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.

Apr 192022

Being back from vacation hurts. In so many ways, lol. I still haven’t gone through all of my pictures, but I do have the ones from our first park, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, all sorted so I will share those today. That’s what we’re doing. I will save my BIG PANTHEON STORY for a separate post because I will probably have way more to say about it than is necessary. You know, the usual.

Super awkward shot but I just love this section of the park so much!

We were waiting for Henry to find out if there was any place in the entire land that served veggie burgers because the last time we ate pizza at FEST HAUS, we all got sick (not like, food poisoned, but more like THAT WAS A LOT OF CHEESE). We were going to eat in the Italian section of the park but the line was extremely long even though the park wasn’t very crowded, so….Fest Haus it is, I guess.

Chooch pointed out the strawberry cake and then I couldn’t not see it so guess who got the strawberry cake? It was Henry. But only because he knew I wouldn’t get it for myself so he got a slice to share. Henry doesn’t care about his gut health so he always takes one for the team.

Dude it was actually quite good.

This time I split one personal pizza with Henry and it was the perfect amount. It did not bind me, nor did I find myself doubled over in extreme intestinal strife for the rest of the afternoon. Guys, we do not come to parks to eat. We come to ride.


I actually felt uncomfortable with them performing so close while I was trying to eat and by eat I mean shovel cake into my gnashing maw. Especially when they were trying to shame people for not participating in the Chicken Dance. LOOK LUCY, I like to cluck around with the energy of your average kindergarten birthday party attendee, but not while I’m trying to mow down a thick wedge of strawberry cake. Thanks, and kindly piss off with your lederhosen, Tuba Terry.

Meanwhile, Chooch had raspberry cheesecake which he somehow stuck his elbow in, as evidenced by the schmear of raspberry glaze I spotted on his sleeve shortly thereafter.

Henry told him to go to the bathroom and use cold water, and he proceeded to return to us with half of his sleeve drenched in water, because instead of just spot-cleaning, he stuck his entire forearm under the faucet.

That’s my brilliant son, people. Gifted status. Don’t be fooled.

It was in the 50s on this day which was fine at first but as the day went on, I started shivering and then couldn’t stop and then eventually I was practically convulsing and Chooch was yelling IT IS NOT THAT COLD, STOP IT but I could barely hear him because my ear canals were frosted over.

We were really concerned about the potential crowds on this trip, being spring break and all, but it seems that our school district’s spring break falls later in the season than most so we pleasantly surprised at the crowd levels for Park #1! Granted, this was still a Saturday and the weather wasn’t TOO bad, but we were still enjoying station waits and/or walk-ins for some rides, although the “crowds” did seem to come in waves. For instance, we walked onto Apollo’s Chariot earlier in the day, came back in the afternoon and walked away after seeing a – gasp – line, but then got a station wait a bit later. It was almost as if the crowds were moving in a clump. And that was fine with me!

Griffon is so photogenic! We didn’t ride it on this visit though. Dive coasters just aren’t our favorites. We did ride Alpengeist though (pictured in the shot above this one) and it was the first time we actually had to “wait” in a line, and it was only about 25 minutes but spoiled Chooch was not having any of it. He gets so surly sometimes.

Even when the sky is gloomy, this park is still so lovely. Now that I think about it, I don’t even think any of us fought the whole time we were there?!

YOU GUYS. Remember last summer when I was so sad that I didn’t get to ride LochNess because of dumb stupid idiotic lightning?? Well, I got my redemption ride.

It wasn’t as great as I remembered it to be, aside from the EPIC TUNNEL/CAVE THING. Unfortunately, I was too concerned with the fact that some asshole in front of us had his phone out the whole time, so then I spent the second half of the ride in fear of needing plastic surgery once my face is done being a Samsung billboard.

My favorite part of Busch Gardens is the walkway down by the water! There are steps next to the entrance of Lochness and it always feels like a secret.

Mr. McDonald’s pays for his own stupid fucking games now!

F R E E D O M.

Here are the Robbins Males, in line for Verbolten, which they both thought was WAY TOO LONG yet only  took about 20 minutes and everyone knows that Verbolten is the best ride in the whole damn park and 100% worth the wait, so can it.

(OK, Pantheon is the new Daddy of this joint, but Verbolten is still a solid coaster. I always my laugh my fucking face off on it.)

I have no idea which ride line we were in for this. Everything is a blur.

Seriously though this park is gorgeous.

Oh! Here’s a great story. I had been craving ice cream ever since earlier that morning when I saw one of my ENEMIES (we will talk more about this in a separate post) indulging in a cone while waiting in line for Pantheon. The last time we were at Busch Gardens, we couldn’t find any ice cream places that were open because even then, a lot of (if not most) parks were understaffed due to Covid. But I figured out that he procured this icy delight at Roman Frieze. This also worked out well because it happened to be the same place that was selling the pineapple Dole Whip served in a pineapple that kept taunting Chooch throughout the day. (“I REALLY HAVE TO HAVE ONE OF THOSE,” he kept announcing, and I don’t know why but the image of Chooch walking around spooning himself ice cream from a pineapple while wearing a hoodie just made me LOL.)

So we get in line for the damn ice cream and it’s all confusing because some worker tried to get us to leave the line and go to a new line that he had just started but we were already nearly to the counter and other people were already getting into the new line so I politely declined his offer. But he kept pushing for us to go to the new line and I said, “But I don’t want to lose our spot?” and he gave me this shit-eating OK HAVE IT YOUR WAY look, like I’m some big stoop passing up his once in a lifetime offer.

I guess you had to be there but he was for real stressing me out and then Henry didn’t want him waiting on us because he was touching door knobs and people’s backs with his gloves on and then didn’t change them when he got back behind the counter.

But then he did change his gloves so Henry unclenched.

I wanted the KIDS SUNDAE because sprinkles and whipped cream seemed like a delectable choice at the moment, but when I ordered it, the LINE MISMANAGER instantly grabbed a waffle cone and started filling it up with softserve. I thought that maybe he was doing someone else’s order first because now that there were two lines, it was chaos in there. But then he squirted it with whipped cream and did all the other FIXINS and as it dawned on me that this my KIDS SUNDAE, I said to Henry, “You can just have that and I’ll order it again but specify that I want it in a cup.”


Henry started to protest but I swiftly took the waffle cone, passed it off to him like a frozen Olympic torch, and then placed my do-over order.

Oh meanwhile, Mr. Economics blanched at the price of the Dole Whip in the pineapple (it was like $12 I think) and opted for just the Dole Whip in a cone. His McDonald’s paychecks are really teaching him the value of a dollar, for sure lol. Everything is SO ASTRONOMICAL to him now.

As we sat down on a wall to eat our icy snacks, I peeped Henry’s pout. “What’s your problem?” I asked.

“I didn’t want this!” he cried, chopping a hand toward his KIDS SUNDAE cone. “I wanted DOLE WHIP!”

Chooch and I promptly cracked up.

I forgot that this happened or else I would have included it in some of the postcards I sent, lol.

Later, we had a weird experience in line for Invadr because the family in front of us were annoying but in a strange way. It was three young kids (an older girl and her two little brothers) and they all had SUPER BIZARRE cartoon voices and the mom looked like Biggest Loser: Little House on the Prairie edition, I’m sorry, that was mean but this was the thought that passed through my asshole brain as we stood in line behind her.

The kids weren’t bad by any means, but it was their voices, man. Their voices, especially the girl’s, were like Rugrats IRL. Like an adult doing theatrically fake child voices. Like Elmira on Tiny Toons. Just really strange. And then they were playing this weird game about how many cookies something would cost and I swear I saw Chooch’s ghost leave his body. He was like, “I’m outta here-yaaaaaaaa.”

Anyway, while we were standing in line, Chooch was watching the train go past and suggested that we ride it when we were done on Invadr (really great wooden coaster, btw). So when we got off Invadr, Chooch and I ran straight to the train platform and made it JUST IN TIME. We scrambled into a row and then saw Henry calmly walking up the ramp. He saw us and shook his head.

“Thanks for telling me where you were going,” he huffed, having JUST made it before the train departed. LOLOLOL.

Chooch said I looked possessed here. Thank you! How sweet.

This is Chooch turning around to see what was screaming behind us and why its keeper wasn’t doing anything about it. I really hate screaming children.

Chooch took this right before we left – Henry and I doing our best “couple pose.”

I left out all of the PANTHEON stuff because it deserves its own post. But I will tell you that after eating that ice cream, my body temperature plummeted, combined with being whipped into oblivion on coasters on a 50ish degree night, and I was shivering so hard by the end of the night that my body was straight WRACKING. Chooch was appalled by this and at one point yelled, “IT IS NOT EVEN THAT COLD!” and was even inspired to look up the weather when someone in line was also saying how cold they were.

“OK, you’re over here shivering, that person over there is whining about being cold, IS IT ACTUALLY COLD? I’m looking it up,” he said, because this kid is hot-blooded. Of course once he saw the temperature, he gave me the ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS look because it really wasn’t THAT COLD but somehow IT WAS? Then I lost my voice at one point too and panicked because what if I had gotten Covid, but then I woke up the next morning and felt 100%, so I guess it was just all the screaming and being cold. I do get cold extremely easily.

/abrupt ending.

Apr 172022

Listen, Linda. When I woke up at 6:30am this morning in some stupid West Virginian town, I really thought we were driving home where I would then stay out for days upon days.

But then halfway thru the drive, Henry offhandedly mentioned that it was the opening day for Kennywood and that Chooch and I still needed to get our season passes.

“Might not be too crowded since it’s Easter, he shrugged.

We did go home first for a bit! We’re not psychos. And honestly the plan was that Henry would just drop us off so we could pick up our passes and check out the sitch while he went to vacuum out the heavily road-tripped car. I told him I figured we’d just stay an hour because even if it was crowded, I’d have at least liked to walk around and check out all the new changes (mostly fresh paint-related). And there’s all these new murals buffeted the walkway into the park:

Dude. This looks GREAT. I’m not mad about this at all.

Anyway, the park was not even KIND of crowded. We walked right onto the Phantom. Peep the purple!!

Great color choice, obv!

We then rode Exterminator and screamed JANNA!!! through it, because that’s just what one does on the Exterminator (it should also be known that Janna hates this ride lol).

It’s not bias, it’s truth that Kennywood has the best screamin’ swing ride in the world. However, it felt like they were running shorter cycles?! Kennywood, we gonna need longer Swingshot action ok.

Noah’s Ark has changed so many times over the years that it just honestly never feels familiar to me anymore.

But it’s still a must-do if there’s no line.

Show-tying interlude.

I bet you already guessed that we stayed a bit longer than “an hour.” Henry didn’t care. He used the free time to go grocery shopping and then he napped in the pick-up lot lol.

The entrance to the Jack Rabbit is so extra now especially considering that there really wasn’t a legit entrance before.

Someone took Chooch’s souvenir drink cup from the loose article bin instead of theirs and he was SO PISSED because we had just filled ours up and now he obviously couldn’t drink from his. It wasn’t that big of a deal. He still has a cup, it’s just not the one he was given at the season pass holder window and we honestly shouldn’t have been using them anyway without washing them first, so. Cook on, Chooch.

Before the cup incident.

We also rode Racer which was, you know, the Racer. Steel Curtain wasn’t running (shocker) so we hit Aero360 and of course someone on the ride before us puked so we had to wait for them to clean it and then pointedly avoided that area of the ride. This used to be my favorite flat ride and now it feels so foreign to me?! It was still fun but it wasn’t how it remembered it so did it change or do I just go to too many parks, who can be sure. We both agreed that this flat ride also seemed to have a very short cycle.

When we got off this one, chooch asked if Golden Nugget was open and if so, were we going to get any ice cream. It was definitely open and we were definitely getting a cone because last summer we made a BAD CHOICE and got stupid Millie’s (only because they were bragging about their Kennywood-exclusive Eat n Park smiley cookie flavor) so we actually went an entire season with NO GOLDEN NUGGET.


Upside of going to Kennywood on a chilly day is not having your Golden Nugget drip down your wrist. (Best amusement park ice cream cone, not accepting opposing opinions 🖐🛑)

Honestly though this is, to quote from my friend Alyson, part of the process. You cannot come to this park and not get the famous square ice cream! It’s a Pittsburgh tradition so if you are an out-of-towner thinking about collecting some coaster creds from Pittsburgh’s Kennywood, DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT A CONE FROM GOLDEN NUGGET. We always choose “all of it” as our topping, pro tip.

It’s so instagrammable too!! You better tag me in that shit.

We got in line for Sky Rocket but it was one train ops so the line was kind of long-ish. I was like, “dude we rode some of the best launch coasters in the world this week, do we really want to end with Sky Rocket” and Chooch was like, “no, no we don’t” so we ended the day with another ride on Phantom and yeah, that coaster still ranks top 10 in my heart. It is SO GOOD. I get so stupidly happy when the enthusiasts include it in their Top Whatever lists. It deserves the recognition!

So one hour turned into three – what a great way to spend an Easter afternoon!

(Also this ended up being park number 8 since last Saturday, I am SO FUCKING TIRED AND MY FEET ARE WORTHLESS SLABS OF BRUISES AND BLISTERS.)

(Actually I don’t have any blisters but I wanted the alliteration.)

(I do think I have nerve damage or something happening in one of them though.)

Apr 162022

This morning was very boring so I didn’t LiveBlog, although I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that we stopped at QuikTrip and got REALLY GREAT lemon bar lattes. Holy shit yo that shit was hot, sweet, elixir from the heavens.

We made it to Carowinds, park number 7, around noon-thirty. It looked like it wasn’t crowded and Fury was nearly a walk-on. What sorcery is this?!

Sadly, I was unable to enjoy my ride because the asshole in front of me was blatantly holding his phone above his head the whole time so I was trying not to get smashed in the face.

Also? Does Fury feel slow AF now because we have been spoiled this past week by so many amazing coasters?! I was actually disappointed.

Then we rode Copperhead Strike which I will admit to liking better this time around, maybe because we were in the back.

So that was ok and the line was only about 25 minutes.

Chooch still needed to get some credits that we missed the last time but one of them – the Vekoma boomerang, had a long-ass line for absolutely no reason other than that GP love boomerangs because they have no taste.

So we skipped that and went to Kitty Hawk which is a family Vekoma suspended and has the slowest ops ever, omfg.

Growing old in line so chooch can get a dumb credit.

Another one that he needed wasn’t running, so we settled for Ricochet which ended up breaking down while we were in the long-ass line but that was a BLESSING because there was a mass exodus so we were able to move up almost to the front. Maintenance arrived quickly, fixed the issue within 5 minutes, plus another 5 minutes of test-cycling the cars and we were back in business.

We actually got Henry to ride with us. This was then before the ride broke down when the line was still long, looking up food options for when we leave. For as shitty as Carowinds is, we at least all got along for the few short hours we were there.

Is it tho?

Anyway, Chooch got 2 credits, still needs 2 (3? I think there might be another kiddie one) more so I guess eventually we have to go back again ughhhh. This is just not an enjoyable park.

Then we had to walk through the parking lot looking for the car amidst a sea of other white cars while Henry’s shoe squeaked miserably and Chooch and I were losing our minds. Then we got in the car and made Chooch share his gummy turtles with us, which are shockingly good.

“Where did you get these again?” I asked.

“I dunno. Orange Land. Orange World,” he answered casually and it made me crack up because the fact that he has a job and buys his own shit now is endlessly humorous to me because it always ends up being dumb shit.

Anyway, I figured I’d start a live blog now because today’s Carowinds sojourn isn’t worth its own post.

YO. We just ate at Bean Vegan Cuisine and I was in food lust, bigly. Thank god I found this joint because we almost ate at some basic diner that basic Henry found.

Dude I knew as soon as we walked in that this was the spot. The options were overwhelming!


So one of the few things I crave sometimes that I can’t eat is seafood. I mean, I physically can eat it, but morally I won’t. You know how it is. So when I saw that they had vegan crab dip on the menu, I urged henry to order it for the table.

IT WAS HEAVENLY. Made from jackfruit and definitely had a crab dip texture and flavor. I was hooked.

I got the CHIKN PARM SANDWICH. Fun fact about this bitch, when I was in elementary school I would get so excited when Burger King’s chicken parm sandwich would return. That was my JAM. I can still remember how it tasted.

This was so good, I was screaming inside my head.

Henry got a side of vegan Mac n cheese with his cheese steak and it was everything. Chooch didn’t like it but he is extremely picky with vegan cheese.

Speaking of, he got some cowboy burger and was a big bitch baby because he didn’t like the bbq sauce on it. He did eat most of it but not without whining about it.


He kept telling us we’re so annoying and I dunno why but this was making me crack up so bad and now I’m slaphappy.

6:55: At a really nice rest area in Virginia that has a little trail behind it which was wonderful!

I asked Henry if he thinks truckers bring broads up there at night and he distractedly said, “Yeah…I mean, no! There are lights back here.”

Mmmm ok.

Then I made a huge production out of getting Chooch to pose for this picture while people of his same age were walking by and watching lololol.

I guess you had to be there.

At least the scenery is better in Virginia.

8:25: Every time we call Henry out for breathing heavy, he goes, “Just be happy I’m breathing.” What a cocky response.

9:00pm: Arrived at the so-so Microtel in Beckley WV and Henry immediately dropped and shattered Chooch’s coveted jar of Georgia peaches from Peach World so that was a whole thing. Good one, Hank.

Well, I guess we’re in for the night because wtf is there to do in BECKLEY at 9:18 but ice my METATARSAL injury thing and read?

PS this piece of shit hotel has EWTN on their cable guide but then it doesn’t come in. I’m so pissed because we’re missing the EASTER MASS VIGIL.

10:20: UPDATE: the power just went out!!! I’m scared – it’s so dark and this is awful. Henry is like OH WELL and got back into bed but Chooch the Sleuth went out to the lobby to get the scoop. He just came back and said that literally no one in the lobby is fazed.

Man, we were watching a really great LIFETIME movie too.

10:23 – ITS BACK!! I said THANK GOD and Henry mumbled “yeah thank god the world almost ended.” It was actually terrifying!!!

Apr 152022

Hello from Savannah, Georgia, where we are crashing for the night. We left Orlando early this morning and spent the day in St. Augustine. Much fun was had, at the expense of our feet as usual, and I will relay all of the details at a later date. But for the purpose of this post, I want to talk about the place we ate lunch.


I may have planned the entire day around this place because hello: a grilled cheese arcade with tons of dive bar aesthetic? Oh yeah, I will make my travel companions go out of their way for this experience.

“Is this it?” Henry the Stoop asked. No, it’s the grilled cheese arcade across the street, Henry.


First of all, THE CHOICES. I almost made a custom g.cheese but then I saw the VEGAN GRILLER which has TEMPEH and I am an avid tempeh eater. Sometimes I like to cut some up and mix it into my morning scrambled eggs. I’m getting very fancy in the kitchen these days.

Chooch got the Hashton Kutcher, sans sausage, and I don’t know what Henry the Meathead got. Who cares.

Wishing I had purchased a chocolate tape for five dollaz.


We were assisted at the bar by a really awesome guy named DALE who held our hands through the ordering process. Then he noticed Henry’s VelociCoaster hat and asked, “Were you guys at Universal?” and then we started gushing together over the perfection that is VELOCICOASTER and how it is quite possibly the best in the world and I was like, “FRONT ROW AT NIGHT” and he was like “OH MAN I DIDN’T GET TO RIDE IT AT NIGHT” but at least he lives in the same state as Universal and can hopefully return soon for a night ride.

I legit cannot stop thinking about it.

We also got a pickle dog to share and it was SO GOOD. A pickle deepfried in cheese, on a bun, with some type of amazing sauce. Yeah BOY-O.

Hallelujah! Cheesus has risen.

(Vegan Cheesus, that is.)

Not sure what type of vegan cheese they use there but it was delicious and had a decent melt to it.

The bathroom was playing Elvis which normally would have been MEH but in this case, it really added to the ambiance.

(Hold on. I’m remembering my sandwich and missing it.)


Part of the arcade was decorated with a VHS tape wall and it made me laugh because I have tons of these, similarly-labeled, in our dumpster of an attic. I was SUPER into renting movies when I was in high school and then copying them using my fancy-pants dual tape VCR. I miss renting movies from Blockbuster, Hollywood, and our local supermarket’s Iggle Video section, but I *really* miss all of the independent places that were super small with porn in the back. :(

Henry knows all about those types of places. The one I remember the most (aside from Incredibly Strange Video which was my SPOT) was this place in Baldwin called Firehouse Videos. I used to rent horror movies there to watch in my basement with dumb Psycho Mike after eating next door at HOME COOKIN’ where my fave waitress used to make me incredible grilled blueberry muffins, which I would also eat with a side of cole slaw and everyone there was convinced I was pregnant.

Holy shit, thank god that psychopath never actually got me pregnant!!

Back to Sarbez and all of its glorious mirror selfie opportunities.

Henry Wah Wah I Lost My Ball had to call DALE over to help him and Dale was like, “Your ball’s right there, dude” and I wanted to die because Henry is so embarrassing everywhere we go.

Chooch made me play Pong with him and I proceeded to win 7-0 BUT!! I think that I actually wasn’t playing and that it was the computer, because at first I thought I was controlling it but then there were several times when it felt weird so…

Don’t tell Chooch.

He mumbled, “I hate you. I hate this game,” and stalked off to play something else lol.

What a great effing experience. I mean, it made my stomach hurt bigly because I just can’t eat heavy stuff anymore, but it was worth it even though we proceeded to spend the next 2 hours in the car driving to Savannah and bickering, ugh.

Oh well. More travel lies ahead so I guess I should say goodbye and goodnight.

Apr 142022

Hello from our dumb hotel in Orlando. Today is a slower day (park we’re going to today doesn’t open until 2pm, blessed be) so I’m just chilling here post-Valhalla donut feast (I split Ube and Berry Berry with Henry, and Chooch had Churro) and I happened to see that the full trailer for the Heartstopper Netflix adaptation has dropped on YouTube so I watched it while Chooch was yelling at me to use my headphones and now I am sobbing because I love this graphic novel series so much. I finished #4 in the car on Sunday so I am even more ready for this.

I highly recommend these books. Highly highly highly. They are everything.

Also, here’s my ube donut:

We actually had a shitty experience there because the people working (not Valhalla employees – they were for the other place in the shared space) had no personality nor the desire to assist us. Then they forgot two things in our order so Henry to go back in twice to get it taken care of. I mean we were the only customers there HOW HARD IS IT.

Still, those donuts are so good that it was worth it.

But yeah, sometimes vegan places can have the shittiest customer service just sayin’.

Then we went to Craft & Common to get coffee to bring back and the experience there was so much better. The girl who waited on us was super friendly and helpful and it made the coffee taste even better to me, TBH.

I would highly recommend this place. Don’t listen to Henry and Chooch – they didn’t like theirs but they also don’t like coffee they just think that they do.

Now we’re going to ORANGE WORLD for souvenirs and then lunch at some point. I will check back! (LUNCH IN AN ACTUAL RESTAURANT AND NOT IN A THEME PARK I AM SO FUCKING STOKED!)

Orange World! Had a much better experience this time – I feel like we got yelled at here by some old lady cashier in 2016 but I can’t remember. I just know that we were extremely unwelcome.

They had barely any postcards though so we went to another gift shop and now chooch is pouting because some lady and all her kids cut in front of him when he was trying to check out and then his dumb Marvel toy thing wouldn’t scan and the cashier made him walk “all the way across the store” to get a new one instead of taking the plastic off.

So he came outside to sulk on a bench.

Just left the hotel again to get lunch. This trash has been sitting on the steps since we got here Sunday night and it’s become A THING. I am simultaneously angry and curious. Every time we come back from somewhere, I shout IT’S STILL THERE WHAT A SHOCKER.

Today, I said, “I wonder how much longer it will stay–” and Henry cut me off to yell, “The whole time! It will stay there the whole time just pick it up and throw it away” but now I literally can’t because I genuinely need to know. If it’s still there tomorrow morning when we’re leaving, I will throw it away then.

There are literally garbage cans at the bottom of every stairwell, I just don’t understand why someone would feel the need to drop whatever that even is right there.


Ok. This was the BEST meal I had all damn week, I love faux chix sandwiches soooo much and will choose them over veggie burgers every time.

Chooch got a chicken sub:

Look how enthused he is! We are tired!

I got a kale side salad and my body was rejoicing – “Vegetables! Greens! Bring it!”

Winter Park Biscuit Co, you get an A+.

Ok dudes (in a gender neutral sense), we are headed to Fun Stop Orlando now so I am signing off. Poof.

Apr 122022

Hello from the road. Today we are driving to Tampa so I have a moment for a Story Time.

We spent Monday at SeaWorld Orlando and it was AN AMAZING DAY. I will get to all the good stuff in the future but today I want to talk about the only low points, both of which happened in the same ride line, but at different times.

1. Adventures in Babysitting

Chooch and I had been wanting to ride Infinity Falls all damn day because it was hot hot hot and also because we had never been on a rapids ride that has an elevator?! That seemed interesting so even though I don’t often run to get in line for water rides, I was down for this.

However, because it was hot hot hot, this ride was also a HOT commodity, you could say. Oh ho ho.

We walked by at one point in the afternoon and saw that the wait time was allegedly 45 minutes so we ditched Henry and dipped in line. However!! As soon as we got through the entrance, some man ran up to us (literally bypassed the British family behind us) and asked, “Excuse me!! Could my girls ride with you two? They want to ride and—”

I will be honest here and tell you that these events were such a blur that I can’t even remember if I even heard his reason. I am presuming it was that the parents didn’t want to ride. I was so flustered that I just blurted out “ok sure” and that is how Chooch and I ended up with two little girls in our care?! And have you ever seen me trying to talk to young kids? Whooo boy. It ain’t pretty. Chooch was giving me the U SO CRINGE side eye and I returned it with the WHAT DO U WANT ME TO DO head shake.

To their credit, they were extremely well-behaved and not like, running amok through the queue landscaping like some other children were.

We were about 15 minutes from the front of the line when the dreaded ATTN RIDERS announcement came on BECAUSE THE DAMN RIDE WAS DOWN. People started to get out of line and Chooch and I are looking at each other and then looking down at our wards, who were quietly sitting on the ground playing with a rock or something, talking about Jojo Siwa, I don’t know what little girls these days do.

I personally would have kept standing in line without giving it a second thought let me tell you this pertinent piece of the story: About halfway into the wait, I looked down and realized that one of the kids was NOT WEARING SHOES. I remember now that she had ran back to her dad real quick when we were still near the entrance and now it was dawning on me that it was probably because she was GIVING HIM HER SHOES to hold.

You cannot ride these things without shoes!! I remember one time at Kennywood, Chooch and I were on Raging Rapids with strangers and one was a teen girl who took her shoes off before our raft thing even departed and the ride operator was like “put your shoes on” and she was like “no” and the ride op was like “I will not send this raft until you put your shoes back on.” It was a whole thing, ok. Trust me. I was there. You weren’t.

So now I’m fixated on this, of course, because I know my luck and I was certain we’d get up there and the ride op would be like “this bitch needs shoes” and I’d be like “this bitch isn’t with me” and then the people behind us would be like “sir, this bitch lying. The bitch is with this bitch. We saw this bitch’s dad ask the bitch if his bitch could ride with her and this bitch said yes. This bitch is with that bitch.”

And then I’d have to do the walk of shame down the exit ramp with my not-kids while my actual kid likely wouldn’t stay on the ride because that’s just the kind of kid this bitch produced.

So now I’m thinking that maybe this was a blessing. This is my out. I squatted down to tell the girls what the sitch was because they hadn’t heard the announcement. They originally said they wanted to stay and my head filled with comic strip swears so we continued to stand in line but then as more people in front of us left, I was like “OK I’m calling it, I don’t want your parents to be worried” and they agreed.

Of course, the MOMENT we got out of line, an announcement came on that said, “ATTN RIDERS, INFINITY FALLS IS….BACK OPEN!”

Apparently the nice British family behind us had motioned to Chooch that they saved our spot and I initially was like YEAH BOI until I remembered the SHOES so I was like “no we are too far back now and it would be cutting” only because I knew that if we got back in our spot, it would be moot because we still wouldnt have been able to ride because I might be a semi-sociopath when it comes to kids but I’m not so far gone that I would allow two small kids to walk down an exit ramp by themselves and then look for their parents, of course I would go with them.

Chooch was BIGLY MAD at me but whatever, get over it. He could have stayed but the reality of the sitch was that I was not riding this ride in either scenario.

The girls’ mom was waiting at the entrance and I explained the situation about how we weren’t sure how long the ride was going to be down and didn’t want them to be worried and she was like, “No I totally understand thank you for trying!” She was really nice and her kids were really cute and I know it was like tres weird that the dad even pawned them off on us in the first place (Henry was like “little did he know, he gave his kids to the person who hates kids”) but I actually would have had no problem with them accompanying us if it hadn’t been for THE SHOES. Ugh.

It was literally an entire day later when Chooch blurted out 갑자기, “I can’t believe you asked them if their daddy was too scared to ride Infinity Falls–”

“I was trying to make conversation!” I cried in defense of my poor peopling skills.

“—and she was like ‘actually my daddy is very brave.”

Shut up, Chooch Who Spoke No Words At All To These Rando Childs.

2. Piss-Head Aussies

Later on in the day, Chooch attempted again to ride Infinity Falls. The line was a tad bit shorter so we were hopeful.

Right off the bat, I was pissed when an Australian family waved over more family members into their group, requiring them to line-jump about 20 people. I really fucking hate that shit. Do you know how many times Henry gets into line much later than us because he either didn’t run or stopped to get a locker? Do we encourage him to line jump and expect people to step aside for King Henry? NO! WE DON’T! Because line jumping is cause for removal from the park!

Even though I have never seen this happen.

Now I was fixated on these wankers. It was four adults – two couples – and a teenage girl, a boy about 8, and a girl who was maybe 4 or 5. One of the guys and one of the women were both wearing GUCCI tennis shoes.

At a theme park.

In line for a water ride.


They were so loud and obnoxious the whole time with their big toothy smiles and hya hya hya laughs, and I know this is awful but I have developed a prejudice toward our friends from down under because of numerous shitty experiences at work (we have four Aussie offices) and this family did not help the cause.

Especially when we were almost to the front of the line and I noticed that the two men walked out of the queue and into a small grassy area. I thought that they were looking through a fence at the rapids ride, because the little boy was also with them, but the women in the group were hooting and hollering yes I said hooting and hollering because they were fucking assholes and that is what fucking assholes do, so this is when I really started to pay attention to what was going on, just in time for the boy to go back to the line and the little girl to join the men.




Chooch and I looked at each other, totally aghast. Like is this happening. Is this small child being assisted in public urination by this man??

We quickly averted our eyes because neither of us were trying to look at the bare ass of a CHILD?! While both moms and teenage girl were straight cackling back in line.

Chooch said that there were other people who were also watching with stunned looks on their faces but no one said anything because god forbid anyone try to be the voice of reason while standing in line but honestly, I came close. I stood there and GLARED at them and loudly said shit like I CANT BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED THAT WAS SO TRASHY and I REALLLLY wanted to be like EXCUSE ME I DUNNO IF THIS IS COOL IN YOUR COUNTRY…but I’m not gonna like, the one dude looked like a big, slobby bear who wasn’t above hitting a woman and I wasn’t trying to poke that nasty thing. Both women were much much larger than me too and Chooch and I were just out-numbered anyway.

In hindsight, I wish I had said something because they were such white trash motherfuckers the entire time we were in that line, oh well.

Then I had to watch the one mom vigorously pick out a wedgie through her ugly dress. It was so much. Just…so much.

Anyway, I made Chooch take this picture and send it to Henry so he would have somewhat of a visual for when we told him the story, and thanks to this picture he was able to identify them later when the pissing girl through a major tantrum in the middle of the park when they were sitting near him and none of the adults even bothered to stop it. He attempted to record it but Henry sucks at Spy Mode. He’s not like me.

We eventually did get to ride the stupid ride and thankfully didn’t have to ride with the Aussie Pissers especially knowing that the rapids were essentially going to be bathing that little bitch after she pissed without wiping in line.

Well, that’s my story. Goodbye.

Apr 122022

Hello I have had no time to pop in here because we have been busy running from coaster to coaster but I’d be remiss if I didn’t update to say that a few minutes ago, Henry was eating his gross Dunkin’ breakfast sandwich and got a stain on his shirt so he was like WHERE IS THE TIDE STICK and I knew where it was because somehow it’s been in one of my travel toiletry cases for like years even though I would never know how to use a TIDE STICK so he did his business, changed shirts, and then IMMEDIATELY got another stain. Chooch and I are SO DISGUSTED and I screamed IF YOU WOULD JUST SIT DOWN AND EAT LIKE A CIVILIZED PERSON and now he’s pouting.

Anyway, we spent all day yesterday at SeaWorld and it was ultra successful (a few low points but nothing that ruined the day, we will discuss at a later date, I’ll set up a symposium) (what even is a symposium) and today is the day we have been the most stressed about – Universal Islands of Adventure. I am bracing myself for massive crowds since it’s still spring break but if I have to wait 3 hours for Velocicoaster, so be it. Still better than sitting at home, logged on to work.



Tomorrow we are driving to Tampa for the day so I should be able to blast out an update then too.


Henry: “oh good it only takes 11 minutes to get to Universal” *goes right into the bathroom* lololol

UPDATE FROM UNIVERSAL: Eating lunch. Henry got another stain.

Apr 102022

Good morning I guess this will be sort of a live blog as we have a good 11 hour trek to make today and I am sure I will be bored AF. It is currently 8:34 and we just left, WAIT FOR IT, Mama Steve’s!! I’m not gonna lie, when we tacked on Williamsburg to our poorly planned spring break road trip, I cried, “OMG THAT MEANS WE CAN GO TO MAMA STEVES!” Of course chooch and Henry were like, “Where now?” because they don’t get obsessed with things for no reason like I do.

We asked for a booth and even though we were the only people there besides one old guy eating forlornly alone, we were placed at a table because our waitress JANICE who hated us apparently only had one booth in her section but there were ANTS on it.

(Henry just turned up FOREIGNER’S JUKE BOX HERO super loud in the car, for anyone who was wondering what songs would make Henry reach over to give the volume knob a good twist.)

Anyway I know our waitress’s name was Janice because she told us and for a minute I forgot restaurant etiquette and almost introduced myself back to her but after pausing with my mouth agape for entirely too long, I recovered long enough to blurt out, “oh ok nice to meet you.”

I honestly forgot how to human for a hot sec.

At first I was disappointed and was considering not loving Mama Steve’s anymore but then I was consoled by that awesome Blue Flame-esque instrumental covers of pop classics wafting from the ceiling and all the BLUE ACCENTS.

Henry and Chooch just think it’s “ok.” They both ordered omelettes. I noticed Chooch had a pile of tomatoes, peppers, and onions on the side of his plate.

“Why would you get a veggie omelette if you’re just going to pick everything out?” I asked.

“I didn’t pick them out!” he cried defensively. “They fell out! And once they’re by themselves, I don’t eat them.”

The eating intricacies of Chooch.

I ordered whole grain pancakes and then made Henry take two. Janice came over later to take away my cleared off plate and said, “You did good!!” But then saw the reminder of my pancakes on Henry’s plate so I had to fess up. They were good! I just know my limit!!

I made Chooch take a picture of me with Mama Steve’s in the background because I love it here! I want to roll around on the floor and absorb all the 1960s vibes.

(Ok, maybe I’ll put on some coveralls before I do that.)

I didn’t check out the bathroom last time and henry said it was “nothing special” but I said, “I WILL BE THE JUDGE OF THAT.”

Seemed pretty special to me!!

Then we were rung up at the register by a super-mysterious old lady, reminiscent of Katherine Helmand, in a mink stole and she HAD to be Mama Steve, she HAD TO BE. She kept locking eyes with me so I had no good opportunity to take a picture. She even spoke in an accented whisper!!!

She walked past us while we were eating, in all of her strange vintage European elegance, and I said, “That’s my STYLE ICON right there” and Henry said he imagined that being me walking into The Law Firm as an old lady to get my last paycheck, so I guess in Henry’s mind, we’ll be going back to paper paychecks that need to be manually deposited at some point in the future.

Ugh WTF is this shit?? “Bridge Lift In Progress”?!! Ugh.

“It’s not even for a ship. That’s just a tug pulling a barge,” Henry mansplained, causing Chooch to pipe up from the backseat, “whoa ho ho.”

Now Chooch the Engineer is pointing out all the different ways they could have built this bridge to avoid this.


9:23am: Some podunk cop just pulled us over because dumbass Henry was speeding because he “didn’t realize” the speed limit changed. I have no idea where we are, some dumbass hick town in Virginia.


If I had been the one driving, we’d probably be at the police station right now.


Time for some Heartstopper 4 action!

A self-serve Dunkin’?? We had to buy a mini-Silk because they didn’t have DAIRY ALTS and it was a huge controversy. (It was my solution BTW) and I didn’t even require the need for DAIRY ALTS because I can drink iced coffee for the coffee flavor unlike Henry & Chooch, the coffee posers.

We are somewhere in North Carolina, btw.

A very pretty rest area in Fayetteville or something. There was drama in the restroom though because only ONE FAUCET worked and some lady was standing there waiting for her mom to finish up so she became the official spokesperson, telling everyone who came out of a stall that “only the one at the end works.” She told the custodian but as I was washing my hands, she left so I felt responsible for telling the people who came out of the stalls after me and then panicked because what if they didn’t pass it on and then the news died out?!

I guess newcomers would have to find out for themselves…

Our first Bojangles! The door was locked but some old man was coming out and let us slip inside. It wasn’t crowded in here at all but APPARENTLY they are short-staffed and locked the doors so they could try to keep up with the drive-thru rush but people inside keep letting in the outsiders like us and now people are getting angry. We had a convo about it with a LOCAL GENTLEMAN and he and Henry bonded over the shared knowledge of how UNDERSTAFFED it is everywhere and then the dude said “HAVE YOU A GOOD DAY” when he left and I so excited to hear it.


I just randomly said something to Chooch in the tune of the Skate or Die Nintendo game song, so then I explained to him what that was and sang it (Skate. Or. Die. Skate or die. Die die die die die) and he got REALLY annoyed and said I’ve told him this numerous times over the years lol. I guess that game really made an impact on me??

This is all I wanted!! A biscuit! And the salad was actually decent.

Anyway, the locked door controversy went on the entire time we were there. It was insane. I admitted that I originally thought the door was locked because the staff was planning a mass suicide.

“Wow,” Henry muttered.

Later on, Henry came back to our booth after getting butter & honey because I started acting like I was insulted that my biscuit didn’t just come with it, right as Chooch and I were fighting because he said only the door on one side of the building was locked and I said they both were. Henry goes, “No they’re both locked—someone was standing outside the other door trying to get in when I walked by.”

“Did you let them in?” I asked.

“Nope,” Henry said, taking a big manly man-man bite of his food. Chooch and I lost it in tandem. The way he’s so ruthless sometimes!

I drizzled honey on my biscuit while Chooch cringed in the background. “You ruined that,” he said.

You ruined me,” I retorted.

Back in the car, 1:42pm.

Calm down, Henry! Thirst much??

2:24: Pit stop at South of the Border! Chooch was being soooo snotty because he “just wants to get to Orlando” but we’re not doing anything there tonight anyway so what’s the rush?? Little bitch.

I made him pose for this picture and he was soooo bent out of shape about it:

I like this picture of me because my hair is covering my stupid face.

Chooch was mad because I wanted my picture taken on this mule. Then henry rejoined us after getting gas in the car and we went into one of the gift shops but didn’t see anything we wanted.

On the way back to the car, I wanted Chooch to take my picture with Henry this time too on the mules. I was going to ask this guy standing nearby if he’d take a picture of all of us but he was on the phone and his wife was holding a dog. But luckily he got off the phone just in time and said, “You guys want a picture of all of you?” which made Chooch’s whole body contort into a visual groan. I said YES and now we have a FAMILY PICTURE from this racist tourist trap, lucky us!

I told the guy, “you made my day, and ruined his!” pointing to Chooch. Dude was happy to assist!

It’s 3:19 but I forgot to mention that about 30 minutes ago, we stopped at a Pilot and my TREY SONGZ jam was playing – I haven’t heard it in like 10 years but went on auto-pilot mode and dramatically began lip-synching it in Henry’s face at the beverage cooler but he said HE DID NOT REMEMBER IT?! It was on a mixed cd that played for a solid year on repeat in our bedroom?! (This is not an exaggeration?!)

NO WAIT I WAS WRONG AND BECAUSE I AM HONEST I WILL ADMIT IT. It was a different Trey Songz track that was on the mixed CD also I did really like the one playing in Pilot too – it was the first Trey Songz I ever heard!

5:39pm I guess we’re in Georgia now? All I know is that we’ve been in stop-n-go traffic for the last hour and my calf is cramping from slamming on the invisible passenger-side brake. I swear to god Henry speeds up every time the brake lights come on on the cars in front of us. He’s giving me such anxiety.

DUDE. We just stopped at a rest area (and the doors were locked just like Bojangles!! but there was also a sign that said to use the doors in the rear of the building) and each faucet had a Dyson hand dryer attached to it!!! I had to side-eye the little girl at the sink next to me to figure out how to use it.

7:34. We just grabbed some Subway for a quick dinner in the car. We still don’t know if we’re in Florida or Georgia for some reason, but I feel like Henry should know??

Anyway before Subway we went to Race Trac and I got coffee but I can’t drink it because every time I bring the cup to my lips, all I can smell is cigarette for some reason and then I feel like I have an ashtray in my mouth??

Two bikers just passed us wearing WARLOCKS OF FLORIDA vests. Assholes.

7:58pm ok NOW we’re in Florida!

Also? I cannot stop thinking about the nice day we had at Busch Gardens yesterday. It started out as a series of QUESTION MARKS but ended up being just a very enjoyable day and we all got along until we got back to the hotel that night! A-ma–ZING.

We have 2.5 hours left of this never ending drive. I shall hit PUBLISH on this rat’s nest of words now and edit with any updates if anything noteworthy happens. Who can be sure?!

9:18pm You haven’t missed anything other than me quizzing Henry on NCT members’ voices and talking about TOP from BIGBANG doing wine labels as a new venture.

And then totally 갑자기, i said that I missed Wildwood. “It’s so magical there don’t you think?”

Henry, considering this. “Yeah, I mean, it was nice.”

“Oh, ‘it was nice.’ So you won’t commit to ‘magical’?” I cried.

“I mean, nowhere is really magical in my opinion,” was Henry’s defense.

“Ok not even Korea? REALLY?”

“No, not even Korea. Because magical is something that’s not believable and Korea is real…”


10:45pm: Checking into our hotel which is directly across from the street from The Drop Tower. Ugh.

Hi technically it’s the next day (12:14am) but I wanted to jump on here before I go to bed to say that I made Henry walk around the area by our hotel with me so that I could acquire my daily step goal (I aim low – 12,000 – which I generally hit by the afternoon except for when we’re literally in the car all day ugh) before midnight. I made it by 11:45! Woo!

Also, we ended walking past the drop tower and it was so unbelievably depressing. I said I wished we had a flower to put down and henry was like “well we don’t, so…” He has no feelings.

Then I took a picture of him next to the Hooters sign across from our hotel so I could send it to Chooch back in the room, because we love to insinuate that Henry has a VIP frequent customer card and has wet dreams about it (Hooters, not the card).

(Maybe the card, too.)

(Maybe also the fire hydrant.)

We’re also across from this bitch. Chooch had a mental breakdown at the one in Pigeon Forge several years ago lol:

Ok good night! SeaWorld tomorrow! Chooch should get his 200th credit!

Apr 082022

Hello from somewhere in Maryland I think. We left shortly after I logged off from work at 5:30 to start our first leg of this season’s poorly-planned road trip. I’m not even giving our final destination on here for fear of jinxing it, as it’s been jinxed numerous times already and it’s actually amazing we even left Pgh at this point.

Anyway, it’s 8:40pm and I talked Henry’s ear off for the last three hours (he looooves when I tell him stories from when I was in high school, just fucking SAVORS that shit like it’s a piece of fresh jerky) so I thought I’d hope on this trash pile and type some things, post some pics, you know, things us BLOGGERS do.

I dunno why I screamed that bit.

Relevant to this drive, and I’ll tell you why in a minute calm down, here is a picture of Chooch from the weekend when he was trying to watch The Adam Project which made scoff dramatically, “Ugh, Ryan Reynolds” and Chooch asked, “Why do you hate him again?” prompting Henry to answer from the dining room, “Because he hurt someone or something…”

Ok first of all? STFU don’t answer for me.

Second of all, he hurt ALANIS MORISSETTE (and also Scarlett Johansson but I was focused on Alanis at the mo’) so I started screaming about this and Chooch was like “ok well I don’t know who that is so…”

And also, he just seems like an asshole. Like the type of guy in high school who you never wanted to have to sit near because you knew at some point he was going to openly make fun of you for having braces or something.

That kind of guy.


I mean she literally was the worst part of Gossip Girl but cool. Marry her & then expect us to care?!

This morning, I woke up to an Alanis song on the radio and then felt inspired in the car to play some of my faves and then from there somehow I got on a Paula Cole / Shawn Colvin / Jewel kick so Henry was really loving life, especially when I put on Sarah McLachlan’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy album in its entirety and proceeded to dredge up the Psycho Mike years which is another topic henry loves because now not only is he my chef, caretaker, and chauffeur but crisis counselor too.

“Man, I really had no idea who I was back then,” I murmured, lost in 1997/1998 for a minute.

“And you do now?” Henry sneered.

“Uh yeah. I’m born-again Korean?!”

I miss the cats so much already this is the worst part of vacation. :( My mom will be staying with them but I swear Drew knew since last night that we were leaving. She saw the suitcases in my room and just knew. Then when Henry was packing up the car today, she ran onto the back porch and sulked, ughhhh my heart.

Still thinking about this s’mores sundae Henry & I shared from Sugar Spell on Sunday. Usually we’d partake in the pint preorder but figured we’d switch it up and just get a sundae. It was decadent! Of course henry cried because I allegedly ate “all the good parts.” He also tried to criticize me for choosing banana as one of the scoop flavors but it ended up tasting sooooo good with the s’mores accoutrements – waiting for my apology.

Oh man, now .38 Special’s Caught Up In You is on the radio as if I needed more reasons to revisit the past. Goddamn, this song.

HOLD THE PHONE, I just got a story from Henry regarding his middle school days! I mentioned that MOLLY HATCHET opened for .38 Special when I saw them in 1997 with Lisa and Henry said that he will always remember middle school dances (“Not ‘dances’! One dance!” Henry just yelled as I’m reading aloud what I’m typing) where JOCKOS requested Molly Hatchet’s “Green Grass & High Tides” and I fixated on the JOCKOS part because I didn’t understand what he meant so I kept repeating, “JOCKOS?”

And he’d be like “YEAH JOCK. Os.”

So then I would say, “JACQUE O’S?”

And he’d be like “yeah.”

And I’d be like “Who the fuck is Jacque O?”

Like he said it with such certainty that I’d understand.

And then he’d say “NO. JOCKOS. YOU KNOW. JOCKS.”

Oh. Jocks. Sorry. In my school day we just called them “jocks.” That was good enough. No need for the extra syllable.

Apropos of nothing, this oatmeal is FUCKING BONKERS. 100% recommend this. Gimme a sponsorship deal because I would do dumb blog ad spots for this shit WEEKLY without giving a single fuck about selling out. It’s so good that I brought it on vacation with me!!

Henry didn’t dance with anyone at the middle school dance, btw. I just remembered to ask him now. He said, “It was 8th grade. No one danced.” Things were different in the 90s I guess because I remember being in 6th or 7th grade and having my HEART BROKEN because Chris L. danced with Monica L. to VANESSA WILLIAMS’ SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST and if I told you I didn’t think about that more than once when Desperate Housewives was on TV, I’m sure you’d know I was lying.

Pfft. Chris L. What a Ryan Reynolds-type he was though. Literally always braced myself for him to say something brutal all through elementary school but still had the dumbest crush on him SIGH.


“There’s a 24-hours Dunkin Donuts,” Henry pointed out.

“Oh my god” I yelled in my high-pitched mocking voice, so now he’s back to stewing in the drivers seat.

Michael Jackson’s THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL just came on and it will never not sound like he’s saying “high giggles” instead of “high heels.” My mom and I used to argue about it when I was little because I insisted it was GIGGLES and she’d be all BUT THAT DOESNT MAKE SENSE.

“What did you wear to the dance?” I just asked Henry, because I’m still thinking about this.

“I don’t know! It was 40 years ago!”

“Was it polyester?” I probed. (Ah, classic polyester probe.)

“Maybe?! I mean it was the 70s…”

(Gentle reader, it is at this point that I’d like to point out that my middle school dance was in the NINETIES.)

“Do you have pictures?!”

“No! IT WAS THE 70s! Kids didn’t walk around with cameras!”

God ok Hemorrhaging Hank, calm down.

Ok I’m signing off now. I might not stop back tomorrow but possibly will return on Sunday which is going to be A Big Driving Day.


UPDATE: I am now BLASTING Alanis’ “Uninvited” so I eagerly woke Chooch up in the backseat to manically shout DO YOU KNOW WHO THIS IS?

“NO!” he hissed around his FORKED TONGUE OF TEENAGER.

“It’s Alanis Morissette!” I cried giddily.

“WHO CARES!” he cried back.

“Not Ryan Reynolds,” I mumbled.

Apr 072022

I don’t have an intro.

But I guess that was my intro.

  1. No One Belongs Here More Than You – Miranda July

No One Belongs Here More Than You

See last month’s review of the Miranda July book I read, but subtract one star because: short stories.

2. Inside V – Paula Priamos

31922267. sx318

I had never heard of this book, nor this author, but I needed something to listen to while tromping around the ‘hood and this came up as recommended on Scribd. Dude, it was good! A domestic thriller/mystery, great pacing, kept my attention. Would recommend to you, just like Scribd did to me.

3. Lemon – Kwon Yeo-Sun


You know I love me some translated-from-Korean thrillers and word about this one had been spreading like wildfire on the bookish webs because suddenly everyone is on my level now with Korean stuffs. This wasn’t bad, but also a tad disappointing I guess because of all the hype. It’s about the murder of a high school girl and at times I was kind of confused because the chapters switch narrators and timelines. I would say it’s more of like…suspenseful literary fiction. I gave it a three.

4. Grown Ups – Marian Keyes

Grown Ups

Also a three for me because it was UNNECESSARILY LONG – like over 500 pages with tiny type. It’s basically like reading an entire season of a dramedy about an extended family and honestly it was just too much. Too many characters. Borderline annoying dialogue. Only two characters in the book were even slightly compelling to me and I enjoyed the tension of their relationship but then the end is soooooo unsatisfying. And one of the characters had an eating disorder and I’m not going to lie, I was pretty triggered. This one got so much love and hype from some of my favorite Bristish Booktubers and I’m kind of shocked.

It was entertaining enough but I don’t feel inspired to pick up anything else by this author.

5. Reprieve – James Han Mattson


I thought I would love this. A haunted house/escape room in the 90s? Fuck yeah. But again, no compelling characters and I was kind of bored.

6. The Hawthorne Legacy – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Hawthorne Legacy (The Inheritance Games, #2)

The problem with me and book series is that by the time the next book comes out, I can’t remember anything from the first book. So, I was lost through nearly the entire first half. There are two many Hawthorne brothers to keep track of, and two of them are basically the same person in my mind. But it’s still a fun read, I like the mystery/puzzle-solving aspect of it, and there’s a love triangle that held my interest. But the real star of the show is that goddamn book cover. Ye-ow-sah.

7. All Her Little Secrets – Wanda M. Morris 

All Her Little Secrets

Dude. This was EXCELLENT. (OMG that’s literally what my Goodreads review was and I didn’t even realize that until after I typed this, lol.) And this was a DEBUT? 4 stars from me, Sam. Loved our main girl in this and was screaming at times. Trying to get Henry to read it – you should read it too!

8. True Crime – Samantha Kolesnik

True Crime

Trash. I gave it one star because Goodreads doesn’t allow for NO STAR ratings. This was just “how much shock value can I stuff into a novella?” and it failed. This was not interesting, entertaining, or even slightly well-written.

9. When I Am Through With You – Stephanie Kuehn

When I Am Through with You

Actually hated this. Not a single likable character and then it turned into a survival story which I dislike so I guess this is on me for not knowing more going in. It was so boring that I kept forgetting the main character’s name and then I couldn’t keep the other characters straight. Seemed like too many people and not everyone even mattered, so….if this hadn’t been an audio book, I would have DNFd it but I needed something to listen to on my walk(s) one day when I was off work and didn’t feel like looking for something else.


10. Made In Korea – Sarah Suk

Made in Korea

Just the palate (eye ball?) cleanser I needed after reading back-to-back 1-star books. This was adorable, Korean, and straight-up fun. I wish someone was selling Korean beauty products from their locker when I was in high school! Also, I love reading books written by Korean American authors because they typically will throw in some Korean words and I always know what it is before it’s explained. That’s just a really good feeling. I can’t speak the damn language but I have at least learned some things!

11. House 23 – Eli Yance 

House 23

Did we ever learn why this was called House 23? Did we ever care? This was dumb. It started out intriguingly and I was in it to win it, but then it got real dumb real fast and ended up being so unsatisfying. Apparently, most people on Goodreads agree with me on this so I should have probably put some stock in the low ratings before diving into this.

12. Ain’t Burned All the Bright – Jason Reynolds / Jason Griffin

Ain't Burned All the Bright

Oof. This one hits hard. Beautiful art paired with poignant text about the last several years in America, during Covid and the BLM movement, my eyes were burning with tears.

This is from the synopsis because it explains it perfectly:

And so for anyone who didn’t really know what it means to not be able to breathe, REALLY breathe, for generations, now you know. And those who already do, you’ll be nodding yep yep, that is exactly how it is.

Yeah, this one really knocked something loose in me.

13. The Cartographers – Peng Shepherd

The Cartographers

Um hello, Peng Shepherd. This was MAGICAL and SWEEPING. I never thought I’d care about a book about maps but this had me thinking I was really part of the action. I was IN THIS STORY. I loved every fucking character. I loved the glimpses into the lives of the young Cartographers. I might actually want to learn how to read a map now. (Future Henry is reading this, choking on whatever Hostess product he inhales in the privacy of the FAYGO FACTORY, like “YEAH RIGHT.”)

Five stars for me, Mary.



Apr 062022

You guys! Yesterday was my first day back to the office! We were given the option to stay at home fulltime (most people happily ate that choice up) or to select a hybrid schedule. I chose to just come in one day a week to break up the monotony but mostly to have at least one day free of screaming demon kids.

I was actually SO EXCITED Monday night. No nerves at all, and I guess it’s because I knew I wouldn’t be going back to a packed department so the stress and pressure was very low. I had my outfit all picked out and I was READY! I actually bought this shirt at the end of 2020 when we *thought* we were returning to work at the beginning of 2021. Oh, ha ha ha.

I love it so much – the button on the back of the collar is a tiny elephant!!

Henry the Dearheart* drove me to work because the TROLLEY is under construction as per uje and I was panicking at the prospect of dealing with the SHUTTLE which is so unreliable that even Chooch was like “fuck this noise, I’ll find a gd bus to take to school instead.” Chooch is way more adventurous with pub.trans. than I am though so this was no big deal for him. He knows how to look that shit up.

*(This one time in the infant stages of our relationship, like PRE-CHOOCH, Henry and I went to a flea market and he held the door open for some old lady, who in turn called him DEARHEART and that was one of those super bland to most people moments that became seared into my memory and I still think of it often. Why, tho. And also the fact that there was a sign on the same door that said NO WHEELIES and I didn’t know what that meant so Henry had to explain that wheelies are those dumb shoes with wheels on them and evidently that flea market has/had a big infestation of hooligans-on-wheels.)

Anyway, I was mildly anxious on the drive there only because I thought we were going to be late. (“Who will know?” Henry asked, and he’s not wrong.)

But then the weirdest thing happened: he dropped me off down the street from my building and I walked down the sidewalk like I belonged on it, entered my building, said hello to the security guard, got in the elevator, pushed “10”—-it was like I was on auto-pilot. Muscle memory after all of this time. Strode right into the department like it hadn’t been two fucking years since I last worked from my desk.

There were only 5 other people there that day: Jeannie, Sharon, Lucas, Sandy, and Dawn who recently joined our department but has worked for the firm since the 90s. I had never met her in person before because our department rarely interacts face-to-face with practice assistants, etc so it was really cool to get to chat with her! I was SUPER STARVED for conversation and I think I may have exhausted her a little – she kept nervously laughing and saying, “Oh jeez” in response to all of the FASCINATING ASIDES I kept blurting out from my desk. I calmed down a little after lunch though.


It was so awesome to see Sandy, Jeannie, and Lucas too! I sadly never got around to seeing Sharon (I’m not even sure where she was stationed) but she actually used to work in our department back when I first started, and then left about a year later, only to come back during the pandemic! So that’s really cool and I have to make a point of seeking her out on my next Tuesday there (in two weeks – vacation is next week!).

The actual work-portion of the day was actually pretty normal, if you ignore the fact that I now sit at a completely bare desk. To be honest, it felt almost like some of the pre-pandemic Fridays when tons of people would be working from home or just off in general. Fridays had become ghost towns there, so it kind of felt like a more extreme version of that.

Some things I forgot about:

  • how gross the coffee is
  • how the water barely gets lukewarm
  • how fucking FREEZING IT IS

Oh! And I got to meet my gal Beth on the 11th floor to get my new ID badge! Finally, after 12 years of enduring the ugliest picture of myself which then eventually wore off so I looked like a ghost (i.e. a huge improvement).

Seeing her familiar face was another blast of normalcy

Things didn’t get REAL until it was time for my lunch time walk. People kept saying that downtown had changed a lot, gotten “rough” since the pandemic, and it was sadly…kind of true. :( Just felt real sketchy and rundown. I ended up walking to the Strip and so much has changed in that area that I felt really disoriented.

Here are some pictures. I didn’t take very many because I was on the phone with DUMB HENRY off and on.

This area still smells like piss so there’s one constant for you.

This whole fucking area was new-to-me. It looks like it’s about to be a yuppie utopia. Can’t wait.

I did some new cafes that I will be hitting up in the coming weeks though. Look out, cafes.

On the way back, I was waiting to cross the street when I heard manic mumbling behind me. I was like, “OMG Lord, please say it’s so….” and I slowly turned to see THE ONE AND ONLY DOWNTOWN JESUS. He is still around!! Or, has recently risen. Either way, he was there and then I saw him AGAIN when I was leaving work. What a fucking GREAT DAY. You can read more about Downtown Jesus and see some pictures of him here and here, thank you.

What else…my former supervisor admitted to me in an email with other people copied that I was correct about something and she was incorrect, and it was SUCH A BIG DEAL, like something that I have waited 10 long years for, that I considered printing the email but the firm got new printers during the pandemic and I didn’t feel like trying to figure out how to use that shit. Baby steps, you guys. It was baby’s first day back to the real world, after all.

Then I came home and the cats were like, YOU BETRAYED US, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!!? And the squirrels were completely out of food?! Henry and Chooch were home by the afternoon!? Anyway, when I came home, one of my Buddys was in the driveway, and please you have to believe me because I do not lie on here unless it’s a blatantly obvious hyperbole, but HE LITERALLY STOOD UP WHEN HE SAW ME AND THEN RAN TO ME, YOU GUYS. He was *that* hungry. Starved. POOR WOODLAND CREATURE!!! And Penelope was sprawled out on me nearly all night.

So, there you have it. Me dipping my toe into the social office waters. One day a week is a really good start. Maybe I will eventually up it to two. I AM SUPER WILD AND CRAZY LIKE THAT.

I’ll leave you with my current favorite NCT Dream song.

Apr 052022

I mentioned several times in passing that Chooch has been attending some “Mentors in the Making” program at the Carnegie Science Center’s “Fab Lab” since October.  I had no idea really what it was but he came home with a sign-up thingie from school and expressed interest because all students who stuck around until the end of the program got to keep the laptop they were each assigned, which came loaded with various programs they were going to be using during the…thingie.

I will be honest – I only half-understood what was going on, but I know they made small projects using a vinyl and laser cutter and lots of shit using a 3D printer, which is how we came to be a 3D printing household. Mostly I had no idea what he was doing for two hours on these Tuesday evenings.

What I also didn’t know was that in addition to these small projects, each student also had to develop, research, and complete a capstone project, which they then worked on with their assigned mentor.

Anyway, two weeks ago, I got an email from someone at the someone at the Fab Lab informing me that I was invited to some such “we are done with the program” ceremony thing at the science center. When we dropped Chooch off for his last class, I reminded him to ask if there would be refreshments & he became very annoyed because I allegedly asked him this twice in two days & also the word “refreshments” is annoying in & of itself apparently. These are the things I learn, just from mom’ing a 15-year-old.

The EVENT was last Thursday evening and GUESS WHAT?


The cookies were very good. They also had pizza, and the lady in charge of the Mentor program thingie kept trying to push more and more slices on everyone and I was like, “I ALREADY ATE DINNER I JUST WANT SUGAR THANKS.”

So, the one thing I wasn’t aware of was that the refreshments were essentially a RUSE to get us to sit quietly and endure nearly two hours of the kids presenting their capstone projects. YES, CHOOCH WAS GOING TO BE DOING A PRESENTATION.

“Did you know this?” I whispered to him, and he just casually shrugged because literally nothing fazes this child.

Because he’s Chooch and has my great fortune, he was the first one called up to present. Of course, my heart was racing because WHAT WILL HE SAY?? He is so unpredictable!

First, he introduced himself, his mentor (I already forget his name but he was slated to get his Doctorate the very next day, that I do remember) and his project – A SQUIRREL FEEDER. He explained to everyone in the room that he came up with the concept because, and this is a loose quote though pretty damn accurate because this moment is seared in my mind: “when the pandemic started, my mom had nothing else to do so she became obsessed with the neighborhood squirrels.”

So everyone in the room started to laugh and look over at me which you all know I hate being under the spotlight, so I was sitting there with my face in my hands and a wad of half-chewed cooki in my mouth. Henry loved every second of it, of course. Chooch maybe could have mentioned at least that I was also working from home, instead of painting me as a shut-in, sitting by the window with squirrels climbing all over me.  Meanwhile, the other kids made projects like a distance sensor for the visually-impaired and an anxiety puzzle for people with ADHD & depression.

My kid: SQUIRREL FEEDER for his crazy mom. But…I fucking love it.

And another mentor (the guy in the picture up there) helped Chooch make a very dramatic commercial for the product on Blender:


And he got an award thing!

There was one extremely obnoxious teen girl there but I am trying to turn over a new leaf (for the billionth time) by not publicly dragging children and parents on the Internet but OOOF, it’s hard. I might have to take to my old trusty paper journal to get this one off my chest. I will say that while she was presenting, I lost my cool and texted Chooch a puking emoji because I am just that mature.

I haven’t tried this bad boy out yet because Chooch made the opening too small and peanuts won’t fit in there so now I have to get sunflowers or something.

But yeah, what a cool thing that the Carnegie is doing! The fact that such a fascinating array of brilliant minds took time out of their busy science-y lives to help a bunch of high school kids learn and become more interested in basically engineering is just really heart-warming for normal people who have hearts and I guess I must because I’m getting all SOFT-LIKE just thinking about the impact they made. Ugh. But on the other hand, I can’t imagine being  that kind of person who would choose to work with kids unless it was like, court-appointed or a work requirement. So I guess I still got some charred sections of the ol’ pumper.

And because he completed this program, he is now eligible for internships and other mentor programs (like, he can be the mentor for a younger kid) that they have. Of course, the first thing that was offered to him he had to decline because he will be studying in Merida during that time. I love that he has these options now though! And that this isn’t something we had to force him to do.

Apr 022022

Henry had lots of chores to do today but the weather was pretty nice out so I allowed to him to take me out to play. Knowing him, he’d have rather stayed home and worked, but I had to get away from the House of Unruly Spawn next door. Also, I really wanted a SMOOTHIE BOWL from Salud in Shadyside. I love smoothie bowls so much.

Anyway, here are some pictures of us in the cemetery because you have never seen pictures of us in the cemetery before. This is a brand new concept.

“DOES THIS LOOK OK?” I yelled to Henry, who *grumble*d in response.

I mean I just really don’t know what else to do with myself.

I was probably saying something stupid here because he doesn’t just ever *smile* when we take selfies.

I took this one first but then I was like WAIT I WANT MY NCT DREAM PIN TO BE OPEN SO YOU CAN SEE THEM and Henry was like *grumble*.

“Take a picture of me sitting with this bitch,” I said and Henry was like *grumble*.

I dunno what this is. “Landing Pose” I guess.

I decided today that I want to be buried by my grandparents at Jefferson Memorial, and Henry can just be dumped in the pond.

Also, we saw ZERO squirrels.

This is all I have for you today. I am super irritable due to the fact that I am perioding while simultaneously living next to Kindercare.

P.S. Henry peed over the hill behind me.

Apr 012022

I don’t know* if I have five things for today and I don’t feel like counting, so I’m using bulletpoints and you can’t stop me.

*(or, as I word nearly every note I leave at work: IT IS UNCLEAR TO ME….)

  • Have I mentioned that Henry was fixing some vent cover issue that Janna was having at her house? I don’t have much knowledge (IT IS UNCLEAR TO ME) as to what the actual issue was because I kept zoning at the BORING ADULT WORDS being passed back and forth, but the good part was that Janna recently got a kitten so I got to play with him on two Sundays in March! She needed help naming him and when I told Chooch (who has yet to meet the kitten because HE WORKS EVERY WEEKEND) (Chooch does, not the kitten, although I can totally picture him saying, “Do you want meows with that?” into his headset) (the kitten, not Chooch) (although I could totally picture Chooch saying the same thing) he suggested that Janna name the kitten KIRBY. Janna was like “haha cute” and then continued calling the kitten “The Kitten.”
    • Chooch is now 0/2 at naming Janna’s cats. His suggestion of “Ted Nugent’s Cat” for Janna’s other cat several years ago did not stick, except for when Janna REFERS TO HIM AS THAT IN JEST.
    • At last pressing, Janna appears to have opted for “Simon” as the name.

  • Before going to Janna’s on Sunday, Henry and I stopped at Onion Maiden for the Chick Habit popup and got some faux-chix sandwiches to take to Janna’s. Janna had never had any type of fake-meat/chicken type of meal before this and I did not know that! Anyway, she got the classic chicken sandwich and was like “omg” and I was like “right?” Chick Habit is great. Not Slutty Vegan-levels of great, but Pittsburgh Vegan-levels of great. And you know, that’s still…great. I failed to take a picture of our sandwiches in my haste to pigout, but here is a picture of one of Chooch’s drummies that we brought home for him:

  • I forgot to mention in my NEW HAIR update from yesterday that while I was at the salon, “That’s Not My Name” came on and I was SO TRIGGERED. Yesterday was the first time in a while that I made it through the whole day without being called KELLY but that’s also because I had the day off. HOWEVER, over the weekend, I had an eye appointment and the dumb bitch who is not the doctor but does all the pre-exam “LOOK AT THE FARMHOUSE” types of tests called me KELLY three entire times even though I had repeatedly corrected her. And then she tried to explain it was because my name appeared “last name first” on my file. You know, just like everyone else’s. But OK, cool fucking excuse. Bitch. I hate Visionworks so bad and really need to find an actual eye doctor to go to instead of panicking and going back to Visionworks at the last minute every year because I’m running out of contacts. Come on, KELLY. Put on those Adult Trousers and power up. (Maybe also put on a name tag.)
    • Even worse than that was the fact that I had to sit across from Teenage Jonny Craig in the waiting room who was wearing slides with no socks and doing the TRUCKER SNIFFLE (oh you bet your freshly-spanked ass I was masked the fuck up) and watching TikToks on his phone outright, no ‘pods.

  • Literally no one asked but Kpop Dad’s favorite song off the new NCT Dream album is “Saturday Drip.” He was in the kitchen the other night, blasting it while prepping overnight oats. It was adorable but don’t tell him I said that.
  • My period started today and I’m only telling you this because I was looking back in my vacation journal to see what I was doing on April 1, 2018 in Korea and apparently my period started that day there too (it happened in the bathroom at the Line Friends store in Itaewon! #ThingsWeRemember) and the travel package of tampons I brought with me “just in case” only had three in it which, OK, cool, so go to the store and buy more, right? Except that in Korea, there is this so-called myth that you can’t get tampons so expats have to get them sent from home because they only sell pads in stores and I was like, “This cannot be true” except that yeah, at least in 2018, it was true. I mean, unless there was some underground menstrual market I wasn’t privy to, I had to buy a thing of pads which is whatever but now I’m remembering how I had to use them on the 13 billion hour plane ride home and that literally the first thing I did when we got to JFK was buy tampons. (Well, you know, after all the administrative bullshit.) And yeah, there’s a “Korea: The Stuff They Don’t Tell You Except For When They Do and You Don’t Believe It” story for you.
  • Me & Penelope with our matching fur/hair:

  • Hey speaking of Janna’s house, did I tell you that it is SATANIC?? Like actual Devil worshipers lived there. If you ask her, she will tell you that I am speculating but the one time we were over I was like SHOW ME YOUR BASEMENT and there was some black magickal CIRCLE carved into the floor. I was like OMG IT’S A SATANIC RING at the same time Janna and Henry said something about a coal furnace, BUT I KNOW WHAT I SAW. Then later, Janna was like “the person who lived here before me must have had a cross hanging in every room because—” and I cut her off to blurt out “INVERTED CRUCIFIXES YOU MEAN!” And she was like, “OK Erin, yes.” Also they had a bunch of phone jacks so it was also a demonic call center probably. I’m really excited to investigate this further. Janna was supposed to send me A PICTURE OF THE SATANIC PRAYER RING but she has not and I will tell you why – because it’s in her demon-infested basement and she doesn’t want to go down there!!!!!
    • I’m bringing Chooch’s Ouija board with me next time. And also Chooch. He’d be a good conduit I think.
    • Of course after I told Corey he immediately texted back OH PLZ LET JANNA’S HOUSE BE HAUNTED – co-sign!!! What if it’s a “Barbara Hershey in The Entity” situation!
  • Drew felt left out so here’s a picture of her too. She squirms up the side of the couch under the blanket we keep draped there, and then snuggles down in the corner so it’s like a tent.  I almost sat on her once though because I didn’t realize she was under there!

  • For as much as I don’t care about the OSCAR SLAP, I have managed to still find the energy to rant about it every single day this week and I hate that for me. I’m just mad at everyone, really. And I never liked Will Smith that much to begin with and Jada peaked with Jason’s Lyric IMHO and I have no opinion on Chris Rock but they’re all rich asses who live in their own precious bubbles of unaccountability so….moving on.
    • I do think it’s weird that earlier that day though, Janna randomly sang “Welcome to Miami” reminding me that Will exists as a person, and NOW THIS. NOW. THIS. Henry inexplicably started receiving People magazine in the mail so WILL AND JADA were looking back at me today when I reached into the mailbox. THIS SUCKS. GO AWAY. YOU LAUGHED AT THE FUCKING JOKE, YOU ASSHOLE!
    • OMG DID JANNA AND HER SATANIC CIRCLE MAKE THIS HAPPEN!? She sang the song and her haunted house sucked it down into the bowels where Satan shat it back out in the form of an OSCARS SLAP.



UPDATE: Janna finally sent me a picture!! I bet she made her mom come over so she wouldn’t have to go down there alone!