Have I mentioned lately how bizarre it is to not have Chooch around because he’s a workaholic? Granted, I know deep down that even if he didn’t have a job, he’d just be out with his friends and doing everything in his power to avoid being seen in public with his PARENTS (*shudder*) but it has definitely been a bit of an adjustment for me. Luckily, Henry usually says, “Sure. Whatever. Fine” when I suggest Not Date options to him.
For instance, last Tuesday, we walked to the Hollywood Theater in Dormont to see the new Ghostbusters movie. Chooch actually wasn’t working that night, but he had already seen this several weeks ago with his friend Haojie and also he has some mentorship that he does on Tuesdays with the Carnegie Science Center so he wouldn’t have been able to go with us anyway.
I don’t understand why more people don’t take advantage of the old-timey goodness that is the Hollywood, but as usual we were the only people in attendance that night. We claimed my favorite seats in the balcony and everything was fine until 5 minutes into the movie when two people sat somewhere behind us. That whole fucking empty theater, and they also choose the balcony. Cool. Cool cool cool.
Now, before you think, “OMG get a life, you’re not the only person in the world, Queen Erin” let me just add that there was LOUD CRUNCHING accompanying the arrival of our new theater friends. I sneaked a peek at one point and they were a good 5 rows behind but it was the most obnoxious popcorn chomping I have ever witnessed. The only thing that was stopping me from flipping out was imagining that it was Buddy behind me, eating peanuts. (The Buddys a/k/a squirrels eat their peanuts so voraciously that we can hear them crunching from inside the house and because they’re animals and not PEOPLE, it is the most adorable thing.)
“Thank god they got a small,” Henry whispered once the popcorn-palooza died down. You know it’s bad when Henry of the Hard Hearing can pick up on the theater mastication.
We had several minutes of peace.
The crinkling of a wrapper happened.
And NEVER STOPPED. Literally for the rest of the movie, my ears were buffeted by the sound of someone unwrapping and rewrapping their entire self in cellophane. I have no idea what was going on back there but I ALMOST got up and found a new, quiet seat in the solitude of the empty main theater floor but I didn’t want to CAUSE A SCENE because I’m not sure I could have done this WITHOUT MAKING “YOU DISGUST ME!!!” sounds as I stalked past them.
I have absolutely no idea what the crinkle culprit was because I couldn’t see every time I turned around to glare in their general vicinity.
UGH. They almost ruined the movie for me but overall, I did enjoy it a lot and I cried much harder than I imagined I would, which is hilarious because I will cry just from THINKING about sentimental commercials so I really underestimated the voraciousness of my tear ducts I guess.
Oh, and Henry actually stayed awake through the whole movie AND his breathing didn’t annoy me but that’s probably just because I couldn’t hear it over the candy apple wrapping assembly line behind me.
On Saturday, I wanted CAKE for lunch and Henry was like, “Cool, same.” So we went to Butterwood, which is a fancy bakery with super unique and decadent flavors that I always forget about because we’re not in that area very much anymore now that Chooch doesn’t take piano lessons anymore (but speaking of, he actually dusted off his keyboard over the weekend and was jamming for a good hour in his room!). First, we went to Black Forge for fancy seasonal lattes (mine had matcha, pistachio, and cardamom in it, and Henry’s had cinnamon and cookie dough or something, who cares). “Let’s live it up,” I said and Henry said in a strangulated voice, “Anything you want, I’m afraid to say no to you, my love.”
We got two things to eat there like fancy people with tiny forks. Henry had an uppity sweet potato pie and I had some kind of black sesame orange cake thing that was SO RICH and DENSE, hoo boy, I loved it but it put me in a dessert fog for real. You can expect flavors like FIG and ROSEMARY and OLIVE OIL and LAVENDAR and EARL GREY up in this piece, which is totally my style. I love cakes and things that aren’t overwhelmingly sweet. (Which is probably why I’m also a big fan of Asian desserts too. Red bean FTW.)
Henry and his Tiny Fork.
“Can we please go now?”
Then we walked around Lawrenceville for a while because I always have to “Walk it Off” when I eat heavy stuff like this. Some annual Cookie Tour was going on where you go to all of the designated COOKIE STOPS along Butler St and collect the cookies. I always forget that this is a thing but we couldn’t imagine accumulating a bag full of cookies after just pounding down our rich day desserts. I’m not sure how much this event costs but I bet it’s worth it.
I was unreasonably mad that we hadn’t planned for this but Henry said we can do it next year and I was like, “WE WILL PROBABLY FORGET ABOUT IT LIKE WE ALWAYS DO!” God!
Anyway, we also got some magical almond, rose and strawberry cake; a blueberry & fig handpie (Henry of the Blueberry-Hating Tribe picked this one for some inexplicable reason, I guess just so he’d have a reason to complain later); and a brownie for Son. What’s his name again? Oh yeah, Chooch.
Or, you know, Riley.
Then that night we watched SINGLE ALL THE WAY and Chooch kept coming downstairs to spy on it and I was like, “YOU CAN JUST WATCH IT WITH US YOU KNOW” but apparently he likes watching movies on his “own time” so that he can pause whenever he wants. See also: Generation ADD.
The next day was B-O-R-I-N-G and also super frustrating because I was having a bad attitude day and literally everything was setting me off. I told Henry to pick somewhere to go for a walk and I didn’t like a single one of the THREE PLACES he chose and I threw several fits and then finally we were driving through the North Side because I declared that I wanted, nay–NEEDED, a cookie (I think my sugar levels must have been low because I was ready to jump out of the moving car) and while we were doing so, I yelled, “WHY DON’T YOU JUST PARK THE FUCKING CAR AND WE CAN WALK HERE?!?!” because there is a very cute city park by the Aviary and I used to walk over there a lot on my lunch breaks back when we still worked in the office.
I was almost immediately cured because there were a bunch of squirrels frolicking around and they RESPONDED POSITIVELY to us but of course we left our travel bag of peanuts in the car.
I’m pretty sure I told Henry that I hated him 8984578 times that day but he took it all in stride because, well, 20 years of my verbal and emotional abuse and a little “I hate you” doesn’t have much impact anymore.
Then we got cookies at Happy Day Dessert Factory (chocolate chip and PB) and I have to admit that these were some fucking bangin’ cookies and totally worth all the aggravation that the day had dumped on me.
Well, now I have to go and breathe into a paper bag because I’m going to see Genesis tonight with my bro Corey and I am having absolute anxiety attacks because I’m so excited but also nervous because it’s my first concert since the pandemic and being around all these people makes me scared even though I’m vaxxed and boostered and the venue “strongly recommends” mask-wearing. Our seats are in the very first row of the non-floor seats so at least we won’t be totally surrounded by people…?