May 172024
 

Hi real quick here are five of my favorite things that have happened so far in May that I would like to not forget.

  1. I GOT A TICKET TO SEE NCT DREAM IN SEPTEMBER!!

This happened today. I tried to stay calm during the ticket-procuring process because I can’t handle much more stress currently – I know my threshold, and I kept saying, “You know, I saw them last year and I had a good seat so it doesn’t matter this time – just as long as I’m there.” And then it was “my turn” (fuck you, TicketMaster) to look for a ticket and I grabbed the first one that was not on the floor but decent and then that was it. No screaming in anger, no panicking. Just quietly added to the cart and purchased while Henry stood behind me and chanting, “Calm down, calm down” which – OK? I am? YOU CALM DOWN?

And then I started crying about 30 minutes later, a delayed reaction, and woke Henry up from his nap, wailing, “I’M JUST SO HAPPY THAT I GET TO SEE THEM AGAIN!” He looked alarmed, but it’s fine. I’m fine.

2. A $5 Brulee’d Ruby Red

Um, this was not worth it, but the rest of the brunch at 40North with my pals Megan, Debby, and Mar made up for it! (Don’t worry, that’s not all I got – I actually got one of the best omelets I’ve ever had, and now I know that next time I should forgo the “healthy” option and just get the smashed potatoes*.)

*(Which btw come with chimichurri which is how Marlene came to find out exactly what chimichurri is and while Debby was explaining it to her, Marlene interrupted to say, “Ok tell them I don’t need any of that.”)

We had the same server that Lindsey and I had when we met here last year who was, from what I remember, a chronic whisperer but I’m happy to report that he spoke much louder this time, upped the volume. Actually, all of the staff there was pretty freaking great and memorable even though we completely overstayed our welcome – we got nary a side-eye.

Anyway, that was last Saturday, and then the Sunday before that….

3. I Had Beers with My Sister!

I know it seems like I’m not doing anything but curling up in the fetal position in a dark corner, crying about Korea, and OK that is largely my life now. I admit it. But I have been getting out and socializing here and there too, lol.

Amy wanted to try Strange Roots in Millvale and I who knows nothing about breweries said YES LET’S DO THAT. I think it’s safe to say that I am still mid-at-best when it comes to liking beer, but it was still an excellent afternoon with Amy and Dick and fine, even Henry. We always have the best convo with Amy and Dick when we get together and I always leave there saying, “We need to do this more than just once or twice a year.” I mean, we do live a little over an hour away from each other but that’s no excuse. I grew up with such a small family and the fact that I was given the chance to have a relationship with a sister that I didn’t meet until I was an adult is actually a pretty big deal. (Especially since we like each other, even!)

I had a wheat beer which was ok, and then I got a “slamgria” which was 100% MY STYLE. I guess because, you know, it wasn’t beer. But shit, I could have sat around all afternoon slamming these OMG IS THAT WHY THEY’RE CALLED SLAMGRIAS??

I sat here for a solid three minutes wondering to myself what the fuck that Teletubby-shaped thing is at the bottom of this picture and then I realized it was the hand sanitizer that I had with me that day – the kind that is encased in the rubber carrier thing, lol.

Oh! I also want to give a shoutout to whoever at Strange Roots played an entire Neutral Milk Hotel album while we there, transporting me back to high school so fast I almost got whiplash. <3

4. This Stray Kids Song That I Want to Curl Up Inside and Live In Forever

First of all, I truly love Charlie Puth’s music don’t @ me, and second of all I IMPRINTED ON HAN JISUNG ALL OVER AGAIN WITH THIS ONE. SKZ just announced a world tour too, dates TBA, so I am going to be in Kpop debt this year. (Because Seventeen too I think!?!?) I think if I ever don’t get completely consumed by music, that’s when you know that I’m officially dead inside because I’m almost 45 and music is still the one thing that never fails to make me feel like my full, complete self. Kpop especially really changed my life for the better though. <3

5. HNC Has a Friend!

The other day I was dying because HNC had a friend over and I was crawling on the floor, trying to get a covert picture through the dining room window without being seen. I’m not posting it here because I’m wildly paranoid about everything these days, but this guy had some type of modified ginger mullet – it was straight and flowed like a river of Schlitz to his shoulders. He was wearing bitchin’ Lennon shades and a fitted t-shirt and jeans, looking like he could be in Bread or Ambrosia or some other food-named 70s band.

I woke Henry up from his nap, totally giddy, and asked him if he was jealous. He said NO and I said, “Wow, not even that HNC invited him to his CAMP??”

Henry just frowned, which means I was right – he’s jel.


OK, I’m going now.

 

Mar 012024
 

This week was wack so here are five positive things because maybe going thru the motions of typing it out might train my brain yanno?!

1. Had dinner with my Coaster Crew BFF Pam and her friend Greg tonight at Industry Public House and it was soooo fun! Pam also met my brother Corey earlier today because he’s going to be her realtor since she has decided to move here from Philly, which I already mentioned but it’s worth mentioning again! Anyway, she was saying that even thought Corey and I don’t look like she could totally tell we’re brother and sister because of our personalities & mannerisms, and Henry muttered, “Try being around both of them at once.” LOLOL. I was also glad to meet Greg – totally chill and easy to talk to so I’m looking forward to finally having people to go to Kennywood with!

2. Speaking of Pam, I was telling Group Chat that she’s moving here from Philly and Wendi, who lives Philly sports, said “Go Birds” and Amber said she name her baby-to-be (is that the right term??) Phillie so I was like “and she could have an orange nursery!”

“Orange fur wall with googly eyes,” Wendi said and I was like I HAVE A FUR WALL WITH GOOGLY EYES IN MY HOUSE I CAN HELP!

I dunno it made me laugh and I need that so.

3. Speaking of Pam part 2, Corey said that during their meeting today she had mentioned being from New Orleans and that I’m one of kind and “belong in New Orleans” whatever that means?? I have never been there so I wouldn’t know. Henry went there ON HIS HONEYMOON with first wife, so.

4. Speaking of first wife, I found the perfect shoes to wear with the outfit I picked out for when/if I become Henry’s NEXT WIFE. “Aren’t those kids shoes?” Henry asked when we were at Target tonight. “Yes, and? They fit me so I’m getting them?” God. Step off. So catch me wearing my new Cat & Jack metallic purple boots at some point I guess.

5. Speaking of getting married, we finally snagged our appointments at the US Embassy in Seoul for the date we needed. I’m still not solidly convinced that this will happen but of all else fails, Wildwood here we come.

Ok that’s all for now. I broke my fast to eat a veggie burger at dinner tonight and my stomach is like “remember when you were pregnant? Here let me remind you” *expands greatly*

Feb 162024
 

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

1. RetroWaving from Pgh

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

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

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

2. Baby Carat’s First SVT Album

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

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

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

3. PITTSBURGH PAM?

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

In your FACE, Chooch.

4. Henry Being Annoying

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

5. It’s paczki time in Brookline

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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

Feb 092024
 

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

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

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


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


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

Trudy being a saucy dish.

***

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

Jan 262024
 

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

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

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

Jan 192024
 

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

I’m getting there.

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

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

  1. Ready to Love

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

 

2. Don’t Wanna Cry

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

3. FIGHTING

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

4. _WORLD

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

5. ROCK WITH YOU

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

***

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

Dec 292023
 

Lessgitit.

  1. Ladies Christmas Dinner

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

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

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

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

2. Of 90s R&B Heart Throbs

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

 

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

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

3. HAECHAN CANDLE

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

4. Missing the Office

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

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

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

5. FREE WEEKENDS

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

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

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

***

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

Love,

Susie from Clairton.

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

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

THE PILLAR THING.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 112023
 

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

  1. HITCHHIKER BREWING CO OR SOMETHING

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

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

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

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

2. The Resort

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

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

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

3. That Damn WayV Song!!

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

Earth to Erin!! God, this beer.

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

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

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

Kun is such a bias wrecker.

4. HOWARD HEWETT IN THE HOUSETT

LOL here’s the Howard Hewett video too!

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

Nov 032023
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OMG.

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 072023
 

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

1. Tennis

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

Wow, thanks.

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

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

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

Boy, your mother is always ready to play.

OK that sounded sleazy.

But you know what I mean!

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

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

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

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

2. Name That Tune

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

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

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

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

GREAT ANGLE, ERIN.

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

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

3. Sights from the Northside

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

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

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

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

4. Wild Mouse <3

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

5. Is It You?

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

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

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

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

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

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

YOU GUYS, I STILL GOT IT.

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

Jun 232023
 

Now that I wrote 3000 words about the Cure concert without ever actually talking about the Cure concert, here are five things about that night that don’t involve me flipping out over a ring.

1. burn

Honestly one of my favorite songs, not just by the Cure, but of any artist of all time. Henry said that this was one of his favorite songs of the night too. I am trying not to cry right now.

This is not my video, I didn’t record hardly at all because I was too in the zone and as usual, I figured there would be a plethora of videos online afterward. But the audio is really great and you can totally hear how on point the whole band – it was on this level the entire night. The Cure is honestly one of the best bands I have ever seen in my whole life – they always seem to be 100% into it. It makes me wonder how I would feel if I was at one of their concerts, knowing nothing about them, only there to accompany a friend. Would I leave as a fan? I really can’t imagine how I wouldn’t – like, how do you witness something like this in person and not be affected? They even manage to permeate Henry’s thick-walled dork-heart.

2. Kpop fans v everyone else

Ok listen Brenda. You know that the Cure is tops in my heart. La Supreme. Bae. And this is nothing against them at all, but can we talk about the crowd? Shoooooo….it was not great. I mean, also not AWFUL but just not what I would have expected for a Cure concert. With the exception of the ABYSMAL, RUDE crowd at Coachella in 2004 since that was a festival, this might have been the worst vibe I’ve sensed out of all the times I’ve seen them.

Now, this is not a blanket statement – I’m not trying to say, “OMG I was the only true fan there” because it wasn’t at all, so if you were there and disagree do not come for me!! I’m just saying that my observation from where I sat was that it felt like many – not all – people were there for the novelty of it. These people were all middle-aged, white, and mostly drunk. Maybe they were reliving their goth college years, or wanted to hear the handful of radio hits that they know, who knows. But a lot of the people there made me uncomfortable and distracted me with their constant need to fidget, chat with their neighbors, leave to buy more beer. It was a lot of letting people in and out of the row, you know? And I noticed this at Genesis too so I think it’s really a demographic thing. Like, these are elder fans who perhaps have expendable income and/or just go to concerts to party / relive the golden years / get drunk off of nostalgia. And OK that’s fine, but there are also people who pay money they don’t really have to see a band in real life that they love with their whole hearts and have so much appreciation and gratitude…

That’s 99.9999999% of the fans you see at kpop concerts, you guys. It is legit. No one is there because they just know one song. They are there because they know every member’s name, know the inside jokes, know the choreo.

I realized that night that while I still love non-kpop music, I prefer kpop concerts in general now.

(For instance, I’m watching another video from the Cleveland show and there is a broad in in who hasn’t stopped talking to someone three people over her for the entirety of Disintegration. Like bitch, sit down then. You’re bothering us.)

But I will give big props to the Tallest Guy in the Land who was standing in front of Henry. (Originally me but I switched seats with Henry lol.) He glanced behind him at one point and when he realized how much taller he was than Henry and the guy next to Henry, he sat down on the back of his chair so that he wasn’t fully sitting but also was at the height of an average standing man, and said, “Is that better?” Henry and the guy next to him were both like, “Oh, you’re fine!” because Henry, for all the bitching he does when BOO HOO HE CAN’T SEE AT THE NCT CONCERT BC GIRLS ARE STANDING UP AND DANCING, actually is content just being there and doesn’t need to see the stage at every single second of the night like some of us do.

Anyway, I thought that guy was really cool. Him and a bunch of people in front of him were really decent and seemed like genuine fans, but then the three women next to him (and directly in front of me) chatted like fucking mothers at a neighborhood watch meeting, checked their phones, texted, got up to pee, got up to get beer, looked everywhere but the stage unless one of the more popular radio songs were being played. It was so annoying. They did seem into it at some points so I think the bigger issue here is that Americans in general are just one gigantic attention deficit.

3. Toxic Masculinity in Row N

Sometime before the opening band started, a group of people practically fell into the seats right behind Henry and me. I mean, they made such a commotion as they skirted their way down the row, it was almost comedic if it hadn’t been so goddamn annoying. Loud AF. CLEARLY drunk. Total middle-aged trash with zero boundaries or awareness.

It was two married couples – the one woman had the most annoying voice, high-pitched voiced (fuck, Henry compared her to someone and it was so spot-on but now I can’t think), the other woman was actually fine but of course she was sat the furthest away from me, and the two husbands were disgusting, loud-ass pig-slobs who didn’t just speak, they SHOUTED, the type of toxic ageing bro-men who purposely talk loud because they think that what they’re saying is SO FUCKING FUNNY AND IMPORTANT, that they want EVERYONE AROUND THEM TO HEAR. Fucking crass assholes, honestly. The one kept stretching out his legs so his disgusting sandaled foot would jut out from under Henry’s seat and I was burping back bile, for real.

4. If you can’t beat ’em….

I told Henry that the only way I was going to be able to survive with those loud asses sitting behind us would be if I made contact somehow. Finding a way to civilly butt into the conversation of problematic people sometimes helps humanize them for me, if that makes sense. Lucky for me, the MEN had departed on their third alcohol refill run during the storm delay, when the couple next to the people started talking to the wives. At one point, one of the wives said that they were from Pittsburgh and I was like “I’M IN” and the way I spun around so fast in my seat to finally play the role of Erin Buttinsky, well, Henry was laughing about it for days afterward.

(“Jesus Christ, you turned around so fast and started talking,” he laughed but it didn’t sound like a HAHA I LOVE YOU NEW-FIANCEE, YOU ARE SO CUTE AND FUNNY laugh but more of a disgusted “I hate when you do that shit” scoff.)

“We’re from Pittsburgh too!” I cried out so loud that several people from the row behind them also turned to look at where the manic talking was coming from.

The wives looked a bit caught off guard initially at my enthusiasm for sharing a city, but then they quickly abandoned the other couple and talked solely to me about various Pgh things that you wouldn’t understand if you’re not from here so I won’t bore you, but I will say that Henry REFUSED to turn around, not even ONCE, just bristled silently in his seat like the stand-offish lump that he is, so that was exciting to have them see that I was attending a Cure concert with a serial killer.

After I said that I was originally from “Jefferson Hill, you know, by Century III Mall,” one of the ladies said, “Oh did you hear about that boy that recently fell through the roof of the mall??” and I was like, “OMG NO?!” and she said something else about it, to which I didn’t know how else to respond aside from saying, “Oh wow” and then turning back around in my seat without a goodbye or enjoy the show or fuck off or anything. Just quietly and awkwardly cut the cord on the convo and peaced out. That’s how I do. Hi, I’m Erin. Nice to meet you, ok bye.

Anyway, my plan worked because I was able to tolerate them so much more after that, except for once the concert started and I found out quickly and painfully that one of the husbands was a WHISTLER. Hooboy, the why those whistles broke through my skull like a buckshot.

5. The Set List

  • Alone
  • Pictures of You
  • Lovesong
  • And Nothing if Forever
  • If Only Tonight We Could Sleep

  • Burn
  • Kyoto Song
  • A Night Like This
  • Push
  • At Night
  • Play for Today
  • A Forest (Henry’s fave Cure song, FYI)
  • Shake Dog Shake
  • From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea (LOL ughhhhh)
  • Endsong

ENCORE #1

  • I Can Never Say Goodbye
  • It Can Never Be the Same
  • Want
  • Plainsong
  • Disintegration

ENCORE #2

  • Lullaby
  • Six Different Ways
  • The Walk
  • Friday I’m In Love
  • Close To Me
  • Whay Can’t I Be You?
  • In Between Days
  • Just Like Heaven
  • Boys Don’t Cry

OK, that’s it. I was hoping for The Caterpillar, Charlotte Sometimes, The Kiss, Same Deep Water As You among others but I was still happy with the set list because it’s the fucking Cure. The fucking Cure.

Jun 022023
 

Here are some (FIVE TO BE EXACT) things that I have on my mind today:

  1. The First Ed Sheeran Song I’ve Liked (accidentally)

OK look, I don’t specifically hate Ed Sheeran or anything. I think he is fine, he doesn’t bother me, but I also could not ever pick his voice out of a line-up. It’s just, whatever. But then I was doing a cardio dance workout a few weeks ago to afrobeat songs and one of the songs WAS SO GOOD that it got lodged in my head until I finally looked it up to see who it was and apparently ED SHEERAN is featured on it?? I guess now that I know that, I can tell sort of, but this was not something that struck me the other times I heard this song. “Oh wow, and there is Ed Sheeran chiming in.”

I think my brother would be disappointed in me because he hates Ed Sheeran but I just recently found out that he likes Taylor Swift, the most vanilla basic bitch out there, so I guess we are even.

Anyway, there is an official MV too that I am just now watching for the first time and I guess ED makes a cameo in this too lol. But yeah, this is such a fire summer jam and I have been putting Fireboy DML on replay these last few days:

2. Firefly Lane

Dude. I had been really dragging this second half of the season out, just stretching it as far as it would go, because I knew it was going to rip me apart. But I finally watched the last episode Wednesday night and, well, I’m not OK! LOL. I was crying so hard that I had to keep covering my face, or looking at my phone to distract me, or shower the closest cat with unbridled attention. I was a wet mess. I didn’t read the book and will probably not at this point because why torture myself further, but I thought that show was very well done and the casting was on point. I always was meh about Katherine Heigel but that actually made me like her and also her character reminded me of my aunt Sharon a little bit?? (The good parts of Sharon.)

(I have been thinking of Sharon SO MUCH lately and I think it’s because I am finally ready to go through the mourning stages…..7 years later.)

3. New neighbors!

You guys, we have a family of groundhogs living over the hill in our backyard! So far, I’ve counted 5 babies and a mom (I call her Bertha – she is so mean to her babies!). The squirrels are like WHO ARE YOU AND ARE YOU PAYING RENT?

I dunno if I’m just officially OLD but I could fucking sit on my backporch all day and watch the backyard wildlife. I love them all so much.

EXCEPT FOR THE FUCKING HAWKS.

Some of the Mr. Gray Guys came running when I call them now – they know their names <3

Meanwhile, my favorite – Girl Buddy – has been snubbing me all week and I know it’s because she’s pissed that we were gone for part of Memorial Day weekend.

4. Dance Telephone Challenge!

You guys! NCT Dream was on Good Mythical Morning recently! Chooch said this means he can’t watch GMM anymore, whatever hater. Anyway, I thought it was extremely cute and funny, obviously. Janna watched the whole thing and you should too!

5. A Call About a Cat Carrier

Last Friday, HNC texted me and asked if we have a cat carrier that he could borrow. I sighed, retrieved one of the cat carriers from a shelf in the basement, and took it over to him. Apparently, they needed it for the weekend to take their cat to their camp, which is a thing that both HNC and Wife reference quite frequently but I have yet to care enough to ask any questions about it. Such as, “Where is it?”

Anyway! Tuesday evening, HNC’s wife returned it to us, which I appreciated. Punctuality when it comes to returning borrowed items is something that I don’t get to experience very much in life, I feel like.

Then.

The next day.

Another HNC text: “When u get a min, can u call  me? It’s about the cat carrier.”

REALLY? Why do we have to have a telephone conversation about this? I let you borrow it. You returned it. The end.

I waited a few minutes. Considered ignoring it. Sighed. Called him.

It quickly turned into a multi-point inquisition:

  1. What brand was the cat carrier? It fit their cat perfectly (purrfectly?) and he would like to get the same one.
  2. Do we buy our cat litter in plastic containers? If so, where do we buy it? Can he have the empties to use to store rock salt FOR THE CAMP?

And then, what I believe to be the main purpose of the phone call, the rest was just friendly filler:

3. DO I KNOW ANY TRICKS TO KEEP SQUIRRELS OUT OF PLANTS BECAUSE HIS WIFE IS FREAKING OUT.

Ugh! How about just embrace them as they are GOD’S PRECIOUS CREATURES??? Did I tell you that she has FORKS sticking out of her planters, tines up, as a squirrel deterrent?!

Bonus: I heard HNC’s wife’s ring tone for the first time the other night when she was giving me avocadoes – I WAS MADE FOR LOVING YOU by KISS!???!!! I was almost shocked into silence because that was not what I expected. The Nokia tone, maybe? A Dwight Yoakum midi?

Apr 282023
 

I don’t have an intro. Let’s do it.

  1. Restaurant Crushes

When I was younger, I was always having crushes on bus boys and waiters and various restaurants and when my Pappap would ask me where I wanted to eat after Saturday evening church, my current crush usually determined my answer. I remember PARTICULARLY being super hormone-y over a bus boy at this Italian restaurant that was actually called Napoli but we just called it Naples. I was so convinced that he liked me too but in hindsight, I highly doubt this was the case. That boy was so hot and I was so….not, lol.

I’m telling you this because Wednesday night, Henry and I had a double date with Megan and Eric at Tillie’s. Obviously, my restaurant crush was not Henry, but our young and sassy waiter whose name I’m not sure I ever knew. I was too busy crushing on him to notice that he was, according to my dinner companions, fucking with me every time I spoke. To be fair, I couldn’t hear most of what he was saying to me over my heartbeat 두근두근ing  in my ears and my babyish giggling.

I was concerned for the entire dinner that he was perhaps TOO YOUNG for me but Henry passed the bar on his way back from the restroom and overheard the waiter telling the bartender that he was going to have one drink before going home and I HOPE HE DIDN’T MEAN A ROY ROGER.

The actual dinner and company portion of the night was perfect too!

2. Kpop Dad’s New Faves

Henry has been wildly into the newest NCT unit, NCT DoJaeJung. I think that we might have to fight because I’ve seen the way he’s been smiling at Jaehyun and he is *my* NCT127 bias!!

Anyway, he was sitting on the back porch the other day, scrolling through Insta Reel after Insta Reel of them dancing to their single Perfume.

Then Wednesday night, he said he was going to bed and of course I just waved him off, like “cool bye” and then I put on new NCT DJJ content, which made Henry stop in his tracks and watch it while standing up with his hands clasped behind his back like some kind of Kpop Mafia Dad.

Um, I think we are both going to be very sad when this promotion cycle ends. Sigh.

3. INCOMING: Some pictures of Drew and Penelope in the attic

The company I bought this neon from sent me a DM on Instagram and asked if they could use my pictures on their social media and I said sure but literally no company ever uses my shit after asking me (this is the third or fourth time) so whatever, why even bother asking!?

4. Work Comings-and-Goings

In super sad news, yesterday was Lauren’s last day at the Law Firm. I know we still talk and hang out here and there and it’s not like we were seeing each other every day anyway in these WFH years, but it’s still sad, especially seeing her name deactivated from our Jabber at work. She was one of the only people who was genuinely interested in hearing my Kpop/Kdrama/Korea in general news when we were in the office, and she developed a pure interest in Our King and Savior, G-Dragon (particularly for his avant garde style). I asked her if I can still text her G-Dragon updates as they arise, and she said yes please. :(

In happy news though, someone is coming BACK to the law firm! I had enticed them several mths ago to apply for a new opening and while the process was very long and dragged-out, they texted me today and said that they accepted an offer! Not that anyone really ever reads this garbage dump of text, but I won’t say their name just yet because it hasn’t been officially announced in the department and I don’t want to jinx anything!

5. A New Chooch Injury

Chooch’s physical therapy sessions are still on-going, but that hasn’t prevented him from PLAYING FOOTBALL AFTER SCHOOL which I did not know was happening until yesterday when he texted Henry and said that he hurt his finger?! It’s all swollen and purple and he’s been icing it – it probably is just stoved or whatever that word is for “busted but not broken” so I guess he will be OK but he makes me so nervous!

“This is my year of injuries,” he said proudly yesterday. Yes, pick the year that we actually planned a big trip to rack up the medical bills, dumbo!

Anyway, the real reason why I’m annoyed about this is because I bought Thingie Ball v.3 in the $3 section of Target and I need him to heal so we can play it.

If you think I bought this because one of my favorite NCT Dream songs is called “Boom,” well….I’ll neither confirm nor deny.

OK, this is going nowhere and I am tired of sitting so, see you, chingu.

Apr 142023
 

Some things I want to be rememberin’ JUST IN CASE:

  1. Easter 2023

This was the first year in quite some time where we didn’t really do anything for Easter. :( Henry and I got home from Chicago the night before, so we technically could have had a picnic or something, but who wants to be preparing a picnic the day after a road trip? Probably not Henry. We still put together a basket for Chooch which he half-cared about, and then later we went for a cemetery stroll but Chooch didn’t want to go because of his “knee” but he’s been back in action with his after school carousin’ so how much longer are we gonna be playing the OW MY KNEE card, hmmm? We also went to Kung Fu for boba and brought the crybaby one home too. So annoying.

Then I literally spent the rest of Easter watching YouTube content of the Chicago 7Dream concert and crying, like legit leaking big fat wet tears down my fat cheeks because I have the post-show sads in a bad way, which is also why I still haven’t blogged about the experience. Even right now, my behind-eyes are burning.

2. Don’t Hire Chooch to Squirrel Sit

Before we left Thursday, I kept giving Chooch instructions on how to feed the squirrels. “And don’t put the peanuts out front, because they’ll be tempted to cross the street with them, you have to put them—”

“—in the backyard on that fence, yeah I know, and I am NOT leaving the house to feed them,” Chooch said in disgust, never once looking away from MINECRAFT – why is he playing this again?? He has been playing this game since he was like 5, I swear to god.

Friday seemed OK. He sent me pictures of the cats “not missing” me, evidently (yeah right, we are fucking besties) and then sent two pictures of the squirrels sitting in the backyard like gangsters, gnawing on their peanut shells.

But then on our way home Saturday, THIS EXCHANGE HAPPENED:

UM NO, THEY NEED TO BE FED MULTIPLE TIMES THROUGHOUT THE DAY! When I skip down the driveway with my pumpkin pail of peanuts, they start scurrying down from the trees in anticipation of 4th, 5th, maybe even 9th meal.

When they saw me on Sunday, they seemed PISSED Especially Girl Buddy, who is used to special treatment. :(

3. Bitch, You’re DNF’d

You guys, this was the very beginning of a mystery I picked up from the library, and I was so put off by the writing.

I even dramatically read it out loud to Henry in the car on the way home from Chicago and he was like, “I don’t understand those words.” If I’m reading literary fiction or a contemporary novel, fine. There is a time and a place. But this is not what I from a mystery so I DNF’d after a few chapters. Also, there was so indication that this was book #3 in a series but then I saw it listed as such on Goodreads, and I am definitely not trying to read a whole series written this way.

4. NCTFlair

I bought more pins for my NCT jacket! This is specifically NCT Dream, I guess. I’m so giddy about it because Chooch had already hated it when there were only two patches on it so now I’m going to wear it every time we leave the house together.

Renjun & Haechan <3

I mean, Drew is a fan.

5. Obigatory NCT Video

I may not be ready to recap my experience just yet, but I am always ready to share videos of NCT Dream, lol. Anyway, I still can’t believe I got to see a version of this in Chicago. I think I might have PTSD though. Please do yourself a favor and click through to YouTube to watch this. (Fun fact: it’s Henry’s favorite NCT performance – srsly, ask him!)

OK, sorry, this whole post was a cop-out but I am sad/depressed/stressed – this was another rough work week and I am just generally annoyed by everything and have a very short fuse, so honestly if I’m not over here navel-gazin’ about NCT, I’m just going to be typing out vitriolic hate posts that won’t do anyone any good.

Maybe I need to plan another party or something.

Anyway, have a great weekend. Eat a taco or something. Isn’t that a feel-good activity for normal Americans?