Apr 212018
 

I always say I’m not going to be surprised when the weather goes batshit, because Pittsburghers should be used to it, but good lord this last week has been infuriating. Last Friday, it was starting to finally feel like spring and I even left the house without a jacket when I met Kara for breakfast at Dorstop! And the next day actually felt like July – I went with Henry and Chooch for a walk on some bike trail thing and even though I am a Professional Walker, it was too much too soon and I felt really lethargic and sick for the rest of the day.

And then it snowed three separate days later in the week so I had to go back to wearing my winter coat and scarf. In mid-April.

We took advantage of the warmth on Saturday though and got our first Al’s of the season! I say that like we’re regulars there when I think it was only probably the third time we’ve gone. I was sad though because the only reason I wanted to go was because last time I had this SIMPLY DIVINE (lol) Mexican fried ice cream topping and I needed that so bad on Saturday for some reason.

BUT NOW THEY DON’T HAVE IT ANYMORE.

At least, I don’t think they do. Chooch freaking ordered like it was his last ice cream on earth before Henry and I even made it to the window, so then the lady was looking at all expectantly, order pad in hand (I’ve never seen an ice cream…barista?…write down orders before!) and people were behind us now and we felt RUSHED and OBLIGATED to order immediately.

So we both got twists with crunchies as a topping.

Thanks, Chooch.

I mean, that’s probably what we would have ordered anyway, but still.

THANKS, CHOOCH.

Speaking of Chooch, his cat is a fucking nutcase. She started jumping on him and perching on his shoulders like a parrot several months ago (in fact, moments before I took this picture, she had jumped straight on top of his head and stood there with all four paws touching like an elephant standing on a ball). But now, she does this to Henry and me, too! It stresses me out so much because she only does this when we’re standing, and every morning before work, I stand in front of the TV and jog in place* while watching kpop stuff so I’m a prime piece of furniture for her now, apparently. The other day, I caught her started to pounce and I moved out of the way just in time and thank god because I was wearing a silk shirt! God, that would have hurt.

So that’s a thing that happens in my house now.

*(Side note: Another walking challenge started at work last Monday and I originally wasn’t going to do it but then Carrie asked me to be on a team with her and Lou, and I was like “Ugh, Lou, but OK fine” and then we roped in Wendy, so Lou named our team C.E.W.L. and the Gang even though I think 3 Girls and a Lou-ser is better. I’ve been averaging 22,000 steps a day without trying too hard because my lifestyle is way different now than it was back in the days of the original walking challenges, and I think I have been pretty calm about it. I haven’t berated my teammates and I don’t feel like flagellating myself if I don’t get 71234807230847 steps now. I mean, not like I was super militant about it in the past or anything.)

Oh, you want more work tales? Well, we had a huge cake the other day because two of our peoples are leaving us :( The next day, I was on late shift and was asked to:

  1. take some cake home
  2. cover the leftovers in plastic wrap and put it back in the fridge

A simple request, you’re thinking. If so, wow, how novel it must be to be so FUNCTIONING!!! Because I, on the other hand, was freaking out. The plastic wrap was so jacked on the roll that I couldn’t pull any out and the sheath of it that was already covering part of the cake from the day before had icing all over it and I didn’t want to touch it, ughhh. So I’m standing there holding this degenerate roll of plastic wrap, staring at this cake that has been butchered by too many cakecutters in the kitchen (Carrie should have just been on stand-by all day with the knife because her cake-cutting skills are legit! My cake-cutting method involves only my hands and zero skill.)

I didn’t feel comfortable asking any of the other people in the office on late shift because I’m not very close to them so they don’t know my neurotic levels of incompetency, so I did what I had to do…..

…..

…..

…..

…..

…..

…..

Yes sir, I texted Henry, who was already on his way to pick me up and said “Sue asked me to put the cake away before she left can you help” and his response was “how much cake is there” so I said “a lot” because I didn’t know how to measure and hahaha he came in to help me and immediately was like, “REALLY ERIN THIS CAKE IS ALREADY MOSTLY COVERED?!” but there were pieces that were already cut and on plates that weren’t covered, and also a peninsula off the east coast of the main cake that wasn’t covered by the original piece of plastic wrap because I didn’t want to touch it long enough to stretch it over.

See also: IT HAD ICING ON IT.

So Henry’s solution was to just take that piece home but that would have been EVEN WORSE FOR ME TO DO ON MY OWN thank god I made him come up. And then he carried the huge box into the kitchen, where I opened the fridge door for him and yelled Team Work which made him glare at me.

Then since he was there and I still had a few more minutes left of work, I gave him a bunch of stuff of Halloween decorations I found while cleaning out my desk for my move and said, “Here take this down to the car with you.”

Get yourself a multi-purpose Henry!

In other weird weather week news, Chooch casually mentioned over the weekend that he missed Korean food and I said, “SON, SPEAK NO LOUDER I HEAR YOU” and that’s how we ended up at Korea Garden on Sunday for lunch and it was grand but not as grand as, you know, actually being in Korea which I still cry about every day. Chooch had bibimbap and I’m so proud that he actually reaches for the gochujang now. People really can change!

Our favorite Korean restaurant in Pgh is Nak Won Garden, but Korea Garden has a nice atmosphere too. Both of those restaurants are always filled with Korean people every time we go, so that’s how you know a Korean restaurant is legit! I didn’t want to write about this because it still makes me so angry, but the day after we got home from Korea, Chooch went back to school but Henry and I still had one more day off so I suggested that we get Korean food for lunch. We went to this place called the Golden Pig and this review sadly has nothing to do about the people running it or the quality of the food, but moreso the experience we had with the so-called “regulars” who made us feel like shit for being there.

Golden Pig is very, very, very small. It has a counter that seats maybe 5 people, and then two or three (but I think two) tall tables with three chairs each. We arrived right on the heels of two white men who very clearly are regulars of the place, so they sat at the counter and immediately started talking to the, I assume, husband and wife owners who were in the kitchen. As soon as we sat down at a table, I turned and looked out the window just in time to see a literal procession of cars pulling into the parking lot. Within 5 minutes, every seat was taken and there were groups of people waiting outside.

This isn’t some trendy restaurant in the heart of hipster Pittsburgh, you guys. It’s out kind of far in a place called Cecil and not in an urban setting at all. But it turns out that most of these people were coming from the same company, I guess, because the restaurant was filled with, “HEY FRED I DIDN’T KNOW YOU COME HERE TOO” and things of that cordial work-bro nature. That was mildly uncomfortable only because it made Henry and me feel like outsiders and we were crashing a party, and people definitely kept looking at us.  I didn’t like it.

All blue-collared white people. This fact is important.

Then these ladies who were sitting at the counter knew the guys at the table next to us so they kept turning around and talking to them about what they liked to order there and THEY WOULDN’T EVEN USE THE PROPER KOREAN NAMES and the one lady was like, “Oh, what are things we like? The sushi roll things” and she was poring over the menu while Henry was mouthing, “DON’T” to me because I was bouncing in my seat in anguish, the pure desire to shout out, “KIMBAP!” made me have actual shakes.

But this isn’t the worst part. It came later, after our food was served, and I had this dolsot pot of bubbling hot kimchi jjigae in front of me which, have you ever had anytime of jjigae / Korean stew? It is SCALDING HOT. You absolutely cannot eat this right away. So I’m sorry, but when I ordered it, I didn’t know that there would be a mass of hungry Cecil-ites congregating inside and outside of this tiny, tiny, tiny restaurant, coveting my table.

Oh, but there was!

Particularly, this one bitch and her husband (I guess? She put her head on his chest at one point). I didn’t see them at first because they were standing inside the doorway out of my view, but Henry said that they were staring at him the whole time, watching him eat. I didn’t notice them until the moved farther into the restaurant to get something to drink out of the cooler behind Henry. Then they just stood there, so now I was the one facing them. I didn’t much much attention to them at first, but after a few minutes I had this paranoid feeling that they were talking about me, and every time I looked up, the bitch was looking right at me.

But it wasn’t until I caught her MOCKING ME BLOWING ON MY SPOON that I went from mild-paranoia to table-flipping urgency within seconds.

“THOSE PEOPLE ARE LITERALLY TALKING ABOUT ME!” I said to Henry, LOUDLY in the tone that he just loves because it means I just stepped into my PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE BITCH jumpsuit and I’m ready to take flight in my rocket TO PETTYVILLE.

“I know,” he said quietly. “They’ve been staring at us since they got here. Fuck them,” and continued to eat his whatever chicken because he has way more patience and integrity than me, who was ready to launch my whole dolsot pot into her face, BE STRONG, ERIN.

As soon as I said that to him, she got all bristled and turned her back toward to me and put her face in her husband’s chest and I gave him a disgusted, “WHY DO YOU SUPPORT HER BEHAVIOR?!” grimace. So then he hurriedly looked away too.

But really? Of all the people there, you need to have OUR TABLE? You can’t wait for your turn like everyone else, or perhaps focus on the two guys who arrived before us and were already finished eating but still sitting at the counter and talking? OR MAYBE GO SOMEWHERE ELSE? I know I can be hateful but I cannot imagine ever walking into a place and being such a cunt to a total stranger. I wish you guys could have seen the way she imitated me, for no reason, just because I was sitting at a table and she wasn’t!?

And then!!! The ladies at the counter were all, “Oh  my god, do you guys want to sit down?” and moved over so they could have room at the counter and I was like, “WHY ARE YOU BEING NICE TO THEM!?” and then they were talking about their favorite dishes there and the CUNT said in her gravelly redneck  Yinzer throat scrape, “My favorite is the sweet potato noodle, I get it all the time.”

WELL THEN CALL IT JAPCHAE, YOU DUMB BITCH!!!!!!!

Anyway, my whole point to this story is that we had just spent 10 days in another country, being the token foreigners in most of the restaurants we ate at, and not once were we EVER made to feel like we didn’t belong  there. In fact, no one ever even gave us a second glance. Yet, here we are back in Trump’s America, getting low-key harassed by some entitled cunt who feels like she belongs in a restaurant more than we do.

Now I’m irate all over again. So many people experience that condescending and denigrating attitude EVERY DAY OF THEIR LIVES in this damn country. So many people. I’m not saying that I felt like a victim by any means here because fuck that white trash bitch, but it was just like a big fat WELCOME HOME slap to the face, you know? The way some people treat each other here is sickening.

AND THAT’S THE END OF THIS DUMB POST.

Apr 202018
 

Me: I just don’t understand why we have to tell them more than once!!!

Henry: …they’re cats?….

Hey peeps, I don’t have much time to post anything substantive today (why do the imaginary groans in my head sound sarcastic?!) but here instead are some photos of my cat Penelope, a/k/a Peen Lop. She’s a real piece.

Here she is the other night when she and Henry were already in bed (she loves him) and I had the audacity to come up an hour later.

She was very mad about this.

And here she is looming over one of my last remaining plants. I made some snide remark about she was going to destroy it and then guess who knocked it over a few hours later?

Me.

That’s all I’ve got. Have a great weekend!

Apr 152018
 

At approx 7pm Sunday night, I was just sitting on the couch, minding my own, drooling over watching The Bride of the Water God….

Image result for bride of the water god

…when I heard a series of otherworldly, apocalyptic BOOMS.

My first inclination was to think that a plane crashed in my front yard and was now milliseconds away from sliding into my house. Chooch thought our neighbor who is always working on his car dropped something because yes, the last time I checked, a wrench hitting the ground of a garage sounds exactly like 7349823 tons of metal being crushed and accordioned in our front yard.

But no – just some broad who totaled not one but FIVE cars parked along our street before coming to a stop right next to “Ned’s” abandoned car.

Henry, with his constant need to insert himself into everyone’s 911 narrative, practically swan dove out the front door mid-dinner prep, Ziploc bag of chicken still in hand, and was FIRST ON SCENE THANK THE FUCKING LORD. You know what you have, you fucking Cub Scout? A goddamn hero complex. Don’t deny it, Hank.

(Actually, Chooch and I didn’t know that Henry was out there, chicken-in-hand, until 30 minutes later when he finally left things in the hands of the TRAINED PROFESSIONALS, and he was heroically marching to the house, bag of marinated chicken swinging joyfully at his side.

“OMG YOU HAD THAT IN YOUR HAND THAT WHOLE TIME YOU ARE SO EMBARRASING!” I screamed, while Chooch was on the phone with his friend from down the street saying “YEAH SHE HIT LIKE FIVE CARS DIDNT YOU HEAR IT?!” There was a lot going on.)

HNC’s wife was second on scene, tied with some other lady down the street who was all concerned about the well-being of whoever was behind the wheel because she didn’t know yet that her BRAND NEW BMW was one of the victims of the side-swiping. Anyway, HNC’s wife called 911 while Henry and the Italian guy in the next house over talked to the broad-perp, convincing her to stay in the car.  Henry, who knows everything, wrote in his (I Wish I Was The) police report that her side airbags went off but not the drivers one. Fascinating.

Eventually, a healthy crowd had congregated. The Italian guy’s daughter at some point realized that her car was also victimized and she was out there crying (apparently it was her birthday too which I deduced from the 6 times her dad sarcastically said “Happy Birthday” to her) then Chooch’s nemesis Larry came out with his dog and he was HAMMERED (Larry, maybe the dog too) and Chooch’s other nemesis The Witch emerged at some point because we live on a street of fucking vigilantes.

I guess the lady is ok, or as ok as one can be after annihilating a block of cars. She didn’t leave with the ambulance.

Now they’re looking for “Ned” and I’m like “oh hello his house was raided last month and he moved out and left his car. Don’t think he’ll mind that one whole entire side has even ripped off, probably the least of his concerns right now.” It’s kind of ironic though because every day since we’ve been home from My Kingdom a/k/a Korea, I’ve been mindlessly asking no one in particular, “What’s going to happen to ‘Ned’s’ car?”

The tow truck guy came over and was talking to me and Henry almost booted me backward into the basement so he could do the talking but the tow truck driver wasn’t interested in talking to Henry because he doesn’t have boobs.

“Why didn’t you tell the cops about ‘Ned’ when they were knocking on his door?” Henry asked.

“Because they didn’t ask me and I hate cops and won’t initiate conversation with them,” I said haughtily because how does he not know this? I’ll talk to the cute tow truck driver though. HE ASKED ME IF I WAS OK what a Prince!!!

Look at her car! The one front wheel is UNDERNEATH IT. She is so lucky that she is ok and that the only damage that incurred was to a bunch of parked cars and no human beings or worse — ANIMALS. Our sidewalk is heavy with pedestrian traffic and dog walkers so thank god no one was out there at that exact moment.

[Chooch’s review: It was spooky.]

When I first moved to the street in 1999 (ugh, I’m a townie at this point), the people living next door at the time gave me the sagest advice ever: DO NOT PARK ON THE STREET. The amount of accidents we’ve seen is super disturbing (like the hit & literal run from a few summers ago when Henry got to put on his cape once again). The first rule of living on Pioneer Ave is don’t park on Pioneer Ave, guys.

UPDATE: It’s been two hours since the commotion and everyone has long since cleared out, but now there is an ambulance that just arrived and I’m like, “Are they late!?” but they’re here for something else because why not.

Apr 112018
 

I’ve been back at the boring daily grind for a week now and nothing earth-shattering has happened but here are some words & pictures to prove that I really did come back home and I’m not actually secretly living in a seedy noraebang in Korea although that sounds like a reality I could easily get behind.

I know everyone, me included, will be bitching about humidity once summer hits, but good lord can we get a fucking spring up in this city sometime before April ends? We came back home last week to snow, and it’s snowed another two or three times since then. I love the scarf that Chris made me for Christmas, but I’d like to not have a reason to wear it IN APRIL! I was especially cold on Monday, but my peeps at Crazy Mocha had me covered with their berry chai latte special. I like these new people who have been behind the counter at my local Crazy Mocha! The other people never had special drinks. Lame.

Oh well, since it’s still practically winter, I’ve had more time to wear my famous goldenrod tapestry jacket, which garnered more compliments this week — from older men, it’s almost always from older men! And not even in a sleazy way, either. Trust me, I know sleazy. These guys are genuinely just liking my coat because it probably reminds them of some sofa they had in their frat house in the 1960s, who knows.

We babysat Calvin on Saturday! And by we I mean that Henry babysat Calvin, Chooch, and me. At one point, he sent us to the gas station with $7 to get drinks. It was a mess. Chooch wanted one of those weird gas station milkshakes and I wanted coffee and we were also supposed to get Henry water but we weren’t sure if we were going to have enough money since Chooch and I couldn’t just get something normal out of the cooler like Henry told us to, so I suggested that we just not get Henry a drink but Chooch, after considering this for a cool second, vetoed this plan because he is way more mature than me.

“Well, at least make sure this is the cheapest water,” I said and he gave me this sassy look and said, “I already did, and it is.” He used the calculator on my phone to make sure we weren’t going over $7 and we seemed fine but I wasn’t sure if there would be tax because I don’t know how tax works, but then I found a quarter in my pocket, “just in case.”

After acting like boxcar children trying to spend our first ever round of panhandlin’ change, we took our stuff to the register and yay, it was under $7! We were so proud of ourselves!

And that’s the story of how Chooch and I went to the store by ourselves.

Also, here’s a video of me trying to brainwash Calvin into liking Taemin:

Turning Calvin into a Taemin fan 3 minutes after his parents leave. #kpopbabysitting

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Here I am looking like a total douche in my new Gentle Monster sunglasses!

The other day, Glenn disgustedly asked, “What is that you’re drinking out of?” so I got to happily tell him that it’s my SHINee bottle that I bought from the SMTown cafe and he was like, “..Wow I’m so glad I asked” and then I posted this on Instagram and his wife Amanda commented and said she was going to have SHINee playing in the house when he came home and I asked him about it a few days later and he said SHE DID, LOL. So then yesterday I sent him and Todd a SHINee video and said, “You can’t say anything bad about them though because one of them died recently!” and then we had an actual normal and civilized conversation about Jonghyun and Glenn said he “didn’t mind” the song I sent and that he likes them better than BIGBANG. #GlennsKpopOpinions

Anyway, I’m moving to the other side of the department in less than two weeks and I’m super stoked to have new victims to pull down into my rabbit hole.

The next segment has no picture to accompany it, but my felon neighbors are officially moving out. “Ned” was over there last week with a moving truck, and then the broad who I still think framed him was over there the next night with her own moving truck. So, great news, because I don’t want to live next to crims, but I’m also totally clenched at the thought of who will move in next. I’M SO SCARED. I hope our landlord actually does a background check this time.

Well, now that I’m back in Pittsburgh, my life is boring as shit again. I guess that’s OK. I’d rather have boring than drama. I will end this with my current favorite music video. I hope that one of my kpop cardio channels makes a routine for this one!

 

Apr 092018
 

We walked to Insadong from our hotel on Sunday morning, March 25th. It was maybe about a 30 minute walk? Here are some pre-Insadong pictures with very little words.

The first picture up there is near our hotel. I always knew we were close to being to able to soak our feet for the night when I’d see the Pope!

(Honestly, I only had one day in Korea where I got less than 30,000 steps. We have a walking challenge starting next week at work so I think I should probably go back to Korea for that.)

Our hotel was centrally located near so many palaces and shrines, Jongmyo Shrine being the closest.

Streets in Seoul aren’t quiet for very long, so this was a rare sight.

Henry took us the long way (and not on purpose, my friends) but it was good because we got to see Jongyesa Temple, where you can do a temple stay if that’s something that piques your interest.

It was serene and quiet on that early Sunday morning and I honestly felt like I was sullying the joint with my dirty American Catholic juju.

Those colors though!

Henry could suddenly read Korean and told me to stop taking pictures before Buddha steals my soul. So we continued on to the main, popular drag of Insadong right after this so that will be my next post. I am such a great travel writer! Being all chronological! (For now, anyway. I’m dying to skip ahead and write about Gentle Monster.)

Apr 072018
 

Today is Jonghyun’s birthday and I’m definitely feeling some type of way seeing all the tribute posts in my IG feed. I hope he’s up there with all the angels feasting on the most celestial of birthday cakes and serenading his new heaven-friends with his ethereal vocals.

Thank you to the kind soul who shared this video on YouTube. It’s my favorite song from Jonghyun’s final album.

I hope all the Shawols are staying strong today. <3

Apr 062018
 

BTS, I can’t handle you.

I’ve watched this a hundred times and keep finding new things to obsess over. This is pure unadulterated art. So dark, yet so bright. Henry’s bias Jimin looks so pure with his black hair. Too many thoughts and feels! Such meaning! Can’t compute!

Apr 022018
 

Today was my last time panicking because I thought I lost my subway card thing only to remember that I gave it to Henry to hold, and my last time seeing all the birthday billboards for idols

and the last time hearing the adorable “the train is approaching” music that announced each trains’ arrival,

Going to miss the cute subway announcement jingle.

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and the last time watching Chooch make life-changing vending machine decisions,

and the last time watching Chooch race to get an open seat and inevitably fall into conversation with old people,

and the last time to sigh impatiently as Henry paused every time to peruse the map and still takes us to the wrong side of the tracks,

and the last time to walk past underground food vendors and clothing shops,

and the last time to see my favorite k-drama stars in advertisements.

Each station was unique and I wish we had time to explore each one. And I can’t believe how clean they are! Even the bathrooms were remarkably clean every time I used one.

One thing about that though that caught me off guard was that some of the stalls had weird little urinals in the ground, I guess you have to squat over them?! I couldn’t understand why one time when I went in, there was a line when all of these stall doors were open, so I went over to one and was like “WHERE IS THE TOI—oh.” And then promptly got in line.

Sobering reminders.

Goodbye, Seoul, and your amazing subway system that seemed like it was going to be so daunting but ended up being the best thing ever and now I’m so sad that I have to go back to Pittsburgh and our dinky two-line trolley and orange piece of shit “President.”

Already planning the next trip, don’t tell Henry.

(I don’t know why we can’t just move here. The law firm I work at has an office there and Korea drinks juice so surely Henry can find another beverage company to work for?! POCARI SWEAT, YOU NEED A WAREHOUSE MANAGER?)

Mar 242018
 

For my quick Saturday update, I just want to talk about Seoul Fashion Week! I thought that it ended on Friday, but when we walked over to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, it was still happening! I mean, you have to be invited to the actual shows, of course, but there was so much to take in outside so much to Henry’s chagrin, we decided to hang around for a bit.

Everyone was taking pictures of EVERYONE so Chooch and I didn’t feel shy at all about whipping out our phones and cameras. There was this one girl escorting around a guy wearing something made out of magazines and plastic I think, so when I took his picture, she smiled and took pictures of us too but I’m convinced that she was actually photographing Henry because SUCH TREND SO STYLE.

“Sir, what are you wearing?”

“A Faygo snapback and Everfresh Juice brand windbreaker, natch.”

I’m telling you, when Middle Aged American Warehouse Manager style starts trending Fall 2018, you heard it here first.

Korean street fashion, though. At first I was like, “Wow, it’s cool that these models just hang out and let randos photograph them” but then I quickly realized that these are just super fashion-obsessed people who turn up to show off their personal style by lining up against a wall and baiting people to take their picture. I figured this out when the couple in the above photo noticed my camera and immediately stopped smiling and posed. It was incredible and I want everyone to react this way when they see me creeping with my camera.

Seoul is spoiling me!

Can this be Chooch’s future wife though, please.

I would totally wear that girl’s jacket and spent a good hour obsessing over it. I think it was pleather with some type of Big Bird fabric at the bottom and it brought back memories of senior year when I used to wear furry cropped sweaters and had a yellow one that everyone called my Big Bird sweater. I miss those sweaters and I miss Contempo!

I would wear this jacket too. I love outerwear.

Here’s Henry showing the kids how to really wear dad jeans.

My favorite part was before all the crowd photographing action, when we walked past a roped off area and a crowd of girls with their cameras pointed and ready. I wanted to know who they were waiting for, so we sat on a wall and observed. Eventually, a small fleet of super official looking SUVs rolled up, so Chooch and I walked over to the crowd to get a better look. Several fancy people got out of the first several cars and people started snapping pictures. I figured they were celebrities but Chooch and I were on a side where we could only see their backs.

But then some guy got out of a car on our side so we were able to see him very well. I still couldn’t recognize him though but when he walked around the car, the crowd on the other side started screaming hysterically. I found out later it was Jeong Sewoon, a singer/songwriter who was on the second season of Produce 101. He’s super cute!

The guys who got the biggest reaction were cool-looking even from the back but I have no idea who they were and still haven’t figured it out. I thought maybe it was several guys from Vixx but I don’t think they’re in Korea right now?

We randomly stumbled upon Seoul Fashion Week and it was so exciting!

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I found out later that Seulgi from Red Velvet and Key from SHINee we’re also there and I’m sad we didn’t see them! I would have died.

Meanwhile, we’ve been here for like 24 hours and Chooch is suddenly obsessed with designer sunglasses and shoes, and also “11 for 10,000 won” street socks (he stops at every vendor selling them) so I think he already has the right idea re: street fashion. Maybe someday he’ll borrow a pair of Henry’s jeans and be a part of Seoul Fashion Week himself.

ETA: Two week’s later and I’m watching vlogs on YouTube to try and figure out who was in my video and I think possibly some of the guys from either Pentagon or Astro? I’m in the background of one of the vlogs I was watching and I’m stupidly excited about it lol.

Mar 132018
 

BIGBANG gifted us with 3:50 of pure beauty today and I am once again for leaving for work with freshly-watered eyeballs.

With G-Dragon joining T.O.P. in the military last month, Taeyang enlisting yesterday, Daesung enlisting today, and Seungri joining them all soon, this song is bitter-fucking-sweet. I want to thank them for bringing so much happiness to my life when I needed it most.

They all sound so sweet in this song. Forever kings.

Here’s the lyric video too for anyone interested in that! The lyrics are so beautiful.

Mar 102018
 

Oh hey guys, B-line Story Time!

Early Thursday morning, right before 6am if my blurry eyes were looking at the time properly, I woke up to what sounded like an explosion, a loud bang, followed by tons of masculine shouting. I had slept on the couch that night because sometimes I like to fall asleep to Korean stuff playing on YouTube (leave me alone), so when I opened my eyes the first thing I saw was that my living room was flooded with flashing red and blue lights. I jumped off the couch and ran to the window.

There were cops and SWAT vehicles ALL UP AND DOWN MY STREET.

My heart was racing and I felt dizzy with anxiety. My first thought was HOW DID THEY FIND ME.

I mean: I DIDN’T DO IT.

I mean: NO SRSLY, WHAT DID I DO!?

But after the first few seconds of shock wore off, I realized that they weren’t coming for me after all. Even though it sounded like they had my house surrounded and were actually INSIDE my house.

Oh wait…they kind of were.

BECAUSE THEY WERE AT MY NEIGHBOR’S.

THE GUY WHO LIVES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF MY DUPLEX.

WE SHARE A FUCKING WALL.

I heard an undecipherable shouting, someone yelling about drugs.

Of course. It’s always motherfucking drugs.

Chooch had woken up too and that boy wakes at NOTHING so you know shit was apocalyptic up here on P-Ave. I went flying upstairs and joined him in my bedroom, where we sat at the foot of my bed, peeking out the blinds. I called Henry at work and he said that Hot Naybor Chris had already called him because he too heard an explosion. Now that I think about it, I think all I heard was the banging of the front door being knocked in, but Chooch said he for sure heard an explosion followed by a bright flash of light outside his window and that the explosion sounded like it came from upstairs. So we think the cops might have used a flash bomb upstairs before entering the neighbor’s bedroom.

You guys. My mind was spinning. With Boots, that fucking piece of white trash who lived there last year, something like this would be expected. In fact something similar did happen to him but I was at work for that one. And that was because he robbed and assaulted a man. (Janna looked him up last night out of curiosity and I’m happy to report that that d-bag is currently in jail.)

But this current guy…he seemed so NORMAL. I know, I know, that’s how it always works. The neighbor of BTK goes on record saying, “But Dennis was so normal!” Ted Bundy’s grandma talking about how he helped her carry her groceries like a NORMAL guy. We’ve all heard that before. But when this guy moved in last spring, after the landlord literally had to gut and rebuild the interior of that unit after Boots destroyed it with his drug-induced stupors, Chooch and I went out to introduce ourselves and it became a thing that we could exclude Henry from, you know? Like, we knew the neighbor better than Henry because we met him first. It was kind of like a Parker’s sitch. I don’t want to say his name, so we’ll make one up: Ned.

I was so happy to have Ned next door after the horrors of Boots! There was a woman who lived there too, she was occasionally annoying (she talked SUPER LOUD and fought with Ned a lot) but overall, they were pretty normal people, didn’t come and go at all hours of the night, DIDN’T SLAM THE DOOR THANK THE FUCKING LORD. Just pretty regular neighbors. In fact, the only thing they gave us to obsess about was trying to figure out their relationship. We never saw them leave together in the same car, or even at the same time, and they seemed to just not like each other. I think we settled on the belief that they were siblings or cousins, maybe. She told me her name once when we were both leaving for work at the same time, but a truck drove past just as she said it so I just pretended like I heard because I didn’t feel like extending the conversation by asking her to repeat it.

One time we talked about the weather and she was like, “GIRL I WILL TAKE THIS RAIN OVER THAT COLD SHIT WE’VE BEEN HAVING” and I was like, “Ok.”

She was fairly unassuming too. Always dressed in workout clothes. Not like slummy, grimy sweatshirts or whatever, but really nice workout clothes. And she was in great shape too. So in my head, she was an aerobics instructor.

COINCIDENTALLY, she was not there while all of this was going on Thursday morning. DID SHE KNOW? WAS SHE THE MOLE? WERE THEY AFTER HER TOO?

I kept thinking it had to be her. I wanted it to be her because I really liked Ned and didn’t want to believe that he did something bad.

But after an hour of listening to the drug task team tear the house apart, an hour of crashing and banging and shattering and clattering, police radios squawking, the police dog barking, the SWAT team eventually pulled out. So I was like, “MAYBE IT WAS A MISTAKE! MAYBE THEY DIDN’T FIND ANYTHING!”

But then….I looked out the window again and saw him.

Ned.

Standing on the sidewalk, surrounded by police clad in hoodies and vests.

Hand-cuffed.

“They have Ned cuffed!” I hoarsely whispered to Chooch, and then we started to cry a little.

Like, it actually hurt to see him out there with his head hanging.

This is the third neighbor in a row over there who has been arrested in dramatic fashion (the lady who lived there before Boots was arrested by the US Marshall; we think she part of some car theft ring), but for some reason, this is the one that hurts, man. I felt some type of affinity toward Ned. I wanted him to kick out that broad and be able to have a quiet existence without her yelling at him. I was so Team Ned.

“You didn’t even know him!” Henry yelled at me that night when I started crying about it with my hands over my heart and saying, “I FEEL SO BAD FOR NED. I HOPE HE DIDN’T DO IT. MAYBE HE WAS FRAMED!!!!!”

And, in the middle of the K-drama we were watching, “DO YOU THINK NED IS OK!?”

I keep having these sad montages of my interactions with Ned whirring through my mind. Like when we were both coming home at the same time and he was telling me that he was going to South Carolina because his daughter was graduating early from college, and he was worried about the impending snow storm. And I was like, “Be careful out there!”

Or the time we were both checking our mail boxes at the same time on Halloween and he was like, “I guess I better run out and get candy, the kids’ll be coming” and I laughed, “And mine will be one of them!”

“Remember when we were walking to CVS the other night and Ned was driving down the street and we waved at each other?” I sadly asked Henry yesterday and he was like, “Please stop.”

No one has been over there since this happened Thursday morning, except for the landlord (HNC called him immediately, he’s such a Town Gossip!), and the landlord said that the cops completely trashed the place. Once again, he’s got an empty unit that needs a ton of work before he can rent it again.

HELLO DUM-DUM MAYBE DO BETTER BACKGROUND CHECKS?!

Anyway, I snuck over there last night to check for mail in the mail box because I don’t know Ned’s last name and we wanted to see if we could figure out what was going on. His name wasn’t on anything, but hers was. We looked her up and if this is the same woman, which I think probably is because her name is pretty unique, SHE RECENTLY GOT OUT OF JAIL, DRUG-RELATED OF COURSE. Ugh. But this made me have hope, that maybe it was her they were after, maybe Ned was framed, maybe he took the fall for her.

But then Henry got some intel from his cop contact who said that a normal drug sweep usually only entails a handful of cops, not SWAT. Guys I’m telling you, our street was lit up like a popo Christmas tree. There had to have been at least 20 cops out there. His source also said that coke was found, and gave him the name of the man arrested.

AND IT WAS NOT NED’S NAME.

There’s a man who is often over there, we thought he was even living there for awhile, so first I thought that maybe he was there when this happened, and he got arrested too.

But I only saw Ned in cuffs. And that other guy’s car wasn’t here.

So then I sadly let myself think the inevitable: DID NED GIVE US A FAKE NAME.

We looked up the name the source gave us and if it’s Ned, then we have essentially been living next door to a leader of a fucking heroin ring. There was a well-known incident here in Pittsburgh from the early 2000s that this guy was involved in, where a popular and infamous nightclub was used as a front. The DEA was involved and this guy, if it’s actually Ned or not I don’t know, served about 10 years in prison but then was let out when some law was passed to reduce sentences for non-violent drug crimes. The dates match up. The age of the guy named in the articles we read match the age of the guy arrested next to us.

OMFG WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING NEXT DOOR TO US. Literally every other house on our block is just…regular. Older people. Families. Just a regular city street! The common denominator is….(no, not me, which is what Glenn suggested)…THE LANDLORD. Maybe he’s the top dog!?

We’re trying to get more information. Today, one of Ned’s friends, this guy with a ginger beard who just looks like he’s probably a jerk, stopped over just as we were getting ready to pull out of the parking lot, so we sat in the car and watched him go in the house for less than 30 seconds AND THEN LEAVE. WHAT WAS HE DOING I’M SO SCARED.

I don’t really understand why I’m having such Emotion over this whole ordeal but it really fucking sucked to see that guy getting arrested. I felt so disappointed, yet worried. OK, so maybe we only ever had like three encounters with each other, but I was so happy to have a neighbor who wasn’t, I don’t know, potentially raping strung-out ladies next door; covering holes in his windows with cereal boxes; stomping up and down the steps at all hours of the night in his cement-block boots; and stealing from the veritable grab-bag of squatters he was letting live there.

Ned seemed like a decent guy. I feel so fucking duped.

So hoodwinked.

So fooled.

I  think I actually have some slight PTSD from this. It was so scary, like they were in our house. It was a really scary way to wake up, let me tell you.

“So, those people were like major drug lords but they only paid me $3 to shovel their sidewalk? Wow,” Chooch muttered, suddenly not sorry for Ned anymore.

If you’re keeping score, this makes 3 out 3 recent neighbors who have moved out because now they live in a prison.  That side of the house is cursed.

Here’s some free advice for the landlord: do better background checks maybe? Like, is this even happening at all? And perhaps find a nice elderly couple to rent to. Half-deaf so my constant Kpop won’t cause complaints, she knits, he does crossword puzzles.

Mar 092018
 

Usually, Henry goes to “the store” alone. I put “the store” in “quotes” because the inside joke is that he’s really “having an affair.” But the reality is that “going to the store” is literally Henry’s get-away. I imagine he just roams around the aisles in a daze, all zoned out to the adult contemporary tunes wafting from the rafters, a lone tear softly rolling down his weathered cheek.

I’m fine with this because I typically hate shopping of any kind, especially the grocery kind. But there was nothing else to do last weekend (Chooch was sick AGAIN! This sick-season has been terrible), so I gladly tagged along for the food-shopping adventures.

First! Saturday morning, we walked to Pitaland for, well, pita. Chooch wanted pita and hummus and when you live within walking distance from a legit Mediterranean market, you don’t very well go to Shop n Save for a tub of greasy Sabra.

You feel me?

I used to be terrified of Pitaland for years when I first moved to Brookline. I’m sure it made sense to me at the time because I’m such a rational flower blossom, but now I’m just like, ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE I WASTED ALL THAT TIME AVOIDING PITALAND.” Honestly, I would shield my face anytime I walked past it! Whaaaat was I thinking.

Now I like to go with Henry and sample the olive bar (it’s encouraged) and check to see if they have any weird fruit. (Sometimes that have persimmon but nothing much more crazy than that.) Henry has become friendly with one of the guys who works there, who is also a professor, so he thinks he’s really cool because the guy will always come out and shake Henry’s hand, and then Henry will quickly look around to make sure people were watching that. It’s so lame.

So yeah, we went to Pitaland and got pitabread, hummus, and two different kinds of olives because why the hell not. We’re adults!

Later that night, Henry had to go to “the real store.” I went with him because sometimes it’s fun to follow him around like a lemming and ask him questions about cleaning products and coupons. We went to Kuhn’s, which is a grocery store pretty close to us and the one Henry frequents the most if he just needs basic things, because it’s a pretty no-frill establishment. It’s actually surprising that they even sell Halo Top there, to be honest.

I had to laugh because now all of Henry’s cashier and bagger friends there know that he’s not a single dad. Henry, exposed!

I loudly scoffed at the produce section and asked, “ARE WE GOING TO THE ASIAN MARKET TOMORROW? I can’t eat this crap.”

P.S. the Asian market is the only one I enjoy going to.

I was really excited when we entered the bakery area but then some jackass walked past me and attempted to assassinate me with his disgusting drug store cologne. Thanks, guy. No bakery smells for me!

There’s an Indian market in the same shopping center as Kuhn’s, so I dragged Henry into it after he put the groceries in the car. I’m always on the look-out for new exotic candies to thrust upon my co-workers, but they had all of the same stuff I got at the last Indian market which is still sitting untouched in the Pumpkin of Confectionary Horrors. (It’s not that the pan pasand candy is BAD per se…it just tastes like you’re sucking on someone’s grandma’s recently-perfumed neck, that’s all.)

So instead, we bought some cookies that were just OK.

Sunday was more marketing! We went to two Asian markets in the Strip: Sam Bok because they have a wonderful fridge full of homemade banchan and I had been straight craving kkaennip. There were two women in the next aisle over talking and I understood like three words of their conversation…baby steps, lol.

Then we had to fight our way through the Sunday Daydrinkers to our favorite Asian market: WFH Oriental. In my head, I call it Work From Home because that’s the acronym we use on roll call at work when we’re working from home.

Riveting.

We got more jujubes! Honestly, if you have an Asian market in your town, go check out the produce! And don’t be afraid to ask someone if you don’t know what you’re looking at. We’ve added so many delicious staples to our meals that way, like baby taro. We eat so much baby taro, like savages, motherfucker.

Speaking of taro, I wanted bubble tea so we want to Pink Box in Squirrel Hill (not a market per se, but I’m including it) because they have delightful Asian baked goods so we stuffed our faces with milk bread and whatever.

Mmm, red bean.

All those different markets we went to, yet Henry had toast and Hot Fries for breakfast on Sunday. I mean, friendly reminder that when you’re a grown-up, you can eat whatever you want for breakfast. Jeffrey Dahmer even ate people — dare to dream!

Well, that concludes my totally boring story about how I tagged along when Henry performed his housewife duties at the market.

Mar 072018
 

One of my favorite pastimes is following the cats around the house and taking pictures of them. More so Drew than Penelope because (no offense, Penelope) Drew actually does stuff while Penelope is mostly being a loaf somewhere out of sight.

Sigh.

*(When I was in elementary school, I used to watch this block of TV on PBS called Britcom Blitz and one of the shows was Man About the House, featuring Yootha Joyce, and that kick-started this weird Yootha Joyce obsession that I carried into middle school and even used her name as a pen name for a poetry project in 7th grade Communications class and literally no one knew who Yootha Joyce was because why would they.)

**(Anyway, that’s where the title of this blog post comes from.)

In this edition (I honestly typed out “addition” at first. I am not getting enough sleep, sigh #2), Drew gives a Pioneer Ave. Gallery tour.

Here, we find Drew perched in front of a gallery wall of her favorite person in the whole world, Chooch. Literally, this whole chunk of the house is one huge shrine to that kid. I guess we love him, who knew.

Here, we find Drew somewhere she shouldn’t be—the fucking mantel, which features an original piece of Chooch pottery, a Somnambulant painting of my Pappap, and some Mexican folkart that I bought at a vintage shop in Cleveland.

Also: a dead plant, SHINee and Jonghyun albums (also art), and a rock from outside of my first apartment.

Here, we find Drew busted as she’s about to dive off the mantel and onto a chair. Her ass is rudely obstructing a Somnambulant painting of G-Dragon (<3), an old camera from my Pappap’s house, and an old hand mirror that I found in the bathroom closet when I moved into this house in 1999. YES, I CONSIDER THIS TO BE A PIECE OF MY PERSONAL ART COLLECTION OK. It’s a motherfucking relic.

Here, we find Drew losing herself in the lyrics to The Cure’s “Same Deep Water As You,” also featuring this gorgeous drawing of Robert Smith that I bought on eBay in 1999 and have cherished ever since.

Here, we find Drew chilling on top of a curio cabinet, next to the RIP CAT MEMORIAL WALL. Also, dangling ice cream cones = art.

Good night from this crazy 고양이!

Stay turned for my next blog post which is about, OMG get ready, going grocery shopping with Henry over the weekend. God, can you even stand the suspense.

Feb 272018
 

G-Dragon last weekend in Jeju.

I know this is WAY OUTTA CHARACTER for me, but allow me to be melodramatic for a minute and openly wallow in my shallow tears because today was the day of G-Dragon’s mandatory military enlistment. *sob* *sob* *sob*

(This just reminded me of high school when I desperately wanted a Saab convertible because OJ Simpson’s daughter Arnelle had one and my dad was soooo disgusted about that, lol.)

I feel like I did a good job not being super over-the-top about this at work and I put the topic to rest after making Glenn and Lauren look at a picture of G-Dragon with his family.  Glenn actually kept all disparaging comments to himself!

https://metro.co.uk/video/video-bigbangs-g-dragon-enlists-military-1636848/?ito=vjs-link

At least there are 1,000s of videos on YouTube for us VIPs to cuddle up to during these 20+ months we’re without him. Being a kpop fan is really sad sometimes, you guys!

I never thought I would love another artist as much as I love The Cure’s Robert Smith, but somehow this beautiful Korean genius snuck into my heart when I wasn’t expecting it and I’m not mad about it. Maybe G-Dragon seems like just another rapper to you, but to me, he exudes charisma and beauty and sometimes it’s hard for me to even look at him without swooning. I feel super privileged and lucky to have gotten the opportunity to see him last summer, and I wish I could capture the emotions I felt during that concert into a tangible form, and then carefully encapsulate that into a snowglobe so anytime I need a reminder of the happiness I’m capable of feeling, I could just gently rock that snowglobe upside down and watch my feelings float around in a fluid Babylon.

Feb 242018
 

I mean, it is Caturday, after all.

Mostly I just wanted to post about Chooch’s week-long project: building Drew her dream mansion out of boxes. We always have empty boxes in the house because Henry has an Amazon Prime problem, and when we shop at the Asian market, they put our groceries in boxes instead of bags.

It started out just looking like some weird arcade game. Drew loves to jump in through the window.

I hung around a bit last Sunday at Chooch’s piano lesson because I haven’t talked to his teacher in a while and she is so cool. Right away, Chooch blurted out, “I BUILT MY CAT A HOUSE OUT OF BOXES” and Cheryl was like, “Man, I remember when I was a kid and realized I could build thing out of boxes. It was awesome.” So I excitedly told her about the frog hotels I used to make when I was younger, where I would take many boxes, tape them together, make doorways, fill it with Barbie and Sweet Secrets furniture, capture frogs and then get so sad when all the frogs subsequently escaped and leap-frogged the fuck out of town.

HOW COULD THEY NOT LOVE THIS MAGNIFICENT RESORT THAT I SWEATED OVER FOR HOURS? I even had a SWIMMING POOL in one.

Chooch had the “Please stop talking” look on his face, so I left.

Chooch built an addition off the side of the estate which features a plastic-covered window so Drew goes in there and taunts Penelope, who at first was leery of the house, confusing it with a jail instead, I guess. Penelope can be pretty hard to impress.

The problem with this ever-expanding pension is that it takes up so much room on the floor and Henry desperately wants to take it to work and toss it in the dumpster but Chooch and I have been getting so much joy out of this! I love sitting on the couch and directing him in the construction process while lifting nary a finger.

Drew also loves to nest under a pile of packing paper. Henry didn’t know she was in there and accidentally punted her across the floor last night so now we all hate Henry.

Finally, yesterday, we got Penelope to go in the house! There’s a new room off the back (not seen in this photo) and poor Peenlop got stuck in it because she’s kind of chubby and Chooch only catered to Drew’s measurements when cutting doorways.

Drew is so destructive and has caved in the roof numerous times since last week, so Chooch served her an eviction notice last night. She’s as bad as our old neighbor, Boots!

And to end this cat-full post, here are some pictures sent me from yesterday, when he was casually standing in his room and Drew jumped onto his shoulders. She does this sometimes and it’s so bizarre! They have the strangest relationship.

I’LL NEVER UNDERSTAND WHY SHE LOVES HIM SO MUCH!

OK, I have shit to do today.