Apr 122018
 

Guys. The weather is finally ripening, the downtown eccentrics are coming out of their hidey-holes, and I’m rearin’ to send off some postcards about them and whatever else might arise during my lunch break travels. So I’m bringing back Greetings From Erin’s Lunch Break! If you weren’t involved in this two years ago and now find yourself either itching to know what my handwriting looks like or maybe you want to remember what it feels like to get something in the mail that isn’t political propaganda or bills, then hit me the eff up with your home address, chingu!

butgavincantdance@gmail.com

Here are some examples of what you can expect (shit, there goes the mystique about what my lame handwriting looks like):

Maybe I’ll include a Korean word of the day! Maybe I’ll draw a picture of Glenn! YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU’LL GET because I’m a bored and pathetic girl with little else going on in life so I will put my all, my EVERYTHING, into a stupid postcard.

Also, coincidentally, I’m wearing the same thing today that I was wearing two years ago when some broad in a souvenir shop downtown took my picture and posted on her Pittsburgh Instagram about my project, lol:

DOESN’T THIS SOUND GREAT AND NOT AT ALL A WASTE OF A PERFECTLY GOOD POSTCARD AND STAMP? If so, send me your address and let’s get this postcard party started. I like leaving mail in the outgoing mail thingie at work because it makes me feel important.

And as always, if I have your address, I will probably send you a postcard whether you asked for one or not. Consider that a threat!

Mar 212018
 

This is likely going to be a super frenetic word slop because I’m leaving tomorrow morning for Korea and it’s really hard to focus on anything else. But I’ve been compiling some more downtown coffee joints to fake-review and I wanted to get this out there before I leave or else it will never happen and let me tell you, I struggled with some of these coffee shops! I DO NOT WANT MY PAIN TO BE IN VAIN.

I like to give myself missions when I’m on my daily walks. Sometimes I just need a purpose, whether it’s looking for my favorite homeless person, gagging at the river, exploring shady alleys. Sometimes it’ll be something like, “Take pictures of churches.” Anything to motivate me to get out of the office and walk, even on less luxurious-weathered days. Just a little pro-tip from me to you! Especially all you step-counters out there who need some motivation.

While it’s really tempting to just walk a block down the street and grab a latte at Crazy Mocha, I have been trying to see how many coffee joints are within a walkable distance for me, something close enough where I can get there, grab a quick coffee, and still make it back to work within an hour. So here are some recent options for anyone who works downtown Pittsburgh and maybe feels like ditching Starbucks for a day, god forbid.

  1. Fort Pitt Coffee

I’ve been here once before, after seeing people in the area walking around last summer with non-‘bucks coffee cups in their hands and I immediately opened up dreaded Yelp to see where the fuck they were coming from because lord knows I’m not going to JUST ASK SOMEONE. That’s what Chooch is for.

*[Side-note: the other night, I wanted to walk to the Payless that’s in the next town over from us. Henry and I had walked there the day before but one whole part of the front window had plywood over it and there was a sign taped to the door that said they were closed. I guess someone drove through the front of the store? I didn’t want to walk all the way there just to see they were still closed a day later, so I ACTUALLY LOOKED UP THE NUMBER AND CALLED. It’s a miracle, me using my phone to call someone other than Henry. I didn’t recognize the sound coming from the other end of the phone at first, and then I gradually realized that holy shit, it was a busy signal! It stayed busy for 30 minutes so I went upstairs and said to Chooch, “Hey Chooch, call Little Caesars (which is right next to Payless) and ask them, ‘Hey bro, how ’bout popping outside for a sec and letting me know if Payless is open?'” but Chooch said something like, “GOD NO I’M NOT DOING THAT!” So I took a chance and just walked there and lo and behold, it was open and I got a pair of shoes and one pair for free, too! I should have just went to Payless from the get-go instead of going through my Goldilocks shoe drama.]

(Oh, all of this was to say that sometimes Chooch says no when I ask him to ask someone about something.)

Anyway, I just got a plain ol’ latte and it was fine. The girl working wasn’t very memorable and then the owner came out to ring me up and he was pretty neutral as far as friendliness goes, which was funny to me because I follow this coffee place on Instagram and he acts like his coffee is God’s gift but he did nothing that day to assure that I’d be back again.

I mean, I probably will at some point, but if I was still doing Greetings From Erin’s Lunch Break, this would not make it into a postcard.

Although now that I see that iced raspberry chai on the menu….

2. Allegheny Coffee

This place is wonderful! I always thought it was too far out of reach for my hour-walks but I chanced it one day and still made it back to work with plenty of time to spare (I’m literally the only clock-watcher in that department. I’m sure I could go over my lunch break and no one would notice. BUT I WOULD NOTICE.). I’ve been there twice recently and the same girl was working both times – she was so friendly and made the whole experience more relaxed because if you’re like me, you get stressed to the max when trying to decide which particular coffee beverage you want at that particular moment.

Both times, I got seasonal specials: a King Cake Chai Latte, which had honey in it and it was DIVINE. I love chai lattes, it’s my go-to whenever I don’t feel like coffee. The second time, I was going to get that again because it was so wonderful, but then I saw a white chocolate strawberry latte and even though I rarely go for white chocolate or even mochas, the prospect of a strawberry latte was appealing to me because I don’t see them very often at my usual haunts. Oh, you guys, it was magic. It was like there was actual strawberry puree in there – it didn’t have that weird synthetic fruit taste that strawberry-flavored things sometimes carry. I had this Strawberry Shortcake doll when I was a kid, and if you squeezed her, she let out a puff of air that stunk of a laboratory strawberry, like a perfume for robots. Sometimes, strawberry-favored things taste like I’m eating that puff of fauxberry air.

The second time I went, the same girl was working and as I struggled to get my credit card out of my not-wallet, she was like, “OMG your wallet is so cute!” which was the perfect opportunity for me to tell her about how I had thought I lost it several days prior and how awkward it was to describe it to the receptionist at my work.

“I can’t believe you’re still telling people that story,” Henry sighed when I called him right after I left.

“She liked my story! She even laughed!” I yelled defensively. God, step off.

This place is definitely added to my list of “will return” coffee shops, which right now really only has Crazy Mocha on it because that place has such local flavor and rarely lets me down, no matter which location I go to, even though the coffee itself isn’t anything spectacular.

Oh, and there was a dog there one of the days I visited!

3. Colony Cafe

I have definitely mentioned this joint on here several times (and it’s one of the places I took Scott and Maya when they were visiting from Tennessee last October!) but it’s worth mentioning again because they saved my ass.

LET ME EXPLAIN.

It was one of the days I was working late shift, so I was out on my walk after 4pm. There was a new-ish place I wanted to try in the Strip call De Fer, and I even made sure to check their hours before heading in that direction. Their website said they’re open until 6 so I happily  (yeah right, I’m sure I was on the phone with Henry and scowling about something) set off to Smallman Street and got super excited when I found it because I suck at finding things. AND THEN I SAW THE SIGN ON THE DOOR.

It said they closed at 3 that day, SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.

Too many of these signs have been inconveniencing me lately!

I knew if I walked up the street, Prima was there.

THEY TOO WERE CLOSED. I did the whole “tug on the door and involuntarily jerk back” movement because I wasn’t expecting it to be locked since the lights were on and someone was inside!

THE HORROR!

Allegheny Coffee was also a stone’s throw away, so I headed over there.

The door was locked.

ET TU, ALLEGHENE?

Now I was beginning to feel a bit crazed. PEOPLE STILL NEED COFFEE AFTER 4PM!

PrestoGeorge was a block away and I saw a gathering old men inside so I breathed a sigh of relief, but my confident door handle-tugging was met with resistance BECAUSE IT WAS LOCKED TOO.

This was clearly some kind of sick joke.

I needed coffee so badly at this point that I was in tears. Do I have a problem? YES BUT IT’S MINE NOT YOURS SO BACK OFF.

I mean, thanks for your concern.

But thank god, the last cafe on my way back out of the Strip was the Colony Cafe and I knew they would be open. God bless you, Colony. I don’t even mind too much that your small latte cost me more than a medium at Crazy Mocha, because I want to believe that some of that money is going to the cats.

Oh, did I forget to tell you that Colony is also a cat cafe? I’ve been there about 10 times but have never had the chance to play with cats because they’re in a separate loft area and you have to make a reservation. :(

Anyway, I also don’t mind paying more for coffee at this place because it’s damn good coffee and I have never had a sour experience with any of the baristas. All good eggs up in there!

4. De Fer

Which brings me back to De Fer. I was excited to try this place because their website was really spirited, full of mission statements and employee introductions. I like that. I walked in and immediately blanched at the strong yuppie vibes, but I shook it off because I’m trying to not let social groups deter me from enjoying a good coffee, you know?

And on this particular day, I definitely wanted coffee. Maybe a pour over? I wasn’t sure yet, but figured I’d just peruse the menu and see what struck me.

WELL I’LL TELL YOU WHAT STRUCK ME.

The “how dare you interrupt me from whatever busy-work I was doing behind the counter” glare that I got from the older gentleman barista. Wow, sorry to interrupt your Father John Misty fan letter-writing hour. Honestly, he couldn’t have sighed any louder while he loomed over me and rudely stared at me while I was trying to look at the menu. Sorry for being a first-time at your uppity cafe, motherfucker, but not ALL places have the same offerings! I wanted to ask him what they specialize in, or if there was something he recommended because I was feeling spontaneous, but he did not give off even a WHIFF of it being OK to speak to him further than placing an order.

So, I went with a fucking latte. I think it was actually lavender which is no big deal anymore because more often than not, a cafe has the syrup for that. But when I started to ask if they had soy, he cut me off and said, with 0 personality, “We don’t have soy. We have oat or almond.”

OAT. OAT? Are you fucking kidding me? I hate this place so hard. Go fuck yourself in a wash basin of oat milk, you pretentious milk-elitist.

The latte was expensive and only OK. I will probably not be back unless someone can guarantee that one of the avuncular-looking folk featured on the website will be there to take my order and/or hold my hand while I try something new.

Fucking oat milk.

(I ordered my latte with the oat milk.)

(I hate myself.)

5. Leaf & Bean

OK! My last cafe for this edition of Erin Drinks Too Much Coffee is Leaf & Bean, also in the Strip. It’s quite a ways away from my work, but it was worth nearly getting hit by a car in an alley as I flail-ran to get there in enough time.

The guy working also had zero personality/interest in smiling, however, I didn’t really expect much from him from the moment I walked in. He was like, if Henry was forced to be a barista. That’s the best way I can describe it. But, unlike the oat milk dick, this guy didn’t make me feel super small or like I wasn’t fancy enough to be there.

Besides, the aesthetics of this place totally negated the lack of rapport from the barista. The shop doubles as a cigar bar and it was like walking into some dark Havana boys’ club.

Reasonable prices, pretty standard offerings, but the ambiance is what made this place great. I’d like to go back sometime when I’m not on my lunch break and just hang out for a bit, not smoking a cigar.

Well, guys, that’s my latest cafe review for you. TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT. This ain’t Yelp.

Mar 122018
 

I don’t feel like writing an intro to this post about work but I guess I just did. LIFE IS FUNNY THAT WAY.

The Fig Bars

The department boss is way too good to us and keeps a table stocked full of delicious treats. She clearly knows that at the heart of it all, we are truly little children who can be comforted by snacks. It works, it really does. Usually she provides crackers, peanuts, little snack packs of cookies such as Oreos and Nutter Butters, granola bars…but lately, there have been these freaking delicious Fig Bars up in there too. They’re like hipster Fig Newtons, when I really think about it, but so damn good. I’m always complaining about how there need to be more in each package (THERE ARE ONLY TWO?!).

One day last week, Todd walked past my desk on his way back from shopping at the snack table. “These fig things are so good,” he said, which reminded me of their existence, so I felt that I needed to also get up and get one.

Imagine my horror when I rounded the corner to Snack World and the Fig Bar bowl was EMPTY. I didn’t want peanut butter crackers or a Twizzler! I wanted a FIG BAR and TODD took the LAST ONE!

Oh, there was hell to pay when I returned to my desk. I felt like he stabbed me in the back, like he was purposely planting that seed of WANT into my head, when I wasn’t even hungry now that I think about it!

The next day, Glenn was coming inside from lunch and mumbled that there were more Fig Bars out there, so Todd and I literally raced each other down the hall. I won, but the bowl was fully stocked so I don’t really know why we were racing.

Those things are just so delightful! Way better than Fig Newtons. The outer part is all grainy and nutricious-seeming.

I made sure to thank Sue on my way back to my desk because I want her to know that she should never stop providing them. Um, I think we all get more work done too whenever we eat them.

A few days later, I cut off Jeannie when we were both reaching for a Fig Bar at the same time, because I’m ruthless.

Hearing Loss

At our Monday meeting last week, Amber was telling us that our guest speaker wasn’t there that day because she had an ear infection.

“What?” Glenn asked.

After repeating herself, Amber jokingly asked, “Do you have an ear infection too?”

“No, but I honestly can’t hear out of my one ear,” Glenn explained, at which point I started bouncing in my chair, desperate to interrupt.

“IS IT BECAUSE YOU SAT TOO CLOSE TO THE STAGE AT WOODSTOCK!?” I squealed, dying with laughter.

“Oh my god,” Todd sighed, and then Amber had to explain to our co-worker, who was just put on speakerphone in the middle of my outburst, why I was choking to death on laughter. I don’t know why I thought this was so funny but I was doing everything short of patting myself on the back over it.

Later that night, I was trying to recreate the scene for Henry and I started crying because I was laughing so hard.

“It’s not even that funny, but still…” I wheezed.

“You’re right. It’s not that funny,” Henry agreed in that disapproving tone he reserves just for me and Chooch.

Confusing Calendar

A lot of people here hate my Korea countdown calendar because the numbers aren’t displayed in normal calendar fashion. My kpop friend on Instagram was like, “Who’s even looking at the number?!” and I was like, “GIRL YOU KNOW.” That’s not why we buy these things.

Amber asked me if I got the calendar inside Teen Beat and I said, “I wish, it would have been way cheaper that way!” God. Korea goes hard with their yearly planners, you guys. This SHINee one was like $50 or something, I can’t remember now, I always black out after buying something because I hate spending money.

Nate and Sandy were trying to make sense of it the other day but couldn’t. “This calendar is chaos,” Sandy spat, while Nate was half-way to a headstand trying to figure out how much longer until I leave.

It just makes me love it that much more!

Rumors

I realized suddenly after Cheryl sneezed last week that Glenn never says “bless you” after anyone sneezes. I waited until he walked away from his desk before lasso’ing Lauren into the theory quickly developing in my murky mind.

“Lauren,” I whispered hoarsely. “Have you ever noticed that Glenn never says ‘bless you’?”

She considered this for an entire second and then shook her head no. I know she felt bad about it too because she hates saying no to me.

“Well, he doesn’t….do you think he’s a Satanist?” I blurted.

“What? No!” she nervously laughed.

“I’m going to ask him.” And then when Glenn walked past me on his way back to his desk, I casually asked, “Glenn you never say bless you after someone sneezes is it because you’re a Satanist?”

“I can’t believe you just asked him that,” Lauren said, turning around so she wouldn’t have to be involved.

“Wow, that’s really what you came up with because of that?” Glenn asked. “You’re the one with the pentagram rug in your house! Are you recruiting?”

TOUCHÉ, GLENN.

This was better than the time everyone was supposed to wear a certain color to support women and Glenn missed the memo so I tried to spread the rumor that he hated women, but not as good as the time Barb tried to start a rumor for no reason that Glenn is a lesbian.

Speaking of Cheryl sneezing though, she was also choking one day last too and I stood up and shouted, “CHERYL ARE YOU OK” in the most fake-sincere tone I could muster. Cheryl played along and exaggeratedly thanked me for being so concerned about the status of her windpipe.

“Sickening,” Todd mumbled, while Glenn was suspiciously mute.

Finally, Glenn calmly said, “There’s so many things to say that I just froze up.”

THE LOST WALLET SAGA

I was having a pretty lowkey Friday morning when suddenly, I was nearly to work and realized that I didn’t have my work badge. So, already that’s a sucky feeling because it means you have to go to the security desk, hope they believe you when you say that you really are an employee and not just a recently-canned disgruntled employee back for revenge. But then you’re like, trapped within your department all day too, while trying to remember when you last saw it and if you should email Facilities now or later to report it lost and then be forced to pay for a new one, UGH.

But there was still hope that it was on my desk. I’ve done that many times, left my dumb badge-thing on my desk. But it wasn’t there!

So I went to the kitchen because I was on late shift the night before and I could vividly remember setting it on the table while I was washing my BIGBANG cup. BUT IT WAS NOT THERE.

Now panic was definitely setting in and here’s why: EVERYTHING IS IN THAT BADGE HOLDER. So much of my life is in there that I refer to it as my wallet but it’s not even meant to be a wallet, it’s a Pusheen ID holder and I shove all of my credit cards, my drivers license, my trolley ConnectCard….all of the shit I need everyday, in other words. And this was literally ONE DAY after I swore that I had to go back to using a real wallet after struggling to get my license out of it.

Well, good job Erin because now you’re going to have to get brand new cards to put in the wallet, I sadly thought to myself.

Todd works early on Friday so he was lucky to be there to watch my panic go from 0 to 60. And then Glenn arrived right when I was on a cleaning person-blaming tangent.

I couldn’t focus on anything. My ears were ringing and my face was flushed. Amber walked by and I blurted out that I lost my wallet.

“Oh, I’m sorry, that sucks!” she said.

“It’s OK,” I sighed, and then before she made it around the corner, I turned and shouted, “IT’S NOT OK!”

 

Cheryl told me to call Reception and see if anyone had turned it in. I was like “FUCK A PHONE CALL” and emailed instead, which got really fun when I reached the point of my email where I had to describe my wallet.

“It’s purple, soft, and shaped like a cat.”

It took AN HOUR for reception to email me back and say, “NO SORRY NOT YET.”

James the mailroom guy came around for the first mail delivery of the day. Before he even had a chance to say hello, I cut him off. “WHAT, DO YOU HAVE MY WALLET?”

“…..no?” he answered nervously. So then I had to fill him in and Glenn and Todd were behind me, making the same eyes at James that elderly patients probably made at Jack Kevorkian.

“Did you check your desk?” he asked, and I was like “Yes duh” even though I only checked one drawer, twice. I just knew it wasn’t in my desk, OK?

OMG why was this happening two weeks before we leave for Korea? Another thing to stress about!

Lori came over to chat about nothing in particular. I let her finish while nervously squirming in my seat, and then I shouted, “I LOST MY WALLET.”

I heard Glenn sigh behind me, but I still launched back into the same story, verbatim.

“And I thought maybe I left it on the table in the kitchen…”

Then I had a thought!

Henry drove me to work that morning. When we were walking out of the house, I noticed that Chooch left his backpack! Luckily his school is right up the street so I told Henry I’d just jump out and run it in. Except that Henry wouldn’t come to a complete stop and I practically had to drop and roll out of the car, and in doing so, I forgot that my purse was on my lap and it fell into the middle of the street! MAYBE MY WALLET FELL OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF PIONEER?!

THAT WOULD BE MY LUCK!

I started thinking about all of the times I found and returned things lost by others: someone’s debit card at an ATM, a wallet on the sidewalk which was luckily right outside the person’s house so I didn’t have to go far, Ross’s Blackberry (technically that was Henry, so me by extension), Jeannie’s work ID!! Maybe I had collected enough Karma for someone else to return my wallet to me!?

Later that morning, Henry had enough of my crazy lady texts, so he drove home on his break and TEXTED ME A PICTURE OF MY WALLET! It was at home that whole time! I had to immediately send an email to everyone in our department who suffered through my sob story and Glenn mumbled, “When’s the movie coming out?”

Then James came down later and I yelled over to him that I found it and he said he had said a prayer for it! MY WALLET IS SO LOVED. Wendy was walking by during this exchange and looked confused, and I realized that she didn’t know about my lost-not-lost wallet so now I had a reason to tell the story again! Todd and Glenn put their earbuds in.

Lauren was working late shift from home that day so she missed this whole thing. Luckily for her, she ended up having to come into the office that afternoon so I got to fill her in. She was like, “Wow. I’m sorry I missed that.”

Whatever. YOU HAD TO BE THERE.

Mar 052018
 

There was this short-lived sitcom on about ten years ago called Kath & Kim with Molly Shannon and Selma Blair; I think it was actually an American remake of an Australian show. Do you remember it PROBABLY NOT. Anyway, Selma Blair’s character would always say “rooned” instead of “ruined” and I still say that but because that show was such a flop, no one but Henry ever gets it.

I’m telling you this now so you’ll understand what I mean when I say that Henry ROONED my lunchtime walk last Monday by making me go with him to pick up our car from the shop and you better believe I acted like it was the end of the world. UGH, A WRENCH IN MY ROUTINE.

Never fear, I went on a walk the other four days of the work week and while nothing amazingly wild happened, I at least snapped some shots of Shittsburgh I mean Picsburgh no wait it’s Pittsburgh.

(Jk guys, I like my city a little bit.)

Most days, I’m on auto-pilot and head straight for the Strip District. This will change soon when the weather gets warmer because people always flock to this area, even on week days. Henry and I were just there on Sunday because there are several Asian markets in that area, and even though it was still chilly out, there were droves of slow-moving Sunday shoppers milling about, probably straight from some dumb brunch, gawking at Steelers shirts, street produce and whateverthefuck. I got really angry at one point and started mouthing off like I actually live there and haven’t just co-opted the area because of my lunch break walks. Henry was like, “Calm down” and I was like, “YOU CAN GO FUCK YOURSELF, TOO, PITTSBURGH TOURIST!”

Anyway, speaking of street produce. I like to walk through this market thing to get a daily dose of classic rock. One day, I think I mentioned this in a recent Lunch Break Tales, “Sara Smile” was playing and I pretended to be thoroughly invested in feeling up a basket of kiwi just so I could hear the whole song.

I didn’t feel like crossing the street to get a better picture of this mural, so I didn’t. MY BLOG MY RULES.

I always walk past Sunseri and think nothing of it and my caption was going to be “A store” but now that I’m looking at this, I wonder if THEY HAVE EXOTIC CANDY. I should check.

There actually is a candy store in the Strip but it’s just like novelty bullshit to appeal to Andy Griffith set. It’s OK, but not International Pumpkin of Candy worthy.

I just thought this looked cool, OK?

One day last week, I was waiting to cross the street with an older vagabond-type of broad who gave me a quick glimpse into my future: she was hollering at every car that flew past us, finding some awful offense with each one. “YEAH YOU RAN THAT RED LIGHT, ASSHOLE, I SAW!” And then when the light turned green and we stepped off the curb, she angrily wagged her finger at the bus turning our direction and barked, “DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, HAMILTON” — because it was the Hamilton bus, GET IT?

(I have no idea what part of town Hamilton is but that’s where the bus was going I guess.)

(I don’t ride buses.)

There was one day last week where the sky was so goddamn blue and perfect that, even though it was still chilly, I felt infinitely happy to be alive. THE MAGIC OF THAT VITAMIN D, YO. I decided to walk a different direction for a change, so I made a right outside of my building, walked past a church, and then just kept going up and up and up toward Consol, or PPG Paints Arena, whatever we’re calling it now.

I walked past this church and then made a left and kept going until it started to look sketchy, and then I made a RIGHT….

…where I stopped to take a picture of this mural and then I kept going up a hill until eventually I was engulfed by the Duquesne University to the point where I feared I wouldn’t find a way out, and then I realized my FUCKING FITBIT WAS DEAD, fml.

Oh yeah, I just realized this must have been Friday because it was really windy and I was afraid that a stop sign would get uprooted and bisect my head.

These are some of the things about while meandering about on my lunch breaks: things that could fall from the sky and kill me (anvils, dead pigeon, uprooted stop sign), new serial killer card ideas, my ideal Korean boyfriend type, some random Days of Our Lives character. My mind is so fucking rife with thoughts.

Well guys (or “guts” as I originally typed), that’s all for this latest edition of Lunch Break Tales but the next one might be another coffee roundup, depending on how energetic I feel this week since it seems like everyone around me is ill and it’s only a matter of time until it’s my goddamn turn.

Feb 192018
 

With the most brutal bits of winter over (hopefully), Lunch Break Tales are starting to heat up! Soon, more freaks will be slithering out of the nooks and crannies of Pittsburgh, so my lunchtime walks should be getting more lively here soon.

Until then, here is a small collection from the last week of walks.

  1. St.Patrick

On one of my Strip District strolls, I felt the urge to get my church on, so I hung a right past the grocer playing “Sara Smile” and visited St. Patrick where I did some atonin’.

J/K, I was there just there for a minute to take pictures because I was bored.

Old as fuck.

St. Patrick, I guess.

He seems mean.

2. Callous Coat Compliments

Earlier last week, I was standing on a corner waiting to cross the street and talking to Henry on the phone because that’s what you can usually catch me doing while I’m outside around ‘town unless Henry is “busy” and doesn’t answer his phone no matter how many times I hang up and call right back. But on this particular day, I pinned him down and he was obediently listening to me yap about my day, when I vaguely heard a voice calling out to my left about a jacket. I didn’t think anything of it and kept right on jawing off to Henry and just as I was about to step out into the street, the voice grew louder and more forceful.

“I SAID I LIKE YOUR COAT!!!” yelled a very rough looking girl with a neck tattoo who looked like an extra from Orange Is the New Black. She was walking past me on the sidewalk, tugging on her own coat to illustrate her callous compliment.

I quickly gushed a thank you and prayed that I appeased her before she decided to shank me and bloody my damn coat that draws way too much attention.

Shockingly, from a lot of old men. It must remind them of an old beloved couch.

Henry asked, “What the hell was that?”

“Oh, just another fan of my dumb gold sofa coat.”

Random mural from another walk last week. I’m so close to being able to walk to my favorite Asian market but even if I made it, I wouldn’t have enough time left to go inside and buy anything UGH WHY CAN’T I HAVE A 90 MINUTE LUNCH BREAK.

3. Candy Cashola

On Valentine’s Day, I went to Crazy Mocha to treat myself. As I walked to the counter, I noticed a young guy sitting alone at a table, with two giant gift bags at his feet, numerous helium balloons tied to them (the bags, not his feet), and a heart-shaped box of chocolates opened on the table. At first glance, I thought this was a really sweet scene of a dude getting his Valentine gifts ready for his girlfriend or boyfriend. But then I noticed that he was methodically wrapping each bare-backed chocolate with CASH MONEY, DIRTY DIRTY CASH MONEY.

Oh I could have spit up a little in my dirty chai latte. What a poorly-executed idea.

But still….MORE THAN I GOT FROM HENRY.

4. CUTS

On Mondays, I have to take my break earlier than usual because my little group has a meeting at 2pm every week and that’s what time I usually take my walk. Do you know me? I am a creature of habit and Mondays always screw me up because I have to CHANGE MY ROUTINE.

AIGOO!

I was all ready to go out around 1 when I checked the weather (#responsible; see also: Glenn has been purposely steering me wrong lately). I saw that there was a chance of rain, so I went and borrowed an umbrella from the umbrella stash in a drawer behind Marlene.

I can’t remember now who told me about that stash but it has SAVED MY LIFE several times.

In the drawer, there three umbrellas: a black one, a blue one, and a red one. I almost took the blue one. I had my fingers wrapped around the handle and everything, but then I reached for the red because it’s the smallest one and I didn’t feel like lugging around a large ‘brella if it wasn’t raining out there.

I have reasons, OK? You wouldn’t understand.

So I went outside and it was not raining, hooray! I went and got a chai latte at Crazy Mocha with zero ordeal, totally low-key for once. Although I ordered a small chai latte and dude gave me a medium one but I was less annoyed as I could have been when I thought he charged me for a medium and was making me a small. So I left with the medium since that’s what I paid for and didn’t feel like arguing that I ordered a small, having him void the transaction, and start over from scratch. I have shit to do!

It’s some new guy. He’s OK. But he always asks, “What can I get y’all?” which always makes me toss a quick glance over my shoulder and wonder if he can actually see my imaginary friend!?

Anyway, this story is about a cut so let’s get back to it.

I finally got a hold of Henry after I left Crazy Mocha and he was trying to act all cool like he was so busy and couldn’t talk to me, so after about 10 minutes, I got fed up with his superiority complex and said, “I’m hanging up now” and then hung up before he could respond because I don’t time to be courteous, and also because it had started to rain so I needed to pocket my phone and deal with the Opening of the Umbrella, of which I have a storied history.

My relationship with umbrellas is torrid.

I was especially unfamiliar with the inner workings of this small red umbrella. It wasn’t the kind where you push a button to unleash the monster. I had to push it up on my own, and once it was completely extended, I had to push down on a metal thing to pop open the umbrella part.

But I didn’t push down hard enough so the top started to come back down and my thumb got pinched inside of it — I am having a super hard time illustrating with words what went down here because I’m not a verified Umbrella Expert and do not know the technical names of the parts of it, OK?

What I can tell you is that it fucking LACERATED the pad of my thumb and a big bubble of blood sprung forth immediately and I screamed out loud and started to panic because I was a twenty minute walk away from the office and BLEEDING. It was stinging so badly.

“Don’t cry don’t cry don’t cry,” I kept hoarsely whispering to myself. I knew that there was a fire station nearby, but it was in the opposite direction and I needed to head back to work. So I couldn’t cry to a fireman. For a fleeting moment, I also worried about the scent of my blood-bubble attracting local vampires or maybe a demogorgon, I don’t know what goes on beneath the city. Do you?

I looked across the street and saw Two Louie’s Market. I considered going in there and asking for a bandaid because surely they have a first aid kit for employees and if I had to buy a fucking beverage, then fine!

But I was afraid that if I stopped walking, I would pass out.

So I just walked back to work in blinding pain, rain pelting down on the umbrella, my non-umbrella-holding hand squeezing my thumb like a tourniquet to keep it from falling off.

Came back to work and started screaming about my injury while bandaging myself with blessedly-large Ikea bandages.

“LOOK AT HOW THE BLOOD IS SHOWING THROUGH!” I screamed to Glenn and Todd, who were trying to process what was happening so quickly around them.

Glenn mentioned something about our meeting being canceled and I was like, “ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!” so I marched down the hall just as Amber was emerging from her office and, thrusting my wounded thumb at her, I said, “This is all your fault! If you would have canceled the meeting before I went out on my break, then I would have went out at my regular time AND THIS WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED!”

“Wow. …sorry?” she shrugged, completely not caring.

Then Glenn or someone suggested that we call the meeting back on so I couldn’t talk about my cut and I quickly waved it off. “No no, it’s not that big of a deal.”

I really dislike meetings!

“Was it still raining out there when you came in?” Todd asked me.

“Yeah, raining blood,” Glenn deadpanned.

************

On my way home from work, I noticed that my entire hand hurts now, from my thumb down to my wrist.

“Oh my god, what if I have tetanus!?” I cried to Henry.

“Why would you have tetanus!? When were you last vaccinated for that?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I shrugged. “When I was born?”

“No,” Henry sighed.

Feb 132018
 

Some of you (see also: none of you) have been asking, “Hey, how is that Bob Ross Chia Pet doing? You know, the one you introduced to us a few weeks, promising regular updates?”

Did I ever promise that though?

Anyway, let’s pretend all of the above is real and not a conversation I had with myself over a Korean picnic next to the Han River in my head while riding on the trolley in an effort to distract myself from freaking out at Trolley Dad and his dumb daughter. (“DO YOU SEE THE SUN? DO YOU THINK THE SUN SEES YOU?” Yeah good job teaching your dumb kid to look at the blinding orb of flames in the sky you asshole.)

Sorry. I’m angry.

Back to Bob.

The box says that we should have seen sproutage on Bob’s dome 1-2 weeks after The Spreading of the Seed-Paste.  We thought we saw some growth on his neck, because some of the paste oozed its way down there, but then eventually Amber realized it was actually mold.

Of course, everyone glared at me because this was all my fault since I was in charge of setting him up and I’m sorry if my eyeballs aren’t capable of measuring 1/4 cups of water, OK?! I had to work with what we had in the office AND THAT WAS A DIXIE CUP!

I thought maybe moving him back by the window would help, get him some good old Sunny D, you know?

Well, as you can see, it’s been numerous weeks now and he’s just a headful of hardened seeds AND MOLD.

I changed his name to Bob Ross, but in my head, I call him Bob Mo(u)ld because I’m not sure anyone at work would get that reference and I don’t feel like explaining things anymore.

If anyone out there reading this has experience in cultivating a healthy Chia pet, please send me your secrets, tips, advice, plant-prayers. OR DON’T SEND ME ANYTHING I DON’T CARE I’M IN A BAD MOOD!

Feb 112018
 

I’m back again with more lunch break tales because my life is so fucking rich.

The past few weeks, again, have been so inconsistent, weather-wise. On Friday though, Amber came back in from a walk and said it was actually nice out.

“Like, nice enough that I won’t need gloves?” I asked.

“I mean, it’s still kind of cold. You probably don’t need a hat, but I’d still take gloves,” she said, after giving it a second of thought.

I made a disappointed grumble, and Todd said to Amber, “Look, you gotta give her the answer she’s wanting, Amber. And she’s wanting to not wear gloves.”

“Fine, then don’t take gloves,” she said with great exasperation, but I was already walking down the hall with just my coat on anyway.

And….I totally wish I had brought my gloves, fucking ugh forever.

That was just a sample of the daily convos my co-workers are forced to have with me.

Anyway, let’s explore downtown Pittsburgh with some more pictures, SHALL WE?! Starting with one that I took after work and not on my lunch break, look at me, breaking the blogging law.

Market Square. I walk  through here everyday on my way to where Henry picks me up and it’s annoying because I almost always get stuck behind CASUAL WALKERS and don’t you know I’m a speed-walker all day every day? Get the fuck outta my way.

I usually eat oatmeal or Cream of Wheat for lunch every day. Don’t cry for me too hard, this is what I choose to eat because it’s easy and simple and something I can actually handle myself. (Mostly.) But last Friday, I was out of oatmeal and felt like gnawing off my arm, so I stopped at Bae Bae’s on my break. My intent was to just get kimbap to go, but they were only serving kimbap for dinner that day. So I ended up getting the tofu steak lunchbox and had the most delightful conversation with the guy working the counter. I cannot express how much I love this place, from the people to the food to the ambiance, and I want to become friends with them in the worst way. I just wanted to blurt out I’M GOING TO KOREA NEXT MONTH CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT FOREVER?! But I played it cool.

When I went up to get my food, the girl who is always there and I think is one of the owners (#speculation) said, “You’ve been here before, right?” and I was like, “YES LET’S BE BEST FRIENDS WANT TO COME OVER?!” JK I just said yes and then tacked on an overzealous, fan-girly, “AND I FOLLOW YOU GUYS ON INSTAGRAM.”

And as I was leaving, the other guy who is always there called out, “See you later, Erin! Have a good day!” and I was like, “OH I AM SO IN THE CLUB NOW.” JK I’m never in any clubs, not since elementary school when Spring and I had the Animal Rescue Club, meetings were held in the attic of the shed in my backyard, and the closest we came to saving an animal was when we found a groundhog that was probably dead and my mom was all DON’T TOUCH IT IT COULD HAVE RABIES THAT’S GROSS.

:(

We could have been so good at saving animals if dumb parents hadn’t gotten in the way.

I walk through a lot of alleys downtown because they’re fucking creepy and interesting. Some dude was murdered in this one. Well, that’s where his body was found, anyway.

Stupid trolley station thing that I use almost every day. There’s also a free art gallery above it, which is kind of cool I guess but doesn’t take away from the fact that I hate taking the T to work, woe is me.

When I was leaving for my afternoon walk on Friday, I rode down on the elevator with Sue, who half-jokingly said, “Hey, while you’re out, see if you can find Jeannie’s work ID. She lost it on the way back from Proper.” Since I never have a cemented destination in my mind when I step outside, I purposely walked down that particular block and without any effort whatsoever, I found Jeannie’s ID laying on the sidewalk in front of the Benedum. I AM A FUCKING HERO. I sent Jeannie a picture of it and she was like YOU’RE THE BEST and I was like LE DUH. Anyway, I get a reward now, and that’s all that matters.

Sue called me Hawkeye Kelly and I love that nickname because my eyes are actually so freaking terrible!

I treated myself to a bag of parmesan Goldfish from CVS, but I went to one of the smaller, crappier ones in lieu of the decent one I normally go to, and that was sad because this particular CVS reeks of cigarette smoke and sewage. It’s just really bad. But I really enjoy the one cashier who is there often, a young stoner named Cameron who is super pleasant and jovial and ends every transaction by handing over the bag and cheerfully saying, “Enjoy!”

Even when the broad in front of me was purchasing nothing but a pack of Always pads, he sent her off with an emphatic invitation to, “ENJOY!”

Jan 312018
 

Ugh, my lunch break walks are so depressing in the winter. This past month, they fluctuated between Motherfucking Arctic Freeze to Downright Unseasonably Balmy. We haven’t really had a chance to “get used” to winter when it’s 10 degrees one day and SIXTY degrees a few days later. Madness.

I still go out on my lunch break every day, even on the days when it’s in the teens, even when it’s snowing, even when it’s raining. Sometimes I might only last 25 minutes before surrendering to Mother Nature, but at least I got outside and moved for a bit, right? The thing I hate the most about winter is BOOTS. It’s so annoying having to change my shoes four times a day (when I get to work, before I go outside, when I come back outside, and then when I leave for the day). Sometimes, I’m lazy and just keep my stupid ugly boots on for the rest of the workday.

Like today.

#suchlaze

Because of the gross weather, not many people are outside, which means my crazy interactions with Pittsburgh civilians and alley dwellers are lacking. So I figured I would at least share some pictures taken on my various power-walks.

As I was taking this picture  in a desolate area of the Strip District, I thought someone was running up behind me and I screamed so fucking loud. But it was just a leaf, trying to be a tumbleweed.

On one of the not-so-frigid days,  I was able to wear a lighter jacket and NO WINTRY ACCOUTREMENTS (no that I don’t love my scarves and gloves, but sometimes it’s nice to be so weighed down and muffled). That meant I got to wear my beloved cow-spot jacket. I was on the phone with Henry when some guy in a fluorescent yellow hoodie walked past me and then turned around just to tell me that he liked my coat. “Reminds me of 101 Dalmations,” he said, and then he started singing happily but I couldn’t tell if it was “Cruella DeVille” or not.

“Who was that, one of your homeless friends?” Henry asked. This was right after he overheard me saying hello to someone else and he asked me the same question then too, and surprisingly, that time it wasn’t one of my homeless friends either!

“No, it’s my friend who sells flowers on the corner of Penn by Eides,” I said haughtily, like why am I having to explain myself to Henry anyway. I HAVE LOTS OF STRANGE FRIENDS DOWNTOWN. THEY PROBABLY THINK I’M STRANGE TOO.

I was walking by when this was being painted the other day.

Ew and then it was so cold and gross for a while that a bunch of shit froze, like the cool little walkway under the convention center. AIN’T NO ONE WALKING THRU THERE RIGHT NOW.

And the river walk is closed off because it’s all gross and full of ice clumps. Ugh, winter makes everything so ugly.

So what do I generally do on my walks? Usually, my first mission would be to get a latte in my hand as soon as possible, but I’ve been trying to keep my latte addiction on lock lately, so I’ll usually only stop at a cafe once or twice a week. Sometimes, I’ll have to go to the post office to mail international card orders (we just got our first Sweden and Switzerland orders yesterday!). I tried to go to one closer to our building but the lady who works there gives me the third degree every time, like I’m trying to send a metal file to my boyfriend in prison and not goddamn Valentine cards, jesus christ.

Then I usually call Henry afterward because dealing with postal things drives up my blood pressure.

One time, I was at the post office that’s inside the Westin (where I normally go because those peeps don’t give a FUCK what I’m mailing) but no one was behind the counter, two cops were at the front of the line talking abouot the embroidering on their cop jackets, an old lady in front of me had a stack of probably 40 green tax envelopes, and then an older guy behind me asked, “Is anyone even working?” One of the cops answered, “There’s just one guy here and he’s getting something for us” me and the old guy both said, “FORGET IT” at the same time and left.

I have as much patience as a surly old man! I’m so excited.

I need to start keeping more butterscotch candies in my coat pockets, though.

Static and Terror Town aren’t there anymore. This whole area just makes me sad. It’s so cluttered and junk-y.

Henry had the nerve to call me when I was trying to take this picture so I hit decline on his ass.

Heinz stuff is over there. Pittsburgh is famous for Heinz stuff, in case you didn’t know. Pittsburghers will spontaneously combust if anyone tries to serve them Hunts or says CATSUP in their presence.

Anyway, those are the Heinz Lofts now. If you move to Pittsburgh, you should live there and then let me be your roommate for cheap.

Don’t you love learning half-assed pieces of maybe-knowledge about Pittsburgh when you read my Lunch Break Tales?! It’s unreal that I’m not a Pittsburgh-famous blogger-historian by now.

Walking in the Strip can be so much fun in the warmer months because there’s street vendors and produce stands and general liveliness, but in winter it’s just a bunch of people walking around looking miserable. Except for the group of five people I passed on the sidewalk today who were SO HAPPY TO BE OUT TOGETHER that they conveniently forgot that the sidewalk didn’t belong to them and only them, just because a sidewalk is wide enough DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD ALL WALK IN A ROW AND TAKE UP THE WHOLE THING YOU SELFISH CUNTS. Both myself and the lady in front of me were nearly pushed off into the street by their sidewalk-hogger and I couldn’t help but let out a disgusted “UGH” and an eye roll, which was totally seen by one of the bitches in the group.

“Wow, you’re such a bad ass,” Henry said when I told him about it later (AFTER I TOOK MY PICTURE ON THE BRIDGE THAT HIS CALL INTERRUPTED).

But then other times people I see on my walks are so freaking nice, like this one lady-jogger who smiled at me for no reason and then I SMILED BACK, who even am I anymore, and the one young girl who cheerfully yelled over to me that she liked my pants and I was like THANK YOU and almost said “I know” because they were my bright red pants and they’re really awesome and everyone should like them.

Well, that concludes this past month in walking around the ‘Burgh. Mayhaps February will be more exciting. And maybe in the spring I’ll resume my Postcards from Erin’s Lunch Break project! Holla.

Jan 102018
 

Yeah guys, hi. Hey. ‘Sup.

Remember a few days ago when I told you that Amber replaced our way outdated Golden Thumb Award with a Bob Ross Chia Pet? And that I greedily claimed it at our Monday meeting? Well, we got him all set up today and it was majorly team-building in that a third of the group GAVE ME BAD WATER MEASUREMENT ADVICE.

But let’s back up.

The Golden Thumb was something that our old supervisor handed out at our weekly meetings to the team member who excelled the week before. It was kind of a joke tbh, and Amber has wisely eschewed it for this new fun gimmick. It’s a new era!

Since Bob was in my possession, I got the party today by soaking him in water. Glenn was worried that we wouldn’t find something to soak him in and I was like “Hello, I have three empty plastic trick-or-treat pumpkins in my desk. I think we’ll be fine.”

So off I went down the hall and to the kitchen, gripping a plastic pumpkin in one hand and clutching Bob by the neck with the other. This likely did not look unusual to anyone who saw because, well, IT ME.

In the kitchen, I put Bob in the pumpkin, set the pumpkin in the sink, and then began to fill ‘er up. Debby came in. “Do I even want to ask?” she sighed, so I quickly gave her the run-down of how Bob Ross is the new member of the processor team, etc etc and she was like, “Wow.”

The second part of the process was the Soaking of the Seeds. The instructions said to add two teaspoons of seeds to 1/4 cup of water. PANIC. STRESS. A TEASPOON?! A QUARTER CUP?! How to measure?!?!?

“Just use a spoon,” Glenn said, and Todd supported this. Todd also happened to be going into the kitchen at the same time as me, so when I frantically held up a paper cup and cried, “HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH?!” he suggested “half.”

So I did “half.”

But then I went to Lauren on my way back to my desk for a second opinion.

“Um….I would dump out like an inch of that,” she said, squinting at the water line.

I feel like she probably cooks sometimes so she would know.

I dumped out an inch of water into the nearby water fountain.

After that, my assignment to stir occasionally for 30 minutes. It was daunting though because it looked like something gross and healthy that I would eat for lunch (like some kind of slimy earth porridge) so I had to be mindful not to put the spoon in my mouth.

Thirty minutes went by and while the seed mixture was definitely jellied and thicker than it was in the beginning, it didn’t spread very well on Bob’s head. Amber was getting angry because the seed-splooge kept sliding off and then LAUREN HAD THE NERVE TO SAY THAT SOMEONE MUST HAVE USED TOO MUCH WATER and I was like, “I ONLY DID WHAT YOU PEOPLE TOLD ME TO DO!” and then it turned into a thing and I can’t wait for when Bob’s fro doesn’t grow and everyone BLAMES ME. UGH.

(However, now I’m wondering if I don’t really know how much “an inch” is.)

Pictured above is Bob posin’ in front of one of two Glenn Galleries. Amber applied the chia-jizz as best as she could, so we’ll see what happens.

Hopefully we can replace Glenn in no time!

At one point during this Bob Ross gardening activity, I had slight deja vu. “Do I have a Bob Ross Glenn?” I asked no one in particular but then the real Glenn answered, “It’s hard to say. You made so many.”

Later, I checked out the display of Glenns (it’s like MoMA up in our department) and sure enough, there was Bob Ross Glenn.

“Yeah guys, he’s right under Jeffrey Dahmer Glenn!” I cried out but no one cared.

And then I just got depressed because the origin of those Glenns was basically the best thing I ever did here in the office. I totally fucking peaked in 2012. There’s no topping that. Ughhh.

Dec 192017
 

Yesterday was our little group’s Christmas lunch at work. It’s hard to believe that last December there were eight of us, and now there are just five. So much has changed in one year!

I was looking forward to getting out of the office. I’m going to be honest here – learning of the death of SHINee’s Jonghyun earlier that morning really fucked me up and I was low-key crying at my desk off and on all day at work. I wish I wasn’t this emotional, but…I’m a bi-polar Leo, you guys.

But, I had this lunch to distract me and I really like my work group so it didn’t feel like a drag like it has in the past when I worked for a different group within the department. PLUS, Amber promised that we could get our picture taken with Santa afterward, because our lunch was at The Yard in Market Square, right across from SANTA’S WORKSHOP! I have wanted this to happen so direly for many years, a group picture with Santa, and I have only ever been able to get two people to go with me on two separate occasions (once with Chris when she still worked with us, and once with Amber).

Lunch was good, but I was SO BORED for like the first 25 minutes because everyone was talking about the Steelers game from the night before and some catch that wasn’t a catch and I was like, “Cool but can we talk about me, now?” God!

I was too sad on the down low to finish my salad, and when the waiter brought me a box, I just kind of stared at it and mumbled something about wishing Henry was there.

“Do you want me to help you?” Amber asked, and when I said yes, she sweetened the pot by asking, “Do you want me to just do it for you?”

“YES!” I cried in relief, and Todd was like, “Oh for God’s sake” and Glenn was like, “STOP ENABLING HER, AMBER” and Lauren was just like, “Erin, you are the sweetest person I have ever known.” Or something like that.

This literally happened about 10 minutes after I had finished telling everyone that I was panicking over the weekend about the thought of Henry dying and how will Chooch and I survive, so I asked Henry if he can teach us to be self-sufficient, to which he responded with, “I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO!” Anyway, first we were going to start with me relearning laundry because he’s been doing it since we got together and I honestly would be fucked if someone dropped me off at a laundromat right now…..

….but then we were sitting on the couch, me crying for the 87th time over the weekend (it’s been rough for me lately), when I noticed the front door in my periphery and wailed, “No, first you need to teach me how to open the fronnnnnnnnnnnnt dooooooooooor…..” followed by major ugly tears.

So yeah, that was our Christmas lunch.

On the way out, we started to walk toward the whole Christmas Market thing but then turned and started to go back in the direction of work. I hung my head in a silent pout, not wanting to say anything because I was in such a bitch-baby mood that I chose instead to fester in disappointment so that later I would have something more to complain about because this is who I am sometimes, TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT.

We were about halfway back to work (which is really only about a five minute walk) when Lauren said, “Oh no, we didn’t get our picture with Santa!” and I sadly shrugged and said, “I know. It’s OK.” And then sighed heavily for emphasis.

Glenn and Todd were like, “TOO BAD SO SAD” and kept walking, but Amber said to me, “Oh, why didn’t you say something when we left?” So then we tried to figure out another day to go back and get it done, because we had already been out of the office for longer than intended, but there wasn’t another day left this week where all of us are in the office.

So then Amber sighed and said, “OK, let’s do this now, but when we get back there you better get to work, Erin!” and I was like, “YES BOSS!!” as I happily jaywalked across the street and you all know how anti-jaywalking I am.

When we arrived at Santa’s Workshop, there was just one family in front of us, and two that were inside the workshop. The lady made us stay outside to prevent the workshop from crowding, and that’s when we all noticed that some dude from KDKA had rolled up with a cameraman.

Everyone but me freaked out. Lauren was trying to bury her face in her leftovers while shouting, “ARE YOU KIDDING, I DO NOT WANT TO BE ON THE NEWS,” Amber was like, “Goddammit, Erin,” Todd looked like he would FOR SURE rather be reliving the not-catch moment of the Sunday night Steelers game, Glenn was reading the Farmer’s Almanac he carries in his pocket (I don’t know, but that seems like something he would do while waiting in line) and I was on the verge of peeing my pants from laughing.

My first real laugh of the day and it was so needed! Sorry it was at everyone’s expense. LOL j/k I’m noy sorry!

I don’t know if we ended up being on the news or not but the fact that my work friends were acting like they were on the lam was good enough for me!

Anyway, the whole rigamarole only took about 10 or 15 minutes, which I thought was pretty good. Santa really wanted me to sit on his lap and kept pressuring me but I was like, “CAN I JUST SIT ON THE ARM OF THE CHAIR INSTEAD, YOU CREEP?!” Just kidding, he was a cool Santa. He asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I really wanted to say G-Dragon but didn’t feel like getting into some awkward explanation so instead I just mumbled, “Music” at which point Glenn smugly said, “SHE LIKES KPOP” and I was like, “YEAH, AND WHAT OF IT, GLENN?!!?!?” UGH!

I look like a fat-faced mess, but this picture is everything to me right now! I felt like it was a great team-building exercise. Also, Lauren needs to teach me how to pose so effortlessly casual! She and Amber both look great in every picture while I’m trying frantically to smile in such a way that it won’t look like my chin is having babies.

Anyway…sorry if this is all over the place but welcome to my brain—we have postcards and magnets for sale at the front desk. And merry Christmas from us guys at the Law Firm! That little excursion really helped lift my mood for a bit. Sometimes going to work is, strangely, just what I need.

Dec 082017
 

I just decided to do this now at 9:37 so let me quickly catch you up on the riveting events you missed. Keep checking back for more! YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN ESPECIALLY ON MY LUNCH BREAK.

  • I watched Taemin perform “Day & Night” on Music Bank whole Chooch made puzzle pieces soggy with his tears.
  • I texted Henry death threats because he left a shoe in the middle of the floor and also made me walk to the trolley in 20 degree weather.
  • I purposely wore a navy blue lightweight thermal shirt to work today because I bought this adorable cape to wear over top of it but as soon as I shut the front door behind me I realized I left the cape on the couch and YOU KNOW HOW I CANT UNLOCK MY DOOR. Ugh, the tragedy that is my life.
  • Came to work and in lieu of any morning salutations, I dove right into my cape-tastrophe. “IT HAS BUNNIES ON IT AND THE HOOD HAS BUNNY EARS” I cried. “That sounds like my three-year-old’s bath towel,” Glenn worthlessly chimed in. “YEAH WELL MY CAPE IS FROM CHINA!” I yelled. “So is her bath towel probably.” Ugh.

9:51am: We just picked our Secret Santa names and I am so pleased with who I got! SEE I TOLD YOU SOMETHING EXCITING COULD HAPPEN!! I wonder who got my name.

10:09: Today is jeans day and I just want everyone to know it’s because I begged for one yesterday. YOURE WELCOME, COWORKERS.

10:30: We were just talking about the shocking conclusion to my apple thumb saga, because somehow Todd missed the ending and innocently asked for an update, so Glenn got to relive the story about my bandaids being on too tight.

11:30: I picked a boring day to liveblog. I should have done it yesterday when Lori was wearing a cool pair of vintage 90s chunky-heeled boots she found and then realized halfway through the morning that they were disintegrating and she was leaving boot crumbs all over the department. I suggested that we try to rebuild the soles with the leftover bling I have from the G-Dragon table, but then she realized that the bottoms of the soles were jacked too so there went that great idea. :(

11:33: I wonder how many times people catch me sitting at my desk, silently mouthing along to Korean Instagram captions and then quietly celebrating when I’m able to understand what it says.

11:36: Glenn is eating his lunch. I bet it’s a bologna sandwich.

12:24: Now I’m eating my lunch too. I almost always just have Cream of Wheat because it’s something easy that I can handle. Today, I’m eating it with a banana and honey, as well. I usually put cinnamon in there but THERE IS NONE LEFT IN THE OFFICE KITCHEN. I’m not sure if this is supplied by the firm because there has always been cinnamon in  the kitchen in the entire 7 years I’ve been here, sometimes two things of cinnamon even, and now…none. This is worse than when we ran out of the honey that Gayle brought in and I had to go out and get my OWN HONEY to keep in my desk and now cinnamon too? When will it end?! I can’t handle these grocery issues.

12:50: This is my current desktop background because I’m 14

Everyone here just ignores it now. That’s for the best.

1:02: I hope my Secret Santa gets me a Korean tutor.

1:40: Glenn just came back in from outside. I asked him if it was super cold and he said “just like it was this morning” but I couldn’t remember what it was like this morning at first until I scrolled up and re-read the first part of this blog post. ALL HAIL THE POWER OF LIVEBLOGS. Speaking of weather, here’s an actual convo that happened Tuesday on the elevator:

Me: Tomorrow is supposed to be really nice!

Tracy: I thought it was gonna be cold?

Me: I dunno I just saw a big sun when I checked.

Lauren: Do we need to teach you how to understand weather forecasts?

I’m just really bad with weatherly things.

2:10: I’m at Gasoline Street getting a maple brown sugar latte and I hate everyone in line with me because The Postal Services cover of Against All Odds is on & I’m tryna listen to it. Instead I have to listen to these bitches are talking about how bright their futures are and I’m like let me help darken that shit for you.

2:43: I’m back from my lunchtime walk. Here are some things that happened, in addition to the coffee-getting:

  • Henry and I had a huge fight on the phone over pizzelles! He acted all shocked when I said I didn’t like them so that’s nice to know that after 16 years, he’s ignored this huge, defining fact about me. He was like, “Why don’t you like them?” and I’m all (cover your eyes, pizzelle-lovers, because I know you’re out there in droves gunning for me right now), “You mean besides the fact that they’re the peasants of cookies?” and he was all, “HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT” like he’s some 90-year-old Italian bitch selling them on the street so she doesn’t lose her cottage. Then he went on to gush about how much he loves them and I was like, “Of course you do, because you have the palate of a fucking Pilgrim” and people near me on the street where like wtf is this girl jawing off about.
  • I accidentally littered and there were witnesses!! I was running across the street (I jaywalk now sometimes, can you believe it?) and the top of my (empty) latte blew off and I was torn between stopping to pick it up and continuing on to the sidewalk before getting smashed by a car. So I let the latte lid get smashed by the car instead and I felt terrible. I even yelled, “I CAN’T BELIEVE I JUST LITTERED” and people at the nearby bus stop were like, “OK.”
  • Some guy with a big beard wearing a blue hoodie and carrying a backpack definitely stuffed with hacky-sacks waved merrily to me, like he was the Santa of headshops. I waved back. I’m not always a bitch. (This sighting wasn’t a coincidence because it happened in front of that weird stoner coffee shop.)

3:52: Sorry, I was doing work. But then I sold a BTS Christmas card! I feel so blessed. I love my Kpop Kards line.

4:18: Approximately two more hours before I get to meet Barb for dinner! AND I AM REALLY HUNGRY. Also I think that offices should have soft rock playing gently from the ceiling at all times, because it gets too quiet in here and then maybe the real Against All Odds will come on and everyone will unite in a shared love of Phil Collins.

  • Speaking of Against All Odds, Chooch came home from piano lessons last weekend and cried, “GUESS WHAT SONG I’M LEARNING!?” and here is a picture even though you’ve already guessed:

Chooch has the coolest/best piano teacher ever, sorry to you other piano teachers out there.

5:26: ALMOST TIME TO LEAVE. This day was fine until the last hour when some dumb project came in at the last minute, stupid work, just kidding I love my job.

8:17: Hi guys I just came home from dinner with BARB! We went to Gianna Via’s and I uncovered some new information about Barb:

  • Barb “discovered” salmon at McCormicks and Schmicks.
  • There was a guy there in a plaid shirt that Barb kept staring at and murmuring about. “Oh, he must work here,” she said at one point and I blurted out WHY, DO YOU LIKE HIM? “No!” she cried defensively. “I said that he looks like someone I used to work with!” That means she likes him. Whenever it was time to leave, she was taking her good old time getting her stuff together so I made it to the door before her. As I was standing there waiting, I watched her walk past Plaid Shirt and TALK TO HIM! I was so excited to point this out when she walked over to the door and she (again, defensively) yelled, “I JUST WANTED TO LOOK AT HIM UP CLOSE TO SEE IF I KNEW HIM!” She likes him.

I had to take a picture of us before we left, for liveblogging purposes, and Barb was excited to wear her new sunglasses for the picture. OH BARB. Also, I made Barb look at a gif of Taemin eating and she was not impressed.

Now Chooch and I are walking to CVS so maybe I will have more liveblog fodder when I get back, you just never know.

8:48: Brookline sidewalk shrimp.

9:02: Oh hi Chooch and I are back from our nightly walk about the town. I had a lovely conversation with my favorite CVS clerk, John, while he rung me up. We talked about how we can never phone numbers, but he can remember his best friend’s number and had to call him once to ask him for his own cell phone number because he forgot it and I told him that I can’t remember any phone number from the last decade, yet I still remember my grandparents’ landline that I haven’t used in like 20 years.

Also, Chooch randomly blurted out, “I’m so glad you’re not a Pinterest Mom.” Same, Chooch. Same.

Then! I saw my Mexican taco cart boyfriend and got my hand stuck in my coat pocket when I was trying to wave hello to him and Chooch was like “wow you’re so slick.” Then Chooch was rejected when he asked to pet someone’s dog and I secretly rejoiced because his dog-petting is such a burden to me; it puts me in awkward social positions where I feel forced to then make small talk with the dog owner and I hate it I just hate it ugh.

But now we’re home, annoying Henry, and I’m probably going to sign off for the night because it’s KPOPX TIME, WHUT WHUT.

Wow, another pointless liveblog! You’re welcome.

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