Nov 202020
 

Dear Internet Diary,

I’m extremely unorganized when it comes to photos, which is awful when it comes to preservation but also fun when I randomly come across one when I’m digging in a drawer for a pen or safety pin or the glasses that I never wear. Here are some that I unearthed recently which I thought would be fun to share since the only other things I have to talk about right now are the recipes I’ve chosen for Henry to make for Thanksgiving, Taemin/SHINee stuff, and my continuously rising ire at people who STILL REFUSE TO WEAR A FUCKING MASK. I just…I can’t do it today. So let’s look at some old ass pictures, spanning various decades of shitty hairstyles!

  1. THE OBLIGATORY WILDWOOD SHOT

You guys. I remember this like it was yester-fucking-day and not OMG 1988. It was taken at my beloved Wildwood, New Jersey on one of my family’s summer vacations. Every night after dinner, we would go to the boardwalk, specifically Morey’s Piers, for some junk food and ride action. Here are some things I would like to point out about this photo:

  • I had just gotten my hair cut that summer and it was a huge deal because my hair is pretty long prior to this, and I got bangs too which was MAJOR YOU GUYS. I remember getting my hair done at a salon called Shear Talent which was down the street from my Pappap’s drywall company. This is notable because it was located next to an apartment that OLYMPIC WRESTLER KURT ANGLE* lived in sometime in the 90s and I know that this is true because my dad worked for the gas company and had to go there to like, read the meter or fix something back then, I don’t know. But he came home and was so excited and I was like “Oh.”
    • *I cared so little about this that I originally put “Engler” as his last name and then decided to google to make sure I even had the right guy. I did. That’s him.
  • My dad and Ryan and those other people are looking up because the boardwalk’s famous looping coaster, The Sea Serpent, had gotten stuck with people on it and this was major news because it was the 80s and we didn’t have Twitter and a psychotic president abusing it, and also maybe all the serial killers were on sabbatical.
  • *waves back to the stranger lady*
  • I fucking loved that shirt that I was wearing. I have no idea why I liked it so much.
  • This was the year I started to get fat and ugly.

2. Erin Rachelle Kelly, Babysitter Extraordinaire

From the looks of this picture, I would wager to say it was the summer of 1996. It was definitely taken in my mom’s living room and I can promise you that the camera had the timer set and was propped up on her antique roll-top desk. Here are some things I remember:

  • That broad (lol, we were like 16 but OK, Erin) in the middle is the KERI THAT WAS MENTIONED A FEW BLOG POSTS AGO WHEN I WAS V. MAD THAT JASON VOORHEES CHOSE HER OVER ME. And that’s her  then-boyfriend Dan who liked me first but I went on one date and passed him on to Keri, who ended up dating him for quite some time (I mean, probably like 6 months which was the equivalent to like 5 years in high school time) and then one time I had a little get together like almost a year after this picture was taken and he was there and seriously you guys I’m pretty sure he was on his way to sexually assaulting me when I was drunk and the only thing that stopped him was my friends Justin and Jon opening the door to the laundry room (the same one where I found out Gionni Versace was killed!!) and seeing that he had me pushed against the wall, at which point they escorted him out of my house and Justin drove him home. I ill never forget that.
  • I was definitely supposed to be babysitting my brothers here and I still can’t believe that my mom ever trusted me to babysit.
  • There’s a similar picture floating around somewhere in which my brothers are holding butcher knives.
  • I was the Overall Queen in the 90s.
  • Might try to bring back the “showing off the bruise on my thigh” pose.

3. If It Doesn’t Taste Good…

OK this is really bizarre because I have zero recollection of this photo but Chooch found it in his room when we were rearranging it a few months ago. I know that this was obviously from the vacation I was on that summer with my grandparents and Sharon but I’m not sure where exactly we were here, and I only vaguely remember the people here but I’m sure I could pull out one of y vacation journals to fact check, but that would almost imply that I’m a legit blogger and come on, we all know it’s “half-assed of GTFO” over here in these parts. There’s a bunch of fun facial expressions we can expound upon but when I first found this picture, my immediate response was to scream because that gentleman standing in the middle was the greatest. I believe his name was John and he and his wife really took a liking to my Pappap so they would often join us at our table for travel group dinners.

This man gave me the GREATEST advice of all time, and I think about it A LOT:

If it doesn’t taste good, put cheese on it.

I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have attempted to make food for myself and, after the first inaugural taste/forced swallow, I’d grab the parmesan out of the fridge door and give my plate a hearty sprinkling.

I tried to tell Chooch this story but he peaced out as soon as I said “Europe with my grandparents” because he hates hearing stories about my silver spooned childhood.

4. RICOLA

One of my best childhood memories was the time I turned 11 in Switzerland (Chooch is burying his head under a pillow right now). I was V.SHY then (I came out of my shell by 7th grade) and so, when the MC of the dinner theater thingie we were attending asked for volunteers to blow on the Ricola horn (honestly I have no idea what that thing is actually called but it’s in the Ricola cough drop commercials!), my grandparents and Sharon nearly shit their pants when I raised my hand.

It might have been my first YOLO moment!? I dunno, but to this day I prefer Ricola over everything else.

(Fun fact: I also received a birthday scroll from the restaurant that night, which is framed and still hanging in my house after all these years.)

(That’s a lie: It was hanging up until a month ago when we painted the dining room and still needs to be re-hung.)

5. Staircase Model

I know this is really crazy that I’m giving you all of these facts about myself on a blog that has my name in it, but here’s another:

I guess my aunt Sharon was trying to distract me of the impending birth of my brother Ryan which directly correlates with the RUINATION OF MY LIFE (j/k, I love my brother but I also really loved being an only child) when she took me to open auditions for some child modeling / acting agency. Apparently, she thought I would be automatically accepted since I already had like 4 years of posing in every single new outfit she bought for me.

I have no idea what happened to me, aside from the fact that my genes dictated my path and lead me straight to Homelyville, but now that I am an adult, I cannot pose for a picture to save my fucking life. But back then, I was SO GOOD at the arms akimbo/hip-jut combo. Now I just look like the entire precinct shouted SMILE!! while I was preparing for my mugshot.

Anyway, I wanted to include this picture in particular because I HAVE ROLLS OF THAT WALLPAPER NOW! The pattern is made from velvet or something and I can’t wait to do something with it.

***

Actually now that I look at these, I had bangs in every single one and now I feel like I want bangs agai—NO ERIN *SLAPS FACE* YOU DON’T WANT BANGS.

Nov 172020
 

Hello. Welcome to another edition of “weekend?” or “just another random lump of weekdays?” It was OK. Nothing exciting. I mean, what do we expect to happen on weekends during a pandemic, anyway?

Henry had been on “vacation” the prior week, so I’m not sure if he was treating the weekend like his last chance to live it up before returning to work, or if it was more of a COUNTDOWN to returning to work, because that was A LOT of “at home time” with me and Chooch. He got a lot of work done on various projects (FINISHED NONE THOUGH) and that just kind of bled into the weekend.

I went with him to Lowe’s on Saturday, where he made me languish in what has to be a contender for the Most Boring Aisle in the World. Then I asked him what he needed these alleged “hooks & eyes” for and that just elevated my boredom to Snooze Level, my god.

But I guess he needed shit in order to hang up my giant Seoul subway sign (and by that I don’t mean “hang on the wall” but “hang from the basement rafters” because he’s not anywhere near finishing this bitch yet) which he got a moderate amount of work done on over his “vacation week.” Here is a video of him working on it Friday night while listening to 2nd generation Kpop (aka the best kpop):

https://www.instagram.com/p/CHjRELph2UP/

Side note: if you’re ever like, “Aw, I really miss seeing people’s noses” during Covid Days, just go to Lowe’s. Lots of fucking dumbasses with their schnozzes hanging out of their masks. Fucking assholes.

I pretty much spend every day soapboxing about this bullshit country. It’s gonna be wild when I’m an old lady one day, telling my grandkids about the time selfish people in America cried like bitches over having to cover their big fat faces with a piece of fabric. FABRIC.

Assuming the anti-maskers don’t kill me first.

I’m pretty sure I spent a large portion of the weekend, when I wasn’t micromanaging Henry, ranting about Covid-19 and the stupidity of half the country. PLEASE STAY HOME FOR THANKSIVING!!! DO NOT BE SELFISH. I get it – some people are very close to their families (can’t relate) and not spending a holiday together feels like it could kill you but guess what, spending the holiday together ACTUALLY COULD KILL YOU OR THEM. I’m so glad that I generally don’t have holiday obligations and I truly do feel bad for those who do, but please be smart about this.

It stresses me out so much you guys that I have been having covid nightmares, such as Saturday night when I dreamt that I went to dinner at Bob Evans and they sat me at a table that was super close to another table, so I tried to move my table away and the people at the other table got super offended and then I suddenly had this lucid moment inside my dream where I realized that I was at a restaurant after I spent the last nine months preaching about how people shouldn’t eat in restaurants during the pandemic, and I could feel, inside my dream, the blood rushing to my face because OMG I’M A HYPOCRITE AND WHAT WILL MY INTERNET FRIENDS THINK OF ME NOW and also SERIOUSLY, I CHOSE BOB EVANS OF ALL PLACES??

Anytime I have ever eaten at Bob Evans, it’s looked like a nursing home field trip up in that piece.

Sunday was really dreary for most of the day, and then by late afternoon, it cleared up but a really scary windstorm kicked up and I started to Final Destination’ing the situation and decided it was time to retreat back to the house before a street sign became dislodged and decapitated us.

I don’t even know what else to say. I’m depressed. LOL, aren’t we all. I’m gonna slap myself in the face a few times and maybe squirt some whipped cream in my mouth until I gag. And then who knows maybe my next post will be more exciting. But I doubt it.

Here’s a new Taemin performance from his recent promotions. All I can say is thank god for Kpop because it’s really keeping me afloat these days.

Nov 142020
 

 I always think a lot about my journey through vegetarianism when holiday season is upon us. I guess a lot of it is because I was always the “burden” at family dinners so I gotta admit, I’m not really all that sad about keeping the holidays to just us three this year. Anyway, this is also the time when I get asked the most why I don’t eat meat (I mean, back when I actually interacted with people) so I felt like it would be a good time to resurrect this old piece I wrote six years ago for a Pittsburgh blogger writing event thingie.

So yeah…

Dont Ask Me About Tofu

When people ask me about why I became a vegetarian, I’m sure they’re braced for some PETA-scripted canned response about choosing not to eat anything with a face, or some granola manifesto about health benefits. But my vegetarianism story was born from sheer stubbornness.

My mom wasn’t a bad cook, but I hated her pork chops. Naturally, this was the meal she seemed to make the most when I was growing up. They were just so dry and worthless, and always laying on my plate in some hideous, mocking, splayed-out fashion; all the apple sauce in the world couldn’t make them go down any easier.

Finally, at age 16, I snapped. Maybe a regular kid would have faked a pork chop allergy, but I chose a different route to get out of choking down those hunks of dry rot: I just wasn’t going to eat meat at all. Ever. Not even Slim Jims or bacon bits.

My parents saw this as a huge joke, something new to heckle me about, to place bets upon. “Oh look, Erin wants attention from us again!” They were used to this behavior from me. Once, I vowed to eat nothing but Welch’s grape popsicles because I was trying to get a hospital admittance to avoid going on vacation with my Aunt Sharon (who is crazier than me). But I stopped after a few days because no one was paying attention, and I ran out of Welch’s grape popsicles.

My vegetarianism was basically just another Welch’s Grape Popsicle episode as far as my parents were concerned, and they egged me on in all of the worst possible ways. They gave me three days tops before I succumbed to meatloaf. (My mom really did make a fantastic meatloaf. So moist. So meaty. So topped with Ketchup.)

This is why, 18 years later, when people ask me how I became a vegetarian, my answer is a simple “I hated my mom’s pork chops.”

***

In 1996, getting into a vegetarian lifestyle was pretty rough. I lived in Pittsburgh, not Los Angeles. Denny’s didn’t have Gardenburgers on their menus yet, Giant Eagle’s frozen food aisle wasn’t exactly a Garden of Eden, and my mom refused to make separate dinners for me. So while my family gnawed on BBQ ribs in front of me, I would eat cheese sandwiches and cereal and act like it was a meal fit for Valhalla, because: STUBBORN. At school, I would pair a peanut butter cookie with a carton of iced tea and call that lunch. I was terrible at this, but determined.

Finally, I started buying Vegetarian Times magazine from the bookstore and kind of started learning about what it was I was doing exactly. I began collecting recipes but my mom was like, “Tofu? What the hell is that? Fuck you.” So one weekend when my family was out of town, I hosted my own vegetarian dinner for some friends, which was no small feat because there was no Internet, no Whole Foods that I had ever heard of way over here in my South Hills suburban wonderland. I had to use the YELLOW PAGES to find some weird health food store in Mt. Lebanon that sold kelp and tempeh and a package of tofu that I would wind up having a staring contest with later because what the hell do you do with tofu? I had to beg my friend Lisa to begrudgingly drive me out there so I could buy ingredients for a dinner that no one but me was going to enjoy. Because “Sea”sar salad doesn’t sound appetizing to meat-eaters, I guess.
That was my first and last attempt at “cooking,” by the way. Sorry to all of the boyfriends who came later, expecting a home cooked meal. Not on my watch.

***

As a kid constantly struggling with thunder thighs, weight loss was a perk I thought would go hand-in-hand cutting meat out of my life. Newsflash: replacing chicken and beef with cheese in 87 different forms is not conducive to losing weight. When I’d go out with friends in high school, I’d eat the shit out of grilled cheeses, dressing-drenched Caesar salads capped with veritable parmesan hats, fettuccine Alfredo, just give me all of the cheese. My friends and I would always go to this diner called Home Cookin’ and I went through a good long phase where all I would order was cole slaw and pie. One of the waitresses laughed as she scribbled down my order late one night and asked, “You pregnant?”

“No, I’m a vegetarian,” I replied somberly.

Once I moved out at 18, it got even worse. I had friends over constantly, so we would order out all of the time. Cheese pizza, cheese sticks, cheese-covered eggplant parmesan hoagies, cheese hoagies with extra cheese to replace the meat. It’s a wonder I didn’t spend most of my 20s in a state of perma-constipation.

The only vegetables I ever ate were breaded, fried and delivered to my house by a bored teenager driving an Omni. Not to mention all of the alcohol that was consumed. I was far from that “anemic vegetarian” that my grandma worried I was going to turn into.

But at least being a vegetarian would render fast food impossible, right? Four words: Taco Bell’s 7-layer burritos.

One time, a security guard at one of my jobs said he was surprised I was a vegetarian.

“Why?” I asked, wondering if my natural stench was eau de osso bucco and I just didn’t know it.

“You know,” he said, cutting an hour glass shape into the air with his hands.

Suffice it to say, I had gained some weight those first few years.

***

An important thing to know about me is that I am helpless; basically just a flailing flesh-sack in a scary meat-filled world.

When I started dating my current boyfriend Henry in 2001, he was horrified when he opened my refrigerator and found it full of alcohol, condiments and film. (Because photography was more important than nutrition.)

“Why don’t you have any food?” he asked incredulously.

So I showed him the box of rice and cans of Spaghetti O’s on the shelf, the only things that I could purchase from the gas station down the street that I actually could kind of cook OK on those off-nights when I wasn’t being fed by chain restaurants.

“How are you getting your protein?” he asked, and I swear this isn’t going in the sleazy direction you might have in mind.

I had no answer for him. I barely knew the food pyramid, and he was asking me about protein?

After that conversation, Henry started cooking real meals for me, dishes loaded with vegetables, chick peas and tofu, because he was man enough to not give a shit about cooking with tofu, and I slowly started learning things I had never known, like what a “root vegetable” was.

Henry was appalled that I was a vegetarian who didn’t eat vegetables. Or fruit, for that matter. He made me things like mock mashed potatoes (I never knew I liked cauliflower!) and rice-and-fake-meat stuffed peppers, taught me that I really liked melons, and even added COOKBOOKS to my library of horror novels and Alternative Press issues.

By this time, a lot of the chain restaurants in Pittsburgh started offering veggie burgers on their menus, but Henry took me to a lot of ethnic restaurants, where vegetable-laden dishes and meat-substitutions were prevalent; it was starting to feel like maybe I stood a chance at survival. I still didn’t understand tofu, but I sure liked to eat it. I was starting to see vegetarianism as something more than a bet with my parents. It had become a lifestyle, and I began to realize that somewhere along the way, I stopped missing meat. Now I was eating things that I never knew existed, like seitan and tempeh, and I loved it.

I guess my point here is, if you want to be a vegetarian but lack a lot of basic life skills such as “how to grocery shop”, “how to read a recipe” and “how to operate kitchen machinery”, get yourself a good girlfriend/boyfriend/butler. It could open up a whole new world that normal, self-sufficient people already know about.

I can only imagine how high my cholesterol was before Henry the Nutrionist came in and pumped me full of vegetables. (Not a sex analogy, unless you want it to be.)

***

A few months after I swore off meat, I was in the attic smoking pot out of a crushed can of Cherikee Red with my friend Melissa. Nothing to see here. The rest of my family had gone out without me as usual, and my mom had left out a pan of the Hamburger Helper she made all the “normals” for dinner that night.

Teenager + pot = me lying in a pan of Hamburger Helper like some pathetic human-Garfield.

I cried in my bed that night like I had just had shameful hobo sex, my flesh smelling like it had been rubbed down with raw meat.

Up until pretty much right now, Melissa was the only one who knew meat had touched my PETA-anointed tongue but she vowed to keep quiet. I felt terrible about it, like I was such a fraud. But slip-ups happen and I suspect it’s more normal than the staunchest vegetarians will admit, like it’s some dirty, bloody cow carcass of a secret. I still wonder if there’s some sort of code I should be following. Should self-flagellation happen the next time I accidentally eat chicken disguised as a biscuit at a Chinese buffet? What is my penance? Sneaking meat is the dark underbelly of vegetarianism, like nuns fapping to pictures of Justin Bieber. No one talks about it. But sometimes, meat happens, folks.

In 2006, I would occasionally eat fish while I was pregnant, but I was trying to grow a healthy baby then so it made me feel like I wasn’t really cheating. (Don’t worry, Henry and my doctor knew what kinds of fish were OK for preggos to eat; I wasn’t sitting around eating bonbons and mercury sandwiches.) I vowed to stop after the baby was born, and I was doing so well until a few months later on vacation and some “friends” tempted me with sushi. You guys. It was so amazing!

“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone!” one of them said when I started crying at the table about feeling guilty. But that girl was such a snake, she probably went home and made a filtered LiveJournal post about it. (We are no longer friends, FYI.)

That was pretty much the gateway food for me. I resisted the urge for quite some time, but then I gave up and openly became a fish-eater and stopped calling myself a vegetarian because I ain’t no fraud.

Sushi, you guys. It is so good.

As of last week, I am back to eating “nothing that has a face.” I couldn’t take the guilt anymore, and the constant reminder that my mom would think she had won the war if she ever found out I was casually chewing sashimi like bubble gum. However, if you ask my son, he will tell you that Mommy eats meat when no one is home. Which could be true if I knew how to cook that shit. But I don’t. So, nice try, son.

***

I was a vegetarian for three years before someone asked me, “So are you ovo-lacto?”

“Ok,” I answered. Because I didn’t know there were different kinds of vegetarians! My three years of barely-passing Latin classes in high school at least helped me figure out that it meant I was a vegetarian who also ate dairy.

I was a vegetarian for six years before I found out that I wasn’t supposed to be eating food made from gelatin because it contains animal by-products. Two vegetarians actually had a shouting match about this at one of my game nights and I quietly shirked away because I didn’t want to get involved.

I was a vegetarian for ten years before I was finally able to accept that “vegetarianism” is not synonymous with “skinny.” We can still eat cake and cookies. And potato chips. And milk shakes . And Kit-Kats.

I’ve been a vegetarian for eighteen years and I still don’t know what to do with tofu. It just sits there in the package, looking all slimy and wet. And the “firm” and “extra firm” versions are just as jiggly, so whaddup, tofu? Explain yourself.

My friend Amber recently told me she wanted to add tofu to her diet and started asking me questions about it. Questions make me nervous because my response is usually “I don’t know.” Or just a shrug if I’m feeling like three words are just too much to muster. I’m conversationally ambivalent.

I had to text Henry and ask him what kind of tofu Amber should buy, because while I’ve come a long way in that I can now name more vegetables than peas and carrots, don’t ask me about tofu.

***

I worked in a butcher shop for 4 years. What kind of a vegetarian even looks at a butcher shop for a minute, let alone works inside one for 4 years?! Luckily, my office was upstairs from where all the disgusting shit was happening, but sometimes my boss thought it would be hilarious to send me downstairs to get the meat cutters’ lunch orders. I’d have to wear a USDA-approved hardhat, even.

Four years working in a butcher shop actually made it A LOT easier for me to stay true to my meatless lifestyle.

But then the Great American Bacon Explosion happened. Bacon sundaes. Bacon milkshakes. Maple bacon donuts. Maple bacon cupcakes. Chocolate-covered bacon. Candied bacon. Bacon-flavored condoms. Bacon breath mints. Bacon wigs. Bacon 4 President. Kitchen utensils to aid with the fashioning of bacon bowls to be filled with more bacon. I had no idea I even missed bacon that much until I was being tempted with bacon-wrapped apples in every garden. When I was a carnivore, bacon was just bacon. I mean, it was great, I loved it; but when did it become OMG BACON?

My tattoo guy is vegan. The last time I was at the shop, his consultation appointment brought him donuts, one of which was maple bacon. He quickly offered it to one of the other guys there. “Seriously, I might eat that if no one takes it. I think about bacon like, all of the time.”

“Me too!” I cried. And then I felt less alone in this small, meat-free community.

If I ever fall off the wagon for good, it will be because of bacon. Goddamn you, bacon.

***

***

There’s a stereotype for my kind: that obnoxious preachy person who sits across from you at dinner and judges you for ordering a steak. I was never that person. I don’t give a shit what you eat as long as you’re not dripping its blood on my plate. However, one time in 2003, I opened the refrigerator to see half of a Cryovac’d cow taking up an entire shelf. That might have been one of the most brutal fights Henry and I have ever had. He never brought shit like that into my house again.

It always bothered me though that I let people have their meat and eat it too, yet there were always those ones who just couldn’t wait to make fun of me for eating faux chicken nuggets and black bean burgers. Like the time my whole family erupted in exaggerated dry-heaves when Henry was nice enough to cook me a Tofurkey for Thanksgiving in 2004. I had to sit there while everyone pointed out how gross and disgusting I was, like I was hand-shoveling dog feces into my mouth. And then my mom would swear that she substituted cream of mushroom soup in her side dishes that called for cream of chicken, but then she would snicker, so God only knows what they were feeding me. I couldn’t eat anything my grandma made me because I was 95% convinced that she was pureeing beef into everything from soup to muffins so that I wouldn’t “catch anemia.”

Then there are the people who treat vegetarianism as a joke, refusing to order a plain pizza because they have zero respect for my dietary requirements. I got really good at picking pepperoni off pizza.

We can totally have a conversation without me thrusting a PETA petition at you (although I will sign the shit out of those at every single Warped Tour while Henry stands to the side, rolling his eyes up to the meat-filled heavens). I’m not going to tell you that you’re ruining your life by feasting on poor, defenseless animal flesh or hand you a pamphlet that illustrates what exactly is in that food court hot dog, because I don’t care what you do.

Moral: don’t judge me and my tofishy tacos and I won’t judge you and your KFC Double Down.

And don’t ask me about tofu.

Nov 092020
 

We got a new president AND Taemin in a cropped sweater in the same week, I am feeling so well-fed and blessed.

I actually almost (ALMOST) forgot this was dropping today because I have been so consumed and obsessed with election stuff and trolling Trump’s voter fraud hotline and laughing at Four Seasons Total Landscaping memes but then I woke up early to go to my gum doctor follow-up appointment and screamed OH SHIT, NEW TAEMIN!! So I had glorious music to listen to on the way there and back, thank you Taemin.

Then I came home and made Henry (he’s off all week!) watch the MV and then he said, “I want to hear the song with Wendy (from Red Velvet)” and I dunno why this was so hilarious to me but it was so I laughed because everything is funny when you just had a weight lifted from your heart that had been consistently compounding for four years.

Have a wonderful Monday, friendos!

(How can I upgrade my current Taemin cutout to one of him in that white cropped sweater holy shit.)

Nov 072020
 

Got this image from Twitter, credit unknown!

I didn’t realize how much stress and anxiety I had been carrying until this moment, when so much of it came melting off me like Tammy Faye Baker’s makeup during a good spiritual cry.

This country is so broken and it’s going to need a lot more than this to fix it, but hey – at least we know which of our neighbors and relatives are racists now, if we hadn’t already. I cut a friend out of my life this year because of their flagrant disdain toward the BLM movement so in a way, thanks for enabling people to show their true colors, Trump.

I’m looking forward to not having to spend holidays with my Trumper family members this year, that’s for sure. Also looking forward to having a president I can respect again, and not being embarrassed to be an American. Let’s show the world that we can be a team player again!

Nov 052020
 

Need a musical distraction from this anxiety-inducing vote-counting spectator sport?

Because the new CL single is everything.

I love it when a Queen comes back.

OK, carry on. Let’s hope that the orange toddler-tyrant will soon be officially named the loser that we always knew he was.

Nov 042020
 

Hello. Checking in. How are you? Numb? Optimistic? Drunk? Like maybe you’re finally waking up from a four year nightmare? Chooch and I have been so on edge (Henry is ambivalent as always). Like, all day I kept calling Henry and screaming things like DO YOU THINK BIDEN COULD REALLY TAKE MICHIGAN AND WISCONSIN and he’d just be like *noncommittal grunt*. I wanted to reach through the phone and shake him! Like, YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE, DUDE! PLEASE CARE ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY, YOU MILQUETOAST FAKE PATRIOT!

But Chooch has been my little election buddy. He kept running downstairs in between his classes, yelling things like, “IF BIDEN CAN WIN *INSERT STATE*, HE’LL WIN 11 POINTS!” Because when you look at it like it’s a video game with a score, what teenager WOULDN’T be interested? Also, Chooch fucking hates Trump’s guts, so he’s pretty invested in this. I didn’t care about politics at all when I was his age, but also, we didn’t have a president as fucked up as the one we have now (but hopefully not for much longer).

Anyway, now it’s much later at night and I’m a lot calmer. How are you? You good? Hanging in there? Need some cat pictures? I gotchu.

Our cats fucking love these stupid holiday cat scratchers that Target is always schilling to us crazy cat families. We never put away the one that we got them last Christmas, so Chooch connected them and now they have a Christmas villa.

They were upset at first because they REALLY like the Halloween hotel one that we bought them earlier this fall, but then we showed them that it was just moved to Chooch’s bedroom so now they’re happy again.

(They REALLY love these things!)

Penelope has resting bitch face. She’s actually the sweetest cat ever.

I mean, no really.

Henry still hasn’t finished the coffee table. Don’t even get me started. But he’s off all next week and I have a TO DO list all scribbled out for him. He doesn’t accrue any PTO at Erin Appledale Inc.

Well, I’m off to, I dunno, do late night Pilates or something before camping out on the couch all night again, with CNN on in the background, waking me up every hour in a fucking panic. I mean, that’s not what I did last night or anything.

Nov 032020
 

I woke up this morning and like probably most Americans, vomited over the side of my bed into my Victorian chamber pot. Presidential elections should not incite these kinds of full-body emotional meltdowns.

After eating breakfast which I couldn’t even taste because even my palate is numb I guess, I started watching The Unicorn on Netflix because I needed a mediocre American family sitcom with short episodes to keep me from my thoughts. It was ok! I will probably continue watching season 1 and then wind up getting attached only for it to get canceled.

Now it’s 10am. I spent the first hour of my work day not being able to log on and waiting for the help desk to, you know, help. That really added a few BPMs to my Election Day heart rate.

But I would like to take a moment here to show you the gallery wall in my “office area/dining room” which henry helped me achieve. It took a lot longer than you’d think but it was worth it to have happy images in front of me all day!

The desktop background of the computer is also a picture from Seoul so it blends right in, see also: what is obsession?

Probably 75% of the frames were purchased at various Goodwills and thrift shops for this very purpose but it also resulted in Henry crying out, “WHAT THE FUCK SIZE EVEN IS THIS? THEY DON’T MAKE PHOTOS THIS SIZE!!” more than once and then we learned that something happened to Henry’s brain somewhere along the way and he can no longer “do measuring” so every time we had photos printed, there would be like 3 that suddenly didn’t fit into any of the frames, so that was the catalyst to several spats, lol, noooo not Henry and me, we NEVER argue.

Way before we started to redo the dining room, I had the idea to do a gallery wall with frames that matched our dining room table chairs, and then that turned into, “but we should also paint that wall” which turned into, “Well just one painted wall is dumb guess we should do the whole room” which turned into, “Wait, put stripes on this part of the wall” which turned into, “let’s just make the room completely unrecognizable because, corona.” All in all, it’s comforting to me and makes working from home less sucky!

I saw these little clipboard frames at Michaels and felt they would be perfect to fill up the smaller gaps while displaying travel ephemera like ticket stubs and metro cards. I was way too excited about this and Henry was like *ambivalent nod of semi-approval-ish*.

Boarding pass from Incheon to Tokyo and bus ticket to Ildong from when we went to stay at G-Dragon’s pension!

Instant coffee from our hotel in Busan!

I’m obsessed with the one of the palace guards.

Now it’s 10:30 which also turns out is PUZZLE TIME and the cats are HERE FOR IT.

We all need distracted. Currently looking for Obama coffee mugs.

I started a HELP ME UGHHHHH email chain with several work friends and now we’re talking about stress-eating Mad Mex and that sounds like a great idea except that on Election Night 2016, we went to a nearby Mexican restaurant and I will never forget how sick I felt with  both a plate of enchiladas and a giant TV screen displaying polling results in front of me. We know the outcome of THAT election, so now I’m afraid that getting Mexican food again will jinx it, ughhhhh what to do.

11:30. Do I have the attention span to start an audiobook to help me get through the work day? I’m not sure. Everything fucking sucks. My brain is full of thought marbles.

It’s 1:17. I just ate a bagel and a sad Boca burger for lunch. It was unfulfilling. Everything is sad today.

3:33 now and I’m just numb-ish. Chooch and I went for a walk during my lunch break. I returned two books that I DNF’d (TWO DNFs!! Who even am I?!) and then we did our usual stroll about Brookline, critiquing people’s landscaping. I have two hours left of work, which has been OK and since several people are off today, I’m providing backup for some things that I haven’t done in a while so it’s kind of giving me a fresh outlook, in a way, and also sort of keeping me distracted but now Henry is home and he hasn’t voted yet and I am practically about to shove him in a wheelbarrow and push him across the street to our polling place.

OK he just left to do his civil duty! Godspeed American Hank.

4:40: My friend Nate and I are chatting about thirst traps so this feels more like a normal Tuesday now.

Sort of.

Guys, did I tell you that YG Entertainment officially confirmed that THE KING, THE LEGEND, KWON JIYONG-SSI, G-DRAGON, GD, is finally working on a comeback?? That’s the pillow that I’m screaming into today.

Speaking of G-Dragon, this older Mino song came on our Spotify playlist over the weekend and it made me miss Taeyang and BIGBANG in general so much that it felt like I had the air knocked out of me.

6:30: I sat down to watch more episodes of The Unicorn and now that Henry’s home, he usurped my personal space and started laughing too hard and saying things like WHO IS THAT GUY and WHAT SHOW IS THIS and like, go watch one of your dumb cop shows and back off my wholesome sitcom about a widower with super annoying friends, for gods sake.

Look, I can’t do this. My body is straight up sizzling. I think I’m going to get drunk and set things on fire. Hopefully we come out the other side of this with the outcome we want and this country needs.

Oh my god, BARF VOMIT GAG.

Oct 262020
 

You know what I miss just as much as haunted houses? The whole entire process of making a night of it. The drive there, the late night diner stops on the way home. The inside jokes that are born from the STUPIDEST things. I just miss it, yo.

This latest Think Sesh made me remember the time in 2018 when we dragged Janna to a haunted asylum in WV and had one of the funnest diner experiences afterward. (I mean, if you ask Chooch and me; Henry and Janna will be like “you mean annoying though, right?)

Anyway, I’m reposting it because it cheered me up and ’round here I can use all the cheering-ups I can find even if it’s just a piddly little recycled blog post. :/ I’ll be back tomorrow with a post about ice cream.


A SATURDAY NIGHT IN WEST VIRGINIA

Shit, I know what you’re thinking: How fun could a night in WV honestly be? But look, listen. There was one last haunted house I wanted to go to before slamming the door on another successful haunt season, but it’s TWO HOURS AWAY in Weston, WV. I’ve been twice before and I can tell you that it’s worth it, so I got Janna to agree to go too and Henry reluctantly drove us (I’m not great at night-driving, OK?! It’s a miracle I got us home from Fright Farm a few weeks ago). Chooch and I were rambunctious from the start because there is something about Janna that just seriously activates our Giddy Mode. It’s not even that she instigates us or anything, but more so that she is so freaking easy-going and basically ignores us that it just makes us react even harder. As you can imagine, Henry LOVES this. For instance, we stopped at a Sheetz in some rural area and Chooch was getting a “Hollywood Snack” pack and became deadset on getting Janna to buy one too. She eventually conceded and while we were cackling over this like hyenas in the car, Janna calmly said, “I HAVE HAD THIS BEFORE, CHOOCH, IT’S NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL.”

OMG BUT IT WAS!

Then we were laughing because she was taking so long inside Sheetz so we just left her in there. When she finally came out, she wasn’t even hurrying back to the car! SHE WAS IN THERE FOR SO LONG THAT HENRY WAS CHECKING THE OIL AND CLEANING OUT THE TRUNK!?

I’ll skip the haunted house part because I’m going to make Chooch write about that (lol, I love bossing him around) but we got stuck with an annoying family (I mean, aside from my own) so the haunt wasn’t as great because of that (the dad of all people was the one who ruined it for us because he was such a slow idiot and even the rest of his family was like “PAUL, GO FASTER!” because other groups were catching up to us, and it wasn’t until the next day when I was like,, “Oh shit, they were actually saying ‘Pa’” and then that just made it even funnier to me). By the time we got out of there, it was after 9 and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so Henry took us to DJs 50’s and 60s Diner, which is where we ate last year on the way home from the same haunt, but this time it was blessedly uncrowded. (Last year, it was after some football game so that place was packed with Trumpers.)

Chooch took this picture of his loving parents. Henry’s face was varying levels of anger and annoyance throughout the meal, especially when he summoned our waitress after we ordered because he wanted to tack on an appetizer for himself but when the waitress came over, Chooch cut him off to ask her what the wi-fi password was and then they were both talking to her at the same time and she was like WHAT TO DO but she ultimately chose to make Chooch’s request her priority and I thought Henry was going to flip the table especially later on when she came back with his appetizer and we all lunged for it so he ended up with only one deep fried banana pepper.

The trials and tribs of Henry J.

Chooch and I were fighting each other for Janna’s “good fries” because I am a super ridiculous fry snob with very narrow criteria that Henry hasn’t been able to decode in the 18  years I’ve been snatching “good fries” from his plates, and I managed to pass this trait down to Chooch which sucks because he knows EXACTLY the ones I like and has himself convinced that HE likes them the best too and now there is always a war over fries, even worse than when America was mad at France and took it out on french fries by renaming them FREEDOM FRIES.

But look, Chooch and I aren’t complete savages about this – we have enough civility to BARTER. Yes, that’s right, for every “good fry” we steal from someone else’s (read: Henry’s) plate, we toss in one of our own rejects. Janna was getting tired of us launching our unwanted fries onto her plate and eventually yelled, in her own way, “Oh my god, just take the ones you want! I don’t care!” and the fact that we managed to get Janna worked up over this made Chooch laugh so hard that he had to run to the bathroom to maybe-puke.

BUT HE TOOK A FRY WITH HIM!

Meanwhile, the waitress (a very sweet young girl who patiently endured our hour-long visit) came over to refill my coffee so I purposely held my cup over Henry’s lap and I was trying to hold back my giddy bray the whole time which only made it worse and the whole sitch ended up being awkward because I’m sure she thought I was laughing at her, but no, I was just being an asshole to my own people.

And then I got Janna to subscribe to my blog after 11 years!!

And then I took a picture of my gardenburger and cracked up all over again because who seriously takes a picture of a diner veggie patty.

AND THEN WHEN WE WERE LEAVING, WE SAW THIS PICTURE IN THE VESTIBULE. LOLOLOLOL..

Oh for god’s sake, I needed all that laughter. My cheeks felt like they were going to split!

Oct 252020
 

I dropped my ballot off today and this is the first time I’ve ever gotten a sticker because my usual polling site NEVER HAS ANY. I’m way too excited about it.

Feeling relieved to get that out of the way but the anxiety and nerves have only multiplied now that we’re almost a week out. Come on, Biden, let’s goooooooo.

I’ll sign off with an upbeat song straight from a country with a good president. Don’t just make a wish, guys – GO VOTE!!

Oct 232020
 

Do I really need an intro.

Terrordome

This damn ticket to a haunted house is 25 years old. I always keep it tucked into a frame of a picture on a wall so it’s kind of like permanent decor at this point, but I was looking at it the other day when I took it down to dust said picture frame (and by dust I mean I just gave it a good swipe with my hand, housewife who now?) and felt awash with memories. (Or maybe that was just the dust particles.

Some thoughts I had while looking at this ticket:

  • $13.50 is CHEAP AF for a haunted house nowadays but I remember in 1995 thinking that it was expensive (actually, I probably didn’t give it a second thought – I was 16 and my mom paid for everything!). But this was a big deal because it was located in the old Civic Arena, which is where the Penguins used to play, and this was back when haunted houses were in old schools and VFWs so it was exciting to have some big budget, commercialized haunt to attend (and now I wish we could just go back to 1995 where haunted houses were all garbage bag walls and gratuitous gropings, le sigh). I wish I could tell you if it was “worth” the whopping $14 bucks, but I honestly can’t remember the inside at all aside from ELVIRA being there one night (we went like three times lol) and getting her to sign a picture for my dad. But what I do remember is that they had some of the best monsters entertaining the people in line outside and I became obsessed with two of them, one of whom I would run into a few years on the Southside and practically accost, all excitedly screaming I REMEMBER YOU FROM TERRORDOME and she was like I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY DO I NEED TO USE IT. Anyway, I would run into numerous times after that on purpose because she went on to become local legend PHAT MAN DEE and my friend Wonka and I used to attend her performances back in the day. This one time, she actually sat with us in between sets at the Lava Lounge and we thought we were literally the coolest fucking people ever, or at least at that bar.
  • I mentioned that we went several times that season, but it was because we had so much fun hanging out outside of the venue that my friend Keri and I begged my mom to take us back. OK FINE THERE WAS A BOY. Keri and I became friendly with Jason Voorhees and ended up hanging out with him outside of the arena for like, hours. I had the biggest crush on him ever but OF FUCKING COURSE Keri snagged him because that was her sole purpose in life, pushing up her boobs and doing things with her tongue. I remember her shot-gunning his cigarette while we were sitting there and I was so pissed, and then of course she only dated him for a hot minutes because she couldn’t have meaningful ANYTHINGS back then and probably now too but I wouldn’t know because I haven’t talked to her since 2006 when she sold me out to Henry’s ex-wife because she was hanging out at the bar his ex worked at and was getting free beer. YEAH, FREE BEER FOR GIVING HER THE INSIDE SCOOP ON MY LIFE. MORE LIKE BLOOD BEER!!
    • Jason Voorhees (I don’t remember his real name) wasn’t even that cute when he took his mask off.
  • LOL @ the now-defunct Bell Atlantic as a sponsor.

 

MOLE DAY

We finally got Chooch a gaming computer after years of crying for one and begging Janna to give him hers. For the first couple days, he was very grateful and being super helpful around the house but now he’s back to normal. It was nice while it lasted. :(

I was “getting ready for work” yesterday morning (by that I mean I still brush my hair and do my eyebrows because you never know when a surprise video call could happen). Chooch was “in Chemistry” and from the bathroom, I heard his teacher say, “Tomorrow is a special day in Chemistry. Anyone know why?

“I bet it’s Mole Day,” I whisper-screamed from the hallway.

Chooch ignored me.

Anyone want to try and guess?” his teacher asked again from the computer screen.

“Mole Day!” I repeated.

“I’m not saying that,” Chooch grumbled, because in his mind HOW CAN A MOTHER KNOW THINGS.

I’ll give you a hint: it relates to a number in chemistry,” the teacher sounded sad and desperate now, just like I was TO HAVE MY ANSWER PASSED ON.

“TELL HIM IT’S MOLE DAY!” I wheezed, hopping from foot-to-foot in frustration.

It’s Mole Day,” the teacher sighed to the virtual classroom of stoops.

“TELL HIM I KNEW THAT!” I screamed. “TELL HIM YOUR MOM KNEW!”

“No because then everyone will know that—”

“–that what, your mom is smarter than them!?”

“–my weird mom is being creepy and listening in to  my class,” Chooch sighed.

We are so over each other.

NEIGHBORHOOD VEG HOOKUP

OK you guys look I am really guilty about this because you know how much I LOVED PARKER’S, the local sandwich shop with the cool aesthetic and “we’re all family here” vibes that the owner gave off, and I cried when they announced they were closing, and then I vowed to hate whatever took its place, but LOOK, OAK HILL POST IS THE SHIT, OK? I CAN’T HELP IT. Granted, I can’t eat 90% of what’s on the menu because meat, but their veggie burger is the best around, and the cauliflower soup I had a few weeks ago was garnished with GINGERBREAD CRUMBLES and you can fucking fight me right here, right now if you don’t think it was delicious. And don’t get me started on their fluffy, soft buttermilk biscuits with lemon curd and house jam, omfg.

Anyway, earlier in the week they announced on Instagram that they were going to debut a vegan sandwich. OK, look. I have had “vegan sandwiches” at carnivorous eateries before and it usually equates to the kitchen dumping some basic veggies (zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers generally) onto a wrap and calling it a day. I mean, OK that’s fine. But you’d be surprised at the wide array of disappointing veggie wraps I’ve had in my life! In fact, there was one road trip recently where I had like three in a row that made me want to cry.

But I had a feeling that this one was crafted with thoughtfulness and quality ingredients, and hoooooo boy-o I was correct-o-mundo. First of all, that bread. Thank you for one-upping a basic wrap, Oak Hill Post. Sincerely, thank you for serving these quality vegetables on a high-class carb vessel.

Oh and in between the bread-flaps? MOROCCAN SPICED CELERY ROOT. Did I know that I liked that!? Not until Wednesday. Now it’s all I can think about. Also: lettuce and red pepper hummus. But the celery root was what carried this thing, man. I couldn’t stop eating it and then I was so sick afterward because my stomach is not used to hearty vegan sandwiches, but the pain was worth it. It’s so comforting to know that I have a viable veg/vegan food option within walking distances, right here in my ‘hood. #blessed

ALEXA SHOW ME HENRY CELERY ROOT RECIPES.

LC4LYFE

I opened Instagram after work and the first thing I saw was Lauren Conrad posting an IGTV video of a Laguna Beach reunion and I was like OH HOLD THE PHONE, dropped everything and watched the entire 30 minute. I was LIVING for it. I loved Laguna Beach so fucking much and I still support LC with my whole heart (well, part of it – my heart is pulled in a ton of different directions).

Anyway, at the end when everyone was saying goodbye, tears started SQUIRTING out of my eyes and I scream-laughed OMG WHY AM I CRYING and henry just smirked and mumbled, “I’m not surprised.”

Almost all of them look / the same so good still! Stephen Colletti especially there I said it.

Man I miss the early 2000s so much.

Now of course I’m watching Laguna Beach compilation videos on YouTube.

TV TALK

In an earlier post, I whined about not liking Haunting of Bly Manor but then I finished it and while I still stand by the opinion that it was not scary at all, I ended up really loving it when I realized that holy shit, this is a goddamn love story. I cried SO HARD throughout the last episode (and am crying again thinking about it, I hate myself) that I had to hide my face with a pillow because Henry was sitting next to me and even after 19 years I’m still like DON’T SEE ME when I’m crying.

Then for shits and giggles, I started watching Emily in Paris earlier this week, thinking it was like some Teen Nick show. Nope. Not even. I rarely binge shows but I had this one devoured in two days. It helped that the episodes were only like 20-30 minutes though! Was it cheesy? Yes. Did I learn how to say raunchy things in French? Yes. Is Lily Collins totally fucking likeable? Yes. Will I watch Season 2 if it happens? TRES OUI.

Henry and I watched The Lodge over the weekend. I thought it was really great and pretty scary but he was like, “eh.” I LIKE CULT SHIT and the plot was A+. But seriously, Henry is the worst person to watch horror movies with because he rarely likes one and is “never scared.” I did get him to admit that the only horror movie that ever scared him was It’s Alive, but he quickly clarified that he saw it when it came out and he was “just a kid.” Mmhmm. Anyway, The Lodge was made by the same people who did Goodnight, Mommy, and that movie WAS SO FUCKING GOOD. This one wasn’t as good, but I would recommend it all the same. The atmosphere was so stark and cold, the cast was great (would have liked to have had more Alicia Silverstone though!), and it was actually less predictable than I imagined. Incidentally, it was the second time in a week that we watched something with Riley Keough in it and I had previously never even heard of her (I’m vicariously living in Korea, remember?). Turns out she’s Elvis’s granddaughter.

Oh! And I watched An American Murder or whatever the fuck that new Netflix documentary is called. Chooch started watching it with me but then had to go play Fortnight or something and said he’d watch the rest later and then when he overheard me say something to Henry about the husband killing his wife, Chooch was like WOW OK SPOILER and I was like, “This isn’t fiction though, it literally happened and we already knew it was the husband!?” But yeah, what a fucking demon dick and also the broad he was cheating with wasn’t that great, so nice one, asshole. Also Part 2, I was extremely uncomfortable that they used actual text messages in it, like I didn’t need to know how the wife was horny.

In Korean drama news, I finally started watching It’s Okay to Not Be Okay and I think the real Korean title actually translates to Psycho But Fine….my Korean skills are limited but “psycho” is “psycho” in both languages, so. Anyway, only 2 episodes in and I love it but show me a Korean drama that I won’t love, truly. The reason I was finally pushed to watch it is because the main character is a, well, psycho writer of children’s books, and the books featured in the show (dark fairytales in the vein of Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman) were made into actual books and I really want to buy them to use for learning purposes, so maybe if Jiyong and I ever get to hang out again I can bring cute books instead of text books and we could read those together instead while she makes me repeat the hard words over and over until my tongue swells and then I start hating those books, god I miss those days.

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Honestly, I can’t recommend Korean dramas enough, especially now that all there is to do is binge shit. I have been trying to get JANNA to watch one BUT SHE HAS NOT DONE SO YET WHAT A BITCH HI JANNA.

***

Anyway, today is my last day of work before my annual Halloween Vacation starts so cheers to that, etc etc.

Happy fucking Mole Day, I’m out.

Oct 192020
 

As previously mentioned, some latent pumpkin-carving obsession has awoken in Chooch and we can’t supply him with enough fresh, uncut ‘kins fast enough. He’s like a fucking machine.

Penelope is 100% not a fan.

(Fun fact, chooch and I locked ourselves out right after this and the cats were FRANTIC. Drew was hanging off the door handle at one point and then maniacally clawing at the bottom of the door. Henry was in the basement and didn’t hear us banging on the door right away so it was pure drama for 30 whole seconds.)

I had wanted to get a Biden sign for the yard but apathy and ambivalence won out and now it just seems dumb because it’s so late in the game, so I had Henry get me five small pumpkins during one of his myriad trips to the store over the weekend (he’s either having an affair with a Fresh Thyme cashier or he just REALLY loves that self-serve peanut butter…or both. Together. OMG EW) and my old-ass acrylic paints were like OMG WE HAVE PURPOSE AGAIN?!

Hopefully my mom doesn’t roll up and smash them.

Anyway yeah I’m really feeling it! Usually we don’t decorate at all because we’re so busy running around to haunted houses and amusement parks that October slips through our fingers before we can sling up nary a cobweb (luckily our house is full of the natural ones because dusting, what’s that?).

I wonder if I can get Chooch to carve me a Taemin or G-Dragon pumpkin….

Oct 012020
 

It’s October 1. Thank god you’re reading this or else you’d have never known.

Anyway, that song up there used to be my favorite. It was such a mix CD staple! It popped into my head the other day and I got sad because I couldn’t remember who sang it for the longest time. How?! It eventually came to me today so I decided it was a sign to share it here with…whoever is left in this wasteland.

Historically, October has always been my favorite month. I grew up with a mom who LIVED for decorating the fuck out of our yard and always let me have Halloween parties (and uh, let’s not get into the costumes she used to make me when I was in elementary school – that’s been covered to death on the slog blog). I mean, I started watching horror movies when I was in the single digits because my mom just didn’t care, lol!

October was also the month I met The Cure in Australia (ok ugh and also the month I met Henry—the same year even, just not in Australia lol)!

Sadly though my absolute favorite October activity is going to as many haunted houses and hayrides as I can jam in, but clearly that is not going to happen this year. And you know what? I’m not gonna be a bitch baby about it. Maybe I’ll just break into ACTUAL haunted houses?! Find some creepy urban legend-y places to poke around in? Jump in piles of all the money I saved from NOT going to corporate haunted attractions?

It’s actually been a long time since we carved pumpkins (we never have time, usually because we’re busy, you know, going to those aforementioned haunts lol) so maybe we’ll actually do that this year. Decorate the yard a little? We haven’t done that in a long time either because we’re never home!

I think I will also spend (more) time in cemeteries, possibly while listening to good horror audiobooks? Maybe take a day trip to point at fall foliage? I mean, clearly I will be watching the fuck out of horror movies.

The whole point of this is that I’m not gonna let it get me down. There are bigger things to be mad at right now. October can (and will) still rule!

(Is trick or treating even going to happen this year?! I mean, if ever there’s an apropos time to wear a mask….)

I mean, if Jo’s can be Halloready in spite of it all, I can too!

Sep 302020
 

In honor of my mom giving me spare rolls of the wallpaper found in my grandparents’ house, and my inability to function today after enduring last night’s political circus in its entirety, I am re-sharing this tale I wrote four years ago after doing a for-funsies photoshoot of Chooch while we were cleaning out the Gillcrest house. I still miss that house every day (I mean, it’s still standing but some asshole house-flipper bought it and has since gutted it and torn up the entire back patio area so whoever they are, they can kindly go fuck themselves with a fistful of pinecones). 

(The worst part is that my mom still lives on the same street and has to drive past a plot-full of memories every day.)

Anyway, onward and upward, as they say. 

(“They” can also go fuck themselves with a fistful of pinecones, honestly.)

See also: this is why I don’t “write” anymore, lol.

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

Bun had been haunting Gillcrest for the last 10 decades,

No one had bothered him, not even the wool-clad Mormon mission-maids.

But then one Tuesday a stranger arrived with a bag—

The new resident of Gillcrest, it was a horned stag!

Bun watched this scene unfold from a darkened upstairs window,

and wondered, “How in the hell can I chase off this bimbo?”

The new resident brought with him nine pounds of lunch meat in a chest,

three truckfuls of IKEA and paint swatches tucked near his breast.

His name was Bart and he was quick to make himself at home,

Tucking into bed with a trashy airport tome.

Bun waited for Bart to close his eyes for the night

Before pulling out a nightmarish delight.

A mannequin, green like slime and with nary an arm

Out from the closet to cause all sorts of harm.

When Bart arose the next morn’ with a stretch and a spit,

His heart skipped a beat at the sight of the broad’s plastic tit.

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“I swear this tart wasn’t here when I turned off the light,”

He swiped at the beads of sweat along his lip, butt clenching in fright.

Bart fled from his room and sank down into a corner,

Wondering if he was dealing with the supernatural or a burglar.

28522040834_09e714dc05_c

Bart thought he heard some blips, some gurgles, and a bleet,

Coming from the basement far under his feet.

“That’s probably just the house groaning, or feral cats under the foundation, boning,”

Bart laughed nervously, thinking he might call his Mother for some chaperoning.

Oh, but it was Bun, partaking in his daily routine:

A rousing game of Pacman and a few swigs of hooch at 10:14.

Bun floated back upstairs just in time to hear Bart on the phone,

Talking to his mommy who made him feel a little less alone.

She said to vacate the spooks behind the peregrine doors,

“You need to redecorate, and make this house yours!”

Bart assessed his new home from a red corner chair,

and thought, “How can I change things up around here?

I’ll knock down this wall and tear up that shag carpet,

and turn that grand bathtub into a germ-filled ball pit.”

It was like reliving his midlife crisis of 1994,

Which came with a Porsche and an affair with a Gabor.

(Not Zsa Zsa.)

“He wants to put a ball pit right here in my loo?

I gotta get rid of him with something stronger than ‘boo.'”

Bun needed to sit down and have a good thought.

So he went and did just that on the master pot.

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Bun considered going the poltergeist route,

Tossing around dishes, chucking an old rubber boot.

Not wanting to break his things, he went with something more malleable,

And summoned an army of one of each stuffed animal.

Teddy bears and puppies and some weird doll-thing,

Surged upon Bart, pinning him to the wall like one big butterfly wing.

 

“It was probably just a fluke, something-something about gravity,”

Bart’s mom sighed over top of her daytime TV.

“You know what you need, a good healthy lay.

Go call up Bernice from 1-900-PONYPLAY.”

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Bart knew she was right, some company would do him good,

So he tried to fix himself up, he did what he could.

He lubed up his horn and filled his satchel with smelling salts,

Then when downstairs to wait for Bernice and all of her faults.

(Daddy issues.)

After waiting in his chair for more than an hour,

Bart thought he saw something, a figure the trees tried to devour.

“Is that Bernice?” Bart thought, bringing his binoculars  up to his eyes,

(He always kept them handy in case a neighbor bared their thighs.)

But what he saw didn’t resemble a hag rode hard and put away wet,

No, this looked more like…somebody’s Easter pet.

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And what was that, just behind the bunny and to the left?

A head in a ditch, the chin had a cleft.

Was that Bernice, beheaded by this cuniculus killer

But Bart rubbed his eyes, and the bunny was gone, nothing out there but filler.

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Bun came back into the house and changed his clothes,

Killing that stripper bitch left him bloody and anxious for her to decompose.

Bun knew that if he played his cards just right,

He’d have his estate back by the end of third night.

Just a few more moves left in this game by his pawn

Before Bart would be shitting his pants on the front lawn.

 

Bun spent time in the game room with his clown crew

While elsewhere in the house, Bart’s paranoia grew.

Was this some real life Amityville Horror ghost attack,

Or just another Vietnam acid flashback?

The bedside phone rang on Bart’s third night,

Not once but thrice, the trill giving his  faint heart a bite.

The first two calls were white noise, static silence,

Not even the slightest semblance of a sentence.

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But the third call exploded with the angry bellow of Bun:

“Bitch you’re in my house, best run motherfucker, run!”
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That was enough to get Bart to peace the fuck out, see,

So he called up a ride from the Teenage Hooker taxi company.

He waited and waited by the window, so harried and eager,

His hooves percussing the floor to the beat of Bob Seger.

“A real man would have lasted more than one day times three,”

He could already hear his mother say in between sips of her tea.

But mother can suck a dick, Bart thought as he ran out of the door,

To jump in the back of the cab driven by a whore.

(Out of Uber territory.)

Bun rejoiced on the deck beneath the sun’s bright rays.

“I got my house back and I have lunch meat for days!”

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

Sep 292020
 

So we’ve officially experienced every season through the lens of a pandemic. How fucking depressing! Woo!

I don’t really have too much to report. I mostly spent a lot of time taking walks and smiling at the fall foliage that’s beginning to turn up around town.

It makes me remember that my neighborhood can be so cute sometimes, even when there has been road work going on FOR MONTHS NOW on my street, as pictured.

Since our H-Mart daytrip was dashed (don’t worry, since this was something that HENRY wanted to do, it will be rescheduled post haste), we made use of the extra time to get more shit done around the house. It’s really frustrating to have so many open-ended projects going at once, but there has to be an end in sight at some point, I guess? For example, Henry got more work done on the coffee table. I think I mentioned that on here, but we’re just refurbing our current coffee table and by that I mean we gave it a fresh paint job with some new colors and we’re swapping out the pictures that were on the top with much better pictures and by that I obviously mean pictures from our trips to Korea.

We ordered takeout from Apteka since we couldn’t get the vegan food we were pining for in Maryland and I swear, every time I eat at Apteka, I wonder why I don’t eat there more often. Well, probably because it always makes me gain weight, but still – would you look at the hunk’a sadnwich?! Good god damn. I could barely even take down half of it. I’m not joking when I say that it felt like holding a brick when I took it out of the box!

Anyway, this was the Horse & Pepper, which is:

Baked buckwheat veg paté, roast & marinated
jimmy nardello peppers, horseradish slaw, pickled
red jalapenos, and black garlic, on our naturally
leavened spent seed bread.

Oh for the love, this sandwich was DIVINE and, clearly, HEARTY. Honestly though I think the bread was my favorite part — it was so nutty and fresh! Although that horseradish really, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this but now I have to because it was the first thing that came to my head and now I am convinced I’ve been accepted into the 1970s Dad Club, hit the spot. 

Henry refuses to get food from here ever since the one and only time he went and hated every single person eating there alongside us. Look, I’m not a fan of the stereotypical vegan either, but when a place offers EASTERN EUROPEAN vegan cuisine, I will gladly suffer through hearing the lady next to me breastfeeding in Birkenstocks while talking about the new Surfjan record.

That being said, Henry ordered his own vegan food from the nearby pizza joint, Spak’s. I think he got vegan steak and cheese, and seitan wings. All I know is that I also ordered apricot cake that came with sunflower see ice cream and it really jacked me up a notch on the BMI scale and I was bloated for two days, but it was worth it.

Honestly the bread alone could have made a substantial meal.

Most of Saturday was spent watching Kpop stuff on YouTube, I can’t lie.

And then Sunday morning was SO BEAUTIFUL. Henry Oppa got up early and brought home heavenly baked goods from 350 Bakery, which I originally made fun of because I thought their name was generic, like it was probably their street address and that’s one of my pet peeves, when a business can’t think of a better name for their brand other than their goddamn street address, but then I noticed that there is a circle-y thing after their name so it’s actually 350 Degree and I guess that’s a little better.

Later that morning, I walked down to the local high school and did some laps at the track and it felt almost normal. I used to spend a lot of time at the track back when I would participate in the Law Firm walking challenges.

And then most of Sunday we painted. “We.” LOLOLOLOL.

Wait, let me back up. A few weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to paint one wall in the dining room purple and replace all the pictures and paintings that currently live on that wall with photos from Korea (what a shocker) in frames that have been painted the same green as our dining room chairs.

But then I was like WHY STOP THERE and casually came up with a color palette for all the walls in the dining room and then Henry diligently went to Lowe’s and purchased the paint.

So, remember the Get Stoked sign that Henry made for me a bunch of years ago? Well, it stopped working sometime in 2017. Henry was like, “I KNOW WHAT’S WRONG BUT I DON’T FEEL LIKE TAKING IT OFF THE WALL” because he really mounted that sucker to the wall real goodly. But now that we’re painting all of the walls, he said, “I might as well fix this while I have it off the wall” and he did JUST THAT Saturday night and it only took him like 10 minutes!

The secret is to make them think it’s their own idea, you guys.

But yeah, welcome back, Get Stoked sign! It will be nice to use it as mood lighting again if we’re ever able to have guests in the house. Sigh.

In other weekend news, I grudgingly started playing that stupid Among Us game that all the children are into lately because I was trying to use it as leverage to get Chooch to agree to a photoshoot on the day trip that we didn’t even take, but all that really happened was that I accidentally became low-key obsessed with playing it even though I have no idea what I’m doing and I’ve only gotten to be the Impostor 3x and also it bothers me that it looks like “impostor” is spelled wrong but it’s correct?! I literally thought it was some glaring typo and I quietly looked it up in the Dictionary app and wow, I was 41-years-old when I learned how to spell impostor. Imposter. <–yeah, it’s wrong! I wanted to see if the red squiggles appeared and they did!

I guess I will close that chapter in my life now.

Anyway, sometimes Chooch’s friends are in the game and one of them called me GAY like it’s a bad word and Chooch was like “bruh that’s my mom” and then someone got killed and I said “it wasn’t me” and everyone was like, “Ruby seems sus” and I got kicked off!!!!!!!! I WASN’T THE IMPOSTER! OMFG I SPELLED IT WRONG AGAIN.

Can’t this just be an alt spelling? Like color/colour?

Sunday night, I realized that I could change my language in the game to Korean and then it gave me all games with Korean people and I was screaming but Chooch was like, “YOU CAN’T PLAY WITH KOREANS. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE” but all I really had to say was “who??” and I know that word in Korean but then it was really hard to join a game because I kept getting kicked out by the hosts before the games started and Chooch was like, “THEY KNOW YOU’RE AMERICAN, YOU IDIOT, AND THEY DON’T WANT YOU” so then I changed the spelling of my name to a Korean version but even then I was getting kicked out! I was very sad but Chooch said it was probably because everyone in the rooms probably knew each other and were waiting for their friends to join.

I mean, it helped me sleep a little better that night, believing that.

Anyway, weekend was fine. Now I’m getting ready to watch this debate and I feel like I’m going to puke, like I’m the one going up there behind a podium. Fuck Trump!!