Jan 302020
 

These bulletpoints are brought to you by: lack of sleep, Fran Drescher’s bray, and the Korean letter ㅊ which always reminds me of those weird twig-person things from The Blair Witch Project which, coincidentally, I made a bunch of several years ago when I decorated my co-worker Mitch’s office with a “Blair Mitch” theme for Halloween and several of my work friends kept the twig-things as a souvenir of my Halloween Reign of Terror so I see them every day.

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(See also: this blog post.)

  • On Monday, Blake texted Henry and told him that the coroners were on our street, pulling a body out of a house. Chooch didn’t have school that day so I started bombarding him with texts because I was freaking out, man. He was about as interested as you’d imagine a 13-year-old with a brand new iPhone 11 and Nintendo Switch might be. He sent me a picture of the forensics truck in the neighbor’s driveway and left it at that. All Henry and I could figure was that it was the house next to Hot Naybor Chris’s, where Chooch’s buddy lives with his grandparents, but there are two other units in  that house, so an older woman also lives there, and this mysterious girl who looks like she could be in her mid-20s or 40s, because, well, drugs. We also have suspicion that she was providing various, you know, services. Just last week, the first responders were there but it didn’t seem like anything major happened so we stopped peeking out of the window and WOW I AM BASICALLY JUST LIKE MY AUNT SHARON AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE. Anyway, I begged Henry to text Hot Naybor Chris, who immediately called him and knew nothing because he hadn’t been home all day, so he said never fear, he’d send his wife to question one of the residents (provided she wasn’t already busy yelling at people for taking her parking spot.) She reported back the next day that it was the girl, and she OD’d. FUCKING DRUGS. I am so pissed off about this. It’s extremely disconcerting knowing that someone died in that way only two houses up from us, and yet life goes on. So fucked up. I didn’t know her, and only saw her several times over the summer when she would run across the street in see-thru dresses and jump into the car of whatever John was there to pick her up that evening, but it makes me feel super depressed.
    • Speaking of sadness and depression, I’ve definitely got it because I spent a good 90 minutes on Sunday crying violently over the death of Kobe Bryant, and you need to know that I was not a fan of his, and basically ambivalent toward him in general, but the news alert rocked me in a way that I cannot explain which is how I know that my heart and brain were looking for a reason to cry it out. Sometimes you just gotta cry.
  • The one thing I was looking forward to all weekend was Cafe Day with Chooch and Henry, and Henry even said I could interrogate him for a Henry’s Coffee Klatch-type of blog post, but then the combination of my heightened sensitivity (see above bullet) and Chooch’s teenage mean streak made me have an emotional break down while waiting for our coffee at Reginald’s, which was really Sad Times because that place was cute, the seasonal latte choices were unique (I got the winter spice, which had ginger, cinnamon, orange zest and “more,” whatever that means, but it was fucking delicious and not overly sweet or syrupy), and my friend Chris’s honey was available there! Oh well, maybe we’ll go for a do-over sometime soon and leave Mean Chooch at home.

  • Speaking of coffee though, the day before, I had my weekly meeting with Jiyong at Panera. Henry drove me there because we needed to go shopping in that area afterward and you know, One Car Family. But now that he’s on the precipice of coffee addiction, he decided to come in with me and get a cold brew. I think Jiyong initially thought he was going to stay there the whole time and maybe she was contemplating charging for Korean lessons now that it was turning into more of a classroom, but I was like, “NO HE IS NOT STAYING, EW!” because no way. While Henry and I were standing in line to order, I noticed that there was some type of friendly exchange going on with the guy who was ordering, the cashier, and the people in front of us, but I couldn’t figure out what was happening and Henry is deaf and oblivious and also  too distracted looking at the pastries, so he was no help in my investigation. Anyway, after we placed our order, we found out what the commotion was: some dude left his change with the cashier to pay it forward, and apparently the people in front of us decided to pass it on to us and HENRY ACCEPTED IT which I think he should not have because we didn’t NEED to use it and I very quickly became overcome with guilt and dwelled upon it for the remainder of the day.
  • Guys! Suddenly, I like basketball:

I’m so excited that G-Dragon’s in America right now!!! I had a dream two nights ago that he was my boyfriend and it was the sweetest, most pure dream ever and I was in such a great mood the whole next day. Apparently, they even played his song “Superstar” during the game and he was cutely embarrassed I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.

  • We’re in the thick of our “busy season” for serial killer Valentines, so I told Henry I would make my own dinner in order to keep him chained to his work station, making cards. But “making dinner” started with me turning on the kettle to heat water for some instant noodle cup thing and then whining because it looked unsatisfying so Henry was like, “put an egg in it” and I was like, “OK you do that” and then I exchanged places with him and now he’s in the kitchen enhancing my bland Whole Foods instant pad thai thing OK never mind he just brought it out to me and he somehow managed to make it worse, so cereal it is.

In other news, I have been very diligent with reading since I set my goal at the beginning of the month! Since tomorrow is the last day of January, I think I will do a quick recap of the books I read this month. Speaking of, I AM GOING TO GO AND READ MORE OF MY LAST BOOK FOR JANUARY!

Jan 292020
 

This won’t be as good as a Sophia Petrillo Sicily Story, but….PICTURE IT: Brookline, 2002. Henry and I were still in the beginning stages of Dating, but I knew that I wanted him to move in with me. And that says a lot because I had been a solo-liver from the time I moved out of my parents’ house until then. So, basically like 3 years. Wow, such independence. I never asked any other boys to move in with me, and I barely even liked it when they stayed too long the next morning.

When I decided that I was going to ask the dumb oaf to move in, I did the right thing and talked to my landlord first. Now, back then, my landlord was the sweetest guy: super old, hearing aids in both ears, very approachable. (His son took over after he died and now we’re basically living in a slum even though Henry says I’m being dramatic but that is another story.) So my landlord sat me down in his office and actually talked to me like he was a parent, asking things like if I was sure this was the right guy, does he treat me well, etc. It was fucking adorable.

And of course I said yes but hello the bigger picture was that this dude could cook and do housework-y things, so yes, please move in, share my bills, feed me, stop me from vacuuming liquid out of the refrigerator (um, another story for yet another day). So now that I had the landlord’s blessing to add the dumb oaf to the lease, I went to the HARDWARE STORE – can you imagine me in a hardware store? And it wasn’t some big box one like Home Depot, either. It was this small-ass family-run joint that my dad always went to, called DANIEL’S HARDWARE, the kind of place where you have to turn sideways to walk down some of the aisles because the shelves are spaced stupidly. Anyway, I went to DANIEL’S to get a copy of my key made. Some dude did it for me, and I was like, “Wow, that was easy” and it was only like $2 or something, so that was something new that I learned that day.

Then, on Valentine’s Day, Henry came over and was all KISSY WISSY because this back when he was still trying to impress me and hoping that I would find his all of his baggage cute and charming, which would have been easier if the baggage was goldfish and not two kids, but I digress. Now, imagine the hearts boinnnnnnng’ing out of his eyeballs when he opens the pretty velvet ring box I’ve presented to him* and finds…

Nothing.

Because I forgot to put the fucking house key inside.

*(This is, hilariously, the only time a ring box was ever presented to someone in this house, NAH I’M NOT BITTER OR NUTHIN’ said Little Miss Unwed with a butcher knife behind her back.)

So, this key was a lemon. It was a real rough cut, and only Henry knew the “trick” to turning it successfully within the lock. But Henry never complained about it and has been using it without issue all this time.

Somewhere along the line, Chooch became grown enough to need his own key. This time, my key birthed a nice, competent copy. I think we had it made at Home Depot and I have a vague recollection of Chooch being all smug because he got to choose some novelty key design so his was “better” than ours.

Then, he lost it.

And found it.

And lost it.

Got a new one made.

Lost it.

In a pinch once day, I lent him my key, the golden master key, the OG key, the ride or die key.

AND THAT LITTLE SHIT LOST IT. LIKE, LOST IT LOST IT.

So now, Henry has to have a new key made using HIS degenerate mongoloid key so now we have two fucking aggravating piece of shit keys. One time, I had to use Chooch’s spare because I knew no one was going to be home when I came home from work, and, well….

Bad Key Killing Spree

One time, Janna was babysitting Chooch and they had Henry’s key and couldn’t get in the house so she had to go next door and get Hot Naybor Chris to help. I know what you’re thinking: “OK, fine, but that’s Janna. She’s nearly as bad as you, Erin.” BUT WAIT—-

A few weeks ago, I took the day off work while Chooch was home on Christmas break, and we went to the trampoline park, Taco Bell, and Crazy Mocha without a hitch. Can you imagine?! Until, that is, until we came home. We had Henry’s house key that day and of course, we couldn’t get in the house. I swear to god, I’m always waiting for this fucker to slice my hand and hit an artery and then someone’s going to find me unconscious in a pool of blood on the front porch and think, “Wow, I didn’t realize she hated her life that much” and I DO NOT WANT TO BE REMEMBERED AS THE GIRL WHO TRIED TO SLIT HER WRIST WITH A KEY AND MISSED.

That got dark but I don’t care! The street lights have been burnt out in my head for quite some time now.

OK back to the door. Thank god on this day, Blake was home so Chooch went over and was like, “Help us open our door” and Blake immediately cringed because he was on cat duty for us the first time we went to Korea and wanted to fucking kick down the door because Henry’s key pissed him off so much and I think he was really trying to hold himself back on this day because I was standing there but he was definitely lowkey raging and kept muttering things like, “WTF IS THE DEAL WITH THIS FUCKING KEY. OMG I FORGOT HOW MUCH I HATE THIS FUCKING KEY.” And then he did some breathing exercises and some arm-crosses, cracked his knuckles, and said to me, “There’s a trick to this, but I can’t FUCKING REMEMBER” and meanwhile, I’m blowing up Henry’s phone like he’s going to be able to coach us.

“Now…1, 2, 3, TURN.”

Or tell us what the magic word is.

Is it FIRE? Because I’m not above threatening the fucking front door.

After a solid 8 minutes of wrestling with this cursed key, it finally clicked and the door opened. Blake was so angry at this point that he didn’t even say anything to me, he just walked away and went back to his house.

This key is FUCKING SOUL-SUCKING.

I’m not going to lie, when I leave the house and know that no one will be here when I come home, I leave it unlocked. Henry hates it when I do this because we live on a busy street in the city, but wtf else can I do!?

YEARS this has been going on. YEARS. And then on Sunday, Henry got a package from Amazon – A REKEY KIT.

HENRY RE-KEYED THE DOOR WHATEVER THAT MEANS NEVER MIND I KNOW WHAT IT MEANS—IT MEANS I HAVE A KEY THAT ACTUALLY SLIPS INTO THE KEYHOLE LIKE A BUTTERED DICK:

This was big news at work today when I told….well, Glenn and Carrie. But they were like, “Oh shit!” because they know all about the trials and tribs about us Pioneer Ave Kids tryna’ get into the damn door. I’m mostly excited to get a new keychain for my new key! NEW YEAR, NEW KEY!

I know my old key, the OG Key, is going to wash ashore now that it’s too late.

Jan 272020
 

I was asking for it Wednesday night when, while getting into bed, I said I wanted to listen to a goth Spotify playlist because I “hadn’t had a nightmare in a while.”

HOO BOY did that playlist ever deliver.

I don’t make a habit of dream journaling or whatever because who cares, but this one was so relevant, and also one of the most rattling nightmares I’ve had in years and it played on so many of my current fears, stressors, and insecurities.

Allllllll work-related.

And both involved WENDY, so I of course was spitting mad at her for approximately a day and a half. I had four days to cool down before finally telling her about the dreams today, so she should consider herself lucky that I spared the rod!

(I started doing Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution again last week and she says something at one point in Workout 2 about never sparing the rod so I guess that’s been on my mind OK?!)

(What rod, though?!)

OK, Nightmare #1 is as follows:

I was in a meeting with one of the teams I belong to here, except that it looked like we were in a VFW hall instead of a conference room. There were long, folding tables set up in vertical rows so no one was facing the front of the room. At one point, Wendy, who is in charge of this particular team, called me out. Not like in a bad way, like she was pointing out a mistake I did or something, but rather, she was asking me to tell the room about something I had told her in a private sit-down we recently had, I guess it was an idea or suggestion. Except that I couldn’t remember, so I said, “Sorry, I’m drawing a blank” but she kept pushing me and at this point, there were dozens of eyes boring into my skin, which is now flaming hot from the boiling blood underneath, and I now notice that all of the managers and directors are in this meeting too, and they’re all looking at me with these disappointed frowns, some even look disgusted, and I am, at this point, like a scared mouse ready to gnaw off my own foot in order to escape this trap. And Wendy is STILL saying things like, “Come on, you remember…” while I’m beginning to ugly cry. It just kept dragging on and on, me stuttering and sounding like a fucking derelict, someone snapping in the background about how people need to come to meetings prepared, and then afterward, when Wendy tells me what the idea was (which she knew the whole time but just wanted me to say it!), someone overhears and sneers, “That’s a fucking stupid idea.”

I woke up because it felt like there was a woman leaning over top of my face, whispering.

And when I say I woke up, I mean that I shot upright in bed, hands clutching the comforter, freaking the FUCK out. My cat Penelope, who always sleeps in our bed, was like, “the fuck?!”

Then I couldn’t go back to sleep because I was so stressed out so I looked at my phone and of course the first thing I saw was the only bad feedback I have ever received on Etsy in the 13 years I’ve been using it, all because Henry made a careless printing mistake, and it was something that could have been easily resolved if the customer had just sent me a message instead of putting me on blast, so that was what I like to call to 4am Fun Times.

And then it was time for Nightmare #2.

I’m still at work. This time, I’m back in our department, and I need to talk to my co-worker Maggie, but when I get to her office, I see that Amber is in there. Rather than retreating and coming back later, I just…walk right in. No “knock knock!” or nothin’, I just barrel right the hell in there like I own the place and then I’m ACUTELY aware of the annoyance on Amber and Maggie’s faces but now it’s too late – I’m there, so I pretend to know what they’re talking about in order to contribute, and Amber has now morphed into Sandy who is about to show Maggie some new program or something and I inch closer to the monitor and say, “Oh, I should see this too because it’s relevant to my job” and they don’t even try to hide their eye rolls and sighs, and then Sandy is Amber again and has to leave so now it’s just Maggie and me and Maggie is PISSED because she can hear music and needs to know where it’s coming from, so I turn and realize that it’s my phone, cactus case and all, sitting on her credenza playing 80s music outright because in real life, back in the safety of my actual bedroom, my Spotify playlist has gone from goth to 80s pop and Debbie Gibson, fucking DEBORAH GIBSON, has filtered into my gooey dream-brain and Dream Erin is now panicking because she apparently walked all the way through the department to Maggie’s office, with Spotify blasting out of her phone which is something Awake Erin would never do because Awake Erin is always  trying to be quiet and go unnoticed while at work.

Wendy’s back. She comes into Maggie’s office and fetches me and we’re walking together now to the elevator bank. We’re talking about non-work stuff now so I’m distracted and I don’t realize until it’s too late that she’s brought me with her all the way to the top floor, which is where Dream Law Firm holds of its Really Important Meetings. We had to walk through some winding hallways before finally getting to the main part of the room, which was dimly lit and filled with round tables covered with white tablecloths to really ghost up the haunted ballroom aesthetic. Wendy wades farther into the cluster of tables, but I stop at the perimeter because now self-awareness is beginning to ooze down my body in warm, clotted pigs blood clumps a la THE PROM SCENE OF CARRIE.

In this meeting are all of the directors, managers, supervisors. Lauren is there also for some reason, probably because she is smart. There is a woman there who is not part of our department but as soon as I hear her Australian accent, I recognize her as the woman who led a recent meeting about a new program that we will soon be using in our department. She is a real person, my sleep state didn’t construct her out of obligatory mommy issues or a subliminal fear of the Great Barrier Reef or whatever.

Although the GBR does seem like something Conscious Erin would be afraid of.

Anyway, I’m standing there, all scared-rabbit, and I’m saying, softly at first, “I’m not supposed to be here” and one by one, everyone turns to ogle me as my voice gets more racked with hysterics, and I’m looking both ways, willing my legs to move so I can run away, but I’m glued there, and now this lady, the Australian one for whom everyone is on their best behavior and dressed all nice while I’m wearing jeans, natch, she’s asking me who I am.

Not even in a snotty tone or anything, but she’s like legitimately curious who this Dumbo is who clearly has nothing to contribute to the day’s agenda.

And without hesitating, I blurt out, “Nobody. I’m nobody.”

A literal No One.

I can move now, and of course no one gets up to stop me or comfort me, let the loser go, thank god she’s not trying to sit with us, but of course I can’t find the way out. Every corridor is a DEAD ASS DEAD END. There are champagne-colored curtains in front of all the hallways, like we’re at the world’s most boring wedding reception and I’m getting tangled up in them and I AM SCREAMING but no one is listening anymore because the Australian is saying very captivating things. Evidently.

But then I find a row of shiny maroon curtains and when I step behind them, there’s a row of windows, I’m at the edge of the building now, and there are small tables to sit. So I figure I’ll just stay there and hide and now I’m eating a salad which I guess I was carrying the whole time. I’m starting to calm down a little because I’m hidden, no one can see me, I’ll just stay here forever if I have to, no one will miss me, when all of a sudden I hear people screaming and I can hear heavy footsteps thundering toward me. People from the meeting start to burst through the curtains, and someone is screaming, “LOOK HOW AWFUL!!” as they slam into me, pushing me against the window so that they can get closer. And when I realize it’s not me who is horrifying them, I turn to look out the window and see that the entire North Shore is on fire. There are flames and thick black smoke that covers half of the bridges so you can’t even really see past the river to the other side.

We are all screaming now, because the fire seems so close even though it’s on the other side of the river, and for some reason, the most vivid part of my dream is watching as a yellow dumptruck emerges from the smoke on the bridge closest to our building and just straight up careens across it, totally out of control, taking out every car that gets in its way, and we are traumatized when it ends in this apocalyptic, Jerry Bruckheimer-be-damned explosion.

I don’t know what that fucker represents, my out of control emotions maybe, but while we’re all gaping at that, I feel a jolt in my stomach, like I’m dropping on a roller coaster, and that’s when I lock eyes with Regina, who wasn’t in the meeting but is up in this weird ballroom now, and I can hear Margie saying something behind me, right as I realize I’m falling backward.

Because our building is tipping. The whole motherfucking building is going, we’re about to crash harder and more dramatically than that dumptruck fucker, give the Golden Globe to whoever write OUR demolition scene. and right when I realize I’m living my last seconds on earth, I wake up in real life in the throes of one of those silent, strangulated screams that only the cast of your nightmare can hear and now my cat Penelope is REALLY FUCKING WORRIED ABOUT ME which I know by the way she’s pushing my laptop over to me with the google search “How to update your resume” already pawed-in.

This was early Thursday morning and I have not been able to stop thinking about it, the palpable fear, the feeling in my gut as the law firm was literally pulling us all down to our certain deaths. I am shuddering all over again right now.

Usually my dreams are Dario Argento Does HR Pufnstuf and the setting is either my mom’s house, my pappap’s house, an abandoned amusement park, or some sick ass disgusting body of water. But this one, it is so textbook. So armchair. Hello INFERIORITY COMPLEX. Hello FEELINGS OF BEING LEFT OUT. Hello CAREER PANIC. Hello INADEQUACIES. 안영 I DONT BELONG.

I’m not going to quit my job or anything but I think this is a huge neon sign telling me that I need to chill the fuck out and reset myself. I really do feel like nobody sometimes, sorry to be emo, and like no one is hearing me.  Maybe I should start walking around with Spotify blasting outright on my phone.

Anyway, that’s all. I have to go look up “yellow dumptrucks in dreams” now. Maybe it means I have some latent desire to fuck a construction guy on a bridge and then one of us is going to get a fiery STD.

Goodbye.

Jan 262020
 

Still trying to be a dutiful greeting card pimp, so today, let’s ohh and ahh over another set of Valentines! I’m still really proud of the Golden Girls Valentine collection, and I wanted to give them some love on this blog by….reposting what I wrote last year…and the year before…because let’s be real, I love these cards but not enough to write a brand new script for them!

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I couldn’t sleep one night and I was thinking, “How can I further expand my card line/release some of this psychotic energy that’s keeping me awake?” And then I wondered if the Golden Girls would be a good fit with the serial killers and vintage porn stars of noncomposcards and you guys, I think it’s a good fit. I mean, someone bought two GG cards and a porn star set so…

Condoms! Condoms! Condoms!

I know I’m not alone in deriving great comfort from Golden Girls reruns. Like so many others, I grew up on this show in the 80s. Of course, back then, it was way too “adult” for me, and most of it went way over my head, but I still watched it because I loved Rose and her St. Olaf tales and Dorothy’s relationship with her mom and Blanche was always GOALS. I used to sleep over my grandparents house on Saturday nights and it honestly feels like yesterday when I would sit on the couch next to my Grandma, wearing some old oversized beer t-shirt as a nightgown, watching The Golden Girls and Empty Nest. (And Hunter but was that on Fridays? I only ever watched Hunter at my grandparents house.)

Very little in life has felt more comfortable and warm to me than those childhood Saturday nights on Gillcrest Drive.

I think like there are a lot of people who can relate to this!

Cheesecake & Chill?

Vertubenflugen

Blanche Devereaux Girl’s Night 

Funny story – one time many moons ago I sent Henry to the video rental place down the street and made him ask the guy in the back for Revolutionary War porn, so he was already flustered about that, and then he turned around and accidentally knocked over an entire rack of pornos, cutting his knuckle in the process and to this day I still refer it as The Porn Wound. He gets so mad.

Now you know something about me! Well, about my boyfriend.

The backs are cute AF, IMO.

Literally, not once in this Valentine promotion series have I had presentable nails. I’M SORRY, YOU GUYS. I’m hideous.

But enough about my chipped polish, what I like about these cards is that there’s something in there for both platonic friends and people you’re legit hot for.

This Sophia one is my favorite though because I love vintage porn and Sicily 1969 porn is probably pretty hot. Especially if it’s Mt. Etna-themed.

I know, I know – “Bea Mine,” what a fucking cop-out. But I wanted to get these done for you in time! I’m already jotting down ideas for a second set for next year, so I will redeem myself for being so basic.

Most of these are adapted quotes from the show, and I thought the Sophia one up there was actually super romantic if you think of it in terms of “Hey, let’s grow old and toothless together.” You know? Maybe I do have a heart after all.

Similar to the serial killer, porn, The Cure, and kpop sets (god, what a collection), there are 16 different cards in this set, perfect for passing out like you’re still a kid in elementary school when the only care was, “YEAH BUT WHAT CANDY COMES WITH IT” – oh wait, that’s still a major concern! Fuck off with those fruit-flavored tootsie rolls!

And there you have it. $8 for the whole set! Pick up some serial killers, cult leaders, The Cure, or vintage porn stars while you’re at it! SOME PEOPLE BUY ONE OF EACH, CAN YOU IMAGINE.

Jan 242020
 

Is it weird to only listen to you favorite band occasionally, maybe even as infrequently as once a year? That’s how I am with The Cure, who, in spite of all the music phases I’ve tried on over the years, have never been dethroned as my All-Time Most Favorite Band In the World, bury me to Same Deep Water As You.

It’s because my emotional response to their music is so strong that I will likely expire prematurely if I indulge myself too much. But while I was reading the other night, I put on a Cure playlist and from there, Disintegration played in its entirety. Suddenly, it was winter of 1999 / 2000 all over again and I’m lying on a floor pillow in my sparsely decorated house, having only moved in several months prior, listening to this album on repeat, crying myself sick while seriously contemplating self-slaughter and now, all the way ahead in 2020, I’m wondering how I made it through that long, soul-sucking winter.

Those were some bleak times in my life. And I’d like to say something cheerful and uplifting about how The Cure saved my life and really pulled me out of the mental pit, but um…have you heard The Cure? My inner doom & gloom fed off their discography, which I played over and over again because I have always been one for torture and self-loathing.

Anyway, the other night while reading, only a split second of “Last Dance” had begun to play and I was already catching my breath and feeling that familiar lump forming in my throat. And then I just silently let myself cry a little.

That song is just as beautiful as ever but fuck does it rip me up inside.

Jan 232020
 

It’s tradition for Janna, Chooch and me to go out for lunch on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, if only doing this once prior counts as “tradition.” We’ve already started this tradition with a strangely volatile track record, because last year I chose a restaurant that was extremely crowded with awkward seating, so we left after being seated at a crowded counter, and then ended up having another awkward seating experience at the ramen place we chose as our fall-back.

But then we had a great time at a post-lunch cafe (Black Forge, holla!) so that made it seem, in our memories, that we should do it again this year. I guess kind of like how some women forget the horrors of pregnancy/child birth and do it again.

This time, it was Janna’s turn to choose an uncomfortable eating establishment!

First though, the day started on a high when Janna got yelled at in the parking lot across from my house for allegedly thieving Hot Naybor Chris’s wife’s parking spot. Janna had to swear that she’s not a weirdo after HNC’s wife ranted about all the weirdos in the neighborhood and swore she didn’t realize it was someone else’s spot (newsflash: none of us have our own assigned parking spots, so…).

“Wow, she’s very shrill,” Janna laughed when she walked into my house and Chooch and I were dying. We wanted her to get beaten, but verbal abuse is just as good!

We immediately set off for Ineffable Cà Phê which I’ve wanted to try for awhile, but anytime we’ve been in the area, it’s always looks very crowded. Well, today was no different and it didn’t help that we arrived right smack in the middle of noon.

Maybe I’m just FUCKING OLD, but I really dislike places that force you to order at a counter. I get that this is also a cafe, but perhaps separate the two areas, I dunno, because the menus were all split up in different spots and by the time it was our turn to order, I was teetering on the tip of a tantrum and blurted out, “I’LL HAVE THE SAME AS HIM” and nudged Chooch, even though I didn’t know what he ordered because every time I asked him, he ignored me.

Then the real fun began—looking for a place to sit. Again, this is a cafe that also serves food (and some of  the food is pho, so…not exactly something you can casually eat while standing. I was having ANXIETY by this point because we were just standing there, lost, in everyone’s way, looking for a place that could seat three people, but because THIS IS ALSO A CAFE, 90% of the seats were occupied by people who were not eating, but staring at their laptops with dead eyes.

Booths? People working.

Shared tables? Full of lazy hipsters and surrounded by a moat of coiled laptop cords on the floor, which I almost tripped over numerous times.

It was absolutely trash as far as comfort levels went.

We finally settled on an armchair (which White Knight Jr, a/k/a Chooch, argued was “very comfortable” and he was “just fine”) and a couch in the corner, with some extremely enlarged spool-thing to use as a table. It was SO FUCKING UNCOMFORTABLE. The couch was so low to the ground and I had to bend in half every time I took a bite of my tofu banh mi (good choice, Chooch), so I guess at least I was getting an ab workout, I dunno.

It was so bad that while we were waiting for our food, Janna could see Mt.Erinsuvius getting ready to erupt and suggested that we just get our food to go, save it for dinner, and then go somewhere for lunch.

NOT AFTER I JUST THREW DOWN $20 ON TWO SANDWICHES (AND NO DRINKS!!).

Luckily for this damn place, the banh mi was really good. It’s so hard to find GOOD TOFU on sandwiches, and theirs had a really great marinade to it. I approved. So did Chooch, who was blessedly silent while inhaling his lunch.

The worst part about this though was that I had to go to the counter and retrieve both sandwiches after my name was called, and it was a veritable slalom course of laptop cords and backpacks but I persevered all while muttering, “Don’t look at me. Don’t look at me.”

When Janna’s was ready, the guy was like, “I will bring it to you” because she got pho and she still walked over and kept trying to take it from him and he was like, “I WILL BRING IT TO YOU” and Chooch and I were dying. Finally, something good was happening! Then he gave Janna a sauce recommendation but she of course didn’t pay attention, so when he left, she was like, “What did he tell me to do?” and I was like, “Mix the sriracha and hoison.” As she embarked on the  treacherous journey to the counter to fetch said sauces, Chooch was like, “Oh, I thought you said sriracha and POISON and I was like ‘Yes, we’re killing Janna!'” Hahaha.

Actually, once we got our food and established ourselves in the corner which was DEFINITELY meant for relaxing with a book and coffee, not hunched over a lunch you’re trying not to spill, it was OK. Would I go back? I AM NOT SURE. Maybe I’d get it to go, but I can’t foresee myself ever attempting to dine in there again unless I get there immediately when it opens or like, right after a kitchen fire,  idk.

However, there was one super positive aspect about this place, and that was when we stumbled on  the adjacent boutique on the way out. It’s just a tiny little nook in the corner of the cafe but just secluded enough so you feel like you’re in another space altogether, and it’s run by a super lovely lady who chatted us up but not in the sense where I was trying to peel my skin off and lift it up over my head to form a nice bloody flesh tent under which to camp out with my social inadequacies.

She was SO LOVELY that Chooch was like, “I WANT ONE OF HER CANDLES.” They were all very earthly, masculine smells, er, scents, which I appreciate in a candle from time to time; one can only have so many pumpkin spices and clean cotton fragrances in the house, you know?

The special thing about her candles is that you can DIP YOUR FINGERS INTO THE HOT WAX, which is like every kids’ and my dream, and then RUB IT INTO YOUR SKIN BECAUSE IT DOUBLES AS ESSENTIAL OIL.

Brilliant. Yes, let me buy one of those.

It took Chooch forever to choose a scent (black currant is what he ultimately went for?!) and then Janna had to copy us and buy one too but when the lady asked her for her email address, Janna rattled off something I’ve never heard before, so I yelled, “HEY I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THAT EMAIL ADDRESS!” and it was quiet for a second while the lady’s eyeballs looked like they were watching a scary tennis match, but then Janna just nervously laughed it off so then the lady laughed too but I WASNT LAUGHING.

Meanwhile, there was a dog behind the counter but Chooch wasn’t able to reach it so he was terribly upset about that.

THEN WE WENT DOWNTOWN. I started laughing when I realized that it was exactly 2::00pm, which is what time I would normally be ambling about down there on a regular workday. First, we stopped at this art installation thing because Pittsburgh sometimes tries to hang with the Big City Kids by doing artsy things for people to either enjoy, scrutinize, or vandalize. I walk past this every day but have never bothered to stop and explore, so I was happy that we parked literally on the same block as it.

It was pretty cold that day but not as cold as it was last year when we did out MLK outing, because I think it was like 10 degrees that day. If you ask Mr. I Never Get Cold, he’ll tell you that both days weren’t cold at all. I hate him sometimes.

IF YOU LOOK, YOU CAN SEE ALL THREE OF US OMG.

I’m like way good at posing.

AnywaySSSS, the reason we were downtown is because Bae Bae’s Kitchen opened a brand new cafe down the street called, well, Bae Bae’s Cafe. I’ve been stalking it for months on my daily lunch break walks and was excited to get there on their second day! (I feel like the first opening day would have been stuffed to the gills with influencers and the like, so…no thanks.)

Chooch and I are both avid boba fans, so I got a taro and he chose earl gray which I thought was an odd choice for him and turns out he ended up thinking the same once he sipped it. He added some cane sugar to it after awhile and then deemed it drinkable.

This is DEFINITELY an Instagram-cafe. That’s not to take away from their drinks which are wonderful; they also serve lunch items but we had already done that so I ordered chocolate chip cookies for us to share and they were REALLY DELICIOUS. Like 진짜 맛있어요!

(Bae Bae’s is Korean, yo.)

So, the seating is pretty non-existent here, which was hilarious to us because all we wanted to do was be able to sit together today while eating and drinking?! Like, I can’t think of many more basic wants, you know? But this space is pretty small so probably prepare to pop in and pop out if you go on a busy day. As it turned out, Janna had to sit by herself and then when she left her seat to go to the counter to get her drink, some asshole stole her seat! AND THE GUY HE WAS WITH WHO WAS ALREADY SITTING ACROSS FROM WHERE JANNA HAD BEEN SAID NOTHING!

To be fair, either did Chooch or I. Chooch was just like, “LOL, Janna lost her seat” and then continued slurping up boba.

My bedroom is almost this same color and now I know that UMERELLA-ELLA-ELLAS ON THE CEILING is what it’s been missing. Get on that, Henry.

The guy on the couch is the d-bag who stole Janna’s seat, but then he moved to the couch once it became available, so Janna got her seat back. Damn. Anyway, these guys were v.annoying.

It’s a very elegant and, to use a word people hate, no not moist: WHIMSICAL. I personally liked it because it gave off Wonderland vibes and that’s my jam. My favorite Alice In Wonderland is  the version that as Carol Channing and Ann Jillian in it, in case you were wondering. I think it’s from the early 80s.

Seriously,  the best. Followed by that weirdo Jan Svankmajer stop-motion film “Alice.” Horrifying.

Janna Sits Alone.

Anyway, the best part of the day was that the proprietor of the Bae Bae’s empire, Ashley, was there and she came over to talk to Chooch and me and she took our picture for the cafe’s Instagram story! She also said I looked very familiar to her and I was like, “Oh god, am I on some Koreaboo list?!” Like Megan’s List but for Koreans to watch out for people obsessed with their culture. But it turns out she just recognized me from all the times I’ve cupped my hands next to my face and peeked in the cafe’s windows JUST KIDDING she said she thinks I looked familiar because I follow Bae Bae’s on Instagram. To be honest, I rarely go to Bae Bae’s Kitchen even though it’s right near my office because:

  • it’s kind of expensive
  • it sits super heavily in my stomach (BUT IT’S SO GOOD)
  • I don’t want to be a creep

We tried to stay as long as we could because there were three “super hip” Modcloth chicks hogging the best seat in the house and I wanted to get pictures there too but they came with A CAMERA, like a real DSLR, and just when I thought they were getting ready to leave, one of them went back up  to the counter to order dessert for them to share, see also: NEW PROP FOR MORE PICTURES.

I saw later that night that Bae Bae’s reposted some of their pictures and THEY SAT ON OUR SEATS AFTER WE LEFT, which was like 15 minutes before closing, so maybe the whole time THEY were trying to wait US out?? Like, if I had just gone over there and politely said, “EXCUSE ME, CUNTS WE WANT TO SIT HERE FOR A SEC, BEAT IT” everyone could have gotten their way!?

Anyway, it was a tumultuous day. A real roller coaster of emotions. Maybe next year, we’ll just go to the movies and Taco Bell.

Jan 212020
 

*(OK “romance” might be a stretch.)

So I guess Sundays have become “Henry Tries a New Coffee” Day. I’m totally fine with that because I love going to cafes but it’s no fun when I’m the only one enjoying it.

LOL wait a minute – who am I kidding? I only care about my own cafe pleasure!

The thing with Henry is that he has even less tolerance for any coffee cantina that’s gonna draw in The Influencers, OH YOU KNOW THE TYPES. So I have to really ease him into this scene by selecting laidback and neutral spots where middle-aged men with no fashion sense and calloused hands can nurse a drink without being eyeballed for wearing a flannel BUT NOT THE RIGHT FLANNEL.

We decided to go to the new Black Forge location. Henry’s been to the original place once and didn’t die from living botanical Instagram walls or impatient baristas who sigh because you want to actually look at the menu and then snap WE ONLY HAVE OAT when you audaciously ask for soy, what, I’m not going off an a personal tangent here or anything.

The thing with Black Forge is that it’s a DARK HAVEN. Like you’ve walked into Hell while all the fires are extinguished. Just, blackness everywhere. Metal-themed coffee drink names. Anti-Trump Administration punch cards. You’d expect the lot to be all motorcycles and hearses.

And the other thing with this place is that no one treats you like your eyeliner isn’t smoky enough or you don’t have enough tattoos or you’ve never Ghost.

(The band. Not the movie. God.)

Every single barista I have encountered here has been SO AWESOME. The young guy there on this day was all “Cool!” after each order we placed and you know, I felt like he really did think it was cool when I ordered the Unicorn Beat Blast with soy, hot. It made me feel more confident in my choice.

I walked away before Henry ordered because of the secondhand embarrassment I get upon overhearing him bungle drink orders. It’s so bad sometimes.

Henry got a cold brew with almond milk (simple enough to relay to the barista but I’m sure he still fucked it up) and I think he’s determined that this is His Drink now. He just can’t get behind hot coffee. He doesn’t like anything sweet in it, no sugar, sweetener, syrups. No whole milk. It’s almond or GTFO, I guess.

I’m selfishly excited about this because sometimes, SOMETIMES, Henry makes his own cold brew at home for me and it’s always the best when he does this because I love iced coffee too but not when I brew a pot and then dump ice in it. No. I like when Henry makes legit cold brew, so now that he suddenly has a taste for it, perhaps he will start making it again??

I just asked him.

“He used to make cold brew?” Chooch asked, his eyebrows pulled up in skepticism.

“Yeah like twice,” I scoffed.

“I MADE IT MORE THAN TWICE!” Henry yelled from his post at the Valentine Card Work Station.

Chooch is a Big Nope for coffee but he really likes a good chai latte and agrees with me that Crazy Mocha is the best, Starbucks can suck it, and Black Forge’s was “good once it cooled down.” OK Goldilocks.

There was a dog there and that was literally all Chooch cared about.

I have to give it to Henry though: he’s way less dramatic about this than I was when I was trying to force myself to like beer.

Maybe I’ll start a new series here where Henry reviews coffee every Sunday. I just proposed this to him and he scrunched up his face and walked away. I think that’s a yes! SEE YA BACK HERE ON SUNDAY FOR HENRY’S KOFFEE KLATCH!

Jan 202020
 

Today’s blog post is about two past phases I went through. Enjoy.

Disco Delite

I sometimes do walking/dance workouts on this one YouTube channel called Up to the Beat Fitness and one of her videos is disco-themed, which is pretty fun/hokey/hilarious to do. I was doing it as a filler workout over the weekend, while Henry was grueling away at the serial killer Valentine factory, aka in the next room over at the dining room table. The music of this workout made me super nostalgic.

“Did I ever tell you about the time went through a disco phase?” I called out to Henry, who murmured something that sounded like, “If I say yes, will you leave me alone?”

“It was in the early 90s when I was in middle school,” I began my tale while performing a sidestep/John Travolta finger point combo.

I remember VIVIDLY being at the K-mart (ew) checkout with my mom and eyeballing a rack of best of the decades CDs. They always had Billboard Top whatever from some random year, and I had a bunch of those already in my strange CD collection. But on this day, I noticed new ones: Disco’s Greatest Hits, Disco Inferno, Disco Delight. Coke-snorting mood music, basically. They seemed interesting to me, so I threw some in the cart. My mom was like, “that’s cool” because she never said no to me.

This is why I’m the way I am.

So, turns out, I REALLY LIKED DISCO. Like, it fucking SPOKE TO ME. The only thing was, it wasn’t “back in vogue” yet, or whatever, to like it. So everyone at school was like, “The fuck is a disco?” But I wanted to talk about it ALL THE TIME like I was on a one-way trip to motherfucking Funky Town. I think it was in 8th grade Language Arts where the class had to get into groups and write a skit for some reason, I already used up a chunk of 1992 brainspace on the aforementioned Kmart memory, so excuse me for being a bit vague here. Anyway, my group, I literally can’t remember a single person who was in it, but we did some sort of Brady Bunch spoof.

“I was Cindy.”

Henry mumbled, “Of course you were.”

I begged my group to let me add something disco-related into our skit and they were like NO NO NO YOU FUCKING STRANGE BIRD because I guess I was pretty strange back then (certainly not anymore) but for as strange as I was, I was also extremely convincing so in the end, the group relented and after the final scene, I got to “hustle” on in from the sidelines, stop in the middle and exclaim, “Disco delite!” and then dance away.

Everyone was like, “OMG wow” and it was never spoken of again.

Bonus disco memory: My mom suggested that I pop a squat and watch Saturday Night Fever since I was suddenly Groovy Erin, and while I LOVED it, the only thing that sticks out in my mind when I think about it was that it was the very first time I ever heard the word “cunt” (surprisingly not a common swearword in my middle school in the early 90s for some reason unless I was just hanging out with squares!?!?) and so I got to ask my mom, “Hey, what does cunt mean” and she was like, “DO NOT EVER SAY THAT WORD IN SCHOOL.”

Lol.

Side note: I made Henry do one of the Up to the Beat Fitness walks at another point over the weekend and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” was one of the songs in  the totally random mix, and I had to stop walking and do the pee-squat because I started laughing uncontrollably when I imagined Henry walking slowly through a grocery store, vacant eyes, savoring the borrowed time he had away from Chooch and me, while “I Will Survive” played overhead. He just glared at me when I told him this through laugh-wheezes.

Mumblecore & Me

In 2006, I became obsessed with this movie called The Puffy Chair.

The Puffy Chair poster.jpg

HOLY FUCKING SHIT, at the time I remember feeling like the earth was moving around me and thinking, “THIS FILM HAS CHANGED MY LIFE.” So then I made Henry watch it and he was like, “….
and then I made ex-bff Christina watch it too and she was like, “….” but to be fair, she was a fucking moron and Henry has literally no taste when it comes to cinema. From this movie, I became OBSESSED with Mark Duplass and then learned that MUMBLECORE was a legit genre of film. I was all-in, man. I needed to see everything. Now, this was before the years of streaming, back when you still had to order real life DVDs from Netflix, and actual video stores still existed.

In the back of the original location for the local cafe, Crazy Mocha, there was a small video store called Dreaming Ant. Between that place and the SORELY MISSED Incredibly Strange Video which I could walk to from my house, I was spoiled with the selections of student art films, Asian horror, international dramas…..and MUMBLECORE. If it existed, they had it and I went on a renting flurry.

Wikipedia defines mumblecore as:

a subgenre of independent film[1][2] characterized by naturalistic acting and dialogue (sometimes improvised), low-budget film production, an emphasis on dialogue over plot, and a focus on the personal relationships of people in their 20s and 30s.

Henry H-A-T-E-D it. So much talking. So many young people, just talking. Can’t relate. Put to sleep. Boo hoo.

And anytime I would try to explain it to friends and (pre-Law Firm) co-workers, they were like “That sounds dumz0rz.” So I got made fun of a lot.

One of my favorite films in this genre was “Hannah Takes the Stairs” which starred then-unknown Greta Gerwig.

“Greta Gerwig was in that movie and I would gush about her all the time and my friends were like no one cares BUT NOW THAT SHE’S DIRECTED LITTLE WOMEN EVERYONE IS LIKE OMG GRETA GERWIG BLAH BLAH BLAH, LIKE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO USED TO MAKE FUN OF ME!” I wailed at work last week to Glenn, who was like, “Don’t worry, I still don’t care.”

Sorry. I have been a little UP IN ARMS about this.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta Get Down Tonight.

Jan 192020
 

Hello potential customers! I am very excited about this brand new, ink-is-still-drying, mini Valentine set I recently designed! They’ve been in the works since last year, but…well…I got lazy and didn’t get them finished in time for last year’s Valentine’s Day and then I lost motivated, but the a few weeks ago, I revisited my Cult Leader folder in Bridge and powered through.

It took lots of coffee and research, because I REALLY wanted to have 16 different designs, instead of just 8×2. Needless to say, I have been having some pretty not-great dreams lately, especially Thursday night after I spent most of the day with Scientology/L. Ron Hubbard videos playing on the TV behind me while reading Aleister Crowley Wiki pages.

LE SHUDDER.

I know, you’re used to seeing serial killers in this shop, but there is a very fine line separating these deviant walks of life!

I included some televangelists here too. Sure, perhaps they weren’t actively plotting mass murders, but they were still knee deep in scandals and scams!

These are designed just like my other Valentine sets – mini cards just like the kinds the kids pass out in school, except are they even allowed to do that anymore? Did some parent somewhere make a frantic phone call to the superintendent regarding the possibility of their precious Stacy Bitchtoast getting a papercut from handling big, bad, dangerous Valentines?

Sigh. School was so much better in the 80s.

Use these to recreate those special moments from back then, when kids didn’t have gluten allergies and it was OK to wear a mask in the Halloween parade. Except now you’re passing them out to your coworkers or whatever. Maybe you live in an apartment and feel like leaving anonymous love in some of your neighbors’ mail slots? Or maybe you just feel like passing them out on a street corner next to the weirdo Jehovah’s Witness doling out doomsday pamphlets.

In this set, you can find fan favorites like:

  • Charles Manson
  • Jim Bakker
  • Jim Jones
  • David Koresh
  • Jimmy Swaggart
  • Tammy Faye Bakker (an icon, really)
  • Marshall Applewhite
  • L. Ron Hubbard
  • David Miscavitch
  • Aleister Crowley
  • David Berg (founder of Children of God)
  • Luc Jouret
  • James Arthur Ray (self-help guru infamous for the sweat lodge deaths)
  • Anne Hamilton-Byrne (leader of Australian cult The Family)
  • Victor Houteff (Pre-Branch Davidian, Shepherd’s Rod, leader)
  • Warren Jeffs (gross President of Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)

Each one has the person’s name on the back in case your recipients are like, “….who the fuck…?” then they can follow Google down the Wiki Hole!

My 13-year-old son was like, “I hope no one ever searches our computer because the shit you google for your cards is just….wow.” But then he was looking at this set and said, “Wow, these are actually really good quality.” LIKE, HELLO, I KNOW. WHERE HAS HE BEEN ALL THESE YEARS?

So in case you needed any reassuring, please accept my son’s review. I mean, he looked away from his Nintendo Switch for a whole 5 minutes to flip through this set, and that really mean something these days.

I…can’t believe people believe in Scientology. And I’m a preeeeeetttttty gullible broad.

I might have actually peaked as a card designer / dad joke writer with that Koresh one.

I stared at David Berg’s face way too long when I was making the Flirty Fishy card and I think I have PTSD now.

Anyway, thanks for letting me share! (This one lifestyle blog I hate-read always says that and I’m like….but you didn’t ask.)

$8 will get you all 16 cards, so please consider being That Creep who gives out super uncomfortable cards on Valentine’s Day! Click here to purchase, mothercheffers! And don’t forget to check out the rest of the shop while you’re there. I have everything from serial killers to the Golden Girls to the Cure to vintage porn stars….so….something for maybe not “everyone,” but a strange niche of the population, for sure.

Jan 182020
 

This was intended to be a Friday Five but then I went all in after work yesterday on putting the finishing touches on my cult & spiritual leaders Valentine minis which have been plaguing my brain since I first decided last year that I wanted to make them. Hopefully people like them, so look forward to that – should be posted on Etsy later today!

So anyway, here are five things that I have been putting off memorializing on this piece because I’ve had bloglock over the last few months – I think I still enjoy writing in here but I can’t be sure, and then there’s the lack of motivation because all of my energy is funneled elsewhere, so maybe the blog-era of my life is finally winding down? Here is where I perform a big, lazy shrug for no one to see.

  1. My Neglected Son–Wait, I Have a Son?

Several months ago, Chooch and I were on one of our nightly walks — you know, the ones where he oscillates between talking about school drama and new math (he had a math test the other day and practically swan-leapt out of the house, fucking weirdo) — when he so very casually mentioned that he had been interviewed by “some broad” at the teen center.

“For what? What about? Who was she? Where is this being published?” I asked in the spit-fire nature of an interrogating mom.

He shrugged. All I could glean from him was that it was something about the head of the teen center, Caitlin. And they wanted quotes from him because he’s “basically the face of the teen center.” Um, his words.

Well, on the first of January, I received an e-newsletter from the teen center – apparently he signed me up for this so now I can have evidence that I’m marginally involved in his teen center activities.

In the newsletter was this graphic:

CHECK OUT THAT QUOTE FROM RILEY, 13-YEAR-OLD 8TH GRADER…Yes, that is my son, putting his parents on blast for allegedly neglecting him and never being home. WOW JUST WOW OK SON. We get home at 6pm everyday, like most working parents, yet he stays at the teen center until 9pm anyway because he’s obsessed with being there! He even eats dinner there even though Henry makes dinner at home!? I called him out on this and he shrugged. “They took it out context,” he explained. “I also said that you guys aren’t home after school because you’re busy working hard.” YEAH, THAT SURELY SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING HE WOULD SAY.

So, that’s cool. One Saturday, Henry and I walked past the teen center while Chooch was in there and I said, “Should we go in there and officially announce ourselves as his parents so they know we exist?”

Henry considered this, then said, “Nah” so we continued eating our cookies from the bakery while walking home, and YES WE GOT COOKIES FOR CHOOCH TOO even though he is the one who abandons US but that’s fine. I’m not bitter.

Fucking teen center kidnapped my son.

2. Guy on Road

I was walking to the ATM the other night when I saw some commotion at this one intersection a block down from my house. Some guy was standing in the road directing traffic, and as I got closer, I noticed that another man was lying prostrate on the road with a small crowd of people around him, wailing, “I am in so much pain” and I’m not sure exactly what happened but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that he was trying to cross (AT THE CROSSWALK) and some OMG-IN-A-HURRY car came barreling up the hill and hit him. I HATE crossing the street here and I have to do it every morning on the walk to work (actually, I could walk on the other side of the street but then I would have to cross extra times and I am bad at crossing streets except that I just admitted to Henry that I have become better at jaywalking since working downtown because Pittsburgh is like the unofficial capital of jaywalking, not sure if we should be proud of that). Anyway, I can’t tell you how many people barely – BARELY – stop at the stop signs at this 3-way intersection and I have nearly been clipped numerous times after already establishing my right-of-way by making it to the middle of the walk. I usually have to do this really clumsy deer-run to the other side every morning because nothing makes me more nervous on my walks to the trolley than morning commuters because you know, they’re in a big hurry to turn the bend and sit in traffic at a red light.

Actually, there is something that makes me more nervous and that is having a brick fall on my head which recently happened – not the “falling on my head” part but bricks did in fact fall from the top of a building that I habitually pass by but luckily it happened late at night when no one was standing there. It was roped off by police tape for a few days and when I found out why, I did a cartoon *GULP*.

Anyway, back to the man. On my way back from the ATM, the whole rescue brigade was there by then and the street was lit up by emergency lights which is nothing new for Pioneer Avenue. I still don’t know exactly what happened, but I sure hope that guy didn’t die.

Unless he was a bad man. Then die, motherfucker. Get what you deserve.

Random Drew.

3. Geomi-Nim

I know I mentioned at one point that I had obtained a pet kitchen spider and named him “Geomi-Nim” which means “Mister Spider” in Korean but I don’t have a Korean keyboard on my work computer so I can’t type it properly. Well, he had a good long run (at least two months, I think?!) in four different locations in the kitchen, but I guess he ultimately either tired of me screaming Korean vocab at him and packed his shit and left, or he died. Because he’s been gone for a month now and hasn’t resurfaced, which makes me sad but Henry is just happy that he can use his container of sesame seeds again without being a literal homewrecker.

Anyway, here’s a picture I took Geomi-Nim in his third property. I miss him and his beautiful webs.

Also, I have no idea what gender he was because I refused to Google; look, having one mild-looking spider in my house is one thing, but I do not want my computer screen filled with threatening photos of spider species. Henry said that he thought spiders were genderless but I was like, “OK, explain then Charlotte, then” and he was like, “………that was a cartoon.”

4. ANGRY MEETING

Earlier in the week, we had a meeting to go over a new thing that is happening. During this, someone said, “But what about *boring work thing*?” and the person in charge of the meeting was like, “What are you talking about” and then I said, “Here is my idea for a work-around to *boring work thing*” and person in charge was like, “No that is dumb that won’t work” IN SO MANY WORDS so I was like, “OK” and went back to shutting down because this is my work life lately. Shrinking into the corners and hoping no one will look at me, lol.

About 10 minutes later, GLENN said, “Can’t we do *INSERT EXACTLY WHAT I HAD PROPOSED*” and person in charge was all, “Huh! Let’s test that out!” and I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open, thinking IS NO ONE REALLY GOING TO SAY ANYTHING so I did what I do best which is drop down to elementary school age, flap my arms in the arm, and whine, “THAT IS EXACTLY THE SAME THING I SAID THOUGH?!!?” and person in charge was like, “No, it wasn’t?” and I was searching the room with desperate eyes, willing someone to stand up for all that is right and take my side WHICH IS ALWAYS THE GOOD SIDE but no one did so instead of dropping it, I pressed on and said, “No, that’s the same thing I suggested and you said it wouldn’t work” and Lauren was like, “Maybe you said it a different way, I think” AND NO I DID NOT. Meanwhile, Glenn was over there wading in Smug Lagoon with a handful of old people butterscotch candies, looking so pleased with himself and I was like, “I WILL NEVER LET THIS GO” and true to my word, I spent the rest of the day fueled by that fire and made sure to tell everyone who would listen.

“I’M NOT SAYING I’M GOING TO LIGHT A FIRE OR ANYTHING, LORI, BUT MAYBE DON’T GO OVER NEAR GLENN’S DESK LATER,” I fumed, and Lori was all, “OMG you’re mad.” But Nate and Cathy consoled me afterward and both confirmed that I did, in fact, suggest the same thing, and Cathy, who always wants to give people the benefit of the doubt, said that maybe person in charge just understand fully at that time what the issue at hand truly was (she definitely didn’t, so I will agree with Cathy there). I usually don’t show my temper at work but this really set me off, primarily because it brought back some really bad, negative feelings from a former position I once held there and I didn’t like it. Bad memories. Stay in the past.

I mean, in what world does GLENN have a good idea, anyway!??!

I’m OK now though. I was invited to be a part of a brainstorming session for something else and the other people involved in this will not be so dismissive of my suggestions, so I am looking forward to that.

5. The Ring

Sometime back in 2003, Henry and I went to Salem, MA for a little vacation. This was still early into our relationship – we had been together for about 2 years at this point, I guess, and sometimes I look back on those times and think, “How did we make it to 2020?” Oh, I jest! Only a little. Anyway, while there, I bought this ring at one of the little witchy shops and I loved it, but then almost immediately after purchasing it, I accidentally wore it into the shower once and the soap/shampoo left the once-clear stone completely cloudy, so that you could no longer see the witchy design it was meant to magnify.

I complained about it a ton back then, off and on for at least 5 years I would bring it up, because I would still wear it sometimes in spite of the soap scum, which was in the underneath of the cabochon so I couldn’t reach it. I tried using a q-tip to scrub it but it was too big, I tried soaking it in jewelry cleaner, I tried witchy spells to cosmically cleanse it, but nothing worked! Henry. when asked for help, would  smoosh his mustache up while inspecting it and then shrug.

The other day, I wore it because like I said, I paid money for the thing so I’m still going to allow it to decorate my finger, you know? For some reason, I felt inspired to once again bring up my plight to Henry.

“Hmm, let me see that,” he said, taking the ring off of me. And then he got out one of his tool-things, popped the cabochon out from the prongs, polished its underside, and then put it back.

JUST LIKE THAT.

HE COULD NOT HAVE DONE THIS 17 YEARS AGO?!!?!?

“I literally did not know that this was even a thing,” he said defensively, confused as to why I was yelling at him instead of thanking him.

So this leads me to believe that Henry just blocked me out for much of the early years, so should I be happy that he listens to me now, or pissed that he didn’t listen to me then? THAT IS THE QUESTION.

Actually, I think he just hadn’t learned to fear me yet in the beginning. He’s learned a lot over the years about my INNER WITCH.

And I think that’s all I got for this belated Friday Five. Today I will be focusing on Valentines, Korean-learning, and reading. I got two books from the library on Thursday! ALL BY MYSELF!

 

Jan 162020
 

I needed background music while Chooch and I were having reading time on Sunday, and Kpop wouldn’t work in this sense because I always find myself focusing on the words to see if I can figure out any of the Korean (#obsession). So on a whim, I put on a dark synthpop playlist on YouTube. A MILLION MEMORIES AND WARM FEELINGS CAME OVER ME.

So, I’ve gone through a lot of music phases; some of them make me feel uncomfortable when I think about it because of the weird time of life it was, like when I was into very cold, angular indie-experimental stuff like Blonde Redhead and Deerhoof; I actually shudder when I think of those days. But when I was very heavy into synthpop, it was the very, very, very beginning of my relationship with Henry. I was obsessed with this label – A Different Drum – and used to buy all sorts of compilations from them. Henry, in an effort to win my heart, used to make me CDs of synthpop that he ILLEGALLY DOWNLOADED OMG. Can you imagine Henry, 35-years-old at that time, living alone in some weird apartment, burning synthpop CDs for me? I mean, it’s kind of cute.

Those CDs remind me of cozy winters, so even though it was unseasonably warm over the weekend, it still brought back waves of comfort as I curled up on the couch and read a book.

But then I had an idea!

I typed in “Synthpop workouts” in the YouTube search bar and was sad to see that there really isn’t much of a goth/synth cardio niche on YouTube. Look, I have been considering (only half-jokingly) of making my own amateur workout videos for some time now. My only problem, aside from being extremely awkward on camera, is that I have a difficult time moving while narrating what’s coming up and singing out motivational filler. I would want to do just super-casual and fun walking workouts, because those are my go-to videos on YouTube when I need to boost my step-count, I’m too tired/sore/sick for high-impact cardio, or I still have some energy to burn off after doing a strength-training workout.

I’m kind of obsessed with constantly moving. I don’t even watch my K-Dramas without walking in place (here is that part where I make a subtle hint for Henry to finally buy me that treadmill). But the walking workouts on YouTube are…eh. There’s Leslie Sansone, but her shrill Janice-from-Friends laugh gets to me. There’s Jessica Smith, but she always uses that generic cardio music which doesn’t help motivate me. I really like this one broad, Gina B, because her walking workouts are all themed to things like, “Walk to the 80s!” or “Disco Walk!” – so it’s fun because you’re doing these upbeat walking/cardio workouts to good pop music from past eras, and it helps keep you interested. IT DOES THAT FOR ME, ANYWAY.

But man, I would be so down for a synthwalk. Even the real morose dark synthpop still has that thumping bassline which, I truly believe, would translate well to simple box steps, grapevines, step-taps – whatever walks are in the arsenal.

So the other night, I cried out, “I WILL JUST MAKE MY OWN SYNTHPOP WALKING WORKOUTS!” And Chooch and Janna will be my back-up walkers (Chooch already said no and Janna doesn’t know yet but I guess she’ll find out if she ever reads this; say yes, Janna) and we will all black – maybe gowns? Robes? Stompy boots, for sure. And we’ll light candles everywhere, and in between the higher-energy tracks, we’ll do body-weight moves to a slower-tempo funeral dirge, maybe hoist a weighted plank, a move we will call, “The Pallbearers.”

Fun fact about the above song: I once listened to it on repeat for an entire 8-hour shift at this one shitty job I had where I worked with like 8 people in a basement until midnight, and then I genuinely wanted to fucking kill myself afterward. No hyperbole here.

This could be a good cool-down track. PASS THAT INVISIBLE ORB OF ENERGY.

I have a vision of Janna crying at some point, to help keep the ambiance in the room aligned with the tragic vibe of this Mind Side Out track, so perhaps this will be the portion of the fitness video where Henry burns her with a candle off-camera.

I was telling my co-workers about this on Monday and they were like, “Wow. Glad you found your….calling.” I mean, I’ve attempted and failed at making writing, photography, and art a career,  so hopefully fitness figurehead is where my true talent lies!

NO I TAKE IT BACK: My favorite Depeche Mode song would be the PERFECT cool-down song:

 

See also: Wendy 1999 for a scintillating story sort of about this song.

“So what, are you just going to use your phone to film this?” Chooch asked me in that AWESOME judgmental tone of a middle schooler bracing himself for impending parental embarrassment. But the fact that he’s thinking this far ahead means that he BELIEVES IN ME!

Anyway, hopefully this comes into fruition once I conquer my inability to say motivational things without stepping on my foot. I think it’s going to be way better than my idea from 2004 to open a Crucifixion-themed restaurant.

ETA: I was just filling in Chooch re:The Pallbearer move.

“You made me pause my movie for that?” Chooch snarfled, and Henry Buttinsky was all, “Where are you getting this ‘weighted plank’?” because when he’s not White Knighting, he’s standing in a corner with a needle, punching holes in my logic.

“I mean, it’s just going to be, like, a board with weights on it,” I shrugged, like what else would I use? An actual coff—-

OMG I NEED AN ACTUAL COFFIN!

Jan 142020
 

My Korean study sesh was canceled for Saturday because Jiyong had to do real work instead of the weekly charity work she does on me, lol, so I suggested to Henry that since we didn’t have any obligations, we should HAVE A DATE DAY. Wow. But then the Teen Center was closed on Saturday and Chooch caught wind of our plans to go to a cafe (I’m trying to ease Henry into enjoying coffee, it’s his new years resolution as decided by me) and so he was like, “THAT SOUNDS GREAT, I’LL GO TOO.” Personally, I think it’s adorable that Chooch still wants to spend time with us so I wasn’t about to withhold an invitation.

However, Henry felt way more strongly about this than I did. “OK WELL THIS WENT FROM A DATE TO AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TWO TO SIT THERE AND MAKE FUN OF ME.” And he was all butt-hurt about it but then it didn’t matter anyway because those two pissed around so much that afternoon and then went to get father/son hair cuts (lol), so by the time that was done, it was 3pm and Chooch and his friend Marky had made plans to go see Star Wars at 5 so there went my big plans for a date day.

Instead, Henry and I went jeans shopping and we did actually stop at a cafe on the way home, but it was just Crazy Mocha because I desperately wanted a chai latte. I recommended a pistachio latte for Henry, because he’s still not ready for straight coffee, and he can currently only stomach the stuff if it’s iced. Turns out it was 70 degrees on this random January day (awesome and not awesome all at once) so an iced latte was actually a pretty refreshing choice, and I guess he thought so too because he drank it without complaining, but who knows with him. He’s very different from me, whereas I would be bitching about it and probably would have hurled it against the side of a building within the first 30 seconds of deciding I didn’t like it.

In weekend K-drama news, I finally finished watching Third Charm which I started all the way back in the fall of 2018 when it was still on air, but DRAMA FEVER went away unexpectedly after I only watched one episode, so then like 6  months went by before Viki, the streaming service I currently use for my Korean TV needs, picked it up. The problem wasn’t that I lost momentum, but it was that…the show just didn’t appeal to me. HOWEVER, one of my favorite actors, Seo Kang Joon, is the lead in it and I felt like I had to see it through even though there was zero chemistry between him and the love interest. So I kept giving up on it for months at a time, before finally powering through the second half of the series. There was one episode near the end were bad things happen to every character and it’s just an hour-long montage of people ugly-crying and it did nothing for my mental condition. Anyway, now that show’s in  the bag so I can peacefully continue watching the other ones I have on my list without Third Charm on my mind.

For instance, I’m watching Melting Me Softly, and it’s wonderful! I love Ji Chang-wook so much so when it was announced that he had had a new drama, post-military discharge, I was on board. The premise is that the PD of a variety show and one of the girls who sometimes volunteers for the show’s challenges, agree to be frozen for 24 hours in the name of the science. This was in 1999, and then of course something goes awry, and 20 years later, they’re finally unfrozen. And, as with most k-dramas, there’s the evil CEO plot line, so it’s not all chuckles, but the chemistry between Ji Chang-wook and Won Jin-ah is terrific, and it’s got Choi Bomin from Golden Child in it and he is just a fucking joy.

In the episode I was watching on Saturday, they went to Pocheon Art Valley! I HAVE BEEN  THERE! I love when this happens!

Anyway, yeah. Melting Me Softy is a great k-drama but I’m not sure if it’s on Netflix. I think you can get Viki for free but there are a ton of ads you have to suffer through and it sucks because one time I forgot my log-in and had to watch a show as a guest and it was terrible, the amount of ads.

Image result for melting me softly"

Oh yeah, I forgot about how I pulled Chooch out of bed on Saturday morning so that he could go to the library with me and show me how to retrieve a book I ordered (“The Vegetarian” by Han Kang). Since I signed up for a reading challenge, I’m actually really amped about this. I’ve read three books so far, am halfway through a fourth (“Nocturnes” by Kazuo Ishiguro and just started a fifth (“Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli, don’t hate, I needed something light and teenagery!), so I think I will probably end up meeting my 30 book goal for 2020 which I know is not anything spectacular but for someone who has only just climbed back onto the Literacy Wagon, it’s a big deal.

But remember: I became a vegetarian in 1996 because it felt like a challenge to prove my family wrong; I’ve been an obsessive walker since 2012 because of the walking challenge at work; I drink a gallon of water a day since 2018 because Henry frowned and said, “Do you really need an entire jug of water?” when I hoisted one onto the counter of a gas station on the way home from KCON in Newark.

I guess it’s the Leo in me.

(roar)

So now, every time I return a book to the library, it feels like a game and I’ve just leveled the FUCK UP BITCHES.

On Sunday, we really did have our…family date day. Chooch wanted to go to the main library in Oakland and I was on board with that because that’s the best one. He wanted to look for Switch games and to get a new card (his third one, ugh) and then after that we went to Coffee Buddha so we could hang out and read our books like real cool people while Henry played Boggle on his phone (he’s learning all kinds of new three-letter words). Anyway, Henry got a nitro which I had a feeling he would be OK with, and I was right. We’re making progress, people.

We had pizza for dinner and it was OK, but then I was like, “Shit I better exercise again” and I heard Henry mumble to Chooch so I yelled, “WHAT DID YOU SAY” and he was like, “nothing” but then Chooch the narc said, “He said you exercise too much.” I took that as a compliment, thank you very much.

Honestly, that was the extent of my weekend, which was….comfortable. It was a comfortable weekend, and I liked it very much.

Jan 122020
 

What’s up, Diva cups, I’m checking in on this cozy Sunday night to regale you with another non compos cards  Valentine commercial!

The Cure is my all-time favorite band, as in: cash in your savings account and fly to Australia to see them after they hastily announce that they’re not going to tour again after that but that was in 2000 and you have since seen them like 6 more times because Robert Smith lied but that’s ok!

True to form, this is a cringefest so get your groans ready.

The set contains 16 different mini-cards, just like the kinds we used to pass out in elementary school except much cooler because, you know, The Cure.

Henry was like I DON’T GET IT and I’ll tell you why – it’s because he’s not actually a “fan” of The Cure.

This set is now available in my shop and I am so happy about it! Part of me wants to track down all my old friends from the long defunct chatroom I used to frequent in 1998/1999 called Darkchat and send them all one of these cards (and by frequent I do mean I used to stay up until like 5am private messaging with all of my goth paramours). God, those were the days! Now when I tell people that The Cure is my favorite band, the general response, “I don’t know who that is.” Well, just break my goddamn heart.

I think this set goes wonderfully with all the serial killer ones, the vintage porn star collection, the Golden Girls series and of course all the Kpop varieties in my Hello Hanguk shop too! I’ll repost all of those ones throughout the week in case you missed them last year. I love Valentines so much!

Interested in purchasing a set of The Cure valentines for all the lovecats in your life? Click right here!

Jan 112020
 

I’m not a big resolution-type of gal but with a new year beginning, I did allow myself to think about what is missing from my life, improvements that can be made, etc. I already exercise every single day, so I got that covered. Eat healthier? Already been about that life. My water intake is so ridiculous that it’s a joke around the department (Erin and her water jug) so I think it’s safe to say I don’t need to focus on that. I’M JUST SO FUCKING PERFECT, AREN’T I.

But then I was watching a YouTuber I like talk about books and I was like, “Man. That’s it. I should read more in 2020.” I read a depressing three books last year. Maybe only 1 the year before. And trust me, it’s not because I don’t enjoy reading but because I have myself so convinced that I don’t have time anymore. Well, that’s a crock.

My library card has long since expired and Chooch lost his recently but he still goes to the library a lot because he has his # memorized so he can at least still use the computers there (oh thank god). I figured out how to get one online but then I had to make Chooch walk to the library with me after work on Monday so that I could get a physical card. Not sure what the point was in signing up online because I had to do it all over again, show my ID, etc and the library card number was different than the one I got online, so…

Anyway, I also had a book with me so the librarian checked it out for me and commented on how the cover was unique and Chooch was annoyed because she was one of the librarians he hates, but she was plenty nice to me. Although, I can picture her having a bitchy side, for sure.

The book I got was suuuuper short, like 50 pages (The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami) so I was ready to return it by the next day, and I dragged Chooch with me because I wanted to use the self-checkout and was worried I’d screw it up somehow. Also, I didn’t want to go alone because I’m pathetic. Good thing I brought him because I was trying to scan my card with the barcode facing down, away from the scanner, and Chooch wrenched it from my hand, sighed, and did it for me. Then he scanned the new book I chose (“Mrs Everything” by Jennifer Weiner) and made a big production of handing it to me with a flourish while yelling, “Congratulations, you have a book.”

Thanks, brat.

In the meantime, I figured out how to get a book sent from one library to my local library, and then I got an email on Friday saying that it was in! So Chooch had to accompany me to the library once again this morning to show me where to go to get my requested book, and then he checked it out for me but I was mad because I think I should do it by myself, or else I’ll never learn!! Also, he knows my library card pin so that’s great. It’s only a matter of time before he somehow ends up with my card and then racks up $$$ in fees because that’s what he was prone to do on his own card.

Also, I’m acutely aware that while I really do need the help/company, it’s probably not a good look to be accompanied by Chooch who consistently gets banned from the library due to his inability to keep his mouth shut and is notorious to the entire staff of librarians there, so…cool.

In order to help me stay on track, I started using my old Goodreads account again and asking friends for books recs (I primarily like horror and contemporary junk, I guess). I finished Mrs. Everything today and now I’m about to start The Vegetarian by Han Kang so hopefully I can keep carving out enough time every day to meet my goal! I’m definitely getting dumber as I age so hopefully getting back into my old reading habits will help stall the inevitable for a bit. Maybe?

Jan 092020
 

OK guys, it’s crunch time. January is the saddest month, with February following close behind, so it’s time to plan as much as fun activities as possible to beat the winter blues. We’re already down one weekend, and I must say, no complaints here on my end.

Saturday was GLOOM-HEHEHEHEHEHE-MY. All gray and moist, cold with a tinge of snow. Chooch ditched us almost as soon as he awoke because GOTTA GET TO THE TEEN CENTER OMG. He didn’t know what to do with himself during Christmas break because that damn place was closed. I kept sending him pictures of Drew and me, which really triggers him because Drew is “HIS CAT” but I was like, “I’m her best friend now since you abandon her all the time for the teen center.” If that made him feel guilty, I wouldn’t know because he certainly didn’t come running home from the teen center.

It was super dismal Saturday afternoon and that made me feel very tired, but I still met up with Jiyong for the first language exchange of the year. It was real fun because we talked about the differences and similarities of dating culture. So, one of the things I learned from watching k-dramas is that Koreans use this term called “some” to explain the stage two people are in right before they commit to officially dating. So they’ll say that they’re “in a some.” Jiyong asked with the western equivalent of that would be and I guess “flirting,” although that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to lead to anything since some people are just flirts by nature, lol. And I guess if you wanted to get super old-school, you could say “courting.” So I said that things were so different back in when I was in high school because cell phones weren’t a thing that everyone and their baby sister had – my mom had one but it was literally considered a “car phone” then and I remember it had this bulky vinyl case or covering, it was so strange. I told Jiyong that we would write notes and leave them in the person’s locker, or have a friend hand-deliver it.

“You didn’t have a pager?” she asked in disbelief, because I guess it was common in Korean for teenagers to have pagers in the 90s/00s?! I actually did have a pager, so it was funny to me that she mentioned that because, and correct me if it was different wherever you, Dear Reader, grew up, but in my area of suburban Pittsburgh, it was considered something of a…certain type of status symbol to have a pager, and it also subtly implied that perhaps you were a drug dealer, lol.

I had one (it was a translucent purple Motorola) because I begged my mom for one since I needed to keep up my urban aesthetic and my mom went along with it because she figured it was a way to digitally nag me. I had my pager soooo customized. I would always change the song that played when someone called it and I remember thinking I was SO CLEVER the time I changed it to Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell,” a song I only knew because it was on some movie soundtrack from around that time in the 90s although if I had a pager right now, it would be this song:

Anyway, I guess my first “boyfriend” and I were basically “in a some” because we only “dated” for like a month and in that time, the only time we saw each other outside of school was when we met up at a tennis court near his house so I could teach him to play tennis (look I know I a slut back then but this truly is not a euphemism) but then his super over-protective mom stood in her yard and screamed for him to come home after 30 minutes i.e, the amount of time it took her to realize her son was out with a girl thanks to one of his NARC-y little brothers. But yeah, I think we held hands once in school, maybe? And then that relationship ended when my friend Scott fought him in the boy’s locker room because Scott liked me too and then they both had to go to the principal’s office and I literally cannot imagine Henry ever fighting for me (or getting called to the principal’s office for anything more than being a flunkee) so at least I can say that at some point in my life, I was fought over. THAT IS PRETTY COOL I GUESS, if you’re into Disney Channel teen programming.

Also, back to pagers, I remember being super into calling random pager numbers to see if anyone would call back (I only did this when friends were over, I wasn’t that lonely and conversation-starved back then) which having my own private phone line made it easy to do. One time, this guy called back and said he WAS A COP?! I remember we were so scared – I can’t remember who was at my house with me that time, maybe Christy? But we were just like OMG OMG OMG OMG don’t arrest us.

My mom would always text me with a 9-1-1 and it was so annoying. Everyone knew that 1-8-7 was the real emergency number to use.

SHIT NOW I KIND OF MISS MY PAGER?! I think there’s even a picture of me somewhere with it clipped to my (overalls) pocket hahaha.

Jiyong also recently came back from visiting her friends in DC, and there are lots of H-Marts in that area (the greatest Korean supermarkets in America) so she made me a little treat bag of Korean snacks, bless her. I also think I’m getting better at annunciation?! That’s what she said, anyway.

Aside from that, I feel like my Saturday mostly consisted of incessant blathering about BIGBANG? That….sounds about right.

The next day, JANNA came over in the afternoon and we headed out to Sugar Spell Scoops for some sweet vegan delights before they go on winter hiatus for the month of January. I’m sad but really, I only go here once a month anyway so I’ll survive, and it’ll just make it feel more exciting the next time we go! This is how you look at things optimistically.

I had a scoop each of Pink Peppermint and Maple & Waffles. YEAH BOI. What more can I say? I have had some subpar vegan scoops before (AHEM MILLIE’S) but Sugar Spell is so consistently delicious. They don’t get that weird, dry texture that some vegan ice cream has – I honestly can’t eat most store bought plant-based ice cream. It just always has…a taste.

Meateater Henry even enjoys an occasional animal-friendly scoop. Here, he can be seen eating the Winter Break sundae, which he had made with peanut butter chocolate ripple. It’s filling enough for a burly lumberjack-type such as himself, and the best part is that I can scarf down two scoops and not feel like absolute shit afterward. Maybe I might be mildly lactose intolerant – Janna and I were just talking about this because she thinks she too might be and this is one of the reasons she, as a carnivore, does not bitch when I suggest going to Sugar Spell and not, I dunno, the Milkshake Factory or whatever the fuck.

If you live in or around Pittsburgh, or are coming in for whatever reason, I HIGHLY suggest stopping here. The people who own it are a freaking delight and the inside of the shop is so charming with a light witchy-vibe. Just be mindful that they’re closed for the rest of January and only open Friday-Sunday otherwise. (Just Saturdays and Sundays in the winter though.) Their pints are available at some local stores so you should check their website/socials for that information – LOOK AT ME BEING A RESPONSIBLE BLOGGER.

They also do custom ice cream cakes so that might be a fun change for Chooch’s next birthday, sorry Bethel Bakery.

I love that vegetarianism/veganism is becoming so much more prevalent and accepted in America. I rarely have those awkward moments at work lunches anymore where there’s nothing on the menu for me and I have to ask for something special or just get a house salad, hold the chicken/ham/bacon thanks.

I still laugh though whenever friends become newly meat-free and start asking me questions about tofu preparation and I’m just like, “Please see Henry, thanks.”

See also:

Don’t Ask Me About Tofu

After we filled up on ice cream, we brought Janna back to our house, where we force-fed her with Korean pop culture and she at one point made the mistake of murmuring, “That guy is really good-looking” to which I practically lunged at her while screaming, “WHO?! SONG MINO?!!? YOU LIKE MINO?!” so then I made her watch a bunch of Winner videos and clips of Mino in various variety shows and then I sent her his Instagram profile and then ran into the kitchen to scream, “JANNA FINALLY HAS A BIAS AND IT’S SONG MINO!” into Henry’s face while he was making kimchi (our house smelled like the ocean all day) he mumbled, “OK, I heard” but I’m sorry, this was a big deal for me!

Image result for song mino gif"

Overall, a pretty solid weekend. Cook on, mothercheffers!