, standing, running (for me), bouncing (for me). I found out afterward that it was about a mile’s distance from the Rise Stage to the Rock Stage. Contrary to the map below, there was no way to cut across the park other than following the road along the perimeter.

Which, by the way, didn’t connect into a full circle. All the water was fenced off and the road going through the middle wasn’t accessible. It was also nearly impossible to cut through the grassy areas to get to each stage, because there were ridiculously-placed VIP sections blocked off and as the days on, the population around each stage had become so dense that the only way to cut through was to put your head down and charge. It’s a miracle that Henry and I never became separated. Can you imagine? I would probably still be in Humboldt Park, laying behind a porta-potty in the fetal position.

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I wish I had worn my pedometer, because it would have been interesting to see how many miles we walked each day. Saturday especially had us going from the Rise Stage to the Rock Stage more times than I would have preferred. (And one of those times, I ran most of the way because during Television’s set on the Rise Stage, I realized we were cutting it close for Saosin on the Rock Stage and I needed to BE UP FRONT FOR THAT SHIT.

So, I ran.

Henry did not run. But I was wearing a bright orange Epitaph backpack so he said he knew where I was at all times. Like I’m his child.

Thank god for accidental exercise.

*(There was a funnel cake truck there that probably would have made this statement untrue had I caved and indulged in one. Each one basically had the contents of an entire dessert cart balancing on a bed of funnel cake. AND I SAW BRADLEY SCOTT WALDEN FROM EMAROSA IN LINE FOR ONE ON SATURDAY AND ALMOST HAD A HEART ATTACK!!!!!)

May 212014
 

Plans to go to Cleveland on May 19th had been in the works for several months; basically, as soon as Chiodos announced the dates of their Devils Dance Tour. You guys know that I love Chiodos A LOT but when I saw there was no Pittsburgh date, I likely would have held off and waited for another tour. (Maybe.) BUT! When I saw that not only Hands Like Houses but also Emarosa were supporting them, I was all in. I mean, Emarosa. I’ve waited years for them to rise from the ginger ashes that Jonny Craig left them buried under. But this is blubbering that’s better left for a different blog post. And you know there will be one!

Henry’s oldest son Robbie is also a big Chiodos fan, and we had been fanboying over the new album together on Facebook. So it was no-brainer to bring him along with us. We left early enough on Monday to murder our stomachs at Melt, which is basically a grilled cheese porn shop. You will see grilled cheeses in such greasy, compromising positions at this joint that you’ll be leaving a puddle in your wake.

God, of DROOL! A puddle of drool. What did you sick fucks think I meant?

On the way there, I tried to tag Henry in a post about Jonny Craig’s new band on Facebook, but I forgot that I had unfriended him the night before,.

I love playing games on Facebook. And not the dumb ones like Candy Crush, but the ones that hurt people in real life! Psychological games FTW!

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Gratuitous bathroom photo for Alyson Hell, Queen of Loo Shots.

Meanwhile, Henry had been stalking our friend Jason to see if he wanted to meet up. First, he was sending him direct messages on Twitter, but when that didn’t garner him a response, he started texting him, too.

“Oh my god, stop being so embarrassing!” I cried as we walked into Melt. Jason is super fucking busy and I figured that since all of these bands were in town, he probably had a lot of obligations and interviews to knock out at the Magazine Office. Which is why I wasn’t bugging him. But Henry is just so excited to have a friend in his own age bracket, that he gets a little aggressive. Plus, Jason likes bottled beverages so sometimes they talk about that, which is weird, but that’s what I get for being in a domestic partnership with a Faygo warehouse manager. People talk to him about beverage.

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Wondering why Jason doesn’t love him as much as he loves Jason. My friend Kate referred to Henry as the Patron Saint of Frowning the other day and now I want to make screen prints of it.

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Puppy Kisses, party of 3.

There was a short wait for a table since it was prime lunch time hours, and I busied myself by ogling one of the waitresses who only had a stump of a left arm and still managed to bustle with the best of them. I was thoroughly impressed. But then I was afraid she was going to think I was being rude so I tried to not ever look at her again. Awkward.

I was excited though because for some reason I recently referenced the Jesus Lizard and Henry didn’t get my joke because he had never heard of them, and there happened to be a framed Jesus Lizard poster on the wall. I jabbed Henry in the gut and said, “LOOK!” but he was like, “Ok?” and acted like he didn’t care which is what he always does when I know more than he does.

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We were seated in one of those tables where one side has a chair and the other side is one long wooden bench, but the way our corner table was set up, the bench curved at the end so a third person could squeeze into a two-person table. I sat down first so Henry was stuck sitting in the awkward bench-corner and proceeded to whine about it because that’s what bitches do.

“It’s like, sharp sitting here. No really, it’s sharp and it hurts my leg!” Henry cried when I told him to pipe down, we’re in public. “I don’t know how I’m going to be able to eat once the food gets here. Where are they going to put my food?” I patted the corner of the table in front of him. It wasn’t that hard to figure out. “Move down some,” he pleaded with me. So I did but then I immediately moved right back because I only care about myself.

For the last several weeks, I had my eyes on the May special, The Sanchez, which is basically an enchilada inside a grilled cheese. This sounds like it would have a horrific impact on my already thunderous thighs, but WHEN IN CLEVELAND, am I right?

Ugh, but then the Ghosts of Upset Stomachs Past held a summit and encouraged me to go a different route so that I wouldn’t spend most of the show in the bathroom.

So I ordered the Big Popper, which is literally a jalapeno popper between fat-assed slices of Texas toast, DEEP FRIED, covered with powdered sugar and served with a mixed berry dipping sauce. Yeah, that makes sense, Erin. Your stomach thanks you.

All the best parts of the county fair stuffed into one XXXXXL carb-pocket. Only thing missing was a ride on the Zipper. Although, the zipper on my jeans was probably in danger of going on a ride once I was done eating.

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I actually missed the shout out on the menu about it being deep fried. Maybe that would have deterred me, because I was trying to be gentle on my stomach, but that’s a ridiculous statement to even make if you’re dining at Melt in the first place. I mean, go drink some chicken noodle soup if you’re trying to knit yourself a gastrointestinal Snuggie. Because I guarantee you won’t be feeling digestively sound ten minutes into a Melt meal.

Henry and Robbie ordered something with meat in it.

I managed to eat a third of my Big Popper. ONE THIRD and my waistline was already engorged. Belly, distended. Forehead, sweaty. The fact that they even serve this shit with fries is hilarious. Oh, you want to know how it tasted? Fucking divine, you guys. All those flavors somehow beat the odds, celebrated their diversity and united to form one cohesive taste unit on a plate. It was like a sweet and savory Pride Parade in my mouth.

Meanwhile, Henry begged the waiter for sugar and also for permission to move the now-empty table next to us over so that he could move out from the corner.

“I have to check and make sure this table isn’t on the waiting list,” he said with hesitation.

“Well, we do have another person joining us, so we’re going to need the extra seat anyway,” Henry said haughtily and I was SO EMBARRASSED because our waiter was cool and now he was going to think Henry had an imaginary friend, because who waits until they’re halfway through eating to be all, “Oh yeah, and we’re actually going to have FOUR in our party”?

Ugh, Henry is the worst when we’re in restaurants. I said that out loud and he huffed, “Oh really? Me asking for more room is worse than all of the times we’ve had to LEAVE RESTAURANTS after sitting down because of YOU?”

I’m sorry, but sometimes I just get sinking feelings and need to leave immediately!

Anyway, Henry got his stupid second table and was able to free his ass from his woefully tight bench compartment. At least we got to quit hearing him bitch about it.

And then miraculously, Jason showed up for a quick visit so the fourth seat wasn’t all for naught after all, and believe me, Henry made sure to be all INYERFACE about it too. And he wonders why I unfriended him!

We hadn’t seen Jason since the Never Shout Never show last December (the one in which he made all of Chooch’s dreams come true!) so it was good to catch up and get some scene chatter in. Music is my favorite topic of all time, so Jason makes a pretty good (OK, fucking fantastic) conversational team mate. OF COURSE Jonny Craig came up, which made Jason (and Henry) groan, but that makes it even more fun for me!

Jason had to get back to work and we desperately needed to walk off our lunch, so after puking a little bit when the waiter asked us if we wanted dessert, Henry paid the bill and then took us on an accidental tour of the ghetto, which was actually pretty exciting.

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With nothing else to do (this is what happens when I leave shit up to Henry; he wanted to leave sooooo early to get there but then had nothing besides Melt lined up for us to do! What a cock!), we headed downtown and killed time by walking through some of the arcades near the House of Blues. Really, all I wanted to do was go to Collossal Cupcakes, but Henry was all, “No, we must walk through the entire arcade and look at all of the closed shops and gag on the stench of curry and feet.” So that is what we did and the only good thing is that when we were on our way into another arcade, ONE OF THE GUYS FROM HANDS LIKE HOUSES WAS WALKING OUT AND HELD THE DOOR OPEN FOR US! So then I was like OMG OMG OMG OMG and Henry was like, “Who cares” and Robbie was like, “Ok.” And then every two minutes I was like, “Remember when…!!!”

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Collossal Cupcakes ended up being a collossal waste, but at least Robbie got to bond with cupcake dispenser about their shared dislike of sweets.

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It was worth it at least to make them sit in princess-y seats.

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Henry and I shared a snickerdoodle cupcake and while he complained about it being that type of frosting he hates, motherfucker still ended up eating three fourths of it himself. Fuck him.

Remember when one of the guys from Hands Like Houses held the door open for us? THAT WAS SO NICE OF HIM.

And then some douchebag came in to get a cupcake milkshake for his girlfriend, who for some refused to come in and waited outside on the sidewalk, while TOTALLY flirting with the cupcake worker girl who clearly had already imprinted with Robbie over their mutual adversity to dessert.

Now I want a fucking cupcake milkshake.

May 202014
 

What a clunker of a title. Let me explain: I had dinner plans at Ten Penny last Saturday night with Wendy, Kaitlin, Barb and Mary. Ten Penny is downtown, and since I accidentally walked past it one day last week, I was pretty excited at the prospect of taking the trolley downtown of my own volition and walking to the restaurant like a big girl. I think Henry was bracing himself for me to change my mind, but really, taking the trolley downtown at this point in the game makes me way less anxious than the thought of driving down there and finding somewhere to park, OMG no.

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I walked past Wiener World and knew I was going the right direction, yay landmarks!
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Of course I was early, so I wandered around (making sure I stayed close so that I wouldn’t get lost!). When I was on my way back to Ten Penny, I saw two women across the street, waving.

“I don’t recognize these women, but surely it’s some combination of Wendy, Barb*, Kaitlin and Mary,” I thought to myself. So I waved back.

They waved more exuberantly and then began jumping too. So I waved back more exuberantly and did a little awkward jump, because YAY FRIENDS!

They were waving to the bitch next to me. Also, they were strangers. I really need to get my eyes rechecked.

*(Barb ended up not being able to make it. Probably because she didn’t want to see me, ugh!!)

Luckily, I crossed the street and ran into Wendy, so I felt like less of a lost sheep. Thank you, Shepherd Wendy.

We went inside to claim our table and wait for Kaitlin and Mary, and I told Wendy of my newfound independence and bravery.

“I even took a DIFFERENT EXIT when I got off the trolley,” I confided. What a weird little phase I’m going through.

Here is where Wendy nearly choked on her water from laughing so hard. “I’m sorry, but you just sounded so earnest, you fool!” And then she wanted me to say it again so she could record it.

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WHATEVER, WENDY. We were soon joined by the rest of our party and commenced the ordering of cocktails, which was hands down the best part of the night for me because I love fancy cocktails so much. Too bad that bartending “degree” didn’t get me very far.

I already knew that I wanted a Stormy Morning, because I always have to look at menus online before going somewhere, whether I’ve been there before or not, because I like to know what I’m walking into. This is how I knew that Ten Penny is a vegetarian’s nightmare. Almost everything was meat, and even the things that were just vegetables or potatoes had gratuitous bacon incorporated in an assortment of creative ways, like the brussels sprouts were capped with candied bacon and the truffle fries came with bacon aioli. (I love aioli so I almost cried about that.)

ANYWAY! Back to the cocktails. I knew before I even left the house that I would be glugging on a glass of the Stormy Morning, which consisted of St. Germaine (yes, please), Creme de Violette (oh shit) and a blanc de blanc. I would have been fine with a barrel of that heavenly secretion and a bread basket. I can never get enough bread.

Dumb Wendy ordered the Stormy Morning before me but only after she found out I was going to order it, so I made sure the waitress knew it was my idea first.

“She’s one of those,” Wendy sighed to the waitress, in a time that made it sound like she was referring to a mangy disease.

But as it were, we were there for dinner, so I had to order actual food. The only veg entree option was a pasta primavera and I can’t tell you how far away from the pasta tip I was that night. So I wound up getting the wild mushroom flatbread, which was fine but not anything that Henry couldn’t have made me. But whatever, I was happy with my dranks, y’all.

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For dessert, we all split the S’mores, only because we wanted to fuck around with the novelty of melting shit over a mini-stove thing. That was pretty fun for a second, but the S’mores themselves were only so-so.

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Marshmallow poops.

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Then Wendy made us have our picture taken.20140520-110413.jpg

Overall, I would go back to Ten Penny the next time I want to more than I would at a dive bar to drink myself stupid. But unless I was going for lunch (GRILLED CHEESE & TOMATO BISQUE: ’nuff said), or suddenly start masticating flesh again, I probably won’t give their dinner menu another shot. Unless Wendy tells me to. Because she basically plans my weekends for me now.

Mediocre food or not, the whole point was to spend time with three of my favorite broads, and that part of the night was five stars, you guys. Go tell Yelp.

And then it was around 11:30 by the time we left and sorry, but ain’t no way, no how this bitch is riding the trolley home at 11:30 in the PM, so I texted my chariot. An irritated Henry arrived about 10 minutes later.

So much for independence.

 

Apr 032014
 

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I briefly mentioned last week that my friends Kevin and Lizzy sent me a box of fruit from Miami and I went into fruitiac arrest right there at my dining room table. It was actually the first time I used #blessed without an iota of facetiousness.

Literally every single fruit in that box was something that had never once graced my filthy lips. And I knew this because I didn’t recognize anything. Thank god they packed along a brochure from the fruit stand Robert Is Here, which is now my favorite place ever and I can’t wait to go to Florida.

Of course, Henry was in a “rush” to get back to work (I just like to put random words in quotes, OK? It makes my finger tattoos tingle) so he claimed he didn’t have time to cut anything for me. Luckily, one of those small beige balls was slightly ajar, so I swept it away into the kitchen and started ripping it open with my bare hands, until Henry finally sighed and confiscated it. He cut the rest with a knife and packed it away into one of my plastic fruitainers (a container for fruit, duh) like a good father getting his child’s school lunch ready.

According to my brochure, what I had so savagely opened in the style of caveperson was a sapodilla and I rejoiced because Kevin is always BRAGGING on Facebook about how he’s sucking back sapodilla MILKSHAKES, no big deal, and I get all jealous because what is a sapodilla, I have no idea but I want it.

The description in the brochure says that a sapodilla tastes like a pear with brown sugar. I am here to confirm that it tastes like a pear with brown sugar, how is that possible?! It was also a little bit reminiscent of root beer candy, HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!? The texture itself is a little bit grainy, definitely pear-like. I wish I had some in my mouth right now. (I wouldn’t share this with anyone, FYI.)

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In my haste to devour all of the sapodillas, I never got around to ramming my phone up into their grills, so please enjoy a stock photo that I procured from the Internet. I can’t wait until Henry plants sapodilla seeds in our tropical climate backyard biodome that he doesn’t know I’ve enrolled him in college to learn to build. And then he can peruse his beloved Pinterest for candied sapodilla and Kevin & Lizzy’s sapodilla milk shakes and sapodilla-on-the-cob and sapodilla lampshades. Sapodilla moustache rides?

Sapodilla chevron mason jars suspended from sapodilla pallets! Don’t forget to put a motherfucking bird on it.

Get on that, Henry.

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When I came home from work that night, I made Henry cut another fruit for me, the lone yellow guy up there. At first, I was confusing it for the mamey sapote because I am apparently dumb at matching. (Never mind the other day when I bragged about being excelsior at it; just call me Mary.)

(Because I’m contrary. God, go read a fucking nursery rhyme once in awhile.)

OK, so how can I describe this fruit to you without grossing you out….it’s like sticking a spoon in a yeasty vagi—OK WRONG, WRONG. Let me try again. The texture is custard-like and squash-y, not your typical pulp-y fruit innards. Do not be afraid of it. There is no squirting of juices to ruin your clothes (I know I’m not the only one that winds up walking around with fruit-jizz splotches on my shirts after wrestling with an orange). It’s soft and velvety, and even though it stinks of raw pumpkin, once you move past that, it is the most gentle sensation upon your buds, and I liked to imagine that when Robert Smith wrote the line “the strangest twist upon your lips” it was while watching some broad slowly masticate the shit out of a canistel, which is what this fruit is, and not a mamey sapote. Now that I’ve made you read 18 sentences wondering WTF fruit this is. I write good, y’all.

The flavor of the canistel isn’t in-your-face sweet like fruits that you average Americans are accustomed to, but it’s more of an egg custard. So there were times that I was spooning it into my maw where I would get a little skeeved out, remembering that I wasn’t eating some kind of exotic cheesecake, but the actual entrails of a fruit right out of its skin. It kind of made me feel like a savage. AND I KIND OF LIKED IT.

It had a very interesting moist:dry ratio and made me think fondly of Thanksgiving because now I want this shit in a pie shell.

Texture Freaks: This one might just tickle your gag reflex.

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Next up was the weird eggplant ball and the oblong cactus-thing. I determined these to be a star apple and guanabana, respectively. Coincidentally, my friend Eve had just recommended the guanabana to me a few weeks ago! I like having fruit friends. I mean, literal humans that also enjoy the sweet spoils of nature, not actually friends that are made of fruit.

(Although in 9th grade, I did have a friend that was an orange. His name was Marcus Aurelius and my asshole mom threw him away because he was starting to rot.)

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Henry blew out a harried sigh when I shouted, “WAIT! I need to take a picture” right as he was about to start hacking away at the star apple with that big knife in the background. (Don’t tell Henry, but sometimes, even though I’m not supposed to be handling sharp objects, I carry that knife with me around the house because I watch way too much shows like The Following and read too many home invasion news reports and yeah, I’ll probably wind up accidentally slicing through my femoral artery and then Henry will come home to find Marcy lapping up the pooling blood around my dead body. And then she probably will live forever after that.)

(Don’t be a bitch, Marcy.)

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I know, this inside of the guanabana is pretty gross; all glazed-over and white like the inside of an earthworm. (I think? It’s been awhile since that day I vomited in high school Biology.) It’s impossible to do anything with either of the above two fruit other than just spoon it into a bowl and go for it. Nicer boyfriends may have picked the seeds out first, but Henry told me to just spit them out. :(

He put both fruits together in a container, and by the time I was ready to eat it at work, they had kind of melded together into one gross lump of mash. Visually unappetizing (if I posted a photo of what it looks like right now on my desk at work, it would be the worst promotion ever), but each was delicious in its own right. Let’s talk about that.

The description of the guanabana says it tastes like pineapple cotton candy. How can this be possible, I do not know, but it’s pretty accurate. The pulp was firmer and wetter than the canistel, and reminded me of the cherimoya. Perhaps they are cousins. The guanabana had a mild tropical bite to it, not unlike that of the pineapple, but much less tangy and juicy. And it’s true: the lingering flavor at the back of my throat reminded me of cotton candy! (However, I can’t say that I would have naturally picked up on that on my own. Reading the description beforehand might have swayed my opinion—-like when Henry watches Fox News.)

I really expected this white piece of mangled flesh to be the winner here, but the star apple (or caimito, if you’re trying to be fancy) blew me away.

My favorite cake at Bethel Bakery is this almond majesty full of the softest raspberry buttercream frosting that I have ever suckled. It’s so regal-tasting that I always upgrade regular old birthday cakes so that they’re inseminated with raspberry splendor. The star apple—somehow, someway—reminds me of that fucking buttercream. The texture is thick and mostly smooth with a slightly grainy consistency that mocks sugar granules. It has subtle raspberry notes and a gentle saccharine tongue-hug that makes you remember that nature has its own sweetener. And I’m not talking about God’s ejaculate. (OR AM I.)

However, eating either of these fruits probably looks hideous to innocent bystanders. Especially when I’m orally chucking seeds into a spitoon. Today, I mixed in blueberries in an attempt to offset the general visage of eyeball paste and mashed-up road kill kidney. It didn’t work.

20140402-160918.jpgBabe. <3

Aaaaand, typing that while I’m still sitting here eating it was really dumb. This would have been fine a month ago when I was a casual bulimic for a few days.

Yesterday, I attempted to wield my knife-guardian and began hacking into the remaining beige ball in the box. I thought it was another sapodilla, which are soft and Erin-friendly as far as cutting goes. But instead, I made it less than an inch before the knife encountered the hugest pit I’ve ever seen in a fruit. So I had to wait for Henry to come home and finish the job.

In the meantime, I was unable to locate this big-pitted bastard on the brochure so I had the genius idea to EMAIL ROBERT IS HERE. I attached the below picture and made sure to also tell them that sapodillas are the best fruit in the whole universe.

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Within a few minutes, Employee Tracey emailed me back!!

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OMG ME AND ROBERT ARE FRUIT BROS!!! I started screaming and fanning myself, totally fruit fan-girling, while Henry sat there and glared at me in his typical Henry fashion. Sorry you find joy in nothing, old man.

Anyway, the mamey apple tasted like an apricot, indeed. Just more exotic, and more like a dried apricot, even though it didn’t have a dehydrated texture. I let Wendy try a piece and now she’s mad at me for making her like fruit that she won’t be able to get at the grocery store here. Welcome to my world, Wendy. :(

There was one last fruit that Henry cut for me yesterday, and he RUINED IT because it wasn’t ready. (It’s that football-looking thing in the first picture.) The insides were really tough and it kind of looked like a cantolope, and it had the most amazing stench. I kept shoving a piece up Henry’s nose.

“I KNOW! OK! IT SMELLS GOOD!” he kept screaming at me while swatting away my hand. I’m just trying to make moments with him, you know? Memories to include in our never-to-be-written vows.

But he was supposed to wait until the fruit was much softer and the skin was wrinkled, and after that it was supposed to taste like STRAWBERRY PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE because it’s a mamey sapote you guys! It’s what I originally thought the canistel was! Henry’s lucky I didn’t take the knife from him and [withheld so it cannot be used as future evidence].

But don’t worry. I’m now a registered user over at the Robert Was Here website, so: one mamey sapote coming right up!

[A million thank yous to Kevin & Lizzy for broadening my fruit horizons. When we visit—and we will!—, please take me to Robert Is Here so I can get him to autograph my brochure!)