Tuna Tar-Tart

I suck at everything. Probably more than you do. I enjoy experimenting with cheese and playing with glue sticks. You might know me from that other joint, LiveJournal.

Nov 172022
 

OMG when I unearthed this picture, I involuntarily lurched into full-body cackling. No, listen, Linda. Linda, listen. You have no idea the significance of this. June 1992, weekend road trip to Lake Chataugua for Liz’s birthday, accompanied by our other pal Kim; Liz’s parents and younger sister, Jane; and their golden retriever whose name I honestly cannot believe I momentarily forgot.

But before I tell you, can we first appreciate my denim shirt from Merry-Go-Round (probably, I’m assuming – that was my favorite place to shop in 1992 and also where I would later discover Cross Colors and Karl Kani and undergo a full-fledged lifestyle change which is something that probably doesn’t sound like me AT ALL), my TWA travel bag from a previous trip to Europe with my grandparents (UGH I WISH I STILL HAD THIS) with my vacation journal tucked like precious cargo in the front pocket, MY BANGS AND STUPID BUMP-THING THAT I ALWAYS DID (also, this was my SECOND PERM as if getting ONE PERM wasn’t enough for an entire lifetime and beyond), and in my hands is my Walkman which has one of two cassingles in it: “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men, or “Damn…” by Sophie B. Hawkins. When I say those are the only two songs I listened to over and over that weekend, I am being sincere and without an ounce of hyperbole, not even a spittle of exaggeration. (OK, I also listened to the “Damn…” b-side A LOT too.

OK OK OK, so this picture cracked me up so hard because this was the day that my all-time favorite non-word was accidentally created.

Basically, Jane meant to say “probably,” but then she said “smrobably” instead. That’s it – that is the whole fucking story. Something that took exactly one second to enfold has made this much of a lasting impression on me that I THINK ABOUT IT SO OFTEN and even sometimes say it without even thinking! If I recall, Jane got pissed at some point because we wouldn’t stop saying “smrobably” and then she and Liz got in a fight about it and also this was the weekend that I learned what “unilateral” meant, through the context of Liz’s mom yelling at her for making unilateral decisions.

And then there was the whole PANOVISION debacle that is also something that I think of A LOT. Basically, it rained the whole time we were at Lake Chataugua so we decided to go to the movies at some point. I can’t remember what else was playing but it must have been really dumb stuff for us to unanimously agree to see Far and Away (or maybe it was just Liz who chose it and this was the impetus to the infamous unilateral decision dressing-down??), the very forgettable Cruise/Kidman movie. Kim was like going off the rails, gushing about how this was going to be so exciting because it was filmed in PANOVISION, so then Liz and I were like stoked too and the whole time we were watching it, I kept waiting for something to happen? Like, something pano-y? BUT IT JUST LOOKED LIKE A REGULAR MOVIE!?!? Ever since then, I notice the stupid “Panovision” logo at the end of like, EVERY MOVIE IN EXISTENCE, and it reanimates my annoyance all over again.

I texted this Lake Chataugua picture IMMEDIATELY to Henry with the caption “smrobably” and he was like, “???” WHY, AFTER 21 YEARS, CAN HE STILL NOT ACCEPT THAT THIS IS BASICALLY A CORNERSTONE OF MY LINGUISITIC HISTORY, A STAPLE IN MY VOCAB. (I think he’d like to put a staple in my tongue sometimes when I get on these smrobably kicks.)

OMG SHOULD I GET A SMROBABLY TATTOO. SMROBABLY.

(Wait, did we spell it “smrobably” or “smrobly”???)

Nov 162022
 
  1. Suburban Hell – Maureen Kilmer

Horror Lite. Like, the book equivalent of saying you want to watch a horror movie and then settling on Hocus Pocus. Good for people who aren’t really into horror but want something comfortably spooky to read in the fall. It was fine.

2. The Roughest Draft – Emily Wibberley / Austin Siegemund-Broka

Yeah, that’s what this book felt like, alright.

3. A Dowry of Blood – S.T.Gibson

Oh snap, I just realized this is #1 in a series! If you love anything Dracula-related, pick this up. It’s written from the POV of Dracula’s medieval peasant bride, as she’s explaining to Dracula why she…did what she did. I thought this was damn near perfect. I only wish I had been reading it under a tree in a cemetery. Yep, this was the perfect October read.

4. Her Majesty’s Royal Coven – Juno Dawson

HOLD THE PHONE. IT’S A 5-STAR READ. Phew, these come by so rarely anymore, so when I find one, I want to caress it tenderly and let it take Henry’s spot in bed. I can’t believe I almost returned this to the library before even trying it because I was overwhelmed with my TBR and didn’t “think” I would like this. OK, it’s about WITCHES. I was worried that it was going to be super dense with way too much world-building, but luckily, it’s similar to Harry Potter in that it takes place in the world as we know it, just….with witches existing.  The chapters rotate between the POV of a group of adult friends who all grew up together in witchdom or whatever, but as adults, we see that some of them have chosen different paths. There is a lot of LGTBQ+ discourse in this, gender identity, friendship, betrayal, BIG ASS PERSONALITIES THAT MADE ME FALL IN LOVE. I just loved it – it was exciting with biting dialogue and I actually understood the political shit going on. I can’t wait for the second book in the series!!

I could also see this being a really great TV series.

5. The Lost Years – Mary Higgins Clark

ONE STAR. It makes sense that I liked MHC’s books in middle school. But as an adult? No thanks. The way she writes, at least for this particular book, it’s like she assumes her readers are morons. Information is repeated OVER AND OVER. This book was lame & totally boring.

6. Daisy Darker – Alice Feeney

Oh wow, I forgot that I gave this 5 stars too! A 4-star for a thriller is usually very high for me, but there was something about this book that made me go all the way with it. The setting, the characters, the grandma, the VIBE. I kind of had a feeling about the twist but it was still a great time. It was cozy and perfect for October!

7. The Last Housewife – Ashley Winstead

Um, the fuck was that? I loved Ashley Winstead’s first two books with my whole damn heart and thought this was a shoo-in for the 5-star club. Wrong, bitch. First of all, it felt like someone else was writing this. I mean, it was borderline embarrassing to read at times. And the plot…no. It just didn’t work for me. I have this 3 stars but it was really more like a 2.5, Bob. I was not thrilled at all while reading this, and all of the characters were so painfully flat.

8. The Butterfly Garden – Dot Hutchison

…but then I read this one and it made The Last Housewife seem, you know, not so bad. Yeah, this was just so bad. I had a very hard time following the timeline, I didn’t care about the main broad/victim, the whole butterfly garden in general was like, “Wait, what? Huh?” No, this was trash. I should have listened to my favorite Booktuber Kat when I saw that she gave it a 2 and said “criminal minds s11e14 in a nutshell.” YES, THIS. GENERIC. And the parts with the cops were like, so stereotypical. This is apparently a series and I will not be reading any more, lol.

9. The Book of Cold Cases – Simone St. James

You know…I liked this. I wasn’t sure at first and thought I was going to be disappointed, but it was pretty interesting. I gave it a 4, maybe realistically it was more of a 3.5, but I was rooting for the main character pretty hard (she was a blogger lol) and the mystery kept me hooked.

10. We Spread – Iain Reid

OK. I went into this with the wrong mindset. I read “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” several years ago and love it so so so much, like, became obsessed with it and googled it and watched the movie (eh) so my expectations of We Spread was tainted. This isn’t horror. This was fucking sad. This is about aging, growing old, losing yourself. Iain Reid s a crazy-good writer, but I only gave this a 3 because this wasn’t what I wanted. This was definitely a “It’s not you, it’s me” situation going on here. I went in for the horror, thinking I was going to be scared to death, but instead all I got was….being scared of death.

***

So overall, not the best month for books. But hey: two 5-stars! That’s pretty fucking alright.

Nov 142022
 

Here we have a collection of things that have been happening.

I’m in a bitter battle with a HAWK. We had a showdown two Fridays ago. Let me set the scene: I was sitting at my desk, dutifully doing my job, when I heard a weird animal cry. The squirrels will do a chitter every now and then, but this wasn’t that. This sounded like a distress call. I got up and went to look out my front window just as A HAWK came swooping down from across the street, straight at my window, at which point he dropped down at the last second to the area under my window. “OH FUCK NO!” I roared in my guttural battle voice and I went barreling out of the front door like one motherfucking pissed off Kool-Aid Guy.

The hawk looked at me like, “the fuck is this?” and he flew a few houses down and landed in Jackie’s (Jackie the Witch, if you’re Chooch) yard. I stomped my ass over there, hollering “Go! Get out of here!!” to this piece of shit predator. Some dumb old man (a random one, not Henry) interrupted my full-body SHOOING and STAMPING and asked me what was going on. I didn’t want to be like SQUIRRELS!!! so instead I cried, “PEOPLE LET THEIR SMALL DOGS AND CATS RUN AROUND OUT HERE AND I DON’T WANT THIS HAWK TO GET THEM.” This seemed more reasonable and less “I am the neighborhood squirrel protection society president.”

“He must be hungry!” the man laughed, rooting in his pocket for his ancient cell phone to take pictures of this stupid asshole bitch bird. “WELL HE CAN STARVE BECAUSE HES NOT FEASTING ON MY BLOCK!!” I hissed in response, but it was more like a wail in the key of Sally Struthers.

Oh, this man was PISSING me off. I just wanted him to fuck off so I could continue stalking the hawk who was now perched menacingly on a light pole across the street, but he was just doo-wah-diddling about, smiling at the dumb thing and struggling to work his phone.

My squirrels were DISTRAUGHT and I never want to have to see my favorite Girl Buddy cry and shake the way she was as she hid between HNC’s garbage cans.

This bitch fucked with the WRONG CRAZY LADY. I bought this ugly fake owl thing because hawks are stupid and supposedly will think it’s real and go somewhere else, and I’m about to hang several disco balls in the back porch because they hate…dance parties? Sike, I guess they hate reflective things.

COME AT ME NOW, BITCH BEAK.

(Henry, somewhere in the background, reminding me for the 87th time that they’re federally protected while Chooch is like “I swear to god if you end up in the emergency room…” This is my new life, in case you have been wondering what I’ve been up to. My Google searches are all variations of HOW TO FIGHT A HAWK at this point.)

I am now in the market for chain mail, a potato gun (to hopefully get it hooked on veggies) and a SHIELD. When I say that this has consumed my life…I mean, you read this dumb thing so you know how I am.

(Also: how do I get crows to live at my house. They came out at one point to help and all that was missing was KIM CARNES “I NEED A HERO” playing in the background.)

Henry and Chooch got me this kombucha when they were at the store together (I’m sure that was fun) simply because it has a squirrel on the bottle. I am a kombucha addict though so I would have drink/drank/drunken this even if it had a hawk on the bottle.

J/K, I have standards.

Chooch has been working at Dunkin’ for several weeks now and has still not been trained, lol, ok cook on Dunkin’. No wonder their coffee drinks taste different from one location to the next. No one even showed him how to work the register but he said it was similar to McDonald’s so he just started using it. At least we know that Chooch can persevere when left to his own devices.

Also! This is the kind of Dunkin’ that’s split with Baskin Robbins so I might be asking him to bring me a milkshake home at some point, even though I recently started Noom again. Did I tell you that, Blog Diary? It’s not a big deal but after so much traveling and eating amusement park food all summer, my jeans were starting to get a little tight. I have to go all in when it comes to “dieting” – I know, in the Year of Our Lord 2022 we should be celebrating our bodies and not dieting but look, my weight directly affects my mental well-being – so I can’t just “eyeball” it or whatever. I need to be honest with my food logging and you know what holds me the most accountable? Knowing that I paid for the goddamn program and hoo boy do I hate wasting money. So yeah, when I’m doing Noom, I am DOING NOOM. Plus, I like Noom because it’s realistic and doesn’t restrict or deprive you. It relied heavily on the psychological part of weight loss and teaches you how to identify and combat (or compromise with) triggers.

I’m doing it in tandem with my beloved Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution and I’m already getting my muscle definition and waist back!

Oh and the best part about Noom is that it teaches (and ENCOURAGES) you to treat yourself so I was able to share this pumpkin cinnabun sundae from Sugar Spell Scoops with Henry yesterday without feeling like a failure. <3

This was not sponsored, lol. I just really swear by Noom! If you want to try it, I can send you a referral link thing!

I was thinking about when we saw some of Seoul Fashion Week the first time we went to Korea and looked it up on YouTube just for fun and found myself in the background of someone’s video LOL.

I’m positive people mock me behind my back. “Did you know that Erin Kelly has been to Korea?! *huge eye roll*” I can’t help that it’s pretty much all I want to talk about 24/7. It was never a “vacation” to me. It was like a legit pilgrimage, and I have never in my life felt this way about a place before, like I had been there extensively in another life or timeline. For instance, before we ever went there, I would (and still do) watch vlog and vlog on YouTube of people living in Seoul, or travel vloggers taking a train to Jeonju. I’d watch K-drama and variety shows and feel this really crazy sense of familiarity in my heart?? And I know it’s some special weird-ass thing because I have been doing research for our summer coaster trip (NOT in Korea, sadly) and while I am VERY EXCITED AND STOKED for this, everything obviously looks so, well, foreign, to me and I am very interested in everything I’m watching and reading into, but it doesn’t feel the same? It doesn’t feel like a warm, cinnamon-and-persimmon scented embrace?!

I don’t know what it means. But both times I left South Korea, I quite frankly felt I was going to die. OK that was dramatic, I just felt like someone cut into my chest, removed half of my heart, and left it in Seoul.

:D

You guys, I recently found out that Chooch not actually did academic shit in Mexico, but he did it well! Yay, Chooch!

Oh yeah speaking of Noom!! They color-code foods: green / yellow / orange f/k/a red but that made people feel like red meant STOP DON’T EAT or BAD BAD BAD but really it just means that it’s the most calorie dense food and should still be enjoyed, but just in moderation. I accidentally discovered that Kemps froyo (green food) and Olipop Root Beer (yellow food) makes the best “diet” root beer float! Of course after discovering this, every store Henry has gone to since then has not had Olipop in the root beer flavor, sigh. 

The childs, enjoying one of the last warm days on the porch :(

What else have I been up to?! Here are some shows I watched:

  • Watcher (loved it)
  • Midnight Club (liked it)
  • Derry Girls final season (mildly disappointing, but love the show overall)
  • The current season of The Crown (almost finished, thoroughly depressing, Diana Forever)

OMG I have to go. NCT127’s Killing Voice (which I have seen 87x) just came on YouTube so now I need to go and watch this and smile like a deranged person.

Nov 122022
 

I have been super energized lately on the home project tip! We decided to have a small, casual Christmas party this December so I made a list of all the things I want to get done before then and Henry, in the robotic season of his life, has methodically gone along with this. I practically sprung out of bed this morning because I knew I was going to get to use THE HEAT GUN on one of the projects today – Henry has the audacity to say that he was going to end up taking over but guess who finished the whole thing?? Me. Truly.

That particular project is redoing an old, small coffee table to use over in the church pew section of the living room. We never had a need for one before because no one has really been here since we bought the church pew two years ago.

Anyway, I’m really excited about this table!

Also this weekend I will be repainting the cat-head wall. It’s time. I was never in love with that wall, really, and I am working on new memorial art for my Original Four Cats that I am going to use as replacements for the pictures that are currently hanging there. I require oval frames for this project though so we went to Fleatique today to see if anything stood out to me.

Didn’t find any frames but OH BABY I found something better and it came home the fiddly-fuck home with me. (Henry didn’t even try to resist. Just handed over the cash, lol.)

It’s already on display with my other Jesus art in the bathroom. I love this so much!! I hope it’s haunted!

And I hope that everyone who comes to my XMAS party (probably like, 3 ppl let’s be honest) will have to use the bathroom at some point so they admire this piece of fine art.

Nov 112022
 

I took a casual dive in the photo vault again the other night and this time landed in the Wildwood stash! Always stoked to share pictures from the best time of my life, sigh.

My grandma looks like she actually loves me here! Probably because it was before I got fat, ugly, permed and braces.

(You think I’m kidding – lol.)

Dude. I have the most vivid memories of this boardwalk ball pit. I looked at this picture last night and literally felt like I was in the balls again. IN THE BALLS.

Being the most cute. Can you tell that Gizmo is in my lap!? Super quick back story: My aunt Sharon (mom’s oldest sister) never came to Wildwood with us. It was always just my immediate fam (ugh when RYAN was born and started tagging along) and my grandparents. But on the morning we were leaving for this particular summer’s trip to Wildwood, she presented me with a white box that had holes poked in it the top. She told me not to open it until we got there, and I was DYING, YO. Every time we hit a bump, whatever was inside would squeak and I was so certain it was alive.

This was the year that Gremlins had come out and Sharon had taken me to the theater to see it. I was 4 and it was SCARY to me so we had to leave once the gremlin action started. But then I was like, “Never mind I want to go back” so she took me back to see it again and this time I made it through the whole thing and never walked out on another movie again until Dolores Claiborne in the 90s. (I was with my then-friend Keri and we were like, “Why isn’t this movie ending? How long is this movie?”)

I had Gremlins on the brain for a GOOD while that year and was 100% positive that Sharon had found me a motherfucking mogwai. I mean, it had to be that, right?

Well, technically it was, but man was I disappointed when we got to Wildwood and I ripped the lid off the box only to discover that it was not actually a living, breathing mogwai but a stuffed Gizmo that squeaked when shaken.

I clearly loved it though, considering he’s in like every picture of me on the piers, lol.

My mom looks very excited to be co-holding Gizmo.

LOL this would have been my dad’s first time at Wildwood with us. ALSO OMG BED BUGS! I have no recollection of ever playing that but certainly remember that it existed.

Happier times, haha.

This picture must have been the next year’s visit because that baby is RYAN UGH (j/k I like hm now) but I’m including it here because of my dad’s interesting early 80s attire. I can promise you that if we were able to pan out right now, you’d see that his shorts were essentially hot pants. And he probably had socks up to his knees.

Well, happy Friday! I’m about to go and erase this past week from my brain – it was long and annoying.

Nov 092022
 

I love October so effing much but – oof – it is so bittersweet. I always have that “I’m running out of time!!” sensation so I’m not always living in the moment because I’m internally panicking about not being able to do everything, but no, I don’t want haunted houses to be a year-round thing because that kills the novelty and anticipation. I think it all boils down to exactly what the doves have been crying about: I’m just never satisfied.

Anyway, here is a round-up of the last haunts we squeezed in during the final days of October.

FRIGHT FARM! WOO! This was Henry and Zakk’s first time here, but Chooch and I are seasoned pros by now. I was so excited for Henry and Zakk to experience what is essentially the granddaddy of farm haunts. First of all, this photo is blurry because I WAS SO FUCKING COLD. Literally shivering and wishing I had brought gloves in addition to the knit beanie and boots I was already wearing.

Henry was a big fan of the snack options. It gave him something to do while we were watching for an hour-ish for our group # to be called. At least we didn’t have to stand in line!

Zakk’s new girlfriend. Chooch was jel.

Anyway, some quick thoughts:

  • An actual line-dance happened when Flo-Rida and Kesha’s “Timber” came on, and I was extremely uncomfortable about that.
  • An older man behind me on the hayride kept announcing everything that was about to happen to his companion, Ruthie. I kept looking behind me and Ruthie was legit recording the whole thing with her phone so I think she was aware of it.
    • Literally, the whole damn thing!!
  • Hayride portion was sick as usual, possibly the best hayride around.
  • Once we got to the haunted house part, we had to stand in line with like, and I’m not exaggerating here, 12 different large groups of extremely loud and inebriated people?! All the guys looked like people Blake would be friends with. It was so annoying, yet somehow the line moved extremely fast because most people were standing in clumps waiting for their friends to use the porta potties so everyone was just cutting past them. But then the kid manning the entrance to the walk-thru was letting huge groups go through at once so that was a major haunted house foul, come on kid.
  • We were the last people in the group that got sent in, but somehow a group of 5 TOTALLY HIGH/DRUNK ASSHOLES caught up to us. They were insufferable. I don’t like making a scene (LOL ok) but all I kept thinking was that we drove an hour to get to this place and then paid $100 for admission, so I was not about to let these assholes fuck with my night. “Look, I’m going to pretend like I have to tie my shoe so that they’ll go past us,” I whispered to Henry who probably didn’t hear me because he can’t hear anything anymore. I dropped into a squat to fake-tie my shoe while dramatically saying, “UH OH I HAVE TO TIE MY SHOE, YOU GUYS CAN GO ON AHEAD” but then they were going to STOP so I hurriedly waved them past while I did the worst shoe-typing pantomime which involved me fluffing my laces and then IMMEDIATELY standing back up once they passed us – it was so obvious but….they were so stoned, so it probably seemed normal to them. We caught up to them at the checkpoint for the actual haunted house (the first part is mostly outdoors) but I flat out said to the girl manning the door, “I don’t want to go in with those people” and she said, “Oh yeah, no problem,” letting the door close behind them. “I could tell by your face that they were annoying you.” Other groups had caught up to us by then, but she was a fucking sweetheart and let just the four of us go inside alone and NO ONE BOTHERED US (well, aside from the monsters, but we want to be bothered by them) so YOU’RE WELCOME FOR SAVING THE NIGHT WITH MY FAKE SHOE ISSUES, GUYS.
  • Look, I’m not straight-edge or a NARC or anything, but there is nothing worse than being sober in public while a bunch of jackasses parade around you in a state of extreme intoxication. TIME AND A PLACE. TIME. AND. A. PLACE.

It was like 40 degrees but go on with your shorts and t-shirts.

I’ve seen this one in the haunted listings for years and years but for some reason, we have never gone. I was tired of spending lots of money on these haunted nights so when I saw that this one was only (“only”) $15, I penciled it in. Plus, the entire proceeds go to ANIMALS!!! We love that.

Also, that’s Henry’s “Leave My Woman Alone, Chainsaw Guy!“ face. Lol j/k, he moves out of the way for them.

Anyway, this was fantastic – so reminiscent of the ones I used to go to in the 90s with Christy and/or the LAME crew. I was laughing so much and one of the guys was wearing a Sloth mask and he followed me for a LONG WHILE and then growled, “SEE YOU LATER TONIGHT” and it was sinister yet HOT?!

There was a middle school-ish aged girl dressed as a dead cheerleader and she stole the show. I made sure to tell her that when I saw her outside of the trail as we were leaving (wait – she WAS supposed to be part of the trail, right? WAS SHE AN ACTUAL DEAD CHEERLEADER???) and she giggled and then skipped off. It was adorable.

The last haunt of the season was last Friday night – Wells Township Haunted House, and oh you guys know EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED THERE, LOL.

Honestly, though – aside from my WOUND – this was still one of the best haunts I went to all season, if not ever. I just love how balls to the wall it is, I don’t mind being touched at all; in fact, in one of the first rooms, someone was VICIOUSLY tickling my sides, like they were relentless about it. I was SCREAM-LAUGHING so hard into Henry’s back, literally almost peed my pants which is how you know it’s a good haunt!

I would not recommend this one to anyone with depth perception (lol, it me) or mobility issues because one of the scariest parts is not knowing where you’re going, if there are steps coming up (usually the have someone guiding you but there was one part where I had to toe the area in front of me and holler, “THERE’S A STEP!” to Henry who at some point got behind me and I don’t know what’s scarier: being in the lead or in the back!

Well, that completes the 2022 Haunted House Circuit. It was a good one, for sure, but you know…the older I get, the less people I can find to go to these with me – especially now that I almost lost a foot to a chainsaw guy. I’m sure that’s a sign from the universe saying: FIND GROWN-UP HOBBIES. Pfft, yeah no thanks!

Nov 082022
 

I voted today in my accidentally, horrifically Republican looking Six Flags sweatshirt. When we were walking past all the canvassers who were loitering in front of our polling place, I loudly said, “UGH I HATE THAT THIS SHIRT MAKES ME LOOK LIKE A REPUBLICAN” to which Henry mumbled, “ok” in his Calm DownTM tone.

Then I opened the door to the church gymnasium and it slapped back on me while I was walking through and it startled me into a jump, at which point I overcorrected myself while I was in the air and SPRAINED MY BACK. The whole thing happened so fast that I can’t even really understand how it happened at all except that it was somehow Henry’s fault. And I had an AUDIENCE and it was so embarrassing – I hope they weren’t there trolling for OZ, that would have been even worse.

As usual, I didn’t understand what the trick question was at the end of the ballot and I was openly panicking, like not even trying to be discreet about my confusion, so Henry calmly nodded his head as he walked past me after submitting his ballot.

Whew.

I still have no idea if I answered that correctly.

Then I had to walk by all those people again and I was so UGH about it until I realized that the people coming out of the polling place have a DIRECT VIEW of the pink neon on our carouselfie wall! Henry was like, “oh boy.”

Anyway. I hope all my US pals voted today. Super nervous about it. :/

My fucking back hurts so bad. But, at least I broke it for DEMOCRACY.

Nov 072022
 

Hey Sam, hey Lucy. Here are some songs I have been super stoked on lately.

I’m sorry, YG as an agency may have fallen out of grace years ago at this point, but to me everything they put out is perfection. Treasure is an excellent example. Also, my fave Kpop cardio YouTuber has a fantastic, super energetic routine for this that I was so into earlier today, I may have sprained my back.

PVRIS is one of the very few non-Korean groups I still have interest in. Lynn Gvnn is just insanely brilliant, a true artist in every sense. I love that their sound has evolved and matured since their early Warped Tour days, but you can still tell that it’s PVRIS. That signature sound is still embedded deep into the background, and Lynn’s voice is so distinct.  This new release has sent me head-first into a massive PVRIS deep-dive and the nostalgia has been so soothing!

Do you even need any more evidence to support my claim that Ten is my ult bias of the NCT Universe? (Tied with Haechan, don’t forget!) Earlier this year, Ten was a judge on a Chinese dance competition show and he performed this on there – I remember thinking, “SM, if you don’t allow Ten to officially record this song and film an MV for it, you are out of your goddamn minds.” Thankfully, SM heard me, I guess!

Ugh this gives me major summer in the 90s vibes. Like I can imagine lounging in my grandparent’s pool and this coming on the radio right after Shaggy’s Bombastic. This song is my head quite often lately.

And then let’s throw it back even further into the past with the disco vibes in this one!

Ciao for now!

Nov 052022
 

(I said that to the tune of Hot Child in the City for some reason and now I feel uncomfy.)

You guys, what a great November Saturday! I spent most of the morning / afternoon getting my hair done, so I was dying to go for a walk when I came home. Luckily, Henry was doing fuck all and accompanied me. (Literally, what did he do while I was gone?!)

I will say that I was happy to be able to regale my HARROWING CHAINSAW ACCOUNT with my stylist and some other gals in the salon – they were HORRIFIED and I said, “THANK YOU THAT IS THE CORRECT RESPONSE” *side eyes Henry*

When I got out of bed this morning, my other ankle actually hurt too from all the hardwork it put into its supporting role last night. And the Academy Award for best supporting actor goes to…

ERIN’S LEFT ANKLE.

I was sitting on the chair on the back porch today and Drew walked behind my legs and BRUSHED AGAINST THE ANKLE IN ALL OF ITS BANDAGED GLORY and the way I screamed.

Oh Sally, the way I screamed.

Easily one of the top 10 most traumatic moments of my life (that annoying bray is Henry laughing in a dark corner).

Anyway, I like my hair! I wanted subtle purple and my stylist Carly was like, “let’s experiment and see how well your hair will take the color without having to go platinum” and it came out good! So next time we will do it more intense.

Other than that, I had a grand time playing with the squirrels in the backyard (one of the babies is SO CLOSE to eating out of my hand!) and now if you don’t mind, I need to go and eat my dinner, thanks.

Nov 042022
 

Friends. This happened tonight. I am home now and I think I’m going to survive but it was…touch and go for a while there.

Running into an acquaintance 15 years from now, probably not at a grocery store: “Whoa, you and Henry broke up? What happened?”

Me: “Well, a chainsaw guy at a haunted house….”


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Additional thoughts: this happened at the very end of the haunted house (which was 100% SO GOOD and I’m not mad about this, it was an accident plus we signed waivers so can’t go Full Karen on the place) and I knew it happened, could feel the pain immediately, and usually I would run like a scared deer from the damn chainsaw guy but I was legit frozen in place, hugging Henry, and then I just like, quietly limped away because I wasn’t sure at that point how bad it was and if my ankle would just like, split in half if I started to aggressively run. So I casually limped back to the car and then whispered, “I think the chainsaw guy cut my ankle and I’m afraid to look” to Henry who had no reaction because he was probably daydreaming about the gas station he was going to buy on the way home (“Mmm Slim Jims”). I risked a quick peek when I got in the car and IMMEDIATELY started screaming and panicking, trying to slather on bandaids with shaking hands while holding back bile-burps.

But now I’m home, wound is clean and bandaged, but I still won’t put any weight on it when I walk. I’m walking on the toes of the injured foot, but with the knee bent and then my other leg is like “let me bend a little too” so I look like a gimp leprechaun or something I dunno, OR SOMETHING.

I’m about to pass out. Chooch is disgusted and said there is no reason for this much drama and then he retreated to his room and Henry just like, left the house. I mean, ok leave me alone with an injury of this magnitude, sure. At least I have 4 wheelchairs at my disposal.

Nov 032022
 

Today is my Pappap’s birthday. He passed away in 1996 and while I miss the HELL out of him every single day, I did eventually reach a point where I was able to stop crying about it at a pin drop and actually enjoy the memories I have.

I acquired a shit ton of photos from whenever we were cleaning out my grandparents house in 2016. I still haven’t hone through everything but I like to rummage through the boxes every now and then. I decided to do that tonight to get some photos of him to post on here and I ended up pulling out a stack from one of our vacations in 1990. I was so wrecked-looking for a long time as a kid and these pictures of me are awfully cringey but it’s time for me to stop caring about that because – well, who cares!

I’m glad this is the stack I drew because I have been thinking a lot lately as we plan our family trip for next summer about how my Pappap (and Aunt Sharon, also featured prominently in the upcoming photos) instilled a strong love of travel into my life. I think he would be happy to know that Chooch is here now and is exactly the same way. I think my Pappap would have been wild about Chooch, honestly.

Anyway, please enjoy this random collection of my brace-faced, knotty-maned, chubby-cheeked adolescent self; my Pappap and Sharon’s disdain for posing for the camera; and a lot of European locations, some that I can’t exactly pinpoint all these years later – sorry!

Get ready for some signature Sharon scowls…

On this trip, we did London, parts of France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, I believe. Maybe Amsterdam, too. I would have to consult my old vacation journals and they are in a large trunk which is a pain to open. So we’ll just have to pretend that my memory is tight.

To this day, when I think of the Spanish Steps, I think of the fanciest McD’s I’ve ever visited. I wonder if it’s still there/as nice?!

I look like I’m crying but this was one of my favorite places when I was a kid, except that there were GIANT spiderwebs inside that bridge and that always scared me. I hope that I can go to Switzerland with Chooch (and Henry, I guess, lol) one day!

I guess Sharon must have taken this picture; I love it a lot.

That green was a choice.

I mean, I hate that I’m about to say this, but Shron really should have smiled more. She was so pretty. Also, seeing those coach buses in the background have me stoked for our summer 2023 trip that better fucking happen because we’ve already paid for some of it and I fucking swear to god there better not be another lockdown. It will be our first time as a family traveling with a group and I’m so excited because I love group tours!!

My pappap was probably ranting about how we had to pay for each pat of butter.

My grandma was a difficult person to travel with.

We’re probably walking off yet another ear-beating from my grandma here in Venice.

I wonder what he was talking about! That one lady is like, “NO FUCKING WAY, YA GOTTA BE SHITTIN’ ME!” in response to whatever tale had him gesticulating like so. You know how kids are always like SO BORED to be sitting with a bunch of adults at a dinner table? I was the opposite – I fucking loved sitting with my pappap because he always had interesting things to say, he always ended up being one of the most popular people on all of our trips, and I felt like A FUCKING GROWN-UP sitting there drinking my hot chocolate (which was usually disgusting Ovaltine in these hotel restaurants) with my plump pinky finger extended.

HNNNNGGGG.

Anyway, I’m glad I never burned these pictures in a hobo fire of shame and I think it’s time that some more of these old shots see the light of day. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to make these memories, even though they weren’t always as idyllic as you’d think. At the end of the day, it was time spent with my pappap and I will always treasure, today especially. Happy birthday, Pappap!!

If you’re reading this, would you like to see more vintage photo dumps like this? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS. Lol.

Nov 022022
 

…and not even a manic one, either.

Hello from 2 days post-Halloween. I was off that day as tradition goes, but this might have been one the least-Halloweenie Halloweens that ever Halloweened for me. It makes me sad that Chooch does not care at ALL about Halloween anymore so I have no one to dress up, and I certainly don’t dress up because I never get invited to any Halloween parties nor do I go to any Halloween event because stranger danger.

The most I did was wear my Cedar Point HalloWeekend shirt which I’m sorry, I thought it was PRETTY SICK OK.

I literally spent all day fussing over the squirrels.

포도 (grape) time!

At one point, my cat Drew and I were at the window watching two of our Buddies eating lunch. Drew looked at me and said, “Hey look–it’s 2 Buddies 2 Buddies 1 Porch” which was a HILARIOUS parody of NCT127’s latest hit, “2 Baddies” (1 Porsch) so of course I had to make a reel.

God, Drew. What a genius.

Trick or treating started at 5 and true to form for my stupid street, I got barely any customers and of the 5 I did get, well, all 5 of them had to be lured in off the street by my pathetic desperation. Literally, I kept Swan Lake’ing out of the front door, plastic pumpkin pails of candy in both hands, singing, “I have candy!!” And then I had to keep stopping myself from saying “trick or treat.”

No, Erin. THEY say that. THE KIDS say that.

BUT NONE OF THEM DID! Two of them were too young, one was maybe 9 or 10 and seemed nervous that I was begging them to take my candy, and then the last two were older teens, probably in high school, who acted like they were doing me a favor by going five steps out of their way to get candy.

You know who did come around for trick or treating action though? My furry woodland pals.

God fucking love them.

Where was Chooch during all of this, you ask? Oh, he was starting his new job at Dunkin’, four days early. Yeah, he went to work when he wasn’t even scheduled because he doesn’t pay attention but they let him stay even though no one was there to train him? Then the next day he was prepared TO GO BACK but somehow caught on that his actual first day is Thursday. What is his problem?? Why can’t he just pay attention??

Well, that was Halloween 2022. I didn’t even eat that much candy because I started Noom again last week and didn’t feel like logging it so I just avoided eating it. I guess that’s the whole point of logging food.

Wow I’m so boring. Goodbye.

Nov 012022
 

Henry and I had plans to go to Cedar Point on Sunday for the last day of the season, but I almost let my depressed mood convince me that I wanted to stay home. Too much happened all at once and it was weighing on me big time:

  • The hawk incident (more deets on this in a separate post);
  • There was another car crash on my street Saturday night and I’m sorry, but hearing that sickening crush of metal never gets any easier (no one was seriously injured thank god but the lady driving took out about 3 parked cars on my block and then later tried to say she wasn’t the one driving but no one else was with her and she also threw an absolute fit when my neighbors tried to call 911, then her husband came and started yelling at her when she started to make up more stories);
  • But mostly: the Itaewon incident has really hit me hard. I can’t explain it, but it feels close to home.  Anytime anything awful happens in South Korea, I feel it in my heart. Such a tragic, horrific way to die. My friend Jiyong moved back to Seoul last year, but she luckily was not in Itaewon.

So, I didn’t really feel like going to Cedar Point in light of all of this, but Henry was like, “You can’t just stop doing everything because bad things have happened” blah blah, but he’s a sociopath who doesn’t care about anything ever so taking advice from him is not advisable. In the end, I agreed to go but I was a mopey lump in the passenger seat for the entire 2.5 hour drive there. I kept getting news alerts about Itaewon, texting Chooch about the hawk (“IS IT THERE? WELL, ARE YOU EVEN LOOKING FOR IT??”) and crying every time we drove past road kill. At one point, I wailed, “I WISH I DIDN’T FEEL SO MUCH!”

I’m becoming more and more of a fatalist as I grow older and it’s kind of psychologically debilitating, I have to say. I feel like I’m on a fast track to reclusion.

After an uneventful drive with me brooding out the window, we arrived at CP with about 20 minutes of Early Entry left. We headed straight to Millennium Force, because this is the coaster we have the best luck with during early entry. The line was already starting to get kind of long, so I was a baby about that because PROJECTION, but it actually was only about a fifteen minute wait.

“I’m not screaming,” I said as I stood in line for the back row with my arms crossed miserably over my dumb chest.

“OK,” Henry laughed, knowing that this was like, an impossible feat for me.

It was really funny though because when it was our turn, the ride attendant with the mic was like, “If you’re ready….don’t scream.” Henry was like, “WOW” because for every train before that she was of course telling everyone to scream and it was like she knew that I said I wasn’t going to!?

But then as the train started to leave the station, she was like, “OK you can scream” and I forgot that I wasn’t GOING TO so of course I screamed like a lunatic.

And then I grayed out after the first drop! That doesn’t happen to me very often on Millie!

The wait time for Steel Vengeance was listed as 30 minutes which is SHORT for that fucker! We got in line and it was moving super steadily until an announcement came on saying that there was going to be a short delay in order for a train to be removed from the track for maintenance. The recording INSISTED that it was A SHORT delay. So we didn’t let our inner Karens run rampant.

But then, and I fucking swear to god it happened at the CURSED SECTION of the queue, right where the dummy Fast Lane people come in, another announcement came on saying that STEVE WAS DOWN AND THAT MAINTENANCE HAD BEEN CALLED.

Motherfucker, SteVe! Has there been a time when I visited CP when SteVe hasn’t broken down while I’m in line?! MAYBE ONCE?!!? The only good thing about this is that people start dropping out of line like flies. So even though the dumb ride is broken down, we’re still kind of moving up in line.

I killed time by making this sick meme of THE ONE THING THAT CAN PULL ME OUT OF MY MOPEY MOOD. lol. Even Henry kind of smirked when he saw it on Insta.

We finally made it past the Fast Lane spillway and into the last stretch of queue before LOCKER TIME. But then there was ANOTHER ride delay announcement right before we got to the metal detector (riding RMCs is a real experience, you guys). Henry was annoyed because he forgot his dorky eyeglass strap thing in the car and hadn’t bought a new one there yet so he had to leave his glasses in the locker. Which meant he was standing in line, visually impaired. LOL.

Anyway, I would say that in total, we went from a 30-minute wait to probably a little bit over an hour but you guys gotta know that SteVe is fucking worth it.

Mostly, our day was pretty chill. We didn’t ride a whole lot (Raptor / Ferris Wheel / Mine Train Thing / TIKI TWIRL / plus Millie / Steve) because we only stayed until around 4:30 and spent what felt like most of the day roaming around looking for HALLOWEEN TREATS which apparently didn’t come out until the haunt shit started later that night. The one thing we saw a sign for though were two “creepy-themed” cupcakes, $10.99 each! Is that a joke?! I’m sure they were probably just regularly sized cupcakes!

So, here are some pictures from the rest of our day.

I realized that we had never ridden the ferris wheel at CP before so we changed that. We spent the whole time in line trying to figure out the reasoning behind why they don’t load every car. I know it’s a balance thing, I’m not a stoop (mostly) but like, why don’t they fill the whole thing if there are still people waiting in line?

It’s weird how small Cedar Point looks from above, when it feels like you’re walking a half marathon to get from one side to the next.

It was kind of nice to just relax on the dumb ferris wheel for a bit!

After that we rode the Tiki Twirl which is a Calypso-style flatride and I just love these types of rides SO MUCH. I was cracking up during the whole ride and Henry was not amused which made it even funnier.

I love that Cedar Point has a little food truck area – all amusement parks should do this! The truck with the delicious sunflower veggie burger was there again and I was delighted. This was literally right up there with SteVe on the list of reasons I got out of bed on Sunday.

IT IS SO FUCKING GOOD. I also got a maple & brown sugar-flavored coffee from the bagel food truck and that too was wonderful. It was a really mild day with JUST ENOUGH chill in the air to require a jacket and hot bev.

Henry got a pizza bagel or something, who cares.

I don’t care about shows but for some reason we stopped for a few minutes to watch these people do super glam and overdramatic covers of not-great pop songs and it was actually making me uncomfortable; I’m not going to lie. One of the dancers reminded me of Weird Paul but the more I think about, I think he moreso reminded me of one of the guys from ARMY OF LOVERS:

See the source image

Yeah, the guy on the right. Alexander Bard, apparently.

DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE. Hilariously, I had peanuts in my fanny pack because why wouldn’t I?? So I got to feed a CP squirrel.

This was only our second time riding this and I gotta say it’s actually not that bad and it made me kind of giddy. (I feel like I spent most of the ride screaming OW MY BACK OMG though, lol.)

Henry was not happy about riding it but then admitted it was not as bad as he remembered.

It’s weird – I love amusement parks and I love haunted houses, but I don’t care much for the haunt events at amusement parks. I do like the decor though but I’m not trying to stand in those lines! The haunt crowds were starting to pour in by the time we were on our way out and I was not sad about leaving.

Overall, it was a nice afternoon. I don’t think we fought at all, although he was annoyed that I texted Chooch while we were in line for Raptor to tell him that Henry said he doesn’t like “those hanging ones,” instead of calling them by their real name: INVERTS. Ugh, some thoosie he is.

Oct 302022
 


Dear Sunday Lovers,

Today, Henry and I spent the day at Cedar Point. It was the last day of the season for them and I was sad when I realized that we only once this year! Anyway, I’ll get to that another time.

The point of this is that CP was lacking in treat department. Everything in the bakery was 50% so there were two long-ass lines out the building. I’m sorry but their baked goods aren’t that good. All the Halloween-themed treats seemed to only be available once the haunt stuff started later in the evening and we wanted to leave by 5 since it’s approx. a 3-hour drive home.

So I suggested that we just get A TREAT outside of the park and screamed THAT ONE RESTAURANT WE LIKE WITH THE PIES! Of course, neither of us could remember the name. I dunno what method Henry was using to find it, but I searched “Cedar Point butterscotch” in my blog and immediately found the post from last May where I had DELECTABLE post-Cedar Point butterscotch pie at a place called Dianna’s (omg I almost put Gianna’s and had to scroll up to check the menu in that picture up there – will we ever remember this damn restaurant’s name??).

Man, I love this place so much. There’s not many veg options on the menu & they definitely cater to the nursing home crowd, but their pies are memorable to the point where the last time we were there, I said it should be our post-park tradition. If only we could remember the damn name.

I just wanted pie but Henry was like I FEEL LIKE I SHOULD ORDER FRIES OR SOMETHING FIRST so then I felt obligated to also order a non-pie but I wasn’t hungry for a meal. I was delighted to see that they had a fruit and cottage cheese combo called the FRESH FRUIT FANTASIA. This appealed greatly to my inner Elder! Sadly, the waitress came back to tell me that they were out of the raisin bread (!!!) it normally comes with and asked if an English Muffin would suffice as a substitute. I said yes and was honestly just relieved that this was the only issue and not that the entire food item had been removed from the menu on account of it no longer being the year 1958.

Meanwhile, Henry ordered a GRILLED CHEESE??!! Have I ever known him to order a GRILLED CHEESE (outside of an insane/gourmet grilled cheese establishment like Melt)?! I think not! This was a shocking turn of events.

My Fantasia was such a gargantuan portion that I had to ask for a box because sorry fruit, I needed to save room for the PIE.

YES SIR. Man, butterscotch is so underrated. I haven’t changed my stance in that this isn’t as good as my mom’s (hers is not pudding-y) but it does make the octogenarian side of my soul sing.

Hopefully Chooch sticks me in a nursing home with good butterscotch pudding. And if they have that pistachio fluff shit like Eat n Park offers on their salad bar, I will happily let that be my last meal.

Henry got a slice of coconut cream pie so we shared both slices. Originally, I tried to take half of his coconut cream and then proceeded to start eating my whole slide, hoping he wouldn’t notice. But he did. :(

Anyway, the day started out with me in a MOOD but ended on a very lovely note.