Mar 082020
 

Here are some photos from last Sunday before I got sick.

We had decided to kick off Henry’s Coffee Corner again (this ship started to sink before it even left the dock, let’s be real here), so he chose Carnegie Coffee, which is in…you know, Carnegie. Not something I would have picked but OK.

I never bothered to take any pictures because we got there at 1:42 and were met with a sign on the door that said they were closing at 2 for a private event so that really lit a fire under our collective asses. I wanted to just go somewhere else, because I had a book under my arm and would have liked to have sat down and read a chapter but cook on, Carnegie Coffee.

It seemed comfortable enough inside – ample seating that extended to a second floor, and you know how much seating means to me. But he staff was unsmiling, and then Henry had a weird interaction with some weird-ass who came up to him and asked if we were in line. We were, in fact, in line, but the guy said, “Oh, because the line is usually over there” and pointed to the other side of the column we were standing next to. Really buddy. Sorry we’re not fucking regulars in your dumb townie cafe.

So that really set off Henry and then I was secondhand mad about it too, especially when the d-bag actually went over to the right side of the column and stood there, like wow, you’re really sticking it to us, Line-Standing Warrior.

I got a vanilla rose latte. It was fine, but now I associate it with the stomach flu, so that’s great. Chooch got hot chocolate. Henry got iced coffee I think, who can be sure. That stringent line stander got freakin’ hot tea because of course he did. He probably took it back to his table to daintily slurp while carousing Craigslist for, I don’t know, 1950s dinghies.

(?????????????)

Then we got our drinks and left because god forbid, 2:00pm event.

It was a decent enough day, weather-wise, so we decided to take a stroll, much to Chooch’s chagrin because I guess he had important things to attend to at home? We were in the same area where Janna and I went to see that play, Mumburger, last year, so we scoped out the posters for upcoming shows for that little theater and Henry and Chooch seemed moderately interested in maybe possibly attending a future show, so we’ll see if we can shoot some culture up Henry’s butt after all.

I got to see some churches and Chooch pet copious amounts of dogs (lol, actually just 2).

Chooch was really unimpressed with both churches. OK DAMIEN.

A thing we saw.

Then we went to Fresh Thyme (Henry and Chooch love this damn market and I’m just like, OK it’s still boring) and I washed my hands there twice and lubed up with hand sanitizer, came home and started to watch Knives Out with them and then 35 minutes into I excused myself to tend to an Olympian Vomiting Event which, on a scale from Hipster After a Bloody Mary Bar Brunch to Regan’s Pea Soup, I would rate myself a solid Carnival Ride Puking Scene From “Problem Child.”

Image result for problem child puke scene gif

Really looking forward to a better Sunday today!

Mar 062020
 
  1. You Dropped Something

We had to go to Chooch’s new school for an information session on Tuesday where we learned that basically his high school is a College Lite and I had mild panic attacks listening to the student ambassadors talk about course loads and declaring your focus, and this is also how I found out secondhand that Chooch scored a 99% on the PSATs, which I learnt when I overheard him telling his friend’s mom, so that was great.

During the information session, while we were looking at slides and listening to the very young and energetic principal talk, a little girl two rows in front of me was pulling on a beaded bracelet and it snapped, sending fake gemstones scattering along the floor. Her older sister, presumably another future student of this school, helped her picked them up, but she missed two.

There was a boy in the seat behind her, and he tapped her on the back. I thought he was going to point out the forgotten jewels, but instead he was just handing her a paper that floated off her chair while she was assisting her little sister in gem retrieval. I wanted to lean forward and whisper, “YOU FORGOT SOME” but there was never a good moment. So I sat there and stared at them, feeling more and more anxious about it as the presentation went on.

Finally, it was over and everyone started to stand up to leave. The mom of the girls was sitting there, still, so I tapped her on the back. As she turned around, I said, “You dropped something,” and at that exact moment, the iced-whatever from Starbucks that was balancing on her lap toppled over, ice cubes clattering all over.

“Well, now I dropped another thing!” she said with a laugh BUT I DON’T THINK IT WAS A HUMOROUS LAUGH.

“Good job,” Henry muttered and I was like, “I DIDN’T MEAN FOR THAT TO HAPPEN!” I was just so concerned about those stupid gems and I didn’t want them to leave and realize they didn’t get them all. It could have been some meaningful bracelet!

“I doubt they would have given that kid anything of value,” Henry said and THAT IS NOT WHAT I MEAN, MEANING AND VALUE ARE NOT THE SAME.

Ugh.

2. Flippin’ Fun

If you’re here for the latest in the saga of Hot Naybor Chris and Slut Life, then, well, stay here. It’s getting RILL PETTY, you guys. Like, almost even too petty for the likes of me, and we all know I’m stuffed to the gills with that there ‘pett.’ HNC called Henry the other day and luckily I was home so I was able to hear the tale about how Slut Life left his car running in the driveway, so HNC went over and knocked on his door.

No answer.

HNC went in his house and got a beer, then sat on his porch to wait for Slut Life to emerge, but now Slut Life had shut the door!! (Sorry, I had to seek out Henry to fill in gaps of the story but Henry just admitted that he wasn’t really listening to the phone conversations; wow, much neighborly.) So HNC went over and kicked the door this time and now Slut Life answered.

HNC: STOP PARKING IN MY PARKING SPOT!

Slut Life: I WENT TO THE CHURCH* AND THEY SAID I COULD PARK WHEREVER I WANT!

But when HNC did Slut Life’s voice, he made it all high-pitched and whiny and I almost peed my pants.

*(There is a church across the street that allows us to park in their lot.)

Henry is so over this drama but I can’t get enough. And then I noticed two things the other day:

  • Slut Life put up a “privacy curtain” on the side of his porch, presumably to block out HNC’s side of the house, but it’s basically just a window blind and it got all torn up and twisted in today’s wind storm.
  • HNC’s wife has one of those yard banner stakes in the ground next to their sidewalk and she had a banner hanging for every fucking holiday. Well, now Slut Life has one on his side of the yard and it says FLIPPIN’ FUN. WHY IS THIS SO FUNNY TO ME.

3. NEW NCT127 VIDEO!!

I missed these boys!!

4. Exciting Journal Page Showing

I thought it would be fun to grab an old journal, open to a random page, and take a picture to share a page of my past with you provided that it’s not one of the pages where I drew a map to the buried body, etc. So for today, you get this one, which is ironic because I was just watching Fitch videos last weekend, I guess because I had on an Armor For Sleep playlist on YouTube since I was so excited about buying tickets for their anniversary tour, and Fitch is just a natural progression from there.

Anyway, here’s a page from 2003:

Also, I have vague memories of that gas mask thing, which present themselves every now and then in conversation but it started to become one of those things where I was like, “Did I dream that? Did I really do it?”

I wonder what I bought with the $50. Probably more CDs to join Finch.

5. Lunch Break Tackle

Wednesday afternoon, (good lord I couldn’t remember how to spell ‘after’ and kept trying to get away with ‘aftner’) I was doing my thang, on the phone with Hank-a-lank, walking down the street alongside of the Benedum Center. I was just about to cross by the entrance to the alleyway where the buses and trucks park to unload for the shows at the Benedum. We call it “Cellphone Disco” alley because there’s this weird red LED thing with a sign above it that says Cell Phone Disco. It’s like, art. You know how that is. Just look, don’t ask.

Anyway, I’m just about to step off the curb to cross in front of the alley when I get body-slammed out of the blue by the backside of some youngish guy who had come tearing out of the alley. He had hit the ground right before me and did a weird spin in the air, which is how he ended up hitting me with his back.

At this point, my gut instinct, I’m sorry, was to scream my fucking face off. It was my best haunted house scream. The quintessential “where’s my Scream Queen crown” shriek. The IS SHE SEEING TAEMIN FOR THE FIRST TIME OR BEING STUCK WITH A CATTLE PROD??? wail.

Time stood still.

My perpetrator was now spinning around to face me. He clasped both hands on my upper arms, maybe to comfort me, but probably just to regain his balance. “Sorry,” he panted, face all red from the, the what? The chase? Was he being chased? Because after this strange 1/2 second of intense eye contact, he spun around and took off down the sidewalk, in the direction where I had just come.

“What the fuck was that?” Henry asked slowly. And now I was laughing. Like, cracking up. Adrenaline, I guess? The relief that it could have been something fatal and it wasn’t, it was just some harmless guy (or was he?! I MEAN WHY WAS HE WAS RUNNING HE DIDN’T LOOK LIKE A JOGGER) he essentially provided me with the most human contact I’ve received outside of the house in…weeks? Months? When was the last time someone touched me!? I DO NOT EVEN KNOW.

Meanwhile, not one single motherfucker on that street stopped to see if I was OK. Seriously. Not even a curious rubberneck, a lookie-loo. My scream was traveling down that block, too. STRONG ECHO.

But man, I sure did send the pigeons flying.

Anyway, I put a moratorium on the walk for that day after nearly getting tackled to the dirty street by some stranger, so I circled back around and headed back to work. And then, a block away, I SAW HIM AGAIN. He too had circled back around, but the opposite way, so now we were walking (yes, now he was walking, and looking extremely winded) toward each other. I tried to get a stealth-shot, but it came out blurry since I was moving.

My would-be assailant (far-left), cats & dogs:

 

[ETA: An hour after I posted this, Henry went to the store (of course). He just came home and reported that Slut Life took down his wind-mangled privacy curtain and threw it into a garbage can on his porch. Things move fast around here! WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT, ONLY TIME WILL TELL.]

Feb 252020
 

I don’t have too much to say about this past weekend. It was a….weekend. Not terribly exciting, but definitely not terribly…terrible either. Henry pissed me off Saturday morning on our walk to the post office though because I started to recount all of the things I have been asking him to do around the house and how he has done none of these things and then I got mad because DO NOT TURN ME INTO A NAG, MOTHERFUCKER. And then there were these two old ladies walking in front of us and I couldn’t get around them so I was stuck walking in between them and Henry and it was really awkward and I was trying to contain my psycho-level anger.

Once I finally managed to blow past those old ladies, I had just stepped onto Brookline Boulevard right before some older man who stopped to pick up a dollar on the sidewalk outside of the Teen Center and in my head I was screaming THAT COULD HAVE BEEN MY DOLLAR IF THOSE FUCKING LADIES HADN’T HELD ME BACK, FUCCCCKKKKK.

Henry is lucky that the library is just on the next block from the post office, so I went there while he was in the post office and perusing the stacks really brought down my heart rate. They didn’t have any of the books I had requested yet but I ended up grabbing one that my favorite BookTuber talks about a lot even though it’s a YA Fantasy/Supernatural, leave me alone, OK.

When I left the library, Henry was coming out of the bakery and handed me a cookie. Usually, he gets two peanut butter and two chocolate cookies. “I only had a dollar on me, so I could only get two cookies,” he said, after I was like WHERE IS MY SECOND COOKIE.

UGH IF I HAD BEAT THAT MAN TO THE ERRANT SIDEWALK-DOLLAR, WE COULD HAVE HAD FOUR COOKIES!!!!

God, that sounded like we live like peasants.

Then I ate lunch while watching YouTube videos about books. “She organizes her book shelf by color? I hate her,” Henry spat all judgmentally but to his credit, she really was pretty annoying. Alphabetization or GTFO, am I right?

Later, Henry dropped me off at Panera for my weekly meet-up with Jiyong, and then he went to the Asian market to get ingredients for banchan. My Korean lesson was fine, but Panera was extremely crowded for some reason and only one cashier was working so we had to stand in line forever, and then I had to stand and wait in another line for my chai latte, and some Spicolli-type kid was like, “I like your shirt.”

“Thanks!” I said too-eagerly because a younger guy was paying attention to me, hooray.

“Yeah,” he said in a surfer-y tone.

My “shirt” was a pink sweater with sheep on it, one of which is black, so I was able to use it as an example of an English idiom later in the afternoon because yes, I actually teach Jiyong English crap sometimes too!

But before that could happen, I had to continue waiting for my chai. Why they couldn’t give me a buzzer thing for that, I have no idea, but I ended up standing there for at least 8 minutes, most of which were devoted to feigning interest in this strange old lady’s rant about how Door Dash ruins everything, and how she owns a pizza shop in Plum and blatantly refused to sign up for Door Dash but then she started getting Door Dash orders and was like WTF and she called them and said, “REMOVE MY PIZZA SHOP FROM THIS SERVICE I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS” and they told her that someone clearly did and she was like, “WTF” and then she started getting complaints because Door Dash was delivering way farther than her normal jurisdiction so customers were getting cold pizza, or the cheese was sliding because these Door Dash drivers weren’t her actual drivers and now she’s getting bad reviews and it IS DOOR DASH’S FAULT.

“Wow, I never thought about that,” I mumbled, literally not giving a single shit about this and then my chai latte was finally put on the counter so I just walked right out of the conversation while she was still talking, I am not very people-y but somehow, strangers always want to talk me up and I just don’t know what else to do since my resting bitch face and standoffish vibes are clearly not strong enough, so I guess my next step is to stand in a corner flicking a switchblade.

By the time I found Jiyong in the bowels of the Panera dining area, my face was flushed and I was sweating. Then I pulled out my textbooks and a lipstick fell out with them and rolled across the floor so I had to chase it, and then when I picked up my pencil, my grip was too lax and I flung it over my shoulder, so that was how my lesson started, aren’t you sad you’re not teaching me things too?

There was this one word in our lesson that I was tying my tongues in knots trying to pronounce, and of course it means “I forgot” which is a really important word that I should know since I’m always forgetting my vocabulary, and Jiyong kept making me repeat one of the sounds over and over and FOR SURE people were spectating this and I was like “IGNORE THEM IGNORE THEM IGNORE” but then I worried that I sounded like I needed medical attention, but luckily, no one rushed over to see if I needed CPR or whatever.

Later that night though, for the hell of it, I opened up my Naver app (basically the Korean google), tapped the microphone icon, took a deep breath and spoke into it.

AND IT KNEW WHAT WORD I WAS SAYING:

I excitedly sent it to Jiyong and she was excited for me and I hope she patted herself on the back because she is really making me work for this!

Then Chef Henri made vegan Korean chicken for dinner and we feasted like wangs (that’s “king” in Korean!).

Sunday was a real laid-back, no plans, let’s buy Erin new clothes, kind of day. Sometimes you need a day like that, you know? It was super-relaxing and I snagged a mound of clothes from the clearance racks at H&M, which is the only store I ever have success when it comes to sale items. I know so many people who find the cutest things for cheap at TJ Max and Marshalls, but HOW?! I walk in, get super angry, and walk right back out. I need to know the secret. Should I self-medicate beforehand?! Is that the trick??

Well, H&M will just have to be my go-to for cheap clothes until I find the will to look up “how to shop at TJ Max” on YouTube. Because you fucking know there are videos for that shit.

Let’s see, Chooch and I fought on Sunday about mechanical pencils because I told him that I learned the word for it in Korean (phonetically, it’s “sharp” pencil but the Korean pronunciation is “sha-pu” – Jiyong told me they call it that because literally the lead is sharp and my mind was blown). Then I started complaining about how I have to use Chooch’s mechanical pencils for my Korean lessons and they are so crappy and cheap so he was like THEN DON’T USE MY PENCILS!!! And I said that’s fine, because Henry is going to buy me a good mechanical pencil, and um, this really set Chooch off for some reason, lol.

“WTF SHE gets a GOOD one now!? I asked you to get ME good ones and you said no!” Chooch cried.

“Yeah, because you always give your pencils away to your dumb friends!” Henry yelled back, defensively, so then they started fighting over that and I sat back an waited to get tagged back in.

Ah, the Murder House.

Speaking of Murder Houses, the hotel Henry booked for the first night of our trip is super creepy, on a German hillside in the middle of nowhere, basking in its Bavarian-ness. I’m super stoked about it. Surely someone has been murdered there.

 

Feb 222020
 

…I got distracted and didn’t finish writing it, so now it’s Saturday and you can have four things instead of five because what good are rules if you don’t ever break them? Fuck off, Friday Fives! We’re here for Saturday…Fours now.

    1. It Always Comes Back to Days Of Our Lives

Yo, I was watching SuperM on some YouTube video from when they were doing their US promotions and they were each asked to name a song that’s the playlist of their lives, or whatever, and I had to do a doubletake when Baekhyun chose PEABO BRYSON?!!?

How fucking random. I feel like a ton of Americans wouldn’t even know Peabo Bryson, but I know him because he sang STEVE AND KAYLA’S SONG FROM DAYS OF OUR LIVES:

Also, when it was Taemin’s turn, he picked one of his own songs, haha, I love him so much.

[ETA: Ok when I first was writing this I could have sworn that it was Hope & Bo’s song but LE DUH that was a DIFFERENT Peabo jam, “Tonight I Celebrate My Love” god I’m so dumb.]

2. Math Mystery Night

For the last several years, Chooch has been attending the Gifted Center once a week during school. Every year, they have this thing called Math Mystery Night and he always either forgets to tell us, or tells us 10 minutes after it started, or actually gives us the flyer in advance which gives us plenty of time to make excuses for not being able to go. Ew, math on a weeknight? No thanks.

But this time, I saw the flyer in his backpack and as soon as I noticed that it was on a Thursday night, I stuck it up on the fridge and told Henry to go.

“I don’t want to,” he whined.

“Well, I can’t go because that’s my late shift. So, you can go. It’s his last year there!”

Thank god for late shift, haha.

So, that’s what Henry ended up doing Thursday night while I stayed at home and worked. He said Chooch was the only 8th grader that showed up and all the other kids were like, elementary-age. But, Chooch was happy to solve dumb math problems and collect prizes, and apparently Henry even managed to solve one.

It was probably some basic word problem like, “Susie has 8 soft pretzels. She eats 7 of them while watching an episode of NCIS while sitting in her car in the Shop n’ Save parking lot. How much salt is on the car seat now?”

Anyway, later in the evening, Henry said they were in one of the classrooms when some bitch-mom was whining to the teacher about how her son didn’t get into SciTech and Chooch piped up, “I got into SciTech.”

WOW, SON. Maybe we should enroll in SciTACT, you know what I’m saying?

(When I told Todd and Glenn this at work the next day, Todd said he didn’t know what I meant, so I explained it and he was like, “Sike, I knew what you meant, I just wanted you to have to explain the joke.” COOL.)

Henry said that he actually wasn’t mad at Chooch for his ruthless outburst because the mom in question was a bitch.

“She reminded me of [name redacted for my own protection]’s mom, only—”

“—alive?” I offered, because that mom kicked it last year.

“Wow. No. I was going to say ‘mouthier,’ but OK,” Henry said, shaking his head at me.

3. Beetle Ring Story Time

Sometimes when I’m rummaging through my jewelry boxes, I stumbled upon shit I forgot I had, like this here (wow I typed “hear” at first please send me back to 2nd grade) steampunk-esque ring that my ex-bff bought for me years ago on Etsy because I said I wanted it and back then, all I had to do was say that I wanted something and it was mine because she was like, some pimp salesperson at a window company at the time and always bragged about how much money she made so I was like, “OK cool then buy me shit” and she would because I’m the best, have you not figured that out yet?

Anyway, the very same day, the ring arrived in my mailbox and I was like HOW THO. Turns out, the maker actually lives in my neighborhood so when she saw my address, she packaged it right up and just walked it over to my house. We struck up a casual friendship through Etsy because of this and ended up meeting – she had moved her from San Francisco after spending years being the number fan of this local college-rock legend Weird Paul and then he was like “Be my girlfriend” I guess and so that’s what she did. I went to their house one time for tea and snacks, and she pretended to use a banana as a telephone and then we watched some documentary about a photographer I think, and then another time she and Weird Paul came to my house for game night and brought a bag of pretzels (“If Weird Paul brings a bag of pretzels to Erin’s game night and Henry eats the whole bag, how high is Henry’s blood pressure?”) and a vintage board game called Uncle Wiggily.

I have to laugh because Weird Paul’s Pittsburgh popularity has had a bit of resurgence lately and smugly think to myself, “He came to one of my game nights, so…”

MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE ANOTHER GAME NIGHT SOON?! The last couple were kind of…eh.

4. A Psycho Surprise

I have this little gold picture frame on my desk at work that contains a vintage photo of a dead man in a coffin  that I used years ago for one of my Halloween displays but then ended up keeping it as perma-desk decor because, hey, that’s just who I am, a person who enjoys looking at real life photos of finely-dressed corpses throughout the work day. Sometimes, when I’m struggling through a particularly sticky conversation with a lawyer, I stare at that picture and remember that someday, I won’t have to talk to people on the phone anymore because I too will be a corpse.

I SHOULD MAKE MOTIVATIONAL POSTERS, I KNOW, YOU’RE RIGHT, THAT’S A GREAT FUCKING IDEA. TIME TO OPEN UP A CAFE PRESS STORE.

Well, one day recently, I noticed that the picture was all askew, and I would accuse the cleaning people of bumping it but we all know that they never dust our fucking desks so who knows who the culprit was; in any case, I opened the back of it so I could adjust the picture, and this photo came fluttering out:

THAT’S A FUCKING PICTURE OF MY EX-BOYFRIEND PSYCHO MIKE FROM WHEN HE WAS A CHILD! I can’t remember why he gave this to me when we were dating, BUT HE DID, and then eventually I covered it with a picture of my boss from Olan Mills and I guess the dead guy has been in there for 6 years now, which evidently is long enough to make me forget that Child (but still psycho, no doubt) Mike was in there, lying in wait.

It was real jolting and I had to stifle a scream, since this happened in the middle of the work day and you’ve probably never been to my office but it is usually so quiet there that you would think you were in a morgue, so my Dead Guy probably feels quite at home. Then I started laughing because the fact that I was more scared of a picture of my psycho ex-boyfriend than one of a dead guy in a coffin is extremely telling of our sordid relationship.

***

Well, hell. That was fun. Let’s do it again sometime.

Feb 172020
 

Well, here I am, on a Monday, being all wistful and internally whiny that the weekend is over. For me, it’s not even the fact that I have to go back to work, because my job is not bad; it’s not even waking up early and getting ready for work that sours my mood. It’s literally the whole trolley-aspect of it all. Will it be crowded? Will it come late? Will it get stuck somewhere and we’ll just sit and rot because the driver won’t have the decency to get on his dumb little speaker-thing and let those of us in the second car know what the fuck is going on? Will Aggressive Throat Clearer sit near me? Will there be noxious piss-aromas that eventually will get to my head and I’ll start to be convinced that the stench is coming from myself?

It’s all of these dumb little things that make me dread Mondays. By Tuesday, I’m over it. But Mondays, man. Mondays.

Let’s dive into the weekend memory pool, shall we?

During Saturday’s meet-up with Jiyong, I learned the word for “the couple next door,” which is 옆집부부. (yeopjip bubu)

So, of course I became obsessed with it because it’s so fun to say, and I happily blew through the recitations. This is what I am going to call Blake & Haley, and Hot Naybor Chris and his wife from now on.

Meanwhile, Jiyong said, “Shall we record you?” as she reached for her phone. I freaked out and yelled NO! which made her fall into the wall laughing. I’m glad my Korean-infant speak is so amusing to her, lol.

I always feel so inspired by the time our Saturday session is finished. I feel a bit more confident now, especially with pronunciation, and she said that my vocabulary is really good. I just need to buckle down and start practicing verb conjugations, because that’s where I’m always like, “CAN I PHONE A FRIEND.”

It’s funny though, because even though we have been meeting now, regularly, for nearly a year, I still get a little stressed out on Saturday mornings knowing that I have to, OMG, do work. The pressure! But then when I either already know something in that day’s lesson, or I figure it out on my own, or she gives me a better explanation for something I’ve been struggling with and it’s like a code has been cracked in my brain…it just makes it SO REWARDING.

That night, we ordered pizza and did some vacation planning, which is my favorite thing to do except that I’m the only one in the house who feels that way: Henry is just stressed and annoyed because he has to figure out the logistics, so there’s no fun in it for him; and Chooch is never really excited until it’s the day before we’re leaving. So that’s cool. Then Henry left around 8:30pm to weep and soul-scream in the anonymity of a dark parking lot (ie. he went grocery shopping, his escape). Lately, he’s been obsessed with Fresh Thyme, and that’s OK with me because he comes home every time with fresh peanut butter, and that is basically my fuel.

Anyway, re: vacation planning, I try not to put too much time and effort into this stuff until we’re 100% sure we’re going and have booked the flights, because god only knows. I fought really hard for this trip though, and have been obsessively hoarding money in our vacation account. I think I’m going through an early midlife crisis, maybe because Henry is already so old (haha), where I am always in this frozen state of panic, feeling like I’m running of time to do things and I am frantic to get it all in. I am so tightly-wound. This is why I take so many walks!

Sunday was glorious! I had breakfast with Jeannie and Wendy at Pamela’s. When I left the house that morning, I saw an older couple walking up the sidewalk to Blake’s house so I started to say good morning and then realized one of the people was Blake’s mom, a/k/a Henry’s ex, and she had this determined “KEEP LOOKING STRAIGHT AHEAD” vibe to her walk, so I stopped at “good” and went about my merry way, lol. Nothing like a little spot of awkwardness first thing in the morn’.

It’s been awhile since we managed to successfully plan a Pamela’s meetup, so this was much-needed for all of us. I was really mad though because I arrived early as usual and decided that I would just sit in the car for a bit and read some of my book because I was so close to finishing it and it was a GOOD ONE (“Pretty Girls” by Karen Slaughter, highly recommend). At 8:58, I started walking down to Pamela’s just as Wendy and Summer were getting out of the car. I ended up walking in right behind them, and Jeannie was already there, saving a table for us. So then it was all, “OH MY GOD, ERIN WAS THE LAST ONE HERE!” because usually I’m early, Jeannie is on time, and Wendy is woefully late.

I got super up-in-arms about this and yelled, “I’ve been here since 8:45 but I was in my car reading!” and then it turned into, “IT DOESN’T COUNT IF YOU’RE NOT INSIDE, AT THE TABLE” so fine, I was “late” I guess, whatever!

Jeannie told me that she had a dream where she was at my wedding reception (“That is a dream,” I interjected) which was apparently at an amusement park I had rented out, so did I marry a Disney heir or what?! She said in lieu of seating arrangements at tables, I had assigned everyone  to certain rides, and there were challenges, which Jeannie begrudgingly did ONLY because it was for my wedding, lol. She said everyone was having a lot of fun and then I got sad because this needs to be a reality but I don’t think I’d be able to rent  out anything grander than like, Fun Fore All, as it stands.

I got an omelet and then spent most of the time low-key coveting Summer’s strawberry and chocolate chip waffle. I’m just never satisfied!

Then we went to Oakland because Henry to drop something off at an Amazon Prime thing so I was like OOOOH WE CAN GO TO THE GOOD LIBRARY and Henry was like yay.

You may have been there through the roller skating phase. The Jonny Craig obsession. The succulent infatuation. Well, please join me now for the library addiction.

(I didn’t include Korea in the above list because it’s not a phase, it’s who I am. Back off.)

There were three specific books on my “want to read” list that I knew were available at this branch, so I scooped those up because I know how to find books now, and then on the way to check them out, I found another one that I had requested in the beginning of January but was never sent to me, so I HAVE THAT ONE NOW TOO. I used to think libraries were dumb! They are not dumb! They have helped me complete 63% of my reading challenge and it’s only midway through February, LET’S GO. (I hate when the kids say that.)

On the way out, Henry pushed the door open and it got caught on the corner of a rug in the vestibule, so then the door got stuck and the girl behind Henry nearly slammed into him because it all happened so fast and he was struggling to fix the rug and the girl had to struggle to get around him, AND THEN HE JUST LEFT IT so the same thing happened to Chooch and me when we were trying to leave next and we were so angry I GUESS YOU HAD TO BE THERE but it was yet another time Papa H embarrassed us in public. Ugh.

After that, we went to Pink Box for Chinese breads and then Henry popped into a nearby Crazy Mocha to quench his newely-acquired cold brew thirst (you’re welcome) but they were out of cold brew and he had to just get a regular iced coffee so then he complained about it to us later but I’m sure he was all good-natured and pleasant to the barista: we always get his whiny side!

So, no Henry’s Coffee Corner this weekend, I know you’re really sad because who wouldn’t craze those insightful 350 word reviews he plonks out with his manly sausage-fingers?

The rest of the evening was very relaxing. Chooch watched dumb movies from  the 90s on Disney+, I read, and I can’t remember what Henry did. Boring stuff, I’m sure. Then I finished the book I was reading and cried about it and made Henry walk with me to the Brookline library even though it was 8pm and they were closed because I like to return my books immediately (see: tightly wound) and now I’m afraid to walk alone at night because I don’t want to get kidnapped and then put in a snuff film.

On that note: ciao for now, go braid a uni-brow.

Feb 102020
 

I guess technically, the weekend started when I logged off work at 8:30 on Friday night, so I can start this rip-roaring’ recap with The Tow Truck Incident.

Let me back up.

Hot Naybor Chris got a new neighbor on the other side of his duplex, I guess this was over the summer, maybe? Some single guy, looks to be around my age, and evidently used to be a bartender at this super trashy bar down the street that was known for having fights culminating into someone getting chucked through a window. That bar is closed now.

Anyway, I guess HNC and this guy hate each other and they’re all passive-aggressive about it. Most of it seems to revolve around our shared driveway, WHICH HAS BEEN A SOURCE OF DRAMA EVER SINCE I MOVED INTO THIS HOUSE IN 1999, so we never park our car down there. No thanks.

But this dude actually parks in the garage, which is amazing because the garages are so narrow, I can’t even imagine. One time, his garage door was opened and he accused HNC of doing it and HNC was like, “why would I want to go in your garage, don’t flatter yourself” and I guess the guy yells a lot in his house. I personally dislike him because he comes home around midnight every day and leaves his car running in  the driveway and his dumb bass wakes me up. YES, I AM AN ELDER. I hate bass unless it belongs to something I am personally listening to. One of my hugest pet peeves is when someone else’s bass permeates my walls. BIG NOPE ON THAT, PAL.

Sometimes he parks across the street in the church parking lot, but he has purposely been double-parking in HNC and his wife’s spots, which is kind of hilarious only because it’s not happening to me. Anyway, he came home early on Friday, noted the snow on the driveway, and parked in the parking lot instead. You know, like a real scholar. But then he came home later AND PARKED IN THE GARAGE, and then later that night, when he was unable to get his car back up the driveway (it’s a hill), he CALLED A TOWTRUCK at 10:30pm instead of just shoveling it!

“That’s someone who doesn’t know how to do anything for himself,” Henry said, watching from the window. “Like you.”

Yup. This is accurate.

Anyway, yeah. Fuck this new guy. He’s a Dumb.

On Saturday, Henry had a shitload of Valentines to make and didn’t get done in time for us to walk to the post office together, but I still needed to go to the library because I’m obsessed and there was a book available that I felt the need to check-out even though I have a TBR stack already here. Chooch came with me even though I embarrass him with my book-slut ways, and then afterward, he wanted to stop in Las Palmas – the local Mexican market which also has a super trendy taco cart out front that seasoned readers of Oh Honestly Erin might remember from the days when I had a taco cart boyfriend who mysteriously was replaced over the summer, yeah, you tell me.

Anyway, Chooch was jonesin’ for some Takis (do the kids in your area love those things? They have a cult following here in Brookline for some reason, I mean, they’re good but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get them?) and to no one in particular, I mused, “HMMM DO THEY HAVE A CREDIT CARD LIMIT HERE I BET THEY DO. WE SHOULD BUY MORE SHIT JUST IN CASE” because you know, whatever makes me feel better. I bought some crap but also these things which some people in my department actually like!

So I made a sign that says, “SOME PEOPLE LIKE THESE” and that encouraged others to try it, even though they’re mostly leery of the snacks behind my desk. Here is a summary of what people think they taste like:

  • animal crackers
  • Nilla wafers
  • lemon things
  • Twix

I started imagining eating a bowl of them with milk, like cereal, LIKE COOKIE CRISP. Maybe I’ll try that. Then I’ll tell you and you’ll be like, “BOO HOO I CANNOT FIND THESE GRAGEAS BALLS NEAR ME” and I’ll be like *wicked laugh / lightning from fingertips*

You know how that happens sometimes. The lightning just shoots right out.

Saturday night, Henry did kpop cardio with me and then I started a new book.

Wow, such a Saturday.

갑자기 일요일이야.

I felt extremely sluggish all day, like SOMEONE drugged me. Literally had a tough time holding up my eyelids so then I thought I was getting sick and Henry reminded me that I have felt on the cusp of some invisible illness for months and there is allegedly nothing wrong me OR IS THERE.

But! We had a coffee date with our pals Jessy and Tommy, whom we only see about twice a year because, you know, life; so I wasn’t about to cancel on them! We went to Generoasta in Warrendale, which Henry is supposed to review on his Coffee Corner but we’ll see how long this blog-writing streak lasts – it will probably end with last week’s review, haha. He sucks. WE DON’T WANT YOUR DUMB REVIEWS ON HERE ANYWAY, STUPID HENRY.

I have always really appreciated the fact that my friends have been so amazing to Chooch, from when he was a baby to now. He’s never shunned or put in the background because he’s a kid—all of my friends have always included him in conversations, and Tommy and Jessy are no exception. It always just feels like we’re a bunch of friends bullshitting and not two couples and that one kid that tags along…or whatever. I don’t know what I’m getting at. I have an imaginary illness, remember?

Jessy found another cafe for us to try so hopefully that happens sooner rather than later!

(Side note: I had a Cupid’s Bow or something? It was white chocolate & orange latte. It was good and not too syrupy, but I didn’t taste the orange and that hurt me deeply because I love orange flavoring and it’s not very common!)

SPEAKING OF ORANGE.

We came home and I decided I want an orange for a snack. But while I was opening the orange, a corner of the peel went under my thumbnail and cut me and I was screaming, like LE HOLLERIN’. Chooch & Henry were like “who the fuck cuts themselves on an orange peel” and well, joke’s on them because this isn’t the first time this has happened to me.

None of them even tried to help me, so that’s real cool. I’m so fucking loved.

It wasn’t as bad as the time when I was like “how hard do I have to squeeze this Milkbone in my hand before it breaks, let’s try” & then it broke & left a gash across my palm and my mom was like bitch you best pray you don’t need stitches because I’m not taking you to the ER for that.
Aside from that, I watched Booktube videos (haha, kill me), exercised but I was too lethargic to do Jillian Michaels so I opted instead of a 20-minute Jessica Smith weights workout instead and then felt like a failure because I rarely skip a workout and Chooch was like, “But you still exercised though?” and this was after I thought he ran away/was kidnapped/stepped into a wrinkle in time but then I found him outside in the dark playing alone in the snow and it was kind of sad but he was like “WHAT I AM FINE OUT HERE ALONE, DON’T CRY FOR ME” and I was like, “Yeah you’re right bye” and shut the door because it was cold.
Speaking of playing in the snow, when I was working from home on Friday, we had a mini snowstorm and I spotted Blake and Calvin outside building a super pathetic snowman and then they went in the house so I was like, “Chooch look at how hideous that snowman is. You should get a pot of hot water and dump it on the snowman, put the fucker out of its misery. But knock on Blake’s window first and do it while Calvin is watching so he’ll cry HAHAHAHAHA” and you could tell Chooch was torn between being a good uncle to Calvin or crossing over to the dark side with his MOMMY, so then he compromised and decided he would go out there and leave Calvin’s snowman intact, but build a better one next to it and I was like, “OK fine I guess that’s moderately diabolical” but then when he went out there, Blake and Calvin came back out so then they all WORKED TOGETHER to build a snow fort.
Gross.
Blech.
Teamwork.
Other than that, I started reading a new book and read Oscars update on Twitter and cheered for Parasite! What a victory for South Korea! Let the world STFU and watch, for Hanguk is the Bestguk. And now people keep wanting to talk to me about how much they loved this movie and I am so happy to listen! I had to laugh when Janna and I went to see Jo Jo Rabbit last weekend because they showed previews for Parasite and she was like, “I guess we will need to see that next” as if I hadn’t seen it months ago when it first came to a theater in my dumb city, lol.
Best fucking picture, can you even believe it. I’m crying again.
Image result for parasite oscars gif
(Fun fact: the actress in the middle, Lee Jung-eun, is in a bunch of dramas that Henry and I have loved and she is just a real treasure, you guys. A real fucking treasure. Watch Korean dramas. They are pure magic.)
(OMG this is still so surreal for me!)
Feb 082020
 

I have the day off from Korean studies, and as much as I love those weekly hangouts, I am secretly relieved that I don’t have to recite sentences over and over until my face feels like it’s splitting at the jaw. Sometimes, when it’s quiet, I hear myself saying, “여름에는,  너무 더와요. 그래서, 저는 여름을 싫어해요.” Which is a weird sentence to be thinking about in the dead of winter, with snow blanketing the ground, because it means, “In summer, it’s too hot. So, I hate summer.” When really I’m sitting over here doing witchy spells to bring summer to me but then I start thinking about climate change and I panic and then it’s like NEVERMIND, WINTER, YOU CAN STAY FOR THE ALLOTTED SEASONAL TIME, BUT NOT A SINGLE DAY MORE.

It was really nice on Monday though. Like, nearly 70 which is scary and I felt guilty for being so happy about it. But really, I wouldn’t mind the cold temps of winter so much if we could just get a fucking blue sky occasionally. I think I saw that in Pittsburgh last month, we had like 27 days of gray skies and rain. Fuck that shit.

The other day, my friend Lori was on the phone at work with a partner from Tokyo and it sounded, from my perspective, like a very joyous chat about music, and then when I heard Lori say, “Yes actually, I have heard of them, because one of the girls in our office is a super big kpop fan” so I shot my arms up and said, “That’s me” and while that was exciting in and of itself, the thing that I latched on to the hardest was that she referred dumb old 40-year-old me as “a girl” and not “some broad” or, you know, “lady.” Woo! Forever a girl!

I very rarely have pleasant phone calls with partners at work. Practice assistants are fine, I’ll talk to them like they’re one of the postal clerks I have moderate relationships with, but partners usually make my insides curl up and pour cement over whatever semblance of a personality I have left in this crap head of mine. In fact, I had one phone call last week that was so painful, I was actually shocked afterward to see on my phone log that the call was only 4.5 minutes long when I’m pretty sure it was actually an hour. So many painfully uncomfortable silences too. And he kept saying, “Ohhhhhkay” with subtle “you are a real stoop” undertones to them and I wanted to fucking flee the scene.

Speaking of personality and the postal clerks, I had to mail some orders the other day at work (Henry has been very diligent about mailing them for me lately so that I don’t have to lug bags stuffed with Valentines to work everyday, thanks Henry). There was a new, young woman clerk at the one post office, and I have never seen her before and judging by her extremely pleasant disposition, this must mean she’s a fresh one. Anyway, while I was at the counter, she said, “Oh, I love your necklace!” It was my oversized wooden sarcastic Conversation Hearts necklace, which I do have to agree is a very cool necklace, so I cheerfully thanked her as if the necklace was my own creation. Then she noticed my cactus phone case. “Oh, and I love your phone case too!” I laughed and said, “Yes, I do too!” because obviously I do, I bought it, after all. My people-skills, man.

Then, as I was taking my receipt from her, she squealed, “AND YOUR JACKET!” It was my cowprint jacket. “I can tell you have an AWESOME PERSONALITY!” and all I could do was giggle shyly and said, “I try.”

EXCEPT THAT I DON’T TRY. Literally, my personality, what’s left of it, hangs off my shoulders in soiled shreds these days. It’s all mangled and beaten and DON’T TALK TO ME.

Man, 20 years ago, though. My personality was FIRE 20 years ago.

I worked from home yesterday, and Chooch happened to have a snow day. I heard him call Henry at one point and ask when he was expected to come home. “Because she doesn’t want to make her own lunch. No, I’m not making lunch for her.” WOW. But yeah, that’s me. Non-cookin’ mom. Cook on, just don’t expect me to join.

Look. Drew’s friend saved her a seat. Drew has such nice friends. What a nice friend, you have, Drew.

I realized today that when I went to the library, that it was the first time I had left the house since Wednesday. I could never work from home every day. I would be ruined. My cats would start to hate me. What’s left of personality would petrify.

I really don’t have anything else earth-shattering to report. Our busy card-making season should be starting to wind down now since Valentine’s Day is less than a week away at this point. I’ll be happy to have a clean dining room table again and to not stress-fight with Henry over shipping labels and whatnot. I let him watch videos from one of the recent SuperM concerts the other night while we were packaging orders and he seemed very content. I always catch him smiling whenever Taemin is talking. It’s OK, Henry. You can admit it.

In other serial killer card news (actually though, the Golden Girls Valentines may have outsold the killer ones this year!), GG Allin’s brother came back and bought more cards off me, so I can now officially say that GG Allin’s brother is a return customer and that kind of makes me a little bit giddy.

Other than that, I have been severely depressed over this whole impeachment fail, the coronavirus, the wildfires, the world in general. Deciding to bury myself in books again was pretty much the best thing I could have done for myself. I’ll just be over here, blissfully unaware of the news from now on.

Cook on, mothercheffers. Cook the fuck on. I’m dun dun. So dun dun dun dun dun dun dun…

P.S. I just realized I haven’t eaten lunch yet and dumb Henry isn’t here,어떻게………………..:( Same boat as yesterday!! OMG I JUST RHYMED IN KOREAN AND ENGLISH, I’M A GENIUS.

Feb 042020
 

My weekend was pretty catastic, if we’re being super honest. The only thing separating me from a full-blown Cat Lady lifestyle is the fact that I don’t live alone and can’t knit.

Friday after work, I think Henry seriously considered leaving me, and at one point, he did run away to his ever-ready refuge, The Store. (Kuhn’s, Giant Eagle, Aldi, one of the Asian markets – the man loves his grocery store quiet time.)

[RELATED SIDE NOTE TO HENRY’S DOMESTICITY: My work friend Margie was just helping me MacGyver one of my bracelets with a paper clip because the elastic band has become too slack over the years. “Do you know how to sew?” she asked, and then quickly recovered by saying, “What I mean is, does Henry know how to sew?” Good save, Margie!]

I don’t know what started it but I invented this entire hyper-scenario, not in my head, but out loud for Henry to also enjoy, where my cats, Drew and Penelope, are entering the convent to be nuns. First, Henry scowled at me from his post at Card-Making Central, and then eventually just entirely left the house in exasperation after I yelled at Drew for calling one of her toy mice a “motherfucker” because there’s no swearing in the convent, God will strike you down, Drew. Yes, Drew, he’s the one who watches you from the cloud. No, Drew, that’s Ho-Ho*. I’m talking about GOD.

*(That’s what my cats call Santa.)

Then I changed their names to Sister Agnes Drew and Sister Mary Peen and later that night, while Henry was trying to sleep, I gently laid a white dishtowel on Penelope’s head so it looked like she was wearing whatever nun’s wear and then I was shaking the bed from all the laughing and Henry whispered, “Plz get help.”

I don’t know if he really whispered that. But probably. I worked from home on Thursday and Friday so that gave me A LOT of special time with the cats and excuse me if they’re my best friends and the only ones I CAN REALLY TALK TO, HENRY.

SATURDAY CAME.

We walked to the post office with our bundle of Valentines and  then I went to the library to pick up the two books that were waiting for me because playing Library is my new favorite game ever. Henry was like, “What are books” and then we went to the bakery to get cookies to eat on the walk home because that’s how exciting we are. 

Later, I met Jiyong at Panera for Korean Time. I don’t mind Panera generally but the last several times, it’s been a real Yinzer circus which, I know may seem shocking, but is not conducive to the learning process. At least for me, anyway. It was the equivalent of trying to catch babies while reciting back sentences in Korean by memory. OK bad analogy because we all know I would never go out of my way to catch a baby.

As mentioned above, Jiyong does this new thing where she takes my book from me and makes me recite, from memory, the little story I just translated for that session. Now, this would be difficult for me to do in my mother tongue (not sure what that is, actually, and sometimes it does not seem to be english!) because my memory is not what it used to be, and now she wants me to do this in a language that I barely know. Cool, let’s do it. I love suffering in a Panera. 

Halfway through our study session, a Russian boxer arrived and took a seat at the table behind Jiyong. I know what you’re thinking, ‘wow, stereotype much, OHE?’. But look:

  • he had what sounded like a russian accent;
  • his face appeared squashed, like it’s been punched a lot over the years;
  • he was wearing a gray sweatshirt over a gray hoodie and gray sweatpants;
  • he was loud.

Russian boxer. Case closed. 

How was he loud, you ask? Because he saw someone he knew over yonder hills of sweeteners and coffee stirrers and he called out to this person in what sounded like a drunken bark, death bed cough, MAGA bray, and then that person came over to engage in a bro-hug next to our table and they spoke to each other in staccato grunts and Jiyong was coaxing me to start the next sentence and I’m like, “How is this not distracting you?!” and then Vladimir Knockoutkov sat back down behind Jiyong and proceeded to eat his Panera meal with the smackiest lips this side of the Kremlin. 

I could hear every single bite, every millisecond of mastication, every tongue-swipe of the lips. Oh Sister Mary Peen, I can fucking hear it right now in my head as I relive this tragic weekend moment. I am haunted. 

He, along with the family of 4 behind him who consistently dropped silverware on the floor and paced to and fro from the garbage can behind me back to their table, eventually left, but then there was this group of men having a meeting in the special, closed-door conference room thing next to us which was FINE, dandy even, until they began to emerge in pairs and sitting at a table next to us at which point interviews were conducted. 

I felt like I was on Silent Library. It was the worst and I kept whining to Jiyong about how I would be doing so much better if all these stoops weren’t distracting me and she gave me a polite, “Yeah sure” nod.

Ugggghhh.

Came home. Ate dinner. Went to Kohl’s. Wow, life is exciting in the winter. 

Oh! But Saturday night was super…crunk? Lit? I dunno what word we’re using these days. I would say “daebak” if I actually had the confidence to speak the Korean I know, haha. Ugh. Anyway, I wanted to read one of the new books I scored from the library so I put on something for background noise that wouldn’t distract me. I chose this YouTube channel called Cream Heroes, which is so cute – it’s this lady in Korea who has 7 cats and is always, you know, doing cat things with them. After a while, I happened to glance over to my left and I noticed that Sister Agnes Drew was sitting on the wheelchair, intently watching these videos. Now, I have played these a lot in the past but she, as to my knowledge, has never given a single shit about it. But on this evening, she was enrapt. 

HERE LOOK:

Bad quality, but I had to zoom in on her because that oaf otherwise known as Henry was sitting between us and totally in the way. I mean, she was into it for a good long while, I couldn’t believe it! I’ve put on cat-specific videos (fish, birds, etc) for both of them before and they haven’t cared. Maybe it’s the lady’s voice she likes too? She will probably learn Korean faster than me at this point. Sigh.

THEN IT WAS SUNDAY.

I let Henry choose which cafe to go to for Sunday Coffee, or whatever it is I’ve been calling it. Henry really seems to have taken a liking to cold brew so maybe cafe-hangs will actually be a consistent part of our routine!? Anyway, I had him review Steel Valley Roasters and you can read that here but true to form, it doesn’t say much.

We went to Many More Asian Market afterward and I was happy there.

I love that place.

I started a new book on Sunday – this one was about a possession which got me reminiscing about the time in high school when I desperately wanted to become possessed and I was actually very close to straight up devil worship for a brief period (oh, Erin and her phases) and I casually asked Henry if he ever wanted to be possessed too and the way he said NO, it was like it’s weird for someone to want to be possessed?!

 Meanwhile, Sister Mary Peen suddenly became interested in Cream Heroes too!

She eventually jumped up there and started swatting at the screen, so I guess she hates them. 

In the afternoon, Janna came over and we walked down the street to the Hollywood Theater, where we finally saw Jojo Rabbit! I feel bad because Janna texted me way back in August or September and was like WILL YOU GO SEE THIS WITH ME WHEN IT COMES OUT and I was like YES and then it came out in October and we never went because you really have to twist my arm  to get me to go to the theater, I’m such a weirdo about it. But I sincerely did want to see this! Then last week, Henry off-handedly said, “Jojo Rabbit is at the Hollywood now” because he knows that I will mostly only see a movie if it’s playing there because:

  • it’s convenient (a 5-minute walk from my house!)
  • it’s an old-school, historic one-screen theater with a balcony
    • I always sit in the balcony

So I asked Janna if she wanted to go and of course she said yes and it turns out Henry was telling me it was playing because he wanted to go see it with me but then I invited someone else and instead of just going with us anyway, he stayed home and pouted.

It’s fine. He had a lot of Valentines to make.

Anyway, I knew only the bare minimum about this movie, but Janna and I both loved What We Do In the Shadows and it’s the same guy etc etc Hitler, blah blah blah. So I expected it to be funny, and I expected to be slightly uncomfortable while laughing at the funny parts, but I didn’t realize it was going to slug me across the face like an emotional sledgehammer, holy fucking shit, I felt many feelings during this movie and I ugly-cried numerous times to the point where my body was shaking and I had to sit in the dark while the credits ran to make sure I was completely done crying before we could leave. 

Fantastic movie and for as much as I fucking LOVED Parasite, I think that maybe, possibly Jojo Rabbit was the better film THERE I SAID IT I’M SORRY KOREA I STILL LOVE YOU MOST.

Chooch was supposed to go see it with us and it’s extremely relevant to his interests (he is very into learning about Hitler not because he’s a neo-Nazi thank you but because he’s a budding history buff and was excited because he recently got to give a presentation at school about Hitler where he was able to say ‘syphilis’ and ‘prostitute’) but then he ditched us to go over some kid’s house TO PLAY FOOTBALL AND WATCH THE SUPERBOWL WHO IS THIS KID? I am so disappointed in him. I told Todd the next day at work that Chooch likes football now and Todd was like, “YESSSS! IT HAPPENED! THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER!” 

Negative!

After the movie, I came home to the greeting card sweatshop and provided marginal assistance while paying more attention to the cats than a well-functioned human being probably should, but that’s OK BECAUSE THEY ARE MY BEST FRIENDS. 

And that’s what happened over the weekend. 

Jan 272020
 

I was asking for it Wednesday night when, while getting into bed, I said I wanted to listen to a goth Spotify playlist because I “hadn’t had a nightmare in a while.”

HOO BOY did that playlist ever deliver.

I don’t make a habit of dream journaling or whatever because who cares, but this one was so relevant, and also one of the most rattling nightmares I’ve had in years and it played on so many of my current fears, stressors, and insecurities.

Allllllll work-related.

And both involved WENDY, so I of course was spitting mad at her for approximately a day and a half. I had four days to cool down before finally telling her about the dreams today, so she should consider herself lucky that I spared the rod!

(I started doing Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution again last week and she says something at one point in Workout 2 about never sparing the rod so I guess that’s been on my mind OK?!)

(What rod, though?!)

OK, Nightmare #1 is as follows:

I was in a meeting with one of the teams I belong to here, except that it looked like we were in a VFW hall instead of a conference room. There were long, folding tables set up in vertical rows so no one was facing the front of the room. At one point, Wendy, who is in charge of this particular team, called me out. Not like in a bad way, like she was pointing out a mistake I did or something, but rather, she was asking me to tell the room about something I had told her in a private sit-down we recently had, I guess it was an idea or suggestion. Except that I couldn’t remember, so I said, “Sorry, I’m drawing a blank” but she kept pushing me and at this point, there were dozens of eyes boring into my skin, which is now flaming hot from the boiling blood underneath, and I now notice that all of the managers and directors are in this meeting too, and they’re all looking at me with these disappointed frowns, some even look disgusted, and I am, at this point, like a scared mouse ready to gnaw off my own foot in order to escape this trap. And Wendy is STILL saying things like, “Come on, you remember…” while I’m beginning to ugly cry. It just kept dragging on and on, me stuttering and sounding like a fucking derelict, someone snapping in the background about how people need to come to meetings prepared, and then afterward, when Wendy tells me what the idea was (which she knew the whole time but just wanted me to say it!), someone overhears and sneers, “That’s a fucking stupid idea.”

I woke up because it felt like there was a woman leaning over top of my face, whispering.

And when I say I woke up, I mean that I shot upright in bed, hands clutching the comforter, freaking the FUCK out. My cat Penelope, who always sleeps in our bed, was like, “the fuck?!”

Then I couldn’t go back to sleep because I was so stressed out so I looked at my phone and of course the first thing I saw was the only bad feedback I have ever received on Etsy in the 13 years I’ve been using it, all because Henry made a careless printing mistake, and it was something that could have been easily resolved if the customer had just sent me a message instead of putting me on blast, so that was what I like to call to 4am Fun Times.

And then it was time for Nightmare #2.

I’m still at work. This time, I’m back in our department, and I need to talk to my co-worker Maggie, but when I get to her office, I see that Amber is in there. Rather than retreating and coming back later, I just…walk right in. No “knock knock!” or nothin’, I just barrel right the hell in there like I own the place and then I’m ACUTELY aware of the annoyance on Amber and Maggie’s faces but now it’s too late – I’m there, so I pretend to know what they’re talking about in order to contribute, and Amber has now morphed into Sandy who is about to show Maggie some new program or something and I inch closer to the monitor and say, “Oh, I should see this too because it’s relevant to my job” and they don’t even try to hide their eye rolls and sighs, and then Sandy is Amber again and has to leave so now it’s just Maggie and me and Maggie is PISSED because she can hear music and needs to know where it’s coming from, so I turn and realize that it’s my phone, cactus case and all, sitting on her credenza playing 80s music outright because in real life, back in the safety of my actual bedroom, my Spotify playlist has gone from goth to 80s pop and Debbie Gibson, fucking DEBORAH GIBSON, has filtered into my gooey dream-brain and Dream Erin is now panicking because she apparently walked all the way through the department to Maggie’s office, with Spotify blasting out of her phone which is something Awake Erin would never do because Awake Erin is always  trying to be quiet and go unnoticed while at work.

Wendy’s back. She comes into Maggie’s office and fetches me and we’re walking together now to the elevator bank. We’re talking about non-work stuff now so I’m distracted and I don’t realize until it’s too late that she’s brought me with her all the way to the top floor, which is where Dream Law Firm holds of its Really Important Meetings. We had to walk through some winding hallways before finally getting to the main part of the room, which was dimly lit and filled with round tables covered with white tablecloths to really ghost up the haunted ballroom aesthetic. Wendy wades farther into the cluster of tables, but I stop at the perimeter because now self-awareness is beginning to ooze down my body in warm, clotted pigs blood clumps a la THE PROM SCENE OF CARRIE.

In this meeting are all of the directors, managers, supervisors. Lauren is there also for some reason, probably because she is smart. There is a woman there who is not part of our department but as soon as I hear her Australian accent, I recognize her as the woman who led a recent meeting about a new program that we will soon be using in our department. She is a real person, my sleep state didn’t construct her out of obligatory mommy issues or a subliminal fear of the Great Barrier Reef or whatever.

Although the GBR does seem like something Conscious Erin would be afraid of.

Anyway, I’m standing there, all scared-rabbit, and I’m saying, softly at first, “I’m not supposed to be here” and one by one, everyone turns to ogle me as my voice gets more racked with hysterics, and I’m looking both ways, willing my legs to move so I can run away, but I’m glued there, and now this lady, the Australian one for whom everyone is on their best behavior and dressed all nice while I’m wearing jeans, natch, she’s asking me who I am.

Not even in a snotty tone or anything, but she’s like legitimately curious who this Dumbo is who clearly has nothing to contribute to the day’s agenda.

And without hesitating, I blurt out, “Nobody. I’m nobody.”

A literal No One.

I can move now, and of course no one gets up to stop me or comfort me, let the loser go, thank god she’s not trying to sit with us, but of course I can’t find the way out. Every corridor is a DEAD ASS DEAD END. There are champagne-colored curtains in front of all the hallways, like we’re at the world’s most boring wedding reception and I’m getting tangled up in them and I AM SCREAMING but no one is listening anymore because the Australian is saying very captivating things. Evidently.

But then I find a row of shiny maroon curtains and when I step behind them, there’s a row of windows, I’m at the edge of the building now, and there are small tables to sit. So I figure I’ll just stay there and hide and now I’m eating a salad which I guess I was carrying the whole time. I’m starting to calm down a little because I’m hidden, no one can see me, I’ll just stay here forever if I have to, no one will miss me, when all of a sudden I hear people screaming and I can hear heavy footsteps thundering toward me. People from the meeting start to burst through the curtains, and someone is screaming, “LOOK HOW AWFUL!!” as they slam into me, pushing me against the window so that they can get closer. And when I realize it’s not me who is horrifying them, I turn to look out the window and see that the entire North Shore is on fire. There are flames and thick black smoke that covers half of the bridges so you can’t even really see past the river to the other side.

We are all screaming now, because the fire seems so close even though it’s on the other side of the river, and for some reason, the most vivid part of my dream is watching as a yellow dumptruck emerges from the smoke on the bridge closest to our building and just straight up careens across it, totally out of control, taking out every car that gets in its way, and we are traumatized when it ends in this apocalyptic, Jerry Bruckheimer-be-damned explosion.

I don’t know what that fucker represents, my out of control emotions maybe, but while we’re all gaping at that, I feel a jolt in my stomach, like I’m dropping on a roller coaster, and that’s when I lock eyes with Regina, who wasn’t in the meeting but is up in this weird ballroom now, and I can hear Margie saying something behind me, right as I realize I’m falling backward.

Because our building is tipping. The whole motherfucking building is going, we’re about to crash harder and more dramatically than that dumptruck fucker, give the Golden Globe to whoever write OUR demolition scene. and right when I realize I’m living my last seconds on earth, I wake up in real life in the throes of one of those silent, strangulated screams that only the cast of your nightmare can hear and now my cat Penelope is REALLY FUCKING WORRIED ABOUT ME which I know by the way she’s pushing my laptop over to me with the google search “How to update your resume” already pawed-in.

This was early Thursday morning and I have not been able to stop thinking about it, the palpable fear, the feeling in my gut as the law firm was literally pulling us all down to our certain deaths. I am shuddering all over again right now.

Usually my dreams are Dario Argento Does HR Pufnstuf and the setting is either my mom’s house, my pappap’s house, an abandoned amusement park, or some sick ass disgusting body of water. But this one, it is so textbook. So armchair. Hello INFERIORITY COMPLEX. Hello FEELINGS OF BEING LEFT OUT. Hello CAREER PANIC. Hello INADEQUACIES. 안영 I DONT BELONG.

I’m not going to quit my job or anything but I think this is a huge neon sign telling me that I need to chill the fuck out and reset myself. I really do feel like nobody sometimes, sorry to be emo, and like no one is hearing me.  Maybe I should start walking around with Spotify blasting outright on my phone.

Anyway, that’s all. I have to go look up “yellow dumptrucks in dreams” now. Maybe it means I have some latent desire to fuck a construction guy on a bridge and then one of us is going to get a fiery STD.

Goodbye.

Jan 182020
 

This was intended to be a Friday Five but then I went all in after work yesterday on putting the finishing touches on my cult & spiritual leaders Valentine minis which have been plaguing my brain since I first decided last year that I wanted to make them. Hopefully people like them, so look forward to that – should be posted on Etsy later today!

So anyway, here are five things that I have been putting off memorializing on this piece because I’ve had bloglock over the last few months – I think I still enjoy writing in here but I can’t be sure, and then there’s the lack of motivation because all of my energy is funneled elsewhere, so maybe the blog-era of my life is finally winding down? Here is where I perform a big, lazy shrug for no one to see.

  1. My Neglected Son–Wait, I Have a Son?

Several months ago, Chooch and I were on one of our nightly walks — you know, the ones where he oscillates between talking about school drama and new math (he had a math test the other day and practically swan-leapt out of the house, fucking weirdo) — when he so very casually mentioned that he had been interviewed by “some broad” at the teen center.

“For what? What about? Who was she? Where is this being published?” I asked in the spit-fire nature of an interrogating mom.

He shrugged. All I could glean from him was that it was something about the head of the teen center, Caitlin. And they wanted quotes from him because he’s “basically the face of the teen center.” Um, his words.

Well, on the first of January, I received an e-newsletter from the teen center – apparently he signed me up for this so now I can have evidence that I’m marginally involved in his teen center activities.

In the newsletter was this graphic:

CHECK OUT THAT QUOTE FROM RILEY, 13-YEAR-OLD 8TH GRADER…Yes, that is my son, putting his parents on blast for allegedly neglecting him and never being home. WOW JUST WOW OK SON. We get home at 6pm everyday, like most working parents, yet he stays at the teen center until 9pm anyway because he’s obsessed with being there! He even eats dinner there even though Henry makes dinner at home!? I called him out on this and he shrugged. “They took it out context,” he explained. “I also said that you guys aren’t home after school because you’re busy working hard.” YEAH, THAT SURELY SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING HE WOULD SAY.

So, that’s cool. One Saturday, Henry and I walked past the teen center while Chooch was in there and I said, “Should we go in there and officially announce ourselves as his parents so they know we exist?”

Henry considered this, then said, “Nah” so we continued eating our cookies from the bakery while walking home, and YES WE GOT COOKIES FOR CHOOCH TOO even though he is the one who abandons US but that’s fine. I’m not bitter.

Fucking teen center kidnapped my son.

2. Guy on Road

I was walking to the ATM the other night when I saw some commotion at this one intersection a block down from my house. Some guy was standing in the road directing traffic, and as I got closer, I noticed that another man was lying prostrate on the road with a small crowd of people around him, wailing, “I am in so much pain” and I’m not sure exactly what happened but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that he was trying to cross (AT THE CROSSWALK) and some OMG-IN-A-HURRY car came barreling up the hill and hit him. I HATE crossing the street here and I have to do it every morning on the walk to work (actually, I could walk on the other side of the street but then I would have to cross extra times and I am bad at crossing streets except that I just admitted to Henry that I have become better at jaywalking since working downtown because Pittsburgh is like the unofficial capital of jaywalking, not sure if we should be proud of that). Anyway, I can’t tell you how many people barely – BARELY – stop at the stop signs at this 3-way intersection and I have nearly been clipped numerous times after already establishing my right-of-way by making it to the middle of the walk. I usually have to do this really clumsy deer-run to the other side every morning because nothing makes me more nervous on my walks to the trolley than morning commuters because you know, they’re in a big hurry to turn the bend and sit in traffic at a red light.

Actually, there is something that makes me more nervous and that is having a brick fall on my head which recently happened – not the “falling on my head” part but bricks did in fact fall from the top of a building that I habitually pass by but luckily it happened late at night when no one was standing there. It was roped off by police tape for a few days and when I found out why, I did a cartoon *GULP*.

Anyway, back to the man. On my way back from the ATM, the whole rescue brigade was there by then and the street was lit up by emergency lights which is nothing new for Pioneer Avenue. I still don’t know exactly what happened, but I sure hope that guy didn’t die.

Unless he was a bad man. Then die, motherfucker. Get what you deserve.

Random Drew.

3. Geomi-Nim

I know I mentioned at one point that I had obtained a pet kitchen spider and named him “Geomi-Nim” which means “Mister Spider” in Korean but I don’t have a Korean keyboard on my work computer so I can’t type it properly. Well, he had a good long run (at least two months, I think?!) in four different locations in the kitchen, but I guess he ultimately either tired of me screaming Korean vocab at him and packed his shit and left, or he died. Because he’s been gone for a month now and hasn’t resurfaced, which makes me sad but Henry is just happy that he can use his container of sesame seeds again without being a literal homewrecker.

Anyway, here’s a picture I took Geomi-Nim in his third property. I miss him and his beautiful webs.

Also, I have no idea what gender he was because I refused to Google; look, having one mild-looking spider in my house is one thing, but I do not want my computer screen filled with threatening photos of spider species. Henry said that he thought spiders were genderless but I was like, “OK, explain then Charlotte, then” and he was like, “………that was a cartoon.”

4. ANGRY MEETING

Earlier in the week, we had a meeting to go over a new thing that is happening. During this, someone said, “But what about *boring work thing*?” and the person in charge of the meeting was like, “What are you talking about” and then I said, “Here is my idea for a work-around to *boring work thing*” and person in charge was like, “No that is dumb that won’t work” IN SO MANY WORDS so I was like, “OK” and went back to shutting down because this is my work life lately. Shrinking into the corners and hoping no one will look at me, lol.

About 10 minutes later, GLENN said, “Can’t we do *INSERT EXACTLY WHAT I HAD PROPOSED*” and person in charge was all, “Huh! Let’s test that out!” and I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open, thinking IS NO ONE REALLY GOING TO SAY ANYTHING so I did what I do best which is drop down to elementary school age, flap my arms in the arm, and whine, “THAT IS EXACTLY THE SAME THING I SAID THOUGH?!!?” and person in charge was like, “No, it wasn’t?” and I was searching the room with desperate eyes, willing someone to stand up for all that is right and take my side WHICH IS ALWAYS THE GOOD SIDE but no one did so instead of dropping it, I pressed on and said, “No, that’s the same thing I suggested and you said it wouldn’t work” and Lauren was like, “Maybe you said it a different way, I think” AND NO I DID NOT. Meanwhile, Glenn was over there wading in Smug Lagoon with a handful of old people butterscotch candies, looking so pleased with himself and I was like, “I WILL NEVER LET THIS GO” and true to my word, I spent the rest of the day fueled by that fire and made sure to tell everyone who would listen.

“I’M NOT SAYING I’M GOING TO LIGHT A FIRE OR ANYTHING, LORI, BUT MAYBE DON’T GO OVER NEAR GLENN’S DESK LATER,” I fumed, and Lori was all, “OMG you’re mad.” But Nate and Cathy consoled me afterward and both confirmed that I did, in fact, suggest the same thing, and Cathy, who always wants to give people the benefit of the doubt, said that maybe person in charge just understand fully at that time what the issue at hand truly was (she definitely didn’t, so I will agree with Cathy there). I usually don’t show my temper at work but this really set me off, primarily because it brought back some really bad, negative feelings from a former position I once held there and I didn’t like it. Bad memories. Stay in the past.

I mean, in what world does GLENN have a good idea, anyway!??!

I’m OK now though. I was invited to be a part of a brainstorming session for something else and the other people involved in this will not be so dismissive of my suggestions, so I am looking forward to that.

5. The Ring

Sometime back in 2003, Henry and I went to Salem, MA for a little vacation. This was still early into our relationship – we had been together for about 2 years at this point, I guess, and sometimes I look back on those times and think, “How did we make it to 2020?” Oh, I jest! Only a little. Anyway, while there, I bought this ring at one of the little witchy shops and I loved it, but then almost immediately after purchasing it, I accidentally wore it into the shower once and the soap/shampoo left the once-clear stone completely cloudy, so that you could no longer see the witchy design it was meant to magnify.

I complained about it a ton back then, off and on for at least 5 years I would bring it up, because I would still wear it sometimes in spite of the soap scum, which was in the underneath of the cabochon so I couldn’t reach it. I tried using a q-tip to scrub it but it was too big, I tried soaking it in jewelry cleaner, I tried witchy spells to cosmically cleanse it, but nothing worked! Henry. when asked for help, would  smoosh his mustache up while inspecting it and then shrug.

The other day, I wore it because like I said, I paid money for the thing so I’m still going to allow it to decorate my finger, you know? For some reason, I felt inspired to once again bring up my plight to Henry.

“Hmm, let me see that,” he said, taking the ring off of me. And then he got out one of his tool-things, popped the cabochon out from the prongs, polished its underside, and then put it back.

JUST LIKE THAT.

HE COULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS 17 YEARS AGO?!!?!?

“I literally did not know that this was even a thing,” he said defensively, confused as to why I was yelling at him instead of thanking him.

So this leads me to believe that Henry just blocked me out for much of the early years, so should I be happy that he listens to me now, or pissed that he didn’t listen to me then? THAT IS THE QUESTION.

Actually, I think he just hadn’t learned to fear me yet in the beginning. He’s learned a lot over the years about my INNER WITCH.

And I think that’s all I got for this belated Friday Five. Today I will be focusing on Valentines, Korean-learning, and reading. I got two books from the library on Thursday! ALL BY MYSELF!

 

Jan 142020
 

My Korean study sesh was canceled for Saturday because Jiyong had to do real work instead of the weekly charity work she does on me, lol, so I suggested to Henry that since we didn’t have any obligations, we should HAVE A DATE DAY. Wow. But then the Teen Center was closed on Saturday and Chooch caught wind of our plans to go to a cafe (I’m trying to ease Henry into enjoying coffee, it’s his new years resolution as decided by me) and so he was like, “THAT SOUNDS GREAT, I’LL GO TOO.” Personally, I think it’s adorable that Chooch still wants to spend time with us so I wasn’t about to withhold an invitation.

However, Henry felt way more strongly about this than I did. “OK WELL THIS WENT FROM A DATE TO AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TWO TO SIT THERE AND MAKE FUN OF ME.” And he was all butt-hurt about it but then it didn’t matter anyway because those two pissed around so much that afternoon and then went to get father/son hair cuts (lol), so by the time that was done, it was 3pm and Chooch and his friend Marky had made plans to go see Star Wars at 5 so there went my big plans for a date day.

Instead, Henry and I went jeans shopping and we did actually stop at a cafe on the way home, but it was just Crazy Mocha because I desperately wanted a chai latte. I recommended a pistachio latte for Henry, because he’s still not ready for straight coffee, and he can currently only stomach the stuff if it’s iced. Turns out it was 70 degrees on this random January day (awesome and not awesome all at once) so an iced latte was actually a pretty refreshing choice, and I guess he thought so too because he drank it without complaining, but who knows with him. He’s very different from me, whereas I would be bitching about it and probably would have hurled it against the side of a building within the first 30 seconds of deciding I didn’t like it.

In weekend K-drama news, I finally finished watching Third Charm which I started all the way back in the fall of 2018 when it was still on air, but DRAMA FEVER went away unexpectedly after I only watched one episode, so then like 6  months went by before Viki, the streaming service I currently use for my Korean TV needs, picked it up. The problem wasn’t that I lost momentum, but it was that…the show just didn’t appeal to me. HOWEVER, one of my favorite actors, Seo Kang Joon, is the lead in it and I felt like I had to see it through even though there was zero chemistry between him and the love interest. So I kept giving up on it for months at a time, before finally powering through the second half of the series. There was one episode near the end were bad things happen to every character and it’s just an hour-long montage of people ugly-crying and it did nothing for my mental condition. Anyway, now that show’s in  the bag so I can peacefully continue watching the other ones I have on my list without Third Charm on my mind.

For instance, I’m watching Melting Me Softly, and it’s wonderful! I love Ji Chang-wook so much so when it was announced that he had had a new drama, post-military discharge, I was on board. The premise is that the PD of a variety show and one of the girls who sometimes volunteers for the show’s challenges, agree to be frozen for 24 hours in the name of the science. This was in 1999, and then of course something goes awry, and 20 years later, they’re finally unfrozen. And, as with most k-dramas, there’s the evil CEO plot line, so it’s not all chuckles, but the chemistry between Ji Chang-wook and Won Jin-ah is terrific, and it’s got Choi Bomin from Golden Child in it and he is just a fucking joy.

In the episode I was watching on Saturday, they went to Pocheon Art Valley! I HAVE BEEN  THERE! I love when this happens!

Anyway, yeah. Melting Me Softy is a great k-drama but I’m not sure if it’s on Netflix. I think you can get Viki for free but there are a ton of ads you have to suffer through and it sucks because one time I forgot my log-in and had to watch a show as a guest and it was terrible, the amount of ads.

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Oh yeah, I forgot about how I pulled Chooch out of bed on Saturday morning so that he could go to the library with me and show me how to retrieve a book I ordered (“The Vegetarian” by Han Kang). Since I signed up for a reading challenge, I’m actually really amped about this. I’ve read three books so far, am halfway through a fourth (“Nocturnes” by Kazuo Ishiguro and just started a fifth (“Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli, don’t hate, I needed something light and teenagery!), so I think I will probably end up meeting my 30 book goal for 2020 which I know is not anything spectacular but for someone who has only just climbed back onto the Literacy Wagon, it’s a big deal.

But remember: I became a vegetarian in 1996 because it felt like a challenge to prove my family wrong; I’ve been an obsessive walker since 2012 because of the walking challenge at work; I drink a gallon of water a day since 2018 because Henry frowned and said, “Do you really need an entire jug of water?” when I hoisted one onto the counter of a gas station on the way home from KCON in Newark.

I guess it’s the Leo in me.

(roar)

So now, every time I return a book to the library, it feels like a game and I’ve just leveled the FUCK UP BITCHES.

On Sunday, we really did have our…family date day. Chooch wanted to go to the main library in Oakland and I was on board with that because that’s the best one. He wanted to look for Switch games and to get a new card (his third one, ugh) and then after that we went to Coffee Buddha so we could hang out and read our books like real cool people while Henry played Boggle on his phone (he’s learning all kinds of new three-letter words). Anyway, Henry got a nitro which I had a feeling he would be OK with, and I was right. We’re making progress, people.

We had pizza for dinner and it was OK, but then I was like, “Shit I better exercise again” and I heard Henry mumble to Chooch so I yelled, “WHAT DID YOU SAY” and he was like, “nothing” but then Chooch the narc said, “He said you exercise too much.” I took that as a compliment, thank you very much.

Honestly, that was the extent of my weekend, which was….comfortable. It was a comfortable weekend, and I liked it very much.

Jan 112020
 

I’m not a big resolution-type of gal but with a new year beginning, I did allow myself to think about what is missing from my life, improvements that can be made, etc. I already exercise every single day, so I got that covered. Eat healthier? Already been about that life. My water intake is so ridiculous that it’s a joke around the department (Erin and her water jug) so I think it’s safe to say I don’t need to focus on that. I’M JUST SO FUCKING PERFECT, AREN’T I.

But then I was watching a YouTuber I like talk about books and I was like, “Man. That’s it. I should read more in 2020.” I read a depressing three books last year. Maybe only 1 the year before. And trust me, it’s not because I don’t enjoy reading but because I have myself so convinced that I don’t have time anymore. Well, that’s a crock.

My library card has long since expired and Chooch lost his recently but he still goes to the library a lot because he has his # memorized so he can at least still use the computers there (oh thank god). I figured out how to get one online but then I had to make Chooch walk to the library with me after work on Monday so that I could get a physical card. Not sure what the point was in signing up online because I had to do it all over again, show my ID, etc and the library card number was different than the one I got online, so…

Anyway, I also had a book with me so the librarian checked it out for me and commented on how the cover was unique and Chooch was annoyed because she was one of the librarians he hates, but she was plenty nice to me. Although, I can picture her having a bitchy side, for sure.

The book I got was suuuuper short, like 50 pages (The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami) so I was ready to return it by the next day, and I dragged Chooch with me because I wanted to use the self-checkout and was worried I’d screw it up somehow. Also, I didn’t want to go alone because I’m pathetic. Good thing I brought him because I was trying to scan my card with the barcode facing down, away from the scanner, and Chooch wrenched it from my hand, sighed, and did it for me. Then he scanned the new book I chose (“Mrs Everything” by Jennifer Weiner) and made a big production of handing it to me with a flourish while yelling, “Congratulations, you have a book.”

Thanks, brat.

In the meantime, I figured out how to get a book sent from one library to my local library, and then I got an email on Friday saying that it was in! So Chooch had to accompany me to the library once again this morning to show me where to go to get my requested book, and then he checked it out for me but I was mad because I think I should do it by myself, or else I’ll never learn!! Also, he knows my library card pin so that’s great. It’s only a matter of time before he somehow ends up with my card and then racks up $$$ in fees because that’s what he was prone to do on his own card.

Also, I’m acutely aware that while I really do need the help/company, it’s probably not a good look to be accompanied by Chooch who consistently gets banned from the library due to his inability to keep his mouth shut and is notorious to the entire staff of librarians there, so…cool.

In order to help me stay on track, I started using my old Goodreads account again and asking friends for books recs (I primarily like horror and contemporary junk, I guess). I finished Mrs. Everything today and now I’m about to start The Vegetarian by Han Kang so hopefully I can keep carving out enough time every day to meet my goal! I’m definitely getting dumber as I age so hopefully getting back into my old reading habits will help stall the inevitable for a bit. Maybe?

Jan 032020
 

It’s a rainy day, I’m working late shift, and a T-ara playlist is blasting behind me on YouTube. Overall, not the worst Friday. Here are 5 things off the top of my head that I feel like memorializing on this damn thing:

  1. SPOILED FUCKING BRATS

Last week, Henry ordered some shit on Amazon and Chooch and I were bugging out because he usually only buys greeting card-making supplies (like double-sided tape and envelopes, boring and boringer) and end of the year shit to use up his FSA (like bandaids and thermometers, lame and lamer); but this time, the stuff was for us! Allegedly, one of the things was a case for Chooch’s Switch and nail polish for me! I couldn’t believe it because I had JUST announced that I loved the nail polish I saw an ad for on Instagram and Henry rarely takes note of these purposely-planned outbursts! However, when the packages arrived over the weekend, we were pissed because:

  • the Switch case was not the one Chooch showed Henry
  • the nail polish was not the cool one I saw on Instagram,  just some rando L’oreal one that I added to the cart years ago because it was one of my favorite shades that I couldn’t find in the store anymore.

So of course, Chooch and I ran our mouths about this because we’re bitch babies and Henry flipped out and ranted about how we’re fucking spoiled brats who don’t deserve anything and I know there are at least two people hate-reading this blog who have set down the voodoo doll long enough to applaud Henry for calling us out but here’s where they’re going to be RILL MAD: Several days later, it was New Years’s Eve and Henry called on his way home from work to say he was going to the store. He asked if we needed anything and Chooch screamed in the background, “Ooh, toy! Tell him to get me a toy!” so I said, “Chooch wants a toy. Get me one, too.”

AND HE DID!

To be fair, they were on sale for 75% off at Rite-Aid, but what a nice surprise! Chooch has played with that damn dinosaur a concerning amount for a 13-year-old, and I haven’t made any bows yet but I’m going to this weekend because then I’ll be a third of the way to competing my exercise costume!

(Literally, as I’m typing this, another fucking Amazon shipment came, this one was A HEATING PAD. Now we have THREE. Henry says it’s because I keep using them as heated blankets and breaking them, haha I would never.)

2. NYE

Did you guys do anything crazy on New Year’s Eve? We just hung at home, indulged Chooch by playing games which is honestly all he wants from us as parents, I swear, I got drunk off two glasses of wine and then made Henry exercise, and then we watched some of the end of the year kpop shows on YouTube. We put regular TV on for the ball drop, but it was anticlimactic as always and a far cry from the time I ran around outside wearing a pig mask, screaming HAPPY OINKIN’ NEW YEAR and causing Henry to lock me out of the house, haha.

3. When the Camellia Blooms

As you know, I primarily watch Korean dramas. I like being able to yell, “WE WERE THERE!” when I recognize scenery, I love the sound of the language and the moments when I’m able to understand without the aid of subtitles (rare, but it does happen!), I love the storylines (there is almost always a serial killer arc that comes out of nowhere even in the midst of the cutest rom coms), but mostly I just the acting/characters. I grow so attached to even the most remote supporting cast, more so than I do with American TV shows where I’m usually willing some of the main cast to die. Anyway, I am here to say that without a doubt, the best one I watched in 2019, IN MY OPINION, was “When the Camellia Blooms.” Holy shit, there are so many quality characters to latch on to with this one and I have been hounding Janna to watch it (JANNA DID YOU START WATCHING IT YET??). It’s on Netflix, guys, no excuses – go watch it! IF YOU CAN READ A BOOK, A MAGAZINE, FACEBOOK, THE BACK OF A CEREAL BOX, then there is no reason why you can’t watch a TV show with subtitles. Just speaking to all the GLENNS out there.

Henry and I watched the final episode last week and I had to hide my face with a pillow because I was crying so hard—that’s not to say that this show is a sob fest! I just get really emotional. Please watch this show. It’s absolutely lovely and I need to add the town where it was filmed to my Korea 2021 trip, haha, knock on wood.

4. I’M A HOOT

I pride myself on the quality of my greeting cards and my customer service (I literally go too far above and beyond, it’s a problem), and whenever I get good reviews, I am so thrilled! Today, I got a really good one that made my EFFING DAY because I am stupidly giddy when I write the descriptions to my products:

THANK YOU, CUSTOMER LAUREN! It’s nice to be appreciated! And this is really the only time I put those writing “skills” to use anymore, so it’s good to know that people are reading it, as I sit here tip-tapping away in my brokedown Internet diary.

(Honestly though, the quality of my cards is really really really good!)

5. COOK ON

You know how people are always like “but ok, go off” on the Internet? Or maybe I just run with a certain e-crowd. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I was reading replies to something on Twitter on the way to work and someone was like “but ok, cook on.” I LATCHED ON TO THIS SO HARD. COOK ON! It sounds so great and it’s still kind of shitty without using swears or whatever which I guess that’s something I’m trying to dial back – my swears. So now I say this ALL THE TIME to Henry and Chooch and they are so tired of it that they literally grumble now and walk away while I’m yelling, “OK COOK ON!” after them. The other night, I said it to super haughtily to Henry and I swear he said “cook off” to me and I couldn’t stop laughing but then it turned out he only said “fuck off” which was way less funny and when I tried to give Chooch a recap of this convo the next morning, he scowled and said, “Yeah I know, I heard you last night. You were like, screaming about it and it wasn’t that funny.” WOW.

Anyway, the other day, out of the blue, I screamed, “OMG MY BLOG SIGN OFF CAN BE ‘COOK ON, MOTHERCHEFFERS!'”

“No,” Chooch said, never looking up from his Switch.

“……………………..” <—-that was Henry’s response when I ran it past him.

Whatever – those assholes are just jealous because I have such a colorful vernacular.

Well, on that note, COOK ON, MOTHERCHEFFERS!!!!

Dec 162019
 

As much as I love traveling and going on weekend road trips, it was really nice to stay home this past weekend and not have any obligations! Well, that’s not true – we had a family eye exam on Sunday except that when we got there, they were like, “Hello, we called you and left several voice mails because your insurance is denying your visit until after 12/23.”

First of all: insurance is so fucking dumb and annoying and I will never (want to) understand it. In fact, just a few weeks ago, I said to Henry, “OK don’t laugh, but what the fuck is a deductible and what does it mean when you’ve ‘met it'” and then THAT turned into a fucking snoozefest of a conversation, hoo boy.

And second of all: WHO LISTENS TO VOICE MAILS ANYMORE?! I know I surely don’t. And these rods* totally texted me twice too to confirm my appointment and I even texted back a “Y” like they instructed!!!

*(This was the first name that came to mind for some reason and now I’m laughing alone because eyeballs have rods! GOD, I crack myself up so much. I AM MY BIGGEST FAN!)

Ugh, OK fine. It was my fault. But yay! No eye exam until 12/something else now!

The weekend was nice and chill aside from that. Calvin came over Saturday morning to look at Trudy except the first thing he noticed was that his bin of toy cars (see also: Chooch’s old bin of toy cars) was gone. Henry put it in the basement until after Christmas and I said, “You know Calvin is going to have a cow over this” and Henry was like, “HE WILL NOT NOTICE.”

Yep.

Chooch and I have been labeling each other’s gifts in Hangul (Henry said he doesn’t care that he can’t read it but I think he secretly feels left out HAHAH) and this one killed me: it says to Erin from Taemin. I showed it to Jiyong and she was like, “he is so cute!” and I was like “I know Taemin is.”

Sigh.

Speaking of Jiyong, we had our weekly meet-up at Panera. I brought one of my Talk to Me In Korean workbooks with me and it’s a lot more productive this way because I always have a million questions (I sound like a toddler: “But why? Why though? Why is that way? Why?” and she’s just like “….IT’S JUST BECAUSE!”) and she challenges me to go further with each exercise too, OMG LIKE A TRAINER BUT FOR MY BRAIN. Guys, I’m going to be real honest here, I’m not sure I will ever reach a comfortable level with Korean but I am definitely learning a lot and my sight-reading is getting stronger. It’s just the part when she’s like, “Say something in Korean” and my tongue feels like it’s been cut into tentacles and tied together and then coated with peanut butter too.

It’s still REALLY interesting though and I enjoy meeting with her a lot. Especially because I can talk to her about the dramas I’m watching!

Currently, Henry and I are both watching When the Camellia Blooms and it’s a contender for the best Korean drama I’ve seen yet. IT IS SO GOOD. The storyline, the characters, the acting. The acting in Korean dramas is typically super stellar, and I think that’s why I was even more disappointed with the last several American dramas I watched on Netflix. Korean dramas have raised the bar for me!

Anyway, I would highly recommend this one to anyone looking to try out a Korean drama for the first time. It’s just really wonderful. But, as they all do, it makes me want to go back in the worst way.

The rest of Saturday was just really calm and nice. Henry finished up some house projects and started cleaning the kitchen while I dreamed of more projects for him.

Saturday’s theme bled into Sunday. We’re hosting a very small Christmas not-party next Saturday because WENDY wanted me to and I literally cannot say no to Wendy. It’s not that I don’t want to have a party, but I do not have the emotional capacity lately to be at the center of a social event, even though throwing parties is so much fun for me. So I agreed to host something small and I kept the guest list pared down to just a handful of people who I talk to regularly, and as usual, I’m panicking that other friends will get mad at me over it but…maybe next year I’ll have something larger. That being said, Chooch and I scoured the Internet Sunday morning for simple, easy, inexpensive Xmas recipes for Henry to make, but we also found some cute shit that he and I might actually be able to do ourselves?!!? It’s basically a fancier Rice Krispies treat and I think it might cause frustration but the end result will be worth it, maybe?

Since we got rejected at the eye doctor, we went to the nearby Joann Fabrics because Henry needed to buy glue since every time he buys glue, it disappears (Chooch probably has 8 tubes of it spread around his room at this point). I bought more Christmas decorations since everything was on sale, but I don’t understand sales that much so I got bored after awhile and left Henry there and joined Chooch who was at Petsmart (we were in a shopping center). Turns out, it was the day that SANTA was there so the store was poppin’ off with dogs in their best Christmas sweaters and Chooch and I were dying. One lady had this huge stroller with FIVE CHIHUAHUAS (I have never had to write/type that word before so thank you, Google, for guiding the way) all in different festive attire and my heart just couldn’t take it.

Meanwhile, Chooch sent Janna a video of two hamsters having sex and Janna was like THAT IS NOT WHAT THEY ARE DOING and we were like, “Aw, Janna is so naive.”

“I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD BE THIS JEALOUS OF SANTA,” Chooch cried as we peered through the glass of the room where Santa was posing with all the pets. “I changed my mind. THIS is what I want to be when I grow up.”

That’s good because we pretty much spent all of his college fund years ago, so see ya never, Carnegie Mellon!

These cats would NEVER allow Santa to get close enough for a picture, that’s for sure.

Went to Target – they had the Taemin version of the SuperM album! I should have bought it for Janna’s Christmas present.

Henry went to do laundry later that evening, so Chooch and I were left to our own devices. I was cleaning this one area of the house and found a bunch of old pictures that I brought home from when we were going through all that bullshit at my pappap’s house in 2016 which caused me to lose a bunch of hair (stress is cool!) so I made Chooch come over to look them with me but it just angered him because there were lots of pictures in there from one of my birthdays and I’m standing in my Pappap’s kitchen in front of a spread of new toys, and then there were pictures from one of the Christmases at his house where the tree and living room looked like the centerfold from a Better Homes & Garden holiday issue and the presents were literally spilling out from under the tree like the living room was being invaded.

“I HATE YOU,” Chooch said, flinging the pictures away from him. HAHAHA. I had such a precious childhood, lol.

Bored with being reminded that I was born with a silver spoon in mu mouth, Chooch went upstairs and got my photo albums from after I moved out and started walking down the path of near-poverty because, well, independence is expensive you guys. He likes these albums though because they’re full of pictures of my old cats (RIP: Marcy, Nicotina, Don, and Willie) but also pictures of me and my friends at the bar or one of my many house parties, but he always flips past those pages because they’re “boring” and I’m “annoying.”

However, we got to this one album that had pictures of the time my friend Wonka and I went to see the band Cold in Hershey, PA — we LOVED Cold and were basically groupies. On this particular date though, we had the privilege of sitting in the parking lot before the show with a couple other fans and the singer of Cold himself – SCOOTER WARD. Now, for all of the times I saw Cold, I could never really gather the courage to talk to him because he was, and this is so cliche but I don’t care, a god in my eyes. Cold’s music was so prominent during those really confusing years when you’re in your early 20s and just have no idea what the fuck you’re doing or who you even are. I wouldn’t go back to those years if you paid me, truly I wouldn’t, and sometimes I think back to that time and feel so amazed that I survived because I lived so recklessly and had zero value for my life. Honestly.

Chooch tried to flip past these pages too but I stopped him.

“Wait!” I yelled. “I have a story!” And then I told him about sitting in the parking lot, listening to Scooter Ward talk about his music, and how he gave us Starbursts. “He gave me an orange one and I still have it,” I said, and I could tell Chooch didn’t believe me. “It’s actually in the freezer somewhere, hold on, I’ll go find it.” And before Chooch could stop me, I was in the kitchen, rummaging through the freezer until I found it in the back:

I keep it in there because after the first year I had it, I noticed that it was starting to melt during the summer and I panicked, unlike a regular person who would have just thrown it out.

Or, you know, ate it at the time it was given to them.

“See? I knew I still had it!” I boasted proudly.

“Wow, you sure do,” Chooch said sourly, and then promptly almost puked.

Somehow that night, I got hung up on the idea of having hot chocolate bar at my not-party, instead of making a punch or sangria like I normally do. And that is how Chooch and I fell down the rabbit hole of hot cocoa bar DIY YouTube videos, which has since replaced “birthday party videos” as our favorite thing to mock-watch on YouTube. We were really diving deep into them last night.

“Basically, anytime she says it’s going to be super cute, it’s super not,” Chooch dryly said in response to this one totally basic white bitch whose whole video was how she made a hot cocoa bar for under $25 thanks to Dollar General (I’m sure it was sponsored). This one dumb bitch basically just set out her Keurig with Swiss Miss pods, filled a mason jar with crushed peppermint, and then lined up her FUCKING UGLY RAE DUNN MUGS and THAT WAS IT?! Bitch please, get off my YouTube.

Well, that was my weekend. Hope your’s was JUST DELIGHTFUL.

Dec 062019
 

…but five is “ise.”

My Cat Brian

I recently watched the second season of Mindhunter. Don’t even get me started on how much I disliked the first season! It took me forever to slag through because it was so boring and I FUCKING HATED “DEB” and kept waiting for her to go away because Henry, who watched the whole season without me, kept saying, ‘Oh don’t worry, she doesn’t last long” so then I thought MAYBE SHE WILL BE MURDERED and there was one scene in particular when she was in a bathtub and I was like YES, THIS IS IT! DROWN YOU DUMB BITCH! But then nothing happened and she ended up being in the whole season, so I’m not sure what show Henry was watching…

ANYWAY. The second season was better. But this here isn’t a TV show review, OK? I’m only mentioning this show because there was one scene with one of the character’s son—he’s like 7 and a budding serial killer, and his mom finds him standing on the periphery of a playground, glaring at some bitch on a swingset. The mom is all, “BRIAN, WE DON’T STARE” and later that night, I happened to look over at my cat Drew, who was sitting on the floor, GLARING at her sister Penelope in a very Brian-esque manner, so the next logical step was to start calling her Brian and everyone in my house hates this but I crack myself THE FUCK UP every time I scream, “BRIAN WE DON’T STARE!!!” at Drew.

Sometimes I call Penelope “Paige,” the girl on the swing, and this angers Chooch and Henry too because literally that girl was only in the scene for 3 seconds and we only know her name because her mom says, “Let’s go, Paige” but these are the things I latch on to.

I tried telling some of my co-workers about this because I couldn’t stop laughing to myself about it at work, but they were just like, “…………………….” similar to when I changed Drew’s name to Ursula’s Shoulder Pads.

Update on Henry’s Back

People keep asking me how Henry’s back is and I’m like, “Uh….*shrug*” But I can tell you that Manly Henry the Man-Man is wearing a Donald Duck bandaid on the delicate boo-boo that he recently received on his precious pinky finger.

It was pretty fucked up around here last Friday though when The Back Injury first happened because Chooch and I were like WHAT WILL WE DO FOR FOOD? I was getting ready to grab a basket and my hooded cloak before hitting the forest for some berry-picking, but then Chooch suggested Subway and I was like, “Yes, that sounds manageable” so we were going to go and do that but then Henry was like, “Well, I would like to eat dinner too….?” but he was afraid we’d fuck up his order so he made us order through the app so that he could be in control and prevent us from sabotaging his carefully crafted sandwich.

“What do I do when I get to Subway? Just say ‘give me’?” I asked Henry, wringing my hands. I don’t do things for myself very often.

But then something went wrong with the app-ordering, like a real life deus ex machina. “I’ll just go there. CHRIST,” Henry sighed,  rolling himself out of bed and slowly putting his pants on because whatever happened now required him to physically enter a Subway LOL oh the trials and tribs.

“I think I can handle lifting a bag of sandwiches,” he said in a tone t hat suggested he just had the wind knocked out of him.

I laughed so much.

But then he came back and my sandwich was fucked up so I guess: who’s laughing now, amirite.

Erin vs the United States

I was looking at a map of the US on my phone the other day, after being inspired by venturing out to Missouri for the first time, and I was surprised to see where it was located in relation to other states like Louisiana, Mississippi, whatever.

“Wow, maybe I should start looking at maps more often,” I murmured. “I didn’t realize we had come this far away from Pittsburgh.”

And Henry just glowered at me from beneath his angry caterpillar brows.

Also, today I realized that I was using the wrong abbreviation for Missouri since the weekend, which is fantastic since it was a part of one of my blog post titles. I kept using MO for some reason!? I think I need to go back to school, maybe audit a few 5th grade classes or something.

OK, maybe 3rd grade. You got me.

EDIT: Ok 2 weeks later and I just learned THAT I WAS RIGHT THE FIRST TIME, IT IS “MO.” My brain is a bean.

DEB STRIKES AGAIN

I had to pause what I was watching because Chooch brought his traveling talk show into the room, and he interrupted himself to shout, “organic big-bush patchouli sex? Wow, what the hell are YOU watching, mom.”

I’ll tell you what I’m watching: a not-great TV show, son, that plays out like a Lifetime movie but with swears and sex because…Netflix. Anyway,  this show was recommended to me by a co-worker and the first season was aight because Jessica Biel was in it, not that I’m like a huge J-Biel fangirl, I only know her from 7th Heaven lol. But the story line season 1 was more compelling to me than season 2, and I have stalled out on the 5th episode.

COINCIDENTALLY, in this season, there is some bitch who looked familiar and instantly got under my skin. Henry was like, “hey is that—-” and I cried in pain, “DEB!!”

Yes, the same bitch who played the worst character on Mindhunter is back to ruin my television-watching experience yet again.

What a stupid bitch. She’s really annoying in this show too.

Also, can we talk about how I had the hugest crush on Bill Pullman in the 90s and while all of my friends were going to the movies numerous times to see “Casper” because of Devon Sawa, I was going for HOT DAD BILL PULLMAN.

But…has he always been this bad of an actor and I just was  too blind to notice or care? Because holy shit, it’s like he watched the episode of Friends where Joey divulges his “smell in the fart” acting technique and fucking ran with it.

It ain’t good, Bill.

Meanwhile, the Korean dramas I’m currently watching are like French-chef-kissing-his-fingers good. But ya’ll don’t care about that.

(Or is it Italian chefs who kiss their fingers?!)

The Face of the Teen Center

Chooch told us off-handedly last week that he was interviewed at the teen center.

“For what?” I asked.

He shrugged. “I don’t know. Some lady was writing about it for something I guess.”

“Well, what did she ask you?”

“I dunno. Why I liked the teen center,” Chooch mumbled, and I could tell that I wasn’t going to get much more out of him than that because that kid is so oblivious at times. But then he said that he was the only one they interviewed because, “I’m basically the face of the teen center.”

OMG his ego. Where does he get it from.

Then the other day, we saw that the Teen Center used his picture again on Instagram (oh don’t worry, we signed a media release awhile ago).

WHY IS HE LIKE THIS. .Also that’s an old picture of him, but don’t worry – his current hair looks just as dumb as his Spring 2019 hair.

In other teen center news, two volunteers recently left (they’re all college kids so they eventually leave…right after the kids get attached to them).

“Wow,” I fake-cared for Chooch’s sake. “Are they having a volunteer-shortage now? Do you think I should volunteer?”

“OMG no! You HATE kids!” Chooch cried, as if I was actually serious. My time is valuable! I’m not wasting it in a basement full of screaming kids.

“Yeah, especially teens,” I pointed out.

So, that was short-lived.

Well, on that note, here’s a photo of Paige & Brian. And now I’m going to go and watch some more of Korean dramas while Henry is busy cobbling together serial killer Christmas cards. Thanks, Mindhunter, for making Ed Kemper and Richard Speck le chic even though I’ve had them in my card catalog (lol) for years. You’re still not that great of show, though.