Jul 202016


When you’re hurting so bad but you’ve got this great album to cry to and it’s so fucking FIRE that it dries your tears before your face gets too ugly.



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Jul 182016

This is from 2011 but still relevant, if only for the fact that Henry still wears booty shorts. Too tired for any new content right now. Check back later, next week, next year. 

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Jul 152016

8:53am: En route to WARPED TOUR and we all hate each other so bad woooooo!! Trying to order morning beverage at McDonald’s and Henry wants to kill us for being two strong-willed sassy ass individuals who know what they want. 

Yay I got my cup of flavored ice milk, thanks McCafe. 

Also, I hesitate to live blog these days because the WordPress app loves to take my pictures and shrink them down to near-thumbnails, or flat out flip them upside down. NO THATS NOT ME TRYING TO BE EDGY. That’s WordPress being a cunt*. 

*(Or, a Cindy, in my auto-correct’s opinion.)

9:29: Henry just went to Shop n Save to get us granola bars so we don’t perish during the day, and now he is getting gas: ALL THINGS HE SHOILD HAVE DONE LAST NIGHT. 

10:01: We just pulled in the lot and Henry is talking about really important things like “I don’t remember these lanes being so narrow. Did they make them narrower?” And something-something about how if you have 3 or more people in your car, blah blah who cares. 

10:05: Chooch is reading the names off the band tents as we drive through the parking lots. “Chelsea Grin–she’s always here.”  LOL N00B that’s a band of guys not a girl, idiot. 

10:12: Now I’m here in line ALONE while Henry goes to guest services to get his FREE PARENT TICKET lol. 

Lol I was just going to write about how parent-y Henry is and then some teenage girl behind me in line kept saying she was so hungry and she should have eaten breakfast so I turned around and gave her a granola bar out of my bag LIKE A TOTAL MOM but my bag is a BLED FEST drawstring so that helps negate my momness….I think?!

10:40: Kids behind us are talking about how great Neil Patrick Harris is (agreed) and they’re all name-dropping all of his projects, and being all “yeah I’ve seen that, yeah I love that” and then the one kid was all “What about Doogie Howser?” And the main know-it-all was all “Whassat?” And I thought he was kidding but the other guy has to explain what it was and I’m dying. #NPHN00b

11:15: well my plan of using Warped Tour as escape failed. The mess of my personal life has followed me here and I’m in tears and just want to go home. 

Henry and Chooch are making me stay but I’m so dead inside LOLOL

11:30: ok I drank water and breathed I think I’m ok for now lol also Silent Planet is screaming at me so that is good. 

11:45: Chooch just excitedly yelled something and made a beeline through the crowd toward the stage New Found Glory is playing on and I was like wow, I didn’t realize he was such a fan? But then he kept running straight to this: 

12:32: just played our favorite game: Lose Henry In a Crowd. So now Chooch and I are sitting here watching him run his hand through his hair in frustration and I feel a lot better about life. 

1:40: Chooch got some kind of Popsicle thing and the shiller was all, “Lucky, this is the last one in the flavor” and then Henry tried to buy the same flavor after dude JUST SAID Chooch got the last one. Henry, you’re an embarrassment. 

2:50: Worst warped tour of my life. Not your fault, Warped Tour. 

3:59: Almost left but stayed and Emarosa made everything better. I have a heart again, apparently! Bradley got us side-stage and I could have just passed out from the sheer joy of it all. I love that band so much you have no idea or maybe you do who knows. 

5:42: I think we’ve made it THREE HOURS without me flipping out and projecting! Things are looking up. *eyeroll emoji factory* I’m glad that Henry didn’t let me leave the 87 times I said I was going to. Emotions man, amirite. You should have seen my hissy fit at the front of the stage while Hail the Sun was playing. Am I 36? Nah. Guess not. 

In other news I’m staying hydrated. I think Henry and Chooch are too? I’m not responsible for them. 

5:52: Oh look who’s back. 

6:42: OH SHIT I never did get any coffee today after the McCafe blunder. FEELING IT. 

Shoes don’t tie themselves at Warped Tour. 

8:15: Leaving Warped Tour. Mixed feelings. I usually feel so at peace here but today all of my problems kept weasling their way in and I feel so stressed. Aside from that bullshit, I saw so many great bands, Emarosa put some sutures in my heart, and Chooch and I had a lot of fun (once we stopped fighting, which was only the first 1/3 of the day so we’re getting better!). I’m really glad that Henry wouldn’t leave when I wanted to. Now it’s time for FOOD. 

8:54: post-Warped coleslaw and coffee, BLESS YOU, KINGS. 

Choochs annual “I just spent all day surrounded by PETA propaganda” post-Warped Tour stint at vegetarianism: a veggie burger which he is struggling to get through. 

10:13: WELL BLOG I’m home now. My brain is swollen right now I think? So goodnight. 

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Jul 142016


Drew and Penelope were like “bitch you better post some pictures of us on the blog because we’re cute and maybe someone has had a bad day and needs some cat pics in front of their face, you never know.”




The most beautiful cat in the world

A video posted by Riley (@butt_jam) on

Warped Tour live blog tomorrow, maybe?

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Jul 082016

Emarosa released their new album “131” today and I can’t put into words how much I have been anticipating this. I stayed up and downloaded it from iTunes at exactly midnight (I also pre-ordered the vinyl but couldn’t wait for it!) and then cried my face off when the beauty of it all filled my bedroom. I so badly want to throw this review into CAPSLOCK-overdrive and take it straight to Emo Town, but I’ll try to stay calm, collected, and coherent. When all I want to do is write an essay on what my heart feels like while listening to this album, though!

“And then I cried again at the 1:22 mark….”

Let’s start with the truth: this album slays; it’s a career-best for Emarosa. Oftentimes when an album is so perfectly-constructed, it can come off sounding too polished, insincere, a product of too many hands in the pot. Emarosa effortlessly avoided that and instead gave us what can only be labeled as a gift.

131 starts off with the goosebump-inducing “Hurt,” which features an otherworldly high note that turned on the faucet in my eyeballs before I even knew what was going on. Some of the tracks almost feel downright invasive, voyeuristic, like squinting through a keyhole, but then you realize you’re looking at parts of your own life. Relatable and raw, these songs are woven together with precision and thought—everything is done for a reason, every last note and word mean something, nothing is wasted or used as filler, and there are subtle connections all over the place (“Re” beautifully reworks lyrics found throughout 131 and ties it all up with a bow to provide an emotional umph of an album end-cap).

God, this band is scary-smart.

There were times on early releases, during the pre-Bradley years, where the vocal focus overshadowed the music. But it’s a new era now and the rest of the band isn’t just providing background noise, a generic gym mat to support Bradley’s smooth vocal acrobatics. Emarosa has grown into one strong, cohesive powerhouse where the vocals and instrumentation stand on equal footing.

It’s clear now that they were only testing the waters with their last album Versus. With 131, there’s a certain confidence that is felt, a sense of familiarity within the band that enables them to push these new songs past their limits, like the sly and incredibly fun Bobby Brown/Ghostbusters hat-tip in “Helpless”;  the pure pop gold of “Cloud 9” would fit in perfectly on any Carly Rae Jepsen-inspired playlist; and while “Miracle” could have easily have been a shoe-gazer, the band carries the lyrics of loss and anguish on the back of an urgent parade procession of beats. THOSE DRUMS THOUGH. It’s not “Emarosa with their new singer Bradley Walden” anymore—it’s just new Emarosa, breaking out of their post-hardcore constraints.

My current favorite (which will change 87 times today because how can you play favorites with an album this perfect) is “Never,” on which Bradley’s wife Amy Meeko provides guest vocals. My thoughts on that are: can she be in the band now, always and forever? Their voices blend together like buttercream, and not the shitty supermarket bakery birthday cake kind, either. They could sing the DMV’s drivers manual together and I’d buy it on vinyl and then make “Yielding the Right-of-Way” my ring tone. Power ballad, power couple.

131 is the perfect medley of pop, rock, and soul-stabbing balladry without sounding like the soundtrack to Sybil’s brain. No, Emarosa is not having an identity crisis—these guys know exactly who they are and it’s only a matter of time before everyone else does, too.

My only complaint about Emarosa’s 131 is that it’s not 12 hours longer. Please go buy this.

Or listen to it first on Spotify. And then go buy it. Buy a copy for your mailman too.

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Jul 062016


Usually by the third day of a three day weekend, Henry, Chooch, and I are at each others throats. But I mean, that’s normal family talk, right? YOU LOVE ‘EM BUT YOU DON’T LIKE ‘EM.

Except that by some crazy act of god, we had an exceptionally peaceful day and actually, dare I say, ENJOYED each others company??

And this was all without the aid of roadside tent-purchased firecrackers!

How motherfucking un-American, I know.

We went to one of our favorite nature spots—Homewood Cemetery—and ran amok like morons (two of us, anyway), namedropped birds (one of us), and spent a good ten minutes enjoying the show a groundhog put on by peeking his adorable head out of a nearby hole (ALL OF US). So much nature and dead things!

Here are some photos.

Chooch serenaded his broken stick with a creepy rendition of Sarah McLachlan’s ASPCA-anthem “Angel.”

Surprisingly not pissing in the pond. “Looking for frogs” is their claim.

This shirt was one of my Gillcrest finds and I love it so much. Battle of the Network Stars ringer tee vibes all up on yo’ girl.

Reppin’ that Hotel Books sad boy scene. You know what they say about families that listen to emo together….

….they cry together?

He looks so put out as usual, but I’ll have you know Chooch and I entertained him right down to the individually-wrapped prunes on his cargo pockets. He only yelled at us and called us idiots about 29 times! A low number for one of our family outings.

Shit really got crunk (lol yeah I went back to 2003 and I’ll do it because I’m a blogging renegade) when Chooch found a rogue TENNIS BALL and we played CATCH in the CEMETERY and successfully intimidated some poor kid who was learning how to drive in mom’s SUV.

I think “playing catch” is something that people did before smartphones happened.

Our version of playing catch is more like imagining that Chooch is perched above a dunk tank. Henry apparently “hurt his arm” from whaling the ball so hard at HIS LAST BORN SON.

I hurt my arm too, but my hurt happened the day before when we were doing YARDWORK at my pappap’s house and I used….wait for it…

….hedgeclippers for the very first time and wound up with a callous and arthritis.

I did it for like 45 minutes!

Which, if you ask Henry, is more like 20 minutes in Erin Time.

Even my mom was kind of like, “I can’t watch this” and went in the house.

After the cemetery (and after I nearly peed my pants because LOL PLAYING CATCH), we went to Millie’s for an ice cream cone lunch because that’s how we chose to celebrate the day, OK? Also, no cookouts to go to. We’re loners, Dottie.

I had pistachio rose and yogurt date — what a divine combo. It felt like a real mythical pairing, you know? Like I should have been straddling a Sphinx.

Chooch got CHOCOLATE AND VANILLA. God, his palate is so fucking pedestrian. I’m so embarrassed. What a piss-poor job I’ve done at parenting. Here’s my basic kid, World. All your intricate and sophisticated flavor profiles make him puke in his mouth.

We have to seat him by the nearest napkin dispenser everywhere we go. (SPEAKING OF NAPKIN DISPENSERS!!!)

Later that night, our GROWN ASS CHILD went to Dormont Park with Dimajio and his older sister to watch the fireworks. I was equally “WOOOO FREEDOM!’ and “OMG DO YOU THINK HE’S OK WITHOUT US?!”

I didn’t grow up as a city kid–I was allllll suburbs and sheltered, baby.  So it’s pretty interesting watching Chooch living that city kid life.

Anyway. That was how we chose to celebrate our 7/4 and it was hilariously perfect. Look at that, I guess sometimes I like these assholes, too.

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Jun 302016

My obedient Henry picks me up from work everyday. I mean it’s the least he can do considering he makes me take the TROLLEY to work, all of the ughs!

Before you start thinking he’s wow so cavalier,  you should know that he doesn’t pick me up at my building — he makes me walk for that free ride. Not like, a mile or anything. But still! Whatever’s convenient for Henry.

When I approached him on Monday, he was out cold, snoring all up in our Cruze, with the window wide open, while people passed by. I walked straight up to him, reached through the window and clamped my hand around his neck.

He barely flinched.

Just slowly woke up all natural-like, as though this was his normal alarm clock, some violent BDSM version of a rooster crow.

Tuesday, same thing. But now his window was up:

The passenger side window? Wide open! Sun roof? Wide open! A carjacker’s delight! Might as well start sending out handwritten invitations with the make & model of our car and when it can be expected to be ready for the jackin’.

“I’m not worried,” he said in yawn-speak when I got in the car and began berating him. “There’s a cop right there.” And he pointed to some old security guard daydreaming in front of the fountain across the plaza.

And then he fell asleep at the show we were at last night. Boyfriend can honestly say goodnight anywhere. Chris has a picture of him sleeping at her wedding reception, for christ’s sake!

This concludes a blog post about Henry’s exposed, public sleeping habits. Thank you.

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Jun 262016

Well guys, it’s that time of year where I get super ridiculous about my Warped Tour anticipation. Henry walked by and asked me what I was watching, to which I giddily cried, “WARPED TOUR VLOGS DUH!!”

“Oh boy,” he responded dryly. “The fun never ceases in this house.”

Then we were watching some of the Warped Tour “what to expect” videos that these dummy kids make and subsequently garner tens of thousands of views and they are SO LAME. Henry sits here, engulfed in a big, billowy frown, and scoffs at each one. 

So now I am BEGGING him to make his own Warped FAQ video. He hasn’t actually said no yet so WHO KNOWS. I’ll remain cautiously optimistic but all I’m saying is, don’t wait up for us, YouTube. 

(Seriously though this year’s lineup is fucking stacked.)

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Jun 252016

As you may know, I fucking LOVE clowns. The weirder, the better. And I’m trying to cover my bedroom walls with all the clowns. (Henry might have other ideas for what to hang on the walls, like Playboy calendar pages from 1975 or paintings of airplanes, but when do we ever ask him what he wants?) Anyway, in lieu of looking for clown art on eBay and at flea markets like I generally do, I thought it would be really fun if my FRIENDS drew me clown pictures! Like how awesome & sentimental (you know how us emos be) to frame original art from the cool as fuck people in my life and hammer ’em all up on my wally-walls.

Plus, my birthday is in a month and that would help me not be the depressed motherfucker that I normally am on that dumb day.

Small or big, oil or crayons, I want your drawings. Get your kids or the neighborhood wino to scrawl a Pogo the Clown on a paper bag — I DONT CARE, I WILL FRAME IT & POST IT ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA. I’m just a really considerate pimp, I dunno.

Are you in or out? WOOOOO. Comment and I’ll email you my address!

Gotta go! Henry’s trying to smoke me out of my bedroom by blaring Alexisonfire downstairs. TIME TO DANCE!

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Jun 232016

Can I do one of those parent-brag things for a second? No, it’s not about Chooch getting good grades (I mean, he does) or achieving some high sporting goal (he doesn’t play a sport, so…). No, my brag is that Chooch has officially unlocked the next Mini Erin life level: he is addicted to going to concerts. He is even more like me now and less like Henry! Y’all can say he looks just like Henry all you want, because he is ALL ME ON THE INSIDE. And everyone knows what’s inside is what really matters. So there.

However, it was only a matter of time before there was going to be conflict, and it happened way quicker than I imagined. He wants to go see Melanie Martinez next month and I was considering taking him, because why not. She’s not the best but she doesn’t offend my ears and I don’t want to be That Person who puts their kid in a corner for liking something that they don’t.

Annnnnd then PVRIS added a Pittsburgh date to their tour at the very last minute, just squeezed us on in there. Of course it’s the same night as Melanie Martinez.

“Oh this is going to be an awesome fight,” Henry sighed when I told him after work the other day. And at first Chooch got super pissed but then I was all HOLD UP WAIT A MINUTE and told him to just ask his brother Blake to take him, so I guess that’s happening?

Hope so, because PVRIS tickets went on sale yesterday and I got mine, so….

This could be the last time I get to see PVRIS in a small venue, and it will definitely be my last time at the Altar Bar, which is closing for good a week after this show. I’m sad about it because we have such a limited selection of venues to begin with, but I can’t say that the Altar Bar is my favorite. The sound kind of sucks and I almost always have a subpar experience with the crowd, but the bathrooms are wonderful. The staff isn’t bad either! (The bartenders are kind of assholes though.)

Henry is super stoked that he doesn’t have to go to either show since I dragged Blake’s good name into this whole mess.

Honestly though, can we take a moment and give a hand to this MOM GETTING SHIT DONE?!


In other parental news, Henry and I got home earlier this evening from seeing the Cure (!!!) in Maryland and almost immediately had to go to some school down the street to register Chooch for this idiotic summer camp bullshit. We had to stand in this ridiculous line IN THE RAIN which other parents because the registration process was flawed as fuck and you do know how bad I hate this shit, right?

“I don’t belong here with all these people!” I cried frantically as Henry parked the car.

“What people?” he asked.


“Sometimes you have to actually do mom-things,” Henry said, feigning support with a clap of his hand on my shoulder.

Ugh, we stood in this line longer than any Warped Tour line I’ve ever stood in. And at least Warped Tour lines have something worthwhile at the end of them! This one just had ANOTHER LINE. INSIDE THE SCHOOL. WHERE ALL THE SCREAMS OF BABIES, CHILDREN, AND YINZER SOCCER MOMS SWIRLED AROUND ME AS THOUGH WE WERE STATIONED INSIDE A PTA VACCUUM.

(Chooch just did a Madlibs and made it hilariously political with all kinds of Trump and Hilary fill-ins and I’m kind of dying right now, please hold…)

Needless to say, I lasted approx. 5 minutes inside the school before Henry shoved the car key at me and mumbled, “Just go.” So I sat in the car while Henry parented.

Like, can’t I just make sure my kid wears cool shirts, spellz all gud n’ shit, and knows a lot about music? I’m really good at that role.


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Jun 212016

The face Henry makes when I make him stay up on late on a WEEKNIGHT watching some girls’ reaction video to the new Pierce the Veil album and then I start crying at the same time she does. 

In other Henry news, I liked him for a minute yesterday. LET ME BACK UP…

My Father’s Day gift to him was giving him some peace and quiet while Chooch and I went to see The Conjuring 2 with Corey, which ended up being a BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY, you guys. The Warrens are relationship goals, for real. 

I was thinking about them while I was on my break yesterday and it made me miss Henry. So I called him and of course he was all WHAT DO YOU WANT I’M WORKING (he had to go back to driving because of DRIVER DRAMA – typical at the Faygo Factory). 

“God, I just wanted to tell you that I love you kind of!” I cried. 

“…..why? Where do you want to go now?” he asked hesitantly, mentally preparing for how much my latest I NEED TO SEE THIS BAND road trip was going to cost him. 

“Nowhere. I was just thinking about Ed and Lorraine Warren and it made me miss you,” I whined. 

“….I don’t know what that means,” Henry said, sounding thoroughly confused. 

NEVER MIND, HENRY. The moment’s passed. 

I don’t always love Henry but when I do, it’s brief and inexplicable. 

Back to my Pierce the Veil videos. BYE-EEEEEEEE. 

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Jun 192016

We’re having a Fathers Day* picnic at the cemetery and Chooch and I immediately started complaining about the sandwiches Henry packed for us. 

“Here’s an idea!” Henry started, and then I quit listening because I know he’s saying shit I don’t want to hear. Stuff about how we should just do it ourselves next time and he’ll stay home, la la la. 

*(This was my excuse to have a picnic but then Henry had to do all the labor lol. And then we had a huge fight in the car because I needed iced coffee and nearly died. #typicalsunday)

I just wiped watermelon on Henry’s leg and now he’s throwing cherry seeds at me. I swallowed one of those at work last week. Goodbye. 

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Jun 182016

I’ve never been one to have anything useful or profound to say in the face of adversity or in the aftermath of a tragedy. Typically, I sink into a pit of hopelessness and confusion, and do a lot of crying. #secretempath

But what I am good at is pushing music into people’s ears. A bunch of bands I really love have contributed songs to this pro-LGBTQ compilation, and promoting this here is my way of adding my small voice to the cause. Pay what you want, from $1 up, and all proceeds from this compilation will be donated to support the victims of the Pulse shooting as part of the OneOrlando Fund

So go on! Add some amazing music to your collection while also helping the victims of a senseless tragedy and their families. You can even buy it as a gift for someone else! 

I 100% endorse this compilation and yes, I purchased it myself. 49 songs, you guys! There’s bound to be something on it that agrees with you.  I’m listening to it right now and crying because when am I not listening to music and crying except for when I’m at work wearing my Normal Lady mask?

Let me know if you get it and if you love it or what! It’s full of beauty. And most importantly, you can listen to it and PRETEND TO BE ME! (Lol.)


Plus, any compilation that features Anthony Green is bound to be lit AF. 

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Jun 162016

I haven’t been painting or anything at all lately because there has been so much going on in life and if only there was one extra hour in a day, you know. But after an emotional Friday night, I woke up the next day ready to paint my way through it.

I’ve been wanting to paint a portrait of my Pappap for some time now, and I found a really great picture of him from the late 70s / early 80s that I knew right away was the one I needed to recreate.

Chooch, my most honest and unapologetic critic, said with legit sincerity that this is my “best one yet.” Which I of course twisted around and cried, “OMG so you think all of my other ones suck then?!” And he just sighed and walked away. Because life with a bipolar Leo, amirite?

(It honestly barely looks like him, but it’s still going on my wall.)

And then I took advantage of the fire under my ass and finally finished the third installment of the nursery paintings that Wendy requested. Slumps are no fun.


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