Feb 222018

You guys, Taemin was featured on the Today Show, albeit super briefly, but I’m so happy that an American broadcast focused on someone else in addition to BTS* and Psy while doing a story on Kpop.

*(Look, I really love BTS too but there are other Korean artists out there who are just as good if not better and work just as hard if not harder.)

It was good to see that they touched upon the passing of Jonghyun as well, and the effect that has had on Taemin. Major hat tip to the Today Show for that.

I texted Henry a series of CAPSLOCK screams and his only response to me was, “Calm down.”



Also, in other news, today marks one month until we leave for Korea! It’s finally starting to feel more real, especially when I looked over the other night and saw Henry looking up KTX info for Busan. Sometimes I think about it and my heart starts flopping around so hard that I feel like I could just expire right here and now.

Feb 132018

My prelude to Valentine’s Day is not a great one. I just woke up Henry and before I even had a chance to say what I wanted to say, I burst into tears. Impending panic was chasing away his drowsiness by now, and he quickly asked me what was wrong.

“G-Dragon’s military enlistment has been confirmed! It’s FEBRUARY 27TH! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITHOUT G-DRAGON FOR 2 YEARS? MY HEART HURTS SO BAD!”

“Oh for God’s sake, you’ll survive,” Henry said, rolling over and falling back to sleep.

Big Bang GIF

BIGBANG’s G-Dragon Confirms Military Enlistment Date

Seems dumb, but I’m sad. G-Dragon is everything.

Update: I revised the Korea countdown calendar and my work friends are like “oh no.”

Feb 032018

I kept putting off buying a BIGBANG light stick because I’m a tightwad but then Henry got me a gift certificate for an online Kpop store so bam that bitch went all up in my cart.

Even though it will be years (IF EVER!!) that my light stick will get to experience a BIGBANG concert what with the impending military enlistments.


Anyway, my light stick arrived the other day and I was sad because it takes two AAA batteries and we only had spare AAs on hand. This was a huge issue, nevermind the fact that we have a freakin’ CVS three blocks away and I could have just walked my ass there, but then Chooch was all, “DADDY’S SMALL FLASHLIGHT MIGHT HAVE TRIPLE As” and before Henry had a chance to snatch his coveted flashlight from us, I had thieved the batteries.

“Come on!” Henry cried as I fled with them in my clenched fist. He is SO POSSESSIVE OF HIS FLASHLIGHTS. Actually, this is the only flashlight he has right now for some reason.

(One time I let a neighbor borrow one of his flashlights without asking him first and it was A Very Big Deal.)

“Let me do it!” Chooch begged, because inserting batteries into a thing is like really amazing you guys. Instead of being mature and lettin my 11-year-old son have a moment to shine, I said, and I do mean shrieked, “NO IT’S MY LIGHT STICK DON’T YOU FUCKING TOUCH IT YOU’RE GOING TO BREAK IT!” and then I promptly jammed the first battery in the wrong way and got it stuck, resulting in Henry having to devote a half hour of his life to surgically extract it.

Oh you guys it was such a scary time, not knowing if my light stick was going to make it out alive.

But Henry was a hero as usual and managed to salvage my precious BIGBANG light stick. And then I had an impromptu concert of my own. I bribed the cats to attend.

The next day, I took it to work and even Glenn was like, “That is pretty cool I guess” but then he asked how much it cost and was like ARE YOU KIDDING THAT’S OUTRAGEOUS.

Of course, several days later, Henry had a need for his flashlight and as soon as he tried to flick it on, he remembered that the batteries now reside inside my light stick and he muttered, “God dammit.”

Hopefully one day my light stick can be in a crowd of other BIGBANG light sticks.

Jan 072018

Remember the other day when I posted a sob story? I know, all my stories are of the sob genre, but specifically the post about how fucking cold it’s been here in Pittsburgh. Well, Saturday was still fucking cold.

I started the day with several walking workouts on YouTube since it’s just been too much to walk around the neighborhood in this weather (my Mexican taco cart boyfriend has probably forgotten me by now, ugh). And then I watched Goblin – it has taken me nearly a year to get through this drama because IT IS SO FUCKING SAD. It makes me ugly-cry so hard, it’s repulsive. Even more than This Is Us. But it is so, so, so good.

Henry rules.

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And then Henry made me this bubbling ramyun for lunch because HAVE I MENTIONED IT’S GODDAMN COLD OUT? Every year I swear that I won’t be that person who complains about the weather or points out the obvious but man, I will just never be OK with winter. Sorry all you winter stans.

After lunch, Henry had to go to the eye doctor and originally I was just going to stay home. But then I remembered that the eye place is very close to Century III Mall, and since Chooch and I haven’t been able to get in our nightly walks, I thought it would be fun to pose as elderly mall walkers. Because, if you’re from this area you already know — there ain’t much else to do at the near-defunct Century III Mall.

Henry dropped us off and I was shocked to see that since I was last there (less than a year ago), nearly every store had closed. I’m not being hyperbolic here, either. We walked through almost an entire wing before we finally came across something that was open — freaking Things Remembered, ugh that store is so lame.

One of my friends posted a few months ago that Italian Village Pizza, the last remaining joint in the food court, had closed. Chooch and I walked over to that side of the mall and it was actually really cold, obvious that it wasn’t even being heated anymore. And my favorite wing of the mall is now entirely off-limits: the steps and escalators are all blocked off.

I know I’m a super sentimental person, but I was shocked at how much this hurt. There was a pet store down there that my friend Rachael worked at and I would visit her there in high school. And then off to the right down there was Champ’s, where I would buy all of my Champion and Starter hoodies and coats (I was a yo-girl and dressed almost exclusively in JNCO & Karl Kani jeans and college sports sweatshirts, lol — I really liked Michigan for some reason?!). When I was in 9th grade, I befriended the cutest salesguy in that joint — Will. Ugh, he was so dreamy, and like probably in college. I remember my friends Jameelah & Erika also really liked him and would get so mad because he paid the most attention to me, and after I started dating my “first love” Justin, Will would always tell me that he wasn’t good enough for me. We used to talk on the phone sometimes too (my mom WAS NOT A FAN OF THIS) but I realized later that he probably just liked me as a little sister and truly did look out for me, which was pretty awesome now that I’m old enough to see it for what it was.

I tried to regale Chooch with some of my memories, like how the dark, cobblestoned portion of the bottom floor had a shop called the Pittsburgh Store and it’s where I would get all of my stickers. “I collected stickers and had like 87 sticker books,” I told Chooch.

“Of course you did,” he sighed.

And how there was a Dairy Queen back there too, where Keri and I would always stop for refreshments on one of our ritual Friday night mall lurks. (I would always get the tropical flavored one.) And how one time we were accused of shoplifting at the Claire’s in the now-closed wing of the mall, and of course we proved that we didn’t do it but I couldn’t get the bitch manager to apologize so Keri’s mom called the mall and flipped her shit on them.

There was actually only one time in my whole life that I shoplifted, and it was when I was like 4 or 5 years ago. My mom and I were in some kitchen store on the second floor of that mall and I walked out with two magnets made out of peanut shells, and then felt so terrible when I realized what I did that I cried all night and never did that again.

But honestly, I practically lived at that mall from 7th to 10th grade. In 8th grade, I’d get dropped off every Friday night with the hopes of seeing SCOTT DAMBAUGH, who I was desperately crushing on. Even Henry knows the Dambaugh lore.

To be honest, that mall started going downhill back in the 90s when it was first sold and renovated. It was “modernized,” which basically just means they took out all of the cool parts, like the stage area that was outside of Kaufmann’s (Richard Simmons performed there once!). And the smaller third floor area was pretty much just left to die, and that has always pained me because that’s where my favorite music shop was (Waves — I bought what feels like a million dollars-worth of cassingles from that place), where my friend Liz and I “accidentally” lost the French foreign exchange student who was staying with my family during the summer of ’92, and where the best arcade was (the mall had two back then). It was also where one of my first memories originates, it’s super unclear, but I remember my Pappap and me walking around the mall a lot when I was really young, like pre-school age. And there was a…OK bear with me because I just tried to tell Henry this story and he looked at me with question marks undulating around his furry brows. How to even start this. There was a department store on that side of the mall – I thought it was Gimbles but Henry was all THAT WAS ON THE SIDE WHERE THE MEXICAN RESTAURANT IS NOW. Maybe it was Hornes then? It doesn’t matter. All that matters was that on the wall outside of it, next to the entrance, there were buttons. I never knew what they were for, but it was like a ritual for me to push them every time. And the one was brown so I would pretend that every time I pushed it, coffee was being made.

I started to remember this when I was an older kid, and when I brought it up to my Pappap he was like, “Bitch you cray” and when I started hanging out at the mall later in life with friends, I actively tried to find those buttons and no one ever knew what the hell I was talking about.

Also, the third floor used to have this super cute It’a A Small World-esque Christmas display AND NO ONE REMEMBERS THAT EITHER. Please, dear god, if you’re from Pittsburgh and have any clue what I’m going on about, PLEASE COMMENT AND VALIDATE ME.

Oh man, I just now had a recollection of buying Billy Ocean’s greatest hits for myself at Waves, and as the cashier rang me up, I turned to my friend Christy and shouted, “SUSIE IS REALLY GOING TO LIKE THIS CD” because I didn’t want the guy to know it was for me, and it’s hilarious to me that I even once cared about what someone would think about my musical persuasions!

Or going to National Record Mart when I was in third grade because I wanted to buy the T’Pau record but all I knew was that I liked the song “Heart & Soul.” When the clerk asked me who the artist was, all I could say was, “I don’t know. She looks like Tracey Ullman.” OMG AND GOING TO KAUFMANN’S TO BUY CONCERT TICKETS!


Other memories I have of the mall are, pre-vegetarianism, skulking around Hickory Farms for the free kielbasi samples; eating at Alby’s Big Boy as a kid and falling into the dark hole of penpalling thanks to the penpal section of the kids menu (I WAS EVEN FEATURED ONCE!!!!!); getting all of my film developed, with doubles!, at Ritz Camera; meeting some of the Penguins at an event there after they won their first Stanley Cup (Phil Bourque and Peter Taglianetti were definitely two of them, but I’d have to find my old pictures to remember who else was there); playing the Simpsons arcade game with my brother Ryan; GETTING THE WORST HAIR CUT OF MY LIFE AT SOME SALON THAT’S NOT THERE ANYMORE THANKS MOM; Taco Tina’s.

I’ve still been going to that mall a handful of times a year, because it still has Hot Topic and Journeys. But now Journeys is gone too! I hope that my Dance Gavin Dance friend Sam got to relocate to a different Journeys. :(

On this particular afternoon, it was pretty much just me, Chooch, some elderly people, and a kid pretending to be a zombie. Chooch wanted new shoes and that was a struggle considering 90% of the stores are closed and JC Penney is the only department store left. But we eventually found a cool pair of red ADIDAS at Champs (in a new location). And they were majorly on sale too because the mall was sold to UPMC and all the remaining stores are just waiting for their leases to run out, I guess. I mean, even Spencer’s is gone. Does a mall even exist without a Spencer’s?

Free carousel ride ftw!

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Inexplicably, what the mall DOES have is a beautiful double-decker carousel that’s managed to last for several years now. Chooch and I naturally wanted to ride it but my credit card wasn’t swiping properly so the ride operator graciously let us ride for free!

“ARE WE GOING UPSTAIRS?!” I cried, and of course Chooch answered yes so we clobbered up the steps and picked our animals.

The ride operator waved to us every time we rotated past her, and I waved back the first few times but then just pretended like I didn’t notice after that because it was getting to be too much.

After this, we went to Penney’s, because we still hadn’t reached 10,000 steps (we got Chooch a Fitbit for Christmas and he and I are “healthy” competitors). I was about to try on some slutty jeans when Henry texted and said, “Don’t buy anything.”

Um, OK, control freak.

“Especially not stupid, overpriced red shoes.”

I showed Chooch and we both looked at each other like, “WHAT HOW WHY.” I figured he probably got a text notification that I purchased something from Champs because ever since we had our account hacked several years ago, Henry gets notified for every last purchase just in case.

“Or merry-go-round rides.”

OK, for sure I figured he probably just saw our picture on Instagram, but I wasn’t sure how he knew that we bought red shoes. Then he asked where we were and after I said “Penneys” he appeared behind us LIKE A FUCKING CREEPER. Turns out, he had been in the mall for a minute because he had to go to the Verizon store, and on his way there, he walked past us just as we were getting on the carousel. He even mimicked me saying, “ARE WE GOING UPSTAIRS?!” Lol! I was like, “OMG were you so proud to know us?!” and he said no, that he hung his head in shame and hurried past us before we saw him.


Henry said the first thing he noticed was that Chooch was wearing brand new bright red shoes hahaha.

So that took up pretty much the whole afternoon.

I spent some time in the evening making some new Kpop cards, and then later we had family KpopX night! THIS IS MY FAVORITE NIGHT! HENRY DOESN’T EVEN TRY!

We finished the night by watching an old Running Man episode featuring IU, so I had my tea in an IU cup. It was a good day. I mean, it was cold as fuck. But it was good.

Jan 022018

Henry and I worked hard to make sure that we were offering a good array of Korean fare. We have both learned so much about it over the last year and honestly have adapted our daily diet around it, no joke. Most of my meals are seasoned heartily with gochugaru and swimming in gochujang that my tongue rarely feels the heat of spicy food anymore. I’m over here like, “Here try this, it’s not spicy at all” while people are gasping and reaching desperately for a glass of cold milk.

So we tried to keep it authentic* while not incinerating our guests’ cheek linings.

* (As authentic as possible considering neither of us are Korean; but as someone who really likes cooking, I will say that Henry treats this cuisine with utmost respect and doesn’t try to Americanize it at all. He even added eomuk – fish cakes – to the tteokbokki.)

The final menu was:

  • japchae
  • tteokbokki (this is seriously one of my favorites and I can’t wait to eat the fuck out of it in Korea)
  • bossam (pork belly lettuce wraps)
    • plus a vegetarian pork version for Chooch and me
  • Korean fried chicken
  • Korean fried tofu
  • a handsome (lol) array of banchan

I wanted him to also make kimchi jeon (pancake) but he answered me with a glare; also, we ended up being properly stuffed with what he provided, so perhaps we’ll save the jeon for the next K-dinner party.

The banchan included:

  • lotus root
  • perilla leaves
  • bellflower root (one of my faves!)
  • kimchi
  • pickled daikon
  • fernbrake

All of these were procured from New Sam Bok, a Korean market in the Strip. Henry made the lotus root himself though. I mean, he didn’t GROW it, but he boiled and marinated it and our house smelled so fucking good while that was happening.

I was worried that our guests were going to recoil at the banchan, because let’s face it, this isn’t like your standard side of fucking cole slaw, you know? But these are staples in Korean households, and I have to say that for the last year I have been eating kimchi on a regular basis and it’s to the point where I will sometimes sit at work thinking about it and longing to be home with a side of it in front of me.

Henry also prepared bean sprout (basically just fresh bean sprouts marinated in sesame oil – it’s so good), but we forgot to put it out on the table. C’EST LA VIE, BEAN SPROUTS.

Everyone was waiting for JANNA to get there. She had some excuse about TRAFFIC.

But then she finally arrived and the pouring of the soju commenced. We had two bottles on hand, and Chronica brought two more, so we were set. I wanted to also have magkeolli but we live in shitty Pennsylvania with their prohibitionist liquor restrictions so none of the Asian markets around here sell it. Henry was going to order it from the state store but they were like, “Nice try, you have to buy a whole case.” We obviously didn’t want a full case so no magkeolli for this go around. Maybe next time we’ll plan ahead and take a drive to the nearest H-Mart or something, or Henry can buy a fucking kit and make some.

Holy chopstick holder.

You guys! The banchan was a success! Blake said his favorite was the bellflower (doraji) and everyone resoundingly enjoyed the fernbrake which I thought was going to bomb, even though apparently in Korea it’s the favored banchan. I liked it, but the texture was a bit off-putting. I read that it’s really good in bibimbap though so I think I’m going to have Henry make some of that this week. (He recently bought a dolsat pot!)

Sorry this picture isn’t very appetizing but I was off my food-photog game that night because I was too busy Edward Chopstickhanding all the food into my face. But here’s the tteokbokki and japchae!

And Korean Fried Chicken & Tofu! No pictures of the bossam, though — SORRY.

Every kept saying how much they liked the food, and I was glad for Henry. He deserves all the props and hat tips!

Also, Chooch finally tried kimchi and admitted that he sort of liked it, kind of. I’m actually not sure if he ate anything all night because I was too busy with my face in my plate. I guess I should ask Janna.

Chooch got What Do You Meme for Christmas and was itching for dinner to be over so he could finally play it with Blake and Chris. (“And maybe her,” he said, putting at me as an afterthought. Monica was delighted to not be included because she didn’t want to play. I DIDN’T REALLY WANT TO PLAY EITHER!) At one point, he could contain his excitement no longer and started rummaging through the game; he was so pleased when he pulled out the Kim Jong Un card. Sigh.

Also, Chooch had a seating chart all planned out in his head and his brain all but exploded when people arrived and started sitting wherever they wanted. But he still got to sit next to Blake, which was his ultimate goal, so he left everyone else stay in their seats. It was kind of up in the air there for a minute, though.

Henry spent most of the dinner in the kitchen and then holding his grandson Calvin, but he had no complaints.

And my favorite kpop videos played in the background all during dinner. I even got to answer questions about kpop, the food we were eating, and Korean holidays! It was all I could ask for and I was so happy that everyone there was showing interest and not making me feel dumb for bear-hugging an entire culture that’s not my own. Monica at one point said that everyone has a thing, and some people’s thing i making the rest of us feel bad about having a thing.

This is really true.

After dinner, Chooch finally got to play his damn game, which is basically just as vulgar as Cards Against Humanity and Janna kept putting cards back in the deck because she didn’t want to read them in front of Chooch. I think Janna’s modesty was my favorite part! Monica and Henry wee so happy that they didn’t have to play.

My favorite part of the night was when we played MY favorite game, which Chris says isn’t actually a game, but it’s called, “Use Google Translate to give Chris Spanish sentences to translate” and of course she always gets it because she’s a freaking bilingual genius, but the funnest part is listening to Chooch read the Spanish out loud, even though all of his sentences are disparaging about my cat Penelope and way too complimentary about his dumb cat Drew. Mine was, “Jimin is Henry’s bias because he likes his chipmunk cheeks and luscious lips.” It was so dumb, and maybe it was the wine, soju, and Chris’s homemade eggnog talking, but I was in tears laughing.

I wish I had more pictures, but goddamn I was so into the food and company! It felt nice to be moderately social without the accompanying anxiety for once. It’s been a while. The night was so awesome, but more importantly, my friends are awesome! I’m thankful that they came over and partook in my favorite things for an evening. <3

Dec 252017

Have a zutter* holiday!

*That means “dope” – now you know a Korean word. Merry Xmas! 

We almost didn’t get any Christmas cards out this year because our card business was booming this season! I can’t complain about that at all (Henry is though,  because Chooch’s puzzle is still hogging the dining room table and making his card assemblage process really hard). #HUMBLEBRAG #LOL

But honestly, all of us here wish everyone a wonderful day with loved ones and good food. I hope no one is alone today. I love you all! <3

Dec 072017

The other day, Taemin announced another comeback for this year and my heart burst! His Move album is being repackaged with 4 new songs and one of them was released today with a video on Naver, which was posted RIGHT BEFORE I LEFT FOR WORK so I got to watch it and weep.

I love it.

I also love that I have totally pulled Henry down into this with me.

Me: I like Taemin better with dark hair though what about you?

Henry, sighing as his Man Card wafts away into the ether: I guess.

He even admitted, without thinking about it, that his favorite Taemin song is “Move.”

We have so much fun in our house, you guys, but strangers would probably be like THE FUCK YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT. For instance, today I was like, “OMG I forgot that Minho was on that one episode of Running Man where Ji-Hyo was force-feeding Gwangsoo jajangmyeon” and Henry was all, “Oh yeah, I remember that one” and then laughed to himself at the memory of it.

Even when I said, “Instead of a Christmas party, let’s just have a small Korean dinner party after the holidays”, he was like, “Yay sounds good.” But then when I created the dinner party event thing via Facebook Messenger, I had to get Janna to add henry because I still have him blocked and the last time I logged in to unblock him, I got distracted and never finished, and then I didn’t realize that I was reactivating my fucking account ON MY BIRTHDAY so then it looked like I was being an attention whore, which I am of course, but only accidentally that time. Ugh, stress.

I think this is the closest and most shared-interest-y Henry and I have ever been. It only took 16 years!

Dec 072017

Recently, I have been going through a creative drought. Maybe not even so much a drought, but I just haven’t felt like creating anything. I am so distracted by other hobbies and interests now that I was starting to wonder if maybe my ship has sailed, maybe the “making things” part of my life is over? But then a few months ago, on a whim,  I added several Kpop cards to my non compos cards shop on Etsy, which is a stark contrast to my line of seasonal serial killer greets, but you know me: LIKE A FUCKING ONION.

(Layers, etc.)

I thought maybe they were just one-offs, but then last week, I felt inspired again and I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me sooner to meld Kpop and my card-making together, because I haven’t felt this excited to make shit in a long time! And the best part is that some of them are so cringey that it makes Chooch want to puke, and that’s my litmus test right there. I love Kpop A LOT, so this is the softer side of the serial killer greeting card e-boutique. Where else can you buy a Valentine with the sinister Ramirez sneer and a birthday card spilling over with the angelic glisten of G-Dragon’s perfect freakin’ face?

Just a disclaimer: Our cards are made with love and care. Each one is made to order: printed on high-quality paper and then adhered to sturdy card-stock (color varies per card) – this isn’t some quick print-and-fold job! That’s why our prices are a bit higher than other greeting cards you may see around Etsy. Henry takes his job as card assembly line VERY SERIOUSLY and has it down to such a science that anytime I try to help, I fuck up the whole process. So if we ever divorce (LOL just kidding I mean BREAK UP), I’ll either have to close the shop or start hand-drawing my cards on construction paper because our printer beats me every time.

Anyway, here are all of the ones I have made so far, please feel free to purchase many and often!


Guys, we got RM, Jungkook, Jimin, Jin, J-Hope, V, and Suga floating about on this card like the freaking bangtan angels they are, This could be the one Christmas card you send that doesn’t get thrown away after the holidays. Any Kpop fan in your life is guaranteed to be filled with mirth and cheer with this angelic BTS Christmas card, even if they don’t stan them.

BTS is taking over the world, help them take over the fireplace mantel Christmas card collections, too! The inside is blank, lots of room to practice your Hangeul!

Comes with an envelope. I’m always afraid that there will be that one time Henry forgets to include an envelope and then all my envelope jokes will come back to bite me.

GOT7 Christmas Card!

Can you imagine Santa rolling up to your house in a sleigh full of Kpop idols? THAT IS THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS WISH. Well, for some people, anyway. And if you know someone who might have that wish, or at the very least loves Got7, then you should send them this card. The inside says, very succinctly, “Merry Christmas.”

Comes with an envelope because the last time I tried to mail a card in an empty sardine can, it was sent back to me. :(

G-Dragon Santa!!

Ugh, can you imagine sitting on G-Dragon’s lap….I mean HI GUYS here I am peddling another Christmas card! If you have a friend who likes Kpop, then this is the perfect card for them. I mean, G-Dragon dressed as Santa…that’s some merry fantasy.

Front of the card says “ho ho ho” in Hangeul. Inside says “Hope you have a zutter Christmas.” Zutter means “dope” in Korean, but it’s actually pronounced more like jjuttah. It’s also the name of a song that G-Dragon did with T.O.P.! (BTS also has a song called “Dope,” but in the song, they say zutter.) See how educational these cards are?

Comes with an envelope. G-Dragon is unfortunately not included. :(

SHINee Christmas (cringe) card!

This card has just the right amount of Christmas cringe! It’s sure to be appreciated by any Kpop lover you have in your life, especially if they like SHINee (and how can you like Kpop without liking SHINee?!). The inside is a dorky play on one of their more popular songs “Ring Ding Dong” and my 11-year-old son was so repulsed when he read it and called me an embarrassment, and THAT is how I know this card is a winner!

This card comes with an envelope, and not just because I’m all in the holiday spirit or whatever, but because all of my cards come with envelopes.

Speaking of cringe-tastic SHINee cards, here’s a Valentine featuring just Taemin which also made Chooch throw up in his mouth:

Taemin Valentine!

When I made this card, I woke up my 11-year-old son to show him, and his spirited review was, “I hate you.” That’s how I know this card is great! The cringier the better, am I right, you guys?

If you’re into Kpop, or know anyone who is, this card is guarenteed to get a great reaction because hello, what set of working eyeballs in this world don’t enjoy feasting upon the flesh-masterpiece that is LEE TAEMIN?

There’s plenty of space inside to scribble some fingerhearts or write secret love messages in Hangeul. Plus, it comes with an envelope because we don’t skimp here at noncomposcards.


I know I already posted this one on here but I wanted to look at his pretty face again, so shut up.


Speaking of Valentines!

Apink Mr. Chu Valentine/Love/Anniversary card!

I told Henry I want a Mr. Chu for Valentine’s Day and he didn’t answer me because he was napping as usual. So I will not be giving him this card. But perhaps you have someone in mind who naps less and pays more attention than my ever-exhausted elderfriend! Then this card would work for you. Anyway, this is a nice Apink Valentine for someone you know who likes kpop.

It comes with an envelope that you can slip a house key in or whatever. I don’t know what you kids do these days.

The inside says “I’m falling, falling for your love.” Obviously. (Side note: “Mr. Chu” was one of the first KpopX routines I ever did two years ago so it will always feel special to me!)

BTS “Save Me” Valentine/Love/Anniversary Card

Valentine’s Day, Anniversary, Just Because…show your favorite Kpop-lovin’ person you love them with this adorable BTS-as-cherubs cards. The inside has lyrics from “Save Me” but can also be blank or customized – just let me know in “note to seller.” The inside says “I need your love before I fall, fall.” Ugh, just go listen to the song!

Comes with an envelope in case you don’t feel like hand-delivering this fine piece of Korean art.

A funny/cute/adorable thing to note about this card is that Henry was helping me cut out all of the faces, and he had each one saved individually as their name, so like Jin.psd, JHope.psd, etc. Henry knows all of their names and I think this is just the sweetest thing in the whole world HENRY LIKES KPOP PASS IT ON.

Birthdays exist too! Here are some cards for that:

BIGBANG birthday card!

This was the first kpop card I made over the summer! Let the boys of BIGBANG do all the heavy-lifting birthday-wishing for you with the most beautiful, Heaven-sent card for any Kpop fan!

As always, this card comes with an envelope that could probably be used as a face mask afterward, with way less benefits of a legit Korean brand, though.

BTS “Jams” Birthday Card

The perfect card for kpop lovers! Let your best BTS friend know that you’re wishing them lots of fun, er, jams, on their special day. No explanation needed for BTS fans, but this is kind of tricky to explain for anyone else because it’s a play on a Korean word and there was a whole meme made out of it which was super popular in the kpopsphere. My friend Lizz who has liked kpop way longer than me approved of this card when she saw it, and that’s good enough for me!

This card comes with an envelope. Add a packet of Smuckers at your own risk.

Red Velvet Birthday Card!

I went through a phase where I would snub my nose at any cake that wasn’t red velvet. I try not to be that way with kpop groups, but Red Velvet is seriously one of the best girl groups out there IN MY OPINION. And maybe you know someone who agrees with me and would be downright tickled to receive a birthday greeting with Red Velvet splayed across the front!

The inside of the card features lyrics from their song “Ice Cream Cake” (“May your day be vanilla chocolate honey with a cherry on top”) and if that doesn’t scream HAPPY BIRTHDAY then maybe you’re normal and I should go see a doctor because my greeting cards are talking to me.

An envelope is included. Maybe you could slip in a piece of ice cream cake, just kidding, don’t do that. The mailman will eat it.

OK that’s all I have so far! But I have a ton more that I’m working out in my head (including a sheet of mini-Valentines like I have for the serial killers and vintage porn star collection), and I’m probably going to open a separate Etsy for the Kpop line at some point. And don’t worry, EXOLS, I have some EXO cards I’m working on, too.

It feels nice to be inspired again, so as usual, thank you Kpop!


Dec 022017

I have to be honest: I didn’t think I was going to be able to blog for a while because of my Apple Thumb. It was hurting even worse on Thursday and yesterday that I was starting to think I was going to have to go to the hospital. It was raining on Thursday when I went outside on my break and just the simple act of opening my umbrella (OK I say “simple” but this is always a struggle for me, even with ten healthy fingers) had me yelping in pain. Glenn at one point couldn’t take my whining any longer and asked, “OK let me see this gaping wound.”

“Glenn, I have four bandages on it! And I’m never taking them off!”

I saw Todd write something down during this exchange which is why I’m convinced he’s keeping a log of all the reasons he wants his seat moved.

I started to get really concerned because I was having pain on parts of my thumb that were, what I thought, unscathed by the vicious popping apple metal, but I asked Henry where my wound was, just to confirm. Of course he was like, “Shouldn’t you know where it is?” but I reminded him that I was half-blacked out and trying desperately not to look at my bleeding thumb that it’s really not that shocking that I don’t remember. But I was pretty sure I wasn’t actually cut on the padding of my thumb, which is where I was feeling a ton of pain, so then I started to wonder if I had metal in my thumb and it was infected.

Finally last night I was visited by a surge of bravery so I slid the band-aids off which is how I learned that the pain was coming from the fact that my skin was pinched together in like 4 spots on account of quadruple band-aid action. I had essentially put a baby tourniquet on my thumb so while I was relieved that I didn’t have like, shards of apple corer blades embedded in my thumb, I was now concerned that my thumb was dying or dead because the skin was BRIGHT WHITE and bath time prune-y times 100.

Well, I’m happy to report that today my thumb still hurts but it’s mostly better and back to a normal color, but I still have weird creases in it from the band-aids. And my two apple wounds are slightly sore but scabbed so I guess I’m the road to recovery.

That was really boring, so I’ll close it out with some photos that have been rotting in my phone just like the apple I refused to eat after my hand was nearly lanced off my body.

I just showed it to Henry and he had the audacity to say, “There’s not even anything there.” WOW JUST WOW.

A few weeks ago, we had lunch at Bae Bae’s Kitchen with Janna. I had the tofu and japchae — that tofu, and I’m not just saying this because it was a Korean restaurant, was the best tofu I’ve had in my life. The texture was mind-blowing and it was so crisp without feeling like I was eating some artery-clogging carnival fare.

Henry’s review was “eh” because we have been eating a lot of Korean food over the last year and he felt that, while it was good, it was too expensive and he didn’t get his money’s worth, blah blah. It was an old man complaint. Janna and I had heart-eyes for our lunch, while Chooch was crying because he hates everything.

Henry made me tomato & kimchi grilled cheese the other day and I felt like a fucking princess.

I was on late shift yesterday so I had all morning to follow along with the 2017 MAMA updates on Twitter. MAMA is the MNET Asian Music Awards, and it’s such a big deal that they had three of them this past week, in Vietnam, Japan, and then culminating with the main event yesterday in Hong Kong. I have to admit that when I was watching the AMAs a few weeks ago, I found myself saying, “Who? Who?” a lot because western music just hasn’t kept my attention lately. But watching the MAMAs made me realize just how deeply-invested I am in all of this because I knew everyone there, even when they were flashing to groups in the audience, I’d be like, “Aw that’s EXO” or whatever. But when they were showing people in the crowd at the AMAs, I was like WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE!? YouTubers, apparently.

Anyway, I was blowing up Henry’s phone all day with updates and videos. BTS won artist of the year and stopped the whole show with their legendary performance. All I kept on thinking was how quaint they probably thought the AMAs were, because that shit is small-fucking-potatoes compared to the Asian music industry. Every performance there was fucking epic and blew away everything that I saw at the AMAs. Step it up, America. Shit.

(Gratuitous Taemin drivel ahead!)

Anyway, my favorite part was OBVIOULSY Taemin. He performed “Door” in a dramatic fashion, appeared at the end of Sunmi’s “Gashina” performance and did the epic gun-dance with her, and then went right into “Move” which he won the MAMA for “best dance” later that evening and I cried because he is such a fucking king of dance and so humble, I can’t stand it!!

If you’re into spectacular dancing you should watch both videos and not just because Taemin is in both but OK yes that’s exactly why you should watch.

I have always been a stupidly emotional person – crying is contagious for me, worse than yawns or herpes. But at one point yesterday I left my body and while I hovered over top of myself, I was so embarrassed at how badly I was blubbering and sniffling while watching AN AWARDS SHOW. I guess call it projection since everything else in the world sucks so fucking much. HUGE SHRUG.

Janna and my mom are coming over for the 3rd annual Lighting of Trudy, so I have to go and eat something for dinner other than the peanut butter cookie I just had from Orbis Cafe after standing behind three pre-teen Mt. Lebanon girls placing the most pretentious and confusing hot chocolate orders I’ve ever seen (“No, only 2 of 3 large ones are peppermint, and 2 have whipped cream, but only 1 of the peppermint ones has whipped cream, and then the one that doesn’t have whipped cream needs extra foam.” ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!? Imagine these girls in a few years at Starbucks. They are the future of coffee culture!!!!). But can I just indulge myself once more before I sign off? I want to share a video of Taemin and Super Junior fan-boying during EXO’s performance because it’s everything.

“Seriously? They’re waving like they haven’t literally been sitting right next to each other all night long,” Henry said, yet he stuck around and watched it with me a second time BECAUSE IT’S FUCKING ADORABLE also because he likes Super Junior.


Nov 302017

I was having a bad morning yesterday but had some time to kill before walking to the dreaded trolley so I was pissing around on YouTube. I somehow stumbled across a video called TAEMIN’S PRECIOUS LAUGH so of course I watched it and within 5 seconds my mood had improved.

I texted it to Henry because I share all of the things with him, jury’s out on how he feels about this. Then I called him on my way to the trolley and this is how that convo went:


Henry: Um, that’s 7 minutes of Taemin laughing. I’m sure you watched every last second.

Me: I did! Did you?

Henry: No! I don’t have time for that!!

I told him it was OK, we’d just watch it together later that night. And we did! At first Henry just sat there frowning, but by the end, his mouth was slightly curved into a smile. Just like the time I made him watch a 15 minute compilation of G-Dragon eating.

Honestly though I think I might need to watch this video every morning, because I was in a grand mood all day yesterday! It’s hard to believe that someone can be so adorably giddy and then walk on a stage and look like this:

(Side note: If he doesn’t win for best male solo dance at the MAMA show tomorrow I’m going to break something of Henry’s! They’ve already screwed over BTS and G-Dragon.)

Last night, Chooch and I were working on our puzzle and he was mindlessly singing “그대로 그대로 repeat” – I love how brainwashed my household is!! We are down so deep in the rabbit hole.

ETA: Chris suggested that I have a painting commissioned of Taemin and G-Dragon squaring off to be my ultimate bias. I told her this was a great idea and immediately had visions of a Renaissance-style masterpiece with angels hovering in the background.

Chris said that Chooch and Henry could be the angels and I love this image! When I told Henry, he mumbled, “Stop talking to Chris.”

Nov 262017

I’m usually at odds with Sundays but this one has been pretty daebak. Maybe it’s because I have tomorrow off so this doesn’t really feel like a Sunday, I don’t know. This whole weekend has been very kpop-centric, so I can’t complain. (I know, when isn’t kpop fueling my life these days.)

Henry is totally into kpop, too, way more than he ever was into any of the post-hardcore/screamo/pop-punk stuff I liked. In fact, yesterday morning, he casually said to me, “I was reading this article about SM Entertainment….” and then he actually agreed to doing an entire hour of kpop workouts with me last night! When people say kpop is a trap, they’re not kidding. It has spread through our house like the sweetest disease. For example, if you were wondering what Henry listens to when he’s alone making greeting cards…

Henry was using Chooch’s desk to make cards because his usual work station (aka the dining room table) has been taken over by the 2000 piece puzzle that Chooch and I impulse-bought Friday night at Target. Henry has been threatening to destroy the puzzle all weekend, but the cats might beat him to it. So far, neither of them have been as malicious toward puzzles as Marcy was though. She hated the joy that putting together puzzles brought me. :( I miss her.

HEY SPEAKING OF CARDS AND KPOP: I made this beautiful Lee Taemin Valentine yesterday. I woke Chooch up to show him and the cringe-fest of it all made him mumble, “I hate you.”

If you’re into Kpop, or know anyone who is, this card is guarenteed to get a great reaction because hello, what set of working eyeballs in this world don’t enjoy feasting upon the flesh-masterpiece that is LEE TAEMIN?

There’s plenty of space inside to scribble some fingerhearts or write secret love messages in Hangeul. Plus, it comes with an envelope because we don’t skimp here at noncomposcards.

Here, go buy one.

Later on, we went to Armstrong’s for dinner and Chooch was fucking PAINED because his buddy down the street just got into Minecraft and Chooch desperately wanted to play it with him but we had the audacity to drag him with us and feed him, but god forbid if we DON’T feed the little fucker, we never hear the end of it! For instance, on Friday when we were at Target buying the aforementioned puzzle, Chooch realized that he hadn’t eaten dinner and when he mentioned it, Henry paused and said, “…..you had lunch.” Like that was the best excuse he could come up with for neglecting his child!?

“You had lunch” is the new excuse that Chooch and I have been throwing around all weekend.

Somehow in the midst of all the incessant whining, Chooch was able to eavesdrop on the young couple in the booth diagonal from us. “I think that guy just said something about Rap Monster!” Chooch exclaimed, to which Henry and I laughed, “Yeah right.”

But then I heard it too! The guy was saying something about not understanding one of Rap Monster’s parts and then something that made us think that they were talking about the AMA performance, and then also he name-dropped Suga!

“OMG THOSE PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT BTS!” I squealed. “I want to say something. Please let me say something!”

“Don’t!” Henry hissed, and blocked me from getting around him in the booth. He hates it when I butt into other peoples’ conversations, but I was so excited because this was honestly right after I was crying in my dumb American salad and saying that I feel like I don’t belong in this country anymore. IT WAS LIKE THOSE PEOPLE WERE PUT THERE TO MAKE ME FEEL LESS ALONE!

Chooch, meanwhile, forgot about Minecraft and was now obsessed with drawing attention to himself, so he kept loudly singing “Go Go” and spitting out “BTS” in a Tourettes-like fashion. Then when he realized he was wearing a KCON shirt, he made this huge production of shrugging out of his jacket, STRETCHING, and the standing up next to our table and loudly saying, “I WONDER WHERE THE BATHROOM IS” while dramatically tugging on his shirt and jutting out his chest.

It was hilarious and also very embarrassing.

They never did acknowledge us, but when they walked past us on their way out, Henry thought he recognized the girl as one of the managers at the CVS down the street from us so now I’m going to go there every day this week while wearing my light-up G-Dragon headband.

Now we’re just hanging out watching videos on YouTube and Henry said, “Let’s watch this again,” and with an actual flourish, he put on the new video for BTS’s “Mic Drop” remix. LOOKS LIKE HENRY FINALLY FOUND A KPOP GROUP TO STAN. (I just asked him if Jimin is still his bias and he said, “HE NEVER WAS” – wow, so defensive.)

Non-kpop related, but when we came home from dinner, Chooch was craning his neck down the street to see if his dumb friend was home and I was like, “OMG YOU ARE SUCH A WORLD-CLASS STALKER!” and then Henry was all, “OH HO HO! LOOK WHO’S TALKING. HE GOT HIS STALKING SKILLS FROM THE #1 WORLD CLASS STALKER. JIMMY!!!!”

Oh yeah.

Nov 232017

For my obligatory Thanksgiving bullshit post this year, I am obviously going to say that I’m thankful for Kpop, le duh. This morning, I was talking to Henry about it, how much better the concert experiences have been than the ones I’m used to, how all of the fans are so nice, how it feels like I finally belong somewhere, and I started crying so hard, haha. Henry patted my leg and said, “OK, take it easy.” I mean, all of this is in addition to the fact that I have literally lost 25 pounds just by dancing to Kpop and eating kimchi every day. Whoever would have thought. My life has always been driven by music, since I was a little kid, but I think it’s safe to say that this is the most fun, healthy, and healing it’s ever been for me.

More specifically, on this Thanksgiving Day 2017, I am giving thanks for the beautiful Lee Taemin, aka BIAS WRECKER. He released his second solo album last month and it has been giving me life these last few weeks, especially while I have been sick (physically and mentally — it’s been rough in my head since Halloween). There have been times when I’m getting ready for work in the morning and take a break to sit in the bed and cry to one of his songs – I don’t typically like the slower/ballad-y kpop songs but his are pure art and make me feel like I’m being wrapped up like kimbap, which I’ve needed these last few weeks because sometimes, even when I’m in a roomful of people, I still feel alone. It’s been nice to have something to latch on to.

And no, I don’t need him to sing this in English; it brings tears to my eyes just the way it is. Not as much as this one does though:

This is not hyperbolic: I started thinking, just thinking about this song at work the other day and had to lowkey slip into the bathroom because I couldn’t stop crying. I’m wrecked.

Things I love about Taemin: the way he pronounces “j”/”ch” sounds (Henry thinks this is absurd and says he can’t hear it, no matter how many times I play “Press Your Number”), his intricate & subtle 1980s jazz dance moves (he’s one of the best dancers in Kpop PLEASE WATCH THAT VIDEO UP THERE; I watch it 87 times a day), his mature silken voice, obviously his perfect fucking face good lord help.

Chris and Monica stopped by last Monday and they can attest that the only thing that played on the TV during the hour they were here was Taemin. At one point, Monica commented on his shoes and I was like, “Oh, I never noticed. I literally only ever look at his face….”

Henry doesn’t like Taemin because he feels threatened by his beauty but don’t worry – Chooch said he will go see him with me if he ever does a North American tour so I guess I better start saving up!

(I just told Chooch that today I’m thankful for Taemin and he rolled his eyes so hard and walked away. So maybe I’ll be going to see him alone after all. VIP FOR ME THEN.)

Um, I guess I’m also thankful for Henry and Chooch, too (for not implementing any sort of kpop ban in the house and for Henry having the best Erin Needs Tampons intuition.)

Nov 222017

For the first time in years, I watched a music awards show. I had to sit through nearly three hours of blandness waiting for the one freaking thing that I wanted to see (isn’t that always the case). But it was worth even enduring that atrocious Christina Aguilera “Bodyguard” soundtrack medley (sorry, never been a fan).

Before I get to the good part, here are some more thoughts:

  • I did really enjoy Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez (I just really love her), and the Zedd/Alessia Cara performances, so there’s that.
  • I don’t think Tracy Ellis Ross (or whatever the fuck her name is) is funny or a big enough personality to carry a whole awards show. And I don’t care if she’s Diana Ross’s daughter. JUST MY OPINION.
  • Fuck Florida Georgia Line and I don’t even know who the broad was who was singing with them.
  • I don’t dislike Pink but maybe if her music was more interesting she wouldn’t have to hang off the side of a hotel.
  • I liked Gaga better during her bloody Paparazzi phase, but I do like that single she performed even though it honestly sounds like it could be have been sung by any other current girl pop singer out there right now. (Her performance that year at the VMAs is still my all time favorite awards show performance of any band/singer.)
  • Kelly Clarkson seriously seems like the nicest person in the whole industry and she makes me smile even if her music isn’t really my thing.
  • I cried when Linkin Park won even though I haven’t been a fan since like 1999.
  • If someone would have told me 12 years ago that one day Portugal the Man would be performing at the AMAs I would have laughed. (Also sorry to sound like a fucking hipster but their old shit was better.)
  • Shawn Mendes is talented. I support him.
  • I was excited to see Diana Ross! I opened up to Henry and Chooch about how when I was young in the 80s, I thought “Missing You” was the saddest song ever written because that one part where she sings, “I’m missing you / Tell me why the road turns” always made me think that literally the road turned while her boyfriend or whoever the song is about was driving, and he kept going straight and crashed and died. Henry and Chooch unanimously agreed that I’m dumb, so they can both fuck right off. IT WAS HARD TO SHARE THIS STORY

OK on to the most important part…

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably heard that, omg, a KOREAN BOY BAND performed at the American Music Awards last weekend. I was so stoked for this. BTS isn’t my bias group but I do like them a whole lot, especially since this last record of theirs came out. Even then I said that it blew American pop music out of the water and now look—America is catching on. I’m going to try hard to not come off as a pretentious music snob cuntface over here, but I’m like thoroughly smug and validated right now. I WILL TRY TO TONE IT DOWN because I know how annoying I can be. #selfawareness

I was a nervous wreck all day on Sunday, like I was waiting to watch my actual seven sons perform at the school talent show or something. I was driving Henry nuts (duh) but even he was anticipating this event. We went to Blake’s that evening for birthday cake (he’s 25 now!) and the whole time I was like OK BUT WE NEED TO BE HOME BY 8. WE’RE GOING TO BE HOME BY 8 RIGHT and I don’t  know what the big deal is because we honest-to-god live 4 minutes BY FOOT from Blake and Haley’s apartment so I wasn’t ever going to be stranded there, AMAs-less or anything.

Sometime around 10:30, the Chainsmokers walked on stage and I knew it was finally happening. It made sense that the Chainsmokers would announce them because they collab’d on a song on BTS’s recent record.

I’m honestly crying all over again as I type this but those boys fucking slayed that stage. And the fan chants made us so happy – the Armys were representing so hard out there that night! I read that the AMAs had to actually mute the crowd because it was so hard to hear the music hahahaha. Chooch was like, “Everyone there experiencing this for the first time now knows what my ears felt like at KCON!” Honestly – I have been to a lot of concerts in my lifetime, but I have never heard screaming as loud as I have at kpop concerts. It’s a whole new level of fan-girl.

I stood right next to the TV with my hands over my heart through their whole performance. I have seen them perform DNA on sooooo many Korean music shows but man…seeing them at the AMAs, giving all the Western music world a run for its money? Fuck yeah boys, get it.

Several of my friends even admitted to me that they watched it and now they see why I like Kpop so much. I mean, I honestly just really like how the language sounds, to the point where I wonder if I wouldn’t like it if any of the groups recorded English versions of their songs. For example, I tend to not like the Japanese versions they record at all. And don’t even get me started on how much I love their dancing. I also think it’s not understood how hard these people work! And BTS especially — they’re not as prefabricated as you think. They write most of their own songs and J-Hope does a lot of the choreography for them. They are artists in every sense of the word and it does irritate me when people here scoff at Kpop like it’s inferior to…what? All the Meghan Trainors and Taylor Swifts whining on our radios? Just because Kpop is in a different language doesn’t mean it’s “weird” or “a joke” or “creepy.” And hey American interviewers – STOP ASKING THEM IF THEY’RE GOING TO RECORD AN ALBUM IN ENGLISH. Isn’t it enough that there’s an English remix of “Mic Drop”? :(

From the reaction that BTS’s performance got Sunday night, it seems like maybe our country is becoming more open to the idea of Korean pop music. Believe me, there are millions of us here who already know how wonderful it is! I know this because the last time BTS toured the US, tickets sold out in minutes, so um…hopefully they’ll add more cities next time?

My favorite part was the next morning, my boss called over to me, “So have you stopped smiling yet?” I didn’t know what she meant by that, and she followed up with, “They really brought down the house last night!”

“Oh my god, you watched??” I asked, and she said, “Yes! You’re the reason I knew who they were!”

Glenn was all, “What. What’s going on?” And I smugly said, “OH NOTHING JUST ONE OF THE KPOP GROUPS I LIKE MADE HISTORY LAST NIGHT AT THE AMAS NO BIG DEAL” and he was so annoyed because he wants Kpop to be a joke forever and ever amen.

I’m so proud of these boys. I felt like I was watching  my seven kids matriculate! Way to represent South Korea, BTS.

Oct 052017

Well guys, it’s that time of year again! As usual, I was waffling: did I or I didn’t want to decorate for Halloween at work? It takes a lot of mental energy out of me, but I had a few ideas that I came up with several months ago, so I did a quick inventory of the things I’d have to actually spend money on because that’s a huge factor: the more I already have on hand, the more inclined I am to put the effort in.

I did a quick Goodwill and craft store run Tuesday night and $5 later, I had everything I needed to get the four offices decorated.  Some of the offices required $0!

OK, first up is Terry’s office. This was the first one that I came up with a few months ago and if only you could have been there when I excitedly spun around in my chair to tell Glenn…

“Pet SemaTERRY, get it Glenn? SemaTERRY? Because his name is TERRY?!” I squealed.

“Yeah, I get it,” he mumbled. Just jealous that he didn’t think of it first, that’s all.

Anyway, this one required $0. I inherited those tombstones from Barb years ago and they’re actually mainstays on my desk. The stuffed cat is Chooch’s (“Please don’t rip it up or put blood on it!” he begged) and that sign was made be me demonstrating my awesome cardboard box-ripping skills.

I can’t tell if Terry likes it or not. He hasn’t said anything. Glenn disappeared from his desk at one point the day I decorated this and when he came back I yelled, “WHAT, WERE YOU TALKING TO TERRY!? DOES HE LIKE HIS OFFICE” and he was like, “NO I WASN’T TALKING TO TERRY.”

Honestly though, I was so giddy about this one all day. It was so stupid in its simplicity, yet so PERFECTLY PUNNY.

OMG this next one was one that I wanted to do last year but I ran out of time:

My hands felt arthritic by the time I was done cutting those branches out. When I was taping them up the next morning, my coworker Amanda was like, “Let me guess—Children of the Corn!” and I was like “NO AMANDA I DID THAT ONE LAST YEAR, DO I LOOK LIKE SOMEONE WHO WOULD REUSE AN IDEA?!” Ugh, god.

The worst part about this is that I came in 30 minutes early on Wednesday to decorate and I was SO PROUD OF MYSELF and couldn’t wait for Aaron’s reaction, but when I went back to my desk, Glenn said, “LOL, Aaron is working from home today.”


Henry helped me make the chainsaw.

“I thought you said you weren’t decorating this year so why am I sitting here cutting out a chainsaw?” he sighed when I stopped him en route to Slumber Town and handed him a pair of scissors.

The only thing purchased for this one was poster board for the trees.

In case you have no idea what this is from:

Image result for ash vs evil dead

I didn’t even have to bring a book from home because Gayle turned one of the cabinets into a library, so I grabbed the first chunky hardback in there (thanks, Nora Roberts). I was going to make my own Necronomicon cover out of a latex mask but I wanted to get this set up the next day so…..a quick print-out it is!

Also, the chainsaw is green because my piece of red foam-stuff wasn’t large enough.

Cathy is visiting us from the Harrisburg office! Today was her first day in the office so Amber suggested yesterday that I decorate her desk too. Luckily, I had some extra stuff on hand, like this bloody sheet that I used for last year’s “Carrie” desk, a creepy clown doll, spiderwebs, severed fingers, a vintage picture of an actual dead guy in a coffin that I used for my funeral parlor theme desk a few years back, and probably what scared Cathy the most: an Asian snack on her keyboard. I think she felt welcome!

OK, this next one is my favorite! No, they’re all my favorites. I love all my babies equally. But seriously, when I made the connection that Patrick shares a surname with the Stranger Things family…it just all fell into place.

So I turned his office into a shrine for older brother Jonathan Byers.

The pictures he took of Barb on the diving board and Nancy in the window. There’s an actual scene in Stranger Things were the photos are hanging on a string like this. I didn’t have any string, rope, or twine, but I DID have some old party hats in my desk! So I ripped off the elastic.

In the show, Jonathan actually uses a Pentax and I’m so mad because I do have an old Pentax from the 80s somewhere in my house, but I couldn’t find it. So this Konica will have to do. Also, if you watched the show, you know that he liked The Clash’s “Should I Stay Or I Should I Go.”

The nail-studded baseball bat Demogorgon weapon that he carried. Thank god for cardboard boxes.

I had to carry this on the trolley with me this morning. No one even noticed.

I had a strand of white lights on hand, so I quickly painted them yesterday after work.

Total amount spent on this: $0.

I don’t know if this is good or just admitting that I’m basically a hoarder.

OK, the last one I decorated today is, in Glenn’s words, a bit of a stretch, but I had to do it.

Chris’s office is right next to me and I was disappointed last year that I couldn’t think of anything for his name, and then it hit me.

“Think about it, Glenn. ‘Chris Kenrick,” I said the other day after I came up with it.

Glenn just shrugged.

“Chris Kenrick. Chris KenRICK. Chris KenRICK GRIMES,” I blurted out giddily.

“Wow,” Glenn said, totally not impressed but probably a little.

In case you don’t watch The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes is the main character.

Image result for don't open dead inside

Today, Catherine said, “You are totally wasting your talent here!” and then started preaching about how I need to find a job that utilizes my skills, but I literally never see any job openings for “half-assed horror movie-themed office decorator” so it looks like the law firm is stuck with me for a little bit longer.

I have two other offices on my radar, but I’m off all next week so I don’t know if I will do it when I get back — is it worth it? UGH MAYBE PROBABLY WE’LL SEE. I can never tell if I’m going to get in trouble for this, but I guess that’s half the fun of being the office black sheep?

If you’re interested in last year’s decorations, please turn your attention here and here.

Oct 012017

I have waited a good long while for this to happen: Emarosa finally headlined a show in Pittsburgh so we didn’t have to travel to see them! We could casually leave our house at a normal hour for once and then get home before 2am or, you know, sometime the next day!

And the cherry on top an already decked out sundae was that the opening bands were two bands that Chooch and I both love: Jule Vera (Chooch) and A Lot Like Birds (me)! I absolutely could not wait. Even Henry was stoked on this one, probably mostly because he didn’t have to drive a lot and it was an early show, his favorites.

(Who am I kidding: early shows are my favorites these days now too.)

There ended up being a local opener and I was mildly annoyed about this at first because of course the venue was filled with all of their friends and family and I was worried that it would be like all of the Smiling Moose shows, where the opening band would play and the crowd would only be there just for them and then the venue would be empty for the headliner and the rest of the bands on the actual tour.

I had low expectations for Define Irony, which is awful because I was definitely judging them by the crowd they drew and I was expecting some lame 105 The X homogenous rock sound, but they proved me wrong and I am delighted to admit that! I love when a local band is GOOD!

Define Irony, a local band I can get behind.

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Of course, this video doesn’t do it justice, but when the girl started singing, I was like, “OK I’M LISTENING. I HEAR YOU.” Their style, the back and forth co-ed vocals, brought back some memories of the scene from the mid-00s, and I was feeling it deeply.

Henry, who had ditched Chooch and I immediately and went to the bar, said that he couldn’t tell at all from where he was sitting if the band was good or not because the sound was so bad back there, which is very disappointing because I feel like Cattivo is usually pretty good in that area. Then again, Henry isn’t easily impressed so who knows.

Also, I haven’t been a good blog-researcher so I don’t know if this is mentioned on any of their social media sites, but if they got their name from Steve Buscemi’s line about Lynyrd Skynyrd in “Con Air” then I love them even more.

God, I love that movie.

Of course as soon as Define Irony was over, their whole entire posse left (although some of them hung around for the rest of the night) and I started to panic that the crowd was going to be sparse for Emarosa. People will argue with me based on the types of music they like, but Pittsburgh can be pretty shitty when it comes to the music scene and it’s bizarre because we have SO MANY COLLEGES in the area. Why aren’t these kids coming to shows? Are they just that poorly promoted? It could be that. Usually the only way I hear about shows is by following bands I like on Instagram or remembering to check the websites of various venues around here. Because unless it’s a larger band or something playing at Stage AE, I just don’t usually see anything about it.

I even tried to round up some friends to come out to this show because I really think some of them would enjoy Emarosa but that plan bombed. Amber2 was really bummed out because she does genuinely like them and it would figure that when they finally headlined here, she was out of town!

I WILL NOT GIVE UP THOUGH. Even if I have to buy everyone’s ticket myself and trick them into going.

The next band was Jule Vera, featuring Chooch’s babe Ansley. He LOVES HER. I mean, just look at her though, who wouldn’t? And then she starts singing and if you hadn’t already loved her, you will definitely fall in deep then. And the rest of the band is such a joy to watch, too!

I was sad though because the first time Chooch and I saw them with Never Shout Never in 2016, they did this really cool drum solo thing where Ansley poured water on the drum while the drummer was playing and it sounds like such a simple thing but it really was a cool thing to watch. It was very dramatic and that was definitely what made me pay attention to them.

Henry and I saw them a few months later at Riot Fest and they did it there too, and the crowd was just going nuts over it. We’ve seen them twice since then and they haven’t done it again :( This time around, they mostly played songs from their new album, which admittedly didn’t appeal much to me when we saw them over the summer at Warped Tour, but the vibe in Cattivo was different this night, more intense and passionate, and I afterward I looked at Chooch and said, “OK, I’m sold. I like the new songs now.” I think that the stage they played on at Warped was just not suitable for them.

In the beginning of their set, the crowd seemed kind of dead and I was SO EMBARRASSED. Ansley tried to get everyone to clap during the first song and no one moved. I really hoped that this wasn’t going to be a theme for the night, but by the second song, people seemed to really be opening up to Jule Vera and the energy rose A LOT. I mean, Chooch was over there right in front of the stage, cheering and waving his arms, so they at least would have had him if all else failed.

@julevera at Cattivo on a tour with @Emarosa! So good!

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One thing to note about Chooch is that he is super independent when we’re out at events like this, and well, just really in life in general. When I was his age and had to use the bathroom, I would panic because OMG WHERE IS IT WHAT IS IT GOING TO BE LIKE SOMEONE GO WITH ME.

LOL who am I kidding, I’m still like that at 38.

But not Chooch. He’ll be like, “I have to piss, brb” and then he sets off to find the loo all on his own. So that’s what he did after Jule Vera, and I saved our spots. When he came back, he saw some girl wave to him and say, “Hi Riley!” and I was like, “How the fuck does an 11-year-old know people at shows and I don’t?!” Turns out she was one of his mentors when he was in 1st grade, so I guess she must be a senior now? Junior? I don’t know.


Shit fuck motherfucker OMG. A Lot Like Birds was next. Henry was still sitting in the bar area and I was like, “COME OUT HERE AND WATCH THEM” but he was like, “NO” because he’s seen them a bunch of times with me and absolutely nothing will ever make him like them because he has no taste.

I was excited for Chooch to finally see them live but he said he didn’t really like them that much and my heart shattered a little because I adore A Lot Like Birds, even without Kurt Travis.

I just saw them in June when they played Divisi in its entirety so I won’t go into too much detail here other than they were a joy to watch as usual and just made me feel invigorated.


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Henry came over and joined us while Emarosa was setting up. Wow, so blessed. Please stand with us, Henry. Protect us from the bad guys at the big scary concert.

When Emarosa came on stage, the room felt like it was on fire. The crowd was pretty decent for Pittsburgh and everyone was visibly pumped to see Emarosa. I always say the same things about them: they’re so energetic, so pure and passionate, so clearly in love with sharing the art that they make — it’s hard to escape that contagion and I think that’s why this is one of the few bands that Henry and I BOTH like. But, only since the departure of Jonny Craig.

Oh, WHILE WE’RE TALKING ABOUT THAT GINGER PIECE OF SHIT…..a few days before this show, a video was going around on Twitter from a Slaves show in Detroit where Jonny was so fucked up that he fell off stage, tried to play it off like he just wanted to be singing in the crowd, and then CHOKES some guy for mocking him. This guy…

Also, he sounded like absolute shit in the video too. Sorry for all my friends who are now suddenly (and inexplicably) into him, literal “Jonny-Come-Lately”s, but that motherfucker peaked in 2009. You missed out, guys.

I wish there was a special font to denote eye-rolling.

Anyway, this was all over twitter and various music websites, and then Jonny was actually calling people and threatening them to take down the video and I have no idea what he’s so afraid of because he has cultivated such a pathetic following of blind sheep that he will probably never be in danger of not having a career because who cares if he’s a drug addict that emotionally abuses people, fans included, right guys?

I’m telling you all of this because after Emarosa played the first song of the night, Bradley took some time to ask everyone how they were doing that night (after saying, “Howdy, partners—I’m trying a new thing here”).

“No one’s getting choked, so that’s good at least,” he said, and I was like, “OOOOOOOH SHIT!” That was definitely a jab at Jonny and I loved it.

I don’t have a set list, but I will tell you that they played a good bit from both Bradley-fronted albums, including some of my favorites from Versus that I haven’t heard in a while and was afraid that they were retiring them.

Forever favorites. 💖 #Emarosa

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But they also did a REAL throwback and played “The Game Played Right,” which was from the Jonny-era self-titled album and also my favorite old Emarosa song that I have never heard live before because Jonny wasn’t around very long after this album came out. I thought I was going to die. I rarely record entire songs at concerts because, for what, you know? But this was a rare exception because Bradley sang it so perfectly, and when it was over, some guy in the crowd yelled, “You sang that better than Jonny!”

“I know,” Bradley said in that Chris Pratt-esque way that I adore. “I killed it. But, it’s not a hard song to sing.” If that had been a tweet, he for sure would have used the hair-swish emoji, I just know it.

Or the nail-painting one.

Those throwbacks tho. 😍

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And they played a cover of Paramore’s “Decode” and I wanted to cry. It was such a fire rendition.

Oh, and guess who crowd-surfed again? HAHAHA! Chooch saw Bradley walking over to our side of the side and got the “Oh lawd” look on his face, and then before he could hide in Henry’s beard, Bradley was pulling him up on stage and sending him off to the sea of fans. It was great!

Immediately after the show, Chooch’s friend Lacey came over and high-fived him, and then the girl who was standing next to Chooch at the front of the stage came over and asked if we were at the Emarosa at Mahall’s last spring. After I confirmed, she said, “I knew I had seen you guys there!” I’m sure a crowd-surfing 11-year-old is pretty hard to forget though!

And then another guy came over to us and said, “Hey, I met you at the A Lot Like Birds show a few months ago—” but of course I remembered him because so few people actually talk to me at shows! Anyway, he said as soon as he saw Chooch go up in the air, he was like, “That has to be that girl’s son” because we were talking about Emarosa at that last ALLB show and I showed him the video of Chooch crowd-surfing. So he came over and looked for us after the show and I was so happy! I hardly ever make connections at shows because when I’m alone, I’m so stand-offish and awkward. And if I do talk to anyone, I always feel like they won’t remember me anyway because I’m so forgettable, wah.

So all of these things were so great (and also all thanks to Chooch, ugh) and then we had a great conversation with one of the guitarists from Jule Vera, the same one we talked to at Warped Tour (Claud?). He’s such a nice guy, and a real talker. That’s those Alabama boys for you! He said, “Ya’ll were at Warped Tour, too, weren’t you?” and I was so happy that he remembered talking to us! Those bands talk to so many fans at Warped Tour, but I guess Henry kind of stands out.

Just a little.

Henry and I told him that we also saw them at Riot Fest last year and how upset Chooch was that he wasn’t there, haha.

Meanwhile, Chooch just stood there, nervously wringing his hands, desperately trying to avoid making eye contact with Ansley. He has it bad for her, man.

We couldn’t leave without talking to Bradley (no really we couldn’t — he was standing right by the door!).

He seemed genuinely happy to see us, and told us that there were snags on stage, being the first show and all, and I was like, “Pfft, we couldn’t tell!” They sounded so tight as always! Then he tried to teach Chooch a handshake-thing and it was pretty painful, and also hilarious, to watch.

I opened my big mouth about Chooch’s crush on Ansley and Bradley was all, “OH SHIT!” and started teasing him in full big-brother mode. Even the guys in line behind us were cracking up.

I wish I could describe Bradley better, because he is so down-to-earth and an absolute delight to talk to. I know that sounds so lame and like, such a mom-thing to say, but it’s clear how much he values and appreciates his fans. I love watching him engage with people in line before us, and seeing him make someone’s day. He’s good at it, and while he has his exaggerated (and also very facetious) bravado on stage, he is so far from a rock star in person. I love this guy, and this band, and I hope the butterflies they give me never go away!

What an excelsior night, legitimately.