Sep 272020

Ok I don’t know why but one of my favorite things ever is watching idols eat, ESPESH G-Dragon and Taemin. Well, I was in for a treat today because Taemin did an Instagram live mukbang. With wet hair. In pajamas.

“Thank you Lord Jesus,” she whispered before screaming into her pillow.

Henry watched it with me because he’s Kpop Dad (earlier today he flashed his phone at me so I could see a picture of BTS’s Jungkook lifting his shirt and showing his abs; Henry scoffed and said, “This is pathetic. He’s got NOTHIN’ on Wonho.” He felt very strongly about it!). Anyway, henry happily sat through all 20 minutes of this and then at the end he said, “Now I want cereal” and he came back with a bowl of Cheerios.

The power of Taemin.

That’s all. That’s the post.

Sep 222020

Like the title said, this is PART 2 of the August books. God, context clues, people! Pick them up!

9. Catherine House – Elizabeth Thomas


I gave this 1 star only because Goodreads doesn’t allow ZERO OR NEGATIVE STAR RATINGS. What a shit book full of insufferable human beings. I was led to believe this was going to be a thriller or have at least SOME horror elements to it but it was so fucking dumb and I think I will never give “dark academia” another chance unless someone I actually know personally recommends it to me because the last 4 books I’ve read from that genre have made me absolutely mad.

I wanted Suspiria vibes! Or at least a main character to root for! But instead I had no idea wtf was happening except that all the students seemed to subsist on desserts which was actually the only appealing part of this piece of shit stack of words.

The worst part is that I listened to this on audio while I was painting my front door so now every time I look at my door, I think of how shitty this stupid book was.

Shame that such a beautiful book cover was wasted on this junk story.

10. Follow Me to the Ground – Sue Rainsford

52220595. sx318 sy475

This (short) book is about a father and daughter duo who heal the people in their town. Doctors? Who needs ’em when you can go visit the creepy non-human family at the edge of the village and have them crack open your body and then bury you in the dirt.

The daughter, Ada, mostly goes through life not getting attached to the people in the village until one day she meets a boy, falls in love, and basically has to create a vagina on her non-human form in order to do the thing with him. And, as it usually does with LOVE, shit starts to get complicated.

I admittedly picked this up just because of the vagina part (it was talked about a lot on Booktube, OK?!) and to my surprise, I enjoyed this so much more than I thought I would. Every other chapter is a short little interview-esque thing from various villagers who have either been cured by Ada and her father, or are just generally suspicious of them.

Super bizarre and fun to read and wouldja get a load of that book cover!?

11. In the Miso Soup – Ryu Murakami 


I was really afraid to read this because for one thing: Japanese horror scares me more than other kind of horror. I mean, I’m haunted by various scenes of Japanese horror movies that I watched 20+ years ago, but certain images are seared into my brain.

I think some parts of this book might be added to my nightmare mental vignette.

This book follows a young Japanese man who works as a red light district “guide” for foreigners. The book starts out with him being hired by “Frank,” an American businessman who is really trying to live his best life while in Japan.

I will admit, it takes A LONG time for anything to actually happen in this one, but that’s not to say it’s boring. The buildup is slow and steady, and it’s told from the perspective of the guide, and while there is dialogue and a small cast of characters that are introduced as the story progresses, most of the book is a running internal monologue. So if that’s not your thing, skip this one.

When shit finally hits the fan, the violence made me feel queasy. If this were a movie, I’d probably have had to look away and said, “tell me when it’s done,” to Henry, lol.

HOWEVER!!! This wasn’t *as* traumatizing or horrific as I had been bracing for. Still, it was a solid read for me and I got so attached to our main character and kept screaming, “RUN!! JUST RUN!!” I really love Japanese horror.

Oh, and when I realized why the book is called this, I was a full-blown version of the “hmmm” emoji.

12. Such a Fun Age – Kiley Reid

43923951. sy475

This has to be one of the most-hyped books of the year, and it took me forever to get it from the library. But, I will say it was worth the wait.

There is a lot of race explorations here and it was interesting to see how differently people reacted to the same situation, which was that a young Black babysitter is asked to come to the house of her employer relatively late at night because there was a non-tragic disturbance at the house requiring police assistance, and the mother doesn’t want her three year old daughter Briar to get upset, so she asks the babysitter to take her to the uppity grocery store down the street.

While there, another shopper (some dumb Karen) alerts the security guard that the babysitter may have kidnapped the kid, because *GASP* the kid is WHITE and the babysitter is BLACK. I actually thought the whole book was going to be about this, but as it turned out, it was just a quick scene in the beginning of the book, but it was interesting to see the domino effect it had on everyone. The babysitter just wanted to forget it ever happened, a (white) bystander recorded the whole thing on his phone and keeps pressuring her to sue, the mom of the little girl decides she needs to become BFFs with the babysitter after this happened and has major WHITE GUILT over it and does a whole lot of really cringey things throughout the book and honestly, I hated her. There was a lot of really questionable behavior going on under the guise of good intentions, and I kept getting a lot of secondhand embarrassment.

Like, the bystander at the grocery store? All of his friends are Black and he actually says the “n-word” out loud in front of his Black girlfriend, and like, I just can’t imagine EVER thinking it’s OK for me to say that word because I have some Black friends. This book is full of moments like this and maybe there are white people out there reading this book right now who never really thought about these things before – but now they are.

The one character that I REALLY LOVED and rooted for SO HARD was that damn little girl Briar. I mean, she was EVERYTHING. The relationship the babysitter had with her was so fucking wholesome and pure and if you think I’m sitting here tearing up while I write this, I will punch you in the nose, because ERIN DOESN’T CRY OVER CHILDREN.

But Briar, man. If she were my kid, I would never neglect her!!

Anyway, I went into this thinking that it was going to be some sweeping, pretentious literary fiction but it’s written with a very light, airy vibe. Which is deceiving considering it’s largely a critique of white savior complexes. Honestly, fuck that dumb mom.

13. The Vanishing Half – Brit Bennett

51791252. sx318 sy475

Unless you avoid anything having to do with books, you have probably heard of this book by now. It is follows, over several decades, twin sisters who are white-passing. They run away from from home together when they’re teenagers and then become estranged from each other. One lives her life as a Black woman, and the other marries a white man and proceeds to live her life pretending to be someone she’s not. I didn’t care for that twin much at all, but later in the book, they each have a daughter and I actually enjoyed their stories even more.

Brit Bennett is an incredible writer and storyteller. I was actually nervous to read this because I thought it was going to be super dry and pretentious for some reason but nope – these sisters will suck you right the fuck in.

14. Sleepwalking – Meg Wolitzer


Meh. Talk about pretentious. This is it. I couldn’t wait for it to end and don’t even feel like writing any more about it.

15. The Only Good Indians – Stephen Graham Jones


Ughhhhh this fucker. It’s a horror story about these 4 Native American friends who have an…experience 10 years ago and then revenge is sought.

I haven’t read many (if any??) books written by Native Americans and I really enjoyed the little nuggets of culture that Jones tucked in through this story, and while it didn’t really scare me, the animal parts made me extremely upset and queasy so does that count as horror? Definite trigger warnings for dog death, hunting, etc. I was traumatized. And there was a LOT of human violence and gore in this book that didn’t bother me at all, so you know where my allegiance lies!

While the story was kind of “Eh” for me, I did really enjoy the writing and I have another book of his waiting for me at the library so I’ll keep you posted!

Jesus I am so bad at reviewing books lol.

Sep 162020

If I still had a really sharp memory and retained dates as well as I used to, then I would probably always associate the weekend of 9/12/20 with the book The Great Believers and how it shattered my heart, but as it is, I can barely even keep my years straight anymore, let alone singular weekends within those years.

But yeah, I finished that book Saturday morning and it was a real time, but I’ll talk more about that when I do my September book wrap-up, which reminds me that I haven’t even done the August wrap-up yet, I’m just really on top of things over here, what can I say.

Another thing I’d attribute to this past weekend is the fear that paralyzed my heart Friday night when I was sitting on the couch, probably watching Taemin videos, and then the sound of shattering glass and steel cut through the tranquility of the evening. There was that suspended moment where the mind races inside a frozen body, trying to figure out what carnage awaits, and then everything catches up with itself as you realize that it was just a mason jar filled with steel balls for a Pachinko machine, knocked off and split open by one of the cats during their psycho acrobat practice.

It was probably Drew.

The weird thing is that, and I am not joking, probably 5 or 10 minutes before this happened, I had glanced over at the cats chasing each other and I thought in my head, “Someone should move that mason jar, it’s going to get knocked over” but then I got distracted by whatever I was watching, probably Taemin videos, and then…well the rest is history.

There were just shy of 300 steel balls in that jar, and I’m still finding strays.

Then came Saturday, the day I sadly finished that book and had a total eclipse of the heart.

Is that even what that means?

It occurs to me that I have no idea what that even means.

Anyway, not important. What IS important is that we got patbingsu from Bae Bae’s and I was almost in tears because red bean is MY FAVORITE BINGSU FLAVOR. They were sold out of it for the longest time but when I saw that I had it this weekend, I couldn’t focus on anything else.

We took it to the cemetery to eat it and then Henry had to go to his job, which was nearby, to let one of his drivers back in so he was like CAN I TRUST YOU AND CHOOCH TO NOT KILL EACH OTHER IF I LEAVE YOU HERE and we were like WE WILL BE FINE so we walked around and competed to see who could find their birth date first on a tombstone and Chooch found his like 5x and I never once found mine so then I was like THIS GAME SUCKS and realized that we had been there too long so I called Henry and was like WHEN ARE YOU COMING BACK FOR US and he was like MY DRIVER ISN’T HERE YET but we threw a fit and he was like GOD DAMMIT so he came back and got us before he was done doing his dumb Faygo stuff and he was so pissed and then we had to go back with him to his office while he finished his manly man man Faygo shit which is the most boring thing in the world so joke’s on me I guess.

That night, Henry and I watched the movie adaptation of a REALLY GOOD HORROR BOOK we read together (listened to in the cemetery!) “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” and…ugh. I had hopes for this because Charlie Kaufman directed it and the cast was solid (the acting was phenomenal) and honestly, so much of this was great. The book has a lot of dialogue between the main characters while they’re in a car, so I wasn’t sure how that would translate to film without being a snoozefest, but it was done very artfully; actually, the whole film was just one big two hour existential art piece, if we’re being honest here. It was stunning to look at, and the little clues sprinkled throughout made me giddy, but can we talk about dat ending, tho.

No, we can’t, because spoilers, and also because I don’t have the energy or passion to care about it anymore, because I spent all day Sunday mulling and stewing over how disappointed I was. If you’ve read the book, you will PROBABLY hate the ending of the film. If you haven’t read the book, you will probably be like WTF to the whole enchilada.

(I don’t know what’s up with me lately, but I think I’m turning into a midwestern mom from 1981. Last week I saw “hemming and hawing,” and earlier today I said that my pumpkin spice latte from Potomac Station was “nothing to write home about” and Chooch was like, “WHAT” and started cracking up and I said, “What? That’s a real saying” and he said, “Yeah I know but I’m laughing because YOU said it.” So, I dunno when I went to bed and woke up a Mom, but here I am world, the pot roast is in the oven! Now bring me my Aquanet, turquoise track suit, and strap some LA Gear on my footsies because I’m ready for my Jazzercise class.)

Then on Sunday, Henry went and picked up our Sugarspell pints! I forgot to set a reminder the last time and all the flavors I had my eye on were already sold out that same night, so this time I was prepared and thank god I went to their website at the exact time the presale started because the pumpkin cinnamon roll flavor sold out in THREE MINUTES. That’s insane and I’m sad for all the Johnny Come Latelys out there but feeling pretty smug that I was checked out by 7:03 and got the ones I wanted. The other ones I got are peach crisp (so refreshing!) and chocolate mousse which I am scarily addicted to. It is SO SMOOTH AND RICH, and I mean, I know it’s in the name but it tastes JUST LIKE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE.

Sometimes I can’t even believe that this is vegan.

But the real star here is that goddamn pumpkin cinnamon roll. WOW. You know how more often than not, pumpkin-flavored things are so synthetic and artificial? This tastes like your great-aunt Mildred made a pie using pumpkins from her motherfucking farm while wearing a gingham apron and I’d say butter churned from her own cows, but then this wouldn’t be a very vegan-y review. Anyway, I’m just trying to say that this tastes like a stroll through a pumpkin patch on a perfectly crisp fall day with the hint of a jaunt through a haunted house later that night. And you’re probably wearing a really cute red flannel under the perfectly-distressed denim jacket too.

And the back is peppered with patches from the best 80s goth & synthpop bands.

And you’re not wearing a mask because WE BEAT COVID but you ARE wearing a really soft and warm cowl scarf. It’s probably burnt orange and you don’t care if it clashes with your flannel because you’re the kind of person who has a very specific fall fashion aesthetic and sets reminders on their phone for vegan ice cream pint pre-orders.

I consulted with Phil and he agrees that this pumpkin ice cream is completely worth the hype.

Later that afternoon, we went to Oakland (oh don’t you worry, we never took our masks off once) because eventually Chooch will be going to school in real life and this is where that will be.

I mean, not HERE specifically. But I had some classes in that beast and now that I only have like $3000 left in student loans, I’m kind of starting to miss it a little…should I go back? NO. I’M KIDDING.

Oakland is the home of Pitt and CMU as well as Chooch’s new high school so I have to admit, it kind of felt like we were preparing to send him off to college. “You can walk to the Carnegie Library after school! And there’s a Korean fried chicken place that has TTEOKBOKKI! And and and!” I was also pointing out various buildings where I had classes (“My vampire class was in the same building as the science classes and one time we had to evacuate when there was a fire in the chemistry lab,” I said, lost in the memory, while Chooch just stared at me. Then finally, “You took a literal class on vampires?” Yeah I did, sonny boy. One of our homework assignments was watching The Hunger (in my heart, David Bowie isn’t dead because he’s UNdead) and we did an entire unit on LESBIAN VAMPIRE FILMS.) but no one really cared. Henry just kept murmuring “mmhmm” because my college days were really stressful for him, I guess, probably because he feared I’d meet an older professor and run away with him, because that’s totally on brand, but mostly I think because of the debt I was racking up.

Even the dinosaurs are smart enough to wear masks.

Well, I don’t think anything else super spectacular happened. So that concludes another weekend wrap-up.

Sep 152020

Look, I’m still riding the Taemin Wave over here so just be quiet and let me get this out of my system lol.

Today I want to share the stage that Taemin did for my favorite song off his new album, Nemo. When I first heard it, I was immediately transported to my childhood bedroom in 1994/1995, talking on the phone/writing pen pal letters/ generally brooding in bed with BET’s Quiet Storm on my tiny TV. I was obsessed with 90s slow jams, and Nemo gives me that distinct retro vibe. I’ve said it before on here but there is something about his voice, the whispery huskiness maybe, that brings to mind Anita Baker. I will never take back that statement and I don’t care if HENRY HEARS OR NOT because I do!

Anyway, I was just watching an interview/behind the scenes thing he did and he said that Nemo is his favorite song from the new album and that he was inspired by the 90s r&b that he was listening to, BAM!!!

Um, yeah. Whew. Let me collect myself.

Ok so you should watch this and decide for yourself and let me know what you think:

And while we’re here, might I also suggest the stage he did for Black Rose, where his choreography nearly shot me through the roof? THOSE FORMATIONS.

I sent this to Janna last night and she said nothing so maybe I should take the hint. Lol nah.

This boy has more talent in his pinky than all your faves combined, I fucking swear to god.

Ok I swear my next post will be non-Kpop/Taemin related. Probably. Maybe. I hope. You hope. We hope.

Sep 072020



Look, I loved “2Kids” which came out a few weeks ago but this is the side of Taemin I was waiting for. This is the Lee Taemin that tears me apart and makes me feel like I have lost my damn mind.

I am so fucking wrecked right now. This was 100% worth the wait (knew it would be). It was supposed to be released last winter (March I think?) then Covid happened. Then it was supposed to come out earlier this summer but Taemin injured his wrist (PROTECT THIS BOY AT ALL COSTS) so it was delayed again.

Then the SuperM comeback coincided with his solo and a lot of us were super pissed because while SuperM is fantastic in its own right, Taemin deserves as much of the solo spotlight as possible so please, please PLEASE do yourself and him a favor and watch this video, stream the song on whatever platform you use, share it on your socials, buy the album even??? I preordered both versions!

Well, one thing is for sure, I’m going to be floating through the rest of the day in my dreamland lalalala fantasy state. Hope you have a great too!

Aug 312020

Thank you, Green Sweater. I never knew how bad my desire was to see Taemin cocooned so elegantly by you. But now that I’ve seen it, I never want to not see it. I want to hug you while you’re resting gently on Taemin’s perfect frame. I want to softly twist your pretty tendrils, the ones that are lying atop Taemin’s shoulders, nearest his pretty chin. I want to admire your verdant hue as seen in the reflection of Taemin’s sultry eyes. I want to test your softness by pressing my face into Taemin’s chest. I want to toss what will likely be the equivalent to half my next paycheck into the air with wanton abandon so that I can put you on my Taemin cardboard cutout and bask in your heavenly perfection every day. Oh yes, I do believe the moment you descended upon Taemin was the angels’ cue to begin singing from up on high.

Oh Green Sweater, Taemints worldwide salute you for your service.

Aug 252020

Insert obligatory CAN YOU BELIEVE [X MONTH] IS ALMOST OVER exclamation here. But for real, only one more weekend before it’s Back to School Time here in Pittsburgh. Even though Chooch isn’t physically returning to school just yet, I still have that lowkey summer sadness. 

Anyway! Happy thoughts. 

The weekend got underway Friday night with some porch hangs. This has been one of the few highlights of the summer – chilling with the cats on the porch. Drew and Penelope are both extremely skittish cats so it was pretty shocking when they both expressed (tentative) interest in coming outside back in June.

Penelope will only venture all the way out onto the porch once the sun goes down. But even then, every little noise makes her do the Scooby-jump and dart back into the house. 

Drew is much braver at night to the point where Chooch has to put a harness on her now, just to be safe. Haha.

Meanwhile, inside the house, Henry actually hung the neon sign! I was floored that he got it up on the wall on the same day it came in the mail and didn’t leave it laying on the floor for 6 months like he did with the Mouse Attack sign. The reason I’m so astonished is because there’s no electrical outlet on that side of the wall and he had to actually install one — I didn’t ask any questions, but there was a lot of drilling involved. 

Henry was an electrician’s apprentice way back in the say, or so he says, and he apparently apprenticed his ass off because he’s definitely done a lot of electrical wizardry here in our house. 

But you guys, I am so thrilled with how the neon sign turned out. It really brings the whole room together and fulfills the vision I had from the very beginning! Without it, I think some people might have been like “how is this an 80s kitchen though” but now the vibes are real. The other day, Chooch and I blasted In the Air Tonight while standing in the kitchen and it for real for real felt like Sonny and Tubbs were going to come through.

In weekend book news, I tried to pare down my TBR but only managed to knock out Such a Fun Age. 

Then I dumped all of the photos I brought home 4 years ago from my grandparents’ house into photo boxes, so now I don’t have a giant, beat-up box, a giant wicker basket, and multiple plastic bags full of photos loafing on my bedroom floor anymore. I didn’t even bother to sort the photos – I just fucking dumped them into the boxes and called it a day. There are like 5 decades of pictures in there! Fuck that. 

Sunday morning, Henry came outside and sat down and I was like WHY AREN’T YOU WORKING ON ANYTHING and he said because he was eating breakfast and I was like BUT YOU HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING YET TODAY TO EARN A MEAL. 

Don’t worry, after he ate, we went to Construction Junction because really funny story (actually it’s boring): we somehow lost a drawer. No, not during this recent kitchen redo, but like, years ago. We’ve just always had a gaping hole in lieu of a drawer for literally as long as I can remember but I feel like it must have happened 10 years ago when I originally wanted to fix the kitchen and Henry never got any further than painting (very half-assedly) the drawers and cabinets a teal color. He kept saying that that one drawer must have “dropped down” during that time, whatever that means, but I think what really happened was that he took all the cabinets off and drawers out, and in the process he broke one and just didn’t care. 

We had a party a few years ago and someone jokingly pointed out the gaping drawer cavity and I was like, “Oh yeah, I always forget about that damn drawer.” Like, I just got SO USED to a drawer not being there that I stopped questioning it.

But this time around, I was like, “hey Henry….what are we going to do about that missing drawer?” I mean, we spent so much time fixing this stupid room, and then what…just leave that ugly gap there? Like the sink area lost a tooth? 

So we went to Construction Junction, which is like a home reuse place that is exciting to me for about 2 minutes and then I’m like, “Can we go now can we go now can we go now.” Anyway, Henry managed to find a drawer thingie that was the same size as the bigger drawers we have so he was like I CAN GET IT DOWN TO SIZE AND BLAH BLAH BLAH and I was like “That’s fine, whatever, can we go now can we go now can we go now” so went to the check out and guess how much it cost? FIFTY CENTS, BOY.

Compared to like, $60 that Lowe’s and Home Depot wanted for basically the same small slab of crappy wood.

Thanks, Construction Junction.

See the gaping hole over there? Like, who loses an entire drawer though. I think Henry is hiding something from me. Anyway, he already cut the drawer to size and it just needs painted, then we will have normal-people kitchen cabinets and drawers! I can’t even handle it. This is also the first time I’ve been able to take a picture of this side of the kitchen without feeling rage!

This is the current situation ^^^. VERY CLOSE to being done! The handles for the drawers came in the mail today and I put them on all by myself! We also are getting personal photos of ourselves from the 80s turned into small magnets for the fridge; we need a cover for the ceiling light (Henry has vetoed EVERY SINGLE ONE I HAVE SENT HIM); we have a small curtain to make for the door window using fabric that features illustrations of Robert Smith, David Bowie, Siouxsie Sioux, Adam Ant, and Cyndi Lauper which I’m very excited about!; and Henry still needs to figure out what he’s doing with that sweet-ass Conair telephone I bought from eBay. I think that’s mostly it. Oh! I want to make a shelf out of several books published in the 80s, which is why the neon sign isn’t centered (I’m sure that was making some people on Instagram twitch!) and I also left some space above the spice rack in case I stumble upon anything in the future that needs to live on the kitchen wall. You never know. 

Here’s what it looks like from the back porch:

When covid peaces out, I’m having a big house party because we put so much work in this damn space and I need my friends to come over and enjoy it with me!

The best part is that now that all the big stuff is finally done in the kitchen, Henry has been able to move onto other back-burnered projects, like the coffee table, which is finally painted and put back together, just without legs and without the finished top. Then maybe he can finally work on the Seoul subway sign?!?! (Except that we promised Chooch we would redo his room before school starts since he’s doing online school and needs a good space in which to do so since I will working from home until at least the end of October at this point.)

I hate that this summer has been filled with so many adult things, like gardening and going to Lowe’s. :(

Also on Sunday, we went to 350 Bakery on the Southside to grab some, well, baked goods. We totally double-dipped this weekend because I sent Henry there right when they opened on Saturday to get us some hand pies. I really wanted to try their homemade poptarts though so we swung by on the way home from boring Construction Junction. I stayed in the car, and when Henry came back empty-handed, I started to clench, which is my defense mechanism when confronting UTTER LETDOWN head on. Yeah, they were sold out of poptarts, so he just left the line? Like he didn’t even bother to ply me with consolation carbs? So we left and for a solid 5 minutes in the car I ranted about how he should know that when I AM MENSTRUATING, I fucking NEED SUGAR so he should have JUST BOUGHT SOMETHING ELSE and he was like “do you want me to go back” and I was like NO BECAUSE YOU NEVER SHOULD HAVE LEFT IN THE FIRST PLACE and so then he was like “OK we will continue to drive home” so I was like OH WOW IF YOU EVEN REALLY CARED ABOUT ME….so then he was like, “OK I am going back to this bakery no matter what you say, what do you want, something chocolate, or….” and I was like I DUNNO WHAT I WANT WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME DECIDE I AM SO SICK OF MAKING DECISIONS FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE JUST FUCKING CHOOSE SOMETHING FOR ME BUT CHOOSE WISELY BECAUSE IF YOU GET THE WRONG THING I FUCKING SWEAR TO GOD I WILL END YOU.

Anyway, great news! When it was his turn to enter the bakery (one customer at a time, plz), the girl behind the counter whispered to him that she found one extra poptart if he wanted it and he was like THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY FAKE MARRIAGE, BAKERY CLERK. And then she gave him a chocolate chip cookie for free so now he thinks he’s like big shit in the bakery circle.

I’m not even being melodramatic when I say that the poptart was fucking everything I needed and I’m actually kind of annoyed that I was generous enough to split it three-ways. 

That thing on the left is a chocolate babka which I’ve surprisingly never had before even though I am part-Polish and was born and raised in Pittsburgh but I am here to say that it was worth the 41 year wait. 

350 Bakery has a generic name, but their goods are anything but!

I’ve spent a lot of time outside this summer, reading books in the morning but I admittedly get distracted a lot because I like looking at all of our flowers and noting which ones have gone through massive growth spurts. Flowers are weird and fun. 

I’m excited to start planting shit earlier next year! We got a late start this season.

Well, that was my weekend. Boring house project things and baked goods. 

Aug 182020

Today is my FAVORITE KPOP IDOL’S birthday! Happy birthday G-Dragon! I will just be over here crying into these celebratory cupcakes from the Priory, hoping for a BIGBANG comeback sometime in the next decade. Sigh.

Also never forget when Henry happily posed for this picture in the cafe of G-Dragon’s pension last summer!

Aug 042020

I was up until 1am working on one (1!!) kitchen cabinet FML but I still woke up early to watch Taemin’s new video and I am super delirious & giddy, ugh my coworkers are probably thanking COVID right now because I have “be incredibly annoying” punched in on today’s agenda – I guess we know what I’ll be screaming about in my weekly meeting today.

So…a new Taemin video came out today and it’s also the first day in three weeks that I haven’t spent the morning walking half-hunched with a hurt back. Coincidence? NO – THE HEALING POWER OF TAEMIN!‬

Ugh. Taemin. I’ve waited a long time for this!

Aug 032020

Hello. I meant to write about last weekend, well, last week, but I get so one-track-minded sometimes that I wasn’t able to pull myself away from whatever other nonsensical bullshit I was doing, so here we are. And honestly, it’s not like I did much aside from – wait for it – kitchen bullshit. 

But here are the 2 standout points.

Wimbledon ’92

On Saturday, the ghost of Erin 1992 whispered in my ear, “Remember Wimbledon 1992…..” and suddenly I couldn’t get to my Roku fast enough. I NEEDED TO WATCH ANDRE AGASSI WINNING WIMBLEDON IN 1992. Because I’ve reached the next level of coronavirus which is: relive Andre Agassi’s first Wimbledon win on YouTube and cry like it’s 1992 and you still have a collection of Agassi-related newspaper clippings & drawings in a neon yellow see-through binder. What?

“Oh man, you have NO IDEA how much I loved Andre Agassi,” I moaned as Henry walked past me to go and do actual labor on the kitchen. (These fucking cabinets, man, lol oh god kill us.) 

“Um, yeah, actually, I do,” Henry scoffed, because apparently being with me for 20 years makes him an expert on my obsessive personality. 

I have a vague recollection of making congratulatory signs after Andre won and hanging them at the end of my street. Also, I posed this on Instagram and my friend Liz commented that she remembered my AA obsession fondly. We were really close in middle school and she got dragged down in a lot of my bullshit, like when I would listen to nothing but the cassingles for Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” and Sophie B Hawkin’s “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” (that b-side, good lord) in my walkman on our trip to Lake Chataugua or when we go to the movies and I would have to have an empty seat next to me in which to place my Paul Coffey hockey card because I had the hots for me, which is exactly how my dad would phrase it if you were to ask him, “How did Erin feel about Pittsburgh Penguins Paul Coffey in 1992?”

So yeah, I had the entire Wimbledon finals match on that day and felt all the emotions when Andre won (and also every time he lifted his shirt to wipe his face OH MY FUCKING GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD) and then all these other old tennis matches played on YouTube for pretty much the entire day because no one could be bothered to change it.

Erin Calls 911
Henry and I had just returned home from a Target run on Sunday afternoon. When we were crossing the street to our house, I was semi-aware of a man who had seemingly emerged from one of our neighbor’s driveways and had crossed the street. I didn’t really pay much attention to him, but Henry, who was outside still trying to get the paint off the cabinets, came inside and told me to look out the window. 
The man was still outside, right across from our house, and he was very clearly under the influence of…something. Pills? Heroin? It seemed much worse than alcohol. He kept taking things out of his pockets and dropping said things all over the sidewalk, one of the things was a pill bottle, which was empty as evidenced by the way nothing dropped out when he turned it upside down and shook it.
So then he started licking the inside of the bottle.
I see a lot of weird shit on the street and usually I’ll just let it go, but this guy looked like he was a danger to himself. At one point, he was walking in the middle of the street and cars were having to swerve around him — I don’t live on some sleepy suburban street, you guys. It’s a pretty busy thoroughfare and I definitely wouldn’t recommend taking a leisurely, impaired stroll down the center of it. 
So I called 911. Which is scary because I always hesitate to get the police involved in any situation because who the fuck knows if it will escalate, but hey – the subject of my call was a white man, so at least he had that going for him.
I kept my eye on him while waiting for the cops to arrive, and that man was a dumpster fire. His pants were falling down, he was swaying, picking stuff up off the ground, re-dropping the same stuff, examining the empty pill bottle….it was so fucking depressing to watch.
Anyway, the cops came and talked to him for awhile, then eventually cuffed and searched him. Finally, the paramedics rolled up and took him away. I mean, I’m sure that didn’t end up being in the magic wake-up call that he needed, but I can only hope that it prevented him from hurting himself or someone else, at least on that particular Sunday. 
I don’t like making assumptions, but I’m pretty positive this was a drug thing and I just can’t emphasize enough how much I fucking hate drugs. I hate seeing what they do to people and it scares me how all it takes is one wrong choice, or having a surgery and becoming dependent on pain meds, or maybe you made a new “friend” who likes to “party” and just one time won’t be enough to hurt you…Well, whatever the case it might be for the man on Pioneer, I hope that he’s able to find the support and strength to get sober. Because that was so depressing and disturbing to watch and I kind of want to throw up just remembering it. 
Well, on that somber note: ciao for now!
Jul 182020

Hi my fellow Taemints! It’s still technically Taemin’s birthday, so let’s celebrate!

Taemin is Drew’s bias, but he was mine first so I’m not afraid to get into a catfight over him!

I hope he’s having a wonderful birthday, resting, and eating lots of food! Also, his hyung Onew was recently discharged from the military, so I hope they got to spend time together!

On that note, I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! Listen to some Taemin today and make it even lovelier!

Jul 122020

When I was on my yacht rock kick last weekend, this old Benny Mardones video came on the YouTube playlist and I considered living the rest of my life in chastity, to be honest, because holy shit wow ew holy creepy predatorville. I used to LOVE this song when I was younger too and never actually saw the music video for it until maybe 10 years ago and I remember feeling shocked to the core, because if Benny Mardones was calling me up on a payphone, I 100% would change my number with a quickness.

Have I posted about this before? I feel like I may have. It’s nuts to think that there was ever a time when it was “ok” for something like this to exist! I guess when I was a teenager, I just shrugged off the lyrics? MAYBE I LIKED IT?


Shit. It all adds up.

Anyway, watch that video. Sweet dreams!

HOLY SHIT Henry just Wiki’d him and he just fucking died on June 29 of this year! And then he just screamed, “HE WAS 33 WHEN HE WROTE THAT SONG! ABOUT A 16 YEAR OLD!” As if Henry isn’t a cradle robber too.

Jul 122020

Today I am going to talk about the second half of the books I read in June. You know, similar to what the title of this blog post suggests.

9. Costalegre – Courtney Maum

Costalegre: A Novel Inspired By Peggy Guggenheim and Her Daughter

Admittedly, I didn’t look too much into this when I started reading it, but somewhere along the way, I had added it to my TBR and the cover is gorgeous, so at one point I had some interest in reading it?

This is inspired by Peggy Guggenheim and her daughter, and follows the 15-year-old daughter of an eccentric American heiress and art collector and a group of artists she has brought with her to her…secret? home in Mexico in order to hide and protect them from Hitler, who has issued a list of “cultural degenerates” right before the start of the war.

Sounds heavy, but it’s actually pretty light for the most part. The artists are, as expected, totally wack and have bizarre and tense rapport with each other, but the main theme of the book if the isolation and neglect experienced by the daughter, who is trying to figure out her own talents.

I thought this book had a lot of potential but it just sort of fell flat for me.

But again, THAT COVER THO!

10. The Chestnut Man – Søren Sveistrup

The Chestnut Man

As expected, I really enjoyed this one! It’s written by the creator of The Killing, the American version of which was one of my favorite TV shows of all time, I’m not even being dramatic here. The first two seasons aired on AMC back in the early 2010s, and as so many good shows do, got canceled. AMC was like FINE and brought it back for a third, but then canceled it again! There was more outrage until Netflix picked it up, but only for one more season, sadly. (Of course, those seasons weren’t as good, but still, I love this show so hard and would sometimes play it in the background while I was working, just for the comforting vibes of it.)

But yeah, this a really great Danish thriller which follows several characters, including two police officers/detectives who are begrudgingly paired up JUST LIKE THE KILLING. Ugh, and I had the audiobook playing too and the narrative had a great voice and this book just flew by for me.

It was thrilling and also scary at times, and I wasn’t able to solve it which actually always pisses me off when I do! This is just a great book and I’m looking forward to reading more by him, and also trying to find the original version of The Killing, which I have been putting off for too long now.

If you’ve never watched The Killing, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. I don’t think it’s on Netflix anymore, sadly, but I think Amazon Prime might have it? Fun fact: I automatically start crying when I hear the theme:

Oh for God’s sake, I just watched the last 4 minutes of the series finale on YouTube and I am full-on sobbing I hate myself.

11. In the Dream House – Carmen Maria Machado

In the Dream House: A Memoir

This was one of the most creative suckerpunch of a memoir, I swear to god. Carmen (who also narrates the audiobook and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT) uses a full arsenal of tropes and prompts to detail her years in an abusive same-sex relationship. There is even a Choose Your Own Adventure section of this book! It’s fun, which is strange to say given the extremely dark and triggering subject matter, but I kept finding myself doing the whole, “Just one more chapter. OK, one more” song-and-dance before bedtime, because I couldn’t wait to see what inventive narrative she was going to spring on me next.

I had a visceral reaction to this book, goosebumps through the whole thing. I bow down to Carmen Maria Machado. She makes me want to start writing again, and there is not much out there that does that for me anymore! All I could do was whisper “damn” when I read the last line, and then spent the next 30 minutes doing that post-cry body-racking sniffle.

Machado is a masterful writer, and I hate that she was exposed to such nastiness and abuse, but there was a moment toward the end of the book where I legit screamed OMG STFU and felt so goddamn happy for her. I can’t wait to read everything she writes.

Please read this. It’s, well, amazing. A solid 5-star for me.

12. Get a Life, Chloe Brown – Talia Hibbert

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1)

No. Romances in general aren’t my cuppa, but I gave this a shot because I kept seeing great reviews and there’s good representation in it, plus it’s British so I thought that would help. But I just DIDN’T CARE ABOUT EITHER OF THESE PEOPLE. And maybe I’m a dick, but the constant reminder that the guy had a long shiny curtain of red hair.

I hated this book. But I liked the cat. I wish there was more about the cat.

13. Freshwater – Akwaeke Emezi 


Definitely not a book for everyone. I tried to explain it to Henry and he was like “………” It follows a young Nigerian woman with multiple personalities, starting from her birth. Ada’s story is actually told from the perspective of the others living inside her, the “brothersisters” called Ogbanje, which are reincarnating spirits hat causes grief or pain.

It’s eerie and sad, and I am so glad that I read it even though I’m positive that I didn’t actually understand a lot of what was happening, it was powerful and something that I’ll think about a lot.

14. Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams


YES QUEENIE. I wish I had skipped Chloe Brown and just read this twice instead. So, I didn’t know much about this at all, but then I saw that it was compared to Bridget Jones’ Diary and I was like, “Oh no, I might not like this.” But it is so much heavier than that and actually quite disturbing at times. It follows Queenie, a young Jamaican British woman, trying to get back on her feet after “going on a break” with her long-term boyfriend. Through a series of REALLY irresponsible sexual exploits, Queenie’s whole world starts to crumble and as a reader, you’re over here shouting, “QUEENIE, NO! YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT! PLEASE RESPECT YOURSELF!” I actually saw a lot of reviews on YouTube calling this book problematic, but I thought it was kind of honest too. I mean, I can remember when I broke up with my first long-term boyfriend, Psycho Mike – I went wild, man. At the time, I thought I was filling a void, or “trying out what I couldn’t have before,” but looking back, I was like, “Shit, where was my self respect!?”

So I get where those people are coming from, but I also think that this kind of reaction to a huge life change is, well, not normal, but not uncommon and it shows that sometimes people truly need to hit rock bottom before they can begin their triumph ascent, and I felt that this is what happened with Queenie.

Sure, there were times when I wanted to slap her for being so obtuse and oblivious to her own well-being and the problems of her friends, but mostly, I loved her as a character and just wanted the best for her! And her friends (The Corgis) were all so different and hilarious, and they REALLY not only held Queenie up as a person, but also as a book. There is also a healthy dose of Black Lives Matter woven in as well, as Queenie’s ex-boyfriend is white and some of the interactions she had with his family…well. You can imagine.

I can’t wait for whatever Candice Carty-Williams does next!

15. How We Fight For Our Lives – Saeed Jones

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir

I’ve been accidentally reading a lot of memoirs lately and I don’t know why! It’s hard to rate memoirs because it’s someone’s life, you know? But this was another really great and poignant read. Saeed Jones is a writer for Buzzread, I believe, and he details in this book what it’s like to not only grow up black in the south, but also gay. From the time he’s in elementary school to going off to college, you really get to watch him come out in increments. Definitely hard and uncomfortable to read at times as he details the ways he essentially seeks out derogation and abuse in the bedroom (he is nearly killed at one point), but the second half of the book focuses a lot on his relationship with his mother and BITCH I KNEW I WAS GONNA CRY.

Saeed Jones is a gift.

16. Black Girl Unlimited – Echo Brown

Black Girl Unlimited

Another book that I had no idea what I was getting into when I started reading it but was pleasantly surprised! I just thought it was a YA novel about a girl who was training to be a wizard but OH SHIT SON this book is apparently semi-autobiographical and it is at most times dark AF and hits HARD in nearly every chapter. At a certain point, you realize that the wizardry aspect of the book is how the main character, her mother, and several other female characters cope with trauma.

And there is a lot a trauma in this book. Drugs, sexual abuse, poverty. Echo spent so much of her childhood trying to keep her mom alive, protect her younger brothers, and maintain good grades—I rooted for hard for her. This book *might* be considered YA but I think it’s an important read for adults too.


Well that’s what I read in June. Sorry if these book posts are boring but I like to do this because I always forget what I read and if I liked it and for some reason I never feel like writing reviews on Goodreads, oh right, because I’m not good at writing reviews!

Jul 022020

I thought this was just going to be a normal Thursday. I woke up at 7 like normal, had my standard bowl of cinnamon Life while listening to Saints & Misfits (audio books are easier for me to handle while eating!).

Then I exercised and afterward, since it’s my late shift and I don’t have to log on until 11, I went outside and read some more of Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line (always have an audio book and e-book going on in Pandemic Times).

Meanwhile, I received an email from the library saying that I had a book to pick up!! My local library is one of five Carnegie Library branches that recently implemented curbside pickup, so at 9:50am, I threw on my mask and made Chooch accompany me to the boulevard for some library social distancing action. On the way there, the former owner of the local Greek restaurant who now hangs out in front of Pitaland told me he likes my tattoo (the Marcy one, natch) which made Chooch groan because he hates when I get complimented.

Then, I didn’t understand how curbside pickup works (I was apparently supposed to call first and let them know I was coming so that the librarian could get my books ready, oops, lol) which resulted in me struggling to small-talk the library security guard while I was waited for my books, but then conversation came natural when we determined we were both aligned in the WEAR A FUCKING MASK stance, so we bitched to each other about how selfish some Americans are and how we just want things to be normal too but we also want people to be safe, which somehow segued into him telling me that he’s part Cherokee descent and has type 2 diabetes but takes care of himself and has been getting stuff done around the house, and then my books came out in a paper bag but he kept talking and I couldn’t hear everything he was saying because we were standing 6 feet apart, both wearing masks, and there was traffic.

But it was still nice to talk to a person! Chooch rolled his eyes when I said, “Thanks for the chat!” and I secretly rolled my eyes at myself too because since when do I say things like that? Quarantine has turned me into a middle-age person.

Then! A block away, some guy stopped us and asked, “Where is the cell phone place? I need to get my cell phone fixed” and we were like, “Um, we’re standing right next to it” and he acted like we saved his life, so that was a real boost.

Then! A few minutes after we returned home, I had just sat down with my coffee and a handful of pistachios when someone knocked on my door. I immediately panicked because WHO?!!? If it’s just a delivery, they only knock once to announce the presence of the package (which is usually something boring for Henry) and then retreat, but after the knock, I noted that there WAS A SILHOUETTE on the porch.

I stole a peek out of the front window and saw that it was a lady, dressed in casual attire. So, not a constable serving me papers or the gas company ready to fuck up my day. (YOU NEVER KNOW.) I gingerly opened the door and squeaked out a hello because OMG STRANGER ON MY PORCH. (Meanwhile, we have a fucking security camera that I could have accessed immediately from my phone and I am only now thinking of this three hours later.)

“Hi,” she said nicely and not in a stern, “I AM HERE TO MAKE A CITIZENS ARREST” Karen-tone. “You dropped these over by the post office on the boulevard, and we were already out walking anyway, so we walked over here,” she said, nodding toward her male walking partner pacing on the sidewalk.

He waved.

I took what was in her hands and realized immediately that it was a stack of EVERY SINGLE FUCKING PIECE OF ID AND CREDIT CARD I HAD IN MY WALLET, which I had apparently not zipped up all the way after showing the security guard my ID outside of  the library so he could attempt to locate my books himself which he obviously couldn’t since the librarian hadn’t pulled since I didn’t know how to FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS AND CALL THE LIBRARY AHEAD TO SCHEDULE MY PICK-UP and do we see now how the dominoes are so sensitive to the touch!?

I had no idea that I had been dropping pieces of my life along the boulevard like the most valuable breadcrumbs, but thank god someone honest got to them first! And yes, everything is there, even my LIBRARY CARD THANK GOD.

Anyway, I felt so bad because as usual I have no cash on my person because I would have liked to have given her something for her good deed, and now I’m kicking myself because I realize that I had several Starbucks giftcards in that stack that she returned to me and I should have given her one! But my luck, it would have been the one that had 4 cents left on it.

So, in order to pay it forward, I will make a donation to a charity today. Not sure which one yet. I will put lots of good thinks into it!

And then, around 11:30, my phone rang. It was a local number and I was like OH GOD WHAT NOW but I answered it because it could have been work-related (I have reluctantly been answering my phone a lot more now that I’m working from home; that’s not going too well).

Turns out, it was some postal clerk from the Castle Shannon post office.

OK, flaskback:

So last week, I won an eBay auction for a collection of Korean-import cassettes (featuring Duran Duran, Toto, and Pat Benatar, lol) because, well, just because. Anyway, tracking said it was delivered on Saturday but NOT TO MY HOUSE, IT WASN’T. So I filed a report and now some weird guy from the Castle Shannon post office is “investigating” this and when he called today, he said he actually WENT TO THE HOUSE it was delivered to, to see if he could retrieve it, but no one was home. He asked me if they brought it me (literally it’s a house a block away so you would think, but no).

I told him this much, and he got super serious. “OK. I’m going to go back there and see what I can do. Hang in there.”

I hung up and couldn’t stop laughing because it’s just some cassettes that cost me $6.50, but I mean, the value that my heart has for them is priceless, so.

Actually, I just had a dream last night that I went to find the package myself, and I traced them back to some shitty park that was also half-garbage dump in my neighborhood (which could actually exist) and as it turned out, this is a dumping ground for all sorts of misplaced mail and I FOUND MY PACKAGE–it was ripped open but the tapes were safely stowed inside, so I covertly tucked the package under my arm and tiptoed away before someone could catch me….catch me what? Stealing back my own package? I guess so.

Then I had…relations…with some guy from high school who I 100% forgot existed and was a total nerd-alert, and I can’t even remember his last name, so clearly my missing package of Korean import cassettes is really taking a toll on me and all sorts of subconscious levels.* I’m so excited.

*(This was still part of my dream, thanks! NOT A CONTINUATION OF THINGS I DID TODAY BEFORE NOON.)

Jun 292020

Hello. I’m off today. Here are some updates.

8:00am Breakfast & Book:

Not pictured: me vacuuming up the dirt from the succulent Penelope knocked over while chasing her tail on a windowsill.

9:00am: Exercise Around the World Time!

Kukuwa African Dance Fitness!

Leila Isaac Bellydance Abs!

Give Me Five Thailand Kpop Dance Fitness!

10:00am: Porch Hangs with Wet Hair Kid

“I’m taking pictures of everything I do on my day off.”

“Wow. That’s so cool,” Chooch said dryly.

Then he ditched me for Blake so it became Solo Porch Hangs until the sun started burning my arm so then it became Couch Hangs as I read more of my book.

11:30am: Morning Snack

Half pink grapefruit, longan, dates.

Not pictured: me scouring Chooch’s garbage dump bedroom in search for his swim trunks so he can go swimming over Haley’s dad’s house; also I finished my book.

Also not pictured: Me walking into Drew’s trajectory as she attempted to leap from the stool to the coffee table, resulting in her giving my right calf a nice deep scratch, and then having to clean up a container of cat treats which she knocked off the dining room table. This is a great day off work so far!!

Furry terror.


Henry sits amidst the cat playground.

Not pictured: Henry is also unable to locate Chooch’s swim trunks.


I was bored and did a kickbox abs workout on Popsugar and now I’m eating a salad which henry had to help me with before leaving to go back to work. I’m relaxing and starting “Patsy,” because I just realized it’s due to be returned in 2 days—ugh library deadlines! Keeping me under pressure!! I love to be stressed.


After spending most of the 2:00 hour researching side dishes around the world for our unAmerican 4th of July celebration (I mean, it’s only gonna be the three of us), I wanted a chai latte and made the mistake of walking to Muddy Cup, where the new-to-me young girl working was not wearing a mask, so that’s cool, and also I forgot that Muddy Cup uses that shitty liquid chai premix that Starbucks uses so it was not great.

You can tell by how light the color is!! Gross.

Oh well, at least I got in some steps. I guess now I will read some more.

4:30ish: IKEA TEXTS

Henry is at IKEA getting shit for the kitchen and I’m outside texting him more things to get while watching this lady spending the last 10 minutes examining my neighbor’s refuse:

She has gone through every drawer three times like she’s looking for a hidden cameo or treasure map.

Oh shit! I just realized what she’s doing. She’s removing all the handles/knobs. Fuck. I wish I had thought to do that.


But I’m wearing my favorite Cure shirt :)


Chooch still hasn’t returned from swimming (in soccer shorts because his swim trunks have mysteriously disappeared without a trace; look for the upcoming made-for-Lifetime movie, is Lifetime even still a TV channel?) and Henry is still “at IKEA” allegedly never mind he just called me and he’s almost home thank god because Drew and I are attention STARVED.

(Penelope has been crashed out in Chooch’s room all day and could give a shit about what the rest of us are doing, so.)

Update! Henry is home with the IKEA stuff and when he was unloading everything into the house, TOURETTES came ambling last and spent a long time looking at this garbage:

Then! He had a conversation with HNC!!

He used to live in the house next to HNC and they are still friendly, I guess. I think I heard HNC call him Dave, who would have thought he has an actual name??!!


Henry uses frozen cauliflower as the base for my smoothie bowls and it’s a freaking game changer.



Also, I know this is shocking but it’s time for more exercise! But more specifically, ITS JILLIAN TIME!

(I’m an exercise addict; there were some I didn’t even account for on here today lol ugh my life is so rich.)


Ok, I’m going to spend the rest of the night watching Booktube and eating fruit, and also getting on Henry’s nerves with my unAmerican 4th of July non-celebration.

Here he is on Amazon looking for a knopfli sieve in preparation for the weekend lol.

(Apparently he just needs a ricer which is funny because someone recently asked me at work if henry used one and I was like THE FUCK IF I KNOW, SON. Guess I have my answer now.)