Aug 202018

Before I get into the real reason we were in Santa Claus, Indiana, I want to talk about the delightful time we spent at the Santa Claus Museum before departing for Pittsburgh yesterday morning.

Yes, the museum was open on Sundays, much to Henry’s dismay!

I thought it was pretty strange that a random town in Indiana was named after Santa, but luckily, I learned immediately at the museum that it was originally called Santa Fee, but when it was time to, I don’t know, do something postal-related, I can’t remember now (I’m the worst at museum-ing!), they realized that there was a town called Santa Fe also in Indiana (WHICH SANTA FE CAME FIRST!? Who has time to google, not me — I want to get through this blog post and finish watching the Taemin Off-Sick concert!! HE WEARS A SWEATER VEST WITH NOTHING UNDER IT DURING ONE SONG, AND HIS PANTS HAVE SUSPENDERS AND HE HAS SOME WEIRD SWEATER COOZY ON HIS ONE FOREARM – ONLY LEE TAEMIN CAN MAKE THIS DORK-STYLE SIZZLE).

Anyway, back to the Sante Fee vs. Santa Fe debacle. There was a town hall meeting to come up with a new name and during that meeting, a strong gust of wind blew the door open and some child-broad yelled, “SANTA CLAUS?!” So that’s how that happened.

A likely story.

But first, we had to snoop around this creepy Santa statue which is allegedly the oldest in the world but then I also read that it’s the only tribute statue to Santa, so…It was still very cool! When we were walking over to it, we saw an older couple that was standing in line in front of us for our first ride on the Voyage at Holiday World the day before!

SPOILER ALERT: We were in Santa Claus for an amusement park.

Such secrets.

(It wasn’t a secret. But we almost didn’t go so I was trying to refrain from being all FOUR MORE DAYS UNTIL HOLIDAY WORLD except at work. Those poor people had to hear about it a lot. The new admin lady is learning so much about me whether she wants to or not.)

‘Sup Santa.

So the museum was actually a museum for the TOWN and not Santa in general, which was fine. I appreciate learning the history of a quaint little town every now and then.

I love that they keep old letters to Santa on display.


One of my favorites was from some polite bitch who was like I don’t want anything for Xmas but peace and whatnot and then she conveniently left a PS:

But then the one below it, OUCH MY STUPID HEART.

Chooch was diligently working to piece together this puzzle which ended up missing a bunch of edge pieces and he was in a fit of extreme outrage over this but before the rage happened, some super annoying midwest family came in and the young daughter screamed, “MAMA IS THAT REALLY SANTA” while peering at pictures of some old town Santa in a cabinet. Chooch spun around so fast with the most disgusted look on his face and I was like OH GOD IS HE GOING TO END THIS BITCH’S CHILDHOOD RIGHT NOW but then he turned back around and focused all of his energy on that stupid puzzle that I would have had pieced together in like two minutes, but let’s not make this a competition.

Then the mom was hovering while I was reading the letters to Santa so I stepped aside and she swooped in and started taking pictures of every single one.

The other appealing thing about this town is that some dude back in the day was like, “I have a lot of money so I’m going to retired and build Santa Claus Land” and that’s what he did but then it was only mildly successful and something happened, I can’t remember, and now it’s Holiday World.

OH! There was a wall in the hallway that had a bunch of framed celebrities’ headshots with signed dollar bills in each one and it turns out that some townie back in the 80s decided to write to famous people and ask for their autographed pictures and they included a dollar to also be signed and these celebrities like Johnny Carson and Danny DeVito actually complied?! I thought only soap opera actors did that shit.

Chooch was like, “I DON’T KNOW WHO ANY OF THESE PEOPLE ARE” so I pointed to Charlton Heston and started mouthing off about the NRA and Henry gave me the NOT HERE, NOT NOW moustache bristle so then I mumbled, “He was Moses.”




(Even though the lady in the museum didn’t ask him if he had written his letter yet, but she practically pounced on the kids in the annoying family about it because they were younger OK #AGEISM.)

This fucker really asked Santa for V-Bucks. I RUE THE DAY FORTNIGHT CAME INTO OUR LIVES. I literally start to shake when he starts begging and whining for V-Bucks. He wanted this “special” they were having the other day and then told me it was TWENTY-FIVE REAL DOLLARS to get a bunch of FAKE DOLLARS to buy FAKE GOODS for his VIDEO GAME CHARACTER?! Um, no. This is the dumbest thing ever, Santa don’t you dare get him V-Bucks.

Get me a gift certificate for Choice Music.

Then the annoying family came in and took over so I was like OK LET’S WRAP THIS UP because I just couldn’t handle the mom with her neon pink Loony Toons shirt and fanny pack.

I don’t know if it was actually Loony Toons but it was neon pink and something a mom would wear in the early nineties and I needed to get away from her.

(Ironically, I was wearing a Hypercolor shirt BUT IT WAS FOR THE BAND HANDS LIKE HOUSES so don’t lump me in. Don’t you fucking dare do it.)

This old-ass creepy church was also on the property so we poked around.

Oh god, it smelled SO OLD in there, and I felt like I was for sure inhaling asbestos and ancient sins. I can’t believe they let people go in there. The floorboards were whack in some spots and I felt like rafters could have started falling in on us at any moment and not just because we heathens yo.

The museum was free but there was a suggested donation of $5 for families so I made Henry cough it up and then I only signed Chooch’s and my name in the guest book, hahahahaha.

Afterward, we went down the street to Santa’s Candy Castle which I mentioned in my liveblog (DID YOU READ IT?! I can’t remember what I wrote but it was probably not important). This was originally part of Santa Claus Land – oh hey, the candy castle’s website has a history page! Here, just read this. 

I just love shit like this. I didn’t even want any candy, I just wanted to see the building. But then I saw that they sold salt water taffy so I bought a bag for work just to be a dick because everyone goes to the beach and brings back legit salt water taffy. WELL HERE’S A SACK OF TAFFY FROM SANTA CLAUS, INDIANA!

Glenn was not impressed.

Overall, Santa Claus, Indiana is a quirky little town and even though I couldn’t imagine living there, it was a fun little road trip and I hope that one day Chooch will be like, “KIDS WE’RE GOING TO SANTA CLAUS” and his partner will be like, “WTF WHY.”

Aug 192018

Guys, our trip to Holiday World was everything I wanted it to be and more but we will get to that another day. Right now, we just checked out of our OK hotel (I booked it and it was way better than the sex shack Henry holed us up in in Newark) but it was hard to leave because we had inadvertently become invested in a movie on the Hallmark Channel (Bridal Wave, lol). I mean, I can guess how it ends but STILL.

So now it’s 8:43am and we’re on our way to the Santa Claus Museum, because we are in Santa Claus, IN after all.

We just drove past a house surrounded by corn fields that had a ROOMS FOR RENT sign and now I wish we had stayed there. Also, I just told Henry I’m Live-blogging and he flipped me off.



9:42am: We just left the Santa Claus Museum and Santa’s Candy Castle and both were worth the pit stop in case you were considering driving past with no regrets.

Oldest Santa statue in the world!

I think I will post about the museum separately because I have a lot of pictures and there was a family there that I hated.

But Santa’s Candy was legit. It smelled wonderful and the employees were so nice! The guy who rang us up reminded me of Hank from Breaking Bad. He just kind of looked like him, OK?!

We bought a small bag of Krispie Kreme Jelly Bellys there and I only ate like 10 of them and feel so fucking sick.

11:26am: TIME JUMPED AHEAD I GUESS. Stupid time zones. We just stopped at a Pilot and it destroyed my good mood because I hate gross gas stations and this one was awful and the “coffee station” was dilapidated and there were flies all over it SO THAT WAS A SOLID NOPE.



Me: I could NOT live in Indiana.

Henry: That’s obvious. Places are limited where you could live.

But seriously WHERE ARE ALL THE CAFES. I have to get coffee at MCDONALD’S.

Chooch just screamed, “Peach ice cream!” because we just passed some barn-shaped grocery store with a huge peach ice cream sign so now I’m mocking him and screaming PEACH ICE CREAM is my new brand. Also, if you think Henry didn’t just completely overcomplicate an order of one small coffee with cream and sweetener, then do you even know Henry? That was the most awkward McDonald’s drive-thru ordering I’ve witnessed in a long time.

Also I only ordered a small because if I find a better place I AM STOPPING.

Or – telling Henry to stop.

12:08pm: Driving through Louisville and I just can’t stop feeling disgusted that they have some sports arena called the KFC Yum! Center.

12:20pm: Henry just made some off-hand comment about how the time hasn’t changed yet and I started screaming about how that there time done BEEN changed for A WHILE now and he would know that if HE READ MY LIVE BLOG.

12:50pm: Oh I forgot – when we stopped at Pilot, there was a RED CARPET INN across the street so Chooch and I were dry-heaving. And then inside Pilot, an announcement came on that SHOWER #4 WAS READY and Chooch was all “ew people take showers here?!” And we had to explain to him that Truck Driver Life but then I added, “If I was staying at that Red Carpet Inn, I’d rather take showers here” and Chooch almost puked from laughing so hard and then the cashier asked Henry if he needed a bag and he said because he thought we were still standing there and would help him carry the stuff but of course we had already walked outside and he came out to the parking lot with an armful of items and started bitching at us for bailing like this was so unexpected.

2:31pm: WHY DO RESTAURANTS CLOSE AFTER LUNCH. Every fucking place I’ve found on Yelp for this shitty area outside of Cincinnati closes at 2 or 3 so now I guess we are going to Hyde’s which is fine but I have eaten here before and I wanted to try something different! Ugh! I AM HUNGRY THO SO SOMEONE JUST STUFF A GRILLED CHEESE IN MY FAT FACE ALREADY.

Also I have chocolate stains all over my shirt and shorts from the dumb protein bar I ate for breakfast. Ugh.

2:48pm: We’re at Hyde’s and I came so close to sitting at a booth with OLIVER NORTH.

GAG!! (In case you don’t know, I HATE OLIVER NORTH.)

Also, Chooch beat me and submitted the Hyde’s help wanted sign to Job Spotter and got 97 points for it! THAT’S NINETY SEVEN CENTS!!

Well, Henry and I just had a mild disagreement over the Cole slaw here (I think it’s too sweet, he thinks it’s just right) and for some reason, Chooch thought this was SO HILARIOUS that he spewed a mouthful of iced tea all over the booth and Henry was like GOODBYE and left us lol.

Update: Henry’s back. He was just hiding in the bathroom. The only guy that was sitting near us got up and left.

I just had to send Chooch outside to take deep breaths and now he’s making friends with a gaggle or elder-broads.

Now he’s back and blaming Henry for making him crack up and he really just said, “I’m just trying to live a normal life.”

3:00pm: Waitress just asked me “Do you want more coffee ma’am” and I’m like yeah but I also need you to stop calling me ma’am.

I just wistfully said, “Ugh now I want to watch Short Circuit” and Henry asked why. “Um, because of this SONG?!”

(Bee Gee’s More Than a Woman is playing right now.)

Why does he never KNOW.

3:25pm: Some broad just said she wanted two slices of coconut pie to go so the waitress repeated “Ok 2 coconuts to go” so Henry scoffed and said, “I have two coconuts to go” and gestured at Chooch and me. WOW FUNNY GUY.

3:43pm: I got mad at Chooch and told him he can go get reborn elsewhere and I don’t even know that that means but it felt like the ULTIMATE SLAM at the time.

3:54pm: Here in Henry’s Mecca, aka Jungle Jim’s:

4:57pm: Just left Jungle Jim’s and Henry has that fresh-from-the-market glow. I like it there to a point but then I remember that I’m surrounded by assholes and getting rammed into with shopping carts and I’m over it. Especially when some kids were like “Mom look, exotic KitKats! Are they real?!” And Mom came over with her resting bitch fest and said, “Ew I don’t know. Those are WEIRD” and of course she was super skinny and had that quintessential short soccer mom hair

YOU’RE weird, Mom!

They had cherimoya which I begged for because if you didn’t know that is my FAVORITE fruit but Henry was like, “NOT FOR $10 A PIECE!” Ugh. I did get a sapote though which I haven’t had since my friend Kevin sent me one five or six years ago and I have dreamt of them ever since!

5:53pm: Just stopped at another Pilot. I went into the bathroom and the only available stall had a bunch of poop in it so I said NOPE I’LL WAIT FOR ANOTHER and then a girl came in and was like “There a mess in there?” And I said “Yes it’s pretty gross” so we stood there silently for about 30 seconds listening to someone pee in the taken stall, and then the girl said, “Like is it just not flushed?” And I said “I mean I didn’t really inspect it. I just saw a ton of poop and left” so she went in, lifted up her leg AND FLUSHED IT WITH HER FOOT. She had on flip flops! If could have flipped and flopped into the muddy commode!

Anyway, it flushed and she was like THERE U GO and I muttered thanks and then reluctantly went in even though I didn’t want to use that stall and furthermore I didn’t even really have to pee that bad!!

Oh, the crisis.

Back out in the store, Henry and Chooch filled me on their own bathroom story about the guy who may or not have been living in one of the stalls and another stall was playing rap music. When I told Henry my story and got to the part about the girl using her flip flopped foot to flush, he said, “I saw a guy come out of the bathroom in bare feet yesterday” and I scanned my brain to play back all the places we were at yesterday and I screamed, “EW AT HOLIDAY WORLD?!”

That park had some very questionable clientele.

Chooch got the Giordano’s Deep Dish limited edition Lays and it doesn’t taste like it at all and now the car smells kind of like puke because of it.

7:00pm: Current Sitch – Henry is not speaking to me because I snapped at him for not immediately knowing what I was talking about when I mentioned the Log Jammer’s spillway.


8:24pm: I finally ate my coveted, signature Sheetz veggie wrap so I feel better now however Henry started “thinking out loud” about whether Ruby Tuesday’s still has their lettuce wedge salad and I snapped out and yelled SHUT UP NO ONE CARES.

Also, we managed to lose not one but TWO of the three reusable straws we brought with us so I feel pretty defeated because we didn’t just throw them out by accident but we literally LITTERED. There was a hole in the stupid Journeys drawstring bag we had with us at Holiday World ugh.

Also x2 one of my relatives was mocking those of us concerned with the environment and sardonically promised not to use straws and I am just so fucking of conservative cabbagefucks acting like it’s so cool to be environmentally deviant. You’re right, let’s all just dump buckets of oil into the nearest body of water for funsies and show the world who owns it. Rah rah rah.

Also x3 before I fed my face, I snapped out on Chooch because I am SO SICK OF HIM ASKING FOR V-BUCKS FOR THAT STUPID FORTNITE GAME and I yelled about how I’m not spending $25 for some in-game purchase that won’t even yield something tangible that he can hold in his hand but is only just some virtual accessory for his stupid character and school starts on Friday and we haven’t even bought him new shoes yet so NO I’M NOT FUNNELING MY HARD-EARNED MONEY INTO THE MAW OF A FUCKING VIDEO GAME. And wow did I ever feel like a REAL MOM after that rant.

8:56pm: Two of my friends announced that they’re going to be moms and it was so nice to see GOOD NEWS today – I’m so happy for them!

9:24pm: WELCOME TO PENNSYLVANIA. Oh thank god.

9:47pm: Chooch was just on the phone with his neighbor-pal who is extremely geographically challenged. “I wasn’t in CHICAGO, Jayden! No that’s in ILLINOIS. I was in INDIANA!” On the way There Friday night, he was like, “No Jayden I’m not there yet. No, I’m not coming home tonight! BECAUSE IT TAKES 7 HOURS TO GET THERE, WHY WOULD I COME HOME THE SAME NIGHT?!” He gets so aggravated talking to him haha.

10:58pm: Hi friends I have been home since 10:15 and I am ready to crash and dream about the incredible coasters we rode at Holiday World – Chooch and I are obsessed! I would include Henry in that statement but he’s a bitch and only rode ONE OF THEM, ONCE. He’s so disappointing.

Aug 172018

At some point today we will be in Indiana, and I promised to do part of the driving so I won’t be able to liveblog. So instead, I guess have a Friday Five featuring things I’m currently into or thoughts that are glomming onto my brain. It’s a Friday free-for-all.

1. Jonghyun Pins & Making Friends

I saw this Jonghyun tribute pin a few weeks on Instagram and immediately bought one. In some small way, it makes me feel comforted to have it, you know? Anyway, I noted that the seller is also from Pittsburgh so I got really excited and messaged her that I am also from Pittsburgh, hoping that she would read the invisible words that trailed after which said in desperate font PLEASE BE MY FRIEND. She did not pick up on this though and simply replied with, “haha small world! Enjoy the pin!” So I was like HENRY WHAT SHOULD I DO because my social skills are about as dried up as the remnants of my dead plants that I still haven’t thrown away. Henry of course was no help because he doesn’t care about making friends so I waited a few days and messaged her again with a hopefully-not-psycho-sounding suggestion of meeting up for coffee & Kpop talk sometime and she was like “Cool! I’m actually leaving to go back to college soon but I’ll let you know when I’m back in town again” and I don’t know why I’m surprised that she is probably nearly 20 years younger than me, sigh.

But then, while I think about how nice it would be to have a friend here in the city who shares my interests, does it really matter all THAT much? I like all my friends here whether they like the same shit as me or not. And I think it’s kind of cool that all of my friends are so different from me when it comes to interests and hobbies.

2. The new Hands Like Houses single

I can’t tell you how many alerts I get about new music from bands I used to love, and I’m like “I’ll check that out later” and do I?! NO! Just like when friends are like “You should watch [insert American Tv show]” and do I? NO! Because I have reached a point where I almost despise hearing the English language, how messed up is that?! I made it through one episode of Sharp Objects and it was fine but I never went back because it felt strange to not be reading subtitles or hearing that certain Korean dialect that has become more familiar to me than my own language. Anyway, my point is, when I saw Hands Like Houses had a new video, I actually did watch it right away and, not surprisingly, I loved it because I have loved everything that HLH has ever done. Some of the reasons I love them is because:

  • They sound like no other band
  • Trenton manages to keep his Australian accent while singing and I LOVE that
  • They’re from Canberra which is where I went to see the Cure for the first time!
  • One of the guys in the band bears such a strong resemblance to a young Tim Curry and has always looked so overcome with joy every time I’ve seen him on stage and it just makes me so happy!
  • They’re coming back to the US this fall for a tour with EMAROSA and I want to go but the closest city is Philly and I’m not sure Henry will go for it but I have like two mths to beg for my life so we’ll see. Anyway, here is their new video, I HOPE YOU LIKE IT. I helped film it, clearly.

    3. Cats Are Movin’ On Up

    Remember sometime last winter when Chooch constructed a shoddy cat condo out of a bunch of cardboard boxes? And we had to beg Henry not to throw it away every Garbage Day? Well, that thing was so busted after awhile that even I was starting to turn against it. And then, the actual cat tower we had BROKE which really isn’t that shocking because it was nearly 20 years old. I bought it for my Original 4 Cats when I was going on the aforementioned Canberra, Australia trip because I was trying to make them less sad that I was leaving (they didn’t care at all in reality) so it ended up just sitting in the basement for years until we got Drew and Penelope and wondered if they would use it. Drew ended up loving it! Penelope notsomuch. So when it broke two weeks ago, Drew was like WHY DO YOU HATE ME.

    I talked Henry into buying this fancy cat tower from Chewy and he did but ONLY because he had a coupon for it, he is such a tightwad. When it was delivered last week, Chooch and I begged Henry to assemble it straight away and he was like DO YOU NOT WANT DINNER THEN and I was like OH LOL I MEANT AFTER YOU MAKE DINNER.

    At first, Drew was hesitant but now she is like “I can’t believe you guys had me loafing in that cat shanty when this palace was out there all along.”

    Even Penelope plays on it! (though it’s harder for her to get on it since she is a jumping dunce).

    And made a special Jimin VIP room! Henry was like WHY IS JIMIN IN THERE because he has no imagination and doesn’t believe in cat tower interior design. Cool. Cool cool cool, Henry.

    (Hive five to anyone who read that in Melissa Joan Hart’s voice. CLARISSA EXPLAINS IT ALL VIBES!)

    4. Pittsburgh Jesus

    A few months ago, I was walking past the Steel Plaza trolley entrance when I looked over and I swear to god I saw Jesus Christ himself emerging from the little park area next to it. He was illuminated by rays of sunlight, even. This was Jesus, for sure, and not even the emblazoned-on-a-grilled-cheese version.

    But then my eyes adjusted to the blinding light and I realized it was just a homeless guy.

    I suppose this is something I could have sent a Greetings from Erin’s Lunch Break about but the truth is that I haven’t SENT A SINGLE ONE because I lost all motivation and also because I spend almost all of my lunch breaks on the phone with my therapist (lol, his name is Henry) because I am a crazy person who needs help and Henry lets me yell.

    Anyway! I saw him again one time when I was leaving work after one of my late shifts and as I got in the car I hoarsely whispered to Henry, “There he is! The guy I thought was Jesus!” and Henry was like, “….that fat black guy?”

    Ugh no behind him!

    Luckily, I saw him again the other day and had the perfect opportunity to snap a pic because he was just casually standing on the steps right by my building.

    Honestly, I felt blessed.(FRIDAY FIVE INTERLUDE: We just left Loving Hut somewhere outside of Columbus and we are ragging on Henry to the point where Chooch just barfed up a mouthful of Strawberry Smoothie To Go and I just screamed because Pawn Shop is closed and I had fake-convinced myself that I wanted to stop there after we ate, and Henry just called us assholes.)

    5. COCO where’d you GOGO

    Hey guys Chooch and I helped a guy find his lost dog while we were on our nightly neighborhood walk the other night. Just another day being hometown heroes, no biggie.

    We first saw Coco leering back at us from the end of the sidewalk we were walking down. I got scared and turned around at first because you never know what you’re gonna get with a leashless dog! But then she ran around the corner and we were like LETS SEE WHERE SHE WENT and then some older man was all COCO! COCO! Ugh Peg left the GATE open! I’m going to YELL at her!

    We were like SIR ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A DOG CUZ WE SAW ONE and he was like YES WHERE and Chooch put on his Dog Detective hat and pointed the way. We kind of stood there helplessly for a while and then I was like “This is awkward, Kid. Let’s split.”

    But when we walked up to the next street, we saw some teenage girl slowly chasing a dog through her yard, yelling things to a man on the porch like “It has a harness on!” And I was like THAT MUST BE COCO so I had her and Chooch Lee an eye on her while I ran through the alley to find the man who looked like Harry Potter’s uncle, and I frantically yelled, “Mister we found your dog!” And he asked his neighbor lady if he could hop in her car and they took off to the street I pointed to and I ran back through the alley to find that Chooch and the girl were still blocking Coco but then right when the car rolled up, she bolted deeper into the bowels of Brookline and the girl screamed PAP, GET HER! So now the girl’s pap was party of the search party and the owner got out of the car with the leash while the neighbor lady (who I thought was Peg at first and wondered if she had already gotten yelled at but turns out she was just a nice neighbor who was helping Harry Potter’s uncle who was in NO SHAPE to be trying to lasso Coco on his own) crept slowly after Coco in her car while the rest of us walk-ran in order to not spook Coco into running faster.

    OH FRIENDS it was a whole ordeal. But we finally cornered her and the girl was able to grab onto Coco’s harness while Harry Potter’s uncle clobbered over to us with the leash, panting and on the verge of a coronary.

    We all bid each other a jovial adieu and then Chooch and I ran home and walked Henry up to tell him that we were hometown heroes once again and he mumbled “I’m so sure” and then fell back asleep.

    Last night during our walk, I pointed things out to Henry like the bush where the girl was first trying to catch Coco and the alley where I ran down to tell the owner I found her and Henry was straight sneering on the backseat of a bus to Frown Town.

    “It was a really big deal, Henry. You had to be there,” I huffed.

    “I doubt it,” he muttered.

    “If Brookline had a newsletter, it would have been in there!” I yelled haughtily, but by then his bus had reached its miserable stop at the corner of Scowl Street in Frown Town so he was no longer listening.

    And that’s all for this week’s Friday Five! It’s 9:04pm and we’re still in Ohio, to the point where I’m not convinced that Henry hasn’t turned around at some point without me knowing and we’re actually headed back to Pittsburgh.

    Aug 152018

    I was talking to Henry about this girl I used to play tennis with back in high school and how she went on to be the second runner-up on one season of Survivor, and this turned into us talking about our high school days because in case you didn’t know, Henry and I went to the same high school, only like FOURTEEN YEARS apart, lol.

    So we got on the topic of which teacher was what coach and he mentioned Mr. Meehleib being the golf coach or something, and Meehleib is not a very common name so I screamed, “MR. MEEHLEIB?! DID HE ALSO TEACH  MATH?!” and Henry was like, “I don’t know, I guess. He had glasses and really—”

    “—CURLY HAIR!” I yelled excitedly. So I guess Mr. Meeleib was a high school teacher back in Henry’s days, but when I knew him, he was my third grade math teacher and also the only male teacher at Gill Hall Elementary back then, aside from the principal and the gym teacher, dumbass Mr. Schantz who insisted on making us climb ropes and I was always one of the only kids who couldn’t do it, even before I got fat!

    Another reason why Mr. Meehleib is significant to my life is because I got my first ever E in his class! (Do you remember when the grading scale used to actually go from A-E? No? WELL THEN MAYBE I’M JUST REALLY FUCKING OLD.) I don’t know what happened to me that year, because I was actually very smart leading up to this (tested for the gifted program and everything!) but then we reached the chapter in the math book on COUNTING CHANGE and my friends, I don’t know what it was about the way my brain is wired, but I just couldn’t do it. Mr. Meehleib even had a toy register and we had to line up and take turns pretending like we were cashiers and counting change, and every time it was my turn, I would be on the verge of tears because I just wasn’t getting it. I would freeze up and he would get pretty pissed at me, if I remember correctly, so then I REALLY couldn’t do it.

    Mr. Meehleib, being the only male teacher, paddled Rick F. and Mike S. one time so I was like WILL I GET PADDLED FOR SHORTING HIM A NICKEL?!

    (They got paddled because they were disruptive d-bags not because they couldn’t accommodate an imaginary customer trying to break a $5, BUT STILL.)

    My friend Lauren struggled with it too and now  that I think about it, Lauren also couldn’t climb the ropes in gym so WAS LAUREN DRAGGING ME DOWN OR WAS I DRAGGING LAUREN DOWN?!

    Anyway, welcome to my first big fat E! I will never forget it! I cried about it for days and no one in my family even cared because they were like, “It’s one E. You’ll bounce back” but all I could think about was how I clearly had NO FUTURE because how would I ever get a job in a grocery store?!

    I was telling Henry all of this last night, like totally pouring my heart out, and I realized that shit, this must have been a BIG DEAL to me back then because I have been clearly been holding it in all these years so now I’m telling you too, Blog, in an effort to be more transparent about my secret dumbness.

    “You know that story about the time my dad walked in on me in the garage teaching a Praying Mantis how to count change when I was in 4th grade?” I asked Henry.

    “Um, no?!” he responded, as if I haven’t brought this up at least 3 dozen times during the course of our loving relationship.

    “Well anyway, that’s why I was teaching the Praying Mantis how to count change, because I was practicing” and Henry was just like, “ohmygod.”

    Wow, I feel so much better now. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest, Blog!

    FUN FACT: I only had one job where I needed to use a cash register and it was at Everything’s $1 at Century III Mall when I was in high school. On my first day, I went on my break and never came back. And no, it wasn’t because I couldn’t handle counting change, it was because I hate people.

    Aug 132018

    Kind of like the Bible, you know? Before Henry and After Henry.

    The last ride that Chooch and I went on before Henry came and pooped on my birthday* was Aero 360. When we were in line, we kept thinking that we saw Henry, but it was just other middle-aged men in non-descript shirts and varying shades of brown and gray. Then some girl behind us was talking about how she was on the Jack Rabbit earlier and it stopped right before the double dip. (Foreshadowing!)

    *(J/K Henry was actually kind of OK, I guess because it was my birthday and he knows I’m fucking fragile these days.)

    Henry rolled up to the Aero360 right as it was our turn to ride, so were like, “HENRY! WATCH US!” because we’re weirdos who like it when our people watch us go on rides. One time, we were like JANNA TAKE OUR PICTURE!!! while we were riding the Swing Shot but she fucking failed us.

    Anyway, I used to like the Aero360 a lot but now I’m just like, “It’s fine.”

    After that, we made Henry buy us ice cream cones at Golden Nugget! Truhdishun!!

    We made Henry ride THE TURTLE….

    ….and pose by the corn dog pagoda thing…..

    …and go in Noah’s Ark! Henry hates going in Noah’s Ark with us because we act like the biggest raging assholes in Kennywood inside that fucking bible boat.

    Being dicks at K-wood.

    A post shared by Erin Appledale (@ohhonestlyerin) on

    Guys, I’m so excited. The Volcano (formerly known as the Enterprise) was shut down nearly every time we went to Kennywood, to the point where last year was actually the first time Chooch had the opportunity to ride it. I found out through the Kennywood grapevine that it was because they were having a hard time finding a part for it, but then they did and now everything is right in Kennywoodland again! I love the ride, and always have, even though they gave it a dumb name so it would “fit in” better in a themed area that only last like three years.

    But the whole reason I took this picture is because I recently mentioned this in a blog post and wanted to be able to show you what I was referring to! SO GO BACK AND REFRESH YOUR MEMORY about the time that ride nearly took off my foot.

    And also I took this picture because I had just regained some semblance of equilibrium after stupidly lifting my years-long ban on the Pirate Ship thanks to Chooch’s peer-pressuring and I was killing time while sitting on a wall swallowing back vomit and waiting for Henry to come back from the super-long way to getting me water, which turns out was purposely at Auntie Anne’s because that selfish bastard wanted pretzels.

    Also, right after I took this picture, two girls probably in their early 20s walked by and one of them was wearing a BTS hoodie and I was desperate to talk to her but also didn’t want to look desperate to talk to her, so instead I watched her walk away and then I spent the rest of the day wondering if I just let my possible new-BFF slip through my stupid fingers. Ugh making friends is hard.

    I needed to go on a baby ride after the Pirate Ship made me nearly give up the ghost, so I dragged Chooch and Henry on Garfield’s Nightmare which is the lamest ride in the park (a darkride that used to be cool until it was rebranded into Garfield). Henry tried to get out of it but I was like IT IS MY BIRTHDAY, GET YOUR ASS IN THIS BOAT.

    And it’s 3D! Henry is so stoked!

    Still stoked!

    Getting loaded waffles is our new tradition. MINE IS SPECULOOS. This was also my dinner. And my make-believe birthday cake since I didn’t get a cake this year. :(

    Henry was supposed to have a G-Dragon cake made for me but I guess his love for me isn’t strong enough.

    Chooch suddenly thinks the Auto Racer tide is “so lame.” Well it’s my birthday so shut your face and get your ass in the car, boy.

    There was a brief moment in the afternoon when the park started to get crowded (we blamed Henry because it happened after he arrived) but then by early evening, it cleared out again and we have no idea where everyone went but it was glorious. If I ever had to wait more than 20 minutes for anything at Kennywood, I think I would riot because I’m so accustomed to going on off-days.

    (We’re supposed to be going again next Tuesday so I probably just jinxed myself.)

    Kennywood definitely isn’t cutting edge when it comes to amusement parks, but it has a nice collection of wooden coasters and in case you ever go to some dive bar’s trivia night and they have an Oh Honestly Erin category, WOODEN COASTERS ARE MY FAVORITES. My top 3 are:

    • T-Express in Everland (It’s just the best)
    • The Phoenix in Knoebels
    • Ravine Flyer II in Waldemeer

    OK so none of those are in Kennywood, but the ones here in K-Wood will always be close to my heart no matter what because they are pure nostalgia and always leave me with a raw and scratchy throat the next day because I AM A SCREAMER.

    We made Henry ride the Racer alone. Every time I tried to take his picture, his ginger guardian would turn and watch me with disappointment. Like, wow, lady. Worry about your own dumb family.

    We call this one Henry Rides Alone. This was right before his ginger guardian plucked a strand of his hair to keep in her Stalker Chest. I was just wistfully wondering why I’ve never kept a Stalker Chest but then I remembered the time my brother Ryan and I were obsessed with GARY, the guy who was building a backporch on our house during the summer of 1994 and we collected his cigarette butts and beer cans after he left one day and hid them under the couch, for what reason, I have no idea—I GUESS YOU WILL HAVE TO CLICK THAT LINK UP THERE— but then our dad found our psycho stash and was like WHAT IS THIS and when we told him it was Gary’s, he believed us because hello, everyone knew we were weirdos.

    Henry’s stupid train won and Chooch and I tried to shrug it off like we didn’t care but I was internalizing the urge to break bricks over my knee if we’re being honest.

    1. Chooch’s hair
    2. It was THIS empty!

    We rode the Swingshot for the second time that day, excited that now Henry was there to watch us. (We really are like little children.) I begged Henry to ride it too but he was like, “I DON’T GIVE A SHIT WHOSE BIRTHDAY IT IS, I AM NOT RIDING THAT THING.” We rode it with this one little boy who kept screaming, “It’s Mary Poppins yall!” and a couple in their 30s who I thought were going to be annoying at first because they were kind of trashy (guys have you read my children’s book, See Erin Judge?) but the lady actually ended up being super cool and after the ride ended, her man-thing peaced out but she was like I WONDER IF I CAN JUST STAY ON because there was NO LINE so she was like, “Do you guys want to just stay on with me?” and this was after I just spent a minute giving birth mid-air to a doom-baby but I said, “YEAH SURE OK WE WILL RIDE THIS TWICE IN A ROW, NO BIG DEAL, I’M NOT SCARED YOU’RE SCARED” and then the laissez faire teenage ride attendants were like, “Bitches, yall can do what you want, we don’t give a fuck” and Henry was mouthing the words, “WTF are you doing” but I just laughed and waved him off, because he wouldn’t understand, this was real daredevil shit right here.

    And then we were catapulted into the air for round 2 and I couldn’t even try to be brave because my fight-or-flight inclination to scream off the contents of my Living Will into the ether smashed any ounce of stoicism that I might have had inside me.

    Once the ride was over, I was so fucking relieved to see that there were people in line this time. “OH WELL GUESS WE CAN’T GO FOR THE THREEPEAT, SEE YA LATER, LADY” and I ran out of there, haha, just kidding, I fucking slowly stumbled out with actual knocking knees.


    Alone At Kennywood, Part 2: Serendipitous Stanley

    Henry just shook his head when we rejoined him and said, “Why do you ride that?! You don’t look like you enjoy it AT ALL!”

    I DO A LOT OF THINGS I DON’T LIKE FOR NO REAL REASON, OK HENRY? It’s call sado-masochism and also I clearly hate myself.

    Ugh, we ran into those dumb kissers again.

    I can’t remember the last time I rode the carousel at Kennywood but I felt inspired to on this day. We just missed getting on and while we were standing in line, the ride attendant came barreling over and slammed the gate shut. I was like WHAT IS HAPPENING and apparently the ride wasn’t supposed to start yet?! Like he was still going around and making sure everyone was ready and the gate was wide open so basically if it hasn’t started moving right as the people in front of us got to the entrance and stopped, we all could have been stepping on the platform as it started moving and that sucker went from a standstill to MOVING in no time.

    The ride attendant was like totally pale-faced after this happened and had to get the ride operator to shut it down while he finished making sure everyone was OK which they were but there were only about seven people on the damn thing so the lady in front of us turned to me and said, “He could have at least let us on!” I KNOW RIGHT, STRANGER?!

    Of course, I accidentally wound up having a crush on that ride attendant afterward and Henry was like, “I’m not surprised.”

    OK fine, I’m going to admit something to you, blog: I AM AFRAID OF CAROUSELS. I’m weird about heights/disembarking things and I always panic when it’s time to unstraddle whatever animal I chose so sometimes I will actually pick either the stationary horses or the old people seats. Nevertheless, every so often I get the urge to feed my fears.

    And thank god because what a stupid family selfie I was able to collect on this thing.

    We did not ride the swings. I can’t remember the last time I rode these ones, to be honest! I have been on ones in other parks though but, because I am a sentimental d-bag, I have lost so much love for Kennywood’s swings since it moved locations.

    And it wasn’t even recently! It moved to this current location, like, a LONG time ago but I am such a baby about it still.

    I hate change!

    Kangaroos is fucking underrated. I always get super excited to ride this and vocalize that excitement maniacally and then I realize, “HEY, NO ONE ELSE IS SCREAMING.” Come on guys, it’s the Kangaroo, get fucking crazy!

    Also, the ride attendant from the carousel was working this ride by that time and I kept shouting to Henry, who was standing on the other side of the gate with all the other grandparents, “HENRY LOOK! IT’S MY BOYFRIEND! MY BOYFRIEND IS HERE NOW!” and Chooch was like, “OMG please stop.”

    We didn’t ride the Music Express because the Pirate Ship ruined me.

    And then we finally got to ride the Jack Rabbit—oh, I didn’t tell you? We tried to ride it previously after Henry got there and made it all the way to the front of the line before an announcement came on that said they were experiencing technical difficulties and while everyone was welcome to stay in line, they were going to have to temporarily suspend operations.

    Guys, I have never seen so much mechanical failure in all the years I’ve attended Kennywood, and it only got worse because later that week, Thomas the Tank Engine derailed twice, the Phantom’s Revenge got stuck and passengers had to be walked down the steps, and THE FUCKING BRAKES STOPPED WORKING ON THE PIRATE SHIP AND PEOPLE GOT STUCK ON IT FOR 10-15 MINUTES. Yes, WHILE IT WAS MOVING. It was on the news and obviously people were like puking and stuff. Kennywood, you are fucking drunk this season.

    We left the park around 8 because we pretty much did everything we wanted to do and I feel like I might have been pouting when we left but it’s also possible that I’m mixing this up with pretty much any other time we’ve gone to Kennywood.

    Aug 122018

    You guys rioted* when my other serial killer notecard set didn’t include Jeffrey Dahmer, so here is the much-anticipated second series with 8 more vicious bastards to terrorize mail recipients, including the ever-popular Jeffrey Dahmer.

    *(OK literally just one person was like “No Dahmer?” on Instagram. But hey this is proof that I consider your feedback!)

    Each card features 1970s wallpaper backgrounds and famous quotes from each killer, or as I like to alternately call these: Things Not to Say on a First Date.

    Or job interview.

    Or ever, probably.

    These cards are the A2 size, smaller than the single cards I sell in this shop. 8 envelopes are included for free. I was going to charge extra for them but my boyfriend showed me the definition of “dick move” and it said “Charging extra for envelopes.”

    This set includes: Jeffrey Dahmer, Carl Panzram, Charles Manson, BTK/Dennis Rader, Gary Ridgway/Green River Killer, Henry Lee Lucas, Richard Speck, and Andrei Chikatilo (somehow I realized that in the 10 years I’ve been making these cards, I don’t have a single Chikatilo design, like America’s the only country with deranged killers).

    I wanted to give the second series more of a retro feel, whereas the first set is more of a “granny’s stationary drawer” feel. I had so much perusing various 1970s wallpaper designs, that’s for sure. (Much less fun looking up killer quotes, though.)

    Gary Ridgway.

    Henry Lee Lucas.


    I think we can all use that “head dropping” excuse though, right? I was definitely dropped on my head as a kid and also as a teenager when Jared and Damien were trying to drag me over to the window of our 8th grade homeroom because my mega-crush was outside and I was like DONT MAKE ME TALK TO HIM and one of them DROPPED ME ON MY HEAD because I was not going willingly and I saw animated bluebirds for real, you guys.

    Granted, I haven’t killed anyone or even tortured or bound anyone yet but at least if I decide to, I know I have a SOLID EXCUSE.

    J/K please don’t report me. 

    Andrei Chikatilo

    This one just makes me laugh, but also it makes me wish that some group of people would want to buy my brains when I die.

    Charles Manson, le duh.

    Has there ever been a more relevant sentiment uttered by a cult leader? Everybody out here trying to out-crazy each other, man. Anyway, this note card is blank inside and if you’re like me and work in a city, it could easily be filled up with the nutso things you see during your lunch break strolls through downtown alleys. For example, one time some dude walked to the nearby Army Navy store, bought a machete, and then used it to chop a dude’s hand RIGHT ACROSS FROM WHERE I WORK. No one died or anything, but there was a crime scene with blood so you better believe I went out there and took pictures of it. After I was sure that it wasn’t Jason Voorhees, that is. Turns out it was an isolated incident and the two guys knew each other and were fighting over a broad. A tale as old as time. Or at least as old as 2014. 

    Jeffrey Dahmer.

    Richard Speck

    Fun fact about me: I had a cat named Nicotina but I started calling her Speck one day, one of those instances* where you see one of your pets and just blurt out a new name for them, because Richard Speck happened to be on my mind for some reason, and then that name stuck to the point where my son was born several years later and that was the only name he ever knew for her.

    *(I also called her Breakfast Nook and Pickles.)


    These sets come with envelopes, perfect for slipping in a handwritten excuse signed by a parent. Any parent. I’m a parent* and can sign it for you if you want.

    *(I know, right?!)

    They can also be purchased individually, so just send me a convo if, say, you only want the Gary Ridgway one or something. I will accommodate!

    In other greeting card news, I’m working on some new Kpop cards for my Hello Hanguk shop and hope to have a THIRD set of mini-Valentines ready for 2019, and also some Christmas card sets. I have not had very much time to give these shops the proper attention that they deserve, but I’m trying to be more mindful of carving out time. So if there are any killers or Kpop groups/idols you want to see featured on some cards, let me know!

    Aug 102018

    Yeah boi, it’s Friday (I was going to type Friyay just to be a douchebag but I was afraid you’d think I was serious as I type this while wearing a BUT FIRST COFFEE ringer tee) so let’s pull some five things out a hat and call it a day.

    1. My Broken Calf

    Remember sometime last week when I was like “I broke my calf”? No? YOU MEAN YOU DON’T READ ALL THESE POSTS? Don’t worry, I don’t either – that’s why they’re so jacked up! Anyway, I hurt my calf somehow, not because I’m a lunatic when it comes to exercising, oh no. It was one of those things where I was like, “Maybe it just needs to stretch it out or something” and then I kept doing all the things I normally do because I’m a fucking fool. I spent a whole week trying to hide my limp at work, and I almost had to roll myself out of several rides at Kennywood because my calf was so taut. Anyway, I thought I was healed (why, I don’t know, because I certainly hadn’t rested it at all) but then Saturday night, Chooch and I were waiting to cross the street and then some lady was like “Even though I have the right of way and you guys don’t have the walk sign, I’m going to be a sweetheart and let you cross while I hold up traffic” which she communicated by waving us along. It was one of those things where we were both delayed in our reactions, so when Chooch and I went to step off the curb, she started to turn into us, and this went on three times until the car behind her started to blow on the horn so I screamed RUNNNN and we ran across the street but when I pushed off with my left foot, I tweaked that son-of-a-bitchin’ muscle all over again and it’s a wonder I made it to the other side of the road, like the gimpiest Punchline Chicken ever.

    Nevertheless, I continued walking – we were walking to the Dormont post office to drop off some Hello Hanguk cards – and it didn’t feel great but oh well.

    This has nothing to do with my calf, but on our way to the post office, keep in mind it’s night time, Henry said, “Oh hey look” and pointed to a window of a shop we were walking past. When I turned to look, I was FACE TO FACE with a mannequin head, but like, the kind from the 50s or 60s that have makeup on. I don’t know why it shocked me so much, but I screamed SO LOUD, the type of scream I would usually reserve for when I’m being an asshole at a haunted house, and THAT actually scared Henry and Chooch. My heart was actually racing, lol.

    OK back to my calf.

    The next day I think I limped all around town, but I swear it felt OK that night, so I shoved the coffee table out of the way to prepare for Kpop Family Cardio Night, and approximately 10 seconds into the firsts song, my calf was like, “Oh hunny, no” and that is how I ended up crumbled into a heap of writhing Fat Girl on the floor while Henry said things like, “I TOLD YOU THIS WOULD HAPPEN” and “GOOD FOR YOU” and “WHEN WILL YOU LEARN” and “WHEN I WAS IN THE SERVICE, THIS HAPPENED TO EDDIE WHEN HE WAS FLEEING FROM THE PANAMANIAN FAMILY AFTER ACCIDENTALLY MURDERING THEIR PET DUCK.”

    When Henry said he was going to go to CVS  to get me an ace bandage, I asked him if he was walking and when he said yes, I said, “OK I’LL COME TOO!” He was just like, “Are you kidding me?!” but then sighed deeply and we embarked on the slowest walk to CVS because I literally couldn’t put any pressure on my left leg. First, I tried hopping there on my right leg but that gets tiring after awhile. Then I tried to get Henry to carry me and he was like, “What do I look like, a fork lift” but then I realized that if I walked in a sideways shuffle, I could walk without yelping in pain!

    While we were in CVS, “Eye in the Sky” by Alan Parsons Project came on and I always get super somber when I hear that because it brings back weird memories of my birth dad that I’m not even sure are real?! So now I had a broken calf and weird maybe-memories making me look like someone who had jumped out of an asylum window and stopped at CVS for an ace bandage and candy bar.

    Anyway, here’s a picture of Penelope looking totally concerned as Henry wraps my leg. Also, ignore the table in the background. That’s Henry’s fake-Hallmark factory.

    Me, after he wrapped my ankle: “I’M CURED!”

    Me, after I took it off before bed: *takes a step and collapses*

    2. Stupid Lunch Date With Stupid Henry

    Henry and I had Saturday afternoon to ourselves because Chooch went to some nerd convention at the library. First, we went to two asian markets that we’ve never shopped at before asian markets are the premiere places to get amazing produce, if you didn’t know. More on that later though. We decided to also go on a lunch date, I guess that’s what that was, and this is how we learned that every restaurant we wanted to try in Bloomfield was closes early and if there’s one thing I despise, it’s a restaurant that closes early. The one place has a big open window and one of the workers was sitting near it, so when we walked past, I yelled ASSHOLE! except that it was more of a whisper-scream and Henry thought this was like, so funny, and wouldn’t stop laughing about it and that just made me more mad.

    Anyway, we ended up at Station, which is not somewhere I had ever considered eating at before because I was always under the impression that it was super non-veg friendly, but the menu posted outside said that they had VEGAN SLOPPY JOES. I was like, “I’m in” and that was that.

    Since it was an odd hour (after 2pm), it was just us, another couple, and some lonely guy at the bar. I love empty restaurants like no other, you guys. You have no idea the anxiety I get right before walking into a restaurant. I always feel like Pee Wee walking into that biker bar, except that I can promise you I’m not going to win over the skeptics by doing the Big Shoe dance to Tequila on the bar.

    I felt super comfortable here, we had a great waitress, my sloppy joe was on a delicious roll, and the FRIES WERE AMONG THE BEST FRIES I HAVE HAD. Like, every fry was a Good One! I didn’t have to exchange any with Henry!

    And then we shared a lavender pound cake for lunch-dessert! And we got along! I think Henry and I have an OK relationship, you guys. It would be even better if he would just commit to taking us to Holiday World for god’s sake.

    3. My Favorite Song of the Week

    YG is killing it this year.  This is hands down my favorite thing that Ikon has released and I’m really stoked for them. YG Entertainment will always be #1 in my heart and getting to see their building when we were in Korea was a dream! There’s a shitload of talent inside those walls.

    4. Good Goddamn Vegetables!

    One of the things I love about Pittsburgh (and there are not many things I love about this city) is that we have so many amazing ethnic markets. I have become obsessed with breadfruit ever since we had it at the Caribbean festival a few weeks ago and I found out that an asian market in Wilkinsburg sells it. We also got cassava and barrata, which I was practically peeing my pants over. Look, when your diet consists of like 90% fruits and vegetables, you’d be excited to add some new shit to the repertoire as well. When Henry was checking out, the older asian woman asked, “Do you know these?” and when we said yes, she happily said, “Oh! That’s good!” I felt so proud! Then I posted a picture on Instagram of some our newly acquired vegetables and this caused confusion and disgust because:

    • This is America!
    • Vegetables are broccoli and carrots!
    • Probably from a bag!
    • From the back of a freezer!

    But whatever, veggie-haters, I was in heaven! And this is the exotic bowl I feasted on that weekend:

    Granted, gochujang makes everything taste good, but the cassava and barrata were great additions to Henry’s Korean noodle bowl, and then he fried some plantains and breadfruit with some rice syrup for dessert and I was like, “Pappap, thank you for sending this man to take care of me.” Honestly, I would still be eating food bought from gas stations if I hadn’t meant him, probably.

    Also, I don’t have a sesame seed problem, sesame seeds have an Erin problem.

    Speaking of asian markets, the second one we went to was a Korean market and the two ladies working there were so sweet and helpful and gave us both a free Binch (a type of cookie) when we were checking out. And I got my 바나나 우유 fix and while it was velvety and delicious, it just wasted the same as sipping it from a cute little barrel in Korea. :(

    On the train to Busan!

    5. A Week of Train Derailments

    Speaking of trains, Pittsburgh was CURSED last week. First, that stupid Thomas the Tank Engine train at Kennywood derailed twice on two separate days. Then on Sunday, a REAL train derailed and seven cars landed on the Station Square trolley tracks and I have not been able to shake the fact that this could have been so fucking tragic and devastating had it happened at any other time — but thank god, NO ONE WAS HURT. The train cars that fell were carrying household products, things like Listerine and cat food, but nothing toxic, and NO ONE happened to be standing there and no trolleys were passing by at that moment.

    Image result for station square train derailment


    Related image


    I get chills every time I look at these pictures or even think about it happening. What a nightmare. Of course, Monday’s commute was absolutely jacked because the alternate route was also affected at first and the Port Authority had to scramble and employ the use of shuttle buses. I was getting mad because Janna was complaining about it and I was like THEY ARE DOING THE BEST THAT THEY CAN, THIS IS NOT THEIR FAULT and you know that’s something, when I stick up for the Port Authority! But really, they are like the local heroes of the week. I read that a ton of their of their employees came to work on their day off to help with the shuttle buses, and whoever runs their Twitter account is spunky AF. They posted a picture of the trolley tracks after all of the train cars had been removed and their caption was “Gotta be honest. Station Square Station, you look like you’ve been hit by a train.”


    My commute is a little bit longer now while they work on repairing all the tracks and power lines that were demolished, but I can’t be too mad because at least I don’t have to take a bus, and AT LEAST NO ONE WAS HURT.



    Well, I intended this to be more riveting, but my days have been mostly: work, begging Henry to take me to Holiday World*, Korean dramas, and making fun of the church carnival which started on Wednesday. What a summer.

    *(The other night, Henry lost it and said, “I love you but you are REALLY GETTING ON MY NERVES.” Wow. This was a separate outburst from the time last weekend at Target when he told me that he sometimes can’t believe I’m as old as I am, and this may or may not have been because I was publicly pouting about wanting to go to Holiday World. Look, when something is on my radar, I WILL FIXATE AND FOCUS until I get on my own nerves.)


    OMG WAIT! I have an extra story for you, the hidden track of Friday Five, if you will.

    Hidden Track: The DGD Interaction

    Yesterday when I was about to go back in my building after my lunch break walk, I noticed a young guy leaning against the wall and he was wearing a Dance Gavin Dance shirt! I was just about to hang up with Henry when I blurted out, “Some guy is wearing a DGD shirt—I MUST TALK TO HIM, BYE” and I’m sure Henry was so glad he wasn’t there to witness me faking like I know how to talk to other humans. But I honestly had to say something because unless I’m at a show (and I’m rarely at shows anymore), I never see anyone just causally strolling around town with a DGD shirt on.

    So I go up to this guy who is scrolling through his phone, and I urgently say, “I just had to tell you that DGD is one of my favorite bands, and I never see anyone wearing their shirts.”

    Instead of being creeped out by this scene-elder invading his space, he smiled and said, “Well, I have to tell you that no one ever tells me they like them too!” and then we talked about how they’re not coming to Pittsburgh on their upcoming tour, and he said, “Where have you seen them, Mr Smalls?” and I was glad he answered his question for me because I was starting to blank and I realized that it’s been SO LONG since I’ve actually listened to DGD (or anything English for that matter) that if he started asking me detailed questions I would probably have to run away. I even forgot at that moment what my favorite album and song were!

    I haven’t even bought their latest record yet! I’m awful! Maybe I will do that tomorrow.

    Aug 092018

    I used to always work on my birthdays and people would be like, “Why are you here on your bday, that’s stupid.” Well, back then, Barb and Gayle were still here to shower me with ridiculous amounts of attention and presents! And now that they’re not here anymore, WHY BOTHER?!

    J/K! (Partially.)

    I guess it’s more like the older I get, the more I want to have a child-like birthday, if that makes sense. This year, I chose to spend that day actin’ a fool at Kennywood with my best riding partner, Chooch!

    Also, he and I both have season passes and while he had already gone twice this summer, I started to panic because I hadn’t gone once yet! What a waste of a stupid season pass.

    Henry is super weird about requesting days off of work, so he said he would just meet us there after and we were like whatever, you do you, bud. If there’s one place Chooch and I can survive on our own, it’s Kennywood! (We didn’t know that until three years ago, when we tested it out and did alright!)

    Per tradition, we raced toward the Exterminator as soon as we got into the park, but then we had to stand in line for about 30 dumb minutes because we got there too early and nothing was running yet, why do we do this to ourselves?! It’s not like we need to claim a pavilion for a family picnic or anything!

    (I have literally NEVER done that, by the way. My family never lugged in coolers full of pierogies and coleslaw and bologna sandwiches to share with each other under a pavilion next to the Log Jammer. Actually, I can’t remember if my family ever even went to Kennywood altogether as a family, now that I think about it?! DID WE?! I always just went with friends or with my mom and Pappap when I was Kiddie Land-age. I think  the closest to a full-family Kennywood trip might have been in the summer of 1992 when Laurent, our French foreign exchange student, was living with us and we took him to Kennywood but I’m almost my dad didn’t go because he hated him.)

    (Sorry, you know me and my brain detours.)

    But yes, the Exterminator! Our favorite ride! We got stuck in front of some teenaged girl and three middle school-aged girls that I guess she was like, in charge of, I don’t know, but they thought she was SO COOL (she wasn’t) and she acted like she knew everything to the point where I was waiting for her to pull out blueprints to the Exterminator from her backpocket and say, “Yeah, I built this thing.” She was telling them every single thing to expect! Where’s the fun in that!? Let the kids find out for themselves!

    Meanwhile, one of the little bitches was practically Siamese’ing herself with my hip no matter where I stood in line! And she kept bragging about how she just came back from vacation and got lost in the airport and all I could think was, “I wish you hadn’t been found!”

    I didn’t like her.

    But even worse than her was the young couple in front of us for the Phantom’s Revenge who fucking gave each other small, annoying pecks on the lips, nose, forehead, shoulders, over and over, the entire time, and I wanted to puke everywhere. The girl had herself all wrapped up in a Pride flag so at first I thought she was going to be cool but then I noticed she was also wearing a Falling In Reverse t-shirt and I was like “YOU ARE SO LAME.”


    They were like when band dorks are outside of their pack and trying to fool strangers that they might be cool but no one’s buying it.

    Then he would lightly touch her nose and she would stick out her tongue, so then that became a thing that they did over and over for about a minute and I honestly almost gave up our spot for last seat and moved somewhere in the middle of the station because fuck PDA. I hate it so much that it’s a wonder I’m not a serial killer.

    OR AM I.


    Chooch and I were crying as we speculated that they were embracing and kissing through the whole ride, and that they were probably mid-kiss in their Phantom souvenir photo too, but then Chooch took it too far as usual and ran the joke into the ground. THERE IS A TIME LIMIT ON SOME JOKES, CHOOCH.

    When it was our turn to board the Phantom, it started to rain! I’ve never ridden a roller coaster in the rain before, I don’t think. Anyway, nothing terrible happened. But the rain only got progressively harder so I was worried that we would have to cut our day short.

    Since it was raining, we felt this would be a good time to check out the new Thomas the Tank Engine area that I had hopes for because I LOVED THOMAS WHEN I WAS A KID AND BY KID I MEAN A TEENAGER IN HIGH SCHOOL.

    I was so disoriented. I always get excited when amusement parks get new rides but I also hate change, so…

    Of course when it was our turn to board, they had to temporarily shut it down because the engine was overheating or something, how grand. We chose to stay in line because we had a roof over our heads and it was really raining harder by then.

    After about 10 minutes, they let us on. We raced to the caboose of course because I love sitting in the backs of things.

    Anyway, wow. What a disappointment! With all the delays they had opening this new section of the park, I expected that this train was going to be some incredibly realistic chug-a-chug-chug through Sodor BUT NO it was literally the exact same track that was there for the old train and they didn’t add ANY SCENES. Literally, all they did was cover up the Kennywood History signs that were there for the other train with “Greetings from….” posters.

    We got greeted from all over the world BUT NO KOREA. Kennywood’s no chingu of Korea, I guess.

    Yeah, train, your removal was all in vain! And they moved Laffin’ Sal from her iconic perch in front of the old train station to the arcade. Ch-ch-ch-changes.

    Same shitty view of the river and industrial things.

    Hilariously, the train derailed twice in two days the same week we were there. It’s an omen. Or a Laffin’ Sal curse!

    The next day at work I was bitching about how dumb this train is and Wendy and Carrie were like well duh you’re not a toddler but HELLO I love little kid coasters and trains! Lest ye forget the Wacky Worm?! Come on now! This could have been such a great opportunity for K-wood to do it up like the Seussville train at Universal Studios and know how much I loved that bitchin’ ride!

    (And if you don’t, here’s evidence.)

    Faces nice and slick with oil thanks to the humidity! Why do I bother wearing makeup in the summer?! Oh well, had to get a “WE’RE ON THE TRAIN” selfie anyway. I think the highlight of the ride was when I was a fucking peach and asked two teenage boys if they wanted to switch rows with us so that they could be closer to their family and they were SO GRATEFUL.


    When we got off the train, we saw The Kissers. She was holding a stuffed Rick (from Rick & Morty) so were gagging. “Oh, of course he won that for her!” Chooch spat. We are a hateful breed, lol.

    Anyway, it was still raining so we felt that this would be a good time to eat our No Henry traditional lunch at Johnny Rockets. We only eat here when it’s just us! It’s awesome! They have veggie burgers! We sat at the counter like real life kids from the 50s and fucked around with the countertop jukebox the whole time. They had Under the Boardwalk on it and I aggressively pressed the buttons for it 87 times but I never did hear any of the songs we requested. Fuckin’ Johnny Rockets.

    It miraculously stopped raining while we were eating! I took this picture of the Litter Gitter, unchanged since I was a kid, and we joked that maybe it would pick up Henry when he got there, which was soon after! More later. I gotta go for my nightly walk around town with Chooch where we punch our fists into our open palms and act like hooligans.

    Aug 082018

    For the last year or so I have felt like such a jerk every time I grab a straw at a cafe because I kept meaning to buy reusable straws – we always mean to do good things, don’t we? And even though the straw ban hasn’t fully hit Pittsburgh yet, I finally got off my ass and ordered a pack of reusables from Amazon. And by that I mean I complained to Henry about how we need to make a lifestyle change and then he bought some. He ended up getting the hard plastic ones and not the stainless steel which I was thankful for because I’m not sure how I feel about stainless steel straws and just thinking about one in my mouth makes me taste pennies.


    The straws arrived over the weekend and I was so excited! Except that Henry apparently had only bought them for my use and had secretly planned to keep using throw-aways this whole time because fuck the environment, kill the sea turtles, right Hank?

    Au contraire!

    When we left the house on Sunday to go shopping, I realized after we got about a mile from home that we were probably going to stop for iced tea/coffee at some point because that’s usually what happens when you live on the edge like we do, so I screamed, “WE FORGOT TO BRING STRAWS!” to which Henry calmly replied, “Oh well, we’ll just start another day, I guess” and I was like, “THE FUCK WE WILL, TURN THIS BITCHIN’ CAR AROUND.”

    And he did. And I ran in the house and got two straws for the road.

    As expected, we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts after he flirted with all the old lady cashiers at the craft store (they all know him in there because he’s there so often buying supplies for our greeting card line, if they only knew what we were actually doing* with all that cardstock, OH HA HA HA!).

    *(Plaster it with the faces of serial killers and porn stars, natch.)

    While Henry was placing our order through the drive-thru speaker, I kept hissing, “Tell them not to give us straws” but he refused. So then I was like, “OK well tell them at the window that we don’t need straws.”

    And what did he do?


    “WE DON’T NEED THESE!!!!” I shouted, and I do mean motherfucking hollered, to the shock and horror of both Henry and the DD girl (as in Dunkin’ Donuts, not cup-size, come on now, guys).

    “Oh,” Henry said in tone that quietly implied he was completely defeated in his home life. “We don’t need these.” He handed the straws back and the girl was like, “Okay,” in a tone that loudly implied she thought we were fucking weirdos with some oddball reverse hostage situation going on inside the car.

    I gleefully slammed my perma-straw into my never-right DD iced “latte” and then we went across the street to the cemetery for a walk.

    Of course, I finished my drink while we were walking and actually remembered to take out the straw so I didn’t accidentally throw it away. I rinsed it off using one of the cemetery water pumps (obviously I washed it for real when I got home! Stop lecturing me!) and then tried to get Henry to carry it.


    Anyway, now I need to get a travel pouch to keep a few straws in but I haven’t found one yet that really calls my name (i.e. something that is totally obnoxious and looks like a pencil box for a 2nd grade Korean girl and yes, I looked into obnoxious pencil boxes but they all seem to be a tad too short, wah).

    I don’t ever bring a purse out with me on my lunch break walks, so yesterday I had to openly carry a straw with me like a tiny baton, which I twirled back and forth across the fingers of my left hand, like some amateur majorette in a utensil parade. This was AFTER I put the straw in my gallon water jug*, thinking that it would be buoyant, but no, it sunk to the bottom and then I had to use chopsticks to fish it out because yes I keep a pack of super adorable chopsticks in my desk and use them whenever I’m eating something other than Cream of Wheat.

    *(I’m also trying to find a really good refillable water jug. WHY DON’T THEY MAKE G-DRAGON ONES?!)

    And this has been a story about straws.

    And jugs (DD ones and water).

    And chopsticks.

    Yo, anyone reading this: Do you use reusable straws? If so, WHAT KIND OF STRAW SATCHEL DO YOU USE? Or do you just shove one in your pocket, lint be damned? I can’t decide if I want one that’s gaudy and immature as mentioned previously, or something like a small and mysterious cross-body pouch that will make passers-by wonder if I’m carrying secret papers from the ISA.

    Aug 072018

    Hi, I’m back with the shocking conclusion of my previous post, Being Tourists In Pittsburgh. WOW, HOLD ON TIGHT. Just kidding, feel free to flail around.

    After we left the Heinz History Center, we walked Jessi back to the hotel so she could get started with her pre-Rocky Horror performance process. We didn’t want to be the ones responsible for jinxing her by pulling her away from that, so released her to the Omni William Penn and then continued walking to Millie’s because Bill said he was down for ice cream but I think he knew he didn’t really have a choice because I was like, “Millie’s is the best; we’re going.”

    Look, Pittsburgh has got a lot of great ice cream options but Millie’s is the one that always wins a spot on my itinerary when I have out-of-town guests visiting. (So like, twice so far, lol.) They just make really delicious, fresh ice cream and sorbet made with local ingredients and they’re always getting involved with the community—you know the types! Just all-around great people and Henry loves it because you can buy little packages of waffle cone pieces which I think is genius because what else are you going to do when you’re making homemade waffle cones and one breaks? YOU DON’T THROW THAT SHIT AWAY.

    Also, they plug the butts of the waffle cones with a marshmallow so you don’t get melted ice cream tracks running down your shirt and arms like I generally do everywhere else we get ice cream cones.

    The main reason I wanted to go to Millie’s (I mean, other than to treat my awesome friends to some great ice cream!) was because they updated their Instagram that morning with a new flavor: BLUEBERRY PANCAKES.

    The description is what really sold me though: fresh blueberry compote, homemade syrup from some dude name Paul, and, this is what sealed the deal for me: real pancakes from Square Cafe in Regent Square. I love Square Cafe and I love pancakes so I wanted to eat this on that day, it was imperative.

    It also did NOT DISAPPOINT.

    They actually ladle the syrup right on top of the scoop!

    Chooch got his standard scoop o’ chocolate, which inspired Bill to do the same. Peer pressure, Bill’s got it. I always mock Chooch for having such a basic palate but Millie’s chocolate actually is indescribably perfect.

    I forget what Henry got. One of the sorbets, I think. Who cares.

    We went back to the Omni after that and Bill was dumb and invited us into their room without even bothering to squirt us with holy water first to make sure we’re not vampires. Jessi was still getting ready (she was being the Criminologist for that night’s show so she had a lot of costuming to do!) so we decided that we were going to investigate this so-called fifth floor that most of the elevators skipped over. Bill said he noticed that there was one particular set of elevators that actually had a button for the fifth floor, so we sought out that one and then held our breath while it descended.

    However, when the doors opened, we were immediately disappointed. I guess I was expecting something out of Nightmare on the 13th Floor*, hallway all blood-red with fancy tapestries and gaslight sconces, Victrola music humming from behind someone’s locked door.

    *(HAVEN’T YOU EVER SEEN THAT MOVIE?! It was a 1990 made-for-TV movie that USA frequently played and it scared the shit out of me. Look that up.)

    But no, we could tell right away that it was just a floor full of offices.

    Such a let down.

    Then we went to the room where the convention was happening because there was a raffle drawing about to take place and Bill and Jessi had some stake in it.

    “They haven’t checked anyone’s badge the entire time we’ve been here, so I don’t think it’ll matter if you guys come with me,” Bill assured us, and Chooch and Henry were like, “That’s cool” and never thought about it again, while I was being my typical “DEER IN HEADLIGHTS-TOTALLY SUSPICIOUS-LOOK AT THE SPOTLIGHT ON ME-I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HERE” self.

    Henry said that there were some girls asking me about my purse when we walked in but I completely ignored them because I couldn’t hear them over the metallic ringing in my ears BECAUSE OMG ARE WE GOING TO GET BUSTED.

    I felt like everyone knew we weren’t actually convention-goers and I was doing everything in my power to burrow myself into Henry’s armpit. I have many layers and one of them is that I HATE STEALING and I felt, in a way, that we were being thieves by waltzing into this convention without purchasing a badge. Granted, we only sat there long enough to watch some broad named MONTANA clean up on all the winnings.

    Bill was irate.

    We hated Montana after that! Plus, she wasn’t even present to collect her bounty! They should have tossed aside her tickets and drawn again! Don’t get me started on Montana.

    Afterward, we went back to Bill and Jessi’s room. Jessi was nearly finished getting into her role by then, but Henry had just enough time to fall asleep in an arm chair.

    His favorite thing! Sleeping in other people’s hotel room!

    Then we piled into our car and drove back to the Hollywood Theater which is literally about a 5 minute walk from my house. The Hollywood is famous for being in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It’s also where the Rocky Horror Picture Show and the shadowcast has played for like, decades. Tonight’s show was special because it was going to feature an all-star shadowcast from different cities. Jessi had submitted an audition tape a while back for this and was accepted so when Bill asked us if we wanted to come out and watch her, how the fuck could I turn that down?

    Henry and I had a brief parental powwow about whether or not we should take Chooch with us to this but then I reasoned that I was his age when I first watched RHPS. BLOG READERS, WALK WITH ME:

    It was Easter of 6th grade (whatever year that was) and my BFF Christy (see also: Crystal Lite and Crystal McGoo-Goo) was sleeping over which meant we were in the market for some horror movie rentals. My aunt Sharon took us to Blockbuster (miss you, baby) and recommended RHPS to us. I mean, if one were to judge a VHS by it’s box, it did look like it had horror movie potential.

    However, after watching it that night, we were immediately disappointed. It had it’s grotesque moments but it wasn’t the eye-covering 70s slasher film we were in the mood for. We grumbled about it for a bit and then went to sleep.

    When we woke up the next day, however, I looked at Christy and whispered, “Do you want to watch that again?” and she was like “YES” and then WE DID and by the end of the second-viewing, we knew the Time Warp front and back, left to right, and I was writing diary entries entitled WHERE HAS TIM CURRY BEEN ALL MY LIFE. We were shook and hooked, you guys.

    There was this one time when my mom hid the video camera inside the fireplace and recorded us doing the Time Warp. I texted her last week and asked her if she remembered this and instead of saying, “No, you must have dreamt that” which is her typical response when she doesn’t want to fess up, she said, “Lol, yes. Hilarious.” I’m sure that’s still floating around somewhere, along with footage of me dancing to Queen’s Radio Gaga with rollers in my hair.

    We were so obsessed that we used to sing parts of RHPS songs as roller coasters at Kennywood would be carrying us up the first hill.

    “I bet she doesn’t remember that,” Henry scoffed, knowing that none of my friends ever remember the things from our childhood that seemed like BIG MOMENTS to me.

    But then I texted her and this happened, so fuck off Henry:

    So, all of this is to say that I was pretty excited to be experiencing this all over again but with Chooch this time.

    We arrived at the Hollywood before tickets went on sale, since we were basically the Criminologist’s entourage so Chooch, Bill and I sat on a couch in the lobby, where Chooch got his first taste at RHPS as all of the Columbias and Franks sauntered around before him.

    He just kept shaking his head.

    “You have no idea what you’re in for!” I laughed.

    Pre-show selfie! I was so stoked for her, but also experienced sympathy butterflies.

    Here’s a picture from the basement bathroom of the Hollywood which I have actually never been in, after literal decades of seeing movies there. I think it’s probably haunted. Anyway, I took this picture because my popcorn purse was getting mad love from all the RHPS convention attendees that day which made me glad that I splurged on this at Everland in Korea. I didn’t want the popcorn (although it ended up being delicious and banana-flavored, because Korea) but when I saw people walking around with it that day in the park I had mad visions of using it as a purse. I mean, it’s pretty clunky and only fits like, lipgloss and some change, maybe a tampon (I’ll have to try) but this bag is everything.

    After sitting around for nearly an hour waiting to buy tickets (they weren’t being sold through the theater), Bill finally had enough and said, “THAT’S IT, WE’RE JUST GOING IN.” ANyone with a badge had free admission, so Jessi gave me hers since she was performing, but I still felt like, again, A FUCKING THIEF.

    Bill reasoned that he and Jessi had given the convention people enough of their money and us not buying $15 tickets wasn’t going to hurt them, but I still felt so guilty and paranoid walking to the seats that Jessi saved for us. IN THE SECOND ROW. WE WERE PRACTICALLY SITTING DUCKS FOR THE CONVENTION PEOPLE TO SPOT. Chooch was oblivious and just sat there eating popcorn, checking out all the fishnets and corsets, but I was gnawing my fingers to the bone over this.


    “Would you calm down?! They’re not going to do that.”

    They didn’t do that.

    It was fine.

    We assimilated and no one gave us a second glance.

    Bill bought Chooch and me prop bags, not considering the repercussions this would have on Henry, who ended up soaking wet and covered in covered by the end of the night. Also, as soon as Chooch was explained the concept of the prop bags, his attention was piqued and he was in it to win it.

    Before the show started, they played the audition tapes of all the out-of-town shadowcast participants and we screamed our faces off when Jessi’s was on the screen.

    Anyway, the show was fantastic and Jessi killed her part! Second to that, I had so much fun seeing this movie again through Chooch’s eyes. In the beginning, when all the RHPS virgins had to go up to the front and fake orgasms, Chooch was like SRSLY MOM WTF and Henry was just like FROWN FROWN FROWN GOOD JOB BRINGING OUR PRE-TEEN HERE, but then Chooch was so into the audience participation elements that he forgot he was witnessing age-inappropriate shenanigans with his parents and snapped his rubber glove with wanton abandon.

    What a fucking awesome night with Bill and Jessi. I mean, all of our hangouts are totally memorable and hilarious, but this night is definitely up at the top. And I can’t think of anyone better to expose Chooch to RHPS than the people who played Cards Against Humanity with him when he was like 8 (and he won). And Henry only slept through some parts of the show, not all!

    We went to Tom’s Diner afterward and Chooch had so many questions. So. Many. Questions.

    He is in SO DEEP now that by the next morning, he had YouTubed all of the song-scenes, learned a bunch of call-backs, and is ready to go to Michigan to watch Jessi perform there with her cast.

    I laughed a little bit to myself at work the other night because my boss was talking to me about Chooch and how many cool experiences he’s had in his short life because of Henry and me. “You guys are great parents! Taking him to all kinds of places that most kids his age don’t get to go!” and in my head, I was like, “Yes, like Rocky Horror Picture Show.” He is certainly well-versed in a myriad of pop culture categories!


    A few days ago, he came home from the library and said that he was singing “Sweet Transvestite” and Liam and Markie were like, “What is a transvestite” so he explained it to them, and that’s my son, broadening horizons and opening minds.


    P.S. Bill & Jessi ended up meeting Montana the next day and he said she was actually very nice so we felt for motherfucking her and all her raffle wins. OR DID WE.

    Aug 052018


    Seriously, I’ve heard this song many times but something today made me shout out in the car, “HOW HAVE I NOTICED THIS BEFORE?!”

    Henry was totally alarmed, like I was about to announce that I had a hidden penis, but when I said, “There’s a part in this song that sounds like Foreigner’s Waiting For a Girl Like You!” he sighed his way into a frown.

    “I hate when you do that!” he mumbled and then after four or five times of pointing it out he finally said, “YES OK I HEAR IT.”

    Haha. Henry loves my weird music-listening tics.

    Seriously though SUMMER QUEEN.

    Aug 042018

    Last fall when we visited our friends Bill and Jessi in Michigan, Jessi mentioned that there was a strong possibility they’d be in Pittsburgh at the end of July for a Rocky Horror Picture Show convention and that weekend had been emblazoned in my mind ever since. I refused any publicity events, interviews, or party invites that I received for that weekend (LOL). Seriously though, we had all been looking forward to this so hard but I kept my expectations super low because I knew they would be busy with convention stuff.

    They had time Saturday afternoon for a museum break so Henry, Chooch and I met them in front of the Omni William Penn where they were staying (it’s haunted, so that was a bonus for them!) and made the 10 minute walk to the Heinz History Center because they were interested in seeing the Mister Rogers set artifacts.

    First we had to walk past a sidewalk filming of this one really aggressive religious group that has a show on the public access channel and that was scary. But then I got to show them the famous Two Andys mural  and of course point out the Army Navy Store with the infamous machete purchased. Meanwhile, they were both saying very nice things about the city and it always helps chip some of the jade off my soul when I’m seeing PIttsburgh through someone else’s eyes. So I was kind of like, “Yeah, it’s not too b ad here.” Then a few days later I got caught in a rainstorm and almost passed out at the rising fumes of urine BUT I GUESS THAT’S MOST CITIES IN THE SUMMER.

    Jessi took this picture of Chooch and Bill in front of what used to be the Toonseum, one of only three museums in the US dedicated to cartoon art, but apparently it recently closed and I have no idea how I didn’t notice this because I walk past there nearly every day!? I guess it closed in March and is now going to be a “roaming-museum” where they do events and stuff and honestly that does make more sense to me because my recollection of the Toonseum is that it was very small and not much was in there. So now I’m not too sad about it anymore.

    We made it to the History Center safe and sound because I was a fearless troop leader and if there is one place I know my way around, it’s downtown Pittsburgh. Just don’t ask me for street names like some lady did the other day.

    “If that’s 6th down there at that corner, is that 7th down this way?” she asked, pointing a certain way and I fucking FROZE and kept saying “um, uh” but then I remembered that she pointing the direction where there is a restaurant called Nine on Nine because it’s on 9th Ave and 900 Penn so that is how I was able to deduce that yes, the numbers went up in that direction. She didn’t seem very confident in my answer and was just like, “mmmmmmkay” but hey, she walked in that direction!

    One time someone asked me where to get birth certificates and I was like, “Uh, have your mom re-birth you and the hospital will bring you one?” No really I just screamed I DUNNO and the person acted like it was a personal affront. Sorry, I only know alleys and cafes.

    Anyway, it’s a shame that I have only been to the Heinz History Center once, and that was nearly 10 years ago at this point, when Vatican Splendors was touring the country and made a stop here in Pittsburgh so I made Kara go with me and watch me cry because religious artifacts really do it for me.

    I know what you’re thinking, wow how much history could a dump like Pittsburgh have that it needs its own museum and here is where I will tell you to fuck off because only I can shit-talk my town, lol. I get really defensive when outsiders say disparaging things about it! But seriously, like most cities, Pittsburgh is rife with history and it’s not all steel mills and football, yay. I think it’s pretty common that Heinz was a huge deal for Pittsburgh and we are morally offended when we go to a restaurant elsewhere that has anything other than classic Heinz 57 on the tables. Piss off with that Hunts catsup junk.

    After Bill nearly bought two memberships by accident, we headed straight to the Mr. Rogers exhibit which opened in March to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show. I actually saw a lot of this stuff back when I was at Pitt when my creative non-fiction class took a field trip (lol) to the WQED building specifically to tour the Mr. Rogers set and write about it. Little did I know we were going to have to read it out loud the next week in class and here I was making asshole-y observations as I am known to do, so that was cool, reading that out loud. My writing teacher was the only person who liked me in that class. She had high hopes for me and I bet she would be so proud to know that I am still doing the same shit I was doing then – writing on a shitty blog.

    Anyway! My favorite part of this day was actually seeing how happy it made Jessi to be there.

    My second favorite part was when Chooch found out that there a stair-walking challenge where you take a slip of paper and get it stamped next to each stairwell to prove that you took the steps on every floor and then you can turn it into the gift shop and collect a prize! You better believe Chooch and I ran back up to the top of the last two floors to start this process, and yes, it would be super easy to just collect a stamp and not even take the steps but I hope that people wouldn’t do that. YOU’RE ONLY CHEATING YOURSELF!

    Chooch was excited to point out the hearse to me. The funerary collections were definitely my favorites out of the whole museum.

    This kneeler is so much better than ours! I’m jealous! (Yes, we have a kneeler in our house. Henry brought it home as a surprise one day because sometimes he’s actually in tune with my interests.)

    If Jessi’s favorite part was the Mister Roger’s stuff, then Bill’s was this weird tooth-head doll. He was obsessed.

    Henry didn’t have a favorite part because he’s seen all this shit before in his daily life. Because he’s old and museum artifacts ain’t got nuthin’ on him.

    When we were looking at all the Heinz shit, I had this vivid flashback to when I worked at the Bad Place with Henry and our bosses had just come back from cruise. They were excitedly telling us that they were eating dinner with some other couples on the cruise and one of them was struggling to get the ketchup to pour out of the bottle. You’ve been there before, unless you’ve never had the pleasure of throttling a glass bottle of ketchup. Anyway, our boss Joe excitedly said to us, “And then I told them to strike the 57 with the heel of their hand and they thought I was joking but then they did it and it worked!” It’s a super common trick here in the ‘Burgh but people always think we’re nuts UNTIL THEY TRY IT AND THAT SANGUINE SAUCE COMES SHOOTING OUT. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, there is a small “57” on the actual glass of the bottle, not on the label, and striking it does the trick.  I didn’t see if the museum mentioned that anywhere but I’m also super well-known for peacing out when it comes to reading signs in museums.

    I get bored easily.

    Jessi was obsessed with the fact that pickle salesmen had leather cases for their pickles back in the day. I wish men still wore hates like hat but I can’t imagine Henry looking good in one.

    I am suspicious of people who don’t like ketchup, just like I am of people who don’t have pets.


    My third favorite part was when were in the interactive kids zone and I waited until some dumb kid finished making a picture on a lightboard and then I went over and messed it up. Henry frowned so hard but it would not be his biggest frown of the day.

    Then I got lost for what seemed like days because that joint is big with lots of different ways to go!

    I only went into the sports area to see the Penguins stuff but really it was because I was still lost and ran there in a panic. I almost considered joining another group and no, not once did it occur to me that I could have texted Henry, Jessi, or Bill using that newfangled contraption that it always glued to my hand.

    You know, a cell phone.

    God, you guys make me spell everything out!

    I wish the Racer still looked like this! I’ll post pictures of when it looks like now soon, since I still have to vomit all my Kennywood birthday memories up on here.

    Chooch wore this Isaly’s hat for the rest of the afternoon. IF YOU LIKE KLONDIKE BARS, THEN YOU’RE WELCOME.

    The museum has an old trolley car that you can walk through and if the trolleys still looked like this perhaps I wouldn’t bitch so much every morning!

    Anyway, Chooch and I collected all of the stamps needed and the nice lady at the museum gift shop register gave us each a small plastic Heinz ketchup pin and we were both like WORTH IT.

    “Those probably cost like fifty cents,” Henry said, always trying to poop on our joy.


    Stay tuned for the grand finale of their visit!

    Aug 022018

    This radio performance makes me smile, like my head could split in half, but then I get sad because I miss Jonghyun so much and wish time could rewind so they could all be together in a room, having fun and laughing with each other again. But then Jonghyun would be in pain again. :(

    Also, I want Onew’s sweater.

    Also, Taemin is everything as usual.

    Also, I can’t sleep.

    Also, Chooch and I saved a locust from uncertain death on our way back from our walk which also featured my Mexican boyfriend telling me goodnight! Anyway, we diverted him from walking into the street by transferring him to a yard, via a leaf-mobile.

    “That could have been the end of his life!” I sighed.

    “Well to be honest, they don’t have very long lifespans, so…” Chooch said. GOD OK POINDEXTER.

    Also, I was talking about the locust and not my Mexican boyfriend in case you were wondering.

    Also, I didn’t know it was a locust and thought it was a tiny alien car but Chooch said, “No. This is a locust.” That’s how I knew.

    Aug 012018

    I don’t have the mental endurance to talk to people IRL anymore so it’s all you, Blog. These are some topics I would have broached to people this week if I had energy to form words:

    Recently, I started hating the guy who lives on the other side of Hot Naybor Chris. I mean, yes, I hate Henry, but I’m talking about the guy on the other side.  It’s him and his hick-wife and their little child-thing and they never used to bother me but then one day I realized that they NEVER FUCKING ACKNOWLEDGE ME when I say hello to them.

    “And I’m the OG resident of this street! I’ve been here since 1999! THEY SHOULD FEEL PRIVILEGED TO RECEIVE SALUTATIONS FROM ME!” I ranted the one day and Chooch solemnly agreed while Henry was like, “Well, maybe they don’t hear you or maybe they don’t believe in hellos or…” because he fucking white knights everything and I can’t even stand it.

    The worst part is that guy has like three noisy cars that he constantly works on in his garage and in our shared driveway and at first it was humorous but now he’s been there for about 3 years and those cars still need fixed all the time?! WHY?! I think he has some kind of compulsion and maybe he’s breaking them on purpose just so he can work on them some more.

    “I know people like that…” Henry began, stepping into his armor and mounting his white steed.

    What makes me even more mad is that dude always says hello to HNC’s wife, and maybe you recall the huge blow-out they had two years ago in the driveway?! (Honestly click  that link and watch the video if you haven’t already because it’s chilling and hilarious at the same time.)

    So maybe I need to tell him that I’m going to shove a metal rod so far up his ass that it comes out of his mouth, just like she did, and then that’ll break the ice enough for him to say hello to me?!

    Everything about him is starting to piss me off to the point where I’m resorting to my old PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE WAYS of talking about him loudly while he’s outside.

    “THOSE PEOPLE ARE SO FUCKING WEIRD LIKE CAN THEY NOT WAVE BACK TO THEIR NEIGHBORS” or “GOOD THING I DIDN’T WANT TO PARK IN THE DRIVEWAY SINCE THE BODY SHOP IS SO BUSY TODAY.” Honestly, I quit parking in that weird driveway years ago, but if I wanted to, there would have to be a BIG CONFRONTATION which I’m surprised hasn’t happened yet since Blake & Haley are entitled to a spot down there but his jacked-up cars are all over the place. Now it sounds like we live in a West Virginian holler but it’s literally two duplexes next to each other in the city.

    Finally, I snapped last week and as Henry and I were crossing the street from where we do actually park, I screamed, “I’m calling the mayor to tell him he’s running a mechanic business in the driveway!”

    “Yeah but…he works on his own cars so that’s not really a business?” Henry said, fluffing his chainmail merkin.

    Speaking of mayors, we were at the Hollywood Theater Saturday night watching our good friend Jessi perform with the shadow cast. Before the show started, the MC gave a shout-out to the mayor of Dormont, which is the town right next to ours, where the Hollywood is located.

    “DORMONT HAS A MAYOR!?” I hoarsely whispered to Henry, totally shook at this revelation.

    Henry dished out his “yeah, everyone has a mayor” on a bed of condescension.

    “WHO’S BROOKLINE’S MAYOR!?” I screamed, but quietly-screamed, because we were indoors, after all. #insidevoice

    “UM, PEDUTO!?” Henry cried incredulously, and then it clicked that, oh yeah, Brookline is part of Pittsburgh! I guess I just assumed that Peduto was like, All Mayor, but now I am learning that no, other towns have their own mayors so I spent a large part of the day Wiki’ing various mayors in Allegheny County and aren’t you guys all super confident in my ability to cast a thoughtful vote on election days?

    This new information will be helpful the next time I get the fiery urge to call a mayor.


    Fun facts: I’m stupendously bad at pinball, I forget pretty much all multiplication tables past 3, I have two scars on my face (chicken pox scar on my cheek, eyebrow ring scar on account of having to get it SURGICALLY REMOVED), I tweeted that thing about the Dormont mayor AND THE DORMONT MAYOR LIKED IT.

    Synonyms for Erin Rachelle Kelly: imitator, fake, all kinds of low-life.

    But yeah, this is a real “article” that I found by clicking on a referring link to my blog and boy was that a sweet surprise. I mean this has to be fake, right? Not as fake as me, but still — who comes up with one fact for a selfie spoon, let alone 7?!

    They at least credited my blog as source though, so…good?


    It was raining this morning and kind of chilly so I figured I would wear my windbreaker so I could put up the hood to extra-protect my hair but then I couldn’t find it and I realized that I left it at work last spring, in my desk closet thing. So I grabbed Chooch’s windbreaker even though it’s just slightly longer than a crop-top on me, because it has a hood and fits OK in the sleeves. The whole time I was walking to the the trolley I was like, “WHAT IS THAT SMELL, IT’S GROSS YET FAMILIAR” and then, when it was too late to turn back, I realized that it was the jacket and what I was smelling was the stench of a 12-year-old boy and I was like gagging on the whole way to work, it was awful.

    And then once I got to work, I started smelling vitamins and started choking back vomit-burps because I HATE VITAMINS – I can only take them in gummy or sometimes gel form. Henry recently bought me some women’s health vitamins from GNC and the first time I took them, I immediately ran to the bathroom and puked and now I can’t even think of them without a green pallor taking over my normally super-blushy cheeks. Anyway, Henry is now taking women’s vitamins because “I PAID LIKE $20 FOR THAT BOTTLE, BLAHHHHH!”

    During this mysterious vitamin-huffing moment, I had a flashback to when I was a kid, like maybe 8 or 9, and my mom used to go to what the family called “The Fat Doctor” even though my mom wasn’t fat, but he was some nutritionist or something, probably not, who would distribute some kind of “fat pills” to his patients. My brother Ryan and I would have to sit in the waiting room and it reeked of vitamins in there and even worse, THE WATER IN THE WATER FOUNTAIN HAD THE METALLIC TASTE OF PENNIES AND VITAMINS AT THE SAME TIME! Oh, my god, I might have to puke…I just had a flashback-tasting of that water.

    One time, we were getting ready to leave and some lady walked in. She was pretty overweight and Ryan was at the age where he just said whatever was on his mind because 4 year olds give no fucks about a filter. My mom knew it was about to happen and even though she was in the process of slapping her hand over his mouth, he had just enough time to blurt out, loudly, “MOMMY, THAT LADY’S FAT.”

    Oh my god, it was awful.

    He also called out a small person, and an entire sidewalk of black people while we were at a red light in Clairton. AREN’T KIDS GREAT.

    Now I wish The Fat Doctor was still alive because I’d like some of those pills. #shameless

    Also, I don’t know why I was smelling vitamins other than: another mini-stroke.


    Speaking of filterless children, boy I sure despise them. Yesterday, I got stuck sitting on  the trolley behind a couple and their boy who was like 3 maybe? I can’t figure out ages of children. He was at that age were screaming in fits is a compulsion. Like, he didn’t accidentally touch a hot poker or anything, he just…felt like belting out a blood-curling bellow right then for no reason other THAN HE COULD. And his parents were just like quietly discussing who did what on Facebook around his bucking body and I was like, “HE IS DOING THIS BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT ENGAGING HIM. STIMULATE HIS FUCKING MIND, PLEASE.”

    It was so bad that I got off a stop early because fuck that shit.

    Today, I got stuck sitting IN FRONT of them this time, and he fell at some point and hit his dumb face or something and started shrieking and I was like, “HAHA good you deserve that” but then the joke was on me because I had to sit there while it sounded like he was perched on my shoulder, crying in my ear.

    And annoying dad and daughter were in front of me! But they were super quiet in comparison.

    I eventually moved to another car but I should not have to do that because there should be a caboose designated for parents and their unruly children, like A CRY ROOM AT CHURCH.

    Question: Why don’t you just listen to music?



    I was out on my break yesterday and I got caught in a rainstorm because when I checked the weather on my phone, it didn’t say it was going to rain AND THEN SPOILER ALERT IT FUCKING RAINED. I stood under a bridge across from PNC Park for a while in an attempt to wait it out but then eventually I was like, “Well it’s now or never” and I ran for it, even though my calf is still broken from last week! It hurt! Anyway, I ran several blocks until I could at least see my building and then I stood under an awning and called Henry, who, wait for it, WHITE KNIGHTED THE FUCKING WEATHER ARE YOU GODDAMN KIDDING ME? Can I please just complain about a thing in peace?!


    Speaking of that jerk amateur car mechanic neighbor, my cat Penelope has a major crush on him for some reason and loves to sit on the back porch and watch him work. I called her out on this one day and Chooch was like, “Maybe she has a mechanic fetish” and I was like, “Chooch!” and he shrugged and said, “Would you rather I have said kink?”



    OK you’re dismissed.

    Jul 312018

    In the nearly four (4!!) decades I’ve been visiting Kennywood, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve gone to the arcade. Just not my thAng, you know?

    But Chooch dragged me in there twice yesterday and turns out, it’s not so bad and they have a ton of old school arcade games that I used to play with my bro Ryan at the mall when we were lads & lasses.

    Anyway, here are some pictures that I took while I was bored when Chooch was doing stuff for tickets under the guise of “winning mum a birthday present” like ok boy.

    I used to be really good at Skee Ball! But now I suck and get super aggravated at even the thought of inserting a token. It made me kind of sad to think about how undesirable amusement park and arcades games are to me, even though my wallet is happy, because it’s probably one of the only childhood things that I’ve outgrown. I still love amusement parks, I still get obsessed to the point of traveling to other states and countries for bands, and I still love piling on accessories that make me look like toy store window display.

    But I just don’t care for games anymore! Of any kid! Video, arcade, card, board…however if you were to invite me over for some night tag or hide n seek, I’d be there.

    Especially if there was a night cap of prank calls.

    I win 15 tickets on this thing by accident. Ok bro.

    In the back, some old shit is on display so that was cool and Chooch and I had some laughs imagining Henry riding on one of the old carousel horses or playing whatever that Peppy thing is.

    Fun fact: the movie Adventureland was filmed at Kennywood and the arcade was in some of the scenes. I only saw that movie once when it first came out like 10 years ago so don’t ask me any questions about it.

    We had to return to the arcade once Henry joined us later in the afternoon because I’m one of those mean moms who won’t give their son money for games LOL. Yeah that’s right, the first time we were in there, he just stared wistfully at all the games because he had no money haha.

    Meanwhile some lady frantically chased down Chooch and panted, “WERE YOU JUST PLAYING THAT MACHINE OVER THERE? WELL HERE, BOY, YOU LEFT YOUR TICKETS!” and she dumped a long string of tickets into Chooch’s open palms, what a fucking ARCADE SAINT.

    Henry was threw some quarters at me like I was working in a Texas strip club and I did super lucrative things like get fortunes and lottery numbers.

    Anyway, those bastards didn’t even win me anything because Henry was all WHY DONT YOU SAVE THE TICKETS FOR THE NEXT TIME YOURE HERE AND THEN GET A BIGGER PRIZE and I already know how this will pan out but here, choose your own adventure:

    A. Henry loses the ticket receipt

    B. Chooch loses the ticket receipt

    C. Chooch chooses a prize for himself

    D. We don’t make it back to Kennywood this year to see which way this will go

    E. Trump bans amusement parks

    You know what I’m truly bad at now as an adult? I mean, aside from being an adult? Pinball. It makes me so anxious!

    And this concludes the arcade interlude. I’ll be coming ’round the mountain with another Kennywood post later this week and maybe some songs that we can sing together as a round.