Sep 022021
 

Why have a bitchin’ kitchen if you’re not gonna use it for photoshoot backdrops, you know? I wanted to do a fun COUPLE SHOOT with Henry since we are never going to get married and therefore will never get to have CUTE ENGAGEMENT PORTRAITS taken. Listen Linda, it’s not like I used that as leverage to get Henry to agree to pose for these.

*WHISTLES AT THE CEILING*

(I can whistle, but I can’t finger-snap!)

Henry: WHAT ARE WE DOING AGAIN?

Me: WE’RE PRETENDING TO BE EXCITED ABOUT RECORDS FROM THE 80s! GOD!

My best look, to be honest.

I took some SOLO SHOTS too because I wanted to document my other NOOWORKS shirt that I may or not ever get to wear out of the house to the office. This was my best 1980s pose. I feel like if I had a leotard on, I could blend into the background of a Jane Fonda album cover because remember when aerobic workouts came on RECORDS?? My mom had a whole bunch, and I had a Mousercize one!

(I also was a big fan of the Get In Shape Girl exercise kits made to groom young girls into weight

Also apparently this is my new SIGNATURE POSE.

Henry was like, “LET’S LINK ARMS.” This is what I call the BEST COUPLE yearbook superlative shot. Did you know that we went to the same high school? WE DID.

Except he graduated in ’83 and I (would have) graduated in ’97. LOLOLOL.

I never would have dared to sit on the floor of our old kitchen, rug or no rug.

In case you were wondering what’s behind the fabric of the coffee cart, it is a plethora of SMOOTHIE BOWL MIX-INS. I am obsessed with smoothie bowls and have one almost every day, they are so filing and nutritious! Also, this is my favorite shot because my face is covered.

We enlisted Chooch to help us with some of the pictures and he was RULL THRILLED as he can imagine. He was in the middle of whatever idiotic game he was playing and had to tell his lame e-friends, “BRB GOTTA HELP MY EMBARRASSING PARENTS ACHIEVE THE NEXT LEVEL OF CRINGE.”

WHAM vs Whitesnake. I like both!

“Yeah but seriously, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOWARD JONES SONG?”

Oh look, what a fresh new pose.

Trapper Keeper! We use it to keep coupons and pizza menus in one convenient place, because what else would you put them in if you had a 1980s-themed kitchen??

This was Henry’s “nice shirt” that he brought to Korea to wear to the DMZ, lol.

Remember when I hand-drew the pattern on that door?? Still worth it.

Until we move. Then I will be very sad.

I was so excited to take this ULTIMATE CRINGE picture but what you don’t know is that while we were “pretend making out” I was screaming at him for breathing so loud. “Can’t you just hold your breath while we’re doing this?”

“OK LET ME JUST HOLD MY BREATH UNTIL I DIE,” he said, but then he held his breath, lololol.

A VERY EXCITING RECORD. Henry played the part way better than me, and it was my own dumb idea lol.

COME. LET ME SHOW YOU ALLLLLL AROUND MY KITCHEN.

You guys. I like him a little bit. (Even though he kept taking pictures of my butt when I wasn’t paying attention.)

But not as much as I like my shirt!!

Thinking about eating grilled cheese with G-Dragon, probably.

Chooch wanted to die right about here. Also that medal hanging off the door was won BY ME IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL for taking a picture or something, I can’t remember. It was for the Cultural Arts program that my mom made me enter every year.

It was all unraveling at this point.

You know what’s HILARIOUS is that our record player actually broke last year and we still have not bought a new/old one, but at least some of these records got some use!

OK, that’s all. This wouldn’t be happening if MY SON WOULD STILL LET ME TAKE PICTURES OF HIM. But now you’re stuck looking at the mugs of me and Henry.

Aug 292021
 

Oh boy hi hello on a stupidly humid Sunday in Pittsburgh. I don’t have much to say other than I bought a new NOOWORKS shirt and it arrived yesterday and I was so excited because after I bought it I realized it matches this one corner in my house and all I could think about all week while waiting for it to arrive was how badly I wanted to do a dumb photoshoot since god only knows when I will get to wear this shirt out of the house (someone invite me to dinner, thanks, lol, no I’m serious, let’s go).

In case you were wondering, NOOWORKS has become my favorite online clothing company to shop at during this asshole pandemic. It all started when I was like, “I will buy myself something nice to wear to work once we get to go back to the office.” Oh, how cute of me to think such thoughts in May of 2020.  This is only my third purchase from NOOWORKS, and all three shirts have been different styles that are SO FLATTERING. I am a frumpy person with terrible slouchy posture so I need extra help in looking cute, you know?

NOOWORKS is also cool because it’s woman-owned & women-run and they work with cool artists to make each limited edition piece you find on their site. This particular print is by an artist named Amy Hastings and when I legit set an alert on my phone for the day this puffy shirt went live, and THANK GOD because it sold out in every size within the hour.

I love knowing that the odds of me walking around Pittsburgh and bumping into someone wearing this same shirt is PRETTY SLIM. Also, those sunglasses are from GENTLE MONSTER! I bought them in Busan and have been so afraid to wear them because I am notoriously rough with sunglasses and fear that I will break them. But I love knowing that I own them!

Oh. And this is the tennis racket I mentioned in my last post! It’s from the early 80s. I love it. It’s going to be hung up above the kitchen door and then we’re getting neon tennis balls to stick to the wall around it SO STAY TUNED for more 1980s kitchen idiocy!

LOL this was my “serious pose” whatever that means.

My jeans are Lauren Conrad, pretty much the only brand of jeans I will wear because every pair is so flattering on my big ass. I like this particular wash so much because they really fit my 1980s brain.

I  MADE THAT BANGLE. It was back when I thought I was a painter and a jewelry designer. Remember those days? Oh man.

Slouching as usual. I worked at this one place as a telemarketer for a few months when I was 19 – it was for a credit card terminal company and I had to call businesses all fucking day and ask them if they accepted credit cards. I started doing REALLY WELL sales-wise once I went rogue and tossed the call sheets in lieu of looking up tattoo parlors in the Yellow Pages. But then my supervisor found out and was like YOU CAN’T DO THAT, YOU HAVE TO USE THE CALL SHEETS WE SUPPLY and I was like, “Oh so you want to make less sales? Got it.” Anyway, that same supervisor taped a sign on the wall next to my desk that said POSTURE and I actually took a picture of him pointing at it, lemme see if I can find that RULL QUICK…

BAM, Mary, I knew I had that shit on hand.

(EDITED TO ADD: when Henry looked at these pictures and saw the slouching one, he laughed and said, “you can tell this was the last picture you took because you look so over it.”

“….that was the first one,” I said with a fake vocal fry, as he slowly backed away.)

I kind of want to play tennis now.

Shoes are Vans. They are VELCRO and everything I could ask for in a SHOE.

Well, pals, I think that’s all. Maybe I will do another fake photoshoot later in the week when my face isn’t melting off, because my other NOOWORKS shirts are cool as fuck too! I wish I was a brand ambassador for them so that I can be all YO USE CODE OHHONESTLYERIN FOR A 25% DISCOUNT or whatever all those lame-o’s say in their dumb influencer Instagram posts. I would be such a bad influencer though, lol!!

OMG it’s 11am and I haven’t done a single thing except for this shit so CIAO BELLA ETC ETC.

Aug 252021
 

Hi guys today DREW and I spent some quality time together since Chooch abandons us every day for Chooch Things. I got moderately-dressed today because I had a video meeting with my group at work and honestly, I’m pretty bummed because I have been curating a nice new wardrobe this past year in anticipation of someday returning to the office, which has not yet happened and where am I going to where this shit? I only go to Target, the cemetery, and amusement parks.

So.

(Fun fact: that thing on the floor next to the cat tower – no, not the cat, that’s Drew – is a fake finger thing that Chooch got at Stricker’s Grove after trading in his game tickets. He actually got two of them. Whatta prize.)

(Another fin fact: the title of that blog post I linked to up there boasts Chooch’s 150th roller coaster credit but we found out later that it wasn’t actually his 150th because his spreadsheet was all fucked up, lol.)

While I was taking pictures of Drew and me (JUST TWO GIRLS WAITING FOR THE SQUIRRELS), I thought that maybe I should start at least dressing up occasionally at home and do dumb fauxtoshoots while wearing some new clothes?? Am I suddenly a fashion blogger or just pressed for content? I think we all know, lol.

Wow, this is great quality.

Anyway, this shirt was like MAJOR CHEAPO from Shein which, you know, fast fashion is bad. And to be honest, with every order I get from Shein, I usually return 1/3 of it because their shit can be so weird and cut oddly. This shirt is so cute and comfortable though and it meets two of my current criteria:

  1. IS IT SOMETHING THAT HEIDI WOULD WEAR ON A TRIP TO TOWN WITH GRANDFATHER?
  2. IS IT MUSTARD-COLORED?

And I love Peter Pan collars!!

Oh well. I’ll try to do better next time but it’s hard when my cats can’t take the pictures for me.

May 132021
 

I remembered I bought these pjs the last time I was in KOREA DID U KNOW I WAS IN KOREA I WAS IN KOREA.

KOREA KOREA KOREA.

Look don’t think I don’t already know I’m fucking obnoxious.

But anyway. The pjs. I bought them in HONGDAE and then promptly forgot about them but then I saw a picture in my KOREA PHOTO ALBUM on Flickr which I definitely only look at once a day and thought wow those pjs would look nice in my kitchen.

Unfortunately, no one else was home today to wear them in my stead. Sorry.

May 092021
 

Last fall, I bought this charming circus-core shirt from Unlogical Poem, thinking that I could wear it on my first day back to the office if that happened over the cooler months. Um, obviously that did not occur. So, aside from one work video call during which absolutely no one commented upon the adorableness of said WHIMSICAL BLOUSE, I have never had a chance to wear it. And this bitch cost some coinage! So since my hair looked halfway ok today and the temps were unusually chilly for May, I used the upcoming FORGOTTEN HOLIDAY in this house, otherwise known as MOTHERS DAY, to coerce my LOVING son to be my photographer. It took a whopping 60 minutes out of his day and he was such a bitch about it.

I grabbed some “props” on the way out of the house because yes these things are always in reach. Chooch was excited because the elastic of the party broke as soon as I put it on so he thought this meant we could leave but I was I WILL FIX THIS and as I struggled to tie knots in the elastic, I sang my dad’s favorite tune, “They Don’t Make Things Like They Used To,” accidentally leveling up in the BECOMING AN ELDER game of life.

Fuck.

I told Chooch to “try and get some interesting angles” because he was so busy texting that every time I was like HELLO I AM READY, he would barely even look at what he was doing when he lifted up my phone in his other hand to snap the picture. It was pretty annoying and I think 15 year old Chooch is my least favorite edition so far.

Fun fact: these pictures were taken in the Union Dale Cemetery, which is where we used to have all of our traditional Xmas Day picnics before relocating to the Homewood Cemetery which is closer to Pink Box, where we like to snatch up from DELECTABLE ASIAN BUNS.

Another fun fact: Shortly after this picture was taken (another of Chooch’s super flattering “interesting angles,” Chooch pointed out that I had a huge dandelion stain on my chin, like A BIG PEE STREAK that would not come off no matter how hard I rubbed it with my sleeve so of course he was like OH WELL LET’S GO SO SAD. To be fair though at least he pointed it out because Henry would have just let me continue standing there having my picture taken. I mean, he’s taken pictures of me before where I had food in my teeth or my mascara is smeared and he has said literally nothing do you know why it’s because he barely looks at me long enough to notice.

SAY I’M WRONG, HENRY.

I took this one myself because Chooch was making me nervous. Also, I bought that ring a long time ago, like over 10 years ago, at the Mattress Factory and then lost it for many years and recently found it in the bathroom closet and I was so happy but I still don’t wear it very often because the ring part is wood and it looks like it could break at any moment.

Those fucking dandelions. My nose was burning and running all afternoon because of them!!

Wow, more jumping.

Me: What should I do? This?

Chooch, not even looking: Yeah. Sure.

SO FORLORN. I probably thinking about all the roller coasters I didn’t get to ride in 2020.

My friends Kevin and Lizzy sent me this old ass book several years ago!

This is my favorite one because I look content and I wonder if that’s what I really look like when I’m reading a book but Henry and Chooch will probably tell you that no, Book Erin is angry and scowling because she hates being interrupted.

I just really love this shirt so much!!!

I think this one is also a very accurate REAL LIFE depiction of me because I am in a constant state of UGH WHY ME I’M SO BORED UGH and can often be found half-collapsed in ennui, like I just fainted onto a couch.

I don’t know why I kept trying to make this hand-monocle pose a thing but it really wasn’t working and Chooch kept glaring at me.

Jillian Michaels trained me to jump so now I try to jump whenever possible to make her proud. For you, J-Girl.

Some car was slowly cruising by at this moment and I felt like a real dumb stoop.

Another selfie was Chooch was too busy texting his friends that he gets to see in person now at school yet doesn’t talk to apparently.

Oh, these tree pictures were real fun and Chooch and I didn’t fight at all.

I took this of him so he could see what I wanted and do you think he got the idea? NOPE. He just started screaming about how this was all a ruse for me to take his picture after he EXPLICITLY stated that he didn’t want his picture taken. BOO HOO.

Literally was in the middle of talking here but I liked how the rest of the picture looked so oh well, when does my face NOT fuck up a picture. Keeping it.

Oh well. As Phil Collins would say: THAT’S ALL.

 

Nov 292020
 

Good afternoon, people of the Internet. Today’s post is about the time I splurged on a Selina Sanders handmade shirt made from a vintage dishtowel because it reminded me so much of my Pappap’s game room carpet and general aesthetic. I could imagine these dish towels being used in one of the bar areas. (There were two – “too excessive” was not in my Pappap’s vocab.)

Anyway, I paid like $120 for this damn shirt thinking that it would be nice to wear in the fall when we returned to work – LOL such pure, wholesome thinking! We obviously have still not returned back to the office and the dressiest I get these days are when I swap my sweatpants for jeans but keep the hoodie.

My hair wasn’t looking too rat-nesty today so I asked Chooch to take some pictures of me wearing this dumb shirt so I could at least kind of get some use out of it and it’s still fall, so….

And you can imagine how thrilled he was!

One time a few years ago, I was on a walk while screaming at Henry about something over the phone and didn’t realize that there were people working on this balcony thingie that I posing under. I think about that every time I walk past this place because those worker guys exchanged “wheeeeeeew-eeeeee, better him than me!” glances.

Chooch is obsessed with the shrubbery in this yard and never fails to openly admire it every time we stroll past.

“Sit like your leg is broken.”

Obligatory jump shot.

I have a really hard time standing with my arms at my side. I always want them to be akimbo or waving like mattress store inflatable man thingies:

Air Dancers® Custom Inflatable Tube Man | Banners, Signs, Flags & More

I’m kind of annoyed because I have a pair of boots that would have looked much better with this outfit but they’re under my desk at work, in a box with like 9 other pairs of shoes. Where they have been languishing since March.

It’s very hard for me to be on this side of the lens, you guys, you have no idea. And also hard for the person taking the pictures! Chooch was just like, “OMG YOU LOOK OK STOP.”

But then this happened and it’s 100% the BEST PICTURE ANYONE HAS EVER TAKEN OF ME. This effing bird came out of nowhere and Chooch and I both screamed so hard. It flew by so fast that it only registered as a blip on the live version of this picture which is insane. Henry originally thought it was a hawk but then obsessed over it for 30 minutes and is going with sparrow as his final answer. I put it on Instagram, so I’m sure all the high strung ornithologists will trip over themselves to “Actually…” him. GOOD!

Nov 222020
 

…before Henry completely obliterated the poor kid’s hair later that day.

Hello. Since school pictures for 2020 are up in the air as of now, I figured I better take matters into my own hands, use those same hands to dust off my camera, and drag Chooch to the cemetery for some portraits today. Of course it’s never that easy – I had to promise that I’d buy him some dumb Titanfall thing and then give him $10 cash on top of that (overall a pretty cheap deal until you realize that you’re the one who should be getting paid for this shit).

We left Henry at home because he had chores to do and SHOCKINGLY Chooch and I got along swimmingly, which confirms my suspicion that Henry is the catalyst.

Chooch wears a hoodie to “school” every day so it was kind of nice to see him wearing something with, I dunno, a pattern. And color.

I made him do a wardrobe change, and we also changed locations once too, which made him grumble because “that wasn’t part of the arrangement” but REMEMBER WHO THE PARENT IS, OK.

He does the “sullen teen” look so well.

OMG I just went upstairs to Henry’s Salon and he basically made Chooch look like he’s leaving for boot camp…I’m trying not to freak out.

That mushroom coif is gone-zo!

Well, this has been the latest edition of “I have a kid and here are some pictures of him.”

P.S. I just saw Chooch post-hair shaving and he’s actually not completely bald – Henry left some hair on the top lol.

Oct 162020
 

Why hello friends. (I would never say that IRL btw. I always say “hey guys” so I’m not sure what happened there aside from me trying on a salutation that didn’t suit me.)

Today is the perfect autumn day here in the ‘Burgh. Blue skies, fiery leaves, and just the right amount of CRISP in the air (and not CRIPS as I originally typed. I’m not sure if Pittsburgh has CRIPS? Do we? Hold on…)

(Yeah, yeah we do. And they are apparently on my side of the river.)

Anyway, I thought it would be nice to blow some autumnal cheer in your face (and not bullets in your brain because I’m not a CRIP) by sharing some photos I took of Halloweeny/fall-ish shit around my neighborhood. 

Blog friends, meet Jo’s Salon. I’ve never utilized their services, but I definitely like to admire their ever-changing window displays. She is Halloready!

My lunch break walks used to take me through the alleys downtown but luckily for me, Brookline has some great alleys too. I was particularly struck by this garage’s crown of October leaves. 

This one gave me farm vibes. 

Much like Jo’s Salon, this mysterious SACRED place gives its Window Mary new props every month or so and it makes me so happy because I have nothing else to be excited for, really. It’s all waiting for the mail and checking Mary’s accessories these days. That’s my life. 

There’s another salon farther down from Jo’s and they have some…interesting gothic Halloween art on display. Looks like it’s for sale, too!

Pitaland swapped out their summer flowers for some fall blooms with white pumpkin boobs. 

I LIKE IT WHEN ESTABLISHMENTS ARE LIKE HAPPY HALLOWEEN HELP YOURSELF. Our local post office usually does this but I haven’t been inside the post office in MONTHS and also the infamous Maureen transferred to a different branch so I’m not even sure if her replacement cares about us enough to ply us with candy. But the kind peeps are 802 Cafe care! Chooch was like DON’T MIND IF I DO and hip-bumped me out of the way.

On the fall flavor tip, I ordered the maple latte and it was just OK because my least favorite barista (I think she might be the owner lol) added hazelnut because the flavor du jour was actually maple hazelnut which I knew because I can read the dumb signs but I ordered JUST A MAPLE LATTE. Anyway, this is how I learned that maple and hazelnut are pretty disgusting together but I still drank it because it wasn’t the worst latte I’ve ever had, not by a longshot. Chooch tried it and blurted out, “EW IT TASTES LIKE…NUT.” 

Then we went to visit the City Goats, which isn’t exclusive to fall, but had to throw that in there.

Saw some fun yard decorations on our walk too. 

:(

The scariest yards we walked past though were the ones with the Trump signs and flags. Mega le vom.

Meanwhile, back at our house:

We (“we” more like “Chooch”) carved pumpkins last night. I can’t remember the last time we carved pumpkins. We’re usually too busy going to haunted houses to care about pumpkins. OMG I MISS PRE-2020 OCTOBERS SO MUCH. 

OK, shhh. Calm down, Erin. Don’t be a brat. 

There actually are some haunted houses that are open but….I just can’t justify it. Yes, this coming from the broad who has kept meticulous haunted house journals since 1995 is like, “Nope, don’t care about your covid-19 safety measures, not gon’ risk it.” 

Do you know how hard it is for me to not succumb to my deep-seated desires of being chased by chainsaw guys?! I might spend some time this weekend leafing through old journals. Maybe I will transcribe an entry or two for the blog. I was REALLY OBNOXIOUS in…well, all of them. Are you shocked? That I was That Loudmouth Bitch at the haunted houses? Nah, didn’t think so.

Well, on that note, I’m going to watch some horror movies and boss Henry around now that my work week is over.

Aug 282020
 

Chooch starts school (HIGH SCHOOL) on Monday, so we decided to do a tiny road trip to Erie (I mean, it’s only 2 hours away, so yeah – pretty tiny!) today as a last hurrah and to maybe try and make this summer feel like summer, even if only for a few hours. I’ll be back in a few days with a full recap of all the arguments and Henry bullying but for now, here are some photos of my almost-adult, who still would rather build things out of sticks than cooperate with his mother during a fauxtoshoot.

This shirt is from Blvck Cat. They’re an indie horror pin company and you should support them.

Probably thinking about his cat.

He won’t actually pose for me anymore so usually all the shots I get of him are when he’s in mid-something, looking like a mannequin.

Probably contemplating where to shove this.

 I kept saying, “Do something Taemin-esque. Pose like Taemin would” and he was just like, “I will not.”

Well, that’s that. I’m going to go and pass out now because even though it was just a quick day trip, I am clearly off my traveling game because I am absolutely fucking exhausted (and I also still have sand in my shoes, so I should probably attend to that).

Oct 292019
 

After taking photos of Wendy’s daughter a few weeks ago, I decided that I should try to use my dumb camera more often because that shit wasn’t free. So I waited until Chooch got nice and cozy at the computer Sunday evening and then said, “Oh yeah, I want to take some portraits of you, go put on something presentable.”

He was thrill-to-the-e-d.

Over the summer, Chooch went to the pool with his pal Marky and I was like, “DON’T FORGET TO PUT ON YOUR SUNSCREEN!” and he did that know-it-all scoff that he does all the time now that he knows it all, and then SOMEHOW, even though he SWEARS he put IT ON, he got the worst sunburn OF HIS LIFE (his back was lobster-red except for two perfect hand-prints on his lower back, so now I know his method of applying sunscreen). Anyway, the sunburn on his face was so bad that he looked like Freddy Kreuger when it was at its peak nastiness, to the point where I wouldn’t leave the house with him because he was so embarrassing.

Yeah, I’m that kind of mom.

So, that was awful, and now he has a veritable constellation of freckles on his cheeks to remind us of the awesome parenting job we’re doing.

“When I get my first paycheck, like at my real job not the one I’m getting next year as soon as I turn 14 and get a permit, I’m going to a home store and buying a chair. One that I have to put together!” Chooch (13), dreaming bigly.

Here in the Erin Photography Studio, we keep it real and leave the lint and cat fur on the wardrobe.

There was some dumb couple walking their dog and gawking at us like they’re never seen a mom barking orders like, “LOOK MOODY! STAND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, WHO CARES ABOUT TRAFFIC! I WON’T FEED YOU TOMORROW IF YOU DON’T COOPERATE! YOU’LL SLEEP ON BROKEN GLASS TONIGHT, BUDDY BOY!!!” at her portrait subject.

We got this corgi shirt in Harajuku and I don’t want him to ever grow out of it because it’s amazing. He also wore it on school picture day and I hope he didn’t ruin the picture with a dumb smile but TIME WILL TELL.

“It’ll be fine – if a car comes, it will probably see you and stop.”

My favorite thing about taking pictures of Chooch is that he always resists but then  2 minutes into it, he’s all, “OH MOM, TAKE A PICTURE OF ME OVER HERE! TAKE A PICTURE OF ME PARKOURING! TAKE A PICTURE OF POSING NEXT TO THIS SPORTS CAR!” and then I’m always like, “NO THAT IS STUPID. STAND LIKE G-DRAGON WOULD STAND, LIKE YOU’RE ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN OF MONEY AND CHOCO PIES.”

On our way back to our house, we saw Bob and the neighborhood Corgi celeb, Spencer!

I explained to Bob what we were doing, and he suggested that Chooch get his picture with a real Corgi, and Spencer happily obliged. Those two are soulmates.

And that has been my blog post of pictures and words.

Apr 032019
 

I needed a recent non-iPhone picture of Chooch so we had a super-quick photoshoot yesterday before dinner, and Chooch was less-than-thrilled but he did go along with it without too much fuss and didn’t even hold out his hand for payment like he normally does these days.

Right before we went to go outside though, HNC had just parked across the street so I told Chooch I wanted to wait for him to go in his house because I’m more paranoid and twitchy than a tweaker under a Seattle bridge in 1991. It took him so long to cross the street, I couldn’t even believe it. Every time I looked out the window, he was STILL in the street so then I wondered if he was playing Frogger, maybe that’s what he does to blow off some steam after a day of doing whatever it is HNC does.

Finally, Chooch looked out and said he wasn’t there anymore, so I flounced out of the house like a weirdo with my camera, but HNC WAS STILL ON HIS PORCH, UNLOCKING HIS DOOR. And then Chooch came out of the house so HNC was all, “WHOA! YOU LOOK LIKE SNAZZY! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!”

And Chooch just got all nervous and mute, so I said, “Oh, we’re just doing a photo shoot.”

“Oh! Where?” he asked, probably giving us way too much credit and thinking we were going to…Olan Mills, lololol.

“Um, behind the house,”  shrugged and he was just like, “Oh…ok. Have fun!”

But then I did that thing that I do where I’m trying to act like we’re not doing anything weird (and we actually weren’t!!!!) by continuing to spit out superfluous small talk.

“Thanks! Yeah, I need some 13-year-old pictures of him,” I over-explained, and then after HNC said he understood, I tacked on, “Plus, I like to abuse him” and nervously laughed.

“Nothing wrong with that!” HNC laughed, and we walked away.

“Why did you say that?” Chooch hissed. “Now he’s going in his house and calling CPS!”

LOL.

But really, hopefully he didn’t.

So last week, Chooch had to give a presentation on the project he did for Black History Month. His subject was James Beckworth and after two months of hearing about this guy and going to the main Carnegie library to look for books on this obscure guy, all I can  tell you is that he climbed mountains.

I don’t even know when he was alive.

Anyway, his Communications teacher is real uptight when it comes to things like this, which I actually appreciate because he is going to be so prepared for high school reports, etc., and she makes these things super formal. So even though the presentations only last 5-10 minutes, she expects every kid to dress up for it. Usually, Chooch waits until the last minute to drop this on me, but this time he gave me three whole days notice only because he wanted me to buy him a lavender suit!?

Trust me, I love the idea of a lavender suit. So many styling options! Such photo ops! But I wasn’t buying him a lavender suit for a five-minute presentation.

Perhaps for his first dance or…mock trial?

So my response to that was BOY YOU WILL WEAR SOMETHING YOU ALREADY HAVE IN YOUR CLOSET and then I remembered this red blazer that I bought back during my shortlived I AM GOING TO BE AN AVANT GARDE FASHION DESIGNER phase but that quickly ended once Henry was like, “No, I am not buying you a sewing machine because you’ll never use it and then I’ll get stuck finishing your projects.”

….so?

Doesn’t this red blazer look fabulous with his watermelon shirt?! Even he agreed that it was the next best thing to a lavender suit, so we didn’t have to go through our usual head-butting routine. This is what he wore for his presentation and we all lived happily ever after.

KOREAN LESSON TIME: The word for watermelon in Korean is SUBAK.

EXTRA CREDIT: The word for pumpkin in Korean is HOBAK which sounds like ho-bag which makes me think of high school because ho-bag was the cordial “hey bitch” greeting of the 1990s.

He said his teacher’s reaction to his outfit was, “….THIS CHILD.”

Lol.

I can hear her saying that too. She is super sassy and has super-threatening acrylics. Chooch is always like “UGH Ms. SMITH” like everyday but I think he secretly likes her and she definitely likes him because she pushes him extra hard and he is obsessed with getting the best grades in her class.

In other Chooch news, this happened on Saturday:

They’re actually going to have tteokbokki for him this month! I’m not sure if I ever said it on here before, but that Teen Center (it’s actually called the Teen Outreach) is amazing and our neighborhood is so lucky to have it. They offer all kinds of extra-curricular activities like cooking classes, yoga, improv (which Chooch just signed up for) and he also gets paid to attend these weekly “Manhood” classes where he is being taught all the important things (re: PUBERTY, sex, etc.)  that Henry hasn’t talked to him about, and also things like HERE IS HOW TO RESPECT WOMEN, which we do talk about but how many boys don’t know these things!? A ton. And this awesome group is doing their part in preventing future date rapes / domestic violence / sexual harassment.

And yes, I did notice that there is something similar offered for girls, as well.

They even have field trips! He went geocaching last week and learned about aqua pods or something equally as boring, I can’t remember. And they go on hikes during the summer so they’re not actually all sitting around on dirty couches playing video games like I originally thought.

Man, I can’t believe I used to make fun of this place and get annoyed that he spends so much time there.

Anyway, that concludes my obligatory Chooch update.

Jan 072019
 

Look, we all make mistakes. My latest one was falling for some Instagram ad for this awesome looking tiger* coat that LOOKED like something one would wear outside in the cold, and  the price was reasonable so I bought it and then quickly realized it was coming from China, so RIP my hopes and dreams. 

*(The description on the website says it’s a Dragon but it looks more tiger-like to me?)

**(OK, I sort of get the dragon-esque vibes now.)

It took a month and a half to arrive and I knew before I even opened it that it was going to be a dud. The package was too small and light! Oh, that’s because IT’S NOT A COAT. It’s more like…a robe. And it feels like something you would buy at the Halloween store! Like Dracula’s cape! I had just finished sending them an irate, increasingly ALL CAPS email threatening to burn their warehouse to the ground, when I turned around to see Chooch modeling it and I was like OK FINE WE’LL KEEP IT. He made it look cool!

He wore it to his piano lesson yesterday (“I feel like this is something G-Dragon would wear,” he said, which made it even better of course) and his teacher Cheryl loved it. (She has a neck tattoo now?! She is even cooler than before! I love neck tattoos! Well, the cool ones, not the prison ones.)

Then we did a quick photoshoot which didn’t involve any arguing, surprisingly (between Chooch and me; I emasculated Henry for a good seven minutes straight, don’t worry.

It’s an empty bottle guys. I think it might even the same bottle that was there when we took pictures at this same location 2 years ago so you can go ahead and put down that phone now. 

I’m so mad this isn’t a legit coat! I’d have fucking worn it everyday. But as it is now, Chooch likes to throw it on (along with a gas mask) when he hears Blake and Haley going outside to smoke NO NOT BECAUSE HE’S GOING TO SMOKE WITH THEM PUT DOWN THE FUCKING PHONE but because he likes to lecture them on how smoking is bad for their health. So this is like his uniform for that new role in life. 

We watched Bird Box last night but Chooch wasn’t wearing his new “coat” during it.  I was mildly interested after hearing all the DON’T DO THE BIRD BOX CHALLENGE warnings, but truth be told, Sandra Bullock is one of my least favorite actors in the whole entire world and I have been pretty successful in avoiding her for the last decade or so. But my mom was all, “You have to watch it! I watched it 5 times!” 

So we watched it.

My spoilerless thoughts:

  • What a waste of Sarah Paulson
  • It didn’t live up to the hype in my eyes (horror is my favorite genre) but I did like it and it did freak me out and made me scared that this could be the future
  • I’m glad it didn’t go the Cloverfield route
  • S.Bullock was mildly acceptable in this role

This is also isn’t a spoiler but she had two kids in the movie: a boy and a girl named Boy and Girl. Chooch said he was surprised that I didn’t name him Boy and I told him I almost named him Orphan instead SERIOUSLY STOP CALLING CPS IT WAS A JOKE. 

Chooch’s final thoughts on the jacket was that it reminded him of something that a rich man would wear while laying in bed with 10 prostitutes, so…a Huge Hefner robe? I don’t know how he knows about that. Go ahead, you can call CPS on Henry. 

After all that,  I texted my mom and she said she hated the ending so I was like THEN WHY DID YOU WATCH IT 5X.

PROBABLY THE SAME LOGIC I HAD FOR BUYING THIS DUMB GIGOLO ROBE.

Nov 272018
 

The last time we were in Tennessee was in 2011 with our friends Bill and Jessi, and we missed them so much this time around! I remember when they invited us to go with them that year, I was like, “Ew, Tennessee. What’s even in Tennessee?” and then found out that this area in particular is A FUCKING WONDERLAND. It has something for everyone! Country crap for country people. Old people shit for old people. Church garbage for Christians. Outdoor junk for nature nerds. AND A ZILLION TOURIST TRAPS FOR ME.  We will get to all that stuff later.

On Saturday, aka Dollywood Eve, we made some time for some Smoky Mountain action, because you can’t go to the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area without doing at least a little bit of nature shit.  I made sure Chooch changed out of his stained hoodie (literally got like 48 stains on it just in the four hours it took us to get from our hotel in Beckley, WV to Tennessee — just watching him eat lunch made me realize that I failed as a mom because my kid is 12 and still needs a bib) and into socially-acceptable garb beforehand, and then we set off for the Great Smoky National Park or whatever, where Henry was immediately at wit’s end with us and praying for a bear attack.

He’s so mean. :(

I’m not the most nature-y person, but damn, it’s really fucking beautiful there you guys. Not a bad view anywhere. (Unless someone with a MAGA hat gets in your line of vision.)

Second time in the Smokies and I still don’t know how to spell it.

Senior picture practice.

He’s a good sport (mostly) about these photoshoots and always has a pose or two of his own to contribute. Um, like this one.

We actually kind of got along during our scenic stroll through the bear-laden woods. (I was so afraid of getting attacked! Are they hibernating yet? I’M NOT SURE!) I felt like we were, I don’t know, making family memories or something. Like some day, Chooch will fondly recount this day to his future kids and they’ll be like, “What’s a mountain? What’s a tree?”

OMG WHY DID I TYPE THAT NOW I’M SO DEPRESSED.

Mood.

Here’s some more that I took with my phone-y-phone-la-la-la.

My favorite part was when Chooch and I were practicing exaggerated walking moves from Leslie Sansone walking workouts and didn’t realize that there was a family having some type of celebratory picnic nearby, watching our every move. THEY WERE SO JEALOUS OF OUR CREATIVE WALKING. I think this was the point where Henry ran back to the car ahead of us and tried to lock us out.

It’s nothing short of a miracle that he didn’t:

  • faceplant on a rock
  • fall into the water and get swept away into the jaws of a bear

How many murders have happened in these woods.

In Korean, the word for mountain is SAN (산) which you would know IF YOU READ MY KOREA TRAVEL BLOG POSTS.

God, you guys. The things you could learn from this stupid blog! IT IS A TREASURE TROVE OF TRIVIA.

We kept making Henry pull over at overlooks and he was getting so pissed because people weren’t parking to his liking.

We came here last time too!

Man, for only being in Tennessee for two days, I have so much to tell you! So, check back or whatever.

Oct 172018
 

Being off work this week, I didn’t expect to see Chooch much at all because he always has places he “needs” to be after school. However, I was graced with his presence both Monday and Tuesday, but it turns out that’s just because the stupid Teen Center where he loafs (lol, such a dad word) is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and he’s on the library blacklist until Saturday.

(“All the librarians hate me! I don’t even do anything there!” he cried incredulously when explaining to me his latest banning. This time, his sentence is for two weeks and “Denice” hates him so much that she even intercepted him when he popped into the library last week to use the water fountain. “I was CHOKING, my throat was SO DRY! They wouldn’t even LET ME HAVE A DRINK!” he wailed. I don’t even want to know what goes in that library, but his latest offense couldn’t have been THAT bad because that damn library has our phone number and no one called.

And by “our” number I mean Henry’s number, lol.)

After he finished his homework on Monday, we decided to watch a horror movie. We settled on “Open House,” which is part of Netflix’s cache of shitty horror. It wasn’t the greatest, but it was home invasion and that always gets me good. Chooch and I bonded over it because it’s centered around a mom and son; the dad recently died when he went to the store to get eggs (AND HE FORGOT THE MILK THAT HIS WIFE ASKED HIM TO GET) so when Henry said he was going to the store later that night, we were like, “WE WILL GO WITH YOU. WE DON’T WANT YOU TO DIEEEEEEE.”

Of course Henry was clueless because he’s never part of our things.

So we went to Giant Eagle with Henry, which he loves because it guarantees he’ll spend 5x more money and get treated to a grand finale of Chooch dramatically reading tabloid headlines in the checkout line.

We made Henry buy some ugly squash hybrid because it looked like a corpse and he was not thrilled about it and I just looked in the kitchen and noticed that it’s gone so apparently he cooked it already and I ate it without even knowing?!!?!?!??!!?!?!?!?

Chooch came home after school on Tuesday too and after he did his homework, we were bored because Henry still wasn’t home from work so I was like, “Let’s go for a walk” and Chooch was like, “OK” and then I also grabbed the camera on the way out the door and Chooch was like, “Wait—I didn’t agree to this” but then he was posing with nary a cue from me because this is his second nature, guys.

He’s a poser.

Henry drove past us on his way home from work and covered the side of his face, pretending like he doesn’t know us. OK HENRY, YOU’RE SO COOL.

We walked down Brookline Boulevard and I wonder if people in Brookline are like HERE COME THOSE WEIRDOS AGAIN like we do about people in Brookline. I mean, it’s almost always the same people carousing the boulevard and we’re part of that, when you think about it.

OMG WE’RE LOCALS.

Henry saw this picture asked, “WHERE IS THAT” like he was all paranoid that we’re hanging out at some drug shack or something.

On the way back home, we saw two of his jerky little ex-friends who we hate because they think it’s cool to use various “gay” slang in a derogatory manner, and they harassed one of Chooch’s friends and called him fat, then got all aghast and offended when Chooch stood up for the friend. I already hated the one kid and he knows it, so both of these little brats got all nervous when they saw me walking with Chooch, and Chooch and I started giggling.

Oh, the best part is that they’re only in 4th grade, hahaha. I stared them down once from the front door and Henry was like, “Wow, you’re bullying fourth graders. I’m so proud of you.” Whatever, Blake hates them too!

The best part is that they try to prank call Chooch but they call Henry’s phone, thinking it’s Chooch’s, and leave the dumbest messages like, “Hi this is the drug store. Come to the Teen Center if you want to buy weed.” Like, OK dumbass 4th graders, good job.

The Teen Center is open today so I probably won’t see Chooch right after school but he better not be TOO LATE because we’re going to Rich’s Fright Farm tonight with Jannnnnnnnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

(I have a lot of pent-up energy. I love being off work but good god damn, I am not great at being alone!!!)

Sep 182018
 

Wow, what a classic combo. Ice cream and laundry. That was our Sunday, ya’ll! Here are some pictures of us doing those things, taken with my phone and also the “good camera” that I always forget to use because I half-ass everything I do in life. That’s the ERK-way!

I made the poor choice of going to Al’s Cone Zone which would have been fine had I not seen their sign boasting PUMPKIN SPICE SOFT SERVE IS BACK. I wasn’t even feeling particularly pumpkin-y on Sunday, but there I was, standing in front of the order window, hearing myself slow-mo slurring the words, “Pumpkin ice cream cone, juseyo” and being served some frozen chemical sludge inside a cone.

Oh it looks pretty, sure! But it tasted like how a pumpkin Yankee Candle smells and I just couldn’t get down with it, no pumpkin patch square dances for us, this cone and I were over before we started, aniyo aniyo aniyo, etc.

Luckily, I have a sucker of a boyfriend who promptly traded his regular-tasting twist for my frozen fall cologne cone.

But the whole point was, I don’t know, FAMILY TIME or something. Chooch is at that age where he’d rather just stay home alone or go to the dumb Teen Center than be seen with two old heads, so I guess we should have felt #blessed that he even joined us. Whatever! I’m still cooler than he’ll ever be.

Later, we joined dumb Henry at the laundromat because I felt like doing a photoshoot but Henry was like IT IS SUNDAY EVENING, THERE WILL BE PEOPLE THERE and he was right, but Chooch and I still acted like dicks so Henry left us and went and sat in the car after putting in a load of clothes. Henry is ashamed of us.

Chooch and I eventually got bored (after 10 minutes) so we walked home and left Henry there to do all the laundry labor.

And that’s all. Ice cream and laundry. The end.