Feb 102016
 

  
It might be 18 degrees right now, but the semi-mild weather on Sunday filled me with hope that I’ll be riding roller coasters and having ice cream drip down my chin in no time. 

IN NO TIME. 

I’ve been combatting the blustery blahs by basically ensuring that I have no down time. Last night I stayed up until 1am making work Valentines and cracking up like a lunatic — and it helped!  

I made 19 others because I have no life. 

The Penguins losing this game against the Rangers right now does NOT help.   

Watching these two act like fools? That helps. 

Henry buying me Artifex Pereo’s “Time In Place” on vinyl? Also helps.

The other night, I put on a new jack swing Spotify playlist and lip-synched dramatically in Henry’s face because that’s just who I am, and then I started rearranging the bedroom (again) while laying in bed. I came up with a solution to the lack of storage.

“Here’s something to consider and by that I mean this is what’s going to happen: you’re going to move all of your clothes into the attic. You can share The Man In the Attic’s closet!” 

Henry’s shit is still in my room and it’s been like 3 days since my proposal. (LOL not that kind.)

Yesterday at work, Amber2 brought up conjoined twins and we mused over what it would be like if I was a conjoined twin. “I wonder what my other one would be like?”

“Normal,” Amber said with no hesitation whatsoever. 

“I was thinking the same thing,” Glenn said, like he was a part of the conversation suddenly. He even chuckled, kind of. Shut up Glenn. Then he said my other would probably be a carnivore and we spent way too much time thinking about that.  

  
All Drew and Penelope do is eat and destroy my stuff. 

I recently realized that the Emarosa show we’re going to in Lancaster is on Easter weekend and I’m so relieved because for once we won’t have to scramble for Easter plans this year. I have such a love/hate for holidays because of the whole “nowhere to go, nothing to do” conundrum. But this year we’ll be out of town, woo! And it suddenly occurs to me that we should make Emarosa AN EASTER BASKET. Dumb or amazing???

I’m too full of February to write anything else right now. 

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Feb 012016
 


That means, here are pictures of cats to cleanse your palate from my recent OMG SO SICK posts.


Drew is a spaz and totally outgoing. Chooch found a Kitkat wrapper in his pocket and she has been running around the house with it clenched in her mouth like it’s the fucking Hope Diamond.


Penelope is still leery of the whole thing. She really only lets us pet her when she’s too tired to run away. I slept on the couch the other night when I was OMG SO SICK and she slept on my legs so that was something. She and Drew are so different.


Chooch has been calling her Penope and Leslie Knope.

SHE’S SO CUTE AND I WANT TO CARRY HER AROUND IN A BASKET OF DAISIES BUT SHE WON’T LET ME, WTF.  

Henry acts like he’s so annoyed that there are two destructive beasts in the house, but he totally loves it. Plus, they’re not nearly as destructive as me and Chooch. So there’s that at least.

Thank god Chooch can wear all of his cat shirts now without feeling like a poser. It was a rough 10 months for him.

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Jan 302016
 

I’m feeling better now, at least enough to where I’m mobile, but now HENRY is apparently sick?! So typical of him. I just went upstairs and asked him how much longer he’s going to be sick because I have things I need him to do, and his response was a stuffed-up, “OMG REALLY?!” 

God, Sick Henry is rude as fuck.

Ok I thought I was getting better but I WAS WRONG. Please make my face stop hurting. Today is so frustrating!

Chooch is giving me Shaytards updates and I’m like honestly not listening because that family is a bunch of Fucktards. Why do people like them get Internet famous? I do not understand. Let’s be real. (If you don’t know who they are, I’m proud of you. Now google that shit so you can hate them with me.)

I want to shove eucalyptus rods up my fucking nose. Where can I buy those. 

Now Chooch is singing the Shaytard’s Christmas song to me and I think one of my ears is bleeding. I’m sorry ear. Would you like to commiserate with my nostrils? They’re dripping, too. 

I’m watching NHL All Star coverage but nothing exciting is happening right now other than PK Subban talking about his ugly AF plaid suit. 

Only one good thing has happened today and that is my Basement record was delivered. Here is a picture of Henry reading the newsletter that came with it, like he suddenly cares about the scene. Fuck you, Henry. 

  
I want a smoothie bowl that has carrot juice in it but it has to be pure carrot juice and Henry supposedly couldn’t find any at whatever back woods store he went to and is “too sick” to go to Whole Foods, etc. Then we fought for a bit about who is more sick and I won. 

“Here, I found a recipe for making your own carrot juice out of carrots in 14 easy steps, with pictures,” I said, chucking my phone into Henry’s chest. 

He tried to get me to choose a different smoothie bowl recipe but I WANT THE CARROT ONE.

He threw my phone back at me and muttered, “I guess I’m going to the store to get fucking carrots, because that’s what my life has been reduced to.”

I’m so delirious that I can’t tell if I’m laughing or crying right now. #hellhouse

  
LOLOLOL Henry’s back with carrots and looking so stoked on life. 

Henry’s currently in the kitchen, blending the carrots that he went out to buy after I threw a Sick Fit, which would have been prevented had he just gone the extra mile(s) to buy the carrot juice in the first damn place!!

How do the Flyers even have anyone in this All Star game? That team is so gross. However, I will happily visit their city in March when we road trip for the Emarosa show*. I can’t wait to eat their ice cream & donuts. Thanks for having SOME nice things to offer, Philly. 

*(The show is in Lancaster but I cried until Henry said FINE WE CAN ALSO GO TO PHILLY.)

I slept for 15 minutes. 

Henry just came in and sat down?! I asked him what’s the word on my smoothie bowl and he claims that he has to “let the carrots steep” whatever that means. I HATE TODAY. 

These Flex Seal commercials taunt me. I dream of buying a bucket of that tar shit and making myself & everything around me water-proof.

Henry just felt my forehead and claims that I don’t have a fever. Well, his hand is wrong because yes I do. Whose fucking grandma does he think he is, anyway.   

I WIN. 

I’d love to tell you the verdict but I can’t taste anything. I’m sick, remember?

BUT NOW I’M FREEZING. Smoothie bowls are cold. 

Henry is jawing off about allllll of the thinnnnnnngs he did today even though he was soooooo sickkkkkkk, so I started singing my Henry the Martyr jingle, but I’m all stuffed up still so I started coughing and choking and it was ruined, just ruined. Although now that I think about it, it kind of sounded like Frosty the Snowman so I guess the world isn’t really missing out after all. 

Now we’re talking about biker gangs but I can’t remember why. 

Earlier today, like probably around FIVE AM, one of these idiot kittens knocked over a succulent and spilled dirt all over the coffee table. Henry just now walked past it on his way to bed (it’s not even 10pm but he’s all “I’m sick and going to get rest like normal people do when they’re sick”), pointed to the dirt on the tablecloth and asked, “What are you going to do about this?”

“Wait for you to clean it,” I answered matter-of-factly. 

I mean, duh. 

Now I’m down here alone watching an Eagles doc and feeling sorry for myself. Hotel California always makes me think of sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night to meet my boyfriend Psycho Mike. I had to walk down some really dark creepy streets and there was this one house that always gave me Alice In Wonderland vibes and then right after that was an abandoned house that sat up a bit on a hill and screamed BATES MOTEL and I CANT TELL YOU WHY* any of this made me think of Hotel California but I went through a heavy Eagles phase as a teenage so get off my fucking back why don’t you. 

*(GET IT?!)

Joe Walsh was my least favorite Eagle. 

I still haven’t made a Glenn Frey RIP Glenn. (“You Belong To the City” forever.)

My mom used to go to aerobics classes when I was really little and one of the routines was to Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry.” They did a move called the Taffy Pull (OMG THAT SONG IS PLAYING RIGHT NOW ON PART 2 OF THIS DOC) so I have a natural inclination to bust that out every time I hear that song, which I did not do right now because I’m typing on my dumb phone. 

Don Henley seems like a cunt though, doesn’t he. 

Today is Phil Collins’ birthday, FYI. 

I’m taking NyQuil and passing out, at which point I will probably dream of carrots dancing to Hotel California. Can’t wait. 

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Jan 302016
 


I’d be happy numbing just my face right now. 

I feel much better than I did yesterday but my face still feels slightly like Pangea breaking. I’m glad I didn’t have any plans this weekend because I think that critically acclaimed “rest” that everyone speaks so highly of might be what I should strive for. I don’t get sick very often so when I do, LOOK OUT. 

If there is one thing I don’t do well, it’s sitting around doing nothing. And it looks like it’s going to be a nice day! I feel like Timothy from Secret of NIMH.   

Whyyyyyyyyy. 

Today’s big question, other than the above Whyyyyyyyyy, is “How many episodes of Soap will I half-watch before I finally change the channel?”

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Jan 292016
 

I’M SICK. I felt it coming on two days ago but I thought it passed, then it cold-cocked me in the face today and I had to leave work early. I’m a hot mess. Rested a little bit but now I’m sitting here, all bundled up and bored. So I decided to do a little iPhone photo dump because what else have I got going on, other than cold sweats and hot compresses?   
Still obsessed with a defunct restaurant I’ve never even eaten at: Ernie’s Esquire. Sometimes I google it to see if I can find anything new, and the other night I did! Someone posted this old Ernie’s postcard in some Pittsburgh nostalgia Facebook group. Ugh, that joint looks like it was THE SHIT. 

 Me n bae. This is probably how I got sick.   
I bought graham cracker coffee at Nicholas’ the other day. One of my last moments of joy before I got SICK. 

 Haven’t been able to work on any paintings for a while on account of getting kittens AND SICK.    

Amber2 brought this crazy cake-in-a-box to work last week and it say there for a full day because no one was brave enough to open it. I even tried to woo the HR guy on our floor into opening it.

“I really want someone to open this,” I said, my voice pregnant with hints and suggestive lilts. 

He pushed on his way past, got close enough  to read the MYSTERIOUS ITALIAN, and then said, “It’s not going to be me” before heading back to his office. 

I’m losing my touch. 

But then Amber2 came into the kitchen and together we unboxed it. The powered sugar was packed separately in a pouch, so Amber let me do the honors. I was hesitant at first and then just dumped the whole thing out in no particular pattern.

One of of our coworkers walked by and asked what it was.

“A science experiment,” I said. 

She believed me.

It sat there untouched for quite a while. Not even Glenn was brave enough to try it. Finally, some hours later, I took a small piece. It was spongey, like if someone wet a biscotti and then let it mostly dry. 

I enjoyed the presence of this cake. It was a good conversation starter. 

 One of my unbirthday presents from Gayle, which reminds me, SHE DIDNT GIVE ME JANUARY’S.   

Henry reupholstered our two bar stools just in time to get two kittens!

  

I was bored a few weeks ago and painted this crap over top of a picture from goodwill. 

    
Such productive.   

YOU GUYS. I could die. I started yelling at work when Emarosa tweeted this and immediately shoved my phone into the faces of Amber 2 and Todd (Glenn was gone for the day but I Emarosa’d him the next morning, don’t worry). 

“Wow,” Todd said. “It could be tomorrow or 300 days from now.”

Ugh. 

Then I found out that CASEY BATES is producing it and luteralt, 100% TREMBLED as I texted Henry about it, whose response was: “Who?”

Ugh. 

I’m the kind of girl who fans herself over who is producing what record, ok? Let me have my small joys. 

  
Speaking of small joys, I finally finished the first Law Firm zine and was able to distribute it the other day! It seemed to be pretty well-received and I hope it doesn’t get shut down because it seems like it could be a really fun, interactive thing for our whole group. This issue featured an interview with GAYLE who shared her time as a TRUCK DRIVER with us. It was great. I had to censor the part where she talked about being offered blow jobs by a lot lizard, though. Look at me! I’m already a REAL MEDIA MOGUL!

I tried to sketch a picture of the ITALIAN CAKE for the Things That Happened In January page but it ended up looking like a haystack of dicks wearing a toupee, so I just used the actual picture of the cake. 

Carrie and I had lunch with Allison on Wednesday so I brought her a copy. She was all excited about it and then ALMOST LEFT IT BEHIND as we were leaving. I grabbed it from the table and gave it back to her. 

“I carried that the whole way here for you,” I said in a hurt tone. She seemed geuinely sorry. 

In other news, I got my Brand New and Basement tickets yesterday so that’s a pretty big joy. 

I was going to watch horror movies but then I remembered I took my contacts out and I still don’t have glasses. So I guess I’m going back to bed. I think my neck is broken. 

 

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Jan 282016
 

It’s been very overwhelming here lately. Not in a bad way at all! But having cats in the house again just seemed like something I would never be ready for. And I’m going to be honest — it took me a few days before I really opened up to Drew and now I’m like I WONDER WHAT DREW IS DOING while I’m sitting at my cat-less job. She has really adapted extremely fast to our weird house, and she definitely fits in. Weirdos unite, you know?

I’m hashtag-obsessed with this one already.

But then Monday morning, Drew’s world came crashing down when Suzanne brought the second kitten to us. I had this adorable scene in my head where Drew would prance over to her and give her welcoming nuzzles, and both would be overjoyed at their reunion.

But no. Second kitten was terrified and trembling, and basically stayed scrunched up in the corner of the couch all day long.

And Drew, meanwhile, was PISSED. She greeted her sister with a trying-too-hard hiss and growl and then spent most of the day peering at her from afar. I guess Drew got a taste of being an only child and she liked it, guys. Who’d wanna give that up??

Nope.

Penelope seems to definitely remember that Drew is her sister, and will literally cry out for her. But Drew just turns her nose up, because she’s a human now, you guys. She has no furry sister.

I hadn’t even so much as considered any names before Drew’s sister was brought to us. I wanted to spend time with her and see what felt right. And, much like when Riley was born and “Choochie Cabrera” naturally rolled off my tongue, so did “Penelope Ann Killer.”

Haha, that’s so dumb I said to myself. But then I said it a few more times and couldn’t stop laughing because this kitten was so scared and timid…and then it just stuck.

Penelope Ann Killer.

So fucking dumb. YET PERFECT. And now this old Pinback jam has been stuck in my head:

Oh hay, just lounging on my chair, in my house, with my homies, #nbd.  

Drew spent all of Monday acting out and pouting, kind of the same way I acted when my mom brought my brother Ryan home from the hospital. I get it, Drew.

Monday night, I put on a Touche Amore video and Penelope’s eyes got super wide; she recoiled a bit and from across the room, Drew had this mildly sympathetic look on her face that said, “This is our life now, get used to it, girl.”

After she stole part of my bagel.

By Monday night, Penelope decided to emerge and start sniffing around the house, which irritated Drew. It was pretty clear that Penelope was not intimidated at all. Sorry, Drew.

It’s kind of been disorienting having them around, because it’s been nearly a year since anything with fur has resided in our house (aside from Henry’s mouth-fur, that is), plus we’ve been redoing our bedroom and kitchen so I’m kind of like WHERE AM I all of the time now. Henry’s mom was here that night and consistently referred to both Drew and Penelope as “he” and “him,” so at least that added a bit of normalcy in the house.

This little rotten cat has completely usurped control of the house. I’ve had to relocate most of my succulents because of her! MY PRECIOUS SUCCULENTS.

I have a feeling that Penelope is going to be one sassy little princess when she is fully out of her shell.

Somewhere, Marcy is laughing at me from her throne made of Christian skulls. I miss you, my little Pretty Rainbow Sparkles. I miss all of The Original Four. Moving on really sucks, and I’m still crying approximately 4 times a day, because when don’t I cry, really? But, these little two brats needed us and it feels good to give them a good, crazy home. And, at least I have my shrine for the others, so they’ll always be ever present. <3

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Jan 262016
 

Hi hey hello this is a live journal post from 9/2005 when I was a few weeks pregnant & craving meat, old political pins, & OJ Simpson stuff. 

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

The Inseminator and I celebrated Labor Day by waking up ridiculously early and going to a flea market. He suggested it the night before so there was no struggle trying to get me to wake up; I likened it to Christmas morning.
As soon as we arrived, I already saw the first item for my wish list. Imagine a regal and proud black grandmother, donning her Sunday’s best and finest pearls, sitting pretty with her head tilted to the left. Now, surround this vision with a giant gilded frame and you have what I covet. 
“Why would you want a portrait of someone’s grandma?” Henry scoffed. “And look how big it is! Where would you even put it?”
I couldn’t help but picture it hanging above my bed, watching over me every night. Like a godmother. I was getting more and more attached by the minute and I couldn’t stop thinking about who she was. Was she even still alive? I bet she made a mean Sunday dinner. I imagined she was also in a gospel choir. It pains me that I’ll never get to eat her corn bread.
Henry dragged me along in spite of my warnings of, “Don’t jostle me; I’m pregnant.” We walked disinterestedly past table after table of rusted tools and crocheted doilies, until something finally snapped me out of my pout.
A stack of R.L. Stine books. And not those shitty Goosebumps books, either. I’m talking the real deal. Gems like “The Babysitter” (and the sequel too, I almost died), “Beach Party” and “The Dead Girlfriend.” I scooped up about eight of them (in preparation for my baby’s future) and held my hand out for Henry’s money. The man behind the table counted my change while a lit cigarette dangled from his lips and I kept leaning back further and further like I was competing in a stationary Limbo, trying to avoid the smoke. It’s amazing what a week of pregnancy will do.
As I happily tucked away the change in my purse, Henry disgustingly asked, “Why is it the only time you take out your wallet is to put my money in it?” It’s funny because it’s true! I love looking at the financial pain on his face. The way it’s been slowly chiseling lines into his flesh–ooh it makes me tingle. And then I realized that I was carrying a bag full of paperback books so I flung it at him and said, “You carry this; I’m pregnant.” 
Playing the pregnancy card rules. Why didn’t I think of this a long time ago?
Minutes after pleading with Henry to buy me this fabulous antique wooden chair with a ten foot tall back (“It can be my pregnancy chair! I’ll sit in it everyday!”), I stumbled upon a table that would change my life forever.
It was a table displaying a wide array of antique political pins. And I wanted. Wanted wanted wanted.
There was one in particular that I couldn’t pry my eyes from. It was the size of a quarter with small silver balls decorating the black velvet edge and the face of some dude was in the middle.
An elderly man came over to help me. I stubbed my finger into the glass case and said, “This one, please.” He pulled out my pin and when he placed it in my hand, I felt goosebumps (and not the lame R.L. Stine kind). 
“That’s from 1896, you know,” he said in between old man shakes. Ooh, the history–I could barely stand it.
“Wow…….who is it, anyway?”
The man laughed, which kind of made me mad, and said, “That’s Bryan. He ran against McKinley.”
I don’t doubt that my face had sprouted undulating question marks, but I still wanted it. “How much?” I asked. I figured I could learn all about this Bryan fellow after I bought it. Henry was standing off to the side, showing us his back. This is what he does when he doesn’t want me to see him laughing. 
“Fifty dollars” the old presidential snob laughed, as if he knew this was too much for me. Well, he was right–this time.
“Oh,” and I handed it back to him.
But don’t think my dreams have been thwarted. I’ve already imagined myself wearing a black beret, boasting that pin on the front for all to admire. I’ll be back. I’m going to collect political pins now. 
I walked away with my head down and Henry tried to cheer me up by reminding me that we could go look at the selection of junk indoors, and maybe I could find some cool necklaces. I wasn’t trying to hear it, but as we crossed the threshold to the building, I stopped abruptly and started sniffing with my head held high. That scent was unmistakable, wafting seductively around my head like a ghost trying to score some oral. This was pretty good considering it was 8:00 AM and the hot dogs weren’t even out yet.
“I want a hot dog. With relish.” I haven’t partook in meat for 10 years and now this dumb kid is trying to make me throw that all away? It hates me already, doesn’t it? “Man, I’ll take anything on a bun right about now,” I moaned.
Henry’s eyes were glazed with shock, but then he started laughing. Sometimes he’s just asking for my fist in his mouth. “Cravings, huh?” No shit, asshole, is that what that is? Thank god for Henry — not only is he a Professional Driver, he’s also a Professional Father. I can already hear it: “Well, when my ex-wife was pregnant…” or “When my original son was born…” Goodie, I can’t wait to have my pregnancy compared to his ex-wife’s. 

And speaking of cravings, gone are the days of sour cream love. I ate so much of it that when we went grocery shopping over the weekend, I almost heaved in the middle of the dairy section. Then this morning, I had a fleeting memory of my sour cream and cracker meals from last week and started dry heaving into my soaped-up hands. Oh god, here it comes again.
I was starting to get angry and was just about to throw a tantrum when the perfect distraction, as if sent by god himself, manifested to my right.
“Oooh! Toys!” There was an entire section filled with stuff like Thomas the Tank Engine (in eighth grade, I signed everyone’s yearbook with my Thomas stamp–I was really into it) and old McDonald’s glasses. This corner had it all. Everything but OJ Simpson stuff, which is what I was really in the mood for. They had Pogs there, which made me think about my OJ Simpson trial Pogs. I even had this really elegant brass (or something like it) slammer that had a picture of Simpson’s face engraved in it, with “Innocent” across the top. I cherished that slammer, and then some jerk in my homeroom stole it from me because it made him “sick.” 
After a hyper Chinese woman held me captive in front of her table for 20 minutes, tempting me with hermit crabs (I just bought another one the day before; I named him Dijon and he and Tabasco are getting along just fine) and bamboo shoots (“They’re good for your mind“), my heroic boyfriend came back and saved me (after ditching me to begin with) and we left to get breakfast.
“Is that good?” I asked as Henry shoveled sausage links into his gyrating mouth.
“What, my sausage? Yes.”
“I bet.” And I went back to silently eating my non-meat, non-taste breakfast.

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Jan 232016
 

Today has mostly consisted of housecleaning and getting to know Drew    Walden, but I keep calling her Drewbarry. I think she’s into us. Chooch was explaining his record player to her, and that was just really adorbs, until he put on his Twenty One Pilots album and she was like “THE FUCK?!” and quickly backpeddaled out of his room. 

 Not quite sure about Trudy.   
Drew shares the same sentiments about this shelf as most people. Right after I took this, she knocked that clown on the top left off the shelf and broke its hand. BUT IT’S ALL GOOD. The person who gave that to me is a creep who is banned from my life so GOOD FOR YOU, CLOWN. 

And then she kicked dirt out of one of my succulent pots but I was like ITS OK. Even though I was internally weeping. 

We got a dumb snow storm so Suzanne wasn’t able to bring the second kitten over, so now we’re going to arrange another kitten exchange later this week. I haven’t had kittens in SIXTEEN YEARS. It was honestly that long ago when Marcy had Don and Willie. (And others too but I somehow found the restraint needed to not keep the entire litter.)

We’re having a small game night tonight so it will be interesting to see if Drew change out. My other cats were basically born and raised in a highly social household, so this was shit was no big deal to them—except for Marcy’s daughter Willie, who just never warmed up to people. I’ll be really sad if Drew isn’t a social butterfly!

It’s weird being able to participate in Caturday and #catsofinstagram again. It feels like forever. But also, it feels like only yesterday when I said goodbye to Marcy. Ugh, life is so cruel. 

In other news, the new Basement record comes out next week and I can hardly stand it!

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Jan 222016
 

All week, I was telling Chooch that we were taking him to a foster home. At first he was like, “Yeah, OK” while laughing to himself and going back to whatever lame YouTube video was currently rotting his brain. But I kept it up, subtle mentions and reminders here and there. I would say things to myself like, “I need to start packing Chooch’s clothes…” pretending like I didn’t know he was listening to me, and he would cry, “I DON’T BELIEVE YOU!”

But there was a glimmer of doubt in his eyes. I know what that looks like and I saw it.

Before Chooch left for school Thursday morning, I hugged him and whispered, “I’m really going to miss you.” And then when he and Henry picked me up from work that evening, I asked Henry where all of Chooch’s clothes were.

Henry is really lame (see also: not as twisted as me) and struggled to play along.

“You were supposed to PACK HIS CLOTHES,” I said, making “FOLLOW ALONG, MOTHERFUCKER” eyes at him.

“Oh….yeah. I didn’t have time. I, um, brought that blanket though,” Bad Actor mumbled.

“I know you’re lying!” Chooch spat, shaking his head and looking out the window. And then, realizing that we weren’t going the normal way home, he nervously asked, “OK seriously though, where are we going?”

I kept saying “your new home” while Henry said, “Don’t worry about it” until finally, Chooch got so frustrated that he willed himself to fall asleep.

When we arrived at our destination in McKeesport, I woke Chooch up. He looked all around and saw a woman, presumably his new mom, standing in her driveway.

“I’ll just wait here,” he spat, trying to pull the car door shut.

(Wow, as I’m writing this, I can see why Wendy called me a rotten mother…I’m totally like my own mother! She would have 100% done this same thing to me. But you have to understand something: this is what we do in our house. We are deep into psychological games up in this piece and TRUST ME – Chooch gives it right back. His memoirs are going to be rockin’ someday.)

The only way I could get Chooch to come out of the car was by finally telling him I was just kidding. Even then, he was skeptical.

***

Last month, Sandy told me that her friend Suzanne had some kittens who needed homes, and for a minute, I was all about it. I sent Suzanne a message on Facebook, but by the next day, I was so overwhelmed with guilt and grief over Marcy that had something of an emotional breakdown. I sobbed so hard, that even hours later when Henry and I were at Target, I was doing that involuntary shudder-sniffle. YOU KNOW THE ONE. My eyes were all red and swollen, people probably thought Henry and I had just come inside to grab some toilet paper and Tim Tams after having a domestic dispute in the parking lot.

So I had to tell Suzanne that I changed my mind. And I felt like a gigantic asshole.

But then on Tuesday, I heard Sandy talking about how there were still three kittens left and that it was almost shelter time. I quickly texted my friend Evonne to see if she could spread the word, because she is a big cat person. Within five minutes, she had me completely turned around and I was sending Suzanne a message on Facebook without thinking twice.

Or even consulting Henry. Shocking.

Evonne is just really good at clearing my head. She made me realize that if I’m not ready now, I’m probably really never going to be ready….so I might as well just rip off the Band-aid and take one for the team, because Chooch has been slowly dying in our cat-less abode.

***

And that’s how we ended up at a virtual stranger’s home in McKeesport, 8:00 on a regular Thursday night.

I will be honest and admit that I cried a few times yesterday at work every time I looked at Marcy’s picture (I have many scattered around) and at one point whispered, “Please don’t hate me, Marcy.” I mean, I know she’s down with her father Satan right now, watching me and Chooch squeezing new kittens, and she’s laughing and thinking, “Better those dumb cats than me!” I didn’t even tell many people that we were doing this because I was worried I was going to back out.

Turns out, Suzanne is an awesome lady and she was so understanding of my previous wishy-washy behavior. We were walking into the house when Suzanne thanked me for coming all the way out there. If I had just picked a cat from the pictures she sent me, she would have gladly the kitten to my house. But I had to be difficult and ask to see all three because I thought it would be fun to surprise Chooch and let him choose. Because that’s how I was coping with this process–by trying to convince myself that this was going to be Chooch’s pet.

Suzanne took us to the basement where the kittens were, and once she was finally able to corral them all out of their hiding spaces, I asked Chooch which one he wanted.

“WE’RE GETTING ONE!?” he cried, like actually cried. Just a little bit though, and he’ll probably try to deny it, but I saw a few optic wets on his face.

Of course Chooch didn’t pick the one I had my eye on since December, so Suzanne jokingly said, “You know, you could take two if you really wanted.”

“HENRY CAN WE?!” I begged, and Suzanne quickly apologized to Henry and swore she was just joking.

But Henry just shrugged and mumbled, “Whatever you want.”

SO I GOT MY KITTEN TOO.

However, these little babies weren’t easy to wrangle, so we settled on just Chooch’s for that night, and Suzanne said she would bring mine to our house another day since it was getting so late and it was beginning to look futile.

I was pretty much in a stupor the entire time we were there. Of course I’m excited about this new kitten, and the arrival of the other one, but it’s still pretty tough on me. I miss each one of the Original Crew so desperately. (Yes, even No Personality Willie.)

The first night was pretty sad for Chooch’s pal, understandably. She was frightened and disoriented, but hung around long enough for Chooch to name her Nightmare.

She slept in my bed for about 20 minutes before HENRY moved abruptly and scared her away. Fuckin’ Henry.

This morning, she was very interested in exploring Chooch’s stinky room. He changed her name to Drew Walden then, after his favorite singers: Christofer Drew of Never Shout Never and Bradley Walden of Emarosa. I definitely co-signed this.

When he left for school, Drew Walden cried like a baby.

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I thought maybe I’d leave the TV on for her today, so I put on Animal Planet and she was 100% NOT into it.

But by this evening, she seems to have definitely made herself at home. She adores Henry which is ugh-worthy, she’s litter-trained, and she is also fucking psycho, so she basically fits in fine. I think she’ll be even happier once her sister gets here, too.

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About twice an hour, I start to cry because Marcy really broke me, you guys. I worry that I won’t love these new additions like I loved the others. I know that it will get easier and that this was the right thing to do, because they needed a home and Chooch needs cats like he needs air. I guess I’m just so afraid of going through it all again.

But then kitten-y antics like this happen, and I’m all “THANK GOD WE HAVE A CAT AGAIN”:

So thank you, Sandy. You thought you ruined my weekend last month when you told me about the kittens, but look! It all worked out!

(P.S. Marcy, I will still always love you most! Please don’t be mad at me! I mean, even more mad than normal!)

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Jan 212016
 

Sometimes I like to pick random years to browse on my old LiveJournal, mostly because it makes me feel better about my current life but also because I occasionally stumble upon things I forgot about and I am nostalgia-obsessed,  I back nostalgia HARD. anyway, this one from 2004 made me laugh because I love Christy Memories!

In other news, we had a mild snowstorm thing happen late this afternoon. Corey was in the area after work and stopped by to kill time while the roads were a mess. Randomly, he brought up the time when I was a teenager and ran away to Lisa’s house. I forgot all about that, but man, I sure did! I really did run there too, late at night, and it was kind of a hike on foot.

“I remember Val* standing in the laundry room with all the lights on, screaming about calling the cops,” Corey laughed and I laughed too but in reality, that wouldn’t have been the first time she called the cops on me, haha. God, I was a hot mess then.

*(We refer to our mother by her first name.)

Not anymore though, RIGHT HENRY? Lol all the way home.

Speaking of Henry, here’s one from 2002 where we went to dinner and he asked for separate checks?! (I called him Em back then, short for Emily because one time I heard him say his name and it sounded like Emily. Boring story is boring.)


#heh #tapeplayer

Post Script: So, I did end up getting a Nissan. It was a brand new Sentra, which were way less nice in 2002 than they are now, let me tell you. And I know in my heart of hearts, in my butt of things, in my car of buncles, that my stupid Sentra was a fucking lemon.

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Jan 182016
 

On paper, my Saturday looks like it was a fabulous day: breakfast at Pamela’s with Wendy, Summer, and Jeannie; roller skating; cherry pie; horror movies. But NO. It was frustrating and borderline volatile. (I say borderline because nothing got broken.)   

Summer, being less of a crybaby than Erin. 

I woke up in a wonderful mood even though it’s a struggle to leave the house early on a weekend. I love meeting Jeannie and Wendy for breakfast at Pamela’s, the only Pittsburgh establishment whose hype I can get behind—not to be morbid, but I want to be buried inside a blanket of their blueberry hotcakes. The last time we were there was over the summer when Wendy was still pregnant so this was Summer’s first Pamela’s trip! A real monumental occasion. 

Breakfast was wonderful. In hindsight, I should have stopped while I was ahead, but I have had this idiotic Sephora gift card for two years and I really wanted to use it (I’ve lost and found it three times, along with my entire wallet because that’s the type of adult I am); there is one across the street from Pamela’s, and I walked in knowing full well that I was going to be spending way more than what was on the card because Sephora is a racket like that. 

So already I was feeling anxiety because there is so much I woke rather spend $$$ on. I mean, I like make-up and other assorted shit like that but I hate having gift cards that are specific to one place. I really wanted to spend money on music, not moisturizer, even though I really do need moisturizer now that winter is sucking my face dry. And of course the one time I actually need assistance, I am INVISIBLE to every asshole in that store. 

So I left, and not quietly either. 

When I was little, my Pappap would always call me a pistol. I was born with a silver spoon practically shoved in my ass, and if there is one thing in my entire life that I have ever been really great at, it’s the fine art of hissy fits and temper tantrums. 

Even as an adult, even after years of struggling financially during most of my 20s, I never lost the spoiled brat in me. It’s my literal Drop Dead Fred, hovering over my shoulder and whispering things like, “Oh hell no, you’re not going to let THAT happen are you?”

One time, years ago, Henry made me an omelette and I kicked a hole in our bedroom wall because he put mushrooms in it and I didn’t ask for mushrooms. 

I kicked a hole in the wall. Because I am a fucking loco brat. 

(Fun fact: Henry just patched up that hole last week while he was painting the bedroom. So, 13 years later.)

From Sephora on, that is the Erin that starred in the Saturday Shit Show. The wall-kicking Erin.

By the time I came home, I hadn’t calmed down much. Every single thing Henry said to me, no matter how innocent, was met with screeching snaps and snarls. Because it was his fault. Why did he have to buy me a Sephora gift card?!

Finally, I went upstairs and played a Defeater record, hoping that would settle me down before it was time to go skating. I was chill long enough to take this picture:

  

Erin Rachelle, during happier times

But then the switch was flipped again as we left the house to go skating. Chooch and I were sniping at each other because: siblings. We were only five minutes from home before he and I were both huffing about how we should just turn around and go home, and Henry was doing that thing where he remains very quiet but his eyes are kind of bulging a little. Finally, he actually did whip the car around, which caused Chooch and I to both angrily mutter, “Oh, that’s great. I guess we’re not going skating. I guess we’ll just sit in the house and rot all day” and then Henry lost it and yelled, “TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO DO?!” and then under his breath he mumbled something about feeling like he woke up in another dimension.

So we went skating. 

Oh! I was also angry because my phone charger broke as soon as we left the house. Henry was like “Is this actually over a phone charger?!”

  

Henry said he was going to go to the post office and Lowe’s while we were skating, which made me cry, “YOURE LEAVING US HERE ALONE?” I made him at least put my skates on me first, but he ended up not leaving anyway, probably because he was too afraid.   Instead, he stood on the other side of the rink wall with all the other parents, and made sure Chooch and I didn’t indulge our inner derby demons. 

But on the rink, Chooch and I usually team up with each other because we are both roller NARCs, rink tattlers, skate snitches. We hate when people don’t follow basic rules and etiquette, and Chooch kept catching up to me, and in a staccato cadence marred by huffs and pants, he would cry, “THAT KID OVER THERE NEEDS TO GTFO! DID YOU SEE ME ALMOST SKATE OVER HER HEAD?” 

When it’s amateur hour, and it mostly always is if there are birthday parties on the schedule, it’s like skating through the Killing Fields: a vertible slalom course dotted with limbs and felled bodies, parents struggling to pull their children off the rink, and skate guards whirring past at warped speed without so much as a second glance. 

IT’S KILL OR BE KILLED. 

  

Let me tell you someyhing about where I am in life: I really dislike being around people. The exception to this is concerts, which is really weird considering, but I think my love for the bands helps me deal with it. As soon as stepped onto the rink, I knew it was going to be bad. Romp n Roll’s skate guards are teenagers whose pals come to hang out with them, and in this case, “hanging out” entails rollerblading like high-speed Bond villains around the rink. There was one that almost knocked me over and I wanted to complain but Henry was like “Good luck, he’s friends with everyone who works here.”

Oh don’t worry, it got worse: in an effort to block out the enemies, I decided to focus on the music. I thought it would be nice to request a Bowie joint in honor of his recent passing, so I sent Chooch over to the DJ booth to do my bidding. He loves requesting songs, just like I did when I was his age. 

Before I continue, let me explain that the DJ is old, like probably older than HENRY. He has the voice of Casey Kasem, even. For all intents and purposes, he has all the characteristics of your basic, generic party DJ. 

So when Chooch requested Bowie, he should have been rifling through the discography on his head, narrowing down the tracks best suited to play in tandem with the pulsating track lights and terrified yelps of children unseasoned in the art of rollerskating. 

 

But instead he asked Chooch, “Is that the one who just died? I’ll try to play Mony Mony, ok?”

Whaaaaaat. 

I slammed into the wall opposite of Henry to disgustedly scream about this disgrace to music. 

Henry just shrugged and said, “I don’t know what to tell you.” Considering that’s his classic response, then it seems to me like he does in fact know EXACTLY what to tell me.  

I don’t know what exactly I wanted him to do, storm the DJ booth with flaming bags of dog shit or what, but I guess I thought he would at least care a little bit more than he was letting on. I hate how unreactionary he is!!

But don’t worry – he played Mmmbop and some lame Taylor Swift song. 

Shortly after this, regular skating was interrupted for “cart races” and I hate this segment of the session because it takes FOREVER. It’s such an unorganized shit show, like every time they do this is the first time. So we sat in the snack room and made Henry buy us pizza because he had the audacity to buy himself a soft pretzel without us. Can you imagine?! Feeding himself and not us?!

Chooch and I told Henry about all the people we hated and he just rolled his eyes because he doesn’t understand what it’s like to expect perfection. 

After cart races wrapped up, we resumed skating. On my second time around the rink, I skated through a sticky gum-like substance and came very close to falling. I made a HUGE DEAL over it, turning and pointing over my shoulder at the infected area of the rink, loudly mouthing off to my skating partner about it, who said, “I’LL GO REPORT IT!” 

He loves reporting things. 

I skated around two more times but was unable to locate the contaminate. Then the DJ turned on the lights and signaled for one of the incompetent rink guards to inspect the area, so I skated off and joined Henry along the wall.

“I CAUSED THIS,” I urgently informed him. And then I started cracking up, but not because I thought it was funny–I was kind of embarrassed. “I can’t go back out there now,” I cried, clutching Henry’s arm. 

“Why?” he mumbled. “No one cares.”

EXACTLY – NO ONE CARES. I watched as the rink guard did nothing more than give the general vicinity of the almost-accident scene a cursory glance, little more than a lazy once-over, before shrugging in the direction of the DJ booth, and then the rink lights went out again. 

“There was nothing there,” Chooch said a few minutes later when he joined us. “I told the DJ you tripped over a block but they didn’t see anything.”

“It wasn’t a block, you idiot!” I screamed over top of some unoriginal pop song. “IT WAS GUM OR SOMETHING! GOD, UGH!” And then to Henry I growled, “I’m done. Go get my shoes.” I was irate. The situation had inflated inside my head to tragic proportions where the entire roller rink had conspired against. I was ready to start fights with people. 

“We’ve only been here an hour!” he exclaimed, mental math’ing how much money I wasted. But then Chooch lost a dollar in the claw machine, so then there were two of us crying about wanting to leave and Henry was hissing something about “never again” so then I accused him of being on Romp n Roll’s side when I almost PERISHED out there AND the DJ didn’t know who the fuck David Bowie was?

Get fucked, Henry. 

It felt like everyone was pointing and laughing at me in slo-mo as we walked out and I’m still not sure if that didn’t exactly happened. Ugh, fuck you smilers!

We drove home in absolute silence. Except for one I declared that I was going to write a letter, which is how I retaliate when I’ve been wronged. 

Later, Henry made dinner and I told him with zero coats of sugar that it had no taste. He gave me a really scary look and then went to the store because I said I wanted cherry pie but I think it was less because he wanted to make me happy with pie and more because he needed to get away from me and Chooch. 

 
But by the end of the night, everything had righted itself and Chooch & I settled down (after having a brutal tug of war over a blanket until Henry stormed away and brought us a second blanket) to watch The Visit, which was way better than I expected and even Henry said it was “not bad” which was high praise because he hates everything M. Night touches. I guess M. Night is to him what Ryan Murphy is to me. (Seriously, stop giving American Horror Story new seasons!)

Sometimes it’s not about being happy vs. sad. There are all kinds of other weird second-strong emotions fighting for their moment to shine, and the bad ones win out occasionally. There really wasn’t anything that was going to “fix” my day other than going to bed and starting over in the morning.  And my Sunday was definitely better.

P.S. I forgot to mention that I had numerous coughing fits over the weekend  which was clearly my body’s attenpt to expel the demons. 

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Jan 142016
 

Michele ruined my life today. She emailed several of us at work an article about how the TROLLEY IS SHUTTING DOWN FOR 6 MTHS.

SIX MOTHERFUCKING MONTHS. 

THAT IS A LOT OF MONTHS. 

In case you didn’t already know, here are some important facts:

  • The trolley is how I get to work basically every single day now that Henry’s job sucks and he hasn’t been able to drive me.
  • It’s way more stressful now that I don’t work late shift every day and have to deal with the morning rush hour crowds. 
  • It took me like 3 years to come to terms with commuting to work.
  • I have major anxiety when my routine is changed. 
  • Horrible things happen to me a lot just on my walk to the trolley alone, such as ISSUES WITH CROSSING THE STREET and strangers wanting to talk, and then my day is ruined. You can ask Henry because sometimes he’s on the phone with me and witnesses the horrors! (Don’t let him tell you I embellish.) Sometimes I get splashed with water! One time I fell into a hole!
  • I’m a little bit neurotic. 

My first reaction was, “I have to quit my job.”

But then Todd verbalized some nonsense about TAKING THE BUS.

I whipped around in my chair and co-opted Henry’s method of laughing without mirth. 

“Todd,” I said firmly once I stopped stuttering from all The Shock of the news. “I can NOT take a bus.” And then I had to tell him the now-legendary* tale of when I was 18 and met some boy at the mall (actually we met over the phone when I was a telemarketer for Olan Mills, lol) who then invited me back to his apartment on the Southside but we had to take the bus, he said, and I was all agreeable with adventure in my eyes.

Until it was 3am and I didn’t know how to get home so my mom had to come and pick me up. 

*(Not legendary.)

I never took a bus again. I don’t understand the numbers and the letters and the routes. With the trolley, I have two choices: red or blue. And it’s a straight shot to where I need to go. No transfers or any such nonsense. 

My only other brush with the bus was when I was a sophomore in high school and decided I wanted to join a gang, because that’s what all rich white girls do to act out: engage in back alley knife fights and terrorize the neighborhood shop owners. (But probably mostly just serve as a penis coozy for the “real” gang members.)

I had a friend named Jeremiah who lived in The City and he said he could get me into a gang, but I would have to TAKE A BUS from my comfortable suburban sprawl because none of my friends were interested in driving me to the hood to get gang-initiated. 

“And that’s how I almost joined a gang,” I somberly wrapped up my deeply personal story. 

“Wow,” Todd said with faux-amazement. “Your life could have been so different.”

“I know right?! I’d probably have a face tattoo by now, at least,” I mused, picturing all the battle scars etched into my body like a gritty street war constellation. 

“Just make a bus friend,” Todd offered as a flimsy solution. 

Todd, I don’t MAKE FRIENDS. I break them. (….?)

I’m glad that I have two months to fucking LOSE MY MIND over this before it actually happens. I don’t know what I’ll do. I’m still leaning heavily toward quitting my job. 

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Jan 122016
 

I’m having a bad day. Not anything major, but the stupid trolley made me late for work this morning and my nearly 6 year streak of arriving to my job in a timely fashion is BROKEN. I texted Amber2 to let her know I was going to be late and Glenn was practically doing a jig with a bucket of confetti. He’s been waiting for this day for years and told me that he considered sending an email to the whole department to inform them I was going to be late. I WOULD HAVE DIED. Oh my god, just no. I feel so much anxiety all these hours later, just thinking about that horrific email.

Look, I was only four minutes late and Henry said it shouldn’t count since it wasn’t my fault but fuck, there was no retrieving my day from the commode after that shitty flush.  Today was fraught with a series of mistakes, pretty much everything I touched, I promptly fucked up. It honestly was like it was my first day on the job.  So because I have no idea where my head is*, and I don’t want to accidentally start typing my social security number or my secret Hare Krishna amputee milkmaid erotica, here are some dumb photos I’ve been collecting this month on my phone. I’m lucky I can even handle that right now.

*(Evidently, it’s still on the stupid trolley.)

Listen. I follow a ton of succulent accounts on Instagram because my life is that fucking vanilla now. One of them is having some idiotic giveaway which requires a person to post a picture of their succulents and I’m a sucker who wants to win a succulent or eight (SERIOUSLY, EIGHT SUCCULENTS ARE IN THE POT), so of course I entered.

I like clowns, just in case you forgot. Send them all to me. I need cheered up.

A thing I painted with my fingers on a day when I was stupid mad. Fuck painting. AND FUCK FINGERS, TOO.

A LAMP I SCORED AT GOODWILL. Henry is not as excited about it as I am. There aren’t many things that get Henry excited. This lamp would have to make a cameo in the middle of a 1980s orgy on VHS for Henry to give a fuck. Find something to get stoked on, Henry. Please. You’re bringing me down.

Our bedroom is a fucking war zone right now because we’re painting (“we’re” LOLOLOL all the way home) and basically rearranging everything, but peep Chooch’s badass onesie.

I almost have Henry sold on painting our bedroom doors gold glitter.

IMG_2560.JPG

I’m so excited to add Bled Fest to the painting I made stupid Henry last year for Valentine’s Day, IF HE KEEPS HIS IDIOT XMAS PROMISE TO ME, THAT IS. When I get something in my head, it is ALL-CONSUMING. I honestly dream about this and watch YouTube videos from the past Bled Fests like, every day. I could probably stand to get some therapy. SOME MUSIC THERAPY. OHHHHH! #bledfestorbust

And here I am, infiltrating Chooch’s man cave.

Chooch & his golden curls are going to the store with Henry.

A video posted by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on


The end.

P.S. Seriously. Send me clowns in the mail. Address available upon request. I will send you something back!

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Jan 092016
 

I was just trying to enjoy the beautiful notes of Pentimento wafting from my bedroom speakers when Chooch started watching some hideous Geocaching video in his room and then HENRY started playing something on his phone and I was like ARE YOU FUCKING IDIOTS DEAF TO THE FACT THAT I AM TRYING TO ENJOY MUSIC WHILE I AM CURLING MY HAIR IN THE BATHROOM?!

So I stormed into my bedroom and glared at Henry, all casually lounged out in bed staring at whatever pointless thing was playing on his phone, and started screaming about audacious audio takeovers and he just stared back at me because apparently this is Typical Behavior.

“You’re so bossy,” he had the nerve to say. 

“WELL I WAS HERE FIRST!” I screeched. 

“No actually, I was up here first,” he back-talked. 

“No, I mean, I was HERE first,” I reiterated, swirling my hands around to encompass the whole house. “Since 1999!”

“Oh my god, are you STILL doing that?” Henry sighed in disbelief. 

Uh, yeah. And I will continue to do so until the day we move out.

I FEEL LIKE A VOLCANO ON THE VERGE OF ERUPTING LATELY. I am so frustrated with everything! 

SOMEONE KIDNAP ME. 

OH YEAH AND I HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE EYE DOCTOR TODAY UGH. Everything is awful. 

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