Oct 232020
 

Do I really need an intro.

Terrordome

This damn ticket to a haunted house is 25 years old. I always keep it tucked into a frame of a picture on a wall so it’s kind of like permanent decor at this point, but I was looking at it the other day when I took it down to dust said picture frame (and by dust I mean I just gave it a good swipe with my hand, housewife who now?) and felt awash with memories. (Or maybe that was just the dust particles.

Some thoughts I had while looking at this ticket:

  • $13.50 is CHEAP AF for a haunted house nowadays but I remember in 1995 thinking that it was expensive (actually, I probably didn’t give it a second thought – I was 16 and my mom paid for everything!). But this was a big deal because it was located in the old Civic Arena, which is where the Penguins used to play, and this was back when haunted houses were in old schools and VFWs so it was exciting to have some big budget, commercialized haunt to attend (and now I wish we could just go back to 1995 where haunted houses were all garbage bag walls and gratuitous gropings, le sigh). I wish I could tell you if it was “worth” the whopping $14 bucks, but I honestly can’t remember the inside at all aside from ELVIRA being there one night (we went like three times lol) and getting her to sign a picture for my dad. But what I do remember is that they had some of the best monsters entertaining the people in line outside and I became obsessed with two of them, one of whom I would run into a few years on the Southside and practically accost, all excitedly screaming I REMEMBER YOU FROM TERRORDOME and she was like I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY DO I NEED TO USE IT. Anyway, I would run into numerous times after that on purpose because she went on to become local legend PHAT MAN DEE and my friend Wonka and I used to attend her performances back in the day. This one time, she actually sat with us in between sets at the Lava Lounge and we thought we were literally the coolest fucking people ever, or at least at that bar.
  • I mentioned that we went several times that season, but it was because we had so much fun hanging out outside of the venue that my friend Keri and I begged my mom to take us back. OK FINE THERE WAS A BOY. Keri and I became friendly with Jason Voorhees and ended up hanging out with him outside of the arena for like, hours. I had the biggest crush on him ever but OF FUCKING COURSE Keri snagged him because that was her sole purpose in life, pushing up her boobs and doing things with her tongue. I remember her shot-gunning his cigarette while we were sitting there and I was so pissed, and then of course she only dated him for a hot minutes because she couldn’t have meaningful ANYTHINGS back then and probably now too but I wouldn’t know because I haven’t talked to her since 2006 when she sold me out to Henry’s ex-wife because she was hanging out at the bar his ex worked at and was getting free beer. YEAH, FREE BEER FOR GIVING HER THE INSIDE SCOOP ON MY LIFE. MORE LIKE BLOOD BEER!!
    • Jason Voorhees (I don’t remember his real name) wasn’t even that cute when he took his mask off.
  • LOL @ the now-defunct Bell Atlantic as a sponsor.

 

MOLE DAY

We finally got Chooch a gaming computer after years of crying for one and begging Janna to give him hers. For the first couple days, he was very grateful and being super helpful around the house but now he’s back to normal. It was nice while it lasted. :(

I was “getting ready for work” yesterday morning (by that I mean I still brush my hair and do my eyebrows because you never know when a surprise video call could happen). Chooch was “in Chemistry” and from the bathroom, I heard his teacher say, “Tomorrow is a special day in Chemistry. Anyone know why?

“I bet it’s Mole Day,” I whisper-screamed from the hallway.

Chooch ignored me.

Anyone want to try and guess?” his teacher asked again from the computer screen.

“Mole Day!” I repeated.

“I’m not saying that,” Chooch grumbled, because in his mind HOW CAN A MOTHER KNOW THINGS.

I’ll give you a hint: it relates to a number in chemistry,” the teacher sounded sad and desperate now, just like I was TO HAVE MY ANSWER PASSED ON.

“TELL HIM IT’S MOLE DAY!” I wheezed, hopping from foot-to-foot in frustration.

It’s Mole Day,” the teacher sighed to the virtual classroom of stoops.

“TELL HIM I KNEW THAT!” I screamed. “TELL HIM YOUR MOM KNEW!”

“No because then everyone will know that—”

“–that what, your mom is smarter than them!?”

“–my weird mom is being creepy and listening in to  my class,” Chooch sighed.

We are so over each other.

NEIGHBORHOOD VEG HOOKUP

OK you guys look I am really guilty about this because you know how much I LOVED PARKER’S, the local sandwich shop with the cool aesthetic and “we’re all family here” vibes that the owner gave off, and I cried when they announced they were closing, and then I vowed to hate whatever took its place, but LOOK, OAK HILL POST IS THE SHIT, OK? I CAN’T HELP IT. Granted, I can’t eat 90% of what’s on the menu because meat, but their veggie burger is the best around, and the cauliflower soup I had a few weeks ago was garnished with GINGERBREAD CRUMBLES and you can fucking fight me right here, right now if you don’t think it was delicious. And don’t get me started on their fluffy, soft buttermilk biscuits with lemon curd and house jam, omfg.

Anyway, earlier in the week they announced on Instagram that they were going to debut a vegan sandwich. OK, look. I have had “vegan sandwiches” at carnivorous eateries before and it usually equates to the kitchen dumping some basic veggies (zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers generally) onto a wrap and calling it a day. I mean, OK that’s fine. But you’d be surprised at the wide array of disappointing veggie wraps I’ve had in my life! In fact, there was one road trip recently where I had like three in a row that made me want to cry.

But I had a feeling that this one was crafted with thoughtfulness and quality ingredients, and hoooooo boy-o I was correct-o-mundo. First of all, that bread. Thank you for one-upping a basic wrap, Oak Hill Post. Sincerely, thank you for serving these quality vegetables on a high-class carb vessel.

Oh and in between the bread-flaps? MOROCCAN SPICED CELERY ROOT. Did I know that I liked that!? Not until Wednesday. Now it’s all I can think about. Also: lettuce and red pepper hummus. But the celery root was what carried this thing, man. I couldn’t stop eating it and then I was so sick afterward because my stomach is not used to hearty vegan sandwiches, but the pain was worth it. It’s so comforting to know that I have a viable veg/vegan food option within walking distances, right here in my ‘hood. #blessed

ALEXA SHOW ME HENRY CELERY ROOT RECIPES.

LC4LYFE

I opened Instagram after work and the first thing I saw was Lauren Conrad posting an IGTV video of a Laguna Beach reunion and I was like OH HOLD THE PHONE, dropped everything and watched the entire 30 minute. I was LIVING for it. I loved Laguna Beach so fucking much and I still support LC with my whole heart (well, part of it – my heart is pulled in a ton of different directions).

Anyway, at the end when everyone was saying goodbye, tears started SQUIRTING out of my eyes and I scream-laughed OMG WHY AM I CRYING and henry just smirked and mumbled, “I’m not surprised.”

Almost all of them look / the same so good still! Stephen Colletti especially there I said it.

Man I miss the early 2000s so much.

Now of course I’m watching Laguna Beach compilation videos on YouTube.

TV TALK

In an earlier post, I whined about not liking Haunting of Bly Manor but then I finished it and while I still stand by the opinion that it was not scary at all, I ended up really loving it when I realized that holy shit, this is a goddamn love story. I cried SO HARD throughout the last episode (and am crying again thinking about it, I hate myself) that I had to hide my face with a pillow because Henry was sitting next to me and even after 19 years I’m still like DON’T SEE ME when I’m crying.

Then for shits and giggles, I started watching Emily in Paris earlier this week, thinking it was like some Teen Nick show. Nope. Not even. I rarely binge shows but I had this one devoured in two days. It helped that the episodes were only like 20-30 minutes though! Was it cheesy? Yes. Did I learn how to say raunchy things in French? Yes. Is Lily Collins totally fucking likeable? Yes. Will I watch Season 2 if it happens? TRES OUI.

Henry and I watched The Lodge over the weekend. I thought it was really great and pretty scary but he was like, “eh.” I LIKE CULT SHIT and the plot was A+. But seriously, Henry is the worst person to watch horror movies with because he rarely likes one and is “never scared.” I did get him to admit that the only horror movie that ever scared him was It’s Alive, but he quickly clarified that he saw it when it came out and he was “just a kid.” Mmhmm. Anyway, The Lodge was made by the same people who did Goodnight, Mommy, and that movie WAS SO FUCKING GOOD. This one wasn’t as good, but I would recommend it all the same. The atmosphere was so stark and cold, the cast was great (would have liked to have had more Alicia Silverstone though!), and it was actually less predictable than I imagined. Incidentally, it was the second time in a week that we watched something with Riley Keough in it and I had previously never even heard of her (I’m vicariously living in Korea, remember?). Turns out she’s Elvis’s granddaughter.

Oh! And I watched An American Murder or whatever the fuck that new Netflix documentary is called. Chooch started watching it with me but then had to go play Fortnight or something and said he’d watch the rest later and then when he overheard me say something to Henry about the husband killing his wife, Chooch was like WOW OK SPOILER and I was like, “This isn’t fiction though, it literally happened and we already knew it was the husband!?” But yeah, what a fucking demon dick and also the broad he was cheating with wasn’t that great, so nice one, asshole. Also Part 2, I was extremely uncomfortable that they used actual text messages in it, like I didn’t need to know how the wife was horny.

In Korean drama news, I finally started watching It’s Okay to Not Be Okay and I think the real Korean title actually translates to Psycho But Fine….my Korean skills are limited but “psycho” is “psycho” in both languages, so. Anyway, only 2 episodes in and I love it but show me a Korean drama that I won’t love, truly. The reason I was finally pushed to watch it is because the main character is a, well, psycho writer of children’s books, and the books featured in the show (dark fairytales in the vein of Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman) were made into actual books and I really want to buy them to use for learning purposes, so maybe if Jiyong and I ever get to hang out again I can bring cute books instead of text books and we could read those together instead while she makes me repeat the hard words over and over until my tongue swells and then I start hating those books, god I miss those days.

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Honestly, I can’t recommend Korean dramas enough, especially now that all there is to do is binge shit. I have been trying to get JANNA to watch one BUT SHE HAS NOT DONE SO YET WHAT A BITCH HI JANNA.

***

Anyway, today is my last day of work before my annual Halloween Vacation starts so cheers to that, etc etc.

Happy fucking Mole Day, I’m out.

Oct 092020
 

I don’t have anything to say other than hello, welcome to Friday, and here are five subjects for you to read.

ERIN & CHOOCH GO TO THE BAKERY

Thursday morning, I dragged Chooch with me to the library because I had 4 books waiting to be picked up. On the way there, he said he also wanted to go to the bakery and I said that’s great but I didn’t bring my wallet because, with my role as An Irresponsible Adult, leaving my wallet behind is Step #1 (Step #2 is not locking the door).

I literally don’t even carry a purse anymore.

Anyway! After another awkward installment of Are We Supposed to Go Inside the Library or Not?, we went next door to the bakery. They limit 5 customers at a time during the pandemic, and there were only three people in there BUT!! Two of them were wearing masks UNDER their noses. For the love of god, why is wearing a motherfucking mask SO HARD FOR SOME AMERICANS?! So we waited outside and when one of the people came out, he looked at us like, “Yinz coulda gone in by now” and I was like “JUST WAITING FOR YOUR UNCOVERED SCHNOZZ TO EXIT THE BUILDING, THX.”

Right away, Chooch was like “I WANT THAT” and pointed to the case of mini pumpkin cakes and the bakery girl was like “OK” and then Chooch was like, “Wow, did I really just say it like that” and I was like, “You mean like your three-year-old nephew demanding a toy? Yes, yes you did.”

But then I was like I WANT THAT TOO because I felt like pounding some cake in my face that day. I had been having a bad week, OK?! Thursday morning brunch-cake sounded smashing. Plus, the little tag said they were .95 cents which I thought was very cheap.

THEN WE SAW THESE!!!

At first I was happy that there were so many more Trumps than Bidens because my logic was that it meant more Biden supporters had visited the bakery that morning that MAGAsses, but then I was like, “OR DO YOU THINK THIS MEANS TRUMP SUPPORTERS ARE PURPOSELY BUYING THE BIDEN ONES SO THEY CAN DO MEAN THINGS TO IT??” and Chooch was like, “Remember when we agreed you wouldn’t talk to me in public.”

I proudly said, “And we’ll take the last two Bidens!” hoping that it would spark a sense of camaraderie within the bakery walls but no one cared.

While she was adding up our order, I whispered to Chooch, “You DO have cash right?”

He pulled out a wad of crumpled bills. “Yeah, I have like $7,” he said and right when I was like, “OK good it definitely won’t be any more than that,” the bakery girl said, “That’ll be $8.96.”

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK!?

“How much are those Biden cookies,” I asked her in a strained I’M NOT PANICKING tone.

“$1.99 each.”

Chooch was mathing it up quietly and he said, “Yeah OK that makes sense,” but then I was like, “WTF how many of those pumpkin cakes did she give us then?! WILL WE HAVE TO GO PANHANDLE ON GODDAMN BROOKLINE BLVD NEXT TO THE OLD LADY WHO PICKS UP CIGARETTE BUTTS” but by then, Chooch had magically conjured up exactly $9.

“Thank god,” Chooch said as soon as we were back ojut on the sidewalk, deeply exhaling in unison. “I really didn’t want to have to be like, OK NEVER MIND” and I was like, “Yeah, I was about to run away and move to a different town with a new bakery.”

I was inspecting the receipt though to figure out if we got screwed or not and YES & NO.

Those stupid pumpkin cakes were actually $2.49. SO THEY WERE MISLABLED.

“Yeah, I was wondering why they were called ‘Gems,'” Chooch shrugged.

So, now Chooch only has 4 cents to his name, but at least we got to enjoy Biden cookies and pumpkin cakes on an otherwise non-descript Thursday morning.

P.S. I felt so bad about it that I called Henry said, “You have to give Chooch $10,” and of course he asked, “Why” in a very hesitant and worrisome tone.

WE HAD AN ACCIDENT AT THE BAKERY OK JUST LEAVE IT AT THAT.

MOUTH STUFF

I’m off today, had to get a deep cleaning/scaling procedure done at the periodontist since the dumb dentist that did it three years ago didn’t do a very fine job (YOU MIGHT REMEMBER THE COPIOUS DENTAL DRAMA BLOG POSTS ABOUT THAT FALL-OUT). Anyway, the guy who did today’s procedure also did a gum procedure on me (some laser thing if I remember correctly) after I got my braces off in the 90s. He’s still relatively young-ish so he must have been only been in his early 30s back then. Anyway, I was very scared to do this because of COVID obviously, having avoided any legit human contact since March, but they had very strict safety procedures in place, for instance, I had to call them from my car when I got there so they could let me know if it was clear to come in (mask on of course), at which point they immediately had me hand-sanitize and my temperature was taken. So that made me feel OK.

I guess.

Anyway, when that dumb dentist did this, she (actually it wasn’t even the dentist it was the hygienist and she wasn’t dumb; I liked her very much, but that whole office was kind of SUS, to use a word I learned from AMONG US) did one side of my mouth and it took 90 minutes, and then I had to go back to have the other side down. It was SO PAINFUL.

But this guy is a specialist and he did 3/4 of my mouth (he determined one side didn’t need it thank god) in an hour. Also, he administered the most painless doses of Novacaine I had ever received. I mean, he fucking pumped me full of that shit though, to the point where, after he left the room to let it do its thing, I was laying there with heart palps, wondering if maybe I could die.

And he had the calmest, most gentle voice! He kept telling me I was doing a great job, and at the end, he was like, “My day can only go downhill from here, you set the bar so high.” And I was like, “Ahskjdha lahfduyalsueiry” and he was like, “No, thank YOU. You handled this exceptionally well” and if there is one thing that you should know about me, and my co-workers will definitely attest with a hearty eye roll, is that I am still a five-year-old who needs copious accolades and praise dumped upon her. So I was ready to do cartwheels out of that place (except that it was almost a somersault when I tripped going down the steps).

Also, he said he was confident that this procedure is going to bring back my gum health to about 95% and that is what I want to hear. I have always been neurotically obsessed with my oral health – you should see my google search history – so I feel relieved that hopefully that’s one less thing to worry about.

(I drive Henry nuts about it. I mean, among other things.)

CHOOCH GOES WITH ME TO FILL A PRESCRIPTION

Then I had to go to CVS and get a prescription for amoxicillin because the guy wants to be extra aggressive with treating it and he thinks that taking this for 5 days will help and I am all for that. But the problem is that I HAVE NEVER HAD A PRESCRIPTION FILLED BY MYSELF BEFORE. I don’t think I have?! Or maybe it’s just been so long that I can’t remember?!

Either way, I had to text Henry how to do it and he was like, “Take it to CVS.”

Um. OK. But I need more detailed instructions. Like, what do I need to bring? Will it cost hundreds of dollars? Then I had to send Henry a picture of my insurance card so that he could verify if it was correct.

It was.

(I don’t know, OK?! I have three different cards for things!)

Chooch had a little break between classes so I begged him to go with me. On the way there, I asked, “Do you think I will need my ID? I’ve never done this by myself before.”

“I don’t know!” Chooch cried, “either have I!” and then I was like, “Oh yeah, you’re 14.”

Anyway, at least I knew where to go once inside CVS, but when I went to the drop-off window and managed to mouth-marble, “I need a prescription filled” while gurgling on saliva, the guy was like, “No, please step over here” and pointed to the consultation window and I was like THEN WHY EVEN HAVE SIGNS but whatever.

Chooch had to stay near in case he needed to translate for me since honestly I have never had this much Novacaine in my mouth at once and could barely talk.

Anyway, turns out that I didn’t need my ID at all, just my insurance card, but when dude asked for it, I thought he said “charge card” and I hesitated, like, look pal I know I’m all numb & numb right now but when did I time travel to the 80s also will you accept Diners Club?

GOOD SMELLS / FOODZ / MUSIX

In the “THINGS I AM LIKING” category of today’s Friday 5, I present to you:

  • Soohyang candles from South Korea.

I bought a few samples just to see if I would like them even though I was pretty sure I would, and shipping was free because Korea is he fucking BEST. And they arrived in about 5 days!

Boy’s Neck is my favorite. Chooch has absconded with Figue, but Gangnam 8 is a fucking nasal jamboree as well. Highly recommend these candles!

  • Sweet Potato Burger from Zenith

And in the “good foodz I masticated in the last week” category, I have for your consideration another beastly burger from Zenith: this one is sweet potato and it was INCREDIBLE. I can’t wait until we’re able to safely eat at restaurants again so I can go there and give those peeps a high-five (or elbow-bump, because will touching other people ever be OK again?) because they have been keeping our spirits lifted during this pandemic but consistently offering weekly curbside pickup.

Also, their Instagram posts always make me smile. They’re such good people! Even if you’re a meat-head, you should give them a try. If Henry likes it, you will probably like it too!

  • WISH YOU WERE HERE, BY SUPERM:

Don’t even tell me this isn’t adorable.

CLOWN CORNER

I made some more progress in the Popsicle Room! You know how I love me some fucking stripes, fam.

I have one additional thing that I need to add (HENRY BROKE IT WHEN HE WAS TRYING TO HANG IT SO HE HAD TO BUST OUT THE SUPER GLUE) but I don’t want to “gild the lily” (gotta meet my quota since I apparently say it ALL THE TIME according to my son) because those stripes are too nice to be covered!!

A few years ago, we were at a red light and I saw this sign on a telephone pole. The fair was over by then so I felt it was fair game to run over and pry it off the pole. I actually forgot that I had it until we started the walls in this room and Henry found it with a bunch of other shit that I’ve accumulated over the years that are waiting in line to be framed. The color scheme is almost identical! It’s like kismet YOU COULD SAY.

This is definitely my new favorite area of the house. It will be especially fun the next time I have a video meeting at work because it’ll be in the background and Wendy hates clowns so much haha.

Penelope doesn’t care, just as long as she can still spy on HNC when he’s in the driveway doing man stuff.

***

OK, that’s it. That’s 5. Now I’m going to go and read the rest of Home Before Dark, which is shaping up to be the best Riley Sager book I’ve read so far, but there’s still time for it to go downhill. Also, all of the Novacaine has worn off and I’m getting a little OUCHY. Alsox2, I have to go find where Henry ran off to – he quietly slipped away because I think he is tired of me talking about my teeth and gums but hello, I got my wisdom teeth out in the first month of our relationship and was the High Priestess of Dramaville, so he knew what he signed up for.

Sep 182020
 

Lol – lofty statements.

1. Brookline Gets a Veggie Burger

…and is this the best picture of it? Nope. But it’s the best you’re gonna get from me at least because I was in a big hurry to start gnawing at this beast and couldn’t really bother with angles and close ups, etc etc. This picture makes the veggie burger look like a Frenchman though. SEE IT?

Up until a few weeks ago, Brookline had zero veggie burger options. I mean, I could walk a few blocks away to Dormont and get one at Eat n Park but they literally serve Gardenburgers like it’s 1999 but without the party.

You guys know I loved Brookline’s sandwich shop, Parker’s, and shed legit tears when the proprietor (I just realized that I think this is one of my favorite words and it started in high school but that is a story for another time) announced he was closing in order to focus on the bar he had recently opened. Parker’s last day was about a year ago now, I would say, and it sat there, dormant for months and months until one day last winter, the paint changed from Parker’s signature bright blue stripes, to some plain blah neutral color that would be right at home in Henry’s basic wardrobe. I did a lot of muttering and foot-stamping over it because PARKER’S 4 LYFE, but I have to admit, every time I walked past (which is like every day because I’m a seasoned Brookline walker) I’d cup my hands around the windows and try to squint through the darkness to see if I could make out a menu on the wall or any semblance of a decor.

One night, Chooch was able to get a glimpse of the menu on the wall inside and he cried out, “VEGGIE BURGER!!!” I hesitated to get too excited. This could mean anything. A nuked Boca Burger, maybe dressed up a little with some Heinze pickles and enveloped in a Mancini’s bun? A sad attempt at a “homemade” black bean burger, dry as fuck, on a Wonderbread roll?

Then one day a few months ago, they painted their name on the storefront!

I checked them out and they’ve had an Instagram presence for quite a while because they’re not exactly new, it seems. I guess they have been operating as a pop-up at various local breweries (which would explain why I’ve never heard of them – I avoid any brewery event like the plague; that is NOT my scene) and have amassed a bit of a following. The food that they’ve posted in their feed is like hipster gourmet, if I had to terminology-ize it. (SMRT PPL MAKE UP WURDZ.) I was kind of like, “But is that gon’ fly in Brookline?” I remember when there was a rumor that the old Zippy’s Bar (a total Yinzer den) was going to be a wine bar, and people on the boulevard were buggin’ out over that (OK actually just the waitress at NO NAME CAFE, but if she was acting like, I can guarantee others were because, herd mentality. TRUMP TAUGHT ME THAT WORD.)

(J/k, I already knew it but laughed when he said herd mentality instead of immunity the other day and by laugh I mean I screamed OMFG I HATE YOU, YOU DUMB ORANGE PIECE OF SHIT.)

(This is why I lost 70847203947 blog readers. GET TO THE POINT, ERIN,  YOU STUPID YOKEL.)

On their Instagram, I saw that they have, in the past, created NUMEROUS versions of veggie burgers, and they all looked like BEASTS. You could tell they were “from scratch,” the buns looked artisinal AF, and they had toppings with names that only a true gourmand would understand. I was ready.

They opened last month and we ordered take-out (the only thing they were offering until this week when they decided to open up with limited seating and I’m like, “OK but did you not see that news report that came out over the weekend? You know, THIS ONE?

Adults With COVID-19 Twice As Likely To Have Eaten At Restaurants, CDC Study Finds

But OK, go on.

Anyway, holy.fucking.shit. This burger. It had goat cheese and carmelized onion jam and cucumbers and tahini and and and…it was PRECIOUS. Not like, “Aw, look how precious Erin looks when she’s eating an ice cream cone and thinking about Taemin” but THAT RING IS MADE FROM PRECIOUS GEMS INFUSED WITH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST. That kind of precious.

WOW. Just wow. It was a taste sensation. Not vegan, of course, because of the goat cheese, but if you’re just a regular veg like me or someone who enjoys a meat fast every now and then, this is where it’s at. I imagine even the most professional carnivore would enjoy sinking their teeth into this fake flesh.

And we also got a side of the “chipped cabbage” which booted every cole slaw I’ve ever had right the fuck out of my heart. This shit was fire. I mean, literally because it had Thai chilis in it that I didn’t know about and wow that was a nice surprise. (No really, I like spicy stuff.) And it had parsnip in it! I love parsnip! Such an underrated root vegetable! (It’s a root vegetable, right?)

So, on their Instagram, I kept seeing their regulars Q-tipping their dickholes* over the biscuits. So finally, I caved and told Henry to get some the other day. WOW BOY, ok. I get it. I get it now. I’m not a huge biscuit person, and usually find them to be too dry, but these ones are monstrous mountains of carb-fluff. I don’t even have any pictures because I inhaled mine. But they’re on the “sweets” section of the menu because they come with a side of lemon curd and some type of house jam. GOOD GOD DAMN. This is where it’s at.

The one I had ended up being my dinner that night and I was fulfilled. I will happily get another one soon for, um, photographical purposes. I’d do that for, you.

*(So one time, way back when I was on LiveJournal, I submitted my journal to this stupid LJ Review community that was full of the meanest, most pretentious assholes** you’d ever meet, including Yours Truly eventually, and everyone was like “A+ let this bitch in” except this one dude was all salty and said, “I mean her journal is OK but nothing to Qtip my dickhole over” and I thought that was the best review of all time and about once every 4 years, I like to sling that saying as an homage to the guy who didn’t want to let me in and never did end up liking me.)

**(I’m still friends with some of those assholes, lol.)

2. Corneal Capsaicin

Wednesday evening was a memorable one.

Henry wasn’t home from work yet and Chooch was loitering in the kitchen, mumbling about wanting something spicy for dinner. He called Henry to bitch about being hungry and Henry was like “there is plenty of food in the kitchen, you and your mother just don’t know how to make it” which always pisses me off when he says that, like he’s some Food Magician or some shit. They had some dumb argument about this which ended with Chooch yelling, “DON’T BRING ME FOOD HOME” and Henry said, “I WON’T.”

“Make some of that buldak ramen,” I shrugged, only half-caring because I’m a great mother.

Chooch was pretty ambivalent about this idea but set about putting water in the kettle (side note: do you use a water kettle? It is apparently uncommon for American households to use one but I’ve one for years which I use to make coffee and I would be lost without it).

So everything is going fine, and the ramen is done, and I come into the kitchen to grab a set of chopsticks because I just want a bite (THE CHICKEN FLAVORING IS ARTIFICIAL). Chooch has just finished squeezing the packet of sauce into the bowl and had turned around to go to the sink when suddenly…

“OMFG. I touched my EYE. I AM SO STUPID WHY DID I DO THAT OMG,” and I was like “Haha” and about to snare some noods with my ‘sticks when I realized that oh shit, my kid isn’t just being hyper, he’s actually scream-crying and dry-heaving into the sink.

He started doing a FIRE IN THE HOLE dance in the middle of the kitchen, half bent over, arms fluttering, squealing like a pig.

“HELP ME!!!” he screamed.

And I’m standing there, chopsticks in midair, paralyzed as I often am when confronted with Mom Duties.

Or, Any Duties.

“UM, SPLASH WATER IN IT!” I yelled over my shoulder, running to get  my phone, where I proceeded to Google, “HOW TO FIX PEPPER EYE.”

The first thing that came up:

Do not put water in eye. It will make the pain spread.

“OK, DON’T PUT WATER IN IT!” I yelled from the family room, to which he responded in a gurgle of snot and saliva, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME I HAVE BEEN WATERING MY EYE THIS WHOLE TIME” and then punctuated the sentence with an ungodly wail.

Now, I don’t know what this means* but whenever I’m confronted with a situation like this, my fight or flight response is, well, to FLY FAR AS FUCK AWAY, but also to laugh. I CAN’T HELP IT!

*(OK, look I know it means I’m an asshole, but I was hoping that some armchair psychologist would stumble upon this and reason that it actually means my empathy is SO INTENSE that the brain actually can’t handle the stress and just straight up splinters.)

By now I had found that the most common remedy is a cotton ball soaked in milk.

I swung open the fridge door and muttered, “Oh shit.”

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I HATE HIM!! I HATE HIM SO MUCH! HE NEVER GETS MILK!!!!” Chooch screamed. Now he was rocking back and forth on the kitchen floor and I was trying so hard to eat my laughter that I was coming very close to peeing my pants.

Chooch meanwhile was still screaming about hating Henry and how it was all Henry’s fault even though he wasn’t home, and I was like, “YES, THIS IS HIS FAULT. DOWN WITH HENRY! LET’S PILE UP ALL HIS THINGS AND BURN IT!” I let the narrative take this turn while I quietly slipped into the into the bathroom, where I was able to unleash a minute-long torrent of hearty, wheezy laughter. I emerged, red-faced with tears streaming down my cheeks, so now it looked like I was sharing a sympathy sob with my son, like the good little fucking mommy that I am.

We had both been trying to call him during this whole fiasco but he wasn’t answering.

Do you know why? Because he stopped at Oak Hill Post to get me the aforementioned biscuits, LOLOLOL.

Here’s Chooch fanning his eye while trying to unsuccessfully call Henry for the 80th time.

Things had finally started to calm down when Henry eventually came strolling in through the front door with the stride of a man who did nothing wrong and we immediately started screaming at him.

“How was this my fault?” he scoffed.

“Because you weren’t here to make dinner!!!” we screamed in tandem, always in sync when Henry is the common enemy.

“What’s this!?” Chooch screeched as Henry handed him a hunk of something in foil.

“It’s falafel. I stopped at Pitaland.”

“I TOLD YOU NOT TO GET ME ANYTHING!!!” Chooch screamed and then started sobbing, because is nothing if not a flesh bag created to hold my access emotions. He flung it down in the counter and ran off screaming, “THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!”

“Yeah,” I said smugly, biscuit crumbs spilling out of my mouth. “You made all the dominos fall.”

“YOU’RE THE ONE WHO TOLD HIM TO MAKE THE RAMEN!” Henry yelled. Shit. This is what I was thinking all along but kept hoping that the focal point of the hate stayed on Henry. I looked at Chooch, silently pleading with my precious (Not like, “THAT RING IS MADE FROM PRECIOUS GEMS INFUSED WITH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST” but “Aw, look how precious Erin looks when she’s eating an ice cream cone and thinking about Taemin) eyes.

I watched as Chooch connected the dots. “Hey! YEAH, YOU TOLD ME TO MAKE THE RAMEN!”

OK moving along!!!

3. WHAT? MORE SIDEWALK SAGA?

Remember when Chooch tagged a wet-cement sidewalk with his cat’s Instagram handle and then Henry was like THAT IS A CRIME and made Chooch think he was going to go to jail and then oh yeah the sidewalk belongs to his friend’s family up the street from us and her dad busted him when he went back up and tried to cover it up but Chooch failed to tell us that part until weeks later when he couldn’t take the pressure of his sins anymore and confessed in one long-winded blurt? Well, now the city is doing work on the entire street (gas line stuff? I think I have also seen the water company out there?). This has been going on for weeks now and is slowly working its way closer to my block. They spraypainted the areas where the work (aka THE DIGGING) will be happening and one of those places was The Sidewalk. We were like OH SHIT ARE YOU KIDDING but no, they weren’t kidding, because they started working on this week!

I walked by yesterday and there is now a huge hole in their yard and the sidewalk is gonzo.

Also, speaking of the road work, these guys doing the work are complete assholes. (Maybe they used to review LiveJournals!?) In the beginning, I used to smile and say hello when passing but they would just grunt or ignore me so now I have this bubbling hatred brewing from within and I finally upchucked a freshly baked Karen Cake from my mouth yesterday when I went for a walk and they had the sidewalks all cluttered with their manly accessories and machinery and then they PARK ON THE SIDEWALKS as well and loaf against their trucks, bullshitting with each other, while I’m left to zigzag from one side of the sidewalk to the other. I was on the phone with Henry and this is always when I’m the most passive-aggressive and feel emboldened to shout to him all the things I’m feeling about these people so that they will hear me and, you know, definitely not cry about it in their thermoses. But it still feels great to get it off my shoulders!

“AND THEY’RE SO FUCKING RUDE TOO! THEY TAKE UP THE WHOLE ROAD AND SIDEWALK AND THEN ANYTIME I TRY TO BE NICE AND SAY HI THEY IGNORE ME BECAUSE I’M JUST A LOWLY PEDESTRIAN WHO DARES TO SPEAK TO MANLY ROAD WORKERS.”

“Wow,” Henry mumbled on the other end.

“ASSHOLES!” I yelled over my shoulder. Then I went home through an alley so I wouldn’t have to pass them again HAHAHA.

4. Slut Life Moves to Florida

Remember that asshole who lives next to HNC and they had all kinds of drama and HNC wrote a letter to the landlord and name-dropped me in it three times because I was his ally? Well, HNC ended up signing a proverbial peace treaty with that dumb fuck because Slut Life’s grandma got involved and made him behave. I think what happened was that somehow they realized that have a family connection or something because it is SO BUDDY-BUDDY over there now and I hate it because HNC got me all fired up and made me the star witness of his imaginary trial and then abandoned me to steep alone in my solo-hate.

Yeah that’s right, I still hate the guy. He is so obnoxious the way he peels in and out of the driveway and into the road, never even looking before pulling out! Henry and I witnessed him nearly cause an accident three different times when we were sitting on the porch.  (Oh also Slut Life told HNC he doesn’t like Henry so we always laugh whenever we’re outside and he goes out of his way not to look in our direction haha.) Anyway, not only is he a truly shitty driver (he almost hit me, remember?!), he also has extreme anger issues and will fucking scream at other drivers in his grating high pitched voice – trust me, we have front row seats for his outbursts as they often happen when he’s pulling out of the driveway.

Well, I overheard him telling HNC a few weeks ago that he’s MOVING TO FLORIDA IN OCTOBER. BITCH, BYE!

5. TAEMIN HAS BLACK HAIR AGAIN

This was originally going to be about how I’m still getting emails for other Erin Kellys and last week, I received an e-gift card for $150 CAD from Barbara Kelly, who even included a sweet note and I was like, “Barbara, you are lucky that I believe in karma and don’t want to cash this in and then get hit by a Facchiano truck” but I have already written nearly 3000 words on a FRIDAY FIVE, ARE YOU KIDDING, so instead let’s watch this video and be so excited that Taemin has black hair again!!!

 

Aug 212020
 

It’d be a true feat if I can even come up with five things today because this past week has been a snooze and a half so let’s not even front and just make this a free-form, who-gives-a-fuck type o’ update (as if there’s any other type ’round here!).

First of all, I finished (mostly) my front door revamp. And my “mostly,” I mean that I have a trio of plastic tigers en route which I want to place on each tiny window ledge, and I also want to get two or three strands of fake jungle-like foliage to hang down.

I can’t remember if this was in my last update, but I added sheets of colored plastic to each window too and it looks really cool from the outside at night so I’m pleased.

I’m feeling super smug about this door only because unlike Henry*, when I start a project, I finish it. Chooch and I were coming home from a walk the other night and he said, “What if we walked in the house, and dad had everything finished?”

“Yeah, maybe if he was on a cocaine bender,” I scoffed.

“Ohhh…we should get him to start doing cocaine!” Chooch said giddily, rubbing his hands together.

*(See: Seoul Subway sign, coffee table redo, OH YEAH THE KITCHEN.)

Yeah, I know, the trim needs repainted big-time, but I leave the boring parts for Henry.

I’m telling you, I just don’t know what to do with myself anymore. I’m bored but I have so much energy but then my back is busted so I can’t exercise so instead it’s like “give me something to paint/desecrate/destroy.” By the time this pandemic is over, my house is gonna look like a fur coat after a PETA protest.

In kitchen news, my custom neon sign arrived! I have always wanted my own neon sign, something that I designed myself, and this was the perfect opportunity because it’s not an 80s kitchen without a neon sign!

It means “I’ll eat well” – something that you would say right before a meal, kind of like, “thanks for the food.”

Drew approves!

Henry actually has the cabinet/sink area almost done. He repainted everything and is in the process of putting the cabinets back up. The drawers are ready, at least! But man, this is taking forever. That side of the kitchen is still trash right now. I mean, we still have a drop cloth on the floor on that side. Sigh.

Here’s my precious Penelope! She’s still really enjoying being an Instacat. Blake’s cat hasn’t posted in a week so some of the edge has been taken off of the competition. Haha.

Oh! The other night, I was the 666th follower of one of our fave vegan joint’s extra-curricular pop-up, Chick Habit, and it was kind of cool because the main restaurant is called Onion Maiden and their whole theme is like, black metal and Satan (ooh, Satanic panic was big in the 80s, I should put some devil worshiping shit in my kitchen too) so it was apropos that I would be the 666th follower, but then CHOOCH wanted to be the 666th follower so he made me unfollow them so that he could screen record himself being the 666th follower and I actually gave in and complied. This is a seldom talked about sacrifice of parenting.

It was nice being the 666th follower for that brief amount of time, though.

I watched bits and pieces of the DNC this past week and man, it blows my mind that there are still AmeriKKKans who are going to vote against humanity.

I’m currently reading three books at once and it’s pretty stressful, but I wanted to read all of them so much and couldn’t choose just one!

Speaking of books, my local branch of the library opened for in-person book pick-up and limited computer use, but when Chooch and I went there on Thursday, it was like, “HELLO. WHAT DO YOU WANT. WHY ARE YOU HERE.” And we were so confused. I said that I thought the library was open again and the guard was like, “OK, I’m going to have you go up there and talk to the librarian” so I approached the librarian sitting at a desk behind a sneeze-shield and she was like “HELLO. WHAT DO YOU WANT. WHY ARE YOU HERE.” I said I needed to pick up some books I had on hold, and she was like, “FOLLOW THE SOCIAL DISTANCING CIRCLES TO THE CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK” so I did that and the librarian behind the desk was like, “HELLO. WHAT DO YOU WANT. WHY ARE YOU HERE.” So I told her I had books on hold and she was like panicked about this but managed to scan my library card on my phone without hyperventilating too much and then she gave me my books and was like, “YOU CAN FOLLOW THE ARROWS OUT” but on the way out, someone was coming in and we were at a socially-distanced standstill, like WHO GETS TO GO FIRST but the security guard waved us through so we burst through the doors and ran away. It was so tense. I have never felt more unwelcome somewhere (untrue, I feel unwelcome in varying degrees basically on a weekly basis) in my life. I mean, it’s not like they were still closed to the public and we forced our way in, Funny Games-style. We were wearing masks! And the proper way too, not the Karen way.

Anyway, next time I have books available for pick-up, I will just go back to the curbside option because that was entirely too stressful. Here’s my current (physical) TBR:

Two of those books are from local Little Libraries. I still want to make my own Little Library, but as I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t think the location of my house is very conducive to a successful Little Library.

Oh you want a Chooch update? Here’s one. He was sitting at the computer with an iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts in front of him, watching stupid videos on YouTube and one of them had a jump scare in it, which made him throw his head forward for some reason and he crashed into the straw of his drink with his nose hard enough that he needed to put a bandaid on it and now he has this stupid mark on the tip of his nose that looks like dirt, or rust, and I can’t even look at him. Oh, and school starts on the 31st! The first 9 weeks (at least) will be done entirely online so we have to go to the school next week and get the school-supplied laptop, so at least he will briefly get to go inside his new high school.

Man, this situation is depressing. I feel fortunate that my kid is at least at an age where I won’t have to micro-manage him or play teacher’s assistant everyday. But I know he’s pretty bummed and stressed about not being able to meet his new teachers and classmates in person, and he’s afraid that it will be hard to make new friends but I was like, “Dude, you make friends online constantly. Just pretend it’s Discord.” For once, he gave me credit for having a good idea.

This past week was pretty &^(*^*^$^&%&*(*&) at work – nothing like majorly bad or anything, but just stressful things here and there, today especially, so when 5:30 rolled up and I logged off UNTIL AUGUST 31ST, I was like “BYE BITCHES.” Doesn’t it always seem like work is the worst right before you’re “on vacation”? I mean granted, I’m not going anywhere, but it will be nice to have a full week to just, I dunno, exist somewhere away from a computer screen. Henry is going to try to take a day off next week so we can maybe go somewhere local-ish and wilderness-y, a road trip lite. I suggested Erie since it’s still in Pennsylvania and his work only requires him to quarantine for 2 weeks if we go out of state, but he gave me a WHY WOULD WE GO TO ERIE look and I was like I DUNNO BC WE CAN’T GO TO KOREA?! OR EVEN CLEVELAND, FOR THAT MATTER!? God, everything sucks. Just take me somewhere. I will wear my mask and stay the fuck away from people, but please, let’s just go somewhere.

Hey, maybe this actually was 5 things?! I can’t count today. Please don’t make me count.

Aug 142020
 

Hi peeps. Doesn’t it seem like, in spite of having nothing to do, these weeks are still somehow zipping by? Is it just me? March and April seemed to move in slo-mo, but everything after that has been a whirlwind. Which is strange considering every day is pretty much the same.

Anyway! Here we are, in the midst of another Friday already and lucky you, my keyboard is ready to let loose with a huge bowel movement of crap-words up in here, with the assistance of my fingertips.

That…

…was gross. Sorry.

  1. Kitchen Update

Nothing major has happened in the kitchen lately so I didn’t really have enough to fill an entire post. But! All of the cabinets have been painted – Henry is just “too tired” during the week to actually hang them, so we still have no cabinets. And he hasn’t started on the drawers yet, so that entire side of the kitchen may not be able to have the “big reveal” it so deserves until autumn at this point. Really excited with how slowly everything is happening!

Anyway, I made the cabinet pulls for the cabinets on that side of the kitchen. I thought it would be fun to do Corey Cabinet theme, and even added in Mr. Corey Hart in a game time decision.

I mean, you can’t get much more 80s than that!

It’s too bad my brother Corey was born in 1990, or I could have included him too. :(

Anyway, we just bought basic wooden knob-things online and matching cabochons, which Henry is kind of an expert on since he’s dabbled in pendant-making so many times over the years, lol sorry Henry. Then I made the Corey heads on 80’s geometric backgrounds, and voila. That’s how you make a Corey cabinet pull when the stores don’t sell them and you have to make them yourself. Ugh.

Then, I was like, “You know what this kitchen is missing?” Henry got real pale and whimpered, “What?”

“A framed picture of Nelson Sullivan and Michael Musto,” I answered, and he was like, “Oh, whew. OK, I’ll do that now.” I dunno why he was so scared there for a second…

And obviously Keith Haring too. <3 I have a framed Keith Haring print that I bought in Switzerland when I was a teenager and it was a really big deal because my aunt Sharon let me go off on my own to buy it and I thought I was so fucking cool, this American teenager walking around and shopping in Lucerne all on her own. I was obsessed with Keith Haring in the 90s and sure I probably could have bought this print somewhere in the States, but now it has so much meaning to it, you know? Anyway, obviously that picture is still with me but it lives in Chooch’s room and unlike the Tom Selleck head, he wouldn’t part with it so I found this Haring print online which I liked very much and it matches the kitchen better anyway, so there, Chooch. You’re not taking that other one to college with you I HOPE YOU KNOW.

2. Speaking of Tom Selleck…

Two weeks ago, I posted a picture of the Tom Selleck head on Instagram and someone commented with three men emojis and one baby emoji and I was like, “OK cool” and then hours later in hit me, Three Men and a Baby, oh for shit’s sake, I am so daft sometimes!

But yeah, that made me laugh because I haven’t thought that movie in quite a while even though Short Circuit keeps popping into my brain lately and both movies have Steve Guttenberg in it and then I start thinking about how much I loved Steve Guttenberg back then, like LOVED-LOVED him and and…OK sorry, where was I.

Three Men and a Baby. Right.

So then the other day, I saw on Twitter or somewhere, who knows, that they’re rebooting Three Men and a Baby with Zac Efron and I was like, “Why can’t they just leave old movies alone!? Does no one have any original ideas anymore?!” I mean, truly, if they’re not remaking movies from the 80s, they’re remaking films from other countries and pretending like it’s something brand new. HOW MANY JUON RIP-OFFS DO WE NEED?!

I thought that was kind of creepy timing, but THEN!!!! In (one of) the book(s) I’m reading, I saw this!!!!

Three times in as many weeks?! WHAT DOES IT MEAN?! Is someone going to dump a baby on our porch thinking we’re three men living here?! I don’t understand the universe sometimes. I REALLY DON’T.

3. WHAT I HAVE BEEN WATCHING ON THE TELLY

Speaking of things I really don’t understand sometimes, Chooch and I recently watched the second season of The Umbrella Academy. Goddamn this season was even better than the first even though all the time travel stuff makes my brain bleed.

Chooch is an avid binge-watcher. It’s what he excels at, truthfully. Me, on the other hand? Not so much. Unless I’m sick. Then I will lie there moaning while repeatedly reminding Netflix that YES I AM STILL WATCHING.

Lately, I haven’t been able to focus on TV. I think that’s why YouTube appeals so much to me – watching short videos is about as much as I can handle these days. But when Umbrella Academy’s second season finally dropped, I was ready.

And by “ready” I mean that two days went by before I finally said, “OK I’m ready to watch the first episode.” Chooch was like, “OMFG IT’S ABOUT TIME” but then when the first episode ended, I turned off Netflix and said, “OK, see you tomorrow for episode 2!” and steam was coming out of his ears by then.

I think I did pretty good though because we watched the whole thing in a week and a half! And actually, we watched the last 4 episodes all on one day (just not back to back) because I was like, “OK THEY’RE REALLY GIVING BEN SHIT TO DO THIS SEASON, I’M INVESTED.”

*clears throat*

Anyway, so yeah, I’m in love with this entire cast (well, Luther is kind of too milquetoast for my liking) and every time I’m like, “That’s my favorite character” the scene changes and I’m like, “No, wait, THAT’s my favorite character.” I mean, how can you choose.

Also throwback to when Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance and also co-creator of the comic books that Umbrella Academy is based on) gave Chooch a shout out on Twitter for his 8th birthday and all these MCR fans were like, “WHO IS THIS PERSON CALLED @DOUCHECUP??” and then “OMG HE’S LIKE AN 8-YEAR-OLD KID?!?!!?” and Chooch got all these followers and was famous for fifteen minutes but then got locked out of his twitter account for years and lost his followers, lol.

The other show I’ve been watching is the second season of POSE, which I didn’t realize was on Netflix! I watched season 1 last year because the episode started playing by mistake and I fell in love with it. I fucking love found family storylines and man, what I wouldn’t give to have a support system like Blanca fosters in her House.

If you’ve never seen it, it’s about New York City’s Black and Latino LGBTQ and gender-nonconforming ballroom culture scene in the 1980s. It’s by the same people who do American Horror Story which I used to love by then started to hate after the first several seasons because it wasn’t scary and it got way too try-hard, but THIS!! THIS is like redemption. First, a show featuring transgender people played  by actual transgender people? Yes, thank you! Second, the MUSIC? This show has a phenomenal soundtrack. (Then again, so did the American Horror Story: Hotel, AND ALSO UMBRELLA ACADEMY!! Public Image Ltd was featured in the last season!!! I never thought I would hear them on a TV show.) Third, it is fucking educational. Look, as a white girl who was a suburban kid in the 80s, I didn’t know much about AIDS. It didn’t reach me my community of family that I know of. In school, I only remember learning about it because of Ryan White. Because, of course.

Anyway, between this show, and a book I recently read that was set in NYC in the late 80s and focused heavily on ACT UP and AIDS, I just feel like my knowledge on the subject has expanded exponentially. It’s heartbreaking to read about and see how the gay community was attacked by the virus, and how no one fucking cared as long as it didn’t touch their white hetero lives. I don’t think I make it through an entire episode without ugly crying or feeling angry for the injustice their community faced (STILL FACES) but there is also SO MUCH JOY in this show.

And Billy Motherfucking Porter is a goddamn TREASURE.

4. CATSTAGRAM

Running a cat’s “Public Figure” Instagram page is hard fucking work. I spend entirely too much time primping and priming Penelope to give good face, but the problem is that she SLEEPS SO MUCH. She has over 1600 followers but it doesn’t even matter because stupid Ham from next door posts a picture of himself being basic and boring and gets 100s of likes (including a like from Henry!!!)  and Chooch and I just about ready to write off Ham and his dumb owner, blood relation or not!!

My pictures of Penelope are so much better and way more varied that dumb stupid Ham!!!

I have to move on from this topic because I get really pissed off about it.

5. In the “Things Chooch Has Made Recently” Category….

He’s apparently into making chocolate now:

In last week’s Friday Five, I mentioned that he was into making messes in wet cement, and I have new information on that! He and I were walking home today from our lunchtime stroll around good ol’ B-Line, when we passed his friend who lives in the house next to the sidewalk Chooch vandalized.

She smiled and said hi like any other normal person would, while Chooch was acting like he was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, pupils dilated, hands wringing…the whole paranoid package.

“OK good! She doesn’t seem to know!” Chooch hissed out on top of an exhale after we were a safe distance away. “I guess it’s all blown over,” he added. I didn’t say anything, because whatever, old news, etc etc. But then Chooch, without any prodding, blurted out, “OK FINE I’LL TELL YOU.”

Well, it turns out her dad actually busted Chooch when he went back to their sidewalk to get rid of what he etched in the wet cement and Chooch tried to play it off like wasn’t the one who did it, but rather, a concerned citizen who happened to be walking by and noticed fresh vandalism, at which point he took it upon himself to wipe it out. Because that’s normal, a teenager doing reverse-graffiti.

His friend’s dad barked, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? THIS IS EXPENSIVE!” and Chooch said sorry and walked away.

Hilariously, the city has been doing massive work on our street and have marked off where they’re going to be digging and that particular spot of The Sidewalk is one of the areas, lol.

Anyway, Chooch asked me not to tell Henry so hopefully he doesn’t read this HAHAHA.

*********************

Have a great weekend! Hopefully you find something fun to do. I’ll just be at home nagging Henry to get shit done. I put our Etsy shops on vacation mode so now he won’t be able to use the “I have to make serial killer cards” as an excuse to stop doing manual labor.

Also, I’ve noticed that I have been intermixing the words “done” and “down” a lot lately when typing. So that’s another cool brain-flaw.

Aug 072020
 

Remember in the beginning of quarantine, way back in that month that some of us might remember as “March,” I was doing a Friday 5 recap of my work weeks in quarantine? And then I gave up after less than a month because it made me feel worn out and no way was I going to keep that up for what, an entire month? MAYBE TWO MONTHS? Lol, that was so super cute when some of us thought we’d be going back to work at the end of April, May at the latest.

Anyway, that was my intro for the edition of Friday 5.

FOLLOW LOOPS

Remember how Chooch and I are obsessed with getting our cats to be more popular than Blake’s dumb cat on Instagram? Well, two days after I started an account for Penelope, I found this thing called a “follow loop” and sorry if you already know about this but I have never been in this numbers game before on the ‘gram, so I’m walking on new ground over here. Anyway, if you don’t know what it is, it’s this dumb thing on Instagram where you have to tag some friends and then follow everyone the Follow Loop account is following, and then the Follow Loop account starts following you so that everyone who joins also follows you, and, and, and, breathe. But yeah, it’s dumb and tedious but I went, I mean Penelope went from like 50 friends to 500 in a day and Chooch and I were cracking up because Blake, I mean, Ham, had more followers than us before this and then we both blew past him. Henry was like THAT IS MEAN but we were like DO NOT TELL HIM! WE KNOW HE IS YOUR FAVORITE SON BUT PLEASE KEEP OUR SECRET! and it was real tense there for a while because we weren’t sure what Henry was going to do.

THEN!!! One of our dumb ass mutual friends became a HOST for a follow loop and she POSTED ABOUT and tagged HAM so then HAM joined a follow loop and got a bunch of new followers too! I was so pissed and Chooch was like, “THAT’S IT, I’M QUITTING INSTAGRAM.” Meanwhile, Chooch and I, I mean Drew and Penelope, both got added to some pet group chat where everyone posts three emojis when they post a new picture and then the members of the chat are required to go and like that picture, but some people are also like VOTE FOR MY DOG and then someone in the group chat accidentally video-called all of us and then spent the next hour apologizing and every day I say I’m going to leave the group chat  BUT I NEVER DO. I have GROUP CHAT GUILT.

Last week, I spent my entire turn in the weekly meeting whining about the Instagram drama and then followed up with an email containing screenshots of all three cats’ profiles so my coworkers could see how much cooler Drew and Penelope are than BASIC HAM but then my one co-worker missed the point completely and her reply was all about how HAM IS SUCH A GOOD-LOOKING CAT AND SHE LOVES HIS NAME and I was like NO JOYCE! INCORRECT!! YOU LOST THIS ROUND!

Meanwhile, Chooch is quitting follow loops because not everyone follows him like they’re supposed to and he only wants cat accounts as friends. “Now I have an aquarium following me! I hate it!” he cried in anguish and I couldn’t stop laughing at the thought of an actual aquarium holding a phone and scrolling through Instagram.

Anyway, my screen time is so high lately because I have to spend so much every day fulfilling like and follow promises on Instagram and commenting things like, “Hey furiend, have a purrfect weekend! Lookin’ good in that bandanna!” Ugh I hate my life. But! Penelope has been making lots of friends, like this dog who also likes Taemin, and a cat who loves the Cure, lol.

DUMPSTER DRAMA

I was on my way to the library during my lunch break walk on Tuesday, but I cut through some side streets in order to prolong my arrival time because god forbid I arrive too early for my scheduled curbside pickup time. Anyway, I was walking down a sidewalk when I passed some broad asking (aka screaming across the street) a neighbor if he knows who’s been putting dog shit in the back of Dan’s dump truck, and she was RULL mad about it, but the real question is: what cunty things has Dan done to have dog shit put in the back of his dump truck. Also, RIP to the ears of the baby she was bouncing on her hip while hollering across the street to Mike the Neighbor.

From what I gathered, this is apparently an ongoing thing.  Mike the Neighbor sadly did not know who the culprit is but hollered back that it was “rull fucked up” and he’d “let yinz know” if he saw anything.

Isn’t a dump truck just a giant garbage can anyway?

I texted Henry about how I walked past neighbor drama but KakaoTalk changed “drama” to “dramatically” and Henry said that he would have liked to have seen me walking past neighbor, dramatically.

NELSON SULLIVAN

nelson sullivan | Tumblr

This next one is literally the biggest thing that has been going on in my life, you can ask Henry and Janna – they will confirm with a heavy sigh. So, one day last week, a video titled “Train to Coney Island” came up in my YouTube feed, apropos of nothing. Naturally, I clicked on it and was super stoked to see that it was from the late 80s! Just some friends, one of them with her two children, going to Coney Island on a train, no big deal right? But then more videos from this YouTube started auto-playing and I was like, “Oh OK so this gay dude from NYC basically videotaped his whole life, like I used to do in the 90s.” Still, didn’t think too much of it but left it on in the background.

Something made me look up and pay attention though when this one video came on. Well, not just “something” – it was titled “Nelson’s Last Video” or “Tape,” I can’t remember. It was just him, his dog Blackout, and his friend walking around on July 3, talking about the cookout that’s going to happen for the 4th of July, and how much the piers have changed since the 70s, nothing too life-shattering….until the video ended with a note that said it was his last video BECAUSE HE DIED OF A HEART ATTACK LATER THAT NIGHT OMFG. It made me feel totally rocked, for some reason, I can’t really explain why — I obviously didn’t know him, but just watching a handful of his personal home videos felt so intimate, like some kind of boundary had been breached. Anyway, I started poking around the YouTube channel where his videos are uploaded and learned that he was a videographer/documentarian of his friends and NYC in the 80s and his video collection has been digitized. That’s when I started to notice some of the titles of the videos included names like RuPaul and Andy Warhol…so I googled him and he was actually really good friends with RuPaul before RuPaul was a superstar, as well as Keith Haring and music journalist Michael Musto (pictured on the right up there) who I am now obsessed with after watching hours upon hours of these videos.

I never really knew too much about the Club Kid scene but Michael Alig and James St. James appeared in a bunch of these videos too and I was like….wait, isn’t that Party Monster? So I fell down deep and started watching Geraldo episodes with the Club Kids and then made Henry watch Party Monster with me last weekend and I have been having nightmares about Michael Alig ever since and also I had no idea that DJ Keoki ran in that circle and was Michael Alig’s boyfriend!?!? I used to love DJ Keoki!?!?

I keep texting Janna and making her watch these videos and it’s just crazy to me because he was literally vlogging before anyone else. He even has a video where he says his resolution is to put the camera on himself more often and he wonders if people will think that looks weird…in the 90s, I was always shoving my camcorder in everyone’s faces. I have a boxful of 8mm that need to be digitized, and I’m sure it will be excruciating to watch these now, as a 41-year-old, hearing myself talk in my weird, fake-ditzy babydoll voice, but I am so glad that I was so into recording shit back then (no sex tapes, shockingly!) and watching Nelson’s tapes reaffirms that sentiment.

They also make me feel an ache in my heart that I can’t quite explain because how do you miss a scene that you were too young to be part of? I certainly wasn’t going to drag shows and Michael Alig’s Outlaw Parties when I was 8.

OR WAS I.

I think also it just makes me sad on a really deep level to see all of these people hanging out without cell phones up in their grills. actually talking to each other. Strangers knew how to talk to each other back then! And it makes me have a vague recollection of how outgoing I used to be at one time and I think I would have really loved being part of that group. :(

WINE BOTTLE

Well,  this is timely. Remember in my last post when I mentioned that Chooch’s punishment for breaking his phone screen is to read vintage Oh Honestly Erin blog posts, starting with my infamous Vegetarian Dinner Party from 1996. If you read that post, you know that SPOILER we had to call the cops because someone was stalking me and by doing so, we panicked and dumped out the bottle of white Zinfandel that I had been saving for 10 years, having received it as a kid from my godfather who said, “For the girl who has everything.” Or some kind of sappy sentiment like that, but I remember REALLY latching onto this gift because I was…what…6 or 7? And a bottle of wine was such an adult gift! The idea behind it was to obviously save it for a special occasion when I was old enough to pop the cork and I really felt like this “adult” dinner party I was hosting at my house senior year while my family was out of town was a totally special occasion – I mean, right? It was all of my closest friends!

So yeah, someone was like, “Yo we’re a bunch of teenagers with no adult supervision here with an opened bottle of wine and the police are coming” – I mean, why didn’t we just hide it? I dunno what we were thinking and I don’t feel like re-reading that damn thing to see if it explains that thought process at all, but the point here is that one Twitter, one of my friends replied to the post and said, “I’m angry about that wine!” or something to that effect and I was about to reply and tell her that I actually still have the empty bottle after all these years but thought, “Wait, I’ll go and take a picture of it too so I can add that to the tweet” but I couldn’t find it in any of the spots where I could see it in my mind, which I thought was odd, but didn’t feel like doing any deep investigation into the matter because it was late and I’m not very good at looking for things anyway.

This morning, I was emptying the recycling bin in the kitchen, which I don’t normally do because Henry has giant clear bags for the recyclables so I let him deal with it, but I was in an angry cleaning mood when I woke up and I didn’t know where he put those bags so I decided to just use small blue plastic bags. You already know where this is going, but after clearing out about half of the bin, I was going to stop because I usually only go halfway when cleaning, but something made me get one more bag to fill…

…and that’s when I saw it.

Way at the back of the bin.

I knew it without even seeing the label.

It was my wine bottle.

SOMEONE HAD TOSSED MY WINE BOTTLE AND SURPRISE SURPRISE, NONE OF THE ASSHOLES I LIVE WITH WILL ADMIT TO IT.

Honestly though – what are the fucking odds that this happened now?? Honestly, if Amanda hadn’t even said that on Twitter, I wouldn’t have even noticed that the bottle was gone, and what if I hadn’t been the one to empty the recycling bin!? Oh man, my head was HOT this morning. Both of my roommates got a tongue-lashing.

“A BOTTLE THAT I HAVE HAD SINCE I WAS SIX YEARS OLD!!!!!!” 

SIDEWALK TAG

A few weeks ago, the sidewalk near Chooch’s former school was torn up and replaced and he was so upset because his initials were carved into the old sidewalk. On my birthday, Henry and I were walking to the post office (see? I told you my birthday was a fucking snooze) and on our way there, we passed a section of freshly-paved sidewalk next to his friend’s house so I texted him and said “now’s your chance.” On our way back, we saw that he had indeed cashed in that chance, but he fucking  tagged his cat’s Instagram handle. Literally, all it said was “@that_cat_bambi.” I thought it was funny, but Henry, Sidewalk Law Expert, was PISSED.

“Oh! That’s just fucking great! Now this can be traced right back to us!” he cried, and I was like, “….is this illegal or something?” (Oh shit I just googled and it’s considered vandalism if you don’t own the sidewalk; I’m a 41-year-old child learning the laws of the land. Leave me alone.)

This sidewalk is only a block away from our house so Henry stormed through the front door and was all, “YOU BETTER GO AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT” at the same time I was saying, “You should have put “@gentleman_ham is a racist.”

But Chooch only honed in on what Henry was screaming about and you could see the sweat forming a beaded chain on his brow as he laughed nervously. So he ran back up the street and apparently just scribbled out everything but “bambi” and Henry was like, “WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU” because the sidewalk is literally next to Chooch’s friend’s house, and that girl knows that he calls Drew “Bambi,” and her dad is like BIG CRAZY.

“What if she sells me out?” Chooch said, his voice quaking like Sally Struthers. “Like, ‘I know who has a cat named Bambi, [insert full ass name] living at [insert address].'”

Literally minutes later, HER DAD CAME OUT OF THE HOUSE (Chooch was watching sheepishly like a coward from our front porch) and smoothed out the whole thing so now it says nothing, it’s just a big smear.

“OMG WHAT IF HER DAD SAW ME DO IT??” Chooch cried, biting his nails. Her dad is not to be fucked with, like he has terrorized his kids in public before because one of them ate his chips and he hunted them down on the boulevard to interrogate them. Chooch was a witness and said it made him appreciate us, his lazy parents who make empty threats and dole out weak punishments, like “OH HO, NOW YOU’VE DONE IT! You will read my blog.” Anyway, Chooch was legit pacing and panting off and on for an hour after this, waiting for a knock at the door, and then he heard POLICE SIRENS and nearly broke his neck whipping his head toward the door and back to us. “The police wouldn’t come for something like that, would they?” he asked, his face blanched, lips white.

Oh shit, I was loving it. It was, now that I think about it, the only time on my birthday that I felt really good!

He’s been careful about keeping his head down lately when we walk past that house, now with weirdly-smudged sidewalk, but this morning when we were walking to get breakfast, Big Crazy was waiting to pull into his driveway and Chooch started frantically whispering, “OHGODOHGODOHGOD WE MADE EYE CONTACT GO GO GO.” Lol.

Jul 312020
 

Celebrating a birthday during a pandemic is pretty depressing, especially when pre-pandemic you had a 5-day amusement park-laden road trip on the calendar. I’m not going to lie and pretend like I was a big girl yesterday and being grateful for the good things because come on–we all know I’m a bitch baby Leo suffering from crippling me-me-me syndrome. So instead of recapping my actual boring AF 41st birthday (I’ll do that another day when I’m done pouting lol you think I’m joking), I thought I would bask in the past and revisit my 5 favorite birthdays of the last decade.

Because why not. Gotta get it out of my system so then I can move on and adjust to Year 41.

  1. 34th Birthday Dinner at Shakespeare’s

I don’t remember why I was so adamant about having a birthday dinner at this Shakespeare-themed restaurant outside of Pittsburgh, but I just remember sitting at the table, looking at all of my friends, and feeling really lucky to know such awesome people. Sadly, a TON of people at that dinner no longer live in Pittsburgh but I am at least still in touch with all of them. Actually, now that I think about it, I have more friends scattered across the country than I have in Pittsburgh, so that’s pretty depressing.

AnyWHO:

My 34th Birthday at a Castle

2. 32nd Birthday at the Roller Rink

I got gypped out of a big 30th birthday celebration (I think I spent the day helping a friend move into her new apartment and then I had a grilled cheese for dinner and to be fair, grilled cheeses are one of my all-time favorite foods, but come on guys). I was determined to have a re-do, so two years later, I rented an entire roller rink (it actually wasn’t as expensive as you’d think plus we were friendly with the owners) and invited all of my friends and pretty much the entire department at the law firm. My friend Kaitlin made me a Robert Smith cake and Roller DJ played a mix that I gave him which was full of post-hardcore, Phil Collins, Billy Ocean and “JACKIE BLUE.” It was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had!

My 32nd Birthday Roller Skating Party

3. That Time We Did a Southern Road Trip For My 35th Birthday

This trip was SO MUCH FUN. If you click on the hyperlink in the title, it’ll take you the entire category so you can read all of the posts, but for the purpose of this post, I’m singling out the photo-post from my actual birthday where my friend Octavia showed us around her hometown of Savannah and even though it was like 100 degrees, we had the best time with her and learned so much!

Savannah Sights

And she took us the storied Bonaventure Cemetery! Traipsing around cemeteries in new-to-me cities with finally-met-IRL friends are the makings of an excellent birthday!

Bonaventure!

4. SEEING MOTHERFUCKING G-DRAGON WHILE TURNING 38

Any chance I get to repost this moment in my life, I will SURELY take it! I splurged (and by that I mean I used my tax refund) to buy VIP tickets to see G-Dragon on his solo tour in Toronto ON MY BIRTHDAY in 2017. I was within FEET of him and I’m not kidding when I say that I still get chills and Jello-legs when I go back and replay the video of that moment. This was honestly one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen, a real experience, and it was my first time in Toronto. Henry and I had a really great 3 days there and only fought once, on my actual birthday, and it was, of course, over where we were going to eat lunch because I am basically an infant when it comes to feeding time. But aside from that, it was just the best weekend, and my actual birthday was like a fucking dream because, um, you know how much I love G-Dragon, right?

Act III:Motte, Part 2: Where I Left My Body On Earth & Wafted Up to the Heavens

5. Turning 40 IN KOREA

Look, I don’t think I will ever have a better birthday than I did last year and I really honestly am grateful for that, all bitch-baby wah-wah jokes aside. Henry even pointed out on the eve of this year’s birthday that I have been very spoiled over the last several years and he’s not wrong; I was basically setting myself up for disappointment this year and COVID made damn sure to drive that one home, lol. Nothing I could have planned for yesterday could have topped last year, which was spent walking along the Chungyecheon, eating naengmyeon at a traditional Buddhist vegan restaurant in Insadong, and then attending a live taping of The Show, one of the Kpop Countdown shows that broadcast weekly in Korea. That whole entire trip was EVERYTHING and even though I’m Forever Sad that I’m not there everyday, my heart experiences a special type of swelling whenever I think back to that trip. You might call it obsession, but I call it—-yeah, OK it’s obsession.

The Day I Turned 40 in Korea: The Show! 7/30/19

When I think back to all of these great birthdays, I feel loved and excited and lucky that I get to have these great friends and experiences in my life, so maybe my 41st birthday was lame and non-descript, buy maybe GET THE HELL OVER IT, ERIN. They can’t all be great ones! And I mean, I did get to have cake, at least.

More on that sometime later! I fell into this spiral of Nelson Sullivan home videos on YouTube and I am fucking obsessed and wishing I was a club kid living in NYC in the 80s.

Jul 102020
 

Here I am, reporting from the Pioneer Ave construction site. Kitchen is still not done. SOS. How hard can this really be? Anyway, here are five things going on right now that may or may not be kitchen-related, and no, the irony of a person who has little use for a kitchen complaining about not having a functioning one is not lost on me, thanks. (Literally, in our team meeting this week, Glenn butted in to ask, “Do you even know what a kitchen is for?” and I said, “YES, IT’S FOR HAVING A WINDOW WHERE I SPY ON MY NEIGHBORS, NICE TRY, GLENN.”)

  1. THE YACHT ROCK WEEKEND

I mentioned in my dumb weekend update post that I went to Home Depot with Henry but what I failed to mention was that I stayed in the car and listened to the YACHT ROCK STATION which I never knew existed. Yacht rock is my favorite subgenre of soft rock so I was perfectly fine to hang back while he was in the store, especially when England Dan and John Ford Coley came on and I am happy to report that I still know all the words to their masterpiece “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” which I fucking SCREAMED theatrically. Oh shit I love that song so much. Then Grover Washington’s Just the Two Of Us was next and I was shrieking “BUILDING CASTLES IN THE SKY” like a fucking maniac, please send me back to the 80s.

(Side note: that song always makes me thinks of the time Henry sent Chooch and me to CVS to buy a newspaper and we were panicking because we couldn’t find it, but then “Just the Two Of Us” came on and I found the newspapers! WE CAN MAKE IT IF WE TRY!)

(Side note 2: on Twitter last week, I erroneously said that it reminded me of the time Chooch and I conquered the RedBox but that was apparently a separate incident which also involved CVS. We have many incidents.)

Anyway, I was really inspired by this station, so when we went back home, I blasted more yacht rock while Henry worked on the kitchen and every once in awhile he’d emerge in time for me to ask him  things like, “Did you dance to Paul Davis’s ‘Cool Night’ at your prom?” and then when the video for Key Largo came on, it was “Did you ever dress like Bertie Higgins?” He actually had me convinced for a second that he did.

2. The Soft Rock Encyclopedia Girl

All this yacht rock over the reason had me going through lots of feelings, and that in addition to the fact that I talked to my friend Carol last week had me thinking a lot about The Bad Place where she and I shared an office and also where Henry and I met thousands of years ago. For as many shitty (and I mean S-H-I-T-T-Y) memories that I have of that place, I have some good ones too, and also some neutral ones.

One of the things I remembered thanks to yacht rock triggering, was how the owners of the company, a pair of older-man brothers who I guess were in their 60s at the time, found out that I, a 20-year-old girl who loved goth music, was a fountain of knowledge when it came to the lighter side of rock. I can’t help it, I grew up with LiteFM swarming all around me! I spent 90% of my childhood in my pappap’s house, in his car, and in restaurants, and guess what was playing in all of those places? SOFT ROCK.

Anyway, whenever I would have to go into the bosses’ office (usually for some dumb reason like getting their lunch order or being bullied by their meat-thrusting—no, literally; I was a vegetarian working in an actual meat place and they loved to fucking torment me. There isn’t enough therapy in the world to help me get over some of the shit I went through there LOLugh), they would love to say, “QUICK! Who sings this?!” I mean, sometimes that would be the actual reason why they called me into their office in the first place, because they actually couldn’t remember who sang something. They thought it was wild that I knew about this “old stuff” even though some of it was only from the 80s, it wasn’t like classical music or something.

I will never forget this one time in particular when I knew who Aaron Neville was and one of them was so entertained by this that he slammed his glass of whiskey down and howled.

I can still hear them. “Call the girl in here and see if she knows!”

(Yeah. I was “the girl” for 4 years. It was super awesome.)

3. COFFEE TABLE REFURB

Several years ago—wow, maybe around 8??—we found this cheap-ass coffee table at Goodwill and made it into a photo collage which was great until someone spilled water on it and we found out that Henry hadn’t sealed it good enough so one part of it started to rise up. The underneath of it was like particle board or something so it basically ballooned.

You can click here to see the old table:

Future Heirloom: Fini!

Then, over the years, some of the photos just became irrelevant (see also: they featured people who paddled their douche canoes right the fuck over me) so I was like, “Bro, we gotta change up this table.” So Henry ripped out the center and we repainted the table, then ordered the new pictures, which–surprise surprise–are all from our Korea trips because I can’t imagine ever tiring of looking at those, lol.

So now I have all of these pictures ready to go but the kitchen takes precedence, so we’re basically using a piece of unfinished wood as our coffee table. Truly, our house is a fucking wreck right now and I could cry, but one day, everything will be nice and COVID will be a chapter in a closed book and you guys (anyone? hello?) can come over and pretend like my house didn’t recently have a torn up kitchen and two holes in the ceiling from where the bathroom is leaking and the landlord hasn’t fixed it yet. This might not be until 2025 and it could be a completely didn’t house in a different town by then so don’t ask me for directions just yet.

4. TAEMIN – DOOR

This might be my favorite pin of all time. Pins (mostly just kpop and horror designs) are the ultimate impulse purchases for me so when I saw this Taemin design on Etsy, I didn’t even hesitate. Buying myself little gifts here and there is how I’m surviving the pandemic, OK?! (Well, that and diligently wearing a mask and social distancing.) This pin is a commemoration of Taemin’s legendary “Door” performance and the pin maker really nailed the vibes. Usually, when I post kpop stuff on Instagram, only fellow kpop stans like or comment, but this time, a lot of my friends liked it and some of them were even like “ok, that’s pretty awesome.” I mean, you can’t deny it!

Anyway, please enjoy Taemin’s “Door” performance, because I haven’t shared a Taemin video in a hot minute! (He’s supposed to have a comeback this summer and I’m over here waiting, and waiting, and wai-HEYHEYHEYHEY-ting.)

5. Nightly Walk with Chooch

Just got back from a nightly neighborhood walk with Chooch. I like these walks because it’s like being part of an ambling, rambling talk show where I rarely get a word in edgewise, but I learn so much about my kid. Tonight’s route took us into the bowels of Brookline and it was borderline alarming when Chooch started out all of the houses he’s sold cookie dough to in the past, you know, when we didn’t know he was walking around like an under-aged door-to-door salesman, cold-calling Yinzers. So that’s always cool.

But then we got to this one block and Chooch said, “Oh, this is a dead-end, btw.”

“I know,” I said in a sneer-tone. “I saw the No Outlet sign.”

“Ooooh, is that what that means? I always thought it meant there was no electricity.”

OMG you guys. He wasn’t kidding either. That’s our gifted son!

**********

Well, that’s a wrap. My stomach hurts because I had to make my own dinner tonight while Henry was at Lowe’s for the 87th time. Good bye.

Jun 262020
 

Hello from Erin’s Day Off! It’s silly how giddy having a day off makes me considering I haven’t been going into the office since March but just knowing that I didn’t have to log on and sit in front of the computer all day (as I’m sitting here on my laptop, lol) made me feel so light! And it’s a beautiful day, weather-wise and also because today Chooch and I kick-started the new Summer Breakfast Club series! Woo hoo! Let’s just start with that, shall we?

  1. Summer Breakfast Club

OK, full disclosure, I’m still not about that restaurant life so our work-around was to walk to Orbis Caffe and grab some take-away breakfast and then find somewhere safe and secluded to devour it. I made sure we were masked and had hand sanitizer in my bag, and then we set off this morning for Orbis Caffe in Mt. Lebanon, which always has the nicest people working there but some of the most stuck-up clientele. (See also: Mt. Lebanon.)

Today, Orbis had an extensive selection of quiches to choose from, and Chooch and I both settled on the tomato, chick pea, black bean, something or other. Chooch also got a hefty peanut butter blossom and I got something called a Chocolate Cloud which was like a giant macaron smashed into a Ferrero Rocher, I don’t know how else to explain it, but it was delicious yet very difficult to eat.

Anyway! We managed to make it through the ordering process without being touched or sneezed on and and then we walked to the nearby cemetery to have a little AM picnic with our dead friends. 

It was actually pretty perfect, you guys. We got to support a local business and spend quality time together (mostly, we bickered a little but that’s par for the course when we’re together for more than 4 minutes) in a safe, controlled environment. Go on, call me a pandemicnoid, but I’m trying to do my part to keep the curve down so that I can FUCKING GO TO A GODDAMN AMUSEMENT PARK without wearing a mask or making a reservation, OK? But until then, MASK IT UP, BITCHES. 

Chooch was like, “This isn’t weird at all” because it’s not like we haven’t ever picnic’d in a fucking cemetery before. This was just our first breakfast in the cemetery!

2. Speaking of Quiche….

I have for sure talked about him on here before, but in the summer of 1992, my mom surprised us all by arranging for a foreign exchange student to spend the summer at our house. And when I say “surprised us,” I mean that she literally waited until the night before he was set to arrive to be all, “Oh yeah, by the way, hahahaha” and none of us believed her until she rolled up the next day with Laurent, 15, from France in tow. So, that happened. And my dad was P-to-the-ISSED. And I was annoyed too because I would have liked to have been a part of this decision and also I was annoyed because he immediately liked my friend Christy better than me, god forbid (though I can admit now that I would also like her better than me if I was a boy in 1992, no hard feelings toward Christy!). 

So this one night, my aunt Sharon (bless her) tried to do something nice and offered to order a quiche from god knows where (honestly, where did that quiche even come from!?) and when she brought it over to our house for dinner, we all sat around the table and my dad, in his patented condescending smirk-tone, goes, “Real men don’t eat quiche.”

Silence.

Then I started giggling, because again, I didn’t like Laurent, and this was the ONE SUMMER that saw my dad and I aligned, bonding over our mutual dislike for this dumb French kid, forgetting for 2 months that we were generally mortal enemies. 

OMG my mom was so pissed. And I’m not sure Laurent even knew what my dad meant by this because his English was a little spotty, but it was one of those moments that I will probably retell every time I see/eat/hear about quiche until I eventually take it to the grave. 

Man, what a summer that was. 

3. RIP Joel Schumacher

Man, this one hurt. (See also: should I start all of my sentences with “Man,” from now on?) You all know how much I love The Lost Boys and I had been holding out for YEARS for a real Schumacher-helmed sequel (those weird follow-ups that came out in the 2000s DO.NOT.COUNT). 

Obviously, I’m mega-inspired to watch The Lost Boys in his honor this weekend, but I also want to watch St. Elmo’s Fire, which I FUCKING LOVE and haven’t seen since probably the 90s when I was obsessed with it and made Lisa and Janna watch it once when they slept over my house but THEY FELL ASLEEP.

Also, that movie made me become obsessed with David Foster.

OMFG I am straight sobbing on my living room couch in the middle of a Friday afternoon in an empty house and I need someone to come here right now and hold me (from 6 feet away).

Which also reminds me that I used “Hands Across America” as a lead-in to a training presentation I gave at work last week, as a way to remind everyone that WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, AS ONE DEPARTMENT, CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG, and it was so well-received that I took a step further by suggesting that once we return to the office, we recreate it, as “Hands Across [Our Department’s Name]” only we’ll just stand 6 feet apart.

Manager Amber was like, “……yeah” and then quickly changed the subject, lol. 

4. WHAT DID YOU SAY? WHAT DID YOU SAY TO ME?

Man, in my weekend recap the other day, I failed to mention that when we were hanging outside with Haley and the kids Saturday evening Tourette’s lumbered on by and we all collectively held our breaths, because you never know with him.

But he seemed to be in a pleasant-by-his-standards mood and jovially hollered, “WOW LADY, YOU GOT A TOUGH JOB THERE” to Haley and Henry was like, “Maybe thinks we’re all your kids” but then as he walked away, Calvin (who is 3, mind you) started yelling “soccer” because he wanted Chooch to throw a ball to him. 

Tourette’s, now in front of the next house, stopped in his tracks and shouted, “WHAT DID YOU SAY?”

When no one responded immediately, he yelled with more agitation, “WHAT DID YOU SAY? WHAT DID YOU SAY TO ME?” 

“He said ‘soccer’,” Haley answered, before Tourette’s decided to come back and what, fight Calvin? Who knows! That guy is a loose cannon! Never forget when he flipped out on Chooch last summer!

5. GTFO MAGA

Update on the gross MAGA house on my street: one of the banners is back :( Imagine being the type of person that lets a flag like this fly freely in front of their trash palace.

Never mind, I started to imagine but I don’t like how it made me feel. 

Speaking of that barf bag, I was so proud of my Kpop fam for the A+ trolling they did on the Trump campaign last weekend, that I was spamming all of my work friends about it on Monday. 

“I read this one headline about kpop stans – was that a typo?” Amber asked me, and I had to then explain in a group email what a stan is and then we even talked about it in our team meeting which then prompted Amber to watch the Eminem “Stan” video and she was, as expected, disturbed, lol. 

“I guess we should have warned you,” Nate said, and Lauren was like, “Yeah, just the audio would have been sufficient.” I really love my co-workers, lol. 

On that note, I think the new Blackpink MV is the perfect way to cap off this segment of Friday 5:

YEAH TRUMP, HOW YOU LIKE THAT.

***

Man, this was a pretty weak Friday Five but it’s also my day off and I want to do something other than sit and type which is what I DO EVERYDAY LEAVE ME ALONE UGH. 

Jun 192020
 

Oh boy, another Friday, another list of 5 worthless things. Well, maybe some of these things will be worthy? But first, a rando photo from the Boulevard: 

I sure hope Jo’s Salon survives COVID-19 because this place and its ever-changing window displays is a true neighborhood institution. (I have never been inside, mostly because I think you have to be an AARP member to receive services.)

1.Henry decided he wanted to get chairs for the front porch (which, as you may know, is barley a porch but there is enough room for two outdoor chair things but we always just sit on the steps and then wonder why our butts and tailbones hurt). This prompted an evening-long Internet search for chairs between Henry and Chooch, who is also very invested in our yard cleanup project after taking one (1) landscape class at the Gifted center last year. At one point, I misheard Henry, and thought he said he was searching for “Clown chairs,” which naturally piqued my interest! But no, he was merely searching for “lawn chairs.” Anyway, this inspired me  to search for clown chairs myself, but the only cool ones I found were actually antiques and cost $500 and up. Um, not for a porch in my hood. So then I started searching “swan chairs” and “porch thrones” and “chairs with feathers” and “flamingo chairs” which yielded no results that impressed me, however, I did accidentally find two flamingo planters which are currently en route to my house. Meanwhile, Henry said fuck it and bought two generic porch chairs from Big Lots which I refuse to sit in because they’re plain. Where is the glitter?! WHERE ARE THE SPARKLES?! Maybe I can make rhinestone tentacles to attach to one of them. WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY. Or so I’m told. 

2(a). My workplace has been really impressing me with their commitment to continuing the conversation of race. Last week, they invited the president of the NAACP to speak with us via WebEx and it was AWESOME. I felt so grateful that we had the opportunity to listen to such wise words and real experiences from someone in that position. This past week, the president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund spoke with us, but my audio was super wonky so I have to go back and watch the recording of that one at some point. Also, the firm is launching a pro bono initiative for equal justice, focusing on voting rights, criminal justice reform, and equal justice for indigenous people. I signed up as a volunteer because it sounds like an amazing thing to be part of and I really don’t feel like I’m doing enough as it is. Making donations, posting on social media, and making changes to my own self just seem to only go so far and I feel like I need more action, I don’t know. We’ll see what this entails and if I suck at it or not!

2(b). Re: how I’m working on myself. With all the reflection and introspection in these recent weeks, I remembered this time about 10 years ago which really shows that even though I have always considered myself “not a racist,” I was 100% not handling situations properly. I live in a duplex, and at that time, a Black family lived on the other half. I never had any issues with them, and they still to this day were my favorite neighbors BECAUSE I NEVER HEARD THEM. Anyway, in the duplex on the other side of our driveway lives HNC and his wife. His wife has always been SUPER TERRITORIAL of the driveway, it’s legit insane. So it was only a matter of time before my neighbors performed, in her eyes, some ungodly driveway infraction, resulting in a fullblown screaming match IN MY FRONT YARD. HNC’s wife’s daughter was also involved, and as the verbal fisticuffs escalated, well, out came the slurs. I have always been slightly terrified of HNC’s wife because she seems like the type to go all knives out and massacre the whole block. Sounds dramatic, but…. So instead of flying out the front door the moment I heard the n-word being flung about all willy nilly, I waited until later and then went to my next door neighbor, knocked on the door, and told her, while crying, that I overheard the argument and wanted her to know, whether it made a difference or not, that my family and I did not subscribe to those same hateful sentiments and that I was truly sorry that happened, and that I was on her side. But all these years later, knowing what I know now, I WASN’T DOING A VERY CONVINCING JOB TO PROVE THAT I WAS ON HER SIDE. Because I hadn’t done ANYTHING. I let HNC’s wife run her mouth instead of confronting that racism head-on, because THAT is how you fight the good fight. Not waiting until later and telling your Black neighbor that you don’t hate Black people because let’s  be honest, while I wanted to believe I was telling her this to make her feel better, didn’t I also, deep down, do it to make myself feel better too? Yeah, I’ve learned. That won’t happen again. I can’t say I’m an ally otherwise. (I seriously am terrified of that neighbor though, but there was this one time several years ago when I heard her outside erratically accusing Chooch of breaking her sidewalk lights and I was NOT IN THE MOOD so there was a real confrontation that day which she clearly wasn’t expecting and we have never had a problem since then, is all I’m saying.)

This has nothing to do with the photo of a creepy stairwell that I peeped on one of my nightly walks down the boulevard because the door was left open, but I overheard Chooch refer to Henry and me as his “housemates” the other night when he was talking to god only knows who on the phone. 

3. Last weekend (or the weekend before? The calendar in my mind should be in a Dali exhibition), Henry and I drove past a Chili’s, and it occurred to me that I have eaten at a Chili’s so rarely, that I couldn’t think of a single thing that would be on their menu, and then I felt amazed that this is a restaurant chain that has somehow survived all these years while evidently being so basic that I have never once in the last 20 years even CONSIDERED it as a dining option?! And then I started to freak out and wonder how I have forgotten about its existence all these years when I used to always frequent the shopping center that this particular Chili’s franchise lives and realized that I only have one very vague memory of eating there when I was in middle school, with some friends who weren’t close friends and it was actually kind of weird that we were all even together—why were we together?!—and I think we had probably also gone to the movies because there is a theater right there too but I have no idea what I ate and only remember going home and realizing that I left my camera there and my mom had to call the damn place and then drive me there to get it, and I’m certain I must have eventually gotten that roll of film developed because I have always been a memory hoarder, but what photos did it contain!? AND WHERE ARE THEY NOW!? Wow, thanks for the deep dive into my past, Chili’s. (I’m looking at their menu now. Black bean patty substitute option,, “awesome blossoms” sounds familiar, and corn on the cob is a cool side option, but otherwise this is a vegetarian’s nightmare. No thank YOU, Chili’s.)

How great is this Bong Joon-Ho and his Oscars pin I scored from the pin goddess The Idol Collective? If you still haven’t seen Parasite, what are you even doing with your life?!

4(a). I had to give a training presentation at work yesterday and I was nervous about it because it was the first time I was presenting to more than like, 2 people and even though they’re all my work-buds, my nerves do not discriminate. My lead-in was a throwback to when I was pregnant and freaking out as the nine months drew closer. My calculus professor at Pitt (god, she was the best, this older woman named Joanne who once accidentally sprayed Windex in her face when she was trying to wipe down her projector screen) told me, “Just remember: the birth is only one tiny moment out of your life. You can get through it!” So I decided to apply this to yesterday’s training, which my coworker Nate thought was an excellent strategy even though he’s never given birth, but then I admitted to everyone that on the day of my scheduled C-section, I tried to leave the hospital and the nurse was like EXCUSE ME and I was like YEAH I CHANGED MY MIND I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS NOW which is what I tried to do yesterday but it didn’t work – I had to forge ahead with the training session and you know, it was fine. I did fine. There was applause at the end. 

4(b). When I was trying to think of ways to make myself the most calm during the presentation without resorting to shots of soju beforehand (I was afraid I would wind up accidentally drunk and make it all worse), I wondered if I would feel safer having Chooch sit next to me or if I should put him out in the yard. I opted for the latter. 

4(c). What made it worse though was that I had to do this on the tailend of a check-in call that was only supposed to run for an hour but ended up being TWO HOURS AND 20 MINUTES which is unacceptable in everyone’s book, I think. I was so fatigued after that. But! Like my Pitt professor once said 14 years ago, it was only a small moment out of my life and afterward, I was like YEAH LET’S GOOOOOOOOOO, like all this energy and adrenaline came rushing back to me and I had nothing weighing me down anymore!

Sugar Spell did a charity pint sale last week so we scooped (lol) some up because what’s a little weight-gain when it’s for a good cause, and Henry even snatched a sundae kit too, the contents of which I attempted to photograph but then Penelope photo-bombed it and the dire need to shovel vegan ice cream into my gaping maw was too great to prolong any longer, so I never did go back for a better shot:

5. It’s looking like my department will be easing their way back into the office sometime around late July and I am excited only because I have bought some new shirts, jewelry, pins, and phone cases over the last several months and I miss the random compliments I get while walking around town on my lunch break YES I’M A NARCISSIST AND ALSO A LEO. We thrive on compliments. I’m not excited about the trolley though. Or dealing with the new safety procedures that have been implemented. I have had conversations with several work friends though and there are some of us who think this is too soon. I mean, I think restaurants have reopened too soon as well. Because this whole “green light” thing is giving people the misconception that things are back “to normal” and they’re not – we’re still in the middle of a pandemic with no fucking vaccine!? WHY AREN’T PEOPLE WEARING MASKS? I swear to god, these maskless assholes running amok are going to be the first people to go on social media asking people to pray for them after they get COVID-19 but ok have fun at the movies and Olive Garden,  you selfish assholes! IT’S JUST A HOAX, RIGHT? 

UGH. On that note, I’m about to go wake up Henry and tell him I’m ready to be fed. Go do something you enjoy. (Unless it’s illegal, then I don’t condone it!!! ESPECIALLY IF IT INVOLVES ANIMALS! UNLESS YOU’RE STEALING AN ANIMAL FROM AN ABUSE HOUSEHOLD. THEN OK! My mom actually did that twice, to the same person. The most proud I’ve ever been of her.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 222020
 

This week’s list is here for you with no intro because who cares.

  1. Another quarantine work week in the books.

This week was fine but hectic. I had so many check-in calls this week (yesterday especially) that Chooch was like, “Honestly, how are you supposed to do your actual work?” and I was like, “One day when you’re the big boss of some nerdy tech company, remember that and be good to your minions.” I don’t know why I dislike these calls so much, I guess because I feel pressure to act like I’m all fine and dandy and not bursting out into tears over a commercial that I remembered from 1999. You know how it is. However, yesterday in my video call, I discovered that I could use my own pictures as backgrounds so I got to talk to one of my groups from Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul. That was fun. But then my cat Drew was like, “NOW THEY CANNOT SEE ME SKULKING AROUND IN THE BACKGROUND” so I went back to my typical background of “Cluttered House in Brookline.”

(Meanwhile, Chooch was just on a call with one of his classes and he goes, “I already know all of this. I’m leaving.” AND HE LEFT THE CALL! JUST LIKE THAT! He didn’t even say bye! Motion to be more like Chooch? Aye!)

We had one department-wide call as well and the director ended the call with something like, “I miss you guys and hope to see you again” which made me burst into tears. I mean, I don’t mind working from home, don’t get me wrong, and I for sure don’t miss the trolley, but I do miss things about the office, like saying hi to some people and rolling my eyes at others  (don’t worry, it’s to their faces, so it’s not a secret). I miss my jack o’ lantern of weird snacks. I miss Sue bringing in Fig Bars and personally delivering a blueberry one to me because she knows they’re my favorites. I miss all the cute stuff on my desk (OMG did I turn off my marquee?!!? Oh well, batteries are dead if not lol).  I miss my lunch break walks even though today it’s raining and kind of warm which means the stench of piss would be in full effect downtown. I miss walking over to my old side of the floor to tell Glenn and Todd dumb stories about my neighborhood (it’s not the same when I have to email them!).

2. Produce Attack

Ever since the whole situation with Slut Life started and Henry gave HNC my phone number so that we could corroborate the facts on how Slut Life almost ran me over,  I will get occasional texts from him, always neighborhood-related. Lately, they have been things like, “I have some baked goods from La Gourmandine, do you want them?” and like, yes, yes, I do. But since I said yes once, it opened the floodgates to a whole new game of grocery sharing. The next day, he texted: “I have some extra romaine lettuce and celery – do you want it?” and no, I don’t, because I hate celery and romaine lettuce is my least favorite salad leaf, but I didn’t have the heart to say no, so he brought it over and did a socially-distanced hand-off with Henry on the porch (wow, that sounds erotic yet sad).

But then he called me earlier this week and I missed the call so he left a voicemail that said to call him, which is the worst kind of voicemail ever because OMG did he find my blog?? So I called him back and he explained that pre-corona, he used to volunteer with the food bank and got to know some lady there, and now she was across the street in the church parking lot, handing out extra food to anyone who needed it and I didn’t want to say no, so I just thanked him and said I would try to make it over there, but hello, I was working. So I didn’t drop everything and run over there, you can understand, especially when we have food and I didn’t want to, you know, take food away from people who might really need it. So I didn’t go out there, but then Chooch, who was in the front yard making a sculpture out of nature for his sculpture class, came in and said, “Chris wants you to call him.” THE FUCK. So I called him and he was like, “Yeah if you’re going to go over there to get food, you better do it now because she’s getting ready to leave” and I was like, “Oh that’s OK, I’ll catch her another time, I’m good for now” so then he texted me a bit later and said that he got too much stuff for her and would I like some apples and two peppers and potatoes?

UGH.

Henry thinks this is wonderfully hilarious and that I deserve it after all the years I’ve hassled him with the fake HNC bromance.

So he brought he produce over and then an hour later said, “Hey I got this blueberry crumble cake but only wanted a pc*, do you guys want the rest?” and then sent me a picture of it.

AND THUMBPRINT COOKIES!

AND THEN SOME TYPE OF BUNS WITH PEPPER IN IT!

I mean, I do appreciate the baked goods, though. It’s the neighborly contact that I’m not down with. I hate when people call me! It makes me feel very attacked.

3. A TAEMIN MUKBANG*!

In case you don’t know, I have a fetish where I love to watch G-Dragon and Taemin eat. I will for real sit on my couch and watch video after video on YouTube of eating compilations. Drinking, too! The other day, Taemin gifted his fans with a video of him eating at a restaurant and it made me squeal like a little fucking middle school bitch, you guys. Ugh, his joy of eating is so contagious – how can you not sit here and smile like a lunatic while watching him shovel it in?! (Meanwhile, Henry can eat the smallest, softest morsel of food in my presence and I will shriek, “OMG YOU ARE SO LOUD! UGH, YOUR MOUTH-SOUNDS ARE DISGUSTING!! DO YOU WANT TO DIE?!!?”)

***In Korea, there is this phenomenon where people will post videos/livestreams of themselves eating tremendous amounts of food, usually with the microphone clipped to their collar so you can really hear the chewing. It’s call “mukbang” which literally means “eat room.” Some of these people make millions of dollars off it! My favorite mukbang channel is this small girl who just absolutely binges, it’s amazing.

I hate this picture so much.

4. BANANA SHIRT!

I bought this banana shirt. Some of the bananas have boobs. I’ll probably still wear this to work though, if we ever get to go back.

5. Row that fucking boat out of my head

For the past week, I have QUITE INEXPLICABLY had “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore” stuck in my head. Sometimes I will let the “hallelujah” part slip out of my mouth and it’s very concerning.

The first time I heard this song was when we had to sing it in kindergarten. For a really long time, I thought the song was about my classmate Mike S.,  because he was the only Michael I knew at the time so clearly he was the only Michael in the whole world and for fuck’s sake, row that damn boat so we can stop singing this song, Mike!

My mind’s jukebox also has “It’s a Small World” and “Gloria” by Laura Branigan queued up to play at a moment’s notice, so be jealous you’re not in my head, guys.

****

Well, that’s all I feel like writing about on the spot. I’ll sign off now with a rare of my cats in the same spot:

 

 

May 082020
 

Here are some things (FIVE to be exact) that I will be talking (TYPING) about today. Put your reading glasses on. (Speaking of, I need those now I think.) But first, random picture of Drew and a dead plant in a pumpkin planter.

  1. Geromino Jeff

The other night, I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, when OUT OF THE BLUE (or, in Korean, kapchuggi) I had this vivid flashback to the time my ex-boyfriend Jeff  told me this story about how when he was super little, maybe like 4 or something, he was in the backseat of his mom’s car, and somehow, as she was driving down the road, he managed TO FALL OUT OF THE CAR?! This was clearly the 80s when kids graduated from car seats at age 1 probably, so I’m sure he was just popping a squat in the back without the confines of a Graco straight jacket holding him inside a cushioned bucket, so I guess back then something like this happening was more plausible. If I remember the story correctly, his mom didn’t notice right away so he was just like, chilling on the side of the road, I guess. I think he said it wasn’t a major highway, and he didn’t get hurt, so I imagine it must have been a small, back road in their hometown (he grew up in a hick-ish town about an hour outside of Pittsburgh where you could essentially fall out of your mom’s backseat and not see another car pass you for quite some time while you’re crouching in a field of cattails next to a rotting possum carcass.

Now, me being me, I latched on to this story HARD and made him tell it to me over and over like it was my favorite page in the Fucking Bedtime Stories for Young Adults Who Should Still Probably Be Living with Their Parents book. That’s my sociopathic personality—Ruby—winning out against the other more reasonable, empathetic ones.

Sometime after this, Jeff and I went out to dinner with his mom and stepdad, and my dad. I was 19 years old and had much less of a filter than I do now, so without even thinking about it, I blurted out that Jeff had told me the story of how he barrel-rolled out of a moving car except that I start cracking up so bad that I could barely finish saying it and I was also crying & choking because my giddiness comes at me HARD. In my dumb head, I assumed that Jeff’s mom would join me in laughing at this hilarious memory, but she was HORRIFIED and said, “That was one of the worst moments of my entire life” and then the tone grew super somber except that I still wanted to continue laughing so now I was in physical pain trying to use all of my power and brain-drawer of sad memories to stifle it.

Later on, Jeff’s stepdad asked me how the job search was going which was great because I told Jeff earlier in the day to make sure no one said anything about that because I didn’t want my dad to know I quit my job because then he would figure out that my mom was paying my bills, so it was a great dinner.

Anyway, the whole point of this was that when I remembered it the other night, I started involuntarily cackling, like side-splittingly, to the point where Henry woke up and mumbled, “What” with a sludge of reservation in his tone because my laughter scares him lots. So I told him the story and he slurred, “Yeah, you told me that before” and fell back asleep WITHOUT EVEN A TINY CHUCKLE. Wow, Team Jeff’s Mom, I guess.

2. Zoinks

Wednesday night, Chooch and I went on a stealthy nighttime stroll around the neighborhood. There are less people out at night now which makes social distancing easier but it’s also sketchy because, you know, Brookline. So we stick to the sidewalk on the main road to be safe DON’T WORRY! On our way back, we were in the middle of a conversation (thankful I have a teenager who still talks to me but also sometimes he talks too much; I’m never satisfied) when a car full of young people drove by and screamed something in jibberish at us from their open windows. Look, I’m a highly sensitive person, so not only did I scream, nay—shriek, but my feet fucking left the ground. Like the force of my startled yelp boosted me into the air long enough for my fucking feet to pedal the air.

“Did you just actually SCREAM? Oh my god, you’re so embarrassing,” Chooch muttered.

“Why, did you know them!?” I cried, hand still clutching my pearls.

“No! But now what if you inspired them to turn around and do it again? Oh my god, I hate you. You’re like Shaggy from Scooby Doo!” and then he kept yelling ZOINKS at me and I was like STFU.

It was scary, OK?!

Not as embarrassing as the time Henry and I were walking and some kid yelled out of a moving car (without falling out of it, a la Jeff), “Your shoe’s untied!” and I was like, “OMG thank you so much!” and bent down to tie my shoe which was not in fact untied because it didn’t even have laces.

“You’re an idiot,” Henry muttered and left me there to figure it out on my own.

3. Fufu for MeMe

A few weeks ago, I read this book called Slay and in this book, there was the briefest mention of a Ghanaian comfort food called FUFU, which is a soft bread-like foodstuffs made from plantains and cassava, which is then used as a serving device for soups or stews, such as PEANUT STEW. I of course latched on to this, the greater message of the book flitting out of my brain like a spurned butterfly of social consciousness. I started sending Henry recipes for it, which then turned into him watching one YouTube video after another of Ghanaian women churning out fufu on their stovetops, until he was finally ready to commit to the cause.

And this is how, Sunday evening, our house was ALIVE with appetizing African aromas. Henry was unhappy with the consistency of his final fufu, but it tasted AMAZING. You just plop a fistful of it in a bowl and pour whatever soup or stew your heart desires (I mean, you have to make it first, don’t just expect your heart to conjure it up, unless you’ve got that kind of magic, and if that’s the case, do you need a roommate?) around the fufu hill. To be most traditional about it, you should pull pieces of fufu from the mound and press them down into tiny bowls in which to scoop up the soup.

The fufu was a fucking delight, but the stew was the real winner here. It was filled with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, some other things probably, with fresh peanut butter used in the stew-y part, and garnished with peanuts.

I mean, it doesn’t make for the most attractive meal, but WE EAT WITH OUR MOUTHS, NOT OUR EYES.

In one of the books I read earlier in the week, they had Persian jeweled rice so now I’m hounding him for that and he’s all, “ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER? I NEED ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER FOR THIS?” Lol. No one ever said being with me is easy.

4. Subway Update

Henry is slowly but surely making progress on my massive Seoul subway wall art. I think he now he has all the lights in place, but they haveto be adjusted so that they match the colors of the lines they’re representing, and he still needs to get a sheet of plexiglass to attach the actual subway map to, then he has to build a frame for it, and finally attach the sound box thingie that will enable it to play the actual subway jingles at a press of a button.

Pray for him.

    5. Nightmare Nun

Wednesday night, I had this awful dream where I was a kid, maybe 7 or 8, and I was speed-walking along a street in my old hometown, Old Clairton Rd, with a mom who wasn’t actually my IRL mom, and a man who was a plain-clothed priest. We were in a hurry yet trying to remain inconspicuous, because presumably someone was after us/me. I kept hearing this low, demonic grumbling all around me, coming from the trees and empty houses. We were headed toward my old middle school and then turned down a road that I used to drive on all of the time when I still lived out that way yet I can’t remember the name of it. There were people standing outside of their houses on this street and they were yelling things at us, but the priest kept shielding me from them and was shouting, “DON’T LISTEN TO THEM” over and over and this when I realized that something was wrong with me, and I was crying but they kept dragging me along with them, down this residential street which was never scary to me at all in real life because it’s like the quintessential suburban utopia, houses with actual flower boxes hanging outside of their windows and shutters painted thoughtfully to match the aesthetics of the rest of the house – you know these houses. WHERE FAMILIES ACTUALLY SIT DOWN AND EAT DINNER TOGETHER, probably. But whatever.

In real life, when you get to the bottom of this street, there’s an intersection with other residential streets, and then they all spill out onto one main road that take you past the police station. But in my dream, there was an empty parking lot at the end of the road, one that hadn’t been used in some time, so there were cracks in the pavement with weeds growing through them. I know this because I was walking with my eyes down. We all stopped here in this parking lot and I turned around to say something to my mom, but before I could finish, she started to scream and as she screamed her mouth grew wider and wider until the red-tinged silhouette of a nun came out of her mouth and FLEW INTO ME WHILE YELLING A BUNCH OF SCARY JIBBERISH and in real life, I woke up SCREAMING THE JIBBERISH THAT THE NUN WAS SAYING and my cat Drew woke up on my chest and looked at me over her shoulder like, “THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU” and as I waited for my heart rate to go down, I realized that the jibberish the nun was saying was the SAME JIBBERISH THOSE KIDS SCREAMED AT ME EARLIER THAT NIGHT FROM THEIR CAR.

****

Welp, that’s all for me. Gotta get ready for my loathsome Friday late shift. :(

Apr 242020
 

Guys, hold the phone – tomorrow is Chooch’s 14th birthday so I’m devoting today’s Friday Five to my five favorite birthday parties that I threw him hahaha because it’s all about me, why bother asking him for his opinion?!

It’s going to be weird not having a party for him tomorrow or taking him to dinner at the very least, but we will make the best of it and for as much as I scream at him for acting spoiled, he’s actually not that bad (considering who his mother is) and he’s pretty content with laying low and having a Netflix Party with some of his friends. 14 is a weird age, anyway.

OK, in no particular order, here are some of the birthday parties he’s had! Click on the links to go to the original blog post for each party, where you can see more pictures and probably multiple paragraphs where I complain about how stressed out I was, make me a martyr already.

  1. Rollerskating Party

This is kind of weird to include this one on the list because it was his first birthday party right after the BLOG CONTROVERSY at his old Catholic school wherein I wrote about some of the bitch-moms and they found it and there was a confrontation and shit got real and then they punished me by not letting their kids go to his party, because yes – I’m the one who suffered there. Some of the kids did still come, but we had a lot of friends who turned this into one of the most funnest parties ever! We rented out the roller rink and even though one of my friend’s son’s fell and broke his wrist, it was quite a nice 6th birthday!

We had become pals with the people who ran the rink at the time (it was since taken over by some not-great people with questionable beliefs so we don’t go there anymore), and they were so generous with their contributions to the party!

2. THE CAT PARTY!!

I was so proud of how this party turned out! We had all kinds of cat-themed food and games and a cat-themed photo booth and so many people came and Lisa’s baby puked on Janna and Bill had a feud with a kid and stole one of his toys and threw it out when he was in the porta-john, and seriously, when I think back on these parties, I love my friends so much, lol.

Bill and Jessi came all the way from Michigan (I mean, this can be said for nearly every one of Chooch’s birthday parties though, they are legit family to us, man) and it was so much fun decorating cat cookies the night before. Party prep is so much more tolerable when you’re drinking with friends!

This party was a great blend of friends, family, and Chooch’s school friends. Let’s be real though, his real friends are my friends, which should be annoying to me but I guess I’m OK with sharing my friends with him. (Most of them like him better than me anyway, lol!)

3. The Disney Shocker

For Chooch’s 10th birthday, we took him on a surprise road trip to Disney World. He thought we were going to visit Henry’s “Uncle Walt” right up until we arrived in the parking lot of Disney, he’s so dense. This one was really hard for us to pull off because we are not rich people and, you know, Disney ain’t cheap, yo. We were even less rich 4 years ago so it was nothing short of a miracle that we managed to scrounge together the funds to make this happen. He was so happy though and this honestly was such a huge win for us as parents. I love giving the gift of EXPERIENCE!!

4. The Zombie Party

cake

I just remember that a bunch of people showed up for this at my mom’s house and we had a little graveyard set up where people could get their photos taken and Bill accidentally scared Chooch too hard and made him cry, which was promptly added to the list of Times Bill Accidentally Made My Kid Cry (surprisingly, many times, but they are still best douche-cups for life!).

billchoochfeast

I’m pretty sure I have a picture of Chooch crying on the actual blog post, so you don’t forget to click those hyperlinks!

charlievictim

My friends are such great sports!

kara

Kara and her son Harland, who I can barely remember ever being that tiny!! He’s so tall now!

I’ll also remember this as the day my friend Christy (Chooch’s godmother) told me she was pregnant with twins!

5. The Surprise Butterfly Party

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For Chooch’s 11th party, I realized that while we had that surprise birthday trip to Disney, we never actually had a surprise PARTY for Chooch. And I used to be the QUEEN of throwing surprise parties! It was like, my thing back in the day, to the point where probably everyone expected one eventually. But look, you have to know this thing about me: I thrive on taking things that people HATE and using those as themes because I’m fucking rotten.

TO THE CORE.

I mean, I have a rotten apple tattooed on my arm for God’s sake.

My child is not exempt from my devious ways.

Anyway, he was surprised and annoyed all at once, and then happy when he looked around and saw the people who were here but tried to play it off by saying he was just happy for getting a balloon, because he resorts to untimely awkwardness just like his dad.

Oh wait, I mean, his mom.

Tomorrow will be low-key, but I will still try to make his 14th memorable. I mean, turning 14 during a pandemic is memorable in and of itself, I guess.

Apr 102020
 

*(People with calendars, I guess.) Anyway, here’s another work week, pandemic-style. Keeping track of our mundane lockdown life is at least giving me something to do, I guess. 

Monday:

I literally can’t think of a single highlight. Work was normal. The weather was nice so Chooch and I went for a quick walk during my break and saw Wesley’s mom ugh. We talked from afar and she gushed about how wonderful Chooch is and I guess that’s how Glenn feels whenever people at work gush about how wonderful I am.

Our neighbors had friends over that night because evidently you can only contract COVID from strangers not friends.

Ugh that generation. Whatever comes after Millennials. I can never remember. 

And our neighbors on the other side have had every single family member and their respective units in and out too like a fucking Grand Central Coronastation.

I think people misunderstand the concept of social distancing, but OK.

TUESDAY:

Some ragtag family oozed past our house and the Kindergarten-aged daughter must have fallen or something because she was crying and her fat dad in the neon yellow construction company t-shirt barked, “YOU’RE FINE” and she was like, “Noooo I need a Band-aid” and he was like, “WHERE THE HELL DO YOU THINK I’M GOING TO GET A BAND-AID RIGHT NOW?! JUST WAIT UNTIL WE GET HOME!!!” and if I had had a fishing rod, I would have flung a Jojo Siwa Band-Aid to them from my window, in compliance with social distancing, but I do not have a fishing rod, or a robot that I could have sent out on my behalf, Band-aid presented all….robotically from a tray.

Figures, the one time I have an urge to be nice to a child…

Thanks, COVID-19, for keeping me true to myself.

By the time Henry came home from work, I had so much stored-up energy, that I took to sprinting from one side of the house to the other, which eventually made Chooch snap because he was “on a call” with his friend Markie which only entails them bickering over Minecraft and Markie saying, “That’s what she said” as a response to everything, only making sense .01% of the time. Finally, Chooch got up and came at me so I grabbed a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps and then he in turn snatched one of those long stove lighter things in retaliation and lots of tribal screaming ensued, all the while Henry kept calm and cooked on in the kitchen.

The church across the street had a super loud drive-in broadcast that night, the word of the Lord blasting out from loud speakers, permeating through the ether and straight into my house which I thought was kind of rude, but also fitting to the theme of the night because earlier I had found some new African gospel workout called Afro-Praise that included PRAISE PULSES, Zulu dancing, and some lady unable to get up off the floor at the end.

I live for these kinds of workouts. 

Wound down with a matcha latte made from matcha powder I bought at Osulloc in Seoul, one of the Osulloc items that TSA did not steal from my luggage in New York.

Assholes.

Oh, we are certainly enjoying these fun days together, lol.

Wednesday

1:00am Storm!! I actually thought it was a tornado and got very scared. 

I did this African dance cardio workout and I think I’m obsessed with that…genre? of aerobics now. Kpop cardio will forever be my favorite though, and my boy Give Me Five Thailand has continued to upload new routine from his house during the stay at home order. I love him!

At some point during the day, Chooch disappeared. It turned out he was in his room, actually reading!! I was so happy about this…until I found out that he was reading a Shane Dawson’s MEMOIRS. He’s banned from our house, but apparently I bought him this damn book several years ago, so I GUESS I ONLY HAVE MYSELF TO BLAME.

“You bought me PewDiePie’s book, too,” Chooch said in this shitty “Who’s the asshole now?” tone.

A conversation:

‪Me: I wish I was skinny so I didn’t have to carve out time to exercise and I could just sit here all day and read instead. ‬

‪CHOOCH:‬ THATS why you want to be skinny? Ok. Wow.

(I know, how archaic of me. Omg I want to be skinny. Wah wah wah. But honestly, I should have said “I wish exercise wasn’t necessary…” TOO LATE ERIN. TOO LATE TO BACKTRACK. YOU SAID IT. NOW WE ALL KNOW U HAVE BARBIE DOLL BODY IDEOLOGIES.)

We walked to Dunkin’ Donuts – they are open for pick-up only so Henry orders from the app and then runs in to retrieve our drinks. It’s like, a tiny treat we give ourselves to give life the appearance of being normal for several minutes. On the way there, we were talking about how it’s weird when people don’t have any pets, and Chooch accused Henry of not having any childhood pets, to which Henry defiantly spat that he had dogs and cats growing up and now he has, shoots us a disgusted look over his shoulder, “animals.”

WOW. 

I might have nearly peed my pants right there on the sidewalk. I’m an emotional time bomb. 

THURSDAY

Oh look, another day. Our face masks arrived from Korea. Sorry, I didn’t feel like jumping on the bandanna bandwagon when I can order masks from Korea and get them in like 4 days, free shipping. God, I love you Korea.

Speaking of Korean face masks, Chooch treated himself to a spa night:

I finished “Gingerbread,” a book that I had been struggling to read for a week and I went from hating it to loving it, I think?! I can’t be sure, but I watched an interview with the author, Helen Oyeyemi, and I for sure love her, at least.

FRIDAY

The Easter decorations I ordered from Oriental Trading arrived. Easter is my second favorite holiday for some reason (actually I know why but maybe we can wait until Easter to talk about that ok cool) and I am determined to make this one as “normal” as possible even though we’re essentially confined to the house. So we’ll see how that goes.

Other than that, the highlights of today were:

  • My favorite booktuber Kat uploaded her March book review video;
  • Gina B uploaded a new 20 minute walking workout

Wow. My days are so full!

Ah, perspective. Perspective.

My workweek is officially over, dinner has been eaten, and now I’m making Henry watch these fucking vanilla Christian YouTube videos about “fun family Easter games.” It’s, a thing. This one broad keeps interrupting herself to coo at her baby and then she knocked over her camera with her head so that was more entertaining than any of the games she’s talking about.

Now we’re watching this really annoying family with 87 subscribers hide Easter eggs from each other and it’s so cringey. This is totally our new version of making fun of birthday party videos.

Goodbye.

Apr 032020
 

Look. I’m over this. All the days blend together. What did I do on Monday? THE SAME THING I DO EVERYDAY, APPARENTLY. So here are some highlights broken up into five categories I guess, because I have little left to give. Full day recaps? To quote the letter HNC wrote the landlord, “that ain’t happening.”

  1. BAKED GOODS

Chooch has been on a roll with the baking. Here are the delights he whipped up over the course the week. Not shown: the healthy banana pancakes he made for breakfast on Thursday which were delicious but the recipe told him to cook them for 3 minutes before flipping and we almost got smoked out of the house.

Healthy carrot muffins. God yes. 

Weight Watcher-approved lemon bars. I refuse to believe these were WW-approved, and I’m not doing WW or anything but I appreciate that Chooch considers the fact that I am uber-conscious about the food I eat, especially now that we’re on lockdown and overeating is soooo easy to succumb to. Trust me, I would love to sit around all day and snack but I have to try even harder now to not do that!

37-calorie brownies – these were a big hit!

He just needs to work on presentation, haha.

2. FIGHTS

  • I lost my shit on Tuesday because Chooch watches Shane Dawson videos everyday (after like a three year hiatus!!), and if he’s not watching Shawn, he’s watching Shane’s boyfriend Ryland, whose stupid sister is always making appearances and I might perhaps hate her the most. So I banned all three of them from our house. “AND THEIR STUPID FUCKING FRIEND WITH THE GLASSES TOO!” “Garrett?!” Chooch cried. “Yes, that douchebag! I don’t want to fucking see his face or hear his voice!” “How do you even know him?” Chooch cried, and I screamed, “BECAUSE OF THAT ONE VIDEO WHERE RYLAND AND HIS DUMB SISTER TRY TO SPEND NOTHING FOR ONE DAY AND THEY GO TO HIS HOUSE AND HE MAKES THEM LUNCH FROM SHIT HE BOUGHT AT 7-ELEVEN AND MAKES THEM SIT ON THE FLOOR BC HE JUST CAME BACK FROM JAPAN.” Chooch’s face lit up with question marks. “You left that video on the TV the other day when you went to your room and your dad and I watched almost the whole thing because we had no COVID-motivation to turn it off!” Honestly, even if I have headphones on while I’m working, I can hear every single one of those idiots’ voices over top of it and it gets under my skin so much. WHY DO THEY SCREAM SO MUCH?! I HATE THEM! THEY ARE WORTHLESS! FAMOUS FOR ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! 
  • Henry and Chooch fought over the carrots for the previously-mentioned carrot muffins.
  • HNC’S WIFE AND SLUT LIFE HAD A FIGHT WEDNESDAY EVENING FROM THEIR RESPECTIVE PORCHES!!! I couldn’t hear what was said because it was really windy and we live on a busy street, but I was excited to see a fight that complied with social distancing guidelines.
  • Me vs Henry, re: everything down to his breathing.
  • Chooch vs me, re: both of us knowing everything.

3. WORK

  • I miss my co-workers, but the ones I have at home are pretty great. Fine, even Chooch, who today said, “Teamwork makes the dream work” when I helped him fit some crap in his backpack. “Wow, that’s the second time I heard that since yesterday!” I laughed, and he said, “Yeah, I only said it because I heard someone say it on the work call you were on yesterday.” Ugh. I will say though that at least when I’m in the office, no one steals my seat if I get up for more coffee.

  • I mentioned already here that Tuesday was Cheryl’s last day so Amber arranged a virtual toast for her. It was super awkward, but I had luckily had done all of my crying earlier that day when Cheryl and I were emailing with each other for the last time. I chose strawberry soju for my toast of choice. It was a good decision.

  • I keep it cold enough in the house that a blanket is necessary, to help me feel like I’m actually in the office. 
  • Yeah, I have nothing exciting to say about work. We’re all kind of shell-shocked, I think. We have these check-in calls and everyone either seems starved for conversation or speechless. On one of the calls, one of my co-workers told this 15-minute long story about people hiding wine outside of her house, and something about Malort, I actually have no idea what was happening so we all just laughed nervously. It all happened so fast yet also dragged on for an eternity, please explain how that’s possible. Time is a mystery during a pandemic.

4. BOOKS

  • I can’t tell you how impeccable my timing was when I decided I wanted to carve out time for reading. Books have been my saving grace during lockdown At first, I was so sad that the library was closed, but then I remembered that Chooch has an old Kindle, so my new thing, while working through the stockpile I was able to check out from the library on that last day (I only have 4 more left though!!), is to download both the ebook and audio versions of books so that I can listen to them while I’m working. I HAVE to have the print copy of books in front of me while listening to them though because otherwise I will zone out and not pay attention. Obviously, I have to pause it a lot if I’m working on something that requires my undivided attention, but it has been going pretty well. I can’t do this in the office though because I like to be aware of my surroundings. I guess I’m just weird. 
  • I read two REALLY EXCELLENT books in a row, yesterday and today, and that has really given me life, you guys. I will talk about them in my APRIL book recap so look forward to that I guess? I busy myself by adding books to my “Want to read” shelf on Goodreads and watching BookTube videos to get hyped on new books. It’s really helping to distract me from the doom and gloom of the outside world.

DEPRESSION & OTHER MINUTIAE

  • I admit it, I’m fully depressed at this point. To be fair, I’m bipolar and my depression comes and goes like leaves in the wind (literally) so I could have been depressed right now even without a pandemic acting as a catalyst. But I am really struggling. I’m one of those people who are both introvert ad extrovert, depending on the situation, so the prospect of being housebound only appeals to a small percent of my brain, while the rest of me is like I NEED TO BE IN THE OFFICE. I NEED TO MAKE MY ROUNDS AND TALK TO MY BUDDIES. I NEED TO GO ON MY DOWNTOWN LUNCH WALKS AND SEE WHAT STRANGE INTERACTIONS BEFALL ME. I NEED TO JUST BE OUT WITH PEOPLE. It can be a very confusing and contrary way of life, but this who I am and I am suffering. I have little energy and have to force myself to exercise everyday, I am finding that I am clamming up when I’m on group calls at work even if I have things to say, which is strange because you’d expect me to start blurting my own versions of people hiding wine stories, and god knows I have neighborhood to say! But instead, I say nothing because I’m tired and my soul aches. I still manage to get dressed most days, but I have stopped caring about my nails, even. I’m just sad. 
  • Snail mail must be back in vogue now that everyone is housebound because both of our card shops have enjoyed a jump in sales. I’m about to look for penpals. 
  • Right now, we were supposed to have been on a plane to Frankfurt. I know that there are much more important things to care about right, like being thankful for good health, family/cats, and having a job, and that if we all come out of this OK, we’ll go another time. But it still adds to the depression because we worked so hard to save the money for that trip and I feel super antsy and caged-in. Anyway, I gave back my vacation days because I didn’t want to use them if we weren’t going anywhere, but I did keep today off. I mean, it was no different from every other day, except that I didn’t have to sit at my desk and work. Sigh.

  • But on a good miscellaneous note, we got take-out from Zenith because they had the super coveted TOFISHY sandwiches on the menu. This is my FAVORITE THING that Zenith makes and I pretty much inhaled it. No one told me to slow-down, so I ate with piggish abandon.
  • Meanwhile, Slut Life has a blue convertible now so his music will be even more audible as he peels in and out of the driveway a thousand times a day. SRSLY WHERE IS HE GOING?! We have no idea, but I guess no one told him about the Stay Home order. Most of the time, he is only gone for 10-15 minutes before he comes back again! Then he goes through the process of struggling to park his dumb car in the tiny garage, only to leave again in a few minutes!! He doesn’t seem like a drug dealer, so then I thought maybe he’s a pizza delivery guy? Like, maybe he works at one of the local pizzerias and they have him stay home because of social distancing and then they call him when an order is ready to be picked up? Maybe he’s Doordash or Grub Hub? I mean, he’s not going far! 
  • I’m still on an MTV Challenge kick. I was watching some old highlight reel and Henry laughed quietly and whispered to himself, “Abram!” like he was delighted to see an old friend. Then he goes, “IS THAT BETH?” It’s so funny when Henry knows their names, lol. 
  • This song is really good. There’s a small guitar solo in it that has Chuck Mangione vibes and transports me back to the 80s, sitting in a booth at the Blue Flame with my pappap. Chuck Mangione came on the radio there a lot, at least in my memories.

OMG I’m so fucking sad.