Feb 162015
 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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Speaking of…(Chooch, not skanks.)

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

 

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Feb 122015
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Feb 092015
 

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Corey and I try to swing by the Mattress Factory once or twice a year to stare studiously at Contemporary Art, but when my friend Sandy recently visited and reported back that there was a CIRCUS EXHIBIT, I quickly texted Corey because OK, we need to see this ASAP.

I didn’t know until we got there that it was INTERACTIVE. And there was a whole shelf of paper mache masks to wear while attempting to walk a tightrope and ride a tiny bicycle! (Corey spent the rest of the afternoon convinced that he had contracted ebola and/or measles because of the mask. And hey, why not!?)

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Something close to 87 voices in my head told me that it would be a bad idea to try out the German hamster wheel, but when do I ever listen. The first time I tried it, I didn’t expect it to start tilting so far to the right so I screamed like Michael Jackson and jumped off with so much  momentum, that there was almost an Erin-shaped outline in the wall from where I crashed through when I was unable to stop running. Thank god I had an audience for this!

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But then I saw Corey do it and he made it look so easy (“Look, you just have to Stretch Armstrong yourself so you’re super-tall like me and then it’s fine!”) so I decided to try once more, pretending like I don’t have T-Rex arms.

Except no. Now with my feet strapped in and my hands gripping the appropriate handles, I felt like I was being quartered! And then it started tipping but this time I had no momentum (I know this because every time Corey re-watched the video, he would laugh and say, “YOU HAD NO MOMENTUM! HAHA!”) so I just kind of hung there, wailing, “I’m stuck. I’M STUCK. I’M STUCCCCK” until Corey finally ran over to help me. It reminded me of the time I was four-years-old and our asshole neighbor left me in her tree house, knowing I was too afraid to climb the ladder to get down, and didn’t TELL ANYONE I NEEDED HELP. Her dad eventually came out and found me (in my mind, it was nighttime and I was shivering, but it probably was only around 30 minutes after the fact) and then people wondered why I bit that bitch on the face later. DON’T FUCK WITH ME, I HAVE TEETH.

(No joke, A-ron was just over here talking to Patrick and me and then he said, “OK, I’m going to leave you fine young cannibals…” and I’m like HOW DOES HE KNOW!?)

(My first impulse to this day is to lunge at Henry with bared teeth. I guess I never grew out of that phase.)

Ahem. So anyway. The same people were still watching and you know what? I DIDN’T CARE THAT THEY HEARD ME CRY LIKE A BABY. Oh god, did they laugh.

In addition to making an asshole of myself on the German hamster wheel, I also took it upon myself to straddle a tiny bicycle, which my audience explained that no one was able to ride it. Oh, I rode it alright. Almost straight into the side of the tent. Corey said it was his favorite moment of the day. I’M SURE.

Corey would be a much more graceful circus performer than me. I’d only be able to accidental laughs. STORY OF MY LIFE.

Then we left that part of the floor and realized there was a disclaimer outside of the exhibit, and for good reason!

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“You know what would have made that even better?” I said to Corey in the next room. “IF JANNA HAD BEEN THERE TOO!” And then we started laughing at Janna, who wasn’t even there, but that’s OK. She’s used to it.

Incidentally, Janna couldn’t go with us because she was with her mom, buying an ACTUAL MATTRESS.

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This room was cool. It had tiny buildings and circle things.

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See?! I took pictures so that you too could try and figure out contemporary art. Quiz at the end.

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A lot of these reminded me of the building I work in so that was kind of a killjoy, being reminded of work while playing.

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So futuristic! Such mini!

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I really enjoyed this room because it was fun to look at it and accessible. I didn’t feel the need to struggle to find the bigger picture or hidden meaning. Plus, everything was made from recycled objects!

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Spots and Dots. Funny story about this jacket (OK, not really funny) but I was rooting around in the attic Saturday morning for photo shoot costumes, and found this old jacket that I haven’t worn in 15 years because Fat Happens. Out of curiosity, I shrugged it on and was pleasantly surprised to see that it (mostly) fits! And by mostly I mean “enough to wear it without feeling like Fat Man ->Tiny Blazer.” One of the docents there even complimented me on it and she definitely had that Slightly-Dirty Art Student look about her, so you know that’s a big deal. (Is it though?)

Anyway, a few days later, I was on the trolley and right before we headed into town, the man next to me said, “Excuse me.” NO ONE ever talks to each other on the trolley in the morning (thank god), so I thought he was signaling to me that he needed me to move so he could get off at the next stop. I started to rise, when he put his hand on my arm (and here is where I died a little) and asked, “Where did you get this jacket?”

So of course, I’m thinking, “Why the fuck does some middle-aged man care about where I got my jacket?” UNLESS this was the same coat his WIFE was wearing the night he caught her having an affair and now he was feeling the uncontrollable desire to shank me in the same manner he had shanked her.

But no, he was only inquiring because he felt that his daughter would love it.

OR SO HE SAYS.

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What does it all mean!? I don’t know.  I always carry along the information sheet that you’re supposed to consult while eyeballing the art, but I rarely read it because I’m already so overstimulated. So then it’s hours later and I’m skimming it at home and realize that were certain things we were supposed to be looking for, etc. My attention span is not exactly museum-caliber.

Or, sometimes I start reading it but my mind is like OVERSTIMULATION! PUT PAPER DOWN AND TOUCH ART!

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This needs to be tattooed on my fucking body, now.

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This was an installation the basement, where mist was sprinkling down from the ceiling and a rainbow was projected through it. I was more interested in repeatedly shoving my fist through the droplets to actually read what was going on in there.

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I bet Henry can relate to this.

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Sometimes, I think it’s OK to not “understand” art. I barely understand my own “art.” But I sure love going to art galleries and museums and looking. It beats staring at a TV screen all day!

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Feb 082015
 

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Leticia loved haunting the Appledale’s farmhouse. It always smelt of blueberry syrup and fresh linen, with a tiny tang of far-off manure to keep it real.

She loved watching the Appledale brothers dig for worms, and later, watching them stuff those worms down their sister Amelda’s cotton blouse.

Leticia loved bobbing invisibly behind Mother Appledale, watching as she darned Papa Appledale’s socks with a slightly arthritic hand. Leticia knew that soon Mother Appledale would “accidentally” be tossed into the combine, but she didn’t try to warn her because it would be handy to have someone like Mother Appledale on the other side; on top of the darning, she made a mean chicken fried steak.

Papa Appledale. Big, overall’d Papa Appledale with the grass stains on his forearms and worn leather belt for whippin’. Leticia generally stayed away from him. He always moved within a flock of pernicious energy which often stunk of cabbaged flatulence.

While Papa Appledale was killing Mother Appledale, the boys were down by the train tracks playing with the box car children, Amelda was at her girlfriend’s house learning about Kegel, and Leticia cowered in the safety of the washing machine.

And that’s where she remained while Papa Appledale lumbered into the laundry room, peeled off his ensanguined murder uniform, and stuffed it into the washing machine, along with Leticia and a handful of sweaty socks unappreciatively marked by Mother Appledale’s handiwork.

“Hey Leticia,” one of her friends taunted back home. “What happened, someone throw you in with the reds?” A bunch of them held their bellies and laughed till they wheezed, all a’shimmer in their God-given pearlescent suits.

“Yep. Something like that,” Leticia muttered, while waiting for Mother Appledale to ladle some gravy on her chicken fried steak.
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Pastel on canvas, 5×7.

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Jan 302015
 

Gayle is off today and of all people, GLENN is taking her late shift which sucks because today is also MY late shift day, UGH UGH UGH. In order to make this less painful (for me), I decided to live blog it. Apologies in advance.

11:54AM: Just got here a few minutes ago and was dismayed to see Glenn was already here and not late. I really wanted him to be late. Anyway, I asked him if he was ready for our Big Late Shift and he said he’s heavily medicated so I guess that’s just the long way of saying yes. Then Pregnant Amber turned around and said that this was going  to be the most boring live blog ever because Glenn is boring so I’ll probably just make stuff up if I have to.

11:56AM: Glenn was rummaging through a plastic bag and now I think he might be eating yogurt. Probably some dumb flavor too, like prune.

12:15PM: Just had a semi-civil conversation with Glenn about an audit. It was OK.

12:21PM: Non-Glenn related, but Amber just went to get her glasses fixed. She was supposed to get them fixed yesterday but when she got to the eyeglass place, she realized SHE BROUGHT AN EMPTY CASE WITH HER. Oh, the trials and tribulations of Pregnant Amber! She was telling Glenn about this and said something about how I was laughing about it yesterday or something, she couldn’t remember and Glenn was all, “Basically, you just heard noise, right?” Shut up.

12:38PM: Several people mentioned the live-blogging thing in passing but I don’t think Glenn fully understands what is taking place here. I’m reminded of this time in elementary school, probably 5th grade, when I had this tiny forest green notepad and I decided it would be fun to essentially spy on my classmates—it basically turned into some weird analog TMZ of its time, because my friends started to find out about it and then everyone wanted to read it, especially because there was an entry in it about Mike Harrison calling the lunch lady MRS. GLUMAC a bitch during recess and then HITTING HER IN THE FACE WITH A KICK BALL AND CALLING HER A BITCH! This was a big deal, kids getting to not only hear a swear but also READ a swear all in the same day, can you believe it. I’m going to call Pregnant Amber “Amber GLUMAC” today since she has broken glasses too. I don’t think hers broke in such a violent way though.

1:01PM: Barb just sent an email to the department because the printers are getting switched, whatever that means. “What an exciting day!” I exclaimed, to which Glenn mumbled, “Isn’t it, though.”

1:29PM: Amber GLUMAC is back with her glasses! She said she didn’t check them to see if they’re actually fixed, though, so I’m hoping they sent her on her way with the wrong pair because I really can’t stand to think of this saga being over. Plus I haven’t had a chance to call her Amber GLUMAC enough times. Then we were talking about the Mattress Factory because Corey and I are going there tomorrow and Amber was like, “You should take Glenn too” and then he mumbled something about how terrible of an idea that was and how that place sounded dumb. Because ew culture gross. And then I showed him a picture of the orange juice accident Henry had this morning at work, and Glenn giggled (YES GIGGLED) and said “Oh shit.” I’m breaking through, you guys!

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(Henry’s Orange Juice Accident. Maybe he will guest post about this!)

1:40PM: It appears that Amber1 is getting some sort of advice from Amber GLUMAC and I wish that she would come back and talk to me about it too so that Glenn can pipe up with some type of curt advice in the style of Ron Swanson. OMG GLENN’S CELL PHONE JUST RANG AND HIS RING TONE IS SOME SORT OF METAL-SOUNDING GUITAR SNIPPET and I asked him what it is and he said he doesn’t know?!?!?! I believe it was “Crazy Train.”

2:51PM: Glenn just took care of something work-related before Amber GLUMAC even had to tell him to do it and now she just thinks he’s so great and totally on-the-ball and I’m trying not to puke up my Smart Ones over here. Meanwhile, we have no printers to use thanks to BARB’s boyfriend The Copier Fixer, who decided to come in like gangbusters, no warning, and “switch the printers” which I think I found out literally means he is switching the printers.

2:55PM: I am going to the kitchen to open my orange. Be back in like 20 minutes. (It takes me a while.) NEVER MIND!! I’m still here because I got a breaking news text from ESPN which I read out loud to Glenn: “Tiger Woods shoots a career-worst 82 at Waste Management Phoenix Open, missed cut in second straight in event.” So then we had a pleasant conversation that I will title The Sucking of Tiger Woods, and we both commented on what a horrible name for a tournament Waste Management is. “I’m playing in the Garbage Bowl, yippee” Glenn monotoned but I think he was actually trying NOT to monotone for once? And then I said, “He’s no Phil Mickelson” and now I’m going to excuse myself because I have an appointment with an orange in the kitchen.

4:09PM: PRINTER UPDATE!! The printers have been effectively switched, but now some of our print jobs are being sent to different floors. I nominate Glenn to be the print job liaison. GO GET OUR PRINTED THINGS, GLENN. GO, GLENN, GO.

4:38PM: Barb, bless her heart, tried to host an impromptu intervention at her desk. She told Glenn that he just needs to open his mind to my amazing-ness and his face turned a little green. In other news, I had to tell Barb that various print jobs are being routed to other floors and I’m pretty sure she’s going to quit her job and learn to live off the land. When the printers were being switched earlier, she was swearing profusely and practically speaking in tongues and then she yelled, “Put THAT in your live blog!” Yikes.

4:42PM: I just noticed that Amber GLUMAC is wearing her glasses so I guess they’re OK. How anti-climatic. She didn’t even make a big production of putting them on.

4:59PM: “Hello? ‘Sup.” — how Glenn answers his phone.

6:38PM: Two more hours to go! I tried to get Barb to smuggle me out with her a few minutes ago but she’s cruel and told me to basically suck it up. This night is almost as boring as when Amber GLUMAC was telling us the story about how her dryer is broken, which is less of a story and more of just a fact, and I was sitting here thinking, “Wow, this is a really boring conversation about household appliances” when meanwhile, Glenn was hanging on to her every word, and asking her questions about the drum and some other things and since we’ve been pretty slow tonight, I’m pretty positive that Glenn is sitting behind me, googling “DRYER PARTS” and looking for people on Craigslist with broken dryers so that he has fodder for his weird appliance fantasies. I think he was trying to bait Amber into asking him to fix the dryer for her, to be honest.

6:48PM: ALERT! ALERT! GLENN IS GOING TO GET HIS KEYS! He has to go down to the big scary parking garage so I told him to be careful but then I started laughing because like I care if he gets devoured by a parking garage troll.

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7:11PM: Glenn has been furiously typing behind me. WHAT IF HE HAS HIS OWN BLOG AND HE’S LIVE BLOGGING ABOUT ME. “7:10PM: Dumb Erin just twirled her stupid hair again.” IT IS A NERVOUS HABIT OK. I actually recently read that there’s a psychological disorder associated with manic hair touching/twirling/braiding/tugging. If that’s true, then I’ve got it.

7:29PM: Virginia just said, “Have a nice weekend!” as she left and Glenn responded to her. I snapped my head back and said, “She was only talking to me.” Meanwhile, Sandy just forwarded me an email that Bossy Glenn sent out regarding a rush. Yeah, Glenn. Everyone’s jumping.

He could at least say thank you.

8:04PM: Oh my god, the funniest thing ever just happened Glenn just fell!!!! He tripped over the cleaning person’s vaccuum thing and then broke it and asked if he could fix it because he is obsessed with appliances! And the cleaning person accused him of harassment! Probably because of the way he said he’s good with hoses. And I was like, “It’s OK lady, he’s just naturally creepy.” Just kidding. NOTHING FUNNY IS HAPPENING BECAUSE IT IS BORING LATE SHIFT WITH BORING GLENN.

8:32PM: I MADE IT! But I had to ride down in the elevator with Glenn for an extra one-minute kick in the pants. Then he was like “Is Henry here yet?” as if he cares that I may be stumbling around downtown in the dark. I said “Yeah, he just sits out there…” And Glenn said, “Just like how he spends most of his life: waiting for YOU.” YEAH AND HE LIKES IT!

I’m on my way home now. Told Henry that people were real excited for the Glenn-centric live blog event and he mumbled, “I seriously doubt that.”

Me too.

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Jan 292015
 

I listen to the alternative R&B playlist on Spotify a lot when I’m doing write-y things at home and every time this song comes on, I’m like SHHHH SHUSH STFU GODDAMMIT mama’s in a movie right now.

Usually I’m home alone when this happens, but STFU imaginary hostage in the basement of my mind, you know?

This is the jam. I’m going to stare at my reflection in a puddle now. I’ll send you a post card.

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Jan 282015
 

Here is a “children’s story” I wrote on a piece of yellow construction paper when I was 20 & waiting for my boyfriend-at-the-time to get ready. SPOILER ALERT: it is so good.

(It’s not.)

I think this needs a companion painting.

Frannie Goes to the Zoo

One Sunday morning, Frannie’s alarm clock woke her up extra early.

“Geez Louise, Mr. Jerome! It’s only 6:00am!” Frannie was quite perturbed. Sunday was the only day she didn’t have to work at the food preservation material factory!

“Why yes, Frannie, I know it is way early. But I think today you should go to the zoo!” Mr. Jerome was the BEST alarm clock EVER. Without him, Frannie would have virtually NO agenda.

“That’s a great suggestion, Mr. Jerome!” Frannie spent a good forty-five minutes loving and stroking Mr. Jerome before she hopped into the shower.

Frannie, still not fully recovered from the early awakening, could barely keep her eyes open long enough to grab the shampoo. She mistakenly picked up Fred the Sea Monkey’s bottle of Nair instead!

So there stood Frannie, belting out some Engelbert Humperdinck classics, while simultaneously lathering the Nair into a big greasy lump on her head. Mr. Jerome joined in the song fest from the bedroom.

While Frannie was busy rinsing the ‘shampoo’ from her hair, she kept her eyes closed, envisioning what that night would hold for her and her beloved alarm clock. Candle light, unbridled passion and tuna for sure!

Incidentally, she completely over looked the fact that clumps of her green hair were being sucked down the drain.

Finally, Frannie finished scrubbing her leathery flesh with Crisco, and she emerged from the shower.

“Ack!!” Her ear-piercing shriek bellowed throughout the house, and even lingered a bit in her neighbor’s underground sweatshop.

“All of my hair is missing! It must have been the raw egg and pecan soup I had for dinner last night.” Frannie collapsed into a soggy ball of self-pity.

“Never fear! I am a bear!” Fred, the Sea Monkey and owner of the Nair, proclaimed as he popped out of the bathroom drain.

“No, you’re not. You’re a sea monkey,” Frannie said, matter-of-factly.

“Today I’m a bear.”

“No….huh-uh. You’re still a sea monkey.”

“I could be a bear.”

“You COULD be. But you’re still a sea monkey.”

“Tomorrow I could be a cow.”

“No, you’ll still be a sea monkey.”

Frannie and Fred locked eyes for a few minutes, and then Fred retreated to his lair in the drain.

Frannie, now completely over her hair-loss fiasco, got dressed in her best cellophane corset and saran wrap skirt. Working in the food preservation material industry had its perks.

“Au revoir, Mr. Jerome!” Frannie waved her yellowed handkerchief out the window of her Pinto as she drove away.

“Have fun, my love. Tonight we will make babies,” Mr. Jerome whispered to himself, perched atop Frannie’s bedroom windowsill.

After driving through the most monstrous of mountains, stankiest of swamps, and passing 2514 Wal-Marts, Frannie parked her car at the zoo.

“Hello! I am here to see the zoo!” Frannie cheerfully announced to the zoo employee at the gate. The zoo employee promptly turned his back to Frannie, leaning into his walkie-talkie.

“We have a visitor. Prepare the animals. 10-4,” he said, quite hush-hushedly. Frannie then handed him a hunk of muenster and the gates immediately opened.

Breathing in the stale scent of beer and oysters, Frannie whirled around in clumsy circles, her arms extended and head back, taking in the dilapidated, run-down establishment.

Meanwhile, haggard zoo people hustled to inflate all the animals, in preparation for Frannie’s arrival. But much to their chagrin, only the food court piqued Frannie’s interest.

“Amaretto corn dogs! Bonus!!” Frannie skipped amidst the peanut shells and rubber bands to the corn dog stand.

“Hello there, sir. How can I help you?” inquired the teenage employee.

“I’m a ma’am, not a sir.”

“Yes, I know. You’re a man.”

“No, I’m a MA’AM.”

“Right. How can I help you?”

Frannie scoped out the menu which consisted of…..amaretto corn dogs.

“Can I have a minute to decide?”

“Surely.” The vendor resumed painting his eyelids with green nail polish.

After twelve minutes of careful, excruciating deliberation, Frannie placed her order.

“Would you like to move in with me?” the vendor asked, rather nonchalantly.

“Yes, that would be okay,” Frannie agreed as she took the corn dog from his hand.

Frannie raced home after that magical encounter and told Mr. Jerome the news. He pretended to be happy for her, but when she left the room, he slowly pulled his cord from the wall, ending his life.

Fred the Sea Monkey walked out of the bathroom, in full bovine regalia, to bid Frannie a fond farewell.

Frannie glued some leaves to her bare scalp and left.
MORAL: If you’re an alarm clock, in love with your owner, don’t tell them to go to the zoo. Have them re-grout the shower instead.

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Jan 242015
 

Henry and I were tooling around town during Chooch’s piano lesson, and then I really had to pee. So Henry made me go in the Allegheny Cemetery mausoleum alone to use their bathroom, which is DOWNSTAIRS.

It was only marginally scary though, because there was some dumb group of hipster fauxtogs milling about, so j wasn’t totally alone. Until I came out of the bathroom and…yep, totally alone. I took advantage of the aloneness by wandering around (fuck you Henry, you can wait) and took my own brand of hipster fauxtographs—I mean, I edited them with VSCO and then posted to Instagram, that counts as hipster right?

I have no idea what I’m talking about. But here are my mausoleum selfies.

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Mausoleum bathroom selfie.

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Mausoleum reflection selfie.

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Post-gospel aerobics tutu lounging selfie, because why not.

Other than that, today has been super chill. I had breakfast at Pamela’s with Jeannie and Wendy, bought some lawsuit* stationery on the off chance that I might ever write a letter again, exercised, painted, and listened to Pvris for the last 76 hours—my like for them has grown into OMG <3. I’m so stoked to see them with Pierce the Veil next month.

*(um, I noticed after the fact that autocorrect changed “kawaii” to “lawsuit.” Now I kind of wish that I had bought lawsuit stationery instead though.)

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Jan 222015
 

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In collecting old photos of my Pappap’s house, I found several that reminded me of how much music has always been a part of my life, and why so much of it naturally reminds me of that house.

I got my first damn cassette player from my grandparents for my third (fourth?) birthday. A year or two later, I upgraded to a Fisher Price tape recorder—it was taupe in color like all electronics were in the early 80s and came with a microphone, which I would hold up to TV speakers in my Pappap’s den, in order to record shit from Friday Night Videos. Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” was on my very first mixtape. That song came on in the car a few weeks ago and I tried to get Chooch stoked on it but he only thought it was just ok.

The above picture was taken on the porch of my Pappap’s house, and anytime I hear the song “Under the Boardwalk,” my mind automatically beams me back to that porch, sitting at the glass table, playing Monopoly and listening to the Bruce Willis version of that song over and over while my grandma babysat me and my brother Ryan in the late 80s. AND THAT WAS MY FUCKING JAM.

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Here we have my grandma holding me in the kitchen, and you can just barely see a stereo system on a shelf to the left. This is how I grew to love Phil Collins, Kenny Rogers, and Gino Vanelli and also grilled cheese sandwiches. SOFT ROCK 4 LYFE. NO SHAME.

(I made my Pappap order me the Time Life “Body Talk” CD collection, and literally every song reminds me of either sitting in that kitchen or my favorite childhood restaurant–the Blue Flame.)

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This is my aunt Susie and me in the clown room. Inside the desk behind us was a record player, and this is how I heard Frank Zappa for the first time ever.

There was always music playing in that house back then. And today, there is always music playing in my house. Sometimes different music is playing in multiple rooms at once (soft rock radio in the bedroom, Spotify on the computer downstairs, music videos on TV); this drives Henry nuts. Especially if we’re watching something on TV and then I scream something unintelligible and clamber up the steps because some cherished song is playing on the bedroom radio and I want to pretend like this is a serendipitous moment, like I can’t just queue it up on my phone, and so I’ll flip down on the bed and listen to “In the Air Tonight” or “Eye in the Sky” like I haven’t heard it in 20 years, while Henry is downstairs mumbling, “How did you even HEAR that from down here?”

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some soft rock to Spotify.

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Jan 052015
 

Some years ago, a crazy lady started a fight with me on Twitter because I wasn’t paying enough attention to her. One of the only slams she had on me was that I ONLY WRITE ABOUT MYSELF OMG. Writing about myself on my own personal blog, such nerve. Much audacity.

I mean, if people would stop taking out restraining orders on me, I’d have way more random lives to write about.

That broad was whack, but I have been thinking about switching shit up on here. Spritz it with some literary Febreze. Mask my own typo-riddled solipsism with the occasional guest post. WHO DOESN’T LOVE A SPECIAL GUEST STAR?!

As such, I’ve decided to do a monthly/bi-monthly/whenever I fucking feel like it travel-themed post where my friends—or anyone who happens to read this and becomes possessed with the spirit of Fodor’s—can submit a travel piece about their hometown! It doesn’t have to be some sprawling metro, either—I don’t discriminate against the rural demographic. Tell us where we can find the best hay bales to get high behind or where you go to use a rotary payphone in your Appalachian holler. I’m looking for YOUR favorite things about your hometown, cemeteries you’d take out-of-town friends for a walk, have the best ice cream, buy wheelchairs. OK fine–places you’d take me if I was visiting. BECAUSE THIS BLOG IS ALL ABOUT ME.

This is perfect for people who have a minimal desire to blog but are too ADD to maintain one of their own; have an upcoming typing test and need the practice; get off on the Internet to know intimate details, such as which drug store they get prescriptions filled and buy pregnancy tests to resell behind high schools.

Are you interested? You would have free reign–I don’t have a rigid format in mind, you won’t be censored (UNLESS YOU HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS THAN MINE. j/k.), you can include pictures. Take us on a tour!

Email me your travelogue (or questions) here: butgavincantdance [at] gmail.com. Don’t forget to include a short bio with any social media contact info you want me to post!

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Jan 032015
 

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If one thing got me through last winter, it was furiously painting. So I plan on utilizing this same defense mechanism to claw my way through the early, dreary months of 2015. Right now I’m working on a Pittsburgh series. I just finished Rick Sebak (if you live in Pittsburgh and don’t know who that is, shame on you!) I have Warhol and Mister Rogers waiting in the wings. Mario Lemieux is in line back there, too.

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On New Year’s Day, I painted some of the main players of the OJ Simpson trial. I call it “Simpson Trial Recess.” Glenn said it was “real special” and Henry was like, “I was too busy knocking back cases of Coors Lite while crying over my failing marriage to pay attention to what OJ Simpson was doing in 1995, so I do not recognize any of these people you literally spent the entire day painting, congratulations.”

I, on the other hand, was OBSESSED with the trial. So I’m pretty giddy about this and can’t wait to find a gaudy frame for it!

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This is my aunt Susie’s dog, Tess!

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“Sweet Teeth” – I painted this one last year and forgot that I stashed it in a drawer one day when I was “cleaning.” Because I’m a real “artist.”

In between a few customs I have on tap, I’m working on a big Twin Peaks group portrait thing. I love Twin Peaks.
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In other news, Henry ate a seitan hoagie today because OMG vegetarian food isn’t all that bad after all.

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Jan 012015
 

If you don’t blog on the first day of the new year, you’re not a real blogger right? Sike. Who cares. But I do want to check in quickly to officially say HAPPY NEW YEAR! to that one lady who reads my blog from the phone of the milkman she kidnapped and wakes up occasionally with smelling salts. This one’s for you, random blog reader.

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Typically, we don’t make plans for NYE. Frankly, it scares me to be out with all the drunks and belligerent people waiting to see some dumb ball drop. But then Barb was all, “Here have tickets to the Penguins game” and so that is how I spent my NYE: with Henry at the Pens game. I was done with work early, so he took the trolley downtown and we walked around for a little so I could introduce him to all of the crazies that I encounter every day, like this one man who was either homeless or the ghost of a sea captain, who barked “I SEE THAT SMILE” to me, but it was kind of threatening. And then there was a lady on a fake phone call who was screaming about people ODing and getting abortions while people went out of their way to cross the street in order to get away from her. Happy new year to YOU, Yinzer Schizophrenic.

We had pizza and drinks at Villa Reale before walking to Consol and Henry was in A REALLY GREAT MOOD, no sarcasm intended. Like, he was even holding my hand and only acting mildly annoyed when I was repeating overheard conversations in a demon voice. Too bad his joy and happiness never translates on photo.

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This old man was sitting near me, acting 100% disinterested in the game and even started reading the comics at one point while shouting, “YOU’RE BORING US” and making occasional armchair coach assessments. I was obsessed with him because somehow he was carrying on without being annoying. Actually, no one there was annoying last night. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE. Maybe I just drank enough to not notice.

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I was a nervous wreck through the whole game because the Pens had been on a losing streak (#mumpcity), but Sutter ended up winning the game for us right at the end, eliminating the need for overtime, which made Comic-reading happy. Moments before he was hollering about how they needed to speed it up and win because some people has NYE parties to go to. Oh, that man. God love him.

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After awhile though, I think my demon voice had gone from mildly annoying to STFU YOU DUMB BITCH. It’s OK. I get it. Not everyone has a high Erin threshold.

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Today was a chill day except that I exercised approximately 87 times because FOREVER FAT. I also painted a lot of things and played Call of Duty and just acted like a basic bitch all over the house. It was good. Now the holidays are officially over and it’s back to reality and also: THOSE ENDLESS WINTER MONTHS. I’m trying to fill up the days with hilarity and weird adventures so hit me up if you’re down for shenanigans, a/k/a touring places while trying to pee from laughter.

P.S. Malkin reminded me so much of my deceased cat Don last night, even more than usual, that I actually blinked back tears numerous times. Every time someone would manically scream “GENOOOO!!” I would look at Henry and wistfully murmur, “Don-Don.” Henry looked concerned at one point. Maybe I should add “go back to therapy” to my list of 2015 hilarity and shenanigans.

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Dec 242014
 

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Merry Xmas Eve, my homies! I drank way too much wine (I know, I know, “too much” and “wine” don’t belong in a sentence together) and laughed way too hard at old pictures of Henry at Kelly’s house (she spoils me with vintage pictures of him, like when he went to the prom at some other school as a “favor” to some broad and conveniently has no memory of dancing to Total Eclipse of the Heart).

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Henry got his (grown) nieces One Direction makeup palettes and they were a hit. Now I kind of wish he had bought one for me too.

We’re on our way home now, behind a car with a “JAM2DMB” license plate. I’m excited to go to bed!

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