Feb 192018

With the most brutal bits of winter over (hopefully), Lunch Break Tales are starting to heat up! Soon, more freaks will be slithering out of the nooks and crannies of Pittsburgh, so my lunchtime walks should be getting more lively here soon.

Until then, here is a small collection from the last week of walks.

  1. St.Patrick

On one of my Strip District strolls, I felt the urge to get my church on, so I hung a right past the grocer playing “Sara Smile” and visited St. Patrick where I did some atonin’.

J/K, I was there just there for a minute to take pictures because I was bored.

Old as fuck.

St. Patrick, I guess.

He seems mean.

2. Callous Coat Compliments

Earlier last week, I was standing on a corner waiting to cross the street and talking to Henry on the phone because that’s what you can usually catch me doing while I’m outside around ‘town unless Henry is “busy” and doesn’t answer his phone no matter how many times I hang up and call right back. But on this particular day, I pinned him down and he was obediently listening to me yap about my day, when I vaguely heard a voice calling out to my left about a jacket. I didn’t think anything of it and kept right on jawing off to Henry and just as I was about to step out into the street, the voice grew louder and more forceful.

“I SAID I LIKE YOUR COAT!!!” yelled a very rough looking girl with a neck tattoo who looked like an extra from Orange Is the New Black. She was walking past me on the sidewalk, tugging on her own coat to illustrate her callous compliment.

I quickly gushed a thank you and prayed that I appeased her before she decided to shank me and bloody my damn coat that draws way too much attention.

Shockingly, from a lot of old men. It must remind them of an old beloved couch.

Henry asked, “What the hell was that?”

“Oh, just another fan of my dumb gold sofa coat.”

Random mural from another walk last week. I’m so close to being able to walk to my favorite Asian market but even if I made it, I wouldn’t have enough time left to go inside and buy anything UGH WHY CAN’T I HAVE A 90 MINUTE LUNCH BREAK.

3. Candy Cashola

On Valentine’s Day, I went to Crazy Mocha to treat myself. As I walked to the counter, I noticed a young guy sitting alone at a table, with two giant gift bags at his feet, numerous helium balloons tied to them (the bags, not his feet), and a heart-shaped box of chocolates opened on the table. At first glance, I thought this was a really sweet scene of a dude getting his Valentine gifts ready for his girlfriend or boyfriend. But then I noticed that he was methodically wrapping each bare-backed chocolate with CASH MONEY, DIRTY DIRTY CASH MONEY.

Oh I could have spit up a little in my dirty chai latte. What a poorly-executed idea.



On Mondays, I have to take my break earlier than usual because my little group has a meeting at 2pm every week and that’s what time I usually take my walk. Do you know me? I am a creature of habit and Mondays always screw me up because I have to CHANGE MY ROUTINE.


I was all ready to go out around 1 when I checked the weather (#responsible; see also: Glenn has been purposely steering me wrong lately). I saw that there was a chance of rain, so I went and borrowed an umbrella from the umbrella stash in a drawer behind Marlene.

I can’t remember now who told me about that stash but it has SAVED MY LIFE several times.

In the drawer, there three umbrellas: a black one, a blue one, and a red one. I almost took the blue one. I had my fingers wrapped around the handle and everything, but then I reached for the red because it’s the smallest one and I didn’t feel like lugging around a large ‘brella if it wasn’t raining out there.

I have reasons, OK? You wouldn’t understand.

So I went outside and it was not raining, hooray! I went and got a chai latte at Crazy Mocha with zero ordeal, totally low-key for once. Although I ordered a small chai latte and dude gave me a medium one but I was less annoyed as I could have been when I thought he charged me for a medium and was making me a small. So I left with the medium since that’s what I paid for and didn’t feel like arguing that I ordered a small, having him void the transaction, and start over from scratch. I have shit to do!

It’s some new guy. He’s OK. But he always asks, “What can I get y’all?” which always makes me toss a quick glance over my shoulder and wonder if he can actually see my imaginary friend!?

Anyway, this story is about a cut so let’s get back to it.

I finally got a hold of Henry after I left Crazy Mocha and he was trying to act all cool like he was so busy and couldn’t talk to me, so after about 10 minutes, I got fed up with his superiority complex and said, “I’m hanging up now” and then hung up before he could respond because I don’t time to be courteous, and also because it had started to rain so I needed to pocket my phone and deal with the Opening of the Umbrella, of which I have a storied history.

My relationship with umbrellas is torrid.

I was especially unfamiliar with the inner workings of this small red umbrella. It wasn’t the kind where you push a button to unleash the monster. I had to push it up on my own, and once it was completely extended, I had to push down on a metal thing to pop open the umbrella part.

But I didn’t push down hard enough so the top started to come back down and my thumb got pinched inside of it — I am having a super hard time illustrating with words what went down here because I’m not a verified Umbrella Expert and do not know the technical names of the parts of it, OK?

What I can tell you is that it fucking LACERATED the pad of my thumb and a big bubble of blood sprung forth immediately and I screamed out loud and started to panic because I was a twenty minute walk away from the office and BLEEDING. It was stinging so badly.

“Don’t cry don’t cry don’t cry,” I kept hoarsely whispering to myself. I knew that there was a fire station nearby, but it was in the opposite direction and I needed to head back to work. So I couldn’t cry to a fireman. For a fleeting moment, I also worried about the scent of my blood-bubble attracting local vampires or maybe a demogorgon, I don’t know what goes on beneath the city. Do you?

I looked across the street and saw Two Louie’s Market. I considered going in there and asking for a bandaid because surely they have a first aid kit for employees and if I had to buy a fucking beverage, then fine!

But I was afraid that if I stopped walking, I would pass out.

So I just walked back to work in blinding pain, rain pelting down on the umbrella, my non-umbrella-holding hand squeezing my thumb like a tourniquet to keep it from falling off.

Came back to work and started screaming about my injury while bandaging myself with blessedly-large Ikea bandages.

“LOOK AT HOW THE BLOOD IS SHOWING THROUGH!” I screamed to Glenn and Todd, who were trying to process what was happening so quickly around them.

Glenn mentioned something about our meeting being canceled and I was like, “ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!” so I marched down the hall just as Amber was emerging from her office and, thrusting my wounded thumb at her, I said, “This is all your fault! If you would have canceled the meeting before I went out on my break, then I would have went out at my regular time AND THIS WOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED!”

“Wow. …sorry?” she shrugged, completely not caring.

Then Glenn or someone suggested that we call the meeting back on so I couldn’t talk about my cut and I quickly waved it off. “No no, it’s not that big of a deal.”

I really dislike meetings!

“Was it still raining out there when you came in?” Todd asked me.

“Yeah, raining blood,” Glenn deadpanned.


On my way home from work, I noticed that my entire hand hurts now, from my thumb down to my wrist.

“Oh my god, what if I have tetanus!?” I cried to Henry.

“Why would you have tetanus!? When were you last vaccinated for that?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I shrugged. “When I was born?”

“No,” Henry sighed.

Feb 172018

Sadly, after going strong for over a month of Saturday Night Family Kpop Workout Hour, we had to skip the last two weeks on account of being too busy fulfilling Valentine card orders and then Henry and Chooch being sick last week. But tonight, we’ll be back at it and I’m so excited!

(I still do Kpop workouts everyday on my own regardless, but it’s way more fun when we shove away the furniture and prance around as a fam.)

So in honor of our tradition resuming tonight, I’m sharing my current favorite Kpop dance workout routine for anyone who wants to give it a try! It’s so fun and helped me get down to a size 6 so it’s legit you guys I swear!

Oh and just because I’m a fucking sweetheart, here’s Henry’s favorite routine:

Feb 162018

I know what you guys are thinking: When will Erin tell us about her weekend? She always tells us about her weekend. DID SHE NOT HAVE A WEEKEND?!

Guys*, calm down. I had a weekend. It was just really fucking boring.

*(Read: voices in my head.)

Henry and Chooch were both sick at the same time and I was SO MAD about this! Let’s be real, I don’t really hang out with anyone else but them, and they were in no condition to hangout. Chooch wasn’t too sick on Friday night, at least, so after Henry went to bed at 8pm, Chooch and I got comfortable on the couch and watched the PyeongChang opening ceremonies, because I wanted to see my land. It sucked that I had to watch the American broadcast though, and when Katie Couric mispronounced “hanbok,” I was ready to throw in the towel.

I know a lot of people think that the athlete march thing is boring as fuck, but Chooch and I like to watch the entire thing because it teaches us about countries we had no idea existed. For a good long minute, we were convinced that “Iron” was a country because our eyes are bad. And we cheered every time a kpop song was played (BIGBANG – “Fantastic Baby,” BTS – “DNA,” Red Velvet – “Red Flavor,” and Twice “Likey”!) and furiously flipped off the TV every time they showed Pence’s fucking pudding face, that guy can go to hell. I’m super glad he sat during the Korean athletes’s entrance – I’m practicing my “eh”s and maple syrup stats for when I pretend to be Canadian next month in Korea.  I hate feeling such shame to be an American.

But….I do.

Sorry, but aside from Shaun White, I have been rooting for the Korean athletes in every event, I don’t care.

(Speaking of Shaun White, watching him win gold the other night was so exciting. I mean, I hate hugs, but if he told me to bring it in, I’d be all like OPEN ARMS by Journey, if you know what I mean.)

(Do you know what I mean?)

So that was Friday.

Saturday was so much boredom. Chooch was down for the count all day and Henry had to work even though he was sick as a dog (which not all Koreans eat, btw). He came home and pretty much went right to bed, so I was on my own, baby. I did A LOT of exercising, K-Drama watching [I’m almost done with Love In Trouble (Suspicious Partner) and it’s so good], coffee-drinking, and major whining.

In the morning, I walked to the post office to mail some last minute Valentine orders that had trickled in. I can go to the Brookline one on Saturdays because MAUREEN isn’t ever there. I guess when you work for the post office for 30 years, you’re exempt from weekend hours. On my way there, I noticed a cluster of people taking up an entire section of the Brookline Boulevard sidewalk, enrapt in what some older lady tour guide (??) was telling them. A TOUR OF BROOKLINE, WHO WOULD PAY FOR THAT!? As I got closer, none of the people moved for me, so I had to fucking walk in a mound of crunchy street snow to get around them. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?” I seethed openly as this happened and at least three of them heard of me. GOOD FOR THEM. While this was happening, I could heard the tour guide explaining to them the history of the Pittsburgh wedding cookie table.

After a positive post office experience, I came back out to a blessedly empty sidewalk and then noticed that they had all crammed inside DeLuca’s Bakery, all 20-something of them, and then it occurred to me that this was maybe some type of cookie walk thing and if so, what a HORRIBLE representative of Pittsburgh cookies that tour guide chose because DeLuca’s fucking suuuuuuucks. Like, they could come to my house and I’ll give them better cookies which is saying a lot considering the last time I baked cookies unsupervised, I put all the dough on one baking thing because I was trying to make a giant marijuana leaf (????) and then all my friends got a stomachache because it was undercooked, obviously. This was a long time ago.

I walked to Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced latte because it was kind of mild that day, in the 50s I think?  Some speedskating thing was on and there was a Korean in it so even though I had my latte in my hand, I hung out by the counter so I could watch it and eventually the young kid that knows us so well that he, honest to god, has a large black unsweetened iced tea waiting for Henry if he sees us walking in, asked me if I needed help and I was like NO JUST TRYNA ROOT FOR MY COUNTRY IN  THE OLYMPICS, BRO, IS THAT OK WITH YOU? YOU GONNA REPORT ME TO TRUMP?

J/K. I just said, “No, I’m just watching this” but then I felt awkward after that so I just left.

Came home and made a bunch of kpop birthday cards and teased the cats.

Henry at least came downstairs long enough to make me dinner, and then later on we went to Target because I wanted to get out of the house and he was just like, “I’m dying, but sure, let’s go shopping for the NOTHING THAT WE NEED.” But isn’t that how all Target trips are? I bought Chooch a strand of Valentine candy heart lights, for Christ’s sake. Such necessity.

(I’m watching the Olympics as I write this on a rainy Thursday night and I’m crying because South Korea’s Yun SungBin won the gold in men’s skeleton and through my tears he looks like the killer from Love in Trouble! I’m not sure what he looks like to someone with normal eyesight though.)

(Another Olympic aside: I’m not buying into the charm that Adam Rippon is selling and I know that’s like unheard of but I just don’t get it sorry guys*. Also, I don’t really like figure skating that much.)

*(Sometimes I start to believe that I’m really talking to people. Like I’m doing a podcast entirely through thought.)

Sunday was more of the same but at least Henry kind of hung out a little, at one point, but he still slept for SO LONG. I decided to watch some Olympics but the local news people irritated me by talking in Yinzer voices about what kimchi “apparently” is and how it’s “supposed to be pretty good.” 헐!

At one point, I flew upstairs in a panic and asked, “WILL U BE BETTER BY LUNCHTIME HOW WILL EAT LUNCH” and he sickly groaned, “Chill out, it’s only 10:30.”


He did eventually come downstairs long enough to make my lunch, sit down for 20 minutes, and then go back to bed. God, milk it much?

Chooch still had a low fever so he didn’t go to his piano lesson. He spent most of the day resting and that concept is SO WEIRD to me because when I’m sick, I’m always front and center, making sure I don’t miss any action while constantly reminding my roommates that I’m slowly expiring.

Let me tell you just how bored I was: I actually begged Henry to let me go grocery shopping with him that evening. Like, get me out of the house, please. I mean, I guess I could have gone and hung out with imaginary friends at the cemetery, but….

“Are measles itchy?” I asked Henry, scratching my face.

“You don’t have measles,” he sighed.

Wow, grocery shopping is so boring. And Henry chose the 12 Items Or Less lane when he has FOURTEEN ITEMS!!!!

And that was basically the extent of my weekend with sick people.

Image result for taemin sad gif

Feb 142018

Well it’s Valentine’s Day and while I’m not all that into it (I just love making Valentines though ok I can’t help it, it’s a sick condition), I still want to take a minute out of my pressing Wednesday business to give my Valentine of 17 years a shout-out because even though I don’t always put it in blunt sentences, I love that big dumb mountain man. I think most people are wise enough to read between the lines and figure that out, amirite?

I don’t know many other men who could deal with my special brand of high maintenance (honestly sometimes I think Henry feels like it would be easier if all I wanted was bling and not constant emotional massaging), erratic mood swings, and psychotic obsessions. This ahjussi not only puts up with my kpop obsession, but he has filled the kitchen with Korean ingredients and cookware, can name at least two members of a dozen Kpop groups, casually mentions the top three Kpop agencies in daily conversation, knows the names of the entire Running Man cast, and is willingly and excitedly going to South Korea with me next month. If that’s not ride or die, then….I guess I just don’t understand the definition.

But then…is it love, or is it Stockholm Syndrome?

So there’s my bi-annual props to Henry. I guess I’ll be back with another edition in June when it’s his birthday.

Happy Valentines Day, my friends!

Feb 132018

My prelude to Valentine’s Day is not a great one. I just woke up Henry and before I even had a chance to say what I wanted to say, I burst into tears. Impending panic was chasing away his drowsiness by now, and he quickly asked me what was wrong.

“G-Dragon’s military enlistment has been confirmed! It’s FEBRUARY 27TH! WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITHOUT G-DRAGON FOR 2 YEARS? MY HEART HURTS SO BAD!”

“Oh for God’s sake, you’ll survive,” Henry said, rolling over and falling back to sleep.

Big Bang GIF

BIGBANG’s G-Dragon Confirms Military Enlistment Date

Seems dumb, but I’m sad. G-Dragon is everything.

Update: I revised the Korea countdown calendar and my work friends are like “oh no.”

Feb 132018

Some of you (see also: none of you) have been asking, “Hey, how is that Bob Ross Chia Pet doing? You know, the one you introduced to us a few weeks, promising regular updates?”

Did I ever promise that though?

Anyway, let’s pretend all of the above is real and not a conversation I had with myself over a Korean picnic next to the Han River in my head while riding on the trolley in an effort to distract myself from freaking out at Trolley Dad and his dumb daughter. (“DO YOU SEE THE SUN? DO YOU THINK THE SUN SEES YOU?” Yeah good job teaching your dumb kid to look at the blinding orb of flames in the sky you asshole.)

Sorry. I’m angry.

Back to Bob.

The box says that we should have seen sproutage on Bob’s dome 1-2 weeks after The Spreading of the Seed-Paste.  We thought we saw some growth on his neck, because some of the paste oozed its way down there, but then eventually Amber realized it was actually mold.

Of course, everyone glared at me because this was all my fault since I was in charge of setting him up and I’m sorry if my eyeballs aren’t capable of measuring 1/4 cups of water, OK?! I had to work with what we had in the office AND THAT WAS A DIXIE CUP!

I thought maybe moving him back by the window would help, get him some good old Sunny D, you know?

Well, as you can see, it’s been numerous weeks now and he’s just a headful of hardened seeds AND MOLD.

I changed his name to Bob Ross, but in my head, I call him Bob Mo(u)ld because I’m not sure anyone at work would get that reference and I don’t feel like explaining things anymore.

If anyone out there reading this has experience in cultivating a healthy Chia pet, please send me your secrets, tips, advice, plant-prayers. OR DON’T SEND ME ANYTHING I DON’T CARE I’M IN A BAD MOOD!

Feb 112018

I’m back again with more lunch break tales because my life is so fucking rich.

The past few weeks, again, have been so inconsistent, weather-wise. On Friday though, Amber came back in from a walk and said it was actually nice out.

“Like, nice enough that I won’t need gloves?” I asked.

“I mean, it’s still kind of cold. You probably don’t need a hat, but I’d still take gloves,” she said, after giving it a second of thought.

I made a disappointed grumble, and Todd said to Amber, “Look, you gotta give her the answer she’s wanting, Amber. And she’s wanting to not wear gloves.”

“Fine, then don’t take gloves,” she said with great exasperation, but I was already walking down the hall with just my coat on anyway.

And….I totally wish I had brought my gloves, fucking ugh forever.

That was just a sample of the daily convos my co-workers are forced to have with me.

Anyway, let’s explore downtown Pittsburgh with some more pictures, SHALL WE?! Starting with one that I took after work and not on my lunch break, look at me, breaking the blogging law.

Market Square. I walk  through here everyday on my way to where Henry picks me up and it’s annoying because I almost always get stuck behind CASUAL WALKERS and don’t you know I’m a speed-walker all day every day? Get the fuck outta my way.

I usually eat oatmeal or Cream of Wheat for lunch every day. Don’t cry for me too hard, this is what I choose to eat because it’s easy and simple and something I can actually handle myself. (Mostly.) But last Friday, I was out of oatmeal and felt like gnawing off my arm, so I stopped at Bae Bae’s on my break. My intent was to just get kimbap to go, but they were only serving kimbap for dinner that day. So I ended up getting the tofu steak lunchbox and had the most delightful conversation with the guy working the counter. I cannot express how much I love this place, from the people to the food to the ambiance, and I want to become friends with them in the worst way. I just wanted to blurt out I’M GOING TO KOREA NEXT MONTH CAN WE TALK ABOUT THAT FOREVER?! But I played it cool.

When I went up to get my food, the girl who is always there and I think is one of the owners (#speculation) said, “You’ve been here before, right?” and I was like, “YES LET’S BE BEST FRIENDS WANT TO COME OVER?!” JK I just said yes and then tacked on an overzealous, fan-girly, “AND I FOLLOW YOU GUYS ON INSTAGRAM.”

And as I was leaving, the other guy who is always there called out, “See you later, Erin! Have a good day!” and I was like, “OH I AM SO IN THE CLUB NOW.” JK I’m never in any clubs, not since elementary school when Spring and I had the Animal Rescue Club, meetings were held in the attic of the shed in my backyard, and the closest we came to saving an animal was when we found a groundhog that was probably dead and my mom was all DON’T TOUCH IT IT COULD HAVE RABIES THAT’S GROSS.


We could have been so good at saving animals if dumb parents hadn’t gotten in the way.

I walk through a lot of alleys downtown because they’re fucking creepy and interesting. Some dude was murdered in this one. Well, that’s where his body was found, anyway.

Stupid trolley station thing that I use almost every day. There’s also a free art gallery above it, which is kind of cool I guess but doesn’t take away from the fact that I hate taking the T to work, woe is me.

When I was leaving for my afternoon walk on Friday, I rode down on the elevator with Sue, who half-jokingly said, “Hey, while you’re out, see if you can find Jeannie’s work ID. She lost it on the way back from Proper.” Since I never have a cemented destination in my mind when I step outside, I purposely walked down that particular block and without any effort whatsoever, I found Jeannie’s ID laying on the sidewalk in front of the Benedum. I AM A FUCKING HERO. I sent Jeannie a picture of it and she was like YOU’RE THE BEST and I was like LE DUH. Anyway, I get a reward now, and that’s all that matters.

Sue called me Hawkeye Kelly and I love that nickname because my eyes are actually so freaking terrible!

I treated myself to a bag of parmesan Goldfish from CVS, but I went to one of the smaller, crappier ones in lieu of the decent one I normally go to, and that was sad because this particular CVS reeks of cigarette smoke and sewage. It’s just really bad. But I really enjoy the one cashier who is there often, a young stoner named Cameron who is super pleasant and jovial and ends every transaction by handing over the bag and cheerfully saying, “Enjoy!”

Even when the broad in front of me was purchasing nothing but a pack of Always pads, he sent her off with an emphatic invitation to, “ENJOY!”

Feb 092018

It’s Friday and I’m tired but also really looking forward to going home and watching the replay of the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies, so here is a mild photo dump with minimal wordage.

But most importantly, an update on the countdown calendar!

That paper plane is moving at a snail’s pace, like I’m taking a hot air balloon to Korea it feels like.

My babies! For as stressed out as I was these last several weeks, I sure am going to miss all the action once the Valentine orders stop. I am still 100% convinced that this was a fluke, though! I’m bracing myself for my least favorite part of being an Etsy seller — the inevitable deluge of convos re: late or lost items. USPS, you give me heartburn.

I bought Chooch this adorable Corgi pillow from Etsy and couldn’t resist giving it to him early. Drew feels threatened, though.

Penelope’s perfect profile!

And here’s dumb old me, a window selfie from last night’s late shift. Our department is basically all reflective windows and it can be startling once the sun goes down. Anyway, this is my favorite shirt. It brings back memories from my time spent as a mediocre, part-time goth.

I also have several photos from my lunchtime travels, but I thought maybe I would save those for their own Lunch Break Tales post? WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you guys enjoy looking at pictures of my so-so city or should I just start a private scrapbook for those lol like I would ever scrapbook.

No offense, scrapbookers! I just don’t have the mental coordination for that.

BONUS: Sudden urge to buy Reeboks which I have not worn since middle school:

Feb 072018

It’s that time again. Weekend recap!

I spent the morning finishing my Golden Girls Valentines and crying tears of joy while watching video clips of Taeyang’s wedding. The disgusted sneer Henry kept giving me was so perfect.

So, all week I was thinking about how I wanted to go to Nak Won Garden on Saturday for some soondubu jjigae (look, Henry is a marvel at Korean home-cookin’, but there is just nothing like that bubbling ttukbaegi of kimchi & tofu that comes out of a real Korean kitchen sorry Bae Henry).

(That’s what I call him because I like to pretend that he’s in love with Bae Suzy, a Korean singer/actress.)

(He doesn’t get it.)

Right. So all week I’m enduring this shitty cold weather and thinking about the soondubu at the end of the frigid tunnel, but then Chooch had to go and get stupid straight A’s so there went my Korean lunch out. Instead, we went to Blue Flame, which was fine because Blue Flame has a forever spot in my heart and everyone who knows me knows that!

As soon as Henry parked the car, Chooch was out the door and running over to the wall at the side of the parking lot. On the other side is a creek which, to most people, is not noteworthy in the slightest. But ever since I was really little, it was tradition to peer over that wall at the creek below, especially in the warmer months when tadpoles could be seen. I’m not sure who started this or why, but it was one of the things that I did with my Pappap so it’s always been special. And of course I taught Chooch about it when he was super little, so it’s just like a thing now. It feels like we’re honoring my Pappap every time we look down into that shallow, burbling water, so I’m going to keep doing it until the day I die, fight me.

I posted about this on Instagram and one of my friends who also grew up in this area said she used to do the same thing when she was a kid so maybe it really is A Thing!

(Also, a Bae Suzy video just came on as I’m typing this and now I’m laughing alone.)

Creek peek.

Inside Blue Flame, all Chooch wanted was one (1) blueberry pancake. For as outspoken and independent as he typically is in most situations, this kid is AWFUL at communicating with waitresses. I don’t know what happens, but he fucking shuts down as soon as they ask him for his order and then LOOKS AT US while he’s mumbling his order, like we’re his FUCKING KIDNAPPERS and he wants our approval.

It is beyond awkward, like these waitresses probably think he beat him at home or something, the way he acts all nervous and skittish, and then sometimes he doesn’t know how to answer their questions so we have to do it for him! Like, honestly, WHAT KIND OF FUCKING BREAD DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR TOAST?! YOU ONLY LIKE WHITE BREAD SO JUST SAY THAT.

Jesus Christ!

Or when he acts like ordering a drink is the hardest question he’ll answer all day when he literally only ever gets one of two things: chocolate milk or lemonade.

It’s so uncomfortable.

My favorite is when the waitress explains his options – and you know most places have the same standard canon drink menu – and he looks at US like “Which of those do I like?” which I always feel looks like he’s seeking our approval so he won’t get whipped when we leave for ordering apple juice instead of milk.

The rest of our Saturday was full of card-making tension and at one point Chooch mumbles, “My parents are literally fighting over serial killer Valentines.”

It was a hard lesson in supply & demand that day. But we persevered. Barely.


Sunday was cool too! Chooch’s piano lesson was canceled so we got to just relax that morning without needing to run around. After lunch, we went to Oakland because Chooch is doing a report on Crispus Attucks and can barely find any solid info on him. The Brookline branch of the Carnegie library ordered a book for him and then failed to tell him that it was never even put on the truck yet until a week later when Henry called to see what the hell was going on, and we had to buy a book on Amazon, which ended up being some children’s story. Chooch’s teacher was all pissed off at him at first, until other kids also were like, “THE LIBRARY FAILED US” so she said she was going to rough them up, or call and complain. One of those.

So we took him to the main Carnegie Library on Sunday and the librarian who helped us totally redeemed all librarians in Chooch’s eyes, and now he’s like, “MAYBE IT’S JUST THE BROOKLINE ONES WHO SUCK” and yes son that’s surely it because the Brookline library is pretty dumb. Chooch has beef with three of them.

He likes the security guard there though.

Sunday was a wet snow kind of day and Henry muttered a lot about how it was just the type of day where you should stay home. LOL.

I wonder if Trump knows that libraries are free…?

But anyway, Henry was miserable because there was some broad singing in a room near the front of the library and it seemed like every person standing around watching the performance had bathed in patchouli that morning, so we had to walk through that and it was unpleasant. Henry REALLY hates it even more than me so he complained about it off and on for the better part of an hour.

Almost immediately, we enlisted the help of the aforementioned librarian and she was incredibly helpful and invested in Chooch’s project. Unlike waitresses, he was actually able to communicate to her what he needed so she took us to the right section and kept coming back with more books that she found elsewhere. She was a savior.

Chooch wants to only go to that library from now on.

Dork alert.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to comprehend that he’s gifted. Especially when I watched him struggle to smear jelly on his toast at Blue Flame, or observed the way he uses a fork to pile bites of pancake onto the blade of a butter knife instead of just, you know, taking the fork all the way home with the pancake bites.

“Who eats like that?!” I cried, and he was like, “What? What am I doing wrong?”

I mean, nothing I guess. It just seems like it takes so much effort to balance food on a knife, that’s all.

And then we made Chooch pay his own library fines since he was unable to check out his book otherwise.

“GO ON, TELL THE MAN ABOUT YOUR FINES,” we said as we nudged Chooch toward the librarian at the check-out counter.

I mean, we live three blocks away from a library, so there’s really no excuse.

And then we went back to working in a knock-off Hallmark sweatshop for the rest of the day/night.

That’s all for now. I have shit to do, food to eat, vids to watch.

Feb 062018

My favorite Taemin song changes weekly. Currently, it’s “Play Me” because it calms the heart palpitations I’ve been getting every day for the last week. I am not good under pressure, that’s for damn sure. But it just makes unwinding each night feel even more glorious, you know?

People have asked me what I’m most looking forward to when we go to Korea next month and I guess I’m expected to say something about Kpop or eating all the street food and trust me, my heart flutters when I think of those things. But that’s not it. I’m mostly looking forward to waking up every day and being surrounded by the language, seeing and hearing Hangeul everywhere. To me, it’s the most beautiful language in the world. I’m learning it so slowly – it’s hard when you’re not taking an actual graded class – but not once have I felt like quitting.

I’m so excited to read all of the signs in Korea!

Sometimes I get so antsy at work and by the time Henry picks me up I am frantically putting Kpop on in the car and saying, “I’ve heard nothing but English all day ugh*!” And he’s just like, “oh for god’s sake.” Yet he’s the first one to sit down and turn on a Korean drama, so.

(I don’t listen to music or anything at work because I’m paranoid and need to know what’s being said around me at all times, also I hate ear buds.)

You know how some people can relieve headaches by applying pressure on the part of the hand between the thumb and forefinger? That’s kind of the effect that listening to Korean has on my brain. Like a wash of relief. I can’t explain it any better than that.

There is no point to this blog post but it feels good to be relaxin’ in the couch and casually typing this on my phone after spending hours in the non compos cards sweatshop (I AM GRATEFUL FOR THAT SWEATSHOP THO!!).

I’m trying to be nicer to myself and taking a break here and there but I’m not very good at it.

Wow hey blog thanks for listening. Time for korean lesson & bed. Lol like I sleep.

Feb 052018

(Some dumb old story I wrote 10 years ago, probably during a fever who knows.)

“Don’t!” Oscar shouted at his mother-in-law. “Let me.” He took the plate out of her hands and replaced it on the table before she had a chance to pile it with food. His wife had long since died but he still ate at her parent’s house on the fourth Monday of every fifth month. Pulling a compartmentalized picnic tray from his messenger bag, he began the methodical process of separating his food. He always ate his meals in quarters: protein in one pocket, vegetables in another, starches touched only each other, and then condiments formed a pool in the final compartment. Or fruit if there was any to have, in which case he would forego the frivolous sauces.

Oscar kept his digital watch set to beep in fifteen minute intervals, a reminder to put a new TicTac in his mouth. He would only do this at work, though, because he lived above a slaughterhouse and sometimes the howling and the squealing of chains and the grinding of gears rendered it impossible for Oscar to hear his watch. If something else happened to be in his mouth when his watch would chime, he’d spit it out into the tiny wastebasket under his desk, which was emptied four times during his shift.

On Sundays, Oscar enjoyed going to the farmers market in the industrial district of town. A public parking garage was provided as a courtesy to the citizens, but Oscar preferred parking on the street. He loved the way the quarters sounded as their shiny disks slid into the metal slot of the meter. It was slightly arousing, but only Oscar’s therapist knew this.

“Sometimes I lick the quarters before they leave my hand, and often I feel pained to release them. But once I hear that sound, it makes me swell. You know. Swell. And that is one of the most rewarding sensations this life has to offer, I really think.” Oscar’s therapist copied this quote for his file in bright red ink.

One day, Oscar was granted a handsome bonus because the company had enjoyed a very successful quarter. He went home that night, scrubbed each limb with a vibrant pine-scented homemade bar of soap that he purchased from Ethel who worked on the twenty-fourth floor but was visiting her friend on the twenty-fifth floor at the time of purchase. Thumbing through the phone book, he found just the number he was looking for.

At exactly 9:41, his doorbell rang. He dawdled and stalled, pacing beneath the stately portrait of George Washington which hung in the foyer, and chugging on a quart of half-spoiled vitamin D milk, until 9:45, at which time he found it perfect to open the door and greet the four prostitutes he ordered.

For a quarter of an hour, they quietly noshed on tea sandwiches, which Oscar had meticulously de-crusted and quartered over top of his grandmother’s serving tray, which was conveniently divided into quadrants. He precisely slipped his Quarterflash album from its sleeve and placed it gently upon the record player. Then they moved to his slumber quarters, where Oscar requested that he be tied to each one of the bedposts. The four cocottes silently obliged.

As Oscar lay there, mind soaring with the possibilities, wondering if he would become as tumescent as he did in the company of parking meters, one of the harlots brandished a chainsaw from her purse and by 11:15, Oscar’s post-quartering torso was left in the center of his bed, and his limbs were sold to the slaughterhouse below where they were wrapped in freezer paper and sold for a quarter a pound.

Feb 032018

I kept putting off buying a BIGBANG light stick because I’m a tightwad but then Henry got me a gift certificate for an online Kpop store so bam that bitch went all up in my cart.

Even though it will be years (IF EVER!!) that my light stick will get to experience a BIGBANG concert what with the impending military enlistments.


Anyway, my light stick arrived the other day and I was sad because it takes two AAA batteries and we only had spare AAs on hand. This was a huge issue, nevermind the fact that we have a freakin’ CVS three blocks away and I could have just walked my ass there, but then Chooch was all, “DADDY’S SMALL FLASHLIGHT MIGHT HAVE TRIPLE As” and before Henry had a chance to snatch his coveted flashlight from us, I had thieved the batteries.

“Come on!” Henry cried as I fled with them in my clenched fist. He is SO POSSESSIVE OF HIS FLASHLIGHTS. Actually, this is the only flashlight he has right now for some reason.

(One time I let a neighbor borrow one of his flashlights without asking him first and it was A Very Big Deal.)

“Let me do it!” Chooch begged, because inserting batteries into a thing is like really amazing you guys. Instead of being mature and lettin my 11-year-old son have a moment to shine, I said, and I do mean shrieked, “NO IT’S MY LIGHT STICK DON’T YOU FUCKING TOUCH IT YOU’RE GOING TO BREAK IT!” and then I promptly jammed the first battery in the wrong way and got it stuck, resulting in Henry having to devote a half hour of his life to surgically extract it.

Oh you guys it was such a scary time, not knowing if my light stick was going to make it out alive.

But Henry was a hero as usual and managed to salvage my precious BIGBANG light stick. And then I had an impromptu concert of my own. I bribed the cats to attend.

The next day, I took it to work and even Glenn was like, “That is pretty cool I guess” but then he asked how much it cost and was like ARE YOU KIDDING THAT’S OUTRAGEOUS.

Of course, several days later, Henry had a need for his flashlight and as soon as he tried to flick it on, he remembered that the batteries now reside inside my light stick and he muttered, “God dammit.”

Hopefully one day my light stick can be in a crowd of other BIGBANG light sticks.

Feb 032018

No really, this is the last. I swear. It’s just that I couldn’t sleep one night last week 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?


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.

My goal this past week was to get enough designs in order to make these available as a mini set because I think they’re no fun and novel. Originally, I was just going to make 8 designs and have 2 of each in the sets but because I love overachieving, not sleeping, and feeling stressed out, I ended up making 16 different ones, and finished it this morning!

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, 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. The final editions to this 2018 V-Day season. $8 for the whole set!

Feb 012018

Here are some things that I’m currently super into, aside from photobombing 75% of my own pictures with my dumb hand.

  1. Trying to poison my work friends

I bought these “brown sugar flavor” rice crackers at the Asian market last weekend because that box is cute AF. I tried to tempt Lori with one, but she was all, “EW THESE ARE OUT OF DATE!” and I was like, “Oh shit, you’re right” and then I blamed Henry because he’s the one who usually checks for that shit at the store. I was going to throw them away but Glenn was like, “DON’T THROW THEM AWAY. THEY’RE FINE” and Lauren was like, “maybe just put a disclaimer on  them like you did with the [red bean White Rabbits].” I was going to do that but I forgot and then people started taking them on their own and by that point I felt like I was in too deep in my web of lies, so I just LET IT HAPPEN. No one has died yet. I did tell Lloyd that they were out of date and he said, “Well in that case, I’m taking two.” So then it turned into this weird carnival of people who wanted to eat the expired rice crackers, like it was a dare or something. And Glenn even admitted that he liked them. Not that they were “ok” or “not bad,” but that he genuinely liked them! It was still really funny though when Lori pointed out because I got all defensive and yelled, “NOVEMBER WAS NOT THAT LONG AGO!” and “I mean, it’s not like it’s MILK!” Oh, Asian snacks. You make the workplace so much fun!

P.S. Don’t let those bars of chocolate on the box fool you — there is no chocolate in these rice crackers.

2. Etude House Dear Darling Tint

So I kept putting this off and putting this off, but then I got an Amazon gift card from work for Christmas so I decided to finally buy some of this lip gloss I’d been wanting to try for awhile. It came from Korea so of course it took for-fucking-ever and I only just got it yesterday. Worth it. It’s so light and has a subtle grape taste! I love it and am going to buy so many more when I’m there next month. Here I am wearing it. I do not know how to model lipgloss.

3. Sharing old diaries and blog posts with Chooch

I was cleaning out my closet (LOL not really but sort of) and found my very first DIARY, which I have probably already shared on here before but it fucking cracks me up every time I read it (there are only three pages so it’s not like I have to carve out much time for that) because I am still basically eight years old. I let Chooch read it and he was obsessed and then was like, “THAT’S IT!? WHY DIDN’T YOU WRITE MORE?!” Now that he’s older, I’m having fun showing him some of my blog posts about him too, like this one I stumbled upon the other day from when he was sick in 2011. And then he’s all, “OMG was I really like that?” and then we get to have a real bonding moment all because I plastered his entire childhood all over the Internet.

4. Turning Henry into a fan boy

For Christmas, Henry got me a gift certificate for Choice Music (it’s all kpop). In a highly unusual and selfless move, I bought him something as well — the above standing Jimin doll so that we can be matching because I have the G-Dragon set. Jimin if you remember is the BTS bias I chose for Henry and he gets really flustered about it probably because it’s true. I couldn’t wait to show him this little gift, but when I gave it to him, he was like, “Are you fucking serious” and I was like, “You have to take it to work and keep Jimin on your desk!” but he said, “NO.” Ugh! Of course Chooch was like, “i’ll have it” though. Also, I should note that I only bought this because I was almost to my gift certificate limit and was trying to find something cheap.

I’ll tell you what though, Henry is totally a K-Drama whore though. I think Park Bo Young is his drama bias. I can’t start anything new without him appearing out of nowhere and asking, “WHICH ONE ARE YOU WATCHING NOW.” Sigh.

Just kidding it’s awesome and I love it.

5. Slangin’ my greeting cards!

You guys this has been the Valentine season we’ve ever had, to the point where we almost can’t keep up with sales. We keep our inventory low because it’s time-consuming to print and assemble the cards only to have them sit on a shelf for a year because no one buys it – even when we’ve analyzed our sales and determined what are heavy-hitters are, printing those in advance is a sure-fire to jinx sales. What this means is that most of our cards are made to order — it’s just more price-efficient for us that way. But those little sets that I made this year have been a hot commodity! So I think that once V-Day is over, we will try to slowly build up some inventory for those at least. I have been loving this though – these cards are my babies, and it just makes me so happy that there are people out there who like them, and a lot of them are repeat customers too!

This has also been keeping me busy and distracted so that I’m not flipping out or succumbing to depression or having a fit about the wind blowing the wrong way — you just don’t know with me. I’ve been pretty difficult to be around lately. Anyway, what this means is that my brain has just wanted to create create create so I’m also working on a Golden Girls line of Valentines! I’ll do a full post on those this weekend, but I’m pretty excited about them.

6. My K-Kountdown Kalendar!

After some of my coworkers found out about my upcoming trip, they started to question if there was going to be a countdown calendar like the one Lori made me for the G-Dragon concert. When my SHINee Season’s Greeting set came a few weeks ago, I realized that the poster-sized monthly calendars could be perfect for this cause. February 1st seemed like a good time to start, so I brought in the February (Onew!) and March (Jonghyun, RIP) posters, taped them up  to the side of my cubical wall thing, and then made an airplane.

Chris is really blessed that his office door is right in front of this so he gets to see these beautiful faces every time he emerges.

LOL my dumb face. Amber was like, “Aren’t you going to put Henry and Chooch on it too” and I was like THIS IS NOT ABOUT THEM THIS IS ABOUT ME, a la 1988 Diary-Writing Erin.

The only downside to this is that there are some people here who didn’t previously know about this so the calendar unlocked Pandora’s Box and people had questions. Which is great but I have been trying to not be super-annoying about this for the sake of those who sit near me, but it’s hard for me to not be like, “OMG OMG OMG” especially when people are asking me about it! I had hoped to get through the whole day without hearing this, but eventually there was that one HILARIOUS “hopefully it’s still by then” comment. It’s whatever though. Traveling anywhere is a risk. Walking out the front door is a risk.

7. Poet/Artist

My Jonghyun preorder arrived today. I am obsessed with this album, especially the song “Take the Dive.” It’s so bittersweet that he didn’t stay with us long enough to enjoy the success of this release because it really feels like a masterpiece. :(

OK well, I had leftover kimchi bokkeumbap for dinner and now I need to put my head down or go for a walk, I haven’t decided which.

Jan 312018

Ugh, my lunch break walks are so depressing in the winter. This past month, they fluctuated between Motherfucking Arctic Freeze to Downright Unseasonably Balmy. We haven’t really had a chance to “get used” to winter when it’s 10 degrees one day and SIXTY degrees a few days later. Madness.

I still go out on my lunch break every day, even on the days when it’s in the teens, even when it’s snowing, even when it’s raining. Sometimes I might only last 25 minutes before surrendering to Mother Nature, but at least I got outside and moved for a bit, right? The thing I hate the most about winter is BOOTS. It’s so annoying having to change my shoes four times a day (when I get to work, before I go outside, when I come back outside, and then when I leave for the day). Sometimes, I’m lazy and just keep my stupid ugly boots on for the rest of the workday.

Like today.


Because of the gross weather, not many people are outside, which means my crazy interactions with Pittsburgh civilians and alley dwellers are lacking. So I figured I would at least share some pictures taken on my various power-walks.

As I was taking this picture  in a desolate area of the Strip District, I thought someone was running up behind me and I screamed so fucking loud. But it was just a leaf, trying to be a tumbleweed.

On one of the not-so-frigid days,  I was able to wear a lighter jacket and NO WINTRY ACCOUTREMENTS (no that I don’t love my scarves and gloves, but sometimes it’s nice to be so weighed down and muffled). That meant I got to wear my beloved cow-spot jacket. I was on the phone with Henry when some guy in a fluorescent yellow hoodie walked past me and then turned around just to tell me that he liked my coat. “Reminds me of 101 Dalmations,” he said, and then he started singing happily but I couldn’t tell if it was “Cruella DeVille” or not.

“Who was that, one of your homeless friends?” Henry asked. This was right after he overheard me saying hello to someone else and he asked me the same question then too, and surprisingly, that time it wasn’t one of my homeless friends either!

“No, it’s my friend who sells flowers on the corner of Penn by Eides,” I said haughtily, like why am I having to explain myself to Henry anyway. I HAVE LOTS OF STRANGE FRIENDS DOWNTOWN. THEY PROBABLY THINK I’M STRANGE TOO.

I was walking by when this was being painted the other day.

Ew and then it was so cold and gross for a while that a bunch of shit froze, like the cool little walkway under the convention center. AIN’T NO ONE WALKING THRU THERE RIGHT NOW.

And the river walk is closed off because it’s all gross and full of ice clumps. Ugh, winter makes everything so ugly.

So what do I generally do on my walks? Usually, my first mission would be to get a latte in my hand as soon as possible, but I’ve been trying to keep my latte addiction on lock lately, so I’ll usually only stop at a cafe once or twice a week. Sometimes, I’ll have to go to the post office to mail international card orders (we just got our first Sweden and Switzerland orders yesterday!). I tried to go to one closer to our building but the lady who works there gives me the third degree every time, like I’m trying to send a metal file to my boyfriend in prison and not goddamn Valentine cards, jesus christ.

Then I usually call Henry afterward because dealing with postal things drives up my blood pressure.

One time, I was at the post office that’s inside the Westin (where I normally go because those peeps don’t give a FUCK what I’m mailing) but no one was behind the counter, two cops were at the front of the line talking abouot the embroidering on their cop jackets, an old lady in front of me had a stack of probably 40 green tax envelopes, and then an older guy behind me asked, “Is anyone even working?” One of the cops answered, “There’s just one guy here and he’s getting something for us” me and the old guy both said, “FORGET IT” at the same time and left.

I have as much patience as a surly old man! I’m so excited.

I need to start keeping more butterscotch candies in my coat pockets, though.

Static and Terror Town aren’t there anymore. This whole area just makes me sad. It’s so cluttered and junk-y.

Henry had the nerve to call me when I was trying to take this picture so I hit decline on his ass.

Heinz stuff is over there. Pittsburgh is famous for Heinz stuff, in case you didn’t know. Pittsburghers will spontaneously combust if anyone tries to serve them Hunts or says CATSUP in their presence.

Anyway, those are the Heinz Lofts now. If you move to Pittsburgh, you should live there and then let me be your roommate for cheap.

Don’t you love learning half-assed pieces of maybe-knowledge about Pittsburgh when you read my Lunch Break Tales?! It’s unreal that I’m not a Pittsburgh-famous blogger-historian by now.

Walking in the Strip can be so much fun in the warmer months because there’s street vendors and produce stands and general liveliness, but in winter it’s just a bunch of people walking around looking miserable. Except for the group of five people I passed on the sidewalk today who were SO HAPPY TO BE OUT TOGETHER that they conveniently forgot that the sidewalk didn’t belong to them and only them, just because a sidewalk is wide enough DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD ALL WALK IN A ROW AND TAKE UP THE WHOLE THING YOU SELFISH CUNTS. Both myself and the lady in front of me were nearly pushed off into the street by their sidewalk-hogger and I couldn’t help but let out a disgusted “UGH” and an eye roll, which was totally seen by one of the bitches in the group.

“Wow, you’re such a bad ass,” Henry said when I told him about it later (AFTER I TOOK MY PICTURE ON THE BRIDGE THAT HIS CALL INTERRUPTED).

But then other times people I see on my walks are so freaking nice, like this one lady-jogger who smiled at me for no reason and then I SMILED BACK, who even am I anymore, and the one young girl who cheerfully yelled over to me that she liked my pants and I was like THANK YOU and almost said “I know” because they were my bright red pants and they’re really awesome and everyone should like them.

Well, that concludes this past month in walking around the ‘Burgh. Mayhaps February will be more exciting. And maybe in the spring I’ll resume my Postcards from Erin’s Lunch Break project! Holla.