Feb 162024
 

Another boring-ass week of February. Let’s see if I can scrounge up five things from my extremely uneventful life.

1. RetroWaving from Pgh

“Hey Erin, what are you listening to when you’re not kpopping?” asks no one.

Well, No One! I’m so glad you asked because for the last year or two, my runner-up has been retrowave. It’s better than the next best thing to 80s synth because it sounds like it *is* 80s synth, but it fell through the cracks. It is reminiscent of the music that would pad the soundtracks of 80s movies like Better Off Dead, etc. – it sounds like it COULD have been played on the radio yet it never was and you never heard of it ever again.

That’s retrowave. It triggers memories of summer pool parties and seeing your crush at the roller rink on a Friday night, yet these songs didn’t exist back then. And this is my current favorite one, which has made me spontaneously cry on numerous occasions.

2. Baby Carat’s First SVT Album

Henry came home from work in Valentine’s Day with a hot pink gift bag full of Kpop! My cat Drew and I have recently become huge Carats after years of just liking them on the fringe and Henry is along for the ride. I didn’t even ask for this, or the NCT127 winter single! #blessed

I pulled my bias Jaehyun from the NCT album (on his birthday, no less!) and I got S.Coups, Jun, and DK in the Seventeen unboxing. I have joint SVT biases right now – Seungkwan and Jeonghan (remember this, Janna!!) – but there is so much to love about all of the 13 members so a Carat really can’t be disappointed. (As Drew paws away a tear triggered not pulling her bias The8, lol.)

Anyway, this song can be my reciprocal Valentine gift to Henry, I guess.

3. PITTSBURGH PAM?

YOU GUYS OMG. Pam from our Coaster Crew trip called me yesterday after work and said that she is thinking of moving to Pittsburgh and asked if I know any realtors!! OH BOY, DO I! I happily gave her my brother’s contact info and he is so hyped to help her look for a house here! I’m also very smug about this because after the Coaster Crew portion of our vacation ended in August and I was in my “I MISS PAM” feels, Chooch sniped, “You know she’s never think about you again, right?”

In your FACE, Chooch.

4. Henry Being Annoying

 He’s been on a kick using these dumb emoji things and Chooch and I hate it. Tell him to stop.

5. It’s paczki time in Brookline

Yo I took this picture at one of the bakeries in Brookline Blvd back when I was into using toy cameras in 2008, wow I was so cool, what a hipster photog.

Anyway, it’s paczki season, bigly. Every five years or so I get the urge (I hate the word hankering btw) to have one but I’m always so underwhelmed. Like, it just tastes like a jelly donut to me? I saw a reddit subthread recently where the overwhelming majority said that Party Cake was the reigning champs of paczki. Well guys if that is the case, then maybe I’m just not the targeted audience for paczki because that is where I have gotten all my past paczki.

Thoughts? If you are local to Pittsburgh, do you like paczki and where do you get it?

If you are not local, is this a thing where you live too?

Could I Google “paczki regions”? Sure probably. But am I trying to bait people to comment? Absolutely.

*****

Well, that’s all I got. I’m so bored!! It’s snowing, I’m doing an intermittent fast so I can’t distract myself with snacks, and I’m mindlessly watching travel vlogs on YouTube. What a Friday.

Feb 092024
 

Another month-long work week has come to an end! For this installment of Friday Five, let’s give our eyebulps (that’s how my cats say it) a rest, put a moratorium on the excessive words, and just look at five pictures from my phone with brief captions I guess.

See Chooch, on the phone with the bank after having to cancel his debit card for the third time since December. It was very entertaining for me because I have decided that I just don’t care.

Henry made “salmon” from tofu and it was delectable!


Cats suddenly realizing that they can burrow under the blanket on the church pew and acting super weird about it afterward.


The unseasonably balmy weather has allowed the cats to hang out in their favorite room of the house – the back porch!

Trudy being a saucy dish.

***

That’s all for me. Back to watching travel vlogs on YouTube because I have no attention span for anything more in depth.

Jan 262024
 

In my NOSTLAGIA BOX rummaging (I used RIFLING in my last post, so gotta mix it up because once upon a time I was a kinda-writer, remember), I unearthed this old picture of me from 1986 (love that my mom had a camera that lasered the dates on the photos – I bet that was super high-tech back then) doing my favorite thing ever: reading a book. This was taken when we lived in our old house on Sylvania Drive in South Park, and here are some facts about that house:

  • This is the house my mom was living in with my birth dad back when I was born. Then my dad died, my mom started dating who I consider my actual dad, things got serious so we moved into his house in Castle Shannon. I actually hated that time in my life, every memory is bad (it’s where the neighbor kids abandoned me in their tree house and I was too scared to come down on my own and I just sat up there and cried until my mom realized I was missing, to name ONE of the bad memories). Anyway, after those two married, we moved back to the house on Sylvania Drive! I should probably ask my mom about this because I have no idea if she put the house up for sale originally and no one bought it so we moved back? Or if we moved out with the intention of eventually moving back? Was anyone living there while we were gone!? I feel like we were gone for at least a year.
  • I met my childhood BFF Christy on this street – she and her family on the cul-de-sac. We were BFFs up until the end of high school when I became a huge disappointment by dropping out of school and not going to college, opting to slum it with Psycho Mike instead. Christy was probably the only one who cared enough about me to actually try to stop this and get really fucking pissed and then we eventually grew apart. I was salty about it for years but being so far removed from that and actually in a good place in my life now, I can’t blame her one bit. I was so stupid. Everything happens for a reason, etc, but I can’t help but wonder if I still would have eventually ended up with Henry even if I had opted to NOT throw away those formative years of my life. For years I said I didn’t regret those idiotic decisions, but hoo boy, ask me again now. Anyway, Christy and I are still friends and she’s also Chooch’s godmother. We just don’t really hang out that much which is sad.
  • Little did I know then that a girl I would meet almost – omg this kills me – forty years later was probably not yet born BUT her family was also living on this same street!
  • After my brother Ryan was born, my parents started building a house on a plot of land on the street my Pappap lived on – it was actually my Pappap’s plot of land and I was so fucking sad to leave Sylvania Drive when I was in 2nd grade, but the house that was being built on Gillcrest is still to this day the house that I consider my childhood home. My mom still lives there but I honestly can’t remember the last time I was inside it. Probably not since Chooch was like, in preschool??
  • There was a huge ass maple tree in the front yard and I have no idea the origin of this game, but Christy and me, and sometimes this other girl Michelle who was kind of an auxiliary member of our friend group would sit in my yard and wait for cars to drive past. Then we would glare at them and point the leaves at them, funneling all of our wicked petulance through the stems and then – what? – killing them? I can’t remember what we thought the outcome would be but I will say that I drove past this house not too long ago with Chooch and the tree was still  there! I told him the story and he was like, “That’s a stupid game.” WELL, WE HAD TO USE OUR IMAGINATIONS BACK IN THE 80s OK!?

Oh well, I was also going to drop the names of 5 books I loved as a kid but then I got sidetracked and now I’m bored with that idea and also today was terrible. Bye.

Jan 192024
 

Every so often, I remember that I like the Kpop group Seventeen (I always associate them with the Kpop aerobics I did back when I was like “I don’t know what these songs are but they’re fun”) and then I fall down the rabbit hole, watching live stages etc., and saying, “I gotta spend some time learning about the members.” Over the years, there are only really 3 or 4 (out of 13!) that I have become familiar with, but then one of the sub-units did an amazing performance of one of my current fave cardio dance routine songs on one of the award shows, and I remembered that at one point, I had chosen one of those guys as a bias, so then I started re-crushing on him and next thing I knew, my YouTube feed is all Seventeen and I know ALMOST all of them now, after 4 days of studying.

I’m getting there.

Anyway, today for Friday Five I will share five of my faves. They debuted in 2015 so there is quite a lot to choose from!

(My bias is Seungkwan, btw, and my cat Drew’s is The8.)

  1. Ready to Love

You guys,  this is my top #1 SVT song and the one that pulls me back in every time I hear it. It’s perfection.

 

2. Don’t Wanna Cry

The first Seventeen MV that REALLY caught my attention back in the day. That choreo!!

3. FIGHTING

This song from Seventeen’s subunit BSS (BooSeukSoon) is the anthem we all need to get through another work day. (Fun fact from your friendly Korea liaison: “fighting” is a way to say “you got this!” or “you can do it!” in Korea, it doesn’t literally mean anything aggressive!)

4. _WORLD

Just a total feel-good jam, Bruno Mars-vibes, lil bit.

5. ROCK WITH YOU

Every time I hear this, I want to get up and start doing the Give Me Five Thailand dance workout for it. I kicked the coffee table really hard one time doing it though, I just got too stoked!

***

OK, it’s been a weird week of snow days and Chooch maybe having a girlfriend and starting a countdown and uncomfortable TV shows (American Nightmare was so frustrating and upsetting!!!). I’m freaking tired, man. But I can’t go to bed until Henry chooses a Seventeen bias lol. (“I don’t know any of them!” he cried. Yeah, he said that once upon a time about NCT too and now look at him, Father NCTzen over here.)

Jan 092024
 

Here’s a picture of that kid who never hangs out with us anymore, + 5 random facts because it’s January and I am feeling it already. I hate hate hate hate hate winter so much.

  • I was obsessed with the reboot of Dark Shadows only because MICHAEL T WEISS was in it and if you don’t know, he played MIKE HORTON on Days of Our Lives. So of course I had to watch it. However, no one else in my family was interested in watching it and it also must have coincided with something that THEY (aka my dad and Ryan) watched, so I was relegated to the kitchen to watch it. We had a small kitchen TV on the counter, and I would pull up one of our heavy-ass wooden kitchen chairs to the counter and then open one of the drawers (there were four large drawers on the other side of the kitchen counter that were mostly junk drawers but also my mom kept cookbooks in there) to rest my legs on and then my legs would always end up falling asleep, but that’s the risk you take. Anyway, I truly thought I was so motherfucking cool and like, advanced for my age watching Dark Shadows because no one else in my grade did!! I’m only telling you this because just recently I was reminded of its existence and started watching videos about it on YouTube and now I want to watch the OG and the reboot again.

Image result for michael t weiss days of our lives

<3

  • I will always choose lemon, pistachio, matcha flavors over chocolate. I also love earl grey and cardamom flavored desserts. Henry brought home an earl grey scone from Potomac Station Coffee one of the days when I was still queasy after Christmas and it was delightful.
  • I have two older half-sisters, one older half-brother, and two younger half-brothers. I have zero full siblings.
  • When I was dating the guy before Henry, I was bored and created a stalker for him and he fell for it. One time he came over and was like I THINK SHE WAS FOLLOWING ME HERE and he was so concerned for my safety so then I inexplicably* used it to start a fight with him just because I thrived on fighting with him, to the point where I actually forgot during the fight that the stalker was actually me. I never told him it was me and wow that is pretty fucked up I guess LOL. Eh, oh well.
    • *lol inexplicably? More like “because I’m* a toxic-ass bitch.”
      • *was? nah, I am.
  • Wait now I’m on a memory roll about that guy and thinking about the time we went to this place called Hambones (RIP) for dinner with my friend Brian, and one thing you should know is that Brian and me in a restaurant was a….recipe (ugh sorry I had to do) for disaster because we would get so giddy and loud and embarrass everyone with us. Anyway, the ex was annoying me and being a big bitch boy as usual so when he said something about getting dessert, I snapped, “How about you get a glass of Shut the Fuck Up for a nightcap” and it wasn’t even that funny but Brian was like OH SHIT and then I burst out into my signature “Is she drunk or psychotic?” bray and then the ex literally started quietly crying (he cried a lot). Brian referenced this night for years. If anyone asked me what my toxic trait was back then, the only answer would be, “Me. Myself. It’s all of me.”

Hambone's reopened after paying over $13,000 in delinquent drink taxes ...

Wow. I think I need to get some sleep, lol.

Dec 292023
 

Lessgitit.

  1. Ladies Christmas Dinner

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

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

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

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

2. Of 90s R&B Heart Throbs

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

 

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

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

3. HAECHAN CANDLE

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

4. Missing the Office

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

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

(DREW, DON’T WORRY, YOU ARE STILL MY #1 CO-WORKER!!)

5. FREE WEEKENDS

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

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

I ALSO WANT TO DO A DAY TRIP TO COLUMBUS TO EAT AT SEITAN’S REALM AGAIN.

***

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

Love,

Susie from Clairton.

Dec 122023
 

Let’s free-form the shit of this thing.

Last Wednesday night, Henry and I went to see the NCT Nation concert movie in Robinson.

This time, there were way more people and even another “kpop husband” was in the crowd.  So, NCT Nation was the whole entire NCT conglomerate doing one huge concert together, all of the sub-groups, etc. They did several shows in Korea and Japan and fuck, do I wish I could have attended one of those.

Did I cry during this? Pfft, you know it, Miss Betty. The way NCT fills my heart after a long day of work and general life dread…it’s like when you take a shot of Robitussin (Janna’s #1 subject) and you can feel it heating up as it cruises through your body. That’s how NCT makes me feel. Like they are hugging me from the inside.

….that….OK that’s a weird visual.

Anyway, this wasn’t part of the movie, but I have watched this video from their concert so many times and it never stops giving me goosebumps.

All I want Janna to get me for Christmas is proof that she has learned all 20 of their names lol. (Only 19 were at these concerts because Taeil was/is recovering from surgery after a motorcycle accident.)

Bill and Jessi were in town for my party this weekend and thank god because I was so fucking stressed out. I don’t know why. Maybe it was all of the other stress that I kept trying to push out of the way, finally found a way back to the forefront and woo boy was I was mess. But having them here helped because they are two of my favorite people in the world and it’s been a MINUTE since they were last in Pgh!

Late Saturday afternoon, we left Henry at home cooking and went to Frank & Shirley’s for a late lunch after Chooch came home from his game design class at Pitt. It was SO FUCKING nice to sit still, eat a grilled cheese, bullshit, and watch Jessi follow my example of dunking the grilled cheese in a puddle of Ketchup and realize that, “OK yeah that’s good.”

It’s the only way I’ve eaten grilled cheese since I was a wee lass!

And I told them about how I used to LOVE going there in high school because there was A CIGARETTE MACHINE and wow, that’s something that I hadn’t thought about in forever, putting tons of quarters in those machines and then setting up a display on the table of all the different brands I scored. I remember getting a pack of Pall Malls and one of my guy friends being like JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, ERIN.

I have a picture of my cigarette collection somewhere. Maybe one day I will look for it and then post it here and you guys can be like, “Wow. You were so edgy. Brag some more about your dirty habit, Yellow Fingers.”

Here I am stalking Chooch at work last Thursday night. Turns out this was also the same night that the dumbass lost his wallet for approx. the 10th time in the last three years only this time, sadly it’s a goner for good. His luck hath run dry. Also, he had a tense conversation with a total BITCH of a middle aged broad with bleached hair looking like Real Housewives of Pgh reject because the sign on the Chipotle window said they’re open until 11 but that night they closed at 9. Like Chooch, a 17yo, has anything to do with that. He kept trying to walk around while her mouth was steady running.  Jesus Christ lady. Go look at the Ann Taylor website and calm down.

Drew, noticing that the Christmas decorations are back.

In other news, I have watched Queen Charlotte which I almost didn’t watch at all because she was one of my least faves from the Bridgerton series but then I got desperate for something to watch while walking in place (no, you have issues) and holy smutty fuck, no one told me that this was going to rip my stupid fucking heart out?? I don’t know if I’m just really at such a low point emotionally or if this really was that deeply sad, but I was full-body SOBBING. I can’t remember the last time I was so touched by an on-screen (and I guess moderately IRL depending on how historically accurate this was) romance/relationship. Jesus, I felt that, for Charlotte and George, and also Brimsley and Reynolds. I even started spontaneously sobbing in the shower about it.

At one point, Henry was sitting next to me and I was trying so hard to hold back my tears that I started choking and gagging, which made it worse and Henry was like, “OK as if I didn’t know you were crying.”

Damn, that hurt. A lot.

I also watched School Spirits which also felt like I was cutting, but on my psyche and not my skin?? I thought I had signed on for some light high school television but no, I got fully invested in every character and cried my contacts cloudy during THAT one too!!

Well, I’m going to go now. Coaster Kev from our trip (Chooch’s favorite of the 4 Kevins, in case you were wondering) just posted his Liseberg video and I would like to curl up under my blanket, maybe sip from kombucha, and relive the trip that I still haven’t finished writing about. #priorities

P.S. NCT DREAM CASUALLY MENTIONED IN AN INTERVIEW TO SOME AMERICAN MEDIA OUTLET LAST NIGHT THAT THEY PLAN ON TOURING AGAIN NEXT YEAR SO LORD HELP ME.

P.P.S. I have slowly been admitting to those around me that when I saw NCT Dream last April, it made me more emotional than when I saw the Cure those two times over the summer. I said what I said. That doesn’t mean The Cure has been dethroned!! But I think when I used to get emotional over the Cure, it was for different reasons. I was SO FULLY DEPRESSED (and suicidal, no use in hiding it) when I was REALLY getting into the Cure, so for a long time, when I would see them in concert, it felt like opening old wounds, most actually had never even started to close at all. So I would OF COURSE feel gutted and next-level emotional. But I am so far-removed from those years, from that dark part of my life, that I was eventually able to get to the point where I can listen to the Cure without laying in the fetal position on the floor with a bottle of Manischevitz.

But with NCT Dream, it’s different. It’s new. It feels more personal, like I know them, I care for them so much, I’m hugely protective and proud of them. So when I saw them last April, here for their first US tour, I was like out of my mind delulu. Like hysterical. And to this day, if I think about it, I start to cry because I feel so grateful to have been able to go and support them in person and see them on a stage so close up and watch them sing and dance to my favorite songs that have brightened my days for the last several years. It’s a different kind of emotional. I love being a Czennie <3

Nov 172023
 
  1. Remember two years ago when I wrecked our 6mth old car in the cemetery – literally crashed into an ancient road marker – and I was so terrified of my MEAN SON being MEAN to me so I told him Henry did it and then Henry had to go along with it (“Yes, I am a big dumb idiot man, I crashed the car because I am stupid and reckless.”) which meant also telling everyone he worked with that he did it because one of his co-workers at the time was the best friend of his OTHER son who was living next door to us at the time and if HE knew the truth it was possible that something would slip and Chooch would find out? PANT PANT. The WEB OF LIES! The spiraling fibs! Are you following??!!

Well, last weekend I decided I couldn’t keep the secret any longer and texted Chooch to come downstairs for a family meeting. He was like NO I AM COMFORTABLE IN BED, WATCHING TV so I had to go upstairs and tell him and he was like “ok and? Is that all? You actually wanted me to get dressed and come downstairs for THAT?” Also, he said he doesn’t even remember any of this so that’s nice. Good for me. Got that off my chest.

THE PILLAR THING.

2. Henry and I had an argument tonight because one time 20 years ago we were on a haunted hayride and I said something hilarious and he didn’t laugh and then some older woman said a discount version of my joke and he laughed so hard he was practically choking. I brought it up just now because it is clearly something that still PISSES ME OFF and he claims this never happened so I said LET ME PULL OUT MY HAUNTED HOUSE JOURNAL FROM THAT YEAR because I am sure I wrote about it while crushing the pen in my hand, imagining it was…OTHER THINGS. “Oh ok like I believe ANYTHING you write in your JOURNALS!” he just scoffed and now we will spend the rest of the eve arguing about THAT remark so let me get round 2 started with this unflattering photo of him trying to look unbothered while eating JARRED HERRING at the neighbor’s house last week!!! 😡

(Lowkey I just took both of those stories straight from my Instagram captions because I am too L-Z to rewrite it for this landmine of broken grammar.)

3. Speaking of the neighbors! We just came back from having tea and snacks with Tamanna and her older son. Well, he just sits there and tries to his best to watch things on his phone to block us out, but she often needs his assistance with translations so he is a good kid and sticks around. Anyway, I was honest with her and told her that I am attempting to diet – not really DIET per se, but I am back to food journaling because the stress of life and the world in general lately has been unraveling all of my hard work over the last 10 years. So, I’m just trying to stay on track with my nutrition. However! While we were there, my stomach was rumbling pretty bad and I mentioned that I wasn’t feeling too great. Probably GAS, but she asked me if I wanted something for it. I was like, “Yes please” thinking she was going to come back with Tums or something, but instead she had a large jar of honey, right? BUT IT WASN’T HONEY. It was a mysterious blend of spices that she ground up herself from an ancient recipe, I don’t know, and she was like, “Take one spoonful then drink water, my daughter and I love this, we lost 5kg.” OH THIS IS SOME KIND OF NATURAL WEIGHT LOSS WITCHERY? Lemme at it! I took that spoonful down like a fucking CHAMP because WEIGHT LOSS YOU SAY? Anyway, it was P O T E N T as expected but also very very very interesting. There was definitely ginger in it, but also a bunch of more savory spices that I couldn’t place because I’m not one of them there cookers, you know?  Anyway, she said I should notice a difference tomorrow and if I want, I can come back for another spoonful. OK watch me be knockin’ on her door every day. She found a hook me, you guys!

4. I found a way to incorporate one of my favorite clown pictures into a piece of furniture and I am very excited about it!

5. What do my fellow American friends reading this have planned for Thanksgiving? We go back and forth between sometimes having a “big”ish dinner to not giving a shit. This is one of the not giving a shit years. We were originally going to pre-order food from Onion Maiden, but true to fucking form, they had “issues” with their online ordering and then within 15 minutes the one thing that I wanted was sold out, which launched Henry into his THESE FUCKING ‘RESTAURANTS’ THESE DAYS rant which Onion Maiden ALWAYS has him pulling out the soapbox for, so we were like, “Fuck it, Zenith it is.” At least with Zenith, if you order during the window they provide, you know you’re going to have food on Thanksgiving Day. Henry said, “THIS IS IT, I AM DONE WITH ONION MAIDEN. IT WOULD BE LESS ANNOYING TO DRIVE TO COLUMBUS TO GET SEITAN REALM’S PRE-COOKED THANKSGIVING MEALS!!” I mean, also much more delicious too. But I’m happy that we get Zenith for Thanksgiving! The ol’ tried and true – and their cakes are the best so I’ll be content.

Chooch and I used to have a tradition of watching birthday party videos on YouTube and making fun of the kids. Maybe we will revive that trend this year. Who knows. He will probably tell us that morning that he has to work.

Dude, I have nothing else left in me. This Friday 5 is terrible but when aren’t they?!

Nov 142023
 

Here’s some quick 3 THINGS for you:

  • In a Herculean feat of Adulting, I made the unilateral decision to stay home Thanksgiving weekend. Our tradition since 2018 I think had been to choose an open amusement park and do a road trip ( with the exception of 2020 of course) and this time around we were going to go to Nickelodeon World or whatever inside the American Dream Mall in NJ. But when I say that Coaster vacation that I am STILL recapping left us living paycheck to paycheck here for a bit, wooo boy. So instead, we’re going to do a daytrip to an H-Mart in Maryland. So, like, destination grocery shopping you guys! The only kind of grocery shopping I can get behind.

  • The cats are still living on high alert thanks to the GUTTER GUYS who are taking forever. I don’t mind it too much but they are borderline derelicts and the leader is SO LOUD. It legit sounds like he is so pissed off but he actually isn’t?? At least twice an hour, I hear a HUGE COMMOTION/clattering and then “OH SHIT U AWRIGHT??” Pregnant pause. “...yeah. Yeah I’m good. Ow.” And there’s a broad who is part of the crew – Margot. The leader calls her BABE constantly. She doesn’t seem to mind though so I guess I don’t mind either, I dunno. Also before they made it to our house, they were at the next house over pulling out bushes and shit. They removed a lilac tree and I started to panic bc we also have a lilac tree, one that I have a love/hate relationship with, BUT it gives us some shielding from HNC’s house so I didn’t want it to be removed. I asked the leader one day, “you’re not gonna take my lilac tree are you?” I even used PRAYER HANDS which is a tactic I like to employ when I’m playing the role of ANTI-KERIN aka ANGEL BABY ERIN. “Yeah I’m sorry, I’m under orders to take it—Nah im just playing!! I won’t take your tree. That tree is too nice! I promise you’re tree is safe” and I was like “ok whew, close one amirite!” And then he proceeds to tell me every time I see him that my tree is safe. Ok guy, cool! Got it. Meanwhile I caught one of his workers pissing on HNC’s house and I want to NARC so bad bc I’m a grown up tattler but I also don’t want my tree to be felled in retaliation.
  • I took some more photos of chooch over the weekend to go into the consideration pile for senior portraits. He was so pissed off too because he had just come from this coding class he’s taking at Pitt (he’s getting paid $13/hr for it btw, and they gave him a brand new Surface Pro, why am I constantly so jealous of my kid) and it’s an all-day thing, 9-4, so he was “tired” and wanted “to relax” and even rationalized at one point that he will be senior until June so there is plenty of time to take pictures (I hate him lol) but then he eventually caved because I was a total manipulative mom (exactly what he always says that I am and I deny it but then prove him right within hours). So we went to our fave location, Jefferson Memorial, bc I thought it would be special to get some shots there. So, that happened. Got a few keepers!

OK BYE!

Nov 112023
 

Wow I was going to write this on Friday so it would be a Friday Five but then I forgot so here’s a Saturday (S)five I guess:

  1. HITCHHIKER BREWING CO OR SOMETHING

Dude, I’m sitting here having a Pineapple Upside Down Cake beer from this local beer joint and it is the 4th beer from this place that I have really loved. “I think this is my favorite beer personality or whatever,” I said to Henry and he knew what I meant because he has spent the last 20+ years decoding my dumbness.

Honestly though if you live in Pgh and you can procure for me their Jelly Donut one, I will love you bigly. That was my gateway beer into Hitchhiker Addiction and it’s my favorite so far. But of course I haven’t been able to find it since then and they don’t have it at their two locations. It’s legit all I want for Christmas. (OK that’s a lie, there’s a lot of things I want for Christmas, let’s be real.)

Henry and I went to Market District in search for other beers that I might like. Aside from this current Hitchhiker delight, I had a sip of some Doghead thingie pumpkin ale and it was OK. When Henry asked if I liked it, I said, “Yeah I guess but it tastes like beer so I don’t want to drink it again.” Like, if I had ordered this at a bar (or berr as I just typed), I would probably drink it down with only a light grimace but I wouldn’t be stoked about it. I tasted no pumpkin!!

Anyway, this Hitchhiker beer is a SOUR which I have been told that I LIKE but I had one in Chicago that I definitely did NOT like, so you tell me.

2. The Resort

Dude?! I am a bit behind the times on this one since I think it originally aired in 2022, but I remembered last week that we have Peacock on Roku and I needed a sitcom to watch while walking in place in the morning because the weather has not been inspirational for my AM walks and my pathetic life revolves around step counts since what, 2012? 2013? Wow, literally at least 10 years of That Pedometer Life. I hate myself.

Anyway, first I binge-watched Based on a True Story which was fun but then there is a thing that happens with a dog which, IYKYK, totally killed the spirit of the show for me.  I see no reason at all why that needed to happen, but OK. Cook on, show writers. So then I was like, “OK what is this now” and started watching the first episode of the Resort without reading the synopsis because “Oh the guy from the Good Place and Mother from How I Met Your Mother!” The first episode was very slow and I admittedly was looking at my phone a lot but then a turn was taken and just like that, bam, I was in. This show was SO GOOD. I was very sad that it was only 8 or 9 episodes and I zipped through it in like 3 days. That’s fast for me! I’m not a binge’r!!

Holy shit, this beer is getting me to me. Hello, are you still here? Am I still here?

3. That Damn WayV Song!!

I’m still on that WayV tip. “On My Youth” has taken over my life for the past week. It gives me that raw, inconsolable, “My heart is like a tooth with cavity and I’m going to keep swishing with this song like it’s hot tea spiked with bourbon, make it hurt more please!!!” feeling similar to Howard Hewett’s “This Love Is Forever” presented to me back in the 90s when I became obsessed with it after seeing the video probably on MIDNIGHT STORM or whatever BET’s late night love song video marathon was called. Quiet Storm?? No, that was on the local R&B radio station I think??

Earth to Erin!! God, this beer.

So, I used to listen to this Howard Hewett song on repeat AND WEEP. I remember vividly sleeping over my Aunt Susie’s house on NYE in 1994 because my BFF Christy and I were house-and-dog sitting for her and my uncle Mark, and I legit curled up in the fetal position and sobbed while listening to this song, totally torturing myself because I was going through probably the 17th breakup with JUSTIN KAIL, like he even rates anymore and shit I wish I had listened to Christy that night when she told me this sternly in 87 different ways, but I think on some level, this song hit me in ways where I was experiencing feelings that I didn’t understand, like I was mourning a loss that I couldn’t remember?! DOES THAT MAKE SENSE??

I told my friend Veronica this on IG because she is my only Sister from an Imaginary Korean Mister, and I knew she would GET IT and she GOT IT. She said the strings this song remind her of a movie from the 70s or 80s, a theme song from that movie, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. “Mahogany?” she suggested, and that sent me on a DIANA ROSS spiral because that damn song of hers from that movie made me feel like I had suffered the most incredible loss as I listened to it in my Pappap’s kitchen at the ripe age of 4.

Anyway, here is another version of the WayV song in question. The ending where all the different parts of the song merge together just KILLS ME DEAD. (I still prefer the Chinese version so much more but they seem to be predominately performing the English one so what can you do.)

Kun is such a bias wrecker.

4. HOWARD HEWETT IN THE HOUSETT

LOL here’s the Howard Hewett video too!

OMG the amount of mix tapes that contained that song, you guys. I had a sickness. A big one.

Ugh, I’m 15 again crying in my stupid purple bedroom.

J/K my bedroom wasn’t stupid it was fucking awesome. The predecessor to my very specific interior design tastes.

I wonder if Christy’s eye would start twitching if I sent her this song right now…

5.  Henry Wants Me to Say “Henry” for #5

I’ll allow it ONLY because he has been galloping toward the finish line re: SEOUL SUBWAY SIGN REDUX today and it is actually kind of attractive I guess. He did something cool with the audio portion of the sign this time around, which made me exclaim, “Hey so you could like, make a doorbell from scratch then?” and he was like, “Yeah, I could. Oh. Goddammit,” as he realized he just signed on to a second project when this one isn’t even done LOL j/k he’s already working on another project right now too so the doorbell would be project #3.

***

OK now I’m going to go and sample one more beer before it’s CUT-OFF time. My limit is like one full beer.

Wait I’m back. Here’s one thing I don’t like in November, like absolutely fucking despise:

UGH SO DISGUSTING!!! I almost spit it out everywhere and started to frantically cough in a way that it was scraping the taste from my throat. I hate this!!!! Roll off a cliff and die, Urban Artifact you sick fuck!!!

if I ordered this at a bar or restaurant, I would have shouted “THIS IS DISGUSTING!” to everyone within earshot and beyond as a public service.

Nov 032023
 

Sorry, I needed that to rhyme because I have a disorder. I feel like I haven’t done a Friday Five in a while and today is Friday so what better day to resuscitate this dumb series?

  1. I know you guys probably thought I’d still be obsessing over the Taemin comeback, and I am! I am. BUT. Just listen. Listen, Linda. WayV came out of leftfield with their best song yet, IMO and I haven’t been able to stop listening to and dissecting it. I even got JANNA obsessed with it. I think she’s mostly just happy that it’s the one NCT unit that doesn’t include Haechan so I can’t scream, “WHO’S THAT JANNA??” whenever Haechan has screen time. Anyway, this song does that thing that presses down on something in my brain that makes me nostalgic for something that I can’t explain?? It feels like my heart is breaking and you know, like a toothache, I have a love/hate with that feeling because I’m psycho. I will share both Chinese and English versions with you because I’m such a sweetheart.

Kun is such a bias wrecker for me in this song particularly. Jesus.

2. I talked to my landlord for the first time ever last week. Just to put that in perspective, I have rented this place since 1999 (ughhh) but his dad was the OG landlord (and an awesome one at that). But after he died, the son took over in 2007 and it’s been not great since. Anyway!! You know it’s dire straits if I actually initiate conversation with these types of people on my own, but I saw him hulking around last week because he’s apparently come into some money and is “sprucing up the properties.” Mm. Watch the rent go up, but anyway. I come flying out of the house and he’s like, “Oh Erin I’m glad you’re home—” and I cut him off and start firing off questions to him about the new neighbors because as I mentioned earlier, I am actually losing sleep over this situation and am so stressed out trying to help them get everything in order, these poor sweet people!!! UGH. Also, LOL I had no idea this guy even knew my name / who I am because Henry does all the dealings with him because he’s afraid I’ll lose my temper and get us evicted, but whatever. The whole point of this is that I got stuck talking to the dude for over 30 minutes and there were two occasions when he said really terrible things but I was too stunned by anger to open my mouth and speak up and have been dwelling on this for a week now and I really hate myself:

    • 1. He said that he gave the neighbor, Tamanna, a nickname. I’m thinking that it’s going to be something based on her personality or something related to the fact that she bakes a mean loaf of bread (Mean Loaf, maybe?) but NO. It’s TAMMY. “I told her that when you come to America, you can’t expect Americans to assimilate to YOU. We shouldn’t have to struggle to learn a long or difficult name. So – Tammy!” WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK ARE YOU KIDDING ME. Watch me NEVER call her Tammy. Watch me call her by her actual, beautiful name because fuck America, for real. OMG. FURTHERMORE HIS WIFE IS LITERALLY FROM CHINA. WHY IS HE LIKE THIS. HE DIDN’T CHANGE HER NAME TO MARY.
    • 2. Apparently, another Afghan (OH I’M SORRY, “AFGHANI” – because they’re objects, might as well call his wife ORIENTAL while we’re at, JESUS CHRIST) family was renting one of his other properties and don’t you know that when they moved out, they left it cleaner than it was when he bought it? AND HE BOUGHT IT FROM SOMEONE WITH OCD. Um, OK. Great story. But wait, he’s not done. “And it’s just crazy to think about it you know, since they came here after, what, living in a hut with dirt floors? But I guess they did what they could to keep the dirt floors clean too, probably.”  Yeah. I needed to swish my skull with acid after that chat.

3. Chooch had me read some of his draft college essays and….Jesus. Thank god this kid is such a math and computer whiz because….just because. The one essay had something to do with, I can’t remember, it doesn’t matter. But it began with something about how before he started high school, he never thought about computer science, he never thought about anything. HE. NEVER. THOUGHT. ABOUT. ANYTHING. This was in an essay. An essay that COLLEGES ARE GOING TO READ and be like, “Well, we don’t want someone who doesn’t think. Next.” I knew what he was trying to say, that he never thought about any future career path at that point because he goes on to talk about a class he took in 9th grade that shifted everything for him, so he was on the right track but OMG I’m not rewriting his essays for him, don’t get it twisted, but I am certainly pointing things out and saying, “Let’s uh, rethink this sentence here, shall we?”

Then there was one about his time in Mexico. “Really? You had ‘though-provoking discussions about socio-political issues’?” I screamed incredulously.

“Yeah,” he said. And then, “Well, I didn’t. But Julian [his roommate] did. And I was there. So.”

Then in the same essay he mentioned going to a playground and playing soccer with a group of younger boys who only spoke Spanish and there was a broken slide there. “What’s the point of mentioning the broken slide? Did you fix it for them or something?” and he goes, “No….but do you think I should say that??”

OMG.

He also used “tantalizing” in one of them and I made him change it so fast before my body cringed so hard that it caved in on itself. “You didn’t use ‘scintillating’ in here anywhere, too, did you?” I asked, feeling fully assaulted. Ugh.

4. We were over the neighbors’ one night last week and, please remember that we are either sitting there in silence smiling at our hands as they rest in our laps or we’re struggling to use Google Translate in Conversation mode. It’s…so difficult but worth it when we’re able to establish a groove. This is usually only when the 13-year-old boy is around though because what I’m learning, I THINK, is that Turkish is his main language, but Dari is his mom’s main language, so he is better at Google translate than she is since Dari isn’t on there and she has to default to Turkish. If he is across the room, he knows before she even finishes speaking into the phone that it’s going to be wrong, and he’ll cluck his tongue and come over to do it for her. It’s adorable, really. Anyway!! This one particular night, we were sitting there, and the 10-year-old boy came downstairs. He grabbed the remote from the 13yo (we gave them Chooch’s old smart TV because I dunno what this agency is doing – like please give this family some creature comforts, you know? I know a TV isn’t technically a necessity but come on. Anyway! He grabs the remote and changes whatever his brother was watching on YouTube and I wasn’t paying attention until I realized, “Hark! Is that….KOREAN that I hear?” You guys, the way the Korean language makes me feel, it’s inexplicable. I imagine it’s how some people are so drawn to French. Korean is my French, boy. It makes my ear drums and heart feel like they’re wrapped up in the warmest, fluffiest blankest on Christmas Eve. Just so comfortable and familiar. OK, so that happens and then I go, “STRAY KIDS?” and Henry and I exchange a HA! look because STRAY KIDS. The kid looks at me and goes, “Stray Kids.” And I ask, “DO YOU LIKE STRAY KIDS??” and he legit gives me this look like, “Duh, who doesn’t??” so then I showed him videos on my phone from when Henry and I went to see them in 2022! Then I pushed it too far by asking if he also likes NCT. He looked at me blankly so I showed him a picture and he quickly waved them off and said, “No.” Wow, ok, so I have work to do. Challenge accepted. I will mold this child into a NCTzen before you know it, don’t fret.

5. We got a new storm door put on last week after years of not having one because it was like 206 years old and was so broken that Henry eventually just ripped it off like A MAD MAN. It will be nice in the spring and summer to keep the door open like old times. I’m hoping that by then, my cats will have adjusted to it because right now, they are living in fear of The Door.

It’s really concerning sometimes how freaking skittish these two are! Well, Drew way more so than Penelope. I think Penelope has already acclimated to it but Drew just stares at it in fear regardless if the main door is open or not. SHE KNOWS THAT THERE IS ANOTHER DOOR BEHIND IT NOW AND SHE DOESN’T LIKE IT.

Well, that’s all for me. I have to go back to watching NCT content on YouTube now while asking Henry, “Is it done yet? Is it done yet?” re: my upgraded Seoul Subway Sign.

Sep 242023
 

You know how sometimes people say, “I could really use a weekend doing nothing”? Anytime I try to be like Those People and “appreciate” do-nothing weekends, I end up writhing in psychological agony on the floor, arm flopped over my forehead, etc etc.

Henry was SICK this weekend, and Chooch was “so tired” on Saturday that both of them basically slept the whole entire day and it was RAINING and COLD almost all weekend too so I couldn’t even occupy myself with copious neighborhood walks.

I mean, sure I could have gone like, to THE STORE or something but ew. Why would I.

Anyway, here are some pictures from my stupid boring weekend:


We bought two cans of this fruit ale at HMart last Monday and finally cracked them open Friday night (Henry was only partially sick at that point I guess). I love this beer! Probably because it tasted mostly like white grapes, almost like if white grape juice was poured in a glass previously filled with beer and the glass wasn’t rinsed out first.

Now we have regrets because this would be so good for the not-Xmas party we’re having but we’ll likely have to go to another Hmart to get more and the closest one is like 4 hours away or something. Fucking stupid ass Pittsburgh.

All Penelope wanted to do was sleep her life away on Saturday too and it was so annoying!!

Literally all I did on Saturday was:

  • Read
  • Return a library book / go for a walk
  • Start to watch a horror movie but paused it on the opening credits and then never returned to it
  • Watched more of season one of The Summer I Turned Pretty because I just binge-read all three books in like 4 days lol.
  • Edited pictures
  • Blogged
  • Designed the invitation to the Not-Xmas party
  • Watched a YouTube video about the downfall of the scene kid era and felt so old and also really sad because I miss those days even though I was already old when it started
  • Complained a lot about being bored and cold
  • Called Henry on the phone to see if he was ever going to wake up and come downstairs
  • Henry eventually came downstairs around 7pm!!!! but I was over it by then.
  • Did the dishes like 4x
  • Did a Paul Eugene Seniors Aerobics workout but thought he kept saying “singers” and I couldn’t understand how this particular workout was designed to help singers specifically get in shape
  • Chooch came downstairs eventually that night and took out the garbage. I asked him if he had mono or something and he just gave me a curt “cool” and went back to his lair wherein he continued to be brooding and mysterious for the rest of the night.
  • Henry went back to bed around 9pm!!!!

I slept on the couch last night because I didn’t want to deal with Sick Henry making sick sounds during the night. I apparently fell asleep to Disney walk-thru videos playing on YouTube and then woke up with Drew laying on me. We made eye contact like “Disney or GTFO?” so I guess me and Drew are going to Disney sometime soon. Who knows.

It was STILL RAINING when I woke up and I was pissed.

Henry was “feeling better” and actually did stuff around the house, little dumb bitch.


Henry: The Summer I Turned Pretty is so stupid.

Also Henry: *folding laundry at the dining room table and craning his neck to watch The Summer I Turned Pretty*

Penelope still wanted to sleep her life away today.

Chooch started his new job at Chipotle! As usual, he picked a location that is inconvenient, of course he did.

Also today:

  • I went on ONE WALK in the drizzle.
  • Henry and I went to one of the Asian markets to get some dry goods for the Not-Xmas party and things he needed to make a batch of vegan kimchi (Henry actually makes pretty good kimchi but it obviously is not authentic!)
  • I read some more. I’m reading two books currently and I sincerely hate one of them and should probably just DNF it, in fact yeah – consider it DNFd. Life is too short to waste time on shit you don’t vibe with!!
  • I got my absolute favorite KitKat flavor at the Asian market. It’s like, a wheat biscuit / digestive type center, and some type of cinnamon-y white chocolate coating. I first had it about 4 years ago and anytime I see it at the market, I have to have it regardless of the RIDIC price.
  • Said “I miss Coaster Crew” a bunch of times while editing pictures.
  • Finished season 1 of The Summer I Turned Pretty and cried like a little punk bitch and then screamed because I got tears in my hair and somehow this was repulsing to me. The show deviates from the book A LOT but I didn’t mind it. Laurel is hands down my favorite and I am Team Conrad for fucking ever. I also scream-laughed at the Jenny Han cameo because I have no life.
  • Spent time with my squirrels a lot this weekend too!
  • Had a strong urge to do another gem painting thing but can’t decide what photo I want to use for it!!!!!!
  • Watched two videos on “The VMAs from <insert year> were chaotic” on YouTube., specifically 1995 and 1997. I only vaguely remembered some of ’95 and none of ’97 because I think I didn’t care at that point of my life, but watching both of these recaps made me remember how much I hated Tabitha Soren. She was seriously awful at her job. Then Janna texted me and said Kurt Loder is 78 and the weird thing is that not too long ago at work, Nate Jabbered me about the same thing??!! Kurt my dude, have your ears been burning.

Ok I guess that’s a wrap. My big takeaway from this weekend is that I am truly not good at entertaining myself and being chill. Literally so fucking bored.

Sep 212023
 

All I’ve been doing is frantically trying to preserve my vacation memories on here, but there is daily life crap that I want to also preserve because you know me and my memories, PICTURE THIS BLOG AS A CANNING FACTORY FOR MEMORY PRESERVES.

Now “preserves” doesn’t sound right to me.

I think I mentioned last week that Chooch and I were demo’ing three rackets from Tennis Warehouse. Let me back up: when Chooch came home one day in June and said, “Hi, I play tennis now,” we weren’t about to run out and get him some great racket, you know? Henry took him to Dick’s and he got some $30 or $40 Head racket, which is fine for a true beginner. And then when I decided on a whim to also get a racket and see if tennis was still my thing, I bought an EVEN CHEAPER racket.

Turns out, I haven’t lost all of my skill and the rust flaked off me (that was gross, I do apologize) much faster than I imagined. And Chooch, which still a beginner, has shown that he has a natural ability for tennis! Plus, neither of us got tired of it all summer and were playing like fucking maniacs. Which meant we outgrew our rackets VERY QUICKLY. I was getting frustrated because I wasn’t able to fucking WHALE the ball back with as much power as I knew I had in me, and my serves were gross.

Henry kept frowning every time we complained because I think he thought we just wanted better rackets for a status thing. But then my brother told us about the demo program. I was lowkey worried that even with a better racket, my game wouldn’t elevate. But holy shit guys, the moment I had a real racket in my hands again, it was like Erin v.1995 was BACK. Chooch was playing a lot better too and that was all the confirmation we needed to know that an investment needed to be made.

We sadly sent the rackets back yesterday BUT we bought the two that we each had imprinted on. I went with my old fall-back of Prince: once a Prince girly, always a Prince girly. Chooch went with a Babolat and it is truly eye candy. At first, Henry wasn’t on board with spending this amount of cash on rackets and told Chooch that if he wanted the Babolat, he better get a jobolat (joke’s on Henry because while we were in Chicago, Chooch was back in Pgh making moves and landed himself a job at Chipotle in the Strip lol). But I talked Henry into it because Chooch really wants to play tennis on the school team in the spring.

Anyway, last night, Chooch went to the gym so Henry went to the courts with me. My “home court” is about 20 minutes away and it pisses Henry and Chooch off so much because our ACTUAL home court is a three-minute drive from our house, in our neighborhood. I can’t help it though, I just really like Settler’s Cabin and how secluded the courts are, all nestled back by the woods. So, Henry went into coach-mode and fed me balls from across the court so I could work on my forehand and backhand, and even though I was back to playing with my fucking Barbie paddle.

This is a shit-ton of words to say that I am starting to feel like I still “GOT IT” when it comes to tennis and that maybe, MAYBE, I might want to join a league or something. MAYBE. I just know that I am having the best time (except for when I’m not i.e. when CHOOCH is being a shit) out on the court again and I feel so excited every time 5:30 rolls around and I get to log off and go play.

Plus? Wow, what a goddamn stress reliever.

In other news:

  • I made Henry go see the Kang Daniel tour documentary with me a few weeks ago and it was so much fun to relive that concert! At the end, they showed all of the pictures that were taken of Kang Daniel on stage with the crowd behind him from each city, and you could totally see Henry in the Toronto one. I told Nate and he said that Henry officially needs his own IMDB page now haha.

(IT LOOKS LIKE HE’S SLEEPING, BUT HE WAS AWAKE FOR THE WHOLE THING AND NEVER EVEN LOOKED AT HIS PHONE EVEN THOUGH WE WERE THE ONLY PEOPLE IN THE THEATER.)

  • Girl Buddy, drinking some fresh water, gotta stay hydrated, etc. I was REALLY pissed because Chooch’s only task while Henry and I were gone over the weekend was to feed the squirrels. He claims he did but I know he half-assed it because on Tuesday, Girl Buddy came straight-up galloping over to me to get a peanut, and she looked fully famished. I was so pissed. He knows I love those squirrels more than I love him, and he is clearly just jealous.

  • When we came home from – where the fuck were we Labor Day weekend?? there was action going on outside of our house. COPS were skulking around the area, walking around the church parking lot, clearly looking for someone. I was getting really agitated about this because:
    • hate me some cops
    • they were talking to my neighbors down the street (all men, FYI) about what was going on and even though I kept coming outside, that courtesy was not extended to me. So, I guess I didn’t have a right to know if I should feel unsafe, etc. Perf! Great job, pigs.

Anyway, a few hours later, I looked outside and two cops cars were pulled up along the sidewalk across from my house and down a little, and they had a young black kid CUFFED. I was like, “Oh hell, not on my watch” so I ran out to the porch to supervise. I DON’T TRUST THESE PIGS. Henry was getting really antsy and kept telling me to come back in but I had my phone held out and ready to record in case it started to get SHOOTY. They eventually uncuffed the kid and he jogged back up to where his friend was waiting for him. “It’s because we’re BLACK!” he shouted to his friend, and I said REALLY LOUDLY, “Yeah, it is AND THAT’S FUCKED UP!!!!” directed toward the cops. So then, GET THIS!!! One of the cops plopped his lazy ass into his pig-carriage, drove 5 yards (I don’t know yardage but it was like basically just driving across the street), PARKED IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE, and got out. I kept standing on my porch with my arms cross and he goes, GET THIS, “Hello.” Pig, watch your filthy-ass mouth, do not DARE speak directly at me. So, you know what I said back?? “JUST MAKING SURE YOU DON’T SHOOT ANY BLACK KIDS ON MY STREET.” I could hear Henry physically crumbling on the couch behind me. “Have a nice day,” the cop said, AND THEN STRODE DOWN THE SIDEWALK ALL CASUAL-LIKE WITH HIS HANDS CLASPED BEHIND HIS BACK. Bitch fuck you and your nice day. I don’t need your toxic masculinity-coated permission to have a nice fucking day. I’ll have a nice fucking day if I want to!! Later, Henry and I went for a walk and I was still popping off about this. I just really have a huge issue with authority. Obviously.

  • Dude you guys, we haven’t used the game room all summer! I mean, mostly because it was hot up there and also because we weren’t home very often. But yo, I’m trying to have some fall gatherings up in that neon bitch. Are you in or are you out. Probably not in October because I’ll be haunted housing, but definitely November. Pizza party or GTFO??

Oh shit, I gotta go – one of the coaster YouTubers from our trip just posted his vlog for the next park that I have scheduled to blog about!! I have to go and make sure I’m not in it. Ugh.

Jul 252023
 

I’m not tryna brag or anything but Chooch and I just came home from one of my best trips to the tennis courts yet. I am finally starting to get the power back in my forehands and Chooch was actually playing seriously and not acting like he was twirling around in a baseball field which is what he was doing the first half of our court time on Sunday. I felt really good about rallies!

Then some family of four took the court behind us and whipped out their pickleball gear. That was….something else. The sounds were v. distracting. The guys playing on the court next to us were there the very first two times we came out to these courts so that felt special. I wonder if they recognized us and saw our improvements?!?! One of them sounds like EXACTLY like Bill Hader to the point where I kept feeling surprised every time I looked over and saw it wasn’t actually him.

Anyway, I felt really good out there tonight! I mean, I still feel like an almost-44-year-old bitch getting the run-around from her 17-year-old son, but still! I think I’m in OK shape for old lady

In other news:

  • someone from own goddamn department at work called me KELLY in an email today and I about skyrocketed through the roof. Seriously. So fucking pissed off. And they didn’t even catch themselves and apologize, either. Dead to me.
  • this fan-made video for “Like We Just Met” is so pure. I am definitely getting an NCT Dream tattoo if I can ever find someone in this shitty city that does the style I want…

  • ….or I can just wait until we go back to Seoul, which might be sooner than I thought because HENRY AND I MUTUALLY DECIDED TO GET MARRIED THERE. It just makes sense. I know I have posted about my imaginary never-wedding over the years but now that it’s a reality, I just can’t picture it, you guys. Not that I would have ever thought I’d go the traditional route, but I can’t even imagine anything out-of-the-box. Trying so hard to get Janna to go with us!! I might start selling Henry’s plasma and put the proceeds into a Ship Janna to Korea fund.
  • I feel like there was something else I was bargaining Henry’s plasma for recently….
  • One week and one day until we go on vacation! I’m fucking stressed about it, which is how I know I have SOME amount of “adult” in me. But I’m mostly excited and I hope it goes as planned! I don’t take anything for granted these days. I’m going to try to micro-blog while we’re away, and maybe even live-blog a time or two!
  • I think I finally found an eye doctor that I like!!! I had my first appointment with her yesterday after work and she was awesome and actually listened to my concerns about depth perception (Chooch thinks it’s just an excuse when we’re playing tennis but I fucking swear to god, I cannot tell where the ball is sometimes!!). Anyway, that was the first time I had the dilation thing in quite some time and wow, get your eyes dilated and then come to my house. That’s all I’m saying. It felt like I was on psychedelics.
  • My birthday is Sunday! I think all I want to do is maybe go to Apteka and then Butterwood for cake? Usually, I try to go away for my bday but I think I can count our upcoming trip as a semi-bday thing.
  • Speaking of playing tennis on Sunday, we were the only people there and the real Erin McEnroe came out in FULL FORCE. Finally, freedom to fly the FUCCCCCCCCCKS!!!!! and just generally scream and throw tantrums. Apologies though to the man and his two dogs who were walking past at one point and jumped in fear at one of my banshee shrieks. Chooch was like, “OMG calm down!!” but yo, this was teenage Erin being frustrated at the tennis club coming to visit. It felt good but also scary, lol. I was a monster back then. JUST back then. Not now. Certainly not. No. I’m a fucking patient angel baby.

OK, I think that’s it for now. I have to go back to doing last minute planning for our vacation, which is either going to be a mess or a hot mess. Only time will tell!

Jul 072023
 

Here’s a round-up of June leftovers and whatever else from the desk of Erin R. Kelly, Unorganized Blogger.

1. Tennis

You guys, I am having the BEST TIME revisiting my old tennis days. I was so worried that picking up a racket after all this time (since the late 90s!) would have me being absolutely frustrated and a hot mess. Granted, I’m not saying I’m NOT a hot mess, but instead of being frustrating, I just feel so totally motivated to keep at it. My backhand slice is still marginally there! My serve is rusty AF but, as a wise old man named Henry once whispered down the mountainside: “If you practice, you will get better.”

Wow, thanks.

Chooch and I hit on the 4th of July and we actually had some great rallies going on! I’m really proud of him because he seems to genuinely like this and even joined a tennis clinic Monday night, where the instructor quickly realized, “Oh, you know what you’re doing” and gave him a better player to hit with. Chooch also learned proper serving techniques, which he used against me on Tuesday and I was impressed. You guys now I’m hypercritical of everyone and super competitive so for me to honestly say that I think he is doing great REALLY SAYS SOMETHING.

Then I found out that he originally had texted my brother the night before to see if he wanted to play on the 4th but Corey couldn’t. “Wow, so I’m an afterthought??” I cried.

“No!” Chooch said defensively. “I just didn’t think you’d want to play!”

Boy, your mother is always ready to play.

OK that sounded sleazy.

But you know what I mean!

I told him to text Corey and said, “That’s OK. I found a more challenging opponent anyway – your sister” but Chooch said he wasn’t trying to ignite any sort of sibling rivalry.

Obviously, I’m not trying to play competitively (YET, MOTHERFUCKERS) but I am fully onboard with doing all I can to get GOOD again. Mostly so that Chooch, once he surpasses me in skill which I’m sure will be coming soon, will want to keep playing against me because this is fun, you guys.

Last night after work, Henry and I went to one of the courts that has a tennis wall and I hit aggressively for a full hour. I was a sweaty monster mess but it was amazing and I honestly forgot how much I used to love this game until…I stopped loving this game.

Anyway, the picture up there is my Aunt Sharon and me – I think in Portugal – and I’m wearing my Glen Creek tennis shirt! That’s the club where I was a member back when my family was rich and we could do things like be members of tennis clubs. Sorry, Chooch. Public city courts for you or GTFO!

2. Name That Tune

2 weeks ago, Henry and I joined Megan and Eric at East End Brewing for Name that Tune. If you’re a veteran OHE reader going back to even my vagynafondue LJ days, you might remember East End as being the brewery that I totally lambasted in my review of a vegetarian dinner event that I attended in 2007 with Kara and Janna, and then the proprietor saw the HORRIBLE things I wrote but thought it was funny and asked to include it in their newsletter?!!? Honestly, I might have hated all beer without prejudice back then but that guy was an exceptional character and I have only had good things to say about that place since. (I mean, I did specify in that blog post that I was very much anti-beer.)

Anyway, I was very stressed out because for as competitive as I am, when playing games in public, I am known to choke and/or become obnoxious, or both.

Well, I’ll just cut to the chase and tell you that WE WON, BITCHES. And if I remember correctly, by a fairly sizeable chunk to boot.

Winners ^^^ ALSO, MEGAN IS PRETTY and PHOTOGENIC. I look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame every time a camera lens is pointed my way.

GREAT ANGLE, ERIN.

Anyway,  these are the things that happened during the contest that I am still thinking about because I get traumatized easily:

  • Me almost not being able to remember Diana Ross’s name when no one else on my team knew it was her AND THEY WERE COUNTING ON ME. Don’t worry, your girl pulled through but this is what I mean about my propensity for choking.
  • Megan wanting to use our initials for our team name but being sad because they spell anything and I was like, “Um, hello, HEME??” and then I explained it to her but her response was to google “music trivia team names” and she chose It was the Busta Rhymes It was the Worsta Rhymes.
  • One of the rounds was “artist names that rhyme” so of course right off the bat, Lynyrd Skynrd was an answer. But Henry finally came in clutch by identifying the first and only one that the rest didn’t know – Scritti Politti. I knew the song but couldn’t think of the band name! Anyway, Henry, now with the glaze of nostalgia on his eyeballs, started to say something about “some kid” he knew when he was “in the service” and I was like, “ok thanks for the answer but no one asked for the backstory now kindly fuck off and get me a new beer that I probably will hate.”
  • In the same round, there was this one song that made all of us look at each other with a stumped expression,  Literally NEVER heard this song before, but I was like, “Huh, that kind of sounds like Jack Black’s band, FUCK what was their name??” and then none of us could think but then Eric stage-whispered, “Oh! Tenacious D.” But I was like, “Shit it can’t be that because it doesn’t rhyme, oh well.” YOU GUYS WHY ARE WE SO DUMB, IT ENDED UP BEING PEACHES BY FUCKING JACK BLACK!!! It didn’t occur to me that it could be him because I was fixated on “band names” only. JACK BLACK. Ugh, the amount of times I said his name too. I am fucking haunted by this. Of course it didn’t matter because we were so far in the lead but STILL.
  • Another category was “solo artists that started out in a band” and the last song had everyone in the room looking confused, but I said, “Oh!” and wrote down Bjork. “What group was she in??” Eric asked and I was like SUGARCUBES, DUH.
  • Megan might have been the only person in the room who knew that one of the songs from the “TV Themes” category was from Big Little Lies. I was IMPRESSED. I was also bummed that Twin Peaks wasn’t one of them.
  • I was really obnoxious when we won. I know you’re shocked.

3. Sights from the Northside

That day that we went to watch Chooch sail, we left briefly because we both needed to pee bigly. First, we went to Adda but we fucking got there right after some large annoying walking crew and the line was so long with one barista. We ended up leaving before I could get one of these shitty Taylor Swift-inspired drinks, all of which I’m sure were delicious but TAINTED. Sorry, I just really don’t like that broad.

So we left that dump and went to Yinz Coffee which, you know, shitty name, but OK cafe!

First, I had to take a picture of this presh pizza mural:

I got a cactus pear matcha something or other. It was good! I feel like Henry was annoying me there though. Oh I know! When he was coming back from the bathroom (I was already pre-mad at him for going before me when I had to REALLY GO) he stepped on my foot as I was passing him and almost made me trip in front of people and this angered me so much because how can a couple so epically uncoordinated together get married?!?! He’s going to end up making me fall off my hobby horse if that day ever comes!

4. Wild Mouse <3

I loved this Wild Mouse design so much that I had to buy a coffee cup at Cedar Point!!

5. Is It You?

Earlier in the month, I had dinner at Dorothy6 with Megan, Debby and Mar. It was my first time here and even though their menu severely lacks vegetarian options, I loved the aesthetic and our waitress was SO WONDERFUL, just such a friendly personality and was super helpful and patient when I was being The Difficult Veg.

This was under the glass where I was seated, lol.

Those were some fucking good pierogies! Jalapeno! And the beet salad was very refreshing. Overall, even with the lack of options, I enjoyed my meal!

Everyone’s favorite part though was when we were leaving and some old drunk stopped DEAD IN HIS TRACKS, looked me in the eyes, and asked incredulously, “IS IT YOU?”

I played along, sure, why not. “Yes, it’s me. It’s really me,” I said.

Then he asked if he could be my boyfriend and invited me to go “back there” with him.

YOU GUYS, I STILL GOT IT.

Meanwhile HENRY, who was watching from the car because he is my chauffeur, said he “wasn’t concerned.” Perhaps I should give him something to be concerned about!!!!