Nov 292016
 

When I saw that old arcade game sign at the antique store over the summer, I didn’t stop to consider how we would get it to hang on the wall because I keep a secret, all-purpose tool on hand AND HIS NAME IS HENRY. One of the great things about Henry is that he knows how to do things. Like, things that require tools to be done.

One of the not-great things about Henry though, is his proclivity to procrastinate. Which in turn makes me a NAG, but come on — there really is no good way to constantly tell someone to do something, you know? That fucking sign sat on our chair for nearly 4 months before Henry finally heard my desperate nags. Probably because he finished binge-watching Person of Interest on his phone.

I decided that first, we needed to paint the wall because I felt that the Mouse Attack sign wouldn’t POP as much with a white background. Of course, Henry sighed wearily at this because he’s so sick and tired of painting walls. We had some pink leftover from our bedroom, so I decided he could just use that because I love pink so, so, so much. So he painted that on Thanksgiving, and naively thought he was finished, but I was like, “Oh, lol – sorry, did I forget to tell you that I want stripes?” And he just hung his head in response.

I wonder how Henry feels about living in Erin’s Playhouse? Lol, wait—who cares.

We woke up bright & early on Saturday and I was ready to get the home improvement show on the road. So basically after Henry properly fed us and Chooch and I fought 7 seven times, we were ready to go to Lowe’s by 11:30. Typically, I would just stay home but I needed to pick the color of the stripes Henry would be adding to the pink  wall.

Henry’s favorite activity: a trip to Lowe’s with Chooch and me tagging along like drunks!

Chooch and I fought over that, too. We picked hues of blue that were literally .0004 shades away from each other and henry was just like OMG THEY ARE BASICALLY THE SAME?! We went with my choice obviously but then henry remembered that we’re poor and we were looking at the premium people paint, so we had to start the deliberating process all over again in front of the poor people paint swatches.

We went with Summer Splash.

Then it was time to look at booples and woodles, and lurvies and blurbies.

You know, things that Henry needed to hang up the Mouse Attack sign.

Like I said earlier, this is the part I didn’t think of. My mind moves like this:

  1. Sees old arcade sign on floor in shop.
  2. NOW IT’S ON MY WALL, ALL LIT UP AND SPARKLY!

I don’t fuck with the in-between.

Apparently, this was going to be a Big Project, because we were hanging it on the wall above the fireplace, and if you’re like me, you’re thinking, “But a wall is a wall is a wall.” I learned that this is untrue! And that this particular wall was pretty much the worst wall in the whole entire house because there are BRICKS behind it, because FIREPLACE = CHIMNEY. And Henry was concerned because he didn’t know if the bricks behind the wall were neat and orderly or just basically piled in a heap.

So he had to consider things, which he did while I painted my nails, drank coffee, watched music videos, updated my secret avocado toast porn blog — you know, Erin things.

This is how he knew he needed to go to the METAL SHAPES AND RODS AISLE!

Wow, this is an aisle that exists. I was there!

“Boring. Dumb. Stupid. Idiotic. Wrong,” I said as Henry selected and examined metal shapes and rods. He was starting to get very irritated when Chooch came barreling into us.

“Did you hear that announcement about aisle 13?” he panted. “Well, I was there when it happened.”

Wait—-did we know that Chooch wasn’t with us? Eh. Oh well. He’s here now and that’s all that matters!

Also, I decided I didn’t want to know what happened in aisle 13 while Chooch was there.

Meanwhile, Henry was trying to sound cool by talking about how he was buying brackets or something to mount to the wall, and I was like, “For what?”

He looked at me like I was stupid or something.

“To hang up your fucking sign!” he cried incredulously.

“That seems really involved,” I said around a yawn. “You should just use a magnet.”

“Oh, yeah, OK. A magnet,” he scoffed. “And how are we attaching the magnet to the wall?” he asked in that infuriating Dad Who’s Also an Industrial Arts Teacher tone that seems very specific but not when you know Henry.

“Glue,” I shrugged. “No! Another magnet!”

“Oh for Christ’s sake,” Henry mumbled as he elbowed past me.

In some other boring aisle, we were naturally in some guy’s way, so he gently placed a hand on Henry’s shoulder and cordially said, “Excuse me, buddy.” I immediately started shaking with laughter because LOWE’S BRO CODE. Henry flashed me the “STOP IT” look, which everyone knows is the worst thing to do.

Tool World: I’ll say!

This was the section where Chooch and I were getting so out of control and causing scenes that Henry banished us to the Christmas decoration aisle. :(

Don’t worry, he came to fetch us when he was ready to check out, and that’s when we learned that a cashier has to come over to examine the goods when you’re using the self-check out if there are plants involved in the transaction, because people try to steal things in trees!

“You’d be surprised the things we see people try to sneak out of here inside larger plants and trees,” the Lowe’s guy laughed. “But uh, I think you guys are good to go,” he said, pointing to the tiny cactus Chooch bought.

I learned something at Lowe’s!

Sunday morning, Henry painted the stripes and it was exactly how I envisioned! I waited until he was finished to tell him that my color scheme inspo was Miami Vice and his frown leveled-up to a scowl. Why though, Miami Vice ruled.

I’ll spare you the boring details, because to be honest I wasn’t paying attention to most of the process, which required MEASURING and me fetching Henry his LEVEL which I proudly announced, “I KNOW WHAT THAT IS!” And then there was another moment when he made me mark the wall with a pencil while he held one of this metal shape things and you know I did a lot of huffing and puffing about that, because I was in the middle of playing a game on my phone, you know?

A video posted by Erin (@ohhonestlyconcerts) on

Anyway, I remember that there was a lot of drilling, and then TA DA! My damn arcade thing was mounted to the wall!

AND I LOVE IT. This is what I pictured that day in July when I saw this poor, abandoned Mouse Attack sign languishing alone on the floor of an antique shop. It needed to be a centerpiece! And my house needed upgraded to the next tier of tackiness.

Henry and my friend Shawn still have to figure out a way to modernize the light source inside of it, but I’m just super thrilled that it’s on the wall and not collecting dust on the floor anymore.

Thank god Henry knows how to do these things. Otherwise, there’d be a lot more duct tape on my walls.

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Nov 282016
 

Some things:

  • I hate that I share “sore winner” traits with Trump. At least I have (marginally) better hair. 
  • I had the day off today and had every light on in the house for no reason other than I’m wasteful, which Henry was not thrilled about when he came home. 
  • The Affair is back on and I still hate Noah!
  • Watched the Gilmore Girls reboot over the weekend and my heart feels like it free-fell through a paper shredder. Lisa and Octavia texted me to make Henry:Luke comparisons and I’m like IKNOWGUYZ! I thought a lot about it during my day of doing nothing, and it made me wonder if he was sent to me by my Pappap, because NO ONE else could have the patience and ingenuity to make me happy. Henry is the ultimate Luke. Sorry, but this year has promoted me to whatever level is above emo and all I do is think about super mushy things and cry my ugly face off. 
  • Don’t worry, no GG spoilers.
  • Remember the derelicts who are working next door? Well, they apparently were fighting so bad at 2am that Henry woke up and wondered if he should call the cops but someone beat him to it, so awesome – the people who aren’t even technically living next door to us have already had the police break up a domestic dispute. HOW DID I SLEEP THRU THIS? I let myself down. 
  • I want to adopt something, maybe a kid,  but Henry said no. :( Maybe I’ll just do an imaginary adoption after I get imaginary married. 
  • Bumper cars are expensive. 

  • Someone bought two sets of my Dahmer Christmas cards! This is definitely my most popular Xmas card design. Today, I made a new BTK one for this year, so you should ch-ch-check it out!
  • I also painted something today and did gospel aerobics so I guess my day off wasn’t TOO unproductive. 
  • Oh and I listened to Balance & Composure! You’re shocked. 
  • We’ve had these cats for almost a year & everyday we have to get them to remember us, like it’s 50 fucking First Dates.  They give us Stranger Danger stares and then, “Oh yeah, you guys.” 
  • My tattoo is still in the OMG ITCHY phase and I’m driving Henry nuts with my whining but that could be any day, really. 

  • Chooch ruins every picture on purpose. He has to actually try though, whereas it comes naturally for me. I win again! SUCK IT! IM THE BEST AT BEING UGLY!
  • I still like The Walking Dead. Sorry, guys. 
  • Henry’s eating yogurt. 
  • He just said “So what? You’re so dumb.” HE CALLED YOU GUYS DUMB. 
  • This one time last week, Gayle sewed a pompom back on my poncho thing and it was a super big deal (for no one but me):

  • I bought an old wheelchair over the summer but everyone is too afraid to sit in it because the seat is like wicker sort of so it’s just been chilling here looking pretty but then I decided to use it as a supplement to the beverage buffet, so it’s now a bar cart! We’ll see how well that works when I have a holiday party here in a few weeks. 

  • I’m a sad doll lately. 
  • I offered Henry one bullet point but he said no. 
  • When I woke up Saturday morning, I became extremely sad that Henry isn’t Dracula. Ugh. 
  • I changed Penelope’s name to Peen Lop. She answers to it. 
  • Remember when Henry told me I was overreacting over the people next door and now he’s complaining about how they woke him up at 2am? LOL. 
  • Last week I was on my way to work and someone sat next to me on the trolley which is usually never good and then to my surprise, he said, “Erin?” So my knee-jerk reaction was to say no but then it ended up being my high school Lawson so it was OK! I haven’t seen him since I was 17 so wow, that was a long over-due reunion. Lawson was part of L.A.M.E. (Lisa/Ang/Melissa/Erin – the boys in our crew didn’t get to be a part of the acronym) and man we had some ridiculous/fun/stupid times together. I never see anyone I know on the trolley (mostly because I hide behind my hair) so that was a really great start to the day!
  • I briefly considered learning how to cook but then I got bored before I could finish the thought in my mind. 
  • OH YAY THE ASSHOLES NEXT DOOR ARE HOME. 
  • I don’t have another show to go to until December 12th :(
  • OMG for like 7 years I’ve been telling Henry I want Flex Seal (I might need it for something—YOU DONT KNOW WHAT I DO) and he’s always waving me off but a commercial for it just came on and now all of a sudden he’s like “That’s what we need.” UM NO SHIT?! Apparently, he has an actual use for it and doesn’t just want to buy it because it seems like a cool thing to have. 

  • Peen Lop, boys and girls. 

That’s all. You’re dismissed. 

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Nov 252016
 

So our fridge was slowly dying because why not? ANYTHING GOES IN 2016!   Finally last week, Henry declared, “Ok we need to get a new fridge now before we don’t have one at all” and so be picked one out but I was like THIS IS NOT INTERESTING ENOUGH and then he showed me the prices of INTERESTING FRIDGES and I was like “SO BORING FRIDGE IT IS!”

But by the time Henry finally chose one that he felt confident would fit through the narrow kitchen doorway, it was Saturday and our fridge had officially bit it.  And then when Henry went to hit the big fat ORDER button, our electricity went out and he had to wait for the computer to reboot. It was one of those things where it felt like everything was against us. 

Let me use this space to type out my millionth Thank God For Henry shout-out of the year because if I lived alone, I never would have considered “cubic feet” and if the doors can come off and switch sides so that they don’t slam against the wall when opened. WHO WOULD CONSIDER THESE THINGS?! Henry would. That’s who. 

If it were left up to me, there’d be an Erin-shaped hole in my kitchen wall right now and good luck watching TV around the too-big fridge chilling in my living room. 

So the fridge was supposed to be delivered Monday night but Best Buy waited until 8pm to leave Henry a voicemail saying that “Oh btw the fridge it out of stock, see ya Saturday!”

WHAT THE FUCK BEST BUY. 

Docile Henry called them back the next morning and got them to put us on some priority list but because it was out of stock, the best they could promise was Friday. So let’s just say we’ve been eating lots of noodles and take-out this week. 

Uh, good thing we weren’t hosting Thanksgiving up in here! LOLFOREVER. LOLCORNUCOPIA. It would have to be a “bring your own food” event. Like, all of the food. We’ll provide the chair. 

*********

After not having a fridge for a week, the delivery guys are finally here setting it up which means Chooch and I are hiding upstairs, giggling like hyenas. Chooch thought they left at one point and went flying down the steps only to run right into one of them, who cheerfully greeted him with a, “What’s up, buddy?” 

“Nothing,” Chooch said, before running upstairs where we cracked up together from our hiding spot in my room. 

My favorite part was when Henry was outside talking to the delivery guys and Chooch opened my bedroom window and screamed, “YOU’RE NOT MY DAD!” 

“I can just picture Henry down there with his hands on his hips, desperately wanting to help them,” I laughed. 

“Yeah like, ‘hey man I like your tools—is that an x360 WRENCH?! DId you know I was IN THE SERVICE?!'”

We are fucking dying.  Now Chooch is creeping on the staircase, recording them. 

Ok now they’re gone we came out of hiding. Henry said I should have stayed down here because one of the guys kept talking about HOW MUCH HE LOVES THE ART IN OUR HOUSE. 

HELLO THAT IS MY OWN ART HE IS TALKING ABOUT. 

Spying on the fridge delivery guy and Henry.

A video posted by Riley (@butt_jam) on

Yay, now we can go buy food! Lol, I mean yay now Henry can go buy food. And now I can hang my magnets back up!

Oh how I missed the sweet melodic hum of a fridge. 


LIVIN’ LARGE, BABY. 

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Nov 252016
 

I never get into the Black Friday festivities of fist-fighting over a microwave or leaving the house at 3am for Uggs or whatever. I don’t even know what the HOT ITEMS are these days. Because – not a grown-up.

What I am interested in is all the holiday merch and limited edition pressings that my favorite bands have been rolling out today! It’s one of the small and few pleasures I still have in life SO BACK OFF EVERYTHING ELSE SUCKS. 

I was lucky to snag a limited edition anniversary vinyl of Alexisonfire’s Crisis album (my favorite) which was no easy feat because their website kept crashing because hello Alexisonfire! Even Henry was trying to buy one. 

I drool every time I look at this. I love you, AOF. 

And then Dance Gavin Dance released their holiday bundle, which includes SALSA (their song Chucky vs the Tortoise has lyrics about pico de gallo which has spawned a ton of memes) and a COCAINE CRINGEFEST CREW NECK which is hilarious because when their album was released, everyone thought the lyrics were Cocaine Christmas and DGD was like NO IT’S CRINGEFEST and the fact they made this crew neck made me laugh so hard that I started crying and then I was just straight up sobbing because 2016 has frayed my nerves, people. FRAYED MY FUCKING NERVES. 

So happy fucking Black Friday to me, I guess. This makes up for the fact that I had to work from 6am-noon. 

If I ever find someone foolish enough to propose to me, my registry is going to be on MerchNow. 

Chooch and I were walking home from getting coffee and hot chocolate on the boulevard and I blurted out, “I’m so excited about that Alexisonfire record — did you see how beautiful it is?!”

And Chooch said earnestly, “Honestly,  no one gives a fuck.”

:(

****

In other news, we had a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving just hanging out and spending time together without fighting or trying to meet any kind of familial expectations. I’m not ruling out traditional Thanksgiving dinners in the future, but for right now, this is good. 

We ended up at Denny’s and while it mainly just had the feel of a basic, every day dinner, we laughed a lot and made fun of Henry and it just felt right, you know? Like don’t cry for us, Argentina. 


<3

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Nov 212016
 

Today was the first day of the school year that truly required a winter jacket and not the casual windbreaker Chooch has been skating by in (when he even wears a jacket at all). 

I gave myself a mom-pat for remembering to fish out his puffy winter coat before he left this morning. That entailed yanking every last article of outerwear and old purses from the closet. 

Purses I don’t even remember buying. Coats that I never wore last year because they were hidden behind purses I regret buying. So I’m tossing all this shit over my head with wild, careless abandon, like someone would do in a cartoon except this is real life and I haven’t grown up yet and was that a torn bag of Henry’s forgotten dreams and broken balls I just tossed?

Chooch was waiting behind me with a look on his face that said, “Oh god, please don’t get one of your weird ideas and send me to school wrapped in garbage bags set alight, I swear it’s not that cold. Here, I’ll just double up on the layers.”

Flaming garbage bags might be a bit extreme, but what if I MICROWAVED them for warmth?! WE DO WHAT WE HAVE TO DO TO KEEP THE COUNTY AGENCIES AT BAY, SON. 

Anyway, you can exhale now because I finally found one of his old red puffy coats in the back of the closet, entangled in an octopus of Erin’s Impulse Buys. 

“Here, put  this on,” I panted, worn out from all the last minute mothering. I began kicking and punching things back into the closet (but not everything because I wanted to leave some shit strewn about for Henry to put away because why should I have to do it all); when I turned around, I found Chooch standing like a scarecrow, completely stuffed into what turned out to be his coat from first grade. The arms stopped at his elbows and he looked like he was doing a juvenile impersonation of Fat Man in a Tiny Jacket. The look on his face was one of sadness and also disappointment in his mom’s lack of maternal savvy.

But then my eyes floated over his shoulder and I saw, laid out like a dead man’s suit, his actual puffy jacket! Henry had beat us to the punch and plucked the coat out of the closet for us, draping it over the wheelchair like a beautiful yet smug YOU’RE WELCOME, clearly anticipating either a hysterical phone call from me or one later from the school social worker. 

Chooch sighed in relief, peeled the tiny coat from his husky 10-year-old frame, and easily shrugged into the proper coat. I even made sure he had a hat and gloves! (The gloves didn’t match but when do they ever?!)

Thank god Chooch has two moms. 

*******

At least I didn’t let him go to school the way he tried to leave the house on Saturday, in shorts, no shoes, and an unbuttoned shirt:

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Nov 172016
 

I revisit this Hands Like Houses song a lot, but it seems especially relevant lately. If the lyrics resonate with you, then we’re on the same team. <3

Love,

Liberal Whiner

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Nov 162016
 

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Here is my Obligatory School Picture post! Every year, I’m ever so thankful that he smiled normally and didn’t pull that weirdo chipmunk face he loves so much. 

Fifth grade has been going much better than fourth grade (KNOCK ON WHATEVER WOODEN ANNIVERSARY GIFT I’D HAVE GOTTEN IF HENRY MARRIED ME FIVE YEARS AGO). However, it’s been the year of girls girls girls and I’m like “Can we slow down?” I mean, he doesn’t give a shit about anything other than being a brainiac and watching YouTube videos, but these girls, man! They are relentless. 

 I get Chooch’s Instagram notifications on my phone. I want to say it’s because I’m a watchful mother, but really it’s because he wanted an Instagram account years ago and didn’t have his own phone, so he used mine and we’d just swap back and forth between accounts. 

There’s this one girl who is friends with his buddy Dimajio, and it started with harmless tagging in kumbaya-type memes.  So I started looking through her shit because that’s what I do, creep on the internet, and I saw that she was flat out posting pictures with captions that professed her LOVE for Chooch, etc etc, and was even writing a story about him—nothing gross, but she didn’t know how to spell out cat Penelope’s name so if you’re ever at my house and you hear us call her Pelonpe, now you know why. 

So last night, she tagged him in some dumb meme, and then I noticed that her next picture was of herself and the caption was something like “I’m about to ask out my crush, send advice please.”

So I’m like NO OH GOD NO. She and I already exchanged words several weeks ago because my phone was blowing up while Chooch was at piano; she was sending all these messages about how other girls at her school were telling her that he’s dating THEM and one of them was like “we’re linked up like a chain” and that just sent me over the edge so I was like THIS IS HIS MOM (oh yes I went there) and he’s not dating anyone because he’s TEN, so…

And this girl was all, “if this is really his mom, you’re really pretty” because clearly I make him post pictures of us on Instagram so all his lame friends can see how awesome RILEY’S MOM is. #vanity

So then I was like, “AW OMG HENRY LOOK” and Henry was all “STAY FOCUSED.”

Good advice, Hank. 

So Chooch gets a message request from some sock puppet account that’s supposed to be Dimajio or something, but hello GIRL I see you:

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I had to call Chooch over and he was like tell her I like [girl at his school] but I didn’t want to turn this into An Ordeal and then the next thing you know, she’s assaulting Chooch’s actual crush with a sockful of Chuck E Cheese tokens. 

Then a message comes from Girl’s actual account:

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I was like, “Chooch get your ass over here and deal with this shit” and he said “Nah, I’m good.”

#%^*+!?!*%#

So then I was like “WELL TELL ME WHAT TO SAY” and Chooch was like TELL HER ALL OF THESE DISPARAGING THINGS and I couldn’t do that!! So I went with my gut and said “I like you as a friend. I don’t want a gf.”

And she was all “I thought you hated me??? You’re always so mean to me when you’re around Dimajio” and I was like, “Chooch! Is this true?!”

“Well, she’s pretty annoying, so…”

Ugh! So then I had to have a refresher course on how he needs to be nice to girls, even the annoying ones, for gods sake. 

I thought it was over, but today when I was at work, she asked him out AGAIN! This time she phrased it differently just in case that made a difference. 

My work friends were ON THE EDGES OF THEIR SEATS as the saga continued. 

So I had to tell her again that I, I mean Chooch, wasn’t interested in her in that way, sorry. I made sure that I didn’t word it in a way that would give her hope and I definitely didn’t use a sad face or anything because Chooch would never try to sugarcoat these things. 

She said she “understands,” and I hope that her understanding doesn’t expire after 24 hours again and that she’s not planning on breaking into our house and boiling Pelonpe. 

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Nov 152016
 

Really living it up on my day off. First, some engaging Dr Oz programming about artificial sweetener and now the View?! Life is rich.

See also: Judy’s here.

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

Long before I knew I was going to Cleveland last Thursday, I had requested off work for the following Friday because it was Veteran’s Day and Chooch didn’t have school. I figured by doing this, we wouldn’t have to worry about getting Henry’s mom Judy to babysit.

But then we ended up going to Cleveland the night before, so we had to ask Judy to babysit for us anyway. The plan was to take her home once we got back that night, but the show turned out to be a late one and we didn’t get back until after 2:30. And since we’re a one-car fam (how vintage of us), that meant I wouldn’t have a way to take Judy home in the morning.

So basically what I’m trying to say here is that Judy wound up having to babysit Chooch and me on Friday.

And it was brutal.

Penelope shared the same stunned visage all day.

Don’t get me wrong – I really like Henry’s mom a lot! She is really super awesome. But you guys, the daytime TV. Judy and talk shows are like a package deal.

First thing in the morning, Chooch and I went for a walk to CVS because I needed saline solution. I mean, it could have waited, but you know. Chooch treated me with a political rant the whole way there. It really got me fired up. If we had the car, maybe we’d have gone to find a protest. :(

I told Chooch we were going to get ice cream later with Chris and Monica and he cheered so hard it gave me a jolt.

“It’s funny how most of your friends are adults,” I said.

“Yeah,” Chooch replied. “And it’s funny how most of your friends are ghosts.”

I don’t even know what that means?!

Came back home and hung out with Judy. We drank coffee and talked about AMERICA and then she went back to Dr. Oz while I looked at pictures of Balance and Composure on my phone and sent Henry a series of 911 texts.

9:08AM marked my first “When will you be home?” text of the day.

And then 11:33AM, while those loud broads from The View were caterwauling through my living room, it was “Are you almost done?”

I made it through Dr. Oz, but this was just too much.

So I went for my second walk of the day.

PICTURE FROM MY WALK. I was gone for an hour.

Access Hollywood was on when I came back. This was how I learned that Cameron Diaz married Benji Madden last year?! HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?! Oh yeah, because my death row pen pal didn’t renew my Us Weekly subscription, ugh.

1:36pm: “Did you leave yet?”

No response, so I suggested that, “HEY CHOOCH LET’S CLEAN YOUR ROOOOOM!”

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We busted our asses, you guys! I even cleaned parts of my room too! I hung up clothes!

To sweeten the pot, I suggested that Chooch pick which record to listen to while cleaning. He chose Panic! at the Disco, and when the record ended, he wanted to listen to it again. I wanted to listen to either Balance & Composure or Phil Collins, so we COMPROMISED and are now listening to the latest Dance Gavin Dance record.

I think this is what you people would call GROWING UP.

It was a UUUUGE moment.

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This picture has been in Chooch’s room since 2006 and serves as a beautiful memory of that time Henry gave himself a haircut and I dubbed him Forest.

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This corner of his room wasn’t even messy, but he somehow forgot that it existed and became super interested in putting the “butt” in “butterfly” chair and grabbed a book to read.

2:06pm: “Are you done yet?”

Eventually, there was nothing left to clean (LOL there’s always something to clean but Chooch and I have our own version of cleaning in which we stop quarter of the way in), so we went back downstairs just in time for like Dr. Phil or something, why are there so many doctors on daytime TV!?

2:35pm: “Hurry.”

Chooch wanted to go outside, but, out of desperation to keep him there with me, I shouted, “IT’S RAINING!”

So he stuck his head out of the door and said, “It’s not raining, you liar!”

I understood his tone and knew he was just being playful, but Judy flipped her shit and started yelling at him for talking to his mother that way and I was like GET ME OUT OF HERE.

2:49pm: “OMG they’re fighting pleaaaaaaaase HURRY. PLEASE.”

And that little son of a bitch LEFT ME and went outside, while Judy was still bitching about how kids have no respect anymore?!

 

2:55pm: “She just called Sara Gilbert a ‘he.'”

After Judy quieted down, I was just getting ready to numb my intelligence enough to be able to sit through Dr. Phil because I figured a third neighborhood stroll might come off as RUDE, when Judy realized that today’s program was about kids and heroin, so she said, “Oh, I can’t watch this shit, put on channel 8.”

So I turned the channel and it was STEVE HARVEY. Do you even know who much I can’t fucking stand that guy?!

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When Henry came home an hour later, he found me laying on my sort of, partially-made bed, staring at the ceiling and he started laughing, which I didn’t appreciate.

The worst part was that my dumb work friends were telling me all the exciting things I was missing that day, like the toilets flushing with brown water and a Veteran’s Day parade going down the street by our building!! UGH.

Things I learned about Judy that day: She thinks Alicia Keys is so pretty no matter she wears and sometimes she watches the Voice just to see her (“I don’t listen to her music though,” she mumbled under her breath, followed by a “pffft”), she thinks Mariah Carey is a bitch, and she’d like to punch Angelina Jolie in the face. AMEN ON THAT LAST POINT, JUDE.

********

“My mom said you went on ‘a couple of walks’ today,” Henry laughed when he came back from taking Judy home. STFU, Henry.

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Nov 122016
 

Chooch had the right idea last night, after a long week of rampant emotions, sinking stomachs, and bruise collecting from all the “pinch me, I’m nightmaring” that we endured. He decided that what better way to unwind than by writing haikus, so he and Chris turned it into some strange therapy game, where they would give each other a topic to haiku about, and then read them out loud for me, Henry, and Monica. It made for some entertaining performance art and definitely offered some levity.

I’m going to share them, in case anyone is looking for something to read that’s not perpetuating a divide within our country. Chris’s will be in bold, Chooch’s will be in italics.

Finishing Harry Potter

I can’t do it now

I don’t have enough time now

Just leave me alone

Safari

Elephants are cool

Hippopotami are mean

Don’t eat me, lion!

Clowns in the Woods

Killer clowns are loose

In the woods, don’t leave the house

Or else you will die.

Ghosts in a Gang

Oooh, I’m a ghost

My posse and I will kill

But we can’t hold guns

Unicorn Chef

He never cuts onions

Or else scientists will freak

and find his secret

Noodles in Heaven

What is that sweet sound?

Angels plucking their gold harps?

Nope. It’s totes noodles.

Noodles in Heaven

God won’t ever cook

Noodles because he is bad

He can’t work a stove.

Baby in a Hammock

Aw, how sweet is that?!

That baby looks comfortable!

Oh no, he* just fell!

*(Ed.Note: props to Chooch for using an actual pronoun to refer to the baby; I always just call them “it”s.)

Stitch Sleeping

This Stitch is so soft

Let’s go to Hawaii please.

Aliens are cool.

Swimming Pool with Marbles

John lost his marbles

When he went to Hawaii

Now my pool is clear.

Creepy Baby Doll

That doll is naked

It’s praising the god of dolls

It will steal your soul.

And then Chooch and Chris were supposed to “huddle” and come up with a title for one that Monica was going to be forced to write, but Monica created a diversion by shaking out a knapsack of kittens in Chooch’s vicinity, creating a clear path to the exit for herself.

 

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Nov 112016
 

I finally finally finally got to see Foxing last night when they opened for Balance & Composure, after a million or so missed opportunities. Obviously I’ll be back to maniacally slam out 12099 words in my typical harried, typo’d fashion (hey I mostly blog from my phone because it’s convenient so cut me some slack) but I wanted to leave this video here because I waited so patiently for them to sing it last night, I knew they would, and when they did I don’t think I breathed one tiny breath through the whole thing. Unrequited love AF. 

How is this band not a household name by now, I’ll never know. 

I AM SO WIRED RIGHT NOW. WORK FRIENDS, BE GLAD I’M OFF TODAY. 

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Nov 102016
 
  1. Ending sentences with prepositions.
  2. Hating the inbred yinzers currently working on the other side of our duplex. They must be mole people because they only come over at night and stomp around like cinder block-footed sumo wrestlers, scream-talking in their degenerate nicotine-throated pittsburghese, and fucking slamming the front door repeatedly. I just now started screaming at them through the wall and henry is all OK OK OK SHHHH because he hates conflict but I HAVE HAD IT BUDDY. AND NOW OH SHERRIE IS ON THE RADIO SO IM RIDING STEVE PERRY’S VOICE TO A HAPPY PLACE SOMEWHERE IN 1984. (side note: the only time I had beef with Gilmore Girls was when they referenced this song and said it was JOURNEY #wrongzo #nope)
  3. Planning a small holiday party & searching for awesome punches to serve on the beverage buffet. The plan is to get henry so drunk that he starts telling us SERVICE stories.  In times of crisis, I go into hostess mode. 
  4. Obviously still Balance & Composure, and I’m seeing them tonight in Cleveland!!!
  5. Investigating realistic ways to make music my career because I think it’s safe to say that this isn’t a phase but legit passion and every minute that doesn’t involve me listening to music, reading about music, talking about music, trying to get you guys to listen to bands I love, and going to all of the shows, a piece of my heart petrifies. I can’t sit in an office for the rest of my life, I just can’t. I feel like a caged animal. :(


Let’s end with a picture of Drew being a dick. 

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HI ME AGAIN. I just flipped the fuck out because those dbags next door slammed the front door so hard it shook the house so I went off and henry was all PLZ DONT DO THIS and then the DJ on the radio said something about it being November 10 and Henry mumbled “it’s not November 10” and I yelled “YES IT IS YOU KNOW WHY BECAUSE ITS AFTER MIDNIGHT AND DO YOU KNOW WHY WE’RE AWAKE—BC OF THOSE MOTHERFUCKERS NEXT DOOR UGHHH”

And Henry just murmured, “No, that’s why you’re awake. I’m awake because you were screaming.”

It’s me against the world AS USUAL. 

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Nov 092016
 

HAY GUYS HAY. Trying to stay upbeat over here so here is a flashback post that has nothing to do with elections or racism or hate or bigotry. Just a good old fashioned Amish shoofly pie tribute post from when Corey and I traipsed around Sugarcreek, OH two years ago, back when 2016 seemed so far away and we had no idea what a shitstorm was on the horizon.

So yeah! Shoofly pie for president.

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After our life-changing trip to Heini’s Cheese Chalet, Corey and I decided it was time to get a substantial meal that didn’t consist of cheese cubes on toothpicks and (the best) butter (in the world) on Wheat Thins. We opted for Der Dutchman because it boasted Amish Kitchen Cooking, so of course we went and ordered the two most American meals on the menu: a cheeseburger and grilled cheese. And we forgot to use our dinner rolls the way they were intended: as vehicles for Der Dutchman’s peanut butter spread. Corey wanted to ask our waitress for more rolls so that he could have a do-over, but then he kept chickening out. Also, we had to stand in line just to get inside the restaurant, which normally would be a huge HELL NO for me, but when in Amish Country, I guess. Some hag in front of us kept trying to make conversation because we clearly have such avuncular faces? I’ve always been told that I’m stand-offish, so I guess that doesn’t translate in Ohio.

Before we were seated, there was a brief moment of panic when Corey and I thought that this was a family-style restaurant and that we might have to sit at a table with some horrible family, asking us to pass the biscuits, and I almost fled. When I was a kid, this might have been pre-Corey, our family went to Lancaster, PA, which is essentially the Amish capital of America.  We ate at some restaurant that had an attached petting zoo and we sat a long wooden table with other families and I was crying internally because I didn’t want to eat with people I didn’t know but our dad was like FUCK YES THIS IS REAL COUNTRY-LIVING! He was all about it. But what I remember most about that meal was the shoo-fly pie. Because of that experience, it has always been the first thing my mind goes to when I think of Amish (OK fine, right after I think about them copulating through a hole in a sheet).

This is all to say that I was really looking forward to piggybacking  my grilled cheese with a slice of that sticky molasses Dutch pie.

(Oh dear god, my tongue is having vivid flashbacks of my last shoo-fly pie experience.)

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I was really excited about the creamed corn.

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Halfway through lunch, I noticed that Bitch-Broad from Heini’s, the one who had the nerve to yell at our beloved Father Cheese, was also dining at Der Dutchman! (That’s her in the green shirt and stupid poufy hair behind Corey.) Corey said she was also at the bakery we stopped at across from Heini’s and that even in there, she was bitching about how she couldn’t believe the price of whatever bakery item she was glaring at. Then we saw her after we left Der Dutchman as she and her horde of less-bitchy broads walked into a chocolate shop. She still looked mad! How are you going to be mad walking into a CHOCOLATE SHOP? Maybe she should have just stayed home and watched her DVR collection of The View.

But as usual, my train of thought is getting derailed once again. She has literally nothing to do with shoo fly pie.

When our waitress asked us if we wanted dessert, Corey and I declined because we hadn’t seen shoo fly pie on the menu and we were obviously saving room for that down the road.

Before we left the Der Dutchman parking lot, Corey decided that we should call our dad and ask him where to get the dessert of Amish gods.

Corey put him on speaker, and it was one of the  most painful laugh-stifling moments of my life, possibly even moreso than the one at Heini’s, because I felt actual kidney pain. Like the angel on my shoulder had hopped off and started punching me in the side for being the type of asshole who laughs at a dad who is genuinely trying to help his kids have the best Amish experience possible.

“Oh, I doubt you’re going to find shoofly pie,” our dad said gravely. “In fact, I had to pre-order one the last time I was there because I knew the bakeries wouldn’t have any otherwise.”

We were suffering at this point from what I can only describe as “The Wet Laughs.” Tears were streaming down our faces and I was even starting to break a sweat from the exertion of laugh-containment.  Corey wheezed, “I can’t!” and flat out hung up on our dad. I can only imagine how ugly I looked in that moment, with my face wet, red and twisted in a mixture of pain and hilarity. I FELT ugly. It was an ugly laugh. Hearing our dad speaking so seriously about shoofly pie was just too much.

Finally, we calmed down enough for Corey to call our dad back, who answered immediately by saying, “The reception is really bad out there, I know.” And then proceeded to sound disappointed when we mentioned that we chose Heini’s over Walnut Creek Cheese, and then asked, “Did you guys go to the hardware store yet?”

That fucking hardware store!

“It’s not like a Home Depot, you know,” he earnestly advised. “It’s TWO FLOORS and it has a lot of things that Erin would like to look at. Like birdhouses.”

BIRDHOUSES?!

We promised that we would stop and check it out after we visited Sugarcreek, but first we had important business to tend to at Swiss Heritage Winery, which was essentially like your Aunt Rhoda’s house, full of sparkly trinkets, Betty Boop memorabilia, and clashing floral patterns, with a small wine bar thrown in almost as an afterthought.

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Corey and I each chose 5 wine samples from a cheerful lady in a supposedly traditional Swiss dress and then plucked some complimentary chips and cheese cubes from a platter and took our wine samples over to a tall table where we recalled what we learned from Roberto at Narcisi Winery last year, and proceeded to stick out like sore thumbs. I liked all  the wines just fine, but wasn’t really in the mood to purchase any bottles until I noticed that he cherry cranberry variety was called “Han’s Favorite Wine” and featured a picture of Hans himself, in a Swiss cap and lederhosen. Swiss Heritage, you got yourself a sale.

While Corey and I were paying for our wine, I used it as an opportunity to ask the older women behind the counter if they had the shoofly pie 411.

I’m not even exaggerating when I say that the expression on the one woman’s face actually darkened, like we were suddenly in Hogwart’s and I had audaciously screamed “Voldemort.”

“I wouldn’t even know,” she said curtly. “That’s something you don’t see very often around here anymore.”

“You might want to try Der Dutchman,” the other woman offered, with a slight shrug, but I told them we had just come from there and it was a no-go. (Although we never actually ASKED the waitress. Now I’m kind of glad we hadn’t. We might have been told to get the fuck out.)

“Sorry, I just don’t know,” the first woman said without even a HINT of apology as she handed over our gaudy gift-wrapped wine purchases.

As we shirked out of the door, I could hear the two of them still talking about shoo fly pie, like they had just been reminded of something that they were told to forget.

“I think I might have a recipe for that somewhere….” the nicer of the two was saying as the door closed behind us.

****

“What the fuck, Corey!?” I laughed as we set off for Sugarcreek to finally gawk at the world’s largest cuckoo clock. “Why did t hey act so weird about shoofly pie!?” We spouted off some theories, like maybe there was some feud between the Pennsylvania Dutch Amish community and the Ohio Amish, and the PA peeps won the rights to the pie.

After checking out the clock, we stopped in some novelty shop called Finder’s Keepers, where we quickly learned that a movie was recently filmed there called “Love Finds You In Sugarcreek.” Almost every shop along the main street had signs and DVD displays in  their windows. Even the Gospel Shop! We stopped in the Decanter and Stein “Museum,” which was basically just a small,  musty room full of steins and decanters for sale. I found pretty  much the only one that wasn’t $500 dollars and decided that I needed to buy it because I refused to leave Sugarcreek without a stein. I’m suddenly hot for steins, I don’t know.

The proprietor was a really old man who took his grand old time wrapping my stein in newspaper and taping it with 87 pieces of Scotch tape while I was having a coughing fit. My allergies had been flaring all week and basically as soon as we set foot in that shop, I knew I didn’t have much time. This was he only low point of the day for me, and as sweet as that old man was, I had strong urges to snatch the half-wrapped stein from him and yell, “I’LL JUST DO IT MYSELF THANKS” except that I couldn’t even speak since I was coughing so hard.

Once we stepped out into fresh air, I felt fine, so we went to Esther’s Home Baked Goods which was right next store. The inside of the bakery was very brown and austere. But Esther’s friendliness and bonneted-head compensated for the lack of paper lanterns and pastel palette.

“Oh, I see you looking at my chocolate pie!” she enthused, and I had porn flashbacks. “It’s on sale because I messed it up. It still tastes good, though!”

Way to sell it, Esther!

“You don’t happen to have any shoofly pie?” Corey asked.

“No,” Esther said, seemingly bemused by this question. “But it’s funny you ask, because several people have asked me that lately! Maybe I should try to make it again….” she added, mostly to herself.

I ended up getting some weird date cake thing and Corey got pumpkin ice cream and peanut butter fudge.

“Tell me if the fudge is OK!” she begged Corey. “It just didn’t seem right when I made it.”

This lady and me would make a great business team. Esther and her “Dessert Messes” and me and my “Fake Art.” Our confidence will bowl you over.

My date cake thing was actually pretty good though. Corey said the fudge was way too soft but he liked it. He left out the “too soft” part when he gave her his review before we left to set off for the infamous “hardware store.” If I didn’t know any better, I’d think we were being sent off for slaughter.

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I don’t know why I didn’t bother doing this while we were there, but a quick google of “shoofly pie” explains that it really is mostly just a Pennsylvania Dutch thing. No wonder those broads seemed so weird about it. They clearly hate Pennsylvania.

If there is one takeaway from our day in Ohio Amish Country, it’s that I really need to spend more time with my dad. He has inadvertently given Corey and me a day that we will probably talk about (and laugh about!) for the rest of our lives. And THAT is better than shoofly pie.

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THIS JUST IN!!!

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Nov 082016
 


It was so awesome seeing all of the pictures and check-ins from my friends who voted today. But at the same time, it was driving me nuts because I didn’t vote before work like I wanted to, because Chooch, the future politician, threw a fit because he was going to be at his grandma’s, so he made me promise I’d wait until work so he could go too.

So we all went together when I got home and it was kind of amazing that he was so interested! Plus, he was excited because the ancient poll ladies gave him a Kit Kat.

We capped off our voting sesh with Mexican dinner at Bea Taco Town. #tacotrucksoneverycorner y’all. And Chooch drew this on my phone:

I guess it’s Trump being anti-handicapped and -Mexican, and obviously the wall.

What a fucking nail biter of a night, guys. I probably should have been liveblogging all of Chooch’s election observations, like when he went on a Wallstreet tear and started mocking Pat Toomey and Katie McGinty, but I’m so distracted & dying slowly!

I think I have to go to bed now. I mean, after I take a swig of brandy and then punch myself in the face.

Stay strong, guys. <3

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Nov 072016
 

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I’m trying to cherish (or whatever, what an old person word) these weekends as much as I can before the dreaded winter is upon us and cabin fever sets in. Sometimes it’s nice to sit around the house doing nothing, but we were barely home at all this weekend and I’m not mad about it at all.

Saturday was spent cruising around in the rental (because Henry WRECKED MY CAR, in case you forgot). It was such a stupidly beautiful day, so we took a drive out to this weird toy store in Butler so that Egghead Chooch could get some puzzles while constantly reminding us that he’s gifted.

OK WE GET IT. I COULD HAVE BEEN GIFTED TOO BUT MY MOM OPTED OUT ON MY BEHALF.

SO WHATEVER CHOOCH.

I think my favorite moment was when we ordered a bunch of shit at Sheetz and then left Henry in there to wait for it all. Chooch and I have really got a great system worked out.

At one point, “Tiny Raindrop” by Balance & Composure came on (um, probably not randomly) and I blurted out, “I LOVE THIS SONG SO MUCH I WISH I COULD WEAR IT!” Which was met with the king of all sneers from Henry.

Being in such a rural area, we saw our share of Trump signs, that’s for sure. Chooch was getting increasingly agitated by this and now I’m wondering if he has a political career in his future. I have never seen a kid with his finger pressed so firmly on America’s pulse!

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When we came home later that evening, he was stoked to see that he got mail. #HesWithHer

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And I capped off Saturday night by trying to drink beer while watching the Penguins obliterate the Sharks. WHAT A NIGHT.

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Sunday was great too! I mean, I wore my CRJ Emotion tour shirt so obviously the day had no chance at sucking. Plus, I’ve been super emo lately (more in a lovesick teen way than a dark, suicidal fog of despair way, for once—this is what happens when I fall in love with a band). Henry has had his hands full.

We dropped Chooch off at piano and went to the Allegheny Cemetery for a stroll. Henry was fixated on how overpopulated the place is with geese (there really was an obscene amount honking about, even more than I’ve ever seen there, should we be concerned) and he started talking about how “they” should feed the geese to the homeless people and I was like “HELLO REMEMBER WHO YOUR AUDIENCE IS, ASSHOLE, THE GIRL WHO WON’T EVEN KILL A FUCKING STINK BUG, THANKS.” God, Henry can be so callous sometimes!

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But then we talked a lot about something I’ve wanted to do with my life for at least the last 15 years, and Henry was all, “If that’s what you want to do, then let’s do that’ and it was one of those moments where I took a step back and really looked at him and felt so HASHTAGBLESSED to have found someone who lets me be me and even kind of supports my insanity from time to time. Sometimes I get too farsighted and forget to focus in on the good shit that’s right in front of my ugly face.

Of course, this beautiful Hallmark moment was set aflame when I asked him what kinds of girls he likes and he quickly mumbled, “Obviously annoying ones.”

Oh bae.

Picked up Chooch and went to visit our friend Patty who is currently battling cancer. She’s in a nursing home, getting some good physical therapy and kicking all the old people’s asses at Bingo!  We hung out in her room for about an hour and a half and it was so good to see her face!

Chooch perused the activity calendar and I think I might have to drop him off for a few upcoming events.  Patty dared him to start walking into random rooms and calling people Grandma and I was like, “Go ahead, but then you can stay here with your new grandmas.”

Henry had the afternoon to ourselves while Chooch was at a birthday party, so went shopping and to King’s (all the hot dates happen at King’s). Henry was so mad because the whole place was empty and the waitress told us to sit anywhere, so of course I picked the one booth that would put Henry in direct contact with the sun.

GOD, LEARN TO DRAW THE BLINDS THEN, MOTHERFUCKER.

It never ceases to amaze me that Henry and I are still together. On paper, we just DON’T WORK. But we have managed to avoid the dreaded “Dinner in Silence” that I see happening around me all the time when we’re out. Good job, Henry! Way to not bore me!

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Finished the weekend by forcing Chooch to write on my blog, and then watching The Walking Dead. OH AND HENRY SAID WE CAN GO SEE BALANCE AND COMPOSURE.

All of these nice weekend things made Monday hurt so much more, ugh.

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Nov 062016
 

Castle Blood

So Castle Blood had a different theme this year, it was called The Witching Hour. There were two witches who were sisters in this town and they knew a lot about the environment and the villagers didn’t like that so they either banished them from the town or burned them I don’t remember. They weren’t witches then but now they are sooo… They needed us to find them a cat, a vat, and a hat. So ya.

The first funny part was when Shard (castle blood guy who’s mean to me every year.) kept telling me to go to the back of the group (oh yeah and Blake and Haley were there) also Shard kept making fun of Blake because he was being dumb. Then the next cool/funny part was in the funeral room because there are always puzzles in it and this time it was a tower puzzle and Blake, Haley, and I did it. There were holes at the bottom of it and sticks at the top of it so we had to figure out which piece goes on which. It was made to hold in the soul of the dead person.

Then there was an outside part where there was a guy locked up in a chair and he was asking for my cat eye (that I got a little bit ago) and although this wasn’t important I just wanted to prevent this from being super short. So then basically those were all of the important parts and yeah we got our fangs here da picture!

So on a scale of 1 to 10 I rate it 9 because there should be more things you need to get and more puzzles.

Sewickely Haunted Church

So right when we get there, there is the Psycho soundtrack blasting from a speaker. Then we went in and I bought a candy bar. With the wrapper me and mommy played hockey and she kept flicking it towards the screen that was playing a movie. Then when we finally got to go in the small tent that was there was a girl clown who was over enthusiastic because she was screaming and kept saying to me “Do you see that?!?!?!?!?!?!” There was this part where there were little girls screaming at the top of their lungs so I just ran out of there as fast as I could. There was also this part where a gorilla blowup thing hooked to the ceiling came sliding across the ceiling right at mommy’s face.

So I rate this one from 1 to 10 an 8 because it was really short.

 

 

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