Aug 022021
 

One of my favorite things about Wildwood as a kid was all the cool ass neon signs along that main drag of motels. I didn’t know that “doo wop” is not just a music genre but also a type of architecture until I watched a Wildwood documentary last year (BRUCE WILLIS IS IN IT). I’m really glad that this stuff is preserved as best as it can be because it’s glorious.

On Thursday night, I was really close to hitting 40,000 for the second time since I started Fitbitting at least 6 years ago, so I made Henry walk around the block and check out the neon signs with me. It really is like a mini-Vegas strip out there.

Here are some of my faves!

You guys I was OBSESSED with the Waikiki when I was little. We always stayed across from it at the Olympic but one year I got my grandparents to be like OMFG OK and we stayed at the Waikiki!! Here’s a picture of MY MOM AND ME having breakfast in the rooftop restaurant!!

Oh man it gave me chills to see this bitch ip close again!!

Then next door is my beloved, my BAE, the Olympic. This place definitely rebranded since I was last there. It used to be the Olympic Motor Inn and definitely did not have that intense neon bling clinging to the side. Damn.

That’s originally where I wanted to stay when we were planning this trip a few mths ago but holy shit, rates were poppin’ off. Was it that expensive when my family used to go?? Jesus.

So dumb Henry ended up getting a room across the street at the GOLD CREST which was fine I guess (I mean, don’t worry, I still threw a massive it when we got there on Wednesday but that’s a story for another day, Mary) but THE SIGN WAS NOT COOL!!

And the rooms didn’t have cool colored lights outside of them, like our neighbor the Cara Mara. I was really angry about this and finally Henry said, “SORRY. NEXT TIME I’LL ASK ‘excuse me, but can you tell me what you’re night time light package is like?’ BEFORE I COMMIT TO A HOTEL.”

Lol. He gets so mad!

Meanwhile:

The last time I crossed the 40,000 step threshold was EXACTLY four years ago when we were in Toronto for the GDragon concert!

Jul 282021
 

Hello from vacation. We were at King’s Dominion all day yesterday and stayed over in Baltimore. Now we’re en route to our next stop so I am updating from the car!

On Monday, we went to Busch Gardens (I keep wanting to add an “e” to the end of Busch for some reason, thankfully auto-correct won’t let me) and I collected some pictures of Henry’s back which I will now share with you and you and ok fine, even you.

The “Gotta Get To the Rolly Coaster Before Everyone Else” shot.

The “Ditched His Old Family, Picked Up a New One, They’re Slow Too & Now He’s Got an Extra Kid” shot.

Bonus shot of Full Frontal Henry. This is the “Even Michael Myers Gets PTO and When He Does, The Mask Comes Off & He Goes to Theme Parks” shot.

The “FOLLOW THE STENCH OF BEER-N-MEAT” shot.

The “Thinking This Park Would Be Better if It Was Called Faygo Gardens & Now Wondering What His FAYGO Friends Are Doing Without Him in the Warehouse” shot.

The “Acknowledging My Family Long Enough To Show Them Turtles in the Water” shot.

The “Waiting Out the Storm, Thank God We’re By a Bathroom” shot.

 

The “HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU PPL” shot.

The “Someone Dared Scream My Name While I’m Inhaling a Soft Pretzel Which I Still Had Room For Even After Eating My Own Pizza and Then Finishing Off My Family’s Leftovers” shot.

The “If I Hear You Cry About Wanting to Ride the Loch Ness Monster ONE MORE TIME I will GIVE YOU SOMETHING REAL TO CRY ABOUT and It May Or Not Involve Being Bitch-Slapped By My Own Personal Loch Ness Monster” shot.

The “Thinks We’re Leaving But Erin & Chooch Will Foil That Plan By Proceeding to Wait 90 Minutes In Line For a Roller Coaster That Is Not Going to Be Cleared To Resume Operations Because There Is Lightning All Over The Williamsburg Skies But I Guess I Will Find A Bench To Park My Pizza Cheese-Corked Butt Hole and Read Reddit” shot.

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Ok that’s all for now – we’re 40 minutes from our next destination – WILDWOOD!!

Jul 272021
 

Usually we opt to grab something fast and boring from the hotel’s complimentary breakfast because we’re in a hurry to get somewhere, but this morning we actually had some time since we were only an hour away from our next destination (King’s Dominion in Doswell, VA). So we drove around Williamsburg (and saw some places we remembered from last time in 2015!). Chooch saw a sign for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and said, “There’s a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not here??”

“Yeah,” henry deadpanned, “and believe it or not, we’re not going.”

“Wow you’re so funny,” Chooch and I said in tandem.

ANYWAY. Henry was being all bitchy because all the PANCAKE HOUSES and whatnot were packed. He made an offhand remark about how Mama Steve’s was the only one that didn’t look crowded but that “concerned” him. When he drove past it again, I was like, “Just go here, it doesn’t look that empty” also I didn’t give a shit because my stomach has been a’bubble with anxiety this whole trip and I knew going into this breakfast game that I was just getting oatmeal and like, all breakfast places have that shit on the menu.

Dude. You guys. From the instant we walked through the doors, I knew this place was The One. It smelt of the 1960s and was the perfect shade of blue.

I was smitten. They could have had actual bricks of shit on the menu (or worse: LIVERMUSH) and I would have just been content with a cup of coffee and that good good retro ambiance.

I turned around to take this picture JUST AS A WAITRESS WAS COMING OUT OF THE KITCHEN. We made eye contact and I think she hated me for a while but our waitress was super nice so who cares I guess, nothing was gonna bring me down in MAMA STEVE’S.

The color of the walls was mildly reminiscent of my grandparent’s dining room (Gillcrest respect) and this just made me want to gather the whole place up in my arms and squeeze it into my HEAVING BOSOM.

It’s hard to find the accurate words but this restaurant made me feel some kind of weird nostalgia for a time when families went on vacations in a station wagon and the Dad wore Hawaiian shirts and polyester pants.

I kept waiting for the Brady Bunch to come strolling in for some eggs n’ OJ before a day of exploring Colonial Williamsburg where some high school Thomas Jefferson cosplayer will inevitably fall in love with Marsha but JAN LIKES HIM.

MARSHA MARSHA MARSHA.

Meanwhile, some local Williamsburg rockabilly thugs are teaching Greg and Peter how to smoke TOBEY TREES while Bobby and Cindy accidentally uncover some ancient Presidential thing under a rock.

Me: I’m obsessed with it here. Aren’t you?

Chooch, glances around: No.

Me: But it’s got aesthetic. Vibes. It’s a whole mood.

Chooch: Omg shut up.

And then an instrumental cover of Steely Dan’s Babylon Sisters came on!!

Meanwhile, chooch asked the waitress if the vegetarian omelette had mushrooms in it.

“No,” she said apologetically, like that was going to be a deal breaker.

“Then I’ll take it,” Chooch said happily. He hates mushrooms which breaks my heart.

Mmmushrooms.

Me: I need to buy Mama Steve’s memorabilia.

Henry: I doubt they have anything.

Me: Well I’ll just go up with you when you pay and see for myself.

That bastard almost beat me there but I made it there as he was handing over the credit card, JUST IN TIME to pant, “AND THIS” as I slid a commemorative COFFEE CUP onto the counter. WHEW. #blessed #mamasteves4l

This is definitely going to be my go-to traditional dining spot next time we’re in Williamsburg (which shouldn’t be too far in the future because Busch Gardens should be opening their new coaster at some point I would hope since it was supposed to open in 2020 and is currently SBNO – standing but not operating).

PS it is three days later but I am back to add that two people at Mama Steve’s we’re wearing PITTSBURGH PENGUINS shirts and I heard one of the shirts-wearers say that he was ORIGINALLY FROM PITTSBURGH. Normally I have zero hometown pride but for some reason I get so stoked when I see someone wearing Penguins stuff when we’re on vacation. That’s all. Bye.

Jul 262021
 

…aside from Carowinds, which was most of the afternoon.

*(EDITORS NOTE: omg I don’t even know what day it is anymore. These are things we did on SUNDAY.)

We had some time to kill in the morning and Roadside America told me that we were mere minutes away from the site of the abandoned Heritage USA, the religious “theme park” created by Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker back in the day (late 80s? Early 90s? Who could be sure. Well, Google could but Vacation Erin don’t be caring).

The site is actually an operational church now (probably one of those wack ones no doubt) that contains some artifacts from the old Heritage USA Main Street but if anyone is going to get sucked into an extreme religion, it’s me so I lost interest and opted not to pursue this any further. Then Henry was like OH SHIT YOU GOTTA SEE THIS HOUSE WE JUST PASSED and when he turned around, I screamed “That’s the place I said you wouldn’t want to go, the Upper Room!!!” I didn’t realize we were that close to it! So he pulled in the parking lot and let me and Chooch off the leash long enough to walk the perimeter.

It’s supposed to be an exact replica of the room in which the Last Supper took place but of course it wasn’t open yet so I couldn’t peep that shit for myself. But I guess I will take their word for it?

When we were walking through the outside parts of the building, Chooch said, “It smells like your pappap’s house” and it really did. It’s hard to explain the scent but it’s old, musty, and nostalgic. Earthy kind of, too.

Then I spazzed out and cried about leaving my cats and we almost canceled the rest of the trip and came home but then I calmed down and we went to Carowinds except that if you know me, you know that this likely dragged on for an hour and was way more intense and hilly than any coaster we’d be riding that day.

BIG LOL.

Ugh.

We left Carowinds around 4 after doing everything we really wanted to do and making an executive decision not to wait 60+ minutes in line for a boomerang and a wild mouse just for credit purposes, and somehow managed to find a veg-friendly restaurant in Charlotte with actual ease and little frustration.

It was called FLOWER CHILD.

And it was wonderful. They had kombucha on tap.

Only I got kombucha. Henry and Chooch grimace at that heavenly nectar.

I got the Glow Bowl which had sweet potato noodles and a vegan-based curry. It was so filling, I couldn’t finish it all and that is unlike me. Henry also got some hippy bowl of some sort and actually liked it and also said that he was surprised how filling it was considering it didn’t appear to be much food. Chooch got a Thai tofu wrap and left all the vegetables but at least he ate the tofu.

Everyone was so friendly there and the aesthetic was 100% my style.

Look how cute the bathroom was!!

After we left, we were walking back to the car, which we had parked on a street about a block away. As we were approaching it, I saw that the drivers side door was open–not fully but also a bit more than just ajar. In my head I thought, “that can’t be our car” and then “OMG THATS OUR CAR.” I ran over with my heart in my throat but somehow, all of our stuff was still there. I had my backpack on the floor of the front seat, with my laptop in it but everything was untouched.

Henry was so confused because he said he knows he shut the door so we have NO IDEA what happened, if someone tried to get in but the alarm went off maybe? I mean, we weren’t on some desolate street – it was right across from a brewery that had plenty of patrons dining outside so — not very conducive for car-jacking or petty theft I guess? It was a very yuppie area.

Man we dodged that bullet but it took a while for my heart rate to go down, that’s for sure.

We drove to downtown Charlotte after that and attempted to walk off some of that anxiety-driven adrenaline. There was this cute city park that I wanted to see because there are giant bronze book statues according to roadside america and I, as you know, am a book dork. Chooch was soooo annoyed about this part of the itinerary.

Especially when I was being hyper-bossy about having my picture taken properly and then I hated every single one anyway so who cares.

I drew a portrait of Frederick Douglass in art one year in high school and I really think it was the best work I’ve ever done and I wish I still had it…why don’t I still have it?

DISCO CHICKEN! I have no idea what this really is but I loved it.

We started our drive to Durham afterward (we needed somewhere to crash on the way to Williamsburg, VA) and I found us an Ice cream joint in Greensboro called Lucha Libre and, as you’ve probably already ascertained by the name, it was bangin’.

This place was SO OVERWHELMING though. So many different things to order, some looked like they were just TOO MUCH though so we all chose something from what appeared to be the smallest, less decked-out menu.

I had such ordering anxiety that when it was my turn, I had to ask the guy what his favorite from that particular type was and he said “coconut” so I said, “Then that is what I want” and thank god because I truly love coconut. But I didn’t see it on the menu because everything had lucha libre and Spanish names with no descriptions so we were ordering blind.

But I don’t really think you could choose poorly at a place like that. I mean, unless you have an allergy of some sort.

Anyway, the guy who took our order ended up being the owner’s son (henry was “reading about the place” while we waited for our orders to be ready, apparently) and he told us that we came at a good time because usually the line loops around the whole place and that entire families (“You know, large families!”) come in after church and it can take over an hour for an order to be ready! It was just 25 minutes for ours and I didn’t mind because the place had a real festive atmosphere, like a dance party:


I mean, they played NKOTB at one point so it was pretty lively lol.

I had to text my work pal Megan because we just had a full-fledged NKOTB discussion on Jabber last week because I was reviewing something for a company called Step By Step and naturally it injected that song into my head. Neither of us were on that New Kids-wagon back in the day but I gotta admit, I always really liked The Right Stuff – the bridge is what did it for me!

YESSSS. And each one came with a syringe of chocolate sauce, too. I *fully* enjoyed this experience but you better believe I dropped to the ground and did sit-ups later that night in our hotel in Durham – The Millennium, which was Shining-esque in its hallways and also smelled like my Pappap’s house??!! We were only there from 10pm-7:30am so I didn’t really get to explore but the room was pretty huge and I had ample space to do my “DO THIS EVERY MORNING TO LOSE WEIGHT” Grow With Jo workout that I woke up extra early for this morning and this shit better work lol.

Also, henry and Chooch both used the bathroom at Lucha Libre which was basically a shared bathroom within the strip mall and they both are still talking about “the hallway of death” that they had to walk along to find the bathroom and Chooch said he heard scraping coming from behind a door and now I feel really left out because I didn’t use the bathroom too :(

When we left, the owner himself thanked us for coming and he was so adorable and now I am obsessed with this place and the friendly people so if you are in Greensboro, go there. Also, bonus points for it being in a shopping center full of Korean businesses too! It is always a joy to see Hangeul signs in the US.

OK, now we’re en route to Busch Garden so I’m peacing out!

Jul 242021
 

Nope, but you’re getting one anyway!

It is currently 7:33am and we just left the house for the first leg of my rollercoaster birthday road trip: Carowinds in North Carolina! South Carolina? It actually straddles the border, I think.

First stop: the Dunkin right down the street from our house. I just can’t with Sheetz coffee sometimes, you know? I just can’t.

When Henry starts wearing suspenders and sweat pants, we’ll know where he got the Inspo.

7:59am: SHEETZ

8:50am: SORRY I was READING A BOOK. But now I’m taking a break so I don’t puke. My Sheetz breakfast was good, now that I’ve discovered I can customize my beloved protein showdown flatbread.

My mom came over last night so I could show her things she will need while she’s watching the cats. “And then these are their plates for their treats,” I started, and I could feel Henry rolling his eyes from the other room but we’ve had this argument enough times and I refuse to remind him once again they’re PEOPLES and peoples shouldn’t have to eat their treats off the floor!

(Actually, we call them TRITS not TREATS.)

Then I had to show her all the squirrel food too and she was like omg.

Henry, 1970s Granola Dad, made his own batches of trail mix for the road and thinks he is SO AMAZING. I just watched him pop some in his mouth (knock knock Mr. Mustache, coming thru) and do a little shoulder shimmy.

9:32am: West Virginia rest area fun.

Henry said some guy came out of the bathroom with his pants still undone so now he’s really loaded up with style inspo. On the way out, we saw a sign on the hill and henry thought it said MUTILATED TRAIL so then that’s how my eyes saw it as too but chooch was quick to rain on our savage parade by clarifying that the sign said NATURALIZED trail. Boring.

I just saw a huge sign outside of a gym that said JUMPING JACKS FOR CHARITY and I want to play!! I love jumping jacks. It’s literally my favorite cardio.

10:30am: Pilot pee stop!

Chooch stayed in the car and told us he wanted a “fruit cup” but we found no such things so now he’s railing against us like we’re the world’s most incompetent parents and he can fuck right off lest he get uninvited to my rollercoaster road trip birthday party, little INGRATE.

10:59am: scenic overlook somewhere in WV! See also: Henry sucks at taking pictures. See also x2: woke Chooch up from a nap for this and now he EXTRA DOUBLY loves us.

11:15am: Just passed a farmers market and Henry said we should have stopped to get chooch his damn fruit and I said YEAH AND SMASHED IT IN HIS FACE.

“wow,” Henry murmured. Look, Chooch is currently my worst frenemy ok.

Also, how the fuck are we still in WV.

12:09pm: Oh wow another rest area. This one was next to that weird TAMARACK place that we drive past and never go to. Anyway, while I was peeing, the woman in the stall next to me sneezed so I said bless you. There was a moment of hesitation and then she said, “Thank you.” I wondered, as I was finishing up, if it was socially verboten to break the silence in a rest room. I mean, acknowledging sneezes is my THANG (never more than once though; you start with the follow-up sneezes and you’re on your own, Mary) so it just…came out.

Walking back to the car, I started to tell Chooch and he stopped me to squeal, “What?? You don’t talk to people in the bathroom! You just don’t! YEAH it’s weird” he answered before I even had a chance to finish asking his opinion.

She had aqua blue toe nails.

The sneezer did. All I could see of her was her feet and she was wearing sandals.

That’s all, carry on.

12:56pm: At Dolly’s Diner! Easiest food-finding experience of any road trip yet I think, you’re welcome fam.

“I put a star on it for you!” our waitress gleefully told Henry as she plunked his burger plate under his face. She reminded me of Henry’s mom a bit, if she had dyed burgundy hair and a southern accent.

The food itself was ok but the dessert selection was cray and what Chooch and I got (coconut cake and butterscotch lush) was DELECTABLE.

Henry didn’t order anything thinking he was going to share with me but lemme tell you something, Linda, I love butterscotch so much and that is how I know I’m going to make a great elder. Southern Judy even brought two spoons and I said “AW that’s cute that she thought I was going to share with you.”

I let that bitch have two small bites and he’s lucky he even got that.

What a pleasant experience. I would have liked to have bought a shirt as a memento because I have decided that my new thing is buying commemorative restaurant shirts, but Henry claims they didn’t have any for sale.

TUNNEL! THANK GOD!

We’re ten miles from Henry’s birthplace of BLAND, VA.

(We’re in Virginia now btw.)

I started jokingly calling Henry “daddy” and Chooch just mumbled “stop” from the backseat lol.

2:51: now we’re in NC! This drive has been super boring since my last check in because there’s been so much traffic and henry is also being super annoying and then I was openly weeping because SOMETHING HAPPENED TO THE DOG in the book I’m reading and honestly that should be illegal for books to have pet death/illness in them.

3:07pm: We lost Chooch at the Brintle’s Travel Plaza which coincidentally is down the street from the Mayberry town we went to the last time we were out this way (see also: the live blog I just reposted the other day).

This place had an entire hallway of payphones!

And a game room!

And a mom asking her young son in the stall next to mine if he had to poop!

update: henry found chooch. He wandered back into the game room while henry was buying his BANG purple energy drank.

4:37pm: WE JUST DROVE BY CAROWINDS. I SAW FURY!! Going to check into whatever dive Henry booked a room at and then we’re heading on over for the rest of the evening!

4:59pm: you can see it from our floor!

5:44pm: Happy to report that we’ve been in the park for five minutes and Chooch and I are already arguing I hate him.

Some guy just cut all the way thru the line to get the number of the girl in front of me and it was so Romantic and not even a ruse to line jump because he got out of line right after. I WISH I WAS STILL YOUNG & DESIRABLE.

8:22pm: As expected Carowinds was v. crowded since it’s a Saturday so we rode two things then left since we’re coming back tomorrow (hopefully the ops aren’t as slow as they were tonight OMG for a cedar fair park, I was shook). So I found this metal head fountain thingie on Roadside America so here we are.


Everything Henry is doing is so annoying btw.

Now we’re at Skyland Family Restaurant which really wants to be a classy Italian joint but just couldn’t help themselves by adding a breakfast menu.

LIVERMUSH…the fuck.

OUR WAITRESS JUST SAID “I APPRECIATE U FOLKS” and you know what? I APPRECIATE HER RIGHT BACK.

9:17pm: this family at the restaurant has a SCREAMING TODDLER with them and they are doing NOTHING to shut it up. I want to cry.

LOL I left. Henry is cleaning off everyone’s plates, as he does, and I am sitting in the quiet car.

10:06pm: fitness time!

I feel kind of bad because some guy was in there lifting and it seemed like we chased him out.

10:44pm:

Olympic swimming time! Cameo by Henry’s elbow to the left.

Well, I guess it’s time to end this. Day One of BIRTHDAY VACA THING was mediocre. Mostly driving, annoying amusement park experience, screaming restaurant baby, good evening hotel workout. BYEYEEEEE.

Jul 212021
 

We’re leaving for “vacation” on Saturday (I don’t think Henry qualifies a 7-day road trip filled with 4 amusement parks as a vacation lol) and I am so ready. I even remembered to get a bunch of postcard stamps to take with me so we’re not driving around in search of post offices like usual. Oh, wow look at that, here’s a liveblog from the time we were on our way home from Charlotte in 2015, looking for a post office (and other things happened too, thanks Roadside America). I sure do love road tripping with these fools. 

****

I wasn’t going to liveblog on the way home but let’s face it: what else is there to do when I’m in a car with Henry?

8:47: Henry is acting like a goddamn martyr because he has been doing all of the driving. We still have 7 hours left of the trip (we left Savannah late yesterday and drove to Charlotte, NC) and we’re all kinds of DONE. Henry didn’t even feed us dinner last night! I HAD CHEX MIX. :( Also we have been looking for a post office since we left Savannah yesterday.

8:48: Chooch: Where are we doing for breakfast? Henry: the post office.

Seriously though we spent so much time driving in circles yesterday because I typed “post office” into google and it told me to go to Orangeburg, SC. So that is how we ended up driving all around an industrial park in Orangeburg, SC looking for a post office so I could mail my postcards only for Henry to realize that my inability to read maps, or properly Google things for that matter, had led us straight to the Industrial Packing Supplies building. “Here it is!” I announced triumphantly. “THIS ISNT ANYWHERE CLOSE TO BEING A POST OFFICE, ERIN” Henry spat.

Ladies and gentlemen, Orangeburg.

But we got to see a rainbow!

9:20: we’re at the Tupelo Honey Cafe and Henry is currently not speaking to us.  lol forever.

This is definitely the type of place you come with people you enjoy talking to over brunch and HENRY IS NOT THAT PERSON LOL. Oh well, at least I have my backup: Chooch.  

Henry’s omelette came with a flower on the plate and now he’s even surlier. I had a delightful sweet potato pancake with peach butter and soysage and Chooch had eggs and homefries and actually ate the whole thing. I love this place but Henry is like exploding with hatred right now. He hates how all the men here are dressed in the same brand of strange-hued, fitted yuppie shorts.

10:05: One of the guys in yuppie shorts was asked to leave a few minutes after they got there because his female yuppie-partner was so drunk that she was laying across the table and the chairs and Henry said her dress was like wide open. They were walking back to their yuppie car in front of us and she was definitely drunk. It was a good example for me to show Chooch that rich people act like trashy assholes sometimes too. He’s learning lots on this vacation!

10:10: I enjoyed my time at the Tupelo Honey but Henry did not. “My food wasn’t from scratch!” he just whined. “The mushrooms and peppers in my omelette were from a CAN! That’s not FROM SCRATCH. They LIED.” Maybe a Bloody Mary would have helped him not notice.

11:22: Just left the Dale Earnhardt Headquarters, lol. I was like WE HAVE TO GO TO MORRISVILLE and Henry was all YOU HATE NASCAR THO? I just wanted to go and laugh.  

Me: Do you think they’ll have Tony Stewart stuff here?

Henry: THIS IS DALE EARNHARDT’S HEADQUARTERS WHY WOULD THERE BE TONY STEWART STUFF HERE.

Me: Do they have the car he crashed in?

Henry, appalled: NO! I HIGHLY DOUBT IT!

WHO KNEW?!

Chooch: Where are we again?

Henry’s favorite part!

Me: Do you think they have the outfit here that he died in?

Henry, mumbling at this point: Probably not.

At least it was free! Chooch got a souvenir penny but selected by mistake Dale Earnhardt Jr’s signature to be imprinted on it. I’m going to add an extra Jr to it so it’s like the band. (Even though they changed their name to Jr Jr a few weeks ago.)

I’m pissed because I wanted a magnet to boast that I was there but the gift shop didn’t have anything specific to the headquarters. Not even a Dale Earnhardt Headquarters is For Lovers t-shirt. I ended up getting some dumb NASCAR-ish photo magnet so I can just put my picture with Chooch in it I guess. Sigh.

Chooch’s main takeaway from this joint is that Henry looks like Dale (negative) and that we’re shitty parents who took him on the worst vacation ever because we wouldn’t buy him a notebook with Dale Earnhardt’s racing number on it. Cry it out, bro.

11:50: I think it’s safe to say that Henry reaaaaaallllly hates the Roadside America app. Also, my postcards were mailed. I know you were concerned about how that was going to play out.

12:07: Just accused Henry of not having any fun this whole trip and he said “I never said that. I’m just sick of you two.” BUT THEN HE SORT OF SMILED A LITTLE. So I took that as my opportunity to demand iced coffee.

2:02: We just left Mt. Airy, NC, the home of Andy Griffith and a Mayberry Shangri-la.


Chooch was like “This is great but who the fuck is Andy Griffith?”

We skipped the actual Andy museum tour, but there was a free Chang and Eng gallery in the basement that we were able to quickly access.

Roamed around Main Street for a while and then visited Wally’s Service which is where you can take tours of the town in an old Mayberry squad car.

I went inside to get my dad a coffee cup and to also snag some postcards since we had previously driven past the post office so I could easily mail them. Chooch almost made it out of the store without incident but right as I opened the door to leave, he barely touched a toy car on a shelf with one finger tip when the woman behind the counter snapped at him to not “play with the cars.” OK BITCH BROAD. HAVE A NICE FUCK YOU.

There was a replica of the jail next door so we stopped over there for some photo ops. Chooch took this one of me and then posted it on Instagram without my permission but luckily the cell bars and my layers are blocking some of my fat bulges.

Encountered a rude bitch lady in there, too. She was just a tourist like the rest of us so I don’t know where the superiority was coming from.  
And now Henry is pissed because we’re back on the highway, stuck on accident traffic and Chooch and I keep unplugging the GPS in order to charge our phone/Nintendo DS.

3:02: Still sitting in traffic approx. 5 miles away from Mayberry. The Hells Angels are with us, though!

3:52: Henry made us pee at idiot Love’s, a gas station that was infested with people who, like us, had been sitting in traffic for over an hour, but of course they were all way more annoying than my perfect family.

Also, we’re currently in Virginia. Henry has said that he hates approx. 87 times today. I said I was sorry for breathing and he laughed sardonically and cried, “No you’re not! Who are YOU kidding?!”

And then his idiot self bought Chooch CANDY. Yes, that makes sense.

Chooch just asked if today is August 1. Like, get a fucking calendar.

5:06: Octavia recommended a pit stop in Pulaski, VA so that’s what I’m making Henry do right now and he’s pissed. He has reached the point where he only communicates in head shakes and moustache twitches.


But first, this overlook thang!

5:33: Huge fight because Henry wouldn’t stop anywhere “downtown” Pulaski and then some guy came out of nowhere doing about 70 almost wrecked into us, Earnhardt-style, but now we’re sitting quietly at Tom’s Drive In while a big table of locals talk in hushed tones about Chooch’s hair.


The man standing is really excited because he went outside to buy the newspaper and it was from TOMORROW! A paper from the FUTURE and it only cost A DOLLAR!

Ah, local flavor.

5:57: Thought Chooch was staring at one of the younger girls this whole time but eventually realized it was the OLDER GIRL WITH PINK HAIR. She came over before she left and said, in the perfect drawl, “I like your hair…” And Chooch’s face almost burst into flames.

It smells weird in here and there’s no a/c but it was worth it for the people aspect. The two young kids working here are super personable.

Cheapest meal on the whole trip, not counting the CHEX MIX DINNER I had last night.

6:52: We’re stuck in traffic again! Henry pointed out that we still have five hours to go before we’re home. “it’s like we made no progress today. It’s like we went BACK IN TIME” and now he’s muttering. Then Chooch asked him what our next vacation is going to be; Henry turned around and breathed fire into Chooch’s face.

7:34: Listening to a Koo Koo Kanga Roo podcast where someone said “follow your dreams.” Chooch freaked out because he thought they said Paul Eugene. Now he’s calling us Ma and Pa and I’m freaking out.
9:24: Three hours from home but at least we’re in West Virginia now! Stopped at a gas station in Mt. Nebo for refreshments; it had the cutest diner attached to it.

 West Virginian coffee station. I was pissed when I learned that there was a Sheetz down the street. “Why,” Henry sneered. “You hate their coffee too.” It’s true, but really it’s just their iced coffees. They just always taste so gross to me, like they use Lip Smackers for their flavoring.
  
The bathroom was sketchy upon the initial entrance, but the stalls were surprisingly clean and provided great reading material.

 THREE MORE HOURS.
Idiot Chooch got a bag of BBQ chips and is eating them with open-mouthed panache. YELLING AT HIM HELPS NOT.

9:52: Chooch is sleeping! FINALLY! I’m so excited that I licked Henry’s arm!

10:42: Henry just sped up at the same time someone was creeping up on us from the right lane and I screamed, “STOP TRYING TO RACE HIM! OH GOD, HE MIGHT SHOOT US.”

“Why is he going to shoot us?” Henry (kind of) laughed.

“I don’t know! Maybe he’s in a gang!” I defensively reasoned.

“The pick-up truck gang?” Henry sighed.

IT’S BEEN A LONG DAY. So long that Henry just deliriously whispered, “Bye bye, Guy from Ontario” when some car that Henry recognized as one that passed us twice while we’ve been on this this highway in WV, drove away down the last exit.

10:53: KNUCKLE PUCK, CARRY US HOME. I just want to wash my face. For hours.

11:22: Pennsylvania just welcomed us. One more hour!! I hope henry doesn’t think I’m going to help carry anything into the house. Lol.

11:45: Fuckface Henry stopped “to get gas” at Sheetz so now our arrival has been pushed back to 12:45. WHYYYYYYY, TONYA HARDING???? WHYYYYYYYY? Anyway, I went into Sheetz to pee and Talking Head’s  “Psycho Killer” was playing. I got really paranoid.

12:18AM: Carly Rae Jepsen and her sweet pop sensibilities carrying us down the home stretch.

12:44AM: OK WE’RE HOME GOOD NIGHT.

Jul 172021
 

I can’t remember if that’s what Part 1 was titled and I’m too emotionally exhausted to go back and look because I just watched a new special Taemin video that SM Entertainment released today in an effort to feed the starving Taemints and now I’m weak and have pressure behind my eyeballs from crying so please leave me alone.

8. The King of Crows – Libba Bray

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Hey, speaking of crying – finishing the Diviners series really did it to me. I can honestly say that I haven’t loved a book series this much since Harry Potter (you know, back before we knew that its author was a disgusting TERF). It’s really got it all: a ragtag, diverse cast of characters that will steal your heart, snappy dialogue, an exciting and original supernatural plot, and a historical setting that might actually teach you some things while also making you run to the nearest Party City for some flapper accessories.

And if you’re an audio book type of person (fuck it, even if you’re NOT), January Lavoy narrates all 4 books and she is a TREASURE. I’ve raved about all 4 of these books and will continue to do so until my deathbed days, probably. Oh, and I even got Henry into them – he just finished the fourth book recently too and we had a full five minute book club about it because, you know, Henry.

Oh! The only complaint I have about these books, if I have to have one, is that the book covers are terrible. Well, the first one is nice, but they all go downhill from there. The publisher did Libba Bray dirty.

9. Umma’s Table – Hong Yeon-Sik

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Don’t let the adorably whimsical cover fool you – this is one depressing graphic novel. I read it in the car in our drive to Cedar Point last month and had to keep putting it down because it was making me so sad. If aging parents is a trigger for you, skip this one. I just kept thinking about mortality, fear of getting older, of being a future burden to Chooch, all of these things that we really love to think about while in a car driving to a place where we’re supposed to be have fun, lol. It was a real downer, but also very beautiful. It will make you want to slow down and appreciate what you have, while you have it.

10. The Other Black Girl – Zakiya Dalila Harris

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OK this was a wild thriller! Nella works at a book publisher and is the token black girl until one day when another black girl is hired. At first, Nella is like THANK GOD but this new broad – Hazel – quickly becomes super popular in the office and eventually gets opportunities that Nella feels should be hers. But then there’s this crazy sci-fi twist to it that takes it the next level and I couldn’t imagine how the hell this thing was going to end. I thought it was super smart, witty, and fraught with tension.

There was also a part that I low-key related to where Nella is training Hazel and the whole time, Hazel is questioning the process and saying things like, “Yeah, but, shouldn’t we do it this way instead…” and then she criticizes a spreadsheet that isn’t alphabetized and laminated and I was like OH SHIT THIS SOUNDS FAMILIAR because I recently went through a similar sitch with a new person I was training and I gotta say, I felt a bit triggered lol.

11. The Last Thing He Told Me – Laura Dave

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One day, Hannah’s husband goes missing and the last thing she heard from him was a written note that says “protect her.” So now she and her teenage step-daughter, with whom she has a very strained relationship, set out to try and figure out what the hell happened. I would say it’s more of a mystery than a thriller, and I found it to be pretty interesting. I really didn’t expect this book to make me burst into tears at the end, but there we were!

12. The New Husband – DJ Palmer

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A very middle-of-the-road thriller. Pretty predictable. I liked that the book alternated between the POV of the wife and the teenage daughter, and definitely much preferred the daughter’s chapters. This book wasn’t terrible by any means, but it also didn’t blow me away. Lots of gaslighting though so I basically felt like I had an entire nest of hornets buzzing through my veins.

13. Meet Cute Diary – Emery Lee

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Hey, you knew there was gonna be a YA book in here somewhere! Noah is a high school trans boy who writes a blog about meet cute stories for the trans community, except that they’re all made up by him and then he gets exposed for being a fake so some dude offers to fake-date him so that Noah can save his blog (and face). There’s a lot of toxic behavior going on in this book, and it also taught me about the “eir” community – look, I am way behind on this stuff but I am learning slowly OK!?

The main character, Noah, is actually quite insufferable, but Devin is the one who saves this book in my opinion.

14. Astrid Sees All – Natalie Standiford

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Um. I picked this up because it was set in NYC club scene in the early 80s but…what? Huh? This book had NO VIBES. The only 80s bones that were thrown were sporadic mentions of Andy Warhol walking by, or JFK Jr being at a college party. And the plot, was even was that? The timeline kept jumping around too and it made no sense to me. Too many characters that I couldn’t keep up with. Drugs. A dad died. Yeah, this book was pretty much a waste of time.

****

Well, that’s all for June. I’m going to try and get Henry to guest post next week for his summer book recs since he has been tearing through the audiobooks at work. Don’t hold your breath!

Jul 092021
 

Earlier tonight, henry was at “the store” and I was working (ugh Friday Late Shifts are the bane of my existence but I think this may have been last one???). Chooch was moping around being super high maintenance, whining about needing iced tea and, I dunno, dinner probably. I wasn’t listening.

Then he went outside & began half-assedly fiddling around with his semi-broken bike. Don’t ask me what’s wrong with it. It’s rideable but it comes with a loud clang and grind, like a steampunk symphony announcing your arrival.

“Rob and Larry are out here,” he said when he came back in the house for a second. “Maybe they’ll fix my bike since he won’t.”

He went back outside and turned on the Sad Boy heavy sighs and long face routine until one of our neighbors, George, took the bait and came over to check out the Broke Down Bike.

I ran up to my bedroom to snap a picture to send to “At The Store” Henry in order to emasculate & deadbeat-dad him.

THEN! The neighborhood Corgi Dad also stopped by and offered to take a look-see! I was dying. Then I was like WHY DOES THIS SEEM FAMILIAR oh yeah – because his Woe Is Me theatrics was honed by being the understudy to YOURS TRULY.

Too bad Hot Naybor Chris wasn’t home, because he FOR SURE would have been game to get greasy.

Finally henry came home and was all OH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE and got his tools. Evidently, CHOOCH wrecked his bike & is lying about it which makes Henry even less inspired to put on his Dad Cap and help out ol’ sonny boy.

“I’m going to get him a fucking tricycle,” Henry mumbled later on. This bike is really pissing him off and I’m loving it.

Jul 052021
 

On our way from King’s Island this afternoon, we stopped at Rt 73 Diner in Wilmington, Ohio. It was a semi-rural looking area BUT I looked ahead and saw that they had VEGGIE BURGERS on the menu and I wanted that.

Chooch made us sit at one of the high-top tables which I never prefer but it was better than the tiny table we were also offered in between two giant parties of people. But that is besides the point.

When our waitress came over, it was pretty obvious she was borderline flustered. Then when she asked us how we doing, she responded to our reciprocation of the question with a very sarcastic, “Oh I’m doing just great.”

Henry blurted out, “you look great.”

“Really?” she asked, looking up from her order pad.

And you guys…

He fucking said, “No.”

No!!!

Chooch and I were ready to slide under the table to shield ourselves from the eye-daggers she was launching at Henry.

I didn’t even know how to save him from that one aside from explaining to her what I thought maybe had happened, which was that his first response was supposed to be matching her sarcasm, meaning she looked the opposite of great so that when she asked him if he meant it, he said no. But I honestly didn’t want to walk into that fire, backdraft-style. So instead I just mumbled, “coffee and water” when she asked for my drink order.

Henry was perplexed when she left and chooch and I finally were free to voice our discomfort. He had no idea that what he said was insulting!

“You might as well have just told her to smile more,” Chooch cried.

So then Henry was pretty much ducking every time she came near us and I was trying to overcompensate by bubble-wrapping our table with pleases and thank yous.

Henry had the poor timing of snagging her when she was en route to another table, and asking, “can we get some napkins?” She gave him a really tight smile and actually spun on her heels to go back and get us napkins which she didn’t SLAM into our table but she also didn’t set them down GENTLY.

“Wow she really hates us,” Henry said sheepishly.

“Yeah, you literally made her hate us right away, after the first thing you said!” Chooch yelled.

“Just don’t ever talk again,” I pleaded.

Then as we were leaving, Chooch stood up right as she was about to pass from behind him and almost made her slam into him.

For what it’s worth, she really did look great regardless of the quality of day she was having. She reminded me a bit of our friend Dawn from Castle Blood and Dawn is pretty AF!

(Also during this lunch, Henry was trying to tell me shit about the recent semi-derailment of the coaster El Toro in NJ. “I already told you everything you just told me,” I said. Henry said that I didn’t “do a good job” giving him the facts BUT LUCKILY a fellow man explained it better so now Henry understands. Is it still mansplaining when it’s man-to-man? Or is it just plain explaining?)

Henry left the waitress a hearty tip and then we ran out of there. My veggie burger was super good, though the jury is out whether or not she spit in it. Hopefully just in Henry’s burger!

P.S. one of the waiters (maybe the owner?) opened a large freezer behind the counter and there at least 15 boxes of BOSCO STICKS all stacked up in there. Whyyyyyy. They’re fucking haunting me!

Jul 042021
 

GOOD MORNING it is 7:00am and for the first time, we’re actually leaving the house when we said we were going to! We’re en route to the Cincinnati area for some King’s Island action and possibly some other fun! I guess I will live blog but the drive through Ohio is historically boring so we’ll see how that pans out?! First I have to finish a book in reading though. You care.

Haha j/k I forgot my purse so we had to turn around.

8:31am: HOLA I finished my big (That Summer – Jennifer Weiner). I liked it. Also we went to Sheetz about an hour ago and Chooch pulled an Erin and pouted about his breakfast burrito BEING DISGUSTING but then didn’t really tell us why other than it wasn’t heated up.

SHEETZ SELIFE WHAT WHAT.

9:27am: I do not appreciate that this piece of shit parked next to us at Loves.

9:44am: big microburst argument between chooch and me, perpetuated by the innocent action of me handing him an empty bag of Quest chips to put in the designated garbage bag in the backseat and he apparently WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF CLEANING UP A MESS and ripped the bag from my hands and let it flutter to the floor so then I snapped and he clapped back and Henry was like stop please and the song “Reminiscing” was on the Yacht Rock station so I spat something about reminiscing to back when I didn’t have a kid yet and henry was like WOW and the yacht rock station guy said something about how two is better than one and Henry bitterly mumbled, “not always” while looking back & forth between Chooch and me. Wow.

10:44am: speaking of yacht rock I feel like if there was a yacht rock prom, Michael McDonald would be a shoo-in prom king.

12:40pm: sorry, I forgot about you, Blog! We made it to Strickers Grove around noon where we met my old friend Christina and their fiancée Katie but the rides don’t start until 3???? The whole reason we woke up early was to go here before Kings Island because it’s only open 4x a year and there are two rare coaster credits we need but now we are going to eat first and go back ugh I hate when plans change!!

1:55pm: We had the most awesome waitress at Hyde’s and equally as awesome fries even though they’re crinkle cut and Henry bought me a t-shirt so I can rep Hyde’s even while in Pittsburgh BUT they didn’t have the one I wanted and I misunderstood what the cashier said so now I have a Hyde’s shirt that says Pie or Die on the back which I guess is cool and now I have something to wear to the pie party should I choose to have one this year.

The cashier had already gone back to the get the shirt in my size so I said “now I can’t change my mind, I’m basically married to this one” and Henry said, “I didn’t pay it for yet so you’re not married to anything.”

And I said YEAH I KNOW, IM NOT MARRIED TO ANYTHING. Thanks for the reminder.

2:17pm: Henry’s checking out whatever Christina is dragging under their car because every man feels compelled to point it out to Christina.

2:24:

4:58pm: You guys we just had a really great time at Stricker’s Grove even though it’s like 95 degrees out! And we got there just in time – about 40 minutes before the rides started running, and the lines for tickets were very very short. The lines were so long after the rides started. I’ll do a full recap in a separate post but it was really cool to get these two new coaster credits! Now we’re going to check into our hotel, change clothes, and head on over to King’s Island!

5:38pm: Having technical difficulties with our hotel reservation. But Henry was all AHA HERE IS MY EMAIL CONFIRMATION and what will happen next who knows but I want to stay here bc all of their art work is King’s Island-themed :(

Finally success! Booking.com didn’t send the reservation over to Hilton so they had to redo it but now we have a room and they upgraded us too!

7:14pm: We’re in line for Orion now so I think I will probably end this live blog either FOREVER or JUST FOR NOW.

I’m really just trying to ride the rides now, BRUH (sorry, I hate that word so much lol).

Jun 292021
 

There was a Pride event happening in Millvale on Saturday and when I saw that Bitchy Vegan Homo from Cleveland was doing a pop-up there, I sent Henry out on a quest for vegan baked goodness. Selfishly, I stayed home because PEOPLE. Honestly, if it was just a Pride event with no vegan stuff happening, I would have gone, but you add vegan stuff to things like this and it draws out all the vegan assholes, ISTFG. Henry was so pissed too because he even left the house well before the thing started at noon, got a good parking spot, and he said just as he was walking over to the BVH booth, some vegan biotch came power-walking out of nowhere, beat him to the booth, and loudly declared that she HAD A LOT OF STUFF TO BUY.

Oh man, I’m glad I stayed home. It sucks because I have lived a meat-free lifestyle since the 90s but have never ever ever felt like I belonged in that community, ESPECIALLY the vegan branch.

Nevertheless, Henry powered through and brought home a bounty of delicious animal-free treats.

Maybe it’s because I grew up with Rainbow Brite in my life but you cannot convince me that a cake will not taste extra-delicious if it’s rainbow-colored. I’m sorry. This cake made me feel like Starlite was taking me on a stroll through a motherfucking meadow in spring, OK

Starlite-Rainbow Brite , a little wish in the moonlight, sunbeams sparkle and shine, you'll always be a friend of mine! : 80sdesign

There’s just something about a pretty cake. I’m not saying it’s because I ate some of this cake that I ended up having a fabulous Saturday, but I’m also not saying I don’t believe in CAKE MAGIC either. (Those brownies were the unsung heroes though, holy shit, make me a retainer out of these brownies and watch me not care about flashing poop-smiles.

It’s 87 degrees in my house  you guys sorry if I’m slurring.

Later, I saw someone tag this neon rainbow sign on Instagram and got excited because it’s from Target and I declared that I needed it right then and there because I really appreciated the uneven arches and I knew exactly where I wanted to put it and Henry was like, “I GUESS WE ARE GOING TO TARGET” and so we did and I bought it and then I also went to the Vans store and bought new Vans in the shade PINK LEMONADE and I felt like I had literally showered in the sun’s summer rays that morning because everything was JUST SO PLEASANT AND GOOD. BREATHE ERIN BREATHE.

Also the girl who helped me with my shoes at the Vans store had tattooed knees and the most perfect chill disposition (a prerequisite for working at the Vans store, which means I could never work there because I CAN BE TOO UPTIGHT AND PEOPLE-HATING) and can you really ask for anything more in a retail experience?

This is what the downstairs looks like at night, I love it so much, being awash in color and mood-lighting.

Basically, it is always Pride up in here and I hope that this is a place where anyone would feel welcome and comfortable! Just….probably not on 90 degree summer days.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to sticking my head in the freezer.

Jun 242021
 

I thought of this tonight and felt a strong compulsion to repost the story about the time my friend Kristy convinced me to go to a Pittsburgh Passion game even though I hate football and it ended up being a fucking hilarious night and I even thought that maybe I would like girl football at least after that but nope, that didn’t stick. Also I can tell by that first picture that this was definitely before KpopX kicked my ass into shape lol ugh.

Anyway, here is that story. Ciao for now, my plump little bao. (I just said that to myself.)

***

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When I told people I went to a professional woman’s football game last Saturday night, the popular response was, “What the hell. You hate football!”

Truth! I really do hate football, and the only thing I hate worse than football is PITTSBURGH football. Boys or girls, I hate them all the same. No discrimination here. But when my friend Kristy asked me if I wanted to go and explained that she was only going because her friend Katie plays for the opposing team, the New York Sharks, and also that we were going to drink at the Smiling Moose beforehand, I was like, “Fuck yeah, I’ll go.” I get a lot of joy rooting for opposing teams! I’m like a sports hipster, I guess.

Besides, if I was going to go to a Pittsburgh Passion game with anyone, it would be Kristy. I don’t know why, but I stand behind this statement.

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Kristy even made this awesome sign to show support for her friend Katie! It was kind of adorable. I want to join some kind of team now or run for Congress so that Kristy will make a poster for me.

When we got inside Cupples Stadium, Kristy decided she didn’t want to sit in the middle of Passion fans, because Pittsburgh sports fans are a special brand of crazy. Like, bath salts crazy. Before we even made it to the stands, we stumbled upon a small group of Sharks fans with some assertive Passion broad who was trying to accommodate their seating needs. And by seating needs, I mean that they were asking to sit as far away from psycho Yinzer sports fans as possible. So we tagged along and entered the field with them, and that’s when I realized that one of the Sharks ladies was actually a part of the organization, so I started to feel really special, because that’s the type of person I am: the type that gloats when mascots or someone on a professional women’s football team payroll spends one extra nanosecond on me than the rest of the kids. It’s because I’m attention starved, OK? I will take flirtatious sentiments from anyone: in a fur-suit, NY Sharks shirt or prison jumpsuit, I don’t give a fuck.

Anyway, the Passion broad explained to us that she was unable to unlock the gate so that we could sit on the bleachers across the field from the Pittsburgh side, some lame excuse about how the Passion organization only paid for half of the stadium to be cleaned so they couldn’t have us getting our filth all over the other side of stands, too. However, what she was able to do instead was bring over extra benches ON THE SIDELINE so that we could still sit far away. There was some grumbling from the other Sharks fans about how they weren’t going to be able to see real well, but I was like, “Fuck yes.” Because if I’m going to have to watch some dumb football game, you better believe I want it to be on the field, like Jay-z.

(I don’t even like Jay-Z, but I wouldn’t mind living like him.)

While we were getting situated on our special benches, one of the Sharks ladies felt compelled to beg us to behave. Don’t distract the players, don’t get up and walk off the field during play, and basically just don’t breathe. Then she came back with her camera and yelled, “OK SHARKS FANS!” and everyone put their hands up on top of their heads like shark fins, and I had to whip my head around to look at everyone else’s so that I didn’t fuck it up because I’m a hand-gesture dunce.

“I wonder what the Passion sign is?” Kristy wondered out loud, making a diamond over her crotch with her hands. “Do they just like, masturbate?” And I died for the first of 87 times that night.

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Seriously, this was our view: a recreational lesbian’s field day. I cultivated no less than 8 crushes in the first five minutes of sitting down. It’s actually kind of surprising that Christina doesn’t play professional women’s football.

“Fair warning, my twin daughters play for the Sharks, so I might get kind of loud,” an older man who bore a mild resemblance to Laura Palmer’s Dad (but enough so that I would run with it for the rest of the night) said cordially as he sat down next to me. “Wow, Pittsburgh’s sure got a big fan base. Look at that!” he enthused, pointing across the field to the home bleachers. I thought he was being sarcastic, because there didn’t seem to be that many people there, but then I remembered that this was WOMEN’S football and we all know that no one cares about women’s sports.

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Passion’s Impressive Fan Base.

Did you know that the players have to pay for this shit themselves? It’s true! Kristy told me. And they all have to have regular day jobs too, unlike those fat NFL rapist douchebags. So I was able to overlook my hatred of football by convincing myself that I was actually there to support girls doing shit. Because I’m a girl.

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I took this picture when we returned after halftime to illustrate how sparse the Sharks section was.

Laura Palmer’s Dad was a pretty laid back guy and I didn’t mind that he was trying to lure conversation from my clamped mouth because was mildly charming. But then 10 seconds into the game, he fucking EXPLODED with rage and bulging forehead veins.

“PAIGE!!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!!?!?!? CONTAIN!!!!! WHERE’S THE D?!?!?!?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME, REF?! WHAT WAS THAT!?!??! HEY REF, YOU NEED TO BORROW SOMEONE’S GLASSES BECAUSE YOU CAN’T SEE!”

And on and on and on. Kristy slowly looked over at me and we totally lost it. At this point, he was standing on top of the back of the bench, leaning against the fence behind him for balance, and every time he yelled, it sounded like angry jets were being launched from his throat and into my ears. And then another dad on the bench next to us joined in, the two of them volleying disparaging reviews of the ref’s competence back and forth between them in their thick New York accents. Laura Palmer’s Dad kept marching over to the Sharks bench and reaming out his daughters, Paige and Jenna, but it seemed like poor, fuck-up Paige was taking the brunt of it. She just stood there with her head down, shoulders rolled forward, probably wondering when she was going to have time to finish digging her dad’s grave in the woods.

Please, please, please watch this dumb video.

Laura Palmer’s Dad was screaming so hoarsely, that I feared he was going to have a stroke. I was honestly afraid to turn around to see what he looked like while verbally battering the entire Sharks team and officials. I half-expected to catch him deep-throating an entire horse out of unchained anger.

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I kept getting misted with Haterade every time he screamed too, so now I can say Laura Palmer’s Dad showered me.

Meanwhile, my brother Corey was texting me because he saw my video on Instagram, so then it became even funnier to me, knowing that it was this funny to Corey, also. You know who definitely didn’t think it was “that funny”? HENRY. I kept texting him with a play-by-play to NO RESPONSE. He was just jealous because he wasn’t there and he probably knew it was only a matter of time before I fell in love with Laura Palmer’s Dad. I mean, he was totally my type. I bet he has sexually harassed an impressive amount of secretaries in his day.

Or Henry was just sleeping.

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Laura Palmer’s Dad in a rare moment where his lips were demonstrating what some people might recognize as “a closed mouth.”

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What? You guys don’t take shoulder selfies?

The other angry dad is standing next to the guy stroking his chin, who was actually with Laura Palmer’s Dad but not nearly as loud. Occasionally he would bellow “SHARKS!” but I felt like it was more because he didn’t want Laura Palmer’s Dad to be disappointed in him, too.

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Here’s one of the twins getting berated.

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And the other.

He reallllly wanted them to “contain it,” whatever the fuck that means. And see, that was a big problem, not understanding the game and terminology. I would have to wait for my Sharks peeps to cheer or clap to know how to proceed, but sometimes I was confused because the Passion fans would also be clapping and I thought we hated each other? Anyway, when one of the Sharks got the ball-thing and started booking it down the field with no one close enough to stop her, I knew to stand up and do jump-y things and yell. And I also knew that when things weren’t going our way, to blame the refs. That’s universal. And if I hadn’t known that, Laura Palmer’s Dad would have taught me real fast.

The Passion scored enough times for the speakers to bleed out “Girls, Girls, Girls,” “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and “Single Ladies.” You know, just in case we forgot we were at a girls football game.

Too bad we were losing pretty good (I guess?) by halftime. I was pissed when we came back from not getting stabbed during our halftime drinks at Jack’s because KRISTY lied to me and we were LATE getting back to a sporting event I don’t even care about, except for when I do, so we had to stand off the field and wait for the quarter thing to end before going back to our dumb bench. THANKS, KRISTY. I was so concerned that we were going to be ostracized from our elite Sharks section. But as soon as the clock turned to 0:00, I speed-walked across the field back to our bench.

“Hurry! I don’t want to get in trouble!” I kept hissing at Kristy. And approximately 3 minutes after I said that, Laura Palmer’s Dad and Other Official-Hating Dad came together to throw a joint temper tantrum so histrionic that the ref literally turned toward us and screamed, “NO! YOU SUCK!” blew his whistle, made a violent motion with his arms, and stomped off the field.

The fucking ref stopped the game and stormed off, you guys. IT WAS FUCKING FANTASTIC!

But….then the Sharks lady (I learned after the game that she is the CEO or CFO or COO or some acronym equally as important) marched over and said sternly, “I told you that you had to knock it off. Ref wants you gone. ALL OF YOU.”

Laura Palmer’s Dad said, “No! You guys stay. I’ll take the hit on this one.” MY MOTHERFUCKING HERO. Oh god, please let me be Laura Palmer’s Dad wife. Oh, who am I kidding. Laura Palmer’s Dad’s penis coozy is good enough for me. He can scream at me to contain the D all night. Yell at me like I’m one of your disappointing twins!

“Ref wants you ALL gone!” Important Sharks Lady repeated. So we all got up and dejectedly walked off the field, Kristy with her rolled-up Sharks poster, basically the entire Cupples Stadium watching.

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This is what Womens’ Football Game Ejection looks like.

And just in case one of us was planning on resisting the ref’s request, two cops were sent out to make sure we left peacefully. It was the most ridiculous thing ever and I was so afraid I was going to pee from laughing so hard.

“Womp womp,” Kristy said with mock sadness into her rolled-up poster, and that just made me laugh even harder.

 

Once we were off the field, we all kind of stood in a cluster, laughing nervously by the concession stand. I was glad to see that Laura Palmer’s Dad was also laughing about it and not snapping metal rods over his legs in fury like I had anticipated.

“Sorry guys,” he said, with a shrug and then he flashed that good old Laura Palmer’s Dad smile at us and I melted. UGH HOW CAN I BE MAD AT THAT.

By then, one of the Passion broads had learned about what happened, so she decided to intervene. I guess because it was the ref who kicked us out and not the actual Passion team, she let us back on the field. They tried once again to get the gate unlocked for us, but then realized no one had the key. So the compromise was to move one of the benches further away from the field and have one of the cops babysit us.

“I feel like a red-headed stepchild,” Laura Palmer’s Dad laughed as he helped drag the bench away from the rest of the benches. Kristy and I opted to sit on his bench rather than return to our original spots, because I wanted him to see that we were IN THIS BITCH TOGETHER.

I just like being a part of things, OK?

Anyway, the game resumed after the ref rubbed the hurt out of his butt, and it didn’t take long for the two dads to get all fired up once again.

“OH NOW HE THROWS A FLAG!” the other dad bellowed, his voice cracking under the weight of the sarcasm.

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This was right after the ref called an illegal formation, whatever the fuck that is, and that set off Laura Palmer’s Dad and his Partner-in-Scream-Hemorrhaging all over again, to the point where I thought for sure they were going to cause us to make the 11 o’clock news. FUCK YOU AND YOUR ILLEGAL FORMATION, REF!

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Our babysitter.

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This lady refused to leave when we got kicked out. I guess that’s her daughter. She popped her shoulder out.

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And then, after it was all said and done, Laura Palmer’s Dad STOOD ON THE FIELD, yelling for his daughters’ attention. He was relentless.

I LOVE THAT IN A MAN.

During the final minutes of the game, “Girl On Fire” warbled out of the cheap sound speakers, and we just lost it. I wish they had put as much effort into their concession stand offerings as they did with the girl-centric stadium anthems.

Anyway, the dumb Passion beat the Sharks and I’m 99.999999999999999% sure it was fixed. We hung around after everyone left, watching the Passion do some sloppy Electric Slide thing to a really terrible pop song while the Sharks sat in a slumped huddle and cried. For a girl who hates football, I felt surprisingly really sad. Once the Sharks started to mill around on the field, Kristy and I went over to say goodbye to Katie, who hugged me twice which I thought was really nice of her but I think she was really just using my torso as a Shamwow for her sweat.

“What was going on over there?” she asked us, and we got to giddily tell the story of Laura Palmer’s Dad, a story that I look forward to retelling over and over and over again for the rest of my life.

SHARKS 4 EVA.

 

Jun 122021
 

Hello. It’s 7:42am and we are about to depart from our luxurious gravel driveway in Brookline to begin our little weekend road trip to Washington DC and Maryland, aren’t you so excited. Originally we were just going to go to Maryland on Sunday to see if we have better luck at that Six Flags but then we decided to make a weekend of it and visit DC since NONE OF US EVER HAVE if you can believe that. We were supposed to go in 2019 the day after the Super M concert but Chooch was all, “wah I have a test and I can’t miss school!” Ugh. Scholastic Chooch is annoying.

As usual, refresh for new updates throughout the day OR DON’T this is a free country.

Henry is already so annoying. He was wearing a white shirt with stains on it and I called him out on it before we left so then we had to wait for to rifle through his pile of Faygo shirts before he decided on an ugly gray button-down that I hate and I was wailing, “why can’t you just have a cool T-shirt collection like normal people this is so dumb!” I literally can’t stand it.

7:53am: only made it two miles before HNC texted henry and said, “you’re probably driving but call me when you can” and now I’m panicking because what if it’s about the squirrels and henry is like I AM NOT CALLING HIM BACK WITH YOU TWO IN THE CAR. I WILL CALL HIM WHEN WE STOP AT SHEETZ. So now I guess I will stew in my anxiety until Sheetz.

8:28am: Obligatory Sheetz stop. I got the Protein Showdown like I always do but Henry called it the Protein Showtime and it’s not even that big of a deal, I admit, but Chooch and I are heckling him hard.

8:33am: BIG UPDATE. Henry called back HNC at my incessant urging and apparently a piece of slate fell off his roof and hit his car and he wanted to know if anyone heard it. Henry said no but Chris should have just called me because I HEARD SOMETHING. We could have masterminded a great conspiracy theory together. Hopefully he’s not going to blame the squirrels because I actually think Mr Gray Guy may have been the culprit.

9:25am: we just crossed over the Youghiogheny reservoir thingie and Chooch said, “that looks like Bambi water” whatever the fuck that means and then Baekhyun’s “Bambi” came on Spotify.

That’s all.

10:07am: Hello from the Love’s restroom. Nothing to report. It was crowded so I couldn’t take my traditional road trip bathroom selfie. Then I came out and appear to have lost my family.

Found them, call off the APB.

You can always count on Love’s for clean bathrooms and gross accessories.

11:19am: there was all this traffic because of a truck that was trying to move over and no one was letting him and there was all this maniacal swerving happening. Henry was like turning inside out on his mad effort to defend the truck driver so I said, “why don’t you just pull over and give him a hug. Maybe you could…BUMP DOLLIES.” And then I was choking on my mirth as usual, and henry was pursing his lips trying not to give me the satisfaction of emitting even a sliver of a laugh.

“Those kinds of truck drivers don’t even use dollies,” was his eventual comeback. He sure showed me. Truly.

12:02pm: ugh I had to pee in a legit gas station bathroom:

Henry was like IT WAS NOT THAT BAD and ok at least the toilet was clean but I was afraid Jason Voorhees was going to burst out of that closet like the Kool-Aid Man but bloodier and less fruity.

Also I wish I was this skinny:

12:15pm: Air Supply’s Even the Nights Are Better just came on the Yacht Rock station and I screamed REMEMBER WHEN WE SANG THIS AT NORAEBANG IN KOREA to Henry and both he and Chooch mumbled no which is surprising since I sang my part with such epic gusto.

On the metro thingie getting ready to go to DC and Henry has already caused a commotion trying to get the metro cards thank god the fare booth recognized us a TOURISTS (Henry’s wearing his man purse, so) and came over to help us before henry made a fatal mistake.

It us.

I made Chooch sit in front of us in case I want to chat with him and that already had him set off so then when I told him to take our picture, HOO BOY.

2:04pm:

3:08pm: have had many arguments with SON OF THE YEAR so far but the best one was when he insisted that presidents don’t live in the White House ok cook on.

Also, I hate scooters.

3:36pm: I like to read up on cities before I go there but nothing I read or watched could have prepared me for the actual assault of ice cream trucks and their demonic competing music box sirens.

4:04pm: BIBIBOP STOP

SOOOO satisfying like bibimbap but make it a salad.

4:35pm: We’re enjoying all the little pride parades cruising around town and Henry said WOW THEY ARE EVERYWHERE and I thought he meant like OMG THE GAYS but he was talking literally about the VEHICLES in the parade.

Also how perfect is this tree it’s like God drew it in his mind and projected it here.

5:54pm: on the metro back to Maryland. It was a full day of walking and I am ready to not do that anymore and go enjoy a nice iced coffee somewhere and relax, my peepee heads.

Here are some pictures of chooch and me being blinded by the fiery sun in front of the Capitol. Also, we almost got ice cream from one of the pushy ice cream trucks near there but henry only had a $1 cash on him!!!! What a cheapfuck!

6:19pm: Just got back to the car! When we got back to the New Carrollton station, chooch and I noticed a girl who was also on the same metro as us going into DC! I was like “what are the odds?!” And Chooch said, “I dunno like 5 or 10” whatever that means.

Oh and just for the record I wasn’t ready to leave but Henry and Chooch were like “no, it’s time.” I can’t wait until I’m older so I can travel with my friends! Literally the same thing I wrote in every vacation journal growing up!

6:32pm: We’re at our hotel and it’s across from Mary Main cannabis dispensary and Henry said, “in case you Wanna get hiiiiiiigh” and the way he said it made both Chooch and me very uncomfy.

7:02pm: omg Henry thought the AC was broke and went to the front desk so they sent him back with A Guy who was like “you have to turn it on” and chooch and I were holding in our giddy squeals then the front desk called and Chooch picked up AND DIDNT SAY ANYTHING bc he doesn’t know how to use a real phone??!! So he threw the receiver at henry. It was a whole thing.

7:17pm: Henry did NOT go here because he wasn’t good enough.

Anyway, we’re en route to Old Alexandria for ice cream.

8:58pm: so funny story. We did not get ice cream in Virginia because there was nowhere to park in old Alexandria and the other nearby places had massive crowds and I was like, eventually, screaming that I was not waiting in a line of that length for two flavors of custard. So we started to head back in Maryland which had nothing near our hotel and that’s why we ended up in Virginia in the first place, and I found a place on Yelp called Ice Cream Sweet Shoppe which was closing in 30 minutes. We managed to make it there and THE JOKE IS ON ME, U GUYS, because it was a fairly dingy joint in a rundown shopping center in a sketchy area, slinging those ubiquitous Hershey flavors. Don’t get me wrong, Hershey ice cream is legit tasty and the flavor options are staggering, but I could walk down the street from my house and get this same ice cream from our neighborhood ice cream shop, Scoops. When we’re in other cities, we want real local shit, you know??

But the young guy scooping for us was super nice and pleasant so it wasn’t a total bust.

I got Llamalicious and then traded Henry for his Rocky Road because mine was good but just too CLOYING. (Cake batter with ribbons of frosting.) Henry almost didn’t have anything to trade me because he initially LEFT HIS ICE CREAM IN THE SHOP.

What a fucking experience. Now Henry hates Virginia and also this part of Maryland where he keeps missing exits and really no one is to blame for that but him.

[ETA, the next day: so I never officially signed off on this fucking live account because after we got back to the hotel I just snapped, had a psychological meltdown, because the hotel was so awful and loud and the night just totally unraveled and I was like I MIGHT KILL MYSELF not even making light of suicide but being extremely transparent and honest here. Anyway, it was pretty bad there, and overflowed into the morning but now I am better thanks for asking.]

Jun 012021
 

We rearranged the back porch a bit and now it’s even cozier – I never imagined that my old, trusty chaise lounge would have a second life back there but it’s the perfect spot for it!

The wheelchair Henry got me for Xmas is soooo awesome but it was way too obtrusive to stay in bye living room. I kept clipping my shins off of it every time I exercised. But once we moved some stuff around on the porch, it was like it was made to fit back there.

I just love this view!!!

I decided that this is going to be the official FAMILY MEETING ROOM so I called Chooch down for a FAMILY MEETING then realized I had nothing to say.

Another development is that we moved my old Pier 1 wavy shelf back there. It used to be an awful catch-all on the upstairs landing but we took it down and replaced it with the neon-lipped CURE SPOT. I knew I wanted to keep it so I decided to (have Henry) paint it and afterward I realized that I subconsciously chose colors that matched the furniture in my teenage bedroom lol I’ll never grow up.

Penelope is NOT SO SURE about this.

Anyway, I styled it with some of my favorite things and hopefully it stays steady stylin’ and doesn’t turn into an open-air hoarder’s closet like before, yikes.

This Warped Tour book I made has been hidden on another shelf for so long that I forgot it existed! So now it gets to SHINE, bitches, SHINE.

Chooch used to gnaw on this Keith Haring top when he was a baby :/

See also: Chooch’s baby teeth in a lightbulb.

I still have way too much “stuff” in this house but…at least it’s somewhat organized now I guess. I mean, if Henry would ever get his shit out of the third floor, my collections of vacation journals and clowns and cameras and framed concert posters would have an entire extra room in which to spread!

Well, on that note, I’m going to bed – BYEEEEE

May 312021
 

Today is the day all of us Taemints have been dreading. Military enlistment day. But I know that he will do well because he does well at everything!!

Anyway, let the countdown to discharge commence!


Henry, about our cat Drew: she’s so whiny today. She was upstairs crying, then she was on the porch crying, then she was at the window crying.

Me: Because Taemin enlisted.

Henry: I…don’t think that’s it.