Mar 152017
 

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

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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.

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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!

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Feb 172017
 

It’s nothing new that I have a penchant for foreign candy and love offering it up at work. I usually have some type of concerning confection in my broken candy urn at any given time, like the durian taffy that still haunts Jamie five years later.  (Currently, there are some kind of coffee things from the Netherlands that have been festering in there since over the summer.) I like to think that people are just afraid of slicing a tendon from sticking their hand in between shards of jagged ceramic, so maybe it’s more of a safety thing and not so much a desire to not activate their gag reflex.

I recently brought in some Asian candy even though Henry always yells, “YOU KNOW YOU’RE PROBABLY NOT GOING TO LIKE IT!” And he’s right a lot of the time. This time I like 2 out of 3 of the shit I bought.

The loser of this batch was a bag of curious rice krispie-looking things called Uncle Pop Baked Puffs. I opened one the night before I took them to work and both cats came rushing over and practically mauled me for it. I took one taste and the verdict was in pretty quickly: NOPE.

It tasted like a pizzelle that had been soaked in water, microwaved, fried, and then soaked in water again – the texture was more of BLOATED puff, not baked. And then for whatever reason, there were bits of dried kiwi stuck to it.

The aftertaste was shelf.

I set it down on the table and the cats started fighting each other for it and then tore that shit up.

“There’s gotta be fish in this,” Henry murmured, squinting at the ingredients.

Then Penelope tried to break into my work purse to get the rest!

Something to consider.

The next day at work, I filled up one of my plastic trick-or-treat pumpkins with the new eastern goods, hoping that a universally-accepted candy receptacle with no sharp pieces might entice more reaches.

People have been enjoying the Asian candies all week (one is coconut but has a honeycomb on the wrapper, and the other is some chocolate thing with a happy boy on the wrapper), but everyone is skeptical of the Unclepops. Glenn and Shannon unanimously voted it off the island, but Todd said that it wasn’t the worst thing he ever had ever eaten and that he might consider eating it again if he was starving.

But there were no other takers for over a week. I even put one in Lauren’s candy helmet to try to trick a bitch because no one would ever suspect Lauren of such villainy. But no one would take it.

Then the other day, Nate came over and, after getting sexually harassed by Catherine, I decided WHY STOP THERE and attempted to harass his taste buds too so I coaxed him into trying an Unclepop.

His review was that it tasted like stale stuffing.

“But wait…now it kind of tastes sweet….yeah, I’d dunk this in coffee for sure,” he said, finishing it off. We were all amazed and awed at this display of brave eats.

“Nate ate one of those gross Asian rice krispie things!” I told Henry as I got in the car after work.

“You mean those things that I told you to throw out because they expired a year ago?” Henry frowned, his everyday mask of disappointment fastened tightly over his face. “You’re feeding people expired food?!”

Wow. Somehow I missed that part.

No wonder they tasted like shelf to me!

The next day,  I went to work and threw them out. I mean, I don’t think anyone will die. My cats are still alive.

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Jan 122017
 

These are in no particular order. Just one giant RIP dump. I’m in a really bad mood today so there likely won’t be much commentary.

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I used to kind of watch M.A.S.H. as a kid as somehow completely missed the fact that this dude’s character was a priest.

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I am just not eloquent enough to put into words everything that Leonard Cohen encompasses and represents as an artist. And now I’m sitting here crying at my desk. Thanks, guys.

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Really??

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REALLY!?!?!!?

I’m sorry, but words escape me with these two as well.  And for all the dickheads who are all, “Oh boo hoo, a celebrity has died. Get over it” NO YOU GET OVER IT. 2016 chipped away at peoples’ childhoods left and right, man. Let us grieve.

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Ugh. I wrote a whole thing here in case you missed it, or purposely skipped it, whatever. You don’t get paid to read this shit!

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As sad as it was to hear of the passing of John Glenn, I was excited to get to actually the “glenn” text that prints out on all of my Glenn sheets. LOL all through space.

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Subtle Tracy Gold vomit.

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Eh.

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Sandy said she appreciated the inclusion of the Wesson bottle.

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I only know the iced tea/lemonade thing.

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UM LE DUH.

A few weeks ago, when I was growing through a mad dash to get all my RIP Glenns done, Alive Glenn mumbled, “Did you make a Glenn for America yet?” And I was like, “Um, yeah Glenn. On November 9th. Pfft.”

OK, today has been awful. But I’m going to see Pianos Become the Teeth after work and I’m really thankful for that! And also for Lauren who took my dumb Thursday late shift so that I could go.

COUNTING MY BLESSINGS, as they say.

P.S. If you’re all, “But no George Michael, though?” I would like to take this moment to direct your eyeballs here.

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Jan 032017
 

For the newcomers or FAIRWEATHERED BLOG READERS (lol, j/k – fairweathered is better than no-weathered), RIP Glenns is the brainchild of Amber2. It’s a mash-up of the Halloween-costumed Glenns I made for my Halloween desk theme in 2012, where I printed out pictures of Glenn’s employee ID and essentially defaced them and put them in prize capsules. Then people would come to my desk every day to get their daily Glenn and candy and it was so much fun! Prior to that, we had a wall in the department where we would hang pictures of dead celebrities, but then we had to take them down for whatever reason. So Amber2 had the brilliant idea to merge the two!  The more you know.

***

Ugh you guys. So many celebrities died in 2016 that I could barely keep up with the RIP Glenns. In fact, I didn’t even do all of the ones I had on my list (sorry, Janet Reno!) because contrary to popular belief, I actually have real work to do at work, too. If there’s a celebrity that died sometime in the first half of 2016 that you feel is sorely remiss from the Glenn collection, please let me know and I will make one JUST FOR YOU. Because that’s the new me, you guys. Accommodating.

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I think only three people appreciated this one, but man — Garry Shandling brings back fond memories of my childhood and watching age-inappropriate television.

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Meh. I don’t really have anything eulogy-ish to say about Chyna. SORRY CHYNA.

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If you’re any kind of hockey fan, you probably shed a tear when you heard that Mr. Hockey himself had passed away. </3

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I posted this one right after Prince died, dedicating a whole post to him because come on, it’s motherfucking Prince.

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Chiller Theatre was a little bit before my time, but my dad LOVED IT and would often reference it, so I had no choice but to know about it. For those non-Pittsburghers, Bill Cardille is a local treasure. As the persona Chill Billy, he hosted the show Chiller Theater, which aired sci-fi and horror movies. He also had a tourism company, which my grandma and Aunt Sharon used a few times for their trips to Europe, and it was like a huge deal that they were essentially “vacationing” with Chilly Billy. They always raved about how nice of a guy he was, and now I wish I had met him!

When I was helping my mom clean out my grandparents’ house last year, I came across a bunch of pictures they had taken from those trips, and he was in a lot of them. Everyone looked so happy AND NOW EVERYONE IS DEAD.

#SoDepressed

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UGH talk about total childhood memories! When I was a kid, Nick At Nite used to play legitimate classic sitcoms, like The Donna Reed Show, Leave It To Beaver, and the Patty Duke Show. I used to fucking watch the shit out of those shows after dinner, while writing letters to my pen pals that I found in the Alby’s Big Boy kids menu. (THEY EVEN PRINTED MY ADDRESS ONE TIME!!!!!) So when I think of Patty Duke, I think of innocent TV times. Also, HELEN KELLER? And she gave birth to MIKEY FROM THE GOONIES?! This lady ruled.

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Who would have thought the murder (I don’t care what you say, it was murder) of a gorilla would spawn such an intense Internet meme? You can’t even read the comments on ANYTHING without seeing at least one Harambe-centric comment (unless you peep the comments on this here blog, because there are usually none, lol all the way home from the market). Harambe is the new Illuminati, I guess.

Dicks out for Harambe. :(

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I’m not a boxing fan by any means, but this was just a big loss for sports in general. We were in Louisville last September and I wanted to go and see his grave but Henry was all “[BIG DUMB EXCUSES]” so I didn’t get to see it. :(

****

OK, I think that pretty much covers the RIP Glenns from spring and summer. I’ll be back later with fall and winter 2016. Boo hiss. Death sucks.

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Dec 302016
 

Picture it:

The year was 1999.

A hot July evening.

I was 19.

It had been about 6 months since I quit my job at stupid EchoStar, and my old co-worker Roniece wanted to catch up. The problem was that Roniece was over 21 and she didn’t want to go to Eat n Park for a motherfucking milkshake, you know? Her plan was to go to a strip club. Some male strip club in Braddock, one of the less savory neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.

This sounded like A Great Idea to me. I mean, this was back when I used to spray paint my feet gold, so most ideas sounded like great ideas to me.

My friend Keri wanted to join us, and now it was really starting to feel like a legit party. So on this hot summer evening in 1999, Keri and I drove to Roniece’s house in McKeesport, where Keri got stung by a bee and that’s how I found out that my friend of approx. 10 years was allergic to bees. Roniece’s grandma performed some old housewives’ miracle and Keri was healed, but that’s a story for another time because I only want to talk about myself right now.

THIS STORY IS ABOUT ME.

Before we left Roniece’s, she pulled out a fat blunt and this back when I was dumb and did stupid things like pop pills full of Ephedrine and starve myself for days because So Fat, Such Chunk. So Keri was all, “JUST SO NO” but I was all, “GIMME DAT” and thus started the night out on a high note.

OH….!

Now we were ready. Roniece wanted to go to a bar beforehand and I pulled my pockets inside out, like “Hello, no fake ID.” But Roniece just laughed and promised me that Keri and I wouldn’t get carded where she was taking us….

…which was the diviest bar that ever dove on some pot-hole ridden side street in Duquesne. We had to park in an alley, and go in through a suspiciously plain door on the side of a building that had no name, no windows.

“Just be cool. Don’t draw attention to us and ya’ll will be fine,” Roniece prepped our underage asses before entering The Bar.

Motown wafted out as soon as we pulled back the door; the bar inside was small and non-descript, not even the tiniest hint of saloon aesthetic. It was all over-flowing ashtrays and varying shades of brown. The patrons were older, urban, and all-around unenthused at the prospect of sharing their sacred space with a bunch of youngins. Keri and I got a few quick side-eyes as we sat down at the bar, but everyone quickly went back to staring into their beers while we giddily shared a pitcher of Long Island iced teas with Roniece.

Thank god I can’t remember how cool we must have thought we were, sitting at some sticky bar, drinking amateur cocktails in the company of legit sad sacks hiding from their wives.

I started digging around in my purse.

“What are you doing?” Keri asked suspiciously. Homegirl had been my friend since elementary school and was well-versed in my shady ways. My every movement was a cause for concern in her eyes.

“Just looking for some change so I can request a song on the jukebox,” I answered happily, because Long Island iced teas.

Armed with quarters, I went over to the jukebox and assessed the situation. Clinked in a quarter, punched in the numbers, went back to the bar.

“What did you play,” Roniece asked, right as the SEXY SAX INTRO of “Careless Whisper” cut through the thick swirls of cigarette smoke and regret.

You know that scene in Adventures in Babysitting where the suburban kids infiltrate a blues club? And everyone immediately stops talking because disgusted glares work better in a quiet room? That’s what happened on this night, in this bar, in this dilapidated part of town.

Every last bloodshot eyeball was focused on me, the giddy white bitch who skipped-to-her-lou into their bar and polluted their nicotine-curtained air with George Michael’s oozing sex appeal.

Keri covered her face.

“What? It’s Careless Whisper,” I said.

“Yeah, I know what it is!” Keri snapped and went back to shielding her face from the scowls attacking us from every angle. 

Roniece threw her head back and let out a huge laugh. “Girl! I told you to be cool!”

And I’m like, “But this is fucking George Michael, man!” Literally I had no idea what I did wrong, because anytime I hear that song, it always felt so right.

SO VERY RIGHT.

We left after a second pitcher of Long Island iced tea, and before I had a chance to request any other tracks from the Carlton Banks Greatest Hits mixtape.

This next part has nothing to do with George Michael, but it does have to do with the moment I died.

We arrived at whatever that goddamn strip club was called in Braddock, but it wasn’t open yet. I remember standing inside the vestibule while Roniece spoke with someone inside, and suddenly I wasn’t feeling right. I stepped back outside to get some air, and the next thing I knew, I was going down, but Ke$ha wasn’t around yet to yell timber.

This next part happened while I was dead.

(Because I swear to you, I was dead. I had done DIED on that sidewalk outside of Sleazy Braddock Stripperie.)

It was Christmas and I was little again! My Pappap was there. We were on the big porch, which is where most of the Christmases were celebrated throughout my childhood. I remember being overcome by extreme happiness and warmth (and most importantly – toys). I was engulfed in one of my greatest childhood memories!

SO THIS WAS HEAVEN.

And then I heard my aunt Sharon calling my name.

Erin Erin Erin.

Over and over.

And then I saw A BRIGHT WHITE LIGHT.

It doesn’t get any more textbook than that.

I was dead.

But the sound of my aunt’s voice brought me back.

Granted, it was Keri and Roniece who were screaming my name into my face, and the bright white light was the streetlight above me. BUT STILL.

Friend has near-death experience on street in a dangerous part town: that’s a pretty big party foul. Keri grabbed my car keys and dropped Roniece off at home. Then we stopped at a gas station in McKeesport where she bought a loaf of bread through a bullet-proof window, the bread was to soak up the poison in my stomach. And then she took me home where three more of our friends came over and babysat me in shifts.

And this is one of the reasons why Keri’s mom absolutely hated me. I was “too much drama” apparently. Like, who? Me!? No, not me.

A few days later, Roniece called to check in on me, and she admitted that maybe, perhaps, possibly there was a slight chance that the blunt she gave me was laced. That in addition to my so chic eating disorder, diet pill addiction and Long Island iced tea dinner was probably enough to stop my fucking heart. But what do I know!? I turned into a walking billboard for Just Say No after that.

Every time we go to Kennywood, I love to point out the little turn-around on the side of a road in West Mifflin where Keri had to swerve the car so I could puke up all my regrets on the way home.

***

“And so that’s what I think of whenever I hear George Michael,” I said in conclusion to this very personal tale at work on the Tuesday after George Michael’s death.

“What, your poor judgment?” Glenn mumbled.

WHATEVER GLENN, I LOVE THIS STORY.

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Dec 202016
 

When I woke up last Wednesday, I was in A Mood. Going to work felt like a drag. Our department’s Christmas party was that day and I just wasn’t feeling any sort of way about the holidays. I mean, I hadn’t reached Critical Grinch status, but I was getting close. JUST ONE OF THOSE DAYS, except swap out “days” with “years.”

You guys, I even opted out of Secret Santa. DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE SECRET SANTA?! :(

I got to work and at first it was all, “Ugh work. Ugh Glenn. Ugh stupid desk—–with A BOX ON IT HEY WHAT’S IN THIS BOX?!”

Oh, I’ll tell you what was in the box: a shoofly pie…from Lancaster!

Ahhhh, Virginia is so sweet! I went to her office to thank her and she said, “I thought I remembered hearing you say you like shoofly pie.” I went back to my desk and told Glenn, who was like, “Who DIDN’T hear you say that? You talked about it for about a year.” Ugh, whatever. But OK, that’s true.

Also on my desk was a sugar cookie-scented wax thingie from Gayle. She gave me a cinnamon one several years back and it still smells so wonderful! So I was happy to get another one. I can’t brag too much about this one though because she gave one to everyone. YAWN.

A few minutes later, Sandy walked by with a huge bag of British chocolate and let me pick me one, and then right after that, Lori gave me a cookie.

“WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE YOU” Glenn grunted in disgust, which is always my cue to turn around, tilt my head, place a hand under my chin, and then smile sweetly.

“It’s because of this,” I said, Vanna White’ing my face with my free hand, at which point Todd groaned and maybe possibly threw up a little.

A few hours later, I overheard Gayle over in her dark cave, talking to a visiting JP about the smelly wax things.

“This one is my favorite, it’s lemon lavender. Here, smell it,” she said to JP, at which point I nearly flipped over my chair in my effort to get my nostrils closer to the lavender.

“I want to smell it too!” I cried, inserting myself into their scented wax smell-o-thon.

Gayle let me have a deep whiff. I made a really sad face and said, “I like that one better than the one you gave me.”

“Well, this one is mine, so….” Gayle started to say before remembering who she was talking to. “I might have an extra one at home….oh for God’s sake, here. Just take this one.” And as I giddily ran back to my desk with my new wax thing, I heard her sigh to JP, “I just can’t stand to see her pout like that.”

“Bully,” Todd said as I dangled my winnings over Glenn’s desk.

Meanwhile, a Chinese auction and raffle was going on. Every year, people donate unused goods, which are then put together into various themed gift baskets for people to bid on, and all the proceeds go to whichever charity/good cause our department had collectively chosen for that year. Then there are other items which are raffled off. As usual, I didn’t have cash on me, and at first I didn’t care, until Wendy made me go and look at all the stuff that was up for grabs.

And that’s when I saw it.

SUCCULENT NOTE CARDS. They were part of a “local art” collection and I desperately wished I had a dollar, or four quarters or whatever, so I could buy a dumb raffle ticket.

But I didn’t, so I went back to my desk and worked, which I’m sure seems shocking to a lot of people, the image of me working.

Later in the afternoon, before the drawing was set to happen, I heard Gayle buying more tickets from the admin person.

“Gayle, give me one of your tickets,” I said, nay—demanded.

Not only did Gayle give me a ticket, she gave me TWO TICKETS. Yeah she did.

So I put one ticket in the bag for the art stuff, and then, after hesitating, I put the second ticket in the bag for the kitchen-y stuff, because I thought maybe if I won that,  I could give it to Henry and he would be so struck by my thoughtfulness, that he would rewind time and marry me 11 years ago.

The Chinese auction closed at 3. I didn’t care about who won any of that stuff though (however, Gayle won a GIGANTIC Chicago canvas and it’s still sitting on her desk and I crack up every time I walk by it), because I didn’t bid on anything and I truly do only care about myself I guess.

After all that hullabaloo (shout out to Battle of the Network Stars), it was finally time for the raffle drawings. I was still at my desk, working, when I heard the admin girl—Shannon—say my name. That was my cue to speedwalk over to where all the raffle shit was and ask, “DID YOU SAY MY NAME DID I WIN SOMETHING WHAT DID I WIN PLEASE DON’T LET IT BE THE KITCHEN SHIT” and it was the art stuff! I got the succulent notecard set! I also got a cute Cheshire Cat card and tea towel, and a little pot which I gave to Todd because he has zero decorations / personal effects on his desk.

Shannon sent out an email letting everyone know who won what, since not everyone was prize-hungry like me and low-key loitering around a corner trying to hear if their name was called. Almost immediately, I got an email from Wendy that said, very succinctly, “OMG YOU ARE THE WORST!!!!” Because Wendy knew that I made Gayle give me two of her tickets.

I think that might have been my most winningest moment of the day though, knowing how appalled this made Wendy. I LOVE WINNING! God, Wednesday was a great day.

Another great day was Thursday, when I walked into work and saw that my desk was covered in Xmas décor, lights, and even a tiny tree. There was a note that said, “Maybe this will put you in the Christmas spirit.” Just the day before, I was in the kitchen with her, being a brat about Christmas apathy. “I DIDN’T EVEN MAKE CHRISTMAS CARDS THIS YEAR, CHERYL!” I shouted, really driving it home.

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I added my own flair to the garland. It just needed a little bit of Erin, you know?

Well, kudos to you, Cheryl — it worked! The decorations are the complete opposite of everything I represent, and that makes me crack up every day when I sit down at my desk now. And I even felt inspired to get off my ass and make Xmas cards this year after all! I mean, I only just made them last night so probably everyone will get them after Christmas, but AT LEAST I DID IT,

Sometimes work is a weird type of therapy for me. And I guess if you were really hard-pressed for a moral, you could say that BULLYING IS FOR WINNERS. Or, I work with a bunch of enablers.

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Oct 312016
 

We had a Halloween party at work on Friday and for the first time in my six years there, I helped plan it/set up/etc. and I’m here to tell you that JESUS IT’S A LOT OF WORK! Props to Sue (and Barb, Cheryl and Deb S. who used to take care of this back in the day). Luckily, Sue is like a master decorator and she did most of the work Thursday night. My only contributed was taping up cobwebs (and basically unraveling the beauty of Sue’s immaculate Halloween table coverings) and plopping down my nameless Fiji mermaid for a centerpiece. (Which Sue promptly turned into something more eye-popping and elegant by adding a pedestal to it. SUE IS SO GOOD. She should have her own party planning company.)

(MAYBE SHE ALREADY DOES!?)



In an effort to get more people  to participate, Carrie and I decided that we needed to add the element of competition so we promised a prize for whoever brought the most Halloweenish snack.

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Nate and Lauren brought in Starbucks for everyone, which Nate cleverly renamed Cthulhu Coffee and that’s how Nate and I learned that we might be the only people there who know who Cthulhu is, and it didn’t even help when I said things like, “You know….Lovecraft?” to help coax people into recognition. So this was educational, as well! I love when fun things have an educational twist!

In lieu of having Henry bake something, my contribution was making a Halloween playlist on Spotify, which Gayle had to listen to all day long since her desk is in the hallway where all the food was set up, and also procuring a shit-ton of candy so that my co-workers could go trick-or-treating. I set up plastic pumpkins filled with candy that corresponded to all of the work areas I decorated over the last two weeks. So like, Mitch’s pumpkin had snack-sized boxes of pretzel sticks to go with the Blair Witch twigs hanging from his door; Carrie had cherry Kool-Aid squeezits to go with the blood-theme of her Carrie desk; Lori had pumpkin-shaped and pumpkin-flavored candy to go along with her Halloween theme; Catherine had candy corn for Children of the Corn; Lou had a beautiful Asian assortment that related to Ju-On; Todd had the gummy body parts of Sweeney Todd’s victims; and Glenn had ghost-shaped things for Poltergeist:

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Glenn clearly wasn’t happy that his desk was a trick-or-treating station. I went with veggie chips for him because that seemed like something a crotchety old man would hand out to kids just to make them sad.

Sadly, most people weren’t as stoked to go trick-or-treating as I had hoped, and I was having to beg people to just do it because I had to go like four different stores to get this shit!

Henry wasn’t very happy about it, shocker.

Shout out to Lou and Aaron for helping me by providing extra candy and the treat bags used for trick-or-treating!

Not only did Sue let us wear costumes on Friday, she even wanted to have a Halloween backdrop so that people could have their pictures taken, like a makeshift photobooth. I was on board with this until Sue brought over streamers to my desk and I realized that she wanted me to make the backdrop and have you seen me handle streamers? It’s not pretty.

Luckily, Amber1 agreed to help me!

“I was in a sorority, I’m really good with streamers,” she said, and I felt very confident that I chose correctly.

We took our supplies into the conference room and thank god Amber did most of the work because I was like, “WHERE DO WE START WHAT SHOULD WE DO HOW DO WE DO THIS OMG HELP.”

After we got all of the streamers cut down to size, it was time to staple them to the thingie that we were using to hang them on. Amber was holding down the top of a streamer, and as I was moving in with the stapler, she panicked and said, “You have the sweetest face, but I just don’t trust you with a stapler so close to my fingers.” And that’s how I got out of streamer duty and Amber basically did the whole thing for me!

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Amber and Erin, Streamer Specialists. I did a major cop-out and just brought part of an old costume from when I was Fatal Attraction a few years ago for one of the Trundle Manor Halloween parties. Shout out to Carrie for knowing who I was immediately!

Glenn and Chris exchanged very concerned looks when they saw me pull the pot and bunny out of my purse Friday morning.

“What?” I asked, forgetting that this isn’t a normal work accoutremant.

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I don’t know how we got any work done, to be honest.

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Amber2, f/k/a Mean Amber, as Fay Wray. This costume is so great!

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Sandy had a whole Starbucks of Horror theme going on at her office. She’s the best!

By the end of the day, everyone was in sugar shock. We had to vote for best Halloween treat, and Sue decided there would be two winners. She made really adorable baskets with Halloween wine glasses, a bottle of wine, and a bag of Pittsburgh Popcorn. I grudgingly voted for Colleen who made the cutest mummy pepperoni rolls, which I couldn’t even EAT because I’m a vegetarian. She apologized to me for that and I said, “That’s OK….but I’ll never forget it. You’re basically the New Glenn.”

She laughed but I think she was scared.

SHE SHOULD BE.

Colleen was one of the winners, as expected. I figured most people would vote for her because her mummy rolls were so cute (and apparently tasted good, too, ugh). But surprisingly, the second winner was ME.

I was so confused. I didn’t bring anything in!

“You won for your trick-or-treating candy,” Shannon said, looking like a deer-in-highlights because, as part of the party committee, I wanted to know who won before she sent the email out, and she clearly wasn’t prepared for me to standing inches away from her, demanding to know. “Now you ruined the surprise for yourself!”

After she sent out the email, Wendy immediately emailed me and all it said was “RIGGED!!!!!!” Ha! She’s probably not wrong! I swear I wasn’t even soliciting votes because I didn’t even think I was eligible!

“Seriously, did you have something to do with this?” I asked Carrie. And she said that while she did vote for me, she swore that she didn’t discuss any poll riggings with Sue.

It was such a great feeling! All I ever want to do there is make my work friends happy, maybe get them to have a little fun every now and then, and to be recognized for that was so overwhelming. I love Halloween, and I love my work friends! What a fun day. <3

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Oct 212016
 

After I finished decorating on Monday, it just didn’t feel complete. So I spent Wednesday night bloodying up a sheet and angrily twisting up craft paper while watching the third presidential debate—it made for some great catharsis!

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I think this one is pretty obvious, but in case you don’t know your Stephen King, it’s “Carrie.” And here’s another big fat Obviously: this desk belongs to Carrie. She was very pleased when she saw it today. She told me that she actually says, “Just like the movie,” when she tells people her name.

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“Debby was still here yesterday when I was hanging this up, and I’m sure she was pleased,” I told Carrie this morning.

“Oh yeah, I’m sure she was!” Missy said sarcastically, overhearing me en route to her office.  30174987910_5f219f0057_c

Catherine felt left out when she came in on Tuesday and saw the decorations. This is kind of a stretch, but….

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She’s very happy now!

But apparently she hasn’t seen Children of the Corn, so hopefully she does that this weekend.

MALACHIIIIIIIIIIIIII.

This morning I was in the kitchen with Mitch and he said that everyone who comes to our floor for a meeting sees his new rustic decor since his office is right outside the conference room, and that he has been hearing some good reviews. MAYBE THIS IS MY TICKET TO DECORATING ON OTHER FLOORS OMG.

Dare to dream, you guys. Dare to dream.

Todd had the audacity to add fake spiders to the cobwebs on his decrepit barber shop display without asking my permission!

“You’re junking it all up!” I cried, and I think everyone thought I was joking but I wasn’t, I really mad. Just kidding, everyone knew I wasn’t joking.

*****

In other Halloween news, we’re having a party here next week and I got to help plan it! I’m incorporating the final piece to my ambush decorating into the department party, which is TRICK OR TREATING. Basically I’m just going to turn all of the work areas I decorated into designated trick or treat zones, and each one will have candy specific to their decorations. Like, Lou-On the Grudge will have Japanese candy, The Blair Mitch Project will have those lame snack boxes of tiny pretzel sticks, Catherine of the Corn will have candy corn, etc etc. I mean, I’ll throw in some good candy too — god, get off my back!

*****

If you’re interested in seeing past Halloween decor I did around this joint, please feel free to click the links below (the newest posts will come up first, so you’ll need to scroll all the way down and read up!):

Murder Desk: 2011

Carnival Desk: 2012 (I think this one was my favorite though because it was so interactive and that’s how the Glenn Desecration Project was born!)

(I was pouting in 2013 because I got moved to an office in a neglected hallway.)

Funeral Desk: 2014

(I didn’t do anything last year either but I think it was because I was depressed or too busy with some other obsession, who knows.)

 

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Oct 182016
 

My Timehop has been rife with memories and flashbacks of past Law Firm desk Halloween decorations, like the time a co-worker called my desk a “hostile work environment” and kind of wasn’t kidding. I posted one of the Timehop memories on Facebook last week and said that I regretted not decorating this year, so Sandy and Michele were like YOU STILL CAN. THERE IS TIME. SHOOT FOR THE STARS, ERIN.

But I just didn’t feel inspired.

I started thinking about how I would decorate if I was someone else in the department. Like if I was Wendy, I would probably have pumpkins draped with Stella & Dot necklaces. Who knows.

And then I started associating horror movies with co-workers based on their names, and wondered, “Could I get away with decorating someone else’s space instead of mine?”

I mean, of course I can!

So this year’s theme is THE HIJACKING.

I spent all weekend collecting things from around the house. I wanted this to be as simple and no-fuss as possible since there were going to be more than just one space to decorate. Some things I had to buy, but I think I ended up spending less than $10! Henry was pleased! I was late shift yesterday which awarded me the perfect opportunity to get ‘er done. (I looked like a typical Pittsburgh bag lady on the trolley, ugh.)

Let’s start with Lori!

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I changed her name to Lori Strode, after Jamie Lee Curtis’s character on HALLOWEEN a/k/a the best horror movie in the whole entire world. Quick sidebar: we went to Allen’s Haunted Hayride on Friday and when Michael Myers got all up on me in the wagon-thing, I was horrified yet REALLY INTO IT, which is just what I want from my Michael encounters.

Henry’s old meat shop coveralls, forever coming in handy.

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Glenn has an ironic pumpkin decoration that Amber2 makes him display, so I snatched that to help make the scene more Halloween-esque.

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I EVEN CHANGED “LAURIE” TO “LORI.”

See also: I have no life.

I had to wait until this morning to decorate Lori’s office because she was late shift with me last night. But the fun part about this is that she got to see all the other decorating I did without realizing she was also a target!

Lou is one of my work enemies so naturally I had to go with Ju-On (The Grudge for all you Americans).

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Lou is seriously worst.

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Meanwhile, I think Glenn thought he was off the hook this year. He knew about two of my ideas and I made it sound like THAT WAS ALL I WAS DOING. And originally, it was going to be, until “Polterglenn” came to me and then I couldn’t stop laughing because how dumb and ridiculous.

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That clown was one of my un-birthday gifts from Gayle! And that hat is Chooch’s. I bet Glenn didn’t even notice this right away this morning!!

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Holy shit, I was so stoked to decorate Todd’s desk. It’s a nationally known fact that Todd’s desk décor consists exclusively of Qdoba napkins. Or maybe it’s Chipotle. I guess it’s not really all that nationally known.

Anyway.

Sweeney Todd, obviously!

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Cardboard straight razor so I don’t get called to HR. Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir. (FUN FACT: That bottle of green liquid and floating fingers is a regular fixture on a table near my Robert Smith wall. I just taped a label on it.)

(Another FUN FACT: That hand mirror was left behind by a previous occupant of my house. I found it by accident when I pulled a chair into the bathroom when I was pretending to clean the unreachable top shelf of the bathroom closet. One side of it is bashed in and I’m convinced it was a murder weapon in another life. Also, this is the third time it’s made an appearance for Halloween decorating at work.)

The wallpaper was left over from the funeral parlor desk theme of 2014.

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Henry had to help me with the barber pole because I started doing that “I’M GOING TO DESTROY AN ENTIRE VILLAGE OF ORPHANS” angry squeal that comes out when I’m frustrated and losing my patience after 5 seconds of effort.

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This is my favorite part! I was worried though because I always stumble fake bugs around the house but naturally as soon as I NEED THEM they’re nowhere to be found. I didn’t want to go out and buy any because the whole goal for me is to try and accomplish as much as I can with what I have. It makes it more authentic! And laughably rudimentary in some cases. But then I found some ants in my desk at work!

And an extra thumb!

Oh, and cobwebs too!

“Of course you did,” Henry sighed when I got in the car after work that night.

OK, I saved my favorite one for last. This was the one that came to me first and I was so excited about it that I slipped and told a couple people at work because god forbid I should ever keep my mouth shut ever! And I knew it must have been a good idea when Glenn actually LAUGHED AUDIBLY.

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I thought I’d have to go to a forest for the twigs, but no! I just needed to go right in my own backyard! So yeah, I lost about two hours of my life on Saturday making Satanic folk art. This was another moment where I threw a fit but then Henry went and plugged in the glue gun for me and then I was fine. This was actually kind of therapeutic.

So if you ever need any of these creepy twig stick figures, I’m your girl.

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I knew there was a reason I kept my old, broken camcorder.

Mitch came over and gave me a high-five today. I mean, it’s the best one, so he should be proud!

God you guys, I wish this was my real life job, Ambushing people’s work spaces and aggressively decorating! I think that’s something I would excel at. Why are all the things I excel at so stupidly niche?

 

 

 

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Aug 112016
 

It’s been a while since I posted photos from my glamorous afternoon walks so here are some right now, can you stand it.

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Was Missy shot?

I just like this side street ok?


This view of Liberty makes Pittsburgh look even smaller than it actually is.

A symbol of my fake Irish heritage. (FUN FACT: I’m 0% Irish. Don’t let my name fool you.)

RIP Altar Bar. Saw some good bands up inside you but you were kind of a shitty venue SORRY BUT ITS TRUE. The sound there was awful. I’ll miss walking by on my lunch breaks, trying to catch a glimpse of the bands performing that night, though :(

Ugh ew disgusting I hate Wholeys. Bleh.

I remember when this area used to be the shit. Long live Metropol & Rosebud. At least Costume World is still there?

Wow guys you’re in for a treat: here is where I buy stamps for the post cards I don’t write anymore! (I ran out of recipients. But we had a good three month run!)

Across from the post office is one of the Crazy Mochas I frequent. This one is weird because literally never the same person is working, I can’t understand it. On this day, the most beautiful half-Samurai bun’d man made me a perfect iced soy latte and be busted me every time I tried to paparazzi him.

Also at this Crazy Mocha, if I get there at 1:30, I will always see this super old man who orders the same no-nonsense thing every time: small coffee, filled up with a little room at the top so he can put in his cream, and he pays with a crumpled dollar. I love that man. Carrying the torch for Simpler Coffee Times.

REFECLECTION OF MY IDIOT LEG in the revolving door of the Westin, where the memories of the furries live on in our hearts.

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And then I saw the winner of the day’s best t-shirt contest. Michael Myers All Day Every Day.

***

Meanwhile, back in the office, two of the new copiers had malfunctioned, which was hilariously ironic because hello NEW and also because it was the first day that the Ricoh people weren’t on our floor for trainings.

Everything was eventually straightened out (Barb would have had a fit, though) but all this did was make me miss BECKY the Ricoh trainer even more.

I don’t know, why I got it in my head on Monday that I wanted to be her favorite person on the floor, and it was like totally nauseating to Glenn. Todd said, “Well, I think it worked because I heard her mention your name in some of the other training sessions*,” and Glenn was like, “STOP FEEDING HER EGO.”

*(All of the sessions took place literally right next to our desks so everyone on my side of the floor are essentially Ricoh pros now.)

And also, Becky saw the painting that I made for Ethan when she was standing outside of his office talking to him, so then the conversation shifted to how TALENTED I AM (lol) and I was fucking dying because Glenn had his earbuds in, probably listening to some right wing extremist AM radio show, and he missed the whole scene. I considered asking them to replay it but I had actual work to do.

:(

Todd mentioned the next day that he heard the conversation but then he thought, “This is too much” and put his headphones on.

I’m so underappreciated around here!

I’m going to go look for Becky on Facebook now, bye.

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Aug 082016
 

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Well guys, it finally happened. We got new copiers/printers at work and everything is NEW and CONFUSING and even though dumb Printer 39 shat the bed all the time, at least we all knew how to use it.

I actually got a headache today from all of the NEW THINGS hullabaloo and I rarely get headaches! Ugh, learning new things is dumb.

The one highlight of the day though was when the Ricoh lady was hanging around, waiting for the next training session to start, when she noticed the Wall of Glenns next to her. “Oh, who’s the artist?” she asked and I nearly choked on my tongue in my effort to be the first to let her know that–ME! ME! ‘Tis I! Right here! And then I explained to her what the RIP Glenns were all about and she laughed and said, “These are really funny! Patty Duke, haha” and I was so fucking smug because those dumb Glenns are basically the best work I’ve ever done in this place.

I was telling Glenn about it later and he said, “That’s why you have a headache, from your head expanding.”

Before I had my training, I was complaining about “HOW AM I GOING TO PRINT MY LABELS!?” just as one of the Ricoh guys (the one with a beautiful maybe-Australian accent and not deep-Texan like Ethan suggested) just happened to be walking by, stopped in his tracks and said, “I can help you with that.”

AND HE DID AND IT WAS SUPER INTIMATE.

Maybe that’s when my headache started….

Amber2 basically threw a fit when she came in and saw that her desk printer was gone, just want to put that out there. She eventually calmed down, though.

I tried to imagine what today would have been like if BARB still worked here and I had to stop thinking about it because it was making my head hurt even more.

Then Sandy found out that I know how to scan on this new machine and I walked in on her offering up my scanning services to Bridget and I was just like, “Ugh Sandy, stop reminding people that I know how to do basic admin things.”

Everything sucks and is stupid, but one of the machines makes colored copies so this could really elevate the ‘ZINE to new heights.

Now I have to go and make a RIP Glenn for the old printer. :( It’s just all too much to handle on a Monday.

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Jul 292016
 

Wow, guys, wow. I came to work this morning and found a bunch of RIP Glenn party hats on my desk, courtesy of Gayle! I’m at once giddy and also sullen about this, because it means that she remembered my birthday (which is technically tomorrow but ain’t no one coming into the office on a Saturday to shower my desk with confetti).

This is BAD NEWS because that means I won’t get to have another year of monthly un-birthday presents, which was her self-administered penance for missing last year’s birthday. AND I LOVED EVERY MONTH OF IT! My June Unbirthday gifts were off the hook, the total mother lode. All sorts of costume jewelry and flowers even!

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The flowers were pretty and made a large chunk of the department reek of a funeral home, so that was awesome too.

Amber 1 and Amber 2 modeling their RIP Glenn hats! I posted this on Instagram and my friend Stacey who does work here asked, “What happened to Glenn?!!?” so I had to explain that this is just what we call the dead celebrity Glenns that I make.

“I don’t know what’s more funny about this,” I said to Glenn. “That someone who just knows you based on The Internet is concerned that you’re dead, or the fact that if that was true, then this picture looks like we’re celebrating your death.”

Amber 2 was looking at all of the hats and said, “Oh, and here’s one with a cat” and I cut off to screech, “NOT JUST A RANDOM CAT, THAT’S MARCY, OMG!” Ugh, Amber.

(Obviously that’s the hat that I chose to wear….for a few minutes before my head started to ache because I don’t have a child-sized head.)

In other work news, the 4th edition of my dumb department ‘zine was distributed last night! I was on late shift last night and not feeling well at all (and the WebMD in my mind had me completely paranoid) so I was determined to get the ‘zine finished and copied before I left just in case I died last night.

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Here are some excerpts because I know you’re dying to know:

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In this edition of the ‘zine, Glenn is finally exposed as a furry.

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And then at the last minute I realized I had one extra page and it was too late to harass someone into being interviewed by me, so I sucked it up and quickly typed  my own crappy list.

Oh! Gayle just got here with the rest of the presents (Glenn called her an obsessed fan) and at the bottom of the bag, there were extra pictures that she printed for the party hats, like of Chooch from Warped Tour. I got all excited because there was also an Emarosa picture, and Glenn  mumbled, “But they’re not dead…” because I guess he thought the theme of the hats was Dead Things.

“No Glenn, all of the pictures she printed for the hats are things that I like!” I sighed. And motioning to one of the RIP Glenn pictures, I said, “Like…pretending that you’re dead!” And everyone laughed but as soon as I said it, I was like, “Wow, that’s some dark ‘get HR on the horn’ type shit right there.” But no one seemed to care.

(Although he kind of had a point about the dead things theme because Gayle also gave me a coffee thermos thingie that she customized with a picture I took of my succulents, pre-cats, so yeah — most of those poor things are dead now.)

***

Just got back from lunch – with BARB!! Oh, and also Wendy, but whatever. I see her every day. We went to McCormick & Schmick’s which means I had to get a salad, but luckily that’s all I wanted anyway, so nice try.

Also, not that this is shocking to me, but I found out that BARB doesn’t like sourdough bread or portobello mushrooms (or maybe ALL mushrooms?! This is why she should let me interview her!).

Anyway, look what BARB got me for my birthday!!!

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My chair is modeling this bitchin’ shirt splattered with all the best HORROR MOVIE BABES!! I especially can’t wait to show Chooch because the girl from Ju-On is on it and she’s his ABSOLUTE FAVORITE.

I told Todd I’m going to wear it to work on Monday and he was like, “Ok.”

Anyway, Jeannie joined us toward the end of lunch and we rolled our eyes together when Wendy started showing the waitress every picture of her baby that she has on her phone. I had to make Wendy get out of the booth so I could leave because hello, I’m just a low-ranking peasant around these parts and have to account for every minute of my workday.

Barb didn’t feel like getting up so made the waitress hug me for her and it was SO UNCOMFORTABLE because that lady gives robust hugs and I’m not a hugger.

Then I came back to work and did some stuff, and then 5 minutes ago, Last Mail walked by, noticed the Happy Birthday banner on my desk and jovially wished me a happy birthday TWICE followed closely by a “Have a great weekend” and Todd and Glenn were like, “Wow, just wow.”

SO ALL IN ALL, not a bad day-before-my-birthday. We’ll see how many ways Henry fucks up my actual birthday tomorrow though. HOO BOY can’t wait.

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Jun 142016
 

“Are you winning?” an old man paused to ask me.

I was sitting on a bench in Gateway Center during my lunch break, scrolling through my Twitter feed. I had just seen the Tweet in which Trump congratulates the Pittsburgh Penguins for winning the Stanley Cup and felt on edge. WE DON’T NEED YOUR CONGRATULATIONS! And now some random passerby was speaking to me. It was all too much at once.

Bracing myself for Stranger Danger, I looked up and saw the sweetest elder face peering down at me through Coke bottle lenses; like, if Spirit Halloween were to be in the market for an Adorable Grandpa mask, this guy would need to provide a mold of his dome.

“Well, are you?” he asked again.

One thing that’s for certain is that I am never not caught off guard by impromptu conversation. The synapses just don’t fire off as fast as they used to.

And so, there was an awkward delay as I struggled to understand what was happening. When I realized he must have thought I was playing a game on my phone, I went with it and, with mock sadness, said, “Nope, not yet.”

“Well, you will,” he punctuated with a shaky finger-jut in my direction. “Because you look like a winner!”

I laughed and thanked him, and as I watched his labored departure, I was overcome with an odd sense of calm. It was kind of just what I needed to hear, so thank you, Yinz-Elder, for taking a break in your turtle pace to wheeze some positivity into the face of a fellow human being. A nice reminder that in the wake of cruelty and hatred, kindness won’t be silenced.

We all need to be reminded of our winningness from time to time, and you know what? YOU’RE ALL WINNERS TO ME. GO GET ‘EM, TIGERS.

Or maybe that guy was senile and thought he was talking to a goldfish playing Old Maid with Yootha Joyce; I don’t give a fuck, I’ll take it.

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May 042016
 

My day has been full of annoyances1 so I decided that I should go and buy something on my lunch break because buying things is the answer to everything.

UP: I received a $25 AmEx gift card from work for Staff Appreciation or whatever they’re calling it these days, so I walked down past the disgusting gyro place that smells like cooked piss and slipped into The Exchange to see if they had any new records I desperately needed.

DOWN: Some creepy pierced and tattooed older man with a broken arm was rifling through crates of $1 CDs, located right next to where I was flipping through records. He was one of those guys that needed everyone around him to know what the fuck he was doing and was going to be doing next, and then started frantically hollering to the front of the store for someone to come and help him. An Exchange employee came over and it turned out the man needed help lifting some of the milk crates out of the way so he could access the ones below. He made sure to explain that he only needed help on account of his broken arm and then repeatedly asked the clerk if his store credit from a different Exchange would be accepted at this one. Then he was pissed because they didn’t have a cheap enough copy of Lady Antebellum.

UP: I found some things I wanted: a pink pressing of the last Pierce the Veil album, and a $5 Phil Collins record. The 70-year-old and 16-year-old sides of me rejoiced.

DOWN: After the blue-haired girl at the register rang me up and I handed her my gift card, she said, “Oh…we don’t accept American Express.” So I had to pay with my own dumb money.

UP: She complimented my cat necklace and cat wallet.

DOWN: Creepy Guy was also getting rung up and took this as his cue to butt in. He hates cats. “My ex-wife’s cat….” and then on and on about a cat doing normal cat things. In order to better illustrate to us what the cat would do when it jumped out from under tables, he SWIPED AT MY LEG. STRANGER DANGER! MOTHERFUCKING STRANGER DANGER, CUT MY LEG OFF, EW, I WAS TOUCHED!

UP: After weirdo left, the blue-haired girl and I continued to talk about our love for cats, and after establishing we both also have cat tattoos, I asked her where she goes and she said, “Kyklops” and I said “THAT’S WHERE I GOT MINE TOO!” and she yelled, “OMG WHO DID IT?!” and I screamed, “ERIN!” and she was all, “SAME!!!” and then we high-fived, but that was an example of an OK stranger-touch.

DOWN: Henry didn’t answer when I called him.

UP: As I crossed the street by the 7-11 to go back to work, some guy in a red shirt smiled at me and said hello, then he asked what my name was. I told him and then asked him what his name was, because I hear this is how conversations go. “Francis,” he said. “Can I get your number?” I laughed and said no but boy, was I happy to be getting hit on by a relatively normal-looking person! I usually get the ones who are one step above the Toxic Avenger. And Henry, after a few beers.

DOWN: I did not give him my number and now I’m wondering WHAT IF HE WAS THE ONE!?

So many more people would probably ask me for my number if I looked like this2:

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[1] Clearly too much happened to put in a single #greetingsfromerinslunchbreak post card, so it’s bloggin’ time.

[2] I made Wendy take this picture and it turned into A Real Production.

 

 

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