May 222016
 

Chooch’s chorus concert was Thursday evening so we had to endure a few hours in a cafeteria with the cream of the crop of Yinzer ‘rents. Sorry Chooch, but that’s got the concert beat in entertainment value. I only go for the cookies though which we’re not allowed to eat until AFTER I guess so the dumb kids can have some too but who are the real MVPs of the night? The parents, that’s who. Or our ear drums if you want to focus on the specifics. 

There was also a Hot Naybor Chris (#HNC for those in the know, and if you’re in the know, then I’m sorry haha) sighting so I spent most of the excruciating band portion of the evening trying to take a picture of him. 

I really dislike the band instructor, by the way. He loves to hear the sound of his voice so he makes sure to pause after every excruciating “song” to regale us with an equally excruciating story. Then he had everyone sing the ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle, and Bas Baa Black Sheep to illustrate that each one uses the same melody and I refused to sing out of principle so Henry really sang with much exaggeration just to irritate me. 

It worked. 

The chorus is at least mostly ok. They sang Beauty & the Beast (Chooch was actually super into the show we saw at Holkywood Studios last month for this reason) and some lame Grease song, which Chooch got to announce and thank he didn’t fuck it up! The girl who announced Beauty and the Beast basically read the entire book to us up there from the podium and it’s like, come on. If anyone there didn’t know the premise to Beauty & the Beast, they’ve probably lived in a sewer for the last 40 years and have emerged on that special night just to mass murder us anyway so what does all this matter, just sing the fucking song and get it over with so we can either be murdered or eat cookies. 

Spoiler: we all survived and got to eat some fucking cookies. And Chooch managed to not fuck up his Grease solo. 

Afterward, we roamed around, harshly critiquing the student art on display, when Chooch casually pointed at some black-haired girl in a red flannel and said, “That’s the girl who told me I probably don’t even know who Pierce the Veil is.”

RECORD SCRATCH. 

This happened last year and I was way more pissed about it than Chooch was because Chooch has enough confidence in himself to not give a shit when his interests are questions.

But ERK, on the other hand? ERK can’t let shit go. 

“Let’s follow her and make passive-aggressive statements about our scene knowledge while being mildly disparaging,” I suggested. Chooch was just like, “Probably not a good idea, but sure.”

She disappeared down a stairwell with one of her equally-as-basic friends and Henry was like, “Guys what’s going on?” while blindly following us. 

I was so fired up. I planned on saying things like, “WOW I CANT WAIT UNTIL WE GO TO THAT SOLD OUT PTV SHOW NEXT MONTH IN CLEVELAND BECAUSE WE’RE LONG-TIME FANS AND GOT OUR TICKETS THE SECOND THEY WENT ON SALE. HEY REMEMBER WHEN YOUR FIRST CONCERT WAS PTV WHEN YOU WERE 6? WARPED TOUR. BLED FEST. WHADDUP.”

Seriously, don’t fuck with my kid and his knowledge of music because he will fucking school you all the way back to Hot Topic, you basic bitch. 

Meanwhile, Henry was still struggling to understand what was going on so Chooch snapped, “Mommy wants to harass that girl, ok? God!” And Henry was all, “What girl???” And then when he realized what was happening, he was like, “No. Time to take the kids home.” And then I got lectured the whole way home about how it’s illegal for a 36-year-old to bully a 13-year-old or something, I wasn’t listening. 

Whatever. I think she was already gone anyway. Dumb bitch. 


P.S. this wasn’t the concert that he had all those Saturday rehearsals for. That one was actually going to be a good, legit production, but the day Chooch was supposed to leave school and go downtown for an all-day dress rehearsal was the same day the guidance counselor poached him and made him make up the one day of PSSAs he missed on account of his shitty parents taking him to Disney World, so because of that, Chooch was unable to perform at the big show and believe me, I’m sure I will never hear the end of it. 

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May 212016
 

Tomorrow, we’re taking my mannequin Trudy to The House so she can model some hot 80s sweaters which will be listed sometime soon on Depop, Instagram, eBay….here. There. Everywhere. Trying to save up some money for some repairs that the house needs. 

Fine, Chooch. You can model some more too. God. 


Guys, it’s a fucking pizza sweater dress. If I didn’t have the physique of a linebacker, this would be all up on me right now. But my broad ass and thick waist butcher this couture. So it’s up for grabs! 

If you’re into super in-your-face, totally rad oversized sweaters (most with removable shoulder pads—keep them in, I won’t judge), stay tuned. 

(Ok fine I’m keeping that cat sweater up there for myself…probably.)

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May 172016
 

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I come home from work, eat dinner, and go over my Pappap’s house. This is my current normal and I’m not complaining.

My mom was polishing one of the porch light, this wrought iron lantern thing, and I said, “Wow, I never noticed that there’s a dragon on this.”

“There’s lots of things about this house I’ve never noticed before,” my mom said. It’s crazy, all the time spent in that house, how many tiny details slipped away unnoticed. Like the above face on the frame of the dining room mirror!

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Never-ending Story vibes.

“I never realized what gothic tastes they had,” my mom said the other day about my Pappap and Grandma. Their interior design aesthetic was definitely niche, that’s for sure.

But again, I grew up around it and it never seemed unusual. So much time has passed since the days when I used to visit regularly that it’s like seeing the house with brand new eyes.

Like a tourist.

Like it’s not a home anymore and I’m just visiting.

Not sure how that makes me feel.

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We focused on the various game rooms on Sunday, and I stumbled across this owl in the bathroom that I completely forgot about but the sight of it was so familiar and entirely welcomed. My mom told me to take it but I didn’t.

You never know.

Henry fiddled with one of the jukeboxes and thinks it should be an easy fix….for a professional. Yes, Henry actually admitted that he couldn’t fix something himself!

My mom attempted to teach Chooch how to play pool. Better her than me. I gave up after 6 seconds of him thinking that he knew it all.

He gets that from Henry.

The relics at the bar are so much fun to look at. It brings back memories of sneaking in during high school and drinking root beer Schnapps. Corey told me that he used to do the same thing, but he would break in through one of the game room windows. I was like “Why wouldn’t you just use the hidden key above the garage door and break in like a civilized burglar?”

So many steins up in this house.

HOTTER THAN HELL.

There are so many lessons that I’ve been taking away from this sitch, like learning that it’s OK to ask for help and some people will definitely not be there when you need it and that’s OK because there are plenty of dicks in this world for them to go suck. It’s also made me appreciate Henry even more for sticking by me, helping with all the dirty work, and having my back constantly. (Except when he’s playing Devil’s Advocate, which is like THE WORST and hello STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR PEOPLE, you know? Tell him that.)

I can’t tell you how many shows I’ve skipped out on, but the progress we’ve been making has been completely worth it. TEAM WORK.

One more thing: where all my plumber/super fucking rich investor friends at? LOL.

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May 162016
 


Bled Fest is two weeks away! Our tickets arrived on Saturday and I shrieked accordingly, probably the same way Henry shrieks when he pulls out a successful load….

 …0f laundry. 

In lieu of buying the tickets directly from Fusion Shows, I snagged them from John of Amateur Eyes, one of the bands playing Bled Fest. 

I think Henry was secretly hoping John would ‘Jonny Craig’ us out of the tickets. And by that I do of course mean SCAM. 

But nope! The transaction had a happy ending. 

I did buy Chooch’s ticket directly through Fusion Shows though because we got him a VIP pass so he could have drinks and snacks all day long, God forbid. 

Henry is going to hate this day soooooo much. Oh god, maybe he should live blog it?! COMMENT IF YOU WANT THAT!!


I’m really excited to add Bled Fest to The Painting! And to absorb all the good vibes and therapeutic noise all day long. GIMME. 

And also to see Amateur Eyes! 

This blog post was brought to you by a strong desperation to take my eyes off this fucking hockey game. 

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May 142016
 


…but you can’t find it and Henry says, “It’s in the basement. I’ll get it tomorrow” and you’re like “WHY TOMORROW?! BECAUSE YOU’RE SCARED TO GO DOWN IN THE BASEMENT AT NEAR DARK??” 

And he doesn’t answer. 

And you’re too scared to go down in the basement at near dark. 

So then you play Flashbeagle on YouTube and beat him the fuck up with your epileptic dance moves while intermittently scream-singing because Flashbeagle is fucking epic. 

JOEY SCARBURY. And some broad. 

My Saturday evening, you guys. 

But also, there was ice cream!


Ice Cream Sandwich with Twinkie underneath. Ice cream tastes so much better when it’s Weight Watchers cheat day!

Churn might be my new favorite ice cream spot. Thank god it’s kind of a hike because this could be dangerous. 

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May 132016
 

“Pierce the Veil’s new album came out today and I’m nervous because the comments on Absolute Punk have been less than favorable,” I said to Henry as I brought it up on Spotify. And then 3 seconds into the first song, I ran into the kitchen and informed him, “WELL, I LOVE IT.”

Going on 10 years of being a staunch PTV supporter and they have yet to let me down. 2016 has been shitty for so many reasons, but music is NOT ONE OF THEM. 

Pierce the Veil makes me miss my ex-bff and reignites my penchant for LOLspeak but oh wellz0rz. Whatevlyn. 


ME AND VIC 4L. 

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May 112016
 

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Originally we were going to spend two days at Magic Kingdom because I thought for sure we wouldn’t have enough to get everything in. Less than halfway through the day, it became evident that we were definitely going to be able to get everything in and even rode Space Mountain twice because the line was so short near the end of the night. So we decided to spend our second Disney day at Hollywood Studios and it really feels like it was a solid choice.

I didn’t realize it until the other day, but I’ve apparently been there before. I honestly thought that all these years that my family and I went to Universal Studios the last time we were in Orlando but nope, turns out it was MGM which is what Hollywood Studios used to be called. Thanks Wiki, for holding my hand as I slowly made my way down Remembrance Lane.

Another fascinating look into my childhood!

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My only memory is that it was very small, new, and had little to do so my dad bitched a lot about what a waste of money it was — typical Kelly! Bitching even when he wasn’t the one who paid for it!

There’s definitely more to do now, but it’s so small and the lines were so short that we really tried to pace ourselves. First though, we went to the guest relations place so Chooch could get a stupid “It’s my birthday” pin because we never got around to doing it at Magic Kingdom on his actual birthday. Which is just as well, because now we got to spend an entire day LIVING A LIE. So every time someone wished him a happy birthday (it was always like a janitor or snack booth cashier though and Chooch was getting SO ANGRY, haha), it felt like we were BREAKING THE LAW. Thrilling!

Right after that, I checked the app and saw that there was a super short wait for the Aerosmith coaster thing, so we headed straight for that.

I mean, after Henry took us 8 wrong ways and then he and Chooch started fighting over the map. Like, give me a break, am I right?

I believe we only waited 15 minutes or so and it was a very quick wait. Granted, we were there during a slower season, but it still seems like Disney is doing it right as far was keeping the lines moving.

Henry got to ride with some broad who was there with her husband but they “always go through the single rider line.” She was a huge talker and kept babbling on right on up until our ride finally launched. Maybe they choose the single rider option because her husband can’t stand her.

The very first thought I had was, “Wow, this ride would be so much better if it wasn’t Aerosmith.” It was really fun, your standard indoor coaster, but obviously an Aerosmith medley was blasting through the building for the duration of our fake trip in a stretch limo and I was not feeling that aspect of it.

I think it should be refurbished into the Toto Coaster. JUST PLAY “AFRICA” THROUGH THE WHOLE THING!

There’s some Star Wars stuff at Hollywood Studios. None of us have seen the new one yet and actually, I’ve only ever seen the original three (numerous times, though), but I still felt like we all collectively knew enough to get some level of enjoyment out of it. There was some 10 minute movie that was also playing but it turns out it was just like one giant, extended trailer for the new one.

Now that I think about it, I don’t think I added this to the Times Henry Fell Asleep list. I’m slacking.

Stood in line for fucking THIRTY MINUTES to meet Not Actually Chewbacca for THIRTY SECONDS (and that’s being generous). Star Wars trivia was playing on TV monitors that were sprinkled around the queue and Chooch kept answering the questions out loud which would have been fine if he was EVER CORRECT. “Stop drawing attention to the Mediocre Star Wars fans!” I hissed because people honestly were starting to turn and stare and I felt like LINDA HAMILTON in Children of the Corn.

OUTLANDER!

He wanted to also meet Kylo Ren but I cried, “YOU HAVEN’T EVEN SEEN THE MOVIE!” I wanted to ride things, not meet awkward teenagers in costumes.

But the problem was that there just weren’t very many rides there, so we did something that we never do because it goes against everything we stand for*: WE WENT AND WATCHED SHOWS.

*(Not really, but I wanted to keep with the whole Outlander theme.)

We watched some condensed stage version of Beauty and the Beast. Chooch sat alone several rows up from us, because he decided he needed to make 85 people stand up so he could barrel through and take the last seat in a full row.

At one point, I had to put my sunglasses on to hide the tears rolling down my face. Totally not my tears though. It was the invisible midget sitting on my face.

Henry just rolled his eyes but I know he walked away silently praising Gaston for his unrelenting desire to hold a bitch back.

My favorite thing is when Chooch and I decide last minute to stop following Henry and meander off in our own direction without alerting him to the change of direction. And then watching Henry tense up as he eventually realizes that his back feels lighter because his burdens have gone missing. And instead of shouting, “HENRY DEAR! OVER HERE!” we just continue doing whatever the fuck we went because we’re our own people and he doesn’t own us.

The only time things got hairy was when we missed lunch because we wanted to eat at the SciFi Dine-In Theater but we couldn’t get a table until 3:15 because we’re bad planners, so then Chooch and I spent a good two hours speaking in tongues and vomiting pea soup until we were finally seated in some classic car table thing and I bitched because it wasn’t as cool as the other ones and Henry snapped, “If we sat in one of the other ones, I’d have to eat alone!” to which I responded, “Yeah, so?”

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There were loops of sci-fi films playing on a large screen in the front of the room—I have never been in a restaurant more quiet in my whole life. Every sat in their cars, staring at the screen while their mouths chewed in slo-mo. It was like being in a roomful of pod people. I felt like I was going to get shushed for talking.

But I still talked anyway.

I dared Chooch to order an Ariel punch, which came in a collectible LITTLE MERMAID cup with some light-up Ariel thing attached to the straw. He was like, “I don’t give a fuck” and drank the shit out of it.

Meanwhile, I apparently poured my beer wrong because I rarely ever drink beer, let alone pour it, which caused Henry to jump at the chance to ridicule me because how often does that opportunity present itself. MAYBE I WANTED MY GLASS TO BE 3/4 FULL OF FOAM.

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I ordered the veggie burger and it was actually super delicious. Shout out to my co-worker Elaina for the pointers! At the end of the meal, Chooch said to our waitress, “Excuse me? It’s my birthday” in an attempt to finally get something better than the attention of a Disney garbage man.

“Oh really? Happy birthday,” she said in a thoroughly unimpressed tone and I bet you felt stupid, kid, didn’t you?

But then she came back with a plate of ice cream and a cupcake, lit candle and all. I wanted to take a picture because when don’t I want to take a picture but he blew out the candle too soon and basically ruined what probably wasn’t going to be a beautiful memory, but you can’t be sure!

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The Great Movie Ride thing was equal parts cheesy and amazing. IT WAS LITERALLY LIKE RIDING THROUGH NUMEROUS MOVIES. My favorite was the Wizard of Oz part. Chooch liked all the James Cagney gun fight shit. Henry liked our tour guide, Rachel.

U + God = ???? We stood around for a bit, waiting for the plane to finish the equation but it never did.

Chooch is a huge Andy Griffith fan ever since visiting Mayberry last summer. (I mean, not really.)

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In addition to cheesin’ with the characters, Chooch also makes me take his picture next to every display he deems worthy of a photo op (which is essentially every single one).

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I was terrified to ride the Tower of Terror because I hate drop-rides. But I also didn’t want to NOT go on it because even HENRY was going on it. (He vowed to ride everything at least once since everything in Orlando costs a zillion dollars + any chance of our kid going to college on our dime, so he wasn’t about to waste a single cent.)

This ride ended up being hands down my favorite at Hollywood Studios, and it managed to come in second overall when Magic Kingdom was factored in. And there’s like an actual part where you’re riding down a hallway too so it’s like WHEN IS THE DROP GOING TO HAPPEN, PAPI HOLD MY HAND!

And the drop wasn’t even that bad, mostly because I couldn’t really tell exactly how high up we were since it was inside. (Although there is one point where you’re hovering in front of an opening that looks out into the park. Holy fuck.)

And one of the gothic ride operators said happy birthday to Chooch, which he dutifully added to his “Is Hollywood Studios going to pay adequate attention to me or will I have to blow this bitch up?” tally.

In addition to Beauty and the Beast, we also took in a riveting Little Mermaid light show thing (Henry fell asleep) and the Indiana Jones stunt thing, which I thought was going to be lame but found myself getting all swept away and super excited when JEFFREY, one of the STUNT GUYS disguised as an audience member, ran right past me! There were all kinds of explosions and gun shots.

Henry actually stayed awake.

One of my co-workers was talking to me in the kitchen last week and he said, “All I remember about MGM was that there was some super lame Indiana Jones stunt show” and I basically had to turn my back so he wouldn’t see me cry. It wasn’t lame!

And then Chooch used the Disney gift card given to him by Chronica for his birthday to buy a Stitch plush because he can’t go anywhere without buying a stuffed animal.

They’re expanding the Pixar area and building a whole new Star Wars thing, so if we ever go back to Orlando, I think Hollywood Studios will be on the itinerary. There were way less strollers. Also, I don’t think I hated anyone there.

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May 082016
 

Chooch made me some sort of Mothers Day packet at school & these are the highlights — don’t ask me why he calls me Mumsy because I haveno idea but it cracks me up every time!

MY FUCKING HEART. The fact that he started expressing an interest to go to concerts at a young age (six!) made me feel like I was winning the Mom’ing game. That’s one of my greatest sources of joy and the fact that I have been able to share that with him over these last four years has been so rewarding and mind-blowing. There’s nothing better than looking over and seeing him feeling the same shit I am while our favorite bands are on stage, or ever better — watching his face change as he sees a band he’s never heard before and realizes that he’s into it and then yells to me, “WE GOTTA GO TO THEIR MERCH TABLE!”

I’ve successfully grown a mini Erin Rachelle. We may not look like (as I’m told constantly) but there is no denying he’s mine. 

Creepy places! Like cemeteries, haunted houses, giant Mary statues in the middle of nowhere, and the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast! However, I think he felt obligated to toss in that “you take care of me” line because we all know Henry does that for both of us. 


Happy Mothers Day to all you bad ass broads there, single dads doing it all (this is almost Henry when you think about it), and pet-moms too! I always got so mad pre-Chooch because Henry would never give me a card on behalf of the cats. Fuck you, Henry. 

Being a mom is pretty great…except when it’s not. Like when your kid abandons you on Mothers Day!!!! (He slept over his cousin’s last night, and I don’t know why I’m sad about this because it’s not like he was going to wake me up with breakfast and fanfare.)

Enjoy your days, you guys! I’m going to buy succulents. And the cats can’t stop me. 

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May 062016
 

I fluctuate between thinking I don’t do enough for my kid and wondering if I’m enabling his Spoiled Brat status. But, you only get one childhood and I really wanted to get him to Disney before he was too old to give a shit. It kind of goes against everything Chooch stands for when you think about it, but he has always been very WHEN ARE WE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!? even though we’re totally not a Disney family.  I think the last Disney movie (animated, anyway) that I saw was Lion King. Kind of not sorry about that, either. I didn’t like how the animation changed, OK?!!

Disney always kind of seemed like it was out of reach for us though because we’re not good at planning and saving for “real” vacations. But then we got roped into that time share which has turned out to be a good fit for our weird lifestyle and Henry found a way to make it work for what was kind of a poorly-planned almost last minute surprise birthday trip.

And by “almost last minute,” I mean that unlike normal families who start planning Disney trips a year in advance, we booked everything 2 months in advance and then had to deflect and ignore Chooch’s constant suggestions about where he wanted his birthday party to be.

I did a pretty good job of keeping things under my hat; only a few people knew about it because I just really didn’t want it to slip out. I didn’t even mention it on here until I was live-blogging on the way there!

Somehow, we managed to make the secret last all the way up until the morning of his birthday when we were driving to Magic Kingdom. Guys, my kid is fucking smart as shit, but WHOA NELLY is he dense. I started recorded him when we told him what was going on and his initial reaction was an ambivalent, “Oh. Cool.”

HONESTLY? YOU’RE GOING TO “COOL STORY BRO” ME?!

I was just about ready to tell Henry to turn the fucking car around, we’re going home, when Kid Genius in the backseat had a moment to think about this, let it sink in and swish around in his brain, before having an A-HA! moment. “We’re going to Disney World? REALLY?!?!” and then he lost his mind.

I’m not going to lie, it was pretty magical and I’m still so excited that we managed to make it happen! He’s a good kid 90% of the time and I try so hard to fill these formative years with happy memories. My childhood was pretty great and I want Chooch to grow up and COMPLETELY LIVE IN THE PAST LIKE I DO.

Oh my god, I miss the 80s!!!!!!! Wah.

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Here are some photos from his birthday at Magic Kingdom. I will be back with part 2 once I collect all of my thoughts. HOLD ONTO YOUR MICKEY EARS. Such revelations forthcoming.

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I love how miserable he looks here but I swear to god he’s not. We had literally just walked through the security check so we hadn’t been around each other long enough to have misery oozes down our faces yet. I think he was just in the middle of saying something.

Duh.

When isn’t he in the middle of saying something.

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Chooch and “Uncle Walt.” It was honestly hours into the day when he asked, “Wait—are we still going to visit Uncle Walt?” I gave him the universal look for “Are you an idiot?” I let that marinate for a few seconds and then he gasped, “Oh! Walt Disney. I get it now.”

Jesus Christ.

You’d never know it, but Henry was pretty much in an OK mood all day, even after Chooch knocked over his $6 Dole Whip float before even taking one bite.

At Home Henry would have made Chooch pay for it and then chained him up for a few days in the attic. But At Disney Henry was like, “FOR CHRIST’S SAKE CHOOCH YOU’RE LUCKY IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY” and then took a few deep breaths and went off to fetch some napkins. Then we went on the Jungle Ride and he was OK again.

Maybe I’ll try to coax a review out of him sometime this weekend.

Drunk on Disney.

Huge shout out to Time Share and Tax Refund for making this thing happen.

In hindsight, it’s kind of hilarious to me that a family like us (a bunch of dicks) was even at Disney World at all. Chooch kept yelling at me, “You can’t swear at Disney World!” and I was like, “For fuck’s sake, kid. I’m fucking sorry! Look, there’s that cunt Elsa!”

WHAT A MOTHERFUCKING MAGICAL DAY.

Does this finally erase that time Child Protective Services got called to our house? Lol forever.

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May 052016
 

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I’m sure every day last week you were screaming to the heavens: BUT WHAT DID THEY DO WITH THEIR CATS WHILE THEY WERE ON VACATION?!

That was you that Hot Naybor Chris saw peeking in my windows, right?

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Fear not! My awesome brother Corey cat-sat for me, even though he has so much going on in his own life. Much appreciate, so relief! Even though he duped me into dusting off Snapchat by sending me cat snaps. We had only been gone a day before he changed Penelope’s name to “P” and before I knew it, they were eating tacos and watching music videos with him.

I mean, when he wasn’t face-swapping with my clowns.

It seemed like they were having so much that I was partly worried they wouldn’t be happy to see us when we came home on Sunday. :(

“What should we get Corey for watching our cats?” I asked.

“A cat,” Henry instantly suggested.

I think for a minute or two, they were kind of bummed that it was just us and not “Uncle Cor-Cor” and then Chooch completely lost his mind and started choking on his tears (I’m not mean enough to post the video here) because HE MISSED THEM SO MUCH OMG. The ducks he befriended at the resort just weren’t enough to fill the cat-void, I guess.

It was actually kind of the sweetest thing. That boy loves cats. If you’re ever trying to buy him a gift, THINK CATS.

(Just not a real cat, thanks. We’ve met our quota with two.)

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I think they did miss us though, as evidenced by the extreme “latching-on” phase they’re going through right now. For as light as these girls are, I feel like I’m being pinned down by sacks of potatoes when they lay on top of me in bed. Jesus Christ.

And this concludes my cat update, which is brought to you by the letter S for stalling (haven’t recouped enough from vacation to start recapping it!) and the color blue for the eye shadow I’m wearing today…? I don’t know you guys, I don’t work for Sesame Street.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
 

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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

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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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