Jul 312014


Henry: “OK.”


Henry: “What was he holding? A phone?”


Henry: “Ok. Maybe it really was a battery then.”


Henry: “Wow. You sure have trials and tribulations.”

Apr 072014

Henry and I are getting ready for bed, which means it’s time for me to ask him questions that he doesn’t want to answer because he’s old & tired constantly.

Tonight’s question was good, though! I wondered what he would have been like if the Internet and Twitter were around when he was 21, and of course he had no response so I had to answer for him.

“You probably would have used #YOLO and beer & poop emojis incessantly,” I laughed, right before getting the best idea of my life: CREATING A FAKE TWITTER ACCOUNT FOR SERVICE-ERA HENRY.

“That’s a stupid idea,” he mumbled into his pillow.

“Did you have to keep a log when you were in THE SERVICE?” I probed after he said “none” when I asked him what his SERVICE nickname was.

“WHAT? A log? No,” he spat. “It wasn’t Star Trek.” And then after a few beats (as in SECONDS, not THOSE KINDS OF BEATS you guys, god!) he asked, “Why would I keep a log?”

“You know, so you could write things down like Today I learned how to put sheets on my bed.

“Why would I be learning how to put sheets on my bed in THE SERVICE? I wasn’t retarded!” He was getting really ticked off. I was getting pretty Goldthwait-y.

“What color were your sheets?” I pressed excitedly. “Army???”

Now Henry was super ruffled. “What? No! They were white,” he muttered.

I lost it at this point, had to pull the blanket over my face to muffle my insane laughter so my neighbors wouldn’t think I was torturing a milkmaid again.

“It’s not funny!” Henry huffed.

“I bet they got dirty real easily,” I cried, actual drool sluicing down my chin, the result of sloppy laughter.

Henry ignored me, turning over so he was facing away from me.

“You know who else will think this is funny?” I wheezed.

“Alyson,” Henry mumbled immediately. “Because she’s stupid too.” And then after a few seconds of nothing but my psycho bray filling the bedroom, Henry asked, “Wait—why would my sheets be dirty?”

And I just lost it all over again.

Mar 132014

It was all because Tonic’s one wonderful hit “If You Could Only See” came on the radio last night as Henry and I were getting ready for bed.

“This song reminds me of when I went to get my GED,” I sighed nostalgically. (Which I originally spelled “nostalgicly.” Surprisingly, “Is ‘nostalgicly’ a word?” was not one of the questions on the test.) And even though Henry has heard my stories ten-fold by this point, he laid there silently while I told him about the boy I met at the McKeesport YWCA, and how we spent our GED testing breaks together in an alcove. (TALKING! We were just talking.) His name was Adam, this beautiful Mulatto boy who enjoyed building computers, which my 18-year-old self thought was pretty nerdy but his face made up for it.

The GED testing was split up into two sessions, so I got to see Adam once more, and this time, as we sat in the alcove after we finished the test (first ones to finish, whaddup), he asked me for my phone number. Right after I gave it to him, Psycho Mike arrived to pick me up.

“Is that your boyfriend?” Adam asked, as we watched from above as Mike entered the building.

“Yes,” I sighed sadly. (Mike and I had a really awful relationship that thankfully would expire a few months later.)

“Damn,” Adam said. “I was hoping you were going to say he was your brother.”


“And then he never called me!” I cried to Henry. “He could have been The One!”

“Maybe he didn’t call because you had A BOYFRIEND,” Henry spat.

Yeah, let’s go with that. But I seriously think about him every time I hear that fucking Tonic song. Even though I don’t remember his last name. (And I honestly only remembered his first name this morning.)

Taking the GED test was really an experience. And by “experience,” I mean CULTURE SHOCK. Before testing started on the first night, people were bitching to each other about how they needed to get home to feed their kids and take care of other Real Life things, when my only priority was going to the Plaza Café for grilled blueberry muffins and coleslaw with Psycho Mike and then renting an Argento movie next door at Firehouse Videos. And I remember slowly slouching down in my seat at the realization that these people likely dropped out of high school for actual, uncontrollable circumstances (I didn’t have to be a seasoned stereotyper to deduce that I was basically the only spoiled suburban bitch in that joint) while my reason was “because I felt like it and I wanted to see if my family would give a shit.”

Spoiler alert: They did not.

“Yeah, but would it have really changed anything if you had graduated high school?” Henry asked. And that was a good point, because graduating high school wouldn’t change the fact that my grandfather died when I was 16, and believe me, things would have been a lot different if he had still been alive. For instance, I definitely would have finished school and I 100% would have gone off to college right away, got swept up in the wrong crowd and likely wound up becoming a raging fan of Dave Matthews and OAR. (This is what I associate with college, apparently.)

And that’s something I think about a lot, not how dull my music preferences might be, but would I have still met Henry? If I had gone to college, I probably wouldn’t have been an office manager for a meat company when I was 20, so where would I have met him? The Army Navy Store? And then what about Chooch?!

This was all too much to think about before bed, so I changed the subject to having another baby, because THAT’S not a heavy conversation or anything. But before Henry could answer, I said, “But what if it wasn’t yours? Would you still stay with me and raise it as your own?”

Henry made a YOU’RE FUCKING JOKING scowl, but I elaborated. “No! I was beaten and raped by a ghost, and that’s how I got pregnant!” Henry started to roll over, a sign that he was peacing out of the conversation, but I kept pressing the issue, until he finally said, “THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN!”

“TELL THAT TO THE WOMAN BARBARA HERSHEY PORTRAYED IN THE ENTITY!” I yelled back, nearly in tears from laughing. Then, trying to reel him back in with affection, I put my hands on his chest and screamed, “OMG IS THAT YOUR REAL NIPPLE?”

“No, it’s my fake one,” Henry said dourly. It felt like it was in the middle of his chest! It was dark and I couldn’t see! I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t growing things I was unaware of.

We were quiet for a few minutes. Henry was actually probably already asleep, because he’s like a magician when it comes to sleep. I tried to stop it, but I could feel the giggles convalescing inside me, deep within the pit of my belly, so I silently shook for awhile, taking the entire bed along for the ride to Giddyville. Henry’s one eye opened slowly. “What?” he sighed.

“Nothing,” I squealed as a mouthful of laughs tried to launch themselves out of my face-cannon. And then it was all over. I sprayed Henry in the face with my uncorked vim & vigor, my stomach aching from the exertion. And I laughed and laughed and laughed, tears streaming down my face, while Henry just stared at me and asked me again, in his Papa H tone, what was so funny. (He gets paranoid.)

“I’m just thinking about getting impregnated by a ghost!” I cried, curling up into a fetal position to keep from peeing my pants.

This inspired Henry to expound once more on the physical improbabilities of this situation ever occurring, because he’s a mirth-murderer.

I forget what I said, but he thought I said something about “boozing,” so then I started scream-laughing all over again.

“It wasn’t that funny,” Henry mumbled.

“Yeah, but now I’m picturing myself at the bar with your fake nipple!” I wheezed.

If everything happens for a reason, then dropping out of high school was the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

And after all that, I still dreamt of Jonny Craig.


Jan 202014

Today, I’m wearing a Silence the City Clothing t-shirt that says “Steer Your Own Path.” Chooch was eyeballing it and finally said, “I don’t get your shirt.”

“It just means, you shouldn’t always sit around and wait for things to happen,” I explained, which is one of my biggest weaknesses of being A Parent: “Explaining life lessons.”

Chooch looked unsatisfied with this explanation, so I forged on. “You know, like if we just sat around and waited for Daddy to be like ‘OMG guys let’s go do something fun!’, we’d spend our entire lives sitting in the house doing nothing, never going anywhere but school and work, because he would never say anything like that. That’s why I’m always the one finding fun things for us to do.”

Chooch considered this and then said, “Well, Daddy did say something like that once, I think. But it was just about going to the Laundromat.”


Oct 232013

The Law Firm is doing this Global Days of Service thingie where we can sign up to do volunteer work one day next month. I didn’t think anything of it when I replied to the email a few weeks ago and said, “YES COUNT ME IN” because I have to fill my suck-up quota somehow.

But then today I came to work and found out that I had to go up to the scary 28th floor and register for a charity and time-slot. I immediately started begging people to go up there with me because GOD FORBID, you guys. Just, god forbid. Luckily, my buddy Natalie offered to accompany me even though she had already gone up earlier in the day to register. This is why working a weird mid-day shift often sucks.

Anyway, once I had a substantial, internal freak-out session over what charity to pick (I settled for the Food Bank), I happily loaded two October-flavored cookies onto a plate and Natalie escorted me safely back to our department. Crisis averted!

So, I texted Henry and of course took the altruistic route by BRAGGING THAT I WAS GOING TO BE A DO-GOODER for a whopping two hours out of my lifetime.

“Oh, boy I hope someone takes pictures of that,” Henry texted back. “I hope it’s manual labor, lol.”

What a dick! So I cried to Barb and Debby S. about it which is something that I do very rarely so they took it seriously.

“Maybe Henry should not spend so much time making fun of you and instead volunteer himself!” Barb said, so I of course relayed this message to Henry because ha-ha-ha Barb’s sticking up for me!

“Tell Barb that I have spent the last 12 years of my life volunteering for a charity,” Henry texted.

Oh OK, good one Henry. (No, really, that was a pretty accurate response.)

Anyway, other than picking up hitchhikers and being friends with Janna, I’ve never done any real charity stuff before, so this should be really interesting. I hope I don’t have to talk to people. Or wear a hair net. Barb and Debbie have me really concerned about hair nets now.


Apr 292013

*[This works as alliteration because the k in Knoebel’s is not silent. BAM.]

-Things Henry said while I drove us home from dropping off the rental car.

It’s not often that I get to drive the Great Professional Driver anywhere, so I really lived it up. Unfortunately, he doesn’t believe that dancing belongs in moving vehicles. Granted, my dancing is more like a walk through a mental institution, but still.  I guess I’ll just have my Pierce the Veil dance party at home with Marcy, then.


We listened to EVERY SINGLE PIERCE THE VEIL album on the 4 hour drive to Knoebel’s and Henry actually didn’t complain (that changed once I did a clandestine disc-change and he realized we were then listening to Dance Gavin Dance) until I started comparing him to Vic Fuentes.

“I wish you were more like Vic,” I sighed. “I bet he’s such a great boyfriend.”

“He’d never be around!” Henry pointed out.

“Yeah, but he would be writing pretty songs about me so it wouldn’t matter,” I reasoned.

But then Henry and I looked at each other and laughed because we both know that if I was Vic’s girlfriend, his darkly romantic songs would take a quick turn to “IFUCKINGHATETHATBITCH” death metal territory.

At Knoebel’s, there is a pavilion that has a roof shaped like a giant cake. One side of it says “Congratulations!”

“Ugh, that makes me think of [“Currents Convulsive*”],” I said dramatically to Henry, kicking at the gravel. “I wish I was listening to it RIGHTNOW.” And then I devoted a few moments to acting like a moody teenager and even said, “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!” to Henry, further perpetuating my stereotype. (“Scene kid” in case you forgot.)

*[In real life, I actually just said “That one PTV song” because Henry is too old to know song titles.]

This song has officially gone from making me cry over 2008 to making me reminding how much fun this past weekend was. Another finger removed from its death grip on the past.

Apr 082013


Shippensburg, PA would have absolutely no value to me if not for Ed Helms and his impeccably-constructed Tiny World, a small village in his yard built for his cats.  Henry seemed pretty ambivalent about this stop on my agenda, and I think he was going to try and dispute it so I made sure to loudly announce, “But it’s a town built for CATS!” which made Chooch’s interest pique real quick, and soon Henry had two children whining and begging to visit Tiny World. Henry glared at me for using the c-word. “Cat” is like the equivalent to smelling salt for Chooch. He can be in the deepest zone, a self-induced pouting coma, but someone casually says the c-word and he’s very much in the present, yelling, “WHERE? WHERE? WHERE IS  THE CAT!?”

Sometimes I don’t even know why Henry bothers to object. His voice of dissent falls on pretend-deaf ears every time.

As Henry wound the car over country roads, he asked, “Um, this isn’t at someone’s house, is it?” I answered him by looking out the window and ignoring him.


Parts of Tiny World can be seen from the road, so I screamed for Henry to pull over the first second I glimpsed a hillside dotted with a doll-sized community. We parked in a small, makeshift gravel lot next to several other cars. At first it seemed like Tiny World was going to be booming with tourists, but we were the only oglers the whole time, so I guess the cars belonged to the family.


I don’t know what I was expecting, just some plywood shells I suppose, but Ed’s attention to detail was impeccable. I read online that he had no formal training in this stuff, just sat down and did it for no reason other than because he wanted to. And you know what, that’s inspiring even to someone like me. If I want to be a brain surgeon, I should just sit down and do it! And boy, have I got just the person to be my guinea pig.



The town was a tiny bit weathered, some of the furnishings had toppled over and cobwebs abound, but it was still pretty surprising that it wasn’t in a greater state of disarray. The proprietor is apparently pretty old and was suffering some health problems according to a Roadside America update from 2011, so it’s hard to say if upkeep is being honored at all.

The attic of one of the larger plantation-esque homes had items all strewn about and I wondered if it was intentionally done to make it look haunted. In either case, I legitimately shivered and stepped away from the window before I wound up accidently staring into the eyes of Bagul.


Dead rooster in the barn’s hay loft.

To be honest, I kind of liked that it had an abandoned tone to it. It made me feel like we were being watched from the nearby woods, hackneyed hillbillies lining us up in the crosshairs of their laser guns, preparing to shrink us down into Tiny World citizens. I already knew which house I was going to move into. (The one with the haunted attic, duh.)



If you like trains, then one might imagine you would enjoy the Tiny World Train Station.


That wallpaper! And look at that tiny box of thread on the sewing machine – even if you’re some joyless cat-hating asshole who thinks that building a sprawling town for feral cats is a waste of time, you still have to give respect to the details that went into this project — it’s a true labor of love.


There was even a relatively hot picture of Jesus Christ on the wall of the church.


Chooch’s succinct review, typed on his own: “It’s cool!  it’s kitty awesome! it’s  really freakin cool as shit.”

Again, the reviews I read online weren’t exactly current, but Tiny World is supposedly a hot commodity for all of the neighbors during the Christmas season. We noticed quite a bit of leftover Christmas lights and decorations peeking out here and there, so God only knows the last time the holiday lights set-up was functioning.

Built into the entrance/exit trellis is a pot for donations which I insisted on contributing. This seemed to prickle Papa Tight Wad’s asshole, but he finally handed Chooch a dollar for the pot.


Henry sighed wearily and slapped another buck in my opened, whiny palm, which I then happily dropped into the collection hole.

“I’m so glad we came out here! It was totally worth it!” I gushed while Henry tried to find his way back to the highway and a gas station before Chooch pissed his pants. “Wasn’t it awesome?!” I cried, shaking Henry’s arm.

He didn’t answer, just continued to drive while looking like the personification of FML.


Henry, actually SMILING was washing the car windows! It’s a road trip miracle!

We also visited the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, but I don’t feel that it’s appropriate or respectful to include that in this post.

To lighten the mood, we stopped in Bedford for a photo op with a large Coffee Pot, which used to be a lunch stand way back in the day. Like all awesomely tacky roadside attractions, it was in threat of being demolished in the 90s, but was eventually restored and is now used as a landmark.



“No, that’s OK,” Henry mumbled when I asked him if he was going to get out of the car and gawk at it with me and Chooch.


After Chooch accidentally knocked off part of the coffee pot (in his defense, that pot has structural leprosy), we both turned into royal motherfuckers. Henry of course knew this was because we were hungry and FINALLY stopped at a Valley Dairy to feed us.

“Hey Mommy, knock knock,” Chooch said after our food was served and we began to return to our non-surly, hyper selves.

“Who’s there?” I begrudgingly went along. His knock knock jokes are the worst.

Room service!” And then we both laughed our food all over the table while Henry simply frowned at the memory of his stressful experience the night before at the hotel.

“What are you looking at?” Chooch asked me as I stared off into the distance while slowly eating a scoop of maple pecan ice cream. (Hello Weight Watcher narcs, I was on “vacation.”)

“Nothing, I’m just thinking,” I answered.

“Oh,” Chooch shrugged. “I always figured that when you do stuff like that, you’re wondering why Daddy won’t marry you.”



That night, after we had been home for a few hours, Chooch sighed, “I miss yesterday.”

“What part do you miss?” I asked.

“Uh, Pierce the Veil,”  he answered in that awesomely snotty teenaged tone.

Me too, Chooch. Me too.

So much love for that entire weekend!

Mar 272013

“Mommy told me to put the icing on first,” I overheard Chooch telling Henry.

“Wait, what did I tell you?” I said overtop of Henry groaning, “That’s just great.”

“To put icing on the toaster streudel first,” Chooch answered.

“Oh shit, is THAT what you were asking me yesterday while I was exercising?” (Seriously, he waits until I’m in the middle of Bodies in Motion* to expect me to start parenting him.)

“Wonderful,” Henry sighed. “Did you do it?” he asked Chooch.

“No! I didn’t think I should, so I put the icing on after,” Chooch said, sounding appalled that Henry even had to ask.

“Thank god,” Henry said. “That would have been a nice toaster fire. Chooch, if you ever have questions about cooking, please call me. Don’t ask your mother.”

*I enjoy working out to exercise programs where people are wearing LA Gears.

Mar 042013

Henry, Chooch and I are members of DAFE – a club for Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts (a/k/a “awesome people”). Our friends the Handas are also members and they just told me about an upcoming event in April at Knoebels Amusement Park, which is on the other side of the state but is something that I feel is worth driving for.

I frantically filled Henry in. Henry is pretty quick to poopoo any plan or idea of mine that requires him to not only drive a great distance, but also spend money on a hotel room, at which time I am sure to  turn into full-blown Princess & the Pea mode. (I still don’t know how we moved past the Great Accommodation Fuckarows of 2002 in Buffalo, 2004 in San Bernadino, 2006 in Virginia, or 2008 in Columbus.)

Henry immediately acted noncommittal.

“But it’s two days after Chooch’s birthday!” I cried. “That would be like the coolest birthday present!”

“Yeah, but are you sure this is something for HIM and not YOU?” Henry questioned.

“Why can’t it just be for both of us?” I continued in my outraged cry-voice. “I gave birth to him so we should be celebrating me, as well!”

Henry stopped what he was doing (washing the dishes, because he’s my Hazel, whaddup), sighed and said, “But don’t we celebrate you everyday?”

“I already told Chooch we’re going,” I said smugly, so if Henry says no, then he’s the Asshole Father who stole fun away from his child(ren).

Feb 262013

“Everyone at work said there’s nowhere to get good fruit downtown,” I told Henry in a sneering voice.

“Everyone? Everyone who?” Henry smirked.

“The whole department*! They all said ‘tell Henry to go fuck himself!’ So go fuck yourself,” I said, patting him on the stomach.

“Do I have to prove all you fuckers wrong?” he said, beginning to get all up in arms.

“Even Barb said so, and she’s well-versed in Things That Are Downtown,” I said, but Henry had already enlisted his phone to solve the problem.

“Rosebud!” Henry shouted, the glow of his cellphone screen spotlighting his tired, yet smug, face. “It’s on the corner of [streets I don’t know]!” He gloated about this for a few more seconds before mumbling, “Oh. Never mind. It’s closed.”

*(4 people.)

Jan 242013

Me: “I was thinking again about having another baby.”

Henry, hesitantly: “Ok?”

Me: “But considering you’d be like, 50 when the baby is born, well, that’s just not fair to the baby. So I have a proposition for you.”

Henry: “……..”

Me: “You should let me have the baby with someone else.”

Henry: “How is that a proposition? What do I get out of it?”

Me: “You get to still be with me.”

Henry: “Can I have money instead?”

Considering my Baby Daddy is going to be filthy rich with old money, I don’t see why not.

Jan 192013

We were just scouring Goodwill for photo shoot props, when Chooch dragged this huge blue bunny rabbit over to me and in his typical high-octave, shouted, “MOMMY! I HAVE A GREAT IDEA! For the next photo shoot, we can tape a KNIFE to his hand and pretend like he’s trying to MURDER ME!”

There were unlimited old people all around us in every direction, dropping their jaws like dominos, so I adopted a hoarse whisper and throat-slashing motion to get Chooch to can it.


This opened the door for a nice conversation about how sometimes, the things that are normal to us are things that other people don’t understand or think is “weird.” And also made me realize that I really go for the rabbit theme a lot. But other than that, I really enjoyed the hairy eyeballin’ I got from all the elderlies.

Nov 022012


While blowdrying Chooch’s hair this morning, I offhandedly wondered how many girls in his class have a crush on him.

“Probably none after today since you’re making me wear a sweater with OWLS on it,” Chooch muttered.

So what, owls are the new social suicide?


He does kind of look like I bought him at Ikea.

Oct 312012

I was just telling Henry who I would want to help me raise Chooch in the event of Henry’s death. (And by that I mostly mean “fill my man void.”)

“Who would you want to help you with Chooch if I died?” I asked.

“Uh, I wouldn’t NEED help raising him,” Henry said, reminding me in one short sentence that he’s basically both parents to Chooch already. It’s nice to know that Henry wouldn’t be too crippled by grief and loss. No need to send any casseroles, ladies!

And if you could’ve seen that frown…

Oct 282012

Friday night, Seri and I were standing in line for a shuttle that would take us to a nearby haunted house. We were the first people in line, when suddenly a carful of assholes oozed across the parking lot, and I just knew the mom unit of the pack was going to try and plant her mom-jeaned saddle bags right in front of me.

You know who doesn’t play the line jumping game? One Erin Rachelle Kelly.

I made a point of taking an exaggerated step forward, just in case it wasn’t already clear that I was practically fucking the sign that said “Line for shuttle forms here.”

It worked. She took her white trash manners to the back of the line with all the other losers.

About a minute later, the shuttle arrived and I all but charged at it when I saw in my periphery that the assholes behind me were seriously going to attempt to go around me, usurping my head of the line title.


However, I didn’t account for the fact that the shuttle was bringing people back to the lot as well, so when the doors opened, I almost got stampeded.

Look, I’m ALWAYS in a hurry, always acting like I’m trying to escape a burning building. And I REALLY REALLY REALLY like being first in line. (For recreational things, that is. Not the dentist or the guillotine.) So I was pee-jigging it up, waiting for the shuttle to unload. I’m not sure what Seri was doing since I had my eyes on the prize (read: the front seat of the shuttle), but if I had to guess, she was probably wishing for a copy of 50 Shades of Gray to bury her face in, because that would be much less embarrassing than being associated with the Type A line stander.

Meanwhile, some asshole KIDS were encroaching my jurisdiction. They were now standing to my side instead of behind me. I knew that as soon as the last motherfucker stepped off the shuttle, these brats were going to make a run for it.


Last person exited the shuttle and I stuck out my arm like I was going to clothesline these dick kids; while bounding up the shuttle steps, I had direct shoulder-to-shoulder contact with one of them. One of the adults they were with snagged them by the backs of their hoodies, otherwise they might have trampled Seri, who I may have accidentally left behind in my haste.

When Seri fell into the front seat next to me, she shook her head.

“I’m sorry, but I’m not letting KIDS cut in front of me!” I cried.

“Gosh, Erin. You’d be a great example for my preschool class,” she laughed. And then, “Would you rather substitute for a preschool class, or high school?”

I didn’t even hesitate.

“Oh, high school. Totally. They’re practically my peers. I could talk to them about Jonny Craig.”

Oh, Jonny.

When we arrived at Demon House, I all but pushed Seri out of the seat so we could get off the shuttle first.