Jun 282022
 

좋은 아침 여러분! Henry and I just left the house, destination: Newark (ugh) for Stray Kids (yay!). Figured I’d combine some weekend pics with a LiveBlog because Henry is being grumpy gramps and ignoring me.

When the weather is nice, I like to leave the front door open (much to Henry’s chagrin) so that the cats can watch the birds.

Breaking: we’re in Murrysville and henry just pointed out some auto body shop that he just got an ad for on Instagram and I openly mocked him because WHO CARES and now he’s crying about how this is why he doesn’t talk lol aw. Oh well.

9:52am: Finally made a Sheetz stop for breakfast OMG I was dying.

Oblig Sheetz Selfie.

In more weekend news, Henry finally framed his big shot Father’s Day gift LOL. Not only did I save that part for him, but the size of the picture ended up being weird so he had to MAKE his own frame. Even better! But look at how great it looks on the wall!

I started cracking up though thinking about the future when Henry and I are both dead and Chooch is like “I don’t have room for this shit” or more likely his partner is like “You’re not bringing this shit in our house” and this picture among others ends up in Goodwill lol.

Me-n-Drew! She’s my best friend. We chill with the squirrels together every day.

Aside from ANOTHER Sunday evening trip to Kennywood, the only other memorable thing that happened was that Onion Maiden had a ramen pop-up. I got Dan Dan noodles and a matcha Eddie for lunch on Sunday and it was miraculous.

I love Onion Maiden.

In Today News, it’s 11:10 and we are still in Pennsylvania – Altoona to be exact, according to Henry. So far we have only stopped at one Sheetz but I have a feeling that will change soon.

12:12pm: (1212!!!) We stopped at Sheetz but nothing of note happened until we got back on the road and a bug flew in Henry’s ear! He’s being such a baby about it and I’m like OK but you’re ruining the song that I’m listening to (“Round and Round” – NCT U).

5:27pm: OMG what a day. I was AWOL after my last update because I was watching/listening to the SURPRISE EDITION of the January 6 Committee hearing – WOW. Thoroughly riveting (not being sarcastic) and then we got to our hotel in Newark at almost 4 but the lobby was a clusterfuck of anxious Stays (Stray Kids fans Duh) trying to check in because the stupid hotel’s system was down and they had a backlog to get thru. It was awful. Finally got checked in after nearly an hour of waiting for our name to be called like we were in the DMV – wasn’t even air conditioned!! There was only one annoying person – some businessman who kept trying to cut the line and the people at the desk kept yelling at him. Finally the one woman was like “Sir all these people are waiting to go to a concert so they need to get checked in also, please wait your turn” and I was like YEAH, SUIT. Get back in line.

Now we’re in an Uber with a driver named Isaiah who has not said one word to us. He’s taking us to Urban Vegan which is right by the Prudential Center.

Yo, we ate at Urban Vegan before the concert and it was legit. Why can’t Pgh have places like this?! You know I always go for the vegan chicken sandwiches, and I got plantain as a side. Henry got the jerk bbq on a biscuit with coleslaw and sweet potato fries. Everything was excelsior.

Now it’s 11:22pm and we’re in an Uber heading back to the hotel after a fantastic Stray Kids concert. I missed live Kpop so much and now I feel alive also our Uber driver is huffing madly at the traffic and it’s making me….Uber uncomfy, so I’m signing off.

Oh wait! Two girls who were in the lobby of the hotel waiting to check in at the same time as us got an Uber right before ours came, literally right where we were standing and we also saw another older couple from the lobby when we were walking to the Prudential Center after eating dinner. Small Newark.

Jun 272022
 

Really throwing myself into these Jimmy-jams lately (that’s what my cats call their fave songs).

  • Woosung- Phase Me

https://youtu.be/5Uj6RrJUAcA

Woosung has one of the most distinct and interesting voices not just in Kpop but all pop.

  • Youngjae – Sugar

My Got7 bias <3

  • Wonho – Crazy

Here‘s some live Wonho action – he is THRIVING.

  • Stray Kids – Circus

I’M SEEING THEM TOMORROW!!

  • Kang Daniel – How We Live

https://youtu.be/X-XHUVTeSwY

A big feel-good Jimmy-jam and we all need to take a moment to feel good these days. I’ll do a girl group / solo one soon!

Jun 262022
 

Blog, this was the worst / most disappointing Asian Read-a-Thon I’ve had since I started in 2020. I only read 12 books and a lot of those didn’t do it for me. I will make this quick.

  1. The Night Shift – Alex Finlay

The Night Shift

Right off the bat, the readathon was off on the wrong foot. I had run out of time in April to read this book and didn’t want to return it to the library so I flipped through the pages and saw that one of the characters was South Asian. Boom, Asian rep. A stretch, but I allowed it. (He was also pretty much the best character too, in a book full of cardboard cutouts.) The premise of this book sounded awesome (a thriller that starts off at a Blockbuster in the 90s) but the execution was just sloppy. Characters were flat, and I barely remember it at this point. I gave it a 3 on Goodreads but more like 2.5.

Blockbuster deserved better than that.

SO DID THE ASIAN CHARACTER.

2. Grass – Keum Suk Gendry-Kim

41940333

Growing up American with a shitty history curriculum, I didn’t learn about Korean comfort women until I developed my own interest in Korea as an adult and saw firsthand all of the memorials and statues around Korea when I visited. This graphic novel details the true experience of a woman who was sold into Japanese enslavement during the Japanese occupation of Korea and it is, needless to day, harrowing, graphic, infuriating, and nightmarish. The stories of these women need to be heard and this is a good starting point.

This is one of the comfort women memorials we saw in Paju, South Korea.

3. Fiona and Jane – Jean Chen Ho

Fiona and Jane

A series of vignettes about two Taiwanese American friends. I liked some stories better than others but I’m always here for a coming-of-age tale. I loved the cover a lot and of course was happy any time there were Korean references which is pretty much every book nowadays it seems.

4. Tokyo Ever AFter – Emiko Jean

Tokyo Ever After (Tokyo Ever After, #1)

Look, I needed a YA palate cleanser, OK? This book was a delight. Princess Diaries but make it Japanese. I LOVE books that are set in other countries, especially east Asia, and this delivered interesting cultural references and made me want to revisit Japan in a big way.

5. Arsenic and Adobo – Mia P. Manansala

Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery, #1)

This was cute but too many characters that I couldn’t keep up with. Best part was the FOOD DESCRIPTIONS and recipes included in the back which I screenshot for Henry lol. I am a big fan of pandesal and it is referenced about a billion times in this book and I am currently craving it.

Also – too many love interests!!

6. An Emotion of Great Delight – Tahereh Mafi

An Emotion of Great Delight

I wish this had been written in chronological order and that we were in the main character’s head a bit less. I loved this author’s last book but this one was kind of a snooze (sorry!!).

7. Popular Hits of the Showa Era – Ryu Murakami

Popular Hits of the Showa Era

YES BITCH. Japanese horror is my jam and this was one of the best books I read in May, and the whole year. It was so gross and violent and HILARIOUS, the characters were wild, the whole book was a dumpster fire in the very best possible way. It was a fucking RIDE. I loved this so much, screamed, “OMFG” numerous times throughout, and then laughed like a maniac when I finished it, like I had just gotten done hanging out with the funniest friend I have. I really felt like I was in this book.

It is very graphic though and there were a few moments when I had to put it down because I was feeling it.

I’ve also read In the Miso Soup by this author which I really liked, and also one of the sickest horror movies I’ve ever seen was based off his book “Audition,” so I have a good track record with this guy and should really try to read more from him.

8. Dava Shastri’s Last Day – Kirthana Ramisetti

Dava Shastri's Last Day

OMFG die already. That’s all, that’s the review. One star, hated everyone.

9. Ayesha At Last – Uzma Jalaluddin

Ayesha at Last

Billed as a modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice and it’s exactly that. I really enjoyed. Main characters that you really felt good about rooting for, eye-opening cultural lessons, and just a GOOD love story. I needed this after that Dava shit show up there. (Also this cover is gorge.)

10. Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning – Cathy Park Hong

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

Solid five stars. This is a must-read. Part memoir, part history lesson, it’s a beautifully-written collection of essays that every American should read, regardless of race, to have a better understanding of the minor feelings that come with growing up Asian in America.

11. Joan is Okay – Weike Wang

Joan Is Okay

This was a weird, quirky little book. It’s weird to read books that are already referencing COVID, but I thought that this one did it well when that time came. I thought the writing was excellent and definitely need to read “Chemistry” soon.

12. Dial “A” for Aunties – Jesse Q. Sutanto

Dial A for Aunties (Aunties #1)

A bunch of high-strung Chinese-Indonesian aunties trying to cover up a murder, solve an un-related crime, and work a wedding all at once? This book was so slapstick, well-paced, with fleshed-out characters that pop off the pages. It’s so over-the-top and completely implausible, but that was the intent and it works. I will definitely continue on with this series because I need more aunties! (Highly recommend this as an audiobook – the narrator is excellent and brought the aunties to life!)

 

Jun 242022
 

We should be celebrating the start of summer, planning ice cream dates, lazily bingeing the new season of Umbrella Academy. But instead…this. Anger. Frustration. Fear. Panic. Grasping at our basic human rights as they’re stripped away.

See also: what it’s like to be American in the 21st century, where guns are more protected than women.

Enjoy the pretty ice cream cone picture because I have nothing else to give today. :/

Oh wait, silly me, I do have one other thing to give: MY MIDDLE FINGER TO SCOTUS.

Jun 232022
 

We had already decided a few days prior to Father’s Day to go to Kennywood that evening for some night ride action. Originally, we were going to try and eke out a day trip to King’s Island but that’s a lot of driving and Henry didn’t have the luxury of having the next day off like Chooch and me. So he made the executive decision to ax that idea.

It actually turned out for the best because now that we’d be home most of the day that Sunday, Chooch and I were able to finish that stupid gem art project in time to present it to Henry while it was still Father’s day and not Labor Day.

(I originally said Flag Day but that happened a week before Father’s Day lol who knew?)

Plus, by the time we gave Henry his dumb gift, I was READY to go to Kennywood. I was like, “SET ME FREE, MOTHERFUCKERS!” Could not wait to get out of the house.

This will mostly just be photos of FAMILY TIME because I’m getting super wrapped up in mortality lately and want to remember every single moment I spend with these two OMG I’m so panicked about TIME.

We all squeezed on the Kangaroo! I do want to say one thing, that while I love the new LEWK, etc of the Kangaroo, the new queue is unfamiliar and makes me feel disoriented.

Keny Kangaroo: Bites & Pints Edition. I hate that Chooch is basically the same height as him now??

Chooch wanted to do the Bites & Pints thing that Henry and I did last week even though he’s picky as hell but he swore that OMG it wouldn’t be a waste, and Henry was like, “OK fine you and I will share it” but then they ended up not using it all so GUESS WHO’S GOING BACK TO KENNYWOOD THIS WEEKEND.

Deciding what he wanted from the German booth.

OK this wasn’t on the Bites & Pints thingie but I wanted to get this ever since I saw Coaster Spot eat these when they were at Kennywood earlier in the season: FRIED MUSH at Rogue BBQ. This whole fucking basket was $8 (actually the sign said $7 but the impersonable broad who took our order charged us an extra dollar) and so filling that I only ate like 4 and gave the rest to Henry and Chooch. They were GOOD though and I would get them again.

Some older lady also ordered them and tried to return them because she “ordered the fried mushrooms and these weren’t mushrooms.” LOL, she was That Day Old when she learned that mush isn’t mushroom’s nickname.

Dude this guy at Ghostwood Estate was NOT fucking around with people. He called out every single person who ducked under the railings instead of walking all the way around and he was NOT happy about it.

He called out this one young black girl who blatantly ignored him when he told her to go back and walk the whole around. Then he called out an older WHITE NERD GUY who was SO OFFENDED at being told he was breaking the rules when he was, you know, breaking the rules, and stamped his way all the way back through the empty queue like he was told. As he passed the line attendant, the same teenage black girl who had previously been called out decided she didn’t want to be in line anymore, so she backtracked and ducked under the railing again to leave.

The white guy cried, “Are you going to yell at her too?? Are you going to treat us equal??” and I was like, “Guy you are NOT even trying to passive aggressively make this a RACE issue, on JUNETEENTH no less.” I wanted to point out that she already BEEN called out the first time around, but then he was already moving past me in line by then. It was super annoying though. I get it, no one wants to be called out but you can’t fucking stand there and be pissed that someone is doing their job. I wish more park employees would do this shit and then maybe less people would be brazen enough to line jump!!

Anyway, I won.

BABY. The main reason why we came back later in the day was because we wanted those sweet, fine Phantom night rides, boy-o.

Chooch is the worst. His pose is sooooo fake, just so you know.

NOAH’S ARK SELFIE. The family in front of us took their picture here too and Chooch was like, “NO” before I even said anything, lol.

LOL Father Henry living his best life eating some type of meat food.

Henry rode Sky Rocket without us because we wanted to wait for the front.

The ride crew that day was sooooooo obnoxious but I loved them. Chooch 100% did NOT. When we came back, the main guy was like HOW WAS THAT RIDE and I was the only person who screamed, lol. He gave me a shout out though!

I just want to give a shout to Phantom. We rode it so many times and just straight-up marathoned it once the sun went down. I swear to god I don’t remember it ever running this good but this bitch HAULS ASS this season.

OK, I swore that I wouldn’t write another Kennywood novel, so I’ll end this by saying that it was a really great Sunday evening and so far this season has reinvigorated my love for Kennywood. I was falling out of love with it over the last several years but it’s got my attention again. It still has a lot of flaws, but I have faith. (Bringing back the old train scenery could win some points!!!)

Oh shit, one more thing! The musical performers that evening was a coverband called THE GEMSTONES, literally after I spent the last week working on a GEMMING PROJECT. It was like the universe taunting me re: GEMS.

“Do you think they hand-placed each gem on their outfits?” Chooch mumbled.

Jun 222022
 

Chooch was bitching about wanting to play mini-golf and it got me thinking that I haven’t putt-putted around Sunset Golf in years – maybe 10! It’s always been one of my faves so I declared that we should do this on Saturday. Apparently, this was an open invitation because when we rolled up, it was so crowded that they had someone directing traffic in the lot.

That’s a hard pass.

I promised Chooch that we’d go back on Monday. Henry had to work so I billed it as a MOMMY AND CHOOCH DAY which garnered SO MUCH excitement from surly Chooch, as you can imagine.

I just want to say that i didn’t forget how awesome Sunset is but they have somehow gotten even more awesome with the addition of a bunch of clandestine water features. Maybe they were there last time but I surely don’t remember.

This might seem unbelievable to some and I swear this isn’t Opposite Day, but Chooch and I actually got along swimmingly! Like, we had FUN. And only marginally hated the mom and her kids in front of us who were soooo slow and even when our progress was halted for a solid 5 minutes when my ball got stuck in one of the Rube Goldberg-designed obstacles and Chooch had to go ask for a new one, we still managed to catch up to them.

Ok maybe chooch was also a little annoyed because I was kicking his ass and even got two holes in one.

“Wow, they really phoned this one in,” I said before both of us ended up furiously scribbling in a 7 after giving up.

The stance of a WINNER.

You guys, we had a really fun time! You can tell because m smile is real and not Henry’s favorite forced grimace thing.

Then we were going to eat lunch at the nearby Blue Line Diner but it was CLOSED so we found a place down the street in Bethel Park called PATSY’S PLACE and I think we may have eaten there once a long time with Tommy and Jessy?

I loved that each table had rando’ coffee cups. Mine was Christmas ducks! And our waitress was soooooo personable and exuberant. When I asked for coffee and waiter, her eyes widened and she gushed, “Yeah! Of course!” and she called us dears numerous times too which was cute because I’m pretty sure she was much younger than me.

Chooch and I both got grilled cheese – he ordered for me and said, “But she’ll have tomato on hers” and made a “I know, gross right?” face. We got to choose our bread and I loved that – it’s so rare these days! When she said “rye,” I was like I WILL STOP YOU RIGHT THERE, I WANT THE RYE.

My only issue with this place was that it was $$$. First of all, our drinks were both $3 which seems like a lot, the grilled cheese was $7.99 (!!!) and the fries were extra!!! Our bill was $30!! Hey Patsy, you ain’t Melt!

Whatever, the food was decent at least and the service was great. I overheard our waitress telling another table that she just came back from her honeymoon (Key West, in case you care) and I was like AW I WANT TO SAY SOMETHING but then I didn’t get a chance.

After I paid, I said to Chooch, “OK hurry. HURRY HURRY HURRY” and he was like, “what why” so on the way to the car I told him that I write a note on the check congratulating her on her recent marriage and Chooch cried, “No, you didn’t! WHY? You’re so embarrassing! Now we can never come back here!”

LOL.

On the way home, I showed him where I used to live in South Park and he was like, “Cool don’t care” until he saw that there’s a 7 Eleven at the end of my old street so that got his attention.

(Literally can’t believe it’s still there, never been remodeled, and still smells EXACTLY the same. America, please tell me why 7 Eleven is so Elite in Korea and Japan – for good reason – but ours are decrepit and full of old hot dog stench??)

Anyway, we had to stop because Chooch has numerous store apps that he loves to use like they’re games and the 7 Eleven app is one of them. He was like, “WE HAVE TO GET ICED COFFEE HERE” which I knew would be disgusting but this was CHOOCH AND ERIN DAY so I guess I was going to get a taste of how modern teenagers live their lives. As I was trying to doctor my cold brew to make it semi-palatable, Chooch appeared next to me and said, “OK let’s go, I paid” and I was like, “But I’m still getting my coffee, how did you pay” and he was like, “I did mobile pay” and I was like, “HOW DO THEY KNOW WE’RE NOT STEALING” and so he showed me how you go over to the mobile thingie and scan the QR code and I was like, again, “HOW DO THEY KNOW WE’RE NOT STEALING.”

Ugh, I’m so old sometimes when it comes to all these new ways to pay. He has to help me use Apple Pay every time, to the point that if I’m alone, I panic and just pay with my regular credit card.

Then we came home and he disappeared to play some game and then went to the gym and visited his old McDonald’s and I barely saw him for the rest of the day. But at least he penciled me in for the morning/afternoon! And we didn’t fight once!

Jun 202022
 

And: other leftover thoughts.

Phantom Pheenin’

I’m a broken record, bigly, but my appreciation for Phantom’s Revenge somehow grows every year. Maybe it’s just because the more coasters I ride, the more obvious it becomes to me that this beast is ELITE. Like, God tier. You might say that this is my home park pride talking, but find me any seasoned coaster enthusiast who does not come off this ride shocked and awed.

Plus, it’s visually delicious. The purple repaint they gave it over the offseason is stunning. I legit cannot come to this park without taking a ton of pictures of it.

The station got a refresher too! I love the Phantom station so much because it’s always uber casual in there and the ride crew is always poppin’ off.  How can you not be stoked to ride a coaster when the ride crew is energetic and high-fiving everyone?! And maybe this is the origin of my being so impatient with ops at other parks, because the crew on Phantom is so efficient. When they have two trains running, it is a well-oiled machine. (This isn’t to say that Kennywood as whole has great ops because some rides have super questionable crews, lol ugh.)

These two guys were my favorite!!

I think we rode it about 7 or 8 times on this day and it was absolutely glorious. Backseat is my bestseat but we did sit in the front one time and I was reminded of how stellar that one is too but if we’re being real here, there is no bad seat on this bad boy. Sit anywhere, you’ll fucking love it. That second drop feels like it will never end and it actually scares me sometimes. And the bunny hills at the end will eject you so far out of your seat that it feels illegal. I have been saying that for years and it makes me laugh when I watch enthusiasts’ reviews on YouTube because they ALL SAY THE SAME THING.

The park wasn’t very crowded on this particular Sunday so it was a station wait at worst, walk-on at best. There was one time when we were in the back and came back to NO ONE WAITING for that seat so I cried, “cAn We StAy On?!” and the guy nodded.

“Oh….thanks,” Henry mumbled, re-fastening his seat belt. He loved it though, lol. This day of Phantom rides came close to rivaling the BEST experience I ever had on Phantom.

Here’s Phantom cruising past Thunderbolt and the Turtles.

Speaking of the Turtles…

I always like to ride the Turtles because it’s the only ride of its kind left in America (in the world, even?). It’s just so much fun and you get great views of Phantom and Thunderbolt.

The ride operator was this young guy who was oozing moxie & enthusiasm. 100% the kind of person you want operating this adorable family ride! He was doing the whole, “Scream if you want to go faster” routine and the kids were just eating it up. The best part was when he announced that it was the last time it was going to be going around and he wanted everyone to yell, but then it ended up going around one more time. Henry and I were in the front of the line when this happened, and after the ride finally came to a stop and the ride op walked past us to unlock the exit door, he said to us, “I overshot it,” and we cracked up. Then, instead of letting us on, he was like, “Let me go look at the book real quick because I can’t remember when she said to hit the brakes….” and we were like, “OK do you what you gotta do, my guy.” When he came back to open the gate for us, he continued to explain the braking sitch.

“The book says to start braking when the first turtle reaches the garbage can, and that’s what I did…” I wasn’t sure why he was confiding in us but I was cool with it. We sat in the last turtle, directly across from the control booth, so when he walked by to go inside, he called out to me, “Are you an enthusiast?” I wasn’t sure if this was a trick question and to be honest, sometimes enthusiasts can be super snobby and entitled, so I said, “Um, kind of!”

“I could tell by your shirt,” he said, and I remembered that I was wearing Chooch’s Diamondback shirt from King’s Island. I was originally wearing my Steel Vengeance shirt but I spilled coffee on it right before we left the house that morning so I had to change! Either way, I’d have been called out for being a thusie, lol.

Once the ride started, Henry was like, “Oh god, he loves you” and I don’t know why because I wasn’t really giving him much to work with by way of conversation. However, when he said to scream you better believe my lungs went hog wild!

When the ride stopped, he said something else to me and I wasn’t sure what it was so I just chuckled in response which is my go-to reaction when I didn’t hear what someone said to me. The next thing I know, he was saying, “I’ll show you the controls if you want, come on!”

Just like that!

In this scenario though, it actually really was a “tour” of the control booth and not a sex thing.

He didn’t even unlock the gate for everyone! One of the people getting off the ride had to do it and he just let the other people continue to stand in line while he took me over to his control abode (Henry ditched me!!!). Granted, it was actually cool to peep inside there – I had no idea that it was all manual. He demonstrated how he has to turn the speed knob and that was kind of provocative. Then he walked me back over the exit gate afterward like a true gentleman and the people waiting in line were like, “Hello, the fuck is going on here? Can we ride the Turtles or nah?”

LOVE HIM.

Henry was waiting for me and just smirked. “Wow, you’re lucky Chooch wasn’t there. He would have been PISSED,” he said, knowing how Chooch hates it when I get attention.

“Oh don’t worry, I’m texting him about it right now,” I laughed.

LEFTOVER KENNYWOOD PICTURES

I just really can’t stress enough how wonderful of a day it was at Kennywood with Henry. I mean, it’s rare to have a bad day there (unless you go on a Saturday, which sucks no matter what amusement park it is because, Saturdays…) but I think the older I get and the more parks I visit, the more I truly appreciate Kennywood (um, I almost typed “Henry” instead, what a Freudian slip!) I mean, no other park has a Noah’s Ark, for Christ’s sake!

Legit one of the best walk-thrus in the world.

I do wish Kennywood would get some more flat rides though. I mean, they removed 4 last year (brought back one though!) so they owe us. I wish they would rebuild Le Cachot which burned down in the 90s – it was a great classic dark ride with old-school pretzel cars. I hate hate hate Ghostwood Estate or whatever it’s called because shooting rides are dumb and I preferred the dark ride that it replaced.

I’d also like to see them get rid of their dumb 4D theater that hasn’t been used for several seasons now. I’ve been there 3x so far this season and it doesn’t appear that they plan on using it this year either. Please get rid of it and give us something good!

Thunderbolt was a walk-on!

Steel Curtain is never a walk-on because they are forever running only one train (I’ve heard rumors that the elusive second train has made some appearances this season but I have now been there three times – we went again on Father’s Day! – and, bitch where?).

However, on this day we only waited about 10 minutes! The line ended at the bottom of the steps going up to the platform, and we got the second to the last row. This was Henry’s first time riding it and only my 5th, I think. It’s such a bizarre coaster. It’s not bad by any means, and I hesitate to use the term “underwhelming,” but I think because it’s so frustrating to get on which makes it hard to get multiple re-rides, that sort of makes it feel less great. But, everyone wants to ride this and not Phantom so be my guest – keep Phantom’s station empty for me!

(This sounds so negative – I do genuinely like this coaster, I just wish Kennywood would stop fucking with prototypes and spend their cash on something more reliable.)

I used to hate how it disrupted the Kennywood skyline as I have always known it, but I think I’m over that now. It’s pretty interesting to look at. Which is good considering how much time it acts as nothing more than a giant yellow lawn ornament lol.

Growing up with Kennywood as my homepark has spoiled me when it comes to wooden coasters because all of ours, for as ancient as they are, run relatively smooth. Most wooden coasters at other parks kill my back!

Our Racer actually races (*clears throat* Cedar Fair “Racers”).

He decided to play this after we started drinking our way through the Bites & Pints sample card.

He lost, lol.

Lil’ Phantom also got a repaint to match Big Bro!

View from the train – it makes me disgusted but I can never not look!

Literally the weirdest views at Kennywood but I wouldn’t trade it.

LOL I dunno how he had room for a square cone after eating and drinking all those samples. Golden Nugget is part of the process at Kennywood and it’s my favorite thing to eat at the park, so you know my stomach was at capacity when I politely bowed out of square cone’age.

(I did steal a bite of Henry’s though!)

Literally one of the best days I have ever had at Kennywood. I was worried that going to so many other parks would ruin Kennywood for me, but it still has my heart. I just hope this dumb company that owns it now continues to make improvements and fills those flat ride gaps! I would love to see them remove Raging Rapids which I haven’t seen running in the last several seasons (it’s completely drained and we’re almost into July at this point) and put in a new and improved Log Jammer. I miss the Log Jammer so much and I think that’s another reason why it’s so hard for me to fully and completely embrace Steel Curtain.

Sigh.

Anyway, don’t want to end on a low note. This day made me appreciate Henry a lot because he was such a good sport – he even rode Swingshot with me and that’s totally not his jam at ALL. It’s nice to be able to enjoy coasters and stuff with him even when Chooch isn’t with us!

P.S. If you have never been to Kennywood,  this is a pretty good review of Phantom’s Revenge, also – come to Kennywood and ride this thing! It is 100% worth the hype.

Jun 192022
 

Ever since I started thinking of Father’s Day gift ideas last month, I knew with absolute certainty that I wanted to do something with THE HENRY DOPPELGANGER, see also Mii Henry.

(I have referred back to THE PICTURE numerous times since it was captured last September, so you probably are like, “OK Erin we get it” but in case you are lost, please refer HERE.)

I considered getting a shirt made that had his head and the Mii head multiplied all over it but I also know that he would NEVER wear it. So, a gag gift-turned-rag, basically.

But then I remembered that I had seen an Instagram ad last year for this thing called Paint Gem, which is basically like a paint-by-number thingie but you use gems. I remembered that they offered custom portraits because I had considered getting one of Robert Smith for my beloved Cure wall but then got distracted and forget about it.

What a perfect gift, I thought! I texted Chooch and he was like, “IDK” when I asked him if he would help me do it. Love that response. Well, I was doing it regardless of Chooch’s participation. So I made my little photoshopped image, replacing the background with a rainbow splash, and placed the order. This was in mid-May.

What I didn’t know, and what the website didn’t disclaim, was that it was being shipped from China. I should have known this since I am a sucker for IG ads and I would say that 75% of what I purchase via Instagram comes from China. Which is fine, whatever, but it would have been nice to have some transparency. Because in most of the other cases, I know this going into it so my expectations of a quick shipping are low.

Then I started to Google the company and there are threads all over the internet about how it’s a scam, so even better.

BUT! I did get the product. And to be fair, it did have tracking too but if you have ever ordered anything from China, you know how frustrating the tracking can be. So, the product arrived on Monday and I was panicking because that gave me less than a week to complete it and hello, I had no idea it was going to be THIS LARGE:

Please excuse the mess: this is my old desk in the bedroom where I used to sit when I was a fake painter. It’s pretty much the only place in the house where I could work on this in privacy, and then throw a t-shirt over it in the interim. Basically, I had to be upfront with Henry and say, “DO NOT LIFT THAT T-SHIRT ON MY DESK” and basically I had to just trust that the honor system would work. Luckily, Henry isn’t a snoop and actually respects things of this nature so he never peeked.

This photo doesn’t even show all of the baggies of gems that came with this damn kit!

I’m about to send off a strongly worded email to the company too because their little Instagram videos are false. This isn’t relaxing. It’s frustrating!! They give you this pen-like tool which you dip into a plastic macaron-shaped container filled with super frustrating wax that only sometimes adheres to the pen, and then you use the tip of the pen to pick up one gem at a time to stick down on its designated spot on the adhesive-coated canvas.

But the video shows that you can attach a thing to the other end of the tool which allows you to pick up a line of multiple gems so you can theoretically apply five+ gems in a row. THIS IS A FALSEHOOD. That tool attachment does not work. Chooch, who came onto the scene four days in on Friday afternoon only because school is out now and he was “bored” while I was working (my actual job, not gemming), was like, “They lied. This attachment is a lemon.” Plus, even if it DID work, you would have to use the TWEEZERS they supplied to turn each gem over so they’re all facing the same way before trying to pick them up in a row.

Good fucking luck.

I love that I thought of this gift idea as a way to troll Henry but the whole thing ended up trolling ME instead.

One good thing is that this thing was very easy to transport – once the gems are pressed down, they don’t fall off – so I was able to bring it downstairs to work on it during downtime at my real job. I’d set out little blocks of like 5 minutes here and there, shake some gems into the tray, and power through.

The one good thing was that I was able to get through a few audiobooks!

I really thought that this was going to end up being a late gift; I mean, even by Friday night we were only about halfway done. But then I stayed up late, and Chooch took over after I went to bed, and we took shifts on Saturday too. I was up until 2AM on Saturday, giving myself a hunchback and forgetting to hydrate, and then Chooch stayed up even later after that. So by today, I was like WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO DO THIS.

It also helped that some of my friends knew about this and would ask for gemming updates, so that kept me motivated too. The downside was that it was sooooo frustrating and physically painful that I was starting to take it out on Henry.

I mean, this isn’t news to anyone, lol.

Today, around 1:30PM, I did like 87 eyeball scans of the damn thing and realized, “HOLY SHIT. WE DID IT, THERE IS ONLY ONE GEM LEFT” so I ran to get Chooch who was adamant about getting to put in the last gem, which was annoying since he left me do this all on my own from Monday – Thursday. But I’m a GOOD MOM at moments, so the maternal side of me took over and left him do it. Ugh. It was gem code “4” in case you were wondering. One of the billion shades of pink/peach/flesh gems that came with the kit.

And this is it! We made Henry leave the house so I would run it down to the dining room table and cover it with a dish towel. Then we called him back and he was actually SO SCARED to unveil it. All he knew was that we doing something that involved him and he was terrified all week, I’m sure.

It cracks me up that this stranger is just innocently living his life somewhere, maybe NY which is where we saw him, completely unaware that some creeps in Pittsburgh spent the week gemming his face. Glenn, after telling me that there is probably therapy or counseling I could get after I told him about this big PROJECT, wondered if Bizarro Henry in NY has a BIzarro Erin who tortures him…

I WONDER.

Anyway, Henry was actually impressed! He kept running his fingers over it and asking all these questions like we actually spelunked into a mine to dig for real gems and didn’t just order baggies of gem-shaped plastic from China.

“We were going to also frame it for you,” I said, “but this has all been too much so you can do that part yourself.”

“That’s fine,” he sighed, sobering at the reminder that my kindness only lasts so long. And then I spent the rest of the day crying about how bad my back hurts, etc etc because of ALL THE WORK I PUT INTO HIS PRESENT.

Happy Father’s Day to Henry, though, for real, the only guy I would give myself a hunchback over by spending 278293 hours gemming my life away. I love doing these things for him because he is a top-notch dad and really endures so much that we throw at him! I’m excited for him to frame this and hang in on the wall. I already know exactly where it’s going.

[PAINT GEM REVIEW: Would I recommend? I think so but only if you’re prepared to sink into the unknown abyss of China tracking numbers. I think that if you’re ordering something that has no deadline, and you’re able to work on it only when it’s convenient/you’re bored/it’s a rainy day, etc, then sure. This is a great project. Their tools could use a bit of tweaking but I do overall really love the final product. In fact, I was super impressed with how cool it turned out! This custom kit cost about $50 with free shipping. I think it does make an amazing and unique gift but please please please order well in advance so you’re not burning the midnight oil, flinging gems into the air because you accidentally pressed down into the GEM TRAY too hard. 

Another thing: I wish I had known from the get-go that they supply you with WAY MORE gems than you actually need; I wouldn’t have been on my hands and knees, frantically groping around for dropped gems using an iPhone searchlight. Once we realized that we had more than enough of every color of gem, it became a free-for-all for Chooch and he was basically just spilling them all over at his leisure.]

Jun 182022
 

When I asked Chooch and Henry if they wanted to go to Kennywood last Sunday, Chooch was like, “Sry, I’m going to the gym” but Henry took one for the team and agreed to be my ride partner. That’s when we realized that in the 20 years we’ve been together, we’ve never gone to Kennywood alone before! Actually, the more I think about it, I never went to Kennywood “on a date” with ANYONE – always with family and friends. I think Henry and I went to Fright Nights there when it first debuted, but we were with a group.

This made me GIDDY, this notion that a random trip to Kennywood could potentially be considered A DATE? Lol. This part is sad though: since Chooch will be gone most of the summer and I literally have no one to go to Kennywood with, Henry bought a season pass so that he can just go with me whenever I want.

Two take-aways here: Henry is a nice guy, and I need friends lol.

(Or more specifically: friends who want to ride roller coasters with me.)

Sunday ended up being the best day ever. It was raining pretty hard when the park opened but we still went. We rode the Old Mill right away since it’s an indoor ride, and by the time we got out of that – the rain had mostly stopped and never returned even though there were supposed to be storms all day! The forecast was dreary enough to keep people away so nearly everything was either a walk-on or station wait.

WE HAD THE BEST FUCKING TIME. HONESTLY. We didn’t even fight until the very end when I asked him to take a picture of me in front of Phantom’s Revenge and he took a series of hideous shots of me and I was like “WHY CAN’T YOU TAKE A CLASS??? SURELY THERE IS A SKILLSHARE ON HOW TO BE AN INSTAGRAM HUSBAND!?”

COME THE FUCK ON, HENRY!!

That was the only lowlight of the whole entire day. Everything else was so fucking golden that I kept waiting for the other shoe to fall. Like, we’re about to Punk’d, right? Things are going too well? Nope. It was just one of the “stars have aligned” type of lightning-in-a-bottle days where you’re reminded that sometimes life is good and it came at a great time too, since we had been hit by the drama bus earlier that week and had been extra-stressed. It felt really nice to have an entire day where that shit wasn’t on our minds at all; we were just focused on having all of the fun!

To be frank, I have been up to my elbows in a stupid Father’s Day gift for Henry since Monday and have little time currently to dedicate to blogging, so please enjoy a deluge of photos of Henry and me during our DATE DAY at Kennywood and then I will return post-Father’s Day for one last Kennywood post full of my fave moments because THERE WERE SO MANY and I want to memorialize them!

HENRY AND ME ON THE OLD MILL. It was a very platonic boat ride. NO FUNNY BUSINESS.

ON THE KANGAROO! KENNYWOOD BROUGHT THE KANGAROO BACK AFTER STUPIDLY REMOVING IT LAST YEAR AND THEY EVEN REFURBED IT AND GAVE IT A NEW SIGN AND IT LOOKS SO GOOD.

Long live the Kangaroo.

I mean, wouldja LOOK?

“Will you ride everything with me  today?” I asked.

“I guess,” Henry said, slightly hesitant.

“EVEN THE MUSIC EXPRESS?”

Henry sighed, but he did indeed ride it!

Walking up to the Phantom for like, our 80th ride of the day.

HENRY’S DUMB “NOAH’S ARK” FACE.

Now please enjoy a series of carouselfies, sans Chooch :(

(Somewhere, Chooch was realizing that he dodged the carouselfie bullet for that day and was cheering.)

ON THE TURTLES. I have a super-fun story about this ride for the next post.

ON  THE TRAIN! We needed a break from eating and also I was feeling blitzed from tiny sample-sized cups of booze I had imbibed, so it was either “bench” or “train” time.  I was happy because the dumb Thomas train was out of commission and they were running the old classic train instead!

OK, that’s all for now. I have to return to my sweatshop and ruin my back some more.

Jun 162022
 

I had one of the best Kennywood experiences of my whole life this past Sunday and the giddiness has been carrying me through this week. TRUST that I will wear you down with a deluge of words on this but I wanted to start with the Bites & Pints event. Kennywood, like numerous other parks, has been doing this food and drink pairing thing for several years now but we have never participated. If you know me, I’m the type of person who goes to park specifically to ride shit, and eating is secondary. We rarely partake in any event going on.

But this time, it was just Henry and me and I had watched a coaster enthusiast’s YouTube video on Bites & Pints just the other day and there were some things that looked pretty good that maybe I might have wanted to try.

So, Bites & Pints is comprised of numerous tents offering fare from a particular region. There was: Italy, Greece, Poland, Mexico, Germany, the Caribbean, and Asia (this one annoyed me for two reasons: Asia is gigantic and could mean anything??? and also it was the ONLY tent that didn’t have one single meatless option. C’mon now, “Asian” food can be so veggie-centric, do better Chef from Spoon & BRGR who organized this dumb thing).

(OK it’s not dumb, but that was definitely annoying. This could have been a great opportunity to do something spectacular with tofu!)

Originally, I thought that maybe we could just get one or two things a la carte, but the more I looked at the menu online, the more I was like, “Orrrrrr, we could just bite the bullet and get the Bite Card….”

Season Pass holders had the option to buy a 15-sample card for the same price as the 12-sample one so we ended up doing it, figuring we could just share everything.

You guys, it was worth it! I mean, nothing that really brought me to my knees, but we did enjoy everything we got, plus it was super fun to run around and get our card punched.

So before I start barraging your eyeballs with posts full of pictures of coasters and our dumb faces, here is a run-down of the FOODS we redeemed with our big shot Bite Card.

From Italy:

Arancini (5/5, actually would go back and buy this again, a la carte) and whipped fresh ricotta cheese (2/5; it was good but kind of unimagined and underwhelming, like it was a last minute addition to the menu).

Not pictured: Nutella stuffed pretzel (4/5 but also this was literally just from the Kennywood candy shop, so I felt like that was a cop-out, Dude from BRGR and Spoon – ITALY HAS SO MANY GREAT DESSERTS TO CHOOSE FROM).

I forgot to take a picture of Mexico, but we got the street corn which I knew would be good because Mexican street corn. Nothing ground-breaking here. (4/5)

From Greece:

Dolmas (3/5 – just basic grape leaves; I could walk down Brookline Blvd and get better ones at the Greek restaurant here) and Loukoumades (4/5 because of the addition of the HOT HONEY).

From the Caribbean:

Fried plantains! This was a 4.5/5 but was also notably the smallest portion of everything we got from the other stalls. If we had bought these without the Bite Card I think it would have been like $8.99 which seems outrageous.

Black Forest cupcake from Germany. (2/5 – just OK. I’ve had worse, but this felt like a grocery store bakery cupcake. The icing was oddly satisfying though and it was an icing that I’m not normally a fan of – the thick Crisco-flavored bullshit with very little sweetness.)

From Poland:

Placki Ziermniaczane – fried potato cakes with apple compote (4/5) and pierogies (3/5 – they put the BACON BITS on the side so that I could also enjoy. It was OK! I mean, we live in Pgh and pierogies are kind of a THING here so I wasn’t expecting to have the best pierogi ever from a tent at Kennywood, you know?).

We still had samples left to get punched on our card so we decided to try some of the bevs. I liked that the Bite Card got us small samples of the drinks (the food was regular-sized) because I am *not* a big drinker nor do I ever drink at amusement parks.

I had:

  • Violet Cider
  • bellini
  • wine mule (THIS ONE WAS MY FAVE)

Henry had:

  • Speachless Peach Cider (I had a sip and it was delicious)
  • Reed’s Classic Mule (this one was weird but good? Goodly weird?)

Walking around with a wine mule in my meat paw, I gurgled, “I NEVER DRINK ALCOHOL IN AMUSMENT PARKS. I FEEL LIKE AN ADULT.”

“You’re not,” Henry was quick to point out. Then literally 30 seconds later, I spotted Kenny Kangaroo and his handler so I started waving furiously until he waved back.

“HE WAVED! I MADE HIM WAVE!” I screamed into the side of Henry’s face.

“OK!” Henry snapped in annoyance. “I SAW.”

Um, I think that was it. I should note that we did all this in between walking around and riding stuff, we didn’t get a Bite Card and then go balls to the wall on a feeding frenzy! Even with the small portions though, I was stuffed.

That was definitely a fun thing to do! I feel like we got our money’s worth too because it probably cost just slightly more than if we had bought lunch somewhere in the park, but it was definitely more filling. I mean, I probably would have just eaten my traditional slice (or two) of park pizza, which I can just do another time.

I do think some of the things were phoned in though, and I obviously can’t speak for the meat options (Henry didn’t get any for himself because he’s a Real One who only gets things sans meat so that we can share. <3

 

Jun 152022
 

Tomorrow is the official last day of school for the city of Pgh but it’s a half-day and mostly just for students to return their laptops, etc. and none of Chooch’s friends are going so, I guess we’re counting today as THE LAST DAY OF 10TH GRADE.

It’s been a wild year, and really interesting/great/amazing/heartwarming/sad to watch Chooch really grow even more into his own, independent person. He’s always been super independent, like a mini-adult, for most of his childhood but to watch him start his first job and take it super seriously while maintaining a 4.0 and doing extracurricular things like the mentorship program he participated in at the Carnegie Science Center has been awe-inspiring. Seriously, this guy gets shit done all on his own.

He’s also mastered the Pittsburgh transit system which is a mystery to me (I can take the T and that’s it), rents city bikes and scooters (never done it, don’t wanna), and made some really good friends to adventure with. I really think this has been his year and he has fucking owned it.

Plus, he still goes places with us! We have so much fun together, still! There is no one else I would rather hang out with and my heart hurts because I know soon he will be off to college and I’ll have to let him go….

….at least a little.

Anyway, here’s the obligatory 1st day – last day comparison shot. He’s like almost a man now ughhh! How did he grow this much in less than a year, I can’t take it! The only thing that hasn’t changed is that dumb floop of hair on his big-brained head.

Oh! And I think both shirts are the same brand.

Well, we’ve only got less than a month with him now before he’s off to Mexico. It’s fine. Everything is fine.

Excuse me while I go knock on his door and ask him for hug, to which he will tell me to get lost, and I will say I was just kidding anyway.

Because I am.

Mostly.

Jun 132022
 

After a not great week, I felt like getting Onion Maiden brunch on Saturday in an effort to start the weekend off on the right foot. Spoiler: It was a success. Originally, I just wanted the ube creme brulee donut but then I saw the kabocha tamales on the brunch menu and it just escalated from there.

Henry also got ube donut holes and Chooch got a panini…it was a great Saturday morning, honestly.

Mmmm, ube.

I love that ube is getting to be so popular lately because it’s one of my fave flavs, along with pandan. OK maybe I’m being color-biased, but they’re really great tastes too! In fact, we officially are resurrecting the beloved PIE PARTY this fall and I have already sent Henry various recipes for both ube and pandan pies. Let’s get it.

Oh! Earlier that morning on our walk to the post office, Henry found a phone on the sidewalk and I was cracking up because this is the second time he’s found a phone in that same area (ROSS’S BLACKBERRY, ANYONE??). He charged it once we got home and was convinced it was a little girl’s phone because the pop socket was floral so he made me call the emergency contact number (in the phone as WIFEY/BEST FRIEND) but I kept getting messages from the service provider asking me to enter my PIN.

There was so other information that we could access so it became a waiting game of WHEN WILL SOMEONE CALL.

Finally, about two hours after finding the phone, someone called! It sounded like kid, like a middle school boy, and I legit could barely hear him so I wasn’t even sure who he asked for before I went into my frantic tale of WE FOUND THIS PHONE, HELP US RETURN IT. The person was like, “OK I CAN COME GET IT WHERE R U” and I described the part of Brookline I live and was just about to readily DOXX myself when I suddenly came to my senses and said, “Can we meet at the CVS in Brookline?” They said yes and that they would call me when they were on their way, in like 30 minutes.

“You’re not going by yourself,” Henry mumbled like OK hero, suddenly trying to steal my thunder after putting the onus on me. I did all the legwork! All he did was bend over and pick the damn thing up off the ground!

Immediately after this, the phone rang again and I think it might have been WIFEY but it was soooo awkward because I couldn’t understand them, like they had a stocking over their face and were talking into a pillow. I tried to explain sitch and said, “But someone is helping me get the phone back so…” and they were like, “*Charlie Brown teacher-isms*” and I was like, “Cool thanks bye.”

WIFEY.

20 minutes later, I got another call on THE BURNER. It was the OG person, telling me that they were on their way and would be there in 5 minutes, maybe less. They were panting and Henrt was like, “Maybe they’re riding their bike.”

Now I was really getting into phone re-homing mission, imagining a 6th grade furiously pedaling down Brookline Blvd, on their way to get back their GF’s Cricket phone.

Imagine by surprise when we got to CVS and a man in his 40s wearing a Steelers bandanna approached me.

“Are you the phone person?” I asked, as he reached for the phone so I guess that’s a yes.

“Thank you so much! He’s gonna be so happy you found his phone!” he said in his MIDDLE SCHOOL BOY VOICE. OMG I can’t believe I was conversing with a grown man on the phone and not a Brookline Elementary pre-teen. I was stunned.

Then I said you’re welcome and we went our separate ways. The hand-off lasted less than 5 seconds before MIDDLE SCHOOL BOY VOICE was headed back to the Brookline Pub (presumably – he looked like a Brookline day drinker).

After that, I went for a long and glorious walk in Jefferson Memorial where I started listening to Yerba Buena (finished it today and REALLY loved it more than I weas expecting to) and was handed a JESUS PAMPHLET by some old bitch in a Cadillac.

Henry and I were going to see Jurassic World later that night but ended up staying in because I had too much nervous energy to sit in a theater. It was actually a really great day all around, a pre-gamer for what would end up being one of the best Sundays I’ve had in quite some time BUT YOU WILL HAVE TO COME BACK FOR THAT.

(Because it’s 90 degrees and I want to go to bed, lol.)

Jun 112022
 

Except without the sound.

Just a quick bulleted run-down from the past week.

  • Chooch made Henry go to Walmart in search of the Stranger Things / Surfer Boy pizza. I have…feelings…about Walmart so I hung back, but Henry actually came home with good stuff! (Sorry, this is only surprising to me because I associate Walmart with a factory of sadness.) Not only did he find the pizza, but they had Stranger Things vegan chicken nuggets! I’m, uh, not exactly sure what was supposed to be Stranger Things-esque about them but they were pretty fucking delicious. (Never delish,  though.) I’ve never had (nor heard of) Skinny Butcher brand of anything before but I will now be having Henry search for more of their foodstuffs.
    • Also, he got the Van Leeuwens Grey Poupon ice cream because I had a morbid curiosity about it. You guys. I know, mustard ice cream sounds NASTY right? But listen. It was a vanilla base, with pretzels, and RICH SWIRLS OF HONEY DIJON. So like, more of a honey consistency but with a definitely bit of Grey Poupon. HOO BOY. I was impressed. Like, I was in the kitchen screaming its praises and now I am here to continue the singing. Please run don’t walk to Walmart (this will be the ONLY time I send you to Walmart) and get yourself a pint before the flavor is retired.
    • Also x2, speaking of Stranger Things, etc. I liked part 1 of this season but there were parts that felt like punishment. I used to LOVE Hopper scenes but this season I was SNOOZING big time every time it was Russia shit or Joyce and Murray. And I’m sorry, I know this is like sacrilege, but I don’t like Eleven. I liked the beginning episodes when they were in school, but I quickly got tired of her storyline. OK maybe “ambivalence” is more what I’m going for and not that I downright dislike her character. I LOVED Eddie as a new character, I loved the girl power camaraderie with Nancy and Robin, and I am still hoping for a Dustin/Steve spin-off because their scenes and chemistry carry the show for me.
      • And congrats to one of my fave songs, “Running Up That Hill,” for getting the love it has deserved since the 80s.

  • OMG I bought this Gemini shirt a few weeks ago at Cedar Point and was so happy that they still had it in the gift shop because I saw it last year and almost bought it and have had REGERTZ every since. I only moderately like Gemini but this design is everything I love in a t-shirt, plus it’s Henry’s second most-hated coaster at Cedar Point so that gives me extra glee when I wear it.

  • Welp, now Chooch buys clothes specifically to match his carrot Crocs, so this is lovely.

  • I had the day off on Tuesday because we were originally going to go to Hershey for the day but then Henry couldn’t take the day off because of Driver Drama as usual. I kept the day off and asked my bro Corey if he wanted to go to Kennywood and he said yes! So we were going to do that but then the weather called for 100% storms and rain so we decided to just go and get lunch instead. I let him choose, my treat, because his birthday was the next day so I thought we could celebrate a day early. He picked a Thai place in Shadyside – Senyai Thai. OMG it was so nice there! I ordered the eggplant dish with tofu and it was honestly so satisfying and healthy-tasting at the same time. I was super happy with everything and want to go back soon! Then we went to Round Table Coffee down the street and sat outside because guess why? IT LITERALLY NEVER RAINED AFTER MORNING. Oh, I was hot over that. Then a very mismatched couple sat next to us. I think she may have been French and the guy was just a basic white American guy with a dad bod and balding blond hair and super pale freckled skin and didn’t even seem to have that great of a personality so I dunno how he snagged this Euro-hottie but she at one point abandoned her chair in favor of sitting on his lap so that they could giggle and make out and also so that she could pick stuff out of his hair. It was…a whole thing and Corey and I were basically gagging. Happy birthday, Corey. Here’s your front row seat to extremely uncomfy PDA.

  • The next night, Henry and I went to Bravo for a belated retirement party for Debby and Marlene! It was honestly a really nice time. I got to see most of my team for the first time since the pandemic, and let’s just say I got hugged A BIT MORE THAN I WAS OK WITH but I allowed it. Special circumstances, etc. Megan and Margie were sitting at our table and did I already mention that it was the BEST table? Because it was. I was bitching about how my Kennywood plans were ruined because of unreliable weather forecasts and Margie was like, “Does it seem like they’re getting worse with weather predictions?” and we were talking about how they make it sound like there’s going to be blizzards and then we get nothing. “Yeah, and then you go to the store and there’s like, no bread,” I said knowingly. Margie started to agree, but then she just stared at me. Then I noticed Henry also was staring at me. “I mean, that’s what Henry tells me when he comes home from the store, anyway,” I clarified and that seemed to satisfy the table. Anyway, I thought we would just pop in at 6 and say hello, stay for a drink, and then leave, but we had such a nice time that we and a few other stragglers stayed past the ending time and eventually had to leave before Bravo kicked us out lol.

  • I had a video meeting the next day so I put on makeup and felt cute or whatever the kids say these day when they need to justify selfies. The t-shirt I’m wearing under the mushroom cover-up is my “Ride or Pie” shirt from Hyde’s and speaking of pie, Henry and I decided after much deliberation (LOL it was a 2 minute convo) to resurrect the pie party after a five year moratorium. I posted about it on Instagram expecting maybe 3 or 4 people to care but the reception has been overwhelming! People have really missed this gluttonous event! Anyway, Henry came home and was like, “Let’s make it real” unlike our relationship which is still not legally-binding, and secured a pavilion in South Park! I have to make official invitation and I’m really excited about it! I want to start shopping for decorations already!

  • In other news, I have been all about the January 6th Committee hearings. The first one was riveting (even though FOX News said it was boring LOLOLOL) and made me so angry all over again. It still blows my mind that are/were people willing to DIE FOR DONALD TRUMP.  This country, man.

OK, I gotta go. Here’s a really great live version of Onew’s “Sunshine,” with AKMU’s Soohyun. This song is SUCH a summer vibe.  I can’t wait for SHINee’s comeback.

Jun 102022
 

Get it? 57? HEINZ 57?

I apologize for this. It was dumb.

I got him a cake from Potomac Bakery. Normally, they have specialty cakes and they’re actually pretty decent. I was hoping to get him a lemon or raspberry one but all they had in the display was a handful of generic birthday cakes. The woman behind the counter was SOOOOO SURLY too. Like hello, please don’t work in a bakery if you’re going to have a bad attitude and I say this because I have honestly never had a run-in with a pleasant person in that bakery. Young or old, they’re all assholes. And their shit isn’t even that good, they need to get over themselves!!

Anyway, I chose the best-looking birthday cake from the slim-pickins and I guess personalization wasn’t an option because the dumb bitch didn’t offer and at that point I was stewing in CUSTOMER DISSATISFACTION so I paid and left.

Fuck you, Potomac. If Henry hadn’t taken MY CAR to work that day, I was going to go somewhere good—like Pink Box—for a specialty cake. So really, Henry did this to himself.

I took the idiot cake home and did my own personalization. I asked the cats what name I should use and they were emphatic that I use their name for Henry: Him Man.

I fucked up the H but then I got the hang of it. I could easily do this professionally, I know that’s what you’re all thinking.

Wow, Henry didn’t even put on a nice shirt for us. That’s fine.

We didn’t sing Happy Birthday. He’s lucky he even got a candle! OR A CAKE!!

Anyway, the cake was…fine. I’ve had worse. But it’s no Bethel Bakery. The frosting had the French buttercream texture down pat, but he flavor and sweetness was LACKING big-time.

I know what you’re all wondering right now: WHAT DID YOU GET THE BIG GUY FOR HIS BIRTHDAY? Well, nothing, lol. But listen, listen listen: I’ve been so focused on his Father’s Day gift that I let this one slip by. Trust me, he doesn’t care – he was just happy that we remembered, lol. To be fair though, I did ask him if he wanted to go out to dinner or anything and he said NO. So he had a bowl of yogurt and Sugar Spell Scoops for dinner. Hey, he’s an adult. Whatever.

And he was happy that so many people wished him a happy birthday on Instagram! I think he felt loved :) And he should, because – ugh – he is!

Just think, in three years, Chooch can make a SIXTY THINGS we love about Henry list!

Jun 092022
 

I’m getting so stoked for the Stray Kids concert in a few weeks, my heart needs this, I’m crying they’re so adorable, please watch this and love them with me thanks.