Oct 052021
 

There has been all kinds of neighbor drama this week and I think it’s made me depressed. So…Who doesn’t love CAT PICS?? Serial killers probably.

Let’s see what my childs have been up to, shall we?

I got a new pillow for the church pew so suddenly this spot is a hot commodity again.

LASER EYE.

Oh, soooo stoked.

Neon Drew.

BONUS: And here we have MRS GRAY GIRL (sorry for calling you Mr Gray Guy for months) being a brat. <3

Oct 032021
 

Oh hello, Monday. You cunt.

I had a great weekend but thanks for breaking up the party, motherfucker.

What did I do, you ask, you piece of shit weekday? WELL, LET ME TELL YOU.

ERIN GETS HER HAUNT BACK

Dude. We didn’t go to single haunted house last season. I know that a bunch of them were open, as were amusement parks, but without vaccinations happening at the time, we opted to keep staying home even if that meant missing haunted house season for the first time since, god, the 90s probably. But this year, we are READY! I couldn’t imagine making my comeback at any place other than the famous CASTLE BLOOD. You have to know by now that this is my favorite haunt, the one closest to my heart, the one that has my ultimate allegiance. It’s creative, original, intelligent, unique, OOAK, A+ haunting, do recommend. 

I was so excited that I kept changing clothes and screaming WHAT ABOUT THIS OUTFIT DOES IT LOOK GOOD and Henry was like “We are just going to a haunted house…?” but it felt like PROM FOR ME OK. Erin’s BIG NIGHT OUT. Getting made fun of. Screaming her face off. SOLVING PUZZLES. This is what I was born to do and I wanted to make sure I had the appropriate uniform to show the haunt world that I’m back AND I AM READY TO BE SPOOKED.

Chooch took this for me and was really happy to assist. But you figured that.

We “let” Chooch invite two of his friends and I was stoked because they were FRESH BLOOD. The one kid is younger and not very well-versed in haunts so he was like WHAT IS THIS PLACE and IS IT REALLY HAUNTED and EXCUSE ME SIR BUT WHAT IS A GYPSY. He had questions. Lots of them. He was also the worst teammate! The whole point of Castle Blood is that you walk through the place talking to (or getting yelled at by, in my case, usually) the Denizens. Somewhere along the way, there are THREE  TALISMAN revealed to you and you have to solve puzzles, make trades, bat your eyelashes (in my case, usually) to earn those talismans. Some of these challenges can be super mind-boggling so if you’re planning on heading out to the Castle at some point, choose your companions carefully. We almost failed because our group was so dense!

But wow, it felt so good to be back there again and to see so many of our undead friends!

I was really excited to bring out my haunted house journal and scribble out the full deets but I COULDN’T FIND IT, DOT DOT DOT TO BE CONTINUED.

I wrote an actual review of Castle Blood several years ago and you should read that and then go purchase tickets.

Castle Blood: The Ultimate Halloween Adventure

After chatting with our friends outside the castle for a bit, we stopped at Sheetz where a bunch of high school kids was loitering because…football game or something. OMG why are teenaged girls so freakishly robotic these days?!? Poor Sheetz was full of frigid vibes and the stench of cheap F21 body spray.

There was a group of them in there who all looked the same, same dead-eyes that bore right through me, same vocal fry monotone, same super-contoured makeup. I was standing there waiting for my PUMPKIN CHAI thank you Sheetz for having semi-imbibable chai, when one of the drones shambled by, looking straight through me with her weird rhinestone-embellished icy eyes, and croaked, “heeeey” to another group of girls, who responded with an equally bored “heeey” and then they just stood there and one of them was like, “I’m going to go outside-UH” because they punctuate all of their sentences with a “just took a swig of La Croix” air expellant. It’s like Valley Girls on anti-depressants, I truly do not know how else to describe this bizarre form of communication these strange suburban teen girls have created.

When the one girl walked away, the other two girls rolled their eyes behind her back. Then the same thing happened with another Gen Z Droid when she did her weird pigeon-walk over to the group and engaged in soulless banalities.  “They all hate each other,” I said to Henry, not even whispering. “Every single girl hates each other secretly.” Then we watched as they all peeled off their faces to reveal their true lizard selves.

THE FANS

I spent a great deal of time on Saturday relaxing and walking around the ‘hood. On one such walk, I encountered these dumb children sitting under a sign that said FANS FOR SALE. Literally, I thought they were selling, like, old box fans and I wondered if their parents knew, but it turns out they were slinging handmade paper fans. I stupidly stopped and took my headphones off instead of acting like I didn’t hear their cries of Desperate Salespeople and then, and I don’t know why I said this, but I did: “I don’t have money on me but I will come back.”

I’m a lot of things. I’m a kid-disliker for one, this we all know. But I am not a LIAR. I literally hate lying so much and I also hate breaking promises because I have had these things done to me so many times growing up that yes, yes I WOULD like some dip with those chips on my shoulder. I thought you’d never ask.

The younger of the two was going to let me pick a fan and pay later and as I was shaking my head and rejecting this offer, her sister (?) was stage-whispering, “Like a presale? I don’t think that’s a thing!”

Smart girl! Don’t give the sweaty stranger anything in advance!

But now I was determined to go home and get money so that they can have a little bit of faith that not all grown-ups will lie to them. I was pretty far from my house so by the time I got home, I was all out of breath and huffed to Henry, “Give me $2.”

“For what?” he asked, like OK dad, didn’t realize I needed to hand over a ledger of how I’m spending your money, but cook on. He actually had to get a dollar from Chooch who is never happy to part with his cash, and I could hear him upstairs asking, “WHY does she need it?” and Henry just mumbled in response. Henry was on his way out to THE STORE when this was happening so I hitched a ride with him because those bitches (lol they’re like 5 & 7) live about a 30-minute walk away and guys, sometimes I get tired.

So we roll up to their house and now they have collected some other child who is hovering on the sidewalk on her bike, watching this transaction go down. So, I thought I would be nice and buy two fans from them, hence the $2, so that they could each have a sale, but GET THIS:

The fan that I wanted was $2!!! “It’s because it’s the best one,” the older, I-Don’t-Believe-In-Presales one said curtly.

Are you effing kidding. What a fucking racket. So I let them pick two $1 fans for me and this is what I got:

When I got back in the car, Henry was like, “Oh. Wow. That is….not what I thought they were going to be.”

The next day when Chooch got in the car and saw them, he was like, “The fuck are these?” And when I explained it to him he yelled, “You BOUGHT these?!”

Yeah, with YOUR money, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I should have asked if they were under warranty though because one broke already. Like, can I go back to their house and ask them for a replacement piece of Scotch tape? How does this work?

SQUIDS OVER COASTERS

We had actually planned to go to Dorney Park on Saturday, but I woke up on Saturday IN A MOOD. I was high key PMSing, and lowkey wanting to finish the last two episodes of Squid Game, so I made the executive decision of staying home (and also because I decided that I would rather wait until next weekend and go to Six Flags Great Adventure instead, lol, my ambition is so dumb). So like, I don’t know what else to say other than if you haven’t watched Squid Game yet, what is wrong with you. It’s crazy to me how insanely popular this has become in the US because god forbid we let other countries do a thing better than us, amirite. But it’s also NOT surprising because as someone who watches a ton of Korean shows, I know how amazing Korean actors are. (I mean, one of my favorite actors of all time has a small cameo in this series and I was screaming!)

There is SO MUCH I WANT TO SAY about this and it is literally all I have been able to talk about (thank god Henry and Chooch also watched it or else I’d be talking into the void as usual) but I will just say that it deserves all the praise and accolades it’s been getting, it’s worth the hype, FUCKING RECOGNIZE THE FACT THAT KOREA IS CAPABLE OF PUTTING OUT SOLID ENTERTAINMENT, THANK YOU.

Basically this is how I feel though:

Me, for the last 6 years, screaming into the void: WATCH KOREAN TV SHOWS, THEY ARE AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING!

Everyone: ……………..

TikTok, in 2021: Watch Squid Game yo.

Everyone: OMG I AM WATCHING THIS KOREAN SHOW AND IT IS ACTUALLY* GOOD.

*Yep, gotta qualify that with an “actually” because Asian stuff is supposed to be lesser than,  you know.

Ugh.

Also, I drive Henry when we watch Korean stuff together because I can’t get my brain to turn off “must learn this language: desperation mode” and I am constantly straining to parse out what is being said versus what I’m seeing in the subtitles and it is FRUST-to the-RATING. For instance, I kept screaming, “THEY JUST SWORE THERE BUT THE SUBTITLES ARE MAKING IT WATERED DOWN WHYYYYY” and I thought it was just me being ridiculous but this Korean guy I follow on Twitter had a whole thread-rant about it on Saturday and was like, “They are clearly saying Korean swears but the subtitles are making them sound like Napoleon Dynamite” and I was dying because yeah, I got that too.

Ugh there is so much more I want to say about that, because even from a remedial language-knowing standpoint, there was enough that got dropped in the translation for even me to notice. I don’t think it would really affect anyone else watching it though, it is a PHENOMENAL show regardless and I am so proud that my favorite country in the whole wide world is getting its time to shine.

But yeah, I started to watch Midnight Mass after finishing this and can confirm that Squid Game has ruined me for all other TV shows for a bit because Midnight Mass is like a heaping pile of steamed shit after watching that fucking masterpiece.

(THE DYNAMIC, UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS, THOUGH!!!!!!!!! Oh god, my HEART.)

BRB, scheduling an appointment for my Squid Game tattoo.

EH, DONUTS

Also on Saturday, we got vegan donuts from Valkyrie but they were just OK because my PMS Palate was being PERSNICKETY, and also Henry lowkey fat-shamed me and then tried to say he didn’t and then got mad at for being mad at him and that was a whole thing that happened Saturday before Chooch even woke up for the day.

(I’m sorry but one of those was supposed to be French Toast and it actually tasted disgusting. And the one I was most looking forward to, Caramel Apple Pie, tasted like I made it. Like I got a previoulsy-made donut and poured some canned apple pie filling inside of it and then charged a bunch of money because: vegans. Our first two visits to this donut trailer was exceptional so I dunno if it was my mood or what.)

Then I made a garland out of these pumpkins I bought at Target (OK fine, Henry did it) and I love that they match the colors of the kitchen, lol.

CRYING IN THE OFFICE

OK Sunday started off sad. It was suggested to us recently that we might want to go into the office and start bringing stuff home because even when/if we return to WORKING IN PERSON WITH PEOPLE, we will probably have much less office space because the Firm is looking to pare down its real estate. I had a feeling that maybe I left my haunted house journal there because I used to take it to work during the Halloween season to try and write my recaps during downtime and I thought that perhaps I just left it in my desk after the 2019 season.

Henry came with me because I figured I better bring some stuff home (like the entire box of shoes I keep under my desk – Henry was like ARE YOU KIDDING ME, WHERE DID THESE SHOES EVEN COME FROM like they hatched under my desk from rogues Peds or something) and I actually cried a little in the elevator on the way to the 10th floor. It was my first time back there since the middle of March 2020!

Anyway, I threw out a bunch of papers, old candy (super sad face), took down all of my magnets and brought them home to live on the fridge (HOLY SHIT YOU HAVE A LOT OF MAGNETS, WOW, YEAH, WE DON’T GO ANYWHERE Henry exclaimed when I kept plucking more and more souvenir/travel magnets off my cabinets and into a bag), and then even though I knew it would be like twisting the knife in my already bleeding heart, I ventured over to the area where all of the GLENNS live.

OMG I’m sad again.

Oh! And my haunted house journal WAS NOT THERE.

MISSING HAUNTED HOUSE JOURNAL

So my journal was still missing and Henry was like, “It has to be in the house somewhere. We will find it. I am big strong man. Woof.”

He was tearing up the basement because we thought maybe it ended up in a box when we were redoing the coffee table (we, lololololololol). Meanwhile, I went into my bedroom and opened a desk drawer, and there it was, lying fully exposed, right there, lol. I yelled down to the basement to let Henry know that he could call off the search.

“Where was it?” he asked, and when I told him, he said, “Oh so it was where I was about to look two days ago but you said, ‘No, it definitely won’t be in there, don’t bother’?” and….yeah, pretty much. LOL.

A GOOD OLD-SCHOOL HAUNT

I wanted to go to another haunted house on Sunday (I try to avoid Saturdays!) but I wanted something to new-to-us and also something that was reasonably priced so that Henry would be more willing to join us. I am really depressed at how none of my friends (at least my local friends) enjoy haunted houses. I miss the 90s and early 00s when we would cram into Lisa’s Jeep and hit up two or three in one night and then drink coffee at HOME COOKIN’ until 2am. Don’t get me wrong, I like going with Chooch but now that he’s wanting to bring friends with him, I feel like such a fucking lame-ass tag-along. Like, oh Chooch please let Mommy hang out with you and your friends, please, I’m desperate.

But anyway, I digress. I’ll just place an ad on Craigslist for Halloween friends, I guess.

I found a listing for this one haunted house in Wheeling, WV which is only about 45 minutes away from Pittsburgh AND it was only $15 which is a STEAL when it comes to haunted houses in 2021, you guys. A real fucking steal.

We stopped at Sheetz for dinner on the way, and clearly, Sheetz is part of the spooky process. Henry was being a diva and didn’t get any food, just iced coffee. OK, America’s Next Top Model.

We got to Infernum In Terra right when it opened and ended up being GROUP 3!

Pre-Haunt Selfie – Henry was behind us in the portajohn and if you don’t think I have regERTZ about not waiting to snap the pic until he emerged, then you are dead wrong because I have been dwelling on this all day to the point where I cannot wait for my next chance at a do-over.

I don’t want to put too much in here because I still have to write about it in my JOURNAL and then I won’t be inspired to give it my all (seriously you guys writing hurts my hand so much these days) but I am happy to report that this was

JUST

MY

STYLE.

Old school, low-tech, volunteers giving their whole hearts. I fucking loved every minute of it but my favorite parts were when Satan’s wings hit Henry in the face and some monster called him an Old Man. Also when Chooch was chosen to go to confession and confessed to stealing a pencil…from a desk.

Not even from a store.

From a desk.

At school.

I gushed about how much we liked it when we emerged back at the ticket counter. Usually, I will also blabber on about how I’ve been keeping a haunted house journal since 1995, etc etc but COVID has made me even more anti-social than I was before.

On the way home, Henry stopped at ANOTHER Sheetz and got a meat stick and meat roll.

“I hate the way you breathe when you’re eating meat,” I scoffed in disgust.

“Yeah, it’s him thirsting for more,” chimed in Chooch the Backseat Pest.

“Well, it’s mostly bread,” Henry mumbled. “So fuck off.”

Then we talked about Squid Game the whole way home and it was really a really nice Sunday Night Outing to the Haunted House with Family.

I hope the rest of October is this nice. I mean, minus my PMS pissiness. That was mostly Saturday though. I’m already back to my STANDARD, LOVEABLE SELF.

Oct 022021
 

My book-choosing skills improved drastically last month, like the library gods took pity upon me after the horrid reading month I had in August. So I am happy to report back to you, Internet Diary, all the books I was reading in September instead of writing here in you. Well, the first half, anyway.

  1. We Run the Tides – Vendela Vida

We Run the Tides

This was an EXCELLENT kick-off to month nine. I don’t even know what inspired me to pick it up because I hadn’t heard about it anywhere, but then it popped up on Scribd one day and I saved it for some reason.

The setting is 1980s San Francisco and we’re following Eulabee, a middle schooler, and three of her supposed best friends. I love me some good coming-of-age books and this one delivered. The girls in this book were SUCH BITCHES. Oh, and please don’t think this is some lame YA book because it’s definitely written as adult fiction and superbly at that.

2. The Lost Village – Camilla Sten

The Lost Village

This Swedish horror novel is GOOOOD. If you like Blair Witch-y things, and I surely do, then this might be something for you. It’s about a woman who is filming a documentary about what is literally a lost village in Sweden, where one day in 1959 everyone disappeared. The documentarian has familial ties to the village – her grandmother was born there but had moved away with her husband before the mysterious Disappearing happened, leaving behind her parents and younger sister.

What I liked about this is that it goes back and forth between the present day with the documentarian and her small crew as they are scouting the area, obtaining b-roll, etc.. and the days leading up to the mass disappearance.

There were times where I was REALLY creeped out (I was listening to this on audio over Labor Day weekend when we were in the car which was oftentimes AT NIGHT ooooh) and was actually very interested in the plot and invested in the characters. If you’re into slow burn, atmospheric horror and not so much gory, serial killer, monster shit, then maybe you’ll like this WHO AM I TO SAY?

Fun fact about Blair Witch, though: I was 100% convinced that it was real because I saw it several months before it was released – I don’t even think any previews had come out yet. I had a friend who was the manager of Eide’s Entertainment and he had somehow gotten his hands on an advanced copy of it. We watched it knowing NOTHING and then Janna and I were so scared driving back to my apartment late that night in the dark, lol. Then I remember that the website was set up to make it seem like it was literally found footage as well, and we were like OH MY GAWDDDDDD. Man, imagine how much longer they could have dragged that out if it had come out in the late 80s instead.

And FWIW, I still really love that film. It’s a legit pioneer of the found footage horror genre and was just done to perfection. The scene with Heather crying real-ass tears into the camera? Iconic.

That being said, if this was turned into a movie, I’d watch the shit out of it. In the dark. Holding my stuffed dog, Purple.

3. Zara Hossain is Here – Sabina Khan

Zara Hossain Is Here

Wanna get your blood boiling? Need extra motivation to punch a racist today? (Like we don’t have it in spades.) Then read this book and imagine for a second what it’s like for POC teens going to school every day and getting bullied, dragged, harassed, threatened, and terrorized by ignorant piece of shit white kids. And then imagine when it spills over and affects your entire family.

The rep is pretty good in this one too, as our main character is Pakistani and bisexual, and there are some great conversations about culture, race, ethnicity and sexuality in here. Zara is such a strong female lead too with a sweet and strong relationship with her parents that made my heart swell. This book has got to be so important for all the Muslim teens out there.

I think books of this nature should really be required reading in middle and high school. When white kids are consistently being forced to read classics written by, for, and about other white people, it’s just helping that cycle of systemic racism to continue right the hell along. These kids should be reading about the struggles that their very own neighbors are having because of their skin color, religious beliefs, gender identity, etc.

I am 99.999999999% confident in the fact that my kid is never going to walk into school and start slinging racial slurs or engage in blatant cultural appropriation, etc., but every time I read a book like this, I feel compelled to give him THE OL’ REMINDER of how we do and do not treat people in this house. I know he gets it but at the same time, I’m not going to just say it once and then sit back and assume that’s enough parenting. I actually just overheard him and two of his friends talking in the car last night about some white kid at school who claims it’s OK to use the n-word when gaming and Chooch was like, “NO IT’S NOT. IT’S LITERALLY NEVER OK FOR A WHITE PERSON TO SAY THAT” and his friends vehemently agreed and I was like, “Yesssss, Chooch. Educate.”

Fighting racism is FULL TIME and the more books out there with characters like Zara Hossain, the better.

4.  Malibu Rising – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising

This might be the only book in September that I just didn’t really like all that much. It wasn’t bad enough to DNF but it made me realize that this author might not actually be worth the hype? I read Daisy Jones and The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by her and really enjoyed both, and unwisely assumed that I would be super into this one as well, especially since it’s set around the children of one of the seven husbands in the author’s last book.

The story takes place over the span of 24 hours in the early 80s, where two brothers and two sisters are preparing to have their annual summer party. The problem is that none of the characters feel real, there are two many side characters that don’t add anything to the plot or even any interest in general, and it just feels like a lot of nothing. Like there is so much build up and then it’s just, “OK cool, who cares.” That’s how I felt, anyway.

Oh, and the dialogue was ROUGH. If I’m reading a book and I can’t hear the conversation in my head, then you’re not a good writer. It just felt so unnatural to me, like, did young adults really talk that way in the early 80s?

And then it occurred to me that the reason I liked the other two books was that I listened to them on audio. Daisy Jones had a full cast (some of the narratives were pretty big names too, like Jennifer Beals, Benjamin Bratt (even though I forgot he existed lol), and Judy Greer (love her and her voice). So those two books felt REALLY SPECIAL. Both were in interview format too (moreso Daisy Jones) and it was fast-paced and the characters were actually interesting.

I won’t recommend this one to anyone, but try the other two maybe! In Malibu Rising, everyone could have died at the end and I wouldn’t have shed a tear and I usually cry at everything, so.

5. Heartstopper, Vol. 3 – Alice Oseman

Heartstopper: Volume Three (Heartstopper, #3)

THIS SERIES IS FUCKING BEAUTIFUL. FIVE STARS. I have nothing more to add other than I can’t wait to read Vol. 4!

6. Jar of Hearts – Jennifer Hillier

Jar of Hearts

This thriller was middle-of-the-road for me. It’s about a woman who knew that her boyfriend-at-the-time murdered her best friend 14 years ago, when they were in high school. (Maybe 16 years ago?) They both end up going to jail and oh yeah it also turns out that the boyfriend was a serial killer, so that’s cool.

The book jumps back and forth between the time she’s in jail (hated those chapters, honestly; I just don’t like anything where the setting is a prison) and the time leading up to the murder of the friend so you don’t really know this whole time if she actually played a role in the murder or just the cover-up, why the friend was murdered, you know – thriller stuff.

It was OK, honestly! I didn’t hate it but I also didn’t scream at Henry to add it to his list, which is what I do after I finish something really good that I loved (unless it’s contemporary fiction because he usually doesn’t like those lol).

There were some parts during the climax that made me say, “Um wow OK you went there, Jennifer Hillier.” But overall I would give this the “airport book store” rating. As in, this would be a semi-solid pick if you were about to catch a flight but forgot to bring a book/pack your Kindle and needed something in a pinch. It’s entertaining enough to distract you for several hours, but it’s not really something I would confidently recommend to any of my friends…? Am I getting worse at reviewing books??

Oh shit, gotta go! One of my pet squirrels is at the window!!!!

Oct 012021
 

Non-apologies in advance for this forthcoming photo dump. I have reached a point in my life over the last several years where I am in a constant state of panic about RUNNING OUT OF TIME. Chooch is 15! In 10th grade! We are lucky that he still even wants to go places with us even when most of the time he acts like he’s strapped to a dentist’s chair when we DARE speak to him in public. I know that life will go on for us once he’s off to college but I really want to milk all of the family fun I can get out of these KELLY/ROBBINS udders while there’s still time. So I have been very adamant about taking tons of pictures at these parks, having Henry take pictures of Chooch and me riding barf-inducing contraptions, forcing Henry to ride the milder flatrides that he would usually skip.

I just want TO HAVE ALL OF THE FUN WITH THESE PEOPLE even though they are the two people who piss me off more than anyone else in the world. I love taking these little trips with them and I hope that Chooch grows up and does the same stuff with his future family! We may bicker like brats but at the end of the day, we really do have so much fun together. Ew, there. I said it. Gag me.

Of course we only lasted twenty minutes into the day before one of us got yelled at for running.

This time Chooch was the runner caught red-footed, and it was on the platform for Cornball Express (best name for a coaster, honestly) when he was jogging to the back row after handing Henry his phone. Ride attendant was like, “Please don’t run or you’ll fall on your face” or something like that, in a super smug “overcompensating for my braces” tone. Chooch was like, “Excuse me?” because he was barely even jogging and was like, “Surely this bitch isn’t talking to me.” So the dude repeated it in the same bored cadence and I really didn’t like him. We saw him later when we came back for a re-ride and he was TOTALLY trying to be all suave while checking the seatbelts for these two teen girls in the back row and then when they exited the ride, he said, “Have a good one, guys,” in this slick rick way and I had second-hand embarrassment hardcore.

Look at the corn on the sides of this coaster! Which, by the way, is one of the most fun woodies I have ever ridden. That thing is a maniacal! If you’re even a moderate woodie enthusiast, Indiana Beach is worth the visit. Both of their wooden coasters are entwined with each other – it’s just a jumble of tracks!

 

How did Chooch get so lucky to end up with us dorks as parents. He was THRILLED AS ALWAYS to take pictures of us.

OMG I had to take a picture here!

“Do you feel better now?” he asked sardonically, after I giggle-snapped a picture.

“YES, ACTUALLY. YES, I DO,” I wheezed. It’s the little things, you guys, especially when they’re SERVICE RELATED and since we were in Indiana, where he lived while SERVICING, the weekend was chockful of chuckles.

Preparing for the day he eventually does have to cart our asses around.

That’s the track for Hurricane Hoosier!

Henry hates being chauffeured, lol. Professional Driver Things.

FRANKENSTEIN’S CASTLE IS MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT THIS PARK!!! I wrote about it more extensively the last time we were there so I will save you from the extra words. But just know that this is the best haunted walk-through in an amusement park that I have experienced (and no, I never went in Castle Dracula in Wildwood because I was too scared when I was a kid and now it’s gone!).

This is a $3 or $3.50 (can’t remember) upcharge to the regular park admission but it honestly is worth it and also helps preserve the integrity of the structure. It also means that there probably won’t be a line! There wasn’t one for us when we went through BUT we did catch up with the family in front of us at one point because there is a room with trick doors that takes a bit to get through and even though we knew that, we were still like, “COME ON, ASSHOLES.” But then it turned out to be parents with a young boy (maybe 6 or 7) who had REALLY HAD IT WITH FRANK AND HIS CASTLE at this point because we kept hearing him crying and screaming several rooms ahead of us after that. They ended up being in line behind us for the antique cars afterward and witnessed their talk therapy session which lasted the entire twenty minutes we  were in line.

That kid probably had to wear diapers to bed that night.

It made me laugh though because I sometimes forget how different Chooch was from other kids when he was younger. I mean, bro was watching Spirit Halloween walk-thru videos on YouTube every night before going to sleep when he was 2 and walking around moaning, “They’re coming to get you, Barbara” after watching Night of the Living Dead for the 8th time as a toddler.

He had a Lost Boys cake at his third birthday party, lol!

The best room in Casa d’Frank.

WE ALL MATCHED THE MUSIC EXPRESS. Also, there was a kid in front of us who started vaping and it went right into our faces so that was great.

Den of Lost Thieves is a really cute and quirky dark ride BUT adults have to ride alone or with a kid under a certain height, so all three of us had to ride separately which was sad and Henry tried to duck out of line, but I said, “NO,  YOU DIDN’T RIDE THIS THE LAST TIME EITHER” so he begrudgingly stayed in line and thank god or else I wouldn’t have been able to get this beautiful picture of him exiting the DEN, lol.

Also, the ride operator here was SO NICE and talked to me about my tattoos while I was sitting alone in the car ready to be sent into the darkness.

I love this ride because it has that old-timey musty stench attached to classic dark rides.

HASHTAG BLUE.

HERE WE ARE BEING SCRAMBLED.

The Hoosier Hurricane was…definitely a storm to be braved. That bitch was hauling! It wasn’t painfully rough, but it also wasn’t…..NOT painfully rough….? It was definitely forceful and I probably wouldn’t be able to marathon it but we did ride it twice. Chooch tapped out after the second spin on it though, lol. It’s B&M or GTFO for him.

OK Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain is insane. If you like learning about the history rides, I would 100% recommend that you watch this video by my FAVORITE COASTER YOUTUBER, El Toro Ryan:

Problematic is right. Since we had already experienced getting stuck on this ride the last time we were there, we weren’t surprised when we arrived that day and there was no line for this. The ride operator saw us looking confused, wondering if it was running, so she waved us on up. “The train is stuck inside so I’m just waiting for the guys to get here and give it a push,” she said matter-of-factly and if I had been a n00b at this, I MIGHT have turned around at that point. But this coaster is notorious for stopping at the same part of the ride inside the cave and maintenance has to come and give it a push, lol.

Just…watch that video. I promise you that it’s interesting!

I took this accidentally when handing Henry my phone but kept it because Shadow Erin is way better looking that Living Flesh Erin! Also because I’m high-key with my Vans. #VelcroTeam

I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures of the two new credits Chooch obtained, but one was Tigg’r which is a Schwartzkopf death threat, I swear to god. I really thought our little car was going to tip right off the track. I’m pretty sure I rode this alone the last time we were there because while Chooch was tall enough for the other coasters, I think he didn’t meet the height requirements for this one? Dot dot dot?

The second credit he (and I!!) got was for Steel Hawg, which wasn’t running during our prior visit. It was looking like we were going to be 0 for 2 with this bitch until later in the afternoon when I spotted it testing while we were on the SHAFER QUEEN boat. Of course we ran right over to it immediately upon docking, where a small group had already congregated. We waited a good thirty minutes before a security guard came over and said that they were currently looking for ride operators, but it was “tricky” because they have to be of a certain age so I guess they were trying to shuffle staff around. We eventually left the line, but acted like fucking strung-out coaster junkies every time we saw a ride operator walking in that general direction.

It wasn’t until about 2 hours later, about an hour before the park was scheduled to close, that Henry saw a train on the lift hill WITH PEOPLE IN IT. We fucking ran, NO RUNNING rules be damned. We needed this elusive cred! Henry is an idiot and opted to sit this one out, which I thought was really stupid. Chooch and I entertained ourselves in the (short) line by trying to guess who manufactured Steel Hawg based on the track.

I said it was either Premier or S&S, and he said Gerstlauer. In the end, I went with Premier as my final answer, and we were BOTH WRONG because it ended up being S&S so I should have fucking went with my gut because that layout was so goddamn strange, just like Steel Curtain, another S&S. Of course Chooch tried to argue that he was the one who threw S&S into the mix at first so we had a Big Fight about that.

But that little coaster was sick! I’ve definitely never been on anything like it, even though I though I knew what it was going to be like. But, nope. This jungle of steel is nuts!

Steel Hawg – Indiana Beach

Photo courtesy of Indiana Beach’s website.

Ugh, arcade time.

Ugh, annoying arcade boy.

OH SHIT, this ride!! It was nuts. I thought it was going to be like the Spider or Monster or whatever those rides are called, but this thing….did some unexpected shit. It was really fun the first time, so later on I suggested that we ride it again, but, well, maybe once was enough.

Trying to keep my eyeballs from popping out.

Trying not to puke.

Henry would rather hold pink teddy bears than go on flat rides.

Anyway, that about does it for our day at Indiana Beach. Do not write this place off, people. The staff is great. The rides are quirky and unusual. The setting is SO PRETTY AND LAKE-Y.  I think this was the 18th park we visited this summer (!) and definitely one of the most unique.

Sep 292021
 

Please tell me, how is a bitch supposed to get a single thing done when she’s maniacally dancing to this song on repeat.

Asking for a bitch.

UPDATING THIS TO ADD HIS COMEBACK STAGE PERFORMANCE ‼️‼️‼️

Sep 282021
 

Oh ho ho, if you thought the Indiana Beach posts were all dried up, you were wrong because I’m back with another and it’s nice and MOIST.  That doesn’t even make sense. I just wanted to type “moist” since it’s so triggering.

A few years ago, Chooch learned about the game of Fascination at Knoebels Amusement Park and has been, OK I’m going for it, FASCINATED by it ever since. If you’ve never had the odd experience of playing Fascination, or spectating Fascinators in action, it’s like a cross between Bingo and skeeball. I hear that Fascination parlors are very rare these days, but we have been to FIVE places this year alone that have a parlor: Knoebels, Morey’s Piers (there is a super cool antique arcade hidden in the back of a regular, modern arcade), Sylvan Beach (their parlor was closed though), Indiana Beach, and we didn’t know it at the time we were there but Six Flags Darien Lake also has one. Super random.

So far, Knoebels has the best Fascination parlor. Indiana Beach’s was nice because it was air-conditioned, but it was run by two teen guys who were also playing double-duty behind the prize counter, so the games weren’t being run as efficiently AND no one was on the horn doing play-by-plays and making everyone nervous by spotlighting the table number in the lead. But! Props to those kids were taking it seriously and hustling as best as they could.

Obligatory FAMILY FASCINATION RELFLECTION SELFIE but my phone covered most of my face. PROBS FOR THE BEST.

I really appreciated this relic of the HEAVY PUBLIC SMOKING past. Henry had to show me how it worked and it aroused a long-slumbering slideshow of SMOKING IN RESTAURANTS AND SHOPPING MALLS AND OLIVE GREEN WOOD-PANELED STATION WAGONS AND CIGARETTE MACHINES IN LAUDROMATS.

Whew, time-travel makes me tired.

Just like Fascination makes these two guys tired, I guess. (Side note: Henry said he’s never seen someone yawn for such an extended period of time and now I’m sad that I missed it. Maybe if we had locked eyes, he could have passed a demon onto me. DAMMIT.)

I wonder if Chooch’s next spreadsheet will be one to keep track of all the Fascination parlors he visits in his lifetime.  The only ones left in the US that he hasn’t played are:

  • Looff’s Lite-A-Line in Long Beach, CA
  • Geneva-on-the-Lake in Ohio
  • Funland in Seaside, Oregon

Plus the ones at Sylvan Beach and Darien Lake. Looks like this will be a pretty small spreadsheet, lol.

I wonder if Henry played Fascination with his SERVICE buddies.

He won a round and Chooch was so pissed, but I was happy because Henry’s virtual tickets got scanned onto Chooch’s Indiana Beach arcade card and I HAD MY EYE ON A RING IN THAT PRIZE CASE.

Actually, Chooch was the one who (GRUDGINGLY) cashed in his tickets on this ring (and later, a popsicle ring of my choosing!) and it was the most pathetic moment of my life, watching  my own flesh and blood be annoyed that he had to “waste” 35 tickets on a ring for his MOTHER when he could have used that on a Tootsie pop. Anyway, when I picked out the one I wanted, Yawner actually looked at Chooch and asked, “Is that OK?” like, excuse me but give a bitch her ring. Don’t ask the KID. Yes, it’s OK because I’m his mother and if he says no, I’m ripping that ticket card out of his hands and feeding it to the carp in Lake Shafer! NOW GIVE ME MY FUCKING RING.

Jesus Christ.

So, that’s Fascination. I’m not into it at all because it makes me nervous, but those two love it. I actually went outside and sat by myself on a bench the last time they ducked inside for a round. I felt sad, just sitting there watching families have fun on the bumper cars. It’s OK. Don’t cry for me, Indiana Beach.

Sep 262021
 

Henry actually fed us at Indiana Beach! I know, I’m just as shocked as you! Usually we are lucky if he buys one soft pretzel for us to share. And thank god, because I got hungry almost immediately after arriving, OK fine, we had been there for an hour but there is something about riding four roller coasters in a row on a sizzlin’ day that makes me want to sit down in an air-conditioned room and inhale greasy pizza. You too?

We opted for Earl’s Pizza and slid into the counter to order RIGHT BEFORE a large-ass family who entered right after us but from an entrance that was closer to the broad patiently waiting to take pizza orders.

Here we are after shouting our desired pizza orders at Henry and then abandoning him at the counter. I was excited because we all unknowingly matched that day, but then I realized how stupidly patriotic we looked and then I was just disgusted. Also, when I sat down to write this today, I challenged myself to try not to swear at all and I had to backspace 29 times already. I’m really bad at this, and also I’m very irritable this weekend for some reason. I think because we purposely didn’t make plans and free time makes me anxious. Just some BEHIND THE SCENES thoughts for you.

YOU GUYS, this pizza was legit! I’m not normally a fan of thick crust, but this personal pan pizza was delicious – the dough was springy and the curst was just crispy enough around the edges without making the whole thing dry, the sauce was well proportioned and tasted like fresh  tomatoes, and the cheese was nice and greasy. Good job, Earl! (Apparently this joint was new for 2021 and I approve. I can’t remember what we ate the last time we were there but I assume it was probably also pizza and apparently not very memorable.)

Hello. You might remember the last time we were at Indiana Beach, Henry was being a bitch-baby about tacos. He wanted one but was acting like a fucking (dammit) martyr because Chooch and I wanted pizza and I was like, “But you can still have tacos” and he was all, “NO. JUST FORGET IT. I WILL EAT WHAT MY WOMAN AND CHILD EAT.” Well, this time he opted to just share my pan pizza with me (Lord knows I probably could have housed the whole thing on my own but then I wouldn’t be riding anything after that, and that is the damn truth) and then he treated himself to a taco! EXCEPT THAT HE DID IT WHILE CHOOCH AND I WERE RIDING THE SWINGS! So the whole time we were cruising perilously over Lake Shafer, I had a bird’s eye view of that mustachioed fucker (I give up, self-challenge unaccepted) masticating a taco by the lakeside and I was not there to photograph this event. I was screaming (also because these were the scariest swings I’ve ever been on and Chooch, afterward, was like, “Duh, why do you think there was also a seatbelt that went across your torso?”) because I

NEEDED

TO

TAKE

A

PICTURE

for mocking purposes. Come on, you know this about me! Imagine how excruciating this was for me to witness from afar with no way to memorialize it!

Man, I almost bowled over the two dumb ginger preteens who were casually strolling through the exit in front of me after getting off the ride, but by the time I made it back to Henry (ignoring all of the NO RUNNING warnings spraypainted onto the ground) he was already so finished with the taco that digestion had officially begun.

“REALLY YOU ATE THAT WITHOUT ME?” I screeched.

“Yeah, it wasn’t that good,” he said calmly.

“OK BUT DID I ASK?” I cut my own self off to cry. “You know I wanted to take a picture of you eating it!”

Henry reached into his back pocket and pulled out his Tired Face. No, wrong one. Try again. OK, there it is – the Confused Face. “I didn’t know that,” he said innocently.

“Well go back and get another one!” This was the perfect solution, I thought, but he wouldn’t do it because he didn’t think it was that great.

“It was cold,” he said, now wearing his Concerned Foodie Face. “It was weird.”

Henry used to write food reviews for the Air Force ‘zine back in 1985, did you know that? “The pork-n-beans were good. I ate it all. I patted my belly after. Mm.”

Later, Chooch wanted to get something from the Kona Ice truck. Child has obviously never made his own snow cone before because his first attempt left 3/4 of the shaved ice untouched by syrup.

“You have to put more syrup in it so that it soaks all the way through,” I coached from the sidelines.

But then the moron drowned the poor ice and there was nothing left to soak up the syrup, so it started spilling over the sides. It was a fucking mess. I was embarrassed to be his mom. We had to take it to the nearby arcade which had tables to eat at and he left a huge trail of Kona-blood on the way through, right as a janitor walked by with a broom, giving us MAJOR CUSTODIAL SIDE-EYE.

“Great, now he hates us!” I hissed at Chooch. But dude clearly had bigger spills to sweep because he didn’t stop. Henry, meanwhile, was on  the hunt for napkins to help sop up some of the syrup flood. I had to actually change tables because I was so afraid this shit was going to start sluicing off the table edge and onto my white shoes. Fuck that shit. I take pride in keeping my shoes clean! Joke’s on me though because even all this, it was STILL CHOOCH who got my shoes dirty, all the way at the end of the night when his oafish self stepped on my foot. I wanted to cry! Henry was all, “It is OK. Calm down. Take it easy. You should smile more. I will clean them when we get home.”

Well, guess who’s been home for a week now and my shoe still has CHOOCH-TRANSFER-DIRT on the toe?

 

Here’s an example of how authentic and real Indiana Beach keeps it. Love those olive booths!

And for all of your caffeine cravings, there’s actually a pretty legit cafe at Indiana Beach, too! I’m not going to lie, I was expecting gas station swill, but instead Chooch and I got professionally handcrafted iced lattes made by the nicest lady and the other nicest lady who was being trained by the first nicest lady. I can’t remember the last time I went somewhere and willingly engaged in so much small talk, but these people at Indiana Beach were incredibly down to earth.

They also had a delightful assortment of baked goods, which eventually lured us back in later that evening, where we filled up on cookies and a raspberry bar. Chooch originally walked in and confidently announced that he wanted the charcuterie plate because he’s a weirdo and they were like, “We’re actually all out of those!” and Henry was like, “That’s OK, he just wanted to say ‘charcuterie.'” Which was 100% true, but I think Henry was secretly happy when Chooch went rogue and asked for one, knowing that he would get to throw back all the meat-stuffs that Chooch would be picking around. Sorry, Henry. I’m sure you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get salami grease on your fingerpads, though.

Another thing we didn’t know about the last time was the FREE 30 minute Shafer Queen boat rides! Look, this guy was the…boat driver!

I wanted to sit up top but Chooch the Elder was like IT IS TOO HOT, WE WILL SIT DOWN BELOW so he claimed a seat first and then I was like, “I WANTED TO SIT ON THE END” and then Henry was like, “Let’s change rows because there is a railing in the way” so then I got to sit by the water because I made it to the next row first and Chooch was going to stay behind us by himself but then a mom with like 878 kids came and tried to sit there but there wasn’t enough room so they got up and were wandering around looking for a place to sit. We made Chooch be a Big Boy and move to our row so that they could have his row and he was so pissed.

Look at him pouting! I mean, once you get past Henry’s future-salami-greased finger tip that looks like a penis. I was going to crop that shit out but it makes me so uncomfy and I want it to make you uncomfy too, Internet Diary.

Also, the guy in front of Chooch was the CAPTAIN. He knew the old couple in front of us so he sat down with them and they talked about the good ol’ days and I dunno, savings bonds probably.

The boat ride was pretty boring but we got to see some semi-fancy lake houses and then I started screaming because we had been stalking this one coaster, Steel Hawg, all day but it wasn’t running and then I saw it TESTING!!! This was one of two credits that Chooch didn’t get the first time we went and I thought for sure we were going to be batting 0 for 2 on that tip but seeing those test cars being sent gave me hope. Also, it made me panic because now we were literally stuck in the middle of a lake, totally at the mercy of the Shafer Queen, instead of pacing around the base of Steel Hawg like crazy people.

OK, I’ll end this here and be back with another post about rides or something maybe. I dunno how I dragged this out for nearly 2000 words. I’m lonely, I guess. Haha ugh.

 

Sep 252021
 

Maybe you remember last year, right after the pandemic started, I reposted my old Indiana Beach blog posts as a tribute to the park after it was announced that the 2019 was the last season and they were officially shuttering. I was gutted over this! Sure, Indiana Beach isn’t Six Flags-level by any means but I remembered it to be a really quaint and quirky park, perched on a scenic lake, laden with Midwest charm and friendly staff. Back then, we had been lured there by the promise of dark rides, and it did not disappoint in that department.

I had barley even finished pouring one out for this lakeside park when it was announced that some rich-ass businessman in Chicago, Gene Staples, had granted the wishes of thousands of thoosies around the country by writing a check and saving this park’s ass. (And also a park in NJ and NY too! Gene Staples, you da man. Wish you had bought Conneaut too, since whoever the asshole is that “saved” that place has been busy selling off rides left and right. Asshole.)

Because I am constantly in a state of panic about RUNNING OUT OF TIME, I suggested rather spontaneously that we revisit this cute boardwalk resort and Henry was like, “OK fine twist my arm” because he is actually really into going to amusement parks lately – I think he’s having a midlife crisis if we’re being honest, and if he would rather work that out by riding rollercoasters instead of throwing down for a Mustang or a Harley, then I am happy to hold his hand through this…season of his life.

(The A Beautiful Mess broads use that saying for everything and I want to scream. “We gave up on our AirBNB dreams because it just wasn’t the right season of our lives” – OK if that’s how you want to sugarcoat zoning issues, cool. Cool cool.)

So anyway, that’s why we were in Indiana last weekend! We left Friday as soon as I logged off work, stayed overnight in Dayton, and then made it to Indiana Beach right as they opened at 11. (After driving past miles and miles of cornfields and wind turbines, literally like the good folks in Indiana decided to construct lifesized dioramas of  my nightmares for my window-viewing pleasure. I was screaming! Chooch even googled it because he thought for sure this had to be one of the most wind turbined-areas in  the US but it apparently Indiana only has a combined 2000-some, whereas the state that takes the top spot, Texas, has over 30,000. I’m gagging. You just can’t see me.)

Last time we visited, we knew NOTHING about this place, but since joining the Coaster Community, we learned that we parked in the wrong lot last time. For some reason, GPS will always lead you to the side lot which is NOT the main entrance. The good entrance has you crossing over a swaying bridge across Lake Shafer, with the most excellent views of three of  the park’s coasters. It was beautiful. If you ever go there, ignore the GPS and get yourself to the main entrance instead! (I actually don’t know how Henry got there, I was too busy listening to Taemin.)

One of the unique things about this place is that rides are built on top of each other, on top of snack bars, literally in the lake….it’s just a jumble of tracks and supports and it’s really crazy to see!  I actually forgot about that.

It was like 87 degrees and I definitely forgot to stay properly hydrated. Kids, drink your water. Don’t be distracted by all of the RIDES like I was. Also, Henry: be a better guardian. Thanks

There was a healthy crowd that day but I have no idea where everyone was going or what they were doing because nearly every ride, coasters includes, were walk-ons or station waits. There must be some townie secret that I was not privy to. Also, this “boardwalk” was adorable but was it as nice as WILDWOOD? No, Mary. The answer is NO.

I just loved the color scheme here! I took this picture from the train, which winds all around under coaster tracks and goes next to the antique car route and through a tunnel cut into Frankenstein’s Castle and right along the lake. I mean it was still kind of boring because it’s a train ride but it was cool to see the park from that perspective.

LOOK AT HOW THE  TRACK GOES RIGHT OVER THE LAKE!!!!??? I was so confused and then Henry started to explain construction things to me and I was like, “yeah I’m not actually that interested but nice try. Put the protractor back in your pocket, buddy.”

The website is all AND COME SHOP AT THE BOARDWALK SHOPS but there really wasn’t much I wanted to buy, lol. Not quite my aesthetic.

This crow in 1930s men’s swimwear is their mascot! (I guess at the year, I have no idea but I know men used to wear strange two-piece suits at the beach back in the olden days because I have eyeballs and have seen photographs. And that is what I pass off as “research” on these pages.)

I’ll do separate posts for the rides and food and whatever, but I took so many pictures of just the park itself that I really wanted to designate one entire post to just that, especially after we had that PARK IS CLOSED FOREVER scare in 2020. I’m super obsessive about MEMORIES and DOCUMENTATION and even if Indiana Beach does go belly-up at some point, at least I can contribute to the pictures that remain floating around in its honor.

I wish that my family took more pictures of the boardwalk all those times we went to Wildwood because most of those rides are gone and I think at least one or two of the actual piers are gone too. I also wish I had more pictures from Kennywood from the 80s and 90s. It’s so different there now and definitely not in a good way. :(

The park closed at 7 (7!!! OK fine, I guess it is technically off-season now.) so I didn’t get to capture any good night shots with the lights on but it sure did look pretty at dusk, I also had to laugh because Henry acted like we were only going to stay for a few hours and we closed that bitch down. Chooch and I got the last ride of the night on the Flying Bobs, which I found myself heavily fixating on the motor and the wheels that run seemingly haphazardly along the track next to the ride.

But it’s so pretty, even with the threat of perishing!

Of course Chooch and I fought no less than a dozen times but it sure was a pleasant day, regardless. Henry keeps telling me to just ignore him when he gets in his shitty moods and I am trying but I am a Leo and I eat shitty moods for snacks. So this arrangement doesn’t always play out well. It is my nature to thrive off the negative vibes of others.

Oh wait, this isn’t my paper diary. K, bye!

Sep 242021
 

Been dreading this one because I have to start off with honest-to-god one of the worst books I’ve ever read. Henry told me to just type out the title and then put ANGRY as my review because he doesn’t want his night to be ruined by me getting all worked up again over how shitty this book was. OK, let’s just do. *band-aid ripping etc etc*

7. The Book of Accidents – Chuck Wendig

The Book of Accidents

Yeah this guy really thinks he’s a clever motherfucker, that’s crystal clear. I’ve known at least 8 different versions of this guy throughout my years. The ones who have the better record collection. The ones who don’t think you’re smart enough to learn how to play their stupid Viking nerd games. The ones who have first editions of On the Road. That’s this pretentious writer. I don’t ever annotate books because they’re 99.9% always from the library but I honestly wish I had least written down every time this book (NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING SCARY, BTW) pissed me off, made me roll my eyes, had me shrieking, “OK REALLY” at the ceiling. For example, early on in the book, he wrote something about some dude’s stare being so strong it was pinning the other person to the wall like a movie poster, but then he used it AGAIN several chapters later?!

This book was full of overreaching shit like that and the dialogue was like, wtf really, has this guy ever actually had a conversation with a person in real life before? Nothing felt natural!!

Then! This! Happened!

IN WHAT WORLD IS SHEETZ INFERIOR TO WAWA?

Also there was an entire paragraph describing the “fat women” in clothing they “shouldn’t wear” in Wal-Mart and I was like, “OK BUDDY, GROW UP.” I mean, I wrote stupid body-shaming shit like that in LiveJournal and probably on here too but then I grew up and also guess what I’m not a published author and no one gives a shit what I say on here anyway.

I just fucking hate this guy. I hate-read this book so hard that I’m actually surprised it didn’t go up into sizzling flames while in my hands.

I don’t even want to write a synopsis. Just click the link if you want to know. I have to close this chapter (LOL) and move on with my life now.

No wait….

FUCK OFF, CHUCK.

OK, now I’m done.

8. Almost Flying – Jake Maia Arlow

Almost Flying

This is just what I needed after that previous disaster. I heard about this book from one of the coaster YouTubers I follow and I am so glad for the heads up because this book was pure and genuine, with a shit ton of good ass coaster talk thrown in. It’s a middle-aged book about Dalia, a girl who is really going through it – it’s the summer before 8th grade (7th? some middle school grade) and her old BFF has started hanging out with the popular crown, leaving Dalia in the dust. Plus, Dalia’s parents recently divorced and she’s getting used to living with just her dad in a new apartment. All that’s keeping her going in her love of roller coasters, except she’s never ridden one! She just watches POVs on YouTube (been there, girl) and is working up the nerve to ask her dad to  take her to an amusement park. But then she makes a new friend at swim lessons – Rani – and gets her excited about coasters too.

Then a bunch of shit happens with her dad being all, “btw I have a gf” and Dalia is all “FML” but then she ends up going on a theme park road trip with her dad’s new gf daughter who’s in college and Rani gets to go too and it’s just…the emotions felt real to me. There is conflict that felt like, “Yes, this is how I would have reacted to this shit too when I was in middle school.”

And while all of this is going on, we also get to witness Dalia realize that she has feelings for Rani. The LGBTQ+ rep was so beautiful here and I can only imagine how awesome and comforting this book must be to younger, confused kids.

And also, the roller coasters!

Yes! Boulder Dash is fucking AMAZE and Outlaw Run is fucking sickening! I was so excited that they referenced an RMC in here!!

(Side note: I kept taking pictures of the pages and texting them to Chooch who was getting so pissed because he is way too cool and old for a middle grade book and he was extra-pissed when he went to the library and I said, “OH WHILE YOU ARE THERE PLEASE PICK UP MY BOOK FOR ME” and he didn’t know it was going to be this one so he had to check it out in front of his friends lololololololol.)

YOU GUYS: I AM OBSESSED WITH JOJO ROLLS! It’s even my current name on Twitter! It’s not even my favorite element on a coaster, I just like the name, lol.

STEVE!!!!! STEVE WAS IN THIS BOOK!!!!!!! Two RMCs repped!

My only critique is that the road trip tackled 5 parks, from Six Flags Great Adventure in NJ to Cedar Point in Ohio, and they even stopped in Pittsburgh but DIDN’T GO TO KENNYWOOD? They went to DORNEY but not KENNYWOOD? (Not knocking you Dorney, but nothing you have tops Phantom’s Revenge.) No, they stopped in Pittsburgh to go to the aviary. OK.

But yeah, if you know any kids who love coasters or are struggling with their sexuality or identity or place in the world or all of the above, then gently place this book on their pillow because it’s precious. <3

9. The Perfect Family – Robyn Harding

The Perfect Family

I’m not going to expound too much on this one. It’s a domestic thriller. It was middle-of-the-road for me. I listened to the audio book and was about 1/4 of the way through before realizing that I had read another of this author’s books and thought it was kind of dumb, but I needed something mindless to listen to on my walks and…well, it did its job, I guess. I didn’t hate or love it.

10. Supermarket – Bobby Hall 

Supermarket

I got this from one of the Little Free Libraries in my ‘hood and then also found the audio for it so I did the whole “reading along while being read to” thing which is probably the only way I would have been able to get through this one. I didn’t know it at the time, but Bobby Hall is aka Logic and once I figured that out, the fact that the audiobook had sound effects and each chapter had intro music suddenly made a lot more sense.

The first half of this book was pretty good! It’s almost entirely set in a Supermarket and while there were definitely some cringey racial stereotyping going on but the characters were so dynamic and the dialogue was fast and sappy….but then the second part happened and it quickly became apparently that I was 2 dumbz0rz to fully “get” this book. Super psychological and Palahniuk-esque.

I can’t really say much more than that without SPOILERS. But I think this dude is a great writer, for sure.

11. The Family Plot – Megan Collins

The Family Plot

OK this book was weird (in a good way). It’s a really great thriller/mystery (actually, yeah, it’s more of a mystery really) about a girl who is returning to her family home for the first time in, I dunno, 10 years, because her dad has died. This is the second book I read that month with a main character named Dahlia/Dalia, coincidentally. The whole family is super into true crime and the mom named them all after famous murder victims and used to reenact murder scenes as an actual class while home schooling her kids. Totally bonkers and also something that I could kind of seeing my mom doing, OK ME, I COULD TOTALLY SEE ME DOING THIS. Chooch got off easy, when you really think about it.

Yeah, I liked this one. It was creepy and also kind of sad, because Dahlia has spent the last 10 years of her life desperately trying to find her twin brother who left the house on their 16th birthday. She has an older sister and brother who aren’t twins but are like, obsessed with each other.

To me, though, it kind of read like a YA mystery even though I’m pretty sure this was meant for adults, so I dunno. It was entertaining but didn’t have me screaming it’s praises with a voice string enough to pin a movie poster against a wall.

No, nothing like that.

And that was it. August was not great. September has been much better. I just finished a book yesterday that had me clutching my chest and I will DEFINITELY be screaming about that one for years to come but I guess you will have to wait for my September book round-up! GOOD-BYE, AUGUST BOOKS.

Sep 232021
 

Now that Chooch is back to school IRL, F2F, old school, however you want to say it, he’s been having to commute like a real life office worker. It’s the dumbest thing – his school is part of the Pittsburgh public school system but because of school bus driver shortages (this predates the pandemic BTW because we were already having to prepare for this for when he started high school in 2020), students at his school are required to take PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Chooch has mastered some pretty major subway systems in his short 15 years, so that wasn’t the concern for me, it was mostly the fact that getting to school requires one transfer no matter what, and he’s have to leave the house before 6AM to ensure he wasn’t late, which is ludicrous for a high school kid. Plus, I worried that he’d fall asleep and miss his stop/transfer/whatever.

Getting home is a piece of cake because he can basically get on any bus outside of his school that is going downtown, and he has numerous places where he can get off downtown and take the T home (way more convenient than buses). And he can take his time too, and oh, believe me, he has been. He and his new gang of friends have been cavorting around Oakland, trying to blend in with all the Pitt students, going to cafes, going to the main branch of the Carnegie library, eating at food trucks. He’s living the teenage dream, you guys, truly.

It’s only a 15 minute drive to Oakland from our house, so I’ve mom’d up (after years and years and years of him only having to walk two blocks to his old school, this is so hard for meeeeeee and me and me and me and only meeeeeee) and have been driving him to school every morning. It really isn’t that bad because I am a total morning person anyway and actually enjoy having a reason to get up an hour earlier. However, Chooch is NOT a morning person so nearly every car ride is peppered with vitriol and teenage angst (from both parties). He mostly just sits there texting his friends whom he will see in a short 20 minutes while responding to all my conversation starters with grunts and snotty quips.

Basically, he so very effortlessly makes me feel like the biggest loser while slumped in his seat like a sack of 15-year-old hormones spritzed with Axe Body Spray and superiority syndrome – it’s great!

Usually, I have Spotify playing BUT one day two weeks ago, I stupidly started driving with the radio on. Henry was the last one in the car and had left it on 100.7 which is just super annoying Top 40 but somehow more geared to soccer moms. I absolutely hate every song that comes on. That one song about date night at Applebee’s?!!? The first time I heard it, I was screaming and called Henry after Chooch got out of the car so I could bitch about it.

“Oh, I knew exactly what song it was going to be before you even told me,” he laughed.

That song is a disgrace to the act of hearing, like a total FUCK YOU to the collective cochlea worldwide.

And then there is some god-awful duet with Miley Cyrus and some dude? OMG kill me. That song is an abomination! You know I hate Miley Cyrus to begin with, but this song makes me want to donkey kick her in the throat. Both of these people sound like they have a skin of phlegm that desperately needs trucker-belched into the nearest spittoon.

All it took was one commute with this station on the dial to get Chooch’s attention though, because they play this stupid trivia game every morning called Escalation. And by “they” I mean the MOST ANNOYING LOCAL DJ THAT HAS BEEN POISONING PITTSBURGH AIRWAVES SINCE EVEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, BUBBA, and his basic bitch cohort Melanie. These people, oh brother. They pass Pittsburghese back and forth between themselves with wanton abandon like it’s some type of Yinzer Covid and they’re anti-maskers. I fucking can’t stand the Pittsburgh accent and I especially hate it when it feels like people are going out of their way to use it or exaggerate it. Like when people ironically say “yinz,” I want to fucking set a pile of Steeler jerseys alight.

Look, I have hometown pride, but my hometown embarrassment sometimes overshadows that. And Bubba is a fucking embarrassment fo’ sho’

OK so back to Escalation. Chooch LOVES games and the only thing he probably loves more than games is being right. So trivia is like a goddamn drug for him. This game is so dumb. You can win up to $100 but the questions start out at like, $5, $10, etc. And you have the option of taking the money or going-or-nothing. The worst part is the amount of times Bubba says “dollars” during this part of his pathetic radio show. I wish he would just start saying “bucks” instead so I wouldn’t have to hear him practically swallowing his tongue while chocking on his forced ‘burgh dialect.

Chooch INSISTS that we keep this station on every fucking morning now so he can make fun of the people who get the answers wrong and lose all  their money. Last week was “Special” because in addition to having the chance at winning $100, each morning’s Escalation player AUTOMATICALLY received Dan & Shay tickets. I do not who these “Dan & Shay” people are but I am willing to wager ALL OF THE ESCALATION WINNINGS that I will hate their music if I heard it.

I am actually in such a bad mood by the time I punt him out of my car every morning that my body shakes. THE WORST PART is that before Bubba (ugh) asks the final question, they cut to a song and it is always something that manages to enhance the tension in my jaw previously caused by Bubba’s grating bray.

But then it got worse. Because after a few days of this, Chooch decided that he was going to try and get on  the air for Escalation. I tried to tell him that I thought this was a terrible idea but yesterday morning, he took the leap and called in. His bluetooth kicked the call onto the car’s stereo, so the car was filled with the pulse-pumping notes of a busy signal. He started screaming at me for “talking over them” when they were saying the phone number so it was probably wrong, and I was like, “OK first of all, STFU I can talk whenever I want in MY CAR. And second of all, the fact that you got a busy signal means it’s probably the right number.”

So he just sat there, letting the busy signal continue to plow through the small space between us.

“Um, hang up,” I said.

“No, they might answer,” he shot back in his FUCKING TEENAGE TONE. UGH.

“That’s….not how that works,” I said slowly, trying to choose my words carefully as we were teetering on the precipice of the Early Morning Quarrel Quarry. “You have to hang up and call back. They can’t just ‘answer’ when you already have a busy signal.”

So then he got all huffy, ended the call and slammed his phone down into his lap.

A few moments later,  I tentatively asked, “Aren’t you going to call back?”

“YOU NEVER TOLD ME TO! YOU SAID IT WAS THE WRONG NUMBER!”

“NO, I FUCKING SAID IT WAS A BUSY SIGNAL AND YOU HAVE TO HANG UP AND CALL BACK!” I shouted right back at him, because oh OK, we’re doing this.

“THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU SAID!” he screamed. “I SAID I WAS WAITING TO SEE IF THEY WOULD PICK UP AND YOU SAID IT WAS THE WRONG NUMBER!”

“I SAID IT WAS A BUSY SIGNAL!!! IF YOU GET A BUSY SIGNAL, YOU HAVE TO HANG THE FUCK UP AND TRY AGAIN!!” My heart was now pounding. This kid can never be wrong and it is infuriating. Then I said, because I’m a tremendous parent and probably echoed a sentiment that TRUMP has spat out more than once to his children over the years, great Erin, just great, “You know, for someone so fucking smart, you’re a real a moron sometimes. You don’t even have basic life skills!”

“Oh, this,” he motioned furiously between his phone and the radio, “is a life skill???”

“KNOWING HOW TO MAKE A FUCKING PHONE CALL? YES!!!!!” I screamed.

We drove in silence after that. The dumb bitch who made it onto Escalation lost because she’s a fucking stoop, too.  By the end of Escalation, we had reached his school. He got out wordlessly and I seethed the whole way home.

***

Later that day, after he had been home from school for a few hours, he came downstairs and sat down on the wheelchair next to me. (Lol, that sounds so normal to me.)

“Traffic was really bad on the way home and I’m in a bad mood,” he growled, loosening his imaginary neck tie. “Also, I’m still mad about this morning.” And then we were maniacally arguing with each other again but this time we were laughing too and Henry was like YOU ARE BOTH THE SAME OMG KILL ME.

P.S. The broad who called in for Escalation today won but she TOTALLY WAS GOOGLING THE ANSWERS IT WAS SO FUCKING OBVI.

Sep 212021
 

A few years ago (2014, I think??), we went to Indiana Beach in Monticello, IN upon my insistence and relentless begging. We stayed in a town called Logansport which was not on my radar at all, until we randomly ate at a family-run fast-food establishment called MR. HAPPY BURGER and I became o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d that I demanded we eat at the second location as well AND I bought a commemorative t-shirt. I know, everything in this paragraph sounds so unlike me!

We semi-spontaneously revisited Indiana Beach over the weekend and I was almost as excited to go back to Mr. Happy Burger! It wasn’t that the food was amazing, but they did have grilled cheese on the menu which is almost unheard of for a burger-centric fast food joint, so that was a huge plus for me and Chooch, but it was mostly the VIBES, you guys. You know I’m all about the VIBES.

Sadly, the owner of Mr. Happy Burger recently decided to retire and put one of the locations up for sale. We drove past it and I will admit that I had a fleeting desire to buy that bitch up and rebrand it as Miss Happy Veggie Burger, the vegan mistress of Mr. Happy Burger.

But, I don’t think  that would be very well-received in that part of Indiana, lol.

Oh shit bitches, get ready to grill up some cheeses, because we’re back.

(I tried so hard to get Henry to order a Mr. Pib with his burger but he wouldn’t do it. The cashier was not amused. She had this dour, “Just fucking pick a bev” look on her face.)

There was a small group sitting a few tables over and one of them had just completed an 8-scoop ice cream challenge, not sanctioned by Mr Happy Burger.

“And he ate a double burger, too!” one of the people in his party exclaimed for everyone within earshot.

“Now I gotta go and drink some beer,” he said, completely unimpressed with himself, as they left the building.

Oh, Indiana.

There is something about orange and green as a color combo that is horrific and nostalgic all at once.  I declared that I was going to keep one of the fry wrappers and made a big production of dumping all the crumbs and salt specks onto the table, and then smoothing it out tenderly. I left it off to  the side, on the table, but then HENRY THE OBLIVIOUS put it on the tray with all the trash and I unknowingly threw it out, THANKS HENRY THE OBLIV.

I got really upset about this and he was like I WILL FIX IT, HOLD PLEASE and went back to the dour cashier and went through this whole awkward and confusing exchange before she finally understood what he wanted and he proudly returned to me with a clean wrapper in his hand, like a Viking returning home to his fur-wrapped woman, waving the head of the enemy on a spear.

Cool story, Henry.

I also wanted to get an orange version of the Haps shirt, but Henry just frowned and of course I didn’t have my wallet.

Their grilled cheese is better than most grilled cheeses I’ve had at diners and other restaurants. For instance, we were recently at Hyde’s in Cincinnati and the grilled cheese we both had there was so fucking pitiful, I can’t even believe they charged us for it. It was like they made it with scrap bread slices, and split one entire piece of cheese between mine and Chooch’s. I mean, I could make a better grilled cheese and we all know that’s saying a lot!

But Mr. Happy Burger serves up a substantial grilled cheese with a decent bread:cheese ratio. The bread is thick and buttery, and the cheese is actually thoroughly melted and not just a limp, cold slice between two half-toasted bread rejects.

I Just Said No to ice cream all day at Indiana Beach because I remembered that Mr. Happy has an ice cream parlor in the location that remained open. I dunno why but at the last minute, I happened to see a small menu of froyo flavors taped to the ice cream display. My eyes flickered across the “banana pecan” option and I thought, “bitch why not” so that’s what I ordered, and then almost immediately had remorse but I returned to our table, determined to live with my choice.

Yo, they actually blend up their froyos on the spot, boy! I watched that young ice cream princess cut up a banana and everything. And that was one BITCHIN’ cup of froyo, and also a flavor combo  that I wouldn’t have immediately paired together on my own. Apparently, the ice cream girls aren’t used to getting that as an order either because they had to double check with Henry after I sat back down and they made an unsure, “hmm, ok” face.

Henry for some reason also went the low fat froyo route and went with pineapple coconut. OH SHIT, YOU GUYS, that was motherfucking divine too! I took several hearty spoonfuls of it and felt like I had been personally transported to a beach in a first class seat on the Mr. Happy Burger train. Refreshing! Tropical! Exotic! Without even leaving Logansport, Indiana.

Dang, Mr. Happy Burger, please don’t leave. Surely someone in the Mr. Happy family wants to see the legacy live on!?

Oh, I contemplated bringing my Haps shirt on the trip but is that adjacent to the tackiness of wearing the band’s shirt to their concert? Sike, I don’t really care about that but I just truly forgot to pack it, lol.

 

Um, I never actually realized how lumpy that HB logo is. Is it supposed to be a burger? Mr. Happy himself? A potato??

Sep 202021
 

If I could concentrate on anything else right now other than my current favorite NCT127 song, that would be fantastic and perhaps I would instead be telling you all about Indiana Beach or our dinner at Mr Happy Burger, but this song and live performance have me too whipped, sorry, check back later.

Sep 192021
 

Hi from Logansport, Indiana. 8:24am. Let’s have a live blog to chronicle the probably lame trip home to PGH so as usual, check back throughout the day if you’re hard pressed for words to read.

First let’s start with the oatmeal Henry brought back to the room while I was exercising. He put syrup in it?? I never put syrup in oatmeal?? 20 years together and what has he ever learned about me??

He claims that I “change a lot” when it comes to food. Oh ok. And he fucks up a lot.

8:31 Good bye holiday Inn Express with the beautiful view of RURAL KING.

Apparently some guy from Logansport was a corporal who died at the Kabul airport last month :/ A lot of the businesses here have RIP messages on their signs and our hotel had a small memorial set up for him in the lobby. It was really sad to see. Then Chooch casually asked, “Wait, what happened there?”

So smart, and yet.

8:49am: BIG UPDATE we’re about to drive past the Air Force base Henry…did plane stuff at.

“There’s a museum? For what?? Are you in it?” I screamed. No he’s not in it, he said calmly.

Wow. It is really ugly here.

We just drove past Maple Farm Trailer Park and Henry said he once knew someone who lived in there and I asked WAS IT A WOMAN prepared to make lascivious accusations but it was a dude.

ALLEGEDLY.

9:09am: we just stopped at some convenience store with a STORYBOOK facade and facade is RIGHT because the store itself was so shitty and I was not getting coffee there also Henry almost hit a squirrel crossing the street.

10:33am: Still no coffee. Indiana is a dump. We just crossed over Cornbread Rd and normally that would have seemed cute to me but right now I’m just like go fuck a cornstalk, Indiana.

We found a Dunkin Donuts which isn’t great but I won’t go to Starbucks and there is literally a TRAIN stopped on the tracks blocking traffic but in a surprising twist of luck for us, DD happened to be right before the tracks thank god.

Fuckin’ Indiana.

Chooch just woke up while we’re in line at DD and said, “is that train just stopped there? Why??”

“Because it’s an asshole,” I snapped.

“I don’t think that’s why,” Henry white-knighted.

Then henry had the most embarrassing order-handoff with the poor young girl at the window who was just trying to do her job and Henry was like THIS IS WRONG but it wasn’t and Chooch and I were like THAT IS OUR ORDER, TAKE IT and then the poor girl was all flustered and then we started to pull away when Henry stopped and asked her for straws and Chooch and I screamed THEYRE IN THE BAG because unlike Henry we actually paid attention to what was going on and now Henry is trying to defend himself to us, saying that nothing he did was embarrassing and I screamed OMG NOW YOURE GASLIGHTING HER.

now Henry is pointing out some technical school he went to when he lived in Indiana and I truthfully don’t care, I am so hungry and bitter.

10:51am: “Wow that stop sign has LED lights around it,” Henry said. “They must really have a problem with people not stopping around here.”

I looked around at the corn fields on all sides of the road. “Yeah, that’s because all the Footloose kids are busy sneaking out at night to go drag racing and dancing in barns,” I spat. I hate Indiana. I don’t understand how we’re still here??

12:11pm: just left the big candle place, $70 later ugh we are ALL candle addicts so it’s actually amazing we didnt spend more. This place has the best kettle corn candle and I have been dreaming of going back for one ever since we were there a few years back on our way home from Holiday World.

Random Michael Myers sighting. I wonder how many pumpkin candles he purchased.

Rustic candle restroom selfie.

1:46pm: Columbus, finally.

2:13pm: Korean Fried Chicken special at Eden Burger.

Um, it was really good but didn’t even have a hint of Korean flavors? Can American restaurants stop trying to replicate Korean cuisine? Because they are failing. Aside from the confusing marketing of this sandwich, it was very good – vegan chicken is my jam. I will usually always go for that option over the burgers, but I made Henry get the OG Eden Burger because they make their patties in house and I wanted to try. It was DELICIOUS. I love when vegan restaurants make their own instead of just copping out with an Impossible patty and then masking it with loads of cray toppings U KNOW.

Anyway, Eden Burger has bomb fries also. I’m definitely not hungry anymore.

(Oh and Chooch got Buffalo chicken and whined the whole time about having to pee when we literally just came from a rest stop and he said he didn’t have to go.)

2:29pm: CHOOCH and HENRY (it keeps auto-capitalizing and I don’t care anymore) went to Kroger’s so CHOOCH could pee and he said while he was in there, some old lady on drugs came in screaming I HAVE TO PEE I HAVE TO PEE and then she got arrested. I miss everything.

3:30pm: Henry just said something about this being our last trip for the year while I’m over here googling “does Six Flags Over Georgia do a winger festival” and “how far from Pittsburgh to Atlanta” lol.

3:58pm: whoa, our first Sheetz stop since yesterday if you can believe it! I got a pumpkin chai and it’s ok!

I was randomly recalling to Henry the time my mom was dating some prison guard dude and I was pretty ambivalent toward him until the day he accompanied us to a car dealership because I was going to trade in my EAGLE TALON (miss her) for a new VW JETTA and my mom was all set to make this happen when he stepped in and said to her that he didn’t think a girl “my age” really needed “a brand new car” and then tried to get me to take a USED MALIBU instead. CAN YOU EVEN??

I was like BITCH WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE AND WHAT EVEN IS A USED MALIBU, EW.

I never had my mom tell me no before!!

Except for maybe when I was in high school and wanted her to drive me to Cleveland so I could see where Bone Thugs n Harmony lived. That was a hard no.

4:32pm: Chooch needed the charger but I was using it and the spare was in the trunk in Henry’s bag for some reason and I can’t explain it you guys but there was this whole argument where CHOOCH was like WHY CANT U JUST USE BLUETOOTH LIKE NORMAL PPL WHY DO U HAVE TO USE AUX and I was like STFU BITCH BOY and Henry was like LANGUAGE which made us lose our minds bc really DAD?

Then CHOOCH was rummaging through the bags and screaming and Henry was like IN THE BLACK BAG THE BIG BLACK BAG and I was laughing so hard that I started to cry and the whole left side of my face was spasming and then CHOOCH SUPPOSEDLY puked in Henry’s bag bc he too was laughing so hard and Henry had that “JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL” look on his face.

5:44pm: we are mere minutes away from home! This LiveBlog was lame! They all are, really! Until the next “not happening” trip, this is Erin signing off. Bitches.

Sep 172021
 

Hello. Here is a very half-hearted Friday Five. I have had a pretty down week.

THE RACCOON

There was a raccoon on our porch two nights ago, helping himself to the squirrel food in the bistro. It was so exciting! I screamed about how I had never seen a raccoon that up-close before, and Henry gave me the REALLY look and then I was like, OH….YEAH. Anyway, I wanted to give him some other things to snack on, so I grabbed a pack of cat treats that Henry recently bought for our cats because, unlike me, he is not aware of their finicky palates and did not know that this was a kind of treat (or TRIT as they call it) that they will not eat.

They watched me retrieve the bag. “Look, you guys don’t like these ones,” I reminded me, and put two on the ground for them so they would see which ones I had. Yeah, you’re right, we hate these, they said with their noses stuck up into the air.

But then they saw me toss some outside for the raccoon and oh, oh KAPCHUGGI they remembered that they too like these treats and went back and ATE THE TEST ONES I PUT OUT FOR THEM.

Totally out of principal! Cats really are such dicks. Lol.

Anyway, the raccoon was totally cute and using his cute (but probably deadly) paws to drag the treats closer to him and I wanted so badly to run out there and throw my arms around him but HENRY MY CONSCIOUS was like, “Erin…”

NEW RING

I bought me-self a new ring from Little Rooms <3 Commence a bunch of pictures of me pretending to be a hand model in 3…2…

I QUITE LIKE IT. I also bought a necklace that says TRUST ME on it, with a hand with crossed fingers LOLOL because that’s me.

A DELICIOUS PROJECT

A few weeks ago, Chooch and his friend Zakk went to the Exchange near our house and came back with a Goonies movie poster. I guess Chooch told him that I like that movie and Zakk bought it for us! This meant that I needed to make sure it was framed properly. When I told Henry that my newest project idea involved Baby Ruth wrappers, he was out the door before I evenhad a chance to finish the sentence, lol. This was a project he GLADLY contributed to!

The gold coins came from whatever recent arcade ticket cash-in transaction Chooch was a party to.

제가 바나나들예요

Oh boy, another Nooworks shirt! This was actually the first I ever bought. I love banana prints!

BUDDY

OK. I have been dreading this day, and I don’t even want to write/talk about it, but I will just say that on Saturday evening, Henry and I found one of my Buddys in the road by our house. We had literally just talked to him on our way to CVS. I was scolding him because he had tried to cross the street and a car had to abruptly stop to avoid hitting him. He ran back onto our side of the street and jumped in a tree where he watched me while I shook my finger at him and pleaded with him to be more careful. My heart was pounding but I was relieved he was OK.

Then, only about 10 minutes later, we were walking back from CVS and I saw him lying in the road, on the same block as our house. Henry kept saying things like, “Um, no, I don’t think that’s a squirrel….” but I knew. My eyes are bad, but they’re not THAT bad.

It was one of my Buddys. Pretty sure the same one we had talked to moments before. He didn’t appear to have been hit by a car, because he was fully intact and there was no blood, and oh my god this is killing me to relive….but he was dead, you guys. I asked Henry to bury him but I think he was already prepared to do so. I couldn’t just leave him in the middle of the street! So he is now buried with a peanut behind our house and my heart aches so bad. What if we had been a minute faster in CVS and we could have prevented this!?

I knew this day would eventually come. I am beyond attached to these guys and we live on a busy street, and…it was inevitable. Life is so fucking awful. Nature is horrific.

I want to believe that…maybe he was old? Maybe he was in the process of crossing the street, and his heart was like, “It’s time…” It still sucks, but that is what I need to believe.

Girl Buddy is still here, and a bunch of other Buddys, and the Mr. Gray Guys. But it still hurts knowing that the gang is now minus one big bushy brown tail.

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