Dec 222020
 

*because according to my housemates, I am apparently super snippy and mean while reading but ok then STOP BEING LOUD AND DISRUPTIVE AROUND ME AND MAYBE I WONT HAVE TO YELL AT YOU?!?!

You guys, I did it! I completed my 200 book challenge last night and wow it was anticlimactic. I mean, what was I expecting to happen though? G-Dragon knocking on my door with a bouquet of his coveted Paranoise Nikes? Publishers Clearinghouse rolling up with local news crews to present me with a gigantic Barnes and Noble gift card? My local library revealing their secret portal to South Korea for my exclusive use?

Chooch replied to my I DID IT text with “oml” and I’m sure he’s irritated because he’s the one who egged me on probably thinking I’d fail because he clearly has learned nothing about me in 14 years.

And Henry didn’t say anything because he was already in bed and wouldn’t care anyway because whut r bookz.

Was it rewarding? Sure I guess. I mean I read a lot (clearly) of really great books that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. And what else would I have been doing anyway? I can’t go anywhere! But speaking of, I read a ton of books set in other countries and that sort of helped scratch the travel itch. I guess.

Will I do it again? Nope. Back to leisurely reading. I mean, I really am a fast reader but I was picking up another book as soon as I closed the one before it and I would like to have some free time back in case I choose to just lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling. And I have a ton of kdramas to catch up on now that I’m not too tired to read subtitles!

Some people I follow on Booktube read more than this every year, no challenge required, and those people are the real MVPs.

I’d like to round up my top 10 favorite books I read this year (2 of them are from this month!!) and perhaps bake book-shaped cookies and then decorate each one with its respective book cover?! SHOULD I? Henry and Chooch both emphatically said no because I hate baking and cookie decorating makes me angry, but I feel like that’s a level of Shit Show perfect for sending off 2020. Right?

(It might have to be a bakers dozen though because I’m having a hard time narrowing it down to just 10! I read some real winners!)

Dec 152020
 

I’m pleased to report that I have no complaints regarding this past weekend. I mean, Chooch and I still bickered like elementary school aged siblings (HE IS SO ANNOYING AND FRUSTRATING!!!) while getting pictures done for our Christmas card, but everything else went swimmingly and I was in a mild (as opposed to “milk” which I originally types) mood ALL WEEKEND.

The key was that we got the pictures taken first thing in the morning and with that out of the way, and 1/2 of the Christmas card designed, I felt AMAZING AND FREE. I feel like we haven’t sent out holiday cards in a few years (maybe we just skipped last year, but in terms of 2020, all past years seem even farther away in history) and I just thought it would be nice because there’s not much for people to look forward to these days so why not give them something to open that’s not junk mail?

(Well, coming from me, some people MIGHT consider it junk mail!)

Plus, supporting the USPS even though they are SO ANNOYING and as an Etsy seller, they fucking piss me off numerous times a month, and last weekend I allegedly got a package delivered but, BITCH WHERE? Ain’t no package on my porch! I even remembered seeing the mail lady (we always have a different person on Saturdays – it’s so inconsistent and in fact, I haven’t seen our regular weekly mail guy since over the summer when I filed a complaint after he delivered my KOREAN CASSINGLE IMPORTS to some other house and now I am out $6!!! Maybe he actually kept them and then asked for a route change before I stepped into my gum shoes and solved the case!!!

Remember how I told you that I am a squirrel lady now? Well, it hasn’t gotten any better. Saturday night, Henry was in the kitchen baking cookies (and dancing to Super Junior and Taemin with a dish towel slung over his shoulder!). I went in at one point to taste the glaze he made (he went for a reprise of his 2015 Pittsburgh Blogger Cookie Exchange award winning zucchini jalapeno shortbread with lime glaze) and while I was in there BUDDY THE SQUIRREL CALLED OUR CAT DREW ON THE (DISCONNECTED) LANDLINE!!!!

That night in bed, I said to Henry, “Remember when Buddy called Drew on the landline but she told me to tell him she’d call him back because she just woke up and had to stretch first? But when she called him back, his mom said he was already asleep in his tree house?”

There was a bit of a pause and I thought Henry had fallen asleep, but then he said (with a bit of disgust in his tone, might I add!), “…no. YOu need help.”

“Hopefully he doesn’t call back too early in in the morning,” was the last thing I said before falling asleep. Life as a squirrel lady is very exhausting!

Sunday was v. exciting! We (lol “we”) started painting the walls going upstairs and in the upstairs hallway (if you can call it that, it’s like a block with three doors). My endgame is to turn that little space into a sitting area/Instagram corner. We bought fake plant wall panels to put up there along with a neon lips sign, and the center piece will by my Robert Smith self-portrait that has lived above the couch since 1999 but will hopefully be replaced with that MOTHERFUCKING SEOUL SUBWAY SIGN at some point.

I just had this idea on a whim and Henry actually started it without me hounding and I realized that it’s probably because he figures if he’s working on a new project, that’s more time for him to stall out on the Seoul subway sign. I wasn’t born yesterday!

Anyway, I’ve always had this metal shelf at the top of the steps. It’s in the shape of a wave, and I think I got it from Pier 1, also I realized this morning that I’ve actually had it since I was in high school; when Henry was taking it apart, he was like, “WHO PUT THIS TOGETHER?!?!?” and I just shrugged–I mean, it’s survived four moves since the mid-90s but I can’t remember anyone ever taking it apart. Anyway, he said he can’t believe it was even still standing because half the screws were barely in it, lol, that sounds about right. We’re going to give it a makeover and use it on the back porch but it REALLY needed to be cleaned off because it had become a dumping ground for stuff over the years. Let me put it in these terms for you: that shelf has been collecting stuff for so long, that there was A LOVE LETTER on it that Psycho Mike wrote to me in 1997!!!

Yes, he’s psycho, but I’m a pack rat.

I’m really excited for this space to be completed because it’s going to be so much fun. I’m going to move my Cure chair out there and I’m repainting a small table so it can be a little sitting area. I dunno who will ever actually sit there, but the option is there, is all I’m saying.

For lunch, we got banh mi takeout from Bae Bae’s Cafe, which is in danger of closing because of the pandemic and I’m really sad about this and determined to order more from them. They JUST OPENED around a month before the pandemic hit the US so they never really had a chance to live up to their full potential. Their mother shop, Bae Bae’s, is doing OK I guess? But it would be a shame to see their cafe close down because their tofu banh mi is amaze, and they are really the only place in Pittsburgh that offers bingsu. Also, it IS A FUCKING DREAM INSIDE THAT PLACE. 

It was also pint pickup day from Sugar Spell! I’ve been so happy to be able to support local places during the pandemic, and we’ve built such a good rapport with the couple who own this place (they are so sweet) and also the proprietors of Zenith, which has been our other go-to for takeout this year. I really miss going to both of these places in person (especially Zenith because it’s a whole-ass experience, you have no idea, come visit me after we’re all vaccinated and I’ll take you there and you’ll see, and this is always my favorite season to eat there because they go ape with their Xmas decor!)

Even the cats are like FUCK YEAH SUGAR SPELL!

All three of these flavors are winners.

In other weekend news, I finished season 4 of The Crown and for someone who was never a big follower of the Royal escapades, I was for sure a big Diana fan and remember crying HARD when she was killed (and only a bit over a month after my beloved Gianni Versace!). Man, that actor who played Diana was so good. I came for the Diana stuff and stayed for the bitchin’ 80s soundtrack. (Ultravox, The Cure, Duran Duran? Perf.)

It’s funny the memories we retain from big events in our lives, but of all the things I remember most about my first overseas trip with my grandparents when I was 10 was being on the plane home from London and one of the flight attendants asking, “What’s that book you have there, Royal Homes?” and when I held it up to show her the cover of the book I chose from the Kensington Palace gift shop, she exclaimed, “Oooh, Haunted Royal Homes!” and nodded approvingly. I heard her voice in my head SO CLEARLY every time they mentioned Kensington Palace on The Crown, but can I remember the actual tour of the palace? FUCK NO.

(I also remember walking down the hallways of the hotel with my arms straight out in front of me in case there were ghosts there holding knives, and having a fried egg on a burger at a restaurant called Monique’s, before hipsters made that a thing in the States.)

(OMG I know I’m a vegetarian, but I’m not ashamed to admit that my mouth just spontaneously gleeked at the memory of that burger and I can ACTUALLY TASTE THE NON-HEINZ BUT EQUALLY DELICIOUS KETCHUP-LIKE SAUCE THAT WAS ON IT.)

OK, before I fall off the wagon, I’m going to go walk off this strange onset of meat lust. Peace out, bro-skis.

Dec 072020
 

Listen, Linda. I haven’t been too excited about the end of the year Korean awards shows ever since BIGBANG has been hiatus, but Taemin performed at the MAMA Awards so I had to watch. I had to support him, even though I don’t support these dumb award shows because, if you’ll allow me to take a page from the TRUMP PLAY BOOK, “THEY’RE RIGGED, IT’S NOT FAIR!”

Honestly though you should do yourself a favor and watch this. It’s like, 8 minutes out of your life. That’s not a lot!

I’ll be back later with a proper weekend update, which was originally on my agenda for tonight (lol at the notion of me having an agenda) but then I was inspired to make another Christmas card for the shop, I went on walk, I talked to my mom, and I watched some episodes of The Crown. What a thrilling evening!!

Nov 292020
 

Good afternoon, people of the Internet. Today’s post is about the time I splurged on a Selina Sanders handmade shirt made from a vintage dishtowel because it reminded me so much of my Pappap’s game room carpet and general aesthetic. I could imagine these dish towels being used in one of the bar areas. (There were two – “too excessive” was not in my Pappap’s vocab.)

Anyway, I paid like $120 for this damn shirt thinking that it would be nice to wear in the fall when we returned to work – LOL such pure, wholesome thinking! We obviously have still not returned back to the office and the dressiest I get these days are when I swap my sweatpants for jeans but keep the hoodie.

My hair wasn’t looking too rat-nesty today so I asked Chooch to take some pictures of me wearing this dumb shirt so I could at least kind of get some use out of it and it’s still fall, so….

And you can imagine how thrilled he was!

One time a few years ago, I was on a walk while screaming at Henry about something over the phone and didn’t realize that there were people working on this balcony thingie that I posing under. I think about that every time I walk past this place because those worker guys exchanged “wheeeeeeew-eeeeee, better him than me!” glances.

Chooch is obsessed with the shrubbery in this yard and never fails to openly admire it every time we stroll past.

“Sit like your leg is broken.”

Obligatory jump shot.

I have a really hard time standing with my arms at my side. I always want them to be akimbo or waving like mattress store inflatable man thingies:

Air Dancers® Custom Inflatable Tube Man | Banners, Signs, Flags & More

I’m kind of annoyed because I have a pair of boots that would have looked much better with this outfit but they’re under my desk at work, in a box with like 9 other pairs of shoes. Where they have been languishing since March.

It’s very hard for me to be on this side of the lens, you guys, you have no idea. And also hard for the person taking the pictures! Chooch was just like, “OMG YOU LOOK OK STOP.”

But then this happened and it’s 100% the BEST PICTURE ANYONE HAS EVER TAKEN OF ME. This effing bird came out of nowhere and Chooch and I both screamed so hard. It flew by so fast that it only registered as a blip on the live version of this picture which is insane. Henry originally thought it was a hawk but then obsessed over it for 30 minutes and is going with sparrow as his final answer. I put it on Instagram, so I’m sure all the high strung ornithologists will trip over themselves to “Actually…” him. GOOD!

Nov 202020
 

Dear Internet Diary,

I’m extremely unorganized when it comes to photos, which is awful when it comes to preservation but also fun when I randomly come across one when I’m digging in a drawer for a pen or safety pin or the glasses that I never wear. Here are some that I unearthed recently which I thought would be fun to share since the only other things I have to talk about right now are the recipes I’ve chosen for Henry to make for Thanksgiving, Taemin/SHINee stuff, and my continuously rising ire at people who STILL REFUSE TO WEAR A FUCKING MASK. I just…I can’t do it today. So let’s look at some old ass pictures, spanning various decades of shitty hairstyles!

  1. THE OBLIGATORY WILDWOOD SHOT

You guys. I remember this like it was yester-fucking-day and not OMG 1988. It was taken at my beloved Wildwood, New Jersey on one of my family’s summer vacations. Every night after dinner, we would go to the boardwalk, specifically Morey’s Piers, for some junk food and ride action. Here are some things I would like to point out about this photo:

  • I had just gotten my hair cut that summer and it was a huge deal because my hair is pretty long prior to this, and I got bangs too which was MAJOR YOU GUYS. I remember getting my hair done at a salon called Shear Talent which was down the street from my Pappap’s drywall company. This is notable because it was located next to an apartment that OLYMPIC WRESTLER KURT ANGLE* lived in sometime in the 90s and I know that this is true because my dad worked for the gas company and had to go there to like, read the meter or fix something back then, I don’t know. But he came home and was so excited and I was like “Oh.”
    • *I cared so little about this that I originally put “Engler” as his last name and then decided to google to make sure I even had the right guy. I did. That’s him.
  • My dad and Ryan and those other people are looking up because the boardwalk’s famous looping coaster, The Sea Serpent, had gotten stuck with people on it and this was major news because it was the 80s and we didn’t have Twitter and a psychotic president abusing it, and also maybe all the serial killers were on sabbatical.
  • *waves back to the stranger lady*
  • I fucking loved that shirt that I was wearing. I have no idea why I liked it so much.
  • This was the year I started to get fat and ugly.

2. Erin Rachelle Kelly, Babysitter Extraordinaire

From the looks of this picture, I would wager to say it was the summer of 1996. It was definitely taken in my mom’s living room and I can promise you that the camera had the timer set and was propped up on her antique roll-top desk. Here are some things I remember:

  • That broad (lol, we were like 16 but OK, Erin) in the middle is the KERI THAT WAS MENTIONED A FEW BLOG POSTS AGO WHEN I WAS V. MAD THAT JASON VOORHEES CHOSE HER OVER ME. And that’s her  then-boyfriend Dan who liked me first but I went on one date and passed him on to Keri, who ended up dating him for quite some time (I mean, probably like 6 months which was the equivalent to like 5 years in high school time) and then one time I had a little get together like almost a year after this picture was taken and he was there and seriously you guys I’m pretty sure he was on his way to sexually assaulting me when I was drunk and the only thing that stopped him was my friends Justin and Jon opening the door to the laundry room (the same one where I found out Gionni Versace was killed!!) and seeing that he had me pushed against the wall, at which point they escorted him out of my house and Justin drove him home. I ill never forget that.
  • I was definitely supposed to be babysitting my brothers here and I still can’t believe that my mom ever trusted me to babysit.
  • There’s a similar picture floating around somewhere in which my brothers are holding butcher knives.
  • I was the Overall Queen in the 90s.
  • Might try to bring back the “showing off the bruise on my thigh” pose.

3. If It Doesn’t Taste Good…

OK this is really bizarre because I have zero recollection of this photo but Chooch found it in his room when we were rearranging it a few months ago. I know that this was obviously from the vacation I was on that summer with my grandparents and Sharon but I’m not sure where exactly we were here, and I only vaguely remember the people here but I’m sure I could pull out one of y vacation journals to fact check, but that would almost imply that I’m a legit blogger and come on, we all know it’s “half-assed of GTFO” over here in these parts. There’s a bunch of fun facial expressions we can expound upon but when I first found this picture, my immediate response was to scream because that gentleman standing in the middle was the greatest. I believe his name was John and he and his wife really took a liking to my Pappap so they would often join us at our table for travel group dinners.

This man gave me the GREATEST advice of all time, and I think about it A LOT:

If it doesn’t taste good, put cheese on it.

I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have attempted to make food for myself and, after the first inaugural taste/forced swallow, I’d grab the parmesan out of the fridge door and give my plate a hearty sprinkling.

I tried to tell Chooch this story but he peaced out as soon as I said “Europe with my grandparents” because he hates hearing stories about my silver spooned childhood.

4. RICOLA

One of my best childhood memories was the time I turned 11 in Switzerland (Chooch is burying his head under a pillow right now). I was V.SHY then (I came out of my shell by 7th grade) and so, when the MC of the dinner theater thingie we were attending asked for volunteers to blow on the Ricola horn (honestly I have no idea what that thing is actually called but it’s in the Ricola cough drop commercials!), my grandparents and Sharon nearly shit their pants when I raised my hand.

It might have been my first YOLO moment!? I dunno, but to this day I prefer Ricola over everything else.

(Fun fact: I also received a birthday scroll from the restaurant that night, which is framed and still hanging in my house after all these years.)

(That’s a lie: It was hanging up until a month ago when we painted the dining room and still needs to be re-hung.)

5. Staircase Model

I know this is really crazy that I’m giving you all of these facts about myself on a blog that has my name in it, but here’s another:

I guess my aunt Sharon was trying to distract me of the impending birth of my brother Ryan which directly correlates with the RUINATION OF MY LIFE (j/k, I love my brother but I also really loved being an only child) when she took me to open auditions for some child modeling / acting agency. Apparently, she thought I would be automatically accepted since I already had like 4 years of posing in every single new outfit she bought for me.

I have no idea what happened to me, aside from the fact that my genes dictated my path and lead me straight to Homelyville, but now that I am an adult, I cannot pose for a picture to save my fucking life. But back then, I was SO GOOD at the arms akimbo/hip-jut combo. Now I just look like the entire precinct shouted SMILE!! while I was preparing for my mugshot.

Anyway, I wanted to include this picture in particular because I HAVE ROLLS OF THAT WALLPAPER NOW! The pattern is made from velvet or something and I can’t wait to do something with it.

***

Actually now that I look at these, I had bangs in every single one and now I feel like I want bangs agai—NO ERIN *SLAPS FACE* YOU DON’T WANT BANGS.

Nov 172020
 

Hello. Welcome to another edition of “weekend?” or “just another random lump of weekdays?” It was OK. Nothing exciting. I mean, what do we expect to happen on weekends during a pandemic, anyway?

Henry had been on “vacation” the prior week, so I’m not sure if he was treating the weekend like his last chance to live it up before returning to work, or if it was more of a COUNTDOWN to returning to work, because that was A LOT of “at home time” with me and Chooch. He got a lot of work done on various projects (FINISHED NONE THOUGH) and that just kind of bled into the weekend.

I went with him to Lowe’s on Saturday, where he made me languish in what has to be a contender for the Most Boring Aisle in the World. Then I asked him what he needed these alleged “hooks & eyes” for and that just elevated my boredom to Snooze Level, my god.

But I guess he needed shit in order to hang up my giant Seoul subway sign (and by that I don’t mean “hang on the wall” but “hang from the basement rafters” because he’s not anywhere near finishing this bitch yet) which he got a moderate amount of work done on over his “vacation week.” Here is a video of him working on it Friday night while listening to 2nd generation Kpop (aka the best kpop):

https://www.instagram.com/p/CHjRELph2UP/

Side note: if you’re ever like, “Aw, I really miss seeing people’s noses” during Covid Days, just go to Lowe’s. Lots of fucking dumbasses with their schnozzes hanging out of their masks. Fucking assholes.

I pretty much spend every day soapboxing about this bullshit country. It’s gonna be wild when I’m an old lady one day, telling my grandkids about the time selfish people in America cried like bitches over having to cover their big fat faces with a piece of fabric. FABRIC.

Assuming the anti-maskers don’t kill me first.

I’m pretty sure I spent a large portion of the weekend, when I wasn’t micromanaging Henry, ranting about Covid-19 and the stupidity of half the country. PLEASE STAY HOME FOR THANKSIVING!!! DO NOT BE SELFISH. I get it – some people are very close to their families (can’t relate) and not spending a holiday together feels like it could kill you but guess what, spending the holiday together ACTUALLY COULD KILL YOU OR THEM. I’m so glad that I generally don’t have holiday obligations and I truly do feel bad for those who do, but please be smart about this.

It stresses me out so much you guys that I have been having covid nightmares, such as Saturday night when I dreamt that I went to dinner at Bob Evans and they sat me at a table that was super close to another table, so I tried to move my table away and the people at the other table got super offended and then I suddenly had this lucid moment inside my dream where I realized that I was at a restaurant after I spent the last nine months preaching about how people shouldn’t eat in restaurants during the pandemic, and I could feel, inside my dream, the blood rushing to my face because OMG I’M A HYPOCRITE AND WHAT WILL MY INTERNET FRIENDS THINK OF ME NOW and also SERIOUSLY, I CHOSE BOB EVANS OF ALL PLACES??

Anytime I have ever eaten at Bob Evans, it’s looked like a nursing home field trip up in that piece.

Sunday was really dreary for most of the day, and then by late afternoon, it cleared up but a really scary windstorm kicked up and I started to Final Destination’ing the situation and decided it was time to retreat back to the house before a street sign became dislodged and decapitated us.

I don’t even know what else to say. I’m depressed. LOL, aren’t we all. I’m gonna slap myself in the face a few times and maybe squirt some whipped cream in my mouth until I gag. And then who knows maybe my next post will be more exciting. But I doubt it.

Here’s a new Taemin performance from his recent promotions. All I can say is thank god for Kpop because it’s really keeping me afloat these days.

Nov 142020
 

 I always think a lot about my journey through vegetarianism when holiday season is upon us. I guess a lot of it is because I was always the “burden” at family dinners so I gotta admit, I’m not really all that sad about keeping the holidays to just us three this year. Anyway, this is also the time when I get asked the most why I don’t eat meat (I mean, back when I actually interacted with people) so I felt like it would be a good time to resurrect this old piece I wrote six years ago for a Pittsburgh blogger writing event thingie.

So yeah…

Dont Ask Me About Tofu

When people ask me about why I became a vegetarian, I’m sure they’re braced for some PETA-scripted canned response about choosing not to eat anything with a face, or some granola manifesto about health benefits. But my vegetarianism story was born from sheer stubbornness.

My mom wasn’t a bad cook, but I hated her pork chops. Naturally, this was the meal she seemed to make the most when I was growing up. They were just so dry and worthless, and always laying on my plate in some hideous, mocking, splayed-out fashion; all the apple sauce in the world couldn’t make them go down any easier.

Finally, at age 16, I snapped. Maybe a regular kid would have faked a pork chop allergy, but I chose a different route to get out of choking down those hunks of dry rot: I just wasn’t going to eat meat at all. Ever. Not even Slim Jims or bacon bits.

My parents saw this as a huge joke, something new to heckle me about, to place bets upon. “Oh look, Erin wants attention from us again!” They were used to this behavior from me. Once, I vowed to eat nothing but Welch’s grape popsicles because I was trying to get a hospital admittance to avoid going on vacation with my Aunt Sharon (who is crazier than me). But I stopped after a few days because no one was paying attention, and I ran out of Welch’s grape popsicles.

My vegetarianism was basically just another Welch’s Grape Popsicle episode as far as my parents were concerned, and they egged me on in all of the worst possible ways. They gave me three days tops before I succumbed to meatloaf. (My mom really did make a fantastic meatloaf. So moist. So meaty. So topped with Ketchup.)

This is why, 18 years later, when people ask me how I became a vegetarian, my answer is a simple “I hated my mom’s pork chops.”

***

In 1996, getting into a vegetarian lifestyle was pretty rough. I lived in Pittsburgh, not Los Angeles. Denny’s didn’t have Gardenburgers on their menus yet, Giant Eagle’s frozen food aisle wasn’t exactly a Garden of Eden, and my mom refused to make separate dinners for me. So while my family gnawed on BBQ ribs in front of me, I would eat cheese sandwiches and cereal and act like it was a meal fit for Valhalla, because: STUBBORN. At school, I would pair a peanut butter cookie with a carton of iced tea and call that lunch. I was terrible at this, but determined.

Finally, I started buying Vegetarian Times magazine from the bookstore and kind of started learning about what it was I was doing exactly. I began collecting recipes but my mom was like, “Tofu? What the hell is that? Fuck you.” So one weekend when my family was out of town, I hosted my own vegetarian dinner for some friends, which was no small feat because there was no Internet, no Whole Foods that I had ever heard of way over here in my South Hills suburban wonderland. I had to use the YELLOW PAGES to find some weird health food store in Mt. Lebanon that sold kelp and tempeh and a package of tofu that I would wind up having a staring contest with later because what the hell do you do with tofu? I had to beg my friend Lisa to begrudgingly drive me out there so I could buy ingredients for a dinner that no one but me was going to enjoy. Because “Sea”sar salad doesn’t sound appetizing to meat-eaters, I guess.
That was my first and last attempt at “cooking,” by the way. Sorry to all of the boyfriends who came later, expecting a home cooked meal. Not on my watch.

***

As a kid constantly struggling with thunder thighs, weight loss was a perk I thought would go hand-in-hand cutting meat out of my life. Newsflash: replacing chicken and beef with cheese in 87 different forms is not conducive to losing weight. When I’d go out with friends in high school, I’d eat the shit out of grilled cheeses, dressing-drenched Caesar salads capped with veritable parmesan hats, fettuccine Alfredo, just give me all of the cheese. My friends and I would always go to this diner called Home Cookin’ and I went through a good long phase where all I would order was cole slaw and pie. One of the waitresses laughed as she scribbled down my order late one night and asked, “You pregnant?”

“No, I’m a vegetarian,” I replied somberly.

Once I moved out at 18, it got even worse. I had friends over constantly, so we would order out all of the time. Cheese pizza, cheese sticks, cheese-covered eggplant parmesan hoagies, cheese hoagies with extra cheese to replace the meat. It’s a wonder I didn’t spend most of my 20s in a state of perma-constipation.

The only vegetables I ever ate were breaded, fried and delivered to my house by a bored teenager driving an Omni. Not to mention all of the alcohol that was consumed. I was far from that “anemic vegetarian” that my grandma worried I was going to turn into.

But at least being a vegetarian would render fast food impossible, right? Four words: Taco Bell’s 7-layer burritos.

One time, a security guard at one of my jobs said he was surprised I was a vegetarian.

“Why?” I asked, wondering if my natural stench was eau de osso bucco and I just didn’t know it.

“You know,” he said, cutting an hour glass shape into the air with his hands.

Suffice it to say, I had gained some weight those first few years.

***

An important thing to know about me is that I am helpless; basically just a flailing flesh-sack in a scary meat-filled world.

When I started dating my current boyfriend Henry in 2001, he was horrified when he opened my refrigerator and found it full of alcohol, condiments and film. (Because photography was more important than nutrition.)

“Why don’t you have any food?” he asked incredulously.

So I showed him the box of rice and cans of Spaghetti O’s on the shelf, the only things that I could purchase from the gas station down the street that I actually could kind of cook OK on those off-nights when I wasn’t being fed by chain restaurants.

“How are you getting your protein?” he asked, and I swear this isn’t going in the sleazy direction you might have in mind.

I had no answer for him. I barely knew the food pyramid, and he was asking me about protein?

After that conversation, Henry started cooking real meals for me, dishes loaded with vegetables, chick peas and tofu, because he was man enough to not give a shit about cooking with tofu, and I slowly started learning things I had never known, like what a “root vegetable” was.

Henry was appalled that I was a vegetarian who didn’t eat vegetables. Or fruit, for that matter. He made me things like mock mashed potatoes (I never knew I liked cauliflower!) and rice-and-fake-meat stuffed peppers, taught me that I really liked melons, and even added COOKBOOKS to my library of horror novels and Alternative Press issues.

By this time, a lot of the chain restaurants in Pittsburgh started offering veggie burgers on their menus, but Henry took me to a lot of ethnic restaurants, where vegetable-laden dishes and meat-substitutions were prevalent; it was starting to feel like maybe I stood a chance at survival. I still didn’t understand tofu, but I sure liked to eat it. I was starting to see vegetarianism as something more than a bet with my parents. It had become a lifestyle, and I began to realize that somewhere along the way, I stopped missing meat. Now I was eating things that I never knew existed, like seitan and tempeh, and I loved it.

I guess my point here is, if you want to be a vegetarian but lack a lot of basic life skills such as “how to grocery shop”, “how to read a recipe” and “how to operate kitchen machinery”, get yourself a good girlfriend/boyfriend/butler. It could open up a whole new world that normal, self-sufficient people already know about.

I can only imagine how high my cholesterol was before Henry the Nutrionist came in and pumped me full of vegetables. (Not a sex analogy, unless you want it to be.)

***

A few months after I swore off meat, I was in the attic smoking pot out of a crushed can of Cherikee Red with my friend Melissa. Nothing to see here. The rest of my family had gone out without me as usual, and my mom had left out a pan of the Hamburger Helper she made all the “normals” for dinner that night.

Teenager + pot = me lying in a pan of Hamburger Helper like some pathetic human-Garfield.

I cried in my bed that night like I had just had shameful hobo sex, my flesh smelling like it had been rubbed down with raw meat.

Up until pretty much right now, Melissa was the only one who knew meat had touched my PETA-anointed tongue but she vowed to keep quiet. I felt terrible about it, like I was such a fraud. But slip-ups happen and I suspect it’s more normal than the staunchest vegetarians will admit, like it’s some dirty, bloody cow carcass of a secret. I still wonder if there’s some sort of code I should be following. Should self-flagellation happen the next time I accidentally eat chicken disguised as a biscuit at a Chinese buffet? What is my penance? Sneaking meat is the dark underbelly of vegetarianism, like nuns fapping to pictures of Justin Bieber. No one talks about it. But sometimes, meat happens, folks.

In 2006, I would occasionally eat fish while I was pregnant, but I was trying to grow a healthy baby then so it made me feel like I wasn’t really cheating. (Don’t worry, Henry and my doctor knew what kinds of fish were OK for preggos to eat; I wasn’t sitting around eating bonbons and mercury sandwiches.) I vowed to stop after the baby was born, and I was doing so well until a few months later on vacation and some “friends” tempted me with sushi. You guys. It was so amazing!

“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone!” one of them said when I started crying at the table about feeling guilty. But that girl was such a snake, she probably went home and made a filtered LiveJournal post about it. (We are no longer friends, FYI.)

That was pretty much the gateway food for me. I resisted the urge for quite some time, but then I gave up and openly became a fish-eater and stopped calling myself a vegetarian because I ain’t no fraud.

Sushi, you guys. It is so good.

As of last week, I am back to eating “nothing that has a face.” I couldn’t take the guilt anymore, and the constant reminder that my mom would think she had won the war if she ever found out I was casually chewing sashimi like bubble gum. However, if you ask my son, he will tell you that Mommy eats meat when no one is home. Which could be true if I knew how to cook that shit. But I don’t. So, nice try, son.

***

I was a vegetarian for three years before someone asked me, “So are you ovo-lacto?”

“Ok,” I answered. Because I didn’t know there were different kinds of vegetarians! My three years of barely-passing Latin classes in high school at least helped me figure out that it meant I was a vegetarian who also ate dairy.

I was a vegetarian for six years before I found out that I wasn’t supposed to be eating food made from gelatin because it contains animal by-products. Two vegetarians actually had a shouting match about this at one of my game nights and I quietly shirked away because I didn’t want to get involved.

I was a vegetarian for ten years before I was finally able to accept that “vegetarianism” is not synonymous with “skinny.” We can still eat cake and cookies. And potato chips. And milk shakes . And Kit-Kats.

I’ve been a vegetarian for eighteen years and I still don’t know what to do with tofu. It just sits there in the package, looking all slimy and wet. And the “firm” and “extra firm” versions are just as jiggly, so whaddup, tofu? Explain yourself.

My friend Amber recently told me she wanted to add tofu to her diet and started asking me questions about it. Questions make me nervous because my response is usually “I don’t know.” Or just a shrug if I’m feeling like three words are just too much to muster. I’m conversationally ambivalent.

I had to text Henry and ask him what kind of tofu Amber should buy, because while I’ve come a long way in that I can now name more vegetables than peas and carrots, don’t ask me about tofu.

***

I worked in a butcher shop for 4 years. What kind of a vegetarian even looks at a butcher shop for a minute, let alone works inside one for 4 years?! Luckily, my office was upstairs from where all the disgusting shit was happening, but sometimes my boss thought it would be hilarious to send me downstairs to get the meat cutters’ lunch orders. I’d have to wear a USDA-approved hardhat, even.

Four years working in a butcher shop actually made it A LOT easier for me to stay true to my meatless lifestyle.

But then the Great American Bacon Explosion happened. Bacon sundaes. Bacon milkshakes. Maple bacon donuts. Maple bacon cupcakes. Chocolate-covered bacon. Candied bacon. Bacon-flavored condoms. Bacon breath mints. Bacon wigs. Bacon 4 President. Kitchen utensils to aid with the fashioning of bacon bowls to be filled with more bacon. I had no idea I even missed bacon that much until I was being tempted with bacon-wrapped apples in every garden. When I was a carnivore, bacon was just bacon. I mean, it was great, I loved it; but when did it become OMG BACON?

My tattoo guy is vegan. The last time I was at the shop, his consultation appointment brought him donuts, one of which was maple bacon. He quickly offered it to one of the other guys there. “Seriously, I might eat that if no one takes it. I think about bacon like, all of the time.”

“Me too!” I cried. And then I felt less alone in this small, meat-free community.

If I ever fall off the wagon for good, it will be because of bacon. Goddamn you, bacon.

***

***

There’s a stereotype for my kind: that obnoxious preachy person who sits across from you at dinner and judges you for ordering a steak. I was never that person. I don’t give a shit what you eat as long as you’re not dripping its blood on my plate. However, one time in 2003, I opened the refrigerator to see half of a Cryovac’d cow taking up an entire shelf. That might have been one of the most brutal fights Henry and I have ever had. He never brought shit like that into my house again.

It always bothered me though that I let people have their meat and eat it too, yet there were always those ones who just couldn’t wait to make fun of me for eating faux chicken nuggets and black bean burgers. Like the time my whole family erupted in exaggerated dry-heaves when Henry was nice enough to cook me a Tofurkey for Thanksgiving in 2004. I had to sit there while everyone pointed out how gross and disgusting I was, like I was hand-shoveling dog feces into my mouth. And then my mom would swear that she substituted cream of mushroom soup in her side dishes that called for cream of chicken, but then she would snicker, so God only knows what they were feeding me. I couldn’t eat anything my grandma made me because I was 95% convinced that she was pureeing beef into everything from soup to muffins so that I wouldn’t “catch anemia.”

Then there are the people who treat vegetarianism as a joke, refusing to order a plain pizza because they have zero respect for my dietary requirements. I got really good at picking pepperoni off pizza.

We can totally have a conversation without me thrusting a PETA petition at you (although I will sign the shit out of those at every single Warped Tour while Henry stands to the side, rolling his eyes up to the meat-filled heavens). I’m not going to tell you that you’re ruining your life by feasting on poor, defenseless animal flesh or hand you a pamphlet that illustrates what exactly is in that food court hot dog, because I don’t care what you do.

Moral: don’t judge me and my tofishy tacos and I won’t judge you and your KFC Double Down.

And don’t ask me about tofu.

Nov 092020
 

We got a new president AND Taemin in a cropped sweater in the same week, I am feeling so well-fed and blessed.

I actually almost (ALMOST) forgot this was dropping today because I have been so consumed and obsessed with election stuff and trolling Trump’s voter fraud hotline and laughing at Four Seasons Total Landscaping memes but then I woke up early to go to my gum doctor follow-up appointment and screamed OH SHIT, NEW TAEMIN!! So I had glorious music to listen to on the way there and back, thank you Taemin.

Then I came home and made Henry (he’s off all week!) watch the MV and then he said, “I want to hear the song with Wendy (from Red Velvet)” and I dunno why this was so hilarious to me but it was so I laughed because everything is funny when you just had a weight lifted from your heart that had been consistently compounding for four years.

Have a wonderful Monday, friendos!

(How can I upgrade my current Taemin cutout to one of him in that white cropped sweater holy shit.)

Nov 072020
 

Got this image from Twitter, credit unknown!

I didn’t realize how much stress and anxiety I had been carrying until this moment, when so much of it came melting off me like Tammy Faye Baker’s makeup during a good spiritual cry.

This country is so broken and it’s going to need a lot more than this to fix it, but hey – at least we know which of our neighbors and relatives are racists now, if we hadn’t already. I cut a friend out of my life this year because of their flagrant disdain toward the BLM movement so in a way, thanks for enabling people to show their true colors, Trump.

I’m looking forward to not having to spend holidays with my Trumper family members this year, that’s for sure. Also looking forward to having a president I can respect again, and not being embarrassed to be an American. Let’s show the world that we can be a team player again!

Nov 052020
 

Need a musical distraction from this anxiety-inducing vote-counting spectator sport?

Because the new CL single is everything.

I love it when a Queen comes back.

OK, carry on. Let’s hope that the orange toddler-tyrant will soon be officially named the loser that we always knew he was.

Nov 042020
 

Hello. Checking in. How are you? Numb? Optimistic? Drunk? Like maybe you’re finally waking up from a four year nightmare? Chooch and I have been so on edge (Henry is ambivalent as always). Like, all day I kept calling Henry and screaming things like DO YOU THINK BIDEN COULD REALLY TAKE MICHIGAN AND WISCONSIN and he’d just be like *noncommittal grunt*. I wanted to reach through the phone and shake him! Like, YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE, DUDE! PLEASE CARE ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY, YOU MILQUETOAST FAKE PATRIOT!

But Chooch has been my little election buddy. He kept running downstairs in between his classes, yelling things like, “IF BIDEN CAN WIN *INSERT STATE*, HE’LL WIN 11 POINTS!” Because when you look at it like it’s a video game with a score, what teenager WOULDN’T be interested? Also, Chooch fucking hates Trump’s guts, so he’s pretty invested in this. I didn’t care about politics at all when I was his age, but also, we didn’t have a president as fucked up as the one we have now (but hopefully not for much longer).

Anyway, now it’s much later at night and I’m a lot calmer. How are you? You good? Hanging in there? Need some cat pictures? I gotchu.

Our cats fucking love these stupid holiday cat scratchers that Target is always schilling to us crazy cat families. We never put away the one that we got them last Christmas, so Chooch connected them and now they have a Christmas villa.

They were upset at first because they REALLY like the Halloween hotel one that we bought them earlier this fall, but then we showed them that it was just moved to Chooch’s bedroom so now they’re happy again.

(They REALLY love these things!)

Penelope has resting bitch face. She’s actually the sweetest cat ever.

I mean, no really.

Henry still hasn’t finished the coffee table. Don’t even get me started. But he’s off all next week and I have a TO DO list all scribbled out for him. He doesn’t accrue any PTO at Erin Appledale Inc.

Well, I’m off to, I dunno, do late night Pilates or something before camping out on the couch all night again, with CNN on in the background, waking me up every hour in a fucking panic. I mean, that’s not what I did last night or anything.

Nov 032020
 

I woke up this morning and like probably most Americans, vomited over the side of my bed into my Victorian chamber pot. Presidential elections should not incite these kinds of full-body emotional meltdowns.

After eating breakfast which I couldn’t even taste because even my palate is numb I guess, I started watching The Unicorn on Netflix because I needed a mediocre American family sitcom with short episodes to keep me from my thoughts. It was ok! I will probably continue watching season 1 and then wind up getting attached only for it to get canceled.

Now it’s 10am. I spent the first hour of my work day not being able to log on and waiting for the help desk to, you know, help. That really added a few BPMs to my Election Day heart rate.

But I would like to take a moment here to show you the gallery wall in my “office area/dining room” which henry helped me achieve. It took a lot longer than you’d think but it was worth it to have happy images in front of me all day!

The desktop background of the computer is also a picture from Seoul so it blends right in, see also: what is obsession?

Probably 75% of the frames were purchased at various Goodwills and thrift shops for this very purpose but it also resulted in Henry crying out, “WHAT THE FUCK SIZE EVEN IS THIS? THEY DON’T MAKE PHOTOS THIS SIZE!!” more than once and then we learned that something happened to Henry’s brain somewhere along the way and he can no longer “do measuring” so every time we had photos printed, there would be like 3 that suddenly didn’t fit into any of the frames, so that was the catalyst to several spats, lol, noooo not Henry and me, we NEVER argue.

Way before we started to redo the dining room, I had the idea to do a gallery wall with frames that matched our dining room table chairs, and then that turned into, “but we should also paint that wall” which turned into, “Well just one painted wall is dumb guess we should do the whole room” which turned into, “Wait, put stripes on this part of the wall” which turned into, “let’s just make the room completely unrecognizable because, corona.” All in all, it’s comforting to me and makes working from home less sucky!

I saw these little clipboard frames at Michaels and felt they would be perfect to fill up the smaller gaps while displaying travel ephemera like ticket stubs and metro cards. I was way too excited about this and Henry was like *ambivalent nod of semi-approval-ish*.

Boarding pass from Incheon to Tokyo and bus ticket to Ildong from when we went to stay at G-Dragon’s pension!

Instant coffee from our hotel in Busan!

I’m obsessed with the one of the palace guards.

Now it’s 10:30 which also turns out is PUZZLE TIME and the cats are HERE FOR IT.

We all need distracted. Currently looking for Obama coffee mugs.

I started a HELP ME UGHHHHH email chain with several work friends and now we’re talking about stress-eating Mad Mex and that sounds like a great idea except that on Election Night 2016, we went to a nearby Mexican restaurant and I will never forget how sick I felt with  both a plate of enchiladas and a giant TV screen displaying polling results in front of me. We know the outcome of THAT election, so now I’m afraid that getting Mexican food again will jinx it, ughhhhh what to do.

11:30. Do I have the attention span to start an audiobook to help me get through the work day? I’m not sure. Everything fucking sucks. My brain is full of thought marbles.

It’s 1:17. I just ate a bagel and a sad Boca burger for lunch. It was unfulfilling. Everything is sad today.

3:33 now and I’m just numb-ish. Chooch and I went for a walk during my lunch break. I returned two books that I DNF’d (TWO DNFs!! Who even am I?!) and then we did our usual stroll about Brookline, critiquing people’s landscaping. I have two hours left of work, which has been OK and since several people are off today, I’m providing backup for some things that I haven’t done in a while so it’s kind of giving me a fresh outlook, in a way, and also sort of keeping me distracted but now Henry is home and he hasn’t voted yet and I am practically about to shove him in a wheelbarrow and push him across the street to our polling place.

OK he just left to do his civil duty! Godspeed American Hank.

4:40: My friend Nate and I are chatting about thirst traps so this feels more like a normal Tuesday now.

Sort of.

Guys, did I tell you that YG Entertainment officially confirmed that THE KING, THE LEGEND, KWON JIYONG-SSI, G-DRAGON, GD, is finally working on a comeback?? That’s the pillow that I’m screaming into today.

Speaking of G-Dragon, this older Mino song came on our Spotify playlist over the weekend and it made me miss Taeyang and BIGBANG in general so much that it felt like I had the air knocked out of me.

6:30: I sat down to watch more episodes of The Unicorn and now that Henry’s home, he usurped my personal space and started laughing too hard and saying things like WHO IS THAT GUY and WHAT SHOW IS THIS and like, go watch one of your dumb cop shows and back off my wholesome sitcom about a widower with super annoying friends, for gods sake.

Look, I can’t do this. My body is straight up sizzling. I think I’m going to get drunk and set things on fire. Hopefully we come out the other side of this with the outcome we want and this country needs.

Oh my god, BARF VOMIT GAG.

Oct 262020
 

You know what I miss just as much as haunted houses? The whole entire process of making a night of it. The drive there, the late night diner stops on the way home. The inside jokes that are born from the STUPIDEST things. I just miss it, yo.

This latest Think Sesh made me remember the time in 2018 when we dragged Janna to a haunted asylum in WV and had one of the funnest diner experiences afterward. (I mean, if you ask Chooch and me; Henry and Janna will be like “you mean annoying though, right?)

Anyway, I’m reposting it because it cheered me up and ’round here I can use all the cheering-ups I can find even if it’s just a piddly little recycled blog post. :/ I’ll be back tomorrow with a post about ice cream.


A SATURDAY NIGHT IN WEST VIRGINIA

Shit, I know what you’re thinking: How fun could a night in WV honestly be? But look, listen. There was one last haunted house I wanted to go to before slamming the door on another successful haunt season, but it’s TWO HOURS AWAY in Weston, WV. I’ve been twice before and I can tell you that it’s worth it, so I got Janna to agree to go too and Henry reluctantly drove us (I’m not great at night-driving, OK?! It’s a miracle I got us home from Fright Farm a few weeks ago). Chooch and I were rambunctious from the start because there is something about Janna that just seriously activates our Giddy Mode. It’s not even that she instigates us or anything, but more so that she is so freaking easy-going and basically ignores us that it just makes us react even harder. As you can imagine, Henry LOVES this. For instance, we stopped at a Sheetz in some rural area and Chooch was getting a “Hollywood Snack” pack and became deadset on getting Janna to buy one too. She eventually conceded and while we were cackling over this like hyenas in the car, Janna calmly said, “I HAVE HAD THIS BEFORE, CHOOCH, IT’S NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL.”

OMG BUT IT WAS!

Then we were laughing because she was taking so long inside Sheetz so we just left her in there. When she finally came out, she wasn’t even hurrying back to the car! SHE WAS IN THERE FOR SO LONG THAT HENRY WAS CHECKING THE OIL AND CLEANING OUT THE TRUNK!?

I’ll skip the haunted house part because I’m going to make Chooch write about that (lol, I love bossing him around) but we got stuck with an annoying family (I mean, aside from my own) so the haunt wasn’t as great because of that (the dad of all people was the one who ruined it for us because he was such a slow idiot and even the rest of his family was like “PAUL, GO FASTER!” because other groups were catching up to us, and it wasn’t until the next day when I was like,, “Oh shit, they were actually saying ‘Pa’” and then that just made it even funnier to me). By the time we got out of there, it was after 9 and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so Henry took us to DJs 50’s and 60s Diner, which is where we ate last year on the way home from the same haunt, but this time it was blessedly uncrowded. (Last year, it was after some football game so that place was packed with Trumpers.)

Chooch took this picture of his loving parents. Henry’s face was varying levels of anger and annoyance throughout the meal, especially when he summoned our waitress after we ordered because he wanted to tack on an appetizer for himself but when the waitress came over, Chooch cut him off to ask her what the wi-fi password was and then they were both talking to her at the same time and she was like WHAT TO DO but she ultimately chose to make Chooch’s request her priority and I thought Henry was going to flip the table especially later on when she came back with his appetizer and we all lunged for it so he ended up with only one deep fried banana pepper.

The trials and tribs of Henry J.

Chooch and I were fighting each other for Janna’s “good fries” because I am a super ridiculous fry snob with very narrow criteria that Henry hasn’t been able to decode in the 18  years I’ve been snatching “good fries” from his plates, and I managed to pass this trait down to Chooch which sucks because he knows EXACTLY the ones I like and has himself convinced that HE likes them the best too and now there is always a war over fries, even worse than when America was mad at France and took it out on french fries by renaming them FREEDOM FRIES.

But look, Chooch and I aren’t complete savages about this – we have enough civility to BARTER. Yes, that’s right, for every “good fry” we steal from someone else’s (read: Henry’s) plate, we toss in one of our own rejects. Janna was getting tired of us launching our unwanted fries onto her plate and eventually yelled, in her own way, “Oh my god, just take the ones you want! I don’t care!” and the fact that we managed to get Janna worked up over this made Chooch laugh so hard that he had to run to the bathroom to maybe-puke.

BUT HE TOOK A FRY WITH HIM!

Meanwhile, the waitress (a very sweet young girl who patiently endured our hour-long visit) came over to refill my coffee so I purposely held my cup over Henry’s lap and I was trying to hold back my giddy bray the whole time which only made it worse and the whole sitch ended up being awkward because I’m sure she thought I was laughing at her, but no, I was just being an asshole to my own people.

And then I got Janna to subscribe to my blog after 11 years!!

And then I took a picture of my gardenburger and cracked up all over again because who seriously takes a picture of a diner veggie patty.

AND THEN WHEN WE WERE LEAVING, WE SAW THIS PICTURE IN THE VESTIBULE. LOLOLOLOL..

Oh for god’s sake, I needed all that laughter. My cheeks felt like they were going to split!

Oct 252020
 

I dropped my ballot off today and this is the first time I’ve ever gotten a sticker because my usual polling site NEVER HAS ANY. I’m way too excited about it.

Feeling relieved to get that out of the way but the anxiety and nerves have only multiplied now that we’re almost a week out. Come on, Biden, let’s goooooooo.

I’ll sign off with an upbeat song straight from a country with a good president. Don’t just make a wish, guys – GO VOTE!!

Oct 232020
 

Do I really need an intro.

Terrordome

This damn ticket to a haunted house is 25 years old. I always keep it tucked into a frame of a picture on a wall so it’s kind of like permanent decor at this point, but I was looking at it the other day when I took it down to dust said picture frame (and by dust I mean I just gave it a good swipe with my hand, housewife who now?) and felt awash with memories. (Or maybe that was just the dust particles.

Some thoughts I had while looking at this ticket:

  • $13.50 is CHEAP AF for a haunted house nowadays but I remember in 1995 thinking that it was expensive (actually, I probably didn’t give it a second thought – I was 16 and my mom paid for everything!). But this was a big deal because it was located in the old Civic Arena, which is where the Penguins used to play, and this was back when haunted houses were in old schools and VFWs so it was exciting to have some big budget, commercialized haunt to attend (and now I wish we could just go back to 1995 where haunted houses were all garbage bag walls and gratuitous gropings, le sigh). I wish I could tell you if it was “worth” the whopping $14 bucks, but I honestly can’t remember the inside at all aside from ELVIRA being there one night (we went like three times lol) and getting her to sign a picture for my dad. But what I do remember is that they had some of the best monsters entertaining the people in line outside and I became obsessed with two of them, one of whom I would run into a few years on the Southside and practically accost, all excitedly screaming I REMEMBER YOU FROM TERRORDOME and she was like I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY DO I NEED TO USE IT. Anyway, I would run into numerous times after that on purpose because she went on to become local legend PHAT MAN DEE and my friend Wonka and I used to attend her performances back in the day. This one time, she actually sat with us in between sets at the Lava Lounge and we thought we were literally the coolest fucking people ever, or at least at that bar.
  • I mentioned that we went several times that season, but it was because we had so much fun hanging out outside of the venue that my friend Keri and I begged my mom to take us back. OK FINE THERE WAS A BOY. Keri and I became friendly with Jason Voorhees and ended up hanging out with him outside of the arena for like, hours. I had the biggest crush on him ever but OF FUCKING COURSE Keri snagged him because that was her sole purpose in life, pushing up her boobs and doing things with her tongue. I remember her shot-gunning his cigarette while we were sitting there and I was so pissed, and then of course she only dated him for a hot minutes because she couldn’t have meaningful ANYTHINGS back then and probably now too but I wouldn’t know because I haven’t talked to her since 2006 when she sold me out to Henry’s ex-wife because she was hanging out at the bar his ex worked at and was getting free beer. YEAH, FREE BEER FOR GIVING HER THE INSIDE SCOOP ON MY LIFE. MORE LIKE BLOOD BEER!!
    • Jason Voorhees (I don’t remember his real name) wasn’t even that cute when he took his mask off.
  • LOL @ the now-defunct Bell Atlantic as a sponsor.

 

MOLE DAY

We finally got Chooch a gaming computer after years of crying for one and begging Janna to give him hers. For the first couple days, he was very grateful and being super helpful around the house but now he’s back to normal. It was nice while it lasted. :(

I was “getting ready for work” yesterday morning (by that I mean I still brush my hair and do my eyebrows because you never know when a surprise video call could happen). Chooch was “in Chemistry” and from the bathroom, I heard his teacher say, “Tomorrow is a special day in Chemistry. Anyone know why?

“I bet it’s Mole Day,” I whisper-screamed from the hallway.

Chooch ignored me.

Anyone want to try and guess?” his teacher asked again from the computer screen.

“Mole Day!” I repeated.

“I’m not saying that,” Chooch grumbled, because in his mind HOW CAN A MOTHER KNOW THINGS.

I’ll give you a hint: it relates to a number in chemistry,” the teacher sounded sad and desperate now, just like I was TO HAVE MY ANSWER PASSED ON.

“TELL HIM IT’S MOLE DAY!” I wheezed, hopping from foot-to-foot in frustration.

It’s Mole Day,” the teacher sighed to the virtual classroom of stoops.

“TELL HIM I KNEW THAT!” I screamed. “TELL HIM YOUR MOM KNEW!”

“No because then everyone will know that—”

“–that what, your mom is smarter than them!?”

“–my weird mom is being creepy and listening in to  my class,” Chooch sighed.

We are so over each other.

NEIGHBORHOOD VEG HOOKUP

OK you guys look I am really guilty about this because you know how much I LOVED PARKER’S, the local sandwich shop with the cool aesthetic and “we’re all family here” vibes that the owner gave off, and I cried when they announced they were closing, and then I vowed to hate whatever took its place, but LOOK, OAK HILL POST IS THE SHIT, OK? I CAN’T HELP IT. Granted, I can’t eat 90% of what’s on the menu because meat, but their veggie burger is the best around, and the cauliflower soup I had a few weeks ago was garnished with GINGERBREAD CRUMBLES and you can fucking fight me right here, right now if you don’t think it was delicious. And don’t get me started on their fluffy, soft buttermilk biscuits with lemon curd and house jam, omfg.

Anyway, earlier in the week they announced on Instagram that they were going to debut a vegan sandwich. OK, look. I have had “vegan sandwiches” at carnivorous eateries before and it usually equates to the kitchen dumping some basic veggies (zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers generally) onto a wrap and calling it a day. I mean, OK that’s fine. But you’d be surprised at the wide array of disappointing veggie wraps I’ve had in my life! In fact, there was one road trip recently where I had like three in a row that made me want to cry.

But I had a feeling that this one was crafted with thoughtfulness and quality ingredients, and hoooooo boy-o I was correct-o-mundo. First of all, that bread. Thank you for one-upping a basic wrap, Oak Hill Post. Sincerely, thank you for serving these quality vegetables on a high-class carb vessel.

Oh and in between the bread-flaps? MOROCCAN SPICED CELERY ROOT. Did I know that I liked that!? Not until Wednesday. Now it’s all I can think about. Also: lettuce and red pepper hummus. But the celery root was what carried this thing, man. I couldn’t stop eating it and then I was so sick afterward because my stomach is not used to hearty vegan sandwiches, but the pain was worth it. It’s so comforting to know that I have a viable veg/vegan food option within walking distances, right here in my ‘hood. #blessed

ALEXA SHOW ME HENRY CELERY ROOT RECIPES.

LC4LYFE

I opened Instagram after work and the first thing I saw was Lauren Conrad posting an IGTV video of a Laguna Beach reunion and I was like OH HOLD THE PHONE, dropped everything and watched the entire 30 minute. I was LIVING for it. I loved Laguna Beach so fucking much and I still support LC with my whole heart (well, part of it – my heart is pulled in a ton of different directions).

Anyway, at the end when everyone was saying goodbye, tears started SQUIRTING out of my eyes and I scream-laughed OMG WHY AM I CRYING and henry just smirked and mumbled, “I’m not surprised.”

Almost all of them look / the same so good still! Stephen Colletti especially there I said it.

Man I miss the early 2000s so much.

Now of course I’m watching Laguna Beach compilation videos on YouTube.

TV TALK

In an earlier post, I whined about not liking Haunting of Bly Manor but then I finished it and while I still stand by the opinion that it was not scary at all, I ended up really loving it when I realized that holy shit, this is a goddamn love story. I cried SO HARD throughout the last episode (and am crying again thinking about it, I hate myself) that I had to hide my face with a pillow because Henry was sitting next to me and even after 19 years I’m still like DON’T SEE ME when I’m crying.

Then for shits and giggles, I started watching Emily in Paris earlier this week, thinking it was like some Teen Nick show. Nope. Not even. I rarely binge shows but I had this one devoured in two days. It helped that the episodes were only like 20-30 minutes though! Was it cheesy? Yes. Did I learn how to say raunchy things in French? Yes. Is Lily Collins totally fucking likeable? Yes. Will I watch Season 2 if it happens? TRES OUI.

Henry and I watched The Lodge over the weekend. I thought it was really great and pretty scary but he was like, “eh.” I LIKE CULT SHIT and the plot was A+. But seriously, Henry is the worst person to watch horror movies with because he rarely likes one and is “never scared.” I did get him to admit that the only horror movie that ever scared him was It’s Alive, but he quickly clarified that he saw it when it came out and he was “just a kid.” Mmhmm. Anyway, The Lodge was made by the same people who did Goodnight, Mommy, and that movie WAS SO FUCKING GOOD. This one wasn’t as good, but I would recommend it all the same. The atmosphere was so stark and cold, the cast was great (would have liked to have had more Alicia Silverstone though!), and it was actually less predictable than I imagined. Incidentally, it was the second time in a week that we watched something with Riley Keough in it and I had previously never even heard of her (I’m vicariously living in Korea, remember?). Turns out she’s Elvis’s granddaughter.

Oh! And I watched An American Murder or whatever the fuck that new Netflix documentary is called. Chooch started watching it with me but then had to go play Fortnight or something and said he’d watch the rest later and then when he overheard me say something to Henry about the husband killing his wife, Chooch was like WOW OK SPOILER and I was like, “This isn’t fiction though, it literally happened and we already knew it was the husband!?” But yeah, what a fucking demon dick and also the broad he was cheating with wasn’t that great, so nice one, asshole. Also Part 2, I was extremely uncomfortable that they used actual text messages in it, like I didn’t need to know how the wife was horny.

In Korean drama news, I finally started watching It’s Okay to Not Be Okay and I think the real Korean title actually translates to Psycho But Fine….my Korean skills are limited but “psycho” is “psycho” in both languages, so. Anyway, only 2 episodes in and I love it but show me a Korean drama that I won’t love, truly. The reason I was finally pushed to watch it is because the main character is a, well, psycho writer of children’s books, and the books featured in the show (dark fairytales in the vein of Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman) were made into actual books and I really want to buy them to use for learning purposes, so maybe if Jiyong and I ever get to hang out again I can bring cute books instead of text books and we could read those together instead while she makes me repeat the hard words over and over until my tongue swells and then I start hating those books, god I miss those days.

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Honestly, I can’t recommend Korean dramas enough, especially now that all there is to do is binge shit. I have been trying to get JANNA to watch one BUT SHE HAS NOT DONE SO YET WHAT A BITCH HI JANNA.

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Anyway, today is my last day of work before my annual Halloween Vacation starts so cheers to that, etc etc.

Happy fucking Mole Day, I’m out.