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.

Aug 082018
 

For the last year or so I have felt like such a jerk every time I grab a straw at a cafe because I kept meaning to buy reusable straws – we always mean to do good things, don’t we? And even though the straw ban hasn’t fully hit Pittsburgh yet, I finally got off my ass and ordered a pack of reusables from Amazon. And by that I mean I complained to Henry about how we need to make a lifestyle change and then he bought some. He ended up getting the hard plastic ones and not the stainless steel which I was thankful for because I’m not sure how I feel about stainless steel straws and just thinking about one in my mouth makes me taste pennies.

YES, I KNOW PENNIES ARE COPPER, GOD!

The straws arrived over the weekend and I was so excited! Except that Henry apparently had only bought them for my use and had secretly planned to keep using throw-aways this whole time because fuck the environment, kill the sea turtles, right Hank?

Au contraire!

When we left the house on Sunday to go shopping, I realized after we got about a mile from home that we were probably going to stop for iced tea/coffee at some point because that’s usually what happens when you live on the edge like we do, so I screamed, “WE FORGOT TO BRING STRAWS!” to which Henry calmly replied, “Oh well, we’ll just start another day, I guess” and I was like, “THE FUCK WE WILL, TURN THIS BITCHIN’ CAR AROUND.”

And he did. And I ran in the house and got two straws for the road.

As expected, we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts after he flirted with all the old lady cashiers at the craft store (they all know him in there because he’s there so often buying supplies for our greeting card line, if they only knew what we were actually doing* with all that cardstock, OH HA HA HA!).

*(Plaster it with the faces of serial killers and porn stars, natch.)

While Henry was placing our order through the drive-thru speaker, I kept hissing, “Tell them not to give us straws” but he refused. So then I was like, “OK well tell them at the window that we don’t need straws.”

And what did he do?

HE TOOK THE STRAWS FROM THE BROAD WHEN SHE HANDED THEM TO HIM.

“WE DON’T NEED THESE!!!!” I shouted, and I do mean motherfucking hollered, to the shock and horror of both Henry and the DD girl (as in Dunkin’ Donuts, not cup-size, come on now, guys).

“Oh,” Henry said in tone that quietly implied he was completely defeated in his home life. “We don’t need these.” He handed the straws back and the girl was like, “Okay,” in a tone that loudly implied she thought we were fucking weirdos with some oddball reverse hostage situation going on inside the car.

I gleefully slammed my perma-straw into my never-right DD iced “latte” and then we went across the street to the cemetery for a walk.

Of course, I finished my drink while we were walking and actually remembered to take out the straw so I didn’t accidentally throw it away. I rinsed it off using one of the cemetery water pumps (obviously I washed it for real when I got home! Stop lecturing me!) and then tried to get Henry to carry it.

“OH NO! I KNEW THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN! I AM NOT CARRYING YOUR FUCKING STRAW!” he yelled and I was like, “MY PAPPAP IS BURIED IN THIS CEMETERY SO YOU BETTER WATCH YOUR MOUTH HANK, HE ALREADY HATES YOU!”

Anyway, now I need to get a travel pouch to keep a few straws in but I haven’t found one yet that really calls my name (i.e. something that is totally obnoxious and looks like a pencil box for a 2nd grade Korean girl and yes, I looked into obnoxious pencil boxes but they all seem to be a tad too short, wah).

I don’t ever bring a purse out with me on my lunch break walks, so yesterday I had to openly carry a straw with me like a tiny baton, which I twirled back and forth across the fingers of my left hand, like some amateur majorette in a utensil parade. This was AFTER I put the straw in my gallon water jug*, thinking that it would be buoyant, but no, it sunk to the bottom and then I had to use chopsticks to fish it out because yes I keep a pack of super adorable chopsticks in my desk and use them whenever I’m eating something other than Cream of Wheat.

*(I’m also trying to find a really good refillable water jug. WHY DON’T THEY MAKE G-DRAGON ONES?!)

And this has been a story about straws.

And jugs (DD ones and water).

And chopsticks.

Yo, anyone reading this: Do you use reusable straws? If so, WHAT KIND OF STRAW SATCHEL DO YOU USE? Or do you just shove one in your pocket, lint be damned? I can’t decide if I want one that’s gaudy and immature as mentioned previously, or something like a small and mysterious cross-body pouch that will make passers-by wonder if I’m carrying secret papers from the ISA.

Aug 012018
 

I don’t have the mental endurance to talk to people IRL anymore so it’s all you, Blog. These are some topics I would have broached to people this week if I had energy to form words:

Recently, I started hating the guy who lives on the other side of Hot Naybor Chris. I mean, yes, I hate Henry, but I’m talking about the guy on the other side.  It’s him and his hick-wife and their little child-thing and they never used to bother me but then one day I realized that they NEVER FUCKING ACKNOWLEDGE ME when I say hello to them.

“And I’m the OG resident of this street! I’ve been here since 1999! THEY SHOULD FEEL PRIVILEGED TO RECEIVE SALUTATIONS FROM ME!” I ranted the one day and Chooch solemnly agreed while Henry was like, “Well, maybe they don’t hear you or maybe they don’t believe in hellos or…” because he fucking white knights everything and I can’t even stand it.

The worst part is that guy has like three noisy cars that he constantly works on in his garage and in our shared driveway and at first it was humorous but now he’s been there for about 3 years and those cars still need fixed all the time?! WHY?! I think he has some kind of compulsion and maybe he’s breaking them on purpose just so he can work on them some more.

“I know people like that…” Henry began, stepping into his armor and mounting his white steed.

What makes me even more mad is that dude always says hello to HNC’s wife, and maybe you recall the huge blow-out they had two years ago in the driveway?! (Honestly click  that link and watch the video if you haven’t already because it’s chilling and hilarious at the same time.)

So maybe I need to tell him that I’m going to shove a metal rod so far up his ass that it comes out of his mouth, just like she did, and then that’ll break the ice enough for him to say hello to me?!

Everything about him is starting to piss me off to the point where I’m resorting to my old PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE WAYS of talking about him loudly while he’s outside.

“THOSE PEOPLE ARE SO FUCKING WEIRD LIKE CAN THEY NOT WAVE BACK TO THEIR NEIGHBORS” or “GOOD THING I DIDN’T WANT TO PARK IN THE DRIVEWAY SINCE THE BODY SHOP IS SO BUSY TODAY.” Honestly, I quit parking in that weird driveway years ago, but if I wanted to, there would have to be a BIG CONFRONTATION which I’m surprised hasn’t happened yet since Blake & Haley are entitled to a spot down there but his jacked-up cars are all over the place. Now it sounds like we live in a West Virginian holler but it’s literally two duplexes next to each other in the city.

Finally, I snapped last week and as Henry and I were crossing the street from where we do actually park, I screamed, “I’m calling the mayor to tell him he’s running a mechanic business in the driveway!”

“Yeah but…he works on his own cars so that’s not really a business?” Henry said, fluffing his chainmail merkin.

Speaking of mayors, we were at the Hollywood Theater Saturday night watching our good friend Jessi perform with the shadow cast. Before the show started, the MC gave a shout-out to the mayor of Dormont, which is the town right next to ours, where the Hollywood is located.

“DORMONT HAS A MAYOR!?” I hoarsely whispered to Henry, totally shook at this revelation.

Henry dished out his “yeah, everyone has a mayor” on a bed of condescension.

“WHO’S BROOKLINE’S MAYOR!?” I screamed, but quietly-screamed, because we were indoors, after all. #insidevoice

“UM, PEDUTO!?” Henry cried incredulously, and then it clicked that, oh yeah, Brookline is part of Pittsburgh! I guess I just assumed that Peduto was like, All Mayor, but now I am learning that no, other towns have their own mayors so I spent a large part of the day Wiki’ing various mayors in Allegheny County and aren’t you guys all super confident in my ability to cast a thoughtful vote on election days?

This new information will be helpful the next time I get the fiery urge to call a mayor.

***

Fun facts: I’m stupendously bad at pinball, I forget pretty much all multiplication tables past 3, I have two scars on my face (chicken pox scar on my cheek, eyebrow ring scar on account of having to get it SURGICALLY REMOVED), I tweeted that thing about the Dormont mayor AND THE DORMONT MAYOR LIKED IT.

Synonyms for Erin Rachelle Kelly: imitator, fake, all kinds of low-life.

But yeah, this is a real “article” that I found by clicking on a referring link to my blog and boy was that a sweet surprise. I mean this has to be fake, right? Not as fake as me, but still — who comes up with one fact for a selfie spoon, let alone 7?!

They at least credited my blog as source though, so…good?

***

It was raining this morning and kind of chilly so I figured I would wear my windbreaker so I could put up the hood to extra-protect my hair but then I couldn’t find it and I realized that I left it at work last spring, in my desk closet thing. So I grabbed Chooch’s windbreaker even though it’s just slightly longer than a crop-top on me, because it has a hood and fits OK in the sleeves. The whole time I was walking to the the trolley I was like, “WHAT IS THAT SMELL, IT’S GROSS YET FAMILIAR” and then, when it was too late to turn back, I realized that it was the jacket and what I was smelling was the stench of a 12-year-old boy and I was like gagging on the whole way to work, it was awful.

And then once I got to work, I started smelling vitamins and started choking back vomit-burps because I HATE VITAMINS – I can only take them in gummy or sometimes gel form. Henry recently bought me some women’s health vitamins from GNC and the first time I took them, I immediately ran to the bathroom and puked and now I can’t even think of them without a green pallor taking over my normally super-blushy cheeks. Anyway, Henry is now taking women’s vitamins because “I PAID LIKE $20 FOR THAT BOTTLE, BLAHHHHH!”

During this mysterious vitamin-huffing moment, I had a flashback to when I was a kid, like maybe 8 or 9, and my mom used to go to what the family called “The Fat Doctor” even though my mom wasn’t fat, but he was some nutritionist or something, probably not, who would distribute some kind of “fat pills” to his patients. My brother Ryan and I would have to sit in the waiting room and it reeked of vitamins in there and even worse, THE WATER IN THE WATER FOUNTAIN HAD THE METALLIC TASTE OF PENNIES AND VITAMINS AT THE SAME TIME! Oh, my god, I might have to puke…I just had a flashback-tasting of that water.

One time, we were getting ready to leave and some lady walked in. She was pretty overweight and Ryan was at the age where he just said whatever was on his mind because 4 year olds give no fucks about a filter. My mom knew it was about to happen and even though she was in the process of slapping her hand over his mouth, he had just enough time to blurt out, loudly, “MOMMY, THAT LADY’S FAT.”

Oh my god, it was awful.

He also called out a small person, and an entire sidewalk of black people while we were at a red light in Clairton. AREN’T KIDS GREAT.

Now I wish The Fat Doctor was still alive because I’d like some of those pills. #shameless

Also, I don’t know why I was smelling vitamins other than: another mini-stroke.

***

Speaking of filterless children, boy I sure despise them. Yesterday, I got stuck sitting on  the trolley behind a couple and their boy who was like 3 maybe? I can’t figure out ages of children. He was at that age were screaming in fits is a compulsion. Like, he didn’t accidentally touch a hot poker or anything, he just…felt like belting out a blood-curling bellow right then for no reason other THAN HE COULD. And his parents were just like quietly discussing who did what on Facebook around his bucking body and I was like, “HE IS DOING THIS BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT ENGAGING HIM. STIMULATE HIS FUCKING MIND, PLEASE.”

It was so bad that I got off a stop early because fuck that shit.

Today, I got stuck sitting IN FRONT of them this time, and he fell at some point and hit his dumb face or something and started shrieking and I was like, “HAHA good you deserve that” but then the joke was on me because I had to sit there while it sounded like he was perched on my shoulder, crying in my ear.

And annoying dad and daughter were in front of me! But they were super quiet in comparison.

I eventually moved to another car but I should not have to do that because there should be a caboose designated for parents and their unruly children, like A CRY ROOM AT CHURCH.

Question: Why don’t you just listen to music?

Answer: BECAUSE BLOCKING OUT SURROUNDING SOUNDS IS WHEN YOU SET YOURSELF UP FOR A STABBING.

***

I was out on my break yesterday and I got caught in a rainstorm because when I checked the weather on my phone, it didn’t say it was going to rain AND THEN SPOILER ALERT IT FUCKING RAINED. I stood under a bridge across from PNC Park for a while in an attempt to wait it out but then eventually I was like, “Well it’s now or never” and I ran for it, even though my calf is still broken from last week! It hurt! Anyway, I ran several blocks until I could at least see my building and then I stood under an awning and called Henry, who, wait for it, WHITE KNIGHTED THE FUCKING WEATHER ARE YOU GODDAMN KIDDING ME? Can I please just complain about a thing in peace?!

***

Speaking of that jerk amateur car mechanic neighbor, my cat Penelope has a major crush on him for some reason and loves to sit on the back porch and watch him work. I called her out on this one day and Chooch was like, “Maybe she has a mechanic fetish” and I was like, “Chooch!” and he shrugged and said, “Would you rather I have said kink?”

OMG.

***

OK you’re dismissed.

Jul 272018
 

Wow, just wow, I have been a mental mess. It’s becoming harder and harder for me to have conversations because my mind and mouth are suffering from an extreme disconnect, like get these two into a mediation stat, you know? This afternoon, I went over to talk to our new-ish admin person, Margie, about something and I could not for the life of me form a sentence. She was looking at me, like, “THE FUCK ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY TO ME, DEAR” and it was like we were lounging uncomfortably in the Black Lodge and I was showing her how sometimes my arms bend back. (Props if you get that reference.) The whole time, the coherent Erin that I hold hostage in my head was screaming “COME ON USE YOUR WORDS, ERIN. YOU CAN DO THIS.” And then I yelled at the admin lady for not immediately knowing what I was trying to say. YOU’VE BEEN HERE LONG ENOUGH NOW, MARGIE.

Also, I’ve been getting headaches lately, should I see a doctor don’t answer that I’m terrified of doctors and won’t go anyway HAHAHAlolUgh.

Anyway, here’s some five things for you to chew on.

1. When I was in middle school, I read a Lucille Ball biography and the only thing that stuck with me was that she had rheumatoid arthritis and to this day, I think that’s what I have anytime I have even the slightest twinge (or “twingle” as I originally typed) of pain. I literally can’t remember anything else that was in that book.

2. One of the IT guys at work yesterday was talking to me and out of the blue he blurted out, “Where’d you get that picture of Tony Stewart?” and I was like “WHO?” and then I realized he was talking about the painting of Tony Stewart that I’ve had on my desk for three years. “Oh, that thing? I painted it,” I said, and he was all “OMG!!1111” which made me laugh because I literally painted it as a joke one day when I was being my usual asshole self and latching on to an ESPN alert I received telling me that TONY STEWART KILLED A MAN. And then Henry got all White Knight-y about it so I took that to mean Henry loves Tony Stewart, so I painted him a picture of Tony one day while he was at the store and THEN HE DIDN’T WANT IT because he doesn’t appreciate me or my “art” so I took it to work and it has been on my desk ever since and now people who don’t know me think I like Nascar. Anyway, I told the IT guy that I painted it as a joke and he was like “OK crazy” and left.

        SUB-THOUGHT: After this Tony Stewart revelation happened yesterday, my friend Alisha sent me a screenshot of her Facebook memory for that day because this is what my friends do now that I’m not on Facebook, send me screenshots, and this particular memory was from like 9 years ago when I did Blogathon, which was when people sponsored me to blog every 30 minutes for 24 hours for charity. (Hold up while I google Hashimoto’s Disease to see if I have that because people are talking about that on YouTube right now.) (I’m back, I think I probably don’t have that.) Anyway, Alisha came over during two Blogathons and let me torture her because she is a good friend so I decided to look up old pictures from Blogathon to send her in case she needed a trigger in her day, and the first one I found was a picture of a book page and without even looking I knew exactly that it was because I had become obsessed with the word MISCEGENATION and played the Dictionary.com pronunciation of it over and over and then found a way to make it my ringtone. So last night, after work, I randomly put my phone up to Henry’s ear and played the Dictionary.com soundbyte and he was like, “FUCK THAT WORD, FUCK IT RIGHT IN ITS ASS.” Dude barely remembers anything but HE WILL NEVER FORGET THAT WORD! Thanks for letting me share my obsessions.
    3. You guys, if you ever wake up one day and think, “You know, my English-speaking self is really craving a good Korean drama to binge,” PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND WATCH “ARE YOU HUMAN TOO.” Henry and I are shook. We’re actually watching it in real-time (it’s still currently being aired in Korea) so we go through withdrawals after we finish the two new episodes that come out every week. Henry texted me Monday morning and said, “NEW EPISODE TODAY” and I was like, “Yeah no shit, I get alerts too, Henry.” God he always has to co-opt everything I love. But honestly, I feel actual heartache while I’m watching this show, which is about a robot, because the robot is the most perfect, sweetest thing of all time and I want a robot just like him OK FINE I JUST WANT SEO KANG JOON THE ACTOR WHO PLAYS HIM. YOU GOT ME. I keep trying to entice Lauren to watch it so I’ll have someone at work to talk about it with. Here is the trailer, get into it!
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuVQXkx7eEE&t=5s
    4. “It’s like someone poured a bunch of fat into a garbage bag and said, ‘OK, here’s Erin Kelly!'” I said sourly on my nightly walk with Henry today, because I am having A VERY BAD BODY DYSMORPHIC DAY and have been slinging my tagline “3-6-5-So-Fat*” much to Henry’s chagrin. Honestly, I am so trigger-prone lately. I saw a post on Instagram that was all “I’m not saying that thigh gaps are something to strive for BUT OMG LOOK AT MY THIGH GAP” and I was like, “Go fuck yourself. IN YOUR THIGH GAP. LITERALLY.” It sent me on a spiral and then I’m YouTubing crash diets and Henry’s all, “Look, I’m not a doctor but this military diet seems dangerous” and I’m like “I WILL FUCKING CUT YOU, NOW GO BOIL ME A FUCKING EGG WHILE I EAT THESE FIVE SALTINE CRACKERS, MOTHERFUCKER.”
    *There’s a song called 365 Fresh so listen to it and then hear in your head me singing the words 365SoFat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gPQenyj1nI

  • *Also on our walk I decided that the solution to all my problems is that I need to get into a good old-fashioned fist fight and Henry quickly and adamantly  opposed this. I wanted to start with the guy at the red light revving his Small Weener Car engine what a cocky motherfucker. I HATE GUYS WHO DO THAT.

5. It’s looking like we might be getting another department on our floor so some of us were talking about what that could mean and Amber was like YOU MIGHT HAVE TO TAKE DOWN THE GLENNS, and by that she means the various posterboards hanging up, displaying all of my Glenn-artistry when I used to print out sheets of his employee photo and turn it into recent dead celebs which I have since stopped doing since the end of 2016 because we lost so many Greats that year that it was just becoming too depressing. So then I had the idea that I could turn each individual Glenn into jewelry because Henry and I were just talking about how we (read: he) should start making pendants again. “AND THEN I CAN SELL THEM AT THE TABLE BY THE KITCHEN JUST LIKE GAYLE USED TO DO WITH HER BEAD JEWELRY!” Lauren, Amber, and Margie were like, “Wow. That is a great idea” but their facial muscles weren’t forming the appropriate gleeful expression that mine were. I filled in Glenn and said, “I’ll give you one for free, but you have to pay for any others you want” and then I walked away before he could kill my joy.

And this has been the Friday Fiver. Maybe this weekend I will do some shots and write the next great American novel but really it will just be a 2,000 word post about Warped Tour BOY WON’T YOU FEEL FOOLED.

Also the formatting on this is all out of wack but I assure you, I might have brain issues lately but I DO know how to count.

Jun 092018
 

I used to write on here a lot about mental health and my own experience with being bi-polar, and being open about it was something I prided myself on because, after all, it’s not something to be ashamed of.

Have I been suicidal? Yes.

Have I been hospitalized? Yes.

Have I been over-medicated? Yes.

Have I self-harmed? Yes.

I don’t get into it very often on here anymore, but with two recent high-profile suicides shining a light on the issue again, all I see are tweets and Instagram posts reminding people that it’s OK to ask for help.

And this is great!! I love that there is so much love being spread on social media because it helps counter all the inevitable comments and obtuse beliefs that people who kill themselves are selfish or “deserve” it. I don’t care how rich you are, how wonderful your spouse is, how many exotic vacations you take – that doesn’t make a person exempt from mental illness. That shit doesn’t recognize social status.

Today I snapped and ranted about something to Henry:

When you reach a certain point of depression, numbness and ambivalence take over and frankly, maybe you don’t give a shit about asking for help because talking is so goddamn exhausting or you’re afraid you won’t be heard, or you don’t want to burden someone else. Asking for help is not an easy thing to do either. I’ll admit that I mostly just ride it out and those around me are none the wiser. #actingskillz

But second of all, can I tell you how many times in my life I have cried for help, and was met with eye rolls, smirks, flat out derision? Called a drama queen. Accused of “just wanting attention.” Told to “get over myself.”

The amateur explanations and justifications are cool too: “Is your period due?” and “You’re probably just hungry” are among my favorites.

You hear these things enough, and you tend to build walls. I’ve lost so many “friends” (good riddance!) for trying to be honest about what’s going on in my head, how I don’t want to go to their party because the thought of being in a room with strangers makes my throat feel like it has hands around it.

This is why the suicide hotline is available. I know, but sometimes you might just want a familiar shoulder to cry on.

So if someone is trying to open up to you about why they’re sad or feeling flat-out hopeless, try not to judge and rank the severity of their problems because what might sound like something that’s easy for you to shrug off might feel like a ton of bricks on that person’s back. And maybe they’re really struggling to explain it to you. It’s not easy pulling these vague thoughts and abstract emotions out of our hearts and brains and transforming them into some perfect, understandable, familiar package, like spun sugar on a stick.

Sometimes are all I can muster is an “I don’t know!!!” followed by a geyser of tears when someone asks me what’s wrong.

Yes, I talk to Henry about this a lot and he always holds my hand while I wade through through the muck and mire. And I take daily walks while running through the mental list of why my life is worth living, things to look forward to, memories that make me laugh. It’s a struggle, it requires effort, and the sooner we can get everyone on the same page where this is a real problem, not a “phase,” and it’s not going to go away if it’s ignored, then a ton of lives will be saved.

While there is definitely much less stigma than when I was diagnosed in the 90s, it still sometimes feels taboo to talk about, in my own experience, and I know I have definitely made some people uncomfortable with my honesty and bluntness on the subject. So too often, I keep my mouth shut.

What makes it easier to succumb to the sadness is all of the rampant hate in the world. Just walking around the streets of Pittsburgh on my lunch break, the prevalent vibe seems to be ANGER. People screaming at each in traffic, on the sidewalks, into their cellphones. So much anger and hate in the news, too.

I mean, we do live in an age where the go-to Internet roast is telling someone to kill themselves and the current US President is one of the biggest bullies of them all, so clearly there is a lot of work to be done.

Until then: Be patient. Be kind. Be open-minded. Be outspoken. Let’s all turn our phones off more often and paint a picture, write a letter, read a BOOK.

After all, we’re all going through this together.

May 142018
 

We’ll start this party with an obliggy keyboard kitty.

  • Henry and I took a leisurely stroll through Brookline Sunday morning which is the least he could do since I made my own breakfast on Mother’s Day (confetti waffles, bitches, and don’t get too excited because they were the toaster kind). Walking down the Boulevard almost always offers some form of entertainment, whether it’s the old man who totes his 1980s boombox around with him in a backpack and dances on the sidewalk1 or watching Yinzers yell at each other outside of Zippy’s and then you get closer and realize they’re not actually mad, their voices just sound that way from all the cigarettes and hard Pittsburgh-living. First, I pointed out the creepy Jesus picture that was a curious part of the window display at Jo’s Salon. “Isn’t that the same one we have in our bathroom?” Henry observed, trying to keep up with the word count I had already set for our walking conversation. “No! That’s SEXY Jesus! Duh.” And Henry mumbled, “Sorry.” Moment later, a fire truck was pulling out of the station, so traffic stopped to allow for this to happen, obviously. This is probably one of the things they teach in Drivers Ed. “Yield to Fire Trucks.” I don’t know. But of course there was that ONE CAR who was so pissed that no one was moving, so the driver just laid on the horn. Like, relentlessly. He could have actually had had a heart attack at the wheel and was slumped over, for all we knew, but instead everyone on the sidewalk was super pissed at this overzealous display of pushiness. One guy walked by and said, “The Jagoff2 Convention must have let out early” and I just started cracking up so bad because what a perfect representation of Pittsburgh, if ever there was.
    • SIDE BAR1: I was on my lunch break a few weeks ago, standing at the curb waiting for the light to change, when suddenly, “GLORIA! GLORIA! i THINK THEY GOT YOUR NUMBER! GLORIA!” was blasting in my ear. I looked to my right and sure enough, there was Brookline Dancer, dancing in place next to me on Liberty Avenue! What a joy to see him downtown!
    • SIDEBAR2: Jagoff is Pittsburghese for “jack off” or “douchebag.” I am such a teacher.
  • I got KCON tickets for Chooch and me on Friday!  It was yet another Ticketmaster clusterfuck and I really wish someone would find a way to destroy them because $50 service fees?! Go fuck yourself, Ticketmaster.  So, I’m going to be living That Cloistered Life for the next couple of months, but it will be worth it because I get to see Pentagon! I’ve been so obsessed with them lately and I even made Carrie watch one of their videos at work last week. I sit behind her now and I was holding my breath while she watched it because I half-expected her to be like THIS IS DUMMM like my OLD NEIGHBORS did. But instead, she said, “Not gonna lie, that was pretty cute. They are pretty adorable. And it has a good beat!” You know what I said? I very calmly and seriously said, “Thank you.” Because I wrote, directed, produced, and sang on that shit, obviously. And choreographed it too. I already posted the subject video on here, but here is an acoustic version of it that they just performed on a music countdown show last week! I LOVE THEM THEY’RE SUCH LITTLE ANGEL BABIES.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV1L7AmEkcs

  • Henry recently found out that my mom still cooks for my brother even though he doesn’t live at home anymore, and I just started cracking up because it could not be any more clearer that my brother and I are related. In my mom’s defense for not forcing us to learn how to cook, I brought up the fact that my dad used to make me clean the house all of the time because I guess he thought it was going to make me turn into a good wife for someone someday, but instead it just made me hate cleaning so now I never do it because, again, I hate cleaning. “Maybe he was just trying to teach you how to live independently!” Henry cried in disbelief of my casual dismissal of this whole thing.
  • Last Friday on the trolley, some broad started clipping her nails. I know, right. Immediately, like even faster than I was able to realize that human bits were being clipped, the guy across from her said, in the most Kevin from The Office way, “That’s really gross.” So she said, “YEAH WELL I HAVE A MEETING” (bitch, ok, so?) and then HE said, “You couldn’t do that at home?” So SHE said, “NO I HAVE 3 JOBS AND IF YOU WOULD MIND YOUR BUSINESS I’D APPRECIATE IT” and he calmly monotoned, “OK” and then she continued to clip her nails. I ALMOST SAT IN FRONT OF HER TOO. I still think about that, to this day (three days later).
    • Also, I doubt she has three jobs but OK, I exaggerate a lot too when I’m in a public confrontation. BITCH WHATCHU LOOKING AT I JUST GOT OUTTA JAILLLLLLLL.

I call this “RIP My Feet.” Would you believe people used to buy my art?

  • Yesterday was the last day of the Walking Challenge, you guys! I managed to get 30,000 steps every day during the final week except for last Monday, where I only got 27,000 (as previously mentioned.) This morning, it felt so great to not immediately put myself in walking mode, and I quietly wept with joy as I ate my breakfast, in a seated position. But then things took a turn. Carrie was entering her steps for this last week and realized she missed a day earlier on in the competition. No, I don’t mean that she crashed out in a gin bath for an entire day and accumulated zero steps, I mean that she just “somehow” missed entering her steps for one day. I was internally fuming about this. WHAT A DUM-DUM! I was thinking in my head while concocting different ways to humiliate her when the results come in tomorrow and we’re even further down in the standings. Maybe I could start calling her Lou Jr.? New Lou? But then something inside me, some niggling sensation of paranoia, made me check my own steps and sure enough I MISSED A DAY TOO! 4/20 TO BE EXACT AND NO IT WASN’T BECAUSE I WAS TOO BUSY FLOATING ON A CLOUD WITH MILEY CYRUS. We have to manually type in our steps on some confusing firm-provided page thing and I guess I just didn’t go back far enough on the first week. And then I realized, “THE FIRST WEEK?!” That’s the week that the Top #25 Mini Challenge happened and I came in 4th overall for individual walkers, so I went back and looked at the numbers AND I WOULD HAVE BEEN IN 3RD. Motherfucker!! Carrie pointed out that it was moot because the prize was still the same regardless, and she’s right but UGH CITY! I wanted to fucking scream into a pillow! But then I started crazy-laughing because think about it — I missed entering a 20,000-step day AND STILL PLACED and MY TEAM WAS STILL IN 3RD THAT WEEK! So, I guess that’s kind of cool. I’m still mad at myself though. I was bitching about my snafu to another co-worker by the bathroom when Sandy walked by and just started laughing because I AM CONSUMED and she knows it and if we’re being honest here, SHE EGGS ME ON.  This challenge can fuck off. I’m going back into retirement.
    • Now that I think about it, really sounds like my team was sabotaged.
  • Today, I got a news alert that Margot Kidder died so I texted my brother Ryan and said, “Wasn’t it a Margot Kidder autobiography that you were holding in one of the Evil Bastard scenes?” and Ryan said, “Oh wow, I usually have a good memory for that kinda stuff but I have no idea lol. I forgot about the Evil Bastard videos” and I AM SO OFFENDED. NO SCRATCH THAT, I’M BETRAYED. “The Many Ways To Kill An Evil Bastard” was like, my crowning cinematic achievement in high school and Ryan was the main lead!  Um, let’s just say it’s a good thing YouTube wasn’t around in the 90s or my 11th grade English teacher would have been even more mad about that scene in my group’s Longfellow video presentation where I spoofed her getting thrown off her horse, which is a real thing that happened, she was thrown from a horse, and in one scene of our video, I wrapped bloody gauze around my head and knee, borrowed crutches from a friend, and hobbled down the hallway moaning about how all I wanted to do was read some Longfellow but then I got thrown off my horse instead AND SHE WAS SO MAD ABOUT IT!? Everyone in the class was all “hahahaha” and she was all “F F F F F F.”
    • See also: this is how I learned that I can’t walk with crutches.

And we’ll end with this quote that I jotted down in here last week because I didn’t want to forget and planned on elaborating, but now I can’t remember what Henry and I were talking about because all I can remember from the past several weeks is the sound of my feet hitting the floor.

“I’ll put an ad in the paper. ‘Must —‘”

“Be Korean?!” I interjected.

“‘–pay your own way‘,” Henry finished with a frown.

I think I wanted to go somewhere and he said he didn’t want to go? I mean, that could be anywhere, literally.

May 072018
 

It’s been awhile since I did a “fun fact” post thingie and I’m feeling super open and loose-lipped today (loose-fingertipped? SINCE I’M TYPING?) so why not.

  1. I had frozen custard for the first time in 1997 at Century III Mall with a garbageman I met at a Steve Miller concert that summer. I was 18, his name was Justin, and we had nothing in common.

2. I sent this screenshot to Henry today and said “I HAVE ALWAYS HATED OLIVER NORTH” and he was like “why” and I was like “YOU HONESTLY DONT KNOW?!” So I had to tell him the story about how back in the day, whenever he was getting in trouble for whatever bad thing he did, Days of Our Lives was always getting interrupted to show news coverage!!! “Yeah I knew it had to be something stupid,” Henry mumbled, leaving me all fired up.

3. Another time when I was a kid, pre-Oliver North hating though, I was at Kennywood with my dad’s goddaughter Kristen. She was a year older than me and nice. Seriously, I can’t say a single bad thing about her. So we’re at Kennywood and about to get off this ride called The Enterprise which is like a Ferris wheel that starts out on its side but then starts spinning really fast as it stands up so you’re going upside down and nothing but centrifugal force is keeping you alive. So we’re getting off this thing and as I’m stepping off, the car swings back into me and catches the back of my heel (I just asked Henry what that part of the foot is called and he thinks it’s the Achilles’ tendon thing but look, we’re not doctors). Yeah so this huge chunk of amusement park metal clips the back of my foot-thing and CUTS IT so I’m crying and like, “Oh my god did it take my foot?! Did it take the whole foot?” But no, my foot was still there. Anyway, I just remembered this the other day because I was walking in place while watching a k-drama (I’m currently watching Evergreen and it’s lovely) when I walked into the coffee table backward and CLIPPED THAT SAME BODY PART off the bottom of the table and it was like flashback city up in here, double the pain because I had the present injury to tend to while the memories of the past Enterprise-wound came flooding back and I was screaming. Just screaming. Henry was like “You’re fine” and then I realized I only had like 20,009 steps so I stopped screaming and started walking again.

But then! A few days later, I was watching another drama (Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo — excellent!! Highly recommend!!) when the main guy is wearing shoes that are too small and his SAME BODY PART gets all cut up and he’s bleeding back there through his socks and it reminded me of later that night when I got home from Kennywood and my SOCK (it was peach and like, netted if that makes sense) was STUCK TO THE NOW-DRIED BLOOD ON MY ‘THAT BODY PART’ and I had to soak it in the bathtub to get it to peel off so then that was twice in a week that Present Day Me was writhing in phantom pain, and oh hey here we go for round three.

[Korean drama sidebar: If you have ever watched a Korean drama, you might know that the “Wrist Grab” is something that the men do to their women, which sounds sooooooooooo 1950s, women are subordinates, get back in the kitchen, etc etc., but it somehow comes off as SO HOT AND ROMANTIC. “I wish you would grab me by the wrist like that,” I sighed over the weekend, and a sardonic guffaw mouth-farted out of Henry. “Yeah, I can only imagine how fast you’d backhand me if I did that!” But then we were in the kitchen later that weekend, and as he turned to leave the room, he grabbed my wrist and started to pull me with him. My kneejerk reaction was to resist and then knock him out with a frying pan, but then I realized what he was doing and we both started cracking up BECAUSE THIS DOES NOT WORK FOR US AT ALL. Good effort though, Henry. Sorry I almost murdered you.]

4. I have smrobably referenced this on here before but when I was in middle school, I went to Lake Chataugua with my friend Liz and her family. Liz’s younger sister Jane accidentally said “smrobably” instead of “probably” and for some reason, this has been a permanent resident in my vocabulary bank since 1992 and Henry absolutely hates it because it will come rushing out of my mouth during even the most serious conversations. I can’t help it! I love how it sounds! Anyway, Liz and I have had infrequent contact since high school, but she DM’d me on Instagram last week to tell me that Lost Boys is playing at a theater down the street from her in Boston and it made me think of her, so I of course told her about how Henry rues the day she ever invited me to her lake house because I have been verbally assaulting him with a fictional word for years, and when I told him I told her, Henry was like, “What did she say? I bet she doesn’t even remember it” and I slowly said, “Well…she hasn’t responded to me….” and I started to feel bad for myself because I have this knack for latching on to very minute moments that everyone else seems to forget right away but I carry it with me against my chest like a badge of friendship for the rest of my life even though it’s clearly insignificant to everyone else involved. So then I just felt dumb because of course Liz hadn’t answered me in a day — she was probably thinking I was confusing a memory of someone else with her, and how awkward. But then a day later, she did respond and said she would have to tell Jane what I said, and that’s how I know she remembered BECAUSE I NEVER SAID I GOT IT FROM JANE! So there, Henry. I was so smug after that, but you smrobably already figured as much.

5. BONUS FACT ABOUT HENRY: Henry is very specifically judgmental about people. It’s never in an ‘Oh honey, I’m so much better than you” social-status kind of way, but more of a “Do It The Blue Collar Way or GTFO” sense. For instance, I was watching one of my favorite Korean vloggers tonight and in her new video, she was doing an unboxing and while maybe someone else would hate on her out of jealousy because she’s getting free shit sent to her, Henry honed in something that probably no one else noticed or gave a shit about: the way she was handling her box-cutter. “OH, THAT’S A GOOD WAY TO GET CUT. YEAH, SHE’S GOING TO CUT HERSELF. IDIOT,” Henry angrily huffed in a very Ron Swanson-type of way. He hates seeing people use tools incorrectly. This is why I’m not even allowed to use a regular kitchen knife so he can’t really complain when I’m waking him up at night holding out an apple for him to cut for me because the apple is too big for the apple slicer and not only that BUT I AM AFRAID OF THOSE THINGS AFTER ONE NEARLY SPLIT MY HAND INTO EIGHTHS!!

Well, now you know more about me and I’m laughing because one time some girl I knew on the Internet, only vaguely, decided I wasn’t paying enough attention to her and started yelling (you know, in all caps) about how all I ever do is write about myself, and I was like, “I mean my blog is called Oh Honestly Erin, so….”

Mar 032018
 

I’m not gonna say “people keep asking me” because that implies that I actually talk to people, but the question of why I don’t really go to shows anymore has come up in conversation twice over the last several weeks, and I guess I just didn’t realize how much of my blog was dedicated to show recaps for awhile there! Thinking back, the last show I went to was in October which seems like forever ago. I still check my favorite venues regularly but there just really isn’t anything I want to see (except for those Balance & Composure farewell shows in Philly but Henry was like DO YOU WANT TO HAVE MONEY WHEN WE’RE IN KOREA OR DO YOU WANT TO KEEP TRYING TO DO ALL THESE DUMB ROAD TRIPS? and I was like, “Touché, motherfucker.”).

So here’s a – hopefully – quick explanation on why my show attendance has really waned over the last 6 months.

  • The aforementioned “money” thing. I have been dead-set on saving money for Korea. Contrary to some people’s belief, Henry and I are not made of money. I might work at a law firm but I am definitely not bringing home a lawyers salary! And even though the shows I was going to were pretty cheap, not big venue concerts, that still adds up. Plus: merch. I had to slow my roll on the vinyl-buying front or else I’d never be leaving Pittsburgh.
  • I was tired of spending so much time alone. It was still worth it to go alone if it was one of my favorite bands but oftentimes I was going to shows even if I only had a moderate interest in it, and the anxiety I had to work through to get there was wearing me down. It was a catch-22 because then of course the music would energize me. But still, it was getting to be too much on my nerves!
  • My exercise addiction made me start saying no to more and more shows because I didn’t want to be standing around all night. I guess there are worse things to be addicted to?
  • I’m just not connecting with that type of music anymore. I still like it! But I’m not connecting on an emotional level like I was before where it felt like it was repairing me. I have changed a lot over the last year. So, ITS NOT YOU ITS ME! I still love that scene but…more so as something that used to be a big part of me. I will always love it for the memories. I think it’s good to change things up, and looking back, I have loved so many different types of music and I really like that about myself. Staying stagnant is boring! Ya gotta open your heart and mind to new things every now and then.
  • Liking music from another country means I can’t just pop on over to Mr. Small’s or Smiling Moose to catch some Korean indie act. I have to save my monies and pray that the groups I like will do a world tour and then fight to get tickets before it sells out. And then also plan to travel to Chicago or Toronto because Pittsburgh is like unknown to Korean music agencies. So yeah, my calendar isn’t exactly full of upcoming kpop shows!

But the biggest reason, if we’re being truthful, is that I just can’t keep supporting a scene that turns a blind eye to misogyny and abuse. More and more bands that I once loved are being exposed for ignoring accusations against a grimy, slimy bandmate, whether it’s someone who baits and takes advantage of underage girls or someone who is known for domestic violence and rape.

Even Mike Fuentes from Pierce the Veil was exposed for gross past behavior and was asked to step away from his position as drummer.

I love Pierce the Veil and this was a hard one, man. But still – good riddance Mike Fuentes and much respect to the girls who were brave enough to step forward.

But then there’s Jonny Craig who has not one but three exes who have spent years presenting evidence of his abuse – one of his exes alleges that he held her down on a bed and tried to shoot her up. What a motherfucker – if I ever see this pig again I will happily spit in his face for all the pain and suffering he’s caused multiple bright and beautiful women. Jonny Craig, constantly dodging that bullet, continuously finding miracles to keep him in the industry.

(Actually, his exes banded together and started a petition to have him removed from Sony. Please go sign it!)

I cannot keep supporting a music industry that lets monsters like him walk away without consequences. The fan bases are largely comprised of ignorant, uneducated bros and girls who try SO HARD to be “one of the guys” that they’re single-handedly perpetuating the “victim blaming” culture.

So, it was becoming exhausting to keep track of the bands I could no longer support and I was also tired of being let down and disappointed by these guys that I once had some level of respect for. I’m not a huge social justice warrior or whatever they’re calling us liberals these days, but I also have a conscience and morals and just as easy to stop supporting these trash bags, you know?

It seems poetic that this year will be the last Warped Tour. Yeah sure, I’m sad but also relieved because that place is a breeding ground of bro-type behavior, savage misogyny, and date rape waiting to happen in the parking lot or on a tour bus.

The line-up was just announced the other day and I admit, it is completely underwhelming. Even Chooch was like, “Eh.” It’s really disappointing that once again, Falling In Reverse has been invited back in spite of Ronnie Radke’s numerous (numerous!!!) domestic offenses. I been, he’s even served time for some of those offenses, but that’s cool Kevin Lyman — roll out that red carpet for him.

So, Warped Tour taking a bow is most definitely for the best because I for one have felt like a fucking hypocrite for still attending these last several years. Part of me wants to just not go, but I worry that I will regret it. I’ve attended every Warped Tour unfailingly since 2007. I feel like I need to see this through for nostalgia’s sake. Oh, conflict!

The Bledfest lineup was also released and I admit that I salivated a bit. If it didn’t require us to travel for it, I would gladly go to that one again.

That being said, I’m not just like NEVER GOING TO CONCERTS ever again. Citizen and Basement are going on tour later this spring and I am 100% going to that. But, this just isn’t something that I can fit into my current lifestyle as regularly as I did before, and that’s OK. I have new things taking up my time now. It’s a new season of Oh Honestly, Erin, I guess!