May 122022
 

This year’s Mother’s Day was pretty ok! Chooch had to work so that was not cool, but he had a card and present waiting for me before he left!

It fucking kills me that he called me “Mother” since we’re such a casual family. So faux-formal! Janna said she was pleased to see that he finally mastered the art of properly addressing envelopes. Same! But then later that day, Henry said that Chooch actually came downstairs the night before and whispered, “Just to double check, it’s my name that goes on the envelope, right?”

OMFG the kid is such a scary genius but cannot grasp the concept of envelopes.

Sigh.

Also that card was JARRING. I was expecting sound and a pop-up, but not the LIGHTS and for some reason it really scared me.

Also x2 can we discuss the “(maybe?)” he dropped in after the “your son” part.

He also got me this really cool incense burner thing where the smoke billows down like a waterfall. He said it’s popular on Tik Tok but that’s not why he bought it – he already knew about it, of course, because he is Internet Hipster. Apparently there was another gift en route, which I ended up getting the next day and found out from Henry that Chooch paid an extra TWENTY DOLLARS of his McMoney  to have the shipping expedited, and it still didn’t arrive on  time, so now I want Henry to quietly  transfer $20 back into his checking account because that was so sweet but also very unnecessary!

Anyway, he got me the Glitch Mode NCT Dream album!!

I was so impressed because it was the RENJUN version and that’s my Dreamie bias! So I posted on Instragram about how sweet it is that Chooch knows my biases, etc only to find out when he came home from work that night that he had no idea and just chose one at random.

“I thought Haechan was your bias,” he said.

“HAECHAN IS MY OVERALL NCT BIAS ACROSS THE BOARD BUT RENJUN IS MY NCT DREAM BIAS DON’T YOU READ MY BLOG??” I cried, while Henry just sat there all smug because he knows all of my kpop preferences.

Henry got me a Kohl’s gift card and this delectable spread from 350 bakery. Dude. The one in the middle is blueberry pancake poptart which is my new favorite thing ever. The cookie sandwich up there is FRUITY PEBBLES (I get why they made it into a sandwich because cream = milk I guess but I honestly would have preferred just the cookies as standalones) and I have to plug their cinnamon buns (that sounds deviantly sexy) because they are legit some of the best cinnamon buns I’ve ever had. I know, I know, “but Orems!” Orems are the OG Big Daddy of Pennsylvania cinnamon rolls, but they are really a different type of cinnamon roll. These ones are smaller, denser, and wear a thick and luscious cream cheese icing hat.

I like your style, 350 cinn.buns.

Then Henry and I went to a cemetery in Beaver. We tried to  take selfies but OMG SUN.

There was an entire squad of baby squirrels in this cemetery and we spent SO MUCH TIME feeding them (yes, we travel with walnuts in the car because we’re always going for walks). Oh my GOD, I could have just moved right in (preferably as a living person, not a corpse in the ground) because I was having the best time watching them chirp and chase each other.

Some of the headstones had really nice art / landscapes imprinted on them. “When I die, I want my headstone  to have a picture of cats, squirrels, roller coasters, and Korea. And grilled cheese,” I said.

“Wow,” Henry murmured. “That’s…a lot.”

(Actually, I want to have one of those GREEN BURIALS so I can come back as a tree and then squirrels can play on my branches, OMG what a delightful notion. But then some assholes like GARY & SONS will probably just come out and savagely cut me down one day. Because that is my luck.

Then today, my final Mother’s Day gift arrived. It was this cute squirrel necklace from Henry, which I sent to him on Instagram a few weeks ago and said GET ME THIS FOR MOTHER’S DAY. I mean, I really cook, plate, garnish and serve this shit right up for him. I don’t fuck around anymore. THIS IS WHAT I WANT, BUY IT FOR ME.

And of course my Mother’s Day gift to myself was STRAY KIDS TICKETS, BOY-O. Overall, it was a good one. Henry could always stand to do more though. I mean, I’m a leo with extremely high expectations. So.

Apr 252022
 

Well, guys, it happened. The day has come where MY LITTLE BABY, MY LITTLE PRECIOUS LAMBY, MOMMY’S LITTLE SWEET BOY CHEEKS—ok ugh sorry I was even making myself sick—has turned 16. I’m kind of numb, not gonna lie. I haven’t cried yet at least. But I did drive him to school  this morning (usually he takes the bus) and he was actually a delight. We made fun of the dreadful radio DJs together, mocked the bitch who got picked to play Escalation, and he even said THANK YOU when he got out of the car. I did almost cry a little then.

Henry and I got lucky with this one. I mean, we’re not perfect parents, but we don’t suck either. We’ve always put him first and done everything possible to make sure he has everything he needs and I am not being jokey or sarcastic at all for once when I say that it has been so cool, fun, and rewarding being his parent for the last 16 years and I can’t wait to see what he’s going to be like as an adult!

OK I lied! I can definitely wait. Let’s put the brakes on time for a bit, please. Sheesh.

I know I’m always like, “OMG CHOOCH’S ATTITUDE. CHOOCH KNOWS EVERYTHING. CHOOCH IS ANNOYING. UGH CHOOH NEEDS TO CLEAN HIS ROOM” but in all honesty, all that shit is normal teenager baggage and I don’t really give him as much credit as he deserves. Because the kid is just amazing, really. Consistently maintains a 4.0 with no nagging needed. Got a job at McDonald’s in October and not only does he never call off (he schedules time off though, but doesn’t dick them over), but he asks for more hours. He’s always getting involved in stuff too, like various hikes and excursions at the teen center, a ceramics class he signed up for on Thursdays, etc.

And now he’ll be learning how to drive. Ugh.

Anyway! We had a small cake-eating celebration for him Saturday night. He didn’t want a party, so it was just us, Janna, Corey, my mom, and two of Chooch’s friends. Even that was too much for him! Believe me, if he had left it up to me, and if big celebrations were safe, I’d have had a big blowout in the park like old days or rented out the roller rink for old time’s sake. IT’S HOW I SHOW MY LOVE, OK.

(Those old parties in the park were so legit though! I think the cat one was my fave.)

Well, at least I was allowed to do the whole cake thing which is the part of party-planning that I love the most! HOW CAN I MAKE HIM IRRITATED? That’s usually my first thought in the brainstorming process and then I go from there. Since we were still hot on the heels of our roller coaster road trip, I wanted to use that as the theme for this year’s bitchin’ Bethel Bakery cake.

I love you, Bethel Bakery.

Also, this picture is the first one that came to mind – it’s from Fun Spot Kissimmee (maybe one day I will finish recapping the trip), and Chooch rode this coaster – literally called KIDDIE COASTER – with a bored look on his face the whole time. Way to steal the front row from a little kid who would have appreciated it more!

And then Bethel Bakery had Spanish happy birthday candles! Had to scoop those up as an homage to his upcoming Yucatan study abroad sesh.

Henry: U WILL NOT GET THEM CANDLES TO FIT ON THAT THAR CAKE.

Me: Oh yes I will.

Henry: NO. THERE IS NOT ENUF ROOM. U WILL HAVE TO NOT  USE ALL THEM. JUST SOME.

Me: WTF do you want it to say, Feliz Cum??

Henry: *grumbles*

Me: Bitch move and let me do my thang.

C’mon now, Henry. I will make that shit work.

And then we all sang bizarrely as usual.

Not as bad as the time we sounded like a fucking funeral dirge / Gregorian choir at his laser tag birthday party! I really wish I had video of that, ugh. MOM FAIL.

We let Chooch do the first cut now that he’s 16 (that’s not really a thing, is it? I think Henry just made it up!??!) and it was chaos. I didn’t get a good picture the first time so I wanted him to cut it again but then Henry was all, “HO HO HO HO!” trying to snatch the knife from him because he didn’t like the way Chooch was about to make the second slice so he made Chooch RE-CUT the same area and it was so sus. Like, how much stake does Henry have in cake-cutting, I don’t get it. He was a few seconds away from hollering, “IT’S MY WAY OR NO WAY!”

Close up!

After Chooch’s friends left on Saturday, he actually hung out with me and Janna! However, all we did was shout about roller coaster manufacturers over Janna’s head and I think she was probably like, “Oh my god, if it’s not kpop, it’s coasters. This is so boring.”

As usual, now that he’s not in the one-digits, I had no idea what to get him. (Yeah, NOT a car, lol.) So we’re taking him and his friend Zakk to Cedar Point in a few weeks for the whole weekend which should be not only a fun gift but also a reprieve for Chooch who always has to ride coasters with his MOM.

I also got him some cool Steel City brand Kennywood shirts, an Iron Gwazi blueprint art, and a Coaster Crew membership so now he can be a real coaster dork and attend actual events and scream ONE TRAIN OPS and have the B&M vs Intamin giga debate.

I freaking love this kid even though we act like we’re frenemies most of the time. I can’t imagine how dull my life would be if I never had him.

Speaking of, when I was telling him yesterday that I wanted him to pose for these pictures, he got all bent out of shape about it and retreated upstairs, so I called after him, “You owe me!”

“For what?!” he called back.

“FOR THE SCAR YOU GAVE ME AND FOR RUINING MY STOMACH!” I screeched.

“OK, here we go,” he mumbled.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHOOCHIE CABRERA!! (Shout out to the old-timers who remember when I made a LiveJournal for him when he was a baby and that was the name, lol, OMG I was so lame.)

Apr 172022
 

Listen, Linda. When I woke up at 6:30am this morning in some stupid West Virginian town, I really thought we were driving home where I would then stay out for days upon days.

But then halfway thru the drive, Henry offhandedly mentioned that it was the opening day for Kennywood and that Chooch and I still needed to get our season passes.

“Might not be too crowded since it’s Easter, he shrugged.

We did go home first for a bit! We’re not psychos. And honestly the plan was that Henry would just drop us off so we could pick up our passes and check out the sitch while he went to vacuum out the heavily road-tripped car. I told him I figured we’d just stay an hour because even if it was crowded, I’d have at least liked to walk around and check out all the new changes (mostly fresh paint-related). And there’s all these new murals buffeted the walkway into the park:

Dude. This looks GREAT. I’m not mad about this at all.

Anyway, the park was not even KIND of crowded. We walked right onto the Phantom. Peep the purple!!

Great color choice, obv!

We then rode Exterminator and screamed JANNA!!! through it, because that’s just what one does on the Exterminator (it should also be known that Janna hates this ride lol).

It’s not bias, it’s truth that Kennywood has the best screamin’ swing ride in the world. However, it felt like they were running shorter cycles?! Kennywood, we gonna need longer Swingshot action ok.

Noah’s Ark has changed so many times over the years that it just honestly never feels familiar to me anymore.

But it’s still a must-do if there’s no line.

Show-tying interlude.

I bet you already guessed that we stayed a bit longer than “an hour.” Henry didn’t care. He used the free time to go grocery shopping and then he napped in the pick-up lot lol.

The entrance to the Jack Rabbit is so extra now especially considering that there really wasn’t a legit entrance before.

Someone took Chooch’s souvenir drink cup from the loose article bin instead of theirs and he was SO PISSED because we had just filled ours up and now he obviously couldn’t drink from his. It wasn’t that big of a deal. He still has a cup, it’s just not the one he was given at the season pass holder window and we honestly shouldn’t have been using them anyway without washing them first, so. Cook on, Chooch.

Before the cup incident.

We also rode Racer which was, you know, the Racer. Steel Curtain wasn’t running (shocker) so we hit Aero360 and of course someone on the ride before us puked so we had to wait for them to clean it and then pointedly avoided that area of the ride. This used to be my favorite flat ride and now it feels so foreign to me?! It was still fun but it wasn’t how it remembered it so did it change or do I just go to too many parks, who can be sure. We both agreed that this flat ride also seemed to have a very short cycle.

When we got off this one, chooch asked if Golden Nugget was open and if so, were we going to get any ice cream. It was definitely open and we were definitely getting a cone because last summer we made a BAD CHOICE and got stupid Millie’s (only because they were bragging about their Kennywood-exclusive Eat n Park smiley cookie flavor) so we actually went an entire season with NO GOLDEN NUGGET.

REMEDIED.

Upside of going to Kennywood on a chilly day is not having your Golden Nugget drip down your wrist. (Best amusement park ice cream cone, not accepting opposing opinions 🖐🛑)

Honestly though this is, to quote from my friend Alyson, part of the process. You cannot come to this park and not get the famous square ice cream! It’s a Pittsburgh tradition so if you are an out-of-towner thinking about collecting some coaster creds from Pittsburgh’s Kennywood, DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT A CONE FROM GOLDEN NUGGET. We always choose “all of it” as our topping, pro tip.

It’s so instagrammable too!! You better tag me in that shit.

We got in line for Sky Rocket but it was one train ops so the line was kind of long-ish. I was like, “dude we rode some of the best launch coasters in the world this week, do we really want to end with Sky Rocket” and Chooch was like, “no, no we don’t” so we ended the day with another ride on Phantom and yeah, that coaster still ranks top 10 in my heart. It is SO GOOD. I get so stupidly happy when the enthusiasts include it in their Top Whatever lists. It deserves the recognition!

So one hour turned into three – what a great way to spend an Easter afternoon!

(Also this ended up being park number 8 since last Saturday, I am SO FUCKING TIRED AND MY FEET ARE WORTHLESS SLABS OF BRUISES AND BLISTERS.)

(Actually I don’t have any blisters but I wanted the alliteration.)

(I do think I have nerve damage or something happening in one of them though.)

Feb 162022
 

Hello, it’s me looking old AF! Time for my annual “boo hoo Henry shat the bed on Valentine’s Day again” pout sesh. Actually, it’s FINE. I’m over it. And I’d rather have someone who does everything I tell him to do on any given day than just on holidays. I mean, it would be nice to be given some romantic garbage on the designated love day or whatever, but WE CAN’T HAVE IT ALL.

It’s kind of funny to me though because for like two weeks leading up the 14th, I kept cornering him with a shiv to his  jugular, hissing things like ,”YOU GOT ME SOMETHING FOR VALENTINE’S DAY RIGHT” but I guess it didn’t get through to him because it took literally HALF A DAY to TEXT ME “Happy Valentine’s Day.” A TEXT!!!

And then he done knew he fucked up so he WENT TO CVS (I’m assuming) on his way home from work and got me some Barbie journal kit, chocolate, and some gift card that he made that said a bunch of shit about being a fuck up and that I can spend $$$ to buy myself something….bitch like I need your permission?! I have a job!

Then he mumbled about how he was going to get me an NCT Dream something or other but “they didn’t *mumble mumble*” and I was like, “OK bro, just stop.” Jesus.

Truthfully, I like it better this way because I can use this as leverage to get my next project started.

And yes, I even wore a cute heart shirt for nothing!! (Well, not entirely for nothing. We had a team meeting that day so at least I looked Valentine-y I guess.)

Honestly the best part about Valentine’s Day was the Sugar Spell Scoops pint drop!!

I think Mint To Be is my current favorite?!

My real Valentines. ^^^^^

This was how happy we were the evening lol. I didn’t even let Henry do a walking workout with me! There was a Paul Eugene Valentine workout we were going to do but then I was like, “Fuck off, I don’t work out with haters” and I DID A DIFFERENT WORK OUT. BOOM, SHOWED HIM.

I did plan advance for the Annual Disappointment by buying myself these cuties!

Oh well, I guess after 20 years, you’d think I’d stop expecting a Valentine’s Hail Mary from Henry (is that right? I don’t fully understand sports sayings but love to use them, inexplicably lol) but you know, deep down, I AM JUST A DUMB GIRL WITH A STUPID BIG HEART UGH. More importantly, WHAT SHOULD I BUY NOW THAT HENRY HAS GIVEN ME PERMISSION TO SPEND MONEY LIKE IT’S 1955??

ANOTHER NEON SIGN??

A RING FROM THE KOREAN JEWELER WHO DESIGNED HYUNA & DAWN’S ENGAGEMENT RING?

A CASE OF THESE NOODLES FROM INDONESIA??

OK, let’s move on now. 2/14 is in the past and on the bright side, we’re that much closer to SPRING. Everything feels better in the spring. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have NCT videos to watch because I love them more than Henry hahahaha.

Dec 312021
 

Since we did the whole “Zenith pre-made vegan meal” thingie for Thanksgiving this year, I wanted Henry to actually do some cooking for Christmas and of course nothing NORMAL because why would we. So I did that fun game that I do where I think of a random vegetable and then a random country, and google them together to find fun international cuisine. You can imagine how much Henry loves this. But it was also a reason to have my beloved fufu and peanut soup again, which I became obsessed with early in 2020 when I read a book that mentioned it and I fell down a Ghana food rabbit hole.

Henry was fine with this, having made this pairing twice now and coming out the other side with a memorable, edible meal both times.

I also wanted mashed ube in lieu of your standard Pilgrim fare of mashed potatoes.

Of course, Henry had a hell of a time finding the two main ingredients he needed for the fufu and the ube: cassava, and well, ube. On Christmas Eve, he ended up snatching up some Japanese purple yams and was going to just use those for the mash instead which was NOT IN THE AGREEMENT, but you do you, Chef BoyRDick.

Also, I had recently watched season 2 of Emily in Paris and one of the episodes featured a storyline where Emily had to work on a marketing campaign for leeks and I was like, “Ooh I could go for some leeks” which is how “Sri Lankan leek stir fry with faux lamb” inserted itself onto the menu.

Those Portuguese sweet potato rolls from Thanksgiving 2020 were bangers so that was added to fill the obligatory “Christmas dinner roll”, er, role. We ordered some boxes of Trinidadian sweets from local vegan pop-up ShadoBeni. Korean street food tteokbokki and a Field Roast vegan ham were necessities. And a Russian apple cake called Sharlotka was the featured dessert.

As a last minute buffet-padder, we bought some lotus mooncakes, red bean mooncakes, and mochi cakes from Pink Box on Christmas. Seriously Diane, don’t knock the Chinese desserts. They are GOOD.

Also as a last minute thing, we decided to expand this from a 3-person dinner to a 6-person dinner, feeling that this was a safe number, and invited my brothers Ryan and Corey, and my mom. I was actually surprised that my mom and Ryan accepted the invitation! We have never had a “family” dinner at my house before, so I was feeling kind of nervous about it!

Anyway, I’ll spare you the gory details but at one point that afternoon, I smelled that sickening stench of hot rubber and ran into the kitchen to find Henry having an absolute war with the fufu mixture. Apparently, he followed a different recipe this time which led him astray. Basically, fufu is a dough made of cassava and plantain, or one or the other. Fufu has different versions based on various African regions (I think Puerto Rico also has their own fufu style) but Henry likes to use both cassava and plantain. Anyway, whatever this recipe had him doing resulted in him straight up burning out the blender and then trying to use a SIEVE to separate the non-ground chunks from what he was able to salvage from the fufu mixture. This set him back a good hour and resulted in him not having enough to use anyway, and then it got all clogged up in the sink and he was FUMING. Like, Henry doesn’t often get mad-mad, but he was MAD on this afternoon, lol. He ended up making rice to go with the peanut soup instead.

Then, the sweet potato rolls gave him hell and ended up not baking thoroughly but we still ate them and they tasted good; however, he only made enough for everyone to have ONE like we’re fucking peasants.

THEN!! Everyone arrived and we were eating when I realized that HENRY DIDN’T MAKE THE FUCKING PURPLE MASHED POTATOES after all that searching for ube and then triumphantly returning with a comparable substitute, only to make them at all! And also, I had asked him to make SPAETZLE even though he’s not my PAPPAP and no one could ever make spaetzle as good as John W. Stonick, but I at least would have liked for Henry to try!

“After the fufu incident,  the last thing I wanted to do was fuck with more dough,” he said to me and everyone at the table gave me a “Yeah, Erin” smirk.

Also, I was so stressed that I barely took any pictures of the food, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.

I love decorating the buffet for holiday meals! This was prior to setting all of the food. “All” of the food, like we had “so much.” LOL.

This was when we were still waiting for Ryan to arrive. It occurred to me then that he had never been to my house before, and I have lived here since 1999! It’s not that Ryan and I don’t like each other. My family in general is just not very “OMG FAMILY HANGOUT TIME!” with the exception of Corey and me – we have always gotten along like BFFs who enjoy touring seriously stupid places and acting like world class assholes. And then not only has Ryan never been here, but he also thought I lived on a completely different street, so that was fun, lol.

Also, being his inaugural visit was somewhat of a shock to the senses for Ryan, who just kept laughing and saying, “There’s just so much to take in.”

Everyone seemed to like the peanut soup the best which made me doubly sad that the fufu didn’t turn out because you have not known the true extent of peanut soup’s deliciousness until you scoop it into your gaping maw on an edible airplane of FUFU.

I wonder how hard I will have to beg Henry to do a fufu redo on New Year’s Day….

I realized after the fact that I had barely any pictures and had to resort to photographing half-scavenged plates and platters, lol.  Anyway, this apple cake was really light and delectable. Big fan.

My favorite part of dinner wasn’t the tteokbokki or the sweet potato rolls, but the part where Ryan regaled us about the time he and several friends were nearly murdered by the cartel in Mexico and you might think I’m exaggerating but this is a true story and is actually hilarious since they made it out alive but to hear him tell the story sounds like he’s giving a synopsis for a new movie in the Hangover franchise. And you know it’s a funny story when my surly fifteen-year-old who thinks all adults are the worst and totally stupid actually laughs out loud numerous times without even bothering to play it off.

Aside from the food follies, if there is one thing I wish I could go back and time and do over, it would be the moment my mom asked to take a picture of us siblings because in hindsight, I would have said, “ACTUALLY! Here, use my phone.” Or better yet! “Here, let Chooch take the picture with my phone.” Or the best option even: “Here, let’s go stand somewhere nicer and have Chooch take multiple pictures with my phone.”

But, it is what it is and this picture, blurry as it may be, is still better than no picture!

Corey stuck around for booze & game hour.

Penelope waiting for everyone to leave. The cats HATE COMPANY. Lockdown was some of the best months of their lives, really.

Yeah, the official verdict is that this was a nice ass Christmas. Lowkey but still semi-social, and just tiring and fulfilling enough to have us ready for bed by 10:30pm that night!

Dec 292021
 

I’m not trying to drag out the Xmas content I swear. I’m just really feeling shorter blog posts these days. Or, my mental capacity is feeling it, should I say? Lol. The winter depression is knocking on my door and I am running out of energy using my mind power as a barricade.

First of all, I want to talk about how difficult Chooch is to shop for now. All he wanted was a bike, so Henry took him to get one after Christmas (last night actually; I opted to stay home and do Kpop cardio because I knew it was going to be a stressful shopping trip and judging by Henry’s harried state upon return, I was correct). But I was like, “WE HAVE TO HAVE PRESENTS UNDER THE TREE!!” So we just bought him an array of hoodies from various stores including one from Zumiez that I honestly have no idea how I couldn’t tell straight away was a girls hoodie because when he pulled it out of the box and held it up, it was pretty obviously cut much shorter than any regular hoodie, lol. It must have been a theme on that year’s shopping excursion though because Henry was all “IMMA TREAT MYSELF” and bought himself a denim jacket that was on sale at the Vans store, only to find out that it’s a woman’s jacket and doesn’t fit him. (I told him to try it on when we were there but he was adamant that he could “tell” that it was going to fit, oh ok.)

Hilarious how it felt like we had nothing under the tree but my credit card statement and checking account tell a very different story. Fucking Christmas. I swear to god if the world is safe (relatively speaking) next year, we are going away for Christmas and not buying any gifts. Just souvenirs and amusement park admissions.

I still had fun making up stupid gift tags for all of the presents (one gift was from Heavy Metal Geocacher, lol) but it just didn’t feel as Christmas-y as usual. I guess that’s what happens when the kids get older, le sigh. Chooch actually was in a fine mood though and didn’t get all pouty like I would have when I was his age because leave it to me to always find some kind of a flaw in every gift (lol I am DEFINITELY not like that anymore, though, right Henry?).

Meanwhile, Henry paid attention and got me some really great things this year, including this necklace personalized with my favorite Korean word that you may already know if you read this thing regularly because I love to word-drop it whenever possible!

But I will explain it anyway because I’m nice, ugh. It’s pronounced “kapchugi” and it means “suddenly, out of the blue.” We watch a lot of Kdramas and it’s a word that is said a lot and I just love the sound of it, and the fact that it means “Suddenly,” which is such a great, dramatic word in English too.

I had to put my own chain on this though because Henry went for the shortest option available which was “newborn baby choker” length. I don’t have a fat neck at all but that chain was not it, bro.

Henry also got me the new Jennifer Aniston-backed hair product line, Lolavie. Jennifer Aniston is my ULT BIAS. I know it’s super basic, but I have been utterly smitten with her since the debut of Friends in the 90s. I know, me and a million other basic broads, right? But she is just the epitome of a beauty to me, because she genuinely appears to be the sweetest, kindest, most un-celebrity-est person in America. She just seems so down to earth and to this day, I fucking Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. And I also harbor a huge grudge against this couple I used to be friends with waaaay back in the day who belittled me for liking her and said she has a, and this is so hard for me to even type because it’s NOT TRUE and they can both get fucked, “horse face.” Honestly, fuck those people. They had a baby and named her after one of the lamest characters on Days of Our Lives – Chloe Brady!

ANYWAY. When Jennifer Aniston started posting about this new hair stuff several months ago, I wanted it ASAP. It’s vegan and cruelty-free, because of course Jennifer Aniston, aka The Best Jen (Jennifer Lawrence is my #2 Jen) would do the right thing.

This is how my hair looked after letting it air-dry!!!

It’s amazing and sorry Henry, but I will now be using this $$$ brand $$$ exclusively, no more drug store hair prods for this bitch’s head. (Actually, it’s not really as exorbitantly priced as you would expect from a product shilled by an internationally beloved actress.)

Lastly, Henry also got me something that I really NEED: an NCT light stick! There have been murmurings around the K-nets that NCT127 might be doing a North American tour in 2022 and if this is true, I want to be prepared!

And then we went to Pink Box for Asian sweet buns and family fun time at the Homewood Cemetery, which I already posted pictures from here.

This was probably one of the least argumentative Christmases we’ve had so I am very happy about that. But I will note however that SON OF THE YEAR has a job and did not get Henry and me anything! What a jerk.

At some point I will also recap Christmas dinner, which consisted of numerous international fare and my immediate family being at my house altogether for the first time in the history of me living here (which is a long time, since I have lived here since 1999 lol ugh).

(Oh yeah, and I got Henry the Stheart beanie that he’s wearing in the pictures featured in the link above! He is so hard to buy anything for so my main gift was trying to be nice to him all weekend. I semi-succeeded. He didn’t ask for a gift receipt at least.)

Dec 272021
 

Henry and I both miraculously had Christmas Eve off…but then Chooch had to work. Because of course he did. We mostly just ran around picking up last minute things and then relaxed the rest of the evening. I love Christmas Eve because the house is usually pumping out cozy vibes.

Not a last minute Xmas thing, but earlier that morning I started screaming about wanting a new toilet seat which is such an adult “want.” This in addition to receiving my first ever car title in the mail a few weeks ago has me feeling like I’ve matriculated into legit adulthood with no fan fare or at the very least A CAKE, and I feel GYPPED.

I also bought plants while there so yeah, lots of grown up things happening around here. I feel like a stranger in my skin these days.

Of course, Henry guessed at what kind of toilet seat to get and it was wrong so he had to go out again to get the right one but I had enough of boring home stores for one day so I stayed home and did Kpop cardio, thanks.

Later that night, I started “primping” the house for Christmas evening because my mom and brothers would be coming over for dinner and I wanted to look at least relatively Christmasey, not like you can really tell the Christmas lights apart from  the “year-round” lights in my house, lol.

I love decorating the buffet!

Chooch was wrapping some stuffed animal he won at an amusement park for one of Those Kids next door but Henry was like, “I am not giving one of my grandchildren a reused gift” like suddenly Henry is the author of etiquette handbooks.

“Did Santa come yet?” Except that the cats call Santa “Him Ho” in our house.

Holidays make Penelope tired.

It didn’t really feel like a legit Christmas Eve because the weather was in the 50s and Chooch was so tired from working that he didn’t even feel like playing any games NOR did he even beg to open just one present like he normally does. I guess he is also becoming an adult, just like me. Sigh.

Henry and I unwound that night with an episode of Hometown Cha Cha Cha (no, we still haven’t finished this series! We’re not good binge-watchers!) and then crashed around midnight. It was a long day but we were so happy to not have to work!

Anyway, I will leave you with this brief walk-thru of the living room and dining room as seen on Xmas Eve.

Dec 252021
 

Hello! Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and happy Saturday to everyone else! Henry is currently in the kitchen whipping up a holiday dinner so I thought I’d pop in and say hello and post some pictures of us doing the traditional cemetery thang. We actually…didn’t fight??!! Even though Chooch hated his flannel??? And it was raining??? And I only hated every other photo of me??? Tis the season, truly.

I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean.

Anyway, here we are. I love my little family. We get along mostly.

Eating our sweet buns from Pink Box! It’s an Asian bakery right down the street from the cemetery and blessedly open on Christmas. They have really delightful treats there. I had an almond taro bun, Henry had red bean (always) and Chooch’s was pineapple cream. We also got some extra delights for after dinner!

We had to retake one of these because even after FIFTEEN YEARS chooch still managed to have crumbs on his face.

Making Chooch uncomfortable from both sides

Henry was like “why do I have to do the jumping ones with you.” BECAUSE I SAID.

On the way home I randomly mused that the Pittsburgh skyline looked different to me.

“Maybe it’s because of the strange music playing,” Chooch piped up from the backseat.

It was Pink Floyd on the radio lol.

Dec 102021
 

Mr. Sometimes I Like My Family has been yammering about wanting to see the Festival of Lights at Oglebay this season. We had gone once when he was much younger, actually it was the night after our beloved cat Speck had passed away, so that trip was more of a means to comfort him (not distract though – he brought a framed picture of her with him) and less of a “Yay we’re a family that loves the Christmas season, let’s chug some egg nog and jingle some bells.”

Anyway, we kept trying to plan for this on a weeknight when it’s less crowded but idiot Chooch and his idiot j-o-b kept fucking up plans. We finally were able to go on Wednesday, and left as soon as I logged off from my idiot j-o-b.

(JUST KIDDING, JOB, I LOVE YOU. PLEASE DON’T CAN ME. I NEED YOU BIGLY.)

We stopped at Sheetz for MADE-TO-ORDER dinner which is always fun because who doesn’t like building sandwiches from a screen at a glorified gas station. Henry got a cookie and I made him give me half so he was being a bitch boy about that. Then Chooch was watching videos on his phone in the backseat WITHOUT HEADPHONES which I hate so we fought like cats and dogs until Henry made us stop.

“Well, he’s being annoying!” I shouted at the same time he was also stringing together a bitchy, disparaging sentence about me. Then he fell asleep because aw, boo hoo, widdle baby so tired, get up early for him school, workie workie at McD’s, wah.

Oglebay is about an hour or so away from Pittsburgh, in West Virginia. I guess it’s like a resort or something but my only run-ins with the place involved Girl Scouts and learning about nature shit. They have a little zoo there. That’s the only thing I have ever cared about. Apparently you can ski there? I learned this because every time I asked, “are we there yet” Henry would mumble some words about how we “hadn’t gone up the mountain yet” and I said, “oh ok calm down mountain man, I wasn’t aware of any imminent incline in terrain” and he snapped, “wow how do you think people ski at Oglebay??? It’s on a mountain!!”

I didn’t know people skied there. Maybe that’s where the disconnect lies.

Then we argued because according to Oglebay’s website, they advised AGAINST following GPS and instead provided their own written directions to use and it was apparently my responsibility to read him the directions. I started to but it was boring so I just glazed over some of it lol. He wasn’t a fan of my navigational decision making skills so he started mouthing off but obviously we made it there just fine or I wouldn’t be sitting here writing about it now would I????

Once we started “going up the infamous mountain” which was definitely just more of a hill, I started incessantly chanting, “Chooch, wake up. Chooch, wake up. Chooch, wake up” which is the equivalent to sticking your hand in a wasp’s nest, let me tell you. So now he’s in the backseat bitching, and I’m like, “No, YOU stfu!” and Henry is like, “I AM GOING TO DRIVE THIS CAR OFF THE MOUNTAIN” and then I’m like, “IT’S NOT A MOUNTAIN!!!”

Wow, and now you were basically just along for the ride. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Yeah, so….we made it to Oglebay and it was, you know. Pretty lame. We paid the suggested donation of $25 and then Henry spent pretty much the whole time counting all the ways we could have bypassed the entrance gate while still seeing all of the lights. He should start a YouTube channel. Hank’s Hacks: How To Have White Collar Fun on a Blue Collar Salary.

I got really mad because there was some dumb AMURRIKKKKA light display and the people in the truck in front of us PULLED OVER to get a longer patriotic gaze at the dumb thing and I started raging about how they were probably sobbing into their trucker hats while chanting the pledge of allegiance.

Then we pulled over at some welcome center thing and looked at fake light-up flowers. That was pretty cool.

I was dying because “You’re a Mean One” started playing from the Christmas tree as soon as Henry approached it LOLOLOL.

We made fun of Henry A LOT that night. It was so much fun. Worth the suggested donation of $25.

Chooch was so gung-ho about SEEING THE LIGHTS and then he barely even cared. I told him he had to write a report about it on my blog and he was like “you have a blog?”

I like how it looks like I’M HAVING AN IDEA.

Chooch was so put out when I asked him to take this idiotic picture.

Then we got ICE CREAM. It was OK, but very expensive, I felt like. It wasn’t even, like, designer ice cream or artisanal or whatever the fuck they call the fancy FARM TO TABLE trendy hipster stuff. But it was OK. The guy at the ice cream counter legit hated us though. I can’t tell you why exactly but it was a vibe that he was sending with extra stamps to make sure it was properly delivered.

Well, that about concludes our feeble attempt at Family Fun Night Looking at Xmas Lights. It was pretty lame but we had fun laughing at Henry and acting like basic city assholes in the NOT-MOUNTAIN of West Virginia.

Dec 082021
 

Ho ho hello, just checking in with a friendly ad from our sponsor because she made two new Christmas cards for the 2021 season (peep the other new ones here) and she wanted to share them on here in case any depraved readers suddenly realize that their friends and family would LOVE receiving a card with Charles Manson’s mug on it.

  1. OPEN SLAY SEASON

Imagine this killer couple dashing through the snow, etc etc etc LAUGHING ALL THE WAY. What a terrifying image. Implant that into the minds of your friends and family this Christmas with this super light-hearted and holly jolly spirited holiday card! And then when they have nightmares, ta da: it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Comes with an envelope, not redeemable for a carriage ride.

2. Manson Family PJs

I mean, in a way, they really did get to spend holidays in matching…PJs. They were just from prison and not Target. Send this to your INFLUENCER friend who makes their family wear matching footed pajamas & pose for Instagram pictures every Christmas morning with motherwhompin’ cinnamon buns in their mouths while you’re in a stained Bon Jovi t-shirt from the 80s and ripped leggings eating a Poptart.

Comes with an envelope that can later be used as a Helter Skelter bookmark.

3. Heaven’s Gate 

Gotta buy your own purple shroud though.

Have you watched the Heaven’s Gate documentary yet on HBO? I don’t think I have HBO anymore which is a bummer so I have not watched it but I keep seeing shit about it everywhere which made me think about how I have Heaven’s Gate birthday cards and Valentines, but NO CHRISTMAS CARDS. Wow. I am truly the worst.

Anyway, if you don’t know anything about this cult, I’m sure this card is making you think “huh” (I mean, assuming you haven’t x’d out of this junk pile of a web diary yet), I highly recommend googling that shit because it’s pretty wild. You know, as most cults are.

4. Serial Carolers

The ultimate holiday card for your fellow murderinos! This vintage-esque design features Ed Kemper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Aileen Wuornos, and Dennis Rader (BTK) all bundled up and crooning some Christmas cheer. Well, except BTK – he’s the token surly non-singer.

One time in middle school, Laura Long had a Christmas party and made us all go caroling and I just stood in the back half-assedly mouthing the words. Caroling is for suckers. I get it, BTK.

This card is blank inside so you can fill it with lyrics to NKOTB’s “Funky, Funky Christmas” or whatever. I feel like Aileen might have had that cassingle. Lol, OK maybe not.

This currently my favorite card that I’ve ever made.

5. Ed Kemper Naughty List 

What a festive card! Who doesn’t love thinking about decapitated coeds when opening up Christmas cards?

Comes with an envelope. Be careful what you put inside though if you’re sending this to a prison pen pal. Not that I have any experience with penitentiary mail getting rejected.

6. Don’t Kiss Henry Lee’s Mommy

Nothing spreads Christmas cheer quite like the hint of matricide! Henry Lee Lucas should have used this as his motive for murdering his mom because it sounds way better than “She hit me on the head with a broom.”

Perfect for any true crime enthusiast in your life! Or your mother-in-law!

7. Robert Hansen the Worst Alaskan

I mean, who hasn’t used the “Oh shit, I forgot to dig up your present out of the woods of Alaska” to buy themselves some more time? I just used this excuse last month when I met up with a friend and totally forgot that her birthday had just passed and she was like, “Mmmhmmm” but look – maybe she doesn’t know my life as well as she thinks she does OK!?

Anyway, let the creep-o mug of Robert Hanson, the Butcher Baker of Anchorage, really drive this sentiment home. What a charming Christmas card! I’m sure it will be displayed front and center on the fireplace mantle.

Comes with an envelope. You could actually bury their gift and turn it into a real life scavenger hunt. Tuck in a map and some clues!

Fun fact about me: I am terrified of Alaska so this asshole might actually be the scariest serial killer in my opinion.

8. Son of Sam’s Xmas Jam

This is one of my original cards going back to the beginning of non compos cards, but I revamped the design last year. Trufax: when I started making these cards 10+ years ago, I barely knew how to use Photoshop. Truthfully, I’m still not much more than a novice, but I have gotten A LITTLE better over the years and I’m trying to polish up some of the most turd-iest designs in the shop.

This card was inspired by my desire to sign people’s yearbooks with the line “In their blood and from the gutter,” a sentiment straight from one of David Berkowitz’s letters to the popo. But people in high school already knew I was a weirdo and my luck, I’d have gotten called to the social worker’s office (again).

But now I’ve managed to incorporate it in a holiday card, and that’s pretty freakin’ redeeming.

Let Son of Sam, one of America’s most notorious killers, spread yuletime cheer to your loved ones; watch in amazement as their faces become awash with smiles that say, “Oh, you shouldn’t have!”

But you have!

Envelope included!

Ho Ho Ho and all that shit.

9. Ian Brady & Myra Hindley, Santa’s Elves

Hey man, what’s synonymous with Santa and his elves? If you said Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, then BOY have I got a Christmas card for you!

Fun fact about these two brutes: anytime I post their cards on Instagram, I get reported for violence.

10. Santa’s Geindeer

Ed Gein Christmas Card serial killers image 1

This was my favorite card from 2021!

Better think twice before investigating that CLICK CLICK CLICK you hear on your roof, is all I’m saying.
I couldn’t resist making this dumb card, even though Henry was like, “OK, ha. Ha…” Look, it took me a long time make this and I still have a headache from staring at the computer screen and that stupid “Up On the Housetop” song got stuck in my head and I got really agitated because I spent my whole life thinking it was “Up on the Rooftop” until my kid was in kindergarten and had to sing that for the holiday assembly and I was like WHAAAT THEY’RE GETTING THE WORDS ALL FUCKED UP” and then everyone on Facebook was like, “No. You are wrong and everyone else is right” and I felt so attacked because I’m one of those people who rarely gets corrected because most people in my inner circle are too afraid to call me out when I’m wrong so when it actually happens (I mean, it’s rare, because I’m pretty fucking perfect), I will dwell on it for days (lol, years) and then Google things like HOW DO WITCHES HURT PEOPLE and TOOLS FOR CUTTING THE BRAKE CABLE and also WHERE IS THE BRAKE CABLE.

Yeah, so! The inside of this card is blank. You can write anything you want inside, like your own lyrics to that dumb carol, for example.

Come with an envelope made of paper and not stretched skin, which is probably what Ed Gein mailed his Christmas cards in.

**********

As always, I’m happy to fulfill any custom requests, so if you have a favorite (?) serial killer that you would like to see a Christmas card themed around, hit me up! And check out the rest of the shop for birthday cards, Valentines, Golden Girls stuff—it’s a real shit show over at non compos.

And because I feel it necessary to leave a disclaimer every now and then: I do not condone murder or suicide pacts. I do not engage in “idol worship” of serial killers. I think they’re the scourge of society and the reason I started making these cards was because I do have an interest in true crime & the psychology of it, and it started as a “tongue-in-cheek” fuck you to the mainstream greeting card industry. I joined a Christmas card exchange thingie one year over on LiveJournal and I wanted to send something that I made myself, something that would make people groan. And 14 years later, I’m still going at it! (Henry’s sitting next to me bitching about how, “…and I still don’t have health insurance and my boss treats me like shit and I have to buy supplies out of my own pocket…” WOW. Sounds like someone is getting ready to picket.)

Dec 052021
 

I was so excited to be able to invite Corey and Janna over this year to TRIM TRUDY since we are all vaccinated and some of us are even boostered. Last year was very sad trimming that broad without an accompanying gathering. Sadly, Corey couldn’t make it because of a work Xmas party, but Janna came over and was OMG ON TIME! She even made a point of eschewing the standard salutations with a “NOTE THE TIME” demand instead. LOL, oh Janna.

Earlier that day, Henry and I went to Fresh Thyme to procure some “healthy”-ish snacks to go along with the Korean alcoholic bev collection (various flavored sojus and makgeollis, get on our K-level). While there, some guy who was around my age kept making INTENSE eye contact with me, the guy that can be decoded as “I KNOW YOU” and it was borderline uncomfy. I started to panic, like, “Did I have a one-night stand with this dude back in the day?” I mean, he kind of looked like my type?!?! I was actually afraid he was going to be waiting in the parking lot but he wasn’t. I kept trying to tell Henry about it but I was wearing a mask in the store and Henry is already hard of hearing and was basically completely unaware that any of this was happening.

“DIDN’T YOU SEE HOW LONG HE WAS ‘LOOKING AT MILK’ WHEN WE WERE IN THE VEGAN DAIRY SECTION??” I cried and Henry was like, “No…maybe…wait what are we talking about again?” and then I think Henry was actually sad that this guy didn’t kidnap me.

My eyes are so fantastico at the YOUNG AGE of 42 that I can barely even get my photos in focus these days.

Got to break out my SHINee soju glasses for the occasion!

This was probably one of the 87 times Chooch asked told Janna to buy him Pokemon cards for Christmas.

“I think the gas mask year was my favorite,” Janna said dreamily, as we recounted all of the festive Yuletide transformations that Trudy has undergone. (Underwent? Undertaken? GONE THRU.) I think we care less and less each year though, ah, sweet complacency. I mean, I was all gung-ho about looking for a green tutu for her to wear this year so that we could also use that as a vehicle for hanging ornaments, but I got distracted about like, one google search and then forgot to go back and look. LOL. Oh, Christmas. Who cares.

I mean, look how exhausted we are after spending a whopping ten minutes wrapping a mannequin with garland. She doesn’t even need strung with lights anymore because Henry just leaves the lights on her year-round now.

Here are pictures of all of us post-TRUDY TRIM.

Then Chooch wanted to play a game but I said NO because I didn’t feel like it, yet somehow I ended up with Chooch’s phone pressed to my forehead, hysterically guessing things from the 1980s. Oh Heads Up, I hate your existence yet I can never walk away a challenge.

One of the categories is for songs but you have to hum or sing the song without giving away the song title. It was Chooch’s turn to guess and the song was “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White Ts but I never liked that song and could literally only think of the Hey There Delilah line and had to keep humming it over and over and Janna was also trying to hum it because she couldn’t think of the words and then I was like, “JUST PASS IT YOU PROBABLY DON’T KNOW THIS SONG ANYWAY” so he passed it and then later when he looked at the ones he missed, he rage-cried, “HEY THERE DELILAH ARE YOU KIDDING ME WHY WOULDN’T I KNOW THAT???” and Janna and I defensively argued that we couldn’t think of any other lyrics.

“Like, who even knows the words to that song,” Janna said dismissively, to which Chooch screamed, “HEY THERE DELILAH?? WHAT’S IT LIKE IN NEW YORK CITY???? I’M A THOUSAND MILES AWAY???? BUT, GIRL, TONIGHT YOU LOOK SO PRETTY????” while the protruding vein in his forehead was barking an emphatic “Yeah!” after line, and then dropped the mic on his behalf.

“AND YOU COULDN’T HAVE EVEN HAD ME GUESS THE BAND’S NAME?!?! REALLY? PLAIN WHITE TS???”

He was um, very upset.

Blake made the long and arduous trek over from next door later that night after his gaggle of children went  to bed, and the HEY THERE DELILAH party foul was brought back up again.

Immediately, Blake recounted the first four lines of the song too, with as much casual comfort as someone singing the happy birthday song. Janna and I just threw our arms up in defeat. (Honestly though I really hated that song so it’s not too shocking that I wouldn’t know the words.)

Whenever it was my turn and we were doing music, everyone’s first clue for nearly every singer was, “Oh you hate this person.” I hate so many pop singers that it was really hard for me to guess! Although it was mostly Katy Perry and Taylor Swift every time, except for the one time when it was Alecia Keys and Chooch ever-so-surely said, “You really hate this singer” and I was so confused because I do not hate her. I just have no feelings either way!

Bros!

I was REALLY pissed because once when it was my turn, the answer was The Carpenters “We’ve Only Just Begun” but I only got the artist and not the song because Henry was being stupid with his humming capabilities and then afterward argued that I “wouldn’t have gotten it anyway” and I was like, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME ALL YOU HAD TO DO WAS SAY THIS SONG IS IN MUSIC BOXES?!!?” Honestly, my grandma had like 8 different music boxes in her house that played that song.

One time when it was Henry’s turn, the word was SHOULDER PADS and Chooch got Henry to guess it by saying “it’s what mom called Drew and thought it was so hilarious* – Ursula’s…” and Henry immediately said “Oh. Shoulder pads.

*It WAS hilarious!

Also, chooch wouldn’t do the pop culture category with us because it has “relevant trends” that we “wouldn’t know about.” I hate him.

My other favorite moment of the night was when Janna told me that one of the BITCHIEST teachers we had for Language Arts / Communications in middle school made her re-recite a poem from the very beginning after she mispronounced the word BOSOM LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. This is my new favorite Janna thing! Apparently she pronounced it BOW-some LOLOLOLOL YESSSSSSSSS.

Well, Mary, I think that’s all for now. It was a nice night of snackin’ and Heads Up’in and somewhat house partyin’. And now Trudy is back to her festive dressings!

Nov 252021
 

G-Dragon and his turkey leg wish you all a happy Thanksgiving! Ours was very lowkey – I didn’t want Henry cooking lots of food because we’re going to be gone for a few days and didn’t want leftovers to go to waste, so chooch and I got premade veg meals from Zenith, and Henry had…hot sausage? I dunno. It was something in a bun. Which is actually an upgrade from the Saltines and peanut butter that I originally guessed he’d be eating today lol. Here are some pictures.

Lol Henry’s dish. (The potatoes he made himself were really good though.)

Chooch worked from 7-3 today (time and a half!) and was in a GREAT MOOD. He at least changed out of a hoodie and stopped watching Tiktok videos at the table.

The best part – Zenith’s vegan pumpkin bundt cake, yes boy.

Overall not the most memorable T-Day but I’m also not a big T-Day type of gal so overall I was just happy to have the time off work.

Oh! And I got Henry to do a Paul Eugene workout afterward and that makes three times this week! I think he actually enjoys Paul Eugene workouts??

Now I’m going to lay in bed unable to sleep because I’m stressed about going away this weekend. I always have the day after Thanksgiving off but Henry REFUSES TO REQUEST OFF which means we can’t hit the road until he comes home tomorrow’s. So now I’m at the mercy of his unpredictable job. 

And never forget 2019 when he HURT HIS BACK THAT DAY and almost RUINED OUR SILVER DOLLAR CITY WEEKEND!!

In other related news, I’m THANKFUL that Kpop girl group legends T-ARA recently had a comeback!

This song is so iconic and one of the first kpopX routines I did back in 2015 when I had no idea that Kpop was about to change my life:

Ok. EK out.

Nov 052021
 

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

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

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

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

Literally will never look at the damn camera!!!

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

No one seemed to notice her anyway :(

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

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

UGH!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rejected by Michael Myers. A new low.

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

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

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

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

 

Nov 012021
 

You know, I can’t really complain about this year’s HalloCation. I mean, staycations are never really my thing because of course I’d rather be going somewhere, but I think in my old(er) age, I’m finally starting to listen to my mind and allowing myself to slow down a little. I mean, OK, just a tiny bit. I did a shit ton of walking and exercising all week but I ALSO WATCHED TV YOU GUYS! And sometimes I was even sitting down while watching it!

I won’t recap every day because that would be a snooze, but I went to the cemetery 4 of the 5 days so let’s enjoy some FOTOS I took as proof that I was at the cemetery in case my parole officer asked me.

I went to Homewood Cem on Monday and the day was SO BEAUTIFUL! The whole week was originally supposed to be a wash out but it sure did start off nice and October-y. I walked around for a good bit, tried to get the squirrels there to love me by way of the peanuts in my pocket but they sadly do not know who I am, all the while listening to “Clown in the Cornfield” on audio. I saw my first ever black squirrel in Pittsburgh there too! It was so exciting that I was suddenly (kapchuggi) Alice following the white rabbit as I trampled off the path and into the sodden death-grass.

Then I came home and recorded this adorbs interaction with Drew and one of the baby Buddys!!

What a nice day.

Tuesday I think it rained all day and I am not actually sure what I did aside from fuck around with cats and squirrels, read, exercise, and oh look I did what I said I wasn’t going to do and I’m recapping each day STOP THAT ERIN. IT IS NOT IMPORTANT.

Wednesday was nice though! I mean, the weather was cold and gray, but I had lunch with my mom and Corey at First Watch. Corey of course was late and I was starving, but my mom wasn’t looking at the menu at all and acted surprised when the waitress came to take our order even though we had been  there for 10 minutes at least but now Corey didn’t know what he wanted either and I was just like gritting my teeth each time (there were THREE OF THESE TIMES) when the waitress was like OK I WILL COME BACK because I had known what I was ordering an entire day in advance because us vegetarians/dietary snowflakes need to scope and scour online menus immediately after a restaurant is chosen.

This is just how it goes.

So yeah, I knew for hours upon hours that I was going to be jaw-hugging a veggie burger at approx. 1PM on Wednesday October 27th.

The fourth time the waitress came back, I looked at her with pleading eyes and whined, “They’re getting on my nerves!” She laughed and said, “Wow, you’re hungry.”

In the end, my mom also ordered a veggie burger and Corey just got a BLT!!!!!!!!!! ALL THAT MENU ANALYZING!!!!!!!! FOR THAT!!!!!!! A BLT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HEAVY PANTING. BREATHE, ERIN. BRING IT DOWN, ERIN.

Seriously though, it was a really nice time and something that we need to do more often. Another thing about OLD(ER) AGE ERIN is that I am panicking about not spending enough time with my family.

I took a stroll around Jefferson Memorial after dropping off my mom. WALKING AFTER A MEAL IS A GOOD DIGESTIVE AID. These are things OLD(ER) PEOPLE need to consider.

We watched Scream that night because somehow I failed Chooch and he made it fifteen years without ever watching it?! I think he spent more time IMDBing the cast though.

“OH THAT’S WHY HE LOOKS FAMILIAR HE WAS SHAGGY!”

That was the first time in YEARS that I watched it in its entirety (usually it’s just on in the background) but wow, it really holds up, Rose McGowan is still a queen and I covet her wardrobe, and Skeet Ulrich still makes me scream SKEET ULRICH.

Hey, you know who else makes me still scream their name ever since the late 90s? SCOTT SPEEDMAN OMG I was so stoked that he was in season three of You. Was he in it enough, though? FUCK NO. I needed more Scott Speedman. I kept screaming into Henry’s face “SCOTT SPEEDMAN BETTER NOT FUCKING DIE!”

I finished that season at some point while I was off last week and I liked it well enough, but it was kind of boring compared to the other two seasons. THE ENDING WAS V. SATISFYING TO ME THOUGH AS SOMEONE WHO HATED A CERTAIN CHARACTER. No spoilers.

Here are a bunch of pictures from my return to Homewood Cemetery which is my favorite cem in the city. Most Pghers will tell you that Allegheny Cem is the best and while I do think that one us special as well, nothing beats Homewood Cem in my PERSONAL AND BEST OPINION. And I saw more black squirrels!!!!

The weather really held off for me on Thursday and I was so happy. Last week actually felt like legit autumn and I was trying to suck it all up because it’s only a matter of time before this mild weather turns into CHANCE OF FLURRIES. Noooo.

Giles has a real nice spot.

I miss taking pictures of Chooch in the cemetery. :(

Here’s a picture of Chooch and Drew later that day.

On my final day of HalloCation, it rained off and on and I was going to just stay home but then it cleared up and I felt inspired to go to a different cemetery after lunch. I had started The House on Needless Street on audio that day and I can only listen to audio books if I’m walking so I felt inspired.

I went to Uniondale, which is another of my old tried and trues, cemetery-edition. This is where we used to have our Xmas picnics before we modified the tradition several years ago, dropping the full picnic for a selection of Chinese and Korean sweet buns from Sumi’s and Pink Box, and then eating them at the nearby Homewood Cemetery. It’s a good tradition, you guys. Now we don’t freeze to death by trying to sit on the cold ass graveyard ground.

So everything was normal and nothing to write home about, until I went to leave. Usually, I would turn to the right and loop around toward the exit/entrance (there’s only one way out of this place) but for SOME REASON, I said out loud, “I will go to the left today.” And then when I came to another point where I could either stay straight or loop around a circle, I chose the circle. It was almost like my car was being guided for me.

I had one last turn to make to put me back on the main path that leads to the exit, and as I made that fateful right turn, I couldn’t see that there was a big stone marker (not a tombstone, but like a pillar) that had started to tip over out of the ground and was jutting out right into the lane. So as I made the right turn, I didn’t swing out far enough and ended up hitting the damn thing with the right side of my car. At first, I couldn’t tell what the fuck happened. The impact was just hard enough that it shook the car and I could see a piece of plastic fly in front of the windshield and land to the left of the car. I got out, shaken not from injuries but from the shock of whatever had just happened and slowly walked around to assess the damage.

Part of the plastic runner at the bottom of the doors had broken – that’s what I saw being flung through the air – and the back door is dented. Not the MOST HORRIBLE scenario, but still not great because NO ONE WANTS TO WRECK THEIR FUCKING CAR. I called Henry immediately and he was like, “OK calm down” which usually would make me snap because OK STRAIGHT WHITE MALE, but in this case I was like, “Yes, please soothe me with your Papa H words.” Also, I was like, “OMG please tell Chooch that you did this” because Chooch can be so mean and I didn’t want him to make fun of me! I feel like a lot of women would be like OMG MY HUSBAND/ETC IS GOING TO KILL ME but I’m like HENRY WON’T YELL AT ME BUT MY MEAN TEENAGED SON CAN NEVER KNOW THE TRUTH!

When Chooch finally noticed it later that night, I flipped out and was like I DON’T KNOW, YOUR DAD DID IT, DROP IT and Chooch was like, “Oh wow OK because I’m so sure YOU weren’t pissed when you found out he wrecked the car!” We were walking into Sheetz when this convo was happening and I was so grateful that I was wearing my mask so he couldn’t see the expression on my face when I snapped, “IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS” and then ran to place my coffee order. LOL. Then Henry came in and Chooch was like WHAT DID YOU DO TO THE CAR and Henry calmly said, “I hit a pillar” and then completely changed the subject before Chooch could ask any follow-up questions, lol.

He’s basically just taking the fall for me in general now, and then frowns at me when no one is looking. Don’t worry, the insurance company knows the truth, LOL.

In my mind though, I want to believe that this happened in order for something worse to NOT happen. Like, what if I had turned right like I normally would and then I hit a squirrel??? I’d rather pay my deductable than commit vehicular homicide against an animal. ANY DAMN DAY.

The one highlight from Friday though was when I went in the background and got one of my main Buddys to come all the way out of a tree and skip around my feet while I handed him a walnut.

“I could have been like that bitch with the gorillas,”  I said to Henry, who just smirked at me while filling out the insurance claim.

Well, that’s all. What a rich vaca. But still, better than work!

Oct 312021
 

Hi hello here I am and it’s Halloween! I have zero plans for the day other than finishing reading Last House on Needless Street, taking rainy walks, exercising, and then watching horror movies while handing out candy to the one or two kids that actually knock on our door tonight. This is the first year that I didn’t make a costume for Chooch because he’s 15 and happily working tonight (I asked him to try and get an earlier shift and he was like ‘why? I truthfully do not care’ so that was cool, my LITTLE BABY IS GROWING UP AND DOESN’T CARE ABOUT DRESSING UP OR HANDING OUT CANDY) so I am going to try and give the Type A Pageant Mom side of my personality the day off and try to, oh I don’t know – relax?? LOL yeah right! I’m the type of person who still exercises when they’re sick or half-crippled with cramps, but OK sure, Ma, I’ll “relax.” LOL.

This has been a really strange Halloween season, actually. We didn’t even go to Spirit Halloween one single time! We didn’t get any pumpkins! I of course had nothing at work to decorate because office life is still on hold! But, we did go to a shit ton of haunted houses, I had horror movies playing in the background all month while I worked, I had a nice Hallocation full of ME TIME and cemetery walks (I’ll recap that tomorrow I guess), so I can’t really complain too much. But I can’t help feeling like I’m this really uncomfortable stage in life where my kid is now too old to give a shit but I myself don’t feel like I’m ready to hang it up so if anyone wants to let me borrow a small child next year for October, that would be cool. I mean, not for sacrificial purposes ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hahahahahahahahahahahahaHAHAHAH. But you know, to construct complex cardboard costumes into which they will be stuffed.

I can think of a lot of ways to blow off steam after a stressful week, but “going to a party” seemed to be the safest, most legal, option.

And then I was thinking that maybe next year I’ll have a Halloween party because I have never had my own Halloween party as an adult for some reason even  though I used to have them in middle school and high school, and we all know I love having parties, but it sucks because my house is small but at least it’s a lot cooler now than it used to me and I wouldn’t even have to really decorate?? Literally none of my friends have Halloween parties (or they do and just don’t invite me and I’d never know since I’m not that piece of shit site f/k/a Facebook, and that honestly sounds like the more likely reason lol) so maybe I will do that. It can be a Halloween/pie party crossover event maybe?? No, pie parties belong in a park pavilion on a Sunday afternoon. We’ll do both, maybe. Or maybe I’ll even do it the weekend after Halloween so that my Castle Blood friends will be able to attend, and then we can properly drag out Halloween, like the fine folks at Trundle Manor used to do! Speaking of that, we’ll end this dumpster dive of a blog post with a reposting of one of their Halloween parties that I went to back in 2012. I still feel so cool and honored that I was invited to this because I am not actually a cool person at all but they thought I was for some reason I guess.

I dunno, holla at me if you would come to my hypothetical Halloween party 2022. Don’t expect me to have an absinthe fountain like Trundle Manor though. Makgeolli fountain, MAYHAPS.

****

Thank god for Trundle Manor. Rachel and Anton are smart as shit, planning their Halloween party in November and prolonging the Best Season Ever by a few weeks. This year’s theme was “insane asylum” so I decided to go as Fatal Attraction Glenn Close. Of course, I didn’t decide this until a week prior to the party, but Henry went to one thrift store and immediately found me a flouncy white skirt for $3. I would NEVER have that kind of luck.

80s Fatal Attraction Costume Idea | Like Totally 80s

And it’s an awesome skirt too, basically like a wedding dress underskirt/petticoat-type frock-thingie. I put it on three hours before leaving for the party on Saturday because it’s probably the closest thing to a wedding dress I’ll ever get to wear, and it felt good OK? All swishy and connubial.

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I made my hair all Alex Forest-esque with a triple barrel iron. None of the pictures I took properly conveyed the true crimped “electrocution victim”-ness of my mane. Short of getting a perm, it was the best I could muster.

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Precious Henry, who didn’t go with me because he “doesn’t do parties,” made an old pot into a functional costume accessory by drilling holes in the sides and stringing rope through it so I could wear it as a purse instead of carrying it around all night.

(Henry wouldn’t have even had to dress up if he had gone! He could’ve just been the Co-Ed Killer Ed Kemper.)

If you have no idea what the fuck I’m talking about, in the movie “Fatal Attraction,” Glenn Close has an affair with Michael Douglas and then boils his daughter’s pet bunny when she’s rejected. She also plays the wrist-slitting card to garner sympathy. But (SPOILER ALERT) his wife shoots her in the end.

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She doesn’t ever sit in a wheelchair in the movie, but I wish she did so I could have taken one of mine. Oh well.

Saturday was Wendy’s bowling night, so she couldn’t make it there until after 12:30. Luckily, my Castle Blood brood was there so I didn’t have to be That Awkward Girl siccing people for conversation. (Not that I would have had a problem — the friends of Trundle Manor are awesome people.) But still — I don’t like showing up to a party alone, so I made Henry text Ricky and ask him twenty questions about their anticipated arrival to the Manor.

Ricky was standing right near the driveway when I got there, so I didn’t have to walk more than five feet on my own (GOD FORBID). I apologized to him for being such a spaz about things; he put his arm around me and said, “But what else is new?”

Touche.

He deposited me with Dawn, at which point I started drinking, and the night was on a steady high after that.

Chris and Kari were also there, among other familiar Castle Blood faces (including the steam punk professor guy that I have a crush on), plus my friend Patty Cake from work. I recognized a lot of people from last year too, which was nice. Not that it mattered, because once I started imbibing absinthe, everyone’s faces started looking like Dali paintings.

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Dawn & Ricky, being there.

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The drink slinger’s face is glowing green from the absinthe fountain.

For being the second weekend in November, the weather was mild. Last year it was a week earlier and I remember we were all fighting to rub our hands above hobo fires. I survived without a coat, even. But that could be because all the booze I had consumed had formed an invisible anorak around my Alex Forest couture.

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My Castle Blood homies split around 11. Even if Wendy hadn’t been coming later, I wasn’t ready to leave yet. The bands were just about to start playing! I found my friend Angie, whom I met one year ago at the last Trundle Manor Halloween event, and she was stuck with stumbling ass for the rest of the night.

Everything else is kind of a blur. I have a vague recollection of carrying around a mysterious sleeve of Oreos in my bunny boiler pot purse (I think Dawn had something to do with that?) and offering them to random people.

Those fucking Oreos had somehow become my delicious security blanket.

I remember talking at length to a pirate riding a blow-up ostrich and feeling regret when I realized I hadn’t offered him an Oreo.

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And I remember dancing to the Bloody Seamen’s shanties and giving zero fucks about work and anything else, and meeting Gina the Trundle carny, who was very upset that I had a bloody bunny in my pot.

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My phone didn’t capture it, but that big glow was actually a bunch of x-rays.

I had a crush on at least 87 revelers that night. Hey, that’s what happens when Henry sends me out into the world alone. WITHOUT A RING.

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B-movies projected on the side of the house.

It was nearly 1:00am by the time Wendy arrived as Aileen Wuornos. The crowd was starting to disperse, but there were still a ton of crazy asses there (and I mean that in the best way). My favorite was this totally fucked up gay kid who I can only figure was dressed as Lady Gaga from the Love Game video. He came over and told us that he had walked an hour to get there, a bunch of stuff I couldn’t understand because he was slurring so heavily, and that he has a collection of rabbit things in his house and losing his pet rabbit Sprocket was the worst thing that’s ever happened to him. He slurred out Sprocket’s name so many times, I don’t think I’ll forget him.

When I cried about my two dead cats to a drag queen named Curiosity, I knew it was probably time to call it a night.

I am forever thankful that I randomly took a tour of Trundle Manor two years ago and that Rachel and Anton continue to open up their home to me and so many other amazing individuals. Their parties are sick, totally unique and unforgettable. It’s a pretty amazing scene to be a part of.

Came home, poured one out for Sprocket, and then tried to not vomit on Henry as I rolled over him to get into bed. Best Halloween closure I’ve ever gotten!

No one ever did take any of my Oreos. More for me!