Oct 172017
 

Being off work for an entire week right after I began my ambush decorating really slowed my roll. It especially sucked that I wasn’t there when two of my coworkers got to see their newly Halloweened offices.

However, it gave me some time to collect my thoughts for the (most likely) final horror set.  Trust me, I was really pumped when it hit me that I could turn Jill’s office into a Wicker Man shrine.

#NotTheNicholasCageOne

I spent Sunday afternoon sitting Indian-style on the floor, hot-gluing popsicle sticks while watching South Korea travel blogs. This is my life. I also ran around the house, collecting other things I needed, like some of our old plastic animal masks and Chooch’s stuffed rabbit.

I barely said hello to anyone when I got in Monday morning, I was in such a rush to get this shit done before Jill arrived. Debby and Marlene watched with great interest.

“Oh, and there’s the rabbit mask! Oh, and there’s the sheet music!” Marlene exclaimed as I set out each object.

“Have you seen The Wicker Man?” I asked excitedly, after being certain that this one might wind up being the most obscure set yet, even more than last year’s Ju-On (or, you know, Lou-On).

“No I have no idea what this is,” Marlene said, and then she and Debby cracked up. I tried to give them a quick run-down and they were just like, “Wow. How many Academy Awards did that win?”

“Christopher Lee was in it!” I said all defensively, and they just laughed harder.

My life, you guys!

Image result for summer is incumen in

This is the old-as-fuck English round that the crazy Pagans sing at the end of the movie.

#NOTTHENICHOLASCAGEONE!!!!!!!

Summerisle was well-known for their apples. 

“KILLING ME WON’T BRING BACK YOUR APPLES!”

Anonymous letter received by Sergeant Howie, the protagonist, asking him to come to Summerisle and help find a missing girl named Rowan Morrison.

Picture from one of the creepy harvest festivals and a March hare, which represents the missing girl. 

Green Man Inn is where Howie stays while he’s in town and it’s full of debauchery. MY KIND OF INN.

“Oh, I know that movie,” Todd said disgustedly when I was telling him I decorated Jill’s desk. “It was so stupi—-”

“NOT THE NICHOLAS CAGE ONE!!!!!!” I shouted. Ugh! His version was a desecration of the original, a motherfucking disgrace.

Anyway, I stopped by Jill’s office later in the morning to see if she liked it and she seemed….thrilled! I would target everyone there if I had the time/energy/brain power. There’s one other one that I MIGHT do if I can find the time, but it’s looking like I might skip it. But happily, I still haven’t spent more than $10 on this whole thing!

***

I was inspired to watch (THE ORIGINAL) Wicker Man Sunday night, after getting all of my props together. I let Chooch watch it with me because I forgot how much freaking nudity is in it, so that was goddamn fantastic. Then yesterday, I came home from and he was like, “LOOK AT WHAT I TAUGHT MYSELF” and when he put his hands together, I thought it was going to be more sign language because he’s been learning that in gifted this year, BUT NO IT WAS THE FUCKING SONG THE WEIRDO BOYS SING AT THE MAY POLE IN WICKER MAN.

“OMG please do not ever sing that in school,” I begged him, and he was like, “Duh.”

I am the worst parent ever.

Later, on our nightly walk, he blurted out, “The Wicker Man was so good. I LOVED it. Like, a lot.” Yeah, I wonder why?!

Oct 052017
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ugh.

Henry helped me make the chainsaw.

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

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

In case you have no idea what this is from:

Image result for ash vs evil dead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total amount spent on this: $0.

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

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

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

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

Glenn just shrugged.

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

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

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

Image result for don't open dead inside

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

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

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

Sep 272017
 

Here’s a recap of some things that have happened at work over the last month or so.

  • The Pumpkin of International Candy Horrors is still in full effect around here. Actually, I haven’t filled it up in a while but that’s OK because there’s still stuff in there that people keep picking around and maybe I should just not refill it until they eat all the bad stuff too, right? For example, the pouch of prunes.  The last fill-up was from Lotus Foods, which I sometimes walk to on my lunch break. I was mad because there were a bunch of white assholes in the candy aisle, loudly mocking all the candy that my work friends and I have come to cherish. Sorry if your palates aren’t refined enough, dumbos. I grabbed a bag of “assorted ham” but I think it was mislabeled because it was definitely that “haw” candy I bought before which tastes like thick fruit roll-ups. They’re super good. I meant to try and get some candy when we were in Chicago but when I searched “weird candy Chicago” the only thing that stood out was this place that’s supposed to be “famous” in Chicago (what isn’t though, really) but when I went to the website, it was ALL OF THAT GROSS CANDY I bought from  the Mexican store near my house (and also some of the good candy I bought from the Mexican store near my house, but if I wanted more of that, I would just take a walk when I’m home, you know?).
    • Speaking of that Mexican store, there is this guy who works the taco cart in front (it’s wildly popular and brings ALL THE HIPSTERS and FOODIES to my town, so gross). Anyway, this guy is my secret boyfriend. I walk past him everyday because I’m, you know, always walking, and he always says hello to me in his super-flirty accent and I’m always like, “Hehehehe, hello” and he has his eyebrow pierced which normally I wouldn’t like, but you know—accent. If Henry is with me, he won’t say hello though.
      • Hi Henry.
    • Um, back to the subject of candy. One day last month, someone found a dollar on the floor and it ended up being Lauren’s. Instead of pocketing it, she said, “You know, put this aside for the candy refill,” and she gave it to me! I thought that was really nice and also , why am I not collecting money from EVERYONE.
  • One day, I was standing in line at Crazy Mocha, minding my own business like I do, when a man next to me leaned over and said, “Apologies in advance if I smell a little….musty.” Oh wow, not the pick-up line I was expecting, but OK. “I spent ALL DAY in the University of Pittsburgh library archives.” THERE IT IS. “Oh wow, ok. I don’t smell anything, don’t worry,” I said with faux-reassurance and then used my back as a conversation stopper. But no, he wasn’t done. “I never thought working in a library would leave me so smelly,” he said with absolute dryness to his voice. He wouldn’t look at me while he was speaking, either, but instead he kept his head tilted up slightly toward the ceiling, almost in a boastful stance. I nodded and then went back to scrolling through pictures of G-Dragon on Instagram because #life. “Pitt hired me because I’m fluent in French. I know the French bibliographer there,” he continued after about a minute of silence passed AND IT STILL WASNT MY TURN TO ORDER. I vaguely heard him reference Raiders of the Lost Ark but I had fucking shut down at this point. OK cool story guy, you get to work with dusty books all day. “I felt really bad for the people I sat near on the bus yesterday, having to smell me,” he said and I seriously thought he was going to press his body into my face and make me smell him, he was so obsessed!
    • The weirdest part is that while this guy didn’t smell at all, I had stormed into work the day before bitching about the old guy who was sitting next to me on the trolley and how musty he smelled, and then I had one of those weird moments where the word “musty” didn’t sound right and had I been using a fake word all these years? But I googled it and it’s a real word, so there.
  • On another episode of Erin Gets Taken For a Ride, I had just left the office one day for my lunch time stroll, when some old woman stopped me in front of our building. Something about just having taken her insulin, needs a dollar to buy some food so she doesn’t pass out…I don’t know. It all happened so fast, but she reminded me of Henry’s mom and I was like, “OK OK OK, I will get you a dollar!” I told her to stay there and I went all the way back up to the tenth floor, got a dollar out of my desk, and went back out to give it to her. But when I got there, she was talking to two young women with a baby stroller (I think there was a baby in there? I didn’t look, because babies, meh). The women were REALLY ORANGE-IN-THE-NEW-BLACK-LOOKING, you guys. Totally rough and clad in wife beaters, one had a half-shaved head, the other had barbed wire tattooed around her bicep. Just, you know…intimidating. I handed the lady a dollar and she looked at me like she didn’t know what I was doing, but that didn’t stop her from clamping onto the bill. “Oh, these are my friends,” she said, nodding at the two women, and all three of them just looked at me blankly and I was petrified because were they going to shake me down for more money?! I kind of wanted to renege and pull back my dollar but the lady was already taking out of my fingers and oh, what to do?! I know, turn and run. You guys, the way she thanked me, it was like I was PAYING HER BACK A DOLLAR THAT I OWED HER.
    • When I went back in after my break, I was telling Lauren what went down and she was like, “THIS IS WHY YOU SHOULDN’T GIVE MONEY TO PEOPLE ON THE STREET” and this was just the start of a long-winded lecture about how I shouldn’t be gullible and how that lady probably had enough ones to buy 87 orders of fries now.
    • That’s OK because it was actually LAUREN’S DOLLAR I GAVE THAT LADY, OH LOL LOL LOL!
      • I actually just saw that broad again last week, right after some businessman gave her money and a hug and I watched that con-artist wipe away her fake tears and wanted to trip her, oxygen tank and all!
  • I had a nightmare about Catherine. She was yelling at me from her office because I handed her a stack of folders and papers that I had hand-written and she hated my handwriting and felt that it was time to let me know because she just couldn’t take it anymore. So the next morning, IRL, I remembered the dream and found myself labeling a folder for her very slowly and as neat as possible. I told Glenn about this and he muttered, “Did you use your best crayon?” Ugh. I finally told Catherine about my dream later that afternoon and she exclaimed, “OMG I LOVE your handwriting though! I always have!” and I was like, “Yeah I know, my handwriting is awesome, duh.” *nail painting emoji*
  • I made Todd watch the new BTS video and he said he liked it but he doesn’t like that there are 7 of them in the group. “It’s just too many. One of them is going to end up starting a fight and then it’s all over,” he said and I was like, “Yeah, if they were AMERICAN.” I don’t let Glenn watch my Kpop videos anymore because he’s a hater and the one day I was so mad because he was mocking the boy groups again and calling G-Dragon a pretty little girl and I was about ready to blow a gasket but then Carrie came over and distracted me long enough for my heart rate to come down. SORRY I’M NOT STANNING JETHRO TULL, GLENN.
  • The day before I left for my lame Brookline vacation, Lori was like, “I want tacos. Do you want to go get tacos?” Whoever says no to tacos? Probably Trump supporters, of which I am not one so I said YES and we went to Condado and I didn’t fuck up my tacos this time  (last time I added the wrong sauce or something to my BBQ jackfruit creation and it just curb-stomped the whole flavor profile) and we also got the guac of the day which had raspberry puree in it and I never knew how much guacamole needed raspberries until that day and now I can never not eat it with raspberries. I’m just that fancy.

  • One of the new perks that come along with Friday late shifts is that we have the option to work them from home. I mean, they’re still a drag but whatever. Anyway, Amber was all, “Make sure you have Jabber set up so you can take calls” and I was like, “OK but isn’t the REAL PERK of working from home that you get to miss all of your work phone calls? No? Ok. I put it off the first several times I was working from home but then I finally decided I better get that shit straightened out even though hardly anyone ever calls me at work. I logged on, threw on my headset and called my office phone from my cell phone. Nothing. Not even white noise. Just dead silence. So I’m sitting here at work, alternating saying hello into my headset and into my phone before eventually giving up and performing a traditional Angry Erin swear-stuffed screamo song. Then I called Henry and started yelling at him too because this was somehow his fault since he’s the one who plugged the headset in for me. While I was on the phone with him, my stupid Jabber notification popped up, saying that I had an incoming call from Lauren. OH GREAT A CALL I CAN’T ANSWER! I emailed her back immediately and said, “Jabber difficulties” and then after I finished verbally castrating Henry, I called Lauren back from my cell phone and started complaining right off the bat about my dead Jabber connection. “Erin,” she interrupted me solemnly. “Something happened….” She was scaring me. Was she calling to tell me that someone knocked over my Fiji mermaid?! Did Glenn deface my G-Dragon pictures? WHA’ HAPPENED?!!? Oh, I’ll tell you what happened. When I called myself, it somehow connected to my actual desk phone at work, put itself on SPEAKER, and broadcast me saying, “hello? hello?” to the whole quadrant. Lauren said she heard my voice coming from my desk and slowly turned around, and saw that Glenn and Todd were also blankly staring at my desk. And then Ethan was all, “Isn’t Erin working from home today?” She said it was so creepy and made her instantly yearn for Season 2 of Stranger Things. “Oh my god, like I was trapped in my phone or something?” I said, and then we had a hearty laugh, but really I was half-embarrassed that happened and also super thankful that I hung up before anyone could hear the explosive cursing that followed the hellos. “I wish they had heard,” Henry sighed. “Then they’d finally know the Erin I know.”
    • I’m working from home again this Friday and still haven’t figured it out. Please don’t call me. Email only.
Aug 152017
 

My favorite Pittsburgh ice cream shop, Millie’s, recently opened a second location minutes away from where I work downtown. I thought it would be an awesome idea to skip out on one of our Monday meetings and get some Millie’s instead. I broached this idea to Boss Amber,  paired with the gentile insinuation that it could be a TEAM BUILDING EXERCISE. But Amber was like, “Um it’s ice cream, you don’t need to justify it” and an ice cream outing was officially scheduled!

This has been a rough year for our little group. We lost* two people – Amber1 and Gayle – and plus everyone has had to endure all my DAILY KOREA FACTS all year, so some fancy locally-sourced ice cream was just what we need to boost morale. 

*(I mean, they’re still alive, but still! We miss them.)

Guys, I got SZECHUAN ROASTED PEACH and it was to die for. The only way it could have been better would be it was, I don’t know, gochugaru roasted peach. 

Lauren got coconut lime, Todd & Amber both got Vietnamese coffee, and dumb Glenn probably got a scoop of Plain. Who knows, who cares. 

I took a group picture for our department’s Wiki page—I’m one of two people in our department with editing rights so every once in awhile, random Kpop pictures find their way into the limelight and everyone is all, “Ugh Erin Kelly.” 

On th way back to the office, some deranged street person sidled up to Glenn and started screaming about if Glenn took him to the ATM and gave him $100,000, he’d be his best friend. 

“I come out here every day, and no one bothers me. I come out here with Erin and all her friends come out to attack me,” Glenn mumbled as we crossed the street, leaving his new friend behind on the sidewalk.

****

Back at work, I was all hunched over, giddily editing our group photo, getting it primed for its public debut. 

After I posted it on our group’s page, I announced, “Ok our picture’s up!” No one said anything. I craned my neck to see if Lauren was going to our wiki page. 

She was not. 

Finally, I couldn’t take it any longer so I flat out told Todd to go and look at it. 

“I already saw it,” he said. “You showed us on your phone.”

“Yeah but….just go and look,” I urged, standing behind him to make sure he did it. It took him FOREVER TO GET THERE because he doesn’t have it saved as a favorite. Ugh. 

When he saw it, it took him awhile to register, but then he laughed. 

“Wow,” he said in a total #smh tone. 


Lauren, upon hearing us laughing about it, decided she better go and check it out too. I’m sure she was low-key worried because god only knows with me, you know? But then she started giggling too. 

I had to wait for Amber to come back from her lunch break, but when she did, I practically crashed into her desk and sat on her lap in my excitement to have her look at the picture. 

She doesn’t have our wiki page saved as a favorite either so I had to stand there doing the pee-jig while she clicked through 18 pages to get there. 

She didn’t catch it at first, but when she finally saw G-Dragon’s perfect face, she started laughing and cried, “You’re….so special.”

The best part is fielding questions from the people in our department who have somehow avoided the Kpop-mania on our side of the floor, after they go to our page for actual work-related reasons and see our picture. That’s just the new intern, you guys. Kwon Jiyong. <3

Jul 242017
 

The last thing I think of every night before I fall asleep is, “I can’t wait to have coffee in the morning.”

(Well, that and “Please don’t lop off my feet with your rusty scythe, Mr. Closet Monster.”)

Unless I’m on late shift, I don’t have my first cup of coffee until I get to work, and immediately afterward starts my daylong wonderfing of “when will I have my next coffee?” because I try to have restraint.

I drink too much coffee. I don’t have a problem admitting that. Out of all the “too muches” in my life, it’s probably the least detrimental.

My usual routine is to make coffee using the office Keurig. I have one of those pods that holds actual grounds so I never have to buy a box of k-cups again (anything for you, environment!). I really like going to Nicholas Coffee in Market Square for some fancy-ass bags of coffee but it’s temporarily CLOSED on account of the adjacent restaurant catching fire for like, the third time this year.

Ugh!

So I brought in a box of Maxim instant coffee that I bought specifically after watching a video from Henry’s favorite Korean cooking lady on iced coffee.

(Gold star alert: I found it at the Korean market in the Strip because I could read the box! Granted, it also says “Maxim” in English but I saw the Hangeul first!)

I was expecting this to be disgusting because, you know, instant coffee like what is this 1993. But no! It’s delicious! And now I don’t have to fuck around with refilling the water in that damn Keurig when the person who uses it before me inevitably walks away with the ADD MORE WATER light flashing.

I’m sure I will eventually buy a bag of fancy coffee but it’s nice to know that I have a super convenient alternative that doesn’t taste like shit.

MY LIFE IS SO EXCITING.

I also have been drinking this delightful coffee milk tea in the afternoons. Everyone was all “oh ho ho ho, you have fun with that!” Because I have struck out with this brand of bagged-beverage before.

But holy shit, this shit is great too! It’s so good that I talked Amber and Glenn into trying it too and they both agreed that it was good and that they would probably drinking again (Glenn begrudgingly so).

It literally does taste like tea and coffee, in one cup, with a dash of cream. It is so good! I don’t know why or how it works, but it just does. Additionally, if you drink it anytime other than 3:15, you won’t actually die like I thought!

But I do have a small growth—I mean, what, no, I’m fine. It’s fine. Coffee tea milk is fine!

**********

In “outside-of-the-office” coffee news, I have been searching for new places to get my iced lattes, which I tend to get once or twice a week as a gift for making it halfway through the day without (royally) screwing anything up at work or if Henry says no to me about something and I need to pair my pout with some espresso.

Typically, I go to Crazy Mocha (there are several around town) for a lavender latte but I’m growing tired of the same girl asking me every time, “Have you ever had this mixed with vanilla?” like it’s my first rodeo with lavender and hello, why doesn’t she know me by now?! I order the same freaking thing every time. UGH I AM SO FORGETTABLE. The other locations don’t always have the lavender syrup so I don’t fuck with them anymore.

Occasionally I will go to Coffee Tree Roasters to get a maple latte, and I love their goddamn lattes, but — and this is embarrassing — the door to their building confuses me and my anxiety over the impending exit starts to build before I even order my stupid drink and then I always end up making a commotion when I’m trying to leave.

Unfailingly!!

So that’s a situation I try to avoid.

If I’m really looking to splurge, I’ll walk to Colony Cafe in the Strip because they have one of the best lattes in town BUT they’re kind of pricey—$5-something and then I always leave a tip because the people there are so goddamn nice, plus it’s a cat cafe (not a good one like you see in Korea and Japan, though. The cats are in a separate upstairs area and you have to reserve a block of time to chill with them, which is probably a good thing because then I’m not going back to work, like, “Look at the new fur pants I bought down the street at Burlington, guys!”

All of this is to say that I needed to change shit up a bit, so I used Yelp (ugh for days) and found a place called Gasoline Street Coffee Company that I had never heard of, probably because it’s on a different side of the city and not as convenient as the Starbucks inside our building, so why would anyone from work go there unless they’re psycho over stupid shit like me.

I had to use Google maps to help me get there because I don’t know street names and the only directions I can follow are things that involve landmarks, like, “Turn left where your stalker works and then make a hard right at the corner where the Dunkin’ Donuts protester stands with his middle fingers up.” While I was following the moving blue dot on my phone, Henry called.

“I can’t talk to you right now, I’m on a mission,” I said in my secret agent voice.

“OK, bye,” he said, and then HUNG UP. He didn’t even ask me what my mission was?!

You may be shocked to know that I followed my map accordingly and found the damn place. It’s located in an area I have never been on foot before (for my Pittsburgh peeps, it’s over by the First Avenue T station) so I had to walk beneath overpasses and it was pretty daunting. There was some construction going on nearby too so I kept expecting to get jack-hammered or hit by a rogue chunk of asphalt. You don’t know my fears.

Except that now you do. God, why can’t I be more mysterious!?

Since I was on late shift and taking my break much later in the day, I rolled up to this spot about 40 minutes before their 5pm closing time. The decor is old gas station/repurposed licence plate chic, and I feel like that trend peaked in the late 90s, right? But it didn’t feel too hipster-y, so I was willing to embrace the outdated-ness as vintage.

There was one man sitting in a balcony-thing, reading a paper. Other than that, the place was dead. The coffee counter was located halfway up a ramp, to the side, and it was so awkwardly situated that I had to practically stand on tiptoes to see over top of the counter. When the guy asked me for my order, I told him it was my first time there and he said, “Oh take your time” and started to walk away.

“No, I mean, what do you recommend?” I called after him.

He had next to no personality and was clearly lacking any drop of desire to engage in my wishy-washy coffee needs. I was hoping he would say something like, “Well, if I were YOU, I would get a cortado because we use blah blah blah beans and then blah it and add some blah” or maybe he would gesture to the Specialty Drinks portion of the chalkboard behind him and give some smooth sales pitch about matcha.

But instead, with a sigh, he started naming things like, “Coffee, tea, lemonade” like OK I get it, bro. So I interrupted him and just ordered my go-to iced latte.

THEY DIDN’T HAVE SOY so I got it with coconut milk instead. Then I had to stand on the ramp, on an angle, while he made the damn thing and it was kind of like standing in line for an elevated ride at an amusement park but WITH LESS THRILL.

It was fine. It was reasonably priced. But it was just a latte.

^^^Just a latte.

Of course, now that I had a real menu in front of me and I was back on a level surface, I was able to take my time and really give it a good perusal and now I wish I had ordered the Chocolate Orange, whaaaat!? I guess I will have to go back someday, maybe this week.  I can’t commit to anything right now though.

Also last week, I was in the Strip and decided to stop at Prestogeorge, which I have never been to for some reason. They’re located far enough away from my work that I really had to quicken my pace, so I was full-blown sweating by the time I got there.

I ordered an iced cinnamon latte and it was super refreshing and lovely, but the best part about this place was that the people working there were very down-to-earth and didn’t have a single drop of barista snob in them. For as much as I love coffee, I usually stick with straight-up hot coffee, lattes, cold brews, and macchiatos (the real kinds), so sometimes when I feel like trying something different, it can be daunting! I have had so many baristas make me feel stupid. So if I can walk into a place and join in a conversation about Pink Floyd’s The Wall and then only pay $4 for a latte AND a lemon fig bar thing instead of the NINE DOLLARS it would cost me at Crazy Mocha, then you’ve got yourself a new regular customer.

Except that I can’t be TOO regular of a customer because it’s a far walk and sometimes I have other parts of town to visit on my aimless lunch break walks YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE.

Also, the ladies at Prestogeorge loved my birdcage ring and I love it when people love my jewelry because for someone who hates small talk, I sure wear a lot of conversational pieces.

OK, and that has been 1700+ words on the coffee I drink at work. I am truly such an interesting person. Sign-ups to be my friend are hanging on the glass window behind the milk crate that my favorite homeless guy sits on. If you have any questions, I’ll  just be over here drinking my second cup of Maxim coffee.

Jun 272017
 

I wanted iced coffee today while I was walking on my lunch break. Crazy Mocha is usually my go-to, and I havent been there since last week when I walked out after I reached my gagging point at the strung-out couple heavily making out in line in front of me. Not to sound like a PRUDE but it was just TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE. 

I figured enough time had past for their salacious residue to have evaporated, so I was going to go there when I remembered that Henry told me about some new place he heard about over by the Art Institute called Grateful something or other. I very recently had walked down that street (it’s pretty shady back there but I like to press my luck) but didn’t recall seeing anything other then a Thai restaurant, a head shop-looking store front, and a carjacker. 

I consulted my enemy Yelp to no avail. Maybe the place was so new that it wasn’t even on Yelp yet, meaning my Yelp nemesis probably hadn’t patronized it yet and if that was the case — did this place really even exist?!

Right before I was pulled into a parking garage sex ring, I saw a sign that said Grateful [Something] and realized it was the headshop that I had seen the last time I was on that street. But lo and behold, there was a placard out front that said COFFEE on it. 
The stench of patchouli almost warded me off, but I took one brave step across the threshold and stopped. It was a small store full of tie-dye shirts and things of that nature so suddenly the “Grateful” part of the shop name made sense. I was about to turn around when a man called from the back, “Are you looking for coffee?”

I must have had The Look. 

He motioned for me to come further into the back of the store, past some broad who was hanging hemp bracelets on a rack, I don’t even know, IT WAS ALL A BLUR. 

“So here’s the coffee,” the proprietor said in a sleepy-happy-high slur, pointing me toward a counter. “It’s self-serve. You have your iced coffee here,” he said, pointing to a cooler, “and here’s your hot coffee.” There were five or six bottles of Torani syrups as well, but this was not what I wanted! I wanted someone to make it for me! If I wanted to make my own iced coffee, I’d just go home and add an ice cube to whatever’s left in my French press. Ugh. 

I really wanted to leave but now I felt like I was in too deep because he was asking me where I work and if I’m a lawyer (lol) so I went through the motions of preparing myself a plastic cup of ok-quality room temp coffee and I couldn’t find the ice but didn’t feel like asking because I just wanted it be over. I felt so scrutinized! Like hey guy,  can you turn your back and give me some privacy here? There’s a certain intimacy to sprinkling saccharine into that cup o’ caffeine, you know? lol sike jk. I just didn’t want that dude looking at me. 

I squirted some sugar free vanilla syrup up in that shit while Spicoli kept getting in my face about how great his coffee is and showing me the gigantic printer he has to print out receipts. 

WHERE WAS THE SOY MILK?? I don’t know because I didn’t want to ask. Black it is!

After telling him three times that I didn’t need a receipt from his medieval printer, our transaction was finally complete. 

“Um can I have my credit card back?” I asked as he walked away with it still in his hand. 

“Oh yeah, good call!” he laughed, all Dazed & Confused. 

Ugh. Stress. 

The coffee was fine even though it tasted like I made it. Because I half did. 

On a scale of “Drinking the coffee you lft in th microwave for a day” to “Kind of like going to Telaropa and getting coffee from a vending machine,” I’d rate it a “I let a child fix my coffee at the gas station.”

Will I go back? Fuck yeah. It’s going on the Erin’s Shitty Pittsburgh Tour itinerary. 

This has been Lunch Break Tales. 

Jun 072017
 

I can’t believe how good this oatmeal tastes,” I said enthusiastically yesterday at work. 

“Ooh, what did you put in it?” Lauren asked. 

“Nothing,” I shrugged. “I just followed the directions on the box for the first time.”

****

OK, let’s back up.

Typically I eat cream of wheat or oatmeal everyday for lunch at work because it’s instant gratification and I can barely handle much else, other than slopping some fruit salad (pre-made by Henry) into a tupperware thing and praying that it doesn’t leak in my bag on the way to work.

If I’m feeling particularly whimsical, I will add some sprinkles to it. If Gayle has honey at work, I might add that too. Usually I have a bruised banana that will find its way into the hot slop, too.

I always tell Henry when it’s time to buy me more instant cereal for work, but sometimes — this is going to be hard to fathom for some so make sure you swallow first if you’re eating or drinking — I will go to CVS during my lunch break and buy it myself.

I KNOW.

ME!

I CAN DO THAT!

Recently, something crazy was going on with me and I tagged along with Henry to the boring grocery store (as opposed to the magical Asian markets, which I happily visit every weekend). I knew that I needed to restock on my work lunch stash, so I bought kids oatmeal (complete with dinosaur eggs, thank you) and some healthy oatmeal thing that had flax seed and whatever in it.

Turns out, that healthy oatmeal is a kind that I’ve bought before and I HATE IT! It turns out so watery, basically just warm cloudy water with grain things floating in it. Disgusting! Two days in a row I suffered through this sad-sack lunch, complaining about it at length to Glenn who had the Don’t Care glaze over his eyes, until something occurred to me yesterday.

“Maybe I should try to make it the way the box says to make it,” I said mostly to myself, reading the directions at my desk.

“Well, how have you been making it?” Glenn asked hesitantly, probably wishing he could recall his question.

NO TAKE-BACKS.

“Well, I dump it into my mug and then fill it up with the hot water from the spout on the coffee maker,” I said. “But then it just stays watery! Nothing happens!”

“Oh my god,” Glenn mumbled, and I couldn’t tell if that meant he was shocked my method didn’t work, or if he had just looked at a really great picture of G-Dragon.

So in the kitchen, I followed directions. I dumped the oatmeal into my cup. I filled the now-empty paper oatmeal pouch up to the line with water (not from the hot water thingie though – I’m not that dumb, you guys! Plus there is a warning sticker on it). Then I poured it over top the oatmeal and baked it in the microwave for two minutes.

And it exploded like a fucking 5th grader’s volcano science project. I had to take the glass thingie out of the microwave and clean it, ugh! Aaron walked by when this was happening and I sheepishly said, “I made a mess…”

“Is that your banana tea?” he asked, because one time he saw me cutting up a banana in the kitchen (with a plastic knife, don’t worry) and putting it in my coffee cup and then for the next year, he secretly thought I was literally adding bananas to my tea and expressed his concern (and disgust, probably) to Jeannie, who later told me about it and we had a great laugh.

Ugh, yes it’s my banana tea.

After I cleaned up the mess (burning my hand in the process), I took the remnants back to my desk and was amazed at how wonderful it tasted!

Glenn said I should have taken it out of the microwave every 30 seconds to stir it.

“Well, how would I know to do that if it doesn’t say on the box?” I cried, and he went back to trolling comment sections on fake news sites.

Later, I struggled to get the burnt oatmeal off my Goonies mug and considered just throwing it out and getting a new one, but then Gayle was like, “Just soak it….?” and hello, I know about that dish-washing secret, but the oatmeal was caked to the OUTSIDE of the cup too. I ended up just scrubbing it really hard and now my wrist hurts and I need to blame someone for this but I haven’t decided who yet. Probably Henry for not training me to be a grown-up, which by the way, he threatened to do over the weekend “in case something happens.” Something happens? Like he grows a pair and leaves?! Monica said she always just assumed Chooch and I would just move into Chez Chronica if that happens, kind of like she and Chris are our godparents.

I still should just get a new mug though. A G-Dragon one!

****

Today, I remembered Glenn’s sage cooking advice and stalked the microwave, stopping it every thirty seconds and giving the oatmeal a good stir.

With 45 seconds to go, I had a bad feeling. I could sense something wasn’t right, so I stopped it before the timer got to 30 and IT HAD OVERFLOWN AGAIN!!!!

Another day of cleaning the microwave! UGH. Where is Barb when I need her?!

Still though, it’s amazing how wonderful food tastes when you follow directions.

“Did the instructions give you options based on the microwave wattage?” Henry asked me on the way home from work, as we sat in traffic for an hour and he tried to resign from being my chauffeur.

“Huh?” I asked, scrolling through my Spotify kpop playlist.

“Never mind,” Henry sighed.  But then he had the audacity to ask me if I was trying to microwave the oatmeal IN THE POUCH, like I’m so dumb that I didn’t know to dump everything into a cup or bowl first, I AM SO INSULTED.

“It was so weird, it looked like it expanded somehow!” I gushed, as though I was telling the Story of Oatmeal for the very first time, to a bunch of pioneer people sitting on logs around a cauldron.

“That’s because it literally did expand. It absorbed the water, you idiot,” Henry sighed.

WOW. No need for name-calling!

“Anyway, who knew oatmeal needed to be baked. I guess I’m a baker now.”

“You’re not a baker. You cooked it in a microwave.

I’m going to try and bake other things in the microwave this weekend. Baked beans, probably.

Jun 052017
 

Hello. Good morning. 안녕하세요.

I decided that I would liveblog my workday because I haven’t done that in a while and quite honestly, I have nothing else to write about because everything in the world sucks, you know?

And this morning sucks because it’s raining REALLY hard and I had to walk to the trolley thing and now I look like a drowned rat and my umbrella blew back and slammed me in the forehead and it HURTS and I made the mistake of telling Glenn.

“Oh wow, Glenn has a smile on his face so early in the morning!” Catherine said when she walked back to her office with her coffee.

“Yeah, because I injured myself!” I spat, and everyone laughed but NOT ME, I DIDN’T LAUGH.

And then Todd said I should blog about the NBA finals because that would take my blog to the next level. NO.

So, here’s my liveblog prologue. We’ll see how the day goes. Check back or don’t, I don’t care! Ugh!

9:14am: Lauren just got here and I let her talk a whole lot before I told her that I’m liveblogging today and now she’s mad that I didn’t give her a disclaimer before she started talking. EVERYONE BETTER WATCH WHAT THEY SAY TODAY. Just kidding. I don’t want to get fired.

9:36am: I can’t get an email to send and Todd just asked me if I pressed “send” and now I’m ready to flip a table!

10:32am: Just had an argument with Lou (typical) and then we got an email about something to discuss at this afternoon’s meeting which I guess we’re still having because “But it’s raining” isn’t a good enough reason to not have one or something which seems dumb.

img_2396

Current candy situation ^^^ 

Everyone seems on board with the current stash of candy I’ve provided, although there has been some heavy discussion on the Pollito Alvbros (???) which some people claim has a slight chicken taste to it.

img_2397

What nationality’s candy should we try next?! Glenn said we should do what Conflict Kitchen does and provide candy from the places that the US has conflict with, but given the temperament and idiocy of our current “leader,” that could pretty much be anywhere soon.

11:50am: I just briefed Todd on the latest in the T.O.P. marijuana scandal (Glenn has his earphones in, acting like he doesn’t care), and Todd said, “Thank god it isn’t G-Dragon though. I don’t know what I would do with myself” and I said, “I KNOW RIGHT” before realizing he was being sarcastic, ugh.

12:10pm: I’m currently eating one of these milk candies. They’re my favorites out of this recent candy batch because they’re Korean and I can read the package because my name is Erin and I’m amazing:

12:31pm: Remember when I said I was amazing? I was just in the kitchen and I couldn’t open my packet of oatmeal and one of my co-workers had to help me and it was mildly embarrassing because I was really trying to handle that shit on my own. I think my grunts and whines of, “Ugh, I can’t do this!” gave me away. It’s not even good oatmeal that’s worth the struggle either. (That would be the dinosaur egg oatmeal that I left at home.) UGH RAINY MONDAY.

Also, Lou has spoken to me 4 times without permission today.

1:48pm: Just came back in from my lunchtime walk and guess what — it’s not raining anymore! Today still sucks though. Some homeless guy snagged me (they always do because I have that deer-in-headlights naivete about my dumb turtle face, I guess) and when I said I didn’t have any change, he decided he wanted to talk about the good ol’ days, so I felt compelled to be his audience as he wove yarns about being a carefree kid and how then you grow up and they only things you think about are life and death, and then he had a massive coughing fit, and now I’m fucking depressed, man.

Also, I finally saw the Umbrella Sky Project at the Arts Festival that everyone has been posting about on Instagram and SORRY PITTSBURGH but my boo Seoul has one that’s much more fabulous, because: Korea.

2:44pm: We just had our weekly meeting and talked extensively about patchouli. Now Glenn is leaving for the day after giving me zero fodder for this liveblog.

2:55pm: UGH I was just filling in Amber on the whole T.O.P. pot scandal (Chooch gleefully pointed out that TOP is pot backward) and Todd started laughing. I called him out on it and he said that in his head, he was thinking, “Run, Amber, run.” SO RUDE!

3:41pm: It’s raining again so this blog post title is still relevant. Also it started raining after Todd left for his lunch break so that’s what he gets for laughing at my somber Kpop talk.

4:44pm: I picked a dumb day to liveblog. There is nothing happening here! So here is a special peek into Glenn’s locker thing:


Amber1 and I put those dead flowers in there over a year ago I think inspite of Todd’s protests (I think he called us Mean Girls) and I’m not sure Glenn even knows it’s there.


Um, all the other stuff is his, though.

4:51pm: WENDY just came over to get candy from the magical candy pumpkin. “What are these?” she asked, holding up one of those aforementioned chicken lollipops so I got really mad and yelled, “IF YOU WOULD HAVE READ MY LIVEBLOG, YOU’D KNOW.” I mean, hello. Anyway, she is like totally grossed out because it’s the shape of a chicken on a spit, and Todd happily pointed out that I, the sanctimonious vegetarian, ate one of those. “There’s something you could liveblog about – your hypocrisy,” Todd suggested smugly and I was so mad. And then Lauren started cracking up because she was thinking of our conversation last week when I said the word “gleeking” and how we became concerned after the fact that it might not mean what I thought it meant. “My friend Chad Green taught me about it in fifth grade!” I cried defensively. “It’s when you spit from under your tongue, typically when eating something sour!” And then Lauren was all, “Oh great, I just trusted you based on something you learned from a fifth grade classmate!” I want to google it now but then it might take a turn like it did a few weeks ago when I was googling Iraqi candy shop.

5:39pm: Hey you guyyyyyys. I’m here in the car with King Uber, aka Henry. He was like “I HAD TO CALL PAYPAL. I GOT HACKED! FOR $2.99! IT WAS FRAUD!” And I was like “You mean this app that Chooch bought?” and showed him the email that I got on my phone. So now Henry is mad that he has a fraudulent son. 

Henry made me forward the email to him and he snapped, “WHY IS THERE HANGUL ON THIS?!” Because my email signature is in Korean? Le duh, oppa. 


Plus, proof that it was raining today. 

I just filled in Henry on my day. “I liveblogged today but it was boring. I think when people found out I was liveblogging, they quit talking to me.”

:(

6:06pm: Still in the car because traffic is terrible and now Henry is threatening to make me take the trolley HOME from work everyday now too as if one way isn’t terrible enough.  But anyway, I was just reminded of the best part of today, when I was in the elevator this morning and some broad said she liked my bag and in a cheerful voice that came from one of my happier personalities, I said, “Thanks it’s from the 80s!” And she was like “OK cool.”

6:59pm: Henry’s supposed to be making my dinner but then Chooch interrupted with some kind of fabricated bike crisis and I’m just sitting here getting high off the wonderful tteokbokki fumes, but whatever who cares that all I’ve eaten today was crappy oatmeal and Korean milk candy. 

7:29pm: my favorite part of the day! Dinner and Running Man!

8:23pm: “No.” – Henry’s response when I asked him if he wants to say something for my blog. Now we’re watching the hockey game and I feel sick. Remember when I loved James Neal and called him my Prom Date? Well that doucher can fuck right off now. He just looks like a soap opera villain to me, like he was shot and pushed off a cliff by the ISA but then came back to life as a Nashville Predator with an uglier face. 

8:41pm: A hearty head shake. That’s wat I got when I asked Chooch if he wanted to say a thing for my blog. STICK A FORK IN THIS THING, IT’S DONE. 

8:47pm: Here’s a song for the liveblog. This came on my playlist on the car on the way home from work, causing me to dance zealously with my fists (i.e. rhythmically punching), resulting in Henry roaring, “OK!!!!!”

Jeez. 

9:00pm: Nashville fans are trash. TRASHVILLE. Go choke on a catfish. I find it so hard to enjoy hockey anymore. 

9:53pm: Well, Henry ditched me about an hour ago for the sweet temptation of bed, leaving me alone with this dreadful hockey game and the ever-biased commentating of NBC. I painted my nails and have a headache but I think I will go and do some more kpopx while imagining that I’m stomping on the entire city of Nashville and their classless, twangy fans. I’M MAD. 

10:20pm: crying over hockey and T.O.P. all at once because I’m a gold medal sobber. Boo fucking hoo. No cheesy kimbap for me. 

I’d like to point out that I have been blogging since 2001 and this, my friends, this right here is the best I can do anymore. 

11:14pm: Penguins lost and I just stress-ate a buttered bun while watching Drew hang off the window screen like she’s auditioning for the cat circus. This is real life, NO GLAMOUR, people!

DREW JUST BROKE SOMETHING. Eh, Henry will clean it up in the morning. On his birthday. HAHA. 

In other “blogging just to blog” news, I bought a new phone case and it’s supposed to be delivered tomorrow so no more Unicorn Tears after that. Don’t worry – my new one is certainly not anymore mature. 

But it’s very accurate. 

11:41pm: OK WOW THX FOR YR PERMISSION??

11:55pm: Well on that note, it’s almost tomorrow so I guess that’s my cue to wrap this shit up. Hopefully tomorrow is sunnier and less boring. I mean, it is Henry’s birthday after all. 

May 252017
 

On my way to work today, one of the G-Dragon fan accounts I follow on Instagram (DON’T JUDGE) posted this snip of GD laughing from the last Run BIGBANG Scout episode (which was so adorable, btw, and I cried) and it just instantly cheered me up. HIS FACE!

Of course the first thing I did when I got to work was squeal, “DO YOU WANT TO SEE THE CUTEST THING EVER?!” to Glenn, who is the worst audience for these types of inquiries but I’ll never learn.

“Is it puppies or kittens?” he mumbled, not looking up from whatever riveting thing he had on his computer screen. PROBABLY SOME COMMENT SECTION SINCE HE’S A TROLL.

“NO EVEN BETTER IT’S G-DRAGON LAUGHING OMG,” I wheezed, shoving my phone at him.

He only glanced at it and then sighed, closing his eyes in defeat.

“LOOK AT HIM, GLENN!” I yelled.

“I did! I looked once. That’s enough,” he said, resuming his boring, American day.

**********

Later, I was talking to Lori about this and first, she asked me when I’m ever going to learn, but then she asked me when the G-Dragon concert is and I told her July 30.

“I can’t believe I’m going to see his face in real life,” I said all dreamily with googly eyes just like girls did in the 50s when they talked about cute soda jerks or whatever.

“We should make a countdown calendar,” Lori suggested. “I’m going to make one.”

This of course got me all wound up and I excitedly told Glenn and Amber. 

“Why do you encourage her?” Glenn asked Lori, while I was busy making Diabolical Finger Steeples at him.

I’m going to make a sparkly dragon to move along all the squares of the countdown calendar!

Sandy overheard this and called out from her office, “How long until the concert?”

“TWO MONTHS AND FIVE DAYS!” I shouted across the floor. 

I couldn’t see Sandy from my desk but I bet she was probably repeatedly slamming her hand in a desk drawer at the thought of two more months of G-Dragon anticipation. 

And then I told Amber about how Glenn didn’t have the appropriate response to the G-Dragon Laughing video. 

“Well she hyped it up as the cutest thing in the world,” Glenn defensively said to Amber. 

“Was it?” she asked. 

“No!” he said. 

Maybe if I post it in a comment section….

May 122017
 

  • I’m sorry no one loved you, apple.
  • Well it happened – Wesley’s mom fed Chooch. He came home one day last week and said, “Things got really awkward at Wesley’s. His mom asked me if I wanted a grilled cheese…..I said sure.” Wow. Mega awkward.
  • Somehow at work yesterday, Glenn, Todd, and I fell down a tennis rabbit hole. I don’t remember how it began but I mistakenly told them about the translucent yellow vinyl folder I kept stuffed with newspaper articles about Andre Agassi and pictures I had crudely drawn of him. (Crude as in amateur and terrible, he didn’t have like, weeners coming out of his mouth or anything like that.) I hate when I give them fuel like this because I know it will come up in the future as a way to make fun of me. Ugh. And then I called Aranxia Sanchez-Vicarrio beefy and those two got all up in arms about how I was essentially just calling her fat like they’re suddenly sensitive to fat-shaming, and I frantically argued that I just meant she was muscular, so Glenn said, “Then just say muscular.” “Yeah, not beefy!” Todd chimed in with his Team Aranxia pin on. Whatever!
  • Lauren asked me if there are any vegetables I’ve been eating on my Korean diet that I’d like her to try and grow and I was like FUCK YEAH BELLFLOWER so she was like “ok what is that” and I was like “……” So we started googling it and I would like to take this time to accept all of the credit for the super informative things I have accidentally been teaching my coworkers. But seriously I’m obsessed with bellflower this week.
    • Also known as doraji in Korean. Get you some.

  • Speaking of Bring Some Home For Daddy, Amber read that blog post and told me that he once tried to hug her too! But her reflexes were less lethargic than mine and she was able to sidestep his malodorous embrace.
  • Tuesday was the annual Dreaded Finger Prick day at work, a/k/a Wellness Screening. I participate every year because it does something for your health insurance, I never actually read that far into it. Anyway, Glenn and Amber get great jollies out of heckling me every year because they know how I get the vapors just thinking of the impending trauma my fingertip is about to endure. I went up the 28th floor (which gives me anxiety in and of itself) and signed in while the lady at the table was trying to make conversation with me about my name (she was confusing  my name with Erin Andrews and I just let her roll with it because my jitters made it sound like she was talking to me from inside a fishbowl and I just wanted to sit down). There was a tiny triage area and I collapsed into a seat next to my co-worker, Lucas. “I’m FREAKING OUT, LUCAS!” I said in lieu of any sort of normal salutation. And then I made him talk to me until it was his turn to go and sit behind a curtain and I was ALL ALONE beneath a leaking thought-bubble of horrible finger pricking tragedies. A few minutes later, an older man in a lab coat named Ray came over and called me back. He immediately started wringing his hands and pretended to bite his nails in  spot-on mockery of my visible nerves. “Is it that obvious?” I laughed nervously. “Oh, you’ll be fine!” he insisted, seating me in a chair facing out the window. “Look, you can see Kennywood from here,” he said, gesturing toward the window. “REALLY?” I squealed, unable to contain my gullible delight. “No,” he said, unpacking the pint-sized torture device that was able to fuck my finger to hell and back. OH RAY, YOU FUCKING CARD. His strategy worked though because he made me talk about my favorite Kennywood rides, and he asked me if I like Potato Patch fries (le duh), and it totally distracted me from the blood being pillaged from my finger.
    • J/K I totally noticed it and it hurt like a motherfucker.
    • Still, Ray was an absolute delight and the scale said I weighed three pounds less than my scale at home said that morning and all of my cholesterol-y numbers were great – and again, I say Thank You, Korea. You are changing my life in the best ways!
      • Glenn went up for the Perforation of Ye Olde Phalange and ended up getting Ray too! He claims they traded war stories about me, and Glenn told him at least he doesn’t have to sit behind me all day. :( Then Catherine went up and specifically asked for him when I told her that I weighed three pounds less on his scale, but then everyone kept getting called back before her because the lady at the table kept saying, “She’s waiting for Ray” so then finally Catherine was like FORGET RAY I JUST WANT TO GET THIS OVER WITH so she went back with some lady who, it turned out, was sharing the same scale with Ray so Catherine was happy.

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Finally, something about me is highly desirable! That sexy 2.8, boyyyyy.

  • KCON tickets went on sale today and everyone was counting down with me at work and by everyone I mean that Glenn was counting down for when Ticketmaster was going to make the tickets available and he could go back to listening to his political commentary in peace without me turning around every 30 seconds to let him know where we were in the countdown. (Todd planned his lunch break accordingly and was not in the office when this was happening.) Anyway, I got my KCON tickets! Henry is thrilled. I’M GOING TO SEE TWICE, YOU GUYS! AND G-FRIEND AND CN BLUE AND HIGHLIGHT AND ZION-T AND I’M GOING TO BE AROUND PEOPLE WHO WON’T MAKE FUN OF ME FOR LIKING THIS STUFF!
    • I think I got made fun of enough at the baby shower on Sunday to last for quite some time.  I know making fun of things you don’t understand or like is so cool, but let’s take a break, lol.
  • Chooch and I went to the grocery store with Henry last Saturday, much to his chagrin. We decided to help him at the self checkout, in spite of his cries of “NO PLZ DON’T NO, OH GOD—” and then proceeded to set off the Needs Assistance alarm three times.

  • I couldn’t find the black cardigan I usually wear with this shirt so I thought, “WWG-DW?”* and then when there wasn’t a $15,000 Chanel hot pink feathered blazer in my closet, I opted for this ballet shrug that’s been chilling in my dresser since 2000, never worn. I bought it at Express for probably $50 more than it’s worth. #bringingballetshrugsback *(What Would G-Dragon Wear)
  • Chooch has a date for a dance next week. o.O I don’t have it in me to say anything else about that right now. :(

  • I was working on my Korean studies last weekend and made it to the have/not have chapter and one of the answers was a name of a BIGBANG song! I already know this word of course, but it was so exciting to learn WHY it’s written this way. (The BIGBANG song is missing that last character up there, because their song title is informal Korean / banmal.)
  • Henry’s bringing approximately 4 weeks of laundry into the house (Chooch and I have a lot of clothes) while a bunch of teenagers are walking by so I yelled, “HENRY ASK THEM TO HELP YOU” and now he’s all embarrassed/angry/exasperated.
  • I just asked Henry if he’s going to freak out when Twice sings “TT” at KCON and he said, “No. Why would I?” Then I told him that I feel like I’m going to act extra-erin at KCON, like I think I might go super hard, dummy-style all up in the Prudential Center. Kpop makes me super hyper and giddy. 
  • Chooch texted me today when I was at work to tell me that he got straight As. So, I got KCON tickets.

That’s all for me. We’re going to Cleveland tomorrow to see Emarosa and eat food with our pal Jason so maybe I’ll liveblog / post pictures of Henry once an hour. READ IT OR DON’T.

May 082017
 

“What’s wrong? Why are you so flushed?” Amber asked me this morning as she walked by my desk. 

I took a few seconds to compose myself before squealing, “I just watched this G-Dragon video,” at which point there was a collective groan of “oh my god” all around me. 

But then I let her watch it and she became obsessed with trying to make fingerhearts and by obsessed I mean she practiced doing it for like 15 seconds and then went back to being a professional adult while Glenn was using his hostage eyes to plead for her to take him with her as she walked away.

Tim của anh nè 🖤❤️ @xxxibgdrgn @peaceminusonedotcom @peaceminusone

A post shared by 🇻🇳 V.I.P Vietnam 🇻🇳 🔞 (@phuonnganh_88) on

Every time I made someone watch this video today, I would giddily whisper, “OMG what’s he looking for? Oh, oh! Fingerhearts.” And then I would clutch my heart and swoon. 

Wendy thought this was dumb but then she too tried to accomplish the perfect heart-shaped placement of the fingers. 

She was watching me do it and cried, “Why can’t I do it? My fingers won’t do it right! Why?”

“Because they’re yours,” I shrugged. 

“I couldn’t imagine what he was going to pull out of his pocket,” Todd said. “But then it was just fingerhearts. That’s time I’ll never get back.”

Whatever.  Lauren thought it was adorable. And Glenn is probably at home right now waving fingerhearts in front of his baby daughter’s face. 

May 042017
 

Plus random pictures. Bulletpoint posts: the true compost piles of blogging. We’ll start with a random picture of a thing in my house and go from there.

  • The other day, Chooch asked, “Remember your apple tattoo? Do you still have it?” Um you mean the one that takes up most of my upper right arm? Yes, it’s still there, son.
  • In order to get Chooch out of the house so that we could surprise him last Saturday, we arranged for Blake and Haley to take him to the gaming place on the Boulevard. I think this place is so dumb – just a room filled with TVs and computers where parents can abandon their children for hours on end, but Chooch and all his weird little friends love this place. Needless to say, Chooch has become chummy (lol, who even uses that word other than me, right now) with the guys who run the place, so Henry stopped up ahead of time and let them know the sitch. Basically, he started a tab which I didn’t even know you could do. He went back the next day to pay it, and Ed told him the total was like $43 or something. Henry was all, “OMG for what?!” So Ed showed him the long list of all of the snacks that Chooch had “purchased” in addition to the hourly rate ($5 a person – Ed is like the cheapest babysitter in town). So Henry came home and was like, “Chooch, the FUCK!?” at which point Chooch blamed Haley, and then Blake blamed Chooch, and this is just the funniest thing ever to me because Henry was so pained over it, haha.
    • When we went to visit Robbie & Nikki at the hospital after the twins were born, Chooch was all, “Robbie, do you want to go to the gaming place with me today?” Like yeah, little bro, I literally just became a dad but let me ditch the fam and sit in front of a computer for 5 hours with you.
  • Chooch is friends with these two younger kids that live on the street, and for the sake of not getting in trouble with parents, we’ll just call them J and M. Really though I’m not going to be dragging them through the mud or anything…this time. Anyway, J & M are friends with some kid from their grade named Wesley. I don’t know if he’s new or what but I haven’t heard shit about any Wesley until recently and now HE IS ALL I HEAR ABOUT. Let’s back up. Wesley lives a few streets away and I guess M & J aren’t allowed to go there alone, so they asked Super Brave and Responsible Fifth Grade Chooch to go with them one day. This was about a month ago, I guess. Chooch was reluctant, because he was already hanging out with TWO younger kids, why did he need to add a third to the crew, you know? But he went anyway, and by the time he came home he had been sufficiently infected with the Wesley Bug. “Wesley has TWO TRAMPOLINES,” he said, ruddy cheeks and out of breath from running all the way home in excitement. “AND A POODLE NAMED BELLA, A REALLY COOL OLDER BROTHER NAMED WADE, AND A MOM WHO COOKS!” So it’s been all Wesley, all the time ever since and I am like, “STFU ABOUT WESLEY AND HIS DUMB COOKING MOTHER ALREADY, GOD.” And then he started going to Wesley’s without J & M. “Wesley likes me better than them, anyway,” Chooch said all cockily the other day. “And he doesn’t act like he’s 8. He’s more mature than them.” Oh for God’s sake. So this has been going on for weeks now, this Wesley Mania. Monday night, he had JUST walked into the house after returning from Wesley’s when his phone rang. He answered it and put it on speaker which I absolutely hate, and without any salutation whatsoever, J’s whiny voice blasted through the speaker: “So you went to Wesley’s.” WOW. OK, POSSESSIVE. So Chooch hung up on him immediately and said, “Ugh, I thought I blocked him.” So then they had a text-fight, which had Chooch defending himself like a wife who can’t be trusted: “Oh, so now I need your permission to go to Wesley’s?” he texted, and the feud culminated with J texting: “Do you want to come over?” Ugh kids.
    • But really though: Wesley and Wade?

  • We took Henry’s mom to Bob Evans (I originally typed Bob’s Evan. Someone send my brain to the beach please) for her birthday the other night. On the way out, she picked up a jar out of a barrel and asked, “How much sodium do you think is in this?” Henry squinted at it and said, “Mom, that’s a candle.” We all had a good laugh, but then a few moments later, in the parking lot, she asked earnestly, “No but really, what’s worse – a lot of sodium, or a lot of salt?”
  • I’ve been taking turmeric supplement things for the last month or so, after several people recommended it. At first, Henry was like, “I AM NOT BUYING THIS, THAT’S DUMB” but then his mom randomly mentioned one day that she’s been taking turmeric because some talk show or Steve Harvey told her too, so now suddenly it’s not some witch doctor bullshit drug that can’t be trusted, so he bought me a bottle.  Today, after choking back my daily dose, I held the bottle up and said to Glenn, “I don’t feel any different at all.” He asked how long I had been taking them and I told him a month or so but admitted that there were days that I forgot, of course. “Well, what’s it supposed to do?” he asked, so I read the thing about helping with inflammation that’s all big and bold on the bottle. “But, I’m not particularly inflamed, though,” I said with a shrug, realizing that perhaps I didn’t need turmeric’s help after all. “No, you’re just inflaming,” Glenn muttered.
  • I CANT BELIEVE I AM GOING TO BE UNDER THE SAME ROOF AS G-DRAGON.
  • Todd lost his ID badge (literally days after saving it from falling into a sewer grate which I just think is the funniest thing ever) so he asked me to go with him to Reception so he could get a temporary one. Look – I get it. I hate going to other floors alone too. Our department doesn’t really mingle much with other floors. Anyway, the receptionist asked me, “Do you need one too, or are you guys just traveling together?” For some reason, this made me laugh, because I started picturing us backpacking throughout the law firm.
    • “I don’t see you lasting very long as a backpacker,” Glenn said when I told him about this the next day. (LOOK, IT FELT LIKE A GREAT STORY AT THE TIME OK.) “Yeah I know. My backpack would just be filled with junk,” I said in total agreement.
      • Interestingly, this was the second time that day I found myself in a conversation about backpacks. The first was earlier that morning when I told Lauren that my high school backpack was full of toys. She wasn’t surprised.

  • One of my co-workers is grooming me to take over editing our department’s Wiki page after she retires. I don’t want to make it sound like it’s a big deal but it’s a big deal ok. Anyway, she was off several days last week so I thought it would be fun to replace the WELCOME SPRING picture with a picture of my horrible candy bowl, with the caption “Come get some.” It lasted two days before Cheryl came back and replaced it. My group had our weekly meeting on Monday and My Favorite Work Friend Amber (and this has nothing to do with the fact that she has the ability to deny my PTO requests now) thanked me for revamping our group’s reference page, which launched me on a crybaby tangent about how apparently I can be given rights to edit all this shit but god forbid I should ever change the picture. “Cheryl took down my pumpkin and replaced it with some dumb, generic tree,” I whined. The next day, I found out from Glenn that the “dumb, generic” tree picture was Gayle’s and I know this because he forwarded me an email from her that said “That dumb generic tree picture is mine.”  OOPS SORRY GAYLE but this is very funny to me now! I told Henry and when I couldn’t stop laughing, he was like, “how do you have any friends at work?” Apparently Lauren knew this also and said she didn’t have a chance to kick me before I went any deeper into my freshly dug grave.
  • Sometime after buying MY G-DRAGON TICKETS on Tuesday, I was walking back from the kitchen when Amber, who was ahead of me, stopped and asked if Henry and I booked a hotel yet for the show. “No, but I’d sleep on someone’s floor if I had to, I don’t even care!” I said, still riding that high of snagging VIP tickets. “What if you slept on G-DRAGON’s floor?” Amber goaded, and then I got all dreamy-eyed and weird and yelled, “Ugh, why did you have to say that now I can’t stop thinking about G-Dragon’s floor!” and this was right as we rounded the corner to where our desks are, so Glenn heard the tail-end. “How long do we have to hear about this?” he asked in annoyance. “She started it!” I cried, pointing at Amber. “I was just walking along quietly and she brought it up!” UGH.
  • The other day, I popped into CVS on my break and the old lady at he register flipped out over my phone case and started calling her co-workers over to see it. The manager, a youngish guy somewhere in his 20s I guess, asked my permission  to Snapchat it and I was like, “Go for it?” I’ve had it for over a year so it’s a bit worn, but here it is:

  • Speaking of my phone, I actually left it on my desk when I left yesterday and had to come back up to get it. Lori was like HOW. I’m mean really, this case makes my phone 3x bigger it feels like yet I still somehow left without it
  • Remember when I wasted 7 years of my life obsessing over Jonny Craig, completely unaware that G-Dragon was only 6,781 miles away? LE SIGH.
  • The other day, Chooch came home (from Wesley’s, ugh) and his hand was bleeding but he didn’t know why. While Henry was calmly asking him questions (such as “did you fall”), I was busy screaming, “STIGMATA!”
  • Todd just sadly admitted that some of this Kpop stuff is sticking with him and that if he mentioned it to any of his friends they’d be like, “…………..”
  • I’m really excited for Henry to stand in the pit at this G-Dragon show and wave a light stick.  “He should just use a lighter. Maybe there’s an open flame rule and he can get kicked out. Tell him to start planning ahead,” Glenn suggested after I showed him pictures of what light sticks are in the Kpop world.

  • OMG you guys! Last night, Chooch and I went for a walk to the boulevard when guess who we ran into?! DAVID FUCKERBITCH. Chooch was like, “Oh god no, please don’t, oh god” but it was too late – I had whipped out my best glare and wouldn’t let him out of my sight. He was on his bike with some other hooligan, and he kept trying to get Chooch’s attention but Chooch was all, “NOT TODAY. NOT WITH MY MOM. SHE’S A LOOSE CANNON” so he pulled me into CVS and away from conflict, but not before I loudly said, “THEY LOOK LIKE HOOLIGANS” which is clearly my favorite word to use in this situation. Chooch just rolled his eyes and we moved on with our lives, until after CVS when we continued down the boulevard to go to Scoops, and DAVID LOSERVILLE was back, tooling around on his bike in front of the Las Palmas taco cart. We were waiting to cross the street when he wheeled on over to us, licking his FunDip or whatever dumb candy he had that was turning his vulgar tongue blue. He just sat there, leaning on the handlebars of his bike, staring and smiling at Chooch, trying to get a  reaction from her. “Is there a problem?” I asked, causing Chooch to groan. “No, I’m just going to stare at him until he looks at me,” David Toothrot replied in an obnoxiously sing-song voice. “AWKWARD,” I said, as the light turned and we were finally able to cross the street. “YOU JUST MADE IT WORSE,” Chooch spat. “As if it’s not already bad enough that I’m walking down the boulevard WITH MY MOM.” OMG ew, shut your face, Chooch! I’m way cooler than a mom. And besides, we were going to get ice cream while David BrokedownBike was out there, I don’t know, panhandling or whatever it was he was doing. It was 8:30 at night – GO HOME KID.
    • By the time we got home, I was so amped up over this run-in. I excitedly filled in Henry, who just frowned and said, “Wow Erin, that’s great. Are you happy now?” WHY YES, I AM.
    • I came to work and told Glenn and Todd, and they were just like, “Wow. Way to bully a fifth grader.” Then Todd said I should create a fake Instagram, like I’m a kid, so I can bully him and I was like, “THAT’S A GREAT IDEA I COULD CATFISH HIM TOO” and Todd quickly said, “I WAS KIDDING DON’T DO THAT!” while Glenn was like, I don’t know, beating his head off the desk.
  • I decided a few hours ago that I was going to be nice to Wendy today but then just now I told her she’s dumb, so maybe I’ll try again tomorrow. It should be easy since she won’t be here.

And we’ll end on a beautiful G-Dragon note because I’M GOING TO SEE HIM ON BIRTHDAY.

Apr 272017
 

Last week, I was doing my routine lunch break roaming. I generally don’t have a destination in mind, I just kind of roll with it, and if something eventful happens—cool. If not, at least I racked up some steps, amirite? Well, two days in a row I had an eventful walk. Here, let me tell you all about it. Stay for a spell, WON’T YOU.

1. The Lady In the Road

On Thursday, my free-form pavement pounding found me crossing the Rachel Carson bridge. I only know that’s the bridge I was on because there are pennants hanging all over it that say RACHEL CARSON with some broad’s face on it.

A thing to note about me is that I am VERY SCARED of bridges, but I try to cross one on foot every now and again as a psychological exercise. On windy days, I am fraught with fear. FRAUGHT. And one time I was certain the man in front of me had a bomb and I started to have blurred vision.

I made it off the bridge though in case you were wondering.

OK, back to the Rachel Carson bridge. I was on it. Everything was going as fine as it could be for someone with a crippling fear of hovering atop a disgusting river. I was almost to the end of the bridge when the man who was walking a few yards ahead of me took off into a sprint. I shrugged it off as a sudden burst of energy, but then panicked because what if he knew that the bridge was about to buckle!?

Turns out, he was running to assist a woman who was sprawled out in the middle of the road just a bit away from the end of the bridge. Several other people were gathered around, cars were pulled over, a bus too.

There was a white towel laying near her head.

I knew almost immediately that something was wrong.

In case you couldn’t figure that out.

The Alcoa building was right next to the intersection where this scene was playing out, and several people had congregated on the sidewalk. I walked up to an older woman and asked, “Was she hit by a car?” But her response to me was a screeching, “OH MY LAWD THAT WAS TURRIBLE! THAT WAS TURRIBLE! OH, I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED!” and then she balled up her hands, stamped her feet, and screamed, “OOOH LAWD!” and walked away from me, tears spurting from her eyes.

I clearly wasn’t getting the 411 from her, and I deduced that whatever had happened, it took place mere seconds before I came across the bridge. So by this point, numerous people were on the phone with 911, and little ol’ Erin hanging around ,with an iced lavender latte in one clammy paw, was not going to help the situation in any sense whatsoever. I lowered my head a bit and slowly walked away, and then once I got to the next block, I started crying. That poor lady! I don’t know her, or what she was doing, where she was going, but I knew that I just wanted her to be OK.

And I barely care about people, so that says a lot. I must have been struck by the gods of humanity at a weak moment, I don’t know.

By the time I made it to the next block, I could hear sirens in the distance, and my legs turned to noodles. So then I dove into an endless abyss of hypotheticals and what-ifs.

I texted my friend Debbie who works in the building right next to the accident scene and she replied to me later on to tell me that it ended up being a woman who works in her building, and that luckily she was OK – just sore and bruised.

Such a relief!

Caring is a weird feeling.

2. Bring Some Home For Daddy

I occasionally see this super disheveled yet exuberant man ambling about the ‘Burgh aimlessly, I guess the same way I do except I don’t yell uplifting platitudes at strangers or sing to myself.

Yet, anyway.

I walked past him one day about a month ago while he was looking into a store window and he was momentarily sidetracked from whatever mental mathematics he was chugging through with the aid of his fingers and an imaginary abacus.

“Oh, you have a nice day, pretty lady! Yeah, you have a nice day, now!” he sputtered jovially, and I thanked him because I’ll take compliments from anyone, NO DISCRIMINATION HERE, but I did pick up my pace a bit because…yikes.

It occurred to me that he looked really familiar, like maybe I had seen him the last time I was in the psych ward, but then I realized he looked like one of the baggers at Kuhn’s, and that is a huge feat for me to remember someone who works at Kuhn’s considering I’ve only gone there maybe 10 times in the last 16 years.

Hello, Henry-oppa does all the domestic bitch work.

I described him to Henry who admitted that he did sound familiar based on my impeccable profiling skills. But this wasn’t good enough and I set off on a mission to take his picture.

Fast forward to last Friday. A beautiful spring day, lots of activity downtown. Glenn mentioned that there was a stand in Market Square giving away tomato plants or something and I wanted one, so I stopped there first and found the stand. I just stood there for a few seconds and no one gave me anything, so I got mad and moved on to another booth where I got to try a sample of some kind of honey water. It was OK.

None of this has anything to do with the point of this story, but I felt the need to include it.

I did a huge loop around the Point and circled back onto Liberty Avenue, which is where a lot of hot messes can be found.

Just as I was approaching Planned Parenthood, I saw him. He was rummaging into a basket of chalk to help one of the protesters desecrate the sidewalk with her cheap message. I thought to myself, “Wow, a two-for-one special!” as I readied my phone.

Just as I took the picture, the man turned and looked straight at me. I mean, see for yourself:

I froze, wondering if he was going to be angry. Instead, he moved toward me quickly and put his fist up, so I was like, “Oh ok. I’ll play” and humored him with a fist bump. This was already breaking my NO HUMAN CONTACT rule, but whatever. I was in a good mood (no thanks to those motherfuckers in Market Square, denying me a tomato thing).

And then…

Oh god…

I barely have it in me to say…

The horrors….

He pulled me in, so fucking fast, into a suffocating bear hug.

It was like that Tango move. You know the one. Where the dude just yanks the broad into him.

THAT HAPPENED TO ME ON THE SIDE OF LIBERTY AVENUE.

IN FRONT OF PEOPLE.

I froze. Completely shut down. Went limp.

Obviously he smelled pretty bad, and he was so sweaty, oh my god, the dampness of his untucked shirt….

The dampness.

So much moisture on that shirt.

TOUCHING ME.

I began to hear the sounds of wavering sheet metal in my ears, which usually means I’m about to pass out, die, or be lifted up into space by a beam of light.

Did you know that I hate hugs? I don’t even like hugging my friends. In high school, Lisa used to chase me around and threaten me with hugs all the time. I have a picture somewhere depicting one such occasion but alas, I am not in a position to search for said picture at this precise moment in time.

But anyway – back to the wet embrace. I was still all up in those stinky pits, pinned against his soggy shirt, feeling his hot breath against the side of my head as he gushed in the voice of 1940s radio personality, “Aren’t you just a pretty little lady, bring some home for daddy.”

BRING SOME HOME FOR DADDY.

That gave me the strength to wrench myself out of his vice-like hold and take off down the sidewalk, past all these people staring at me like I was the crazy one for going around hugging vagabonds, and I was acutely aware of him crossing the street while singing some song about FEELING JOLLY.

Oh my fucking god, why.

Why me.

Why why why.

On my race back to work, I started thinking of all the ways this situation could have gone awry. He could have turned hostile and stabbed me or worse – he could have stolen my G-Dragon pin!

I got back to work and my hands were shaking like milk (shout out to you if you know it). My first mistake was telling Glenn what happened. He thought this was the greatest story ever told. He loved it. Every last second of it. Meanwhile, I still hadn’t regained the color to my face and was still stumbling around with the pallor of a girl who just had her soul hugged out of her.

“That guy’s going to be have good dreams tonight,” Glenn chuckled and I felt sick all over again.

My second mistake was not immediately going home and taking a shower. Instead, I spent the rest of my workday, sitting inside the sweater that had just been molested by the sweat-stippled chest wig of a sidewalk stranger.

My third mistake was also my first mistake which was TELLING GLENN, who derived great joy in asking, “Did you tell them about your new friend?” every time someone came over to my desk. The really unfortunate part was that one of those people was Wendy and if there is anyone who loves basking in a swimming pool of Erin-related schadenfreude, it’s freaking WENDY.

“Oh my god, I would have pissed myself if I had been there!” she wheezed, and then I reached into my drawer to get out more of my international candy and Glenn happily said, “Bring some home for daddy!”

****

When I showed Henry the picture of my hugger, he said, “It looks like it could the brother of the bagger from Kuhn’s, but it’s not the same guy. Good job, Erin.”

All that I endured to get that fucking picture, and it wasn’t even the same guy.

Fuck everyone.

(Except for that lady who got hit by the car.)

Mar 152017
 

Here’s another chapter from my imaginary (Don’t Read This To Your) Children’s book, “Lunch Break Tales.” Just, wow.

***

img_0928

It was really busy this one day last week and we were short-staffed, so I told Glenn that I was just going to short lunch, just long enough to run out to Crazy Mocha and grab some coffee, I said.

Won’t be long, I said.

Like, 10 minutes, I said.

Except that it was actually busy that day, and I had to stand in a line full of people who had never ordered coffee before and questioned everything on the menu. And then two aging punks came in and tried to line-jump but I called them out on it in the most Pollyanna way I could muster, and it turns out that it was an accident anyway, so they got in line behind me and the older of the two, who reminded me a bit of my friend Jason from Cleveland, wouldn’t stop raggin’ on me for being mean to an “old man” and it was funny at first, but then I was like, “OK STOP TALKING TO ME NOW” except a few minutes later, a Depeche Mode song came on and he started singing it and then his friend was talking about some Italian band who did a really great cover of it and then I was like, “OK, I’ll talk to you!” because I wanted so desperately to butt in and me my old nosy self (or nebby, if you’re from Pittsburgh) but the coffee broad was handing me my coffee and really, I didn’t care that much.

I left with my coffee and right as I turned to make my way back to work, I spotted a very familiar face walking toward me, pulling a small suitcase in his wake.

IT WAS TRAVIS WALL FROM SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE.

And I knew for a fact that it was him because the week prior to this, I was walking past the Benedum and saw him on a poster for an upcoming show, which happened to be that night. We made eye contact and I started to open my mouth like I was going to bark, but then I lost my nerve and let him walk by in peace.

But then something came over to me and I thought to myself, “NO. I AM NOT GOING TO THROW AWAY THIS CHANCE TO SAY HELLO TO TRAVIS WALL’S FACE.” So I turned around and followed him.

I’m not proud of this.

But look you guys, I was never into dance before until right after I had Chooch and couldn’t do much but splay out on the couch like Jabba the Hut while Chooch nursed, and that’s how I accidentally started watching SYTYCD right when the second season auditions started. And man, I thought contemporary dance was A JOKE and kept waiting for the judges to laugh those fools off the stage, but instead, they were practically q-tipping their dickholes in pure fervor and screaming, “COME GETCHER TICKET TO VEGAS!” Travis was one of those dancers. He ended up making it all the way to the finals of that season but lost out to a swing dancer. However, the judges recognized Travis’s ridiculous talent and eventually had him come back as a choreographer. ALL OF HIS DANCES MAKE ME CRY.

Travis taught me that watching people dance can have the same effect on me as music. And some of those routines moved me even more than music ever has! So I had to at least say hello.

I only had to follow him a few yards before he stopped at a door and was trying to open it when I very tentatively approached and, keeping my distance, asked, “Travis?”

He turned and yes, but had a “NOT TODAY” look on his face. I don’t want to make it sound like he was a d-bag, but it was obvious that he was very focused on getting to where he needed to be, and I didn’t want to be That Person who disrupted a celebrity’s day when they were clearly “off-duty” or whatever; however, I feel like if I were any type of artist/celebrity, I would want to know that I had affected a person. 

And then I just stood there with my jaw unhinged because I hadn’t planned that far ahead. So there was a frozen moment in time where we just stood there looking at each other, him assessing my level of stalker psychopath and me assessing the quickly depleting cache of words my tongue was capable of spitting out. 

So I just very quickly said, “I just wanted to say hello and that I think you’re awesome” because my vocabulary peaked in 1st grade, I guess.

He thanked me and then as I awkwardly turned to walk run away, he called after me, “It was nice to meet you.”

So there was that at least.

Meanwhile, some older businessman had taken this all in and fell into step with me.

“Who was that?” he asked. I filled him in and he laughed. “Wow, you spotted him fast!” And then I couldn’t get this weirdo to stop talking to me about it! He walked all the way back to my building (which was only half of a block away BUT STILL) with me and I was just dying from the emotional duress of so much human contact crammed into one excruciating 20-minute session.

SO  MUCH FOR THAT QUICK COFFEE RUN.

Meanwhile, Henry had the nerve to say, “Pics or it didn’t happen”like it’s 2012 or some shit. I was NOT about to ask Travis for a selfie after that lukewarm reception.

Then I went back to work and couldn’t find anyone who cared.

(GOD, why didn’t I at least say “have a good show tonight!” Or “How about that bench dance you did with Heidi, amirite?”)

***

There was another dumb day last week where I was just like FUCK IT ALLLLLLLL and put on my surliest “Pee Wee In an Alley After His Bike Was Stolen” demeanor before hittin’ the meat streets of Pgh. I was making damn sure to avoid all eye contact with every last pedestrian, but then as I walked onto the Point, some dirty hippie college student stopped me and said, “Here, have a flower. Have a great day!” as he handed me a tiny white rosebud thingie. It turned my whole day around.

ONE DUMB FLOWER!

I was like, “You know what? I WILL have a great day.” And so I did.

***

***

I almost didn’t go out for a walk today because Glenn said it was SO COLD OMG but I was like whatever Glenn, eff off, and went out anyway. Turns out it was SO COLD OMG but not as much as it was yesterday, so I was prepared.

I decided that I was going to kick it no-frills style and stopped at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts (after almost getting hit by a car and then another car, and then passing the older black lady who screams into her phone all the time and I’m 99.999999997% sure that no one is on the other end) for a macchiato. Nothing exciting happened while I was inside, and no one was outside silently protesting donuts while wearing a tutu, either.

(This is a thing that happens downtown, trust me. Add it to your travel itinerary!)

As soon as I stepped out of DD, this old lady waddled up to me and she is straight bawlin’.

(Not ballin’.)

Tells me the age-old spiel about being homeless, can you spare some change, just want a hot coffee, etc.

I never ever ever have cash on me, except for the time that I did and specifically went for a walk in search of my favorite homeless guy so that I could FINALLY give him a buck or two because he always says things to me like, “YOU’RE TOO PRETTY NOT TO BE SMILIN'” and then the next thing I know, I AM SMILING.

I mean…

DON’T TELL ME TO SMILE, ASSHOLE.

Anyway, this homeless broad is like squirting tears all over my feet and I must have been at a vulnerable point in the day because she totally suckered me, motherfuckers.

I didn’t have any cash on me, so I told her to come with me, and I took her inside Dunkin’ Donuts and let her order some type of sausage thing and then she got an OJ out of the cooler and said, “I’ll just have this instead of coffee” and I said, “It’s so cold out, you can have coffee too if you want.” She looked like she didn’t want to press her luck with me, so I turned to the TOTALLY ANNOYED Dunkin’ Donuts guy and told him to add a medium coffee to her order.

This broad was crying all over the place and I was glad that I was in the position to help someone out a bit. However, the whole way back to work, I kept expecting something horrible to happen to me, like a piano falling on my head or tripping over a tumbleweed and right into the crossfire of a duel.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE I WALK.

Then I came back to work and was extra mean to Lou in order to right my devil/angel ratio.

Mar 032017
 

Well guys it’s Friday, which means I’ll be harassing my fellow team here with the Kpop Video of the Week, and also I thought it would be fun to break up the monotony and make this a fluid post, Chick-fil-A (I keep trying to type CHOCKFUL on my phone and that won’t stop happening) of supposedly witty retorts from Glenn and a run-down of people who walk past my desk vs those who actually stop and take some of my gross-to-mediocre candy.

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(One of those things is a petrified plum pebble surrounded by a delicious honey-like bubble of candy, but when your tongue hits the plum, it’s like OH WHY HELLO THERE, SALT LICK. Like a shock to the senses. Though, not exactly BAD, either. Todd and Glenn agree. No one else has been bold enough to try one though. I apparently don’t “sell” it well.)

Today will be kind of like hard-nosed, grassroots reporting, y’all. None of that fake news bullshit.

It reminds me of when I was in elementary school, 5th grade I think, and I kept this palm-sized forest green notebook in which I kept a running log of the comings and goings of Mrs. Madden’s classroom. Everyone knew about it so I would let people pass it around because news is meant to be shared, after all. One day, and this must have had a huge impact on my life because I feel like I reference it once a year and even wrote an entire blog post about it, we were at recess and Mike H. called Mrs. Glumac—the barbaric lunch lady straight out of Goosebumps—a bitch during kickball and then broke her glasses with the ball!!

And then when I wrote about it in my paper blog of 1988, everyone was giddy for the second time that day because first they heard someone say “bitch” at school, and now they were READING the word “bitch” at school!

It was pivotal, OK? Just take my word for it.

I just sent out the Friday video and Todd said, “I’m boycotting the Friday video.”

“Why?!” I cried.

“Because it’s Lent season,” he said matter-of-factly. Ugh.

Glenn just said he didn’t stick around long enough to see who was at the door at the end of the video so I said he’s banned from Friday video and now they’re calling me the Trump administration. Today is not going well!

Todd just said that now he’s watching “symbol symbol symbol Music Bank symbol symbol” and I tried to teach him that those symbols are called Hangul and he was like “Sure they are. You can tell me anything about Korea and I’ll believe it.”

Speaking of Hangul, I downloaded HelloTalk to use while I’m waiting for my Korean textbooks to arrive. It very clearly states that it’s a language learning app and is not meant to be used for dating, but still—within two minutes of communicating with this dude from Busan, I got the dreaded, “I’m looking for foreign gf” message. Then when I didn’t reply right away, he slammed with a series of “?????” because that really makes me want to answer. And then when I was like, “Look, I’m at work” he countered with “You like Korean guy??”

“Well, I have a Korean boyfriend now,” I told Glenn. “Got my foot in the door!” This made me think of the time I was using some messaging thing when I had a Blackberry years and years ago, and became friends with a trucker because I wanted to use him to learn trucker slang. (<–you should read this. It’s very POIGNANT and HONEST. LOL, j/k. It’s something alright.)

Glenn just went upstairs to get ice because the ice maker on our floor is broken. See? These are the details you miss out on when I don’t keep a running log.

We just talked about Jonny Craig having back surgery and Todd said, “That’s from all that Xstacy” and then I couldn’t stop laughing and Glenn said, “He actually only had a mole removed.”

Some time passed. Maybe like 22 minutes worth. We just had a riveting conversation about the freight elevator and how desperate I am to weasel my way in there. One time, I saw one of the maintenance guys pushing a cart through the doors and I cried, “DO YOU NEED HELP?!” He said no. :(

ICE UPDATE: We now have an ice bucket in the kitchen. I was really excited to report back to my office neighbors about this. Todd said, “Oh. I don’t even use ice” and then I told that I’ve been secretly live-blogging all day and that I couldn’t wait to update the ice-less drama.

“I just went upstairs when I needed ice,” he said.

“Yeah I know, I put that in my blog.”

MAJOR NEWS UPDATE: Dance Gavin Dance just released a new video! And it’s for my favorite song off their last album! I told Todd and he said he only listens to Billy Joel cover bands now.  And then Glenn sent me a list of YouTube links with the subject “this is music,” insinuating that I listen to garbage, but JOKE’S ON HIM because I also like some of the things he tried bragging about. One of the videos was for Bohemian Rhapsody and I was like, “Cool story but I like Radio Gaga better” and then Glenn admitted THAT HE DIDN’T KNOW THAT QUEEN SONG. Wow, I thought old people knew everything about classic rock.

But yeah – nice try!

CREAM OF WHEAT AND BANANAS TIME. I got so hungry after Wendy came over to talk about popping sebaceous cysts and pimples. (#fakenews)

I’m standing in line at the post office now. On my way here, some jackass Planned Parenthood protestor tried to hand me grossly misinformed literature so I barked NO but then another protestor said my coat is gorgeous and I squealed AW THANKS.

Ugh.

Mixed emotions.

HUGE NEWS- on my way back from the post office, Henry texted me this picture:


OH HENRY OPPA! So I called him andbut turned out he was still in there area so he came and picked me up since I still had 30 minutes left of my break and GUESS WHERE WE WENT:

I bought some new candy and it’s actually good!

I also got a bottle of Nongfu Spring matcha milk tea because guess who endorses Nongfu Spring? BIGBANG whaddup.

It’s been two weeks and I don’t think the novelty of the audit light has worn off yet, surprisingly.

Gayle just sneezed and Julie broke the Keurig.

First skeptical review of the Asian candy just came in: A-ron was confused because he thought there was a second layer of plastic that needed peeled off but then he realized it was a part of it. “Like, flavorful plastic,” he said, after declining an offer for a second helping. Everyone else seems fine with it though.

And my milk tea is divine, now that I’m able to drink it thanks to Wendy and her strong bottle-opening hands.

I’m going to post this now because it’s nearly 4:30, but if anything exciting happens between now and 5:30, you better believe I’ll be back.

ETA: I tried to give Gayle a piece of my new candy and she originally rejected it until I made my Pouting Orphan face; she sighed and took a matcha milky thing which is like a luxuriously mellow taffy thing. AND SHE LIKED IT. Some foreign candy can be good, guys!