Apr 162015
 

It’s Thursday. Let’s have words.

  • It’s Food Drive season as work and the person in charge for our department is kind of mean about it and her emails lack the proper amount of enthusiastic punctuation so I have not felt inclined to donate any dusty cans of stewed tomatoes that might have fallen behind the kitchen shelf. (I save those for Warped Tour so I can skip the line!) But then Sue sent out an email today that said anyone who brings in a jar of peanut butter tomorrow can wear jeans, so I will be doing that. Actually, I asked Glenn as he was leaving if he would bring in one for me but he just tossed me a scowl over his shoulder, so I feel like I shouldn’t put too much stock in him.
    • There is also a bake sale happening in order to raise money for the Food Bank, which would be awesome if I wasn’t forever on a diet.
  • Tonight is Game 1 of the Pens/Rangers playoff series and I am not anticipating it one bit. We barely even made it into the playoffs this year so my hopes are not very high. Actually, my hopes don’t even exist.
    • Someone brought in a pan of brownies for the food drive bake sale and my hockey anxiety has me considering bringing the whole fucking pan back to my desk.
  • YOU GUYS yesterday after Henry picked me up from work, I swear to God I saw Paul Eugene walking down the sidewalk!! Henry was like, “That is not him” and I said, “SCREAM PAUL EUGENE OUT THE WINDOW!!!” but Henry wouldn’t so I guess now we’ll never know.
  • There’s some article going around on Facebook about how Brookline is “suddenly hip” and I’m a bit irritated that no one thought to consult me for this newsworthy write-up.
    • And then that same day, there was a stand-off in Brookline, so….
    • Also, I find it concerning that there was no mention of all the hip drunks around town.
  • My Dance Gavin Dance pre-order finally was delivered yesterday! I was frantically tracking it all morning and when I saw that it had been delivered at 10:33am, this went down:

OK so yay! Henry left work to get my package off the front porch, but then he just LEFT IT IN THE HOUSE!? Like, he couldn’t have brought it downtown for me!? So then I texted him later in the afternoon because I wanted to remind him to bring the CD with him when he came to pick me up so that I could listen to it in the car, but he said he wasn’t going home firat first!?

THE WORST!!!!!! Then last night, Henry saw that I posted these screencaps on Instagram and he claims that “No problem” was something he had sent to me earlier in the morning about something else, but “for some reason” it resent it after my crazy text torrent. I’m actually inclined to believe him because when I first got that text, I thought to myself, “Wow. What an even-keeled response to my CAPSLOCK jamboree.”

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Me, after coming home from work and tearing open the package. 

  • In other DGD news, I’ve been talking about them so much that Todd felt inclined to listen to their new album yesterday on Spotify, He made it about 20 seconds into the first song before stopping to share his commentary: “It was real mellow at first, like some Adam Levine shit, but then all of a sudden it turned metal…?” And then later he asked, “Why are they so angry?!” And that’s funny, because to me this isn’t angry music at all!
  • Today, Glenn was like “Well? Where’s all your gear?” And I was like “My what now?” “Your gear. All the gear you got yesterday that we had to hear about all day.” LOL. “Gear.” Like anyone calls it that!!!
  • Here at work, when we’re not all gushing over the new DGD album, we’ve been on some hardcore Amber G. Baby Watch. I have been checking in with her every day and reporting back to everyone, but I’m trying not to be some crazy Birth Sentinel because I know that would annoy me if people were constantly texting me about my dilation status. It’s going to be so weird when she comes back to work and isn’t pregnant anymore, because I think we all had grown so accustomed to tip-toeing around her. (She could be pretty snarly in her pregnant state!)
    • Maybe tonight’s hockey game will induce labor.
  • A conversation that happened last night while watching Breaking Bad:

Me: “Can I give you a top knot?”
Henry: “What is a top knot….?”
Me: “Just say yes.”
Henry: “No.”
Me: *gives him top knot anyway*
Henry: “WHAT IS IT?! No!”

His new look was wildly celebrated on Facebook, but he shockingly did not wear it to work today.

  • Hay guys, the hockey game just started and the Rangers scored 20-some seconds in. MAYBE I’LL HAVE A BROWNIE AFTER ALL.
  • Amber, did you have your baby yet?
  • This might be the dumbest blog post title I’ve ever made up. I quit. 
  • Chooch has been on a Fall Out Boy kick recently (primarily their recent album) and I got to be That Person who bragged about seeing them in 2004, pre-commercial success, when all of my friends were like, “WHO are you going to see?!” (Oh wait, that’s present-day too!)
  • Today, I made the mistake of telling Glenn that my knee hurt. I tweaked it a few months ago when I was exercising and every now and then it starts hurting again. So glenn offered me “Advil” and I stupidly took it without checking to make sure it was legit and not something he cut in the woodshed/lab in his backyard. His fake drugs did not cure my knee but I think there was a connection between that and my extreme drowsiness all day. Luckily, my new BFF Allison gave me real, name brand Advil later on and then my knee felt OK. 
  • UM, so I have been home from late shift for like 2 hours and just noticed that there was an envelope addressed to me, casually strewn upon the dining room table. The return address was THE ARTERY FOUNDATION so I knew immediately that it was going to bey handwritten DGD lyrics and IT WAS so I flipped out on Henry and screamed HOW LONG WERE YOU GOING TO HIDE THIS FROM ME?! and he claims he “didn’t know” what it was?! I was like THE POSTMARK CLEARLY STATES THAT ITS FROM SACRAMENTO WHAT ELSE WOULD I POSSIBLY BE GETTING FROM SACRAMENTO?! My god Henry fails as a scene kid’s boyfriend. I guess now that he wears a topknot, he’s only interested in watching Coachella videos on YouTube. 

  

  • Amber, did you have the baby yet?

        

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Apr 092015
 

 

Sometimes my day can be so spectacularly disappointing (all work-related, nothing that actually matters) but then something music-related happens to save the day. Pierce the Veil was added to the Warped Tour lineup, and even though everyone pretty much already knew that because of a leaked flyer, it was still awesome to find out for sure!

This year’s Warped Tour has the potential to be better than 2008, which was my favorite one! 

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Apr 012015
 

Today is the third annual Pittsburgh blog exchange event that my pal Alex dreamt up and organizes each year with panache, patience, and maybe a secret flick of a magic wand. It’s so much fun to participate in and this year it has grown exponentially! 

I’m excited to be hosting Alex from A Body of One’s Own! Every Pittsburgher has their own personal collection of local gems, and today Alex has curated her own list! And if you would like to read my guest post, a fictional account of Mr. Rogers’ day in the neighborhood, please see your way to Ya Jagoff!

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Before I lead you to thinking I’m some sort of yoga-master, green-juice drinking, Buddhist type person, let me clarify by saying I’m not. I often wish that I were, but the parameters of my daily life in addition to my own personal human condition really get in the way of this. That doesn’t mean I don’t strive to be calm and centered, it’s just not always in the works that day. The best that I could do? Redefine what it means to meditate. Years ago, I recall sitting in the dead center of my parents’ backyard with my legs criss-crossed and my hands raised toward either side of my head. I did some “Ohm’s” like I knew how to shut my brain off. Not only was I interrupted by my father who began shouting, “What the hell are you doing up there?” but I realized that shutting my brain off was not going to happen. I didn’t give up, though. Instead of putting extraneous amounts of effort into not forming thoughts, I sought out a way to fine-tune my thoughts.

A few months into year 22 on this earth, and I’m realizing all the things you do when you get there. What it all boils down to is being an adult kind of sucks. I won’t settle for that. I’ve managed to do some pretty cool things that were never on my agenda. I’ve crafted a life for myself that makes no sense at all on paper. I live all alone, I work mostly under the table with no security, I write for a living despite thinking I can’t write at all (you can be the judge…), and I opted not to go to school. I have all the freedom in the world, but it’s lacking security. I tell people with real lives and careers and babies what I do and their immediate response is skeptical. I am happy, sure, but there’s a lot of pressure to do a bunch of things I don’t want to do. Ya know, for the future or whatever.

On this journey I had from failing, flailing teenager to almost-functioning adult with a kinda-sorta career underway, Pittsburgh has stayed just about the same. And thank goodness. I realized in my mission to experience the ultimate sense of clarity that nothing can put me back in my happy place better than the appreciation I have for this city can. When I find the opportunity to take time to myself, I know exactly where to go to get my zen on. These are the places that are like home to me, which in turn allows me to breathe, sit (or sweat!), and think. That’s my meditative state – a place that lets me really live in the moment.

1. Primal Fitness Pittsburgh
So, I was on the hunt for a new fitness routine as usual. I used to kinda-sorta be a runner, but my heart wasn’t in it anymore. It no longer felt like a time I could meditate, rather running had become an obligation. I decided that I wanted to lift heavy things instead. As a certified Instagram stalker, I had my eye on Janelle (@primalburgher) who was always posting pictures of her kettlebell gym. I got in touch with her because I thought we probably had a few things in common. Turns out I was right. Upon first meeting her, I signed over my life and money to her. I’ll admit, I was afraid. I had no idea what I was doing, not that she expected me to. Over the past couple of months, I’ve grown stronger and more in touch with my body and mind each day I train with her and the amazing staff and clients she has. She focuses on functional movement and strengthening the entire body. The studio also offers calisthenics courses which are generally high-intensity bodyweight circuits. Janelle has not only made me SUPER BUFF (see photos below), but she has offered me a kindness and compassion that is irreplaceable. I feel lucky to work with her. Bonus: we have the weirdest crew ever. Seriously, these people are insane (in the best way possible), and sometimes we go on group outings. I’m so happy to call them my friends. 10/10 would recommend this gym to anyone from a beginner to someone who has a background in strength training.


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2. Zeke’s Coffee Pittsburgh
This place is the key to my success. If I didn’t have Zeke’s, I’d probably be far too sleepy to do much else with my time. I started going here before they moved across the street where they’re set up now. The shop was teeny-tiny, but I fell in love with the coffee (small-batch roasts!) and their incredible staff. I dog-sit about a mile down the road, so I tend to walk here with the pup. I quickly befriended the baristas, and all the regulars quickly befriended the malamute. While the coffee has always delivered, the renovations and new location are my go-to place when I want to just sit and take a breather. It’s a glorious, quiet moment in my daily routine. I feel at home when I go here. I look forward to seeing my baristas and sometimes getting free coffee. Bonus: all the pastries are baked in-house, and they always have a selection of local goodies including Gluten-Free Goat for those of you with a long list of dietary restrictions like me.

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3. North Shore Riverfront Park and Trail
Despite no longer identifying as a “runner,” I still like to run sometimes because it does wonders to clear my head. The aforementioned gym I attend is conveniently located right on this trail, so now that the sun is making more frequent appearances, I like to take advantage. I like that this segment is pretty long and scenic, and it also leads straight to Point State Park if you go far enough. My favorite detour to take is into downtown to Wood Street Galleries for double the zen action. The selling point for me is the opportunity to run across a bridge or two. Then again, where can’t you do that in Pittsburgh?

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4. Stage AE
Nothing helps me get centered like live music. I grew up going to concerts. Besides the Backstreet Boys (every girl of the 90’s first concert), my first “rock show” was Incubus way back in 2004. I thought the lead singer was hot, and my mom couldn’t stop laughing at the way he danced. I also met Steven Tyler from Aerosmith in the fourth grade. I didn’t have the same affinity for his looks the way my mother did. My horizons have thankfully expanded since. I spent my middle school days chasing around emo bands on tour, having them sign my glittery skull t-shirts from Hot Topic. In high school, I became a total festival junkie after my first year at Lollapalooza. There is something that has never changed about the way I feel submerged in a sweaty pool of people and very loud guitar. It’s almost like an out-of-body experience. I love all the little venues around Pittsburgh, but the most recent show I went to was Sleater-Kinney at Stage AE. I left feeling empowered. It was a very special evening. Since they opened this venue, I’ve attended some of the best concerts of my life.

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5. Riding Meadows Dog Park
If you have a dog, GO HERE. Even if you don’t, you should go here. I mention this place to everyone I meet, and nearly nobody has heard of it. Consider it a hidden gem amongst the field club and strip mall of Fox Chapel. The hiking is good and mildly challenging, which is something Frick Park lacks. As a native yinzer, I have grown to love the hills. I get confused without them. Both parks are beautiful and fantastic for dogs, but at Riding Meadows, the entire area is off-leash. This means no grumpy people screaming about your dog the size of a wolf frightening their shih-tzu. Bonus: Burgatory is a totally valid lunch option right down the road. 

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6. Highway Robbery Vintage
When all else fails, I go shopping. Try as I might, some bad days just cannot be healed without a little retail therapy. Kate at Highway Robbery is curating the most whimsical vintage collection of clothing I have ever seen. Every time I pop in to the shop, I find multiple things that I can’t leave without. This can either be good or bad depending on your financial situation, but nothing says “living in the moment” like a funky impulse buy. She posts highlights on her Instagram page (@highwayrobberyvintage) where you can give her a call and tell her to reserve it for you. She carries both men’s and women’s clothing. Bonus: if your dog is friendly, her store is too. This list is slowly but surely becoming “Places You Can Take Your Dog,” but everything is arguably more worthwhile with a fuzzy companion in tow.

There ya have it. These are a few of my favorite things. I find my solace in these places in one way or another. I focused mainly on places you can go all alone and have a good time. Today’s society shuns solitude, and we are conditioned to feel lonely and awkward when we venture into the hustle and bustle by ourselves. From the city to the forest, Pittsburgh has a lot of places that diminished this preconceived notion from my mind entirely. It’s good to be alone sometimes, and it’s good to seek out an environment where you can make an escape – if only for an hour or two.

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Thank you, Alex! Please check out more of Alex’s writing over at A Body Of One’s Own and feel free to click through the below collection of links to read more guest posts! It’s a great lineup.

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Mar 312015
 

  

Out last selfie together, from last night. 

We said goodbye to Marcy today. It was the hardest, but most humane, decision I have ever made. She was 17, and I know that I have to be thankful that I was given that much time with her. She was the best pet I have ever had and my bond with her was borderline psychotic—even back in the day, my friends would be like, “God help us when Marcy dies, Erin is going to need a straight jacket.” She was so evil to 99.9% of the world that most people thought she might even be immortal. 

The .1% is Henry. He is the only one she ever willingly showed affection to. I don’t know how Marcy or I would have gotten through this without Henry. 

When she grew that tumor almost two years ago, we thought that was it for sure, a death sentence. But she kept on keeping on, and it wasn’t until the last few months that we really began to notice weight loss. She was still eating and drinking though, and acting like herself, just an elderly version of herself. Most importantly, she didn’t seem to be in pain and she was still out and about.

But on Friday, she seemed weird. For one, she wasn’t trying to attack me when I put my hand near her. Her appetite had dwindled. She was still eating a little, drinking normal, and peeing and pooping, though. On Sunday, she tried to jump up on the table and missed. 

It was heartbreaking. 

So I thought about it all day at work, how I was going to have to make that decision soon. I just didn’t realize how soon. By the time I came home, she could barely walk and www trying to meow but it sounded so sad. I sat with her on the floor and Henry called the vet. We knew we couldn’t let it go any longer. It wasn’t fair to her. And if she had deteriorated that much in a weekend, who knew how much time she had left. 

We made the appointment for today and Henry and I took turns sleeping with her on the couch. The moment we would take our hands off her, she would cry and struggle to sit up. And then she just couldn’t walk at all. 

She and I have been together since 1998. She was my first roommate. EVERYONE knew Marcy—how could they not? She inserted herself in every social situation. Whether they liked her was another story, though. Ha. She drew her fair share of blood over the years. 

Now we’re home and this house has never felt emptier. This is the first time in my entire life that I have not had a pet. But, losing four in the span of three years has really traumatized me. I think I’m going to need some time. 

Marcy loved Frostys and now I’m so angry at myself for not thinking to get her one last Frosty. Please don’t hate me, Marcy. :(  

There will never be another Marcy. 

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Mar 292015
 

Emotionally crippled by the sounds of crying, screaming, laughing, talking kids, ugh. Why me?!

We had to take Chooch to Chuck E. Cheese last weekend for a birthday party and it totally ruined my day. Originally, I was going to stay home and make Henry deal with it, but I was having a really clingy day and didn’t want to be home alone, god forbid. Plus, the party was for the neighbor kid (the one whose mom was on my side when another neighbor screamed in my face) so I felt like it would behoove me to go and pretend that I’m neighborly.

(I’m not neighborly.)

We were going to just leave Chooch there after a few minutes, but then the grandma was all, “You’re sticking around, right?” Ugh, grandma guilt! Just what I needed that day.

OMG that place was a screaming sea of anklebiters. There were approximately 87 parties going down in tandem, not including the moronic parents who thought it would be a great idea to bring their idiot children there ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

FOR NO REASON!

And the music! I heard Pharrell’s “Happy” twice in two hours, god help me.

There were two highlights though: when the other party kids discovered my holographic eyeball and obsessed over it for the first half hour, much to Chooch’s chagrin. He HATES that my purse gets attention.

The second was when the birthday boy’s father arrived and I realized that HE IS REALLY FUCKING HOT. I got overly giggly about it (not unusual) and later, after he came over to introduce himself, I whisper-cried in Henry’s ear, “REMEMBER WHEN I HELD HANDS WITH MARKIE’S DAD?!”

“That’s called a handshake, asshole,” Henry muttered.

When our ex-neighbor (the one who got in my face last summer because her son is a d-bag and Chooch kicked him in the nards) arrived with her brood, things went from bad to worse. I just get so angry at the mere sight of her cunt-face. Luckily, we were separated by an entire table so I at least didn’t have to hear her grating Yinzer-speak.

And then Chuck E. came out of a door and Henry frowned. “Chuck E. lost some weight.”

I turned around to look and got really angry because this looked nothing like the Chuck E. I knew and loved! Oh, this was just pathetic.

Hyperactive children aside, what I hate most about that place is how much it’s changed from when I was a kid in the 80s. Man, Chuck E. Cheese was THE SHIT then. I used to primarily go to the one in West Mifflin, and I have fond memories of it being dimly-lit with multiple rooms, which really seemed to keep the crowds at bay. There was a room to the right that had animatronic….Beagles? I can’t remember now exactly what kind of animals they were, but you could walk up and press a button to awaken them, at which point they would serenade the room with Beach Boys classics while everyone burnt the roof of their mouths on pizza.

(The pizza was also better back then. Even as a teenager, it was fun to go to Chuck E. Cheese because PIZZA.)

One of the game rooms had a ball pit, which are apparently outlawed now in all play areas. Children these days are so goddamn fragile!

The main party room was a cavernous multi-level room featuring a stage with Chuck E. and all of his friends, like that chicken lady thing and Pasquale the Italian pizza guy. There was some purple thing too, I think. (Munch!?)

The Chuck E. Cheese we went to last week didn’t have any animatronics! They used to though, as recently as when Chooch was a baby, circa 2007:

The pizza is some kind of bullshit now too.

The best/worst part about the Chuck E. Cheese from my childhood was the Cheese Factory. Please, somewhere out there has to know what I’m talking about. It was the traumatic, closed-off maze that was essentially built into a wall. Once you were in it, it was like Baby’s First Claustrophobic Experience. Its intention was to make you feel like you were climbing through a giant piece of swiss cheese, I guess, and you would have to hoist yourself up through carpeted holes while disorienting lights flashed and cosmic sounds played overhead. I  have a vague recollection of a hallway where parents could stand and pray that they wouldn’t lose sight of where their children were inside this unintentional haunted house.

I associate it with real terror, tears, and the hysterical sensation of abandonment.

God, I wish it was still like that in there!

I feel bad for all of these millennium kids who will never get to experience the strange joys of being an 80s kid, like clothes-shopping at Kids R Us and playing Tic Tac Toe on one of the large electronic game walls that were located around the store in hopes of keeping children satiated while their parents piled the cart full of corduroy pants, leggings, neon socks, and sweatshirts with puffy paint-esque bears on it.

Anyway, by the time the party was over, my nerves were shot. I’m just thankful that Chooch is at an age where I didn’t have to follow him all around the game area, because I might have been arrested. (OK, probably just 302’d.)

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Mar 272015
 

It’s been A Week. I actually felt delirious when I woke this morning and remembered that it was Friday. Thank god. Here are some pictures that have been accumulating on my phone, because let’s face it: I have no time to type words right now, and you have no time to read them. Can life just slow the fuck down for a second?

This was my “I have to go to Chuck E. Cheese” face. I actually started writing a post about that. Maybe someday I’ll finish it, along with all the drafts haunting my WordPress dashboard. Sigh. I MISS YOU, BLOG. This weekend I still have to write my guest post for the annual Pittsburgh Guest Blogger event thingie that my friend Alex orchestrates with such patience and panache. I mostly know what I’m writing, but you know me: I stress and stress and stress like stressing is my motherfuckin’ job. But the thing I’m writing has a companion painting. I either overachieve or half-ass. You never know with me.

So many good shows coming up! I bought my Puddles Pity Party ticket the day it was announced. Chris and Monica are going too and I’m so goddamn excited! I want to get my picture taken with him so that I can frame it and hang it up in my future clown room. Before that though, I have La Dispute next week, and then Circa Survive! Thank god for shows.

This St. Rita figurine is on my bathroom wall and every time Janna comes back from peeing, she starts chirping about how she always thinks homegirl is holding a machine gun. Now I wish she was. AND THAT SHE WOULD SHOOT JANNA! Just kidding.

Kind of.

We are still trying to organize Chooch’s room. He had somehow developed hoarder-like tendencies without my even realizing it. So that’s awesome. It was nice to re-discover some of his things though, like that wooden gumball machine that I made in Industrial Arts class in middle school (there should be an upside down mason jar on its head, but it never operated properly so why bother), and that cute little zombie doll that I bought Chooch when he was a baby. We named him Rot. Rot used to go everywhere with us until he was lost in Chooch’s landfill.

More Chooch-stuff. I bought that Keith Haring picture in Switzerland when I was a teenager. It’s significant because it was the first time my crazy aunt Sharon let me go off on my own. God, I felt like I was the coolest little bitch! So, this picture has been hanging on my walls for, dare I even say it, 20 years. I like that it’s Chooch’s now, though. Spreading the Haring love!

I’ve been helping out with some admin stuff until they find Barb’s replacement. (Not that Barb can EVER be replaced!) I finally decided to make my own AWAY signs though, and thankfully I had 6 pages of Pierce the Veil posters just laying there on my desk. When I came to work the next day, SOMEONE had slapped on a post-it note on my sign that said “good luck.” OH I WONDER WHO.

(Speaking of Barb, I got to have lunch with her today! And also Wendy, but I see her everyday so…I almost started crying when I saw Barb and after she hugged me, all I could manage to say was, “I hate you.” It’s not easy having such a loose grip on your emotions.)

I play this fun game where I accuse Henry of cheating on me every single time I see him even glace at another vagina’d human. So when Henry was making an ATM withdrawal next to some lady, I instantly Instagrammed it and casually captioned it, “Here’s Henry and the broad he’s cheating on me with.” One of my Instagram friends got all upset about it, like I was on a stake out when I took this picture. Which, to be fair, I totally could have been. You guys know me.

Ahh, I have so much more I want to say! I wish I had more time.
If you still read this hot mess, god bless you.

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Mar 222015
 

   

Henry went to the laundromat this afternoon and forget to put Chooch and me in our cages, so we decided to run around Brookline like average idiots. If we threw pinecones at you, sorry I guess. But you probably deserved it. 

We walked to that abandoned blind kid school that we love so much, and as usual I know we were being spied on by eyeless ghosts. 

            

We’re not very adept at using the camera timer but this was still less frustrating that if HENRY was taking the pictures ugh he’s the worst. 

     

Then Chooch took us home his way, which involves a lot of cutting through people’s backyards, jumping off walls, and screaming “OMG RUN!”

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Mar 172015
 

OMG a blog repost and it’s not even Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday, how dare I. Anyway, this is an excerpt from this post because I just ate at Melt again over the weekend & I apparently even get nostalgic over Grilled Cheeses I Have Eaten. 

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Here is what Henry has to say about his lunch at Melt.

Me, watching Henry wash the dishes last night: What was on your sandwich?

Henry, in his standard indignant tone: It was a gyro melt.

(I guess this means we’re supposed to figure it out on our own.)

Me: OK, no one cares anyway. How sad were you that you couldn’t sit next to Jason and dish secretly about root beer like two little 1950’s school girls?

Henry, maintaining his Man of Few Words image: I wasn’t.

Me, as Henry takes a hearty swig of Faygo Cola. Dish washing is hard work, ya’ll: What was harder to wrap your mouth around, your sandwich or the words “I do” in 1993.

Henry: Why do you have to do that.

Me: Seriously, which one?

Henry, adopting his “You’re pushing me” high-pitched squawk that I hate so much yet cause so often: I don’t know! Let it go!

(He hates being reminded of That Time in his life.)

Me, furiously scribbling in my important “I’m Interviewing Henry!” notebook (it has monsters on it): If you could have your own sandwich on the Melt menu, what would be on it?

Henry, trying to make my dinner at this point, so you would think I would back off lest a generous sprinkle of rat poison fall into the pot: I don’t know!

(This is assuming Henry has any imagination, but it would probably be some sort of flesh marinated in Faygo and served on a bed of emasculation, with a bandanna as a napkin.)

Me: Did you think our waitress was hot?

Henry[Looks at me suspiciously and slowly says no. This means YES.]

Me: What about the guy who refilled your iced tea?

Henry, in a flat tone: No, I didn’t pay attention.

(This means he’s already downloaded busboy porn.)

Me: How disappointed were you that none of our lunch companions remarked upon your striking resemblance to serial killer Ed Kemper?

Henry, playing Bakery Story on his phone at this point: I wasn’t.

Me: If you found a finger in your sandwich, would you

  • Pull it out and set it aside, then puke in a flower pot;
  • Eat it. Meat is meat and they know what they’re doing at Melt;
  • Use it to replace the butt plug you lost during the Great Marital Separation of 2001.
Henry: [Laughs like a gay Santa, I think to illustrate the fact that this is going to be one of those NO COMMENT moments.]
 
Me: If you invented a sandwich at Melt in my honor, say if I died saving an albino support group from a hostile group of arms-bearing Serbians mistaking them for enemy Albanians, what would you name it?
Henry, no hesitation: Pain in the Ass.
 
(That sounds unappetizing and pregnant with pinto beans. Pretty apropos then.)
 
Me: There were some big words on the menu, like “muenster” and “diablo.” Did you use your phone to covertly look up the definitions under the table?
Henry: [walked away.]
 
Me: What would your SERVICE buddies say if they knew you were eating trendy gourmet sandwiches and not pork-n-beans?
 
(Totally typed porn-n-beans at first.)
 
Henry, in a beaten-down, wilted-dick mumble: Nothing.
 
Me: What did you eat in the SERVICE, anyway?
Henry: FOOD.
Me: No, seriously. All asshole-ness aside, I really want to know.
Henry: I ATE WHATEVER I MADE.
Me: So like, succotash?
Henry, slashing my throat with his glare: I don’t know.
 
We officially reached WOKE BEAR status at this point, so I quickly closed my notebook. Maybe someday Henry will regale us with tales of making messes in the mess hall. But today is not going to be that day.
 
Here’s a quick review from a special guest:
 
Henry’s Moustache: I have been trying for the last 20 years to emulate Tom Selleck’s lip wool. Maybe then I won’t walk around with meal souvenirs tangled in my bristle. Someone please send Henry a stencil.
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Mar 162015
 

This was such a crazy throwback weekend: first I saw Mike + the Mechanics on Friday and then Janna and I were in Cleveland on Saturday to see Howard Jones; two childhood dreams come true in one weekend. My unpredictable navigational skills got us there with just enough time to squeeze in a quick lunch, staring at a disgustingly frozen Lake Erie, and, keeping with the theme of Retro Weekend, a necessary and apropos perusal of Flower Child.

SPOILER ALERT: this blog post is going to be just about Flower Child. I will drone on as nauseum about all that other stuff later in the week because I love doing things out of order.

All the times I’ve been to Clevelend, I never knew this place existed until my friend Jason took us there in 2011 and I bought a glorious light-up/holographic Jesus picture which made Henry grit his teeth.

Just like he probably grit his teeth yesterday when I began texting him pictures of $$$ swag lamps, alerting him to the fact that I had arrived at the place that wants all of my hard-earned monies.

Some of the sexiest Jesuses ever reside in the basement.

I have to touch everything when I’m in there, like I’m inviting midcentury spirits to enter my body through my fingertips and then everyone will be like why is Erin having uncontrollable fits of the Pony? And Janna will be like, “Because she touched some sequined boot and now she has a dead gogo dancer living inside of her, no big deal.”

I don’t think it’s very surprising that my heart belongs to mid-century interior design, considering I was raised in a house with shag carpet and foiled wallpaper. The yellow/burnt orange/brown color palette is instantly comforting to me and brings back memories of every afghan that ever covered the back of a couch in our house when I was a kid.

Luckily for Henry, I didn’t buy any murder weapons disguised as ash trays or 1960s prom dresses, but instead settled for this factory of happy thoughts:

It’s actually made out of paper mâché and the colors are just like SMILE OR I WILL PUNCH YOUR DUMB FACE. When Henry saw it yesterday, he did a slow exhale of relief that it wasn’t an Iron Maiden to go with my Devil rug.

And since I’m going out of order here, before Flower Child we stopped int Big Fun, which was having a going out of business sale, so I snagged this Diane Keaton “Clown Paintings” book for $5!

When I posted this on Facebook, one of my friends said, “I feel like, visually, my day is ruined.” So then I posted this collage of some of my other clown memorabilia, because I’m a Little Miss Sweetheart like that:

Ciao for now!

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Mar 082015
 

Bathroom plaques are filling up the shop again! I used to make tons of these back in the day and when I used to sell my stuff at Wildcard, they were super popular for some reason. Yinzers like their loos, I guess. 

Now when someone asks, “Which door is the lav?” you can just let them grope their way down the hallway and find it themselves with this helpful, can’t-live-without-it bathroom signifier. They’re available in a variety of styles and the choice is all yours.

Here are some of the glowing reviews that have been dumping in (oh, see what I did there? DUMPING?):

Jen Shitcan from Missouri has been heard saying, “Shiiit, I was so sick of my bitch ass husband bringing his broads home from the bar and asking me where the can was so they can empty their Diva Cup.  Now they just look for the sign and I don’t gotta be bustin’ caps no more.”

Isaac Outhouse from the wilderness sent a telegram saying, “Sign good. Rust proof.”

Peter Pisser from a place with a large blind population sent a box of chocolates with a note saying, “Works good. Except my one blind friend still needs help finding the commode. Make one in braille, you should.”

Melissa Purell informed in green ink, “My son has a penchant for smearing fecal matter everywhere but the hand wipes I keep on the sink specifically for these occasions. Luckily, the unsavory smudges wipe right off my bathroom marker. The stench, not so much.”

And Alyson from Waltham, MA was so thrilled to have her friends stop crapping in her potted plants that she left this flowery feedback: Thanks so much!! I absolutely love it!! My house plants thank you from the bottom of their rooty hearts. It’s the perfect size, too!

Possibly only one of those are real.

These guys are 4×4 and ready to hang. I love doing custom signs too so holla at me. 

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Mar 072015
 

Piggybacking off of Chooch’s previous post, the Devil rug is now mine. I’M SORRY CHOOCH, I HAD TO. It was speaking to me like a backward Beatles record. I bought the last one in stock, too.

This is really going to add a lot of….something….to the house. 

#taxrefundFTW

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Feb 162015
 

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This is how Chooch looked the day he got on stage at school to play Amazing Grace on the piano during the Trifecta Awards assembly. Luckily, it wasn’t a formal, dress-up affair so it was OK that he looked like the keyboardist of a post-hardcore band. Of course, I didn’t even know that this was a thing that was happening until the night before, when he looked at me and in all seriousness said, “I’m going to get on that stage tomorrow and say ‘Listen up, shit heads. I’m about to play Amazing-fucking-Grace and you’re going to RESPECT it.'”

I laughed so hard, but then said, “No seriously, please don’t say that.”

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Finally got the prize package sent off to the winner of my giveaway! Henry walked in when I was wrapping it and said, “Oh my god. Here, let me—-never mind.” Because he knows that it’s futile. Anyway, I threw in some extra goodies, like a Somnambulant Skull and some Henry pins, woo! I love hosting giveaways! Enjoy, Courtney!

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In between bands at the Pierce the Veil show last week, I checked Instagram and saw the BEST NEWS EVER! EMAROSA IS PLAYING WARPED TOUR! And luckily, Pittsburgh is one of the dates they’re playing. Conveniently, there is a two-day gap between their last day on Warped and Slaves’ first day. (I’m so thankful that Slaves isn’t playing Pittsburgh. Just knowing Jonny Craig was that close to me would make me dry-heave. And NOT in a fan-girl way.)

I was already like cry-cry-cry during the show but then once I saw this announcement, I was like CRYCRYCRYCRYCRYCRYCRY. God, please don’t let me ever stop feeling like this over these things!

 

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Henry got a new phone and is excited that he can use emojis now. (I don’t know why he couldn’t before?) Anyway, I’m happy that he can now see the emojis I text him everyday. Bang bang, motherfucker.

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OK, so we’re trying to watch our spending because we have so much shit we want to get down around the house, etc. but then I went and splurged on the biggest pre-order package for Dance Gavin Dance because 1. I’m worth it 2. HAND-WRITTEN LYRIC SHEETS 3. It’s goddamn DGD, guys. They’re one of my (many) weaknesses. Anyway, earlier that day I had my evaluation at work and it went really well (it is so nice being in a position where I’m appreciated!) so I used that as my TREAT YO’SELF excuse. I can’t wait for this album!!

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In the spirit of Alyson rejuvenating my love for the Mehoover days, I made her an official Mehoover Valentine and now I wish I had thought to do this before Valentine’s Day, because I would have made one for EVERYBODY.

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But no Mehoover Valentine could compete with the beauty that is this exquisite Paul Eugene Valentine which was included in this month’s newsletter. BE STILL MY HEART.

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Me and my Marcy, who Chooch has taken to calling a skank. So rude.

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Speaking of…(Chooch, not skanks.)

In other news, Barb resigned today and I feel the same way I do when the Penguins lose in the playoffs.

 

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Feb 122015
 

Today my friend Alyson texted me and said that she had the urge to go back and read the fake LiveJournal I ghost-wrote for Henry. It was called MeHoover, because Hoover was his LJ nickname (he sucks the fun of out of everything). My LJ nickname was Ruby. I started “writing” this journal in 2004 after Henry and I had a huge political blow out and he called me uneducated. I was like I WILL SHOW YOU UNEDUCATED. Anyway, Alyson inspired me to go back and read some too and I was sitting at my desk, silently crying from the strain of stifling my laughter. So I was inspired to take advantage of Throwback Thursday and repost Hoover’s adventures at Magee Hospital one night while I was pregnant. Just a heads up, it gets a little TMI because that was Hoover’s m.o. back in 2006, I guess.

so this is what happened right – ruBY was standing in the kitchen on suNDAy and was like, “uh oh something happened” and she said a tiny bit of watery stuff leaked out of her u know what!!!! i was like “bitch we’s goin to the hospal” but she was all, “no way man my friend kara is comin over and i want to be hangin’ out with her, u no?”i was like “what if that bag of water inside your gut has breaked open?!” but ruBY was like “i am not concerned yo! go hang out with your kids” and she made me leave!!! i was so worried all day and i kept calling her cuz dude, i did not want to come home with blood all over my house and a giant 15 pound baby running all over the place, you no?

so then the next night ruBY went to class and she called and was like “HEY it happened again twice in a row” so i was like “bitch you better be coming home right now!” and I called the doctor cuz that is what a good boyfriend does. the doctor was all “you need to come in to the hospal so we can make sure youre WATER did not break!!” but RUBy was like “i dont think i is ready to be having this baby!” but i made her pack a bag anyway. she was crying and i was trying not to laugh cuz i love to see her in pain!

we got to the emergeny room and as soon as ruBY went to the treeage window and they seen that she is prego, they was like “COME BACK RIGHT NOW” and she left me in the waiting room with all these scary people!!

i was down there by myself for like a long time and some chick with a bleeding crotch was SMILING at me! i was like “bitch step off” i dont want to get more dieases!!

THEN some lady called down to the treeage (sp) place and told them my name and to send me up to the BIRTHING UNIT on the second floor! i was like “holy shit ruBY is having the baby!” but when i got there she was not popping out any bloody life forms. she was just sitting there. so i sat there with her.

we was sittin in this corner right and next to ruBY was a table with someones hospal food on it. It was wearin’ a cover, but damn did that shit stink!!! it was like mashed potatoes and some kind of meat. so This lady comes over and was like “is my food bothering you?” and rUBY of course was like, in shock since we was in the hospal so she did not use good judgment and said “NO the food is not bothering me” and then the lady left!! she just walked away and left her food there!!!

we sat there for like two hours or maybe more and i Kept thinking “damn that RUby better not be having no diseases going on down there” she can not be trusted u no? she is likely to have sex with a gold fish if not watched properly!! i think maybe that is why i love her so much (but dont tell her).

so then there was these women sitting there cuz the one girl was in labor and they was like rilly funny. we was laughing and shit with them and they made rUBY feel better (i liked it better when she was all pale and nervous tho). so then the girls mommy came over and sat with us. she was like, “bitch i no this food aint gonna stay here and continue stinkin!” so she threwed it away!! me and rUBY was like “horray!” cuz remember i told you before that shit stank! so like right after she threwed it out, the lady came back for it!!! Our friend was like, “Girlfriend i threw that shit out, it stank” and the lady pointed at us and was like “YOU KNEW IT WAS MY FOOD” and stormed off! i was like “Bitch please, we gots more important things to worry about other than your stinky food” and i was hopin to get a “HELL YEAH” from that black lady but she ignored me. i do not think she liked me cuz of my bandanna – some times it makes people think i am like some confederite dude u know? she LIked RUby though and calmed her down.

so then it was our turn to go back to the room with a nurse. she told ruBY to take off ALL her clothes and then she started to pull back the curtain to give RUby privacy and i was like “Wait!!” cuz i had to get back there to. the Nurse was like, “what, she won’t let you stay with her while she undresses?” and i was like “bitch is you kidding me? she will yell!” and the nurse pointed to ruBy’s big fat prego belly and was like “then how did you –” and i said “that’s different” and she understood. mayBe she thought some other sad sack knocked her up.

OK and then another nurse came in and asked rUBY all kinds of questions and i sat there and read a magazine cuz I really dont care about this female shit right? but then she asked ruBY her weight and now i know how much she weighs as a prego girl and let me just tell you that vomit burned my throat!!!!! i was like so repulsed!!! so i sat there and kept starin at the girl in the OIL OF OLAY ad in the magazine and thought “damn i wish she was my lover” just like that sofie b hawkins song.

then the doctor came in and shoved that metal thing up RubY’s thingie and i was like “holy shit man this is gross” cuz i never seen one in person before!! anyway, it was a good thing ruBY went in cuz she has like one of those yeast infection things and did not no it!! so her water bag thing was not leakin, but while they had her hooked up to the monitor she had a contraction and now she is ONE CENTAMETER dilated, what ever the hell that means. that is gross that ruBY’s crotch has that bread bakin’ stuff in it. i will not be touchin her for a VERY long time. she is dirty.

but damn, did RUby do a LOT of whining. can u imagining how awful she is going to be when she is pushing my giant son out of her crotch?? god, all they was doing that nite was sticking her thingie with this metal thing that like, pryed her open, and you would havethought it was the end of the world! i rilly wanted to kill her, specially now that i know how much she weighs. i like wont even hold her hand in public anymore and when i kiss her i have to close my eyes and when i do that, i can see her weight number flashing!! maybe i should play that number.

then she made me buy her a goddamn candy bar since i made her go to the hospal and she was not even in labor. i was like “here’s 75 cents fat lard!” i do not even care any more. i here that lots of dudes leave there women after they have a baby cuz they get so fat and then they never loose it and next thing u no, they is not moving from the couch and eating them bonbons all the live long day. and here i thought i was cheatin’ life by bagging a young chick like ruBY. boy was i wrong.

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