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!)

Mar 252021
 

Hello. In today’s tour around my dumb house, we will focus on the nook in my bedroom where I used to do my painting when I was actually inspired to do art. I still have paint ALL OVER THE DESK TOP like I’m trying to prove that I actually used to do creative things.

OK, so let’s look at some of the shit on the walls and on the desk and I will type out a few descriptions because that’s just how we’re going to do this.

Here are some clowns (I think these ones were gifted to me by friend Patty but I have three other clowns that are vaguely similar and those ones might be from her?!? The perils of having tons of clowns in your house –  the origins become murky!

Behind them is the Father Day’s portrait I made for Henry a few years ago which he is apparently too embarrassed to take to his office, that’s fine. He never took Chooch’s art piece either. That is what I would call UNGRATEFUL. Maybe that’s just me!

Here we have the blue jay tealight holder that was used as a centerpiece at the table I was sitting at when I went to a MORMON WOMENS CONFERENCE for an essay I was writing for a class at Pitt. This was one of those things that made my inner-self scream WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO but then ended up being such a memorable and interesting experience. I loved that class and the way it pushed my boundaries. Anyway, the Mormon missionary who invited me to the dinner was a total gem and every time I look at this (which I have since dusted and scraped of wax residue after looking at this picture), I am filled with such warm memories!

(Henry was totes shocked that I didn’t convert after this, tbh.)

Behind it is a silver box that I bought in Canberra, Australia! It holds my sacred charm bracelet and my Pappap’s diamond pinky ring that he wanted me to have when he died but then my family played a two decade long game of keep-away because they thought I’d pawn it. I HAVE NO SOUR GRAPES ABOUT THAT OR ANYTHING LOL.

Also behind it is STEVE FROM THE HIPPO from a previous THINGS AROUND MY HOUSE post maybe you remember if you’re a LONGTIME READER. (Or at least have been reading for the past year because this post was from almost exactly a year ago lol.)

Limited edition screen print from the DGD 10 year anniversary tour. That was a….very strange night because it was after I finally knocked Jonny Craig off the pedestal of my heart and started to see him for what he really is: a toxic man who manipulates, abuses, assaults and turns women into addicts. But, he was there that night because the BIG DRAW of this tour was that the two former singers (Jonny and Kurt Travis) were reprising their roles alongside current singer Tillian Pearson. Back when I decided to paint this wall pink, I knew that this print was going to be the centerpiece.

That prayer card is from my birth dad’s funeral – morbid much? I have a collection of prayer cards – the one in the picture below is from my Aunt Cecilia who died when I was like 1 or 2 and I have no memory of her aside from the fact that the furniture in our guest room in the first house I grew up in was hers and the whole room had that really heavy, antique-y scent to it. I also remember that there was green and pink taffy-like candy in one of the desk drawers and I ate it, thinking I was really showing my mom who was boss because I feel like I wasn’t supposed to be hanging out in that room, only to find out later that it was literally sticky tack. Also, fun fact, Cecilia is my confirmation name.

Also, Fall Out Boy concert ticket from before they became MTV and I Heart Radio darlings, and an ICP concert ticket which makes me laugh every time I look at it, what a night.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of my beloved Marcy, nee Marciples von Schlugenhusen. I miss her every single fucking day. Above her is a bumper sticker from the Day After Day soap pop-up at Ader Error in Seoul:

Chooch and Blake Pumpkinhead.

I kept this china cup that I found when I was cleaning out my aunt Sharon’s room a few years ago. I only just recently moved it from a curio cabinet to my desk and that’s when I noticed that there was still a Chinese price sticker on it. I have a VAGUE recollection of Sharon mentioning that she had been to China, but I asked my mom because I am a SRS BLOGGER who likes to collect the FACTS. My mom didn’t have a lot of information to provide aside from yes, Sharon had visited China and it was before I was born, so sometime in the 70s, I’d imagine. Sharon worked in the Sports Medicine department of the University of Pittsburgh for-fucking-ever (all the way up the early 2000s) and according to my mom, this was a work-related trip and she was accompanying Dr. Freddie Fu, an orthopedic surgeon so world renown, he has his own Wiki page.

This is so interesting to me! One of the many times I have wished a close relative was still alive so that I can ask questions for my imaginary book.

(Fun fact: whenever I would butt into adult convos as a kid, my Pappap would ask, “Are you writing a book? Well, leave this chapter out.” Lol. I think about that probably once a week, not gonna lie.)

Marquis de Sade painting from an unknown painting, taken from my grandparents’ clown room. The piece above it is from an artist in Seoul. I bought it from her in Insadong on our first trip!

Here is a photo of my bro Corey and me at the world’s largest cuckoo clock in Sugarcreek Ohio!

Chooch with Bradley Walden from Emarosa; another beautiful photo of Marcy <3

Framed photo of my Pappap that I used to keep on my desk when I worked at the shitty meat factory so the owners would be constantly reminded of the family I came from; a REALLY DAMAGED Polaroid of the time my BFF Christy “married” my brother Corey in our basement and I was the flower girl. Fun fact: SHE WAS ALREADY MARRIED TO MY OTHER BROTHER RYAN!! They married one summer before Corey was born, on a hammock in our backyard. I have a vivid memory of Ryan coming out of the house with some kind of snack – Twizzlers maybe? – and when I reached for me, he withdrew his hand real quick and snapped, “These are for my babe!”

Dance Gavin Dance lyrics handwritten by Tillian! The mat is custom-made by Henry.

Popcorn container from Everland in Korea! I use it as a purse and then people are like I LIKE YOUR PURSE OMG and Chooch gets mad.

Some reading material! One of my lovely Instagram friends, Tousled Elegance, sent me this AWESOME Cure comic several years ago – let me just tell you that it’s not easy for people to find Cure memorabilia that I don’t already have, so this was really exciting!

Well, that’s it for the former art nook. I think I am going to hang more pictures on the pink wall though and I definitely want to get a neon strawberry sign to complement the Dance Gavin Dance 10th anniversary print!

Um, I was going to make some empty promise that one day my blog posts will be exciting again but then I remembered that they never really were, pandemic or no pandemic oh hahaha ugh.

Mar 162021
 

Oh you guys, you guys, you guys, oh you guys. We took a short road trip to Keystone State Park (only abut an hour away) for some Nature Time and it was JUST WHAT I NEEDED, to quote the ineffable Ric Ocasek. I have been trying very hard to maintain perspective and keep my privilege in check during the past pandemic’d year but trying to remain diligent about social distancing and borderline quarantining in conjunction with DREADED WINTER has really made me crack. So when I saw that it was going to be sunny and mild on Sunday, I screamed at Henry to find somewhere to go and of course he didn’t so I was like “CAN’T WE GO TO  THAT PLACE WE WENT THAT ONE TIME AND THE PARK RANGER WAS LIKE ‘HERE IS A TRAIL YOU CAN TAKE’ AND YOU WERE LIKE ‘THANKS CUZ’ AND THEN WROTE A LETTER TO YOUR MOMMY ABOUT HOW A PARK RANGER PAID ATTENTION TO YOU” and surprisingly, Henry knew exactly where I meant. I mean, after TWENTY YEARS OF DATING, you get the psychic equivalent of synced menstrual cycles.

It started off semi-annoying because we wanted to get lunch from Sheetz first but the app was being a piece of shit and wouldn’t accept my order so Henry ended up having to go in and order in person and apparently they were having a problem with the system because all three of my orders actually did go through lolololol. I love their veggie wraps (it’s the BOOM BOOM sauce that makes it, guys) so I would have gladly taken all three but I guess they were smart enough to know that the others were dupes so they only made one.

PROBABLY FOR THE BEST because I always get it loaded with jalapenos and banana pepper rings which would have made for an uncomfortable car ride home probably.

It was windy on Sunday, which is why Chooch looks like he’s trying to hold his head in place post-decap.

WOO NATURE!

The first 30 minutes or so was dicey because Chooch was being a surly teenager and I was like THIS SUCKS WHY DID WE BRING HIM but then we eventually remembered how to publicly family again.

Chooch found this stick  immediately upon exiting the car and subsequently spawned an unhealthy attachment, as he is wont to do with inanimate objects – he must get that from Henry.

Yeah, from Henry.

There was a public restroom up ahead that  Henry and Chooch stopped at and then after we started walking again, Chooch realized he left that dumb stick at the bathroom and was wavering on whether or not to go back to get it. I mean, we have only been walking for about a minute before he realized so we hadn’t gone that far but I started goading him for being TOO SCARED to go back alone and he was like STFU and ran back to get it. I noticed a set of steps leading down to a little clearing near the water, and it was situated in such a way that you couldn’t really see it from the main path, so I giddily whispered to Henry, “LET’S HIDE FROM HIM.” Henry actually went along with it, I guess because it didn’t require any squatting, crouching, or squeezing between things.

It was HI-LARRY-OUS to watch Chooch run back with his reclaimed stick, continue running right past us, slow down eventually and start looking all around, frantically. Of course Henry was like LET US NOT TRAUMATIZE THE CHILD and ended the game way sooner than I would have liked but it was still super fun, especially when Chooch kept saying he wasn’t scared BECAUSE HE WAS TOTALLY SCARED.

Hiding from and scaring people is honestly my national past time. It gives me THE BIGGEST THRILL. Like riding my own make believe roller coaster in my mind!! (WHILE HIDING BEHIND TREES, ROCKS, CURTAINS, ETC.)

My giddy growler was uncorked at this point and EVERYTHING WAS SIDE-SPLITTINGLY FUNNY TO ME….

Like when we came upon some signage with BAT INFORMATION on it and inspected the neighboring BAT HABITAT and Chooch said, “What if a person fell out, like Lost Boys” and then Henry started to say, “When I was a kid—-”

and I cut him off to say, “A VAMPIRE FELL OUT OF YOUR HOUSE?” and then I couldn’t stop laughing at the thought of Young Henry hiding under a couch from a vampire. (I was about to type here what Henry actually said but I couldn’t remember so I just asked Chooch, who originally tried to walk away as soon as I said “vampire” because this whole scene was so annoying to him, but then he heard me out and said, “He never got to finish his sentence because you cut him off and then wouldn’t stop laughing!”)

You guys, I laughed every bad feeling and thought out of my body that afternoon, I really think I did. I mean, I was SO SET OFF that I had to keep squatting down to keep from peeing my pants and then I was sobbing at one point because that’s what happens when I laugh too hard – my brain gets confused and starts thundering, then HOLA!!! HERE COME THE TEARS!

There were other people around too and they probably Really Wondered about me. Like, Really Really.

And then out of the blue, Chooch said to the surrounding trees, “And thanks to the Vampire Act of 1892, we never had to worry about vampires again” and now I was practically puking, why was this so funny, this dumb  comment about vampires next to a stupid lake in some place called KEYSTONE STATE PARK.

AND THEN THERE WERE PEOPLE FISHING AND I ASKED HENRY IF HE KNEW THEM AND NOW I WAS READY TO BE ADMITTED INTO A STATE HOSPITAL. JUST GO AHEAD, TAKE ME AWAY.

I had to pretend like I was interested in reading this plaque so I could hide my ugly laugh-contorted face from passers-by. These poor people, thinking they could come out to KEYSTONE STATE PARK for a nice peaceful stroll and here I am, emitting my shrieky cackle into the air, sending volaries of birds ca-cawing off to the horizon.

And by the way, fuck off, Harry Miller.

j/k sir, you seem nice.

Then I started laughing again, imagining a young Hank being terrorized by Eddie Munster; I had to bury my head in Henry’s side, so he asked, “What are you laughing at?” but I couldn’t answer so Chooch sighed and said, “Seriously? She’s still laughing at that dumb vampire comment from like 20 minutes ago” and it turns out that Henry had no idea that any of this had even happened. Like, I had just been acting like a live-action commercial for laughing gas for all this time and he just didn’t notice?!

Tried to take a selfie of Henry and me right here but couldn’t my face to relax so I looked like claymation, lol.

So Chooch took one and I look so dumb because I was on the precipice of more laughter. OMG my face hurts at the memory of all the laughing I did that day.

Then Chooch noticed that Henry had somehow acquired a walking stick too, and was complaining about it because Chooch is the only person in the world who can have walking sticks, so I said, “but he needs it for slaying vampires” except that it came out as, “HE NEEDS DGDDSDAUGDAUUDHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAOMGOWWWWWWWWW!!!!”

I can’t believe they didn’t push me in the lake.

Then we had to stop at the same Sheetz that got all 3 of my veggie wrap orders so that I could pee before my giddiness caused me to give birth to a pee-baby, and it occurred to me that it was the first time I peed in a Sheetz since before the pandemic and that was a weird thought.

***

Later that night, I tried to explain the vampire thing to Henry but I was laughing so hard all over again that I couldn’t breathe and then I started choking and Henry just stared at me.

What a great excursion! It almost felt like things were normal again. It also reminded me of when Chooch and I were so fucking giddy in Jongno and Henry was so angry haha.

Mar 142021
 

I’m relaxing after spending some time in The Great Outdoors with my fam, so I thought, WOW WHAT A GREAT TIME TO WRITE ON MY BLOG. Last week was pretty OK and I have some photos to prove it, so…shall we? Literally, all of my week consists of is: work, cats, squirrels, exercise. Rinse, repeat. But I was able to scrounge up some other shit to memorialize, lucky you.

First, on Tuesday I got the new SHINee album in the mail (it arrived during my dreaded weekly work meeting so that was nice timing) and then later that day, I got a big box of delights from Olive Young – straight from Korea! They were having a big sale and I always justify buying extra in order to hit that free shipping sweet spot, lol.

OMG these almonds (well, not this flavor specifically, but the brand) are SO POPULAR in Korea. We maxed out on the honey butter flavor both times we were there and they were building an entire store for these almonds when we were there the second time! I hope we go back again because I want to go to that store and buy all the flavors. We brought back a bunch last time but IT WAS NOT ENOUGH. I don’t remember them having this baked corn flavor last time so I giddily added it to the cart and can now confirm that they are delicioso. (There’s actual dried corn kernals in the package too!)

But anyway, this SHINee photo book is absolute fucking art. I am in awe of the photography within these pages. I got the Onew photocard! My friend Nate was asking me about the album the other day at work and totally opened Pandora’s Box because I just started typing uncontrollably and then he Googled Onew I guess because he was happy to tell me that he and Onew are the same height. So then I shared with him one of their recent live performances of Heart Attack and he asked, “I bias his yellow sweater. Is that how that works?” LOL.

Of course the Taemin pages are my faves but can we take a moment to appreciate the beauty that is Onew? I  think if Taemin wasn’t in SHINee, Onew would be my bias. He is also disturbingly underrated as a vocalist.

The twin to my own bird photo!

It was sickeningly spring-esque on Wednesday, so Chooch and I went for a much-needed lunch break walk. The weather has just been so shitty this winter that I have not been motivated to go on lunch break walks and have instead been doing walking workouts in the house, or walking in place while watching TV. This makes me sad, because when we were working in the office pre-pandemic, there was very little that kept me at my desk for my lunch break. Granted, there were times when I came back sopping back because my iPhone weather app lied to me and I left without an umbrella, but I always got my fucking steps in.

ANYWAY. We went to Muddy Cup which is a place we love to support because every one who works there is so wonderful and their coffee is fantastic, but more often than not they have been fucking up our orders lately. This last time, I didn’t realize I was overcharged until after we left – the owner added a $3 iced tea to our order! I was going to go back and tell her, but then I got distracted because some young guy zoomed past us on his bicycle, blasting “Head Over Heels” by Tears for Fears which made me shout, “I LOVE THAT SONG” and Chooch said, “Wow. I feel like I’m in an 80s movie” and then I was in a great mood and forgot all about the overcharging but now that I’m typing this and reliving the injustice, I’m getting angry again. Is it too late to go back and complain!?!? It’s been 5 days. Lol.

A few minutes later, we were walking past a bookstore and I always like to stop and call out all the books I’ve read because it infuriates Chooch, and that is when I noticed….

THIS BOOK CALLED “HEAD OVER HEELS”!!!!!

WHAT ARE THE ODDS?! WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?!

That I’m going to fall down a set of steps, probably.

In more consumer news, I finally took the plunge and bought a variety pack of this cereal that I kept getting ads for on Instagram. I went as far as adding them to my cart a few weeks ago but I am a very wishy washy online shopper in that I often need some sense of justification before completing a transaction. I don’t really buy much on a whim, which kind of goes against my Leo/bi-polar-ness. But then my friend Bridget mentioned this cereal on her IG stories last week and I was like BUT ARE THEY GOOD and she said she genuinely likes them and that was the push I needed. They arrived the other day and I am happy to report that this cereal REALLY IS GOOD. I mean, they’re not “AS GOOD” as the cereal brands they were created to replace, but they are just sweet enough without making you feel like you’re eating diet food, and because the protein count is so high, I am so satiated and not looking to lunch at 9:30am like I normally would be after having a bowl of regular cereal for breakfast.

I approve, and now I want to try the other flavors.

Also can we talk about how pleasing the packaging is!??!

Obligatory Penelope picture and BUDDY VIDEO!

 

Mar 112021
 

Not a whole lot happened, but some things did happen, and here are those things.

I started watching Ginny & Georgia on Netflix. I never heard of it until I saw it featured on Friday and I thought to myself, “OK I could go for some light family sitcom bullshit right about now” but wow that show had some dark moments! Anyway, I did that thing that I always do when I’m watching TV which is spend an absurd amount of time on IMDB and HOLY SHIT that show has a ton of Degrassi grads on it! So many that there is actually a BuzzFeed article about it?!

Then there is this one girl who was in one episode and at a glance she reminded me of someone, and then I finally realized it was the “girl from that Superman show. The new-ish one. The one that was on the WB or whatever…you know…..SMALLVILLE!” I screamed at Henry. Wow, that one almost gave me a stroke from all the mind-strain. So then of course I had to look up Smallville to find the name of the girl (Kristen Kreuk) because I wanted to see if they were related (they are not). THEN a few minutes later I was looking up another person from Ginny & Georgia and he was in a movie or show with….KRISTEN KREUK. Literally, this is a person who I haven’t thought of since I used to wear whatever those fake UGGs were called in the early 2000s and now she was coming up twice in 10 minutes, I was screaming.

Man, what were those fake UGGs called? I remember my friend Stacey made fun of me for wearing them because she said I didn’t seem like the type, but they were so comfortable to wear to haunted houses!!!

EMUs!! They were called EMUs, lololol.

AnyHOO, I binged that whole mothercheffin’ show over the weekend and have none regertz. NONE REGERTZ.

On one of Henry’s many trips to The Store, he came back with “toys” for Chooch and nothing for Drew and me. That wasn’t really a memorable moment but I liked this picture and wanted to INCLUDE IT IN THIS BLOG POST OK?

(In case you ever wondered, yes, I type EXTRA HARD AND ANGRY when I’m CAPSCREAMING.)

I don’t remember how it happened, but Henry and I ended up watching a “Top 100 Kpop Videos as of March 2021” video countdown on YouTube. We’ve watched these in the past – it just shows you a couple seconds of each video with stats at the bottom, like what number the video peaked at, what position it was in last month, etc. It’s really annoying now though because the more popular BTS gets, the more their psycho fans go back and stream every single video so they are ALL OVER these countdowns. (And Twice. And Blackpink.) Henry and I were getting so angry about it (especially considering these isn’t a single SHINee video on it anymore – don’t worry though, BIGBANG is still representing!) that you would have thought we were watching a sports thing if you had walked by because we were both standing up in front of the TV (wait, I think only Henry was, but I was lurched forward on the couch, high anxiety), SHOUTING OUR GUESSES and acting like true ridiculous dumbasses. When it got to the Top 10, I was screaming shit like, “IT BETTER NOT BE ALL BTS!” and Henry was like, “THERE WILL PROBABLY BE AT LEAST ONE MORE BLACKPINK!” and I started screaming all the BTS songs that hadn’t appeared yet and every single one of my guesses was in the Top 10 (BTS-wise) and that brought us to the #1 spot. I remembered that only the Hyuna version of Gangnam Style had appeared on the list thus far, so I yelled, “WAIT! IT COULD STILL BE PSY!”

AND THEN IT WAS!!! IT WAS PSY’S GANGNAM STYLE!!! Henry and I were screaming like the Pens just won the Stanley Cup, we were THAT happy it wasn’t BTS, lol.

However, seeing some of those older BTS videos made me yearn for their pre-Americanized era. I used to really like them so much! And I still have nothing against them, just their toxic fans.

Then Henry and I went to Target and talked about our old Riot Fest memories for some reason and then I couldn’t remember the name of the band La Dispute and spent the whole ride to Target and the entire time walking around Target trying to remember but all I could think of was the one song where he screams CAN I STILL GET INTO HEAVEN IF I KILL MYSELF and anyway, I clearly remembered at some point that it was La Dispute since I already said it. Try to keep up.

But man, we had some really good times at Riot Fest! Too bad it got shitty.

The next day, Henry was “at The Store” again and someone knocked on the door! I was scared!! But I thought maybe it was just HNC so I opened it cautiously. It was not HNC but some older Yinzer lady holding a CLIPBOARD. Oh boy. My favorite.  She was collecting signatures so her boss could be a judge or something, I don’t know, I’m a really bad listener. Her approach was very LOOK I DON’T WANT TO BE DOING THIS which is honestly something I could appreciate because I feel like that would be my lead-in too. I mean, she wasn’t asking for money or for me  to sign up for some fly-by-night utility company that would up forwarding my calls to a local tattoo parlor (this is a true story and the guy who owned that place was NOT HAPPY because this was back when I didn’t have a cell phone and people used to actually call my house a lot, see also: pre-Henry, when I had a life). While I was signing her dumb petition, she peered around me and in her thick smoker’s voice, she croaked, “WHOA YOU HAVE A REALLY COOL HOUSE. YOU REALLY DO!” and I was like “Wow thanks I’m so glad that the first person to see my DIY updates is some rando collecting signatures for her boss with a matchbook law degree. But still, I was happy that someone saw  it and liked it! However, she went next door after that,  to Blake’s, and I heard her says, “OH, AREN’T YOU A DOLL!” to one of Henry’s grandkids so now I’m not sure I can trust this lady’s opinion.

(J/k but they do sound like lil monstas on the other side of our wall lol.)

Henry was cleaning the bedroom and I was like LET ME SEE IF THERE ARE ANY CLOTHES THAT I CAN GET RID AWAY. Negative. I’m a clotheshorse. I love all of my clothes and will not part with them. However, I thought that maybe I could reorganize my dresser drawers since my method of putting away clothes is balling them up and punching them into an already-overstuffed drawer and then using the HIP-BUMP method to close it. So I dumped the first drawer out on the bed and Henry was like “here do it like this” and I thought that he would just DO IT FOR ME but sadly this story DOES NOT HAVE A FAIRY TALE ENDING because he only demonstrated on two shirts and then went back to his own stuff?!!?!? SO I HAD TO FOLD EVERYTHING MYSELF?? IT TOOK ALL DAY! (He said it was only an hour but this is *my* sob story not his, so.)

Then I wanted cauliflower pizza for dinner so that is what Henry made me:

And that was my weekend. It was OK! The weather was fairly decent I think but I can’t remember because it’s Thursday now and who cares.

Mar 032021
 

For the first time in a year, I’ve allowed myself to feel the TINIEST SPARK OF HOPE over the promise that all US adults will be able to get vaccinated by the end of May. I’m just really tired of being so doom & gloom and purposely pessimistic in order to prevent let downs and I just want a moment of hope.

Cautious optimism.

Whatever.

And maybe because it’s now March, which is always (until last year) historically a good mental month for me (except for that time I tried to kill myself in 2000 but I digress), and maybe it’s because today was sunny and in the 50s and I didn’t cry at all, but I just felt a sudden jolt of THIS WILL END AT SOME POINT giddiness. So I started thinking, “Erin, what are the first things you are going to do when it’s safe to do the things again?” and my mind exploded like a Gallagher watermelon, because SO MANY THINGS!

I want to go to Kennywood! I want to go to as many amusement parks, post-vaccination, as possible! I won’t even complain about standing in line! I won’t publicly fight with Henry when overtaken by hanger and then demand that we leave (it’s always a bluff though). I won’t whine about looking “old and ugly” in the on-ride photos! JUST STUFF ME IN A FUCKING ROLLER COASTER!

I want to eat in a restaurant!!!! All of the restaurants!!!! Which one first!?!? Zenith? BLUE FLAME?? TILLIES???

I want to go on a stupid road trip to see stupid roadside attractions and I promise I won’t even complain when Henry books us a room in the Cecil Hotel – Wisconsin branch. And I won’t bitch when Henry pulls over at the 87th rest stop to piss. Or when Chooch mouths off from the backseat.

I want to see my brother Corey’s new house!!! And go on bizarre day trips with him to wineries and Amish country, where we will start cracking up uncontrollably and everyone will hate us!!

I want to go to the Hollywood Theater and see a horror movie with Chooch and Janna! And sit in the balcony with a bottle of Ramune!!!

I want to have breakfast at Pamela’s with Jeannie and Wendy!!!

I want to see the Armor For Sleep reunion show that got canceled last summer and has been continuously rescheduled!!! AND MAYBE KPOP WILL COME TO AMERICA AGAIN?? MAYBE I CAN FINALLY SEE SHINEE?!!?

I want to have a party!!! Possibly not even THEMED, just a regular fucking “Come hang out & let me look at you!!” party!! THAT SOUNDS WEIRD AND I DON’T CARE. I MISS THE FACES OF MY FRIENDS.

I want to go to Sugar Spell and EAT MY ICE CREAM INSIDE and talk to the lovely owners!!!

I want the death count to stop going up!!!! Which is why even though I could have been doing a lot of these things for the last year, I have opted to stay home!

Oh dear lord, I am so ready. I am not thriving. I know I’m not alone in that corner. I’m not a super social person, and while I can’t complain about the convenience and comfort of working from home, I miss seeing all of my friends in the office and going on lunch break walks. (I DO NOT MISS THE TROLLEY THOUGH.) So I think even just getting back into a daily routine will GREATLY elevate my mindset.

And I’m ready for the day when we can viably and safely reschedule our Germany/Netherlands/Belgium trip because our refunded $$$ is doing the equivalent of a Facebook poke to me everyday. YES I KNOW YOU ARE THERE AND YES I AM DYING TO SPEND THE SHIT OUT OF YOU.

This was in my Korean practice tonight FML.

My entire basis of existing is built around “going somewhere” and I have felt so lost this past year. Obviously, if I have to do this shit for another fucking year, I will. BUT I WILL NOT BE HAPPY ABOUT IT.

Man, imagine if actual professionals who believed in science were in charge when this first happened.

Oh well. Here are some pictures of my cats.

Peace out, pee spout. (I JUST MADE THAT UP DON’T STEAL IT.)

(OH WOW I JUST GOOGLED THAT.)

Jan 292021
 

I’m really struggling here. I love writing in this space so much but it’s hard when there is nothing to say because there is nothing to do. (Side note: not whining, happy to stay home and do my part in not spreading Covid, but you know what I mean!)

So for today I thought it would fun(-ish?) to do a picture or three every hour throughout the day. I mean, I’ll mostly be chained to my desk working, but maybe it will give me inspiration to look out the back porch windows or something. Maybe HNC will be doing something exciting in the backyard. You never know!

So to start, here are some pre-8AM photos of my breakfast adventures. I used to just be a bowl of cereal type of bitch, but since the kitchen isn’t a junkyard anymore, I sort of cook now! (I mean, barely.)

My breakfast is always a mix of vegan/vegetarian stuffs. Almost always some type of egg beaters, vegan cheese, vegan deli meats, sometimes spinach but I couldn’t find it today (Henry?????), and toast. Note: the I Can’t Believe It’s Butter brand of vegan butter is SO FUCKING FOOD.

My ritual is telling Echo to play some type of 80s new wave mix or the Genesis “Invisible Touch” album while I’m breakfasting and cleaning up. It’s my go-to comfort album!

Now that Henry has a place to put all of our card-making supplies, I have a dining room table to eat at again!

8:00AM hour:

Time to feed the squirrels!

HNC was leaving for work when I was laying out the peanuts on the windowsill, so much for catching him doing interesting things outside today lol.

I like to have at least 1000 steps before I sit down to work at 9 so I usually spend my 8 o’clock hour either doing walking workouts or jogging in place while watching booktube or Kpop videos. My life is rich! Today I’m watching some “upcoming 2021 thrillers” round ups.

Mr. Grey Guy is the bistro’s first patron this morning!

Obligatory Chooch Check-In before I log on to work. He’s playing Minecraft in between classes. How thrilling. Also that lighter on his desk isn’t for his smoking habit, but his candle addiction.

9:00AM hour:

Time to chug water and work all day! Actually, I just sip water when I drink from a glass in lieu of my jug.

10:00am hour:

I was about to say I haven’t cried yet but that’s not true because there was a segment on the news interviewing young widows who lost their husbands to Covid and I immediately called Henry and begged him not to die. I hate that he still has to go to work but at least he’s largely working alone at his job. Sigh.

Speaking of Covid, we always get Chooch some type of Frozen or Disney Princess shit for Xmas to piss him off. This past Xmas he got Frozen hand sanitizer in his stocking:

11:00AM hour:

Chooch made cookies last night & I’m trying not to eat them all so I’m making coffee instead god help me.

Action shot of Chooch eating a cookie while making lunch in my 2005 Coachella hoodie which he has co-opted into his wardrobe.

NOON HOUR:

Chooch was added to some spam/scam group message and just CANT HELP HIMSELF. Some guy included in this group actually called Chooch yesterday and threatened to turn him in lol good job Chooch.

They both lay under the church pew all day because the heat vent is there lol.

Also I had soup for lunch and it was ugly so I didn’t take a picture.

1:00PM HOUR:

I HAVE WAITED FIVE YEARS FOR THIS. BOUGHT IT. SO STOKED.

Drew approves.

2:00PM HOUR:

I bought chooch this Keith Haring Swatch for getting good grades bc he loves Keith Haring.

C: Why do you want this picture

M: because I’m posting a picture every hour on my blog.

C: wow. That’s really interesting. I’m glad I asked.

3:00PM HOUR:

OMG GET DOWN.

4:00PM HOUR:

Hello? IT’S FOR YOU.

5:00PM HOUR:

It’s Valentine Time! Well I technically have 30 minutes left at my day job then I can help. Henry is on his own for now lol (which he’s used to!).

Vegan egg salad & sides from Zenith! Picnic vibes.

6:00PM HOUR:

Needed steps so I walked to the teen center to meet Chooch (he goes twice a week – they have tight Covid regulations and every one wears a mask) and that was dumb because now I can’t feel my hands.

7:00PM HOUR:

Getting in some pages before it’s time to exercise!

8:00PM HOUR:

Starting phase 2 of Body Revolution! Love Jillian so much.

9:00PM HOUR:

Back at it!

10:00PM HOUR:

Time to start winding down, according to my FitBit!

Korean practice time!

Chooch is going through a box of Henry’s grandma’s recipe collection, some of which are cut out of magazines so that’s fun.

Well I have to rejoin the Valentine assembly line so peace out. This was…mildly fun. Well, not fun, but…

Jan 262021
 

Are you sick of seeing the dumb shit we’ve been doing around the house? Sorry, but there is NOTHING ELSE GOING ON IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. Work. Read. Exercise. Think of shit to change around the house.

That’s it. That’s my life.

Anyway, I wanted to show the new addition to the Cure sitting area that literally no one will be using anytime soon!

We had this ugly side table from Goodwill – I can’t remember why we bought it but I guess at some point I really had to have it. We originally had it painted black with a red glitter top which was never actually finished so the top got all shitty and it was impossible to clean.

Henry sanded it down and we painted it red with a pink top and I knew from the get go that I wanted the top to have lips on it to match the Robert Smith lips theme. Originally I was going to try and find some type of scrapbook paper, and then I moved on to looking for lip confetti. But then!

I found!

The most glorious!

Sequined!

Lip!

Patches!

OH BABY. These patches turned out to be exactly what I didn’t know I needed. I ordered several sets, Henry fucked everything up several times, but then eventually we got to the epoxy-pouring part. This is Henry’s least favorite DIY thing. He’s worked with epoxy before, back when we used to make pendants for my defunct art shop on Etsy. He pretty much hates epoxy. And it wasn’t his friend this time, either but he persevered (in between long nights of making serial killer Valentines – what even is our life, I have no idea).

It’s not perfect, but it’s level and works as a functioning table top, and that’s all that really matters!

The space that the table is living in is so dimly lit that you can’t even see the imperfections, anyway, but I did want to be up front about the fact that this project was not 100% perfect. Epoxy is no fucking joke. Henry suggested doing one pour to try and even out the swirls from where the plastic covering dropped on it and I screamed, “NO!” because with our luck, it will just make it worse! You literally can’t even see (or feel) the swirls unless you move the table into a brightly lit room. We always have the hall light set on pink in this area so it’s fine.

It’s the perfect table to display my copy of Charlotte Sometimes, gifted to me several years for my birthday by Sandy! (If you know the Cure, you know that they wrote their song “Charlotte Sometimes” about this book. If Chooch would have been a girl, his name was going to be Charlotte, and I was of course fighting for his middle name to be Sometimes, and I’m sure I eventually would have won that battle and 14-year-old Charlotte would probably really fucking hate me right now.)

And of course I needed a lip planter to really nature up the spot.

On the adjacent wall, there will eventually be a small shelf and at least two more The Cure pictures. I have this one screenprint from the Cure concert my brother Corey and I attended in Philly back in 2008, which still needs framed, but I think that would look really nice there too?!

I need a different rug for this space, though. I currently have my a red shag heart in my cart, but I JUST DON’T KNOW.

Jan 252021
 

For some reason, when we realized over the summer that Chooch likely would be doing school remotely, the thing I fixated on the most was, “But what about school pictures?” I know, I know – I have tons of photos of Chooch and it’s not like his 9th grade existence would be wiped out if he didn’t get a formal school picture taken on Picture Day, but it’s like…part of the process of school, you know? We always purchase the smallest portrait package possible just so we can have one 5×7 to frame for the “Chooch Wall”:

Probably no one else gave a shit about this, like I’m sure it’s the last thing the actual school was concerned about, but I kept wondering. “Maybe they will do something informal on a weekend sometime, where they schedule small blocks of kids…” I mused, to the silence of both Henry and Chooch who could not, between the two of them, even muster up one full fuck to give.

But then in a recent school newsletter, they said that because they were unable to offer a normal picture day, everyone was welcome to submit their own photo! (Of course there were guidelines so I couldn’t have him don a welders mask and stand in a tub full of empty Spam tins while wrapped in a 1970s afghan. Dumb rules.)

But x2! In another email, they said that a local photographer had offered to take headshots at a discounted rate, and I signed him up for that because as much as I would have loved to have had an elevated heart rate for an hour while fighting with him to cooperate with me for ONE PICTURE CAN YOU JUST GIVE ME ONE FUCKING PICTURE WITHOUT THAT SMIRK, I just wanted some slice of normalcy in these shitty Covid Times.

So that’s what happened on Saturday. I don’t know yet what the picture looks like but at least he’ll have a picture in the yearbook now!

Anyway, we’re going to redo that wall with all of his pictures on it and I always thought that he hated the fact that we have an entire wall with his pictures on it but when he heard me talking about repainting it, he asked in a panic, “Wait…is it still going to be my wall, though?” I said yes, and he sighed, “OK. Good.”

Lol, narcissist.

I’ve been really scrutinizing that wall though and I think that some pictures will be replaced with others of him, but every time I look at that wall I smile. Of course the school pictures are all boring and standard, but the other ones are so fun and as much as he hates doing these dumb photoshoots with me, I hope that one day when he’s an adult, he’ll look back on them and be glad that they happened. I’m sure his future partner will certainly be happy, haha.

I’m going to repost one of my favorite ones here, because it makes me so happy and maybe it will make you smile too. Smiling is good!

***

ICE CREAM CONE CANNIBAL: 2013

A few weeks ago, Chooch unearthed his very first Halloween costume in his closet, put it on and then surprised me with it. I almost died laughing, seeing his big head shoved through the small opening of a fabric ice cream. It pleased me because he was 6 months old that Halloween and it poured down rain so aside from a quick photo op at my grandma’s house, that costumes was totally wasted. I even considered putting it up on eBay a few times, or giving it to someone who has a baby, but now I’m really glad that I didn’t, because nothing is funnier than someone wearing something that they’re too big for.

One day, he wore it in the backseat of the car and waved to people at red lights.  He’s even considering wearing it for real next Halloween and I will fucking die if he does because I love this costume so much, so yes — PLEASE WEAR IT!

In the meantime, I wanted to do a little photo shoot with him wearing it. The weather was so amazingly warm this weekend, and I couldn’t stop picturing him eating an ice cream cone while wearing an ice cream cone. There’s an ice cream place right down the road from the abandoned building we use for some of our pictures, but we didn’t learn it was closed until we drove all the way out there (only like 30 minutes, but still — Henry’s frown is in full effect over things like this).  We figured McDonald’s was probably our best bet at that point, and remembered that there was one down the street from the closed-down ice cream shop we took pictures at last September.  Even better!

“But does McDonald’s have rainbow sprinkles? No, I don’t think they do. You’ll have to stop at a grocery store on the way and buy some, just in case,” I said, planning ahead.

Henry glared at me.

“What? There HAS to be rainbow sprinkles! I can’t do it without the sprinkles!” I cried. EVERYTHING IS IN THE DETAILS, OK?!

So that was another 25 minutes in the car with Henry who had almost completely shut down verbally by then. I even tried to calm him down by ironically holding his hand. He wasn’t amused.

Rainbow sprinkles procured and a vanilla cone in hand, we drove back to the Twist behind a partially disabled elderly man who cruised along at a pace of about 18 mph, melting the ice cream and our patience.

But we made it with the cone mostly intact! I jumped out of the car and poured the sprinkles on while Chooch stuffed himself in the costume cone.

I positioned him in front of the closed-down ice cream shop and handed him  the severely-dripping cone.

“Vanilla? REALLY? VANILLA? You knew I wanted CHOCOLATE!” he cried.

“Well, McDonald’s only has vanilla,” I muttered, but really — he was getting vanilla no matter where we went. It had to match his costume!

And the rest of it panned out smoothly! Henry and I didn’t even argue. We were only there about 5 minutes before I got what I needed and Henry got to finish Chooch’s cone.

This was right after 2 teenage girls walked by and giggled at Chooch. He was totally angry with me.

He even DANCED for me at the end. You know why? Because that little sucker got paid to do this. I have found that giving him a few bucks is a small price to pay for cooperation and amiability in front of the camera.

God, Henry is totally going to start asking for payment now too.

<3

Jan 162021
 

Because there is nothing else to do but read books and daydream about the past, I was recently thinking about how we used to actually go and do really fun shit (for me) and then I would interview Henry about it later for my blog and he would rarely give any more than 2 word answers so I would have to use CREATIVE LICENSE and make up my own answers for him, and wow, those days were fun. Maybe I will try to think of a reason to interview him here soon (a conversation on Covid? DIY discourse) but until then, please enjoy the time we went to Warped Tour in 2016 and I tried desperately to get opinions out of him. (WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE HENRY INTERVIEWS? You can read them all here!)

*****

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Much wow, this was Henry’s 8th Warped Tour (I think? I don’t feel like counting, but it’s less than my official tally that’s for sure because I’m more legit than he is). What this means is that he is basically a seasoned, grizzled pro at this point. Let’s ask him some questions about his long-term relationship with Warped Tour and if he plans on siring any illegitimate children out of wedlock with them, too. JUST LIKE HE DID WITH ME.

Do you plan on siring any illegitimate children out of wedlock with Warped Tour?

Say that again!? [WRITER REPEATS QUESTION.] I don’t know. Is that even possible?

There were several times when I went off on my own during the day. What did you and Chooch do that I missed?

We just walked around and got some Twix [they had a booth there] and Chooch spent some time in the water tent. We saw a little bit of Cold Rain but then he saw some vendor and then we ventured off. I don’t know, we just walked around and then he kept wanting a bucket hat. [There were some merch booths selling them because nothing screams POP PUNK like a bucket hat?]

Out of all the Warped Tours you’ve attended throughout the years, give us your top 3 worst moments.

Great, now I have to think. [He is seriously thinking about this too OMG. No wait, he’s watching something about the Kennedy assassination. No, he’s thinking again!]

#3. I don’t know what year it was, but having to listen to Katy Perry sing.

#2. Whatever year it was when it was 1000 degrees there and it was miserable. [I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t that every year?? But this one year it was actually so bad that someone died, I think, maybe.]

#1. Breakdown 2016. [You guys I think he’s referring to the 87 times I wanted to leave last week because I’m emotionally cracked.]

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If you had a booth at Warped Tour, what would you be selling?

Individually-wrapped prunes. [LOL JUST KIDDING THAT WAS ME, THE WRITER, ANSWERING FOR HIM.]

Huh. What would I sell….[Literally, he has no imagination.] I don’t know. Let me think about that one.

[TWENTY MINUTES LATER] Your art, and meat products, because there’s way too much vegetarian shit there.

[Um, if he’s referring to the ONE tent that Peta2 has there, then yeah: SO MUCH.]

Kevin Lyman, the founder of Warped Tour, asks you personally for a list of bands to forever blacklist. I guess he feels an affinity to you because you’re both middle-aged with probably have the same amount of callouses. Anyway, what bands are on your list? GO HOGWILD, BOO.

Slaves

[Wow, this just in: Henry doesn’t care when disgusting, misogynistic bands like FALLING IN REVERSE and ATTILA play at Warped Tour, that’s why they didn’t make his list. Oh OK, privileged white male! Way to use your god-given Caucasian penis for good.]

It’s the morning after Warped Tour, i.e. DEAR DIARY TIME! What do you write on the back of the Faygo Red Pop label* about this year’s experience at Warped Tour?

I can’t have secrets and then tell you! [I won’t stop looking at him until he answers.]

When you look at me like that and start typing, it scares me. I don’t like your line of questioning. Too much thinking involved. Why can’t it just be yes or no answers. [Ew he just told me he doesn’t like my attitude?!]

*[That’s what I imagine Henry’s diary to be: a clump of Faygo bottle labels crumbled into a ball and punched under the mattress.]

OK fine, pretend like it’s a postcard that you’re sending Chris & Monica from the great bustling parking lot that is Warped Tour:

Is this a new question? Why would I write Chris and Monica a postcard?

[I’ll start it for you: DEAR CHRIS AND MONICA]

[I just asked Chooch the same question since Henry’s brain is creaking and smoking as he tries to think. Chooch would just write: ‘Sup.]

Dear Chris & Monica,

Having a great time, as always. [I think he’s sarcasming.]

Brought my A&D ointment which I have been applying liberally right around the TENDER AREAS inside my thighs. I wanted to wear booty shorts today but I had to wear regular-lengthed basic white man shorts on account of all the CHAFING. Thought we were going to leave early because Erin was being a psycho but then somehow we ended up staying later than ever before, wtf guys. I got to eat an ice pop and it reminded me of the days when I was a paperboy except that it cost approximately $8 more. Um, I bought my work-husband the Masked Intruder CD not because I’m thoughtful or anything but because he is my dom.

[OK fine, I might have taken some liberties after the “having a great time” line because I was tired of him sitting here saying, “Um…..uh…..”]

You seem less irritated about having to chaperone Chooch and me than you have in earlier years. Can you confirm this is because you’re sufficiently dead inside, or do you secretly LIKE WARPED TOUR now?

I think it’s a little bit of both. I like some of it and I’m pretty much dead inside because of you and Chooch.

But you hated Bled Fest – why?

I didn’t hate Bled Fest I just didn’t like it. I never said I hated Bled Fest! It was just too hot—and it wasn’t my type of music!

[Let me translate this for you, because I’m well-versed in reading between Henry’s blue-collared lines: Not enough booty shorts.]

 

Talk about how you’re able to sleep every year through super loud, heavy bands (the lucky bands this year were Secrets and Waterparks):

I don’t know it’s just something I can do.

[WOW GET THIS MAN ON AMERICA’S GOT TALENT.]

If Warped Tour was around when you were a teenager, what bands would you have liked to see in the line-up that was probably printed in the PITTSBURGH PRESS along with the date that the tickets went on sale so you would know when to go to KAUFMANN’S at CENTURY III MALL to buy them. I’ll just go ahead and start you off with Ted Nugent:

  1. TED NUGENT
  2. Iron Maiden
  3. Judas Priest
  4. Probably ZZ Top
  5. CCR
  6. The Guess Who

[Wow.]

[ED.NOTE: Don’t post pictures of illustrated weeners on Facebook because you will be reported for it and it will be removed, even if it looks like a Simpsons’ weener.]

Speaking of weeners, last year, that ginger-fuckerbitch Jonny Craig got kicked off Warped Tour for flapping his weener at his merch girl. Would you rather have Jonny Craig’s weener flapped in your face at such a close proximity that it gets tangled up in your beard, or would you rather get caught flapping your own weener at Jeffree Star and have him paint it with his lipgloss line? You can be honest, I won’t tell anyone:

Really? You’re not going to tell anyone? Pfft. [He just mumbled “Boy, you’re having fun with this.”] Probably the latter because I don’t like Jonny Craig.

2016 highlight:

Bradley [from Emarosa] hugging Chooch [during their set. Don’t worry Henry, I’m here to beef up your answers].

ON THE REAL HENRY, like how giddy do you get when Bradley talks to us?

How WHAT? Giddy? I don’t. I don’t need to get giddy; I have you two that get giddy and quiet.

[Oh OH, Bradley is totally his #mce (Barb, that means Man Crush Everyday).]

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In closing, what advice would you give another dad who is going to Warped Tour with his kids for the very first time? And don’t say “Drop them off”:

Well that was going to be my answer, drop them off. Since I can’t say that….um….bring lots of cash for merch and food. I don’t know what else….but I’m sure you do.

[Yeah, I do: FORGET ABOUT HAVING ANY AUTHORITY, OPINIONS, OR FEELINGS THAT DAY BECAUSE IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, IT’S ABOUT YOUR KIDS, SO STEP OFF, DAD.]

 

Jan 122021
 

The latest episode of Handmade By Henry saw him working diligently with fun fur because in my mind’s eye, I could not picture my Monster Squad poster framed any other way!

And by the way, The Monster Squad was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. My friend Amy L., whose grandparents lived on my street, used to come over my house after school so that we could watch the shitty copy that my mom recorded for me on a blank VHS, probably from HBO, because we both had the hots for Rudy. I STILL HAVE THIS TAPE! It has Monster Squad scribbled on it in CRAYON on a ripped piece of MASKING TAPE. The very beginning of the movie was cut off by those goddamn black and white squiggly lines that were ubiquitous with VHS, and it wasn’t until years and years later as an adult that I finally got to see the movie in full, after I bought the DVD, lol.

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Phat Kids vs Classic Monsters | The Disbelief Suspenders Club

Yeah boi…

One of the movie theaters in Pittsburgh played this several years ago and I took Chooch. (Oh my Lord, that was seven years ago according to the date on that blog post!) Anyway, it was one of the best moments as a mom, to get to share this fucking amazing flick with my 7-year-old super impressionable kid.

Another fun fact about me and this movie: there’s a super beloved scene where one of the kids says, “whoa…wolfman’s got nards” and  that was actually a quote on my checks back when people used checks to pay for shit. When I started dating, he was like, “….really?” I had checks for another account to and those ones said “gave all the vampires back to god” which was a line from a Cold song, lol. I really liked having personalized checks OK?!?!

Honestly if you’ve never seen this movie, please do yourself a solid and rectify that immediately!

OMG I FORGOT MY BROTHER RYAN AND I EVEN NAMED OUR PET RABBIT “RUDY” AFTER ONE OF THE CHARACTERS, THIS MOVIE HAS REALLY  IMPACTED MY LIFE MORE THAN I THOUGHT LOL.

I also got this bitchin’ Pee Wee’s Big Adventure art piece from Billy Lilly on Instagram (his art is so pop-tastic and fun!). My kitchen was legit begging for this! This movie is also a huge part of my life and is one of the few movies that I quote from probably on a weekly basis if we’re being real with each other here (are we? I AM ALWAYS BEING REAL WITH YOU!).

In fact, I was training a new person at work last week and all I really knew about her was that she enjoys going to rodeos and I was trying to make small talk so I said, “The closest I’ve ever been to a rodeo is Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, haha” BUT SHE HAD NEVER SEEN IT SO THERE WAS JUST AN AWKWARD SILENCE.

I’m not really sorry for my gratuitous kitchen PDA because if you guys knew how shitty it used to be and how much I hated it, you would be in there doing precious floor-angels on that arcade rug, too. You really would.

That big empty area above the spice rack will one day be the spot of the pinball back glass. Henry finally ordered lights for it! But now we’re in the throes of Valentine season and drowning in orders from our card shops, so I guess all projects are on hold. :(

Out of everything, I think the neon sign is still my favorite. The kitchen would go down about 87 notches without it!

I actually make myself food now because I don’t hate being in there! I mean, the food I’m making isn’t anything beyond scrambled Egg Beaters and perhaps a can of soup or a microwaved sweet potato for dinner, but Henry is like WOW LOOK AT YOU GROWING UP!

I love that I can see Pee Wee from my desk while I’m working!

I’ll end this with a picture of this little sweetie, Penelope <3

(Impeachment tomorrow?)