Jun 212015
 

Here is a thing you should know about me in case you’re ever trying to really butter me up (or poison me) by sending me baked goods: I LOVE LAVENDER-FLAVORED FOODS. A few springs ago, Caribou Coffee used to have a lavender latte and it was fucking dreamy but then it went away and I got bug-eyed looks from baristas every time I asked for it after that. (Thank god for Monin syrups and Henry’s basic kitchen knowledge, because he has been known to whip me up some lavender simple syrup when he’s trying to keep me from leaving him for someone more age-appropriate.)

My friend Kara alerted me a few weeks ago to the Destiny Hill Farm’s lavender festival in Washington, PA. I forwarded this news along to Henry who didn’t even question it because he knew that taking me to this was essential to my existence. So that’s what we did yesterday and Chooch was PISSED because it required being in the car for like, 45 minutes, god forbid. But he’s really into the Smashing Pumpkins now so listening to Mellon Collie and reading the lyrics kept him quiet.

I know: a lavender festival seems like such a plebeian event for me to attend, right? But you know how I am with things: I either REALLY LIKE THINGS to the point of restraining orders or REALLY HATE THINGS to the point of cease & desist letters.

I started screaming when I saw this sign and Henry was like, “OK ERIN.”

We got to ride a school bus! I LOVE SHUTTLING TO FESTIVALS!

I will try to make this short and sweet: I tasted lots of delicious things infused with lavender (and bought it all too), only hated one person (some overly-inquisitive broad who cut in front of me at the honey stand when all I wanted was a sample of the lavender honey but had to stand there and listen to her ask 87 questions about raw honey and I was like “I’M SORRY BUT THIS IS NOT A LECTURE HALL DO YOU WANT A SAMPLE OR NOT?), ruined a pair of TOMS in the soggy farmgrounds, and managed to apply TEAMWORK with Chooch in order to cut our own lavender without the assistance of Henry (we wandered off without him and then he couldn’t find us and was pissed because OH LOOK WHO’S LOST NOW!), and basically felt like I was floating on a giant lavender-stuff satchel. It was a dreamy kind of day.

I ATE THIS! HONEY LAVENDER GELATO! My god, it was like the Garden of Eden was melting upon my sinful tongue. I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS. Lavender makes my brain shut down.

This was the exact moment that Chooch saw two girls around his age, giggling and wearing crowns of lavender. He looked at me and mumbled, “Shut up.”

“OMG LAVENDER.”

Chooch was fine until he ate a sample of lavender fudge that burned his throat, so then he spent a good portion of the time there wearing his thespian cap. He was miraculously cured when we found a baby donkey to pet, though. But then later, we were sampling balsamic vinegar and when the lady gave Chooch a sample cup of it, he threw it back like a shot before we had a chance to stop him. So that was A Scene.

Stoked for lavender.

We left the festival with Lavender sparkling wine, lavender fudge, lavender honey, lavender balsamic vinegar, bellies full of lavender lemonade & cookies, freshly cut lavender sprigs, and a purple beaded necklace! In addition to all of this, Henry also left with a headache spawned from all the times I screamed IT’S INTOXICATING! while shoving my lavender bundle in his face, and a newfound hatred of Kara.

I DRANK THIS LAST NIGHT. Not the whole bottle, even though I wanted to.

The only downside to the festival, other than ruining my TOMS, was that there was no lavender coffee! There was definitely a coffee vendor there, but it seemed to be offering just the usual suspects. Unless I missed it, but that seems unlikely since I’m never wrong.

Chooch had so much fun* at the lavender festival, that his hair turned lavender, too.

*(That might be a slight exaggeration.)

******

Today we are spending Father’s Day at Waldameer Park with our Henry who hates amusement! Happy Father’s Day to any dad who might be reading this dump.

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Jun 142015
 

Henry has been  in a terrible mood all weekend which is hard to believe considering he spends so much time hanging out with Chooch and me. That just made procuring Henry Bombs even more fun! 

 
The “Dropping Off The Kids At the Sold Out Sleeping With Sirens Show, Speeding Off Into the Sunset For a Night Of Peaceful Grocery Shopping” shot. It was the happiest he’s ever been. If he could have gotten away with grocery shopping in his underwear, he probably would have suffered a hernia of happiness. 

(Forever cutting off the top of my head because I’m a selfie dunce.)

  

The “Professional Driver Henry Doesn’t Need The Rear Camera Thing To Back Out Of a Parking Lot” shot. “I WILL USE THE MIRRORS AS THEY WERE INTENDED!”

  
The “Henry Will Go Into Any Convenience Store, Even Those Of Ill Repute, In Order To Score Beverage” shot. #beveragerenegade

 

The “DONT TOUCH MY GLASSES!” shot. 

  

The “Using His Belly As a Plate” shot. 

 

The “Weekend’s Only Just Begun & Henry Already Hates Everything Even Though ‘Broken Wings’ is playing at Valliant Diner” shot.   

The “Dutifully Washing Dishes So Chooch & I Will Have More To Dirty” shot.    

 

The “Channeling His Mental Colorwheel In Order To Assemble the Most Aethestically-Pleasing Serial Killer Greeting Card But Always Double-Checking With Me First” shot. 

OK that’s all. I have to go finish watching this thing about Ted Bundy because it’s my life and I do what I want.  

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Jun 112015
 

So, I guess Henry’s 50th birthday was OK! I mean, he seemed OK. But you know Henry — he is impervious to emotion. After waking up early to do laundry and wash the car, coming home and making us breakfast, and then taking three naps, we all went succulent shopping.

“But First We Have to Get Gas!” shot.

We bought plants and went to Goodwill. Henry bought me this weird Mary thing! It was $2 and very heavy! Thanks, Henry Warbucks!

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Then we came home and sat there. And then….Hold on a second. Writing about this boring day is making me give birth to yawn triplets. I know, it’s shocking that Henry’s birthday wasn’t more action-packed. Don’t fret, Henrylovers: he probably just waited until I fell asleep before folding laundry and watching home videos of Hot Naybor Chris cutting the grass.

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Henry couldn’t decide where he wanted to have his birthday dinner and I was getting hungry so I made some cream of wheat for a snack and he got all bent out of shape. “OH I GUESS WE’RE NOT GOING OUT TO DINNER NOW!” And I was like:

a) YOU WON’T MAKE UP YOUR MIND

b) IT IS JUST CREAM OF WHEAT, WTF WHY DO YOU ALWAYS MAKE ME FEEL FAT?!

Conveniently, he decided where he wanted to go while I was eating my cream of wheat: Tom’s Diner.

Whomp whomp.

I mean, Tom’s is fine for a cheap lunch or greasy omelettes after a rough night at the Vasta (totally shady bar next door to Tom’s), but I was like, “This is your 5oth birthday bro.” Selfishly, I really wanted Italian food and was trying to psychically sway his decision more toward TILLIE’S but I am really trying to be more mindful of other people instead of (allegedly) making it all about myself. Forcing Chooch to go to a Mexican restaurant for his birthday lunch doesn’t count because I gave birth to him, so….

Needless to say, it was a real struggle for me not to shout bitchily, “TOM’S!? SRSLY!? UGH.”

“It’s cheap and we can walk there so I can have some beers,” Henry rationalized and I was just like, “Fucking fine.”

Trying to be good children and let Henry enjoy his day. It literally gave me a stomachache.

Like, bro. The least you can do is smile.

The “Henry Cut His Finger On His Birthday But I Don’t Know How Because I’m Too Self-Centered To Ask” shot. Also, maybe that’s a smile? Sort of?

 

The “Reading the Placemat Ads Because You Never Know When You’ll Need Your Chimney Cleaned” shot.

CHIMNEY CLEANED. That’s what they called in THE SERVICE.

Tom’s updated their menu since I was last there but the vegetarian options are still the same: grilled cheese. “moonshine cake” was written on the specials board and I was really excited when the waitress started by telling me it was lemon cake, but then I choked back bile when she got to the “dunked in moonshine” part. I just can’t with moonshine, sorry Appalachians. :(

The “Henry Bought Us Presents On His Birthday” shot.

(Obviously I have that Cure album, but this is the remastered version on vinyl, which I did not previously have. BUT NOW I DO BECAUSE HENRY HAD A BIRTHDAY!)

Then after Henry took his fourth nap, we went to some questionable ice cream place in McKees Rocks where it took us forever to order because some asshole couple who arrived 2 seconds before us ordered DINNER FOR LIKE 7 PEOPLE plus freezes and we were just like, “GO THE FUCK TO MCDONALD’S NEXT TIME, FUCCCCCCKKKKKKK.” They were walking through the parking lot right when we pulled in and Chooch suggested that we run them over and Henry was all, “Haha, they’re not going to take that long.”

FAMOUS LAST WORDS. Shoulda mowed those townies over.

 

The “Yelling At Chooch For Pretending To Be a Stripper On Some Pole In the Parking Lot of the Ice Cream Shop and Getting White Powdered Paint All Over His Pants and Hands and ‘You Can Just Ride Home In the Trunk, Boy!'” shot.

***

I just asked Henry how his birthday was and he said, “Fine…?”

And napping was his favorite part. “I would say peacefully except someone kept taking pictures of me.”

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Jun 072015
 

Henry and I were pretending like we’ve been involved in Chooch’s schoolwork this whole time by rifling through all of the end of the year bullshit he brought home. One of those things was a composition book that he apparently had to write in regularly. I read this one entry from 4/9 and declared that this was going on my blog so now Chooch is hounding me for payment.      

Oh and let’s not forget about that time Chooch went to a funeral. 

 

(He’s never been to a funeral, btw.)

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Jun 062015
 

One of the things I vowed to do for Henry’s birthday was….let him nap. Ugh it pains me to even just TYPE that! And of course that weirdo got up at 6am on his own accord to do LAUNDRY and WASH THE CAR. On his BIRTHDAY. What a goddamn freak. So, nap #1 went down around 9:30am (after he made us all breakfast, haha).

  

He woke up long enough to stretch out and then fell asleep while I was making him watch KymNonstop videos on YouTube. (What, she makes a kale and plantain salad that I wanted him to see!)

  

#3 went down around noon, and I was trying to take a picture of it but he was snoring SO LOUD and that is a sound that I just can’t stand even though I snore too it just sounds worse when Henry does it. So I snapped and screamed “OMG IF YOU’RE GOING TO SNORE THEN GO UPSTAIRS I DON’T CARE IF IT’S YOUR BDAY YOU’RE DISGUSTING.”

So I drew a picture and I promise this is what he looked like. 

  

#4 happened after dinner. He had TWO BEERS and then walked a few blocks so he was really tuckered out. That’s what happens when you’re a senior citizen. 

 

I think it’s safe to post this now. It’s after 10pm so if he falls asleep again, it’s probably going to be more than a nap. Um, hopefully not death though. 

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Jun 042015
 

For today’s Henry Is A Hero post, I am posting an old tale from Henry’s LiveJournal, “mehoover.” This post is in “his own words” and recounts the time he was a Real American Parking Lot Heroe [sic]. I think it is really important to shed light on these old stories so that Henry’s heroism can be experienced by new generations. (Ruby was my LiveJournal nickname in case you didn’t know.)

April 16, 2007

oh shit u guyz where to even start!!!!!!!!!!! u will never ever beleive what happened yesterday. I can bearly beleive it my self.

ok so me and RUBY and that baby was in the car. we was drivin thru TARGET parking lot cuz i be doing all my shoppin there. (like underroos. i do not ware tightie whities no more now i ware boxer breefs in difrint colors!) now u have to kno that it was rilly WINDY and RAINY. real fishermen weather , right?

SO we are drivin real slow so I can find a rilly good space because I am the man of the car and that is we men do, when SUDDENLY a rogue (ruBY taught me that word!) shopping car come barrling out of NOWHERE and it was like everythin went in slo motion as it banged into a parked car!!!! THEN, and this is when it gets rilly serious, it cut in front of the car that was going in the opposite direction from us!!!!!!!!

that car had to STOP so it would not drive into the cart, and then the cart started to come toward us!!!!!!! RUby was screaming “help us help!” because shopping carts are dangerous like deer!

what happens next will make you all think diffrintly about me i promise u that.

i looked at rUby and snarled, “I WILL BE RITE BACK” as i threwed the car into PARK. THEN!!!!! Then I LEAPED out of teh car into the cold hard rain and I grabbed the cart like i was lassoing a BULL!!!!!!!!!! then I shoved the cart into the cart Return thing and looked around to see if anyone was clapping or crying like chicks do when tehy is watching a movie and the big powerfull man saves the day. I could not tell but ONLY because all the cars had rain drops on the windows.

So i got back in the car and that lady who could not go anywhere was now able to leave since there was no dangerous shopping cart in her way no more and as she drived past us, i noticed she was on her cellie and you know what i bet she was telling whoever she talked to about ME and how I rescued her and saved her LIFE!!!!!!

I mean, even ruBY was like “hay u are the shit for real now lets forget im a veggie eater and give me your slab of bacon, big guy!” but rilly she did not say that cuz she was to busy laffin at me for being a HEROE. i am not stupid i know that this is how some people react when they is jelis.

i just could not wait to go home and tell my mommie about it.

maybe tommorrow i will drawr you all a picture of how it happened!!! yes or no?
***************
ok guyz i tryed real hard to draw you a diegram of what happened at TarGet. it was hard cuz i am not to good at drawring.

now u can see there i am standing big and proud, thrusting out my arms to rassle with the shopping kart and the lady in the red car, she could not go no where until i freed her from the karts intrapment. so u can see her with hearts popping out of her face cuz she is so lovey about me now for saving her.

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and then you can see ruBy sitting on her lard ass in are car. she did not lift a finger as usual. i did not drawr the baby cuz he just looks like a blob anyway.

and then lookie at what ruBY made me to celebrayt!

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i was very touched when she gave it to me. i think i am gonna get it made itnto a patch and so it onto my jean jacket.

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Jun 012015
 

Here is another weekend’s worth of Henry Bombs! I wish I had managed to get a “your tattoo cost HOW much?!” shot but I told him via text after I had already paid for it, haha. Sorry, Henry, next time I’ll just get my cell mate to do it for cheaper. 

 

The “Henry With A Mouthful of Pretzels, Yelling At Chooch For God Knows What” shot.   

The “Henry Treated Himself to a Snickerdoodle & I’m Going to Steal It” shot.  

The “10 Minutes Early Picking Up Chooch From Piano TIME FOR A QUICK NAP” selfie.    

The “Hand It Over, Henry Warbucks” shot.   

The “Nap #2 With a Bowl & His Phone” shot.   

The “Henry Oversees the Jewelry Party” guest shot by Monica  The “Henry Listens To Wendy’s Sales Pitch” shot. 

The “Just One of the Girls” shot (Wendy moved at the last minute).    

The “Blocking Henry From Getting Stoked” shot. 

  

The “Henry Returns A Thing At Lowe’s” shot. 

  

The “THERE HAS TO BE A SPECIAL MIX FOR SUCCULENTS BUT WHERE IS IT I WILL NOT ASK” shot. 

 

The “Henry Waits For Someone Else To Ask For Succulent Dirt & Then Follows Them To It” shot.    

The “Concerned That His Green Tea Froyo Tastes Carbonated” shot. (He later asked the Froyo purveyors if it was supposed to taste like that and they admitted that they have never tried the green tea but that it is supposed to be slightly tart which hello, I am no stranger to the Froyo  industry but I know the difference between purposely tart and SPOILED so hopefully we survive the impending digestive backlash and then own our own Sincerely Yogurt franchise.)

(Asian Froyo joints are better.)

  
The “Henry Is Potting My Plants Because Ew Dirt” shot. 

 

BONUS: #thingsinhenrysbeard

And that was Henry’s weekend. Actually these are all from Sunday. 

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May 302015
 

  

You guys. I am stunned. My Marcy tribute tattoo is so fucking majestic, just like Marcy was, and I am in tears. SHE WOULD BE SO FUCKING PISSED IF SHE SAW THIS! Ha!

Erin Hosfield at Kyklops just made my dreams come true. I am so glad I chose her to do this because she gets it. She is a phenomenal artist!

Here is the picture she took, in much better lighting:

 

I knew for some time that when Marcy passed, I would get a tribute tattoo, and it was definitely the best decision. I waited less than a week after her death before getting the ball rolling, and even that part of the process helped me get through the first few rough weeks. Now that I have it, I can honestly say that it provides a solace I have been searching for since March 31st, and I’m left with a sense of peace. She meant the world to me and I’m not being dramatic when I say that losing her was right up there with my death of my Pappap in 1996—they were two major players in my world. 

 I am so happy that I can carry Marcy around with me for the rest of my life. SHE IS JUDGING ALL OF YOU SO HARD!

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May 222015
 

  

Kurt Travis posted this SERIOUS INQUIRY on Instagram last night and I begged Henry all night to help me find a place since my house is a rental and way too small so I was like *LIGHTBULB* THE FAYGO WAREHOUSE! And as I was about to comment on the picture, Henry was like DON’T YOU DARE!

So then I was like “can I at least offer our house up if he needs a place to stay?” And Henry said no before I even finished asking but I’m going to do it anyway. 

This morning I was thinking about it some more and DONT PANIC IVE GOT A PLAN. I’m on my way to work right now and I’m going to ask Glenn for his home address and then give it to Kurt. 

I’ll check back in and let you know how it goes, Internet Diary. CROSS YOUR FINGERS FOR ME!! 

EDIT: I am at work now and asked Glenn, “SRS QUESTION.” And then I started having a laughaleptic seizure. 

Glenn said, “You can’t ask that and then LAUGH.”

“What’s your home address?” I asked after I composed myself. 

While Todd laughed in the background, Glenn smartly answered, “I don’t have one. I’m homeless.”

But then I explained what was going on and he asked, “Can he push a lawnmower?”

I THINK THAT’S A YES. 

Except he still hasn’t given me his address.

EDIT 2: 

Glenn just asked me if Kurt Travis is a COUNTRY SINGER. I yelled, “NO! He was the second singer of Dance Gavin Dance and NOW HE IS IN A LOT LIKE BIRDS.” 

“The one that kept getting kicked out?” Todd innocently asked. 

“THAT WAS JONNY CRAIG!” I cried in disgust. 

My lord, try to keep up.

Then Glenn googled me and asked if “Brain Lord” was one of Kurt’s songs and I said yes but I don’t think he actually listened to it. 

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May 212015
 

I can’t believe it’s been 7 years since I took these pictures of Blake and my friend Sarah! Dusting them off in the name of Throwback Thursday. (See also: When you feel like blogging but…words. Ugh.)

The first three photos make me want to start using my Holga and Diana again.

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The Goldbricker.

convo monkeyseat

 

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Blake and Sarah, I think we need to update these! Kind of like some idiot Buzzfeed “Where R They Now?!” type bullshit.

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Sultry Stances.

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WELL THAT WAS FUN. Now I’m going to attempt to go to bed even though I drank 87 gallons of coffee today and just watched a particularly upsetting episode of The Following (I’M A WEEK BEHIND OK) and when I was crying, Henry snapped, “WHAT DOES IT MATTER WHO DIES, IT WAS CANCELED ANYWAY.”

YOU’RE CANCELED, HENRY.

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May 052015
 

Sorry. I’ve got a one-track post-hardcore mind and seeing Dance Gavin Dance on Sunday only made it worse. These pictures have nothing to do with either post-hardcore or Dance Gavin Dance, but they are some things from the weekend that made me smile. AND SMILING IS GOOD FOR KEEPING AWAY BEES AND PEOPLE WHO SMELL LIKE CABBAGE WHILE SHOWING OFF YOUR FILLINGS ALL AT ONCE.

1. Henry’s mom Judy had a birthday on Saturday! We went to Kelly’s to have some birthday cake coconut cream pie and it was super awesome. Henry is lucky to have such a good family, and I like spending time with them.

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2. The next day we picked Judy up to bring her to our house and she had red hair! Red hair, Jude don’t care. This is her sitting on my couch, reading Alternative Press, even after mumbling, “I don’t know a single band in this thing!” Henry was like, “I WISH I didn’t know any of those bands!”

 

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3. SNICKERDOODLE WAFFLES! Henry really needs to work on his plating skills, but the bigger picture here is that he used the waffle maker! He was annoyed though because the recipe I gave him was from A Beautiful Mess and he absolutely despises those broads. (They get on my last nerve too, yet I still go back for more.) Anyway, I love my waffle maker! Maybe I’ll eventually learn how to use it on my own so that I can make some really fucking weird shit!

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4. You know what else I really fucking love? MY NEW (TO ME) CAR! I brought it home Saturday morning and Chooch was like, “Yeah, I’m riding with her. See ya, Henry!” And Henry sadly put-putted home in our crappy Focus which is due to die any day now. Chooch did some laps around Brookline, blasting PVRIS, before going home. It was awesome. When Corey saw it later that day, he was like, “Oh wow, and I love the color! Black is nice!” and I was like, “IT’S GREEN LOL” because I love to rub his color blindness in his face any chance I get!

The salesman I dealt with (Jarrod — he was awesome) called me on Monday and my first thought was, “OMG WHAT DID I DO WHY DO THEY WANT THE CAR BACK!?!?” but he just wanted to ask me to write a review on the dealership on some website. So I did because PLEASE DON’T TAKE MY CAR AWAY FROM ME. We’ve already imprinted and there’s no going back now!

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5. <3!!

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But you know what I love the most about the car? THE STEREO! We were actually supposed to go to a Nissan dealer and get a Sentra; I had already talked to the finance guy and had been pre-approved, but the day before, Henry saw this car at a different dealership and knew that I would want it based solely on the stereo. I can play Spotify on it and the speakers bring a tear to my eye. Our old car makes so much noise when we drive it (it has something to do with the motor mount? That’s a thing, right?) that we could barely even hear ourselves talk, let alone enjoy music. And like duh, music is the most important thing!

Meanwhile, the other dealership is still calling me and I scream a little every time because the guy was so UGH to talk to, and I just know he’s pissed that I didn’t show up. “Just answer and tell him  that you bought a car from somewhere else!” Glenn advised, tired of hearing me yelp every time the number shows up on my phone.

“Orrrr,” I countered, “I can just tell him I filed for bankruptcy.”

“Or you could just tell the truth,” Glenn sighed.

OR I CAN JUST KEEP ON NOT ANSWERING.

6. Spoon selfies!

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7. The weather was too perfect on Sunday not to spend the majority of the day outside. We took Chooch to a bike trail and cringed every time he almost caused biker pile-ups, and then some dickhead biker was all WATCH OUT FOR THAT LARGE SNAKE ON THE ROAD UP AHEAD! and he totally got me all up in arms for nothing because THERE WAS NO SNAKE and it reminded me of the time Henry and I were walking up the street and some guy screamed out the car window, “YOUR SHOE’S UNTIED!” to me but my shoe was not untied! It didn’t even have any laces! And then I aggressively wiped some dandelions down Henry’s arm and he looked like he had Big Bird shit stains all over his stupid elderskin.

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8. Chooch, modeling the t-shirt that Chris and Monica got him for his birthday. Those two are extremely in tune with my kid’s interests!

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 ************

In addition to all of this, we had a party at Laser Storm and then closed out the weekend with DANCE GAVIN DANCE at Mr. Small’s, which I am still smiling about like a clown with a cracked jaw. (?) These two events get their own posts, which I will joyfully write once I pluck my head out from the clouds. Sometimes, life sucks. And that’s OK, because it makes the good shit seem even goodier. That’s going to be the last line of the self-help e-book I’m writing. Spoiler alert, I guess.

I’m hard-pressed to come up with any complaints about the weekend, other than: “it ended.”

9. And now here’s a Dance Gavin Dance song because we can all stand to have a little post-hardcore in our day:

Please make way for the special invented armor.
Mental protection if reality is ragin harder.
Hello mister mime, hello medicine.
I believe denial makes me hella intelligent.

 

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May 032015
 

Me, looking around at all of the groups of friends who were stoked to be seeing Circa Survive together: Don’t you wish we had a crew?

Henry: Nope. I wish you did.

*********

Tuesday, April 28th marked my 4th time seeing Circa Survive in the span of one year. (The 6th time seeing Anthony Green in general, though, if you count the Sound of Animals Fighting and Saosin.) And it’s  too early in the morning for me to attempt and count how many times since 2005. Suffice to say, I really love this band and I was giddy as fuck all day at work because I was going to see them that night.

We went straight to Millvale after Henry picked me up from work and ate at the Grant Bar & Lounge. How have I been going to shows at Mr. Small’s for more than a decade and never eaten here?! And to think we were originally going to eat at the Subway across the street.

This place was everything I love in a dive: First, you have to walk through the bar to get to the dining room so you can take a quick tour of the town’s underbelly. And the walls are faux-stone! It was so Bavarian! I LOVE BAVARIAN.

Old school waitress buzzer!

I can’t really explain why else I liked this joint so much, other than you could tell it hadn’t been renovated since before I was born. I love dark, cave-like restaurants.

Henry had a burger and I had a grilled portabello sandwich with homemade onion rings. The food was fine (my Yelp nemesis gave them a thirty paragraph review all to say that his experience was “fair, a three-star experience, the Thesaurus taught me 92 new words as I was writing this review.” Fuck, I hate that man so badly. Of course, he gave 5 stars to the place in Millvale I originally wanted to try, so now I’m glad we didn’t go there), but it was really the ambiance that made it special for me. (Until the bitch-baby in the booth across from us started acting like an asshole and of course no one cared because she was the granddaughter of one of the waitresses and every single person eating there was a townie and used to it.)

We were about to pay the check when I overheard the old broads in the booth behind us inquire about the desserts, and our waitress started bragging about the coconut cream pie. THAT IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PIES. But it’s really easy to get a shitty piece. They ended up ordering it and when I saw that the topping was whipped cream and not meringue (a thousands fist-shakes in the face of meringue), I had to order a piece ASAP.

And I shouldn’t have, because my stomach was already emitting a series of beeps and shocks to remind me that it was over capacity.

But, pie.

COCONUT CREAM pie.

It was the best damn coconut cream pie I have ever had, and I felt so strongly about this that I wrote a “Dear Grant’s Bar” love letter on the back on the check. (Henry was just happy that it was a positive ode for once, and not one of my infamous THIS PLACE SUCKS I HOPE YOU DIE death threats that I may have been known to scrawl from time to time before dashing out the door.)

However, those last forkfuls of food (what would my Yelp nemesis have used here? Vittles? Sustenance? Something Arabic?) really sent my digestive system into overdrive. I thought I would feel better once we walked to Mr. Small’s afterward, because walking off a meal typically helps me, but no. I spent the rest of the night in deep regret. And by regret I mean that I reached a point where I couldn’t even stand up straight. And of course it was a sold out show, and the balcony area was VIP-only that night.

We ended up all of the way in the front row, but over the side, so I could lean against the stage all night. And lean I did. At some points, I was also sagged and half-collapsed across it, too. The pain was real and just kept getting worse.

The opening band was CHON. I knew that Henry wouldn’t like them. I whispered, “FYI, they don’t sing” when we were waiting for them to come out. Henry HATES that. But I have been following them on Facebook for a few years and was excited to finally see them. I heard a girl nearby ask the guy next to her if they were the same style as Circa Survive. The guy and I both laughed at the same time, and he said, “Uh, no. Not at all.”

I’m sorry, Henry, but they were pretty sick to watch and I felt like they were channeling Chuck Mangione at times. I don’t listen to this style of music very often, but it served as a nice reminder that vocals aren’t always necessary to feel something, and I am definitely guilty of focusing too much on the singing sometimes.

Balance and Composure was next and I have to be honest here: seeing that they were on this tour made me even more excited about it because I have liked them for years yet have somehow never seen them live!

I have also never really paid attention to what they look like, so I was in for a shock when they took the stage because Jon, the singer, looked so much like my co-worker A-ron that I started to wig out a little bit. I kept taking pictures to send to all of my work friends, and the next day 98% of them were like, “Holy shit, are we sure it’s not really A-ron?!” except for TODD who said that it only kind of looked like him, and JEANNIE who frowned and said “not at all” and that it just looked like “an average guy with brown hair.”

“If everyone else said it didn’t look like him, you would say it did,” I said to Jeannie in a huff, which just made her laugh BECAUSE IT’S TRUE! She enjoys being the voice of dissent. But whatever, because when I saw A-ron that day, I said to him, “I’m surprised you’re here today after your big show last night” and then I showed him the picture and A-RON HIMSELF WAS LIKE OMG. But showing him turned out to be a mistake because it totally went to his head and then he kept making air-guitar motions and that was just weird.

Anyway, seeing Balance and Composure was worth the wait. I loved it, even though my stomach was like, “NOW can we go home??”

“Remember that coconut cream pie?” I dreamily said to Henry after CHON, punctuating it with a tiny burp.

“It wasn’t that great,” he mumbled.

Somewhere in between CHON and B&C, the super normal, inoffensive and unassuming girl who was next to me moved to a different spot and before I had the chance to move over into her vacated space, the grossest couple usurped it from me. The girl was about 5 feet tall and had SCENE HAIR. I haven’t seen SCENE HAIR since 2009. It was big and teased and so close to my face that I fixated on ripping out the bobby pins all night. And she stunk, you guys. Like Love’s Baby Soft and filth.

Now I’m picturing her trying to visit someone in jail with all of those bobby pins in her gross hair.

Her boyfriend was this big fucking Jersey Shore gorilla juice head who was wearing a TIGHT DRESS SHIRT.

You know how sometimes you just can’t help it, but you hate someone on sight? These were two people who did not have to give you any more of a reason to hate them other than just existing. AND THEY KEPT LOVINGLY GIVING EACH OTHER PECKS ON THE LIPS as if I wasn’t already having a hard time holding back my bile. I was having vivid hallucinations of yanking the rat’s nest off her head, I just couldn’t stand her. And during B&C, she spotted Anthony Green and squealed to her boyfriend and then jumped up and down and clapped her tiny little scene-fairy hands and I was like OH HOW FUCKING SWEET. YES I’M SURE YOU HAVE A SHOT WITH ANTHONY GREEN.

Then Gorilla Juice Head left her to stand ALL ALONE while he went and purchased practically one of everything from the merch booth for her, which she then kept in a pile on the side-stage area in front of her, and I swear to god she kept looking at me over her shoulder and then sliding her t-shirts closer to her, like yeah bitch, I’m going to steal your XS shirts. I just hated the way she kept looking at me, like I didn’t belong there, and I know it’s awful and I shouldn’t care, but it made me feel really uncomfortable (like I wasn’t already thanks to Grant’s Bar) and I started to feel like everyone was staring at me and that maybe I really didn’t belong there, and I haven’t had such low self-esteem issues like that at a show in a REALLY LONG TIME.

I would have just moved somewhere else, but I really needed to stay where I was because leaning against that stage was like a literal crutch for me, that’s how bad my stomach hurt. It was a sold-out show, and there was quite honestly no better place for me to go, other than home. And I wasn’t leaving without seeing Circa Survive.

Then this happened: 

WOW JUST WOW HENRY.  
Also, I felt disoriented because I swear every time we go to Mr. Small’s, something in there has changed. They’re constantly working on additions, which is great, but it’s made it seem very unfamiliar to me. I felt like a stranger in a place that used to be home.

And this is why this ended up being the worst Circa Survive show I’ve ever gone to. And it’s nothing against the band at all, because they were such amaze much wow as usual. I just could barely enjoy it.

They played all of my faves from Juturna. That album never gets old.

 

I felt like I was floating out of my body at one point. The pain, so real. Call an ambulance. And Henry kept getting pushed into me and every time I felt his belly pressing into my back I wanted to fucking murder him. I kept turning around to glare at him and he hissed, “What do you want me to do? Do you SEE all of the people in here?!” Ugh, I just didn’t want to be touched! It was terrible! Anthony’s antics were only making it slightly more tolerable, but I admittedly kept praying, “Please let this be the last song” 20 minutes into their set. It was hard enough standing there in physical pain, but the vibe from the crowd exacerbated my discomfort. Even Henry was like, “There were a lot of assholes there that night.” And Henry’s threshold for assholes is much greater than mine.

 

I was really looking forward to this show. I woke up with that excited thrill in my belly and spent all day at work bouncing in my seat, counting down the minutes. But, I guess they can’t all be wins, right? This show ranks at the bottom, with the 2005 Grog Shop show and last December’s Philly show with Terri tying for first place. That December hometown show was just so right on so many levels.

It took more than  two days for my stomach to make up with me. I don’t know what the hell Grant’s did to me, other than my stomach just being overly sensitive to greasy food these days. That’s one way to keep the weight off!

***

Today, while following Chooch around on a bike trail, I asked Henry some questions about his billionth Circa Survive experience. Here are his scintillating* answers:

*(I did not consult a Thesaurus on that, thx.)

What did you think of CHON?

*gives me a ‘don’t be stupid’ look*

Did you like Balance and Composure?

Ehhhhhhhh. Not really.

If you could use your beard to smuggle anything into a concert, what would it be?

I don’t know. I wouldn’t. Why do I need to smuggle anything in? I just want to get out. 

Do you like old or new Circa Survive songs best?

I don’t know the difference. *mumbles: I can’t believe I’m answering these*

What was the highlight for you? You’re sleeping!!

I’m not sleeping, I’m thinking! I don’t know. Two girls fighting at the end. 

Off the top of your head, name three bands that you dislike seeing even more than Circa Survive.

Whatever that first band was. Crone? Cron? 

Slaves. 

If Anthony Green started a line of barbeque sauces, how tempted would you be to try them?

That’s a weird question. I would try them, but only because it’s barbecue sauce.  

I would pour some on my Anthony Greenbeans and dip my Circa Surfries in it. How does it make you feel when Anthony spreads his mouth open with his hands?

Weird. 

Does it bring back prepubescent memories of sexual confusion?

*sleeping for real*

HENRY!!!

No. 

(I don’t think he understood the question.)

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May 012015
 

Sometimes I find myself getting sucked down into Negative Thinking. I don’t like that. That’s not me. (Anymore.)  So I thought it would behoove me to do one of those happy thoughts lists, and I think you should too!

  1. Another work week in the books! There were lots of annoyances as usual, but also a lot of really fun times too which is easy to overlook when you’re fixated on the bad. Good things this week include: annoying Glenn, having numerous people thank me for my help (a thank you goes a long way!), cutting 10 inches off Jeannie’s hair so she could donate it and then watching Catherine pet the detached ponytail like it was her pet, WAFFLE MAKER. 
  2. Exercise. I’ve been going strong with Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution since January, plus various fitness subs on YouTube, and while the weight loss has been great, the part that I’m the most excited about is just the overall energy and strength I have. So I guess I’m thankful for the ability to keep pushing myself, blah blah blah. 
  3. Revisiting an old album and remembering how much I loved it when it first came out. My current mood today was a solid Mindy White-era Lydia. Their “illuminate” album still sounds so fresh to me. 
  4. Sharing music with my friend Terri! It’s such an important thing to both of us and she has really helped me see a greater beauty in some genres that I never really bothered much with before. I like that I can text her the day after a show and she gets how big of a deal it is. Seems like such a small thing, but it means so much to me.
  5. Buying a new car on my own! Fine, Henry did some legwork, but this is the first car that is 100% in my name, and I’m just as stoked about that as I am about the car itself! Our current car is paid off but it’s on its last leg (the drivers side door handle broke a few years ago and the passenger side handle broke two weeks ago—TWO DAYS AFTER WE PAID OFF THE CAR), and there are other annoying things about it too (let’s just say that Budget car rental knows Henry personally at this point, we rent cars so often) so it was just time to move on. Henry’s keeping it to commute to work though so…..Godspeed, Henry. Anyway, I got a 2014 Cruze and admittedly the only thing I looked at was the stereo system (it’s premium!) but Henry says don’t worry, the rest of the stuff is good too. I get to bring it home from the dealership tomorrow and I might cry. I never thought my credit would be good enough, because Life. 
  6. Chooch. He really gets on my nerves a lot (who doesn’t?) but he always makes me laugh. Plus tonight he indulged me and watched videos of Anthony Green on YouTube with me. What a nice way to end a relatively annoying-as-fuck day. 
  7. WAFFLE MAKER. 

Let’s end with 7. LUCKY7. Hope you guys collected some little things this week that make you happy. Sounds lame, but whatever works, right? <3

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Apr 292015
 

   

The “I Hate Every Single Fucker In This Line Right Now Why Can’t You Make Some Damn Friends So I Don’t Have to See Circa Survive 8 Times A Year I Need a Fat Sausage To Plug My Food Hole Hey There’s ANTHONY GREEN OMG!!!” shot. 

  

The “All Of These Chon Songs Sound Exactly the Same So I’m Just Gonna Stand Here and Pin Recipes How Are People Dancing To This?!” shot. 

 

The “I’m Secretly Singing Along To Every Circa Song In My Head OMG ARE THOSE TWO GIRLS MAKING OUT OVER THERE????” shot. 

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