Sep 182023

Good morning. It’s 10:04am and we just left Super H-Mart. I wanted to get a head start on alcohol for the Xmas party that I decided to have because it’s not actually a Xmas party but possibly A HOLIDAY THAT I INVENTED??!!

It’s hard to get good soju flavors in Pgh and makgeolli is non-existent.

Anyway!! Riot Fest was…surreal. It definitely didn’t give me as many feels overall as it has in the past so I guess I am firmly rooted in K-Town at this point. Obviously the bands still did it for me but as far as Riot Fest itself goes, eh. I was content with just doing the one day as opposed to all three that’s for sure. My body hates me enough for just the one day.

Aside from the Cure though, the best part of yesterday was seeing VICKI from our Chicago office!!! She’s part of my old group in the department and I have only gotten to see her once when she and another lady from Chicago came to our Pgh office for a few days. I LOVED hanging out with her then so I was determined to see her this weekend. I’m so happy she made time for us!!

We took the train in from where we were staying outside of the city. Henry the PubTrans expert was like WE NEED TO TRANSFER TO THE PINK LINE and when I told Vicki of these alleged plans, she said NO. DO THIS INSTEAD and told us to transfer to the ORANGE line and then she picked us up at whatever stop she told us to get off on and it was so easy – thanks Vicki! This is why we come to her at work with the hard questions haha.

Anyway, she took us to this breakfast place called STAX and poor Henry just sat there shoveling food into his mouth while Vicki and I chatted like long lost army friends. Actually this was preferable to Henry haha.

I changed my mind four times but then I saw LEMON LAVENDER pancakes and was like “gimme those NOW.”

As soon as we sat though, I took off my jacket and said VERY SERIOUSLY, “Vicki I have to tell you something that no one knows at work.”

I could sense Henry rolling his eyes because he knew what it was going to be, but Vicki was on HIGH ALERT and said, “oh my god what is it, Erin?”

Like I’m about to announce to her my pending resignation, but instead it was, “I think I may have invented a new holiday.”

“Oh Erin!” she said, letting out a deep breath and I’m over here like, what? This is a big deal worthy of a suspenseful announcement.

Anyway, she seemed skeptical but I will still invite her to the party because it will probably be worth traveling for.

(Future Henry reading this: *frowning, head shake*)

The only downside is that now that Vicki met Henry, she said she feels like she is going to side with Glenn more in group chat!!!!

Then she was kind enough to drop us off at Riot Fest afterward! What a great start to the day. It was definitely go downhill from there for a bit but then the Great Start made a comeback.

We’ll discuss separately.

It’s 10:58am and we’re in Indiana now if you were wondering.

1:33pm (the time went ahead an hour at some point here in Indiana): just ate a lunch of Kimbap and gyeongdan from Hmart in the parking lot of 7-11. I need to go back to Korea ASAP.

Now let’s look at some pictures from our Saturday ‘date’ night in Chicago (I guess it was like a date??? We held hands for like a minute):

I was wearing my Parker’s Maple Barn tshirt and it made me miss Alyson so much!

Anyway, after we ate at Chicago Diner (see previous post!) we went to Millennium Park – apparently Mexican Independence was being celebrated and the excitement was contagious!! A continuous parade of cars waving giant Mexican flags were cruising around in controlled chaos. I loved it. As someone who doesn’t really have a heritage, I’m always so interested in seeing other people celebrate their culture and history.

2:21pm: we were just a rest stop in Indiana. When I came out of the bathroom, I found Henry in line at 7-11 waiting to pay for an energy bar. Then he gets out of line, right, and comes over to me like some fucking Kevin Costner hero type and asks, “did you want something?”

Ok first of all, don’t act like a GALLANT GENTLEMAN when you were already in line to check out in the first place without a second thought about me! It was only because he saw me walk in and remembered that I existed!!!

More Chicago pictures:

I truly enjoyed walking around by the water! I think the ONE BEER I had at dinner was tampering my mood swings and making me an agreeable cutie sweetie.

I just typed that without thinking so I guess my subconscious assessment of myself is pretty generous.

There was a pretty decent public restroom along the River walk. Pittsburgh would never.

We stopped at a bar along the River walk and got another drink. I got a cider. I need you to know that this was two hours after I had a beer at dinner, and I was maybe a few more sips away from coming home with a public intoxication souvenir on my record. I was really trying to join a flash mob or facilitate a coups of some sort by the time we got up to continue walking.

I wanted Henry to take a picture of my nails but he took this in such a way that I look like I’m sniffing my fingertips?! So I made him take another but I wanted to try and cross my eyes in it:

“Were my eyes crossed??!!” I cried after he took this.

“Um, no,” Henry said, turning his phone to me so I could see.

“Oh shit OK HEAR ME OUT that’s because I was looking to the side to see if I could see myself crossing my eyes,” I said and Henry was like, “omg.”

I was definitely cut off after that. I just don’t drink very often so when I do, I’m an disaster waiting to happen. We were walking way too close to the river, if you know what I mean.

Then we walked to Firecakes, a donut place we’ve been to before while visiting Chicago. What a concept: a donut shop that’s opened until 11pm. Another thing that Pgh would never. Here you’re lucky if any bakery is opened until 2 and even then god speed if you there hoping for a full selection lol.

Anyway, it’s a very small storefront and I was trying to get a picture when some douchebag walked in along with his brigade of dick-friends and sucked all the air out of the space with their aggressive brand of toxic masculinity. As we were about to leave, the caboose of the cocktrain opened the door, which I stupidly thought was a gesture of chivalry, but instead he leaned out the door and called out to his BUDDY, “Hey Rob you want a donut??” Rob said no and then the asshole LET THE DOOR CLOSE ON ME.

“WOW! What a DOUCHEBAG!” I cried. “He totally let the door close on me! I should have stepped on his fucking Peter Pan shoes.”

He was always inside Firecakes but ROB WAS STILL STANDING THERE so I made sure he heard. Report back to your little buddy, brosef!

“Peter Pan shoes?” Henry repeated.

Yeah, you know. Those dicky leather dress shoes that are elongated and come to a point?! That’s what he was wearing. What a yuppie.

Henry got a chocolate covered banana cake donut which was basically just a donut with thin chocolate banana slices on top. I was like, “ugh you chose poorly” but then I tasted it and it was wettest-in-the-best-way donut I have ever had. So moist and delicious! I couldn’t believe it. Mine was just ok in comparison – a pistachio old fashioned which I had the last night but there was nothing else that stood out to me.

Anyway, I liked Henry’s idiot donut so much that I was just talking about it again this morning. You know what it tasted like??? Those hostess powered donuts without the powder and if they were made with better ingredients and you got to eat them that day.

But yeah, Firecakes. Try it sometime but don’t be a Peter Pan-Dick and shut the door on people, ok?

5:12pm: Holy shit this drive is boring. 1:49 left.

I’m still really giddy about this new holiday. Should I trademark it??!! I don’t want to say too much about it yet because ONE OF YOU PEOPLE MIGHT STEAL IT.

I wish I had counted how many times Henry has called me a dick this weekend. I’m starting to get a complex.

Lol @ “starting.”

I’m posting this now. Maybe I’ll be back later to say more. Who can be sure.

Sep 102023

Remember last winter when I felt inspired to try and reconnect with my childhood friend from vacation, Olivia? Well, I can’t remember if I ever updated this mess of a memory keeper, but she did end up writing back to me and while we have since become Instagram friends, we have kept up the analog portion of the long-distance friendship by sending each other cards with as many words as we can cram inside. It’s been so wonderful!

Anyway, a few weeks ago she found some photos at her parents’ house and sent them to me on Insta and I almost died because:

  1. I forgot about how FREAKING COOL were (and still are, I’m sure!)

2. I forgot that she taught me how to play Uno and this became OUR THING on the bus!

I also look like I’m totally in the middle of cheating too, which tracks. Also, I was so in awe of Olivia back then. Her style was like Blossom Before Blossom. I thought she was SO COOL, CALIFORNIA cool even, and still think that now that we’ve been writing to each other.

Man, these pictures really triggered a ton of fond memories for me. This is probably corny-sounding, but I feel like there was a reason we met back in 1989, just like there was a reason I found letters from her when cleaning out the attic last winter. I hope that this second-chance at friendship transcends just liking each other’s Instagram posts and that we get the opportunity to meet up in person, and you know, maybe recreate these old photos lol!

It all makes me think of Chooch’s Mexico trip last summer, and how much I hope that those friendships he made will last a lifetime. There’s something special about bonding with strangers in another country and then, voila, now you’re friends.

I know, I know, for someone who barely has any friends, I sure have a lot to say about friendships, hahaha, har har, hee hee.

Anyway! Olivia asked me when we’re going to do a California coaster trip and I was like YEAH HENRY WHEN and he was like DON’T START. :(

Jul 132023

I found some more old-ass vacation pictures from the 90s and thought, wouldn’t it be useless/pointless to post a picture in conjunction with the utterly worthless shit I wrote from that same day in my vacation journal? I read some of it out loud to Henry last night and his expressions of sheer disgust and annoyance was the only answer I needed. Just a reminder that Sharon was my aunt (mom’s older sis) and that I will be transcribing this exactly as written to stay true to Erin v.1993, so “wuz” instead of “was,” etc.

Buckle up, buttercup. This is going to be a train wreck.

Today, Sharon woke me ↑ at 6:30! So I had to rush.It’s 7:20 now & she’s still in the shower. I’m watching some business conversation on the Super Channel. I can’t open the windows :( Hurry up, Shar!

God, Sharon’s in a mood. She came in & I jokingly said, “Can I light a match?” and she said, “NO!” & closed her eyes & shook her head like she does. Then she blames me for her stupid hairdryer blowing out. Oh darn, she can’t dry her precious hair (that looks like a horse’s tail! Ha ha!)

We just came back from breakfast  & there wuz no one there! :) I had a fig, fruit cocktail, bacon, eggs, a French toast thing, a bite outta some kind of sweet bread that tasted awful but Sharon liked it. She’ll eat anything.

Now she’s yelling at me for not bringing my own hairdryer. Maybe it would help if I had my own hairdryer to bring! God, it’s not my fault it didn’t work. It worked fine for MOI. Maybe it’s be’cuz she uses it too long on her horse mane. I’m leaving. Goodbye.

Ugh – I was probably only gone for 5 minutes. 10 at the nmost. This hotel is so boring! Not like the Anglo-American Hotel in Florence. That was classy.

“Alice in Wonderland” – a Spanish cartoon – was just on. Alice looked ugly! She had straight red hair.

Sharon makes me do all of her dirty work. had to go check what time we leave. Which is, by the way, 9:30. Does Sharon even thank me? Noooo!

Me & Sharon were pondering after breakfast about why I always get white spots on the backs of my legs. She said she never noticed them before but they’re probably from the time my mom tried to bleach me when I wuz a youngin’. Har har, Sharon.

“Tiny Toons” is on in Spanish. It’s the one where Hampton’s on a diet & all kinds of food is saying “Eat me” to him & he goes insane.

Whoa! It’s a miracle – Sharon’s ↑! Every day after breakfast, she has to sleep. Then I’m stuck trying to amuse myself & there’s not much to do here in the hotel. Oh yeah, she has a “horsetail” on today. U G H! Megabeast.

[2023 Erin here: I have/had this theory where anytime Sharon and my one friend back then, Spring, wore their hair in ponytails, they were bound to be assholes that day. Totally set the tone. Also, I got “megabeast” from the movie Drop Dead Fred which my brother Ryan and I were obsessed with.]

It’s about 9:30 & we’re on the bus, Before, I was sitting in the lobby w/ Sharon & the one lady we walked with last nite. Then Shar left me & all these really tall people from the other tour group flocked over & I got scared. I told Sharon & she yelled at me. How rude.

Our guide’s name is Ima (short for Immaculate Conception, so she said we’re in good hands) & she’s a very good friend of Dave’s.

[2023 Erin again: Dave was the tour guide that we had for the whole trip we were on, but sometimes we would have local guides that specialized in whatever excursions we were going on, etc.]

Thank god, Sharon said we don’t have to go to the bullfight tonite. How swell. I don’t wanna see any animals killed in front of me!

They have orange trees here to make marmalade. Ooooooh…All the pigeons here are white.

We just stopped at the Spanish Pavilion & Sharon was in her glory cuz there were so many tiles. She was actually nice to me! We stayed for 10 Spanish minutes (20 American minutes!).

Ugh, it’s 1:00 & we just got back on the bus from one Hellish tour! Sharon was rude & had that Stop-What-You’re-Doing-&-Listen-To-Me-I-Know-It-All attitude whenever she talked to people. When Jill asked me my name, Sharon told her. Then they were talking about that little guy that’s in the Duncan (sic) Donuts  commercial  & they couldn’t think of his name but I knew it. [2023 Erin: DID I THO???? I certainly don’t know it now. Then Ima asked me where I’m from & Sharon pushed me out of the way after I said Pgh & she said TWA. What a loser. Then just now she asked if I wanna go on a ferry ride (no) & I said, “Yeah whatever” so now she’s getting on me. Whenever I talk to her she always says “Huh?” & I HATE repeating myself, just like my mom. [2023 Erin: First, TWA was the tour group we were with; second, I STILL HATE REPEATING MYSELF. *side-eyes Henry*] I can’t wait till Aug 1. It’s not the same w/o Pappap & Grandma.

God it’s 96° out! Ugh! I don’t feel good now.

Dave says that our hotel in Tangier is facing the ocean :)

Ah, this is the life! Sharon went to the bank so I came back to the hotel by myself & now I’m maxxing & relaxing. I’m sure Sharon is probably socializing right now. That really sickens me. [2023 Erin: lol ok sociopath, calm down.]

Oh my gosh! Right after I wrote that [insert arrows pointing to ‘maxxing and relaxing’], Fresh Prince came on!

Sharon left about 30 min ago to check out the menu at some restaurant. I tried to sleep but that was unsuccessful. Oh yeah, Sharon’s wising up & now she’s being nice. She even took me to the bar for a Black Russian. Ahem.

[2023 Erin: I have to hope I was being hyperbolic, lol.]

The Super Channel isn’t very super. “The Mix” is on now & me & Shar haven’t even heard of any of the songs or singers. But when she left, “Numb” by U2 & “What’s ↑” by 4 Non Blondes cane on. And “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak (I only know it cuz it was on a movie) & a song by Lisa Stansfield.

[2023 Erin: To this day, when I hear that 4 Non Blondes jam, I think of watching the video in Spain, and also lol @ “on a movie.”]

Yea! It’s 10 to 4 & the grocery store opens at 4:30 so Sharon will probably stop.

Sharon came back at 4:00pm & she took me to get ice cream. How sweet. But actually I think she just wanted to go back cuz she thought the guy that worked there wuz cute. She got tutti-frutti (ew) & I got raspberry sorbet (yum). Now she’s sleeping.

Oh yeah, it’s 102.2 F out there! [insert sweating frowny face]

Bliss….Sharon brought Coke back :)  I think deep down she’s still mad about the hairdryer cuz she’s letting her hair air dry right now!

I’ve been watching “On the Air” since about 4:30pm & people are calling in to sing. Some of them are pretty good. They’re playing decent videos too. Aw it’s 6:10 & this is over at 6:30 :( We  leave for the flamenco at 7:10 tho.

I just wrote a letter to Clive Pearse so I can win an “On the Air” t-shirt :)

[2023 Erin: Fun fact, I didn’t win the t-shirt but I did receive an autographed picture of Clive for my efforts!]

It’s 20 to 7 & we’re ready. Well, Shar’s still “primping.” Spare me. Her hair seemed to have dried FINE w/o a dryer. She used my moisturizer cuz she didn’t feel like getting hers, ugh!

Well, it’s 10:30 & the flamenco was “perty” cool. Me & Nick were one of the only non-dressy people. I think the guy dancers were kinda queer [2023 Erin: *slaps 1993 Erin*] but Sharon kept saying they had nice butts. Some people left early to go to the bull fight. When it was over, Shar decided that weren’t going on the bus & that we’d just go straight to McDonald’s. But she went the wrong way & I kept saying, “Sharon, isn’t it back there?” So finally, she turned around. After we ate, we were gonna go back to the hotel to get money, then go for ice cream. We crossed the bridge & we were at the Rio Grande Restaurant that we saw last nite. Somewhere after that, Sharon led us the wrong way because we were so far off it wuz pathetic! We were in the Spanish projects! [2023 Erin: wow, this paragraph has it all. Maybe there’s some upcoming ableism for a pretty tight trifecta.] All Sharon would do wuz pretend she wuz a flamenco dancer. I kept saying, “Let’s get a cab.”

[2023 Erin: Friendly reminder that I was the 13-year-old and Sharon was my adult guardian responsible for my safety on this international vacation.]

Then she saw a Ford dealership & said, “We’re on the right track.” So we’re walking & some guy says something to Sharon & start FOLLOWING US. So Sharon kept saying, “Walk faster.” Then he gave ↑. Finally she asked a guy for directions & by that time we were so far off it wuz unbelievable. We saw a tennis shop tho. [2023 Erin: 1993 Erin had clear priorities.]

Then we asked 2 ladies & when we did, we saw the church that’s by our hotel. But then we couldn’t see it anymore. So she asked this guy & he was gonna DRIVE US to it. We started going that way but then Sharon decided she didn’t trust him so she asked a cop & the same man walked past & said, “Left. Believe me.” And he was right.

[2023 Erin is having a tough time following this sequence of events, though she does remember being lost at night in Spain and references it about once every 3 years and Henry acts like he’s never heard thr.e story before.]

But Sharon had her doubts. BUT I saw the Renault dealership & I just knew we were going the right way. Then SHE saw her stupid Ford place & she was really ticking me off (she was giddy) so I walked ahead of her & found the hotel myself, after being lost for ONE HOUR. I think I saw more of Seville today than I ever have cared to.

Now she’s insinuating (again) that it’s MY fault the wacked hairdryer doesn’t work.

It’s around 11PM & we’re calling home :P

I just talked to Corey & he said “Erin go ↑ in airplane. I go on helicopter.” Grandma doesn’t want to talk.


And then that day’s entry just ends. It’s weird reading this now because it makes it seem like we were sitting in the hotel doing nothing all day, but from what I remember, we had a few hours in the late afternoon to chill before that night’s activities. Also, I have no idea who the aforementioned Nick was other than just someone in the tour group, but what schmucks we were for not dressing up for the flamenco!!

Jun 232023

Now that I wrote 3000 words about the Cure concert without ever actually talking about the Cure concert, here are five things about that night that don’t involve me flipping out over a ring.

1. burn

Honestly one of my favorite songs, not just by the Cure, but of any artist of all time. Henry said that this was one of his favorite songs of the night too. I am trying not to cry right now.

This is not my video, I didn’t record hardly at all because I was too in the zone and as usual, I figured there would be a plethora of videos online afterward. But the audio is really great and you can totally hear how on point the whole band – it was on this level the entire night. The Cure is honestly one of the best bands I have ever seen in my whole life – they always seem to be 100% into it. It makes me wonder how I would feel if I was at one of their concerts, knowing nothing about them, only there to accompany a friend. Would I leave as a fan? I really can’t imagine how I wouldn’t – like, how do you witness something like this in person and not be affected? They even manage to permeate Henry’s thick-walled dork-heart.

2. Kpop fans v everyone else

Ok listen Brenda. You know that the Cure is tops in my heart. La Supreme. Bae. And this is nothing against them at all, but can we talk about the crowd? Shoooooo….it was not great. I mean, also not AWFUL but just not what I would have expected for a Cure concert. With the exception of the ABYSMAL, RUDE crowd at Coachella in 2004 since that was a festival, this might have been the worst vibe I’ve sensed out of all the times I’ve seen them.

Now, this is not a blanket statement – I’m not trying to say, “OMG I was the only true fan there” because it wasn’t at all, so if you were there and disagree do not come for me!! I’m just saying that my observation from where I sat was that it felt like many – not all – people were there for the novelty of it. These people were all middle-aged, white, and mostly drunk. Maybe they were reliving their goth college years, or wanted to hear the handful of radio hits that they know, who knows. But a lot of the people there made me uncomfortable and distracted me with their constant need to fidget, chat with their neighbors, leave to buy more beer. It was a lot of letting people in and out of the row, you know? And I noticed this at Genesis too so I think it’s really a demographic thing. Like, these are elder fans who perhaps have expendable income and/or just go to concerts to party / relive the golden years / get drunk off of nostalgia. And OK that’s fine, but there are also people who pay money they don’t really have to see a band in real life that they love with their whole hearts and have so much appreciation and gratitude…

That’s 99.9999999% of the fans you see at kpop concerts, you guys. It is legit. No one is there because they just know one song. They are there because they know every member’s name, know the inside jokes, know the choreo.

I realized that night that while I still love non-kpop music, I prefer kpop concerts in general now.

(For instance, I’m watching another video from the Cleveland show and there is a broad in in who hasn’t stopped talking to someone three people over her for the entirety of Disintegration. Like bitch, sit down then. You’re bothering us.)

But I will give big props to the Tallest Guy in the Land who was standing in front of Henry. (Originally me but I switched seats with Henry lol.) He glanced behind him at one point and when he realized how much taller he was than Henry and the guy next to Henry, he sat down on the back of his chair so that he wasn’t fully sitting but also was at the height of an average standing man, and said, “Is that better?” Henry and the guy next to him were both like, “Oh, you’re fine!” because Henry, for all the bitching he does when BOO HOO HE CAN’T SEE AT THE NCT CONCERT BC GIRLS ARE STANDING UP AND DANCING, actually is content just being there and doesn’t need to see the stage at every single second of the night like some of us do.

Anyway, I thought that guy was really cool. Him and a bunch of people in front of him were really decent and seemed like genuine fans, but then the three women next to him (and directly in front of me) chatted like fucking mothers at a neighborhood watch meeting, checked their phones, texted, got up to pee, got up to get beer, looked everywhere but the stage unless one of the more popular radio songs were being played. It was so annoying. They did seem into it at some points so I think the bigger issue here is that Americans in general are just one gigantic attention deficit.

3. Toxic Masculinity in Row N

Sometime before the opening band started, a group of people practically fell into the seats right behind Henry and me. I mean, they made such a commotion as they skirted their way down the row, it was almost comedic if it hadn’t been so goddamn annoying. Loud AF. CLEARLY drunk. Total middle-aged trash with zero boundaries or awareness.

It was two married couples – the one woman had the most annoying voice, high-pitched voiced (fuck, Henry compared her to someone and it was so spot-on but now I can’t think), the other woman was actually fine but of course she was sat the furthest away from me, and the two husbands were disgusting, loud-ass pig-slobs who didn’t just speak, they SHOUTED, the type of toxic ageing bro-men who purposely talk loud because they think that what they’re saying is SO FUCKING FUNNY AND IMPORTANT, that they want EVERYONE AROUND THEM TO HEAR. Fucking crass assholes, honestly. The one kept stretching out his legs so his disgusting sandaled foot would jut out from under Henry’s seat and I was burping back bile, for real.

4. If you can’t beat ’em….

I told Henry that the only way I was going to be able to survive with those loud asses sitting behind us would be if I made contact somehow. Finding a way to civilly butt into the conversation of problematic people sometimes helps humanize them for me, if that makes sense. Lucky for me, the MEN had departed on their third alcohol refill run during the storm delay, when the couple next to the people started talking to the wives. At one point, one of the wives said that they were from Pittsburgh and I was like “I’M IN” and the way I spun around so fast in my seat to finally play the role of Erin Buttinsky, well, Henry was laughing about it for days afterward.

(“Jesus Christ, you turned around so fast and started talking,” he laughed but it didn’t sound like a HAHA I LOVE YOU NEW-FIANCEE, YOU ARE SO CUTE AND FUNNY laugh but more of a disgusted “I hate when you do that shit” scoff.)

“We’re from Pittsburgh too!” I cried out so loud that several people from the row behind them also turned to look at where the manic talking was coming from.

The wives looked a bit caught off guard initially at my enthusiasm for sharing a city, but then they quickly abandoned the other couple and talked solely to me about various Pgh things that you wouldn’t understand if you’re not from here so I won’t bore you, but I will say that Henry REFUSED to turn around, not even ONCE, just bristled silently in his seat like the stand-offish lump that he is, so that was exciting to have them see that I was attending a Cure concert with a serial killer.

After I said that I was originally from “Jefferson Hill, you know, by Century III Mall,” one of the ladies said, “Oh did you hear about that boy that recently fell through the roof of the mall??” and I was like, “OMG NO?!” and she said something else about it, to which I didn’t know how else to respond aside from saying, “Oh wow” and then turning back around in my seat without a goodbye or enjoy the show or fuck off or anything. Just quietly and awkwardly cut the cord on the convo and peaced out. That’s how I do. Hi, I’m Erin. Nice to meet you, ok bye.

Anyway, my plan worked because I was able to tolerate them so much more after that, except for once the concert started and I found out quickly and painfully that one of the husbands was a WHISTLER. Hooboy, the why those whistles broke through my skull like a buckshot.

5. The Set List

  • Alone
  • Pictures of You
  • Lovesong
  • And Nothing if Forever
  • If Only Tonight We Could Sleep

  • Burn
  • Kyoto Song
  • A Night Like This
  • Push
  • At Night
  • Play for Today
  • A Forest (Henry’s fave Cure song, FYI)
  • Shake Dog Shake
  • From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea (LOL ughhhhh)
  • Endsong


  • I Can Never Say Goodbye
  • It Can Never Be the Same
  • Want
  • Plainsong
  • Disintegration


  • Lullaby
  • Six Different Ways
  • The Walk
  • Friday I’m In Love
  • Close To Me
  • Whay Can’t I Be You?
  • In Between Days
  • Just Like Heaven
  • Boys Don’t Cry

OK, that’s it. I was hoping for The Caterpillar, Charlotte Sometimes, The Kiss, Same Deep Water As You among others but I was still happy with the set list because it’s the fucking Cure. The fucking Cure.

Jun 082023

Yesterday started off fine but then around 4, things got stupid at work AND Henry came home with a really shitty story to tell me – these two things coinciding just really pushed me over the edge. I went from being so angry that I was vibrating, to so sad and humiliated that I was sobbing uncontrollably, and then back to wanting to set fire to…a place.

Basically, what I learned yesterday was:

  • I probably 100% require therapy for something that happened 20+ years ago;
  • I know the truth and that’s all that matters;
  • RAGE-WALK IT OUT. Reacting the way I really want to react is probably only going to backfire because that is what always seems to happen when I try to stick up for myself since I have a tendency of going from zero to psychopath in the blink of an eye.

But wow, I am always caught off guard by how much certain events and actions still hurt me to this day.

Anyway, maybe I will talk about this more once I have a chance to sort through my emotions, but it was a really bad time inside my head last night.

Henry and I went for a walk after dinner because I needed to rant and you all know I do my best ranting and raving while in motion. I had a library book to return so I suggested we walk to the Dormont library and then we could get some drinks at Dunkin’ across the street because that is JUST what this bitch needed, more caffeine. However, when we were walking to the library, we saw that the Boonseeker foodtruck was at a brewery across the street! What serendipity too, because I had completely forgotten that they were going to be there.

So we walked over, placed an order, and then stood as far away from the crowd as possible because I looked ROUGH from all the crying I had been doing. No makeup, unwashed hair, leggings and hoodie: I was a walking billboard for the kind of day I was having. Of course, our order got screwed up  (they gave it to someone else!!) so we had to wait even longer after already waiting a long time. Glad to have a Korean foodtruck in this city but it is a shining example of why America can’t have nice things. If we had been in Korea, the food would have been in our hands before we even had a chance to pay. America just doesn’t do “Efficiency” like Korea!

Some baby sat in a stroller and glared at me nearly the whole time. Join the club, baby. Sometimes it feels like people are lining up to make me feel like trash lol.

Here’s me looking 100% REAL in my BE REAL after we came home from nabbing Korean street food. But, the cheese stick cheered me up a bit, even though I *did* share it with Henry. Sigh. Made me really miss Korea, though. :( One day, I will return!

Another thing that made me smile was finding these pictures of Henry posing in my tutu from 2007! I thought they were lost forever because I couldn’t find them on Flickr and any photo I ever used on LiveJournal is gone because the site that hosted my photos back then was COMCAST which we no longer have.  Anyway, I actually asked Henry for his consent to post these on Instagram  (LOL who even am I lately) and he mumbled, “Whatever.”

People over there loved to see it, though!

Sadly, because of course let’s end this on a sad note, why wouldn’t I, I found out last year that the old friend of mine who made this tutu for me died from Covid. I hadn’t had contact with her in YEARS but it still felt like a kick to the heart to find that out.

Life is so fucking sad and weird, but also it can be OK so that’s what I’m holding out for: more “OK” days. Bring ’em to me. (Quickly.)

P.S. I have always been jealous of Henry’s shapely legs. Mine are like thicc tree trucks. Sigh.

May 262023

Every month or so, I go out to dinner with some recently-retired ladies from work which has been really nice because I am a huge fan of keeping in touch with people. Some might say slightly obsessive and unwilling to let go, but you know, I’m just being me over here.

Anyway, Marlene chose Rico’s for our most recent dinner and I was cracking up because way back when I was dating Psycho Mike, my grandma gave me a gift certificate to Rico’s because it was given to her before my Pappap died and they never got around to using it. She said she had no use for it and wanted us to have it. If she knew what a piece of shit Mike was, I’m sure she would have been like, “Why don’t you and Christy go and have a nice BFF dinner at Rico’s and leave your abusive boyfriend at home to cry about it?”

The gift certificate was the PAPER KIND IN AN ENVELOPE! That was how long ago this was. Sigh.

We decided to go there for our shitty one-year anniversary, so this must have been 1997, the fall after senior year (or, you know, freshman year of college for those who weren’t high school drop-outs lolololol ugh).

Yes, the pencil-thin eyebrows align with the date, lol. This was also when I had a Carrie Brady-from-DAYS hairstyle, literally pulled out pages from Soap Opera Digest to take to the salon.

“Give me the Carrie Brady but make it puffy,” is apparently what I requested.

I also remember buying that shirt at Contempo (RIP to my FAVE STORE) specifically for this stupid date. I do not remember what I ordered (I was a vegetarian already so probably plain-ass pasta), if I liked it, what Mike ordered – all that has stuck in my mind for all these years is the fact that I supposedly knew this was an establishment with valet parking and PURPOSELY didn’t tell Mike so that he would be HUMILIATED when we rolled up in his beat-up silver Omni circa 198-something.

That definitely set the tone. I’m sure it was a wonderful drive home that night, his anger brewing all throughout dinner like a strong pot of vitriol, providing him with LOTS of energy to remind me over and over how much of a STUPID BITCH I am.

Um, yeah anyway. My Rico’s Replay was much better! Better company for sure. Jill joined us this time and it is always really nice to see work friends “outside of work” and by that I mean in actual real life.

Being a vegetarian, “upscale” restaurants always fall flat with me because I have nothing to judge it on other than pasta. My only option was the angel hair in a cream sauce. It was good! Was it $27 good? Um…no lol.

I was the youngest person in that whole place though, that’s for sure. I’m sure it was super uncouth of me to take a picture of food but I don’t think anyone was looking and also, who cares?

The only negative part of the evening was that our server was an asshole. I rarely complain about these things because I have a ton of respect for people in the service industry. I know that it’s hard ass work and customers can be such dicks. But this older woman server was just not nice. Even apart from the fact that she was extremely inattentive, she was just very rude and cure. I was watching her interact with other tables, clearly occupied by “regulars,” and she was like a completely different person with them.

When I asked for a box, she brought me a plastic container that was cracked all the way down one side! I didn’t notice until after I put my leftovers in it. I called her back over and asked if I could have a new one and at first, it was like she wanted to argue that there was nothing wrong with it. She actually picked it up to inspect it like she didn’t believe me?! And then she said, WITH WHAT SOUNDED LIKE EXASPERATION, “Oh. I didn’t know it was like that” and stormed off to get me a new one. She could have just said, “Sorry about that” but somehow, she made me feel like it was my fault! Like what she wanted to say was, “It wasn’t like that when I gave it to you.”

I am clearly still fixating on this.

Anyway, I don’t care how much rich old people like Rico’s. I doubt I will ever be back. NOT EVEN IF SOMEONE’S GRANDMA GIVES ME A $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE.

May 112023

I have been putting this off all week because the sadness of Lauren’s law firm departure has really hit me, but we had a really nice, heartwarming, hilarious, bittersweet, super fun send-off for her at my house on Saturday. I know I am going to start ugly crying if I look at the pictures of all of us KLG idiots so I think instead I’ll do a GLENN prelude.

You fucking know I can’t pass up any opportunity to drag Glenn’s face through the mud, or in this case, the icing.  Let’s back up – the original intent of my house party was to celebrate Lauren’s time at the law firm with some delicioso Bethel Bakery cake. (The post-Cinco de Mayo fiesta aspect was quickly appended by Nate.)

I take my cake ordering VERY SRSLY. I KNEW it had to have a Glenn on it. I fucking knew it did. So when I started to design a picture of him crying with also a sobbing Law Firm looming over his shoulder, I started to wonder how to fill up the empty space on the other side of him. And it came to me: A JABBER GROUP CHAT! I started to sketch out a crude rendition in Photoshop but then thought – wait, what if I got the group chat to coordinate a string of GOODBYES/WELL WISHES/ETC for Lauren, and I could screenshot it for the cake?

Yeah, what if?!?! I’ll never know because these instructions were apparently Calc-level confusing. One of the people immediately needed to be contrary and difficult by saying, “we could do an e-card? so everyone can sign?”


It got worse from there and some of my friends were privately messaging me, telling me to breathe and that I was doing a good job. It just really bummed me out that something that made so much sense in my dumb rock-filled head wasn’t coming to fruition. In the end, I started to single certain people out and having them just Jabber their Lauren-ment directly in our own private chat windows, at which point, I snagged each individual message and layered it around the Glenn image.

I can’t make people want to be a part of things. I have to realize this. But every time, it’s like being in high school and yelling at people who were assigned to work with me on group projects because WHY CAN’T YOU SEE MY VISIONNNNNN?!?!?

Breathe. You’re doing a good job, Erin.

(Honestly, Nate and Wendi were my heroes that day.)

Honestly? It actually fucking worked out! You can’t tell from this picture (and I’m not going to post the actual jpg because it literally has everyone’s first and last names on it and I’m really sure that they would love the chance to be doxxed courtesy of Oh Honestly, Erin) but all the messages were legible, thank god. When I went to pick the cake up before the party, the high school boy who retrieved it from me came back and said, “This is a REALLY cool cake. What did you use to make this?” and then I explained the background, about how we’re all a bunch of a-holes basically and the cake was one big, sweet, inside joke.

I WAS SO EXCITED THAT I IMPRESSED A HIGH SCHOOL KID! And that they lettered the message exactly how I typed it out. I was worried they would want to fix the case, etc. and that would have ROONED it.

But wait! There’s more!

Before Nate and I even asked* Lauren if she was cool with the party idea, I had glommed on to the idea of having a pinata. Actually, now that I think about it, this must have been where the fiesta theme came from?? Why am I so slow? The party was almost a full week ago and I am just now realizing this.

*(I originally wanted to surprise her but we couldn’t figure out the logistics of that aside from pretending like Henry was suddenly the same database as us at his job and wanted to ask her questions about it, and then Nate called it the FaygoBase and it was a whole dumn thing that I tried to tell Henry about when he came home and all he said, “You guys are dumb” and “How do you get any work done?” (You would be surprised at how much shit I get done in spite of my shenanigans.)

And obviously, the first thing I knew would be stuffed inside the pinata? GLENNS. (And also a bunch of Mexican candies, including the roasted chicken–just in shape, not flavor–suckers that Lauren and Nate were obsessed with when I filled the International Candy Pumpkin with a bag of ’em back in the In Office Days.)

Debby’s Space Heater Fire Glenn. (I thought I had posted about this but I guess not. It happened on a day when I was off, and literally three people texted me immediately to goad me about THIS AMAZING THING that I missed. Turns out, Debby’s space heater HAD CAUGHT FIRE and Aaron jumped into volunteer 10th Floor Firefighter mode, heroically DUMPED THE CANDY OUT OF MY PUMPKIN, filled it with water from the nearby water fountain that no one liked to drink from because sometimes the water came out yellow, and doused the flames.)

International Candy Pumpkin Glenn. [You might recall that back when we worked in the office, I had a plastic trick-or-treating pumpkin pail behind Lauren’s desk that I kept perpetually filled with delights (and sometimes disgusting things that ended up being spat right into the nearest trash can).]

DOUG GLENN, which apparently had Nate stumped?!!? He had FORGOTTEN ABOUT DOUG?? Lauren set him straight, though.

OK, maybe by the weekend I will be ready to post party pics and share some of my best Lauren mems. Sigh.

May 102023

You guys, I’m reposting this because it’s still so precious (precious??) to me. Wacky Worm 4 Lyfe! Should I take my homemade I’d Rather Be Riding the Wacky Worm t-shirt on our Coaster Crew vacation this summer?!? Speaking of, 12 years later and I am cracking up so bad at the thought of CHOOCH originally being “too scared” to ride the Wacky Worm! He’s come a long way, lololol.

I have an obsessive personality, so it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that after riding the Wacky Worm (or, for those in the know, The Caterpillar) for the first time at last year’s Big Butler Fair, the hope that it would return in 2011 was one of the few things that kept me from hanging myself with a hobo’s necktie over the winter.

Who the fuck is this kid in the red shirt and why isn’t he cheering? You’re on the Wacky Worm; get stoked, motherfucker!

As soon as Janna, Chooch and I had our ride-all-day wristbands slapped on (so proud of Janna for sucking it up and going all-out! Henry, however, remains a pussy) I suggested we take a preemptive stroll around the fairgrounds. I was trying to stay cool about it, but the truth was that my pulse was quickening due to the fact that the Caterpillar was not in the same spot it was in last year and I couldn’t even begin to imagine a day at the fair without it. Especially since I spent an hour the night before coaxing and bribing Chooch to want to ride it. (He punked out last year and in that moment, I was no longer looking at my son, but at a 40″ failure. And you better believe I let him know it! And you better believe Henry lectured me for letting him know it.) So while I pretended to be interested in the money-guzzling midway games boasting oversized Rastafarian bananas as prizes and the joyful beam on my kid’s sweaty face as he rode on some kiddie truck ride (which was actually pretty awesome and I should have went on it too, why didn’t I go on it too?), I was actually craning my neck to see overtop tents and pendulating cages of death, in search of just one glimpse of my beloved Caterpillar.


“Why do you keep laughing like Pee Wee Herman?” Janna asked me, herself laughing quite nervously as we embarked on the first of many frivolous journeys.

“I don’t know, I’m just having so much fun!” I answered a little defensively, like I now needed to prove I wasn’t going to whip out my penis and coat the Caterpillar with my gooey joy.

Corey met us there an hour later and immediately joined the fan club. I think we rode it like, 18 times, with no promise of ever slowing down. I’d still be riding it right now, if I could. I think The Law Firm should have one in the building. As a stress reliever. You know. Fuck yoga.

Unfortunately for Corey, who is six-foot-alot, he was unable to join us in raising the roof each time the Caterpillar cruised down the hill.

“I’ll for sure break my wrists,” he announced when he realized how low the track was above us.

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I let him believe that that’s what would happen, when I really know that his arms would most likely get gruesomely divorced from the rest of his torso. And it would still remain the best ride ever.

At one point, I noticed that older kids started lining up for it.

“That’s because they hear you screaming and now they think this ride is fun,” Henry mumbled.

“Um, it is fun,” I corrected him.

“No, you’re just an idiot,” he sighed. How would he know when he wouldn’t even ride it? What the fuck, Henry. It’s because he was too scared. TOO SCARED OF EXPERIENCING 60 SECONDS OF SHEER DELIGHT.

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It might actually force him to crack a smile, possibly even tack on a few more minutes to his miserable life, god forbid.

So instead of joining us, he stood off to the side like some purse-toting pedophile, while all the other moms stood nearby and encouraged their respective children to cheer each time the caterpillar carried us past. Of course, this made me carry on even louder, like I was single-handedly trying to bring back the Arsenio;  sometimes I would even shout Henry’s name and then point at him so everyone would know we belonged together.

He was really enthused about that.

This guy and another younger Mexican were the official Wacky Worm operators of the day, and let me tell you—they tired of me real fast. I mean, REAL FAST. I was about as amusing to them as border-crossing and I’m certain they mistook me as mentally challenged. Or on drugs. Why? Because no one has that much fun on the Wacky Worm? Damn right no one has that much fun on the Wacky Worm!  I am the champion of the Wacky Worm!

Anyway, I’m glad he decided to fuck with the ride’s foundation while Corey and Chooch were on it, and not me.

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Furthermore, why wasn’t I on it that time?! I have no idea. I’m sure I must have had some sort of reason to willingly pass up a joyride on the back of my beloved Caterpillar, but the only thing I can think of is that’s when I was giving a blow job to the Dunk-a-Clown under the bleachers during the tractor pull.

Let me try to walk you through the glory that is the Caterpillar (or Wacky Worm, whatever you feel most comfortable, as an adult, calling it). It’s like riding in Jesus’s lap (that can go either way you want, holla to the religious porn addicts) as a caterpillar ascends you up to the Heavens, far away from all the grouchy grown-ups, while tiny angel-dusted kitten paws knead biscuits of lost childhood memories on your belly, and all of a sudden you remember what it felt like to score that coveted Scratch n Sniff sticker you needed to fill the page and to not have bills to pay and a house to make sure isn’t exploded by your kid and a boyfriend who might have even been the same age as you, and it feels great. Great like freedom. You absolutely want to ride it 87 more times. Caterpillar, take me away.

I got to do something that I missed out on last summer: riding the Caterpillar at sunset. Nothing is better in life than riding the Caterpillar at sunset.

We never got to ride in the front seat, though we came close on our second-to-last go-around but the dumb bitch in front of us in line caught wind of our plans and pushed her way to the coveted front spot. Or it could have been that her beer-bellied dad was hollering, “GET THE FRONT, GIRL. GET IT!” when the carny opened the gate.

I tried to get Henry to act as a placeholder while we were on the ride. You know, have him stand alone in line, saving us a spot in the front; but he refused, mumbled something about not wanting to be the only adult male in line for a kiddie ride, at which point I had to argue that Powers Great American Midways mistakenly lists the Wacky Worm under the “kiddie ride” section of their website when they obviously meant for it to be under “spectacular rides.”

The next morning, Chooch came over to me and said, “Thank you, Mommy.” The fact that he said this earnestly and with no hint of sarcasm gave me pause.

“For what?” I asked hesitantly.

“For making me ride the Caterpillar yesterday. It was so awesome.”

That was my proudest moment as a parent.


Since I’m friends with Powers Great American Midways on Facebook (laugh all you want, it’s informative!), I know that they’re affiliated with the upcoming Fayette County Fair which is happening on my birthday. You better believe I’m going! I went to the PGAM website and filled out the contact form with a very pressing question:

This inspired Henry to sigh heavily and say various interpretations of disapproval, such as: Don’t send that; Get a life; You need help; Get the fuck over it.

They haven’t responded to my pressing inquiry yet. Until then, I will just watch my video continuously until Henry takes the Internet away from me.

(Henry thought I pushed that girl out of my way at the end. I promise you I employed great restraint not to. Also, I apparently wasn’t holding Janna’s phone properly BUT WHO CARES IT’S THE FUCKING CATERPILLAR YA’LL. Henry really wants me to stop calling it that. It’s apparently a completely different ride.)

Apr 242023

Hey just when you guys were like “I literally do not care about this NCT bullshit and will never care to learn about the sub-units or whatever this bitch keeps calling them,” a brand new sub-unit was formed! This one is called NCT DoJaeJung (for Doyoung, Jaehyun, and Jungwoo from NCT127).

They recently debuted with the song Perfume which I have been obsessing over and it also made me think about how during the whole life thus far, I have had three very distinct signature scents. I mean, after I graduated from the Avon roller scents in middle school thanks to my friend Cara who used to bring in her mom’s Avon books all the time – my favorite scene is on the tip of my tongue but I can’t think of it!! I just tried to Google and none of those roller ones are even coming up – did I dream it? That’s what my mom would say. Anyway, it was something beachy/tropical and it was the only one I ever ordered.

In high school, I was BIG INTO Versace, so his Red Jeans scent was definitely my jam. I think I mentioned this recently, but Henry found a bottle of it for me, and I have been happily spritzing myself with nostalgia ever since.

I also was very attached to YSL’s Champagne (I think it’s called Yvesse now) also in high school. I haven’t smelled that in decades, but I just closed my eyes after looking at the bottle online on my nose remembered.

But the one that most recently was my signature, and I really should get some more of it, was Dior’s Hypnotic Poison. I used to wear it religiously in my early years at The Law Firm and people would always recognize my presence because of it – it is very unmistakable and unique.

Cool, now put on some red jeans, drink some champers, and watch this hypnotic poison of a video and then tell me what your signature scent is while I do a deep-dive into the Avon archives looking for that stupid cheap-ass perfume that now I suddenly need to sniff again.

Apr 012023

Last Friday, I was in a group chat at work when the oblig “what’s everyone doing this weekend” question came up. I excitedly divulged that I was finally, after like 20 years, meeting a friend that I had made on LiveJournal back in the golden days. I can’t remember exactly how or when Lindsey and I friended each other over there but it was definitely well before Chooch came into existence and also back when I was still in the mix CD game because I’m 99% sure I made her one. #dorkalert!

Neither of us still use LJ, but we have continued our online friendship through Instagram and Twitter, which, you know, say what you want about social media, but it does have some perks!

“Do you know where she lives? Where she works? You should tell your husband where you’re going to be, so he knows,” a concerned new-er coworker said who truly does not know that my lifestyle is based solely on tempting fate and dancing on the edge of sanity. Also, lol my “husband” was the one driving me to get axe-murdered!

Anyway, how this happened was that we have both suggested meeting up here and there over the years but we have never actually solidified it, you know how life goes.

And Lindsey has really been so complimentary about the changes in decor we’ve done around the house, so I always want to be like YOU SHOULD COME OVER but is that weird?! I dunno, I feel like when I was younger I would have asked and not thought twice about it but I’m a little more socially conscious (lol am I though) the older I get so I thought maybe we should have lunch so it doesn’t appear that I am luring her into my psychedelic lair. I DMd her on Instagram and said, “OK we gotta get something scheduled” because it just felt like the time was right! We picked a date (which I then had to switch up on her because the WILL SIGNING thing ended up being redcheduled for the original date we chose, of fucking course it would be!) and then Lindsey provided some restaurant suggestions which I appreciated because I am way out of the loop with the Pgh restaurant scene.

The first place I looked up was 40 North and immediately saw spaetzel on the menu. That was all I needed to see. We agreed on it, made a reservation, and then my “husband” dropped me off with nary a “good luck / be careful / don’t embarrass yourself.” I don’t even think he fully brought the car to a stop, now that I think about it.

OK can I just say that meeting people is so hard for me but I felt so relaxed from beginning to end because Lindsey had such a chill and calming vibe about her! I know we’ve e-known each other for quite some time, but that doesn’t always translate well in real life. But this felt like we had already gotten the first meet-up out of the way and now we were just catching up. So weird how things work out that way sometimes!

(Obviously I’m speaking for myself, so I hope Lindsey wasn’t actually physically clawing at her skin, dying for me to STFU and finish my lunch so she could leave!)

Sometimes I forget how nice it is to have a conversation face-to-face with someone!

The food was excellent, my drink was so smoky, gingery, and delicious (the smokiness caught me off guard but hello, it was called Tindersticks so…), and there were no uncomfortable lulls like I experienced the day before at Station 4. I didn’t even realize that we had been there for 2 hours! The only weird thing about the entire lunch was our waiter’s penchant for whispering; I kept trying to read his lips for clues but he had a bushy beard so then I was just guessing what my answers to his whispers should be.

Seriously, I will never stop talking about the LiveJournal days because of moments like this. I hope we do this again before another 20ish years pass by! (Even though she doesn’t like Phil Collins!)

Mar 262023

Just a friendly reminder that my prince gets discharged from the military in one week.

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God help those around me, for I will be shrieking and sobbing my dumb face off.

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I have tried to avoid any Taemin content while he’s been away but I did a mini-binge this morning and I’m finally starting to let myself get stoked! Even Henry will usually put his phone down and watch if Taemin is on TV.

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Mar 252023

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday!

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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“I hope you like that!”

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

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

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

Life is so weird.

Mar 152023

Today was one of the least annoying days I’ve had in a bit.

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Too lazy to blog for real but I will give you a little succinct update spotlighting the two points of good news:

  1. After chooch got his MRI on Monday, the results were emailed to us and of course Henry and I were googling “how to become an orthopedic doctor in 5 minutes.” The results seemed…not great? I saw things like TEAR and DEEP FISSURE and EDEMA and other things that sounded like fancy ways to expand the syllables of OUCH. But today the surgeon called after reviewing and his explanation was basically BAD BONE BRUISE. I did not know that was a thing but I googled it and it sounds like a not great thing. But!! The upside is that he thinks it should heal on its own and recommends that Chooch continue to wear the brace for another 4 weeks and he’ll have a follow-up appointment at the end of March too. My big question for doc is WHEN CAN HE RIDE ROLLERCOASTERS AGAIN? Now? Is it now? Hmm? Did you say NOW??
  2. Tickets for the Cure’s North American tour went on sale today.
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    The verified fan thing was pretty messy but I did get us two seats and those two tickets combined still cost less than half of what I paid for one ticket to NCT Dream and even lesser than NCT 127 but let’s not talk about that. Let’s just be thankful that I got two reasonably priced tickets to see my favorite band of all time even though they said that their 2000 tour was going to be the last one and here we are, 23 years later and this will be my…7th time to see them? Don’t make me count. It’s relax-y time. Kara checked in with me today to make sure I was alive and more importantly, obtained tickets. Happy to confirm!

I told Henry I should find someone to take with me, someone who might actually propose to me. I think he said, “go ahead” which harkened back to the time I briefly dated this guy Erik and then some random guy named … Kevin? I dunno his name, I had literally just met him at a gas station and invited him over to party lol.

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Ok so Kevin asked Erik if he could have me and Erik said BE MY GUEST.

The best/worst part is that I have this on VIDEO somewhere.

I’m writing this in bed and have to go now because the man who won’t marry me is snoring and I need to lodge my knee firmly into his ass.

Ending yet another blog post apropos of nothing, we are.

Feb 242023

*sorry I needed the alliteration, I CLAIM POETIC LICENSE.

Since I have been sorting through boxes of my entire life’s history, I’ve been unearthing some really…interesting shit. I will say that the prospect of becoming a certified hoarder in my elder years has really terrified me into pitching a ton of stuff, mostly the boxes upon boxes of pen pals letters. Because let’s be real: when am I ever going to read those?? And when I die, Chooch will definitely just have all of my stuff 86’d anyway so might as well lessen the load now.

Anyway! I thought, wow, what a fun Friday Five it would be to share some of the handwritten notes I’ve unearthed recently. I actually had so many options, but I narrowed it down to these five for today and maybe I will do more in the future, LIKE A SERIES??


I have definitely posted about this on here before, but it was a very long time ago and I think I just transcribed it. But today you get the ACTUAL LETTER.

It’s like my dad always said: I have a personality only a prisoner could love.

2. A Postcard from my Grandma

1989! This would have been my first trip to Europe, but no mention of all the times I embarrassed my grandma by being a frumpy fatty. LOL, jk kind of. I don’t think I have ever noticed how my grandma’s handwriting fluctuated between lowercase and uppercase – I do that too for sure but not that harshly! The randomly capitalized “e”s are really intriguing to me. I wonder what that means, from a handwriting analysis standpoint? Any pros here wanna weigh in?

P.S. LOL @ how she accidentally signed the card with their names and had to scratch it out.


You guys, when I found this card, I literally said, “AWWW” out loud. Vanetta was the teenaged daughter of the people who, many moons ago, lived next to Hot Naybor Chris except that it was so long ago  that he didn’t even live there yet! Her family had already been living on this block for some time before I moved in back in 1999 and they had at least 3 other kids (I want to say two younger girls and a boy). You know I hate me some children, but I really, truly enjoyed the presence of these kids. They were just…really good and sweet. Back then, neighbors use to actually talk to each other and we’d have small block parties from time to time. I can remember one of the girls (Kristen I feel like her name was?) having a birthday so I went out and got her a present which probably wasn’t anything wild but I fully remember her being so appreciative.

Really liked that family a lot. Now Vanetta – she was the oldest and I feel like perhaps she was a half-sibling to the rest? I think she had a different dad and she was very sweet but kind of troubled. She glommed on to me pretty quickly because I wasn’t that much older than her, but older enough for her to feel “cool” to be in my presence? I will admit that she could be kind of annoying and a pain to get rid of, but at the end of the day, I did really like her. Obviously you already know by the card above that I let her come to X-Fest with Wonka and me and she was OVER THE MOON about it.

Her family ended up moving to Florida and I was so sad to see them go, but Vanetta stayed here with her dad, except that she ended up living in A MOTEL down the street for a while!? I’m not sure whatever happened to her but I would like to find out. I don’t know her last name, not sure that I ever did. Wherever she is, I sure hope she is doing well.

OH! One other funny Vanetta thing is that she was one of the first people to find out about me and Henry when she was coming over to knock on my door one day just as he was leaving and it was SO OBVIOUS that we were TRYSTING because he was leaving with wet hair after showering here. I just remember her looking at him, and then looking at me, and then looking back at him – you could hear the wheels grinding in her head!

OH! One last funny thing is that I’m pretty sure I threw out the referenced picture in that card because OMG EW I LOOKED FAT. Ugh, I hate myself bigly.


OK OK OK, so the first time my grandparents took me to Europe, there was another girl my age on the same trip with her parents! Her name was Olivia and we became BEST FRIENDS. I can remember her parents & my grandparents scheduling phone calls for the two of us periodically after returning home from the trip. I would be so excited, waiting for the phone to ring at my Pappap’s house, thinking that it was so amazing a telephone could connect me to this girl from the west coast. Honestly, these phone calls probably only happened once or twice, lol. Sadly, my friendship with Olivia did not last very long but I bet if social media or at the very least cell phones had been prevalent at the time, maybe we’d still know each other at least at arm’s length?!

Props to her parents for including my beloved stuffed animal in the salutation, lol.


I FORGOT HOW COOL SHE WAS! Very Blossom-esque. Actually, perhaps she was a year or two older than me.

I was…not a cute child. LOL.

5. You guys, it’s gon’ get dark…

I actually just found this tonight when I was looking for something else and it knocked the wind out of me a little bit. So…apologies that this is about to get fucking dark, but this letter is from THE SHITTY MEAT COMPANY owner’s son, Eric. Now, you might remember that Eric sexually harassed me here and there during my 4-year tenure at this shitty job. A lot of it was suggestive, or inappropriate comments (like, “Would you fuck Stacy Dash?” Literally, the fact that I remember this one like it was yesterday….), almost threatening (“I’m going to come to your house tonight and have sex with you”), to downright blatant physical assault (RUNNING INTO MY OFFICE AND GRABBING MY CROTCH WHILE I WAS AT THE FILING CABINET, FILING INVOICES).

This was from 2000-2004. I was so young. So green. The world wasn’t what it is now. I worked at a family-owned company with no HR. Was this what the professional scene was like? Who knew!?!

Some things you need to know about Eric is that – AND I AM NOT EXCUSING HIS BEJHAVIOR – he was VERY emotionally undeveloped. This guy was in his 30s and literally had the maturity of a middle schooler. He was helpless, extremely unintelligent, just fucking clueless. His mother basically did all of his school work for him so that he could coast through high school and it showed. It really showed. On the other side of that letter up there, he spelled “imagine” as “amagin” and “celebrity” and “celiberty.” That….that was Eric.

So, the reason I have these letters is because, a few mths before everything came to a head at that place, resulting in me and Carol to walk out and me win a settlement after having a mediation with the EEOC (oh, looking back at it now, after #MeToo changed the climate of this shit, the sum I received was PATHETIC), Eric’s parents made him check into a rehab facility several hours away. He was an alcoholic and I *think* cocaine was his drug of choice? I’m not sure. But this man was so unstable and toxic.

His dad came into my office one day and asked, LOL nay – instructed, me to write Eric a letter. “It will make him feel better,” Joe said. And because I was FUCKING YOUNG AND STUPID AND THOUGHT THAT BECAUSE MY BOSS WAS TELLING ME TO DO SOMETHING NOT IN MY JOB DESCRIPTION, I STILL HAD TO DO IT EVEN IF IT WASN’T EVEN WORK-RELATED, I wrote the fucker a letter.

You guys, the day Carol and I quit, we had a screaming match with Joe. I said the shittiest things to him about Eric. It was 4 years coming. So much pent-up vitriol.

A few days after we quit, Eric had left the second rehab facility that he had begged to be transferred to because it was in Florida and it was more of a work-release type of situation where he was able to leave and he had a curfew?! I remember thinking that this sounded like an awful idea, and of course he ended up getting in trouble for breaking curfew too much and I’m sure other things happened that I can’t remember because I truly have SO MUCH of that time blocked out in my mind, but long story short, he either left or got kicked out and his MOMMY had to fly down there to bring him home, and a day later, he was speeding down Rt 837, hit a tree head on and died.

Fucking died.

A few days after I had a screaming match about him with his dad.

When I say that this happened in 2004 and I am still deep in my feelings about it to the point where I sometimes get so choked up that I can’t speak and have to just wave a hand in the air and change the subject, I am not kidding.

Yeah, so this letter. Ouch. The other one was signed FRIENDS FOREVER.

FRIENDS FOREVER, you guys. This man was so oblivious to the fact that I fucking hated him…yet at the same time, I had so much pity for him as well. His parents let him become that man. They did him no favors.

So wow – on that dark note! I’m about to go chug a glass of wine, me’thinks. Should this be a series?? NOTES FROM THE PAST? You tell me.

Feb 202023

Today is the anniversary of…that day, and my new thing these last several years has been to celebrate my Pappap instead of moping / feeling sad / being depressed. He was only part of my life for 16 years, so it’s really nuts for me to grasp the idea that I’ve been living life without him longer than with him now. Damn. I can only hope that I have even half that much of an impact on someone’s life one day!

Anyway, here are three photos featuring my Pappap over the years!

This had to be us at Kennywood. I wonder what ride it was?! Henry suggested Jack Rabbit at first but I honestly can’t imagine being game to ride a rollercoaster at that age – maybe, though?? The station looks too open though, so then Henry suggested the Little Dipper. It was open until 1984 and this photo was probably from 1983 so maybe! But…I doubt it.

This may have been pre-Erin Pappap! That’s him and my MOMMY in their Gillcrest pool, which was one of my favorite places of all time. My Pappap’s pool in the summer, absolutely nothing was better. I would give anything to go back to the mid-80s for one sunny July afternoon, honestly. My Pappap didn’t go in the pool much by the time I was born, but he could ALWAYS be found sawing logs in a lawn chair.

In fact, he had his own lawn chair that no one else dared use, and I will never ever ever ever forget us attempting to normalize a Pappap-less world by celebrating someone’s birthday or some summer holiday by having a cookout/pool party like we used to, and my dad laying back in The Lawn Chair and BREAKING IT, causing my aunt Sharon to completely melt down. It was baaaaad. She wouldn’t let anyone touch the chair, it just pretty much stayed out there like a wrecked relic, making us all miss better times.

When I say my family collectively handled my Pappap’s death poorly, with handsome amounts of dysfunction and enough trauma to last several lifetimes, I’m actually downplaying it. None of us mourned his death like healthy people. I was (am??) scarred for years and years afterward to the point where I used to not even be able to THINK of him without bursting into tears, let alone talk about him like a functioning human with normal emotional health.

It was really hard when Chooch was a baby too, because I spent so much time bobbing around in my feelings, wondering if my Pappap knew that Chooch was here, wishing that Chooch could know him, needing his stability in our life.

But…I think I reached a point where I feel that he would be proud of me, and that he would approve of how I have been living my life (well, maybe starting within the last 10 years, lol). And that makes it easier for me to think about him and smile at the memories instead of sob uncontrollably.

OK enough for the heavy hoo-haw, here’s a totally groovy shot of my grandparents and people I don’t know (actually, both of those men bookending the shot looked very familiar to me though and their names are on the tip of my tongue). Is this the 60s? Early 70s? Not sure, but grandma, your hair! Woof! My grandma had some AMAZING hairstyles over this years and this was not one of them. Nope.  Anyway, I feel like this was from a group vacation. Bahamas, perhaps. I think they used to go there a lot. I could ask my mom but I think she still gets upset when he comes up so I try not to talk about him too much with her. I don’t know. His death really fucked us up. You wanna talk about the glue holding a family together. We felt that.

Sorry, I didn’t intend this to get heavy! I am not sad or depressed today. I’m fine, and just wanted to share these but then the thoughts started and now here I am analyzing an irreparable situation that shouldn’t have went down the way it did, but here we are!