Aug 202022
 

You guys! Baby’s First Coaster Enthusiast Event! I was so giddy when we strode right past the “SURFSIDE PIER IS CLOSED FOR A PRIVATE EVENT” sign with the air of people who BELONG and went to the guest services counter to register. I couldn’t have imagined any place better to attend our first coaster event than at my beloved Morey’s Piers! I had watched some videos from coaster YouTubers who attended this event in the past and it just looked so cool and casual.

Immediately, one of the Morey’s guys called out to me from behind the counter, “Are you the reason I keep seeing those shirts all over the Internet?” and I was like, “I HAVE BEEN SEEN BY A MOREY’S PERSONNEL!!” He was so cool too!

Then I noticed right next to us was a coaster vlogger whom I follow on Instagram and sometimes watch his videos so I had to elbow Henry and he was like, “Ok. Cool.”

Anyway, here was the agenda!

So the reason why this is so cool is that the piers don’t officially open to the general public until noon (Adventure Pier opens at 2pm) so from 9:30 to noon on Saturday, we had free reign of the rides listed up there for special ERT (early ride time / exclusive ride time).

We were the first train of the day on the Great Nor’easter – a trainful of true thoosies! It was a really cool experience because, and I mean this in the best way possible since I’m talking about myself also, but to be a true coaster thoosie, you gotta be a little bit psycho! So imagine a trainful of us assholes, totally screaming our lungs out and just LIVING FOR IT.

And goddammit, this is STILL the best Vekoma SLC IN THE WHOLE WORLD. Literally the ONLY one worth re-riding. Morey’s Piers puts so much TLC into their rides and piers, and their ride operators are just TOP NOTCH – it really elevates the experience.

Oh I should mention that last year, Henry didn’t get a wrist band (we weren’t there for the event last year, this was just a regular day) so the only things he rode was the Great White once and the carousel once. This time, he got to ride everything!

I kept calling Dante’s Dungeon “Dante’s Inferno,” which IS a ride but just…not one at Wildwood. Chooch mocked me which is basically his sole purpose in life these days.

I love love love me a darkride.

Chooch was “not scared” at the real life person who comes after you at the end. They totally got me, though!

Runaway Tram is such a fun family coaster! You would never know it by Henry’s stoic stance.

Now, brace yourselves for a series I like to call Before the Tilt-a-Whirl Tilted and Whirled Our Breakfast.

Me, on the cusp of realizing that Chooch is taking bursts.

Me, starting to sense that something is wrong.

Me, desperately asking for my phone back.

WHY DOES HE TROLL ME SO HARD I HATE IT.

Chooch and I went back for more Nor’easter rerides before ERT ran out. We walked right onto the front, and then they let us re-ride on any unoccupied row of our choosing and the backrow was open so we snagged it! I realized that the front is waaaay rougher/more intense than the back. The back is where you want to sit to get a nice, smooth ride where you can walk off without your brain feeling scrambled!

Gathering our bearings after a ride on It, which is like the Claw ride that is so ubiquitous in traveling carnivals. It’s fun but WHOOO BOY between that and the Tilt-a-Whirl all before 11am, it was a bit much for me and my baby stomach.

OK, that made me sound like I was alluding to pregnancy. That ain’t it.

Um, OK Boardwalk King.

This was before my WHERE IS MY BIRTHDAY PRESENT, YOU PROMISED ME THAT I WOULD GET MY BIRTHDAY PRESENT IN WILDWOOD / lack of sleep / probably a bit of dehydration breakdown that would happen later that evening. Who, me? Throw a temper tantrum? Pfft, never.

The last thing we did for this portion of the ERT was the Zoom Phloom which we didn’t ride last year and I can’t remember why now – either it wasn’t running or we just didn’t care?? But I am here to tell you that if you are a log flume aficionado, and even if you’re NOT, do not skip out on this. First of all, don’t worry about getting drenched. I mean, yeah, you’re gonna get a little wet but not like, excessively so. Plus, if you’re on the boardwalk in the summer, your ass is gonna dry up REAL QUICKLIKE.

But look, this log flume has an amazing layout where it weaves around and interacts with the waterpark slides and the Great Nor’easter. It’s REALLY cool in that way. And after one of the drops, it literally puts you through a tunnel under the boardwalk while UNDER THE BOARDWALK plays around you! It’s not the Bruce Willis version sadly (aka the BEST version) but it’s so wonderful, nevertheless.

I couldn’t stop gushing about this!

Then at noon, everyone gathered for a group picture. Numerous shots were taken and I have been OBSESSIVELY checking the Morey’s Piers socials but nothing has been posted yet. I am desperate for a copy of this picture because if you know me, you know that I love being a part of a group and even though I hate having my picture taken, I am ALL ABOUT THE GROUP PHOTOS.

We had a bunch of free time after that, which I loved because I would have been sad if we were back in Wildwood with no time to soak up all the boardwalk vibes.

I didn’t get any Polish Water Ice last year and it was on my agenda this time around because I had a vague memory of Kennywood possibly offering something like this back in the 80s, to the point where I could imagine how this was going to taste and it was 100% the same as in my taste buds’ imagination! Henry and I shared this because even though I always think that I can house something all on my own, chances are my belly will step up and remind me of my limits.

Random Henry Shot.

Chooch passed on the water ice and opted instead for boba.

We went to a really sad arcade inside the Boardwalk Mall. It was…really sad but also full of character. The elderly lady running the place seemed like a true Boardwalk installation. Someone came to visit her, presumably her daughter (?) and brought their dog, who the elderly lady later told us was named Boardwalk Bob. I LOVED THIS WHOLE PORTION OF THE DAY.

GOD LOVE HER.

PROTECT THIS BOARDWALK BROAD.

Well, I think I will end the first portion of day 1 here.

Aug 112022
 

I can’t believe I missed Duran Duran Day yesterday! I even saw it on the work calendar earlier this week and was all geared up to Simon Le Bon the shit out of my coworkers, but alas. Here we are, a day late and a…Duran short.

This is super cliché, but my all-time favorite Duran song is Hungry Like the Wolf. I was just a small tot when it came out, and it’s one of those songs that still triggers an emotional response in my brain and belly, and I want nothing more but to be transported back in time, riding to my Pappap’s house in my mom’s red Pontiac with the McD’s sweet and sour sauce stains on the backseat, ready for a long summer day of swimming. Ah, to relive the 80s!

My dad had several Duran Duran CDs in his garage music collection and I can remember sneaking in there during one of our many STAND OFFS and “borrowing” some of them to make mixed tapes with in the mid-90s.

And another strong memory involving this song was the time in high school when I accompanied Lisa to get her bellybutton pierced in Oakland. Her mom was also there since Lisa was a minor, and Lisa’s older friend / former babysitter Kim who I thought was SO COOL back then but then learned as an adult how decidedly NOT COOL she is when we had briefly reunited. Anyway, I had my camcorder with me because that was basically an extension of my arm back then, and I remember walking down the sidewalk and screaming I LOVE THIS SONG as we walked past a parked car with Hungry Like the Wolf emanating from within. (This is yet another reminder to get all of my old home videotapes converted – HENRY HELP WITH THIS PLZ AND THANKS.)

To this day, when I hear this song, I have to pause and take it in, marinate in that 80s new romantic synth bath. It just never gets old to me, and that opening laugh makes me giddy every time.

Pretty  much anything Duran Duran did in the 80s is my personal preference, but tailing Hungry Like the Wolf for my favorite is this masterpiece that they released in the 90s which I always associate with the way my bedroom was arranged at the time – bed to the right of the doorway, facing the window – which my mom did while I was in Europe with my grandparents. Every time I hear that song, I can imagine myself laying on my bed and watching the video on MTV on my teeny tiny white TV on the wavy metal shelf that I STILL HAVE as an adult. 

Anyway, I love when so many childhood memories are attached to a band.

P.S. My aunt Susie had the most majestic Simon Le Bon bouffant back then too – Simon Le Bouffant?

Jun 052022
 

Today’s tale is a repost from the time Chooch and I heroically saved a moth on the Boulevard during the summer of 2017. Please do enjoy. Let me fluff your pillow for you first. I’m that Nice Bitch.

***

Henry had to work for a few hours this morning, so Chooch and I were over here unsupervised. I decided that I didn’t want to make coffee so I woke him up and suggested that we walk down to Brookline Boulevard so I could get an iced latte from Cafe Noir. I used to hate Cafe Noir because it moved in when Cannon Coffee closed, and the first latte I had tasted strange, not bad per se, but just kind of off. However, I’ve been there numtoerous times since then and the lattes have been phenomenal so now I think it was a problem with the soy milk that day? MAYBE IT WAS ROTTEN?! I don’t know.

Anyway, Chooch and I made it all the way there without disaster or talking to strangers or getting bit by dogs. I guess it was too early for domestic disputes, and the bars weren’t open yet, so the Boulevard was pretty quiet.

Las Palmas didn’t even have their insanely popular taco cart set up yet — it was that early.

Even too early for any strippers to be leaning all slinkily inside doorframes. (Chooch and I actually passed a trio of suspect hookers/strippers the other evening. When I mentioned it after we walked away, Chooch said, “Oh I didn’t notice. Why do you think they’re strippers? Because the one had on that that black shirt that was open all the way down to her bellybutton with a small bra underneath—”

And I interrupted to say, “Yeah and she had on that leather—”

“Choker,” Chooch finished knowingly. OK but yeah, he didn’t noticed.)

But yeah, back to this morning.

We made it to Cafe Noir, where I finally got my morning fix and Chooch ordered his Arnold Palmer with a strangulated stutter and then dwelled on it for the next minute, and probably even longer had we not noticed a small lump on the sidewalk two storefronts up from Cafe Noir.

At first I thought it was a furry leaf, but upon further inspection, Chooch and I found out that it was a MOTH! The largest moth I ever saw in real life! It was laying on its side with its wings together, so it just looked like a basic moth. I didn’t like that it was sitting out in the path of walkers, joggers, bikers, skaters, dogs, future serial killers who love to pull wings off beautiful things….so I said urgently to Chooch, “We have to move him. He’s not safe here!”

Chooch dove headfirst into the deep end of the animal rescue pool. If he was wearing long sleeves, this would be where he rolled them up in a serious LET’S DO THIS motion. JUST LIKE ON TV.

Ever since I was a child, I was always told DO NOT TOUCH A MOTH BECAUSE YOU WILL RUB OFF THE POWDER FROM ITS WINGS AND IT WILL DIEEEEE. So I have never touched a moth or a butterfly because I’m not a murderer.

Of animals or insects, that is.

So I grabbed the nearest leaf and gently tapped it against the moth’s legs or whatever they’re called.

And it was at that moment that it twitched and sat up straight, and in the most dramatic fashion it spread it’s huge wings open wide to reveal the grandest markings I have ever seen on this side of a slideshow in a darkened science classroom.

Chooch and I cried a seriously impressed “WHOA!” in unison, and leaned in closer to admire this total babe all spread out in front of us. People were walking by giving us double takes, because what are those dummies looking at, last night’s puke? A discarded syringe?

NO, JUST A GIFT FROM NATURE, RIGHT HERE IN FROM THE RECORD STORE. YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND.

I swear to god, this majestic moth was the size of half my hand. We expected it to fly away now that it’s wings were open, but it still just sat there.

“Maybe it’s injured,” I said sadly. We tried a few more times to move it, to at least scoot it over closer to the window of the record store where it was out of the direct path of foot traffic but it was becoming increasingly clear that it wasn’t going to budge.

“We can’t do this without something sturdier to slide under it. I hate to leave it but I don’t think there’s anything we can do for it without touching it with our hands and I don’t want to hurt it!” I cried.

“Too bad we don’t have like, a plastic lid or something,” Chooch shrugged hopelessly as we started to walk away. And then 10 feet later, no lie, there was an old red tupperwear lid laying on the sidewalk.

WHAT ARE THE ODDS, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? IT WAS A FUCKING OMEN! Just like the time Chooch was singing some semi-obscure song from the 80s that I can’t remember at the time of this writing, and then it came on the radio at Eat n Park. He has a bit of magic in him I think. OR HE’S REALLY GOOD AT HIDING HIS SORCERY SCHOOL SYLLABUS. Why did I capslock that, who knows with me, I have blogging dementia.

Chooch grabbed the magically materialized lid and we excitedly ran back to our post-caterpillar charity case and if this were a silent film from the 20s, the caption at the bottom would say HELP IS ON THE WAY! as Chooch and I crashed into each other and fell into a heap of incompetence and idiocy.

With steady concentration and determination, we were able to scoop the moth up on the lid. There was a small grassy area — you know, like a tree bed or whatever you call those parts of sidewalks that are grassy with flowers and bushes and usually some small trees too — a few feet away from our starting point, and I made it almost all the way there before the moth flopped back onto the sidewalk.

“Nooo!” Chooch and I yelled with unbridled anguish. We sat back down on the sidewalk, trying to essentially tickle the moth back onto the lid with a leaf.

An old man stopped.

“Wow, that’s a big Monarch butterfly!” he exclaimed and we were like yeah whatever guy it’s not a butterfly, probably, but we don’t know, so maybe. (Actually, we used our Phone a Friend lifeline later and asked Chris via text, who confirmed that it was a moth so…..sucks to be wrong, old man.)

I explained that it appeared to be injured so we wanted to move it out of harm’s way so that he wouldn’t think we were mothnapping it for our bug prostitution ring or something.

“Oh it’s injured?” he repeated.

Well I mean it’s NOT FLYING AWAY SO EITHER HELP US OR LEAVE, OLD MAN, UGH.

He lost interest and left.

But then a couple who had passed us earlier paused on their way back. The man part of the couple got real close to us and asked tentatively, “So, what’s going on here?” while the girl part of the couple stood far back, shaking her head in an UH UH, NOPE, NO BUGS FOR ME fashion.

We sighed and explained once again our mission, but this man, this kind brave avuncular soul said to us, “Oh, I have something that I can help.”

He set down the shopping bag he was carrying and I waited for him to pull out the butterfly net or the Magic Moth Dust jar, but instead it was two Avon flyers. He placed one on the ground, on either side of the moth, slowly pushed them together until the moth was in the middle of the makeshift gurney, and asked us, “Where we taking it?”

Chooch pointed to the grass next to us, and our wonderful Samaritan gently laid the flyers down and let the moth free in its new safe haven.

“Oh my god, thank you so much!” I cried.

“Oh, you’re welcome! I like helping animals too. Oh, and while I’m at it….” he said, pausing to reach into his shopping bag for the chloroform-soaked handkerchiefs to help him turn Chooch and me into the latest items of his People of Brookline trafficking catalogue. “—I’m helping my daughters sell Avon, so you keep that flyer and here’s an Avon book, too,” he said, handed me all kinds of Avon literature, which I happily accepted because I’d rather wear gross Avon perfume than a chloroform handkerchief any day.

The guy’s name was Marcus, and I will never forget him.

As we parted ways, saying one last goodbye to Moth, we turned just in time to see a man walking his pug straight into the path of where we had originally found Moth.

“DID YOU SEE THAT?!” Chooch yelled with his hand over his chest like a Golden Girl. “THAT is why we had to move that moth!”

I wholeheartedly agreed.

We walked the rest of the way home, sucking on our Cafe Noir drinks with the force of two firefighters, exhausted and dehydrated from putting out some 5 Alarm blaze, recounting our Super Big Exciting OMG Can You Believe It Morning, adrenaline pumping and egos flaring. Then Chooch and some old man crashed into each other on Pioneer Ave, and then awkwardly stood in a weird embrace as the old man struggled to regain his bearings, and Chooch wiped his Arnold Palmer spills from his shirt. It was great to watch as a third-party bystander.

As soon as we got home, I sent Henry this text:

He literally had no fucks and negative cares to give about this. Chooch and I were extremely offended.

“What exactly did you save it from?” Henry went on to text from work.

“Imminent death?!” I replied, like duh, what a dumb question, and Henry replied that he thought I was being a bit extreme.

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

“Why didn’t you just pick it up?” Henry asked me just a little while ago, so I told him about what I had learned as a kid.

“Didn’t you ever hear that?” I asked.

“No!” he laughed, and his outright skepticism made me google it just now and turns out IT’S NOT TRUE! So I basically missed out on 30+ years of moth touching? I did read a lot of things just now that say while it won’t kill moths and butterflies, it could still shorten their lifespan and handling them incorrectly could fatally injure them. So probably it’s for the best that we didn’t pick up Moth with our fumbling, uncoordinated meat-mitts. I also read that they like to play dead, so hopefully that means Moth wasn’t actually injured, but just in some type of self-preservation mode.

A few hours ago, Chooch and I walked back to where we left Moth, and he was gone! We took that as a good sign, that Moth presumably flew home to his family in….a bush or wherever they live, with Saturday morning donut crumbs from Party Cake bakery. What I refuse to believe is that some dumb dog devoured him or that it hopped out into the road and…..don’t make me spell it out for you. :(

God, it feels great to be a hero though. If I was a Girl Scout, I bet I would have earned a badge.

Apr 232022
 

It all started with Korea. Almost everything in my life does, so who’s surprised here.

We were talking about the upcoming Psy album because it’s full of super-hyped duets and collabs. Henry actually scooped me on this one: Psy and Hwasa have allegedly covered an old Pia Zadora song.

“PIA ZADORA?!” I screeched.

Look. Someone at my Pappap’s house liked her in the 80s and I can remember that one of her cassettes was permanently housed in a kitchen drawer near the fridge. As a kid in elementary school, all I knew was that she was “the singer with the crazy hair and weird name.” Of course I didn’t know until years later that she was also the butt of Late Night jokes and a bit scandalous.

I’m pretty sure it was my Aunt Sharon who liked her, and Sharon must be sending me signs from the beyond because I have been reminded of her nearly every day this week.

Anyway! This started the Google descent because first I needed to know what song this was that Psy and Hwasa would be covering and I can safely say that I have never heard it but this is evidently the second time it’s been covered by Korean singers – is Pia big in Korea?!

Then I needed to, of course, see if she’s dead. She is not!

So now I’m on getting deeper in and this is how I saw that she was listed in the cast of Troop Beverly Hills…wait, what? And then it was starting to come back to me because I saw that movie (one of the best, honestly) in the theater with my Girl Scout Troop OBVIOULSY and have a vague recollection of cheering when she was on the screen for a blip and everyone being like, “????” but then not really caring to know because this was also around the same time I was obsessed with Zsa Zsa Gabor too so my peers just knew when to walk away.

Well, now that I was fully immersed in the Troop Beverly Hills cast list, Henry admitted that he had never seen it. Friends….WHAT. I have clearly done this man a disservice if I wasted 20 years of opportunities to rectify this.

I know that we’ve talked about this movie before at least because he was there in the early 2000s when I realized that JENNY LEWIS was in Rilo Kiley — I used to love them so much in their early years! And fun fact: When Chooch was born, I opted for him to have Henry’s last name because I thought that “Riley Kelly” was too much like “Rilo Kiley” and also didn’t cascade off the tongue as beautifully as Riley Robbins.

Back then, when I told people my reasoning, they were like, “Rilo who?” It got even better when I said he was named after the drummer of Thrice.

“Thrice?”

But I digress! Now that I knew that Henry hadn’t seen this, and after watching the 30 year reunion of some of the cast (Shelley Long is the greatest) on YouTube, I made the unilateral decision that we would be spending our Friday night by watching one of the best movies of my whole childhood.

I screamed at the Frankie and Annette cameo!

This movie REALLY HOLDS UP. I forgot about how perfectly it makes fun of itself. And how fabulous Shelley Long is. And how much I miss the show Life Goes On.

And guess what?? Henry said that he didn’t hate it and I kept staring at him to make sure he wasn’t falling asleep. Of course, he did his typical “ok what?” smirk here and there but that’s only because he doesn’t understand Girl Scout things.

I screamed, “I can’t believe you never saw this!” And he goes, “What year did this come out? YEAH, I WAS 24.”

OOh OK, tough guy. So, after he went AWOL.

Still on that Pia Zadora tip though and needing someone to stop me from purchasing a vintage Pia Zadora satin bomber jacket for $130.

I’ll leave you with the opening credits because I forgot how amazing they are and also because I WAS OBSESSED WITH THIS BEACHBOYS SONG and 100% had this recorded from the TV onto a mix tape so I could roller skate to it in the basement. Just so good, I’m crying, I want to be 9 again (well, actually no).

Mar 242022
 

Oh diary, dear diary, you might recall that I had the day off on Monday. I didn’t really do much other than go to the dentist (ugh), read more of two books that I was trudging through (they ended up being BACK TO BACK 1 STAR READS), and go on two long walks – once around my ‘hood and then after lunch I went to Jefferson Memorial.

I know most cem-enthusiasts would choose a place like Allegheny Cemetery or Homewood Cemetery as their fave graveyards for the gothic, historic aesthetic. But my favorite is Jefferson Memorial in Pleasant Hills. It has more of a park-feel, and no above ground headstones or crypts. BUT, it is where my birth dad, grandparents, and Aunt Sharon live. It is also where I learned how to drive with my pally Lisa (my parents absolutely refused to teach my ass and I subsequently didn’t get my license until I was nearly NINETEEN because my mom “didn’t trust me.”).

Actually, here is a clip of that amateur drivers ed class because I just found a VHS of high school footage in the attic, which is evidently just a gigantic treasure chest for mementoes and memories.

I tried to “relax” after I was done walking (apparently had five miles under my belt at that point which someone on Instagram commented that I must not be human, walking that much in Vans and I honestly didn’t even notice that I was wearing Vans as opposed to whatever types of tennis shoes are made for walking). Relaxing is extremely hard for me. I sat here for MAYBE five minutes. MAYBE. This is my favorite area of all of the cemetery though.

I thought this was in focus when I took it but now I can see that it clearly was not. Good thing I finally made myself an eye appointment for this Saturday. WOW WHO AM I?? A dentist, eye, and hair appointment all in the span of one week-ish?? Am I an adult now? Me thinks so.

OK, I have to be stupid/sappy/cringey here for a second. While I was clomping around the cem in my Vans, I suddenly felt VERY SAD and lonely. Kind of wistful I guess?? I dunno that I have ever really thought about that sort of feeling but I think I was having it that afternoon: WISTFULNESS. Wow, now I’m imagining myself standing on a windy cliff in Scotland on an overcast day, with a veil blowing in the frigid breeze, staring into the sea.

WISTFULNESS.

Let’s not get carried away, Erin.

I realized that the cause of my weird empty-pit feeling was that I wished dumb Henry was there.

In this exact spot in 2001, I was having a Really Bad Day / Borderline Breakdown (it’s near my birth dad’s grave & I was having an identity crisis). For some reason, I called Not-My-Boyfriend-Yet Henry on my NOKIA cell phone, & he came to the cemetery to calm me down. He brought me a bottle of water, which I promptly choked/drowned on. Something about that moment must have made him think, “this girl is a MESS. I’ll stick around, see how this plays out.” Lol. Anyway, we were at the same spot together a few weekends ago so I RECREATED that moment.

Pretty sure I have referenced this moment in here before, but a quick run-down of the full story is that I was still dating my then-boyfriend Jeff. Just that day, I had been reunited with my birth dad’s mom and aunt, having no contact with them at all after my dad died in 1982. I had absolutely no memory of these people, and it was really jarring to sit there and hear good stories about my birth dad when I had spent my whole life up until then either being told about all the horrible things he had done or just flat out or just having everyone act like he never existed, like I didn’t grow up not knowing who my dad was.

So, it was VERY emotional for me that day. I was supposed to have plans that night with Jeff, so I called him from my car on the way back home from this bizarre reunion. I was pretty rattled and cried a little bit while recapping the afternoon for him. His response was something along the lines of, “Well, if you’re going to be all upset and crying, let’s just hang out another time.”

What a sweetheart!

Instead of going home, I stopped at the cemetery. I found my dad’s grave (my mom had showed it to me once when I was a kid and I remembered the general area, but I spent a good while shambling around like a zombie until I finally spotted it) and sat there, just absolutely losing my mind and mourning the loss of a dad I barely knew, for the first time in 20 years.

I had a boyfriend who wanted no parts in supporting me while I tried to process this new family and information, and a co-worker/something more who dropped everything when I called him, told me not to go anywhere, and met me at the cemetery with a bottle of water. Dude, choose the person who cares about your hydration. Choose them every time! Obviously I dumped Jeff very soon after this and then, well, THE REST OF HISTORY *vomit puke barf*

****

Back to 2022. So I was feeling all “wah wah” without Henry and thought, “Hey. I will call him. That is what cell phones are for.” So I did and he was really short with me and being annoying because he was “WORKING” so then I quickly fell back down to earth and just like that, WISTFULNESS CURED, MOTHERFUCKER.

Mar 172022
 

On Sunday, I went into the office with my Mover Guy Henry in order to *sniff sniff* clean out my desk. I still work there! But because so many of us are either working entirely from home, or adopting a hybrid schedule, we are eventually going to lose space on our floor and move to a shared-space situation. Not thrilled about that, but I also will only be working from the office one day a week starting in April, so I don’t really have much room to complain.

This is the third or fourth time I’ve been in the office, but I realized that I hadn’t been in the bathroom there since March 2020 and I wanted to get a selfie for old time’s sake. Weird fact  but when I first started working there, I was obsessed with the bathroom because it was so pretty. You can’t tell from this picture, but it has really nice fuchsia wall paper when you walk in, and back when I started the Firm had JUST moved into this building, literally like several weeks prior to my start date, so the bathrooms were SPARKLING. I remember thinking the sink was so cool, but then after awhile, it just got really gross because it’s a trough sink and all kinds of shit would congregate in the corner.

*barf*

This is also the bathroom where the infamous WATER BREAKING happened in 2011!

I pitched a lot of things that came out of my desk because it was like Mary Poppins’ satchel for real and I’m really not trying to be a hoarder, but I did keep some stuff that makes me smile – I keep mementos in cute photo boxes in my closet so I don’t feel too awful about it. I guess. Anyway, let’s look at some of the random things I saved:

Both of these emails make me laugh and remind me of better, warmer times in the office! I miss Brad a lot – we were fake enemies and liked to harass each other for fun. I actually tried to hide from him in my office (LOL remember when I had an office, those were….the days) on his last day because I didn’t want to say goodbye. He found me trying to squeeze into my closet and forced me to hug him goodbye. It was sad. I did see him a few times even after he left – he came to some of my pie parties and also Chooch and I ran into him and his fiancee (are they married now I wonder?? I’m not on Facebook so basically am a social pariah) at the Hollywood Theater several years ago when they were showing the OG “Halloween.”

Lou is also my work frenemy! We #UghLou and #UghErin each other all the time. I think the nicest thing I ever said to him was “Have an OK weekend.” He is still currently employed at The Law Firm so we at least still chat here and there. But yeah, these emails are keepers as far as I’m concerned.

All of my magnets live on the fridge at home now :( I mean, it’s OK! I’m just glad I can look at them all of the time again.

Being surrounded by so many metal cabinets at the office made it a no-brainer to start a magnet collection. I think it kind of drives Henry crazy because whenever we’re on a road trip or whatever, I’m always like WAIT I NEED A MAGNET at the last minute. And I get really up in arms when we go to an amusement park and THEY DON’T HAVE MAGNETS?? (See: that Seabreeze post card up there – it was the best I could do souvenir-wise.)

One of my worst magnet memories is when I bought one during the DMZ tour in South Korea and FUCKING LEFT IT ON THE TOUR BUS.

OMG I wish I hadn’t remembered that just now because I am so sad all over again.

I dunno, I think collecting magnets is fun. It’s better than the souvenir spoons I used to collect when I was a kid and I’m pretty sure my mom threw them all away, along with my massive brochure collection.

Here is my citation from when I was forced to JAYWALK with Mean Amber and then she ran back to the office and told everyone about how she made me jaywalk and I was screaming and running like Phoebe from Friends, and then I came back to this CITATION on my desk from NATE.

I can’t remember the significance behind “Just” Erin Kelly.

Conversely! Here is my Gold Star for Excellence in the Field of Excellence from Nate and Sandy! I can’t remember if this was the same time they had an impromptu parade for me and I literally wanted to melt into my seat and be recycled into a shoe.

Behind that is BARB whom I miss so much it physically hurts me! I have had no contact with her in a very long time and I am so sad about it. I wish she never quit The Law Firm, I miss our shenanigans, I miss getting called into Sue’s office for talking too much or doing shady things with Barb (like when we passive aggressively bullied this guy BOB who was such a jerk and Office NARC). I just miss her being my Office Mom and cracking up together so hard that I would often have to run and I mean run to the bathroom so I wouldn’t pee my pants.

There was one time when I had to go TO JURY DUTY and Barb was so concerned for me because back then (in 2011) I didn’t know where anything was downtown and was somehow even more helpless than I am currently if you can believe that.

Anyway, I shared that picture with Wendy, Jeannie and Aaron today; Aaron said that he thinks it was Tyler who took this picture and that sounds about right!

Oh man, I am honestly sitting here in tears as I write this because of how much things have changed. I know I should be grateful that I get to work from home now but if I could choose to have things go back to how they were then, I think I would choose that.

I just…feel very lonely now. But I am grateful for the handful of Jabber pals I have that keep me company during the long days!

A bunch of wheelchair pictures that I was collecting! I should probably get some kind of frame for them.

I literally have no idea who/what/where/when/why/how. But you bet your sweaty ass that this bitch came home with me and went right into the memento box!

Well, that’s all for now. Times change, life goes on, etc etc. But I still have FEELINGS about it, OK??

Mar 122022
 

We admittedly really fell off the attic destashing wagon after the first weekend we started lol; we really have no ambition. To be fair, most of January and part of February was spent getting slammed with Valentine card orders – not complaining!!

Anyway, it snowed a lot over night and was generally miserable out, so the weather combined with equally-as-miserable gas prices kept us inside today. So, what better time to reconvene in the attic armed with industrial garbage bags?!

Granted, I only semi-helped, and excused myself at one point to go and do a walking workout, but in the time I did spend in the attic today, I found some fun things!

I was straight up obsessed with While You Were Out and obviously Teresa Strasser was my favorite. I actually learned the term “gilding the lily” from her (which Chooch claims I say “like, all of the time” apparently). I have a very fond memory of recovering from a kidney infection so bad it landed me in the ER, while laying on the couch and watching WYWO on TLC. Back when TLC had good reality shows. This literally was my comfort show. And I associate it with brownies from the Giant Eagle bakery because it was all I wanted to eat and Henry was like “aye aye captain” and fetched them for me, and then when I gained weight, I blamed it on him but this was very early into our relationship and he probably wasn’t used to that yet and obviously cried alone in the dark.

I emailed Teresa one day to gush about how great she is and when I told her I was from Pittsburgh, she said she went to CMU! And then asked if I wanted a signed picture. Um, heck yeah, lady. I’ll add it to my collection of Melissa Brenna / Jen Horton from Days of Our Lives, David Copperfield, Elvira, and some host of a radio show in England whose name I can’t remember at the mo’ but I’m certain I recently posted about this.

Only bad thing about Teresa is that I listed her as an interest on LiveJournal and that is the fateful circumstance that led my ex-bff Christina to me. Nearly 20 years of tumult later, we talk sporadically but I mostly still hate her for being a fucking lying fake bitch.

Thanks, Teresa.

DUDE NEED I SAY MORE.

Henry casually said, “here’s my restricted area badge” and I nearly dove across 8 boxes of memories to snatch it from him.

“We’ll be keeping this,” I said as I snapped a picture to immediately post on IG.

“Do you know a XXXX XXXXXX?” Henry asked. The name immediately rang a bell, and I remembered that my brother Ryan was childhood friends with a kid that had the same name.

“Well, his dad crashed his car into my house when I lived in Pleasant Hills,” Henry said, handing me the accident report that he has evidently not been able to part with since THE YEAR OF THE INCIDENT: 1999.

I texted Ryan STAT to tell him of this development. It was funnier at first when I misheard Henry and thought he said it was actually Ryan’s friend who did the crashing, because he would have been A BIT young to be driving in 1999. But no, it was the dad and the STORY he gave the cops was that he was eating an ice cream cone while driving and CHOKED ON A PEANUT, causing him to lose control and veer off the road straight into Henry’s dining room. It’s only able to be a funny story now because no one was injured, and insurance paid for Henry’s house repairs so we can all sit back and laugh about it now because really, your man was choking on a peanut? A LIKELY STORY.

Remember when I was mentioned in one of posts about THE CURE corner that I don’t have the tickets from when I saw The Cure in Canberra, Australia because I tried to laminate them when I came home and it ended up burning them and they became unsalvageable. Well, I forgot that Robert Smith’s autograph (and Roger and Jason’s!) was still legible even though the rest of the info on the ticket was trashed, so I kept it. Totally forgot about this until today when Henry unearthed it from a crate of “miscellaneous stuff.” I was happy but also felt that same stomach sinking sensation at the memory of this tragedy which occurred in my office at Weiss Meats. Ugh. But! Now I have it displayed with the rest of my Cure concert tickets in my Cure Corner, so I feel a sense of completeness. Thanks, Henry, for finding this and not immediately think it was trash, lol.

I also found a VHS tape of footage from my 1995 Europe trip, recorded by one of the people in the tour group with us! She had mailed me a copy of it at some point after we all returned home and this is a big deal because this was the same trip that STEVE MY CRUSH was on! We still have a VCR hooked up from last year when I found my mom’s old Jackie Sorenson aerobics tape and couldn’t think of anything else that I wanted to do but the PONY-MONKEY on Jackie’s command.

So I made Henry watch this RIVETING home movie recorded by a 15-year-old girl from Minnesota just so I could play Steve-spotting. There is very little footage of me on this tape because when I had recently gotten my hair SHORN against my will (my mom told the stylist to “keep cutting” even though I was prepared with a picture of CARRIE BRADY from Days of Our Lives, wow, two DAYS references in one blog post, THERE’S THE ERIN WE KNOW) and was feeling very self-conscious about it. Amanda did a very good respecting my wishes but I did make it in a few times, like in this clip from Greece where I am looking v. 1995. But it was nice to see footage of my aunt Sharon though even though we fought the whole time lol.

I honestly do not remember THIS DENIM ENSEMBLE at all, but I also recently found a picture of me from the same day of that trip so I think it’s a sign that I should recreate this look for our spring break vaca that may or may not be happening (see aforementioned complaint about GAS PRICES).

Ugh same dumb Leno-smile, even back in 1995!

Of course I got so caught up in nostalgia that I went on an Internet deep dive for Amanda. I actually found her mom on Facebook and from there found her younger sister Natalie. There were a few pictures of Amanda on Natalie’s page, but she wasn’t tagged so perhaps she is a cool person like me, who is Facebookless.

Wait, do you guys still call it Facebook, or the new name whatever it is?

Amanda and Natalie still look like themselves! They have aged super well. Amanda would be a year younger them me, I believe, and her sister is three years younger than me. They were both instantly recognizable to me! I wish I could have found an email address for Amanda but who could say that she would even remember me? I think about that all the time, because I remember so many people with whom I have had only brief encounters, but how many of them ever get a memory-flash of me?! There goes my inferiority complex again.

Anyway, that’s all I got for now. Cleaning out the attic has been so tedious. I hate cleaning a lot. But I also want to have an extra room! Ah what to do.

Mar 092022
 

When it’s 1997 and you’re at the mall trying to use up that last picture on the roll so you can drop your film off at Ritz.

Double prints.

One hour processing.

And your sidekick Brian is like “You are embarrassing.”

(This was totally at Kaufmann’s in Century III Mall, btw. RIP Kaufmann’s. RIP Century III Mall.)

Blurry picture of Heather, me, and Justin during the summer of 1998, when we went to the Pittsburgh airport in the middle of the night for no reason other than we had nothing else to do and wanted to get ice cream cones at the McDonald’s there. I remember setting up my camera to take this picture while we were hanging out at one of the gates, waiting for planes, and spying on an airport employee who was sprawled out along some chairs, fast asleep.

It’s crazy to think that back then, you could do that. Just…chill at an airport for no reason, and no one questioned you. Just three dumb teenagers clomping from gate to gate like we had every right to be there.

Then on the way home driving down 279 in the dark, I inexplicably drove my car into one of the out of control truck ramps to nowhere, and amazingly didn’t get my car stuck but definitely succeeded in freaking everyone out, but that was kind of my specialty back then.

The late 90s were lit.

Feb 222022
 

I used to be really into going to major FOODIE type of restaurants, but lately I’m looking for something a bit more down to earth than sitting in a candlelit room with yuppies, having the essence of hickory and truffles elegantly farted into my face by a haunted accordion. I mean, that shit is cool for a second but sometimes I just really want to eat comfort food in some small town dive with the local yokels, you know what I’m saying?

I guess this is our current version of “going out on dates” since Chooch has ditched us for That McDonald’s Life. Not gonna lie, it’s been nice to get out of the house and neither of us are opposed to driving out of Pittsburgh so it’s been nice to see non-Brookline sights. Even rural shit, I guess.

For this weekend’s diner date, I let Henry choose. As usual, he chose poorly. It was some place called G&G’s or something else equally auto body-sounding. It was in VANDERGRIFT, whatever that means, and at first I was like, “OK G&G’s, I see you. Let’s goooo” because it was situated squat in the middle of an adorable small-town street (actually, it was on the corner) and it looked cute! Not all like tires were getting rotated in the back!

Except that it was PACKED and not regular-PACKED, but TIGHTLY-PACKED. So as soon as we walked in and put our name and number on the list, I felt panicky. I mean, I’m getting less OMG about eating in restaurants during The Bad Times, but I’m not OK with crowds still. And I really didn’t want to sit in the middle of so many small-town mouth breathers just for the sake of a grilled cheese that, let’s be real, would be devoured within 4 bites.

Since the host had my number, we went back to sit in the car. There was nowhere to stand in the little foyer without jutting your buns into the face of diner.

We had only been waiting in the car for about 10 minutes before I started getting RULL antsy and “don’t they know who we are”‘ish, so Henry was like, “OMG fine let’s find somewhere else to go, fuck me for trying to choose a place without your consent.”

THAT’S RIGHT, BITCH.

I ended up finding a place through my nemesis Yelp that was allegedly “9 minutes” away. At first I was like, “I’m not sure about this place, it has taxidermy” which is obviously completely off-brand for me. But at the same time, it was the kind of DARK LOG CABIN vibe I was yearning for and just didn’t know it.

On the way there, that fucking G&G motherfucker had the audacity to call me to tell me our table was ready. Cool fucking story! I was mad that they called and not texted (you know, with their restaurant landline) so I refused to answer out of principal. They called right back! Jesus, why are you sweatin’ me, G&G?? Get a life!

Anyway, we rolled up to BONFIRE and I was like, “OK, this is nothing to look at from the outside” and then immediately upon entering, we were cock-slapped in the face by a wall of stale cigarette stench because the steps to the basement LOUNGE was right next to the entrance. I was tempted to go down there and check in on the sad sacks crying into their beers, but there’s always next time.

The front room was empty aside from a table of OLD MEN REGULARS who told us to just go ahead and sit down. I had lowkey Blue Flame-circa-1984 vibes,  to be honest, and even though I still was MEH about the DEER HEADS everywhere, I was really feeling like this was the place that I was meant to me, fuck you G&G. (And you too Henry for suggesting that dump.)

Henry immediately headed straight for the bathroom while I chose the one booth that was situated right next to a beam on one side – Henry’s side, lol.

The waitress came to get our drink orders and she was so adorable in a cowgirl flannel and Princess Leia buns. She said she loved my sweater and I sang, “I THINK I’M GONNA LIKE IT HERE” in my best Annie impersonation while Daddy Warbucks was pissing in the john.

“How was the bathroom?? Was it cool??” I cried after Henry returned and finally managed to get situated in the booth without having to slice off part of his gut first. (And yes, I was a good orphan and ordered a stupid unsweetened ice tea for him in his absence.)

“Not really, it was just a regular bathroom,” he said. “Nothing special.”

“OK well I’m taking my phone anyway just in case,” I cried as I rolled out of the booth toward the restrooms. Henry never thinks anything is special so I’d be the judge of that.

It was OK! Kept up the dead animal theme.

Back in the LODGE, Henry ordered cole slaw and something called Texas Toenails or something from the appetizer section of the menu – he was really flexing that Faygo salary. Meanwhile, someone sitting at the Old Man table had a ringtone that sounded like the horn of one of those mini-big rigs that the SHRINER’S drive down my road during the Memorial Day Parade.

Hold please, while I find an example.

LOL I just caught Henry looking all around for the sound.

Every time that notification went off, I pictured one of the old guys paying the check and then peeling out of the Bonfire lot in his bitchin’ Shriner mini-car, honk-honk motherfuckers. Why was this so stupidly funny to me??

I finished the word search in like 5 minutes or less because I am actually a prodigy at word searches in case you never read about me in the local Pennysaver or whatever. Also, Henry thought our server’s name was Audible and definitely not Autumn.

Dude, this grilled cheese was just what I needed. And I stole some of Henry’s fries which were JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT. Yeah, I could handle the whole HUNTER’S LODGE vibe a lot better if all the dead animals were fake. I felt like a hypocrite gushing over how JUST MY STYLE that place is! But it’s true! I love dark/dim restaurants. Sigh.

Meanwhile, there was a steady stream of old country classics playing, as expected. I don’t like country at all but if I’m going to be stuck somewhere enduring it, I would definitely prefer the stuff from the 70s and early 80s, like Kenny Rogers or Dolly Parton shit you know? So I wasn’t mouthing off about the Bonfire soundtrack at all. However, at one point, this one song came on that made me straight up drop my grilled cheese.

“OMG I HAVEN’T HEARD THIS SONG SINCE I WAS LITTLE AND IT’S BRINGING BACK HIDDEN MEMORIES, MAYBE OF MY BIO-DAD???” I hissed across the table because god forbid any of the deer heads heard me baring my soul. There was literally no one else around us but them. :(

It was that I WOULDN’T HAVE MISSED IT FOR THE WORLD jam and I was like on the verge of spurting out tears.

Henry couldn’t remember who sang it, and I’m certain I probably new knew, so a quick Shazaam learned him  that it was Ronnie Milsap.

“Oh, I never would have guessed that,” I scoffed. “I don’t even know who he is, just his name.”

“RONNIE MILSAP?!” Henry repeated, like OK I already said I know the name, just not really who he is but cook on with your irritating reiterations, Chef Dick. And then, “THE BLIND COUNTRY SINGER!!!??”

The way he said this, totally blurted it out across the table in this serious, frenzied way like he was the friend I phoned and he was telling me the winning answer.

We locked eyes for a moment just as the SHRINER NOTIFICATION went off 4 times in succession at the Elder Table and I just lost it, mid-chew, about to spit out a glob of grilled cheese cud onto Henry’s glasses. It was the most hilarious 3 seconds I’ve experienced in quite some time, Henry’s dire Milsap description followed by clown horns. I was choking at that point, tears streaming down my scrunched up fat face, and even Henry started laughing but I don’t think he knew why.

OMG I will never forget RONNIE MILSAP ever again except for when I started to write this portion of the blog post and had to google “Who sings….” because I totally forgot.

THE BLIND COUNTRY SINGER.

JOHN WAYNE SHIT.

SAW SHIT.

OK somehow I ended up feasting on coconut (WHY DO I ALWAYS TYPE COCOCUNT AT FIRST???) cream pie three weekends in a row, and I have no regertz. This one was so good and totally my style!! I knew as soon as AUDIBLE was walking over playing a sample of THE LAST BUCKAROO* with my slice of pie in her hand, that this was going to be a winner. For starters, it had WHIPPED TOPPING. And the actual coconut cream was fresh and homemade-tasting and not snot-textured and vanilla pudding-y which is my least favorite kind and sadly the kind that Janna and I had two weeks ago at that other place I was obsessed with but already forgot the name of.

*(I literally just googled “What are names of classic western books” lol)

This is where all the CIG STENCH was emanating from.

Oh shit, I should have checked the menu to see if they have SHIRLEY TEMPLES because this totally seemed like the type of establishment that would.

Anyway, I am smitten with this place. I want to go back soon-ish and check out the BACK ROOM which seems to overlook A GORGE. Or maybe just a slight hill.

I might have my birthday dinner here so stay tuned for an invitation. The Watering Hole area would probably be a great place for an AFTER PARTY. If I send you an invitation, you better show up and say I WOULDN’T HAVE MISSED IT FOR THE WORLD.

 

 

First round of Shirley Temples on Chooch!

Feb 112022
 

I 보고 싶다 Korea bigly & am letting myself lean into it by wistfully scrolling thru my Korea photo albums from our first trip. But then I started to come across various pictures of Henry, some slightly edited by Chooch, and now I’m just laughing which is good because this week was EW but I feel like I say that every Friday so I guess you could say this week was just NORMAL.

He just came into the room and saw all these pictures on the screen and said, “Hey—-why….I hate you” and then went about his boring Man About the House business. Anyway, I took this picture because I thought it was funny that he was sitting next to a Pocari Sweat vending machine while waiting for the subway and also Pocari Sweat is better than the junk he peddles from his Faygo Factory.

Chooch took this picture of Henry when we were getting ready to leave Busan and it was so funny to him that he was legit crying while looking at it on his phone a few minutes later. I even printed it out and framed it as Xmas present for Chooch that year, lol. EVERYTHING HENRY IS FUNNY BY ACCIDENT.

WHY IS THIS SO FUNNY? IT’S NOT FUNNY, IT’S STUPID BUT I’M CRYING RIGHT NOW.

Henry finding us after he thought he lost us in Hongdae, lol, loser.

He’s looking at the subway map so I can guarantee that he and Chooch started fighting over directions probably before I even finished taking this picture.

But what if Henry really looked like this as a baby lolololololololololololololololololololololololololol sorry I couldn’t stop doing that because I was rubbing my fingers between the “l” and “o” and it felt satisfying.

Waiting across the street for Henry to come back from retrieving Chooch’s T-Money card from the hotel. Henry was like, “I WILL GET IT BY MYSELF” when Chooch realized he left it behind because for Some ReasonTM we were always super giddy walking through the lobby, past the front desk, waiting for the elevator, on the elevator….you get the idea. Oh my fucking god there was this one time when we were on the elevator with these people who I Americanly profiled as “The Germans” just because the dad looked like some fat guy who enjoyed wienerschnitzel and lederhosen, and we literally could not stop laughing. The elevator was MIRRORED too so there was absolutely no hiding the fact that we were being little devilish pricks and and it was so obvious. I even tried to say something like, “BOY, I’M TIRED” but it came out like “Boyblahahahahahahahahahahaha” and what did it matter anyway, German Family probably couldn’t understand English, oh there I go again, being all Americanny!!

Sorry, I really am tired now. And I like German people. I don’t hast them. Du hast them.

Yeah, it might be an early night for me.

Zapangi isn’t there anymore. :( Also, I asked Henry three years ago to replace our front door with a vending machine door and he has yet to do this.

OK so I know you’re thinking, “Wow, did Henry just pack a pocketbook full of clothes for an international vacation?” and usually I would agree but I’m pretty sure that the pictures of him in that flannel were all from the same day!

WAIT my pocketbook (dumb) joke just reminded me that Henry literally used to use this super ugly leather BOWLING BAG from the 70s as his overnight bag when we went on road trips in the Earlier Years and I was always so embarrassed even though that stupid thing was vintage and probably something that a very niche group of people coveted. I wonder if he still has it. Maybe I could try to sell it on eBay.

OK cool, well, hopefully everyone has a fun weekend!

Feb 082022
 

I had every intention of posting about this yesterday because this news has rocked my pathetic, lonely world but then I was actually TOO STRESSED/HYPER/EXCITED/NERVOUS about it that I did a bunch of YouTube workouts instead to blow off steam. Somehow, I was able to work and I even sent Carrie a message that said HOW WILL I BE ABLE TO WORK and she was like, “Well, their song doesn’t come out until spring so you might be okay today.” LOL.

Obviously I’m happy but it’s so bittersweet because of Seungri (actually I thought that Seungri had recently appealed and had his sentence reduced to a year and a half but what do I know  – nothing except that he WAS THE FALL GUY). Did you know that some of the Korean TV channels actually blur his face out whenever old BIGBANG footage is shown? It’s depressing.

And I just want TOP to be happy. He had said after he was discharged from the military that he had no desire to be a performer anymore. He has always been interested in art and I’m glad that he’s been given the freedom to pursue these other interests and ventures (it’s the least YG could do) and I hope that he only joins BIGBANG for future schedules if his heart is in it.

Also, I’m paranoid because YG has hinted around about this before. VIPs have been given nothing since 2018 when one single was released. They haven’t performed together as a five-piece since the beginning of 2017. I have never had the chance to see BIGBANG live, and will never, at this point, have a chance to see them as OT5.

Oh, the trials and tribs of a Kpop stan! I’m telling you, when I got into this, I had no idea how much heartache it would bring – but, more joy than anything else, so we’ll stay on this path.

I’m about to go jump on a napping Henry because I’m ready for my dinner-oatmeal, so I will leave you with the last song BIGBANG ever released with all five members, omg my dumb kpoppin’ heart.

Feb 032022
 

When I referenced Morocco in my book post yesterday, it made me remember that I recently found some panoramic photos that I took in Tangier in the 90s. I took some GOD AWFUL pictures as a 13-year-old, and I was actually shocked that this one looked so decent! Maybe my aunt Sharon took this one, actually.

Morocco has always had a special slot in my heart, but when we first arrived there, I actually hated it. I think I was just being a bitchy, not-yet-diagnosed bipolar brat, if we’re being frank with each other here. I was an asshole pretty much during the entirety of that summer’s vacation because, and this is going to make me sound soooo Silver Spoon, but I didn’t want to go on vacation that summer because I had a crush on my MOTHERFUCKING TENNIS COACH.

I was 13! He was like 35! (I had to wait until I was 21 to finally snag my 35-year-old, LOLOL ugh wtf is wrong with me.)

So I remember being such a cunt and writing shit like I DO NOT LIKE HOW IT SMELLS HERE in my vacation journal and whining and screaming OMG WTF KIND OF BUG IS THAT and just making myself be as miserable as possible.

But then there was a cute guy working at the gift/convenience store thing attached to our hotel and he smiled at me once so then I was IN LOVE and suddenly OMG MOROCCO, I LOVE YOU! I vividly remember the song that was playing too, something reggae-ish and all I knew was that they were saying “a lalala la la” so I called it the “la la” song forever and you have to remember, this was like 1993 or 1994 and my carrier pigeon didn’t have Shazam capabilities, so I was left to hum this unknown song to myself for the rest of the trip. I’m pretty sure I even wrote about it in the postcards I was sending home to my friends, because I have always tried to drag my loved ones down into my pit of obsession.

Anyway, at some point, the details of which elude me 30 years later, I somehow learned that it was INNER CIRCLE – SWEAT and literally it’s known in parentheses as A LA LA SONG. I recently made Henry listen  to it with me and nope, does not hold up.

Inner Circle – Sweat (A La La La La Long) – YouTube

Back  to the picture though. I remember, as a 13-year-old girl, being really scared of the Casbah because the tour guide was like EVERYONE MUST HOLD ON TO EACH OTHER AS WE WALK THROUGH HERE BECAUSE SOMETIMES AMERICAN WOMEN ARE TAKEN.

But then somehow my aunt Sharon and I were chilling with a rug merchant, drinking mint tea (that’s one of the things I will never forget about Morocco – the wonderful taste of that mint tea) and bartering for a rug. I imagine we must have stopped there as an entire group because I 100% cannot imagine Globus or whoever we were traveling with being like, “Ok I know we just told you that American women are a hot commodity up in here, but please now enjoy an hour to wander unsupervised around the labyrinthian passages of the Casbah.”

I definitely posted this on here before, but here’s an AWESOME picture that Sharon took of me riding a camel. To this day, I fully believe that she cut my head off intentionally and I honestly probably deserved it. I can tell from here that those were my CHAMBRAY Keds. I was a KedHead 100% in middle school. I used to buy my Keds at Kaufmann’s! What a 1990s sentence!

You know, I was going to end this here but then I felt a surge of ambition and decided to dust off the vacation journal from 1993 and treat you with a passage. (OMG you guys will love this: In order to get my vacation journal from 1993, I had to ask Henry to open his BIG SHOT SERVICE GUY TRUNK that he gave to me to store all my diaries in (I have A LOT) and the lid thing came down and hit him in the head and knocked his glasses off and he is so mad now!! Then a few minutes later, I heard him spit into the sink and I screamed, “OMG did you just spit out a tooth??” and he barked, “NO, IT HIT ME IN THE HEAD WHERE THE MARK IS, NOT IN MY MOUTH” and it turns out he was only just brushing his teeth as he just woken up from a nap. Yes, all of this happened RIGHT WHEN HE WOKE UP FROM A NAP, RISE AND SHINE, MOTHERFUCKER.)

(Wouldn’t it be really funny if, right now, I was like, “Sorry blog friends, but on second thought, I have nothing to add from the journal after all”???)

Well, I had to skim through a lot of fatalistic woe is me nonsense, bitching about people complimenting Sharon on her “fake, decrepit tan,” and an incessant use of the word “gay” that I thankfully grew out of! And this was back when I wrote “Ha³” instead of ha ha ha because I WAS WAY TOO COOL FOR YOUR SCHOOL. Anyway, here’s a sample of a journal entry written by an entitled white 13-yo American asshole, yikes.

July 24, 1993 – Tangier

Today, we went to Malcolm Forbes’ house and toward the end of that tour, Sharon started to get to me. Then we went to the Casbah and the people there really scared me! I was gonna get my picture taken with a cobra around my neck but Sharon spoiled that. The Casbah is like a Labyrinth*. Our guide, Ishum, told us that if a man got lost, he’d be out in two days, but if a woman got lost, she’d be in there forever because a man would take her! These very persistent people were shoving merchandise in our faces. This one little boy asked me if I speak English, and then said, “Welcome to Tangier!” – how sweet! Then we went to a nice store & sat ↓, had some mint tea (umm- Morocco’s main drink) & watched a rug presentation. After about a 1/2 hour of “bartering,” we finally bought the rug for my room. The price was $650 and we got it for $320! Our guide kept whispering prices in our ears (well, Sharon’s). We were in the Casbah for God knows how long. Pappap & Grandma would NOT like it.

Sharon’s been nice to me ever since she bought my rug**. When she wasn’t gonna buy it, she said, “Do you really want it?” and I said, “No. It’s too much money. Maybe someday Pappap will come here and buy me it.” I think  that’s what did it.*** I <3 it!


* I knew how to spell this with no hesitation back then because that was one of my favorite movies

**Shouldn’t that be the other way around lol

***This tactic no longer works on Henry. I pull that shit now and he’s like “OK cool” and moves on with his day.


UPDATE: Henry has a blood blister forming on his TRUNK TRAUMA.

Jan 212022
 

For this installment of Friday Five, here are five things I found in the attic several weekends ago when we were cleaning it out only to never return because it has been too fucking cold.

  1. A Whole Bunch of Australian Boarding Passes, etc.

First of all? Literally do not remember my flights being on Air New Zealand?? But seeing “Century Travel” printed on that ticket brought me WAY back to sitting in the travel agency inside of Century III Mall with my mom, who told me on the way there that she was only going to help me if I LIED to the travel agent and said I needed to go to Canberra for a wedding and not a concert, because the truth was “soooo embarrassing.” Um, ok?

I also remember being a nervous wreck on that flight to Sydney, not because I was scared of flying (that psychological affliction wouldn’t come into play until a year later, after 9/11) but because I was so panicked about seeing the Cure and frantic to find a way to meet them.

(SPOILER ALERT: I met them.)

(It’s actually amazing how impactful this one-week period in my life turned out to be.)

2. BUT WHO TOOK THIS PICTURE?

OK, based on my hair, this was the fall of 1998, and Lisa and I were certainly at a haunted house, and these were definitely guys we must have befriended in line, but I don’t really remember? I think this could have been at Allen’s Haunted Hay Ride? (Hey Erin, why not grab your old haunted house journals and check, that’s what they’re for, you know.) Actually, I think I kind of remember them, and one of them saying, “Whatever sinks your ship” in response to one of us saying “Whatever floats your boat”??? Also, why am I looking at them with such gross adoration?

But really, I want to know who took this picture.

Also, I don’t remember my hair being that curly. I thought I usually straightened it back then??

Also x2 I fucking loved that pleather jacket so much. It was from Contempo!!!

Sometime this weekend, I will peruse the ol’ haunted house journals and report back with THE DEETS. Maybe I’ll even TRANSCRIBE the whole sordid write-up. We’ll see how bored I am.

3. Before There Were Smartphones…

I used to scribble things that I wanted to blog about (back in the LiveJournal days!) on whatever scrap of paper I could find. When I stumbled upon this in the attic, I screamed because I totally remember what all these things reference: It was the spring of 2004 and these were things that happened while Henry and I were walking in one of the cemeteries on the Northside and Henry gave me the NOW INFAMOUS “moss is bad” speech, which my friend Alyson and I still reference and crack up over TO THIS DAY. Also, I remember wanting that sandwich (I think I was on the phone with Christina when I decided I needed this sandwich and wrote it down as a command for Henry, who dutifully went to Fredo’s in Dormont and procured said roasted veg sandwich for me.

The way I remember the most useless things, though…

4. MY PHIL COLLINS CONCERT PROGRAM!!

This is pretty self-explanatory but when Henry held it up from his corner of the attic, I screamed because obviously seeing Genesis in December had opened the floodgates of Phil Collins concert memories, and I could not for the life of me remember what happened to that program, and had figured I probably just never brought it with me when I moved out of my parents’ house in 1998.

Also, look at all the junk in the background! I swear we’re not hoarders. A good chunk of the stuff in the attic was all baby shit (a Pack-n-Play, stroller, etc) that we kept “just in case,” even though I was certain from the moment of THE C-SECTION that I was one-n-done, my friends. So, most of that stuff is now officially out of the attic. We still have a long way to go, though, because Henry has so many computer parts and other assorted accessories up there, and you can’t just throw that shit away. Plus, I have a TON of VHS tapes. So we have to find somewhere to donate those, at some point, ugh. Cleaning is so boring.

5. GAMEBOY PRINTER, ANYONE? 

I can’t even remember ever using this, yet here it is in my possession. I was hoping that maybe this was something that had turned into a hot commodity over the years, but according to eBay, these things are a dime a dozen. So now it went from cluttering the attic to cluttering my bedroom.

So, these are five things found during round 1 of Operation Attic Purge. Also found: literally like 4 boxes of letters from my penpals, such as my prisoner pen pal Aaron who used to complain to me about his baby mamas and then one day CONFESSED THAT HE LOVED ME and Henry was like, “Oh boy, took him long enough.” He might be out of jail at this point. He didn’t kill anyone, just shot some guy in the ass.

Jan 102022
 

As previously mentioned, Henry and I have been going through the tedious and boring chore of cleaning out the attic. Not surprisingly, some historic gems have been unearthed, like this shirt I bought in 1998, perhaps from Hot Topic back when Hot Topic was just regular old mall goth as opposed to whatever den of commercial crap it’s become over the years (don’t they literally seel Spongebob merch there?? 1990s Hot Topic would have never…). Or it might have been from Slacker, which was (is? I think it still exists) a shop on the Southside where you could get cloves and BDSM accouterment, lol. I definitely bought clothes from there on several occasions during my Fake Goth phase but I mostly bought novelty cigarettes to smoke with my purple cigarette holder.

I was really into smoking back then.

What a brag.

But yeah, as mentioned off and on in this garbage dump of words over the years, I went through a solid goth phase from probably 1998 to 2001, except that it was mostly just the music that I liked to enjoy in the privacy of my own home while chatting with Internet friends on Darkchat who probably were actual legit goths with an Ann Rice and Poppy Z. Brite library, and not a POSEUR like me lol.

I don’t think I ever wore this shirt more than twice. Once was definitely post-Dracula’s Ball. I had been wearing a corseted dress all night and this was my CASUAL GOTH LOUNGE WEAR that I changed into apparently. Probably made sense at the time? I have a vague recollection of changing into it in a parked car at like 1AM.

Anyway, Henry was like WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH THIS. For a split second, I nearly put it in the donate pile. But then I reconsidered. There might be opportunities to use it for costumes or photo shoots, see also: it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday.

Of course, I couldn’t resist temptation and had to try it on. You know, just to see if I would feel inspired to dust off my Black Bible goth CD compilation (and then also search the house for something on which to play said CDs…)

I still have the choker that I was wearing in the OG picture and knew exactly where it was too, so recreating this photo was a breeze except that as usual, I was being the Queen of Not Fully Understanding the Assignment and therefore had my hands facing out instead of up.

Wow you guys, I’m happy to report that this shirt is FUCKING COZY. I had no idea! Probably because I was drunk any time I wore it in the past so why would I remember a shirt’s comfort level.

Please enjoy this picture of me with GOTH MICHAEL BOLTON, after me and this broad I was friends with at the time (actually, I had only just met her IRL after sort of knowing her from Darkchat and decided, “Yes, Stranger Lady, I shall get into your free candymobile and attend a goth dance party in Philly and then you will promptly meet some old man who you become convinced is a real life vampire and proceed to sloppily make out with him leaving me to wander around alone and stumble into a veritable DRUG DUNGEON.”

Anyway, Goth Michael Bolton was the sidekick of Real-Life Vampire (but probably actually IT Guy) so I got stuck with him while that broad (with whom I actually stayed friends for several years but she is actually one of the most toxic, habitually-lying people I have ever met) giggled and acted amazed while Real-Life Vampire added HTML to his WebTV email address.

(I actually wrote about this night for a writing assignment when I was taking a creative non-fiction class at Pitt and I got an A but the last time I re-read it, my whole body cringed. I can’t believe I was actually in college for writing lol. )

Speaking of that broad, here she is on another night when we went to this guy SHADOE‘s apartment for dinner and she was like “OMG please let me borrow that shirt, I like this guy so much” and then we got there and she was like, “OMG I DO NOT LIKE THIS GUY” after meeting him in person, yet proceeded to let him tie her up and cut with a huge knife??? IN FRONT OF ME???

Anyway, blood-letting aside, I thought this guy was lovely and we actually stayed friends for quite some time after he found out that she was married and a pathological liar.

It’s also super surprising I even still have this shirt in my possession considering I let her borrow it and she was the most untrustworthy person in the whole world. (Although she did help me get rid of this guy I thought I was in love with from the aforementioned goth chatroom Darkchat and thought that yes, it would be a great idea for him to use his mother’s miles and fly here from Vancouver only for me to immediately feel smothered and creeped out by his constant need to serenade me with Joy Division songs while crying.

My life was very different pre-Henry.

Clearly.

Also, I can tell you that in that picture up there, she was either pouring a glass of Tequila Rose or Manischewitz wine, because those were our go-to alcohols back then, I guess??

Also x2, I was really into cropped rug-like sweaters during those days. I had one that was yellow and my friends Jon and Justin loved calling it the Big Bird shirt. I saw that these were back in style again recently, maybe two or three winters ago, and I almost bought one from the junior’s section of JC Penney’s lol.

Also x3, Shadoe if you’re out there, I miss you. Hit me up. You were a real one. :(

And here’s a close-up of The Choker, which I actually bought from a vendor at the Dracula’s Ball. It’s hilarious to me how much of an impact that one night had on me, evidently. I mean, I have a scar because of it, and if you read the linked post up there, YOU WILL KNOW WHY. #ClickBait

Well, we barely made a dent in the attic cleaning project, so who knows what else I will find? CHECK BACK SOON – lol.

Edited to add this outtake, which cracks me up because you can see my VERY GOTH FitBit:

Jan 092022
 

2021 was still a Not Great Year overall but we definitely curated a nice collection of little memories once we were vaccinated. The best thing about that was being able to safely visit amusement parks again. I know that most of them were open during 2020 but we didn’t want to take any risks by visiting them, even with mask mandates and social distancing. Even after getting vaccinated, it was still kind of weird at first, but we just made sure we slathered on the hand sanitizer and avoided congested areas.

Plus, we got to resume our tradition of CAROUSELFIES! Which is the lamest word I’ve ever come up with but it makes me laugh every time I type it.

Carouselfie.

How fucking dumb, lol.

Anyway, I wanted to share a photo dump of all the carouselfies we took over 2021, starting with this really shitty one that Henry took of us at the Columbus Zoo. You can tell he was out of practice, lol.

This was so bad that I didn’t even print it out for the carouselfie wall, lol.

The first actual amusement park we went to was Hershey Park in May, and the park announced that they were standing down on the mask mandate like, the day before we went and if we’re being honest, I was not OK with that. We still wore ours, but slipped them down for this photo since no one was around. I felt scandalous.

Oh, I should also note that while we went to 19 different amusement parks in 2021, we didn’t take carouselfies at all of them. Some of them either didn’t have carousels (Six Flags Darien Lake, Six Flags America, Indiana Beach), or we had previously taken a carouseflie on an earlier visit (Kennywood, King’s Dominion, & Cedar Point), or I was pouting over who knows what and said JUST FORGET IT like I did when we were at Six Flags Great Escape, lol. I think also I was pissed off at Carowinds and didn’t even think to look for their dumb carousel because I kind of hated it there, and I was too fixated on the coasters at Six Flags Great Adventure to bother with the carousel but I do have regrets because that one was so pretty! Maybe sometime this year we’ll get another chance?!

Somehow we went to Knoebels a handful of times without ever riding the carousel, but that was rectified in 2021!
 This was at Stricker’s Grove near Cincinnati! I like this one because I’m wearing my cute NOOWORKS shirt and also because Christina and Katie were there and that made it extra fun even though it was approx. 1000 degrees that day.
and this was the next day at King’s Island. I was actually REALLY PISSED when I was taking this picture and I can’t remember why but we can 100% be certain that it was something dickish that Chooch had said prior to mounting our horses.
Chooch and I have a carouselfie from Waldameer, but we needed one with Henry in it too. Can you see the FIFTEEN YEAR OLDness shooting out of Chooch’s eyes like angsty lasers?? (Also, I nearly forgot we went to Waldameer last year!)

Busch Gardens actually has a very small carousel which was disappointing, to be honest. I expected more from them!

I tried to mix it up at Morey’s Piers in Wildwood by sitting in this carriage thingie with Henry while Chooch rode on a horse in front of us. Of course Morey’s Piers had the sweetest double-decker carousel. I miss it there. And look at how perfectly charming everything is in the background!!
Both of the above pictures and the one below are from Seabreeze Park in New York, which was another SUPER CHARMING joint and it was just such a great time. I couldn’t choose just one of these pictures so the obvious solution was: POST ‘EM ALL!
This was from our Labor Day Weekend park-a-palooza where we hit up three smallish amusement parks in New York and it was honestly just such a fun and cute weekend. (Oh don’t worry, there was definitely still arguing, lol.) We’re wearing the same clothes in the next two pictures because….
we came to Sylvan Beach on the same day as Seabreeze. This carousel is in the “park” (it’s almost more like a permanent carnival set-up, very old and kind of run-down but still adorable…and haunted!) but is actually a stand-alone attraction owned by someone with no affiliation to Sylvan Beach. So if you get a ride-all-day wristband (I pity the fool who does, though) it doesn’t include the carousel. I really liked this one because it’s super old and historic.

And the last two pictures are from Six Flags Over Georgia, which we visited over Thanksgiving Weekend. It was a great end to a year of getting our thrills on at as many amusement parks as possible! 2022 is looking pretty uncertain as of now, but hopefully, at some point, we can safely do our thang again.