Jun 172021
 

Just a quick little life update to talk about how I’m missing the office and while I’m sure it will still be partially a drag when it’s time to go back and the novelty of seeing everyone again and being able to go for walks downtown will quickly wear off, I will try not to take these simple things for granted again.

Two things triggered my work sentimentality:

  1. WELLNESS THING

Every year, we have an on-site wellness exam thingie where you go and have your biometrics screened (whatever that means) and then something good happens with your health insurance. I participate in this every year, not because of the mysterious health insurance thing, but because I LOVE SEEING MY GOODLY NUMBERS. If you don’t know, I AM OBSESSED WITH GOODLY NUMBERS. I mean, I count calories and have been using a FitBit or other pedometer RELIGIOUSLY since like, 2012. Like, when I forget that my FitBit is on the charger and I walk upstairs to get something (usually just to stare at my glowing Cure wall, but you guys been knowing), I will throw a FUCKING FIT over those lost steps.

However, for as much as I love being fawned over my lab people (one guy tried to distract me from the finger-pricking by saying, “Did you know you can see Kennywood from here?” and when I cried, “NO WHERE?!” he was like, “*prick* Just kidding.” I will never forget it), I would still typically need someone to accompany up there (usually Amber) because I would get major Nerves. Shocking, I know.

Last year, they flat out didn’t do the screenings at all, obviously because who the fuck was caring about their HDL (is that even a thing? There a lot of acronyms on the sheet that they fill out) during the beginning months of covid, you know? Well, maybe Dr. Oz. Or like, Tony Robbins.

But this year, the Firm announced that we could participate by either having our doctor do it, or schedule an appointment through LabCorp. I opted for the latter and went through the whole fasting rigmarole, then promptly woke up this morning and PANICKED because who was going to go with me?! No one, that’s who! Time to dream up an imaginary friend, Erin, quickly! (Can you believe I never had one?!)

Anyway, my appointment was at 8 and it went fairly swiftly but the technician lady was asking me about this strange paperwork that I apparently was supposed to bring with me and I knew nothing about this do you know why BECAUSE I DIDN’T HAVE MY WORK FRIENDS HELPING ME, OK!? I had to do this by myself! The technician lady said it was OK but I could tell by her tone that it was the opposite of OK and when she mumbled something about how she needs to send it in with my blood work but that’s OK, I knew for certain that I was on THE LIST. Then she tried to cover her annoyance by saying that there are several Erin Kellys in the system and she just needed to make sure she had the right one which gave me the perfect segue into my WRONG ERIN KELLY email drama because if anyone can get me to spew small talk like I don’t sit around conversing with cats & squirrels all day, it’s medical professionals. Sitting in an exam room makes me come off as a Super Extrovert Practicing For Improv Tonight. All of that old personality that I keep stuffed deep down behind the PTSD and Ultra-Depression come popping out and the next thing you know, I have an inside joke now with Paula the Dental Hygienist and my old eye doctor is calling me a crack head.

OK OK where was I. So now the tech isn’t mad at me anymore and we’re having a great conversation, when she tells me to go ahead and extend my arm on the weird table thingie connected to the chair, and I’m still chatting away and giggling while she’s telling me now to make a fist and she’s wrapping a purple thingie around my bicep and in my head, I’m thinking, “Wow, blood pressure cuffs have changed since two years ago” and then suddenly SHE IS STICKING A NEEDLE IN THE CROOK OF MY ARM AND I GO, “Oh! Wow! That’s a needle. We’re doing this! I thought you were just taking my blood pressure” and she was like, “Oh, no that’s next” but the way she said it, it was like she thought the blood pressure part was what I was nervous about?! AND NOT THE SURPRISE NEEDLE.

Hello, I am used to the finger prick, which still isn’t a walk in Seoul Forest, but at least it’s over in .02 seconds. This went on endlessly, like who the fuck is checking my biometrics, Count Dracula, what the fuck.

Anyway, so that happened today. Oh and where all my peeps like me who weigh themselves each time they put on the next ultra-thin article of clothing, to make sure the clothes you’re wearing to the screening won’t add ounces to your weight? ‘Cuz I did that methodically in my room this morning. Super light leggings and a thin AF t-shirt FTW.

So, that was my day. Missed my co-workers mocking me for immediately swapping out the beige Band-Aid for one of the cool dino ones that I keep in my desk because you bet your ass I keep multiple boxes of Band-Aids in my desk, do you know me? Fuck if I have anything else important like Tylenol or tampons, but I got a sick array of Ikea Band-Aids, bay-bay.

2. MY DESK!!

Megan had to go into the office yesterday for IT help and she sent me pictures of my desk while she was there!!

Oh my god, I miss it. I really do. I miss my magnets and Fiji Mermaid and G Dragon memorabilia and international candy that probably already out of date when I bought it in February 2020.

The way I left my Snuggie balled up on my chair like I wouldn’t be out of the office for a year and a half tho, lol ugh.

I know I will especially miss it during the summer heat wave when I’m working in an un-air conditioned house with sweat dripping down my back.

Jun 032021
 

I thought I missed going places over the last year but now that we’re going places again I just want to stay home with the cats and squirrels.

Something something like my mother she’s never satisfied etc etc. – Prince

I originally was v. Gung-ho about Going Somewhere, maybe not for the whole weekend but at least for a day. Originally, we were going to go to King’s Island, then that changed to Six Flags America in Maryland then we tacked on King’s Dominion making it a whole weekend event, but then the weather forecast changed to All Rain All the Time for that part of the country so we started looking at other nearby parks where the skies promised to be dry and I STUPIDLY said hey what about Six Flags Darien Lake and this seemed ok because we bought season passes since there are some other Six Flags we will be hitting up this summer and this one is the closest so even if the park turned out to suck at least we weren’t too far from home and we could just piss around in Buffalo *PAUSE TO BREATHE*

But when I woke up Sunday morning, I was full of excuses (and vitriol) of why I didn’t want to go. I was also extremely tired and PMSing, and the rainy Pittsburgh morning made me want to stay in bed forever.

I eventually came around (“FINE WE CAN GO BUT IF IT’S LAME WE’RE LEAVING” I yelled and so Henry and Chooch obediently stepped into their shoes and off we went.

The drive to Darien Lake is only about 3 and a half hours, most of which Chooch slept and I read (Anna K Away – it was OK!) while Henry drove and probably recalled better days when he was in THE SERVICE and getting RESPECT from FEMALES.

We stopped at our favorite rest stop in that area – the one that appears sometime after leaving Erie and entering NY, where the walkway crosses the highway and this is actually so exciting to me which might inspire you to snap, “Wow, why don’t you go read a book or something” at which point I will tell you that I have already read over 70 so far in 2021, go fuck yer mum (sorry I just finished a British novel and that was used a lot and now I can’t stop saying it all day long to the annoying birds who heckle my cats like it’s their motherfucking J-O-B).

Lessee, did anything exciting happen here…Chooch got an iced coffee from Cinnabun, I encouraged Henry to treat himself to a cuppa soft pretzel nuggets from his beloved Auntie Anne’s (their pretzels are super fucking doughgasmic so I can’t really hate on him too much about this) and I got a chocolate chip cookie from Lavazza which was my lunch, lol. Oh and some dumb preteen boy was yelling about the BTS McDonald’s meal which inspired a big GO FUCK YER MUM mood for me.

Back in the car, Henry liked to occasionally point things out, like, “My tooth hurts” (no one cares) and “There’s so-and-so’s Family Restaurant.”

Me: wouldn’t it be funny if we had a family restaurant?

Henry: how would it be a family restaurant, I’d be the only one working there.

YES THATS WHY IT WOULD BE FUNNY.

We arrived at Six Flags around 12:30 and….wow. Um. Wow, just wow. I did not have high expectations for this place but it was even worse than I expected, lol. But we had already discussed the possibility of just going there to get our passes, checking it out, and then leaving if it was weak since it wasn’t technically a waste of money (see above where I shouted: FINE WE CAN GO BUT IF IT’S LAME WE’RE LEAVING.)

Yeah, we lasted about two hours and in those two hours, we only rode two rides. The park wasn’t crowded AT ALL but every coaster was running only one train, and even though most parks have relaxed their covid restrictions by now, this place was still sending socially-distanced trains on every coaster and not letting anyone in the station except for the people waiting to board the next ride. So the queues were wack and the only coaster we really wanted to ride (Ride of Steel) was a 90 minute wait with one train running, and that was only when it wasn’t breaking down, lol. Great ops, Darien Lake!

We waited about 35 minutes to ride Predator. It wasn’t great but also not the worst woodie I’ve ever been on, but Henry and Chooch basically think it should be set aflame.

Honestly, I barely even bothered to take many pictures and I sure as shit didn’t care about editing the ones I did take. So enjoy Hatless Henry (one of my least favorite Henrys), a lamp post, Swings, and a wooden coaster that desperately needs the RMC-treatment.

He always has to stop to tie his shoes. Also, he complained about needing a belt all day but the last time I told him he needed a belt, he bitched about how he doesn’t like wearing belts, so I’m going back on Parental Hiatus. Wear suspenders for all I care.

The wait for this ride was over an hour and I was like, “Look I am not waiting an hour to ride this” and Chooch was like “preach” so we got in line for one of the other few coasters that was actually running: Motocoaster. It’s basically a baby-launch coaster on a wildmouse-esque track that looked like it was dropped off by a traveling carnival that was passing through. The line seemed pretty reasonable to me but the amount of people who came over, peeped the line, then said, “Aw hell nah” was concerning. I guess this ride usually is a walk-on? The dad in front of us was complaining to his kid that this “was going to be like, a 20 minute wait!” and finally coerced his kid to agree to get out of line. Then, 10 minutes after we got in line, the fucking ride broke down! So there was a mass exodus of people leaving the line, and Chooch was like, “This is dumb let’s go” but I HAD A FEELING so I convinced him to stick it out. Meanwhile, there were these two park regulars behind the family behind us, and one of the guys said, “Look, this happens a lot. They’ll send a guy out, he’ll look underneath it, hit the reset button, send a test car, then it’ll be fine.”

SOOTHSAYER, HE WAS! It was just like in Rollercoaster Tycoon where the maintenance man is dropped down from the sky, fiddles some wrenches, and then voila, ride is back in action. It actually saved us a bunch of time since so many people got out of line! And we got front row!

I made the universal “TAKE PICTURES OF US” sign with my hands before we got on, which Henry dreads. Chooch said this ride was NOT FUN AT ALL yet the SMILE ON HIS FACE in every picture says OTHERWISE.

Look at my meaty thigh lol.

Anyway, we had enough after this and started to make our way back to the entrance. I knew this was one of the smaller Six Flags, but I had no idea it was THIS SMALL. Kennywood feels bigger! Is it? I don’t feel like researching. Look it up and tell me.

Before we left, I got a magnet from the really shitty selection at their lame-ass gift shop (there was a very sweet old lady working there though) and then I made Henry  take pictures of Chooch and me by this fountain which was basically the only pleasant area.

(Darien Lake’s mask rule is that vaccinated people can go mask-free but since Chooch still has one more shot to go – tonight, actually! – I kept mine on my person out of solidarity.)

It took Henry 7348278357034679-3567 attempts to take a picture of me looking even semi-human and finally I just gave up because I’m not getting plastic surgery so I just need to finally, after 41 years, accept my turtle-ish visage.

Surprisingly, none of us were really in a bad mood. I think because the bar was already set so low and we got what we came for – the passes – which we will use later this year at Six Flags Great Adventure, and also the ones in Maryland and hopefully Atlanta because even though that one is also supposed to a shit-show, they have an RMC and I NEED TO STUFF MY ASS INTO IT LIKE IT’S MY NEW FETISH.

May 262021
 

We haven’t been able to spend any time with Henry’s mom Judy in forever, since even before the pandemic started, so now that we’re all vaccinated (Chooch still just has that one dose but at least he’s 80% protected, right CDC!?) we invited the ol’ Judester (literally have never called her that until right now) over for some vegan food and hangs.

Onion Maiden was doing a brunch-themed pre-order that weekend so Henry was like WE WILL TAKE ONE OF EVERYTHING and then we split it all four ways and brother, oh brother, it was perfect. It was also Judy’s first time eating vegan food and she was really excited because not only did it taste good, but it didn’t hurt her stomach. I made sure to let her know that vegan food is not always synonymous with HEALTHY CHOICES because I have had some vegan junk food that has left me feeling like my stomach is going to drop out of my ass. Some vegan food can be HEAVY AF!

But Onion Maiden is pretty safe in that regard. I think so, anyway. Of course, you can always over-eat no matter the cuisine.

Regards,

Erin the Dietician*

*(I just got my degree from the back of a matchbook from 1976.)

On my plate, you will see matcha waffles with strawberries, kale salad, tater tots, mushroom’d and gravied biscuit, grits with kimchi, and an “omelette” with fake bacon. I can’t remember all the fun names (aside from Gorilla Biscuits) but rest assured, Onion Maiden will always hit you with the best heavy metal food puns.

Polished that shit off with some vegan morning desserts!

I think my favorite part though was when we were showing Judy the kitchen and I bragged that I “cook all the time” now because I love being in there so much.

Henry and Chooch glared at me.

“Well,” I qualified, “I make myself breakfast everyday now.”

(Chooch mumbled, “She doesn’t make me breakfast.”)

“I’m really good at making eggs.” The Brag Barge was still sloshing down Ego River.

“Oh! Can you make over-easy? That’s my favorite,” Judy said.

“…can you make those with Egg Beaters?” I asked with a frown.

Judy stared at me for a second, before dead-panning, “No. No, you cannot.”

[Yo, speaking of my eggs, I dunno what paprika is but ever since I accidentally started using it, my scrambled eggs (beaters) have been next level. I’m going to start exclaiming PAPRIKA! now instead of Eureka, assuming I would ever exclaim Eureka in the first place.]

Then Blake brought his entire brood over and I was annoyed because Henry bought them kinetic sand TO TAKE HOME WITH THEM but they were like OPEN THIS. OPEN THIS FOR ME. OPEN. OPEN OPEN OPEN. And I am such a fucking pushover and also just didn’t want them to cry, so I fucking opened it and I am still sweeping it up and picking tiny clumps of it off the cats. Ugh.

I was so mad because Judy, Blake, and Chooch started playing some card game that perhaps I wanted to play too but Calvin and Lily were demonically chanting, “PWAY WIF ME. PWAY WIF ME EWIN” and I kept saying NO I DON’T WANT TO and Lily moved on with her life but Calvin was so persistent so I was like “LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION INSTEAD” because it was 90 degrees in my house and I was tired AF and also I do not like playing with children.

At one point, I cried, “I AM FOREVER AT THE KID’S TABLE THIS SUCKS.”

Then I took this picture of the grandkids and great-grandkids. Aw.

Also, Chooch was getting super mad because Judy kept calling him “Blake” and “Robbie” and then sometimes she would dip into the grandkids from the other family tree branch and if you know anything about Chooch, you know he can be pretty solipsistic so this was supremely bruising his self-worth.

I tried to make him feel better by sharing that my grandma used to call me the names of all three of her daughters and then she’d dip into the dog’s name too before finally settling on Erin. (My grandma also low-key hated me, so.)

Haley, who had arrived around this time from work, commiserated with me on this and shared that her family used to do the same.

“Although to be fair, the dog’s name was Bailey….” she admitted.

“Oh,” I frowned. “My grandparent’s dog’s name was Wally….”

Anyway, that was a fun afternoon but holy shit I was so tired. I am not used to talking to people’s faces for that long. + humidity. x kids. = BURNT OUT ERIN.

May 252021
 

The weekend we went to Hershey, we patronized FOUR Sheetz. Three of them were on Sunday alone, and the first was TERRIBLE. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I am Team Sheetz all the way (Wawa can sit on a dick) but our experience at the one in Elysburg that morning was an exercise in blood-boiling.

FIRST, when we arrived there was a sign on the door that said the KITCHEN WAS CLOSED. I stormed back to the car and Henry, who hadn’t even made it out of the car yet because he is an Elder, asked what the matter was. I told him as we all got back in the car and drove away.

“But, did you even go inside and check? Maybe the sign was old…” Henry started to say because WHY DOES HE DO THIS WHY CAN’T HE TRUST THE INFO I AM PROVIDING. We went across the street to a Subway but I DID NOT ACTUALLY WANT A SUBWAY BREAKFAST SANDWICH BECAUSE I WANTED SHEETZ so we left that place too and Henry was flipping through his mental Rolodex of WAYS TO DISPOSE OF A BODY.

“I have to get gas so I’m going back to Sheetz,” he muttered, so at that point, I was resigned to just go inside and get a protein bar and a fucking banana (SOMETIMES GAS STATION FRUIT IS OK) but when I walked in, I saw people ordering at the touch screen stations so I guess the kitchen was open after all HAHAHAHAHAHAugh.

Even though the CDC relaxed the mask mandate earlier that week, most businesses—including Sheetz—still required people to wear masks before entering. Welp, aside from the employees, we were essentially the only people there wearing masks. And, judging by the customers and the area we were in, I’m guessing we were also probably in the vaccinated minority. To make things even better, there were a group of kids who were probably somewhere between 19-22 standing near us while we were waiting for our orders. The ringleader, a lanky dork-ass motherfucker in a camo yarmulke, kept cutting past everyone to peer back into the kitchen in search of his food that he hadn’t even paid for yet. THEN he started rambling on to his friends about how the Democrats created Covid-19 just to get people to buy masks (WHAT—-WHY!??!?! HOW DOES THIS BENEFIT THEM??) and get vaccinated. I looked at Henry and growled, “I’M GOING TO GET A TABLE OUTSIDE.”

I kept chanting in my head, “I will not let this ruin my day” because hello, we were going straight to Knoebel’s after this and I just wanted to have a good day but now I was worried that all the idiotic rural people I encountered inside Sheetz were also going to Knoebel’s that day. Henry was supposed to say, “I doubt it” when I brought it up, but instead, he said, “OH YOU KNOW IT.” Sometimes I just really really really want him to give me the answer I want to hear, but he clearly did not ace the “Easing Your Fake Wife’s Worries” quiz in the back of one of his 1980s PORNO RAGS.

When Henry joined Chooch and me outside at a table in the back of Sheetz, he withdrew a small pouch of hashbrowns that he ordered along with whatever gross breakfast sandwich he got. While he was busy complaining about the fact that they completely doused the inside of his sandwich with Ketchup, which he did not ask for, Chooch and I eagerly stole a hashbrown round from the pouch.

ACTUAL PICTURE OF SHEETZ HASHBROWNS TAKEN FROM THE INTERNET

“AW COME ON!” Henry cried, but he should know damn well that anything he gets for himself that doesn’t have meat in it is fair game.  Chooch and I are like fucking boxcar kids on the run from the orphanage, the way we scavenge and pilfer food.

I mean, there were still two left, get a grip, Hank!

Henry went back inside to get more napkins to aid in his Operation: Ketchup Scrape. Chooch grabbed another hashbrown and I was like I WANT ANOTHER ONE TOO but noticed that there was only one left. “Were there only four?” I pouted, figuring that we should at least leave ONE for Henry. Chooch groaned guiltily and split the third one in half so we could share. Then Henry came back and focused for a bit on sopping up the pools of Ketchup from his sandwich innards while explaining to us for the fifth time that no, he did not ask for Ketchup on his sandwich, he asked for Ketchup for the hashbrowns.

And speaking of the hashbrowns, he jammed his big meat paw into the grease-laden pouch only to withdraw what appeared to be a crumb. And for the 87th time that morning, he cried, “AW COME ON!”

Immediately, Chooch lurched across the table to follow the path of his jutting, accusatory finger. “MOM ATE THEM ALL!” he screamed.

“No, I didn’t!! I had one, plus the half that you gave me!” I fired back.

“Yeah, and then you had the last one, too. I watched you!” He was now hiccuping through GUILT-GIGGLES. Readers, let me explain something to you that I know all too well because he gets this TELL from me: my son cannot lie without laughing. It’s physically impossible for him.

Now I’m fucking pissed. I hate being accused of things, even the pettiest of things like EATING ALL OF THE HASHBROWNS. So you’ll understand why I, at this point in the story, shrieked, “Stop accusing me of eating it, you little pigbitch asshole!”

Henry tried to interject that he only got a quarter of one hashbrown round and I verbally bitch-slapped him with a, “STFU NO ONE CARES THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU” and went back to The Real World-levels of bickering with Chooch while Henry quietly murmured, “But they were my hashbrowns.”

I DID NOT EAT ALL OF THEM. Now, I also can’t verify that Chooch did either because he’s 15 and Mommy doesn’t have to “keep an eye” on him constantly, and knowing me, I was probably cruising Instagram while he was over there mouth-fucking Henry’s hashbrowns.

I started pounding the heels of my palms on the table to accentuate each syllable of my passionate declaration that I DID EAT THE LAST FUCKING HASHBROWN.

“I had one, Chooch had one – THAT IS TWO. Then Chooch and I split the THIRD ONE. There should be ONE LEFT,” I screamed in my throaty Angry Satan voice.

“Well, there isn’t,” Henry said, all deflated. First the Ketchup and now this.

“WELL THEN CHOOCH ATE IT,” I screamed at the same time my lying son word-vommed, “YEAH BECAUSE MOM ATE IT!”

I was so angry that I had tears in my eyes which almost matched Chooch’s except that his were borne from LYING-LAUGHS.

Meanwhile, Henry refused to say who he believed and this was infuriating me even more and if the fucking table hadn’t been bolted to the sidewalk, I would have flipped it.

Henry gestured up to the security camera pointed at us. “I can go inside and ask to see the security footage,” he said and I was like “YES DO THAT!!!! THEN YOU WILL SEE THAT IT WAS CHOOCH!” and Chooch was laughing even harder now and almost puking and if you think I wouldn’t sift through his stomach contents to try and reconstruct TWO AND A HALF HASHBROWN ROUNDS, well, you’re probably right.

This went on for a good 8 minutes and hoo boy, was I HOT.

You’re welcome, Sheetz patrons, for the Sunday morning show.

We went to a second Sheetz on our way home from Knoebel’s and Chooch was whining because they didn’t cut his pizza so Henry told him to just go back in and ask them to cut it but this was too much for Chooch to handle so Henry wrenched the pizza box from Chooch’s hands in the backseat and, on his way inside to do Chooch’s dirty work for him, announced to the whole parking l to that he lives with idiots.

May 242021
 

(I originally typed Heresy Park in the title and now I want there to be a Heresy Park that sounds really fucking raise-the-pitchfork amazing.)

This post is mostly going to be about ROLLER COASTERS because that’s all we rode that day, but first I want to say that when Chooch was updating his dorktastic Coaster Credit spreadsheet to add all of the Hershey coasters, he realized that he left out every single coaster from Dollywood somehow, which means that the coaster in Lake Compounce that we thought was his 100th was actually his 107th or something like that so now we have to sit down and try to organize everything by date to see what his actual 100th coaster actually was, maybe something from King’s Dominion? WHY ARE WE SUCH LOSERS.

Shall we begin? After the loooooong pandemic hiatus, our first coaster was none other than Hershey Park’s brand new hyper coaster, Candymonium. It actually opened last year, along with several other highly-anticipated coasters, and as tempting as it was to still go to parks last summer, we decided to wait and it was EXCRUCIATING!! I couldn’t watch coaster videos for most of 2020 because I was so fucking depressed and choking on FOMO.

Candymonium is right by the entrance and any coaster expert will tell you to immediately go to the back of the park and work your way through it that way to avoid long lines, but for this one, the wait was about 30 minutes when we got there and I was like “No, we are mounting this motherfucking NOW.” Henry was being a bitch-boy about getting a locker for his man-purse and finally just yelled, “JUST GO WITHOUT ME” – why does he do this shit to himself??

Thoughts on waiting in line for the first time since 2019:

  • still hate it
  • still makes me yawn uncontrollably
  • Chooch doesn’t talk to me
  • dorky white families still play Heads Up like no one is around them
  • BUT OMFG I’M IN LINE FOR A ROLLER COASTER!!!!

The line moved pretty steadily because they were running three trains and the ops were pretty efficient, so I couldn’t complain too much. However, I noticed that even though each row seats 4 people, they were sending trains with just two people in some of the rows so I wasn’t sure if it was because they weren’t mixing groups due to Covid restrictions, but then I realized that no, people are just assholes and groups of two were purposely sitting in ways that prevented other people from getting on with them, because later in the day, we rode Skyrush twice with other people in our row.

DON’T BE THAT ASSHOLE!!! Get in and move all the way down so other people can get in after you! Jesus fucking Christ!

Also, I think the same song was playing over and over the whole time we were in line. Also #2, there was a young sister and brother duo in front of us who were fake-fighting the entire time and it was SO FUCKING ANNOYING and a very quick reminder that I hate being around people and I wish that social distancing was still being enforced while standing in line, because that little fucking boy almost fell into my 87 times and it wasn’t until we were almost at the station when the older sister finally said to him, “BE CAREFUL THERE ARE PEOPLE BEHIND YOU!”

Wow thanks. At the very end.

Thoughts on Candymonium?

  • super smooth
  • a nice first coaster of the pandemic
  • kind of underwhelming though

We rode in the back on our first ride, and the front on the second ride. We are usually Backseat Riders, but I will say that the front row was better on this one.

Anyway, while we were on the break-run, waiting to come back to the station, we saw Henry walking like a Man on a Mission.

“HE HAS SOMETHING!” Chooch cried, and we were straining to see what it was.

Turns out he splurged and for the first time of our lives, Bench-Warming Dad bought us Fast Lane wristbands!!! Of course he went for the cheapest tier which meant we could skip the line once on all coasters and a selection of flatrides, and it is a REALLY good thing he did that because those lines were wicked. In fact, after we got off Candymonium, the wait time had shot up to 170 minutes.

No. Thank. You.

The next one we rode was Great Bear. We opted not to use our wristbands for this one because the line was pretty short (15-20 minutes) and we wanted Henry to ride it too since he didn’t get the Fast Lane for himself. Those things are exorbitant, it’s actually criminal. Why can’t all parks be like Disney?? Disney has the greatest fast pass system in the whole fucking world. You’re already paying $$ for the ticket, plus $$ for parking, and you’re inevitably going to spend $$ on food, so why the fuck should these asshole themeparks make you pay $$$ extra to ensure that you’ll get to ride things that you ALREADY PAID FOR. And all it does it make the general queues move even slower. Set up complimentary fast pass reservations for the best, most popular rides, and let people get to select a time for 3 or 4 of them. One time use. Bam. Not everyone can afford to pay $99 extra per person to do this!! Luckily, Henry had his “FOR FUN TIMES” cash on him and was like “Well, hard-saved cash, it’s now or never.”

And thank god he did this because the day would have been even worse (I mean, it wasn’t a TERRIBLE day but it could have been!).

Anyway, I was happy to have Henry in line with us because now I had someone to talk to since Chooch is 15 and everything I say is so dumb or if he doesn’t hear me, he spits, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU” in the most disgusted grunt ever. I AM SO TERRIBLE TO BE AROUND, YOU GUYS.

Great Bear is an unsung hero!!! Holy shit, I fucking LOVED this coaster! B&M inverted coasters are so much fun to ride in the back because you literally have no idea what is coming next and everything was a pleasantly surprise. I laughed through the whole ride!

By now, the park was P-A-C-K-E-D and lines were spilling out onto the walkways. Chooch and I used our Fast Lane to ride Skyrush, except that when Chooch scanned his wristband, it lit up red. The young and very ambivalent girl working the Fast Lane gate said he would have to go to customer service, but he quickly said, “I think it’s because I scanned it twice.” She didn’t even question him and let him slide right on in.

So we ended up only having to wait about 5-10 minutes from there, and was it worth it? Um, no? This fucker is painful. And I knew that too from all the dumb videos I watch but I was like, “Well, these videos are all made by sissy-lala men who think everything hurts because they are so precious, so I’m sure I’ll be fine.

BITCH. This motherfucker KILLED MY THIGHS. It felt like I was simultaneously stung by Murder Hornets and being whipped by the rosaries of 5 nuns. It was RELENTLESS. I couldn’t even tell you if I enjoyed this fucking ride, to be honest, because I was in tears of pain by the end and could barely breathe.

Skyrush more like THIGHCRUSH. Fuck you.

Sooper Dooper Loop was next and it was basically just Baby’s First Upside Coaster. We stood in the regular line for this because it was so short, figuring that if we liked it, we’d be able to come back later and use the Fast Lane, but nah. The best part was watching the geese hang out along the water while waiting in line.

I probably would have thought I was hot shit for riding this as a kid in the single digits, though.

Comet was next – just your classic smaller scale woodie, and the line was outrageous. We used our Fast Lane (the girl didn’t even make us scan it, just asked, “did you buy them today?” and then let us through) and lemme tell you, once was enough. Also, GIGANTIC BEES were buzzing around when we sat idly on the brake run for a solid three minutes it felt like.

*Break from riding to argue over food*

It was around this point that I realized we could track our lines on the Hershey app so we could see which rides we had left for the Fast Lane. It had all three of our names on the account when I accessed it, but the word “Activated” was only next to my name. So this explained why when Chooch scanned his on Skyrush, it came up as red. And thank god that girl on Comet didn’t make us scan them or it wouldn’t have worked there, either! So now Henry was all LET ME SEE THAT because of course I must have been doing something wrong since I’m a natural dumbo, but after examining the app, he was like, “WE WILL JUST GO TO THIS FAST LANE KIOSK AND ACTIVATE IT” but it wouldn’t scan Chooch’s barcode.

We had to walk all the way back to the entrance plaza so that Henry could go and talk to a real person inside the Fast Lane building. They were in there for quite a while, but Henry said it was OK when they came back. We started to walk away and after several minutes, something made me check the app again. Now, it said “activated” next to Chooch’s name, and NOT MY NAME. Henry was like, ‘IT IS PROBABLY FINE’ and I said, “Look, bitch, they took my Fast Lane account and applied it to Chooch and now I don’t fucking have one.” Because Chooch’s Fast Lane had Skyrush taken off of it, when he didn’t actually “have” a Fast Lane at that point.

So back we went, through the mass of traffic-jammed baby strollers (seriously, baby strollers ruin everything, leave your fucking babies at home lol no I’m serious), back to the Fast Lane building which now had a line because some douchebag guy WITH A BABY STROLLER was there to collect all of his pass holder perks so he was tying up one clerk, while a family of n00bs was making another old man clerk explain in GREAT DETAIL the differences between the two Fast Lane options (NOT ROCKET SCIENCE: one can only be used once at a selection of rides; one is UNLIMITED – OMG do you have a CHART to explain that? A whiteboard?!). Meanwhile, NOAH THE 19-YEAR-OLD MANAGER was sitting behind his computer screen with an ultra-relaxed and bored posture, languidly counting money while the line continued to grow. I could feel the bubbles popping as my blood was brought closer to a boil.

We had a very kind but flustered woman helping us and I felt extremely bad for her because, LONG STORY SHORT, Noah had to come over and offer his completely blase managerial assistance (literally the way he ever-so-slowly rose from his chair and sighed on his way over made me want to punch him in the nose). Essentially what happened was that HE FUCKED IT UP IN THE FIRST PLACE so the woman had to sort through all of the receipts from that day looking for both mine and Chooch’s so that NOAH could re-activate them PROPERLY this time, and the whole fucking time she looked so defeated as she continuously apologized to us while NOAH let her take the fall.

FUCK ALL OF THE NOAHS IN THE WORLD, SINCERELY.

Also, let it be known that shit was straightened out the second time because I was in charge of clearly explaining the sitch because GOD ONLY KNOWS what bullshit nonsense Henry mumbled on the first try.

Apparently, they were having trouble with this all day though because we heard some dad tell the Fast Lane guy on another ride that everything was screwed up, they paid for the Fast Lane, go ask Customer Service and that was enough for the Fast Lane gate keeper to lift his arm out of his puddle of ennui long enough to unfastened the chain and grant them entrance.

So maybe there was some type of computer glitch. I will give them a pass on that, especially considering all of the Fast Lane attendants were so quick to let people through regardless. BUT I WILL NOT EXCUSE THE BULLSHIT BEHAVIOR OF NOAH AND HOW HE TREATED THAT POOR LADY WHO WAS TRYING SO HARD (way harder than his fuckboy ass) TO FIX SHIT FOR US.

And! They gave us a “bonus” ride for any ride of our choice, which is how we were able to ride Skyrush a second time later in the day and I tried to cheat the system by raising my feet onto the toes to bring my thighs up higher when the attendant came around to push down the lap bars, to prevent them from stapling me. JOKE’S ON ME THOUGH because even though I earned myself some wiggle room, as soon we descended that first hill, the lap bar came down one more click on its own, successfully stapling me in and ensuring that I would have another joy ride in the Iron Maiden.

Fuck that ride so hard! I’m glad I got the credit because I don’t think I will ever ride it again unless I strap a ring of maxi pads under my jeans.

Here’s part of Storm Runner which was closed and I was REALLY SAD but also prepared for this because I follow Hershey on Instagram and they have been trying to get a part for this coaster since last year. I heard it might open on Memorial Day weekend so MAYBE at some point in the fall, I will MAYBE consider going back but right now the thought of returning is not very appealing.

If you’ve ridden one boomerang, you’ve ridden them all, but if you keep a spreadsheet of every coaster you’ve ridden, then you still have to ride it. Ugh. This one was at least less terrible than the one in Lake Compounce, but man, there is something extremely terrifying about that first lift hill. I can’t even remember what this was called, but it was like “Name of Coaster: Sponsored by Name of Corporation” which I thought was tacky.

Hold on. I’ll look it up.

Sidewinder: Presented by Penn State Health.

Cool story.

Oh! When we were in line for this, one of the ride operators kept running back and forth past us, and then Hershey EMTs arrived with their big ass cooler of supplies and we were like WHAT IS HAPPENING because they were still sending trains. Turns out some older lady was like, overheated or having some kind of spell because they had her sitting on a stool while they applied ice packs to her and took her blood pressure. It was exciting to watch. I mean, because she clearly wasn’t dying! She was sipping her water and seemed like she was OK, leave me alone!

I mean, Wild Mouse is Wild Mouse. Nothing to really say about it except that while we were in line, some DAD completely waded through the landscaping and then scaled a wall just so he could join his family in line in front of us and I would have REALLY CAUSED A STINK over this except that they were already going to need to be in two cars anyway so it didn’t affect us.

Across from the Wild Mouse was the Wildcat, a woodie that turned out to be unexpectedly fantastic. There was about a 20 minute wait and we couldn’t use our Fast Lane on this because the regular line started PAST the Fast Lane entrance so it was pointless. So basically, even if the queue was full, using a Fast Lane will still have you waiting 20 minutes, which doesn’t seem very Fast Lane-esque to me.

I was trying very hard all day to not let people piss me off that day and I was doing a pretty fine job, I think, until this ride. I kept hearing wet slurping behind me. I knew there was a couple in their late 20s / early 30s behind us and I was like, “OMG ARE THEY MAKING OUT” and then became convinced that this is what was happening. Eventually, I stole a glance over my shoulder, and nope, it wasn’t that at all. The Discount Duff Goldman part of the couple was eating Dippin’ Dots. WHO EATS DIPPIN’ DOT THAT LOUDLY AND WETLY? Oh, I was in so much aural pain.

Chooch and I bonded over this later. The anguish over other people’s mouth sounds is truly something that never fails to unite us.

The only other coaster Henry rode all day was Lightning Racer because the line was not long at all. Chooch decided he was going to ride by himself so he crossed over to wait for the opposing train. We tried to align ourselves so that we would be able to race each other but he couldn’t get anyone to go ahead of him, so he ended up riding on the cycle before ours which was a bummer because WE WOULD HAVE BEATEN HIM!

Lightning Racer was so good! It has cemented itself up there as one of my favorite racers – it’s definitely better than Kennywood’s Racer (although that one is iconic because it’s a Mobius loop and also vintage at this point) and that shitty one at King’s Island, but I also REALLY like Gemini at Cedar Point and Racer 76 (I think??) at King’s Dominion. There is a racer coaster out in California that got the RMC treatment so I’m sure if I ever got to try that one on for size, it would be an easy #1!

However, Lightning Racer had a TUNNEL and I love when coasters have TUNNELS and I scream-laughed, “UNEXPECTED TUNNEL!!!!!” in my Bobcat Goldthwait bray as we cruised through it.

I actually wish we had ridden that again before we left.

The other coasters we rode that I have nothing really to say about was Trailblazer, which was just a mediocre family ride, and LaffTrakk which is an indoor Crazy Mouse-type of coaster similar but inferior to Kennywood’s Exterminator and also, even with Fast Lane, we waited for a solid 45 minutes and this was 100% not worth it. The queue was all indoors and it was so fucking hot in there that I getting pretty swirly.

I guess the only other notable thing, coaster-wise, was that when we were waiting in the loading area for our second ride on Skyrush, there was a group of Chooch-aged boys in front of us who thought it would be cute to chuck candy over the railing at their mom, who was waiting below with other family members. They thought they missed so they ducked back in line, leaving Chooch standing there alone, looking like he had been caught red-handed. The loading station for Skyrush is elevated so we were several feet above ground level making it easy for them to not be seen from the ground when they moved back from the railing. Their mom made an “I’m watching you” gesture to Chooch and he nearly melted into the ground lol.

Anyway, that concludes my titillating review of Hershey. I feel like it can’t always be as shitty as it was on this particular day because I have legit never heard anyone complain about it, so sorry Covid–but I’m blaming you!!

Stay tuned for my Knoebels recap because we also went there that weekend and, spoiler alert, IT WAS THE PERFECT DAY.

May 212021
 

OK listen, Linda. I know what you’re thinking: wow, Erin was such an avid avoider of all of the things during the pandemic and now suddenly it’s cool to go to an amusement park? Listen. Listen, listen, listen. We made reservations in advance, knowing that Covid-restrictions were still in place and that Henry and I would both be past the 2-week point of our second Pfizer dose by then. And then it worked out that Chooch was able to get his first dose before we went so he was at least partially vaccinated. I was starting to feel OK about this.

But then.

The dumb CDC announced the new lax mask rules, and almost immediately after that (i.e. two days before our trip), Hershey was like GREAT NEWS, NO MASKS REQUIRED FOR OUR VACCINATED GUESTS.

Oh boy, the honor system!

In America!!!!

And I get it, HIPPA or whatever other legal bullshit prohibits places like this from requiring guests to show their vaccination cards as proof but DAMN I wish they would have! Give us a special wristband or something, you know? But instead, all three of us wore our masks for the entire day because I do not trust my fellow Americans and because Chooch still would have had to wear his anyway so we wore ours along with him out of solidarity. We are nice parents sometimes.

Another thing to note is that we, for some incredibly strange reason, have never actually been to Hershey Park (well, Henry was there when he was 10 and they probably only had, like, those peddle scooters and a Ferris wheel back then) and I have a vague recollection of also being there very briefly when I was very young because we 100% went on the Chocolate Factory ride which is separate from the amusement park, and I think we may have just walked through the park while I cried because I wanted to ride stuff and for some reason THAT WAS NOT HAPPENING THAT DAY.

So I’m not sure if the crowds we experienced that day were normal, but for a park that was allegedly running on like 75% capacity because of Covid, the hoards of people were poppin’ off. The picture above was taken after we left, but the entrance was just a gigantic, fluid, undulating mass of bodies when we got there 30 minutes before the gates opened AND SURPRISE, barely anyone was wearing masks. Luckily, we got behind the coolest, least annoying family: two dads and their two young kids, all of whom were decked out in head-to-toe Adidas and the kids were wearing Keith Haring masks. YOU KNOW I HAD TO GIVE COMPLIMENTS WHERE COMPLIMENTS WERE DUE! This caused us to have a nice, low-key civil rapport which is all you can ask for when you’re crammed into a mess of “lines” with thousands of strangers.

We saw them again later and when I pointed them out, Chooch made the universal I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT ALSO STOP TALKING TO ME IN PUBLIC disgusted face/shoulder raise often performed by American teenagers.

Before we got to the park that day, I declared out loud that I wasn’t going to let myself be bothered by the general population that (Henry laughed out a sarcastic “Ok.”) and following that same POSICORE mindset, I’m also going to focus more on the good shit about the park rather than the bad, because I am 99.9% positive that Hershey Park is not always like how it was last Saturday, which was: super fucking crowded with two of their most popular rides closed. I never hear anyone complain about Hershey so I have to believe that all of this was a combination of vaccinated people tryna live their lives, Hershey dropping their mask policy, the pandemic causing the park to be understaffed, and season pass holders showing up in droves to collect their swag and free cookies.

Most importantly, we got to do what we love so much: RIDE FUCKING COASTERS.

Before I get into that, let’s look at pictures of us frumpin’ around the park, being THOSE LIBS IN MASKS.

(Also, I’d like to point out that Chooch was chatting away on some dumb Dischord server thing pretty much all day and we barely talked at all in any of the lines and that’s pretty depressing.)

Me: Go stand by the statue of that dude…whoever the fuck that is.

Chooch: Uh….it’s literally the Hershey guy? But ok.

Henry only rode two coasters all day. This was one of them,

Henry always managed to capture me at my BEST ANGLES. Ugh.

This whole area was a FUCKING TRAFFIC JAM all day.

And we got to take a carouselfie!!!! I panicked when I first looked at this picture because I thought my underarms were flabby AND creped but then I realized that it’s actually part of Henry’s horse, lololol ugh. How I yearn for the day when I’m not completely preoccupied with my weight.

What you can’t hear is Chooch hissing, “WHAT???? WHICH PARENTAL PLEBE DOST DEIGN TO SPEAK TO ME?”

THIS WAS MY RIDE.

My favorite area was the Frontier Land part or whatever it was called.

In my next post, I will recap the rides we rode (all coasters, no time for anything else!), but I will end this with some non-ride observations:

  • The soft pretzels were REALLY GOOD (especially the jalapeno ones!). We’re not “full meal eaters” typically when we go to amusement parks unless it’s a smaller park which allows us to live our lives more leisurely. Hershey Park is notorious for their gluttonous milkshakes and while I would have LOVED to fuck with one of those, I also…wanted to ride aggressive coasters.
  • We were REALLY harried since it was our first time and didn’t really get to explore much but my initial impression was that the park was not very picturesque. I actually hated the entire area by the entrance because everything around Candymonium is dirt and it gives off construction site-vibes. Hopefully if we go back (I’m sure we will – we’re missing two coaster creds!!), we will have more time to really take everything in and also explore the ZOO, yes, there is a ZOO there!!
  • The chocolate chip cookies tasted like childhood and I was in pure bliss as I scarfed them down. Henry and Chooch were like, “Eh, these taste basic” but then they ate more than their fair share so hope they enjoyed their basic shits that night.
  • I saw the same lady with face tattoos (and not “face ladies” as I originally typed…) in the same spot twice, which was weird, like did she move at all that day? But it also reminded me of this and I laughed to myself, except it was out loud when Henry and Chooch were walking ahead of me so I was literally laughing alone and some people side-eyed me.
  • ANOTHER PARK THAT MAKES YOU PAY FOR PARKING. How is this acceptable?! How are they not already making enough money off of us?!!?
  • I didn’t actively hate anyone that day (I mean, aside from Henry and His Nose-Whistle).
  • They seemed to have some good flat ride options that I would like to sit on next time.

 

Apr 292021
 

Wow wow wow wow the first “big time activity” we’ve done in over a year! And we chose YOU, Columbus Zoo! Congrats! Henry and I at the time of this both had the first Pfizer shot (now we have both!!) and I know, I know, you’re not “fully” Covid-immune until two weeks after the second shot, but I still felt better about going here than I would have with no doses.

Man, let me tell you though – the social distancing was NOT happening up in this bitch. Thank god most of it was outdoors or I would have legit flipped out. I will say that mask-wearing seemed like it was definitely being enforced, and in some of the indoor exhibits, there was zoo staff on hand reminding (sometimes in vain) everyone to stay 6 feet apart.

I took advantage of pretty much every sanitation station we walked by, much to the chagrin of my Target-wounded hand.

OWIE.

Chooch is a big animal lover and we thought a little day trip to the Columbus Zoo in Ohio would be a nice way to celebrate his birthday: a little bit of travel-lite, some cute animal peepin’, A SMIDGE OF FAMILY TOGETHERNESS. What 15-year-old doesn’t crave more time with MOMMY AND DADDY. Lol. To be fair, Chooch is only mildly ambivalent when we’re all out together in public. I have no basis of comparison because by the time I was 15, I don’t think I was EVER out in public with my whole family.

It looks un-crowded in these pictures but don’t get it twisted. I have no idea what the point was in buying tickets in advance and reserving a time because the ticket booth was open and while it wasn’t PACKED, it definitely was crowded. Well, at least in the beginning of the day. But the crowds seemed to disperse by the afternoon and we were able to enjoy ourselves a bit more (when we were in the reptile house, it was pretty bad and people were NOT following instructions and while there was a CLEAR LINE that most people were standing in, there were still Those Dumb Fucks completely oblivious to what the rest of us were doing who just strolled on past and wedged themselves in between people.

Also, WOW it was White Trashville there on that Sunday. I think I mentioned it in my liveblog that day but it was like every other mom had just been released from prison. Pretty rough broads swarming the zoo paths. Luckily, we didn’t have any super seriously bad run-ins with any of them but there was this one particular family that definitely had us side-eyeing each other and picking up the pace. I also saw a guy spit his chew over a fence into an exhibit while holding his baby, so that was AN IMAGE.

But mostly, I was content with taking in the beauty of the zoo because it was NICE AS FUCK. Way better than the Pittsburgh Zoo!!

They had a carousel! Of course it was an upcharge but we had to do it.

This was actually an annoying experience because some jack ass kid kept SHRIEKING in line and I have to listen to children SHRIEKING all the livelong day next door to us so I was not pleased.

“KIDS FUCKING RUIN EVERYTHING,” I cried to Henry, who would generally take this moment to don his bascinet and kick his steed before saying, “OH KIDS ARE NOT THAT BAD” but instead, he surprised me by agreeing.

“I know. The zoo should have Adult Day.”

WHOA.

It was Henry’s job to take a carouselfie but he took like 87 horrible ones.

This is literally the best one. That’s what happens when you give someone who doesn’t use an iPhone the task of taking a carouselfie. It literally looks like he used my old Blackberry from 2008 to take this.

The theming of this zoo is off the…chain? Do we still say that? They even have a small amusement park section which doesn’t open until May and it was really torturous to be able to see A WOODEN COASTER THAT WE WERE UNABLE TO RIDE AND NOT ONLY THAT BUT THEY WERE TESTING IT TOO! SO WE HAD TO SEE IT RUNNING!!! Ughhh. So close to that coaster cred…

Oh shit, Chooch and I did something really nice at one point. Well, I did. So, we decided that we weren’t going to eat lunch there because we wanted to get take out from a nearby vegan place afterward, but we needed a snack. Henry was in line to get us soft pretzels, so Chooch and I found a table out of the way and plopped our asses down. Meanwhile! A group of 4 people with BLESSEDLY NO CHILDREN sat down on a nearby bench with food from a Mexican food truck. They had huge burritos and other shit in containers that required them to hunch over and eat from their laps so I murmured to Chooch, “Oh I feel bad, they’re trying to eat actual food on that bench while we’re hogging this table, we should give them our table” and of course Chooch was engrossed in his dumb group chat probably NOT telling them about how he was spending the day with his super chill ‘rents.

So he was like WHAT IS HAPPENING when I got up and approached the bench-group, and offered up our table to them.

“I mean, you need it more than us – we’re just waiting for pretzels!” I laughed and they were like OMG THAT IS SO NICE WE APPRECIATE IT THANK YOU and I felt so smug in my good-deediness and absolutely could NOT WAIT for Henry to come back with the pretzels so I could tell him but when I started to tell him, he interrupted me and said, “Yeah I saw.”

UGH.

LITTLE RED FLYING FOX BATS!

Oh man, I love bats.

And this weird bird thing in the Australia section!

Every time I wanted to take a picture of Chooch on one of these animal statues, there were ALWAYS DUMB CHILDREN SWARMING AROUND. Seriously. Kids ruin everything. Oh! There was one nice kid that I had an interaction with in one of the first exhibits because I couldn’t find what I was supposed to be looking for and she pointed it out for me (it was some kind of rat and it was cute so I was like THANK YOU FOR SHOWING ME, I COULD NOT SEE IT and then I had to go cleanse myself of the INNOCENSE by walking through hellfire.

A ladybug, just passing through.

Oh! I want to give a shout out to the Columbus Zoo for the super organized and socially-distanced set-up of the stingray exhibit, where each group got their own mat to stand on and the line moved super expeditiously and it was just an all-around non-stressful and pleasant experience unlike the reptile house which I considered ducking through an emergency exit to escape the COVID-ignorant crowds.

Just us and the Hanna Fam.

Overall, I would have enjoyed this zoo so much more in non-pandemic times I’m sure, but it was still a really great day and my criteria for that is pretty simple: did all three of us get along? Yes, yes, we actually did. Therefore, it was a great day.

I want to go back and ride that fucking coaster though!!!

Apr 282021
 

My friend Katrina sent me these rad nail wraps because they reminded her of my kitchen and while I did a not-so-bang-up job applying them (I’m always in such a rush!), I think they’re so awesome and really do serve as an homage to my favorite room in the house!

I love the fact that my nails match the kitchen. So ridiculous!

In other kitchen news, I had this roller skate rug art custom made for one of the cabinet doors because I am bothered that the doors on that side are still blank (god forbid) and I think this is a good start! I was always skating in the 80s (I mean, me and everyone else except for Henry who was roller skating in the 70s and then too busy SERVING in the SERVICE omg I wonder if he ever attended any SERVICE sanctioned skate soirees then?! I’ll ask!*) so now when I look at this, T’Pau’s “Heart & Soul” immediately starts playing in my head because that was the song I chose TWO YEARS IN A ROW for my birthday skate at VIP in South Park, which was an OUTDOOR ROLLER RINK and POOL you guys. It was so fucking fabulous.

*(Aaaand that would be a no. I called him because I’m downstairs and he’s in bed,  and he LOVES those kinds of phone calls because he knows it’s not going to be good.)

Anyway, this is such a cop out blog post but hear me out! I was going to do a recap of our zoo trip but then I spent way too much time doing SQUIRREL STUFF because Girl Buddy BROUGHT HER BABIES OVER TONIGHT which is crazy because I actually thought she was pregnant (god I’m so fucking rude) but it turns out, she must have had the babies last year because they didn’t look tiny, more like pre-teens, and Henry’s google search results told him that baby squirrels don’t leave the nest until they’re old enough to live on their own so THIS MAKES SENSE and I will update you more about that later, and then also I had to exercise, and then also my brother Corey derailed me by bringing up the time my squirrel-hating neighbor had a complete psychotic break in the driveway and threatened to shove a metal pole up another neighbor’s ass until it came out of his throat, and I recorded it from the kitchen window and then he sent me the video which he’s kept on his phone since I sent it to him in 2016 and that cracks me up, and the first thing I noticed was how TRASHED our old kitchen was which brings me back full-circle to this post. Which is to say, I love you, Kitchen. I promise to keep psychotically fussing over you and cleaning you and keeping you all glowed up with LEDs and neon lights and I will tell you every day that you are my HONEY BUNNY.

I am clearly in a great state of mind, hahaha. Ugh.

Also, tomorrow I go for my second Pfizer shot and when I tell you I’m nervous, please understand it’s mostly because I’m concerned about parking – it was a pain in the ass the last time! OK I’M GOING TO WATCH SOME ROLLER COASTER VIDEOS NOW AND MAYBE READ WHILE TRYING NOT TO THINK ABOUT PARKING.

Apr 272021
 

We painted the wall behind the couch in preparation for the day when the subway sign is finally ready to be hung (Henry changed course AGAIN and is now “looking into” a “new way” to mount the damn thing) and while we were at it, I decided to finally do something with this narrow strip of a wall that used to just have random art on it.

My actual thought process was “Maybe if I hang these carouselfies on the wall, I’ll feel less depressed” – Erin’s Guide to Decorating (pg. 187). I honestly just don’t even care anymore how ridiculous it looks over here. I am fucking bored out of my mind and I have no other creative outlet anymore (see also: IN A RUT, STUCK).

Obviously not being able to go to amusement parks in 2020 was super depressing, but I have so many fun pictures from years and years of past theme park’ing, and looking back on those old memories actually made me feel better instead of more depressed.

Somehow.

(Or, somewhoe, as I originally typed.)

Henry and cat litter cameos!

The flowers are from some weird cardstock wreath project I bought from Oriental Trading specifically because I wanted to stick the flowers on the wall. I was originally going to paint flowers on the wall, but I opted for this route because it allows me to easily change it up in the future. WOW I AM REALLY USING THAT PETRIFIED BRAIN IN MY DUMB HEAD.

It took me at least an hour to put all the flowers together while watching roller coaster videos on YouTube. Chooch walked past me a dozen times as I sat here, being engulfed by a piled of cardboard craft pieces, and he never even said anything. Like, I don’t know, “what are you doing?”

As shitty as the pandemic has been, the one silver lining for us (ugh that feels weird to say, like how could there be ANYTHING positive about this?!) is that it kind of forced us to fix the way we were living. I know this is going to sound weird because clearly I am NOT a minimalist when it comes to decor and people would probably consider our house super cluttered* as far as the walls go, but we actually DEcluttered over this past year, if you can believe it. We got rid of so much unneeded shit and now everything else has its own place and if someone would come here right now and knock on the door, I wouldn’t freak out. (OK I still would scream and hide on the steps and make someone else answer the door because SOCIAL ANXIETY but I wouldn’t embarrassed that anyone was seeing the inside of the house. (Unless they went into the basement or Chooch’s room, lol.)

It was also fantastic when we came home Sunday night to a clean house after being gone since early morning. When people say that your mental state is directly affected by the condition of your house, it is so fucking true.

*(I was on a video call at work a few weeks ago and one of my co-workers called my house “organized chaos” and another agreed that “it feels like it should be too much, but it just works” – I was HUMBLED. Also, did you know that I used to want to be an interior designer? IT’S TRUE! This was back when I was 19 or 20. I dunno that I would have gotten much business outside of Pee Wee’s Playhouse, though.)

 

Apr 232021
 

Actually, this is just really an excuse to post the rest of the pictures I took that day, haha.

After we left Palmer Park, we drove back into Monongahela and grabbed some sandwich action at Sheetz, which we took to the Monongahela Cemetery and devoured in front of the chapel. How have I never been to this cemetery before?!!? It’s gorgeous! When I lived in Jefferson Hills in my first apartment, I used to go joy-driving in this area all the time (because gas was like 95 cents a gallon) and I somehow NEVER NOTICED the entrance to this cem!!

Well, you better believe we will be having future Family Times up in this boneyard.

Chooch found THREE geocaches in this location. Only one was the good kind with a prize though. I can’t even remember what it was that he took, but he replaced it with this religious finger puppet that I bought years and years ago when I held my own unsanctioned Easter event at work.

There was a rogue turkey gobbling around this part of the cemetery and we had fun gobbling back at it. I think we were just delirious after the encounter with Pantera Guy.

 

The other geocaches with fake pine cones tied to two different trees! It was really hard to get the capsule thing out of the one pine cone and I broke a pen trying and then I couldn’t put the pen back together because I’m bad at pretty much everything that requires even the tiniest effort so Chooch snatched all the pieces off me and proceeded to reassemble the pen in .000002 seconds and then he shamed me, which was rightfully deserved I guess.

WE ARE BOTH GETTING SO OLD UGHHHHH.

Then I made him take pictures of me pretending the tree was my prom date.

He’d say things like, “You’re making a weird face in this one. You look fake in this one. You won’t like this one” which I appreciate because HENRY DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS. Like, he will let me smile real big for a closeup while I have spinach in my teeth and then act like he didn’t know and maybe that’s true because HENRY THINKS I’M HIDEOUS AND NEVER LOOKS AT  ME.

I made him take another one without my mask around my neck, lol.

Honestly, isn’t this tree so handsome?!!?

Even though geocaching was involved, it was still a really beautiful day. LOOK AT THIS UNFILTERED SKY, BOIIIIII. I was in such a swell mood (lol) that I even told Chooch we could stop for one last geocache on our way out of Monongahela, and this one was supposed to be by the river right past the Sheetz we stopped at.

I mean, the river is super gross no matter how you look at it, but the area was pretty cool. There were like bleacher-type steps you could sit on and …. what? Watch people fish? Gaze at the barges passing by? I dunno, but now that I know it’s there, maybe I will eat my Sheetz lunch there next time I’m in the area!

ANYWAY. Would you believe that the clue led us to another one of those stupid dog poop things?!?! But there was nothing there! According to the info for this one, the owner of the geocache recently had to re-hide it but said the clues were the same?! And people left comments about how when they tried to put it back it got “lost in the abyss”??? I was like, “Bro, I’m not sticking my hand in the actual waste basket part of this thing, if that’s what that clue means” and even Chooch was like, “I know right” but I think we were both silently thinking that if Henry was with us, we’d make him do it.

Chooch left this super professional, detailed comment about how he was unable to find it and I was like, “Wow, you definitely have a little bit of Henry in you” because I’d have been like “The FUCK kind of clues are these? There wasn’t SHIT there! Awful geocache! REPORTED!!!”

Then we drove home and I realized that I am A LOT like Henry’s mom all of a sudden because I narrated the whole drive with, “That used to be a movie theater. That bar used to serve me when I was 19. I got pulled over here when I was 20 by the state police for doing double the speed limit in a construction zone and they searched my car and I had to go to court but the hearing was delayed because the one cop got shot and then my mom knew the chief of police and arranged for me to get off with a warning but I got super mouthy and indignant with the magistrate and my mom was kicking me under the table and the cop was silently doing the Dave Coulier CUT IT OUT hand motions at me and then the magistrate was like HAVE FUN PAYING THIS FINE, HON.”

To summarize: WHAT A GREAT DAY!

Chooch found five geocaches! I found none!

Apr 162021
 

I’m really sad as I sit here writing this post about the wonderfully warm & sunny weekend, because it’s like 45 degrees and drizzly out. Womp womp.

But the weekend was so wonderfully warm and sunny! Henry and I went out to some flower places on Saturday (previously mentioned) and bought some flowers and pots. As we were checking out, one of the plant ladies said to us in a very school marm-y tone, “You know these can’t be planted yet right?” I was slowly shaking my head no as Henry was emphatically insisting in his Confident White Man voice that of course he knows this, he was in the SERVICE, for shit’s sake! He knows everything!

Regardless of what Henry allegedly knows, I appreciate going to these types of plant places where the employees actually know what they’re doing and will teach you shit. I also appreciate that the pandemic made me care about my yard. In the billion years I have lived here, last year was the first year we ever planted anything and I’m excited to make it look even nicer this year now that we already have a base to piggyback off of! Apparently, Blake and Haley are taking initiative with their side this year (last year, we just took it upon ourselves to plant flowers on their half too) so now I’ve turned it into a secret, one-sided competition, just like with the cat Instagrams.

We went to this one roadside farm stand thing and the guy kept pressuring us to try an Amish fry pie like I really needed “pressured” into that, the hardest part was choosing which filling I wanted! Ultimately, we went with cherry and as we were walking out the dude was like YOU’LL BE BACK FOR MORE FRY PIES and I mean, it was pretty good but I’d rather drive to a real Amish land and get a fry pie straight from the source, not off the side of Rt. 51. That’s just me though.

I don’t remember what else we did on Saturday. Probably fuck all. I think I went for lots of walks and annoyed the squirrels.

The next day, we went to a different plant place but this time Chooch came with us which was a rarity because he never likes going out with us anymore, but he wanted to get his own plants so whatever.

My dad inexplicably has one of these in his backyard!

We had a lot of fun picking out flowers that can’t  be planted in the ground yet because of FROST (I’m learning so much) and then we went inside their market thing where Chooch and Henry both wanted cookies from the bakery so they had to ding the bell on  the counter even  though the lady was right there in the next room doing shit with pies (she was like, glazing them or something, IDK!). The broad was not very happy and sighed, “I’ll be right there” and then when she finally came out, she just stood there with this annoyed look that said “well??” so Chooch picked a wrapped cookie off the top of the counter and said, “I’ll have this” and I thought she was going to shoot through the ceiling.

“You didn’t have to ring—” she started to say, but then Henry interrupted her to tell her that he also wanted a cookie, but his was actually in the case so YES WE DID HAVE TO RING THE BELL, YOU SNOTTY PIE BITCH.

That was the only negative part of the whole day. We had great experiences in all the other parts of the store, like when Chooch and I went upstairs and he discovered a cabinet full of handmade soy candles and if you know my son, you know he is OBSESSED with candles. Now his bedroom smells like a delicious pecan pie, baked by the AMISH and not that SNOTTY PIE BITCH.

When Henry was paying, he said GO WAIT AT THE CAR!! but instead Chooch and I made ourselves comfy on the two adirondack chairs out front. I’m sure we looked like supreme douches.

Then we came home and Henry potted some of the flowers under Buddy’s supervision.

“OK plant the yella ones next, sir, I gots some nuts ta bury innit.”

Henry’s not afraid of no frost! There’s no telling him when to plant flowers! (That’s why they’re currently covered with plastic since it’s going to go below 40 degrees tonight, good one, HortiHenry.)

All of the Buddys and Mr. Gray Guys are loving the new….digs.

Apr 112021
 

I have always been a super emotional person, for example, if I have no choice but to return a cart to an empty stall, I will dwell on it for hours, feeling SO BAD that I left an INANIMATE OBJECT alone in a parking lot, never mind the fact that other carts probably joined it before I even pulled out of the parking lot. I’m just super sensitive I guess – but then I can also be super callous and uncaring toward people so welcome to my contrary universe.

However, I find that it’s definitely getting worse as I age. I woke up Thursday morning to what I anticipated to just be a normal day. I was working late shift, so I had some time in the morning to take a walk, read a little, watch some coaster videos on YouTube, etc. While I was doing the latter, I heard my neighbor Ruth call out, “Yinz guys cutting down that tree?” and I looked outside to see this piece of shit truck blocking the entrance to the church lot across from my house:

And oh yes, they were preparing to cut down that big, glorious, grandfatherly tree you see pictured to the right. This is a tree that I have spent the last 20 years of my life admiring in the spring, summer and fall (and ignoring in the winter, lol). I have taken pictures of Chooch next to that tree. Hid from Henry behind that tree. JUST THAT MORNING I WAS WAVING TO BUDDY THE SQUIRREL AS HE SAT IN THAT TREE!!!

Something in me snapped and I just lost my shit. I tried calling Henry multiple times but he didn’t answer so I proceeded to text him: 911!!! When he finally called me back in a panic, I straight up wailed, “HENRY THEY’RE CUTTING DOWN THAT TREEEEEEEEEE” and then I started SOBBING and couldn’t finish because my throat was doing that EMOTIONAL WOMAN BREAKING DOWN constricting thing.

I eventually managed to gurgle out, “Gary and Sons, whoever the fuck THEY are!” when Henry asked me WHO WAS CUTTING DOWN THE TREE.

Then he of course started to White Knight them, must be hard carrying around the weight of all that CHAIN MAIL constantly, isn’t it Henry?

“Well, they’re only doing what they were paid to do. It’s probably rotted,” he said in the calm tone of a white man who does not get bothered by anything because the world is his motherfucking oyster.

“NO YOU’RE ROTTED!” I cried and hung up.

Then I started pacing wildly. What could I do?! There must be something! Run across the street and throw my arms around the trunk in defense?! The one guy had a chainsaw and I did not want to get close to that (haunted house flashbacks) so instead I kept storming out onto the front porch and shooting them my patented DISGUSTED SCOWLS while flipping them off. But all the while, I could NOT stop crying. I’m not sure if this was something bigger, maybe I was subconsciously holding onto to some shit that needed purged by way of my tear ducts, or maybe I just really am the president of the Tree Huggers Club, but I was a legit MESS that morning. As they were packing up their forestry murder kit, I went out to get the mail and said loudly, “OH YEAH THAT LOOKS REAL FRUCKING GREAT. ASSHOLES!” They all turned and looked at me and I glared at them but they sadly didn’t burst into flames so I guess I am losing my touch.

I had a video meeting that afternoon at work and I was STILL doing the post-cry sniffle-shudder right before it started but luckily I am ace at smiling my way through this shit but you know how after you cry really hard for an extended amount of time, your face feels so heavy and swollen? Yeah, I had that, bigly. My head was THROBBING through the whole meeting and when it was my turn to talk, I very nearly almost blurted out SOME ASSHOLES CUT DOWN A TREE TODAY AND I’M SAD but I held it together and instead just talked about my squirrel obsession – was that really the less crazy route though? Maybe.

We drove past GARY AND SONS (I almost left them a terrible Google review but I had no energy left after all that crying) which is apparently run out of a house on the other side of the church WHERE THEY JUST FELLED THE TREE, and OF FUCKING COURSE they have a giant Trump 2020 flag proudly flying at full staff in their junk yard.

Fuck you, Gary, and your shit-eating sons, too.

Side note: this is the same tree that was damaged in a storm last summer, which led to Henry and HNC getting to be traffic-directing HEROES.

In addition to this TRULY TERRIBLE TALE OF TREESON (??), I was also angry because Henry got his first vaccination on Tuesday. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled that we are now both halfway to some semblance of immunity & normalcy, but his next shot is scheduled for two days BEFORE MY NEXT ONE, even though I got my first one the week before!! I was SO ANGRY about this that I sent an angry text to my work group chat – three of got the first shot at the same vaccination site, a day apart. Amber replied and said that for some reason, we were all scheduled to come back in 4 weeks instead of 3, even though we all got the Pfizer one. Then Nate said that his wife was also curious about this so she looked it up and they did it this way for “logistical reasons,” whatever that means and look, I know I should just be happy that I was able to get the damn vaccine IN THE FIRST PLACE but I am super competitive with Henry and this feels like TOTAL INJUSTICE.

When he came home that day, I was still very mad and pretended like I was going to punch him on his vaccine-spot, and that is when I noticed that not only is he going to be fully vaccinated TWO DAYS BEFORE ME, he also got a WONDER WOMAN BANDAID ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING?!!? All I got was some weird circular window sticker thing!!

What a fucking week.

Apr 092021
 

I really love Easter so much and this year’s bunny day did not disappoint. The weather was perfection (in the low 60s and sunny!) and we actually all got along even though Henry’s chewing and breathing was really beyond extra that day.

First, we had to wake up Chooch and give him his “basket.” Chooch is definitely my kid, in that he is nearly 15 and still wants TOYS and FUN and all the things his little niece and nephew next door are enjoying as toddlers. We decided to fill a small basket with what Chooch claims to be the only sponges he can use to wash the dishes which is clearly just an excuse to not have to wash the dishes. I plopped in one piece of candy for good measure and then at the last minute, I added a bath bomb that he had gotten earlier that day when he was at the store with Henry (not pictured).

Of course it took us forever to get him to wake his ass up. I left the fake basket on the dining room table for him to find, totally exposed so there was no fun involved. He actually took it all in stride, and laughed a lot, so I’m not sure if it’s a reflection of the GREAT JOB Henry and I have done raising him that he didn’t act like a petulant shit when that was “all he got,” or if he’s been conditioned over the last decade to know that there was something better in store if he just rides it out—probably the latter, lol.

Then I needed to get him BACK into his room because Henry left DOLL on his computer desk with one lone Easter egg. OMG for a kid who never wants to leave his room, it was surprisingly hard to get him to go back into it! Granted, the reason I used was probably a bad one: I told him that our new Easter tradition was going to Church with Blake, Haley and the kids and that he needed to go change into something nice, which made shit hit the fan. he became INEXPLICABLY distraught at the prospect of suddenly having to go to church after all these years of living in the lap of heathenism.

Finally got him to go into his room, where he hurled himself down on his bed and proceeded to cry some more. God, this kid!! We should have kept him in Catholic school! Why did we ever pull him out? Oh right, my blog. LOLOLOL.

Anyway, I had to point out DOLL to him just to speed shit up and that set him off even more. “OMG YOU MADE ME GO THROUGH ALL OF THIS JUST SO I COULD SEE DOLL?? UGH!” and he stormed off back downstairs without even realizing that DOLL contained an Easter egg, because DUMB HENRY stuck the egg up her dress instead of just setting it in her lap like I told him to, so then I had to carry DOLL downstairs and thrust her at Chooch, who refused to take her and instead gave me this bewildered look, like “I’m used to you acting insane but you are being TRULY STRANGE this morning” so then I had to EXTRACT the egg from DOLL’s dress and chuck it at Chooch, who finally started to realize that this was an effort to make Easter fun for a surly teen. Except that now DOLL’s egg message didn’t make sense since he was supposed to open it IN HIS ROOM, but now he was in the dining room so he asked, “All of the eggs are hidden in the basement?” Ugh. This dumb scavenger hunt WAS NOT THAT COMPLICATED.

We only hid 8 eggs the night before, just on the first floor, so this hunt should have been over relatively quickly but instead my DENSE SON dragged it out for nearly an hour because he is sooooo obtuse! We were giving him all these dumb hints and he was just standing in the middle of the room, looking lost.

Although, to be fair, one of my hints was “Something you could find at the circus” and he cried THAT COULD BE LITERALLY THIS ENTIRE ROOM!

Anyway, all of the eggs contained a piece of Russian candy and a “coupon” for things like “trip to the Columbus Zoo” and “Dad takes out garbage for month of April.” (In response to that one, Henry wrote out a coupon that says “Geocaching with mom, no less than two hours!”

I hate geocaching.

After he found all of his idiotic eggs, he was sitting on the church pew (oh the irony) watching TV so I ran upstairs to get his real basket, which I’m not entirely sure he was expecting after going through the rigmarole of collecting Easter coupons.

I wish I still got an Easter basket! I am fully planning on giving Chooch an Easter basket (and any future partner/spouse he might wind up with) for the rest of my life.

Later that afternoon, we drove out to Economy Park, which we haven’t to been to in quite some time but the playground is cool because it has this big electronic game that Chooch and I always think we are obsessed with until we get there and remember that it’s broken. The road to the pavilions is closed so we had to park at the playground and walk for about a half mile (??? I’m really bad with measuring distance!), all of which was without Henry who had to go back to the car when we made it out of the parking lot because he forgot the BUNNY PLATE I bought specifically for our EASTERgayo sandwiches, so he ended up being way behind us on the walk which was hilarious to me and Chooch but probably actually super peaceful for Henry.

You might remember that I deemed these sandwiches our “new Easter tradition” two Easters ago. They are based off the Inkigayo sandwich in South Korea, which is a multi-layered sandwich served in the cafeteria to idols performing at the Inkigayo weekly music show. The idols love them so much that various convenience stores in Korea attempted to recreate them and let me tell you, we ate some v. tasty ones on our last trip! Anyway, there are several variations floating around the Internet.

Here’s my OG post about it if you’re interested!

Easter 2019: Idol Sandwiches & Crappy Woodland Treasure

After lunch, I made these lugs pose for family pictures with me. I also *tried* to coordinate our clothes so we were all wearing Easter-y pastel shades, which made Chooch happy because it meant he could wear his pink/salmon hoodie and not A DRESSY SHIRT OMG BOO HOO.

 

You guys, we got Henry to jump!!

Oh man, what a GREAT DAY, honestly. I mean, I almost threw up on a spinny thing at the playground afterward, but it was still just a wonderful holiday. I love you, Easter.

Apr 062021
 

You guys. My patience and obsessive nature finally paid off yesterday. One of the Buddys let me hand-feed him! Normally, the brown squirrels (never the gray ones; they’re super skittish) will accept snacks from my hand through the window but I wanted the challenge of feeding them from outside of my house.

Two weekends ago, I was getting RULL close to success but the Buddy I had targeted kept doing the handshake-fake out on me every single time, like to the point where I expected him to run his hand paw through his hair fur.

Yesterday on my lunch break, I was sitting on the porch, trying to coax my favorite of all the Buddys to TAKE THE FUCKING PECAN when Haley came outside to water her plants. She started laughing at me because this is like A Thing now, not a secret, and I wailed, “I AM DETERMINED!”

“I mean, he’s sitting right there on the porch with you so he’s clearly not afraid of you, you’ll get it!” Haley said, in the encouraging words of a True Mom. And you know what? I took her words and ran with them and I DID INDEED GET IT!

It turns out he didn’t want a pecan – he wanted a WALNUT! Good thing I have a veritable squirrel buffet inside my house to choose from. We currently have: peanuts, walnuts, pecans, filberts, and various types of seeds. Don’t worry – I always check first to make sure what I’m feeding them is safe! For instance, not all peanuts are good for them!

Squirrel watching has really kept me going through the pandemic. Being home so much, especially WORKING FROM HOME, has been pretty depressing but these little guys are so entertaining and I don’t care what anyone says–they’re my best Buddys. Sometimes when I feed them through the window, their tails brush my hand and IT IS THE BEST FEELING I LOVE THEM SOOOOO MUCH OMG HELP ME I NEED A LIFE.

This picture cracks me up – squirrel soirée! Also, don’t mind the messy porch/yard. Henry started redoing the flower-area and true to form, he moved on to other things before finishing. (He will read this and start yelling about how IT IS TOO SOON TO PLANT FLOWERS AND HE WAS JUST GETTING IT READY blah blah OK Farmer Henry’s Almanac.)

 

Apr 012021
 

I didn’t have to log on to work until noon today so I decided that I was going to turn off my alarm and actually try to sleep in for once. But then my Boss Amber texted me at 7am and said that Spartan Pharmacy had opened up their vaccination site today for ALL RESIDENTS 16+. I was like “LOL OK, we’ll see” because Janna had also recently sent me something similar and that sucker was booked up before I could even click the link.

BUT THIS ONE WORKED!! I was able to snag an appointment for later that morning!! Screw sleeping in, I’m getting that sweet pfizzy arm cocktail, boooiiiii!!

Chooch is on Spring Break this week so I dragged him with me for moral support. I mean, he sat in the car the whole time and watched YouTube videos, but knowing that I had someone waiting for me was ENOUGH FOR ME, YOU KNOW?

The vaccination station was actually at a firehall that my ex-friend Keri had her wedding reception in back in 2003 and I kept periodically cracking up over this as I stood in line for nearly an hour, through bursts of snowfall and blustery winds. Of course the climate would revert back to winter vibes on April 1!

I was really impressed with how quickly the line moved though. There was very little “standing still,” and everyone mostly shuffled like the most lethargic zombies. Shockingly, nothing exciting or weird happened the entire time I was standing in line, which is outrageous because when have I stood in line and not been, at the very least, bothered by something??? I think also, it’s been SO LONG since I’ve stood in a line so my threshold was pretty good. In fact, I kept pretending it was training for all of the roller coasters I’m going to be standing in line for this summer!!

(Yes, I know, just because I’ll be vaccinated doesn’t mean I can go hog wild! I will still be super smart about what I do and obviously I’ll be social distancing and still wearing a mask when necessary, which doesn’t bother me one bit!)

Anyway, once I reached the entrance, I started panicking because I could hear a volunteer up ahead telling everyone to make sure they had “1 and 3” of their consent forms but mine were 2 & 3?? I was starting to sweat at this point was waiting for her to sigh and slap a clipboard against my chest so I could fill out whatever form I was missing but she looked at what I had and was like “OK YOU’RE GOOD” and then from there it was like literally being led around like cattle. “Go see Dave, he’ll photocopy your license and insurance card.”

“Go wait at that table to sign in.”

“Go stand behind that tall guy in the puffy jacket.”

“Go to the lady with her arm raised.”

(This was when I finally got my coveted jab! It literally only took the amount of time needed to shrug out of my coat, sit down, tell the lady my age because I missed that question on the form, and then BAM DONE.)

“Take this card and stand by the green sign.”

“Here’s your next appointment. Go sit down for 15 minutes. If you feel OK, you can leave.”

I was dizzy from all the directions.

And then swirly and pfizzy from The Science.

Someone there said they liked my coat too and I was like “WELL ISN’T THIS JUST THE GREATEST DAY EVER!?” I was in such a great mood, and I even had enough time to take Chooch to Sheetz before logging on

I had to stand in the weirdest pose to get this, and apologies to Marcy (RIP!) for the headshot, but it is my favorite puncture wound of all time. (Well, maybe tied with the one I’ll be getting on April 29th!)