Dec 042023

Hello from the other side of Trudy’s blinding lights! She is fully dressed and ready to face another December holiday head on. I do have to admit that I am way less into decorating her lately and prefer to let a few strings of lights and her rockin’ bod do the talking, you know what I’m saying? Less is more in the case of Trudy.

I still asked Janna to come over and we admittedly just sat on the couch, wine in hand, watching Henry fuck with the lights. Then I strangled her with some garland, topped her off with her Santa hat, and found a pair of daisy sunglasses which were calling her name.

I mean, it’s hard to fuck it up, really. She’s already such a dish that it’s essentially just gilding the lily, AS THEY SAY (I learned that from TERESA STRASSER on While You Were Out!).

Then I made Janna watch a bunch of NCT Dream stuff and roller coaster vlogs while we ate Chooch’s homemade version of Chipotle guac. It was a nice night, overall! And I’m so happy to have the room awash in Trudy’s majestic glow once again.

Nov 242023

Hi from the other side of Thanksgiving. I hope everyone had a GRAND day spent with the people of their choosing and eating whatever the hell you wanted, or doing nothing at all. I kind of think that this is an overrated holiday, probably the one I’m least excited about mostly because of my past struggles with family and forever food phobia.

I try to “get into the spirit” some years, but this year we chose to have a lowkey, quiet dinner catered by The Zenith (bless them) with some pumpkin burek from Jak’s Bakery as an extra treat.

Chooch actually came out of his lair!

Action shot of Henry serving us. He was mad because I chose small plates to use but I thought that they were cute!

Zenith Thanksgiving dinner! All vegan.

Pumpkin soup included! It’s my favorite part. I always love Zenith’s soups.

Bulgarian pastry filled with pumpkin courtesy of Jak’s Bakery. We first discovered this place at a farmer’s market in East Liberty numerous years ago, I want to say pre-pandemic so perhaps 2019? Jak was just getting started then and now he has a brick and mortar bakery which is opening this Sunday! That same farmer’s market was also the first time we had vegan Trinidad food from ShadoBeni and he also has his own space now! Love that for both of them.

Henry found this Henley in his dresser of unworn clothes so now watch him wear it constantly all winter, as he is wont to do with one article of clothing. Usually, it’s the same goddamn flannel.

Chooch was annoyed that I took this picture. “REALLY. DO YOU REALLY NEED A PICTURE OF YOUR GLASS??” Yes, actually. I collect glass memories. Thanks for asking.

THE BEST PART. Zenith pumpkin bundt cake. Oh sweet Jesus.

Chooch didn’t get the color-coordinating memo. It’s fine.

While Henry was cleaning up (LOL), Chooch and I retreated into the living room where we continued our tradition of watching & heckling random birthday party videos on YouTube. There were some real…winners this time. This one family was so annoying – it was like a biker gang married into a family of WASPS, first of all, and it was A JOINT PARTY for a 2 year old (boring safari themed and no one cared about her) and an 8 year old ginger (NERF-themed complete with garish blue and orange cupcakes?? ugh ew). It was a pool party to boot, so when it was time for NERF tag, we saw soooo many biker butt cracks. It was actually scarring. But our main takeaway is that in addition to singing the birthday song, they also sing some JESUS LOVES YOU verse, AND THEN it ends with some bizarre ditty about making your favorite dish and then everyone pauses for a dramatic beat before screaming FISH??

The fuck?

“Is this is a real thing?” I cried, because I grew up JUST SINGING HAPPY BIRTHDAY and didn’t even know anyone personally who did the stupid “cha cha cha” bit until much later in life and even learning about that was extreme for me. I guess because I’m just generally not into singing Happy Birthday to begin with? I usually just mouth the words at parties (unless it’s for Chooch, then I will sing, ugh) and I HATE HATE HATE having it sung to me. So when I come upon families that turn this into a whole fucking concert, I feel alarmed.

“I can’t find anything on Google,” Chooch reported back. “It must be something these idiots made up. Also, the grandma makes me uncomfortable.”

“Oh yeah, I fucking hate that bitch,” I agreed. “We should start singing the fish song at our birthday parties and then somehow make it go viral so then that family will find out about it and we can have a public feud over who created it.”

Chooch is not on board with this.

Then Henry stormed in and said to Chooch, “MOVE OVER, I AM GOING TO SIT WITH YOU GUYS, MY LOVING FAMILY.” And that was fine for about 5 minutes until Chooch and I both started to fixate on Henry’s heavy, whistle-y breathing so he eventually threw tantrum and went upstairs while tossing insults over his shoulder the whole way.

Henry did eventually come back down and we watched travel vlogs on YouTube (I finally got him to seriously answer my “Top 3 Places You Want To Visit” question which he has NEVER done in the past – Italy, Switzerland, Thailand), and then I stayed up late working on my gem painting while listening to Britney Spears’ memoir on audio and crying because Team BritBrit 4L. I’d like to punch her parents and sister in their fucking faces.

So, yeah! A typical Thanksgiving here at the Oh Honestly Household. I do wish we were going to Dollywood or somewhere fun this weekend as TRADISHUN calls for, but it’s fine. Saving money is good. Sigh.

But there are still things to look forward to this weekend! Such as:

  • hopefully seeing PAM from COASTER CREW this afternoon!?
  • the Annual Lighting of Trudy later tonight
  • Saturday is wide open, endless possibilities (watch me do nothing)
  • daytrip to Maryland on Sunday specifically to go shopping at HMart
  • I’m off on Monday from back when we were supposed to go away this weekend, so…TBD for now, I guess.


Nov 022023

Wow, why do I even bother acting like Halloween is my favorite holiday? The last handful of 10/31s have been eh, blah, meh, boo. WTF man. I mean, I’m probably sounding super dramatic and it honestly wasn’t BAD this year but just…boring. Cold. Kind of sad because my child is 17 and hasn’t asked me to help him with a costume since 8th grade I think! But I still take the day off work (I use my floating holiday and request the day in the beginning of January every year, why am I so lame) under the pretense that I’m going to live my best creepy life on this day, take a blood bath while listening to the Suspiria soundtrack, etc.

This year, I…read a book. Went for a walk. Watched Taemin videos. Helped my new neighbors. I didn’t even bother putting scary music on during TRICK OR TREATING (well, I did put on some creepy MTV Euro playlist from the 90s and some of the videos were making me very uncomfy in a big way).

And you know what? This year we beat our record of least amount of trick-or-treaters: 2. TWO FUCKING KIDS. And that was only because I verbally accosted (in a friendly way) when they were walking past my house with their dad on their way home from better streets I guess. I was like, “TAKE A WHOLE BUNCH” and literally let them walk off with fistfuls.

Meanwhile, the day before, Chooch decided to go to Spirit and buy a costume to wear to school. I was so excited that he did this of his own accord and that I didn’t positively ruin Halloween for him by following in my mom’s footsteps and hijacking his costume ideas every year. (Sike, love you, Val! I fondly look back on my old costumes every year even though they were borderline traumatic for me at the time LOL.)

He came home with this big blow-up Garfield, totally random but it made me laugh. FOR A STORE BOUGHT COSTUME, THAT IS.

I’m actually surprised that he was allowed to wear it at school, considering how schools have been no-fun zones since Columbine and food allergies.

His school is basically on the Pitt campus and he said that after school, he was a celeb with the Pitt students, people were asking to take pictures with him. “It was totally worth the $60,” he texted me.

SIXTY FUCKING DOLLARS. Oh well, he has a job again and used his own dumb money so what do I care.

I was also happy that he and a bunch of friends went trick-or-treating too! Like a last hurrah, which I think is so important. I know a lot of you Karen types out there don’t think that teenagers should be welcome to trick-or-treat but in my opinion, if you’re wearing a costume, in the Halloween spirit, and not being an asshole, you are welcome to my candy.

Especially if you’re dressed as Michael Myers. And an adult. Please have my candy.

The night before, we took pumpkins over to our new neighbors’ house and helped them carve their first jack o’lanterns! That was really special! We have to communicate through Google translate but it’s worth it. I can’t remember how much I have mentioned about this because so much has happened in the two weeks since they moved next door to us, but they are an Afghan family consisting of a single mom and her three kids: 16, 13, 10. She is from Afghanistan, her kids were born in Russia, and they came here after living in Turkey for the last 6 years. I don’t really know the full details of their story yet because it’s so hard to communicate, but the sitch doesn’t seem great and they were placed here by a refugee agency who is doing the BARE MINIMUM to help. When I say that they are coming to us for everything, I’m not exaggerating.

It’s been really exhausting (being a good person is hard work!!! My inner demon has been fighting tooth and nail on this) but it’s worth it to make them feel comfortable and welcome. I just wish this fucking agency would work a bit harder to get them situated and introduce them to other Afghans or even just anyone who speaks Turkish which is the language they appear to default to, because while it’s OK to hang out and be neighborly here and there, THIS AIN’T 227.

Sorry, j/k. That was mean. But I am trying to establish boundaries because this lady doesn’t realize it yet, but I am literally the last person that anyone should use as their crutch. YOU GUYS KNOW.

So yeah, this October started off strong, but then I gained a spare family and now I just feel very tired, stressed (last week was REALLY bad because of all of the caring I was doing and I was losing sleep over it) and disoriented. Add to that the fact that I barely see Chooch anymore because of his extracurriculars and job, and I’m just like…lost. I don’t know. It’s weird. I’m weird. NO YOU’RE WEIRD. GO AWAY.

Jul 302023

Hey, it’s me on my 44th birthday. It’s been a pretty low-key day. Nothing from Henry as usual, got rained out on tonight’s tennis sesh, and didn’t do anything adventurous. But, don’t cry for me, Blogatina because we leave for vacation on Thursday so I actually sabotaged my own day by canceling the day trip that we were originally planning on taking to Cleveland for a SHINee 15th anniversary cup-sleeve event. I guess that’s the Lilliputian adult version of me living inside my head that made her concerns heard for once, like, “Bitch, why you about to spend $$$ on a roadtrip four days before you leave for a trip that you couldn’t afford?” And I was like, “OK Tiny Bitch, I hear you. God!”

Anyhow, here’s a quick recap of my birthday.

It started a few days later when Wendy gifted me with a pineapple purse at work on Thursday! I swear to god, some of my quirkiest purses are courtesy of WMM. She has her finger on the gifting pulse, that is FOR SURE.

Then yesterday, I stopped by Megan’s to check in on her cat while Megan and Eric are out of town and she left me birthday goodies! I took this picture of the Robert pendant she got me while I was still at her house as proof that I was already wearing this t-shirt – what a happy accident! She also made me a root beer pie like the one she made for the last pie party! Totally spoiled me!

This afternoon, Janna came over (HER MOM HAD TO DROP HER OFF BECAUSE JANNA LOCKED HER KEYS IN HER CAR YOU GUYS!!!!) and after we had a social hour where I tried once again to get her to identify Haechan from NCT, Henry drove us to Butterwood Bake Consortium which I haven’t been to in several years but always have the fanciest cakes with major tea party ingredient vibes. It was so hard to choose, but I went with a vegan blueberry cake with UBE BUTTERCREAM; Janna got a blueberry tea cake with like, orange curds; Henry got some cardamom tea cake thing; and Chooch got a strawberry cobbler tart or something.

Henry’s tea cake which was also supposed to be mine but then he rudely ate the last bite even though I wanted it and he never even bothered to ask, so REALLY racking up the points here, buddy-bud fuckhead.

Look how beautiful Janna’s was!

Anyway, the one downside was that we had to sit outside in the “courtyard” which was basically like a slab of broken concrete surrounded by weeds and a parking lot, all because these two asshole women were taking up two different group spaces amongst the two of them. One was sitting in an armchair in front of a table meant for 4, reading a book. I guess I can overlook this, but the only bitch WAS EATING WENDY’S at another table meant for a group. JUST BLANANTLY EATING HER DISGUSTING FAST FOOD IN THIS MAJESTIC BAKERY, but OK, bitch. I can’t believe the Bakewood staff was allowing this. Maybe she had ordered a drink from there to get around it, but still, are you fucking kidding me?

Our table and chairs wobbled bigly. On my birthday. But whatever. You shove that big bitch Wendy’s meal in your stupid fucking face. KIND REGARDS,


P.S. Is this Taemin’s way of acknowledging my birthday??!! Wearing a Robert Smith shirt at the Waterbomb after party?? Normally I’d chalk this up to his stylist being like “here put this on” but this is the second time I’ve seen him wearing a Robert shirt so maybe he actually is a fan??

Jun 182023

Good morning from Cedar Point! Expecting it to be packed today as usual but at least it’s something to do.

Walking to SteVe, immediately.

Visiting Daddy on Father’s Day! Love you Papa SteVe!!

11:13am: Literally the best experience we had on SteVe. Wait was estimated at 40 min and it took less than that, no breakdowns while we were in line, and they let Chooch and me have the back. I love this stupid fucking psycho coaster so much!

Henry got front row and is so smug about it.

Now he’s making us wait in line for Maverick which is broken down and I hate this gamble!!! It almost never works out well for us.

me: new thing! Since I’m liveblogging let’s take a selfie in every line we wait in.

Thanks Chooch.

11:38am: Fuck you, Maverick. Moving on because I couldn’t take hearing the bitch in front of me talk about her basic bitch interests anymore.

11:54am ditched Henry, now in line for Iron Dragon 🐉

ALSO, Chooch hates my new selfie rule.

iron dragon was way FUNNER than I remember FYI.

12:45pm: got lunch at the new pavilion and the service was TRASH. the roll was the best part of the meal. Views are nice though!

They’re playing retro ragtag covers of shitty pop songs though and a Taylor Swift one is on now so that dragged down the lunch review.

Chooch bonded with a guy in the bathroom over the awful music. “I didn’t think they could make Taylor Swift worse.”

12:54pm Gatekeeper selfie!

everyone hates me!

That was the best Gatekeeper ride I’ve ever had!

1:29pm: Carousel line selfie!

1;51pm: Choochs phone just died and he wants to go home because now he will either have to talk to “us guys” or look at the sky LOLOL.

Waiting for out old car thing! Henry can’t hear.

We got the slowest car here and people are on our asses. Chooch is so pissed. He just said he feels like Janna lol hi Janna!


Ok I’m saying it: Raptor is my favorite B&M invert. I SAID IT.

now we’re in line for the new Wild Mouse which is an HOUR wait and the guys in front of me are wearing patchouli and chooch is being pissy.

Pissy “I wouldn’t be in a bad mood all day if I had a belt” Chooch.

3:08pm: Still in line. Some little kid the next row over tapped me on the shoulder and said excuse me you have a bug on your shirt and of course I always think I’m the butt of a joke so I panicked but I did indeed have a MAYFLY on my shirt so Henry got it off for me which then turned into me blaming Henry for not doing a better job guarding my person from bugs and other harmful things.

3:14pm: Still in line but maybe another 15? At least people here aren’t assholes like at Canada’s Wonderland.

I asked chooch if he is immediately going to add this to his spreadsheet and he said I CANT MY PHONE IS DEAD. lololol. Also “Call Me Maybe” is on right now!!

3:53pm: that was the best Wild Mouse I’ve ever been on! It was trimless! Henry bit his lip lol. We got the pink car!

Now we’re in line for Gemini which only I am excited for!

The way I have to beg for these selfies though.

ugh stupid Henry has to treat himself.


Rode MaxAir, it was fine.

Now Chooch is spending money. He won a medium sized prize!

5:11pm: We left! Bye bye Cedar Point!

Some thoughts from the car:

  • Raptor was a big highlight – from the delightfully enthusiastic dad & 2 kids in front of us to the overall fantastic ride, I declared that it was my second favorite ride in the whole park.
  • This was the first time we didn’t ride Millie and that felt kind of weird. We were actually only in that area once, even.
  • This was the best ride I’ve ever had on Gatekeeper. I even grayed out!
  • I got stapled on Gemini so that wasn’t very enjoyable.
  • We didn’t ride Magnum! I will only ride it if it’s a station wait bc I do like it but it hurts!
  • I thought the addition of Wild Mouse to the revamped boardwalk area was really cute and fits nicely with the theme. It just sucks that it’s such a short ride and will probably always have a long wait because even the shittiest Wild Mouses in other parks get notoriously long waits. But I thought the theming was super eye-catching and I also liked that they were playing legit beach music in that area. I did suggest to Chooch that they should play the Back to the Beach soundtrack and he rolled his eyes at me.
  • Only lowlight really was MAVERICK (so sick of that one breaking down constantly) and the service we experienced at the new Grand Pavilion. The cashier was nice though, I should specify that the coldness was reserved for the people behind the food counter thing. Not a single person made eye contact with us or smiled. It made me so uncomfortable and I almost didn’t even want to order anything from there.
  • The cookies were back to being good!! I feel like the last time we got them from the bakery they were really dry and stale. The snickerdoodles were sooooo MOIST today.
  • Overall, it wasn’t really crowded there at all for a weekend. I wish we were had been staying over though so we could have stayed until close because I can only imagine how many more rides we could have made it on. Every time I checked the ride times, SteVe had never gone past 60 minutes which is unheard of. But I was content with the one ride we got on it this morning, especially since we only had to wait about 30 minutes!
  • Maybe someday, someone will actually want to come with us?? I tried to get my brother to come with us but he promised our dad he’d go over for a visit and, oh yeah, I guess it was Father’s Day after all lol.

The end.

May 152023

This was one of the nicest Mother’s Days I’ve had in some time (minus the SHAVED ICE incident) and I’m so glad that Chooch and Henry were both on board with my idiotic wish if driving 3 hours for vegan junk food.

I really really really enjoyed our post-lunch digestive walk about the nearby rose garden. We were laughing (OK I was laughing) at one point when I realized that all the other mothers there that afternoon were dressed in spring dresses or some type of feminine equivalent and here I come in my pink vans and NCT127 shirt, bitches.

You know, becoming a mom is one of the best decisions I ever made in my whole entire life, but going hand-in-hand with that was my decision to not lose myself when becoming a mom. Sometimes I wonder if Chooch would have preferred a real MOM-mom in lieu of the landychild mom he was born to. Hold on, I’m going to ask him. I’ll report back.


Cool. Cool cool cool.

Also, check out that mini-bitch ruining our photo!!

I was going to try and remove those people from my picture but then I felt too tired/couldn’t care anymore.

Two crazy parts about yesterday:

  2. we didn’t encounter any annoying people anywhere we went

Let’s be real though for a second – I have to plan my own Fun Times or else we’ll just stay home and I’ll sit here all day waiting for something that’s never going to happen. I think that’s why I actually like stupid Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers” – because that’s basically me even though I’m not single (or am I??).

Sometimes you just gotta make your own happiness, you guys!

May 142023

(I should put this disclaimer in all of my blog posts but please be advised that I write most of my posts from my phone and sometimes words get autocorrected answers* I don’t notice, or I just create typos all of my own volition but I’m a stoop in that way. Apologies in advance. Bueno bueno.)

*(SEE???? Just swerving by a month later and noticed this. I guess that was supposed to be “and”??)

Hello good morning sweateeees I wasn’t going to LiveBlog but now I feel like it. It is currently 9:27am and we just had a fun stop at Sheetz in Wheeling. Some broad came rushing over to me and legit cried, “I JUST HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT I LOVE LOVE LOVE UR SWEATER. ITS FANTASTIC!” And it was a really nice Sheetz moment, you know? Chooch came slithering around the corner and hissed, “WHAT did she say?” Because as you know, Chooch hates it when I am the recipient of compliments.

Then as we were walking away from the check out, someone came up behind us and fucking ROARED their cigarette order in a marbled slur, making us all whip our heads around to see TO WHOM THE VOICE BELONGED. As expected, it was a very large (in height and girth) truck driver.

11:02am: at a rest stop somewhere in Ohio and I just screamed out the name of a coaster enthusiast that I have been trying to think of since last night and no one cares lol. (It is SLOAN by the way – I kept saying “it’s an ambiguous name and also the name of a character from a popular 80s movie” like I knew the name the whole time but was just trying to get other ppl to guess??)

All you have missed so far is me bitching about social media attention-grabbers.

11:29am: Chooch just asked if we were going outside anywhere, like…we didn’t just drive all the way to Columbus to sit in the car, so…?

I asked why and he said, “because somehow* I got Dunkin all over my shirt.”

*SOMEHOW. Because he is still a child!! Henry just said, “I guess we need to start bringing the diaper bag with us in the car again.” Honestly!! 17 years old but some things never change.

He just asked for an I Love Ohio shirt to change into lol.

Waiting for our fooooood!

Lunchin’ with Mikey!

Ok, this has got to be top 3 best vegan places I’ve eaten at, now that we’ve had two experiences I feel like I can safely and confidently say that. I got the fish sandwich and nearly wept into it.

General Tso’s wings – amazing. Chunky bois. Lotsa umami. Chooch got the sandwich version, and Henry got the Buffy Mac which is a chicken sandwich with Mac and cheese on it.

We were all satisfied. And also happy that we got there within five minutes of the lunch time rush, phew.

Meanwhile, since seventeen year old still travels like a toddler and ended up arriving in Columbus with stains and spills all over his shirt, we had to buy him a shirt from the place we’re eating lunch at and now it’s like he’s That Guy who wears the band’s shirt to their concert OMG no lol.

1:12pm: we just left some rose garden thing and it was a nice way to digest after that filling lunch.

We managed to not fight once! Chooch was mostly distracted by the online auctions he’s bidding on.

1:51pm: SOUND THE BUZZER! Henry finally managed to ruin my day!!!!!! We went to Belle’s Bakery because they presumably have shaved ice which I stupidly thought was the Americanized way of saying they have kakigori. Since the bingsu place is closed on Sundays, I figured the Japanese version would suffice.

It was REALLY crowded so Henry said he would wait in line and then me and Chooch walked over to a Japanese gift store, at which point I lost him, but then found him again when he texted me and said he never left the store??

Anyway, when I saw Henry walk out of the bakery with literally just a cup of shaved iced a la Rita’s, I was sooooo mad. He at that point went back in and got the matcha soft serve that I had specifically asked for, in a separate cup, but it just wasn’t it, dawg.

I really thought it was going to be the GOOD “shaved ice” and not “actual shaved ice” so I poured bigly but now we are going to a vegan bakery to salvage the day.

Meanwhile, Chooch has been bidding on a “smart oven” all day, whatever that means, and keeps giving us updates.

2:12pm: just stopped here for spoiled son to get a game:

It was actually less creepy inside.

Healthcare send Heidi phone why need like cell? I have Spotify I don’t know why you talking about quiet woman here this time I think you would like that I thought of you like to wait for you little while 70s hits really put its way.

^^^^^ UM my phone auto-typed that based on the convo Henry and I were just having. Definitely leaving it in haha. 

2:37pm: Happy Little Treats!

Lady working here was very nice and the bakery itself is a delight! Interior design inspo….???

I got the cherry almond Poptart and it righted the wrongs created by Henry and Belle’s Bakery. It was JUST RIGHT.

3:59pm: We’re finally making our way home after taking a detour to NEWARK, OHIO which I am here to confirm is basically as a smaller but still shitty version of Newark, NJ. We went there because they had a gaming place but their board game selection was really slim so we walked in and basically walked right back out and Chooch was embarrassed about this for some reason.

I made Henry drive us through “downtown” and it was pretty shitty but the courthouse was pretty.

Then we passed the Longaberger Basket building!!

True story: I dated a guy briefly in high school whose mom was a Longaberger salesperson and every time I would call their house, the machine would say YOU HAVE REACHED BARB* FROM LONGABERGER BASKET” and it always sounded wrong to me, like she had meant to say “longberger” without the “a.”

*I actually can’t remember her name now just that she really didn’t like me which is on brand because none of my boyfriends moms ever liked me. Most of my friends moms don’t like me either so I guess it’s a “me” problem.

5:07pm: at a rest stop in Ohio somewhere between Zanesville and Wheeling. When Henry and I were getting out, Henry was being deaf as usual so Chooch said, “OMG I said it twice…three four times” harkening back to our second time in Korea when Henry flipped out on us at a cafe in a Jeonju (while sharing bingsu, coincidentally!!) because we were moving him and he said something about how “OK! You don’t have to repeat it twice three four times!” Of course, Chooch and I latched on to this and STILL reference it. So today in retaliation, Henry said, “fuck off two three four times.” OOH OK TOUGH GUY.

After peeing, Henry proceeded to do some weird ceremonial circling around the car and he was making us so nervous. Chooch kept yelling WHAT ARE YOU DOING I WANT TO GET HOME (apparently “getting the circulation flowing”) and at this same time I noticed that Chooch had a bag of HOT MUSTARD Doritos in the backseat with him so I exclaimed “Ooh I want to try it!” Chooch got real triggered by this and snapped I DONT WANT TO OPEN THE BAG so I said, “Wow, OK. It’s Mother’s Day but whatever” and he shouted OH MY GOD and threw the bag at me.

Hot mustard Doritos are good, you guys!!

7:50pm: Hello, checking in from home. Henry pretty much IMMEDIATELY went upstairs and collapsed into bed which is making me really scared to get old(er) because this was just a day trip? We didn’t do that much? He went to be bed at 11pm last night and we didn’t wake up to start getting ready to leave until around 7am. I was up until after 2am chatting with Janna and trying to teach her the names of THREE NCT members. Just three! I’m the one who should be passed in bed but mmm. Cook on, Henry.

To summarize, today was really good aside from the SHAVED ICE incident!

May 032023

Piggy-backing off my last post, here is the goddamn ice cream cake that ruined my Sunday when JOHN from Baskin Robbins left his half-hearted voice mail telling me that there would NO CLOWN CAKE FOR ME THAT DAY. I’m glad we went with it and just waited the extra day though because it really was so fucking cute and also hilarious to watch Chooch roll his eyes when he saw it.

“So, really this was all about you. If you would have just got the cake from Dairy Queen like I asked—” Chooch started, but I cut him off to tell him that sure DQ is great but they don’t have a fucking adorable CLOWN CAKE.

“Yeah, again, this was all about YOU and what YOU wanted,” he said.

“You mean, what I wanted FOR YOU,” I corrected.

“Mm,” he grunted, but c’mon, he loved it. WHO WOULDN’T LOVE A CLOWN CAKE (other than the billions of people who hate clowns)?!

Henry’s clumsy meat-fists smudged the “Riley!” on the first chocolate message board. Good job, asshole! The second one says “Cool. Mm.” as an homage to his irritating signature text response to basically everything I send him and the worst part – THE WORST PART – is that he learned this from me. Sit down, Taylor – I’m the problem.

He claims he wasn’t “admiring” it, but rather inspecting the various scoops which the BR website bills as “the store’s most popular flavors.” I guess that’s how they get away with not leaving it up to the whim of the customer. “No, we can’t use your scoop preference because it goes against what the store has deemed its most popular and why would you want anything less than the MOST popular?”

And here he is disputing the alleged “most popular” flavors because he worked at a Dunkin/BR for THREE MTHS you guys, long enough to run the data. I will say that the first cone I grabbed had some REALLY SWEET raspberry type of flavor that was not great so maybe Chooch is on to something. What if half is the most popular and the other half is comprised of the underdog flavs that they need to get rid of.

THE NOSES WERE FROZEN MARASCINO CHERRIES. Also, this flavor was butter pecan and I have to believe that this is a top flavor. I looooove butter pecan (and pralines and cream!).

Chooch refused to pose for a good picture so this is what he gets. Also, Henry’s fashion is…something else.

This is also how he looks at me every morning when I try to start riveting conversations with him and his pal Zakk on the drive to school.

Janna came over to celebrate the jerk! What she didn’t know was that he had big plans for us to play Trivial Pursuit. Henry was like, “THANKS, I’M GOOD” and retreated to the basement, but Janna was trapped. Chooch and I immediately ganged up on her and board game-bullied her mercilessly until the very end when we turned on each other. First of all, I was cheating bigly every time it was my turn to roll and I kept saying, “Well, you read the rules, Janna, and I’m pretty sure this is correct” but then when she tried doing it, Chooch and I were unanimous in that, “No, we’re not doing that anymore, Janna. You have to go back.”

My favorite moment (OK second favorite) was when I read this question to Janna, something about how do you measure an earthquake, and she kept saying, “Oh man, it’s on the tip of my tongue. I can’t think! It’s….you know, the ‘something’ on a richter scale, ugh what is it??” and she just kept saying this over and over in different variations, looking for something that had to do with the richter scale. “The….hertz? Ugh, I don’t know!”

“It was Richter Scale,” I said, putting the card in the discard pile.

“I said that!” she yelled.

“Mmm, not in the right context, though,” I shrugged. And Chooch agreed.

Have you ever played games with me? Now imagine playing with me AND Chooch. It’s basically like if the Mad Hatter and March Hare had a game night instead of a tea party.

So, what I’m saying is…



Anyway!! Once it became clear that I had a good chance of winning, Chooch suddenly switched allegiances and conferred with Janna to win-block me.

“Ooh, this one! This one!” Chooch hissed, and Janna laughed conspiratorially. They were SO SURE they got me, guys.

The question was, ‘What’s the good kind of cholesterol?”

Oh, did I sock the smugness off their faces the moment I screamed, with NO HESITATION, “HDL!!!!!”

“Goddammit,” Janna sighed, and Chooch cried, “SERIOUSLY??”

Yo. I take the Wellness exam every year at work, since 2012? 2013? I am OBSESSED with my numbers, and I legit have been known to brag about my HDL.

I ran down into the basement to excitedly huff, “Henry guess what I won!” and he muttered, “Yeah, I know. I heard.”


Anyway, that’s how Chooch spent his belated birthday celebration that he didn’t want to have but then agreed that we could have cake with Janna and that was it. No hoopla. No ‘happy bday’ singing. NO FUN FOR MOMMY.

Then I spent literally the next two hours making Janna watch NCT stuff. What a great birthday party for me! Janna was able to name two NCT members – Mark and Johnny – and was really proud of herself but she couldn’t even remember the name of the bias she picked last year!!


Apr 272023

Apparently it’s National Pretzel Day which means absolutely nothing honestly – I’ll care about a National Whatever Day that gets me a day off work. Until then, it’s all nonsense.

I do love pretzels though. But not as much as HENRY, who eats pretzels as a form of therapy I swear to god.

So I went through my blog and collected some photos of him enjoying a pretzel. I was actually surprised that I couldn’t find more than this, though there were a lot of references of him eating pretzels, just without photographical evidence. I guess I need to do better.

Here he is at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, paranoid that someone’s going to pickpocket his pretzel.

Sometimes he treats himself to an entire bag of soft pretzels. I feel like this might have been his birthday gift to himself one year but then Chooch and I shoved our grubby mitts into the bag when he left it briefly unattended.

Roller rink snack bar softie. Even in motion, looks like he’s dunked that sucker into some cheese plz.

That time he took a detour in Amish country, following signs to the elusive SMITTIE’S SOFT PRETZEL truck that ended up disappointing him, boo hoo.

Sometimes he is too tired after making separate dinners for me and Chooch, so he ends up eating toast and pretzels.

This was on the way to see Chiodos in Columbus many moons ago and I know he was angrily grinding away on some salted twists because the accompanying blog post said so.

Well, that’s all for today because I am exceptionally tired. I have that “I’ve been crying all day” full body exhaustion going on except that I wasn’t crying all day? Just once when I was watching some broad’s recap of the Chicago NCT Dream concert LOL ugh grow up, dumb ass.

Apr 252023

Apologies for this hasty, moments-before-leaving-for-school poor quality photo of my SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD. I’m lucky he allowed this to happen at all – we were soooo close to fighting about it and I was just about to pull the I DON’T ASK MUCH OF YOU Card when he was like, “OMG TAKE THE PICTURE.”

Just another BITCHY MORNING. Speaking of, this one day last week, we started fighting in the house (by fighting, I do mean bickering) which carried over onto the porch as we walked out the door. But HNC and his wife were also leaving their house at the same time, so the four of us stopped and looked at each other and then HNC said, ‘That kind of morning, huh?” which prompted Chooch and me to start poppin’ off over top of one another, like:






And HNC and his wife were just like, “OK cool have a nice day, you two.”


Isn’t funny how moms act like so shocked every year when their kids have a birthday, like, “How are they X-years old now?!!?”


Every single year. It me.

I don’t remember much about my pregnancy other than being absolutely miserable and terrified, feeling absolutely possessed by the devil, do I have enough minutes on my pink Razr to call the Vatican, but one thing that has remained firmly lodged in my mind is someone – can’t remember who, though, maybe the Vatican exorcist – said to me, “Once you have kids, time moves so much faster.”

Probably I was like, “LOL OK lame ass,” after that person walked away, but HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS, truer words. These last 17 years have slipped straight through my fingers LIKE SANDS IN AN HOUR GLASS SO ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES AFTER HAVING CHOOCH.

I’m usually pretty self-deprecative up in these parts but I am just going to go on the record here and say that I think Henry and I did a pretty smokin’ job raising Chooch, even though we saddled him with a nickname that he has grown to hate and can’t shake, sorry RILEY. But to be honest, he made it so easy. He is so smart and independent all on his own – we have never had to intervene with school stuff or nag him to get his work done. For example, over the weekend, I walked past his room and he was “studying math” at his desk for an upcoming AP test, without anyone telling him to. I mean, I didn’t even know this test was happening until I had to pay $100+ for it. Then I FULLY knew.

Anyway, the kid is a solid 4.0 student, is hilarious, sarcastic, and basically just my favorite person in the whole entire world OK? Don’t tell G-Dragon and Taemin.

AS SUCH, I really wanted to do something for his birthday, or at least give him money to go out with his friends, but he has been so adamant about not wanting to do anything, so then I was like FINE I WON’T EVEN HONK THE HORN AND SCREAM HAPPY BIRTHDAY WHEN YOU GET OUT OF THE CAR AT SCHOOL.

And then, of fucking course, at 4:30 today he texted me and asked, “Are we doing anything tonight?” UM NO. NO WE ARE NOT AND HERE IS WHY. BECAUSE YOU SAID YOU DIDN’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING AND GOD FORBID I SHOULD PRESS THE ISSUE.

So of course, now I just feel like shit for not planning something anyway, but you just never know which way the wind is going to swing his mood. Maybe he will be amenable to a dinner out this weekend, who knows?! He at least hung out with one of his friends after school for a few hours, and then Henry got him a piece of pie from Eat n Park. Woo hoo, happy birthday!

(OK yeah we’re at least getting him a proper cake of some sort this weekend, whether he likes it or not.)


Mar 252023

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday!

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A few weeks ago, my bro Ryan suggested taking her out to dinner, “or we could just have it in your new game room” he quickly added on, lol. I thought that would be better because it’s more casual and we’d be able to lounge around and chat for as long as we wanted without getting stink eye from the servers, like YOU PAID YOUR BILL, NOW GTFO”.

I immediately also offered to order the cake because I this is the most important task and I take my Bethel Bakery cake-ordering EXTREMELY seriously. Bethel Bakery is the Kelly Family standard, the only bakery that we trust to bake our cakes. Always and forever. So the gospel sayeth.

Since this was Ryan’s idea, I assumed that he had made our mom privy to the details, but I texted him anyway to make sure it wasn’t a surprise because I wanted to ask her what kind of food she wanted, and he was like, “Oh yeah, I mentioned it to her but that was a few week ago” and then  when I texted her a week ago about birthday hang-out food options, she was like, “When is this lol?”


She said pizza was fine so my other brother Corey said he could handle that. I gave Ryan the BEVERAGE task.

Long story short, Corey eventually settled on Jets Pizza (although there was a RANCH SITUATION where they said they were all out of their HOUSEMADE RANCH causing Corey to spiral out so they managed to make some appear for him, I don’t know, I was almost passing out from hunger at that point because I usually eat dinner at 5:30 and it was now 7:30 and excuse me if I wasn’t capable of paying attention to anything other than the sweet stench of Detroit-style cheesy carb slabs) and Ryan picked up two bottles of wine from Sheetz (yessss, Sheetz wine, lol!).

Oh! While we were waiting for Corey to arrive with the pizza, we were all hanging out in the living room and I had one of my beloved RetroWave channels playing on YouTube. Ryan was like, “Dude, I think I listen to this too….” and then I started name-dropping some of the retro wave bands like FM 84 and The Midnight and he was like, “YES, and their songs play with old scenes of 80s movies in the background, right?

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” and YES! I was so excited about this, knowing that my brother listens to the same stuff while working. Chooch was groaning bigtime because he hates retro wave.

You guys, it was really nice hanging out in the attic lounge, eating pizza, drinking sweet, cheap wine out of Solo cups, and telling old ass stories of our childhood.

While we were eating the pizza, I kept saying, “But seriously, didn’t some celebrity came to Pittsburgh and then became obsessed with Jets?” and no one believed me. “No, I swear, and the only reason I remember is because it’s someone I hate” (and what I left off was that I also had a Jets-boycott because of this but didn’t want Corey to know because he would panic about bringing Jets pizza into my house but that was literally like a decade ago and I truly don’t care—that much—anymore) until Henry finally googled it and announced, “It was Jay Leno.”

“YES, THAT’S IT!” I said with a snap if only I could actually snap.

“That’s….a really weird person to hate,” Ryan laughed. “Like, who hates Jay Leno?”

UM, THIS GIRL, SINCE THE 90s. And also Conan 4eva..


My mom HATES pictures but I snuck this one and I think she knew it lol.

“I ordered almond cake with raspberry filling,” I said.

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“I hope you like that!”

“That’s what my wedding cake was,” my mom said, with no emotion in her voice so I couldn’t really tell if this was good or bad. It turns out it was good in that she likes the flavor combo and perhaps that is the only thing that she ended up liking about her wedding lol. Hashtag Divorce.

My mom was sad because she brought treats for her grandcats but they of course hid in my room the whole time. Drew came out 5 minutes after everyone left and immediately was like, “Cool, give me some of these and thank her me.”

But yeah, it was just really nice that we got together on a day that wasn’t Christmas or whatever! I definitely want to do this more often. Ryan and I used to be so close as kids — well, let’s not go that far, we did fight a lot and there was A TON OF JEALOUSY on my end, but we were horror movie aficionados together, loved TMNT, and had a shit ton of inside jokes back then. Every time we get together as adults, I’m like, WHY DON’T WE DO THIS MORE OFTEN?

Life is so weird.

Jan 172023

There’s this trendy waffle joint that opened in Oakland somewhat recently, like within the last year. I drive past it whenever I take Chooch to school and I always whine about wanting to go but then we never do because Henry and Chooch don’t get stoked about things like this the way that I do.

I got over it after a while but apparently Corey mentioned to Chooch at some point recently that he wanted to go so then suddenly it became appealing to Surly Teen.

Chooch and I were both on Monday in honor of MLK Jr Day, so it seemed like a good opportunity to try some Smashed Waffles with Corey.

First of all, I was sulking because when I looked at their menu online the other day, there was a waffle under the SWEET SECTION called the John Lemon, which was, you know, lemony. I had my heart set on that one and the Cereal Killer because you know me and Fruity Pebbles as a topping.

But then we got there and IT WASN’T ON THE MENU. Chooch pressured me into choosing the SEASONAL WAFFLE so I did and immediately after paying for our order, I looked up on the digital screen just in time to see a picture of the HOT CHOCOLATE WAFFLE so I cried out, “Is that the seasonal waffle?!” and Chooch was all, “Yeah, that’s what I was trying to tell you.”


I 100% would NOT have ordered the seasonal one had I known it was HOT CHOCOLATE, which was essentially just a waffle with chocolate syrup and marshmallows?!

I was BIG PISSED about this, and then I was even more annoyed because the seating options were not ideal and Chooch and I tried in vain to get Corey to grab a recently vacated table next to the window but some dumb trio of girls practically knocked him over and managed to claim it even though COREY WAS STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO IT.

They just wanted it more, I guess.

So we stuck with our sad wobbly table by the restrooms. Don’t worry – I complained about that AND my ordering regrets the whole time, in perfect Erin fashion.

The waffle itself was actually pretty good but the hot chocolate one just really set me off. I wish I had done with Corey and Chooch did – they both got a breakfast sandwich AND a sweet waffle. My two sweet waffles were very unsatisfying. This was 100% more of a “fun snack” during an outing than a lunch. It just didn’t cut it for me and I had to make toast when I got home later!

I did get a pretty delicious latte though but now I forget which one it was – I think it ad honey and cinnamon in it!? It was pretty wonderful, to be honest.

Every time a young person walked past the window, Corey would blurt out, “do you know them?” to Chooch since we were on his school turf. I love how when I do that, Chooch gets so bitchy, but it was SO COOL AND FUNNY WHEN COREY WAS DOING IT. Ugh, Chooch.

After that, we walked around for a bit even though Corey was lowkey worried about his car getting towed, lol. Once Chooch and I realized that Corey had never been to the top-ish of the Cathedral of Learning, we were like, “Oh no, you gotta do it, let’s go” and it made me laugh a little that Chooch is so well-versed in the inner workings of the Cathedral when I’m the one who actually went to Pitt and had classes there! The Secret Life of Chooch. I know he also hangs out around the CMU campus too…? It moderately concerns me that I have no idea what he’s doing after school, because it’s definitely not “immediately coming home.”

“What if we could see your car getting towed right now?” Chooch said to Corey, which made him belt out one of his signature SUPER BOISTEROUS BELLY LAUGHS in the VERY SMALL observation area of the Cathedral.

Damn, this view never gets old. I love the Cathedral of Learning so so so so much. It was the best part of Pitt.

This rando’ storage nook was open!? Corey tried to get me to take some marketing award that was stashed in there.

I felt like I had chocolate on my face from the HOT CHOCOLATE waffle, but I guess I didn’t after all.


Sadly, none of the nationality rooms were open that day so we couldn’t show Corey all that funnery that takes place on the lower levels of the Cathedral. I love taking people there when they come to Pittsburgh to visit. The Cathedral is just, ugh, so good. But then when we left, I stepped off the sidewalk slightly and it caught me off guard to where I thought I was going to fall so I overcorrected myself too zealously and tweaked my back and now my already-effed back hurts even worse than usual. Yay, 40s.

That was a really fun afternoon! But then a few hours after we came home, THE HAWK CAME BACK and was perched on the telephone pole in front of my house so I was freaking the fuck out, telling it to go fuck itself, clapping real loud, stamping my feet – you know, the usual things that you do when you’re trying to get a fucking hawk to fuck right off because you’re protecting your squirrel family. Henry came home from work while I was out there staring the fucker down (this had been going on for 20 minutes by then) so Henry joined me but his role in all of this is more of a WILDLIFE OBSERVER, like he will stand there calmly with his hands clasped behind his back, smiling dreamily, lost in the awe-inspiring moment. The opposite of me, obviously.

Then Henry did something really stupid and said, “Usually when there is one hawk, there is another nearby—oh look, there it is!” and then pointed across the street at the church where another MUCH LARGER HAWK was perched ON THE FUCKING CROSS and as if on cue, turned and flew toward us, landing on a tree right across the street. SO NOW I HAD TO FUCK WITH TWO HAWKS.

While this was happening, Chooch left the house to go to the mall. When he walked down the sidewalk under the telephone pole where Hawk #1 was sitting, the hawk looked down at Chooch and did this antagonizing bob and weave like he was going to dive on him!? I HATE THESE FUCKERS SO MUCH!!!!

“Can’t I call the mayor?!” I cried to Henry, after he said that the game preserve, etc. wouldn’t do anything if I called because, once again, these assholes are FEDERALLY PROTECTED.

“No, you can’t call the mayor!” Henry yelled.

So then I had a great idea. I suggested that we get Blake to pretend like the hawk tried to take his toddler Milo.

“And then I can call the mayor and tell him that he needs to get someone to Brookline to remove the hawks and release them in some mountain in West Virginia, probably,” I explained, the plan coming together to quickly in my head.

“But the mayor will want to see Milo and then he’ll wonder why he doesn’t have any wounds?” Henry questioned, always trying to find PLOT HOLES in my stories.

“Well, of course Milo won’t have any wounds, because I stopped the hawk from reaching him!” I yelled, like try to keep up, idiot. This story is brilliant actually because I get to be a hero AND have the hawks evicted.

I’m going to talk to Blake about this, get him up to speed so that he can corroborate my story once the mayor and the news crews get here. Probably Biden too.

Jan 012023

Hello from 2023! I hope everyone reading this had a safe and fun New Year’s Eve! We’re not super big party animals and are always content with it just being the three of us. I considered inviting some people over, but I honestly would never be able to forgive myself if something happened to any of my friends on their way home. I just don’t trust NYE drivers.

To be honest, my only plan was to just indulge Chooch by playing some of his dumb games, drinking enough wine to get a slight buzz while doing some Kpop cardio dance with Henry (it’s so hilarious watching him attempt body rolls) and then ringing in the New Year while watching the live YouTube stream of the SMTown SMCU Palace concert.

You…would have had to be there. But it was actually so much fun.

First, though, Henry and I went to Target and bought some clearance Xmas shit. I love Xmas bunting/garland SO MUCH so I got some of that for next year, and also a Valentine/hearts one which I immediately strung up in the Cure corner upstairs. This will be for permanent, year-round enjoyment, btw.

Then we picked up Chooch from his last night of work of Dunkin’. Yep, he gave his notice last week. It was just so stupid because he chose a Dunkin’ where his friend also works, so that they could work together but then the manager consistently scheduled them apart (hmmm…wonder why, lol) and also the Dunkin’ is close to his school so it was convenient for him to get to, but super inconvenient for us because one of us* would always have to pick him up so that he wouldn’t have to catch a bus downtown at night.

*(It was always Henry except for one whole whopping time when I offered to do it only because it was the night of our Christmas party and I needed Henry to stay home and finish things haha.)

Chooch is actually considering going back to the McDonald’s he worked at last year. I will be sure to keep you posted because I’m sure you can’t stand the suspense.

Anyway, back at home, we ate vegan frozen pizza and played some Happy Dinosaur game with Chooch and it was very frustrating. I won somehow and that made Chooch extremely annoyed.

Paused to do some Kpop Cardio….

Then played Don’t Be a Dik Dik.

The only family group picture of the night, look at us, to quote the venerable poet Ame Bibabi as we do all day long in group chat at work,  p-p-p-p-partying til we die, with our chins up high.

I won this stupid game too. Chooch had enough of us and went back to his room to watch instructional videos on some of the other games he got for Christmas. You guys, I’m glad Chooch is so into tabletop games suddenly, but they seem very hard, way over my head. I hope he can find a good group of people to play this shit with him because it ain’t me.

The SM thing officially started at 10 but the first hour was some reallllly boring panel on sustainability and SM’s tree-planting initiative and I’m happy for them, I am, but this should have been separate because the actual concert didn’t start until 11pm and it was STILL GOING ON AT 2am when I finally cried, “OK, I GIVE UP! I CANNOT STAY AWAKE ANY LONGER!” and we sadly went to bed, missing one more performance by both NCT127 and NCT Dream, EXO’s Love Shot (I was at least able to see a video today), two more NCT U performances and the comeback stage for Girls on Top which I was able to also watch today so that was ok.

And SM also announced a SuperM comeback for early 2023, I’m assuming they’re waiting for Taemin and Baekhyun to come back from the military and not replacing them because that would be stupid, but we’re all wondering what the fuck Lucas’s status is?!?! They put him on hiatus over a year ago for accusations of gaslighting (???) that it turned out weren’t even true and still, nothing. Like, let the man out of the penalty box already!! Netizens are speculating that he’s been replaced in SuperM with TVXQ’s Changmin and I’m not going to lie, that would be legendary but….I would rather have Lucas.

It was so awesome seeing all of the stages with EXO and SHINee members though!! I honestly thought it was a great concert.

At one point, I was having a conversation with Henry about Kpop agencies and Chooch did one of his perfectly timed snark drive-bys, in which he said, “Wow that was so deep and inspirational” and then retreated back up to his lair.

What an absolute brat.

Anyway, I just really want to share these SMTown videos because they made me ugly cry lololol. I love it when the SM artists collab.

It’s not the same without Taemin though, that is FOR SURE.

And my favorite collaboration of the whole thing was this one with Jeno (NCT Dream), Kai (EXO), Karina (Aespa) and Seulgi (Red Velvet):

I hope my favorite Kpop cardio channel, Give Me Five Thailand, does a routine for this song!!! It makes me nostalgic for Friday nights hanging out at the South Park skating rink but 100% not skating. It just has such a chill, 90s r&b flow. I never knew I needed these four to collab on a song together until now!! Also, I love that Henry also stayed up until 2, watching this with me.

On that note, 2022 was actually pretty great, and I don’t have any resolutions for this year. I just want to get through it in one piece and hope the same for all of you too!

Dec 302022

Oh hey let’s try to put Xmas 2022 to bed before 2023 happens.

We were originally going to host this year but then Corey offered to try his hand at it for the first time ever and we HAPPILY said ok!

You should know that Corey is totally like me in the sense that he is severely lacking in a lot of basic life skills. OK, he’s probably definitely more of an adult than I am, even though he’s 10 years younger, but when it comes to KITCHEN STUFF, we are motherfucking TODDLERS. The days leading up to Xmas were very stressful for him and I could tell by the CAPSLOCK texts he was sending from Trader Joe’s that he was on the edge.

Even little decisions like “elderberry lemon or rhubarb soda? I’LL GET BOTH” had him spiraling out.

The biggest hurdle for him was conquering the SPINACH DIP recipe he found on TIKTOK. He ended up getting the wrong cheese and asked me if aged parmesan would work instead of mozzarella, as if I would know?!!?

It turned out great, whatever he did to it! And he had it arranged so nicely, I was v. proud of him! Food placement is my forte, food prep not so much, so the fact that he pulled off BOTH was very impressive to me!

Henry made the ham for the meat-o’s (le grossioso) and a vegan beef Wellington for me and Chooch, and my mom made all the delicious sides.

OK, so Henry didn’t make the version I sent him because it included a mushroom pate layer and beets, meaning that Chooch would not be partaking, but this basic ass version was still incredibly delectable. I have never had a real beef Wellington and my only frame of reference for it was Gordon Ramsey forcing the cooks on Hell’s Kitchen to make it, resulting in 99% of them getting it thrown back at them to the tune of “YOU DONKEY!”

Corey wanted to try it too, which resulted in Henry having to cut it for him….

….something he’s been doing since 2004. :)

BUT YOU GUYS YOU GUYS WAIT YOU GUYS: Henry made the earl grey pie again!!!

Apparently, he realized while making this one that he left out a step when making the one for the pie party – he forgot to mix in the whipped cream. This didn’t change the taste too much but it did make it fluffier. I liked how the OG one had more of a butterscotch pie-texture, but it was still good.

Also, he went rogue on the first pie and added orange zest and juice to the milk while it was steeping and forgot to do it this time. Also, he didn’t have pistachios so he had to borrow some of Buddy’s walnuts.

Actually, this pie was basically completely different, now that I think about it!

Still fucking delicious though.

Wow. Happiness!

I got to sit in this chair from my Pappap’s house!

Then it turned into game night. Chooch brought really complicated games with him, forgetting that the Kelly Sibs like simple stuff. Mysterium was not that.

We took a break to do the Christmas Crackers I brought over. We have never done this before and apparently didn’t do it right at all, plus we all thought that they were going to explode with confetti so it was super anti-climatic except for Henry hitting me in the head:

Ryan got Chooch Code Words for Xmas, so we played that next. Chooch was really getting pissed at Corey for deviating from the directions, which was hilarious. Chooch can be a real dick when he’s in charge.

Clandestine shot of my mom!

A nice sibling picture. I was mad at the first attempts because my enthusiasm wasn’t being matched. This was the most I could get out of them!

It was such a fun night, and the only note I can end it on is…..


Dec 292022

Hey-o, happy Thursday. Today I want to be sharing the homemade presents I prepared for my sibs and mom. I’m still on this kick where I want to repurpose the wallpaper that was salvaged from my Pappap’s house, and when my mom made me swear I wouldn’t spend money on Christmas gifts for her, I had an idea to use the wallpaper as the mat / background on a framed picture of the Gillcrest house.  I decided to make one for both of my brothers too since they both recently moved into their own homes and could probably use some personal effects like framed pictures.

I mean, OK, fine, I had to spend money on the frames, but they were 50% off at….Hobby Lobby, ugh. I’m such a sell-out. Much hypocrisy.

(I ended up using a similar picture, but from a different angle for this one and I don’t have it saved on my phone, but you get the idea.)

I love this shot so much because it’s how I will always remember the house. Flowering dogwood trees, sprawling lawn, blue skies. I think that I’m finally, mostly, at peace with the situation but what I wouldn’t give to go back in time and make sure the GROWN-UPS in the family did things differently in my Pappap’s absence. So much of what happened was preventable and it makes me sick that this house is now essentially gutted and in some stranger’s hands. I don’t think anyone is even living there! It’s almost like whoever bought it ran out of money partway into the renovations.

Not-so-secretly, I hope that Sharon is haunting THE FUCK out of that property.

Anyway. AHEM. Here is what the final products looked like:

I gave this one to Ryan: the wallpaper is from the living and dining rooms.

This one was for my mom: wallpaper from my grandparent’s bedroom. As she was watching Corey opening his, she rolled her eyes and said, “You and that wallpaper” and then saw that she also got a picture, so….lol.

Corey got the one using Sharon’s bedroom wallpaper because I thought it would mean the most to him, and also because he inherited some of her bedroom furniture when he bought a house!

My other gift came in the form of indulging Corey in his obsession with recreating our old sibling photos.

I suggested the following, with the idea that Henry could be Santa, but Corey said, “I am NOT sitting on Henry’s lap.” Lol!

I’m pretty sure this was taken at Meder’s, which is a greenhouse/nursery place that used to have reindeer in the back during the holidays that you could feed but then I think they got in trouble for having them or something so that’s no longer a thing, but they still have a Santa photo set-up as far as I know. Even when Chooch was a kid, I preferred coming to Meder’s for his annual Ho Ho portrait rather than the mall.

One time we brought Blake with us too when he was a teenagers and Santa told him to pull up his pants – this was when Blake was a scene kid and wore too-small skinny jeans. Blake was so pissed lol.

Anyway, we settled for this one which was mid but we chose it because Corey actually had the painting of the blue chair in his dining room.

I wasn’t too thrilled about this because I’m Ug City as usual but at least I’m super great at recreating my natural resting fug face with ease.

I think that Corey and I would have continued to ask for more retakes until we got it more accurate (my head is tilted the wrong way.!!!!) but Ryan was like LET US PLEASE PUT THIS TASK TO BED.

So, that was part of my Christmas recap. I’ll be back later to tell you about dinner & games OH BOY!