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.

May 132023

Here we will look at pictures of the going away party I threw for one of my longest and favorite work pals. I was shocked to hear that Lauren was leaving the firm, but!! I know that she is on to bigger and better things. As I’m sitting here thinking of all the memories I made with Lauren over the years, I realize that I was remiss in not including a pot of mulch as a centerpiece. :/

Earlier that day, Drew started to become V.AWARE that people were going to come over. Here, you can see her eye-balling the banner I had strung up. Anytime I string shit up from the ceiling – she KNOWS.

Taemin was ready!

Speaking of Kpop idols, Lauren was one of the only people in the department who supported my k-lifestyle from its inception. She never made fun of me; she always welcomed the gossip; and she not only watched the music videos I would send the group, but she always had comments afterward. That is a true friend!

Marlene had said she was coming that night so I pulled out her FAVORITE artifact from my collection, the Fiji mermaid. SHE LOVES HER SO MUCH. (She really doesn’t.)

(Also, LOL ever heard of WINDEX, Erin? For God’s sake, clean that damn fishbowl.)

Fruit spread!

When I first became social media friends with Megan after she joined our department, one of the first things I learned about her was that, wow, homie loves to make themed cheese balls. And now this is the second Megan-created cheese ball that I got to serve at my house! I told her this that night and she was like, “Aw” but also I think she was waiting for me to tack on some awkward statement to kill the heartwarming friendship moment.

Anyway, isn’t this cute?!!? (The M&Ms were just for decoration but now I kind of wish I had tried a bite of both…)

You guys, I can’t believe I got Marlene to come to my house, it was amazing!

Lauren, Nate, Marlene!

YOU GUYS I CAN’T BELIEVE I GOT GLENN TO COME TO MY HOUSE. Let me back up here: I had originally sent an email to my old group/Lauren’s current group at the time of her departure, and invited them over. Only two people couldn’t come, but Glenn had not answered. I messaged him in CAPSLOCK on Jabber and he said “shouldn’t be a problem, let me check with the boss.” Well, that was basically where the conversation rolled over and died. Luckily, I am also friends with Glenn’s wife (a nightmare situation for him, truly) so I texted her and said, “Did Glenn tell you about the going away party I invited you guys to?” and her answer, as expected, was, “LOL no!”

So then I had to give her the deets, go on Jabber and yell at Glenn in CAPSLOCK again, at which point he forwarded my party email to her.

Ugh, men!!

Sandy!!! You guys, our department still is smartin’ (I have literally never used that word before and the other day, I called someone a chump because I couldn’t think of anything else to say and Henry was like, ‘DID YOU GO BACK TO THE 50??” OMG what if?!) from her departure nearly a year ago now. Sandy, Nate and I were all hired in 2010, along with another guy, Mitch. Now, Nate and I are the only people left from the ’10 line. :(

(In Kpop, idols are sometimes referred to by the year they were born, so you could say like, “Oh, Haechan, Jeno, Jaemin and Renjun are ’00 liners.)

Anyway, look how precious Lauren looks in that picture!!

The PARTNERS. These guys stuck together a lot because they didn’t want to hear our boring work stories.

At one point, someone asked, “Don’t you have cats?” which made me laugh because even though I thought I picked up all the cat toys, you can see a bunch under the wheelchair that I forgot, plus some cat houses are just always out in the open. But no one ever gets to see my cats because they are soooooo anti-people. Drew fled before anyone even arrived, and it turned out that Penelope was actually in one of her  cat beds under the church pew almost the entire night, and slowly crept out around 11, stretched, looked around, and then went back under the church pew.

NON-FIRM guys sticking together, now in a different room. I’m glad Henry found chat-mates in Tony and Eric, I was worried he was going to feel like the hired help all night, lol.

Amber said the greatest thing about my house that night, that even though there is so much going on and so much to see, there is a flow to it, it makes sense, and it’s curated. THANK YOU! I know this joint isn’t for everyone, but I feel so comfortable here ever since we finally started redecorating everything all those years ago. She had never actually been here before, but had seen it in pictures and in video meetings. She said that it wasn’t the same as actually being in here though and I appreciated that!

Behind Marlene, you can see the clown doll that she immediately turned around so it wouldn’t be looking at her, lol. Amanda was also not thrilled being the clown house but they both persevered!

Marlene’s drinking the MEXICAN SANGRIA I made, which I actually had to refill TWICE. Yo, usually when I make punch for my parties, there is much left over and it’s such a waste. But these fiesta folk came to DRINK. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of the beverage buffet!

There’s a study* that says that pinatas are the best ways to dull the pain of saying goodbye to one of the best people you’ve ever worked with!

*(That study may have been conducted by me for the OHE University that night.)

Did I already mention that Lauren taught me so much at work? Because she really did. I’ll always be grateful for the years we were on the same team, and will NEVER FORGET when Amber was on maternity leave and Lauren and I had to train the girl who was hired at that same time and it was so fucking stressful and burdensome and for the first time in my life, I had to ask to leave work because I had period cramps so hard that I couldn’t sit up and Lauren was like, “IT’S BECAUSE OF THE STRESS” and she was 100% right. Anyway, we really leaned on each other a lot during that time and I have felt bonded to her ever since.


A bunch of group photos were inevitable.

You guys, I was pretty drunk. Ever since I had THREE GOOD BEERS at Shorty’s, I have been on this kick where I think that I am suddenly a beer drinker. Henry kept trying to buy cider and shandy for the festivities, but I kept shouting, “NO, BEER.” So he got some cider and a variety pack of some kind of beer, but then he and Megan kept trying to get me to drink cider all night and I was getting so indignant. Megan put her hands up at one point and said, “Oh sorry, I forgot – you’re only drinking BEER.”

There was this one kind that everyone kept saying I wouldn’t like so I was like “I’LL SHOW THEM.” I nursed it for a good long while but I did finish it!

“Did you like it?” Megan asked.

“No,” I said, free of hesitation.



Amanda and Glenn! Did you guys know that Glenn SORT OF helped to facilitate my Trudy acquisition?

I can’t believe this was Nate’s first time meeting Trudy! Sandy was like, “Pfft, we’ve met before.”

I love that people can just hang out in the kitchen like way back when I first moved in and it served as a natural spill-over for party people. I never want to go back to the years of being ashamed of my home, you guys. Never.

NATE CLEANING UP THE CAKE HE DROPPED. By the way, Henry served literal ice cube-sized pieces of cake to everyone and I kept saying, “Why are you cutting it like this, you fucking cake miser?!” It was the only lowpoint of the night for me, Henry embarrassing me with his stingy cake-serving.

“EVERYONE GOT A PIECE, DIDN’T THEY? AND MOST PEOPLE EVEN TOOK SOME HOME, DIDN’T THEY? IT’S FINE!” Henry shouted on our walk home from Pita Land today, when I brough up Cake Gate once again.

I GOT TO HAVE A BE REAL DO OVER and Amber was like, “Oh…that’s all this is?” lol.

Yeah, you can tell I’m trashed.

Eric, Megan, Lauren, Tony, and Nate ended up staying until pretty late – I feel like it was after midnight which is actually way later than I anticipated this lasted but trust me – I was happy about that. I AM PEOPLE-STARVED. I was getting pretty obnoxious and giddy by then so it was probably a good thing that it ended before I suggested ding-dong-ditching HNC or something.

To summarize: I hate that Lauren left, but Nate and I really wanted to do some type of gesture to show her that she matters, we care, and she will be fucking missed forever.

May 112023

I have been putting this off all week because the sadness of Lauren’s law firm departure has really hit me, but we had a really nice, heartwarming, hilarious, bittersweet, super fun send-off for her at my house on Saturday. I know I am going to start ugly crying if I look at the pictures of all of us KLG idiots so I think instead I’ll do a GLENN prelude.

You fucking know I can’t pass up any opportunity to drag Glenn’s face through the mud, or in this case, the icing.  Let’s back up – the original intent of my house party was to celebrate Lauren’s time at the law firm with some delicioso Bethel Bakery cake. (The post-Cinco de Mayo fiesta aspect was quickly appended by Nate.)

I take my cake ordering VERY SRSLY. I KNEW it had to have a Glenn on it. I fucking knew it did. So when I started to design a picture of him crying with also a sobbing Law Firm looming over his shoulder, I started to wonder how to fill up the empty space on the other side of him. And it came to me: A JABBER GROUP CHAT! I started to sketch out a crude rendition in Photoshop but then thought – wait, what if I got the group chat to coordinate a string of GOODBYES/WELL WISHES/ETC for Lauren, and I could screenshot it for the cake?

Yeah, what if?!?! I’ll never know because these instructions were apparently Calc-level confusing. One of the people immediately needed to be contrary and difficult by saying, “we could do an e-card? so everyone can sign?”


It got worse from there and some of my friends were privately messaging me, telling me to breathe and that I was doing a good job. It just really bummed me out that something that made so much sense in my dumb rock-filled head wasn’t coming to fruition. In the end, I started to single certain people out and having them just Jabber their Lauren-ment directly in our own private chat windows, at which point, I snagged each individual message and layered it around the Glenn image.

I can’t make people want to be a part of things. I have to realize this. But every time, it’s like being in high school and yelling at people who were assigned to work with me on group projects because WHY CAN’T YOU SEE MY VISIONNNNNN?!?!?

Breathe. You’re doing a good job, Erin.

(Honestly, Nate and Wendi were my heroes that day.)

Honestly? It actually fucking worked out! You can’t tell from this picture (and I’m not going to post the actual jpg because it literally has everyone’s first and last names on it and I’m really sure that they would love the chance to be doxxed courtesy of Oh Honestly, Erin) but all the messages were legible, thank god. When I went to pick the cake up before the party, the high school boy who retrieved it from me came back and said, “This is a REALLY cool cake. What did you use to make this?” and then I explained the background, about how we’re all a bunch of a-holes basically and the cake was one big, sweet, inside joke.

I WAS SO EXCITED THAT I IMPRESSED A HIGH SCHOOL KID! And that they lettered the message exactly how I typed it out. I was worried they would want to fix the case, etc. and that would have ROONED it.

But wait! There’s more!

Before Nate and I even asked* Lauren if she was cool with the party idea, I had glommed on to the idea of having a pinata. Actually, now that I think about it, this must have been where the fiesta theme came from?? Why am I so slow? The party was almost a full week ago and I am just now realizing this.

*(I originally wanted to surprise her but we couldn’t figure out the logistics of that aside from pretending like Henry was suddenly the same database as us at his job and wanted to ask her questions about it, and then Nate called it the FaygoBase and it was a whole dumn thing that I tried to tell Henry about when he came home and all he said, “You guys are dumb” and “How do you get any work done?” (You would be surprised at how much shit I get done in spite of my shenanigans.)

And obviously, the first thing I knew would be stuffed inside the pinata? GLENNS. (And also a bunch of Mexican candies, including the roasted chicken–just in shape, not flavor–suckers that Lauren and Nate were obsessed with when I filled the International Candy Pumpkin with a bag of ’em back in the In Office Days.)

Debby’s Space Heater Fire Glenn. (I thought I had posted about this but I guess not. It happened on a day when I was off, and literally three people texted me immediately to goad me about THIS AMAZING THING that I missed. Turns out, Debby’s space heater HAD CAUGHT FIRE and Aaron jumped into volunteer 10th Floor Firefighter mode, heroically DUMPED THE CANDY OUT OF MY PUMPKIN, filled it with water from the nearby water fountain that no one liked to drink from because sometimes the water came out yellow, and doused the flames.)

International Candy Pumpkin Glenn. [You might recall that back when we worked in the office, I had a plastic trick-or-treating pumpkin pail behind Lauren’s desk that I kept perpetually filled with delights (and sometimes disgusting things that ended up being spat right into the nearest trash can).]

DOUG GLENN, which apparently had Nate stumped?!!? He had FORGOTTEN ABOUT DOUG?? Lauren set him straight, though.

OK, maybe by the weekend I will be ready to post party pics and share some of my best Lauren mems. Sigh.

May 102023

You guys, I’m reposting this because it’s still so precious (precious??) to me. Wacky Worm 4 Lyfe! Should I take my homemade I’d Rather Be Riding the Wacky Worm t-shirt on our Coaster Crew vacation this summer?!? Speaking of, 12 years later and I am cracking up so bad at the thought of CHOOCH originally being “too scared” to ride the Wacky Worm! He’s come a long way, lololol.

I have an obsessive personality, so it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that after riding the Wacky Worm (or, for those in the know, The Caterpillar) for the first time at last year’s Big Butler Fair, the hope that it would return in 2011 was one of the few things that kept me from hanging myself with a hobo’s necktie over the winter.

Who the fuck is this kid in the red shirt and why isn’t he cheering? You’re on the Wacky Worm; get stoked, motherfucker!

As soon as Janna, Chooch and I had our ride-all-day wristbands slapped on (so proud of Janna for sucking it up and going all-out! Henry, however, remains a pussy) I suggested we take a preemptive stroll around the fairgrounds. I was trying to stay cool about it, but the truth was that my pulse was quickening due to the fact that the Caterpillar was not in the same spot it was in last year and I couldn’t even begin to imagine a day at the fair without it. Especially since I spent an hour the night before coaxing and bribing Chooch to want to ride it. (He punked out last year and in that moment, I was no longer looking at my son, but at a 40″ failure. And you better believe I let him know it! And you better believe Henry lectured me for letting him know it.) So while I pretended to be interested in the money-guzzling midway games boasting oversized Rastafarian bananas as prizes and the joyful beam on my kid’s sweaty face as he rode on some kiddie truck ride (which was actually pretty awesome and I should have went on it too, why didn’t I go on it too?), I was actually craning my neck to see overtop tents and pendulating cages of death, in search of just one glimpse of my beloved Caterpillar.


“Why do you keep laughing like Pee Wee Herman?” Janna asked me, herself laughing quite nervously as we embarked on the first of many frivolous journeys.

“I don’t know, I’m just having so much fun!” I answered a little defensively, like I now needed to prove I wasn’t going to whip out my penis and coat the Caterpillar with my gooey joy.

Corey met us there an hour later and immediately joined the fan club. I think we rode it like, 18 times, with no promise of ever slowing down. I’d still be riding it right now, if I could. I think The Law Firm should have one in the building. As a stress reliever. You know. Fuck yoga.

Unfortunately for Corey, who is six-foot-alot, he was unable to join us in raising the roof each time the Caterpillar cruised down the hill.

“I’ll for sure break my wrists,” he announced when he realized how low the track was above us.

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I let him believe that that’s what would happen, when I really know that his arms would most likely get gruesomely divorced from the rest of his torso. And it would still remain the best ride ever.

At one point, I noticed that older kids started lining up for it.

“That’s because they hear you screaming and now they think this ride is fun,” Henry mumbled.

“Um, it is fun,” I corrected him.

“No, you’re just an idiot,” he sighed. How would he know when he wouldn’t even ride it? What the fuck, Henry. It’s because he was too scared. TOO SCARED OF EXPERIENCING 60 SECONDS OF SHEER DELIGHT.

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It might actually force him to crack a smile, possibly even tack on a few more minutes to his miserable life, god forbid.

So instead of joining us, he stood off to the side like some purse-toting pedophile, while all the other moms stood nearby and encouraged their respective children to cheer each time the caterpillar carried us past. Of course, this made me carry on even louder, like I was single-handedly trying to bring back the Arsenio;  sometimes I would even shout Henry’s name and then point at him so everyone would know we belonged together.

He was really enthused about that.

This guy and another younger Mexican were the official Wacky Worm operators of the day, and let me tell you—they tired of me real fast. I mean, REAL FAST. I was about as amusing to them as border-crossing and I’m certain they mistook me as mentally challenged. Or on drugs. Why? Because no one has that much fun on the Wacky Worm? Damn right no one has that much fun on the Wacky Worm!  I am the champion of the Wacky Worm!

Anyway, I’m glad he decided to fuck with the ride’s foundation while Corey and Chooch were on it, and not me.

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Furthermore, why wasn’t I on it that time?! I have no idea. I’m sure I must have had some sort of reason to willingly pass up a joyride on the back of my beloved Caterpillar, but the only thing I can think of is that’s when I was giving a blow job to the Dunk-a-Clown under the bleachers during the tractor pull.

Let me try to walk you through the glory that is the Caterpillar (or Wacky Worm, whatever you feel most comfortable, as an adult, calling it). It’s like riding in Jesus’s lap (that can go either way you want, holla to the religious porn addicts) as a caterpillar ascends you up to the Heavens, far away from all the grouchy grown-ups, while tiny angel-dusted kitten paws knead biscuits of lost childhood memories on your belly, and all of a sudden you remember what it felt like to score that coveted Scratch n Sniff sticker you needed to fill the page and to not have bills to pay and a house to make sure isn’t exploded by your kid and a boyfriend who might have even been the same age as you, and it feels great. Great like freedom. You absolutely want to ride it 87 more times. Caterpillar, take me away.

I got to do something that I missed out on last summer: riding the Caterpillar at sunset. Nothing is better in life than riding the Caterpillar at sunset.

We never got to ride in the front seat, though we came close on our second-to-last go-around but the dumb bitch in front of us in line caught wind of our plans and pushed her way to the coveted front spot. Or it could have been that her beer-bellied dad was hollering, “GET THE FRONT, GIRL. GET IT!” when the carny opened the gate.

I tried to get Henry to act as a placeholder while we were on the ride. You know, have him stand alone in line, saving us a spot in the front; but he refused, mumbled something about not wanting to be the only adult male in line for a kiddie ride, at which point I had to argue that Powers Great American Midways mistakenly lists the Wacky Worm under the “kiddie ride” section of their website when they obviously meant for it to be under “spectacular rides.”

The next morning, Chooch came over to me and said, “Thank you, Mommy.” The fact that he said this earnestly and with no hint of sarcasm gave me pause.

“For what?” I asked hesitantly.

“For making me ride the Caterpillar yesterday. It was so awesome.”

That was my proudest moment as a parent.


Since I’m friends with Powers Great American Midways on Facebook (laugh all you want, it’s informative!), I know that they’re affiliated with the upcoming Fayette County Fair which is happening on my birthday. You better believe I’m going! I went to the PGAM website and filled out the contact form with a very pressing question:

This inspired Henry to sigh heavily and say various interpretations of disapproval, such as: Don’t send that; Get a life; You need help; Get the fuck over it.

They haven’t responded to my pressing inquiry yet. Until then, I will just watch my video continuously until Henry takes the Internet away from me.

(Henry thought I pushed that girl out of my way at the end. I promise you I employed great restraint not to. Also, I apparently wasn’t holding Janna’s phone properly BUT WHO CARES IT’S THE FUCKING CATERPILLAR YA’LL. Henry really wants me to stop calling it that. It’s apparently a completely different ride.)

May 082023

Me, telling Henry & Chooch what I want to do on Mother’s Day: “I want to go to Columbus, as we discussed. And then on Mother’s Day Eve—“

Chooch, while Henry mumbled similar sentiments: “NO. That is NOT a thing!”

It is when you’re living under *my* roof, bitches.


  • In other news, my blog was hacked again or something, I don’t know. It was down almost all day until Henry came home from work and dealt with it because I cared but also didn’t care?
  • I’m still recovering from the weekend which is incredibly sad. I just really cannot handle alcohol in this moderately old bitch season of my life. I think I’m more socially hung over than anything else though (in a good way!).
  • I asked Henry to put a temporary moratorium on the DAILY coffee runs to Dunkin Donuts (did I already mention this or was it in a dream) because each trip is nearly $20 and since we flunked out of HOW TO SAVE MONEY school, I thought that this would be a small, bare minimum corner we can cut in order to collect some extra monies for our summer trip which I will be borrowing against my 401K to pay for because again, what is saving money. Anyway, this is all to say that Henry had the audacity to suggest that we also STOP FEEDING THE SQUIRRELS. LOL he can fuck himself right over a cliff, byeee.

  • We bought FROOTS at Las Palmas for the fiesta on Saturday. We actually only went there to get Mexican candy for the piñata but then I was like “and this” “and that” and as we walked out with our Mexican merch, Henry sighed, “When you plan things, you do it big,” and i was like “what are you talking about, this is just a super caj farewell thing that only requires exotic fruit, homemade Mexican sangria, beer, cider, a piñata, tons of candy, fiesta decor, and a cake from Bethel Bakery that features a picture that nearly caused me to flip my desk when trying to get coworkers to contribute to it?”

  • I assigned Jaemin as Janna’s NCT Dream bias. I sent her several comp videos of him being a chaotic weirdo and she has accepted him with open arms.


  • I was so tired of Taylor Swift concert footage coming up in my reels on Instagram so I started blocking Swiftie fam accounts but then realized I could mark the videos as I AM NOT INTERESTED IN THIS and the reason I selected was “it makes me uncomfortable” because it does!! I don’t know what it is about her but I have never been able to stand her. Her music is fine – it’s so bland and vanilla that I can easily block it out but there is something about her stage presence (or IMO lack there of) that just makes me feel nauseated. Then I added all iterations of “Taylor Swift” etc to my blocked content keywords list on IG and I gotta tell you, it’s been fantastic.

WITH THAT, I am going to bed, man. Check back again for more unpopular opinions because my brain is a tree that grows ’em for free.

(DID I MAKE THAT OR HAS IT BEEN SAID BEFORE?? Wow I really need sleep.)

May 072023

Books. Let’s get it:

  1. What Have We Done – Alex Finlay

Honestly? I didn’t like the other Alex Finlay book I read and this one was pretty much on the same level. In fact, I can’t even remember reading this now.

Oh wait, I do remember. There were some sincerely annoying characters in this bitch.

2. Funny You Should Ask – Elissa Sussman

Duuuuude. I had taken this out of the library several months ago, DNF’d it without even starting it, but then trying it out later when I saw the audiobook chillin’ on Libby. (Scribd, maybe? Can’t remember.) The premise is that a young writer interviews a famous young actor in a way that leaves the reader wondering DID THEY OR DIDN’T THEY DO IT.

Fast forward a decade or so and she’s asked to write a follow-up. I won’t get into too much but holy shit, I loved this book. It was funny, bittersweet, refreshing, and hopeful. Um, why are my eyes wet right now?!

(Also, can we talk about this cover? I am so hot for the red/pink color palette. If we ever buy a house, I 100% want a Valentine-themed room.)

3. Fantasticland – Mike Bockoven

OK. I liked this premise and REALLY liked how it was told via interviews for a documentary. I listened to this on audio and that made it even better. Basically, there is a huge ass hurricane that hits Florida and a bunch of employees at a popular theme park agree to stay behind for extra pay because the park was built to withstand catastrophes of a certain degree and because of that, rescue teams / the government make this is a low priority area to service. Shit goes awry and since the majority of the people stuck here are teenagers/young adults, it gets very extreme and violent super quick.

There were definitely a lot of body horror parts that made me blanche a bit, but I thought that the story itself was pretty decent. It did get pretty redundant at times though because various people were essentially telling the same story from different angles/perspectives.

I actually finished it in the car on the first leg of our drive to Chicago for NCT Dream so I will probably always remember it for that.

4. The Paris Apartment – Lucy Foley 

I think this is the third Lucy Foley book I’ve read and each one has been mid. What am I missing here? Lucy Foley is so popular on Bookstagram but I just haven’t been that impressed yet.

This was your typical “everyone in the apartment building is connected/fishy/sinister” whodunnit. Not the worst I’ve ever read but I also sincerely did not really care about anyone in this book or what the big reveal was going to be. The cover is nice though.

5. What Lies in the Woods – Kate Alice Marshall

I knew this author’s name sounded familiar and it’s because I read a YA novel of hers several years ago, which I thought was just OK. This adult thriller/mystery was much better. I cared about the main character and honestly, the plot can fall apart in a book but if I love the characters, I will still probably end up loving the book. That being said, this was KIND OF far-fetched but the writing was strong and the people felt real to me. Sometimes that’s enough.

6. Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone – Benjamin Stevenson 

OK, this was pretty effing great. Sometimes I need a light-hearted, slap-sticky take on a mystery novel and this one did it for me. Charming cast of characters, loved the writing style, quirky and smart. Apparently, this is the start of a series and I think I will have to see it through!

7. Wrong Place, Wrong Time – Gillian McAlister

Typically, I don’t fuck with sci-fi / time travel type shit but this one was pretty compelling to me! The book starts in present day and goes back in time from there, with a WHY that needs to be answered. I was invested, buckled in for the ride. Did I understand all of the time shit? FUCK NO. But it didn’t frustrate me, because the characters and story itself were strong enough to carry me through. There was a solid A-HA moment for me too, which was satisfying.

I think one of the reasons I was felt connected to the main character was because her son reminded me of Chooch a little bit and I was desperate for his actions to make sense.

8. The Lost Night – Andrea Bartz

INTO IT. I really really really liked the flashbacks into the lives of a hipster friend group living in NYC in the early 2000s. The core member of the group kills herself and the rest of the book is about how, years later and after they all had drifted apart, the protagonist of the book starts to realized that she can’t actually remember key elements of the night their friend killed herself.

I loved the music references – it made me so nostalgic – but also this was just so wonderfully written, the story was compelling, there was some humor sprinkled in too so you didn’t get weighed down by the heaviness of the themes. I flew through it and then immediately recommended it to Henry who listened to the audio book in like, one day. He loved it too.

Highly recommend but if you hate it DON’T @ ME.

9. Remarkably Bright Creatures – Shelly Van Pelt

I read one chapter and the voice in my head screamed, “DNF THIS BITCH. THIS IS NOT GOING TO END WELL.” Because one of the characters is an octopus in an aquarium and the first chapter is him telling the readers what the lifespan of his type of octopus is, and how many days he’s been captive in the aquarium. So, you know where this storyline is headed.

But I forged on and I’m…..glad that I did because this was a very sweet story of found family but hoo boy, I finished it right before I logged on to work one day and couldn’t stop doing the “I HAVE BEEN CRYING” full-body shudder / breath hitching.

This was a nominee for the 2022 Goodreads Best Literary Fiction category and I get why.

Ow, my heart hurts just looking at the cover. Fuck.

10. All These Bodies – Kendare Blake 

Highschool boy in the 1950s tries to solve the mystery of a midwest murder spree. It was ok. I didn’t realize it was YA when I picked it up and it definitely read as such.

11. People Like Her – Ellery Lloyd

A thriller, at times tongue-in-cheek, about a UK Instagram influencer mom who finds herself on someone’s shit list, BIGLY. It was a fast read and I thought it was pretty OK and entertaining!

12. My Darkest Prayer – S.A. Cosby

Wow, what a disappointment, considering that Razorblade Tears was one of the best books I read a few years ago, a big 5 stars. This was like someone else had written it – or is this the same way Razorblade Tears was written!? I truly can’t remember but hoo boy, this was overloaded with extremely trite and eye-rolly similes. SO MANY WORDS for no reason. Cringey dialogue. Vulgar. Crude. Made me feel like I was reading a book for bros without permission.

The worst part though is that the plot wasn’t solid enough to make up for any of that shit. I TRUTHFULLY DID NOT CARE. There were chunks and chunks of chapters that I totally skipped over – not even skimmed, SKIPPED – because it was like, ‘Oh, OK. Another annoyingly descriptive fight scene.”

I think, no – I know, that I was just definitely not the target audience for this book. Your dad would probably like it. Me? DIDN’T IMPRESS ME MUCH.

Oh and also, it kind of felt like this was a second book in a series. There was one incident that was referenced numerous times throughout the entire book and it made me feel like there was another book out there that I should have read first, I don’t know. But yeah, just really not my cup of tea and also, AND THIS IS PROBABLY AWFUL TO SAY, I didn’t think that the “shocking discovery” was all that shocking? Am I just a terrible person? Maybe.

I was expecting to really like this because there was a funerary / church angle to it, but nope. Big fat nope. Did not enjoy this.

May 062023

Good morning on a beautiful Saturday in May! No sarcasm – the sun is out and Henry is doing YARDWORK (one of my favorite versions of Henry is Gardener Henry that comes with the Manual Labor Henry Pack).

Today is busy because we’re cleaning / prepping for a goodbye fiesta that I’m hosting for a fave work friend but I needed to take a break from the semi-dusting I’m sorta-doing to fan girl over a new NCT DoJaeJung performance that I just watched. I hope they remain a fixed unit because these three are so dynamic together I really can’t even stand it.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend! Stan NCT! Don’t skip a meal! Lol.

May 042023

Sometime back in March, Margie sent out an email about an upcoming social event in May at a RETRO ENTERTAINMENT ESTABLISHMENT called Shorty’s and I was like, “Yes, this is something I will attend.” So right away, I RSVP’d because everything about me is knee jerk. I then set about to strong-arm several of my work-bros to also RSVP. Some were hesitant but I said, “NO, JUST DO IT. IT WILL BE FUN. I WILL BE THERE.”

And then the day came (Tuesday) and it was cold and rainy and I had a headache and I RULLY wanted to bail. I truly did. Erin of Yesteryear most definitely would have. MOSDEF. But I had talked other people into going and what a bitch move that would be, not to mention I know that final headcounts matter when it comes to planning these things and I couldn’t do that to Sue and Margie. It would be different if I had a legit reason, but considering my alternative would be, you know, loafing at home…Look, I’m really trying to retrain myself into being the social butterfly I was in the….early ’00s.


I can’t even blame covid for my awkwardness!

Henry drove me so I could drink irresponsibly. I walked in like a scared baby deer, knock-kneed and hiding behind a curtain of hair. There were other people there and my eyes are bad, so I was heavy-squinting, trying to see if I could recognize anyone considering I never see work people IRL anymore and we have new people hired during and post-covid that I haven’t seen before!  There could have been a whole table of our department already there and I wouldn’t haven’t know. Then a hostess smelled my social anxierty and asked, “Are you here for the party?”

I said yes, and OF FUCKING COURSE I was the first one to arrive. She took me back to the totally empty area reserved for us and on the way, said, “I love your sweater!” As I was saying thanks, she cut me off to add, “AND YOUR PURSE OMG!” It was my “make your own luck” duster from La La and my hamburger purse that I bought at some yoga studio in….Scranton, PA last year.

“I’m secretly still 16,” I stage-whispered because sometimes I’m me again, and she laughed and said she loved it and OH how I wish Chooch had been there to witness it. He hates when I get to flaunt my INDIVIDUALITY.

Then a waitress and some guy came flocking over to me. ‘ARE YOU MARGIE OR SUE?” the waitress asked and when I said no, her faced fell and she said, “Oh.”


J/K she was fantastic actually although I think I was starting to get on her nerves as the night progressed because I am a stupid drinker. I forget what her name was now but when she told me, I cheerfully said, “Oh OK, I’m Erin!” and she looked at me like, “Bitch we ain’t friends now.”


Then Margie finally arrived after I festered on a stool by myself for a solid 3 minutes.

Margie gave me my TWO drink tickets and then asked me to hold the stack and I felt equal parts important and anxious. It felt like too much to be accountable for, especially once people started arriving and I had to dole out the rations.

My table originally consisted of Wendi [I need to say that I am so depressed that she started at the firm AFTER we all moved to fulltime WFH because we have so much in common, especially musically (um, she has seen Dance Gavin Dance and knows Emarosa, etc etc)], Megan, Joy, Amber and Lucas – a solid line-up. But as the progressed, people started mingling more but Megan, Wendi and I were like, “No, people can come to us.” AND THEY DID. So, we ended up with Nate, Margie, Jill, Sharon, Regina, Rachel and Aaron at various points and you know what? I am so glad I didn’t punk out. I really miss seeing these guys every day.

Even #UghLou.

I was so excited to play shuffleboard, which I haven’t done since I was underage and sneaking in (LOL there wasn’t much sneaking involved, actually) to Tim’s Corner Bar in West Elizabeth where I quickly became a shuffleboard shark. And there was supposed to be an interactive photo booth, whatever that means, which Nate and I were fixated on when Margie sent out the email a while back.



In fact, I forgot all about it until the next day, and Margie admitted that she did think of it when we were there but she couldn’t find it! IF I HAD THOUGHT OF IT, I WOULD HAVE ASKED MY WAITRESS FRIEND. She LOVED it when I would beckon her to me, only to say, “Wait….what did I want?” to Wendi, who was basically ordering all of my beers for me.

<3 these guys!

One of my favorite parts was when I was one beer in (and already slurring) and screamed, “OMG I HAVE TO DO MY BE REAL. YOU GUYS CAN BE IN MY BE REAL!” and Amber and Wendi were like “the fuck is be real” and I had to explain it that it’s basically an app FOR THE KIDS but I started using it (much to Chooch’s chagrin) because one of my favorite YouTubers uses it and to be honest, it’s so dumb for someone like me to have because I’m home 90% of the time when I get the notification that it’s Be Real time.

I explained to them that while I take a selfie, it will also take an outward facing picture so  that they can be in too and I made a big production of getting them to pose…

…but my drunk ass wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing and this is how it came out lol. They were like, “Wow. Cool. Thanks for letting us….be in your Be Real. I guess.”

My other favorite part was when Sue was looking at my photo card holder attached to my purse and softly exclaimed, “Oh Erin, when did this happen??” and I was very confused, like was she asking me when did my NCT bias change to Renjun? “He’s gotten so old!” she said, so then I was like, “Oh wow, does Sue follow NCT Dream and she’s now realizing that they’re not the same little kids from the Chewing Gum era anymore?

NO. SHE THOUGHT IT WAS A PICTURE OF CHOOCH! Oh my god, it was so funny! Granted, it *was* pretty dark in there and most people would assume that if most grown ass ladies had a photo hanging off her purse, it must be her child.



My other other other favorite part was when I was psyching myself up to leave the house and I said, “I will stay for 30 minutes, maybe an hour. Make an appearance. Be mysterious, say something awkward, then leave.” The “event area” was only booked from 6-8 so it wasn’t like people would be staying that long anyway.

But then it was 7 and I was like, “Well, I might as well at least stay and finish this second beer that Wendi chose for me,” and then it was 7:30 and Sue was leaving and gave some of us a third drink ticket, which I greedily accepted.

And then it was 8:30 and the waitress was giving us strong side eye.

And then it was nearly 10 and I was leaving with the last of us still standing after all the food was taken away and there were no more free drinks. I think it was me, Nate, Amber, Sharon, and Rachel at that point. Megan had left RIGHT before us because she was being stubborn and called an Uber instead of letting Henri the Chauffeur take her home.

I’m really glad that I went, I’m super appreciative of Margie and Sue for planning this to help boost morale and give us all a reason to crawl out of our holes and interact outside of Jabber. Also, this was the first time I have Joy IRL and not via WebEx video since before the pandemic!

I will admit that we had a events committee who tried very hard to get people to engage socially during the pandemic, but it was all virtual, obviously, and let’s be real: I’m not trying to log back on after work hours to play trivia on WebEx. I don’t care if there are prizes. Once I log off, I’m done until morning! No offense to the people who were on that team, I give them a lot of credit for trying to come up with new and creative ways to get people to talk to each other. But even though it might sometimes be a drag for me to leave the house initially, I definitely prefer IN REAL LIFE social engagements like this one!

May 032023

Piggy-backing off my last post, here is the goddamn ice cream cake that ruined my Sunday when JOHN from Baskin Robbins left his half-hearted voice mail telling me that there would NO CLOWN CAKE FOR ME THAT DAY. I’m glad we went with it and just waited the extra day though because it really was so fucking cute and also hilarious to watch Chooch roll his eyes when he saw it.

“So, really this was all about you. If you would have just got the cake from Dairy Queen like I asked—” Chooch started, but I cut him off to tell him that sure DQ is great but they don’t have a fucking adorable CLOWN CAKE.

“Yeah, again, this was all about YOU and what YOU wanted,” he said.

“You mean, what I wanted FOR YOU,” I corrected.

“Mm,” he grunted, but c’mon, he loved it. WHO WOULDN’T LOVE A CLOWN CAKE (other than the billions of people who hate clowns)?!

Henry’s clumsy meat-fists smudged the “Riley!” on the first chocolate message board. Good job, asshole! The second one says “Cool. Mm.” as an homage to his irritating signature text response to basically everything I send him and the worst part – THE WORST PART – is that he learned this from me. Sit down, Taylor – I’m the problem.

He claims he wasn’t “admiring” it, but rather inspecting the various scoops which the BR website bills as “the store’s most popular flavors.” I guess that’s how they get away with not leaving it up to the whim of the customer. “No, we can’t use your scoop preference because it goes against what the store has deemed its most popular and why would you want anything less than the MOST popular?”

And here he is disputing the alleged “most popular” flavors because he worked at a Dunkin/BR for THREE MTHS you guys, long enough to run the data. I will say that the first cone I grabbed had some REALLY SWEET raspberry type of flavor that was not great so maybe Chooch is on to something. What if half is the most popular and the other half is comprised of the underdog flavs that they need to get rid of.

THE NOSES WERE FROZEN MARASCINO CHERRIES. Also, this flavor was butter pecan and I have to believe that this is a top flavor. I looooove butter pecan (and pralines and cream!).

Chooch refused to pose for a good picture so this is what he gets. Also, Henry’s fashion is…something else.

This is also how he looks at me every morning when I try to start riveting conversations with him and his pal Zakk on the drive to school.

Janna came over to celebrate the jerk! What she didn’t know was that he had big plans for us to play Trivial Pursuit. Henry was like, “THANKS, I’M GOOD” and retreated to the basement, but Janna was trapped. Chooch and I immediately ganged up on her and board game-bullied her mercilessly until the very end when we turned on each other. First of all, I was cheating bigly every time it was my turn to roll and I kept saying, “Well, you read the rules, Janna, and I’m pretty sure this is correct” but then when she tried doing it, Chooch and I were unanimous in that, “No, we’re not doing that anymore, Janna. You have to go back.”

My favorite moment (OK second favorite) was when I read this question to Janna, something about how do you measure an earthquake, and she kept saying, “Oh man, it’s on the tip of my tongue. I can’t think! It’s….you know, the ‘something’ on a richter scale, ugh what is it??” and she just kept saying this over and over in different variations, looking for something that had to do with the richter scale. “The….hertz? Ugh, I don’t know!”

“It was Richter Scale,” I said, putting the card in the discard pile.

“I said that!” she yelled.

“Mmm, not in the right context, though,” I shrugged. And Chooch agreed.

Have you ever played games with me? Now imagine playing with me AND Chooch. It’s basically like if the Mad Hatter and March Hare had a game night instead of a tea party.

So, what I’m saying is…



Anyway!! Once it became clear that I had a good chance of winning, Chooch suddenly switched allegiances and conferred with Janna to win-block me.

“Ooh, this one! This one!” Chooch hissed, and Janna laughed conspiratorially. They were SO SURE they got me, guys.

The question was, ‘What’s the good kind of cholesterol?”

Oh, did I sock the smugness off their faces the moment I screamed, with NO HESITATION, “HDL!!!!!”

“Goddammit,” Janna sighed, and Chooch cried, “SERIOUSLY??”

Yo. I take the Wellness exam every year at work, since 2012? 2013? I am OBSESSED with my numbers, and I legit have been known to brag about my HDL.

I ran down into the basement to excitedly huff, “Henry guess what I won!” and he muttered, “Yeah, I know. I heard.”


Anyway, that’s how Chooch spent his belated birthday celebration that he didn’t want to have but then agreed that we could have cake with Janna and that was it. No hoopla. No ‘happy bday’ singing. NO FUN FOR MOMMY.

Then I spent literally the next two hours making Janna watch NCT stuff. What a great birthday party for me! Janna was able to name two NCT members – Mark and Johnny – and was really proud of herself but she couldn’t even remember the name of the bias she picked last year!!


Apr 302023

We were supposed to have belated cake for Chooch tonight but the cake person was a no-show today so Baskin Robbins called and tried to get me to take a basic ice cream cake that they already had on hand but I got super upset about this and screamed about it (not to the BR person – they left me a voicemail so my Karen Sesh was directed at Henry) for a good SEVEN MINUTES and Henry was like, “Erin. He’s 17. He doesn’t even care about this cake” BUT I CARE ABOUT IT OK.

In the end, we decided to just do cake celebrating tomorrow night so Henry called BR back and they said sure, ASSUMING THEIR CAKE BITCH ISNT A NO SHOW AGAIN.

This was another really boring weekend. The weather was not great Bob so I couldn’t even enjoy nature-things. I just stayed home all weekend except for earlier today when we went to Las Palmas to look at piñatas for the fiesta I’m hosting next Saturday but I got mad at Henry for ignoring me / not listening to me / being distracted so I stormed out.

Can you sense that there was a theme for today? My explosive anger was on a short fuse today. Im ok now. I went on a long drive earlier and listened to an audio book and then came home and knocked freshly-folded laundry out of Henry’s arms so that felt good.

I know that just because Henry is chained up in the basement while working on the subway sign, that doesn’t mean that I have to stay home too but the thought of making plans is so exhausting/overwhelming to me right now, especially when its impromptu. I don’t know that I have that amount of emotional stamina or stability right now.

Progress shot:

It has its own laptop and wifi!

I just feel like I’m going stir crazy. Normal people I think would make the best of a rainy, quiet weekend by bingeing TV shows, napping, watching a movie, etc but I cannot focus on S H I T. Nothing holds my interest! I’ve abandoned the last several TV series I started (Daisy Jones – I read the book and feel like the show was starting to waste my time, and the latest season of You is just sooooo bad in my opinion). Then I think “ok I’ll watch a movie” but then I spend an hour looking for a movie, starting a movie, stopping a movie.

In other news, Rob who lives on the other side of HNC may or may not be moving out? HNC said he was and it does appear like there has been some moving-out activity taking place but then I noticed today that he replaced the beer sign in his front window with another beer sign. So, who knows. But he was outside doing something last night while BLASTING classic rock.

Today was so boring that at one point, Henry and I – the last remaining people in the country who have yet to watch a single second of anything Kardashian-related – had a disagreement over which Kardashian sister was the oldest. (I have never been more sad to be correct about something.)

I just want to go to an amusement park. Then I’ll be ok.

Apr 282023

I don’t have an intro. Let’s do it.

  1. Restaurant Crushes

When I was younger, I was always having crushes on bus boys and waiters and various restaurants and when my Pappap would ask me where I wanted to eat after Saturday evening church, my current crush usually determined my answer. I remember PARTICULARLY being super hormone-y over a bus boy at this Italian restaurant that was actually called Napoli but we just called it Naples. I was so convinced that he liked me too but in hindsight, I highly doubt this was the case. That boy was so hot and I was so….not, lol.

I’m telling you this because Wednesday night, Henry and I had a double date with Megan and Eric at Tillie’s. Obviously, my restaurant crush was not Henry, but our young and sassy waiter whose name I’m not sure I ever knew. I was too busy crushing on him to notice that he was, according to my dinner companions, fucking with me every time I spoke. To be fair, I couldn’t hear most of what he was saying to me over my heartbeat 두근두근ing  in my ears and my babyish giggling.

I was concerned for the entire dinner that he was perhaps TOO YOUNG for me but Henry passed the bar on his way back from the restroom and overheard the waiter telling the bartender that he was going to have one drink before going home and I HOPE HE DIDN’T MEAN A ROY ROGER.

The actual dinner and company portion of the night was perfect too!

2. Kpop Dad’s New Faves

Henry has been wildly into the newest NCT unit, NCT DoJaeJung. I think that we might have to fight because I’ve seen the way he’s been smiling at Jaehyun and he is *my* NCT127 bias!!

Anyway, he was sitting on the back porch the other day, scrolling through Insta Reel after Insta Reel of them dancing to their single Perfume.

Then Wednesday night, he said he was going to bed and of course I just waved him off, like “cool bye” and then I put on new NCT DJJ content, which made Henry stop in his tracks and watch it while standing up with his hands clasped behind his back like some kind of Kpop Mafia Dad.

Um, I think we are both going to be very sad when this promotion cycle ends. Sigh.

3. INCOMING: Some pictures of Drew and Penelope in the attic

The company I bought this neon from sent me a DM on Instagram and asked if they could use my pictures on their social media and I said sure but literally no company ever uses my shit after asking me (this is the third or fourth time) so whatever, why even bother asking!?

4. Work Comings-and-Goings

In super sad news, yesterday was Lauren’s last day at the Law Firm. I know we still talk and hang out here and there and it’s not like we were seeing each other every day anyway in these WFH years, but it’s still sad, especially seeing her name deactivated from our Jabber at work. She was one of the only people who was genuinely interested in hearing my Kpop/Kdrama/Korea in general news when we were in the office, and she developed a pure interest in Our King and Savior, G-Dragon (particularly for his avant garde style). I asked her if I can still text her G-Dragon updates as they arise, and she said yes please. :(

In happy news though, someone is coming BACK to the law firm! I had enticed them several mths ago to apply for a new opening and while the process was very long and dragged-out, they texted me today and said that they accepted an offer! Not that anyone really ever reads this garbage dump of text, but I won’t say their name just yet because it hasn’t been officially announced in the department and I don’t want to jinx anything!

5. A New Chooch Injury

Chooch’s physical therapy sessions are still on-going, but that hasn’t prevented him from PLAYING FOOTBALL AFTER SCHOOL which I did not know was happening until yesterday when he texted Henry and said that he hurt his finger?! It’s all swollen and purple and he’s been icing it – it probably is just stoved or whatever that word is for “busted but not broken” so I guess he will be OK but he makes me so nervous!

“This is my year of injuries,” he said proudly yesterday. Yes, pick the year that we actually planned a big trip to rack up the medical bills, dumbo!

Anyway, the real reason why I’m annoyed about this is because I bought Thingie Ball v.3 in the $3 section of Target and I need him to heal so we can play it.

If you think I bought this because one of my favorite NCT Dream songs is called “Boom,” well….I’ll neither confirm nor deny.

OK, this is going nowhere and I am tired of sitting so, see you, chingu.

Apr 272023

Apparently it’s National Pretzel Day which means absolutely nothing honestly – I’ll care about a National Whatever Day that gets me a day off work. Until then, it’s all nonsense.

I do love pretzels though. But not as much as HENRY, who eats pretzels as a form of therapy I swear to god.

So I went through my blog and collected some photos of him enjoying a pretzel. I was actually surprised that I couldn’t find more than this, though there were a lot of references of him eating pretzels, just without photographical evidence. I guess I need to do better.

Here he is at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, paranoid that someone’s going to pickpocket his pretzel.

Sometimes he treats himself to an entire bag of soft pretzels. I feel like this might have been his birthday gift to himself one year but then Chooch and I shoved our grubby mitts into the bag when he left it briefly unattended.

Roller rink snack bar softie. Even in motion, looks like he’s dunked that sucker into some cheese plz.

That time he took a detour in Amish country, following signs to the elusive SMITTIE’S SOFT PRETZEL truck that ended up disappointing him, boo hoo.

Sometimes he is too tired after making separate dinners for me and Chooch, so he ends up eating toast and pretzels.

This was on the way to see Chiodos in Columbus many moons ago and I know he was angrily grinding away on some salted twists because the accompanying blog post said so.

Well, that’s all for today because I am exceptionally tired. I have that “I’ve been crying all day” full body exhaustion going on except that I wasn’t crying all day? Just once when I was watching some broad’s recap of the Chicago NCT Dream concert LOL ugh grow up, dumb ass.

Apr 252023

Apologies for this hasty, moments-before-leaving-for-school poor quality photo of my SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD. I’m lucky he allowed this to happen at all – we were soooo close to fighting about it and I was just about to pull the I DON’T ASK MUCH OF YOU Card when he was like, “OMG TAKE THE PICTURE.”

Just another BITCHY MORNING. Speaking of, this one day last week, we started fighting in the house (by fighting, I do mean bickering) which carried over onto the porch as we walked out the door. But HNC and his wife were also leaving their house at the same time, so the four of us stopped and looked at each other and then HNC said, ‘That kind of morning, huh?” which prompted Chooch and me to start poppin’ off over top of one another, like:






And HNC and his wife were just like, “OK cool have a nice day, you two.”


Isn’t funny how moms act like so shocked every year when their kids have a birthday, like, “How are they X-years old now?!!?”


Every single year. It me.

I don’t remember much about my pregnancy other than being absolutely miserable and terrified, feeling absolutely possessed by the devil, do I have enough minutes on my pink Razr to call the Vatican, but one thing that has remained firmly lodged in my mind is someone – can’t remember who, though, maybe the Vatican exorcist – said to me, “Once you have kids, time moves so much faster.”

Probably I was like, “LOL OK lame ass,” after that person walked away, but HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS, truer words. These last 17 years have slipped straight through my fingers LIKE SANDS IN AN HOUR GLASS SO ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES AFTER HAVING CHOOCH.

I’m usually pretty self-deprecative up in these parts but I am just going to go on the record here and say that I think Henry and I did a pretty smokin’ job raising Chooch, even though we saddled him with a nickname that he has grown to hate and can’t shake, sorry RILEY. But to be honest, he made it so easy. He is so smart and independent all on his own – we have never had to intervene with school stuff or nag him to get his work done. For example, over the weekend, I walked past his room and he was “studying math” at his desk for an upcoming AP test, without anyone telling him to. I mean, I didn’t even know this test was happening until I had to pay $100+ for it. Then I FULLY knew.

Anyway, the kid is a solid 4.0 student, is hilarious, sarcastic, and basically just my favorite person in the whole entire world OK? Don’t tell G-Dragon and Taemin.

AS SUCH, I really wanted to do something for his birthday, or at least give him money to go out with his friends, but he has been so adamant about not wanting to do anything, so then I was like FINE I WON’T EVEN HONK THE HORN AND SCREAM HAPPY BIRTHDAY WHEN YOU GET OUT OF THE CAR AT SCHOOL.

And then, of fucking course, at 4:30 today he texted me and asked, “Are we doing anything tonight?” UM NO. NO WE ARE NOT AND HERE IS WHY. BECAUSE YOU SAID YOU DIDN’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING AND GOD FORBID I SHOULD PRESS THE ISSUE.

So of course, now I just feel like shit for not planning something anyway, but you just never know which way the wind is going to swing his mood. Maybe he will be amenable to a dinner out this weekend, who knows?! He at least hung out with one of his friends after school for a few hours, and then Henry got him a piece of pie from Eat n Park. Woo hoo, happy birthday!

(OK yeah we’re at least getting him a proper cake of some sort this weekend, whether he likes it or not.)


Apr 242023

Hey just when you guys were like “I literally do not care about this NCT bullshit and will never care to learn about the sub-units or whatever this bitch keeps calling them,” a brand new sub-unit was formed! This one is called NCT DoJaeJung (for Doyoung, Jaehyun, and Jungwoo from NCT127).

They recently debuted with the song Perfume which I have been obsessing over and it also made me think about how during the whole life thus far, I have had three very distinct signature scents. I mean, after I graduated from the Avon roller scents in middle school thanks to my friend Cara who used to bring in her mom’s Avon books all the time – my favorite scene is on the tip of my tongue but I can’t think of it!! I just tried to Google and none of those roller ones are even coming up – did I dream it? That’s what my mom would say. Anyway, it was something beachy/tropical and it was the only one I ever ordered.

In high school, I was BIG INTO Versace, so his Red Jeans scent was definitely my jam. I think I mentioned this recently, but Henry found a bottle of it for me, and I have been happily spritzing myself with nostalgia ever since.

I also was very attached to YSL’s Champagne (I think it’s called Yvesse now) also in high school. I haven’t smelled that in decades, but I just closed my eyes after looking at the bottle online on my nose remembered.

But the one that most recently was my signature, and I really should get some more of it, was Dior’s Hypnotic Poison. I used to wear it religiously in my early years at The Law Firm and people would always recognize my presence because of it – it is very unmistakable and unique.

Cool, now put on some red jeans, drink some champers, and watch this hypnotic poison of a video and then tell me what your signature scent is while I do a deep-dive into the Avon archives looking for that stupid cheap-ass perfume that now I suddenly need to sniff again.

Apr 232023

Hello! I don’t really have anything exciting going on (“When do you?” asks everyone in the balcony in the back of my mind) but I have some downtime in between my v. busy morning of writing correspondence, exercising, making a breakfast smoothie (I can use a blender-thing now!) and watching NCT Dream fan cams from the Seattle show.

I have been trying to be responsible by staying home lately on weekends so that Henry can get this fucking subway sign done. I know, I can go out without him but that would require me to either go out alone or make plans with other people but every time I pick up my phone to text someone like, “Wanna hang out” I feel sooooo tired. So, then I don’t. I have some social-y things coming up this week and into May, so I’m good, lol.

Anyway, he’s made great progress on the new sign but this is at the expense of my livelihood so…

Here are some things:

  • Speaking of subways! I found *more* old photos the other day, just when I think I have finally lassoed them all up into photo boxes. I swear my house is like Mary Poppins’ tapestry bag. Anyway, I found a set of photos from my second trip with my grandparents and Sharon. This was my second time in London, but I think it was probably the first time I ever took a subway in any city, ever. I remember that we hung back from the tour group and did our own thing while we were in London, so that must have been why we were using the tube.

Of course Sharon has a Harrods bag. And that’s my Pappap and me in the background!

  • In other back-in-the-day vacation news, remember back in February when I found a Christmas card from one of the families we had met on my first trip with my grandparents and Sharon, and I felt inspired to look up the daughter who was around my age? Well, I found what I had hoped was her address, sent her a card with my email address and IG handle, and then nothing happened for nearly 2 mths. I figured either:
      • I had it completely wrong;
      • she emailed me back but it was directed to one of the OTHER Erin Kellys;
      • or she just totally didn’t remember me.
    • But then last weekend, I got an IG notification that someone named Olivia had started following me, and it was her!! I also got a card in the mail from her several days after that and it is wild to reconnect with someone after 30+ years. I’m excited to catch up and for us to start a new phase of our old friendship!
  • All of this vintage vacation stuff has me so anxious to travel again. I know we booked our flights for our August trip but this fucking coaster club is being sooooo slow with getting the final payment info together. We’ve already paid into it a bit and this isn’t a new group or anything so if they end up saying that the trip is not happening, I am going to expect a fucking refund and then scramble to try and plan our own itinerary using the same flights because I am 100% married to this region we’re supposed to be traveling to. This isn’t their first big international trip either so I’m hoping that they’re just waiting for all of the parks to finalize things with them. They have confirmed some of the hotels (the one in Gothenburg is brand new – I was watching a YouTube video of its sneak peek soft opening and it looks so fucking beautiful) and several of the rides we can expect ERTs for, so there’s that at least.
    • The really annoying thing about this is that most of the information is being provided in the Facebook event they created for it so I have to use my dummy account that was created in order for me to be able to create Instragram ads for my stupid card shops. It’s just so infuriating when shit is done via Facebook. And there are already people who are annoying me bigly with their comments so that’s great. I hope there are some chill people that will be a part of this group! I think there are around 60 people who registered?
      • I started looking for a small bag to buy that’s bigger than a fannypack but not a full-sized crossbody, because I want to be able to tuck my vacation journal into it so that I can jot things down while in the parks rather than wait and try to frantically scribble everything down afterward in the hotel. “Just use Notes on your phone, Erin!” some might say, but I am very analog when it comes to “jotting things down,” lol. Also, I will want to be saving my phone battery for pictures/videos. Anyway, I think I am going with a bag I found from Baboon to the Moon because I like that brand. I WILL KEEP YOU POSTED, in case you are heavily invested in bags.
  • Chooch turns 17 on Tuesday! I’m sad that he hasn’t been cleared yet by his doctor to be more active because I would have planned a weekend amusement park trip, subway sign be damned. I asked him if there was anything at all that he would like to do and he said no so we just bought him a new/bigger TV and he’s happy. I guess now that I think about it, when I was his age I also didn’t really care about doing anything for my birthday but I was also depressed because of my Pappap dying and the most I would agree to was having my BFFs Lisa and Christy come over and we ate cake with my mom and brothers in the kitchen. It was all I needed, really! But as a mom, I of course always want to something big for Chooch’s birthday so I will just need to shut my mouth and accept the fact that he’s just not into birthdays like I am.. :(
  • My record player broke a few years ago and I never replaced it, mostly because it was around the time that I got into Kpop and so my interests shifted. But lately, more and more Kpop groups are releasing vinyl and I feel like the attic would be a great spot for a record nook so now I’m going to start to prioritize that, I guess. I can’t even remember what my old one was other than it was actually old, like a real turntable from back in the day and not one of these newfangled ones that people are buying at UO because they look cool but then chew up the vinyl. So, you know, no Crosleys for me, thanks. But I’m also not in the market for something super audiophile-centric and $$$$ either. I just want something reliable without sacrificing quality. I don’t know why I just plopped down so many words about this, how boring.
  • Onion “we are closing, this is our last day” Maiden magically “reopened” 2 weeks later for a 420 pop-up event. I’m just so tired of restaurants acting like they’re motherfucking bands, getting everyone all worked up because they’re “disbanding” only to come back with reunion shows. I don’t know, maybe I’m just a disgruntled old people but the veg/vegan scene is so fucking obnoxious. It makes me not even want to be supportive of it, just stock my freezer with mass-produced veggie patties and call it a day. I don’t know, I got a seitan sandwich from the pop-up and it was just OK so I’m officially not broken up over this. I will just continue to patronize vegan establishments in other cities when we travel because I’m over this idiocy here. Also, the ordering process for the pop-up was just as jacked up as we expected. It’s vegan food, not a Taylor Swift ticket purchasing event. Either make a decent quantity of your food or don’t do it at all, get over yourself. Every goddamn city we have traveled to has had vegan restaurants that don’t close their doors after two hours because they “sold out.” Just normal-ass restaurants that you walk into, sit down, order, eat. Boom. Here in Pgh, you’re better off going to a regular restaurant that has “vegan/vegetarian” options on the menu, I swear to god. As someone who has not eaten meat since 1996, I find this whole “scene” completely appalling and pretentious.

On that note, I need a snack. Goodbye.

Apr 212023

Do you ever have those moments where you float above yourself and witness just how fucking annoying and obnoxious, maybe even a little (a lot) pathetic you’re being?

That’s me nearly every day but it has been at an all-time emergency SOS level since I saw NCT Dream. Am I being neo-Beatlesmania over this? Yeah, I am. I acknowledge this. I have self-awareness, I promise, but sometimes my mania is so uncontainable that I have to just let go and observe from above as I completely lose my mind, scream, start sobbing at the job of a pin.

How does this happen? It’s borderline cult-like. Since the concert (and ok even weeks before with their Asia and Europe shows) I have been watching vlogs on YouTube of various and Henry just gives me the “dad look / sigh” but then he always ends up watching it too, lol. Before I went to get my hair done Saturday morning, I was watching concert footage of one of my favorite songs and I yelled, “HENRY ARE U WATCHING” and he said, “I have seen this so many times! Look, now they’re going to get into a circle and face Chenle,” Henry predicted, just as they…got in a circle and faced Chenle.

And then he did a double take and sighed, “Are you crying again?!”

Hint: my eyes definitely weren’t sweating.

“I just can’t believe I saw them, Henry! 7DREAM! I miss them so much!” I cried even harder then, while also breaking out into a crazed bray. I am so lost.

I have for sure written about this before, but let me breeze through a quick NCT Dream Cliffsnotes for you. They debuted as a 7-member sub-unit of NCT in 2016 and were known kind of like the “baby brothers” of NCT127 because they were made up of the youngest members of NCT. The concept was that it would be a fluid unit rather than fixed, so anytime a member reached the age 20 (19 in western years), they would “graduate” and then be replaced by a rookie.

The OG members were: Mark (oldest), Haechan, Jeno, Jaemin, Renjun, Chenle, and Jisung. Mark and Haechan are also in NCT127, which is a fixed unit. So perhaps some eagle-eyed readers of this dollar store Kpop site might recognize them from some of the NCT127 videos I have posted!

In 2018, Mark “graduated.”

To be honest, I was mostly paying attention to NCT127 at this time and kind of knew about the graduation thing but was also like, “Wait…what now?” I just know that the fans were traumatized by it, petitioning for SM to stop the insanity and make NCT Dream a fixed unit, etc. I think that they had never had a chance to have a real tour as a 7 member unit.

Then, I believe it was in 2019, there is infamous footage online of the remaining 6 members on stage at a concert, realizing that it was the last time that they would be performing together because the 2000 line (Haechan, Jeno, Jaemin, and Renjun) were all set to “graduate” after that. It was one of the saddest things I have ever seen that didn’t involve someone or some animal dying. I’m not lying. To watch Jisung, the youngest, fall to his knees, sobbing uncontrollably while the other members are also crying—it was a lot even for me and I still wasn’t a full stan yet.

Fast forward to 2020, SM dropped the graduation gimmick, brought Mark back and 7Dream was BACK TOGETHER. Their whole story is so precious, and the brotherhood they have created is inspiring. I literally cannot talk about this out loud without getting choked up and/or legit sobbing. Somewhere along the way, I started to realize that NCT Dream had become my favorite NCT unit.

Haechan recently said that to him, their true beginning was when Mark came back and they released “Deja Vu.” I love that.

Anyway, their The Dream Show 2: In a Dream tour is the first time that they had the opportunity to perform in the US as 7Dream and it was SO SPECIAL.

Everything about this show was special! I loved my seat! I loved the girl to my right, who brought a Mark Golden Hour sign in honor of him releasing a solo song that day. She was from Seatle and had flown to Newark to see their first US show, then flown to Chicago. I asked if she would be going to any others, and she said, “Oh yeah!” She was so chill, and then the concert started and she was screaming her face off and doing the fan chats and it was fine because I too was screaming my face off. I actually found her on YouTube and you can 100% hear my big fat mouth in all of her videos. As soon as I put one on, Henry said, ‘Yep, that’s you.”

And then the girl to my right! Pamela! She was sooooo sweet and considerate, asked me if I was having fun, asked me if she was blocking my view. We chatted a bit during some of the VCR moments (when videos would play while NCT Dream was backstage changing) and it is just so nice to have the chance to fangirl with someone. She likes Taemin too!

For 2 and a half hours, my face was stretched out into the biggest smile, I laughed, I screamed, I cried, I shook.

Sorry, but I’m just going to dump a bunch of pictures here now.

When I say that this was in the Top 5 all-time best concerts of my life, I am not being hyperbolic. It was the second-best Kpop concert in general  that I’ve seen (G-Dragon is 1st place, also one of the Top 5 all-time best concerts of my life!). It just hit different. The emotional connection is so strong with this one. I know it’s annoying when people film entire concerts but here I am, eternally grateful of all the different angles I’ve found on YouTube, lol.

OMFG. I have seen Haechan three times with NCT127 but this was the closest I have ever been to him and I nearly couldn’t breathe, LOL. And my Dreamie bias Renjun looking like an absolute ANGELBABY in the center. His vocals were ON POINT.

This was during Henry’s favorite song, “Saturday Drip.”


I can’t do a song-by-song recap. I mean, I never do that anyway, but I really feel so broken, lol. I felt so whole during the show and now there is a huge chunk of my heart missing. THEY DID THAT TO ME

OH and I finally got a Be Real notification while I was actually out doing something rather than just sitting in my house! Usually, I can spend the whole entire day out and about and it won’t be until the MOMENT I get home when Be Real is like, “OK, it’s time!”

And here I am on the video screen!

After the show, I reunited with Henry in the hall outside of my section and he surprised me with the other t-shirt I liked! I got another photo card with it – JAEMIN! Henry said he talked to the merch lady about the photo cards and she was saying it was her first time experiencing this phenomenon and people kept trying to get them from her, lol. NOT SURPRISED.

Outside the venue, we were standing around trying to figure out where all the vans were because I wanted to stand around like we did for NCT127 in Newark, and I saw my seatmate Pamela! She actually ran over and hugged me, and introduced herself to Henry, saying, “I love a supportive husband!” EVEN THO HE IS JUST MY BOYFRIEND but that’s OK.

Anyway, we stayed in the parking lot for what felt like at least an hour and it was FUCKING COLD. I think it was like 30 degrees that night and I only had on that thin denim jacket for warmth, and NO SOCKS. But even though one of the security guards gave us the run-around and said we were in the wrong spot (we weren’t!!), it was worth it just to see the silhouettes of their waving hands and to know that they saw us standing there in the cold to send them off. (We stood in the rain for NCT127!) So fucking worth it.

I know this probably feels disjointed and janky and that would be because I have been dragging this out for 2 weeks, adding a little here and there, because I cannot get myself to calm down long enough to do a coherent recap.

All I know is that I can’t remember the last time I felt more myself, so comfortable in my own skin, as I did for those 2.5 hours. It makes it even better that Henry likes them too, knowns their names, knows their songs. What a perfect fucking night. Take me back. I want to be where NCT Dream is.


2. COUNTDOWN (3,2,1)
13. ANL
20. RIDIN’
21. BOOM
23. WE GO UP

I’m crushed that “Life Is Still Going On” wasn’t performed but shit you guys, this setlist was stacked. NCT Dream just doesn’t have a single bad song.