Sep 252016
 

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Since the shitty “hotel” we’ve stayed at for all three Riot Fests switched brands, they no longer offered breakfast. Not like we were missing much because it was below basic breakfast fare, we were still disappointed because it was convenient and free. Going to Riot Fest is not cheap, you guys, and I’d rather spend my money on merch than food, ugh. All of this is to say we went down the street to some joint called Victoria’s, where I had crepes that were OK and Henry had meats.

Then Meghan Trainor came on (the worst M.T. song of all time, All About That Bass) and I believe this was the first time where I had found myself in a position where there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn’t change the station! I couldn’t leave because I was still eating. I HAD TO SIT THERE AND ENDURE IT.

Oh, the horror! The pain! But I reminded my ears that soon they would be in Douglas Park, surrounded on all sides by the most beautiful blend of pop punk, punk rock, emo revival, hip hop — it was all going to be there. Some of my most favorite genres, and most favorite bands.

It was going to be OK, ears. It was going to be OK.

After breakfast, we went back to the “hotel” and ordered the first Uber of the weekend, an older man named Woody, who, in spite of having his GPS up on his dash, asked Henry unlimited questions regarding the route. Henry was happy to answer because he is a PROFESSIONAL DRIVER and I can guarantee that Woody’s lack of directional savvy gave Henry his own woody.

Luckily, through numerous detours and train crossings, we made it to Douglas Park with a good 45 minutes to spare before the gates opened. This year, it was set up a bit differently with only one entrance, but I was happy to see that it wasn’t yet a cluster fuck.

Only bad part about standing in line was this uber-annoying Minnesota broad who talked extra-loudly to her friend about how EVERYONE KNOWS HER and HOW MANY TATTOOS SHE HAS and HOW SHE IS SO FUCKING COOL HOW ARE WE NOT MELTING BENEATH HER RADIATING BRILLIANCE. Henry knew right away that she was annoying me so we communicated through eye-expressions alone, and then when she mentioned in her grating Midwest lilt that she COULDN’T WAIT TO SEE BALANCE AND COMPOSURE the next day, Henry started to crack up because I had literally said that same thing about 37403720580 times that morning.

Ughhhhhhh.

Gates opened late as usual and we ran, I mean I ran and Henry slowly lumbered behind me, to the Riot Fest merch tent to snag a set of the limited edition Riot Fest Garbage Pail Kids and then Papa Drunk skipped off to get his 21+ wristband and guess who couldn’t get her own because she left her whole entire wallet in Pittsburgh? My preparedness is a non-factor in my game of life. Do not ever choose me for your zombie apocalypse team.

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Ugh. First beer at like 11:30. Get it, Hank.

We had some time to kill before noon so we stomped around the food vendors looking for Dark Matter because I desperately needed coffee. Couldn’t find it right away, so I settled for a water and while Henry was paying for it, some guy at the next food booth asked, “Hey! Why’s my name on your shirt?” I looked around and when I realized he was talking to me, I had to glance down to refresh my memory with what shirt I was even wearing that day, and it was my beautiful Howard Jones shirt!

So I walked closer and engaged in a rare conversation, because I hate talking to people but Riot Fest is an exception because it makes me remember who I used to be, how alive I once was, and it reminds me that hey, I’m surrounded by a ton of my people right now, so it’s not really stranger danger, right? Anyway, the guy’s name ended up being Howard Johnson (like the hotel, I guess), not Jones, but he had never heard of Howard Jones before so I encourage him to check that shit out.

Henry was like, “OK REMEMBER WHOSE PROPERTY YOU ARE LET’S GO.” He is like, so possessive of me. It’s almost sickening.

(Lol, sike. He was like TAKE HER, SHE’S YOURS.)

(This just brought up a horrible memory of when I was briefly dating this guy Erik in 1998 and we were hanging out at my apartment with some guy named Kevin who I recently met at a Sunoco — hey, I made friends everywhere I went back then when I still had self-esteem — and Kevin, who was totally blitzed off a 40 of Miller’s High Life, asked Erik if he could steal me and Erik said, ugh do you know what he said? He said BE MY GUEST. I have that heart-breaking moment on 8mm, even.)

(Well, fuck you Erik Grove, because now I’m with Henry and here we are at Riot Fest and some cute guy name Howard is talking to me so suck it.)

First band up was Tigers Jaw at noon on the Riot Fest (main) stage.

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These guys are on Run For Cover Records, one of my fave labels, but this was the first time I ever saw them live. If you know me, you know that I’m horribly fickle with female singers, but I love the boy-girl sharing of vocal duties going on in this band. It’s fun, feel-good indie rock, you guys and there is no reason why Henry should have said, “Nope, they did nothing for me” other than the fact that he wasn’t paying attention because OMG WHAT ARE HIS 57 FACEBOOK FRIENDS DOING, GOTTA CHECK!

During their set, an older gentleman strolled by and said, “GREAT ALBUM!” while pointing to my Howard Jones “Human Lib” shirt. I agree, guy!

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Ahhh, Citizen was next on the Rise stage. I can’t say enough wonderful superlatives about this band. They get me right in the feels, as all the kids and ironic bloggers say these days.

It started to rain during their set and I hated almost everyone around me, but I didn’t let that sully my third live dose of Citizen for 2016. Also, Mat basically dresses like Henry, proving he just doesn’t give a fuck.

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oh, Citizen. ❤️

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

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Here’s Henry, secretly enjoying Citizen and his style-twin, Mat.

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Right after this was Touche Amore on the Rock Stage and I was ready to burst — they’re part of this trifecta for me which also includes La Dispute and The Saddest Landscape, but I’ve never seen Touche Amore before; it was a long time coming.

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Some of the finest post-hardcore I’ve ever heard comes courtesy of this beautiful man. I play their records so loud in the house and Henry and Chooch are always like, full-body eye rolls and grimaces, but GUESS WHAT? Guess who finally jumped aboard the Touche Amore-wagon? Mr. Henry J. Robbins.

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“They weren’t that bad,” he mumbled, and then, “I didn’t hate it,” which in regular people’s terms translates to, “Say, I think I actually enjoyed that.”

Touché Amore 💗

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

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After Touche Amore, I had penciled in a small window for getting food. I can’t remember what Henry got, but I enjoyed a wonderful BBQ jackfruit with slaw on top of a slice of Texas toast. It was delicious, except that the slaw was more just a wad of pickled vegetables, which found me for the second time in less than a week explaining to no one in particular that the only pickled things I like are pickles.

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Oh, I think Henry had vegetable paella and I accused him of being a vegetarian but he defensively said he wasn’t turning his back on meat, he just simply “didn’t feel like eating meat right then.”

HMM THAT SEEMS WEIRD.

Anyway, thanks to Henry having to also get food, I missed Dillinger Escape Plan so thanks Henry, like you couldn’t have waited until later to eat.

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After missing DEP, we wandered over to the outskirts of Douglas Park, where the two smallest stages live. Jule Vera was going to be playing soon on the Storyheart Stage, so we figured we’d just hang out in the grass and take selfies, right Henry? Because that’s totally a thing that Henry does. My hair looked shittier than usual that weekend because remember our shitty “hotel”? Well, they don’t supply their rooms with hair dryers and Henry even tried for a hail mary by inquiring at the front desk if they had any available and the answer was NO THEY DID NOT, YOUR RATTY-HAIRED GIRLFRIEND IS FUCKED, BOIIIII.

So frizzy, air-dried hair it is, then!

We had to suffer through the tail-end of the Far East’s set and I absolutely hated them, like if a person could vomit out of their ears, this would have triggered my aural gag reflex, for sure. Let me just describe it as Reggae No Doubt. I was like GOOD RIDDANCE when they finally ended.

Then it was Tancred, which I kept confusing for Tantric — like, totalllly different band. Fun Fact for anyone who cares: the singer is also the guitarist from Now, Now and the singer from Now, Now is dating Lynn Gunn’s (PVRIS) ex-girlfriend Alexa San Roman, OMG there more you know. Anyway, Tancred is a good example of why I’m picky with girl-fronted bands — they usually tend to have that 90s sound to them and I know this is putting my head on the chopping block, but I really didn’t like a lot of rock or alternative from the 90s, until later on in the decade. SORRY BUT I’M JUST BEING HONEST. In my defense, I was heavily into hiphop, gangsta rap, and R&B back then though.

Also, around this time, Henry started complaining about a “foot cramp” but I was like, “Hmm, that doesn’t sound like the name of any band that I like so I’m officially exiting this conversation, bye now.”

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OK, then it was finally time for Jule Vera and I missed Chooch so desperately. (He’s annoying me so much today though, a week later, so I already forget what that felt like.) Chooch has loved Jule Vera since we saw them last winter at the Never Shout Never and blushed the whole time he was posing for a picture with Ansley, their singer:

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Not even gonna front here, I got totally misty-eyed during their set because it made me miss Chooch so much. We were sending him pictures of Ansley on Facebook during soundtrack and he was getting so mad at us but then he said “SEND ME VIDEOS.” Originally he wanted us to record their whole set, but contrary to popular belief, I actually don’t like being That Person holding their phone up at concerts. I tend to grab a few Instavids (like 30 seconds in length at a time) just for my own posterity and to have something to post on the blog as a memory of the night.

SO FUCKING SUE ME.

But for Chooch, I broke that rule and recorded 30-60 seconds of every song the performed, but I didn’t feel too asshole-y doing so because I was right against the barrier so I didn’t have to hold my phone up high, which means no one behind me was bothered, and if they were, it was probably because of Henry.

Henry’s mere existence is very bothersome to some.

Is it wrong to say that I think a band is adorable? I also think they’re really talented, but there is something really charming about watching such a young band play their hearts out on stage. I didn’t think I was going to care much for them when I saw them last winter, but I fell for them alongside Chooch. He’s got good taste.

Jule Vera killing it.

A video posted by Erin (@ohhonestlyconcerts) on

Some old dude, like even older than Henry, yelled, “Hey what high school do you go to?!?” to Ansley and OK, I get where he’s coming from, but damn dude, that sounded totally creepy, go away. Save that for when you’re role-playing with your old ass wife.

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Their finale had to have made new fans out of the unbiased people lounging under nearby trees. Even one of the security guys came over to get a better look and then to me and Henry said, “This shit is crazy!”

Jule Vera killing it.

A video posted by Erin (@ohhonestlyconcerts) on

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Set Your Goals was up next on the Rise Stage and I was so excited to see them again! They recently reunited and I didn’t even realize how much I missed them. This is the band that Henry always pauses and then asks, “Is this the big guy and little guy?” Ugh, yes Henry. Sure. SYG has the dual-vocals thing going on, and I credit them into getting me into pop-punk, after swearing it off for years. They were my gateway, if you will. I always liked emo and post-hardcore but really never cared much for pop-punk, until I heard one of their songs that Vinnie Cuarana was on, and then Hayley Williams rapping (literally!!) on one of their songs in 2009 really helped the medicine go down.

I made Alisha go see them with me that summer at Mr. Small’s and it was just such an awesome show and I kind of wanted to get punched in the face but it didn’t happen.

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Henry was not into it.

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This guy stood right by us while sucking on his CHRONIC CANDY lollipop and I wanted him so badly to turn to Henry and offer him a lick, which prompted Henry to later go on a tangent about how Chronic Candy “isn’t actually a drug, Erin!” and like yeah OK but it’s still part of DRUG CULTURE and we all know Henry has the D.A.R.E. insignia tattooed on his left ass cheek.

Oh you didn’t know? WELL NOW YOU DO.

He also has “just say no” on his inner lip.

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Anyway, go listen to Set Your Goals.

We tried to catch some of the Citizen acoustic set in the StubHub Tent, which was packed, so we were standing near the entrance when some dumbass rolled up with her friends and proceeded to shriek, totally unrelated to the music, like she had been proposed to and this really set me off so I flipped out and stormed away (I was also suffering through some major coffee-withdrawals, thanks for not having my back this year, Dark Matter!), and had a mini-meltdown, but then Henry calmed me down after some guy stared at me with a scared smile because I think he thought I was yelling at him. Not you, bro. Not you.

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Once Henry verbally massaged my frontal lobe, we were able to catch a little bit of Somos on the Storyheart stage. The best way I can explain this band is that they would be perfectly at home on a soundtrack for any 1980s John Hughes movie. This is a good thing! But Henry doesn’t get it, which is why I had to see them alone at Bled Fest last May.

This was the harried, frenzied block of time on Friday where there were three bands playing all around the same time and I wanted to see them all, so after two Somos songs, we had to do a brisk walk to the Rise stage where Glassjaw was playing and can you believe I have never seen Glassjaw in my whole entire life?? Henry thinks this is incorrect, but that’s because we saw Daryl Palumbo’s other band, Head Automatica at the Cure’s Curiosa festival in 2004. So I got to have major chills hearing Daryl’s screams cutting through the early evening Chicago air. No one sounds quite like Daryl Palumbo!

(LOL, a commercial for Motel 6 just played while I’m writing this and our Motel 6 did NOT look like the one on TV at all. Nice try, Tom Bodett.)

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FUN FACT: I sold a custom serial killer card to G.G. Allin’s brother last year and it was pretty much the highlight of my card-making career thus far.

Oh man, young emo Erin was READY to see Jimmy Eat World again. I kept trying to remember when the last time was that I saw them, and Henry swore that it wasn’t him because Jimmy Eat World is evidently a band that he would remember seeing. I stressed about this for the whole weekend because I was sure that I saw them at one of the Edgefests in Buffalo but I couldn’t find them listed on any lineups, so then I searched for their all their 2001 tour dates and said, “Well, I just don’t know then because this says they only did Warped Tour in 2001….oh wait I was at that Warped Tour, never mind LOL forever.”

Mystery solved! I saw them at Warped Tour with my pal Wonka.

When I first got into emo, it was through Instant Messenger (good ol’ AIM) and I was chatting with some random, and I remember asking him what his screen name meant. I don’t remember the name anymore, but it had something to do with the band Christie Front Drive, and that’s how I fell down the emo rabbit hole and, 20 years later, still haven’t clawed my way back out. Once he suggested that I listen to the Emo Diaries compilations, I knew it was for me.

(Full disclosure, I was still heavy into nu-metal back then too, hahahah, but emo clearly won the war over my heart.)

The crowd wasn’t too bad. My strategy was to stand behind a lady in a wheelchair because no one wanted to stand right in front of her, which meant the view was pretty clear for me. I’m really picky about how far up I’ll travel into the crowds — I base it on how much I love the band and how big/small the stage is. I do not like being close to the main stage because people scare me and I hate feeling trapped.

Anyway, they played my favorite song, Lucky Denver Mint (mixtape staple!)  Enjoy my finger cameo! I’m good at this!

Jimmy Eat World

A video posted by Erin (@ohhonestlyconcerts) on

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It was time for Second Riot Fest Feeding after Jimmy Eat World and I went with a vegan sloppy joe. I think Henry got salt and vinegar fries. Who cares. I kept stealing swigs of his beer and he was getting so angry because “if you had really wanted to drink, you wouldn’t have your left your fucking license at home!!” He kept saying, “I hope you get busted!” because I didn’t have a wristband on, but come on, I think it’s pretty clear that I’m over 21. Maybe it’s debatable in a dark club, but when the sun is shining down on me, the grays are all a’shimmer and the bags under my eyes are looking ready and willing to hold your car keys and Altoids.

So gimme your fucking beer, Henry.

That sloppy joe was wonderful. Riot Fest has the best food! This is what I wish Warped Tour would do — but I guess because it’s at an actual venue and not a park, outside food vendors aren’t allowed in so we have to stick with the standard $10 soft pretzels and nachos or whatever that First Niagara whips up. This is why I just stuff my bag with granola bars!

 

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On the way back to the Storyheart Stage in preparation for BASEMENT!!!, we watched a few minutes of All Time Low at the Rise Stage. I never really got into them that much, so after a song or two, we began to walk away, but then they started the next song and I screamed, “I KNEW IT!!” and ran back to the stage because Vic from Pierce the Veil came out to sing “A Love Like War” with them. Henry was like, “Wha—-what’s happening!?” and had to follow me back. He’s so dumb sometimes. But then he saw Vic and understood.

Vic 💗

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

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For real though, after that song ended, we had to run to the Storyheart Stage because I wanted to be up front for Basement and now, as I type this, I feel like I’m going to start crying because this was the first time that weekend, other than crying about missing Chooch or just being my typical whiny self, that I dropped real tears.

This is the same band that threw a wrench in Henry’s “driving to Disneyworld” plans last April — he wanted to leave on a Saturday morning but then I quietly, while slowly back away, reminded him that I had a ticket to see Basement that night, so we had to wait until 11:30pm that night to embark on our Orlando road trip, lolololololol all the way to the market.

I am obsessed with Al specifically, the guitarist, because he was the man behind the camera in all of the Tuesdays with Tay videos that Henry and I love (well, that I love), and I’m just a huge groupie for Run For Cover Records. Huge. I make Chooch wear their shirt to school in an effort to get those basic Brookline brats interested in good music.

(Hasn’t happened yet, although Chooch played some Emarosa for his friend Dimajio and said that he liked it, so fingers crossed. Chooch is a lot like me in many ways but he hasn’t yet honed the SHOVE YOUR INTERESTS DOWN YOUR FRIENDS’ THROATS skill yet I guess. I’ll work on that with him some more, don’t worry.)

When we were waiting for Jule Vera to play earlier, Henry elbowed me and pointed to the fenced-off area behind the stage, at a white van that had just rolled up. “Isn’t that Basement?” he asked casually. AND IT WAS. Henry is so great at recognizing bands that he hates!

Some of my friends were disappointed in me because I chose Basement over some other band, but bitch please, I’m not going to skip a band that I genuinely love in favor of a band that I don’t like but feel like I’m supposed to watch just to say that I saw them. That’s not me! I like what I like. And Basement pumped me full of life. I love how James has Robert Smith-esque dance moves and I love their energy and their fans aren’t assholes and they’re just adorable Brits who make emotional, heart-felt, energetic rock.

I’m used to disappointing people with my music preferences though. It’s my thang. Bang bang.

Plus, they have a song called Bad Apple and I have a rotten apple tattoo, so I’m kind of obligated to be a fan. <3

Ready to see @basementuk again like right now. One of many high points from the weekend. 😍

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

I’m going to listen to them all weekend now because they’re such an autumn band for me. And I finally got Henry to admit that he likes them so it was a big moment in our relationship. This band is just so good, and they are HILARIOUS on social media (their Snapchat stories are entertaining) and I have to say, when a band plays super emotional music but then act like complete clowns on the Internet, I love them even more.

Just do yourself a favor and listen to their latest album. It’s the first release since they came out of hiatus. I mean, I’m no Lou Pappan, but I think “you gonna like it.” (SHOUT OUT TO MY PITTSBURGH READERS LOL.)

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Sep 132016
 

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It was after 2pm by the time we were done being dummies at Vent Haven, which means we were precariously close to The Witching Bitching Hour, otherwise known as the hunger twilight, where Chooch and I morph from adorably angelic sweethearts into Regan and the Antichrist in Warped Tour shirts.

Henry had approximately 37 minutes to find us a place to eat before the transformation was complete.

Back when Christina and I were friends, I used to visit her pretty frequently in Hamilton, OH, which is a few miles outside of Cincinnati. Since it was kind of on our way home, I suggested that we eat at Hyde’s, a family restaurant she took me to several times. I remembered liking the aesthetic and the pie, and was prepared to throw a fit if Henry said no, but then something miraculous happened:

Henry’s old SERVICE roommate Tim contacted him because he saw on Facebook that we were in the area! As his phone was ringing, he jumped out of the booth and went outside to aswer it; I’ve never seen Henry run out of a restaurant that fast in my life, not even the time he dined and dashed at HOOTERS in 1992.

(Probably true?)

So then Mr. WE GOTTA GET HOME, NO MORE STOPPING! decided that after lunch, we would be meeting TIM at Jungle Jim’s!

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Holy shit, I was so so excited, I could barely eat. Just kidding, I almost accidentally ate my hand while shoving my grilled cheese into my gnashing maw.

We had a really colorful waitress too who made sure she told us how busy she was every time she swung by our table, and I really liked that Real Talk aspect. I want to believe that we were the only table she confided in. I kept hoping she would talk shit on her other tables to us but she never did.

She probably made fun of me to her other tables though after I was a total tourist and asked WTF “sarasotas” are.

Turns out they’re just homemade potato chips served with BBQ sauce.

“That Yinzer bitch over there asked what them sarasotas is, can you imagine,” she probably said to the table of old bitches who came in for pie.

Chooch of course substituted a basket of sarasotas for his fries and Henry was very perplexed by this.

“Why don’t they just call them homemade chips with BBQ sauce, I don’t undertand,” he said.

SO GIDDY.

One thing to note is that I honestly don’t recogize any of the scenery in Hamilton, for as many times as I have been there. Like, if you set me loose and said, “Find Christina’s old house or die” well I guess I’m dead. I don’t even remember the name of the street, and I used to mail her shit all of the time!

I think this is my mind’s way of protecting me, lol.

On the way there, Henry and Chooch argued over the fact that meth and methane aren’t the same.

So nothing about Jungle Jim’s was familiar to me but who cares because a REAL LIFE PIECE OF HENRY’S SERVICE PAST WAS THERE.

OMG you guys. My mind almost melted.

Chooch took these pictures because he’s my little spy in training.

Unfortunately, Tim and Henry talked about kind of boring things, mostly just catching each other up on their current lives. So Chooch and I were like, “Eh, screw this” and walked ahead of them, looking for the Romania aisle.

I never grocery shop, but Jungle Jim’s is huge and full of weird international goods and animatronics. It’s like Chuck E. Cheese for grocery shoppers. This is where I bought my first and only durian in 2004!

NEVER AGAIN!

The last time I was here was August of 2005, when I was about 65% sure I might be pregant. There was a fortune teller thing there, so I inserted my quarter and asked, “Hey, am I pregnant? Because I mean, I just turned down ice cream in favor of mustard, so….”

I don’t remember when her prediction was, which shot out of a slot at me, but GUESS WHAT I was definitely pregnant. Technically, this was Chooch’s second time at Jungle Jim’s, I guess.

My favorite thing about Tim is that he chided Henry about not marrying me so TIM, YOU CAN STAY.

****

Here’s a quick Henry Interview!

What did you Tim and used to talk about at night when you were roommates? GIRL STUFF?

Henry: I don’t remember. It was 30 years ago. Literally, 30 years ago.

So, you and Tim lived together in that place in Indiana?

Henry: In the trailer? Yeah.

Did he know you were the town Eunuch?

Henry, sarcastically I think: Hahaha, oh my god, you’re hilarious.

Did he know you were obsessed with being Erik Estrada back then?

Henry: Just answer it yourself. I’m not answering that. You’re making shit up as always.

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Hmm, I don’t know Henry. That picture tells a different story. Speaking of stories, I heard you and Tim talking about the time you drove some guy’s car into a ditch. Talk about that.

Henry: It was 1986 maybe? We had just gotten off work at 7:30 that morning and went to the bar. We (guys I worked with, there was maybe 4 or 5 of us) pretty much drank all day. I had to run home to get something* so I borrowed Joe’s car and when I got close to my house I turned the corner too sharp and went into a small ditch on the side of the road. I blew out the tire and bent the rim and then I parked it at my house, took my car back to the bar without telling him I did anything to his. He didn’t find out until the next day when he came to pick it up and he found out it was damaged so I had to pay for it.

*(Probz porn to trade.)

Good, that’s what happens WHEN YOU DRIVE DRUNK, ASSHOLE. Anyway, that was a boring story. Did you ever take a bullet for Tim?!

Henry, in an annoyed/laughing tone: No. Psh, take a bullet for Tim..

What is your most vivid of Tim? Was he in Panama with you?

Henry: He was always working on his car because it seemed to always be broken. I don’t remember, I don’t think so but I can’t be sure. It’s possible.

(WOW. SOME FRIENDSHIP.)

Was Tim with you when you went to see CHEAP TRICK in Texas?!

Henry, appalled at this question for some reason: No! That was when I was in training, when I just got out of basic. Tim didn’t come in until my last year maybe…

(So, right before he went AWOL.)

Henry just said he’s not going to divulge the contents of their Jungle Jim’s convo, so basically this was a huge waste of time.

****

Somewhere outside of Columbus, I was imitating Henry so intensely, that Chooch laughed so hard he pissed his pants, which just made Henry even angrier because now he was going to have to stop somewhere so Chooch could change.

“We’re never going to fucking get home. Thanks a lot, assholes,” Henry barked, which just made Chooch and me bust out our sides from all the laughter.

****

When Henry set the GPS that morning as we left our hotel in Louisville, it told us we’d be getting home sometime around 4.

We got home just shy of midnight.

Good god, that was a fun whirlwind trip to Kentucky.

 

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Aug 272016
 

Today has been pretty miserable, so miserable that I DIDNT EVEN WANT TO LEAVE THE HOUSE FOR ICE CREAM. (Don’t worry, Henry brought it back for me.)

I was laying on the couch being miserable and I kept telling Henry to please turn the channel because 2 Broke Girls was on and I’m sorry but every single voice was sodomizing me and I just couldn’t handle it for one moment more while Henry was slowly scanning the cable guide menu thing so I grabbed the remote and blindly put it on the first thing I saw which was a Mamas and Papas special on WQED – you know the kind of special, where they show a truncated documentary about the band, spliced with YOUR DONATION MAKES A DIFFERENCE!!! interruptions, where they try to wow you with a CD set that can be yours for the GENEROUS DONATION OF $256.

I love these things. We recently watched one on the Carpenters and I was in some weird 1960s fugue state for the next 6 days.

KEEP QUALITY TV ALIVE!

Thanks to Michelle Phillips, I fell down the Knots Landing rabbit hole. That was one of the shows I watched when I was a kid in the 80s, thinking it made me so cool and sophisticated because it was a grown-up show (along with Falcons Crest and Hunter, obvi). I remember watching some comedian on an HBO special at my Pappap’s house; he did lots of sight gags and pantomiming, etc, most of which went right over my head, until he tied knots in several pieces of ropes and tossed them in the air.

As they landed on the ground, he looked at the audience and said, “Knots landing.”

I thought it was the funniest shit ever, mostly because finally, I understood a thing he was doing.

Actually, I was just thinking about this guy at work a few weeks ago and asked Glenn if he knew who I was talking about because Glenn is old but he said no and that’s because Glenn doesn’t like humor.

[ETA: Bob Nelson! His name is Bob Nelson. Henry is better at Googling than me. My searches are too narrow. I’d get fired for that at work. WORK JOKE, YOU WON’T GET IT. (Actually, that’s not a joke.)]

(ETAx2: it was balloons, not ropes.)

Naturally, I had to look up the Knots Landing opening theme on YouTube, at which point my Joan van Arc hatred was reignited.

Fuck that bitch.

“When are they going to get the part where she dies?” I asked Henry, referring to Mama Cass, obviously.

“Um….the end?”

Once they got to the 1970s portion of the biopic, every time they would start a sentence with, “And then Mama Cass—” I would rush to say, “CHOKED ON A HAM SANDWICH!”

“That’s not really how she died,” Henry sighed.

“Yes it is. That’s how I drew the Mama Cass Glenn at work, so….”

So then it got to the part where Michelle Phillips nonchalantly talks about how Cass calls her one night after a show and is all, “OMG I’M SO HAPPY” and how surprising it was to hear the next day that Cass had died—

“EATING A HAM SANDWICH!!!” I cried as Michelle calmly said, “—in her sleep.”

Henry gave me a disappointed frown.

“Yeah, in her sleep, on a ham sandwich,” I argued.

“That’s not true, that’s just a rumor that the fat shamers started,” Henry sighed.

“No, here, I’ll google it—OK yeah, it says it’s an urban legend but that’s just because they’re trying to preserve her pride,” I explained.

By the end of the show, Michelle Phillips is talking about how she’s the only one left and—-

“Michelle Phillips killed them all! Michelle Phillips is the ham sandwich!” I screamed.

“Did you just tweet that out?” Henry asked, basically all of his energy drained by this point. You would think he would be used to my obsessive latching-on to the small things by now.

Like when I became obsessed with freeing some guy who went to some island and got accused of killing of a person and he totally didn’t do it because he was so handsome but this was like 2009 and I can’t remember what island or who he killed, or you know, his name.

But anyway, remember when Henry said “tweet that out”? God, what an ElderDork.

“I wonder why Cass’s daughter never sang?” Henry mused out loud.

“She could have been in Wilson Phillips!” I yelled.

“Yeah but then it might not have been called Wilson Phillips,” he pointed out.

“They could have been called H—”

“Ham Sandwich,” he finished for me, rolling his eyes.

I AM GOING TO LISTEN TO THE MAMA AND PAPAS ALL NIGHT NOW. I am not going to eat a ham sandwich though because ew, meat. I might actually paint a ham sandwich, though.

Also, what was up with some of those early album covers where their name was spelled Mama’s and Papa’s?! Who approved those?! Probably the same person who approves my blog posts! (Oh wait, that’s just me and my unwillingness to proofread.)

Now some Italian d-bag is singing for more WQED donations. What a fucking Saturday night. And to think I was just going to take some pills and go to bed at 5.

(Kidding. I don’t take pills. Because I don’t have pills.)

Ooh, I hope that Gino Vanelli concert re-airs at some point tonight!!

GINO😍

A video posted by Erin Rachelle Kelly (@somnambulant_art) on

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Aug 162016
 

*(Henry is obviously the ho.)

You know what really helps get a bitch through the day? Knowing that there’s ice cream with good friends on the other side.

We met up with Chris and Monica at Millie’s on Friday and even though it was HOT AF, we laughed a lot (even Henry, somehow) and had a good, quality hang.

We got there early and roamed the streets, looking shady as hell. Then I saw some guy I had a crush on in middle school and frantically texted Chris to HURRY because safety in numbers.

My friend Angie was all, “I doubt he remembers” but that’s just because she’s never been on the receiving end of my crushes and has no idea the lunacy and desperate aggression fueling it.

Lots of CALL-AND-HANG-UPs.

But now this lucky man-sack’s got my attention, yee haw.

When we spotted Chris and Monica, we sent Chooch off to fetch them and somehow in the span of 30 seconds, he managed to act enough of a fool for Monica to greet me with a, “Hello, just got here and I already called your son an asshole.”

I didn’t even need to ask why! The kid can get on a fucking nerve or 187, you think that you goin’ to heaven put sluga all up in that chest and hell is where you be dwelllin’….

Sorry, that was an impromptu Bone Thugs n Harmony takeover.

Anyway, the whole reason we even went to Millie’s was because I saw on Instagram that they were adding some fresh peach flavas up in that piece (Bone’s still in me, bitch please) and one of the flavors was some type of fabled peach and sweet corn?! I texted Chris and she was all, “Lemme just shove this gat down my pants and we’ll roll right on up, white girl.”

Because that’s what Wish Bone would say if he spoke on Chris’s behalf.

(I have been in some type of MOOD all evening, my apologies. I ate a brownie that Hot Naybor Chris brought over and I can’t for certain tell you that there wasn’t pot in it. Never mind that it was from some grocery store.)

Spoiler alert: the peach and sweet corn ice cream does not exist. Little punk ass bitches lied to me on Instagram. Or you know, just used awkward syntax which forced me to not understand the flavor listings.  I asked one of the young broads behind the counter and she at first looked at me like I was speaking in sweet corn tongues, but then she said, “Oh, I don’t know. I mean, sweet corn is the base of the popcorn ice cream….?” which I tried a sample of and it was just OK, sorry Rick Sebak. I saw you said on Instagram that it was a million shades of amaze, but I just wasn’t down with the endless chewing of ice cream.

So I got the brown butter peach which I thought was excellent until I reached my second choice flavor, nestled below it like the humble sleeper hit of the summer that it has proven to be: Ella’s almond butter and honey.

Fucking Hallelujah I am saved.

Monica also got that flavor and she agreed with me so now we’re talking about writing fanfic for it. I want it to be filthy basement hardcore and she’s thinking more of a sensual 18th century back door erotica. I’m sure we’ll meet in some type of BDSM middle.

Ugh, Chooch got basic vanilla as usual but this time turned Millie’s on its head by forgoing chocolate for SALTED CARAMEL, which he then spent 25 minutes complaining about, causing Chris to interrupt herself to say, “Wait a minute—-did you say that salted caramel sucks? I WILL FIGHT YOU.”

And Monica crossed all of her fingers under the table, hoping that that night’s diary entry would be titled:

Friday, August 12th, 2016 – The night Chris finally quit that asshole kid.

Ugh, he is so fucking terrible at eating ice cream, I honestly can’t stand it.

The trials & tribulations of Chooch eating an ice cream cone.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Chris said she got a taste of what it’s like to carry my eyeball purse around Chooch, because he heard some lady tell Chris that she liked her hair and he got super jealous because god forbid someone else should get an ounce of attention in the presence of the Almighty Drama King.

After we finished our respective scoops, Chris suggested that we go for a walk about the ‘hood, so we took our show on the sidewalk. Chooch and I acted like morons while Chris pointed out all of the deadly wrought-iron fences she dreams to have ensconcing her future yard.

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My Ice Cream Crew. I want to make us matching ringer tees. We need a better name first. Monica?

Accidental flash brings out my Nosferatu teeth.

Henry was so annoyed.

Chris kept saying she wanted to “see the church, the big one” but this was the only one we could find:

I wanted to break in and Henry said no.

When I finally realized what church Chris was trying to walk to, it was too late because we all had to get home and watch the Olympics. Bone Thugs have a song about that too but I can’t think of the words right now.

Something about diving into that icy blue and swim swam swum like da’ popo’s after u.

This was the perfect salvaging of a shitty day. Ice cream friends are the best friends!

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Aug 092016
 

I’ve mentioned it on here several times in the past but my love of clowns comes from my grandma–she had an entire room full of them in her house. Technically, that room was the stereo room, but ever since I was little, I always referred to it as at the clown room and it was hands down my favorite room in that house. Her collection was enchanting! It was always my dream to one day have my own clown room, but for now, my collection is just kind of all over the house.

I made a special birthday request for my friends to draw me clown art, because how special would that be to have a gallery wall filled with such personal pieces? Ugh, I’m so sentimental.

Anyway, here’s some of the creations I got, and I just love them all so much!

Maya, chibi doll-maker extraordinaire, made me this adorable stuffed clown which I’m going to make a frame for because I don’t want to lose it, ever! Maya is temporarily on hiatus but I really hope she returns to the crafting world soon because I’m craving more chibis for my band dude collection.

LIKE PERHAPS BRADLEY FROM EMAROSA?! OMG swoon.

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When Sandy lugged this old clown string-art thing over to my desk last week, I was like, “OMFG YES!” while everyone was like, “OMFG NO!!” I keep forgetting to ask her where she found it, and I really hope it’s haunted, like maybe it was a mental institution arts and craft project. I temporarily have it leaning against the fireplace at home and when Chooch’s dumb cat Drew noticed it for the first time, her eyes got saucer-like and she literally sprung backward and ran away. It was the best!

Wendy abhors clowns so for her to suck it up and draw this for me was like, it was just huge, OK? “It’s so cute!” I cried and that offended her because it was supposed to be creepy. “See, it has a bug in its mouth,” Wendy pointed out. SO ADORABLE.

And Sandy’s kids got in on the action too! I finally have Zoe and Elena originals, so blessed! Sandy wants me to assign art projects more often, but not too often.

BRB going to find some picture frames!

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Aug 032016
 

During our travels on Saturday, we pulled up to Antique Emporium in Beaver Falls at the exact moment they closed. I wailed about this and of course blamed Henry who took it in stride because this is normal life for him. Had I softly said, “Shucks, oh well. That’s life. Perhaps another time we can come back and try again, but for now, let’s go home and I’ll cook you a nice big supper, dear heart” he probably would have tried to rip my face off to reveal the corrupt robot underneath.

The next day, I declared that we were going to go back to the antique place, because I had a Good Feeling about it. Sometimes, when you know you know, you know?

But first we had to feed our Child-Thing, so we stopped at Hank’s, which is some walk-up snack shack in New Brighton that specializes in custard and Mexican food. Obviously. I already ate before we left the house because I was pouting and doing that defiant thing I do where I slam shit around so that everyone is aware that LOOK, ERIN IS DOING THINGS FOR HERSELF MAYBE I SHOULD OFFER TO HELP but of course no one offered to help so I had some dumb microwavable foodstuff because there is not much more I can handle.

Henry claims that we went to Hank’s once a long time ago but I allegedly “threw a fit” in the parking lot which doesn’t sound like a thing that I would do.

At all.

I wish I had known that we were going to be stopping here, because I took one or 8 giant bites of Chooch’s bean burrito and it was divine, just the way I want my American knock-off Mexican food to be!

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Here is a picture of Chooch, still being a vegetarian.

Ugh I want to go back there and get my own burrito. :(

After Hank’s, we finally made it back to Antique Emporium and I gave Chooch the stern “DON’T TOUCH A THING” lecture before we crossed the threshold and it always reminds me of the time my grandma was doing the same thing to me in Italy (Assisi, I think?) when we were in some BREAKABLES! shop and then guess who knocked over a bunch of glass shit with her PURSE? Not this girl—I was wearing a fucking fanny pack.

And then my Pappap had to pay for all the shit my GRANDMA broke.

So every time I preemptively yell at Chooch about these things, I can’t help but worry that I’m jinxing myself.

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Luckily, the proprietors of this establishment are super chill and instead of giving Chooch the hairy eyeball, they gave us a run-down of the shop, including where to pour ourselves some COMPLIMENTARY WINE, and the fact that they offer LAYAWAY.

Henry wishes he could rewind time and slap a hand over her mouth before she had the chance to say it.

We weren’t in the place for more than 30 seconds when I found an old arcade game topper from the early 90s that I knew I had to have.

“For what?!” Henry asked incredulously.

“We’ll take down Chooch’s picture from above the fireplace mantel, throw it in a closet, and put this in its place!” I cooed, hands folded adoringly across my heart. 

Henry wouldn’t commit right away (shocking) so we continued exploring the three floors of the shop and even Chooch was into it, I think because it wasn’t your typical stuffy antique shop. It had loads of historical items and lots of medieval-looking furniture that I want to fill Gillcrest with.

I had a strange conversation with the man-proprietor of the shop, when I thought he was asking me if I found my phone case there, and we both kept repeating ourselves at the same time and it was a complete fuckarow which ended with us having a conversation about unicorn tears (my phone case is a big floppy pink cup that says Unicorn Tears, and has a straw). Henry told me later that what the man was really asking me was if I found anything there, which is the point where I all but THRUST my phone at him so he could get a better look at my case.

This is why I try not to leave the house too often.

But anyway — yes I did find something there, actually!

A FUCKING WHEELCHAIR!

ON SALE!

AND THEY HAVE LAYAWAY.

Turns out Henry had already seen the wheelchair and was hoping I would miss it, but like come on man – my wheelchair senses were firing off from two rooms over.

We did a lot of hissing back and forth and Henry left me standing there alone, my tears mixing with the unicorn’s, but I knew it wasn’t over yet. IT’S NEVER OVER UNTIL I SAY IT IS.

Henry told the man that we were going to take the arcade game piece and believe me, I was extremely happy about this but who knows how safe that wheelchair was?! Anyone could have come in and snatched it! So we resumed our hush-hush domestic financial hissing until Henry finally conceding and told the man that we would also be putting the wheelchair on layaway (THANK YOU LAYAWAY) and then to me he growled, “You fucking owe me” when the man was out of earshot.

Look at this beautiful baby! This puts my wheelchair count up to three so I can almost comfortably call it a collection. I need at least three more though!

My love for old wheelchairs is indescribable and I can’t even believe Henry panders to it.

And this guy!!! Henry said he’s pretty sure it can be rewired or whatever so that it will light up again.

I woke Henry up from a nap later to have him hoist it up against the fireplace wall so I could see how magical it looked. That’s when I realized that the wall needs to be painted for. Probably hot pink. I haven’t decided yet.

Because I’m a materialistic brat, this was a great ending to my dumb birthday weekend! Yay – more stuff that makes no sense to most people’s interior aesthetic but looks perfectly at home in my house!

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Aug 022016
 

On our way home from FOREVER FAR ICE CREAM on my birthday (a/k/a Forbush’s), I fell down a 1980s girl-pop rabbit hole, as previously mentioned. I was peeping the related artists for either Stacey Q or Lisa Lisa, who can remember, when I stumbled across a name that my heart swell.

Stevie B.

If you were friends with me in high school and are reading this right now, you’re probably starting to twitch, recalling the aural trauma you endured every time you got in a car with me and I popped in my mix tape of a radio-requested “Because I Love You,” not just once but 8 different radio recordings, all starting with my angelic voice manically blurting out, “This is Susie….from Clairton….” like anyone from school would have honestly been listening to Lite FM, but you never know, so I always used an alias. Usually the recordings would get cut off, or I would miss the beginning. But that tape was all I had.

I can’t even remember how it started – summer before junior year, probably. I just happened to hear it once on the radio (Spanish One Hit Wonder night?). My heart skipped a beat and my inherent obsessiveness sunk its claws into me and demanded me to grind this song into the ground.

The problem — or challenge — of the 90s was that you couldn’t just hop online and download a song. I had to physically walk into a record store and look for a Stevie B. CD. Maybe you’re shocked, but none of the local record stores carried it, nor did they even know who the fuck Stevie B. even was.

According to Wiki, Stevie B. was influential in the Hi-NRG dance music scene in the late 80s, so go fuck yourself National Record Mart, and probably Camelot, too. AND MUSIC OASIS.

I was going to have to be content with my mixtape full of radio recordings, I thought. Until I mentioned it one day to my Aunt Sharon.

The thing you need to know about my Aunt Sharon is that she was relentless when it came to obtaining something. She loved writing letters to companies, making calls to customer service hotlines, and in this case, flipping through the Yellow Pages and calling every last record store in Pittsburgh, until she was finally able to get one of them to order my Stevie B Holy Grail.

All the other things she could have been doing, but she stopped everything until she made damn well sure that I was going to have a motherfucking Stevie B CD to play a million times on repeat.

That story has a much happier ending than the time Sharon went to the mall to buy me Da Brat’s debut CD only to refuse after discovering it had A PARENTAL ADVISORY sticker on it. (My mom ended up buying it for me later because let’s be real, she didn’t give a shit about that.)

***

I found “Because I Love You” on Spotify that day, because it’s 2016 and if you can’t find something on the Internet then it probably only existed in your dreams. OR THE GOVT IS HIDING IT FROM YOU.

With much anticipation from Henry and Chooch, I pushed play; even with a large nostalgia cloud to the head, I still couldn’t help but notice that something about it was off.

“Like right there, when he says ‘Come on in’ — he’s adding a syllable to it and THAT’S NOT IN THE RADIO EDIT!” I cried. And then toward the end, he swaps out an “I” for a “STEVIE B.”

What the hell.

“This is all wrong,” I said with panicked desperation, scrolling through Spotify in search of the actual album version and not all these “REMASTERED” bastardized versions of the original classic.

“Ugh, they all sound the same!” Chooch groaned from the backseat after I played the third one.

“NO, THERE’S A VERY DISTINCT DIFFERENCE AND I CAN’T LIKE THESE MODERN VERSIONS, I NEED THE 1990 MASTERPIECE,” I angrily yelled, turning to YouTube for assistance. Go home, Spotify.

And of course YouTube pulled through for me.

“Do you hear the difference!?” I shouted.

“Nope,” Henry mumbled, praying that this Stevie B marathon would not surpass 4 plays.

Oh my heart soared! Hearing this song again, remembering the time I serenaded everyone in the parking lot of Dell’s Ice Cream in Munhall on a humid summer night, remembering Sharon giving me the actual CD after it arrived in the mail, remembering the excitement of getting my hands on something so elusive—it was bittersweet.

And it also inspired me to full-body pantomime my emotions along with all the good parts while Henry was “TRYING TO DRIVE!!!!”

I’m positive I thanked you for this back in 1996, but hey Sharon? If you’re reading this, thanks again. <3

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Jul 302016
 

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Even if there was only one band that I even remotely, slightly cared about on this year’s Warped Tour, I would still go and here’s why: there has never not been a time when I haven’t left there with at least one new band to love, or an old band to have newfound respect for.

If you like music at all, no matter what your age is, you could probably find at least one band that piqued your interest. Probably. I don’t know. (Even Henry usually likes one band, and that’s a guy who likes Ted Nugent, you know? If there’s hope for him there’s hope for all.) The festival is very well-rounded in that regard and if people hate on it, it’s probably because they’ve either reached that crotchety “THINGS WERE BETTER IN THE 90s” phase in their life, or they just have some preconceived notion that it’s literally a field overrun with feral scene kids and bros.

Please – my tolerance for kids is pretty non-existent so if I can float through an entire day on a cloud of bliss and ignorance, then you know it can’t be all that bad!

They don’t even make me feel old! And let’s be real, I’ll be 37 by the time I finally get off my ass and finish writing this idiotic post, so this isn’t exactly my demographic.

THAT BEING SAID, here are the bands I saw at this year’s Warped Tour. Bands that are in bold are the ones I have deemed worthy of expanding upon and you know how much I love expanding. Have you seen my waistline?

  • In Heart’s Wake (If I hadn’t been going through a personal life crisis, I would have probably REALLY ENJOYED this set; these guys are on my radar now at least. But right now all I associate them with is Chooch literally pacing in circles begging me for my phone so he could play Pokemon Go and I JUST CAN’T WITH POKEMON GO.)
  • Assuming We Survive (Chooch said he didn’t care about them but then inexplicably wanted to meet them until he saw the line)
  • Real Friends (I got as far as waiting for them to come out before freaking out for the 2nd time that morning and walking toward the exit)
  • I See Stars (some – I really want to like them more than I do; th)
  • Ballyhoo! (some)
  • Issues
  • Knuckle Puck
  • Bad Seed Rising
  • Hail the Sun (Chooch fucking pissed me off and I ended up storming off because he kept trying to TALK TO ME while I was attempting to ENJOY A BAND THAT I LOVE. Rude. I was right in front of the stage too when I stormed off, ensuring that there were ample witnesses. But fuck, those two songs were tight as fuck, yo. I LOVE YOU HTS. I will see you in October with Dance Gavin Dance! Chooch, you’re lucky that I’ve seen them a million times.)

  • Young Guns (they were playing in the background when I had another freak out and then Henry was all, “THAT’S IT WE’RE LEAVING FOR REAL THIS TIME, FUCK THIS NOISE” and Chooch and I were like “Haha, have fun leaving, we’re gonna go down here and wait for Emarosa” and then Henry was only bluffing anyway – we saw him hiding behind a thing.)
  • Sykes (they were playing on the other side of the stage while we waited for Emarosa and I liked them just fine, but hurry up because Emarosa.)
  • EMAROSA!!!!!!! (They got their own post.)
  • Ghost Town (Chooch and Henry went to see coldrain during this. WHATEVER BITCHES.)
  • Set It Off
  • Oceans Ate Alaska (LOVE this band. They can melt my face any fucking day. Chooch and Henry ditched me during this because they can’t handle it.)
  • State Champs (I 100% do not remember watching their set but I have video and a picture….?? And I like Stamp Champs too so this is completely confusing and terrifying all at once.)

One week ago 💔 One of these years I'm going to go to multiple Warped Tour dates because one a year just isn't enough.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

  • With Confidence 
  • Secrets (Henry fell asleep during them and they were pretty scream-y, so there goes Henry showing off his God-given talent of BLOCKING IT ALL OUT.
  • Waterparks
  • Chunk! No, Captain Chunk

Issues: I wouldn’t even say I’m a casual fan of Issues, because Tyler Carter has always kind of rubbed me the wrong way and I will forever associate him with Jonny Craig (like when they had a fight and Jonny demanded that Tyler remove the “4L” from his name because JONNY STARTED THAT?!) But everyone in the stupid Warped Tour videos I love to watch kept saying “OMG Issues is a can’t-miss this year” and I figured, nothing else was playing at that time, so why not give them a second chance. The only other time I’ve seen them was when they opened for Dance Gavin Dance in 2013 – so they’re actually the first band that Chooch has even seen live. He liked them then and now he REALLY LIKES THEM because they’re marketing geniuses and worked the Pokemon theme into their merch AND played that dumb Pokemon song when they first came out. One thing that you can say for certain about Issues is that they are genre-bending. They even have a quasi-country jam with some country singer who I don’t care about and Chooch really likes that song for some reason which concerns me because is this the GATEWAY INTO COUNTRY MUSIC FANDOM for him?! I can already see him pissing in the parking lot of a Kenny Chesney concert just to defy me and perfectly curated standards.

The only video I had of their set was through Snapchat so that shit is gone baby gone but here is a video for COMA which has been stuck in my head ever since and will probably go down in history as the one Issues song I actually REALLY LOVE, because I want to be all you think about, anything and everything you dream about. (Fuck, you got me. I like this song a lot too.)

Henry’s review: Eh, they weren’t…I don’t know. They just didn’t do it for me. They opened up good but then….I wouldn’t see them again.

(SOMEONE GET THIS DICK A JOB AT PITCHFORK.)

Knuckle Puck: in full pop-punk disclosure, I am what you would call a CASUAL FAN of this band. I know their album’s name is Copacetic because I love that word and would never forget something like that, but damn I couldn’t name one song for you. However, I have been wanting to see them live and we missed them at Bled Fest (we saw The Beautiful Gorgeous’s last show ever instead), so we clomped our way down into the pavilion and this is where Chooch kept talking to be able it French fries and I was like I DONT CARE DO WHAT YOU WANT so he had Henry go and get us French fries (US! He said he was going to SHARE them) and I stupidly assumed that Henry knew to get them with that weird cheese sauce that First Niagara Pavilion slings, but he came back with just ketchup and I was like WHAT KIND OF INJUSTICE ARE YOU SERVING ME RIGHT NOW? That just made me snap out again (the ground was made of egg shells at this point) and I left the two of them standing there, watching a band they couldn’t give a shit about.

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See ya another time  when I’m not being a moody asshole, Knuckle Puck. :(

Henry’s review: We didn’t stay there very long, did we? I can’t remember when that was, so I can’t say yes or not.

(To be fair, he was off buying french fries that were all wrong.)

Knuckle Puck

A video posted by Erin (@ohhonestlyconcerts) on

 

With Confidence: Oh man, I will be honest and say that I was only waiting for them because it was the closest stage to where we were standing and nothing else was happening during this time, but good god damn am I happy for this accident because they were fucking SWEETHEARTS! And also, FROM AUSTRALIA!!! God, I love Australian bands. I also love how many non-American bands were on Warped Tour this year.

This is how you do it. #withconfidence #withconfidenceband #warpedtour2016 #choonimals

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

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That guy wore a With Confidence shirt to a With Confidence show.

Henry’s review: Was that on the little stage? I”m trying to think what band that was.

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Ghost Town: I saw them by myself because Henry and Chooch were somewhere else and I’m not their keeper so GO I DON’T CARE. Anyway, this band is so reminiscent of mid-2000s nu-emo, kind of like that wave of candy-coated quasi post-hardcore that rode the wave in with Pierce the Veil, the kind of bands with fluorescent merch and scene queens loitering by the bus after every show. I’d say this kind of music is my guilty pleasure, but I KNOW NO GUILT. I derive unabashed, wanton pleasure from synthy-scene jams. Plus, they have upright coffins on stage with them, so of course that caters to my interests.

They make me want to start living my life with a dramatic side-part and raccoon eyes again, you guys. Where did I put all of those old hair bows….

Ghost Town

A video posted by Erin (@ohhonestlyconcerts) on

Henry’s review: I would see them, yeah.
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Set It Off: This was only my second time seeing them and I think they’re fun watch but if we’re being honest, there’s really only ONE SONG that I l-l-l-love and that’s The Haunting. So we wandered off right after they played that one and it’s fine because I’m not a true fan. I don’t make that diamond symbol with my hands like all the girls do.

We were there though when Cody launched into this full-fledged self-help motivational speech about reaching for the stars, etc blah blah, it’s never too late, don’t let anyone stop you, and Henry gave me multiple shoulder squeezes that translated into “Yeah, Erin, it’s never too late to make your dreams a reality!” and I was just like, “It is when you’re dead inside.”

Anyway, a few days later some girl tweeted that her two favorite singers sang together and it was CODY AND BRADLEY FROM EMAROSA?! So I asked her if she had a video and she sent it to me on Twitter it I don’t think I can save it and I am so pained. BUT FUCK YES I WAS ABLE TO EMBED IT HERE!!!  THANK YOU TWITTER USER RACHELBEE!! I have watched this so many times while making Pudding Face.

There are days when I listen to this song over and over AND I DONT CARE. @setitoffband

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Henry’s review: I don’t mind them. I would see them again….?

Warped tour vibes. I'm feeling a million times better than I was earlier. I know you were concerned.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

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These coppers were thoroughly enjoying all of Cody’s crotch grabs. So was Henry.

Bad Seed Rising: Oh shit you guys, I saw them accidentally after I ran away from Henry and Chooch while wearing my crown of Drama Queen thorns. I was planning on continuing my angry stomp across the grounds when I heard the singer unleash a gutteral scream and that’s when I realized it was this tiny girl. YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION. This was actually the only time all day that I almost got caught in the hardcore-dancing crossfire. I wish that I would have gotten punched because that could have been another thing for me to cry about that day. Boo hoo.

this girl has my heart. 😍

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

And she can SANG too y’all. So picky with chicks, especially ones that think that they can scream, but this one got my seal of approval.

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I’m secretly happy that Henry missed this because I got to say, “Man, you have no idea how amazing it was” at least 67 times so far and he acts like he doesn’t care but he cares.

Henry’s review—OH WAIT HAHAHA HE WASN’T THERE.

Waterparks: I wasn’t sure what to expect with these guys, because Alt Press seems to be hyping them in the same way they hyped 5SOS and I just can’t get behind that media-choreographed hysteria, you know? Waterparks opened for Never Shout Never last winter, but Chooch and I got there after they played. When we walked into Mr. Smalls, the singer flat out interrupted the girl who was talking to him just so he could tell Chooch he liked his hair (it was still kind of pink back then). So that’s a definite stand-out impression for me.

Guys, my preconceived notions about this band were incorrect! They were fun and entertaining, and the singer Awsten’s stage banter was hilarious and smart. Funnily enough, he had a weirdness about him that definitely reminded me of Christofer Drew from Never Shout Never. This is all to say that I fell in some serious like with Waterparks on this evening and I will be looking out for them to come back to Pittsburgh so that I can go see them, by myself probably,

I would ask Henry what he thought of them, but he slept through their whole entire set, so…..

(I posted this video on Chooch’s Instagram because I figured all of my friends are OVER IT by now, haha.)

WATERPARKS AT WARPED TOUR

A video posted by Riley (@butt_jam) on

Chunk! No Captain Chunk: I feel like these guys got made fun of a lot when they were new, but now it seems like more people have accepted the fact that France has produced a pop-punk band. I personally enjoy them on a casual level, arms-length if you will, but for some reason Chooch was adamant that we watch them. This made Henry groan because they were the last band to play on the Cyclops stage, right as Warped Tour was winding down, which meant there was no chance of Henry escaping early like we have been able to do in past years when there were no bands left that we cared about.

Chooch’s favorite things about their set was when the singer would pronounce Pittsburgh like “PEETS-burgh” and the fact that they covered Smash Mouth’s “All Star” — I didn’t realize he was such a fan of that song?! Chooch was disappointed that I didn’t get a video it and I was like, “Why would I, though?”.

Henry’s review: Um…I didn’t mind them. I don’t know. I would see them again…?

Anyway, it was a nice FEEL-GOOD note to end Warped Tour on this year. Sorry I was such an asshole for the first half of the day.

And that wraps up this year’s edition of bands we saw at Warped Tour, some of us were clearly more into it than others. The line-up was exceptional this year and I wish I could have multiplied myself to be at every stage at the same time, except for when Falling In Reverse, Reel Big Fish, or Motionless In White were playing because I go out of my way to avoid those ones! (I don’t like supporting women-beaters, ska bands, or cheesy metal.)

I’m already counting down for next year! I could use a massive do-over and I’ll be sure not to answer my phone this time if it rings. Le sigh.

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Jul 272016
 

Did you know that Chooch is a vegetarian now? Well, he is and I’m not sure how long it’s going to last, but it’s pretty entertaining for now. His choice to cut out meat is twofold:

  1. He was heavily influenced by the PETA people at Warped Tour
  2. He wants to “beat me” at the Who Became a Vegetarian At the Youngest Age game. (I was 16 when I became one, so GOOD JOB winning something that I currently have no control over, a-hole.)

Anyway, he hasn’t grown a taste for any of the advanced meat substitutions yet (although he’s love tofu since he was a toddler!) so we’re starting out super basic with baby steps so tiny, it’s really just a shuffle.

Vegetables.

Like, what a novel concept, serving a vegetarian vegetables, right?

I suggested that we go to Hello Bistro and pig out on the salad bar, where Chooch could control what kind of earthy vittles he ingests. And of course he started complaining as soon as he sat down because something “tasted like shit.” He thought it was the dressing but Henry tasted it and confirmed that it was actually the lettuce, it had some kind of bitter bite to it or something.

I wouldn’t know, because I opted for the MIXED GREENS because I’m not a fucking n00b. Lettuce is the actual worst, and so useless! You know a restaurant is Henry-levels of Michelin stars when the house salad is disgusting, brown-edged lettuce. Like, God is probably laughing at us because he meant for lettuce to be a weed, or, I don’t know, something to use as a scooper when your pet goat shits in the markets of Nazareth.

Chooch picked around the lettuce and ate all the tofu and chick peas and whatever else he put in there, I wasn’t paying attention because my salad mattered more.

Obviously, I’m not pushing this on him (I only do that with music, haha) so if he decides he’s had enough, I’ll only shame him a little bit. I’m just surprised he’s made it this far (like, almost two weeks?).

After dinner, I demanded ice cream because what a day. Also, ice cream is fine for us vegetarians who aren’t strong-willed enough to be straight-up vegan. (Unless they put bacon in the ice cream which I wish was a thing pre-1995 when I still ate meat, you know?) My friend Sandy had recently checked-in to Graeter’s in Wexford, so thank you Facebook for making it so easy to stalk our friends because I had no idea that we had a Graeter’s in Pittsburgh! (It’s a Cincinnati thing, along with lying fake-Mexicans.)

Henry was initially perturbed when we walked in because it looked like the clientele was going to be “not his kind of people” but I mean, that’s pretty much everywhere. He’d have to go to a McDonald’s in Appalachia for ice cream to feel comfortable, probably. But it wasn’t uppity at all – the people slinging the ice cream were absolute DOLLS, especially the older man who waited on us – I think he may have been the manager. I was so pleased with the service that I want to go to Sugar & Spice’s facebook page and tell them to go to Graeter’s to learn how to SMILE while scooping out ice cream, but first GO FUCK YOURSELF SUGAR & SPICE.

Maybe then they’ll be able to smile!

Anyway.

I was so irritated because Henry went first and ordered the SAME TWO FLAVORS I was considering, and what this means in The Laws of Ice Cream is that if we got the same flavors, how could we SHARE and by SHARE I mean that I would help myself to as many spoonfuls of Henry’s ice cream as I damn well please while he is only permitted one puny sample of mine.

So as the Graeter’s man handed Henry his dish of stolen flavors, I said to him, “Actually, he stole my order so I’m just going to take his” and the man laughed and went to duplicate the order for me before I held up a hand and said, “No I mean I’m literally just going to take his” and walked away with Henry’s Cheese Crown and Bourbon Pecan.

“Oh…” the man said with surprise, while Henry sighed and ordered something different, which I also liked a lot! (Salted caramel and Buckeye.)

Chooch got chocolate and vanilla. Sigh.
27967911354_6b90da1fa4_b MY ICE CREAM WAS GOOD. IT WAS COLD AND SWEET. THE SCOOPS WERE A GOOD SIZE. IT CAME WITH A SPOON. THE SPOON WAS GOOD AT SCOOPING. I WOULD PROBABLY DEFINITELY GO BACK AGAIN. – That’s going to be my Yelp review. I guess this place is so new that my YELP NEMESIS hasn’t been there yet! There are already two reviews from different people though so I can’t just say “First!” and then move on with my life.

Learning about how Graeter’s makes their ice cream while I steal from his dish.

Here’s Henry, looking angry as he finishes Chooch’s waffle cone. Chooch can never finish a waffle cone. Literally, Henry is the only person in the world who can make ice cream-eating look like a fucking chore.

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Then we went to North Park so Chooch could fly his stupid drone that my mom bought him and Henry bitched at him for not doing it right which is code for “It’s my turn to play with the drone” while I sat on the bleachers being bored and depressed.

Chooch won that shirt at Warped Tour for doing something at the Truth tent that I wasn’t there to witness because I was watching Oceans Ate Alaska. Maybe Chooch will tell you about it if he ever lets me INTERVIEW HIM ABOUT WARPED TOUR, ugh.

And that was our Saturday.

 

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Jul 262016
 

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I have been to many Warped Tours over the years and have seen a ton of my favorite bands perform there, everywhere from the smallest stage to the main stage. Every year, there is at least one highlight, that one moment that was so outrageous that I can’t wait to come home and tell my cats about it and then let my death row pen pals know by the next day’s post.

But the last two year’s, that highlight has gone to the same band, and if there was a Warped Tour homecoming court, CROWN EMAROSA KING OF WARPED TOUR.

I don’t know how many different ways I can say it, but Emarosa just makes me so alive. I was having such a shitty day at Warped Tour this year, which is completely unlike me. We almost left before Emarosa even played, and I would have hated myself forever if I had actually followed through with my crybaby bluffs. Because as soon as they came out and started playing “Miracle,” I felt like my heart was being stapled and sutured right there in front of the Poseidon stage — it fucking hurt so bad I could have screamed, but I knew it was going to heal. If you’re reading this, I know that you know that feeling because why else would you slough through these self-serving diary pages?

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You would think that when a band exudes  as much energy and crowd-participation as their singer Bradley does single-handedly, that I would look like your basic broad suffering from Beatlemania….but no. I am practically paralyzed with emotion and can barely manage to do more than just sway back and forth like a psych ward patient.

Oh, and I cry a lot too while mouthing the words and also looking at the ground with great introspection because I never stopped playing the part of Angela Chase. I honestly cannot help it. I am shocked and awed by Emarosa.

AND THEN THIS HAPPENED:

This.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Bradley is the most perfect person to front Emarosa and I will never ever ever forget the day that I found out Emarosa was finally back, after thinking that one of my favorite bands was dead, a band that would wind up on some lame BuzzFeed post-hardcore graveyard lists. It has been so much fun having them back, watching them rise to the top with their latest album, and seeing their reputation as THE BAND TO WATCH O WARPED TOUR spread like wildfire through Twitter.

And then you guys, and then OMG Bradley motioned for security to let us through the barrier and onto the side of the stage.

I thought my legs were going to give out. If you had told 2008 that one day Jonny Craig would no longer be the singer of one of my favorite bands but don’t worry because they’ll get a new singer who is even better (you can slap my face at this part to get me to stfu and listen) I would have started mouthing off and then you’d have to slap my face to get me to stfu and listen. And then if you had told me that one day I’d be watching them under the amphitheater at Warped Tour from sidestage at the request of their singer who is way better than Jonny Craig, I’d have slapped YOU across the face to get you to stfu.

Take me back. :(

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

 

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!!!!

Bradley’s wife was there too and she is even more beautiful in person, like a young, even prettier Alyssa Milano, and at one point Bradley turned his back to the crowd and sang a line directly to her while she pointed to him and sang it back and I was like I HAVE GOT TO DUMP HENRY AND FIND MYSELF A LOVE LIKE THIS.

And probably Warped Tour is EXACTLY the place for me to find it. Maybe during Oceans Ate Alaska’s set – their male fans seem like my type kind of

EMAROSA ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

OMG I could just die. I just want to type “OMG OMG OMG” over and over and not bother with trying to string together anything more intelligble (OMG intelligble?! SEE I’M BRAIN DEAD. EMAROSA SHOT ME IN THE HEAD WITH ALL THEIR ELECTRIC FEELS). I just want get “131” tattooed inside my lip now OK. You can’t stop me. You don’t own my inner lip.

I have to honestly stop myself from tweeting about my love for Emarosa as much as I want to because they probably already think I’m a fucking stalker but I swear to god, I’m not trying to be an actual groupie! I just get so excited and I wanted to reply to all of their tweets and remind them how much I love them and that I’m trying to get every single person I know to buy their album and if they could all just send me one tiny lock of their hair I swear it’s not to mix up with Henry’s blood and hemlock in my cauldron while chanting the lyrics to Young Lonely in Latin because that just sounds like some crazy shit and I’m not crazy.

JUST CRAZY ABOUT EMAROSA.

Also just crazy about not getting enough sleep apparently.

OK, reel it in, Erin.

Bands only get to play for like 35 minutes at Warped Tour and this just isn’t enough time for Emarosa. However, it’s enough time for them to continuously win over new fans at every Warped date because it’s one thing to have a gimmick or a schtick (in this case, Bradley’s hyper crowd-immersion and stage gymnastics) but to also have the songs and raw talent to back it up really sets them apart from a lot of the bands on the tour. And trust me, I like a lot of those bands! It’s just that none of them make me feel like Emarosa does.

After their set ended, Bradley jumped off stage and ran straight up the hill to their merch booth so that he could meet fans. Chooch was like, “K BYE!!!!” and started to run back down the steps so he could go to the merch booth too and I saw Bradley’s wife stop him and say something to him and I was like “WHAT DID SHE SAY TO YOU YOU’RE SO LUCKY YOU GOT TO TALK TO HER WHY AM I SO SHY I HATE MYSELF?!!?” Chooch said she asked him if he wanted to meet Bradley and his response was, “I’ve met him many times” and then walked away — SO HE COULD GO AND MEET BRADLEY. That kid is usually so good at talking to strangers but if it’s a hot girl or, I don’t know, Bradley, he honestly needs either cue cards or a straight-up life coach.

While we waited in line to see Bradley, we realized that once again we were terrible parents and let the sun deep-fry our son (EVERY FUCKING YEAR, no matter how much we slather him with sun screen!) because he was wearing a tank top and usually only wears t-shirts, so he had some fresh pale pelt for the sun to greet. I told him he should put on his new Choonimals shirt he didn’t want to take his tank top off so he tried to put the shirt on over top of the tank and then take the tank off that way and it was just a tragic display of social awkwardness, especially once Henry tried to “help.” This sideshow went on for a good five minutes and it was so embarrassing.

“STOP LOOKING AT MY DAD DRESSING MY LITTLE BROTHER!” is what I wanted to shout at all the scene kids spectating this gross demonstration of parenting.

Ugh.

Then it was our turn and Chooch and I answered Bradley’s questions with scared, one-word answers while Henry just stood there and sighed. WE GET NERVOUS AROUND HIM OK LEAVE US ALONE.

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Just the best, the absolute bestedy-best-best-best.

He told us to let us know if we were going to any other Warped Tour dates because he would guest list us and I made puppy-dog eyes at Henry who immediately said something like, “HAHA, we’ll see” because he wanted to look cool in front in Bradley but then later he was like, “NO WE’VE GONE TO ENOUGH THINGS THIS SUMMER.” Ugh. Not like I would have taken him up on that offer anyway — he offered back in March to guest list us for Pittsburgh, and to just message him beforehand to remind him, but I freaked out and didn’t do it because I didn’t to look like I was using him, I DON’T KNOW?! My head is made of wasps nests of insecurity and paranoia.

I just really enjoy Emarosa’s music and I don’t want it to ever seem like I’m some sleazy hanger-on. They’ve already done so much for me!

Henry’s favorite song from 131 is either Cloud 9 or Miracle, by the way. He couldn’t pick just one. It’s a huge deal that he even has any favorites at all because this is Henry and usually having a “favorite something” is an indication that you have some semblance of a personality.

Don’t tell Henry this but I kind of like that there’s a band we ALL ENJOY AS A FAMILY. Oh for Christ’s sake, curl my hair and stick an over mitt on my hand, because that may have been the most Donna Reed-ish thing I’ve ever said.

Fuck, I can’t believe I almost missed this.

Watch that video and then tell me if you’re going to see them with us the next time they come to Pittsburgh!?!?

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Jul 212016
 

I have never been one to try and hide my deep-rooted love for soft rock. I don’t even try to downplay it by calling it “my guilty pleasure.” No, I’m PROUD to be a card-carrying member of the octogenarian set who sway in their rockers and walkers to Engelbert Humperdinck and Barry Manilow.

Ever since we determined that the kitchen stereo speakers still work, the first thing I do every time I go to Gillcrest is immediately crank up the soft rock. It brings a sense of normalcy to all of us I think, and Corey has even started listening to the soft rock radio station in his car.

This particular station is also a breeding ground for sweet, blissful 80s pop. Prince was on last Sunday and I was like, “EVERYONE STFU SO I CAN MAKE MY WEEKLY SOFT ROCK DANCE PARTY INSTAVID” but naturally, you can still hear Chooch’s big ass mouth in the background.

PRINCE PARTY AT @thestonick #prince #whendovescry #chandelier

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

And then Phil came on because why wouldn’t he?

PHIL PARTY AT @thestonick

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Anyway, tonight Chooch and I were sitting when he said something like, “That sounds fun….no, now it looks boring” and I looked up to see a commercial for the ROCK AND ROMANCE CRUISE?! A cruise jam-packed with a ton of soft rock bands from the 70s that I FUCKING LOVE so I nearly pushed Chooch off the couch for saying it looked boring.

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Firefall?? STEPHEN BISHOP? Oh you know he’s going to sing that Tootsie jam. I literally just woke up Henry to scream-read this line-up to him.

“AND GUESS WHO THE CELEBRITY GUEST IS??” I squealed. “DELILAH!” That was his cue to fall back asleep.

But holy shit, Ambrosia, you guys. Ambrosia.

“You’re the Only Woman” is the only song Henry and I have danced together to (back when we liked each other, like way before Chooch was born, lol) and even when I was a kid, I would think to myself, “GOSH I HOPE SOMEDAY THIS IS HOW SOME IDIOT FEELS ABOUT ME.” Same with Foreigner’s “Waiting For a Girl Like You” but come on like what girl doesn’t have a diary entry about that one, I mean right. That song is #goals.

Anyway, sometimes when I feel like I need help falling back into like with my blue-collared man-friend, I will listen to some Ambrosia, and say a wistful “Aw” out loud. I have that song on my the DJ’s play list for my imaginary never-wedding, right smack in between Army of Lovers and Cock Robin. It’s too bad I’ll never get married, because in my head, it’s a FEAST FOR THE SENSES. You’d walk away feeling thankful it wasn’t your own wedding, but also inexplicably sad that it’s over. And hopefully slightly scared that it happened at all.

OH WELL HAVE SOME AMBROSIA.

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Jul 202016
 

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For years now, Warped Tour has been my escape, the one day a year when I set aside all responsibilities and sadness and just LET IT ALL GO. It’s the one day where I don’t feel self-conscious. Where I don’t feel fat. Where I don’t feel judged. Where I don’t feel like a fucking lonely outsider. I have never had a bad experience with anyone in the crowd, and Henry and I actually hardly fight on this day (he knows not to fuck with Our Lady of Warped on this day). I’ve gone to therapy, I’ve done the anti-depressant thing, but nothing has ever helped me like this one day does.

But this year was different.

I mean, I could fill this post with a bunch of lies about how perfect the whole day was, but I’m not a liar. This isn’t OhLyingErin.

It wasn’t Warped Tour’s fault. It wasn’t that I didn’t like any of the bands. It wasn’t that I was feeling suddenly jaded around all the young scene kids. It wasn’t that Henry and I were fighting. It wasn’t any of these things.

It was that, for the first time ever, I am honestly feeling that low and depressed that I couldn’t fucking shake it off. Things have been Not Great for me and my family over the last few months. I try to smile through it and continue on with life, but I think maybe I’ve been doing too great of a job with bottling it all up and now that bottle has sprung a leak. Maybe 15 leaks.

I think the impetus was answering my phone that morning when I shouldn’t have answered it. We had literally JUST WALKED THROUGH THE GATES and were running up the big hill to the Vans tent on the other side when I got the call. I thought it was a florist that had been trying to deliver flowers to my house and kept missing me, so I answered it. But instead, it was an estate attorney I had contacted the day before, calling to get some background on my situation and I was like, “Well, I’m kind of at Warped Tour right now…?” but she was all, “This will just take a few minutes.” So there I was, crouched next to a tree, holding a hand over my free ear to try and hear this lady over top of three bands who were starting to play on nearby stages, wistfully wishing I was any one of the hundreds of kids jogging past me with literally no cares in the world while I’m on the phone talking about wills and estates and reverse mortgages. This isn’t me. This isn’t who I am. Talking about adult things? Ew.

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It just made me realize that there is no escaping this one. Not even being “home” at my beloved Warped Tour was enough this time.

I hung up the phone and rejoined Henry and Chooch. I was totally out of sorts, high-strung, and emotional. We started to watch In Hearts Wake and after one and a half songs, I turned to Henry and said, “I can’t be here. Let’s just leave.”

He and Chooch were both like, “Are you fucking kidding, we just got here and you love Warped Tour?!”

Four times this happened. I wanted to leave and ran off to the exit, but then Henry convinced me to stay. I was: on edge, lunacy fringe, snapping at both him and Chooch, walking off in the middle of Knuckle Puck without telling them where I was going, throwing an actual hissy fit during Hail the Sun, a band I fucking love and was looking forward to seeing again but Chooch kept trying to talk to me and I projected and stormed off, blaming him and Henry for ruining my day, being a certified psychotic asshole, and literally not giving a shit who saw me flipping out because EMOTIONS.

I haven’t felt this out of control since my mid-20s. The thoughts I had swirling through my head were scary and I never want to let them back in.

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During a rare moment of stability after my first public break down.

But then I got sucked back into the emotional spin cycle again, synapses playing laser tag death matches in my brain, which left me straight sulking and pouting alone in a seat under the amphitheater, not even caring when Masked Intruder walked past me.  That’s some heavy duty saltiness, right there.

But finally by the afternoon, I calmed down. Corey and my mom both texted me and assured me that leaving Warped Tour wasn’t going to do any good, that I should stay and make the most of it, and even Chooch was like, “MOMMY, LOOK, YOU KNOW YOU DON’T WANT TO LEAVE. YOU LOVE WARPED TOUR. CALM THE FUCK DOWN, EMAROSA PLAYS AT 3:25.”

And thank god I didn’t leave. Because once I stopped hyperventilating and took a moment to just sit quietly alone on the hillside, I felt ready to salvage the rest of the day. I hate that the first quarter of it was so tainted with my mental poison,  considering my motto is “No Bitching at Warped Tour.” But I just don’t even know who I am anymore.  This was kind of my wake-up call. I’ve been so busy worrying about how the current situation is affecting everyone else, that I haven’t taken the time to mourn properly. No place better than Warped Tour to open up the flood gates, I guess.

Plus, Chooch pointed out this guy and that was pretty amusing.

Honestly, god bless Chooch for staying so calm while I was saying things like I JUST WANT TO FUCKING GO HOME AND STAY IN BED FOREVER because that’s the kind of excellent example I set. DRAW MOTHER A GIN BATH, SONNY BOY!

Look at him up there, reppin’ Cardboard Swords. This kid is so immersed in the scene, and it makes me extremely proud. I hope one day he’s in a band, playing Warped Tour! He better save room in the bus for his MOMMY.

Eventually, I was able to smile again and let my shoulders relax.

I stayed for the whole thing and, like all of the years before, it really did help clear my mind and calm me down. It just took a little longer this year. Which is why we should have gone to a second Warped date, HENRY. #DoOver

I think on my gravestone, it will say something like “AT HOME IN HEAVENLY WARPED TOUR” or “RESTING IN PERPETUAL WARPED TOUR.” Or “IN GODS ARMS AT WARPED TOUR.” I don’t fucking know. Something like that. I’m counting on you, Chooch.

[Next: either band stuff or a Chooch guest post?]

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Jul 072016
 

Remember two years ago when my dad had Amish people putting a new roof on his house? And my brother Corey and I spontaneously combusted into a cloud of giggle fumes? Well, Corey texted me the other day with an AMISH UPDATE!

The same Amish gang is building an entire house down the street from my dad’s! Corey has been texting me pictures to help quell my curiosity and provide a quick Amish fix.

Real quick though, I want everyone to know that I’m not obsessed with them because I think they’re funny, like it’s some kind of handicap to be Amish and I’m just that kind of dick who would ridicule someone for GOD FORBID not being like me. No, it’s more that I am actually obsessed with the whole idea of being Amish. It’s fascinating and admirable to me, I guess. And whenever I see them off their turf, out here in the city, so far away from Lancaster, PA and Dutch Haven, I get inexplicably giddy.

I guess it’s the same way I feel when I see the furries too.

Speaking of, I was excitedly reminding Glenn last week of my borderline psychotic love for the Amish when I realized that it was also the week the furries were in town so then I was practically crippled with the weight of all of the unstable love I was feeling when Glenn mumbled, “What if there was an Amish furry? That would push you over the edge.”

OH MAN.

Anyway, here are some pictures of Amish menfolk, sans hardhats because the have the Lord protecting their pates, working dutifully on some yuppie’s house in Jefferson Hills. Bless you, Corey!

I would recognize that harsh bowl cut anywhere! Definitely the same guy, back on the roof where he belongs.

In other Amish news, our dad had an Amish man and his daughter come to the house to install a windmill in his backyard. And not some beautiful decorative one in the middle of a field of tulips, but some harsh metal thing. Two strangers knocked on my dad’s door the other day and asked if they could see it, and THANK GOD Corey was home and able to capture it on video:

Can you guys tell that Corey and I are siblings or what. So much action at my dad’s house!

UPDATE: my dad got a windmill because he saw a brochure of Amish windmills with a sunrise behind it and he thought to himself, “I want to see the sunrise behind a windmill in my backyard” and so he bought one. GOD LOVE HIM.

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Jul 052016
 

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The furries were in town again last weekend for the 20th Anthrocon! Amber2 summed it up perfectly by saying it’s the most wonderful time of the year. There’s just something super thrilling about walking around downtown on your lunch break and seeing a unicorn strut by.

It’s a lot better than the usual lot of unsavories I try desperately not to make eye contact with, like the Maybe Bomber and the Dunkin’ Donuts Protestor.

For the second year in a row, Anthrocon made their fursuit parade open to the public! It used to be something that they did just for themselves, inside the convention center, so the general public was unable to enjoy it. But over time, Pittsburgh has become so receptive to this FURnomenon (OMG get it) that now the parade is held outside for all of us un-furred folk to ogle and applaud!

Walrus Royce contacted me last week and said he wanted to meet up after the parade if I was planning coming down for it, and I was so stoked! I missed him last year and he was determined to make it up to me. I was also excited for Chooch and Henry to meet him because hello, he’s the best one.

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Chooch’s friend Dimajio came with us, and had no idea what he was about to experience. He didn’t know what Anthrocon or furries were! I was so excited for him to find out. Unfortunately, the dreaded Kenny Chesney concert was happening on the same day. This matters because it brings the worst, most disgusting, rurally-savage pieces of shit to our city like drunk lemmings.

We took the trolley downtown from the South Hills at 11:30AM and there were already rednecks and hicks OPENLY DRINKING cans of Bud Light while wearing TRUMP shirts.

Henry was all, “They’re not bothering me” and that’s because beneath his non-descript uniform and cowboy hatless head, he is a raging country jamboree waiting to happen. WE ALL KNOW THIS IS TRUE. Warped Tour is barely helping me keep his Chesney cork from popping out.

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More Chesney/Trump supporters boarded the trolley at each stop until I was gagging and drowning in beer fumes and stupidity.

And look — I don’t even hate country music! I mean, I would never ever ever ever go to a country concert because ew, but I don’t think that just because you listen to country music, you’re a terrible human who wants to see our country ruined. No, it’s the classless droves of uncivilized, selfish people who look at an event like a Kenny Chesney concert as their clearance to get wasted to the point of hospitalization and an excuse to act like pigs and trash our city.

It’s just tacky, gross and most of all, embarrassing. Especially when I see people from other parts of the country posting news reports about how barbaric Pittsburgh is. Look at us! Worse than Juggalos!

It’s such a big deal that it prevented many of my friends from even coming downtown for the parade because no one who actually lives in Pittsburgh and has even an ounce of decency wants to deal with this bullshit. Chris and Monica even considered not meeting us down there because of this, but luckily, the part of town where the convention is held is a relatively safe distance away from any degenerate looking to cause trouble or belch in our general vicinity. So they still came!

I had it in my head that the parade started at 1 and was set on getting downtown by noon.

“WE HAVE TO GET A GOOD SPOT!”  I kept screaming. Three-Days-Later-Erin would like to go back and smack Saturday-at-the-Parade-Erin upside the head because bitch calm the fuck down for once.

So we got down there all fucking early and shit and I’m like, “Wow, Kenny Chesney really kept people away” because no one had started lining up yet! Henry kept whispering something about how that’s because it didn’t start until 2 and I was like, “Boy, shut your lying face-pussy!”

Yeah, so the parade didn’t start until 2.

I’M WRONG SOMETIMES, GOD. SUE ME.

It’s not like you could be bored down there though. There were so many furries to flirt with, I mean, wave to as they walked by to get inside the convention center. We didn’t even have to entertain Chooch and Dimajio or make sure they didn’t get hit by a car because the streets were already blocked off!

And then the parade started and it was the best thing in the world! It was even better than last year’s because there were more furries and Chooch wasn’t being an asshole.

I don’t know much about beer, but I feel like Gangsta Furry drinks better beer than Chesney tailgaters.  Don’t most of them drink moonshine, anyway?

One of my favorite moments was when Monica said she knew she wasn’t at a Kenny Chesney concert when Henry picked up our trash and put it in a garbage can.

Chooch got all of the furry handouts. I didn’t even see any of them passing out balloons! I’m so disappointed. But Chris and I both got candy from one of the furries, and I got some ribbon with paw prints on it.

“Oh another little kid!” the furry announced after handing me my prize and seeing Dimajio and Chooch next to me;  apparently they were only being passed out to the kids but I just fit in so well.

Plus, my urgent grunts of “ME! ME! ME!” with cupped hands might have aided my cause as well.

This year’s theme was The Roaring 20s, duh.

Dimajio was a fast convert to the Church of Furry. I don’t mind Dimajio because he calls me Miss Kelly and not the dreaded and completely offensive Mrs. Robbins. THAT’S A SMART, POLITE BOY. I hope some of that rubs off on Chooch because he is such a jerk sometimes.

Ask Monica. We went to Ben & Jerry’s after the parade and he was encroaching on her space so much and just being a general brat that she finally snapped and called him an asshole. It was hilarious because the girl behind the counter kind of flinched a bit and then looked over at me, like, “Are you going to let this woman call your son an asshole?”

Yes. Yes, I am.

High-fives all around for Monica!

Stupid Five Nights at Freddy’s.

Of course my furry-magnet son got the most attention, but Chris and I got a lot of action too. I even had one furry single me out and fight his/her way over to wrap me up in a hot embrace. No really, it was super hot being imprisoned by all that fake fur.

“How many hugs did YOU get Henry?” I spun around to heckle. “OH THAT’S RIGHT – NONE!” So then Monica leaned over and hugged him because she is such a Henrylover.

So, let’s take back some of those high-fives we were doling out for Monica a few paragraphs ago.

Sike, j/k. Monica’s hug did not come wrapped in a fursuit so I still won! SUCK IT, HENRY!

But then Henry had the last laugh when I was snubbed by a furry, who instead leaned down to fistbump Dimajio, and his plainclothed handler gave me a bare-handed high-five out of pity.

Dimajio thought it was SO FUNNY, too, but he called me Miss Kelly again while telling me how funny it was, so I’ll let it slide.

Henry, the natural furry.


Oh, this sloth, you guys! Have you ever seen anything so adorable? Chris was practically hemorrhaging trying to get its attention. And then we were rewarded with sloth-y high-fives!

YEAH WE DO. We were positively giddy during the parade. Even Chris said that her face hurt from all the smiling she was doing, and Monica compared it to the same sense of acceptance and diversity that she associates with Pride. I love how every year, more and more of this city becomes OK with this, it’s becoming less taboo and more of something that people, especially the businesses down here, look forward to.

(Though there is this one barista at a coffee shop down here, I WON’T NAME NAMES, who completely flipped out on me when I asked if he’d seen any furries yet. He’s only been living in Pittsburgh for a year and has just recently learned about them and is not happy about it. It sounds like he just hasn’t opened up his heart to them, yet! I’ll keep working on him.)

I had a 4:00 meet-n-greet set up with Walrus Royce, who did not hear my anguished bellows of “ROYCE! ROYYYYYCE!” when he flapped past us during the parade. But that’s OK, because I got to give him a big hug and watch him flap around to the Post-Modern Jukebox rendition of “Call Me Maybe” in the lobby of the Westin – per my request! It was the best gift!

He gave Chooch and Dimajio lots of tips on making their own costumes, and they are obsessed now. I mean, we knew it was only a matter of time before Chooch became an official member, but now that Dimajio’s interested as well, there is more motivation to follow through.

You’re welcome, Dimajio’s mom!

Me and Royce’s pal, Comus! His eyes actually light up, you guys. Some of these fursuits have got all kinds of bells and whistles. I’m actually pretty excited to see what Chooch comes up with for his fursona!

After about twenty minutes or so, it was time to let Royce get back to doing his thing as quite a few people had begun to converge upon him, wanting a better look at his unique mask and asking for pictures. I’m just really honored that he cleared some of his schedule to hang out with me and meet my people — this is why he’s my favorite!

Before leaving though, I had one thing to ask of him: to let me take his picture holding a sign with the name of the ‘zine I do here at work, because (most) everyone in this department love furries and some of them even have furry-watching happy hours that they plan well in advance (gotta get a good table!). It’s just such a fun way to break up the work week, you know?

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Because my ‘zine is called ATTN REQUIRED. You wouldn’t understand unless you work here. Ugh. Just forget it.

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Chooch and Dimajio tried to help me with my project too. TRIED being the operative word. I found something wrong with every picture!


A normal scene in Pittsburgh during Anthrocon.

God love the furries!

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Jun 292016
 

For a brief period of time, way back in the day, I was talking to some guy I used to work with. You know. “Talking.” He was supposed to come over one night, and I had recently scored a new Cure bootleg video (literally on VHS, this was a while ago), so I suggested that we could watch this damn thing together. He made a slew of disparaging comments about the Cure, about how he would rather watch dogs eat their own shit, about how much that band sucked, about how “faggy” they were, and I could actually hear my heart breaking in my ears.

Followed quickly by the sound of the door slamming on this asshole’s opportunity. I just couldn’t imagine being with someone who didn’t like The Cure, or who could at least respect my staunch devotion to them. (Not to mention someone who calls things “faggy”? Ew no.)

And thank god I didn’t give that guy a second chance, because then I met Henry (at the same job! I was such an office ho!) and do you know what the first thing is that Henry ever did for me, way before we even started dating? He made me a screensaver of all of the Cure’s album covers.

That is a fucking good man.

Back then I probably said he was wife material, too, but clearly that material is full of holes.

What is: Cheese cloth.

What is: A handkerchief in some person’s pocket in a coffin underground.

All of this is to say that when The Cure announced their hugely anticipated North American tour last fall, Henry didn’t even question it when I said, “Well, there’s no Pittsburgh date as usual, but we could go to the Columbia, Maryland one…?”

“Buy the tickets when they go on sale,” he said with NO HESITATION.

BECAUSE IT’S THE CURE. And Henry loves me, you guys. Duh.

I sat at the computer and waited for the clock to tick down and then I bought two tickets on the ASAP. Of course with all the presales and ticket reselling schemes out there, every last spot under the pavilion was taken, so I had to be satisfied with lawn seats. And honestly, this being my 6th Cure show, I was content that we were even going at all. Traveling for shows is expensive and we are not rich people. SHOCKER. Plus, we were pretty close to the front two years ago when they headlined Riot Fest so it was fine.

We left Chooch at home with Judy and set off for Maryland around 9:30am. I was acutely aware that my left contact was jacked up, but you have to understand the tolerance I have built over the years to eye woes.  I figured the discomfort would eventually just fade into the background, and then I proceeded to just up my blinking quota during the car ride.

The drive down there was pretty uneventful and quick, by the way. I didn’t even live blog because I was too busy listening to the same Pierce the Veil song over and over, psychoanalyzing it, and feeling depressed. That’s just what I do. Also, I bought a ticket to see PVRIS the moment they went on sale, which was a lot less stressful since it’s just general admission at the Altar Bar. And then we ate at some shitty country cookin’ diner thing on the side of the road, because I was off my game and let Henry choose the lunch spot.

I went in the bathroom there and jiggled my contact around a bit, because sometimes that helps. In this case though, it still felt like someone was applying slight pressure to my eyeball with the tip of the long-nailed finger.  So, normal.

We arrived at our Extended Stay hotel thing around 4 and I got angry because GPS said something about taking the third right at the traffic circle. “IT’S A ROUNDABOUT!” I cried petulantly. “EVERYONE IN AUSTRALIA KNOWS THAT!”

Henry muttered something about this being America and in America, “we” call them traffic circles and I’m like, how about not lumping me in there with all you “we”s, thanks. And then I loudly counted down the rights so that Henry would know which one to turn off on, thereby fulfilling my co-pilot duties.

If I had liveblogged that day, it would be a lot of “AND THEN”s because I was pretty fucking happy.

After sufficiently complaining about our hotel room (because that’s my other duty – reminding Henry that nothing he does is good enough for me), Henry fed me a candy bar (Hershey with almonds if you need this for the case study), and then it was finally time to leave for the Merriweather Ampitheater.

One good thing about Henry is that he booked our room months and months in advance. It was the closest hotel to the venue and completely sold out. The lady at the desk even asked if we were there for the Cure concert, because duh. This happened right before Henry denied ogling some yuppie bitch who was walking two Pomeranian dogs.

It didn’t take us long to get to the venue at all, maybe 15 minutes tops. I was too busy hyperventilating and saying, “Ohmygodohmygodohmygod” incessantly to properly keep an eye on the time. Sorry for the inaccurate journalism!

Henry and I had a brief feud before getting out of the car because he didn’t bring a blanket from home and had to buy a blanket from a Target near our hotel and it was sooooo ugly (brown plaid and fuzzy, ew) so first I was like, “I WILL NOT BE SEEN WITH THAT ATROCITY, LEAVE IT IN THE CAR!” I mean, plus it stunk of plastic because he had just unzipped it from the stupid vinyl package it was all cubed-up in.

Not surprising, Henry didn’t bother to fight with me. He knows not to fuck with me when I’m in an emotional fragile Cure-related state. So we left the blanket in the backseat and wove our way through the gravel parking lot to the end of the line. We got there about 45 minutes before the gates open, I would say, and in no time, the line behind us had grown so long that we could no longer see the end.

I spotted someone in line nearby carrying a blanket in the same bracket of ugliness as the one that Henry had purchased. So I succumbed to the Ugly Blanket Squad and told him he could go back to the car and get the motherfucking poop-colored blanket. Whatever. This isn’t the blanket prom, is what my dad would have said if he had been there.

Ugh.

I could only see the first 30 or so people in front of us, because then the line snaked down and around into a forested area. It was making me nervous not knowing how far back we were.

People-watching was splendid and helped pass the time. There were OG Goths, neo-goths, yuppies, hippies, hipsters, Henrys — people of all walks of life had converged upon Merriweather all for the same reason: to bow down before the Cure. Two guys behind me did nothing but quote from Pitchfork the whole time, while the two dads and their respective young-teen sons talked dryly about sports.

Hockey came up.

I inched in closer.

“Yeah, his mom is a huge hockey fan,” the one dad said to the other. “Her favorite team is the Flyers, and then the Penguins.”

I was bouncing on my toes by this point while Henry was giving me the “KEEP IT ZIPPED” look.

“Oh, well she must be happy. The Penguins won the whole thing,” the other dad said and I was SQUEALING now, about to raise my hand and do the whole, “OOOH! OOOOH!” thing that I do when I’m desperate to add to a conversation that does not belong to me.

Henry, that motherfucker, actually grabbed me by the elbow and pulled me back!

I hate small talk EXCEPT when it’s about music or hockey, or if I overhear incorrect information and feel like I could die if I don’t set the universe straight with my infinite wisdom.

But apparently this is “annoying” and Henry doesn’t like to be a witness…or an associate.

The opening of the gates was pretty prompt and we were inside in no time at all. There are several entrances and parking lots and there were less people in front of us than I guessed. We were able to snag a prime piece of real estate very close to where the pavilion seats ended and the lawn started, and I let go of all my high expectations of having the perfect, unobstructed view and instead just enjoyed being there. Sometimes you really gotta just let go.

Henry bought me some kind of beer that he figured I would be able to drink without wasting — Shocktop maybe? I’m still trying to become a beer person but I’m just unapologetically picky. Don’t fuck with my palate. I managed to drink two whole beers! Each one cost less than my $10 pizza, which was actually pretty good but NOT ENOUGH.

“For $10, it’s gonna have to be,” Henry frowned before going off to buy some gross sausage in a bun atrocity for himself.

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The fact that you can barely see my left eye in this photo is FORESHADOWING.

The lawn was really starting to fill up and so far, I didn’t find a single person I hated. I wasn’t too startled by this revelation though because Cure crowds have historically been some of the kindest and most fun I’ve ever been in the middle of.

EXCEPT: Coachella 2004. Worst crowd ever. A bunch of rich frat boys screaming “FAT BOB!” and booing when anything other than a radio single was performed. Welcome to America, Robert. Welcome to America, indeed.

Just then, two middle-aged men tossed down two seat cushions in the small section of lawn available between the two couples in front of me.

“And DOWN!” the one announced loudly and jovially as he plopped himself onto the cushion, beer sloshing all around. He looked at us and laughed, but I gave Henry the “I hate this guy” look. When the two women whose blanket they sat down next to came back from getting beer, I thought for sure they were going to be all, “OH HELL NO” but instead, the one lady was like, “LET’S BE FRIENDS” and then everything was happening so fast before my eyes.

Henry went to get more beer, leaving me alone to stew in my depressing solitude while everyone around me was carrying on with each other and making friends with new people, and ugh just ugh.  Never was there a more apropos moment for Robert to come on stage and sing, “Why Can’t I Be You.”

(He didn’t.)

(But he should have.)

So now the people in front of me were introducing themselves. The one who had yelled, “DOWN!” told the two ladies that they were from Pittsburgh.

PITTSBURGH? I’M FROM PITTSBURGH!

I tapped him on the back and was all, “Hey guy, I couldn’t help but overhear you say you’re from Pittsburgh. We’re from Pittsburgh too,” I said in that weird 1920s radio DJ syncopated voice I get when I’m no longer Erin but some weird caricature of a person with a sturdy societal footing.

And that’s when Henry returned to his ugly blanket and found that his girlfriend had made new friends with the boisterous men in front of them. (I never talked to the broads though. Once I heard the one lady say that she was heartbroken that the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, I knew I had nothing left to say to her, except for SUCK IT.)

(J/K, she and her sister seemed like fine ladies.)

Randy was my favorite of the two guys. I can’t remember his friend’s name. He was nice too, but not as hilarious as Randy. I can’t explain it, you guys would have had to have been there.

You know how it is.

The Twilight Sad came out sometime around 7:00. I was already familiar with them and interested to hear them live for the first time. And I mean, they were wonderful, but it’s hard to give a shit about an opening band when you know, and they know, and everyone knows that The Cure is back there somewhere, pretending to jump rope, touching up that blood red lipstick, sipping a spot of tea.

So I can’t say anything other than, “The Twilight Sad seemed good.”

I ran to the bathroom afterward, while there was still a bit of sunshine left. I was immediately cold-cocked by the essence of patchouli and clove.

And it just felt right.

As I washed my hands, I inspected my eye in the mirror. There didn’t appear to be a dagger or any such spiny specimen jutting from it, contrary to how it felt. So I gave it one good, aggressive rub (What Not To Do To Your Eye 101) and stumbled my way back to our blanket, which was now one of many in a sea of throws.

Sold out show, y’all.

As soon as the opening notes of Tape wafted into the air, my face was wet with tears. It doesn’t matter how many times I have seen this band, they make my heart feel so full and I even if I tried, I couldn’t hold back my emotions. I get all snively and trembly and the tears just flow freely – this who I am.

I LOVE EVERYONE AROUND ME.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

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A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

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A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Aside from the three Instavids above and few Snaps that my brother requested, I didn’t fuck around with recording or taking pictures, because it’s the Cure and I needed to let every last second get into my pores, you know what I mean? Henry even gave me some “there-there” pats a few times.

He gets it.

He didn’t need to see my face to know it was slick with tears, mascara, and whatever poison was seeping out of my left eyeball.

You’d think that all the crying would have washed out whatever was in there, scraping my cornea, but instead it just started burning even more. The joy and amazement of standing before The Cure made it easier to shrug off, though. It was going to take a lot more than an eyeball malady to get me to leave this show early.

SET LIST:

Tape / Open, High, Pictures of You, Closedown, Kyoto Song, A Night Like This, The Walk, The End of the World, Lovesong, If Only Tonight We Could Sleep, All I Want, Push, In Between Days, Just Like Heaven, Bananafishbones, Never Enough, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, End

1st encore: Sinking, It Can Never Be The Same

2nd encore: Shake Dog Shake, Burn, A Forest

3rd encore: Dressing Up, Lullaby, Fascination Street, Wrong Number

4th encore: Hot Hot Hot, Let’s Go To Bed, Close To Me, Why Can’t I Be You?, Boys Don’t Cry

I have never heard “Burn” live before so I was freaking the fuck out for sure. FREAKING THE FUCK OUT.

It’s unreal to me how solid this band sounds after all of these years. How they can get out there night after night, play for three hours with just as much if not more energy as bands 30 years younger. These guys are living legends, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can keep snubbing them all they want because there are millions of screaming fans who know just how brilliant and incomparable they are.

When you can get even someone unmoved and unaffected as Henry J. Robbins to stand for the entirety of your show and also APPLAUD after every song? That’s how you know you’re frizzled hair, shoegazing perfection.

Little Cure fan. <3

Robert seemed to be in very good spirits too, chattier than I have ever seen him, and still breaking out his adorable little goth moves during “Lullaby.” However, he did get choked up during a new song, “It Can Never Be the Same,” which rumor has it is about his mother who passed away last year. When the song ended, he said something along the lines of, “The last song is a new one…. haven’t quite… haven’t learned how to hold back….so…”

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He is a motherfucking god. No one will ever replace him in my heart.

NO ONE.

***

As soon as we got back to the hotel, I raced to the bathroom and plucked the contact off my eye, which exacerbated the pain. Now it was like my eyeball was in labor with a hatchet-coated fireball. A thicket of natty homeless person pubes. A briar patch of all the human bones found in Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment.

My eye was so red that it looked like it was bleeding, like it had been CHEESE GRATED. Tears were squirting out left and right, like some completely crude, X-rated, optic money shot.

“I CAN’T KEEP MY EYE OPEN!” I wailed, flapping my hands and hopping from one foot to the other.

I was panic-stricken, screaming about having to go to the hospital; but instead, Henry calmly went out and got me eye drops. I had cried myself to sleep while he was gone, but don’t worry! I woke up in the middle of the night and as soon as I realized that it wasn’t just a nightmare and that there were still flames licking the inside of my eyelid, I started screaming. Henry woke up and secretly pretended he was killing me when he held my head down against the pillow and put the drops in my eye.

In the morning, it still hurt and I felt like a vampire, screaming about the sunlight. As the day wore on, I was mostly OK again, though my eyelid was slightly puffy and I wasn’t even about to try to put my contact back in for the next two days. So I went about life squinting and walking with my arms outstretched. One-contact-wearin’ Erin.

But none of that was enough to tarnish the beautiful memories of the night before. Le sigh.

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