Jun 212017
 

Tomorrow morning, we leave for KCON. I think all three of us need this long weekend to get away from all the bullshit and remember how to be a family. 

Even if it is in Newark. 

It’s not fine. But it will be. 

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Jun 192017
 

There was one majorly super awesome thing that happened last Tuesday, you guys. Baby Calvin was born! It seemed like Haley was pregnant forever, but now he’s here and the three of them have become the perfect little family. I’M LITERALLY CRYING AS I TYPE THIS because I have known Blake since he was eight and it’s been a crazy and awesome journey watching from the sidelines as be grew from a little human Bart Simpson to this sweet, excited dad. 

BLAKE IS A DAD!

AND ROBBIE IS A DAD!

So many dads and babies!

It seems like just yesterday when Blake & I were getting sick together on carnival rides,  making STD cookies with Janna, and going to Warped Tour….

Where did the time go?! 

Haley is already assuming the role of super cool mom and her happiness is contagious! It almost makes me wish Chooch was still a baby…

They brought Calvin over yesterday for a visit and seeing Henry holding his grandson made me forget all the bullshit because this is what life and family is about. THIS. 

Three grandsons for Henry! This is totally his year. I’m so happy for everyone! Congratulations, Blake & Haley! Calvin is so lucky to have you as parents!

(Also, Chooch completely missed out on the visit because he was too busy hanging out at his second family’s house, a/k/a Wesley with the two trampolines, a poodle, and a mom who cooks.)

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Jun 182017
 

Everything sucks. But this custard / Fruity Pebbles combo was nice. 

In related news, I deactivated my Facebook account because after 16 years, some people still can’t seem to stay the fuck out of my non-marriage. I have to say, being Facebook-free has been pretty wonderful and I don’t regret it, even though it took being told that I’m a terrible mom and even worse girlfriend to get there. 


They’re probably looking at a list of all the ways I’m super shitty. 

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Jun 162017
 

There was an episode of some talk show I watched once in the 90s—Maury or Donahue or Sally Jesse, who cares—about people who survived gunshots to the head.

What always stuck with me was that every person on the panel said the same thing: it didn’t hurt.

One person said they only felt “an icy sensation.”

That’s how my head has felt all week but without the bullethole.

Anyway, due to my invisible head trauma, please look at some pictures of Pittsburgh that I’ve been collecting during the last several lunch break walks. I’m on the tourism board, you know.

These were some street art installations that sprung up during the annual Three Rivers arts festival. I actually was walking by the day the artist was making one of them. He had paint on one side of his face that looked like tire tracks. I’m pretty sure it was intentional and I would have much rather hung out with him than go back to work, wah.

img_2242-1

Hey guys, this was the general area where that lady got hit by a car and I cried and was so worried about her all day—me, caring about another human!

I remember the day I took this picture in the Strip District because it was a deliciously uneventful walk. Sometimes a stroll without attracting weirdos or witnessing domestic disputes is a welcome reprieve!

That time I was standing in line at Crazy Mocha and Journey’s “Who’s Crying Now?” came on the radio and all five people in line started mindlessly humming along.

Here’s a picture from some church on the Northside, which I walked to accidentally and then almost didn’t make it back to work in time and I panicked even though no one else is a clock-watcher but me.

Random view down some street. It rained later that day, and then Pittsburgh was lit with the pungent bouquet of wet hobo piss on a hot summer’s day. Ugh, that stench.

I walk past this storefont nearly every day and somehow never noticed how pretty it is until today. Also today, I got caught in a storm without a umbrella so I ran inside the Westin and thought I was out-smarting mother nature by going into the gift shop to buy an umbrella, BUT THEY WERE ALL OUT?! I literally just made fun of Todd the other day, too, for his horrid luck at getting stuck in downpours on his lunch break, so I guess I was due for my own afternoon shower.

Luckily it didn’t last long and I was under shelter the whole time, so there.

Hey, speaking of head shots, this song was banned by some of the Korean TV stations for having graphic lyrics about violence. I get to see them next week at KCON and I hope they perform it!

I’m hoping KCON breaks the sad spell that’s been cast on me. The other night, Henry was so desperate to cheer me up, that he willingly suggested that we watch G-Dragon videos and then Chooch offered to watch Running Man with me and he HATES that show because it’s subtitled. I said no to all of those things, but turns out Soju shots was also an option and that felt great until it didn’t.

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Jun 142017
 

Currently enduring some of the worst parts of mania. Who cares though. Here’s some happy things cuz fake it till u make it amirite lol. 

1. I got to see my buddy Nina and her kids a few weeks ago when she was visiting from Virginia! Wendy and I had lunch with her and some of her other friends and it was really great. Always great to see her pretty face. I miss working with her! She used to take care of me, like the time I broke the Keurig and she fixed it for me before I cut myself or broke a sweat or whatever. 


2. Lori made me a G-Dragon Countdown calendar and even did it all in Hangul which makes me so happy because I can read it, mostly! I’m actually learning a different number system though, so now I’ll know both sino-Korean numbers along with native thanks to this! I love that there are people who encourage my obsessive behavior :) 

3. testing out the filters on the Snow app on Glenn & Todd at work yesterday. I love this app!

​https://instagram.com/p/BVTBXdRAU6n/

4. It’s summer, almost?

5. It’s storming and maybe I can possibly get struck by lightning?

Well, I guess that’s it at the moment. Everything else sucks.  I’ll try harder next time. 

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Jun 132017
 

We went to visit Robbie & Nikki on Sunday to see the babies. Robbie made bomb veggie burgers that weee gigantic and Eli & Levi kept staring at me. It’s because they can smell fear!

Meanwhile,  Chooch decided he’s old enough to graduate fifth grade so that happened on Monday. I DIDNT CRY ON MY WAY TO WORK OR ANYTHING. His buddy Dimajio is going to a different school next year so it was their last morning hangout, which was doubly sad. :(

Henry’s a grandfather (with a third grandson arriving this week courtesy of Haley & Blake!) and we have a kid going into middle school. Time can kindly slow the fuck down now.

 It feels like yesterday when Blake & Robbie were teaching me how to play Neopets and having my kid was the furthest thing from my mind. 

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Jun 102017
 

I started off the day learning the hard way that you musn’t spray canola oil on a hot pan. If I hadn’t already lost most of my eyebrows during the Great Overplucking of the 90s, today would have been their funeral fo sho. 

I was running around screaming about the injustice of it all, like who is supposed to know that would happen?? when Henry calmly said, “Well, everyone. It says it on the directions.”

“The PAN has directions?!” I cried. 

“No! The can of cooking spray!”

“Srsly? Why does a can of cooking spray need directions? Like, who would read that?” I said indignantly. 

“People like YOU are the reason those directions are there,” Henry sighed. 

(I know you guys: how does Henry “tolerate” me? He must be a “Saint.” “Job is going to shake his hand when he gets to Heaven.” Because our relationship is something he “tolerates” or “puts up with.”)

Honestly though, that flame went up SO HIGH. This is what happens when Henry takes too long waking up and I take breakfast matters into my own hands. :/

It’s all his fault. Just like it was his fault for failing to buy me a bag of coffee for work, creating a MAJOR CRISIS last Friday which culminated in Catherine and I colluding in a dangerous k-cup robbery from Lori’s office which I tried to reason was ok because one time she told me I was welcome to the candy she keeps in the one drawer and her k-cups were one drawer beneath that one, so…And then Catherine was so fraught with guilt that she left a dollar on Lori’s desk. The much anticipated conclusion to this is that Lori returned to work on Wednesday amd Catherine FLEW into her office before Lori even set her purse down, blurting out her confession and waiting to receive penance. There was a tense moment when we weren’t sure if Lori was going to throw a stapler and yelled, “Cash me ousside!” but turns out she had used up all her fucks on games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup finals and had little left in the tank to use on a stolen k-cup. She even gave Catherine her dollar back (had I known, I would have stolen that too!) Then when Todd got to work later that day, he said, “Oh yeah, I’m telling Lori you stole from her” and I was like OMG SHE ALREADY KNOWS! EVERYONE KNOWS! I’M A DIRTY THIEF!

I mean…

Ahem. 

SUBJECT CHANGE. 

Here are some pictures from this day, Saturday, June 10, 2017. 

We moved Chooch’s keyboard out of his bedroom and onto the backporch. Well, let me rephrase that: Henry and I kept saying that’s what we were going to but Chooch is the one who finally did it on his own accord because he was tired of waiting for his parents to finish watching Running Man and take care of him. 

Last night, I walked past him and saw that he had found the music for BigBang’s “Haru Haru” and decided to try and learn it! The coolest part is that he realized one of the notes was off and FIXED IT. He’s really good at playing by ear, which is something he definitely didn’t get from either one of us. 

He played it for Henry and made him guess what it was. Henry knew it was Bigbang right away but not what song because Henry never knows song names except for Ted Nugent ones. 

Early afternoon, we went to Kohl’s so I could buy new jeans and for the first time in years I didn’t have an emotional breakdown in the fitting room, 고맙습니다, Korea!!!!

Anyway, the whole point of mentioning Kohl’s is that there were these two middle-aged women loudly airing their dirty laundry RIGHT NEXT TO THE LAUREN CONRAD SECTION so I had to stand practically butted up against them, enduring their not-even-interesting drama. They were there every time I came back around and at one point I said loudly to Henry that they should take their lame bitch fest out to the parking lot instead of polluting our ears with it, because that’s how I handle conflict with strangers: passive aggressively, with loud immaturity. 

It was honestly the only time I was mad all day though so that’s pretty huge. I’m usually mad MANY times. 


I imprinted on this red leaf banana thing at some nursery we went to today. 

“Who imprints on a banana leaf plant?!” Henry cried. 

Um, me — I literally just said that?!

Henry wouldn’t buy it because it was $80 and that’s like a lot for a plant I guess? I literally do not know the value of a dollar. 


Chooch chose a plant for himself and mused, “I’ll name him A-ha, because I want to take him on.” OK, 80s kid?


Pet cemetery visit:( Chooch and I got really emotional and Henry didn’t know what to do so he just walked away because he doesn’t love animals. 


Obligatory ice cream from Yough Twist down the street from the pet cem. “Ugh I forgot this place has the inferior sprinkles!” I cried with my head back, dramatic damsel I am. 

“What’s wrong with them?” Henry and Chooch asked in tandem. 

“Well in addition to not being properly rainbow, they have a chalky taste,” I snapped because duh, just look at them. 

Beneath the inadequate sprinkled shell sat a perfect black raspberry & vanilla twist though, so once I hate-ate the sprinkles, I was good to go. 

Henry and Chooch also had ice cream, blah blah blah. 

Drew is like, “No really, you can trust me. I’m just gonna sit on them and help them grow.” 🙄


But seriously, these little propagations are coming along swimmingly in spite of PENELOPE digging them up once a week. 


Henry made me a snack plate with pineapple, kimchi, and pickled daikon – it was so refreshing. So refreshing that I went back for more pineapple which I then left out on the kitchen counter.  

“You left the pineapple out,” Henry said when he was visiting the kitchen later on. He sighed and put it away. 

Which is the exact outcome I expected, so why bother putting it away myself?

*******

In other news, G-Dragon’s new music is the most wonderful thing I’ve heard in so long and it made it to #1 on iTunes in 39 countries including the US which is crazy to me because most Americans I know are incredibly narrow-minded & ignorant when it comes to anything that’s not in English. Omg so weird and inferior. 

I still can’t believe I’m going to see him next month! I was thinking about it on the trolley yesterday, trying to imagine how I will react when I first see him, and I started to cry openly in front of people which sadly isn’t the first time that’s happened on the trolley. Dat bi-polar life, y’all.

******

It’s 8’oclock now and Chooch has stains all over my treasured Howard Jones shirt. Should I cry, laugh, or burn down the kitchen for real this time? I JUST DONT KNOW. GOODBYE. 

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Jun 082017
 

When I went to bed last night, there was a little over 5 hours left before G-Dragon’s comeback. I’m on late shift today and usually try to sleep in a bit, but my internal fan girl alarm woke me up a few minutes ago and the first thing I did was go to YouTube to see if the new MV was out and it is and it is beautiful and now I’m over here crying. My love for G-Dragon is reaching critical Robert Smith levels. 

His album is being released on a USB drive, why is he so cool omg. 

“Bullshit” was supposed to be his first single, but I guess in light of recent events with TOP, he decided to go with this softer track and I’m glad. I can’t imagine how stressful this is for him to have to go through a record release and a world tour thy starts in two days while TOP is in the hospital from a drug overdose, which is all I have been able to focus on this week, constantly refreshing for updates and praying that the guy doesn’t die!

When the news first broke early Tuesday morning, I went to work all shook over it and Glenn of course was no help, mocking the situation every which way, until I finally marched over to Amber’s desk and cried, “I think Glenn and I need to be separated today!” Ugh!

“If this happened to someone you like, I wouldn’t make fun of them!” I yelled at him. “Like, what if this was happening to, I don’t know, Jethro Tull?!”

“I wouldn’t care because I don’t know him personally!” Glenn laughed. 

OMG sociopath! 

I had so many emotions going through me that I probably would have flipped a table if I wasn’t at work. I mean, I’m fine. Nothing to see here. 

But in related news, Amber awarded me with the Golden Thumb* for the week due to my emotional trauma. I chose BBQ Pringles as my prize.

*(This is what my group passes around to whoever did a great job which is obviously always me but apparently we have to let other people get it sometimes too. 🙄)

Anyway, the whole TOP sitch is so messed up (last I heard this morning, he had finally opened his eyes) and it makes me sad that the pressure from Korean society basically did this to him. Being a Kpop idol is no joke, guys. And it makes me worry about G-Dragon too. I just want to hug all of them and I hate hugging people. 


#StayStrongTOP 

Maybe GD’s album will wake him up??

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Jun 012017
 

Well, another day with the covfefe king, another giant step backward for humanity. Every news alert has me stunned, just when I thought I couldn’t be any more stunned. So I’m just going to leave this super adorable video of Twice ordering ice cream on here because I’m mentally exhausted and extremely sad, and I think we could all use some ice cream and adorable Kpop idols in our lives right at this moment (i.e. Coping Mechanisms). 

I get to see them in three weeks!!

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May 302017
 

I. There was a water leak one day last week at work, nearly right above Gayle’s desk. It must have happened over night and by the time I got there in the morning, a yellow WET FLOOR sign was in place and there was this orange industrial fan thing that turned the corridor into a wind tunnel. It made me feel like I was walking through an 80s hair metal video, like I was Tawny Kitaen.  HAHA OK LET’S NOT GO THAT FAR. I accused Glenn of causing the leak, and cried sabotage. “Don’t you think it would have been over your desk, then?” he droned. Valid point, Work Enemy. 

That fan was on all day long and it was aimed directly at Lauren, who eventually succumbed and put on her jacket. None of us could hear each other talking either which was either a good thing or a bad thing depending on who you asked, I guess. 


II. We went to visit our pal Patty on Sunday at the nursing facility she currently resides. We stopped in the activity center briefly, where Patty encouraged Chooch to play the piano. At first he just pressed down on one key and I was like, “Ugh my kid is so rude, sorry he thinks he’s too cool to play the piano for you guys, kbye” but then he pulled out the bench, sat down, and played some jazzy tune his teacher Lavendar taught him and I was like “DID I KNOW YOU COULD DO THAT?!” All the ladies and one of the nurses loved it and he got a hearty round of applause AND a popsicle for his efforts. He was satisfied. 

The best part was that midway through the song, Henry was walking down the hall toward us and could hear the piano and thought there was some entertainment going on in there – little did he know our son was the entertainment. 

He barely practices but somehow manages to wing. SO JEALOUS. I have zero musical talent. I was decent at clarinet but I had to work hard at thy shit. This kid can hear a song and figure out how to play it.  What a jerk. 

Lavender is also teaching Chooch how to play the drums now too so PLEASE GOD, LET HIM HAVE A FUTURE IN MUSIC. 


III. I went nuts of nowhere the other day and screamed, “Every time I think about the G-Dragon concert, I feel like I’m going numb!”

Henry said sadly, “Yeah. Me too.”

I honestly haven’t been this excited for a concert since the first time I saw the Cure!

HIS COMEBACK ALBUM COMES OUT ON JUNE 8th! I might have to take the day off work. 


IV.  Chooch plucked this plant-thing out of the ground two years ago when we were visiting Octavia in Savannah because I thought it was a rogue succulent in the wild. It was only about three inches tall then and now look at it! Henry said that’s because it’s a weed. No, YOU’RE a weed, Henry!!

(Actually, I’m pretty scared of it. It has a reptilian quality about it and sometimes I half expect it to start hissing at me. :/)

V. Lastly, here is my current favorite song that I put on everyday as soon as I get in the car after work:

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May 282017
 

Friday was one of those days where you hate to complain because when the words come out of your mouth, all you can think is “WOW THIS IS PETTY.” But I was stuck in that “wrong side of the bed” mindset and every little thing was under my skin. 

It was raining. I had to walk to the trolley in the rain. Some asshole car splashed me in the face. I was sitting on some yellow stain of ill repute. I got talked over a million times at work until I eventually just went silent for awhile. Everything was annoying. I had a headache that wouldn’t go away even after visiting Gayle’s Pharmacy. My umbrella blew inside out as soon as I went outside for a walk. I was so vicious to Henry on the phone but he took it like a champ because this is his norm. 

Stupid stuff, but sometimes that shit builds up and I can’t just brush it off everyday. Some days I just lack the resolve and gotta let the hate flow. This was that day. 

After work, Henry and I were supposed to meet our friend Jason and his girlfriend at the 68 show at Smiling Moose. They ended up having to cancel earlier in the day, but we still had tickets and a babysitter, so our plans were the same. 

Except that by the end of the work day, I was DONE. My headache was still there. I was hungry. My hair was frizzy from the rain. I forgot to bring a shirt and shoes to change into and I just felt UMCOMFORTABLE. I had no joy left in the tank.

From the moment I got in the car, I started bitching. Henry was calm as ever because he knew the nucleus of this bitchfest was hunger. Feed the girl, save the world. 

Originally, we were going to eat at the Moose before the show, but I knew all day that this wasn’t happening because I forgot to ask earlier in the week if I could leave work early and I knew by the time we got there it would already be packed since it was Friday. 

And I was right. 

FUCK EVERYTHING! LIFE SUCKS!

I mean….now, now Erin. Let’s not be petty. 

So we canvassed Carson St and I haughtily shot down every one of Henry’s suggestions with a flaming arrow of estrogen and hanger – that mix you fuck with only if you want to die. 

Henry kept trying to make me laugh and I was like YOUR JOKES ARE NOT SUPPRESSING MY HUNGER. Maybe put a fucking punchline inside a bowl of bibimbap, dumbass! UGH!!

Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to blow off the show even though at one point I had been genuinely looking forward to it, because I wasn’t sure if a crowd was going to exacerbate my total bitchfaced attitude or what. 

“Let’s just go home!” I yelled and Henry calmly said, “Ok. Whatever you want. I’m just glad to be spending time with you” and then I had to pause to puke in a discarded pizza box because bitch, please. 

Driving out of Southside, Henry suggested we try Onion Maiden, a metal-themed vegan restaurant we had been wanting to try since it opened but then forget about it every time we’re looking for a place to eat. 

You know how it is. 

So we rolled up to Onion Maiden and the dinner rush hadn’t yet hit so at least I didn’t have to be overwhelmed by a crowded restaurant on top of everything else. 

It wasn’t the Korean food that I was craving, but they at least had some Korean-inspired menu items. 


We started with a plate of cashew cheese, chutney, mini baguette, apple slices, and “Killing Yoke” deviled (faux) eggs. That’s what’s up.

Henry shared his order of Graves at Sea with me, and also ordered Coffins (I had a bite and immediately had ordering remorse). I got the Kimmy Gimmler of course because: kimchi. 

It was great but definitely wouldn’t have held up as a dinner entree on its own. Luckily, we had that cheese plate and tots too or I would have been ready to eat my arm an hour later. 

Henry got some vegan donut for dessert and I had the cheesecake special: The New Rose, which had like, rose, beets and hibiscus or something. 

It was good BUT—not as good as the raw cheesecake I had at this one vegan restaurant in Cleveland. I can’t remember the name of it now. Earth Something, probably. 

Props to the punny menu. It lifted my spirits and smothered the fury rising up from my belly. I was in a much better mood after that!

(Zenith is still bae, though.)

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May 252017
 

On my way to work today, one of the G-Dragon fan accounts I follow on Instagram (DON’T JUDGE) posted this snip of GD laughing from the last Run BIGBANG Scout episode (which was so adorable, btw, and I cried) and it just instantly cheered me up. HIS FACE!

Of course the first thing I did when I got to work was squeal, “DO YOU WANT TO SEE THE CUTEST THING EVER?!” to Glenn, who is the worst audience for these types of inquiries but I’ll never learn.

“Is it puppies or kittens?” he mumbled, not looking up from whatever riveting thing he had on his computer screen. PROBABLY SOME COMMENT SECTION SINCE HE’S A TROLL.

“NO EVEN BETTER IT’S G-DRAGON LAUGHING OMG,” I wheezed, shoving my phone at him.

He only glanced at it and then sighed, closing his eyes in defeat.

“LOOK AT HIM, GLENN!” I yelled.

“I did! I looked once. That’s enough,” he said, resuming his boring, American day.

**********

Later, I was talking to Lori about this and first, she asked me when I’m ever going to learn, but then she asked me when the G-Dragon concert is and I told her July 30.

“I can’t believe I’m going to see his face in real life,” I said all dreamily with googly eyes just like girls did in the 50s when they talked about cute soda jerks or whatever.

“We should make a countdown calendar,” Lori suggested. “I’m going to make one.”

This of course got me all wound up and I excitedly told Glenn and Amber. 

“Why do you encourage her?” Glenn asked Lori, while I was busy making Diabolical Finger Steeples at him.

I’m going to make a sparkly dragon to move along all the squares of the countdown calendar!

Sandy overheard this and called out from her office, “How long until the concert?”

“TWO MONTHS AND FIVE DAYS!” I shouted across the floor. 

I couldn’t see Sandy from my desk but I bet she was probably repeatedly slamming her hand in a desk drawer at the thought of two more months of G-Dragon anticipation. 

And then I told Amber about how Glenn didn’t have the appropriate response to the G-Dragon Laughing video. 

“Well she hyped it up as the cutest thing in the world,” Glenn defensively said to Amber. 

“Was it?” she asked. 

“No!” he said. 

Maybe if I post it in a comment section….

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May 222017
 

Here are some pictures I took over the last several days, before some motherfucker piece of shit bombed an Ariana Grande concert. I seriously just can’t take it anymore – WHY CANT SUPERHEROES BE REAL?! WHEN WILL CHRIS PRATT SAVE THE WORLD?! Literally nowhere is safe. Nowhere. 

Don’t you sometimes wish you could be a cat, completely oblivious to the explosions and rapes and obstruction of justice going on in the world? Oh, to be Peen Lop, lounging on a devil rug with Pink Mousey, if only for a day. 

A great distraction of mine is to constantly watch South Korea tourism videos on YouTube. Above is what Chooch’s face looked like when I made him watch the fortieth vlog of Jeju Island. (They recently unveiled a forest named after G-Dragon! I AM GOING.)

Drew getting ready to take a bite out of Chooch’s delicious arm. 

My car thought I was listening to Winger and not the smooth Kpop boy group, Winner. 

After Chooch graciously posed for photos at Buttermilk Falls, Henry had to hurry and find somewhere to eat because he knew he was running out of time before the Hanger Eclipse occurred. Honestly, there is a small window of time when Chooch and I are in good spirits and if we’re late for a feeding by even fifteen minutes, get ready for heads to spin and pea soup to fly. Luckily, Henry found a place called Ree’s and he insists we’ve eaten there before but I DO NOT RECALL. We had great service though even though some other waitress came over and tricked me into doing her job for her by having me replace the sugar and sweeteners. 

Ugh, work. 

Anyway this place ruled because they had veggie wraps and one of my favorite kinds of French fries. Not the elusive Good Kinds (you wouldn’t understand) but the thin, greasy, golden ones that are just so wonderful that I cleaned the plate of them and then felt sick for the rest of the day because French fries are not a regular staple of my K-diet and my stomach was like ABORT ABORT WHERE IS THE KIMCHI. 

Afterward, we went to the Beaver Valley Mall because that’s where the closest Game Stop was located and if you must know, I had to bribe my child with a DS game in order for him to willingly pose for portraits. 

Ugh I hate this!

Anyway, they didn’t have what he wanted, but we sure enjoyed meandering about a mall that looked like it hasn’t been updated since the 70s but still somehow had patrons milling about it. 

On the way out, Henry found a tiny bottle of disappearing ink in the mulch outside the entrance, and Chooch forgot all about fidget spinners and Nintendo DS games for a few minutes while he squirted invisible ink all over Henry’s back. It was great. Team Chooch.

(Dont worry, he got his dumb game later one when he and I walked to the Exchange in Dormont and the sales guy and I awkwardly touched hands when I was paying for the game and Chooch thought it was the funniest thing ever while my soul was slowly crushing in a vice of human contact.)

The next day, we went to the Strip to hit up the Asian markets, which is the only time I will joyfully tag along with Henry because it’s where I get all my candy for the Pumpkin of Horrors (which hasn’t been too horrible lately, except that something in there apparently pulled out one of Sandy’s fillings, so we can’t drop the “Horrors” just yet). But we also usually get a package of Samanco, which is the ice cream version of carp bread, and filled with wonderful red bean. Chooch just recently decided he likes red bean so when we go to S. Korea, he’ll be living off of red bean ice cream, hotteok, and, I don’t know, candy probably. Maybe we’ll pack some astronaut food for him. 

Henry made me bibimbap for dinner Sunday night and then dropped me off at the Balance & Composure show with a full and happy belly. 

Waited so long for the Twin Peaks return to finally happen and then of course I wasn’t home to watch it live. Henry and I watched the first episode today after work. I need some time to process, but I’m definitely along for the ride. I’m hoping it will inspire me to finally finish the painting I started three years ago! (It just needs some detailing but I’m the laziest fake artist you’ll ever meet. Planets have to be properly aligned for me to feel inspired these days, I guess.)

And here’s a Sistar video for good measure. Sweet dreams. 

ETA: nooooooooooo

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May 212017
 

My decision to attend the recent A Lot Like Birds show at Smiling Moose was pretty last minute. Kurt Travis was the clean vocalist of this band, and half the reason why I loved them so much, but he was basically kicked out last year due to “creative differences.”

That’s always the reason!

I was so broken up over this! How could they go on without him?! No one could replace him! First Dance Gavin Dance, and now…et tu, ALLB?

Turns out, they didn’t totally replace him. Cory, the screamer, took over clean vocals, along with bassist Matt Coate. I only had the courage to listen to one song and I ended up really liking it a lot, inspite of its Kurt Travis-less vibes. :(

So I sucked it up and bought a ticket, and ended up having a fantastic time. 

I’ll try to make this short and sweet because oh god no, not another concert recap. 

So here are some things I want to remember:

  • Atlas Decay was the local opener. This was my fifth or sixth time seeing them and they are fine. 
  • No natter how “at home” I feel at Smiling Moose, the fact that the room is as narrow as a Trump-supporter’s mind and cluttered with the gear of EVERY BAND PLAYING will forever have me constantly being in everyone’s way no matter where I stand. Sigh. 
  • I saw the local band photographer that I briefly met outside Diesel at last year’s Hotel Books show and we pretended like we didn’t know each other, just like the last three times we saw each other at shows. #mutualsocialawkwardness

  • When the second band – OWEL- started setting up, I knew in my heart I would like them because they had a girl member and she HAD A VIOLIN. I later learned that she also plays the viola and keyboard and she sings as well. Once they started playing, the deal was sealed. I loved them. If you need me, I’ll just be following them around on tour. (I mean, vicariously on Instagram. Sigh.)

OWEL YOU HAVE MY HEART. 

If you need me, I'll just be following @owelband around on the rest of their tour kbye.

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  • Next up was Hearts Like Lions. I saw them last year, also at that same Hotel Books show with the awkward photographer, so I was geeked to see them again, except that they weren’t as good as I remembered. Not that they sucker! Maybe the sound was a bit off or something but I wasn’t as drawn in as I was the first time. 
  • Their set ended around 8 so I went back to the bar to get a drink (a Hoegaarten, ugh) and decided to forego the fourth band and watch at least the first period of the Pens game since I never get to anymore because we’re a No Cable Household (which was coincidentally the name of of the band I was skipping – just Household, not No Cable Household, to be clear) – and I’m still mostly OK with this decision! But….hockey. Anyway, they were down 0-4 before the period was even over so I chugged my gross beer and peaced out. 
  • Finding a sort-of decent spot out of the way of the bands in the middle of moving their gear around, I occupied myself by staring intently into my phone (much like I’m doing now at the Balance & Composure show, waiting alone for it start), when suddenly I head someone say, “Did you see Emarosa when they were here last week?” I looked up and a guy in a Dance Gavin Dance shirt was looking at my expectantly. OH NO A CONVERSATION. WHAT TO DO? HOW TO TALK? I said I had, and realized not only was I wearing an Emarosa shirt, but it was one that just had the face of a fox on it and nothing about Emarosa. So he was a true Emarosa fan then! Fuck I forget his name already. Ryan? Mike? I don’t know, but his wife’s name was Ashley and they were both just wonderful. We talked about all the best bands and I showed them the video of Chooch crowdsurfing and of course they were disappointed to learn he wasn’t there that night. EVERYBODY LOVES CHOOCH. (OH MY LORD the laugh on this bitch standing in the bar at this Balance & Composure show is manufactured straight from the flames of hell. PLEASE LET THE FIRST BAND START SOON.) Anyway, that was awesome. Once I start talking to a stranger about music, it’s like ok me again. 
  • ALLB came on and played their new album Divisi in its entirety and you know what? They killed it. It was still ALLB, just without Kurt. I pretended that Kurt was taking a sick day. Yeah, that’s it. Cory did a bang-up job with those clean vocals, and Matt looked positively joyful singing along with him. And in between songs, when we were all clapping and showing our approval, Matt said thank you and just beamed as he looked out at all of our dumb faces. It was humbling. It’s easy to turn your back on a band when your favorite member is ousted, but these guys are just way too talented to give up on. Even though my heart turned into a pulpy, aortic mosaic when Matt sang the “you’re already undressed” line from Properties of Friction. OH KURT :(

It was strange seeing A Lot Like Birds without Kurt, but I still love them lots. Tonight had good energy. 💗

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And that concludes my succinct summary of the A Lot Like Birds show at Smiling Moose. I’m glad I got to see them many times already with Kurt and I’m gonna stick with them on this new journey. 

This post is brought to you by the letters ㅈ, ㅎ, and me standing alone miserably in between bands at the Balance & Composure show. 

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May 202017
 

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Oh hey, today I woke up and decided that I wanted to boss around Henry and Chooch some, and the best way I know to do that is to find some schmancy get-up to stuff Chooch in and then yell at Henry to hand me whatever lens I need. I DON’T KNOW THEIR NAMES. I AM A FAKE PHOTOGRAPHER.

We went to Buttermilk Falls, which was the location of the picnic we had once in celebration of me not dying on a carnival ride in 2013. (I just made the sign of the cross, because I’m religious when I feel like it.) Instead of just dumping these so-so pictures here, I thought it would be fun to ask Chooch some questions about his life currently.

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Me: I’m going to ask you some questions now. Isn’t this fun?

Chooch: *heavy sigh*

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Me: What’s your favorite thing about 5th grade?

Chooch: I don’t know. Why do you make me do this.

Me: Was the grilled cheese Wesley’s mom made you better than my grilled cheeses?

Chooch: You don’t even make grilled cheese…..do you?

Me: No…

Chooch: Exactly.

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Me: What is your current favorite Kpop song?

Chooch: Ugh. No. Um, “Signal” I guess?

Me: What is your current favorite food?

Chooch: Veggie burger.

Me: Talk about being a vegetarian.

Chooch: It’s amazing.

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Me: What is your favorite TV show?

Chooch: Um, hard to say. I have a lot that I watch on Netflix.

Me: Well, just recommend three of them.

Chooch: They’re all kids shows! No one cares!

Me: UGH FORGET IT. NEXT QUESTION.

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Me: What was it like to crowd-surf at the Emarosa show?

Chooch: Spooky, and scary…skeletons.

Me: You’re wearing a Cardboard Swords shirt in these pictures. Would you recommend them to people?

Chooch: Sure. You recommend every band you like to people, so why not.

(I think what he means is that I shove my music faves in everyone’s face constantly.)

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Me: Talk about Spencer.

Chooch, in his weird Corgi Mania voice: Spencer!! *throaty giggles* Spencer’s awesome! Spencer’s a Corgi! No, not a Corgi. An amazing Corgi. A Corgi who walks past my house everyday and I pet him and he loves me!

(Chooch honestly gets delirious in Spencer’s presence. He was excited yesterday because now Spencer rolls over when he sees him and I was like “Yeah probably so you’ll think he’s dead and leave him alone!”)

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Me: Why do you reject Korean food?

Chooch: Because YOU like it.

(Oh that little fucker better wait. His birthday cake next year is going to be one giant chapssal-tteok.)

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Me: Why don’t you have a hand in this picture?

Chooch: I went to a bar and someone stabbed it off of me.

Me: Any big plans for when Grandma Judy watches you alllllll summer long? Family Feud marathons? Go Fish for money?

Chooch: I’ll be going to Wesley’s all day.

Me: What if Wesley goes to camp?

Chooch: Well then I go to camp.

(WHAT IS SO FUCKING GREAT ABOUT WESLEY.)

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Me: If you started a band, what would you call it?

Chooch: The Bambi Penises. 

(He’s been calling Drew “Bambi” lately, and we call Penelope “Penis” sometimes, so there’s that.)

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Me: what’s so great about those dumb spinners that every kid has suddenly?

Chooch: They come in a whole bunch of different varieties!

Me: Wow. Riveting. DONT YOU KNOW YOU CAN DIE FROM THOSE. 

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Me: If you were a tour guide in Pittsburgh, where would you take your tourists?

Chooch: Spencer’s house. *erupts in giggles. 

Me: *MEGA EYE ROLL*

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Me: Do you think the Penguins will win the Stanley Cup?

Chooch, with that cheery monotone enthusiasm of Today’s Youth: Yeah. Hopefully.

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Me, bothering Chooch while he’s trying to concentrate on some adult connect the dots book he got today, and not “adult” as in connect the STDs to each porn star, but as in each page has hundreds of numbers: Quick do a haiku. 

Chooch: Bambi is special / Peen Lop never gives a crap / She needs more friends quick. 

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Me: If you could be penpals with any celebrity in the world, who would it be?

Chooch: Dan & Phil.

Me: That’s two people, and they’re not even celebrities, they’re lame YouTubers. 

Chooch: They live in the same place! Fine, just Dan. 

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Me: Do you want to go watch Running Man with me. 

Chooch: NO.

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