Jun 192019
 

Janna follows some frozen custard place on Facebook and mentioned that she had wanted to stop by and get some but that perhaps driving 90 minutes to Conneaut Lake was a bit much just for ice cream but I was like BITCH PLZ, BEST REMEMBER WHO U BE TALKIN’ 2 so after I took off my queen bee rapper chains, I quickly convinced her that this was the best idea she’s had probably ever and that I would be happy to accompany her.

In my head, I had it billed as some big deal GIRLS DAY OUT and wonder who would be Romy and who would be Michelle, and I was so giddy about this all last week! When Saturday rolled around, aka THE BIG DAY (god, my life is so rich), Chooch was moping around. “Where did you say you and Janna were going again?” he asked, and then sadly murmured, “…oh” when I told him.

Later that morning, when I was upstairs drying my hair, MOM GUILT crept in. “Do you want to go with us” I texted him. A moment later, he bounded up the steps, dove onto my bed, and screamed, “Yes!”

Janna was like “Sigh.”

No, j/k, we’re all BFFs here.

The plan was to swing by Conneaut Lake Park for an hour or two as well even though it’s sad and decrepit…but, it’s there and it’s $10 for a ride-all-day, lol. They have a really old wooden coaster and a pretty rundown but fun dark ride, too. Janna surprisingly was on board with this even though rain was in the forecast all day…

…and it started literally the moment we turned off the highway on the Conneaut exit.

I blamed Janna because it took her so long to come and pick us up!!

We were going to alter plans by going to a cafe first so Janna pulled over in some spookily small town so we could troll Yelp but since we weren’t in some metropolitan area, the options were very slim. I got frustrated and eventually just decided for the whole car that we would continue on to the park even in the rain.

In the few minutes it took to get there (Janna had to turn around a few times), the rain had ceased! It was still a dreary day though, and kind of chilly too so I was glad I wore a jacket. Janna parked basically in a field and we immediately found ourselves surrounded by LAKE FREAKS. Just like, you know, townies trying to enjoy a rainy day at the broke down amusement park, same as us BIG CITY CREEPS.

STICK IT TO THE DEVIL.

We rode the Devil’s Den right away, as soon as we got our wristbands. (Janna reluctantly bought one too once she realized that otherwise, she would have to buy $5 worth of tickets just for one ride–maybe Henry could have found her a coupon during one of his Bored Housewife Coupon Hunts.)

The ride operator has to actually push the cars into the entrance and around a corner until the car catches the chain on the small lift hill. Basically, Henry might be able to build something like this, is all I’m saying.

I thought it would be funny for Janna to go first for some reason and then the next day, I started cracking up because what if we had sent Janna in alone and SHE GOT MURDERED. I tried to tell Henry this but it came out as a indiscernible bray courtesy of my giddiness.

Janna was playing some podcast about the Susan Powell case during the whole ride there and back so I guess I just had murder on the mind.

I don’t know why I’m laughing like a maniac here because the ride isn’t really all that great but it has been long enough since my last jaunt through the Den that I forgot enough of it to make actually scream. But yeah it’s most just a bunch of darkness and Kmart decorations from the 1970s.

When we rode it the second time, we were all supposed to ride separately so that we could each take a picture of each other but then Janna wasn’t privy to that plan I guess because after Chooch departed alone in his pretzel car, Janna got in the same car as me! So then there was no one to take my picture!

I mean, the obvious solution to this would have been to get back in the non-existent line and ride again, but we were over Devil’s Den by then.

One of the things I was most looking forward to was riding the Witch’s Stew again, I guess just because it looks cool?! I mean, the ride itself isn’t that great and it’s actually in pretty bad shape. There were cobwebs in the car Chooch and I chose and when the operator slammed the door shut behind us, a swarm of tiny gnats awoke and fluttered out from god knows where, you guys, it was creepy and I was afraid of inhaling them.

Anyway, the ride takes forever to start because the cars can only be loaded one at a time due to the fact that there’s not an platform that people can walk up to access the cars that are on the incline. So jacked.

Janna stood by the fence and diligently took photos of us like she was our mom. It was adorable. WE ARE ADORABLE.

lol jk we’re annoying.

Yeah boi finally time to ride the Blue Streak! It wasn’t running when we first arrived because it had been raining. I was really stoked about this one and let me tell you something: absence make the body forget pain because in my mind, all I remembered was, “Yeah, I think this one is pretty rough if I remember correctly, but it’s not like, the worst.”

Oh no. It’s actually the worst. I mean, it starts off great! You go straight into a tunnel that seemingly goes on for miles and Chooch was screaming, “I love this already!” and we were pretending to pull Janna’s hair, Janna who stupidly sat in front of us, Janna who had no idea this ride was going to be the difference between a relaxing Sunday at home and a painful Sunday getting fitted for a neck brace in the ER.

As soon as we began the ascent up the first hill, I started to have flashes of recognition and suddenly wondered if this would be the worst idea we made that day. The ride is in BAD SHAPE. I mean, the track going up the hill wasn’t even straight! It was all warped and the wood looks like a termite commune. And then as soon as we hit the bottom of that first hill, the discs in my back cracked like knuckles on a cold day and Chooch started howling in pain and Janna passed out and then slid out of the car and her limp body somersaulted into the woods of Conneaut where the townies came and made pinwheels out of her vertebrae and then stole her ride-all-day wristband for their five-year-old who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome.

DAMN JANNA, YOU AND THOSE PODCASTS.

Chooch’s review was, “I feel like an old man. I never want to ride that again.”

The best part honestly was the two weirdos running the ride. They had more personality than all the fishermen on the lake COMBINED.

We had to recuperate on the carousel after that.

Carousel crew. I love this picture so much! I need to get a frame for it and keep on my desk at work to remind me OF THE GOOD TIMES. This is also such a great depiction of the relationship the three of us have – it’s not like “me and Janna and my kid” but it’s like we’re all the same age and just hanging out for the day. Chooch has always been one of the grown-ups! Or maybe it’s just that I have always been one of the kids…maybe Janna feels like she’s our babysitter?!?

For years, I wouldn’t ride carousels because I have a fear of heights, even low heights, and I would GET STUCK on the horses because I’d be too scared to try and get off when the ride ended. Many embarrassing episodes resulted from that. I actually almost fell off the one I rode a few weeks ago at Waldameer.

You guys. This ferris wheel is NEW FOR 2019! I’ve seen nicer ones at church carnivals, but Conneaut’s trying, I guess. I mean, this place is on the brink of shuttering it’s proverbial windows every season so this is a good sign!

We walked over to the lake for a brief look-see and Chooch immediately tripped and nearly took a nose-dive into the wet sand that might as well just be mud.

Hotel Conneaut is haunted!

We saw a wedding party getting their pictures taken in the “midway” of the park which is cool if they were going for a post-apocalyptic carnie style.

These were supposed to be pictures of us “relaxing” but we just look like Janna roofied us.

Chooch took this picture as an example of the shitty framing Henry does when we ask him to photograph us and I love how it turned out because I was literally in the middle of bitching about Henry so I imagine this is how my face must look the majority of my days.

Meanwhile, we were in front of the hotel and Janna said, “Wow, I guess this is where those people got married. That’s weird.”

This infuriated me.

“Why is that weird?! People get married here all the time!” I exclaimed. “Did you think they got married in the amusement park?!”

“No, but I mean, this is just a weird place. Like, why here?”

“BECAUSE IT’S A BEAUTIFUL HOTEL?!” I screamed, and then I realized what Janna was talking about was the chairs set up in THE CAR PORT in front of the hotel. Like, they literally got married in a glorified driveway and so then I was all touché, Janna.

And then it started raining again, pretty hard too, so we left and went to get Janna’s beloved frozen custard. Chooch and I were actually getting pretty hungry at this point (Henry wasn’t home to make us lunch before we left) so it’s a good thing we left when we did because our OTHER FACES were going to show very soon.

Conneaut needs another coaster, like a Wild Mouse or something, and maybe a log flume. Then it would be more worth the whole whopping $10.

Jun 172019
 

There’s always some type of confrontation or strange activity going on in front of my house, especially on weekends, and you know I love to gleefully spy on this shit through my front window. Look, I’m not standing there waiting for it to happen but when the commotion is so loud, it distracts from my Korean lesson or playtime with the cats, I’m gonna pop my head out that window to see what’s what.

And it’s usually Chooch’s frenemy Larry drunkenly mowing the lawn at 9:30pm or motherfucking passing cars on our street; or maybe it’s Tourette’s ambling home from wherever it is that someone like Tourette’s spends his days, while screaming obscenities at the imaginary foes around him.

So Friday night, when my language studies were interrupted by screaming outside of my house, I was like, “woo hoo, here we go, Brookline weekend!” I wasn’t even going to give this trashiness any of my attention at first, but then I heard “YOU’RE A F*GGOT” being tossed around at incredibly loud volumes and that’s a big nope for me. I leaned onto the windowsill to get a better look-see at what kind of trash was oozing on by this time, and at first glance, it appeared to be a couple arguing. I did note that the woman was taller and hovered over him every time she turned around to get back in his face to call him the f-word again. I was impressed by the guy’s restraint. He just kept standing there, letting this broad pummel him with derogatory zingers, and when he did speak up, it was at a normal volume so I could barely hear him.

One of those times, after calling him the f-word for the fifth time in front of my house, I heard her spit. Now, I wasn’t looking directly at her when this occurred so I’m not certain if she spit on him or near him, but it was definitely her spit.

Then she said something about ruining mom’s night out, so I decided that maybe they were siblings.

Now they were further up the block, but she was still screaming her face off. She stopped and got in his face again, real close in his face, and said, “Look me in the eyes! I want you to see my face when I tell you that I have no respect for you because you’re a F*GGOT.”

I flung the front door open and Henry was like, “Oh no, here we go.”

“GREAT WORD TO BE CALLING SOMEONE!!!!” I yelled as loud as I could. She just kept stumbling along the sidewalk like she didn’t hear me, so I slammed the door.

By now, Chooch was also looking out the window.

“Um, that lady is like in her forties, and that’s a KID,” Chooch said, always the first one to point out how shitty my eyesight is.

OK now look, I was already fucking PISSED that this broad was out there using a homophobic slur as an insult, repeatedly, for the entire neighborhood to hear (there are kids on our street and bitches like her are the reason why kids keep growing up thinking it’s ok/cool/badass to use these kinds of degrading words). But now that Chooch pointed out it was possibly her SON she was saying this to, the rage shot up inside me so fast that I had chest pains and started to tremble with anger.

“We have to call the police,” I said.

“For what?” Henry asked with a shrug, donning his white knight helmet and flinging one leg over his steed. “She didn’t hit him. The police aren’t going to be able to do anything—”

“SHE WAS VERBALLY AND EMOTIONALLY ABUSING HIM, HENRY. THIS IS WHY CHILDREN FUCKING KILL THEMSELVES!” I shrieked. And then, “I’m following them.”

Chooch was 100% on board with this idea because we are the Brookline Vigilantes (remember when we saved a moth and found a lost dog!?), so Henry reluctantly threw on his shoes and followed.

I’m not going to lie, as I bounded down the front steps of my house, it occurred to me that maybe I might die that night. I didn’t know what kind of headcase I was dealing with, or if she was high on something with superhuman strength. This is the problem with Good Samaritanism these days — you want to do your part in keeping society safe and honest, but you never know at what cost. However, if riding the trolley to work every day has taught  me one thing, it’s that IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. That recording plays on a loop on the platform so it’s ingrained in me.

Well guess what, I saw something and I said something, but now I needed to do something.

Chooch and I had to jog to catch up  to them because they had already made it a block away before we started to follow. My plan was to follow at a safe distance and record her behavior if needed, and  then call the police, but as we crested the slight hill on our street, we saw the blue and red flashing lights — someone had either already called the police, or one had pulled over in passing.

When we reached that part of the sidewalk, we saw the boy standing off to the side, away from his mom who was swinging her purse around while drunkenly gesticulating to the cop.

“I’m so sorry about this,” the boy said to us, his eyes filled with tears. HE FUCKING APOLOGIZED TO US. This simultaneously broke my heart and filled my body with even more rage. Chooch and I both assured him it wasn’t his fault and I asked him if he was OK – dumb question, but I needed him to know that I cared.

He said he was OK, but I’m sure he wasn’t. He might have been used to this though, and that makes it even worse. I wanted to rip his mom apart with my words right then and there but…that wasn’t going to help anything and he didn’t need to hear that. He already heard enough for one night!

I wasn’t sure what to do at this point — was I allowed to insert  myself and tell the cop that I was a witness? Would that escalate the situation? WOULD IT BE ME GOING TO JAIL  THAT NIGHT?? You have no idea how angry cops make me. When Henry finally aught up to us later (lol, you didn’t think he jogged with us, did you?), he admitted that he was afraid I was going to get into it with the cop because UGH COPS.

We lingered several yards away from the scene, trying to figure out if there was anything else we could do. One of Chooch’s friends walked by with her brother and they were like WTF IS HAPPENING so we filled them in and they were like OMG and then right after that another one of Chooch’s friends (an older woman who walks her dogs around the neighborhood) paused on her way by and we filled her in too so she stayed with us for awhile and we talked about how awful it is that parents could act that way and then I realized at this point that I was starting to cry so I guess maybe deep down I don’t really hate kids that much, who knows. But this whole event really had me shook.

I couldn’t get that bitch’s screaming voice out of my head all weekend, so imagine how much worse it sounds inside that boy’s head.

Eventually, we kept walking around town. Henry said that by the time he caught up to us and passed by the scene, the mom was going on and on to the cop about how much better she is than everyone else. Yeah, you keep telling yourself that, HUNTY. We started coming up with scenarios, like maybe Dad told Son to go to the bar to get Mom and that’s what set her off. Obviously some TRAGIC thing happened to spark her shrill comment about how mom’s night out was ruined. Or maybe he had the “audacity” to come out to her, or she found out from someone else, and her vicious name-calling was aimed directly for his heart.

In any case, I don’t care what sparked this incident, no child deserves to be spoken to / screamed at that way, whether it’s on a sidewalk in Brookline or behind the closed doors of their house. I  just kept looking at Chooch, imagining myself going off on him like that, and I couldn’t. I could not picture myself, in any situation, attacking his sexuality or his self-esteem or confidence or TRUST IN ME. The safest place for a kid should be with his mom!

Do I ever yell at Chooch? Sure I do! BUT NOT LIKE THAT! It’s always over something like his shitty attitude and I never insult him or degrade him — it’s always me screaming about how I can’t stand the way he’s acting or something. And it’s not very often.

Henry NEVER yells though. He’s afraid of us, lol.

By the time we circled back to our street, a female cop was also on the scene. She was standing off to the side with the boy, both of them watching as the first cop was straight yukking it up with the “mom.” Honestly, they were carrying on like they were bar buddies, exchanging stories, and the “mom” kept doubling over in laughter.

It was…it was so fucked up.

Back at the house, Henry turned on his police scanner app, or whatever old dorks with cop fetishes like him use, just in time for me to hear a male cop say something about how he was headed back, it was just a “mom trying to parent her child.”

OH I’M SORRY, A WHAT NOW?

IS THIS WHAT WE’RE CALLING THAT?

“TRYING TO PARENT?”

Because what I saw and heard was classic emotional child abuse.

No, I didn’t see her hit him, but abuse comes in many forms.

Abuse is abuse is abuse. And what I witnessed was abuse.

And thus began my nightly hysterical rant about how cops are worthless while Henry tried to hide his toy sheriff’s badge down the back of his pants.

“Look, she probably didn’t give him any just cause to take her in,” Henry reasoned. “And the boy probably didn’t want to say anything against her.”

And deep down, I know these reasons are probably accurate, and that there really isn’t a happy ending in a case like this. He’s either going home with an abusive mom or being taken away from his home. I just kept feeling like I didn’t do enough though!

Finally, last night, I said to Henry, “Can’t I like, email the police or something?” At first, he seemed scared to answer me. But he ultimately agreed that giving my witness account of what happened might be beneficial, so he diligently looked on the Pittsburgh Police’s website for an appropriate person for me  to email. I ended up emailing someone whose title I already forget, but she’s a woman so I have hope that maybe she will actually read my email and take it seriously.  I explained in detail what I saw and that I strongly disagree with it being written off as a “mom trying to parent her child,” like he had just stolen a pack of gum and she slapped his wrist.

That’s how that sounds to me.

I also said that I would like there to be some record of this on file in case it happens again, and if possible, I felt that a wellness check would be appropriate here.

It’s been about 24 hours and I haven’t received a response, and maybe I never will, but I couldn’t in good conscience let this one go. I hope he’s OK. I hope he has people in his life telling him he’s loved and that he has worth in this world. I hope he has a good best friend or a teacher he can confide in. I hope this isn’t every day for him.

Jun 162019
 

The annual arts festival is going on currently in Pittsburgh, but the real art is at my house.

I decided on Friday that maybe it would be a good idea for us to make something for Henry for Father’s Day even though Valentines Day and Mother’s Day have both passed by without so much as the latest Taemin album gifted to me. But, you know, IM NOT PETTY so Henry will still get something born from our sweet side.

I worked late shift from home on Friday, so that was the perfect opportunity to churn out one of my signature backhanded, inside joke-laden gifts for Henry. This year’s theme was CIRCULARS because I’m always throwing them away before Henry has a chance to look at them because in my eyes, they’re junk mail. So then he starts stomping around in a fit when he’s about to leave for Kuhn’s and needs to know what’s on sale but if he’s already going there anyway who cares?!

Of course, that means I had to dig through the garbage for one to use for THE ART.

Gross.

I managed to churn out the actual picture in no time but then my project stalled when I realized we didn’t have any rogue picture frames for me to Mod Podge with the circulars so I called Henry at work and told him he had to stop somewhere and get me one and he was like “OK but why do you need it right now? I’ll be near a Pat Catan’s tomorrow—” and I was like, “BECAUSE I FUCKING NEED IT NOW, NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS WHY” and apparently this is how he knew we were up to something, especially when he came home from work and Chooch and I ran separate directions with our projects under our shirts.

We’re good at secrets.

Anyway, here’s my finished masterpiece! I surrounded Henry’s mug with things I associate with him, such as Faygo (who doesn’t?!), Ted Nugent, benches at amusement parks, THE SERVICE, getting us lost for HOURS in Gangnam, and of course, the favorite: Chooch’s and my imagined relationship he has with a stripper at Blush named Cheetah Girl.

HENRY HATES THIS SO MUCH. Chooch and I will collapse into flesh-clumps on the floor, laughing and in tears over some dumb insinuation we made about him and “Cheetah Girl” (Chooch named her, btw). It all started because one time Henry was allegedly at the laundromat and Chooch was like, “What if he’s actually at Blush” and a years-long inside joke was born, one that Henry despises but brings the rest of us so much joy!

Friday afternoon, I had to force Chooch to come home from the Teen Center so he could draw a picture of Henry for his piece of artwork, and it actually went way more swimmingly that I imagined — usually any creative project makes us scream our faces off at each other, but this time, he slipped away into his bedroom and

IT IS SO GOOD. His image of Henry just kills me. Anyway, Henry always does this thing where we’re talking to him, about him, and he’ll go, “WHO?” and we’re like, “YOU, you dumb lump! We are literally talking to you about you!” OMG, you have to be there (Janna witnessed it last night!) but this is a Thing that he Does and it is so Frustrating.

LIKE, TRY FOLLOWING ALONG, MAYBE!?

Lol, 69. #MatureArt

Chooch thinks he’s such a bad artist and I want to flick his forehead every time he says that because his style reminds me a lot of the illustrations I see in places like the City Paper and other publications. He doesn’t give himself enough credit!

We couldn’t wait so we ended up giving Henry his presents last night after we came home from our Day Trip with Janna (we survived a day away without Henry!). He was a mixed bag of emotions. I could tell he liked them, but then to Chooch he asked, “What is that sticking out of my ear?” and Chooch went, “Oh yeah, a q-tip” and I almost peed my pants because that is SO ACCURATE. Even Henry was trying not to laugh at that one, but he did point out that he’s not “that hairy.” Wow, why to criticize your son’s art work, Jerk Dad.

Anyway, after “admiring” the pieces for another minute or so, he said, “You guys are assholes.”

YESSSSSSS.

We’re thinking about adding big, bulky chains to them so he can wear them around his neck like medallions.

Happy Father’s Day to the guy who doesn’t drink coffee, wear ties, or play golf so all those basic dad gift ideas don’t work for us.

Jun 142019
 

Yeah boi! Now that Chooch is done with school for the summer, and I get to work my weekly late shift from home, we decided to start up our Summer Breakfast Club again! Chooch was all gung-ho about this even though the last time I called it a club, he was like, “We only went to breakfast 4 times, though?”

Whatever Chooch. I like doing this because once late morning/early afternoon hits, I won’t see him again until late evening because he’s out and about with his goof troop. These breakfasts are a good time for us to chat it up (re: make fun of Henry behind his back) and, you know, be seen around town.

Chooch chose Parker’s for the inaugural summer breakfast and I didn’t argue because Parker’s is the best and it’s like OUR THANG.

Right as I was taking this picture, Chooch tripped over his bike and fell into the frame. It’s a keeper!

Look, it’s a real simple thing: breakfast sandwiches. Each has a pop-culture-y name. Coffee is Zeke’s (awesome local company). The ambiance suits my aesthetic. The patrons are the normal locals and not the hardcore hooligan locals –  those people do their AM dining either in prison or a few doors down at the No Name Cafe.

Literally, it’s called the No Name Cafe and seats about 5 people. Our new neighbor, the one who moved in next to HNC with her fat son who drives a dumptruck and her other not-as-fat-but-still-a-slob younger son who likes to scream at his mom from across the street and then give me threatening glares when I whip my front door open to scowl at him and also he parks his dumb Jeep at the top of the driveway AND WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO PARK THERE BECAUSE IT’S A SHARED DRIVEWAY.

Anyway, the mom is a waitress there but I honestly can’t figure out why one is even needed but OK.

Also, I hate those people so bad.

But look, the #1 reason why we patronize Parker’s is because the owner is such a cool dude. He talks to everyone who comes in there whether he knows them or not, and even though Chooch and I aren’t exactly regulars, he gets so excited when he sees us! Today, he came over to see what our summer plans are and was legit one of the only people who has seemed stoked when I say, “We’re going to Korea!” The average reaction I get is “….oh?” Bizarretown.

Mr. Parker was totally about this though and asked us all kinds of good questions. Talking to him was the best part of breakfast!

I usually have one late shift a week so we’ll see how many different joints we can hit up this summer (NOT NO NAME CAFE THO!!!). Of course, Henry takes the car to work so we’re limited to places accessible by trolley or within walking distance. I usually have a bowl of cinnamon Life cereal every.single.day so mixing it up once a week probably won’t kill me, ha! Maybe we’ll have some guest breakfasters here and there too!

Jun 132019
 

Friends, if you’re ever passing through the Wheeling/Moundsville area of West Virginia and have the desire to be killed time to kill, I highly recommend making a pit stop at the Palace of Gold. Even if you don’t want to do the whole shebang with Govinda’s Cafeteria, slurping rose water in the Temple, gawking at the looming decrepit idol statues by the weird man-made lake, the actual Palace is worth the stop. They do tours every 30 minutes and it costs $9 (I think?), the tour is pretty quick but informative, and roaming the grounds is FREE so if you’re not into shuffling along in shoe-booties while a robe-clad guide stammers through her memorized spiel, you could easily eschew that and just go and like sniff some roses and maybe buy some cheap-ass bangle bracelets in the gift shop which is what I do every time I visit.

…which is what I thought FO SHO Henry was going to do — eschew the tour (though he did sniff the roses and buy a cheap bangle from the gift shop) — but he surprised me by saying, “No, I will be joining you two on this tour and I am CRAZY EXCITED.”

But first, we strolled around and yelled at Henry for taking shitty pictures of us.

Chooch has been really into wearing ponytails lately – not quite man-buns.

Before we went in for a tour, I was trying to take a selfie of the three of us and was not having great success, when some old lady with green-rimmed glasses strode over and was like, “Oh for Swami Prabhupada’s sake, do you want me to take the picture for you?”

She kind of reminded me of a character Francis Conroy would play in American Horror Story, if we’re being honest with each other here today on my blog. Anyway, she took this super strange photo of us from way too close and from a low angle. I was literally just grinning-and-bearing it at this point and the old Erin would have deleted this because OMG she looks awful, but it’s pretty hilarious to the new Erin who is trying her hardest to stop living her life by the Vanity Handbook.

So bad, lol.

Then we took the tour. There are no photo allowed and in the past, I have definitely sneaked a few here and there but nothing changes inside there so I kept my phone tucked into my purse like a good girl which was good because our guide was having a hell of a time getting through her sentences without the added stress of scolding people for taking contraband photos.

It was just the three of us, an older Indian family of 4, and a youngish couple who I found out are from Tyler, Texas and I desperately wanted to ask them if they know EISLEY but Henry was like, “Keep it moving, sister.”

Anyway, Chooch seemed to be pretty interested in the tour, especially the part about the Beatles being followers, but Henry’s main takeaway was that the followers who built the Palace of Gold were shitty builders and I was like, “OH OK ASSHOLE, BUILD ME A PALACE THEN AND SHOW ME HOW MUCH BETTER YOU CAN DO IT.” Honestly! He can barely build a gingerbread house!

But no seriously, build me a fucking palace, a replica of one from the Joseon Dynasty. IF I HAVE A CHOICE.

Then we meandered around the grounds and yelled at Henry some more for being camera-incompetent.

Like, he totally cut off the top of this pavilion.

I wanted to gleefully frolic and jump but Chooch admitted after the pictures were taken that he didn’t know what was going on, so that was cool. I look like my son just came and released me from the asylum.

Henry’s favorite part was the lily padded pond. He saw some fish and frogs! He was content.

Chooch and I talked to the ducks for a while but then Henry angered them and they started quacking and I really hoped they’d attack him but no.

Henry also liked perusing the rose garden with his hands clasped behind his back.

Henry really likes the simple things in life, which is why I feel like he’d really thrive in this compound…except for the no meat thing. I honestly don’t think Henry could ever give up meat.

Chicken, especially.

He always makes chicken at home because he’s rude and doesn’t consider the fact that he lives with two vegetarians and MAYBE WE DON’T WANT TO SMELL THAT SHIT.

Henry the Rose Garden Schlepper.

Chooch took this lovely picture and then was like, “BAM, this is how you take a good photo,” to Henry. Honestly, Chooch takes really good photos of me, bless that kid.

What a beautiful day trip, I can’t stop smiling every time I look at these pictures and think of our time there together. Every time I visit, I leave there thinking that I could really live this life. I already don’t eat meat, and I really like palaces! But, I already worship G-Dragon, so I guess there isn’t any room in my heart for any other idols.

I may not believe in god or whatever, but I sure do love learning about other religions and exploring places like this and also this temple in Illinois! There’s some Bible Walk in Ohio that I’ve been dying to get Janna to go to with me, so maybe that will be my next creepy religious tourist trap this summer! WHO KNOWS.

If you’re desperate to know more about the tour itself, you could feel free to click here and read my account from my first trip there in 2013, mayhaps?

Jun 122019
 

When I look back on this day now, all I can see is that we had really quality FAMILY TIME learning about another religion, eating good foods, and talking to peacocks.

But it started out to a completely different tune, less Donna Reed Show theme wafting from a 1950s den and way more Viking death metal blasting from behind a teenager’s locked bedroom door. Remember how I was just droning on last week about how I’ve been getting a bad case of the (je)Junes every year? (And, that’s putting it mildly.) Well, I have been READY FOR IT, you guys. I have been standing at the door with my paper mache armor fashioned from pages of self help books, I’ve been extra-exercising to keep those endorphins pumping like a bad 1990s club hit, and I have been trying to make plans – you know, the good old DISTRACTION TACTIC.

This…almost backfired. When I suggested to those two ass poles (this was the name of a company that I saw today at work!) I live with that we take a day trip out to New Vrindaban a/k/a The Palace of Gold after Chooch’s piano lesson on Sunday, Henry said nothing and Chooch just flat out said no.

Yeah, this went over real with me, the girl who wakes up on the perpetual wrong side of the bed on Sundays. So I threw a mini-fit, said JUST FORGET IT, pretended like I was going to go alone, and in the meantime, Chooch and Henry had some emergency meeting in Restrain Erin Headquarters, I guess, because suddenly Henry was like, “We’re going to Palace of Gold and we’re so excited about it! Yay! Woo! Look at us!” and he and Chooch were waving their arms in the air like they were trying to lure people off the highway to buy new mattresses.

So I grudgingly got in the car and then Chooch immediately started bitching because he realized he left his headphones at home and had to GOD FORBID listen to his lame parents talk which just consisted of Henry trying to butter me up and me telling him to fuck off in a myriad of super creative and sickening ways. I even told him to take us home three times and then Chooch started screaming about being kidnapped and I yelled, “I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS SHIT” and TURNED OFF the 1980s Soft Rock Spotify playlist that usually always pacifies me. This is when Henry was realizing that maybe this was a bad idea.

However, once we got to shitty West Virginia, things turned around because Chooch and I started making comments about how the rural town we passed through looked like a place where Henry would gladly live and then we saw a hick walking down the road with a fishing road jutting out of his backpack and I started dry-heaving and then I decided that if Henry didn’t have Chooch and me in his life, he’d probably live in a houseboat, and then Chooch and I started laughing so hard we were crying and JUST LIKE THAT our day turned around.

Thank god we worked out our grumps because it ended up being a fantastic day!

But first, we had to deal with the car from Florida doing 12 MPH that wound up in front of us as we swerved through the windy roads to Palace of Gold and suddenly we had a common enemy so we bonded as a family over this.

Then, I was disoriented because Henry brought us in the back way! Of course he’d have to go rogue with directions, this is basically what he was born to do.

Anyway, by now we were all pretty much acting like sane, non-possessed human beings again and maybe even sort of looked like a family who liked each other. We parked at the top of the hill, across from the Palace, and then walked down the road to where the compound, Temple, and–most importantly–the CAFETERIA are located. I marched them right into the establishment like I was a seasoned regular, even though this was only my third time eating there…

…but first time FINALLY indulging in the buffet!

Chooch almost ordered from the “regular food” menu but at the last minute, he sighed and said he would try the buffet.

Newsflash: Chooch has spent the last thirteen years of his life actively avoiding Indian food. Henry and I used to eat it pretty often in the glory days of our relationship, but then Chooch was hatched with a bland palate so we can only feast on paneer and curry when we’re sans Chooch.

Since this is a Hare Krishna compound, there is NO MEAT to be found on site. Henry said that there was actually a sign forbidding visitors to bring the fleshy contraband on to the grounds which made me wonder if Henry pitched his pocket jerky beforehand.

SPOILER: Chooch LOVES Indian food now. He kept going on and on about how shocked he was and how he never realized it was so good while Henry and I just glared at him.

He even went back up for seconds!

Meanwhile, Henry was writing an investigative report under the table about how everyone started at the buffet FROM THE WRONG END so then he was TRAPPED BY THE SALAD.

Honestly, boyfriend kept jawing off about this — NO ONE CARED.

After we ate, I wanted to take them into the Temple but they were too scared or something because there were a lot of people milling about probably because it was some sacred prayer hour.

Well, those heathens don’t know what they were missing because the Temple is one of the best parts of the joint!

You should have seen the first handful of pictures Henry took of us in front of this holy elephant. Most of them weren’t even centered! I kept yelling, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU” until I got distracted by an empty beverage can that someone had carelessly discarded by the pond so then I spent a good whole 2 minutes holding it gingerly between the tips of two fingers because GERMS, looking for a garbage can.

I’ll never understand what goes through a bitch’s mind when they toss trash onto the ground except that OH WAIT nothing goes through their mind because they’re self-centered pigs with low IQs.

Honest question: if you were strolling along this beautiful path, would you feel compelled to litter?!

“Why didn’t you tell me there are PEACOCKS here? I wouldn’t have been so mad about coming here then!” Chooch cried, and seriously, why didn’t I?? I should have known that would have been the biggest selling point for him and we could have avoided all the dysfunction in the car.

WOW I HAVE ORIGINAL IDEAS.

I’m trying to be less camera shy in my older age. I was thinking about how when Chooch is older, he won’t have many pictures of us that aren’t just shitty selfies so I’m trying to put aside my self-consciousness.

(I still delete a lot of pictures, though.)

(I need to find someone better than Henry to take pictures — he usually finds my worst angles and I’m starting to think he does it purpose.)

Man, we spent a good long while out in the area of the swan pond and Dancing Acolytes, listening to the mating calls of the peacocks and waiting for some crazy cult person to come bursting out of one of the cabins, wielding a handsaw and shrieking the Hare Krishna mantra in reverse.

Next, we walked back up to the Palace for a tour. Hoo boy, better tune in tomorrow (probably) for that installment.

Jun 112019
 

It’s standard practice as a mom to write some kind of sappy tribute for the kid who has just crossed another scholastic finish line. I almost forgot to take the LAST DAY snapshot to post side-by-side with the FIRST DAY photo on Instagram like all the good moms do.

And then we had to take this one with a cameo appearance from Window Cat and Chooch’s “I don’t need to dry it” Sopping Wet Hair.

7th grade was pleasant. No fights. No in school suspensions. (Although, we were looking at his yearbook earlier today and I made fun of one of the teachers and he was like THATS NOT NICE, I WAS ACTUALLY JUST HELPING HER TODAY and then he paused and said, “Although, she did give me In School once” and turns out, she had this map of Brookline in front of her classroom with pins on all the kids’ houses and Chooch said, “And this is how kids get molested.” She heard him and gave him a stern look and when he asked “What?” she said “YOU KNOW” and then that’s how he got In School once in 5th grade and god only knows how many other times.)

Chooch is really smart and motivated so we don’t have to put in much effort on that front but damn does he have friend drama. Not to be SEXIST but it’s because he has a lot of friends that are girls and also some of those boys seem like total bitches. So I’m excited for things to get continually more dramatic. 8th grade is going to be A BLAST.

Oh well, here’s to the start of summer vacation!

Jun 102019
 

Yesterday, we took a family day trip to my beloved Palace of Gold in West Virginia – it’s been six (!!!) years since I was last there with Janna and Corey and I know Henry and Chooch were getting annoyed when I kept saying, “When I was here with Janna and Corey…” because #jelis.

I haven’t finished going through my pictures from yesterday and writing an outline and draft of my Palce of Gold blog post (LOL – obvious joke, you know I practically write these things on bathroom breaks because I’m the worst blogger ever), so I decided it would be fun to revisit that last time I was at the Palace with Janna and Corey because we had so much fun! SO NOW YOU HAVE TO REVISIT IT TOO. Good luck, pea…cuck?

**********************************

Ever since I first went to the Palace of Gold in 2012, a Hare Krishna compound in the hills of West Virginia, I’ve been promising my brother Corey that I would take him there. And then Janna wanted to go too, and I had all of these wonderfully dark visions of her getting “taken” by the Hare Krishnas and spending the next eternity singing and selling books at some tiny county airport in Idaho. Spoiler alert: That didn’t happen. :(

But goddamn if we didn’t have the best day ever anyway!

20130926-190040.jpg

NO SHOES IN THE PALACE.

20130926-190048.jpg

Janna was asking me about the peacock stained glass before the tour started, and I was like, “Oh, you will learn about the significance of the peacock during the tour.”

The tour was much shorter this time around, mostly because we had the most apathetic, exhausted tour guide in the joint, and all she said about the peacocks was that there four stained glass windows in their likeness. Thanks, we can count.  Corey and I could have been more blatant with our clandestine photo-taking and she probably wouldn’t have cared.

20130926-190116.jpg

I’m not going to reiterate facts, but if you’re interested, perhaps my post from last year’s tour will enlighten you. Although it is likely mostly just full of smack-talk for the other people in the tour group. You know how I do.

Luckily, there were three middle-aged Indian men on the tour with us, and the one would occasional offer me extra information about the things that the guide was glossing over. They were really kind and I was relieved because when we first walked in, I thought for sure they were going to write us off as ignorant crackers. I mean, not that we aren’t. But it was nice of them to give us a chance.

I mostly tried to not make eye contact with Corey because I knew he’d make me lose it and then we would end up doing our weird gang-laughter in the middle of the echo-y marbled halls of the palace.

20130926-190126.jpg

I noticed the grounds seemed to be in the same state of disarray as they were last year, so I guess they don’t get as many post-tour donations as they’d like to. I feel like organizing a 5K for them. What? Everyone else has a 5K! Why not the Palace of Gold?!

Let’s run for Krishna, you guys! Or from. Maybe that will be more fun. Running from Krishna and chubby little Butter Thieves in the backwoods of West Virginia. I’m going to organize this. I’ll let you know when you can sign up.

20130926-190135.jpg

20130926-190425.jpg

The rose garden is so fucking creepy to me. I’m sure it’s something that is universally considered to be beautiful (it’s won awards, after all!), but it just seems like a really bad scene to me.

20130926-190346.jpg

I took this picture just for Chooch, who hates butterflies. Always thinking of my son. What a great mom I am.

20130926-190554.jpg

I got stuck on rose thorns right after this and Janna had to rescue me. Also, if I look drunk, it’s because I was DRUNK ON LIFE. (Seriously, I really look that dopey most of the time, though.)

20130926-190509.jpg

We laughed like total hyenas for like 10 straight minutes because of this picture.

20130926-190613.jpg

Corey took this when I wasn’t paying attention and I’m not sure what was going on, other than I was fixing my shoe and probably being eaten by rose bushes, but I love it. Also, I was wearing two different sets of stripes and polka-dot pants because I can. It enhances the fun.

20130926-190400.jpg

20130926-190412.jpg

Krishna kat.

20130926-190440.jpg

OMG here’s Swami Jannamanama emerging from the Hare Krishna bathroom stall! She didn’t appreciate that I immediately posted this on Instagram but I was like, “What? It’s not like you’re nude.”

20131003-082751.jpg

Corey’s senior picture. Janna comes with the package.

20131003-083136.jpg

After we toured the Palace and the grounds, I was super adamant about eating at the cafeteria. I am obsessed with the cafeteria!! All cafeterias!!

The cafeteria (Govinda’s) is located about a quarter of a mile down the street from the Palace, where the Temple and Hare Krishna lodging can be found. Right across from Govinda’s is a courtyard and it was teeming with Sunday worshipers who all stared at us because, short of flashing fanny packs, everything about us screamed NOT ONE OF YOU.

Inside Govinda’s, we became immediately confused. First of all, we were the only non-Krishna people. Second, there was no clear instruction on what we were supposed to do, so we all kind of stopped and slammed into each other as soon as we entered the door. Then we did what all socially adjusted people do and whispered uneasily to each other like we had just been kicked out of the back of the Scooby Doo Mystery Van and landed on the threshold of a haunted house.

Ask if they have the buffet,” I hissed at Janna, who sighed and asked the young Indian girl at the register by the door.

“Oh, no,” the girl answered with a laugh and WHY DO I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE PEE WEE AT THE ALAMO EVERYWHERE I GO. I know I reference that all of the fucking time, but it’s because it’s true. “You may choose from our limited menu,” she said, Vanna White’ing her hand toward a black dry-erase board next to the counter. The undulating question marks in our eyeballs must have been pretty clear, because she added, “Would you like me to explain everything to you?”

We all sighed and shook our heads eagerly as she slowly explained in her best dumb white folk words what everything was. I still couldn’t understand half of it because I’m dumb with ingredients and wound up just picking something at random. Corey ordered something similar to what I got, I think our breads were the only difference, and Janna went with the safe bet of samosas because even dumb city folk know what samosas are. You can buy them in the freezer section!

Since Janna drove us there that day, and it’s kind of a long haul, I paid for her lunch. (And Corey paid for her Palace of Gold tour.) I wonder if she wrote about it that night in her diary, because Corey and I don’t generally do nice things for her.

We chose a booth far away from the other people already eating, and waited for our food over a soundtrack of our own nervous giggles.

A waitress (maybe the same person as the cashier? I wasn’t paying attention) set down Janna’s samosas and a tray that looked remarkably like hog slop and baby vomit, so I knew it was going to be good Indian cuisine, but Corey and I were unsure whose it was supposed to be. I thought she said something that started with a “d,” which is what my choice started with, so I dramatically stopped Corey right before he started eating.

20131016-090007.jpg

“I THINK THAT MIGHT BE MINE!” my inner fat girl beast cried. So then we had the daunting task of waiting for the waitress to return with the final meal so that we could finally put this minutes-long mystery to bed.

I was right! It was whatever I ordered. But Corey’s ended up being tastier than mine, so who’s laughing now.

20131003-082842.jpg

We didn’t have silverware, not that Janna needed any for her samosas, but it was kind of difficult for Corey and me to dig in to our lunches.

“I think maybe the Hare Krishnas don’t believe in forks,” I said honestly, trying to fashion my naan into a serving apparatus, but only succeeding in staining my fingertips orange like I had just smoked fifteen year’s worth of unfiltered Pall Malls. This went on for awhile, Corey and I alternating quiet exclamations of “ouch” every time we burnt ourselves on curry. Meanwhile, we kept darting our eyeballs around the cafeteria, craning our necks to see if any of the seasoned Indians at the nearby tables were also eating with their hands, but everyone seemed to be finished eating at the moment.

“You know,” I said, shaking the pain off my fingers, “maybe I’m confused. I think it’s the Ethiopians that eat with their hands.” And just then, another Govinda’s patron walked over to the kitchen and grabbed a plastic fork out of a bucket; Corey and I totally lost it. Eating lunch became a lot easier after that.

20131003-083009.jpg

20131016-090046.jpg

Even though I was too stuffed to finish my meal, I kept harping on Janna to go up and buy me dessert. She totally didn’t want to, but I can be very persuasive. There were these golden balls of wonder that I was dead-set on devouring, so Janna returned with a container of those and a regular old push-pop for herself, which made me laugh because how much more Caucasian can one look in an Indian restaurant than by licking on an American summer delight? And then I found out that the golden balls of wonder cost about as much as Janna’s lunch, totally negating the fact that I treated her, so then I was performing the simultaneous trick of laughing and choking on balls, which is something I mastered my junior year of high school.

Anyway, these balls were made of chick peas, cashews and honey. They were an oral treasure, in my opinion. Corey kind of liked them, but not enough to finish the one I gave him, and Janna took one bite and then handed it back to me. MORE FOR ME.

20131003-083154.jpg

After lunch, we crossed through the courtyard, which was now suspiciously empty, and walked into the temple. There were shoes splayed all over the floor and on the shelves in the shoe room, but only three people were in the temple itself. One was an old white man who looked like he definitely has been foraging in the mountains his whole life. I wanted desperately to take his picture, but that motherfucker never took his eyes off me.

20131003-083208.jpg

The shoe:person ratio is all the evidence I need to know for fact that these deity statues are feeding on human flesh. You’re not fooling this girl, New Vrindaban society. I’m on to you.

20131003-083058.jpg

There was an Indian couple in the temple with us, and from a short distance away, I spied the man ladle some sort of liquid into his woman’s palm, which she then brought to her mouth and DRANK. I needed to do this too, so I lingered casually in front of a eerily realistic statue of Swami Prabhupada and waited for them to leave. Then I pulled Janna over to the bowl of hopefully-not-poison and made her try it first.

“It’s just like, rose water,” was her official Yelp review. So I allowed her to dump some of it into my palm, and then I immediately gagged and thought for sure I was perishing as the intense floral notes clogged my windpipe.

“Oh my god, what did you do?” asked Corey, who had just re-joined us after selling his soul to the Cult of Krishna by making accidental eye contact with one of the manga-like deity statues. Janna explained to him that I saw other people doing it and I’m sure she rolled her eyes too but I couldn’t tell since I was pretty much blacking out at that point.

Corey started laughing. “You were peer-pressured into drinking weird flower water?!” YES, PRETTY MUCH, OK?!

Janna had to use the bathroom in the temple before we left, so Corey and I stood outside and talked about her, obviously. Suddenly, a peacock trotted over from god only knows where, and it looked like it was going to start to head into the temple. I suggested that we try to usher it into the bathroom with Janna, and Corey thought this was the best idea since the Nintendo Power Glove, but there were two Hare Krishna people standing nearby so we thought maybe it wouldn’t be the hottest idea to disrespect their token animal while standing in front of the temple, no less. Even us Kelly kids know when to draw the line.

20131003-083256.jpg

After the temple, we walked off some of our curry-heavy lunch while paying our giddy-yet-horrified respects to the Dancing Acolyte statues on the other side of the creepy (one lone) swan-infested man-made lake. Hidden by trees behind the statues sat a cabin which had eerie Krishna tunes wafting out through the screened windows. I wanted to climb up the hill and peek into the windows, but Janna was like, “No. Don’t.”

The last stop on the agenda was the gift shop back up on the Palace of Gold grounds. I bought a religious ring and a pretty blue bracelet that everyone at work has been admiring and I say, “Thanks it was like $5 at the Palace of Gold!” and then I think that might kind of mar their opinion. But anyway, on the way back to the car, Janna was crossing the street at the same time a car* was coming. I shoved her out of the way while screaming, “JANNNNNNNA!! LOOOOOOK OUTTTTT!” I mean, I SCREAMED it. Corey had already crossed the street and was standing next to Janna’s car, so he whirled around to see what the fuck was happening, and then he started laughing really hard, because what I didn’t know yet was that the doors to the minivan parked next to Janna were open and about 10 Indian people were standing there looking horrified.

*(It might be conducive to the story to explain here that the car was like, a lot of yards away and going 15mph.)

Of course, they were standing on the side of Janna’s car that I had to get into, so it was extremely embarrassing and I was literally squealing from trying to hold back my laughter. At that point, I was also crying. So I opened the backdoor of Janna’s car and pretty much dove in, nearly spilling my container of golden balls of wonder on the floor of her car. Corey and Janna got in and once all the doors were shut, we collectively lost it. Well, maybe Janna wasn’t laughing that hard, but Corey and I were doubled over. I think Janna was probably just more exhausted from having spent so many hours with the Kelly siblings.

****

Once Janna dropped us off, I came into the house and tried to recall the day’s events to Henry, while choking on another golden honey ball of wonder and having to squat down to keep from peeing; I was a hot, giddy mess. Chooch took one look at me and then went back on the computer.

Henry didn’t think any of it was funny, nor did he think I was a hero for saving Janna from vehicular manslaughter. I guess he had to be there.

Jun 072019
 

Wowie wow wow it’s Friday and here are five things + random pictures from my phone because it’s Friday Fiveday or whatever.

I can only wear this pin on Chooch’s denim vest because it’s so heavy that it pulls down whatever shirt I pin it to!

Scottish Chai

The other day, I went to Crazy Mocha and a new guy was working which was a blessing because the one broad who works there (but doesn’t seem to ever be making any of the drinks?) is really nice but she is a HANDFUL. Just a non-stop chatter. My friend Alyson often refers to this mindless need to small talk as “air displacement” and this is the perfect example of it. She has held me hostage on so many occasions, and like I said – NICE GIRL, RULL NICE GIRL – but can you just let the quiet barista man make my chai latte in peace? Yikes. Anyway, she wasn’t there on Wednesday but this new guy was and I was kind of nervous at first because he seemed like he could go either way – nice, or super callous hipster. And when he hit me with a Scottish accent, I was really caught off guard to the point where I couldn’t tell if he was fucking around, like he drew the “Talk in a fake accent” card and thought I looked stupid enough to fall for it. Well, nice try buddy, because I am like one rung below schizophrenic-level paranoia and I question everything. Honestly, Henry and I were leaving CVS one night and a car full of rowdy teenagers were screaming out the window at a red light and I cried, “ARE THEY MAKING FUN OF ME? ARE THEY SAYING I’M FAT?” and Henry was like, “…they’re singing.” ANYWAY!

This guy may have actually been Scottish, who knows. He did say that he liked my necklace, which was the glass globe full of sea glass from Busan! So that scored him points. Also, it seemed like he was making my chai latte with utmost care and precision – real slow, with the cup tilted as he swirled in the soy milk. It was a delight to watch his methods, and maybe one of the best chai lattes I’ve ever been served, though I do have to say that the chai lattes at Crazy Mocha in general are some of the best I’ve ever had and have honestly spoiled me to the rest. I 100% threw one away from another cafe because it only took one sip to realize that use that chai mix that comes out of a carton and I hate that. Talk about first world problems, amirite. Crazy Mocha uses a chai powder and it makes all the difference in the world.

And when the guy told me to enjoy my day in his joyful Scottish lilt, I was like, “THANK YOU, I THINK I JUST MIGHT.”

This child, forever blocking the subtitles. 

Erin’s Bus Stop Plan

There is this one stretch of sidewalk downtown that absolutely drives me nuts (actually, Crazy Mocha is on part of it) because it’s a super poppin’ bus stop but the people who stand there are like the dregs of the earth, I’m really sorry to say that but it is trash of all sizes and colors. Today, I saw an overweight white trash lady in a REALLY SHORT DRESS leaning over a stroller and screaming in her baby’s face in a way that she I’m sure felt was lovingly but to the rest of us it was white trash acrylics scratching the side of a rusted trailer. While she was doing this, her dress was unable to cover her ass and she was fully exposed to all of Liberty Avenue, and her legs…those bare legs…I will never be able to get them out of mind. I was on the phone with Henry when this scene unfolded and it made me lose my train of thought and I just kept stuttering and Henry was like, “Did you get hugged by a stranger again?” – just kidding, he didn’t say that because he never remembers any of the horrible things that happen to me when he lets me walk around downtown alone.

And now that the sidewalks of downtown have officially thawed out, “urban campsite” is back up and running. It is the most absurd thing – just a bunch of weird and I do mean weird people who set up lawn chairs and loiter amidst two liter bottles of Mountain Dew and bags of cheese curls under a blanket of pot smoke AND NO ONE THINKS THIS IS A NUISANCE.

I just can’t stand it but it’s usually the most convenient route back to my office depending on where my lunch breaks adventures have taken me so it gets really frustrating when I have to bob and weave around these derelicts and their pee stenches.

So I came up with a plan.

First, I was going to write to the mayor.

Then, I thought: Fuck it, I’ll just BE THE MAYOR. So after that happens, I’m going to put my Liberty Ave Clean Up plan in effect which will start with digging a pit beneath the sidewalk to put the bus stop so that these rude fucks can stay underground.

Honestly, the amount of times I’ve nearly been spit on walking down that block is insane.

“How will they get on the bus then?” Henry aka Devils Advocate asked.

“Oh, I’ll have a pipe that just sucks them up right into the bus,” I said in my “le duh” tone and Henry gave me the “Yeah great plan” eye roll.

Margie was on board though. “Oh, the Termite Plan!” she said excitedly after I told her at work. Looks like I already have one vote for when I run!

Chooch found a bunch of shit from when he went to preschool and kindergarten at the shitty catholic school across the street and we had some big laughs at the (bad) memories.

Work Pride

I don’t usually write about where I work aside from funny conversations or whatever that I have with coworkers, but I have to break that rule today because I’m really happy to work there. The Human Rights Campaign compiled a list of corporations that have a top score of 100 percent and the distinction of “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality” and my firm was on the list. Yesssssss.

My work place really goes hard for Pride and it makes me, well, proud to work there. It’s really a great thing to know that in a world full of so much hate, I get to go to work everyday at a place where everyone is accepted and safe to be themselves, and they also do a lot of LGBTQ pro bono work which is amazing.

Today, rainbow sugar cookies and pins were provided on every floor, and the firm is going to have a contingent walking in the parade this weekend. Today was one of those “feel good” days that I think a lot of us needed. <3

Plus, YALL KNOW I’m a pin freak.

 The one where Ted goes to Jail

Guyzzzz remember how my old neighbor “Ted” lied to Chooch and me about his identity and then got his house (aka the other side of our duplex) raided by the popo? Well, there was an update on his case a few weeks ago and looks like he’s going to be sentenced even though his bitch ass girlfriend FRAMED HIM I JUST KNOW IT.

Henry made the mistake of telling me that Blake and Haley might be moving and I had a straight up panic attack thinking about what assholes our landlord could potentially fill that house with again. After what feels like a million years of living next to one criminal neighbor after another, having Blake and Haley next door has been a fucking godsend and if they move, I’m moving too.

NCT – Highway to Heaven

Gotta end this edition of Friday Five with a feel-good fam-jam. You guys know I love NCT127 but they’ve been gradually climbing to the upper echelon of faves. I have so many regertz for missing out on their North American tour – we were going to try and get tickets for the Toronto show but they changed the date and with our vacation coming up in July, we’re really trying not to have to take any more time off work. Well, Henry is. I always reach a point in late fall where I have to start taking random days off so I don’t lose them (we can only roll over so many or cash them in).

Anyway, NCT is one of those groups where I can put on one MV and just let a five hour long loop of NCT goodness play in the background – especially if it’s their variety show appearances because their personalities are larger than life and they entertain me to no end—even Henry will get sucked in and I’ll catch him chuckling him to himself, haha. He still won’t pick a bias though so I think I’m going to choose Jungwoo for him. Haechan is mine <3.

They just released a new album last week and this one song, “Highway to Heaven,” is SO DAMN GOOD. It’s been on a loop in my head since I first heard it and I think it’s definitely going to be a summer jam. It just has such a feel good vibe to it, and I love that the MV showcases each of them individually. The 2:23 mark where Haechan comes in makes SO STOKED FOR LIFE. This is going to be my go-to song for a while for whenever I’m feeling like I just can’t get out of bed.

 

 

This child, forever blocking the subtitles.

Jun 062019
 

Henry riding the bench at Waldameer Park.

I know this is like WAY OUT OF CHARACTER for me, but I wanted to take a moment to give good ol’ (like, really ol’) Henry/Papa H/Poor Henry/Henry Warbucks/TGFHenry and if you’re a real old school reader – Hoover, a shout out today on his birthday. I know I drag his name through the dirt on the daily but in reality…well, I’m actually worse, but I do genuinely appreciate the big lug so here are some pictures from the last year that we can use to like, tribute him, or whatever. They all ended up being pictures of him from places that I made him take us, so this makes it extra special haha.

Henry the Meat-Eater Not Eating Meat at a Vegan Restaurant Outside of Toronto

It’s pretty amazing how adaptable Henry is. On the outside, he may look like a lumberjack who keeps a family-pack of Slim Jims in his back pocket, but on the inside, he is considerate of Chooch’s and my plant-based needs and is usually the one who finds vegetarian joints for us to eat at when traveling. He’s not above eating seitan wings in a place that brews their own kombucha, but he’ll probably almost definitely shit-talk the rest of the patrons in the place.

Taking Selfies in One of the Places He Hates More than the DMV – Cafes

Henry, who hates coffee (let it be known), never begrudges me when I start to lose my mind because it’s time for my 4th coffee feeding of the day and I need a hot one in my hand STAT. He hates coffee snobs almost as much as vegans, but it won’t stop him from marching into a pretentious cafe and ordering me something frou-frou with lavender and cardamom.

He buys me tampons with just as much confidence.

That’s a real man.

Henry Taking a Selfie in the Bathroom of a Vegan Dimsum Joint in NYC

Instagram popped off when I posted this Henry mirror-selfie last fall. I should have bought him a new hat for his birthday. Also, I like it when he wears his hat backward but he won’t it like that in public ugh.

He takes us to so many amusement parks and would be perfectly content sitting on a bench eating a soft pretzel while holding our bags, but he always indulges my constant whines for him to ride things. It always makes him sick, but he still does it anyway….

…even when he has to ride alone or with a stranger!

And he stands in lines so we don’t have to!

Also, he makes sure we have necessities, like for instance – toilet paper. One time, before I met Henry, I had this big party and some girl that I wasn’t even friends with but was friends with some girl that I WAS friends and used to fucking invite herself everywhere came out of my bathroom screaming about how I didn’t have any toilet paper so I had to leave my own party and drunkenly stumble down the street to the gas station and buy generic toilet.

Now, I have Henry to do that!

Making Friends in Korea

Henry is the only guy I’ve ever been with who lets me be myself, even if that means suddenly imprinting on the entire country of South Korea and begging him to take me there. He never once scoffs at my interests, no matter how off-the-wall, crazy, or…pricey they may be. He’s not a rich guy but he does what he can to make sure Chooch and I are both happy…

…which is almost ALWAYS at his expense!

Henry with a Manly Map in Busan

Chooch and I would literally be lost without Henry. Anytime I have to drive anywhere on my own, I quickly realize how good I have it with Henry as my chauffeur!

Sad That His Bias Isn’t In this Picture

Henry can name more kpop idols than your dad, probably. I really want him to be the Official Kpop Dad. He knows so much and is always sending me kpop news updates.

I hope that someday, Chooch looks back on his childhood and realizes how lucky he is to have such a good dad who not only takes us on adventures but also makes sure we’re safe and,  you know, fed.

My go-to insult whenever I’m fighting with Henry is, “My Pappap would have hated you!” but in reality, and I think we all know this, my Pappap would have loved him and was probably like, “THANK GOD, NOW I DON’T HAVE TO HAUNT HER” once Henry came into my life.

Anyway, I didn’t get him a cake or even a pepperoni roll, but I have lots of quiet affections in my big dumb heart so I thought maybe this would be a nice little gift for him, admitting that I COUGH COUGHCOUGHlovehimCOUGHCOUGH ugh ow. 

But more importantly, I made my own dinner and I’m letting him take a nap. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BIG GUY!

Jun 052019
 

Yo, it’s been a minute since I spotlighted some strong women artists so here are several new MVs from Kpop soloists that have been looping through my head. Support these girls!

First up is Lee Hi, who has finally been released from the YG dungeon and all I can say is, that was worth the wait.

This next one I’m a bit conflicted about because I am such a fan girl for her but recently, she was accused of being a bully when she was in middle school; however it came out that her accuser was also a bully?! I don’t know. But there’s my disclaimer.

Up next is Boa who has been in the industry for nearly 20 years now. I love everything she does but the sad reality of music, no matter what country a singer is from, is that the older a female artist gets, the less people care about her. I feel like her last several comebacks should have gotten so much more attention, so please go and give this video a view!

Oh my god something about this next song makes me feel so nostalgic for the summer before 12th grade, like this is something I’d have heard on WAMO’s Quiet Storm. I hope we hear more from Katie real soon! This is such a summer night mood.

Speaking of summer nights, can’t leave out this light-hearted jam from one of the members of the iconic Girl’s Generation, Yoona. This song is so sweet and has inspired me to up my bobby pin game.

Ok, that’s all for tonight! If you watch any of these and like one or whatever, please let me know!

Jun 042019
 

I have been dreading June. There’s no way to sugarcoat this, but the last two Junes for some reason were really awful, mentally, for me. Like full-blown suicide thoughts, self-destruction, running away from home awful. So, all of that’s been on my mind, to the point where I just recently asked Henry to make sure I don’t try to, you know, defenestrate myself this month.

For us non-meds, we have to use the power of positive thinking to get through the rough patches, so I have been giving myself pep talks and secret pinches when I feel my mental state slipping. I don’t want to feel miserable and out of control, TRUST.

Maybe it’s because I was being mindful of it, but damn, this past weekend was just really freaking good. I mean, we didn’t have any amazing plans or go on any crazy adventures, Henry didn’t propose, and Chooch didn’t win big on a scratch-off, but it was just all-around pleasant, calm, and when I think back on it (you know, that whole whopping two days ago), I just think about all the laughing we did and how I got a subpar smoothie at the new smoothie joint in Dormont called Blended AND IT DIDN’T RUIN MY DAY when perhaps an Erin From a Different Day would have fucking hurled that smoothie at the wall and then chased Henry around the house with a knife.

Hypothetically…

And I think about taking walks with Henry and Chooch and watching k-dramas and saying hi to my Mexican taco cart boyfriend and buying a cute yellow blouse on sale – just real simple things.

We went to Pitaland and Party Cake for Saturday morning treats and then later that afternoon I met 지용 at Zeke’s for our second language date and a rosemary cardamom latte.

지용 has really inspired me to dust off my Talk To Me In Korean workbooks and I really do feel a renewed interest and determination. I’ve never stopped using Duolingo over the last year and a half, but honestly I think that app is kind of a bust because it doesn’t really teach. I told her that my goal for the week was to at least the days of the week and the Sino Korean numbers (they are two sets of numbers you guys, ughhhh). Anyway, I learned both by Sunday so I’m really feeling ready to storm into South Korea and…order a coffee and some kimbap.

Sigh.

Two Junes ago, I was really gung-ho with my studies and even made flashcards and everything but…remember what I said up there about JUNE? Yeah, my mental health derailed my efforts big time.

Anyway, 지용 suggested that we meet every Saturday and I’m all about this plan.

Later that evening, we walked to Scoops because Chooch wanted to use his gift certificate but Henry was like I AM THE DAD HERE, I WILL PAY like wow ok Henry Warbucks.

There is something so exciting about walking around Brookline in summer. There’s always something going on! And by something, I mean trashy domestic arguments and resident Brookline freak sightings.

I made Henry get pistachio ice cream so I could have a bite eat half, while Chooch acted like he was a toddler piloting a waffle cone plane toward his mouth for the first time ever. Thirteen and still leaves scoop shop evidence all over his cheeks.

Then I made Instagram Dad take a picture of us because I was wearing my beloved G-Dragon shirt and Chooch was wearing one of his 87 DGD shirts which he apparently got a handful of compliments on earlier that day when he rode his bike to the mall with his friend Haojie who was like I GUESS MY SHIRT SUCKS.

Henry said, “Too bad you didn’t have your mom’s eyeball purse with you too” because if you are a TRUE READER of this blog you will know that I have a holographic eyeball purse which garners compliments from strangers every time I hit the streets and Chooch hates the attention it gets because any attention on me is less attention on him.

Anyway, it’s us. Here we are. Erin and Chooch.

Sunday was filled with more walks, Asian market shopping, and general giddiness. I wish I could figure out the magic recipe for that weekend so I can whip up a recreation next time I start feeling the gloom seep in. Why are brains such motherfuckers?

It’s so frustrating when you just want to have fun but you feel like there’s a sack of bad feelings and self-pity keeping you in bed. WELL NOT THIS TIME, BRAIN.

Jun 022019
 

Remember how Chooch was student of the month for April at the Teen Center? Well, Senator Wayne Fontana was there last week to present Chooch with a letter of recognition and a $20 gift certificate to Scoops (two $10 gift certificates, one of which Chooch has already misplaced *eye roll emoji goes here*).

Chooch was so nonchalant about this whole thing too, because nothing fazes him. He was just all “Yeah I gave to meet the senator or whatever” like it was another Thursday, no big deal, if Obama calls, take a message. I’d have been a nervous wreck if I were in his shoes!

I know that things can change in a heartbeat (hell, I was a high honor student and threw it all away for no good reason other than, oh wait, severe depression and untreated bipolar disorder lol) but I really feel like Chooch’s future is just going to keep getting brighter if he stays on this path and I’m grateful that our community has an awesome organization that helps with that. I honestly thought this place was just like a glorified lounge where kids played video games after school but it’s so much more than that!

Who knows, maybe Chooch will be Senator someday! (I’d have to scrub this blog lol.)

I didn’t know this was happening that day so I’m just happy he was wearing clean clothes.

Jun 012019
 

The weather on Sunday was unseasonably chilly and I wasn’t mad about it – sweltering heat and amusement parks do not make a great duo, if you ask me. However, it did start raining pretty steadily for a good two hours while we were at Waldameer which isn’t awesome but we’re pretty used to feeling rain drops slice our skin like wet blades while we’re being flung about on amusement park rides, so it didn’t really much of a damper on our day.

DAMPer.

GET IT?

If you guys only knew how long it took Henry to take this picture. It was actually embarrassing.

Waldameer is pretty tiny and definitely not a full-day park (unless you split it between the water park I guess, but we’re not water park people). Henry loves this park because non-riders get in for free, with the option of paying-per-ride. In order to do this, though, one must obtain a Wally Card, which you can fill with money using various fare-like machines around the park. So instead of paying like $30 to sit on benches and ride the Ravine Flyer once, Henry just had to pay $4 for unlimited bench-sitting and one ride on the Ravine Flyer.

Imagine how amazing this would be if, say, you were passing by Cedar Point and you didn’t have time to spend the whole day there but you REALLY NEEDED THAT STEEL VENGEANCE credit, and you were able to slip right on in for nothing, throw down a five, and get your fucking credit.

That, my friends, is the dream.

Anyway, the above photo is Henry not riding the Whacky Shack.

Hey yo, speaking of Whacky Shack, this is my favorite non-coaster ride at the park and is actually the sole reason why we started going to Waldameer in the first place (my love for dark rides will always trump my coaster obsession, I think).

During one of the many times we were in line, I was acutely aware of the fact that the next car in line hadn’t yet entered the Shack, and then suddenly, another car came bursting through the exit. That’s when I noticed that a young guy was pushing the car, and the girls sitting in it turned to scream at the ride attendant, “OUR CAR GOT STUCK IN THERE!!!!”

So then a ride manager lady came power-walking over to the ride, her strides oozing authority and darkride expertise, and started fiddling with knobs and levers before moving past the ride attendant to the actual control panel.

“There’s a little girl in there by herself,” an old lady in front of me said, and I pretended to care.

Just then, said little girl came hurdling out of the exit, on foot, and screamed to the manager lady, “MY CAR STOPPED MOVING!!!” before bursting into tears. It was popcorn-worthy entertainment.

Anyway, they fixed it within minutes but then forgot to turn the lights back off, so the girls who had been waiting patiently this whole time to go next got to have a true dark ride enthusiast experience.

“THE LIGHTS ARE STILL ON!” the girls cried to the ride operator, and Chooch murmured, “Lucky!”

Steel Dragon Selca!

One of the highlights, if you ask Chooch, was when we were in the Pirate’s Cove, which is a dark walkthru. I mean, it’s pretty fucking dark and disorienting in there to begin with, but then there is one room that is tilted, with railings that make you weave your way through the room. I was being an asshole and pretending like I was a gymnast, using the railings as parallel bars and swinging my legs. However, the one time I did this was in the part of the room where I was on an incline, and I overshot my legs and came thisclose to flipping the whole way over and landing on my back. Chooch just missed capturing this golden moment on video and he was so bummed about it. He wanted me to do it again but there was no way I was recreating that dumbass maneuver without ending up in a neckbrace.

When I think of our day at Waldameer, I think of us being perpetually peeved at Henry who failed to get good, quality pictures of us.

For instance, before he took this shitty picture of us in like for the Comet, he captured a HILARIOUS Boomerang which perfectly depicted our demeanor (Chooch was rolling his eyes and I was mouthing off) but he did it through Instagram and DIDN’T SAVE IT so after he sent it to us, it fucking disappeared like it was some majorly top secret war document.

OMG, Chooch and I were so angry about this for pretty much the entire day and every time I (accidentally) looked at Henry, my face immediately fell into a scowl.

Us on the Comet before we found out about Henry’s Boomerang blunder.

Guys. The crane machine plushies at the arcade here were total kawaii quality. I couldn’t believe it. One had plush cartoon toilet paper rolls! Anyway, Chooch failed to score a Corgi and his mood was soured for a bit after that because these trivial things really affect him and I wouldn’t know anything about that because anytime I get upset about something, it’s totally legit and reasonable.

Too foggy to see Lake Erie, but we did spot Henry down below on terra firma, eating something.

Whacky Shack photo bomb.

View this post on Instagram

💃🏼💃🏼💃🏼

A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

Pirate’s Cove is a mash-up between a funhouse and a dark ride and there are always hooligans running amok in there, and I’m not even talking about just me. There’s always at least one kid asking an ass-kicking by pushing me or line-jumping. Ugh, I hate it.

Henry on his favorite ride – the stationary bench.

Chooch’s new Lake Erie look.

You guys, something incredible happened while we were on the carousel…

Henry won a stupid corgi for Chooch!

Waldameer’s pizza is a-ight as far as amusement park food goes. But what made it even better was that there were three kids at the next table wearing BLACKPICK hoodies and one of them was also wearing a Monsta X shirt underneath! It’s always exciting to spot kpop fans out in the wild of the United States, especially when they’re reppin’ something other than the ubiquitous BTS.

Henry didn’t WANT PIZZA so he GOT A BURGER.

Oh shit, we rode some hot air balloon ride in kiddyland and Chooch spun it so hard that I almost barfed. Henry didn’t know where we went and we got to watch him looking for us.

Then when he spotted us on the baby ride, he just rolled his eyes and went back to benchin’ it.

Well, of all rides, the Scrambler is what did me in. I had to hang it up after this one, you guys. It was awful.

Chooch had to ride the new for 2019 ride without me. I was fine with that. I sat on a bench, a la Henry, and took pictures of my nail polish matching the ride.

Henry, after a day of getting berated.

All in all, it was a very decent day at Waldameer. This is definitely not a park I need to go to every year, but every three or four really does the trick. I’d like to see them get one really great thrill ride, possibly another coaster, because that would really make the price of a ride-all-day wristband way more worthwhile.

I’ll end with this iMovie that Chooch was obsessed with making, and poor Henry (lol) somehow became responsible for collecting a lot of the video footage of us, but of course, in true Henry fashion, he kept shitting the bed so Chooch and I would have to get back in line and re-ride the thing in order for Henry to try, try again.

It was exhausting, Get it together, Henry. You oaf.

May 302019
 

Alternately titled: When you love wooden coasters so much, you plan your holidays around them.

I wanted to do something fun during Memorial Day Weekend that wouldn’t require us to hemorrhage money or drive long distances, and I realized that it had been a hot minute since we last ventured out to Erie. There is a small, family amusement park there called Waldameer which isn’t THRILLING but it does have a couple dark rides and one wooden coaster in particular that I remembered to be relatively breathtaking.

Look, I have a sickness, OK? I just love have my body battered on wooden coasters and counting the bruises the next day.

The first thing we did after getting our ride-all-day wristbands was ditch Henry and run toward the Ravine Flyer except that we went the wrong way and wound up in Kiddie Land and then had to pretend like we meant to do that when Henry caught up with us and asked, “Where are you going?” when he knew damn well that we went the wrong way but had to be a fucking Poindexter about it.

Ugh! It doesn’t even matter if he’s behind the wheel of a stupid Faygo truck or on foot at an amusement park – he’s a fucking direction snob!

The park was nearly empty so I wasn’t too shocked to see that the Ravine Flyer was running ONE TRAIN OPS* and this wouldn’t have been too terrible considering we were practically walking right onto the platform, however, the dispatch was nearly as slow as Trump trying to sound out a four-syllable word.

*(There’s this one coaster channel on YouTube that I love and one of the guys, Logan, is always screaming ONE TRAIN OPS and that’s his Instagram name too so people are always tagging him when they’re at a park and experiencing one train ops, but my favorite was the time someone tagged him in a picture of a hotel breakfast buffet that had two waffle irons but one was broken and their hashtag obviously was #onewaffleops and why did this make me LITERALLY GUFFAW and elbow Henry?!)

At least they have great classic rock playing in the Ravine Flyer station….

…courtesy of these assholes, I guess. For a long time, Chooch thought the Ravine Flyer was actually called The Bob & Tom Show..??? So now I have to take his picture next to the sign every time we go to Waldameer.

So, my first ride on this thing after four years was definitely something to savor – I forget how exhilarating the first drop was and how much fun it is flying over the road.  It was worth the visit, but I have to be honest — we have ridden quite a few EXCELSIOR WOODIES since our last visit with the Ravine Flyer, and because of this, it was a little bit less write-home-worthy.

The first half is definitely the best, but the trim brakes definitely bring it down a few notches and there was some weird pacing in the secon half. Still, this coaster is pretty fucking fun!

What I love is that as you’re ascending that first hill, you get a stunning view of Lake Erie. It was very foggy and overcast on this day so we couldn’t see it the first several times we rode it, but by evening, there it was – a huge expanse of water making me dry heave. 

Henry is our Instagram Husband when we go to amusement parks and he is getting really good at standing in the perfect spot and patiently waiting for that one sweet shot. And if we’re unhappy with his attempt, we just get back on the ride and he has to keep trying until he gets it right (see: Whacky Shack).

I only had one bad experience at Waldameer on this day and it was when Chooch and I were about to get into line for another go when some young kid, like elementary-aged, leaned over a railing and spit onto the ground, missing me by a fraction of a centimeter. I’m not kidding, I was so close to getting marked by some Erie yokel and I was PISSED. I stopped dead in my tracks and screamed for Henry to come over, I don’t know why, not like he would ever in a million years even dream of defending my honor, and I hysterically explained to him what had happened. I was still waiting for the kid to exit the ride (you have to walk down a wooden walkway that turns a few times, and he was at a higher level when The Spitting occurred) so I could point him out to Henry and honestly I was considering confronting his dad, when some guy meandered over to us and said, “Are you talking about how that kid almost spit on you?” and then to Henry, he turned and said, “I saw it—it JUST MISSED hitting her” and I was like THANK YOU, DO YOU WANT TO BE MY NEW BABY DADDY because at least this stranger who had been casually sitting on a bench gave a shit about keeping my flesh free from boy-spit!

“IT’S NOT THAT I DON’T CARE, I DIDN’T SEE IT HAPPEN!” Henry cried in defense, but it was too late Damage was already done. Henry cared less about me getting spit on than a stranger did.

(That guy wasn’t too bad looking either, although he kind of gave off hunter vibes and ew no.)

“Is it that kid in the orange shorts?” Henry asked, suddenly trying to be super involved in my trials and tribs. I nodded and he said, “Yeah, I don’t think his dad is going to care” but I didn’t get a chance to see the dad.

The first time Henry took this picture, he only got half the sign in it and I started yelling, “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?! WHY WOULD YOU NOT THINK I WANTED THE WHOLE SIGN IN THE PICTURE WHEN I SAID TAKE OUR PICTURE STANDING BY THE SIGN????” and some guy was totally spectating Henry being emasculated, so that was cool.

My favorite seat on this was definitely the back, and my favorite ride on it was when IN THE AIR TONIGHT BY PHIL COLLINS started playing right as we were loading into the back seat. That song paired with the anticipation of getting on a roller coaster? Perfection.

We rode it over and over that day, even in the rain, to the point where it was actually giving me a headache. I lowkey panicked internally, wondering if my rollercoaster days are numbered, but then Chooch groaned, “Ugh, I’m starting to get a headache.”

WHEW!

Although, he may be 13, but he sure does have a plethora of elder maladies.

We managed to get Henry to ride it one whole time because he didn’t get the ride-all-day wristband so he had to pay FOUR DOLLARS to ride it ONCE. Cheap ass bitch. I started bitching again about that kid who nearly spit on me and wished out loud that I could have said ratted on him to his dad, and just as our train was leaving the station, Henry pointed and said, “Lol, there he is right there!” and pointed at some burly doof waiting in line next to Public Spitter and he for sure looked like a man who was still hanging onto his high school football glory days and all the concussions that came with it.

Yeah, for once I’d have to agree with Henry — I don’t think confronting him would have gotten me anything other than a second chance of being hit with spit.

Anyway, riding the Ravine Flyer with Henry was fun because I got to scream in his ear the whole time, and actually, I screamed so much that my scream was actually taken away halfway through the ride—maybe by God? I’m not sure, but it was almost like someone ripped my voice right out of my mouth and I couldn’t muster a single screech after that.

I outdid my own goddamn self, I guess.

Be back soon with more Waldameer bullshit!