Apr 022017

It started out that I didn’t want to be around people on Thursday. I even took the day off work in advance, because I know myself all too well. I reminded myself to stay away from Timehop and then attempted to fill my day with healthy things to keep my mind from reliving the bad memories from the last March 30th.

I went for a walk in the rain.

I practiced my Korean.

I went to lunch with Henry.

I watched a Running Man episode.

All good, healthy things to keep my mind spinning in positive directions, and not unnecessary downspirals. Anniversaries are so weird. I could have stayed in bed all day cried but fuck that noise.

I had a ticket for the Stolas / Icarus the Owl show that night, but I wasn’t particularly in the mood to be around strangers. The idea of staying home was very tempting, but I really like Icarus the Owl and I hadn’t seen them since September 2015. I had to go. I let myself be selfish for most of the day, but now it was time to get over myself and go support a band I love.

And I am so glad that I did because it turned out to be not only an amazing show, but just an overwhelmingly healing night for me in so many ways.

I got to Smiling Moose about twenty minutes before the opening band, Atlas Decay, went on. The room was still relatively uncrowded and the tiny bar area was empty. I grabbed a stool, had a brief conversation with the bartender about wheat beer before settling on Sam Adams Cherry Wheat (I’ve been making an effort to try new things rather than fall back on my old standby—cider). A few minutes later, I was looking down at my phone when a girl sat down next to me and said, “Hi, how are you?”

Alarms went off.

No one ever acknowledges me when I’m alone at a show. I’m invisible, remember?

I blurted out that I was fine and then tossed some side-eye to my left and saw that it was a younger girl in a Contortionist hoodie. I realized within seconds that I recognized her from other shows at the Smiling Moose, and that she too tends to always be there alone.

After the awkward salutations wafted off into the ether and were now just a faint memory, that familiar, uncomfortable silence set it. But when the bartender set down her Boddington’s, I used that as my chance to start a real conversation.

So I told her that I’m just learning to drink beer.

Because I’ve found that people who drink beer always want to talk about drinking beer.

And that worked! We started talking fluidly, without any awkward pretenses. This is how normal people do it! This is how I used to do it, too, back when I still had a personality and self-esteem! And then she asked what band I was there to see and when I said Icarus the Owl, she said, “Me too!” We animatedly discussed bands we liked until Atlas Decay started, and once they were over, we immediately resumed our conversation.

We talked a bit about Emarosa and she asked me how many times I’ve seen them. When I told her about the first time, at a skate park in 2008, opening for Pierce the Veil, she exclaimed, “Wow! That’s one for the books!”


Anyway, her name is Cat and she is only 22, but she’s an old soul. I could sense it.

We hung out for the duration of the show, and I really hope I see her again. It was so cool to have someone to stand with, as simple as that sounds. At one point she said, “Erin, you’re awesome” and I almost cried because usually I hear, “You’re weird” “you’re annoying” or “you’re dumb” and that’s just when I’m not being interrupted, talked over, or just ignored completely.


And holy shit, Icarus the Owl. I am even more in love with them. Their music filled the holes in my heart that night and I knew I made the right choice. Not just for myself, but for the bands. Our scene here is not the best and these shows at Smiling Moose never really fill the room, so it’s my duty as a fan to boost the attendance by at least one. These guys sacrifice a lot to go on tour. I live 10 minutes away from Smiling Moose and had no other obligations that night. No excuses.

Joey Rubenstein makes me smile. <3

When they played “Skysweeper” I had an out-of-body experience. It was beautiful.

Next was Mylets, who I had never heard of but Cat was like, “OMG you’re going to love him!” and she was right of course because she’s awesome and has impeccable taste! So Mylets is Henry, a one-man band. It’s almost like he’s playing DDR up there with his pedals, and it was mesmerizing to watch.

Mylets was just one guy doing it all. It was beautiful.

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I almost left before Stolas because I’ve seen them numerous times and while I don’t dislike them, they’re not a band I generally tend to listen to on my own. But something told me to stay, and I’m so glad that I did because they blew me away. I don’t remember them being that good!

After Cat and I said our goodbyes, I was about to leave as well, but I noticed Joey from Icarus the Owl standing nearby. We made eye contact, and I thought to myself, “You had two beers. YOU CAN DO THIS, ERIN R. KELLY.” And so I walked over and told him that I think he’s amazing, and he was all, “Me?!” in the most adorable, humble way, and then he said, “We’ve met before. About two years ago….here, I think, right? And….you’re on The Twitter.”

“Yes! I’m the girl who’s always wishing for you guys to tour with Artifex Pereo and Emarosa!”

He remembered! People don’t remember me! I’m too average!

I couldn’t believe it.

And we had such a good, effortless conversation about the scene and their tour, and he said that actually, they were supposed to do a tour with Emarosa but plans fell through. Ugh!

I bought their newest album on vinyl and he legit wouldn’t let me leave until he had every last band member sign it for me, which required him to text, call, and flat out leave the merch table to seek out the last guy. Some of the people waiting in line looked annoyed, but I was like I’M SORRY OK.

Anyway, he hugged me two times and said it was nice to re-meet me and by the time I got to the car (Henry and Chooch were annoyed that I came out later than I originally said, lol), I was super giddy.

“That’s great,” Henry sighed, and Chooch just mumbled, “Cool story.”

I mean, probably that’s what happened. I still had so much buzzing in my head.

Oh! And the bartender said, “You look so clean cut but then you have hand tattoos. I love it.” That made me laugh so hard, because I make no sense. 

Fuck, I needed this night. Pity party officially canceled. 

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Mar 252017

Mayday, mayday. I’m here at Chooch’s school for something called Night at the Museum which was all a SICK RUSE but I’ll get to that in a bit. 

I asked if I was going to be bored here and Henry was all “God yes, you’re always bored” while at the same time Chooch muttered, “Yeah. there won’t be any KPOP there, god forbid.”

But then I asked if there would be cookies and Chooch said probably so here I am. 


I had to pretend to care about some bitch’s SEASHELLS. 



But then I was actually enrapt in some tiny child’s display on inertia* and was all OH TELL ME MORE, OH YOU DONT SAY and as we walked away, I said to Henry, “HE WAS SO CUTE!”

*LOL I just walked by and it was FRICTION not INERTIA so I guess I didn’t really care that much. 

And under my breath, I creepily whispered, “Because he’s Korean!”

I’ve seen many foes here so far and it’s only been 15 minutes. 

Chooch and I made it almost to the top of this staircase, ignoring Henry’s warnings of “Don’t go that way. Don’t go that way. You can’t go that way” and then when we looked up and saw the caution tape, it all started making sense. 

There were witnesses. 

Meanwhile in the cafeteria, they have a table of food set up, food from Ireland I guess? There were Irish potatoes which I hadn’t had since some kid brought them in to class when I was in elementary school. There were also birthday cake cookies and I wasn’t sure if they were just for kids so it became this big game of me whining about it and Chooch saying “Just go get one” until he finally threw his hands up, marched over to the table and yelled, “Can my mom have a cookie? She’s TOO AFRAID to ask” and everyone laughed at me. 

Chooch found his friend Sharyn so we’re chilling with her grandma who is one HIP LADY. I like her a lot. 

“She reminds me your mom,” I said to Henry. “But not as—-”

“—crass,” Henry finished as I was saying “abrasive.”

Someone gave Chooch a hammer. 🙄

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Some dumb geode-smashing experiment. They gave Chooch a hammer. I stood far away. 


I just outed Chooch as a butterfly phobe in front of a cute broad from the Carnegie who brought insects for the kids to scream at and now a bunch of his peers are mocking him and he totally loves it. 

Payback for outing me as cookie-taking scaredy-cat. 

Ok I just learned about Islam from a Yemen family here and now I’m woke.  

I asked Chooch why he didn’t contribute anything to this event, like some artifacts and a poster board about his fake Siberian heritage, and he just shrugged and said “because I didn’t know about it.” 

He is so dense. 

There is no Korean table here so I’m pouting. 

Henry and the principal* just complimented each other’s beards but Henry pointed out that the principal’s is grayer. “I guess you have more stress in your life,” Henry laughed.

Oh you’re saying I need to up my game?


* (The principal knows us pretty well, it’s safe to say.)

I mean, a real school would have written that in Hangul, but whatever. 

“You should have made a Korean exhibit,” Chooch said. 

Yeah, that would have looked legit. Some dumb Caucasian mutt sitting behind a table of red bean taffy, ttkeokbokki, and Kpop lightsticks, talking about kai bai bo and BIGBANG. 

Such credibility. 

Protecting Sharyn’s identity because I’ve already been this down this road once LOLOLOL. 

On the way home, Henry asked Chooch who the lady was at the concession stand. 

“Why?” Chooch asked. 

“Because she knew your name,” Henry said, with a silent but implied, “and that makes me nervous. 

“Because he’s NOTORIOUS,” I sang, and when no one responded, I said, “That was supposed to be Duran Duran.”

And still no one said anything. 

Turns out the concession lady was the mom of one of Chooch’s friends. I knew it definitely wasn’t MISS DEBBY THE MISERABLE LUNCH LADY because she actually smiled at Chooch. 

(I’m trying to get Chooch to blog about his years-long war with MISS DEBBY.)

Anyway. Now I’m home. It was fine. The kids did a good job I guess, ugh—THE PAIN! I feel like I need to flip off an elderly nun now or something. 

ETA: Henry just pulled up my blog on his phone and said, “Oh great, I can’t wait for all the parents to read this” and I was like “WTF, I was actually really nice! I said nice things about Sharyn’s grandma and that Yemen lady, and—”

“Erin, you called the one girl with the sea shells a bitch, and the rest of the kids dorks and nerds, and that was just in the very beginning!”

But I mean, that’s not super bad. 

(That seashell girl was super pushy with her seashells though. She was all, “Pick the up for a closer look.” Bitch, you pick them for a closer look! UGHHHH.)

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Mar 162017

Lisa is moving to Idaho in a few months so I have been trying to squeeze in as many hang-outs as possible.  She and I kept saying we wanted to hang out with our pals Sarah and Liz again so I had them over for some kind of girl’s night thing, I guess. Liz brought delicious pizza and I brought the Kpop.

“I was wondering on the way here, ‘Is Erin going to invite anyone in off the street?'” and Henry just groaned before leaving the house with Chooch because Too Many Girls, but I’m sure he probably also felt very thankful that my penchant for poaching strangers off the sidewalk to attend my house parties was several lifestyles ago, currently replaced with a K-lifestyle.

Sarah and Liz were supportive of my new lifestyle and even encouraged me to try and audit a Korean course at Pitt, and Liz said that she even has a friend who tutors Korean, and then they were like, “Yes, play us some BIGBANG, Erin” while Lisa sat there disapproving of the whole scene.

“I feel like I’m in high school again and this is Bone Thugs n Harmony,” she said without even attempting to mask the disgust. It’s so true though! Lisa has known me a long time.

“You’re always obsessed with something,” Sarah laughed.

I told them that I feel like I imprinted on the whole entire country of South Korea.

Blank stare.

“You know, like Edward and Bella,” I explained.

Blank stare.

“From Twilight?” I mumbled sheepishly, realizing that I just admitted that I’ve read that piece of trash. IT WAS FOR POP CULTURE RESEARCH, OK?!

Anyway, I want to make a genuine effort to hang out with these girls again. I even had Henry put out the good fruit (the pineapple that Andrew gave him as a thank you for hanging out, and my cherished persimmon) so you know these are good peeps.


Chooch took this picture for us when he and Henry came home, and after Sarah chased him around the house mercilessly. “We learned all about G-Dragon,” Liz informed Henry, who just gave me the How Do You Have Friends? frown.


On Saturday, after visiting Robbie, Nikki and the brand new twins at the hospital, we went to our friend Patty’s birthday party. This girl has had a rough time of it lately, but she still was the most joyful person in the room. She really is an inspiration and I was honored to celebrate her birthday with her.

My favorite part was when Chooch kept getting mistaken for a girl, I guess because of his hoodie. He was playing Checkers with the boy in the above picture, and a teenaged girl was helping the boy out; for some reason they both kept using female pronouns when referring to Chooch and he was STEWING. Henry and I were on the receiving end of his murderous glares and we were just like “Shrug?” I mean, Chooch even said, “I’m a boy” at one point but then later, when they were playing Battleship, the teenager exclaimed, “Wow, she is REALLY good at Battleship!” and Chooch tossed us an “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME” look over his shoulder. I almost had to leave the room, I was laughing so hard.

And before you’re calling Child Services because Oh Honestly Erin is giving her kid a complex, please know that I wouldn’t have laughed if he was genuinely upset. But you know, when you reside beneath the Roof of Schadenfreude, these are the situations you relish. 

Besides, Henry was laughing too!


Meanwhile, there was a girl sitting across from me who I briefly met a few years ago when I went to a Horror Realm after party luau thing with my friend Kristy, and she seems so cool and I wanted so badly to start talking to her, but I just couldn’t do it.

How did I go from being the girl who picked up hitchhikers for sport and invited strangers straight off the street to her parties, to someone with crippling social anxiety and a paralyzed tongue who can’t even make conversation with a girl sitting across the table from her.

I loathe myself.

But then I had cake so who cares.

I was surprised at how good the icing was because I’m so picky with cake and was prepared to not like it. “It’s probably because I got a piece that had a pot of gold on it” I reasoned later on to Henry, who said, “all of the icing tasted the same, Erin.”


When I was saying goodbye to Patty, I mentioned that we had to go home because Henry had some printing jobs that he had to do.

“Yeah right, she just wants to watch her Korean shit,” Chooch scoffed, rolling his eyes in my direction.

What a little fucker!

But really, we were both telling the truth: while Henry was busy printing things, I was watching my “Korean shit.”

And then when I was saying goodbye, Choochetta popped a balloon, causing everyone in the room to turn and stare at us which is my favorite thing in the whole world. 


The thing Henry was printing the night before was actually a large picture of the Millennium Falcon and numerous cut-outs of Monica’s head, so that people could play Pin the Monica on the Millennium Falcon at her birthday party on Sunday, which was at Spoonwood.


I had one beer and also one sample of another beer and was so fucking worthless for the rest of the day.


Nate, April, Sandy and Zoe were also there! I let Zoe play with the Num-Noms that I keep in my eyeball purse and Sandy told me that after she left, Zoe said, “That lady with the yellow hair was so nice.”




Chooch spent more time roaming around, pestering Monica, trying to get Chris to adopt him, and asking Nate random video game questions. I observed this and started to hate myself again because how does my kid have more social skills than me? Furthermore, where did he LEARN those social skills?? He eventually ditched us all together and moved over to Nate and April’s table, and made them put together a puzzle with him.

“Little do they know he’s theirs now,” Henry whispered into his beer.


Chris made these peanutbutter Deathstar cups and MOTHERFUCK they were divine. And also these Princess Leia and Admiral Ackbar cupcakes!


(Like I know what I’m talking about.)


There was a girl there who looked like Carly Rae Jepsen! I didn’t take her picture though. I was trying not to be creepy.

Henry ordered a hummus plate and I was like, “This would taste better if it came with kimchi” and Henry was like, “PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT KOREA” but he knew I was right.


Henry finally trimmed his beard!

Did I mention that this was a Star Wars-themed party?


The birthday girl and her frenemy!

Chooch for whatever reason assumed that Chris and Monica were coming over later, and Chris was like, “Sorry, we can’t! We’re going to be here all day.” Chooch’s face fell into this pathetic look that said, “I’LL PUT OUT THE GOOD FRUIT FOR YOU!”

He’s obsessed with Chris, if I haven’t mentioned that on here a million times over the last three years.

Anyway, what a great weekend full of great people! I felt so happy afterward–I love my friends!

Now I’m torn between throwing a huge house party or camping out in Misanthropy Cave for a while.

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Jan 232017


We had a lowkey supplemental baby shower here on Sunday for Nikki and Rob, mainly so that Henry’s side of the family could have a chance to, you know, shower them with baby gifts. As you do at a baby shower. My mom and Janna also came and it was a nice little party!

Except that Henry left me alone with the streamers beforehand. Why does it seem like streamers were pulled straight from Satan’s asshole? I have never had a good experience with them, ever! Those crepey pieces of frustration push me right to the edge every time. And on this particular go-around, I FELL OFF A CHAIR trying to hang them up along the window!


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Turns out Drew is terrified of balloons, but luckily she didn’t have to see them all day because she was too busy hiding from the other things she’s terrified of: strangers in her house.


These are the streamers that almost killed me! ^^

I don’t even know how it happened. I literally tripped over myself as I tried to step off the chair I was standing on and as I began my descent toward the hardwood floor, my foot caught the lip of the seat and then it was two of us falling. I landed all along my left side and have some great bruises today. I think this is Karma for last week at work when Lauren asked James from the mailroom how his back is doing and then I sarcastically asked, “Oh yeah, how’s your back James?” in that shitty little tone I get that I swear happens because I become possessed by a grade school bully.

As the day progressed today, I kept discovering new parts of myself that hurt. Fucking streamers.


Ugh more streamers. LOOK AT HOW ADEPT I AM AT HANGING THEM FROM A THING! At least I didn’t have to stand on a chair for that one.


It was a very laidback affair. Nikki just had her main shower last weekend and I just wanted her to be able to relax, eat some random Korean food, and open presents. NO GAMES!

(In all honesty though, I did briefly consider devising some type of Change Chooch’s Diaper game.)

One of our gifts to them was a set of Dance Gavin Dance onesies. As soon as they told us they’re having The Twins, the first thing I thought of was, “OMG, Downtown Battle Mountain 1 and Downtown Battle Mountain 2 onesies!” IT’S A DGD THING YOU WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND.


No but seriously, those are the names of two of the DGD albums that Jonny Craig sang on, and since they’re both JC fans, I thought it would be cool. Henry literally waited so long to make them, that Robbie and Nikki were DOWNSTAIRS when he finished ironing the things on. Ugh. I hate how last minute his sorry ass is!

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Henry made these really delicious cucumber tea sandwiches which also had avocado and alfalfa sprouts. We thought for sure no one would eat them, but the whole platter was devoured, THEY WERE SO GOOD. I think they’ll be a new party staple. I also conned him into making a tray of kimbap and we had a small tower of chapssaltteok because this is my life now and I’m not trying to PUSH MY NEW BELIEFS on anyone, but I still wanted to add a little Eastern flava to the snack spread, and surprisingly, even JUDY liked the kimbap and most of the chapssaltteok was eaten too. I love when my SUBTLE attempts to infiltrate my lifestyle choices onto others is a success.

Unlike the time I tried to get people to start tying scarves around their ankles.


Whatever, I thought it looked great. Maybe I’ll start doing it again.



chapssaltteok chapssaltteok

gunghabi uri uri gunghabi

Henry needs to learn to make his own.


And what’s a soiree without a cake from Zia Desserts? Kaitlin’s mad baking skills were met with rave reviews as usual. She is insane. (The swans are an inside thing between Rob and Nikki and Kaitlin knocked it out of the park with her sculpting skills!)


Chooch wanted to play Catchphrase and I was all, “NO THIS ISN’T GAME NIGHT” but then Nikki said, “Yeah, I’ll play Catchphrase!” because she is desperate for Chooch’s affections, so Chooch shot me a smug “ha ha” smirk that looked suspiciously familiar until I realized I was practically looking in a mirror. Ugh I love/hate how much alike we are!

I opted out, but sat on the floor and watched everyone crash and burn BECAUSE THEY NEEDED ME TO KEEP THAT GAME AFLOAT. I’m so good at Catchphrase, it’s almost gross. (Not as good as I am at Scattergories though. That game was pretty much invented for assholes like me.) It was during this time that Nikki learned what bukkake is (no one wanted to say it out loud with Old People nearby so she had to google it and the expression on her face as the knowledge cascaded down upon her in sticky drips was the highlight of the day for me, for sure.

This topic arose from trying to explain gwiyomi. Which is basically the most innocent thing in the world. 

Also, can we take a moment to admire how adorable Nikki is!? I did not look even remotely “ok” or “semi-presentable” when I was pregnant. I looked like I had another person growing from under my chin, not just my stomach. Nikki looks so great!


Underwear model.

Everyone left around 6 (some football game was on, I guess), but Henry’s kids and their ladies stayed for an impromptu after-party and it was so much fun! We talked about Korea and music and old times and Korea and the fact that they’re all going to be parents super soon and then we circled back to Korea.


Baby Shower After Party: Blake and Robbie enthralled with Bigbang videos while Haley checks her phone for the time and begins to question reality.

(I think Blake’s bias is Taeyang, btw.)

Henry said that Blake and Robbie were only watching all of my videos because they were hammered. WHATEVER HENRY. Honestly though, poor Nikki and Haley were like, “Now we’re the designated drivers, too?!” Nothing like being pregnant and watching people drink.



Now I regret not coming up with a shower game that required smearing Butt Paste on Henry’s beard.

Oh well! We have another shower coming up soon so I can rectify that.

Can’t wait to meet these babies when they get here!!

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Dec 312016



I was preparing for another boring Friday night on the homefront when Haley messaged me and told us to come hang out with her and Blake at the bowling alley right down the street and I was like “Yo, don’t gotta ask me twice!” Get me outta this house, you know?

But then Henry was sleeping (it was only 8!!) because he’s Henry and that’s what Henry does.


It took Chooch and me a good 25 minutes to get him out of bed because he’s the absolute worst. I think he’s narcoleptic and I hate him. But seriously, Papa H should be happy that his grown-ass son willingly wants to be seen in public with his dopey dad.


And that’s how we ended up having a really fun Friday night instead of staying home where I would probably just watch Kpop videos all night and maybe have a glass of wine and Chooch would probably play some dumb computer game and then we would both take turns yelling disparaging things at a slumbering Henry.

Blake and Haley’s friends Arthur and Claudia were there too and it was so much fun! I love being out in a group. SAFTEY IN NUMBERS.

Here are some pictures!


Henry was pissed because he got three strikes in a row toward the end and no one fell to his feet in adulation.

“Sorry, I don’t praise people for cheating,” I shrugged, and he started mumbling how he wasn’t cheating and Blake was just like, “Yeah OK dad.”

Nice try, Henry.


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Haley and Chooch are the best frenemies. Haley told me that at my Christmas party, they were playing Likewise with Robbie & Nikki. The whole point of that game is that everyone has a dry-erase sign that they have to write their answers on, and you’re supposed to try and get the same answer as everyone else. At one point, the prompt was “female tool.” Obviously, everyone had the same answer of “vibrator,” but when Chooch held up his sign, it said “motorized weener.”

“I couldn’t think of what it was called!” Chooch cried. Oh my god, I’m so glad I wasn’t in the room for that! Ugh, my son, ladies and gentlemen.


Blake brought a whole purse full of patience last night.

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We left around 10:45 because the bowling alley doesn’t allow kids there past 11 (not even smart-mouthed ones like Chooch). Henry, Chooch and I walked over to Tom’s Diner before  going home, and that’s when Chooch casually recounted all of the weeners he’s accidentally seen at Warped Tour, the fuck?!

So many weener convos. I guess I’m OK with that though.


For actual New Years Eve, it’s just the three of us, chilling at home. Which is exactly how I like it. Henry will probably fall asleep 837248972348 times before midnight though. What an asshole.

Here’s my NYE gift to you: my current favorite Kpop song!

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Dec 172016


While our country was in the middle of imploding last month, the only thing I could think was, “This year has been like toddler backwash in the cup of life. I just want to be with my friends and not care about anything for a few hours, Henry we’re having a party.” And Henry was like, “—-” and I was like, “Too late, I already invited people.” Henry LOVES when that happens, but at least this time I gave him a three second heads up before he got the Facebook event notification.

I created the event on my phone, probably through tears because a veil of salty face water is 2016’s little black dress. As such, I accidentally spelled party as “parth” and WENDY had a field day with that one. The next day at work, she was like, “I’m going to dress like Jennie Garth to your holiday parth” and then Lori, who had stopped in Wendy’s office right at that moment, was all, “LOL and I’m going to be Shannon Doherty” so then they wanted me to be Tori Spelling?! I was like, “Why do I have to be Tori Spelling!?” and I got unreasonably upset about this, so then Wend was all, “Fine you can be David Silver then. Or Andrea!” and I cried, “I DON’T WANT TO BE ANY OF THOSE PEOPLE!” and stormed back to my desk, even after Lori offered to relinquish her claim on Brenda.

“Wow, that took a turn,” Lori laughed.


As usual, this was poorly planned. HENRY waited until the last minute to start preparing, after ignoring my month-long texts of food suggestions. His big idea was to make mini ham BBQ sandwiches and I was like, “Wow, how Yinzer of you. Can we fill an old tire full of Coors Lite, too?” And then he waited until two hours into the party to finally serve the vegetarian meatballs I begged him to make, and he only made like 10 of them and had to cut them into little pieces, and then he didn’t even make fancy sauce, he just used STORE BOUGHT ONES. Whatever, Henry. Go fuck yourself.

Also, I spent like FIFTEEN MINUTES at the idiotic grocery store, trying to decide what kinds of crackers to buy, and then we forgot to put them out on the table. And Henry wouldn’t buy fancy bread and instead bought some gross, dry, tiny loaf of party bread that no one ate because it was a real saliva-sucker and I didn’t eat it either. Chooch tried one and then threw it out in front of everyone.


We were really crunched for time, so I actually offered to help Henry with kitchen-y things. He had me cut peppers (!!!!!). First he gave me a huge knife, then thought better of it and swapped it out with something less dangerous. Still, it took me forever to dice them the way he showed me. I kept asking him what the peppers were for, to which he repeatedly responded with a vague, “Um…I’m not sure yet.”

OH I’LL TELL YOU WHAT THEY WERE FOR: his motherfucking ham BBQ!!! That bastard had me sous-cheffing for his gross meat shit!! Talk about betrayal.


I wanted Henry to make more sweet things too but he made no such thing, so then I just had Janna bake cookies and she did because I told her to. Obedient friends are important to have, guys. And Chris and Monica brought salted caramel bars too so thank god!


At least I didn’t screw up the punches. (And yes, that sign mentions pregnant people because Robbie’s girlfriend is having twins! HENRY IS GOING TO BE A GRANDFATHER!!! And someone else is pregnant too but hasn’t officially announced it yet so I won’t out them on here. And no it’s not me, ew.) Honestly, the beverage buffet is my favorite part of having parties. Plus, I get joy in seeing Blake daintily holding a tiny punch glass.

I did this! Here’s my Pinterest-worthy step-by-step DIY:

  1. Hand garland to people.
  2. Have them do it for you.

In my case, the “people” were Henry and Robbie. WELL DONE! Robbie also hung my “Merry Christmas” garland for me above the beverage buffet, because Henry was “too busy.”


But then people started to arrive and I didn’t care about the dumb food anymore because woo, distractions!

Guest list:

  • Robbie and Nikki
  • Blake and Haley
  • Sandy, Elene and Zoe
  • Amber1 and Brian
  • Janna
  • Barb
  • Lori
  • Lauren and Tony
  • Chris and Monica
  • Wendy, Shawn and Summer
  • Sean and Ines
  • Shawn and Jess

Lisa and Kara both sadly had to un-RSVP earlier that day because they were sick. :( I was so sad! It seemed weird without them. Although I think maybe Kara was just trying to avoid Henry because she is the QUEEN of finding ridiculous things for sale that she knows will get me all riled up, so she’ll text me the link to various oddities knowing that an impending headache will ensue for Henry, having to hear me whine and beg for things like an old bumper car being auctioned from a defunct amusement park. And then Henry will scream, “THAT THING WOULDN’T EVEN FIT THROUGH OUR FRONT DOOR” and Kara will reply, “If he really loved you, he’d find a way.”

Like, we have a roof you know — cut a hole and drop it through, Henry!


Holy fork receptacle — I DID THIS.

YOU GUYS, THERE ARE TWINS IN THERE. I can’t wait to be the weirdest young faux-grandma ever!!!! LET’S GO TO WARPED TOUR, BABIES!

As if everyone didn’t already feel under-dressed, Zoe had to go and add a garland boa to her ensemble. <3


Chooch said he had a good time at the party but his favorite part was when everyone left. Wow.


Henry and Shawn coming up with a hopeful Mouse Attack stratagem.


Ugh, everyone LOVES Chooch, blah blah blah.


A Somber Convo.


Blake and the dainty punch cup. PINKIE FINGER ACTIVATED.


When Barb walked in, Chooch casually said, “Wrong house.” I love their weird frenemyship.

Also, I think this is the first time I had a party where everyone was there at once (usually my non-game night parties are of a revolving door-variety where some people come early and some come late) so my tiny house was pretty packed. Sorry guys!

Not sorry to my ASSHOLE NEIGHBORS though. Hope all the loud laughter and talking disturbed them. (It probably didn’t though, ugh.)


I jokingly mentioned in the Facebook event thing that perhaps we also do lame crafts, but then it became a reality. Chooch picked out some s’mores craft thing with was evidently extremely frustrating to create, but luckily Sandy came prepared with foam snowflakes, stickers, and markers, so that seemed to appease the kids (and Blake and Haley). I think my favorite scene was Zoe crafting on the Devil rug.

Pictured: Haley using the s’mores craft supplies to make a snowman, while Chris waves her hand at this impromptu display of ingenuity and says, “WHOA.” Meanwhile, Blake just played with an electrical current.

(The s’mores craft really played with Chooch’s patience, that’s for sure. “It was TERRIBLE. Did not work” — Chooch’s 1 star review.)


Henry was in his glory because all of his favorite Sean/Shawns were there.

I wouldn’t let anyone leave without taking their picture with Trudy the Beauty:


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The night before, I had a dream that I forgot to make the punch and didn’t realize it until the next morning, but then it ended up not even mattering because no one showed up anyway. I was nervous all day, wondering if everyone was going to cancel on me, but it ended up being such a nice turn-out! Someday, I’ll move out of this shanty and into something bigger, and then EVERYONE CAN COME!

P.S. It’s been a week and my house is still clean! The best part of having parties: Henry DEEP CLEANS.

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Nov 052016


My mantra on Friday was, “Soon this hellacious day will be over, and you will be hanging out with Chris, and definitely drinking wine.” Having something to look forward to later definitely made work much more bearable!

Henry, Chooch, and I went over to Chez Chronica right after work. Monica was working, sadly, and she was missed! But…more tots for us? A small consulation, I guess.

Chris is the best hostess ever, I’m not kidding. Look at how beautiful the table was! And it was just the dumb Appledale/Robbins family she was hosting, not anyone important. I felt so spoiled, which is exactly how I like to feel! And she plied us with homemade caramel apple cupcakes, which is exactly how I like to be plied!

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Chris made us vegetarian French dips (they had portabello mushrooms in them) and they were so damn good, unless you’re Chooch, then you just ate bread and tots because TEXTURE ISSUES.

After we ate, Henry left because our refrigerator is dying and he wanted to go scope some options for us but really he just didn’t want to watch A SCARY MOVIE which was the whole point of Dinner & Horror Movie Night, but whatever Henry. Just don’t let Trump grab you by your pussy while you’re out, I guess.


Here’s a picture of Monica’s frenemy with two of her favorite things: her cat Graham and Star Wars Legos. This photo was taken a few minutes after Chooch called Graham a “dirty prick” for absolutely no reason.


Chooch kept himself busy and non-annoying all evening by putting things together. Thank god for brain stimulation, otherwise it would have been “Chris Chris Chris Chris Hey Chris” all during the movie. 


Chris didn’t feel like breaking up the ice cubes for Chooch’s lemonade, but it just made it look fancy.

We watched I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives In the House and I can’t figure out if I really loved it or was duped by the indie-ness of it all, but I can tell you this: it was beautifully filmed and I had an intense chill crawling all the way up my leg by the end. It was a slow-burner, you guys.

Chooch mocked Chris for saying, “Whoa!” every time something happened that shocked her.

Henry came back before it ended and pretended to be VERY INTERESTED IN HIS PHONE so that he wouldn’t have to be scared. Then he fell asleep. But who needs Henry’s company when you have Chooch churning out stories left and right?

Pablo's bones.

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on


After a ton of planning and numerous reschedules, the stars aligned and breakfast was officially a go with Lisa and Stacey. We went to Coca Café and even though we had to wait for about 30 minutes because it’s a hipster haven. Lisa commented that her husband Matt would hate it there because of the clientele and I started cracking up because SO WOULD HENRY. And the funniest part to me is that both of them have the perfect beards to blend right in with all those d-bags, too.

There was a couple waiting out there with us and I know I have seen them somewhere before and it’s driving me nuts. I mentally ran through a list of all the shows I’ve been to this year BUT I JUST DON’T KNOW.

Oh well.


Waiting wasn’t even an issue because it just meant more time to bullshit with Lisa and Stacey — why doesn’t this happen more often!? Conversation flowed so easily (probably because I SAVED STACEY’S LIFE on the way there when Lisa made us jaywalk, and once you save someone’s life, there’s a pretty strong bond there, you know?) and the food was amazing. You’d have never known that it’s been like, 6  years since the three of us hung out together.


We started out by developing a delightful rapport with our fabulous waiter, Tristan, and each ordering a buttermilk donut slathered with raspberry hibiscus icing. They were served to us WARM and we all immediately wished that we had ordered double. This is the kind of donut worth breaking a diet for. I mean, if you were on a diet. Clearly I am not.

My donut had more icing than Lisa’s, hence the sad face. YOU KNOW I GLOATED. Meanwhile, Stacey tried to be a martyr by offering to swap donuts with Lisa since hers also had more icing.


OMG I ordered the Breakfast Bowl which was divine, even though Stacey was terrified of every ingredient in it. I was really leaning heavily toward the pumpkin-stuffed French toast, but I almost always get sick when I choose sweet over savory for breakfast. Anyway, it was a wonderful mixture of some of my favorite things, like quinoa, edamame and kale! (I might reject everything they stand for, but I definitely have the palate of a hipster, that’s for sure.)

On the walk back to the car, I noticed that I had been carrying my take-out box on a tilt, and breakfast juice was dripping all over my hand. I HATE MESSES! This rendered me partially-paralyzed, and I started screaming things like HELP ME HELP! Stacey assured me that she had wet wipes back at the car, so I was momentarily pacified—–until seconds later when I realized that I was DOING IT AGAIN and this time the juice was sluicing all down my OTHER HAND. NOW I HAD TWO MESSY HANDS OMG I’M DYING HELP SOMEONE GRAB THE OXYGEN MASK.

Lisa was all, “Oh for God’s sake!” and grabbed the nearest LEAF off the ground, ROLLED MY SLEEVE UP, and wiped away the drops of juice with the dry, scratchy leaf at the exact moment Stacey commented it was probably covered in dog piss and now I WAS ABOUT TO PASS OUT.

Somehow, I made it back to the car and fell into the sweet angel arms of a baby wipe. Stacey tried to hand me the package of wipes because she thought I needed another one, but I didn’t, so I just let it drop to the ground because that’s the kind of thing I do. Stacey was just like, “OK great” and picked it up, because I was already walking away, so…..

Lisa was like, “SEE, I TOLD SHE’S A JERK!!!!” and I just laughed because this is me! Nice to meet you!

Honestly though, what a satisfying weekend full of awesome friends this has been so far! Very thankful and content right now. Especially since Henry just said that he MIGHT take me to see Balance and Composure on Thursday and oh I will just cry the happiest of tears if this is true.

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Oct 152016


According to some of my friends, this was the BEST PIE PARTY YET, so LOL if you missed it.

Just kidding. That was rude. And my new thing is trying not to be rude.

But it really was a mighty fine display of people and pies and I couldn’t be happier. Let’s peruse some pictures of these particular people and pies, perchance.


  • Judy
  • My mom (!!!) and her friend Debbie
  • John, Jen, Gavin and Abby
  • Blake & Haley
  • Alisa and Cara
  • Kara, Harland & Theo
  • Lisa, Matt, Matt’s dad Mike, & Gigi
  • Erin, Brian & Padraig
  • Lauren & Tony (and their dog, Charlie!!)
  • Chris & Monica
  •  BARB
  • Rocky, Angela & Ryder
  • Brad (and his dog Tucker!)
  • Sandy, Ben, Elena & Zoe
  • Maggie, Ivan, Lila & Annabelle
  • Glenn, Amanda, & Eve
  • Chris & Rebecca
  • Felicia, her mom Donna (my old Girl Scout leader!!), and Lila
  • Amanda, Adam, Alia, and Annika
  • Brian, Cathy & Clara
  • Debbie S.
  • Gayle & Jeffrey
  • Rob, Nancy & Nancy’s mom
  • Valerie and Brian
  • Amber2 & Teddy

I think I got everyone. If I missed you and you’re reading this, obviously it’s because you don’t rate. JUST KIDDING. This is one of the downsides of waiting two weeks to recap the damn thing. But the upside is that I get to write in my blog while watching HOCKEY because HOCKEY SEASON IS IN FULL EFFECT.

OK, back to the pie, though. There were so many delicious pies! It’s a good thing we don’t actually do any judging because there’s no way I could pick a winner.


We made that weird sweet potato thing which Henry fucked up and it came out sooooo dense and not very sweet at all which is a shame because it was beautiful-looking. The second pie he made was Nesselrode, which no one would consider because the name was so horrible but my god, it was fantastic. It was made with like, pecan puree? I can’t remember. But it was sweet and creamy and this is the stuff broads should be wrestling in, not jello.


Sandy brought a tomato & corn pie that was so good, I wan to use some cheesy adjective that Dick van Dyke would jovially exclaim if Disney presented a theatrical release of the pie party.

(Sandy, why don’t you slide that recipe into my DMs? Or you can just give it to me at work on Monday like a normal person.)

(And then I’ll give it to Henry because LOL recipes.)

Rob also brought a savory pie! Spinach and cheese. Savory pies are often the unsung heroes of the pie party because you can only eat so much sugar before your body starts to crave a vegetable.

Or salt.

Speaking of vegetables, though….



John & Jen brought two pies made with vegetables from their kids’ garden: a chocolate ghost pepper pie and a carrot pie, which was sweet not savory. Holy shit, both pies were great but the ghost pepper experience was lit AF. It was just the right amount of heat, right at the end, just when you think you’re home safe…

And Lauren brought a key lime pie with a jalapeno twist, which was also delightfully fiery!


I was so into this year’s accidental spicy theme!

Kara made a pineapple cream pie which she was afraid wasn’t going to be exotic enough—Kara, you’re crazy. That pie should be the official dessert of Hawaii. And she worked so hard mixing up the whipped topping!



Everyone LOLd when Glenn showed up. I’m friends with his wife Amanda on Instagram so I made sure she had the details because apparently he never tells her about the pie party!? They brought a pumpkin cheesecake thing that all these people kept raving about and I’m sad because I was too busy trying to socialize like an authentic human and by the time I went back to get some, it was all gone. UNLIKE THE NESSELRODE.

Fun fact: Glenn used to work with my high school buddy Chris, who also came out for his first ever pie party! AND Chris is a beekeeper so he brought an amazing apple pie with brie and fresh honey from his bees! I’m posting his own Instagram picture here because I wasn’t able to snap my own photo before it was mauled:


LOOK HOW ADORABLE!! And it tasted fantastic.

So Chris is a beekeeper and so is Lisa’s father-in-law who was also there, and Glenn is a WASHED-UP beekeeper! So many bee experts under one pavilion!

I don’t have a picture of this one, but Maggie brought a mango pie which definitely was a star of the exotic pie theme. I’ve never had a mango pie before and now I want one all the time! I just had a quick side-bar with Henry about this one and he said, “Yeah it was good” but he used a tone that had actual life and emotion to it (the opposite of hope he did earlier today when I asked him if he thought the new Joyce Manor album is great) so that’s how you know it was a good pie and he wasn’t just trying to tell me what I wanted to hear so that he could go back to half-watching the Pens game and pretending he’s an NHL coach.


I think Lisa was revealing some foolproof weight-loss secret. I mean, that’s the only thing that would have me so enrapt. Plus, look at Henry smirking.


Lisa’s amazing lemon blueberry thing (one of my favorite flavor combos!) and her father-in-law’s pecan pie chilling in the background. I was super nervous to meet her FIL Mike, who was visiting from Colorado, because Lisa told me that he’s been reading my blog and I always feel embarrassed when that happens. And I know, “Then Erin, why have you been writing on the Internet since 2001?” I guess the short answer is that I pretend it’s because the only people who read this are the ones I made up in my mind.

You know, “you guys.”


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It was really cool to meet him, though, even though he made a joke that went right over my dumb blond head, and when I mentioned it to Lisa a week later, she said, “Oh, so THAT’S why he mentioned that he thought you were going to be so smart in real life, but was disappointed to find out you’re kind of dumb.”


And then when I won at Beer Math last week, she was like, “Aw, I’m going to have to tell my father-in-law that you actually are smart sometimes.” THANKS, LISA!


Speaking of Lisa, my favorite part of the pie party migt have been when she told Monica and me that we have really pretty eyes and Monica was like, “AW THANKS’ and I was like, “Really? It took you 20 years to tell me that?”


Alisa might troll Chooch harder than anyone and I love her so much for it. Here she is antagonizing him over a heated game of Pokemon. (Also, Cara brought these really cute apple tarts and I didn’t get one because as usual, I’m snoozin’ and losin’. You can see them on the bottom of the pie tier below!)


Felicia and her mom Donna took this challenge very seriously and brought a fancy tray of mini mouthgasms, a/k/a Canadian Buttertarts.

“Excuse me, did you say Canadian buttertarts?” Monica asked, popping up from under the table, fist to her mouth in an effort to plug her hysteric enthusiasm.

Monica is really into these things, I learned!

And she and Felicia both, in tandem, attempted to show me the proper way to eat it.

“You need to hold it over the wrapper,” Felicia said. 

“No really you need to eat that shit over top of something,” Monica tried in vain to warn me.

But I stubbornly chucked the wrapper in the trash and took a big bite.

“You’re gonna get it all over—-oh, OK. There it is,” Monica sighed, as the liquid-y butter innards gushed all the way down my chin, onto my arm, probably into my hair.

“We tried to tell you,” Felicia said as I fled in search of napkins or wet wipes or a babbling brook in which to dunk my whole person.

“You’re an idiot,” Henry said as he cleaned me up.

Henry would probably make a really great preschool teacher.

Or at least, the preschool teacher’s creepy helper.


Monica’s practicing her hitchhiking skills for the next time she feels trapped in public with Chooch and Chris isn’t ready to leave yet. Also, Monica has the best shirts and Chris has the best hair. And so does Lauren, who sits in front of me at work and taunts me with her ability to french braid her own hair!!! Ugh!

By the way, Monica was on pie duty this year and made Butterscotch M&Ms and Cookie Dough pie, which tasted super fattening and delicious and I probably got the name wrong because I had to ask her at least 7 times during the course of the day to remind me again what it was.

So I’m just going to rename it:  Lots of Chocolatey Things In a Pie.

Ugh it was fantastical. Like Neil Patrick Harris in a pie.

I’m drinking some kind of pumpkin beer while I write this.

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LOL Gayle! She brought these adorbs S’mores tarts and I was so happy to be able to use the pie tier twice at one party! I’m glad I decided to bring it.



Gayle’s tarts were serious business. She even brought a lighter to torch the marshmallows. When Brian reached for one, I was like, “WAIT DON’T EAT IT YET WE HAVE TO GET GAYLE” and there was this big To Do with the lighter and the wind  kept blowing it out and finally Brian was like, “OK look, I’m fine with cold marshmallows. NO REALLY GO AWAY.”

I love putting my party guests in uncomfortable situations with people they don’t know!


Chooch is not so low-key obsessed with my friend Rocky because one time I made an offhand remark that some YouTuber Chooch likes reminded me of Rocky. Anyway, Chooch had all these pink balloons that he insisted on blowing up before people arrived (he kept one aside and named him Bobby which was funny and sad at the same time), so naturally at some point, two balloons found their way up Chooch’s shirt and Rocky apparently said “Nice rack” to him, which sent Chooch running over to tell me, “MOMMY ROCKY RECALDINI TOLD ME I HAVE A NICE RACK!”

Like, calm down son. You’re acting like you just received an autographed headshot of some Sky TV personality you were obsessed with in 1991 which totally wasn’t something that I personally sent away for, but just a random example that means nothing.


I invited Barb because I like to hear her run down the list of Erin Rachelle Kelly superlatives that she has scrawled on a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte (holla!)* receipt in her pocket from 2011. I like to believe she adds to it constantly, and that there are like 18 of them stapled together into a little flipbook called Erin is the Best.

*(INSIDE BARB JOKE. Except that it’s not really an inside joke because I’ve shared it here before and really it’s just that she came into the office one day with a PSL fresh from Starbucks and straight up sang, “Pumpkin spice latte, holla!” which was funny because you know, Barb said it. And then she promptly sat down to tweet about it on her phone in the “blinged-out” case.)

Man, I miss Barb.


And I miss Debbie, too! She and Barb took care of me and soothed the hysteria I often felt from being out and about in the real world. Now who do I have? WENDY?! UGH. She makes me do things for myself!


LOL j/k – Gayle is still available to make sure I don’t stick forks in the toaster and accidentally strangle myself with the phone cord.


LOLOLOL Glenn and Henry! Glenn said something to Henry that was disparaging about me, something about being sorry Henry has to deal with me, and Henry was all, “LOL, at least you get paid to deal with her.” Or something terrible like that. WOW why don’t you guys just start a stupid Boys Only club in a treehouse and make dumb patches that look stupid and I don’t want one anyway!

Amanda thanked me for giving Glenn a hard time at work, and I can’t even take all the credit because many other people are mean to Glenn too, but I will say things got a lot easier for him after Natalie and Barb left.

Meanwhile, Brian was saying something about having to chase his little girl all around to make sure she didn’t fall into peril, and Kara said, “Oh just wait. By next year, you can just set her loose on the playground with the other kids and not have to deal with it.”

Brian said he turned around to look at the playground just as Chooch was riding a log.

That’s my kid.

I feel like Blake probably had something to do with the appearance of the log though.

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I somehow didn’t get any pictures of Kara at the last pie party so I was on the prowl this time. Also, I should consider running a million races like Kara does so that I can eat a ton of pie without feeling like I was cast for the gluttony scene in Se7en.


I wish I had written down all the pies. I know that Erin brought a really unique and wonderful Girl Scout cookie pie (I wonder if my old Girl Scout leader Donna had a piece!?!?). My mom brought a frozen Cold Brew pie, adorned with chocolate espresso beans. I don’t think anyone has ever brought a frozen pie before! NO WAIT I think Amber1 brought a frozen pink lemonade pie one year?! God, so many pies, you guys. Who can keep track!?

Valerie brought a chocolate peanut butter from the Pie Place which I barely even cared about because I was just so excited to see her face! I’ve known her from all the way back in the LiveJournal days and when I met Kara, I learned that they were “real life” friends so we all went to lunch once in 2008, and it was actually my first time going to Zenith, so now I equate Valerie with cool bathrooms and good vegetarian food.

Anyway, I haven’t seen her since then so this was a big deal for me and I nearly pushed people out of the way so I could greet her.

Also, I made her try the Nesselrode pie and she agreed that it was really good. “You should have named it something else, though,” she said. Ugh, I know, but it’s named after some man named Nesselrode for some reason that my eyes skipped over because I get bored easily but I read enough to know that it sounded weird and that probably no one else was going to bring a Nesselrode.

No one else brought a Nesselrode.

Even if it had a better name, it still looked like a unappetizing  gray blob so probably no one would eat it unless I was aggressively slipping it into their plate. It’s a good thing I’m not this pie’s PR person. 

Rocky and Angela brought a banana cream pie which I always forget how much I love a good banana cream until I’m elbow-deep in one and it’s all over my face and I’m sobbing because why do I have no self-control.


Look at this carnage!!

Also, Sandy: remember when Maggie lost her mind and screamed at Elena for no reason and Elena was completely unfazed but you and I jumped? #scaryMaggie


Brian made fun of Dance Gavin Dance but THAT’S OK. I will probably still invite him to the next pie party. Cathy and Clara are more than welcome, at the very least!

(Also, Cathy makes horror movie cookies, you guys. She is someone I need in my life.)


Judy tried brie for the first time and her taste buds apparently revolted harder than most rational, intelligent, self-respecting women when shown a picture of Donald Trump. Brian and Monica witnessed this with me.

Sorry Judy, I’ll tell Chris V. to bring Kraft Singles next time!


Guys. We love Blake’s girlfriend Haley. Like, a lot. And I think Chooch has met his match with her! She dishes it right back to him and it’s amazing.


Amber2 came right as the party was winding down because she was waiting for Teddy to wake up from his nap, so she was probably thinking, “Wow this is the worst pie party yet!” I’m really glad she made it though and I was so happy to see her that I actually CUT HER A SLICE OF BRAD’S APPLE CRUMBLE PIE ALL ON MY OWN! I mean, it was a struggle and she probably could have done it herself more efficiently while holding her kid and standing on a unicycle, but at least I made an effort OK.

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I wish I had had the forethought to force everyone to have their picture taken under the pie portal.

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There was the most vivid rainbow that appeared as we (lol “we”) were cleaning up. This picture does no justice whatsoever, but I can honestly say that it’s the brightest rainbow I’ve ever seen, and then Kara pointed out that it was actually so big and bright that it was starting to repeat the last several colors! AND THEN WE NOTICED THAT IT WAS A DOUBLE RAINBOW ON TOP OF THAT. What a great ending to a satisfying day of pies and good people.


I spent the whole hockey game writing this. You’re welcome. Well, maybe not YOU, but someone is welcome. 

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Oct 122016


This past weekend was one of those weekends where nothing super major happened, but it was just so pleasant and fulfilling that I want to remember it forever. So walk with me, and I’ll tell you all about it. If you feel a pain in your leg, that’s just me kicking you because you fell asleep.

FIRST, we went to lunch at the Interchange with my mom and brother Ryan. I was really excited because this was the first fall day that was chilly enough to have Henry and Chooch running for their flannels and beanies, and you guys — that’s my favorite version of them! We walked out of the house and I had a strong urge to go on a hayride or stir a cauldron of white privileged male blood under a full moon. TAKE ME, AUTUMNAL EQUINOX.

Anyway, lunch was great! I quit going over to my grandparents’ house near the end of August because I admittedly couldn’t handle it anymore (I was literally losing hair over it, no joke), so I’m glad that I still get to see my mom outside of that situation. And my brother Ryan! I have no idea why we don’t hang out more often, but every time I see him, I’m reminded of how awesome he is. We reminisced about all the haunted houses we went to as kids, and the time I took him and some of his friends to the USS Nightmare when I was 19 and they were all jerky middle schoolers. While we were in line, one of them pulled out a laser pointer and started shining it into the windows of the Marriott we were standing next to, and then some hotel guest picked up his LAMP and started shining it back at us.

“I guess you had to be there,” I said to Henry, who rolled his eyes as usual.

And then my vegetarian kid (holding strong since July with zero pressure applied from me, I swear!) ordered the vegetarian burger which was basically just a portabello mushroom, and told the waitress, “But I don’t want the onions, or the lettuce, or the tomatoes…..or the mushroom.”

“So, you want a bun, basically,” I sighed and told him to pick something else.

“Then I’ll have the veggie hoagie, but I don’t want….” and before he could finish un-ordering every single vegetable that came on it, I interjected and said, “JUST GET THE GRILLED CHEESE.”

So he got the grilled cheese.

Over lunch, I was telling Ryan and Val about how Chooch called Henry from the gifted school because he needed to know where Henry’s ancestors are from because they were doing a project in his multi-cultural elective.

“So Henry told him that he had ancestors from Serbia, but Chooch confused it with Siberia,” I said and everyone laughed except for Henry, who sighed, “Yeah, except that my ancestors are Syrian, not Serbian, so you’re both wrong.”

And then we laughed even harder because LOLOLOL Chooch and I are so ignorant when it comes to Henry.


Being ignorant.

The rest of the afternoon was, in all honesty, spent listening to the new Dance Gavin Dance record because when I obsess, I obsess HARD.

Later that evening, Lisa picked me up and took me to her friends’ house in Wilkinsburg for their annual Beerstravaganza, which is kind of similar to my pie party, but everyone brings a six-pack or growler of their favorite beer to share and it’s, you know, considerably more drunken. When we got there, Lisa had a moment of panic because she had a whole box of 12 beers and only wanted to bring in the required 6 bottles, but then she was going to look dumb carrying in a half box and OMG what was she going to do. I just stood there, looking at my phone, twirling my hair, spinning in circles like I do, when it occurred to me that she was having some type of crisis, so I casually suggested that she just take out six bottles and replace it with the six bottles I was holding, and then it would just be like, “Oh look, these girls combined their beers into one box of 12. Nothing to see here.”

Lisa kept going on and on about how brilliant I am (le duh) and how she would be able to use my now-empty beer carrier thingie to put her extra 6 beers in so that they wouldn’t be rolling all around the back of her car, and don’t you worry, I took this moment to bask in my ingenuity.

The reality of the situation is that no one would have even noticed if she rolled us with a half-empty box because no one was standing over  by the kiddie pools of beer. And also, probably because it wasn’t that big of a deal!

Nevertheless, always happy to be part of the solution!

That was incredibly boring. I GUESS YOU HAD TO BE THERE, HENRY.

(Henry is everyone. Everyone is Henry.)

I usually get super nervous when I go to a party (which isn’t often because I usually just say no; see: the part about me getting super nervous), but Lisa is like my social crutch. I’m not sure what it is, but anytime I go anywhere with Lisa, the old Erin comes back out. The Erin who hasn’t spent the last 15 years being stifled and put in a corner. So when we were sitting around the bonfire and Lisa said, “I have to go to the bathroom, do you want to come in the house with me?” I was like, “Nah, I’m good right here.”

And that’s how I made friends with a girl named Jen (we’re having lunch on Tuesday!) and listened to Rob tell a story about peeing on OJ Simpson when he was a baby!

And I also imprinted on a guy wearing a Civil War jacket and apparently developed a taste for “sour” beers. I DRANK FOUR DIFFERENT BEERS, YOU GUYS! This is monumental. I’m not a beer-person. That’s actually how I was introducing myself to people: “Hi I’m Erin. I’m learning to like beer.” And everyone was super nice to me about it! #babysteps

Lisa came back out at one point and started to say something to me, but I was all, “Shh, I’m trying to listen to Rob’s story” and she was all, “…the fuck is Rob?”

It was a really great night and I’m glad that I went even though I’m unsure of beer and people. Thanks, Lisa!



After nearly a year, Chooch’s piano lessons resumed Sunday morning! His instructor, Cheryl, had temporarily moved to Asheville, NC (SC?) because she enrolled in some massage therapy program. We reallllly missed her and I was actually kind of worried that she was going to end up not coming back and we have to scour the city for a new instructor, and you all know how picky Chooch is. But yay, Cheryl’s back! She lives in Lawrenceville now, so after we dropped Chooch off, Henry and I killed time by strolling along Butler Street, which is his least favorite street in all of the land because hipsters.

Which is why it was so hilarious to me when he tripped TWICE on our walk, the second was so bad that he thought he broke his toe. Oh, god, how I laughed. That’s what happens when you walk with your nose all up in your phone, dumbass!

But yeah, he tripped in front of a whole gaggle of hipsters and they probably all talked about it later at their Dissecting Tame Impala Lyrics Over Cold Brew club.





This was inexplicably stapled to a telephone pole. I’m sure there’s a reason but who cares. IT’S A GREAT READ.

After an hour of leisurely strolling, we went back to Cheryl’s and I was prepared for her to say, “Hey, I could totally tell that this kid hasn’t plugged in his keyboard since his last lesson with me in 2015” because he totally hasn’t, that lazy bastard. But because it’s CHOOCH, GOLDEN CHOOCH, she was all, “Somehow, I think he’s gotten even better!?” and proceeded to praise his “natural ability” while Chooch stood smugly at her side.

Ugh, I’m so jealous of my own kid.

But seeing Cheryl again was a huge upside to the weekend!


After lessons, we went to lunch at the Abbey, which is across from the Allegheny Cemetery and used to be a funeral home, so basically, a sanctuary for Erin R. Kelly.


My favorite part though wasn’t even the food. We had just walked inside and the hostess asked Henry how many he had in his party. Right when he said three—and I swear this wasn’t planned—Chooch and I casually popped out from behind him.

The hostess started cracking up.

“Oh my god, I don’t know how you guys did that, but it was awesome!”

I’ll tell you how: it’s because Chooch and I are like Henry’s lemmings. We walk so close behind him that if he stops abruptly, we cause a complete human pile-up, like a G-rated Human Centipede. This is why he hates grocery shopping with us because anytime he turns around, he runs right into us and then loses his mind over it.

I can only imagine how circus-y it must have looked from the hostess’s vantage. MAYBE THIS SHOULD BE OUR NEW SIGNATURE ENTRANCE. Chooch and I can wear sequined gloves and pop out from behind Henry with jazz hands and deranged clown-smiles.

I’m into this.


We all got the brunch buffet (actually, Henry assumed this was what I wanted and ordered it for me when I wasn’t paying attention, but whatever). It was fine. I’m not a huge fan of buffets to begin with but the ambiance of the Abbey and the fact that the hostess saw us for the bright, shining stars that we are was enough to keep me from cyber-bullying them on social media.

Henry and I took longer at the buffet than Chooch did (because I require so much assistance), and when we rejoined him at the table, he was lazily sipping on OJ that he ordered on his own because he doesn’t need parents, and I don’t know why, but this image made me lose it. He just shrugged and took another sip.

Interestingly, one of the items on the buffet was vegetarian sausage gravy and biscuits which was amazing timing because at the bonfire the night before, they had real sausage gravy and biscuits which I could not partake in obviously so I just ate biscuits instead while wishing there was meatless gravy.

(OMG I forgot to mention that someone had made some BOMB PUMPKIN PIE OMG TAKE ME BACK.)

(I had to get Lisa to cut me a slice though, because knives.)

During my second and final trip to the buffet (these things are huge wastes of money for me),  Andy Gibb’s “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” was playing overhead. Behind me, a man said (to his friend, not to me, shockingly), “I love this song, but I don’t know who sings it.”

Before Henry had a chance to clamp down on my arm, I whipped my head around and yelled, “Andy Gibb!” in such a way that it sounded like I was in a race to be the first say it.

Which, I was.

His friend laughed, and said, “Yep, it is” and then Henry stuffed me back under his thumb. He hates it so much when I butt into the conversations of strangers with ALL OF THE ANSWERS.

I can’t help it. If people are talking about music, my dog-ears activate.

We had just returned from a disappointing visit to Dave’s Music Mine, who did not have the new Balance and Composure on vinyl. I was standing around idly in the driveway while Henry cleaned out the car and as I went to walk away, he tried to give me some garbage to take with me.

“Take that with you!” he yelled as I let it fall to the ground.

“Nope!” I yelled back as I pranced toward the house. (Really, I pranced just to accentuate the fact that I’m too much of a princess to TAKE GARBAGE* INTO THE HOUSE.)

“TAKE IT WITH YOU!” he cried again.

“I don’t want to!” I yelled back, and then I noticed a guy walking down the sidewalk, laughing at us. You’re welcome for the free show, I guess.

*(Actually, it was the sign I made for the pie party — I didn’t want to carry that shit!)

The end. Classic sign-off. Killing this blog game.

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Oct 042016

People kept wondering on Sunday how many Pie Parties there have been so far, but no one guessed SIX. Which is the answer. Six.


How has this not gotten old yet?

Commemorative buttons for those who have been to all six!

I’ll be honest though: I didn’t want to have one this year. You know how you get sometimes, all beaten down by life and you’d rather just wallow in your tear-filled pit of despair but then you remember that being around your peeps makes you happy.

Plus, you know: pie.

So much pie!

This year, I decided to have a theme, so I picked “Exotic.” Give people some type of gyrating star to shoot for, you know? And if anyone opted to just bring a supermarket apple pie, they could always give it a stripper name. Like Brandylynne.

Or Candy.

Candy Apple Pie.


Of course, I found some pies for Henry to make which involved hard-to-obtain ingredients. He left the house at like 6am on Saturday in his attempt to find some kind of Asian purple sweet potato. God only knows how many parking lots he wept in before finally finding one.

But the other pie called for matcha (I mean, it was a Matcha Cream pie, so….) but he was all, “I REFUSE TO PAY $18 FOR MATCHA WHEN I ONLY NEED THREE TABLESPOONS.”

Wow. Slow your fucking roll, Hank.

I interrupted his pie-baking several times on Saturday because I was being a emotional vampire and needed hugs to stay alive. He acted like he was so put-out by this, but obliged every time. It was funny because he was wearing AN APRON.

Lol, Henry.

And then we got to have pizza for dinner because fuck if he was cooking after spending all day in the kitchen.


I took this picture before Henry dusted off the sign, which was coated with Trudy (our mannequin/Xmas tree) residue, i.e. green metallic spray paint dust.

After baking, I had Henry make a small pie marquee for the table but he ran of time so we just threw a strand of battery-operated lights on it for the time being. Next year, it’ll be better!

But this is what I mean — having a pie party seems really no-frills and low-stress but then I have to throw in a million elements after I get a “vision” and you know how my “visions” can be: what do you mean you can’t turn this basic park pavilion into a fucking SWISS CHALET BUFFETED BY EDELWEISS, HENRY YOU DICK?!

And speaking of pavilions! There are two that we use exclusively for pie parties and Chooch’s birthday parties, and both of them were already rented. Along with 80% of the other park pavilions. What the hell?! No one ever has park parties in October! Then I had a fleeting vision of every person in this town who hates me (oh, there are a few) having their own competing pie parties at the same time and I got so sad and then paranoid and then really fucking murderous.

But on the way there, we passed our main pavilion (the bae of all pavilions, if you will) and realized that it was being used for some asshole’s first birthday.

So, not a competing pie party.


Henry’s mom came with us and helped with set-up. I use that term loosely but she did more than, say, Janna who promises to help decorate every year and then comes 2 hours after the party starts, so….

Henry left to go get beverage and I decided I would use the portajohn while it was still fresh from Henry’s thorough cleansing. Right as I was about to come out, I heard a male voice and started to panic. Like, was some woodsman tying up Judy and Chooch, getting them ready to roast on the crappy grill that comes as a courtesy with the pavilions? Should I just stay inside the portajohn and pray that he doesn’t know there’s a third thick-thighed entree waiting in the wings?

Instead, I came leaping out awkwardly, like I was going to kick a bitch in the throat if I had to, and that’s when I saw some man doing pull-ups on one of the pavilion rafters, while Judy counted for him.


When he was done, Judy lasciviously asked, “What’s the encore?”

“I just keep moving,” he laughed in between pants, toweling off his older gentleman sweat and thanking her for letting him invade our pavilion before jogging off into the horizon.


Where did he come from, beneath the moist autumnal sod? A 1993 episode of Bodies In Motion with Gilad?

I’d have offered him so pie but he didn’t seem like the type to let that garbage near his perfectly curated, sweaty, glistening temple. 

SORRY. I think The memory of Judy’s lust intoxicated me for a second there. That guy was old as shit. 

While I fluffed the burlap on the pie table for the 87th time, Judy and Chooch argued to the death over a violent game of Perquacky, which I guess is like Boggle. We bought it at Goodwill specifically for the  pie party because I like to give people shit to do while eating pie, you know? That’s why I use craft paper in lieu of tablecloths and slap down a mason jar of mismatched crayons and markers on each picnic table.  So if you end up sitting with strangers, play hangman or something. JUST PLEASE DON’T LEAVE.

Most of last year’s decorations were salvageable! So that was more time available for me to make my pie party playlist which I will post here because it’s full of Phil Collins and you know, Dance Gavin Dance. You should know that this is the first year we remembered to bring a speaker thingie so that I could play music. Usually the soundtrack is just screaming kids and the ping of Henry sprouting new gray hairs.

LOL. There is no rhyme or reason to this mix. There never is with me.

People started rolling in at exactly 1pm, which I was thankful for because nothing makes a girl feel like a looooooser than when everyone is late to her party. (The pie party has a real relaxed revolving door feel to it though; people come and go all afternoon. THERE IS NO AGENDA OR SCHEDULE OF PARTY GAMES.)

In the next installment, I’ll show you pictures of pies and the people who ate the pies. Very complicated stuff. Blogging about it takes thought, a (chalk) outline, and a certain amount of alcohol. You wouldn’t understand.


Here’s a picture of Drew from Saturday. She just wanted to help with the decorations, you guys. (She was more help than my SON.)

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Sep 022016

I was on the phone with everyone’s favorite frowner this morning, waiting to cross the street, when I heard from behind me, “Excuse me. Excuse me! Cat girl!”

At first I thought this person was calling me a fat girl, and I was ready to swing my purse at him, but then I remembered I’m wearing my cat blouse today. 

I sighed, took the phone away from my mouth, and gave him the attention he so desperately craved. 

“What time is it?”

The man was probably in his mid-to-late 40s, looked a bit like a disheveled, moderately slow David Letterman. Dressed in a t-shirt, cargo shorts, and sandals. 

I told him it was 7:49. 

“Ugh, really? Because they’re supposed to open at 7:30,” he said in a vague whine, gesturing over his shoulder to the R-Bar. 

Let me just say that while I enjoy getting grimey in the occasional dive bar, this is one bar I would probably never patronize. Even though it’s conveniently located a mere block from my house. 

(I think. I always get confused when it comes to blocks.)

I shrugged and said I was sorry, I couldn’t tell him why they weren’t rolling out the cigarette ash and peanut shell-encrusted red carpet for him when it was already 7:49 in the motherfucking AM. 

Hoping this would satisfy his urge for human contact, I began to pivot back toward the road. 

“Where are you going dressed like that, anyway?”


Still, the words rolled out of my mouth like an unraveling Fruit By the Foot. It was too late to stuff them back in. 

“Work,” I answered in a cheerful voice I didn’t recognize me because now I was clearly possessed by the Demon of Small Talk. 

“Wow! Where do you work?!”

Guys, I’m wearing a freaking blouse thing with cats on it, and jeans because it’s Jeans Day. I’m not wearing hot pants and nipple tassels so I’m not sure why my attire was so fascinating to him other than the fact that he was probably already drunk. 

So now I’m second-guessing every decision I made since waking up that morning. Was I dressed inappropriately for work?! DID I LOOK LIKE A FOOL?! I mean, these are questions that you could probably answer yes to on any given day but this guy just made me feel like I was under a spotlight and should I go home and change into a cardigan??!! 

Well, I couldn’t go home because guess who doesn’t currently have a house key, so I guess the Law Firm people will just have to suffer through a day of seeing me in a CAT SHIRT. 

In spite of my better judgment, I mumbled, “A law firm” and then I turned and JAY-WALKED across West Liberty Avenue and you all know how much I hate jay-walking and how terrified I am of crossing the street when when the “ITS OK TO CROSS NOW, CHILD” light is flashing. He was just beginning to lean in too close to me and my paranoia was turning my mind into a flip book of crime scene photos. I guess if I was going to die today, I’d rather get hit by a car than sodomized and stuffed in a suitcase by some early rising wino. 

When I resumed my conversation with Henry, he was already laughing. “What was that all about, were you getting hit on?”

Yep, by all the best locals. 

I walk-ran to the shuttle stop, which is another story for another time (there’s an Old Broad that I’m at war with). A few minutes later, just as the shuttle pulled away from the curb, I saw Drunk Letterman shambling toward the sidewalk I had been standing on 45 seconds prior. He stopped right in front of Albert’s Bar, also not open yet. 

By the time I made it to work, I was fucking exhausted. Talking to strangers is so hard. 

I wonder where that guy is drinking right now?

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Aug 172016

With the exception of Warped Tour, Henry hasn’t gone to a show with me since JUNE. While I’m mostly ok with being a loner these days, it’s still nice to have the big dum dum with me so I told him he was going and he answered with a sigh that could be heard around the ‘Burgh.

I woke up Monday morning feeling positively giddy at the prospect of Henry going to see Sianvar with me after work. Sometimes I kind of enjoy his company, I guess, I don’t know. Stop looking at me like that.

As the door guy was putting my rubber ducky wristband on me, I dorkily cried, “Were you at the John Carpenter show?!”

He looked taken aback but then smiled and said that he was.

“I knew that was you!” I said. “I couldn’t imagine where I knew you from but then I realized it was from here.” I mean, god knows how many wristbands he’s applied to my arm.

So then we talked about how great that show was and Henry was all, “WHAT WERE YOU TALKING ABOUT I’M A JEALOUS BOYFRIEND” after I rejoined him.

God Henry. Maybe if you wouldn’t send me off into the wild without a chaperone, these connections wouldn’t happen.

We had some time to have a drink in the back of the room, where we talked about the OLYMPICS with the bartender. There a million reasons why I absolutely love going to shows at the Smiling Moose but a big one is that the bartenders there are so FUCKING NICE. I’m not a big bar-talker, but any time I have gone there, I have engaged in the most pleasant conversations with the girls behind the bar. The bartenders at the Altar Bar were absolute assholes and that was one of the reasons I didn’t give a fuck when that venue closed. Smiling Moose forever!

While we were leaning against the bar with our drinks, some older man with a cane came limping toward us and said, “Sup crew?”

I was so fucking excited at the prospect of being in someone’s crew that I way too happily exclaimed, “Hi!”

He looked at me weird and then repeated what he said, which was actually, “Restroom?”


I pointed the way and the bartender laughed. “It’s because you guys look like you know what you’re doing!”

I mean, duh. Don’t ask me for directions to the restroom at work, but if we’re at any music venue in the city, I can draw you a map on your palm with my eyes closed.

Meanwhile, the first band had started playing and I was s-s-s-stoked because it was one of my favorite local bands, False Accusations! Henry was like, “Oh boy” as soon as he recognized them. I chugged my Ace, slammed down my empty glass, and left Henry at the bar in favor for a spot near the stage.


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Henry joined me just in time to put his hand on my shoulder and gently pull me out of the way before I got cold-cocked with the neck of a guitar. Guys, I love your band but I’ve got some brittle bones! Go easy on this old broad.

These are the times when Henry wishes I liked Coldplay or Of Monsters and Men like other ladies my age.

What DO other ladies my age like?! I’m so out-of-touch with my demographic.

(Also, see the guy in the dress shirt in that video? NEMESIS. I hated him at another show at the Smiling Moose but now I can’t remember show or why. BUT I DON’T FORGET A FACE.)

The next band was Atlas Decay. They had a lot of family and friends there because they’re local. I liked them well enough but I was anxious for Sianvar so I drifted off a lot. Also, I started to recognize some people in the crowd, like this one girl who was also at the Hail the Sun show last year and wound up becoming friends at the bar with a guy who is security at Mr. Small’s; a photographer we talked to outside of Diesel while waiting for the doors to open for the Hotel Books show (Henry stopped me from saying hello to him because he thinks I get weird when I talk to people); and my high school Instagram friend who started following me two years ago after some other show at Smiling Moose (Henry wouldn’t let me say hi to him either because he thinks 37-year-old women talking to 17-year-olds at shows in weird).

Also, there were a ton of people who were there alone! This is never the case when I’m there alone! There was a girl in a Circa Survive shirt who I totally would have talked to if Henry hadn’t been there with me. She ended up buddying up later with some other guy who was there alone and at one point I think they were talking about the upcoming Anthony Green show and I believe they were trying to remember what band Mat Kerekes (who is opening for him) is in and I SO BADLY wanted slide into their real life DMs and say, “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but overhear, and I believe CITIZEN is the answer you’re looking for” but Henry gave me the “DON’T DO IT” look.


After Atlas Decay was Save Us From the Archon! Oh, how I love these proggy Pittsburgh peeps. Their bassist Samantha recently left the band to pursue her career so I was pretty bummed about that because the scene needs as many girls as it can get. And Samantha was a fucking bitchin’ bassist, you guys.

“What’s her career?” Henry asked.

“I don’t know but I bet she’s stupid-smart, being in a band like that. So probably an astrophysicist,” I shrugged.

SUFTA was recently signed to Tragic Hero Records, so they weren’t just playing at Smiling Moose that night because they were local support: they were playing there because they’re actually ON TOUR with Sianvar. I’m so stoked for them! They had a ton of family and friends there that night, including one of their moms, who dragged a stool right over to the stage and sat there in her denim farmers dress, literally headbanging and screaming.



My heart soared.

I love them. Henry does not.

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Henry was ready to murder his eardrums around this point and his frown was getting so deep and droopy that I feared it was going to usurp the whole lower half of his face, like an actual Snapchat filter.

“You should just be happy that you’re spending time with me!” I shouted over the mathy vibes.

“I’d rather be doing that at home on the couch,” he grumbled.

“Yeah, but this is like…a date!” I said optimistically.

“Dates are when both people have fun,” he sighed.

“Eh…not always.”


Here’s Mom chatting up my photographer friend and Circa Survive girl.

Around this time, some guy arrived wearing a Number 12 Looks Like You shirt and I got unreasonably excited about this.

“Remember when I liked them?!” I cried.

“Not really,” Henry mumbled.

“Yeah it was probably in like 2006 or something. When I went through my really heavy screamo* phase.”


*(Real screamo as in “not the Used” or any of the bands that are commonly mistaken for screamo because people JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND.)

So I wanted to tell that guy I liked his shirt but then some other guy stopped and said, “Hey man, I like your shirt” so then I couldn’t because I was standing right there and I would like a TRY-HARD.

UGH, my life.


My Iron Lung was next. I was totally in their way when they were trying to get all their shit before they set up, because I am always in the way no matter where I stand in that place. It’s inevitable. Even Henry was like, “Stop being in the way” and I was like, “WHERE DO YOU WANT ME TO GO THERE IS LITERALLY NO PLACE FOR ME ON THIS EARTH.”

God, what a deep fucking realization for me, you know? Life parallels. Ugh.

So yes. My Iron Lung — they were great! The singer reminded me a bit of Pacey from Dawson’s Creek meets Alex Vincent all grown-up from Child’s Play, so I was into it. But again, I was anxious for them to be done because Sianvar.

My iron lung

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My Iron Lung reminded me of the Iron Lung Glenn that I made for Halloween at work one year. (It’s totally blurry, too bad so sad.)


OK, but then it was finally time for Sianvar, and as each of them walked past us to take the stage, I made all kinds of swooning/fainting couch pantomimes and Henry just frowned.

(Did I mention that earlier in the night, he elbowed me and said, “There’s Will”? Because he did. Because he reluctantly knows everyone in this scene whether he likes it or not!)

Quick summary: Dance Gavin Dance is one of my all-time favorite bands and if you didn’t already know that then this must be your first time here (I’m sorry). The founder/guitarist of that band is a brilliant man named Will Swan, one of the most underrated musicians if you ask me (and a lot of other people, probably). Sometime ago, Will started his own record label called Blue Swan and it is the home to some of the most magnificent, unique post-hardcore bands of our time. There is a distinct sound associated with this label, and Will had curated some beautiful groups of musicians to represent that.

One of those bands is a Blue Swan supergroup, featuring Will, Donovan from Hail the Sun (they’ve recently been signed to Equal Vision, a bigger label so you can’t blame them), Sergio from Stolas, and Michael and Joseph from A Lot Like Birds. Together, they gel into this mystical, sonic beast and even Henry was like, ‘They were good.”

I mean, they were fucking exceptional. My eyes didn’t know who to look at! So much talent!

Henry said he hates how Donovan moves and I was pretty offended. Henry can be so judgey sometimes. I mean, how would Henry like him to move?! How would HENRY move if he was a singer on stage?!

Donovan moves like Pinocchio at times and that appeals to me, so suck it Henry.

Also, I love how Donovan stares over everyone’s heads with an intense, murderous gaze and sings so hard that he starts to rage-shake. I think he’s an amazing frontman and his voice is unreal, like why aren’t more people talking about this time? Why isn’t Hail the Sun a household name? Why did Chooch RUIN MY HAIL THE SUN EXPERIENCE AT WARPED TOUR?!

(I realize I just saw them last winter, but I’m not over my sour Warped Tour HTS experience. Thanks, son.)

I had a really crappy day but then Sianvar saved it. 💗

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I liked that Sergio chilled up on a windowsill at one point, like “I’m just gonna sit here and casually play these complicated guitar parts while staring dreamily out the window at Carson Street.” Henry just rolled his eyes when I asked him if he too thought that was awesome.

Henry just doesn’t get excited about anything and I feel genuinely sorry for him. That cunt.

After the show Henry asked me if I wanted to talk to Will Swan and then we both just laughed because yeah right – me, talk to someone in a band? I don’t talk, I blubber. And then I cry. So we just left before any of that could happen. I’ll just be over here admiring you from afar, Will Swan. Le sigh.


After the show, we stopped at GetGo for our super fancy date dinner and when we got back in the car, Henry dropped the car key and spent the next fifteen minutes swearing while practically fisting the space in between the car seat and console where lip gloss, change, prosthetic fingers, and apparently car keys go to die.

It was so stupid that I started to crack up and then, you guys — get this: HENRY STARTED CRACKING UP TOO.

God, what a great night. Thank you, Sianvar.

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Aug 162016

*(Henry is obviously the ho.)

You know what really helps get a bitch through the day? Knowing that there’s ice cream with good friends on the other side.

We met up with Chris and Monica at Millie’s on Friday and even though it was HOT AF, we laughed a lot (even Henry, somehow) and had a good, quality hang.

We got there early and roamed the streets, looking shady as hell. Then I saw some guy I had a crush on in middle school and frantically texted Chris to HURRY because safety in numbers.

My friend Angie was all, “I doubt he remembers” but that’s just because she’s never been on the receiving end of my crushes and has no idea the lunacy and desperate aggression fueling it.


But now this lucky man-sack’s got my attention, yee haw.

When we spotted Chris and Monica, we sent Chooch off to fetch them and somehow in the span of 30 seconds, he managed to act enough of a fool for Monica to greet me with a, “Hello, just got here and I already called your son an asshole.”

I didn’t even need to ask why! The kid can get on a fucking nerve or 187, you think that you goin’ to heaven put sluga all up in that chest and hell is where you be dwelllin’….

Sorry, that was an impromptu Bone Thugs n Harmony takeover.

Anyway, the whole reason we even went to Millie’s was because I saw on Instagram that they were adding some fresh peach flavas up in that piece (Bone’s still in me, bitch please) and one of the flavors was some type of fabled peach and sweet corn?! I texted Chris and she was all, “Lemme just shove this gat down my pants and we’ll roll right on up, white girl.”

Because that’s what Wish Bone would say if he spoke on Chris’s behalf.

(I have been in some type of MOOD all evening, my apologies. I ate a brownie that Hot Naybor Chris brought over and I can’t for certain tell you that there wasn’t pot in it. Never mind that it was from some grocery store.)

Spoiler alert: the peach and sweet corn ice cream does not exist. Little punk ass bitches lied to me on Instagram. Or you know, just used awkward syntax which forced me to not understand the flavor listings.  I asked one of the young broads behind the counter and she at first looked at me like I was speaking in sweet corn tongues, but then she said, “Oh, I don’t know. I mean, sweet corn is the base of the popcorn ice cream….?” which I tried a sample of and it was just OK, sorry Rick Sebak. I saw you said on Instagram that it was a million shades of amaze, but I just wasn’t down with the endless chewing of ice cream.

So I got the brown butter peach which I thought was excellent until I reached my second choice flavor, nestled below it like the humble sleeper hit of the summer that it has proven to be: Ella’s almond butter and honey.

Fucking Hallelujah I am saved.

Monica also got that flavor and she agreed with me so now we’re talking about writing fanfic for it. I want it to be filthy basement hardcore and she’s thinking more of a sensual 18th century back door erotica. I’m sure we’ll meet in some type of BDSM middle.

Ugh, Chooch got basic vanilla as usual but this time turned Millie’s on its head by forgoing chocolate for SALTED CARAMEL, which he then spent 25 minutes complaining about, causing Chris to interrupt herself to say, “Wait a minute—-did you say that salted caramel sucks? I WILL FIGHT YOU.”

And Monica crossed all of her fingers under the table, hoping that that night’s diary entry would be titled:

Friday, August 12th, 2016 – The night Chris finally quit that asshole kid.

Ugh, he is so fucking terrible at eating ice cream, I honestly can’t stand it.

The trials & tribulations of Chooch eating an ice cream cone.

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Chris said she got a taste of what it’s like to carry my eyeball purse around Chooch, because he heard some lady tell Chris that she liked her hair and he got super jealous because god forbid someone else should get an ounce of attention in the presence of the Almighty Drama King.

After we finished our respective scoops, Chris suggested that we go for a walk about the ‘hood, so we took our show on the sidewalk. Chooch and I acted like morons while Chris pointed out all of the deadly wrought-iron fences she dreams to have ensconcing her future yard.


My Ice Cream Crew. I want to make us matching ringer tees. We need a better name first. Monica?

Accidental flash brings out my Nosferatu teeth.

Henry was so annoyed.

Chris kept saying she wanted to “see the church, the big one” but this was the only one we could find:

I wanted to break in and Henry said no.

When I finally realized what church Chris was trying to walk to, it was too late because we all had to get home and watch the Olympics. Bone Thugs have a song about that too but I can’t think of the words right now.

Something about diving into that icy blue and swim swam swum like da’ popo’s after u.

This was the perfect salvaging of a shitty day. Ice cream friends are the best friends!

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Jul 312016


I’ve been a huge fan of PVRIS for a few years now and have seen them quickly gain exposure and popularity. I was lucky enough to get to see them at Warped Tour last summer and when they opened for Pierce the Veil in early 2015, but once they went on tour with Fall Out Boy, I knew my time to see them headline a small venue was quickly running out. They announced a summer tour a few mths ago and OF COURSE Pittsburgh wasn’t on it. The closest date was in Cincinnati and it was festival which just isn’t what I wanted.

But then last month, they added a last minute Pittsburgh date! It was billed as one of the Altar Bar’s farewell shows, and I literally bought my ticket the exact moment they went on sale, while Henry and I were en route to Maryland for The Cure. I knew it would sell out and I wasn’t taking any chances. You gotta know when to jump on things.

Plus, I’m tightly-wound.

Fast forward to a few days before the show. Drusky Entertainment updated the Facebook event to say that the show had been moved to the Rex Theater due to “structural issues” with the Altar Bar. Apparently, the new owners of the Altar Bar (who I think are turning it back into a church if the rumors I heard are correct) must have done an inspection and basically, the Altar Bar was declared unsafe for hosting concerts so that’s great to hear. So instead of being able to have their final “goodbye” shows, they had to close their doors two weeks sooner than anticipated.

But the problem with moving to the Rex is that its capacity limit is lower than the Altar Bar, and this was a sold-out show. People started flipping out on Facebook, wondering if there were going to be refunds, and if so, how would that be decided, etc. It was quickly confirmed by Drusky that emails would be sent and this location change would really only affect the last 70 people who bought their tickets.

So I was safe.

Turns out though, it would have been better to have been a JOHNNY COME LATELY (I’m my second grade teacher Mrs. Hall now) because the last 70 people got a special pre-show ACOUSTIC PERFMORMANCE by PVRIS and a meet and greet?! I was so pissed and poor Henry (lol) had to hear me whine about it for like three days straight.

I kept throwing around the word “injustice.” BECAUSE IT WAS.

Whatever, I was happy that the show wasn’t entirely canceled and that my ticket was still good and that, most of all, I would get to hear Lynn Gunn’s pretty voice in person again, because she one of the top dogs on my very short list of girl singers.

Father Henry dropped me off at the Rex last Sunday night after doors opened because I didn’t want to wait in line with all the giggling bi-curious girls who call Lynn their wife. I got in and made it past the miserable bouncer and then went straight to the bar to get a cider because NERVES. No matter how many shows I go to alone, it’s always the “Walking In” part that gets my stomach in knots. But then once I establish a dark corner to slip into, I’m fine.

I took my cider up to the balcony because I knew it was going to get too crowded for me to see downstairs. The balcony is very small, standing room only, but I found an opening at the far end next to some dad who kind of looked like NEWMAN.

Newman immediately started talking to me and I was just like, “Not on this day, buddy.” He was there with his daughter and niece and unhappy about it. I muttered something about PVRIS putting on a good show, so it shouldn’t be too miserable of a night for him. Then I buried my face in my phone so he would stop. Just stop.

The opening bands were both local. The first was Emerson Jay and WHAT A STAGE PRESENCE. It’s very rare that an opening band gets a crowd as excited as Emerson Jay did, but I was fucking feeling it. A+, good packaging, would see again.

I have never experienced an opening band getting the crowd as stoked as Emerson Jay just did.

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When they ended, Newman asked me if I would hold his spot because his daughter was down below summoning him, presumably for money to buy shirts because that would be the only reason I would be summoning Henry at a show. Literally as soon as he walked away, a girl slipped right into his spot. I said something in a noncommittal tone about how I was supposed to be saving that spot for someone, so her friend was all, “Well, there’s room for him when he comes back, and I’ll just stand behind her….” but then I mumbled something about how I didn’t even know the guy anyway, so the friend was all, “OH WELL IN THAT CASE FUCK THAT GUY” and she squeezed herself right in between me and the other girl, so shit got real cozy. 

Then she kept talking to me, and it was OK — she wasn’t overly annoying or anything — but how long were we really going to discuss the Do’s and Don’ts of holding someone’s spot at a show? Finally, Nevada Color came on and she shut up. Nevada Color was fun, but not as good as Emerson Jay, except for the very end, when Emerson Jay came back out and joined them for a party on the stage and everyone was like FUCK YEAH and how could you not be loving life at that moment?!

Nevada Color w/ Emerson Jay

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I felt proud of our local scene. The only thing that could have made the night, would have been if Balloon Ride Fantasy was also there! (This was around the time I realized that the girls next to me were a couple, NOT THAT I WAS JUDGING, but it was something I NOTICED, which is important to the story.)

At some point, I spotted Newman in my periphery, standing toward the back of the balcony and I felt a slight pang of guilt for not trying harder to hold his spot, but as Sam and I joked, “MOVE YOUR FEET LOSE YOUR SEAT.”

Hahah….oh Sam. 

After their set, the girl next to me (I inadvertently found out her name was Sam later on in the night) went down to the merch area and was chatting up the singer of Nevada Color for A GOOD WHILE, and me and the other girl were laughing about it because you could tell this chick was the type of girl who could talk her way into and out of anything. “She better get his number,” the other girl said, and I was like, “Oh, maybe they’re not girlfriends then…” But then Sam came back up, gave both of us free Nevada Color stickers, and when her girlfriend asked what they were talking about, Sam said, “How to meet PVRIS. But I don’t know that I can trust you with that intel.” It seemed clear to me that she was joking, but this somehow set off the other girl and before I knew it, they were lowkey bickering, so I just turned my attention elsewhere because awkward and leave me out of it.

But then when the girlfriend went to the bathroom, Sam turned to me and said, “WHY DO I HAVE TO LIKE GIRLS?!” I was like, “Um…” because honestly, I’m terrible in these situations and ain’t nobody should be asking me of all people GIRL ADVICE because I’m a fucking disaster in that field.

“I love her to death but right now I want to snap her neck and throw her off the balcony,” and I could imagine that happening because Sam had a very athletic build to her and the other girl just looked weak. I asked very by-the-book questions, like “How long have you been together?? to which she replied, “Not long enough, but then too long, you know?”

No. No, I don’t. A month? Four years? Help me know the answer.

Apparently, this girl is super jealous. Which explains why she made the “I hope she gets his number” comment — I probably just realized the bitter tone at the time. Sam told me that she recently went out for beers with her best guy friend who had recently broken up with his girlfriend, and apparently this did not go over well with Sam’s girlfriend who naturally accused her of cheating.

“And then there’s the age difference, I think that has a lot to do with it. Like, I’m 26 and she’s only 22. She’s very immature.”

I just nodded, imagining Henry talking to some random person about our age difference. “I’m 51 and she’s only 37. She’s very immature.”


The girlfriend came back from the bathroom and Sam continued to talk to me about her while she was standing right there and I was thinking to myself, “Am I going to end up being the Third Party in this poorly-scripted divorce court drama?” But then PVRIS saved the day by finally coming out on stage and I was like, “Here guys! Just enjoy the show! Break up later, on the drive back to Ohio.”

Because they’re from Ohio. I learned that at some point too when I was trying to just keep to myself in my corner, crying internally because socialization is just too much for me. THIS IS WHY I GO TO SHOWS ALONE!

But PVRIS though. My lord. They sounded better than ever and just being in the presence of Lynn Gunn’s radiant beauty filled me with joy.

She did not have the same effect on Sam, who had her head in her arms and was sobbing.

Lesbians breaking up during PVRIS — I can’t even imagine how soul-crushing this was for them, having these emotionally-wrecking conversations while Lynn sings the songs she wrote about her past girlfriends.


This song does things to me. @thisispvris was incredible tonight. ❤️

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The first time we ever saw them, Henry made some judgey comment about they “were OK but she needs to work on her singing” and I was just like, “Being in the SERVICE must have screwed with your hearing because she is a fucking exotic siren calling me toward her lesbi-land, so fuck you WHITE HETERO-MAN.”

And then she busted out with “Only Love” from an acoustic EP they did pre-White Noise and I didn’t know they ever performed any of those songs so I was pleasantly surprised and I very rarely am That Person who whips out her phone and records a song in its entirety, but this was an exception. That song makes me weak and as soon as I’m done writing this, I’m going to put on that record and cry.

"I thought you were choking." 😂 @thisispvris from last week. 💗 #PVRIS #PVRIScult #rextheatre #pittsburgh

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What I also love about this band is that while they appear to be all bleak and synthy, they are so fucking funny. I went through a phase two years ago where I made Henry watch every one of their interviews on YouTube with me and even he was KIND OF LAUGHING. They are fucking adorable people and I’m so happy to see that their beautiful music is being recognized and getting them spots at Lollapalooza, even.

"I think you're a saint, and I think you're an angel" – what Henry says to me like everyday. #pvris #pvriscvlt #pvrisband

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The other thing I love about PVRIS is that Lynn has an extensive background in art and design, which shows in the perfectly curated series of music videos that were made for EVERY SONG on their debut LP. And perhaps you’ve seen Chooch wearing that “For Fox Sake” Emarosa tank? Well, Lynn designed that for Emarosa — THEY’RE FRIENDS.

Of course they’re friends. The best bands stick together.

I was acutely aware of Sam threatening to “just leave” numerous times during their set, and now her girlfriend had reversed roles and became the level-headed one who tried to calm her down. In the end, Sam ended up staying. With all that domestic disputing happening next to me all night, it was almost as intimate as the acoustic set I missed out on. I felted invested at that point, so I tapped her on the arm and wished her luck with everything,

She said, “And sorry again about bumping into you all night. My elbows are so pointy!” And then we laughed and it was kind of like a Mentos commercial.


And on my way out, some young guy touched my arm and usually I would hiss DON’T TOUCH ME, but he wanted to tell me that he liked my shirt.

It was an EMAROSA shirt. What could have been a chaotic cluster of a night with a bunch of angry fans thanks to a last minute venue change ended up being the best night ever.




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May 122016


We didn’t have a grand scale birthday party for Chooch this year on account of us having to sell copper from abandoned houses* to take him to Disney World. But I wanted to still have a small cake-eating get-together at our house when we came back because cake. And also, friends. We just like company. (And by “we” I mean me and Chooch.)

*(THAT WAS A JOKE. Always gotta clarify since this dumb blog/hyperbole has gotten me into real life trouble so many times. God forbid I jest!)

I left the cake up to Henry and Chooch and they chose ice cream cake from Dairy Queen which is OK but I really wanted Bethel Bakery cake, ugh. Ice cream just doesn’t do it for me.

And this is clearly all about me. Me and my 10 year old C-section scar!!!!

The guest list was diverse and basically perfect because it was curated by me:

  • Kara and Harland
  • Henry’s mom, Judy
  • Henry’s sister, Kelly
  • Chooch’s cousin, Zac
  • Chooch’s friends, Olivia and Sophia, and their mom Meggan (who has become my first ever mom-friend! And you guys thought I was forever tainted!)
  • Wendy and Summer
  • Robbie and Nikki
  • Blake and Hailey
  • Shawn, Jess, and Anais

Henry totally lost control of his wallet and bought COOKIES in addition to the cake. DISCOUNT GROCERY STORE COOKIES! In the background, please note that somehow Ted NUDEgent is still alive!

As soon as Blake got there, I told him about Henry getting BULLIED at work and Henry was so embarrassed. He should take Blake to work with him once and then I bet that son-of-a-bitchin’ salesman will think twice the next time he tells Henry he can’t wait to see him get fired!

(I wish he would bring me to work with him, though. I’m fucking ITCHING to start a fight with this guy. I found him on Facebook and I can tell that he’s totally the type of guy who’d hit a girl too. BRING IT.)


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The only candle we had in the house, inexplicably, was a lone “N.” It got the job done, though.

Did I mention that Meggan brought me a present, too?! A cute little ornamental frog to guard over my succulents. I love it!

This is the only picture I got of my kid during the entire party. He was busy, I guess.


At one point, it was getting so rowdy outside that Kara slowly leaned forward on the couch to peek out the front door. “Someone is going to get hurt any minute now, mark my words,” she said in that OH WELL tone that most moms store on the tip of their tongues. Literally 10 seconds later, Chooch came into the house with his hand over his mouth, and proudly exclaimed, “Blake made my mouth bleed!” He did some rinsing in the bathroom and then went right back out for more.

My favorite was that he was getting beat up by Harland, too. Can’t say you don’t deserve that, boy! Nothing like a good old birthday beatin’.

Judy was flat out pissed at Kara for not bringing her youngest son, Theo, but then Wendy arrived with baby Summer and all was right in Judy’s world again. I wasn’t there when it happened, but Henry said Judy basically dropped everything she had in her hands and rushed over to steal Summer. She is A BABY INHALER.

Summer likes my house because of all the clowns, obviously. I’m going to get her a clown for every holiday.

In this picture, Kara was talking about how much she wants another baby and Wendy was like, “Great, but you ain’t taking mine.”

Shawn brought up the very storied Gallaghers and we had a grand time regaling Judy and Jess with all their scandalous ways, like when Melissa Gallagher had a baby without knowing she was pregnant and her husband Mike thought she just had eels in her belly. Kara was like, “Please, let’s have a reunion with all the people you used to invite over from 2006-2008, like Ryan ‘OMG I LOVE JOHN WATERS, BALTIMORE, BALTIMORE, DIVINE!’ from LiveJournal; the Gallaghers; and Regan and Lance, the tax-evading Civil War reenactors who come complete with their own bench on which to sit and judge everyone.”

Those were some weird times, socially, for me. Sorry to all of my friends for making you endure such rude and infuriating people!

I failed miserably and taking pictures. I was distracted by hockey and all the good conversation. JANET JACKSON IS HAVING A BABY! FREE CONDOMS! ROLLING ROCK TOWN FAIR!

And then Chooch left his own party before it was over! He decided he was going to sleep over Zac’s so he left with them and then the rest of just there and talked completely shit on him. Chris and Monica texted me around 10:30 because they were going to stop by on their way back from their prior engagement (I’M SO FORMAL), but I was like, “He’s not here anymore.” And Monica was all, “Even better!” because she and Chooch are intense frenemies, but then Chris was like, “No Chooch, no Chronica!”

On the real though, it was a nice evening of celebrating my kid’s monumental cross-over into double-digits. Thanks to everyone who came or was there in spirit!

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