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 as well.

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 in the 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, unseasonally 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. 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 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. 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.
  • 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. 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. 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!” 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. 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.

Feb 132022
 

*I have no idea what I’m doing anymore. 

Hello from a Sunday in Brookline! I have prepared for you a photo dump of pictures that I commanded Henry to take of me yesterday as I am going through a pre-mid-life crisis, as mentioned in my last post. I think mostly it is because not getting to work in an office has made me sad for the closetful of clothes that I barely have an opportunity to wear anymore. But then I figured – whoever said these are work clothes only, right? So even though we were only going to some casual family restaurant for lunch yesterday, I wore one of my favorite blouses and fun fur cropped coat that I actually forgot I had which is a good indication that I possibly might have too many coats? Lol, never!

After lunch, we went to “downtown” Brownsville which is really just a super tiny town by the river, and collected some LOOKS from the locals who apparently did not appreciate my flamboyant coat. Oh wellz0rz, make way for the real city folk, I guess. (Lol, says the bitch from PITTSBURGH.)

First, I made Henry take a picture of looking like I was ready for PARTY TIME.

Then we walked onto A BRIDGE and it was really cold but I was a true professional as always and told Henry to quit his bitching and take my fucking picture.

He was always standing so far away from me and not even trying to do cool angles – I miss Chooch! Granted, he bitched a ton too but at least he has an artistic eyeball. Henry does not have an artistic eyeball although he claims he used to enjoy taking pictures when he was younger but now I have made it hate it.

“DID YOU USE A BROWNIE CAMERA?” I screamed, laughing to the point of tears as usual. He just mumbled something about dumping me into the river and stalked away, lol.

“Thanks for cutting off half of my foot!” I berated Henry.

“Take a picture of me adorably looking out across the river,” I instructed, because Henry does not take any initiative. (He did take a GREAT shot of his palm right around this point though.)

Truce.

“Really, we walked uphill over ice because this is the red door you saw from the car?” Henry grumbled. I liked how it looked, OK???

I’m actually cracking up here because there was a steady stream of traffic passing us by but Henry was the one who was acting embarrassed, lol.

Just when Henry thought he was off the hook, I made him go to a second location near our house after this and he was like OH BOY THE FUN NEVER FUCKING ENDS I JUST WANT TO TAKE A GODDAMN NAP.

I pulled out all of my REAL PROFESH POSES for this round. (Also this is the same place I took these photos of Chooch several years back!)

I really gave it my all, you guys. I was like WHAT WOULD TWIGGY DO. (LOL, the fact that that was the first model name I thought of, OK Erin.)

I mean, you’ve seen poses like this in Vogue, right?? Or maybe it was Yoga for Dummies.

In between poses.

I had to crop a ton of these because Henry stood 2374982374 yards away from me like he was afraid of getting kicked or punched or something. Like I’d ever….lol.

This is my new arm thing I guess.

LOL something scared me as Henry was taking this and I kept it because it is SO EMOTIVE.

More arm stuff.

This was me walk-lurching toward Henry afterward and I feel like this is a very accurate depiction of me IN MOTION.

New leg pose.

Oh this was fun, because as I was hanging onto the fence, I was pulling it slowly toward me without realizing and then I screamed because I thought it was opening and Henry was like “GOOD JOB, IDIOT.”

Well, that’s all for now. I finished watching All Of Us Are Dead today but Henry just started it so I guess I’m watching it again – maybe this time I’ll count how many times they say 씨발.

Jan 242022
 

I HATE WINTER. I HATE IT I HATE IT. I don’t trust people who like this shitty, depressing, bleak season. Not even taking spycam pics of Henry and HNC shoveling together has cheered me up.

It makes me feel very disoriented too, on top of everything else. Like, I know for sure it has been a big contributor to the shitty feelings I’ve been having about myself lately which is why I’m trying to just purge the thoughts on here and then hope for a better day. There’s a thing I like to tell myself that I totally made up on my own and it’s called THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Literally coined that phrase. You heard it here first folks. Like & subscribe for a chance to win an embroidery of that shit.

I also hate winter because when it snows like this, or drops below 25 degrees, my daily walks get completely hijacked. And we all know I am a person of perpetual routine so even that small change is enough to knock my mental orbit off course.

So I have been doing lots of walking workouts and also walking/jogging in place while watching Netflix but then I can never find anything that holds my attention!

Here are some things I liked recently, so please help me find new shows:

  • Archive 81
  • Maid

Lol ok aside from kdramas, I think that’s it! I need shows that are less than an hour per episode to watch before work while steady jogging, and kdramas are usually like 90 minutes an episode – I need to watch those at night under a blanket on the couch!

I started to watch The Serpent but wasn’t feeling it.

Ugh.

I want to watch Anxious People but have to watch it with Henry since we both read the book.

I need a good, solid CW show like In the Dark.

in other EVERYTHING SUCKS news, Henry slipped on ice and hurt his dumb shoulder AND BUTT lol which sucks for me because he was almost done with the ceiling project but now that’s on hold until he’s able to hold his arm above his head again. Ugh to the max!!!

So, life currently is just: wake up, eat breakfast, find a way to numb the mind while accumulating at least 6,000 steps before it’s time to log on to work at 9, work, dinner, exercise, kdrama or rollercoaster videos.

Sigh.

I was determined to leave the house on Sunday, even if it was just a trip to Target, but then it SNOWED ALL DAY.

So as of this writing, it’s been over a week since I’ve been out in civilization. No wait!!! I went to the library on Saturday. But my security guard friend Robert wasn’t there so I just popped in, grab my holds, self-checked out and that was that. I like when Robert is there because he says nice things like ITS ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE YOU, ERIN and it makes me feel SEEN you know? I have lived in Brookline since 1999 but never became a townie so Robert is the only one ’round these parts who knows me by name.

I wish I was the type of person who could just lean into winter weather and veg out on the couch with some wine and Kardashians (I dunno is that still a popular show for normal ppl??) and not give a shit about anything other that maximizing the cozy levels. But I can literally only do that if I have a fever :( (I mean, minus the Kardashian part.)

DON’T YOU FEEL LIKE U R STUCK ON THE PHONE WITH ME RIGHT NOW.

Oh!! Here’s a good thing that you have to pretend to care about to make me feel good: NCT127 won the Daesang award at the 2022 Seoul Music Awards, and that is the TOP AWARD. I am so proud of them!! I spent most of the weekend with their videos etc on in the background and I feel so inspired and motivated to whip out my credit card and buy the best ticket if they ever fucking announce a North American tour. I told Henry and he just nodded and whispered, “I know.” He won’t/can’t stop me either!! Imagining the possibility of seeing them this year actually fills me old school butterflies and it is great to be reminded that I still have some youth left in me.

Ideally, I wish SM would send the entire NCT conglomerate on tour so we could get all the subgroups on one stage, omg I would pay so much hard-earned money on that.

OK, I have to go and help Henry package the piles of Valentines that are currently accumulating on the dining room table. I’ll try to conjure more content for the rest of the week. I might have to tap into one of my alter egos, though, lol ugh oof.

Dec 172021
 

I was so excited when I went to bed Sunday night because I knew that it was MY LAST SLEEP BEFORE THE GENESIS SHOW! I was also nervous because it was the first concert I’d be attending since 2019 and the thought of being around so many people, even in a mask/vaxxed/boostered, made me feel icky.

But then Monday morning happened. Something you should know about my mornings lately is that they are like walking on the hot coals of Hell because Chooch is SUCH A JERK these days and Morning Chooch and Morning MOMMY do not get along. Literally at all.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: how much interaction do you even have with him now that you don’t have to drive him to school anymore? Well, funny you should bring that up, IMAGINARY BLOG READER IN MY HEAD, because on that day, I did end up driving him to school.

AND HERE’S WHY:

His alarm never fucking wakes him up, so I have to set my alarm for 5:50am to make sure his ass gets out of bed. This in and of itself is fucking ridiculous and makes me so angry especially on days that I’m off, OF WHICH MONDAY WAS ONE! Then I have to set a BACK-UP alarm for 6:10 to make sure that he hasn’t fallen asleep on the couch before leaving. Because that’s a thing that happens.

Anyway! Back to this particular morning. I woke him up and went back to bed. I wasn’t sleeping, just laying there with my BFF Drew who likes to hop into my bed in the early AM hours and attack me. I could hear Chooch getting all of his stuff together in his room and I called out from my room, “Are you wearing the new hoodie I got you?”

Because this is the universal uniform of 15 year old boys. Hoodies. I never see them in anything else and it really annoys me because Chooch has a closetful of nice, long-sleeved shirts and flannels but he won’t wear them BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE HOODS. So I keep buying him new hoodies to try and deter him from wearing the SAME TWO over and over.

My query was met with a SNIP-SNAPPY, “WHAT HOODIE?” You know that tone, too, if you’ve ever been a teenager…? That degrading way they literally SPIT their retorts from their mouths with a flick of their forked tongues. Ugh, monsters, all of them.

So I had to calmly remind him that I had recently purchased him THREE hoodies from Pac Sun, two of which he had already worn the previous week. And the only one he hadn’t worn yet was the purple one.

“PURPLE???” he hissed, like this was some fake ass color I made up on the spot because I’m just your basic delulu mother.

So now I was pissed. I have no patience for this shit and his tone lights a flame inside my bloodstream.

Ignore him, I could hear Henry saying clear from the Faygo Factory. I attempted to take Papa H’s stupid advice and tried to go back to sleep but my whole body was buzzing with FURY VIBRATO. I couldn’t let it go. I needed to have the last word. He was already on his way to the T, but I texted him something about how I’m so happy that I spend all this money on his clothes when he doesn’t wear them and he was like “OMG.”

And then: “GREAT I DON’T HAVE MY MASK AND I MISSED THE T.”

Except, imagine it more like this:

Groiup;

Freayt

Great 

Now i 

dont hav m

mas\k

You have to be familiar with Chooch’s brand of “hurried teenager with fat fingers” texting to translate this so allow me to help:

Great now I don’t have my mask

Oh actually here’s a great example hot off the press:

Because he apparently did in fact change into the PURPLE hoodie and by doing so, he left his face mask in the pocket of his original hoodie from that morning. And now he couldn’t get on the T because you’re still required to wear masks and I just lost it. I don’t know why I got so mad because ACTUALLY THIS WAS MY FAULT but I will NEVER SAY THAT OUT LOUD so instead I went psycho in my replies to him and told him to just start walking back to the house and I would DRIVE HIM even though our car is in the shop because of um, HENRY’S ACCIDENT, and I had to drive our OTHER CAR which is FINE but not GREAT and also I haven’t driven it in so long that I forgot where things were and then I was doubly mad because I PASSED CHOOCH on my way to where he was walking from, thinking he would take my psychic cues and wait for me at the gas station at the end of our street, but instead he kept walking and I didn’t see him and he didn’t see him so when I went to call him I accidentally called Henry and immediately disconnected so I could call Chooch, but then Henry kept beeping in and I was screaming FUCK OFF!!!! while sitting in my idling car in the gas station parking lot at 6:30 wearing glasses and no make up and no bra.

PAUSING FOR A BREATH.

So now, here I am, back at our house sitting in the driveway with CHOOCH THE OFFENDER while swearing because Tourette’s was slowly and I mean slow-slow-slowly, like the actual slowest, walking down the sidewalk behind our car. And waiting for him to pass meant that A BIG DUMB TRUCK got in front of us and I was like I AM NOT DRIVING BEHIND THIS FUCKER so I veered to the left at the light and went a different way, after Chooch was like, “Just take me to 7-11, I’ll ride to school with Zakk” and I was like, “OH NO HUNNY I AM IN THE CAR NOW, AND WE ARE SEEING THIS THRU TO THE MOTHERFUCKING ENDDDDDDDD.”

And then, “HOW DO YOU GET THIS FUCKING RADIO OFF OF AM?!?!?!?!”

Chooch fixed the radio for me and then we drove in silence, except for the 87 times I slammed the steering wheel over every littlest traffic infraction from my fellow drivers, and screamed, “OH THIS IS JUST GREAT.”

And then as Chooch was getting out of the car, I yelled after him: AND THANKS FOR RUINING MY GENESIS DAY!!!!

Then stupid Henry was calling again so I directed all of my hatred onto him and of course he knew what was going on because Chooch the Betrayer texted him.

Back at home, my perfect cats who I love more than ANYONE ELSE IN MY HOUSE calmed me down and then we fed the squirrels together and you know, everything was fine after that really and I eventually texted Chooch an apology for “getting mad” but not for being the ROOT CAUSE OF THE MASK-FORGETTING that morning, lololol.

Nov 052021
 

I mean, it’s November 5th at this point so like, let’s wrap up the October nonsense, Erin. Look Linda, I am CLINGING, OK? Because I swear to god as soon as Halloween happens, it’s like “fuck fall, bring on the shitty Xmas songs, snowstorms, and crippling seasonal depression” you know? NO. WE HAVE TO FIGHT BACK. SAVE AUTUMN! Ugh, I just hate this so much. I want to be able to enjoy and cherish November but winter-harbingers make it so fucking hard. I know if I turn on the TV right now, I’m going to be blasted by some obnoxious Old Navy Christmas sweater commercial and I just don’t have the strength right now, Mary. I really don’t. This morning on my walk, I had to wear a full-fledged winter coat and I am in tears just thinking about that.

We had like, two solid weeks of decent hoodie weather, though if you’re my kid, you will argue that a hoodie is still all you need even though it was 27 degrees (FAHRENHEIT BECAUSE AMERICA) when he left the house for school this morning so I’m really excited that my favorite season of “ARGUING OVER WEARING A COAT” has come early this year.

</3

Anyway, I still have some pictures from actual Halloween to share and some crybaby thoughts to spill so, bundle up, baby. Literally. It’s fucking cold!

My pal Patty sent me this cute witch hat earlier this year and honestly, what better day to wear it. I wanted Drew to pose for adorable pics with me but she is rude.

Literally will never look at the damn camera!!!

When it was almost time for trick or treating (it starts at 5pm in my neighborhood which is way too early if you ask me), we got Trudy primped and moved her over to the window. I made sure her robe was covering her boobs so she wasn’t being too obscene for the children.

No one seemed to notice her anyway :(

I spent two hours being my typical uptight NO ONE IS COMING TO OUR HOUSE Halloween self. I hate this street!!!!

We had ONE KID who came to our house of his own volition. AND NO, IT WASN’T ONE OF HENRY’S GRANDKIDS! Henry had to actually text Blake and tell him to send the kids over before they left to go elsewhere for trick or treating and at first I was so excited because I thought, stupidly, that this was the first time ever that they had the good sense to send the kids to us but NO it was only because Henry told them to.

UGH!

Then there were two youngish kids walking in an entire parental parade, seriously there were a ton of grown-ups all for two kids, and when they started to pass our house, I whipped open the door and stood there sadly with my bowl of candy, making eye contact with one of the moms, who told her kids to go to my house. UGH FINALLY.

Somewhere in the first hour, a group of 4 teens started to walk past, likely going a few streets over to the next neighborhood, but I once again flung the door open and yelled, “COME HERE AND GET CANDY.”

Henry was on the couch behind me, mumbling, “Oh my god, you’re so embarrassing.”

The worst part was that ONLY TWO OF THEM came the door. The other two stayed on the sidewalk, in a silent protest of Naw, I’m Good, while the other two were now on my porch, looking all nervous like  they were about to meet a Hansel & Gretel fate.

I mean, I was wearing that stupid hat after all.

“No one ever comes to my house!” I cried, while telling them to take more candy.

“Oh, well, Happy Halloween,” the kid in some non-descript box costume said in a tone so sad & soothing, like someone wishing an orphan a Merry Xmas. It was absolutely pathetic. I hate myself.

I hope that one day when they’re older, one of them will be all, “Hey Chad, remember when we were on our way to get high in the alley behind the laundormat on Halloween and some crazy broad chased us down with a bowl of candy?”

Then there was the kid going solo, dressed as clown, too busy making a Tik Tok on my sidewalk to notice me frantically shaking the candy bowl in his direction. And for the finale, there two way older – probably too old – kids who I verbally accosted and were kind enough to come to my door. The girl was dressed as some orange furry thing and was like, “LET’S TALK ALL NIGHT!” and she was with Michael Myers, who REJECTED ME.

“No thanks, I don’t really like chocolate,” he said.

Rejected by Michael Myers. A new low.

Then I spotted more people down the street. I started to run down the sidewalk with my candy bowl but Henry stopped me. “Those are adults!” he said. “And also, our neighbors.” He said this in a tone that didn’t sit well with me, like he was implying I was an idiot or something. NO, JUST HAVE BED EYES, BUT THANKS.

Wow. What a fucking Halloween night. So great. Woo hoo.

Just when we were about to call it, there was a knock on the door and I was like HOLY SHIT, THE FIRST KNOCK ON THE DOOR ALL NIGHT??? But then it ended up just being Henry’s grandkids, back from the “good trick or treating,” looking for seconds. Ugh, just take it all.

Fuck Halloween. I’m handing out candy somewhere else next year.

 

Oct 122021
 

I was so excited when I went to bed Friday night because we were going to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey the next day. You know how when you’re a kid and you get that Xmas Eve bellyful of butterflies? That’s how I feel on nights before amusement park visits, lol.

“ONE MORE SLEEP UNTIL SIX FLAGS!” – says 42-year-old Erin, lol.

But then I woke up early as instructed by Road Trip Dad, and talk about WRONG SIDE OF THE BED times 18979312. To say I was in “a mood” is putting it mildly. I was basically on a rampage, prepared to have a terrible day, determined to shred my self-worth to shreds, refusing to let any rational thoughts or reasoning sink into my furious brain. So instead of leaving at 6am like Henry wanted, I threw a 2-hour-long fit, oscillating between I’M NOT GOING to WHY DON’T YOU CARE ENOUGH TO MAKE ME GO to I WISH I COULD RIP THE FLESH OFF MY BONES I HATE MYSELF SO MUCH.

I don’t know why I get this way.

Oh wait, yes I do. Bi-polar.

And an eating disorder/food phobia/body dysmorphia. Lol.

Anyway, two hours later and I had calmed down enough to put myself together and we set off (also because Henry already paid for the hotel and we were past the cancellation deadline lol). But my whole point in telling you all of this is that I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and even though the morning SUCKED and I hate feeling out of control, something good came out of it.

Because a few hours later, we stopped at a rest area near Bedford, PA and as we were walking across the parking lot, I heard someone say, “Erin?” At first it didn’t even occur to me it was actually me who was being addressed, but then when I noticed a woman walking toward me I went into FIGHT-OR-FLIGHT mode.

Then my eyes focused and I realized it was my friend Bridget, who left The Law Firm several years ago to move to Texas! It was honestly a really sad day when she left and I remember trying to avoid saying goodbye to her until the final hour when my friend Lauren came over to my desk and said, “OK look, you have got to tell her goodbye. I’ll go with you.” I might try to act like I’m all cold-hearted and partially agoraphobic, but I am a huge sap when it comes to saying goodbye.

Anyway, Bridget recently moved back to Pittsburgh and she and her husband were actually en route to Lancaster for the weekend, so it was a super happy coincidence that we happened to be traveling at the same time and in the same direction, and that we ran into each other at some rando rest stop!

Henry is angry at himself for missing the opportunity to harangue Bridget for endorsing Magic Spoon cereal because ever since she convinced me to give it a shot last spring, I have been hooked and that shit is not cheap (for cereal). Henry makes all kinds of sarcastic comments to Chooch, like, “No, you can’t get new shoes. Your mother has to buy her expensive cereal.” And “Wow, my cereal costs less AND I get so much more in a box.”

I don’t care, I love this stuff! The satiety factor is so good that I don’t want to eat  my arm off an hour post-breakfast like I usually do with anything else. I even bought the official Magic Spoon spoon!

And from a design standpoint, the boxes are so eye-catching and fun! Here are the fall flavors that I am almost out of and just told Henry I need to buy more at which point he mumbled about IT’LL HAVE TO WAIT because this cereal is apparently A LUXURY EXPENSE and not like when Chooch needs milk and Henry drops everything to run to the store.

Ugh.

Wow sorry. This somehow turned into a SPONSORED POST. j/k I have no sponsors.

Anyway! It was amazing to see Bridget but it made me sad also because I miss the way things used to be at the law firm, but I guess even then I was missing the way things used to be EVEN BEFORE, because we’re never happy in the moment ARE WE?

This was also hilariously the second time I’ve run into a former LAW FIRM friend at a rest stop. The other time was my friend Mary at a rest stop in Ohio on the way home from Cedar Point. WHO WILL BE THE THIRD, AND WHAT AMUSEMENT PARK WILL BE INVOLVED??

After that, we continued on through Pennsylvania, where I was desperate to find a Sheetz before entering the dreaded Wawa Zone, but the only one that was close was smack in the middle of Ren Faire land and traffic off of the exit ramp was a disaster.

So, no Sheetz (or lunch) for me. Henry and Chooch bought snacks at pretty much every single rest stop 7-11 so they were fine but I was going back and forth between I NEED TO EAT and STARVE YOURSELF, FAT GIRL. Saturday was a really good day for me. Lots of self love.

The rest of the drive was completely boring. I went back and forth between listening to an audio book and telling Henry that I hate him which he knows translates into, “I hate myself so much that the hate is overflowing and splashing onto you, I will probably apologize to you for this tomorrow but right now: I HATE YOU AND THINK YOU ARE SO DUMB AND YOU HAVE RUINED MY LIFE, FUCK OFF. P.S. YOUR HAIR CUT IS STUPID.

I am so pleasant!

Then we got to Six Flags Great Adventure and I funneled all of my hateful energy onto the copious amounts of LINE JUMPERS we encountered, so Chooch and Henry enjoyed the several hour reprieve from being on the receiving end of my wrath.

Six Flags stuff up next. Ciao for now!

Sep 232021
 

Now that Chooch is back to school IRL, F2F, old school, however you want to say it, he’s been having to commute like a real life office worker. It’s the dumbest thing – his school is part of the Pittsburgh public school system but because of school bus driver shortages (this predates the pandemic BTW because we were already having to prepare for this for when he started high school in 2020), students at his school are required to take PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Chooch has mastered some pretty major subway systems in his short 15 years, so that wasn’t the concern for me, it was mostly the fact that getting to school requires one transfer no matter what, and he’s have to leave the house before 6AM to ensure he wasn’t late, which is ludicrous for a high school kid. Plus, I worried that he’d fall asleep and miss his stop/transfer/whatever.

Getting home is a piece of cake because he can basically get on any bus outside of his school that is going downtown, and he has numerous places where he can get off downtown and take the T home (way more convenient than buses). And he can take his time too, and oh, believe me, he has been. He and his new gang of friends have been cavorting around Oakland, trying to blend in with all the Pitt students, going to cafes, going to the main branch of the Carnegie library, eating at food trucks. He’s living the teenage dream, you guys, truly.

It’s only a 15 minute drive to Oakland from our house, so I’ve mom’d up (after years and years and years of him only having to walk two blocks to his old school, this is so hard for meeeeeee and me and me and me and only meeeeeee) and have been driving him to school every morning. It really isn’t that bad because I am a total morning person anyway and actually enjoy having a reason to get up an hour earlier. However, Chooch is NOT a morning person so nearly every car ride is peppered with vitriol and teenage angst (from both parties). He mostly just sits there texting his friends whom he will see in a short 20 minutes while responding to all my conversation starters with grunts and snotty quips.

Basically, he so very effortlessly makes me feel like the biggest loser while slumped in his seat like a sack of 15-year-old hormones spritzed with Axe Body Spray and superiority syndrome – it’s great!

Usually, I have Spotify playing BUT one day two weeks ago, I stupidly started driving with the radio on. Henry was the last one in the car and had left it on 100.7 which is just super annoying Top 40 but somehow more geared to soccer moms. I absolutely hate every song that comes on. That one song about date night at Applebee’s?!!? The first time I heard it, I was screaming and called Henry after Chooch got out of the car so I could bitch about it.

“Oh, I knew exactly what song it was going to be before you even told me,” he laughed.

That song is a disgrace to the act of hearing, like a total FUCK YOU to the collective cochlea worldwide.

And then there is some god-awful duet with Miley Cyrus and some dude? OMG kill me. That song is an abomination! You know I hate Miley Cyrus to begin with, but this song makes me want to donkey kick her in the throat. Both of these people sound like they have a skin of phlegm that desperately needs trucker-belched into the nearest spittoon.

All it took was one commute with this station on the dial to get Chooch’s attention though, because they play this stupid trivia game every morning called Escalation. And by “they” I mean the MOST ANNOYING LOCAL DJ THAT HAS BEEN POISONING PITTSBURGH AIRWAVES SINCE EVEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, BUBBA, and his basic bitch cohort Melanie. These people, oh brother. They pass Pittsburghese back and forth between themselves with wanton abandon like it’s some type of Yinzer Covid and they’re anti-maskers. I fucking can’t stand the Pittsburgh accent and I especially hate it when it feels like people are going out of their way to use it or exaggerate it. Like when people ironically say “yinz,” I want to fucking set a pile of Steeler jerseys alight.

Look, I have hometown pride, but my hometown embarrassment sometimes overshadows that. And Bubba is a fucking embarrassment fo’ sho’

OK so back to Escalation. Chooch LOVES games and the only thing he probably loves more than games is being right. So trivia is like a goddamn drug for him. This game is so dumb. You can win up to $100 but the questions start out at like, $5, $10, etc. And you have the option of taking the money or going-or-nothing. The worst part is the amount of times Bubba says “dollars” during this part of his pathetic radio show. I wish he would just start saying “bucks” instead so I wouldn’t have to hear him practically swallowing his tongue while chocking on his forced ‘burgh dialect.

Chooch INSISTS that we keep this station on every fucking morning now so he can make fun of the people who get the answers wrong and lose all  their money. Last week was “Special” because in addition to having the chance at winning $100, each morning’s Escalation player AUTOMATICALLY received Dan & Shay tickets. I do not who these “Dan & Shay” people are but I am willing to wager ALL OF THE ESCALATION WINNINGS that I will hate their music if I heard it.

I am actually in such a bad mood by the time I punt him out of my car every morning that my body shakes. THE WORST PART is that before Bubba (ugh) asks the final question, they cut to a song and it is always something that manages to enhance the tension in my jaw previously caused by Bubba’s grating bray.

But then it got worse. Because after a few days of this, Chooch decided that he was going to try and get on  the air for Escalation. I tried to tell him that I thought this was a terrible idea but yesterday morning, he took the leap and called in. His bluetooth kicked the call onto the car’s stereo, so the car was filled with the pulse-pumping notes of a busy signal. He started screaming at me for “talking over them” when they were saying the phone number so it was probably wrong, and I was like, “OK first of all, STFU I can talk whenever I want in MY CAR. And second of all, the fact that you got a busy signal means it’s probably the right number.”

So he just sat there, letting the busy signal continue to plow through the small space between us.

“Um, hang up,” I said.

“No, they might answer,” he shot back in his FUCKING TEENAGE TONE. UGH.

“That’s….not how that works,” I said slowly, trying to choose my words carefully as we were teetering on the precipice of the Early Morning Quarrel Quarry. “You have to hang up and call back. They can’t just ‘answer’ when you already have a busy signal.”

So then he got all huffy, ended the call and slammed his phone down into his lap.

A few moments later,  I tentatively asked, “Aren’t you going to call back?”

“YOU NEVER TOLD ME TO! YOU SAID IT WAS THE WRONG NUMBER!”

“NO, I FUCKING SAID IT WAS A BUSY SIGNAL AND YOU HAVE TO HANG UP AND CALL BACK!” I shouted right back at him, because oh OK, we’re doing this.

“THAT IS NOT WHAT YOU SAID!” he screamed. “I SAID I WAS WAITING TO SEE IF THEY WOULD PICK UP AND YOU SAID IT WAS THE WRONG NUMBER!”

“I SAID IT WAS A BUSY SIGNAL!!! IF YOU GET A BUSY SIGNAL, YOU HAVE TO HANG THE FUCK UP AND TRY AGAIN!!” My heart was now pounding. This kid can never be wrong and it is infuriating. Then I said, because I’m a tremendous parent and probably echoed a sentiment that TRUMP has spat out more than once to his children over the years, great Erin, just great, “You know, for someone so fucking smart, you’re a real a moron sometimes. You don’t even have basic life skills!”

“Oh, this,” he motioned furiously between his phone and the radio, “is a life skill???”

“KNOWING HOW TO MAKE A FUCKING PHONE CALL? YES!!!!!” I screamed.

We drove in silence after that. The dumb bitch who made it onto Escalation lost because she’s a fucking stoop, too.  By the end of Escalation, we had reached his school. He got out wordlessly and I seethed the whole way home.

***

Later that day, after he had been home from school for a few hours, he came downstairs and sat down on the wheelchair next to me. (Lol, that sounds so normal to me.)

“Traffic was really bad on the way home and I’m in a bad mood,” he growled, loosening his imaginary neck tie. “Also, I’m still mad about this morning.” And then we were maniacally arguing with each other again but this time we were laughing too and Henry was like YOU ARE BOTH THE SAME OMG KILL ME.

P.S. The broad who called in for Escalation today won but she TOTALLY WAS GOOGLING THE ANSWERS IT WAS SO FUCKING OBVI.

Aug 052021
 

We knew that at some point on Monday, the sky was going to piss on us. What we didn’t know was just HOW LONG this storm was going to last! About an hour prior to the very first drop of rain, the park started playing an announcement over and over about how some park operations were going to temporarily stop until the inclement weather passed. Then it changed to ALL PARK OPERATIONS. And SEEK SHELTER.

I’m not going to lie, it was pretty exciting. We snagged a bench under some large alcove in the Irish area and it was surprising how few people took refuge here.

We chilled there (lol it was 95 degrees but cool on, Erin) for a good hour and all three of us even fell asleep for parts of that duration too. I mean, not surprising that Henry did. But wow that storm made me drowsy.

We were sitting right next to a door that opened to some SECRET EMPLOYEE room where Camp Busch Gardens kids were hanging out. Every time they opened the door, a glorious sheath of AC wafted over us like a scentless fart from an ice fairy. I dunno what they do at Camp Busch Gardens but everyone seemed to be having fun each time the door opened and I felt left out.

I’d like to also take this moment to PRAISE BE that no one fucking annoying or scream-y was in our shelter spot. It was actually a pleasant, but boring, experience.

After about an hour, the rain mostly stopped so we emerged from hiding and strolled around the nearly empty park. Everything was still shut down but all the shops and opened.

Even soggy and wet, this park is amazing.

I dunno why I took a picture of this. It holds no significance for me.

Listen Linda, I hate drop towers but even I can admit that this Mach Tower is GORGE.

Post-storm Verbolten is sizzlin’ – no really, look at that steam! It was SO HOT that day.

I was obsessed with this snappy German pop song but Chooch ruined the video by acknowledging the video.

OK. This is where things got depressing. We walked down by Loch Ness Monster and you guys, I can’t even remember if this coaster was that great or not, but I do have a vague recollection of liking it and I was sincerely looking forward to riding it on our highly anticipated return to the park. Earlier in the day, I attempted this TWICE but for some reason, the line was long both times and Chooch was being a big entitled bitch about it. OK cool, almost everything else was a walk-on, but I still wanted to ride this thing!!

#CoasterHistory

It’s actually super creepy down in this area. It’s right by the water and I don’t think many people use this as a thoroughfare because it requires you to walk up steps to get back to the main park area. God forbid. We were the only people there, so couple that with the post-storm dreariness and it felt extra desolate. I fucking loved it.

OK I will try not to be super-wordy about this next part but it was A BIG DEAL to me for some reason. It was around 6pm at this point and none of the rides had reopened yet. However, we noticed that there were small lines formed at some rides, so Chooch and I decided to see if anyone was waiting for Loch Ness.

Two guys ended up walking in with us and I said, “I’m not sure if it’s open,” and  the one guy said that some of the smaller rides were testing, so we decided to press our luck. There were a handful of people in the station! Chooch and I claimed the empty last row and we proceeded to eavesdrop on the conversation that some of the people in line were having with one of the (kinda nerdy but adorable) ride attendants. I wish I had gotten his name! Someone in line asked him how long far away the storm has to be before they’re allowed to restart the rides, and he said he wasn’t sure but that was what Dispatch was there for, to watch the storm. He basically kept giving vague answers, insinuating that the rides were not going to run again that night but that the park wasn’t going to officially call it because then they’d have to issue rain checks.

His partner was sitting over at the controls, looking thoroughly bored. Eventually, she said she was going to “take her 45.” I was confused because I thought that the park closed at 7 so why was she taking a 45 minute break after 6:30??

While she was gone, one of the ride operators from  the nearby Finnegan’s Flight came in and took Nerdy Guy’s place, who was now sitting at the control booth thing. New Guy was so awesome!! I think his name was Jhordan?? I can’t remember but it had a cool spelling and he was TOTALLY CUTE and chatty.

But then, THE PHONE RANG. Nerdy Guy answered and we all got so quiet.

He hung up and Jhordan was like, “WELL??” and Nerdy Guy was like, “They said to cycle it.”

It was about 7 at this point so I thought, “Oh, I guess the park is staying open longer to try and get the rides started” but apparently it was always open until 9 and I was just confused as usual!

I turned to the guys who followed us into line and gushed, “I feel like we were really a part of something there!” I LOVE FEELING LIKE THAT! I think because I don’t often feel like I’m part of a group or anything, so whenever I get to experience something that brings strangers close together, it’s exciting to me. (I mean, as long as it’s not a tragedy.)

Anyway, it turned out that Nerdy Guy didn’t actually know how to get the ride started so Jhordan had to call out directions to him from the other side of the platform, so now I was A BIT SCARED.

But they went through the process of pushing down all of the restraints and then Nerdy Guy shakily did his thing at the control desk and they both put their thumbs up. As the train left the station, the whole building erupted in cheers and applause. It felt SO SPECIAL.

While waiting for the train to do its cycle, Jhordan came over and stood by me.

“Did you see that?” he asked me. “I swear I saw a flash of light out of the corner of my eye.” We both turned and looked out of the station and over to where the Griffon and Alpengeist tracks were.

I did. I saw it. It was definitely lightning, I thought.

While this was happening, Griffon and Alpengeist were cycling test trains too and someone said that the flash of light must have been from the on-ride camera flash. Jhordan did NOT seem to accept this theory though, but still, when the train came back, the restraints came up and the gates opened. Once again, we all cheered as we boarded the train. They had JUST LOCKED OUR RESTRAINTS when the fucking phone rang again.

It was Dispatch reneging on their previous “all clear.”  MOTHERFUCKER. But Jhordan was so relieved. “I knew in my heart that was lightning!” he said. “It did not feel right sending this thing.”

So the restraints came up and we all had to get back on the platform – some people completely exited but at this point, I was invested. All in. Every last egg in this fucking Loch Ness basket. And hilariously, we had now been in line for an hour, so probably longer than we would have waited earlier in the day but noooo, Mr. Impatience wouldn’t do it.

Jhordan taught me about the various color codes that the park implements for storms.  Currently, they were back up to a CODE RED which means no rides can operate. One of the colors means that rides under a certain height can still operate (I think yellow?) and CODE BLACK is basically SHUT ‘ER DOWN AND TAKE COVER, NO ONE CAN LEAVE. He said that actually happened one time accidentally, when it was just drizzling, and it sent everyone into a panic.

Now I really felt like I was part of something special! And it was exciting to see them doing the X with their arms and saying “Cross” every time they had to climb across the track to get to the other side of the platform – even when the rides are down, they follow amusement park law!

Then the phone rang and we all held our breath. When Nerdy Guy hung up, we were like “WELL???” and he said, “Wha—oh, it was nothing important.” My favorite part was when someone squawked over a walkie talkie something that sounded like “code green” and we all froze. Jhordan mouthed, “the fuck???” so Nerdy Guy had to get back on the phone with Dispatch who confirmed that no, it was still very much Code Red. I mean, it wasn’t raining anymore but there was still thunder.

Girl Operator came back from her 45 and we were laughing at how much she missed while she was gone. With her being back, Nerdy Guy got to leave since his work day was technically done. But all he did was leave and come back in a white t-shirt with headphones around his neck, role-playing as a member of the general public and asking if the rides were going to start back up at all. Jhordan was like, “Naw dude, I highly doubt it, you better just leave” and I felt like all three ride operators at this point where sending us signals so we’d stop wasting our time, because as Jhordan told me earlier, they’re not allowed to flat out tell us to leave the line. But I really felt that this was them taking pity on us.

Our friends in the queue next to us had already left and now hardly anyone was still waiting. Plus, Jhordan was now over at the control desk and Girl Operator was standing next to us but she wasn’t conversational like the other two so it just didn’t feel the same anymore. At this point, we had been standing for AN HOUR AND A HALF I think. I looked at Chooch and said, “OK, I’m calling it.” So we dejectedly left the Loch Ness Monster station to the tune of sad trombones and thunder.

Meanwhile, Henry was hanging out under a small pavilion with some other people and was like, “OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY ALMOST LET YOU ON THAT WITH ALL THIS LIGHTNING” and then he showed me the following video he took which is actually less bad than the bout of lightning that happened prior to him filming:

This video is super small because Henry’s phone is dumb.

So, that was my Loch Ness odyssey. We walked around the park for a little bit and bought some souvenirs. I bought several postcards but decided to keep this one for myself as reminder of my supreme stubbornness and also the bonding time spent with strangers staring at a parked roller coaster train.

It was 8pm at this point and it seemed like none of the coasters were going to be cleared to run again so I sadly and with major POUTING LIPS said, “Fine let’s just leave.” And of course, as soon as we walked through the parking lot to our car, I turned around just in time to see fucking Griffon running.

Fuccccccckkkkk.

I comforted myself with  the reminder that this place isn’t THAT far away and we will be back again for Pantheon anyway, so I can ride Loch Ness Monster until I require a neck brace.

OMG wait I can’t believe I failed to mention this in my last post! But after the second time we attempted to ride Loch Ness, Chooch wandered over to the nearby lockers after we got out of line. I didn’t really pay much mind to this at first because I was busy bitching to Henry about how he wouldn’t wait in line. But then I was like, “The fuck is he doing?”

Here, one of his friends from a Discord chat group he’s in was at Busch Gardens a few days before us and left him a note hidden behind a wall in those lockers. So he was looking like a common criminal, retrieving drugs probably and not a note from an Internet friend inside a Ziploc bag. Don’t ask him who it’s from exactly, or what it says, hoooo boy, you’ll be sorry. #ChoochsSecretLife

Anyway, I’m coming back for you, Nessie.  You just wait.

Jul 302021
 

Hi from the miserable car ride home. It’s my 42nd birthday today and Henry thought I’d be ok with it being a travel day. He literally does not know me even after 20 years LOL.

The morning was good at least because we were still in Wildwood, but it all went downhill after we checked out and went to Six Flags Great Adventure but I guess that’s kind of expected because how do you top Wildwood? Surprise flight to Korea, or GTFO I guess.

Some broad offered to take pictures of me and Henry at this WILDWOODS sign when we first got there at 7am this morning and I 100% did not want this to happen but didn’t have the heart to say no so she took a series of really ugly pictures of us that will never see the lift of day and I do appreciate her effort but then we had to pretend like we were leaving so we could come back and take real ones but she hung around for so long with whatever baby she had in a stroller, I think she was its grandma, but who could be sure.

I didn’t have a cake or anything birthday-ish today, although Henry and Chooch did stop in some bakery called Let’s Get Baked in some tiny town called Allentown, NJ after we left Six Flags. They got some cupcakes and a cookie. The cupcakes weren’t terrible but I also think they’re taking great liberties by passing them off as such because they had the consistency of cornbread.

Six Flags Great Adventure was the best Six Flags we’ve been to so far, ambiance and ride attendant-wise, but THREE of their BIGGEST COASTERS were down (one of which we knew about going in, but the other two were surprises) and then while we were there, two more went down, so all of the other big coasters had massive lines even though the park wasn’t crowded at all, because where else was everyone supposed to go?! We did get some rides in (Chooch got his Kingda Ka credit before it went down so – yay? I hate strata coasters so this was not a highlight for me).

We left after about five hours and ate dinner at some place in NJ called Club House Diner which was supposed to have a vegetable panini, grilled cheese, and veggie burger option according to their website.

When we walked in, I was like OH FUCK YEAH THIS IS THE JOINT because it was totally my style: all brown and tacky, looking like one of those family restaurants from the 60s that families probably got a little dressed up for. But now it’s just an outdated diner with a modpodge menu and a salad bar that no one in their right mind should be digging into during a pandemic yet we watched Elders going back for thirds and fourths.

But then guess what guys guess what no really guess I’ll wait.

THE WEBSITE WAS OUTDATED and none of the options i mentioned above were on the menu. CHooch was able to order a grilled cheese off the secret menu (sike, everyone knows you can request a grilled cheese) but I was like NO I WILL JUST ORDER SOMETHING I DONT WANT OUT OF PRINCIPLE so I got the “healthy vegetable omelette” made with egg whites and it might have been healthy-ish until the pile of hash browns sidled up next to it.

I ate about half and wanted to die, and then I got even more angry when we went to leave and I walked past the dessert case to see a delicious-looking CARROT CAKE and also a bangin’ apple pie but NO I wasted my “birthday treat” on a shitty cupcake and mediocre cookie. Choices were made.

If it weren’t for the super friendly waitress and the “my grandparents used to love that place” vibes, I would have been super pissed.

Oh also Chooch made my coffee splash all over my place mat when he got up to go to the bathroom so that WAS ANOTHER STRIKE AGAINST THIS DAY.

So I made him take a mirror selfie with me after he wasted two dollars in the claw machine on the way out.

Henrys trying to say that it’s not his fault today sucks, it’s because Wildwood left the bar so high, like that’s going to work on me.

Anyway. You know you’re old when you have to pause to think real hard about your age and then it ends with finger-counting, calculator math, asking a friend. But I’ve confirmed that I am, in fact, 42 today even though I’m pretty sure I thought I already was 42 for this whole past year.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go buy myself a Mister Softee t-shirt for my birthday.

Jun 142021
 

Whenever we’re visiting a new city (or even an old city that we haven’t been to in a minute) I like to look for fun food places to go. Usually ice cream shops and bakeries because even weekend road trips count as vacations, right? And ya gotta pig out on vacations (says the girl who is obsessed with her weight and calories and weighs herself everyday and cries over gaining several ounces, I mean, wait…who?).

I’m not the hugest donut fan, but I found a YouTube video for the best donuts in DC, so then suddenly I thought out loud, “I could eat a donut(s).” So I gave Henry my list, and then threw in Baked & Wired, a bakery I’ve been following on Instagram for several years because their cupcakes looks fancy AF and by fancy I mean CLASSY.

I actually didn’t look into any ice cream places which, if you read my liveblog, you know we had a TERRIBLE TIME finding ice cream joints outside of DC near the hotel we were staying at in Maryland. So apparently next time I should study a bit harder.

Anyway, I wanted to go to all of these places on Saturday but Henry kept trying in a million different ways, through diagrams and illustrations, in Korean, he even made a flipbook, that where we were in DC wasn’t close to any of these places and it would require various metro transfers and buses and then he was like, “LOOK, WE WILL GET UP EARLY TOMORROW MORNING AND DRIVE TO WHICHEVER ONE OF THESE PLACES YOU WANT” and I said fine but really he was supposed to know that this was not fine, I wanted it RIGHT NOW, hashtag Veruca Salt, etc etc. So this really was the impetus to my impending mental breakdown late on Saturday evening, the details of which will never be discussed and I know Henry and Chooch are already brainwashing each other to forget it.

But all of this is to say that we woke up not even early at all on Sunday and Henry was like, “WE CAN GO TO THAT ONE DONUT PLACE YOU SUGGESTED, IT IS ONLY 14 MILES FROM HERE” or 14 minutes, I can’t remember, and it was actually on the outskirts of DC so it was easy to drive there and park and silly me I’m always forgetting that cities have other, less urban, parts to them.

Here is the place. They haven’t completely reopened yet during covid so only 6 people could be inside at once, masks on, and it was takeout only. We were all able to be inside together and originally were going to get a 1/2 dozen to share amongst each other. We had one selection left and I said to Henry, “Go ahead, you can choose” because my head was still very sore and tired from all the sparking synapses and demonic voices circuiting through like my head was a switchboard to Hell.

But then when Henry confidently told the donut lady that he’d take a Boston cream, I shot him the most disgusted look like he just shat on the ground in front of the donut case. Even Chooch was like, “Worst choice, but OK cool.” (All my Boston cream bitches gonna come for now, lol.) Henry nervously looked at us both and mouthed, “what?” and I was like, “THAT IS NOT WHAT I WOULD HAVE CHOSEN BUT COOK ON.” So then we started silently arguing with just our eyeballs and eyebrows, nostrils flaring for emphasis, right there in front of the donut people and I said, “I AM JUST GOING TO WAIT OUTSIDE.” So then Henry paid and came outside and was like, “WHAT IS WRONG WHAT DID I DO” and Chooch and I were both spitting off variations of “why would you waste the last choice on a Boston cream when there were so many other interesting choices” or “YOU COULD HAVE GONE WITH A GLAZED BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I WOULD HAVE WANTED” so he was like, “NO ONE SAID WE ONLY HAD TO GET 6 I CAN GO BACK IN RIGHT NOW AND GET MORE” and I was like, “I BET YOU WOULDN’T” so he DID and the rational portion of my mind, hidden under layers of spicy ire and roiling rage, whispered, “But we don’t need this many donuts, just be happy with the ones you got” but by now, OH YOU BETTER BUT I WAS RUNNING ON PRINCIPLE AND PRINCIPLE ALONE.

So he came out with a bag and I said, “Which ones did you get” and he said, “Mango coconut and lemon-filled” which made me scream about how I hate mango-flavored things and I don’t like filled donuts and now he was like YOU CAN SHOVE THEM STRAIGHT UP YOUR ASS THEN but of course he didn’t actually say that because he knows better but I could tell by the way he was gripping the steering wheel and waggling his mustache that this is what he was thinking.

Add to this the fact that he had to find us a park of some sort where we could eat the fucking things that no one even wanted at this point because ANGRY FAMILY and that in and of itself was a real folly. He found one park but the road to the entrance was blocked off and then he couldn’t find another way in and had to keep driving until he finally found a frisbee golf park and we were just like, “OH MY FUCKING GOD, WHATEVER, THIS IS FINE” and as Chooch and I started to walk to a pavilion, we turned around JUST IN TIME to see Henry take the box of donuts out of the car and promptly drop two of them on the ground as the box came apart in his hands.

And there were witnesses too! It was a grand fucking display! And then he picked them up and put them back in the box while were screaming at him not to!!

“THEY ARE FINE,” he said, brushing GRAVEL AND PROBABLY BITS OF DOG POOP AND DEAD WORMS off of them. OMFG I HATE HIM SO MUCH is what Chooch and I both said in tandem, sounding like twin teenagers.

And then even the ones that didn’t hit the ground got all fucked up. The only one that I really wanted, a strawberry glazed, now had NO GLAZE on it because it all smeared off onto the back of HENRY’S FUCKING BOSTON CREAM.

OH MY GOOD LORD, I WAS SO LIVID. I donut even like donuts that much but for some reason, I had so much invested in these fucking things. AND GUESS WHAT? THEY WERE NOT EVEN ALL THAT! They just tasted like ok donuts. Like, I wouldn’t complain if someone handed me one while I was enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee in the morning, but these were definitely not worth skipping a real breakfast for.

Oh and the ones Henry dropped? THEY WERE THE TWO THAT CHOOCH AND I PICKED AND WERE EXCITED TO TRY. (One was blueberry maple and one was blueberry lemon. By the time Henry scraped all of the Road off of them, all that was left was two blueberry cake donuts with no glaze or icing, aka the parts that made us want them.)

But thank god Henry’s Boston cream was unharmed!!

[Chooch’s review was, “They were alright. I mean, there was nothing that great about them.”]

I realize this was a really stupid thing to want to break up with a man over, and perhaps we can call it projection or whatever, but I’m over it now and even woke Henry up from his nap to stand above him (he always gets so scared when he opens his eyes and sees me looming above him) and say through hysterical, guttural giggles, “I’m not sorry about Saturday night because I was valid in my feelings and will not let you gaslight me, but I am sorry for being mad at you about the Boston cream donut.”

He just stared at me and slowly said, “Ok….” presumably because he was waiting for me to draw the steak knife from behind my back.

Oh and by the way, these were vegan donuts and Henry had no idea until I mentioned, hours later, that Donut Run doesn’t even come close to matching Onion Maiden’s vegan donuts. AND they have interesting and fancy flavors that are actually good (like matcha and rose!) and don’t make me feel sick afterward.

And that’s all. My post about donuts. In case you were wondering, when I do get in the mood for a donut, my go-to’s are SUGAR and GLAZED. Rarely do I fuck with cream or jelly-filled, but I might do a sourdough or blueberry cake if I’m feeling like stepping out of my comfort zone. You feel me?