Jun 172021
 

Just a quick little life update to talk about how I’m missing the office and while I’m sure it will still be partially a drag when it’s time to go back and the novelty of seeing everyone again and being able to go for walks downtown will quickly wear off, I will try not to take these simple things for granted again.

Two things triggered my work sentimentality:

  1. WELLNESS THING

Every year, we have an on-site wellness exam thingie where you go and have your biometrics screened (whatever that means) and then something good happens with your health insurance. I participate in this every year, not because of the mysterious health insurance thing, but because I LOVE SEEING MY GOODLY NUMBERS. If you don’t know, I AM OBSESSED WITH GOODLY NUMBERS. I mean, I count calories and have been using a FitBit or other pedometer RELIGIOUSLY since like, 2012. Like, when I forget that my FitBit is on the charger and I walk upstairs to get something (usually just to stare at my glowing Cure wall, but you guys been knowing), I will throw a FUCKING FIT over those lost steps.

However, for as much as I love being fawned over my lab people (one guy tried to distract me from the finger-pricking by saying, “Did you know you can see Kennywood from here?” and when I cried, “NO WHERE?!” he was like, “*prick* Just kidding.” I will never forget it), I would still typically need someone to accompany up there (usually Amber) because I would get major Nerves. Shocking, I know.

Last year, they flat out didn’t do the screenings at all, obviously because who the fuck was caring about their HDL (is that even a thing? There a lot of acronyms on the sheet that they fill out) during the beginning months of covid, you know? Well, maybe Dr. Oz. Or like, Tony Robbins.

But this year, the Firm announced that we could participate by either having our doctor do it, or schedule an appointment through LabCorp. I opted for the latter and went through the whole fasting rigmarole, then promptly woke up this morning and PANICKED because who was going to go with me?! No one, that’s who! Time to dream up an imaginary friend, Erin, quickly! (Can you believe I never had one?!)

Anyway, my appointment was at 8 and it went fairly swiftly but the technician lady was asking me about this strange paperwork that I apparently was supposed to bring with me and I knew nothing about this do you know why BECAUSE I DIDN’T HAVE MY WORK FRIENDS HELPING ME, OK!? I had to do this by myself! The technician lady said it was OK but I could tell by her tone that it was the opposite of OK and when she mumbled something about how she needs to send it in with my blood work but that’s OK, I knew for certain that I was on THE LIST. Then she tried to cover her annoyance by saying that there are several Erin Kellys in the system and she just needed to make sure she had the right one which gave me the perfect segue into my WRONG ERIN KELLY email drama because if anyone can get me to spew small talk like I don’t sit around conversing with cats & squirrels all day, it’s medical professionals. Sitting in an exam room makes me come off as a Super Extrovert Practicing For Improv Tonight. All of that old personality that I keep stuffed deep down behind the PTSD and Ultra-Depression come popping out and the next thing you know, I have an inside joke now with Paula the Dental Hygienist and my old eye doctor is calling me a crack head.

OK OK where was I. So now the tech isn’t mad at me anymore and we’re having a great conversation, when she tells me to go ahead and extend my arm on the weird table thingie connected to the chair, and I’m still chatting away and giggling while she’s telling me now to make a fist and she’s wrapping a purple thingie around my bicep and in my head, I’m thinking, “Wow, blood pressure cuffs have changed since two years ago” and then suddenly SHE IS STICKING A NEEDLE IN THE CROOK OF MY ARM AND I GO, “Oh! Wow! That’s a needle. We’re doing this! I thought you were just taking my blood pressure” and she was like, “Oh, no that’s next” but the way she said it, it was like she thought the blood pressure part was what I was nervous about?! AND NOT THE SURPRISE NEEDLE.

Hello, I am used to the finger prick, which still isn’t a walk in Seoul Forest, but at least it’s over in .02 seconds. This went on endlessly, like who the fuck is checking my biometrics, Count Dracula, what the fuck.

Anyway, so that happened today. Oh and where all my peeps like me who weigh themselves each time they put on the next ultra-thin article of clothing, to make sure the clothes you’re wearing to the screening won’t add ounces to your weight? ‘Cuz I did that methodically in my room this morning. Super light leggings and a thin AF t-shirt FTW.

So, that was my day. Missed my co-workers mocking me for immediately swapping out the beige Band-Aid for one of the cool dino ones that I keep in my desk because you bet your ass I keep multiple boxes of Band-Aids in my desk, do you know me? Fuck if I have anything else important like Tylenol or tampons, but I got a sick array of Ikea Band-Aids, bay-bay.

2. MY DESK!!

Megan had to go into the office yesterday for IT help and she sent me pictures of my desk while she was there!!

Oh my god, I miss it. I really do. I miss my magnets and Fiji Mermaid and G Dragon memorabilia and international candy that probably already out of date when I bought it in February 2020.

The way I left my Snuggie balled up on my chair like I wouldn’t be out of the office for a year and a half tho, lol ugh.

I know I will especially miss it during the summer heat wave when I’m working in an un-air conditioned house with sweat dripping down my back.

Jun 152021
 

Mostly a photo dump since I was “liveblogging” on Saturday and apologies in advance if I have already posted some of these, my memory is shot and I’m too lazy to look at that post.

We took the metro into the city because who wants to fuck with driving and parking or Ubering amirite. Also, we’re kind of dorks and like to see what each city’s public transportation system is like OK maybe that’s just me. So far, Seoul’s subway system is the mack daddy of all transits, better respect.

I guess this one was OK but we only used to get there and back, no additional excursions because Henry was being a jerk about doing anything on top of the self-guided walking tour we did. Henry is such a great tourist, truly.

So glad Former Guy doesn’t live there anymore and yes Chooch, presidents live in the White House, I’m not sure who told you otherwise, probably one of Blake’s dumb friends in your stupid Discord chat.

Also, Chooch has a bruise on his arm because he’s a moronic klutz and not because Ma & Pa like to knock him around, ya hear?

A thingie.

A cool place.

The crowds were extremely tolerable the day we were there, surprisingly considering it was a Saturday and a bunch of Pride events were happening (we got to catch two small parades and it was so uplifting!).

Now here is a series of pictures of Chooch and me trying to pose naturally:

We really are the worst at having our picture taken together.

Oh also while this was going on, there was this FUCKING STUPID COUPLE that I hated who dinged their idiot scooter bell at us on a sidewalk and then wouldn’t pass us when we moved over for them and you guys, there is something about being dinged at that REALLY GRATES MY CHEESE, and it’s actually one of the few things I truly don’t miss about being downtown everyday – those fucking Pgh bikers can get fucked, honestly. Anyway,  I loudly said, “JESUS FUCKING CHRIST ARE YOU GOING TO PASS US OR NOT” and then of course they ended up essentially being on the same tourist route as us and even after they ditched the city scooters, they WERE STILL IN MY WAY and then the guy portion of the couple HAD A MR. GRAY GUY SQUIRREL come over to him and I was like, “FUCK THIS SCOOTER BITCH AND HIS SQUIRREL CHARM!”

And then Henry started lecturing me about how I’m too hateful and you know what that did? THAT MADE ME EVEN MORE HATEFUL. STFU Henry, you Mr. Rogers try-hard motherfucker.

But aside from the scooter cunts, the rest of the day was actually really peaceful and even though the Lincoln Memorial was decently crowded, we were able to have a fair turn at getting our picture and no one was being assholes and no one was hogging the good spots. It was actually a super pleasant experience.

Henry just wanted to stand next to my hot dragonfruit purse (which can also be worn as a fanny pack!!!) and who can blame him, really.

This thing is actually horrifying on person.

I know I definitely already posted this Portrait of a Tree, but bae is too presh not to repost.

Also, Mr Gray Guys in DC are so much friendlier than the Mr Gray Guys at my house!!! These guys were like frolicking right up to people and I was so jealous. I am trying so hard to get the Mr Gray Guys at my house to love me but they treat me like #1 Predator even though THEY WATCH ME WITH THEIR OWN TWO EYES (well, or one if you’re One-Eyed Mr Gray Guy) as I put their food out everyday!! They literally flatten themselves into patties and then slither away like I can’t see them.

We started walking to the Capitol Building after this but it was like we were walking the wrong way on a people mover because it felt like we just kept farther away from it so here is where unanimously decided to break for a late lunch before one of us went from craving food to craving blood, and if you know Chooch and me, you know our hanger gets dangerously close to murder.

But then we made it to the Capitol and it is such a majestic sight when it’s not infested by disgusting MAGA rednecks and QANON derelicts!

The sun was raging on us and of course no one thought to bring sunglasses (thank GOD Henry didn’t bring his Molestor-y Uncle shades). So this was a fun series of posing.

Especially when Henry made us do it again, “unless you want some stranger lady’s ass in your photo,” he scoffed. Also, that discarded face mask on the steps to the left is peak pandemic, isn’t it?

Literally blinded by the light revved up like a DOUCHE blah blah etc la la la.

Then we moved over to a shaded area and that was better but by now the novelty of posing in front of the Capitol had burned off like a vampire’s skin in the sunlight.

Here is Henry consulting his phone and then telling me that nothing I wanted to do after this was reasonable.

SO WE LEFT. Well that’s not true. We had to walk a bit to the closest metro station and Chooch got an iced coffee at McDonald’s because you know what they say, when in DC, get a coffee at McD’s, and then we saw the Bible Museum or whatever it is and I said they should have shaped it like an ark and Chooch was like A WHAT and was ready to mock me because he thought I said arch and honestly, this is exactly the type of thing we would spend 35 minutes fighting about.

Henry had to ask the fare booth dude what side to stand on but Chooch and I were already down on the platform, standing on the correct side, because we can read signs. Henry is such a lame.

And then everything went to hell from there, but at least at the hotel (before I made them leave and find another one at 10:30 at night because I was freaking the fuck out), Chooch put on the shirt he was originally going to wear that day until I pointed out that we were both accidentally wearing red white and blue and then suddenly he realized his shirt was “too short” and changed but brought this one with him under the pretense of changing into it once we got there, which of course he didn’t, just like Henry conveniently left his hat in the car and I HATE IT WHEN HENRY GOES HATLESS because he’s also a dick when his hair is free-flowing and it’s just like how my aunt Sharon was always a BITCH (sorry Sharon, RIP, I love you) on vacation when she wore her hair in a ponytail.

UGH NOW I FEEL SO STRESSED OUT AGAIN.

Jun 142021
 

Whenever we’re visiting a new city (or even an old city that we haven’t been to in a minute) I like to look for fun food places to go. Usually ice cream shops and bakeries because even weekend road trips count as vacations, right? And ya gotta pig out on vacations (says the girl who is obsessed with her weight and calories and weighs herself everyday and cries over gaining several ounces, I mean, wait…who?).

I’m not the hugest donut fan, but I found a YouTube video for the best donuts in DC, so then suddenly I thought out loud, “I could eat a donut(s).” So I gave Henry my list, and then threw in Baked & Wired, a bakery I’ve been following on Instagram for several years because their cupcakes looks fancy AF and by fancy I mean CLASSY.

I actually didn’t look into any ice cream places which, if you read my liveblog, you know we had a TERRIBLE TIME finding ice cream joints outside of DC near the hotel we were staying at in Maryland. So apparently next time I should study a bit harder.

Anyway, I wanted to go to all of these places on Saturday but Henry kept trying in a million different ways, through diagrams and illustrations, in Korean, he even made a flipbook, that where we were in DC wasn’t close to any of these places and it would require various metro transfers and buses and then he was like, “LOOK, WE WILL GET UP EARLY TOMORROW MORNING AND DRIVE TO WHICHEVER ONE OF THESE PLACES YOU WANT” and I said fine but really he was supposed to know that this was not fine, I wanted it RIGHT NOW, hashtag Veruca Salt, etc etc. So this really was the impetus to my impending mental breakdown late on Saturday evening, the details of which will never be discussed and I know Henry and Chooch are already brainwashing each other to forget it.

But all of this is to say that we woke up not even early at all on Sunday and Henry was like, “WE CAN GO TO THAT ONE DONUT PLACE YOU SUGGESTED, IT IS ONLY 14 MILES FROM HERE” or 14 minutes, I can’t remember, and it was actually on the outskirts of DC so it was easy to drive there and park and silly me I’m always forgetting that cities have other, less urban, parts to them.

Here is the place. They haven’t completely reopened yet during covid so only 6 people could be inside at once, masks on, and it was takeout only. We were all able to be inside together and originally were going to get a 1/2 dozen to share amongst each other. We had one selection left and I said to Henry, “Go ahead, you can choose” because my head was still very sore and tired from all the sparking synapses and demonic voices circuiting through like my head was a switchboard to Hell.

But then when Henry confidently told the donut lady that he’d take a Boston cream, I shot him the most disgusted look like he just shat on the ground in front of the donut case. Even Chooch was like, “Worst choice, but OK cool.” (All my Boston cream bitches gonna come for now, lol.) Henry nervously looked at us both and mouthed, “what?” and I was like, “THAT IS NOT WHAT I WOULD HAVE CHOSEN BUT COOK ON.” So then we started silently arguing with just our eyeballs and eyebrows, nostrils flaring for emphasis, right there in front of the donut people and I said, “I AM JUST GOING TO WAIT OUTSIDE.” So then Henry paid and came outside and was like, “WHAT IS WRONG WHAT DID I DO” and Chooch and I were both spitting off variations of “why would you waste the last choice on a Boston cream when there were so many other interesting choices” or “YOU COULD HAVE GONE WITH A GLAZED BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I WOULD HAVE WANTED” so he was like, “NO ONE SAID WE ONLY HAD TO GET 6 I CAN GO BACK IN RIGHT NOW AND GET MORE” and I was like, “I BET YOU WOULDN’T” so he DID and the rational portion of my mind, hidden under layers of spicy ire and roiling rage, whispered, “But we don’t need this many donuts, just be happy with the ones you got” but by now, OH YOU BETTER BUT I WAS RUNNING ON PRINCIPLE AND PRINCIPLE ALONE.

So he came out with a bag and I said, “Which ones did you get” and he said, “Mango coconut and lemon-filled” which made me scream about how I hate mango-flavored things and I don’t like filled donuts and now he was like YOU CAN SHOVE THEM STRAIGHT UP YOUR ASS THEN but of course he didn’t actually say that because he knows better but I could tell by the way he was gripping the steering wheel and waggling his mustache that this is what he was thinking.

Add to this the fact that he had to find us a park of some sort where we could eat the fucking things that no one even wanted at this point because ANGRY FAMILY and that in and of itself was a real folly. He found one park but the road to the entrance was blocked off and then he couldn’t find another way in and had to keep driving until he finally found a frisbee golf park and we were just like, “OH MY FUCKING GOD, WHATEVER, THIS IS FINE” and as Chooch and I started to walk to a pavilion, we turned around JUST IN TIME to see Henry take the box of donuts out of the car and promptly drop two of them on the ground as the box came apart in his hands.

And there were witnesses too! It was a grand fucking display! And then he picked them up and put them back in the box while were screaming at him not to!!

“THEY ARE FINE,” he said, brushing GRAVEL AND PROBABLY BITS OF DOG POOP AND DEAD WORMS off of them. OMFG I HATE HIM SO MUCH is what Chooch and I both said in tandem, sounding like twin teenagers.

And then even the ones that didn’t hit the ground got all fucked up. The only one that I really wanted, a strawberry glazed, now had NO GLAZE on it because it all smeared off onto the back of HENRY’S FUCKING BOSTON CREAM.

OH MY GOOD LORD, I WAS SO LIVID. I donut even like donuts that much but for some reason, I had so much invested in these fucking things. AND GUESS WHAT? THEY WERE NOT EVEN ALL THAT! They just tasted like ok donuts. Like, I wouldn’t complain if someone handed me one while I was enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning, but these were definitely not worth skipping a real breakfast for.

Oh and the ones Henry dropped? THEY WERE THE TWO THAT CHOOCH AND I PICKED AND WERE EXCITED TO TRY. (One was blueberry maple and one was blueberry lemon. By the time Henry scraped all of the Road off of them, all that was left was two blueberry cake donuts with no glaze or icing, aka the parts that made us want them.)

But thank god Henry’s Boston cream was unharmed!!

[Chooch’s review was, “They were alright. I mean, there was nothing that great about them.”]

I realize this was a really stupid thing to want to break up with a man over, and perhaps we can call it projection or whatever, but I’m over it now and even woke Henry up from his nap to stand above him (he always gets so scared when he opens his eyes and sees me looming above him) and say through hysterical, guttural giggles, “I’m not sorry about Saturday night because I was valid in my feelings and will not let you gaslight me, but I am sorry for being mad at you about the Boston cream donut.”

He just stared at me and slowly said, “Ok….” presumably because he was waiting for me to draw the steak knife from behind my back.

Oh and by the way, these were vegan donuts and Henry had no idea until I mentioned, hours later, that Donut Run doesn’t even come close to matching Onion Maiden’s vegan donuts. AND they have interesting and fancy flavors that are actually good (like matcha and rose!) and don’t make me feel sick afterward.

And that’s all. My post about donuts. In case you were wondering, when I do get in the mood for a donut, my go-to’s are SUGAR and GLAZED. Rarely do I fuck with cream or jelly-filled, but I might do a sourdough or blueberry cake if I’m feeling like stepping out of my comfort zone. You feel me?

Jun 122021
 

Hello. It’s 7:42am and we are about to depart from our luxurious gravel driveway in Brookline to begin our little weekend road trip to Washington DC and Maryland, aren’t you so excited. Originally we were just going to go to Maryland on Sunday to see if we have better luck at that Six Flags but then we decided to make a weekend of it and visit DC since NONE OF US EVER HAVE if you can believe that. We were supposed to go in 2019 the day after the Super M concert but Chooch was all, “wah I have a test and I can’t miss school!” Ugh. Scholastic Chooch is annoying.

As usual, refresh for new updates throughout the day OR DON’T this is a free country.

Henry is already so annoying. He was wearing a white shirt with stains on it and I called him out on it before we left so then we had to wait for to rifle through his pile of Faygo shirts before he decided on an ugly gray button-down that I hate and I was wailing, “why can’t you just have a cool T-shirt collection like normal people this is so dumb!” I literally can’t stand it.

7:53am: only made it two miles before HNC texted henry and said, “you’re probably driving but call me when you can” and now I’m panicking because what if it’s about the squirrels and henry is like I AM NOT CALLING HIM BACK WITH YOU TWO IN THE CAR. I WILL CALL HIM WHEN WE STOP AT SHEETZ. So now I guess I will stew in my anxiety until Sheetz.

8:28am: Obligatory Sheetz stop. I got the Protein Showdown like I always do but Henry called it the Protein Showtime and it’s not even that big of a deal, I admit, but Chooch and I are heckling him hard.

8:33am: BIG UPDATE. Henry called back HNC at my incessant urging and apparently a piece of slate fell off his roof and hit his car and he wanted to know if anyone heard it. Henry said no but Chris should have just called me because I HEARD SOMETHING. We could have masterminded a great conspiracy theory together. Hopefully he’s not going to blame the squirrels because I actually think Mr Gray Guy may have been the culprit.

9:25am: we just crossed over the Youghiogheny reservoir thingie and Chooch said, “that looks like Bambi water” whatever the fuck that means and then Baekhyun’s “Bambi” came on Spotify.

That’s all.

10:07am: Hello from the Love’s restroom. Nothing to report. It was crowded so I couldn’t take my traditional road trip bathroom selfie. Then I came out and appear to have lost my family.

Found them, call off the APB.

You can always count on Love’s for clean bathrooms and gross accessories.

11:19am: there was all this traffic because of a truck that was trying to move over and no one was letting him and there was all this maniacal swerving happening. Henry was like turning inside out on his mad effort to defend the truck driver so I said, “why don’t you just pull over and give him a hug. Maybe you could…BUMP DOLLIES.” And then I was choking on my mirth as usual, and henry was pursing his lips trying not to give me the satisfaction of emitting even a sliver of a laugh.

“Those kinds of truck drivers don’t even use dollies,” was his eventual comeback. He sure showed me. Truly.

12:02pm: ugh I had to pee in a legit gas station bathroom:

Henry was like IT WAS NOT THAT BAD and ok at least the toilet was clean but I was afraid Jason Voorhees was going to burst out of that closet like the Kool-Aid Man but bloodier and less fruity.

Also I wish I was this skinny:

12:15pm: Air Supply’s Even the Nights Are Better just came on the Yacht Rock station and I screamed REMEMBER WHEN WE SANG THIS AT NORAEBANG IN KOREA to Henry and both he and Chooch mumbled no which is surprising since I sang my part with such epic gusto.

On the metro thingie getting ready to go to DC and Henry has already caused a commotion trying to get the metro cards thank god the fare booth recognized us a TOURISTS (Henry’s wearing his man purse, so) and came over to help us before henry made a fatal mistake.

It us.

I made Chooch sit in front of us in case I want to chat with him and that already had him set off so then when I told him to take our picture, HOO BOY.

2:04pm:

3:08pm: have had many arguments with SON OF THE YEAR so far but the best one was when he insisted that presidents don’t live in the White House ok cook on.

Also, I hate scooters.

3:36pm: I like to read up on cities before I go there but nothing I read or watched could have prepared me for the actual assault of ice cream trucks and their demonic competing music box sirens.

4:04pm: BIBIBOP STOP

SOOOO satisfying like bibimbap but make it a salad.

4:35pm: We’re enjoying all the little pride parades cruising around town and Henry said WOW THEY ARE EVERYWHERE and I thought he meant like OMG THE GAYS but he was talking literally about the VEHICLES in the parade.

Also how perfect is this tree it’s like God drew it in his mind and projected it here.

5:54pm: on the metro back to Maryland. It was a full day of walking and I am ready to not do that anymore and go enjoy a nice iced coffee somewhere and relax, my peepee heads.

Here are some pictures of chooch and me being blinded by the fiery sun in front of the Capitol. Also, we almost got ice cream from one of the pushy ice cream trucks near there but henry only had a $1 cash on him!!!! What a cheapfuck!

6:19pm: Just got back to the car! When we got back to the New Carrollton station, chooch and I noticed a girl who was also on the same metro as us going into DC! I was like “what are the odds?!” And Chooch said, “I dunno like 5 or 10” whatever that means.

Oh and just for the record I wasn’t ready to leave but Henry and Chooch were like “no, it’s time.” I can’t wait until I’m older so I can travel with my friends! Literally the same thing I wrote in every vacation journal growing up!

6:32pm: We’re at our hotel and it’s across from Mary Main cannabis dispensary and Henry said, “in case you Wanna get hiiiiiiigh” and the way he said it made both Chooch and me very uncomfy.

7:02pm: omg Henry thought the AC was broke and went to the front desk so they sent him back with A Guy who was like “you have to turn it on” and chooch and I were holding in our giddy squeals then the front desk called and Chooch picked up AND DIDNT SAY ANYTHING bc he doesn’t know how to use a real phone??!! So he threw the receiver at henry. It was a whole thing.

7:17pm: Henry did NOT go here because he wasn’t good enough.

Anyway, we’re en route to Old Alexandria for ice cream.

8:58pm: so funny story. We did not get ice cream in Virginia because there was nowhere to park in old Alexandria and the other nearby places had massive crowds and I was like, eventually, screaming that I was not waiting in a line of that length for two flavors of custard. So we started to head back in Maryland which had nothing near our hotel and that’s why we ended up in Virginia in the first place, and I found a place on Yelp called Ice Cream Sweet Shoppe which was closing in 30 minutes. We managed to make it there and THE JOKE IS ON ME, U GUYS, because it was a fairly dingy joint in a rundown shopping center in a sketchy area, slinging those ubiquitous Hershey flavors. Don’t get me wrong, Hershey ice cream is legit tasty and the flavor options are staggering, but I could walk down the street from my house and get this same ice cream from our neighborhood ice cream shop, Scoops. When we’re in other cities, we want real local shit, you know??

But the young guy scooping for us was super nice and pleasant so it wasn’t a total bust.

I got Llamalicious and then traded Henry for his Rocky Road because mine was good but just too CLOYING. (Cake batter with ribbons of frosting.) Henry almost didn’t have anything to trade me because he initially LEFT HIS ICE CREAM IN THE SHOP.

What a fucking experience. Now Henry hates Virginia and also this part of Maryland where he keeps missing exits and really no one is to blame for that but him.

[ETA, the next day: so I never officially signed off on this fucking live account because after we got back to the hotel I just snapped, had a psychological meltdown, because the hotel was so awful and loud and the night just totally unraveled and I was like I MIGHT KILL MYSELF not even making light of suicide but being extremely transparent and honest here. Anyway, it was pretty bad there, and overflowed into the morning but now I am better thanks for asking.]

Jun 102021
 

I don’t think anyone is surprised to know that I read a ton of books by Asian authors on regular days, no prompt needed, but there is something about the challenge to read ONLY these types of books for an entire month that makes me stupidly giddy because I am a simple, simple person. And with May being Asian American Pacific Islander month, it’s the perfect time to broaden your horizons, learn about other cultures, and open your eyes to the FUCKING MADDENING RACISM AND MICROAGGRESSIONS that other people live through every day.

There are various readathons out there with an array of prompts, but I honestly just like to try and jam in books from as many different Asian countries as possible, translated works, memoirs, graphic novels, horror, thriller, romance. Gimme it all.

I went hard this year, reaching 18 books by the end, but not as hard as last year which had me finishing something like 26 or 28 books by the end!? HOW!? SRSLY HOW DID I DO THAT.

Anyway, here are the first nine books I read in May!

  1. Leave the World Behind – Rumaan Alam

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Um, what a wild start to the readathon. So, this is a thriller but it’s a slow motherfucking burn. There was so much build-up and tension, the kind that gives you a kink in your neck because you were sitting in a weirdly contorted, bracing-for-things-to-take-a-turn position.

I can’t really say if I liked it as a whole but the way it ended really satisfied my literary side but I bet Rumaan Alam would think I was an uncultured dumbo if we ever sat down for a conversation, that’s for dam sure.

2. No One Can Pronounce My Name – Rakesh Satyal

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I LOVED THIS BOOK. I LOVED EVERY FUCKING CHARACTER. We follow two leads: Harit and Ranjana, two unrelated Indian Americans whose lives eventually cross paths and their friendship is everything. I LAUGHED, I CRIED, ETC ETC. But honestly – white people need to get a fucking grip when it comes to pronouncing names, honestly. People of different ethnicities should not have to change their real name to fucking BOBBY or JOHNNY in order to make it easier for dumb white people. We need to put in the fucking effort.

3. Rent a Boyfriend – Gloria Chao

Rent a Boyfriend

This was very predictable but really charming, and all the food references made me so hungry. But basically, our main girl is going home to visit her Taiwanese parents and hires a fake boyfriend through a legit service called Rent for your ‘Rents, in an effort to get them off her back in regards to  the REALLY SHITTY GUY they want her to marry. But evidently, renting a boyfriend is a very real thing in some Asian countries to alleviate the pressure put upon women by their parents to marry.

4. The Way of the Househusband Vol. 1

The Way of the Househusband, Vol. 1

I’m not a big manga person, but this one was so fucking cute and I loved the illustrations. It’s about a former Yakuza (Japanese gangster) who is now a househusband and it was just so pure. Again, I’m not a big manga person but I could see myself continuing on with this series!

5. Know My Name – Chanel Miller

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Hi. I started crying just by typing out the title of this fucking powerful, strong, beautiful, sad, maddening, depressing, empowering, fierce, inspiring memoir. Good lord, if you haven’t already read this, please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy.

In case you don’t know who Chanel Miller is, she is the “Emily Doe” read out loud in court a letter she wrote to the motherfucking Stanford swimmer who sexually assaulted her and left her next to a dumpster. Chanel Miller is a hell of a writer and she will be your tour guide into the depths of hell she experienced during the trial. The way she was dragged and pushed around was nearly as bad as the crime itself. Just so infuriating to read and you know I’m not a hugger, but I wanted to hug Chanel a million different times while reading this. If you pick it up, be prepared to want to set men on fire, to openly weep, and to march up to your teenager’s room and scream reminders at his face about how you will not have his back if he EVER DOES ANYTHING LIKE THIS TO ANOTHER PERSON REGARDLESS OF GENDER, CONSENT CONSENT CONSENT.

Also, I listened to this on audio because Chanel narrates it herself and Henry listened to parts of it too when we were in the car and even Henry, milquetoast white man, was like WTF IS THIS INJUSTICE and I was like WELCOME TO BEING A WOMAN, HENRY.

Alsox2, do not read the one star reviews. Just, if you have even a sliver of feminism & girl power in your being, avoid the negative reviews because it is VICTIMEBLAMEVILLE up in there.

6. Interior Chinatown – Charles Yu 

Interior Chinatown

Seriously one of the most creative books I’ve read. It’s written as a screenplay for a procedural cop show called Black and White, where the two main cops are, you know, Black and white, and our protagonist Willis is desperate to become a character greater than Generic Asian Guy. It plays on Hollywood tropes and Asian stereotypes to illustrate what it really feels like to be Asian American, in a super inventive way. Definitely will be picking up more by Charles Yu.

7. Days of Distraction – Alexandra Chang 

Days of Distraction

Not to be stupidly punny here but while I enjoyed this book overall, I did oftentimes find myself distracted/losing interest. It’s about a woman in her early 20s, working in the tech field (her job sounded so fucking stressful and terrible and I have actually been more grateful to be working at a law firm TBH) and then deciding to dump her job and move cross country with her boyfriend. I think I would have found this extremely relatable if I were younger and less settled in my life, but I did enjoy the way this book was written – almost in LiveJournal-esque vignettes. There is also some exploration on biracial dating (the boyfriend is a white guy) that was really interesting from an outsiders viewpoint, how he just wasn’t able to see the racism where it was so obvious to her.

But yeah, if you’re looking for a book full of action, this is not it. If you like reading lots of internal monologues while you’re living through your own quarterlife crisis, you gon’ like this one.

8. A Sweet Mess – Jayci Lee

A Sweet Mess

Man, I’m so mad that I didn’t like this as much as I thought I would and I spent more time thinking about all the ways it could have been better instead of actually enjoying the story. Also, it’s a romance and I’m not a big romance reader and can be super picky about that shit. But the gist of this is that our main lady owns a bakery in a small town in California, and then, by way of a SWITCHEROO, some very famous food critic passes through town and eats a disgusting cake from said bakery and eviscerates the baker in whatever famous magazine he writes for and now the bakery is losing business and even though the critic has since realized there was a mistake, he refuses to renege his review because he has never before done that and has to KEEP HIS INTREGITY, PEOPLE. It’s such a weak storyline. Anyway he finds a different way to make it up to her by getting her a spot on his famous friend’s cooking show that is about to start production but oh yeah did I tell you that he had a one-night stand with the baker before he wrote the review (they didn’t know who each other were at the time) and so now they have to FIGHT THEIR FEELINGS for each other because HIS CAREER WILL BE RUINED if the public finds out he SLEPT WITH HER and then gave her a spot on the show.

It was pretty….lame.

Weirdly though, they go to some place called Moonstone Beach which apparently is a real place that I had never heard of and then I recently read another book that also mentioned it so now I guess I need to go to Moonstone Beach, let’s go.

9. Last Night at the Telegraph Club – Malinda Lo

Last Night at the Telegraph Club

How beautiful is this cover, tho. And also a historical fiction that’s actually interesting and informative with a Sapphic coming-of-age romance? Bro, put my name on that sign-up sheet behind Todd’s desk, which is where the sign-up sheets always were when we worked in an office and had food parties.

Anyway, this is set in SF’s Chinatown during the Red Scare and centers around a lesbian club called the Telegraph Club, and it was fucking wonderful.

***

OK there’s the first 9. I’m tired of typing and I really suck at book reviews, but I liked all of these except for A Sweet Mess and if I had to recommend one it would be Know My Name – support Chanel Miller. She is really making an impact, so fuck you, Brock Turner, you piece of shit.

 

Jun 092021
 

Oh SHOOT are you guys in for a treat (“You’re not,” says Henry). I found Vacations with Erin Vol. 3 in the attic (thankfully before the Man in the Attic came back for seconds, j/k I think one of my dogs chewed on this when I still lived at home) the other day when I was looking for old books to drop off at one of the Little Free Libraries down the street from me and so tonight I flipped open to a random page and started to read aloud to Henry, which is truly his favorite thing ever, listening to me fast-talk through super dramatic episodic capsules of my youth.

I landed on a page from when I was in Cordoba with my aunt Sharon in 1992 and she kept ditching me (I was 12!!!) for other people she liked better in our tour group. OK, here it goes:

***

[Sharon’s] back and she wants me to go on a stupid gay [EDITOR’S NOTE: sorry!! I was 12 and this was the 90s, I don’t use that word in that way anymore!!!!] carriage ride w/ her, Janet, Alisha, & Athena. NOT!! I wanted to go for a walk not a group gathering on a carriage. SHE can go, since she ♥s deciding things for the both of us. Well, I’m sick of her little ideas. She can go mingle by herself w/o me. ALone. She won’t even notice that I’m not there. I’d feel left out like I normally do when we’re w/ THEM. [EDITOR’S NOTE: I vaguely remember Alisha and Athena being in their early 20s and getting ALL OF THE ATTENTION everywhere we went and me, as a spoiled Leo, could not fucking handle the injustice of it all] Sharon would probably treat me like a child like she usually does when THEY’RE around. I wish she’d just leave. Good, there she goes. Everytime we’re gonna go somewhere by ourselves, we usually end ↑ in a group. I absolutely hate that. I wish Pappap & Grandma were here. Then I wouldn’t be so bored. I wish I could call them, but it would cost them too much. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Um, my Pappap was literally a millionaire, lol.] And I don’t wanna complain to them anyways. Hey, she’s back. Oh, she just went to the bathroom. You’d think she’d take the hint since I’m not talking to her. Why doesn’t she LEAVE? I could have stayed home & she wouldn’t have cared. She just uses me as a companion until like, the first day. Cuz then she makes frenz & totally drops me & acts like I’m just a mere child & she’s like my guardian or something [EDITOR’S NOTE: I mean, this was basically the nature of our relationship, so….] A babysitter – that’s it. Oh, now she’s trying to suck ↑.

Ugh. I was laying ↓ & she came over & said, “Are you mad at me? Tell the truth. Do you feel like I’m neglecting you?” She wanted the truth so I said, “Since day one” & she goes, “THEN TO HELL W/ THIS VACATION. I THINK THIS IS THE END OF YOU & I GOING ON VACATIONS TOGETHER.” She has quite a lot of nerve! She’s gone now but before she left she kept trying to suck ↑ by asking me if I wanted a churro. Ha! Yeah rite. Give it ↑. She’s trying to get me even fatter but I don’t know why. Aren’t I fat enuf?

Well, it’s only 10:00 but I might as well go to sleep now – what else is there to do in this dungeon cell?

—THE NEXT DAY—

Today we leave for Madrid. A six hour drive. Let’s see how long I last. Last nite I finally fell asleep after many distractions. First, the TV kept going ↑ in volume, & then Sharon’s makeup bag fell off the bathroom counter & it was SO loud. “Elvira” was on & it brought back memories of how Daddy used to make us watch her Halloween special every year. I don’t know what time Sharon came back. She was probably having so much—-

***

And then it continues on into VACATIONS WITH ERIN: VOL 4, which I do not have access to right now because it’s tucked away in a trunk and it hurts my back to open it so CLIFFHANGER. But yeah, that was a little peek into how fantastic it was to travel with me back then! (Somewhere, Henry is reading this, eyebrows a’quiver, thinking, “BACK THEN??”)

Wow, that was fun. I like transcribing. Maybe I will do this more often and then you guys can feel just as tortured and violated as Henry does when I cry out VACATION JOURNAL STORY TIME! and he gets this really scared rabbit look in his eyes. His favorite part of tonight’s story time was when I got to the part where I found out Janet, a lady on our tour, says the word “decrepit” too and then I interrupted my reading to scream, “I USED TO SAY THAT WORD ALL THE TIME DO YOU KNOW WHY BECAUSE SCOTT D*MBAUGH SAID THAT WORD ONCE IN 7TH GRADE AND I WAS OBSESSED WITH HIM AND SO I STARTED SAYING IT TOO AND IT BECAME MY FAVORITE WORD” and then I went back to the reading the next line which was LITERALLY, “I thought me and Scott were the only ones who knew what that word meant! SIKE!”

LOL I WAS SO OBSESSED WITH HIM (I mean, he was the first person I stalked, so) THAT I EVEN NAME-DROPPED HIM IN MY VACATION JOURNAL WHEN I WAS THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY IN SPAIN. That is true, dedicated obsession. Also, I stuck an asterisk in his last name up there because I wrote about him once on here and one of his CO-WORKERS FOUND IT and told him!? AND THE BLOG POST INCLUDED A FUCKING PICTURE OF AN ASSIGNMENT THAT I KEPT WHEN HE WAS MY SCIENCE PARTNER IN 8TH GRADE BECAUSE I WANTED TO ALWAYS REMEMBER HIS HANDWRITING AND NOW HE KNOWS. That was cool. So cool. Really cool. I’m cool. Totally fucking cool. It’s cool.

Going to google him now TTYL.

Jun 082021
 

I pulled Chooch away from his stupid “whatever it is he does on the computer with headphones on” for an entire 5 minutes BECAUSE I AM THE WORSTEST MOMMY IN THE WORLD. Literally he acted like I asked so much of him and honestly these teenage years are killing me dead, you guys. Killing me fucking deadzo. All I wanted was one good picture of us jumping across the street at the church for something I’m working on, not actually making him GO INSIDE THE CHURCH for MASS.

ALTHOUGH MAYBE THIS IS WHAT NEEDS TO START HAPPENING.

I mean, look at that face! The Pet Shop Boys could have used it for the cover of the What Have I Done To Deserve This single.

What else fun Erin&Chooch stories do I have to share…oh! Here’s one. We were walking down the street the other day and his friend’s little brother was outside. I think he’s like 3 or 4 or who cares. Anyway, he called out, “It’s Riley and the Blond Girl!” and this cracked me up because I think only HNC and his wife know my name out of everyone who lives on this street and I have lived here almost the longest, so that’s cool, being this popular. But also, the Blond Girl and not Riley’s Mom? Kills me.

Oh here’s a weird one. Last Friday, the radio in my bedroom was playing “Electric Avenue” and I almost knocked on Chooch’s bedroom door to tell him that the song he likes was on the radio but then I stopped at the last minute and thought, “No. It’s not this song. It’s that other song” and I couldn’t even remember how it went in my head, except that the word “stride” was in it and I was like, “OH WELL, IT WILL COME TO ME LATER PROBABLY” and I went back downstairs. A few minutes later, LITERALLY JUST A FEW MINUTES LATER, LIKE TWO SONGS LATER PROBABLY, I had to run back up to my room for something AND THE SONG I COULDN’T REMEMBER WAS ON! It’s that “Nothing’s Gonna Break My Stride” song from the 80s, so this time I *did* knock on Chooch’s door and I told him the whole story and then finished it with, “And now that song is on!!!”

Chooch just looked at me, sneered, and said, “Well, I do actually like Electric Avenue too so nice try.”

SEE THIS IS WHAT I DEAL WITH and as I type this, it occurs to me that he only talks to me this way because he has spent his formative years listening to me talk to Henry that way, so….good job, Blond Girl.

Then over the weekend, the same radio station played both songs again, just in reverse order, three songs apart from each other AND I FUCKING FLIPPED OUT. Also, this same station plays American Pie (one of my most hated songs) nearly every day and for what purpose?!!? I don’t understand how a radio station that’s supposed to be playing a mixed bag of oldies and current hits continuously plays the same old songs when there are like millions to choose from – you’re a fucking variety station! Does someone need to give them the definition of variety?! I only keep the radio on because it comforts me to hear wafting away up there in the distance while I’m working (Henry always marvels at how you can barely hear it downstairs but the moment one of my jams comes on – like “In The Air Tonight” – I will stop everything and holler, “STFU MY JAM’S ON!”

I guess it’s time to go back to playing Spotify at night, though because fuck that station, also the DJ in the morning is a real asshole IN MY OPINION.

Anyway, do you like our shirts!?! I made Chooch wear that one to coordinate with me. Mine is from Noo Works and his is from some alley boutique in Harajuku OMG wow we are cool people.

This was the “Winner” of all the pictures. It’s annoying because we can never jump in tandem.

Well, that’s all I got. I started watching “Feel Good” on Netflix and now I would rather drink my iced coffee (Henry bought himself an iced coffee maker for his birthday which is great because now he can use his birthday present to make me iced coffee, I love when I win other people’s birthdays) and watch that before passing out because it’s 875457 degrees in my house and I just exercised.

ETA: several hours I came up to go to bed and that fucking Break My Stride song was on again!!! Was it even played that much in the 80s?? WHY NOW?

 

Jun 072021
 

I am super selfish every year on Henry’s birthday (yes, just that one day) because it always rubs in my face the fact that he is so much older than me and I know, anything can happen, but it still sends a torrent of morbid thoughts through my dumb head.

Add to that the fact that I went walking in Jefferson Memorial Friday morning and Sunday morning, and the same old man was sitting in front of what I assume was his wife’s grave, reading a newspaper and drinking coffee. I just lost it when I saw him Sunday morning. Simultaneously the sweetest and saddest thing ever and it made me SORT OF CARE ABOUT HENRY ugh. I guess I like him. I dunno. SHUT UP.

Anyway, back to Henry’s birthday, I guess. Sigh. Unlike me, Henry never really wants to do anything big and bombastic. So we ate lunch at home and then went to Settlers Cabin for some hiking action.

Thank god Henry found one of his favorite things on the trail – A BENCH. He loves him a good bench. Especially at amusement parks.

Chooch was being super annoying and I told him to just go walk by himself. It was 90 degrees and my moist skin glaze was giving me BITCH POWER. I guess I should explain that it wasn’t that he was trying to talk to us about his life or anything like that, but that he was playing POKEMON GO and narrating the whole process which really gets under my skin for some reason I guess because it’s something that I AM NOT A PART OF.

But honestly, we had fun screaming, “HI BUDDY!” to all of the squirrels and then we saw a shit-ton of chipmunks which is endlessly interesting to me because Henry and I were just discussing not too long ago that we haven’t seen chipmunks…around town in years upon years. Like, I’m talking about the 90s maybe! I thought that maybe we were both nuts but then Haley mentioned the same thing when she was over here several weeks ago and I was like IF HALEY HAS NOTICED THIS THEN IT MUST BE CREED. I finally felt inspired to google that shit after our hike and apparently it’s a true story and has to do with food supply, etc etc boring snore nature stuff.

Anyway, I declared that we shall call chipmunks “chingu” which is Korean for “friend,” so similar to Buddy but MAYBE COOLER? Sorry, Buddy.

Then we emerged into this clearing where the trail split and had no idea which way to go so we dumbly listened to Chooch and then got lost, which prompted Henry and Chooch to look at their respective maps on their phones and scream at each other and then Chooch was like, “THIS IS THE PATH HERE,” flashing his phone at Henry, to which Henry cried, “YOU’VE BEEN USING THE POKEMON GO MAP?!?!?!?!” But it’s OK that Chooch got us lost, you guys, because he found a fucking Pokestop in doing so.

Spoiler: we made it out of the woods.

THEN WE GOT ICE CREAM. I can’t remember the last time I had a good old fashioned soft serve?!

Birthday Boy got a FRUITY PEBBLE blizzard-type thing (it was called a snowstorm?) and I was jealous because I didn’t know that existed there and perhaps that’s what I would have also ordered. :(

Then I made him stand by this wall because matchy-matchy. Then later that night, Henry made us sing to him ugh:

Later that night I was still stressing out about this dying thing. Panicked, I said to Henry, “I hope I die first. I don’t want to be alone. I don’t know HOW TO DO ANYTHING. YOU HAVE TO TEACH ME OMG UGHHHH!!!”

Henry calmly replied, “I’ve tried.”

Overall, I think it was an OK day but then, it wasn’t my birthday lol.

Jun 052021
 

I was going to live-blog this day but then I didn’t and now I wish I did.

After we bailed on Six Flags, we drove to Buffalo (maybe the outskirts?) to a vegan junk food joint called Big Mood. Checking out local vegan places is my favorite thing to do when we go on road trips!

Big Mood’s dining room is open but we opted to order online and take the food to a park because it was such a beautiful day. After we placed the order, we had 20 minutes to kill so we decided to walk around the area, which had some pretty impressive motherwhomping mansions. As usual, we didn’t wait for Henry so he had to hustle to catch up. He’s used to it.

We stopped briefly to ogle two bunnies in one of the yards. Henry and I continued walking but of course, Chooch lingered a bit longer. Next thing we knew, he was being interrogated by a man in a car. All I heard was Chooch nervously say, “No, I was just looking at the rabbits. Rabbits. The rabbits in the yard.” And then he ran to catch up with us.

“WTF was that?” I asked, and Chooch said it was the HOMEOWNER who just happened to be coming home AT THAT EXACT TIME, rolling up beside Chooch on the sidewalk to slap him with an authoritative, “Can I help you?”

Leave it to Chooch to make rabbit-watching look suspicious. It would have been better if this happened when Chooch was pulling the waistband of his jeans away from his body to demonstrate to us how big they are (see that previous post where I recommend that he wear a belt and he acted like this was the dumbest suggestion of all time), because to a casual observer who took us for burglars, it looked like Chooch was showing us all the goods he stole and stashed in his pants.

We left that street (it wasn’t even a gated community or anything so dude needs to step off) and rejoined the riffraff on a main street. There was a buffalo statue in front of a building and I said to Chooch, “Go stand by that buffalo.” What follows is real life dialogue from that moment, which is 100% accurate because my phone had been accidentally recording for over 5 minutes after Chooch got yelled at.

C: No

Me: Yeah.

C: No.

Me: Henry, go stand by the buffalo.

C: Yeah, you.

H: I…stood by something today already.

C: I ALREADY STOOD BY TWO THINGS! YOU!

H: You stand by it.

C: No. You didn’t stand by anything.

H: I stood by the…..[indistinguishable murmuring].

C: OK COOL (this is our go-to, ‘fuck you, we’re done talking’ sign-off)

H: *says something provoking that I can’t make out*

C: I literally….It’s your turn. I got the fountain picture. Go.

M: You two are both assholes.

H: I’ll do it.

C: Yeah, now you’ll do it. (As we already walked past it!!)

H: Well, now she’s doing that thing she does where she pouts.

M: That’s not what I’m doing.

It was 100% what I was doing.

Then Chooch found some dried out seed pods from a tree and we talked about that for a while.

Got our food!! I got this Sante Fe chicken sandwich and adored the fact that they call their fake chicken patties “zero clucks.” We drove for a while until we found a good place to sit at a park (on bleachers with like a constant swarm of people milling past us so of course I was like THESE PPL ARE MAKING ME NERVOUS and Henry and Chooch just rolled their eyes because oh look, Erin’s being Erin). Oh man, this sandwich was delicious and FILLING.

Stupidly, we wanted to venture out to the American side of the Falls after this, forgetting that it was a holiday weekend on the tail-end of a pandemic so….yeah. That place a  mad house and we weren’t willing to pay $30 to park so we figured it was time to call it a day and start the drive back home, which was fun for Henry because at this point, Chooch and I were fucking SLAP HAPPY. The only thing Henry hates more than Chooch and I fighting is Chooch and I laughing so hard we are either puking (Chooch) or pants-peeing (me).

Henry had to get gas, leaving us hyenas in the car. Henry’s phone was connected so when he paid for the gas, the text message from the bank popped up on the car screen with a prompt to reply, so I hit the microphone icon and frantically tried to scream FUCK YOU as Henry’s reply to the bank’s text, but it kept coming out like FWAHAHAHAHAHAHA YOOHOOHOOHOOHOOHOHOHOHOUIWUQUP, launching Chooch and me down a laughing spiral for a good hour, making me feel like I popped blood vessels in my eyes; Henry, meanwhile, didn’t laugh once, but did try to kick us out of the car once.

Then we went to the NY Tourist Center which was fanc-ay!

The lighting in the bathroom was excelsiur.

I tried to hide from Henry while he was going to the bathroom but somehow, when I was still outside running to a different entrance to use for a sneak attack, Henry and Chooch managed to leave the bathroom and even proceeded to “fake leave” me behind, nearly running me over in the process when I came flying out of the building. All of this happened after I started to lurch at a man coming out of the bathroom who was definitely not Henry and then I had to play it off like I had just tripped on my way to look blankly at the vending machine.

Went to Six Flags, had more fun at a tourist center. Sounds just like us!

I was even a super sweetie and drove the last hour so Henry could sleep

***

The next day, I mentioned something about the drive home and Henry said, “You mean when you were doing 85?”

I paused. “Well…the speed limit was 70, so.”

“You were doing 85!” Henry reiterated, his tone flecked with slightly more hysteria this time.

“Oh my god, were you spying on me?”I cried, and you can imagine the incredulity.

“My eyes would automatically fly open every time the car lurched forward,” he said, and by now I was bored of the conversation and only like talking about myself when it doesn’t involve someone accusing me of doing something wrong, THANK YOU V. MUCH. Luckily, it’s easy to flip the switch on Henry. You usually just have to point out the window and yell, “OH LOOK AT THAT PLANE” and then he’ll be all concerned with trying to identify it. This also works with birds, cars, 1970s porn plots…

Then Henry and I went for a walk at the Homewood Cemetery on actual Memorial Day and saw this zombie ground hog, which was basically the highlight of the whole weekend for me:

Jun 042021
 

Yaaaaaaaa, it’s Friday and I spent all of my energy power-walking in the cemetery, working, crying over The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (I’m like 5 years behind on that hype-wagon), more power-walking, and then exercising so here are five songs that I have really been liking lately.

CIX – Cinema

Chooch and I saw them at a living taping of The Show in Korea and I desperately hope that we get to see them again!

AB6IX – Close

The vibe of this video, though.

Olivia Rodrigo – Good 4 U

BTS fans hate her so I love her.

SHINee – I Want You

Not a new song but one that always makes me want to go run through a meadow or whatever.

Chiodos – The Words ‘Best Friend’ Become Redefined

I put on one of Chooch’s old (suuuuuper old – it was an XS!!!) Chiodos shirts yesterday and felt overcome with nostalgia so naturally I had to cue up some of my fave Chiodos songs while wearing it. Man, I miss that scene SO MUCH sometimes, but I don’t miss the person I was back then AT ALL.

(Yes, it’s signed! So it doesn’t get worn much.)

BONUS: Chuck Mangione – Feels So Good

I got a Chuck Mangione pin in the mail yesterday (for another dumb kitchen project, stay tuned or tune out) and it prompted me to go into full-fledge dance party mode when Chooch had the audacity to say that he didn’t know who Chuck MANJONE (his failed pronunciation) was. I was doing a REALLY GOOD horn impression too and Chooch shouted, “THIS IS SO ANNOYING, I’M MOVING OUT” and the cats were like, “TAKE US WITH YOU.”

You know what didn’t feel so good though? This whole work week.

On that note, I’m OUTTA HERE.

Jun 032021
 

I thought I missed going places over the last year but now that we’re going places again I just want to stay home with the cats and squirrels.

Something something like my mother she’s never satisfied etc etc. – Prince

I originally was v. Gung-ho about Going Somewhere, maybe not for the whole weekend but at least for a day. Originally, we were going to go to King’s Island, then that changed to Six Flags America in Maryland then we tacked on King’s Dominion making it a whole weekend event, but then the weather forecast changed to All Rain All the Time for that part of the country so we started looking at other nearby parks where the skies promised to be dry and I STUPIDLY said hey what about Six Flags Darien Lake and this seemed ok because we bought season passes since there are some other Six Flags we will be hitting up this summer and this one is the closest so even if the park turned out to suck at least we weren’t too far from home and we could just piss around in Buffalo *PAUSE TO BREATHE*

But when I woke up Sunday morning, I was full of excuses (and vitriol) of why I didn’t want to go. I was also extremely tired and PMSing, and the rainy Pittsburgh morning made me want to stay in bed forever.

I eventually came around (“FINE WE CAN GO BUT IF IT’S LAME WE’RE LEAVING” I yelled and so Henry and Chooch obediently stepped into their shoes and off we went.

The drive to Darien Lake is only about 3 and a half hours, most of which Chooch slept and I read (Anna K Away – it was OK!) while Henry drove and probably recalled better days when he was in THE SERVICE and getting RESPECT from FEMALES.

We stopped at our favorite rest stop in that area – the one that appears sometime after leaving Erie and entering NY, where the walkway crosses the highway and this is actually so exciting to me which might inspire you to snap, “Wow, why don’t you go read a book or something” at which point I will tell you that I have already read over 70 so far in 2021, go fuck yer mum (sorry I just finished a British novel and that was used a lot and now I can’t stop saying it all day long to the annoying birds who heckle my cats like it’s their motherfucking J-O-B).

Lessee, did anything exciting happen here…Chooch got an iced coffee from Cinnabun, I encouraged Henry to treat himself to a cuppa soft pretzel nuggets from his beloved Auntie Anne’s (their pretzels are super fucking doughgasmic so I can’t really hate on him too much about this) and I got a chocolate chip cookie from Lavazza which was my lunch, lol. Oh and some dumb preteen boy was yelling about the BTS McDonald’s meal which inspired a big GO FUCK YER MUM mood for me.

Back in the car, Henry liked to occasionally point things out, like, “My tooth hurts” (no one cares) and “There’s so-and-so’s Family Restaurant.”

Me: wouldn’t it be funny if we had a family restaurant?

Henry: how would it be a family restaurant, I’d be the only one working there.

YES THATS WHY IT WOULD BE FUNNY.

We arrived at Six Flags around 12:30 and….wow. Um. Wow, just wow. I did not have high expectations for this place but it was even worse than I expected, lol. But we had already discussed the possibility of just going there to get our passes, checking it out, and then leaving if it was weak since it wasn’t technically a waste of money (see above where I shouted: FINE WE CAN GO BUT IF IT’S LAME WE’RE LEAVING.)

Yeah, we lasted about two hours and in those two hours, we only rode two rides. The park wasn’t crowded AT ALL but every coaster was running only one train, and even though most parks have relaxed their covid restrictions by now, this place was still sending socially-distanced trains on every coaster and not letting anyone in the station except for the people waiting to board the next ride. So the queues were wack and the only coaster we really wanted to ride (Ride of Steel) was a 90 minute wait with one train running, and that was only when it wasn’t breaking down, lol. Great ops, Darien Lake!

We waited about 35 minutes to ride Predator. It wasn’t great but also not the worst woodie I’ve ever been on, but Henry and Chooch basically think it should be set aflame.

Honestly, I barely even bothered to take many pictures and I sure as shit didn’t care about editing the ones I did take. So enjoy Hatless Henry (one of my least favorite Henrys), a lamp post, Swings, and a wooden coaster that desperately needs the RMC-treatment.

He always has to stop to tie his shoes. Also, he complained about needing a belt all day but the last time I told him he needed a belt, he bitched about how he doesn’t like wearing belts, so I’m going back on Parental Hiatus. Wear suspenders for all I care.

The wait for this ride was over an hour and I was like, “Look I am not waiting an hour to ride this” and Chooch was like “preach” so we got in line for one of the other few coasters that was actually running: Motocoaster. It’s basically a baby-launch coaster on a wildmouse-esque track that looked like it was dropped off by a traveling carnival that was passing through. The line seemed pretty reasonable to me but the amount of people who came over, peeped the line, then said, “Aw hell nah” was concerning. I guess this ride usually is a walk-on? The dad in front of us was complaining to his kid that this “was going to be like, a 20 minute wait!” and finally coerced his kid to agree to get out of line. Then, 10 minutes after we got in line, the fucking ride broke down! So there was a mass exodus of people leaving the line, and Chooch was like, “This is dumb let’s go” but I HAD A FEELING so I convinced him to stick it out. Meanwhile, there were these two park regulars behind the family behind us, and one of the guys said, “Look, this happens a lot. They’ll send a guy out, he’ll look underneath it, hit the reset button, send a test car, then it’ll be fine.”

SOOTHSAYER, HE WAS! It was just like in Rollercoaster Tycoon where the maintenance man is dropped down from the sky, fiddles some wrenches, and then voila, ride is back in action. It actually saved us a bunch of time since so many people got out of line! And we got front row!

I made the universal “TAKE PICTURES OF US” sign with my hands before we got on, which Henry dreads. Chooch said this ride was NOT FUN AT ALL yet the SMILE ON HIS FACE in every picture says OTHERWISE.

Look at my meaty thigh lol.

Anyway, we had enough after this and started to make our way back to the entrance. I knew this was one of the smaller Six Flags, but I had no idea it was THIS SMALL. Kennywood feels bigger! Is it? I don’t feel like researching. Look it up and tell me.

Before we left, I got a magnet from the really shitty selection at their lame-ass gift shop (there was a very sweet old lady working there though) and then I made Henry  take pictures of Chooch and me by this fountain which was basically the only pleasant area.

(Darien Lake’s mask rule is that vaccinated people can go mask-free but since Chooch still has one more shot to go – tonight, actually! – I kept mine on my person out of solidarity.)

It took Henry 7348278357034679-3567 attempts to take a picture of me looking even semi-human and finally I just gave up because I’m not getting plastic surgery so I just need to finally, after 41 years, accept my turtle-ish visage.

Surprisingly, none of us were really in a bad mood. I think because the bar was already set so low and we got what we came for – the passes – which we will use later this year at Six Flags Great Adventure, and also the ones in Maryland and hopefully Atlanta because even though that one is also supposed to a shit-show, they have an RMC and I NEED TO STUFF MY ASS INTO IT LIKE IT’S MY NEW FETISH.

Jun 012021
 

We rearranged the back porch a bit and now it’s even cozier – I never imagined that my old, trusty chaise lounge would have a second life back there but it’s the perfect spot for it!

The wheelchair Henry got me for Xmas is soooo awesome but it was way too obtrusive to stay in bye living room. I kept clipping my shins off of it every time I exercised. But once we moved some stuff around on the porch, it was like it was made to fit back there.

I just love this view!!!

I decided that this is going to be the official FAMILY MEETING ROOM so I called Chooch down for a FAMILY MEETING then realized I had nothing to say.

Another development is that we moved my old Pier 1 wavy shelf back there. It used to be an awful catch-all on the upstairs landing but we took it down and replaced it with the neon-lipped CURE SPOT. I knew I wanted to keep it so I decided to (have Henry) paint it and afterward I realized that I subconsciously chose colors that matched the furniture in my teenage bedroom lol I’ll never grow up.

Penelope is NOT SO SURE about this.

Anyway, I styled it with some of my favorite things and hopefully it stays steady stylin’ and doesn’t turn into an open-air hoarder’s closet like before, yikes.

This Warped Tour book I made has been hidden on another shelf for so long that I forgot it existed! So now it gets to SHINE, bitches, SHINE.

Chooch used to gnaw on this Keith Haring top when he was a baby :/

See also: Chooch’s baby teeth in a lightbulb.

I still have way too much “stuff” in this house but…at least it’s somewhat organized now I guess. I mean, if Henry would ever get his shit out of the third floor, my collections of vacation journals and clowns and cameras and framed concert posters would have an entire extra room in which to spread!

Well, on that note, I’m going to bed – BYEEEEE

May 312021
 

Today is the day all of us Taemints have been dreading. Military enlistment day. But I know that he will do well because he does well at everything!!

Anyway, let the countdown to discharge commence!


Henry, about our cat Drew: she’s so whiny today. She was upstairs crying, then she was on the porch crying, then she was at the window crying.

Me: Because Taemin enlisted.

Henry: I…don’t think that’s it.

May 292021
 

What a miserable Memorial Day weekend! It’s currently rainy and like, 50 degrees here in Pgh so I’ve spent most of the day huddled on the couch with a book (already a contender for Top 10 of 2021), roller coaster videos playing in the background.

What a dumb intro for a post of cat pictures!

Hopefully the rest of the weekend is more exciting. K bye.

May 282021
 

OK, I have nothing bad to say about Knoebels AT ALL. This might actually be the most perfect family park in existence. I’m not kidding. We have never had a bad experience here, and we always magically seem to get along. Where Chooch and I stood in line together like strangers the day before at Hershey, at Knoebels we were chatty and excited, pointing at Henry on his respective benches as we climbed up lift-hills and shouted JANNNNNNNA!!!! in lieu of “woo hoo!” as an homage to the Wacky Worm days of yesteryear. 

Henry loves Knoebels because it’s a free admission park. So old people like him can stroll right in for free and just spend the day eating, sitting on benches, playing games, etc. But if they’re feeling frisky after eating their BBQ sandwich, they can stroll right up to an old-fashioned ticket booth and buy some tickets for any damn ride they want. This is what Henry did. He literally bought tickets just to ride the carousel so we could get our traditional carouselfie.

We have the dumbest traditions but I also love them, too.

Also, the park opens early so you can EAT BREAKFAST there which somehow we didn’t know about this or else the GREAT HASHBROWN DISPUTE might never had happened that morning!

Since we got there an hour before the rides opened, Chooch declared that his self-appointed ban on mini-golf had been lifted so he and Henry entered that hellscape while I spent the time walking around and enjoying the SCENERY like an old lady. It’s not often we get to slow it down and really enjoy amusement parks, and Knoebels is SO BEAUTIFUL AND FOREST-Y!

Good luck with that, Henry.

Knoebels lifted their mask mandate for vaccinated people and I’m sure Chooch would have been fine to remove his mask while mini-golfing because no one was around but I think he is now just so accustomed to masking up that he doesn’t even notice it.

Knoebels has Mr. Gray Guys!!

Anyway, let us take some time and enjoy the quaint Knoebels vibes, shall we?

Phoenix is THE MOST IMPORTANT reason why we keep coming back to Knoebels, if you know, you know.

Also, I hate when people say that but wanted to see how it felt to say it out loud as I typed it and as expected, I felt like a smarmy asshole. But why stop there….

WHAT HAPPENS AT KNOEBELS STAYS AT KNOEBELS.

OK, I’m done now. Whoooof.

Another great woodie!

WE GOT PIZZA FROM HERE AND IT WAS DELICIOUS. Amusement park pizza just hits different. It’s also pretty much the only time that I can eat one slice and be satisfied because I’m always in such a hurry to get back to the rides!

Chooch played this idiotic game while we waited for our pizza. He won a stupid dino egg, the kind that you have to marinate in water and it hatches into a toy. He was way too excited about it.

I wanted Henry to go sit at that table in the background because it was filled with people wearing the colors of the Henry rainbow.

OK LISTEN. Even if you’re just *mildly* into dark rides, you gotta splurge and pay the extra $3 to ride the Haunted Mansion because it is one of the best classic dark rides I have ever ridden. That’s actually how we first ended up at Knoebels several years ago – for an event with the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts group we used to  belong to! Then we stopped renewing our membership because the people in the group acted like they didn’t know us* at every event and it was really uncomfortable because I wanted to make friends.

*(Except for our friends the Handas!!)

BENCHIN’ IT.

Oh also Knoebels has really unique, delicious, and AFFORDABLE food like these delightful Tiger Tails! And Henry had the most delectable sweet potato as a side with his BBQ sandwich which made me have slight pizza-regertz.

Oh and also part 2: Knoebels has a carousel where you can catch brass rings like they did back in VICTORIAN AGES when women straddled horses in flouncy evening gowns and probably their CHIVALROUS MANS hoisted them up there in the first place. Wish I had had a CHIVALROUS MANS to give my big butt a boost because these horses are hard to mount! (Somewhere, Chooch is screaming THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.) But instead, Henry the Mannerless Milquetoast Man was too busy daydreaming of the time he went to Magic Mountain while he was IN THE SERVICE. I asked him if he rode a carousel when he was there and he mumbled, “I don’t remember what I rode.” PROBABLY A TOWNIE HOOKER.

Here’s a reflection of Henry talking to Chooch about that probably. “AND SHE WAS MISSING AN ARM SO I HAD TO GRAB HER LIKE THIS…”

Definitely one of the more elegant carousels I’ve ever taken a ride on.

OH BOY THEN IT WAS FASCINATION TIME.

Some bitch sitting nearby was definitely cheating somehow and no I’m not referring to myself, I wasn’t playing.

This ride was a real motherfucker and had me screaming into the atmosphere an on-the-spot Living Will. However! My favorite part was before the ride even started. We had just gotten into line when these two teen girls came flopping over. Their friends were three people ahead of us in line and they were like COME ON, CUT IN LINE! and the two flopping girls were like WE CANNOT CUT THE LINE and the other two girls, one of which was CLEARLY the alpha and definitely smokes Newports in the trailer park, was like DO IT NOW so they were like SORRY SORRY and guiltily pushed past us and three other girls. I was like I WILL NOT LET THIS BOTHER ME because I was having a great day now that the HASHBROWN INCIDENT was but a memory, but the three girls in front of us did NOT think this line-jumping was cute. I mean, I didn’t either, but FWIW, when they cut, two other people near the front were in the process of leaving the line so it all evened out.

You know?

Anyway! We almost made it the next ride but the line got cut off right at the pair in front of the CUTTERS. But then the ride never started. There was clearly some drama going on and then we realized that some small kid was like freaking out at the last minute and the ride attendant had to unlock everyone’s restraints so the kid and his parents could leave the ride.

This left four seats open, so the ride attendant was all, “Yo, we got any groups of 4 out there?” and the Newport bitch shot her skinny, jelly-braceleted arm into the sky and did a weird hop. But there were two girls who were next in line, and they made an audible exclamation of disgust at this. So the ride attendant was like, “Well, these two girls were first” so she let them on and then asked the girls behind the cutters if they had two people in their group and one of them said yes BUT THERE WERE THREE and two of them were seriously going to leave their friend behind, so she cried, “Hey!” And they were like, UGH FINE so then I raised my hand and proudly said, “WE HAVE TWO!” So we got to cut in front of the Cutters and Newport was SO PISSED!  She made the standard “UGH!!!!” face that all dumb teenage girls spend their entire time in the womb perfecting, and it felt SO GOOD to flounce past them.

I was so excited to tell Henry about this afterward and Chooch kept saying “Oh my god” while making the “speed it up” motion, probably just like you are doing right now. LOOK, IT WAS REALLY EXCITING FOR ME OK.

Sadly, Knoebels closed at 6pm that day since it was still technically “pre-season” so we didn’t get a night ride on Phoenix, but it was still honestly the perfect day. I mean, everything post-hashbrouhaha. Hashbrownhaha. You know?

If Knoebels was closer to Pittsburgh, I’d have my birthday party there, seriously. OR THE PIE PARTY. We could all eat pie and then puke Problem Child-style.