Feb 162019
 

In this edition of Do You Hear What Erin Hears, we have Taemin’s new song “Want” (of course) and a clip from the movie Lost Boys.

There is one part, a few seconds long, that sounds like something in this:

CAN YOU FIND THE CONNECTION.

I first heard it on my second run-thru of “Want” and now it’s all I can hear but luckily Lost Boys is one of my all-time favorite movies so this just exacerbates the greatness of “Want.”

Feb 152019
 

I thought it would be fun, for this particular FRIDAY FIVE, to share five ridiculous(ly awesome) workouts that I love to do when I come home from a particularly stressful day and need to blow off steam, or if just need a little mood-boost, or maybe it’s my day off from more strenuous workouts but I still wanna MOOOOVE BITCH, you know how it be.

To me, the best workouts are the ones that make you crack up. Yeah, CRUNCHLESS ABS, amirite.

So here we go.

1. THE GRIND

Awwwww shit, Eric Nies, boi. This came up in my feed the other day and I was so giddy and nostalgic. I definitely rented this from Blockbuster several times in the 90s (also, the Jody Watley workout!!).

“Wow, this wasn’t sponsored by Adidas or anything,” Henry mumbled, not budging from the couch even once to show off his Fly Girl moves.

2. Leslie Sansone

I’m sharing this particular workout because it’s the one where ELIZABETH DISAPPEARS but really it’s because she’s so sweaty two minutes in that she needs to towel off.

In all seriousness though, these workouts are perfect for when you have been sitting all day but don’t really want to get all up in some hardcore cardio boot camp bullshit. They’re also great to do in the winter when it’s too gross to go out for an evening neighborhood canvas.

3. Fuckin’ gospel aerobics, that’s what’s up

I will never stop recommending Paul Eugene because he cracks me up and I feel, dare I say, JOYOUS, doing these workouts!

Plus you get to grunt gratuitously and yell YEE HAW.

4. CHER

I swear I didn’t actively seek this one out. YouTube just hand-delivered it to me with a lacy g-string bow on top. My favorite thing about this is that every time Cher is in my periphery, I forget what I’m doing and think it’s Frank N. Furter getting ready to sing Sweet Transvestite.

5. KPOPALOOZA!!

Kpop dance workouts are still my ultimate go-to for X-Or-Cize. They cheer me up and it doesn’t feel like a workout at ALL–compared to the level 7 Jillian Michael’s Body Revolution that Chooch and I just finished which included crow push-ups and one leg push-ups but let me tell you what — I am ready for some Kpop-wiggles right now.

Anyway, this is an EXCLUSIVE playlist I made for one of the times Janna came over to Kpop-X with us.

Aren’t I a great pretend-trainer? I hope you feel inspired to try some of these, and please let me know what your favorite workout videos were back in the day. I had a soft spot for Denise Austin and Gilad lol. (AND JACKI SORENSON.)

Feb 142019
 

We spend so much time making Valentines for other people to send to each other that this day has almost become sterile in a sense. I remember when I used to get RULLLLL bent out of shape if Henry do enough/anything. And I still talk a big talk but deep down, man, I’m lazy in that department too. Just reposting that cake-baking post made me tired! I can’t imagine doing the actual thing nowadays!

But today ended up being just right. I was still in a good mood from yesterday when I came home from work to the bias mother lode from my pal Veronica! Look at all the hotness in this picture, I dunno how that envelope didn’t burn up en route to P-burgh.

She knows all my faves! I’m especially taken with the Haechan bookmark. I took all this loot to work and was showing my work friends who were just like “wow omg” because they were JEALOUS. Glenn of course was like WHY DO THEY ALL LOOK 12 and I was like BECAUSE THEY TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES GLENN OK.

Ugh.

And Sue brought in Valentine treats for everyone and it was just very lovely, and even though it was another hectic, understaffed day, I refused to let it get me stressed out and I smiled a lot, stayed positive, thought of Taemin…you know, all those things.

I didn’t even care that I was on late shift and Jeannie gave me a stupid project to work on!

#MINDOVERMATTER

Then Henry picked me up and when I got in the car, he said, “here take this” as he slapped my arm with a bouquet of flowers. I don’t even like flowers but that delivery was amazing, lol. Also, I think he bought them at a gas station but whatever. Because then he posted this on Instagram and that kind of made up for it:

I mean, in addition to the weird spacing of this caption, he forgot amusement parks, the cats, and grilled cheese. But whatever it was still kind of cute I guess I dunno. How do real couples even show love, I’m so out of the loop.

Actually, the real VDay gift was that he cleaned out bedroom and I can’t tell you how ecstatic this makes me because our room looks like college kids live in there most of the year. There is nothing like a nice, TIDY ROOM and I don’t think I have ever used the word “tidy” before but FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING.

Then Chooch gave me this cute card and some healthy fitness nutrition bar thing that was actually super decadent and delicious.

This made me laugh because the 7 he’s referring to is level 7 of the Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution series we’re doing. We didn’t Cardio level 2 tonight because Valentines Day is NOT A REASON TO TAKE A NIGHT OFF FROM OUR FITNESS PROGRAM, PEOPLE. We are obedient little exercisers.

And now I will cap off this night with some Kpop videos, Seoul vlogs, and MAYBE ONE ROLLERCOASTER POV.

Feb 132019
 

Just sitting here reminiscing with Henry about the time I baked him a surprise cake for Valentines Day but of course he doesn’t remember because:

  • he’s old
  • he doesn’t love me
  • I baked it in my dreams
  • all of the above

Anyway, I think it actually happened because I have pics for all those “pics or it didn’t happen” people, which carries way more weight than the 8000 words I wrote about it, which you can FIND DOWN BELOW, whoa repost from 2012.

***********

I don’t know what came over me, but two weeks ago I was sitting at my desk at work when the most ridiculously out-of-character idea cloud settled upon my head, and it told me to bake Henry a cake for Valentine’s Day.

There are several things wrong with this:

  1. I have never baked without supervision.
  2. I have never baked a cake, nor have I ever wanted to. (I do like decorating cakes that other people have made though, usually in a mean-spirited fashion.)
  3. I do not like baking. Or cooking. Or being in the kitchen at all.
  4. Since when do I ever willingly want to do nice things for Henry?

Natalie happened to stop by to talk to me right after my plan was devised and I eagerly filled her in. She gave me a horrified look and then walked away.

See? Everyone knows this is not an Erin thing to do! And more importantly, HENRY knows this goes against everything I’m all about which means he would never expect it. Ever. Never ever.

I posted about it on Facebook (I blocked him from that particular status update) and the reactions were mixed, everything from shock and trepidation from the people who know that the only recipe I’m capable of following is one for disaster, suspicion from some who are not used to seeing my sweet side, and then there were all the “You Should”s with their unsolicited suggestions of what I should make instead.

But my mind was made up: red velvet cake, cream cheese frosting. No cake pops or cupcakes or chocolate-covered strawberries. No bakery-bought cake. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it big and do it my way.

A week before Valentine’s Day, I did some subtle recon.

“Why don’t you ever bake cakes?” I asked Henry out of the blue one night, because that’s how I do subtle. “Is it because it’s too HARD?” If it’s too difficult for Henry, then it’s impossible for me.

“Because we don’t have any cake pans,” he mumbled, not seeming to think it was a weird question at all.

The next day at work, I was freaking out about cake pans, which is how I learned that there are many options in acquiring one. For instance, Target sells cake pans! I never would have known. I learn so much about life at work.

But then Natalie said I could borrow hers! So then I had two 8in cake pans in my purse when I left work on Friday and Henry looked at me weirdly when he heard them clanging together.

And then he looked at me even more weirdly, now with a dash of fear, when I told him that I needed something for his Valentine’s gift but Natalie let me borrow hers, like it was her diaphragm and this was 1996.

“I don’t want to know,” he said.

After I took Chooch to school Monday morning, I looked at the frosting and cake mix recipe 45752 times to see what I would need, then I collected all the courage I could muster and set off to the grocery store. A solo trip to the grocery store. Whoever would’ve thought? When I t old Chooch what I was doing that day, he stopped everything and said, “Are you sure you shouldn’t just buy the cake?”

Nice to know my son has so much faith in me.

I was so nervous and apprehensive that I acted like I was on Supermarket Sweep, grabbed what I needed (I even got coffee creamer because I knew I was almost out; I’m suddenly responsible!), checked my heart rate and got the FUCK out. I really hate grocery stores. Unless it’s one of the fancy ones. Then I like to tag along with Henry and increase our bill by $150. Henry really enjoys that too.

The actual cake-baking wasn’t too bad, you guys! I even found the hand-mixer thingie and the whisk-y thingies which were in the second drawer I looked in! Clearly all of these things meant that baking was in my destiny. And you know, in between heaping mouthfuls of cake batter, I smiled to myself and thought about how surprised Henry was going to be that I was doing something selfless for him, because when do I ever do anything for him, aside from making pretty faces for him, filling his days with my warm and sunny disposition, and BEARING HIS CHILD?

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Yep, everything was fine until the cake was done and I tried to remove it by flipping the pan upside down and shaking. A huge chunk flopped out, but another huge chunk remained adhered to the bottom of the pan. (Yes, I greased the pan! Why does everyone keep asking me that!?) Thank god for Facebook; I posted this picture with a caption begging for help, and my guardian angels asured me that this wasn’t fatal and that there were ways to piece it back together. And then Kaitlin texted me and said that happens to her all the time and I was like, “YES, I’M ON THE SAME PAGE AS KAITLIN!” Whatever that means!

Parts of the cake appeared burnt while other portions were definitely undercooked. I shrugged it off because let’s be real – this cake was mostly just a symbol at this point. If pieces of it turned out edible, well then that’s a bonus.

Once I dumped out the second cake, I stowed them away in the attic (yes, they were covered! I’m not that stupid!) and spent the rest of my day watching MTV like a person like me should be doing.

The next morning, Chooch was brushing his teeth and admitted to me that he peeked at the cake.

“It looks weird,” he said, his voice full of toothpaste and concern.

“BECAUSE IT’S NOT DONE YET! God!” I was feeling pretty defensive at that point.

After I took Chooch to school, it was time to make the frosting. I waited a whole day to do this because all of my Google research told me that it is best to frost a cake the next day. Plus, I didn’t feel like being in the kitchen any longer on Monday. But I realized I didn’t have enough butter and had to go BACK TO THE STORE which caused me great anxiety. Henry called while I was doing this and all I would tell him was that I was working on the second thing I needed to do but a wrench was thrown into the plan and I had to go back to the store.

Goddamn does it take butter a lot of time to thaw! Jessy texted me some ways to speed up the process but they all involved copious opportunies for me to fuck up. So I just sat on it for awhile instead.

The cats went apeshit when I was using the mixer. They have never, in 14 years, seen me do that before. I started to pretend like I was going to go after Marcy with it but then batter started flying around like arterial spray so I shoved it back in the bowl. God, baking is messy. I still don’t know where the frosting landed. And you know what, that shouldn’t be my concern. I already did enough, Henry can clean up. Right?

Aside from when I dropped the bowl and caught it by slamming it against the cabinets with my crotch (I did all the preparations on the 2 inch slat of counterspace in front of the sink, even though we have an entire table I could have used), frosting proved to be pretty easy to make! I did have to ask Google if confectioners powder is the same as powered sugar, though. (It is, in case you didn’t know.)

OK, I lied. I wanted to see how it felt to be cheery and positive for once. No, it wasn’t easy! It wasn’t easy at all! It took forever to mix, and my arms were hurting so bad, and it was jerking me around and not in a pleasurable way either. And then when it was time to slather it on the cake, my spatula thing kept pulling up parts of the cake and then it was mixing in with the frosting and I was getting so angry that I found myself crying for the eight time since the nigthmare started the day before, and if that shit didn’t taste so fucking good, it was about to get set on fire and chucked at the nearest Katy Perry fan.

And then I was like, “Fuck it. Once he sees I baked him a cake, of course he’s not going to deduct points for it being a hot mess.” Because the whole point is that, hello, this bitch baked him a cake for the first (and last) time ever!

When I first had the idea, I thought it would be cute to decorate it with all the things we share a mutual love for, but then I realized that’s only one thing (aside from our kid, obviously).

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So it’s only slightly a wreck! I was pretty proud of myself, to be honest. But the sense of accomplishment was not enough to make me forget the electricutionary feeling of frazzled nerves, so no, I will not be making this a hobby. 

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Henry was nervous. “This is only the second time in 11 years you’ve done something for me on Valentine’s Day,” he said. It’s true. The last time I gave him an empty ring box which was supposed to hold a key to my house, but I left it in the paper bag from the hardware store.

He said, “I’m going to guess whatever you were doing was something you don’t normally do….which could be just about anything.”

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Oh my god, he’s almost smiling! But then he looked at it again and said, “What are all the lumps in the frosting?”

“It’s cake!” I wailed. Ugh!

The more he looked at the cake, the less his lips held the smile-curve. It looked like apprehension was setting in, like he was going to make me taste it first. But he apparently ate a piece while I was at work and lived to tell about it. (I have no evidence that he didn’t force our son to eat it on his behalf, though.)

I only half-considered adding the zest of Hemlock to the frosting, I swear. 

That night, after Chooch went to bed, Henry slipped into the kitchen, shutting the door behind him. I kept waiting for him to come out with a ring* or at least some vintage porn hidden in a souffle, but apparently my big Vday gift was dinner. 

(*You know I would have been displeased if he had proposed on a day as obvious as February 14th. I’M NEVER HAPPY!)

“You ALWAYS cook dinner,” I whined. “I baked you a CAKE!”

He spent the rest of the night kissing my ass and then I let him scratch my back, so all was not lost. 

(Wait, this sounds like a regular night at our house.)

I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life smearing this in his face.

Feb 122019
 

Look I know I just posted a Kpop video yesterday but that was KING TAEMIN and he gets his own blog shout outs all to himself so today I’m going to share some other new K-bops that have been getting through this dumb dreary winter.

1. Itzy – Dalla Dalla


This is the highly anticipated debut of new JYP girl group Itzy and they’re already proving to be the polar opposite of their unnies in Twice. I love that the theme of this song is that it’s ok to be different. It admittedly took a few listens for it to grow on me but in the end, Itzy comes through and I’m looking forward to seeing where they go with future concepts. We need more fierce girl groups!

Speaking of…

2. CLC – No

Cube Entertainment finally let CLC out of the storm cellar and they are back with a vengeance, like a fierce girl power microburst.

3. WayV – Dream Launch

This is the SM Entertainment all-Chinese group and I fucking love them. To be honest, I love everything SM gives us (*cough*Taemin*cough*) but the effort they put into their groups/sub-units/concepts is just dizzying. Anyway, I love the 1980s feel-good fantasy movie vibes this video has and the song is so smooooooth – I want to roller skate to it so bad which makes me think that maybe I should rent the rink out again and have a Kpop party. Who’s in?! Yeah, me and the crickets! That’s what I thought, ha.

4. Seventeen – Good To Me

I like every Seventeen song I’ve ever heard but for some reason, they always slip under the radar for me. (Case in point: I CAN ONLY NAME ONE MEMBER, WHAT THE HELL.) But this song really makes me snap to attention every time it comes on. But seriously, I need to finally learn these guys’ names – where all my Carats at?

5. Ateez- Say My Name

These rookie boys, tho! I love their edginess and their rough aesthetic. THEY ARE PIRATES IN ONE OF THEIR VIDEOS. I think these guys are interesting and I’m willing to invest some time in getting to know them (ie bleeding YouTube dry of all their variety show appearances, fan-cams, music stages until I learn their damn names – no one said being a Kpop stan is easy).

********

But let’s be real, I have very little room in my life right now for anything now that Taemin has finally comeback. So as a bonus, here is this adorable clip of his appearance on Idol Room, where some of the members of NCT Dream do a Taemin/SHINee random dance in his presence and you can tell he is desperate at times to jump in and show them how it’s really done. UGH DANCE KING TAEMINNIE.

(OHMYFUCKINGGOD TAEMIN’S FLOPPY HAIR.)

Feb 112019
 

I set my alarm extra early this morning in preparation for this but even with all the teasers last week, could us Taemints ever really be prepared?

DO THOSE SNAKES EVEN KNOW HOW LUCKY THEY ARE?

Taemin’s voice is like the fog that covers the road on a late October night while you’re driving with a date through the woods to a haunted hayride. THAT IS A BIG MOOD.

So, Taemin’s comeback was today and G-Dragon updated his Instagram for the first time since enlisting in the military a year ago and I am expected to go to work today and act like a sane person through all of this OH OK. Just… don’t talk to me today unless it’s about this. I’m a mess.

Feb 102019
 

In an effort to pay more attention to my side business, I thought it would be fun to write a little DID YOU KNOW type of informative thing for all those people who land on my blog during their after-hours Internet searching of “Marilyn Chambers Porn” or “Golden Girls valentines” or “Ted Bundy birthday card” because those people are out there and I love them!

  • DID YOU KNOW that I started making serial killer Christmas cards in 2006 because I signed up for some Xmas card exchange on LiveJournal and thought it would be a hilarious way to combat all the Thomas Kinkaide / Hallmark bullshit cards everyone else was going to send. I made every card by hand, literally cutting and pasting serial killer faces onto black cardstock and handwriting all the sentiments in the silver paint pen. They turned out to be a big hit with my LJ-muffins and some of them suggested that I try selling them on Etsy. I already had one for my paintings, so I began listing them there and eventually created a separate shop just for them. 13 years later and here we are!

  • DID YOU KNOW that “non compos” is taken from the Latin phrase “non compos mentis” which means unsound mind. So, unsound, or “not right” cards. The shop I had for paintings was also Latin-inspired: Somnambulant. I took Latin for three years in high school and absolutely hated it, but I am super contrary, so…
  • DID YOU KNOW that a few years ago some big jerk stole a bunch of my images from Etsy and slapped his own logo on them and then got alllllllll sorts of acclaim from his followers on Facebook? It was awful and his response to being called out by me and my friends was to threaten and harass and then ultimately block us. Facebook actually responded to all of the reports and made him take everything down so that was nice. Thanks, Facebook. I still don’t regret leaving you though.
  • DID YOU KNOW that all of our cards are made to order? We tried once to build up stock based on our best sellers but then that was the ultimate kiss of death for those cards and sales dropped, lol. So now each card is printed and assembled when ordered. It’s not the best set-up during our busy season (November-February) but maybe in another 10 years we’ll have a better system hammered out, haha.
  • DID YOU KNOW that my most-viewed card on Etsy is a Valentine featuring vintage porn star Long Dong Silver?
  • DID YOU KNOW I’m working on a collection of cult leader cards? Right now I only have a Jim Jones birthday card (comes with a packet of Kool Aid!) and a brand new David Koresh birthday card, but I’m hoping to have an entire set of mini Valentines for next year!

It’s lit fam.

  • DID YOU KNOW that G.G. Allin’s brother requested a custom order from me a few years ago? It was a John Wayne Gacy wedding card for the bassist in his band. I was so excited about this but all my co-workers were like, “G.G. who?” And then a bunch of NSFW websites were ultimately viewed.
  • DID YOU KNOW that the worst feedback I ever got on Etsy was from someone who was upset that I included “too many free things.” This was back when I was part of the Etsy Dark Side street team and we would do this fun business card swaps so that we could promote other members’ shops by including some of their business cards in with our orders. So I would often include 3-4 business cards/shop coupons/samples with orders and assumed people liked it but at least one person DID NOT and made sure to let me know that. Don’t worry–I only include one business card now and it’s my own.
  • DID YOU KNOW that I really care about my customers and will go above and beyond (much to Henry’s chagrin) to accommodate people. When that results in good feedback, I feel so proud!

  • DID YOU KNOW that I started making Kpop greeting cards in 2017, but then one time last winter, my dumb business partner HENRY THE MANSERVANT accidentally swapped two orders which would be a harmless mixup with an easy fix if it had been two serial killer cards but NO IT WAS A SERIAL KILLER CARD AND A KPOP CARD so at least ONE PERSON in that situation was extremely upset because she bought a BTS birthday card for her daughter and instead received a card talking about putting someone’s head on a stick and I felt like such a fucking asshole about that. The person who was supposed to receive that card (Ed Kemper Valentine, btw) was much less angry and happily accepted my offer to send a replacement but the other person was like get away from me, Satan. So that is how my second greeting card shop, Hello Hanguk, was born! No more mix-ups. #BlameHenry

Well, I think that’s about all for this edition. Check out non compos cards and Hello Hanguk for all your serial killer/porn/Golden Girls/The Cure and Kpop needs!

Feb 082019
 

I have had so much to say but so little time! Most evenings, I’m too caught up in exercise/roller coaster videos/k-dramas to focus on blogging.

#EXCUSESOLDASTIME

But I do enjoy blasting out these bulletpoint thought collectives and I hope that’s OK.

So here’s a recap of WHAT I HAVE BEEN DOING ASIDE FROM BREATHING.

  • I mean, making cards obviously. So far this V-day season, we have done double the amount we did last year! I am so humbled that there are people out there who like my designs, I don’t know if that will ever stop surprising me, especially since I have been making them for so long but only started selling a significant amount over the last several years.  This year, the Golden Girls set has nearly surpassed the serial killers, with The Cure set following close behind, and I have plans to add other pop-culture Valentine sets for next year!  Also, we learned A LOT from last year, mostly that we were woefully unprepared for the explosion of sales we saw. I thought we were going to get an imaginary divorce from our fake marriage, that’s how much stress-quarreling we did. But this season, Henry stocked up on the paper we use (it’s real good quality and we order it from a paper company online, so if we run out, we can’t just like, run to Staples and buy something comparable), hooked up an old printer to use just for printing shipping labels, and then bought a THIRD printer so now he can print cards on two printers at once and things have been running so much smoother. Chooch has taken an interest in assembling all of the little sets (he just likes using a stapler I think) and I am on packaging patrol, so we have a veritable assembly line going on in our dining room. It’s actually kind of satisfying!
  • Last Sunday, it occurred to me that I was supposed to have had plans the day before with two friends, but I forgot, and they both either forgot as well or just felt relieved that I forgot and kept their mouths shut in hopes that I wouldn’t suddenly remember and send a text. So, we’re all either totally scatterbrained or I have less friends than I thought I had, lolol. I have plans tomorrow with  two different friends so hopefully that date pans out or my self-awareness might actually slather me with jam and consume me.
    • Literally right after I typed all of that, the friends for tomorrow both texted to confirm plans so we’re already one step ahead! I hope plans don’t fall through because we’re meeting at Pamela’s for breakfast and I am HUNGRY FOR BLUEBERRY HOTCAKES.

  • I was trying to convince myself that Monday was going to be a GREAT DAY so I wore this happy stars print blouse, a hot pink fun fur coat, and my favorite fake-teeth cameo. It…..didn’t work but I still thought it looked cool SO TOO BAD.
  • So, I have been doing Gospel Aerobics again just for the LOLs and I’ll tell you what, no matter how shitty of a day I might be having,  even just spending 15 minutes with Paul Eugene and his totally adorable enthusiasm and spirited grunting can totally turn my day around.  I was burning off some steam before it was Jillian Michaels Time (I have a lot of energy,  and that’s not always a great thing) Monday evening, and I just became absolutely struck with the Giggles.  I couldn’t hold it in any longer, I had this Big Ass WHOOOOOO bubbling up inside of me and it needed to be released. So I whipped open the front door just as some man was jogging past and I let rip the most gutteral WHOOOOOO from my lungs and before I had the chance to fully enjoy the echo of it ricocheting off the houses as it bounced down the street, I drop-rolled back into the house, leaving Henry–who was alone on the front porch taking out the garbage–look like the main WHOOO culprit. He was not amused, but I was rocking back and forth, holding my knees into my chest, laughing until I was crying. Chooch mumbled from the other room that I was so embarrassing and I was like WHATEVER YOUR FRIENDS WISH THEY HAD A MOM LIKE ME.

  • Ugh, Thursday morning was so gross. First I had to call the bank and then I had to go to the post office after riding downtown on the trolley which is usually OK but on my late shift days, the normal trolley clientele is completely different and unruly and I ended up sitting behind a white trash mom and daughter who were SCREAMING to each other about detox and counselors and blah blah blah so I then I craned my neck a bit to see what they were reading and it was a form from their COCAINE GROUP. And is it weird that my first reaction was, “Wow, people still do cocaine?” I never hear about it anymore!
    • Anyway, speaking of cocaine, the whole bank thing was annoying because I had an IRA that matured at the end of January and so I called the bank around that time and said, “I don’t want to roll this over. How can I cash it in?” and yes, I know, it’s good to have these things but I have this one for-fucking-ever, it’s under $1000, and I make like less than a quarter on it every year. Normally I would just let it roll over and not think twice, but we are getting our monies in order for our next Korea trip and I thought it would be nice to have a little extra spending money. Anyway, now that I justified my motives to strangers on the internet, this broad at the bank was like “I can just move it into your checking acct.” Wow, that seemed easy. So I asked, “It’s that easy?” She said yes. So then around 2 weeks go by and that money is still showing up as an IRA. This time I went to a branch downtown and they were like, “Duh….um, durrrr…..this says that the IRA rolled over and has a new date of 1/23/2021.” and said that the branch manager would call me the next day. HE NEVER DID. So I had to call HIM which is annoying and he was like WE CAN’T DO THAT ON THE PHONE THERE ARE FORMS YOU HAVE TO SIGN and I was like THAT IS WHAT I THOUGHT, DAVE FROM THE BANK. Like, I do know some things. So then he was like, “what do you need the money for?” COCAINE, DAVE. LOTS OF FUCKING COCAINE TO STICK UP MY NOSE ON THE TIP OF MY SILVER PINKY FINGER NAIL. Like really dude? OK I get that he was probably just wanting me to say something like, “I am going to use it to buy lots of Flex Seal to patch the holes on my shanty, Dave” so then he could try to instead talk me into a loan. My response was a bratty, “I just want to have it.” Anyway, he had to call the IRA department to see what could be done and guess what Princess Erin got her way and he was able to waive the penalty and GIVE ME MY FUCKING MONEY. But of course I had to go to the branch and sign the forms and it was RAINING that day and my umbrella is half-broken and a total embarrassment (like me when I scream out of the front door at random joggers).  Ugh, I felt like Thursday was so full of adult things, and it was gross. I need to go to an amusement park like now.
      • Maybe I should use my newly acquired, insidious bounty to buy a new umbrella.
      • Also, I was knocked off my self-righteous high horse of thinking that this was entirely the bank’s fault because when I was on the phone with Dave, I asked snidely, “Isn’t there a log of me calling that day!?” and he said yes, and that there was also an outbound call from the next day, to which I said teenagarily, “Well, I didn’t get a call.” But then I went and checked my voicemails and you guys, shit goddamn fuck, someone DID call me the next day and left a message for me so I guess somewhere along the way, someone realized they DONE FUCKED UP when they approved my IRA-cash out via telephone, and they tried to rectify it the next day, probably with the intention of telling me that I had to go to a branch and sign forms, and then when I didn’t call back (because I never answer my phone/check voicemail; I’m a phone hermit) the window of maturation expired and my IRA rolled over.
        • YEAH BUT THEY FUCKED UP FIRST!!!
      • While I signed the forms, Dave gave me a lecture (for the second time that day) about why IRAs are important and good to have and I was like, “Yes, I know, DAVE. But a plane ticket to Korea is ALSO GOOD TO HAVE.”
        • FUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK.

  • Pittsburgh looked like a horror movie set earlier this week and I was loving it. Was not loving coming back to work from my lunch break walk looking like I went to the salon asking for the Ms. Frizzle style.
  • Hey speaking of horror movies, my work friend Cathy excitedly came to my desk the other day to tell me that she started watching a new show on Netflix that just happens to be a South Korean drama and I screamed, “IS IT KINGDOM?!” and it is! I’m so geeked that I finally have someone at work to talk to about a k-drama!!!! Also, Glenn said he’s interested in watching it because it’s about zombies and he was relieved when I told him that there’s an option to watch it dubbed but I don’t know why anyone would choose that option other than losers like Glenn. Actually, when I started watching it, it defaulted to dubbed and I freaked out, yelling about, “I CAN’T WATCH THIS IF IT’S IN ENGLISH, HENRY!!” so he had to frantically fix it for me before I went on another one of my daily America bashing rants.
  • I texted Boss Amber, who had a baby and abandoned us but whatever, to give her this update and she was like WHAT DID YOU DO TO CATHY but this was not my doing for once! Amber is going to come back from maternity leave and find a lightstick collection and pictures of biases on Cathy’s desk because it all starts with ONE kdrama/Kpop song/bitchin’ bowl of bibimbap.

  • That stupid Babe Cave had their grand opening last weekend and I already can’t wait for this hideous establishment to close.
  • I love watching theme park vlogs on YouTube but then I inevitably run into the obligatory ROLLER COASTER TRAGEDY in my feed, lose all feeling in my extremities and the ability to stop myself from freely peeing, dry heave a little, and then swear off coasters until the next day.
  • Chooch: what is that thing you say when someone dies? My prayers are in your hands?
    • Yes, that’s what people say. Say that.

Well, on that note, I’m going to sign off and go back to micromanaging my employees at the Pioneer Ave. Printing Press.

Feb 062019
 

I was really happy with the positive response and support my “health talk” blog post received a few weeks ago! Thanks to everyone who reached out — I hope it generated some motivation for those looking for it!

Since it’s been a little over a month since I convinced Chooch to jump on my (resistance)bandwagon, I thought it would be a good time to check in and update our progress.

First of all, I am so proud of Chooch! He has been kicking ass at these Jillian Michaels Body Revolution workouts and has been super thoughtful about what he chooses to eat. We’ve had some great talks about nutrition with daily reminders that it’s not about the number on the scale. (With me trying to practice what I preach, sigh.) Yes, he has lost seven pounds, but more importantly, he is feeling healthier and has told me numerous times that he LOOKS FORWARD TO WORKING OUT. Every day I am like, “look child let us not forget that this about your weight” and he is like “yeah I know but I like weighing myself; it’s fun.”

….said no one other than my son.

Look, you can ask Janna (lol I’ll give you her number)–when I stepped in and made Chooch do this, I wondered if I was a bad parent, if I was toeing the line of fat-shaming or being too pageant mom. I didn’t want to give him a complex like I wound up inheriting from my weight-obsessed childhood. I tried to do this very carefully, by assuring him that there was nothing “wrong” with him but that I worried he was setting the tone for the rest of his life. I think we all know how fucking hard it is to change our diets and lifestyles as an adult! I just wanted him to get a head start, to learn all the things that I wish I took more seriously back then, like, I don’t know, PORTION CONTROL.

VEGETABLES.

TAKING DAILY WALKS TO BATTLE DEPRESSION.

GETTING A COLLEGE DEGREE.

Wait—what was this post about again?

So basically, Chooch eats the same thing I have for dinner – tons of vegetables, an egg, either rice or noodles, sometimes some mock-meat or tofu.

Here’s an example from the weekend. Egg, sweet potatoes, okra, pumpkin, and carrots with noodles buried under that produce treasure chest. I am an excellent food photographer.

(There actually is an Erin Kelly in Pgh who takes food photos for several local publications and people are always tagging me those Instagram posts like IS THIS YOU and I am like WOULD I DO SOMETHING SO NORMAL THO.)

And we no longer rely on school lunches, which was actually his request anyway, because their “vegetarian” option was typically an UNCRUSTABLE. Seriously, school?? The last (hopefully reusable plastic) straw for him was when he was nearly made amends with one of the lunch ladies he’s had a long-running feud with; he was wearing his Hamilton shirt so she started talking to him about it and said she was going to see it that week and he was like great can I have a PB&J and she was like sorry we’re out and he was like cool back to hating the lunch lady.

So I have been making his lunch for him every day, which is something he hasn’t asked me for since he was LITTLE so it’s been fun doing an actual Mom Thing! He keeps raving about the sandwiches I make him with veggie deli meat because he just loves the crunchy carrot slivers I add to it but the best part of that is it’s actually raw strips of butternut squash which is a veg that he insists he hates HAHAHA.

The other day, he offhandedly said to me, “You know, even though I’m a diet, I don’t feel hungry at all!” That’s because he’s not on a diet! We are not counting calories or doing any extreme restrictions – we’re just making sure he’s getting more balanced meals instead of just shoving a fake chicken patty at him with a side of tater tots.

But it’s the exercising too. He has been developing some muscle and is obsessed with feeling up his arms, lol. There has not been one day when I have had to force him to exercise with me. He told me he actually looks forward to it! It’s because we finally found a routine that he likes, and if you read my previous health talk post, this was a big thing I brought up: FIND EXERCISE THAT YOU LIKE! As long as you are moving, that’s really half the battle. There is no sense in doing some crazy P90X thing if you’re feeling miserable, unmotivated, and just all-around dreading it. That’s when you start making excuses! This Jillian Michaels routine is actually something that I tried in the past and just honestly didn’t do regularly enough because I couldn’t commit. But having a workout partner really does hold me accountable and I find that I actually look forward to it, even after working all day.

(But I’ll tell you, even when we’re doing brutal burpees or plank-ups, he never stops talking. Like bruh, how u have so much to say in those 30 minutes? Save it for later! ALONG WITH YOUR FARTS. Ugh.)

Chooch is in competition with Omar there on the left. We know all their names and have our favorites and ones who make us cringe. I really like Mimi and Natalie, FYI.

We are currently on Phase 2 of the program, which means we have advanced to Cardio 2 and Circuit Training levels 5 & 6. It sucks, but we do it diligently. We even woke up early on the day we went to Toronto so we could do our cardio since we the next full day in Canada was going to be our rest day.

I have been very careful not to nag him or pressure him, and it’s just kind of like a routine by now. He doesn’t complain and he doesn’t give up. He has seen the positive changes this has brought to his life and he likes it!

He’s still allowed to play his dumb games but now it’s more of a reward, like a means of relaxation for him.

Also, all credit goes to me, and none to Henry.

Anyway, I will check back in probably sometime next month, after we make it to Phase 3!

Feb 052019
 

“No Ordinary Love” by Sade came on when I was perusing the Pop Sugar clothing collection at Kohl’s on Sunday and I did that thing that I do when I am struck by warm, trickling nostalgia: gasp audibly and clutch my heart, theatrically mouth the words. Then I realized Henry wasn’t standing near me anymore so I was That Person and it was fine. I care about so little these days.

I know so many people disagree with me on A LOT of things but I’d be willing to wager that if you are reading this right now, you may have thought to yourself, “Hell yes blogbitch, that is the mutherfuckin’ SLOWJAM of our generation, preach.” Anytime I hear it, whether it’s because I have on the actual record (you know, back when I had a record player that worked and then suddenly it didn’t and Henry was all, “I WILL FIX IT WITH MY FIXER MAN HANDS” but then he fell asleep for 40 days instead) or because I’m tagging along at the grocery store and Sade’s sultry-husk comes pouring out of the speakers while I’m dramatically gagging at in the meat department, I am instantly taken back to 7th grade, sitting on my bed and watching the video on BET, scribbling in my Composition book-slash-diary (probably the one that said ERIN LUVZ JOSH all over it in pink highlighter) about how I couldn’t wait to grow up and have a NO ORDINARY LOVE of my own.

And then I grew up and…well…lol.

(Who else was like mindblown when they learned how to pronounce Sade and then spent the rest of their life as a pronunciation crusader, correcting every dummy that called her SAYYYYD? Where all my know-it-alls at?)

On our way home from Kohl’s, I put on “Play Me” by Taemin and that is when it hit me: Taemin is my NO ORDINARY LOVE YOU GUYS.

No but really, the way Taemin’s music makes me feel is the same way Sade’s music made me feel back then (and still to this day): like I’m flushed from making eye contact with a crush.

His voice is so warm, with a tinge of huskiness, and it makes me FEEL SOME THINGS.

All of this is to say that we are one week away from his comeback and I can barely stand it. It feels so good to be excited about something and it is getting me through the long, dark work days, that is for-fucking-sure.

The other day, a teaser was released and I am convinced that Lee Taemin is out to murder us. I can’t even imagine what he has in store for us, but if this teaser is any indication, it is one smoking hot horror flick and I am all about it.

I hear all these male singers on Top 40 radio stations and they got nothin’ on Taemin. Regardless of language, Taemin is an artist that should be in everyone’s playlist.

Now accepting applications for an eulogy writer if he announces a North American tour this year.

Feb 042019
 

By now you know that we only went to Toronto because of the Winner concert, maybe because you know me IRL and have heard me freaking out about it for a month, or maybe because I referenced it in nearly every blog post since buying tickets, so it is now that time in my nauseating travel recaps where I discuss said concert.

IT WAS AWESOME.

Winner is a group on YG Entertainment, which is also BIGBANG’s agency. When I first saw a Winner video a few years ago, I couldn’t help but have a knee-jerk “OK there little BIGBANG” reaction. And maybe that’s originally what YG wanted, but let me tell you, these groups are nothing alike.

They’re made up of four talented visual princes: Yoon, Hoony, Jinu (my bias!), and Mino (arguably the best Korean rapper). Most of their songs have a very distinct Winner-sound to them – tropical, upbeat, catchier than a stomach bug in a small office.

It was their track “Really, Really” that initially hooked me, though “Sentimental” was the first Winner song I ever heard and I admittedly did not care for it (so of course that’s Henry’s favorite!).

From there, I just kept liking them more and more with every comeback, and their last one in December (for “Millions”) was enough for me to make a very impulsive splurge on tickets to their Toronto concert on a night when I was feeling particularly sorry for myself because I was going through a TOOTH TRAGEDY.

Henry was not exactly thrilled with this turn of events because all the details always fall on his shoulders (things like booking hotels, figuring out transportation, wondering CAN WE AFFORD IT), but he didn’t say NO, either.

My favorite part was when I thought I used Paypal credit to buy the tickets but then the next morning, Henry texted me and was like “HI YOUR PRECIOUS TICKETS CAME OUT OF THE CHECKING ACCOUNT HOPE YOU LIKE DISCOUNT BAKED BEANS BECAUSE THATS WHAT WE’RE LIVING OFF OF UNTIL NEXT PAYDAY.”

Lol.

Being Kpop trash is expensive, you guys.

Finally, the night of the concert was here and it felt like an Olympic ping pong match was being held within my stomach walls. I get so nervous before concerts! Especially when I haven’t been to the venue before, and it was my first time at the Sony Performing Arts Center.

Papa H dropped us off across the street from it, moments after the doors opened, so we slid easily right into the steady-moving line. Winner street team members gave us banners to hold up during the encore, and blue finger lights which was really nice because we didn’t have the official Winner light stick.

(KPOP LESSON TIME: most Kpop groups have their own official light stick that fans hold up at their concerts, and those motherfuckers are 비싼 / expensive. I only have ones for BIGBANG and BTS and those each set me back around $50. I better get a chance to use that BIGBANG one someday. Sigh.)

Henry Warbucks gave me a whopping $80 CAD stipend (originally it was only $60 but I kept my hand out) but it turned out that was $80 too much because the dumb girls in front of me (who would end up sitting behind us and were so fucking annoying but luckily I blocked them out once the show started) ended up buying the last t-shirt.

And I don’t wear hats so merch Option B was not for me.

Oh well, saving money is never a bad thing, I guess. Le sigh.

(But seriously, this shit only happens to me at Kpop concerts.)

My Korean is very shaky, but I think this says “everyday together with Winner”? Something loosely along those lines, anyway. There was no translation on the back, but the Winner fan group did include instructions in English, thankfully! But I’m sure we could have figured out when to hold it up based on simple context clues.

The venue was a theater, which meant that we had seats so we didn’t have to line up hours early in the single-digit temps to claim a good spot. I splurged (since I thought I was using Paypal credit, lol) and got us seats on the floor instead of the balcony which is usually where us kpop pigeons end up sitting because we don’t have rich parents buying our tickets, sigh. I was happy with the set-up because the floor was sloped, so we didn’t have to worry about having our view obstructed! Especially because everyone stood once the show started, so that made it even better to see, and since we all had seats, it didn’t feel like we were jammed up against everyone else.

It was one of the most comfortable shows I’ve ever been to, DARE I SAY.

They came out strong with “Really Really” and my throat was immediately like, “OK, I see how tonight is going to be, so please promise you’ll give me some hot tea and lozenges tomorrow.”

My throat was RIPPED OPEN before the show ended, I could not STAND how majestic these four guys were on that stage.

IT WAS LIKE A PARTY.

They played all my favorites (“Hello,” “Love Me Love Me,” “Really, Really,” “Everyday,” “Movie Star,” “MILLIONS”) except for one (“Fool”). And their solos were fantastic – Yoon came out for his solo in this sparkling silver blazer and the bombastic voice of an old soul (he also sang part of a One Direction song but Chooch and I don’t know any One Direction songs so were just screaming along  through sheer crowd contagion); Mino a/k/a the Bias Wrecker gave me absolute chills with his performance of “Trigger” and then he proceeded to just smash “Fiance” to pieces, it was so great! Jinu, precious angle Jinu, covered G-Dragon’s “Untitled” and I was fucking sweating my face off, it wasn’t  tears at all, it was all sweat because I’m a chronic sweater, I don’t cry at concerts. And then Hoony covered Taeyang’s classic “Ringa Linga” like a goddamn beast and whatever was left of my throat was being fed through the cheese grater-entrance to the Scream Factory.

“Millions,” though.

What I really liked about this concert was that there wasn’t a ton of filler. There was a short introduction, a VCR which was hilarious and showed them as kids talking about what they would do if they found treasure and then flash-forwarding to them as adults with whatever they bought with their treasure (Jinu bought a closet full of identical gray hoodies and this was clearly my favorite part of the skit), they each did their solos, and then there was a brief segment where Yoon had Hoony and Mino pick someone from the crowd to be interviewed. My favorite was when Mino picked a guy named Kyle who is from China but studying in Canada. This guy was a huge Mino fanboy and it was adorable. When Yoon asked him what his favorite Mino tracks are, he started rambling off song titles and then said his favorite was actually the Money Flow stage Mino did on Show Me the Money (a rapper survival-style show in Korea; Mino won the season he was on). Yoon and Kyle tried to get Mino to sing it, but Mino just looked kind of shell-shocked and whispered, “….I forget.”

It was so cute!

And I have to say, Mino has big stage presence. It was hard to stay true to my main Winner bias, or even Taemin and G-Dragon at that point, if we’re speaking casually here. I couldn’t help but feel very lucky to be in the same room as him, haha.

He has that Johnny-Depp-in-a-Tim-Burton-movie feel. You know what I’m saying, don’t pretend you don’t like Chooch just did.

After the fake-last song, everyone started chanted “encore” but it kind of sounded like “acorn” so I’m not sure if this was a Korean or Canadian accent phenomenon or what, but we loved it. Then of course Winner came back out while “Movie Star” played with outtakes of their VCR showing on the screen above the stage, and we all held up our banners and screamed like crazy people. It was so beautiful, and every time the cameras got close to their faces, you could see the tears in their eyes. This was their first North American tour, without ever having performed at any of the KCONs, and they just kept saying how shocked and honored they were that so many people came out to see them. Ugh, it was so beautiful to be a part of that.

Chooch and I unanimously agreed that, even though this was missing all the pomp and circumstance, we liked this show a lot better than BTS. It just felt more real and less staged, and since it was smaller-scaled, Winner seemed to have more of a connection to the crowd. It was heart-warming and I hope I get a chance to see them again!

Also, it was refreshing to see that the crowd was a healthy mix of genders! Lots of Inner Circle bros up in there.

Chooch and I were riding on a music-induced high afterward and were so giddy by the time our Henry-driven pumpkin returned us to the hotel. Big Spender Hank gave Chooch money for the vending machine but Chooch made me go with him because it was in a corner next to cleaning supplies under the steps and was just a super-rapey area even though the hotel wasn’t terrible and the area we were in seemed nice, that vending nook was like a sex offender’s clubhouse. THEN WE SAW CONDOMS IN ONE OF THE VENDING MACHINE AND RAN SCREAMING BACK TO THE ROOM.

Henry was not pleased.

Wow, it was a really good night, diary. I don’t regret at all that I basically overdrew our checking account by purchasing Winner tickets on a whim. I WOULD DO IT AGAIN IF I HAD TO.

Feb 022019
 

We got lucky and had a really clear, snowless drive into Canada on Saturday, but it snowed a bit overnight which made our Sunday about 10 degrees colder than the dumb weather app on my phone said and the snow-piled sidewalks provided a great calf workout.

It’s actually a miracle that we all remembered to leave Pittsburgh with snow boots. Mine are a size too big because I bought them online and made poor choices so I felt like Frankenstein’s monster but at least my feet were dry and mostly-dry. It also made me feel invincible to winter threats so I kept purposely walking in the deeper-snowed areas.

Henry wanted to drive into Toronto this time instead of taking the train so we did that and it was scary because the roads were still not-great from fresh snow and we even saw a car spin-out on the ramp by our hotel, but OK Henry, willingly put our lives into the hands of the ice gods, that’s fine.

Spoiler- we ended up being fine but it was still dumb. We parked and then took the subway everywhere which was fun and isn’t it funny how I hate our public transportation back home but get so excited to use it in other cities? OH THATS BC BIG CITIES HAVE GOOD TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS.

Anyway, here are some pictures from our blustery adventures in the Maple Kingdom.

We started the day in Korea Town, wow so much shocks and surprisals. (YES SURPRISALS THAT IS WHAT I WOULD HAVE SAID IF I WAS WRITING THIS FOR A CAT AUDIENCE OK.) As previously mentioned, we went to Rustle & Still cafe and then I went back to the Kpop shop and snagged a Taemin album and this time the person working was the cutest Korean boy and I felt like there was some level of imprinting happening which Henry ruined by saying that he was certain that guy was only 18.

Meanwhile, Chooch rummaged through troughs of stickers looking for Taemin ones to mock me with and then cried after we left because he allegedly wanted a turnip one (????) and we were like YOU DONT LIKE TURNIPS THO???

Mural posing. This was Dirty Birds Chicken & Waffles. We didn’t eat there. We just used them for their wall aesthetics, boy.

Also, look how cute that milkshake straw is!

I….really don’t know how to pose for photos. I have been doing this same pose since like, 10th grade I think. I mean, when I’m actually allowing someone to take my picture, that is.

We strolled around downtown for a bit and by that I mean we were shaking in our boots and trying to defrost the tips of our noses by blowing hot air into our cupped hands. It was frigid that day, and would serve as a prelude to the stupid-cold weather we were about to get slammed with back home.

I feel like the coldness really comes through in this shot. Also, this was moments after Chooch tried to be cute by scaling a snowbank, lost his balance and slid the whole way down on his back. Henry was DONE after that.

CN Tower, which Henry deemed “TOO EXPENSIVE.”

Toronto’s murals are on point. This was part of a long mural inside an underpass.

Their subway stations are great backdrops for photos as well. It’s an Instgrammer’s subterranean paradise.

When your coat matches the wall…

My coat matched too but that would have required Henry to take our picture while droves of people were filing by and that is a BIG NO.

Fighting over maps, Korea vibes. Also, LOL at Henry’s dorky Clearfruit jacket.

Henry was still looking at the map.

FROZEN WATER. There was one unfrozen path for the ferry. That was really exciting to us for some reason and by us I mean Chooch and me, Henry doesn’t get excited about anything other than the weekly circulars and, I don’t know, new hemorrhoid creams.

You guys. It was so cold that as I was talking, I could actually feel parts of my face tightening up. Now, I have never had Botox, but I think this is how it feels after?! I couldn’t get my lips to move all the way when I was trying to talk, like I was working against gravity. It was really scary.

There was some random gigantic camo picnic table in this park because ART. There was a #bigpicnic hashtag on it but when I used that on Instragram, it pulled up a ton of irrelevant things and like, one other picture of this table.

Here, the extraordinary method actors E.Rachelle & Chooch Robbins audition for the “Happily Arrested” roles in the off-off-off-off-underneath broadway play Picnic Outlaws.

Thank god Toronto has so many different indoor passages to get from one place to the next. We were able to walk a good distance back to the parking lot completely indoors BLESSED BE. I kept hoping we would see Winner walking around in a tunnel somewhere with the rest of the Toronto mole people, but they were probably somewhere warm and cozy with a fireplace and fancy food. It’s OK – they deserve it.

So, all in all, it was another cool time in Toronto but I really would like to go back sometime when we’re not there for a concert so we can focus solely on doing touristy things and, obviously, eating at more cool places. Um, preferably sometime in the summer or fall! AND MAYBE IT COULD COINCIDE WITH A VISIT TO CANADA’S WONDERLAND?! I mean, it’s right there. 

Coming soon, I’ll recap the Winner concert and close this Canada chapter. Sigh.

Feb 012019
 

I was going through my pictures and realized I have way too many for one post so you know what that means — whoooooboy multi-posts!

Since we were in Toronto in the dead of winter with very little time, we didn’t do any touristy things and instead just focused on being gluttons. Toronto is a meatless Mecca so our options were overwhelming, and luckily our resident Meat Man Henry is perfectly content eating vegetarian/vegan so we went, um, hogwild.

Except for breakfast which was just a quick stop to Tim Horton’s because this was like A BIG DEAL for Chooch and you have to throw the kid a bone here and there so that when they grow up and pen an in depth exposé on their childhood, it won’t be all doom, gloom, & my parents locked me in a piss-puddled storage closet, you know?

So here is a little run-down of Sunday’s eats, treats, & drinks.

Our first stop after Tim Horton’s was a Vietnamese cafe in Korea Town called Rustle & Still. I was drawn to this place by a promise of pandan and purple sweet potato latte options. I had a sweet potato latte in Busan and have been dying to have another ever since, especially a purple one! I eat purple sweet potatoes nearly every day at home. My diet is very niche.

My first impression of this place was that it’s very vegetation-friendly. I love plant-filled cafes!

My second impression was that it was not one of those snobby places that brings out a first-timer’s inner-n00b. The barista (possibly the owner? He had that owner-aura to him) had a friendly face and didn’t make me feel rushed.

Chooch and I had a game-plan that morning in the hotel, which consisted of me ordering the sweet potato and him going for the matcha pandan so that we could share, but once we were at the counter, he acted like this was BREAKING NEWS and got all weird and surly about it. He ordered it anyway, but then tacked on, “Because I guess that’s what I HAVE to order” and I was like “WTF is your damage, child!?” because he pulls this shit all  the time and it’s bewildering to me. He has this knack for acting like I have all of these one-sided conversations when he, at one time, is a willing participant!

PARENTS, DO YOUR CHILDREN THROW YOU UNDER THE BUS LIKE THIS!?

Anyway, he also ordered a black sesame coconut cookie so that pacified him a little.

My lattes! Yes, I inherited Chooch’s matcha pandan latte because suddenly, he no longer likes matcha and apparently “never said that [he] did” so I guess that’s another dream-convo I had — am I even really here? Or am I living in the dementia ward at some Ukranian clinic? What is even real anymore!?

Mr. I Never Said I Liked Matcha

Mr. Everyone Knows I Don’t Like Matcha But I Will Drink Half of This Latte Because I Paid Like $10 For It

Oh you guys, I was so mad. BUT! The silver lining is that both lattes were just my style and I didn’ regret for a single minute the bloated belly (Chooch hates that word, so now I use it often) I received after drinking nearly 2 thick lattes in one sitting.

Afterward, we went into the city center and hit up Milk Bar at Momofuku. It was actually just a little self-serve area so we just grabbed some cookies and a to-go slice of crack pie and went about our way and by that I mean, Chooch and I fought with Henry as soon as we got outside because we act like we’re starving children just let out of a crate and we didn’t trust him not to eat everything so he threw the bag at us and stalked off toward the subway. Haha, what a bitch baby.

The next part of our food journey took us back to Korea Town that afternoon but not for Korean food, like you’d expect! Instead, we went to Apiecalypse Now, which is another vegan place that Chooch had his stomach set on. Henry and I were actually going to eat here the last time we were in Toronto, but the sweet fucking siren call of Korean food lured us a different direction.

We got here around 30 minutes after they opened so we were able to walk right up to the counter and order (I mean, after hemming and hawwing – there were so many choices!). We all opted for slices of the Pig Destroyer Destroyer which wins for best pizza and also best name because come on now. Henry also got a slice of the BBQ Buffalover which I think I would have loved had I not already tried the Pig Destroyer Destroyer, because anything after that one pales in comparison. It is the ultimate, meaty meatless pizza! I fucking inhaled my slice and the best part was that it didn’t make me sick to my stomach afterward like a regular slice of cheese pizza would. (Which sucks because I love pizza but it almost always makes me sick now.)

As you can clearly tell from the name of our pizza slices alone, this place has major punk aesthetic so I didn’t get that shitty “more vegan than you” vibe from it at all.

Chooch looks solemn in this picture but it was actually just because I had the nerve to take his picture while he was fumbling toward pizza ecstasy.

And here’s Henry (im)patiently waiting for me to TAKE THE FUCKING PICTURE so that he can finally have his carnivore card revoked. J/K. He liked his pizzas too but not nearly as much as he would had there been real fatty meat on each slice.

But I’ll tell you, I’m still talking about that damn pizza almost as much as the Winner concert, which is the actual reason we were in Toronto!

Family Portrait 2019

After a bunch of walking through the one-digit Toronto temps (actually I think it was like 10 degrees that day but, windchill) we headed back to the hotel and  then ate dinner at a Viet-vegan joint called Dai Bi Chay. This was actually Henry’s choice! I was willing to eat at a regular restaurant, figuring that Henry would have been withering away by this point, but he was like, “Let’s eat more soy! Woo! Soy baby!”

Pages upon pages of glorious meat-free options, I could barely stand it. We had such a good  meal there, even though someone behind Henry was eating like a very hungry man without his dentures in and you know it’s bad when HENRY, the White Noise of Annoying Sounds People Make, gets all up-in-arms and hoarsely whispers to me, “What is that behind me!?” And then it magically became less annoying for me, knowing that it was bothering Henry!

I don’t even remember what I had but the broth was piping hot and winter-perfect and the BBQ mock-meat lounging on top of the noodles was just a motherfucking delight. Henry also had some kind of noodle soup dish and this was the meal that he’s still talking about from the weekend. He loved it there!

Chooch had fried rice or something because he doesn’t believe in food adventures, but he had no problem eating more than his share of the appetizers we ordered!

Meanwhile, Chooch and I were so giddy. We have this running joke that whenever Henry is “going to the store” or “to the laundromat,” he is actually going downtown to this strip club called Blush and that his favorite stripper there is some broad named “Cheetah Girl” — Chooch created her but we talk about her all the time like she’s a real person in Henry’s life and he gets really mad about it. So for some reason, Chooch started googling strippers while we were eating and he was like, “HAHAHAHAHA HERE’S CHEETAH GIRL” but then I was like, “No, wrong one” so I googled, “Old ass washed-up strippers” and presented a picture of someone’s grandma sprawled out on a bed in black leather lingerie and at this point Chooch started choking and the waitress kept asking him if he was OK and Henry was signing off on the official Disowning Paperwork.

OMG my stomach hurts right now just thinking about how uproariously we were laughing over this while Henry had virtual steam billowing out of his ears and Chooch and I actually ran to the car ahead of him when we left because we were afraid he was going to beat us with his boot, lol.

(Disclaimer: Henry has never beaten us with his boot but there’s always a first time for everything!)

Henry will never stop eating meat but it’s really cool that he is willing (and without being a jerk) to eat vegetarian/vegan food every now and then. I mean, let’s be real, most times, Chooch and I have to scramble to find something to eat at regular restaurants or we have to settle for the generic Gardenburger of the 1990s. It’s nice to actually experience the other end of ordering anxiety – when there’s so much to choose and everything sounds delicious!

So hats off to Halftime-Herbivore Hank for indulging our plant-based needs.

Well, that concludes my Sunday food round-up. We didn’t purposely go to Toronto with a Go Veg or GTFO mindset, but it just happened that way!

Jan 302019
 

We got a pretty late start to our drive to Toronto on Saturday which I wasn’t pleased about but Henry wanted to rent a car so that automatically meant we couldn’t leave until after 9 ugh Henry ruins everything however the car we rented had heated seats which was fantastic to have while traveling to freaking Canada in January.

So I’ll give him a pass this time.

The drive to the border was pretty uneventful but we did stop at that one travel plaza that requires one to cross over the highway via a skybridge so that was fun. This was also Chooch’s first time traveling along this route but he was buried in his phone the whole time and it’s doubtful he noticed anything except for when he expressed excitement upon spotting the General Mills building while passing through Buffalo. This was inexplicably a big deal to him?

One notable thing was that this was the first time entering Canada with Henry where he didn’t get us pulled off for further questioning because of his suspicious, nervous stutter. We just breezed right through after he said, “concert. Winner” to the border guy’s question of “why are you here.” Good job, Henry.

I don’t know why I was in such a hurry to get there. We didn’t have any standing plans for Saturday other than EAT AT DOOMIES, which is a vegan “fast food” establishment that Chooch and I had been drooling over at the mere thought.

We stayed a bit outside of Toronto this time, checked in around 4 and then took the train downtown. Chooch and I were really excited because while we were waiting for the train, Henry realized he left his phone charger in the car and actually ran to get it which was hilarious because he was wearing this big burly gray fleece-lined hoodie over his jacket, plus a beanie, so I started humming the Rocky theme and then Chooch was nearly peeing his pants. Oh you guys, the sight of Henry actually running, like legit hauling ass, totally gave us the jollies.

Two fucking hyenas.

Here we have Henry, deep inside his favorite zone. What you can’t see is Chooch sitting across from him, drawing a weener on a picture of Henry and me spectating this and cackling like a middle schooler. Henry tried to hurt our feelings by saying he’d rather hang out with his 1.5 year old grandson Calvin, who is, and I quote, “quieter and less needy” than Chooch and me.

WOW.

Once in Toronto, we left Union Station (after Henry bought two family day passes for their public transportation system and proceeded to look like a walking fanny pack, that’s how much of a yodel-dodely tourist he came off as. Chooch and I were caught up in Korea flashbacks for real) and walked around for a bit, passing the Fairmont Hotel, where we were fairly certain Winner was staying but Henry drew the line at going inside and loafing creepily in the lobby all evening.

So we got on a streetcar to Parkdale, a/k/a Vegandale where Doomies is located! It’s actually inside the Vegandale Brewery now so that was kind of a bummer because all the videos I had watched on Toronto vegan spots featured the old location of Doomies which seemed to have way more of a “dive” feel to it and that’s what I like. I’m not wild about breweries.

Immediately, we were put off by the host and hostess, who were like the King and Queen of the Glacier Prom. I was not impressed with their hipster ambivalence but I’m glad we gave it a chance because our waitress was wonderful – friendly, helpful, and just genuinely nice – and the FOOD WAS FUCKING STELLAR.

I wanted us all to get something different so we could taste-trade, and Chooch had already called dibs on the vegan Big Mac (not on the menu, but it exists and it is the Holy Grail of meatless burgers, let me tell you), so I opted for the Chik-Bac-Ranch sandwich because anytime a faux-chix sandwich is on the menu, I’m down for that chick-biz.

But then stupid-ass carnivore Henry got the chicken and waffles and Chooch and I were like, “WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT” because I already got chicken and we wanted him to get a different thing! He is so dumb! Ugh.

I tried some of this and it was legit fam. It’s amazing that I was able to get a taste though because Chooch devoured that sumbitch like he was on a day pass from the orphanage. It was nuts.

Oh man, if I had the time to write a chapbook in honor of this bitchin’ chicken…

This Doomie fake-fowl has my heart. Fuck all the rest.

Bellies full of no-meat and totally content.

It was so cold that weekend in Toronto, but we still strolled around as much as we could handle it. Chooch was mad because he took a picture of this wall-saying first and then I copied him.

We hopped on another streetcar eventually, and then took the subway to KOREATOWN. On the subway, some younger girl next to me nudged me, literally elbowed me like we were bros, and said, “I love your jacket.” I happily said thanks and Chooch was so pissed. “Even in CANADA?!” he cried later, and Henry, who had been sitting across from us, said he was watching the girl right before she went in with the elbow and said he could tell that she was considering doing it.

OF COURSE HE WAS WATCHING HER. He’s the Perv of Public Transit!

Anyway, I think I might start an Instagram for my coat so it can cyberbully him.

That’s what any good mom would do, I think.

Yeah boiiiii. I talk to this Korean guy Kyoung on Kakao (three cheers for natural alliteration) and he was like SEND ME PICTURES and was so excited to see a Canadian Korea Town so that was pretty cool. We stopped at this little place we went to last time that sells homemade walnut cakes (hodo kwaja) because they also have patbingsu and I was IN THE MOODSU.  Chooch got hotteok and was so content.

(Hotteok is a delicious sweet Korean pancake full with piping hot, gooey brown sugar and cinnamon, it’s like something that was created specifically for Jesus to have at his birthday parties, that’s how religiously delicious it is and I cannot wait to get my ass back to Korea and buy one every day from street vendors.)

It was just us and a bunch of Koreans so I was content, too, haha. I didn’t care that it was like 5 degrees outside, that patbingsu was everything I needed right then.

(Even though it wasn’t the fancy kind that I wanted at some place that Henry deemed TOO FAR TO GET TO EASILY.)

This place makes their own pat (sweet red bean) so that was a real bonus, and one of the girls working there even came over and asked us if we wanted more of it. I did NOT hesitate. Pat is my fucking jam, man.

(Actually, it would probably make good jam now that I think of it.)

Then we walked around Korea Town for an eternity and I pouted in a Kpop store because I couldn’t decide what Taemin album I wanted to buy so instead I BOUGHT NONE OF THEM and acted like a brat and then the cafe I wanted to go to was CLOSED and I suddenly had to PEE and it was getting colder and colder by the minute, so we decided to head back to Union Station around 8.

Fucking cold, man.

We walked around Union Station for a bit before getting on the platform to catch the train back. I was happy that they had clean restrooms there.

I insisted that we walk around the block one more time just in case Winner was meandering about, like they would actually be outside in that cold weather and not in some warm and cozy high class steak house or something. Le sigh. I kept seeing people on Instagram posting pictures of their run-ins with various Winner members in Seattle and Houston AND I REALLY THOUGHT IT COULD HAPPEN TO ME TOO, OK?! I did think that I saw Mino near their alleged hotel but it ended up being an Indian in a turban, which really could be something that Mino might be wearing.

HE IS VERY FASHION-FORWARD.

When Chooch realized I took that first picture, he posed for the one above. He’s a camera whore, you guys, and I have no idea who created that monster.

GOODBYE TRAIN.

We got back to the hotel around 10 and promptly crashed. Walking in the cold is tiring.

This post was so exciting. We had a lot of fun but it was mostly because Chooch and I were making fun of Henry the whole time, and that doesn’t translate well on here.

Stay tuned for more walking-in-the-cold that took place the next day!

Jan 282019
 

9:19am: Wow, wowee wow wow, I know the many readers I have were like WHERE IS DAT LIVEBLOG THO. We left the hotel around 7 but I had to wait until my phone switched back to US stuffs, you know how that goes.

WHAT YOU MISSED: me droning on ad nauseum about last night’s Winner concert and then stupidly asking “WHERE IS THE MOVING WELL??” when I saw a digital sign over the highway that said “QEW Moving Well” (my reading comprehension is impaired in the AM), and Henry dropping us off in the freezing cold to see Niagara Falls because he refused to pay $15 to park.

So that was anticlimactic because let’s be real, I care more about all that crap on Clifton Hill and the last two times we were in Niagara we didn’t have time for tourist traps. Frown face all the way home.

We just left Duty Free so Henry could exchange back the leftover money since I spent zero dollars last night at the Winner show because the only shirt sizes they had left by the time I got to the front of the merch counter was Large and I’m not the type of broad who looks cute in oversized shirts so I passed – they were $65CAD! Anyway, at Duty Free I got maple and ice wine candy for work even though I hate it there lately.

While we in Duty Free, the James Ingram and Michael McDonald’s classic “Yah Mo B There” came on I was living in the moment. Or the past. Goddamn I love that song.

I still don’t know who Yah Mo is though.

10:16am: BREAKING NEWS! Last night after the Winner show, I hopped on IG and saw that SM officially confirmed that Taemin will be making his solo comeback in February! Then just now I saw that the official date is February 11th! THAT IS LESS THAN A MONTH! (I can do maths!) My stomach is doing somersaults over here on the highway outside of Buffalo!

TAEMIN BE MY VALENTINEEEEEEEE.

10:30am: Taemin excitement aside, I am still riding high on this Yah Mo B There revival so I’m blasting it in the car and Chooch has question marks undulating above his head. I tried to explain it to him by saying it was only one of the greatest songs of the 80s while Henry was subtly shaking his head no. Then I regaled them with the story of how when I dated this guy Jeff in 1998, he told me his stepdad looked just like Michael McDonald. “And then I got to meet him and HE REALLY DID!” I screamed to my conversation hostages and they were just like “Cool story.”

The song just ended and I snapped around to ask Backseat Chooch if he thought he was awesome and he just shook his head no, eyes all wide like he had just watched a snuff film.

That’s ok because now we’re listening to I DONT HAVE THE HEART by James Ingram and I am like FUCKING CRYING and exaggeratedly lip syncing and Chooch just wailed, “This music is so boring!” and dramatically passed out across the backseat.

THIS IS THE BEST OF LITE FM, YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH.

Now I’m on a songs of Days of Our Lives kicks and as “Tonight I Celebrate…” was playing, I asked, “Was this Hope & Bo’s song?”

“I don’t know!” Henry laughed in exasperation.

“Oh my god,” Chooch murmured from the backseat, looking for ways to end it all with his seatbelt.

Now I’m on a Santa Barbara kick and going on about Eden and Cruz while “If Ever I’m In Your Arms Again” butted up against my shrill voice and Chooch finally cried uncle and screamed I WOULD RATHER LISTEN TO TAEMIN which is something he has NEVER said before so now we’re all happily listening to Taemin’s “Play Me.”

Speaking of Taemin, I bought the second version of Press It at one of the Kpop shops in Korea Town yesterday and the guy working there was like my ideal type (Henry said he was 18 and that is NOT TRUE he was probably like 20) and he asked, “Are there any groups you’re looking for miss?” MISS!!!!!! NOT MAAM!!!!

When I said, “Just Taemin,” as I held up one of the albums, he gave me a knowing nod and chuckled. Henry was like, “Kill me.”

One of my co-workers was saying something about how she never buys CDs anymore and to be honest, when I was still into my old types of music, I had stopped buying CDs too (I’d just buy vinyl of bands I really liked) but Kpop is different because it’s not the CD you’re buying, it’s like an entire package of art. So no, I’ll probably never pop that CD in the car player (I think that’s the only CD player we even have!) but I will put it on the shelf with my other Kpop albums and cherish it forever.

This picture, tho.

11:45am: Traditional Sheetz roadtrip lunch break. We are in too much of a hurry to get back home (I forgot to put our shop on vacation mode and sales exploded) so we opted for a quick Sheetz MTO over a sit-down meal and I didn’t complain because their veggie wraps with lite Boom Boom sauce are my ultimate on-the-road go-to omg. Also, Chooch screamed that Henry shit his pants in the bathroom and everyone turned to look at us so that was cool.

12:33pm: Currently discussing how we always forget how close Toronto actually is to Pittsburgh. “Yeah, it takes longer to get Philadelphia, it seems,” Henry said and this caused me to go off.

“I hate how long it takes to get to Philly! You’re in the same state, it shouldn’t take that long to get to you!” I spat. And then, in a calmer tone, “Those are just my thoughts on that issue.” And then, “SO DOES THAT MEAN WE CAN GO TO CANADA’S WONDERLAND SOMETIME??”

“I never said we couldn’t?” Henry said so I’m adding that to my 2019 amusement park list and crossing my dumb, tattooed fingers.

12:39pm: At Sheetz #2 so Papa H can get gas and I thought the Now Hiring sign said Now Killing and Henry did the smirk he does when I reveal daily how terrible my eyesight is.

Yesterday I saw a sign that I thought said Hair Lesbians but it was Hair Aesthetics. *shrug*

1:33pm: Henry and I just finished an impromptu business meeting. It was so riveting that Chooch put his headphones on. But anyway, we’re in Pittsburgh!! Driving past downtown right now so we should be home in 10 minutes, and this might actually be the earliest we’ve ever returned home from a road trip, I’m impressed with our hustle. Now I get to spend the rest of the day packaging Valentines with a healthy number of Winner dance breaks.

So, until the next road trip (next month!), stay sober homies.