May 012016
 

Me: Don’t worry, I’m gonna live blog. 

Henry, muttering: That’s great. You do that. 

8:24am: Well, today is the day that we eventually make our way back home. We just checked out of the Microtel in Columbia and are now foraging for breakfast. I found a place on shitty Yelp, but I’m worried that it will be a fail since yesterday’s Yelping was actually successful. It’s storming and Henry is grumbling about how this place better have a lot of indoor seating since neither place did yesterday. This is the first day of bad weather we’ve experienced all week, and also the first day I had to wear jeans so EVERYTHING FEELS WRONGS. Gimme back Orlando. 

9:02am: We had to walk through a rainstorm down an alley to get to the Wired Goat Cafe, and it was a little glimpse of what it must feel like for Henry to walk beneath a black cloud all day e’ryday. Anyway, this place might end up being a bust. A guy with a handlebar mustache gelled into place with a hefty dollop of ambivalence crafted my French toast latte while the other barista flitted around in absent-minded confusion after someone approached to ask her how much longer they would have to wait for their food. Henry is sitting here with his GOOD ONE, ERIN smirk twisted upon his dumb mumbling lips. 


Now he’s accusing me of reading he reviews for the other location and not this one, which apparently has a reputation for being uninviting. LOLFOREVER. At least we got a table outside on the porch-thing, safe from the rain and the judging once-overs of adult women in rompers. 

Also, Henry unwisely let Chooch and I pack for ourselves without supervision and neither of us ended up packing enough on account of our ADD and inability to keep count. Luckily, our room at Star Island had a washer and dryer so Poor Henry had to do laundry on vacation. 


Bee Mine French toast with EUROPEAN BUTTER (great, thx) and fruit. Henry just got up and left, and then came back with a cup of water. 

“I went to go get my water. Locally-sourced….from a tap,” he muttered miserably because he hates places like this LOL. Henry doesn’t give a shit where the eggs came from because they’re all gonna end up in the same place later— the commode. 


#multimedia

10:04: Back on the road! Only 7 and a half hours to go! KILL ME!

10:22am: Well, Henry just hydroplaned and is now congratulating himself for not killing us. “THE TRICK IS TO NOT TOUCH THE BRAKE” he’s instructing his imaginary class. 

10:30am: He’s still discussing the science of hydroplaning with himself. I just want to stop somewhere and pee, please. 

10:40am: Chooch is scarred for life because Henry made him use a gas station bathroom that had a CONDOM DISPENSER. He came running out to scream about it to me. “YOU PUT IN A DOLLAR AND IT GIVES YOU A CONDOM. THEY HAD ORANGE FLAVORED, STRAWBERRY FLAVORED—” and then I shut the car door on him. 

At least he can tell his teachers this was an educational vacation. Seven more hours of condom talk. 

11:50am: Somewhere in NC, listening to Balance & Composure and Chooch’s heavy backseat breathing. 


And I just finally bought his VIP Bled Fest ticket (it gets him a meal, plus drinks and snacks all day long, so it was worth the extra money to ensure his mouth will stay full with food and not whines). Less than a month away! Not even home from this trip and already anticipating the next! Literally the only thing this Florida vacation was missing was a concert. That would have made it perfect. 

1:06pm: Henry’s mom-mom-mommy just called and he made Chooch answer it! Rude. 

1:36pm: HELLO VIRGINIA. Five more hours, ugh to the max. 

3:00: At a Shoney’s in WV. Chooch was alone at the buffet for what was probably an unlawful amount of unsupervised time for a child according to buffet laws. I watched him, from the comfort of our table, struggle with the mashed potatoes. He came back and is just livid. “The man before me got this perfect scoop of mashed potatoes on his plate and then when it was my turn, I could hardly get ANY!” And now there’s a problem with his jello too, but I stopped listening. Buffet Woes with Chooch.

Meanwhile, Henry is on his third pork chop.  

EW YOU GUYS THE CREAMED CORN TASTES LIKE WHEN A DENTIST HAS THEIR LATEX FINGERS ALL UP IN YOUR GRILL. 


Mystery dessert foraged from the buffet by Chooch — I have no idea what it is and it burnt my lip. 

Chooch and I are so wasteful at buffets. Thank god Hank the Bottomless Pit was our shares along with his own. 


The Jerusalem Experience offers no discounts. Not even $3 off with proof of stigmata? I find that hard to believe. 

JUST LIKE GOD. 

Accidentally grabbed two of these brochures and Henry is all exclamatory about it: Why did you get so many???

Dude, it’s two. Not a ream. 

4:12pm: Chooch and I just let go of our sanity at a rest stop near Tamarack and Henry is PISSED. Chooch keeps swearing and Henry is like STOP SWEARING and then I started dry-heaving because I saw some man kiss an ugly baby and Henry was like STOP BEING YOU and then I said for the 87th time in 15 years that I don’t understand what the fuck Tamarack even is and Henry yelled AND YOURE NOT GOING TO FIND OUT EITHER which prompted me to ridicule the way he says “going” (sounds like GOYng) and from there I started singing Henry’s version of “going” in the style of a grandfather clock and I think I saw actual steam come out of his nostrils. 

Henry says "going" like "GOYng" and here is what that would sound like as a grandfather clock.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

6:35pm: STILL IN WV. Is WV spreading? It’s like a geographical STD. Did it take this long to drive through WV last week?! Anyway, we stopped at a Sheetz because I have some terrible Throat Affliction and can’t stop coughing and all I could think about was HOT TEA WITH HONEY. But I always get coffee so I walked in and felt paralyzed and literally said WHICH WAY DO I GO and then I finally found the tea bags but I couldn’t find the cups because it didn’t occur to me to use the same cups that I would use for coffee?! Then I couldn’t find the hot water but by then Henry had emerged from the rest room so I slammed the empty cup into his hand and said “You do it” and then walked away. It was all too much. 

7:05pm: location update–still in motherfucking WV. “Whyyyyyyyyy?!” she screamed in the Key of Kerrigan.  And not even being low key about this but we’re listening to old school Finger Eleven right now, driving through a rain storm. That’s what’s up. 

My friend Wonka and I hung out with them after a show once in 2000 (ugh sixteen years ago?!?! Might as well keep my Nancy Kerrigan WHYYYY out for awhile) and the singer was questionable but their guitarist James Black was an absolute gem and even though I was annoyed when F11 became radio-friendly, I was happy that he was getting to experience that success because dude was chill as fuck. 

#OBLIGATORYROADTRIPMUSICMEMORY

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE. Last week at Universal, we rode the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit which is a coaster that has speakers in each seat so every rider can select a song from the mini-jukebox screen in front of them. Henry was riding alone behind me and Chooch, so when we all got off the ride, I asked him what he chose, prepared to mock him, and he said “Finger Eleven” and I was like “OMG ME TOO!!” so he high-fived me (this might have been the first time he’s ever initiated a high-five with me, btw) and we bonded for like a split second until I said, “That was the only tolerable option i could find in the limited time we had” and he was like”inorite” and then breathed the wrong way or sneezed too loudly so I went back to being completely annoyed by him. 

8:04pm: In PA now. 20 more long ass motherfucking minutes. Nancy Kerriganing my fucking face off right now. WHYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!???!!! 

 Well we’re home and I just finished assessing the damage. One of the idiot cats pulled the tassel off one of my swag lamps but other than that, everything seems ok! Thanks to my brother for keeping the cats alive! Just watered my plants and am currently ignoring Henry who keeps inexplicably asking for “help” as if he is not an able-bodied man capable of bringing some luggage into the house. Come the fuck on, dude. 

/end vacation

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Apr 302016
 


I was less sad than I anticipated to check out of Star Island this morning, probably because I knew we’d be visiting with Octavia later that afternoon. I’m so glad that she lives so close to our route home from Orlando!

After Chooch said goodbye to all of his duck-friends (one of which he inexplicably named Tampon), we stopped at Market on South to pick up some doughnuts to take with us to Octavia’s. It’s a shared space for Valhalla Bakery and Dixie Dharma, both vegan, and I’ve been wanting to stop there ever since I stumbled across them on Instagram. Not a big doughnut connoisseur but these ones looked like something I needed to try. 

We were all in the mood for savory breakfast fare so after we scooped up a half dozen doughnuts, we went a few blocks down the street to Se7en Bites, which proved to be something like the 3rd time in 5 years that Yelp actually helped us without either leading us astray or causing us to breakup, but mostly both. 


It was pretty crowded but we only had to stand in line for about 5 minutes before it was our turn to order, and the girl at the counter was extremely helpful and guided me through the unlisted vegetarian options, so I got to save that anxiety attack for another day. 

I went with the vegetarian savory m bread pudding, which was lodes with fresh veggies and drenched under a poncho of hollandaise. It was so much better than what I would normally get stuck with at a basic diner or chain restaurant….

….which meant that Chooch hated his breakfast sandwich. Oh my god you guys, it had a huge sausage frisbee, a thick square of fresh egg, PIMENTO CHEESE, all on one mother-whompin’ homemade biscuit. OH THE HORROR. He sullenly moved it around on his plate with his fork while reading off his list of complaints for each component. 

Boy’s palate is basic AF. 

(Octavia’s daughter rotates between calling him “Chooch” and “Boy” so now I can’t stop calling him Boy.)

But I didn’t care because birthday’s over, sonny boy. So stoked to have a breakfast that wasn’t soaked in grease, a bowl of cereal, or a piece of toast. 

Also? NUTELLA COFFEE.

Fuck IHOP, go to Se7en Bites. It’s worth it just to ogle their pastry counter, holy shit.

If anyone is wondering what Henry had, assuming he has any fans after he pooped on the Publix parade, it was something I didn’t pay attention to plus Chooch’s untouched breakfast sandwich. 

Nothing too exciting happened on our drive except that Henry refused to take a detour through St. Augustine.  OH WE CAN STOP SO HENRY CAN GET PECANS BUT WE CANT STOP TO SEE THE WORLDS OLDEST RUG MADE FROM CAT HAIR AND OH YEAH ITS ALSO CURSED?!

Whatever Henry wants.

After about four hours, we made it to Octavia’s house in Georgia and Chooch left us in the dust—we were still getting out of the car and he was already in the house!

Man, was it good to be there again. It’s hard to find the right words to explain Octavia and Tallulah; it’s like they were plucked right out of a Hans Christian Anderson-imagined glowing forest of paper lanterns and fireflies. Being around them makes me want to eat sugar cookies on a toadstool. It’s so easy and delightful, plus Octavia had a buffet of sandwiches (pimento cheese, OH NOES Chooch; and PB&J), crudités, grape leaves, caprese, and tabouli — she spoils us! 

Chooch learning how to play Octavia’s jam–Fallout. I’m not one for video games but she got me excited about it too! Then we went outside and Henry sat alone in her living room, quietly playing Fallout. I bet this was probably the most relaxing time head all week. 

Meanwhile, Octavia was excitedly explaining her vegetable garden plans (PURPLE CARROTS?!) and teaching us about black widows. I always learn stuff from her! She’s a great conversationalist. When people come to my house, I’m usually all “LISTEN TO THIS BAND. I HAVE CATS. HERE ARE MY CATS. LOOK AT MY CATS. I LIKE CLOWNS.” 

They played the most adorable game of hide n seek with Chooch’s Thing 1 plush. I think Chooch secretly liked the attention Tallulah give him.  

HENRY, THE RELAXED MODEL. COMES WITH A VIDEO GAME CONTROLLER AND WHITE NOISE. 

<3

Oh and those donuts were goddamn amazing. JUST LIKE THE WHOLE AFTERNOON.  Henry cut them all up so we could have a donut sampling party, and Octavia poured us all frosty glasses of milk. So perfect! But then after a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star jam session and one last puppet show, it was time for us to leave. 

🌟🌟🌟 impromptu post-donut concert

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Saying goodbye was really dumb and stupid. :(

But in non-goodbye news, we listened to the Pens-Caps Stanley Cup playoff game in the car and checked into a hotel in Columbia, SC in just enough time to watch the last 5 minutes.  PENS WON! 

I just realized that we didn’t fight at all today. NONE OF US! Except for when I told Chooch he ruined my life by not being more adventurous with food and he was like I TRIED IT BUT I DIDNT LIKE IT and Henry was like STOP IT BOTH OF YOU and then I was like, to Henry, MAYBE IF YOU HADNT BOUGHT HIM M&Ms BEFORE BREAKFAST…

Oh wait, hahaha, it’s all coming back to me now. We fought the entire time we were loading up the car before checking out of the resort, and then Chooch and I were fighting while I was taking that first picture up there. So yeah, from 1030am on, I’d go ahead and say we experienced low volumes of hatred and disgust toward one another. Getting better at this BEING A FAMILY thing with each and every new day! 

Might write a book about it. 

An e-book, probably. 

The free download kind. 

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Apr 282016
 

As if this week wasn’t dreamy enough, Emarosa went and dropped the first single from their upcoming album and I’m ON CLOUD 9. 

GET IT.

Because that’s the name of the song…?

I’ve been out in the sun a lot this week, cut me some slack. 

I LOVE YOU, EMAROSA. 

“I’m going to name my first kid Emarosa,” Chooch randomly said the other day while strolling through Disney. “It’ll probably get bullied in school but oh well.”

Meanwhile, I am fucking in love with Universal Studios. Disney World was good but man, Universal is killing it. Even Henry has smiled here and there (although it never shows in photos) and he even applauded after some of the rides. 

We still have another full day there and I’m already tugging Henry’s arm, wailing, “When can we come baaaaaaack?”

This is like, the dream vacation for me. THEME PARKS AND NEW EMAROSA, YES PLZ. 

Gotta go. Chooch befriended a bunch of ugly ducks and they’re trying to get into our room. 

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Apr 262016
 

You guys. I found out recently that Henry has never been to Disney World. Apparently he was supposed to go when he was Chooch’s age. He went to Florida for two weeks to visit family and they were going to go to Disney on week two but Henry ended up getting SWIMMERS EAR or something — I don’t always pay attention when he spins his yarns–and so this was his first visit. It took him FIFTY YEARS to get there. The moral is never give up! And also, visit Disney before swimming with your family.  

I don’t know why I thought Henry was going to be stoked for this experience, like it was some late-bloomer, coming-of-age feel-good tale. Because of course he wasn’t stoked and it was none of those things. From the tram to the ferry to the park entrance, he was very “MEH” as you can see in that first photo up there, and there was no twist ending, trust me. 

Here is a collection of photos from Henry on Day One and Day Two because why not. 

DAY ONE: MAGIC KINGDOM

We made Henry wait some absurd amount of time (90 minutes maybe) to ride the Seven Dwarves Mine Ride thing and he got paired up with some other dad who immediately started yukking it up with him and Chooch and I heard Henry LAUGH before the ride even started! When I asked Henry afterward what the man said to make him laugh, he conveniently “couldn’t remember.” Probably some SERVICE joke. 

Henry rides alone on Big Thunder Mountain. HOLD ON, HANK! (That should be the name of Henry’s emo band.)

Unimpressed with the line for the Jungle Ride….

…but slightly amused about taking a boat ride full of mechanical animals and bad puns. 

Confused by all of the magic and happiness. 

Sleeping on the Little Mermaid ride. 

Ambivalent to ride through Winnie the Pooh’s story and also not cool enough to have ears. 

Henry said he wished they had a “First & Last Time” pin. Dang Henry. Maybe if they had more places to nap? 

DAY TWO: HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

This park had less lines to stand in and about 90% less strollers to dodge, and In turn, Henry seemed a little less hemorrhoid-flared. 

Here we find Henry angry because when he buys pretzels for himself, we always eat most of it, but when he buys one for us, we never offer him any. I mean, you have legs Henry. Walk up and get your own pretzel ok thx. 


Family portrait: me, Chooch, pretzel with cheese. Also, some rando. 

When Chooch and I changed directions without alerting the warden. 


At the SciFi Dine-In, Henry wouldn’t let us get one of the good tables inside the old cars because then one of us would have to dine alone (lol it would have been him) so we had to sit at some dumb table which wasn’t as cool BUT WHATEVER HENRY WANTS, AMIRITE. Here he is considering getting the Ariel punch in the souvenir cup but remembering he doesn’t have enough security in his manhood to get away with it. You know, like Chooch. 

Running tally of all the attractions Henry has fallen asleep on so far:

  • Carousel of Progress
  • Little Mermaid ride thing at Disney
  • Little Mermaid show at Hollywood Studios (a splash of water woke him up lol)
  • Walt Disney Productions film
  • Muppets 3D
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Apr 252016
 

 

Happy 10th birthday to my favorite kid, biggest frenemy & best concert buddy, Riley aka Chooch aka @butt_jam! We’ve had our ups and downs but at least we moderately got along today at Disney World! I can almost not feel my phantom C-section pain. ALMOST. (Also, thanks for being so dense & allowing this surprise to go off without a hitch!)

We had been planning this trip for quite awhile and I was nervous he was going to figure it out but luckily for as booksmart as he is, he’s relatively dense as shit so even when we flat out pointed to the giant MAGIC KINGDOM arch this morning as we drove beneath it and said “Happy birthday!” he still didn’t know what was going on. And here I thought it was just the mist anticlimactic reveal of all time, but no—he literally just had no idea we were actually going.

Thank god he’s cute!

And then over 12 hours later, in line for Space Mountain, he exclaimed, “Oh! So when you said we were visiting daddy’s Uncle Walt, you actually meant WALT DISNEY.”

Ladies and gentlemen, my gifted son. 

Anyway, for as big of a pain in the ass he can be, he’s generally a good kid and I’m glad we were able to do this for him. He just rambled nonsensically on the way back to the resort about how great Disney World is, before passing out in the backseat. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRAT! <3

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Apr 242016
 

SATURDAY 11:27pm: we’ve officially started our 14+ hour road trip. When we originally started to plan this trip and decided to drive instead of fly (because I’m neurotic), Henry was like “No it’s fine I guess. We’ll just leave early on Saturday and take our time since we don’t have to check in until Sunday—” at which point I was making that face I make when I know something that’s about to CHANGE EVERYTHING and Henry was all WHAT. WHAT DID YOU DO. And I was “Well remember when I bought a ticket to see Basement? It’s that Saturday night.” And that’s why we didn’t leave the house until 11:30 tonight, because he had to wait for my show to end. HAHAHAHAHA I’m a really easy person to be in a relationship with. 

11:33pm: Henry just said he has to get “fuel” and now I can’t stop repeating it — FUEL. FUUUELLLL. FWEULLLLL. FEEEEEYYYYYOULLLL. He’s not happy about that. 

SUNDAY 6:07am: I tried to sleep in the car but it was a constant panicked wake-up, with me screaming HENRY ARE YOUR EYES CLOSED?! There was so much fog on West Virginia, it was eerie and I thought for sure if I closed my eyes for too long, Henry would wreck. But now it’s almost dawn and we’re somewhere in North Carolina with only 8 and a half hours to go UGHHHH. I have to start my driving shift soon. And I ask myself, why didn’t we just fly again? Oh that’s right because of me. 

6:41am: We’re at Cracker Barrel in some town in NC and Henry didn’t know the difference between country ham and sugar ham. WHAT A n00b. Also, Henry had to change his shirt in the car because his other one had “mysterious stains” on it. 

9:53am: After Cracker Barrel, I was supposed to drive for awhile. And I did! For about 30 minutes. But then I started freaking out because my eyelids wanted to close so bad like literal sandbags were on them. So I took the first exit I came to and Henry woke up like WHAT R U DOING and I was like PULLING OVER SO I DONT FALL ASLEEP AND KILL US. GOD, I can’t even be a responsible person without the Warden yelling at me. Anyway, he’s been driving ever since. Six hours and 22 more minutes to go!!

So then I slept for an hour because I didn’t sleep at all last night and don’t go martyring Henry just yet because he slept all yesterday afternoon to prepare for this and when did I have time to sleep when I’m too busy keeping a watchful eye on the road all through the night?

10:05: We’re only 10 miles away from the monument of the father of gynecology and Henry flipped me off and said he doesn’t care. :( So I turned up Balance & Composure because he doesn’t “care for them.”

10:40am: Tomorrow is Chooch’s birthday so we’re engaging in my favorite story: how Chooch had to be delivered 2 weeks early because he was so gigantic already that the doctor didn’t want to risk letting him go to term. 

11:06am: Just postulated at length about how the 80s was like this magical wrinkle in time where all music artists made the best music of their careers and then everything after that was just ok and when I asked Henry for his thoughts, all he said was “Yeah.” 

He asked me for one of my Cheezits and I complied but not before licking it. I hate that it doesn’t bother him anymore. 

12:57pm: Somewhere in Georgia, past Savannah so now our secret is gutting harder to contain because Chooch thinks we’re visiting Octavia and he’s like WHY ARENT WE STOPPING and I BET A LOT OF THESE PPL ARE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD. He thinks in addition to visiting Octavia, we’re also visiting Henry’s “Uncle Walt” who lives in a trailer that isn’t big enough for us all to sleep in so Chooch has to sleep alone in a tent. But then he just randomly asked if Uncle Walt is dead. Yes Chooch. We’re visiting Uncle Walt’s grave. 

1:31pm: We were going to eat at Huddle House in Somewhere, GA but it was taking an unacceptable amount of time to get waited on (IT WASNT CROWDED!) So I threw a fit and now we’re at Taco Bell/KFC because we sure know how to vacation. Had a weird encounter with a little girl in the restroom while I waited for a stall and she washed her hands and waited for her mom; she gave me numerous, lingering once-overs because naturally she covered all of my accessories like all young girls do. 

2:45pm: Well, Chooch missed the Welcome to Florida sign, so there’s a conversation we won’t have to have right now. Also, Henry pointed out a car that had pulled over in order for the driver to switch with the passenger, and then I realized he was glaring at me when he said it, hahaha. 


3:12: Henry & Jacksonville. SCOOTER WARD, WHERE U AT?

6:37pm: Well guess who got us here, Star Island, in record time? ERIN RACHELLE KELLY. Henry whined at one of the last rest stops so I was like oh for CHRISTS SAKE and took the wheel for the last 2 and a half hours and wound up shaving off a bunch of time too. Because I’m a fucking pro. Meanwhile, there were signs everywhere for Orlando and Disney and Chooch was like WAIT WHAT and I just kept yelling about being too poor to go to Disney so keep dreaming. Ugh. He totally knows. Or maybe not. He’s been asking a lot of questions about Henry’s “Uncle Walt” so we’ll see how tomorrow (i.e. His birthday and the big reveal) goes. 


Anyway, remember when we bought a time share last summer? Haha thank god for that. 


The resort has these swan boats and Chooch asked if we could all ride in one, side by side. “That’s a high expectation,” he laughed at his own suggestion. “We’ll just end up arguing and bumping into each other. You know, a typical day in the life of the Robbins/Kelly family.” OBSERVATION ON POINT SON. 

6:58pm: Chooch is still asking questions about Uncle Walt (“does he shoot machine guns?”) and Henry SUCKS at answering them. He just keeps saying I don’t know to everything while I’m making up back stories and somehow Chooch hasn’t asked yet why I know more about Henry’s uncle than Henry does. 

7:54pm: At Sweet Tomatoes which I didn’t realize was an all you can eat buffet thing which I hate and are a complete waste for me and Chooch because we just don’t eat that much (contrary to my BMI) but don’t worry because Henry ate his share, our share, and the next table’s share. The busboy gave him A Look. 


8:17pm: Obligatory “Buying Everything We Forgot to Pack” trip to Target. Henry and Chooch were annoying me so I left and came out to sit in the car. I’m sleep-deprived and ready to snap necks. 

8:48pm: Went to Orange World because of my obsession with novelty-shaped buildings and stocked up on souvenirs in spite of feeling extremely unwelcome. WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE MEEEEEEEH.  

9:00pm: Chooch is swimming while I’m being throughly entertained by the dulcet notes of some broad singing Dionne Warwick’s masterpiece “I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again” inside the resort lounge. I turned to Henry and zealously mouthed some of the words but he didn’t appreciate it like I know you guys would. 

Right guys?

10:13pm: Painted my nails, ate an orange from Orange World that Henry opened for me (incorrectly, I might add), and now I’m saying goodnight to this edition of Live Blog because my vacations are never relaxing & I am really goddamn exhausted. SEEYAWOULDNTWANNABEYA


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Apr 232016
 

 I might need a Pod for all the photos I’ve brought home from my Pappap’s house. A lot of the photos are familiar to me but Corey and I have unearthed a ton that are new to us. It’s funny because in my mind, the heyday of that house was obviously the early 80s because hello, HERE’S ERIN. But then we found several photo albums full of evidence of some totally bitchin’ parties that were had in the 60s and 70s it’s like nope, THAT was the heyday. 

“They had a freaking band playing in the game room!” Corey said, thrusting a photo album in my rubber gloved-hands.

You know this intrigued me because BANDS ARE BASICALLY MY WHOLE LIFE. I posted this on Facebook immediately and my Aunt Susie (my mom’s younger sister)  commented and said “Oh, that’s Hausen. Dad had them play at the house every year.” 

#nbd

So for the hell of it, I googled their name and found the bio of one of the members, who still plays in bands with some legit Pittsburgh musicians, but my favorite part of his bio was when he casually mentions that he briefly played in the Urge with TRENT REZNOR. 

I’m so obsessed with this now and want to go to see them and cry TELL ME ABOUT THE TIMES YOU PLAYED AT MY PAPPAP’S HOUSE because I’m sure they’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It was only 40 years ago. 
   

Meanwhile, my grandma was rocking some COUTURE COIFS. So in addition to hiring Hausen to play at my imaginary wedding, I’m flat out obsessing over how stylish my grandma’s freaking hair was, decade to decade. Seeing all of these old pictures makes me appreciate her so much more, because damn you guys, my grandma was a babe!

I’m also a bit surly that my mom and her sisters were so pretty in their formative years and the universe clearly stepped in after I was born and said, “OK this fam has seen enough beauty so now I present to you this baby who will have 5-6 good years before blimping out and ruining her pretty golden locks with a perm while also having a brief (as in 3 years) battle with facial eczema.”

That happened. 

On top of all this, my mom stuffed my frumpy body UGLY PLAID SKIRTS, KNEE HIGHS AND MOCASSINS. 

Anyway. My grandma’s hair. Let’s look at more of it. 

  

  

That’s my mom on the left! I got zero of her looks. :( I apparently look like my birth dad. 
  

   
  

The 80s <3

  
 

I can’t stand how pretty she was!   

This was her Bahamas look.    

In one of the stack of photos I found, there were no less than 8 photos of the TV, because my grandma wanted the same hair as some broad from “Dallas” and that’s what she would do so she could have a picture to take to the salon. She taught me well, so in the 90s I snapped an entire roll of film during one of Carrie Brady’s scenes on Days of Our Lives and took it to the salon and wound up with nothing like it because I’m not my grandma and spent all of the 90: crying post-salon trips. 

Hashtag Grandma Goals, for real. I need to step up my game in a BIG WAY so my future grandkids’ response to old photos of me won’t be “hnnnnnggggg.” 

Beehive, maybe?

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Apr 212016
 

Today at work, Todd strolled over and said that he decided I remind him of Mother Teresa. I LIKE WHERE THIS IS GOING, I thought to myself, as I swiveled in my seat to give Todd my full, undivided attention.

He name-dropped M.Teresa several more times, basically insinuating that I might even be BETTER than her, what with how I’m changing the world, one postcard at a time. My head was inflating to Trump dimensions.

Turns out Todd was just trying to get Amber2 riled up, who was standing near my desk but not paying attention, so he eventually had to resort to saying, “RIGHT AMBER?”

Once she was looped in, and after adequate eye-rolling, she asked, “And what would you even be the saint of? Brookline?”

GOOD QUESTION! I blurted out the first thing that came to mind, which was something about clowns, but it didn’t originally make sense because nothing I say anymore makes any sense and I suck at everything that requires using any portion of my brain, which turns out is basically everything.

Since then, I have settled on Clown Town. Saint Erin of Clown Town. I am the tart that all the clowns will pray to when they can’t find their red noses or get a pie thrown in their face, maliciously as opposed to comically.

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Honestly though, I AM PERFECT FOR THIS JOB.

Todd picked up my employee badge thing and deemed that this will be the picture of me that appears on grilled cheeses, potato chips, and prayer cards:

I was so excited to be a saint, but then a little while later, dumb Glenn mumbled that PRINCE HAD DIED and now I don’t care about being a saint anymore because Prince is dead.

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Apr 202016
 

Hello this is a blog post from 2011. I’m revisiting happy times and because my life is so dumb, this is the first thing that came to mind?!

Carnies are arguably one of the best things about the fair, especially if they will engage with you. I’m sure a lot of people will disagree with me though, like one of my co-workers who kept sayin, “NO, THE FOOD! THE FOOD IS THE BEST PART! to the point where I thought it was going to come to blows. Which is why I used the word “ARGUABLY.”

I mean, if anything, carnies make people like Henry feel more attractive, I’m sure.

One of these days, I am going to remember my pad and pencil and ask one for an interview. I’m dying to see their lair.

So without further ado, here is a collection of some of my favorite specimen from this year’s Westmoreland County Fair.

I. Cathy

A female carny is a rare sight at the fair and often easy to mistake for just another guy. But if you look past her hardened stare and voluptuous jowls, you can just barely make out the slight outline of breasts beneath her neon polo.

Her name is Cathy and she was not particularly fond of me after I had the audacity to lower the safety bar on my own after Laura and I boarded the Viking, a mini-Pirate ship knockoff.  When she saw my crime, her face became steeped with annoyance and disdain.

“You shouldn’t have done that,” she said in a carny-drawl remiss of any semblance of femininity. I believe I gulped a little and apologized, even though I wasn’t sure what I had done wrong. Cathy shook her head and continued past us to the rest of the riders who weren’t ballsy enough to try and do her job for her.

Luckily, the man behind us found himself to be a bit too rotund to fit comfortably in the seat; Cathy manually released everyone’s safety bar, allowing him to exit. This also afforded me a chance to have a do-over by keeping  my hands off the holy safety bar. Cathy seemed pleased about this.

Before the ride started, I heard her tell the girl behind me to keep her arms inside the ride. “You don’t want them to get chopped off, do ya?” she snarled. But then while the ship was a’rockin’, she stood below encouraging us to flail our arms and emote carnival joy.

“I don’t understand,” I yelled to Laura. “I thought she didn’t want us to have our arms chopped off?!” Meanwhile, Cathy stood down there by the gate, pantomiming being shot in the heart.

“You guys are killing me!” she screamed.

“Wooo!” I cheered, calling forth my best Ben Stein on the Thrill Ride impression in an attempt to appease her. I kept my elbows tight against my side and raised  my forearms  just enough to get my hands up near my face, in an effort to show enthusiasm without becoming That Girl Who Lost Her Arms At the Fair.

Later on, Laura and I were enjoying a casual jaunt on the Yo-Yo when she noticed that Cathy was over on the Viking, doing the same “You’re killing me!” routine. I felt extremely betrayed. I thought that was just for us.

Fuck you, Cathy.

Though I have to say she was pretty much the only carny who even tried to engage us, with the exception of an old, grizzled mountain man carny operating the Yo-Yo who grazed my left boob when he pointed out that I forgot to buckle the second safety belt. That right there is how the fair keeps me coming back.

II. H-h-h-hot Carny

The No-Name Yellow Ride was back in full effect at the Westmoreland County Fair. You might remember that I have an extreme hate-hate relationship with this mothershitting torture device. I think I even dubbed it the Aerial Pelvic Exam last time. But Laura was willing to ride it all so I felt brave and decided I couldn’t let her leave the fair without taking a spin on this stupid ride. WHAT KIND OF RIDE DOESN’T HAVE A NAME? The kind that wants to be able to skulk away in anonymity in the event of death.

“Can we ride separately?” I asked the young, bronze, supple, handsome, hot, OMGWANTTOSEEHISWEENER carny manning the ride. He gave a slight nod, which I interpreted as “Meet me behind the porta johns at sunset. Bring Saran Wrap, chocolate whipped cream and stirrups.”

That Old Tie-Dyed Bitty is like 80, walks with a cane, and STILL rode more shit than Janna and Henry do.

“I have a crush on him,” I admittedly all breathlessly to Laura, who was sitting behind me. She just laughed but I know that she agreed that if you look past the fact that he’s like, 16, HE IS A REAL CATCH.

For a carny.

I could tell he hasn’t been in the game for very long. His fingernails were clean and his trail of illegitimate children is probably pretty short. And even though he never smiled, I’m pretty sure he had all his teeth. I’m wagering that a wad of Skoal would have rolled out of his mouth had he ever smiled though.

I tried to fixate  on him to keep myself from expiring as the Yellow Ride pendulated us wickedly through the air. I have a vague recollection of Henry and Mike standing on the ground watching smugly as we pulled all sorts of petrified faces. After the thirtieth revolution, I pretty  much lost all will to even scream and resigned to hanging limply over the side of the seat as all the color and life drained from my face. I noticed that behind me, Laura had quit laughing, too.

In some countries, this is how they get people to talk.

Anyway, after the ride ended, I couldn’t unlatch my safety bar. And by “couldn’t” I mean that I didn’t even try because I wanted H-h-h-hot carny to rescue me. But then Laura bounded out of her seat and said, “Here I can do it!” while I was, in slow motion, shouting, “Nooooooo!” He was one car away from putting his hands within inches of my crotch.

Laura was extremely apologetic after that. I COULD HAVE BEEN PREGNANT WITH HIS BABY BY NOW. I would have made her the godmother, too. Good job, Laura!

It’s OK, because later, I made her and Mike accompany me while I photostalked him. Mike seemed a bit unsure about this, probably because Henry was like, right there (as if Henry expects anything else from me), but Laura was a good wing-woman. Probably because she has been reading my blog for so long!

I took this picture after we had been standing there way past the point of “casual pausing.” He looked right at me so I yelled, “RUN!” and then fled with flailing arms. Laura and Mike calmly retreated behind me.

After catching up with Henry, I tried to show him this picture but he just pushed me away and called me a child.

III. Amish Carny

SEE LAST POST.

IV. Bingo Carny

Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of Bingo Carny. We were standing right next to the Bingo tent while Henry was making the longest lemonade purchase of all time, right when a new game was starting up. The woman barking into the mic sounded apathetic and severely lacked the enthusiasm that Powers Great American Midways drills into their game carnies. (The Westmoreland County Fair is powered by Tropical Amusements and it fails miserably in the moxie department. Henry is annoyed that I know enough about the amusement industry to even draw such comparisons, but I could make a pie chart if you want.)

Anyway, the first ball she drew was O69, which she announced as such: “Oh?….69.” Like she was kind of surprised and into it at first, and then bored and unimpressed during it.

In other words, she sounded exactly like me.

And she just kept repeating it over and over, making Mike, Laura and me laugh harder each time. Henry just frowned because he is Big Adult.

After Henry got his fancy lemonade which took so long to acquire it should have been served in a bottle with a Mike’s label wrapped around it, we continued past the Bingo tent only to find out that Bingo Carny, who was definitely as old and worn-out as her voice, was a veritable magnet for facial piercings. Totally was not expecting that.

V. Lola’s Dad

Not a carny, but just some dad that I hated and couldn’t shake and just sleazy enough that someone should have jammed him into a neon Tropical Amusements polo.

Chooch was riding some dumb kid coaster which didn’t even come CLOSE to rivaling the Wacky Worm, and I was standing off to the side fiddling my camera like the pocket vagina it is. Suddenly, the left side of my body was jolted and paralyzed all at once with a booming cat call of “LOLA!!!!! LOLA!!!!” I visibly jumped and shirked back.

“Sorry,” the guy laughed as he noticed my alarmed expression. “That’s my daughter,” he explained, pointing at some random child on the ride. Then he launched into a new round of “LOLA!!!!!”s as if suddenly I would be OK with this.  I caught Henry laughing at this new uncomfortable situation I found myself in.

His voice speared my brain and conjured up visions of being hog-tied in the trunk of a 1988 Dodge Omni.

Of course, he happened to be everywhere I was for the rest of the day. Fuck you, and fuck Lola too.

[Up next: More random thoughts on the fair, the Jersey Shore Invasion, possibly a Henry interview (I have the pictures, I just need the cooperation!). I have a million more words to write. Hellllllp.]

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Apr 182016
 

Sharing these photos has been really cathartic for me. If you’re still visiting my blog even through all my mopiness and ridiculously embarrassing navel-gazing (yes, I’m aware, but I can’t stop!), then thank you, baes. I like sharing my woes with the world. I’m just a generous kind of broad.

  Chooch inverted that crucifix the other day and I was like, “BOY! NOT WHEN WE’RE TWO DAYS AWAY FROM GOING TO A BIRTHDAY PARTY IN A CHURCH.” Shit, son.

  
The sunset was pastel AF the other night when I was leaving. I miss living on this street a lot sometimes. There is so much wildlife everywhere! Deer and turkey just like, casually stroll down the lane together, like it’s no big deal. And Henry pointed out a possum the other night when we were leaving. When I still lived at home, we used to have sheep as pets, for Christ’s sake. (And a blood-thirsty rabbit.)


I never noticed these faces on the dining room mirror before.

At one time, this porch was entirely open. Corey and I have been shaking Val down for Original House details. (There was a fire at one point and it was rebuilt into what it is today.) She pointed out that in one of downstairs bathrooms, there was a window where a mirror currently hangs, and that’s where she used to sneak out of the house, haha. Also?! Her bedroom pre-house fire was the current clown room! Which actually was never really called the clown room by anyone but me. It was technically considered the “stereo room.”

I mean, here’s the carpet:

I’d like to curl up and die on that carpet. BIG FUCKING EMO SAD SACK SIGH.

Chooch inverted this crucifix the other night and I was like “BOY COULD YOU NOT DO SUCH THINGS TWO DAYS BEFORE WE ATTEND A BIRTHDAY PARTY AT A CHURCH?” Shit, son.

Found a stack of these in a bathroom drawer.
  

Chooch’s new bae. He’s been spending so much time there that now he’s starting to have dreams about the house, which makes me sad, but at least it’ll live on in someone else’s memory now too I guess? He said he’s going to start writing it into his Amethyst story and my heart was basically pumping confetti and smaller, baby hearts into my chest.

Yesterday we made Val order us pizza (lol) and Chooch insisted on eating at the dining room table, which I swear to god probably hasn’t been used since…1983? I remember my grandparents had a really big Christmas dinner one year with lots of extended family, and people sat in the dining room, in the living room at a long table, and also at the kitchen table. There were people everywhere but more importantly, there were presents for me everywhere, too!  #spoiledbrat

#formalpizzaparty #whysoformal #usingthegoodpapertowels

  

This fucking bowling game was always so frustrating, even back when it was new and should have worked properly.

Music was clearly super important in this house. There were speakers all over the house so that you could listen to whatever was playing in the clown room, or the kitchen, etc. There was always music playing in the kitchen when I was growing up and I think that’s a big reason why I always leave the radio on in my bedroom.

I had so many good hangouts in this room during my teen years! This is the largest of the three game rooms in the basement.

Glass guns filled with wine, which Henry discovered in a drawer.

ALONG WITH A PROJECTOR!!

This is the carpet in the game room we always referred to as “the pool room” because, you know, that’s where the pool table is.
  I used to be so good at PacMan, but my Pappap was a champion.

I loved fucking around with the intercom system when I was a kid, making it squawk and being generally annoying which I know sounds shocking. Corey was fiddling with the one in the den and it still works kind of! We heard Henry and Chooch outside. I never actually knew how to properly work those things, though.

That time Corey turned the corner and didn’t expect anyone to be there.


MORE TOM SELLECK!

This house needs preserved,  you know? Some of the things inside there, you just don’t see anymore. How does that quote go? It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. LOL. My life is that quote AF right now.

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Apr 172016
 

This weekend so far has been nice, and nice is what I need. We dropped Chooch off at his chorus rehearsal and went to Eide’s so I could stand in line and wait for them to open because god forbid I didn’t get my grubby hands on the RSD16 Xiu Xiu/Twin Peaks release, which was the one record that I HAD to have. I also grabbed the Goblin Suspiria 7″ and then smartly stopped at that because I could have easily spent all of our vacation money. Restraint, sometimes I have it.

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Meanwhile, Kara had walked over to the school where Chooch’s chorus rehearsal was because she wanted to hear him sing, and can I just tell you how much that meant to me? I mean, I’m sure it probably meant a lot to him too, but this isn’t Oh Honestly, Chooch, so we’re just going to focus on my feelings here. Kara is such a good friend! She was still there when Henry and I got back, so I got to hang out with her and covet her son Theo’s PERFECT CURLS like I always do because oh, to have such effortlessly cute hair.

😭 WE ARE THE WORLD 😭

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

That kid on the far right, tho. HE IS A FUCKING JOY TO WATCH OMG DO I LIKE CHILDREN NOW?! No. I don’t.

Kara admitted that hearing the kids sing made her tear up a little bit and I reluctantly had to agree — I’m not a fan of children, but hearing these kids sing is kind of inspiring. This isn’t like listening to a bunch of kids who are forced to sing in their school’s holiday show. These kids were chosen to be there and are stoked to sing. This isn’t something that we have to drag Chooch out of bed for on Saturday mornings. I’m really excited for the big show next month!! Especially because it’s right down the street from my work so I don’t even have to go home. Convenience, I like it.

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Henry and I don’t sit together anymore. We’re estranged sitters. It works better for everyone this way. Also, give Henry a chair and he will fall asleep in it immediately.

After chorus rehearsal, we went to Amber2‘s son Teddy’s first birthday party! Amber1 was there too, with her boyfriend Brian, so we all sat together and pigged out on plates of cheese and fruit and marveled over the fact that we were in a church and somehow our foreheads weren’t sizzling with the 666.  Chooch was immediately drawn to a blue balloon and was sparring with it dangerously close to the cake table and I was SWEATING. Everyone was like, “Chooch is being fine!” but I cried, “SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN. THERE IS TENSION IN THE AIR.” Every time he went off to get more food, I was clenching at the table.

Turns out, nothing ended up happening. Especially when I let him use my phone and he killed a good 45 minutes playing with Face Swap.

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Chooch as Bradley, lol.

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We had a really fun time, but one of the highlights was definitely when Amber1 realized that Teddy was wearing an Uno t-shirt because he’s one. It was a real “wait for it…” moment.

In addition to the table of fruit, veggies, and cheese, there were stuffed shells and an entire hoagie ring WITH JUST VEGGIES on it. Oh how my meatless heart soared. Well done on the food spread, Amber2! When I was getting my meatless hoagie, Brian was behind me going on about Red Bull dressing, and I just walked away because I didn’t know what he was talking about. He brought it up again back at the table and Amber was like, “The what now?” and he was like, “Red Bull dressing. They have it up there.” And then it turned out only Henry understood what he was talking about because Amber and I both thought he meant that the dressing was made with Red Bull but apparently it’s dressing that is used at the restaurant Red Bull Inn, like how were we supposed to know that!?

Another highlight was when Brian asked me what the next concerts are that I’m going to and I was like, “YOU ARE SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE BRO” so I happily told him all about Bled Fest and then we talked about Warped Tour and basically, Amber has to marry him now.

I got Teddy “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and wrote him a note inside about how there is a band that named themselves Silverstein after Shel Silverstein and if he ever wants to annoy his mom, he should listen to them real loud because she’ll hate it. :)

Amber kept trying to thrust Teddy at me because my baby allergy is hilarious to others. Luckily, she gave me treat bag for my troubles.

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Then I told Chooch he was going home with Amber and Brian and he was all, “Thank god” because WE’RE HORRIBLE PARENTS, EVERYBODY. Thanks for inviting us, Amber!! It’s always fun to see my work buddies out in the wild.

After that, it was more #MakePappapsHouseGreatAgain.

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We made a lot of progress and then somehow, we all just naturally migrated into the living room and spent a good hour hanging out and casually talking like a normal family, and THIS is what I meant about silver linings. I can’t remember the last time my mom and I sat in the same room and laughed.

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The catalyst to this was horrific and traumatic, but the fact that we are able to still find humor in it and essentially coexist peacefully through it all speaks volumes. Everyday, I wake up and can’t wait to get back over there.

BETTER DAYS ARE COMING!!

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Apr 132016
 

“You shall fear the wrath of the Real Alien Commander!” Bradley announced.

“Oh I-I will!” Drew answered.

“Well, clearly you want to die!” Bradley replied.

“As I have won 78 UFC Medals. So you shall die!”

It’s true though Bradley had won 72 UFC Medals.

“As Martin Luther King Jr. once said ‘There’s no reason to fight. When you have love.’ So let’s end this,” Pearl pleaded.

“Martin Luther never said that, and I’m no historical person,” Amethyst grinned.

The aliens had left the door open. So the aliens that ran away peered behind a bush that had no leaves because of the nuke.

“Ye’ Humans could need ay potion!” a weird wizard said from the top of the UFO dropping random potions on the aliens and humans. It specifically hit Penelope, Drew, and Bradley. It made Bradley slim, and made Drew buff but a bunny, and Penelope was now a human.

“Finally, I-I can spoke about-” Bradley cut Penelope off.

“I AM NOT BUFF ANYMORE! AHHH!” Bradley panicked.

“As me were s-saying, finally, I-I could spoke about who Drew is liar, and no tell truth,” Penelope tattled.

“Ever since me were baby bunny, Drew be kicking me bum day all,” Penelope added.

“Okay shut up! You have very bad grammar!” Pearl stopped Penelope.

The wizard stared and curled his lip.

“Oops!” the wizard apologized.

“Get back here you horrible person,” Bradley yelled.

Drew, the buff bunny, jumped on Bradley and bit his neck. As she was very angry, she could still attack aliens.

“Drew, Penelope? Is that you?” Drew’s mom asked struggling to open her eyes.

“Drew? Why are you a bunny, and Penelope’s a human?” Drew’s dad asked also struggling to open up his eyes.

“Last time we saw you it was white and cold. What’s is it called?” Drew’s mom struggled to remember.

“No, last time we saw them it was green and colored things were in the ground,” Drew’s dad corrected.

“It be called Winter and Spring,” Penelope told them.

“We have a day of birth box wrapped up and has a ribbon for you,” Drew’s mom said.

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Apr 112016
 

  
Thanks for the feel-good moment, Time Hop. This was right up there with the time I figured out how to return a DVD to Redbox ALL ON MY OWN after realizing it wasn’t working because the DVD wasn’t in the case. DEDUCTIVE REASONING. 

Maybe tomorrow I will have the energy to piece together words that aren’t all DOOM & GLOOM*, like words that tell the story of the trolley shuttle I’ve had to endure.  

*(I swear there isn’t a funeral dirge announcing my entrance through every door. I wish!)

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Apr 092016
 

   
Chooch wanted to recreate this photo I took of Corey in 2008. I had to use my iPhone and couldn’t remember offhand exactly how the original was framed, but Chooch was pretty happy with the result. He loves to be like his Uncle CORCOR.*

*So annoying after he says it 87 times a minute when Corey is around 

 

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