Mar 232017
 

This song hurts so good. 

******

In other spring-ish news, our back porch is completely finished just in time for warmer weather! I’m excited to decorate it and have friends come over to sit back there. 

That sounds so exciting.

Maybe we can make beeswax candles too, and darn ye ol’ stocking socks.

Wow, get stoked for that invitation, guys.

The guys who have been working next door are a definite improvement from Boots, but still kind of weird. 

“They’re not weird,” Henry said defensively. “I’d drink with them at a bar.”

Henry has high aspirations. 

Once I can retire my big yellow coat for the year is when spring will officially have sprung, though. And today is sadly not that day.

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Mar 212017
 

Several weeks ago, Blake, Haley, and I made plans to attend the Midwest Succulent Society show thingie at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, and then we told Henry we were going and that he had to drive us.

That’s his purpose in life, isn’t it?

Honestly, I was mostly just excited to be going on a daytrip with Blake and Haley. They put Chooch in his place effortlessly and it’s really fun for me to watch. 

It takes about 2.5 hours, roughly, to get to Cleveland, and since Haley is pregnant, Henry even rented a larger car so she would be more comfortable. 

The ride there was uneventful. Chooch talked nonstop and asked us for quarters at every goddamn rest stop and then Blake asked me to put on TT by Twice and I was like MY PLEASURE. 

And then it started snowing and Henry’s head was halo’d with expletive-filled thought bubbles and a comic-strip depicting impending doom en route to the plant show. 

We arrived unscathed around noon, two hours after the Botanical Gardens opened, and there was still a line outside to get in. That made me nervous. But I’ve been known to stand in long lines to look at a plant.

Haley’s not in this picture because she weasled her way inside the Botanical Gardens to pee. The botanical bouncer at the door told her that he couldn’t deny a pregnant woman in need.

Shortly after this picture was take-tuck-tooken (GRAMMAR SHOWOFF), some chubby Jonny Craig-looking doucher emerged from the building, toting a big box o’ succs (that’s what we in the scene call succulents), and with his beady little eyes fixated on us line-standers, he called out A LITTLE TOO JOYOUSLY, “Hey guys. The show’s sold out. They’re sending people away.”

As people in line began to murmur to each other, his equally douchey girlfriend echoed his caveat while he stood there looking a bit too smug for my liking. 

“That can’t be true,” I said, thinking they were just playing some weird hipster game with us basics. But then a broad with an official Cleveland Botanical Garden nametag AND CLIPBOARD came out and said the same thing, with her face pulled long into a well-rehearsed mask of “I’m so sorry to have to tell you.”

Uh, ok girly sue sue, go fuck yourself. 

WITH YOUR CLIPBOARD. 

“And even if you come in, there’s still an additional 90 minute wait just to get into the room,” she added for those of us who had the audacity to linger in uncertainty. “You could always come back tomorrow.”

OH REALLY? JUST LIKE THAT? We rented a car for this thing! There were no do-overs! Fuck you and your “come back tomorrow.”

But it was here when I realized that I wasn’t as crestfallen as I anticipated. Maybe I’m over my Succulent Mania? I have been fairly preoccupied with my new k-lifestyle, afterall. 

We were going to still pay to tour the gardens, since that was a separate thing altogether. I guess the succulent show was just set up in one room. But then we were all so angry that we decided to just go across the street to the Museum of Natural History, which we had seen on the way there. Fuck you and your lame ass plants, Cleveland. PITTSBURGH HAS PLANTS, TOO. 

[Insert a fun-filled recap of our afternoon at the museum, which will be posted about separately, because that’s how I decided to write about our day. OUT OF ORDER AND PIECEMEAL. It’s called “being a fake writer,” guys. You wouldn’t understand. Yawn.]

Right as we were getting ready to leave the museum to go to Melt, Blake checked Facebook and saw that someone from the Midwest Succulent group posted in the event page saying that they had no idea why the employees of the Botanical Gardens were sending people away, that it wasn’t sold out at all! 

I was like, “Oh well, it’s too late now” but Blake already had made up his fire-ensconced mind that he was going back over there and they were going to let him in for free. 

They melted snow with their footsteps of fury, while Henry and I casually walked back to get the car (and he tried to hold my hand?!). I was content waiting for them in the car, listening to “Cafe” super loud, and hating on all of the smug assholes exiting the gardens with their boxes of trendy plants. 

I know, I know–that used to be me! But I wasn’t collecting plants because some home interior blog was telling me to. I was trying to fill the void that Marcy left in my heart when she died and I wasn’t ready to get another pet. I needed something to take care of (lol – something easier than Chooch) so I started a plant orphanage, and then I gave them all names which was dumb because I became infatuated with their imaginary personalities and look where that left me – digging another ditch in my psyche. Which basically looks like an ant farm by now. 

(I’m writing this while standing up on the trolley, thanks Henry.)

They didn’t get in for free like they hoped, but Chooch did, only because they faked like they were going to make him wait stay in the entrance area and wait, so the rude Botanibitch employee let Chooch in for free. HA SUCKERS!!

When I saw the two guys in moto jackets and man-buns strut past our car with an armful of cacti and echeveria, I blurted out, “Oh for fuck’s sake, now I’m glad I didn’t go!”

And then when the crew came back (with a small bounty!), they confirmed that it was a pretentious asshole convention up in there. They said the room was very small and packed, most of the plants had been picked over, and the ones that remained looked like they might die in a week. 

Chooch said people were literally Facetiming with their friends about which plants to buy (like OMG, what would A Beautiful Mess do??), and that there were more people who were there taking Instagram pictures than actually buying anything. 

And all the cacti were gone. :(

But Haley got a hanging plant like she wanted and they also bought us some small succulents, so all was not lost!

My favorite part I think was all the smug and self-righteous plant-whores who posted on the event page saying that people should have gotten there early like they did, pitched a tent outside the greenhouse in the late-March Lake Erie snowfall, and then maybe we would have gotten what we came for. OH OK MIGHTY CLEVELAND RESIDENTS. Why don’t you go sit on that fucking cactus that you beat us to. 

Ugh I hate the succulent scene! So many neutral colors and man-buns. 

What? I’m just guarding them. Yeah, that’s all.”

Aaaaaaand this is why I stopped bringing plants into the house. I suppose I could have hanging planters protruding from every ceiling in my house, but I really liked lining my windowsills with interesting/weird/ugly vessels from Goodwill. Boo hiss, cats. Boo fucking hiss. 

Nevertheless, I’m still going to repot these babes and put them somewhere, anywhere, and pray that my cats will forget about them. 

When I went to work Monday morning, Glenn mockingly asked me how my plant was. And then I told him what I just told you, dear e-diary, but I don’t think he cared. 

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Mar 202017
 

When I had some old friends over last week, we were talking about my penchant for picking up hitchhikers—it was honestly like a sport for me. I would go out for drives specifically to look for them, like some bizarre reverse serial killer, like a fisheman who throws the fish back into the sea. 

I even have pictures of some of them because I ALWAYS had my 35mm camera with me back then. 

But one of the other things I used to do with 

  • wanton abandon, 
  • complete disregard for my safety, 
  • literally no forethought, 

was invite perfect strangers off the street and into my house every time I was having a party. 

I mean, this all ended after I started dating Henry (although I still got a few blind dates in there before he made me stop), but I had a really great run. I even briefly dated one of my street invitees!

But specifically, Sarah and I were talking about the time I had a party in 2000 because The Cure was nominated for a Grammy. (I like having parties, ok?)

Of course I had my trusty Canon and took a bunch of pictures of my friends who were tired of having their pictures taken. 

I found the roll of undeveloped film a few years later, after misplacing it, and when I had it developed, I discovered amongst the shots of friends at my Cure celebration party, a picture of a guy I didn’t recognize. 

I figured he must have been a friend of a friend, but when I showed the picture to my brother Corey, who was there that night, he said, “No! That’s that guy you called in from the street!”

And he went on to say that I flung myself out of the front door like I was known to do when I spotted someone passing by my web, I MEAN, HOUSE. I allegedly called this bro up to my front door and asked him if he wanted to come inside and celebrate the Cure’s Grammy nomination, and he said he was going to the gas station to buy cigarettes, but he would come back. 

So the story goes. 

And everyone was all, “LOL yeah, he’s not coming back, Erin. You fucking freak.”

BUT THEN HE CAME BACK. 

AND I HAVE A PIC SO IT HAPPENED. 

I honestly barely remember this and I remember almost everything so I must have had a lot to drink that night. But Sarah said she remembers this and she was there that night, so. 

I wonder if that guy remembers that night, if he ever tells people about the weird girl who practically chased him down the street until he promised to come to her party. I wonder if he even likes The Cure??

This concludes my story. 

(And no, The Cure did not win a Grammy. ㅠㅠ)

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Mar 162017
 


Lisa is moving to Idaho in a few months so I have been trying to squeeze in as many hang-outs as possible.  She and I kept saying we wanted to hang out with our pals Sarah and Liz again so I had them over for some kind of girl’s night thing, I guess. Liz brought delicious pizza and I brought the Kpop.

“I was wondering on the way here, ‘Is Erin going to invite anyone in off the street?'” and Henry just groaned before leaving the house with Chooch because Too Many Girls, but I’m sure he probably also felt very thankful that my penchant for poaching strangers off the sidewalk to attend my house parties was several lifestyles ago, currently replaced with a K-lifestyle.

Sarah and Liz were supportive of my new lifestyle and even encouraged me to try and audit a Korean course at Pitt, and Liz said that she even has a friend who tutors Korean, and then they were like, “Yes, play us some BIGBANG, Erin” while Lisa sat there disapproving of the whole scene.

“I feel like I’m in high school again and this is Bone Thugs n Harmony,” she said without even attempting to mask the disgust. It’s so true though! Lisa has known me a long time.

“You’re always obsessed with something,” Sarah laughed.

I told them that I feel like I imprinted on the whole entire country of South Korea.

Blank stare.

“You know, like Edward and Bella,” I explained.

Blank stare.

“From Twilight?” I mumbled sheepishly, realizing that I just admitted that I’ve read that piece of trash. IT WAS FOR POP CULTURE RESEARCH, OK?!

Anyway, I want to make a genuine effort to hang out with these girls again. I even had Henry put out the good fruit (the pineapple that Andrew gave him as a thank you for hanging out, and my cherished persimmon) so you know these are good peeps.

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Chooch took this picture for us when he and Henry came home, and after Sarah chased him around the house mercilessly. “We learned all about G-Dragon,” Liz informed Henry, who just gave me the How Do You Have Friends? frown.

***

On Saturday, after visiting Robbie, Nikki and the brand new twins at the hospital, we went to our friend Patty’s birthday party. This girl has had a rough time of it lately, but she still was the most joyful person in the room. She really is an inspiration and I was honored to celebrate her birthday with her.

My favorite part was when Chooch kept getting mistaken for a girl, I guess because of his hoodie. He was playing Checkers with the boy in the above picture, and a teenaged girl was helping the boy out; for some reason they both kept using female pronouns when referring to Chooch and he was STEWING. Henry and I were on the receiving end of his murderous glares and we were just like “Shrug?” I mean, Chooch even said, “I’m a boy” at one point but then later, when they were playing Battleship, the teenager exclaimed, “Wow, she is REALLY good at Battleship!” and Chooch tossed us an “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME” look over his shoulder. I almost had to leave the room, I was laughing so hard.

And before you’re calling Child Services because Oh Honestly Erin is giving her kid a complex, please know that I wouldn’t have laughed if he was genuinely upset. But you know, when you reside beneath the Roof of Schadenfreude, these are the situations you relish. 

Besides, Henry was laughing too!

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Meanwhile, there was a girl sitting across from me who I briefly met a few years ago when I went to a Horror Realm after party luau thing with my friend Kristy, and she seems so cool and I wanted so badly to start talking to her, but I just couldn’t do it.

How did I go from being the girl who picked up hitchhikers for sport and invited strangers straight off the street to her parties, to someone with crippling social anxiety and a paralyzed tongue who can’t even make conversation with a girl sitting across the table from her.

I loathe myself.

But then I had cake so who cares.

I was surprised at how good the icing was because I’m so picky with cake and was prepared to not like it. “It’s probably because I got a piece that had a pot of gold on it” I reasoned later on to Henry, who said, “all of the icing tasted the same, Erin.”

DISAGREE. 

When I was saying goodbye to Patty, I mentioned that we had to go home because Henry had some printing jobs that he had to do.

“Yeah right, she just wants to watch her Korean shit,” Chooch scoffed, rolling his eyes in my direction.

What a little fucker!

But really, we were both telling the truth: while Henry was busy printing things, I was watching my “Korean shit.”

And then when I was saying goodbye, Choochetta popped a balloon, causing everyone in the room to turn and stare at us which is my favorite thing in the whole world. 

***

The thing Henry was printing the night before was actually a large picture of the Millennium Falcon and numerous cut-outs of Monica’s head, so that people could play Pin the Monica on the Millennium Falcon at her birthday party on Sunday, which was at Spoonwood.

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I had one beer and also one sample of another beer and was so fucking worthless for the rest of the day.

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Nate, April, Sandy and Zoe were also there! I let Zoe play with the Num-Noms that I keep in my eyeball purse and Sandy told me that after she left, Zoe said, “That lady with the yellow hair was so nice.”

THAT’S ME SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT.

I’M THE LADY WITH THE YELLOW HAIR.

AND I’M NICE.

Chooch spent more time roaming around, pestering Monica, trying to get Chris to adopt him, and asking Nate random video game questions. I observed this and started to hate myself again because how does my kid have more social skills than me? Furthermore, where did he LEARN those social skills?? He eventually ditched us all together and moved over to Nate and April’s table, and made them put together a puzzle with him.

“Little do they know he’s theirs now,” Henry whispered into his beer.

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Chris made these peanutbutter Deathstar cups and MOTHERFUCK they were divine. And also these Princess Leia and Admiral Ackbar cupcakes!

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(Like I know what I’m talking about.)

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There was a girl there who looked like Carly Rae Jepsen! I didn’t take her picture though. I was trying not to be creepy.

Henry ordered a hummus plate and I was like, “This would taste better if it came with kimchi” and Henry was like, “PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT KOREA” but he knew I was right.

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Henry finally trimmed his beard!

Did I mention that this was a Star Wars-themed party?

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The birthday girl and her frenemy!

Chooch for whatever reason assumed that Chris and Monica were coming over later, and Chris was like, “Sorry, we can’t! We’re going to be here all day.” Chooch’s face fell into this pathetic look that said, “I’LL PUT OUT THE GOOD FRUIT FOR YOU!”

He’s obsessed with Chris, if I haven’t mentioned that on here a million times over the last three years.

Anyway, what a great weekend full of great people! I felt so happy afterward–I love my friends!

Now I’m torn between throwing a huge house party or camping out in Misanthropy Cave for a while.

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Mar 132017
 

I’m obsessed with this Got7 song mostly because I really love the Kpop dance workout routine for it that I do like 8x a night because I’m a k-kardio psychopath, but also because there’s a part at 2:30 where a girl comes in and says:

“Just do whatever you want

It doesn’t matter to me

I’ll just go to sleep.”

And I crack up every time because it sounds exactly like something Henry would say (and has said) to me. And when I played it for him, he twisted up his furry mouth so hard. Gotta keep fighting off them smiles, Hank. 

(I just tried to dance all up in Henry’s face while this song is on and he PUSHED ME so then I came back in here and continued dancing/flailing and then I started to roll my ankle but caught it just in time. I’m really good at dancing!)

While we’re talking so caj about Henry and Kpop, I stayed up late one night recently and made him this cute banner of his favorite TV show, Boys Over Flowers, and he barely appreciated it:


Well, that’s all for today. I’m still recovering from the weekend, where I emerged from social dormancy and hung out with other humans for three days in a row. And now, I can’t tell if I want to withdraw back into my cave of misanthropy or host a huge house party. 

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Mar 122017
 

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This has been plastered all over every social media platform I (over)use, but I’m just really excited, OK?! Henry’s oldest son Robbie and his fiancee Nikki welcomed their twins into the world on Friday and they are totally adorbs. And chunkers too, considering they’re twins! Levi weighed 6 lbs and Eli was 7 lbs 4 oz, yo. Nikki had a whole lotta baby in her!

We got to see them in person yesterday and I can attest that it was the happiest I’ve seen Henry in a good long while. I think he’s going to be a good grandfather. Probably not as good as my Pappap was, but maybe close. We’ll see.

“He’s probably going to teach them about planes,” Chooch said with an eyeroll, and I heartily agreed. Henry was too busy making googly-eyes at Eli to frown at Chooch’s remark though.

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Chooch immediately tried to teach Levi to say “cat” and then tried to smuggle one of their stuffed elephants up his shirt because he desperately wanted it. “Well, they have two,” he reasoned. Always thinking of himself.

He must get that from his dad.

I held Eli for a little bit but then started freaking out because he was moving and OMG BABIES so Robbie had to relieve me. Chooch definitely got his baby-holding skills from. (Or lack-of. However you want to look at it.)

“How are you so good at that??” I asked Henry.

“I have three kids! You don’t just forget how to hold a baby—-” and then he remembered who he was talking to. I swear I was great at holding Chooch! But I am so terrified of dropping other people’s babies.

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Also, can I just say that Nikki looked amazingly pretty and glow-y for someone who had just birthed 13 pounds of living beings? And Robbie already looks like a dad. I don’t mean that in a bad way – I mean that he looked completely confident and natural holding his new baby sons and it was just so cool to see that. These two are going to be incredible parents and I can’t wait to watch these twins grow!

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Mar 112017
 

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Something amazing happened last Friday. It was so great that I suddenly wasn’t so sad to be riding the trolley to work.

Henry texted me and said that his new co-worker asked us to hang out that Sunday.

Not just Henry.

But me, too!

The reason this is a big deal isn’t because we’re like, mountain moles who never get invited to do things, but in the 11 years Henry has been at his job, I have never actually met anyone he works with!

(Because this is how Henry prefers it, I suppose. Me and my mouth, god knows what will happen!)

“This is—-”

“—scary,” Henry cut in as I was about to say, “monumental.”

It’s also a big deal because his new co-worker — Andrew– is from ENGLAND and has only lived here for the last three years. Yes, I want to hang out with a British dude!

When I got to work, I cried to Glenn and Todd in my standard brand of hyperventilation, “Guess who I get to hang out with on Sunday?!”

“G-Dragon!” Glenn guessed in faux-excitement. 

And then I wasn’t as excited because now I was just thinking about how I could have been hanging out with G-Dragon instead. 

In some alternate reality. 

So how it all went down is that a few weeks ago, Andrew asked Henry if he had ever heard of St. Anthony’s church, the home of the largest collection of relics outside of the Vatican. Henry told him that yes, he had heard of it, and that I had actually been there. Andrew and his wife were interested in checking it out and asked if we wanted to join them. UM, YESSIR WE DO!

Also, I love St. Anthony’s. It’s one of Pittsburgh’s many hidden gems. I had never heard of it until my religion professor at Pitt mentioned it once in class and I was all, “OH HELLO I’M WOKE MY NAP. TELL ME MORE.” I have these types of things! It took a few years, but I finally visited the venerable Troy Hill church in 2011 and I won’t lie even a little – actual tears were shed.

I even bought this St. Rita medallion in the gift shop, which is a third-class relic. That means it touched either a first-class (actual bone/body part) or second-class (article of clothing, etc) relic, for all you relic dunces out there.

I keep it in a poison tin on my desk at work:

Needless to say, I was so fucking stoked for last Sunday!

We found Andrew and his wife Karen across the street from the church, in the gift shop. Henry continuously blocked me from actually entering the gift shop though, because he’s tired of all the religious memorabilia I’m always trying to smuggle in the house. (My bathroom is church-themed.)

Right off the bat, some old man came up to Henry and placed a stack of burned DVDs in his hand and told him if he watched them, he’d have a halo over his head.

Henry was like, “OK cool story, bud” and then we all went upstairs to check out the museum (literally just two small rooms – you can read all about that in my original blog post about St. Anthony’s if you feel so compelled), and Andrew told us all about the old as shit churches in his hometown in England, and Chooch looked like he was going to cry because England is to him what Korea is to me, and anytime it comes up in conversation that I’ve been to England, like, 8 times, he gets furious.

Last night, he found out that I’ve been to Paris numerous times too and steam began unfurling from his nostrils.

This is the shit I live for as a parent.

Anyway, I immediately got good vibes from both Andrew and his wife and felt comfortable talking to them. I can definitely come off stiff and standoffish at times when really I’m just BEING SHY.

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Finally, we went to the church! There was some large church group there getting a tour, so we were told to just join them and then come back again for a full tour, which was kind of bullshit but OK fine. I’ll come back. I can’t resist the seductive charm of those goddamn relics.

There was literally only 10 minutes left of the tour, and the docent was speaking so softly that it wasn’t even worth it. Henry and Andrew drifted off and started looking at things on their own, but I was determined to try and infiltrate the group by sticking around for the Q&A session. Some old ass broad asked if there were any relics of Pope John Paul II and the docent was all, “No I wish…” and then the priest that was with the group pulled something out of his pocket and said it was a PIECE OF FABRIC FROM THE POPE MOBILE, but I couldn’t tell if he was kidding or not, and then he laughed and said, ‘I’ll sell it to ya!”

WAS HE LYING OR WAS HE FULL OF THE GOOD LORD’S WORD, WE MAY NEVER KNOW.

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Meanwhile, the old man from the gift shop tried to give Henry more DVDs and Henry said, “You already gave me some in the gift shop” and then they had a good laugh because the old man said, “You look different without your hat!” Of course, I had no idea what was actually being said because I was too far away and didn’t want to talk over the docent, so you know it was killing me until I finally had an opportunity to ask what they were talking about.

I always need to know what people are talking about.

It drives Henry mad.

My Pappap used to always say, “Are you writing a book? Well, leave that chapter out.” Because I’d always sidle up and cry, “What? What?” when adults were hush-hushing.

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After the tour, we hung out in the church and just took it all in. In addition to the whole relic thing, St. Anthony’s has one of the only two near-life-sized Stations of the Cross in the U.S. Because they’re such masterpieces, there’s a brass rail guarding them with signs posted that say an alarm will go off if you touch the rail or try to cross it, so of course Chooch kept playing chicken with the alarm and I was SO NERVOUS. Why does my kid have to be a church hooligan?!

“What is this even supposed to be, anyway?” Chooch asked.

“It’s where they gave Jesus the cross to carry and then he fell a lot,” I said with a shrug, and Henry was so disappointed. What? I mean, that’s basically how it went!

Then Chooch demonstrated the only thing he remembers from his brief and tragic stint at Catholic school, which was doing the sign of the cross with holy water.

Except that I don’t remember the finale of touching two fingers to your lips and pulling them away with a kiss. I guess things have changed a lot since the last time I went to church.

Outside of the church, we discussed lunch options while Chooch literally played in the street.

I mentioned that Chooch and I are vegetarians but we could pretty much always count on grilled cheese no matter where go, so we were fine with anywhere.

“My favorite food is Korean,” Karen said, and Henry and I exchanged “OMG” faces.

“OMG ARE YOU SERIOUS? IT’S MINE TOO!” I cried, taking a giant step closer to her.

And that’s when she told us that her ex-husband was Korean AND THEY OWNED A KOREAN RESTAURANT TOGETHER.

I never in a million years saw this coming. It was kismet. I felt so giddy!!

Chooch, on the other hand, started grumbling about how this was the worst thing ever. Which made it even more fantastic for me! Karen started giving Henry cooking tips and it was music to my ears. TALK TO ME ABOUT GOCHUGARU.

And then, in true Erin fashion, I showed her a picture of what the inside of our refrigerator looks like, because it’s about 75% staples of Korean cuisine. I’m so proud of my lifestyle that I actually took a picture of my refrigerator. As if I even know what to do with any of those ingredients!

And that’s how we ended up having lunch at Korea Garden in Oakland.

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Chooch is so thrilled! Also, Heil Hitler much, Henry? Yikes.
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Kimchi jeon all day long.
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While we were there, BIGBANG’s “Fxxk It” came on and I interrupted everyone to squeal, “THIS IS MY FAVORITE KPOP GROUP!” Henry did the “please don’t embarrass me” sharp intake of breath, but Karen just laughed and said, “You’re funny.”

Give it time and that’ll change to “You’re annoying.”

It was just a really satisfying afternoon and I hope that we hang out with them again! Henry needs his own friends. I dropped subtle hints about the Bayernhof, because I’m dying to go back there again even though it’s not Korean.

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Mar 092017
 

One of the hardest things I have been doing recently is cutting back on concerts in order to save travel money. It sucks but the one good thing is that there haven’t been very many must-see bands coming to town recently. 

I did sacrifice a road trip to see Dance Gavin Dance last weekend though. THAT is how devastatingly bad I want to go to South Korea.

But then I saw Foxing was playing at Cattivo and I had to go, just for sure would not be able to live with myself if I slept on that one. After listening to them for several years and finally seeing them in Cleveland last fall, I have been dying for a replay. 

Henry is not a fan. He’s not even impressed by the trumpet. But he sighed and agreed to go with me because he is Oppa Supreme. 

We went straight after work on Tuesday and he bitched the whole time because Cattivo is located in one of his least favorite parts of town (he hates hipsters even though he has a beard and wears flannels and slouchy beanies—oh wait that’s lumbersexual. I’m confusing my stereotypes again). 

We stood in line surrounded by high school girls talking/screaming about bonding in the bathroom while pooping, vaping and Vining. I saw Henry leave his body and go back to THE SERVICE at one point. 

And then Conor, the singer from Foxing, came out and the ringleader of the high schoolers stopped him and gave him a drawing and then made him recreate a picture he took with her  last year. 

“I look like an egg,” she said, examining herself in her phone’s screen. 

 “Me too,” Conor said. 

“He said ‘me too’!” the high school girl screamed in this cocky tone and have I ever told you that I hate when people repeat shit someone said while that person is standing right there. I think it must remind me of someone I hated in high school I DONT KNOW I’m drawing a blank. But I hate that, regardless.

We stood in line for a good 45 minutes after doors were supposed to open. I’m not a fan of Cattivo. 

When the doors finally opened, we went inside just to show our IDs, get a wristband, and then GO BACK OUTSIDE to stand in line again? You can believe that Henry muttered out loud about this for the next half hour and then another guy who may have been almost my age was also complaining about it so then they had a moment where they complained about it to each other and I was just like “kill me.”

(She said kill me!)

I commented that it smelled like standing in line for a haunted house. 

Henry considered this briefly and started to half-heartedly agree. 

“—-in 1997,” I finished. 

And then he shot me that fierce “you’re an idiot” glare that will probably be frozen on his face when he does. I guess he didn’t agree with me anymore after that?

Some kid behind me started to vape and I was ensconced in fruity fumes that I couldn’t quite place and then Sandy texted me because I sent her a picture of a guy in line that I thought looked like how Ethan would look if he went to the same shows as me and she showed it to Ethan who disagreed and said I’m racist, so then I couldnt stop cracking up and now I wonder if someone else from that line also blogged about their night and mentioned the mom-aged broad in line who was trying to take clandestine pictures of people while laughing alone and her burly mountain man companion who complained about everything and was flicking his AARP card in and out of his wallet like it was a switchblade. 

Sorry. I’m running on 4 hours of sleep and lots of Kpop-dance adrenaline. 


Finally we got to back inside and downstairs where the shows was being held. 

Because I was so grateful that henry didn’t make me go alone, I let him sit down in the bar area even though it meant that I couldn’t see very well. It was just as well, because I ended up getting drunk off  two beers and then crying about Bigbang. Because this is me. 

I spent a lot of time sitting back and people-watching  which is when I noticed that I’ve been seeing a shift from 90s grunge to 80s alternative/new-wave as far as clothes and hairstyles go at these shows, and I don’t hate it one point. There was a dark Corey Haim aesthetic happening and I felt so hopeful, like perhaps there was where I belonged. I always rue the fact that I wasn’t old enough in the 80s to experience the club scene. 

Um, and then Joy Division started playing overhead and I had an out of body experience. I didn’t go to the Service though like Henry does when he leaves his body. 

I went to Robert Smith’s house. We had tea. Except that I was drinking mine while watching him from behind a bush. 

The opening band couldn’t be there because they couldn’t get into the county (thanks, TRUMP) so one of the guys from the second band, Yohuna, played an endless set which essentially sounded like just one long, exhausting song with minimal vocals and lots of gratuitous reverb and look, it was fine – even beautiful at times – but it was boring as fuck. I was tired and emotionally numb from work and needed something to make me woke, you know?

Henry hated him but I wouldn’t go that far. It would be good to have on in the background while you’re working on a coloring book of stained glass windows or writing your Will.

Luckily, there was some middle-aged (OMG THATS ALMOST ME) Yinzer (NEVER WILL BE ME) couple in front of us who drank so much that henry became obsessed with keeping track (I’d ask him what the final tally was but he’s — can you guess? —sleeping.)

Yohuna was fine. 

BUT THEN FOXING!!!! 

I know what you’re thinking: “But Erin, don’t you hate trumpets?” Fuck no. That’s banjos. I hate banjos. 

They opened with a new song that’s never been performed live! (This was the first night of their tour!) I haven’t been able to stop thinking of that song ever since. It’s haunting me. The goosebumps I had on my arms were no joke and henry can attest that the tears falling from my eyes were not Crocs. 

According to some dude on YouTube, the song is called Nah Man. I can’t wait to hear it again, fuck. 

My favorite song by them will forever be Rory, and that’s what they closed with, which felt religious. Church on a Tuesday. Why not. 

But I’ve already posted that video on here before so here is some other person’s video from that night, of The Magdalene. Also a stunner. 

On the way to the car, I said, “I have tears all the way down my neck!” And Henry mumbled an exasperated “Oh my god.” Boyfriend will never get it. 

Tear-jerking music and Henry bitching: everything was as it should be. 

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Mar 082017
 

On our walk home from CVS this evening, Chooch suddenly said, “Oh! Guess what happened today? So I was at the library with Dang* and he was showing me a text that he sent Daddy** and we were laughing when suddenly someo lady screamed HELP SOMEONE HELP MY KID’S HAND IS STUCK IN THE ELEVATOR—-that’s not funny, why are you laughing?!”

*(Pronounced “Den.” He’s Vietnamese and Chooch said Dang’s sister is in college and loves Kpop but according to Dang, she doesn’t listen to BIGBANG or any of the groups I like, because she’s into “soft Kpop”…..so like, LiteFM Kpop? Michael Bolton-style Kpop?)

**(All of Chooch’s friends has Henry’s number and he’s so annoyed by this. Chooch knows better than to give out my number to anyone. Including his school.)

Sorry but it was funny! Kids are so dumb! Why are they putting their hands in places they shouldn’t?!

“So Dang and I went over. Dang was shocked and I was holding my hand over my mouth. I don’t know how to help* so I just waited for a librarian. MOMMY seriously it’s not funny**! That kid was like five!”

*(Aw! He’s totes my kid.)

**(Or…is he?)

“So what happened?”

“Well they got his hand out and he was fine,” Chooch said using a “duh” tone. “Oh and the librarian said this happens often?!”

Why do I have a feeling Chooch’s hand is next. 

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Mar 072017
 

Russian post-hardcore with a saxophone? I’M SOLD. It’s like a yacht rock / swancore mash-up and I never could have imagined it would sound this marvelous. 

And for good measure, my personal  gods of post-hardcore released a new video on Friday and it was the first time I got excited about anything American in months. 

This is my faaaaaavorite track from Mothership and this video pleased me greatly. Jon Mess is psychotic perfection. LOOK AT HIS DREAMY/CREEPY EYES. Pure brilliance. Bravo. 

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Mar 062017
 

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I ran out of people to send postcards of all of my fascinating lunch break observations, so I guess now everyone* will have to endure it on here.

*(See also: my five readers. I love you guys very very much.)

I can’t keep of track of days anymore, so we’ll pretend like this all happened in one, action-packed stroll through the ‘Burgh. Except the first bulletpoint actually just happened about 10 minutes ago. HOT OFF THE PRESS.

  • Some broad next to me completely missed her step while we were crossing the street and tripped so hard on the curb that her shoe flung off and she fell flat down on her hands and knees. I was on the phone with Henry at the time, but felt like I had no choice but to slightly slow my roll and at least ask her if she was OK. I mean, I’m a card-carrying member of the ACLU now so I felt that it was the human thing to do. At first, she didn’t answer me and I was like, “Wow, what a bitch” followed quickly with, “Oh shit, is she unconscious?” Turns out she was none of those things, just a little embarrassed. Once she got back on her feet, she laughed it off and then thanked me for asking if she was OK. “Did you just ask someone if they were OK?” Henry asked in astonishment through the phone, so I told him what happened, and he said he was very impressed with me. For what it’s worth though, she also dropped a CVS bag which I could have picked up for her but instead just walked away after I tripped on it.
  • There was a fire at the place where I buy my coffee! It didn’t burn down though, and was reopened by the next day.
  • Speaking of coffee, I went to Crazy Mocha last week and felt compelled to get their seasonal leprechaun chai because sometimes you gotta change shit up a bit. The barista (not the punctuation-obsessed one — I actually haven’t seen her in awhile!) said, “You’ll have to let me know how this is; I haven’t tried it yet.” This was right as she started making it, so then I had a quiet panic attack, wondering if she meant, “Don’t leave this place until you drink some and let me know because I’m going to write your exact words on this chalkboard for all the customers to read” or was she telling me that she expected me to come back the next day with my review? WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO!? But then as she handed the cup to me, she told me to have an awesome day and  then turned her back on me so that was my cue to get the fuck out and never come back.
    • I went back today though but luckily some other girl was working and I had no outstanding demands to tell her what I thought of any of the drinks there, so that was a relief.
  • Walked past some broad and if I were still my old, judgemental self (lol), I’d have probably written something like, “she looked like a washed-up stripper,” but I kind of gave up stereotyping people for Lent just to see what it’s like to give something up. Anyway, right as I passed her, she growled to her friend, “I had $13 hidden in my bra, but they didn’t find it.” She looked like someone who would hide $13 in her bra, too. Damn, did I just lose Lent? So many questions though, mainly, “WHO WAS SHE HIDING THE $13 FROM!?”
  • Speaking of washed-up strippers, remember when I was obsessed with making a coffee table book full of pictures and essays of washed-up strippers, so I placed an ad on Craigslist and only one broad answered but then she said I couldn’t take any pictures, so I was like, “Well fuck you and your strippin’ history then.” I don’t know why more people didn’t respond. I clearly stated that I wasn’t a serial killer.
  • OH SHIT I HAVEN’T TOLD YOU ABOUT THE PIGEON INCIDENT YET, BLOG. Well what happened, was….I was walking down the sidewalk and a man was walking toward me, but in the middle of us was a pigeon, and the pigeon was all, “Shit son, this man is walking toward me very quickly, I better turn around and flyYYYYYY—–OH SHIT ANOTHER PERSON IS BEHIND ME, WHICH WAY DO I GO” and then he (she? The voice I made for it that day in my head was a boy voice, so we’ll go with he) slammed right into my thigh, ricocheted to the left and flew into a woman who was walking past, at which point that lady started screaming before I had a chance to scream, and the pigeon was SO UPSET at this point and probably flew into a bus or something, but all the pedestrians on the block stopped what they were doing and started laughing at the lady who was so upset that a pigeon hit her and at first I was mad because hello, it hit me first, but then did I really want people laughing at me? No. That broad can have my thunder. Meanwhile, Amber* was outside around the same time as me and she got to see Olli Matta! (He’s a Penguin, no big deal.) Yeah well…I WAS TOUCHED BY A PIGEON!
    • *I’m going to call Amber “Amber-sunbae” from now on because she was promoted and is now my boss, and in a Korean work environment, that would make her my sunbaenim! See, you just learned a thing.
      • I have a feeling she is going to reject my title for her.
      • But I probably can’t ever call her Mean Amber again, haha!
  • We have a cat cafe in Pittsburgh now! I walked over there on my lunch break, even though I knew that you have to make a reservation to get into the cat loft because they just opened and are in high demand because who doesn’t want to sit in a roomful of cat?!  Still, I wanted somewhere new to get an iced latte. It was pretty good but kind of overpriced; however, I like to believe that some of the money is going to the cats so I was alright with it. Plus, the people working there were super friendly; we had non-excruciating small talk and when I said, “Have a nice day, guys” I THINK I MEANT IT.

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Mar 052017
 

…and their weekend requires fewer words than mine, so rejoice!

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Penelope perpetuated stereotypes.

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And Drew got her Seuss on.

Ciao (and meow) for now.

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Mar 012017
 

This morning, I googled “why do I constantly skip words when I’m writing?” Because I don’t think I have a single godforsaken blog post that isn’t jacked in some way or written like english is my second language. Hard to believe my major was English writing.

I mean sure, I can blame my environment, or the fact that I frequently post from my phone (see: autocorrect shenanigans), but the truth is: I’m concerned. I used to be good! I happened to skim a blog post I wrote on Sunday and by the time I got to the last paragraph, it was obvious that I just wanted to be done writing it because it was a hot mess. I had to delete an entire “sentence” because there was so much wrong with it that I couldn’t tell what I originally intended to say. I’m just that good.

So I asked the Internet doctors.

GREAT NEWS: I probably don’t have a brain tumor. GOOD NEWS: Henry probably isn’t hitting my head with a candlestick in my sleep. BAD NEWS: I might suddenly be autistic? PLAIN NEWS: It’s likely attributed to racing thoughts (oh shit son I have those), lack of sleep (yes), and aging (ugh I’m old).

I want to make some promise that I will start proofreading again like I did back when I treated this dumping ground as my fake job; but the truth is, I probably won’t because I hate reading what I wrote and I’m usually just rushing to get ‘er done anyway. So consider it a mental exercise when you’re struggling to piece together my syntax – you’re welcome!

(I do proofread the shit out of my work emails though, which is how I dodged the fatal error of sending an email to Boobie instead of Bobbie.)

Here are some pictures from my phone. Hopefully I don’t fuck those up, too.

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Hey, anyone want to buy some Sarris candy from Anonymous in support of Illuminati? Nothing shady about that, AT ALL.

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Me. In a Brookline alley. During a wind storm.


This happened on Facebook and Henry’s response made me LOL. Also the fact that Blake & I were low key arguing over who taught Chooch the fine art of penis penciling. Later, Chooch admitted that his inspiration was the Henry Weener series that  I used to do, and that made me feel so proud!! (And also inspired to start creating those works of art again.)

Henry clearly thinks differently.

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When we were checking out at the Asian market on Saturday, I noticed that they offer a glorious array of red light bulbs right by the register (and conveniently right above the Pocky)! This is good to know for when the audit light burns out.

I’ll be able to get kimchi and a new audit light in one trip!

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Peen Lop is muy tolerant.

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But then again, so is Chooch.

Before I sign off, I have an addendum to my brain (BRAIN, ERIN, NOT BRIAN. BRAIN BRAIN BRAIN) woes: I was walking into work this afternoon and slammed my nose into the glass of the revolving door because I was walking faster than I was pushing. I hate my new invalid self.

(FYI: Henry sat here and yapped his bearded word-hole at me for the last five minutes, because distraction is the key to solid writing.)

Well, ciao for now!

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Feb 282017
 

In “Next Door” news, there are legit contractors over there now, doing all the things Boots was supposed to be doing. They’re redoing the entire back of the house, which means we’re getting a new back porch!

I BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW WE HAD A BACK PORCH. 

That’s because we’ve been unable to use it for like, 10 years. 

Anytime there are people in the vicinity wearing toolbelts, Henry gets real chummy with them. I guess it’s the fake fixer-upper in him. The contractors know Boots because he used to work for their company, so they sarcastically asked Henry how it was to live next to him. Everyone knows he’s a piece of shit. 

Anyway, I was at work when Henry started texting me pictures of the work they’re doing and then apparently he got to go INSIDE BOOTS’ HOUSE. 

“Oh it’s fucked over there,” he said. “They have to basically gut that whole side of the house.” Henry said there are huge holes in the walls, even!

I told Glenn and Amber about that today and Glenn said, “No wonder you could hear everything going on there, they were probably shouting into the holes.”

OH WE CAN LAUGH ABOUT IT NOW. 

When I came home yesterday, there was a pickup truck in our yard full of Boots’ stuff. I didn’t even care that this crap-wagon was in my front yard because it’s just a sweet reminder that Boots ain’t coming back y’all. Girl bye. 

***

Chooch and I were just spending some quality time together, working out with the KpopX broads. It was during the Twice “Ooh Ahh” routine that Chooch said, “What do you think Boots is doing in jail right now? Crying? Planning an escape?” And then he started imitating him talking to a prison guard the same way he talked to Phyllis. 

And that was all it took to make me start to pee my pants and then Chooch hit himself accidentally during “Bang Bang Bang” and I was done after that. TOO MUCH GIDDY. I’m worthless for the rest of the night. 

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Feb 252017
 

It’s been nearly two weeks of pure neighborless bliss over here on Pioneer. I kept putting this blog post on the back burner though because I was so afraid that I was going to jinx the situation, but it’s really looking like Boots will not ever be coming back here so…story time!

I wasn’t here when it happened, but allegedly on the morning of February 13th, some kid ran over to Hot Naybor Chris’s neighbor and said that he had been robbed and asked if he saw a man with the description of Boots.

This is where details get hazy because that neighbor told Hot Naybor Chris who told Henry who told me. Major telephone game in action, and then you have to factor in Henry’s abysmal story-telling skills.

The next thing HNC’s neighbor knew, cops from three different areas had rolled up with a police dog and started searching around our block of houses. Then they came back with the landlord who let them into Boots’ house, and they questioned the random man who was living there with Boots. I guess that dude wasn’t involved in anything because they let him go back in the house.

(He’s the guy that Boots was fighting with the weekend before this happened, and that guy was heated because Boots had apparently stolen three packs of cigarettes from his room.)

Then the police left and found Boots somewhere down the street and ARRESTED HIS GUMBY ASS.

Man, I thought for sure it was going to be for drugs, but it turns out he robbed and assaulted some old man, which appears to be unrelated to the young guy who was questioning HNC’s neighbor so what was that all about?! (I don’t know HNC’s neighbor’s name, but we call him Brookline Shawn because he’s always in the driveway working on his car and he reminds us of Wendy’s husband Shawn. #coolstory)

SEE? I wish I had been here. I hate that I got the FOURTH-HAND account of that day’s sordid events.

I was really worried that Boots was going to get out of jail and come right back, but our landlord was like, “Nope, I’m posting a notice of abandonment on his door” so this is basically the perfect out for our landlord to be able to evict that sleazy-ass motherfucker with ease.


Peace out, Boots. 

And true to his word, the notice was posted!

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Guys, that Cap’n Crunch box has been taped up over a broken window for two months. SO CLASSY. I can’t tell you how many times I’d be walking down the sidewalk and catch a glimpse out of the corner of my eye and think someone was watching me.

Chooch was standing on Boots’ porch and reading the sign the other day, when the guy who lives in the house next to ours came out and said, “Your friend’s gone, huh?” and Chooch was like, “Stop talking to me, stranger” but the guy went on to say, “He was a loud one, wasn’t he? Sorry you had to deal with that.” I would like to point out that HE LIVES IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT HOUSE and could hear how loud that derelict was.

Boots’ real name was written on the sign, so Henry diligently looked him up and that dumb motherfucker has quite the rap sheet. It seems his life took a turn in 1987 and he continued to make poor choice after poor choice. We learned that he was already on probation when this happened (which makes sense because there was one normal-looking guy who would visit sometimes and Henry joked that it was probably his parole officer. So, it was probably his parole officer).

“Oh, he’s not going anywhere,” Henry laughed, when I said that I was afraid he was still going to come back. For the next day or two, some weird people were over there slithering in and out of the house like cockroaches, probably getting their weird shit out of the house. But ever since the notice was posted, no one has been back.

Except for the actual contractors who have been over there doing the work that Boots was supposed to be doing, and probably fixing the additional damage Boots did in the short time he inhabited that side of the house.

It’s nice to know that we were living next to an aggravated assaulter, robber, and fucking drug addict. What a piece of shit. GOODBYE FOREVER. 

(Although, sometimes when it’s too quiet in our house, I swear I can hear him over there WOOing and yelling to himself, like phantom pains IN MY HEAD.)

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