May 082024
 

I was in the office today and sweating through some “trying to love my city” exercises during my lunch break. This time I walked over by PNC Park and I guess a baseball game was about to be happening because it was v. lively over there and I was almost swept up in swathes of black and gold numerous time, but I survived and was able to take refuge a block away by the Warhol Museum where I saw this huge-ass KAWS statue which, since I do not follow the current events and haps of the Burgh, had no idea was being ERECTED here, in celebration of a full-blown KAWS exhibition at the Warhol starting later this month! It’s actually been a bit since I was last year so maybe I should fulfill this year’s culture quota this way.

Or, I’ll forget. We’ll see how it pans out!

Just….gonna leave this picture of KAWS with G-dragon here:

KAWS 首爾個展,G-Dragon 著用 Mira Mikati 聯名夾克助陣! | OVERDOPE 華人首席線上時尚潮流雜誌

Anyway, so that was a nice thing that happened today, a day that started out mildly stressful and here’s why:

Last week, Wendy asked if I was available to come into the office today and I said sure thing because I literally have nothing going on in my life. But then I got a text reminder about am 8am dentist appointment for that same day, an appointment that I made like 6 mths ago, so UGH what dumb timing. I told Wendy that I would probably just end up being a few minutes late and she was like ‘no one cares’ except that she actually said, “OK!” BUT THE FORMER WAS IMPLIED.

I ended up not being able to go back to sleep about my 5:45AM Chooch’s safety net alarm went off, then I had A WAR with the new shower curtain liner – the SECOND new one in less than a week because Chooch and I both agreed that we hated the first new one because it wasn’t weighted and attacked us, so Henry was like “ya buncha bitches” and tried to blame it on the showerhead setting that Chooch and I use, but still dutifully went to Target and bought a new one that has “extra suctioncups” but THEY DON’T WORK. I got so pissed that I punched the curtain in such a way that it folded back into itself while JUST BARELY staying under the lip of tub so that it kept it from billowing out and wrapping me in a wet vinyl embrace. I got out of the shower and just LAID INTO HENRY via text, like the shower curtain was from Henry’s Home Goods But More Like OKs, like Henry’s stretched and hanging flesh itself was what was failing to keep the water from turning the bathroom floor into an electrocutioner’s literal wet dream.

Henry brought up the shower head setting again and I was like OH NO YOU ARE NOT GOING TO INSINUATE THAT I NEED TO CHANGE MY PREFERRED STREAM SETTING BECAUSE YOU CAN’T BE TRUSTED TO BUY A SHOWER CURTAIN THAT HAS MORE DENSITY THAN TISSE PAPER?!

So that was a very annoying start to the morning. I was just a mess trying to get ready. I was HUNGRY too but didn’t want to eat and then brush my teeth again, so I just threw a banana and cream of wheat into my bag for later UGH.

Then! The dentist was FINE but there was a new hygienist. First, she came to the door of the waiting room and called, “Erin?” I started to get up but the old lady next to me was like, “Welp that’s me” and started to leave the waiting room with her?! I was like, “OK maybe we’re both named Erin, what a funny coincidence” so I lowered myself back down but then the receptionist made eye contact with the new lady and shook her head, so then the hygienist looked at her chart, looked at the old lady, looked at her chart, and then asked, “Are you Erin?” and the old lady was all, “OH HO HO HO HO HO! No. No, I’m not” and I was like, “Hi, it’s me, I’m Erin” so that was a real hee-haw moment at the dentist office, I guess.

The hygienist kept apologizing to me like I gave a shit. “Oh it’s fine! I just wanted to see how it was going to play out.”

There was a small pause, and then she started cracking up, so I guess this was the ice breaker that made her think I was OK with talking literally during my whole cleaning with her gloved hands in my mouth, that latex even being a sturdier sheath than the FUCKING SHOWER CURTAIN, by the way.

So that was frustrating because I just wanted to get to work, I wanted coffee, I wanted to eat my breakfast, I didn’t want to talk about how she turned her AC on but then forgot to shut her bathroom window but that’s OK because her son will probably stop by later and she will tell him to shut—

—-THE FUCK UP.

Then of course it was the type of appt where the dentist had to also come in and check and make me feel like I’m lying in a confessional when I say that I floss regularly, and then the hygienist goes, “You’re also due for new X-rays, you wanna get that out of the way tod—”

“Actually, not really?” I interrupted. “Next time?”

Like please get me out of here. Also, SHE DIDN’T GIVE ME AN OPTION OF FLAVORED POLISH LIKE THE OTHER PEOPLE THERE DO??? She just goes, “Oh, I pulled out mint for you today, btw” and then got to work before I could say, “ACTUALLY I WAS THINKING OF TRYING OUT COOKIE DOUGH FINALLY??”

Then back at the office, I had her trying to schedule my next appointment while the receptionist was processing my payment (I have to go THREE TIMES A YEAR so they can keep an eye on my gums and the third appointment isn’t covered by insurance but now I have one of those HSA things because Henry did it for me without my consent, I had no idea what he was doing but now I had an HSA credit card so I used that and it worked! Like grown-up magic!) and it was just chaos, like I was rooted to the spot while everyone else was swirling around me, performing their activities in sped-up movement.

UGH.

Thank god Henry was waiting to give me a ride to work because if I had to take the T after all (ALL THAT! *falls back on fainting couch*),  I would have been like “sorry not sorry Wendy” and just walked my ass straight home and logged on to work from here.

Then what….work itself was normal. It was just the usual suspects: me, Margie, Jeannie, Wendy, Sue. I do like going in occasionally. I don’t think I get more or less done there, probably a comparable amount to home, but it’s nice to have some “Old Times” normalcy.

I got a matcha latte from Rock n Joe’s on my break. It was OK. The barista guy was pleasant. I started to have a rando’ coughing fit come on while I was waiting for it though so I just croaked THANKS and ran out without making eye contact and then started coughing furiously in an alley. Literally felt like I swallowed a bug.

Then!! NCT Dream announced their US tour dates and I was FA-REAKING out to Henry via KaTalk and he was like, “SLOW DOWN.” I didn’t like that, being told to slow down, so I left my office and complained to Margie and Sue that ever since I married him, I don’t like how he’s been talking to me, and Sue just made “eyes” and went back to her office, lol. This was after I told Margie and Jeannie about how Henry ruined Chooch’s and my life with those bogus shower curtains.

“Can’t you just buy a new one?” Jeannie asked.

“JEANNIE, THIS IS THE SECOND ONE IN A WEEK THAT I’M TALKING ABOUT HERE” and she was like, “OK never mind, Henry sucks, I agree.” That might be me flexing my poetic license there but I am SURE Jeannie said something disparaging about Henry.

Then when I was leaving the office, I saw Monty!!! I was already outside of the lobby, and he was inside, but we made eye contact and I waved happily to him. He held up a finger and came jogging over to the door.

“You ever find that ring??” he asked.

“No,” I said with a frown. “But! I’m married now so I got a NEW ring!” and I held out my hand to show him.

“Aw, that’s awesome! That’s all that matters then!” and we fist-bumped. I love that guy!!

Henry parked kind of far away so I texted him that I was on my way. “Sorry, I was talking to Monty.”

“Monty?” he replied.

OK WOW. He totally doesn’t listen to my stories!!!

Then I came home and ate an Everything bagel and a bowl of roasted peppers because I just can’t be bothered.

Also, Henry ordered weights for the bottom of the shower curtain. TO BE CONTINUED.

 

Mar 012024
 

PART 1: Just a Quiet Day in the Office

I went into the office to work on Wednesday because I had dinner plans that evening in Market Square with some work pals, current and past. It was storming and raining and windy – a perfect Just Stay Home weather cocktail – but Wendy was going in too, so I put on my big girl pants and sucked it up. It was nice going through my jewelry though, and choosing what to wear since I haven’t been accessorizing much since 2020. The little things. I even popped on my engagement ring that I rarely wear because I still haven’t gotten it resized, since I was going to dinner with THE LADIES that night.

As usual, it was empty there. Just Wendy, Lucas, Terry, and me. With the occasional interloper from other floors, like Beth, who walked by and merrily said, “Hey Erin!” to me. I don’t know why this stopped me dead, but for some reason I didn’t think she actually knew my name?! So, I giddily Jabbered Amber, who was like, “But you’re the girl she gave her mother’s wig to!” OK, this is true. You probably don’t forget someone’s name after that.

This was apropos of nothing. Back to the story.

The day was slow and quiet. Finally, around 6:oo, Wendy popped over and said, “Hey, come with me to the parking garage so I can get my car keys before it’s too late, and then we’ll start walking over.” I was kind of excited about this because I haven’t been in the parking garage in probably 10 years, and again – the little things! As we took the elevator down to the lobby, Wendy was struggling with her multitude of bags and accidentally hit the emergency call button, sounding off an alarm and the crackle of the disembodied, tinny voice of a security guard asking, Hello, hello, is there an emergency? Wendy was all flustered, yelling back, “NO I DON’T KNOW HOW THAT HAPPENED I DIDN’T PRESS THE BUTTON”

“One of your six bags pressed it, Wendy,” I said, and she was like NO, MY BAG WOULD NEVER.  Anyway, it gave the security people a good laugh when we got down to the lobby. I had my hands up saying IT WASN’T ME! and Wendy’s bag is also still not owning up to it, but then it turned out that one of the security people was being trained so it was a “good learning moment.”

Next, we had to take a different elevator down to the garage. Wendy finally realized she needed help with her bag situation and asked me to hold one for her, so now I looked like a mini-Wendy with my own giant crossbody body; one of her monster bags on my right shoulder; and, in my left hand, a bag of Girl Scout cookies that I bought from Wendy’s daughter. I was sweating from the exertion. After Wendy got her key on one level of the garage, we walked down a stairwell to where her car was parked and she finally dumped at least 75% of the bags in her car and then we were finally free to walk to Pizzaiolo Primo in Market Square.

It’s a short walk, but holy shit had the temperature dropped since that morning, Larry! I at least had the foresight to bring a jacket but I was still shivering. We arrived 20 minutes before our reservation, so we sat at the bar. I was already very uncomfortable because it was a tight space and I had my huge bag with my work laptop and everything else in it, plus this bag of cookies!! and there was just nowhere to set everything. So, with my bag on my lap, I was trying to rummage through the pockets of it for my wallet when I immediately noticed that…

MY ENGAGEMENT RING WAS NO LONGER ON MY FINGER.

You want to talk about when a cold sweat might immediately spring forth? Apparently, this is one of those times.

PART 2: “I LOST MY FUCKING RING”

“So I just LOST MY ENGAGEMENT RING,” I croaked, hysterics boosting my voice higher with every word.

“What??” Wendy cried, and then swooped into my purse, pulling everything out and placing it on the bar while I am now standing up, fully in the way of all the servers coming in and out of the kitchen, acutely aware of how close all of the tables of diners are to me in my time of panic, patting myself down, rummaging through the empty pockets of my jacket, looking on the floor. Now I can feel my eye twitching and for some STUPID reason, I am SO CONCERNED about “how this looks,” “making a scene,” “having the contents of my purse on the bar for all to see.” WOW, WHERE DO I GET THAT FROM, GRANDMA. I’m on the edge at this point, the room is closing in on me, I feel like I’m going to be sick, I need to bolt.

“I’m going back to the office to look,” I whispered hoarsely in someone else’s voice.

“I’ll come with you,” Wendy said, starting to gather her stuff but I stopped her.

“I don’t want to ruin dinner for you!” I said, and thankfully at that moment, Jill arrived so I didn’t feel guilty leaving Wendy alone. So, I used this as my opportunity to escape and run back to the office, having a near-miss with a questionable man raving about something in the middle of Market Square. I don’t remember the jog back except for being pissed that the back doors to the building were already locked and I had to walk around to the front. I DID NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS.

PART 3: THE LAMONT INTERLUDE

First I searched the floor of the elevator Wendy and I had used, then I went to our floor where I dumped everything out of my bag in the office space I was using that day. I was SO ANGRY AND FRANTIC, ripping everything out and slamming it on the table and then shaking my empty bag out but the only small, loose item that dropped out with a “tink” was an errant salmakki-flavored FISHERMAN’S FRIEND cough drop from Finland.

“FFFFFUUUUUCK!!!!!” I screamed, squeezing my hands into muscle-quaking fists. It was nearly 6:30 at this point so I assumed I was alone on the floor and just let it alllll out.

Catching my breath after whatever number freak-out that was, I had lost count, I left my office and retraced my steps around the floor. I hadn’t gone anywhere during work hours except to the bathroom and kitchen, but there was no trace of a ring. I got so fucking angry in the kitchen though, thinking of how every goddamn  time I used the sink that day, I was so careful to take ALL of my rings off and set them far aside on the counter. The sink at work is one of those “inSINKerator” deals and at one point during the day, I was washing my coffee cup and imagined having to stick my hand down there to search for a lost ring and then having to live the rest of my life with a hook-hand. This was a real life thought I had that day!! My mind was trying to subconsciously tell me, “Take that ring off now and lock it up somewhere because you’re slated to lose it later.”

AND I IGNORED IT.

When I circled back to my office,  the cleaning guy was in there.

“Oh!” he said, startled. “Someone is here! I was wondering where all that stuff came from!” he laughed.

“I LOST MY RING,” I said to him frantically.

“Oh man, and I just emptied your garbage!” he said. “Here, let me sift through….” and he started to dig through his garbage receptacle but I was like, “Look, I didn’t throw that much away today, I know it’s not there. I know I lost it outside,” and then the hopeless overtook me again and the tears sprung up and he’s all, “Oh, no, look, I’m gonna help you! I lost my class ring here once and I know how shitty—excuse my language—that feels!”

So we searched the small, mostly empty office because no one works there full time in person anymore so there wasn’t much to overturn. But still, his presence was very calming to me, and it was a connection I didn’t know I needed at that time.

“Hey, I’m Erin by the way.”

“Monty! Lamont!” he said and then fist-bumped me.

AND THEN HERE COMES TERRY.

“Hey, Erin,” he said, startled to see that I was still here.

“I LOST MY RING!!!” I cried, back to needing a fainting sofa.

“Oh,” Terry stuttered uncomfortably. “Do you want a box of Girl Scout cookies?” He held up a bag of no less than 10 boxes that he had bought from Wendy.

NO I DON’T WANT A FUCKING BOX OF GIRL SCOUT COOKIES, I WANT MY FUCKING RING!!!

But instead, I just quietly said, “No thank you.”

“You got any pecan in there?” Lamont asked.

“Um….let me see,” Terry said, and then proceeded to take all of the boxes out and display them on a counter.

Lamont chose a box of Thin Mints.

PART 4. HERE COMES WENDY

After Lamont promised to keep looking and turn it in if he found it, we said goodbye and I made my way to the parking garage, where I called Henry and screamed, “I LOST MY RING COME PICK ME UP.” Because there was no fucking way I was going to dinner at this point. You on a diet and want something to help you curb your appetite? LOSE YOUR ENGAGEMENT RING!

I walked all around the garage. In the stairwell that seemed like forever and a day ago when I was commented on how freshly painted it appeared. All around Wendy’s car. By the door to the office where Wendy picked up her keys.

Nothing but dirt and gravel and things I don’t want to think about.

Now Wendy is calling me. “I’m on my way back to the office to help you!” she said, sounds of traffic and the same man in Market Square screaming in the background.

I tried to get her to go back to the dinner. This wasn’t her problem and I didn’t want dinner to be ruined for her. I told her it was fine, Henry was on his way and I was just going to go home. “It’s gone,” I said in defeat. “I know I lost it outside somewhere and there is no chance in hell it’s going to turn up now.” That cold air probably helped it slide right off and I never even felt it.

“I’m almost there,” Wendy said. “I’m by McCormicks—” and I looked up from where I was standing on the sidewalk and saw her walking toward me, so this was happening. I walked over to meet her, and as we continued to walk back toward our office, she tripped and fell hard! It was just like a stumble-to-the-knees but a face-down sprawl and now I’m REALLY feeling like the biggest asshole ever, and I’m crying, “OMG ARE YOU OK THIS IS ALL MY FAULT!”

Two women passing by also stopped to help but Wendy was like “I’M FINE” and got up on her own and then some black gentleman across the street was yelling, “ARE YOU OK??” and I called back, “She’s fine!” because he wouldn’t stop yelling, and then he goes, “OK BECAUSE I HAVE A PHD IN—-” but then I couldn’t hear what he said over the traffic, which is probably good because I have a feeling it was something crude, but also I really do want to know, a PhD in what?!!?

I was so worried that she was injured and all she cared about was helping me find a ring that doesn’t even have that much monetary value so at this point I’m just like, “Fuck this ring, it’s causing more harm than good at this point” but she was already marching toward the building’s entrance where we ran into Megan who had just arrived to town from the trolley.

She took one look at me and had a *yikes* look on her face before I even had a chance to wail, “I LOST MY ENGAGEMENT RING!!!!”

“We’ll meet you back at the restaurant,” Wendy calmly said to Megan and I was like, “YOU WILL, I WON’T. I AM GOING HOME TO DIE. HENRY IS ALREADY ON HIS WAY.” But Wendy was like, “OK I am going to continue to ignore that” and led me back up to the 10th floor where she STUCK HER HAND DOWN THE KITCHEN SINK DRAIN WHILE I STOOD THERE BEGGING HER NOT TO. Don’t worry, she’s a trained professional (a/k/a adult) so she knew what was she doing which is how this remained a tale of only one person losing something.

After searching the garage again, we went back up the street where Wendy continued to hound me to come back to the restaurant. “Let’s just go back and have a nice dinner, it’ll take your mind off it.” I was still resisting when….

PART 5. IN ROLLS HENRY

Henry pulled up to the curb and looked alarmed and tentative because I’m not sure he fully knew what was going on still. I opened the passenger door and hurled my bag at him because seeing him reminded me that he was the one who got me a ring in the wrong size in the first place (I had to wear it on my pointer finger and even then it was still too loose!!) nevermind the fact that it was me who kept putting off getting it resized so now I am pissed off and projecting it on Henry.

“WELL ARE YOU GOING TO PARK AND HELP ME LOOK??” I screamed and then he and Wendy had a silent exchange where they communicated many sentiments with just their eyes, and then Wendy closed the passenger door and he drove away, presumably to park, I don’t know, I hated him and never wanted to see him again at that point.

Now Wendy and I are standing alone on the sidewalk and I start CRYING which I hate doing in public but also, it’s downtown Pgh post-pandemic, some white bitch crying on the sidewalk is not worthy of a second glance.

“It’s an omen!” I wailed, channeling my best desperate dating show contestant. “I’m never going to get married!”

Wendy takes me by the shoulders and goes, “LISTEN. YOU ARE GETTING MARRIED WITH OR WITHOUT THIS RING. THE RING DOESN’T MATTER.”

“BUT IT’S A SIGN!!”

Wendy, desperate for all of us to have dinner together,  now lures me back to the restaurant under the pretense of “retracing our steps again and looking around the sidewalk” which turned into “OK let’s just go back inside the restaurant and you can leave your contact info with the bartender in case you lost it in  there and it turns up.” Jesus, she was still in GIRL SCOUT MODE after helping Summer sell cookies, I guess.

We get to Market Square and that same guy is still there, yelling his grievances into the sky.

PART 6. BACK AT THE RESTAURANT, BEGRUDGINGLY

Now I’m inside at the bar, the bartenders are talking to me about the ring but it all sounds like underwater word bubbles, I just want to leave. So after I write down my number, I go to push the open and Wendy is like, “Just come upstairs to the table and say hi to everyone.”

I’m like, Jesus Christ Wendy, no one cares if I miss a dinner, I see or talk to these people regularly! They will be fine! I will not be missed!

I finally give in because she is being relentless. I walk upstairs to “say hi, omg” and everyone at the table is just sitting there, frozen, looking at me with terse smiles because they know I AM IN A MOOD and I feel so stupid and self-conscious, still doing the body shudder / post-cry sniffle and I just feel disheveled, you know? Not really wanting to be in a crowded restaurant, but whatever, here I am, hello now can I go.

But then as I’m looking around the table, it slowly (and I do mean slowly) dawns on me that….this was a bridal shower dinner.

They took our ordinary for-no-reason dinner and centered it around me, managing to keep me completely in the dark.

And of course, I would go and lose my engagement ring 20 minutes before a dinner in honor of my upcoming maybe-nuptials.

CLASSIC ERIN.

ERIN RACHELLE KELLY 101.

I still want to go home though because now on top of everything else, I’m embarrassed and mortified and just feel terrible that I ruined for everyone what should have been a nice night. Gooooo, Erin! At least it wasn’t as bad as when I had a huge blow-out fight with my mom at her house and then drove back here only to find that some of my friends had planned a surprise party for my 21st birthday and I flipped out and couldn’t calm down and they ended up taking me to Mercy Hospital in an attempt to 302 me.

That was an…event alright.

Anyway, Wendy managed to steer me to the guest of honor seat and was like, “Just sit down and we will pack all this stuff up for you and then you can leave,” and Regina flagged down a server for a bag and Marlene was patting my shoulder while I was gulping down ice water. But you know what? In that short amount of time, Marlene had made me start giggling a little and then my shoulders started to lower from my earlobes one centimeter at a time, and the next thing I knew, I was saying in a small voice, “OK, I’ll stay.”

PART 7. I’M STAYING

“She’s staying!” Regina called out in case Jill and Megan didn’t hear from the other end of the table, and then Debby was like, “Yay! Do you want to put on your veil—”

“NO,” I interrupted firmly. LOL.

So instead, Debby snapped her fingers and before I knew it, a glass of wine was being slid in front of me. And after the first glass, you know what? “I’m ready to wear the tiara now,” I said and everyone was like “Yay!”

“And the vei—” Debby started.

“NO.”

I did agree to the “bride-to-be” sash though.

“Oh shit! I forgot about Henry!” I laughed, and then texted him: I’m staying now.

I know, Wendy told me. Thanks.

LOLOLOL.

I wonder what it looked like to the other diners, the table decorated beautifully, gifts, flower petals, and then here comes the guest of honor looking like she just found out her favorite Kpop group is disbanding before being forced to look at Trump’s nudes. Depressed and traumatized.

When we were all getting ready to leave, the bartender walked past and said, “Happy…..birthday? Con…..gratulations? Not sure what you’re celebrating but I hope it’s great!” She looked so concerned about how to approach me though, because I’m sure I looked beaten down and exhausted, but I was also wearing a tiara and had bags of presents like maybe I just reached the End Game of some dark and intense work initiation that had me running around the city on a quest to find a lost object the size of a nickel and the color of the sidewalk while pitting me against random co-workers trying to thwart my progress by pushing Girl Scout cookies on me and ending with the final round of seeing how many temper tantrums I could throw without getting fired by the Final Boss.

I love these ladies. <3 Honestly had no expectation of anything bridal-related happening since this doesn’t even feel real to begin with. Also, I’m so sad that there’s a water glass blocking my HAECHAN photocard in my badge holder (amazing I didn’t lose that as well that night.)

I forget who it was that asked if Henry was mad about the ring and I was like, “Henry? Mad? LOL.” I believe Henry’s low-key response was, “It’s just an object. You still have your finger. We’ll get you a new ring.” He’s already contacted the jewelry on Etsy and she said she does have a similarly-shaped raw diamond on hand so she’s going to make a new one and said there’s no obligation for him to purchase. I’m trying to look on the bright side here, and maybe instead of a bad omen, it’s a good thing. Because that ring had so many bad, traumatic feelings attached to it caused from the BOTCHED PROPOSAL at the Cure concert. So maybe a new ring will be good. And maybe this new one will be even prettier than the first! WHO CAN BE SURE.

Look at this card that Megan made me! The inside said “congratulations” written in Hangul and Marlene was shocked and awed that I could read it. I’m glad my preschool-level Korean impresses someone! I love that Megan gave Henry aka Herbert a backwards cap and his soju flavor is blueberry since he hates blueberries but has spent the last 20+ years suffering through blueberry-flavored desserts that I ask him to share with me. 

Also, Megan got me this “love” LED sign!!

And Wendy’s “something blue”!

Debby got me a series of fabulous framed prints, and Marlene got me this quirky yellow and black paint-splattered tea pot that looks perfect in the kitchen. And Jill and Regina contributed to the Korea fund.  AND during all of this, Henry texted me from home that he secured our appointments with the US Embassy for March 26th in Seoul, so that is one giant hurdle down toward actually “getting married” in Korea. We have been waiting on pins and needles for the Embassy to open up appointments for the week we’ll be there, so this was perfect timing. This and my wonderful friends saved the night. Thanks to Wendy’s persistence too, because I was seriously so close to pulling a runner when she wasn’t looking but she was so freaking vigilant until she finally got me upstairs in that restaurant.

So far, I’m 2 for 2 with miserable, unhappy ugly-crying in public at my marriage-related events. Yep, that tracks.

Looking back, it’s now really funny when I thought that the dumbest thing that was going to happen that day was when I accidentally ingested molten wax because I used a DISPOSABLE WAX CUP in the coffee maker at work. It was already melting as I frantically tried to transport the coffee to a regular coffee cup and then I had this weird wax residue all over my hands.

YOU THOUGHT, ERIN.


The next day, I couldn’t stop thinking about Lamont and how good he was at helping me calm down, and how much he genuinely seemed to care about finding my ring. So, I called the cleaning service company and told the lady who answered about my tragedy (lol) and how kind he was to me and that I just needed someone to know that, because it’s not always common these days. She was so happy that I called and thanked me for letting her know, and that she would pass it on to his supervisor. She was like, “I love this, we need more positivity in the world!” and I said, “Yes, and less Karens!” It was a nice phone call, but then I was reminded of years ago when a cleaning guy from the same company accidentally broke some dumb thing on my desk that I didn’t even care about and had to fill out an INCIDENT REPORT and I kept telling our facilities lady (THE SAME ONE WHO REMEMBERED MY NAME ON WEDNESDAY, THIS POST HAS COME FULL CIRCLE!) that I truly didn’t care and didn’t want him to get in trouble but I don’t know if he did or not!?! I should have called then, too. Ugh.

Feb 272024
 

Hey yo. This past weekend was fine, nothing fabulouso happened really. Henry and I went to Yinz Coffee on Saturday because I was dying for the good chai latte. Raspberry chai was the current special so I slurped that up real quick. We also split a cranberry orange scone and an oatmeal cream pie cookie sandwich. Henry was SO ANNOYING when we were ordering. I just knew that I wanted the cookie sandwich but also something else so I assigned this task onto him which I should have known was a mistake because he was going to order a cookie?? Bitch, why would you get a COOKIE if we are already getting a COOKIE SANDWICH.

The stress. It’s constant.

Plus, he can never read my cues or my mind or my body language so I ask myself – why did I say YES??

Anyway, the scone (which I ordered, btw, because he was being so embarrassing and the barista* was looking at us like we were two complete strangers paired up blindly for a social experiment on cafe ordering compatibility) was the perfect choice. It was so good. I almost never eat scones!! There is a cafe in Seoul called Cafe Layered that specializes in scones and it is on my list 100% after being reminded that I do, in fact, enjoy a scone every now and then.

*(“I’m….just gonna go and make this drink while you decide,” she said, jiggling a cup of ice in the air and slowly backing away after I snapped at Henry for never listening to me. “YEAH, LET’S GET A COOKIE SANDWICH AND MORE COOKIES, DUMBASS” even though the rational non-manic episodic side of me was like, “I mean, can you ever really have ‘too many’ cookies though, Erin?” I was just on the prowl for anger triggers, is all.)

Some young couple came in with their ugly baby in a stroller and stood (stood!!!) at a table next to us and it made me very uncomfortable. Seems they were visiting from somewhere because I heard them asking the barista for things to do and then she recommended that they eat at Bonfire in Southside (on the Southside? Northside and Southside irritate me) and I silently cosigned that suggestion and on mute, I kind of hoped that they would ask for more suggestions so I could panic-punt frantic activities at them (THE WOOD STREET T-STATION WHERE SOMEONE WAS HACKED BY A MACHETE!”) but they were TOO COOL to talk to us. They had tattoos and were SWATHED* in athleisure, you guys. They probably go to Post Malone concerts.

*(Coincidentally, the very next audiobook I picked up after the British one has an American narrator and SHE said the word “swathe” like I always thought it was pronounced so I felt validated! swAWthe.)

Then we strolled around whatever that park is in Northside for as long as we could handle it – it was pretty windy that day and also kind of cold so not really great walking weather but I needed to DIGEST. Also? We had a really crazy and random (well, maybe not to the … weather people? Meteorologists! They probably expected it) snowstorm that morning but then the snow melted within hours. Isn’t it great how nice we’ve treated this planet.

:/

Sunday was a bit warmer so we went to Frick Park for some walking action. I asked King Doof to take my picture here too and does it look like he did?

No, he just got up and lumbered away.

The walk was nice, if not a bit muddy and uneventful. My evening walk would prove to be MUCH DIFFERENT though!!

Henry and Chooch went to Target after dinner so I decided to walk to the library to drop off a book (the one from my last post where I was mad it for the slight to Robert Smith, but then it ended up being a pretty decent book and OK I liked it – is that what you want to hear from me? I FREAKIN’ LIKED IT).

Anyway, picture me, doing some wholesome, one step down from God Tier activity (Levar Burton Tier?) when KAPCHUGI: I am nearly wiped out while crossing the street.

BY A MOTHERFUCKING COP.

OH OF FUCKING COURSE.

Let me paint the scene: I was crossing parallel to the street I live on, which as you know people LOVE to use as a race track, across a residential street. The pig came from behind me, flying along my street and not slowing down as he made the left turn onto the street I was walking across. No turn signal. No siren. No flashing lights. WHAT’S THE EMERGENCY SIR?? Big hurry to get to your buddy’s for a Sunday night brewski? Some IMPRACTICAL JOKESTER viewing? In my head, I slung way worse speculations but you know, I’m trying not to get myself worked up again.

Anyway, I immediately called Henry and started screaming to him about it because he loves to defend cops, but even this time he was like, “Dawwww, that cop did a bad” and I’m like, “NO SHIT, COP-LOVER.”

“I wish I could have run faster, I would have chased his ass down the street!” I screamed into the phone and Henry of course said his favorite comfort command to me: Calm down.

“I’M GOING HOME AND REPORTING HIM!” I cried and jogged the remaining three blocks home, where I flexed my Karen fingers, cracked my MANAGER-SPEAKING-TO knuckles, and brought up whatever city of Pgh website I could find that looked appropriate for LODGING A COMPLAINT.

I will have you know that in order to do this, I had to create an account and I was originally going to make a fake one but then you know what? I did the ADULT thing and used my real info because I have every right to report this.

And you know what else? I didn’t swear. Not once! I didn’t swear, I didn’t make threats, I didn’t call the cop a pig, I actually used the word “officer” and laid out my concerns in a way that illustrated my frustration while also keeping its INTEGRITY. This is the new me: use intelligent words and regular capitalization to have your complaint regarded with seriousness.

Look at your girl!!!

I am acting 44!

I didn’t have the cop’s plate # but I did have the exact time and location of the INCIDENT, and I also stressed that this isn’t the first time their cops have sped through residential streets with seemingly no cause.

Then I texted my brother and told him and he was like “OMG! Did he at least apologize?” WHAT A WHITE MALE THING TO ASK! OF COURSE HE DIDN’T FUCKING APOLOGIZE, THAT COCKER NEVER EVEN SLOWED DOWN OR GLANCED IN MY DIRECTION, JUST SPED OFF DOWN THE BRICK ROAD LIKE A RACIST DOROTHY EN ROUTE TO SEE THE WIZARD.

IYKWIM. 😡

Today I got an email response from some “Sgt” who APOLOGIZED for my terrible experience with one of their officers and urged me to file a report, but apparently I have to go into a building somewhere to do that and I don’t actually care that much after all, it turns out.

Except for the fact that in my anger, I misspelled “abysmal”  in my complaint but then Janna was like, “Eh, those people are dumb, they probably won’t notice.”

Well, that’s all I have. At least you guys can rest easy knowing that I have an account with some city website so that I can lodge future complaints with ease.

Nov 092023
 

Things with the new neighbors are staying interesting, that’s for sure. First of all, can we talk about this AJAPO agency? What a bunch of shady assholes. I may  have mentioned that after the landlord gave us the agency’s name (he must be getting a sweet tax break for renting property to their clients, that’s all I’m saying), I had tried calling numerous times but it doesn’t even ring – it goes straight to voicemail and then I’M SORRY, THIS VOICE MAILBOX IS FULL.

So, I emailed them several times. I started our politely, because I like to believe that I am a nice person deep down and need to be pushed. However, these days, you only have to push me with a feather before I morph into Hulk Erin. After two non-responses, I started using CAPSLOCK and told them that I was prepared to take this to A NEWS OUTLET. Well, that got a response, which started with “Hello Kelly” – are you kidding me. That is my biggest pet peeve! So instead of being happy that I got a response, I went into the reading of the email with great ire and disgust. But yeah, total run-around. “They should be doing things on their own” etc. Interestingly, their website went down right after they emailed me so no, that’s not sus.

Whatever. I have my eyes on them though.

Then, after spending two days trying to help the neighbor mail a package of gifts to her best friend whose surname she doesn’t know (that was fun), I got a WhatsApp message from her last night with a picture of her call log with the same number appearing several times.

“This number called us a lot, we didn’t understand anything, please ask who is this and who gave my number.”

Great! Sure! LOVE talking on the phone, this is the PERFECT task for me…So I call and immediately a very angry and impatient-sounding man says YEAH. Great start!!!

So I’m like, oh boy how to start this convo. “Hi I’m calling for my neighbor who doesn’t speak English…” and he cuts me off to say YEAH I BEEN TRYING TO EXPLAIN TO HER MAYBE YOU CAN BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS, I WORK TWO JOBS, IN FACT I’M ON MY WAY TO ONE OF THEM NOW YOU FEEL ME??

OK, so this will be the tone of the call, hot right out of the gate like one of the partners who loves to call and scream at us at work.

His explanation is that he knew someone with the same number a few years ago – A FEMALE someone in case you were wondering – and the number is still a contact in his phone. IT IS LOCKED IN THERE HE CAN’T DELETE IT OK.

CAN’T or WON’T?

So now suddenly, that number is popping up on his Telegram app. “You feel me?” he goes, and I was like, “Uh, I think so” because I was trying to think if I ever heard of the Telegram app before and he SNAPPED ON ME because I guess I sounded too UNSURE in my response. “OK you’re a female too right and you mean to tell me you don’t know how an APP works??” The pure disgust in his tone, man. Palpable.

That just pissed me off because if there is one thing that would be great to scratch into my grave, it’s “SHE HATED BEING YELLED AT BY MEN.” Matching his level of rudeness and volume, I retorted, “YEAH I KNOW HOW IT WORKS I’M NOT DUMB???” and Henry at this point is turned around in the computer chair watching this with great interest, because I guess since he handled the Mailing of the Package, he was free to sit back and spectate the CALLING BACK THE UNKNOWN NUMBER task. Literally, we are this woman’s personal Task Monkeys. I mean, happy to help, etc. but some of this is really past my comfort limits.

Angry Man with Two Jobs and No Time explains it AGAIN and I go “OK yeah, like the number came up in your app as ‘someone you might know'” and he goes “EXACTLY but like I said, it’s someone I USED TO KNOW” *cue Gotye* at which point he explained the whole “can’t remove the contact from my phone” thing again. It was the most frustrating cyclical conversation, lasted 10 minutes, and he NEVER SAID WHAT INSTIGATED THE PHONE CALLS in the first place. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that seeing THE FEMALE’S number sparked interest and HE CALLED IT but got Tamanna who can’t speak English, and chaos ensued.

He was playing dumb though and made it sound like SHE called HIM but I can’t imagine why she would have done that, unless she saw that she had a missed call and called it back. I can imagine all hell breaking loose at that point because Tamanna doesn’t handle things quietly.

The picture of the call log she sent me shows that they talked for 59 seconds at one point so I’m sure that was lovely and not stressful at all for either party. He told me again that this is what he was trying to tell her, and I interrupted to say, “Well, she doesn’t speak English, she is Afghan and literally JUST moved here from Turkey.”

“Well, people should know English first before they move here you feel me?”

Bro.

He kept me on the for 10 minutes over this dumb issue but he’s the one who doesn’t have time for it, ok. When I hung up, Henry was like, “He’s totally saving your number.”

But wow, what a roller coaster! I went from being polite, to royally pissed off, to sounding like I was on the phone with an old friend and laughing. What a wild ride.

Anyway, I texted her back and said, “It was the wrong number. If he calls again, just ignore it.” She gave me the thumbs up.

Jun 202023
 

Me, in the parking lot before The Cure concert: I’m just really tired of being a GIRLFRIEND for the last 22 years.

Henry: I don’t think you were my ‘girlfriend’ for that first year, though.

*******

One of my favorite things about the Erin&Henry (or, if you know us from the hallowed LiveJournal days: Ruby&Hoover) origin story is that when he started working at the place where I was the office manager from 2000-2004, I missed his inaugural week there because I was away seeing The Cure, my most favorite band in the entire world then and now, for the first time. So when he was being led around the office for introductions, all he saw of me was my empty desk while being told, “That’s our office manager, she’s away in Australia seeing some band right now.”

So, while my first impression of him was, “Wow, he looks like Michael Myers” as he walked away from me down a hall in his dark blue coveralls, his first impression of me was that I was some ultra fangirl groupie who drained her savings account to fly across the world alone to see a concert.

And have I changed? Mmm, nope! But the best part is that when we started dating a year later, he never once ridiculed me for my obsessions, but instead joined me on music festival road trips and too many worknight concerts at small clubs where we would then have to stick around to meet the bands because that was my routine. He has mostly just tolerated (at best) most of the bands I have obsessed over, but he genuinely became a fan of The Cure without any arm-twisting or pressure from me. I finally had someone that I could talk to about how they made me feel, which songs I used to lay on the floor and cry to while drinking Manischewitz out of a red goblet, what song I would want to play at my wedding. The things that no one before him cared about! For instance, when one guy that I briefly dated came over one night when I had one of the live DVDs on, and he said, “They’re really gay.” Um, bitch bye.

So when we managed to snag tickets for The Cure’s 2023 US tour, it suddenly occurred to me that what if Henry finally ASKED THE QUESTION THAT NEEDS TO BE ASKED. Look, it’s not a secret that I have been hounding his ass for the better part of the last 22 years. You know, I know it, he knows it. I want to get married. Shocking.

I can’t quite explain it, but I really felt like it was going to happen this year, like maybe he even had a ring. I mean, at this stage in life, the element of surprise isn’t really a factor anymore. Just get ‘er done, etc etc.

I started dropping super obvious hints, like, “This could be the last time we ever see the Cure. Wouldn’t it be amazing if something BIG happened? Something MEMORABLE?” C’mon, guy. Take the fucking hint.

Finally, it was THE DAY! The weather was shit, but we had seats under the pavilion at the Blossom Music Center so I wasn’t too concerned. When we went to find our seats, I started walking down our row and as I went to grab the seat closer to the middle, I looked up and saw that Henry had somehow gone around and was coming down the row toward me in an attempt at seat interception.

“Let me sit here,” he said, just as I was about to sit down.

“No!” I cried like a brat. “I want to sit here because it’s closer!” (I mean, barely closer, but you know how I can be.)

He mumbled something and squeezed past me (I didn’t even bother to move my knees to make it any easier for him, ha ha ha, typical Erin) and then sat in his bitch seat to the right. I thought this was really strange. No one was even sitting around us yet so it’s not like he was trying to avoid anyone. But then, because I’m dense and things sometimes take a second or 28,783 to sink in, it occurred to me that maybe he wanted to sit on my left for proposal ease?!

Still, I tried not to get my hopes up too high because we all know what happened when I thought he was going to propose on the boardwalk in Wildwood last summer.

(He was just tying his shoe, in case you missed it.)

The Twilight Sad came on and twilight sadly did nothing to stop the annoying two couples behind us from scream-talking loudly into the back of my head. Between the overall weird vibes of the crowd, anticipating The Cure, and wondering if Henry was going to finally ring me (finger, not neck, although I guess that also depends on the day…), I was on edge. Bigly on edge.

Almost immediately after The Twilight Sad’s set, the crew came out to set up for The Cure. Now I was really getting excited and nauseous. Pee jig central over in Row M. The Cure just hits differently. I always go into these concerts expecting to be drop-kicked into a pit of despair, and that’s OK. Sometimes, that’s what we pay for.

And then, a loud fizzle, and electricity flickered in and out followed immediately by a clap of loud thunder, none of that romantic rolling thunder business, either. This was a YOU’VE BEEN BAD crack of the belt from above.

And then, lightning.

And then, actual sheets of rain, straight up wet curtains, falling from the sky.

People were SCREAMING, Mary. This was some Lord’s Work happening at the Blossom Music Center.

As the crew was fleeing the stage, DANGER DANGER messages came up on the video screens, while the faceless spokesperson of the venue turned on the DISASTER MIC and instructed everyone under the pavilion to remain there while urging the people in the lawn to return to their cars until further notice. It was chaos. My brother was just arriving with his friend and I was frantically texting him to stay in his car and he’s like, “WHY ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE LEAVING??”

At this point, we weren’t even sure if the concert was going to happen. A guy two rows behind us was obsessively checking the storm radar on his phone and giving us updates. He said it was looking like it was going to pass through, so we stayed hopeful.

After about 45 minutes, A GREEN MESSAGE replaced the RED MESSAGE on the screens! Green is good!

And then The Cure came on! Immediately, the tallest guy in the all of the Cuyahoga Valley stood erect in front of me, so I finally granted Henry’s request to switch seats and proceeded to spend a large portion of the night with my left hand FULLY-FLEXED at my side in an attempt to manifest a ring sliding on down my dumb ol’ finger. THE finger. THAT ONE. I was so stoked, I just knew it was going to happen. I dropped so many clues for months to the point where it was like a fun little game that he seemed to also be playing so I thought, OK, we are COMMUNICATING, this is cute.

The Cure is cycling through song after song. All of these BIG SWELLING EMOTIONAL MASTERPIECES that Henry could have used as his soundtrack while doing the damn thing.

If Only Tonight We Could Sleep

Burn

Disintegration

Want

When they began to perform Play For Today, I just about lost my mind because IT WAS SO APROPOS. There is a line that literally goes:

and wait,

and wait,

and wait

for something to happen

YES, THAT’S ME. HERE I AM. ROW M, SEAT 17, WAIT WAIT WAITING FOR SOME FUCKING STUPID THING TO HAPPEN, RING FINGER FLEXED LIKE A FUCKING FLAG POLE.

At one point, I thought I saw him reaching into his pocket and I felt a JOLT of nervous anticipation, but calm down, everyone. He was just scratching his side.

One of my favorite songs played that night was Edge of the Deep Green Sea, which the crowd turned into a big party foul when NO ONE raised their arms when Robert sang “put your hands in the sky.” I started to raise mine, and then stopped halfway as I became stunned to see that no one around me, not even the people at the front of the stage, were joining in. Did I miss a memo? Do we not put our hands in the sky anymore? Usually, it’s something akin to the wave during this part of the song, with hands fluttering up left and right, but only saw a few arms shooting up. My brother and I were texting about this the next day, and he said, “I put my hands up like you taught me* and no one else did??” he said.

*(We saw the Cure together in 2008; my 4th time and his 1st so I made sure he knew about this beforehand! It’s always been one of my favorite parts of the process when it comes to Cure concerts.)

There was an awkward moment when Henry and I looked at each other and both said, “What?” at the same time but I was Very Annoyed with him and his lack of EVERYTHING, so I refused to commiserate over this. I mean, he wasn’t even trying to hold my hand at any point of the night, at the very bare minimum. It was like we were STRANGERS standing together at random. If you’re not ever going to be my husband, at least act like my BOYFRIEND. So, while I would usually grab his hand and forcibly wrench his arm into the air because he hates audience participation and I love to torture him, I didn’t do that this time. I was PUNISHING him.

He doesn’t know the behind the scenes of Erin’s Bratty Brain part of this story, so I’m sure once he reads this, he will have some things to say. I gotta be honest for the blog! Even if I’m not 100% conscious that I’m sabotaging something, I will still find a way. It’s built into me. I was raised on Days of Our Lives, for Christ’s sake, practically breastfed drama and conflict.

The lights came on. I started to shake, my body WRACKED with rage. I turned to Henry and quite frankly, it is a wonder that I was able to swallow back the Abaddon Choir threatening to blast out a guttural Viking metal rendition of Miley Cyrus’s “Flowers” from my mouth with the force of an uncorked fire hydrant.

♫♪I CAN MY BUY MYSELF FLOWERS, SHOVE MY RINGLESS HAND UP YOUR ASS.♫♪

Instead, I sizzle-hissed in an octave well above normal functioning person levels, “WELL, I GUESS TONIGHT WASN’T THE NIGHT.” In my own ears, I sounded like a very pissed off cartoon cat. Feral. Mewling.

And then my emotional volcano burst, 22 year’s worth of resentment and insecurities came squirting out of my eyeballs like hot wet salty lava, and I ran away into the crowd. It was completely apparent, I’m sure, to everyone around us that something DOMESTIC was playing out. Either that or people were thinking, “Wow, The Cure really made that broad mad!”

I was STALKING off through the pavilion, hands balled into fists at my sides, face scrunched up into one fucking UGLY mask of anguish – I know my ugly-cry face and it was definitely what I was wearing at that moment. I actually replayed this in my head on a loop for days afterward, hovering above my body and watching from above, and I can truthfully say that I am very embarrassed and ashamed by the way I was acting. (“That’s called ‘disassociation,’ Erin, and it’s a psychological disorder. I love how you’re just casually explaining it like it’s something that you just…do all the time??” one of my friends said when I was like, “Yeah, you know how you remove yourself from the situation and watch it play out?” LOL, oh.)

Henry never even bothered to stop me, which was infuriating because even though I told him to GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME, I obviously also wanted him to NOT get the fuck away from me so that I could berate him further. So, I had to keep slowing down to let him catch up long enough for me to growl lovely sentiments such as YOU RUINED THE CURE FOR ME / I FUCKING HATE YOU / I DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO COME HERE WITH YOU TONIGHT, I WANTED TO GO WITH MY BROTHER BUT STUPID ME THOUGHT MAYBE YOU WERE ACTUALLY GOING TO BE A REAL FUCKING MAN AND ASK ME.

You know, these types of things. Didn’t care who was listening at this point.

Imagine Pee Wee in the rainy alley after his bike is stolen, but me walking through the wet Blossom Music Center parking lot:

How can one man be so dense? How can one bitch be so stupid?

The walk back to the car was long and miserable. Everyone around me had that blissed-out post-concert high while my body was quaking as I tried to stop myself from sobbing. You know what that feels like. Weird squeaks were eking out of my throat the harder I tried to put a moratorium on the tears. It was just fucking miserable. Just try to imagine how it feels to be strung along for more than 20 years. No matter what Henry says, what excuses he has, he has strung me along.  That’s how it feels! And for all the people over the years who have said, “It shouldn’t matter, why does it matter, it’s obvious he loves you” – well, it does matter to me, it’s personal. It’s something that I have always wanted and the fact that I have been put in these awkward conversations over the years where I’m forced to defend my stance, it’s just been infuriating and deflating.

This is all going through my ABUSED MIND the entire walk back to the car, while I’m whispering things to myself like a lunatic (“Calm down, Erin, we can kill him later” / “I don’t fucking know where the car is” / “Even serial killers get married“), giving no fucks at this point how unhinged I look to the casual observer.

As soon as we both got in the car and the doors were shut, I covered my face and WEPT like I was in mourning. And in a way, I guess I was!  Because after blubbering “I’m so stupid, I’m so stupid” at least a dozen times, I looked at Henry and said, “I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m done.”

And in a voice that didn’t even sound like his, but that could also be because my ears were filled with the sound of static and RUSHING BLOOD, he quietly asked, “Then what am I supposed to do with this?”

There he was, sitting in the driver’s seat, holding the ring that I picked out, oh, TEN YEARS AGO.

I experienced a psychological snap right then and there. I was still full-body sobbing, but now I was also laughing too. My face, I’m sure, was smeared like a Kindergarten finger painting by this point, and I had a strong sense of the swollen state of my eyes. OK, I was psychotically laughing at this point, let’s be real. I could have gone one of two ways: just go with it and accept that I was being proposed to in a fucking parking lot, or rip his stupid face off.

I had no energy left to fight so I let him put the stupid ring on my dumb finger, still unable to stop laughing or crying. He was saying words. I wasn’t listening. I could still only hear the synapses snapping inside my brain. I know he was saying nice things, I know that he CLEARLY felt like shit, and I know that we were both marginally traumatized by the way things played happened.

“You have to say yes!” he said, and I realized that I was still just sitting there hysterically laugh-crying and performing the sniffle-hiccup combo of the advanced crier.

Of course, I said NO at first. :)

And then we didn’t get home until after 3am, because the venue allowed The Cure to play past curfew to make up for the delay and then it took nearly an hour just to get out of the parking lot. I actually don’t even know what time it was that the blurry, delirious proposal even happened because it was very close to midnight when we were walking (or, WAR MARCHING in my case) back to the car. So, it either happened on June 11th or June 12th, but after 22 years, who’s keeping track?

Henry’s version of the story is that he scoured the set list beforehand, in order to choose the perfect song to finally end the 22 year saga. He had chosen “Edge of the Deep Green Sea,” and the plan was for him to….wait for me to grab his hand and lift his arm into the air.

You know, the thing I intentionally didn’t do and then tried to play off afterward by saying it was because I was “holding my phone.” Not “trying to punish him.” Nope. Not that at all.

So, when that didn’t happen, combined with the rain delay changing the set list, his plan was sent into a spiral. He didn’t know what songs were going to be performed after that, and before he knew it, the show was ending with “Boys Don’t Cry” and then everyone was leaving.

He spent the whole show holding the ring in his hand.

I chose this ring 10+ years ago after finding a jeweler on Etsy who makes rings out of raw diamonds. I knew that was the style for me. I’m not a traditional Zales diamond ring bitch, and I like that this is rough and imperfect, just like our idiotic relationship.

But! It’s probably for the best that it happened the way it did because I have no idea where he got the measurement for the ring. It is way too big and imagine if his plan had been successful and then I flung it off my hand during the concert?!

I did ask him why he let me run away afterward, why he didn’t just stop me, explain the situation, and do it right then, and he said he was afraid I would throw the ring into the woods.

OK, understandable!

Also, we all know how hyper-critical I am. If he had managed to do it during the concert, I probably would have just spent the next 20+ complaining about the song he chose.

****

The next day, I asked Chooch (whose reaction was “nice. congratulations.”) if he wanted to see the ring.

“No,” he said. “I already saw it last year in Wildwood.”

WHAT.

Confirmed: Henry was definitely supposed to do it then. Our friends Alyson and Ryan knew about it and were stalking my Instagram with “ants in their pants,” per Alyson, but then it never happened. Henry let us all down!

“Where were you going to do it?” I asked him the other day, and he said in front of Mister Softee – ??? I mean, I like that ice cream place but I would have been like, “Really, this is where I finally got engaged?” if he had gone through with it.

So overall, I think I’m fine with the way the ring finally ended up on my idiot finger. In the car, parked in the Blossom Music Center lot, after a concert that almost didn’t happen because of a storm: totally traumatic and 100% on brand for us. Yeah, I’m OK with this. :)

Anyway, I need a big do-over since he pretty much ruined the entire concert for me so we’re going to see The Cure head-line Riot Fest in September. REDEMPTION.

(Apologies for typos and any nonsensical grammar issues – I have been writing this piecemeal since last week and am super hyper and crazed, still!)

Jun 082023
 

Yesterday started off fine but then around 4, things got stupid at work AND Henry came home with a really shitty story to tell me – these two things coinciding just really pushed me over the edge. I went from being so angry that I was vibrating, to so sad and humiliated that I was sobbing uncontrollably, and then back to wanting to set fire to…a place.

Basically, what I learned yesterday was:

  • I probably 100% require therapy for something that happened 20+ years ago;
  • I know the truth and that’s all that matters;
  • RAGE-WALK IT OUT. Reacting the way I really want to react is probably only going to backfire because that is what always seems to happen when I try to stick up for myself since I have a tendency of going from zero to psychopath in the blink of an eye.

But wow, I am always caught off guard by how much certain events and actions still hurt me to this day.

Anyway, maybe I will talk about this more once I have a chance to sort through my emotions, but it was a really bad time inside my head last night.

Henry and I went for a walk after dinner because I needed to rant and you all know I do my best ranting and raving while in motion. I had a library book to return so I suggested we walk to the Dormont library and then we could get some drinks at Dunkin’ across the street because that is JUST what this bitch needed, more caffeine. However, when we were walking to the library, we saw that the Boonseeker foodtruck was at a brewery across the street! What serendipity too, because I had completely forgotten that they were going to be there.

So we walked over, placed an order, and then stood as far away from the crowd as possible because I looked ROUGH from all the crying I had been doing. No makeup, unwashed hair, leggings and hoodie: I was a walking billboard for the kind of day I was having. Of course, our order got screwed up  (they gave it to someone else!!) so we had to wait even longer after already waiting a long time. Glad to have a Korean foodtruck in this city but it is a shining example of why America can’t have nice things. If we had been in Korea, the food would have been in our hands before we even had a chance to pay. America just doesn’t do “Efficiency” like Korea!

Some baby sat in a stroller and glared at me nearly the whole time. Join the club, baby. Sometimes it feels like people are lining up to make me feel like trash lol.


Here’s me looking 100% REAL in my BE REAL after we came home from nabbing Korean street food. But, the cheese stick cheered me up a bit, even though I *did* share it with Henry. Sigh. Made me really miss Korea, though. :( One day, I will return!

Another thing that made me smile was finding these pictures of Henry posing in my tutu from 2007! I thought they were lost forever because I couldn’t find them on Flickr and any photo I ever used on LiveJournal is gone because the site that hosted my photos back then was COMCAST which we no longer have.  Anyway, I actually asked Henry for his consent to post these on Instagram  (LOL who even am I lately) and he mumbled, “Whatever.”

People over there loved to see it, though!

Sadly, because of course let’s end this on a sad note, why wouldn’t I, I found out last year that the old friend of mine who made this tutu for me died from Covid. I hadn’t had contact with her in YEARS but it still felt like a kick to the heart to find that out.

Life is so fucking sad and weird, but also it can be OK so that’s what I’m holding out for: more “OK” days. Bring ’em to me. (Quickly.)

P.S. I have always been jealous of Henry’s shapely legs. Mine are like thicc tree trucks. Sigh.

May 232023
 

I don’t know what the fuck I inhaled the other week but I was a goddamn whirling dervish. Knee jerk reactions. Irrational responses. I try to be a kind person every day but sometimes, like the other week, I have no energy left in my mind to hold up the anger dam any longer and I…snap.

Look for me on a Netflix documentary one day, fam.

Anyway, on this one particular day, we’ll say it was a Wednesday, I was minding my own business, working from home, feeding the squirrels, sending extremely reasonable demands to Henry via text, when suddenly, a cleanup crew arrived on my street to remove the leftover shit in the vacant side of my duplex. I dunno what Blake was doing over there, but he and his family clearly left so much shit behind when they moved in March that it warranted my landlord to send an actual garbage truck and crew to clean it out.

I was fine with this until suddenly, MUSIC BEGAN TO BLAST. They must have set up a radio right on the other side of the wall near where my desk is set up, because it sounded like it was coming from my side of the house. You need to know this about me: I FUCKING HATE HATE HATE HATE HEARING SOMEONE ELSE’S BASS THUMPING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF MY WALL. I mentioned this to Janna and she was like, “Oh yes, I know this about you.” It’s not a secret, sweetie, OK?! I hate it. I will literally Hulk out and start smashing shit against the wall in retaliation. You think I’m playing for the blog but I am telling the truth.

I allowed this to play for all of 3 seconds before I FLEW OUT  THE FRONT DOOR, leapt off my porch and yelled, “CAN YOU PLEASE TURN THAT MUSIC OFF I AM TRYING TO WORK IN THERE.”

I can only IMAGINE how I appeared to this crew of young guys who were just trying to make the most of a day spent cleaning trash out of some slob’s vacated house. There were three of them in the yard at this moment, one had JUST walked out of the house and was in the middle of crossing the yard, but he stopped DEAD IN HIS TRACKS. Another guy, who I determined to be the leader, immediately said, “Of course, I am so sorry!” and snapped his fingers at the man who was now frozen in the yard staring at this fucking asshole frenzied Karen with her arms akimbo in a sloppy hoodie and leggings looking more like she was busy changing diapers all day and not reviewing engagement letters while getting pulled in 17 different directions by people in her department.

I looked rough is all I’m saying. I know my face was beet red too because I could feel the flames fanning on the other side of my flesh.

“THANK YOU!” I said in a huff and slammed the door on my way back in.

About 30 minutes later, there was a tentative knock on my door. It was Leader Guy, looking nervous.

“I’m so sorry to bother you, but is it OK if we back this truck down the driveway?” he asked, wringing his hands. I noticed several of his minions were looking on, bracing for fall-out.

I said it was fine and then he said, “We’re going to be pretty noisy for a bit but we’ll try to make it fast.”

And then it was at this point where I was reminded that these guys were human JUST LIKE ME, just trying to do their jobs JUST LIKE ME, so I softened and said, “Hey look, sorry for being such a Karen earlier—” and he cut me off to say, “No no no, I totally get it! Thank you for being so cool about this!”

Um, OK but I was literally being the OPPOSITE of cool when I came out of my house in a red HOT rage earlier, but whatever. Truce!

Then! That following Friday, it happened again. Did I tell you, old blog frendo, that the guy ROB who had moved into the other side of HNC’s house last fall was also moving out right after Blake? OK well now I told you. Anyway, ROB hadn’t really bothered me much while he was living over there, but for some reason, he waited until the very last days of living there to start parking his large kidnapper van in our driveway. So now we had THREE kidnapper vans down there: his, and TWO of HNC’s (one of which is broken down and hasn’t moved since like 2015, I don’t even know anymore). Basically, our parking sitch in the back down there goes like this: Henry’s car, HNC van, HNC van in a row. Then I would park my car in front of one of HNC’s vans (the broken one) and HNC’s wife would park her car in front of HNC’s other van (which sometimes works). It’s…a whole thing. But then ROB was like, “No, I am going to park my gigantic tank in front of HNC’s broken van” so I have just been parking in the church lot like old times because the YOU WILL BE TOWED sign lost it’s power after a few mths and people started parking there overnight again.

I don’t really give a shit that much about the parking situation, but the thing that was pissing me off was that Rob didn’t even live there anymore when he started parking his van down back. Like, he and his girlfriend would come here in some shitty minivan and sort of move stuff around in the garage, and then he would pull the van up closer to the garage to, I guess, put stuff in it, but every single time, he would park it right in front of HNC’s van and then LEAVE.

FOR DAYS. SOMETIMES OVER A WEEK. Bro. You don’t live here anymore! This is not your long-term parking lot!

It just really started to grate on me, you know? I kept asking Henry to text HNC to see if he had any intel on when Rob was going to come back and take the van but also HELLO HNC CAN YOU PLEASE GET RID OF YOUR VANS TOO??

I can’t even explain how insane it is on this block with white men thinking they can fix broken cars. It’s like the Pioneer Ave Junkyard Collective. Come visit me sometime and I will give you a tour. And if your brakes are squealing or something….DON’T TELL LARRY OR HNC OR THEY WILL WANT TO FIX IT AND THEN SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR CAR BECAUSE IT LIVES HERE NOW.

Anyway, it was two Fridays ago and I was so excited because ROB was back and it looked like he was finally leaving with the van! He had pulled it up the driveway a bit so it was next to not-his garage while he was presumably moving more stuff. I saw him get in the van and it looked like he was pulling it forward, like he was going to leave, but then he BACKED IT UP INTO HENRY’S SPOT JUST AS HENRY WAS COMING HOME FROM WORK. So now Henry had to park his car across the street because not only did ROB steal his spot, but his idiot minivan was farther up, blocking up the entire driveway to begin with.

You guys, I don’t know what came over me, stress in general, my body begging for a release, but for the second time that week you could find your girl BALLET-LEAPING over the porch steps, only this time I kept going, rounding the corner and storming down the driveway. THE MINIVAN was the first thing I came upon and Rob’s girlfriend was sitting in the drivers seat. I must have really come up on her like a wildwoman because she gasped, clutched her chest, and exclaimed, “What? What? Did I back into something??” and I fucking roared a string of obscenities about Rob and his fucking van etc etc and she goes, “Ok! Ok! Geez, I’ll tell him! Geez!”

(Honestly though, imagine you’re just calming sitting in your car playing Wordle or doom-scrolling thru Twitter and suddenly I pop up at your window, shrieking like a mad lady with absolutely no build up or provocation. Here I am, 갑자기!)

I stormed back up the driveway just as Henry was walking across the street looking nervous AF because he said he could tell something was HAPPENING and that I had just flipped out. IS MY MANIA THAT OBVIOUS?? COOL.

So now Henry and I are both in the house and my heart is racing because I honestly can’t explain what possessed me to do that. Like, it’s a van, yo. In a fucking driveway. It’s not bothering anyone. It’s not worth yelling about?? Potentially getting SHOT OVER?? People get shot for far less!

I guess the girlfriend relayed my message because I could hear ROB getting BACK into his van to move it out of Henry’s spot and back in front of HNC’s broken van, all the while shouting, “FUCK YOU!” at my house. So now I’m shouting passive aggressive shit back out the window, like, “OK YOU FUCKING WEIRDO” and Henry is nervously laughing with absolute fear in his eyes because is this going to turn into his moment to decide if he’s man enough to protect me?!

Especially when THERE WAS A KNOCK ON THE FRONT DOOR and he was just about to say, “Don’t—” but it was too late because by this point I was chomping at the bit for a fight so I marched over to the door and flung it open to see a totally strung out and shaking Rob pacing on my sidewalk. “WHAT???” I yelled and he was like, “I’M ALLOWED TO PARK BACK UNTIL THE 19TH JUST SO YOU KNOW” and I was like “I DON’T CARE, IT SHOULDN’T BE BACK  THERE AT ALL, YOU DON’T LIVE THERE” and he was stomping furiously through the yard, into the minivan that whisked him away from THE HORRORS OF PIONEER. I literally heard his girlfriend telling some guy who had pulled in front of their house probably for a drug deal while blasting a religious sermon on his radio that “yeah, we’re moving, Rob is sick of the bullshit on this street.”

WELL MAYBE DON’T MOVE BACK (TWICE!!!) TO THE SAME STREET YOUR EX-WIFE WHO HAS A PFA AGAINST YOU LIVES ON? AND ALSO MAYBE DON’T OWE MONEY TO YOUR NEIGHBORS?? (He apparently owes LARRY money, from what HNC says. HNC is the TMZ of Pioneer.)

So, that happened. And then I couldn’t calm down. Like, he pulled away and I instantly felt like SHIT. The adrenaline wore off and I sat at my desk with my head in my hands and regretted every single moment of that interaction. Yes, it’s annoying that he’s parking there, but that didn’t give me the right to fly off the handle when there had literally been NO OTHER CONVERSATION between us about this van. It’s not like, “Well, I asked him nicely 6 times so now I guess it’s time to threaten to shove shit up his ass” oh wait, that’s HNC’s wife’s go-to.

I just didn’t feel good about this, and it honestly ruined my whole weekend because I don’t like being a bitch anymore. It does nothing for me. I don’t feel “cool,” I don’t feel “tough.” I just felt like an asshole. I felt small and embarrassed. I don’t know this guy! I don’t know his life, I don’t know if he’s going through rough times, I don’t know if he’s the type of guy to come back with a fucking shotgun.

So yeah, I was awash in a sea of regertz. Not only is it just shitty to treat people that way, but it’s also, frankly, unsafe.

People.

Get.

Shot.

For.

Far.

Less.

You know? I wasn’t being smart and I’m truly lucky that it didn’t end in tragedy.

And then the 19th came and went and his van was still fucking back there so I got mad all over again. LOL.

Just kidding. I mean, not really, but it was more like, “OK I’m now officially validated,” you know what I mean? Was I going to fucking call and have it towed? Yeah, no. Because again, at the end of the end, who fucking cares.

Earlier this evening, Henry said, “Look, Rob’s back and he moved his van!” I looked outside and saw that he had pulled it across the street in the church parking lot and was standing over there talking to his girlfriend, who was sitting in her parked minivan.

“Do you think I should go over there and apologize?” I asked Henry, but before he could answer, I had already abandoned my dinner and was crossing the street.

You guys, being a bigger person sucks. It felt like I was walking the fucking plank or something, but I did it – I went over there and I said, “Hey, I just wanted to apologize for the way I acted the other day. I was being an asshole and it wasn’t cool, you didn’t deserve that.” Of course, talking to Rob is an exercise in futility and there was not much emotion coming from him, and frankly, I’m not even sure if he remembered what happened, but his girlfriend did, because I also apologized to her face too and she said, “That really means a lot – god bless you, sweetie” which you know, kind of ruined the moment, but still.

And then I got stuck over there for a solid 15 minutes listening to Rob talk about how he used to work for the OG landlord since he was 13 (current landlord is that guy’s son and he is not great, Patty) and other Pioneer sundry, until a tow truck arrived because apparently the transmission on Rob’s van is bad and that is why he was keeping it in the driveway, because he was waiting to have the money to get it towed. HOO BOY, KICK ME IN THE ASS AND CALL ME AN ASSHOLE.

The moral of this story is that I lost control, but I got it back. These last few weeks were really emotionally draining and made me remember that madness is the most life-sucking out of all the emotions and I will happily go back to working on my anger management skills. Admitting that you’re wrong really sucks, especially when it involves an explosive situation, but owning it really made me a great wave of relief. I am ready to move on. How did I used to be like this all of the time?? Being a bitch is not a good look on me, I know that. I felt so fucking ugly after both of those screaming episodes.

Oh, one final thing – the guy I yelled at about the radio? Didn’t know it then but EVIDENTLY!!! he is the landlord’s son and he’s moving into Rob’s vacated side of HNC’s house. GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION HE HAS OF ME. Very fucking excited about that.

Wait, one more final thing – today also happens to be 143 Day in Pennsylvania, a day to commemorate Mister Rogers by spreading kindness. Mister Rogers used the code 143 to mean “I love you,” and it ALSO just so happens that Stray Kids have a song called Case 143 so let’s end this tense and uncomfy blog post on a high note! I already posted the official MV for this song when it came out, but here’s the performance video!

 

 

Mar 132023
 

OK my post titles get dumber and dumber. You can agree, it’s fine.

Last week’s overnighter in Toronto was so chaotic and disjointed. Truly, the only really good, pure, magical moment was the Kang Daniel concert so I’m going to save that for last. Considering that this was the sole reason for the trip, this was the only thing that really needed to be EXCELLENT, and the rest was just extra. So for now, I’ll recap the things we ate on Wednesday before coming back to Pittsburgh, leaving out the sidewalk bickering, bleeding blister from so much walking, etc. etc. I really don’t know what my fucking problem was aside from the fact that I was so offended that Henry doesn’t pay attention to what I tell him! HE SINGLE-HANDEDLY GOT EVERYTHING WRONG, BOTH DAYS. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? OH, BECAUSE SOMEONE DOESN’T LISTEN.

There was a vegan Japanese bakery that I wanted to go to for breakfast, and a cafe that we were supposed to have gone to the day before but Henry is LE DUMBZ0RZ so we were supposed to go to these places on Wednesday. Breakfast at the Japanese place, then coffee, then head over to a vegan bakery to take some stuffz home.

LONG STORY SHORT: Henry thought we were only going to the cafe, had us take a subway, transfer, and then walk a million blocks to the wrong place and this is where I once again proceeded to walk far ahead of him because I feared that if we walked together, I might push him in front of a streetcar and I am much too delicate to go to prison.

So: lots of anger. This is what you missed from me last Wednesday morning.

Then it was CALL AN UBER, NEVER MIND, I’M JUST GOING TO WALK, WHY HAVEN’T YOU CALLED AN UBER, HOW FAR AWAY IS THE CAR, OMG YOU’RE SO FUCKING CHEAP, YOU CAN’T EVEN GET AN UBER and he’s like, “I can’t get an Uber if you don’t STOP WALKING.”

Anyway, this went on and on and on until we ended up in Chinatown and walked past a place called TRUE BREAKFAST which I found out later has all one star ratings on Yelp (FWIW, there are only 5 ratings and it only just opened, so…) and maybe that’s so but it will always live on in my heart as the place with the toast that saved our relationship, lol.

I had black sesame, and Henry had coconut cream. Aside from a guy who came in after us and ordered takeout, and two UberEats pickups, we were the only people dining in and it took an absurdly long time for our toast to be made, which was confounding to me because….toast. But still, it was delicious. I love Asian breads so much. I believe this place was specifically Taiwanese.

I was OK after this, almost for our entire walk back to where we parked in Koreatown. The whole reason we parked there was because there were several shops I like that I wanted to hit up before we left, but nothing was open yet! One of the shops opened literally in like 4 minutes, but I was already back IN A MOOD so I stormed off and said LET’S JUST LEAVE WHERE ARE YOU GOING WHY CAN’T YOU JUST DRIVE TO THE CAFE I WANTED TO GO TO NEVER MIND JUST GO HOME WOW I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE JUST GOING TO LEAVE YOU RUINED THIS WHOLE TRIP I HATE TORONTO I NEVER WANT TO COME BACK.

And then Henry found a parking spot literally right around the corner from Milky’s, the cafe on my list, so I was momentarily satiated.

Was it worth it? I mean, the maple latte was really fucking good and the barista was super cute and I watched a sweet old lady happily buy a chocolate chip cookie there with a handful of change, so yeah – it was nice.

It doesn’t matter if Henry liked it.

By now, I was a lot calmer having had food AND caffeine. Having a boyfriend who listens to me (and maybe proposes after less than 21 years) would have done a lot to improve my mood too but WE CAN’T HAVE IT ALL.

Next, we stopped in the Kensington Market area to go to Bunner’s, a vegan bakery that I have wanted to go to for quite some time now. I had mentioned it approx. 87 times to Henry prior to even leaving our house last week but for some reason, his failure to hear me had him completely eradicating Bunner’s from the itinerary both days. Every time I reminded him of its existence, he acted like it was the first time hearing about it.

Listen, Pedro – it’s like, we crossed the border and suddenly Henry was a champion abuser of gas lamps. He was driving me absolutely insane. He was drawing me closer and closer to the edge with every second I was near him in Toronto

Henry IS the yellow wallpaper.

But finally, Bunner’s! The girl working that day was really chill and didn’t make us feel rushed or unwelcome which, I’m sorry, is something that we tend to encounter quite frequently in vegan establishments. I specifically wanted to come here because after all the previous times we have been to Canada, I had NEVER heard of Nanaimo bars until recently. It’s apparently like the national treat of Canada! And Bunner’s has a vegan version!

We got 2 of those, a cookie (I will admit that the cookie was just OK), some chocolate overkill cupcake and a carrot cake cupcake for Chooch. I think that’s all we got? Henry and I shared one of the Nanaimo bars in the car and GOOD LORD, I’m an official stan. If we have another pie party, Henry is making a tray of these bitches.

Here’s what they look like from Bunner’s:

Nanaimo Bar

I want one right now.

Then we walked around and I got that clown masterpiece that I posted about the other day.

A few weeks ago, we had watched some vlog on YouTube where this couple went to a donut shop in St. Catherine’s and their reaction to every donut was a very serious exultation of THAT’S FUCKED UP. Henry and I couldn’t tell if that was good or bad? Turns out, once their eyes rolled back to the front and they stopped making gaping fish faces, it meant that these were the best vegan donuts that they ever had. So the day before, we ordered several to pick up on our way home.

ST. CATHERINE’S SQUIRREL.

The donut shop is called Beechwood Donuts.

I spotted this place across the street though and made the unilateral decision that we needed to get an empanada to go because all we had had that day was SUGAR and I needed something substantial. Um, I got a vegan one and Henry got RANDOM MEAT and we both agreed that these were like the sleeper hit of the trip. Maybe it was just because our bodies were starved for something without sugar, who knows. But yeah, I immediately wished that I had ordered two.

Planning his next gas lighting attempt.

In the actual picture, he’s smiling, but I adjusted the live version and stopped it on a frame where he looked the worst :)

The donuts! I took this once we got home and dug into them with Chooch. They were….not fucked up. But decent. The matcha blueberry and carrot cake fritter were my faves. Oh and the raspberry cronut was also delectable, but nothing that made me wish I lived in St. Catherines and I don’t even think I would make the slight detour the next time we’re heading to Toronto. It takes A LOT to impress me when it comes to donuts! I’m mostly just a classic sugar or glazed gal, anyway.

The only other notable thing that happened on Wednesday was when we stopped at a Tim Hortons on our way to pick up the donuts, I was waiting for Henry to use the bathroom when two teenaged boys approached me. Immediately, my guard went up because I am always prepared for the worst when it comes to kids. ARE THEY GOING TO MAKE FUN OF ME? ARE THEY GOING TO PICKPOCKET ME?

ARE THEY GOING TO CALL ME M’AAM??

These are all concerns.

But it was none of these. They wanted to know if I knew “Super Fan” who it turns out is apparently the Raptors #1 fan, has gone to every game since the 90s. And of course I don’t know who he is, I am American, I don’t know of these Canadian pop culture icons, let alone any person associated with basketball in general. They showed me his picture like this was going to help jog my m’aam-ish mind.

I still didn’t know who the hell they were talking about, but they were really excited because apparently he was in Tim Horton’s the day before and they got to meet him. I guess they just wanted to share this excitement with someone but I wouldn’t be lying if I didn’t suspect that they were planting some sort of graffiti crime evidence on me or taping a FAT GIRL sign to my back.

Henry came out of the bathroom and gave me an OK STOP TALKING TO YOUNG BOYS AND GET IN THE CAR smirk.

“Congratulations on meeting him,” I said as Henry whisked me away.

“They were in the bathroom when I went in,” Henry said. “One of them had hand sanitizer in his eye and the other was trying to help him rinse it out,” he laughed.

This checked out because when I first saw them on my way out of the bathroom, they were at the counter giving a hand sanitizer bottle some hearty pumps while one of them was exclaiming, “I hate germs!”

It was an eventful pee/coffee break.

Anyway, this is the guy they were talking about – I guess he really is a local celeb:

'I'm living a dream': Raptors victory parade takes over Toronto | CBC News

Mar 122023
 

My liveblog was so janky from the day we were in Toronto and some of the stuff I had written didn’t post because of service issues and I truthfully was so annoyed that I didn’t feel like even attempting to retype what I had lost. But basically what happened was that we were supposed to have a decent chunk of time Tuesday afternoon to visit at least 2 places on my TO DO LIST (a cafe and a bakery – v. important places). I even made sure to pick two that were in the same area so that we could easily to hit up both. But then we ended up getting in a bit later than I anticipated, and the hotel that Henry had booked was actually a little bit PAST Toronto proper, so that took even more time away. Then we had to check-in, Henry had to answer WORK TEXTS which is my LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT HENRY’S JOB, like he is not a fucking hedge fund guy, you know? There is no reason he should be getting work texts on his day off, ESPECIALLY WHEN HE IS EVEN OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

So immediately, my mood soured. It flipped a switch in my brain and I went from being rearin’ to go to itchin’ for a fight. So I became super disagreeable. Literally kept flinging myself facedown on the bed and screaming JUST FORGET IT. So this was about an hour of that. What it also boiled down to is that I needed caffeine and sugar. Bigly.

Finally, Henry got me to put my coat on and we set off for the Danforth Music Hall, because Henry’s plan was to park there and take the subway to the cafe/bakery destination. So we did this with little conflict, but then I panicked because it was only 4:00 and there was already a line of people outside of the theater. Our tickets were general admission / floor but I am really just all out endurance when it comes to camping out to get a good spot, so I basically at that point had resigned to the idea of being way in the back, unable to see.

Anyway! The lot we parked in was right next to the subway station so that was nice. Except that Henry parked in a spot that had a HUGE puddle on my side so I couldn’t get out, which caused me to have ANOTHER emotional breakdown and start crying, “I JUST WANT TO GO HOME” and he calmly said, “Let me just pull up and you can get out” and after a bunch of resistance, I finally let him do this so that I could get out of the car without stepping in the puddle.

Then we got on the subway, which was fine. I am OK with the subways in Toronto. But  what Henry didn’t tell me was that we would then have to get on the STREETCAR and after we had a weird experience the first time we used one of those (the driver yelled at us because we didn’t pay correctly or something, I can’t remember but it was embarrassing and I felt like I was in school getting yelled at by a teacher in front of the class and it was humiliating and clearly something that has squatted in my mind ever since). So we got on one that was still idling outside the station, waiting for the departure time, and some guy was sitting in the back loudly screaming about people looking at him or something and then he was calling someone the f-word and it was soooo uncomfortable. Meanwhile, the whole time I was like, “WERE WE SUPPOSE DTO PAY FOR THIS FIRST??” and Henry was like, “No one else did” but then I saw a guy come on and tap his card and I started to SWEAT.

“Maybe we’re supposed to pay when we get off,” Henry said, clearly not worried about this at all, while I sat there scrutinizing every single person that walked on. And then once we started moving, I paid close attention  to everyone who was getting off and still couldn’t tell if we were supposed to tap our card somewhere and also how did we request a stop!?!? I was DYING. Legit wringing my hands. Suffocating on my anxiety. Pubtrans seriously makes me so nervous (EXCEPT FOR THE SEOUL SUBWAY).

Oh, and then!! I realized that at this point, it was 4:50 and BOTH PLACES I WANTED TO GO TO CLOSED AT 5.

“Let’s just get off here, there are plenty of other places around that we could go to,” Henry said at one point when the street car slammed to a stop at a red light and the doors opened. I cannot compute such impromptu instructions so my head was SPINNING as Henry leapt out of his seat and practically swan-dove out the door, and then JUMPED OVER A SNOW BANK to the sidewalk. I ran after him, looking like a thief probably, like, “HEY THAT GIRL JUST SKIPPED OUT ON THE FARE!” literally I was waiting for the driver to come running out looking like Chris Farley in Billy Madison, hollering about calling the Mounties on me.

buy diflucan online buy diflucan generic

None of these things happened, but the street car was still sitting there because of the redlight and I just felt EVERYONE WAS STARING AT US so I FREAKED OUT AND LEFT HENRY. I just turned and started powerwalking in the opposite direction, away from the sreetcar and where we apparently needed to cross the street, and proceeded to WALK ALL THE BACK  TO THE SUBWAY STATION WHERE WE GOT ON THE STREET CAR.

It really wasn’t that far. Maybe a 25-minute walk. Henry trailed behind me the entire way, I refused to let him catch up with me. He kept trying to ask me what was wrong and I cried, “THE WAY YOU JUMPED OUT OF THE STREET CAR LIKE A PETTY CRIMINAL WAS SO EMBARRASSING” and he was like, “The fuck are you talking about?” and OK, now that we’re a week away from the INCIDENT, I am rational enough to admit that perhaps my mind, reeling from lack of essential nutrients (yes, caffeine and sugarssss) perhaps was replaying this scene to me in blown-up proportions best reserved for balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I can be honest with you about that. Perhaps it was me, sabotaging this entire day because I am being eating alive by stress in all other areas of my life and God forbid I should allow myself to calm down, relax, enjoy myself.

Anyway. We took the subway BACK to the street where the Danforth is located, and I had SORT OF calmed down a little bit by then but was still craving things. I had really just wanted a coffee and baked good, but then we started to walk past a vegan chain called Fresh which I knew a bit about, and I saw CAKES in the window, so I said, “Let’s just go here.”

For some reason, I didn’t realize this was a sit-down and order type of place. I thought it was more of a Panera, but no – as soon as we walked in, we had to wait to be seated and I fought the urge to turn around and leave because Henry HATES it when I do that even though I point out that people do it all the time and just because I walk inside somewhere, doesn’t mean I’m stripped of my right to change my mind!?!??! (Granted, I have also down this after being seated and ordering drinks, so I can see how he would be feeling some type of way every time we enter a restaurant lol.)

I basically willed my mind to just shut down and allowed myself to go with the flow. That’s sad right? That I have to use mind-control on myself to just follow a host to a table? Oh, to be a normal functioning human. What does that feel like!? I guess I could just ask Henry.

RIGHT AWAY, I had to fight another urge to flee because Henry, and I can’t believe he did this, took the seat at the table that was on the banquette side, leaving me to sit in the regular chair with my back exposed to the foot traffic of the restaurant.

I NEVER SIT IN THIS SPOT!!! I ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE MY BACK TO THE WALL! IT IS THE INNER FBI AGENT IN ME!!!

Oh, I was furious. I think our server could tell too, and I was trying so hard to make friendly eye contact and smile naturally every time I interacted with them.

Now, instead of just getting a dessert, I felt obliged to order actual food. I suggested that we just get an appetizer to share and Henry, knowing he was on THIN ICE, LIKE WE’RE TALKING COMMUNION WAFER-THIN HERE, quickly sputtered, “Whatever you want!”

We agreed on the dumplings, but when the server came back, I said to them with the most confidence I have spoken with in months probably, “We’ll have the ONION RINGS” and then I shot Henry a tight-lipped smile across the table. His expression was priceless. He let out a silent “You bitch” laugh and then said, “Oh, OK. And I guess I will also order the dumplings.

buy symbicort online buy symbicort generic

Can I just say that those were the best fucking onion rings I have ever had in my life? They had QUINOA in the batter and were sooo crispy and totally perfect. We are both still talking about them!

The dumplings were fine.

Food aside, it was one of the most awkward dining experiences I have had in a while. First of all, the staff was CHAOTIC. So many different people were flitting about but there weren’t that many diners, and then everyone seemed like they kept distracted. It was like being in a restaurant run by Sims. Every time our server would come to check on us, they would ask us something and then start looking all around the restaurant, over their shoulder, anywhere but at us, while we were talking and it felt like every since interaction ended on a cliffhanger. I felt I had whiplash. The food came out super fast, but the service was sooo strange and disjointed. Couldn’t be more impersonal unless I, Erin Rachelle Kelly, was every server.

Secondly, some guy was dining alone right next to us and I had to face him since Henry took the seat I wanted. I think he might have been waiting for someone and then ended up ordering for himself once he realized he had been stood up, because he was already seated when he got there and didn’t order until much after we did, because he was looking at his phone the whole time. He ordered this big nacho plate which looked and smelled amazing, and then afterward, he got a huge hunk of chocolate cake which also looked like something I could easily demolish on my own, probably while crying.

I wanted to also get a slice of cake, but was starting to panic about getting in line for the concert so we opted on getting a chocolate chip cookie to go. Henry didn’t like it but I thought it was fine.

Those onion rings really saved the day, though. That and the candied ginger that came speared on a toothpick with Henry’s housemade ginger ale, which I immediately plucked from his glass and popped straight into my mouth while he watched with mouth agape. I was such a fucking bitch on this day, moreso than I typically am.

buy filitra online buy filitra generic

(I know, I know, so many people who know me IRL think I AM SO NICE, SO SWEET but Henry knows the real Erin, the one who grew up being called Sybil by her family. SMILEY FACE.)

I would like to go back to Fresh for a full meal COMPLETE WITH CAKE but probably in a different location where it hopefully won’t feel like the entire kitchen staff is going to self-implode around me. My chai tea and onion rings helped right the wrongs of the day, rewire my sizzling brain, and get me in READY MODE for the Kang Daniel show. Who knew adding quinoa to onion rings could be such a game changer?!?!?

Jan 172023
 

There’s this trendy waffle joint that opened in Oakland somewhat recently, like within the last year. I drive past it whenever I take Chooch to school and I always whine about wanting to go but then we never do because Henry and Chooch don’t get stoked about things like this the way that I do.

I got over it after a while but apparently Corey mentioned to Chooch at some point recently that he wanted to go so then suddenly it became appealing to Surly Teen.

Chooch and I were both on Monday in honor of MLK Jr Day, so it seemed like a good opportunity to try some Smashed Waffles with Corey.

First of all, I was sulking because when I looked at their menu online the other day, there was a waffle under the SWEET SECTION called the John Lemon, which was, you know, lemony. I had my heart set on that one and the Cereal Killer because you know me and Fruity Pebbles as a topping.

But then we got there and IT WASN’T ON THE MENU. Chooch pressured me into choosing the SEASONAL WAFFLE so I did and immediately after paying for our order, I looked up on the digital screen just in time to see a picture of the HOT CHOCOLATE WAFFLE so I cried out, “Is that the seasonal waffle?!” and Chooch was all, “Yeah, that’s what I was trying to tell you.”

BITCH, WHEN?

I 100% would NOT have ordered the seasonal one had I known it was HOT CHOCOLATE, which was essentially just a waffle with chocolate syrup and marshmallows?!

I was BIG PISSED about this, and then I was even more annoyed because the seating options were not ideal and Chooch and I tried in vain to get Corey to grab a recently vacated table next to the window but some dumb trio of girls practically knocked him over and managed to claim it even though COREY WAS STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO IT.

They just wanted it more, I guess.

So we stuck with our sad wobbly table by the restrooms. Don’t worry – I complained about that AND my ordering regrets the whole time, in perfect Erin fashion.

The waffle itself was actually pretty good but the hot chocolate one just really set me off. I wish I had done with Corey and Chooch did – they both got a breakfast sandwich AND a sweet waffle. My two sweet waffles were very unsatisfying. This was 100% more of a “fun snack” during an outing than a lunch. It just didn’t cut it for me and I had to make toast when I got home later!

I did get a pretty delicious latte though but now I forget which one it was – I think it ad honey and cinnamon in it!? It was pretty wonderful, to be honest.

Every time a young person walked past the window, Corey would blurt out, “do you know them?” to Chooch since we were on his school turf. I love how when I do that, Chooch gets so bitchy, but it was SO COOL AND FUNNY WHEN COREY WAS DOING IT. Ugh, Chooch.

After that, we walked around for a bit even though Corey was lowkey worried about his car getting towed, lol. Once Chooch and I realized that Corey had never been to the top-ish of the Cathedral of Learning, we were like, “Oh no, you gotta do it, let’s go” and it made me laugh a little that Chooch is so well-versed in the inner workings of the Cathedral when I’m the one who actually went to Pitt and had classes there! The Secret Life of Chooch. I know he also hangs out around the CMU campus too…? It moderately concerns me that I have no idea what he’s doing after school, because it’s definitely not “immediately coming home.”

“What if we could see your car getting towed right now?” Chooch said to Corey, which made him belt out one of his signature SUPER BOISTEROUS BELLY LAUGHS in the VERY SMALL observation area of the Cathedral.

Damn, this view never gets old. I love the Cathedral of Learning so so so so much. It was the best part of Pitt.

This rando’ storage nook was open!? Corey tried to get me to take some marketing award that was stashed in there.

I felt like I had chocolate on my face from the HOT CHOCOLATE waffle, but I guess I didn’t after all.

CATHEDRAL SELFIE! Not pictured: MY DOUG PIN.

Sadly, none of the nationality rooms were open that day so we couldn’t show Corey all that funnery that takes place on the lower levels of the Cathedral. I love taking people there when they come to Pittsburgh to visit. The Cathedral is just, ugh, so good. But then when we left, I stepped off the sidewalk slightly and it caught me off guard to where I thought I was going to fall so I overcorrected myself too zealously and tweaked my back and now my already-effed back hurts even worse than usual. Yay, 40s.

That was a really fun afternoon! But then a few hours after we came home, THE HAWK CAME BACK and was perched on the telephone pole in front of my house so I was freaking the fuck out, telling it to go fuck itself, clapping real loud, stamping my feet – you know, the usual things that you do when you’re trying to get a fucking hawk to fuck right off because you’re protecting your squirrel family. Henry came home from work while I was out there staring the fucker down (this had been going on for 20 minutes by then) so Henry joined me but his role in all of this is more of a WILDLIFE OBSERVER, like he will stand there calmly with his hands clasped behind his back, smiling dreamily, lost in the awe-inspiring moment. The opposite of me, obviously.

Then Henry did something really stupid and said, “Usually when there is one hawk, there is another nearby—oh look, there it is!” and then pointed across the street at the church where another MUCH LARGER HAWK was perched ON THE FUCKING CROSS and as if on cue, turned and flew toward us, landing on a tree right across the street. SO NOW I HAD TO FUCK WITH TWO HAWKS.

While this was happening, Chooch left the house to go to the mall. When he walked down the sidewalk under the telephone pole where Hawk #1 was sitting, the hawk looked down at Chooch and did this antagonizing bob and weave like he was going to dive on him!? I HATE THESE FUCKERS SO MUCH!!!!

“Can’t I call the mayor?!” I cried to Henry, after he said that the game preserve, etc. wouldn’t do anything if I called because, once again, these assholes are FEDERALLY PROTECTED.

“No, you can’t call the mayor!” Henry yelled.

So then I had a great idea. I suggested that we get Blake to pretend like the hawk tried to take his toddler Milo.

“And then I can call the mayor and tell him that he needs to get someone to Brookline to remove the hawks and release them in some mountain in West Virginia, probably,” I explained, the plan coming together to quickly in my head.

“But the mayor will want to see Milo and then he’ll wonder why he doesn’t have any wounds?” Henry questioned, always trying to find PLOT HOLES in my stories.

“Well, of course Milo won’t have any wounds, because I stopped the hawk from reaching him!” I yelled, like try to keep up, idiot. This story is brilliant actually because I get to be a hero AND have the hawks evicted.

I’m going to talk to Blake about this, get him up to speed so that he can corroborate my story once the mayor and the news crews get here. Probably Biden too.

Dec 312022
 
  1. A Lesson In Physics

Henry babysits his grandkids on Wednesday evenings, so I often have to make my own dinner if I don’t feel like waiting for him to be done. I mean, he’s just right next door but I’m pretty accustomed to eating right after I log off of work. We had sweet potatoes and veggie burgers in stock, so I figured I would be a big girl and handle dinner for myself. Luckily, Chooch was at a friend’s house, so I didn’t have to also be a parent.

Since I was already using the microwave for the sweet potato, I decided to cook the veggie burger in a pan. This is something I have tackled on my own in the past, so I had confidence in myself. The only problem is that vegan cheese doesn’t melt very fast when I’m doing the pan thing, so I usually have to pop it in the microwave afterward.

But then!!! I had this really great idea that I could use a LID. I have done this before! It kind of works, sort of! Probably would work better if I had the patience to keep the lid on longer, but whatever. A girl’s gotta eat.

When I put the lid on, it immediately made this strong sucking sound and I quickly realized that it was now STUCK on the pan.  I panicked and took the pan off the stove so it could cool off and maybe let the lid pop off, but in my panic, I had slammed it down on the cutting board which is made from plastic, so now the kitchen had become ripe with the stench of MOLTEN PLASTIC AND BURNING PAN, as tendrils of the melted cutting board were dangling off the bottom of the pan like space creatures. I was SCREAMING, fighting for my life, trying to wrench the lid off with my hands wrapped in towels, but only succeeding in loosening the knob.

I really tried to resolve this on my own but after a solid minute of NO SOLUTIONS, NO HOTLINE TO CALL, I cried uncle and texted Henry.

Well, I guess you could say I cried “Henry.”

Now I had to put my shoes on while holding this piping hot pan over my head, while the cats were watching me – one was on high alert, the other was still half-asleep on the couch watching with one eye half-slitted open. I walk into Blake’s house and Calvin and Lily immediately are like FULL OF QUESTIONS.

“Why did you do that?”

“Because I can’t cook.”

“Why can’t you cook?!?!?!”

I DON’T KNOW, ASK MY MOM WHY SHE NEVER TAUGHT ME!

Meanwhile, Henry was performing pan surgery in the kitchen, trying not to swear in front of the kids, but being SO PISSED because he HATES when his kitchenware is abused. Apparently, I used “the wrong lid.” I thought it was the right one because it fit perfectly?

“YEAH THAT’S THE PROBLEM IT FIT TOO PERFECTLY,” Henry grunted, trying to wedge a knife in between the sides of the pan and the lid. And then he realized that in addition to the lid because the wrong size, allegedly, it was also the kind that had “long sides” so that’s what was making it even harder to get it off the pan. The steam/heat made the sides of the lid get sucked right on it. #physics

Literally, how will I ever live without Henry? I just do not have time for this basic adult life bullshit.

2. Doug’s Slow Descent

We had planned to go to Kennywood after work on Thursday. Like most amusement parks, they do a  holiday light thing and it’s included in our season pass, so why not? I had a feeling it was going to be p-p-p-acked, being the week after Christmas and an unusually, unseasonably balmy night of 55 degrees. I mean, we had just come out of a multi-day freezing cold snap so I figured this would bring people out in droves.

And I was correct. It was so crowded that we got stuck in stand-still traffic inside the parking lot. And Phantom doesn’t even run during the holiday season, so we started to question why we were even there. I had billed it earlier as “family fun time,” but Chooch goes, “There aren’t even any rides running?? How are we supposed to have fun together as a family then? You expected us to just walk around, looking at the lights? WOW, SO MUCH FUN.”

Mmm, sixteen-year-old backseat backtalk. Love that.

So, I called it. “Let’s just leave and go out to eat somewhere,” I sighed. It wasn’t that I was that broken up over Kennywood, because we had already been there like 6 or 7 times this season, but I was fucking hungry.

I pulled up Yelp as we left Kennywood, and then we all had a microburst of arguments over where to eat. You would think we’re new to the area the way we can never find a restaurant. Chooch and I both just wanted a veggie burger and Henry will eat anywhere, literally, would probably eat soup from a boot if he had to, so he didn’t care where we went. I just put “veggie burger” into Yelp and one of the options was some place called GOODFELLAS in Swissvale, which should have been the only red flag I needed. But I still said, “Let’s try this place called GOODFELLAS in Swissvale.”

We never go to that area of town really, but since we were still close to Kennywood when I was on Yelp, it came up in the search. I just knew it was a bar/lounge, and we’re fine with places like that. When we got there, the lot was PACKED so I thought, wow that’s a good sign. Maybe this place was good!

This is important to note for the future when you might wonder aloud, “Why is Henry not transitioning into Hero Mode?” – he had to go back to the car because as we were walking through the parking lot, I pointed out that Chooch was carrying his Dunkin’ coffee and he was just going to throw it out at the door until he realized there was no garbage can, so he made Henry take it back to the car, lol.

Chooch and I continued walking through the lot. There was an old man sitting in a chair outside of the place, and some not-as-old guy was standing next to him. The old guy got up from the chair right as Chooch and I approached. In one blurred motion, he turned to the other guy and promptly fell into him. Oh! OK. This is happening. Shit.

The other guy was too busy holding a cigarette and his beer, so he let the old man fall into him and then slide down his body ONTO THE GROUND, LANDING ON HIS FACE.  Literally, this was accompanied by a crumbling sound and a hollow thud as his body became one with the parking lot.

I screamed and the still-standing dude was just like so whatever about this, and proceeded to let the old man lay there??? In my CONCERNED CITIZEN tone, I say, “Oh my god, is he ok, do you need me to call 911?” It turns out, he was just suuuuuper drunk. Meanwhile, Henry is missing this big opportunity to be the HERO because he still hasn’t joined us?! The car was not THAT far away, so I feel like Henry purposely hung back because he didn’t want to get involved? It was so awkward because Chooch and I are so anti when it comes to people.

The standing guy is like, “No, he’s fine. COME ON DOUG, GET IT TOGETHER!” And then he like, nudges Doug with his foot.

The standing guy was really annoyed about this situation, but Doug was squirming face-down on the parking lot and I’m like, “Can I help?” because I feel like this is the thing to say at that moment, but dude is all, “No it’s fine, I got it, sorry guys,” as he’s PULLING DOUG UP WITH ONE HAND AND THEN RE-DROPPING HIM ONTO THE GROUND?? I wanted to flee so bad.

I didn’t know what to do, so Chooch and I stepped over him and started to walk into the place, but as soon as I opened the door and caught a glimpse of the inside, I realized it was just a whole roomful of more Dougs, swaying and falling into each other while hootin’ and hollerin’, so I turned around and said, “Nope, nope nope nope” and Henry had now joined us and was like, “Why is this man being dragged?” Anyway, we ended up having a delicious but uneventful dinner at an Indian restaurant  in Monroeville, where Henry says we ate once when I was pregnant but had to leave after appetizers because pre-Chooch decided he didn’t want any of that.

I was telling the group chat this story at work yesterday, thinking it would get maybe a “lol” and a “aw poor Doug,” BUT NO. It spiraled out into a sensation that lasted the ENTIRE WORK DAY. The Doug references never stopped flying. Nate wanted to change the chat name to “COME ON DOUG.” The Goodellas website was scoured and dissected. (They have a quinoa veggie burger!) Lauren considered switching her gym’s website to the Sinatra WordPress Theme: “Whatever gets me Doug,” she said.

“‘It’s a Swissvale thing, you just wouldn’t understand’,” Wendi quoted from the website. “Well that just says it all.”

Wendi suggested that Lauren also have a classy Last Supper mural in her gym, too, but with like WWE people.

“Like Chyna,” she said. “….and Elvis.”

I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard at work. I suggested that I have Doug pins made and this was met with a resounding YES PLZ so I called Henry.

“Henry,” I panted breathlessly. Laughing takes so much out of me. “Do we still have the pin maker?”

“Yes, why…” Henry asked, his words dragged down with the weight of so much suspicion. “Are you making Doug pins?” he asked with a sigh, already knowing the answer.

The day before in group chat, we were learning GenZ slang, some of which I knew, some I wish I didn’t.

“Guys, I just asked our Resident GenZ’r – Chooch – for his Doug review and he said ‘it wasn’t that deep. It probably happens to him every day, so.'”

We decided that “That’s so Doug” should be the new “that’s so mid.”

Glenn was disappointed that I didn’t get a video.

“Henry said we could probably go back tonight, and I’d have another opportunity,” I said.

“You could probably go right now,” Nate added.

I also suggested that we throw this place in the pot as a suggestion for our department’s post-Xmas work party and everyone was enthusiastically on board with this.

“We just need to rent a PT Cruiser, tommy guns and fedoras,” Nate said.

Hours later, Lauren said, “100% where even is Swissvale lol.”

Then our west coast crew signed on:

It was, sincerely, the best way to sign off to 2022. My work friends are so chaotic, and I love them with my whole heart!

UPDATE FROM 1/1/23: Henry and I are in the attic, still trying to clean this shit out so that Chooch can have a lounge/game room. Henry found an unopened bank statement from 2005. He opened it, glanced at it, and the first thing he saw was a charge from UDIPI CAFE which is where we ate after the DESCENT OF DOUG. WHAT DOES IT MEAN.

Dec 082022
 

I don’t know what I was thinking when I said, “Hey let’s have a Xmas party for the first time in forever but also let’s do all these home projects first.” Maybe if we hadn’t had THE PUMBING ISSUE which left us with a HOLE IN THE CEILING, this would have been reasonable, but now Henry is working on patching the ceiling because the landlord has left us hanging as usual and I cannot wait a single day longer for him to send someone because hello, in addition to the party, we’re also hosting Christmas here and I’m not having my family sit underneath a hole. (Oh don’t worry, we will get this deducted from our rent.

buy levaquin online buy levaquin generic

Henry has RECEIPTS. No, literally. He has actual receipts to send to the slumlord.)

Some things we’re working on:

  • Henry is revamping the subway sign because he didn’t like the way he originally did the lights;
  • I repainted the tigers on the front door because when I initially did it in August of 2021, I used paint pens and they faded bigly (this is the only thing that’s complete so far because it was something that did not require Henry’s assistance lol)
  • I had just started to repaint the “cat head” wall literally THE NIGHT before the plumbing incident. The hole is like, right above this part of the wall so I had to stop and now I have to wait for Henry to finish patching the hole so that I can finish painting it. I’m painting it a dark green, similar to the green that we used for the picture frames on the Korea all, so it ties in that wall with the dining room now.
    buy prednisone online buy prednisone generic

  • In addition to repainting the wall, I removed all of the framed pictures of my Original Four Cat Crew because I always felt that those pictures didn’t do them justice, and wanted to make real, regal portraits for them. I had been wanting to commission someone on Etsy for years now to assist with this (there are so many artists out there who do the whole pet/royalty portraits) but I wanted to be able to customize them and knew in my mind exactly what I wanted, so then I just decided to do it  myself because I have  to be in control of everything. So far, we only have Marcy done, but Speck should be completed this weekend:

I knew that I wanted the portraits to be raised up and separate from the background, so I photoshopped Marcy onto some Queen bitch and then Henry mod-podged her a bunch of times to a piece of foam board. I wanted the whiskers on the right side to be “real” because it was way too hard to cut around her actual whiskers without it looking like shit. At first, we were going to use one of Chooch’s old stuffed animals but then I felt really guilty and said, “Maybe we can take like, one whisker from several? So  then we don’t leave a stuffed animal whiskerless?” and Henry was like, “I…don’t think they care?” But then Chooch came back down from checking his stash in  the attic and reported that he couldn’t find many with the kinds of whiskers I needed and the ones that did have whiskers were all messed up because he “apparently was really into chewing on them” when he was 5???

Henry mentioned that fishing line would probably work and I screamed, “ASK HNC!!!” and he of course, really did not want to do that, but eventually relented and traded him a VHS-to-DVD conversion kit thing that HNC has been asking for, in exchange for fishing line.

(We really don’t want to know what HNC is converting from VHS.)

Anyway, it worked like magic!

Also please note that the background is wallpaper that was used to Sharon’s bathroom from my Pappap’s house. Sigh. I am determined to make beautiful art pieces with as much of that leftover wallpaper as possible!

  • I need a second coffee table for the church pew section of the living room, so we’re refurbing an oldie. Painted it from black to red – that part is done. But now we have to epoxy the fabric in the backgound of the above Marcy portrait to the tabletop. I would have liked for this to have been completed weeks ago, but…the hole.
  • Oh, did I mention that while all this is going on, our Xmas card sales have exploded? So that has also been taking a lot of time away.
  • WE HAVEN’T EVEN DECORATED TRUDY YET.

I feel so overwhelmed and stressed.

buy zydena online buy zydena generic

It all came to a head two mornings ago when I came back from my morning walk only to realize that my FitBit was completely dead, as in, DEAD AS A DOOR NAIL dead, not just BATTERY NEEDS RECHARGED dead. The.way.I.flpped.out.

HOO BOY. Projection ahoy! The texts I sent Henry during all this will be quite damning if I ever end up on trial for murder, that’s all I’m saying. God, I can be so fucking problematic.

I know in the end, it will be fine, I just want to see my friends and have a use for the beverage buffet again. But fuck, just typing out this blog post made my heart race.

Nov 232022
 

My brother Corey and I were traipsing down Memory Lane the other day when I referenced the time that my childhood best friend and I were “professional junior bridesmaids.

” Corey was like, “Whoa whoa whoa, back up.  I don’t remember this??” To his credit, he was like 2 years old at the time and too concerned with drinking “strawbeddy” milk to notice his teenage sister walking down aisles in pink taffeta.

(Was it taffeta?)

(Do I even know what taffeta is?)

As I was filling in the missing pages of this chapter of the Kelly Family Story for him, it made me realize how actually fucking ridiculous this whole thing was. Let me tell you about it.

The year was 1992. My aunt Susie was planning a wedding with her fiance, Mark (he was fucking awesome, btw, and played in a cover band called Le Chic!). I don’t know whose idea it was, but I somehow got locked in as “junior bridesmaid.” And because my BFF Christy was basically an honorary family member to the point where my Pappap once offered to take her to Europe with us but her parents said no (I was sad!), she was also offered a supporting role in The Wedding.

If you’re reading this and you know me personally, you will remember that this was basically the impetus of what would become a lifelong fear of food / eating disorder / etc. for me because I was a preteen FATTY and my grandma made sure I was aware of it. God forbid I should ruin Susie’s wedding with my fat ass registering seismic activity as I Stay Puft’d my cankles down the aisle. So this was also the year that I became exercise-obsessed too. I was on Slim Fast (yep, at 11! Ask me about the lingering effects that had on my psyche) and working out with Denise Austin and Gilad every day. I remember feeling awesome at the last fitting when my dress had to be taken in, but also thinking that I was still fat.

Speaking of the FITTING, some memories I have of that:

  • being pissed because the adults got to drink champagne;
  • obviously hating Susie’s choice of dress for us (and let’s be honest, it was probably my grandma’s choice);
  • the saleswoman’s name being Rosemary but calling her Rosethorn behind her back because she kept sticking us with pins;
  • maniacally singing “Pop Pop Goes the Weasel” (some inexplicably popular pseudo-rap song that was v. popular in 1992?!) in the back of my grandma’s car after leaving the dumb bridal shop to the point where my grandma legit lost her shit and yelled at us. God first, I’m fat then I’m annoying on top of it all.

Fast forward to the wedding. I was 12 by then, I think?

Corey asked who even was in the wedding and all I could remember was Susie’s friend Lori was a Girl Scout (no, not like, in her youth – she was STILL a Girl Scout somehow? I can’t remember what the deal was but I know that Christy and I were majorly side-eyeing each other over this, back when we didn’t know that side-eyeing was a thing) and had once dated former Pgh Penguin Phil Borque but back when he was in the farm league.

Interestingly, my mom was not in the wedding party (she probably opted out because anything that puts even a background spotlight on her is not my mom’s jam) and either was Sharon, the eldest sister, but this is not shocking because Susie and Sharon hated each other.

Luckily, I found these pictures. I have no idea who any of those dudes are or the first lady, but the blond is my cousin Zita: former lingerie model and former girlfriend of former Red Wings Chris Chelios. Lots of hockey…connections in this wedding party.

Susie and Mark have since divorced but Susie is still married to that hairstyle. (Not even knocking her – that coif works for her. I literally can’t imagine her with any other hairstyle. It’s her signature!)

But where this gets kind of weird is that my cousin Zita’s brother Chris (also my cousin, obvi, but also has the distinction AND HONOR of being my godfather) was also slated to get married that year, two months after Susie. So he’s at the wedding with his fiancée, you know, and someone on that side of the family thought it would be adorable if Christy and I donned the dresses again for a second strut down the aisle, this time at the wedding of Chris and Laurie.

I mean, I barely knew Chris, if we’re being honest. Super nice guy, but our families didn’t like, hang out. And Christy CERTAINLY didn’t know him! But yeah, OK. Sure. This is normal. We will be in your wedding too! Wearing the same dresses! Knowing NO ONE in the wedding party!

This wedding was actually kind of fun though. I have a strong memory of getting into the limo after the ceremony to go to the reception. The wedding was at some really nice church downtown, I think? I don’t know, but the reception was at the Embassy Suites near the airport, and I remember it being fancy AF. So, we’re in the limo, right? And all the adults are popping the champers and just, you know, popping off in general too. And this one groomsman, he was really starting to get loose in the limo and the lips, and he looked at me, gestured at me with his sloshing glass, and said, “Your aunt Susie is A BITCH!” Christy and I were like, “Ooooooooooh!!!!!” Anyway, he went on to tell us that he was IN LOVE with her in high school I guess, and she broke his heart or something, I don’t know, but Christy and I were sure to report back to Susie on this later.

The other thing I will never forget about this wedding was that the bride’s younger brother looked like a young Mario Lemieux (hockey again) and Christy and I were LUSTING.

At the reception, we mostly just ran around letting everyone wonder who the fuck we were, but at one point Zita snagged us. She was with her then-boyfriend, some much-older rich guy. She joked that we would also have to be in their wedding. “It’s going to be in Bermuda! We’ll fly you there!”

They never got married, and Christy and I never got another gig as the Pinkies. Probably for the best considering NEITHER COUPLE made it to their 10th anniversary.

Nov 222022
 

Cliff the Plumber returned to my house this morning, with some broad in tow. His wife? Sister? Just a random apprentice? I have no idea, but their working relationship was stressing me the fuck out. Cliff spent most of the time working through the hole in the ceiling while she was in the bathroom getting lowkey berated by him. I say lowkey because he maintained a monotone through it all, even when a piece of a pipe fell down and hit him (Henry said he thinks it hit him in the head lol) and she was like, “Are you OK?” and he very dryly said, “No. I’m not OK” and then continued working. Later, he quietly monotoned, “Ow.

generic symbicort online blackmenheal.org/wp-content/languages/new/us/symbicort.html over the counter

That went in my eye.”

o.O

I work from home, and my desk is literally in the dining room where he was working so this was awkward AF. I usually use Jabber to chat with my work-friends, but I didn’t want CLIFF to see that I was giving plumbing play-by-plays so I was covertly texting from my lap under my desk, like he was my manager or something.

At one point, Cliff had to go out to his van and when he opened the front door, he said, “Hi squirrel” so that was nice of Cliff to acknowledge that this is Squirrel Town.

But back to his plumber lady. He kept asking her questions through the hole and when she would respond, he would exasperatedly huff, “I can’t hear you!

generic symbicort online www.handrehab.us/images/layout3/php/symbicort.html over the counter

” like it’s her fault she has to communicate around a corner and through a hole, you know? My two least favorite moments were:

  1. when he slightly raised his voice and said COME ON, MAN. DO I HAVE TO COME UP THERE?
  2. when he lost his patience and snapped COME DOWN HERE NOW. And then he met her at the bottom of the steps (RIGHT NEXT TO MY DESK, FYI) and said, “You’ve done this a TRILLION TIMES. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?” She sputtered out an excuse but he didn’t hang around to hear it – he was already on his way up the steps to DO THE FUCKING JOB RIGHT.

I kept furiously texting Henry (WHO HAD FALLEN ASLEEP ON THE COUCH, BOY I’M SO GLAD THIS FUCKING HERO CAME HOME FROM WORK TO BE HERE WITH ME DURING THIS TRYING TIME) things like, “Can you please turn the TV on so there is some kind of background noise, because this is fucking awkward!?” You know what he put on? Some video of someone walking around a town and not speaking. There was like NO SOUND.

The whole thing took a little less than 2 hours, thank god.

generic symbicort online healthcoachmichelle.com/wp-content/languages/new/symbicort.html over the counter

Afterward, they were washing their hands in the kitchen and openly discussing all the stuff in there. “That is really cool.” “Look, it’s Pee Wee!” “Oh, that must be from a pinball machine.”

Then CLIFF spent some time admiring Henry’s Seoul Subway Sign and Henry kept saying, “I AM MAKING A NEW ONE. IT’S GOING TO BE BETTER” and Cliff was like, “OK calm down.”

I mean, he didn’t say that but he was probably thinking it. Or maybe I was just thinking it loud enough for all of us.

The good news is that we FINALLY have new pipes, can use the shower again, and THE TUB DRAINS IMMEDIATELY so we’re not basically standing in bath water when showering. It only took actual decades for this to happen.

The bad news is that there is an even bigger hole in the ceiling and we are at the mercy of the landlord and whichever one of his goons he chooses to send to “fix” it. Henry is certain it’s going to end up being him so he’s prepared to bill the landlord himself.

Our Christmas party is less than a month away and I have a pretty good feeling that this hole will still be there, so if you see pictures of a random swath of Christmas wrapping paper taped to the ceiling, that’s uh….JUST PART OF THE XMAS DECOR, MOVE YOUR EYES ELSEWHERE.

Apr 122022
 

Hello from the road. Today we are driving to Tampa so I have a moment for a Story Time.

We spent Monday at SeaWorld Orlando and it was AN AMAZING DAY. I will get to all the good stuff in the future but today I want to talk about the only low points, both of which happened in the same ride line, but at different times.

1. Adventures in Babysitting

Chooch and I had been wanting to ride Infinity Falls all damn day because it was hot hot hot and also because we had never been on a rapids ride that has an elevator?! That seemed interesting so even though I don’t often run to get in line for water rides, I was down for this.

However, because it was hot hot hot, this ride was also a HOT commodity, you could say. Oh ho ho.

We walked by at one point in the afternoon and saw that the wait time was allegedly 45 minutes so we ditched Henry and dipped in line. However!! As soon as we got through the entrance, some man ran up to us (literally bypassed the British family behind us) and asked, “Excuse me!! Could my girls ride with you two? They want to ride and—”

I will be honest here and tell you that these events were such a blur that I can’t even remember if I even heard his reason. I am presuming it was that the parents didn’t want to ride. I was so flustered that I just blurted out “ok sure” and that is how Chooch and I ended up with two little girls in our care?! And have you ever seen me trying to talk to young kids? Whooo boy. It ain’t pretty. Chooch was giving me the U SO CRINGE side eye and I returned it with the WHAT DO U WANT ME TO DO head shake.

To their credit, they were extremely well-behaved and not like, running amok through the queue landscaping like some other children were.

We were about 15 minutes from the front of the line when the dreaded ATTN RIDERS announcement came on BECAUSE THE DAMN RIDE WAS DOWN. People started to get out of line and Chooch and I are looking at each other and then looking down at our wards, who were quietly sitting on the ground playing with a rock or something, talking about Jojo Siwa, I don’t know what little girls these days do.

I personally would have kept standing in line without giving it a second thought let me tell you this pertinent piece of the story: About halfway into the wait, I looked down and realized that one of the kids was NOT WEARING SHOES. I remember now that she had ran back to her dad real quick when we were still near the entrance and now it was dawning on me that it was probably because she was GIVING HIM HER SHOES to hold.

You cannot ride these things without shoes!! I remember one time at Kennywood, Chooch and I were on Raging Rapids with strangers and one was a teen girl who took her shoes off before our raft thing even departed and the ride operator was like “put your shoes on” and she was like “no” and the ride op was like “I will not send this raft until you put your shoes back on.” It was a whole thing, ok. Trust me. I was there. You weren’t.

So now I’m fixated on this, of course, because I know my luck and I was certain we’d get up there and the ride op would be like “this bitch needs shoes” and I’d be like “this bitch isn’t with me” and then the people behind us would be like “sir, this bitch lying. The bitch is with this bitch. We saw this bitch’s dad ask the bitch if his bitch could ride with her and this bitch said yes. This bitch is with that bitch.”

And then I’d have to do the walk of shame down the exit ramp with my not-kids while my actual kid likely wouldn’t stay on the ride because that’s just the kind of kid this bitch produced.

So now I’m thinking that maybe this was a blessing. This is my out. I squatted down to tell the girls what the sitch was because they hadn’t heard the announcement. They originally said they wanted to stay and my head filled with comic strip swears so we continued to stand in line but then as more people in front of us left, I was like “OK I’m calling it, I don’t want your parents to be worried” and they agreed.

Of course, the MOMENT we got out of line, an announcement came on that said, “ATTN RIDERS, INFINITY FALLS IS….BACK OPEN!”

Apparently the nice British family behind us had motioned to Chooch that they saved our spot and I initially was like YEAH BOI until I remembered the SHOES so I was like “no we are too far back now and it would be cutting” only because I knew that if we got back in our spot, it would be moot because we still wouldnt have been able to ride because I might be a semi-sociopath when it comes to kids but I’m not so far gone that I would allow two small kids to walk down an exit ramp by themselves and then look for their parents, of course I would go with them.

Chooch was BIGLY MAD at me but whatever, get over it. He could have stayed but the reality of the sitch was that I was not riding this ride in either scenario.

The girls’ mom was waiting at the entrance and I explained the situation about how we weren’t sure how long the ride was going to be down and didn’t want them to be worried and she was like, “No I totally understand thank you for trying!” She was really nice and her kids were really cute and I know it was like tres weird that the dad even pawned them off on us in the first place (Henry was like “little did he know, he gave his kids to the person who hates kids”) but I actually would have had no problem with them accompanying us if it hadn’t been for THE SHOES. Ugh.

It was literally an entire day later when Chooch blurted out 갑자기, “I can’t believe you asked them if their daddy was too scared to ride Infinity Falls–”

“I was trying to make conversation!” I cried in defense of my poor peopling skills.

“—and she was like ‘actually my daddy is very brave.”

Shut up, Chooch Who Spoke No Words At All To These Rando Childs.

2. Piss-Head Aussies

Later on in the day, Chooch attempted again to ride Infinity Falls. The line was a tad bit shorter so we were hopeful.

Right off the bat, I was pissed when an Australian family waved over more family members into their group, requiring them to line-jump about 20 people. I really fucking hate that shit. Do you know how many times Henry gets into line much later than us because he either didn’t run or stopped to get a locker? Do we encourage him to line jump and expect people to step aside for King Henry? NO! WE DON’T! Because line jumping is cause for removal from the park!

Even though I have never seen this happen.

Now I was fixated on these wankers. It was four adults – two couples – and a teenage girl, a boy about 8, and a girl who was maybe 4 or 5. One of the guys and one of the women were both wearing GUCCI tennis shoes.

At a theme park.

In line for a water ride.

Cool!

They were so loud and obnoxious the whole time with their big toothy smiles and hya hya hya laughs, and I know this is awful but I have developed a prejudice toward our friends from down under because of numerous shitty experiences at work (we have four Aussie offices) and this family did not help the cause.

Especially when we were almost to the front of the line and I noticed that the two men walked out of the queue and into a small grassy area. I thought that they were looking through a fence at the rapids ride, because the little boy was also with them, but the women in the group were hooting and hollering yes I said hooting and hollering because they were fucking assholes and that is what fucking assholes do, so this is when I really started to pay attention to what was going on, just in time for the boy to go back to the line and the little girl to join the men.

Who proceeded to PULL DOWN HER UNDERWEAR.

AND THEN TAKE THEM ALL THE WAY OFF.

AND THEN CREATE A POTTY SEAT WITH HIS ARMS, SO THAT BOTH OF HER KNEES WERE HOOKED ON HIS ARMS, AND THEN HE AIMED HER BODY SLIGHTLY UPWARD SO THAT SHE WAS BASICALLY A URINATING FOUNTAIN.

Chooch and I looked at each other, totally aghast. Like is this happening. Is this small child being assisted in public urination by this man??

We quickly averted our eyes because neither of us were trying to look at the bare ass of a CHILD?! While both moms and teenage girl were straight cackling back in line.

Chooch said that there were other people who were also watching with stunned looks on their faces but no one said anything because god forbid anyone try to be the voice of reason while standing in line but honestly, I came close. I stood there and GLARED at them and loudly said shit like I CANT BELIEVE THAT JUST HAPPENED THAT WAS SO TRASHY and I REALLLLY wanted to be like EXCUSE ME I DUNNO IF THIS IS COOL IN YOUR COUNTRY…but I’m not gonna like, the one dude looked like a big, slobby bear who wasn’t above hitting a woman and I wasn’t trying to poke that nasty thing. Both women were much much larger than me too and Chooch and I were just out-numbered anyway.

In hindsight, I wish I had said something because they were such white trash motherfuckers the entire time we were in that line, oh well.

Then I had to watch the one mom vigorously pick out a wedgie through her ugly dress. It was so much. Just…so much.

Anyway, I made Chooch take this picture and send it to Henry so he would have somewhat of a visual for when we told him the story, and thanks to this picture he was able to identify them later when the pissing girl through a major tantrum in the middle of the park when they were sitting near him and none of the adults even bothered to stop it. He attempted to record it but Henry sucks at Spy Mode. He’s not like me.

We eventually did get to ride the stupid ride and thankfully didn’t have to ride with the Aussie Pissers especially knowing that the rapids were essentially going to be bathing that little bitch after she pissed without wiping in line.

Well, that’s my story. Goodbye.