Mar 252015

One of the best things I have never done during my blogging tenure (lol, what a douchey thing to call it) was this event called Blogathon. It was a 24-hour blogging frenzy, where you picked a charity, begged people to sponsor you*, and then proceeded to blog every 30 minutes for 24 hours.

*I would bribe my readers by letting them pick stupid things they wanted to see pictures of Henry doing. My favorites were when my friend Lauren wanted to see Henry with a fried egg on his head, and when another broad wanted me to take a picture of Henry with my then-neighbor Robin, who we were convinced had a meth lab in her basement.

It was excruciating.
It was hilarious.
It was stressful.
It was super rewarding.

I participated in it three times and some of my favorite posts were born from it.

The coolest thing, aside from raising a lot of cash money for some bad ass charities, was meeting other insane bloggers. One of them, Heidi, made art for 24 hours, and it was GOOD ART. We became blog-buddies through that experience, and then eventually made our e-acquaintance Facebook official. That’s how you know it’s real, guys.

While Janna and I were waiting for Howard Jones to come out last Saturday, Heidi sent me a Facebook message saying that she was going to be in Pittsburgh the following weekend, and did I have any spare time to hang out. Um, do I! I love meeting my blogging buds even though my social anxiety goes through the roof and into the heavens above.

“Guess what I’m doing tonight?” I said to Glenn last Friday in that snotty, needling tone I like to use on him when I’m about to remind him that I’m awesome and he’s not. “I’m having dinner with a girl I know from the Internet.”

“That’s nice,” Glenn muttered. “Hope you don’t end up in a park, missing a kidney.” BUT SOMEHOW I DON’T THINK HE’D CARE EITHER WAY. Henry didn’t seem too worried either. He casually asked me at the last minute who I was meeting but I don’t think he was listening past the point where he realized it probably wasn’t a frat boy/NFL player/Bill Cosby with a pocketful of Rufies.

Later that night, I determined that Heidi was not a frat boy/NFL player/Bill Cosby when I picked her up outside of her hotel in Oakland around 8:45 and was super stoked and touched when she presented me with a Santa container full of the MOISTEST homemade chai cookies that I wish I was gormandizing right now as I type this. (Spoiler alert: they didn’t even last a full day once Henry and Chooch caught wind of them.)

(Second spoiler alert: I don’t think they were Rufied.)

Originally, we were going to get Indian food, but Oakland is a hotbed of co-ed activity (in case you’re not from Pittsburgh, that’s where the Pitt and Carnegie Mellon campuses are) and parking is a legit nightmare. Add to that my flawed night vision and I was about 87 near-misses away from having my vehicular luck run out. After driving around in the same loop enough times for it to get an honorary Circle of Hell mention, Heidi put an end to the madness by suggesting that we just go back to her hotel room and order a fucking pizza, since the main point was just to hang out and talk anyway. Fuck you, streets of Oakland.

Full disclosure here: I am usually semi-retarded when I meet new people. I never used to be this way, and actually used to meet people online for sport (I called it “Interviewing For New Friends, but my boyfriend at the time liked to call it Cheating). I had no reservations back then, but sometime in my mid-20s, all of the fucked-up relationships (romantic and otherwise) I had endured this far in life caught up and turned me into a self-conscious robot-being. Like, my personality went into a compact little cocoon in the back of my mind and only came out when I was around people I already knew. Otherwise, it would take me multiple hang-outs before warming up to people, but who has time for that? It’s exhausting and I would usually just give up and decline party invitations. And while I feel like I’ve made some progress in my 30s, it’s still murky waters out there for me, socially.

Yet, with Heidi, my gut was all, “Hold up, this one’s good. You can be yourself. She will understand you. Red flags disengage.” And so I was myself. I put my walls down. I opened up. We oscillated between soul-baring tales and cracking each other up. We talked for nearly an hour before realizing we had yet to order pizza.

Which is when we learned that we’re both vegetarians who hate ordering pizza! Yet when I cried, “I’M SCARED YOU DO IT!” Heidi took one for the team and made the scary call to the pizza place.

And then it took another goddamn hour just to get the pizza, but it was worth the wait because the pizza guy was totally into my Silence the City tank top with it’s inspirational message, and he described some inspirational shirt he has, which sounded like some Nike shirt from the 90s, so we were like, “OK guy, cool story, we want our pizza.”

I left around 1AM so that Heidi could get some rest, but not before SELFIE TIME!!



When Heidi was taking this, I was saying that my smile is so fake.

“It is n—–OK, yeah it totally is,” Heidi laughed when she looked at the picture. And even though I look like a fool, this is the one I asked her to send me because it’s the perfect snapshot of one of the realest connections I’ve made in a while. What a fabulous night of learning more about a new friend. Good listeners are so hard to come by, and I felt like we had a nice balance. Heidi is totally cool, has a wealth of stories, is immensely talented and inspiring…but most of all, her eyebrows are fucking perf! LOOK AT THEM!

I am so honored that Heidi made time for me during her Pittsburgh visit. Charleston, WV isn’t too far away, so I’m sure we will meet again. (Besides, her daughter Molly is the same age as Chooch and they both play Minecraft, so….)



(Spoiler alert part 3: I still have both kidneys I think.)

Aug 062010

The last prank I fulfilled was for my friend Bill who wanted me to call the real estate agent he used while looking for a space for his store. It seems that Bill does not think too fondly of her.

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I decided this wasn’t enough, so I called back today.

I hope her husband doesn’t inflict bodily harm to Manuel! It’s bad enough he’s already deaf.

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Then last night at work, I found out that I could have an outgoing message, which an operator will read anytime someone calls my designated relay number. It goes something like this (but if you want to call for yourself, I’ll give you the number):

Hola. You have been reaching Manuel. Sorry that I am cannot hear the phone ring because I am deaf. Leave a message and someone will sign it to me.

Have a bueno cock.

I did this last night at work and then called to hear a male operator stutter as he read it.

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Then I quickly turned into that weird girl who laughs hysterically to herself. I had to bite my hand to stop cracking up.

I would just post my relay number onhere, butyou know. I don’t want any one to abuse it.

Henry is not amused by any of this and is .00005 seconds away from blocking Manuel’s number. :(

Aug 052010

Henry is trying to brainwash me with tales of FBI, imprisonment, and confiscation of all phones and Internet for the rest of my life. I guess he doesn’t like it when his life partner, Manuel, leaves him messages. (Often while Henry is sitting right next to me.)

No matter, Manuel had other people to call. Like Elizabeth, upon longtime LiveJournal friends Dawny Darko and Notbatman’s request. I try not to think too much about the calls ahead of time, preferring instead to just dive right in. I’m sure that’s not noticeable at all.

Meanwhile, Henry was in the kitchen making dinner I was laughing so hard, I kept stumbling into the kitchen and falling into him.

“It’s really not that funny,” he said, all disgusted and bothered. “You’re such a child.”

I know! It’s NOT that funny! But there’s something retarded going on in my brain that makes these things the funniest things in the world to me. And while I was laughing, and while Henry was considering pouring a pot of boiling water on me, I realized I forgot something in the message.

“I have to call back,” I informed Henry.

“No, you really don’t,” he sang from the kitchen.

But this time, she answered! I was laughing so hard at this point that I was in danger of sitting in a puddle of urine.

I don’t know why I kept saying “good eve.” But I kept imagining a phonograph playing in the background and I was wearing a velvet gown in the sultry shade of emerald.  Elizabeth was clearly wearing Mother’s girdle.

At least Elizabeth was nice enough to wish me good luck.

Aug 032010

After I posted about that relay calling service during Blogathon, I became determined to find a way to use it again. Especially since I had three prank calls to make in order to fulfill my donor obligations. Using a relay service to make pranks is the ultimate because you get to keep a transcript (which would be good to have as proof for my sponsors), and it’s extra hilarious having an unsuspecting operator do your dirty work.

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(Plus, it’s even more asshole-y.)

It’s law now that all those services make you register first. So I’m now Manuel Roberts from Maryland.

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I figure, I’ll use it every day to make normal calls to Henry, like “Please bring home the milk,” so that I can still slip in a few prank calls here and there without arousing suspicion.

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I am that dedicated that I’m willing to make this a part of my daily routine. I even downloaded an app for my iPhone.

Yesterday, I had Manuel call Henry to alert him that Circa Survive is playing in Cleveland next November and that he should take his daughter, Erin. (Because why would a deaf person want Henry to go to a concert with them, I figured.) Henry, who is not annoyed by this AT ALL, couldn’t even understand what the foreign operator was telling him, but figured he wasn’t missing much.

Then I decided that Manuel and Henry are life-partners! So I make sure to end all conversations with “OK I love you.”

AnywayS (Alisha likes the extra “s”), I started out with Paul’s request to prank his friend/my e-friend Amelia. Please excuse the typos; it’s a very fast-moving process and I accidentally had it on the setting that automatically enters the text while you’re typing, which is annoying. Paul wanted me to take it as far as I was comfortable with, in order to make Amelia concerned. Usually, messages saying you’re in the hospital work pretty well. Especially when you’re unsure of who it is exactly that is in the hospital.

This was supposed to be a two-parter. I was going to call her the next day and pretend to be the “lady with the knife.” But then she saw my Blogathon post and busted me. It went something (exactly) like this:





Manuel left a testimonial on the relay site last night:

I just found out about this magic service last week. It is great especially since my TTY contraption was stolen on Christmas Day.

In other Blogathon news (trying to tie up loose ends here), I will be contacting those of you who are owed a pendant/painting (your choice – if you choose painting it will be 5×7) and an interview here on my blog (which will be fun I promise!), or if you would rather guest post, that could be fun too. I want to thank those of you who swung by to check it out. My stats, which are usually around 200, skyrocketed to 1, 171 on Saturday and nearly 900 on Sunday. It’s never been like that. Ever. You guys rule.

Aug 012010

Not gonna lie, didn’t think I was going to make it this time around. Not so much the exhaustion, but lack of inspiration. It was really rough there for a few hours in the beginning, where I felt like a panic attack was ready to shoot from cannon and envelope me in a bubble of harried hair-pulling and paper-bag breathing. Somewhere in the early evening, I hit my stride and it was pretty OK after that. I didn’t cry at all, except for when Alisha was talking about Steel Magnolias, which is on right now, and oh Shelby, why’d you go ahead and get yourself pregnant, child?

Thanks to you guys (fine, and Alisha), I stayed awake, blogged a bunch of crap, and raised $456 for the Oil Spill Relief Fund! That makes me happy! Does that make you happy? It should. We did this together. I would hold your hand in mine if you were here right now. And you. And you and you and you, too.

Now, I’m going to try and get some sleep. If past Blogathons have taught me anything, I probably won’t be sleeping for long. I’m hoping that when I wake up, Henry will finally decide he wants to celebrate my birthday.

Anyway, if you like what you saw here and hate oil spills, or hate what you saw here but still hate oil spills, donations are still being accepted. I think until August 6th or something? That’s something I should know. But I don’t.



or not!

Thanks you guys! <3

Aug 012010

Henry claims this is his “last hurrah.”

“Keep me out of Blogathon next year,” he barked. “Just like I asked to be kept out of it this year.”

Anyway, this is for Paul! Hope you enjoy it! I almost peed while I was taping it, but I think that’s mostly because exhaustion has weakened my bladder.

My favorite part is when I pan away at the end and you can see my torture kit. It has a power drill on top.

Aug 012010

Andrea’s picture request was for Henry to recreate what actually happened with her husband Paul, which was that a baby shoe literally fell from above him when they were at a casino. Such luck! That NEVER happens to me. :(

In other news, Alisha was flipping through the channels and landed on “Steel Magnolias,” while it was still in the opening credits!

You know, since we’re talking about luck.

Aug 012010

My friend Heather was sort of my unofficial roommate during the summer of 1998. She was still in high school and didn’t pay rent, but she earned her keep in other ways. Like supplying my belly with a summer-long stock of Coolattas and donut holes and breakfast croissants and an orange stool to swivel on as I waited for her shift to end.

It’s a wonder I managed to stay a size 7 that summer.

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When I started dating Erik and he caught wind that Heather worked at Dunkin’ Donuts, he hounded her mercilessly to allow him in the back.

“Just one donut!” he begged. “One donut is all I need to frost.”

That should have been a red flag for me, seeing that slathering chocolate frosting on a donut was one of his greatest aspirations. But he was funny and sang my favorite Huffamoose song to me in a fake falsetto. These are things that allowed for him to stick around a little.

Wait. That’s not true. I hated when he sang in faux falsetto.

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No matter what song came on any of my mix tapes in the car, he would sing along in that screwy voice. One time, I had an “Aha! I’ll show him!” moment and flipped over the tape to reveal a Crystal Method track! No words, I win!

Motherfucker HUMMED ALONG in a falsetto.

I guess my point is that I want Alisha to go to Dunkin’ Donuts for me.

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And that I’m hearing faux-falsetto humming and I’m pretty sure it’s internal.

(Also, I fucked up the post-numbering somewhere along the way.)

“I don’t see why I have to stand here and watch you. It’s just fucking frosting for Christ’s sake.”

“Donutting is serious business that requires skill. You will shut up and watch me first.”

Aug 012010

After my friend Wonka brought his baby Cosette over for show-and-tell several years ago and Henry had a firsthand account of my fear, horror, apprehension and decidedly un-female reaction to babies, he asked, “We’re never having children, are we?”

And then something made me change my mind and I ended up having a baby.

Everyone said, “Oh, now that you have a baby, you’ll love all babies!

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ALL BABIES! Even ones with no arms!”

Well, it’s been four years and I have yet to go out wearing a bonnet and clanging a bell, looking for babies to hold.

Don’t get it twisted – I don’t blacklist my friends once they have children. I love Wonka’s daughters! I love Kara’s son Harland and Christy’s daughter Claire and Jess’s son Gavin, especially now that they’re not infants anymore.

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One of the analysts at my job has twins. They’re babies, less than six months old I think. Or maybe they’re six months. I don’t know. He brought them in one day and I’m sure I was the only asshole who didn’t go running over to their carriers to honk their little baby toys and poke their noses. The entire department was humming with baby talk and cooing.

“Did you go see his babies?” someone asked me on the way back to their office after taking in the ripe aroma of upchuck and soiled Pampers and smiling wildly like these  were the aromas her nasal passages were made to traffic.

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“Yes!” I lied, full of cheer and “I’m a normal lady who loves babies” subterfuge.

I actually broke a slight sweat, waiting for the babies to leave.

Aug 012010

I made a pot of coffee at 8:30 Saturday morning. A full pot, of which I only drank one cup because then Alisha arrived with a large iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts which lasted me several hours because I was too busy frantically typing and waving my arms around to remember it was there.

Then Evonne brought me green tea Frappucino from Starbucks, so I was on a cold beverage kick for awhile.

But about an hour ago, I thought to myself, “Huh. I could really go for some hot beverage, something in a mug. Something brown in color. Oh yeah, coffee.”

So I poured some nearly-day old cold coffee into the same cup I was using Saturday morning and threw it in the microwave.

“That’s really gross,” Alisha grumbled from the couch.

Look, when you’ve already got stomach acid coming up your esophagus, nothing’s really that gross that anymore. Except for maybe the turd milkshake Satan drank on Food Party.

Aug 012010

God-fucking-dammit. Every motherfucking time, this shit happens.

Put a quarter in.

Win a baby shoe.

Have my fucking picture taken by some fat casino photographer, sweating through his fucking powder blue blazer.

“Smile for the camera!” Yeah, I’ll smile for your motherfucking camera, how ’bout you come up to my fucking room and smile for my goddamn pistol, you fucking jelly-filled pig.

Put a quarter in.

Win a baby shoe.

Have some cooze-y casino bar wench thrust a flute of flat champagne into my chest. “Complimentary bubbly for winning the shoe!”

Complimentary bubbly? I’ll give you complimentary bubbly UP YOUR ASS with a colostomy bag, gasoline and some motherfucking Pop Rocks, get the fuck out of my face with this shit.

Put a quarter in.

Win a baby shoe.

Oh, another fucking photo op? Yippy fucking yay, hold on while I get my eyes to mirror the CRAZY FURY I’m feeling inside for putting my fucking money into your asshole machine and winning a fucking shoe for a foot THAT IS NOT MY OWN.

ANDREA?! Get your ass over here and throw these fucking shoes in the trunk with the dead babies I won at the craps table. Motherfucker.

(Picture courtesy of Andrea. This is her husband! I don’t think he’s that angry, though. At least, I hope not!)

Aug 012010

In addition to writing something nice about Henry, my sponsor Rob requested nice things in written form about Chooch, too. And since he’s basically 99% exactly like me, that shouldn’t be too hard.

It’s never a dull moment with Chooch. Sometimes I pray for some dull moments, though. He’s always moving and talking and I’m furiously flipping through the parental text book because if I had known that, I’d never had had a kid! I thought they were like rag dolls, made to be propped up against a pillow in front of the TV.

Seriously though. I love him. Even during those moments when I have to leave him here with Henry while I go off and sit in a dark parking lot so I don’t have to be aurally assaulted by his sonic weapon of a scream, I still love him. Even when his tantrums and outbursts and mood swings leave me in tears, wondering what I did wrong, I still love him.

There are moments when he is literally the only human being in the world who can make me crack a smile when I’m swinging low. And he has my back. When Christina fucked me over, Chooch would be the first person to tell you, “Christina hurt Mommy’s heart. I’m going to put her in a hole and set her on fire.

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And there are times when he can be heart-breakingly sweet, literally making me smile and making my heart ache in tandem. Like when I caught him quietly singing Paramore’s “The Only Exception” two weekends ago. It was so sad, how he was murmuring it to himself over and over while quietly playing with his toys on the floor.

He can hang with the adults better than some other adults I know. He’s witty and sarcastic and has a warped imagination like me. He loves scary movies and holding my hand when I lie and say I’m so scared. He acts like it’s putting him out to hold my hand, but I know he likes it deep down.

What I love best about Chooch is that he’s mine. And sort of Henry’s, depending on my mood.

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Sometimes he’s all of Henry’s, depending on HIS mood.

Aug 012010

Alyson had the most random request this year, suggesting that Henry cradle a photo of Tom Selleck like a babe.

“It’s something I dream of every night,” she said during  our nightly three-way phone convo with Candy from the chatline. I heard a distinct shattering sound in the background, so I knew it was true; Alyson NEVER lies while she’s smashing Precious Moments with a mallet.

Henry was really trying to leave for work. Really trying. He had just scrubbed off coffee grounds from his face and was in search of his work shoes.

“It’ll only take a second!” I pleaded. “Just sit down and hold this!”

So he did, but not without fussing while Alisha tried not to laugh in his face.

“Um. You’re supposed to be holding it like it’s a newborn baby. Act like you love him. Use both arms.”

He was really glaring at this point. I’m not sure I have a boyfriend anymore. I might be on the market! Any takers? I’m not high maintenance AT ALL.

Aug 012010

Henry just woke up for work! Look at how miserable he is! Oh wait, he always looks like that!

This was the request of Dawny and Notbatman, who sponsor me every year because they are BABES!

Henry just came over and choked me and said, “This is the post where Erin dies” and it sort of scared me because he’s in a bad mood! Mostly because I had spent the last four hours prodding him in the chest while he slept, chanting, “CAN WE TAKE THE PICTURES NOW? PLEASE WAKE UP SO WE CAN TAKE THE PICTURES?”

He’ll be home at 8 so I will get more then!