Jul 062014



I loved Frankenmuth so much that I’m already dreaming of my next visit, where I will definitely be staying in the Bavarian Inn and inviting all my Michigan playas out for some water slide and schnitzel action. I might even want to write my own travel guide for Frankenmuth because that’s clearly what the world needs: some obscene version of Fodor’s full of sex analogies and dirty motels.

However, Chooch was NOT a fan. Which isn’t surprising because really nothing we did there that afternoon was kid-oriented, because four against one. It wasn’t until the next morning when I learned that the visitor center had some kind of Find the Gnome action, where kids have to go around and, you know, find the gnomes, for a prize.


Oh, wait there were horse-drawn carriage rides that had him dangerously close to throwing a fit, but they were $40 and this was no romantic getaway, boy.


Chooch, running away after terrorizing Bill in the Frankenmuth Visitor Center bathroom.


Looking for awnings off of which to smack Chooch’s face.IMG_8014

Ah, the goddamn Cheese Haus, home of chocolate cheese. I sampled the mint chocolate variety and was floored by how much I liked it so I bought a chunk of it and tried it once since then but I guess it only tastes good in Frankenmuth, because my second impression was “What was I thinking?”

Also, this is where I had to teach my select learning disabled son not to motherfucking double dip with store samples or, you know, EVER unless you and your fucking cheese dip live alone. Don’t worry, people who were in Frankenmuth that day: I grabbed his wrist right before he was able to complete that dreaded second dip.


You guys, I think someone shot the Zehnder’s chicken in the face.


My peeps. Coincidentally, I found out that Jessi used to play the accordion when she was a kid so now I’m going to need her to relearn this for my entertainment. Also, she could come in handy when Chooch is ready for me to be his post-hardcore band stage mom. Having an accordion player is surefire way to set them apart from the rest of the bands at Warped Tour.

We can make this work, you guys. It’ll be hot.

IMG_7976And of course we visited the Lager Mill, where we took a tour of their brewing memorabilia and I made Henry buy me and Jessi a bottle of chocolate peanut butter wine, which we drank that night over a frivolous game of Cards Against Humanity, and yes, we let Chooch play because…frivolties.

Another successful moment in parenting.

…is it time to come back, yet?


Jul 022014


It might seem weird since I’m a vegetarian and all, but what I was most looking forward to in Frankenmuth was eating at one of their famous Bavarian chicken joints. There are two to choose from: Bavarian Inn and Zehnder’s, and they supposedly HATE each other. My friend Michelle told me that the two families basically built Frankenmuth so no matter which place we picked, it would be a big deal.

I mean, if you’re like me and give a shit about these things.

Zehnder’s and the Bavarian Inn really are right across from the street from each other, but there were no picketers or chicken dinner sabotage that I could see. No one was egging each other’s windows or passing out derogatory flyers. But since Roadside America mentions their rivalry, I know it must be true. I just wish it was more blatant and spectator sporty.


I personally wanted to eat at Bavarian Inn, because it just had more of a Black Forest aesthetic to me, but Bill kept piping up with the merits of Zehnder’s, which just looked like some dumb colonial slab and not at all lederhosen-y. Turns out Bill might have eaten there once sometime in his liftetime and I think he forgot to tell us the part about how a Zehnder’s busboy saved him from choking on their world famous chicken dinner so now he feel indebted to them.

But then Jessi mentioned that she has eaten at the Bavarian Inn before and liked it, so PRAISE JESSI, we settled on the Bavarian Inn because girls rule! There was no blantant anti-Zehnder’s propaganda inside the doors of the BavInn (my new, sweet pet name for it), but I should have at least wrote “for loose bowels, call Zehnder’s” in one of the bathroom stalls. Ah, hindsight.

Fuck you, Zehnder’s.


I want shutters like that on my imaginary never-house. 


I anticipated a long wait, since this  seemed like the type of place that was like the Disneyworld of Old Country Buffets* for elderly tourists, but we had a table within 15 minutes!  And even had a scantily-clad Bavarian beefcake entertaining us with an accordion. (I mean, he was showing a lot of thigh and calf, but not a lot of below-knee, because that was covered with a modest swath of wool.)

*BavInn isn’t even a buffet so I have no idea why I wrote that, other than the fact that it’s 150 degrees in my house.


I told Chooch that this place was going to be like the Hooter’s of Frankenmuth, with Bavarian boobs spilling out of corseted beer garden dresses. Partially because I was trying to get him stoked on eating there (he’s at that age, guys; boobs are everything), and also because that’s what it looked like in my hopes and dreams. Turns out the waitresses’ costumes were way more modest than the accordion player and his scandalous leg-skin.


There was no cleavage to be had. Not even of the accidental variety.

Back to being a vegetarian: I was pleasantly surprised that the Bavarian Inn had an entire vegetarian menu! Bill said he only asked for it because he overheard someone in front of him asking for it. It wouldn’t have even crossed my mind to ask because places like that usually don’t cater to my kind and I was fully prepared to just get some side dishes but instead I got to have vegan chili and BY GEORGE it was fucking great. It had quinoa and perfect little cubes of sweet potatoes and was just a true delight my tongue even though I can’t imagine a real Bavarian eating that on their lunch break at the cuckoo clock factory.

It didn’t matter, because I still ordered a side of SPAETZEL. You guys, spaetzel. That is my ultimate comfort food because my Pappap, whose family was from Austria, made a huge pot of these buttery Alpine dumplings every Christmas and they were just spectacular. After he died, my mom tried to carry the torch but they just never tasted quite right. And then I asked Henry to make them one year for Thanksgiving but his came out really small and pathetic because he doesn’t have any of the good European regions in his genes, I guess. I  mean, I still ate them of course because anything coated in that much butter is still going to taste rad. But I just haven’t had any as good as my Pappap’s, not since 1995.



And these noodleturds were by no means bad! Bavarian Inn has their shit together but these were just seasoned in a way that deviated from my Pappap’s spaetzel perfection. I still ate the ever-loving fuck out of them though. Why wouldn’t I?

Can we talk about our amazing waitress Kristi for a minute? Chooch spilled his lemonade all over the table so she swooped in and moved us to a clean table right next to us, all without making Chooch feel like a heel for being a normal 8-year-old who spills things in restaurants. And she brought us copious amounts of this delicious sweet bread (bread that’s sweet, not sweetbreads) which we enjoyed with ridiculously magical homemade strawberry jam. And our lunches were delayed so Kristi also brought us out bowls of German potato salad, coleslaw and something else that I forget now, but it was all perfect and made me want to book a Globus tour ASAP.


Chooch was really anxious to sayeth Prayers from the Psalms before he ateth his chickeneth. (Everyone at the table got chicken, because duh—Bavarian Inn is world famous for that shit. Maybe one day they’ll be renown for their faux-chicken too. Now I wish I had ordered the fake chicken patty on pretzel bun. Oh well, there’s always next summer when we go back and stay at the Bavarian Inn, because yes, they have a huge resort-y hotel too. WITH WATERSLIDES.)

My second favorite part of the experience (hello: Spaetzel #1) was when I mused out loud about the comfort of the waitresses’ dresses and then a few minutes later, upon Kristi’s return to our table with more iced tea for Henry, Bill asked her what might have been the creepiest thing she had been asked by a man all day:

“Excuse me, but is your dress comfortable?” he asked casually, like he works for Cotton and it’s his job to determine a woman’s comfort as research for the next commercial featuring some random blond actress who can also kind of sing alright.

The Fabric of Our Lives: Dirndl Edition.

“You know,” she said after thinking about it for a few seconds, “it really isn’t too bad. It’s the nylons that drive me nuts, though. I can never wait to get home and peel them off, you know?” And Bill nodded knowingly.


PSHHHHH. You wish, Zehnder’s. In your dreams.


This is the back of the glorious Bavarian Inn. Surely there’s a nook or cranny somewhere in which I can live undetected.

You know I must have been stuffed full of spaetzel when I declined dessert, and they obviously had streudel, you guys. Motherfuck, do I love streudel. My grandma’s side of the family always made some sick streudel.

Streudel and spaetzel. These will be served at my pretend wedding. By Bavarian beer maidens, all named Gretchen.

Jesus, is it any wonder I’m a slut for Bavarian things? My childhood memories practically reek of edelweiss.

Jun 302014

On the third night of our road trip, we had a quick dinner at Merriman’s Grill, where a waiter brought me a cup of coffee and enthusiastically told me that it was straight of a fresh pot and then kept lurking around our table with an unhinged smirk on his face like he was waiting for me to take the first sip and choke on hemlock. Totally weird. Henry ended up swapping dinners with Chooch, who wasn’t aware that ordering the kids spaghetti with marinara meant “kids spaghetti with sauce,” so he got to eat Henry’s huge bacon cheeseburger while Henry ate a child’s portion of spaghetti while slumped in his seat. It was incredibly funny to me.

We left straight from there to meet Bill & Jessi at their comic and game shop, Warriors3, which has grown exponentially since we were there for the grand opening 4 years ago. I’m so proud of them! Later that night, when we were back at their (new and amazing!) house, Bill was talking about something and offhandedly mentioned that we were going to Frankenmuth the next day.


“Wait, what? WE’RE GOING TO FRANKENMUTH!?!??!” I screamed.

“Yes, I thought you knew that,” Bill calmly answered. “You said that’s what you wanted to do.”

“YEAH BUT I DIDN’T THINK WE WERE REALLY GOING TO GO!” I screamed again. You guys, I even sent away for a Frankenmuth brochure last year, that’s how down I am with the ‘Muth. “HOW AM I GOING TO SLEEP TONIGHT?!” I continued to scream, in spite of Henry’s full frontal frowning.


But first, we stopped at The Red Apple for breakfast the next morning and that place was a fucking delight: cheap, dimly-lit and definitely somewhere the Bunkers would have eaten on a 1970s road trip. I am so happy Bill and Jessi took us there, and I’m excited to go back the next time we’re in town, only this time late at night when the strippers get off the pole and come in from some black coffee and…what do strippers eat? Peanuts and Slim-Jims.

(This just reminded me of the time about 5 or 6 years ago when I decided I wanted to do a photoshoot/interview with washed up strippers and placed an ad on Craigslist but the only one who responded was like, “I will do this on my terms only and no photos” and I was like, “Oh well, fuck you then.” Maybe if my standards weren’t so rigid, I might have gotten some really important answers. You know, like what do they eat. Other than rotten dreams in tear-sauce.)


Chooch ate a hot dog for breakfast but none of us said anything because sometimes it’s a miracle to get Chooch to eat anything other than ice cream and paper (don’t ask), so sure, happy breakfast, Chooch. And then when he proceeded to get mustard ALL OVER HIMSELF, I just sat back and let Bill handle it because that’s the price you pay when you sit next to a kid at a restaurant.


It took about 90 minutes to get to Frankenmuth and the first thing we came upon was Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the largest Christmas store in the world, even larger than the one in the North Pole! I don’t even give a shit about Christmas aside from getting presents, but even I was pretty stoked for this because when in Frankenmuth, you know?


Chooch immediately pointed to Giant Santa’s weener and then lamented the fact that he wasn’t tall enough to touch Santa’s nipples as well, and that is how I found myself thinking about Santa having nipples for the first time in my life. I clearly need to add more Christmas porn to the collection.



They have signs in every language because Santa loves you all. I mean, Jesus does.




You guys, this place is so big that they have some angry old lady at a desk handing out maps as soon as you walk in, and even then, we managed to briefly lose Jessi when a rack of penguin ornaments sucked her in.


The store had this old, indescribable musty smell to it and it just followed us around every corner. I couldn’t quite place it, but it was equal parts comforting and sickening. There must have been a lot of old people there.


If this would have said, “DON’T YOU READ MY BLOG!!??!?!” I totally would have bought it. On that note, there is an ornament out there for everyone. (OK, not everyone. Cannibals and Nazis are screwed. Didn’t see anything relevant to death row inmates or manure packagers, either. Fuck it, Bronner’s, you DON’T have something for everyone.)

But if you know someone who is REALLY INTO Sudoku or Geocaching, then Bronner’s has got you covered. There were even ornaments for insurance agents, if you feel so inclined to get your insurance agent an ornament or if you ARE an insurance agent and want to buy one for yourself and pretend that you actually have a client who really gives a shit about you.


They had actual Easter bunny costume heads for sale but they were like $400! And Jessi and I learned that Nativity sets are really expensive and nothing is included! Not even one lousy camel.


Chooch found the cat section within 3 minutes.


I don’t even want to know what this place is like in November and December, holy shit. The shit stain of humanity under one roof, I’m sure.



It was impossible to walk 10 feet in that joint without stumbling upon some kind of historical shrine Mr. Bronner himself. There was even a presentation room with millions of Hummels behind glass where you could sit and watch documentaries about the Bronner legacy. It was in this room where we found a fan that was blowing puffs of that weird cinnamon/moth ball/1970s airport aroma. They must have had hundreds of those fans hidden around the store, because that stench was inescapable. Maybe it was supposed to be frankincense?

We managed to get out of there before Chooch had the chance to break anything (or before Bill had the chance to break Chooch). There were like 63946923875 ornaments I wanted to buy for our shitty Christmas tree, but in the end I wound up only buying a commemorative Bronner’s ornament because you can’t go to the world’s largest Christmas store without getting a souvenir. I also got a magnet for my cabinet-thing at work and I made sure to tell Glenn all about it when I stuck it on. He seemed pretty unimpressed. I wonder, if I made Christmas tree Glennaments,would Bronner’s sell them…


Down the street from Bronner’s is the Silent Night Memorial Chapel! OMG.



Currently under renovation, obviously.



Henry tried to run away. Maybe if it was the Faygo Vending Machine Chapel, he’d have been a bit more piqued.

I was just going to end this by saying that I can’t believe Bronner’s passed up the opportunity to hand out religious literature, but then I remembered that they slipped some pamphlet in our bag about the heavenly father and Chooch was like, “What does this have to do with Christmas decorations?”

We’re doing a fine job.











Jun 282014

One of the greatest things ever about the Internet is meeting new people, especially if those people aren’t psychopathic torture warriors greasing up the Iron Maiden for your visit.

Before I had this blog, I used this awesome blogging platform called LiveJournal and met some really incredible people, most of whom I have kept in touch with even after abandoning LJ in 2007 (I still miss it every day, though!). So on day 3 of our road trip, we had plans to meet two girls I have known for what seems like my entire adult life at this point, thanks to LJ.

After Indiana, we had plans to go to Michigan to hang out with Bill, Jessi and Tammy for the weekend. They were coming back from Tennesee that Friday night, so we had the whole day to make our pilgrimages to meet Michelle and Sarah, who thankfully all live within an hour’s drive from Bill and Jessi. And they were both available that day! All the stars were aligned, for once.

(Coincidentally, LJ is also how I know Bill! All hail, LJ. Some of my best friendships were forged from something that I had no idea what I was doing when I signed up.)

First up was Michelle in Royal Oak. I can’t even remember when she and I became friends, but it was definitely pre-Chooch, so probably around 2004/2005, would be my guess. I have wanted to meet her for quite some time and we even had plans to meet up last year at this Pee Wee’s Big Adventure festival that was supposed to happen in Louisville, KY, but then Pee Wee found out about the festival and pulled the whole cease and desist thing, so there went that.

Michelle and I both really like Pee Wee, obviously.

It was raining in Royal Oak when we pulled onto Michelle’s street. Henry passed her house and had to turn around but that was a good thing because it meant that I got to see her Little Free Library! Henry was like, “Oh she’s the one with the library thing?” TRY TO FOLLOW ALONG, HENRY.


Anyway, we finally parked in front of her house and Henry said hello to her mailman which cracked me up for unknown reasons. He just loves men in costumes, you guys.

Michelle opened the door and I immediately went into “dur dur dur now what??” mode because my social skills are missing a chromosome. My first impressions: her hair is awesome. She has purple walls! And some of my art is on them! OMG CUTE KIDS! OMG CUTE DOGS! Chooch pretended to be totally annoyed but then immediately ran off with her little girls, Delia and Kira, so Henry and I got to sit down and have grown-up conversations with someone which rarely happens!

It’s always surreal to meet someone in the flesh after they start out just being a user name (mshecubus!) but then advance to real pictures on Facebook and sending real life mail to each other. Michelle sent me my coveted blood-splattered coffee cup with the brass knuckle-shaped handle that made everyone at work shake their heads! I love that damn mug!

We passed a signed for 8 Mile on the way to Royal Oak, so of course I had to ask Michelle questions about Eminem. She wasn’t sure if he still lives in Michigan, but she said his daughter recently graduated from a high school close by and that he had to watch it from a TV somewhere inside the school so he wouldn’t get mobbed, which is kind of sad but then I remembered that I don’t like Eminem so what do I care.

Every once in awhile, Chooch would run back into the house to tattle on the girls, not one of his finer traits, and to cry about getting sand in his damn ankle wound. God, try to be a little more self-sufficient, kid.

As usual, we were behind schedule and had to leave after about an hour, plus we didn’t want to impose since it was such a poorly-planned meet-up because Henry sucks at mapping things out. Professional driver my ass.

The only good thing about leaving was watching Chooch writhe in horror and pain as Delia and Kira gang-hugged him, hahaha.



Then it was back in the car for more stupid driving, this time to meet Sarah. It took about 45 minutes to get to Flint and we were too stupid to find Sarah’s salon, so she took a picture of us standing on a street corner, looking lost, and texted it to me. And this is why we’re friends!


Sarah was one of my very first friends on LiveJournal, back when I didn’t believe in capitalization and the only punctuation I used were ellipses and groups of 18 exclamation points. We were pregnant at the same time (her daughter Alpha is two months older than Chooch) and she was one of the only people who knew the truth of my fucked up friendship with Christina; I still feel so grateful that she was there for me.


And now we were finally meeting! More surreal feelings.

Sarah had recently finished working at the salon for the day, but if I didn’t work at a Law Firm, I would have totally asked her to give me lavender hair. I dream of lavender hair. But instead she took us around the corner to the Flint Crepe Company, which was like walking into the 1920s.

A man in a suit said, “Hi Sarah!” and after greeting him, Sarah was like, “Oh that was the mayor of Flint.”

THE MAYOR KNOWS SARAH! She is so cool. (This made me really giddy too, for some reason. Mailmen and mayors just do it for me, I guess.)


OMG I got the Lemon Drop and it was just the right combination of lemon and drop. So good.


Who cares what Henry got, but he was actually kind of smiling!


Chooch got some chocolate strawberry special and ate it like we hadn’t been feeding him at all on this trip. Then he proceeded to lap his water out of the glass like a cat, because that was his new thing, as of that moment, pretending to be a cat who speaks like a toddler.

“Me a cat, meowmeowmeow,” he kept saying and I was kicking him under the table because it was creeping me out. I mean, it’s one thing if this was just his nervous tic, something that he does every now and then because he thinks he’s being cute, but aside from a casual and ironic “meow” here and there, he has never regressed like this before. I was kind of alarmed, like my kid was breaking.

I ended up chalking it up to the fact that he was acting stupid because he was crushing on Sarah.


After crepes, Sarah took us on a walking tour around Flint. Some of my friends were like, “Really? Flint?” because vacations are supposed to have beaches I guess, but it was really fun! I love exploring places and Flint had that gritty feel to it that I love.

Of course we had to ask Sarah about Eminem too. She told us this story about how she was at Warped Tour in 1998 (Chooch perked up at this part, because WARPED TOUR) and accidentally kicked a rock at the guy in front of her. He turned around and called her a fucking bitch and then later she heard all of this booing coming from one of the stages and the guy who called her a fucking bitch was on the stage and turned out to be Eminem, haha.


This is when Chooch was excited to trespass.



Sarah taught us about these berries, the most important fact being that we could eat them, so then Chooch and I had to stand there, pulling down branches and getting stains on ourselves. “I don’t even like these!” Chooch said, popping another into his mouth. Henry just sighed and kept walking.


I bet they sell Faygo in there!


Then Sarah took us to the river to see if there were any dead bodies and causally mentioned that there was a 1-in-45 chance that something violent would happen to us just by being in Flint. That was exciting!

I thought we saw a dead body for sure but Henry was like, “THAT IS A RUG AND BESIDES IT’S TOO SMALL FOR A BODY.”

Oh OK. Midgets or babies can’t be wrapped up and discarded in a rug? Appendages or severed heads? I forgot we live in a perfect world where midgets don’t get murdered and babies aren’t thrown away and not everyone eats their kill. That’s so 1990 Jeffrey Dahmer.

THIS POST JUST GOT TOO DARK. Or not dark enough, if you’re my kind of people.

We did see homeless people with a George Forman Grill, and that was the one thing that Henry  took away from him. When we met up later with Bill and Jessi, he couldn’t wait to tell them about that.

“A George Forman Grill! Where were they going to plug it in!?” he laughed. Oh, Henry.




Henry Crapo, HAHAHAHA!


Trying not to laugh at Henry Crapo.


Alleyway Photo Op.


Henry and Chooch had to stay outside while Sarah and I went inside Paul’s Pipe Hospital, which immediately made me think of my dad. I’m not sure if he still smokes pipes, but he did when I was growing up and I always loved that smell. One of my high school teachers owned a pipe shop in the mall called the Tinder Box and I used to love walking in there for the same reason.


Paul’s Pipe Hospital taught me that there are actual trophies to be won if you can continuously smoke the same pipe longer than anyone else in Pipe Competitions. Now I kind of want to acquire a taste for pipe tobacco so that I too can win a trophy. How popular would Chooch be at school once everyone finds out his mom is a competitive pipe smoking CHAMPION? And how long will it take before someone in his school realizes there are ways to make this into a euphemism for fellatio.


God, this is a fantastic idea. How do I get started? I want one of the pipes I saw there that come in a far-out array of 1970s afghan colors.

Look at what you’ve done to me, Sarah.


My outfit matched Sarah’s hair perfectly.

After about 2 hours, it was time to say goodbye and head back to Wayne so we could check into our hotel and grab a quick dinner before meeting up with Bill and Jessi.

Sarah and Michelle, thank you both so much for making  time for us and getting the awkward “first meet” out of the way. I already can’t wait to see you both again! Come to Pittsburgh!!

Jun 262014


I read some reviews online (because that’s what I do: read amusement park reviews all day long; I don’t have any friends to occupy my time, remember?) that complained about the employees were terrible. This was definitely not the case on my visit, because they clearly know I have a blog and want all of the glowing words written about them. I will say that I didn’t have a single run-in with surly orange-shirts all day. And I even left the park with two favorites: the dude from the Lost Coaster ride and this sweet Russian broad from the Hoosier Hurricane.

The Lost Coaster guy reminded me of the Salute Your Shorts camp counselor, Ug, in that he thought he was way cooler than he was and tried to act tough by yelling things like, “LIKE DON’T SIT ON THE RAILING!” But I guess he was still more intimidating than me because Chooch never listens when I tell him to get off the rail but when Ug hollered it, Chooch hopped off with a quickness.

I accidentally left my phone on the ride and realized it about 3 minutes afterward. When I ran back up the exit ramp to the ride platform, he was checking the next riders’ seat belts and casually holding my pink cell phone and it just made me crack up so bad.

“Hey, that’s my phone,” I said in faux-outrage and he put his hands up.

“I tried to chase you down but you were already gone!” he explained, handing it back over and we both had a good laugh. Why, I’m not sure. But I think I probably was definitely in the beginning stages of heat stroke by then so everything was funny to me except for things that Henry said/did/didn’t do because those things just made me inexplicably ANGRY.

OK, now let’s talk about the Russian. (I mean, after I type out hundreds of words that seem totally unrelated to a Russian broad, of course.)

A few days before we left for our road trip, Chooch acquired some sort of cut/scrape thing on the top of his ankle. Something about he went to kick a soccer ball, missed, tripped over it, bent his foot all the back and scraped it against the sidewalk. Then he proceeded to wear Converse high-tops, which ended up rubbing his scrape raw while forming a blister all at the same time.

So now he had a mutant cut/blister injury in addition to his foot hurting in general from being bent all the way back. He would be fine in the morning, but once he started walking too much, it would aggravate the wound and make his ankle get all red and slightly swollen.

The humidity that day, and also the OINTMENT (I love that people hate that word) that Henry slathered on the wound, made Chooch’s ankle too MOIST (hahaha) for Band-Aids to stay adhered for very long. So when were walking up the metal-grated steps of the Hoosier Hurricane coaster, Chooch forgot how to walk and fell, banging his ankle against the metal edge of the step below him, knocking off the Band-Aid and making him wince in pain.

Henry wasn’t with us, since he wasn’t RIDING anything that day, so I had to try to be a mom and tell Chooch things like, “It’s probably going to be fine” and “You’ll probably still have a foot after all of this is over” and “PLEASE START WALKING, I REALLY WANT TO GO ON THIS ROLLER COASTER.” As soon as we made it into the station, a super sweet Russian girl took down the chain for us and said to Chooch, “Oh no! What is happened to you?” But Chooch was still blinking back tears so I had to do my best to make it look like I hadn’t abused my child.

“There is first aid down there,” she said, pointing over her shoulder. She was really concerned about Chooch’s ankle, which was really endearing. But then we got stuck standing awkwardly next to her while we waited for the coaster to come back, so she made broken-English small talk about the weather.

“It is hot,” she said in a staccato.

“Yeah,” I agreed, struggling for words. And then after a stretch of about 30 million acres of silence, I thought of something else to say. “That, uh, humidity makes it worse.”

“Oh yah! The humidity is worst!” she agreed, and I thanked the arrival of the coaster for interrupting our cliche weather discourse.

She made sure Chooch and I were safely buckled into our seats and then said, “Enjoy ride!” and I secretly hoped it was meant just for us and not any of the other sweaty bastards behind us.


After we got off the ride, Chooch ran ahead of Henry and me because he knows everything, including the way to the first aid trailer. Eight-year-olds don’t need parents, you guys. By the time we caught up and walked into the first aid trailer, Chooch and the park medic were just sitting there silently, Chooch on the edge of the bed and the medic at his desk.

“He just came in and sat down,” the medic explained. “Said he was waiting for some people.”


And then Chooch relayed the entire, sordid saga of the Origin of the Wound.

He loves to talk about it. Last night, as soon as we got to his piano lesson, he sighed and mumbled something about his foot hurting. (Side note: that fucker is pretty much healed by now, so I guess he’s experiencing fantasy pains similar to Henry’s imaginary war wounds that don’t exist because Henry was never in an actual war when he was in the SERVICE.) “Oh no, what did you do to it?” his piano teacher Cheryl asked.

“Ugh, why does everyone ask me about it?” Chooch cried and I was like, “OH OK, MY LEFT FOOT, MAYBE BECAUSE YOU CAN’T STOP BRINGING IT UP.”


Here’s Henry re-doing Chooch’s Band-Aid 3 minutes later.


There was another Russian girl working the Cornball Express, another roller coaster, but she wasn’t as nice. I mean, she wasn’t a dick head or anything, but she didn’t go out of her way to smother us with attention like Hoosier Hurricane did. The other Cornball Express girl routinely helped me unbuckle my seatbelt all 137 times we rode that coaster (honestly, there were no lines to wait in). Chooch, who had quickly mastered the secret of the Houdini-approved seatbelts, kept crying out, “Oh for Christ’s sake, mommy!” Before eventually just not waiting for me anymore.

I seriously have never struggled so hard with a seatbelt in my life. It was almost embarrassing. Ok it was embarrassing.


After hours of stalking Frankenstein’s Castle, those fucking garage doors were finally a’lift and we had the confusing task of trying to add dolla dolla bills to the Indiana Beach cash card thing. I forget to mention that this is one of those amusement parks where, if you don’t want to plan on riding much, you can load money onto credit cards and then scan it before you get on the rides. Even the ride-all-day wristbands have barcodes on them and everyone is required to stick their wrist under a scanner at the front of all of the lines. Waldameer Park in Erie does this, too. It’s annoying, but whatever.

Anyway, Frank’s Place wasn’t included in the ride-all-day admission price. Some dark rides are like that and while I’m not exactly sure of the reason (Chris? Can you help here?), I have a few theories, mostly that it’s a restoration thing. It was an additional $3.50 per person and BE STILL MY HEART, Henry actually paid for THREE. At first, I thought maybe there was some sad albino kid in line behind us, tugging on Henry’s bland heart strings and making him do charitable thangs. (I didn’t want to end on a rhyme. You understand.)

But no, he was paying for himself! Henry was finally going to not sit on a bench with his nose pressed against his phone, looking at Pinterest! (Honestly, Chooch and I made fun of him from every line in which we stood. Because why not.)

As soon as the ticket booth broad granted us admission, our nostrils were slammed with the unmistakable vintage bouquet of moth balls and Aunt Edith’s cedar closet of muumuus. It’s a smell that I love because it means old school amusement park. Fuck those flashy sterile, steel concrete jungles known as Six Flags.

I want that fancy dark ride musk.

If they bottled it as perfume/cologne, that’d be a surefire way to get me into your backseat.

(Oh come on, don’t pretend like you thought I was classy.)


“I just paid $3.50 to walk through a fake castle with two screaming d-bags. I bet that taco would have also cost $3.50 and have been way less annoying.” – Henry, if he ever thought about anything.

After sitting on a bench and listening to a crackling recording about what scares we were about to encounter, a disinterested young Indiana Beach employee opened a door and ushered us in for the “OMG crashing elevator” segment. At first I thought this was going to be totally lame, and that part was, but then she opened another door and set us free, on our own, to shuffle through the guts of a mostly pitch-black haunted house.

Here is Henry’s review:

It was fun. I got pushed through by two scared little people. That’s about it.

Wow. Titillating as always.


There were no scare actors, just the effective non-use of light bulbs, enclosed animatronic displays that managed to pop on when I was always the most unsuspecting, moving floors and enough enclosed spaces to make a claustrophobe fake their way through the rosary.

THIS IS A CLASSIC DARK ATTRACTION. One that keeps it real and doesn’t rely on modern, high-tech scare tactics. Let me put it this way: there are chicken doors located throughout the length of the castle and if Henry hadn’t gone in with us, I guarantee the first one would have a chunk taken out of it in the exact outline of my body.

This is the type of haunt you want to walk through with the person you’re obsessively crushing on or maybe the hipster you just met IRL on Tinder and want to terrorize in the dark with rusty hedge clippers while wearing your mom’s skin on your face. Butterflies!

I’d go back to Indiana Beach every summer just for another 10 minutes inside Frankenstein.



Overall, I would rate Indiana Beach 3/5. The coasters and dark rides were its main redeeming qualities. I didn’t like how it took so long for a lot of the rides to open, instead of just opening everything when the park itself opened. And I also didn’t like the actual park grounds. The layout was weird, sloppy like the parks I used to create on Roller Coaster Tycoon because I apparently lack aesthetic. I’m not saying I expect every park to be Disney-levels of beautiful, but I don’t know, maybe try planting some more flowers or something.

We didn’t eat enough of the food for this to be a factor in my rating, although they had something called Redneck Biscuits which sounded hideous but I still wanted to eat one and Henry wouldn’t buy me one because NO TACO.

Jun 252014


My brain needs to reset itself so here, have a filler post.  There are also no pictures of Henry in this one, because as he said earlier, “Haven’t you word-raped me enough over the last two days?” TOUCHÉ, MOTHERFUCKER. 20140625-132552.jpg

Honestly was about to scratch a Will on my leg with a paint chip from this sad, downtrodden Paratrooper—it was such a janky ride! On one hand, I was like, “At least if we’re flung from this shoddy piece of mechanics, we have a 50/50 chance of hitting the lake and surviving” and then on the other hand I was like, “EW I DON’T WANT TO TOUCH THAT GROSS WATER!”

I’ve only ridden on one set of Paratroopers more run down looking than this one, and that was at the Washington County Fair.

A fresh coat of paint goes a long way, Indiana Beach. Just pretend like each umbrella is one of Tammy Faye Bakker’s eyelids. Go wild!


Faces of Paratrooper survivors.


That guy has what we call 1950s Indiana Swag.


I love the Tilt-a-Whirl so much but not on days where elves are spooning viscous scoops of oil from my facial pores to use as liliputian love-stick lubricant. Let me spell it out for it: IT WAS HOT AND HUMID. I can’t ride spinny rides when I’m in the throes of heat stroke. But Chooch rode this three times in a row. God, good for you, Chooch. Why don’t you just write a song about it on your dumb keyboard, ugh.


Obligatory ice cream cone shot. Can I get any more predictable.


Seriously, these guys. I was obsessed. Also note: this was pretty much how crowded it was all day until late afternoon when the water park mysteriously closed down and a horde of Indiana’s finest invaded the park like beached whales.

Pale, so pale, very pale beached whales.


This is not where I got my ice cream.

I haven’t even finished writing about this park yet and I’m already trying to con Henry into taking us to another one. I’M NEVER SATISFIED. Just ask the doves when they cry.

Jun 242014


My criteria for planning a road trip is pretty simple:

  • Are there friends along the way that I can impose upon?
  • Does my Roadside America app approve of this route?
  • Are there amusement parks in the vicinity?

I’ve wanted to go to Indiana Beach (fun fact: not actually a beach) for awhile now, and it seemed logical to combine this with a long overdue visit to Michigan to hang out with Bill, Jessi and Tammy and also meet up with some other ladies I have been Internet friends with for YEARS. (More on that later!)

We had to drive through actual farmlands to get to Monticello, Indiana, at which point a man of about 100 years of age collected $7 from us and told us where to park.

Which was “anywhere in the wide open, empty parking lot.”


We got there right when the park opened, and not only was it a ghost town, but none of the rides were running. We roamed around for awhile, getting turned away from the Hoosier Hurricane and wasting time at the shooting gallery. Also, the humidity was so bad that it felt like Hell with the lid on; my face took on the sebaceous sheen of a glazed Christmas ham in no time. It was disgusting. But not so disgusting that I would consider visiting the dilapidated water park portion of Indiana Beach, which was included in regular admission because the lazy river wasn’t running. God only knows why not.


No thanks, dirty pastel water slides. God only knows what kind of fungi you’re getting ready to launch into my vagina. (I have phobias, OK?)


Chooch killed some time at the shooting gallery, while I paced around, waiting for the adjacent Frankenstein’s Castle to open their dumb doors already. I refuse to partake in the shooting galleries at amusement parks because HENRY won’t teach me how to aim. So I almost never hit anything. And then I pout, which morphs into an inevitable Hulk Rage later on.



Fuck you, Henry.

Lame Henry didn’t get the ride-all-day wristband because he’s too old to have fun at amusement parks now. But he sure does enjoy the ones with free general admission so that he can walk around and complain for nothing. I promise you, we broke up at least 87 times that day.


The main (OK, the only) reason Indiana Beach made my list is their staggering collection of THREE dark rides. Two of them, The Den of Lost Thieves and the most-anticipated House of Frankenstein were basically the last rides to open that day. But oh, were they worth the wait.

The Den of Lost Thieves is a shooting ride, which I generally do not enjoy. Kennywood took out a great dark ride, the Goldrusher, and replaced it with a modern shooter-type dark ride and the only thing remarkable about it is how incredibly boring it is. I would gladly bypass this one every time we visit Kennywood, but Chooch always drags me on it. I hate waiting in line for it too! You wait and wait and wait only to get put in this holding room, like a foyer, where they force you to watch some animated portrait on a wall telling you the story of Ghostwood Estate and then the door opens and it’s a fucking free-for-all. Everyone pushes their way through so even if you were the first one in line before entering that room, chances are you’ll take a fanny pack to the groin and wind up 17 people back.

So when I realized that the Den of Lost Thieves was also a shooting ride, I was like, “Damn, we drive 8 hours for this?” But it turned out to be FANTASTIC! Old, musty and full of old-school scares. I loved the shit out of this ride. Especially since I got more points than Chooch.



Another dark ride in the park doubled as a coaster! It was called the Lost Coaster of Something I Forget Who Knows. There was no one in line when Chooch and I walked past, so I shoved all of my belongings into Henry’s chest and bolted for it.

“Um…it’s gonna take a few minutes,” the older, orange-shirted ride operator said. “It got stuck, and I’m waiting for someone to push it back out.” Oh OK, no big deal, you guys. Rides get stuck like all of the time, right? And probably not back-to-back times, right?

He said something about the cars not being “properly weighted” and I was like, “Oh well if you’re looking for all of the weight, you’ve come to the right thunder thighs.” Four more people joined us right as a mechanic came grunting out of the fake cave, pushing the double mine cars in front of him.

The ride operator seemed confident that we had enough bodies to successfully propel the mine cars from start to finish, so we loaded up with me and Chooch and some lady and little girl in one car, and a guy and kid in the one behind us.

Awkward thing about this ride: four people fit in a car, but the seats face each other, so unless you’re with three of your homies, you get to stare at strangers for the next two minutes and I hate that you guys. Looking at people who are looking at me, it’s just…ew. Not for me.

This ride was pretty thrilling and volatile, just like a relationship with me! All of the ups and downs and whiplash and violent shoves.

Will you need a PFA? Maybe! And then…nothing. It just stopped, right in the middle of the dark cave.

“Is it supposed to do this?” I asked the people in the car with us.

“I DON’T THINK SO BUT THE STEEL HAWG GETS STUCK ALL THE TIME,” answered the little girl in an octave only little girls can manage.

****Mental note to be wary of the Steel Hawg. (Which never opened that day anyway, so moot point.)

Anyway, guess what guys? We were stuck! I think this may have been my first time ever getting stuck on a ride, too, so thanks Indiana Beach! That’s a cherry I sure needed popped.

As if it wasn’t hot enough that day, now we were stuck inside some muggy faux-cavern, in a near-enclosed car, with no rescue in sight. I had sweat rolling into my eyes and mouth, I could feel it dripping from the backs of my knees, my whole person was slick with the moist essence of PANIC.

And I had these strangers staring at me and I had nothing to say other than nervous laughter and then the kid in the car behind us started to cry and his dad was mouthing off about how this was such BULLshit and Chooch kept meowing and I was like, “WHY IS NO ONE TRYING TO COMMUNICATE WITH US OVER AN INTERCOM OR MORSE CODE OR CROP CIRCLE?!” And then finally, after a good FIVE MINUTES OF NOTHING, that same disgruntled mechanic came trudging up the track behind us, shouted an answer to a garbled voice over his walkie talkie, fumbled with some switches in the breaker box next to us, and then said “Enjoy your ride” just as the motor kicked in and we went STRAIGHT DOWN A HILL. Oh that’s right, we were stuck on the zenith of a hill and had no idea because it was so dark in there. So…that was definitely a thrill.


Meanwhile, Henry had been dreaming of buying a taco all day. That’s what he’s thinking about in this picture, as a matter of fact. Indiana Beach has a taco stand that was apparently featured on the Food Network for some reason. I love me a good taco, but I knew that Indiana Beach was for sure not going to have a meatless option. So Chooch and I decided to get pizza and then Henry was going to get his coveted taco afterward.

Except that Chooch only ate one slice of his personal pizza and Henry acted like a motherfucking martyr and ate the rest of it. Like, who cares? Sometimes I think he does this shit on purpose, like he’s some Leftover Scraps Hero. OK, you ate three small slices of crappy pizza, good for you.

Oh, you ate the rest of Chooch’s waffle for breakfast? Well, FUCK Henry. Thanks for taking one for the team. Shit.

I knew all of his moaning and groaning over this would eventually paint a bigger picture, and I was right: Now that he had eaten Chooch’s pizza, he was “too full” to get a taco, and that was ALL THAT HE WANTED, you guys. A fucking taco, but now Chooch and I had ruined his life by having the audacity to get pizza for our own lunches. Last time I checked, no one was forcing pizza down Henry’s enlarged hatch.

I kept coaxing him to get a taco, but he was being such a bitch about it. He was acting offended almost, like he was on a porn diet and I was trying to get him to succumb to peer pressure by showing photos of naked broads going to town on tacos.

So bizarre. Maybe he’s trying to fit back into his SERVICE costume?


Wistful thoughts over the taco stain on his shirt that could have been.


Dreaming of brushing a taco with his moustache bristles to the tune of a Selena song.


He had his chance right here! Going, going….


Gone. This was right after he said, “I DON’T WANT ONE NOW. JUST FORGET IT.” Oh wow, someone’s come down with a case of the Erins.

Imagining a lake where all the sailboats are tacos and he’s a great, venerable taco sailor.


Not buying a taco.


Yeah Henry. Don’t forget. Bitchbaby motherfucker.

(I think Mexico might find it hard to believe that the world’s best tacos are in Indiana.)

Jun 232014


OMG one of my favorite parts of our road trip was when we got to drive through the boarded-up hole where Henry used to live while he was in the SERVICE OMG CAN YOU STAND IT.

I wondered out loud if perhaps Henry had grown children running around Bunker Hill, but he assured me that was impossible, which means that Henry didn’t have sex for like THREE YEARS from 1984-1987.

I was in elementary school then, roller skating and being awesome.


Henry is sitting next to me right now, against his will, and I’m asking him for information to include with these pictures since he has refused to write anything on his own because he hates thinking of the years of his life that didn’t include me.


He was an aircraft CREW CHIEF. Whatever that means.


Here is a street that Henry may have walked on! He probably at least drove on it in his GREEN GRAND PRIX. (He just corrected me and said it was blue but last night he told me it was green. Now he’s saying he had both. God, brag much?) He doesn’t recall Brown’s Game Room being there when he lived there in the EIGHTIES. I asked him if there were any whore houses there and he got really impatient and said, “Not in BUNKER HILL. Those were in KOKOMO.” Oh. Sorry.

Henry never want to Indiana Beach while he lived there because he didn’t know it existed. He did, however, go to the fair. Once. He can’t remember if he rode anything, but he knows for certain he didn’t kiss any girls there because kissing leads to SEX and he wasn’t having that in Bunker Hill. That would have ruined his reputation as the Base Eunuch.


This is the neighborhood where Henry’s trailer was but he claims the trailer isn’t there anymore, but he wouldn’t drive back to where it used to be so I couldn’t get any pictures of the empty pit that remains. He wouldn’t even get out of the car while I was taking these pictures. (Admittedly, there wasn’t much there to photograph and I didn’t want anyone to come running out of their home, spitting Skoal at me, so I was pretty quick to wrap this up.)

Also, Henry has no pictures of his trailer, because he wasn’t in the habit of taking pictures of his non-descript living quarters. He had a variety of roommates, including Les, Tim (WHO HE IS FRIENDS WITH ON FACEBOOK! I’m going to message him soon), and John. He thinks John only lived there for a little while but he doesn’t remember because it’s hard to remember things that happened in the 80s, you guys. He claims that they never brought home any local women and this is just so weird to me. They had lots of porn on VHS though. He mumbled “no” when I asked him if they all watched it together, which means that he wanted them to all watch it together but they were like, “Ew get out of here, Eunuch.”


HENRY HAS BEEN TO THIS BAR!!! Apparently, he mostly drank at the bar on BASE. What a snob. He told me that he used to drink LONG ISLAND ICED TEAS at the bar on base. You guys, Henry used to drink LONG ISLAND ICED TEAS. Now I know what I’m serving at his 50th birthday party next year, complete with cocktail parasols and fruit on swords. And obviously they will be served in mason jars with paper straws, as an homage to Henry’s Pinterest addiction.


Henry made me get in the car after this for fear of the homeowners mistaking me for someone casing their house.

Henry used to cook his own food when he lived there and he just said, “I don’t understand why this is such a big deal to you, I cook my own food now, too.” Oh yeah. But for some reason, I keep imagining him in velour lounge pants and a wife-beater, stirring succotash on top of a hot plate. He just told me he cooked Thanksgiving dinner once!! For like 4 or 5 people, he doesn’t remember!

(I AM SO GIDDY AS I WRITE THIS! The notion of Henry having a life prior to me is hilarious and mythical to me all at once. I need to know all of it.)


I was excited to talk about this picture but Henry yelled, “THAT IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT THING. THAT IS NOT EVEN BUNKER HILL. THAT IS TEXAS.” He didn’t do cool things like this in Indiana. Probably because he didn’t know how.


This was when Henry first saw the thing and then realized it wasn’t the thing anymore. (You know, that base thing.) It’s a prison now! He said he doesn’t have many feelings about this since it was so long ago. There was a reunion last year that he didn’t attend. He said it was because all of the people who went were people who were there for like a million years and not an early-discharge pussy like himself. I asked him if he had one of those dishonorable discharges and he got really irritated so that means yes. Probably because he was a Eunuch. And back then, that was probably worse than being gay.

He’s laughing right now but it’s not the “I’m having a good time!” kind of laugh, but more of a “Can I please go to bed now because my sanity is starting to come out of my nose” kind of scary laugh.

Jun 222014

Doing this thing again. As usual, keep checking back for updates if you’re bedridden and have nothing else to do but watch 700 Club reruns.

1:13pm: Just said our sad goodbyes to Bill & Jessi and are headed back home to Pittsburgh. Right before we left their house, I noted that this was the first time we hung out with them without Bill maiming Chooch in some way. Three minutes later, Bill was like “I’ll give you ONE PUSH on the swing but then you have to go, buddy” and then just like that, Chooch fell off the swing. It was perfect timing.


1:50pm: Chooch is already sleeping. We are breakfast with Bill & Jessi this morning at Rocky’s Diner and had an awesome waitress also named Jessi who told us she once went to Pittsburgh for a baseball game. Then there was this old white man at the table next to us, ranting to his female breakfast companions about how it’s ridiculous that women can have their own women-only clubs but god forbid men should try to do that and how unfair it is that if a woman wants in a boys-only club, the boys have to let her in or else it turns into a Thing and it’s just BULLSHIT how much the world has changed to accommodate WOMEN, you guys. Secretly, Henry was probably strongly identifying with this d-bag’s plight.

1:56pm: Chex Mix.

2:33pm: We just drove over a bridge near what Chooch calls “Toll-do.” (Aka Toledo.) I am desperately bored. Chooch is sleeping, Henry and I quit talking to each on Day One, and I have nothing going on my Simpsons: Tapped Out. Help.

3:46pm: Henry is trying to be affectionate and keeps trying to touch me like we’re old flames or something and I’m like “Bro you ignored me for three days! I’ve moved on!” In other news, Soul 4 Real’s “Candy Rain” was on the radio a few minutes ago so that was a nice flashback to when I identified as an urban black girl in high school.

4:07pm: Wow. Daddy Henbucks just treated Chooch and me to Hershey’s ice cream & Starbucks at some crappy rest stop outside of Cleveland. WHAT DID WE DO TO GET SO LUCKY. We walked in and exited behind the same family. I don’t know, that’s all I got. This drive is really mind-numbing and lacks the anticipation and excitement of YAY ROAD TRIP! like we (I) had on Wednesday. The only upside is getting to see Marcy in a few hours! And getting to edit my photos!

5:04pm: Chooch is taking the “What Kind of Cat Are You?” quiz on Buzzfeed for the fifth time.

5:20pm: “It doesn’t matter how much you bitch, it’s still going to take an hour and 13 minutes to get home” – Henry.

5:55pm: Just remembered the rest area we stopped at Friday in Michigan that had so many bugs adhered to the sides of it that they had to post a sign inside with “facts” on what they are. Fish flies, apparently. I’m dry-heaving at the memory of them, holy fuck.

6:18pm: Chooch just caught a glimpse of the Pittsburgh skyline and began to weep.

6:22pm: HOME!! Chooch just said, “Haha, you and Daddy have to work tomorrow.” Ugh, home. :(


So, in conclusion: the ride home is waaaaay less exciting and this post was pretty pointless.

Jun 202014

Hi guys, it’s Friday and we’re en route to Michigan. Here’s a brief run-down of our Thursday:
After a night of really intense thunderstorms that had Chooch totally panicked, we ate crappy hotel breakfast with Miserable Henry.

“I wonder how long it will take before he quits talking to us altogether,” I mused out loud.

“I think that’s already happened,” Chooch answered, shoveling disgusting scrambled eggs into his mouth. Henry said they were made from a powder. So fucking disgusting.

Drove through “downtown” Logansport on our way to Monticello and I saw at least four men wearing overalls which made me miss the days when I used to wear overalls constantly so the first thing on my agenda when I get home is to buy some motherfucking overalls from the farmer store.

I made Henry take us to this donut shop because clearly small donut joints like this one have really good donuts and we would be remiss not to see for ourselves.

Except that they only had approximately five donuts left and a girl was standing there staring at us so Henry felt obligated at that point to buy two donuts even though he didn’t like any of the ones available. And then it was all, “Mommy HAD to stop here” for the next half hour.

Passed a tractor parade on the way to Indiana Beach in Monticello.

Spent most of the day melting our faces off at Indiana Beach, which is a pretty sad amusement park with some really great dark rides, wooden coasters and other assorted rides prone to getting stuck. We were only there for an hour before getting stuck on some mine ride, so that was wonderful.

I have a ton more to say about this but that will have to wait until I get home. You know me + words + amusement parks. No one ever wins when those blog posts roll out.

Left Indiana Beach and drove to Fort Wayne, where we ended up staying for the night in a Best Western “Executive Suite,” which made Chooch say, “Well done, Daddy. I’m impressed.” Poor kid.

Ate at Cebolli’s Mexican Restaurant or something and had a delightful young waiter who called me “miss.”

Afterward, we drove through “downtown” Fort Wayne because there was some moving bread billboard that my Roadside America app kept insisting that I needed to see. As soon as we got into town, there were people RUNNING to some shared destination and we were like WTF, why is this dumb city so excited right now? And then we drive past their little baseball stadium which had music blaring from within so Henry googled and discovered that a Florida Georgia Line “concert” was happening, which explained why all the dorky-looking white people were racing in droves toward the music.

“That’s not nice,” Henry chastised me when I was in the middle of a roll making fun of country music. And then I remembered that he was a country music fan before I saved him.

(Just kidding, y’all. I don’t even really hate country music. NOT AS MUCH AS I HATE SKA, anyway.)

Then we were at a traffic light behind some car who was sitting through a green light. Some stoner kid was crossing the street and calmly shouted, “That’s a green light, bro” and then nodded a “You’re welcome” to us. I was really excited about this but Henry was like, “It wasn’t that funny” because if it’s not on Comedy Central, it’s not funny.

Found the billboard and Henry was like, “Really? This?”

And now we’re on our way to meet my friends Michelle and Sarah for the first time ever and I’m nervously excited! And Henry just had a bitch-fit because he hasn’t been able to find his stupid jugs of iced tea anywhere in Ohio or Indiana. #bluecollarproblems


Jun 182014

I’m live blogging our drive to Indiana. Keep checking back for updates throughout the day, please and thanks.

8:41am: We’re just about to finally leave the house for our dysfunctional, poorly-planned road trip to Michigan. First though, we’re going to Indiana for an AMUSEMENT PARK because the sun rises and sets on amusement parks. I wanted to have been on the road an hour ago but Henry is an asshole.

9:03am: I hope Henry knows that I’m going to keep being a bitch until he stops and gets me FUCKING COFFEE. THIS IS RIDICULOUS.

9:19am: Chooch was awake long enough to get dressed and whine about having to put shoes on.

9:27am: We have to drive through Bunker Hill, IN which is one of the places Henry lived while IN THE SERVICE OMG. I’m so excited about this. I asked him if we could stop & take pictures and then he can blog about it later and he said MAYBE!

Me: “Do you think we can buy post cards there?”

Henry: “Doubt it.”

10:09am: You guys. I just realized we have to drive through Ohio, ugh. Ohio is boring to drive through and Henry is telling me about his dream from last night and that’s boring too. Everything is boring.

10:17am: THOUGHT: What if Henry has CHILDREN in Bunker Hill?!?!?!

11:00am: Suddenly not bitching about being stuck in accident traffic now that I know two people died. :(

11:23am: Still in traffic (and Chooch finally woke up for a minute) so here’s a story for you. Janna came over Saturday night and Chooch downloaded some Guess the Emoji game on her phone. We were all stuck on this one that had a Henry-ish emoji and a book, so my guess was:

News flash, that wasn’t the answer. Chooch told me I’m immature and then did his signature “laugh so hard then puke” maneuver. Unable to figure it out, I had the bright idea to use the “ask Facebook” option, which posted the picture onto JANNA’S profile with the caption “GUYS HELP ME I’M TOO DUMBBBBB” before she had a chance to grab her phone off me. Immediately, two of her friends commented to tell her the answer was, ironically, Facebook. I guess we’re all TOO DUMBBBB.

11:46am: Just stopped at a disgusting rest area in Boring, Ohio and I discovered that there was melted chocolate in the car seat from my Kashi bar and it was all over my shorts so Henry had to clean me up while muttering, “THIS IS WHAT I EXPECT FROM CHOOCH! DO I HAVE TO PUT A SEAT COVER ON THE FRONT SEAT TOO?!” God. Just do your job and STFU.

12:40pm: Here is a convo that just happened as we drove past Columbus:

Henry: I’d like to go to the Columbus zoo someday.
Me: Why.
Henry: Because they have a nice zoo.
Me: How do you know?
Henry: Because they have a nice zoo, OK?
Me: Yeah but how do you know if you’ve never been there?
Henry: *mumbled something about Jack Hanna*

God!!! I’m not doubting him, I just want to know if some “tellyvision program” gave him these ideas or if some derelict from the gutter gave him a pamphlet one day.

12:54pm: Setting good examples for my kid:

Me: Don’t touch my fat arm.
Henry: Maybe you have that body dysmorphic thing. (He just learned about that from Catfish.)
Me: Oh I’ve always known that I have that and it’s just amplified by the fact that I actually am really fat & ugly.”

1:04pm: Here’s a “Henry Left Us in the Car While He Buys Himself Beverage” selfie/groupie.

And then some asshole walked by and stared at us so I yelled “WHY DON’T YOU TAKE A PICTURE IT’LL LAST LONGER” because I have to fulfill my Pee Wee’s Big Adventure quote quota. Meanwhile, Chooch’s retort to Staring Guy was a much more succinct “Bitch!”

1:49pm: Henry finally fed us. We had a rest area picnic. It was OK. There was fruit salad. We are wasting so much time.


2:13pm: Isles & Glaciers came on just as we passed an exit sign for Cincinnati. Thumbs up, universe. You’re cute.

2:50pm: Chooch saw a billboard for Tom Raper RVs and is fixating on the fact that obviously Tom’s parents wanted him to grow up to be a raper and Henry was like “HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS” and Chooch said “Mommy told me” and I was like “I certainly did not!” and Chooch said “Yes you did, when you made me watch the ‘He’s climbing in yo’ window’ video!” and I said “I never made you watch that!” and he said “What, do you think I just tumbled down the steps, watching it on my phone?” and then we both cracked up and I choked on a fruit snack and Henry said “Thanks, Erin.”

4:28pm: Just was struck with the crippling desire to listen to Howard Hewett’s “This Love Is Forever,” which comes with the story about the time in 10th grade when my friend Christy and I were dog-sitting for my aunt Susie on New Year’s Eve. I had recently been dumped my OMGTRULUV Justin Kail, so aside from accidentally knocking over Susie’s Christmas tree, all I remember happening that night was the house being papered with instructional Post-It notes from Susie and my then-uncle Mark and me listening to this song on repeat while crying and Christy being utterly annoyed. I just told Henry this story and he was like “Yes, I know. Pretttttttty sure I’ve heard this one” but sorry, it’s mandatory. Then I performed a full-body lip synch of the song’s crescendo which Henry really enjoys while he’s trying to drive.

Oh and about the Christmas tree. Don’t worry, Christy and I left a Post-It note that said “We knocked over your Xmas tree” before we left the next day.


5:00pm: In Kokomo now, Henry is lost. Listening to a yacht rock Spotify station to drown out my incessantly chirping kid from the backseat.

5:34pm: AHHH IT HAPPENED! We just drove through Bunker Hill! I asked Henry how it made him feel and he said, “With you with me? Angry.”

This will be its own blog post!

6:37pm: We almost walked into some diner in Logansport, IN (that’s where we’re staying tonight) but I said, “No. I have a bad feeling about this place. Lets go to that Mr. Happy Burger joint we just passed.” Henry was all bothered but BY GEORGE it was the best decision ever because Mr. Happy Burger is practically a make believe fast food restaurant created for a bad 80s comedy. I am OBSESSED.









And they had grilled cheese! And Henry didn’t smile once!

7:40pm: We’re in our hotel room in Logansport and Chooch has been reading out loud from the bible for the last fifteen minutes, pausing to offer his own personal asides, like after the part that said “and there will be no more pain,” he said, “YEAH RIGHT. OW!” Because he’s been complaining all day about a cut on his foot. He said the word “profitable” like a pro and then pronounced “testimonies” as “tes-TIM-onies.” He ended by saying, “That’s all for today. Stay tuned.” And then burst into flames.

I’ll post a video later. I unfortunately wasn’t able to capture him doing his “fabulous angel” voice, though.

8:03pm: Mr. Happy Burger has another location near our hotel that has a sundae parlor! Obviously, I’m sitting inside of it right now.


9:16pm: Back from a tour of dilapidated Logansport and Chooch lost our room key. Sweating in the stinky Quality Inn hallway while Mad Henry goes to the front desk. He is so over us.



9:26pm: Henry just paid $10 for a new room key.

Earlier, we went for a short walk in Riverview Park and I dryheaved over the stagnant river as we walked across a bridge. Then a bunch of preteens in bathing suits ran past us, screaming about going swimming. “Wait—are they swimming in THAT?” I asked Henry, pointing to the bug invested water.

“I mean, probably. This is a pretty backwoods area.”


Oh well. Thank god for Mr.Happy Burger. Or Hap’s, for those in the know.



11:04pm: OMG it’s thunderstorming so bad and Chooch and I are convinced that we’re going to die in a tornado. Henry is so exasperated and keeps yelling, “THIS IS JUST A NORMAL STORM CLOSE THE CURTAINS GO TO BED SHUT UP” and I’m like “WHAT IF THE LIGHTNING COMES THRU THE WINDOWWWW?” This is probably my last update since a giant lightning hand is going to pick me up and carry me off into the Stormlands. OMG I’m so scared.