Feb 102015


Janna and I walked down the street to the trusty Hollywood Theater, where we sat numbly through the incredible film Birdman. The whole time, I kept thinking, “Henry would fucking HATE this movie.” Goddamn was it fantastic, albeit emotionally draining. As we sat staring blankly at the closing credits, Janna said, “This movie made me feel so strange, the same way that—” and here I was thinking she’s going to say  Lost In Translation “—Lost in Translation made me feel.” Because I swear to god, I felt exactly the same. MOVIE TWINSIES.
Also, Michael Keaton all fucking day long. This might actually dethrone Mr. Mom as my favorite Michael Keaton movie of all time, and I REALLY LOVE MR. MOM.

But let me watch Mr. Mom again real quick and then I’ll tell you for sure.

Then we came back to my house and Chooch dressed up like a pretty, pretty princess for us.



Totally robbed my style.


I was so excited to have a mini-reunion with some old friends from high school, Sarah and Liz! (And Lisa too, but I see Lisa too often for any necessary reunions!) I actually became friends with Sarah and Liz through Lisa, and I’m pretty sure the first time we hung out was at a haunted house on a rainy night in October. The kind of nights where friendships are destined to be born! I stayed in touch with Sarah for quite some time after high school—she was even at my baby shower—but haven’t actually seen her in person since 2007. And I got back in touch with Liz through Facebook and even ran into her randomly when I was at McGinnis Sisters spending too much money on fancy cheese.


We had brunch at the Yard in Shadyside and it’s a good thing I made reservations, because moments after arrived, a flood of people in varying degrees of “Mumford & Sons fan” showed up. In otehr words, we could have played Hipster Beard Bingo.

I made the rookie mistake of feeling obligated to order from the brunch menu instead of just getting a gourmet grilled cheese like I originally planned, and subsequently suffered through some seriously underwhelming Johnny Cakes (if you know me and my Lizzie Borden obsession, you will understand why I order Johnny Cakes any time they’re on a menu!). However, the company and bottomless mimosas made up for the saliva-sucking, overcooked cakes.

(Quick side-note: I was thinking about this on the way there, but Sarah is actually the reason I started up a LiveJournal in 2001 and got into writing again, although those initial journal entries were a far cry from “writing.” So, thank you, Sarah! Look how many years I’ve been polluting the Internet with my misspelled words!)

It was such a pleasure to get to hang out with Liz and Sarah again. The conversation was easy, Liz still has disgustingly amazing curly hair, and just hearing Sarah laughing brought back so many great memories. Ugh, I love days like these.

The best part was drunkenly stumbling into Chooch’s piano lesson (after nearly falling out of the car because my purse strap was completely wrapped around my legs—don’t worry, Henry was driving) and then starting to nod off in his piano teacher’s living room armchair. A+ parenting, would drink bottomless mimosas again.


Henry spent most of Saturday tackling the landfill that is Chooch’s room, and by Sunday afternoon it looked like this:


I’d have taken a “before” picture, but it was bordering on hoarder status, and…. just no. I don’t understand where Chooch gets it from, but he clearly does not care at all if he can’t see the bottom of his bedroom floor. I however do care. Which is why I started tossing everything into garbage bags last weekend, whether it was garbage or not, while he just stood there smugly, with his arms crossed, sneering at me and saying, “I know you’re not really going to throw all this stuff out.”

And he was right, only because DUMB HENRY intercepted and made me go count to a billion in order to get the voices to stop screaming at me in rhyming couplets.

There was also an Ikea trip in here somewhere, which was OK except that the bedroom set I wanted to buy Chooch was out of stock and I had my heart set on it because I’m an eight-year-old! Seriously though, it’s a loft bed with a shit ton of storage and a desk attached and it’s just basically a dream come true for someone obsessed with maintaining order. That lump of furniture could solve a world of problems in Chooch’s room and I stalked one of the Ikea bitches until she wobbled over to her computer and printed out the info I need in order to repeatedly call and harass and the Ikea warehouse for a status update.

My bedroom was the shit when I lived at my mom’s house. All kids should have a fucking spectacular bedroom, and Chooch gets so pissed when I show him pictures of how fabulous and cozy my room was and I’m like, “PROVE TO ME THAT YOU WON’T LURE RATS INTO THIS SPACE AND THEN WE’LL TALK.” God.

And then, The Walking Dead. Because I love ending the weekend on a depressing note.

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Dec 302014

Initially, we weren’t going to host any Christmas-y festivities since we were spending Christmas Eve at Henry’s sister’s and then visited my dad on Christmas day. But at the  last minute, I decided to try to have one of those White Elephant things that people are always going on about. Unfortunately, Pittsburgh is in the middle of flu season, so party attendance was at an all-time low. We still had fun!

Blake arrived two hours early and then left after about 30 minutes, but we’ll take what we can get with that one.


I had spent literally all day dealing with Etsy/Facebook drama that really killed my mood. Seriously, it was the biggest party foul of all and Henry and I didn’t even start getting shit together until an hour before people were set to arrive. It really seemed like it was going to be a bust. Especially considering that one of my punches didn’t turn out right (that peppermint coconut crap on the right) and we all know that my parties revolve around the goddamn beverage buffet. Luckily, that red nose shit was exceptional.


Henry made bite-sized versions of the Funfetti grilled cheese we had on Christmas, but was mad because he had to use French bread since the lame Brookline bakeries didn’t have any brioche. I bet if he had a food blog, he’d have ranted about it on there by now.

Now I want to ghost-write a food blog for him. Henry’s Hankerings. I’ll porn it up real good so you won’t be able to tell if you’re reading about how to fill a burrito or knocking on backdoors in a Tijuana hostel. (Don’t mind me. I’m getting over a fever.)



Corey and Janna were the first to arrive, just in time to hear Chooch’s rousing rendition of Jessie J’s “Bang Bang.” We completely lost all good sense and bought him a Singing machine for Christmas, and it connects to the TV so we can all sit back and read along as Chooch sings songs brimming with sexual innuendo.


 That Time Henry Had a Friend Over.


We’re all obsessed with Trivia Crack (and sometimes Quiz Up, but Trivia Crack has my heart) so Chooch and Corey decided to try and teach Wendy about it since she’s always the last to learn about the cool things us kids are doing.


Seriously. This, for hours.


But then Chooch pulled out his Perler beads, which he has recently become obsessed with. They’re just these little colorful beads that you put down in a pattern on a pegboard and then you iron it (or, in Chooch’s case: you get Henry and not Erin to iron it because Erin is no good) which fuses all the beads together and now, hooray, you have some relatively useless plastic thing. Chooch made a Minecraft sword (see above picture) out of these things, using no pattern somehow, which I thought was pretty impressive.

“I’m going to see this on Etsy for $50, or maybe $20,” Chooch told Blake.

OK, maybe not THAT impressive. He did make me a super adorable Michael Myers though. I bet if he made O-Town perler bead guys, Amber1 would be his best customer.


Chris came over later with her cousin, Amber, just as Chooch was preparing to sing some terrible Backstreet Boys song. You guys. Do I know how to throw a party, or what? Basically, put out some booze, choke Chooch’s neck with a bowtie, and then sit back and watch as it escalates. I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to go back to entertaining when he’s out of the house. HE DOES IT ALL FOR ME.

Now that everyone was here, we got to fumble through the White Elephant exchange. Wendy was pissed because I told her that she could literally bring stuff around the house that she didn’t use, so that’s what she did and then she accused everyone else of bringing real gifts, but hello, my thing was a plastic vampire that you put on top of a ketchup bottle so it looks like it’s bleeding when you pour it out. It cost $3!

OK, bad example. My thing was fantastic and you could tell that Amber, who had picked it, was not letting that gem get plucked out of her arms.

Anyway, Wendy brought two gifts: one from her and one from Shawn, which is how Janna scored a fabulous lens cleaner kit that she can even use on her binoculars and scuba gear, and Corey got a stationery set that may have been made in the 70s.

Seriously though, the Facebook Event thingie said this:

Make a potholder! Regift that candle that reminds you of your ex-boyfriend’s grandma’s bathroom! Turn some lint into a throw pillow! Put some gasoline in a mason jar & pretend it’s moonshine!

I don’t care what you bring, just come over! I’m desperate for human contact.



Chooch totally got Chris and Amber to finish one of his perler projects for him, because he’s got that Charles Manson charm. “Here. You do this while I go and do something better.”


Everything was fine and then Marcy had to come downstairs and inspect the situation. Of course she sat with her back toward everyone though, because she’s rude.



Janna brought over a very delicious dessert dip, the leftovers of which she said that I could keep but that she would eventually need the plate back, because it’s her mom’s. This reminded me of a few weeks ago, when we went to Nemacolin Castle, and Janna’s mom supposedly gave Janna permission to just take her car since Corey, Janna and I all have unreliable cars. We had just arrived at the castle, about an hour away, when Janna’s mom called her and was all concerned because she apparently looked out the window and saw that her car was gone, so they had what sounded like an argument, even though Janna was like, “No it’s fine. She told me I could take her car, so I don’t know what she’s talking about” and I’m thinking we’re going to get dragged to the local Brownsville slammer once Janna’s mom reports her car as stolen.

Since we had met up at Janna’s parent’s house, we had to go back there to get our cars. “I’m not going in!” I cried, as Janna rolled her mom’s car to a stop. And then Corey and I joked about seeing the silhouettes through the front window of Janna getting beaten by her mom.

“Does your mom know you used her plate?” I asked, my voice cracking with giddiness at the end.

So of course, Corey and I were practically bursting blood vessels from laughing so hard, and we had to retell the Nemacolin story in a tag-team fashion for Chris and Amber, and Henry just shook his head in that “For Christ’s Sake” way of his.

“Apparently, something bad happened in Brownsville that night we were there,” Janna said, her tone pregnant with somberness.

“WERE PEOPLE SLORING?!” Corey cried, because that was his favorite word the night we went to Nemacolin Castle, when we tried to start rumors that Janna had a secret life where she wore a beeper and “slored” around Brownsville.

“No!” Janna said exasperatedly. “There was a fire or something.”

And then we lost interest because it had nothing to do with neither sluts nor whores.


Chooch and the finished product of Chris and Amber’s labor. Plus his $50 Minecraft sword.

It was around 1:00am at this point and we were all super slap-happy (except Henry; never Henry), so Corey decided he was going to write Wendy a thank you note using the stationery he got from her and Meghan Trainor song titles. Because Wendy HATES Meghan Trainor and if there is one thing you never want to do, it’s tell me the things that you hate because I will use it in my Jerk Cannon for the rest of the time we’re friends. One time, Janna told me that she hates that Billie Myers “Kiss the Rain” song so I bought the CD (this was like, 1998 you guys) and put just that song on repeat one time when she came over. And she dealt with it. Because that’s what you learn to do when you’re friends with me.


As the party came to a close and Janna left with her lenscleaner kit, Corey looked at me and asked, “Does Janna even wear glasses?”

I said I didn’t think so, and then we promptly lost it all over again. Oh, Janna.

So really, not the worst White Elephant party in the world.

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Dec 102014

Just a little preface: after I posted about the most recent game night, I decided to make a “game night” category so that I could keep all of the game night posts together because every so often, I get some kind of blog OCD. Anyhow, I realized that the only account missing was still over on my old LiveJournal. And it just so happens it’s the one where the infamous (not really) CARLY SIMON incident happened! So, this is a reposting of the very first game night I hosted at my house in 2006. You have permission to not read it. Aren’t I nice.


The last time I played Scattergories was in 2003 and I slugged Janna for challenging one of my answers (because according to her, frolicking is not a valid form of transportation, and not even my graceful demonstration of frolicking to and fro could convince her otherwise — bitch) and then Keri threatened to kick me out of her wedding party if I couldn’t get along with others.

I figured three years was long enough to cool down, so Scattergories was the first game we dove into during the Game Night that I hosted at my house Saturday evening. Brian, Janna, Ryan, Stacey, and Kara all spread out in a circle while I got all the pieces together. OK, Henry helped me with that a little. There were plastic things that hadn’t been assembled yet on the cardboard clipboard things because I usually only ever play Scattergories (and Boggle) with myself and I lost my patience within a cool ten seconds.

Henry decided he was going to sit this one out, because he’s afraid to play Scattergories with me.


We played three rounds, which was all good and fun, except that I discovered that Stacey is some brand of undercover Scattergories-Nazi and challenged about 3/4 of my answers. One of those she challenged was “earwig police officer.” I’m sorry, but who are we, as human beings, to say that earwigs don’t have police officers (category: Someone in a Uniform, Letter “E”)? And are you going to tell me that, in some fairy tale right now, someone isn’t sitting on a toadstool? The category was a very ambiguous “Furniture,” not “Human Furniture” or “Earth Furniture.” At one point, she got really angry and said, “Come on Erin, you’re a smart girl! Play right!” I was playing right! It’s called strategy, Stacey. I don’t want one of those dickshitters having the same answer as me!

Almost every time it was my turn to unveil one of my answers (it took about twenty minutes for everyone to grasp the concept of clockwise and Brian was really getting heated), I would be laughing to the point of tears, but no one else would laugh with me (sometimes Kara would because maybe she feels sorry for me) because there was a Serious Game being played and I was holding it up.

Because of Stacey’s iron fist, I ended up losing by ONE point to this asshole:


…whom I’m positive was cheating. I think he realized that he was down a few points whenever my answer of water buffaloes as farm animals was being challenged. I have to state for the record that Janna and Kara tried to sway the vote in my favor, but Brian, who had the distinction of being the swing vote, saw this as his opportunity to go in for the win so he gave me a big hearty thumbs down.

I was angry at Brian six hours before Game Night even started though, because he called me that afternoon to ask what time it started, which spun me into a frenzied tangent about invitations (or Evites, in this case, which always skyrocket my blood pressure because, unfailingly there’s always at least one asshole who doesn’t RSVP or downright doesn’t even view it and then I get all OCD because their name just hangs there, festering in limbo and no matter how many times I call them and email them with clear cut instructions, they refuse to make it right). I left him a lengthy voice mail, schooling him in the very narrow field of invitations, and how they are necessary because they contain pertinent info regarding the party, such as, oh I don’t know, the fucking time it starts, asshole.

He called me back later and left a message to see if it would be cool if he was fashionably late. But apparently, in Brian’s skewered land of party etiquette, fashionably late means retardedly early, because he arrived two and a half hours before game night even started. I hadn’t even dusted the games off yet.

I’ll probably just place a fake personal ad in his name and then I’ll be over it.

During the third round, Lisa arrived with her arsenal of games, which included the crowd-pleaser that is Catchphrase. I was thankful for this, because a girl can only take so much rejection during the same game, so I stuffed everything back into the Scattergories box and slid it under the chair, secretly proud of myself for not throwing any blows during the game but inwardly ready to blow a fucking gasket because goddamn, it’s hard to control your temper when you have explosive anger disorder!

Lisa explained the rules of Catchphrase repeatedly until Brian couldn’t take it anymore and screamed at Lisa to just start the motherfucker, already. I mean, once it was unearthed that Henry had played the game before, everyone relaxed and decided it couldn’t be that hard. I was thankful to not be stuck on a team with Stacey.

Right in the middle of the fourth practice round, Melissa arrived with her baby. I let her fill in for me because I was too rambunctious to be doing so much sitting. Instead, I stood behind Henry and pinched the back of his neck many times and mocked him every time it was his turn to get his team to guess the catch phrase. Most of the time, I couldn’t figure out where he was going with his hints, because he really is a special sort of durrr, but I guess that’s what makes him so endearing. I mean, if you’re the type of person who would think someone is endearing, who typically, I am not.

Every time Catchphrase ended up in Melissa’s hands, she would take too long to get her team to guess the word and the buzzer would go off. She attributed her distraction to Stacey’s “beautiful cleavage.” It could have been an uncomfortable moment, and my innards were aching from laughing so hard, but Stacey took the compliment with grace and the game went on. This would turn out to be a suggestive hint to where the night was headed: Down Girlsex Alley. Of course Brian took great pleasure in this and went to great lengths to egg Melissa on until finally she knew no other topics other than Boobs, Tits, and Pussy. It was very apropos later on when her Catchphrase word was nipple.

And don’t let Ryan fool you, but I was in the kitchen with him when he was getting a refill of his Faygo (haha) Blue Raspberry and totally saw him reach for the Windex instead and quickly try to play it off when I started laughing.

“I knew it was Windex! It was in my way and I was moving it, I wasn’t going to drink it!” Lol oh.

My favorite moment of the night was about an hour after Brian confided to me that, “I’m not trying to be conceited, but I really do know a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff.” He was trying to get his team to guess Stalingrad and decided to tackle the “Stalin” part first. He kept saying, “Russian tsar! He was a fucking Russian tsar, Janna, you idiot!” (Put those two on a team together and it’s truly like having a wholesome 1950’s TV family sitting in my living room.) Somehow, Janna was able to piece together his mis-hints and after she finally guess it, she quipped, “Stalin wasn’t a tsar, Brian.” I wasn’t on their team, but I did a jubilant fist pump in her honor. It’s not often Brian gets put in his place.

No, I was wrong! I have a different favorite moment of the night, because that one wasn’t about me. But this one is. It was Henry’s turn and all he said was, “I don’t know. Um, female singer” and I screamed “Carly Simon!” and it was totally Carly Simon and I seriously rode that horse for the rest of the night.

“Remember when all he said was ‘female singer’ and I totally guessed Carly Simon because I really am that many layers of awesome?”

After playing Catchphrase for about three hours, because we’re all clearly pathetic, it turned into Ask Uncle Brian comedy hour, wherein Melissa asked Brian questions of a sexual nature, but I do not have permission to go there.


Finally, it was after 1AM and I was coming dangerously close to achieving auto-annoyance, so everyone said goodnight and then Janna came with me to drive Ryan home. I started to pat myself on the back for not losing my temper and Ryan was like, “Really? You don’t think you lost your temper? At all?” and Janna kind of gave me this sad look that read, “He’s right, you know.” Fine, so I got a little angry, but I kept my paws and claws to myself and no one got hurt and nothing got broken. I did good considering what I’m capable of!

Unfortunately, it began to unravel after I dropped off Ryan. One of the scenes where Stacey gave my Scattergories answer a thumbs down started to replay in my mind and I punched the steering wheel. I slight honk was emitted, which kind of sucked because it was like 1:30AM and we were driving through a semi-scary area. I ended up bending one of my nails all the way back.

It hurts really bad today.


And now some thoughts on this night from 2014 Erin: That kid Ryan turned out to be the Biggest Douche and started a huge flame war with me in 2008, and prior to this, literally every last one of my friends were begging me to stop inviting him to my parties because no one could stand him, BUT I NEVER LISTEN; my thoughts on RSVPing have not changed and I WILL hold it against you; Melissa supposedly left her husband and child and ran off to the Playboy Mansion, and I haven’t heard from her in years; could my pictures be any smaller; Stacey’s work schedule prevents her from attending game nights now but there’s a part of me that wonders if it’s really because she just can’t take the blinding light of my Scattergories brilliance; I’m totally going to play Scattergories alone tonight after work.

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Dec 082014








Tim and Patty

Chris, Kari and Katelyn

In lieu of a traditional Thanksgiving at our house this year, I opted to have a casual game night the following Saturday night. And then it occurred to me that, Jesus Christ, I haven’t had a game night here since 2010! And if I remember correctly, we didn’t even really play any games that time.

So it was settled. I sent out Facebook invitations a few weeks in advance, which is how Henry discovered that instead of cleaning the house and cooking a turkey, he would be cleaning the house and cutting cheese cubes. I think he was OK with that.


All day, Chooch was like, “PLEASE CAN WE PLAY HEADS UP AT GAME NIGHT?!” and I was like, “NO BECAUSE THIS IS MY GAME NIGHT NOT YOURS GO AWAY UGH” and then Henry was like, “STOP FIGHTING! YOU TWO CAN SHARE GAME NIGHT OR THERE WONT BE A GAME NIGHT!” Ugh. So I took the high road and let Chooch play his stupid game as a sort of game night aperitif while we were waiting for everyone to arrive. I really dislike this game for some reason, probably because Chooch always wants to play it and then literally never knows the answer and he sucks at giving clues UGH. But anyway, I had one turn and Kara was like, “Blah blah blah, you probably think this song is about you” and I yelled, “CARLY SIMON!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!”

You guys. At one of our past game nights, we were playing Catchphrase. When it was Henry’s turn, he honestly only said, “I don’t know. She’s a singer” and just to be a jerk, I screamed, “CARLY SIMON!” because who really thinks of Carly Simon anymore other than maybe Warren Beatty. Everyone was like, “Yeah, haha, OK” but then Henry quietly passed the Catchphrase device over to the next person and I said, “Whoa, wait. Was it seriously Carly Simon?” and the next person checked to make sure Henry was fucking with us, and it was totally Carly Simon and I know it’s not that big of a deal but I think I have probably referenced this on my blog 87 times since that happened because I honestly consider it to be The Moment I knew that I wanted, NO–NEEDED, to stay with Henry for the rest of all Time.


Something totally devastating happened though, mere hours before game night was scheduled: I realized our beloved Catchphrase no longer worked! I thought maybe it just needed new batteries, but NO. I actually felt panicked, because this is pretty much the game we ALWAYS start with, since it forces people to have to yell out answers and serves as a good ice breaker. (Although my punches worked pretty good at soothing nerves, too.) Janna stopped at Target or somewhere, I don’t know I’m not her keeper, on the way over and bought an electronic version of Taboo, which is similar to Catchphrase, so I felt a little better. God knows how much how I hate change.



Hi this is Chooch my review of Game Nite is “Inappropriate Content Deleted”


Beverage Buffet, Game Nite Style. Some kind of red wine cider punch thing and a cinnamon roll punch, which was originally supposed to be pumpkin pie but for SOME REASON, I had trouble finding Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie vodka immediately after the holiday with the biggest pumpkin pie demand. So I had to swap it out with the Cinnabon flavor, which was delicious anyway so who cares. Pumpkin is overrated.


Patty and Tim brought a STACK of games that we never got around  to playing and I’m pretty sad about that. They were going to teach me how to play Fluxx which everyone says is the easiest game to learn but I have read the directions 4 times (see also: skimmed half-assedly, one time) and I just don’t get it. I have a really hard time learning how to play games, which is amazing considering how stellar I am at playing people.





We are great at parenting. Also, Chooch won.


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I kept the hockey game on in the background because hockey yields to no motherfuckin’ game nights. And then this exchange happened:

Me: [Evgeni Malkin] reminds me of Don, don’t you think?
Corey: No! No, I do not! One is a Russian hockey player and one is YOUR CAT?!

But then Kara pointed out that Corey thought a seagull and pelican were the same, so I shouldn’t put too much stock in his opinion, and this made me super giddy because now I know that not only is my brother colorblind, but he’s also BIRDBLIND.

(On a serious tip though, Malkin really does remind me of my deceased cat Don and I just want to cuddle him so bad. No one sees it, though. Sigh. Does it help if I add that Don was a Russian Blue?)


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Something to note about Game Night: Resurrection is that I didn’t hit Janna. Not even once! I don’t even think I raised my voice at her! I’m going to go ahead and thank the beverage buffet for that one.


We finished the night playing some new game that Janna brought over that involved writing answers on paddles with dry-erase markers! One of the questions was something about a weird movie you’ve recently watched and I was stage-whispering to Henry (who played zero games all night, OK tough guy), “WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THAT GERMAN PORNO WE RECENTLY WATCHED? THE ONE FROM THE 70s* WITH THE PRIEST?!” And Ricky was all, “You do know the point of this game is to try and match answers with the rest of us, right?”



Anyway, now that these photos have been effectively dumped, it’s time for me to call it a day. Can’t wait until the next game night! (Right, Henry?) (Maybe in February? VALENTINE EDITION?!)

(No, that’s dumb.)

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Oct 132014

A few months ago, my friend Kristy asked for two volunteers to be a part of her Zombiefest 2014 costume. I stepped forward (you know, as best as one can on Facebook) and offered my person to be costumed without even asking questions, that’s how much trust and faith I have in Kristy’s brilliant mind. She is hands down the most enthusiastic zombie-lover that I have ever met. She makes all others look like posers, you guys.

Turns out, her idea was the Golden Ghouls!  She had already claimed Dorothy, and her 5-year-old daughter Sarah was Sophia. I chose Rose, because she’s the one I could relate to most. This left Kristy’s friend Bethany as Blanche, and she pulled it off excellently!

Here is a quick recap and photo dump!


This was me, pre-wigging.


And I made this pin to help people decipher who I was supposed to be. It was especially helpful anytime I wandered off without the rest of the Ghouls.


Kristy was hit on by this tiny zombie right away. We learned his name is Solomon and his…handler? showed us a picture of what he normally looks like and it was basically a photo of some Chippendale-esque man. What a transformation. (His middle name is Azrael, in case you were wondering.)


Kristy ripped one of the shoulder pads out of Bethany’s “Blanche blazer,” leaving it to jut out subtly. It was such an awesome touch! Almost as awesome as the yard flamingo impaling Dorothy. I think that was my favorite part of the whole ensemble. OK, tied with Sarah’s impression of Sophia.

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Since Betty White is still alive, I happily got to go as a non-zombied Rose. (I’m really weird about having fake blood, etc on my face!) If this jinxes the universe and something happens to Betty, BLAME KRISTY!

One guy came up to me and asked, “Dolly Parton?”

“No, Betty White,” I explained, pointing to my pin. And he still asked to have his picture taken with me. Every part of me wanted to say no, because you know how I hate having my picture taken. \But he seemed like a nice guy, so I indulged him. Henry took the picture for him and then smirked at me for days afterward.

I was just happy that I somehow fit into a petite-sized dress. How the hell…? (Something creepy happened when I found it at Goodwill.)



Cheesecake Defense.

There was one guy who knew who I was, even when I was split up from my lanai-lounging ladies. He was behind one of the vendor booths and, as I was browsing the selection of skull rings, he said, “You arent’ from St. Olaf, by chance?” I was like YES OMG THANK YOU. And then I came back and bought two rings and a pendant because their stuff was wonderful. Go look!

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Originally, I thought this would be a good opportunity for Chooch to finally wear that dreaded post-apocalyptic Claw Machine costume that the rain thwarted last Halloween, but then Henry pointed out that we wouldn’t be able to fit it in the car. So it was a game time decision to just stuff his head into a clown wig. Thank god our house is basically just one big prop closet.

We’ve been to some other zombie events but this was our first time attending Zombie Fest. It was the downtown convention center this year and I guess this was also the first time that they charged admission to get in. Judging by their event page on Facebook, the majority of the hardcore zombies were NOT happy about this, the location, or really anything. I didn’t really have any violent opinions either way. Sure, it was kind of boring, but I do get bored easily, so one should not gauge the liveliness of Zombie Fest by my boredom compass. I guess it was expensive? I wasn’t paying attention. All I know is that I got a great deal on a bunch of adolescent jewelry.


Henry went as himself/Faygo expert. Big surprise.


I kept imagining that Duff Goldman was underneath that Ronald McDonald suit.


Ran into Patty and Tim!


These two were my favorites! I love gnomes gso gmuch.





Chooch, after he sweated off most of his makeup by playing soccer with a blow-up brain.


Wiggin’ out over water.


Side of brains, aka tasteless mac n cheese.



I loved these guys! Colonel Eagleburger’s Something Something Band? I can’t remember. Bu they made me feel super festive. Weird Paul was there too, but he played before we got there. I saw him sitting at his merch table and wanted to ask him if he remembered when he brought pretzels and Uncle Wiggly to one of my game nights. 

Alas, that required energy I did not have.


At least that OTHER GUY was stoked to have his picture taken with me. Christ.

All in all, it was a pretty fun time! Thank you, Kristy!

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Sep 112014


A few weeks ago, back when CHRIS STILL WORKED HERE, the firm announced its upcoming Global Day of Service. CHRIS decided that Lauren and I should join her in signing up for some organization that has to do with trees.

“It’ll be great!” she said. “We can hug trees!” she said. And Lauren and I blindly followed. And then you know what happened? CHRIS LEFT BEFORE GLOBAL DAY OF SERVICE EVEN HAPPENED!

Last week, Lauren and the rest of the people in our group received an email saying that we would be mulching in the business district of Bloomfield (a Pittsburgh neighborhood right outside of downtown). That seemed OK to me. I imagined us sprinkling mulch upon tiny saplings, blowing a kiss at it, and then moving on to the next one.

On my way to work yesterday, I was on the phone with Henry and he asked what it is exactly that I was going to be doing that day.

“I don’t know,” I shrugged, even though he wasn’t there to see it. “MULCHING, whatever MULCHING is.”

“Oh my god,” Henry laughed. “Please tell me where you’re going to be so I can come watch.”

Later that morning, I found out that another co-worker volunteered on Monday for the same organization and was so sore, she had to work from home. I laughed about it, because please. I couldn’t imagine any charitable organization expecting law firm slugs to do any heavy-lifting. I mean, when Lauren and I volunteered at the Food Bank last year, we basically just looked at cans of food for three hours and talked about how great Nutella is.

(Seriously, how great is Nutella?)

Clearly this co-worker was exaggerating. I mean, obviously. And she apparently was pulling vines out of a hillside and not mulching, like we would be doing. You know, drizzling down pocketfuls of mulch onto trees like sprinkles on an ice cream cone. Because that’s what I was going to be doing all day, twirling all around beneath the beaming sun, singing Emarosa songs in my head.

But then I started to panic.

“Why am I starting to think this is actually some sort of chain gang?” I cried to Mean Amber, who wants me to write an entire blog post explaining how she’s not actually mean at all, and do you see how bossy she is?!

Lauren was likewise freaking out and we collectively rued the day that we signed our souls away for a fucking ice cream sandwich.

(Albeit, a damn fine ice cream sandwich. Mine was blueberry ice cream inside a snickerdoodle! It was delightful, snickerish, and doodley.)

AND THEN I found out at 11:45 that we were leaving at 12:05 and not 1:00 like I thought (because instead of reading emails, I like to play a game called Guess & Assume), so I didn’t have time to eat lunch! I figured I would be ok though. I’d just eat when we got back at 4, that’s all. I forget to eat a lot of days so it wouldn’t be anything new.


Lauren and I were the first ones on the shuttle bus and I was starting to feel giddy, like we were going on a field day and oh, what sorts of adventures were we about to have? It doesn’t take much to excite me.

The bus loaded up fairly quickly. It was mostly all people from other departments. There were only 4 of us reppin’ the 10th floor, and one of the 4 was missing: Patrick. Finally, I spotted him strolling casually toward the bus, eating a peach like a goddamn farmer.

I lost it, just totally interrupted Lauren with my chuckle-vomit. Patrick was the last one to get on the bus, and he ever so calmly strode to an empty seat adjacent from me, and went right back to eating his peach.

“What?” he asked, catching me laughing.

“Nothing,” I wheezed. “Just the way you’re eating that peach!”

“What’s wrong with how I’m eating my peach?” he asked seriously.

“I mean, nothing. It’s just funny because you’re so casual about it,” I tried to explain, wiping away crumbs of cachinnation from my mouth.

“How should I eat my peach?” he pressed, and I was like OMG JUST FORGET IT.


Patrick and the Peach.

Meanwhile, the shuttle driver was forcing people to get out their phones and put his number in it, because he wasn’t going to be sitting around waiting for our philanthropic assed, ok? Lauren and I just sat there and made no effort to take down his number, but Patrick was ALL OVER IT.

The driver, whose name was either Dale or Gale or Nail, told us that the group of volunteers he picked up for the morning session was too large and they and to get a bigger truck.

So then I started picturing a dump truck hauling all of the law firm volunteers to the site on a bed of mulch. Meanwhile, Patrick was trying to get us to buy his house. He actually lives in the same neighborhood as me, so we spoke briefly of Purple Pants because he knows her too.

Then Dale/Nail/Gale pulled over because he thought he got a flat tire and someone in the front said, “That was just that lady,” and I started cracking up because riding on buses reminds me of going on tours and I get super slaphappy.


Our valiant driver booted us out onto some corner of Bloomfield. At our feet was a mountain of bagged mulch, wheelbarrows, enticing tools, and four people in fluorescent yellow t-shirts.

“There’s a guy in a ponytail,” Lauren said off-handedly. “He’s probably going to be cool.”

And also, a woman.

“Oh my god, who’s THAT GUY?” I sighed dreamily as my eyes fell upon the most beautiful blue collar of them all. “I claim him!” His name tag said Jake.

The leader of Trees gave us a brief rundown of the organization while we all passed around sunblock. I showcased my competency right off the bat by inadvertently squirting too much into my hands. I still proceeded to smear all of this into my skin, looking like I was getting ready to go to a costume party as Powder.

“Oh my god,” Lauren laughed, spooning some lotion off my arm with her fingers. Some stranger from another department followed suit and I felt so violated. Then, in a moment of HOW AM I GOING TO RID MYSELF OF THIS LOTION, I slapped some onto Patrick’s arm. Lucas, rounding out our 10th floor quadrant, gave me the universal “I’m good!” motion as I turned my splooge-hands toward him.

I had nowhere else to rub my hands so I just shoved them into my orange work gloves, suntan-splooge and all.



Jake took the reins from whatever the non-hot guy’s name was and gave us a short demonstration of what we were going to do which, newsflash, seemed more like aggressive weeding and less like “mulching.” said since there were 20 of us, he was going to put us into groups of 5. I yelped audibly enough for Jake to hear and pressed myself closer into my 10th floor group. Jake laughed. “OK, some of you have friends here, so you can make your own groups if you want.”

We needed one extra person so a girl named Amy was brave and came over to join us.

“And I guess I’ll just stick with your group,” Jake said, to which Lauren and I exchanged looks of “FUCK YES.” Also, we got to wear neon yellow vests, and I was obnoxiously happy about that. I LOVE NEON.


Aside from feeling self-conscious because passers-by were ogling us, mulching started out OK. In fact, I couldn’t believe how easy it was! We worked our way down one side of the street, picking out trash from tree beds, pulling out the small assortment of weeds poking through the old mulch, and then putting down a new layer of mulch. Sometimes we didn’t have to put down new mulch at all! I was having a lot of fun using my mulching weapon too, which I had silently named Walden. (After Bradley Scott Walden, duh. Google that shit.) I quickly discovered that hacking away murderously at unsightly weeds was almost as satisfying as hacking away at the faces of fake Mexicans from Ohio. Therapeutic. Cathartic. EXHILARATING. If I wasn’t wearing my murder gloves, I would have texted Henry and told him that I was quitting my job to become a landscaper.


While working on one tree bed in particular, we observed that the number of cigarette butts had increased exponentially and then someone pointed out that we were in front of a bar. A nice, light-hearted moment before things went downhill.


Then this guy ^^^ stood around and observed, like what we were doing was any of his business! GOD.


This was before Lauren savagely whacked Amy in the head with the wooden handle of a rake.

After we had worked our way through our designated area, Jake exclaimed, “Wow! You guys are working so fast. Let’s move across the street and help that group over there.” So we were feeling really heroic at that point. I was, anyway. Like a landscaping bad ass. Where’s my fucking cape?

During this time, I made the rookie mistake of wrongly identifying a rose hip bush as a plant full of under-developed persimmons, but don’t worry: Patrick made sure I knew I was an idiot for thinking that. Then Lauren pricked herself on one of the rose hip thorns like this is some goddamn fairy tale and then we had to hear about it for the rest of all time!

I think was after some random lady stopped and asked what we had done to get ourselves put on a chain gang, ugh. WE’RE NOT A CHAIN GANG! WE’RE VOLUNTEERS!

It didn’t take long to finish primping the trees on the next block, so Jake decided that we were going to walk back to home base, load up our wheelbarrows with some mulch, and then continue on down the street to meet up with another group. This sounded great, like maybe we were nearing the end of our service. Then I made the mistake of looking at my phone and seeing that it was only 2:00pm. We still had two more hours?! How could that be possible.

Somehow, I got strapped with one of the wheelbarrows and it was just a disaster, so Lauren traded her armful of rakes with me and I was glad that she hadn’t fallen into an eternal sleep after getting pricked by the rose thorn.

Once we made it back to the Mt. Everest of mulch bags, Jake realized that the other group was too far away for us to transport the mulch via wheelbarrows, so he demanded that we pick up the bags and load them onto the back of his truck and then he would just drive everything down. Physically, I was fine up until this point. I mean, it was hot out so I was sweating a little bit, but it wasn’t like, “OMG I’M GOING TO DIE.” Until I started lifting bags of mulch. Now, I have moderate back problems and I have known this ever since I had to quit playing tennis because of it when I was 16. So I should have been like, “Hey guy, I’m going to excuse myself from this portion of the day’s activities.”

But no. I’m stubborn and lifted like 8 of them in succession because why? For what? Was there a prize? A medal? NO. JUST 48 HOURS OF CRIPPLING BACK PAIN. The day went from leisurely weeding to recreating the goddamn work site scene in The Ten Commandments.


The pain was so immediate that once I lifted the first bag, I knew there was no way I was getting it up into the bed of that damn truck, so I had to pass them off to Lucas.

Thank you Lucas.


In the 4.5 years that I’ve been at The Law Firm, I have had very minimal interaction with Lucas, so I was excited to be tree tenders together. I learned a lot about him, too. Such as: he has a tree in his front yard.

And…he has a tree in his front yard.


One of the other Trees people gave us very sketchy directions which had us crossing over a major intersection and getting trapped on a cement island for an indefinite amount of time. Thankfully, Patrick was there to lead us to safety.


“Don’t cross yet. Wait for the walk sign.”

Once we made it to the other side of the street, it was pretty clear that we were no longer in the quaint business district of Bloomfield anymore, but more so The Shady Garage borough. We somehow accumulated a lady from one of the other groups, and also three rough men in street clothes who were apparently being paid to do what we were naively doing for free and made some comment to Patrick and Lucas about how lucky they were to get to have women on their team and I was like “We’re going to get raped. In our fucking neon vests. That’s the only way this day could get any worse.”

It was a concrete jungle down on this end: the tree beds were triple the size of the ones we had grown accustomed to and the weeds grew tall and dense and had super thick stems and deep roots. I hadn’t recovered from lifting mulch, so when I knelt down, I started slapping the ground with my mulching weapon in a petulant manner. My energy was gone, my back crunched every time I moved, and I HADN’T EATEN LUNCH AND WAS FEELING FAINT.

But I kept going on because I didn’t want to be That Person.

I know, since when, right?

Jake pulled up in his stupid truck and spouted off some obligatory praises, like, “Yeah. You guys are doing great. Woo. Dig those weeds. Spead that mulch. Go team, go.” You guys. I watched Patrick drop his mulching weapon and begin to shut down at one point.

Patrick has been IN AFGHANISTAN, you guys. Patrick has been IN THE WAR.


“Remember when we had to pick up all those cigarette butts?” I quietly asked Lauren. “Those were the days.”

I don’t even want to think about how many dogs and drunks have pissed on the trees we were tending to.

After about an hour of hacking down the set of Little Shop of Horrors, Jake came back and said we could cross the street and join the other three groups on that side, which is when we discovered that not only were their tree beds way more suburban, they weren’t even weeding the whole thing! Just narrow strips along the tree trunk! It was APPALLING and we were vocal about our irritation, too.

Oh, and those bastards also had the cooler full of water with them the whole time, too. So, three hours into it, I finally got to have a fucking drink. THANKS FOR THE HOSPITALITY, TREES.

“Hey Lauren, remember last year when we volunteered at the Food Bank and they were practically begging us to eat their snacks and drink their coffee?”

I think Lauren’s response to this was a handful of tears.



Fake smiles.

Lucas is thinking about cutting down that tree in his front yard.

Finally, it was almost 4:00 and I have never been so happy to see Dale/Nail/Gale, and the Law Firm, and my non-laborious desk work.

I wish I could go back in time and punch myself in the vag at the exact moment I felt excited when Jake picked my group.


Later that night, when I complained for the 548678th time about how exhausted I was, Chooch rolled his eyes and said, “Yeah we know. Because you had to ‘do mulch’ all day. We get it.”



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Sep 012014


My dear friend Kaitlin got married last Saturday! Henry and I couldn’t make it to the ceremony, but we wound up being the first ones at the Lemont for the reception, so we had to sit at the bar, where someone walked past and brought with them some pleasant aroma that brought back the strongest sensation of my Pappap’s presence that I’ve experienced in quite some time, so I sat there trying not to drop tears into my $9 amaretto sour.


Henry in a suit: I approve. And he didn’t even put up a fuss about wearing one! He must be growing up, or just losing the will to fight.

Eventually, the banquet room was ready. Wendy and Shawn had just arrived so we walked down with them and Henry and Shawn basically imprinted immediately. Especially after Wendy told me to show Shawn pictures of the Get Stoked sign Henry made me. Their first man-date will probably be to Home Depot.


Then Barb arrived and shocked us by saying that she managed to NOT CRY at the ceremony! She wandered off for a bit because she wanted to find some of the people from the Penguins organization (Danny, the groom, works for the Penguins!). A few minutes later, Barb came rushing back over to us with her arm hooked around a man and cried, “LOOK WHO I FOUND! JOE MACHI! FROM LAST COMING STANDING! ON NBC!!!!” Then she practically chucked her phone at me and made me take her picture with him. It all happened so fast, you guys.



After the Joe Machi experience, Barb was like, “Sure. I’ll pose for a picture with you, Erin Kelly. But you’re no Joe Machi.”



This cake was just for ceremonial cutting purposes. We all had crème brulee instead, and it was fantastic!


You might remember that Kaitlin used to work at The Law Firm and won all of our hearts with her otherworldly baking prowess. Well, she is such an overachiever that she baked 80% of her own wedding cookies, which were booby-trapped with sheaths of tulle during the cocktail hour. We took turns pacing back and forth with our tongues wagging.





The signature KrollWedding2014 drinks were a cocktail of vodka, lemonade, mint and basil. And they were delicious. And free-flowing. I was pretty blitzed before the cocktail hour was over, and Henry was not happy about this. Haha!



Mary arrived soon after Barb, completing the Law Firm table.



The happy new couple, Shawn and Henry, taking in the view together.


I love these broads. <3



I hate that I don’t know what they were laughing at!!!



Table 24 was the best table.




This was when Wendy was trying to clean crème brûlée from my skirt with a centerpiece flower, sometime after I drunkenly exclaimed that if I ever get married, I’d want Wendy to be in it and then she drunkenly exclaimed in return that she would be honored and OMG how sweet and then I think we hugged.


That’s JOE MACHI standing behind Henry, you guys! JOE MACHI!!!!!!! Side note: Mary held a butter knife up to Henry’s neck several times during the night, further ingratiating herself into my life.


Photobooth fun! Before I went in with Henry, I grabbed the “Soon to be Mrs” sign and said, “Oh here, hold this up. It’ll cause an outcry, I guarantee it.” And it did, haha. People thought we were announcing our engagement but I was like, “Sigh, no. We were just being dicks.”


Ugh you guys. Kaitlin was the most beautiful bride! I cried as soon as she and Danny walked in and Henry was like, “Jesus Christ, here we go.” This might be my favorite picture of the night. Henry kept trying to duck because we were all trying to take pictures of Kaitlin, so she came right over and hugged him, haha!

Then Wendy and I made the mistake of relying on Henry and Shawn to take group pictures of us, and we wound up with a collection of photos that are just asking to be made into derp memes.





This is what happens when you give a man the simple task of taking a picture for you: Barb gets cut out of both pictures and one looks like it was developed by a drunk person at Foto Hut in 1978.

I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot. I was pretty drunk, but we all had the best time and Henry and I didn’t fight at all! I was too busy staring at him with heart-eyes all night because underneath my layer of assholeness, I’m just a stupid girl who loves love and you guys, it was such a nice night. I was honored to be there. Congratulations, Kaitlin and Danny!

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Jun 282014

One of the greatest things ever about the Internet is meeting new people, especially if those people aren’t psychopathic torture warriors greasing up the Iron Maiden for your visit.

Before I had this blog, I used this awesome blogging platform called LiveJournal and met some really incredible people, most of whom I have kept in touch with even after abandoning LJ in 2007 (I still miss it every day, though!). So on day 3 of our road trip, we had plans to meet two girls I have known for what seems like my entire adult life at this point, thanks to LJ.

After Indiana, we had plans to go to Michigan to hang out with Bill, Jessi and Tammy for the weekend. They were coming back from Tennesee that Friday night, so we had the whole day to make our pilgrimages to meet Michelle and Sarah, who thankfully all live within an hour’s drive from Bill and Jessi. And they were both available that day! All the stars were aligned, for once.

(Coincidentally, LJ is also how I know Bill! All hail, LJ. Some of my best friendships were forged from something that I had no idea what I was doing when I signed up.)

First up was Michelle in Royal Oak. I can’t even remember when she and I became friends, but it was definitely pre-Chooch, so probably around 2004/2005, would be my guess. I have wanted to meet her for quite some time and we even had plans to meet up last year at this Pee Wee’s Big Adventure festival that was supposed to happen in Louisville, KY, but then Pee Wee found out about the festival and pulled the whole cease and desist thing, so there went that.

Michelle and I both really like Pee Wee, obviously.

It was raining in Royal Oak when we pulled onto Michelle’s street. Henry passed her house and had to turn around but that was a good thing because it meant that I got to see her Little Free Library! Henry was like, “Oh she’s the one with the library thing?” TRY TO FOLLOW ALONG, HENRY.


Anyway, we finally parked in front of her house and Henry said hello to her mailman which cracked me up for unknown reasons. He just loves men in costumes, you guys.

Michelle opened the door and I immediately went into “dur dur dur now what??” mode because my social skills are missing a chromosome. My first impressions: her hair is awesome. She has purple walls! And some of my art is on them! OMG CUTE KIDS! OMG CUTE DOGS! Chooch pretended to be totally annoyed but then immediately ran off with her little girls, Delia and Kira, so Henry and I got to sit down and have grown-up conversations with someone which rarely happens!

It’s always surreal to meet someone in the flesh after they start out just being a user name (mshecubus!) but then advance to real pictures on Facebook and sending real life mail to each other. Michelle sent me my coveted blood-splattered coffee cup with the brass knuckle-shaped handle that made everyone at work shake their heads! I love that damn mug!

We passed a signed for 8 Mile on the way to Royal Oak, so of course I had to ask Michelle questions about Eminem. She wasn’t sure if he still lives in Michigan, but she said his daughter recently graduated from a high school close by and that he had to watch it from a TV somewhere inside the school so he wouldn’t get mobbed, which is kind of sad but then I remembered that I don’t like Eminem so what do I care.

Every once in awhile, Chooch would run back into the house to tattle on the girls, not one of his finer traits, and to cry about getting sand in his damn ankle wound. God, try to be a little more self-sufficient, kid.

As usual, we were behind schedule and had to leave after about an hour, plus we didn’t want to impose since it was such a poorly-planned meet-up because Henry sucks at mapping things out. Professional driver my ass.

The only good thing about leaving was watching Chooch writhe in horror and pain as Delia and Kira gang-hugged him, hahaha.



Then it was back in the car for more stupid driving, this time to meet Sarah. It took about 45 minutes to get to Flint and we were too stupid to find Sarah’s salon, so she took a picture of us standing on a street corner, looking lost, and texted it to me. And this is why we’re friends!


Sarah was one of my very first friends on LiveJournal, back when I didn’t believe in capitalization and the only punctuation I used were ellipses and groups of 18 exclamation points. We were pregnant at the same time (her daughter Alpha is two months older than Chooch) and she was one of the only people who knew the truth of my fucked up friendship with Christina; I still feel so grateful that she was there for me.


And now we were finally meeting! More surreal feelings.

Sarah had recently finished working at the salon for the day, but if I didn’t work at a Law Firm, I would have totally asked her to give me lavender hair. I dream of lavender hair. But instead she took us around the corner to the Flint Crepe Company, which was like walking into the 1920s.

A man in a suit said, “Hi Sarah!” and after greeting him, Sarah was like, “Oh that was the mayor of Flint.”

THE MAYOR KNOWS SARAH! She is so cool. (This made me really giddy too, for some reason. Mailmen and mayors just do it for me, I guess.)


OMG I got the Lemon Drop and it was just the right combination of lemon and drop. So good.


Who cares what Henry got, but he was actually kind of smiling!


Chooch got some chocolate strawberry special and ate it like we hadn’t been feeding him at all on this trip. Then he proceeded to lap his water out of the glass like a cat, because that was his new thing, as of that moment, pretending to be a cat who speaks like a toddler.

“Me a cat, meowmeowmeow,” he kept saying and I was kicking him under the table because it was creeping me out. I mean, it’s one thing if this was just his nervous tic, something that he does every now and then because he thinks he’s being cute, but aside from a casual and ironic “meow” here and there, he has never regressed like this before. I was kind of alarmed, like my kid was breaking.

I ended up chalking it up to the fact that he was acting stupid because he was crushing on Sarah.


After crepes, Sarah took us on a walking tour around Flint. Some of my friends were like, “Really? Flint?” because vacations are supposed to have beaches I guess, but it was really fun! I love exploring places and Flint had that gritty feel to it that I love.

Of course we had to ask Sarah about Eminem too. She told us this story about how she was at Warped Tour in 1998 (Chooch perked up at this part, because WARPED TOUR) and accidentally kicked a rock at the guy in front of her. He turned around and called her a fucking bitch and then later she heard all of this booing coming from one of the stages and the guy who called her a fucking bitch was on the stage and turned out to be Eminem, haha.


This is when Chooch was excited to trespass.



Sarah taught us about these berries, the most important fact being that we could eat them, so then Chooch and I had to stand there, pulling down branches and getting stains on ourselves. “I don’t even like these!” Chooch said, popping another into his mouth. Henry just sighed and kept walking.


I bet they sell Faygo in there!


Then Sarah took us to the river to see if there were any dead bodies and causally mentioned that there was a 1-in-45 chance that something violent would happen to us just by being in Flint. That was exciting!

I thought we saw a dead body for sure but Henry was like, “THAT IS A RUG AND BESIDES IT’S TOO SMALL FOR A BODY.”

Oh OK. Midgets or babies can’t be wrapped up and discarded in a rug? Appendages or severed heads? I forgot we live in a perfect world where midgets don’t get murdered and babies aren’t thrown away and not everyone eats their kill. That’s so 1990 Jeffrey Dahmer.

THIS POST JUST GOT TOO DARK. Or not dark enough, if you’re my kind of people.

We did see homeless people with a George Forman Grill, and that was the one thing that Henry  took away from him. When we met up later with Bill and Jessi, he couldn’t wait to tell them about that.

“A George Forman Grill! Where were they going to plug it in!?” he laughed. Oh, Henry.




Henry Crapo, HAHAHAHA!


Trying not to laugh at Henry Crapo.


Alleyway Photo Op.


Henry and Chooch had to stay outside while Sarah and I went inside Paul’s Pipe Hospital, which immediately made me think of my dad. I’m not sure if he still smokes pipes, but he did when I was growing up and I always loved that smell. One of my high school teachers owned a pipe shop in the mall called the Tinder Box and I used to love walking in there for the same reason.


Paul’s Pipe Hospital taught me that there are actual trophies to be won if you can continuously smoke the same pipe longer than anyone else in Pipe Competitions. Now I kind of want to acquire a taste for pipe tobacco so that I too can win a trophy. How popular would Chooch be at school once everyone finds out his mom is a competitive pipe smoking CHAMPION? And how long will it take before someone in his school realizes there are ways to make this into a euphemism for fellatio.


God, this is a fantastic idea. How do I get started? I want one of the pipes I saw there that come in a far-out array of 1970s afghan colors.

Look at what you’ve done to me, Sarah.


My outfit matched Sarah’s hair perfectly.

After about 2 hours, it was time to say goodbye and head back to Wayne so we could check into our hotel and grab a quick dinner before meeting up with Bill and Jessi.

Sarah and Michelle, thank you both so much for making  time for us and getting the awkward “first meet” out of the way. I already can’t wait to see you both again! Come to Pittsburgh!!

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May 202014

What a clunker of a title. Let me explain: I had dinner plans at Ten Penny last Saturday night with Wendy, Kaitlin, Barb and Mary. Ten Penny is downtown, and since I accidentally walked past it one day last week, I was pretty excited at the prospect of taking the trolley downtown of my own volition and walking to the restaurant like a big girl. I think Henry was bracing himself for me to change my mind, but really, taking the trolley downtown at this point in the game makes me way less anxious than the thought of driving down there and finding somewhere to park, OMG no.


I walked past Wiener World and knew I was going the right direction, yay landmarks!


Of course I was early, so I wandered around (making sure I stayed close so that I wouldn’t get lost!). When I was on my way back to Ten Penny, I saw two women across the street, waving.

“I don’t recognize these women, but surely it’s some combination of Wendy, Barb*, Kaitlin and Mary,” I thought to myself. So I waved back.

They waved more exuberantly and then began jumping too. So I waved back more exuberantly and did a little awkward jump, because YAY FRIENDS!

They were waving to the bitch next to me. Also, they were strangers. I really need to get my eyes rechecked.

*(Barb ended up not being able to make it. Probably because she didn’t want to see me, ugh!!)

Luckily, I crossed the street and ran into Wendy, so I felt like less of a lost sheep. Thank you, Shepherd Wendy.

We went inside to claim our table and wait for Kaitlin and Mary, and I told Wendy of my newfound independence and bravery.

“I even took a DIFFERENT EXIT when I got off the trolley,” I confided. What a weird little phase I’m going through.

Here is where Wendy nearly choked on her water from laughing so hard. “I’m sorry, but you just sounded so earnest, you fool!” And then she wanted me to say it again so she could record it.



WHATEVER, WENDY. We were soon joined by the rest of our party and commenced the ordering of cocktails, which was hands down the best part of the night for me because I love fancy cocktails so much. Too bad that bartending “degree” didn’t get me very far.

I already knew that I wanted a Stormy Morning, because I always have to look at menus online before going somewhere, whether I’ve been there before or not, because I like to know what I’m walking into. This is how I knew that Ten Penny is a vegetarian’s nightmare. Almost everything was meat, and even the things that were just vegetables or potatoes had gratuitous bacon incorporated in an assortment of creative ways, like the brussels sprouts were capped with candied bacon and the truffle fries came with bacon aioli. (I love aioli so I almost cried about that.)

ANYWAY! Back to the cocktails. I knew before I even left the house that I would be glugging on a glass of the Stormy Morning, which consisted of St. Germaine (yes, please), Creme de Violette (oh shit) and a blanc de blanc. I would have been fine with a barrel of that heavenly secretion and a bread basket. I can never get enough bread.

Dumb Wendy ordered the Stormy Morning before me but only after she found out I was going to order it, so I made sure the waitress knew it was my idea first.

“She’s one of those,” Wendy sighed to the waitress, in a time that made it sound like she was referring to a mangy disease.

But as it were, we were there for dinner, so I had to order actual food. The only veg entree option was a pasta primavera and I can’t tell you how far away from the pasta tip I was that night. So I wound up getting the wild mushroom flatbread, which was fine but not anything that Henry couldn’t have made me. But whatever, I was happy with my dranks, y’all.



For dessert, we all split the S’mores, only because we wanted to fuck around with the novelty of melting shit over a mini-stove thing. That was pretty fun for a second, but the S’mores themselves were only so-so.



Marshmallow poops.




Then Wendy made us have our picture taken.20140520-110413.jpg

Overall, I would go back to Ten Penny the next time I want to more than I would at a dive bar to drink myself stupid. But unless I was going for lunch (GRILLED CHEESE & TOMATO BISQUE: ’nuff said), or suddenly start masticating flesh again, I probably won’t give their dinner menu another shot. Unless Wendy tells me to. Because she basically plans my weekends for me now.

Mediocre food or not, the whole point was to spend time with three of my favorite broads, and that part of the night was five stars, you guys. Go tell Yelp.

And then it was around 11:30 by the time we left and sorry, but ain’t no way, no how this bitch is riding the trolley home at 11:30 in the PM, so I texted my chariot. An irritated Henry arrived about 10 minutes later.

So much for independence.


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May 122014

When we settled on a LOLcat theme for Chooch’s party this year, there was only one thing that I knew we had to do. At the risk of being one of your typical Pinterest Moms, I wanted to have a photo booth-type set up where everyone could choose their own feline accoutrements. I was going to buy cat ear headbands on Etsy, but apparently those sons of bitches are infused with Jesus’s bone marrow and I wasn’t trying to bleed out any more money on this damn party. So Henry and I bought some plastic headbands for 49 cents and a few sheets of felt. Voila, cheap ass cat ear headbands. Go fuck yourself, Etsy.

But then I was like, “OMG WHAT WILL THE BACKGROUND LOOK LIKE?!!?” And of course at the last minute, it occurred to me to just use the image I designed for the back of the party invitations. Duh. And then Henry waited until the day of the party to print them all out and glue them to cardboard, because Last Minute is the only way we know.


I love this thing and hate it all at once.



Before the party started, I practiced on Jessi (who thankfully loves having her picture taken!). Ideally, I wanted to have the backdrop facing out of the pavilion so that everyone could stand/sit in the natural light, but it poured all afternoon without letting up once. We had to keep the backdrop inside the pavilion and if you’re like me and struggle with lighting and camera settings because you’re a fauxtographer, this is bad news bears. I really liked how this picture turned out with my real camera, but I knew that children at a birthday party were not going to be as patient as Jessi, so I just used my dumb iPhone for the rest of the pictures. And once I took my invisible OCD pills, it was fine. Really!

These are the things I stress out about. Honestly. Some days I can’t wait to be old and in a nursing home where all the things are planned FOR me.


OMG I GLUED THOSE WHISKERS ONTO THOSE STICKS ALL BY MYSELF!! Also: Chooch and I wore matching Warped Tour shirts and it made me really happy even though he was like, “I don’t really care, can I open presents now?” There were actually quite a few guests wearing cat shirts and it was so much fun!



I’m being smart and not posting pictures of Chooch’s school friends. It took 10 years of blogging to finally drill that through my thick skull.





Jesus, my friends and family are good sports! I wasn’t able to wrangle everyone, but I tried! My friend Elaine pointed out on Facebook that there isn’t one of Henry and FUNNY YOU SHOULD MENTION IT because that motherfucker somehow made grilling hamburgers and hot dogs into a 3-hour-long affair and was conveniently not involved in basically anything. Thanks for feeding me to the wolves, er, children.

Anyway, I know it’s not that big of a deal, but I really want Chooch to have good memories of his childhood, and memories are even better when they come with photographical evidence. These things are important to me.

More later! This broad is goddamn exhausted and having a terrible Monday.

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May 062014



Saturday, despite being full of crazy spring storms, was a really nice day all around. First, we had a birthday party to attend for my cousin Danielle’s mom, Janet.

To quickly back-story this bitch up, I don’t have much of a family. My immediate family (i.e. my mom and her side) pretty much kept to themselves, and because of this, I never had a chance to forge any real relationships with extended family members like cousins and great-aunts and uncles. About four years ago, I somehow saw my second-cousin Danielle on Facebook. We’re related because her dad was my grandma’s brother. He died young, before I was even born, so I sadly didn’t get to know him at all, and because of that, I barely got to know Danielle. I hadn’t seen her since I was probably about 4 years old, and she would have been a pre-teen? Teenager? Possibly we may have attended some of the same weddings in the 80s and 90s? I’m not even sure. But I took a chance and sent her a friend request, and suffice it to say, it has been really nice reconnecting with her over the last 4 years.

When Danielle invited us to her mom’s birthday party, I was hesitant because I don’t think I have ever met her mom and, well, I’m incredibly awkward at parties. But in the end, Henry, Chooch and I went and immediately befriended Ruth, an old neighbor of Danielle and her mom’s. Ruth reminded me of what  my grandma might have been like if she actually wanted to purposely talk to me in public. I liked her a lot. So Henry and I sat at a picnic table, listening to Ruth talk about the different sorts of wildflowers she spotted along the perimeter of the pavilion, while waiting for Janet’s arrival.

Another guest arrived and placed a gigantic potted plant down on the gift table.

“Oh, that’s really pretty,” I cooed robotically. And then to Henry I whispered, “My social cues told me to say that.”

“You don’t have social cues,” Henry sighed.

I’m really improving my small talk game these days. Just this morning, I accidentally struck up a conversation with some broad as we crossed Brookline Blvd together and then got stuck into walking an additional three blocks with her, talking about Pittsburgh weather, camping and my kid’s upcoming birthday party.

I don’t even know who I am anymore.

Finally, Danielle’s son Cory rolled up with the chicken and the lady of the hour. Everyone was like, “Yay!” and I was yay’ing too except that I felt like a fraud, you know? But then, after greeting some other guests, Janet came right over to me, gave me a hug and said, “You look familiar…”

“I don’t really know what this makes me to you, but I’m Valerie [blahblah’s] daughter,” I explained with a slight hesitation. Our family sitch is awkward and complicated—like most people’s, I know. But the amount of “write-offs” over the years have left one dead and ugly family trees on my generation’s hands.

Janet gasped a little bit and exclaimed, “You look like her!” Then she looked at Henry and asked, “And…is this your husband? Boyfriend? No, never mind. I don’t need to know!” she waved it off as my mouth started to form my signature “HE WON’T MARRY ME” catchphrase. And then she sat down with us and we talked about the family and it was pretty amazing, I won’t lie. I hoped that maybe she had some memories of my birth dad (I have a post about him pending), but she said that she didn’t really know much about him other than he gave my mom a real hard time.

I mean, that’s one way of putting it.

Suddenly, the calm Saturday air was disrupted by the cacophony of a fleet of motorcycles roaring down the path to the pavilion. I figured it was a bunch of bikers looking for a place to turn around, until Janet casually said, “Oh, here come the Pagans.”


So it turns out my other cousin Skip is a member of the Pagan bike gang and they made quite an entrance. I was terrified yet entranced and did not make eye contact with any of them the whole afternoon because god forbid I should pull some terrible Pee Wee Herman-esque faux pas and wind up being lifted off the ground by a hand around my neck. I knew little to nothing about the Pagans until I Googled them later and then gulped.

When Janet’s sister and brother-in-law arrived, she introduced them to me right away and they were like “OMG” because it seems like as soon as you say the S-word (my mom’s maiden name) around certain people, it’s like RECORD SCRATCH.

“Are you hungry?” Janet asked me. “Go eat!” My favorite words!


What a great afternoon. I got to stuff my face with good food, cookies, and cake made my Ruth’s daughter; take a bunch of photos of Henry looking dumb with food; and get to know a little more about my enigmatic family. I hope I get to see Janet again soon because she is awesome and now I want her to be friends with Henry’s mom.

And I still don’t know what relation she is to me. 6th cousin? Lady person? My cousin’s mom? Great cousin? Great aunt?






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Apr 072014

I kept saying that I didn’t want to do anything this weekend.

“I don’t want to do anything this weekend,” I said to Henry. See? It happened. And these words were like the theme music of NCIS to Henry’s ears. This is all he ever wants to do on the weekend: NOTHING! I really thought that was what I wanted too. We have been doing so much lately that I was starting to feel a little run-down, physically and mentally, anyway. So aside from taking Chooch to his piano lesson Saturday morning, nothing else happened that day aside from binge-watching HBO while it was free and screaming at the hockey game.


The next day, Chooch went to the neighbor kid’s birthday party, which was right next door so we didn’t have to do anything but open the door and boot Chooch out of it. It was glorious! But then I became immediately bored again. I left the door slightly ajar because all of the jackass birthday party kids were running around outside the house making me super nervous and annoyed and I needed to adapt my role as Crotchety Bitch-Neighbor in case something happened that would provide me an opportunity to run outside and chew out some dumb kid.

About an hour into the party, someone started to knock on my door, which blew open because of the wind; this left me in an awkward predicament because I absolutely hate answering the front door but now whoever was knocking could basically see into my house.  DO YOU WATCH THE FOLLOWING!? It seems like every motherfucker that opens their door for someone gets stabbed to death. I don’t want to get stabbed to death. WHO DOES? (I mean, I’m sure there are plenty of people who do, but they’re probably singing Crash Test Dummies song(s) while coloring walls with their feces in a mental institution.) I figured it might be one of the parents, that Chooch probably fucked up somehow (he’s my kid, after all), so I exhaled and bravely pulled the front door open the rest of the way.

It was an older man looking for his missing cat. RED FLAG, right? Total Yinzer, dishelved, possibly a little buzzed, and definitely dressed worse than Henry. So, your basic Brookliner. Whether it was true or not, I indulged him while he struggled to not only describe the cat, but remember her dumb name. (Tia.) And then he struggled some more to tell me where he lives, which is literally like 5 houses down the street.

“OK, we’re the first house down there that has a porch that sticks out. Do you see the porch sticking out? Maybe you can’t see from here,” he squints real hard, practically hemorrhaging while digging in his brain for a house number. “OK, you see that gray car? Not the one on the street. The gray car in the driveway. That’s our house past the driveway.”

I promised him I would keep my eyes open for his car and we shook hands after he told me his name is Gary. He was just about to leave when I reminded him to watch his step. (Our front porch steps are all crumbled on one side and are hopefully about to be repaired soon. The landlord knows, and I hope he doesn’t want a law suit. But maybe he does. Maybe getting sued gives him an erection.) At my simple suggestion, Gary took that as an invitation to pause and study the porch.

“You know, I painted one of these porches awhile back,” he said. And it suddenly all started coming to me and I knew exactly who he was.

“I remember that!” I exclaimed, because he and his weirdo brother-in-law (who lives next door to him) kept me wildly entertained that day with their half-crocked banter. “Hey, do you by chance have a cat named Teddy?” I asked.

“Teddy! Yeah, he’s dead now though. He was a good cat!”

“He really was!” I agreed. “He got my cat Marcy pregnant in 1999,” I explained.

“Oh, no! Do I owe you kitty support?” he laughed, and we went on to talk forever about cats. I told him that Teddy used to come and sit on the windowsill after Marcy had the kittens, like he wanted to check in on them, but Marcy would go absolute ape shit on him through the screen. She used to make these terrifying, gutteral screams that I have never heard from a cat before.

Don looked exactly like his father Teddy.

“Hey, you should come over in the summer and go swimming!” Gary suggested happily after finding out that we’re basically in-laws. That is definitely not going to happen, but I cheerfully went along because CATS! What a great topic.

Something like 15 minutes later, I was pulling the door closed behind me just in time to find Henry on the couch cracking the fuck up.

“What?” I squealed. “We were talking about CATS!”

“Have fun swimming at his house this summer,” Henry tried, and failed, to say without laughing.

That’s one of the few times you will ever find me not resisting human contact.


I still wasn’t feeling 100% myself (obviously something was wrong with me if I willingly spent time small-talking with a neighbor) but it was really nice and sunny out that afternoon so I made Henry go for a walk with me.

Jo’s Salon decorates for every holiday. Love the bunnies and sexy Jesus-in-a-basket!


There used to be this totally sketchy bar on the Boulevard that you had to walk down steps to get to, basically a rape-trap, but it was closed down (I think there were a lot of drug busts there) and now it’s some strange church-thing.

I was hoping that this would the day I could finally get Henry to go inside the African market but he’s still being a baby about it. Aside from him being secretly racist, I’m not sure WTF is going on with Henry and the African market. Maybe he tried to get them to sell Faygo and they laughed at him?

So we went to Pitaland instead. I used to be inexplicably terrified of that place, but then I learned that they have the freshest dates around, and also a super-hot guy working there named I forget now but he is really handsome and I like to remind Henry of that fact every time we go there.


Cactus pears & nub-things.

I got to witness some incredibly old man with a walker pick up a box of Mediterranean candy and honest-to-god bellow, “WHAT THE HELL IS THIS” before slamming it back down. Dude, they’re ANGEL KISSES AND THEY LOOK DELICIOUS SO STOP SLAMMING SHIT.

(Henry just responded to my urgent text. The Hot Pitaland Guy’s name is Marvin. Thanks for paying attention when I kept dreamily saying his name in your ear yesterday, buddy.)

Then I made Henry buy a container of these delicious looking powdered pastries that the non-Marvin Pitaland guy described to us in a bored mumble. Turns out they were $10 and DISGUSTING. I couldn’t taste anything but ROSE and the choking was almost as terrible as the time Janna tried to drown me in rose water at the Palace of Gold.

Back outside on the Boulevard, I stopped abruptly and tried to take a picture of this guy standing in front of the red door of one of Those Weird Churches, but I wasn’t fast enough and he had already started to walk down the steps. I was so upset that I missed such a great photo-op, but Henry was perplexed and annoyed.

“What the hell are you trying to take a picture of!?” he hissed, wanting to continue on so we could get home already.

“The way that man was standing at the top of the steps, it was such a Jesus pose!” I cried irritably, knowing he wouldn’t understand.


And he didn’t.

It’s funny that all this religious stuff was happening on our walk because I just ordered a bunch of religious candy to stuff in plastic eggs because it’s time for another EASTER GLENN HUNT! Just a little while ago, I made a Veronica’s Veil Glenn and a Hot Cross Bun Vendor Glenn. I love religious Glenns.


This was when we were fighting about who likes dates more.

“I’ve been eating dates since before you were born!” he bragged.

“YEAH WELL I ATE DATES IN MOROCCO!” I cried and then kicked him, because that’s what I do. But then we started reminisicing about the date milkshakes we drank at a date farm in California, so that was nice.


Almost as soon as we got home, Henry “suddenly” got a fever, WTF? So he spent the rest of the day in bed which affects me greatly because no one was available to make me dinner. I kept calling him, and I could hear his phone start to ring (he has a Dance Gavin Dance ring tone for me and I didn’t even download it on his behalf!!) and then it would stop suddenly because that dumb motherfucker was DECLINING MY CALLS. So then I would march upstairs and be him to come down.

“Just order pizza,” he mumbled in a (fake!!!!) fever-induced drawl.


“Oh my god, tell me you are not even crying right now,” he sighed and rolled over, putting his dumb blanketed back toward me.

I ate a dumb bagel and Chooch had Apple Jacks. Sorry kid, but I’m not one of those broads who rises to the occasion and suddenly knows how to make a roast. (Not like Chooch would ever eat that anyway.)

I was telling Barb about the dinner tragedy today and she asked me something dumb, like, “Did it feel like Henry was burning up the bed?” or something.

“Yeah, that’s funny,” I laughed sarcastically. “I slept on the couch last night because I didn’t want to get sick.” And Barb looked like she wanted to say something about that but then remembered who she was talking to, so she kept it at a simple, “Oh, Erin.”

Way to ruin the whole entire weekend, Henry. You’re so selfish.


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Mar 312014



My friend Wendy is a Stella & Dot stylist and I’ve been promising her for awhile now that I would host a trunk show. (I keep wanting to call it a “party,” but this is 2014 and one does not call these things “parties” anyway; duh Erin Kelly!) I finally took the plunge and told Wendy to sign me up last month and apparently when Henry found out what I had done, he texted Wendy a simple “thanks.” Ha! That made it totally worthwhile. Wendy and I decided that it should just be Henry’s trunk show, so that is how we sent out the Facebook invitation for it. (Henry never RSVPd.)

One of the main reasons I kept saying no isn’t that I don’t like the jewelry, but it was my house. How many times have I referred to it as our “pit of despair”? But over the last year, Henry and I have been working hard on giving our old furniture a makeover and basically throwing out a ton of things that were taking up too much space. It’s been a slow process, but I was feeling pretty good about things. I mean, there’s only so much we can do to rental property, but a budget kitchen makeover is next on the list. (Henry if you’re reading this, measure the kitchen floor. Thanks.) And then everyone got there, and then I just felt like shit, so I probably won’t let people come to my house for another 5 years, unless I make friends with college kids. I don’t think they’d mind my crap house so much.

Wendy got there a little early to set up her wares and walked right into Henry and I fighting about orange sherbet like it was a conflict the size of Ukraine. Then, promptly at 5, there was a horrible “This is the police!”-type of banging on my front door, so I screamed really loud, but it was just Cara and Alisa. If they had screamed, “PIZZA GUY!” I probably would have crapped my pants. I’m so afraid of knocks on my door, you guys!


I decided to try and distract everyone with cookies (they were Pillsbury and so-so, except for the key lime ones which I was in charge of and burnt the bottoms) and six different kinds of delicious cheeses. But why stop there, let’s have 5 different types of carb-y cheese vessels (otherwise known as crackers), fig preserves and apricot jelly, apples and grapes and three different types of olives so everyone could make tiny cheese sandwiches. HOW ADORABLE, RIGHT? Now stop looking at the holes in my ceiling, thanks.

The cookies were pink lemonade, key lime and orange creamsicle, which not only matched my two punches but also three of the plate colors! I LIKE MATCHING. I think maybe it’s because I played a lot of Memory as a child.


But then everyone arrived and immediately I was reminded of my broken porch step that yes, my landlord knows about but just doesn’t care I guess, and the fact that my tiny duplex is not equipped to hold 14 people all at once. I don’t know how the hell I used to have all of those house parties in my 20s.

Speaking of, two guys walked past the house and I was tempted to open the door and invite them in, because that’s how I used to do it back in the day. (And by “do it,” I swear I mean “invite people to my parties” and not “have sex with strangers.”)


The cheese was so good. I barely get to eat cheese anymore, so I basically loitered near this spot for two hours while everyone else tried on bracelets.


Henry scored me a second punch bowl so now I can have two tacky punches at once! To go along with everything else that is tacky about me, yay!


Henry was basically choking on estrogen and disappeared for quite some time. I thought perhaps he was hiding under the bed, but no. Then Wendy jokingly said she heard banging on the basement door awhile back and that maybe he was locked in the basement.

He was.

I found him down there working on one of my dumb DIY projects and I asked him why he didn’t knock harder.

“Because I didn’t care,” he sighed.



Henry kept doing this “I hate women” jig in the dining room and whispering things to me about how badly he wanted to escape.

“Chooch, let’s go to Target!” he’d suggest, but Chooch was like, “Fuck you, I’m watching Wendy model this scarf. Who knew there were so many ways to wear one!?” So finally Henry retreated to the bedroom, claiming to have a “headache.” Wah-wah.


Chooch ate all of the M&Ms I think. I love these bat bowls that Laura gave me, but they make me miss her.


Thank god Chris and Monica came with cupcakes and real cookies to distract everyone from the cookies that were supposed to be distracting everyone from my shitty house! They were so good. (Theirs, not mine.) The frosting on the cupcakes were made from strawberry wine, WHAT. So good. I love cupcakes too much.


I made Kaitlin pose with Brad the Clown because she’s the one who tipped me off on its existence at the flea market last summer. I still love him so much! And Kaitlin! Hate that I don’t get to see her everyday since she abandoned the Law Firm.




Henry let us near knives. He’s really slipping.


One of the perks of having a Chooch is that he is naturally entertaining and sincerely enjoys spending time with adults. So while I mostly stood alone and drank too much wine while wearing a cape of general “I sort of prepared for a party” malaise, no one noticed because Chooch amused us by:

  • drawing weird Asian pop stars on Draw Something
  • modeling necklaces while shouting, “OMG I HOPE KAITLIN DOESN’T SEE ME!” because he totally loves Kaitlin and wanted more than anything for her to look in his direction (she did)
  • see above picture


I love these two! Please note that they are enjoying punch that I made all on my own except that Henry bought everything I needed for them. I got the go-ahead to write about the day I took their engagement pictures so hopefully later this week, that will happen!


My only duty for the day was to clean the bathroom but then I made myself throw up so then Henry cleaned the bathroom.

And the house managed to stay clean even after everyone left! I don’t know, I thought it was kind of looking OK but now rental property insecurities are taking over again. Cry me a river of hobo tears.


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Mar 272014

Henry and I checked out of the airport Sheraton early Saturday morning; as soon as we walked out into the parking lot, Henry inhaled deeply and said, “Mmmm, the smell of jet fuel in the morning. Reminds me of THE SERVICE.” I lost another one of my lives laughing so hard at him. God, I love it when he slips up and mentions his SERVICE days.

Our plans for the morning were to finally get to see our friends Terri and Christian after two failed attempts the previous two years. It’s funny, because in this day and age, most of the new friends I meet are online; but in this case, we actually met Terri and Christian in person first, back in the fall of 2011 when we were all in Cleveland for the AP Tour (and to eat at Melt, obviously). And since then, we have gotten to know each other better through Facebook and Twitter and I have been dying to hang out with them again!

Henry and I don’t need to be entertained, so when Terri suggested that we just eat breakfast at their place and hang out, I was all for it and Henry seemed relieved because he’s always tired and doesn’t like walking around looking at things. Terri even made three different kinds of breakfast casseroles! One had fake bacon in it and I was so happy! (They’re vegetarians too! I can call myself that again because I have re-eradicated seafood from my diet, so come at me bro.)

I was a little nervous on the way there because we had only ever spent that one day together three years ago and what if it was going to be totally awkward? Well, it wasn’t, so you can stop holding your breath. I mean, I was still at my usual level of awkward, of course, but at least Henry was there to ease my food-cutting anxiety. We hung out for three hours, talking about music, music, music and more music and I can’t tell you how fucking awesome that was! And we learned that Terri and Christian met while working at Tower Records, how apropros! We even had civil hockey discussions, even though our teams are huge rivals! And I found out that Christian was at the aforementioned Type O Negative show in 1998 that I couldn’t attend because some bitch named Your Druidess didn’t show up with the tickets! It’s funny how many times that memory was recalled last weekend.

I wish we could have spent more time with them, but Henry and I had plans to attend the Hollywood Theater’s “Twin Peaks” party that night, so we had to hit the road around noon. As soon as their door shut behind us, I said to Henry, “If we lived closer, I would hang out with them so much, they would get so sick of me.” (So basically, two times.) And Henry said, “Yes, I like them. They’re nice people.” THAT IS A BIG DEAL FOR HENRY TO HAVE AN OPINION! He is usually so neutral about everything. But I think what he was really thinking was, “I wish we did live closer because then Erin can just go to shows with them while I sit at home watcing NCIS in my underwear.” Seriously though, thank you for opening up your home to us and stuffing us with delicious breakfast foods! We owe you one next time you’re in our city! (Don’t worry, Henry will do the cooking.)

“I hate you,” I sighed as Henry drove around looking for a gas station.

“Why?” he mumbled with very little emotion.

“Because you weren’t working at a record store when we met!” I cried.

“Either were you!” he shot back. THAT’S NOT THE POINT, HENRY.


OMG, the ride home was so boring. There was a hockey game on, so that entertained us for a little while. We stopped at a rest area so Henry could finally get his stupid Auntie Em pretzel bites, but I threw a fit because he didn’t get mustard so I stormed out into the parking lot, because this is how you get what you want when you’re 34. (And also 3 and 4.)

Henry went back and got mustard.

Later, we stopped at another rest area for a late lunch/dinner situation, and he accidentally pulled into the “Trucks/RV” side of the parking lot which caused me to scream, “OMG YOU FUCKED UP NOW, HENRY ROBBINS!” while making all kinds of dramatic gasps. Naturally, he was annoyed. Especially when every hour after that, I would casually say, “Hey remember when you broke the law by USING THE TRUCKS AND RV ENTRANCE? God, you’re such a moron. You could have gotten us killed.”

“We would NOT have gotten killed,” he sighed.


We made it home with about 45 minutes to spare before we had to leave again. While I was upstairs changing clothes, I found out that Henry never told his mom about our Saturday night plans so she thought she was done babysitting Chooch as soon as we got home. Oh sorry, Judy, didn’t your son tell you? You’re stuck here for three more hours. Possibly even forever.

God Henry, you’re such an asshole.

Luckily, she’s a good grandma and didn’t give a shit about a few more hours with Chooch. (Who, by the way, didn’t even miss us.)


The Hollywood Theater is only a few blocks away from our house, but Henry has never been there because he is so lame. I’m actually surprised I was even able to get him to go Saturday night, but we do both equally love Twin Peaks, so there’s that. He refused to dress up, though. I tried to get him to go as Mike, the One-Armed Man, because literally all he would have to do was wear a black t-shirt and not put his stupid left arm through the sleeve, but even THAT was too costume-y for him. So he went as Henry.


The theater was playing a marathon of all the episodes starting that Thursday, culminating in a party Saturday night, which entailed a costume contest, raffles and the big draw: a live performance by Silencio, a local Pittsburgh band that plays music from Twin Peaks and other David Lynch movies. I can’t tell you how much I love that music, especially the music from Twin Peaks.

Also, we were promised damn good cherry pie, and if I told you I wasn’t thinking about it all last week, I would be lying. Cherry pie is actually my favorite kind of pie and it pisses me off that restaurants around here usually have every other kind of fucking fruit pie but cherry. Maybe it looks too menstrual?

Anyway, I’m a lousy dresser-upper. It’s very hard for me to commit to a costume and I usually wind up half-assing it in the end because I’m lazy and unmotivated. (See: Fatal Attraction.) I didn’t want to go the obvious plactic-wrapped-Laura Palmer route, so I opted instead for one of my favorite characters, the Sheriff’s secretary Lucy Moran. I picked her because she’s awesome, but also because all I had to do was get a 90s’ish sweater from Goodwill, pair it with a skirt and tights, and put my hair in a half-pony. Henry kept trying to cut my bangs to make it look more authentic but, no. I’m not ready to rejoin the bangs-having society*. (However, I did order a pair of clip-on bangs from eBay for $5 but they sent me a bleached blond pair instead of the ones that would actually match my shitty hair color, so thanks for ruining my already-destined-to-fail costume, stupid Taiwanese seller.)

*However, if and when I’m ready, Henry could probably give me good bangs. (BANGS, NOT BANG.) When I did have bangs, he was always super good at trimming them and my hair stylist would always be so impressed that his meat-hands could pull off such precise scissor-y. (SCISSOR-Y NOT SCISSORING.) Of course he could. Henry excels at girly things.


So 90s. So sweater-y. So wow.


When I looked at this picture of myself last weekend, I thought, “Hmm, I look familiar….” and then after awhile it occurred to me that I looked like 15-year-old Erin. So, what I learned from this is that I spent my entire 10th grade year accidentally emulating the Lucy Moran hairstyle. Also, I still have the same dopey smile.

We got to the Hollywood right around 7 and proceeded to stand around like social pariahs because god forbid we should make new friends, ever. Henry bought a can of PBR (lol) and I got some coffee from the place I made Janna walk to last October, because they had a table set up and the two guys behind it kept wanting to talk to me but I think I was in the middle of one of those social strokes I sometimes succumb to? Honestly, I just stood there and kept saying, “Oh, really?” I HATE MYSELF.


We grabbed seats near the front of the theater and I got comfortable with my damn fine cup of coffee and cherry pie, and yes, it was damn fine. (Homemade!)

Silencio came on around 8:00 and Henry promptly fell alseep. Not because they were boring, but their music is so smooth and those seats are really comfortble. (Not to mention Professional Driver had been driving for 6+ hours that day, and the day before.)


Scenes from various David Lynch works played on the screen behind them, complementing the sounds with a bit of creepiness.


In between sets, the Hollywood Theater people came out to do the raffle drawing and I REALLY wanted to win the log. Yes, it was just a log, but I wanted it. There was also a set of these amazing David Lynch movie posters that an artist donated, but I didn’t win those either. I HATE NOT WINNING.

I went through a brief stint senior year of high school where I was obsessed with Angelo Badalamenti because of the Lost Highway soundtrack. I keep telling Chooch that he was only 8 when he started piano lessons, but Chooch as usual does not give a fuck. BE THE NEXT BADALAMENTI, SON.

Anyway, if you have never seen Twin Peaks, both seasons are on Netflix and you should go and do that. Go get mono or something and then lay there and watch it all. It’s worth it.


On our way out, we snagged a “The Owls Are Not What They Seem” cupcake for Chooch as a consolation for leaving him parentless for two days. Again though, he honestly didn’t give a shit that we were gone. He’s at that age, I guess.

Silencio was pretty fantastic and even though I hated being in a rush all day, I was glad that we were able to work this into our itinerary. It was a fun way to cap off three nights of three very different bands. That should tide me over for awhile. (It won’t. But at least there’s Eisley on April 10th!)

P.S. That sweater is totally now a part of my regular wardrobe.


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Mar 172014

My friend Patty had a birthday dinner on Saturday at Hokkaido Seafood Buffet. At first, I thought I was not going to be able to attend because of my tattoo appointment at 5, but luckily, it was an early dinner that started at 3! Old Folk Supper Time, get into it.

I know Patty from work. She’s friends with Gayle and when I did the whole serial killer desk thing two years ago for Halloween, Gayle made Patty come down to see it (Patty works on a different floor, hence the need for her to COME DOWN; try to keep up, you guys). And then Gayle made me and Patty be friends. It probably would have happened anyway, because we have a lot of mutual friends in the horror/haunted house community. Because we’re awesome. Duh.

Gayle was the only other person I knew who was attending the dinner (other than Henry, but he doesn’t count because we never talk to each other in public), so I was all panicked when we arrived before her and actually, god forbid, had to walk in and talk to people. Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and ask, “Erin Kelly, what the fuck happened to you?” Because I was never this socially indigent before. Or was I?

We quickly said hello to Patty and then I raced to the end of the table before anyone could make eye contact with me, grabbing a chair two down from the last person sitting on our side so that Henry would have to sit next to a stranger. Then I claimed the chair on my other side for Gayle. I needed to be flanked with familiarty. It’s how people of my ilk survive. (Barely.)

I started doing that thing that I do, which is pretend like I’m not staring at people when I’m definitely staring at people, because I was mostly certain that I went to high school with the guy I made Henry sit next to, who was currently immersed in a conversation with Patty’s fiance Tim, so he didn’t notice me creeping the side of his head. Then Patty came over to talk to us and I whispered, “Hey, is that Dan—-” and she cut me off to holler, “HEY PALSO, IT’S ERIN KELLY!” So then Dan was all, “Ohemgee!” and we stood up and hugged like people do on the television while Henry just sat there and smirked because watching me do the whole paint-by-numbers social dance is hilarious to him.

So…that was really cool! I hadn’t seen Dan since 1998 at the rib fest! I mean, we’re Facebook friends, but does that even count for anything these days? Unfortunately, I didn’t really get to talk to him at all after that because, well, food. I was practically banging my knife and fork on the table, because NO ONE WAS GOING UP TO THE BUFFET. Finally, Gayle arrived and I kept asking her, “When can we go up? Can we go up now?” But she was in no hurry because she hates seafood. Then Henry was like, “Patty is up there now. Let’s do this.” And at first, I felt like an asshole because everyone else was still sitting at the table, but you know what? It’s a buffet and I came to eat my face off.

(Actually, I did NOT come to eat my face off. I kept a steady pace because I didn’t want to eat 19 plates of sushi and then sit in a chair for 3 hours getting tattooed. I’m sure my tattoo guy wouldn’t have appreciated that very much either.)

Buffets and I don’t get along. I know it’s hard to believe, what with my lifelong BMI-struggle, but I actually cannot eat that much in one sitting. And I have a hard time matching up the labels with the food below, so it’s basically me following Henry around like a puppy, asking, “What is this? Will I like it? Have I had this before?” Mostly, he steers me in the right direction, except that I’m pretty sure I accidentally ate chicken because he told me it was a biscuit. After my own instincts failed me on a spoonful of “mango salad” (which was savory and had shrimp in it), I mostly just stuck with sushi. I’m surprisingly OK with sushi.

On my way back to the table, I passed the dessert portion of the buffet and no one was there to supervise me, which is how I ended up plopping banana pudding on one of my sushi rolls because I didn’t know there were little bowls at the end of the buffet, perfect for spooning banana pudding into. But there was a sign on our table that threatened an $8 charge for unfinished food, and after already having straws thrown at me by the mean waitress, I wasn’t about to press my luck. I ate everything on my plate, pudding-sushi and all.

Then more people arrived and sat across from us, triggering my rusty social cues.

“I am going to ask this girl questions, BUT NOT UNTIL SHE HAS FOOD IN HER MOUTH,” I thought to myself, and that’s what I did, too. So the poor girl (Lauren; I actually remembered a name!!) had to hold up a hand while she finished chewing before she could tell me how she knows Patty. I am so awesome at eating food and talking to people in public places.

“Wow, you really do know how to use chop sticks,” Gayle said, clearly in shock as she watched my deft sushi capturing skills. At first I was really offended that this would come as such a shock to her, but then I remembered that I’m basically helpless with most things in life, so who could blame her.

Meanwhile, waitresses were standing in a row near our large party table, watching everyone with blantant suspicion. It brought back memories to this one time in 1999 when an ex-friend and I went to pick up her friends at a Chinese buffet. They weren’t done eating yet, so we went and sat with them at their booth, which obviously was a huge mistake and NOT MY IDEA. The waiter kept coming over and accusing my ex-friend and me of eating crab legs off of their plates. First of all, in 1999 I was still a very strict ovo-lacto vegetarian: no seafood for me. Second of all, ew: I barely knew the girls we had gone there to pick up so fuck if I’m eating anything off their stranger-danger plates. Meanwhile, my ex-friend was (is) a disgusting pig, but even she wasn’t eating their crab legs. The waiter kept poking his head around corners, pacing up and down parallel aisles, before finally coming back with the manager, who proceeded to ESCORT US OUT. It was humiliating. I felt like the biggest piece of white trash ever, like I might as well just go straight out back to the dumpsters and give blow jobs for meth.

It was really hard not to think about that night when every time I looked over at Dan, he had another fresh plate of crab legs. He was pounding those motherfuckers with panache. Even Henry was impressed.

Patty came back down to visit and she was telling her friends about my serial killer Valentines, so Gayle held up a finger and then pulled out a stack of my non compos business cards from her purse and began doling them out. Henry smirked at me because I literally NEVER have any of my business cards with me and it was hilarious that someone else did. Later, Gayle said, “She also takes beautiful pictures!” and I was like, “GAYLE I’M BLUSHING YOU CAN STOP NOW.” But really, how nice to have someone actually be proud of the things I do. What a foreign feeling.

After letting our stomachs settle for a few minutes while getting to know our table-neighbors (such lovely people, for real! Lauren’s boyfriend Robert has an incredible Hitchcock’s Birds tattoo on his arm that I am 100% jealous of), Gayle and I decided it was time to hit the dessert bar. There was a chocolate fountain that we wanted to try, but some old lady in a wheelchair and another old lady, not in a wheelchair, were idling in front of it, staring at it with cocked heads. I paced back and forth in buffet basketcase fashion, because GIVE ME CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN. Gayle reacted like a normal person by opting to see else was there instead of doing the pee jig and hissing about wanting to dip thing in the fountains, which is what I was doing. I kept making eye contact with Henry, who was sitting at the table, watching me intently. Because it is not often I stray and I’m sure he was bracing himself for an accident. I kept shrugging and making huffy pantomimes to illustrate that I wanted to use the chocolate fountain but two old bags were too busy looking at it.

Finally, Gayle went over to assist them.

“You have to put something on one of these skewers,” she was saying. “And then you stick it in the chocolate.” She was so patient! So calm! Not even a NOTE of condescension in her voice. I couldn’t believe it.

“Does it have to be fruit?” the lady in the wheelchair asked. “Or can it also be a marshmallow?”

My skin felt like fire ants were using it as an Electric Slide dance floor. I took a jetpack ride to my alternate reality where I released the kickstand of the lady’s wheelchair and gave her one mighty push back down to hibachi town. But instead, I just stood there holding my tongue (and my plate of bland consolation cake-sponges) while the old broad held out a skewered banana just out of reach of the chocolate waterfall. Seriously! She just kept holding it there like she was waiting for the chocolate to somehow defy physics and splash itself onto her stupid rotting banana.

Finally, I cried uncle and retreated back to the table, just as Gayle was explaining to them that they needed to actually put the stick into the chocolate in order to get the chocolate onto their food.


I sat down in a pout and started to rant to Henry about the chocolate fountain.

“It’s like they’re chocolate fountain tourists and I just can’t.”

Henry said, “Oh, I was wondering why that lady was just standing there watching the fountain.” There was a small wall separating the buffet from the restaurant-area, so Henry couldn’t see the chocolate fountain-dunce in the wheelchair. This and the fact that Gayle was the accidental fountain expert was highly amusing to me and I couldn’t stop savoring my new inside joke with myself.

In an easy effort to finish my meal off in a disgusting manner, I served myself a scoop of “wood ear soup.” Yes, this was supposed to be a dessert; I mean, it was right by the tapioca and jello squares. I knew without even trying it that it was going to be another failed Asian attempt at “sweet.” And it was! It was like placing paper-thin sheaths of cartilage in my mouth; some kind of texture in between “crunchy” and “chewy” and my lower jaw actually just quivered a tiny bit at the memory of my molars bearing down on this junk. Everyone at our end of the table was following along with my wood ear soap opera, and Lauren’s sister Erica said, “I’m pretty sure wood ear is a type of mushroom…”

(Meanwhile, another of Patty’s friends had arrived and was having his goatee stroked by Gayle. It was THAT kind of a party, you guys.)

20140317-154531.jpgThat red thing tasted familiar. Not sweet at all, and weird. I have no other English words for it, but it was ultimately just a really uncomfortable after-dinner option in a bowl. Finally, I broke down and googled “wood ear soup” and learned that the red thing tasted familiar because it is a red date and one time a few months ago, I made Henry buy an entire package of those things from Oriental Market even though he said I wouldn’t like it.

“And did you like it?” Gayle asked.

“No,” I said, and then Gayle laughed really hard in front of everyone which is what I pay her for.

Anyway, Google also taught me that “wood ear soup” is a real thing that people willingly eat. There are recipes for this shit. It calls for wood ear mushrooms, red dates and a blowtorch just to make certain that you have no tastebuds going into this.

I couldn’t get anyone else to go up there and try it, and Henry wouldn’t finish mine, which made me panic because was I going to get charged an extra $8 for not licking that bowl clean? Everyone said I was probably fine. And I believed them. They made me feel strong, which was how I found the strength to help some little girl get soap from the automatic soap dispenser in the restroom.

(This is how it happened: Her: *holding hands under automatic soap dispenser; nothing squirting out*

Me, in an annoyed tone: “Yeah, maybe try the other one…?”

Her: *tries other one; classic hand-washing success story*)

Then it was time for Henry and I to leave (totally dined and dashed and felt terrible about it; we were having a good time!) which created an awkward tizzy of “DID YOU HAVE LUNCH OR DINNER?!!?” interrogations from the meanest waitress I have ever encountered. (The same one who chucked straws at us.) Honestly, it made the whole experience even better.

Anyway, after we left, I realized that I’m Facebook friends with someone else who was there, but had no fucking idea because I have never seen her in real life. (We’re friends because of zombie and horror events, and I’m pretty sure she has bought cards from me.)

As usual, I didn’t eat my money’s worth at the buffet, so halfway though my tattoo session, I was so hungry that even the subtle stench of my own burnt flesh was making my stomach growl. Henry, on the other hand, was sick from his 45 plates of meat so I spent the rest of the night “accidentally” punching his stomach.

GOOD TIMES. Happy birthday, Patty!! Sorry I missed the cake. (Which she brought with her, so it probably didn’t have mushrooms or squid broth in it. But, you never know. I don’t know Patty that well.)


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