Jun 222020
 

Any other year, I would have pretended like Henry really wanted to ride roller coasters on Father’s Day and then planned some insane weekend road trip that exhausts everyone involved except for me, but you know, things are cray in 2020 so we had to celebrate our amusement park chaperone with caution.

I suggested that we drive an hour away to Greensburg and grab some takeout from Jioio’s Pizza, which, if you’ve had this pizza, you probably know is totally legendary in Western Pennsylvania.

Henry was fine with that, so that is how we spent Father’s Day! It almost felt like we on a roadtrip, you guys! Being in the car for an hour! Stopping at Sheetz! (Except that only Henry went in, and yes, he wore a mask.)

Jioio’s is still takeout only which is fine because we’re still not ready to eat inside restaurants anyway, so we drove to a local park after Henry procured the piping hot pie…

…Henry got a steak hoagie for himself, though, because “it’s Father’s Day and I’ll do what I want” OK, wow, treat yo’self, Papa H!

YOU GUYS. DEM FUCKING BLACK OLIVES. I am a fucking slut for black olives on pizza, you have no idea unless you know me in real life, then you know. There is this one pizza place downtown which is kind of like Subway in that you choose the base of your pizza and then go down the line of toppings, telling the pizza-artist what you want on it because they shove it in the oven, and I am also like, “pass, pass, pass” all the way down the selection of toppings until we get to the black olives and then I’m like, “More. More. More. DON’T BE CHEAP, KEEP ‘EM COMING. JUST COVER THE WHOLE THING WITH OLIVES. NO, I DON’T WANT TO SEE ANYTHING UNDERNEATH IT, I WANT THE ENTIRE PIZZA BLACK.” No one will go there with me anymore.

Anyway, I never heard of Jioio’s before until one of my former co-workers who I miss every day mentioned it because Greensburg is her hometown, so I was like, “Let me try this pizza then” and to my surprise, as a self-proclaimed hard-to-please pizza princess, I understood immediately why this pizza is so hyped. I have never had crust that tastes like Jioio’s before: it’s slightly sweet, with a flaky pastry-like texture, almost like a legit pie crust. And it doesn’t make me feel like shit after I scarf down three pieces in succession.

(OK, that’s not true, but literally anything that’s not a whole food will make me bloated and uncomfortable because I’m such a chronically clean-eater, but this pizza didn’t make me feel like I was attacked internally by Jack the Ripper like most pizza does.)

It’s been way too long since we had Jioio’s! Maybe like 7 years? And fun fact, I can pronounce most any Korean word you put in front of me, but fuck if I can say “Jioio’s.” It comes out like “joyoyoyoyoyoyoyoyoeeeeo” every time and Henry gets so annoyed, yet he always knows exactly what I’m talking about.

I made them do this adorable pose after which Chooch mumbled, “It seems like we’re doing all the things you want to do today” and then he got up and bowed down, calling me Queen Erin, lol.

(See also: Chooch’s Corona Combover; yikes.)

But it was such a nice little pizza picnic in a foreign, sparsely populated park! Sometimes I feel like we’re a solid family, and that was one of those days (until later that afternoon when Henry kept ignoring me and my feelings got hurted.)

I brought the good camera but it was 90 degrees and I didn’t feel like fucking with it so I used my phone to take some Father/Son photos, for which they were oh-so-happy to pose.

I made them walk around the park for a bit so I could digest (I’m big on post-meal digestive walks) and thank god otherwise Henry wouldn’t have had the opportunity to pose in front of this SERVICEMOBILE!

“I WASN’T IN THE ARMY, I WAS IN THE AIR FORCE” is what he was saying when I took this picture, and Chooch was like, “Same thing” which made steam come out of Henry’s ears.

Also, I asked him to jump for his photo and he absolutely refused.

After playing on this really strange playground that had some kind of strange spinny cup which almost made me puke and inspired Chooch to spend the rest of the day Googling commercial playground equipment, I made them sit on these logs and Henry was mumbling about ticks and snakes. Like, just sit on the fucking logs so we can go home, OK?

This is pretty typical – Henry is always trying to point things out which usually results in one of us mocking him or saying, “YEAH I KNOW THAT” or “NO ONE CARES” so I’m not sure why he still tries. Also, this looks totally posed but it wasn’t. I think he was actually trying to point out where the golf ball he had previously thrown at Chooch had landed.

I might frame this one because it’s the perfect portrayal of their relationship.

Overall, it was a nice Father’s Day afternoon, way nicer than Mother’s Day, probably because I planned it as opposed to those two planning fuck-all for Mother’s Day. I mean, I’m not bitter. It’s not like we go through this every year like groundhog day!

*cries*

Never mind, I just reminded myself that I got to devour Jioio’s Pizza so fast that it burnt my mouth and I gave no fucks, and isn’t that what life is all about? No? That’s not in the Bible, or something?

Jun 062020
 

  1. Even though he is a Faygo slinger, he only drinks unsweetened ice tea. (And lately, he has gotten into cold brew but then he dumps half of a thing of creamer in it, so….)
    1. OMG he just took a big swig of tea and said, “Sheetz got their sweet tea back!” I guess it was gone during quarantine but now that our county went back down to green, it’s back. Good to know?
  2. He went through a country phase before he knew me, gross.
  3. He loves kitchen-y stuff so much that he once made me host a Pampered Chef party and it was one of the worst evenings of my life.
  4. He always looks angry in pictures but he is actually a pretty laid-back guy.
  5. Shit, I was going to say what his favorite color is but I can’t remember now. Chooch and I always joke that it’s “poop” or “puke” colors and one day he snapped and screamed at us what his actual favorite color is but all I remember is that it’s one of the ROY G. BIVs. I’ll ask him later, I guess. (He just said, “I don’t have one. I don’t know. Black. Or red or blue. Uh, probably red.” See, I thought it was orange, glad I waited.)
  6. He used to be a paper boy when he was a kid. 
  7. He bought a pair of cowboy boots when he was in THE SERVICE and only wore them once because they hurt his feet.
  8. He was in THE SERVICE.
  9. He loves to white knight.
  10. He hasn’t read a book since the early 2000s when I got him into Harlan Coben; now all he reads is Reddit, Korean subtitles, and the weekly circulars. And I guess recipes count.
  11. He will listen to audio books though, but he says it’s just because it’s a way to spend time with me, AWWWWW.
  12. He’s part Syrian (not Siberian, like Chooch thought, or Serbian like I just almost typed.)
  13. His ult Kpop biases are Cha Eun Woo of Astro and Bae Suzy, formerly of Miss A (she’s an actor now).

ASTRO's Cha Eun Woo Posts Handwritten Letter Of Apology About ...Suzy Bae (Bae Su Ji) (Dengan gambar) | Aktris, Gadis cantik

14. He can fall asleep anywhere, such as Warped Tour or leaning against the wall of Mr. Small’s during a post-hardcore show.
15. He LOVES soft pretzels. OMG 10 minutes after I typed this, he came through the door looking like this:


16. Even though he refuses to eat tofu, he is really great at cooking with it.
17. He used to be an electrician’s apprentice so he knows how to do light-things, which is handy.
18. All of his clothes are black, gray, ugly. Usually they have beverage logos on them too.
19. He insists on trying to fix everything himself even though the last time I check, he’s not a plumber or car mechanic and doesn’t hang drywall for a living, but OK, fix on, Mr. Fix-It.
20. As an avid meat-eater, he actually really enjoys vegan food. He just doesn’t like the stereotypical vegan clientele.
21. He’s never been in jail.
22. He LOVES “The Princess Bride” and “The Princess Diaries.” I am not joking about the second one.
23. He hates when we make up new names for the cats and refuses to call them by their new names.
24. His entire family calls him Joey (his middle name is Joseph).
25. He hates Trump.
26. He refuses to exercise with me because, and I quote, I WALK AROUND A WAREHOUSE ALL DAY LONG, THAT IS ENOUGH EXERCISE.
27. He is great at giving directions, but when it comes to using maps himself, he will undoubtedly fuck it up at least once.
28. He can name any plane model that flies above us.
29. He was a big Days of Our Lives fanboy back in the day and he hard-stanned John Black.
30. He is our private chauffeur and by that I mean when we find an amusement park halfway across the country, he will drive us there (but not without complaint, which is annoying).
31. When Uber and Lyft were still semi-new, he had a brief stint as a Lyft driver but the picture the Lyft manager guy took of him for his profile was so menacing-looking, that women were canceling left and right.
32. He’ll go along with just about anything I want to do even though he acts super put-out about it.
33. His favorite thing to do is sleep.
34. His favorite subject in school was “I don’t know.”
35. He used to play volleyball lol.
36. His favorite cartoon as a kid was Looney Tunes.
37. As he’s outside planting shrubbery and other plants, which is how I learned he also is an expert at landscaping.
38. His favorite thing to do at an amusement park is sit on a bench while we ride a roller coaster.
39. His favorite TV shows are NCIS and Blacklist.
40. He went through a phase where he had long hair and wore bandannas and people assumed it was because he was balding BUT NO, HE JUST LOVED DRESSING UP HIS HEAD.
41. He is a huge procrastinator which makes me have to be a nag.
42. He loves to hide sit on the chair on the back porch and watch HBO.
43. He loves when shit happens outside of our house and he gets to call 911 like a hero.
44. He talks to the cats, but uses his regular voice and refuses to acknowledge that they’re people.
45. He used to smoke trees?!!?
46. His favorite K-drama is a tie between Are You Human Too? and When the Camelia Blooms.

47. He got kicked out of a strip club in Texas when he was in the SERVICE for throwing fifty cents at a stripper.
48. If cole slaw is on the menu, consider it in his mouth.
49. His favorite Korean food is donkkaseu.
50. He used to drive a school bus for three weeks when he was 24 or 25 and quit because he allegedly got another job but it was more likely because the kids were bullying him.
51. I asked him the name of his first girlfriend and he literally couldn’t answer me, he looked like he was thinking himself to death, so I think the answer is that his ex-wife was also his first girlfriend.
52. When I used LiveJournal, the name I used for him was Hoover because he sucks the fun out of everything and before that it was Emily Pringle, because one time he thought I called him Emily and he looks like the guy on the Pringles can.
53. He used to be obsessed with a DIY show called She’s Crafty.
54. He goes to “the store” every single fucking day because it’s his refuge, his sanctuary, his “safe place.” And also because he ALWAYS FORGETS TO GET AT LEAST ONE THING THAT WE PUT ON THE SHOPPING LIST! But honestly, I always picture him in a total zone, pushing the cart down the aisle to the popular soft rock tunes wafting down from the rafters, with a faraway look in his eyes thinking of the life he could have had.
55. When he was in 10th or 11th grade, he got in trouble for punching a hole in the ceiling. I hoped that it was because he was the losing part of a love triangle or was ‘roid-raging after one of those volleyball games, but no. It was just because part of the ceiling was already falling down and he reached up and punched more of it down and got caught by the janitor. Wow. Cool story, Hank-bro. (OH WAIT SHIT, HE JUST TOLD ME, “Oh, and I did get paddled for that too, just so you know. And I had to pay for it.” His grandma was more mad that he got paddled than they fact that he DESTROYED SCHOOL PROPERTY AND HAD TO PAY FOR IT.  Wow, how have I never known this story!?!? He said he doesn’t think his mom knows about it!)

On that note, Happy birthday to our favorite frowner! Thanks for being the best non-husband/housewife/caregiver/project-doer/obsession-enabler. I’ll try to be less demanding today! Go drink some unsweetened ice tea under a tree and dream about your SERVICE days! Just come home in time to make dinner.

Jun 162019
 

The annual arts festival is going on currently in Pittsburgh, but the real art is at my house.

I decided on Friday that maybe it would be a good idea for us to make something for Henry for Father’s Day even though Valentines Day and Mother’s Day have both passed by without so much as the latest Taemin album gifted to me. But, you know, IM NOT PETTY so Henry will still get something born from our sweet side.

I worked late shift from home on Friday, so that was the perfect opportunity to churn out one of my signature backhanded, inside joke-laden gifts for Henry. This year’s theme was CIRCULARS because I’m always throwing them away before Henry has a chance to look at them because in my eyes, they’re junk mail. So then he starts stomping around in a fit when he’s about to leave for Kuhn’s and needs to know what’s on sale but if he’s already going there anyway who cares?!

Of course, that means I had to dig through the garbage for one to use for THE ART.

Gross.

I managed to churn out the actual picture in no time but then my project stalled when I realized we didn’t have any rogue picture frames for me to Mod Podge with the circulars so I called Henry at work and told him he had to stop somewhere and get me one and he was like “OK but why do you need it right now? I’ll be near a Pat Catan’s tomorrow—” and I was like, “BECAUSE I FUCKING NEED IT NOW, NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHY” and apparently this is how he knew we were up to something, especially when he came home from work and Chooch and I ran separate directions with our projects under our shirts.

We’re good at secrets.

Anyway, here’s my finished masterpiece! I surrounded Henry’s mug with things I associate with him, such as Faygo (who doesn’t?!), Ted Nugent, benches at amusement parks, THE SERVICE, getting us lost for HOURS in Gangnam, and of course, the favorite: Chooch’s and my imagined relationship he has with a stripper at Blush named Cheetah Girl.

HENRY HATES THIS SO MUCH. Chooch and I will collapse into flesh-clumps on the floor, laughing and in tears over some dumb insinuation we made about him and “Cheetah Girl” (Chooch named her, btw). It all started because one time Henry was allegedly at the laundromat and Chooch was like, “What if he’s actually at Blush” and a years-long inside joke was born, one that Henry despises but brings the rest of us so much joy!

Friday afternoon, I had to force Chooch to come home from the Teen Center so he could draw a picture of Henry for his piece of artwork, and it actually went way more swimmingly that I imagined — usually any creative project makes us scream our faces off at each other, but this time, he slipped away into his bedroom and

IT IS SO GOOD. His image of Henry just kills me. Anyway, Henry always does this thing where we’re talking to him, about him, and he’ll go, “WHO?” and we’re like, “YOU, you dumb lump! We are literally talking to you about you!” OMG, you have to be there (Janna witnessed it last night!) but this is a Thing that he Does and it is so Frustrating.

LIKE, TRY FOLLOWING ALONG, MAYBE!?

Lol, 69. #MatureArt

Chooch thinks he’s such a bad artist and I want to flick his forehead every time he says that because his style reminds me a lot of the illustrations I see in places like the City Paper and other publications. He doesn’t give himself enough credit!

We couldn’t wait so we ended up giving Henry his presents last night after we came home from our Day Trip with Janna (we survived a day away without Henry!). He was a mixed bag of emotions. I could tell he liked them, but then to Chooch he asked, “What is that sticking out of my ear?” and Chooch went, “Oh yeah, a q-tip” and I almost peed my pants because that is SO ACCURATE. Even Henry was trying not to laugh at that one, but he did point out that he’s not “that hairy.” Wow, why to criticize your son’s art work, Jerk Dad.

Anyway, after “admiring” the pieces for another minute or so, he said, “You guys are assholes.”

YESSSSSSS.

We’re thinking about adding big, bulky chains to them so he can wear them around his neck like medallions.

Happy Father’s Day to the guy who doesn’t drink coffee, wear ties, or play golf so all those basic dad gift ideas don’t work for us.

Jun 062019
 

Henry riding the bench at Waldameer Park.

I know this is like WAY OUT OF CHARACTER for me, but I wanted to take a moment to give good ol’ (like, really ol’) Henry/Papa H/Poor Henry/Henry Warbucks/TGFHenry and if you’re a real old school reader – Hoover, a shout out today on his birthday. I know I drag his name through the dirt on the daily but in reality…well, I’m actually worse, but I do genuinely appreciate the big lug so here are some pictures from the last year that we can use to like, tribute him, or whatever. They all ended up being pictures of him from places that I made him take us, so this makes it extra special haha.

Henry the Meat-Eater Not Eating Meat at a Vegan Restaurant Outside of Toronto

It’s pretty amazing how adaptable Henry is. On the outside, he may look like a lumberjack who keeps a family-pack of Slim Jims in his back pocket, but on the inside, he is considerate of Chooch’s and my plant-based needs and is usually the one who finds vegetarian joints for us to eat at when traveling. He’s not above eating seitan wings in a place that brews their own kombucha, but he’ll probably almost definitely shit-talk the rest of the patrons in the place.

Taking Selfies in One of the Places He Hates More than the DMV – Cafes

Henry, who hates coffee (let it be known), never begrudges me when I start to lose my mind because it’s time for my 4th coffee feeding of the day and I need a hot one in my hand STAT. He hates coffee snobs almost as much as vegans, but it won’t stop him from marching into a pretentious cafe and ordering me something frou-frou with lavender and cardamom.

He buys me tampons with just as much confidence.

That’s a real man.

Henry Taking a Selfie in the Bathroom of a Vegan Dimsum Joint in NYC

Instagram popped off when I posted this Henry mirror-selfie last fall. I should have bought him a new hat for his birthday. Also, I like it when he wears his hat backward but he won’t it like that in public ugh.

He takes us to so many amusement parks and would be perfectly content sitting on a bench eating a soft pretzel while holding our bags, but he always indulges my constant whines for him to ride things. It always makes him sick, but he still does it anyway….

…even when he has to ride alone or with a stranger!

And he stands in lines so we don’t have to!

Also, he makes sure we have necessities, like for instance – toilet paper. One time, before I met Henry, I had this big party and some girl that I wasn’t even friends with but was friends with some girl that I WAS friends and used to fucking invite herself everywhere came out of my bathroom screaming about how I didn’t have any toilet paper so I had to leave my own party and drunkenly stumble down the street to the gas station and buy generic toilet.

Now, I have Henry to do that!

Making Friends in Korea

Henry is the only guy I’ve ever been with who lets me be myself, even if that means suddenly imprinting on the entire country of South Korea and begging him to take me there. He never once scoffs at my interests, no matter how off-the-wall, crazy, or…pricey they may be. He’s not a rich guy but he does what he can to make sure Chooch and I are both happy…

…which is almost ALWAYS at his expense!

Henry with a Manly Map in Busan

Chooch and I would literally be lost without Henry. Anytime I have to drive anywhere on my own, I quickly realize how good I have it with Henry as my chauffeur!

Sad That His Bias Isn’t In this Picture

Henry can name more kpop idols than your dad, probably. I really want him to be the Official Kpop Dad. He knows so much and is always sending me kpop news updates.

I hope that someday, Chooch looks back on his childhood and realizes how lucky he is to have such a good dad who not only takes us on adventures but also makes sure we’re safe and,  you know, fed.

My go-to insult whenever I’m fighting with Henry is, “My Pappap would have hated you!” but in reality, and I think we all know this, my Pappap would have loved him and was probably like, “THANK GOD, NOW I DON’T HAVE TO HAUNT HER” once Henry came into my life.

Anyway, I didn’t get him a cake or even a pepperoni roll, but I have lots of quiet affections in my big dumb heart so I thought maybe this would be a nice little gift for him, admitting that I COUGH COUGHCOUGHlovehimCOUGHCOUGH ugh ow. 

But more importantly, I made my own dinner and I’m letting him take a nap. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BIG GUY!

Nov 232018
 

Look man I was just happy to have some days off work where I didn’t have to trudge to the damn trolley in premature winter temps. Plus, we’re leaving for Tennessee later today (Dollywood!) so I was content having nothing to do on actual Thanksgiving. My mom and I are both pretty meh about the holiday so I don’t mind that she doesn’t want to host anymore.

But then Chooch pulled out his vegetarian cookbook the night before and was all, “Papa*, I’m going to find some recipes for you for tomorrow” and then I was like, “Oh shit. The kid. We should probably do something for the kid.” Lol.

*(What Chooch calls Henry when he’s trying to pretend like we’re like a wholesome family.)

So then Henry was like I GUESS I AM GOING TO THE STORE THEN and set off on Thanksgiving Eve to procure the tofurkey which is usually sold out because he waits too long. I remember way back in the day when we had to drive like 45 minutes to some weird health store to get one because regular grocery stores didn’t sell stuff like that and I got made fun of for eating it but no one bats an eye. Changing times, etc etc.

The first half of the day consisted of Leslie Sansone walking workouts (lol), kdramas but no family drama, watching Henry cook & clean, looking at Kpop idols, freaking out over a mystery bruise on my thumb, and planning all our amusement park trips for 2019. It was splendid! (Not the bruise part though, I’m mildly alarmed by it.)

I was in such a good mood that I even felt inspired to decorate for Christmas:

Chooch was all excited when I told him I decorated and then said, “…oh” when he saw it.

Since there was just the three of us and we’re going away this weekend, Henry kept the spread the simple: a tofurkey for Chooch and me (he made gross chicken for himself because he doesn’t like real turkey), whatever garlicky mashed potato recipe Chooch found, and a completely revamped version of the broccoli rabe & white bean casserole recipe that Chooch also requested, because Henry couldn’t find broccoli rabe at 8pm on Thanksgiving Eve so he used regular broccoli and brussels sprouts instead and it was delicious.

(I don’t even know what broccoli rabe is and I know for damn sure Chooch doesn’t either, so this made no difference to us.)

Henry kept yelling at us from the kitchen to start eating but we were like NO WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR YOUUUUUU IT’S THANKSGIVING.

But it was really because we needed him to plate our Tofurkey.

Oh Lord, we got so giddy right away and Chooch had a Code Red laughing fit which caused him to flee the table in search of a Kleenex, so you know Henry was in a great mood! That combined with the fact that the same NCT 127 song was playing repeatedly in the background really completed the mood. Look at Henry’s delirious face! I think deep down, he’s thankful for us, lunacy and all, even if he sometimes must feel like he’s living in an asylum.

Tofurky looks like a giant hotdog butt.

After dinner, Chooch and I continued our tradition of watching birthday party videos on YouTube (4th year!). We found a whole slew of new million subscriber families to hate! I called the one birthday girl and all her friends “a bunch of bitches” and Chooch was like “Aren’t they like three?!”

OK now for the Friday Five portion, which is FIVE THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR:

  1. Korea (Henry and Chooch rolled their eyes when we went around the table and “gave thanks” and this was of course the first thing I said and whatever because Chooch just kept saying “Bambi” over and over and now that I think about it, I don’t think Henry said ANYTHING!?
  2. Having a job that I like – yeah, I know, I complain about it at times, who doesn’t complain about having to leave the house to go to work?! But when you’ve had jobs that have made you sick to your stomach and have panic attacks while paying you pennies, getting one where you feel comfortable and needed is really something to be thankful for.  Thanks, job!
  3. The willpower to get in shape – when I first started dieting in 2012 I was just about 200 pounds.  I did WW for a bit and got myself down to about 170 but it was a struggle. I had no energy! I was miserable! I can’t remember when I started spending my lunch break hour walking around downtown, but that helped me get my energy back and also kept my weight stable so I wasn’t gaining, but I also wasn’t really losing anything either. Since starting my own routine in 2016, being more mindful of what I eat and when I eat, and keeping up on those lunch break walks (even in the rain, even when I’m sick, even when it’s cold), I’ve managed to get myself down to 145. I never felt “unhealthy” even when I was heavier, but I do FOR SURE feel more “able.” Sure, I still have major body image issues that I need to work on, but baby steps!
  4. Eternal Youth! – I’m going to be 40 next year, I have a shit-ton of gray hairs, but my brain refuses to accept that and still spends most of its time thinking about concerts and amusement parks and Kpop idols. I was talking to Amber about this at work the other day, how I’m trying to fit in a few days in Tokyo during my birthday Korea trip next summer because I want to go to DisneySea and how Henry is like dreaming of the day when we can plan a vacation that doesn’t include an amusement park, and Amber said, “I can’t believe you’re going to be 40. You’re like, ageless, to me.” YES.  I’m thankful that I have managed to maintain that part of myself because goddamn does it make life fun! Except for when you watch so many vlogs about roller coasters and are constantly hearing people talking about the “head chopper” elements and then you go to bed and have a horribly vivid nightmare that you’re watching a movie where some girl is walking down the steps of some Victorian mansion and gets her head lopped off by her dad, completely out of nowhere, but then it turns out to be YOU, you just had YOUR head chopped off, but later in the dream, you realize that your head was put back on, but apparently your ear had also been cut off and that was put back on much more jankily than your head, so it’s all bloody and it BURNS and also it’s not aligned properly with your head and you are FREAKING OUT ABOUT THIS. I mean, that’s just something that might happen.
  5. Henry & Chooch, le duh – Come on, this is a given. I have a guy who is mild-tempered and goes along with all my crazy ideas, he gets totally engrossed in every k-drama with me to the point where he’s mad when I start a new one without him (he’ll still watch it though), he sends me kpop-related texts on Kakao throughout the day (I made him download Kakao awhile back and it’s the only way we text now unless I’m mad at him then I use regular text and he’s like, “wow you must be mad”), he does whatever he can to make my life easier, and well, he’s just the best and I’m glad we’ve lasted together all these years because I can’t imagine many other people who would be like, “Yes, let me completely change the way I cook for you because now you’re on a make-believe Korean diet and sure, let’s go to Party City for new home decor so our house can continue to look like Pee Wee’s Playhouse and OK, let’s talk about going to some random town in the Netherlands so you can spend Easter 2020 at some weird amusement park.” Lol. And then Chooch! I couldn’t ask for a better kid. He is such a mini-Erin that it’s actually scary at times (or, “all times” if you’re Henry). He’s independent and self-motivated when it comes to school (he’s basically a genius but has ZERO COMMON SENSE though, oh my god, he is street-stupid), a mini-politician when it comes to the neighborhood (everyone knows him!), and he is SO ENTERTAINING. Janna was over here on Saturday for Kpop Fitness Night and afterward, he effortlessly had us cracking up just by being him, sitting there making his dumb Rainbow Loom bracelets. No, our life isn’t perfect, and we do all bicker with each other like normal TV families, but we never go to bed mad at each. (EXCEPT FOR LAST NIGHT BECAUSE WE GOT A BUNCH OF CARD ORDERS AND HENRY AND I DO NOT WORK WELL TOGETHER IN THE GREETING CARD FACTORY.)

Anyway, that’s my Thanksgiving 2018 recap and obligatory “thankful” list. I’ll end here with a video of Mini-Erin stalking his nemesis Larry:

ETA: Chooch just woke up and said, “Well, I see the dining room table is back to its old self” and I screamed “WELL, WE HAD 80 MILLION CARDS TO MAKE LAST NIGHT OK, THANKS FOR THE HELP!”

Jun 072018
 

My co-worker Missy was selling fundraiser pepperoni rolls a few weeks ago and normally I’d walk away because what does a vegetarian want with a pepperoni roll, but then I saw that the delivery day was June 6, which is Henry’s birthday, and Henry likes pepperoni rolls.

I know what you’re thinking: WOW ERIN DID SOMETHING SELFLESS FOR ONCE AND BOUGHT HENRY PEPPERONI ROLLS!

And you’d be half-right. I bought Henry 5 pepperoni rolls but it was mostly selfish because it was an easy out and now I would be able to say once again that I did something for his dumb birthday when he does nothing for mine.

I mean, it’s not like I’m keeping score or anything…

Before any celebratory pepperoni roll action took place, though, Henry had to come into Instagram like a wrecking ball. Our friend Alyson was sweet and remembered his birthday, so she posted an old photo of the two of them from one of the times she visited us after Chooch was born. She tagged him in it and I commented that it was going to make his day. The next thing I knew, he was replying to my comment with a bunch of jibberish and I was like, “OMG ARE YOU HAVING A STROKE ON YOUR BIRTHDAY?!” and then after that he left another 20+ comments in quick succession and then texted me, “I just got temporarily banned from Instagram for posting to [sic] fast?” because he didn’t realize he had been butt-commenting, and for some reason, this just seemed so apropos: When Quinquagenarians Are Let Loose on Instagram!

After dinner, I came out with this flaming roll and Henry was all, “OH COME ON” because he “wasn’t hungry” but I was like “WE HAVE TO DO IT FOR THE BOOMERANG.”

All jokes aside though, life has been coming at us hard over the last few weeks so I knew all he would want was a normal, relaxing non-event. And brother, that’s just what he got. Chooch and I were moderately nice to him, he made us an easy dinner, and we started watching a new K-drama that we’ve both been really anticipating, him for the storyline, me for the SEO KANG-JOON:

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I MISSED HIS FACE BIG TIME.

I mean, Henry’s face. I missed it big time while I was at work.

He turned 53 this year and that isn’t really a milestone. Maybe next year Chooch and I will make another list of things we like about him since it will be an even number that we can split, and maybe when he turns 57 we can have a ketchup-themed party. WHO WANTS TO ACCEPT THE KETCHUP CAKE CHALLENGE?!

I think Henry was perfectly content. And like Nate pointed out at work today, I mean I did let him go to Korea with me, so…

Anyway, if you like some more Henry posts, I did a small round-up for one of his past birthdays here, and also here is the list Chooch and I made when he turned the big 5-0, lol.

May 312018
 

Guys. I think Henry would be a great Kpop video reactor and I know he won’t go the YouTube route so I decided to just play him SHINee’s comeback stage and secretly transcribe his candid exclamations. He eventually caught on so I just started to flat out ask him questions which he answered less than enthusiastically.

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“Key did that to his hair?”

“What the fuck is Key wearing? It looks like someone found a bag on the street and cut it up and said ‘here wear this’.”

I don’t know but it probably cost like $6000.

“Is Taemin wearing a jumpsuit and it’s not pulled all the way up? It looks like a jumpsuit from the 70s.”

And then he caught on to what I was doing and stopped saying stuff. :(

“There’s lots of color. But I don’t get it. What am I trying to get?” – This was when I asked him if he liked their comeback concept.

Other things to note:

  • Henry doesn’t have a SHINee bias (it’s probably Taemin but he’s too afraid to admit it because I’m super territorial over my biases.)
  • “Yeah that would probably go over real well,” when I suggested that he dress like Minho the next time he has to make a Faygo delivery at work.
  • “Not Key!” – when I asked him who he thinks is the best dressed.
  • “No,” – when I asked him if he was worried that one of them would fall off a chair.
  • “Yeah,” – when I asked him if he likes the song and this is ALL THAT MATTERS. HENRY IS SHAWOL (non-Kpop-fan translation: SHINee fan).
Jun 062017
 

Today is dear Henry’s birthday. My oppa, my bae, my ride or die, my Papa H, my All Of the Things He Hates Being Called. I am going to try and be extra nice to him all day (which is easy since most of that day we’ll both be at work) and not boss him around (as much — I’m still going to want him to feed me tonight).

I think everyone knows how great Henry is, whether you know him IRL or just from watching me drag his name through mud on here over the years. But it’s still worth the reminder and really, who doesn’t deserve a nice shout-out on their birthday? (OK, there are definitely people who don’t, so no need to answer that. I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE ON ONE PERSON WHO MATCHES THE HUE OF THE PHILADELPHIA FLYERS.)

(That’s ORANGE if you are colorblind.)

Let us pay tribute to the big guy by remembering some of the best frowns from the past year.

The “You Have Your Own Ice Cream, Step Away From Mine” frown.

The “Oh Boy, Riot Fest Again (but secretly loving it)” frown.

The “Resting Frown Face” frown.

The “Posing For a Picture Outside of Another Haunted House I Didn’t Go In” frown.

The “All We Do Is Eat Ice Cream” frown.

The “Nothing Impresses You Once You’ve Been in THE SERVICE” frown.

The ubiquitous “What Are You Up To” father of all frowns.

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And here are some of Henry’s best moments over the years!

OK, that’s enough.

Henry, thank you for keeping Chooch and me safe and alive, and most importantly – spoiled rotten. I can’t imagine any one of my past boyfriends tolerating my obsessions and eye-roll inducing phases and my heart-wrenching imprinting on the entire country of South Korea. But you deal with it with panache and an absurd amount of patience. HOW.

Come on, guys — give it up for Papa H!

Feb 232017
 


If you’ve ever spent any decent amount of time with Henry and me, odds are you have seen him look like this, which I call the Please God, I’ve Cried ‘Uncle’ 87 Times, Take Me Away mode. 

This particular picture was taken in 2003 when Blake & Robbie (then pre-teens!) were in the car and we were screaming at people out the window until henry eventually rolled them up and locked them. :(

It hasn’t gotten any better, 14 years later. Now he’s got me and Chooch screaming like asshole lunatics. 

I love this picture. Anytime I make Henry look like this, where it appears his bandana’d spirit is trying to vacate his body, I consider that a huge success. 

Moments where he may find him in this meditative state:

  • When I decide I don’t like a certain vegetable anymore after he’s bought like, a bushel of it
  • Just now when he tried to take a blanket and I wrapped my legs around it because all I want to do is play games so he gave up and will sleep in the cold 
  • Watching me butter bread
  • During my intense apple phase
  • When Chooch loses another house key
  • When Chooch and I fight over control of Spotify in the car
  • When Chooch and I think we’re talking about people discreetly but….no. 
  • When Chooch and I tag along to the grocery store/Home Depot/the flea market/his work
  • The entire 8 years I obsessed over Jonny Craig
  • Anytime Christina comes back in the picture
  • Every concert ever
  • When Kara sends me some ludicrous auction full of old bumper cars
  • When Kara points out another clown picture I need for my collection and then it comes home with me
  • When Chooch won’t shut the door
Jan 142017
 

Granpatales

I’ve been waiting patiently(ish) for the go-ahead to put this on my blog (yes, sometimes I seek permission, can you imagine!?) but Henry is going to become a grandfather this year!

If anyone actually read my Holiday Hangs blog post last month, I quickly slipped it in there that Henry’s oldest son Robbie and his girlfriend Nikki are expecting twins this March!

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^^^TWINS! My family has zero twins in it so this is super exciting for me even though I’m not actually going to be a real grandma or even step-grandma because Robbie’s dumb dad still hasn’t married me, so just consider me an imaginary grandma. A faux-ma. A dress-up grandma. A cosplay grandma.

An Erinma.

Robbie told me the news when I was at work one day and sorry co-workers, but I basically signed off for the rest of the day because I was too busy looking for baby-sized Chiodos and Dance Gavin Dance shirts. 

But guys, just like the best of the best infomercials….BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!

Back in October, at Demon House to be exact, Blake and Haley told us that THEY TOO ARE EXPECTING!

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They just gave me the OK last night to put this out here on blog because you know how I am with this idiotic blog. I really wanted to write about it though because so many of my friends have watched Blake and Robbie grow up and it’s something that I’m extremely excited about — CHRISTMASES ARE GOING TO BE SO MUCH FUN!!! AND OMG, KENNYWOOD! I’M GOING TO BUY THEM CURE ALBUMS!

Oh yeah, and in case you were wondering, girls are clearly not invited to this family because all three babies are BOYS!

I’ve known Robbie and Blake since they were 10 & 8, respectively, and it’s been so awesome to see the great adults they’ve grown into (OMG I still can’t believe they’re adults….I can’t believe I’M an adult!). I know they’re going to make fantastic dads, and Nikki and Haley are going to rock as moms.  I can’t wait to babysit! And by that, I mean that Henry will do all the hard work / clean-up while I teach them about kpop and Italian horror. I’ll even let them sit on my good wheelchair!

This is just the best. Everything is awesome!

(Henry needs a better name than Grandpa Henry though…open to suggestions!)

Dec 212016
 

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Sometimes (read: all of the time), all Henry wants to do is just relax. And that’s what he was trying to do on Sunday, when he stretched out on the chair and was just about to start scrolling through the nothingness of Pinterest on his phone, when my “HENRY IS TAKING A BREAK—ABORT, ABORT” alarm started sounding off in my head. This is always my cue to go into HIGH DEPENDANCY mode. Usually this entails:

  • jumping on him
  • screaming HENRY for no reason
  • suddenly needing him to go to the store for tampons
  • if he has the audacity to take Relaxing Time upstairs to the bedroom, I will sit downstairs and call him on the phone repeatedly
  • needing him to open a random jar of something
  • abruptly wrenching out of a nap to tell him something about MTV’s The Challenge or that MADDY LIM FROM KPOPX REPLIED TO ME ON INSTAGRAM (<———–this just happened at 12:30am and you better believe I shook the shit out of Henry and instead of just telling him, I made him LOOK AT MY PHONE and he was so scared that someone had died)
    • I wonder if he remembers this happening. I should call him at work to tell him again

But on this occasion, there were some random Christmas decorations strewn about nearby the chair, including a red garland that Lori brought to my holiday party last week which I knew at some point would come in handy, so it became clear that Henry’s sole purpose of laying on the chair was to be decorated.

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Chooch made that Henry elf ornament around 5 years ago.

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Henry would have a better chance being left alone if he parked inside a convention of timeshare salespeople, begging winos, and sex addicts whose type is Mountain Men. Maybe he should he just get a secret apartment. Or go to his mom’s.

Nov 252016
 

So our fridge was slowly dying because why not? ANYTHING GOES IN 2016!   Finally last week, Henry declared, “Ok we need to get a new fridge now before we don’t have one at all” and so he picked one out but I was like THIS IS NOT INTERESTING ENOUGH and then he showed me the prices of INTERESTING FRIDGES and I was like “SO BORING FRIDGE IT IS!”

But by the time Henry finally chose one that he felt confident would fit through the narrow kitchen doorway, it was Saturday and our fridge had officially bit it.  And then when Henry went to hit the big fat ORDER button, our electricity went out and he had to wait for the computer to reboot.

EVERYTHING WAS AGAINST US.

Let me use this space to type out my millionth Thank God For Henry shout-out of the year because if I lived alone, I never would have considered “cubic feet” and if the doors can come off and switch sides so that they don’t slam against the wall when opened. WHO WOULD CONSIDER THESE THINGS?! Henry would. That’s who.

If it were left up to me, there’d be an Erin-shaped hole in my kitchen wall right now and good luck watching TV around the too-big fridge chilling in my living room.

So the fridge was supposed to be delivered Monday night but Best Buy waited until 8pm to leave Henry a voicemail saying that “Oh btw the fridge is out of stock, see ya Saturday!”

WHAT THE FUCK BEST BUY.

Docile Henry called them back the next morning and got them to put us on some priority list but because it was out of stock, the best they could promise was Friday. So let’s just say we’ve been eating lots of noodles and take-out this week.

Uh, good thing we weren’t hosting Thanksgiving up in here! LOLFOREVER. LOLCORNUCOPIA. It would have to be a “bring your own food” event. Like, all of the food. We’ll provide the chair.

*********

After not having a fridge for a week, the delivery guys are finally here setting it up which means Chooch and I are hiding upstairs, giggling like hyenas. Chooch thought they left at one point and went flying down the steps only to run right into one of them, who cheerfully greeted him with a, “What’s up, buddy?”

“Nothing,” Chooch said, before running upstairs where we cracked up together from our hiding spot in my room.

My favorite part was when Henry was outside talking to the delivery guys and Chooch opened my bedroom window and screamed, “YOU’RE NOT MY DAD!”

“I can just picture Henry down there with his hands on his hips, desperately wanting to help them,” I laughed.

“Yeah like, ‘hey man I like your tools—is that an x360 WRENCH?! Did you know I was IN THE SERVICE?!'”

We are fucking dying.  Now Chooch is creeping on the staircase, recording them.

Ok now they’re gone and we came out of hiding. Henry said I should have stayed down here because one of the guys kept talking about HOW MUCH HE LOVES THE ART IN OUR HOUSE.

HELLO THAT IS MY OWN ART HE IS TALKING ABOUT.

View this post on Instagram

Spying on the fridge delivery guy and Henry.

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Yay, now we can go buy food! Lol, I mean yay now Henry can go buy food. And now I can hang my magnets back up!

Oh how I missed the sweet melodic hum of a fridge.


LIVIN’ LARGE, BABY.

Oct 042016
 

People kept wondering on Sunday how many Pie Parties there have been so far, but no one guessed SIX. Which is the answer. Six.

Six!

How has this not gotten old yet?

Commemorative buttons for those who have been to all six!

I’ll be honest though: I didn’t want to have one this year. You know how you get sometimes, all beaten down by life and you’d rather just wallow in your tear-filled pit of despair but then you remember that being around your peeps makes you happy.

Plus, you know: pie.

So much pie!

This year, I decided to have a theme, so I picked “Exotic.” Give people some type of gyrating star to shoot for, you know? And if anyone opted to just bring a supermarket apple pie, they could always give it a stripper name. Like Brandylynne.

Or Candy.

Candy Apple Pie.

OMG.

Of course, I found some pies for Henry to make which involved hard-to-obtain ingredients. He left the house at like 6am on Saturday in his attempt to find some kind of Asian purple sweet potato. God only knows how many parking lots he wept in before finally finding one.

But the other pie called for matcha (I mean, it was a Matcha Cream pie, so….) but he was all, “I REFUSE TO PAY $18 FOR MATCHA WHEN I ONLY NEED THREE TABLESPOONS.”

Wow. Slow your fucking roll, Hank.

I interrupted his pie-baking several times on Saturday because I was being a emotional vampire and needed hugs to stay alive. He acted like he was so put-out by this, but obliged every time. It was funny because he was wearing AN APRON.

Lol, Henry.

And then we got to have pizza for dinner because fuck if he was cooking after spending all day in the kitchen.

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I took this picture before Henry dusted off the sign, which was coated with Trudy (our mannequin/Xmas tree) residue, i.e. green metallic spray paint dust.

After baking, I had Henry make a small pie marquee for the table but he ran of time so we just threw a strand of battery-operated lights on it for the time being. Next year, it’ll be better!

But this is what I mean — having a pie party seems really no-frills and low-stress but then I have to throw in a million elements after I get a “vision” and you know how my “visions” can be: what do you mean you can’t turn this basic park pavilion into a fucking SWISS CHALET BUFFETED BY EDELWEISS, HENRY YOU DICK?!

And speaking of pavilions! There are two that we use exclusively for pie parties and Chooch’s birthday parties, and both of them were already rented. Along with 80% of the other park pavilions. What the hell?! No one ever has park parties in October! Then I had a fleeting vision of every person in this town who hates me (oh, there are a few) having their own competing pie parties at the same time and I got so sad and then paranoid and then really fucking murderous.

But on the way there, we passed our main pavilion (the bae of all pavilions, if you will) and realized that it was being used for some asshole’s first birthday.

So, not a competing pie party.

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Henry’s mom came with us and helped with set-up. I use that term loosely but she did more than, say, Janna who promises to help decorate every year and then comes 2 hours after the party starts, so….

Henry left to go get beverage and I decided I would use the portajohn while it was still fresh from Henry’s thorough cleansing. Right as I was about to come out, I heard a male voice and started to panic. Like, was some woodsman tying up Judy and Chooch, getting them ready to roast on the crappy grill that comes as a courtesy with the pavilions? Should I just stay inside the portajohn and pray that he doesn’t know there’s a third thick-thighed entree waiting in the wings?

Instead, I came leaping out awkwardly, like I was going to kick a bitch in the throat if I had to, and that’s when I saw some man doing pull-ups on one of the pavilion rafters, while Judy counted for him.

THE FUCK.

When he was done, Judy lasciviously asked, “What’s the encore?”

“I just keep moving,” he laughed in between pants, toweling off his older gentleman sweat and thanking her for letting him invade our pavilion before jogging off into the horizon.

Wow.

Where did he come from, beneath the moist autumnal sod? A 1993 episode of Bodies In Motion with Gilad?

I’d have offered him so pie but he didn’t seem like the type to let that garbage near his perfectly curated, sweaty, glistening temple. 

SORRY. I think The memory of Judy’s lust intoxicated me for a second there. That guy was old as shit. 

While I fluffed the burlap on the pie table for the 87th time, Judy and Chooch argued to the death over a violent game of Perquacky, which I guess is like Boggle. We bought it at Goodwill specifically for the  pie party because I like to give people shit to do while eating pie, you know? That’s why I use craft paper in lieu of tablecloths and slap down a mason jar of mismatched crayons and markers on each picnic table.  So if you end up sitting with strangers, play hangman or something. JUST PLEASE DON’T LEAVE.

Most of last year’s decorations were salvageable! So that was more time available for me to make my pie party playlist which I will post here because it’s full of Phil Collins and you know, Dance Gavin Dance. You should know that this is the first year we remembered to bring a speaker thingie so that I could play music. Usually the soundtrack is just screaming kids and the ping of Henry sprouting new gray hairs.

LOL. There is no rhyme or reason to this mix. There never is with me.

People started rolling in at exactly 1pm, which I was thankful for because nothing makes a girl feel like a looooooser than when everyone is late to her party. (The pie party has a real relaxed revolving door feel to it though; people come and go all afternoon. THERE IS NO AGENDA OR SCHEDULE OF PARTY GAMES.)

In the next installment, I’ll show you pictures of pies and the people who ate the pies. Very complicated stuff. Blogging about it takes thought, a (chalk) outline, and a certain amount of alcohol. You wouldn’t understand.

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Here’s a picture of Drew from Saturday. She just wanted to help with the decorations, you guys. (She was more help than my SON.)

Sep 192016
 

Much to Henry’s  inner joy and invisible mirth, yesterday was the third and last day of Riot Fest. It’s also the first day Henry and I fought– we made it so far! Specifically all the way to Rob Zombie’s set where I tried to lose Henry in the crowd like lol ok what is that going to prove. 

Anyway, we saw lots of bands so let’s see what Henry hated, didn’t like, and thought was “not too bad.” (Heads up, he was not impressed by anything on Sunday.)

  • The Bronx: They were good…? What?
  • Frankiero andthe Patience: I liked that too. (He sounded unsure. I don’t think he knows who this is.)
  • All Dogs: I don’t remember if I liked them. Apparently not. 
  • Dee Snider: Eh. Novelty. 
  • Juliette Lewis & the Licks: Interesting. Not too bad for what we saw before you got hangry. 
  • A Will Away: I only saw five minutes of them so I can’t make an informative opinion. (He was sitting alone by a fence for their first few songs, looking like an undercover cop.)
  • Thursday: I was never a big fan anyway so that didn’t change. (He breaks my heart.)
  • Bad Religion: Pretty much the same. Not a big fan anyway. 
  • Underoath: I don’t know. (He scrunched up his face and made a so-so motion with his hand.)
  • Deftones: I only knew their older stuff, so. Not bad. Can’t say I’m the biggest fan. (Well they played mostly old stuff, so…)
  • Rob Zombie: From what I heard I liked. (When I left him during Rob Zombie, he was standing by himself– obvi–and said that a younger guy was doing DRUGS next to him, but when he saw Henry, he got nervous and put it away. Like no duh, Henry—it’s because you look like a NARC.)
  • Sleater-Kinney: We walked through them? That was it. (Yeah right when they were commending Riot Fest for writing a No Harrassment policy – Henry hates when girls stand up for themselves and get all “lippy about their safety” don’t you Henry the Oppressor?)
  • Misfits: I don’t get it. 

And now is the time where we ask Henry what his dream Riot Fest lineup would be.  Lol, nevermind. Just Ted Nugent. 

Out of every band there this weekend, Henry’s favorite was “I don’t know.”


Henry got lemonade because “everyone else seems to be getting lemonade.” What a fucking conformist. 

Overall, Henry thinks that Riot Fest “wasn’t a bad weekend. At least it didn’t rain.”

Wow. I feel like a need a fucking butterfly net to catch all those words. 

Sep 132016
 

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It was after 2pm by the time we were done being dummies at Vent Haven, which means we were precariously close to The Witching Bitching Hour, otherwise known as the hunger twilight, where Chooch and I morph from adorably angelic sweethearts into Regan and Damian in Warped Tour shirts.

Henry had approximately 37 minutes to find us a place to eat before the transformation was complete.

Back when Christina and I were friends, I used to visit her pretty frequently in Hamilton, OH, which is a few miles outside of Cincinnati. Since it was kind of on our way home, I suggested that we eat at Hyde’s, a family restaurant she took me to several times. I remembered liking the aesthetic and the pie, and was prepared to throw a fit if Henry said no, but then something miraculous happened:

Henry’s old SERVICE roommate Tim contacted him because he saw on Facebook that we were in the area! This put Henry in a great mood and he said YES to Hyde’s because now we needed to kill time in order for Tim to come out to meet us from wherever he lived in Indiana which is apparently close to Hamilton, who knew? (People who look at maps, I guess.)

Tim called Henry shortly after we arrived at Hyde’s. Henry jumped out of the booth and went outside to answer it; I’ve never seen Henry run out of a restaurant that fast in my life, not even the time he dined and dashed at HOOTERS in 1992.

(Probably true?)

So then Mr. WE GOTTA GET HOME, NO MORE STOPPING! decided that after lunch, we would be meeting TIM at Jungle Jim’s!

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Holy shit, I was so so excited, I could barely eat. Just kidding, I almost accidentally ate my hand while shoving my grilled cheese into my gnashing maw.

We had a really colorful waitress too who made sure she told us how busy she was every time she swung by our table, and I really liked that Real Talk aspect. I want to believe that we were the only table she confided in. I kept hoping she would talk shit on her other tables to us but she never did.

She probably made fun of me to her other tables though after I was a total tourist and asked WTF “sarasotas” are.

Turns out they’re just homemade potato chips served with BBQ sauce.

“That Yinzer bitch over there asked what them sarasotas is, can you imagine,” she probably said to the table of old bitches who came in for pie.

Chooch of course substituted a basket of sarasotas for his fries and Henry was very perplexed by this.

“Why don’t they just call them homemade chips with BBQ sauce, I don’t understand,” he said.

SO GIDDY.

One thing to note is that I honestly don’t recognize any of the scenery in Hamilton, for as many times as I have been there. Like, if you set me loose and said, “Find Christina’s old house or die” well I guess I’m dead. I don’t even remember the name of the street, and I used to mail her shit all of the time!

I think this is my mind’s way of protecting me, lol.

On the way there, Henry and Chooch argued over the fact that meth and methane aren’t the same.

So nothing about Jungle Jim’s was familiar to me but who cares because a REAL LIFE PIECE OF HENRY’S SERVICE PAST WAS THERE.

OMG you guys. My mind almost melted.

Chooch took these pictures because he’s my little spy in training.

Unfortunately, Tim and Henry talked about kind of boring things, mostly just catching each other up on their current lives. So Chooch and I were like, “Eh, screw this” and walked ahead of them, looking for the Romania aisle.

I never grocery shop, but Jungle Jim’s is huge and full of weird international goods and animatronics. It’s like Chuck E. Cheese for grocery shoppers. This is where I bought my first and only durian in 2004!

NEVER AGAIN!

The last time I was here was August of 2005, when I was about 65% sure I might be pregnant. There was a fortune teller thing there, so I inserted my quarter and asked, “Hey, am I pregnant? Because I mean, I just turned down ice cream in favor of mustard, so….”

I don’t remember when her prediction was, which shot out of a slot at me, but GUESS WHAT I was definitely pregnant. Technically, this was Chooch’s second time at Jungle Jim’s, I guess.

My favorite thing about Tim is that he chided Henry about not marrying me so TIM, YOU CAN STAY.

****

Here’s a quick Henry Interview!

What did you & Tim used to talk about at night when you were roommates? GIRL STUFF?

Henry: I don’t remember. It was 30 years ago. Literally, 30 years ago.

So, you and Tim lived together in that place in Indiana?

Henry: In the trailer? Yeah.

Did he know you were the town Eunuch?

Henry, sarcastically I think: Hahaha, oh my god, you’re hilarious.

Did he know you were obsessed with being Erik Estrada back then?

Henry: Just answer it yourself. I’m not answering that. You’re making shit up as always.

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Hmm, I don’t know Henry. That picture tells a different story. Speaking of stories, I heard you and Tim talking about the time you drove some guy’s car into a ditch. Talk about that.

Henry: It was 1986 maybe? We had just gotten off work at 7:30 that morning and went to the bar. We (guys I worked with, there was maybe 4 or 5 of us) pretty much drank all day. I had to run home to get something* so I borrowed Joe’s car and when I got close to my house I turned the corner too sharp and went into a small ditch on the side of the road. I blew out the tire and bent the rim and then I parked it at my house, took my car back to the bar without telling him I did anything to his. He didn’t find out until the next day when he came to pick it up and he found out it was damaged so I had to pay for it.

*(Probz porn to trade.)

Good, that’s what happens WHEN YOU DRIVE DRUNK, ASSHOLE. Anyway, that was a boring story. Did you ever take a bullet for Tim?!

Henry, in an annoyed/laughing tone: No. Psh, take a bullet for Tim….

What is your most vivid memory of Tim? Was he in Panama with you?

Henry: He was always working on his car because it seemed to always be broken. I don’t remember [if he was in Panama], I don’t think so but I can’t be sure. It’s possible.

(WOW. SOME FRIENDSHIP.)

Was Tim with you when you went to see CHEAP TRICK in Texas?!

Henry, appalled at this question for some reason: No! That was when I was in training, when I just got out of basic. Tim didn’t come in until my last year maybe…

(So, right before he went AWOL.)

Henry just said he’s not going to divulge the contents of their Jungle Jim’s convo, so basically this was a huge waste of time.

****

Somewhere outside of Columbus, I was imitating Henry so intensely, that Chooch laughed so hard he pissed his pants, which just made Henry even angrier because now he was going to have to stop somewhere so Chooch could change.

“We’re never going to fucking get home. Thanks a lot, assholes,” Henry barked, which just made Chooch and me bust out our sides from all the laughter.

****

When Henry set the GPS that morning as we left our hotel in Louisville, it told us we’d be getting home sometime around 4.

We got home just shy of midnight.

Good god, that was a fun whirlwind trip to Kentucky.