Apr 232016
 

 I might need a Pod for all the photos I’ve brought home from my Pappap’s house. A lot of the photos are familiar to me but Corey and I have unearthed a ton that are new to us. It’s funny because in my mind, the heyday of that house was obviously the early 80s because hello, HERE’S ERIN. But then we found several photo albums full of evidence of some totally bitchin’ parties that were had in the 60s and 70s it’s like nope, THAT was the heyday. 

“They had a freaking band playing in the game room!” Corey said, thrusting a photo album in my rubber gloved-hands.

You know this intrigued me because BANDS ARE BASICALLY MY WHOLE LIFE. I posted this on Facebook immediately and my Aunt Susie (my mom’s younger sister)  commented and said “Oh, that’s Hausen. Dad had them play at the house every year.” 

#nbd

So for the hell of it, I googled their name and found the bio of one of the members, who still plays in bands with some legit Pittsburgh musicians, but my favorite part of his bio was when he casually mentions that he briefly played in the Urge with TRENT REZNOR. 

I’m so obsessed with this now and want to go to see them and cry TELL ME ABOUT THE TIMES YOU PLAYED AT MY PAPPAP’S HOUSE because I’m sure they’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It was only 40 years ago. 
   

Meanwhile, my grandma was rocking some COUTURE COIFS. So in addition to hiring Hausen to play at my imaginary wedding, I’m flat out obsessing over how stylish my grandma’s freaking hair was, decade to decade. Seeing all of these old pictures makes me appreciate her so much more, because damn you guys, my grandma was a babe!

I’m also a bit surly that my mom and her sisters were so pretty in their formative years and the universe clearly stepped in after I was born and said, “OK this fam has seen enough beauty so now I present to you this baby who will have 5-6 good years before blimping out and ruining her pretty golden locks with a perm while also having a brief (as in 3 years) battle with facial eczema.”

That happened. 

On top of all this, my mom stuffed my frumpy body UGLY PLAID SKIRTS, KNEE HIGHS AND MOCASSINS. 

Anyway. My grandma’s hair. Let’s look at more of it. 

  

  

That’s my mom on the left! I got zero of her looks. :( I apparently look like my birth dad. 
  

   
  

The 80s <3

  
 

I can’t stand how pretty she was!   

This was her Bahamas look.    

In one of the stack of photos I found, there were no less than 8 photos of the TV, because my grandma wanted the same hair as some broad from “Dallas” and that’s what she would do so she could have a picture to take to the salon. She taught me well, so in the 90s I snapped an entire roll of film during one of Carrie Brady’s scenes on Days of Our Lives and took it to the salon and wound up with nothing like it because I’m not my grandma and spent all of the 90: crying post-salon trips. 

Hashtag Grandma Goals, for real. I need to step up my game in a BIG WAY so my future grandkids’ response to old photos of me won’t be “hnnnnnggggg.” 

Beehive, maybe?

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Apr 182016
 

Sharing these photos has been really cathartic for me. If you’re still visiting my blog even through all my mopiness and ridiculously embarrassing navel-gazing (yes, I’m aware, but I can’t stop!), then thank you, baes. I like sharing my woes with the world. I’m just a generous kind of broad.

  Chooch inverted that crucifix the other day and I was like, “BOY! NOT WHEN WE’RE TWO DAYS AWAY FROM GOING TO A BIRTHDAY PARTY IN A CHURCH.” Shit, son.

  
The sunset was pastel AF the other night when I was leaving. I miss living on this street a lot sometimes. There is so much wildlife everywhere! Deer and turkey just like, casually stroll down the lane together, like it’s no big deal. And Henry pointed out a possum the other night when we were leaving. When I still lived at home, we used to have sheep as pets, for Christ’s sake. (And a blood-thirsty rabbit.)


I never noticed these faces on the dining room mirror before.

At one time, this porch was entirely open. Corey and I have been shaking Val down for Original House details. (There was a fire at one point and it was rebuilt into what it is today.) She pointed out that in one of downstairs bathrooms, there was a window where a mirror currently hangs, and that’s where she used to sneak out of the house, haha. Also?! Her bedroom pre-house fire was the current clown room! Which actually was never really called the clown room by anyone but me. It was technically considered the “stereo room.”

I mean, here’s the carpet:

I’d like to curl up and die on that carpet. BIG FUCKING EMO SAD SACK SIGH.

Chooch inverted this crucifix the other night and I was like “BOY COULD YOU NOT DO SUCH THINGS TWO DAYS BEFORE WE ATTEND A BIRTHDAY PARTY AT A CHURCH?” Shit, son.

Found a stack of these in a bathroom drawer.
  

Chooch’s new bae. He’s been spending so much time there that now he’s starting to have dreams about the house, which makes me sad, but at least it’ll live on in someone else’s memory now too I guess? He said he’s going to start writing it into his Amethyst story and my heart was basically pumping confetti and smaller, baby hearts into my chest.

Yesterday we made Val order us pizza (lol) and Chooch insisted on eating at the dining room table, which I swear to god probably hasn’t been used since…1983? I remember my grandparents had a really big Christmas dinner one year with lots of extended family, and people sat in the dining room, in the living room at a long table, and also at the kitchen table. There were people everywhere but more importantly, there were presents for me everywhere, too!  #spoiledbrat

#formalpizzaparty #whysoformal #usingthegoodpapertowels

  

This fucking bowling game was always so frustrating, even back when it was new and should have worked properly.

Music was clearly super important in this house. There were speakers all over the house so that you could listen to whatever was playing in the clown room, or the kitchen, etc. There was always music playing in the kitchen when I was growing up and I think that’s a big reason why I always leave the radio on in my bedroom.

I had so many good hangouts in this room during my teen years! This is the largest of the three game rooms in the basement.

Glass guns filled with wine, which Henry discovered in a drawer.

ALONG WITH A PROJECTOR!!

This is the carpet in the game room we always referred to as “the pool room” because, you know, that’s where the pool table is.
  I used to be so good at PacMan, but my Pappap was a champion.

I loved fucking around with the intercom system when I was a kid, making it squawk and being generally annoying which I know sounds shocking. Corey was fiddling with the one in the den and it still works kind of! We heard Henry and Chooch outside. I never actually knew how to properly work those things, though.

That time Corey turned the corner and didn’t expect anyone to be there.


MORE TOM SELLECK!

This house needs preserved,  you know? Some of the things inside there, you just don’t see anymore. How does that quote go? It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. LOL. My life is that quote AF right now.

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Apr 132016
 

This post is full of pictures, so if you’re a member of the GET OVER IT camp, you are permitted to peace out now. :) I AM ACCOMMODATING EVEN IN MY EMOTIONAL STUPOR! Anyway, this is one of the walls in the den, featuring some framed baby prints of yours truly. Also my aunt Susie and some old people. The den is one of the only…how do you say…subdued rooms in the house. The wall paper in that room is textured, and I used to always scratch it with my nails, probably while watching HUNTER, who knows. I would be lying if I said I haven’t been sneaking in some gentle wall-scratches lately. Creature comforts, old habits, etc.

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I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pinched my fingers in that goddamn gate!


  

GIRRRRL, cover up.

Sharon was way into Cabbage Patch Kids in the 80s. She used to fly to Babyland, USA once a year to buy whatever those special ones were, I don’t know. I was never into it, even though she tried to get me to be. She bought me a preemie once (how weird is it now to think that you could get “premature” versions of Cabbage Patch Kids??) and I thanked her by repeatedly bashing its head off the road in front of my old house in South Park. (Sylvania Dr., holla!)

Henry found a drawer with a stash of Cabbage Patch Kids birth certificates the other day and just sighed.


  

When I was really young, the Christmas tree was in this room and we ate in the adjacent dining room. But then my grandma started inviting less people so we started having more informal Christmases on the porch.  I didn’t care where the tree was as long as there was a veritable toy store wrapped underneath it with MY NAME on it.

#COBWEBS

I’ve really been trying to take advantage of the situation by spending as much time over there as possible. Henry keeps saying that I’m too involved, too immersed, too obsessed…maybe the obsessed part is true, but I firmly believe that this is where I need to be right now, taking the time to go through the drawers and closets, remembering my old plastic bowling set that I used to play with on the indoor porch; the paper mache mail holder I made for my grandma (which is still intact 30+ years later!); the smell of the cedar closet where my old, baby fur coats still hang.

I gotta find that Bruce Willis cassette.

I am grateful for this time I was given, in spite of the circumstances. Plus, Corey and I collected a shitload of new hashtags that mean nothing to no one but crack us the fuck up.#SMELLMYGLOVE #POSTALBINSORGTFO #GOFUCKYOURSELF #DAWNSBLOCKOFCHEESE

Life, AMIRITE?!

But on a happier note, here are some things I’ve brought home and I promise to give them many more years of life.

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My Aunt Sharon was apparently really into Magnum PI in the 80s and always had this padded Tom Selleck…art piece (?) hanging on her wall. Henry found it in a closet last weekend and I was like, “I HAVE TO HAVE THIS.” I mean, c’mon. First, Chooch was like, “This is hideous.” Then, Chooch was like, “Can we hang him in my room?”

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“DO YOUR FUCKING HOMEWORK OR FACE THE WRATH OF THE ‘STACH, BOY!”

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I promised Henry I wouldn’t take every single clown in the house even though he so very sweetly (and smartly) said he didn’t care either way, but there are several that I do want to keep because MEM’RIES.

LIGHT THE CORNERS OF MY MIND.

(This whole thing is bringing out my inner Old Person.)

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And this beaut! I’m no doll expert, but Kara put on her Creepy Doll Investigator’s Hat, jammed a cigar in her mouth, and reported back that this is a Little Miss No Name doll, and that the ones with the tears are rare!

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She fits in super well in my house.

More later!

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Apr 122016
 

Having Drew Walden and Penelope Ann Killer around has definitely provided much needed entertainment. I mean, making fun of Henry is a pretty great passer of time, but even that game needs a rest now and then.

Anyway, I guess they are about 6 months old now and still acting like jerky kittens—don’t ever change, cats. Except when it comes to my succulents. PLEASE LOSE INTEREST STAT.

Here we have Drew spying on Hot Naybor Chris from Chooch’s window. Blog, did I tell you that HNC came over on Easter, shortly after we returned home from Lancaster, with two bushels of bananas for us? And then he asked me if we needed break too, and I was like, “Um…you should ask Henry?” So then Henry came home from the store and I said, “Chris has bread that he wants to unload on us” and Henry got this huge smile on his face and cheerfully cried, “I’LL GO OUT AND FIND HIM, THANKS!” and then did this dorky “Oh, Chris” head shake. Needless to say, he came back with like 5 loaves of varying types of bread. I have no idea why or how Chris comes upon all this extraneous bread that he cannot use for himself, but it’s really good bread and not like some stale loaves he dumpster dove for or anything shady like that. Come on, HNC would never give us bunk bread.

Henry told me why/how this whole bread phenomenon came to be, but I quit listening because I can only handle so much of Henry’s informational tone.

Turns out HNC delivered to us a blessing, because the next day, I would wake up with a cold and no desire to eat anything other than a slice of one of the extra-grainy, nutty, super wholesome loaves he gifted upon us, and then also for the next 5 days following thanks to #stress and #trauma. THAT BREAD WAS ALL I HAD!

This concludes the Bread Interlude portion of this post. Thanks for LETTING ME SHARE.
  

They get along much better than Marcy and Speck ever did! I mean, they definitely love to rough house (I’m officially my dad) with each other, but LOOK AT THEM NAPPING TOGETHER!

This box has been their favorite toy since we brought them into our home. Also, OJ lol.

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Legit cat naps. The cats are exhausted from a long morning of destroying anything that has any ounce of sentiment to me. And Henry is exhausted from dealing with the children he works with (ACTUALLY, NO, I AM NOT REFERRING TO CHOOCH AND MYSELF, THANKS).

Chooch posted this one on Instagram with the caption “dat ass doe” and thought he was soooooo cool.  And I was like whatever I’ve been saying that way longer than you.

Stupid. #penelopeannkiller #penelopiss

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

One of my friends saw this video and acted sad about the fact that my cats must be bored, because we clearly do not pay enough attention to them, I guess.  HILAR. Have you met Chooch!? Sometimes these cats are like, “PLEASE JUST PRETEND LIKE WE’RE NOT HERE. IT’S FINE. REALLY.”

Don't.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Perched on a sonic stack of 80s nostalgia.

SPEAKING OF 80s NOSTALGIA. New tangent alert!: Henry and I watched the CNN series “The Eighties” Saturday night because we’re so fucking wild; it was the episode about 80s television, and I got so fucking emotional that I honestly thought I was going to hurt myself. I miss it all so much and wish I could relive the 80s over and over because it was the best times for me. The nineties sucked for me (early 90s especially). But the 80s. GIMME.

I even miss the way newscasters spoke back then! All robotic and dry enunciation.

Full disclosure, I’m in full-fledged Living In the Past Mode these last few weeks. It’s kind of sickening and I sort of feel like some type of creature is feeding on me from the inside. It’s just this thing with me, I guess. Like, let me feel all of the pain I can possible stand all at once, like floating in a tub of water and electrocuting myself in increments, get it the fuck out of my system, and then I can go back to living the life of Present Day Erin. WOOOOO!

It’s like the time my friend Christy and I were hanging out one year on New Year’s Eve in high school and I had just broken up with my TRU LUV. Instead of trying to buck up and enjoy the night, I listened to the SAME FUCKING SONG* on repeat until Christy was like, “Stop before I leave and then you have even less friends!!”

*(THIS LOVE IS FOREVER BY HOWARD HEWETT. OMG OW.)

BONUS CAT: This stray has been lurking around my Pappap’s house (because my aunt had clearly been feeding her), so every time I go over—i.e. everyday because this is my new life—I have to first run around calling out, “HERE KITTY KITTY” and then when she emerges from the shrubs and gives me that ice-cold glare, I psychotically whisper, “I love you.” It’s like the ghost of Marcy boring into my soul.

If I get too close to her, she’ll scurry off, but then she’ll stop and toss me this irritated look over her shoulder, like, “Are you coming or what?” SHE IS LIKE MY OWN PERSONAL WHITE RABBIT, YOU GUYS. I think she might be trying to lure me into a ditch though.

Henry said I can 100% not bring her home. :(

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Apr 102016
 

Trying to spend as much time there as possible, which I’m sure is hurting my heart more than helping. Henry keeps saying annoying things like, “You need to pull back a little” and “How about taking break?” and I’m like HOW ABOUT YOU FUCK YOURSELF.  I just can’t stay away knowing that one day it will be gone, and with it the hugest piece of my childhood, so this is kind of like a time capsule for me.

I was in the house alone the other night and it was extremely scary, which made me sad because I’ve never been scared there before. But at the same time, I was kind of hoping something would happen. Some kind of contact, or sign. I KNOW: when you want something to happen, it won’t.




  


  


Chooch asked, “What is this, like a really old cell phone or something?”



He made up a song about Satan, and the smile on his face. Um…



There are so many layers to what is happening right now, and this is just one. In a way, it feels like I’m losing my Pappap all over again.

In lighter news though, I found out today that someone in that house was a HUGE Gino Vannelli fan. So many Gino records! Sometimes I listen to “Living Inside Myself” when I want to make myself cry. Which is often, because I am fucked up and clearly thrive on salty wets.

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Apr 082016
 

I asked Chooch last night what makes him happy. Without so much as a pause to consider, he said, “Going to concerts.”

Good thing I snagged us two tickets to see Pierce the Veil perform their soon-to-be-released new album in its entirety at the House of Blues in Cleveland!

It’s the best feeling in the world to be able to go to shows with my kid. I hope that one day when he’s older, these will be some of the best memories for him, the things he loves to tell his friends about. How his first concert was Pierce the Veil when he was 6. How he started going to Warped Tour when he was 7. How he met his musical idol Christofer Drew backstage at the Grog Shop in Cleveland. His Emarosa connection. His obsession with The Summer Set’s lyrics. And I hope that when things get rough for him, music will help soothe him like it helps me. I keep telling Henry, “Bled Fest and Warped Tour will help me. I just need to get through this, and then Bled Fest and Warped Tour. BLED FEST AND WARPED TOUR, HENRY.”

And because I’m in a very TREAT YO’SELF state of mind, I also got myself a ticket to see John Carpenter in July because the Halloween theme, you guys. The fucking Halloween theme.

I DO WHAT I WANT AND I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU THINK.

And now it’s time for Daily Cry. Bled Fest and Warped Tour need to get here quick.

 

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Apr 072016
 

 


My music obsession was definitely sculpted and honed in my grandparents’ house. I made my first mixtape there using a Fisher Price tape recorder; it had a lot of family conversations that I captured without permission and Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” which I recorded off the music video that was playing on the TV. I’d eat my grilled cheese at the kitchen counter to a soft rock soundtrack wafting out of a stereo kept tucked away in a cabinet behind me. My friend Amy and I played on the enclosed porch a lot, where I would often play a BRUCE WILLIS cassette that had his cover of “Under the Boardwalk” on it and my god was that song THE FUCKING SHIT.

But when I think about my romance with music in the 80s, the distinct memory of sitting on the floor of the game room, playing song after song on the jukebox,  always comes to mind.

SHE BOP!

LUCKY STAR!

SAY SAY SAY!

But the one that stands out the most is Phil Collins and Genesis. My love for Phil is unabashed. I’ve always been open about it too, even in high school when I went to see him at the Civic Arena and I gave no fucks about everyone knowing. I decided to torture myself the other night, so on my drive home I put on “Tonight, Tonight, Tonight” and just fucking lost it, but it felt really good to get it all out. I was a little girl again, sitting on that game room floor, playing my favorite songs over and over again.

Seriously, this song is everything. Whatever that means.

There was also a jukebox in the other game room at their house, but that one played “old people” music and I didn’t like it.

Music is the best damn time capsule. Sometimes I find myself getting a little too dead on the inside and all it takes is one song to bring back the feels. My dad had a jukebox too, in his garage, but that one had of 90s jams on it. I used to play Toad the Wet Sprocket over and over while hitting a tennis ball off the garage door. But it never felt the same as that jukebox in the game room.

The good jukebox. Not the old people jukebox.

My mom is all, “Why don’t you guys take the jukebox?” and I’m like, “ARE YOU TRYING TO MURDER ME WITH MEMORIES?”

There’s no real point to this other than I love jukeboxes, I’m so goddamn tired, and I really fucking miss my Pappap.

Anyway. This song is relevant to my life right now because GET ME OUT OF HERE.

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Apr 042016
 


After years of not being inside of my Pappap’s house, I’ve been over there every day since Wednesday. My brother Corey and I were standing in one of the game rooms when we spotted this crazy ornamental box thing on a fireplace mantel.

“Oh my god, that looks like it belongs in your house!” Corey said.

I asked him if it would be weird if I took it and he was just like, no don’t be dumb. So I did. Because it calling to me. 

I started rooting through it later that night and it’s mostly full of old curlers, Bobby pins, matchbooks, receipts (mostly Sharon’s—things like dry cleaning, etc) but there was also a doctors appointment card in there with my birth dad’s name on it, which was kind of jarring to see.

We were over there again yesterday and uncovered a photo album in the living room. When I was little, I was OBSESSED with paging through tomes and tomes of photos. I loved asking my grandma, “And who is this? And this?” But I had never seen this photo album before in my life. It appears that it belongs to my Aunt Sharon and it’s full of Polaroids from a party she must have had there in the 70s. At first, it made me feel so depressed, but then Corey admitted that seeing pictures of the house being so alive made him feel happy. And he’s right. The party years were over by the time I came onto the scene, but I used to hear stories about the epic parties held in that house, and it was pretty awesome to see pictures of Sharon looking so happy, hosting a party for her friends. There’s even a photo of her with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other, and we never knew she ever smoked!

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I feel like my grandparents must have been on vacation at this time because I have a hard time believing my grandma was OK with randoms traipsing through her master bathroom, lol.

Anyway, in one of the photos, that box is sitting on a table in the game room!!!!

I’ve never noticed this thing before in my life, and now it’s punching me in the face twice in 4 days.

My grandma used to babysit me when I was super little. My friend Amy’s grandparents lived next door, so she would always come over and we would spend a ton of time in that game room playing at the bar. One of the waitresses at Blue Flame had given me an order pad thing and we would use that to take each other’s bar orders, because that’s what 5-year-olds do when their playroom is essentially an adult’s playroom. We’d go back and forth between that and the slot machines.

And in high school, this is where L.A.M.E. had all of their “meetings” and where we would film a lot of our English class videos. Yet I don’t even recall seeing that box. It’s so bizarre to me!

So many puzzle pieces.

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Apr 032016
 

In an effort to do something normal, I went to Journeys yesterday to buy some new TOMS. Henry and I weren’t even all the way into the store yet before a young salesguy was firing off apathetic scene kid salutations at us. I was annoyed at first, because everything annoys me anymore, but then he came over while I was examining the TOMS situation, and I mumbled something about not wanting a white pair because I planned to wearing them outside a lot, like to Warped Tour.

“You know we sponsor Warped,” he casually said as we rooted through the TOMS table together. I actually did know this but I still quietly stood there and listened as he told me that he’s actually in a competition right now to get sent to Warped and run the tent.

“What’s it based on, sales?”  I asked.

“Well, right now it’s socks actually. We’re being challenged to sell the most socks.”

This is when I noticed that he kind of resembled Tilian Pearson from Dance Gavin Dance and that made me want him to win. So I picked out of a pair of pink TOMS and told him to throw in some low-cut socks too because Chooch’s current sock stash have the texture of paper mache. I mean, these fucking foot swathes can stand up on their own, even when washed. And the stench is forever.

While he was ringing me up, he asked for my email address.

“But Gavin Can’t Dance,” I started to say, and he interrupted me.

“Is that a Dance Gavin Dance reference? They’re my favorite band!” He gushed, his bored vocal cadence getting a small shot of life.

“It is,” sighed his co-worker who had just emerged from the back.

“SAME!” I cried happily because THIS NEVER HAPPENS. “Did you go to their 10-Year Anniversary tour?”

“No,” he said sadly. “My girlfriend at the time had a dance competition and I had to go to that, but Dane next door at Game Stop went to the Columbus show.” I looked at Henry and tried to imagine choosing something he was doing over seeing Dance Gavin Dance, and I just laughed a lot on the inside.

I told him that Henry and I went to the Cleveland show and he was all, “WAS IT AMAZING?! DID JONNY AND KURT SING TOO?!” And then we expressed mutual sadness over Kurt Travis leaving A Lot Like Birds and I told him and his co-worker who was still standing there about the Kurt Travis house show I went to in Oakland last summer and how I had an easy 15 years on everyone there and the co-worker guy was like, “Hey, music has no age limits” and I seriously considered quitting my job and applying at Journeys.

MY PEOPLE.

I tentatively asked my new bro (Sam, in case you care) his thoughts on Emarosa, because oftentimes DGD fans are still rabid supporters of Jonny Craig.

“I LOVE THEM! And Bradley is just amazing as their singer. I actually really like Versus a lot. Have you heard their Reimagined album?”

I mean, DUH. So we talked about how fantastic Bradley is and my heart felt like it was beating again for the first time since Wednesday morning.

“Honestly, I used to really like Jonny Craig, but if you ask me, he can only sing in the key of A, and he tries way too hard anymore. I honestly do not like Slaves at all,” Sam said, handing me my bag while his co-worker and I both vehemently agreed with his assessment. (I was still a fan of Jonny when he started Slaves and even then I was like, “Ew, this is not good at all.” It makes it easier to not support him anymore, that’s for sure.)

“I was a huge Jonny Craig fan-girl for years and years, but I finally divorced that whole scene,” I said, and we all laughed about that together and I gave Henry this frantic look that screamed, “DO WE HAVE TO LEAVE SO SOON? CAN’T YOU PRETEND LIKE YOU WANT TO TRY ON 18 PAIRS OF VANS?!”

As we turned to leave, Sam said it was always great to meet another Dance Gavin Dance fan and that if I needed anything, come back and ask for him. I thanked him and as we walked back out to the car, I was like, “WAIT WHAT DID HE MEAN BY ANYTHING?!”

His favorite DGD songs are Carl Barker and Tree Village, in case you were wondering.

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Mar 312016
 

I got my hands on some old photo albums yesterday and some of them are filled with photos I’ve never seen before, like these EASTER BUNNY PHOTOS. Clearly, I’ve always had a soft spot for him/her.

I wish the Easter bunny at the local malls still looked like these ones! GAH I JUST WANT TO HUG ALL THREE OF THESE FLOPPY-EARED FUCKERS!

I love how someone clearly didn’t like what I was wearing in one of these and took me back for a do-over after a wardrobe change.

In other news, I’ve only eaten bread and a sundae from Sarris in the last two days*, and I’m running on about 3 hours of sleep right now. Ask me difficult questions!

*Lies. I also ate the mini KitKat that Glenn chucked at me earlier this morning. That’s how I know HE CARES.

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Mar 262016
 

 We’re decompressing at the Country Inn in Lancaster, with a little bit of time to kill before the Silverstein/Emarosa show tonight so here is a quickie. 

I try to make the most out of my lunch breaks at work. It’s when I typically churn out the RIP GLENNS and now it’s also when I work on the Law Firm zine which has survived to see a second issue! I tread carefully with these because they’re fun, most everyone seems to enjoy it, and I don’t want to cross any lines that’ll get my DIY printing press shut down. 

In this current issue, I interviewed one of the mail room guys, had a feature on our old co-worker Nina (“Hello From the Other Side” lololol), gave Chris a full-page spread for his mixtape, and concluded with a SPOT THE DIFFERENCES using a picture that Patrick provided—a screenshot from when he was accidentally on the news after walking past a murder investigation! Amber1 was the first one to find all the differences so she got an Easter bunny lipgloss and a tiny succulent as her prize. 

 

 These things bring me great joy. And also much stress. 
And my #greetingsfromerinslunchbreak project is going well! I think I’ve mailed 12 so far. So much happens when I’m outside on my break!
  
 
LASTLY, I made an Easter picture for our processing group! I didn’t get a chance to make one last year (probably because I was still in a depressed stupor from BARB quitting), but in previous years, I made a Noah’s Ark, a shepherd (Glenn) with his sheep, and a really epic Last Supper. This was the first year I got to include myself! My employee ID photo is from 2010 and my hair was soooooo dark then—I don’t miss that at all. 

I was cracking up so bad at my desk while making this and Glenn just mumbled, “Wow.” But then when I showed him the final product he LAUGHED. 

Oh, small pleasures. 

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Mar 252016
 


Leaving work on Friday, I could barely contain myself inside the elevator. My co-worker Mitch was kind of side-eying me so I blurted out: I’M GOING TO SEE CARLY RAE JEPSEN TONIGHT!!!”

Pregnant pause.

“Wow,” Mitch laughed. “Was not expecting that!”

Even though I like a wide array of music, and am constantly dipping in and out of genres and decades, I don’t think it’s a surprise that most people likely associate me with heavier, “screamy” bands. And that’s fine, because I love that stuff. But I’m not one of those music snobs who thimbs her nose Top 40. (Although there are several artists, and I use that title very loosely, who I really honestly can’t stand and truly believe are ruining the face of pop music. COUGHMEGHANTRAINORCOUGH)

I have always unabashedly loved Britney Spears and have supported Lady Gaga from the beginning. I don’t even hate Justin Bieber. ANS I LOVE THAT FUCKING CAKE BY THE OCEAN SONG, OK??

However, pop music doesn’t usually tug on my heartstrings like my main bands do. It’s just something nice to listen to every now and then when I just need something on in the background.

And then came CRJ.

You guys. I wish I could put my finger on what it is about her that turns my heart into a clump of sweet sweet gummi bears.  Particularly her most recent album which I’m sorry to tell you, it is a motherfucking pop masterpiece. It makes me feel like I have roller skaters right the fuck back into my charmed childhood, before everything got shitty, when all that mattered was puffy-painted sweatshirts and side-ponies. She makes me feel pure, unadulterated happiness, and that right there brings real, genuine tears to my eyes.

You can make fun of me all you want. Constantly remind me that you “don’t get it.” Smirk at my excitement. I don’t really give a fuck. She’s not my guilty pleasure, because I feel zero ounces of guilt when I listen to her music. She is my PROUD pleasure.

Interestingly, she has some major crossover appeal with others in my scene. Anytime there is a news post about her on Absolute Punk, the fan-girling is strong. She is a breath of fresh maple-scented air in a pop scene over-saturated with twerking and vulgar schticks and sexually explicit lyrics that you pray your nine-year-old doesn’t understand.

She is wholesome without being lame or cheesy.

She is a goddamn Canadian princess.

And I couldn’t get to Mr. Smalls fast enough!

Chooch and I have had our tickets since the moment they went on sale. I had a feeling it would sell out since Mr. Smalls isn’t very big, and it did.

After feeding us, Henry dropped Chooch and me off down the street so no one would see us getting out of Daddy’s car. We had about 20 minutes to kill before the doors opened, but the line kept growing so even though I was shivering in my too-light jacket, I was glad I didn’t have Henry drive around the block one more time.

Originally, I figured Chooch and I would snag a spot in the back, right where the bar is separated from the main floor, so that GOD FORBID Chooch could sit down on the floor between bands since his limbs are SO WEAK from being A NINE-YEAR-OLD. But then I saw that there was some prime real estate along the front of the stage, but over to the side a bit, so I dragged him over to there and at first he was like, “WHAT WHY” but then he saw that at least he could lean against the stage to take some of the weight off his WEARY BONES.

For fuck’s sake, Chooch.

We made small-talk with the burly security guy who was guarding the emergency exit/staff only door which leads back stage. Apparently, I was the cut-off for that side of the stage, because when some broad came over later and leaned past me to look toward the center of the stage, the guy was like, “You can’t stand there.” She explained that she was trying to see her two daughters that she left alone in front of the stage and he was like, “UNLESS YOU’RE GONNA BE WORKING HERE, MOVE.” Yeah boy!

Before the show even started, Chooch went to the bathroom twice. He’s obsessed with public restrooms. The first time was legit, he honestly had to pee, but the second time was because his gum made him sick and he supposedly went to the bathroom to puke.

Guys, I don’t know how much truth there is to this. Mostly because I tell Henry all the time that I was “SO SICK THAT I PUKED” and 99.99999% of the time, this might be a slight exaggeration.

Fairground Saints started promptly at 7:10. I would have guessed they were from Nashville—two guys, a girl, three acoustic guitars, and an alt-twang sound. They were pleasant-sounding, and the girl had one hell of a fucking voice, but it wasn’t really my thing. Chooch loved them because they covered Justin Bieber and he was so relieved that he had enough battery life left on his phone to get a video of it.

He’s clearly my kid.

The second band was Cardiknox and I definitely liked them a lot more because SYNTH. I love most anything involving synth. And the singer, Chooch’s new lady love, was really entertaining and high energy. She kept singling out one of the guys standing near us and it was adorable.

Cardiknox

A video posted by Erin (@ohhonestlyconcerts) on

I thought Chooch for sure would have liked Cardiknox more but he was blinded by his love of Fairground Saints, especially after they not only liked his Instavid, but also went back and liked a picture of his cat, Drew. They have his heart now, probably forever.

Also, Chooch was starting to get super ornery by this point because it was getting more crowded and he claims the guy next to him kept pushing him into the stage but I was standing right there and I swear to god this never happened. That guy and his girlfriend were pretty mindful of the fact that a kid was standing behind them, and the girlfriend even slapped her hand over her mouth when she said “fuck,” and I was just like, “Please, if you knew the words that came out of this child’s mouth, you’d blush.”

Sometime during Cardiknox, two younger girls (they were definitely under 21 based on the Xs on their hands, and at first I thought they were middle-school aged but then I found them on Instagram afterward (NOT INTENTIONALLY! They came up when I was perusing the #gimmielovetour hashtag the next day) so now I guess they might be around 17 or 18…either way, the one girl who was right behind—I guess the security dude made a concession for her–and she was SO FUCKING IDIOTIC. Like, I get it — we’re all excited. We’re all screaming. I was screaming my fucking face off. But her scream was RIDICULOUS. Like one step down from a dog whistle. And right against my skull.

Then she would do these death metal growls and I kept slowly turning around to get a glimpse of her because for a while, I honestly couldn’t figure out exactly what was behind me.

Other than that, though, the show was AMAZE. When CRJ came out, I shed actual tears and started pushing Chooch excitedly. He was really excited too and had his phone out, ready to record her entrance.

She came out and immediately started singing “Run Away With Me” which is one of my favorites and oh, if only she had been performing at a roller rink — that’s the only way the night could have been any better. She sounded amazing, you guys, and she was such a joy to watch that I don’t think my eyes were dry for even a second of that show.

I’ve never really fan-girled over a pop star before, so this was new territory for me. But I was right there with all of the teen girls and gay guys, shrieking and thrusting out my arm in hopes that my fingers could even just slightly graze CRJ, even if it was just the sleeve of her shirt. AT LEAST IT WOULD BE SOMETHING. And also proof that she’s not a holograph.

BAE!

During “Tonight I’m Getting Over You,” I noticed that she had tears streaming down her face, and she continued silently crying for the next two songs. It was extremely intimate and touching so then this made me cry even harder because crying is like yawning for me: if I see someone crying in real life, I will start crying too without being able to stop it. IT’S MY BIGGEST CHARACTER FLAW. Seriously, it’s hard to maintain my misanthropic asshole persona when I’m fucking crying all of the time, ugh.

I’m crying again.

There were grown men who looked dangerously close to flinging themselves off the balcony in sheer ecstasy during “Call Me Maybe.”

Chooch and I were desperate to get her to touch us! Before the show started, one of the stage guys came over and told the people next to us that they had to move their stuff off the stage. We were like, right on the side, where the stage winged out a little, and he said, “Carly walks out here and I don’t want her to slip.”

So of course we were all like OMG SHE’S GOING TO WALK OVER HERE AND BE STANDING LITERALLY RIGHT IN FRONT OF US?!?!

But that guy was a goddamn shit-sucking liar because she never came over that far. She never got any further than the guys who were two heads down from us, we were SO CLOSE yet SO FAR AWAY. But I swear to god there were multiple times when she came over and smiled RIGHT AT me and Chooch. Right at our dumb idiot faces.

I was goo. A pathetic wad of goo.

Meanwhile, Screamy behind me kept death-growling, “I LOVE YOU” which ricocheted off the back of my head, along with her phone which she kept shoving past my face in order to record CRJ’s every last movement. I mean, OK—so was I, but I had my phone at chest level so it wasn’t blocking anyone’s view!

That girl was seriously the only blemish on the whole entire night. Not even Chooch’s supposed “mental breakdown” toward the end of the show managed to put a damper on my spirits. (He was oddly preoccupied with the fact that he had a knot in his shoelace and it wasn’t until he finally untied it on the sidewalk after the show that he was finally able to exhale and go back to being normal. It’s always something with him.)

After the show, we went straight to the merch booth so I could buy a shirt and my record-snob son wanted E.MO.TION on vinyl. I’ve created a monster. It was after 11 by the time we made it outside of Mr. Smalls, and we were originally just going to leave, but then a group of older men started talking to us, asking Chooch if he got his record signed, etc. We said no, and they pointed out that there was a line forming outside of CRJ’s bus, which pretty much ended right where we were standing. It didn’t seem very long, and even though there was no guarantee that she would come out, I told Chooch I would absolutely die if I missed a chance to meet her. He wasn’t very pleased because he was cold and cranky and I like CRJ more than he does (seriously, if this was Christofer Drew’s bus, though…). I think he was also getting pissed that these guys kept talking to us while waiting for their Uber. The one man told us that he had literally flown in just for the show last minute and got there right as she started singing the second song. Then he showed us pictures of his twin grandkids and Chooch was like, “OK WOW GR8 BYE” but I thought these guys were very nice and I appreciated their flamboyance. It was a refreshing change from the usual too cool for school crowd I usually find myself immersed in at shows.

After about 20 minutes, Chooch pointed out that people at the front of the line were taking pictures. I asked the tall guy behind me if Carly was out of her bus and he said, “Yep, she’s up there now” and I started fucking sweating and hyperventilating.

The line moved up quickly and smoothly; everyone was very respectful of her time and space, no one asked for more than they were entitled, and she wasn’t straight-up mobbed. There apparently was already a VIP meet-and-greet before the show, so she totally didn’t have to be available for us, but she still came out and that made me evict a few people from my heart so she could have some cozier real estate.

By the time it was our turn, I was a nervous wreck and thoroughly coated her with my word-vomit.

“OMG I JUST LOVE YOU YOU WERE SO GREAT TONIGHT I CRIED SO MUCH!!!” and she just smiled graciously and said “Thank you” after each of my psycho declarations. Then Chooch very calmly and nonchalantly asked, “Can you sign my record?” like it wasn’t CARLY RAE JEPSEN standing before us all petite and perfect with her little hat on and OMG I WAS STANDING NEXT TO CARLY RAE JEPSEN ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME SHE WAS JUST IN THE LIVE TV PRODUCTION OF GREASE SINGING WITH BOYZ II MEN!??!?!

I really hate having my picture taken but there was no way I was missing this chance, because who knows if it will ever happen again, so I whispered, “Will you take a picture with us…?” and she was all, “Sure!” and I gave my phone to the tall guy behind us and only vaguely remember CRJ draping her arm over my shoulder because I was pretty much experiencing a blinding out-of-body moment and by the time we found Henry and scrambled into the car, my hands were shaking so bad that I almost dropped my phone while trying to show him our picture and he just mumbled, “You’re sad,” but then he was trying not to smile so I think on the inside he was like, “Holy shit my kids met CRJ!”

Not to be That Person, but I really did lose my fucking shit when she sang “Call Me Maybe.” I am overcome with beautiful memories and happy feelings every single time I hear this song. I’m reminded of the Summer Olympics, extreme laughing fits, ROSS’S BLACKBERRY…it’s just pure, unadulterated summer joy. So, try to belittle me for liking a “one hit wonder,” but it won’t work. My love for CRJ is real and I’ll own it forever. No shame, no guilt, no regrets.

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Dec 302015
 

I was home alone on Christmas Eve, feeling slightly under the weather.  Naturally this meant I felt compelled to exercise. I went to YouTube because there was a hip hop workout I did the other day and I wanted to see if that broad had any others. When I typed in her name, even though she’s Spanish, one of the first things that came up was SUPER FUN K-POP DANCE WORKOUT.

Oh shit, hold the phone, I screamed out loud to Trudy and my succulents. This was bound to be good. Plus, I went through a heavy k-pop/j-pop phase back in 1999-2002 when I used to get numerous foreign TV channels, like ZeeTV, included in my cable package (then they switched those to premium, good one, Comcast). My favorite programming was obviously the music videos, followed closely by the soap operas. But the music videos were like soap operas in and of themselves — especially the slow jams, so depressing and full of tragedy. I kept a blank tape in the VCR so I could record my favorite videos. Sometimes I would even opt to stay home when my friends were going out to the bar, because I was in so deep.

The bars don’t play k-pop, you guys.

My all-time favorite was Lee Juno’s “Return of the King of Dance.” Years later, I found the CD on some Asian music webstore, and I was sorely disappointed when it arrived and I realized that that was the only good song on the whole disc.

OK, so back to Christmas Eve. When I saw this workout video on YouTube, I forgot all about the coughing fits I had been having all evening and immediately pressed play to be sucked into a world of shiny Korean choreography.

IT IS A GODDAMN DREAM.

And somehow, I’m actually able to do it! I am never able to do any dance-based exercise workouts. Don’t even come near me with Zumba. I will fall and break my face. But k-pop fitness? It’s like it was MADE FOR ME.

My gateway into this niche of the fitness industry was through YouTube user SarahKayPop. She puts together 35 minute compilations of various k-pop dances that are on YouTube, and she even throws in some of her own in there too, which she performs in her bedroom. Not intimate at all. But through Sarah, I found the official KpopX Fitness channel and it hasn’t just consumed me—it has carefully digested me and shit me out as a better, more Korean version of myself.  It is honestly the first thing I think of when I wake up in the morning, all I talk about at work, and how I end my days — pushing the coffee table out of the way and k-popping my fat face off.

I AM SO GOOD AT IT!

And I know this will come as a huge shock, but I’m following KpopX on Instagram now and have basically imprinted with their creator, #MaddyLim.

“Who’s that?” Henry mumbled last night during my post-dance routine of continuing to scour YouTube for the next day’s lineup while Henry watches with glazed eyes from the couch.

“THAT’S #MADDYLIM, THE CREATOR OF KPOPX!” I screamed. How did he not know this by now? But then he was laughing, which means that he was just trying to piss me off, which is really stupid considering my muscles are now inflated with gangnam style and cat ears.

I don’t have a huge floppy bow yet but Henry will make me one. He hasn’t said that he will yet, but come on.

One of my favorite moves requires one to put the hands together in the shape of a heart above the head and then lean forward while furiously shuffling the feet. It probably burns at least three Jollypong bag’s worth of calories. I tried to teach this move to Glenn on Monday morning but he wouldn’t get up from his desk, saying that it was “stupid” and telling me to “stop.”

I can’t explain how it makes me feel,  but I imagine rainbows squirting out of my feet and cartoon birds fluttering out of my armpits. So at least you know how it looks. I think that I need to set up some cardboard cutouts of toadstools around the room, though. And I should probably also get a nurse costume. (One of the instructors wears one, OK?!)

The other day at work, I went to the official KpopX website and learned that I can become a certified instructor online for only $189.99! Then I tried to order one of their official shirts, but shipping to the US is not available! WHAT WHY!? So now, just like when I didn’t get a Chiodos hoodie for Xmas 2007, I’ll have to make my own I guess.

And even though I’m not certified yet, I took liberties and taught Henry how to do this exhilarating and mildly perverse routine to Psy’s pony-play inspired hit “Daddy.” He was not filled with such wow like I was, though. I guess KpopX isn’t for everyone, surprisingly.

But so far, my favorite routine is to the crowd-pleasing banger “Hot Issue” by 4 Minute. I might know the moves by heart now, is all I’m saying. That song came on the other night when I was forcing Henry to fall asleep to a k-pop Spotify playlist and I nearly flipped him out of the bed, that’s how hyper I became. IT’S THE MOTHERFUCKING JAM.

****

“You have a really addictive personality,” Amber2 laughed after I gushed about KpopX on a boring Tuesday afternoon at work.

“Yeah,” Todd agreed. “You go from one thing to the next so fast! For example, you never talk about your plants anymore.”

YES I DO AND THEY’RE SUCCULENTS OK.

****

Henry came home from the store last night when I was in the middle of a “Big Bang” routine and I went ape shit on him for corrupting my zone.

“I’m sorry!” he yelled. “I didn’t think you would STILL be kpopping!” Bitch please, I was going on 75 minutes straight by then. Maybe call ahead next time.

I also really like the k-pop routines by Crazy Sock TV, in case you care.

Sorry Paul Eugene, but I’m putting a moratorium on the gospel aerobics. Jesus ain’t got shit on these k-pop bitches.

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Dec 212015
 

We tried so hard to keep it a secret, but Robbie pretty much figured out right away that me, Henry and Nikki were taking him to Cleveland last Wednesday for the Craig Owens show. Henry and I weren’t sure if it was going to work out at all, since it was in the middle of the week, but Nikki super slickly went behind Robbie’s back and asked his boss to give him the day off. Once that happened, Henry bought the tickets and then we tried to come up with a plausible explanation as to why we were going to Cleveland on a random Wednesday, but stupid Bandsintown alerted Robbie that Craig Owens was playing that night, so he knew. It’s a lot easier to pull one over on our gullible 9-year-old, so I sometimes forget that everyone else wouldn’t just go along with a mysterious road trip without doing some serious investigating on their end.

Robbie loves Craig Owens even more than I do, so we thought it would be the perfect birthday/Christmas gift for him. Especially when our friend Jason mentioned that he could possibly get us access to the video session that was going to filmed earlier that day in the Alternative Press office. That meant we had to leave early on Wednesday, which really set off the alarms in Robbie’s head. Nikki said he was practically bullying her into telling him what was going on.

Surprises are so delightful!

We left an hour later than originally planned because Henry is the worst. Do you know how hard it was to sit in my house waiting for Henry to come home, when there were all these awkward vibes because everything was so suspicious?

< insert boring drive to Cleveland here. >

We arrived in Cleveland sometime after 1 and Nikki woke up from a nap.

“I had a dream that I asked Craig Owens how tall he is and he said he’s 5’10”,” she said. We all agreed that we felt like he was taller than that, so Robbie quickly googled and announced that Craig is, indeed, 6’2″. I wonder if Craig ever thinks about all the rando conversations his fans probably have about him on a daily basis. I mean, even Henry has talked about Craig’s hair A LOT over the years. He’s kind of obsessed with it and will always be the first one to notice if it’s changed since the last time. His only takeaway from the D.R.U.G.S. show we saw in 2011 was that “Craig’s hair is darker.”

We had just enough time to grab coffee and a quick poke through my favorite store of all time, Flower Child:

I had just ended a conversation with the owner about how much I love her shop and how I cried real tears when I was there a month ago and it was closed, when Henry got a text from Jason that said, “Get here NOW.” Henry barked, “Let’s go!” and whisked us out of the shop, which probably looked like we were the clumsiest shoplifters EVER. I can only imagine how suspicious we looked, tearing out of a shop that we had just entered a minute before, but I was too excited to be embarrassed.

“Where are we going?” Robbie asked nervously.

“We have to meet our friend Jason real quick. I have a case of root beer for him,” Henry stuttered.

I mean, that was partially true! Jason is a true root beer connoisseur and especially likes it bottled. So Henry brought a case of root beer from the Faygo Factory for him. This is why Jason likes Henry better than me. Well, that and because Henry doesn’t bring up Jonny Craig every single time we hang out with Jason.

And Robbie knew something was about to happen. He met Jason last year when we were in town for a Chiodos show at House of Blues; Jason met us at Melt for a quick hello and Robbie remembered that he was affiliated with Alternative Press, so even though there is no signage outside of the building that houses the office, it didn’t matter.

The jig was up!

“Don’t freak out,” I whispered over my shoulder as Jason keyed us through the AP door and led us into a back room where cameras were set up and Craig Owens was sitting on a stool, strumming his guitar and warming up.

Robbie’s face looked like this pretty much the whole time: somewhere frozen between a smile and a stroke.

Jason got chairs for us and basically bent over backward to make sure we were comfortable—he is such a stand-up guy! As if he hadn’t already done enough for us, now he was trying to give us more things. We promised him that we were fine, and after reminding us to turn off our phones, he retreated back to his office, because deadlines.

I accidentally took this blurry photo as I was tucking my phone away:

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 preset

Jason warned me that the chair he gave me was kind of broken, which didn’t stop me from leaning back in it, and further and further back until I realized I was falling. I caught myself before anyone noticed and made sure to lean forward for the rest of the afternoon because I didn’t want to be That Person who disrupted filming.

Ugh, that would be so typical of me!

Craig performed two songs with his friend Pete: one was a song that was so brand new, Pete was having difficulties because they literally had just written the music for it the night before. Craig said it will be released sometime in 2016 as part of his new, top secret project. TOTALLY PIQUED.

The second song was off the new Before Their Eyes album which he produced. Both song were fantastic, but that first one was a stunner. Those two songs were being filmed for Periscope, but we got to hear the first one several more times when he was asked to play it again but with a more detailed introduction other than just, “This is…a song” which is how he had originally introduced it, ha! I love Craig.

When he finished performing the songs, he walked back over to where we were sitting so that he could join his friend (NICOLE RORK who is an exceptional photographer and I was low-key fangirling when I saw her there) and come up with some facts for the 10 Things You Didn’t Know segment that he had also agreed to film.

“Did it sound OK, guys?” he asked us, and we were all like, “HHHHHHHNNNNNNNGGGGGGHHHHH YES.”

OK, Henry was way calmer than that.

I don’t want to give anything else away since these video segments haven’t been posted on Alternative Press’s website yet, but I just have to say that Craig is ridiculously interesting, multi-faceted, and extremely intelligent. Listening to him answer questions was riveting. All the behind-the-scenes minutiae was actually fascinating and I’m so humbled that we got to take it all in.

After about an hour of filming, he walked over to us and held out his hand.

“Hi, I’m Craig,” he said with a friendly smile and not the forced kind that Henry always adopts.

I’m sure internally, we were all like, “WE KNOWWW OMG!” but I feel like we kept it together and somehow managed to introduce ourselves without causing a nose bleed or biting off our tongues. He asked us how the drive from Pittsburgh was and Henry gave his stock answer, “Fine. Fine” while I blurted out, “BORING” and I think Robbie was just giggling at this point. Thankfully, Nikki was there to break the ice by telling Craig about her recent dream about him and his height.

“Yeah, I’m pretty tall!” he laughed. “Actually, all of the Chiodos guys are like, over 6 feet tall,” he added, and we were all like, “Oh wow,” with batted eyelashes and flirty giggles because CRAIG OWENS.

Somehow I was able to muster the courage and enough of my voice to thank Craig for allowing us to sit in on that. Thank you, Craig Owens, for being a true gentleman and so gracious to your fans.

(I love that there’s a Cure issue two above Robbie’s head in this picture!)

Before walking out to the parking lot with us to get the root beer, Jason asked again if we needed anything. “Any magazines? Anything at all? No, you’re good?” he asked, and we assured him that he had already done so much for us. Seriously, thank you Santa Pettigrew!

We were about to leave when Craig passed us in the parking lot. Thank god Nikki had the good sense to ask him if we could take his picture with Robbie. He very jovially agreed, at which point we all just stood there.

“Erin, take the picture,” Henry hissed. SORRY! I was in a Craig Owens daydream bubble. Henry’s burly tone snapped me out of it and I was somehow able to take the picture without fumbling for my phone.

We told him we’d see him later that night, and with a big smile, he said, “I hope you’re wearing your singalong pants!” I laughed along with everyone else, but I couldn’t help but feel a tiny pull of paranoia.

“Do you think he said that on purpose?!” Nikki whispered on the way back to the car, knowing that Craig and I had a…disagreement on Twitter four years ago because I wrote a bitchy blog post about how I went to his solo show and he let the audience sing most of his songs while he just stood there and held out his microphone. Look, my cat had just died and I was really emotionally fragile OK?! Nothing could have made me happy on that night.

But this particular night was about to be so much better. And we determined later that he probably didn’t mean anything by his singalong pants remark, thank god!

Afterward, we had about 90 minutes to kill before the actual show. We drove to Coventry in search of food, since none of us had eaten anything since breakfast, not like it mattered, because it probably would have gotten puked up anyway. (I mean, except Henry’s. Nothing fazes Henry.)

Big Fun is next to Tommy’s, so we popped over at dinner, hoping to find some toys to buy for the show. Anyone who brought a new toy or stuffed animal to the show got a meet and greet wristband. Even though we already had our time with him that afternoon, we wanted to do our part in helping out underprivileged children. Except Henry. He was like, “I don’t need no meet n greet bracelet, fuck off!”

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Saul Berenson is big fun.

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We wound up just going to a nearby Target, where I bought Candy Land, and Nikki bought a Mr. Potato Head and an exorbitantly-priced stuffed pony, which Robbie picked out with complete disregard to the price tag.

“Oh wow, that sucks,” I said when she told us how much it ended up costing her. “Mine was on sale for $4.”

Mine was on sale for $4!” Nikki mimicked, and we all laughed. But then we all agreed that it was nice to do something charitable but Henry wouldn’t know what that’s like.

Doors to the Grog Shop weren’t open, so we stood in line where I thought about all the things I should have said to Craig.

**********

Things I Wish I Had Said To Craig:

  • OMG I’m super stoked for the new Hotel Books that you produced!
  • I love Lomo Prieta too! I saw them open for Pianos Become the Teeth last spring and they blew my mind!
  • [SOMETHING ABOUT JONNY CRAIG!!!!]
  • Do you like Artifex Pereo????
  • What is your stance on the whole Blue Swan music movement and would you ever consider working with any of the bands in that genre?????
  • WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOREIGN HORROR MOVIE!?!?
  • And in response to his ironic Juggalo tattoo inside his lip: HENRY WORKS IN A FAYGO FACTORY!
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Dec 162015
 

Today, we’re going to Cleveland with Henry’s son Robbie and his girlfriend Nikki for the Craig Owens solo show at the Grog Shop. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen Craig solo and I’m excited but super nervous because he’s always been one of The Big Ones in my life, you know? Some of his words are tattooed on my arm, so to say that I think highly of him is kind of an understatement:

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My all-time favorite Craig Owens experience was back in 2009 when Alisha and I went to see him, also at the Grog Shop. That was such a fun day and one of my favorite memories of Alisha, so today is making me miss her tons!

I love his solo work, but I will always love him in Chiodos the best. Chiodos was like the gateway drug into me becoming a scene kid back in 2006, so I’m sure Henry has mixed feelings about Craig too, haha. I just pointed this out to him and he did that laugh-without-mirth thing that he does when he wants everyone to know that he hates his life and nothing is amusing.

This is what I live for.

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