Jan 282023
 

Here I am, being SUCH a girlboss, waiting until January is nearly over to remind anyone still left wandering amidst the barren, tumbleweed-studded wasteland that is the Wild Wild Oh Honestly West, that serial killer-themed Valentines are still relevant (they are though, right?). Yes, Henry and I still make these cards. Yes, you can still purchase them on Etsy!

***

I’m so much happier with the new backs!

I love these cards so much because they bring back fond memories of Valentine parties in elementary school, when we all got to fuck a shoebox with a glue stick and crepe paper and then run around stuffing Scooby Doo sentiments into everyone’s “mailbox” even if we didn’t like the person because THE TEACHER SAID. My favorite part was the candy and cupcakes though. I was a fat kid.

And then in fifth grade, I was the fat kid with a perm.

AND BRACES.

FML.

But I somehow still got Valentines so I didn’t hate the damn day.

Even now, as a grown as adult, I like passing out Valentines at work. I passed the serial killer ones out one year to mixed reviews. My one co-worker received an Albert Fish one and sent me an email that said, “OMG I just Wiki’d that guy. He was so terrible! Why would you give me that card?!”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Surprisingly, no one reported me to HR.

Life is all about taking risks, you know?

This set includes 16 different designs! Can you even imagine? They do not come with envelopes though because they’re mini-cards. There are so many uses for them! One of my customers told me that she hid all of them around the house for her husband to randomly discover as he went about life. I thought that was so cute!

The backs include the names of each hellion in case your recipient isn’t as up to speed on their murder shows as you and me. So I guess you could even say that these are EDUCATIONAL TOO!

They could even be used as gift tags! Party favors! (REMEMBER PRE-PANDEMIC PARTIES??)

What are you waiting for?? Go grab a set!

I also have sets for vintage porn stars, cult leaders, Golden Girls, The Cure, and you can find several kpop sets in my KPOP SHOP as well!

Jan 272023
 

No more moping. Here are five things that are bringing me the happies this week:

  • Rewatching Laguna Beach and watching the Back to the Beach podcast videos with Kristin and Stephen on YouTube. I was so into this shit when it first aired on MTV. I mean, I had already graduated out of the show’s key demographic years prior, but did I care? Do I care? Pfft. Anyway, I hated Kristin so much back then, but I have grown to genuinely appreciate her over the years and the Back to the Beach episode that Lauren Conrad guested on was more than I ever could have hoped for. To hear them both apologize for the way they slut-shamed each back then? ICONIC. WE LOVE TO SEE IT. But yeah, that really hit, and it truly felt so sincere. Also, in one of episodes, Trey was using some small handheld thing and I had to call Henry into the room and cry, “WHY CANT I REMEMBER WHAT THATS CALLED” and he calmly said, “Palm Pilot.” Holy shit it’s so weird to think that Palm Pilots are obsolete now. Also, I do not miss low-rise jeans. Nope. Also interesting to note is that when Chooch asked me what I was watching, he was absolutely clueless. “The fuck is a Laguna Beach?” I was like YOU KNOW – LC? LAUREN CONRAD?? I wear her clothes from Kohls??? Nope, not a single iota of recognition flickered behind boy-child Gen Zer’s eyes.
  • LOO PLANTS! Why did it take me so long to put plants in the bathroom? I have no idea. I had this hanging planter with nothing in it that was sitting all empty and dejected on the backporch so I put a pothos cutting in it (LOL OK OK OK calm down, Henry did it) and then ordered this gorgeous sacred heart rhinestone patch to glue on it, you know, to help it feel more at home in the holy shitter.

Isn’t it adorable???

  • I did one of the best Paul Eugene workouts last night you guys and I want you to do it too!! I love Paul Eugene so much; I smile through all of his workouts!

  • Butterscotch candies, just like grandma eats. I have stress-sucking on them all week long, and it brings little gleeks of joy into my mouth.
  • NCT127’s new music video which was released today, on 127 day! (GET IT, BECAUSE IT’S JANUARY 27TH?!!? This was one of my favorite songs on their last album, and I love that they made this video themselves! The only downside is that Haechan isn’t in it because this was filmed during the second leg of their recent US tour (I think this was actually filmed in Atlanta, at least parts of it). Haechan stayed in Korea because he was having heart palpitations and had to go to the hospital! I am so glad that SM allowed him to hang back and get the rest he deserves. These idols are so overworked, it’s scary.

Jan 252023
 

Dear Pammy, here we are on the last Wednesday of the saddest month. Once we tear off the January page from the calendar and burn it (and maybe a righteous bigot just for funsies) in a back alley bonfire, I start to feel a little better. One day at a time. But you know, before that happens, I have to do what all sane people do and purposely compound my crippling sads by watching the finale of a series that has been a part of my life for like 12 years.* Yeah, I finally bit the bullet and powered through the remaining episodes of the last season of The Walking Dead and holy shit, ouchie, wah. That was a rough ride. My throat actually hurts a little bit today and I’m certain it’s from the painful crying I did last night during the last two episodes.

*(Wait, is this for real? Chooch was literally 4 years old when that show debuted and we watched it together every Sunday night?! I mean, he was already obsessed with Night of the Living Dead way before that – “waaay before that” at the old-ass age of 2, lol – so I guess this felt normal at the time but I’m having a weird moment in present day, looking back on this. I wonder if he ever had nightmares?! But now I’m really spiraling out because I literally can’t remember a single time Chooch ever woke crying and saying he had a nightmare?! I just asked Henry if he can think of a time and he said no without even thinking because he is such a great contributor to conversations.)

You know, I dumped this show off and on over the years and kept finding myself lost or bored because I had the attention span of a, a, well, a walker probably. Or the average American. And I know it’s like SO COO COO COO to hate on The Walking Dead and the people who watch it because no one wants to just let anyone live their damn lives these days, but I don’t really care. I will wear a DARYL DIXON shirt straight out of my house tomorrow, watch me.

(Maybe not tomorrow because I have to get one first.)

Also adding to my stress is Valentine season. I think that I’m not cut out to be an Etsy seller, lol. My heart has not been in it at all this season. I was asked to make a couple of custom cards and I was actually like, “UGH, FINE” about it, which is so dumb because once I sat down and opened Photoshop, I was into it. But my creativity is tapped out these days/months/years.

I think I need more socialization. I allegedly have plans on Saturday with a new friend which is always scary and exciting and I really hope it pans out, plus I have at least two dinner dates in February. But you know, that’s big Erin energy, being all BOO HOO I’M SO LONELY and then doing the bare minimum to cultivate friendships.

The only thing giving me joy lately, aside from cats and squirrels, is working on the attic refresh! It’s really coming along so slowly since Henry only has time/energy to put into it on weekends and god forbid I should, what, paint by myself!? Ha. Can you imagine. Ha.

(Henry would never let this happen anyway.)

I should have waited to do an attic update on Sunday because we ended up getting some more stuff done!

LIKE THIS! I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF!! We had to go to the dreaded HOBBY LOBBY to get the fun fur Saturday night and as we were walking toward the check-out, some guy in the back of the store yelled very loudly and deeply, just one loud-ass staccato scream punching through the Jesus-y atmosphere. Everyone near us abruptly stopped and quieted down for approx. 2 seconds.

“Let’s go This is why I avoid shopping at Century III!” one suburban Yinzer mom said to her shopping mates, prompting me to follow suit.

“You can go out to the car, I’ll stay and buy this,” Henry said, handing me the car key.

“NO, JUST FORGET IT,  LET’S LEAVE,” I hissed, my entire body feeling like fucking ice was coursing through my veins and I waited to start hearing gunfire. Seriously. FUCK YOU, AMERICA. FUCK YOU, GUNS. Every time we walk out of the house: will we get shot today?

So what did I do? Big courageous baby Erin took the keys and ran, leaving Henry inside.

Turned out to be a bunch of kids fucking around and Henry paid for the fun fur and joined me in the parking lot without incident. But still, I couldn’t get my heart rate down for a while after that. I hate this.

Henry spent most of Saturday and Sunday working on the checkerboard wall and cussing me out in very inventive ways. I think he and Chooch thought it was going to look like shit but I had a very clear vision in my head…

When will they learn to trust me!? I think it turned out amazingly! It’s a fucking mood and I canNOT wait to finish this little nook! I decided to only do the checks on the right side. The left side is going to stay solid yellow, filled with art. The checkerboard is going to stay is – why gild the lily, as Teresa Strasser said once on an episode of While You Were Out and it has remained lodged in my head ever since. It was the first time I had ever heard that saying and according to Chooch, I say it “all the time” which I think is a tad hyperbolic but whatev. Hopefully it comes up the next time I’m playing trivia on the radio.

Oh in addition to my little monster wall, which was an OFF THE CUFF design idea, I coated the top of this short wall with iridescent glitter shards that I spotted on a rack behind an old ass Michaels employee when Henry was interrogated him on the fun fur options last Saturday. I had no idea at the time what I was going to do with it but I snatched up a small pack of it and formulated a game plan on the way home.

I can only imagine the twitches that my interior design choices give some poeple when they look at this but listen, Linda: I rent this piece of shit house and if I’m going to be slowly dying here, I’d prefer it to not be surrounded by white walls.

(OMG please do not let this be the place where I die LOL ugh.)

I want to put some small/fun cuckoo clocks on this little wall.

This is all I have going for me right now,  and I’m having fun with so leave me alone.

Just kidding, don’t leave me alone I’m so bored and lonely lol omg.

Jan 242023
 

Over the weekend, YouTube took it upon itself to peg me as that bitch who’d be down to watch other people’s high school home videos from the 90s.

I mean, you’re not wrong, YouTube. Here for that nostalshit.

I don’t know what I was trying to do there. I can’t make up KEWL words anymore. I’m too old.

Anyway, as I was watching things, I realized some things: I think I’m faceblind when it comes to white males. At least white make teens, I guess. Most of the boys in these videos looked identical to me! And the boundaries! There were none! Teachers touching students! Boys groping girls! Kids these days COULD NEVER.

But the thing that really blew my mind was how much older teenagers looked back then?? That guy in the picture up there was 17 or 18???

No. I won’t believe it. My eyes hath deceived me once again.

The other main thing I noticed was OBVIOUSLY a lack of cellphones and laptops so kids were actually conversing with their classmates and everyone seemed so laid back. Bitch where’s the anxiety? What fidget spinner?

Were the 90s truly the last (moderately) wholesome decade/generation?! I really think so and I am sure this is some scientific study that had been published about this already, but yeah, cook on, Erin. You said it first.

Ok I have to go. Henry just sneezed, unannounced, and completely ruined my night.

Jan 232023
 

While catching up with an old friend Thursday night, he told me that his mom died last August. It was like everything ground to a halt for a second. His mother – Carol – was my OG Work Mom. She was there for me when I had an abortion. She was one of the early supporters of my SCANDALOUS relationship with Henry. She has a baby shower for me when my mom and I weren’t on speaking terms.

The four years I spent sharing an office with her in Weissylvania bonded me to her for life. We both endured our own set of traumas there and for me, I was so young still that it sadly defined who I was for YEARS. What am I talking about – I’m still not over that shit. It came up a few weeks ago when Henry and I were in the car and here I thought, dummy that I am, that I could speak candidly about the experience because I AM SO HEALED NOW, NEW WOMAN, but then I found myself so choked up that I physically could not continue speaking and then had a panic headache for the rest of the day.

If Carol hadn’t been there during that time, if I had been alone…I don’t want to think about how much worse it could have been. Anytime we found ourselves in a catch-up sesh, our time there was always the main topic but it was always ok to talk about it with her – Catharsis, The Way It Oughta Be.

We spoke on the phone during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and lamented that we couldn’t meet up for lunch. I talked to her on the phone again during the summer of 2021, hoping we could finally schedule that lunch now that we were both vaccinated, but she told me she wasn’t doing well, cancer. And then there were a million times after that when I thought, “I should call Carol, I should send Carol a card, I should see if Carol is up for a house call.”

But I never did it. And now she is gone. I for real loved her like a mom. I never got to tell her that.

I hope she knew it.

So that’s what I have chewing on the last few days. Lots of regret, panic, grief, nostalgia. What a healthy cocktail, straight to the dome.

Take care of yourself. Etc etc. :/

Jan 222023
 

Hey-o. It’s safe to say that I am firmly embedded in that seasonal depression pit. It’s fine. January is a motherfucker, nothing new. Not having things done as fast as I want them to be is making this even harder. If you know me, you’re laughing probably or rolling your eyes more likely because you know that I have little patience and also you can be certain that if I had any life skills whatsoever instead of relying on Henry to take on 99% of this attic refresh himself, mayhaps it would have been done by now.

But oh, motivation, where are you? WHAT are you?

Anyway, we have made some progress on the “stairwell” area thingie. Just keep in mind that everything was white up here, and the room was filled with boxes and piles of miscellanea so I didn’t take before pictures. Also, because I forgot to take before pictures, lol.

Dude. Henry using his makeshift plank again, ugh I hate watching him standing on this! Last night, he was being cute (read: ANNOYING) by bouncing along to Mamamoo while standing on this, almost like he was TRYING to fall and break his butt bone so that he could have a doctor’s

excuse to relax. Ugh.

Meanwhile, further into the room, we have this cute window nook area which we (LOL “WE”) are checkering. I hope it looks nice once it’s done! That’s on today’s agenda.

But last night, we finally got the step area to the point where the neon sign could be hung and the joy it gave me. THE JOY IT GAVE ME. This is from a limited edition collab that Yellowpop did with the Warhol Foundation. There were only 500 of these made and ours is #66 – Mario Lemieux’s number!

Anyway, I sent Chooch the Yellowpop website and this is the one he chose and I supported that decision. I am aware that at the end of the day, this room is actually meant to be his and I am trying SO HARD not to release some of my design control but it’s hard and honestly, no thanks. We will do it my way.

The photos don’t do it justice but the neon is pink and yellow.

I also have a party curtain thing that I want to hang under the striped wall to block off the actual closet portion of the steps from view. And we have to try and devise a way to hang mini-disco balls from the ceiling above the steps.

Well, that’s all for me for now. Sinking back into my pit of depression now, see ya on the other side (probably tomorrow when I force myself to lethargically type out another worthless blog post). Peaccccccce.

Jan 202023
 

Happy Friday. I have a lot of heaviness on my mind today so I thought instead of being a downer, I will do a Friday Five featuring songs from YouTube workout videos that….live rent-free in my head. Ugh, I can’t believe I used that. But yeah, something different! Mixin’ it up! This is also for my own selfish benefit because I am constantly having to Shazam these while working out because I can never remember!

Anyway, if you’re into FitTube then you’ll probably know some of these because all those FitTubers use the same royalty-free songs. #IYKYK

BUT SOME OF THEM ARE SO CATCHY, they should make a compilation of them called I Can’t Believe This Isn’t Top 40.

  1. We Can Be Fearless – Tomas Skyldeberg

 

2. Not Like Them – DJ Mayson

3. No Sugar Coated Love (Feat. Jowen) [Slct Remix] – Tape Machines

4.  One That Keeps Me – Larry Paz 

Fun fact – this is apparently the husband of Jo from GrowWithJo which is where I got most of these jams from. Her channel is good for when I need a filler workout but don’t want to get too crazy with it, and she always uses great music that keeps me engaged!

5. Perfectly Opposite – Carla the Great (Deek Cloud remix)

This was the only video I could find for this one and it’s not great, but the song is so good, and I wanted desperately to include it.

There was one that I really wanted to include but I can’t find it now in order to Shazam it and I’m tired of playing workout videos in the background while I’m non-workout working so perhaps we’ll do a part 2 someday.

OK bye bye.

Jan 182023
 

Absolutely no one asked, yet here I am with a collection of every carouselfie we took in 2022. This is my favorite family tradition (well, let’s maybe not go that far) and the carouselfie wall brings me much joy. Honestly, sometimes after I log off from a particularly bitch-fest of a workday, I will slump down on the couch to decompress and then look over at the carouselfies and smile, but also IMMEDIATELY feel depressed because WHEN WILL BE THE NEXT CAROUSELFIE OPPORTUNITY? WHO KNOWS?!

Sea World Orlando!
Busch Gardens Tampa!

Six Flags New England!

Kennywood!

Michigan’s Adventure!

Waldameer!

Six Flags Great America!

Dollywood!

I’m hoping we collect many more carouselfies throughout 2023! I’m really pushing for a visit to the Nickelodeon park in NJ because their carousel is RUGRATS themed and I was a huge RUGRATS fan back in the day! RIP to my Rugrats talking clock – I should see if I can snag one on eBay actually….

Jan 172023
 

There’s this trendy waffle joint that opened in Oakland somewhat recently, like within the last year. I drive past it whenever I take Chooch to school and I always whine about wanting to go but then we never do because Henry and Chooch don’t get stoked about things like this the way that I do.

I got over it after a while but apparently Corey mentioned to Chooch at some point recently that he wanted to go so then suddenly it became appealing to Surly Teen.

Chooch and I were both on Monday in honor of MLK Jr Day, so it seemed like a good opportunity to try some Smashed Waffles with Corey.

First of all, I was sulking because when I looked at their menu online the other day, there was a waffle under the SWEET SECTION called the John Lemon, which was, you know, lemony. I had my heart set on that one and the Cereal Killer because you know me and Fruity Pebbles as a topping.

But then we got there and IT WASN’T ON THE MENU. Chooch pressured me into choosing the SEASONAL WAFFLE so I did and immediately after paying for our order, I looked up on the digital screen just in time to see a picture of the HOT CHOCOLATE WAFFLE so I cried out, “Is that the seasonal waffle?!” and Chooch was all, “Yeah, that’s what I was trying to tell you.”

BITCH, WHEN?

I 100% would NOT have ordered the seasonal one had I known it was HOT CHOCOLATE, which was essentially just a waffle with chocolate syrup and marshmallows?!

I was BIG PISSED about this, and then I was even more annoyed because the seating options were not ideal and Chooch and I tried in vain to get Corey to grab a recently vacated table next to the window but some dumb trio of girls practically knocked him over and managed to claim it even though COREY WAS STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO IT.

They just wanted it more, I guess.

So we stuck with our sad wobbly table by the restrooms. Don’t worry – I complained about that AND my ordering regrets the whole time, in perfect Erin fashion.

The waffle itself was actually pretty good but the hot chocolate one just really set me off. I wish I had done with Corey and Chooch did – they both got a breakfast sandwich AND a sweet waffle. My two sweet waffles were very unsatisfying. This was 100% more of a “fun snack” during an outing than a lunch. It just didn’t cut it for me and I had to make toast when I got home later!

I did get a pretty delicious latte though but now I forget which one it was – I think it ad honey and cinnamon in it!? It was pretty wonderful, to be honest.

Every time a young person walked past the window, Corey would blurt out, “do you know them?” to Chooch since we were on his school turf. I love how when I do that, Chooch gets so bitchy, but it was SO COOL AND FUNNY WHEN COREY WAS DOING IT. Ugh, Chooch.

After that, we walked around for a bit even though Corey was lowkey worried about his car getting towed, lol. Once Chooch and I realized that Corey had never been to the top-ish of the Cathedral of Learning, we were like, “Oh no, you gotta do it, let’s go” and it made me laugh a little that Chooch is so well-versed in the inner workings of the Cathedral when I’m the one who actually went to Pitt and had classes there! The Secret Life of Chooch. I know he also hangs out around the CMU campus too…? It moderately concerns me that I have no idea what he’s doing after school, because it’s definitely not “immediately coming home.”

“What if we could see your car getting towed right now?” Chooch said to Corey, which made him belt out one of his signature SUPER BOISTEROUS BELLY LAUGHS in the VERY SMALL observation area of the Cathedral.

Damn, this view never gets old. I love the Cathedral of Learning so so so so much. It was the best part of Pitt.

This rando’ storage nook was open!? Corey tried to get me to take some marketing award that was stashed in there.

I felt like I had chocolate on my face from the HOT CHOCOLATE waffle, but I guess I didn’t after all.

CATHEDRAL SELFIE! Not pictured: MY DOUG PIN.

Sadly, none of the nationality rooms were open that day so we couldn’t show Corey all that funnery that takes place on the lower levels of the Cathedral. I love taking people there when they come to Pittsburgh to visit. The Cathedral is just, ugh, so good. But then when we left, I stepped off the sidewalk slightly and it caught me off guard to where I thought I was going to fall so I overcorrected myself too zealously and tweaked my back and now my already-effed back hurts even worse than usual. Yay, 40s.

That was a really fun afternoon! But then a few hours after we came home, THE HAWK CAME BACK and was perched on the telephone pole in front of my house so I was freaking the fuck out, telling it to go fuck itself, clapping real loud, stamping my feet – you know, the usual things that you do when you’re trying to get a fucking hawk to fuck right off because you’re protecting your squirrel family. Henry came home from work while I was out there staring the fucker down (this had been going on for 20 minutes by then) so Henry joined me but his role in all of this is more of a WILDLIFE OBSERVER, like he will stand there calmly with his hands clasped behind his back, smiling dreamily, lost in the awe-inspiring moment. The opposite of me, obviously.

Then Henry did something really stupid and said, “Usually when there is one hawk, there is another nearby—oh look, there it is!” and then pointed across the street at the church where another MUCH LARGER HAWK was perched ON THE FUCKING CROSS and as if on cue, turned and flew toward us, landing on a tree right across the street. SO NOW I HAD TO FUCK WITH TWO HAWKS.

While this was happening, Chooch left the house to go to the mall. When he walked down the sidewalk under the telephone pole where Hawk #1 was sitting, the hawk looked down at Chooch and did this antagonizing bob and weave like he was going to dive on him!? I HATE THESE FUCKERS SO MUCH!!!!

“Can’t I call the mayor?!” I cried to Henry, after he said that the game preserve, etc. wouldn’t do anything if I called because, once again, these assholes are FEDERALLY PROTECTED.

“No, you can’t call the mayor!” Henry yelled.

So then I had a great idea. I suggested that we get Blake to pretend like the hawk tried to take his toddler Milo.

“And then I can call the mayor and tell him that he needs to get someone to Brookline to remove the hawks and release them in some mountain in West Virginia, probably,” I explained, the plan coming together to quickly in my head.

“But the mayor will want to see Milo and then he’ll wonder why he doesn’t have any wounds?” Henry questioned, always trying to find PLOT HOLES in my stories.

“Well, of course Milo won’t have any wounds, because I stopped the hawk from reaching him!” I yelled, like try to keep up, idiot. This story is brilliant actually because I get to be a hero AND have the hawks evicted.

I’m going to talk to Blake about this, get him up to speed so that he can corroborate my story once the mayor and the news crews get here. Probably Biden too.

Jan 152023
 

Here are some things that have happened lately.

  • Um, you guys? I found out the other night that Henry had not only never played, but never HEARD OF the classic Nintendo game Dr. Mario?? That was literally one of my favorite Nintendo games ever, even more than Tetris. I used to lay in bed at night and see the pills dropping down in the blank space in front of my eyes, like counting sheep except that it filled me anxiety and kept me awake. Then I was inspired to play the Dr.Mario theme on YouTube and didn’t realize that was Henry was silently observing me as I zoned out and punched the air to the beat with my head and fist. I texted my brother Ryan to see if Henry not knowing of this game was a deal-breaker, but Ryan couldn’t get past the part where I was listening to the theme on a loop.

  • A bunch of us met up after work on Friday at Buca di Beppo and it was so great seeing some people who I haven’t seen since the idiot pandemic (like New Dad Lloyd, who asked me of all people for parenting advice!) and also meeting for the first time in person one of the people hired during the pandemic. It’s nuts how much I took that place and those people for granted. I have such a greater appreciation for my work friends now, for sure. And I was cracking up because at one point Jill asked, “Whose children’s toy is this?” thinking that my phone case was an actual toy lol. And then I had left my purse at another table so people were confused because it looked like “totally an Erin Kelly purse” but they thought it must have been someone else’s since I wasn’t sitting near it. Then Sue was petting my blue faux fur coat which I also had abandoned elsewhere and I yelled out, “That’s mine too!” and she just shook her head. LOL. Anyway, we had a really decent turn out but I didn’t take any pictures because I was too busy getting lost in my white sangrias and bullshitting, but there is a group photo of everyone floating around somewhere which I am desperate to get my hands on because I’m obsessed with group pictures (literally when Aaron announced that we were taking one, I almost pushed Regina out of the booth so I could get a good spot, lol).
  • As I mentioned in my last post, I started watching The Walking Dead again. My friend Carrie can attest to the number of times I have fallen off the TWD Wagon only to pick it back up again. I mostly have no clue what is going on anymore and Aaron, who I used to really like, is really getting on my nerves in these last several episodes, but I will always be there for the core characters: Carol, Daryl, Maggie, and yes of course Negan because has there EVER been another character that was SO HATEABLE yet went through the most humanizing growth?! I mean, obviously we will never get over what he did to GLENN (ugh if I ever need to cry on cue, this is in my repertoire), but holy fuck the charisma. Even Henry, who has never watched an entire season, is drawn to the screen when it’s a Negan scene. As hot and cold as I’ve been with this series over the years, I’m going to be gutted when I get to the final episode because it holds such sentimental value for me. It was one of the first shows that Chooch and I watched together – it was our Sunday night tradition! Lights out, blanket on, TWD time. We would actually get so upset if we weren’t going to be home for a new episode and I would have to stay off Twitter and Facebook until we were able to watch it because that was like THE SHOW that everyone LOVED to spoil back when it was in its prime.
  • Chooch came flying downstairs the other night and said in his standard HUFFYSULKYBITCHBOY tone that he was looking for a place to ride bikes in the woods with like, ramps or whatever and couldn’t find anything so he asked if he could make one somewhere.

“No, because we don’t own land,” Henry answered matter-of-factly.

“Ok, well can we own land?” Chooch asked, like wow what an easy solution. He is so annoying.

  • Stripes going in up in the attic! Henry, “Not a Professional Painter,” had to jerry-rig this plank-like thing to stand on and it was making me extremely nervous.

Pretty much the entire weekend was spent painting that damn room. Chooch and I even sort of helped for a minute!

  • We took a boba break on Sunday though. This was our first time trying Love Tea and I think it’s my current favorite because they have a cheese cap option and that is my motherfucking jam.

  • THAT FUCKING HAWK WAS BACK YESTERDAY!!!!!! I hate him so much! He was in one of the trees in the backyard so I was out there trying to make sure all my squirrels stayed still – one of the Buddys was so close to the branch that motherfucker was perched on and my heart was racing. I came back in the house and screamed for Henry to help – I remembered that a hawk deterrent is a mirrored surfaces, so I grabbed a mirror off the wall and gave it to Henry much in the same vein as someone would toss Daryl his crossbow, and Henry proceeded to shine it at the stupid ass hawk from the back porch. WE HAVE TO GO OUTSIDE AND DO IT I cried, so Henry sighed and put on his shoes, then went in the backyard and within 3 minutes of ricocheting the sunlight into the hawk’s face, we got the asshole to fly away! BUT THEN HOURS LATER, I opened the front door and he was PERCHED ON A TELEPHONE WIRE IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE STRAIGHT LEERING DOWN AT ME. We had a major stare-off while I made sure none of the squirrels picked that moment to venture up to the front yard, and then I finally wore him down so he flew away. Blake apparently was watching from his window and texted Henry “wow that thing was HUGE.” DID YOU TELL HIM I’M PREPARED TO FIGHT IT??? I asked Henry. I just hate how my life is like “going ok,” “going ok,” “going ok,” and then – HAWK. He is literally destroying my sanity and making me so stressed out. My body was racked with anxious tremors all day on Sunday. “Do you hate him too?” I asked Henry. “No,” he said simply. “I WANT YOU TO HATE HIM TOO!” I cried, tantrum on the horizon. “Ok, I hate him too,” Henry sighed.

I don’t think I have anything else to say right now. I’m hawk-stressed.

 

Jan 142023
 

Interrupting my Walking Dead bingefest* to bring you the long-awaited, much-anticipated comeback by THE Youngbae, our beloved shining TAEYANG from BIGBANG.

You have no idea how loud I shrieked when his comeback was confirmed. His last solo album was in 2017!! I saw him perform that year in Chicago and it was absolutely iconic, incredible. A true fucking honor to hear his golden vocals belting out in the same room I was standing in.

Anyway, please enjoy and support our Youngbae. Such a fucking legend!!

*(I have dumped and taken back The Walking Dead numerous times over the years. I apparently just can’t quit it all the way though because now that season 11 is on Netflix, I decided to pick up where I left off — which was about halfway through this season. Now I’m completely invested again which sucks for me since this is the final season I think???)

Jan 132023
 

I’m stupidly excited because there is a little work gathering after work tonight since we didn’t do an office holiday party and about 3/4 of the Doug Fan Club will be in attendance, so I made commemorative Doug / Goodfellas pins for the occasion.

But first, I wanted to share some snips from last Friday’s group chat when Doug came up again, apropos of NOTHING. My former boss (but still current friend) Amber had missed the original Doug chat and, as such, had no idea what was happening. So, I tried to surmise the Doug sitch for her as best as possible, and her response was just, “LOL.”

I guess she had to be there.

Even though none of the other chat friends were….

It started with an innocent question about Trudy:

At this point, I need to cut in* because I was trying desperately to think of the word “vivisect.” My mind was el blanko so I turned to trusty Google and before I knew it, I was searching “cutting a body in half” at work and of course the most terrible shit popped up on my screen. I was like, “Oh, haha, j/k. Research for a conflict check. Totally work-related.” *clears history*

Anyway!!!! The book I was reading a few days later had the word VIVISECTION in it so now it’s seared into my brain and I will hopefully never forget it again.

This has been FUN ASIDES with Erin.

*heh heh CUT IN.

Earlier that day, we were discussing the POPE ROOM at Buca di Beppo, so…full circle, as group chats oft’ are.

OK, that’s all.

And now here are the pins!

I can’t wait to pass these out!

Jan 112023
 

When I first moved into this shitty place in 1999 (ughhhh), I was obsessed with the third floor attic space. There is a stairwell that’s accessed from Chooch’s closet, so it’s like a legit third floor and not some creepy crawl space with exposed Pink Panther insulation, no requirement of climbing up on a shaky pull-down ceiling ladder.

I had big plans for this space!! A music room. A general hang-out space. For a hot minute, it was going to be the bedroom of an ex-friend who I now hate with the fiery passion of every star in the universe and am so glad that plan ended up fizzling out before any actual “moving-in” activities had commenced.

Then Henry moved in and with him came a bunch of shit that wound up finding a “temporary” home in the attic. Then it basically just became a catch-all for “things we don’t have room for but might want to keep.”

For 20 years.

I don’t know how much longer we will be living here but I wanted Chooch to have a nice little space of his own to entertain friends / have game nights / etc. while he’s still in high school. We attempted this twice over the last two years, and actually started to make a small dent in the STUFF last January and then hit a wall, got side-tracked, lost interest, who knows. But I have been CHOP CHOPing Henry over the last several weeks. Two weekends ago, we made several trips to Goodwill to drop stuff off, and we threw out A TON of shit. There is still some stuff (not much) that we have pushed into a pile in the middle of the room while we figure out what to do with it, but enough has been cleared out for painting to officially commence!

First, Henry to patch a bunch of areas of the walls though because evidently, there had been a leak at some point?! There is a small section of a narrow wall that had a pretty good chunk of plaster fall off and while I was watching Henry patching it, I slowly said, “OK I have an idea—NO, HEAR ME OUT…” because he gets so clenched every time I hit him with talk of an idea.

“What if we just cover that wall with…..FAUX FUR?!”

I waited for him to reject this idea.

But then I could tell he was considering it.

“OK fine,” he said.

YESSSS.

It is just a very small portion of the room, like a sliver of a wall. I have seen people do entire rooms in faux fur and that is too much even for me, if you can believe that I have limits. But I’m sorry, I’m not vacuuming the walls of an entire room. Who has time for that!?!?

As of now, we have some of the blue walls done. Purple is going on the others. We might have checkerboard action on a wall. I don’t know. But I do know that we have a disco ball.

I didn’t know this old ass chair of mine still existed!! It’s one of the things that came with me on all of my moves since leaving my parents’ house. I fucking love this chair, even though it’s bent and probably shouldn’t be sat upon and also rusted in one spot. I told Chooch it can stay in the forthcoming game room as part of the aesthetic and he was like, “MMmm, cool” because he hates any reminder of the fact that I have been places he has not, lolololololololol.

Forever in competition with my own kid.

I’m sad that I forgot about this chair and didn’t buy stickers in Korea and Japan. Is it cheating if I buy some online right now?

OMG I didn’t know this still existed either – my “House Rules” sign from my very first and most beloved apartment at Payne Hill. Yes, it was necessary to make “no jumping off balcony” a rule. That apartment, man. The parties. Jesus.

I’m excited about this – this is the staircase going….straight into Chooch’s closet (which is annoying because he needs that space to remain a closet so just ignore the clothes) but the part of the wall/ceiling straight ahead is going to be striped with the three colors of the room (teal, purple, yellow) and then a neon sign which I just bought from Yellowpop will hang there.

I also got this little, cheap neon from Amazon because it’s cute and no other reason is ever needed.

Ahh, as I’m writing this, the Yellowpop neon sign was just delivered! I will follow-up with pictures of that once that part of the room is fluffed and ready.

It’s nice to have something to design again! I love it – it keeps my mind busy and happy.

Jan 102023
 

When I was digging through photo boxes in search of good shots of my Pappap’s house to use for my Christmas present project, I found these that I must have taken in the 90s on one of my last trips to Europe with Sharon.

I’m mildly amazed at the amateur photojournalistic quality of them (minus that broad’s hand cameo in the left-hand corner, lol). Most of my old vacation pictures are such trash, especially the earlier trips when I was 9-11 and taking pictures of castles from a bus window. I can’t believe my grandparents actually paid to get that shit developed (and got doubles?!). These must be from Italy, but I can’t remember from where or when.

LOOK AT THAT BROAD!!! I need to frame this. It’s too good to not be in a frame. That lady must have been such an icon.

There was this one night in particular where I can remember having a huge fight with Sharon and screaming, “I’M GOING OUT WITH SOME OF THE PEOPLE FROM THE GROUP AND YOU CAN JUST STAY HERE IN THE ROOM AND ROT!” because she was such a stick in the mud when it came to socializing with other people on the tour with us, but I think that was a night from the last trip she and I took together (the ONE WITH STEFAN LOL) and I’m also pretty sure we were in Lucerne when I went off with some of the other people and I felt like an actual grown-up. (I think I was probably 17.)

Sometimes it’s surreal to me when I come across these old pictures or have a quick flashback of some vignette from a foreign city. It was so long ago but also feels like no time has passed. I’m eternally grateful that I was given these opportunities to explore such beautiful, historical places as a kid, but I would definitely prefer to experience it again now as an adult, with Henry and Chooch. Sharon was…oof.

(Oh, I’m sure there will still be fighting, though lol.)

Jan 082023
 

In no particular order, these are the BEST BOOKS I read last year. All were 4.5 – 5 star reads for me. Looking over this list, the ones that I would place in my ultimate top tier, would be:

  1. Just Last Night (the character study in this was perfection; I felt like I knew these people)
  2. The Winners (obviously – PLEASE READ THE BEARTOWN TRILOGY, THANKS)
  3. The Summer That Melted Everything (I would pay to be able to read this for the first time again, it’s extraordinary)

I’m trying to do the “12 Books From 12 Friends” challenge this year, where you read one book recommended by a friend for each month of the year. I got some good recs on Instagram but still need 7 more.

The ones on my list so far:

  1. Invisible Life of Addie Larue: recommended by my friend Kelly. I attempted to read this the year it came out but DNFd it very early on. I’m willing to give it a second chance  though because I have a lot of friends who loved it. Maybe I’ll try it on audio this time??
  2. Bel Canto: recommended by Katrina and I am STOKED because it’s by Ann Patchett and I have wanted to read more by her ever since I read The Dutch House, because that was a solid 5 stars for me.
  3. Twenty Years Later: my friend Eve recommended me a bunch of books a few weeks ago, and I currently have THREE of them in my possession courtesy of the great Carnegie Library, but this book by Charlie Donlea is the one I am specifically adding to the challenge calendar.
  4. Devil House: I feel like I might regret this because it was a hard DNF for me when it came out but like Addie Larue, I will give it another go with the audiobook this time. It’s a book that I really want to love but it started off so.effing.dry.
  5. Michelle Obama’s Becoming: my friend Heather suggested quite a few that I have not read, but since I have had this one on my TBR for quite some time, I will take this as a sign to crack it open finally!

OK so if you’re reading this and feel like controlling my TBR – tell me some of your favorite books! They don’t have to be new! The only types of book I don’t like are sci-fi and self-help. I will try out anything else! Please and thank you!!