Oct 032021
 

Oh hello, Monday. You cunt.

I had a great weekend but thanks for breaking up the party, motherfucker.

What did I do, you ask, you piece of shit weekday? WELL, LET ME TELL YOU.

ERIN GETS HER HAUNT BACK

Dude. We didn’t go to single haunted house last season. I know that a bunch of them were open, as were amusement parks, but without vaccinations happening at the time, we opted to keep staying home even if that meant missing haunted house season for the first time since, god, the 90s probably. But this year, we are READY! I couldn’t imagine making my comeback at any place other than the famous CASTLE BLOOD. You have to know by now that this is my favorite haunt, the one closest to my heart, the one that has my ultimate allegiance. It’s creative, original, intelligent, unique, OOAK, A+ haunting, do recommend. 

I was so excited that I kept changing clothes and screaming WHAT ABOUT THIS OUTFIT DOES IT LOOK GOOD and Henry was like “We are just going to a haunted house…?” but it felt like PROM FOR ME OK. Erin’s BIG NIGHT OUT. Getting made fun of. Screaming her face off. SOLVING PUZZLES. This is what I was born to do and I wanted to make sure I had the appropriate uniform to show the haunt world that I’m back AND I AM READY TO BE SPOOKED.

Chooch took this for me and was really happy to assist. But you figured that.

We “let” Chooch invite two of his friends and I was stoked because they were FRESH BLOOD. The one kid is younger and not very well-versed in haunts so he was like WHAT IS THIS PLACE and IS IT REALLY HAUNTED and EXCUSE ME SIR BUT WHAT IS A GYPSY. He had questions. Lots of them. He was also the worst teammate! The whole point of Castle Blood is that you walk through the place talking to (or getting yelled at by, in my case, usually) the Denizens. Somewhere along the way, there are THREE  TALISMAN revealed to you and you have to solve puzzles, make trades, bat your eyelashes (in my case, usually) to earn those talismans. Some of these challenges can be super mind-boggling so if you’re planning on heading out to the Castle at some point, choose your companions carefully. We almost failed because our group was so dense!

But wow, it felt so good to be back there again and to see so many of our undead friends!

I was really excited to bring out my haunted house journal and scribble out the full deets but I COULDN’T FIND IT, DOT DOT DOT TO BE CONTINUED.

I wrote an actual review of Castle Blood several years ago and you should read that and then go purchase tickets.

Castle Blood: The Ultimate Halloween Adventure

After chatting with our friends outside the castle for a bit, we stopped at Sheetz where a bunch of high school kids was loitering because…football game or something. OMG why are teenaged girls so freakishly robotic these days?!? Poor Sheetz was full of frigid vibes and the stench of cheap F21 body spray.

There was a group of them in there who all looked the same, same dead-eyes that bore right through me, same vocal fry monotone, same super-contoured makeup. I was standing there waiting for my PUMPKIN CHAI thank you Sheetz for having semi-imbibable chai, when one of the drones shambled by, looking straight through me with her weird rhinestone-embellished icy eyes, and croaked, “heeeey” to another group of girls, who responded with an equally bored “heeey” and then they just stood there and one of them was like, “I’m going to go outside-UH” because they punctuate all of their sentences with a “just took a swig of La Croix” air expellant. It’s like Valley Girls on anti-depressants, I truly do not know how else to describe this bizarre form of communication these strange suburban teen girls have created.

When the one girl walked away, the other two girls rolled their eyes behind her back. Then the same thing happened with another Gen Z Droid when she did her weird pigeon-walk over to the group and engaged in soulless banalities.  “They all hate each other,” I said to Henry, not even whispering. “Every single girl hates each other secretly.” Then we watched as they all peeled off their faces to reveal their true lizard selves.

THE FANS

I spent a great deal of time on Saturday relaxing and walking around the ‘hood. On one such walk, I encountered these dumb children sitting under a sign that said FANS FOR SALE. Literally, I thought they were selling, like, old box fans and I wondered if their parents knew, but it turns out they were slinging handmade paper fans. I stupidly stopped and took my headphones off instead of acting like I didn’t hear their cries of Desperate Salespeople and then, and I don’t know why I said this, but I did: “I don’t have money on me but I will come back.”

I’m a lot of things. I’m a kid-disliker for one, this we all know. But I am not a LIAR. I literally hate lying so much and I also hate breaking promises because I have had these things done to me so many times growing up that yes, yes I WOULD like some dip with those chips on my shoulder. I thought you’d never ask.

The younger of the two was going to let me pick a fan and pay later and as I was shaking my head and rejecting this offer, her sister (?) was stage-whispering, “Like a presale? I don’t think that’s a thing!”

Smart girl! Don’t give the sweaty stranger anything in advance!

But now I was determined to go home and get money so that they can have a little bit of faith that not all grown-ups will lie to them. I was pretty far from my house so by the time I got home, I was all out of breath and huffed to Henry, “Give me $2.”

“For what?” he asked, like OK dad, didn’t realize I needed to hand over a ledger of how I’m spending your money, but cook on. He actually had to get a dollar from Chooch who is never happy to part with his cash, and I could hear him upstairs asking, “WHY does she need it?” and Henry just mumbled in response. Henry was on his way out to THE STORE when this was happening so I hitched a ride with him because those bitches (lol they’re like 5 & 7) live about a 30-minute walk away and guys, sometimes I get tired.

So we roll up to their house and now they have collected some other child who is hovering on the sidewalk on her bike, watching this transaction go down. So, I thought I would be nice and buy two fans from them, hence the $2, so that they could each have a sale, but GET THIS:

The fan that I wanted was $2!!! “It’s because it’s the best one,” the older, I-Don’t-Believe-In-Presales one said curtly.

Are you effing kidding. What a fucking racket. So I let them pick two $1 fans for me and this is what I got:

When I got back in the car, Henry was like, “Oh. Wow. That is….not what I thought they were going to be.”

The next day when Chooch got in the car and saw them, he was like, “The fuck are these?” And when I explained it to him he yelled, “You BOUGHT these?!”

Yeah, with YOUR money, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I should have asked if they were under warranty though because one broke already. Like, can I go back to their house and ask them for a replacement piece of Scotch tape? How does this work?

SQUIDS OVER COASTERS

We had actually planned to go to Dorney Park on Saturday, but I woke up on Saturday IN A MOOD. I was high key PMSing, and lowkey wanting to finish the last two episodes of Squid Game, so I made the executive decision of staying home (and also because I decided that I would rather wait until next weekend and go to Six Flags Great Adventure instead, lol, my ambition is so dumb). So like, I don’t know what else to say other than if you haven’t watched Squid Game yet, what is wrong with you. It’s crazy to me how insanely popular this has become in the US because god forbid we let other countries do a thing better than us, amirite. But it’s also NOT surprising because as someone who watches a ton of Korean shows, I know how amazing Korean actors are. (I mean, one of my favorite actors of all time has a small cameo in this series and I was screaming!)

There is SO MUCH I WANT TO SAY about this and it is literally all I have been able to talk about (thank god Henry and Chooch also watched it or else I’d be talking into the void as usual) but I will just say that it deserves all the praise and accolades it’s been getting, it’s worth the hype, FUCKING RECOGNIZE THE FACT THAT KOREA IS CAPABLE OF PUTTING OUT SOLID ENTERTAINMENT, THANK YOU.

Basically this is how I feel though:

Me, for the last 6 years, screaming into the void: WATCH KOREAN TV SHOWS, THEY ARE AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING!

Everyone: ……………..

TikTok, in 2021: Watch Squid Game yo.

Everyone: OMG I AM WATCHING THIS KOREAN SHOW AND IT IS ACTUALLY* GOOD.

*Yep, gotta qualify that with an “actually” because Asian stuff is supposed to be lesser than,  you know.

Ugh.

Also, I drive Henry when we watch Korean stuff together because I can’t get my brain to turn off “must learn this language: desperation mode” and I am constantly straining to parse out what is being said versus what I’m seeing in the subtitles and it is FRUST-to the-RATING. For instance, I kept screaming, “THEY JUST SWORE THERE BUT THE SUBTITLES ARE MAKING IT WATERED DOWN WHYYYYY” and I thought it was just me being ridiculous but this Korean guy I follow on Twitter had a whole thread-rant about it on Saturday and was like, “They are clearly saying Korean swears but the subtitles are making them sound like Napoleon Dynamite” and I was dying because yeah, I got that too.

Ugh there is so much more I want to say about that, because even from a remedial language-knowing standpoint, there was enough that got dropped in the translation for even me to notice. I don’t think it would really affect anyone else watching it though, it is a PHENOMENAL show regardless and I am so proud that my favorite country in the whole wide world is getting its time to shine.

But yeah, I started to watch Midnight Mass after finishing this and can confirm that Squid Game has ruined me for all other TV shows for a bit because Midnight Mass is like a heaping pile of steamed shit after watching that fucking masterpiece.

(THE DYNAMIC, UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS, THOUGH!!!!!!!!! Oh god, my HEART.)

BRB, scheduling an appointment for my Squid Game tattoo.

EH, DONUTS

Also on Saturday, we got vegan donuts from Valkyrie but they were just OK because my PMS Palate was being PERSNICKETY, and also Henry lowkey fat-shamed me and then tried to say he didn’t and then got mad at for being mad at him and that was a whole thing that happened Saturday before Chooch even woke up for the day.

(I’m sorry but one of those was supposed to be French Toast and it actually tasted disgusting. And the one I was most looking forward to, Caramel Apple Pie, tasted like I made it. Like I got a previoulsy-made donut and poured some canned apple pie filling inside of it and then charged a bunch of money because: vegans. Our first two visits to this donut trailer was exceptional so I dunno if it was my mood or what.)

Then I made a garland out of these pumpkins I bought at Target (OK fine, Henry did it) and I love that they match the colors of the kitchen, lol.

CRYING IN THE OFFICE

OK Sunday started off sad. It was suggested to us recently that we might want to go into the office and start bringing stuff home because even when/if we return to WORKING IN PERSON WITH PEOPLE, we will probably have much less office space because the Firm is looking to pare down its real estate. I had a feeling that maybe I left my haunted house journal there because I used to take it to work during the Halloween season to try and write my recaps during downtime and I thought that perhaps I just left it in my desk after the 2019 season.

Henry came with me because I figured I better bring some stuff home (like the entire box of shoes I keep under my desk – Henry was like ARE YOU KIDDING ME, WHERE DID THESE SHOES EVEN COME FROM like they hatched under my desk from rogues Peds or something) and I actually cried a little in the elevator on the way to the 10th floor. It was my first time back there since the middle of March 2020!

Anyway, I threw out a bunch of papers, old candy (super sad face), took down all of my magnets and brought them home to live on the fridge (HOLY SHIT YOU HAVE A LOT OF MAGNETS, WOW, YEAH, WE DON’T GO ANYWHERE Henry exclaimed when I kept plucking more and more souvenir/travel magnets off my cabinets and into a bag), and then even though I knew it would be like twisting the knife in my already bleeding heart, I ventured over to the area where all of the GLENNS live.

OMG I’m sad again.

Oh! And my haunted house journal WAS NOT THERE.

MISSING HAUNTED HOUSE JOURNAL

So my journal was still missing and Henry was like, “It has to be in the house somewhere. We will find it. I am big strong man. Woof.”

He was tearing up the basement because we thought maybe it ended up in a box when we were redoing the coffee table (we, lololololololol). Meanwhile, I went into my bedroom and opened a desk drawer, and there it was, lying fully exposed, right there, lol. I yelled down to the basement to let Henry know that he could call off the search.

“Where was it?” he asked, and when I told him, he said, “Oh so it was where I was about to look two days ago but you said, ‘No, it definitely won’t be in there, don’t bother’?” and….yeah, pretty much. LOL.

A GOOD OLD-SCHOOL HAUNT

I wanted to go to another haunted house on Sunday (I try to avoid Saturdays!) but I wanted something to new-to-us and also something that was reasonably priced so that Henry would be more willing to join us. I am really depressed at how none of my friends (at least my local friends) enjoy haunted houses. I miss the 90s and early 00s when we would cram into Lisa’s Jeep and hit up two or three in one night and then drink coffee at HOME COOKIN’ until 2am. Don’t get me wrong, I like going with Chooch but now that he’s wanting to bring friends with him, I feel like such a fucking lame-ass tag-along. Like, oh Chooch please let Mommy hang out with you and your friends, please, I’m desperate.

But anyway, I digress. I’ll just place an ad on Craigslist for Halloween friends, I guess.

I found a listing for this one haunted house in Wheeling, WV which is only about 45 minutes away from Pittsburgh AND it was only $15 which is a STEAL when it comes to haunted houses in 2021, you guys. A real fucking steal.

We stopped at Sheetz for dinner on the way, and clearly, Sheetz is part of the spooky process. Henry was being a diva and didn’t get any food, just iced coffee. OK, America’s Next Top Model.

We got to Infernum In Terra right when it opened and ended up being GROUP 3!

Pre-Haunt Selfie – Henry was behind us in the portajohn and if you don’t think I have regERTZ about not waiting to snap the pic until he emerged, then you are dead wrong because I have been dwelling on this all day to the point where I cannot wait for my next chance at a do-over.

I don’t want to put too much in here because I still have to write about it in my JOURNAL and then I won’t be inspired to give it my all (seriously you guys writing hurts my hand so much these days) but I am happy to report that this was

JUST

MY

STYLE.

Old school, low-tech, volunteers giving their whole hearts. I fucking loved every minute of it but my favorite parts were when Satan’s wings hit Henry in the face and some monster called him an Old Man. Also when Chooch was chosen to go to confession and confessed to stealing a pencil…from a desk.

Not even from a store.

From a desk.

At school.

I gushed about how much we liked it when we emerged back at the ticket counter. Usually, I will also blabber on about how I’ve been keeping a haunted house journal since 1995, etc etc but COVID has made me even more anti-social than I was before.

On the way home, Henry stopped at ANOTHER Sheetz and got a meat stick and meat roll.

“I hate the way you breathe when you’re eating meat,” I scoffed in disgust.

“Yeah, it’s him thirsting for more,” chimed in Chooch the Backseat Pest.

“Well, it’s mostly bread,” Henry mumbled. “So fuck off.”

Then we talked about Squid Game the whole way home and it was really a really nice Sunday Night Outing to the Haunted House with Family.

I hope the rest of October is this nice. I mean, minus my PMS pissiness. That was mostly Saturday though. I’m already back to my STANDARD, LOVEABLE SELF.

Sep 212021
 

A few years ago (2014, I think??), we went to Indiana Beach in Monticello, IN upon my insistence and relentless begging. We stayed in a town called Logansport which was not on my radar at all, until we randomly ate at a family-run fast-food establishment called MR. HAPPY BURGER and I became o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d that I demanded we eat at the second location as well AND I bought a commemorative t-shirt. I know, everything in this paragraph sounds so unlike me!

We semi-spontaneously revisited Indiana Beach over the weekend and I was almost as excited to go back to Mr. Happy Burger! It wasn’t that the food was amazing, but they did have grilled cheese on the menu which is almost unheard of for a burger-centric fast food joint, so that was a huge plus for me and Chooch, but it was mostly the VIBES, you guys. You know I’m all about the VIBES.

Sadly, the owner of Mr. Happy Burger recently decided to retire and put one of the locations up for sale. We drove past it and I will admit that I had a fleeting desire to buy that bitch up and rebrand it as Miss Happy Veggie Burger, the vegan mistress of Mr. Happy Burger.

But, I don’t think  that would be very well-received in that part of Indiana, lol.

Oh shit bitches, get ready to grill up some cheeses, because we’re back.

(I tried so hard to get Henry to order a Mr. Pib with his burger but he wouldn’t do it. The cashier was not amused. She had this dour, “Just fucking pick a bev” look on her face.)

There was a small group sitting a few tables over and one of them had just completed an 8-scoop ice cream challenge, not sanctioned by Mr Happy Burger.

“And he ate a double burger, too!” one of the people in his party exclaimed for everyone within earshot.

“Now I gotta go and drink some beer,” he said, completely unimpressed with himself, as they left the building.

Oh, Indiana.

There is something about orange and green as a color combo that is horrific and nostalgic all at once.  I declared that I was going to keep one of the fry wrappers and made a big production of dumping all the crumbs and salt specks onto the table, and then smoothing it out tenderly. I left it off to  the side, on the table, but then HENRY THE OBLIVIOUS put it on the tray with all the trash and I unknowingly threw it out, THANKS HENRY THE OBLIV.

I got really upset about this and he was like I WILL FIX IT, HOLD PLEASE and went back to the dour cashier and went through this whole awkward and confusing exchange before she finally understood what he wanted and he proudly returned to me with a clean wrapper in his hand, like a Viking returning home to his fur-wrapped woman, waving the head of the enemy on a spear.

Cool story, Henry.

I also wanted to get an orange version of the Haps shirt, but Henry just frowned and of course I didn’t have my wallet.

Their grilled cheese is better than most grilled cheeses I’ve had at diners and other restaurants. For instance, we were recently at Hyde’s in Cincinnati and the grilled cheese we both had there was so fucking pitiful, I can’t even believe they charged us for it. It was like they made it with scrap bread slices, and split one entire piece of cheese between mine and Chooch’s. I mean, I could make a better grilled cheese and we all know that’s saying a lot!

But Mr. Happy Burger serves up a substantial grilled cheese with a decent bread:cheese ratio. The bread is thick and buttery, and the cheese is actually thoroughly melted and not just a limp, cold slice between two half-toasted bread rejects.

I Just Said No to ice cream all day at Indiana Beach because I remembered that Mr. Happy has an ice cream parlor in the location that remained open. I dunno why but at the last minute, I happened to see a small menu of froyo flavors taped to the ice cream display. My eyes flickered across the “banana pecan” option and I thought, “bitch why not” so that’s what I ordered, and then almost immediately had remorse but I returned to our table, determined to live with my choice.

Yo, they actually blend up their froyos on the spot, boy! I watched that young ice cream princess cut up a banana and everything. And that was one BITCHIN’ cup of froyo, and also a flavor combo  that I wouldn’t have immediately paired together on my own. Apparently, the ice cream girls aren’t used to getting that as an order either because they had to double check with Henry after I sat back down and they made an unsure, “hmm, ok” face.

Henry for some reason also went the low fat froyo route and went with pineapple coconut. OH SHIT, YOU GUYS, that was motherfucking divine too! I took several hearty spoonfuls of it and felt like I had been personally transported to a beach in a first class seat on the Mr. Happy Burger train. Refreshing! Tropical! Exotic! Without even leaving Logansport, Indiana.

Dang, Mr. Happy Burger, please don’t leave. Surely someone in the Mr. Happy family wants to see the legacy live on!?

Oh, I contemplated bringing my Haps shirt on the trip but is that adjacent to the tackiness of wearing the band’s shirt to their concert? Sike, I don’t really care about that but I just truly forgot to pack it, lol.

 

Um, I never actually realized how lumpy that HB logo is. Is it supposed to be a burger? Mr. Happy himself? A potato??

Sep 062021
 

In lieu of live blogging, I want to just check in and talk about how much I adore Sylvan Beach, a tiny resort town on Lake Oneida in New York. We stopped here for a few hours Saturday night, after leaving Seabreeze Park, because there’s a little carnival-esque coaster and a dark ride that I wanted to go on. Sadly, the coaster is currently closed because it’s being repainted (why they didn’t wait until the off season is beyond me but you do you, Sylvan Beach!) but we ended up liking it here so much that I begged Henry to stop here again on our way home today so that we could eat breakfast at the Pancake House, which I became inexplicably obsessed with when I saw their website before coming here.

We were seated right away but it took nearly an hour to get our food because they were so busy. Luckily, the staff was really friendly and the atmosphere was delightful, but most importantly they were playing 80s music (two Phil songs played while we there, plus OMD, Flock of Seagulls, and Cutting Crew so who can be mad with all that massaging your aural passages??).

We shamed Chooch for ordering two glasses of chocolate milk (these teenage boy years are fascinating) but then the SHORT STACK of French toast. I was like OK but you’re still going to be hungry.

Henry got MEATS and EGGS and BISCUITS doused with MORE MEATS.

I got the daily special: orange pancakes!! They were divine! Subtly orange flavored and topped with mandarin oranges, and I got the cream cheese icing on the side so I wouldn’t get sick. It was perfect. Of course I only managed to eat one and then Henry and Chooch finished the rest lol.

One of the waitresses liked my shoes! Chooch hated that part of breakfast.

Oh and the hostess here was the most pure being of all time, I really think so.

Loved it. 5 ✨.

Then I wanted to walk down to the lake because if there is one thing I have learned from Korean culture, it’s that walking after a meal is good for digestion and it is so much better than getting right back in the car for four hours!

It is SO PRETTY HERE. I’m obsessed with it. Chooch? Ambivalent as always.

I let Henry get in a picture with me even though I’m still mad at for him for his callous response to me hitting my head off the headboard this morning at the hotel. It was the third time this weekend that it happened because it has A LIP ON TOP OF IT and is actually pretty low so it’s super easy to hit your head if you’re sitting up in the bed. Anyway, Henry the Gallant said, “most people learn from their mistakes” and I just lost it. I mean I was already trying not to cry from the pain of smacking my head against a sharp wooden edge, but now he’s LITERALLY ADDING INSULT TO INJURY and, well, 20 years with this guy! Congratulations to me.

Then Chooch wanted to get a picture of the Galaxi Coaster so we ditched Henry and walked one to the amusement park, which was closed but is ungated so we could just walk right in. Still, I didn’t want to creep around so I asked one of the employees if we could walk over just to take a picture and it ended up being the lady who was running the dark ride on Saturday! She was so nice! She said we could certainly do that, but not to climb over the fence, and I was like, “oh I don’t think I could do that anyway” and she laughed and then I laughed and it was so pleasant. It made me remember that I used to like people!

They also have a ROTOR there which also sadly was not operating. But this just gives us a reason to go back someday!

Sylvan Beach is pretty fucking amazing, and I’m so glad our amusement park addiction brought us here!

Aug 112021
 

I WAS SO STOKED FOR MOREY’S PIERS!! Also, I was super worried that it wouldn’t be a magical as it was when I was a kid and obviously I expected that it wasn’t going to be same because a shit ton of rides are gone (RIP Castle Dracula and Keystone Kops). But it still felt the same in my heart, you guys. It still felt the same. I am crying right now.

This bad boy, The Great White, was built several years after my last visit but honestly it looks like it has been there forever. I was so excited to ride this later!

We started out on Mariner’s Landing, because the other two piers don’t start running their rides until 5pm. Our main focus was to knock out all the coasters while it was still pretty uncrowded to ensure that Chooch would get all  the creds. Luckily, everything was running that day!

LOL our first ride, a stupid SBF Visa spinner. These things are pretty terrible but this one was good because….Wildwood, and also because the ride operator was 1000000% more animated than the one who was running it at Waldameer, PLUS Duran Duran’s “Rio” was playing and the day was beautiful and the ocean was RIGHT THERE and the sea gulls were so cute and everything was fucking perfect.

Actually, let me take a minute here to gush over the impeccable music selection of Morey’s Piers. It was ALL 80s, and not bullshit 80s either, but fucking Depeche Mode, the aforementioned Duran Duran, ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN, Talk Talk (their original version of “It’s My Life” and not the shitty No Doubt cover!!). Two fucking Cure songs!! “Boys Don’t Cry” played when Chooch and I were in the station for the Great Nor’easter, and then later that day, “Friday I’m In Love” was playing as our train was being loaded on The Great White, which was located on a pier that was playing primarily 90s music. The next night, as Chooch waited in line for a coveted back row night ride on this bad boy, Bush’s “Chemicals Between Us” and Fuel’s “Shimmer” came on and I was nearly openly weeping. Especially because I had just recently fallen down the Bush nostalgia spiral thanks to the Fear Street movies.

And that Fuel song. Oh god, that Fuel song. That was like my Summer of 1998 but make it a song so that I can lose my mind and cry every time I hear it for the rest of my life while also feeling the uncontrollable need to scream the lyrics until my voice gives out.

And at one point during the day, I am not kidding, Henry and I were walking to the gift shop when suddenly (or, my favorite Korean word: 갑자기) the opening drone of my beloved rollerskating jam, HEART AND SOUL BY T’PAU, sizzled down from the heavens. I grabbed Henry’s arm dramatically and yelled, “STOP. WAIT!” And then pointed up at the sky. When it was clear that Henry had no idea what was going on, I hissed impatiently, “THE SONG?!”

I am 100% sure that he still had no idea what was going on because the song hadn’t even yet fully kicked on and also it was buffeted by screaming sea gulls, the motors of rides in motion, people laughing, modern day boardwalk carnies on loud speakers reeling people in with false promises…my ears are actually super human when it comes to detecting a song beneath layers of miscellaneous cacophony. Henry can never hear the music over the din of talking and silverware scraping plates in restaurants, but I am always ready to scream, “OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS SONG IS PLAYING.”

Anyway, this Heart and Soul was playing and I had to make Henry sit down a bench with me while I listened to it because I was so obsessed with this jam as a kid that for two years in a row it was my “birthday party song request” at the VIP Roller Rink. It was also one of the first records I bought at National Record Mart and I remember so vividly not knowing who sang it so whoever took me to the mall, probably my mom – I guess I’m not remembering this as vividly as I initially boasted lol – told me to go ask someone to help me so there I was, some idiot elementary school kid probably wearing a corduroy jumper and knee high socks, telling the NRM associate, “I don’t know who sings it but she looks like Tracy Ullmann” BECAUSE I USED TO WATCH THE TRACY ULLMANN SHOW LOL.

It was almost like someone called Morey’s Piers and told them I was coming so that they could play the literal soundtrack to my childhood summers in Wildwood.

Phew. OK now that I got that out of my system, let’s look at some pictures of rides!

Rollie’s Coaster was Chooch’s second credit at Morey’s and it was more fun than we expected! I loved the vintage aesthetics.

The infamous Sea Serpent. I was TERRIFIED of this ride as a kid and never did ride it back then. I was actually kind of dreading this even now because it’s a Vekoma boomerang and I hate boomerangs. They’re usually so painful and kind of worthless!

That guy is totally ranting about how BIGBANG has not yet had a post-military comeback in any capacity.

“I MEAN, CAN G-DRAGON PUT DOWN THE NIKES AND PIC UP A MIC??”

Here’s Chooch and me in the fifth row, I look so thrilled, lol.

OK I’m not just saying this because it’s Wildwood but I really think this was the least worst boomerang I’ve been on. It was surprisingly smooth, but still terrifying. Also, I didn’t know this until recently, but the Sea Serpent is the very first Vekoma boomerang built in the US! Did I run back in line as soon as I got off? I mean…no. But it was still really satisfying on some nostalgic level to ride this coaster that looms in the background of so many old Wildwood pictures.

Goddamn. Life was really good in that moment, as simple as that sounds.

Chooch and I rode this seagull pedal ride thingie and it was fun but he was pedaling too fast and I was trying to enjoy the scenery.

We had to stop because an actual seagull was on the track!

View of the Great White from my perch on the suspended seagull.

When Chooch wasn’t being summoned by the arcades, he was cruising the piers for carnival games to play. This was definitely his scene.

Henry the Tight Wad got a ticket card and put enough money on it to ride the carousel and Great White, what a Dad.

LOVE THIS NEW ADDITION TO OUR CAROUSELFIE WALL!

Runaway Tram!

WATCH THE TRAM CAR PLEASE. I can’t believe it’s the same recording as it was in the 80s. I can’t even be annoyed about it.

This ride was just the absolute cutest! I think it only opened very recently, like in 2019 or 2020. It’s an adorable addition.

Oh god, an SLC (suspended looping coaster), another of my “favorites.”

Another major plus for Morey’s Piers is: THE RIDE ATTENDANTS AND OPERATORS ARE FUCKING AMAZING. Like, Disney-levels of enthusiasm. They smile and wave as every ride starts and you can’t help but feel inspired/obligated to wave back. Well, unless you’re Henry. And they have a program where students from other countries can work there so you get to interact with people from all over the world and it’s just really cool.

It’s been a long time since I went to Indiana Beach, but from what I remember, they have a similar situation  there too. I remember talking to various ride operators with Eastern European-sounding accents and thinking that was so odd and cool since we were in some remote part of Indiana.

But yeah, everyone we encountered from the rides to the pizza parlors seemed genuinely happy to be there.

Even their Wild Mouse is adorably-themed!

OK so as mentioned earlier, I really miss the old dark rides that used to be so synonymous with Morey’s Piers (was it even called that back when I was a kid?!? I can’t remember! I do know that they had more piers back then, that’s for sure). There are three there currently, but two are closed for the season (because of covid/staffing, I assume). Dante’s Dungeon was open though and it was so good! From the creepy ride operator in a pagan-ish robe who whispered, “Are you ready?” before sending our car into the dungeon to the person who jump-scared us from the shadows on  the other side, this was a dark ride that would make any purist happy. And if you remember, dark rides are really where my heart lies, not coasters. So when we find a place that has a good coaster collection and dark rides? Henry, hold my phone. Mama’s going in.

The last coaster we needed was Great White and I was so stoked for this!

I love a good wooden coaster, and this one is an actual delight. Plus, it goes off the boardwalk and onto the beach. What more can you ask for in a wooden coaster? Of course we didn’t wait for Henry so Chooch and I rode without him, leaving him waiting in the station, lol. We were dying because he ended up having a riding companion – some equally-as-old dude who talked to him the whole way up the lift hill and Henry told him about the trip we were on. Henry said, “he’s an enthusiast, too” as he regaled us with the detail of their convo, and Chooch and I were like, “BUT DID WE ASK.”

After this highly anticipated ride that did not disappoint, we walked back to the GOLD CREST NOT THE OLYMPIC BUT THAT’S OK to rest for a bit and then came back for some night action.

God, I love reliving this but it’s also making me mucho sad-o.

Aug 082021
 

I’ve been so excited to finally get to the Wildwood portion of this trip (in real life, and also in blog life too) because it was hands down the most magical time. I am sure anyone reading this is sick of reading about HOW SENTIMENTAL this place is to me but this place is SO SENTIMENTAL TO ME. Some of my earliest memories are from Wildwood because my family (including my grandparents) used to vacation here every summer. I’m not sure why we stopped, but the last time I was here was in 1991, and it makes me sad because my youngest brother Corey would have only been a bit over a year old and has said that he doesn’t really have any memories of this place.

Henry and I had tossed around the idea of vacationing here in the past but then it never panned out for one reason or another, and honestly, as much as I love this place, I was worried that a full week would be overkill. WE.ARE.NOT.BEACH.PEOPLE. I guess I was as a kid, but the thought of spending all day laying on a beach, for multiple days, just sounds horrific to me. I need action and scenery changes. So we decided for my birthday trip that we would spend two nights there and plan everything else around it.

We left our dumb hotel in Baltimore early Wednesday morning (after I pissed around trying to feed a local Mr. Gray Guy* a peanut and didn’t realize that there was a man sitting next to me in his car the whole time spectating me waving a peanut at a tree) and grabbed breakfast at a nearby Sheetz then proceeded to Wildwood!

*(We keep peanuts in the car now for when we run into squirrels away from home, oh my god, we all need help don’t we?)

Ugh but first we had to stop and get Chooch new shoes because he’s an idiot.

But then suddenly we started seeing signs for Wildwood and I was bugging out bad.

Literally started crying when I saw this.

OK I’m not going to get into this because it’s just me being a negative asshole but I got really angry about the place Henry booked and let’s face it, it’s 100% only because it wasn’t one of the places we used to stay when I was a kid and I was FIXATED on that, as I live boldly with one foot constantly in the past. Can’t change, won’t change! So this resulted in me bluffing about how I just wanted to go home and Henry (allegedly *not* bluffing) saying “FINE” and us getting in the car and starting to drive home. We had An Argument about how he is Not My Papppap and cannot afford to give me the Wildwood Trip of My Childhood but that he is Doing the Best That He Can and then after I spat out some torrent of obscenities, the car spoke back to me, “I’m sorry, I cannot find Fuck you Henry you ruin everything you dumb cunt” and then I started laughing so hard that I was crying and Henry turned the car around and we went back to Wildwood and proceeded to have the BEST TIME EVER.

LITERALLY.

THE BEST.

WE ALL GOT ALONG. NO ARGUING. HENRY BOUGHT ME EVERYTHING I WANTED. CHOOCH GOT TO BLOW MONEY IN THE ARCADES.

The Gold Crest 100% wasn’t even bad at all, and Henry if you’re reading this, I’m sorry that I let my emotions control me as usual. It was a struggle for me at first being back there because my Pappap was the greatest person in my whole entire life and I am so totally not over his death and still cry about him often (like right now as I type this) and I low key will admit that this is part of the reason I haven’t been back to Wildwood in over 30 years. I was so worried it wouldn’t hold up, that it was only as Babylonian as it was because my Pappap was there with me, that I had it built up too much in my head and would be disappointed returning there as an adult.

The Gold Crest ended up being perfect for us. It was actually across the street from my beloved Olympic, which, to be honest, might have actually been a let down had we stayed there because shortly after our last time there, they rebranded from the Olympic Motor Inn to the Olympic Island Beach Resort or something and that might have fucked with my brain. I think it’s better that we stayed somewhere different and now we can have a “new” traditional place to stay if we ever go back (LOL we are going back ASAP, bitch try and stop me).

I mean, part of the novelty of Wildwood is staying in a room with Golden Girls vibes and this place provided.

Chooch was happy because he got his own room and TV.

Dude. That 80s hotel art. Perfection.

After we got settled in (we were able to check-in early, thank god), we set off for THE BOARDWALK which was a walkable distance from the Gold Crest and the amount of times we’d walk and forth between the boardwalk and our hotel was staggering and is what helped push me past 40,000 steps on our second day in Wildwood!

Here are some pictures of Chooch grudgingly posing in front of the Boardwalk sign with me. He, at this point, still had no idea the fantastical things, sounds, and smells that were about to greet him once we walked up those steps!

In an effort to keep this post from being a novel, I’m just going to post pictures of the boardwalk and do a separate post about the rides at Morey’s Pier. OK, also it’s because I want to drag this out for as long as possible because this is the most happy and excited I’ve been since Korea. So sue me.

That moment when the RIDES BECAME VISIBLE.

Oh shit, you guys, my family was obsessed with “Hot Spot B” when we used to visit, and I have vague memories of sitting on a stool and eating a hotdog while being super anxious to get back to the rides. Hot Spot B isn’t there anymore but the original Hot Spot is, as well as two others. I was so excited to eat here!!

Chooch wasn’t impressed, he never is.

I mean you can’t really go wrong with boardwalk pizza!

I was just sad because they didn’t have any SHIRTS for sale.

Then Chooch got sucked into an arcade like a…Chooch to a Claw Machine.

This carpet gave me slight Gillcrest Gameroom vibes. </3

Chooch reminded me of Corey Haim’s character Sam from The Lost Boys, except that instead of a comic book store on the boardwalk, it was multiple arcades. He’d just text us when he needed more money. LOOK AT HIM IN THERE. Where did my little BABY GO.

Kohr Bros! I 100% do not remember this from my childhood but it must have been there because it says SINCE 1919??

I couldn’t spend a week on the beach, but I could probably spend a week cruising this boardwalk. Everything about it made me so happy.

A rare sighting of Chooch outside of his arcade habitat.

We left the boardwalk around 7:00pm, went back to the room and rested for a bit, and then came back around 9:00pm for some night ride action, which we will get to in the next post!

Literally, every time we walked past the Olympic, I made sure to make some asshole-y comment about how we COULD HAVE been staying there but Henry just blocked me out. There was a hotel nearby that was gutted and I said to Chooch, “I’m surprised he didn’t just have us squatting there for two nights” and then the next day, Henry tried to make a similar joke when we walked past it but Chooch and I both cut him off and said, “YEAH WE ALREADY SAID THAT TRY TO KEEP UP.” It’s amazing that Henry didn’t attempt to dump our bodies in the Atlantic.

I did really like the red door / turquoise curtains aesthetic that the Gold Crest had going for it though.

Morey’s Pier and boardwalk-after-dark recap coming next. Ciao for now!

Jul 292021
 

Hello from a Thursday in Wildwood! We’re having a dandy time and are currently resting in the room before Nighttime Boardwalk Action so I would like to take this time to update you, Dear Diary, about my newest random obsession: MISTER SOFTEE.

I understand that it’s a chain but we do not have these in Pittsburgh, so when I first heard the menacing ice cream truck-esque jingle wafting across the boardwalk, I was instantly lassoed.

“Why is this so great?” Chooch asked in a tone steeped in his signature teenage malaise.

“Because the logo is so terrifying! It’s like straight out of a horror movie! IT LOOKS LIKE HE’S BLEEDING DOWN HIS NECK,” I excitedly wheezed.

“Ask the girl if they have shirts for sale,” I begged Henry, but he wouldn’t because he said he didn’t think they did and obviously he knows everything.

“Ok then ask her if we can buy her shirt,” I said. “Excuse me can we buy your shirt?” I coached him to say, but he would NOT DO IT.

Don’t worry though. Henry checked the Mister Softee website and I can buy a shirt from there THANK GOD.

I had a Fruity Pebbles…Storm? I think that’s what their Blizzard-esque things were called. Was it mind-blowing? I mean not really but I love anything Fruity Pebbles so it was delicious. But it was the Mister Softee logo, not flavor, that captured my soul and made me a disciple.

My favorite part though is when Henry attempted to Shazam the ice cream truck-y tune and discovered that it was sampled in this SUPER KID-FRIENDLY song lol:

 

Jun 092021
 

Oh SHOOT are you guys in for a treat (“You’re not,” says Henry). I found Vacations with Erin Vol. 3 in the attic (thankfully before the Man in the Attic came back for seconds, j/k I think one of my dogs chewed on this when I still lived at home) the other day when I was looking for old books to drop off at one of the Little Free Libraries down the street from me and so tonight I flipped open to a random page and started to read aloud to Henry, which is truly his favorite thing ever, listening to me fast-talk through super dramatic episodic capsules of my youth.

I landed on a page from when I was in Cordoba with my aunt Sharon in 1992 and she kept ditching me (I was 12!!!) for other people she liked better in our tour group. OK, here it goes:

***

[Sharon’s] back and she wants me to go on a stupid gay [EDITOR’S NOTE: sorry!! I was 12 and this was the 90s, I don’t use that word in that way anymore!!!!] carriage ride w/ her, Janet, Alisha, & Athena. NOT!! I wanted to go for a walk not a group gathering on a carriage. SHE can go, since she ♥s deciding things for the both of us. Well, I’m sick of her little ideas. She can go mingle by herself w/o me. ALone. She won’t even notice that I’m not there. I’d feel left out like I normally do when we’re w/ THEM. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I vaguely remember Alisha and Athena being in their early 20s and getting ALL OF THE ATTENTION everywhere we went and me, as a spoiled Leo, could not fucking handle the injustice of it all] Sharon would probably treat me like a child like she usually does when THEY’RE around. I wish she’d just leave. Good, there she goes. Everytime we’re gonna go somewhere by ourselves, we usually end ↑ in a group. I absolutely hate that. I wish Pappap & Grandma were here. Then I wouldn’t be so bored. I wish I could call them, but it would cost them too much. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Um, my Pappap was literally a millionaire, lol.] And I don’t wanna complain to them anyways. Hey, she’s back. Oh, she just went to the bathroom. You’d think she’d take the hint since I’m not talking to her. Why doesn’t she LEAVE? I could have stayed home & she wouldn’t have cared. She just uses me as a companion until like, the first day. Cuz then she makes frenz & totally drops me & acts like I’m just a mere child & she’s like my guardian or something [EDITOR’S NOTE: I mean, this was basically the nature of our relationship, so….] A babysitter – that’s it. Oh, now she’s trying to suck ↑.

Ugh. I was laying ↓ & she came over & said, “Are you mad at me? Tell the truth. Do you feel like I’m neglecting you?” She wanted the truth so I said, “Since day one” & she goes, “THEN TO HELL W/ THIS VACATION. I THINK THIS IS THE END OF YOU & I GOING ON VACATIONS TOGETHER.” She has quite a lot of nerve! She’s gone now but before she left she kept trying to suck ↑ by asking me if I wanted a churro. Ha! Yeah rite. Give it ↑. She’s trying to get me even fatter but I don’t know why. Aren’t I fat enuf?

Well, it’s only 10:00 but I might as well go to sleep now – what else is there to do in this dungeon cell?

—THE NEXT DAY—

Today we leave for Madrid. A six hour drive. Let’s see how long I last. Last nite I finally fell asleep after many distractions. First, the TV kept going ↑ in volume, & then Sharon’s makeup bag fell off the bathroom counter & it was SO loud. “Elvira” was on & it brought back memories of how Daddy used to make us watch her Halloween special every year. I don’t know what time Sharon came back. She was probably having so much—-

***

And then it continues on into VACATIONS WITH ERIN: VOL 4, which I do not have access to right now because it’s tucked away in a trunk and it hurts my back to open it so CLIFFHANGER. But yeah, that was a little peek into how fantastic it was to travel with me back then! (Somewhere, Henry is reading this, eyebrows a’quiver, thinking, “BACK THEN??”)

Wow, that was fun. I like transcribing. Maybe I will do this more often and then you guys can feel just as tortured and violated as Henry does when I cry out VACATION JOURNAL STORY TIME! and he gets this really scared rabbit look in his eyes. His favorite part of tonight’s story time was when I got to the part where I found out Janet, a lady on our tour, says the word “decrepit” too and then I interrupted my reading to scream, “I USED TO SAY THAT WORD ALL THE TIME DO YOU KNOW WHY BECAUSE SCOTT D*MBAUGH SAID THAT WORD ONCE IN 7TH GRADE AND I WAS OBSESSED WITH HIM AND SO I STARTED SAYING IT TOO AND IT BECAME MY FAVORITE WORD” and then I went back to the reading the next line which was LITERALLY, “I thought me and Scott were the only ones who knew what that word meant! SIKE!”

LOL I WAS SO OBSESSED WITH HIM (I mean, he was the first person I stalked, so) THAT I EVEN NAME-DROPPED HIM IN MY VACATION JOURNAL WHEN I WAS THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY IN SPAIN. That is true, dedicated obsession. Also, I stuck an asterisk in his last name up there because I wrote about him once on here and one of his CO-WORKERS FOUND IT and told him!? AND THE BLOG POST INCLUDED A FUCKING PICTURE OF AN ASSIGNMENT THAT I KEPT WHEN HE WAS MY SCIENCE PARTNER IN 8TH GRADE BECAUSE I WANTED TO ALWAYS REMEMBER HIS HANDWRITING AND NOW HE KNOWS. That was cool. So cool. Really cool. I’m cool. Totally fucking cool. It’s cool.

Going to google him now TTYL.

May 132021
 

I remembered I bought these pjs the last time I was in KOREA DID U KNOW I WAS IN KOREA I WAS IN KOREA.

KOREA KOREA KOREA.

Look don’t think I don’t already know I’m fucking obnoxious.

But anyway. The pjs. I bought them in HONGDAE and then promptly forgot about them but then I saw a picture in my KOREA PHOTO ALBUM on Flickr which I definitely only look at once a day and thought wow those pjs would look nice in my kitchen.

Unfortunately, no one else was home today to wear them in my stead. Sorry.

May 122021
 

I was planning on recapping the remaining books I read in April but then Wonho went and dropped the official MV for my favorite song on his new album and I was like STOP THE PRESSES and now I’m writing here today to not tell you to read books but to WATCH THIS VIDEO AND SUPPORT OUR (ex)MONSTA X BIAS Wonho because he has worked so hard and been through so much these last few years and this SONG IS FIRE. I usually am averse to Kpop collabs with Western artists but who this Kiiara broad is (my friend Veronica and I both had to google her lol), she really complements Wonho on this track and I approve. Thank god he didn’t go the Halsey-route, ugh.

Speaking of Henry, he was making greeting cards last night while mumbling Dad comments about Top 40: Machine Gun Kelly has a song that doesn’t sound *too* bad until Halsey comes on & she ruins it & then he has another song that sounds exactly like that one but it’s with someone else.” I want Henry to start a music zine.

This all started because I was on Instagram and saw that Avril Lavigne commented on Britney Spears recent post (of course I follow Brit!!!!) and I was like “But is that really Avril, I thought she was dead*” so then I fell down the rabbit hole of Avril’s Instagram and saw that she has a song with Mod Sun which made me die because he was such a Warped Tour hanger-on back in the day and I think he was part of Jonny Craig’s “entourage” even until they had a falling out. Now it appears he might be dating Avril? I couldn’t tell and got bored with it pretty quickly but not before also seeing that she also recorded a song with MGK which is what prompted Henry’s MUSIC CRITIC outburst.

Also, Avril looks the same so are we sure she wasn’t in a cryo-vat all these years? “Ew she still has that nose,” I scoffed and Henry just looked at me like, “why wouldn’t she.”

Anyway, Henry likes this Wonho song and I think that he is OK with Kiiara.

P.S. OK curiosity got the best of me and I googled: YES MOD SUN AND AVRIL ARE DATING LOL WHAT. Also, here’s a picture of him back when he was Jonny Craig bootlicker:

Jonny Craig & MOD SUN | Cody Smeltzer | Flickr

 

Apr 062021
 

You guys. My patience and obsessive nature finally paid off yesterday. One of the Buddys let me hand-feed him! Normally, the brown squirrels (never the gray ones; they’re super skittish) will accept snacks from my hand through the window but I wanted the challenge of feeding them from outside of my house.

Two weekends ago, I was getting RULL close to success but the Buddy I had targeted kept doing the handshake-fake out on me every single time, like to the point where I expected him to run his hand paw through his hair fur.

Yesterday on my lunch break, I was sitting on the porch, trying to coax my favorite of all the Buddys to TAKE THE FUCKING PECAN when Haley came outside to water her plants. She started laughing at me because this is like A Thing now, not a secret, and I wailed, “I AM DETERMINED!”

“I mean, he’s sitting right there on the porch with you so he’s clearly not afraid of you, you’ll get it!” Haley said, in the encouraging words of a True Mom. And you know what? I took her words and ran with them and I DID INDEED GET IT!

It turns out he didn’t want a pecan – he wanted a WALNUT! Good thing I have a veritable squirrel buffet inside my house to choose from. We currently have: peanuts, walnuts, pecans, filberts, and various types of seeds. Don’t worry – I always check first to make sure what I’m feeding them is safe! For instance, not all peanuts are good for them!

Squirrel watching has really kept me going through the pandemic. Being home so much, especially WORKING FROM HOME, has been pretty depressing but these little guys are so entertaining and I don’t care what anyone says–they’re my best Buddys. Sometimes when I feed them through the window, their tails brush my hand and IT IS THE BEST FEELING I LOVE THEM SOOOOO MUCH OMG HELP ME I NEED A LIFE.

This picture cracks me up – squirrel soirée! Also, don’t mind the messy porch/yard. Henry started redoing the flower-area and true to form, he moved on to other things before finishing. (He will read this and start yelling about how IT IS TOO SOON TO PLANT FLOWERS AND HE WAS JUST GETTING IT READY blah blah OK Farmer Henry’s Almanac.)

 

Feb 222021
 

Sometimes I make a conscious effort to not coat this Internet space with fan girl vom, but I have no control over that today because it’s SHINee’s comeback, their first one since Onew, Key, and Minho have been discharged from the military!

The 7th album is every synonym of a chefs kiss. My favorite song is either Body Rhythm or Kiss Kiss, but the first single Don’t Call Me is also PERFECTION – they all look and sound so good. Ugh that ubiquitous SHINee sound!

Most of you know that they’re my second favorite Korean group but honestly, if BIGBANG’s hiatus lasts any longer, they might end up eclipsing them at some point here.

JUST PUTTING THAT OUT THERE.

Actual clothes worn by SHINee! This is from the SM Town museum in Seoul.

I have felt like I’ve been on the receiving end of the warmest, most familiar hug while listening to this new album and I hope it’s always like that for me.

THIS SONG TOO THO ugh I can’t pick a favorite but this song has THAT SHINEE SOUND that makes me feel this intensely strong pull to South Korea. It’s seriously like the biggest crush I’ve ever had.

I get some low-key 1980s-era Genesis vibes from the instrumentals on this track which obvi makes me love it more.

Today when Henry came home from work, I screamed DID U WATCH THE SHINEE VIDEO and he was like “of course I did, duh” and I think it really says so much that he also is into Kpop comebacks, when he never gave a single shit or reacted at all to any of the new releases from the Warped Tour-esque bands I used to love.

Laugh all you want but Kpop changed my life for the better and – I don’t want to say “saved” because we weren’t like on the skids or anything, but it gave Henry and me something to BOTH LIKE AT THE SAME TIME. Omg a shared interest?!

I’m just so stoked on this new SHINee right now and I would really love to have a Kpop party to brainwash all of my friends with it. Ugh fuck you Covid. Winter sucks in general but a winter after a year of semi-isolation sucks the most. I’m going to have so many imaginary friends by the time we’re in the clear, maybe even enough to start my own girl group.

In other news, I was super hyper because of SHINee and pretending to puke down Henry’s shirt but when I grabbed his collar to tug it, my cold hands touched his skin and he reflexively turned and we banged heads and now I think I have a concussion for a super dumb reason. This is almost as bad as when I wanted to see how hard I would have to squeeze a Milk-Bone to break it and when it snapped, it sliced me in that weird turkey-chin part of the hand between the thumb and pointer finger and my mom was like YOU BETTER PRAY YOU DONT NEED STITCHES BC I AM NOT TAKING YOU TO THE HOSPITAL FOR THAT.

Feb 102021
 

I’ve been getting back into my Kpop cardio groove in an effort to reclaim some pre-pandemic normalcy and orientation, and I have to wonder why I ever fell out of this practice to begin with because it cheers me up SO MUCH. So I started doing 4 to 5 routines before work and several during my lunch break and I have to say that my mood has definitely improved.

Several times, I have caught Buddy at the window watching me! (HE LETS ME HAND-FEED HIM WALNUTS NOW!!!)

Over the weekend, I went back to one of the OG Kpop workout channels – SarahKpop – who sadly doesn’t post new workouts anymore but at least she kept her channel up so we can still enjoy the old ones. Anyway, doing these older routines felt like a bucket of warm, molten nostalgia was being poured over me and wrapping me up in the safe and comforting arms of a velvet-robed grandma fresh from putting the snickerdoodles in the oven.

There have been so many bangin’ Kpop songs that have come out lately and my favorite Kpop cardio instructor has been churning out the most fun routines for them and I have been LIVING FOR IT.

Two of my favorites right now are Twice’s Cry For Me and Hyuna’s I’m Not Cool:

I fully immersed myself in this at the end of 2016 when I couldn’t take the reality of this country anymore and now I need this more than ever. I cannot pull myself away from the impeachment trial. I know it’s really hampering my mental health and I know these sleazy, piece of shit, spineless ReTrumplicans are going to shit all over democracy and do the selfish thing as usual. So I will dive back into my Kpop lalaland where the language is beautiful, I can distract myself with daydreams of G-Dragon and patbingsu, and best of all there’s no Trump.

(I know this is SO SHOCKING but I dream every day of going back to Korea & the amount of times I scroll through my vacation pictures with fervor might be considered “pathetic” to some people but I call it PASSIONATE lol.)

Anyway, as I sit here and type this, I realized that for once, I’m not dreading waking up tomorrow morning because I know I’m gonna have my toast WITH COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF BUTTER & JELLY and then flail around like Elaine Bennett to some poppin’ Kpop workouts. Yay – endorphins!

(I wonder if I can get Henry to do some kpopping this weekend LIKE OLD TIMES? God knows he has Valentine factory stress to burn off lol.)

Feb 052021
 

I think by now most people who know even a little bit about me probably have heard me mention Wildwood at least once. Considering I haven’t actually been there since 1991/1992, it’s kind of astounding how much of an impact this damn boardwalk tourist town has had on me! One of these years, I’m going to return and it’s probably going to be a big letdown because nothing is ever as good as it was in our childhood memories.

I found a bunch of vintage snaps of the boardwalk when I was moving all of the photos I saved from my grandparents house into photo boxes and first I was like WILDWOOD IN THE 70S FUCK YEAH! But then I was like, “Wait, my family went to Wildwood before I was born??” so I texted my mom and she was like, “Oh yeah we used to go all the time.”

WHAT THE WHAT HUH HMM? Literally never knew that! I thought it was something special that my mom and grandparents eagerly concocted after I was born, like they did a pre-Google search for “super fun places to take our new granddaughter” and Wildwood popped up as a brochure on a travel agent’s formica desk. But nah, they had just “always” been vacationing there and now newly-born Erin was just a TAG-ALONG.

But whatever. Wildwood was the best part of my summers in the 80s, even if my family had an ENTIRE PAST HISTORY of vacationing there without me.

“We used to take great-grandma,” my mom told me LIKE IT WAS NO BIG DEAL that my great-grandma whom I barely knew (she was from Yugoslavia!!) walked this very boardwalk!

I don’t know whose pictures these were, or what exact they were taken, but they make me so happy, ugh.

I just noticed that the little girl in the yellow is my aunt Susie!! That means these are maybe even from the 60s!?

Side note: the Zipper was my favorite carnival ride back when I used to still go to the country fairs before I almost died at that one.

WATCH THE TRAM CAR PLZ.

Fuck. This just makes me want to go and listen Bruce Willis’s version of “Under the Boardwalk,” which I used to listen to all the time on a cassette player on my grandparent’s sun porch while playing with my grandma’s Bingo chips and stampers with my childhood friend Amy and yes, she was real, not imaginary and I just had a STRONG FLASHBACK of reenacting a scene from Another World that involved some character named Chad that I guess I must have been obsessed with??

Well, that’s all I have for you on this very blah February Friday. I have to work late shift today and Henry’s grandkids are being exceptionally loud and cry-y on the other side of the wall and then my own kid is also super annoying and energetic today as well and I am ready to snap the fuck out ok byeeeee.

Feb 012021
 

The other night, I was watching the episode of Schitt’s Creek where Stevie has a Sarah McLachlan poster in her apartment and I was reminded of the fact that I have not listened to Sarah McLachlan (accidentally catching a few notes of one of those depressing animal commercials soundtracked by Eyes of an Angel doesn’t count – that song will never be the same again) on purpose since I was probably 19 or 20. I was home alone for a bit on Sunday and decided to remedy that while having COZY BOOK TIME. So I put on Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and immediately felt like some other, long-repressed Erin had resurfaced and suddenly I wanted to put on a flow-y skirt with sandals and tuck a daisy behind my ear.

(Fun fact: I used to wear long skirts all the time, even when just hanging out at home, but then some of the guys I worked with at the meat place made low key rapey comments and would ya look at that, I’ve only worn pants for the last 20 years. Huh.)

My Sarah McLachlan obsession started accidentally when I was in high school, scamming Columbia House and BMG – you remember those ads where you could choose 10 CDs for a penny or whatever? I think eventually they upped it to “for the price of one CD” but I took advantage of this SO MANY TIMES. And if they didn’t have anything I wanted, I would just choose random stuff that looked cool. That’s how I ended up with Fumbling Toward Ecstasy and whatever album she had that came out before that one.

What stands out the most to me is that F.T.E. was that rare album in the 90s where it was 100% listenable the whole way through. Oh man, I can’t tell you how many times I bought a CD back in the day only to realize that the only good song was the radio single. I guess that’s why cassingles were so popular back then! But F.T.E. was like a deep tissue massage for my brain. My bedroom senior year of high school in 1996 was super cozy and vibe-y – I had all kinds of strands of lights, lava lamps, neon, a deep purple carpet and foiled wallpaper. Those TicToc kids don’t have SHIT on my 1990s boudoir! And goddamn, that album got a lot of play time back then. I was super depressed most of the time so this shouldn’t be too shocking.

Anyway, all of that is fine and dandy, but the one thing that pushed its way to the forefront of my mind yesterday while floating down this aural memory lane was that Psycho Mike made fun of me SO HARD for liking Sarah McLachlan. It was “so gay.” I have this strong image of us standing in the basement of my parent’s house, next to a spare dining room table, while he mocked me about it and I know what you’re thinking, “Wow, Erin this is the second time in less than a month that music has made you write about Psycho Mike sounds like SOMEONE is still hung up” and you know what, you’re right! I am not over that toxic relationship. I still have nightmares, for Christ’s sake! He did a real number on me and I probably still require several years of therapy!

But then, and this is the part of my memory that’s hazy, it was either the cheerleader he met at the juvenile psychiatric facility he was sent to in 1997 and temporarily dumped me for, or the girl he starting dated two years later after we had officially broken for good, but one of them also really like Sarah McLachlan so then he suddenly did too. Fuck you, Psycho Mike.

[I also went through a brief Jewel phase back then which I forgot about (purposely blacked out?) until last week when Chooch and I walked to 802 Cafe and “Foolish Games” was playing. Wow, I had a physical response to that one, that’s for sure.]

Later on, I heard the tail end of Duran Duran’s “Come Undone” wafting down the steps from the radio in my bedroom so I was like OH SHIT MY JAM and hurriedly put the video on YouTube while assisting Henry in Valentine Land. As soon as that ended though, I had Sade’s “No Ordinary Love” queued up to play.

“What’s making you listen to Sade?” Henry asked, probably confused by the sudden deluge of music with English lyrics.

“Well, because I just listened to ‘Come Undone’ by Duran Duran and that will always be connected with ‘No Ordinary Love’ in my head because they were both popular around the same time and it reminds me of when my bedroom was arranged in a certain way that I loved.”

Henry gave me that “…ok” smirk so I continued to explain. “Actually I hated it at first because my mom waited until I was on vacation with my grandparents to rearrange it and then I came home from Europe, jet-lagged, to a strange room!” I cried incredulously.

“Yeah, that doesn’t make me feel sorry for you,” Henry sighed.

I need to learn to read the room.

And then I went back to my Sarah McLachlan loop which made Henry ponder about Lilith Fair.

“Didn’t you go to Lilith Fair?” he asked.

“Nope.”

“Are you sure?” he pressed, looking so fucking sure of himself.

“Pretty sure I would remember attending Lilith Fair,” I said in that teenaged tone spiced with the perfect amount of derision and condescension that I reserve just for him.

“Hmm,” Henry sighed, staring into space. “….did go to Lilith Fair…?”

And then we spent the next 35 minutes trying to remember Ani DiFranco’s name and had a huge fight because I put on “Uninvited” by Alanis Morrisette and HE DIDN’T KNOW WHO IT WAS.

“HOW DO YOU NOT RECOGNIZE HER VOICE,” I screamed, like this was a personal affront, equivalent to not knowing my middle name or Kpop bias.

“WELL IF I DIDN’T KNOW THIS SONG BEFORE, I SURE KNOW IT NOW!” he yelled after the 4th different live version of it played on YouTube.

I really wish I had more pictures of my old bedroom, is my main takeaway of the weekend’s music memories. Oh, and that I need therapy to work through the Psycho Mike stuff. (“I don’t think I’m over the stuff Psycho Mike did to me” I said to Henry and his response was a very dry, “wow, no shit.” LOLZ.)

Jan 262021
 

Are you sick of seeing the dumb shit we’ve been doing around the house? Sorry, but there is NOTHING ELSE GOING ON IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. Work. Read. Exercise. Think of shit to change around the house.

That’s it. That’s my life.

Anyway, I wanted to show the new addition to the Cure sitting area that literally no one will be using anytime soon!

We had this ugly side table from Goodwill – I can’t remember why we bought it but I guess at some point I really had to have it. We originally had it painted black with a red glitter top which was never actually finished so the top got all shitty and it was impossible to clean.

Henry sanded it down and we painted it red with a pink top and I knew from the get go that I wanted the top to have lips on it to match the Robert Smith lips theme. Originally I was going to try and find some type of scrapbook paper, and then I moved on to looking for lip confetti. But then!

I found!

The most glorious!

Sequined!

Lip!

Patches!

OH BABY. These patches turned out to be exactly what I didn’t know I needed. I ordered several sets, Henry fucked everything up several times, but then eventually we got to the epoxy-pouring part. This is Henry’s least favorite DIY thing. He’s worked with epoxy before, back when we used to make pendants for my defunct art shop on Etsy. He pretty much hates epoxy. And it wasn’t his friend this time, either but he persevered (in between long nights of making serial killer Valentines – what even is our life, I have no idea).

It’s not perfect, but it’s level and works as a functioning table top, and that’s all that really matters!

The space that the table is living in is so dimly lit that you can’t even see the imperfections, anyway, but I did want to be up front about the fact that this project was not 100% perfect. Epoxy is no fucking joke. Henry suggested doing one pour to try and even out the swirls from where the plastic covering dropped on it and I screamed, “NO!” because with our luck, it will just make it worse! You literally can’t even see (or feel) the swirls unless you move the table into a brightly lit room. We always have the hall light set on pink in this area so it’s fine.

It’s the perfect table to display my copy of Charlotte Sometimes, gifted to me several years for my birthday by Sandy! (If you know the Cure, you know that they wrote their song “Charlotte Sometimes” about this book. If Chooch would have been a girl, his name was going to be Charlotte, and I was of course fighting for his middle name to be Sometimes, and I’m sure I eventually would have won that battle and 14-year-old Charlotte would probably really fucking hate me right now.)

And of course I needed a lip planter to really nature up the spot.

On the adjacent wall, there will eventually be a small shelf and at least two more The Cure pictures. I have this one screenprint from the Cure concert my brother Corey and I attended in Philly back in 2008, which still needs framed, but I think that would look really nice there too?!

I need a different rug for this space, though. I currently have my a red shag heart in my cart, but I JUST DON’T KNOW.