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!

Jun 032017
 

Lol. Possibly in my Top 5 Worst Blog Titles Ever.

I recently had this urge to visit Laurel Caverns, especially after Chooch said he didn’t remember anything about his last two visits other than Henry wouldn’t let us play mini-golf while we were there. So I decided what better way to honor the war people than by skulking around inside a cave-thing.

This meant that for the second straight year, we were going to miss the lame Memorial Day parade that clunks and trips past our house every year. We were mildly sad about that because it’s entertaining for all the wrong reasons, but caverns trump* lame parades.

*(Gonna have to find a new word to use next time. Don’t want to dumb down this blog anymore than it already is.)

Somehow, we were all in a good mood even though we were leaving the house before 10AM which usually entails tons of whining and snapping at Henry.

But we managed to have a nice, leisurely drive to the Laurel Highlands (a little over an hour’s drive, I think). And when I say leisurely, I mean that Henry is now officially one of those old people who gets passed by every single car on the highway.

“I’M ALREADY GOING OVER THE SPEED LIMIT! WHAT DO THESE PEOPLE WANT FROM ME?!” he yelled when I pointed this out to him.

I was happy to see that the parking lot for the Caverns wasn’t too full, which lowered the odds of having douchebags in our group.

Remember the last time we were here when I was making fun of those people—” I started to say as we walked to the main building.

“When don’t you make fun of people?” Chooch interrupted at the same time Henry said, “That could be anywhere.”

We paid for our admission and milled about the gift shop for just five minutes before the next tour was ready to embark. I was sad because the observatory deck was cordoned off! It’s ritual to go out there and take pictures but NOT ON THIS DAY, I guess.

As soon as our tour was called over the speaker, I got a surge of giddiness coursing through my veins. There is just something about being underground that makes me lose control of my behavior. Memories of acting like an asshole with my Girl Scout troop come flooding back; and the time we were there with the French exchange student who was living with us and my dad’s godson fell so my dad started calling him Bobo Bobolinksi (for whatever reason, this made tons of sense at the time); or the time Corey and I went there and photo-stalked some yuppie couple we hated.

Laurel Caverns is just the best! It’s the ultimate funnybone activator for me because I’m an asshole.

Almost immediately, I imprinted on our guide. He had the most adorably sardonic science-y sense of humor and I was ready to lead him down some dark, unexplored part of the cavern where we could start our own society IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

And if you don’t, I mean that I was prepared to have all of his babies.

BEING ON TOURS IGNITES MY IMAGINATION, OK.

We were in a group of maybe 15 people so it wasn’t too bad, and no one blatantly stood out and begged to be mocked, so that was good but also kind of boring because what am I supposed to do if I can’t be a lowkey dick?

OH THAT’S RIGHT, THINK ABOUT POPULATING THE CAVERN WITH MY TOUR GUIDE OFFSPRING.

Rocks.

More rocks.

Even more rocks still.

There’s a joke here somewhere about us being dumb as rocks.

Chooch spent most of the time walking ahead of us and trying to latch on to other families. That’s what he’s best at. Always looking for the better option.

The last several times we visited, we learned about the terrible bat crisis. Our guide (I can’t believe I don’t know his name, by the way) was telling us that in 2007 or something, they counted over 12,000  hibernating bats in the cave, and this past year it was down to 12.

No, I didn’t accidentally omit any zeros. That’s a 12. A 1-2. One and a two.

TWELVE.

Twelve bats! That’s it!

“Did they like, migrate?” some dumb broad asked.

“Oh no, they’re dead,” our guide said matter-of-factly, causing us to laugh, not because a dying breed is hilarious, but because his delivery was perfect.

This part of the tour kills me every time. I AM SO SAD FOR THE BATS!!

As everyone filed out of the cavern after the hour-long tour, I blurted out, “You’re the best guide I’ve ever had!” and then promptly ran away as he was stammering to thank me.

“I totally have a crush on him,” I squealed when he was out of earshot.

“Ugh, I knew it,” Chooch said with disgust and Henry just sighed, “Of course you do.”

I DON’T THINK HE WAS WEARING A WEDDING BAND AND GUESS WHAT NEITHER AM I.

Afterward, we played a round of mini-golf and I MURDERED the competition. It was almost sickening how good I was, and Chooch and Henry were so annoyed. Especially Henry, since he’s accustomed to being “the best” at mini-golf because he’s usually the only one who tries but I was succeeding purely off luck and shit-shots.

I love winning! I love being me!

There was some little bitch and her mom behind us (they weren’t on our tour) and she kept starting the hole while we were still on it and her mom was barely scolding her! And she kept calling her mom “Mother!” which was really grating my nerves. Stop encroaching on our game!

After Laurel Caverns, we drove home through Uniontown while blasting kpop and garnering confused looks from people at every red light we stopped at.

I’ve driven through Uniontown a million times in my lifetime, and even dated a guy from there for about 3 years, but I have never actually walked around it. The downtown area is so cute!

We ate at Randall’s on the way home. I had a grilled cheese and felt myself getting immediately fat like I do when I stray from my K-diet. Henry and I had coleslaw and it was too mayo-y.

Afterward, we went to Bill’s for ice cream. I was mad because I was forced to order abruptly without adequate menu-gazing time. I piggybacked off of Henry’s “small twist with crunchies” order BUT IT WASN’T WHAT I WANTED.

I was unsatisfied.

Then Henry went back inside to pee and in that short amount of time, Chooch got in a fight about something that I can’t even remember now and spent the whole car ride home not speaking.

THIS WAS RIGHT BEFORE THE FIGHT.

We’re OK now, don’t worry. I’m still a mom, I guess.

Well, now you know how we spent our Memorial Day. It was fine. The Penguins won the first game of the Stanley Cup finals later that night so that was a good ending!

As you were.

May 142017
 

Today is Mother’s Day and it was fine. Nothing spectacular. We’re all lethargic a little from our Cleveland day trip yesterday, which always seems like no big thang until it’s 2:30am and we’re just rolling into Pittsburgh and I say “we” because I do everything short of propping my eyelids up with toothpicks in order to stay awake out of solidarity while Henry drives (and also because I have a huge fear of him falling asleep at the wheel). Needless to say, I was kicking myself for telling him we didn’t need to spend the night there. 

(That’s how yow know I’m serious about saving money! I HAVE MY EYE ON THE PRIZE.)

Chooch actually said Happy Mothers Day to me this morning without being prompted by Henry, which was nice I guess. Then he said, “I’ll make your coffee for you. Never mind, I don’t know how to make coffee” and then walked away when I tried to tell him to how. 

WHO DOES HE REMIND ME OF RIGHT NOW, I thought to myself. OH YEAH—ME. 

Chooch is too old now for teachers to force him to draw me some dumb picture or write some MOTHER acrostic and if Henry doesn’t remember to take him to the store to buy me at least a card, I get nothing. 

This was one of those years. But I’m still riding high on G-Dragon and KCON and also seeing Emarosa last night so I’m good. I mean, I’m still going to bitch about it because that’s who I am, but honestly I’m fine. 

I’m not a big breakfast fanatic so I told Henry to just make me an egg and an English muffin. Wow, when did I become so easy? Then Henry asked, “Do you want to watch Running Man since we didn’t get to watch it yesterday?” And he never seemed hotter to me than he did at that moment, except for Friday when he was like “Fine get the P4 KCON tickets instead of the P5.” 

So we watched Running Man and it happened to be the episode where they announce that Song Joon Ki is leaving and everyone on the show was crying and I was practically choking on my tears because they fell so fast that I wasn’t able to close my mouth in time. 

Wah. 

Um, what else. 

Henry made me a lovely bowl of dangnyeum for lunch and then we went to Jefferson Memorial for a walk even though Chooch declared that he suddenly doesn’t like cemeteries anymore? And I pouted because they weren’t putting me up on a grand enough Mom Pedestal, to which Chooch cried, “Literally every day is your day!” And ok fine he has a point but still. 

Then I made Chooch pose for this picture right after he was loudly talking about how he had to piss, not realizing that some broad was sitting in a nearby car with the window down, listening to his crude soliloquy:

I bet all the old rich suburban people preening their mothers’ graves really loved Chooch’s shirt. 

There was a patch of buttercups next to a stream in the cemetery, and I taught Chooch the whole “buttercup nose reflection” thing which really isn’t that big of a deal but I remember doing it a lot as a kid with my friends so maybe it was a big deal? I mean, we also weren’t preoccupied with Snapchat and Musicaly and cyber bullying back then, so the simple act of making the tip of our noses glow yellow was a fucking barrel of monkeys. 

 Chooch originally was unimpressed, but then a few minutes later he said, “No really, how does it turn your nose yellow?”

He’s kind of slow sometimes. 

We ended the day with a walk to Scoops, where a fourth grader came in and proceeded to stare at Chooch. 

“Do you know her?” Henry asked. 

“Yeah, she calls me Beaver.” And then when we stared at him expectedly, he casually added, “Because I ate a stick one time.”

Ugh, his reputation at school must be completely unenviable. 

On the way home, I was running like I was in the BTS “Run” music video and then Chooch was going to live at a bus stop and I was laughing so hard at everything that I was practically screaming and Henry just continued to walk faaaaaar ahead of us. 

So, that was my Mother’s Day. It was… a day. But yesterday was pretty close to perfection, so I guess it all evens out. 

Apr 162017
 

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Blake was over last night and I did that thing I do where I wait until the last minute and then blurt out, “CAN YOUDO ME A FAVOR HERE PUT THIS ON” and then before Blake knew it, he was reprising his leporine* role.

*(That was today’s Dictionary.com word of the day, have some smarts.)
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Reflection.

My original plan backfired, because Henry failed to perfectly execute my vision so I threw a fit and pouted for twenty  minutes (I’m getting better), so I guess I’ll save that for that next year.

Anyway, enjoy whatever it is you do on Easter, and if you’re like us and do nothing, then bask in the glory that is no religious obligation! Stupid Henry, I mean, the real Easter bunny didn’t come back to our house so there were NO BASKETS for chooch and me and Henry, I mean, the Easter Bunny, said it’s because we’re spoiled brats and don’t deserve anything and now we know how he feels because we never get him anything for holidays?!

Henry, and I mean, the Easter Bunny, strikes back. What the fuck. 

(NOT EVEN ANY JELLYBEANS?!)

Feb 142017
 

Some years I get really into Valentines Day and pass cards out at work, bake Henry a cake, make him a painting of us, blah blah blah. But then other years, I’m too preoccupied with other things to be bothered. Considering I don’t even know what day it is half the time anymore, I didn’t have great expectations or grand plans for this year’s V-Day.

And it started off kind of bad because I SLEPT IN and I NEVER SLEEP IN. I fell asleep on the couch last night, watching Running Man episodes on YouTube, and I guess my phone slid in between the couch cushions so I didn’t hear BIGBANG serenading me this morning, THE FUCK.

Thank god for Chooch’s friend Dimajio. He comes over every morning at 7:20 so that they can talk about important things such as if they refer to Gatorade by color or actual flavor name before walking to school together, so his knocking was my makeshift alarm.

I thought this was a sign of A Bad Day Ahead, but then I got to work and found a bag of Cadbury dark chocolate hearts on my desk:

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The heart on the bag said “One of a kind” which is also a G-Dragon song and then Henry was like CALL ME ASAP so I did and he was like BOOTS WAS ARRESTED! BEST VALENTINES DAY EVER!

(Glenn’s heart said “You’re terrific” and I was like HARDLY.)

This calls for its own blog post, especially once I get more 411, but the best part is that the landlord told Henry that now in lieu of trying to evict Boots (which, I’m no landlord, but I hear that evicting people isn’t always the easiest thing), he can now file for abandonment of the property or something, so that Boots can’t come back. There have been people quietly moving their shit out of there all night, so I feel HASHTAG BLESSED.

Later in the afternoon, Henry surprised me by being Facebook-affectionate, which is a rare occurrence indeed, so rare that people were like, “HAHAH HACKED” and then I was like, “NICE ONE, HENRY. You’re nice to me so infrequently that my friends literally think I posted this myself!”

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I assure you I didn’t. I would have used a better picture.

(I have to admit, I really did do a double-take when I opened up my Facebook app and saw the “feeling in love with Erin Rachelle Kelly” part.)

And then after work, Henry gave me a BIGBANG sweater!! I might have cried a little bit. I actually told him a few days that I didn’t want anything for Valentines Day unless it was Korean, but it appears that he was one step ahead of me. I was so happy with this that I let him go to sleep after he made dinner and I didn’t even bother him!

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(Meanwhile, I just went upstairs and walked in on Chooch watching Twilight and crying, the fuck. I think we’re all going through identity crises. Chooch is now a middle-aged housewife and I’m a Korean teenager.)

I guess this is the part where I say something sweet about Henry. Um, I’ll just say it inside my head.

So, that was my exciting Made Up Holiday That Doesn’t Matter, except on the years that Henry actually gets me shit that I want!

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Signing off with a Valentines Day Edition BIGBANG video, you are so very welcome (#TURTLENECKGOALS):

Dec 292016
 

The "let's go" shadow dance.

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Oh wow, more merry merry holiday recaps, thank god. 

I can’t even believe I’m about to say this about my own kid, but wow is he so unlike me sometimes! There was only one thing he wanted for Christmas, and had been telling us since at least the beginning of summer. I remember thinking, “A Nintendo 3DS? Wow, aren’t those like, yesterday’s news?” I’m too busy immersed in my own interests and obsessions to keep up with the world of gaming, but evidently, every single Nintendo gaming system was in high demand this season, even the 3DS XL.

Of course, we didn’t know this until three days before Xmas (THREE DAYS BEFORE – we’re getting less and less last minute each year, you guys!) when some asshole at GameStop laughed at us like we just asked to see the motherfucking basement of the goddamn Alamo.

So I decided, on Christmas Eve, that I was going to gently break the news to Chooch so that he wouldn’t be super disappointed on actual Christmas. And by gently, I mean that I s-l-o-w-l-y ripped off that Pokemon Band-Aid while saying things like, “OK promise you won’t get mad” and “Please don’t hate me, but….” until finally I think he figured out where my hemming and hawing was leading (even though I tried to throw the “you’re adopted” curveball at him) and you know what? HE DID NOT THROW A FIT.

How is that my kid?

HOW HAS HE BEEN WATCHING ME THROW TEMPER TANTRUMS FOR THE LAST 10 YEARS AND NOT ONCE FELT THE NEED TO EMULATE ME?

Because if that was 10-year-old Erin and my mom was all, “Sorry, but the Brony phenomenon started 20 years early and there’s not one My Little Pony to be had, I checked EVERY LAST KAY-BEE” I would have slammed ten thousand doors and broken every glass object that dared to stand in front of my testosterone surge.

But Chooch was all, “It’s OK, I understand” and proceeded to be completely happy with the other non-coveted items we bought him.

Like, wow.

Whose kid is he!?

Oh right, Henry is a parent, also.

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Christmas morning was really good, you guys. It was peaceful. We didn’t fight (not until later at the cemetery but we always fight at the cemetery because using my broken camera makes me lose my temper), just hung out and listened to all of my favorite bands while Chooch had about 19 different toys in action all at once.

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Henry is like, so thoughtful.

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We could have probably just got him a handful of Pokemon cards and he would have been content.

And scratch offs. The kid loves himself some lottery.

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Butt-crack scratch offs.

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Papa Bae* got me another beautiful piece of The Cure art to add to the collection! THANKS BAE.

*(Never gets old. To you, it probably does. And definitely to Henry.)

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Obligatory Christmas family photo, in between me yelling at them and them rolling their eyes.

Henry brought a ziplock bag of black olives, which made me scream in horror.

“Um, I thought you love black olives?” he sighed.

“I do! But not in this context!” I screamed.

“In this context? You mean, in a plastic bag?”

YES THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN, ASSHOLE.

Speaking of black olives! We had our team Christmas lunch last week at Villa Reale. I sat next to Amber1 and THANK GOD I DID, because she ordered a side salad and then proceeded to pick out all of the olives.

I cried, “If you don’t want your olives, I’ll take them!” and so she made a little pile of olives for me, which I later smashed into my slice of cheese pizza. Black olives is basically the only pizza topping I care about.

Glenn and Todd were sitting across from me and seemed disgusted by my olive actions, but I didn’t care. My pizza tasted so much more familiar after that.

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Actually, here is a picture of that time it took three people to pull apart a piece of garlic bread, with my olives waiting patiently for their hot, greasy bed to splay across like Miss(es) December(s).

Ugh, erotic olives get me every time!

But yeah…olives from a plastic bag? That’s not hot.

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Came home after our “picnic” and spent the rest of the day relaxing, watching Netflix things, not giving a shit about the Steelers, and spying on the neighbors. 

Oh, and lots of KpopX workouts!

Well, that was my Xmas 2016. It was kind of perfect, not gon’ lie.  Most days, I feel like your basic Schleprock, but on this particular Christmas, I felt pretty lucky. DON’T TELL HENRY I SAID THAT, EW.

Dec 272016
 

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For the first time in 6 years, we went to my mom’s house for Christmas. Technically, it was Christmas Eve-Eve, but it still had just the right amount of holiday feels. This has been a tremendously difficult year for my family, and while I wanted to go out of the town for the weekend and pretend like Christmas wasn’t happening, I knew I couldn’t do that to my mom. She lost her sister, her childhood home, and three of her pets in less than a year. What a fucking year.

And you know what? It ended up being fine. Better than fine — it was really nice and relaxed, and the food was great (I definitely didn’t inherit any of my mom’s cooking skills), and the decor was beautiful. Henry’s contribution was some kind of egg and polenta casserole thing that he found in one of his housewife magazines, which he misplaced and started tearing the house apart like a wildman while yelling at me and his mom. I was about to get all defensive up in here but then I remembered that I constantly throw his stuff away, so…

But then he found it on the table or who knows where, so crisis averted.

“Are there mushrooms in this?” Corey asked around a forkful of the polenta slop.

“YEAH WHY ARE YOU ALLERGIC?!” I cried in alarm.

“No, I just don’t really like mushrooms,” Corey laughed nervously, but then he said he was surprised that he liked the slop after all! Maybe there’s hope that Henry can trick our kid into eating vegetables by the time he’s 26.

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My mom’s aesthetic couldn’t be any different than mine*, but I really love it.

*(Said beneath a picture featuring clown figurines.)

We used to have this big, beautiful wooden Noah’s Ark in that bay window, with lot of wooden animal pairs to go with it, but then over the years our dog Rama ran off with roughly 75% of them, so I guess my mom finally got rid of it. It was weird not seeing it there. I started to explain it to Henry, who cut me off and said, “Yeah I know, I’ve seen it before.”

“YOU DIDN’T SEE IT WHEN IT WAS GOOD, THOUGH!” I yelled, because that’s how I communicate with Henry. At high volumes with a hatchet behind my back.

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The faces of people watching a kid try to make a constipated reindeer poop candy.

This picture cracks (originally typed CRAPS — you guys, I’m starting to seriously worry about my brain. I USED TO BE A SPELLING AND GRAMMAR SNOB AND NOW LOOK AT ME) me up. If you’ve ever been around us, you’ve probably definitely seen Henry in this exact pose: A Sleep-Deprived, Down-Trodden Man’s AnguishTM.

Big shot Henry made another coconut (originally typed “cocunt” – someone order me an MRI, I’m scared) cream pie, this time with HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM laced with RUM. Thanks, Kitchen Wench.

Chooch got my mom a candle and a copy of his school picture, which he signed “My Beautiful Face” on the back. It was eerily reminiscent of the time I blew up and framed a close-up of my face for my grandma for Christmas one year and she was just like, “Oh.”

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After dinner, Henry could stand it no longer and crashed on a chair in the living room. Meanwhile, my mom got Chooch so many Pokémon cards and that really kept him quiet so good thinking, Val! Also, she found two tubes of Pogs and at first my brother Ryan thought they were mine, but after .0002 seconds of rifling though them, I deduced that they were actually his because they were way too basic to be mine. I mean, one was a yin yang for fuck’s sake!

Mad props to my mom for wanting to end the year on a nice, peaceful note when it’d be just as easy to lay in bed and cry about it. Which is usually how I spend holidays. #sadgirl4L

Dec 262016
 

Oh boy, guess what time it is?! Annual Christmas portraits of Chooch in the cemetery! And as usual, it was the only time we fought all day because I get so irritated with using my actual camera anymore.

I use this excuse every single time, but my camera is like a dying dog that needs puts out of its misery. But buying a new one is just not something I care about right now (priorities: concerts and traveling for concerts) so I keep dragging the old, broken bitch out of the house when the time comes, which really is only about twice a year these days because I’m lazy and apathetic as fuck. But at least this time I remembered to charge the battery the night before!

As usual, there was tons of fighting in the beginning. The camera was all out of whack and I started launching death threats at Henry because everything is his fault. But then he fiddled with the setting and everything was OK but I still hated him so he hung back and let us do our thing. We eventually walked across the street to the other side of the cemetery and Henry completely left us alone, and suddenly Chooch and I were best friends and I hadn’t yelled, “JUST FORGET IT!” and marched off in a huff in at least 10 minutes! A record!

Anyway, here are pictures of my kid, age 10, on Christmas 2016 after eating a lazy picnic of egg salad sandwiches and Chips Ahoy that Henry half-assedly tossed into a tiny cooler. These picnics are dying the same slow death as my camera!

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It looks like Chooch is so congenial here! But what was actually happening was he was saying, “FUCK MY LIFE” with a mirthless laugh.

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And here he is laughing at my camera-caused anguish.

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This was probably when I was yelling, “EVERYTHING I DO FOR YOU AND YOU CAN’T SMILE FOR ONE FUCKING PICTURE!?”

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Things got OK from this point on. I wasn’t feeding off of Henry’s presence anymore and my blood pressure was starting to level out.

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I don’t know why, but somehow the theme became “Sad Mouseketeer” – I just rolled with it because Chooch was actually being pleasant to work with and sometimes you just have to let the model take the lead.

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The “please adopt me” face.

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This is the look he’s usually giving me at any given moment of the day.

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When we got in the car to leave, Chooch said to Henry, “Daddy, everything was fine once you left.” SEE?! Henry is the catalyst.

And then the rest of the day was fine because I didn’t have a camera in my hand. Henry said it probably just needs serviced and I was like YOU NEED SERVICED UGH.

Dec 242016
 

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Merry Christmas Eve! Henry is wrapping presents while we watch The Fall (thanks for the recommendation, Chris!) and I try to talk myself out of the notion that he could be a serial killer. HE GOES “TO THE STORE” WAY TOO OFTEN.

Anyway, this is our first Christmas with Drew and Penelope. They’re being dicks, but they sure look cute doing it.

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Kpop. Kats. Krissmiss.

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Chooch hasn’t believed in Santa in years, so I get all of my fun these days by labeling his presents in ridiculous ways. Like, this year, one is from “that lady’s ass in the Kanye West video.” And obvisiously, there’s one from Boots too.

I’m typing this with one contact in because (surprise, surprise) my one eye is like, screaming at me so many Santa will bring me new eyeballs. Or at the very least, a resurrected pair of my beloved big green glasses.

kbye.

Dec 202016
 

When I woke up last Wednesday, I was in A Mood. Going to work felt like a drag. Our department’s Christmas party was that day and I just wasn’t feeling any sort of way about the holidays. I mean, I hadn’t reached Critical Grinch status, but I was getting close. JUST ONE OF THOSE DAYS, except swap out “days” with “years.”

You guys, I even opted out of Secret Santa. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE SECRET SANTA?! :(

I got to work and at first it was all, “Ugh work. Ugh Glenn. Ugh stupid desk—–with A BOX ON IT HEY WHAT’S IN THIS BOX?!”

Oh, I’ll tell you what was in the box: a shoofly pie…from Lancaster!

Ahhhh, Virginia is so sweet! I went to her office to thank her and she said, “I thought I remembered hearing you say you like shoofly pie.” I went back to my desk and told Glenn, who was like, “Who DIDN’T hear you say that? You talked about it for about a year.” Ugh, whatever. But OK, that’s true.

Also on my desk was a sugar cookie-scented wax thingie from Gayle. She gave me a cinnamon one several years back and it still smells so wonderful! So I was happy to get another one. I can’t brag too much about this one though because she gave one to everyone. YAWN.

A few minutes later, Sandy walked by with a huge bag of British chocolate and let me pick me one, and then right after that, Lori gave me a cookie.

“WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE YOU” Glenn grunted in disgust, which is always my cue to turn around, tilt my head, place a hand under my chin, and then smile sweetly.

“It’s because of this,” I said, Vanna White’ing my face with my free hand, at which point Todd groaned and maybe possibly threw up a little.

A few hours later, I overheard Gayle over in her dark cave, talking to a visiting JP about the smelly wax things.

“This one is my favorite, it’s lemon lavender. Here, smell it,” she said to JP, at which point I nearly flipped over my chair in my effort to get my nostrils closer to the lavender.

“I want to smell it too!” I cried, inserting myself into their scented wax smell-o-thon.

Gayle let me have a deep whiff. I made a really sad face and said, “I like that one better than the one you gave me.”

“Well, this one is mine, so….” Gayle started to say before remembering who she was talking to. “I might have an extra one at home….oh for God’s sake, here. Just take this one.” And as I giddily ran back to my desk with my new wax thing, I heard her sigh to JP, “I just can’t stand to see her pout like that.”

“Bully,” Todd said as I dangled my winnings over Glenn’s desk.

Meanwhile, a Chinese auction and raffle was going on. Every year, people donate unused goods, which are then put together into various themed gift baskets for people to bid on, and all the proceeds go to whichever charity/good cause our department had collectively chosen for that year. Then there are other items which are raffled off. As usual, I didn’t have cash on me, and at first I didn’t care, until Wendy made me go and look at all the stuff that was up for grabs.

And that’s when I saw it.

SUCCULENT NOTE CARDS. They were part of a “local art” collection and I desperately wished I had a dollar, or four quarters or whatever, so I could buy a dumb raffle ticket.

But I didn’t, so I went back to my desk and worked, which I’m sure seems shocking to a lot of people, the image of me working.

Later in the afternoon, before the drawing was set to happen, I heard Gayle buying more tickets from the admin person.

“Gayle, give me one of your tickets,” I said, nay—demanded.

Not only did Gayle give me a ticket, she gave me TWO TICKETS. Yeah she did.

So I put one ticket in the bag for the art stuff, and then, after hesitating, I put the second ticket in the bag for the kitchen-y stuff, because I thought maybe if I won that,  I could give it to Henry and he would be so struck by my thoughtfulness, that he would rewind time and marry me 11 years ago.

The Chinese auction closed at 3. I didn’t care about who won any of that stuff though (however, Gayle won a GIGANTIC Chicago canvas and it’s still sitting on her desk and I crack up every time I walk by it), because I didn’t bid on anything and I truly do only care about myself I guess.

After all that hullabaloo (shout out to Battle of the Network Stars), it was finally time for the raffle drawings. I was still at my desk, working, when I heard the admin girl—Shannon—say my name. That was my cue to speedwalk over to where all the raffle shit was and ask, “DID YOU SAY MY NAME DID I WIN SOMETHING WHAT DID I WIN PLEASE DON’T LET IT BE THE KITCHEN SHIT” and it was the art stuff! I got the succulent notecard set! I also got a cute Cheshire Cat card and tea towel, and a little pot which I gave to Todd because he has zero decorations / personal effects on his desk.

Shannon sent out an email letting everyone know who won what, since not everyone was prize-hungry like me and low-key loitering around a corner trying to hear if their name was called. Almost immediately, I got an email from Wendy that said, very succinctly, “OMG YOU ARE THE WORST!!!!” Because Wendy knew that I made Gayle give me two of her tickets.

I think that might have been my most winningest moment of the day though, knowing how appalled this made Wendy. I LOVE WINNING! God, Wednesday was a great day.

Another great day was Thursday, when I walked into work and saw that my desk was covered in Xmas décor, lights, and even a tiny tree. There was a note that said, “Maybe this will put you in the Christmas spirit.” Just the day before, I was in the kitchen with her, being a brat about Christmas apathy. “I DIDN’T EVEN MAKE CHRISTMAS CARDS THIS YEAR, CHERYL!” I shouted, really driving it home.

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I added my own flair to the garland. It just needed a little bit of Erin, you know?

Well, kudos to you, Cheryl — it worked! The decorations are the complete opposite of everything I represent, and that makes me crack up every day when I sit down at my desk now. And I even felt inspired to get off my ass and make Xmas cards this year after all! I mean, I only just made them last night so probably everyone will get them after Christmas, but AT LEAST I DID IT,

Sometimes work is a weird type of therapy for me. And I guess if you were really hard-pressed for a moral, you could say that BULLYING IS FOR WINNERS. Or, I work with a bunch of enablers.

Dec 172016
 

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While our country was in the middle of imploding last month, the only thing I could think was, “This year has been like toddler backwash in the cup of life. I just want to be with my friends and not care about anything for a few hours, Henry we’re having a party.” And Henry was like, “—-” and I was like, “Too late, I already invited people.” Henry LOVES when that happens, but at least this time I gave him a three second heads up before he got the Facebook event notification.

I created the event on my phone, probably through tears because a veil of salty face water is 2016’s little black dress. As such, I accidentally spelled party as “parth” and WENDY had a field day with that one. The next day at work, she was like, “I’m going to dress like Jennie Garth to your holiday parth” and then Lori, who had stopped in Wendy’s office right at that moment, was all, “LOL and I’m going to be Shannon Doherty” so then they wanted me to be Tori Spelling?! I was like, “Why do I have to be Tori Spelling!?” and I got unreasonably upset about this, so then Wend was all, “Fine you can be David Silver then. Or Andrea!” and I cried, “I DON’T WANT TO BE ANY OF THOSE PEOPLE!” and stormed back to my desk, even after Lori offered to relinquish her claim on Brenda.

“Wow, that took a turn,” Lori laughed.

#blamewendy

As usual, this was poorly planned. HENRY waited until the last minute to start preparing, after ignoring my month-long texts of food suggestions. His big idea was to make mini ham BBQ sandwiches and I was like, “Wow, how Yinzer of you. Can we fill an old tire full of Coors Lite, too?” And then he waited until two hours into the party to finally serve the vegetarian meatballs I begged him to make, and he only made like 10 of them and had to cut them into little pieces, and then he didn’t even make fancy sauce, he just used STORE BOUGHT ONES. Whatever, Henry. Go fuck yourself.

Also, I spent like FIFTEEN MINUTES at the idiotic grocery store, trying to decide what kinds of crackers to buy, and then we forgot to put them out on the table. And Henry wouldn’t buy fancy bread and instead bought some gross, dry, tiny loaf of party bread that no one ate because it was a real saliva-sucker and I didn’t eat it either. Chooch tried one and then threw it out in front of everyone.

(OK FINE I PICKED OUT THE BREAD BECAUSE I WAS CONFUSED AND FLUSTERED AND JUST WANTED TO BE DONE.)

We were really crunched for time, so I actually offered to help Henry with kitchen-y things. He had me cut peppers (!!!!!). First he gave me a huge knife, then thought better of it and swapped it out with something less dangerous. Still, it took me forever to dice them the way he showed me. I kept asking him what the peppers were for, to which he repeatedly responded with a vague, “Um…I’m not sure yet.”

OH I’LL TELL YOU WHAT THEY WERE FOR: his motherfucking ham BBQ!!! That bastard had me sous-cheffing for his gross meat shit!! Talk about betrayal.

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I wanted Henry to make more sweet things too but he made no such thing, so then I just had Janna bake cookies and she did because I told her to. Obedient friends are important to have, guys. And Chris and Monica brought salted caramel bars too so thank god!

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At least I didn’t screw up the punches. (And yes, that sign mentions pregnant people because Robbie’s girlfriend is having twins! HENRY IS GOING TO BE A GRANDFATHER!!! And someone else is pregnant too but hasn’t officially announced it yet so I won’t out them on here. And no it’s not me, ew.) Honestly, the beverage buffet is my favorite part of having parties. Plus, I get joy in seeing Blake daintily holding a tiny punch glass.

I did this! Here’s my Pinterest-worthy step-by-step DIY:

  1. Hand garland to people.
  2. Have them do it for you.

In my case, the “people” were Henry and Robbie. WELL DONE! Robbie also hung my “Merry Christmas” garland for me above the beverage buffet, because Henry was “too busy.”

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But then people started to arrive and I didn’t care about the dumb food anymore because woo, distractions!

Guest list:

  • Robbie and Nikki
  • Blake and Haley
  • Sandy, Elene and Zoe
  • Amber1 and Brian
  • Janna
  • Barb
  • Lori
  • Lauren and Tony
  • Chris and Monica
  • Wendy, Shawn and Summer
  • Sean and Ines
  • Shawn and Jess

Lisa and Kara both sadly had to un-RSVP earlier that day because they were sick. :( I was so sad! It seemed weird without them. Although I think maybe Kara was just trying to avoid Henry because she is the QUEEN of finding ridiculous things for sale that she knows will get me all riled up, so she’ll text me the link to various oddities knowing that an impending headache will ensue for Henry, having to hear me whine and beg for things like an old bumper car being auctioned from a defunct amusement park. And then Henry will scream, “THAT THING WOULDN’T EVEN FIT THROUGH OUR FRONT DOOR” and Kara will reply, “If he really loved you, he’d find a way.”

Like, we have a roof you know — cut a hole and drop it through, Henry!

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Holy fork receptacle — I DID THIS.

YOU GUYS, THERE ARE TWINS IN THERE. I can’t wait to be the weirdest young faux-grandma ever!!!! LET’S GO TO WARPED TOUR, BABIES!

As if everyone didn’t already feel under-dressed, Zoe had to go and add a garland boa to her ensemble. <3

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Chooch said he had a good time at the party but his favorite part was when everyone left. Wow.

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Henry and Shawn coming up with a hopeful Mouse Attack stratagem.

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Ugh, everyone LOVES Chooch, blah blah blah.

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A Somber Convo.

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Blake and the dainty punch cup. PINKIE FINGER ACTIVATED.

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When Barb walked in, Chooch casually said, “Wrong house.” I love their weird frenemyship.

Also, I think this is the first time I had a party where everyone was there at once (usually my non-game night parties are of a revolving door-variety where some people come early and some come late) so my tiny house was pretty packed. Sorry guys!

Not sorry to my ASSHOLE NEIGHBORS though. Hope all the loud laughter and talking disturbed them. (It probably didn’t though, ugh.)

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I jokingly mentioned in the Facebook event thing that perhaps we also do lame crafts, but then it became a reality. Chooch picked out some s’mores craft thing with was evidently extremely frustrating to create, but luckily Sandy came prepared with foam snowflakes, stickers, and markers, so that seemed to appease the kids (and Blake and Haley). I think my favorite scene was Zoe crafting on the Devil rug.

Pictured: Haley using the s’mores craft supplies to make a snowman, while Chris waves her hand at this impromptu display of ingenuity and says, “WHOA.” Meanwhile, Blake just played with an electrical current.

(The s’mores craft really played with Chooch’s patience, that’s for sure. “It was TERRIBLE. Did not work” — Chooch’s 1 star review.)

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Henry was in his glory because all of his favorite Sean/Shawns were there.

I wouldn’t let anyone leave without taking their picture with Trudy the Beauty:

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The night before, I had a dream that I forgot to make the punch and didn’t realize it until the next morning, but then it ended up not even mattering because no one showed up anyway. I was nervous all day, wondering if everyone was going to cancel on me, but it ended up being such a nice turn-out! Someday, I’ll move out of this shanty and into something bigger, and then EVERYONE CAN COME!

P.S. It’s been a week and my house is still clean! The best part of having parties: Henry DEEP CLEANS.

Dec 042016
 

We were going to make Trudy Dress-Up Time an event like last year, because nothing says Christmas tradition like drunkenly talking with friends about current events while hanging ornaments from a mannequin’s tit, but then I got SICK so Henry basically did it all himself. But let’s face it—it’s probably better that way. Especially when it comes to putting up lights. I don’t fuck with that peasant shit.

We never started putting up trees until Chooch was 2, so by then, my four original cats were already old enough to not really give a shit about it. We never had a single incident! At most, Marcy would sometimes lay under it. Last year, when we introduced Trudy as our official tree of the season, we were, for the first time ever, a pet-less household. Drew and Penelope are both a little over a year old now, but they still act like pernicious assholes, so I have been super worried about how they’d react.

I voiced my concern so Henry said he would strap Trudy to the wall if he had to.

“How are you going to do that?” I asked honestly, because no really how?

“ERIN, I CAN PRETTY MUCH DO ANYTHING!” he cried, giving me those crazy mountain man eyes he gets when I’ve given him one too many things to do in one day. lol forever.

Don’t worry. I kept a close eye on him to make sure he didn’t grab Trudy by the pussy. NOT ON MY WATCH, MOTHERFUCKER.

Trudy Twinkle Toes.

My only contribution was wrapping her with garland, which Henry yelled at me for because “LIGHTS ARE SUPPOSED TO GO ON FIRST, IDIOT.” Sorry, Father Christmas!

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Chooch looks promising as an option for an auxiliary tree….

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Thankfully, the cats were mostly blasé about the whole ordeal, save for several sniffs and curious peeks into the bins of decorations. But today was a brand new day, and it was like they were seeing it for the first time. However, most of their fascination lies with the tree skirt – Santa’s hat has a pom-pom on it and hoo-boy is it enticing. There’s been a lot of running and sliding into Trudy and bunny-kicking of Santa’s hat.

Trudy has a new wig for this season. Now she looks a bit more sophisticated and less like a candy cane floozy.

Whatever that means. I’m sick, remember.

Praying for a normal Christmas tree. Chooch hates Trudy. OH WELL, SUCKER. Stop trying to make me conform, tiny patriarchy!!

Nov 242016
 

It goes without saying, but I am thankful everyday for these two guys: my baes, my ride-or-dies, my boo-thanks, my–*barf*. You get the picture.

Today more than ever though I’m reminded of how much they’ve made my life better. When you draw a shitty hand in the game of Family, make your own. Even though we might not be doing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner thing today, at least I don’t have to spend it alone.

Also, we’re watching the Gilmore Girls marathon on Up (some Christian channel that beeps out “damn” and “hell”) and it’s the episode where Lorelei is receiving mixed reactions to marrying Christopher because everyone in Stars Hollow is like “but….Luke” and I said to Henry, “I feel like that’s what would happen to me if we broke up and I married someone else; everyone would revolt and hate me and my new husband.” And I shouldn’t have said that because now Henry is gloating.

Also pt. 2: Henry painted the wall above our fireplace mantel pink in preparation for finally hanging my Mouse Attack light! Except that there is an issue with mounting it because there are bricks behind the plaster and other things I tuned out, and also now my friend Wonka is going to help us figure out how to get the lights to work because Henry only knows how to do electrical thing, not electronic, and evidently there is a difference.

I love Thanksgiving house makeovers!

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The Mouse Attack sign:


Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving. Or, as I call it, Happy “Google search for restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving” Day!

Nov 032016
 

I can’t remember the exact moment that Chooch’s costume lightbulb went on above his brainy head, but it was definitely fairly soon after Halloween 2015. He was going through a Smashing Pumpkins phase, and casually decided that he was going to be a bullet with butterfly wings for Halloween.

At first, I laughed really hard and gave it my Great Costume stamp of approval. Also, what a novel concept – knowing what he was going to be with ample time to construct the costume. Had this ever happened before?!

NO.

But then reality set in and I remembered that perhaps not many people would understand it, you know, since it’s not 1995/1996. So Henry and I tried to subtly change his mind, and really—how shitty of us. I’m glad that Chooch was committed to his idea and didn’t let us sway him.

Flash forward 8 months. It’s a week before Halloween and Henry still hasn’t started working on the bullet. I kept saying things like, “This isn’t going to be finished in time, is it?” to which his response was supposed to be, “OF COURSE IT WILL BE, ERIN!” and not, “I don’t know. Maybe not.”

Spoiler alert: Henry worked a miracle and got it done! At the last minute though, he scrapped the paper mache bullet tip he made because it looked too dildo-esque, and instead opted for a large balloon (the punching kind) which he spray-painted silver. It looked much better!

We waited until the day before to get the wings. We try to be as DIY as possible when it comes to costumes, but I was willing to splurge on the wings because I just wanted this to be done. So we went to Party City after Chooch’s piano lesson on Sunday.

SIDE STORY, unrelated to Halloween:

For as long as I can remember, I do this thing where I walk into a store or restaurant ahead of Henry and pull the door shut on him. It’s like my thing, and it pisses him off so much.

And our visit to Party City was no different. I walked in ahead of him and, without so much as a glance behind my shoulder, I shoved the door shut behind me. I mean full-force, as aggressively as possible, I gave that fucking door a Hulk slam.

I heard Henry say, “Erin!” but it sounded further away than it should have. So I slowly turned around and realized that there was a small woman behind me, looking totally stunned from having a GLASS DOOR SLAMMED SHUT ON HER. Fucking Henry had let her go ahead of him and then stood back to see how it would play out, what a motherfucker!

So then I was put in this terrible social situation where I had to profusely apologize to a stranger while trying to explain to her why that happened, how it’s just what I do, until I heard the words I was saying and realized I was making it so much worse.

SO MUCH WORSE.

Oh, Henry loved every moment of it.

I mean, it was bound to happen eventually.

Anyway, Chooch got his wings but not the pair I wanted him to get but whatever, DON’T LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER.

****

This year was Chooch’s last Halloween parade at school. I was kind of sad about it, but it isn’t how it was when I was a kid. The classroom parties aren’t shit because there are so many restrictions, and so many costumes are against school policy. So basically the parents gather around outside the school just to watch a 15 minute parade, where only some of the students are in costume because HALLOWEEN IS DYING, ISN’T IT?? Oh I just can’t stand it.

But, speaking of school policy, Chooch could 100% not dress up as a bullet at school. I mean, I didn’t need the rules and regulations paper that was sent home last week to remind me of that. So in my effort to find him an alternative costume that still involved his wings (they were $20 and I intended on getting as much use out of them as possible!), I found this lame social butterfly get-up, which I’m sure has been done to death at hipster Halloween parties, but it was a hit with the elementary set.

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So easy! And I can say that because I threw a huge temper tantrum Sunday night and went to bed at 8:30 on purpose so that Henry had to print all of the social media icons out, LOL I win.

Chooch loved it! Especially when he got to rip the musically icon off his shirt afterward and give it to his crush. Ugh.

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Meanwhile, this just served as yet another reminder that I will never fit in with other parents. 

Oh! AND I GOT TO SEE HOT GYM TEACHER. Totally worth rubbing elbows with basic moms. 

****

Later that evening, Henry came home from work and finally finished the damn bullet costume. I’m not exaggerating – it was 5 minutes to trick or treat o’clock and Henry was hot gluing one last thing to it.  Fucking amazing. 

Originally, Chooch and Dimajio were going to go together but then Dimajio had to go over his cousin’s or something, I don’t know. I don’t keep track of kids. It was just as well, because Henry and I had to tag along with Chooch anyway because he can never Chooch a costume that doesn’t require handlers. We had to tie his shoes, make sure he didn’t fall down steps, get candy for him if it was in a bowl on the ground which required him to bend, fluff his wings, make sure he didn’t bust the balloon-top of the bullet….

It’s a tiring, thankless job. 

It always puts us in the SMALL TALK crosshairs with other adults! That’s my least favorite part!

After a quick photo with the neighbor kid, we tentatively made our way down the street. I kept hissing things like, “This was a terrible idea” and “We should just go back to the house and he can wear the pig mask instead, we’ll think of something.” I was just so worried that he would get made fun of or just be completely disappointed that no one understood his costume. 

But Henry assured me it would be fine and to stop whining before I gave Chooch a complex.

And it was fine! Papa H Knows Best, everyone! He didn’t get made fun of at all, and there were actually A LOT of adults who were like, “OH I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.” 

It helped that he was also wearing a Smashing Pumpkins shirt and was carrying a portable speaker that was playing the song on a loop. 

Even one of my mom nemeses started cracking up and said, “I get it. I love it.”

So he was pretty damn proud of himself. 


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One guy was like, “Let me guess….Iron Butterfly?” 

“Close! It’s a music reference but you got the wrong band,” Henry laughed. 

This was actually a fun game! We were like a traveling quiz show. 

“He’s a bullet….but I don’t know what the wings are for!” one old lady grunted to another old lady after Chooch left their porch, and I just started cracking up. 

People were actually excited for him to finally get to their house so they could try to guess what he was supposed to be! “These are the best kinds of costumes,” one lady said in between sips of beer. “We want to have to figure it out!”

At one house, I told the people that we had tried to talk him out of this costume idea but he was insistent. 

“Well, good for you!” the one mom said to Chooch. And she’s right—good for him! I never would have had the confidence to pull something like that off when I was his age, no matter how badly I wanted it. Chooch is my fucking role model. 

He got a few people who said “this is the best costume I’ve seen tonight” and one guy gave him a knowing nod and declared Chooch the winner of Halloween. 

I’m pretty proud of him for coming up with this and sticking with it. Even though we had to constantly adjust his wings and do damage control. Perhaps Henry could have SPENT MORE TIME working on the LOGISTICS of the damn bullet. 

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A photo of Henry making sure Chooch doesn’t perish inside his bullet. 

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But….next year, I’m handing him scissors and a sheet and telling him to go to fucking town.

************

We walked down the street to Eat n Park afterward for dinner*. “I Missed Again” by Phil Collins was playing, so of course I had to loudly announce this, as is my forever-custom when I walk into an establishment that’s full of the sweet note-blossoms that churns forth from Sir Collins candied-throat.

“Oooh! I should go as a Phil Collins song next year! ‘In the Air Tonight’ maybe?!” Chooch shouted excitedly, to which Henry and I were like:

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*(And yes, I pulled the door shut on Henry when we walked in. “You’ll never learn your lesson,” he sighed.)

Oct 152016
 

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According to some of my friends, this was the BEST PIE PARTY YET, so LOL if you missed it.

Just kidding. That was rude. And my new thing is trying not to be rude.

But it really was a mighty fine display of people and pies and I couldn’t be happier. Let’s peruse some pictures of these particular people and pies, perchance.

PIE PEOPLE:

  • Judy
  • My mom (!!!) and her friend Debbie
  • John, Jen, Gavin and Abby
  • Blake & Haley
  • Alisa and Cara
  • Kara, Harland & Theo
  • Lisa, Matt, Matt’s dad Mike, & Gigi
  • Erin, Brian & Padraig
  • Lauren & Tony (and their dog, Charlie!!)
  • Chris & Monica
  •  BARB
  • Rocky, Angela & Ryder
  • Brad (and his dog Tucker!)
  • Sandy, Ben, Elena & Zoe
  • Maggie, Ivan, Lila & Annabelle
  • Glenn, Amanda, & Eve
  • Chris & Rebecca
  • Felicia, her mom Donna (my old Girl Scout leader!!), and Lila
  • Amanda, Adam, Alia, and Annika
  • Brian, Cathy & Clara
  • Debbie S.
  • Gayle & Jeffrey
  • Rob, Nancy & Nancy’s mom
  • Valerie and Brian
  • Amber2 & Teddy

I think I got everyone. If I missed you and you’re reading this, obviously it’s because you don’t rate. JUST KIDDING. This is one of the downsides of waiting two weeks to recap the damn thing. But the upside is that I get to write in my blog while watching HOCKEY because HOCKEY SEASON IS IN FULL EFFECT.

OK, back to the pie, though. There were so many delicious pies! It’s a good thing we don’t actually do any judging because there’s no way I could pick a winner.

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We made that weird sweet potato thing which Henry fucked up and it came out sooooo dense and not very sweet at all which is a shame because it was beautiful-looking. The second pie he made was Nesselrode, which no one would consider because the name was so horrible but my god, it was fantastic. It was made with like, pecan puree? I can’t remember. But it was sweet and creamy and this is the stuff broads should be wrestling in, not jello.

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Sandy brought a tomato & corn pie that was so good, I wan to use some cheesy adjective that Dick van Dyke would jovially exclaim if Disney presented a theatrical release of the pie party.

(Sandy, why don’t you slide that recipe into my DMs? Or you can just give it to me at work on Monday like a normal person.)

(And then I’ll give it to Henry because LOL recipes.)

Rob also brought a savory pie! Spinach and cheese. Savory pies are often the unsung heroes of the pie party because you can only eat so much sugar before your body starts to crave a vegetable.

Or salt.

Speaking of vegetables, though….

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John & Jen brought two pies made with vegetables from their kids’ garden: a chocolate ghost pepper pie and a carrot pie, which was sweet not savory. Holy shit, both pies were great but the ghost pepper experience was lit AF. It was just the right amount of heat, right at the end, just when you think you’re home safe…

And Lauren brought a key lime pie with a jalapeno twist, which was also delightfully fiery!

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I was so into this year’s accidental spicy theme!

Kara made a pineapple cream pie which she was afraid wasn’t going to be exotic enough—Kara, you’re crazy. That pie should be the official dessert of Hawaii. And she worked so hard mixing up the whipped topping!

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(FYI THE PENS JUST SCORED.)

Everyone LOLd when Glenn showed up. I’m friends with his wife Amanda on Instagram so I made sure she had the details because apparently he never tells her about the pie party!? They brought a pumpkin cheesecake thing that all these people kept raving about and I’m sad because I was too busy trying to socialize like an authentic human and by the time I went back to get some, it was all gone. UNLIKE THE NESSELRODE.

Fun fact: Glenn used to work with my high school buddy Chris, who also came out for his first ever pie party! AND Chris is a beekeeper so he brought an amazing apple pie with brie and fresh honey from his bees! I’m posting his own Instagram picture here because I wasn’t able to snap my own photo before it was mauled:

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LOOK HOW ADORABLE!! And it tasted fantastic.

So Chris is a beekeeper and so is Lisa’s father-in-law who was also there, and Glenn is a WASHED-UP beekeeper! So many bee experts under one pavilion!

I don’t have a picture of this one, but Maggie brought a mango pie which definitely was a star of the exotic pie theme. I’ve never had a mango pie before and now I want one all the time! I just had a quick side-bar with Henry about this one and he said, “Yeah it was good” but he used a tone that had actual life and emotion to it (the opposite of hope he did earlier today when I asked him if he thought the new Joyce Manor album is great) so that’s how you know it was a good pie and he wasn’t just trying to tell me what I wanted to hear so that he could go back to half-watching the Pens game and pretending he’s an NHL coach.

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I think Lisa was revealing some foolproof weight-loss secret. I mean, that’s the only thing that would have me so enrapt. Plus, look at Henry smirking.

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Lisa’s amazing lemon blueberry thing (one of my favorite flavor combos!) and her father-in-law’s pecan pie chilling in the background. I was super nervous to meet her FIL Mike, who was visiting from Colorado, because Lisa told me that he’s been reading my blog and I always feel embarrassed when that happens. And I know, “Then Erin, why have you been writing on the Internet since 2001?” I guess the short answer is that I pretend it’s because the only people who read this are the ones I made up in my mind.

You know, “you guys.”

Duh.

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It was really cool to meet him, though, even though he made a joke that went right over my dumb blond head, and when I mentioned it to Lisa a week later, she said, “Oh, so THAT’S why he mentioned that he thought you were going to be so smart in real life, but was disappointed to find out you’re kind of dumb.”

UGH, LISA.

And then when I won at Beer Math last week, she was like, “Aw, I’m going to have to tell my father-in-law that you actually are smart sometimes.” THANKS, LISA!

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Speaking of Lisa, my favorite part of the pie party migt have been when she told Monica and me that we have really pretty eyes and Monica was like, “AW THANKS’ and I was like, “Really? It took you 20 years to tell me that?”

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Alisa might troll Chooch harder than anyone and I love her so much for it. Here she is antagonizing him over a heated game of Pokemon. (Also, Cara brought these really cute apple tarts and I didn’t get one because as usual, I’m snoozin’ and losin’. You can see them on the bottom of the pie tier below!)

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Felicia and her mom Donna took this challenge very seriously and brought a fancy tray of mini mouthgasms, a/k/a Canadian Buttertarts.

“Excuse me, did you say Canadian buttertarts?” Monica asked, popping up from under the table, fist to her mouth in an effort to plug her hysteric enthusiasm.

Monica is really into these things, I learned!

And she and Felicia both, in tandem, attempted to show me the proper way to eat it.

“You need to hold it over the wrapper,” Felicia said. 

“No really you need to eat that shit over top of something,” Monica tried in vain to warn me.

But I stubbornly chucked the wrapper in the trash and took a big bite.

“You’re gonna get it all over—-oh, OK. There it is,” Monica sighed, as the liquid-y butter innards gushed all the way down my chin, onto my arm, probably into my hair.

“We tried to tell you,” Felicia said as I fled in search of napkins or wet wipes or a babbling brook in which to dunk my whole person.

“You’re an idiot,” Henry said as he cleaned me up.

Henry would probably make a really great preschool teacher.

Or at least, the preschool teacher’s creepy helper.

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Monica’s practicing her hitchhiking skills for the next time she feels trapped in public with Chooch and Chris isn’t ready to leave yet. Also, Monica has the best shirts and Chris has the best hair. And so does Lauren, who sits in front of me at work and taunts me with her ability to french braid her own hair!!! Ugh!

By the way, Monica was on pie duty this year and made Butterscotch M&Ms and Cookie Dough pie, which tasted super fattening and delicious and I probably got the name wrong because I had to ask her at least 7 times during the course of the day to remind me again what it was.

So I’m just going to rename it:  Lots of Chocolatey Things In a Pie.

Ugh it was fantastical. Like Neil Patrick Harris in a pie.

I’m drinking some kind of pumpkin beer while I write this.

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LOL Gayle! She brought these adorbs S’mores tarts and I was so happy to be able to use the pie tier twice at one party! I’m glad I decided to bring it.

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Gayle’s tarts were serious business. She even brought a lighter to torch the marshmallows. When Brian reached for one, I was like, “WAIT DON’T EAT IT YET WE HAVE TO GET GAYLE” and there was this big To Do with the lighter and the wind  kept blowing it out and finally Brian was like, “OK look, I’m fine with cold marshmallows. NO REALLY GO AWAY.”

I love putting my party guests in uncomfortable situations with people they don’t know!

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Chooch is not so low-key obsessed with my friend Rocky because one time I made an offhand remark that some YouTuber Chooch likes reminded me of Rocky. Anyway, Chooch had all these pink balloons that he insisted on blowing up before people arrived (he kept one aside and named him Bobby which was funny and sad at the same time), so naturally at some point, two balloons found their way up Chooch’s shirt and Rocky apparently said “Nice rack” to him, which sent Chooch running over to tell me, “MOMMY ROCKY RECALDINI TOLD ME I HAVE A NICE RACK!”

Like, calm down son. You’re acting like you just received an autographed headshot of some Sky TV personality you were obsessed with in 1991 which totally wasn’t something that I personally sent away for, but just a random example that means nothing.

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I invited Barb because I like to hear her run down the list of Erin Rachelle Kelly superlatives that she has scrawled on a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte (holla!)* receipt in her pocket from 2011. I like to believe she adds to it constantly, and that there are like 18 of them stapled together into a little flipbook called Erin is the Best.

*(INSIDE BARB JOKE. Except that it’s not really an inside joke because I’ve shared it here before and really it’s just that she came into the office one day with a PSL fresh from Starbucks and straight up sang, “Pumpkin spice latte, holla!” which was funny because you know, Barb said it. And then she promptly sat down to tweet about it on her phone in the “blinged-out” case.)

Man, I miss Barb.

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And I miss Debbie, too! She and Barb took care of me and soothed the hysteria I often felt from being out and about in the real world. Now who do I have? WENDY?! UGH. She makes me do things for myself!

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LOL j/k – Gayle is still available to make sure I don’t stick forks in the toaster and accidentally strangle myself with the phone cord.

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LOLOLOL Glenn and Henry! Glenn said something to Henry that was disparaging about me, something about being sorry Henry has to deal with me, and Henry was all, “LOL, at least you get paid to deal with her.” Or something terrible like that. WOW why don’t you guys just start a stupid Boys Only club in a treehouse and make dumb patches that look stupid and I don’t want one anyway!

Amanda thanked me for giving Glenn a hard time at work, and I can’t even take all the credit because many other people are mean to Glenn too, but I will say things got a lot easier for him after Natalie and Barb left.

Meanwhile, Brian was saying something about having to chase his little girl all around to make sure she didn’t fall into peril, and Kara said, “Oh just wait. By next year, you can just set her loose on the playground with the other kids and not have to deal with it.”

Brian said he turned around to look at the playground just as Chooch was riding a log.

That’s my kid.

I feel like Blake probably had something to do with the appearance of the log though.

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I AIN’T.

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I somehow didn’t get any pictures of Kara at the last pie party so I was on the prowl this time. Also, I should consider running a million races like Kara does so that I can eat a ton of pie without feeling like I was cast for the gluttony scene in Se7en.

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I wish I had written down all the pies. I know that Erin brought a really unique and wonderful Girl Scout cookie pie (I wonder if my old Girl Scout leader Donna had a piece!?!?). My mom brought a frozen Cold Brew pie, adorned with chocolate espresso beans. I don’t think anyone has ever brought a frozen pie before! NO WAIT I think Amber1 brought a frozen pink lemonade pie one year?! God, so many pies, you guys. Who can keep track!?

Valerie brought a chocolate peanut butter from the Pie Place which I barely even cared about because I was just so excited to see her face! I’ve known her from all the way back in the LiveJournal days and when I met Kara, I learned that they were “real life” friends so we all went to lunch once in 2008, and it was actually my first time going to Zenith, so now I equate Valerie with cool bathrooms and good vegetarian food.

Anyway, I haven’t seen her since then so this was a big deal for me and I nearly pushed people out of the way so I could greet her.

Also, I made her try the Nesselrode pie and she agreed that it was really good. “You should have named it something else, though,” she said. Ugh, I know, but it’s named after some man named Nesselrode for some reason that my eyes skipped over because I get bored easily but I read enough to know that it sounded weird and that probably no one else was going to bring a Nesselrode.

No one else brought a Nesselrode.

Even if it had a better name, it still looked like a unappetizing  gray blob so probably no one would eat it unless I was aggressively slipping it into their plate. It’s a good thing I’m not this pie’s PR person. 

Rocky and Angela brought a banana cream pie which I always forget how much I love a good banana cream until I’m elbow-deep in one and it’s all over my face and I’m sobbing because why do I have no self-control.

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Look at this carnage!!

Also, Sandy: remember when Maggie lost her mind and screamed at Elena for no reason and Elena was completely unfazed but you and I jumped? #scaryMaggie

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Brian made fun of Dance Gavin Dance but THAT’S OK. I will probably still invite him to the next pie party. Cathy and Clara are more than welcome, at the very least!

(Also, Cathy makes horror movie cookies, you guys. She is someone I need in my life.)

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Judy tried brie for the first time and her taste buds apparently revolted harder than most rational, intelligent, self-respecting women when shown a picture of Donald Trump. Brian and Monica witnessed this with me.

Sorry Judy, I’ll tell Chris V. to bring Kraft Singles next time!

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Guys. We love Blake’s girlfriend Haley. Like, a lot. And I think Chooch has met his match with her! She dishes it right back to him and it’s amazing.

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Amber2 came right as the party was winding down because she was waiting for Teddy to wake up from his nap, so she was probably thinking, “Wow this is the worst pie party yet!” I’m really glad she made it though and I was so happy to see her that I actually CUT HER A SLICE OF BRAD’S APPLE CRUMBLE PIE ALL ON MY OWN! I mean, it was a struggle and she probably could have done it herself more efficiently while holding her kid and standing on a unicycle, but at least I made an effort OK.

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I wish I had had the forethought to force everyone to have their picture taken under the pie portal.

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There was the most vivid rainbow that appeared as we (lol “we”) were cleaning up. This picture does no justice whatsoever, but I can honestly say that it’s the brightest rainbow I’ve ever seen, and then Kara pointed out that it was actually so big and bright that it was starting to repeat the last several colors! AND THEN WE NOTICED THAT IT WAS A DOUBLE RAINBOW ON TOP OF THAT. What a great ending to a satisfying day of pies and good people.

HOPE TO SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

I spent the whole hockey game writing this. You’re welcome. Well, maybe not YOU, but someone is welcome.