Oct 282019
 

I was just lamenting to Henry that this October has flown by so fast and didn’t even feel that autumn-y to me. Maybe it’s because we didn’t do many daylight October things, like going to the pumpkin patch or whatever the fuck LL Bean families do when they all dress in matching flannels and post pictures on Instagram with fame smiles that make it seem like their faces are going to melt like a box of Crayolas next to a kerosene heater as soon as the picture is taken.

But hey, speaking of kerosene heaters, I whine every fall/winter about how badly I want a kerosene heater because we always used them in my house when I was growing up and they’re so comforting to me; I miss those slosh-slosh sounds that would happen whenever I bumped into it (which was a lot because I have a balance problem). I googled and couldn’t really find any super adverse environmental effects but I am admittedly a Big Dumb when it comes to these things, although I try my very best.

Anyway, Henry finally bought one and suddenly, it’s like being back at my parents’ house again and I love it so much. However, I was really worried about the cats.

“Oh don’t worry. The first ones to burn themselves will be you and Chooch,” Henry said dryly. So far, the cats keep their distance, although Drew has learned that if she lays nearby, it will keep her toasty and she gets very concerned when we shut it off before leaving the house/going to bed (safety first!). She sits nearby and stares at it with sad eyes because her robot friend no longer has fire in his belly.

I think we’ve pretty much wrapped up the haunted house season too because we won’t be home this weekend, unless we can make it to one on Friday night. But I have to say, my heart wasn’t 100% in it this year. Aside from Castle Blood, there was no real standout haunt this year (most of them had their moments though) and I think I’m just being mopey because I miss the days of going with big groups of friends. Aside from Janna, none of my other friends really consider this fun, and none of Chooch’s friends are into it, and Blake and Haley are parents now, so it’s kind of missing that spark. Plus, they are so expensive, that it’s almost criminal!  $25-$30 for something that you’re going to spend most of the time standing in line for, and then 30 minutes (if you’re lucky) actually being inside. You could go  to an amusement park for around the same price, get the haunted house treatment AND ride roller coasters for around that same price.

Oh my god, am I getting old?

Regardless, Janna, Chooch and I went to Demon House last Sunday night because there’s always a Groupon for that so it only cost $26 for both Chooch and me, plus we got a free beverage ticket and the chance to ride on the most annoying shuttle bus full of screaming high schoolers. Janna was like, “That one girl behind me was SO RUDE” and I said, “Oh that was a grown ass lady behind you, and yes, she was a real cunt.”

We were the first ones off the bus, first to get our tickets, and the first group to go inside! I LOVE BEING FIRST! I WAS BORN TO BE FIRST!

Anyway, the house was fine. We went with an older couple who were very inoffensive and decent (I apologized to them in advance because we can be a bit much sometimes as a group), and we all got to have a tarot card reading before the actual haunt started. Mine was about how there is something deep in my heart that I want to do for myself and that I should put myself first for once and do the thing that needs to be done in order to make myself happy, and we all got a big laugh about this afterward because I always think of my own happiness above others, so…..

Actually, only before Henry’s happiness. I can be a fake philanthropist when I want to be. (I.e. when I want attention, oh snap.)

Details of the haunted house will be saved for my haunted house journal, but believe me when I tell you that you’re not missing much.

Afterward, we redeemed our free beverages. Chooch and I each got lukewarm hot chocolate but JANNA got apple cider that she acted like was a cuppa molten lava so we had to sit for an eternity and wait for her to daintily blow on it, but luckily Demon House was playing “Halloween,” so we sat in the little outdoor theater area and I thought Chooch was going to have a rage stroke when some bitch about his age strode in (OH SHIT, LAURIE STRODE) and casually said, “Oh! It’s ‘Friday the 13th’!” I had to grab his arm to keep him from popping up out of his seat and confronting her.

But really…HE HAD EVERY RIGHT.

So that was fun.

On the way home, I pulled over in Monongahela so that Janna could take pictures of this pizza place that she saw ON FACEBOOK (probably).  I mean, the decorations were cool though.

Chooch stayed in the car, completely oblivious to what was going on because he was watching crap on his phone, but when we got back in the car, he cried, “WERE YOU GETTING A HELP WANTED SIGN!?”

“Oh my god, you guys are still doing that?” Janna asked with just a smidge too much incredulity in her tone for my liking. By “doing that,” Janna is referring to the very lucrative money-making app Chooch and I use called Job Spotter where you submit pictures of help wanted signs for points and each point = a penny. Then you can cash out whenever you want for an Amazon gift card. Right now, I’m at $55 (I’ve already cashed in twice, and I’m also kind of lazy so I accumulate points slowly) and I’ve been thinking of cashing in again because I really want to buy the cats more toys (I’m pathetic) but now I think I also might want to invest in A WEIGHTED HULA HOOP because I accidentally found a YouTube channel for weighted hula hoop dance workouts and they look like something right up my alley.

Hey speaking of Korea (oh, we weren’t talking about Korea just now? Well, now we are), I received an email last week from a co-worker in our Melbourne office. All it said was, “Erin can you read Korean?” and I was like, “READ, yes. UNDERSTAND, not always, lol” and then I panicked because what if she wanted me to translate something boring, like something work-related, but instead she sent me a screenshot of a video and said, “Can you tell me what the name of this tea is? I’ve been obsessed with finding out” and THANK THE LORD, that was an easy one. So I quickly responded with not just the name, but also the website and became an instant hero, an overnight sensation, the department MVP.

I should have known that it was my friend Sandy who recommended my services!

This Jennifer Aniston resurgence (not that she ever went away, but you know what I mean) has been making my heart so happy. I was so excited to see her on Instagram and I haven’t started watching her new show yet but I will do so eventually, I promise, Jen. I was reading an article last week on the trolley about how she set a Guinness World Record for most Instagram followers accumulated in a certain amount of time or whatever (OK, I was glossing over the article) when I suddenly had this old memory pop into my head where Henry and I were at this couple’s house for NYE in 2005 and I remember this distinctly because I was pregnant, miserable, and also slightly concerned that these people actually wanted my not-yet-born baby. Anyway, Jennifer Aniston came up in conversation and I mentioned that I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world and I just loved her so much, when they both interrupted me with throat-noises of disagreement and one of them had the audacity to say—OUT LOUD—that she had a horse face?! I was so motherfucking pissed off, you guys, you have no idea. I had an actual argument with them over this was Henry, I don’t know, slept in a recliner with a paper plate of cheese and salami balancing in his chest probably, and apparently I’m still so mad about it that my eyes began to sting with RAGE-TEARS on the trolley that day at the very memory of this shitty moment and NOTICE that I did not , refer to these people as FRIENDS.

Well, this is all I care to share for today, Monday October 28, 2019.

Wrong! One more thing. Now that G-Dragon and T.O.P. are both out of the military, I hope we get another GD&TOP collab, even though T.O.P. has said he doesn’t want to make a comeback PLEASE COME BACK TO US.

Oct 252019
 

Well, this was supposed to be last Friday’s “Friday Five” thingie but I’m a scattered mess inside that head of mine. So let’s try this again for today, I guess. Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve used a similar Friday 5 title in the past. Oh well.

THAT TIME I WAS A PAWN IN A GAME OF DENTAL CHESS

Remember when I missed my dentist appointment last year and panicked and then had to go and find a new dentist because I could never show my face there again? (Oh, you would have just called, apologized, and scheduled a new appointment? WELL AREN’T YOU RATIONAL AND BALANCED.)

Well, my new dentist (the one I think I have a crush on) referred me to a periodontist. Dentist #1 did x-rays two years ago so Dentist #2 said that we could probably get away with just using those rather than deal with insurance blah-blah, so I was like, “Fine I guess I will call Dentist #1 and get my records.” Dentist #1’s office was like, “Yeah you have to come in here and sign a release for that.” UGH.

So I went in there last week, hoping to sign the thing and flee, but as the receptionist was pulling up my records from the filing cabinet, a lady was sitting at a computer in the corner and apparently had been listening so she pulled my records on up the computer and exclaimed, “This xray is from two years ago! Why do you want this!?” and that’s when I realized that it was The Dentist so now I had to actual FACE HER and tell her that my new dentist had referred me to a periodontist and thought we could get away with using them and she was like, “WHO IS THE DENTIST” and I was like, “BITCH WHY” except that really, I meekly mumbled his name and then she asked me who the periodontist is and when I told her, she sucked in some air through her teeth and exchanged an “oh boy” look with the receptionist, prompting me to ask, “What? What? WHAT?” until she finally shrugged and said, “Well, I don’t like to talk bad…OK he’s just…not that GOOD” and I was like, “……” and then she was like, “Would you mind if I gave you my own referrals?” and I was like, “WTF is happening here” because the vibe got SO HEAVY AND ELECTRIC like everything else in the world had just stopped and now this strange dental dance was playing out in front of me.

I let her give me some referral cards and then of course this sent me into a spiral because WHAT IF I MAKE THE WRONG CHOICE and it was already so difficult to get a consultation to begin with and that appointment is coming up in two weeks and OMG I HATE ORAL ISSUES. Meanwhile, the receptionist was all, “So, why are you leaving us anyway?” and it turned into this super uncomfortable “it’s not you it’s me” routine and I was sweating and tugging at my collar.

Then I got home and it occurred to me that Dentist #1 is the reason I have to go to the periodontist in the first place because one of the procedures they performed on me was apparently inadequate and I have to have it done again. UGH.

IT’LL JUST TAKE 2 SECONDS

A few weeks ago (because that’s how behind I am at blogging!), we were just hanging out after work when someone knocked on the door. I fled immediately, as I do when there comes a knock upon the door. From my perch on the steps with our cat Drew, who also runs when she hears the sinister knocks of villains, I heard Henry saying, “I’m making dinner right now.” And then he repeated it. And then again. And again. And each time, whoever was at the door kept saying, “It’ll just take 2 seconds.” I was like, “Shit, who the fuck is at the door being so persistent, is Chooch selling cookie dough again?”

Turns out, it was some guy from Direct Energy and instead of just saying “No” or “I’m not interested,” he lead the guy on by making it sound like he just didn’t have time to talk to him right now, so when he finally shut the door on him, the guy CONTINUED TO STAND ON OUR PORCH and I know this because I could see his creepy silhouette and I was angry because I wanted to come back out of hiding and drink my coffee which was getting cold on the coffee table.

So Henry sighed, came back out of the kitchen, opened the door and said, “I’m cooking dinner” and the guy was like, “It’ll only take 2 seconds” and JUST LIKE THAT the whole weird door-to-door energy song and dance picked right back up. I was like JUST SAY NO, BRO and Henry finally got him to leave and I said, “Haley was outside on her porch the whole time, why didn’t he just go and give her his spiel?” So Henry then lectured me because the only reason these people come to our house is because I’m constantly coerced into signing up for things.

Then Henry acted SHOCKED when he CAME BACK an hour later, but he never told him NO! This time, Chooch was home and answered the door and the guy was like, “Your dad told me to come back after he made dinner” which was FALSE but ok so Chooch was like, “HEY HENRY GET DOWN HERE AND TALK TO THIS GUY” but Henry was like, “Not gonna.”

I’m in the kitchen washing dishes and I look out and see that the guy is still standing on the porch. I told Chooch, “Tell that guy to leave” and he was like, “NO HE’S NICE AND I FEEL BAD” so I told Chooch, “Look, just do what all of us adults do in these situations – lie. LIE THROUGH YOUR FUCKING TEETH, SONNY BOY. GOD WILL FORGIVE YOU.” Chooch told the guy that his dad wasn’t home and the guy repeated, “He told me to come back after dinner” like that’s an actual time on the clock, but Chooch was like, “OK cool but he’s not here, so…” The guy said, “OK buddy, I’ll just go and do something else and come back.” NO PLZ DON’T! (He didn’t. Yet.)

I’LL TURN THIS DAMN BUS AROUND

One day after school, Chooch super-casually me that there was an incident with the bus driver on the first day of Gifted. Chooch has gifted every Friday, but it’s off-site at the Gifted Center so the students from his school that attend that program get shuttled there on a school bus. “So, Trevor and I were just talking and apparently the bus driver thought it was ‘too loud’ so he pulled the bus over and yelled at us.” Chooch said that they made “HNGGGGGH” faces at each other and then apologized. But then, at end of day the students from Chooch’s school were stranded because the bus driver never showed. They had to wait for a back-up bus to arrive and when they got back to their school, the principal off-handedly mentioned that the bus driver from that morning didn’t show up BECAUSE HE QUIT.

“BECAUSE OF YOU!?” I cried.

“I guess,” Chooch shrugged. “He was really mad that morning and was yelling about how we were going to have to spend all year together.”

“Exactly how loud were you talking?!”

“I don’t know, like this…” and then he demonstrated a raised-voiced conversation similar to a businessman trying to talk over top of a woman in the boardroom, but something tells me there is more to the story than that.

Anyway, a few weeks later, that bus driver came back and Chooch said that he and Trevor are “super quiet” around him now.

Why am I having Billy Madison visions?

Oh, here’s Penelope.

THE LIFE-CHANGING ESSAY

Well, here’s another tale about my son because, friendly reminder, I’m a mom.

The other night, Chooch and I were out on a walk when he mentioned that he has to write a three-page essay about a moment that changed his life. So I’m walking along, mind swimming with all sorts of instances involving me and my awesome ideas and super fun parenting, thinking that maybe he’ll choose the moment he went to the DMZ in Korea or the time the singer from Emarosa got him to crowd-surf at one of their shows when he was like 9, or the moment he realized he loves math.

“So I knew right away—” he started, and I’m like, “Oh here it is! This is going to be so profound!”

“–that it was the time I watched that episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ where Lily is a loud chewer because that’s when I realized that OMG I hate the sound of chewing! Honestly, there are times when I sit in the backseat during roadtrips and cry.”

Um.

OK.

But three pages though?

Anyway, he changed it to the moment he went from the general population opinion of “yay rollercoasters” to the coaster enthusiast battle-cry of “HOLY FUCKING SHIT IT’S AN RMC IBOX, GOTTA GET THAT COASTER CRED, HOLD MY SLUSHIE.”

So, we’ll see how that goes.

I get so excited when I’m watching a K-Drama and see a place I’ve been! Shout out to the DDP, what what.

HUBERT FTW

Last Saturday, we were en route to a haunted house and passed a spot where there used to be a mini-golf place, which got me thinking about how my ex, Psycho Mike, and I were obsessed with playing mini golf this one summer, I think it was 1997 when I was 17/18. We liked it so much that we tried to go every mini golf place we could find in the—-wait for—-Yellow Pages. Sometimes this would bite us in the ass because we’d drive all  this way and it wasn’t a mini golf place anymore, but you know, who has to call ahead, amirite.

Then I remembered the time that I brought my old pet Pacman frog, Hubert, to play with us. I had a little portable aquarium for him and it was probably terrible to tote him around but I was a dumb kid who had no business raising a frog.

“Anyway,” I told Henry after taking a big breath because you’ve probably never heard me tell a story but I get really excited and start speed-talking. “Hubert ‘won’ and Mike got so pissed!”

Henry took his eyes off the road long enough to toss me a concerned frown.

“I KNOW RIGHT??” I screamed, but turns out, Henry was frowning about the part where I brought my frog to play mini-golf.

(Seriously though, Mike was SO ANGRY and I remember fighting about it for the rest of the night because that’s the kind of great fucking boy I was dating, and this is not a domestic violence joke but the truth: I probably for sure dodged a bullet by getting out of that relationship.)

Later that week, I felt inspired to dig around my old stuff to see if I still had the score card because, since mini golf was our game, I kept all that shit. And yep, still have it, stapled to a journal that he and I shared which honestly gave me PTSD-shakes when I opened it so I should probably burn it or drop kick it off a bridge but: the environment, and also, I am a memorabilia pack rat.

Don’t ask why I called myself “Bitch” other than I was 17 & dumb and also a pretty big bitch.

At work earlier this week, I was telling Todd this story because he LOVES Vintage Erin yarns.

“I have a picture of the score card for proof,” I said, scrolling through my camera roll.

“Oh, I believe you!” Todd laughed. “Taking a frog to play mini golf definitely sounds like something you would do.” He then went on to say that he’s also not surprised that I a mini golf maniac, since there is always something I’m 100% gung-ho about.

And oh boy, was I gung-ho about mini-golf. Now I can barely stand it.

OMG I HOPE THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN WITH KOREA?!

Sep 132019
 

Sometimes when I don’t have five things to talk about on a Friday, I make them up.

But today I genuinely have five full things to share. OR DO I.

DREW & THE SOJU BOTTLE

My car Drew, love her, she’s real sweet & presh, habitually scratches my prized Devil rug on the back porch and it drives me insane. I was standing in the kitchen after work on Wednesday when she dove right into my rug with her dumb claws and I kept yelling her name over and over, imploring her to stop.

But she would not.

Why, you ask? Because cats are assholes, don’t ask me stupid questions.

In a flurry of panic, I grabbed the closest thing to me–an empty bottle of soju–and shook it at her.

No, I didn’t throw it, I just shook it. And not even aggressively either.

“What…did you think that was going to do?” Henry asked me slowly.

It was a moment of desperation, ok?!

EDDIE MONEY

Today at work, Todd emailed me and all it said was “RIP Eddie Money” with a link to one of his YouTube videos. I replied and said that I once, years ago, got in trouble for allegedly videotaping his free concert at the Pittsburgh Rib Fest.

“I knew you would have a story,” Todd emailed back.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT HE WAS IMPLYING but it’s true. It was 1999 or 2000, and Lisa and I went to the Rib Fest at IC Light Ampitheater in Station Square (my Pgh homies are like, “Dang girl, that WAS a long time ago”). Back then, even though I was already a vegetarian, I would always go to the rib fests because they would get killer classic rock bands to perform (like .38 Special and Bad Company!). When I saw that Eddie Money was performing that year, I was like, “LISA WE HAVE TO GO” and she was like, “Remind me why we’re friends again.”

Back then, I was super into taking my camcorder everywhere. I had been like this since 1995. You could say I was an OG Vlogger, but be thankful YouTube wasn’t around back then. Or any social media. (I know my friends are. Especially the ones I’m no longer friends with, lol.) Of course I had that damn thing with me at the rib fest, because I needed to get mullet footage, which was always the second best reason to go to the rib fest. Pittsburgh is a real treasure trove of mullets.

On our way out of the ampitheater, a gaggle of guards surrounded me and demanded that I hand over my camcorder.

I was totally blindsided by this. WHAT HAD I DONE? Did I accidentally record a government-sanctioned murder and now I was toting around high-profile evidence?

“You can’t film the concert,” one of the guards said, still reaching for my camcorder.

“I wasn’t filming the concert!” I cried defiantly. (Erin Rachelle Kelly, Hating Authority Since the 90s.)

But they kept demanding that I hand over the tape, and Lisa was hissing, “Just give them the tape!” like it was the keeper of a snuff film.

I kept swearing that I wasn’t filming Eddie Money, so one of the security guards said, “OK, play back part of it and show us,” and I very happily did so because I knew it was just going to show a bunch of drunk Yinzers swaying with me making some lame commentary behind the camera.

But no, when I hit play, it showed the literal 3 seconds of footage from when I casually pointed the camera at the stage, zoomed in on Eddie Money, and said, “We’re at an Eddie Money concert, you guys.”

The guards smirked at me and went back to demanding the tape, so now I had to go with a different tactic.

“MY GRANDFATHER’S BIRTHDAY PARTY IS ON THIS TAPE AND HE PASSED AWAY,” I cried.

I think making it personal really played to their emotions (one of the guards was a woman and she seemed sympathetic), plus I was like 19 or 20 and didn’t look like someone who was going to sell bootleg Eddie Money tapes on the black market, so they warned me not to do it again and then they let us leave.

Lisa was so embarrassed because this happened right in the middle of the entrance to the ampitheater so people were milling about and rubber-necking the whole time. BUT I’M SORRY I WASN’T GOING TO GIVE UP MY TAPE.

And yes, I still have it! MAYBE I WILL UPLOAD IT TO YOUTUBE!

If I ever find a way to play it.

THE SIDEWALK ATTACK

I went for a walk last night to burn off the annoyances of the day (it was my work-from-home late shift day but I was having problems logging on so I had to go into the office at the very last minute and I hadn’t washed my hair and I never go anywhere with unwashed hair and I just felt like a monster so I was like DON’T LOOK AT ME to all of my co-workers and it was just awful I hated yesterday very much). Anyway, I was walking along the sidewalk when suddenly, from the side of a wall next to me, some disgusting rodent-thing shot out at me and ran across my feet.

I jumped and yelped like a real DAMSEL IN DISTRESS, you guys. My heart was like thundahhhh against my ribs. Hoo boy.

“Well, what was it?!” Henry asked me, after I came bursting through the door yapping about how I was attacked.

“….an empty bag of potato chips,” I mumbled. I GUESS YOU COULD SAY IT WAS A REAL SNACK ATTACK.

“Wow. Too bad you didn’t have an empty bottle of soju to shake at it,” Henry deadpanned.

C U N T

I was talking to Margie at her desk the other day when someone from another department came out of the stairwell. Margie told him to have a good night and that she would see him tomorrow, but he said, “No, I’ll C U NEXT TUESDAY!”

I waited for him to turn the corner before pulling a super concerned face and hoarsely whispering, “OMG MARGIE HE CALLED YOU THE C-WORD!”

“He what!?!?” she cried incredulously.

“Yeah, he called you a…” and then I mouthed “cunt” because Work Erin is like SO PROPER AND WHOLESOME.

Oh, the layers I put on before leaving the house.

(I didn’t have time for any of them yesterday though so I was in rare form.)

Turns out, Margie has never heard the expression “c u next tuesday” but she knows it now. I felt good knowing that I enlightened her and now no one will ever be able to pull that one over on her again.

PUNCHFIAT

On one our walks, Chooch spotted a Fiat at a red light and said, “Oh my god, recently I was walking with Markie (little neighbor kid) and he did punchbuggy no punchbacks on me, but it was FIAT!” Chooch shook his head and scoffed, “He’s so stupid.”

I started to laugh at this and then said, “Wait…..that was me who said that!”

I remember it vividly because it was the day we were going to Kennywood and I was so excited because I never beat him at the punchbuggy game (I actually hate this game so damn much), so when I saw what I thought was a punchbuggy, I shouted it with such passion and slugged his upper arm.

I’m not stupid, I just have bad eyes!

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

To conclude, here’s one of my current favorite songs and this video is relevant to this blog post because she’s basically me in the 90s following my friends around with a camcorder. (Somewhere out there is Janna thanking god that I’m out of the “I’M MAKING A DOCUMENTARY” phase. I’ll always terrorize my friends with words on this blog, though!)

Jul 132019
 

Chooch went camping yesterday with the teen center and Henry is working (when isn’t he anymore), so I’m sitting here alone on a Saturday morning getting way too intimate with my thoughts and I don’t like it! The morning started off great though – I lost some weight and decided to try on these old Mudd jeans that I have been hoarding since I was 20 because they were favorite jeans ever and also a tangible artifact of the Before I Got Fat era that I like to cling to because I just can’t ever let go of the past.

So I tried these jeans on, a juniors size 9 from 1999/2000 so god only knows what that would translate to now, and they were too big on me. Which makes sense, because I have some juniors jeans now that are 7s and too big, and in “regular lady” sizes, I’m a 4 and 6 depending on the brand.

All of this you would think should make me fall to my knees in happy tears, because yay all my hard is paying off (and it is HARD WORK – I exercise super religiously and the shit I do is maddening), but instead I’m just sitting here fixating on how I still feel like the giant in the room and how I still hate my legs and wearing shorts makes me feel so self-conscious and my underarms are still flabby (I make Henry watch me as I make my arm fat swing like a pendulum and he is so over me) and so on and so forth, like one of my elementary school teachers used to say.

My brain is trash. Absolute garbage. Henry is right – I will literally never be happy with myself, no matter what the scale or the tags on my clothes say. I’m fucking hopeless, lol.

But I will still exercise my fat face off today and tomorrow and the next day because I have a legit addiction.

Anyway, in other “vintage Erin clothing” news, I go through these phases every so often when I start mourning the loss of my favorite t-shirt. Let me tell you about it! So, when I was in high school, maybe this was 1996, Nick at Nite had this super-hyped marathon of Sid & Marty Kroft shows that they dubbed Puf-a-Palooza. I was OBSESSED because why wouldn’t I be. I wanted Sid & Marty Kroft to be my daddies, you guys. Their brains were…well, about as warped as mine! During the commercial breaks, ads would run for a commemorative, limited edition t-shirt, and this back in the day when you had to actually PICK UP A LANDLINE and call to order!  So I made my mom do it and I treasured that shirt:

This sadly isn’t a picture of my shirt, but one that I got from Google.

I don’t know why I never brought it with me when I moved out, if that was even the reason why I don’t have it now. So I texted my mom, urgently, and asked her if she knew where it could be. She said that she thought I still had some clothes in the attic and that she would look BUT IT HAS BEEN A WEEK NOW WHERE IS MY SHIRT.

Hold on, I’m texting her about it again…

Anyway, I was whining to Henry about it and he said it’s the first time he’s ever heard of this. WHAT. This was such a huge part of my life?! My HR Puf-n-stuf and Sigmund the Sea Monster plushies have been on a shelf in Chooch’s room since he was BORN?! Henry never wondered why I had those!? Or a boxed set Kroft collection on VHS?!

Wow, Henry. Why to keep up with my life.

Anyway, I want that shirt back. I looked online and every once in awhile one goes up on eBay but it’s always like, an XL and $500. I haven’t told my mom that though because if she finds it, she will definitely sell it, lol.

(She hasn’t responded to my text yet.)

The best part of that shirt was that it was a ringer tee and those are favorite kinds of t-shirts! 1970s forever!

In other news, Chooch and I had another Summer Breakfast Club meeting yesterday since it was my dreaded Friday late shit (and I really annoying one at that). We pre-planned to go to Pitaland for this one because even though we shop there regularly (Henry is like part-Syrian or something and needs to eat pita and yogurt to stay alive) we don’t eat at the cafe very often. Actually, it’s been like three years since Chooch and I last ate breakfast there, and every time we’re there I say to Henry, “Why don’t we ever eat here?” and he just shrugs.

We arrived right after they opened and enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the morning deliveries and the soothing Middle Eastern music playing throughout the store. It was really relaxing. And then while waiting for our food, we mused about how everyone else has beautiful cash money and America has dirty green bills. So plain.

My cup of Arabic coffee was SUPERB, my friends.

I ordered the shankleesh and eggs and knew immediately that Chooch was suffering from order remorse.

He ordered the Fatteh without remembering what it was, and said it was “fine” but that the yogurt tasted “weird” a/k/a it tasted the way it was supposed to taste because it was real yogurt and not like, strawberry banana Dannon. So I sighed and said, “Do you want to switch?” and he happily took me up on my offer which was partially selfish on my end because I tried his and it was DIVINE. Chick peas and pine nuts swimming in warm, savory yogurt on a bed of crispy pita? Fuck yes.

I ate almost all of it and felt so full for the rest of the morning which usually doesn’t happen. I almost always leave breakfast feeling so unsatisfied and ready for second breakfast (unless I get pancakes, then I want to throw up) even though my stomach is like, “Girl, don’t do it.” So this was a great breakfast!

Then the Pitaland lady came over and gave us two giant, puffy pieces of freshly made, still warm pita and we were like, “BLESS!”

Another great breakfast meeting of the minds. It’s really nice to spend quality time together i.e. commiserate over all the ways Henry has pissed us off recently.

(I mean, he definitely didn’t piss me off last night when he finally booked our trip-within-a-trip flight to Tokyo!)

In other Chooch news, he was at the library last week when the power went out on the Boulevard. He wrote this about it on Instagram and I don’t know why, but it just cracked me up:

Me at the library: playing some good, quality Minecraft.

Power: I’m outta here.

Lady next to me: AW DAMMIT! I was on the last page of my Women in Religion essay for Carlow University and the deadline is tomorrow!

Me: that sounds fricking boring. *leaves*

“Who even ARE women in religion, anyway?” Chooch asked me later. “Mary….Jebediah. No, not Jebediah.”

Wow, perhaps we should have enforced CCD on the kid after all.

And to conclude this mish mash of thought sundry, I almost wasn’t around to even make this post because I ALMOST GOT HIT BY A CAR ON WEDNESDAY! I was crossing the street on the way to work, right in front of my building. I had the walk sign, and it wasn’t even counting down yet. To my left, traffic was stopped at a red light. But suddenly, when I was in the middle of the street, some fucking piece of shit in a muscle car decided that he couldn’t wait any longer for the light to turn green so he revved his engine and FLOORED IT, speeding through the intersection so fast that my hair actually blew forward. I had JUST stepped onto the other lane, so if he had done that .0001 seconds sooner, I would have been a goner. As it was, he very nearly clipped the back of me. It was so startling that I actually jumped in the middle of the street and screamed “OH MY GOD!!” and there were people on the sidewalk who were yelling and gasping, too. Some guy spat, “Yeah well, he ain’t going nowhere” because he immediately hit another red light, this time with other cars in front of him. So he did all of that to travel like, 200 feet.

I couldn’t stop shaking for about an hour after that. When I told Glenn, he looked super amused because he didn’t understand the GRAVITY of the situation. “This is why I think every street should have a pedestrian bridge!” I cried. “I don’t care if I have to walk all the way to the other end to cross, I will happily do so if it means a car won’t smash me!”

“And can we call them Erin Bridges?” Glenn asked dryly. THANKS FOR THE IDEA GLENN. I will make sure to suggest that in my next letter to the mayor!!!!!!!!!!!

Let’s end this on a good note, with this sizzler from Baekhyun (there’s an official video as well but I love these live performances more):

One of the verbs that Jiyong has been making me study is in this song so I excitedly texted her “백현 says 원해 in his new song!” and she was proud of me lol.

Jul 102019
 

1992 in the house! (Or, in the pool.)

I was fortunate to have really great birthday parties during pretty my whole childhood, to the point where it became ingrained in me that birthdays were important, my birthday was important, and parties should be expected. Throughout the years, I have thrown birthday parties for a bunch of my friends because BIRTHDAYS ARE IMPORTANT! And obviously I have tried to give my kid memorable birthdays as well, whether it’s in the form of a party or a destination birthday (it will be hard to beat his Disney surprise!).

Because my birthday is in July, I almost always had pool parties at my Pappap’s house, only deviating from that two or three times when I opted to have my party at VIP in South Park because they had, wait for it, a pool and an outdoor skating rink. I requested T’Pau’s Heart & Soul as my birthday skate song every time.

And because I was a spoiled rich girl, there were also several occasions when I aged a year in Europe. (*blows on fingertips* lol) Henry LOVES when I bring up those birthdays. I had a very golden childhood, OK? I can’t help it!

But the best birthday memories were definitely the ones I had my Pappap’s house because he loved playing the role of Grillmaster and would brag to all of my friends about how great his grill-skills were. He was the best and while some girls would be embarrassed if their dad or whoever had the audacity to speak to their friends, I was always so proud because everyone loved my Pappap!

He died in the winter of 1996. My 16th birthday was that summer and while, if things had been different, I probably would have had the big blowout co-ed (omg lol) bash that we had been talking about, I fell into a depression and shoved away any attempt of acknowledging my birthday. Lisa tried to have a small dinner for me at Houlihan’s and I just couldn’t bring myself to it because it was my first birthday without my Pappap and I WANTED TO BE ALONE. #Chapter16ofErinsSobStory

I have a vague recollection of allowing Lisa and Christy to come over and eat birthday cake for my 17th birthday while standing in the kitchen and my brothers running around being jerks.

My 18th birthday was spent in Psycho Mike’s piece of shit 1980-something Omni with no A/C, driving around looking for places that was selling the new Bone Thugs-n-Harmony CD that came with the commemorative coin. We eventually found it but I’m pretty sure we also had a huge fight and I cried a lot, so happy 18th birthday to me.

(No, I don’t still have that coin.)

My royal 19th.

By the time I was about to turn 19, I was ready to give parties another go. I threw myself this ridiculous three-day long birthday party marathon, each night bringing different people to my townhouse in Payne Hill, and while it was incredibly fun in the moment, it culminated in a bipolar breakdown which saw me leaving my own party on the last night, in the wee hours of the morning, and driving with no direction while scream-crying to Foo Fighter’s Everlong.

So, that was that…

I spent my 21st birthday in the hospital because I was suicidal and some of my friends dragged me there kicking and screaming.

I spent my 30th birthday helping a friend move into a new apartment and need I remind you that my birthday is in July so yay heatstroke. I think Henry made me a grilled cheese for dinner that night. Happy 30th birthday to me.

And now my 40th birthday is coming up. Another milestone and I really didn’t want this to pass by with no celebration. However, I am tired of throwing myself parties and I’m not going to expect that any of my friends will do it–they’re busy and have their own shit to think about! And trust me, I’m lucky if I even get a fucking birthday CARD from Henry, hahahakillme. I know this is probably shocking, but I am a SUPER DRAMATIC LEO, especially when it comes to birthdays. I’m like, what did Prince say about his mother that one time – never satisfied.

So I decided last year that I was going to take matters in my own hands and that was when I declared that I would be spending my 40th birthday in Korea like I’m still that little spoiled brat who grew up in Jefferson Hills and not an only-just-barely-not-poor adult living in shitty Brookline.

I didn’t want to go into this with dread, like, “OMG I’m officially so old now” because 40 isn’t old, just like 30 wasn’t old. And now, after working hard to make this happen (thank you, tax refund, for all your help), I get to be in my favorite place, with my favorite people (Henry and Chooch, in case it wasn’t clear, lol), doing all kinds of fun things for like 12 days!

So far, the definitive set-in-stone required-a-reservation already-booked plans we have are:

  • attending a live recording of a Kpop countdown show on my actual birthday (SBS MTV’s The Show.)
  • visiting the DMZ/Joint Security Area
  • spending a night in the VIP room of G-Dragon’s Dolce Bita pension in Pocheon!

Other things we will be doing:

  • Lotte World amusement park!
  • A day trip to Jeonju, birthplace of bibimbap
  • Spending some time in Incheon, which is home to Korea’s largest Chinatown and a little boardwalk park called Wolmido (it has one of those crazy Disco Pang Pang rides)
  • Eating as much bingsu as possible
  • Getting giddy over the subway jingles

And so much more! I want to be more relaxed this time. Our first time there, I feel like all we did was run around like crazy people, trying to figure things out and see everything on my list, and of course we had fun, but wow – the stress levels were high on that one.

We’re staying in Hongdae this time, which is my absolute favorite neighborhood of Seoul. Buskers galore! It’s near Hongik University and there is a lot of youth and vibrancy in this area so hopefully some of it will get absorbed into my soon-to-be 40-year-old hag-skin, haha.

Yesterday in the work kitchen, Sandy asked me if we’re going to Korea every year now. Don’t I wish! This was an exception. We are not rich people!

So basically, my 40th birthday will only suck if I let it!

 

Jun 212019
 

This past week has somehow flown by even though it was pretty hectic and chaotic at work. But, I made it without any breakdowns and to reward myself, I will….exercise and write in my blog.

Wow. Livin’ large.

Since I’m mentally drained though, let’s just look at pictures from my phone from the last week+ plus whatever I deem newsworthy. (I know, I know, isn’t everything in my life newsworthy?!)

Oh and if you came here expecting an update on my NEIGHBORHOOD VIGILANTE PROJECT, forget it—those Pittsburgh cops are dicks and still haven’t replied to my email.

  1. Neighborhood Shakeup

A few months ago, new people moved in next to HNC&Co. You might remember that I hated the previous occupants because they never said hello to me and the husband took up the whole back driveway with all of his broken cars that he fixed in a perpetual loop. An older broad replaced that family and while she hasn’t really stirred the pot much, her son IS A FUCKING DICKHOLE. First of all, he used to park a DUMPTRUCK at the top of the driveway, which is shared by four families (two duplexes, it runs down the middle and all four garages face it). Now, this doesn’t affect Henry and me because we park in a lot across the street, but HNC and his wife have several cars down there, which were constantly getting blocked in. And Haley likes to briefly park at the top of the driveway when she comes home from the store because she has two kids ages 2 and below that she needs to get in the house, so she was going to leave a note on his dumptruck but Blake talked her out of it.

In addition to the dumptruck, this kid also has a horrible temper, a megaphone mouth, and a large fleshy backside that he LOVES TO SHOW. Honestly, I’ve seen his ass crack enough times that it helped me lose weight maybe even more than Jillian Michaels.

Eventually, the dumptruck disappeared, but he’s still over there screaming his face off in the front yard when he gets locked out of the house. Now he has some kind of Blazer, which he also keeps parked in top of the driveway. One day last week, I was upstairs after work and he was outside hollering like a derelict and I HAD HAD A BAD DAY AND JUST WANTED TO COME HOME, DRINK A CUP OF COFFEE IN QUIET, EAT MY FUCKING DINNER, AND EXERCISE. But now I had to listen to this caveboy yelling in his front yard so I came stomping downstairs, whipped open the front door and started yelling over my shoulder at Henry about how this kid was such a psycho asshole because I cook all my Beefs on a passive-aggressive setting. Psycho Asshole was lurching back to his Blazer-thing with long Yedi-like strides, barking indecipherable threats at me, so I slammed the door and Henry was like, “Great, now he’s going to kill us all.”

A few days later, HNC texted Henry a picture of Psycho Asshole’s Blazer. HNC DUCT-TAPED A WARNING ON IT that said “STOP BLOCKING THE DRIVEWAY” and advised Henry to let him know if he continued to park there when HNC wasn’t there. Great, now that kid might think it was me since we just made hateful eye contact a few days prior.

Anyway, HNC calls him “Baby Huey” which kills me and said that Baby Huey’s mom said he has “anger issues.” YEAH NO SHIT. But, apparently they’re moving at the end of the month so I’m really happy about this and now Janna wants to try to move in there but I told her to wait because Blake and Haley are apparently moving soon too and I just want to die because they have been the best neighbors I’ve ever had, wahhhhh.

So, that’s my neighborhood update that you never asked for.

2. SURPRISE MAIL!

One day last week, Henry received a package and the above text exchange ensued.

Dude is constantly getting packages in the mail and it’s always dumb shit like ink for the printer or envelopes for our card shop.

But then a few days later, I was working from home when a package arrived that was actually for me!

Maya got me a burrito blanket! I really wanted one of these too! I actually sent Henry the link a few months ago and said, “Buy this for me” but of course he didn’t – I should have said, “Buy this for Blake” and then he probably would have.

I was born to be a cat chaise. 

3. One of My Purest Pleasures In Life…

…is getting into bed at night with a sheet mask on my face and then when it’s time to take it off, slapping it across Sleeping Henry’s bare back, or sometimes his face depending on how I feel. He only wakes up sometimes.

Chooch recently got into sheet masking so maybe I should clue him into the secret final step of sheet masks.

4. SONG OF THE DAY

Monsta X released a new song today, a collab with French Montana, and at first I was leery because all of these collabs with western artists never seem to add anything magical to the songs, but I am so happy to report that this one WORKS. But my favorite part is that it gives off STRONG Charlie Puth vibes. You know how much I love Charlie Puth – sometimes when I’m working from home, I play “Attention” on repeat real loud, reminding the neighborhood that I sometimes listen to things other than Kpop.

(Chooch just called out from the other room, “Is this the new Monsta X song? It doesn’t even sound like Kpop. It sounds like…The Weeknd.”)

 

We had Father’s Day dinner at an Indian restaurant because Chooch is obsessed with Indian food now and if his obsessions are anything like my obsessions, we’ll probably be going to India one day soon. Also, he criticized Henry throughout the entire meal. On Father’s Day. 

5. Summer Breakfast Club: Guest Clubber Edition!

Kara and her crew, Harland & Theo, joined Chooch and me for breakfast yesterday at Pamela’s and it was awesome! It’s been a hot minute since we all got to hang out together and we had a great time.

I really love Summer Breakfast Club because Chooch is always running around during the summer and I barely see him so it’s nice to have something that both of us enjoy doing (eating breakfast, I guess). We always walk to breakfast so it gives us time to have good talks (usually making fun of Henry and/or Korea memories) while getting in some morning exercise and just good, old fashioned quality time. Plus, it’s something that Henry’s not a part of so I feel smug about that because my end game is obviously to always be the favored parent, come on now.

It’s nice to have a morning once a week where we can sit down and bullshit over food (on this day it was an omelet that had an egg shell in it, so that was cool) before I have to log on and start working from home.

I proposed to Chooch on our nightly walk down the Blvd tonight that we eat at THE NO NAME CAFE next week for SBC, because that’s where Psycho Asshole’s MOM WORKS – we actually saw her in there when we walked past and Chooch went, “Why is she sitting on the other side of the counter?” and I was like, “Uh because she works there?” and he acted all surprised which goes to show you how well he listens to me because I have fucking told him this before and also I wrote about it once on here, so way to read Mom’s blog, asshole! Anyway, Chooch thought that this was a terrible idea but I think I talked him into it, so next week’s breakfast should be a real adventure. I’M GOING TO TALK TO THAT LADY.

Ok, well, that’s five things. Well, four things and a video.

May 232019
 

Hi guys have I ever told you about how I consistently get emails intended for other Erin R Kellys with similar email addresses as mine? No? WELL BUCKLE UP, BABY. Because you’re in for a ride that’s not exactly wild, but wearing seat belts is the law, so.

The first time this happened, that I can remember was way back in 2013 when I happened to glance at my phone while at work and the first thing my eyes rested upon was the threat of getting fucked in the asshole by a gerbil.

I was scared, yo! Like, shit, what fucking Catholic school mom did I piss off this time, you know? But then I read the email more carefully and realized that it was sent to the wrong Erin R Kelly gmail address – mine is erinr(dot)kelly and this one had the (dot) someplace else, or not at all, I can’t remember. But I do remember being confused, because when I signed up with Gmail all those decades ago, I was under the impression that those (dots), you know, mattered maybe.

Anyway, this first email mix-up turned into a popcorn-eating excuse for me and some of my coworkers. You can read about it here. I wonder how maybe jobs Marcus has been fired from since then.

The Erin Kelly that received Marcus’s emails is, I believe, from Las Vegas. I has also gotten reports from a Robotics teacher that her son is a real motherfucker in class, which is surprising considering that Erin Kelly is also a member of some parent organization so she’s at least somewhat involved in her kid’s life, I guess.

Another Erin Kelly lives somewhere around Boston and while I haven’t received anything for her in some time (because she got married and maybe changed her email address? I found her on Facebook, OK? I get bored sometimes), I used to get things like hotel receipts, rental car confirmations, and shipping notifications when she returned an item to Rent the Runway.

Again, some variation of my email address with different (dot) placement.

And then there is my LEAST FAVORITE Erin R Kelly. This one lives in Florida and I think she might be a house flipper because I get so many Home Depot receipts emailed to me. I have tried to contact Home Depot about this because this bitch needs the receipts for taxes, I don’t know? But Home Depot gives no fucks so why should I? I also know that she drives a Toyota Tundra and recently had it serviced at Toyota of Melbourne.

Usually, I just delete this shit because whatever, but a few months ago, I started to repeatedly get notifications that my Rapid Cash loan payment was almost due, due, past due…First I started to panic and thought someone took a loan out in my name but then I noticed that the email address was the Erinrkelly sans (dots). You guys, I actually called this place and explained the whole situation to some account manager because look, what if Other Erin R Kelly didn’t know her loan payment was due?! Anyway, it took a good while to get this broad to pick up what I was putting down and then she was like, “Oh my god, that is so awesome of you to call us about this!” I MEAN, I MAY BE A HORRIBLE PERSON AT TIMES BUT I DO HAVE CATHOLIC GUILT OK.

Anyway, she said they would call the actual Customer Erin Kelly and have her change her email address. Like wtf people, watch what you’re typing!

Then, on Tuesday, I happened to glance at my phone at work and saw something about a consent form and I was like, “What the hell is this now…” and here, some mom was sending a consent form to the dumb Florida Erin Kelly so that he daughter can stay in dumb Florida Erin Kelly’s room on some cruise.

WOW OK CHAPERONE ERIN KELLY.

Pfft, we are so fucking different.

So I email this bitch and tell her that I am not the correct Erin Kelly, the email address is wrong. SO SHE SENDS IT TO ME AGAIN. The fuck. Why do I have to do everyone’s leg work?! I scrolled the end of the email and saw that the email address was provided to this mom by some travel agent named Jeni.

So I email Jeni and I’m all, “Hi Jeni, your ice creams are so splendid, oh and also you gave some mom the wrong email address for Erin Kelly. Please fix.”

She emailed me the next day and was SO APOLOGETIC and said she would take care of it and make the consent forms made it to the proper Erin Kelly and so I filed that away in my ERIN R KELLY – RESOLVED drawer.

“That was really nice of you to take the time to send that email, though!” our Chicago visitor Vicki said when I was complaining about this to her and Glenn at work. I mean, obviously I’m a fucking sweetheart but at the time it allows me a chance to get huffy via email. I love getting huffy.

THE SAME DAY, I got another email, this one I think may be intended for I Took Out a Loan Erin R Kelly, because it’s the email with NO DOTS just like the Rapid Cash one. Anyway, the email had a link to a MUSIC VIDEO:

I mean. I won’t post the video here because that’s someone’s intellectual property and who even knows, right? But I will say it’s a REAL DOOZY of a rap song. And the “humming in the hooks” actually could have been provided by this here Erin R Kelly because it was pretty not great. Here are some stills from the video, which starts out semi-Biblical, takes a turn by flaunting guns, and then has a weird sideways clips of two girls….grinding upright on a bed and please Lord let one of them be Erin R Kelly, lol.

I played it in the car when Henry drove me home from work that day, like, played it LOUD, and Henry was like, “Um…do we have to listen to the whole thing?”

I let Nate and Todd watch it. Todd immediately was like, “Dude…I don’t even know what to say. That guy needs to hang it up.” And Nate had to take a break halfway through and come to my desk to talk to me about what he had just witnessed.

Then I sent it to Janna whose main takeaway was, “One of those guys has ‘RIP’ under his name!!!!” Lol.

I mean, this video really runs the gamut from “Man cheerfully getting Baptized” to “Fuck the Police” (agreed) to “Vampire Facial Time.” My favorite part was the ultra poetic “snitches get stitches.” I’m so proud to have my name affiliated with this.

After telling Nate about all of the other instances of WRONG ERIN R KELLY, he came up with the smartest solution: I just need to change my name. That would solve my problem of being called “Kelly” in work emails a minimum of twice of day. He’s going to start a Go Fund Me.

May 172019
 

It’s Friday, you guys, which means I’m that closer to the next amusement park trip! However you have to get through the work week, amirite?

Anyway, here’s some stuff – well, five to be exact since it’s FRIDAY – that went down this week. Can’t promise it’s going to be exciting or informative, but I’ll throw in some photos that may or may not enhance the narrative.

1. RING THE BELL

Not a shocking secret about me but I live across the street from a church and I don’t ever remember the church bells ever ringing but suddenly, for the last several weeks, the church bells have awoken and are here to fucking announce every goddamn hour of the day from 8am to 9pm and it is fucking obnoxious, this relentless throbbing-tinny hourly countdown. I don’t know if they got a new priest over there who was like “Well shoot y’all this church has got BELLS? Let’s dust those Heaven-horns off!” I’d like for him to dust the NOVELTY off because this shit is wack and after last Sunday, I can’t hear them ding-donging without bracing for a dragon to come forth and torch my town.

I’m going to report this for a noise violation or whatever you call it.

Random picture that Henry found on his phone from the trick eye museum in Korea. 

2. Happy Broken Family

You guys know how Henry’s son Blake and his fam live right next door to us? Well, you can imagine how often Chooch is flitting back and forth between the two houses—he is obsessed with his big brother Blake. Well, yesterday he came back in the house and said, “Something weird happened. The shirtless Italian guy with the dog who lives next to Blake saw me coming out of Blake’s house and said, ‘So is that uh…..um….your….uncle?’ and I said, ‘No, it’s my brother’s house’ and he said, ‘Oh, and your other dad lives next door?’ I said yes, but thought it was weird that he called you my ‘other dad,'” Chooch said to Henry with a shrug.

I thought this was unusual as well, but then Henry said, “He probably thought you were talking about Calvin when you said it was your brother’s house.” Calvin is Blake’s son, Chooch’s nephew. So he thinks Blake is Chooch’s dad! I AM FUCKING DYING AT THE THOUGHT OF THIS, Chooch having “both dads” living right next door to each other!

This morning when I left for work, Calvin was at the window playing with his cars so I was waving to him when I noticed that Italian Guy’s Shirted Brother was outside with the dog, watching me. We waved and said good morning to each other and as soon as I was far enough down the sidewalk, I started laughing all over again because those guys must think , “Wow, those people really get along great for a broken family!”

3. LA ANNUAL STICKING OF LA FINGER

Ugh, why do I put myself through this every year? Oh yeah, for better insurance rates or something, I think? Anyway, my appointment for the wellness screening was at 10:06am on Tuesday, and I had chosen to fast. I was running around the department like a crazy person that morning, crying to everyone who would listen and repeating, “ohmygodohmygodohmygod” over and over. “It’s like Jeffrey Dahmer is running the place,” Glenn said, having already gone up for this screening. “Blood everywhere!” I screamed at him to shut up and I know it was a joke but now I was picturing blood dripping down the windows of the 28th floor and was starting to get that ol’ familiar nervous knee-knocking.

Finally, Amber saw me cowering at my desk when she was en route to her appointment, which was about 40 minutes earlier than mine, and said, “Oh for god’s sake, just go up with me now” YES, LET’S GET THIS OVER WITH.

I was so spastic that I was actually trying to pull the pen out of the lady’s hand while she was using it to point out the spots I needed to fill in on the consent form. Like, I was aware that I was doing it and it was coming across as super rude, but I literally could not let go of the pen. It was so embarrassing. What is wrong with me.

DON’T ANSWER THAT.

First, some broad called me over to weigh me and measure my waist, etc. I was like, “IS THAT AN OK NUMBER??” about my waist size and she said, “Yes, all your numbers are good!” So that made me feel better. Then she was having a coughing fit and trying to talk to me about it but I was like, “Look, this is about me and my numbers,  not your damn windpipe, alright.”

She sent me back to the fake triage area and I was supposed to be the next person to get called back for the actual fingerstick portion of the traveling blood bath, but the next available screener was adamant about taking Amber first even  though Amber tried to defer her spot to me. Turns out,  this was a blessing because the screener I got was A-MAZ-ING. She had two thick bleached strands of hair framing her face, and I could picture her being a total badass in the 70s. She looked at my form and said, “Oh, my birthday is the day after yours! Well, with about a 20 year difference,” she laughed.

“Yeah! Leos are the best!” I exclaimed and we spent nearly the whole time talking about how amazing our zodiac is and I was really on the verge of asking her if she wanted to hang out sometime but thought maybe that would be inappropriate since she was in the process of stroking blood out of the pad of my middle finger.

Guess what you guys?! This was the best screening I’ve had to date.

“All of my numbers are in the ‘desirable’ range!” I bragged to Henry via Kakao.

“That’s good,” he replied and I was annoyed that he didn’t seem more stoked about this. He didn’t even use any emojis!!!

That’s fine, I guess I’ll just take my hotly desired blood elsewhere.

 

4. CHOOCH THE RUTHLESS

Call me old fashioned, but I’m a firm believer in the dying art of sending thank you cards. YES, SOMETIMES I FORGET TO DO THIS MYSELF, because life is a trainwreck sometimes, but I thought it would be nice for Chooch to send Thank Yous to the people who came to his recent birthday dinner in order to teach him some etiquette (meanwhile Henry’s over there desperately trying to teach him to use double negatives).

The thing with Chooch is that he may be naturally brilliant in so many things, but when it comes to shit like correspondence, he has no clue. He will put his own name on the envelopes of cards being given to other people! HE DID THAT TO MY MOTHER’S DAY CARD….

LAST YEAR!

Anyway, I noticed that he was writing all of his messages on the left side of the card, leaving the main side all blank and weird-looking. So I suggested, in a nice, non-pageant-mom-y way, that perhaps he could draw a picture on the sides that he left blank, so they would look less weird. So of course he drew a clown on Haley’s and Wendy’s because they hate clowns (Wendy’s also featured Meghan Trainor) and then for Janna’s, after insulting her on one side, he drew a picture of her mom beating her and this is funny because we have this joke all the back from 2014 where Janna’s mom beat her for using her car when she went to Nemacolin Castle with Corey and me. Her mom originally said she could use the car, but then forgot about it I guess because once we arrived at the castle for the tour, her mom called and was like WHERE IS MY CAR and Janna was like MOM, YOU SAID and Corey and I were AW SHIT, JANNA’S GON’ GET IT! But Janna insisted that everything was fine once she hung up with her mom.

Later that night when we went back to Janna’s to get our cars, Corey joked that if we waited long enough, maybe we would see the silhouette of Janna getting whipped by her mom and Henry to this day still doesn’t think this is a funny story but Corey and I would cry-laugh every time it came up.

Uh, anyway, this card was a nice homage to old times.

5. JANNA’S BIG DEAL BIRTHDAY

I took Janna out to dinner for her birthday on Wednesday. She originally said she wanted to go somewhere with good desserts so I was like, “Maybe something Italian then?” and she was like “I COULD DO ITALIAN” so then I spent ALL THIS TIME on that app that I loathe (#UghYelp) only for her to suggest The Abbey hours later. THE ABBEY IS NOT ITALIAN. But I wasn’t mad though because that let me off the hook of searching for the perfect birthday dinner venue which I am not great at because we all know I’m such a megalomaniac (see above re: LEOS RULE).

Then Janna wanted to sit outside and I was like “Ugh fine it’s your birthday” but I am not a fresco diner! I prefer sitting inside almost always, especially at The Abbey because it’s an old funeral home! Instead, I did what any mature girl would do and pouted and whined about being cold and then said NO FORGET IT every time Janna offered to lend me her sweater. I am a great dinner companion.

I got the vegan mushroom and spinach ravioli and seitan meatballs and I have to say, the ravioli were FANTASTICO but I have had better-prepared seitan in my travels. It was OK – I liked that it was almond-encrusted but it was very tough and even though the almonds tasted good, it made the whole thing extremely dry. Another annoyance was that my salted lemon tart was so fucking small that I actually thought it was a mistake. It was $6!! And the size of a shot glass! I AM A CHEAP PERSON AND ALSO A FOREVER FAT WHO WANTS BIG DESSERTS.

I mean, it tasted wonderful but I WANTED MORE.

Also, it was really hard to cut through the pastry because it was SO SMALL AND DENSE. I was afraid I was going to send it sailing across the patio with one wrong move of the knife.

Janna got food too.

Afterward, she hung out at my hell house for a few hours and Chooch was in rare form, looking for his wallet while in “meth addict” character and I had ONE BEER at dinner so I was like scream-laughing over this, and kpop videos were blasting on the TV, and Janna was yelling, “Come on, Chooch, stop it!” while Henry quietly sat at the computer and it was a total throwback to high school when I used to have friends over and my brothers would be going batshit with butcher knives and the dogs would be barking and my mom would be quietly laying on the couch watching figure skating, blocking us all out, and it was just a flurry of pandemonium, or as we Kellys called it: “a normal night.”

I had one beer at dinner was so CRUNK (yeah I said it) even by the time we got back to my house that my every movement was exaggerated and amplified, and Henry immediately was like, “Wow you had a beer, I can tell. You always get an attitude when you drink a beer.”

A beer.

That’s me!

Anyway, we made Janna sit through a bunch of Kpop stuff and when the NCT127 appearance on James Corden came on, she asked, “Which one is my bias?” and I said, “Well jeez Janna, NONE OF THEM BECAUSE THIS ISN’T BTS!” (I made her choose a BTS bias a few years ago and she chose Taehyung.)

Yep, just a normal night.

Apr 122019
 

Oh damn, end of the week already. Well, let’s get this Friday Five thang started. I know, I can’t  believe I’m still blogging, either. Stick a fork in it, Erin!

Random “look it’s spring in the city” picture. 

  1. WTF Lunch and Apple Slumming

Typing this takes guts, because I’m about to admit something that goes against my every belief. You guys know that I am an apple snob, a forbidden fruit aficionado, a pomme princess, only permitting those designer hybrids to touch my palate…

…but on Wednesday…

I ATE A BASIC RED DELICIOUS.

Literally, the Walmart brand of apples.

And…it was surprisingly OK! Perhaps I’m becoming less apple hipster-ish now that I’m nearing 40, or maybe Red Delicious apples aren’t as 1950s Housewife Vanilla as I remember, or maybe I was just really hungry because we had a meeting that day and boxed lunches were provided, but us handful of vegetarians got a pretty unusual option. I actually thought the veg box I grabbed was an accident, the one defective box in the bunch, but after talking to Maggie–another meat-free department co-worker–I confirmed that our option was actually intentional. In the year 2019, this catering company couldn’t think of anything better to fulfill a vegetarian order than a sandwich roll loaded with one piece of lettuce, a ziplock bag with two tomato slices, and another (leaking) ziplock filled with some weird marinated cauliflower shit that I think was meant to be put inside the bun?! I ate less than half and threw the rest out because WTF was that.

Maggie said she took the lettuce off, saved the bun, and made a PB&J in her office with it after the meeting. Ugh, maybe I should stock up on some Uncrustables for these situations.

Seeing that I wasn’t eating my sandwich, Todd tried to offer me his apple but he had a GREEN ONE and I was like, “EW TODD ARE YOU KIDDING ME I DON’T EAT GREEN APPLES!” Ugh! Nice try.

So yeah, that Red Delicious that I was given in my lunch box was a welcome source of sustenance at that point! I forgot how OK-tasting those classic fruit-balls really are.

Meanwhile, Lauren was sitting next to me and her choice was like, roast beef or something and that sandwich was fucking LOADED.

I sound like a bitchbaby, but I’m really appreciative that there even WAS an option provided for us veg-lifers, but come on, catering people. It’s 2019! Surely not all of your clientele eats meat. Do better!

2. Still Crying Over Jonghyun

I mentioned earlier this week that it was the late Jonghyun’s birthday.  I wore some of my Jonghyun memorial pins on Monday in his honor and tried hard to just be a nice person to everyone I encountered (with the exception of Henry, haha) all week, even strangers on the street. I even tried real hard not to scowl at the abortion protesters who have set up shop again in front of Planned Parenthood.

I was doing OK until last night. I kept seeing this “Classical Musicians React to Jonghyun” in my YouTube feed but I kept scrolling past because I knew it would upset me. But then after Henry went to bed last night, I ended up putting it on because I’m a glutton, and before I knew it, I was straight sobbing. And not just “fake Instagram crying” but like, full-body weeping, entire face wet, choking on eye-spit, violent nose-blowing, now-my-stomach-hurts C-R-Y-I-N-G. Not only were they saying really complimentary things about Jonghyun as an artist, musician, vocalist, and lyricist, they were genuinely moved and some were visibly overcome with emotion. They talked about how it’s a shame that he left the world so soon, but how lucky we are that he gave us so much of himself.

When Jonghyun died, it hit me harder than when I lost any other celebrity or musician I loved, and it felt even more shocking than when Bowie or Prince died. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I felt very emotionally-connected to this one and it affected me on what feels like an extremely personal and intimate level. Maybe it’s because Kpop idols in general let people into their lives more than most, what with all the fan events, reality shows, and variety appearances they make. It makes it feel like we know them as people, we see their personalities and their know their quirks–granted, I know that a lot of this is for show and they still have their private versions of themselves, but I can’t deny that I feel like I know a lot of these idols on a deeper level than any Western artist, for better or worse.

So, even though it’s been a year and a half since his passing, it still feels so raw. I woke Henry up last night and buried my tear-soaked face into his chest and he just murmured, “Why do you do this to yourself?”

“I feel like my whole entire body is one gigantic heart AND IT’S BROKEN,” I wailed, and then I threw away my sorrow-streaked contacts and passed out.

Anyway, that reaction video was really great and you should watch it.

You should also watch this wonderful live performance of Tell Me What To Do because Jonghyun was still alive then and Taemin is wearing a see-through shirt:

3. Props To My Non-Secret Son Not-Named Clive

I mentioned in another post recently that Chooch was chosen as Student of the Month at the Teen Center and he got to choose the dinner menu (isn’t it awesome that they feed the kids there?!). He asked for tteokbokki but they went above and beyond and planned an entire Korean night! He texted me this picture on Wednesday:

I freaking love the Teen Center, you guys. Almost so much that I’d consider donating household junk to be used for craft projects, or volunteering….Henry.

Additionally, he came home from school today with his A-filled report card! I try not to be that mom who brags about her kid all the time (and trust me, he’s not perfect!) but man, sometimes I feel spoiled because as far as his school-work and grades go, Henry and I are able to be pretty hands-off. He just naturally knows what he needs to do and he gets that shit done on his own, PRAISE BE. Helicopter-parenting is not my style, so thank you Chooch!

Oh wait, one more Chooch update – he’s been binge’ing Jane the Virgin and now he says “Oh my god” exactly like Jane, which is also how my EX-BFF used to say it, so that’s been pretty annoying.

4. Henry’s Fucking Face Instrument

You know those old-timey guys that peddle their music-mobiles down the cobblestone road, tooting all the horns, smashing the cymbals, stroking the washboard, blowing their whistles? It sounds like one of them lives inside Henry’s nose. His nasal bells and whistles get worse with age, I swear. Chooch and I are constantly groaning and complaining about it and then Henry will bark, “FINE I JUST WON’T BREATHE THEN, I GUESS!” and then we’re like, “Yay!” but he always goes on breathing.

At least his beard is growing back so he doesn’t look so much like  a 1950s science teacher now.

5. Current Favorite Kpop Jam!

And no, it’s not the new BTS which just came out today and is good but also kind of underwhelming and features too much English; however, my expectations were pretty low to begin with because it features Halsey and I really don’t like her at all and every time they collab with another American artist, I lose a feather from the Korean wings I made out of the household junk that I could have donated to the Teen Center, BUT maybe I’m maturing and as mentioned above, becoming less hipster-y in my old age, because she actually didn’t bother me! I thought it was well done, and her voice really works well with theirs, and also she didn’t overpower the song or steal any of the limelight like NICKI MINAJ did in the shitty American remix of “Idol,” and it’s weird because I actually like Nicki but she really had no business being on that song at all and added NOTHING to it. In “Boy With Luv,” though, I thought Halsey’s vocals were tasteful and subdued. I approve.

But I digress! My current favorite jam is this real tooth-rotter from a rookie girl group, Everglow. I didn’t pay much attention to it at first but then two of my favorite kpop cardio YouTubers uploaded a routine for it and I was really feeling it.

Then I saw a comment somewhere that said they thought they were saying, “You go to Walmart everyday” and now that’s all I can hear too but it’s still the fucking jam.

OK gotta go, I have two Bon Bon Chocolat workouts with my name on it!

Mar 292019
 

Today’s Friday Five is going to be MEMORIES. Ooh-wee, more insight into my past! Thank god I have such a steel trap up there in my head.

DIRTY JOKES

So this morning, out of nowhere, I had a flashback to my, shit, 7th? 8th birthday? I guess my memory isn’t that great. I didn’t have a party that year because we had just moved into our new house, maybe? And my mom was probably stressed from the move? I know it was that year because our yard didn’t have grass yet and remnants of the construction were still laying around. God, this is so interesting already. OK, I think Christy was probably there, but I remember Spring and Audra for FOR SURE were there because Audra got me some kind of kids soap set or something and MY DAD snickered, “HONEY DID  YOU TELL HER THAT YOU DON’T USE SOAP?” thinking he was SO FUNNY but I was fucking  mortified! I was like, “I DO SO USE SOAP!?” And you know the worst part? THERE IS A VIDEO OF THIS! It’s on a VHS tape somewhere and every so often over the years, it’d get plucked from the pile of HOME VIDEOS and shoved in the VCR to see what was on it, and every single time that scene cued up, my face burned all over again because it was so excruciating to watch, both the shitty Dad Joke and my subsequent reaction. JUST TYPING THIS has me feeling some type of way, and it’s the good.

Maybe Christy wasn’t there after all because I feel like this would be something she’d reference occasionally.

The only good thing about that incident is that I also got a WATCHIMAL and those things were so cool. DID YOU HAVE ONE?

Anyway, I do use soap.

(But I’m really picky and it can only be Dove, Olay, or Caress. Any scent is fine though. I hate soap like Irish Spring and Dial or any other basic soap that Henry buys for himself and Chooch because it makes my skin feel squeaky and I’m sorry, but I’m fine with being quietly clean, I don’t need to be squeaky clean. UGH I JUST GOT CHILLS.)

Scenic Precincts

This one time, for summer vacation, my grandparents and Aunt Sharon took me to Italy and Sicily which was really fun except that we were in Palermo during the time that some mob thing was happening where CARS WERE BEING BLOWN UP BY PIPE BOMBS and like, judges and cops were being targeted? All I know is that I was like 10 and had no fucking idea what any of this meant but everyone on our tour was talking about it and my Pappap made some joke about how we would be fine as long as we didn’t go near any precincts. I asked him what a precinct was and for some reason, when he explained it to me, I still didn’t understand but pretended that I did and then forgot about it until years later when I was watching something and someone mentioned going back to the precinct and it suddenly clicked and then, like 8 years later, my Pappa’s joke made sense to me.

WHY DIDN’T I UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANT, THOUGH?? I swear, I was a smart kid. But I guess smart kids can be dense too, I type as I look at my kid over my shoulder.

This memory brings up a related memory of the time I lived in South Park and was watching Pee Wee’s Big Adventure in my living room with the aforementioned Christy and when Micky said whatever he said about just enjoying the scenery, I asked Christy what scenery meant and I’m sure she explained it to super well because she was (is) a genius, but shit that was too abstract of a term for me to understand, I guess.

(I know what it means now though, don’t worry.)

Oh wait, here: I remembered that I could use that Google thing and I found the Palermo bombing stuff! It happened in July 1992 so I was 12, I guess.

The Sun Roof Incident

#3 is a throwback to one of my favorite memories that I already wrote about once a long time ago but am resharing the link because I have been thinking about my Pappap more than usual lately – no I don’t miss my Pappap, YOU miss my Pappap! *sniff*

So yeah: The Sun Roof Incident

Accidental Greaser

One morning in second grade, I was getting ready for school when I noticed that I had dry patch on my chest, like a mild rash or something, who even knows, if that happened today I would probably have 97 tabs open on my computer, each one highlighting a different terminal disease. In all of my quick-thinking glory, I scooped a glopping heap of Vaseline from the jar and transported it my hand-hook petroleum jelly vehicle straight to my chest. Satisfied I’m sure that I handled this on my own, I then proceeded to take a shower, not knowing that my hand-hook petroleum jelly vehicle was now commuting that greasy paste straight atop my pate.

Oh don’t worry, I figured it out as soon as I started to blowdry my hair and then I screamed for my mom and she was like WHAT DID YOU DO OMGGGG and at this point I was having what might have actually been my first panic attack and even then, in like 1986 or whatever, I was so worried about going to school and getting made fun of for having greasy hair, so my mom let me stay home.

I guess it was ok the next day?!

Strange Maybe-Candies 

A few weeks ago, I was wearing blue pastel pants and a pink blouse. Carrie said I looked very spring-like, and then HOURS later, Wendy came over and said the same thing and Carrie and I were like, “Nice try, Wendy, but you’re a little late.” (This has nothing to do with the story but I can’t even pass up an opportunity to drag Wendy.) Then I was eating Reese’s easter eggs and realized that even the candy matched my outfit so I took a picture because we live in the age of Everything’s a Photo-Op.

But then this whole pastel passage conjured another old AF memory! WANNA HEAR IT, OK!

The year was probably 1985 but if this post has taught us anything it’s that I don’t know dates.

My brother Ryan had just recently been brought into the world to ruin my life, so I was just a little ball of raging fury in those days.

One particular afternoon, Ryan was being showered with an exceptional amount of attention. I couldn’t take it any longer so I stormed off to my bedroom. When you’re young and pissed off, what’s the first thing you turn to (before you discover drugs or hardcore gangsta rap)? For me, it was destruction. But if I wasn’t feeling in the mood to desecrate Ryan’s nursery, I would choose the next best thing – defiance.

We had a guest room that was really just a holding cell for family heirlooms and other assorted antiques that my mom had acquired when her aunt had died. I was never actually told not to go in there, but it was more or less implied; the air of the room screamed Do Not Disturb. Not to mention it scared the shit out of me and reeked of old person.

Knowing that I shouldn’t have been in that room was the one thing that was drawing me to it. At first, I sat on the immaculate white knit bedspread. Quickly becoming bored with putting butt prints in the smooth covers, I moved on to explore the dresser and desk drawers. It was in the desk where I unearthed peculiar pink and green wads of foreign substance. Each drawer contained various pieces of it and the shapes were random and inconsistent. Some were rolled into little logs, while others were mashed into the wood.

I pulled a chunk off from the bottom of the drawer and detected a taffy-like texture. Looked like candy, felt like candy, probably didn’t smell like candy but never mind — MUST BE CANDY!

And so I ate it. It didn’t taste like much, but I figured that was because it was really old, expensive antique candy. Clearly, I was having my own Lewis Carroll experience. I went to bed that night gloating and feeling smugly indulgent. Can’t remember dates, but I remember THAT.

From that day on, whenever I would get shafted by the parents, I’d run to my magic candy. It was something that was all mine and Ryan could never have it (I mean, he really couldn’t have it – he was barely crawling at this point). This went on for a few months, maybe a year, until I moved on to bigger and better things. Like pyromancy and staging my own kidnapping.

I remembered this out of the blue one time, about 20 years later. Surely it would be an OK time to tell my mom. I was hoping she would be really hurt. “Oh honestly! That candy had been in the family for trillions of years and it was so special to me and now I’m crying.”

But what really happened was this:

After telling her the sordid tale, I smugly spat, “Yep, that was me. Eating your cherished heirloom candy that Aunt Cill brought back from the motherland.”
Mom: “That wasn’t candy, you asshole. That was sticky tack.”

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

Guys, while I was blowing fuses in my brain thinking of old shit to write in here tonight, I actually thought of another memory that has since evolved into WHAT MIGHT BE A TALE OF DECEPTION AND BETRAYAL so I will save that for its own post sometime this weekend because now I’m really freaked out. But also probably jumping to conclusions like I do.

Mar 142019
 

Blog, this is one of those days where I wish you were a real person and we’re sitting across from each other at a cafe and you’re smiling quietly while I rattle on and on about every last thought that enters my vapid, bat-filled cavern of a mind to distract myself from all that is making me anxious.

Speaking of cafes though, I went to Allegheny Coffee on my break yesterday and had a delightful apple butter latte which is made with REAL APPLE BUTTER and not syrup – I watched the skinny flannel guy scoop it out of a jar, yo – and it was perfectly not-sweet and just right. And the baristas were all aloof and friendly, telling dumb jokes and playing Pictionary with drink orders. That’s my kind of cafe, you know? Sometimes there are dogs in there too. I think all cafes should have animals in them but that’s just me.

Let’s free-form this motherfucker out of the blogpark, shall we?

Did you know that there were two separate deaths on my mom’s street caused by grass-cutting? Of course you didn’t know  that, and either did Lori when I said that very same thing to her after she was talking about needing to cut her grass and having a steep hill and I killed the mood with a quickness by sharing that fun fact. But yeah, two deaths, two riding lawn mowers, two hills. The one man ultimately died from a heartattack, but the woman died from a broken neck after her riding mower rolled down a hill with her on it. So fucking scary, man. I think my mom’s street (good ol’ Gillcrest) is probably haunted.

Speaking of death, I went to a funeral last Friday at my childhood church and realized while I was sitting in the parking lot because I was too early (shocking) that I don’t think I have been back to that church since my Pappap’s funeral in 1996 and that was so depressing and I was like DON’T CRY DON’T CRY DON’T CRY so I distracted myself by texting my mom about how I couldn’t believe Litwin auto body (the “a” and “b” are lowercase on their sign, wtf)  was still there because it was in my line of vision while hiding in my car and my mom said she was just thinking the same thing the other day when she drive past it! #random Then I went inside and I was the first one there so I had a mild panic attack over where to sit because I really wanted to just pop a squat in the last row but I didn’t want to be that weirdo in the back so I went with a safe middle pew and felt good about my choice and then proceeded to sit alone and stew in my heresy until the service started and all I will say about that is that I got oddly stoked to hear my old jams (“On Eagle’s Wings” particularly) and for a split second I started to consider maybe going back to church, I don’t know, should I?! Chooch looked at me like I was nuts when I asked him if he would want to go sometime because what 12 year old says yes to that.

Oh, what’s that I’m drinking, you might ask if we actually were talking in person like real life friends? So I have started drinking kombucha regularly, yes, I’m one of Those People and I never in a million years thought that I would be. The first time I had it was probably 10 years, we were leaving what used to be my Ultimate Favorite Ice Cream Joint called Oh Yeah (since replaced by Millie’s, in my heart and actual brick-and-mortar location) and the owner was your total Wheat Grass Head and literally chased me down and slammed a bottle of kombucha in my hand. I thought I was going to projectile-spray it back in his face when he insisted I take my inaugural swig in front of him. It was like drinking the piss from the Toxic Avenger, I don’t even know how else to explain it, and all that shit that was swimming around in the deep end of the bottle gave me chills. But I was determined to finish it because Dude was going on and on about the benefits and I loved his ice cream and vegan waffles and wanted to love his weird health tonic too. It took me a full week to finish drinking it and then I waited another 5 years before trying it again. I’m not sure if kombucha has just become more palatable in general or if all the kimchi has primped and primed my taste buds for extreme fermentation,  but the last several times I downed a bottle on a whim, I noticed that I didn’t mind the taste anymore and actually started to crave that weird, fizzy burn down my gullet. So about a month ago I decided to incorporate it into my diet and  am here to report that my gut has been feeling FANTASTICO. Active cultures are welcome inside me. However, when I opened one of my bottles at work the other day, it exploded and that really made my desk smell super great, as you can imagine.

HOLD UP this just in: TODD JUST DISCOVERED QUEEN. He sent me an email, all excited about it, how he saw Bohemian Rhapsody but didn’t realize it was a biopic, and now that he’s fallen down the Queen YouTube rabbit hole, he has since figured out that he knew a lot of the songs from commercials, and why can’t I stop laughing about this!! So I told him about the time my pal Lisa videotaped me in the 90s dancing theatrically to Radio Gaga with curlers in my hair and he was like, “Why does this not shock me.”

Wow Imaginary Cafe Date, you’re learning so much about me right now.

Also, I am getting major LiveJournal feels right now. It feels nice to just sit down and write about anything that comes to my mind.

Like for instance my very specific silverware-related OCD, something that developed at some point during my childhood but I just can’t quite pinpoint when. So basically, I must keep spoons and knives separated at all times because everyone knows that there is a centuries-old love triangle between knives, spoons, and forks but FORKS AND SPOONS BELONG TOGETHER FOREVER OK. THE KNIVES ARE THE BAD GUYS and not like, the misunderstood kinds of bad guys that are actually soft-hearted and doughy in the middle, but the actual bad guys who like, run sex rings and kick puppies. So, basically, it’s a Larry Welch/Hope Williams/Bo Brady* kind of love triangle that we’ve got here. And ever since I was a kid, I have always made sure that the forks separate the spoons from the knives in the silverware drawer. Common sense, right? I CAN’T TELL YOU HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE TOLD THIS TO HENRY and that misogynistic motherfucker is always putting the spoons in the middle, right next to the nefarious knives who are only going to impregnate them and not pay child support!! HE JUST DID IT AGAIN THE OTHER DAY AND I HAD TO ANGRILY REARRANGE IT and now I’m wondering if he’s doing it on purpose because he’s trying to slowly give me a nervous breakdown?!

*(You know what’s sad? That I can remember the full names of fictional people from Salem with more ease than people from my actual life. I mean, those names up there just rolled right the fuck off my fingertips, you have no idea. Although, I DID keep a pretty extensive DAYS scrapbook in the 80s…)

Speaking of scrapbooks, here’s another super rad fact about the “author” of this blog. Whenever I would get obsessed with TV shows (me? obsessed?) I would giddily  tear through the TV Guide, clipping out any ad or TV listing I could find for it. Specifically, the ones that stick out most vividly in my mind because I can literally picture them thumb-tacked to my bulletin board, the made-for-TV remake of Phantom of the Opera (starring CHARLES DANCE and you have no fucking idea how much shit I flipped when I realized that he was also in Game of Thrones, unless you are a consistent reader of this Internet word dump because I am sure I went off about that in some prior post) and Wild Palms, which to this day I still have the poster image emblazoned on my retinas for some reason. I don’t remember a single thing that this mini-series was about other than I thought I was cool for watching it because it was Oliver Stone and the picture of the lady with the big palm tree tattooed on her back. I couldn’t tell you what it was about.

Oh! Another one that I inexplicably was obsessed with was this Lifetime movie called In a Child’s Name with Valerie Bertinelli.  Thanks to some well-timed heads-ups from the TV Guide, I was able to watch this movie several times throughout the years back  then and every time I freaked out when the police did UV light thing and ALL THE BLOOD SHOWED UP. That was how I learned about that, you guys. I practically thought I was a homicide detective by then.

I’m going to a play tomorrow night with Janna and hopefully she doesn’t read this blog post because then we will have nothing to talk about at dinner HAHAHA JUST KIDDING I will talk my face off.

Jan 172019
 

Yesterday I was hit with possibly the worst cramps I have ever gotten in my life and for someone who rarely gets them (I know, I’m such a bitch) it basically felt like I was dying. It came on out of nowhere at work and I swear it felt like I was graying out. Then I realized I was actually sliding off my chair, that’s how much pain had taken over.

I half-collapsed onto Carrie’s desk and whined, “Carrie omg I have cramps” and she put on her pharmacist lab coat and doled out some pills. Then she told me to go home and that’s all I needed to hear so I half-crawled to Wendy’s office and asked to leave which I hate doing and can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve had to do this in the nine years I’ve worked there but whatever I had swords inside me.

Dear Henry was able to pick me up from work but oh if you could have seen me shambling around downtown to the spot where he was picking me up, you’d have thought I was just a typical strung-out townie.

SIDEBAR: have you ever had an Envy apple? I’m eating one right now and it’s divine, like it was handed to me from Satan himself.

It hurt so bad at one point that I actually started to wonder if I had broken an abdominal muscle.

Anyway, Henry dropped me off at home and I was like WHERE DO YOU THINK YOURE GOING, GET THE HEATING PAD but he couldn’t find the heating pad?! And then we remembered I BROKE the heating pad because I kept using it as a heated blanket.

Henry finally returned with a RUBBER WATER BOTTLE like this was the 1940s and I was laying on a fainting couch. I mean, it was fine until it wasn’t hot anymore and I didn’t know what to do but then I remembered the Phone-A-Henry option and he answered me just as I was getting ready to microwave it.

So then I started ranting about why did we even have a rubber water bottle and they are really stupid!!! and Henry said it was because a long time ago I read something about…something…and that something involved me needing a hot water bottle for…something??!! I don’t remember this AT ALL. Must be just like those Salonpas Henry accused me of having and I know THATS NOT TRUE.

Henry is trying to poison my mind, I think.

So my day at home was a lot of me laying on the couch, moaning dramatically even though no one was home, and watching roller coaster videos but then feeling even more awful imagining myself on a roller coaster while feeling the way that I felt so then I was worried that I was going to condition myself to not like roller coasters so I watched This Is Us instead. I usually cry during that show but this time I was like “whatever I’m in more pain than you assholes.”

Around 3 I texted Chooch and told him I came home from work sick and all he said was “feel better I’m going to the Teen Center.” WOW JUST WOW.

(Omg Chooch is talking shit on me to Henry right now, I heard him whisper something that started with ‘she’ and I AM THE ONLY SHE IN THE HOUSE unless he’s talking about the cats BUT I DONT THINK SO.)

So eventually my cramps subsided but then I was just really nauseous and shivery, but I never actually puked. I felt like that most of today as well, like I was seasick but Marlene gave me COKE SYRUP and it helped.

HOT WATER BOTTLES AND COKE SYRUP. Maybe I should start reading the farmers almanac too.

It occurred to me at some point that I felt similar to how I felt in my FIRST TRIMESTER OF PREGNANCY which is ironic (I don’t care if I used that rightly or wrongly) because yesterday morning, it was really slippery outside and Henry made me take the T so I texted him and told him that I fell on my way there and I hope he was happy and he very fakely responded “omg are you ok” like he actually cared and I told him that YEAH I WAS FINE because some man helped me up.

And then we had sex.

And now I’m pregnant.

So wow, I’m so good at lie-texting that I actually convinced my body to have pregnancy symptoms.

IM NOT PSYCHO YOURE PSYCHO.

So that’s the story of how I had other things to say on here but then I basically went into FAKE LABOR because my lies are that powerful so instead you got this.

Don’t worry. I’m ok.

Jan 112019
 

Hola it’s me, the non-nutritionist, un-doctor, fake-fitness instructor, here to tell you about how I lost weight because a few people asked after I posted this side-by-side comparison snap on Instagram last weekend:

But first, here’s some history:

I started to get “fat” in 4th grade. I don’t remember off-hand if my diet was trash but I know that I wasn’t super active back then. I didn’t play sports and spent most of my time reading books, building frog hotels, trying to make eye shadow by slamming rocks into the driveway and collecting the gritty dust. (#safe.)

I’m fairly certain that genetics played a big role too. And my grandma taught me at a young age how to be incredibly vain and self-conscious, such gifts.

When I was in 6th grade, I went on Slim Fast (this is a whole other rainy day story!). Wow, such healthy choices. I remember getting bags of Slim Fast popcorn in my Easter basket that year and being excited about it, not knowing that this was basically the beginning of a lifelong weight obsession.

But that same year, I also discovered a TV channel that played exercise workouts and I became addicted to Bodies in Motion and Denise Austin. I managed to lose a bunch of weight and maintained that pretty well through middle school and high school. I also started playing tennis in 7th grade and I was OBSESSED with that and began weight training. So I was never what you would consider “skinny” because of that but what the kids these days call THICC I guess. (Chooch would cancel himself if he knew I wrote that!)

I was at my thinnest right after high school, probably because I had just moved out and rarely had food in my apartment. I was 120 then and thought I was fat, so if I could go back in time and punch any version of myself, it would be 1998 Erin!

Me thinking I was huge but not yet knowing about body dysmorphia.

But my 20s were rife with depression, drinking, and you know, having a BABY. I think I was around 230 at my heaviest during pregnancy and then pretty much hovered at 200 but I didn’t have a scale so this is a guess and probably more accurate than when I would whine to Henry about being 87000 pounds, until something woke me up two years after giving birth and I started doing Jillian Michaels workouts and dieting. I lost weight pretty fast – I’ll never forget one of my coworkers at the job I had at the time telling me that it was really noticeable and I was like FUCK YEAH I CAN DO ANYTHING. But here’s what happened, and what ALWAYS happened after I started losing weight – I started to feel invincible. And not as in “wow I am so strong now I can do anything!” But more so “ok I lost some weight and now I can stop exercising as much and eating oatmeal for lunch every day and excuse me while I face-plant into this chocolate cake because I’ll never gain the weight back.”

LOL. Oh 20-something Erin. So foolish.

I yo-yo’d into my 30s. Lost some weight rollerskating, gained it back from office-snacking. Rinse, repeat.

Another thing you should know is that I have never been a slovenly person. You’d never catch me just lounging around all weekend on the couch, watching TV. Even at my heaviest, I was pretty active but not regularly enough. And my activity wasn’t combined with that shitty d-word we all hate – diet.

So in 2013 I started Weight Watchers and I lost 20 pounds fast! But then I plateaued. And here’s why – WW is not the greatest for vegetarians, especially vegetarians who literally cannot fend for themselves. I was so hungry all the time and had NO ENERGY to exercise. Plus, I was eating a ton of Lean Cuisines and other frozen meals because the thought of tracking points freaked me out and those were the easiest to track, but hello unhealthy.

Also, fruits and vegetables are “unlimited” so I was gorging on fruit and I remember my friend Amber pointing out that I needed to be careful because fruit also has a lot of sugar and I was like BUT WEIGHT WATCHERS SAID and then I wondered why I was a bloated fruit-basket-bellied whale.

But I do credit WW with helping me lose the first chunk of, well, chunk.

And I will say that WW changed the way I was eating for the most part so I was pretty good about not gaining back the weight I had lost, but I wasn’t making any progress otherwise. I didn’t have a routine to follow so I was basically just going through life weighing myself occasionally and hoping for the best. I was only exercising when I would think to, so maybe like 2 or 3 times a week, and let’s be real here, that’s not enough.

Everything finally clicked for me at the end of 2016 and it was by sheer accident. It was a super bad year for me. Obviously, The Election. But also a pretty substantial family tragedy occurred and that was dragged out for nearly the whole year, so even though I initially lost some weight through that, it turns out you eventually gain back the weight you lost by violently stress-puking.

I had finally got to the point in my life where I was 100% ready to commit. Really, you can’t go into something as major as weight loss without being all in. I realized what the problem was all those other times: I was bored. I was hungry. I was frustrated. I got distracted. I wasn’t ready to make changes and dedicate myself to a program.

Here is how I did it: THE KOREAN SYSTEM a/k/a K-Diet.

If you’re laughing, that’s fine. All of my friends and co-workers laughed at me in the beginning too and now they’re like TELL ME HOW YOU LOST THE WEIGHT and I’m like I DID AND YOU LAUGHED, REMEMBER.

(Just a side note to remind you that I was also laughed at when I said I was going to be a vegetarian and THAT WAS IN 1996, so…clearly your laughter is what fuels my dedication.)

Exercise

So, at the end of 2016, I decided I need more happiness in my life and I remembered that a year ago, I had discovered kpop aerobics on YouTube, so I thought, well, I’m hovering at 170 pounds here. I need to start exercising again and that music makes me happy, so why not.

Not only was I working out nearly every day, but my mindset had shifted from Doom & Gloom to I Can’t Wait to Go Home and Workout! And I was having so much that it didn’t even feel like exercise!

So, find the right workout for you. Look, it doesn’t have to be some fucking insane meathead program like CrossFit or whatever the fuck. Start by taking daily walks, like I said earlier, and go from there. If you like dancing but don’t want to take classes (that’s my phobia!), check out YouTube because Zumba workouts are a dime a dozen on there.

There’s Bollywood workouts, even! Caribbean dance workouts! They probably have Alpine ones too, who knows!

So the trick is basically, well, tricking yourself into forgetting that you’re exercising.

However, I do also like legit workouts, especially strength-training, so I also do Jillian Michaels (Chooch and I are currently doing her Body Revolution program). The trick is to have a variety so it’s not a draaaaag.

If anyone is interested, the links to the Kpop dance fitness YouTube channels I frequent the most are below. THEY ARE SO MUCH FUN!

Non-Kpop Channels:

But wait, there’s more: you know how “experts” always say that there’s no secret to weight loss, it’s literally just diet and exercise? Well, I wish I could say that they’re wrong and that mystery wrist-salve I bought off an infomercial in 1999 was the real key to weight loss, but they’re right. At least from my personal experience. Fuck the pills. Fuck the gimmicks. Maybe even fuck the gym membership – because if you’re interested in starting the process without getting burnt out, just start WALKING like I said before. I can’t stress enough how amazing the simple act of walking-for-exercise can be. And while you’re walking, start thinking about how you can change your diet.

Wow, what a segue!

DIET

When I was a kid, I thought diets were mainly Melba toast and cottage cheese and then when I was 20, I thought diets were starving yourself and then eating an entire pizza in a closet at 2am on a Tuesday. Then when I was 30, I thought diets were eating bland cabbage soup every day for a month. But like, apparently…you can still EAT while on a diet as long as you pay attention to the choices you make and then maybe also do that portion control thing that Oprah probably cried about in the 90s on her show that I didn’t watch.

Since I had become so entrenched in Kpop, it was a natural progression into other parts of Korean culture and one of those parts was the cuisine. I had started watching all kinds of YouTube videos and decided that South Korea was the place for me, and in order to feel closer to it, I asked Henry to start making me Korean food for dinner.

Of course, he was like, “Whatever” because this certainly wasn’t the weirdest thing I ever asked of him, and to be fair, Henry really enjoys cooking. My modified Korean meals are either rice or noodle-based and loaded with vegetables. Sometimes they’re broth-y, sometimes that have a wonderful dollop of gochujang. They’re almost always topped with either a poached or fried egg. I also eat kimchi nearly every day. My meals are nearly 100% unprocessed and around the 300-calorie range, and I am fucking FULL afterward.

Perhaps Henry could guest-blog sometime with some recipes, haha.

Choosing an ethnic cuisine to base a diet on is also really fun because it keeps it new and exciting! We do the bulk of our grocery shopping at various international markets, mostly Asian ones, and it’s exciting whenever I see a new-to-me fruit or vegetable! Choose a diet that allows you to be adventurous! Rice and veggies only sounds boring but the rice and veggies eat for dinner is super exotic and filling.

Currently, my breakfast is either a little bit of rice with kimchi, a poached egg, and laver (dried sheets of seaweed) or a bowl of Cinnamon Life with almond milk. I’m not a big breakfast person but you know what “they” say – don’t skip your breakfast!

My work-lunches are really sad and that has nothing to do with dieting. For years I have been having either oatmeal or Cream of Wheat, usually with an added banana. The reason for this bland meal is because I honestly cannot stand eating a heavier lunch and then having to sit at my desk for the rest of the day. If I’m not at work, my lunches are similar to  my dinners. But at work, I eat lightly and bookend it with a morning and afternoon snack – either a hardboiled egg (good thing I’m not a vegan because I eat a ton of eggs) or fruit. Depending on what our snack options are at work, I might grab something like a Special K pastry thin or a Fig Bar.

And sweet potatoes. I eat sweet potatoes like candy. OMG roasted sweet potatoes are like Nature’s Motherfucking Candy Bar, for real. There’s a reason why this is a popular Korean street food, you guys.

I also eat chocolate if I want to, and I’ll have a cookie if I want to. But I think about it first. Because the third part of my made up weight loss regimen is….

Food Tracking

Since I started this two years ago, I’ve lost 20 pounds. Remember when I said I lose weight slowly? Yeah. Genetics. But then I plateaued this summer because we were traveling a lot and my eating was getting out of whack. Like, I was having bagels for breakfast every morning and snacking on Cheez-its at work. I knew that I still wanted to lose about 10 more pounds, so around October, I signed up for a free trial of Noom. I thought it was just a food-tracking system, and it mostly is, but it also teaches you a lot about the psychology behind weight loss and weight gain. I know, that sounds terrible. But Noom does it in a way where it’s interesting and conversational, and it only takes about 5 minutes a day to plow through.

What I like about it is that they break up food into three color-coded categories and tell you how much you can have, based on your weight loss goal. So things like chocolate and whatever are obviously considered “red” but I know that I can have so many calories of them a day, so I don’t feel like it’s off-limits or that I’m being deprived. And even foods like almonds are considered “red” — they’re good for you but only in limited quantities which is something I always liked to purposely ignore because I love almonds and want to eat them all.

For me personally, it’s the perfect tracking system.

Since starting Noom, I’ve lost 10 more pounds and I’m happy where I am! It has helped me regain that willpower which I had lost. So now when I’m at my desk at work, thinking about snagging some chocolate, I will have a conversation in my head to see if I REALLY want it or if it’s a fleeting craving. Usually, it’s fleeting and I’ll just chug some water and refocus on whatever annoying work thing is in front of me, or I’ll get up and do a lap around the department. But if I’m still writing sonnets to See’s chocolates in my head, then I’ll go and have a piece and move on with my life.

Man, typing this out makes it seem so simple and implied, but these are all things that I honestly had to be taught.

I’m pretty sure there are free tracking apps out there too and you could always go analog and use a paper journal to log your food! But the reason why I opted for Noom was because I knew that if I was paying for it, I would use it. That’s just how I am.

Oh yeah….WATER

Drink it. Drink lots of it. Even when you feel like you can’t possibly gag back anymore, chug away motherfuckers! I didn’t realize how dehydrated I was until I started actually keeping tab on my water intake. I started feeling better almost immediately and my skin is great!

***

To wrap this up, the last thing I want to say is DON’T LET YOUR WEIGHT CONSUME YOU.

I’m not going to lie, this is something that I’m still working on. I still get obsessed with the number on the scale and I am working so hard to stop being afraid of food when it’s out of my control, for example: a work lunch that interrupts my routine and forces me to eat something that I can’t easily track. I know better than to get mired down by these things but sometimes I succumb. But, when my work group had our Christmas lunch, I ordered a big fat gourmet grilled cheese and enjoyed it without panic. I just didn’t eat for three days afterward.

I’M KIDDING! DON’T DO THAT!

So, more than “losing weight,” my goal for 2019 is to calm the eff down and stop being so hyperactive about progress, plateaus, and (p)routines. I feel like I’m really close to finding a balance now that I know better what works for me and what my no-no foods are.

You know that annoying thing fitness gurus say about how this is a lifestyle change or whatever the fuck? I’M SORRY but they’re right ugh. I learned that I am always going to have to be mindful of what I eat and keep fitness a part of my daily life otherwise all my hard work is gonna be flushed down the commode. No more invincibility.

My whole point, from what I personally have learned, is that weight loss is going to be different for everyone. What works for you might not work for me, and while cardio-dancing to BIGBANG and Sistar and eating rice and noodles works for me, it…you know, might not work for you, lol. I finally learned that I had to tailor a program to suit my own personality, interests, and lifestyle, and I had to reason with myself that my goal weight might not actually be the weight my body wants to be – I do have a lot of muscle, after all!

And this reasoning is what worked for me.

So, I’m sorry that I didn’t have an easy answer! Trust me, I wish it was as easy as taking a pill everyday (my friend Brian and I were devastated with fen-phen was banned, lol), drinking apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, or rubbing mysterious salve on my wrists. But I had to actually work for it even though most days, it feels less like work and just like, I don’t know, living.

(Just want to reiterate that everyone is different, I am not a doctor or any sort of licensed expert although I do have a bartending license thing so don’t do something dumb and then try to sue me. This is just the system I’ve found that works well for myself, but hopefully it gave you some insight!)

Dec 222018
 

Hopefully you’re sitting down for this because it’s probably going to shock the Christmas Crocs off your feet, but I’m kind of neurotic. So when the great tooth incident happened last Friday, it…..it basically ruined all of my days. I mean, I pretty much had a Shakespearean tragedy written for it in my head.

I could barely even sleep. Especially that first night, it was like being in a waking nightmare, and the first thing I did when I woke up each time was jut my tongue over to The Tooth and then straight up wail when I realized it WASN’T A NIGHTMARE, IT WAS REAL LIFE.

Saturday night, Henry and I were in line at our neighborhood Dunkin’ Donuts when someone tapped me on the arm and it turned out to be a guy I’ve known since like kindergarten (actually, the TWIN BROTHER of the boy who broke Mrs. Glumac’s glasses and called her a bitch, a story I’ve referenced over 100x times in my life because it was apparently super impactful for a fourth grader). When he asked me how I’ve been, the whiny word barrage of “WELL I’M GOING THROUGH THIS THING WITH MY TOOTH” was revving it’s engine and rearin’ to go but then I made brief eye contact with Henry and said, “I’ve been OK” instead.

That over-the-counter tooth putty stuff Henry got me was doing a good job of preventing my neuroses from shoving me over a cliff though. I mean, I still wasn’t chewing on that side of my mouth and was shying away from foods with a consistency harder than a fresh marshmallow, so basically I was on a diet for people with no teeth.

Then on Monday morning, New Dentist finally returned my call! Look, I am one of those super-phone-private people who refuses to take personal calls at her desk, but when I saw the Smiling Tooth pop up on my phone (I added a friendly cartoon tooth image to the contact for my dentist in my phone as a means to soften the blow) I snatched my phone off my desk and answered, “HELLO, YES THIS IS SHE” and then proceeded to ramble on psychotically about how I was basically over here on my last limb, please help. SOS. The lady was LAUGHING at me which was fine because she was able to squeeze me in on Thursday at 8:45 which was perfect since that’s my late shift day!

Still, I found Amber in the kitchen and blurted out, “I MIGHT BE LATE ON THURSDAY” and after I explained to her my latest tragedy (she wasn’t in the office on Friday and missed me when I was at my most hysterical; everyone deserves at least one reprieve from that, I guess), she was like, “Oh, you probably won’t be late” and I was like YOU DON’T KNOW HOW LONG IT’S GOING TO TAKE FOR THEM TO FIT ME FOR DENTURES OK.

Later that week, I remembered that when I initially called this new dentist in October to see if they were taking new patients, back when I had all of my teeth and not “almost all of my teeth plus one shell,” the receptionist told me to be sure I printed out the new patient forms found on their website and filled them out prior to my appointment. So on Wednesday, I tried to do this, but I couldn’t find the forms. Then, upon scrolling around, I also noted that I didn’t see the dentist (Dr. Hall) on their anywhere, either, it was just two other guys, and I thought that was weird since when I called last week, their answering machine message says “Thank you for calling the office of Dr. Hall” and the broad who called me back on Monday introduced herself as someone from Dr. Hall’s office.

I had to find their number in my phone and GOOGLE IT to find my actual dentist’s website, which was definitely not the one I was looking at earlier, or even last week when I was trying to get a better idea of where I needed to go. So basically, if I hadn’t needed to go to the website and print out those forms, I was about to show up at the completely wrong dental office on Thursday at 8:45, which was about a mile further away which doesn’t seem like a lot but it is when you’re walking, which is the whole reason I was trying to find a new dentist to begin with, because I wanted to be able to walk there if needed, since I don’t always have the car (#onecarfamily) and also because I accidentally missed my last appointment at my other dentists and felt like a jerk so I did what any other rational human would do and immediately look for a new one.

Don’t try to figure me out, OK. Just nod, pretend to understand, and let me go on my way.

Wednesday night was an emotional rollercoaster over here. I was in the throes of panic all night long (except for when I bought Winner tickets which was completely impulsive and we can thank my tooth hysteria for that, but seriously, thank you tooth hysteria, because I am so excited to see Winner!!!) and I slept FOR SHIT.

By the time I was showered and dressed for the appointment on Thursday, I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital. I had chest pains and my body was wrought with the shakes. I was a fucking mess and started about 87 fights with Henry on the phone prior to even leaving the house.

The great part was that it took me less than 10 minutes to get to the dentist! I even left early because in case I couldn’t find it because Google maps made it look like it was somewhere off the main drag, but it was pretty much right in my face and I have no idea how I never noticed it because I have walked past it a thousand times.

Adrenaline kicked in at this point and I stormed into that place like I owned it. The receptionist looked up and said, “Erin?” I nodded and blurted out, “I AM FREAKING OUT.” She wasn’t even trying to engage me and instead took my forms and told me to have a seat. She was very no-nonsense and I was mad because I needed coddled.

A few minutes later, she came into the waiting room with a very serious look on her face and said, “Unfortunately—” (PLEASE, NOT THAT WORD, NOT NOW) “—we can’t file a claim with your insurance—” (THEN WHY DID YOU TELL ME OVER THE PHONE YOU TAKE MY INSURANCE?!!?!?) “—-without your social security number” and then she tapped the spot on the form that I somehow left blank.

Jesus fucking Christ, is that all. So I gave her my social security number that I have had memorized since I was 16 and oddly obsessed with getting a job* and filled out applications like it was a new hobby, only to get my first job at a dollar store where I took my break on my first day and never went back, lololol.

*(All of my friends were like, “You’re rich AF, why do you need a job?” except “AF” wasn’t a thing in 1995, so I’m not sure what they actually said. “Hella rich” maybe?)

(I am no longer “hella rich/rich AF” though so if we’re being honest here, 90% of my stress over this tooth episode was from worrying over how much I was going to have to pay out-of-pocket and HOW WOULD I AFFORD IT SO CLOSE TO XMAS? I was about to start collecting some more of those job applications…for Henry, lol. Second job time, buddy! Take one for the team!)

Then some older man breezed through the door and hollered HELLO EVERYBODY to which the receptionist answered, “Hi Mark” and then Mark sat down and immediately called who I presume was his secretary and asked her to book him a flight to Orlando next Thursday morning and then gave her/him details about the car he wanted to have rented, where he wanted to stay, and when he wanted to come back, which was going to be sometime after he “has dinner with the Chinese.”

Cool story, Mark.

That was enough to help distract me and before it was even time for my appointment, the hygienist came out to get me (my last dentist was consistently 30 minutes behind on appointments so this was amazing to me) and she seemed way more receptive to hysteria so I just unleashed on her when she asked me how I was doing and she was very reassuring.

“AND I HAVE THIS OVER THE COUNTER STUFF IN THERE RIGHT NOW AND I WAS TOO SCARED TO REMOVE IT BEFORE COMING HERE IS THAT OK!?!?!?” I cried, wringing my hands as I sat stiffly in the exam chair.

“Oh that’s fine! We’ll take it out, no problem,” she said, going about her business of setting up tools, etc like she didn’t have a dying patient before her. My whole body was shaking by this point, and then I heard her in the next room telling THE DENTIST that I had the stuff in my tooth and I was like OMG IS SHE TATTLING ON ME.

Anyway, Dr. Hall came in right away, looked at it, declared no x-ray was needed, and then Novacained me the fuck up before I had a chance to keep blurting things out because I lose all filter when I’m in the dentist’s chair and have a desperate desire to talk about all of my oral fears.

Once the Novacaine kicked in, Dr. Hall filled and bonded it.

Just like that!! I still have a tooth!

In my head, this is how it was going to play out:

  • they would determine I needed a root canal;
  • in the process of doing a root canal, my whole tooth falls out;
  • while they’re trying to stop my tooth from going down my throat, they knock off the crown on the tooth next to the one that just fall out;
  • now I need an implant;
  • I’m at the bank trying to take a loan;
  • can’t get a loan so now I’m selling my kid on the dark internet

My imagination is a slippery slope, OK? I always go right for the worst case scenarios. I told Dr. Hall this and he was like, “Yeah, Google is not always your friend” and I really feel like Dr. Hall and I are going to have a great Dentist/Patient relationship.

By the way, it’s my supposed root canal tooth that this happened to, but he said it didn’t look like I was in any dire need of one right away, maybe down the line, and to just let him know if I have any pain or discomfort.

The whole process took about 20 minutes and I felt NOTHING. Dr. Hall is a fucking miracle-worker.

And then they gave me my pre-insurance filing bill, and according to that, the most I will have to pay once the claim is filed is like $150 and THAT IS DOABLE. I almost started to cry, I was so relieved.

Right before I walked out of the office, I called over my shoulder, “Thank you for saving me!” and he was like, “haha…ok.” Get ready, Dr. Hall. I am always 150% “on” at my dentist appointments. Erin Uber-Unfiltered is someone only boyfriends/close friends/dentists/doctors ever get to see. At my old, longtime dentists office (before she ruined my life by retiring) her staff used to laugh and announce, “Erin’s here!” when I walked in. It was like that.

And it was only 9:15 when I left! This was great except that I couldn’t go home since I don’t have a housekey (lol) so instead I went to Muddy Cup and got a chestnut latte and then walked all the way to the trolley platform in Beechview (about a 30 minute walk) to kill time and burn off some of my hyper energy, because I was a fucking bouncing ball of spitfire by then, you guys. It felt so good to have that stress taken away. I cannot handle dental problems, I am obsessed with my teeth and constantly think I have at least 6 things wrong in there.

So now, after texting several people at work that morning to give them the heads up that I might be late (on account of having all of my teeth pulled, being fitted for dentures, going to the bank, writing up a good description to make my kid seem more buyable), I was actually EARLY which was great because this allowed me to blow through the department like a fucking hurricane, pulling people away from their work in order to tell them I WENT TO THE DENTIST WITH A BROKEN TOOTH AND LIVED TO TELL THE TALE.

***

“I feel like I was given a second lease on life,” I said to Henry that night.

“Oh my god,” he mumbled.

Dec 142018
 

I was going to do a Friday Five bullshit, I mean, bullet point post today but THEN MY FRIDAY STARTED OUT SO WACK and I can’t concentrate on anything BUT THE TRAGEDY THAT OCCURRED IN MY MOUTH.

Everything was fine. The morning routine was as boring and basic as ever. Chooch left for school and I sat down to eat the same bowl of cereal I eat every morning (Cinnamon Life with almond milk, boy) and I put on some kpop music show performances because this is how I spend the tiny bit of free time I have before leaving for work.

I had just finished my cereal and was about to tweet something about how Kai from EXO had graduated from crop tops to shirtless blazers…

Image result for kai love shot

(Yeah boy.)

…and I wasn’t mad about it, when my tongue happened to casually graze A HOLE IN MY BACK MOLAR.

My first instinct was to stop breathing. Then my mind began to reel and I began to try to wake myself up because I am always having nightmares about this so CLEARLY I WAS STILL ASLEEP.

First I thought my crown came off, which I am always terrified of, but then I realized that it’s actually the molar next to it, the very last tooth and the one that I was supposed to get a root canal done on earlier this year but put it off so NOW LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED TO ME. I DESERVED  THIS.

I ran upstairs to the bathroom and did all kinds of contorting to try and see what was going on in there.

“And that’s how they found her, kids: standing on her head with a hand mirror jammed in her mouth.”

And you know what’s totally Alanis Morrissette about this? I actually had a dentist appointment scheduled for this Monday WHICH I CANCELED YESTERDAY because it’s the same day as one of our holiday work lunches so I had to call back and leave a desperate message, begging for my old appointment back, OMG WHY.

Then!! My stupid trolley was TWENTY MINUTES LATE and when it finally arrived, it was the elusive “Holiday Express” which I have been dying to ride, so it was perfectly fitting that I would get my inaugural experience on it standing shoulder-to-shoulder with surly strangers (that T was packed to the gills because of the delay) while trying not to pass out every time my tongue gravitated over to my molar canyon. You know what it feels like?! A fucking popcorn shell thing.

(I wish that’s what it actually was, because I DID eat popcorn last night but I am a dedicated flosser, so…)

Then I made the mistake of telling Lauren and Margie about it, who in turn made me feel utterly hopeless. “You’ll probably just have to get it removed,” Lauren said.

“Yeah, but then you’ll have to watch that your teeth don’t start to shift because of the empty space,” Margie added.

“They might have to pull a tooth on the other side to even it out,” Lauren volleyed, and I had to walk away from this tragic theoretical tennis match because I already know who wins: THE DENTIST.

“You guys are going to have me in dentures by the end of the day,” I cried.

The only highlight of the day so far is that I lost another pound and I guess I’ll continue losing more pounds considering THAT I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO EAT AGAIN.

(I’m actually eating pineapple right now. It’s…OK. But I am hyper-aware.)

UPDATE!

Carrie and Marlene and have given me hope. First, Carrie pointed out that pretty much anything is fixable and it will be OK as long as I get it taken care of ASAP (trying to!!). And then Marlene was like, “Did you have fillings in that tooth?”

YOU GUYS, I DID INDEED HAVE FILLINGS IN THAT TOOTH. So maybe my tooth didn’t actually break, but the fillings fell out!? That’s a better scenario right!?

Also, Marlene told me that teeth don’t generally shift back, but if they are going to shift, they crowd* toward the front. That also made me feeling better, in case I have to get the tooth pulled. I’m so glad I work with so many recreational dentists!

*(You know where it feels like I do have crowding? In my brain.)

Now I’m just sitting here, willing my dentist to call me back.

Wow, I was like, “Why is my face wet” just now and realized that I had drool pathetically sluicing down my chin on account of the fact that I’m subconsciously trying not to swallow because of Tooth.

***********

I just came back from my lunch break walk which involved no food because I decided I may never eat again, and Henry did not make me feel any better at all because he’s acting like this isn’t life or death.

“I hate that your life is actually better than mine right now,” I wailed.

“WOW,” he said, and then he had to get off the phone because he was going to the store so I told him to just buy me broth, I guess. Straw-food forever.

I can’t tell if my face is actually swelling up or if I’m imagining it…

#cliffhanger

UPDATE:

I’m home from work now. My fake husband is also a fake dentist and is trying to put some temporary tooth filling* in my mouth to help tide me over until my dentist can see me. I am being v.dramatic about this so be lucky you’re not here.

*(and no, not an euphemism for a weener.)

Henry DDS said it really does look like I just lost a filling and that if I had actually broken my tooth I’d have been crying since 8:00am when I first found out. LIKE HE KNOWS ME OR SOMETHING.