Oct 292019
 

After taking photos of Wendy’s daughter a few weeks ago, I decided that I should try to use my dumb camera more often because that shit wasn’t free. So I waited until Chooch got nice and cozy at the computer Sunday evening and then said, “Oh yeah, I want to take some portraits of you, go put on something presentable.”

He was thrill-to-the-e-d.

Over the summer, Chooch went to the pool with his pal Marky and I was like, “DON’T FORGET TO PUT ON YOUR SUNSCREEN!” and he did that know-it-all scoff that he does all the time now that he knows it all, and then SOMEHOW, even though he SWEARS he put IT ON, he got the worst sunburn OF HIS LIFE (his back was lobster-red except for two perfect hand-prints on his lower back, so now I know his method of applying sunscreen). Anyway, the sunburn on his face was so bad that he looked like Freddy Kreuger when it was at its peak nastiness, to the point where I wouldn’t leave the house with him because he was so embarrassing.

Yeah, I’m that kind of mom.

So, that was awful, and now he has a veritable constellation of freckles on his cheeks to remind us of the awesome parenting job we’re doing.

“When I get my first paycheck, like at my real job not the one I’m getting next year as soon as I turn 14 and get a permit, I’m going to a home store and buying a chair. One that I have to put together!” Chooch (13), dreaming bigly.

Here in the Erin Photography Studio, we keep it real and leave the lint and cat fur on the wardrobe.

There was some dumb couple walking their dog and gawking at us like they’re never seen a mom barking orders like, “LOOK MOODY! STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, WHO CARES ABOUT TRAFFIC! I WON’T FEED YOU TOMORROW IF YOU DON’T COOPERATE! YOU’LL SLEEP ON BROKEN GLASS TONIGHT, BUDDY BOY!!!” at her portrait subject.

We got this corgi shirt in Harajuku and I don’t want him to ever grow out of it because it’s amazing. He also wore it on school picture day and I hope he didn’t ruin the picture with a dumb smile but TIME WILL TELL.

“It’ll be fine – if a car comes, it will probably see you and stop.”

My favorite thing about taking pictures of Chooch is that he always resists but then  2 minutes into it, he’s all, “OH MOM, TAKE A PICTURE OF ME OVER HERE! TAKE A PICTURE OF ME PARKOURING! TAKE A PICTURE OF POSING NEXT TO THIS SPORTS CAR!” and then I’m always like, “NO THAT IS STUPID. STAND LIKE G-DRAGON WOULD STAND, LIKE YOU’RE ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN OF MONEY AND CHOCO PIES.”

On our way back to our house, we saw Bob and the neighborhood Corgi celeb, Spencer!

I explained to Bob what we were doing, and he suggested that Chooch get his picture with a real Corgi, and Spencer happily obliged. Those two are soulmates.

And that has been my blog post of pictures and words.

Oct 282019
 

I was just lamenting to Henry that this October has flown by so fast and didn’t even feel that autumn-y to me. Maybe it’s because we didn’t do many daylight October things, like going to the pumpkin patch or whatever the fuck LL Bean families do when they all dress in matching flannels and post pictures on Instagram with fame smiles that make it seem like their faces are going to melt like a box of Crayolas next to a kerosene heater as soon as the picture is taken.

But hey, speaking of kerosene heaters, I whine every fall/winter about how badly I want a kerosene heater because we always used them in my house when I was growing up and they’re so comforting to me; I miss those slosh-slosh sounds that would happen whenever I bumped into it (which was a lot because I have a balance problem). I googled and couldn’t really find any super adverse environmental effects but I am admittedly a Big Dumb when it comes to these things, although I try my very best.

Anyway, Henry finally bought one and suddenly, it’s like being back at my parents’ house again and I love it so much. However, I was really worried about the cats.

“Oh don’t worry. The first ones to burn themselves will be you and Chooch,” Henry said dryly. So far, the cats keep their distance, although Drew has learned that if she lays nearby, it will keep her toasty and she gets very concerned when we shut it off before leaving the house/going to bed (safety first!). She sits nearby and stares at it with sad eyes because her robot friend no longer has fire in his belly.

I think we’ve pretty much wrapped up the haunted house season too because we won’t be home this weekend, unless we can make it to one on Friday night. But I have to say, my heart wasn’t 100% in it this year. Aside from Castle Blood, there was no real standout haunt this year (most of them had their moments though) and I think I’m just being mopey because I miss the days of going with big groups of friends. Aside from Janna, none of my other friends really consider this fun, and none of Chooch’s friends are into it, and Blake and Haley are parents now, so it’s kind of missing that spark. Plus, they are so expensive, that it’s almost criminal!  $25-$30 for something that you’re going to spend most of the time standing in line for, and then 30 minutes (if you’re lucky) actually being inside. You could go  to an amusement park for around the same price, get the haunted house treatment AND ride roller coasters for around that same price.

Oh my god, am I getting old?

Regardless, Janna, Chooch and I went to Demon House last Sunday night because there’s always a Groupon for that so it only cost $26 for both Chooch and me, plus we got a free beverage ticket and the chance to ride on the most annoying shuttle bus full of screaming high schoolers. Janna was like, “That one girl behind me was SO RUDE” and I said, “Oh that was a grown ass lady behind you, and yes, she was a real cunt.”

We were the first ones off the bus, first to get our tickets, and the first group to go inside! I LOVE BEING FIRST! I WAS BORN TO BE FIRST!

Anyway, the house was fine. We went with an older couple who were very inoffensive and decent (I apologized to them in advance because we can be a bit much sometimes as a group), and we all got to have a tarot card reading before the actual haunt started. Mine was about how there is something deep in my heart that I want to do for myself and that I should put myself first for once and do the thing that needs to be done in order to make myself happy, and we all got a big laugh about this afterward because I always think of my own happiness above others, so…..

Actually, only before Henry’s happiness. I can be a fake philanthropist when I want to be. (I.e. when I want attention, oh snap.)

Details of the haunted house will be saved for my haunted house journal, but believe me when I tell you that you’re not missing much.

Afterward, we redeemed our free beverages. Chooch and I each got lukewarm hot chocolate but JANNA got apple cider that she acted like was a cuppa molten lava so we had to sit for an eternity and wait for her to daintily blow on it, but luckily Demon House was playing “Halloween,” so we sat in the little outdoor theater area and I thought Chooch was going to have a rage stroke when some bitch about his age strode in (OH SHIT, LAURIE STRODE) and casually said, “Oh! It’s ‘Friday the 13th’!” I had to grab his arm to keep him from popping up out of his seat and confronting her.

But really…HE HAD EVERY RIGHT.

So that was fun.

On the way home, I pulled over in Monongahela so that Janna could take pictures of this pizza place that she saw ON FACEBOOK (probably).  I mean, the decorations were cool though.

Chooch stayed in the car, completely oblivious to what was going on because he was watching crap on his phone, but when we got back in the car, he cried, “WERE YOU GETTING A HELP WANTED SIGN!?”

“Oh my god, you guys are still doing that?” Janna asked with just a smidge too much incredulity in her tone for my liking. By “doing that,” Janna is referring to the very lucrative money-making app Chooch and I use called Job Spotter where you submit pictures of help wanted signs for points and each point = a penny. Then you can cash out whenever you want for an Amazon gift card. Right now, I’m at $55 (I’ve already cashed in twice, and I’m also kind of lazy so I accumulate points slowly) and I’ve been thinking of cashing in again because I really want to buy the cats more toys (I’m pathetic) but now I think I also might want to invest in A WEIGHTED HULA HOOP because I accidentally found a YouTube channel for weighted hula hoop dance workouts and they look like something right up my alley.

Hey speaking of Korea (oh, we weren’t talking about Korea just now? Well, now we are), I received an email last week from a co-worker in our Melbourne office. All it said was, “Erin can you read Korean?” and I was like, “READ, yes. UNDERSTAND, not always, lol” and then I panicked because what if she wanted me to translate something boring, like something work-related, but instead she sent me a screenshot of a video and said, “Can you tell me what the name of this tea is? I’ve been obsessed with finding out” and THANK THE LORD, that was an easy one. So I quickly responded with not just the name, but also the website and became an instant hero, an overnight sensation, the department MVP.

I should have known that it was my friend Sandy who recommended my services!

This Jennifer Aniston resurgence (not that she ever went away, but you know what I mean) has been making my heart so happy. I was so excited to see her on Instagram and I haven’t started watching her new show yet but I will do so eventually, I promise, Jen. I was reading an article last week on the trolley about how she set a Guinness World Record for most Instagram followers accumulated in a certain amount of time or whatever (OK, I was glossing over the article) when I suddenly had this old memory pop into my head where Henry and I were at this couple’s house for NYE in 2005 and I remember this distinctly because I was pregnant, miserable, and also slightly concerned that these people actually wanted my not-yet-born baby. Anyway, Jennifer Aniston came up in conversation and I mentioned that I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world and I just loved her so much, when they both interrupted me with throat-noises of disagreement and one of them had the audacity to say—OUT LOUD—that she had a horse face?! I was so motherfucking pissed off, you guys, you have no idea. I had an actual argument with them over this was Henry, I don’t know, slept in a recliner with a paper plate of cheese and salami balancing in his chest probably, and apparently I’m still so mad about it that my eyes began to sting with RAGE-TEARS on the trolley that day at the very memory of this shitty moment and NOTICE that I did not , refer to these people as FRIENDS.

Well, this is all I care to share for today, Monday October 28, 2019.

Wrong! One more thing. Now that G-Dragon and T.O.P. are both out of the military, I hope we get another GD&TOP collab, even though T.O.P. has said he doesn’t want to make a comeback PLEASE COME BACK TO US.

Oct 262019
 

I’ve been counting down the days for G-Dragon’s military discharge, well, since February 27, 2018 when he went in. Haha. I knew that I wanted to do something to celebrate, but that aside from Janna and those two that live with me, I probably wouldn’t be able to get anyone to join me. Lame!

But then last month, my work friend Margie was showing me pictures of cookies that her daughter Shannon made and they were so GOOD. Shannon went to school for this and is skilled at cake and cookie decorating, so then the antique oil lamp above my head lit up and I yelled, “COULD SHE MAKE G-DRAGON COOKIES?”

Margie shrugged and said, “Probably. I could ask her.”

So I ran to my desk and found an image for her to base the cookies off of, and Shannon came back and said YES.

And this is how it started: a way to drum up some business for Margie’s daughter while also celebrating G-Dragon, because what better place to have a party for him than at THE OFFICE where people could be forced to join in!?

So what started out as 2 dozen G-Dragon cookies to be causally laid out on the snack table at work turned into Henry making “G” and “D” cookies and also the Peaceminusone (GD’s clothing line) one-petal-missing daisy cookies.

And then I needed to make GD photocards for my co-workers. And a “Welcome Back” sign. I managed to find the leftover sheets of craft foam that we used in 2007 for Chooch’s first birthday invitations, and while I was cutting out letters, I decided that Henry should go to the party store and grab a “G” and “D” balloon because that would make it look cooler and also I didn’t feel like cutting out more letters.

Then I was like, “WE SHOULD ALSO GO TO THE ASIAN MARKET AND GET KOREAN BEVERAGES” and Henry was like, “WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY” like I had just hired some goon to baseball bat his knees or something.

Basically what I’m saying is that, in typical Erin-fashion, it turned into a Thing.

During one of my order-barking phone calls, Henry mumbled that this was almost as involved as the Pie Party which I opted to stop having because “they’re too involved.”

“I don’t care! Our king—”

“—YOUR king,” Henry calmly cut in.

“—is coming back and this has to be perfect!”

And then Henry gently reminded me that it’s not like he’s ever going to know we did this but I don’t care. I have so much love for G-Dragon, his music pulled me out of a dark place, and I like doing things like this! I also thought it would be a fun thing for my co-workers, even though they’re not into Kpop, to end the week with some treats and frivolity.

Henry spent Thursday night baking the rest of the cookies, and then we took them to the office, along with all the drinks, because there was no way I was going to be able to carry all that stuff on the trolley. Plus, I had some various memorabilia to take in as well.

I woke up extra early yesterday morning and got to work an entire hour early so that I could start decorating. Marlene, who works an earlier shift, was like, “Oh hello, what the hell?” and then I had to explain to her what was going on and she was like, “……….” but she happily helped Margie blow up the G and D balloons and made sure everyone knew it all day long!

When Henry was at the store procuring said balloons, he texted me: Gold or silver?

I thought it was pretty clear but I texted back, “Gold for our king.”

“Your king,” Henry replied.

As I was spreading everything out on the table, Margie was just like, “Wow, OK…” because I might have failed to mentioned that this had morphed into a Big Thing in my head and I needed to execute it exactly as my visions showed or I would never be able to live with myself.

This is what it’s like being a Leo.

DID YOU KNOW GD IS A LEO TOO??

I even wore my special Lip Service dragon blazer that I bought when I was 18 and kept for 22 years even though it didn’t fit me for 20 of them. Thank you, Jillian Michaels, for helping me fit into it again or else this day wouldn’t have been as elaborate!

Margie let me borrow one of her sunflowers to put in the empty G-Dragon iced tea bottle (BIGBANG used to be the spokespeople for a Chinese brand of tea called Nongfu Spring and I went crazy trying to collect them all, you have no idea) and I put my GD heads-on-sticks in the other bottle. Then I filled my GD bowl with Korean peanut balls (such a great snack!), which I made Henry buy specifically so I had something to put in my GD bowl.

Oh, and I brought in my GD painting too!

These are the Peaceminusone daisies — icing cookies is hard and I hate it!

After an hour, I was satisfied with the spread, so I sent out the department email letting everyone know that there were cookies in celebration of GD’s military discharge. I purposely left Glenn off the email because he’s mean to me about these things and kept yelling, “No one cares!” every time he heard me at Margie’s desk talking about it.

Each photocard had some information about GD on the back and I was super pleased to see that they were mostly gone by the end of the day!

It was so much fun watching people’s reactions, especially the ones who I don’t talk to much because they had NO IDEA what the fuck was going on. The one guy was like, “Wait, what is kpop?” and I was like, “OMG LET ME TEACH YOU, GRASSHOPPER!” I saw him come back to the table later, laugh to himself, and then grab a cookie.

I was moderately concerned that our boss would be not thrilled that I did this without asking her, but I swear to god it wasn’t going to be all this at first and the it just spiraled and by then I was in too deep and didn’t want to say anything to her. But then Jeannie walked in and was like “OH MY GOD” and I was like, “Shit…..is it too much?” because this is the table that our boss uses for her snacks and I totally usurped her territory.

“No, it’s actually really impressive,” Jeannie said. And then she reminded me that I have done way more questionable things in the past without getting in trouble, so she thought I should be fine.

“You mean like when I had my desk decorated like a serial killer’s office for an entire month and someone complained that it was a hostile work environment?”

“Yeah, that’s one example,” Jeannie laughed, and then walked away without taking a cookie or a photocard!!

Guys seriously, the piece de resistance. Shannon did such an amazing job! Hilariously, no one would touch anything on the table for a good hour after I sent the email because they didn’t want to mess it up. This platter of Jiyongs (GD’s real name) looked so adorable, and they tasted even better!

I wanted the G and D cookies to have Asian flavors, so Henry went with black sesame shortbread and matcha (with white chocolate chips) shortbread. They were OK but honestly their only purpose was to display his initials, lol.

Nate was really into it.

And the our boss arrived and I was like, “OH GOD OH GOD” but after a second, she just started cracking up and then she said, “I can’t stand it” and went to her office. However, she did go and tell Glenn to come look at it and I was like, “NO SUE! HE’S NOT INVITED!” UGH!

Of course he happily took a cookie and a pear juice, but I made him pose for this picture as payment. What a jerk.

Into it.

Later in the afternoon, Megan took some “mingling” pictures so I could prove that people cared, lol.

I got some texts and emails throughout the day from co-workers who were either off or working from home and they were actually sad to be missing this! It warmed my heart. I love GD so much and I know he’ll never know that some random broad in America made her coworkers celebrate his military discharge, but I was so excited about it and I cannot just sit alone with excitement exploding out of my heart — I need to share it with people and I feel super appreciative that I work in a place where this can happen.

Even the mail room lady—Betty—was like, “OK WHAT’S GOING ON HERE” and then me, Carrie, and Marlene filled her in and she was skeptical at first because she knows I’m the girl with the weird foreign candy and doesn’t trust me (she said she wants to know where I get my candy so she can give it to her grandkids so that they won’t like candy anymore, lol) but the more she looked at the GD table, the more intrigued she became.

“I’m going to look him up when I get back to my floor,” she said.

But then came down later and asked, “What is that man’s name? Johnny D?” and there was a unison of “G-Dragon!”s through our quadrant. So she was like, “OK, I’m going to remember that. G-Dragon.” And then as she rounded the corner, I heard her walking away, chanting, “G-Dragon. G-Dragon. G-DRAGON. G-DRAGON.”

Jana came out of her office and said, “That was my favorite part of today!”

It really was super adorable.

Betty came back down later and decided she was ready to take a cookie and a melon Milkis. Then she was like, “And who painted that?” pointing to the G-Dragon portrait.

“I did,” I said. “That’s how much I love him.” So now Betty is basically my manager, even though I’m retired from art.

You guys, I love my co-workers. Even when Missy was like, “I like that song with Halsey, is that BIGBANG?” committing the biggest party foul, even bigger than when Sue invited Glenn! When Missy said that, Carrie was like, “Hnnnnnggghhh” because she knew I’d get bent out of shape, lol.

Megan and me! Also, I realized 3/4 of the way through the day that I never changed out of my tennis shoes, way to violate the dress code, Erin.

Here I am with Carrie, holding my G-Dragon bowl. I’m just really proud of it, OK?!

I don’t know if you can tell, but I was also wearing a DG pin and my red bull clip that came with my VIP package for his 2017 solo tour!

Speaking of, let’s pause and watch this video Henry took of the highlight of my whole life:

I was two heads back from the barrier during this and my legs shook so bad that Henry had to take my phone and record for me. I was a MESS.

I had the photocards displayed on my BIGBANG candy tray that I made and that MY CAT DREW BROKE so now it looks like shit because Henry glued it back together with weird, gummy glue.

I guess Glenn feels dumb now since people clearly cared!

All of my favorite G-Dragons. I loved his “FXXK It”-era green hair image the best.

Oh, and if it was any wonder, I was also wearing my GD socks yesterday.

Then last night, I watched all the live streams of Jiyong’s official discharge and felt ALL THE EMOTIONS (I’m crying right now thinking about it). I don’t know what the future holds for BIGBANG with Seungri retired from the industry and by that I mean chased out for something that wasn’t even proven but we won’t get into that here because it makes me so angry, and TOP alluding to the fact that he no longer wants to perform. But Daesung and Taeyang get out of the military next month, so we’ll see. If anyone can save BIGBANG and YG Entertainment, it’s G-Dragon.

I wish I could have been there. Welcome back, King!

Oct 252019
 

Well, this was supposed to be last Friday’s “Friday Five” thingie but I’m a scattered mess inside that head of mine. So let’s try this again for today, I guess. Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve used a similar Friday 5 title in the past. Oh well.

THAT TIME I WAS A PAWN IN A GAME OF DENTAL CHESS

Remember when I missed my dentist appointment last year and panicked and then had to go and find a new dentist because I could never show my face there again? (Oh, you would have just called, apologized, and scheduled a new appointment? WELL AREN’T YOU RATIONAL AND BALANCED.)

Well, my new dentist (the one I think I have a crush on) referred me to a periodontist. Dentist #1 did x-rays two years ago so Dentist #2 said that we could probably get away with just using those rather than deal with insurance blah-blah, so I was like, “Fine I guess I will call Dentist #1 and get my records.” Dentist #1’s office was like, “Yeah you have to come in here and sign a release for that.” UGH.

So I went in there last week, hoping to sign the thing and flee, but as the receptionist was pulling up my records from the filing cabinet, a lady was sitting at a computer in the corner and apparently had been listening so she pulled my records on up the computer and exclaimed, “This xray is from two years ago! Why do you want this!?” and that’s when I realized that it was The Dentist so now I had to actual FACE HER and tell her that my new dentist had referred me to a periodontist and thought we could get away with using them and she was like, “WHO IS THE DENTIST” and I was like, “BITCH WHY” except that really, I meekly mumbled his name and then she asked me who the periodontist is and when I told her, she sucked in some air through her teeth and exchanged an “oh boy” look with the receptionist, prompting me to ask, “What? What? WHAT?” until she finally shrugged and said, “Well, I don’t like to talk bad…OK he’s just…not that GOOD” and I was like, “……” and then she was like, “Would you mind if I gave you my own referrals?” and I was like, “WTF is happening here” because the vibe got SO HEAVY AND ELECTRIC like everything else in the world had just stopped and now this strange dental dance was playing out in front of me.

I let her give me some referral cards and then of course this sent me into a spiral because WHAT IF I MAKE THE WRONG CHOICE and it was already so difficult to get a consultation to begin with and that appointment is coming up in two weeks and OMG I HATE ORAL ISSUES. Meanwhile, the receptionist was all, “So, why are you leaving us anyway?” and it turned into this super uncomfortable “it’s not you it’s me” routine and I was sweating and tugging at my collar.

Then I got home and it occurred to me that Dentist #1 is the reason I have to go to the periodontist in the first place because one of the procedures they performed on me was apparently inadequate and I have to have it done again. UGH.

IT’LL JUST TAKE 2 SECONDS

A few weeks ago (because that’s how behind I am at blogging!), we were just hanging out after work when someone knocked on the door. I fled immediately, as I do when there comes a knock upon the door. From my perch on the steps with our cat Drew, who also runs when she hears the sinister knocks of villains, I heard Henry saying, “I’m making dinner right now.” And then he repeated it. And then again. And again. And each time, whoever was at the door kept saying, “It’ll just take 2 seconds.” I was like, “Shit, who the fuck is at the door being so persistent, is Chooch selling cookie dough again?”

Turns out, it was some guy from Direct Energy and instead of just saying “No” or “I’m not interested,” he lead the guy on by making it sound like he just didn’t have time to talk to him right now, so when he finally shut the door on him, the guy CONTINUED TO STAND ON OUR PORCH and I know this because I could see his creepy silhouette and I was angry because I wanted to come back out of hiding and drink my coffee which was getting cold on the coffee table.

So Henry sighed, came back out of the kitchen, opened the door and said, “I’m cooking dinner” and the guy was like, “It’ll only take 2 seconds” and JUST LIKE THAT the whole weird door-to-door energy song and dance picked right back up. I was like JUST SAY NO, BRO and Henry finally got him to leave and I said, “Haley was outside on her porch the whole time, why didn’t he just go and give her his spiel?” So Henry then lectured me because the only reason these people come to our house is because I’m constantly coerced into signing up for things.

Then Henry acted SHOCKED when he CAME BACK an hour later, but he never told him NO! This time, Chooch was home and answered the door and the guy was like, “Your dad told me to come back after he made dinner” which was FALSE but ok so Chooch was like, “HEY HENRY GET DOWN HERE AND TALK TO THIS GUY” but Henry was like, “Not gonna.”

I’m in the kitchen washing dishes and I look out and see that the guy is still standing on the porch. I told Chooch, “Tell that guy to leave” and he was like, “NO HE’S NICE AND I FEEL BAD” so I told Chooch, “Look, just do what all of us adults do in these situations – lie. LIE THROUGH YOUR FUCKING TEETH, SONNY BOY. GOD WILL FORGIVE YOU.” Chooch told the guy that his dad wasn’t home and the guy repeated, “He told me to come back after dinner” like that’s an actual time on the clock, but Chooch was like, “OK cool but he’s not here, so…” The guy said, “OK buddy, I’ll just go and do something else and come back.” NO PLZ DON’T! (He didn’t. Yet.)

I’LL TURN THIS DAMN BUS AROUND

One day after school, Chooch super-casually me that there was an incident with the bus driver on the first day of Gifted. Chooch has gifted every Friday, but it’s off-site at the Gifted Center so the students from his school that attend that program get shuttled there on a school bus. “So, Trevor and I were just talking and apparently the bus driver thought it was ‘too loud’ so he pulled the bus over and yelled at us.” Chooch said that they made “HNGGGGGH” faces at each other and then apologized. But then, at end of day the students from Chooch’s school were stranded because the bus driver never showed. They had to wait for a back-up bus to arrive and when they got back to their school, the principal off-handedly mentioned that the bus driver from that morning didn’t show up BECAUSE HE QUIT.

“BECAUSE OF YOU!?” I cried.

“I guess,” Chooch shrugged. “He was really mad that morning and was yelling about how we were going to have to spend all year together.”

“Exactly how loud were you talking?!”

“I don’t know, like this…” and then he demonstrated a raised-voiced conversation similar to a businessman trying to talk over top of a woman in the boardroom, but something tells me there is more to the story than that.

Anyway, a few weeks later, that bus driver came back and Chooch said that he and Trevor are “super quiet” around him now.

Why am I having Billy Madison visions?

Oh, here’s Penelope.

THE LIFE-CHANGING ESSAY

Well, here’s another tale about my son because, friendly reminder, I’m a mom.

The other night, Chooch and I were out on a walk when he mentioned that he has to write a three-page essay about a moment that changed his life. So I’m walking along, mind swimming with all sorts of instances involving me and my awesome ideas and super fun parenting, thinking that maybe he’ll choose the moment he went to the DMZ in Korea or the time the singer from Emarosa got him to crowd-surf at one of their shows when he was like 9, or the moment he realized he loves math.

“So I knew right away—” he started, and I’m like, “Oh here it is! This is going to be so profound!”

“–that it was the time I watched that episode of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ where Lily is a loud chewer because that’s when I realized that OMG I hate the sound of chewing! Honestly, there are times when I sit in the backseat during roadtrips and cry.”

Um.

OK.

But three pages though?

Anyway, he changed it to the moment he went from the general population opinion of “yay rollercoasters” to the coaster enthusiast battle-cry of “HOLY FUCKING SHIT IT’S AN RMC IBOX, GOTTA GET THAT COASTER CRED, HOLD MY SLUSHIE.”

So, we’ll see how that goes.

I get so excited when I’m watching a K-Drama and see a place I’ve been! Shout out to the DDP, what what.

HUBERT FTW

Last Saturday, we were en route to a haunted house and passed a spot where there used to be a mini-golf place, which got me thinking about how my ex, Psycho Mike, and I were obsessed with playing mini golf this one summer, I think it was 1997 when I was 17/18. We liked it so much that we tried to go every mini golf place we could find in the—-wait for—-Yellow Pages. Sometimes this would bite us in the ass because we’d drive all  this way and it wasn’t a mini golf place anymore, but you know, who has to call ahead, amirite.

Then I remembered the time that I brought my old pet Pacman frog, Hubert, to play with us. I had a little portable aquarium for him and it was probably terrible to tote him around but I was a dumb kid who had no business raising a frog.

“Anyway,” I told Henry after taking a big breath because you’ve probably never heard me tell a story but I get really excited and start speed-talking. “Hubert ‘won’ and Mike got so pissed!”

Henry took his eyes off the road long enough to toss me a concerned frown.

“I KNOW RIGHT??” I screamed, but turns out, Henry was frowning about the part where I brought my frog to play mini-golf.

(Seriously though, Mike was SO ANGRY and I remember fighting about it for the rest of the night because that’s the kind of great fucking boy I was dating, and this is not a domestic violence joke but the truth: I probably for sure dodged a bullet by getting out of that relationship.)

Later that week, I felt inspired to dig around my old stuff to see if I still had the score card because, since mini golf was our game, I kept all that shit. And yep, still have it, stapled to a journal that he and I shared which honestly gave me PTSD-shakes when I opened it so I should probably burn it or drop kick it off a bridge but: the environment, and also, I am a memorabilia pack rat.

Don’t ask why I called myself “Bitch” other than I was 17 & dumb and also a pretty big bitch.

At work earlier this week, I was telling Todd this story because he LOVES Vintage Erin yarns.

“I have a picture of the score card for proof,” I said, scrolling through my camera roll.

“Oh, I believe you!” Todd laughed. “Taking a frog to play mini golf definitely sounds like something you would do.” He then went on to say that he’s also not surprised that I a mini golf maniac, since there is always something I’m 100% gung-ho about.

And oh boy, was I gung-ho about mini-golf. Now I can barely stand it.

OMG I HOPE THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN WITH KOREA?!

Oct 232019
 

HENRY RIDES ALONE

Being a family of three makes going to amusement parks kind of annoying because someone always has to ride alone (lol usually Henry, come on now). Usually, we try to arrange it so that we’re at least all riding at the same time, which involves basic math and sometimes social skills when you have to ask the people behind you if they want to go ahead so that you can match the riders with whatever line your other party is in. Such a hassle!

However, we counted incorrectly when in line for Grizzly and Henry ended up going on the train after us and was surly about it because, for some reason, the line for this was SO SLOW. Operations were awful, one of the ride attendants was wearing an eye patch and we thought it was for Halloween but Henry said he saw him take it off and his eye was all fucked up, so that’s cool. People were bailing the whole time we stood in line for this, but we were committed because Henry expressed interest in riding it and he NEVER suggests deviations from my airtight amusement park agendas.

Agendae?

Agendi?

Agendas.

Also, some asshole kid behind me had NO concept of boundaries and his parents certainly didn’t care to teach him, so he kept jabbing me in the back with his faux-hawk so when it was our turn to ride, we waved smugly at Henry as our train departed the station and then I don’t remember a single thing about the ride because my little dickhead son pretended as though my phone fell out of his pocket and I didn’t know he was joking until the end of the ride so I spent the whole duration screaming ARE YOU SERIOUS until I eventually burst into tears.

Anyway, I think this ride awakened something inside Henry because, after that, he didn’t try to ride anything with us anymore – he just went and sat where ever he found an empty seat instead of trying to line up with whatever seat we were in line for.

Henry’s Journey To Independence.

Here’s our favorite manservant standing alone to ride Racer 75. He had some kind of camaraderie with the guys behind him and wouldn’t tell Chooch and me what was going on which I thought was rude and I hate it when Henry has interactions with people that don’t involve me. I monitor him pretty tightly and I need to know these things so that I can someday in the future twist them around into some accusatory pretzel of paranoia.

By the next day, he was fully emancipated from Chooch and me and rode Twisted Timbers once in a seat that we didn’t want him to sit in and then again on a train that we weren’t even on! HERE HE IS WITH HIS NEW FAMILY.

(Side note: the guy in front of him was the sweetest! He was talking to us when we waited for the  gates to open Sunday morning and has gotten Chooch all gung-ho about Planet Coaster, but true to dude-form, he was subtly condescending when we were talking about the new ride at Hershey and I said, “It’s called Candymonium” and he said, “Yeah…I’m not sure what it’s called” because I’m a GIRL and like most places in life outside of Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood, THERE IS LITTLE ROOM FOR BROADS IN THE COASTER COMMUNITY but that’s OK I’ll just surf my way out on a wave of testosterone.

Later, we rode Intimidator and Henry was like, “Deuces, you losers” as his train pulled out of the station while we were still in line for front row (the back is arguably the best row but you gotta sit in the front too at least once for the experience), leaving Chooch and me gaping in his wake. We were still in line when he got off the ride and he actually walked all the way around and got back into line, and even RAN when he realized that he could snag the seat behind Chooch and me right as the train was loading! HENRY IS BECOMING…SOMEONE WHO GETS EXCITED!

JANNA’S FUTURE HUSBAND

OK how to even start this story. Well, I guess it starts the same way they all do: I became obsessed with this one YouTube channel that features a group of guys who go to amusement parks and carnivals and vlog about it, but sometimes, the friend of one of the guys shows up and for some reason, I have really taken to him.

In an effort to keep my blog out of search engines, let’s just call him Fleece Radkins.

Now, Fleece sometimes shows up in the vlogs of his friend, Flint Yesvac. Their home parks are King’s Dominion and Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and actually, one of the Busch Gardens vlogs was the first time I saw Fleece. I liked him because after every ride, he would stoically and confidently state, “That’s my favorite ride in the park.”

So then Janna was visiting one time and Chooch was like “JANNA WATCH ME PLAY FORTNITE CAN I HAVE YOUR GAMING COMPUTER” and I was like, “JANNA CHOOSE AN NCT127 BIAS AND WATCH THESE ROLLER COASTER VIDEOS!” so I showed her one of the vlogs that featured Fleece and yelled, “ISN’T HE FUNNY” and she was like, “I guess?” and I was like, “OMG JANNA LIKES FLEECE!” and then Chooch abandoned Fortnight in an effort to help me harangue Janna mercilessly like any other Saturday night in Hell House and we decided that we needed to hook them up.

So the first step, naturally, was to find him on Instagram. I did, but his profile is private and he doesn’t have a lot of friends so I didn’t want to request him.

“I feel like he’s much too young, though!” Janna pointed out, which means that she was at least considering it.

Anyway, on our first day at King’s Dominion, we were walking to Grizzly when Henry casually asked, “Hey, wasn’t that one of the guys in those videos you watch?” and I was like, “Huh? Who? Where? Why?” because I am the most unalert when it comes to other people while I’m walking. I mostly keep my eyes on the ground so that I don’t trip.

However, when I turned around to look, even from the back and with eyes as jacked as mine (and I do not mean jacked as in muscular, my eyes are basically saggy orbs that are close to serving as just facial decoration) I recognized one of the passersby as FLEECE RADKINS.

“Holy shit!” I screeched to Chooch, and we were frozen, watching him walk away with his group of friends.

“Was it really him?” Chooch asked, and there was only one way to find out: CHASE HIM SUPER STEALTHILY AND STARE AT HIS FACE FROM CLOSE RANGE.

We caught up with him just as he walked up to the Wayside Grill, so I stood right next to him and said, “HMMM, LOOKING AT THE MENU” while,  you know, looking at the menu. Then Fleece walked away and sat down on a wall while his friends stayed in line, and at that point, I was 99.9% confident that it was him so I made Chooch pose for a fake picture.

FLEECE RADKINS, ladies and gentlemen!

I sent the picture to Janna.

She was a bit less enthused than I expected her to be. I guess I wanted her to be upset that she wasn’t there but she seemed pretty flippant about it, what a bitch!

YOU GUYS, TWO HOURS LATER, WE SAW HIM AGAIN IN THE SAME SPOT!!

Henry didn’t know that Fleece was behind him, so Chooch ran up to Henry and whisper-screamed, “DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU BUT FLEECE RADKINS IS RIGHT THERE” and I was standing behind Fleece close enough to see that Fleece’s eyes were honed in right on Chooch and he totally had to have known that he was the subject of their DON’T TURN AROUND conversation.

I never did approach the guy because he’s not even a part of that YouTube channel, he’s just kind of like an occasional tag-alonger so I would have felt uncomfortable being like, “HEY I HAVE SEEN YOU IN THREE VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE AND I HAVE CLEARLY WATCHED THOSE THREE VIDEOS ENOUGH TIMES FOR EVEN MY BOYFRIEND WHO ONLY HALF-WATCHES THE VIDEOS TO RECOGNIZE YOU CAN I GET A SELFIE?”

Yeah, no thanks.

Back at work (a/k/a The Place Without Roller Coasters), Glenn thought this was such a great story that he made me tell it in our weekly meeting and absolutely no one was shocked that I was stalking some guy that I kind of know from 3 YouTube videos. So, your typical Tuesday meeting.

Oct 212019
 

We’re* on this quest to get Chooch to hit the 100 coaster milestone by the end of the year because I love living my life like a rabbit in a perpetual chase with a carrot on a string so I always need some type of inane goal to strive for — and now I’m dragging Chooch down into my, well, rabbit hole with all the strung-up carrot medals I’ve caught over my lifetime.

*(And just so you know, that “we’re” up there does not even remotely include Henry.)

It’s really cute though because Chooch has a legit Excel spreadsheet to keep track of all the coasters he’s ridden, and we’re all nerdy about manufacturers and all that extraneous information that normal people don’t give a shit about. Additionally, Chooch has quickly learned the nightmare that is Excel, so welcome to the club, sonny boy!

So what happened was: two weeks ago, Chooch off-handedly mentioned that he didn’t have piano lessons that coming Sunday, and I didn’t have my language exchange hang-out that Saturday, which meant: FREE WEEKEND! Not that either of those things are drags, but since we didn’t have any obligations, I yelled, “WE SHOULD GO SOMEWHERE!” *looked at list of Cedar Fair parks within driving distance* “LET’S GO TO KING’S DOMINION!”

Henry was very “…………………” about this impromptu plan, and then used his frown as a jump rope when I said, “I’ll help you drive” because he knows THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN. How can I liveblog or look for the faces of Kpop idols in the clouds if I’m stuck behind the steering wheel?! But then he eventually came around because he wants nothing more than to see his precious family happy. LOL, also he’s afraid of us.

Anyway, we had a wonderful weekend at King’s Dominion! Buying those Cedar Fair Platinum Passes was the best idea ever and I’m so glad it was mine (sike, it was actually Henry’s if you can believe it). Here are some pictures of the scenery and our dumb mugs! Ride recap will be separate.

I was obsessed with the fake chandeliers hanging from the fake Eiffel Tower so I took a picture of it pretty much every time we walk by.

Don’t mind me.

Coasterhead sefie. I think this was when Henry was in the bathroom because he immediately had to pee as soon as we got there which was annoying since we hate waiting for him.

It was such a beautiful day! The temperature was perfect pumpkin patch autumn degrees, whatever that would be. High 60s? Sure! Let’s go with that.

So, King’s Dominion is the sister park to King’s Island, but I thought this one was much prettier. Maybe it was the heavy Halloween-vibes that helped but it was just a really pleasant atmosphere. Also, Virginians are grossly nice so that really added…something.

CANDY APPLE GROVE! How fucking adorable. I love apples and I love candy but I do not love candy apples. However, this area of the park was just too precious, even with all the killer clown shit set up.

(Clowns don’t scare me, sorry!)

This area was really cool at night.

Unlike Cedar Point though, their Halloween soundtrack was NOT great. I’ll let that slide though because I’m feeling generous.

“Stand over there by the cartoon penises, Son.”

I mean, “mushrooms.”

After this picture was taken, I mentioned that we had basically gone all day without fighting but then Chooch was like, “You and dad literally fought the moment we got here” and that wasn’t a real fight, that was just me talking to Henry in the tone that I always talk to him with: exasperation in a coat of disgust topped with a beret of repulsion.

But honestly, it was because he took a dumb picture that I didn’t like so I had to take some time out of the day to berate him. It wasn’t a fight!

You would think that the combination of haunted houses and amusement parks would be like the ultimate October orgasm for me but honestly, when I’m at these parks, the rides win out! I do enjoy experiencing the foggy atmosphere at night though, but not enough to wait in 2-hour lines for so-so haunts. I’m really picky when it comes to haunted houses!

I do wish that the line for the antique cars wasn’t a billion years long though because they had actual scare actors along the track!

Chooch wasn’t impressed with Grizzly the coaster but he loved Grizzly the Stuffed Bear in the gift shop and demanded that I take his picture even though I was trying to hide from Henry, but whatever.

Ugh, I love it.

LOL hey look who’s back.

Some weird musical performance called Heads Will Roll which was cool for a second but then felt a bit too High School Musical for me and I realized that I was wasting precious rollercoaster-riding time standing there.

Oh snap, I forgot that I got mad at Henry here too for not being able to take pictures in the dark.

Me firing off death threats at Henry through gritted teeth.

OH HELLO AGAIN. I loved how sinister it looked at night!

DAY TWO

WE WERE THE FIRST ONES IN THE PARK!

Waiting for one of the sections to open so we could not-run to Twisted Timbers. There’s a “no running” policy at King’s Dominion and people ACTUALLY OBEY IT!? Chooch and I actually got yelled at by a janitor when we were fast-skipping to the Bad Apple ride.

“No running,” she mumbled so we slowed to a walk for a second until she was past us and then continued running because we’re hoodlums.

I don’t why but this picture makes me laugh because we look like robots that just had their batteries die.

I LOVED THIS PARK SO MUCH.

“So, if you lean, you automatically win?” Chooch mused out loud when we walked past this game.

“What?” I asked, trying to figure out how he got that misinformation.

“Like, if I just go over there and lean over the side, I’ll win?” he asked.

“No!” I laughed. “Is that what you think ‘forfeits’ means?!”

WHY IS MY KID SO SMART YET SO DUMB.

That clown in the white dress on the see-saw looks just like some bitch I went to school with.

On Day One, Henry was wearing one of his super ugly Rip-It work shirts and I was so embarrassed. On Day Two, he wore a plain blue long-sleeved shirt, Michael Myers-approved, so I was much less embarrassed to be seen with him.

Had to make time for our traditional carousel ride.

I don’t know how this started, taking family portraits on carousels, but I think it’s so much fun and I’m glad that we do it!

I only started riding carousels a few years ago because I’ve always had a fear of getting stuck on the horses. In fact, when we went to Dollywood in 2011, I was paralyzed with fear when the ride stopped and Henry had to practically pull me off the horse. I honestly thought I was going to fall off on my head.

We get along sometimes.

What a great weekend! I’ll be back with more pictures of some coasters and some highlights but honestly, aside for ridiculous food prices (I had a garden salad at one of the pizza places that cost $12 and it was the same kind that Henry buys me at Aldi’s for $3), I have no complaints about this park. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to go back next summer too!

A few days later, I tried to gaslight Henry into thinking that I drove home for an hour that day and he was like, “…..no you didn’t” and I said, “Yeah, I did, you just don’t remember because you were sleeping in the passenger seat” and I think he actually started to believe me for a split second but then came to his senses.

Oct 202019
 

We went to King’s Dominion last weekend and I really wanted to do a recap of that this weekend but time got away from me as usual and now I’m finding myself with a short window of nothingness to finally sit down and let my fingertips do some word-retching. So instead, here’s a quick rundown of my weekend so far, in pictures, which has been really great and why can’t October just be 90 days long already, ugh.

FIRST, my weekend was off to an incredible start when I came home from work on Friday to a huge box of kpop goodies from my friend Veronica! It was the motherlode of Korean memorabilia and I honestly didn’t deserve it – she even included tshirts for Chooch and Henry! I will always appreciate our long-distance Instagram connection and it is a blessing to have someone to fangirl with! In addition to a ton of kpop stickers and photocards, she also sent me a Taemin dogtag, a Red Velvet compact mirror, a SHINee “Married to the Music” pin, k-beauty products, and two kpop coffee cups, like this beautiful Taemin one:

!!!!

She also sent me the Taemin version of the Super M album because she knew I panicked when ordering mine and got the group version instead. I hope that I get to meet her someday! (Henry just casually said, “Sure why not” because he appreciates the fact that she absorbs some of my kpop mania so his life is a bit easier, lol.)

On Saturday, we did our usual “post office and Pitaland” routine. I’m not recognized as a “regular” anywhere aside from the Brookline and two downtown post offices, Pitaland, and a handful of non-Starbucks cafes downtown. Anyway, we always get pita, yogurt, and Medjool dates (theirs are soooooo soft and fresh OMG) but sometimes we get something from the dessert display too and this time I made the rash decision of choosing the pomegranate Turkish delight with rose petals, and then immediately regretted it because sometimes things that are too rose-flavored can be off-putting.

BUT BOY, THIS WAS THE LEGIT JAM. Literally the best Turkish delight I’ve had in my life. It was refreshing.

Later that afternoon, I met Jiyong for the first time in three weeks and it was so good to see her! She had friends visiting last weekend and she brought me a little treat bag of various Choco Pies that they gave her and I was so thankful! She taught me how to talk about horror movies in Korean and then we talked about Asian horror movies and I told her how I decorated one of my co-worker’s offices for Halloween one year as “Ju-On the Grudge” and she thought it was so funny, and I was like, “THIS IS SO GREAT THAT SOMEONE FINALLY GOT IT!”

Because everyone else was like, “…..?” when they saw his office, lol.

MEMORIES. I actually just sent a bunch of old “work Halloween decorations” blog posts to my co-worker Margie and she was like, “SUE LET YOU DO THIS?!”

Anyway, I like hanging out with Jiyong because even though my Korean sucks, we can at least talk a lot about the various k-dramas and new kpop releases (she likes Super Junior and they just had a comeback). I told her about the mini-comeback celebration I’m planning for G-Dragon (he gets discharged from the military next week!!) and she cracked up, lol.

Speaking of, I think I’m going to make GD photocards to go along with the cookies so my coworkers can all have a picture of GD for their desk. I AM REALLY THE MOST THOUGHTFUL.

Right after that, I came home and we went right back out to a haunted house in Connellsville. We’ve been going to this one every year since it first started 4 years ago, and this was the first time we have ever had to actually stand in a long line, so that was annoying for us but great for Crawford School of Terror!

While we were in line, Chooch found a piece of a popped balloon on the ground and it became his new toy. He ALWAYS manages to find some kind of trash on the ground that he creepily bonds with. When we went to Busch Gardens 5 years ago, he found a piece of plastic from a bottle cap or something and carried it in his pocket the whole day and then nearly had a panic attack when he thought it fell out on Apollo’s Chariot.

Anyway, he kept subconsciously snapping it while we were in line and accidentally hit the man in front of us on his back, so the man turned around and said, “Do you mind?” and Chooch sheepishly said sorry and it was so embarrassing and of course we ended up being in the same group with that guy’s family so that was great, especially when Chooch told me later that he maybe hit the guy more than once.

Ugh.

But the haunt was great! They expanded this year so now there are two additional floors, one of them being the Basement where they blindfold you and even though we’ve already done this at Rich’s Fright Fest, it’s so damn scary but I love it.

Henry waited for us the whole time in the car, watching Netflix. What did parents do in the old days when they waited for their kids? Crossword puzzles? Affairs in the bathroom of the corner pub? Anyway, when Chooch and I got in the car, we were crying about being starving and needing snacks so we wanted him to stop at the Sheetz that was across the street but he said NO! and we were like WHY THE FUCK NOT and strong-armed him into stopping and then when we got to the register, the cashier said to him, “Oh, back again?” and Henry mumbled, “Yeah.” So I guess in addition to watching Netflix, he also went to Sheetz WITHOUT US and bought HIMSELF SNACKS. Wow Henry, the truth comes out.

And that brings us to Sunday, a/k/a today! We dropped Chooch off at his very last piano lesson with Cheryl (*cries*) and wen to the Asian market. Henry bought actual food but I went right for the candy and found these cute Taiwanese Halloween lollipops for my International Pumpkin of Horrors at work.

Then we picked up Chooch and said our goodbyes to Cheryl, who has taught him piano for….6 years? I can’t even remember, it’s been so long! She and her wife are moving to Hawaii at the end of the month and Chooch is pretty sad to be losing not only a great piano teacher, but a friend. She has been such a big part of his childhood and she told me today that he’s the only student she had who genuinely enjoys music and understands it, and that the others were there because their parents made them. But, I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that she took such a punk-rock, alternative approach to teaching, and he really vibed so well with her. We will miss her dearly but I know that she is a going to have a great life in Hawaii and I’m happy for her!

And that brings us to now! I’m going to do some exercising and then work on some G-Dragon photocards, and then Chooch and I are going to Demon House tonight with Janna, so congratulations, now you know my agenda.

I will leave you with a video from Miss A. I’ve been listening to a 2nd generation Kpop playlist on Spotify and realized that I like the older girl groups SO MUCH MORE than the new ones. I wish Miss A was still together! This song is so good. Plus, Bae Suzy.

Oct 182019
 

Heyo, it’s that time of the year where I start buckling down and churning out some new Christmas card designs. Let’s say hello to this year’s editions, shall we?!

  1. Serial Carolers

The ultimate holiday card for your fellow murderinos! This vintage-esque design features Ed Kemper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Aileen Wuornos, and Dennis Rader (BTK) all bundled up and crooning some Christmas cheer. Well, except BTK – he’s the token surly non-singer.

One time in middle school, Laura Long had a Christmas party and made us all go caroling and I just stood in the back half-assedly mouthing the words. Caroling is for suckers. I get it, BTK.

This card is blank inside so you can fill it with lyrics to NKOTB’s “Funky, Funky Christmas” or whatever. I feel like Aileen might have had that cassingle. Lol, OK maybe not.

This currently my favorite card that I’ve ever made.

2. Ed Kemper Naughty List 

What a festive card! Who doesn’t love thinking about decapitated coeds when opening up Christmas cards?

Comes with an envelope. Be careful what you put inside though if you’re sending this to a prison pen pal. Not that I have any experience with penitentiary mail getting rejected.

3. Don’t Kiss Henry Lee’s Mommy

Nothing spreads Christmas cheer quite like the hint of matricide! Henry Lee Lucas should have used this as his motive for murdering his mom because it sounds way better than “She hit me on the head with a broom.”

Perfect for any true crime enthusiast in your life! Or your mother-in-law!

4. Robert Hansen the Worst Alaskan

I mean, who hasn’t used the “Oh shit, I forgot to dig up your present out of the woods of Alaska” to buy themselves some more time? I just used this excuse last month when I met up with a friend and totally forgot that her birthday had just passed and she was like, “Mmmhmmm” but look – maybe she doesn’t know my life as well as she thinks she does OK!?

Anyway, let the creep-o mug of Robert Hanson, the Butcher Baker of Anchorage, really drive this sentiment home. What a charming Christmas card! I’m sure it will be displayed front and center on the fireplace mantle.

Comes with an envelope. You could actually bury their gift and turn it into a real life scavenger hunt. Tuck in a map and some clues!

Fun fact about me: I am terrified of Alaska so this asshole might actually be the scariest serial killer in my opinion.

5. Son of Sam’s Xmas Jam

This is one of my original cards going back to the beginning of non compos cards, but I revamped the design for this year. Trufax: when I started making these cards 10 years ago, I barely knew how to use Photoshop. Truthfully, I’m still not much more than a novice, but I have gotten A LITTLE better over the years and I’m trying to polish up some of the most turd-iest designs in the shop.

This card was inspired by my desire to sign people’s yearbooks with the line “In their blood and from the gutter,” a sentiment straight from one of David Berkowitz’s letters to the popo. But people in high school already knew I was a weirdo and my luck, I’d have gotten called to the social worker’s office (again).

But now I’ve managed to incorporate it in a holiday card, and that’s pretty freakin’ redeeming.

Let Son of Sam, one of America’s most notorious killers, spread yuletime cheer to your loved ones; watch in amazement as their faces become awash with smiles that say, “Oh, you shouldn’t have!”

But you have!

Envelope included!

Ho Ho Ho and all that shit.

6. Ian Brady & Myra Hindley, Santa’s Elves

Hey man, what’s synonymous with Santa and his elves? If you said Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, then BOY have I got a Christmas card for you!

Fun fact about these two brutes: anytime I post their cards on Instagram, I get reported for violence.

**********

As always, I’m happy to fulfill any custom requests, so if you have a favorite (?) serial killer that you would like to see a Christmas card themed around, hit me up! And check out the rest of the shop for birthday cards, Valentines, Golden Girls stuff—it’s a real shit show over at non compos.

Oct 172019
 

I’m still trying to process this one. It’s maddening and depressing that another beautiful life is lost and I still feel numb about it so I will just say this: be nice to people. If you don’t like someone, walk away. Stop creeping on their socials. Realize that this is someone’s son or daughter. Words matter. Hate hurts. Life is fragile.

RIP Sulli. I’m so sorry.

Oct 162019
 

Hello and welcome to my love story about Millie and Steve, two rollercoasters that the general public may know as Millennium Force and Steel Vengeance. I will try to keep this PG, only because I couldn’t get Fabio to pose for the cover.

I’ve always been super into amusement parks (and county fairs until I almost died at one) but even though I like roller coasters, I never really considered myself an ENTHUSIAST. Then I rode T-Express at Korea’s Everland and, for a wooden coaster, that thing impressed me more than any crazy-ass steel multi-inversion Jojo-rolled contraption ever has. It made me want to seek out other crazy wooden coasters, because up until then I equated wooden coasters with rickety old back-breakers. I started binge-watching rollercoaster videos on YouTube, becoming more and more obsessed. That’s how I started learning about the different manufacturers, but the one that stuck out the most to me was Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC). I was fascinated by the way they take old, rough woodies and refurbish them into these head-spinning feats of engineering magic. The first one I got to ride was Lightning Rod at Dollywood and it was a game changer for me, I have been on a mission ever since to ride all of the RMCs. I am an RMC fan girl all the way.

Look. When I find something that I like, I don’t just LIKE IT: I LIVE IT, I BREATHE IT, I DREAM IT. And, I watch YouTube videos until my Roku crashes, I read Wikipedia and personal blogs, I search Instagram hashtags, I adjust our budget so we can do weekend amusement park road trips (STOP GOING TO THE GROCERY STORE, HENRY – WE DON’T NEED FOOD WE NEED COASTER CREDITS. THIS IS THE GREATEST DIET EVER). It becomes my driving force, the thing that gets me through the work week and gives me something to anticipate.

I never had much of a burning desire to go to Cedar Point until last year, when RMC refurbished the old Mean Streak into Steel Vengeance. So when we finally went a few weeks ago, I was practically salivating on myself at the thought of riding this bad boy.

Because this coaster is still new-ish and world class to those who know some things about the coaster scene, the line for this was between 90-250 minutes all weekend. We kept putting it off and putting it off, but finally, around 8:00pm on our first day there, I told Chooch, “Look, if we want a night ride on this bad boy, it’s now or never, bud.”

I think it said it was an 80 minute wait when we got in line, because by that point, all the haunt attractions had opened so most of the people in the park were in line for those things. Well, 80 minutes was a lie. They must have changed the sign to 120 minutes as soon as we walked past, because we stood in that queue—which winds around underneath the tracks so you’re like, majorly cut off from the rest of civilization when you’re in that line—for so long that I started to forget what Henry looked like (he opted out) which is either good or bad depending on what kind of day I’m having when you ask me.

Luckily, they have TVs in the line, so we got to watch clips of horror movies, fight with each other over trivia, and watch random music videos while eavesdropping on people around us playing Heads Up (this one girl was SO LOUD and also extremely stupid—some of the things she couldn’t figure out were maddening to us bystanders). There was a mom in front of us with her elementary school-age son and an older boy who I think was in college and also may be have been a Spanish exchange student? Look, we had a lot of time to spy on people.

So yeah, after standing in line for…I lost track but I want to say it was about 90 minutes, then it happened.

I will never forget it because we had made it to the last part of the serpentine path, all the twisty-windy parts of the queue were behind us, and we were finally on the lone path to the station. (Granted, that lone path still had some turns, a metal detector, and steps, but still!) We were standing right next to the giant billboard that had the Steel Vengeance character on it along with all the record-breaking stats.

This is where we were standing when the dreaded THIS RIDE IS CLOSED FOR MAINTENANCE announcement came out of some hidden hell-speakers and we could barely hear it over the loud roar of idle conversation around us, but it didn’t matter because we KNEW.

“Huh, that train didn’t have anyone in it,” the guy behind us noted as an empty train soared past us. We were in the part of the line now that had an excellent view of the first drop.

Yeah no shit asshole, if you would stop talking about dumb video games for a second, you’d have heard the announcement! As people finally started to figure out what was going on, a small exodus happened and because of this, we kept moving further up in line.

Chooch and I kept waiting for the other to cry uncle and suggest to leave the line, because neither of us wanted to make that call. All I kept thinking was that it would be our luck that it would start running again after we got out of line.

Long story short (LOL yeah like my stories are ever short), we opted to stay in line and after about 30-45 minutes, the damn thing started running again and everyone cheered and fuck if it didn’t feel like we were REALLY A PART OF SOMETHING, you know? Like, the Donner Party.

No, not the Donner Party.

Maybe a hostage situation, though. But then the hostage guy ends up having a squirt gun so we can all laugh about it later as the popo haul his soiled ass away.

Something like that.

Anyway, we rationalized that we had moved up in line just as far as we would have if the ride hadn’t broken down, so it was all the same, really.

The ride attendant at the top of the steps was assigning people seats but we thought, Look, we stood in line for this long, what would it hurt to just ask if we could snag the back row?

So we asked.

And the broad was all, “Eh, sure go ahead.”

And we had the most epic, glorious, whirlwind night ride on what is now my TOP ROLLERCOASTER BAE OF ALL TIME. I’m not even going to try and describe it other than it whips you around with ungodly force and everything happens so fast that you can’t even wrap your mind around the logistics of it and then when you think you’ve gotten your bearings, you’re suddenly being lurched through an inversion that makes you feel like dish water being sucked down a drain, and then suddenly you’re back in the station, fingerbrushing knots out of your hair and looking at your riding companion like, “IS MY FACE IN ONE PIECE!?”

Chooch actually ran his hands through his hair and made this wild-eyed I’VE HAD AN EPIPHANY expression like he was about to convert to the Kabbalah or some shit, and honestly, I personally nearly wept.

It was that good.

I felt like Steel Vengeance had actually rescued me from a burning building or something and then, oh god, oh no, was I getting a crush on Steve?!

Meanwhile, Henry was sleeping on a bench like a regular old back-alley wino, just kidding, he was actually awake and not at all concerned even though we had been missing in action for two and a half hours and he had our phones so we had no way of telling him what was happening, but since this was Cedar Point, he assumed that the ride had broken down because that’s what rides do at Cedar Point. So I guess he probably just ate a bunch of soft pretzels and scrolled through Reddit on his phone, because somewhere along the way I didn’t pay enough attention to him and he turned into the type of person who loses himself in asinine threads of Internet memes. Coo-coo-cool.

We were just like, “O-M-G YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW FUCKING SICKENING THIS RIDE IS, HENRY! YOU MISSED OUT BIG TIME! GOOD LUCK SLEEPING IN THAT BED OF REGRET TODAY!”

The next day, Henry wanted to see if Steve was all that we made it out to be, but as you might be aware, our plans of getting in a morning ride on this bad boy before the crowds rushed in was dashed when Steve was closed during early entry.

And then he proceeded to be down for most of the day it seemed. We kept tracking him through the Cedar Point app and sprinted over to him as soon as the status changed to “open.” It said that the standby time was 45 minutes.

LIES. LIES LIES LIES.

We 100% stood in line for nearly as long as Chooch and I did the night before. This time, right as we shuffled past the Steve billboard thing, an announcement came on.

WE FROZE.

But it turned out that it was just a “slight delay” while they added another train.

We exhaled.

Not more than 10 minutes later, another announcement cut through the gaggles of groups engrossed in Heads Up and the weird mom and son who were arguing with each other the entire time they were in line.

IT WAS FUCKING DOWN AGAIN.

“You have to be fucking kidding me!” I cried dramatically. I could actually feel the synapses firing inside me and I imagined peeling my skin off and shooting into the air using nothing but the sheer force of my anger.

“You guys can leave, you’ve already ridden it,” Henry said calmly, but I noted a twitch in his ‘stache. “I’m invested at this point.”

Well, I wasn’t leaving! I had major FOMO just thinking about Henry riding Steve without me. So we all opted to stay in line. People started exiting in small waves. A ride attendant walked past us, en route to the entrance where a CLOSED sign needed to be erected (lol). “Just so you know, this isn’t just a small problem,” he monotoned to everyone within earshot. “It’s probably going to be at least an hour.”

We all exchanged looks. Even more people left, so we moved up significantly in line and shrugged.

Henry and Chooch argued about every single thing.

Arguing.

But then, less than 30 minutes later, they sent a test train. Everyone cheered. Then, they sent a fully-loaded train, and everyone REALLY CHEERED. The line started moving for real. Of course, they opened the Fast Lane right so loads of people filed through on that side and I was SO PISSED because the rest of us had demonstrated extreme levels of patience and endurance by waiting this out and Cedar Point could have rewarded us by at least keeping that line closed off for a few more minutes, goddammit.

I have never been the type of person who would stand in line for THAT LONG for a RIDE so I must really be thirsty for Steve and his wood. Henry and I snagged the back seat and as we buckled ourselves in, I yelled, “YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE THIS!” and he was just like, “WE WILL SEE ABOUT THAT” because Henry does not know how to have fun or display any sort of emotion aside from exhaustion, irritation, and disgust. Maybe envy whenever he sees someone wearing a better beverage t-shirt that him.

But when we hit the midcourse break run, he looked at me and mouthed, “WHAT THE FUCK” and I was like, “RIGHT?!!!?” Holy shit, this ride. It’s everything. I was so fucking annoyed every other hour during our weekend at Cedar Point, but THIS RIDE was redemption. I would go back to Cedar Point every fucking weekend and be jerked around by the shitty operations if I knew I could ride this at least once each time.

It’s that good.

It’s world class.

There is a reason why so many of the experts and enthusiasts rank this as #1.

I AM TEARING UP JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU, STEVE. WAIT FOR ME! I’LL BE BACK.

Meanwhile, Chooch’s favorite ride that weekend was actually Millie, a/k/a Millennium Force, though he said it was difficult to choose between the two. The first time we rode Millie, on our first day at Cedar Point, we had the back row and I experienced a pretty good greyout, to the point where I ran down the exit ramp in search of Henry, who had ridden on the train before ours, just to excitedly scream, “I GREYED OUT, DUDE!!!”

I have never greyed out on a ride before, and it was so awesome!

Millie is pretty fucking beautiful. My favorite things about her, aside from that wicked first drop, was the cool 1970s space-y soundtrack that plays in the station, and the killer views of Lake Erie that the lift hill offers. Honestly, for as many times as that park let me down that weekend, I can’t deny that the atmosphere is unbeatable. I mean, it’s not at DisneySea’s level of beauty, but it is pretty fucking close. Oh, and the ride operators on Millie were phenomenal. They were entertaining (on our second ride, one of the operators asked, “Who knows the manufacturer of this ride?” and Chooch and I screamed, “INTAMIN!” before anyone else could answer even though we knew there wasn’t a prize but we were born to be first, OK; the ride operator was like, “FRONT ROW GOT IT!” and we rode that wave for a good 45 minutes) and super efficient. They had three train ops down to a science.

Chooch and I had a good ride in the front row on our second day, but I think I preferred the back. We are definitely backseat riders for the most part, on most coasters, but I do really love front row at night. We unfortunately didn’t get any night rides on Millie, so clearly we have to go back at some point. Like, this weekend. OK, probably not this weekend. I think Henry will murder me with his eyeballs if I even ask, lol.

I think I actually might be in love with Steve. Sorry, Henry.

Chooch just ran by and I said, “Chooch is there anything you want to say about Millie?” and he said, “Uh yes!” in a way that I expected a saccharine sonnet to come wisping out of his mouth, but instead all he said was, “It was good.”

WOW. Just so you know, he teared up looking at it from the car window when we drove away, so.

Oct 152019
 

My friend Wendy wanted me to take portraits of her daughter last weekend and I had some mild internal panicking because I have not used the “good camera” in a good long while, so about an hour before I had to leave (OK, maybe it was more like 30 minutes) I called Chooch home from his brother’s house and made him sit on the front steps for 3 minutes while I snapped some pictures in hopes of suddenly regaining some lost fake-talent.

I should probably start forcing Chooch into photoshoots again. That camera was not cheap and I barely use it!

Anyway, this has been a short “Here is what my 13-year-old son looks like through a lens that’s not attached to an iPhone or an on-ride camera at an amusement park” blog post.

Oct 132019
 

It’s 3:13pm and we’re on our way home from King’s Dominion in Somewhere, Virginia. We came here for the weekend because amusement parks are our favorites and also because we’re on a quest to get Chooch to 100 coaster credits by the end of the year. I think this visit put him into the 90-count so we might be able to do it!

Anyway, it was an awesome weekend, our first time at King’s Dominion & it really redeemed the Cedar Fair brand in my eyes. But I will get to that another day! This post is just going to be a live blog thing for our drive home because it’s a five hour trek which means it will take us like 8 hours probably and I finished my book on the way there (“Emergency Contact” by Mary H.K. Choi – loved it) so I will need entertainment.

We left the park around 2 and stopped at the Four Seasons Family Restaurant for lunch because we didn’t pay the big corporate Cedar Fair $$$ food prices – seriously insane how much they charge for a flimsy piece of pizza there.

Good plant vibes here, and our waitress was nice BUT the French fries were crinkle cut which is not my style. Also, Chooch and I both gave our salads to Henry so then when he got his burger, he removed the lettuce because he said he had too much already lol. The trials and tribulations of Henry J. Cry for him.

Then Chooch started being Chooch-esque and slammed back into the booth not knowing there was someone behind him so I was like SAY YOURE SORRY and he held up the stuffed dog he won there in the claw machine and made it do the apologizing for him and then started crying from laughing so hard so henry was like CHECK PLZ.

4:42: I keep nodding off because a weekend of running from one ride to another is more exhausting than it sounds but I have to stay awake because I’m so afraid that if i fall asleep so will Henry and then we’ll die in a fiery crash.

Also, we’re going to be out this way again in a month for the Super M concert which is weird because it’s been three years since we last came out this way and I was recently like, “we never go south anymore” and basically I’m just typing words to stay awake.

5:14pm: When Paula Abdul says, “now I’m caught in a hit & run” wtf she even mean? I never really thought about it until now.

We just left Sheetz and are currently fighting over a cookie so things are back to normal. The amusement park feelings forcefield has worn off, out of radius.

6:16pm: At some rando rest stop in Maryland that’s pretty for some reason!

Henry has his creep-o uncle Raybans on and I feel so offended.

7:09pm: Just stopped at a Pilot so Chooch could look for a book light. They didn’t have that but this is the place to go if you need a Bible, designer hunting knives, George Jones CDs, or starchy attire to subtly let people know who you voted for.

8:02pm: We just passed one of this “runaway truck” ramps coming down the mountain into Uniontown and I regaled Henry with the time I was driving home in the middle of the night from hanging out at the airport with my friends Heather the Ken and Justin Blair (back when you could hang out at airports and we would sometimes go just to get an ice cream cone from McDonald’s and watch planes land, god that sounds so fucking romantic lol) and I mistook one of those runaway truck things for the road and drove onto it.

“of course you did,” Henry sighed.

8:23pm: HENRY IS RIDICULOUS WITH THE CAR A/C. HE TRIES TO FREEZE US OUT.

8:50pm: I think that Elvis is like super overrated. THERE I SAID IT.

Some bullshit Ronnie McDowell song is on whatever old person radio station put on and apparently he was like an Elvis super fanboy and sang JUST LIKE HIM and I can’t understand a SINGLE WORD he’s saying so when people ask me why I listen to Kpop when I don’t speak Korean I will be sure to reference this motherfucker who is singing in ENGLISH (allegedly!).

Casey Kasem just told us a FUNNY STORY about how Barry Manilow found a song called Brandy by “some guy” and wanted to record it but there was already a hit song at the time called Brandy (the Looking Glass one) so he changed the name to MANDY.

I DID NOT KNOW THIS. Henry’s old person station taught me a thing. I’m going to tell Glenn tomorrow at work, see if he knows. He might have already learned this fact organically just by being old though.

Now Crystal Gale is on and I was like, “that’s what we used to call—oh, what’s that?!” I yelled as we drove over something on the road.

“I dunno, plywood I think,” Henry said.

“Oh! I thought it was a piece of glass. Anyway, that’s what we used to call the waitress at McCoys.”

“A piece of glass??” Henry and Chooch said in unison.

“No! Crystal Gale.” God.

Anyway we’re home now, just in time for Stephen Bishop’s “On & On” to end. I mean, it’s not the Tootsie theme, but as far as Stephen Bishop songs go, it’s not the worst.

Oct 122019
 

I don’t know why but I’ve never once gone to the Beacon Haunt in all of my haunting years. I’m not sure how long it’s been there but I definitely know that I’ve seen ads for it every year seemingly since the beginning of time. So I made the unilateral decision that this is where Janna, Chooch, and I would be spending our Friday night. I also made the unilateral decision that Janna would be driving.

The Beacon Hotel is an hour north of Pittsburgh and even with Janna’s shaky navigational abilities (lol) we managed to arrive with only one turn-around and no crashing into tractors crossing the dark country roads. Miracles.

I won’t get into the nitty gritty details about this haunt but I will say that if you’re operating a haunted house/hayride/corn maze and charging $20 for this racket, then at the very least you could mention somewhere on your crappy website that it’s CASH ONLY. Or maybe get with with the times and realize that 90% of the population never carry cash and some people don’t even carry WALLETS anymore now that you can pay with YOUR PHONE.

Luckily, the adjacent hotel/restaurant had an ATM but I was still annoyed because the ATM fee almost negated the fact that we had a coupon!! I AM SO CHEAP.

Anyway, it was a decent haunt! The main event is the corn maze and it’s a little misleading that they even advertise anything other than that, and some older dude in our group who was clearly drunk pissed in the cornstalks and I kind of wanted Isaac and Malachi to pull him further into their den of crunchy husks with the sharp end of a sickle.

The most important takeaway from this though is that I didn’t imprint on any of the scare actors which is always an incredible let down.

I made Janna listen to Super M on the way home and after every song, I would scream, “JANNA DID YOU LIKE THAT SONG” and she would calmly reply, “Yes, Erin.”

Then Chooch piped up from the backseat, “Taemin’s voice is like a loud whisper.”

WHOA. So much accuracy!

We stopped for ice cream at some joint in Evans City (where Night of the Living Dead was filmed for all my horror film buffs out there) called Zimmerman’s.

ANOTHER CASH ONLY ESTABLISHMENT.

Luckily, we had change from having to pay cash at the haunted house.

There was an old lady running the cone operation and she was less than thrilled to have to get up from her chair and serve us. She let us stand out there long enough to memorize all the rules that they have taped up everywhere.

NO PETS.

NO SITTING ON THE TABLES.

TABLES FOR CUSTOMERS ONLY.

NO CARDS. NO CARDS. NO CARDS.

NO U-TURNS IN PARKING LOT.

God Zimmerman’s, get a zimmergrip.

STRICT ICE CREAM.

I just had a twist with sprinkles. It was…a twist with sprinkles. Satisfying. I was going to say it’s hard to fuck up soft serve but then I remembered Millie’s nosedive into the soft serve realm.

I made Chooch sit on the table. We half-expected Mrs. Z to come flying out of a window on her broomstick and then a new ice cream flavor would be added to the window tomorrow: Chocolate Chooch Chunk.

I was like “Aw is that supposed to be a cherry?” And Chooch and Janna thought this was absurd, like why would there be a cherry on the roof and I was like “CHERRY ON TOP OF A SUNDAE? AND THIS IS AN ICE CREAM SHOP?”

Jesus Christ!

The end.

Oct 112019
 

Super M performed this on Ellen the other day and I really think I like it better than Jopping. Taemin dances like such an angel in this one. #swoon

Sorry for the double-post on a Friday but this needs to be shared and I already spent the last hour in Janna’s car talking her ear off about Taemin and Super M so now it’s your turn to be terrorized by my hysteria.

Oct 112019
 

The title of this blog post was Chooch’s idea and he was so pleased with himself when he came up with it. “Get it? Because it has two meanings?!” Yes, Chooch. We get it.

I woke up that Sunday ready to go with my G-Dragon shirt. My only goal for the day was to get one more ride in on Steel Vengeance, so we strategically parked in a different lot by the water park, which is near an entrance to the park that’s closest Steel Vengeance.

We arrived a bit after 9, so we had some time to look at the lake. Chooch found some little yellow Nerf ball thing in the sand and, I don’t know, imprinted on it or something, and that motherfucker stayed with him ALL DAY LONG. Which wouldn’t have been a problem if he kept it in his pocket but HE HAD TO FUCK AROUND WITH IT IN EVERY LINE WE STOOD IN and the number of times he dropped it was staggering. At one point, I hissed, “If that fucking thing rolls onto the track, the whole goddamn ride is going to shut down and everyone is going to hate you, me most of all!”

Wish a seagull would have swooped down and pecked it out of his hand.

After this, we got in the short line at the entrance. They had us spread us into four lines, and we were in a line behind a family. I was fucking READY TO GO. The pee-jigs were imminent. My pulse was steadily increasing.

After passing through security, we made it to the early entrance and we were IN FRONT FOR THIS. More and more people kept arriving though and the line was getting jacked, but I was like, “BITCH YOU’LL HAVE TO STAB ME DEAD STEP OVER MY LIFELESS BODY TO GET IN FRONT OF ME.” My feet were PLANTED. I had to endure some jackhole nastily snorting and sniffling, but I was like, “YOU GOT THIS ERIN. THIS IS WHAT YOU TRAINED FOR” and when they finally pulled aside the gates, the Running of the Bulls commenced and I am PROUD TO SAY that I was the only broad among a gaggle of coaster bros running like maniacs toward Steel Vengeance and I held my own. Even Chooch eventually fell back a bit, and Henry didn’t run AT ALL. But I was like, “I WILL NOT GIVE UP” and then I started laughing because, as I mentioned in my last post, my co-worker was running a 10K that day, and I GUESS I WAS RUNNING SOME TYPE OF A K TOO.

I don’t know what the actual distance was, but it wasn’t short and sweet. So when I finally reached the area of Steel Vengeance and saw the Cedar Park girl sitting in a chair and holding a sign that said DELAYED FOR MAINTENANCE, I literally felt sparks shooting out of my ears.

WHAT THE FUCKKKKKKK?!!?!? It was me and a bunch of dudes, pacing in a circle with our hands on our heads, screaming.

OK, Plan B – Maverick, which is Steel Vengeance’s neighbor.

SAME!!!!

FUCK YOU, CEDAR POINT!!! WHAT THE FUCK?!!?!?!? By now, Henry and Chooch had caught up and I flipped out. “This park FUCKING SUCKS!” I screamed. “I HATE IT HERE!” and I felt validated in my feelings because literally everyone around me was shouting the same thing so take that, Roller Coaster Capital of America. Pfft.

Before I publicly bitched about this though, I checked social media. “I’m going to feel like a fucking asshole if they said it wasn’t going to be available for Early Entry,” I said, even though we checked their website for the list numerous times before leaving that morning.

Oh, they posted alright.

TWELVE MINUTES AFTER EARLY ENTRY STARTED!

We were already en route to Millennium Force by then. I was so pissed because Chooch and I wanted to run to it but Henry wouldn’t run with us, so I started calling him Deadweight Dad and he was like, “FUCK YOU, GO BY YOURSELVES NEXT TIME!” I mean, we might as well!

He didn’t want to ride Valravn so I was like, “Take pictures of us on it” and he did pictures of the WRONG TRAIN so good job, Deadweight Dad.

WE’RE NOT ON THIS!!!

He was too busy taking selfies on my phone!!

Then we got off Valravn, which was just OK and I’m glad that the line was only about 30 instead of the 60 minutes that the standby time was posted at and also broke down literally RIGHT WHEN WE WERE WALKING DOWN THE EXIT RAMP (I like Griffin at Busch Gardens Williamsburg better), AND HENRY WAS GONE! He had our phones so we couldn’t check the app to determine were to go next and we were stuck standing in the middle of the walkway like two lost puppies and I was SO ANGRY when I eventually saw him meandering over to us from a distance.

“I had to go to the bathroom,” he shrugged. OMG DO THAT ON YOUR OWN TIME!!

Then he did it again when we were on Raptor (it was a walk-on!!). We got off the ride and he was gone for EVEN LONGER THIS TIME. I was fuming. Five minutes later, he came strolling over to us with a big fat sugar cookie, which I wrenched from his paws and took a huge, greedy bite because that’s what he gets for deserting us and not bring anything back for us!

OK, I got all the complaining out of the way. The rest of the day (save for ANOTHER Steel Vengeance break-down) was actually pretty fucking great. We were able to get a bunch of coaster creds in spite of half the park being broke down at any given point during the weekend (Gatekeeper was actually down for pretty much the whole day). The only coasters we didn’t get to ride were Maverick (this is the only one I was really bummed about), Blue Streak, Iron Dragon, and the two kiddie coasters (they count as credits so we ride them, shuttup!).

Dumb me and Deadweight Dad.

I wanted to go back to wherever Henry got that glorious hunk of a sugar cookie because I wanted my own, but instead I opted for this iced candy corn sugar cookie which was OK but not as good as that original one, I always choose poorly! I think the process of buying cookies was just as frustrating as trying to ride a damn ride in that park. There were what seemed to be enough people working there, but there was NO ORGANIZATION and people just entered the line form whatever end they felt like it and we kept getting skipped over and then someone finally helped us and left our stuff next to the register and that was another whole process of trying to flag someone down to just ring up our fucking cookies already WE WERE RUNNING OUT OF TIME AND I WANTED TO RIDE MORE THINGS BEFORE WE HAD TO LEAVE, GOOD GOD PEOPLE RING A BITCH UP!

This derby-esque carousel ride is one of the few memories I have of previous trips to Cedar Point. I remember the first time I rode it as a kid, I thought it was just a regular carousel and was completely startled at how fast it actually goes.

Chooch accumulated a fork at the cookie place after asking to try a sample of fudge, so now his stupid yellow Nerf ball thing had a friend.

Anyway, I’m obsessed with collecting family carousel photos now, lol.

Broke-down Gatekeeper.

I had to laugh because when we decided to go to Cedar Point, I distinctly remember saying, “Oh and since we have passes and can go back whenever, we can just take it easy and enjoy ourselves without rushing around trying to fit everything in.”

You guys, have you met me, though? This is the complete opposite of what happened. From the moment we parked the car, I was in RACING MODE. Adrenaline was already pumping, my arms were akimbo so I’d be ready to elbow linejumpers (there were A LOT OF THEM at Cedar Point), and I kept screaming WHERE IS THE MAP?!?! I live everyday like I’m on an episode of Amazing Race (if I were actually on that show, I would probably have a stroke during the first challenge because my entire body consists of nerves, impatience, and competitiveness). There was no way I was going to stroll about this park beneath a lace parasol, stopping to sniff the Halloween gourds.

Sigh. It’s not easy being me.

Henry was concerned about how wasteful this was and probably started dreaming about all the soups and purees he could make with Cedar Point’s October decor.

Henry makes some REALLY GOOD SOUPS, you guys. I once tried to get him to open up a soup stand in our front. He could refurbish one of Crazy Larry’s dead cars into a walk-up immobile food-truck type thing. Daily vegan options, too!  Buy a serial killer greeting card while you’re here!

If it weren’t for Steel Vengeance and a small handful of others (Millennium Force and Magnum, and probably Maverick if I had had a chance to ride it), I’m not sure I’d be in much of a hurry to go back. I’m about to start gushing about Steel Vengeance but I will stop myself here because as I mentioned before I want to have a separate post for that and Millennium Force, which were the two main highlights of an otherwise up-and-down experience.

I have to say though, for as many frustrating moments that the weekend held for us, I still left this park anxious to come back because of the aforementioned short-list of perfect rides and also being next to the lake was so scenic and those views from the coasters were breathtaking. The whole experience felt like being in an abusive relationship, though! All it took was one ride on Steel Vengeance and I magically forgot about all the shittiness that this park had delivered prior to that. I can’t hate you, Cedar Point.