Feb 172018
 

Sadly, after going strong for over a month of Saturday Night Family Kpop Workout Hour, we had to skip the last two weeks on account of being too busy fulfilling Valentine card orders and then Henry and Chooch being sick last week. But tonight, we’ll be back at it and I’m so excited!

(I still do Kpop workouts everyday on my own regardless, but it’s way more fun when we shove away the furniture and prance around as a fam.)

So in honor of our tradition resuming tonight, I’m sharing my current favorite Kpop dance workout routine for anyone who wants to give it a try! It’s so fun and helped me get down to a size 6 so it’s legit you guys I swear!

Oh and just because I’m a fucking sweetheart, here’s Henry’s favorite routine:

Feb 162018
 

I know what you guys are thinking: When will Erin tell us about her weekend? She always tells us about her weekend. DID SHE NOT HAVE A WEEKEND?!

Guys*, calm down. I had a weekend. It was just really fucking boring.

*(Read: voices in my head.)

Henry and Chooch were both sick at the same time and I was SO MAD about this! Let’s be real, I don’t really hang out with anyone else but them, and they were in no condition to hangout. Chooch wasn’t too sick on Friday night, at least, so after Henry went to bed at 8pm, Chooch and I got comfortable on the couch and watched the PyeongChang opening ceremonies, because I wanted to see my land. It sucked that I had to watch the American broadcast though, and when Katie Couric mispronounced “hanbok,” I was ready to throw in the towel.

I know a lot of people think that the athlete march thing is boring as fuck, but Chooch and I like to watch the entire thing because it teaches us about countries we had no idea existed. For a good long minute, we were convinced that “Iron” was a country because our eyes are bad. And we cheered every time a kpop song was played (BIGBANG – “Fantastic Baby,” BTS – “DNA,” Red Velvet – “Red Flavor,” and Twice “Likey”!) and furiously flipped off the TV every time they showed Pence’s fucking pudding face, that guy can go to hell. I’m super glad he sat during the Korean athletes’s entrance – I’m practicing my “eh”s and maple syrup stats for when I pretend to be Canadian next month in Korea.  I hate feeling such shame to be an American.

But….I do.

Sorry, but aside from Shaun White, I have been rooting for the Korean athletes in every event, I don’t care.

(Speaking of Shaun White, watching him win gold the other night was so exciting. I mean, I hate hugs, but if he told me to bring it in, I’d be all like OPEN ARMS by Journey, if you know what I mean.)

(Do you know what I mean?)

So that was Friday.

Saturday was so much boredom. Chooch was down for the count all day and Henry had to work even though he was sick as a dog (which not all Koreans eat, btw). He came home and pretty much went right to bed, so I was on my own, baby. I did A LOT of exercising, K-Drama watching [I’m almost done with Love In Trouble (Suspicious Partner) and it’s so good], coffee-drinking, and major whining.

In the morning, I walked to the post office to mail some last minute Valentine orders that had trickled in. I can go to the Brookline one on Saturdays because MAUREEN isn’t ever there. I guess when you work for the post office for 30 years, you’re exempt from weekend hours. On my way there, I noticed a cluster of people taking up an entire section of the Brookline Boulevard sidewalk, enrapt in what some older lady tour guide (??) was telling them. A TOUR OF BROOKLINE, WHO WOULD PAY FOR THAT!? As I got closer, none of the people moved for me, so I had to fucking walk in a mound of crunchy street snow to get around them. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” I seethed openly as this happened and at least three of them heard of me. GOOD FOR THEM. While this was happening, I could heard the tour guide explaining to them the history of the Pittsburgh wedding cookie table.

After a positive post office experience, I came back out to a blessedly empty sidewalk and then noticed that they had all crammed inside DeLuca’s Bakery, all 20-something of them, and then it occurred to me that this was maybe some type of cookie walk thing and if so, what a HORRIBLE representative of Pittsburgh cookies that tour guide chose because DeLuca’s fucking suuuuuuucks. Like, they could come to my house and I’ll give them better cookies which is saying a lot considering the last time I baked cookies unsupervised, I put all the dough on one baking thing because I was trying to make a giant marijuana leaf (????) and then all my friends got a stomachache because it was undercooked, obviously. This was a long time ago.

I walked to Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced latte because it was kind of mild that day, in the 50s I think?  Some speedskating thing was on and there was a Korean in it so even though I had my latte in my hand, I hung out by the counter so I could watch it and eventually the young kid that knows us so well that he, honest to god, has a large black unsweetened iced tea waiting for Henry if he sees us walking in, asked me if I needed help and I was like NO JUST TRYNA ROOT FOR MY COUNTRY IN  THE OLYMPICS, BRO, IS THAT OK WITH YOU? YOU GONNA REPORT ME TO TRUMP?

J/K. I just said, “No, I’m just watching this” but then I felt awkward after that so I just left.

Came home and made a bunch of kpop birthday cards and teased the cats.

Henry at least came downstairs long enough to make me dinner, and then later on we went to Target because I wanted to get out of the house and he was just like, “I’m dying, but sure, let’s go shopping for the NOTHING THAT WE NEED.” But isn’t that how all Target trips are? I bought Chooch a strand of Valentine candy heart lights, for Christ’s sake. Such necessity.

(I’m watching the Olympics as I write this on a rainy Thursday night and I’m crying because South Korea’s Yun SungBin won the gold in men’s skeleton and through my tears he looks like the killer from Love in Trouble! I’m not sure what he looks like to someone with normal eyesight though.)

(Another Olympic aside: I’m not buying into the charm that Adam Rippon is selling and I know that’s like unheard of but I just don’t get it sorry guys*. Also, I don’t really like figure skating that much.)

*(Sometimes I start to believe that I’m really talking to people. Like I’m doing a podcast entirely through thought.)

Sunday was more of the same but at least Henry kind of hung out a little, at one point, but he still slept for SO LONG. I decided to watch some Olympics but the local news people irritated me by talking in Yinzer voices about what kimchi “apparently” is and how it’s “supposed to be pretty good.” 헐!

At one point, I flew upstairs in a panic and asked, “WILL U BE BETTER BY LUNCHTIME HOW WILL EAT LUNCH” and he sickly groaned, “Chill out, it’s only 10:30.”

It’s called THINKING AHEAD, OK?

He did eventually come downstairs long enough to make my lunch, sit down for 20 minutes, and then go back to bed. God, milk it much?

Chooch still had a low fever so he didn’t go to his piano lesson. He spent most of the day resting and that concept is SO WEIRD to me because when I’m sick, I’m always front and center, making sure I don’t miss any action while constantly reminding my roommates that I’m slowly expiring.

Let me tell you just how bored I was: I actually begged Henry to let me go grocery shopping with him that evening. Like, get me out of the house, please. I mean, I guess I could have gone and hung out with imaginary friends at the cemetery, but….

“Are measles itchy?” I asked Henry, scratching my face.

“You don’t have measles,” he sighed.

Wow, grocery shopping is so boring. And Henry chose the 12 Items Or Less lane when he has FOURTEEN ITEMS!!!!

And that was basically the extent of my weekend with sick people.

Image result for taemin sad gif

Feb 142018
 

Well it’s Valentine’s Day and while I’m not all that into it (I just love making Valentines though ok I can’t help it, it’s a sick condition), I still want to take a minute out of my pressing Wednesday business to give my Valentine of 17 years a shout-out because even though I don’t always put it in blunt sentences, I love that big dumb mountain man. I think most people are wise enough to read between the lines and figure that out, amirite?

I don’t know many other men who could deal with my special brand of high maintenance (honestly sometimes I think Henry feels like it would be easier if all I wanted was bling and not constant emotional massaging), erratic mood swings, and psychotic obsessions. This ahjussi not only puts up with my kpop obsession, but he has filled the kitchen with Korean ingredients and cookware, can name at least two members of a dozen Kpop groups, casually mentions the top three Kpop agencies in daily conversation, knows the names of the entire Running Man cast, and is willingly and excitedly going to South Korea with me next month. If that’s not ride or die, then….I guess I just don’t understand the definition.

But then…is it love, or is it Stockholm Syndrome?

So there’s my bi-annual props to Henry. I guess I’ll be back with another edition in June when it’s his birthday.

Happy Valentines Day, my friends!

Feb 112018
 

I’m back again with more lunch break tales because my life is so fucking rich.

The past few weeks, again, have been so inconsistent, weather-wise. On Friday though, Amber came back in from a walk and said it was actually nice out.

“Like, nice enough that I won’t need gloves?” I asked.

“I mean, it’s still kind of cold. You probably don’t need a hat, but I’d still take gloves,” she said, after giving it a second of thought.

I made a disappointed grumble, and Todd said to Amber, “Look, you gotta give her the answer she’s wanting, Amber. And she’s wanting to not wear gloves.”

“Fine, then don’t take gloves,” she said with great exasperation, but I was already walking down the hall with just my coat on anyway.

And….I totally wish I had brought my gloves, fucking ugh forever.

That was just a sample of the daily convos my co-workers are forced to have with me.

Anyway, let’s explore downtown Pittsburgh with some more pictures, SHALL WE?! Starting with one that I took after work and not on my lunch break, look at me, breaking the blogging law.

Market Square. I walk  through here everyday on my way to where Henry picks me up and it’s annoying because I almost always get stuck behind CASUAL WALKERS and don’t you know I’m a speed-walker all day every day? Get the fuck outta my way.

I usually eat oatmeal or Cream of Wheat for lunch every day. Don’t cry for me too hard, this is what I choose to eat because it’s easy and simple and something I can actually handle myself. (Mostly.) But last Friday, I was out of oatmeal and felt like gnawing off my arm, so I stopped at Bae Bae’s on my break. My intent was to just get kimbap to go, but they were only serving kimbap for dinner that day. So I ended up getting the tofu steak lunchbox and had the most delightful conversation with the guy working the counter. I cannot express how much I love this place, from the people to the food to the ambiance, and I want to become friends with them in the worst way. I just wanted to blurt out I’M GOING TO KOREA NEXT MONTH CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT FOREVER?! But I played it cool.

When I went up to get my food, the girl who is always there and I think is one of the owners (#speculation) said, “You’ve been here before, right?” and I was like, “YES LET’S BE BEST FRIENDS WANT TO COME OVER?!” JK I just said yes and then tacked on an overzealous, fan-girly, “AND I FOLLOW YOU GUYS ON INSTAGRAM.”

And as I was leaving, the other guy who is always there called out, “See you later, Erin! Have a good day!” and I was like, “OH I AM SO IN THE CLUB NOW.” JK I’m never in any clubs, not since elementary school when Spring and I had the Animal Rescue Club, meetings were held in the attic of the shed in my backyard, and the closest we came to saving an animal was when we found a groundhog that was probably dead and my mom was all DON’T TOUCH IT IT COULD HAVE RABIES THAT’S GROSS.

:(

We could have been so good at saving animals if dumb parents hadn’t gotten in the way.

I walk through a lot of alleys downtown because they’re fucking creepy and interesting. Some dude was murdered in this one. Well, that’s where his body was found, anyway.

Stupid trolley station thing that I use almost every day. There’s also a free art gallery above it, which is kind of cool I guess but doesn’t take away from the fact that I hate taking the T to work, woe is me.

When I was leaving for my afternoon walk on Friday, I rode down on the elevator with Sue, who half-jokingly said, “Hey, while you’re out, see if you can find Jeannie’s work ID. She lost it on the way back from Proper.” Since I never have a cemented destination in my mind when I step outside, I purposely walked down that particular block and without any effort whatsoever, I found Jeannie’s ID laying on the sidewalk in front of the Benedum. I AM A FUCKING HERO. I sent Jeannie a picture of it and she was like YOU’RE THE BEST and I was like LE DUH. Anyway, I get a reward now, and that’s all that matters.

Sue called me Hawkeye Kelly and I love that nickname because my eyes are actually so freaking terrible!

I treated myself to a bag of parmesan Goldfish from CVS, but I went to one of the smaller, crappier ones in lieu of the decent one I normally go to, and that was sad because this particular CVS reeks of cigarette smoke and sewage. It’s just really bad. But I really enjoy the one cashier who is there often, a young stoner named Cameron who is super pleasant and jovial and ends every transaction by handing over the bag and cheerfully saying, “Enjoy!”

Even when the broad in front of me was purchasing nothing but a pack of Always pads, he sent her off with an emphatic invitation to, “ENJOY!”

Feb 092018
 

It’s Friday and I’m tired but also really looking forward to going home and watching the replay of the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies, so here is a mild photo dump with minimal wordage.

But most importantly, an update on the countdown calendar!

That paper plane is moving at a snail’s pace, like I’m taking a hot air balloon to Korea it feels like.

My babies! For as stressed out as I was these last several weeks, I sure am going to miss all the action once the Valentine orders stop. I am still 100% convinced that this was a fluke, though! I’m bracing myself for my least favorite part of being an Etsy seller — the inevitable deluge of convos re: late or lost items. USPS, you give me heartburn.

I bought Chooch this adorable Corgi pillow from Etsy and couldn’t resist giving it to him early. Drew feels threatened, though.

Penelope’s perfect profile!

And here’s dumb old me, a window selfie from last night’s late shift. Our department is basically all reflective windows and it can be startling once the sun goes down. Anyway, this is my favorite shirt. It brings back memories from my time spent as a mediocre, part-time goth.

I also have several photos from my lunchtime travels, but I thought maybe I would save those for their own Lunch Break Tales post? WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you guys enjoy looking at pictures of my so-so city or should I just start a private scrapbook for those lol like I would ever scrapbook.

No offense, scrapbookers! I just don’t have the mental coordination for that.

BONUS: Sudden urge to buy Reeboks which I have not worn since middle school:

Feb 072018
 

It’s that time again. Weekend recap!

I spent the morning finishing my Golden Girls Valentines and crying tears of joy while watching video clips of Taeyang’s wedding. The disgusted sneer Henry kept giving me was so perfect.

So, all week I was thinking about how I wanted to go to Nak Won Garden on Saturday for some soondubu jjigae (look, Henry is a marvel at Korean home-cookin’, but there is just nothing like that bubbling ttukbaegi of kimchi & tofu that comes out of a real Korean kitchen sorry Bae Henry).

(That’s what I call him because I like to pretend that he’s in love with Bae Suzy, a Korean singer/actress.)

(He doesn’t get it.)

Right. So all week I’m enduring this shitty cold weather and thinking about the soondubu at the end of the frigid tunnel, but then Chooch had to go and get stupid straight A’s so there went my Korean lunch out. Instead, we went to Blue Flame, which was fine because Blue Flame has a forever spot in my heart and everyone who knows me knows that!

As soon as Henry parked the car, Chooch was out the door and running over to the wall at the side of the parking lot. On the other side is a creek which, to most people, is not noteworthy in the slightest. But ever since I was really little, it was tradition to peer over that wall at the creek below, especially in the warmer months when tadpoles could be seen. I’m not sure who started this or why, but it was one of the things that I did with my Pappap so it’s always been special. And of course I taught Chooch about it when he was super little, so it’s just like a thing now. It feels like we’re honoring my Pappap every time we look down into that shallow, burbling water, so I’m going to keep doing it until the day I die, fight me.

I posted about this on Instagram and one of my friends who also grew up in this area said she used to do the same thing when she was a kid so maybe it really is A Thing!

(Also, a Bae Suzy video just came on as I’m typing this and now I’m laughing alone.)

Creek peek.

Inside Blue Flame, all Chooch wanted was one (1) blueberry pancake. For as outspoken and independent as he typically is in most situations, this kid is AWFUL at communicating with waitresses. I don’t know what happens, but he fucking shuts down as soon as they ask him for his order and then LOOKS AT US while he’s mumbling his order, like we’re his FUCKING KIDNAPPERS and he wants our approval.

It is beyond awkward, like these waitresses probably think he beat him at home or something, the way he acts all nervous and skittish, and then sometimes he doesn’t know how to answer their questions so we have to do it for him! Like, honestly, WHAT KIND OF FUCKING BREAD DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR TOAST?! YOU ONLY LIKE WHITE BREAD SO JUST SAY THAT.

Jesus Christ!

Or when he acts like ordering a drink is the hardest question he’ll answer all day when he literally only ever gets one of two things: chocolate milk or lemonade.

It’s so uncomfortable.

My favorite is when the waitress explains his options – and you know most places have the same standard canon drink menu – and he looks at US like “Which of those do I like?” which I always feel looks like he’s seeking our approval so he won’t get whipped when we leave for ordering apple juice instead of milk.

The rest of our Saturday was full of card-making tension and at one point Chooch mumbles, “My parents are literally fighting over serial killer Valentines.”

It was a hard lesson in supply & demand that day. But we persevered. Barely.

~~~~~~~

Sunday was cool too! Chooch’s piano lesson was canceled so we got to just relax that morning without needing to run around. After lunch, we went to Oakland because Chooch is doing a report on Crispus Attucks and can barely find any solid info on him. The Brookline branch of the Carnegie library ordered a book for him and then failed to tell him that it was never even put on the truck yet until a week later when Henry called to see what the hell was going on, and we had to buy a book on Amazon, which ended up being some children’s story. Chooch’s teacher was all pissed off at him at first, until other kids also were like, “THE LIBRARY FAILED US” so she said she was going to rough them up, or call and complain. One of those.

So we took him to the main Carnegie Library on Sunday and the librarian who helped us totally redeemed all librarians in Chooch’s eyes, and now he’s like, “MAYBE IT’S JUST THE BROOKLINE ONES WHO SUCK” and yes son that’s surely it because the Brookline library is pretty dumb. Chooch has beef with three of them.

He likes the security guard there though.

Sunday was a wet snow kind of day and Henry muttered a lot about how it was just the type of day where you should stay home. LOL.

I wonder if Trump knows that libraries are free…?

But anyway, Henry was miserable because there was some broad singing in a room near the front of the library and it seemed like every person standing around watching the performance had bathed in patchouli that morning, so we had to walk through that and it was unpleasant. Henry REALLY hates it even more than me so he complained about it off and on for the better part of an hour.

Almost immediately, we enlisted the help of the aforementioned librarian and she was incredibly helpful and invested in Chooch’s project. Unlike waitresses, he was actually able to communicate to her what he needed so she took us to the right section and kept coming back with more books that she found elsewhere. She was a savior.

Chooch wants to only go to that library from now on.

Dork alert.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to comprehend that he’s gifted. Especially when I watched him struggle to smear jelly on his toast at Blue Flame, or observed the way he uses a fork to pile bites of pancake onto the blade of a butter knife instead of just, you know, taking the fork all the way home with the pancake bites.

“Who eats like that?!” I cried, and he was like, “What? What am I doing wrong?”

I mean, nothing I guess. It just seems like it takes so much effort to balance food on a knife, that’s all.

And then we made Chooch pay his own library fines since he was unable to check out his book otherwise.

“GO ON, TELL THE MAN ABOUT YOUR FINES,” we said as we nudged Chooch toward the librarian at the check-out counter.

I mean, we live three blocks away from a library, so there’s really no excuse.

And then we went back to working in a knock-off Hallmark sweatshop for the rest of the day/night.

That’s all for now. I have shit to do, food to eat, vids to watch.

Feb 062018
 

My favorite Taemin song changes weekly. Currently, it’s “Play Me” because it calms the heart palpitations I’ve been getting every day for the last week. I am not good under pressure, that’s for damn sure. But it just makes unwinding each night feel even more glorious, you know?

People have asked me what I’m most looking forward to when we go to Korea next month and I guess I’m expected to say something about Kpop or eating all the street food and trust me, my heart flutters when I think of those things. But that’s not it. I’m mostly looking forward to waking up every day and being surrounded by the language, seeing and hearing Hangeul everywhere. To me, it’s the most beautiful language in the world. I’m learning it so slowly – it’s hard when you’re not taking an actual graded class – but not once have I felt like quitting.

I’m so excited to read all of the signs in Korea!

Sometimes I get so antsy at work and by the time Henry picks me up I am frantically putting Kpop on in the car and saying, “I’ve heard nothing but English all day ugh*!” And he’s just like, “oh for god’s sake.” Yet he’s the first one to sit down and turn on a Korean drama, so.

(I don’t listen to music or anything at work because I’m paranoid and need to know what’s being said around me at all times, also I hate ear buds.)

You know how some people can relieve headaches by applying pressure on the part of the hand between the thumb and forefinger? That’s kind of the effect that listening to Korean has on my brain. Like a wash of relief. I can’t explain it any better than that.

There is no point to this blog post but it feels good to be relaxin’ in the couch and casually typing this on my phone after spending hours in the non compos cards sweatshop (I AM GRATEFUL FOR THAT SWEATSHOP THO!!).

I’m trying to be nicer to myself and taking a break here and there but I’m not very good at it.

Wow hey blog thanks for listening. Time for korean lesson & bed. Lol like I sleep.

Feb 052018
 

(Some dumb old story I wrote 10 years ago, probably during a fever who knows.)

“Don’t!” Oscar shouted at his mother-in-law. “Let me.” He took the plate out of her hands and replaced it on the table before she had a chance to pile it with food. His wife had long since died but he still ate at her parent’s house on the fourth Monday of every fifth month. Pulling a compartmentalized picnic tray from his messenger bag, he began the methodical process of separating his food. He always ate his meals in quarters: protein in one pocket, vegetables in another, starches touched only each other, and then condiments formed a pool in the final compartment. Or fruit if there was any to have, in which case he would forego the frivolous sauces.

Oscar kept his digital watch set to beep in fifteen minute intervals, a reminder to put a new TicTac in his mouth. He would only do this at work, though, because he lived above a slaughterhouse and sometimes the howling and the squealing of chains and the grinding of gears rendered it impossible for Oscar to hear his watch. If something else happened to be in his mouth when his watch would chime, he’d spit it out into the tiny wastebasket under his desk, which was emptied four times during his shift.

On Sundays, Oscar enjoyed going to the farmers market in the industrial district of town. A public parking garage was provided as a courtesy to the citizens, but Oscar preferred parking on the street. He loved the way the quarters sounded as their shiny disks slid into the metal slot of the meter. It was slightly arousing, but only Oscar’s therapist knew this.

“Sometimes I lick the quarters before they leave my hand, and often I feel pained to release them. But once I hear that sound, it makes me swell. You know. Swell. And that is one of the most rewarding sensations this life has to offer, I really think.” Oscar’s therapist copied this quote for his file in bright red ink.

One day, Oscar was granted a handsome bonus because the company had enjoyed a very successful quarter. He went home that night, scrubbed each limb with a vibrant pine-scented homemade bar of soap that he purchased from Ethel who worked on the twenty-fourth floor but was visiting her friend on the twenty-fifth floor at the time of purchase. Thumbing through the phone book, he found just the number he was looking for.

At exactly 9:41, his doorbell rang. He dawdled and stalled, pacing beneath the stately portrait of George Washington which hung in the foyer, and chugging on a quart of half-spoiled vitamin D milk, until 9:45, at which time he found it perfect to open the door and greet the four prostitutes he ordered.

For a quarter of an hour, they quietly noshed on tea sandwiches, which Oscar had meticulously de-crusted and quartered over top of his grandmother’s serving tray, which was conveniently divided into quadrants. He precisely slipped his Quarterflash album from its sleeve and placed it gently upon the record player. Then they moved to his slumber quarters, where Oscar requested that he be tied to each one of the bedposts. The four cocottes silently obliged.

As Oscar lay there, mind soaring with the possibilities, wondering if he would become as tumescent as he did in the company of parking meters, one of the harlots brandished a chainsaw from her purse and by 11:15, Oscar’s post-quartering torso was left in the center of his bed, and his limbs were sold to the slaughterhouse below where they were wrapped in freezer paper and sold for a quarter a pound.

Jan 292018
 

Can we all just agree that waking up on Monday mornings is such a drag? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to be alive and whatever, but the weekend already seems like such a distant memory by the time that stupid alarm goes off on Monday morning and my first thought is always, “Ugh, the trolley.” I know, such problems. Wah. But then I checked my phone and had a notification for the new Red Velvet MV on YouTube! Morning officially saved by the beauty of Red Velvet. I waited until Chooch and I were both ready for the day and then we watched it together and now you too can be like us and watch it as well:

Those late 90s r&b vibes, though.

In other news, I had lunch on Saturday with Gayle and Patty. This was a big deal to me because for the first time since Patty’s cancer diagnosis, I got to actually go out somewhere with her! She’s still using a wheelchair, but her mobility is really making great strides – she’s actually expected to make a full recovery and I cannot tell you how much of a miracle this is. She has been working so hard and deserves nothing but the best news. Please, if you’re reading this, cheer her on with me! She’s a goddamn inspiration.

Gayle and I felt like winners for getting Patty out of the house without any hiccups, and then Patty yelled at Gayle for trying to go the wrong way to Eat n Park and I was like, “LOL YEAH GAYLE GOD GET WITH IT.” Just like old times! (Miss you, Gayle!)

Anyway, at Eat n Park, we had a fabulous waitress and then Patty ordered an Oreo milkshake and in my head totally Homer’ing over it (“mmmm, milkshake”) and almost ordered one but then remembered that EnP milkshakes are always so unfulfilling to me. Don’t get me wrong, they’re fucking delicious, but I’m a pig for milkshakes and just feel that they don’t give you enough — they don’t even serve the extra ‘shake in the metal tumbler thingie like some restaurants do! RUDE.

So I held off and stuck with coffee and then was That Token Vegetarian that ordered a ham sandwich without the ham because I really wanted the gouda and apple slices that was also on it. Luckily, our waitress was cool and didn’t sneer at me and even said that someone else had just asked for the same thing that day. YES. SOLIDARITY.

Patty wanted to get the salad bar and asked if either of us would help her and since I wanted to be the hero, I offered to help. I was so nervous about this and I had a flashback to the time in 1999 when I had a blind date at Eat n Park (of course!) and the guy was wheelchair-bound and when I was pushing him out of the restaurant, he was groaning a bit and I was like, “WHY IS THE WHEELCHAIR NOT MOVING AND WHY HE IS MAKING THESE STRANGULATED NOISES” and oh, it was just because his one leg was dragging back behind him and I was literally PUSHING THE WHEELCHAIR over his foot.

That was not one of the my best moments and my old friend Keri was there to witness it and would not let me live it down for years. This may or may not be the reason we no longer talk.

(It’s not.)

So picture it: me, in charge of not only my friend Patty, but also HER SALAD. And I DID IT. I got her to the salad bar, I prepared a salad to her liking, and I got both of them back to the table with zero issues or spills or dragging limbs. I was like GAYLE, LOOK when we got back to the table and she was just like “mmhmm.” JUST JEALOUS OF MY HEROISM I GUESS.

Oh also! Fun side-note. Amber at work last week was perusing the itinerary for the Groundhog Day festival and saw that there’s a ventriloquist with the same last name as Gayle’s maiden’s name, so we have all been widely speculating and obsessing over this. I finally got the chance to interrogate Gayle, because if it’s true, how rude that she never told any of us! But she said she’s not sure and will find out. UGH more waiting.

In the words of Chooch: “to conclude,” my lunch with Patty and Gayle was very nice and it was nice to catch-up and admire Patty’s improvement. She is so bad-ass, you guys. How easy would it be to just thrown in the towel, but that girl is fighting and clawing her way out of the pit, and it is an honor to call her a friend.

BUT BACK TO MILKSHAKES. Later that evening, I was still thinking of milkshakes, so Henry took Chooch and me to Steak n’ Shake and I got a Frosted Flake milkshake because I am all about cereal-flavored desserts, and this goddamn milkshake did not disappoint. In fact, two days later, as I’m sitting her eating my sad cup’o’oatmeal, I’m still thinking of that milkshake. I want another one right now. Ugh.

The end.

Jan 272018
 

When I came home from a lunch date earlier today, I noticed that Henry and I were both wearing maroon shirts, plus Henry was wearing his maroon Stheart beanie. But then Chooch kicked out a leg, Rockette-style, to show us that he was wearing maroon pants. At first I was like, “this is sickening. I hate matching with you freaks” but then I came around to it and decided we needed an impromptu family picture because it’s been a really long time since we were all in a photo together. However, it’s an overcast day and there was NO natural light coming into the house, and our house interior is pretty low-lit to begin with. So this photo op was a struggle.

I had to open the front door and prop my phone up against the storm door thingie and set the timer.

It wasn’t going to get any better than this. But there, now you have proof that we all exist at once.

Carry on.

Jan 232018
 

Got the notification that this video was posthumously released last night so of course I watched it in bed and cried myself to sleep. He was such a treasure.

And true to form I’m watching it again now because what’s my life without a pre-work cry.

Jan 222018
 
  1. Cinnamon soy lattes from Prestogeorge. I also like how all the employees pull you into their convos like you’re all old friends. IT MAKES ME FEEL INCLUDED when I usually feel like an outsider, so thank you nice ladies at Prestogeorge who call me hon and babe.
  2. This latest Sunmi girl power anthem. I love me some Sunmi.

3. Bonding with Henry over Korean dramas. He is adorably into them. The other night, he poked his head out of the kitchen (where he belongs) and asked, “WHICH ONE ARE YOU WATCHING?!!?” thinking I was watching one of his faves without him but I wasn’t. (His current favorite is Strong Woman Do Bong Soon. He smiles so much when we’re watching it and it’s just the cutest thing omg do I have a crush on Henry!?)

4. Buying jeans from the juniors department at Kohl’s for the first time since like, 2003! Henry was like, “Oh boy. I am so proud to have a girlfriend who just keeps acting younger.”

5. Chooch’s piano teacher teaching him Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World” and his music teacher at school teaching the kids about Nirvana. These things definitely make me smile.

This has been my quick and pointless update.

Jan 182018
 

Still having a hard time accepting that he’s gone. I’ve only just finally been able to listen to his music again without feeling like my heart is being stomped through a cheese grater.

In other news, today I was so happy that Henry was driving me to work and I wouldn’t have to walk in frigid temps to the trolley that I bounded out of the house without any of my winter accessories. So then when it was time to go outside for my lunch-walk, I asked Todd if it was cold out.

He said something like “uh yeah, it’s January.” But then I asked, “But is it cold enough for hats, etc?” And he was like YES BUNDLE UP BRO.

So I ran to Wendy’s office and she dressed me appropriately in her extra cold weather accoutrements which all happened to be Pittsburgh Penguins branded, matching my gold tapestry coat perfectly. I was the most put-together I’ve ever been, probably.

Thank god for Wendy.

Anyway, just a quick little check-in. I’ve been al wrapped up in my greeting cards lately and I can usually only pay attention to one thing at a time so this poor limping blog is suffering. Sorry, blog. I’ll try to be a better fake-writer after our busy Valentine card season is over!

(Go get some cards!!

Jan 172018
 

The weather this past weekend was shit, but the weekend itself was THE shit. OK, maybe that’s being a little too hype, but it really was all kinds of wonderful for really no reason other than I got to have fun with my two favorite people (yes, it’s Henry and Chooch, ugh!) and it was just….really fucking nice. I do this thing where every day, whether I’m drying my hair or I’m out carousing the streets of downtown Pittsburgh on my lunch break, I recount in my head the things that are keeping me afloat. They range from the major ones (family, friends, health) to the little ones (whatever Korean food Henry is making for dinner tonight, watching some Running Man, my hair looks OK today) to the upcoming events (SOUTH KOREA, Chooch’s birthday, Warped Tour – the last one, sigh).

And I write about the weekends like this past one, so that on the days when no reminders seem to help override the death wish, I can revisit random posts on this blog and remember that things are not always bad and that there is so much worth living for. You do what you can, you know? There’s a lot of sadness, but this past weekend did not allow for much of that at all! I think it was just that we were, all three of us, in really fine moods. Like fucking stars aligning.

Most of Saturday was spent redesigning Valentines for our shops, with an obligatory run to Target because is it really the weekend without dropping  $$$ on shit we didn’t need at Target? The whole reason we went was because Chooch wanted to spend the money that’s been burning a hole in his wallet: some leftover cash from Christmas plus the money he’s been swindling from the neighbors by shoveling their short sidewalks. That kid!

I hate hate hate going shopping with Chooch when he has his own money because it’s always the same: he trolls the same three aisles for an hour, tries to latch on to another family (seriously, we always catch him sidling up to some other family like we’re not good enough all of a sudden!??!), and then ultimately doesn’t want to buy anything.

WITH HIS MONEY.

It was no different this time. Henry and I even left him for a bit and hung out in the food aisles, where I was bored so I started spinning around and then Henry was all, “REALLY” because he just doesn’t understand what it’s like to still be a kid, and then I saw really cool sprinkles and made the mistake of saying that they were my style, so then he was all, “REALLY. YOU HAVE A STYLE OF SPRINKLES.” God Henry! I guess it would be acceptable if I was saying things like, “This packet of gravy is just my style and will taste wonderful on the mashed potatoes I’ll be serving next to your bloody steak.”

Meanwhile, Chooch actually found something he wanted!

In the homegoods section.

A rug.

A fucking rug.

Granted, a really fucking cute ZEBRA rug.

And he got Henry to buy it for him, lololol.

After we checked out, Henry handed me the car keys and said he had to go to the bathroom, and to just go out to the car and wait for him. Of course we were bitching because it was taking him too long, but it was because he went back and bought me the backpack that I saw when we were about to check out. I mentioned that I wanted to buy it the next time we were there, and use it in Korea, and he actually listened to me!

HENRY IS TOTALLY MY STYLE.

We capped off Saturday night with another weekly hour of Family K-Kardio Night and it was just so great and I love my family! Seriously, there are not many other people in this world who would not only let me do my thing, but actually get into it with me. (The amount of Korean trivia that these two have absorbed through me is hilarious. Henry still sucks at pronouncing names though.)

Sunday morning, we watched some K-dramas, dropped Chooch off at piano and then did our weekly Asian supermarket run where Henry found some can of pear juice that made him so happy and he can’t wait to go back for more, and then we went rollerskating! Henry didn’t even bitch about it once the whole way there!

This is when shit got weird because I have apparently turned into a new person. Let’s discuss:

  1. The skating rink, Skate Castle, is in Butler, PA which is…how can I phrase this delicately, a Trump supporter garbage dump. LOL jk there are nice people who live there too probably but don’t get it twisted – that place is kind of backward.
  2. They played garbage music (that Justin Timberlake “sunshine in my pocket” bullshit noise-bomb played TWO TIMES in the three hours we were there, plus two old Flo-rida songs and many other songs from like 2010, so random).
  3. The rink light aesthetics weren’t very fancy.
  4. There were young children going every which way.

OK, so take these factors and then cut me into the backwoods mixture and you would expect this blog post to be one of my signature hateful rants that make people wonder how anyone could love me.

But you guys, no.

I loved this place.

I loved the whole afternoon.

I loved the people working there.

I loved that the first pair of skates I tried on actually fit me and didn’t do any weird broken shopping cart bullshit moves on me.

I didn’t even mind when a couple country songs came on, even though I did kind of feel like I had the shakes because I am sooo not used to hearing songs in English anymore.

I didn’t hate a single person on the rink, not even the two teenage girls in messy topknots and rollerblades who looked like total mean girls and probably for sure mocked me at least once when I wasn’t looking.

And the pizza was great! Just the way snack room pizza should be!

Here you can see that the lights were definitely lacking, but I couldn’t complain about that because the rink was nice and smooth….

….until it wasn’t.

So here’s the part of the story where FOR SURE the star character of this blog would have fucking raged her face off and made up brand new swears:

Everything was going swimmingly, I was skating with a bit more caution than usual though because I just had visions of me falling and breaking a bunch of limbs and being in traction for however the fuck long, not being able to do my kpop workouts, and going to Korea on a freaking stretcher. So I was really paying attention to my surroundings, especially the ground because you never know what those gross kids are going to track onto the rink.

About 60 minutes in, I stumbled a bit going around the bend of the rink. I caught myself and immediately slowed down and turned around to see what I skated over. Henry and Chooch were behind me when it happened, and we all scoped that area out again on the way back around. It didn’t seem like there was anything there, but I made a point of avoiding that spot for the next several revolutions.

For whatever reason, about 30 minutes later, I slacked off a bit and skated back over that exact same spot. This time, it was like someone grabbed the wheels of my right skate — it just completely came to a dead stop while the rest of me kept moving. It happened so fast that there was no way to possibly catch myself: I went smack down on my hands and knees full fucking force, man. I felt my teeth shudder, that’s how hard I hit. It stunned me, but I bounced back up right away, dusted myself off, and tried to laugh it off but good god damn that fucking HURT.

Chooch was right behind me when it happened, and god love him, he raced over to me and cried, “ARE YOU OK?!” I explained that it felt like my skate got snagged on something again, and he was ON THE CASE. That kid is so fucking loyal, I don’t know what I did to deserve him, you guys. He has my back!

Neither of us could find anything on that spot, and I shrugged it off and continued to skate.

RECORD. FUCKING. SCRATCH.

Did you read that!? Me, queen of temper tantrums, SHRUGGED IT OFF AND CONTINUED TO SKATE?

I didn’t even cry a little bit, or get mad AT ALL. I have no idea who I am anymore, but I think Henry and Chooch were both holding their breath, waiting for me to cause a scene or find a witch on Craigslist to dump a cauldron of acid frogs all over the rink or go full-fledged Tonya Harding and get some Butler henchman to break the knee caps of the rink owners.

But that didn’t happen.

I didn’t let it ruin my afternoon and went about my business with a smile on my ugly face….and a slightly sore knee….

Also, I loved that this joint had religious art on the snack room walls.

We’ll definitely be back.

The next day, I was prepared for some gnarly bruising, but my knees are completely fine somehow. However, the tricep of my left arm is definitely woke. That arm must have taken  the brunt of the fall but I barely remember because my life was too bust flashing before my eyes.

Jan 132018
 

When I started making kpop cards, I have to admit that I felt kind of scuzzy listing them alongside my serial killer and porn star cards over at non compos cards. I created a new shop on Etsy last month solely for this new, lighter, cheerier brand, but I am L-A-Z-Y and never created any listings for it because I knew I’d have to go through the whole rigmarole of designing a banner and filling out a profile etc etc just shoot me. But after the whole accidental serial killer/kpop card swap happened last week, I was like, “THIS IS IT I HAVE TO GIVE THESE PRECIOUS KPOP CARDS THEIR OWN SHOP.”

So I cranked it into high gear last night, redesigned the mini kpop Valentines (this is going to happen to the serial killer and porn Valentine sheets too!), created an Instagram, and boom. Here we are. Introducing Hello Hanguk!

(The shop name literally translates to Hello Korea. I wanted Hello Hallyu but that was already taken, not on Etsy, but by some kpop website. I did my due diligence! Also, why not have another complicated foreign language shop name like non compos cards and somnambulant, amirite?)

This set contains 16 different designs: Sistar, Wanna One, Hyuna, two different Taemins because I love me some Lee Taemin, G-Dragon, Wonder Girls, IU, BIGBANG, Vixx, Twice, Got7, Gfriend, BTS, Apink, and EXO.

One of my past customers told me she hid the serial killer version of these mini cards all around the house for her husband to randomly come across throughout the year and I thought that was such a fun idea!

ALL OF THESE FOR ONLY 8 BUCKS! (Plus shipping. I’d walk them to your house free of charge if I could.)

They come packaged in an adorable little V-Day treat bag:

I’m obsessed. As a Kpop fan, I would be so damn stoked if I came across these and would (and will) give them to all of my work friends who will 100% not understand.

(Chooch just gave these card sets his stamp of approval, btw.)

These also look great all smeared out across a G-Dragon table. I mean, if you’ve got it, flaunt it, amirite.

Again, this set is $8 plus shipping (about $2.60 domestic, but I do ship worldwide). I’m working on more designs so soon there will be more to choose from! Wow. Daebak.

Individual, full-sized cards are $5. I’m working on moving them all over to the new shop, but for the full selection, please see non compos cards.

Thanks for your time!