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Bullet Point Thoughts – Oh Honestly, Erin
Aug 302019
 

I’m always so happy to make it to Friday – doesn’t it feel like a VICTORY? Here are five  things that have happened since last Friday because contrary to popular belief, I actually am back to living  my life in Pittsburgh and not still stuck inside my head with Korea memREEZ. :(

A NEW DESK

I dragged Henry to Ikea on Saturday because I am sick of a lot of things in our house and we are slowly trying to upgrade all our shit so we’ll eventually be living less like college kids and maybe more like whatever comes after millenials. I can’t keep up with the lingo.

The first thing that I was adamant about replacing was our computer desk. LET ME TELL YOU A STORY ABOUT THE COMPUTER DESK.

Henry and I bought it at Ikea (“Someone tell these people there are other furniture places out there”) a long ass time ago, definitely before Chooch was born. I want to say possibly 16 years ago. That’s a long-ass time ago so you would probably agree that it needed replaced by now, but in actuality, it needed replaced the VERY DAY WE GOT IT.

So, this desk was like a big kidney-shaped plastic thing that I chose because, well, it looked cool. But it was always an awkward fit and never had a really good place in the house. But in addition to that, the day we brought it home, Henry had all of the pieces out of the box and was perusing the instructions, when MARCY (RIP sweet evil baby) strutted over, jumped onto the dining room table, against which the top of the new desk was leaning, and with one swift flick of her paw, she knocked the desk-top onto the floor.

No big deal, right? WRONG. The desk, like I mentioned before, was made of that dumb Ikea-plastic and was hollow, and when the desk top fell, it landed on something that BROKE THROUGH IT. So from the very first fucking day we had it, there was a hole in the top.

I lived for over a decade using a computer desk that had a hole in it, and of course it was conveniently placed right in the middle where you would be working the most.

A few years ago, Henry had the bright idea to turn the desk around so that the hole would be in the back, but because of the weird shape of it, it made things even worse and super uncomfortable because now one of the desk legs was right in the center so I would bash my legs off it any time I would move in my chair.

SO MUCH HATE.

Anyway, now we have a basic desk that’s not plastic and also has drawers so I feel like I’m really moving up in life.

Chooch was pissed because Henry put it together without him and he cried, “I wanted to help!” when he burst through the front door upon returning from the Teen Center.

“You did help,” Henry mumbled, “by not being here.”

Wow, sick burn, Handy Hank.

Anyway, the rest of my Saturday was trash because in addition to Ikea, we also went to the mall to buy school clothes and I hate the mall, but that leads me to my next Friday Five….

SEXIST ZUMIEZ

After I threw a silent fit in Express when Henry reminded me that we were there for Chooch (I keep spelling his name as Choco today) and not Erin, we went to Zumiez for more Chooch-appropriate* fare.

*(Although he did latch on to this one dress shirt at Express that was under a sign that said SALE! $19.50 but then rang up as $49.50 and Henry was like NOPE NOPE NOPE not for my 8th grader who still can’t manage to keep everything in his mouth when he eats so Henry tried to dispute it and they were like “OH JUST SELECT SHIRTS ARE ON SALE AND WE DON’T WHICH ONES UNTIL WE RING THEM  UP” ok Express, that’s not nonsensical at all.)

In Zumiez, Chooch gravitated to this windbreaker-type of color-blocked jacket that was actually pretty cool and I was considering getting it for him when some Zumiez broad came over and gave us her sales spiel followed by, “And just so you know, this is the girls side. The boys stuff is over there” and she pointed to all the ugly stuff.

“Yeah, we know, and we don’t care,” I said, snottily and then decided in that moment that Zumiez would get no business from me if they’re going to deter a boy from wearing pink or whatever.

I was ranting about this to Henry afterward (he wasn’t in the store with us when it happened but it’s not like his presence would have changed the narrative in any way at all, trust), and Mr. Zumiez Apologist donned his White Knight sword, and after clumsily mounting his Man-splainer steed, said, “Well, she probably just said that because girl shirts are cut differ—”

OH WOULD YOU JUST STFU HENRY.

BRUSTER’S BRAIN BUSTERS

Janna wanted to get ice cream so we met her at Bruster’s Sunday night, and it also kind of doubled as a back-to-school celebration for Chooch, who was running around all weekend, excitedly getting his backpack and supplies together and talking about how much he was looking forward to having homework again, and it was disgusting. Just so gross.

Anyway, back to the point. (I’m overcaffeinated and a loop of 2NE1 videos are playing on my TV which is getting me all hyped.) Chooch ordered Purple Dinosaur in a waffle cone, and the scooper-guy was like, “OK, but that’s going to be three scoops…” you know, just being cautionary about it.

Chooch sucked in his breath and said, “Yikes that’s a lot of scoops. OK, I’ll have…..NY Cheesecake in a waffle cone.”

In a waffle cone.

I just stared at him but he never flinched.

And then I waited for the scooper to hand him the waffle cone triple-jammed with NY Cheesecake for it to dawn on Chooch…

“Shit, it’s still three scoops!” he cried in shock.

Well, YEAH, what did you think, Einstein?! It wasn’t the particular FLAVOR that came with three scoops, it was the WAFFLE CONE.

OMG how can someone so smart be so stupid.

“What made you get NY cheesecake?” I asked after we were all settled at a table. (We tried to make Henry sit by himself at a table by a dumpster but he wouldn’t.)

“I was panicked when I had to choose another flavor so I just got this one!” Chooch said with Sadness-Tinged Exasperation, the flavor of the month at the Ordering Remorse Scoop Shop.

“What was Purple Dinosaur, anyway?” Henry asked.

“I don’t know!” Chooch scoffed haughtily in case we needed a reminder that he’s a recently-minted teenager. (OOH ANOTHER FLAVOR!?)

Found out later on Instagram that it’s just PURPLE-DYED VANILLA. Oh, he would have been so pissed if he wound up with triple vanilla.

Then we went to Giant Eagle for some last minute school lunch staples and Chooch was obviously super sugar-rushed after eating all three scoops while complaining about having to eat three scoops (being a kid is so hard) and I was super giddy too just because I almost always am and we caused so many scenes which Henry just loves, let me tell you. When we were in the parking lot leaving, I pointed to some guy who had the misfortune of being in the same aisle as us several times, and I said, “That guy hates us.”

Henry mumbled, “hate you…”

Wow. Ouch.

LAST SUMMER BREAKFAST CLUB OF 2019

Oh, the sadness!

We ended it the way we started it – full circle at Parker’s, our favorite local breakfast joint. I just can’t give this place enough accolades! The owners are so goddamn down to earth and they make you feel special. Luke always remembers stuff about us; gave Chooch dating advise (“just talk to them, don’t date them!” and “tell them you’re well-traveled!”) and both of us complimentary chocolate chip cookies; and told us a little about the bar he’s opening in the old Zippy’s location, which sounds like it’s going to be awesome and finally a decent drinking spot for the people in Brookline who, you know, aren’t white trash.

I almost always get the Little Miss Sunshine bagel sandwich, with sprouts, egg whites, avocado, tomato and mayo – it’s so satisfying! Chooch lately has been opting to build his own but then always remembers the things he wanted to add after the sandwich is already in front of him.

ANYWAY, it’s just a feel-good place, OK? We feel like we’re part of something cool when we go there, but not when Henry is with us. Henry ruins it.

CORGI MAIL

You guys, the most adorable thing happened. Chooch got a thank you card from the neighborhood Corgi, Spencer! We brought him some toys and treats back from Korea because why not, and his owner Bob is just the nicest guy ever, very Mr. Rogers-esque, which makes them kind of like a power duo. And the stamp Spencer used had a metallic orange dragon on it and an Asian temple!

Well, guys. That’s all I got. We leave tomorrow morning for our Kentucky Kingdom / Holiday World road trip so I’m not going to be able to sleep tonight!

Jul 162019
 

All I can think about is the fact that we leave NEXT TUESDAY for our vacation and I am having such a hard time focusing on anything else, including blogging. Also, the last two nights I have had the worst sleeps and I think it’s because I’m so excited/wired/nervous about this trip that my nerves are firing on all cylinders. I can’t wait!!

But in  the meantime, here are some things going on here in Pittsburgh which is not as great as Seoul but it’ll do.

  • I had another meet-up with Jiyong on Saturday, this time at the Cathedral of Learning. I thought it would be a cool locale because it has a bunch of Nationality Rooms (Korea included) and she’s never been there before. I love taking people here (we took Maya and Scott when they were here a few years ago because I love sharing those Harry Potter vibes with my friends!) and I thought it would be cool to do our “studying” there too and I say that loosely because Jiyong is really good at English and needs very little help from me, while I sound like a fucking Hooked on Phonics candidate. She is so patient with me though and gives me tips on how to say things more naturally in spite of what the textbooks teach and I appreciate that greatly! She said I’m doing great but if I’m not mistaken, the tone she used was the same one I used when potty-training Chooch and he shit his pants.
    • She did have to quickly make throat-cutting motions at one point though when I thought I was saying the word “shoe” but my pronunciation was so jacked that it sound more like the word for “fuck” so that was a good learning moment.
    • Meanwhile, Jiyong asked if it was possible to go to the top of the Cathedral and I was like, “YOU BETCHA, I DIDN’T GO TO PITT AND NOT LEARN ALL THE TRICKS OF THE CATHE—-oh shit” because they changed the elevators so now instead of just pushing an up or down arrow, there are there electronic pads where you have to enter the floor number you want and guess what—I didn’t know it! So there was a young guy waiting for an elevator across from us and even though Jiyong was like, “No it’s OK” I was like “I AM GETTING YOU TO THE TOP OF THIS DAMN TOWER” so I asked the guy if it was still accessible and he said he was actually going there so we could hitch a ride with him! Inside the elevator, he asked if we’d ever been to the top before and I said, “Yes, I went to school here back when the elevators were, you know, regular.” He just chuckled and nodded but in his head he was probably like, “Cool story granny.” But success – Jiyong got to look out the windows and thankfully she didn’t ask me questions about the city and the directions of things.

  • I mentioned in an earlier post that Chooch abandoned me on Friday and went camping with the teen center. Well, he apparently didn’t get much sleep because he came home with the worst post-camping attitude ever and we started fighting immediately which pissed me off because it’s EXACTLY what Henry predicted and I hate when he’s right! Anyway, Chooch passed out super early that evening and then was back to his old, affectionate self the next morning. (I mean…)

  • Rare picture of the cats interacting. My mom is going to be watching them for us while we’re gone and I’m really relieved about that because they are super sensitive and I think it will help them to have someone actually hanging out with them and not just coming over to feed them, but that’s a lot to ask of someone to be honest. Luckily, my mom is a super-animal person and I think she is also looking forward to watching our Netflix which is fine by me – I just hope she doesn’t start any While You Were Out home improvement projects like she did one time when Henry and I were away for a few days a long time ago, but then she never came back to finish! Haha. I had to warn her not to park in the driveway for any extended amount of time, lest she start the War of Pioneer Avenue with our neighbor who apparently owns the driveway which is news to me because I HAVE LIVED THERE THE LONGEST but whatever, I’m not bitter about that or anyth—GIVEMEBACKMYTHRONE.
  • You guys know how I always joke that I have a Mexican taco cart boyfriend in the neighborhood? Well in all seriousness, he genuinely is someone that Chooch and I say hello to every time we walk past the Mexican market down the street because he is out there 99% of the time, griddlin’ up some tacos for all the locals and hipsters who come from 10 towns over because tacos are on trend. Anyway, HE HAS NOT BEEN THERE IN TWO WEEKS and I’m not trying to be in poor taste here, I am genuinely concerned for him what with the way our piece of shit government is handling migrants. Henry said he could very well have gone back on his own because his visa expired but I just feel so concerned. :( Henry said he should be fine if he has a sponsor and I was like “if he doesn’t, can I be his sponsor?” And Henry was like “Um you have to own a business that employs him” SO THEN HE CAN MAKE MY SERIAL KILLER CARDS! Problem solved!
    • ICE can go fuck themselves. How do they sleep at night!?
  • The firm I work for is finally loosening up a little and adopting a “dress for your day” policy where we can wear “smart” (lol) jeans and office-appropriate shirts and shoes if we’re not going to be interacting with clients or outsiders or whatever and for most of the people in my department that means EVERYDAY can potentially be jeans day. It started today so I happily wore jeans but as soon as I got inside the office, Marlene blew her imaginary whistle and yelled at me for wearing tennis shoes. “Marlene, I just got in! I will change them at my desk!” I cried. Jesus! Then I noticed that neither she nor Carrie were wearing jeans. Then I continued down the hall and checked Margie and Lauren – ALSO NOT WEARING JEANS. But then I got to Glenn and I knew he wouldn’t let me down – totally wearing jeans and not giving a shit about it. WHEW. Turns out, there were very few of us who actually took up the new sparkly offer to wear jeans, which is weird because I thought everyone liked wearing jeans to work!? Later that afternoon, I was walking past Sue’s office when she called me in to excitedly talk to me about how I leave next week and she said she was really stoked to hear all about G-Dragon’s pension, etc. So then I was walking back  to my desk and Marlene stopped me. “Was Sue talking to you about your jeans?” she whispered. “No!” I cried. “We were talking about my vacation, god, Marlene!” She like REALLY WANTED me to get in trouble for breaking wardrobe laws today, lol. My jeans were ok! I don’t know if they’d be considered “smart” because they can’t like, call home or order a pizza, but they were clean and not ripped or frayed.
  • I started watching Big Little Lies on Sunday because there were no new episodes of Divorce on and I try to watch at least one American television program at a time so that there’s at least something that regular people can find relatable about me. Anyway, WOW – I just started season two tonight which should tell you a lot about how much I like it because I’m not a big binge-watcher. And I will say that it has really made me appreciate Henry so much more. That Perry motherfucker was driving me crazy in the first few episodes until I finally realized it’s because he reminds me EXACTLY of this guy on the trolley who I refuse to sit with even if the seat next to him is the only empty one because he is so fucking polished and manicured with his tailored suits, perfectly-gelled hair that is for sure cut twice a week, and Italian leather shoes and man purse. I not-so-jokingly call him American Psycho because I’m certain he kills people on weekends. Twice now I’ve heard him making spa treatment appointments during the ride to work!? Anyway, maybe I should change his name to Trolley Perry. This morning I sent Henry a video of me walking behind him out of the T station with no caption and Henry immediately asked, “American Psycho?” But really, who’s the psycho now, amirite.
  • FOUR MORE WORK DAYS LEFT BEFORE WE LEAVE!!

I think that’s all for now. I started doing Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution again and tonight I made it to Level 12, the final level, and I am FUCKING BEAT. That series is no joke but so worth it. I never would have been able to do this a few years ago!

Jul 052019
 

My job gave all of the US offices the day off today and even though I am uncomfortable celebrating anything related to glorifying this strange and backward country right now, I am still happy to not have to go to work after volunteering to work yesterday’s holiday shift which exploded on me right out of the gates and I was pretty surly about that. So anyway, my point is, you would think that today’s Friday Five might actually be a good one since I’m home all day to write it but you better tuck that sentiment back into your pocket next to the Tic Tacs, Tammy Faye Bakker obituary, and severed toe because I am still just as disjointed and typo-prone as always!

  1. WET SIDEWALK

Hoo boy, last Tuesday I was in a real mood. I was power-walking some of the steam off around town on my lunch break and had just finished ranting to Henry about the people who won’t be invited to my G-Dragon Party (I never graduated middle-school, you know that, right?) when I had to pop into the post office to mail some orders because this is my everyday routine which is fine, I clearly live for going to the post office. There are three different ones around town that I split my services among because god forbid I should become a regular and they all have annoying things about them so better to be annoyed about different things than the same one over and over I guess.

On this particular day, I went to the one on the Northside which is annoying because the postal clerks sit behind protective glass and I can never tell which one is occupied or when it’s OK to come forth. And they are always super put out to have to do work but that’s fine, at least they’re speedy and all understand what a scan sheet* is.

*(The amount of postal clerks who scrunch up their noses when I hand them a scan sheet, say, “Yeah, this doesn’t scan for me” and then scan ALL OF MY ENVELOPES INDIVIDUALLY is….getting better, I’ll be honest, but there are still some stupid asses out there sporting the USPS emblem on their polos!)

I was annoyed right off the bat when I rounded the corner because the sidewalk in front of the post office was being repaved so I had to slalom around a path fashioned from yellow tape and orange cones. but whatever. I walked right past the cement guys and they didn’t say a word to me.

So I did my thing inside the post office and then called Henry back as I was walking out the door (TALKING ON THE PHONE INSIDE STORES, ETC IS RUDE) and thank god because he was able to witness one of the jackass cement guys yell, and I do mean, BELLOW, “DON’T STEP ON THE SIDEWALK!”

I hate being yelled at. I mean, who doesn’t, right? So this, how do you say, SET ME OFF. I stiffened and did this thing that I do where I get super loud and passive aggressive.

“THESE DUMB ASSHOLES LITERALLY JUST TOLD ME NOT TO WALK ON THE WET SIDEWALK LIKE I’M SOME KIND OF AN IDIOT. WHY THE FUCK WOULD I WALK ON A WET SIDEWALK WHEN IT’S CLEARLY BLOCKED OFF AND THEY ARE CURRENTLY LAYING THE CEMENT? WHAT FUCKING ASSHOLES!”

“They’re standing right there, aren’t they,” Henry asked rhetorically, with a sigh.

“MAYBE THAT CAN MANSPLAIN TO ME WHY I SHOULDN’T WALK ON WALK CEMENT,” I continued and Henry was like, “OMG please drop it” and so I walked away but I immediately experienced regret that I didn’t go back and slam my foot into their precious moist sidewalk but also I didn’t want to get cement on my shoe….

I just hate being yelled at by men. HATE IT. It makes me want to cull forth an army of Diva Cups and go full-blown reverse “Carrie” on them.

Then I started rattling off a list of all the men of AUTHORITY who have yelled at me and when I got to “and that fucking FBI agent,” Henry interrupted and calmly pointed out, ‘Yeah, but you made him flip his car over and nearly die, so…”

“HE DID THAT TO HIMSELF!” I screamed and then circumvented my wind tunnel of WOMAN SCORNED cursing onto our own Henry.

Then I purposely walked back to the post office, nearly causing myself to be late getting back to the office, just so I could take a picture of these douchebag women-haters who probably make their moms cry at the dinner table.

I went back there on Wednesday and there was a steady trail of shoe prints on their beloved sidewalk, and I could tell it was FROM A MAN.

2. MIDSOMMAR

Midsommar movie poster

Photo from A24

Last year’s “Hereditary” was one of the best horror movies I had seen in a really long time, so I have been eagerly anticipating Ari Aster’s second foray into the genre, and ever since I saw the first trailer for “Midsommar,” I was super amped. I love The Wicker Man (the original one from the 70s, bitch plz) and this looked like it hints of those creepy cult pagan themes. Horror movies that could really happen are definitely the scariest, in my opinion.

Chooch had no interest in seeing it so I was going to go by myself, but Henry was all, “OMG LET’S GO TOGETHER” and kept billing it as a date which was creepy in itself but whatever, I let him go with me even though I was like, “You’re just going to fall asleep” and “You’re not going to understand it!”

(Probably his least favorite thing of all the things I say.)

Henry actually did fall asleep but it was just while we were sitting there watching all the pre-previews bullshit and I was reminded of why I hate coming to the big theaters as I drank my $5 bottle of movie theater water and lamented the fact that it was being shown at the quaint, single-screen threater down the street from us which is where I see all of my horror movies, but whatever. It was fine. There were only 2 other couples there so at least I didn’t have to contend with rude movie-goers.

And it was 90 degrees outside so what a great reprieve!

OK, so I’m not wild about reviewing movies but I just want to say that this movie, while perhaps not EXCEEDING my expectations, at least lived up to the hype. To be able to take a movie that is filmed literally entirely in bright daylight and make me feel cold with dread, you are a master. And Ari Aster is just that – he juxtaposed blinding sunlight in a beautiful Swedish meadow with what could be deemed as gratuitous gore if done by anyone else, but in Ari’s hands, it was cinematic perfection and it added to the story. It wasn’t gore for the sake of shock value. It was more like, “Here is this thing that just happened and just so you know, this is what a person’s body would look like after that. Oh, and aren’t these flowers fucking beautiful? Sweden, man.”

I can see where the Wicker Man comparisons would arise, but it never felt like it was ripping anything off from that movie. It’s a modern take on ritualistic cult horror with moments of levity, haunting music/singing, and a subtle psychological study of human relationships that goes from a slow-burn into outright chaos.

I watched an interview the other day with Ari Aster where he says that this is more of a movie about a breakup and goddammit, it’s true.

When we were walking back to the car, I felt sick to my stomach and extremely uncomfortable, which was the same way I felt years ago when I watched Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, which is this really haunting Czech surrealist horror movie from 1970 that made me feel like I wanted to peel my skin off and hide in a dark hole somewhere.

The saddest part for me is that also in that same interview, Ari says that he won’t be making another horror movie for quite some time – DISLIKE.

This is definitely not a movie for everyone. If you like Jordan Peele’s take on horror, and if you thought “Hereditary” was a masterpiece that stuck to your brain-ribs like a hearty meal of meatloaf and family dysfunction, then you will likely walk out of the theater feeling satisfyingly disgusted and excited about the growth of a genre.

I’m obsessed and can’t wait for the Midsommar pins to drop.

This picture has nothing to do with anything but perhaps there is a market for pictures of Henry eating bananas because he is SO SUBCONSCIOUSLY SEXUAL ABOUT IT. I have a “Henry’s Sexual Banana Time” jingle that I sing every time he walks out of the kitchen, deep-throating one. 

3. The Rice Krispie Treat

The weather has finally gotten hot and humid here in the ‘Burgh, not that I was excitedly anticipating it (the heat is fine but the humidity can go walk off a cliff with Taylor Swift). One day last week, it was particularly toasty out there so I decided to grab a Rice Krispies Treat from our snack table and take it to my favorite homeless lady. She is always sitting in a wheelchair on Liberty Avenue, usually outside of Images, and she is pretty friendly. She has complimented me on my coats and accessories numerous times over the years so if I have a dollar on me, I always make it a point to seek her out.

I passed Jeannie and Aaron in front of our building and tried to hide the Rice Krispies Treat behind my back, like they would even care if they saw it but I didn’t want to be like, “HELLO THIS IS FOR MY HOMELESS FRIEND” because it would be JUST LIKE Jeannie and Aaron to scrutinize the things I was carrying and then interrogate me about it because they live to make me uncomfortable, I swear to god. (Like, in a teasing sense, because they know how easily agitated and paranoid I can get.)

But I made it past them and my snack-hand went unnoticed.

On this particular day, my homeless friend looked pretty down and was definitely not her animated self. I started to hand her the snack and she waved it off. “Oh honey, I can’t eat that. My stomach hurts so bad, I can barely even keep down this water” and that’s when I realized that she didn’t just look like she was having an off day, she looked pretty sick. Even when I tucked a buck in her collection cup, she barely moved.

Look, my compassion only goes far, so I had NO IDEA WHAT TO DO AT THIS POINT. I nervously told her to take care of herself and then I ran away because I’m terrible when it comes to adversity.

But now, I was stuck carrying a Rice Krispies Treat in 95 degree heat, with no purse to put it in.

“Just throw it away,” Henry said when I frantically called him for advice.

Yes, advice.

This was a SITUATION, OK?

“I can’t throw away a perfectly good Rice Krispies Treat!” I cried, even though at this point, it was getting so soft from the heat that my fingers were starting to sink into it, wrapper and all, like a sweet, sticky cereal quicksand.

Is there porn that has a scene of guys sinking their dicks into a swimming pool-sized pan of Rice Krispies treats? Because there should be.

Henry would watch it.

Anyway, my backup plan was to find another homeless person to treat BUT THERE WAS NO OTHER HOMELESS PERSON ON MY ROUTE, for the first time ever! I guess the heat had them retreating underground, I don’t know, but none of the regulars were out. I did see this one older man sitting on the sidewalk with a service dog but I couldn’t tell if he was homeless and I didn’t want to offend him.

“He might just be a grifter,” was my exact play-by-play commentary to Henry, who, let me tell you, LOVES THESE AFTERNOON PHONE CALLS.

“Isn’t that the same thing as a homeless person?” Henry asked.

“No, I think it’s, like, a guy who ran away from his wife,” I said, giving Henry ideas BUT WAIT HE DOESN’T HAVE A WIFE.

Then all of these sidewalks were closed and I couldn’t go the way I wanted to go and I had to jaywalk, and this RICE KRISPIES TREAT was still in my hand, which was now cramping from holding it, and I cried to Henry, “WHY CAN’T ANYTHING JUST BE NORMAL FOR ME?!”

I ended up leaving it on a bench at the Point, but first I had to be all awkward and “pretend to sit on the bench” for a whopping 2 seconds so it didn’t look like I was just littering, and Henry was like, “I hope someone sees you leaving it there and returns it to you” and let me tell you, I would not have been shocked at all if that happened, because: my life.

4. Dinner with BARB

It’s so difficult to organize group dinners, even for just four people, but the stars aligned and Jupiter was sniffing Uranus at some precise moment, enabling Wendy, Jeannie, Barb and me to convene for dinner Wednesday night. We chose Proper and miraculously got a table after work. Jeannie and I walked over together and had enough time before Barb and Wendy showed up for Jeannie to peer pressure me into ordering some blood orange gin and tonic and I usually steer clear of gin ever since the time Psycho Mike and I took a whole bottle of gin from my Pappap’s basement bar and downed it on a hill in South Park and I SHOCKINGLY got SO SICK. So I usually avoid drinks with gin but Jeannie is convincing so we both ordered one and I was drunk before sipping even a quarter of it so you can imagine how I was feeling after slurping the last few drops.

Meanwhile, Barb had arrived and realized she left her glasses in the car so the waitress was like, “Oh, we have some cheaters behind the bar, BRB” and came back with a Moscow mule for the vision impaired.

Then Barb had to also turn the flashlight on her phone to help her see the menu and Wendy took that as her opportunity to hitch a ride on Barb’s poor eyesight train and get a good view of the menu. I can’t even laugh about it though because my eyesight is pretty terrible too.

Anyway, we had such a nice dinner! Group dinners can usually be chaos, with numerous people vying for a piece of the conversation spotlight, but I think 4 is a good number and we’re a really good mix! I’d like to think that no one walks away feeling left out afterward, and I just wish we could do this more regularly! I barely see Barb anymore and Jeannie is so busy at work that even though I see her everyday, we don’t get to talk very much! I can’t shake Wendy, though. (Just kidding, Wendy! You’re the best!)

Barb dropped me off afterward and it’s a good thing too because I was pretty drunk! I may have walked off the trolley platform if I tried to take the T home. Henry was just like, “WTF, seriously?” when I came into the house and then spent the rest of the night making sure I didn’t fall and hit my head.

Jeannie even texted me the next morning to see if I was hungover. NO, I WAS NOT.

Surprisingly.

Man, I cannot drink liquor anymore!

5. Summer Breakfast Club Week #4!

I love Summer Breakfast Club! Luckily, since I had the day off of work today, we were able to breakfast-it-up this week. I wouldn’t have been able to do it yesterday since I was working. :( Originally, Henry thought he was also going to have today off so Chooch and I had a secret huddle to discuss whether or not we should invite Henry, and if so, if we should go somewhere outside of our walking radius. But then Henry had to work so it was moot.

We were originally going to walk to this diner in Mt. Lebanon, Simone’s, because they have crepes, but Chooch got REALLY BAD SUNBURN on Monday because he’s a moron and did a piss-poor job applying sunscreen at the pool and then NEVER REAPPLIED even though I told him to (I wasn’t with him) and he also completely forgot to put any on his face, so he is a fucking mess right now. He’s finally past the shivers/fever/pain stages, but now he’s advanced to the “does that kid have a skin deformity?” stage of peeling, and it’s especially bad on his face because he had literal blisters so his face is like tri-colored right now. He looks like Freddy Krueger’s half-human son, and decided that he didn’t want to walk all the way to Mt. Lebanon looking like this (hello, teenage vanity) so we kept it local and went to Tom’s Diner which is always fine with me because I have never had a bad meal or service at Tom’s. It’s a classic! And if you go during the day, chances are the same older lady waitress will be there and she kind of reminds me of if Reba McIntyre was from Greece, maybe? I think that is what he accent is?

Then we spent the whole time googling sunburn remedies on our phones which culminated in Chooch insisting that he needs a mortar and pestle so that he can grind Aspirin into a paste and spread it on his skin.

I bet those weirdo Swedish cult members have excellent sunburn remedies.

May 172019
 

It’s Friday, you guys, which means I’m that closer to the next amusement park trip! However you have to get through the work week, amirite?

Anyway, here’s some stuff – well, five to be exact since it’s FRIDAY – that went down this week. Can’t promise it’s going to be exciting or informative, but I’ll throw in some photos that may or may not enhance the narrative.

1. RING THE BELL

Not a shocking secret about me but I live across the street from a church and I don’t ever remember the church bells ever ringing but suddenly, for the last several weeks, the church bells have awoken and are here to fucking announce every goddamn hour of the day from 8am to 9pm and it is fucking obnoxious, this relentless throbbing-tinny hourly countdown. I don’t know if they got a new priest over there who was like “Well shoot y’all this church has got BELLS? Let’s dust those Heaven-horns off!” I’d like for him to dust the NOVELTY off because this shit is wack and after last Sunday, I can’t hear them ding-donging without bracing for a dragon to come forth and torch my town.

I’m going to report this for a noise violation or whatever you call it.

Random picture that Henry found on his phone from the trick eye museum in Korea. 

2. Happy Broken Family

You guys know how Henry’s son Blake and his fam live right next door to us? Well, you can imagine how often Chooch is flitting back and forth between the two houses—he is obsessed with his big brother Blake. Well, yesterday he came back in the house and said, “Something weird happened. The shirtless Italian guy with the dog who lives next to Blake saw me coming out of Blake’s house and said, ‘So is that uh…..um….your….uncle?’ and I said, ‘No, it’s my brother’s house’ and he said, ‘Oh, and your other dad lives next door?’ I said yes, but thought it was weird that he called you my ‘other dad,'” Chooch said to Henry with a shrug.

I thought this was unusual as well, but then Henry said, “He probably thought you were talking about Calvin when you said it was your brother’s house.” Calvin is Blake’s son, Chooch’s nephew. So he thinks Blake is Chooch’s dad! I AM FUCKING DYING AT THE THOUGHT OF THIS, Chooch having “both dads” living right next door to each other!

This morning when I left for work, Calvin was at the window playing with his cars so I was waving to him when I noticed that Italian Guy’s Shirted Brother was outside with the dog, watching me. We waved and said good morning to each other and as soon as I was far enough down the sidewalk, I started laughing all over again because those guys must think , “Wow, those people really get along great for a broken family!”

3. LA ANNUAL STICKING OF LA FINGER

Ugh, why do I put myself through this every year? Oh yeah, for better insurance rates or something, I think? Anyway, my appointment for the wellness screening was at 10:06am on Tuesday, and I had chosen to fast. I was running around the department like a crazy person that morning, crying to everyone who would listen and repeating, “ohmygodohmygodohmygod” over and over. “It’s like Jeffrey Dahmer is running the place,” Glenn said, having already gone up for this screening. “Blood everywhere!” I screamed at him to shut up and I know it was a joke but now I was picturing blood dripping down the windows of the 28th floor and was starting to get that ol’ familiar nervous knee-knocking.

Finally, Amber saw me cowering at my desk when she was en route to her appointment, which was about 40 minutes earlier than mine, and said, “Oh for god’s sake, just go up with me now” YES, LET’S GET THIS OVER WITH.

I was so spastic that I was actually trying to pull the pen out of the lady’s hand while she was using it to point out the spots I needed to fill in on the consent form. Like, I was aware that I was doing it and it was coming across as super rude, but I literally could not let go of the pen. It was so embarrassing. What is wrong with me.

DON’T ANSWER THAT.

First, some broad called me over to weigh me and measure my waist, etc. I was like, “IS THAT AN OK NUMBER??” about my waist size and she said, “Yes, all your numbers are good!” So that made me feel better. Then she was having a coughing fit and trying to talk to me about it but I was like, “Look, this is about me and my numbers,  not your damn windpipe, alright.”

She sent me back to the fake triage area and I was supposed to be the next person to get called back for the actual fingerstick portion of the traveling blood bath, but the next available screener was adamant about taking Amber first even  though Amber tried to defer her spot to me. Turns out,  this was a blessing because the screener I got was A-MAZ-ING. She had two thick bleached strands of hair framing her face, and I could picture her being a total badass in the 70s. She looked at my form and said, “Oh, my birthday is the day after yours! Well, with about a 20 year difference,” she laughed.

“Yeah! Leos are the best!” I exclaimed and we spent nearly the whole time talking about how amazing our zodiac is and I was really on the verge of asking her if she wanted to hang out sometime but thought maybe that would be inappropriate since she was in the process of stroking blood out of the pad of my middle finger.

Guess what you guys?! This was the best screening I’ve had to date.

“All of my numbers are in the ‘desirable’ range!” I bragged to Henry via Kakao.

“That’s good,” he replied and I was annoyed that he didn’t seem more stoked about this. He didn’t even use any emojis!!!

That’s fine, I guess I’ll just take my hotly desired blood elsewhere.

 

4. CHOOCH THE RUTHLESS

Call me old fashioned, but I’m a firm believer in the dying art of sending thank you cards. YES, SOMETIMES I FORGET TO DO THIS MYSELF, because life is a trainwreck sometimes, but I thought it would be nice for Chooch to send Thank Yous to the people who came to his recent birthday dinner in order to teach him some etiquette (meanwhile Henry’s over there desperately trying to teach him to use double negatives).

The thing with Chooch is that he may be naturally brilliant in so many things, but when it comes to shit like correspondence, he has no clue. He will put his own name on the envelopes of cards being given to other people! HE DID THAT TO MY MOTHER’S DAY CARD….

LAST YEAR!

Anyway, I noticed that he was writing all of his messages on the left side of the card, leaving the main side all blank and weird-looking. So I suggested, in a nice, non-pageant-mom-y way, that perhaps he could draw a picture on the sides that he left blank, so they would look less weird. So of course he drew a clown on Haley’s and Wendy’s because they hate clowns (Wendy’s also featured Meghan Trainor) and then for Janna’s, after insulting her on one side, he drew a picture of her mom beating her and this is funny because we have this joke all the back from 2014 where Janna’s mom beat her for using her car when she went to Nemacolin Castle with Corey and me. Her mom originally said she could use the car, but then forgot about it I guess because once we arrived at the castle for the tour, her mom called and was like WHERE IS MY CAR and Janna was like MOM, YOU SAID and Corey and I were AW SHIT, JANNA’S GON’ GET IT! But Janna insisted that everything was fine once she hung up with her mom.

Later that night when we went back to Janna’s to get our cars, Corey joked that if we waited long enough, maybe we would see the silhouette of Janna getting whipped by her mom and Henry to this day still doesn’t think this is a funny story but Corey and I would cry-laugh every time it came up.

Uh, anyway, this card was a nice homage to old times.

5. JANNA’S BIG DEAL BIRTHDAY

I took Janna out to dinner for her birthday on Wednesday. She originally said she wanted to go somewhere with good desserts so I was like, “Maybe something Italian then?” and she was like “I COULD DO ITALIAN” so then I spent ALL THIS TIME on that app that I loathe (#UghYelp) only for her to suggest The Abbey hours later. THE ABBEY IS NOT ITALIAN. But I wasn’t mad though because that let me off the hook of searching for the perfect birthday dinner venue which I am not great at because we all know I’m such a megalomaniac (see above re: LEOS RULE).

Then Janna wanted to sit outside and I was like “Ugh fine it’s your birthday” but I am not a fresco diner! I prefer sitting inside almost always, especially at The Abbey because it’s an old funeral home! Instead, I did what any mature girl would do and pouted and whined about being cold and then said NO FORGET IT every time Janna offered to lend me her sweater. I am a great dinner companion.

I got the vegan mushroom and spinach ravioli and seitan meatballs and I have to say, the ravioli were FANTASTICO but I have had better-prepared seitan in my travels. It was OK – I liked that it was almond-encrusted but it was very tough and even though the almonds tasted good, it made the whole thing extremely dry. Another annoyance was that my salted lemon tart was so fucking small that I actually thought it was a mistake. It was $6!! And the size of a shot glass! I AM A CHEAP PERSON AND ALSO A FOREVER FAT WHO WANTS BIG DESSERTS.

I mean, it tasted wonderful but I WANTED MORE.

Also, it was really hard to cut through the pastry because it was SO SMALL AND DENSE. I was afraid I was going to send it sailing across the patio with one wrong move of the knife.

Janna got food too.

Afterward, she hung out at my hell house for a few hours and Chooch was in rare form, looking for his wallet while in “meth addict” character and I had ONE BEER at dinner so I was like scream-laughing over this, and kpop videos were blasting on the TV, and Janna was yelling, “Come on, Chooch, stop it!” while Henry quietly sat at the computer and it was a total throwback to high school when I used to have friends over and my brothers would be going batshit with butcher knives and the dogs would be barking and my mom would be quietly laying on the couch watching figure skating, blocking us all out, and it was just a flurry of pandemonium, or as we Kellys called it: “a normal night.”

I had one beer at dinner was so CRUNK (yeah I said it) even by the time we got back to my house that my every movement was exaggerated and amplified, and Henry immediately was like, “Wow you had a beer, I can tell. You always get an attitude when you drink a beer.”

A beer.

That’s me!

Anyway, we made Janna sit through a bunch of Kpop stuff and when the NCT127 appearance on James Corden came on, she asked, “Which one is my bias?” and I said, “Well jeez Janna, NONE OF THEM BECAUSE THIS ISN’T BTS!” (I made her choose a BTS bias a few years ago and she chose Taehyung.)

Yep, just a normal night.

May 122019
 

I haven’t felt like blogging lately. But here’s a bullshit bulletpoint cop-out post because it’s a rainy Sunday morning and there’s nothing else to do right now so I remembered this thing exists.

  • Chooch is like falling apart since we began working out in December. He acts like he’s some ancient being with creaky joints and broken parts. He was begging Henry to massage his shoulders the other night and Henry, as usual, was half-assing his end of the request, so Chooch lamented, “I wish you were a massaginist.” So does Henry, but sadly, he never managed to advance past “Mansplainer.”
    • I was telling Henry that I made this joke on Twitter but it bombed as all of my jokes on Twitter do and then I proceeded to explain it to him and he was like, “YES I KNOW, I GET IT, I GOT IT” but I was laughing so hard that hit my hand off the door jamb on the way out of the room. Worth it.
  • My mom took Chooch to see End Game last Saturday so Henry and I thought we would be adorable and go to Millie’s in Market Square since I’m not mad at them anymore after they handled my complaint with grace and a free pint (which I still haven’t claimed and didn’t claim in this day either because we took the trolley and Henry said IT WOULD MELT by the time we got home, OK Big Science Boy). Anyway, I wanted to go specifically because they were doing a fundraiser that weekend and donating a $1 for every scoop of their vegan mint chocolate chip to a Cat Cry Syndrome foundation, and had a third grader with this syndrome design the labels for the pints and everything. I thought that was really sweet, plus I’m always game for vegan ice cream. Henry got their new “Scoop Shop” flavor which was supposed to have the whole sundae fixin’ kit and caboodle in a scoop; however, his (paltry, baby-sized) scoop contained no such add-ins and was basically just plain vanilla and he was so surly about this. WOW I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THAT FEELS. And my vegan scoop was “just OK” and didn’t really taste like the Holy Grail of Dairy Free Scoops like Millie’s and all of their blind followers have been screaming about. I don’t know, I try not to act Miss Manager Hair but man, I am really disappointed in Millie’s lately. Henry is like 100% done with them now but I’m going for the whole “three strikes and you’re getting dragged on social media” tactic. So we’ll see how my next experience is, which might be in two weeks when we have some team members visiting from Chicago.
    • Henry believes that Millie’s has grown too fast and they’re so caught up with their expansion and gaining followers that they’re forgetting to focus on what got them this far: THEIR ONCE-INCREDIBLE ICE CREAM AND SERVICE!!!!
    • Also, their scoops have gotten RILL skimpy lately. We’re fat Americans, remember? ACCOMMODATE US.

(I was a pig and got two scoops which was basically the size-equivalent to one scoop at any other ice cream shop and though the mint chocolate chip wasn’t the GOD’S GIFT that Millie’s and their cult wants the rest of Pittsburgh to believe, that scoop of olive oil next to it was REFRESHING AS FUCK.)

  • Oh my god, I was watching a coaster vlog and one of the guys said he rode Lightning Rod so many times in one day that he STARTED TO COUGH UP BLOOD. I was like GOALS and Henry gave me a disgusted look. He’s just not on my coaster level.
  • I had the most realistic dream that I was dating G-Dragon. It was platinum faux-hawk era GD and he was so fragile that I treated him like glass and protected him from everyone. I was so depressed when I woke up, to texts from my stupid regular-person boyfriend. UGH. MY HEART.

Image result for g dragon gif

  • Hey speaking of Kpop, can I just tell you how fucking sick to death I am of BTS fans? They are making me not like BTS and I don’t want that to happen! But their fans have zero respect and regard and for the rest of the Kpop world and act like there was no one that came before BTS, which is annoying in and of itself but the latest incident that has me rolling my eyes harder than a Catholic virgin being exorcized is that they had the audacity to get mad that there were flyers being passed out at BTS’s concert in LA, promoting an upcoming Korean music festival this summer, which includes a performance from one of the guys from Got7 (Jackson). Cool, right? Now concert attendees will know about another Kpop concert that they may want to attend, because it’s relevant to their interests since, you know, THEY ARE CURRENTLY AT A KPOP CONCERT. Anyway, it turned into a THING and spread like wildfire on Twitter because these fans are petty as fuck and in their warped minds they think they’re “protecting their boys” so they started harrassing Jackson on social media, telling him to “call off” his promoters and accused him of “riding BTS’s coattails.”
    • Um, first of all: This is how concert promotion works BABY GIRLS. Concert venues always have flyers for upcoming shows posted, and there are usually always people handing out event flyers afterward. These kids just don’t get it. They live and breathe for ONE GROUP only and refuse to believe that there any other groups out there worthy of people’s attention and I’m just so fed up with it.
    • And second of all: JACKSON AND NAMJOON (from BTS) are GREAT FRIENDS. So these dumbasses are attacking the personal FRIEND of one of their beloved BTS members. So pathetic. This is why I get lowkey bristled when people only want to talk to me about BTS because I like Kpop so I must only like BTS because the two are mutually exclusive.
    • In fact, we had some developers visiting our department last week. One of them sat with me and watched me work, which was SO MUCH FUN NO IT WASN’T, I’M KIDDING. Amber said that the managers and directors went out for drinks with them on their last day and they were telling the guy who sat with me that I really like Korea and Kpop and he told them that when he was in NYC a few weeks ago for some conference, it was nuts because BTS was there performing on Good Morning America. I said, “No, it wasn’t BTS. It was NCT127” and Amber was like, “No, he said it was BTS.” I DON’T CARE WHAT HE SAID IT WAS NCT127, BTS WAS BACK IN KOREA AT THAT TIME I THINK I WOULD KNOW!!! Ugh. America can’t handle knowing more than one Asian music group at a time.
  • Now that I’m on an unpopular opinion roll, can I also just say THAT I HATE JON SNOW, ALL THE EARLY SCENES OF HIM AT THE WALL HAD ME SNOOZIN’, I HAVE NEVER THOUGHT HE WAS GREAT, HE WAS JUST SULKS AROUND DOING NOTHING BUT THEN HE GETS LAUDED AT THE END, AND I DON’T CARE IF HE DIES. Aside from the shit-writing and direction of this season’s Game of Thrones, I still really love this show and am sad it’s ending but I only care about the wolves and dragons, really.
  • I changed Drew and Penelope’s names to Jinjoo and Bora. I think they’re taking it to it, but Chooch refuses to accept it. Their full names are Song Jinjoo and Kang Bora. So, remember that if you ever come visit.
  • Chooch must have really been going through something last night because he was begging Henry to be a dad and play catch with him, so finally Henry was like, “OH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, FINE” and then I swear I heard him whisper “Ouch my aching bones” under his breath as he put his shoes on. And then at the same time, I was doing the dishes like we were some vintage American family from Iowa or something, and it was so bizarre.
    • Granted, I was only washing A DISH.
      • I only wash my stuff and leave everyone else’s in the sink haha.
    • When I opened the door to see what Henry and Chooch were doing, Chooch was verbally lambasting Henry for not even trying to catch the ball. So, that’s about right.

OK well, that’s all the time I feel like spending on here. Waiting to see if Chooch has his piano lesson today and then we’re going to get MOTHER’S DAY BIBIMBAP, BOY.

And just because:

Apr 282019
 

Suh, my pallies (whoever is left – I stopped paying people to read this). Here are some recaps of the current work week, because things happened, as they often do in that game called life. Please also enjoy some photos of DOWNTOWN which I took on Friday. It was a gloomy day.

  1. Staff Appreciation Day

Wednesday was Staff Appreciation Day, which meant there was some breakfast thing in the partnership center which I gave no fucks about because I do not like jostling about with plates of food in front of strangers who also work here. However, we did get a nice gift card from the firm so I definitely appreciated that, and Boss Amber signed off on an email to our group by wishing us a happy Staff Appreciation Day. I smartly responded, “If you really appreciated us, you’d write each one of us a poem telling us so!” and then I went about my day because that’s what I do, reply-all with something dumb and then lose myself in some work duty. But Amber rolled out of her Poetry For Dummies class with this creative ode for me!

Rose are red

Violets are blue

Long live k-pop

And G-Dragon, too!

Of course this turned Glenn’s complexion pallid, Cheryl was like “I needed that laugh,” and one of our new team members based in our Chicago office emailed and asked, “Erin, what is G-Dragon?”

Oh Vicki, thank you for opening Pandora’s Box! I AM HAPPY TO PROVIDE ANSWERS! So I shot her off a reply with a quick summary of who GD is, a picture of his Adonis-esque face, and a link to his wiki. Vicki replied and said that her son also loves kpop and all things Korea and is determined to travel there and has a translation app on his phone, and and and…OMG! I was so excited to make this discovery! We don’t know our Chicago counterparts very well since our only form of communication with them is email and the occasional meeting where they call in, and Amber and I have been trying to find ways to bridge the gap, boost morale, etc. Now I finally have a connection with Vicki! I told her that I went to Korea last year and will be going back this summer, so she asked if I mind fielding some questions for her and her son and I was like “NOT AT ALL!” Trust me, at least once an hour I want to blurt out, “When I was in Korea…” but I sit on it because Hello, Annoying. But when someone actually WANTS to talk to me about it? I start salivating harder than I do when eating a pot of kimchi jjigae that’s just come to a rolling boil.

I shared this new discovery with Glenn and Amber and they were like, “OMG wow amazing cool.” They’re just jealous that I’m over here making strides with team building thanks to my copious interests!

(Seriously, when Chris was new in our department, we because work-bffs because we both like weird fruit. Copious and obscure interests can sometimes help in the workplace, you guys. Don’t be boring.)

2. Bring Your Kids to Little Korea Day

In addition to the Staff Appreciation fun, I had another opportunity to gush about my K-interests on Thursday when Missy briefly brought her two young kids and two nieces into the office. They were downtown with her husband for Bring Your Child To Work Day or whatever, which Chooch gets all up-in-arms over every year because we’re technically not supposed to bring kids to work in my department because of confidentiality or whatever and Henry has been driving again at his job so, like, there’s pretty clear liability issues there with stowing your uninsured minor in the passenger seat of a Big Delivery Truck. Missy only had the kids there briefly after lunch and when she was walking them by our desks on the way to her office, the girls shuffled closer to my desk and gaped at all of my childlike things scattered around. “Who’s that?” one of them asked, jabbing a finger at my standing Taemin vinyl. So I got really excited and gushed to them who he is and they looked at me, and then looked back at him, and then looked at me again like they were perhaps trying to assess my age. “But she doesn’t LOOK like a sixteen-year-old…” I imagine is what they were trying to work out in their minds. Missy was like LEAVE MISS ERIN ALONE and corralled them into her office, where her son and daughter promptly counted the pictures of them that Missy has on display and I couldn’t tell which one was upset but one of them definitely realized that there were more pictures of the other so Missy had to, excuse my WORK PUN, resolve a conflict.

A few minutes later, she ushered them out of her office and down the hall, but those girls walked REAL SLOW past my desk and tossed several lingering glances over their shoulders at Taemin. Yeah girls, I get it. I turn around and look at him many times throughout the day, as well.

Poor Missy kept trying to leave but somehow they ended up at my desk again and her son was like WHAT IS THAT and I was like A FIJI MERMAID and one of the nieces was rummaging through my spiderweb bowl of Asian tea and coffee packets and asked WHAT IS THIS and I was like TEA THAT TASTES LIKE FLOWERS because I can’t say the word chrysanthemum and then the daughter was like WHAT ABOUT THIS ONE and I was like THAT IS GREEN TEA LATTE so in the end, the girls each took a packet of instant green tea latte which became a thorn in Missy’s side because they wanted to make it RIGHT NOW and she was like NO WE HAVE TO GO and it was just the most entertaining afternoon I’ve had at work in some time, that’s all.

Hopefully they went home and looked up Taemin.

3. Co-Workers Try the Inkigayo Sandwich!

After telling some of my work buds about the Inkigayo, nay—EASTERgayo, sandwich we had on Easter, Lauren and Margie expressed interest in trying it. Margie especially was like, “No, it doesn’t make sense and I don’t think it could taste good!” so when Henry was making Chooch one for his school lunch (Chooch’s request!), I asked him to make an extra one for me to take to work. He added crab meat to that one, as the supposedly official recipe for it calls for.

(There are TONS of variations out there! One even adds ketchup to it. I have no idea. I’ve never eaten in the Inkigayo cafeteria and likely never will, unless I get a job there, wearing a hair net and making the actual sandwiches. That’s one way to find out!)

Lauren wasn’t in yet, so I took the sandwich over to Glenn and Todd and explained to them what it was. “No thanks,” Glenn said drolly, but Todd, whom I’m sure wasn’t even listening to my explanation, said, “Yeah, I’ll try it.”

Margie cut a piece for a Glenn anyway and told him not to be a baby, so all three of them ate a piece and UNANIMOUSLY said, “Wait…that’s actually good. But, how?!”

I made sure to point out to Glenn that he was eating a sandwich that G-Dragon likes. He seemed thrilled.

Meanwhile, Cheryl was leaning back in her chair and watching us from her open office door.

“Cheryl, come try this!” I called out and I swear to god she was popping a piece in her mouth before I even had a chance to explain what it was, so I just stopped mid-sentence and surmised it with, “It’s a sandwich that kpop idols eat.” Even she liked it!

Todd said he was going to write about it on his blog which would be awesome if he had a blog. And Margie said it’s what her kids would call a “Do-Over” which is what they say when she makes them something new and they like it, they give her their approval and permission to make it again. So I joked that I would send Cheryl the recipe to put on the department Wiki BUT MAYBE I WILL. I mean, Memorial Day is coming up and this sandwich is basically a picnic between bread.

Then Lauren arrived and I watched her eat the piece Margie had pre-cut for her. She said it was it good but then immediately started asking me work questions and I was like, “This is not why I came over here, Lauren.”

Later, Glenn said that Lauren has a seafood allergy and I started panicking but Lauren was like, “Oh my god, I think you would know if I had a food allergy. I mean, I sit next to this thing, after all!” gesturing toward the Pumpkin of International Food Horrors.

“That’s true,” I laughed. “And I mean, some of the things in that pumpkin might actually create allergies.”

She did not disagree.

The last taste-tester was Carrie, but unlike everyone else, she said when she saw the ingredients, she felt it was something she would like. So now I felt extra-pressure watching her chew, because I especially needed her to like it now! Thank god, she did! We agreed that a godo word to describe it is “refreshing” and I’m not trying to be bossy here or anything but I think she should take this recipe to the new restaurant she works at and see if they’ll add it to the menu.

YOU NEVER KNOW. It could be a sandwich sensation with their collegiate clientele.

4. Altrolleyism (see also: Altruism on the Trolley, duh) Begets Soy Karma

When I got on the trolley Thursday morning, it was pretty packed because of the aforementioned Bring Your Kid…blah blah, so instead of walking as far to the back as possible before plopping my ass down like usual, I took an empty seat near the front. Unfortunately, That Annoying Family I Hate slipped onto the same train as me at the last minute and they always sit at the front (which is why I go to the back). There was one empty seat in front of me, so they sat the daughter down there and then both parents were standing in the aisle, smothering me with their HAPPY VALLEY PTA vibes. Just as the dad started to pull out a Berenstein Bears book to read out loud for the whole front of the trolley, I started to get really anxious and wanted to get out of my seat immediately. I didn’t want to look like an asshole though, you know, so I masked my asshole motives by tapping the mom on the arm and saying, “WOULD YOU LIKE TO SIT HERE?” She exclaimed, “Oh my, thank you!” so I mumbled “no problem” and practically barrel-rolled out of the seat and ran to the back where I was rewarded with ONE EMPTY SPOT next to a very quiet, unassuming passenger, and it was far enough back that I couldn’t hear Dad jawwing off about fictional bear families. Meanwhile, I was acutely aware of people smiling at me for my valiant act of altruism and I was like mentally curtsying in my head over this. I LOVE WHEN I LOOK LIKE AN ANGEL.

Meanwhile, the DAD took the seat and the MOM stood the whole time. That family fucking kills me. (For instance, on Friday, the daughter threw a huge tantrum and started shrieking at near dog-whistle levels about how the dad HURT HER FEELINGS and it was such a blatant display of crocodile tears, it made me sick.)

Later that day, I went to Prestogeorge in the Strip because I was in the mood for a cinnamon latte and their lattes are just really comforting to me. (Not their chai lattes though! They make theirs the same way as Starbucks, by using that refrigerated chai concentrate shit and I hate that because it always tastes like spiced water to me – I prefer when places use the chai power. Perhaps I will write a dissertation about this another day because I have feelings.)

Anyway, none of my faves were working that day, so a guy I’ve never seen before named Josh took my order. He was very jovial and I felt confident that this would still be another great Presto experience. (Seriously, this is the kind of the place that pulls you right into ongoing banter between employees–you’ll walk out of there feeling like you’re a regular even if it’s your first time!) I ordered my cinnamon soy latte and I don’t know why I did this because there was no one standing behind me waiting to order, but instead of leaning against the counter like I normally do, I took a step over the side and stood there instead.

Maybe 15 seconds after I moved, Josh extracted the carton of soy milk from the cooler and gave it a hearty side-to-side shake, except that the cap wasn’t on all the way and ribbons of high-speed soy milk arched through the air, hitting the exact spot I was originally standing in. Josh stopped mid-shake and we looked at each other, our mouths and eyes widening in slo-mo, and he sputtered, “OH MY GOD DID THAT HIT YOU?!” I laughed, like REALLY LAUGHED, and said, “No, but I had literally JUST stepped away from that spot!” and then we were both cracking up and he was like, “WOW, SOY MILK REALLY TRAVELS” as one of the other employees came over with a rag, sighing and wiping up the lactose-free lake.

Then the espresso machine was jammed and the same lady who cleaned up the milkfree mess had to come to his aid again.

“This process has just been a failure every step of the way,” Josh sighed, and I started cracking up all over again. I mean, I felt bad for him but he was really taking it in stride and was quick to bandage the situation with humor. That’s my kind of person—I will small-talk my face off with people like that!

Finally, he crossed the latte finish line and as he handed the cup to me, he said, “This latte is cursed. Drink it quickly and dispose of it immediately!”

The latte, cursed or not, was perfectly crafted, in case you were wondering.

As I sipped it on my walk back to the office, I wondered…if I hadn’t given up my seat on the trolley that morning, would the soy milk’s trajectory have been different? Would I have ended up taking it to the face? I think so. I faked my Good Samaritan act well enough that I scored some good karma for Thursday!

Apr 202019
 

Why does winter drag the fuck along like a person with a poorly-fitted prosthetic but then April hits the deck running? This month is more than halfway over and it’s been a blur, and we still have two more weekends that are teed up for some action.

I haven’t had much energy or free time to blog as much as I would like, so I’ve been kind of taking a natural progression of just blogging less each week. To be honest, when I blogged on LiveJournal, I only posted a handful of times each month. I hope that I’ll be able to get back into it mentally, but an increase in stress at my job and also a more rigorous workout schedule that I have been holding myself accountable to has really left me with very little in the tank at the end of the day.

Ugh lifestyle changes, amirite.

Anyway, here are some photos and quick recaps of things that happened this week.

  • The trees all look like this ^^^ for the time being and even cloudy days are that much more happy because of it. It’s also helping me get in the Mood for Easter, which is probably my second favorite holiday after Halloween which makes no sense because I’m not religious and I don’t have a little kid who still believes in the Easter Bunny but I guess it’s because it always arrives on that wave of SPRINGTIME HOPE where we’re all starting to realize that winter hasn’t killed us. Tomorrow is Easter and we don’t have grand plans but I did get an idea of how I want to celebrate so we’ll have to see if that pans out – CHECK BACK. #suspense
  • Speaking of Easter, Marlene came over to my desk yesterday before leaving work and, hesitantly, asked, “OK, curiosity has gotten the best of me. I have to know – how do you celebrate Easter?” She recently learned about our cemetery Christmas picnics and some other things that I always forget aren’t the norm for regular families, so now she’s kind of slowly pulling off my layers, one holiday at a time. I told her my hopeful plans and she was like, “Oh for god’s sake. I love you.” The other day, she overheard me telling Carrie some ofhand remark about how I always thought that my mom’s younger sister was actually my mom and she slowly turned around and said, “OK, I have to know—WHAT are you talking about?!” and then that started a landslide of family history falling out of my mouth and she was like, “You could be a writer for a soap opera.”  I don’t talk much at work these days, but when you get me started, look out. (I used to get called into the office for talking too much back when BARB still worked there, lol. Now I’m like a mute.)

  • In other work news, Sue walked past me one day and chuckled because I was wearing my desk cardigan backward, so that my arms went through the sleeves the opposite way and the back was actually covering my front (JUST IN CASE YOU NEEDED MORE WORDS IN ORDER TO VISUALIZE IT) and I was like, “What? I’m aiming for that Snuggie-feel!” I know a lot of people have this same problem — our office’s thermostat is set to Indoor Winter and it’s a struggle. Now with summer on the way, we’re preparing for the worst of it because as the temperatures outside rise, the temperatures inside turn to REMEMBER JANUARY. Nate will sometimes stealthily do a thermostat-check drive-by and crank it up a few notches when the Hot Ones aren’t around. Anyway, Sue came over to my desk yesterday and said, “Here, I saw this and had to get it for you” and IT IS A SNUGGIE! I’ve never had a real Snuggie before! You guys, it’s wonderful, and you can’t tell from this picture, but it’s actually OMBRE! I sent this picture to Henry and he thought for a second that I was in a hospital gown and got scared, lol. Henry has feelings, too, you guys.

  • Here’s a picture of Chooch, lambasting Henry via speaker because we came back from our evening jog and Henry had left for the store after CHOOCH SPECIFICALLY TOLD HIM to wait because he wanted to go too. Not because he had some secret personal items he needed to procure, but because there’s a fucking geocache in the parking lot of Kuhn’s. I guess we’re back on the geocache kick, sadly. The other day, he shoved his phone in my face and yelled, “THERE ARE SO MANY GEOCACHES IN SEOUL!” Yeah, I’m not spending my birthday trip to Korea searching for geocaches on Naver maps, my friend.

  • Drew is so taken with BTS’s latest comeback* that she has stolen Henry’s bias, Park Jimin. *(This is probably because she’s brainwashed by it since no matter what we’re watching on YouTube, it always automatically goes right back to some BTS performance when the video ends and it’s so fucking annoying. LIKE STOP TRYING TO CONTROL OUR YOUTUBE, ARMY!! I will say though that now that they’re doing their official comeback on all of the Korean music shows, it feels so much more normal to me. Their SNL performance was just…OK…compared to their real Korean stages.)
  • This morning, Henry was cleaning and found some cat pee-stained note that he wrote to me FOUR MTHS INTO our relationship. He was trying to throw it away but I grabbed it and read it dramatically out loud in front of him while he mumbled about it all being lies and he didn’t mean any of the lovey shit he wrote and then when I asked “You’re not going to keep this?” he yelled, “No! It has CAT PEE on it” and by cat pee I think he means “evidence” that he once loved me.

  • Chooch was being pranked Monday night by the Green Man, aka our friend Tommy, and I was going to write an entire post about it because it was so funny but really it just makes me look like a shit mom o hause Chooch got really angry about it at the end even though he was laughing his ass off throughout the rest of it. Basically, Tommy was pretending to be the Green Man and texting him faux-menacing things. Obviously Chooch knew it wasn’t actually the Green Man and actually was positive that it was Janna until Janna finally sent him a picture to prove to him that she wasn’t even home, and then Tommy started actually calling him and talking to him in a creepy growl. Chooch was cracking up and then after Tommy hung up, Chooch called him back and it went to his voicemail, which clearly stated his name, so I was like, “Oh well, the jig’s up, that was fun while it was lasted” BUT CHOOCH TOTALLY DIDN’T NOTICE. He called back like 5 more times and still never caught that Tommy was actually saying his full name in his voicemail message! THAT’S MY GENIUS SON. Anyway, this went on for like an hour, just harmless “I’m watching you” type things and I was like, “I can’t believe he hasn’t accused me of being involved in this yet” especially considering how hard I started laughing from the moment Tommy sent the first text. Henry eventually was like “This is getting old” and went to bed, but I stayed up with Chooch because I had to see this through to the end at this point. Guys, it went on for awhile. I sent Jessy the above photo of Chooch reading the first of the messages to us and Tommy started to saying things like, “I LIKE YOUR UNICORN” or whatever so Chooch was like,  “OK IT HAS TO BE SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN IN OUR HOUSE” but then Tommy started asking me things that Chooch was doing in real time, so I texted that he was chewing on a piece of paper, and when “The Green Man” called Chooch out on that, he got RILL PARANOID, Y’ALL. Never mind the fact that I was sitting right next to him, texting him the whole time, never once considered it was me. So then I made the mistake of suggesting that he was being watched through his iPhone and HE FLIPPED HIS SHIT. That’s the beauty of this wonderful hormonal shit he’s going through — you never which way the wind will blow around him these days. He got a piece of masking tape and put it over the camera on his phone, THREW HIS PHONE ACROSS THE ROOM ONTO THE CHAIR, and frantically said to me, “Forget King’s Island*. Don’t waste money on that. Buy me a new phone instead. I don’t trust Apple. I want a Samsung.” He was REALLY ‘noiding out by now and actually was on the verge of tears, so I had to put a moratorium on the mystery messages immediately. “Chooch, it’s TOMMY,” I said. “TOMMY is pranking you.” There was one, drawn-out moment of silence where we just stared at each other. “You knew?” he whispered, with steely resolve. And then he just snapped and started screaming about how much he hates me and just to clarify, it wasn’t THE GREEN MAN he was afraid of, it was the possibility of some creepy old man watching him through his phone, so OK OK OK, touche dear son! You have a valid point — this is an honest concern in the year 2019 with all this fucked up technology we have. Anyway, he ran off to his room and we went to bed that night hating each other because my natural instinct is to automatically get mad in return when someone is mad at me because I’M A FUCKING PSYCHO LEO, but by the next morning, we were fine and even laughing about it, and Tommy apologized to him too and Chooch said he accepted it, so what a HAPPY VALLEY ENDING. They should make a Family Circus comic about this.
    • *(I’m not “forgetting” King’s Island. WE ARE GOING THERE NEXT SATURDAY FOR HIS FUCKING BIRTHDAY EVEN IF HE HATES ME. We will ride Mystic Timbers hatefully!)

  • This was me ^^^ during the meeting I had to call in for on Thursday when I was working from home, only without the hamburger, although I was pretty much chewing on my fist, so..? It was originally supposed to be a video conference which wouldn’t have been that bad because even on days I work from home, I’m usually presentable because I’m the vainest bitch you’ll ever meet even if it’s not outwardly noticeable at first. But, I didn’t want my messy house to be seen and also, Penelope runs around the house nearly all day screaming at her weird collection of pom poms, so I was pretty excited when Amber decided to nix that idea.
  • I’m just as excited as everyone else that Game of Thrones is back, but even after watching the last episode of the last season and watching an hour-long recap of all of the seasons on YouTube, I still asked, “Wait—who’s that?” every other minute during the Season 8 preview. Why am I such a failure. Also, the people who were shaming people on Twitter for being excited about this can suck a diseased one because if someone’s joy over a TV show is affecting your daily life, then perhaps it’s because you don’t actually HAVE a life. I see a lot of people being excited about a lot of things I’m not into or understand and I just scroll past and literally never think about it again. Social media really gives people major personality disorders, I fucking swear to god. I’m 100% off Facebook, have a reminder set up to let me know when I’ve spent an hour on Instagram so that’s really helped me pare down the amount of time I waste on that app, and Twitter’s next. I don’t think I’ll ever go cold-turkey on those two apps but I definitely want to minimize my time spent there, for sure.
    • On the flipside of this, my unwillingness to be more involved on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter definitely keeps me from expanding my businesses but shit you guys, I just don’t have time to post Stories about the cards I’m working on, or the money to buy followers.

Is this an adequate update on my life? I think so! Hope everyone who celebrates it has a great Easter weekend! And if you don’t celebrate it, I hope you at least get to clean up on discounted Easter candy at the store!

Apr 122019
 

Oh damn, end of the week already. Well, let’s get this Friday Five thang started. I know, I can’t  believe I’m still blogging, either. Stick a fork in it, Erin!

Random “look it’s spring in the city” picture. 

  1. WTF Lunch and Apple Slumming

Typing this takes guts, because I’m about to admit something that goes against my every belief. You guys know that I am an apple snob, a forbidden fruit aficionado, a pomme princess, only permitting those designer hybrids to touch my palate…

…but on Wednesday…

I ATE A BASIC RED DELICIOUS.

Literally, the Walmart brand of apples.

And…it was surprisingly OK! Perhaps I’m becoming less apple hipster-ish now that I’m nearing 40, or maybe Red Delicious apples aren’t as 1950s Housewife Vanilla as I remember, or maybe I was just really hungry because we had a meeting that day and boxed lunches were provided, but us handful of vegetarians got a pretty unusual option. I actually thought the veg box I grabbed was an accident, the one defective box in the bunch, but after talking to Maggie–another meat-free department co-worker–I confirmed that our option was actually intentional. In the year 2019, this catering company couldn’t think of anything better to fulfill a vegetarian order than a sandwich roll loaded with one piece of lettuce, a ziplock bag with two tomato slices, and another (leaking) ziplock filled with some weird marinated cauliflower shit that I think was meant to be put inside the bun?! I ate less than half and threw the rest out because WTF was that.

Maggie said she took the lettuce off, saved the bun, and made a PB&J in her office with it after the meeting. Ugh, maybe I should stock up on some Uncrustables for these situations.

Seeing that I wasn’t eating my sandwich, Todd tried to offer me his apple but he had a GREEN ONE and I was like, “EW TODD ARE YOU KIDDING ME I DON’T EAT GREEN APPLES!” Ugh! Nice try.

So yeah, that Red Delicious that I was given in my lunch box was a welcome source of sustenance at that point! I forgot how OK-tasting those classic fruit-balls really are.

Meanwhile, Lauren was sitting next to me and her choice was like, roast beef or something and that sandwich was fucking LOADED.

I sound like a bitchbaby, but I’m really appreciative that there even WAS an option provided for us veg-lifers, but come on, catering people. It’s 2019! Surely not all of your clientele eats meat. Do better!

2. Still Crying Over Jonghyun

I mentioned earlier this week that it was the late Jonghyun’s birthday.  I wore some of my Jonghyun memorial pins on Monday in his honor and tried hard to just be a nice person to everyone I encountered (with the exception of Henry, haha) all week, even strangers on the street. I even tried real hard not to scowl at the abortion protesters who have set up shop again in front of Planned Parenthood.

I was doing OK until last night. I kept seeing this “Classical Musicians React to Jonghyun” in my YouTube feed but I kept scrolling past because I knew it would upset me. But then after Henry went to bed last night, I ended up putting it on because I’m a glutton, and before I knew it, I was straight sobbing. And not just “fake Instagram crying” but like, full-body weeping, entire face wet, choking on eye-spit, violent nose-blowing, now-my-stomach-hurts C-R-Y-I-N-G. Not only were they saying really complimentary things about Jonghyun as an artist, musician, vocalist, and lyricist, they were genuinely moved and some were visibly overcome with emotion. They talked about how it’s a shame that he left the world so soon, but how lucky we are that he gave us so much of himself.

When Jonghyun died, it hit me harder than when I lost any other celebrity or musician I loved, and it felt even more shocking than when Bowie or Prince died. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I felt very emotionally-connected to this one and it affected me on what feels like an extremely personal and intimate level. Maybe it’s because Kpop idols in general let people into their lives more than most, what with all the fan events, reality shows, and variety appearances they make. It makes it feel like we know them as people, we see their personalities and their know their quirks–granted, I know that a lot of this is for show and they still have their private versions of themselves, but I can’t deny that I feel like I know a lot of these idols on a deeper level than any Western artist, for better or worse.

So, even though it’s been a year and a half since his passing, it still feels so raw. I woke Henry up last night and buried my tear-soaked face into his chest and he just murmured, “Why do you do this to yourself?”

“I feel like my whole entire body is one gigantic heart AND IT’S BROKEN,” I wailed, and then I threw away my sorrow-streaked contacts and passed out.

Anyway, that reaction video was really great and you should watch it.

You should also watch this wonderful live performance of Tell Me What To Do because Jonghyun was still alive then and Taemin is wearing a see-through shirt:

3. Props To My Non-Secret Son Not-Named Clive

I mentioned in another post recently that Chooch was chosen as Student of the Month at the Teen Center and he got to choose the dinner menu (isn’t it awesome that they feed the kids there?!). He asked for tteokbokki but they went above and beyond and planned an entire Korean night! He texted me this picture on Wednesday:

I freaking love the Teen Center, you guys. Almost so much that I’d consider donating household junk to be used for craft projects, or volunteering….Henry.

Additionally, he came home from school today with his A-filled report card! I try not to be that mom who brags about her kid all the time (and trust me, he’s not perfect!) but man, sometimes I feel spoiled because as far as his school-work and grades go, Henry and I are able to be pretty hands-off. He just naturally knows what he needs to do and he gets that shit done on his own, PRAISE BE. Helicopter-parenting is not my style, so thank you Chooch!

Oh wait, one more Chooch update – he’s been binge’ing Jane the Virgin and now he says “Oh my god” exactly like Jane, which is also how my EX-BFF used to say it, so that’s been pretty annoying.

4. Henry’s Fucking Face Instrument

You know those old-timey guys that peddle their music-mobiles down the cobblestone road, tooting all the horns, smashing the cymbals, stroking the washboard, blowing their whistles? It sounds like one of them lives inside Henry’s nose. His nasal bells and whistles get worse with age, I swear. Chooch and I are constantly groaning and complaining about it and then Henry will bark, “FINE I JUST WON’T BREATHE THEN, I GUESS!” and then we’re like, “Yay!” but he always goes on breathing.

At least his beard is growing back so he doesn’t look so much like  a 1950s science teacher now.

5. Current Favorite Kpop Jam!

And no, it’s not the new BTS which just came out today and is good but also kind of underwhelming and features too much English; however, my expectations were pretty low to begin with because it features Halsey and I really don’t like her at all and every time they collab with another American artist, I lose a feather from the Korean wings I made out of the household junk that I could have donated to the Teen Center, BUT maybe I’m maturing and as mentioned above, becoming less hipster-y in my old age, because she actually didn’t bother me! I thought it was well done, and her voice really works well with theirs, and also she didn’t overpower the song or steal any of the limelight like NICKI MINAJ did in the shitty American remix of “Idol,” and it’s weird because I actually like Nicki but she really had no business being on that song at all and added NOTHING to it. In “Boy With Luv,” though, I thought Halsey’s vocals were tasteful and subdued. I approve.

But I digress! My current favorite jam is this real tooth-rotter from a rookie girl group, Everglow. I didn’t pay much attention to it at first but then two of my favorite kpop cardio YouTubers uploaded a routine for it and I was really feeling it.

Then I saw a comment somewhere that said they thought they were saying, “You go to Walmart everyday” and now that’s all I can hear too but it’s still the fucking jam.

OK gotta go, I have two Bon Bon Chocolat workouts with my name on it!

Mar 222019
 

You know what day it is.

  1. UNSOLICITED PRAYERS

I came back from my lunch break walk on Tuesday to the dreaded red light all lit up like a Bad News Beacon on my phone. A VOICEMAIL.

NO!

Turns out though that it was from some place called the Hope Prayer Center or something, and the message was from a very serious sounding woman (a nun, maybe!?!?!) urging me  to call them back with any urgent prayer requests I may have.

Lady, I need all the prayers. Can I have a flight of prayers? One big blanket prayer?

I thought for sure that Glenn had finally mustered up the motivation to get revenge on me for having religious pamphlets sent to his house (Todd tried to stop me but I could barely hear over my internal menacing cackle), but then I found out that a bunch of other people in the department also received a call, so it’s just some robo-call thing going down the line I guess and now I feel way less spiritually-targeted. The fun is gone. I’m not special, as suspected.

2. YEARLY CRACKLE

Once a year, I get a cold that settles in my chest, so that my voice gets all smokey and it sounds like there is a thimble of Rice Krispies chilling in my lungs. I.FUCKING.LOVE.IT.

No, I didn’t use my invisible sarcasm font on that. I legit love that crackly, wet cough so much that I will sit there and force it to happen. There have been times when I have nearly knocked myself out because I breathe in and out so deeply and unnaturally, calling forth that delightful crackle. Henry HATES this time of year. He thinks I’m insane and tries to deter me by googling worst case scenarios so that I’ll suddenly start to fear the crackle (apparently “chest crackle” is an actual thing that people call it so maybe there are others like me out there and  I can find a club to join or something – NOT a support group. I don’t need “help.” I just need some friends who I can loaf around with, reveling in productive coughs and wheezing in each other’s ears with glee, something that Henry shuns me for. Even my own son has disgustedly said, “Could you stop?” when I’m engaging in an evening of wet-wheezing and snap-crackle-pop huffs.

I’ve been like this my whole life! I was even convinced for a while (thanks, Merck Journal) that I was going to develop pleurisy because of my hacking hobby.

My favorite time of the day this week has been 5:35pm, when Henry picks me up from work and I am able to LET IT ALL OUT because I’m no longer in a quiet office. I sharply exhale until I feel like I’m going to crack a rib and then hold up one finger when the chest-crinkle starts. Henry just curls his lip and tells me he hates me.

Sadly though, the crackling is beginning to run its course and I’m afraid it might not even last through the weekend. :(

I think Henry’s breaking point was when I wistfully said that I wish I could see what the crackle looks like when it’s cracklin’.

3. That Time Engagement Letters Were Fun

On Wednesday, we had this lunch & learn thing at work where the department gathers ’round to learn a new thing that’s valuable to their job, etc. The topic for this one was ENGAGEMENT LETTERS so some of the ladies from one of the teams I belong to were on charge of putting together a presentation for this and NOT GON’ LIE I was prepared to snooze my life away because ELs are like the bane of my law firm existence. However, they were prepared for this to possibly be the general consensus, so they planned a game of JEOPARDY and it was so much fun and I actually learned some things which is good since one my jobs involves reviewing eng. letters. Anyway, one of the questions was “Erin wants to renew her employment contract with SHINee. Which type of letter should be used?” AND THEN A PICTURE OF SHINEE APPEARED ON THE POWERPOINT! Carrie told me that they called her into the conference room the day that this was being put together because Wendy couldn’t remember what my favorite Kpop group was so Carrie was like “SHINee” and Wendy was like, “NO THAT IS NOT RIGHT” but Carrie was like, “LOOK I SIT IN FRONT OF HER SO I WOULD KNOW*. THAT’S THE GROUP TAEMIN IS IN” so that’s what they went with and I was absolutely TICKLED.

(Sometimes I get up and thrust my phone at Carrie so she can see whatever Instagram video of Taemin I’m currently squealing over. Perks of sitting in front of me.)

AND MY TEAM WON because of Carrie’s fancy and uber-particular Final Jeopardy answer which included something that even stumped one of the game hosts and made the other host groan because it was A TRUTH that she had forgotten to include, so we got motherfuckin’ bone points, bitches.

Later, Wendy was like, “I THOUGHT YOUR FAVE GROUP WAS SOMETHING DIFFERENT, SHINEE DOES NOT SOUND FAMILIAR” and I was like, “That’s because you don’t look at all the pictures on my desk but keep pretending to my friend, it’s cool” sike I’m not that petty (BUT MAYBE PEEK AT THE ‘GRAM EVERY NOW AND THEN AND YOU’D KNOW!?). Anyway, I did say that BIGBANG is my ult but SHINee is pretty much neck and neck with them and she was like, “YES THAT IS WHO I WAS THINKING OF” and if they really wanted to, they could have included both in a question by saying that in addition to renewing an employment agreement, my husband Kwon Jiyong (a/k/a G-Dragon) and I were looking to get some estate planning help.

Anyway, it was fun to know that two of my friends were in a conference room arguing over who my favorite kpop group is!

4. Acid Eye Bath

Sunday night, I was taking out my contacts but ran out of saline solution so I grabbed a new bottle from the closet. I don’t know what your routine is like, but I always fill up the case first and then dunk my finger in the tiny saline pool before plucking the things off my eyes. WELL when I did this on Sunday, I immediately fell to my knees and started screaming because it felt like my left eye was MELTING. SEARING PAIN LIKE A KOREAN BBQ BEING HOSTED RIGHT ON THE SURFACE OF MY EYEBALL. I ran into the bedroom and woke up Henry, screaming, “WHAT IS THIS SALINE SOLUTION?! WHAT DID YOU DO??” because he was on this “spending up my FSA” kick at the end of the year and did a good deed, supposedly, by stocking up on saline solution for me.

“I don’t know, it’s some overnight contact cleaner. It has hydrogen peroxide in it. You’re not supposed to put it in your eye!”

HOW WOULD I KNOW IT HAD THAT IN IT?!

“Well, the cap is red…”

SO WHAT?!

I’m sorry, but I don’t read boxes. I saw that it said stuff on it about contacts and that was good enough for me.

I finally got my eye to stop stinging and Henry, having just finished reading the instructions, swore that it would be OK to use it because after 6 hours, it “neutralizes.” OH OK Mr. Wizard.

I vaguely recall hearing him say something about the “special case” that came in the box, but I glossed over that fact and still used my regular case, and HOO BOY was I in for an A.M. surprise!

Yeah, it was like soaking my contacts in straight toilet cleaner and then jamming it onto my eyes on the ends of wrought-iron stokers pulled straight from the fireplace. I couldn’t even open my eyes long enough to get the contact out! After several minutes of flushing it with my own natural tears, I rinsed it off real good with my NORMAL saline solution because luckily he bought more of that too, and then shoved it back in my eye and it seemed OK so I did the same rinsing thing with the other contact but IT HURT JUST AS BAD AS THE FIRST ONE DID, why!?

By this point, my eyes both looked like they were straight bleeding, like I was in some religious horror movie and suffering from optical stigmata while being banged by Beelzebub. I honestly thought I was going to have to call off work, which anyone at the Law Firm will tell you rarely happens, maybe thrice in the 9 years I’ve worked there.

“Or you could just wear your glasses?” Henry sneered when I called him crying.

UM NO THANKS I’ll suffer!

Anyway, the pain mostly subsided by the time I had to leave for work but my eyelids were fighting to close the entire time I was on the trolley. I was too afraid to give in to it though because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to open them again!

Then I spent the entire time trying to hide my demon eyes from my coworkers. I did whine to Margie about it and she kept trying to give me saline solution that she keeps in her junk drawer and I was like, “I DO NOT NEED SALINE SOLUTION NOW MARGIE THE DAMAGE IS DONE” but then the next day I asked her if she had any cough drops because I was having a coughing fit and she was like, “No sorry” and I was like, “OH OK BUT YOU HAVE SALINE SOLUTION, WOW.”

#needy

(I just produced a really great chest crackle just now, you guys.)

5. Bless This Mess

OK confession time: I think that I am falling a little bit out of love with Emarosa. I thought maybe it was a “It’s Not You, It’s Me” sitch since I am so embroiled in Korea Stuffs. I have tried several times to listen to their new album, but I’m just not vibing with it—it’s not that I don’t LIKE it, but it’s not gut-punching me, I haven’t latched on to any particular song, and it always winds up being background noise while I’m putting on my makeup before work. Aside from my revisit to Pierce the Veil-land a few weeks ago, I thought that maybe it just meant I’ve outgrown that part of my life, etc etc. BUT THEN DANCE GAVIN DANCE RELEASED A NEW VIDEO TODAY AND RIGHT AT THE .0002 SECOND MARK I WAS LIKE HELLOOOOOOOOOOO BOYS. And when Jon Mess started screaming, something in my woke up and I realized that no, that part of me is still there so maybe it’s Emarosa that’s changed too much?!

Oh man, DGD gets me so pumped. They’re coming to Pittsburgh next month and I already told Henry we have to go and he’s like, “….oh, good. You….still like Dance Gavin Dance. Sigh.”

What a beautiful start to Friday!

***

Well e-friends, that’s all for today. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend! I’m supposed to be seeing “Us” with Chooch and Janna and then hopefully going to see Kara’s kid in his school play, provided that Henry the Recreational Mechanic is actually able to change whatever part on the car that he recently ordered. I made the mistake of asking Henry a question about something he’s fixing on the car and then he elaborated into oblivion. I finally told him to stop when he was a second away from telling me what tools he needs, like a clawjack and nutball, who even knows. Later, because I was dumb and asked him another question about the upcoming car surgery, I learned that there is something that is like a LIBRARY, but for TOOLS. The knowledge just keeps pouring in on a tide of WD40 when you’re dating a Blue Collar Guy.

Feb 282019
 

JUST SOME THOUGHTS THAT NEED DUMPED INTO THIS INTERNET COMMODE. Carry on.

  • I have been feenin’ for some rollerskating action recently (it sucks when the closest rink if run by non-great people which is why we stopped going regularly), and then when I walked into the dentist’s office this morning, RETURN OF THE MACK was playing and everyone knows that’s my eternal skate jam, like if I had to have a roller-theme, it would be that, hands down. Anyway, I took this as a sign so maybe this weekend I’ll motivate myself to leave the house and jam out on the rink.
    • I’ve been to the new dentist three times since December! This time it was just for a small cavity, but I think I’m starting to have a crush on the new dentist now, or maybe it’s some sort of reverse Florence Nightingale effect, who knows, but his voice is kind of Seth Rogen-ish and I LIKE THAT OK.
    • An hour later, I took a massively careless chug of coffee and still had Invisible Fat Lip syndrome so it missed my mouth and sluiced down my chin and all over my sweater because I’m one of those freaks who usually gets dressed to work from home. I mean, at the very least, I put makeup on. I AM THE VAINEST.
  • One day at work recently, I was in the kitchen having just opened a hardboiled egg when Aaron came in and started interrogating me on said egg. He asked me what my method is and I was like, “…for hardboiling it? Oh, I just tell Henry to do it” and Aaron was like, “Yeah, I don’t even know why I asked.” This really sums up a lot of my life.
  • Hey speaking of work, I couldn’t mention it on here because it was officially announced at work yet but I got a little bit of a promotion and it made me happy! Sometimes I forget that my hard work really is noticed by the people there who matter, and that was a really good vote of confidence for me when I really needed it because I have been pretty stressed lately. I came home and added a bunch more amusement parks to my list for 2019 and Henry was like, “They just added ‘senior’ to your title, not President.”
  • THIS, with caption:
  • Chooch and I are advancing to the next level of the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution workout this week (level 9 & 10) and I am so scared. The last one we did had crow push-ups and one-leg push-ups, so what’s next? No-leg push-ups? I’m like, shuddering. Meanwhile, Chooch continues to be a little fucking chatterbox during our cardio nights (we are both uncharacteristically quiet during the strength-training circuits, Henry loves it). These are some things my little octogenarian son said during our last cardio sesh:
    • I think I finally figured out what’s wrong with my knee: the kneecap is broken.
    • You know what’s weird? When I’m older, I think I might ACTUALLY join a book club.
    • There’s a splinter in my hip.
  • My tax refund was deposited last Friday and I was like LET’S BOOK OUR FLIGHT TO KOREA, OPPA but Henry was like, “Calm down, prices are going to drop here soon” because he watches shit like that, so I ran to Wendy’s office and whined about it and she was just like, “Let the adult handle this one, Erin” and I was like FINE but it’s not fine! I’m impatient! This money is burning a hole in my Korea account!
  • Me, crying about Taemin: His fucking profile, tho. Henry: What’s wrong with it? Me, incredulous: NOT A FUCKING THING. ITS LIKE GOD HIMSELF CHISELED IT FROM THE BEST MARBLE IN THE WORLD GO FUCK YOURSELF, HENRY.
    • Speaking of my favorite subject (Taemin, not Henry), I caught Henry dancing to Taemin’s “Want” in the kitchen and almost melted from secondhand embarrassment. Chooch was like, “DON’T EVER LET ME CATCH YOU DOING THAT AGAIN.”
  • SECOND SIGN TODAY THAT I NEED TO ROLLERSKATE, from the same episode as the Instavid I posted up there:

  • My Dork Son (j/k I love that he’s a brainiac) is receiving the Trifecta Award tonight and I can’t go because I’m working late shift. This is the 7th or 8th time he’s received it (you have to be High Honors, perfect attendance, and something else I forget for a…what do you call it? Semester?) and I have missed every single presentation because it’s always a Thursday and I never know about it until the night before it seems. But Henry is there at least…not sure how much of a consolation it is for Chooch to attend with his generically-dressed dad, but there you have it. Anyway, I hope Chooch stays smart. I was really smart until halfway through high school when I lost interest and started sneaking out to have sex in a field with a psychopath who burned down his best friend’s house over a video game and no I didn’t make that up, but hoo-boy I love referencing it!
    • And wow, in the same bulletpoint where I talked about my kid! I’m so fucking classy.
  • The one problem I have with working from home is that I drink so much coffee all day long to keep from snacking on everything in my kitchen.
  • Now I’m all sentimental about back when rollerskating was my life and the rink was run by nice people. Remember when I touched Roller DJs hair?!!? And the time I was pissed because the roller cops weren’t blowing the whistle at all the kids who were skating the wrong direction and Henry was like, “That’s because they’re deaf” and then WOW WHO’S THE DICKHEAD NOW. Man, and all of the soul skates! We had some good times at that place. Maybe I should build my own roller rink and here’s where I ignore Henry’s lecture about insurance and liability etc.
    • Time to listen to Return of the Mack again.
  • I just blurted out, “I have a crush on my dentist” to Henry and he acted all appalled and I was like, “Wow, this bitch actually cares?!” but apparently he thought I said I had a crush on my desk. Now that he knows it’s my dentist, he doesn’t care.
  • Chooch and I finished watching Devilish Joy last week and he said he’s ruined now and doesn’t want to watch another Korean drama because none will ever be as good and I’m like, “Bruv listen, I say that after every drama yet here I am, watching 6 different ones at the same time.” (Honestly, I’m watching the aforementioned Reply 1988, Touch My Heart, Radiant, Come & Hug Me, Where Stars Land, and Encounter which I’m kind of bored with but I’ll probably finish eventually. I like to jog in place while watching these in case you needed a visual.)

I just did Cardio Level 3 with Chooch and now my brain is mush and I have no thoughts left to share.

Bye-bye.

Feb 082019
 

I have had so much to say but so little time! Most evenings, I’m too caught up in exercise/roller coaster videos/k-dramas to focus on blogging.

#EXCUSESOLDASTIME

But I do enjoy blasting out these bulletpoint thought collectives and I hope that’s OK.

So here’s a recap of WHAT I HAVE BEEN DOING ASIDE FROM BREATHING.

  • I mean, making cards obviously. So far this V-day season, we have done double the amount we did last year! I am so humbled that there are people out there who like my designs, I don’t know if that will ever stop surprising me, especially since I have been making them for so long but only started selling a significant amount over the last several years.  This year, the Golden Girls set has nearly surpassed the serial killers, with The Cure set following close behind, and I have plans to add other pop-culture Valentine sets for next year!  Also, we learned A LOT from last year, mostly that we were woefully unprepared for the explosion of sales we saw. I thought we were going to get an imaginary divorce from our fake marriage, that’s how much stress-quarreling we did. But this season, Henry stocked up on the paper we use (it’s real good quality and we order it from a paper company online, so if we run out, we can’t just like, run to Staples and buy something comparable), hooked up an old printer to use just for printing shipping labels, and then bought a THIRD printer so now he can print cards on two printers at once and things have been running so much smoother. Chooch has taken an interest in assembling all of the little sets (he just likes using a stapler I think) and I am on packaging patrol, so we have a veritable assembly line going on in our dining room. It’s actually kind of satisfying!
  • Last Sunday, it occurred to me that I was supposed to have had plans the day before with two friends, but I forgot, and they both either forgot as well or just felt relieved that I forgot and kept their mouths shut in hopes that I wouldn’t suddenly remember and send a text. So, we’re all either totally scatterbrained or I have less friends than I thought I had, lolol. I have plans tomorrow with  two different friends so hopefully that date pans out or my self-awareness might actually slather me with jam and consume me.
    • Literally right after I typed all of that, the friends for tomorrow both texted to confirm plans so we’re already one step ahead! I hope plans don’t fall through because we’re meeting at Pamela’s for breakfast and I am HUNGRY FOR BLUEBERRY HOTCAKES.

  • I was trying to convince myself that Monday was going to be a GREAT DAY so I wore this happy stars print blouse, a hot pink fun fur coat, and my favorite fake-teeth cameo. It…..didn’t work but I still thought it looked cool SO TOO BAD.
  • So, I have been doing Gospel Aerobics again just for the LOLs and I’ll tell you what, no matter how shitty of a day I might be having,  even just spending 15 minutes with Paul Eugene and his totally adorable enthusiasm and spirited grunting can totally turn my day around.  I was burning off some steam before it was Jillian Michaels Time (I have a lot of energy,  and that’s not always a great thing) Monday evening, and I just became absolutely struck with the Giggles.  I couldn’t hold it in any longer, I had this Big Ass WHOOOOOO bubbling up inside of me and it needed to be released. So I whipped open the front door just as some man was jogging past and I let rip the most gutteral WHOOOOOO from my lungs and before I had the chance to fully enjoy the echo of it ricocheting off the houses as it bounced down the street, I drop-rolled back into the house, leaving Henry–who was alone on the front porch taking out the garbage–look like the main WHOOO culprit. He was not amused, but I was rocking back and forth, holding my knees into my chest, laughing until I was crying. Chooch mumbled from the other room that I was so embarrassing and I was like WHATEVER YOUR FRIENDS WISH THEY HAD A MOM LIKE ME.

  • Ugh, Thursday morning was so gross. First I had to call the bank and then I had to go to the post office after riding downtown on the trolley which is usually OK but on my late shift days, the normal trolley clientele is completely different and unruly and I ended up sitting behind a white trash mom and daughter who were SCREAMING to each other about detox and counselors and blah blah blah so I then I craned my neck a bit to see what they were reading and it was a form from their COCAINE GROUP. And is it weird that my first reaction was, “Wow, people still do cocaine?” I never hear about it anymore!
    • Anyway, speaking of cocaine, the whole bank thing was annoying because I had an IRA that matured at the end of January and so I called the bank around that time and said, “I don’t want to roll this over. How can I cash it in?” and yes, I know, it’s good to have these things but I have this one for-fucking-ever, it’s under $1000, and I make like less than a quarter on it every year. Normally I would just let it roll over and not think twice, but we are getting our monies in order for our next Korea trip and I thought it would be nice to have a little extra spending money. Anyway, now that I justified my motives to strangers on the internet, this broad at the bank was like “I can just move it into your checking acct.” Wow, that seemed easy. So I asked, “It’s that easy?” She said yes. So then around 2 weeks go by and that money is still showing up as an IRA. This time I went to a branch downtown and they were like, “Duh….um, durrrr…..this says that the IRA rolled over and has a new date of 1/23/2021.” and said that the branch manager would call me the next day. HE NEVER DID. So I had to call HIM which is annoying and he was like WE CAN’T DO THAT ON THE PHONE THERE ARE FORMS YOU HAVE TO SIGN and I was like THAT IS WHAT I THOUGHT, DAVE FROM THE BANK. Like, I do know some things. So then he was like, “what do you need the money for?” COCAINE, DAVE. LOTS OF FUCKING COCAINE TO STICK UP MY NOSE ON THE TIP OF MY SILVER PINKY FINGER NAIL. Like really dude? OK I get that he was probably just wanting me to say something like, “I am going to use it to buy lots of Flex Seal to patch the holes on my shanty, Dave” so then he could try to instead talk me into a loan. My response was a bratty, “I just want to have it.” Anyway, he had to call the IRA department to see what could be done and guess what Princess Erin got her way and he was able to waive the penalty and GIVE ME MY FUCKING MONEY. But of course I had to go to the branch and sign the forms and it was RAINING that day and my umbrella is half-broken and a total embarrassment (like me when I scream out of the front door at random joggers).  Ugh, I felt like Thursday was so full of adult things, and it was gross. I need to go to an amusement park like now.
      • Maybe I should use my newly acquired, insidious bounty to buy a new umbrella.
      • Also, I was knocked off my self-righteous high horse of thinking that this was entirely the bank’s fault because when I was on the phone with Dave, I asked snidely, “Isn’t there a log of me calling that day!?” and he said yes, and that there was also an outbound call from the next day, to which I said teenagarily, “Well, I didn’t get a call.” But then I went and checked my voicemails and you guys, shit goddamn fuck, someone DID call me the next day and left a message for me so I guess somewhere along the way, someone realized they DONE FUCKED UP when they approved my IRA-cash out via telephone, and they tried to rectify it the next day, probably with the intention of telling me that I had to go to a branch and sign forms, and then when I didn’t call back (because I never answer my phone/check voicemail; I’m a phone hermit) the window of maturation expired and my IRA rolled over.
        • YEAH BUT THEY FUCKED UP FIRST!!!
      • While I signed the forms, Dave gave me a lecture (for the second time that day) about why IRAs are important and good to have and I was like, “Yes, I know, DAVE. But a plane ticket to Korea is ALSO GOOD TO HAVE.”
        • FUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK.

  • Pittsburgh looked like a horror movie set earlier this week and I was loving it. Was not loving coming back to work from my lunch break walk looking like I went to the salon asking for the Ms. Frizzle style.
  • Hey speaking of horror movies, my work friend Cathy excitedly came to my desk the other day to tell me that she started watching a new show on Netflix that just happens to be a South Korean drama and I screamed, “IS IT KINGDOM?!” and it is! I’m so geeked that I finally have someone at work to talk to about a k-drama!!!! Also, Glenn said he’s interested in watching it because it’s about zombies and he was relieved when I told him that there’s an option to watch it dubbed but I don’t know why anyone would choose that option other than losers like Glenn. Actually, when I started watching it, it defaulted to dubbed and I freaked out, yelling about, “I CAN’T WATCH THIS IF IT’S IN ENGLISH, HENRY!!” so he had to frantically fix it for me before I went on another one of my daily America bashing rants.
  • I texted Boss Amber, who had a baby and abandoned us but whatever, to give her this update and she was like WHAT DID YOU DO TO CATHY but this was not my doing for once! Amber is going to come back from maternity leave and find a lightstick collection and pictures of biases on Cathy’s desk because it all starts with ONE kdrama/Kpop song/bitchin’ bowl of bibimbap.

  • That stupid Babe Cave had their grand opening last weekend and I already can’t wait for this hideous establishment to close.
  • I love watching theme park vlogs on YouTube but then I inevitably run into the obligatory ROLLER COASTER TRAGEDY in my feed, lose all feeling in my extremities and the ability to stop myself from freely peeing, dry heave a little, and then swear off coasters until the next day.
  • Chooch: what is that thing you say when someone dies? My prayers are in your hands?
    • Yes, that’s what people say. Say that.

Well, on that note, I’m going to sign off and go back to micromanaging my employees at the Pioneer Ave. Printing Press.

Jan 252019
 

If I were to compose a Friday Five tracklist for today it would look like this:

  1. TODAY IS TRASH
  2. THIS WHOLE WEEK WAS BAD
  3. LAST WEEK WAS BAD TOO
  4. JANUARY HAS BEEN A DISASTER
  5. UGLY CRYING (WITH WINE)

Honestly, all my stress lies in one area of my life but it’s starting to bleed into other areas resulting in a huge fight this morning between Chooch and me and I mean, I say we fight all the time when it’s really just mild bickering but this morning I was already on the edge and then he triggered me and I just went on a schizo tirade around the house and it was just terrible and I felt like the most disgusting human being on the planet, proceeded to cry on the trolley, cried in the bathroom at work immediately upon arrival (and got busted by one of the new people so that was cool) and then my day just kept getting dumber.

But we leave in the morning for a weekend in Toronto and I am really hoping all this stress just means I will enjoy and appreciate the time there even more?

SURE IT DOES.

Anyway, here are my real Friday fivers I guess.

1. Level “Fit Into Korean ‘One Size’” Unlocked!

Truth! When we were in Korea, I was desperate to buy something at Chuu, but their clothes are mostly Korean “free size” or “one size” and lemme tell you, that means “one size will LIKELY NOT fit all outside of Asia.” So I was too freaked out to even attempt to try anything on. But last weekend I was like “this is dumb” and just went and ordered this one Chuu sweater that I have been coveting. It came on Wednesday (yes, from KOREA! Super cheap shipping too) and you guys, it fucking fits.

I made Chooch take my picture (pre-fight) this morning and he was like “my life sucks.”

STRAWBERRY MILK! It matches my Passport cover which was the only thing I felt comfortable buying at Chuu last year lol I hate myself.

2. Henry Made Kimchi!

There’s really nothing else to say about that except that HENRY MADE KIMCHI! So good.

3. Things I think About During Jillian Michaels Workouts

Chooch and I have been going strong with Jillian Michaels Body Revolution since the beginning of the month. I still do my Kpop stuff but I needed something that Chooch would also do and turns out, he really likes Jillian lol. Anyway, the other night we were in the middle of one of the circuits and I was intently focused on one of the framed pictures of the Cure I have hanging above the TV, which is what I do when I need to zone out from the pain, and I suddenly had a vivid memory from the early 2000s when I worked at the shitty meat company. I was probably at the height of my Cure obsession when I worked at that shit hole, and I had pictures of Robert Smith tacked up all over my bulletin board. One of the meat-cutters, John, and I had this fun little routine where he would ask me every day, “Did Robbie call you yet?” because that’s how he always referred to Robert Smith, and I would sadly say no.

“That bastard,” he’d spit, and it was just one of those things that seems so small and insignificant but it would make me smile on the daily, and clearly it had enough impact that it has stuck with me for nearly 20 years now.

I was telling Chooch this tale while we were sweating and grunting through ‘good mornings’, and then without even realizing it, I added, “He killed himself about 12 years ago” and Chooch was like, “WHAT OMG WHY” and then I was getting all teary-eyed so we stopped talking about that.

Weird things you think of while exercising, amirite.

4. My House Should Have an Epilepsy Warning

There was one day last week when I worked from home, and apparently there was some situation where the light above Regina’s office was flickering super badly and it was driving people nuts. Regina had to move somewhere else for the day until the maintenance people came to fix it, but I heard it took HOURS and people were getting brainwashed and started floating toward the light like moths to a fluorescent flame.

“You would have been so annoyed!” Wendy told me when I came back to the office the next day. But then I paused and said, “Well wait, have you SEEN my house?!” It’s like a fucking 24:7 arcade with neon, flashing lights all up in your periphery no matter which way you look.

“Was it making a buzzing noise, too?” I asked, and Wendy said no.

Then I don’t think I would have been that annoyed! I only hate sounds.

Random picture of Drew where she doesn’t belong.

5. Don’t Worry – Chooch & I Are Friends Again

After our big fight this morning, he sent me a challenge request on Quiz Up and I was like, “OMG HE MADE CONTACT” because he had been ignoring my texts, so I texted him a bunch of apologetic word vomit which included, “YOU ARE NOT A DISAPPOINTMENT” and then he said “YOU’RE NOT A BAD MOM” and we both said we were sorry, etc etc and then when I came home from work, we fake-hugged and later when I mentioned that I was so relieved when he sent me that Quiz Up challenge, he said, “Oh that was an accident. It was supposed to be for Trevor, but your name was right next to his.”

UGH.

But whatever. We’re pals again and now he has a whole entire chapter for his future autobiography, so you’re welcome Chooch.

I’ll bookend this with a photo of one of my favorite fruits – cherimoya! The Asian market was rife with them over the weekend, so I got to have one for my morning snack today at work and that was….wait, let me think…yes, that was the only high point of my work day.

Jan 062019
 

Hello. Hi. Annyeong. It’s been a minute since I did a bulletpoint recap of my life (I think? I can’t remember what bullshit I spray up onto this piece anymore!) so here is a pointless, themeless collection of pictures and thoughts that I need to preserve like some kind of basic berry because I’m obsessed with memories.

  • I have become increasingly curmudgeonly on my daily lunch break walks, especially when I’m strolling through the Strip District and just so you know my version of strolling is what most other people would consider speedwalking. I’m always in a rush, OK. Anyway, I am so fucking sick of people walking in trios and quads and taking up the entire girth of the goddamn sidewalk! It’s even worse in the Strip (“So just stop walking in the Strip,” some people might say and I just might say DON’T TELL ME back to those some people) because you get all the local tourists who have to stop and lollygag  in front of every store and then I’m like crashing into them because HELLO WHY ARE YOU STOPPING ABRUPTLY? One day last week, some broad had to actually grab her husband’s arm and pull him to the side after he continued to stand in my way EVEN AFTER SEEING THAT I WAS TRYING TO PASS HIM and I just fucking lost it inside my head and decided that I AM GOING TO RUN FOR MAYOR to which asked, “What good will that do?” BECAUSE THEN I WILL PATROL THE SIDEWALKS, obviously.
  • Did I tell you about Chooch’s crossword puzzle obsession? As of this writing, he seems to have cooled it but for about two weeks, he was terrorizing Henry and me with crossword inquiries and it was so annoying because we basically were completing every puzzle for him!
    • Chooch: I’m still trying to figure out what ‘to break bread’ means… Me: EAT?!
    • Chooch: So I guess the sound a raven makes is “cad.” Me: “Caw.” Chooch, in a smart-ass, challenging tone: Oh OK then what’s an unwanted plant?? Me: “Weed.” Chooch, whispering: ……dammit. I had “dead.”
    • Chooch, crossword mode: “That smarts”…..? Me: Hurts. Chooch: Hurts? Me: Hurts. Chooch: Hurts. Hurts…..hurts….? Huh? Me: HURTS. THAT SMARTS. THAT HURTS. Chooch: …. Me: I KNOW. ITS DUMB. BUT ITS THE ANSWER. *5 minutes later* Me: Did it fit? Chooch, smug: It was “ouch.”
      • I’d come home from work and in lieu of a “hello,” I’d be hit with an urgent “WHO IS BLANK LUPINO??”
        • Finally I realized that if he’s doing crossword puzzles, that means he’s NOT PLAYING FORTNITE so now I want him to go back to asking us annoying questions.

  • Three more weeks until I get to see this sweet face in person! (From like, far away, but still — under the same roof!) I even made a pendant in honor of that:

  • Henry made the mistake of saying last night that he never watched the 90s TV show Life Goes On so then he had to suffer through an hour of YouTube clips and endure the story of the the time one of the episodes was about Becca’s school having a Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance and my dad absolutely latched on to this in the way that only he could – with hyper aggressive giddy obsession* – and for years he would randomly assault us by blurting out DADDY DAUGHTER DINNER DANCE! at any given moment. I still sometimes find myself saying this out loud for no reason!
    • *I think about this a lot and laugh because my dad is actually my stepdad, yet I have the same knack for hysterically obsessing over little nuances. I know I have told the story on here about his quest for Caramel Caribou ice cream, but I always think about this when I’m on the hunt for something random and obscure that probably no one else wants, and then I have a long think about nature vs nurture.

  • My favorite walk leader (lol) from the Leslie Sansone walking workout series on YouTube released a new video on New Years Day and I am so giddy about it! Chooch is NOT – he hates these workouts and yes, they are corny as fuck and Leslie Sansone laughs like Janice from Friends and I hate her, but these workouts are good for days when it’s too cold or wet to go outside for a real walk, OK?? I will go into greater detail later this week because at the request of one whole person, I am going to write a bit of a summary of my diet and fitness routine so if you don’t care about that, be prepared to skip it!

  • The day after Christmas, I took Chooch to the science center and I don’t have much to say about it because I’m an ignorant dumbass who hates learning, but we did have a pretty nice day because it wasn’t too overly crowded and Henry wasn’t with us (lol). The above picture is us getting ready to watch some dumb planetarium show about that asshole Elmo going to the moon. It was really boring but I needed to sit down so. Later, Chooch volunteered with four other (little little kids) to be a taste tester in some presentation about the tongue. All the other kids were given things like salt water, sugar water, lemon water, I forget the other one, but when it was Chooch’s turn to guess what he had, he scowled and said, “SOY SAUCE.” Hahaha, he was given the umami example! He hates soy sauce so much, so this was worth the price of admission for me. (They all just had to swish it around and spit it out, so Chooch didn’t actually have to DRINK soy sauce, don’t worry.)

  • The other day, Chooch asked Siri for healthy desserts for people on a diet and now she’s giving him the number to the suicide hotline and asked him if he wants her to dial it for him. That took a turn.
  • On New Years Eve, we were trying desperately to get Henry to wake up from his nap and he kept shrugging us off so then Chooch had the brilliant idea to pretend that he cut himself and he put fake blood all over his hand and we ran into the bedroom screaming like lunatics and Henry didn’t believe us for even a second, he’s the worst caretaker ever, but then Chooch’s fake wound looked so realistic that I started dry-heaving and this was AFTER I threw up in my mouth because there was a hairy raisin stuck to the side of my shoe, so that was our NYE in a nutshell.
  • I realized yesterday that this is the year we get 4 of the BIGBANG boys back from the military and to say that gave me life is a huge understatement. I AM FUCKING LIVING FOR THIS.
  • I had Korean food for dinner at Nak Won Garden with this girl Bethany I met randomly a few years ago when we were zombie Golden Girls together because it turns out she used to teach in Korea back when G-Dragon was getting ready to make his solo debut and has no one to have Korean food with here! I was nervous because aside from that zombie thing, we’ve never hung out and you know how socially backward I can be. But it was a really nice dinner and fun to (finally!!!) have someone here who understands my love for all things Korean, plus the first thing she said to me when I walked in, after telling me she loved my coat (sorry Chooch!) was that I lost a lot of weight and looked great, and you know, when I got home that night, I was trying to figure out the year we did that zombie thing so I was scrolling through Flickr and it turns out it was way back in 2014 and for god’s sake, I did lose a lot of weight. I never do the side-by-side thing because I feel weird about it but there was one picture in particular I saw that was taken of me when I was doing some volunteering thing for work and I could not believe that was me. So I think maybe today I will have Henry take my picture and I will post a comparison in my upcoming health post because I didn’t realize how far I really have come!
  • And last but not least, Ikon won the Daesang at the Golden Disc Awards the other night and I am so happy and proud of them and of YG for representin’ and keeping the legacy alive even while BIGBANG is on military hiatus (oh and speaking of, they won the Bonsang award for their single Flower Road, which was released after they enlisted, and they won that award for a song that had no music video and had absolutely no promotions done for it. LEGENDS DID THAT.) Here is a video of Ikon’s performance at the GDA, because it is so good and they deserved to win that award for Love Scenario, which was a total jam. Also, when we were in Hongdae last year, they were walking around giving out hugs and I’m fairly certain that we saw Chanwoo but dumb Henry made us cross the street, ughhhhh.

 

 

Dec 102018
 

Here’s a mind-dumping for you, in list form.

1.Today, Onew from SHINee enlisted in the military. As you know, SHINee is my #2 favorite kpop group so my ship (a/k/a MY HEART) is pretty wrecked over this. I know, I know, it’s just the way things are, I should be used to it by now, etc etc. But it’s still very bittersweet, especially since it hasn’t been a year since we lost Jonghyun. Feelings are still raw.

I really wanted to call off today (shut up) but instead, I came to work with some new international treats, and I’m wearing a bright blue sweater as an homage to Onew’s solo debut from last week. One of the songs is called Blue and the video for it is…well, it’s tragically beautiful and really got me all caught in my feelings.

Whenever someone says kpop idols can’t sing, I’ll be sure to send them this video from now on.

2a. On my lunch break walk, three different people enthusiastically told me that they liked my coat (that dreamy 1960s goldenrod floral sofa one) and I think if Chooch had been there, this might have been the day that pushed him to take a paint can to it. I’m sorry, but I truly think this was the best Target purchase I’ve ever made and considering that, it’s amazing that in all of these years (five now, I think?) I have only seen one other person wearing it. One day it really will be vintage!

2b. My second-most complimented coat is a cow-print jacket I bought probably in 2000 or 2001 from Delia’s so this one actually is kind of vintage by now and I am so smug when I tell people how long ago I bought it but then I saw on Instagram that Delia’s (yes, Delia’s is back) has brought back an updated version of it! It’s currently sold out, because apparently cow print is back in style baby.

3. Oh shit you guys, get ready to taste vomit: some girly boudoir photography studio is opening up in my neighborhood and it’s called the—–hhhherrrrrk, the—-burp, the BABE CAVE. Omg get me a puke pan, quickly. Chooch was like, “So…it’s a strip club, or…?” Honestly! What a hideous name! I’m so embarrassed for all the women who enter that place, thinking they’re going to be all empowered or whatever the fuck but they’re just being branded as a “babe.” So next time some gross d-bag on the street whistles at them and calls them babe, they better just shit up and take it.

4. Hey speaking of puke, I was making fun of Henry’s shoes on Saturday (they squeak and squelch when he walks, like he soaks them in a shoe bath over night) and this is like, a really popular skit that we do in our house, but for some reason Chooch thought it was extra funny, so he did his laughing-till-he-pukes routine and then I was dry-heaving because I can’t see someone puke, and I ended up puking a little bit in my mouth, and Henry was listing us on Craigslist, but first of course he mopped up all the puke.

When will they make candy vape guns, I wonder.

5. Ever since I had that dream about having my head cut off and put back on, I haven’t felt right.

6. A few weeks ago, Wendy sent me a picture of SHOO FLY PIE from my favorite SHOO FLY PIE purveyor, DUTCH HAVEN. I was practically licking my phone.  I asked her where she got it and she said that Amish people are going door-to-door in Pittsburgh now, and that she told them they should go to Brookline too, and I legit ran over to the door like a little kid who just heard the ice cream truck from 9 blocks away, and yes, this was sadly before I had the dream that my head was lopped off. So….

Henry made it in the background of this Dollywood vlog lol. He asked me if I recognized them and I was like, “no b/c I was busy riding rides and having fun…”

7. Henry made me go grocery shopping with him Friday night after we went over Blake’s where he fixed Blake’s dining room light (god, these Fridays just get crazier and crazier) because I guess I was being punished for something, who knows, but grocery stores are definitely like the ultimate dungeon for me. Anyway, I was distracting myself by perusing the cake decoration section and Henry was like WHY ARE YOU LOOKING AT THOSE and I was like “……um, for the cake we’re making when G-Dragon gets out of the military next fall?!” Why does he ask such stupid questions?!

8. Christmas has me stressed the fuck out – WOW I BET NO ONE CAN RELATE. I managed to get Chooch’s “big present” bought and the process of purchasing it left me in hives, man. If I didn’t have a kid, I would just opt out of Christmas! I mean, I’d still be into putting up Trudy or whatever, but the gift part of it gives me major chest pains. I swear I’m not actually a total Grinch, I’m just an awful shopper. PLUS RED VELVET TICKETS ARE GOING ON SALE THIS SATURDAY, RIGHT SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF CHRISTMAS SHOPPING UGH FML.

OK, this blog post is a waste of Internet space.  I’m going to go and cry a little bit more about Onew and then watch some roller coaster videos and finish off my night with an episode of Come & Hug Me (a great serial killer K-Drama!). Check back this week for some pictures of Trudy all dressed up and, I’m sorry, but one more Dollywood post lol.

Key, Taemin, and Minho went to send off Onew. TRUE BROTHERS. They love their hyung. Sigh. SHINee forever.

Nov 232018
 

Look man I was just happy to have some days off work where I didn’t have to trudge to the damn trolley in premature winter temps. Plus, we’re leaving for Tennessee later today (Dollywood!) so I was content having nothing to do on actual Thanksgiving. My mom and I are both pretty meh about the holiday so I don’t mind that she doesn’t want to host anymore.

But then Chooch pulled out his vegetarian cookbook the night before and was all, “Papa*, I’m going to find some recipes for you for tomorrow” and then I was like, “Oh shit. The kid. We should probably do something for the kid.” Lol.

*(What Chooch calls Henry when he’s trying to pretend like we’re like a wholesome family.)

So then Henry was like I GUESS I AM GOING TO THE STORE THEN and set off on Thanksgiving Eve to procure the tofurkey which is usually sold out because he waits too long. I remember way back in the day when we had to drive like 45 minutes to some weird health store to get one because regular grocery stores didn’t sell stuff like that and I got made fun of for eating it but no one bats an eye. Changing times, etc etc.

The first half of the day consisted of Leslie Sansone walking workouts (lol), kdramas but no family drama, watching Henry cook & clean, looking at Kpop idols, freaking out over a mystery bruise on my thumb, and planning all our amusement park trips for 2019. It was splendid! (Not the bruise part though, I’m mildly alarmed by it.)

I was in such a good mood that I even felt inspired to decorate for Christmas:

Chooch was all excited when I told him I decorated and then said, “…oh” when he saw it.

Since there was just the three of us and we’re going away this weekend, Henry kept the spread the simple: a tofurkey for Chooch and me (he made gross chicken for himself because he doesn’t like real turkey), whatever garlicky mashed potato recipe Chooch found, and a completely revamped version of the broccoli rabe & white bean casserole recipe that Chooch also requested, because Henry couldn’t find broccoli rabe at 8pm on Thanksgiving Eve so he used regular broccoli and brussels sprouts instead and it was delicious.

(I don’t even know what broccoli rabe is and I know for damn sure Chooch doesn’t either, so this made no difference to us.)

Henry kept yelling at us from the kitchen to start eating but we were like NO WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR YOUUUUUU IT’S THANKSGIVING.

But it was really because we needed him to plate our Tofurkey.

Oh Lord, we got so giddy right away and Chooch had a Code Red laughing fit which caused him to flee the table in search of a Kleenex, so you know Henry was in a great mood! That combined with the fact that the same NCT 127 song was playing repeatedly in the background really completed the mood. Look at Henry’s delirious face! I think deep down, he’s thankful for us, lunacy and all, even if he sometimes must feel like he’s living in an asylum.

Tofurky looks like a giant hotdog butt.

After dinner, Chooch and I continued our tradition of watching birthday party videos on YouTube (4th year!). We found a whole slew of new million subscriber families to hate! I called the one birthday girl and all her friends “a bunch of bitches” and Chooch was like “Aren’t they like three?!”

OK now for the Friday Five portion, which is FIVE THINGS I AM THANKFUL FOR:

  1. Korea (Henry and Chooch rolled their eyes when we went around the table and “gave thanks” and this was of course the first thing I said and whatever because Chooch just kept saying “Bambi” over and over and now that I think about it, I don’t think Henry said ANYTHING!?
  2. Having a job that I like – yeah, I know, I complain about it at times, who doesn’t complain about having to leave the house to go to work?! But when you’ve had jobs that have made you sick to your stomach and have panic attacks while paying you pennies, getting one where you feel comfortable and needed is really something to be thankful for.  Thanks, job!
  3. The willpower to get in shape – when I first started dieting in 2012 I was just about 200 pounds.  I did WW for a bit and got myself down to about 170 but it was a struggle. I had no energy! I was miserable! I can’t remember when I started spending my lunch break hour walking around downtown, but that helped me get my energy back and also kept my weight stable so I wasn’t gaining, but I also wasn’t really losing anything either. Since starting my own routine in 2016, being more mindful of what I eat and when I eat, and keeping up on those lunch break walks (even in the rain, even when I’m sick, even when it’s cold), I’ve managed to get myself down to 145. I never felt “unhealthy” even when I was heavier, but I do FOR SURE feel more “able.” Sure, I still have major body image issues that I need to work on, but baby steps!
  4. Eternal Youth! – I’m going to be 40 next year, I have a shit-ton of gray hairs, but my brain refuses to accept that and still spends most of its time thinking about concerts and amusement parks and Kpop idols. I was talking to Amber about this at work the other day, how I’m trying to fit in a few days in Tokyo during my birthday Korea trip next summer because I want to go to DisneySea and how Henry is like dreaming of the day when we can plan a vacation that doesn’t include an amusement park, and Amber said, “I can’t believe you’re going to be 40. You’re like, ageless, to me.” YES.  I’m thankful that I have managed to maintain that part of myself because goddamn does it make life fun! Except for when you watch so many vlogs about roller coasters and are constantly hearing people talking about the “head chopper” elements and then you go to bed and have a horribly vivid nightmare that you’re watching a movie where some girl is walking down the steps of some Victorian mansion and gets her head lopped off by her dad, completely out of nowhere, but then it turns out to be YOU, you just had YOUR head chopped off, but later in the dream, you realize that your head was put back on, but apparently your ear had also been cut off and that was put back on much more jankily than your head, so it’s all bloody and it BURNS and also it’s not aligned properly with your head and you are FREAKING OUT ABOUT THIS. I mean, that’s just something that might happen.
  5. Henry & Chooch, le duh – Come on, this is a given. I have a guy who is mild-tempered and goes along with all my crazy ideas, he gets totally engrossed in every k-drama with me to the point where he’s mad when I start a new one without him (he’ll still watch it though), he sends me kpop-related texts on Kakao throughout the day (I made him download Kakao awhile back and it’s the only way we text now unless I’m mad at him then I use regular text and he’s like, “wow you must be mad”), he does whatever he can to make my life easier, and well, he’s just the best and I’m glad we’ve lasted together all these years because I can’t imagine many other people who would be like, “Yes, let me completely change the way I cook for you because now you’re on a make-believe Korean diet and sure, let’s go to Party City for new home decor so our house can continue to look like Pee Wee’s Playhouse and OK, let’s talk about going to some random town in the Netherlands so you can spend Easter 2020 at some weird amusement park.” Lol. And then Chooch! I couldn’t ask for a better kid. He is such a mini-Erin that it’s actually scary at times (or, “all times” if you’re Henry). He’s independent and self-motivated when it comes to school (he’s basically a genius but has ZERO COMMON SENSE though, oh my god, he is street-stupid), a mini-politician when it comes to the neighborhood (everyone knows him!), and he is SO ENTERTAINING. Janna was over here on Saturday for Kpop Fitness Night and afterward, he effortlessly had us cracking up just by being him, sitting there making his dumb Rainbow Loom bracelets. No, our life isn’t perfect, and we do all bicker with each other like normal TV families, but we never go to bed mad at each. (EXCEPT FOR LAST NIGHT BECAUSE WE GOT A BUNCH OF CARD ORDERS AND HENRY AND I DO NOT WORK WELL TOGETHER IN THE GREETING CARD FACTORY.)

Anyway, that’s my Thanksgiving 2018 recap and obligatory “thankful” list. I’ll end here with a video of Mini-Erin stalking his nemesis Larry:

ETA: Chooch just woke up and said, “Well, I see the dining room table is back to its old self” and I screamed “WELL, WE HAD 80 MILLION CARDS TO MAKE LAST NIGHT OK, THANKS FOR THE HELP!”