Dec 292023


  1. Ladies Christmas Dinner

I had a nice little Christmas dinner with Megan, Marlene, and Debby earlier in the month at Alta Via in Market Square. It definitely lacked the quirkiness, charm, and Kermit of last year’s dinner spot, Zarra:

but our server also didn’t have to “run out to get tomatoes” for our salads, so at least our food came more expediently. I had a delightful beet salad and the pumpkin ravioli. Both were nice but the bread stole the show for me: homemade, warm salty rosemary focaccia? Yeah boy.

I sometimes have a really hard time being around people when it comes to conversation participation. For instance, I really like dining with this group but more often than not, I feel like I cannot hang verbally, like I am so socially stunted. At one point during dinner, the conversation took a hard left into health insurance talk and do I seem like someone who has ANYTHING to contribute to that topic swerve? The worst part was that this whole time, Ozark Mountain Daredevil’s Jackie Blue was gently wafting from the speakers like aural angel dust and I was DYING for a lull in the Medicare discourse to tell them my Barb Riley / Roller Skating Birthday Party / Jackie Blue story, like actually sitting on my hands and internally squealing. But they were still talking about benefits and Cobra well after the song ended while I helped myself to another piece of really delicious focaccia just to give my mouth something to do. I am subsisting alone in some weird adult limbo where I can only half-relate to most other adults but I mostly have nothing to contribute to the conversation.

I guess this is just who I am though and I need to accept that! Also, what a horrible but at least the waiter got the Christmas tree in the background?

2. Of 90s R&B Heart Throbs

    1. This is a two-fer!! Last night, my friend Veronica DMd me and was like, paraphrasing here, “Do you remember the group Debarge?” and then proceeded to reference EL DEBARGE SPECIFICALLY at which point I was like, “Imma just stop you right here, Veronica, because I was EL DEBARGE’S BIGGEST MOTHERFUCKIN’ FAN IN 1994!” And then it got even more exciting because she wasn’t aware of the specific El album that I was obsessed with (HEART MIND AND SOUL) so then I got to share my fave tracks with her and she told me that she saw Debarge when she was 7 and that they serenaded her aunt!!! Honestly though, the only bad thing about this album is that it makes me remember how fucking psycho I was over  A DUMB BOY and how I listened to this CD so much that I wore out TWO COPIES OF IT and the copy I currently own is #3.
    2. Today in Group Chat (I love that it sounds like it’s my weekly group therapy session and honestly, it actually kind of is) we were talking about 90s jams and then this happened:


And then I got to tell them MY PSYCHOTIC OBSESSION STORY and they were like, “Aw.” It felt good to tell them about “Susie from Clairton” though.

I wonder how many people from my life back then would be totally fucking triggered if they heard this song right now. I was a complete fool over this and probably Janna is the only one who supported it lol. I definitely have a home video of Evan scoffing HARD when I was like, “BUT FIRST!” and then pushing play on the cassette that I had slid into the tape deck in Lisa’s Jeep, queueing up my comfort jam. I terrorized a lot of people with this song. A LOT OF PEOPLE. Don’t worry, I totally don’t do that anymore. (Side note: for years, I could only find some alternate version of this on YouTube and Spotify, but this one is the real one!!!!) Enjoy!


I got a Haechan candle for Christmas from Megan! That’s all, I just wanted to share it:

4. Missing the Office

I know I have cried about this a zillion times in here since 2020, but man I really do miss seeing my work friends every day. I don’t miss the commute or getting ready, but I miss the crazy antics and shenanigans we’d have back in the day. It’s fun in group chat to recount these memories and make new virtual ones (like today when Nate reminded us that it’s the One Year Anniversary of Doug), but it’s not the same! Today, I was looking for something in my blog and came across this old post from 2018 that was all work-related and it made me laugh but then I was just kind of deflated, realizing that these days are definitely in the past, man.

And then it was a big love fest as we all wished each other a happy new year and said we appreciated each other before logging off. I dunno, it’s got me all maudlin, man.



Now that Henry finally finished the Seoul subway sign, we can start actually hanging out on weekends again! It’s going to be cold tomorrow, but I had a brunch that was cancelled so my day is wide open, and I want to go for a cemetery walk like we used to do before he became overwhelmed with chores. (Don’t get it twisted, he still has chores, just not super intense and intricate ones that require tons of labor like that sign did.)

I was sick almost all week and was watching travel vlogs from Lancaster, PA to comfort me (some people like hot tea, naps, and hot baths but I take solace in making fun of random travel vloggers on YouTubers and as luck would have it, A LOT of them choose Lancaster as a content destination) so now I want to do a day trip soft pretzel tour of Lancaster because that was one of the only foods I could think about and eat this week while sick. So maybe that will happen sometime in early 2024 and Chooch will likely POLITELY DECLINE the invite.



Well, that’s all I have. Drink your water.


Susie from Clairton.

Say it don't spray it.

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