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!

Feb 012018
 

Here are some things that I’m currently super into, aside from photobombing 75% of my own pictures with my dumb hand.

  1. Trying to poison my work friends

I bought these “brown sugar flavor” rice crackers at the Asian market last weekend because that box is cute AF. I tried to tempt Lori with one, but she was all, “EW THESE ARE OUT OF DATE!” and I was like, “Oh shit, you’re right” and then I blamed Henry because he’s the one who usually checks for that shit at the store. I was going to throw them away but Glenn was like, “DON’T THROW THEM AWAY. THEY’RE FINE” and Lauren was like, “maybe just put a disclaimer on  them like you did with the [red bean White Rabbits].” I was going to do that but I forgot and then people started taking them on their own and by that point I felt like I was in too deep in my web of lies, so I just LET IT HAPPEN. No one has died yet. I did tell Lloyd that they were out of date and he said, “Well in that case, I’m taking two.” So then it turned into this weird carnival of people who wanted to eat the expired rice crackers, like it was a dare or something. And Glenn even admitted that he liked them. Not that they were “ok” or “not bad,” but that he genuinely liked them! It was still really funny though when Lori pointed out because I got all defensive and yelled, “NOVEMBER WAS NOT THAT LONG AGO!” and “I mean, it’s not like it’s MILK!” Oh, Asian snacks. You make the workplace so much fun!

P.S. Don’t let those bars of chocolate on the box fool you — there is no chocolate in these rice crackers.

2. Etude House Dear Darling Tint

So I kept putting this off and putting this off, but then I got an Amazon gift card from work for Christmas so I decided to finally buy some of this lip gloss I’d been wanting to try for awhile. It came from Korea so of course it took for-fucking-ever and I only just got it yesterday. Worth it. It’s so light and has a subtle grape taste! I love it and am going to buy so many more when I’m there next month. Here I am wearing it. I do not know how to model lipgloss.

3. Sharing old diaries and blog posts with Chooch

I was cleaning out my closet (LOL not really but sort of) and found my very first DIARY, which I have probably already shared on here before but it fucking cracks me up every time I read it (there are only three pages so it’s not like I have to carve out much time for that) because I am still basically eight years old. I let Chooch read it and he was obsessed and then was like, “THAT’S IT!? WHY DIDN’T YOU WRITE MORE?!” Now that he’s older, I’m having fun showing him some of my blog posts about him too, like this one I stumbled upon the other day from when he was sick in 2011. And then he’s all, “OMG was I really like that?” and then we get to have a real bonding moment all because I plastered his entire childhood all over the Internet.

4. Turning Henry into a fan boy

For Christmas, Henry got me a gift certificate for Choice Music (it’s all kpop). In a highly unusual and selfless move, I bought him something as well — the above standing Jimin doll so that we can be matching because I have the G-Dragon set. Jimin if you remember is the BTS bias I chose for Henry and he gets really flustered about it probably because it’s true. I couldn’t wait to show him this little gift, but when I gave it to him, he was like, “Are you fucking serious” and I was like, “You have to take it to work and keep Jimin on your desk!” but he said, “NO.” Ugh! Of course Chooch was like, “i’ll have it” though. Also, I should note that I only bought this because I was almost to my gift certificate limit and was trying to find something cheap.

I’ll tell you what though, Henry is totally a K-Drama whore though. I think Park Bo Young is his drama bias. I can’t start anything new without him appearing out of nowhere and asking, “WHICH ONE ARE YOU WATCHING NOW.” Sigh.

Just kidding it’s awesome and I love it.

5. Slangin’ my greeting cards!

You guys this has been the Valentine season we’ve ever had, to the point where we almost can’t keep up with sales. We keep our inventory low because it’s time-consuming to print and assemble the cards only to have them sit on a shelf for a year because no one buys it – even when we’ve analyzed our sales and determined what are heavy-hitters are, printing those in advance is a sure-fire to jinx sales. What this means is that most of our cards are made to order — it’s just more price-efficient for us that way. But those little sets that I made this year have been a hot commodity! So I think that once V-Day is over, we will try to slowly build up some inventory for those at least. I have been loving this though – these cards are my babies, and it just makes me so happy that there are people out there who like them, and a lot of them are repeat customers too!

This has also been keeping me busy and distracted so that I’m not flipping out or succumbing to depression or having a fit about the wind blowing the wrong way — you just don’t know with me. I’ve been pretty difficult to be around lately. Anyway, what this means is that my brain has just wanted to create create create so I’m also working on a Golden Girls line of Valentines! I’ll do a full post on those this weekend, but I’m pretty excited about them.

6. My K-Kountdown Kalendar!

After some of my coworkers found out about my upcoming trip, they started to question if there was going to be a countdown calendar like the one Lori made me for the G-Dragon concert. When my SHINee Season’s Greeting set came a few weeks ago, I realized that the poster-sized monthly calendars could be perfect for this cause. February 1st seemed like a good time to start, so I brought in the February (Onew!) and March (Jonghyun, RIP) posters, taped them up  to the side of my cubical wall thing, and then made an airplane.

Chris is really blessed that his office door is right in front of this so he gets to see these beautiful faces every time he emerges.

LOL my dumb face. Amber was like, “Aren’t you going to put Henry and Chooch on it too” and I was like THIS IS NOT ABOUT THEM THIS IS ABOUT ME, a la 1988 Diary-Writing Erin.

The only downside to this is that there are some people here who didn’t previously know about this so the calendar unlocked Pandora’s Box and people had questions. Which is great but I have been trying to not be super-annoying about this for the sake of those who sit near me, but it’s hard for me to not be like, “OMG OMG OMG” especially when people are asking me about it! I had hoped to get through the whole day without hearing this, but eventually there was that one HILARIOUS “hopefully it’s still by then” comment. It’s whatever though. Traveling anywhere is a risk. Walking out the front door is a risk.

7. Poet/Artist

My Jonghyun preorder arrived today. I am obsessed with this album, especially the song “Take the Dive.” It’s so bittersweet that he didn’t stay with us long enough to enjoy the success of this release because it really feels like a masterpiece. :(

OK well, I had leftover kimchi bokkeumbap for dinner and now I need to put my head down or go for a walk, I haven’t decided which.

Dec 242017
 

“The holidays” are very scary and vulnerable times for me & I often think back to when I lived alone and realize that it’s a miracle I made it through. Not being dramatic here, but painfully real and honest because the last few months have stirred something in me and I’m just done with being a pretender. I used to be so open on here and with everyone who knew me, and all that caused was me losing friend after friend because no one can handle it. (Can someone give Janna an award for sticking around since we were in 6th grade? This girl has seen me at my fucking worst, has been in the hospital with me, and has watched sadly as I made jokes about the bite marks I gave myself in a fit of hysteria.) Honestly, I am so fucking fake and I am just exhausted with living every single day like I’m in some never-ending poorly-scripted high school play. My social anxiety is sky-high and this is always the time of year when people want to put me in rooms with strangers. And not even strangers — at work last week, we had a little holiday cocktail thing, just for our department. A small department full of people who I get along well with, some of them I’ve known for 7 years at this point, but the thought of being in an open corridor with all of them at once made my heart race. I ran in and grabbed a drink before it got crowded and then motherfucking ghosted. I probably look like a huge stuck-up bitch, but I just can’t handle it like a normal person. I literally do not know how to mingle anymore so please don’t put me in a crowded room, I beg you.

The holidays still are hard for me to get through but now I have A HenryTM to babysit me. I had another very ugly cry and rant session with him last night and the one thing that I took away from it, that I said over and over to Henry, is “I don’t WANT to feel like this.” So today I am going to try to fixate on the good things, because I can’t change who I am, at least not at the moment, and I can’t go back in time and stop tragedies from happening. And I’m going to tell myself what I know Henry has been biting his tongue to prevent from saying, but I have GOT to move past this. And no one is going to make that happen but me, which is 100% something I’ve learned after living with this for 30+ years.

“This.”

I’m not blind to why Jonghyun’s death has triggered me so much. It’s because this could have been me hundreds of different times over my life. It has stopped me cold in my tracks, made me reevaluate my life, what I want from my future, what I have learned from my past. Yes, it’s fucking fall-to-your-knees sad and tragic and I have cried an embarrassing amount of times over it, because it has affected me in some way that only I can understand. So please fuck right off with that “you didn’t even know him” bullshit line. How many times did he tell himself, “Just hang on for one more day, stay here for your family, think of your friends” before that pep talk just didn’t cut it anymore? How much worse than this does it need to get before you’re not scared to let go anymore? I think about this and feel so frantic.

The irony of this all is not lost on me, how something that was able to lift me up after a traumatic 2016 has managed to do a complete 180 and make me feel so sad and despondent a year later. Life is SO FUCKING FUNNY like that.

I’m going to try to be more open, even if it means possibly losing friends, because that is what always happens. It’s just hard when I’m crying at work and someone is like, “What’s wrong?” and it’s just literally me feeling sad for no reason that makes sense to anyone so then I’m just like, “I don’t know. I don’t know what’s wrong. Everything in my life is wonderful but I’m just sad.” And truly, everything in my life is wonderful. I have a great, supportive family; I have a good job working with people I genuinely like; I’m physically well; I have amazing friends who check in with me and are so much to be around; and I do a lot of really fun things. But then these feelings come back and overshadow all the good and all I can see is the bad, the negative, the morbid. I used to be so honest about these issues on here, and I would get messages from strangers telling me that it helped them to know they weren’t alone, that they could relate. I want to do that again, instead of hiding who I am out of embarrassment or fear because this blog is less anonymous now than it was then. If me laying out my demented mind and putting my fragile guts on display can stop just one person from succumbing to utter despair and hopelessness, then the pain it took for me to write this is worth it.

To try to give myself closure in order to work toward getting myself better, I went full-blown Girl Scout craft-mode last night, because sometimes I just need to be a kid gluing stuff to a thing in order to nudge the grieving process along. So I made this flower frame, which is now hanging in my room, as a reminder to keep getting out of bed and to keep living with the belief that the next day will be better.

It gets better. And if it doesn’t, I guess I will have to try harder to make it.

Apr 062016
 

Lately I’ve been thinking about how much I’ve changed since I was in my 20s. Back then, any little thing that went wrong in my life felt like the fucking sky was falling on me. Don’t get me wrong though: lately my answer to “How are you?” is a very succinct SHITTY.

The only way I survive is to constantly remind myself that in the midst of all the muck and mess, there are still things to be happy about. We can’t always be in a great mood, or dodge drama, but we can always try to have some things on the periphery that help keep us afloat. You know? Should I write that self-book help or naw?

Anyway, here are my current life rafts, if you will.

  1. ICE CREAM DATES WITH GOOD PEOPLE

We met up with Chris and Monica last week for some Sarris sundaes. That was my dinner, and I was OK with it. Of course, Chooch and I didn’t even close to finishing our sundaes, so Henry had to eat them. Monica said, “I don’t even know why you bother ordering anything for yourself, Henry” and he just sighed. This is your life, Henry; just accept it. Some of Chris’s family was also there; Chronica said they were shocked at how well-behaved they were being and then Monica deduced it must have been because they hate Henry. I agreed! Henry looks so mean when you don’t know him.

Chooch’s favorite part was when he “finally” got to have his picture taken with this stuffed bear.

MORE ICE CREAM SOON, YOU GUYS!

2. NEW THREADS FOR TRUDY

Some broad was selling this vintage clown vest on Instagram and I was so sad when she described it as being perfect for a child, because I was hoping to wear this to work and just slowly walk back and forth past Wendy’s office because she loves clowns so much. But then I was like, “Duh, this would probably fit Trudy. Her boobs aren’t that big!” And that is how Trudy went from nude to dude nice clown vest.

3. CAT COUCH

Every single time Henry sits down…

4. GIGGLING OVER REPUBLICAN MEETINGS AT ITALIAN RESTAURANTS

Henry was all, “It’s really not that funny” but I was crying into my rigatoni, that’s how hard I was laughing.

5. GETTING STOKED ON WARPED TOUR!

The line-up was announced two weeks ago and I AM READY FOR JULY. Here’s a picture of Chooch checking out the line-up, and can I just say I love that I have a kid who “checks out line-ups”?! (Emarosa FTW, though. So glad they’re back again!)

6. BRINGING HOME PIECES OF THE BELOVED CLOWN ROOM

One day, I will have my own space to keep alive the spirit of my grandma’s clown room. There is such a big chunk of my heart ground into that room. Instead of being sad, I am pretending that this Red Skelton painting is something of a portal to my childhood, back when I used to sit on the floor of the clown room, listening to Frank Zappa records. Is it any wonder I am the way I am?

And also this beauty that my grandma promised me I could have, and now here it is, and I don’t know how to feel really, but in the spirit of this HAPPY BLOG POST, we’ll go with HAPPY:

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Henry has to re-wire it before we can hang it in our bedroom.

7. INSPO FOR MY NEXT PARTY, LOL

Get stoked, Henry. Also, get some joint cream, because you’ve got lots of food-carving to do.

8. NEW COFFEE FLAVORS

In an effort to be normal, I went to Nicholas on my break to restock my coffee supply. The orange is way orangier than I imagined and I love it so hard. The Rainforest Crunch is OK.  Someone is getting an Erin’s Lunch Break post card about this. (Also, whoever sent me the postcard with the Pee Wee/Texas reference, THANK YOU! Totally made my day!)

Other than that, I’m wearing my tunnel vision glasses, relying on humor, exploring the past, and doing LOTS of emphatic screaming while watching Pens games. We’re going on vacation at the end of the month and lord knows I need it.

 

Mar 172016
 

Chooch gave me back my blog for a second so here’s a quick post before he takes over again with his STORY THAT HAS NO END IN SIGHT. Just kidding, Chooch. Keep writing, bro. I mean, son.

  • HENRY’S SALAD DRESSING: Don’t be gross, this isn’t a euphemism for Henry’s sperm bank donation. Literally, he makes the best dressing for my basic white girl kale that I have ever had. It’s probably best that I don’t know all of the details, but he definitely uses balsamic vinegar, stone ground mustard (the BEST kind of ground, in my opinion), and I think a tiny bit of PURE MAPLE SYRUP which gives it the most subtle sweetness and oh my god, why am I at work right now when I could be at home licking that salad semen off my fingertips, ugh.
  • PEOPLE GIVING ME CHEEZITS: I helped Todd with a support-type question today and he gave me the rest of his box of Cheezits as a thank you and my response was a very Shirley Temple-ish, “REALLY? For ME?” I can’t believe I used to hate Cheezits when I was a kid. Maybe they weren’t made with “100% Real Cheese” back then.
    • And then Glenn dropped a pack of fruit snacks on my desk as he was leaving – I FEEL SO RICH.
  • PEOPLE BEING NICE TO ME: I went to The Exchange on my lunch break yesterday and all the neo-hipster kids working there were very nice to me, so for a few minutes, I was able to coexist peacefully with those whom I do not understand.
    • Probably only nice to me because aw, look at this old broad coming in here to probably look for Carpenters 8-tracks.
      • Actually, I was there to finally buy the latest CHVRCHES record.
        • On vinyl, not 8-track.
    • Then I went to the Pittsburgh Welcome Center to get postcards and the lady there was nice to me too, and the lucky recipient of my very first GREETINGS FROM ERIN’S LUNCH BREAK post card will get to read all about that.
  • A BAND FINALLY ISSUING AN ACCEPTABLE AND APPLAUDABLE STATEMENT REGARDING SEXUAL ASSAULT: Ricky from Foxing came forward and cleared the air regarding an incident that occurred several years ago when he was 17 and nowhere in his statement did he make excuses for himself or victim blame, and the band is donating part of their tour earnings to RAINN and expressed an interest in opening up a healthy and respectful discussion about these issues. This came right on the heels of the singer of Better Off doing the complete opposite and completely letting down the scene and likely ruining his career on top of that.
    • Bled Fest has removed Better Off from the lineup. They were one of the bands I was most looking forward to see but certainly not anymore.
  • REALIZING MY PURPOSE IN LIFE: So for years I thought this was either manure packaging or starting my own record label but it is now clear to me that I need to start a DIY venue for the small, real small, small-small bands that book their shows basically in the basements of college rape sheds. So I suggested to Henry that we find a small building to soundproof, just has to be in a not-too-horrible area, and then we can be all, “Hey little sad boy emo bands, fuck that basement noise, come play at our venue, it’ll be ready once we evict the squatters” and then Kaitlin can set up a table of her immaculate desserts and all the kids will be like “OMG AND A BAKE SALE TOO?? THIS IS SO DIY!” Henry actually considered this and said, “We just need money to buy a building” which is basically his way of saying “This will never work because we never have money” BUT he didn’t exactly dismiss my passionate idea either. Then Chooch came downstairs and was all “this sounds dumb.” I tried to get him excited by including him. “You can pass out flyers at school and be all come to this show at my mom’s venue, yo” and Chooch said, “No. It’s my venue.”
  • NEW SAOSIN SONG!: For the first time in seven years, Saosin has recorded a new song, and not only that, but Anthony Green is back as their singer! Christina and I loved this band back in the day, and they were my gateway into many years of loving and obsessing over Circa Survive. (Anthony was the original singer of Saosin and left to start Circa Survive in…2004 I think; too lazy to fact check.) This is great because when they reunited in 2014, Anthony mentioned at Riot Fest that they were going to work on new songs, but then it seemed to kind of fizzle out. BUT WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT WRITING SONGS.

And here’s a quick Law Firm news recap:

–GAYLE moved into a dark hallway so then MEAN AMBER took GAYLE’S old desk which means she’s like really far away from me now so I’ve been pouting about that all week. Now she sits behind Amber1 so this is super confusing. TWO AMBERS IN A ROW. Currently, they’re back there chatting about BLAKE SHELTON and I’m just like, “Whatever, AMBER2 THE BETRAYER. One day you’ll miss our chats about DANCE GAVIN DANCE and JONNY CRAIG.”

–Amber1 made me tell the infamous Henry at the Ted Nugent Show story on Tuesday, and Todd was like, “Who the hell is Ted Nugent?” so then he started to listen to Cat Scratch Fever and we all had a good laugh. I came home and told Henry and he was just like, “Oh, you told that fake story again? That’s great, Erin.”

–The second issue of the ‘zine was dead in the water for a few weeks (more like OVER A MONTH) but I finally rounded up most of the key pieces I was waiting on so hopefully that will be printed and distributed sometime before the end of the month. This is hard work! And I’ve had some real pressure put on me about it too. Jeez. And then Gayle was giving me all of these suggestions and it was like, you know what Gayle? START YOUR OWN ‘ZINE!

–I sent Todd a video of Citizen playing at Bled Fest and then he started watching other videos and accidentally became obsessed with some hardcore band. Every day, he’s like, “What was the name of that band again?” and I’m like, “I don’t know…” and he’ll say, “Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to watch that video again so I can see their name.” Like, what a flimsy excuse!

–Just now, Glenn got all embarrassed and/or furious that I told Michele he likes Meghan Trainor. “Oh yeah, I just love her” he said sarcastically, and I was like, “Then why did you always listen to ‘All About That Bass’?!” and he was like, “ALWAYS. Oh, OK! I ALWAYS listened to it” and I was like, “OMG yes you did, like every day at the same time, Amber2 and I could always hear it! It was like your Getting Ready to Go Home anthem” and he was muttered something about me being crazy and then left for lunch. It’s 100% true though. And now I can’t stop laughing and I just started choking on a Cheezit.

–Lauren sits in front of me now, in Amber the Abandoner’s old desk, and I wonder how annoyed she is having to hear all of my dumb stories being recited sporadically throughout the day.

Oh boy and here’s a bonus photo of me wearing a Bailey’s hat one time way too long ago, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, even though I don’t CELEBRATE ST. PATRICK’S DAY.

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UPDATE!!! Glenn just came back from lunch and I asked him how the weather is on a scale from 1 to Meghan Trainor. His answer was that I’m smoking crack. And then a few minutes later he called me a psycho.  God, today rules!