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 baggy 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?

May 252021
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ACTUAL PICTURE OF SHEETZ HASHBROWNS TAKEN FROM THE INTERNET

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 232021
 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

WE ARE BOTH GETTING SO OLD UGHHHHH.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To summarize: WHAT A GREAT DAY!

Chooch found five geocaches! I found none!

Apr 222021
 

Chooch and I were set free into the wild Sunday afternoon. I think Henry was concerned at first but then probably did the Risky Business sock-slide as many times as a 55-year-old can without getting winded.

One of the “coupons” we made for Chooch’s stupid Easter egg hunt was that I would take him geocaching. Henry actually created that coupon on my behalf BECAUSE HE IS SUCH A SWEETHEART, knowing how much I LOVE GEOCACHING.

Just a reminder*: I do not love geocaching.

*(I was perusing the pages of my very first vacation journal the other night and the amount of times I wrote JUST A REMINDER for things that weren’t actually reminders was hilarious and totally on brand for the idiotic, nonsensical style of writing that I would later grow into.)

I was really annoyed about this coupon on Easter, but then after we got a new car, the idea of driving Chooch to some random location in order to embark on a fruitless scavenger hunt was kind of appealing, I won’t lie. After scrutinizing the dumb geocache app for the entire morning, Chooch finally settled on a cluster of geocaches in some rando place called PALMER PARK in Donora, which is about a 30 minute drive from Pittsburgh, I guess, in a part of town next to the Monongahela River that I used to cruise through all the time back in the late 90s in my 1995 Eagle Talon, bitches. It’s also where I had a semi-tragic experience getting a new eyebrow ring put in, but that’s a story for another day, friendos.

So, we managed to find the dumb park with little to no effort, and thankfully it was a REGULAR park and not one of the gross industrial parks that dot the river along the way. We were screaming at those.

The first geocache was somewhere behind Pavilion #1, and Chooch found it before I even finishing trudging over to him. I guess this would be a fine time in this rickety blog post to explain geocaching to anyone who doesn’t know and doesn’t care enough to google: it’s this dumb fucking “treasure” hunting bullshit activity where you go to the geocache website or app and find coordinates and use the provided clues if needed. Then, if it’s a good geocache, you will find a plastic container in which there should be a paper log for you to record your name and date, and also a PRIZE to take, provided you brought something to replace it. We usually bring whatever junky little toys we find floating around a junk drawer.

For this geocache, Chooch took the little plastic toy duck that was inside and replaced it with this nude plastic baby, haha. I can’t remember why but I bought a whole bag of those babies one time.

The next geocache was within walking distance, so we left our car in the pavilion parking lot and walked farther into the park, where we discovered it was actually bumpin’ with people. There was a giant soccer field past where we parked, and a caravan of minivans was arriving in preparation for a Sunday game.

This meant that there were people around when we arrived at our next geocache: one of those dog poop bag dispensers at the edge of another parking lot.

Dog Waste Sanitation Stations | Pet Waste Disposal Systems

(Not the actual dispenser we were at, BUT JUST SO YOU KNOW WHAT WE WERE CONTENDING WITH.)

Based on the clue, it was 100% clear that this is where the stupid thing was supposed to be but we couldn’t find it. Surely they wouldn’t put it where the actual used bags go, but I also wasn’t comfortable sticking my hands into where the new bags were dispensed, because ew there could be spiders or needles in there!!

I lost my patience after approximately one minute and yelled, “ARE YOU SURE THIS IS RIGHT” and Chooch showed me the clue again and it seemed legit?!

“According to the log on the app, someone JUST found it today,” Chooch said. “Maybe they didn’t put it back?”

“WHAT AN ASSHOLE!” I shouted in my Big Mouth Screech, paired with wild gesticulations. I mean, I had absolutely nothing else to do that day but THIS WAS REALLY CUTTING INTO MY NON-PLANS!

Then Chooch started laughing.

“Look! The people who found it today posted a picture too! ‘Fun day geocaching wirth my hubby’,” Chooch mocked. And then, because we’re professional trolls, we started laughing at how “with” was spelled “wirth.” Then Chooch showed me the picture of the “hubby” and we started laughing even harder. “That’s who you called an asshole!” Chooch wheezed. “Way to go!” I mean I’ll be the first to admit that I would likely NOT call this guy an asshole to his face:

Sick Panera shirt.

Meanwhile, we’re still loitering around this dog poop stand looking SUPER suspish because we don’t even have a dog, like we’re indulging in some joint strange addiction of sniffing dog shit, who even knows. Anything probably seemed possible to the people observing us. Plus we were still giggling like dummies.

But then Chooch stopped laughing and murmured, “OMG look.” And there, across the parking lot, THE GEOCACHING ASSHOLE WAS STANDING A FEW YARDS AWAY “WIRTH” HIS WIFE.

And he was looking RIGHT AT US! Everyone else in the parking lot faded away and it was just the four of us, frozen in time, facing each other like the world’s most awkward showdown.

It was obvious to him that we were looking for the geocache, since he JUST FOUND IT. I didn’t know what to do so I panicked and waved to him.

“What are you doing?” Chooch hissed.

“HI! WE SAW YOUR PICTURE!” I hollered, holding up my phone, even though it was on Chooch’s phone.

“WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE THEM COME OVER HERE!” Chooch cried. And then, “ohmygod” as HUBBY and his wife meandered over to us. HUBBY was a large middle-aged metal head in a Pantera shirt, and his wife was, you know, a wife. I was being over-the-top friendly because I wasn’t sure if they knew we were totally talking shit on them minutes prior to this meet-up, and based on their unsmiling stone faces, I’m going to wager a guess that they might have?

Anyway, HUBBY said, “I take it you’re looking for this?” STRAIGHT OUT OF SOME LAME 1980s CAPER MOVIE, and presented Chooch with a tiny, thimble-sized magnetic capsule. I guess he took it back to his car to open it and write his name in the log, which was a narrow strip of tightly-wound paper that just barely fit inside the capsule. Then he showed us where he found it, which was on the metal stake of the dispenser, right above the compartment for the poop bags.

“It was really obvious where it was hidden, and I was going to actually hide it better, so if you wouldn’t mind doing that for me, I was going to hide it right here—” and then he pointed to an area on the dispenser that was literally right above the original hiding spot, and Chooch just shrugged his surly, disinterested teen shoulders and said, “Sure.”

Then the guy proceeded to tell us his name on the geocache site (which we already knew since we were making fun of it!!) and in order to bring peace upon the situation, I nudged Chooch and said, “What’s your name on there?” Chooch got RULL WEIRD and kept saying “ummm, ummm” while pretending to scroll through the app before whispering in the most defeated tone, “Choochie.”

(Later, he told me that he knew what his name was on there but just didn’t want to say it out loud because it was embarrassing and he was so mad at me for pressuring him, lol.)

Chooch and I awkwardly hung around the dog poop bag thing while the Couple Who Geocache Together Stays Together walked back to their car. “You called him an asshole,” Chooch reminded me. “I can’t believe you.” And then we started laughing our faces off because we are, of course, Forever Jerks. I had to sit down on a nearby bench while Chooch underwent the painstaking task of trying to write his name and date on the tiny paper scroll, because I honestly thought I was going to pee my pants. What are the odds of talking shit on another geochacher and then getting busted for it?

We eventually continued walking a bit farther into the park, and when the couple finally left the parking lot and drove past  us, they were both glaring out their windows.

So of course we started cracking up all over again. Thank god there were other people around or it would have been less funny, more scary, I think.

In other Palmer Park news, I spotted an actual metal slide, the kinds from my youth that have been replaced in pretty much every playground with  those dumber plastic ones. I was so excited to try it! Chooch went first and as he climbed the rickety ladder, he mumbled, “Wow, now I get why these slides are basically illegal.”

There was one other geocache in the park that Chooch wanted to get, but this one at the entrance. There was nowhere to park so I had to illegal park in some trucking company parking lot while Chooch crossed over the busy road.

“Don’t get hit by a car,” I called out, meeting my obligatory Mom Duty quota for the day.

There was a little man-made rock and mini waterfall feature around the sign for Palmer Park and the geocache was supposed to be there somewhere but Chooch eventually conceded defeat.
“I have no idea where it is and I looked like an idiot over there so I give up. Stupid [insert Pantera Guy’s geocache name here] found it earlier, I wish we had seen him so I would know where it was!”

YEAH, ASSUMING HE EVEN PUT IT BACK!!!

Jul 202020
 

It all started a few weeks ago when Chooch started an Instagram account for our cat Drew. It was incredibly annoying to witness as one would imagine, watching a teenager follow a cat around trying to get her to vogue, strike a pose, save a baby from a burning house so he could get a Boomerang for the ‘gram.

And then there was all the times we heard, “Great. You guys just ruined the video” when Henry and I would dare to talk to each other while a CF was being filmed in the next room.

Chooch, determined to get a brand deal (lol), took his excitement next door to his brother Blake’s house and filled him in on the scheme, at which point Blake decided that he was going to make one for his cat too. So Chooch overzealously decides to be Blake’s Instagram coach.

Which I thought was a terrible idea because Blake’s cat is a fluffy Maine Coon-esque tabby who looks a bit like my old BFF Marcy (RIP, girl, you’ll always be my #1) and people love cats who look like that. Chooch gave him all the hashtags he’s been using and then gave him shoutouts on Drew’s Instagram and then suddenly, Blake’s cat Ham got more popular.

“I told you that you shouldn’t have helped him!” I yelled, suddenly invested in this drama.

But at first, Chooch was trying to be the bigger person. “No, it’s OK because we made a deal that whoever gets a brand deal first would help the other person.”

OMFG.

And for the first week, all was sunshine and giggles in Catstagram City. Blake and Chooch (I mean, Ham and Drew) tagged each other in their stories and then hounded us to like their posts, etc. I saw Haley outside one day and she was like, “THEY ARE SO ANNOYING WITH THIS INSTAGRAM SHIT” and I was like “GIRL, RIGHT?” and she said that when Blake leaves for work, he gives her instructions to take pictures of Ham so that he can post them later.

But then one of Ham’s posts got more comments than any of Drew’s and when Chooch realized that it was a picture HE took of Ham, he actually started crying. “I quit!” he screamed. “I’m deleting Drew’s Instagram! This sucks!”

Then I started to get annoyed about it too because I’m super competitive by nature. So I came up with a plan for Chooch to hack into Ham’s account and make him say some “all lives matter” bullshit so that he would get canceled.

“No, I can’t do that,” Chooch said in a small voice.

“OK, BUT DON’T COME CRYING TO ME WHEN IT GETS WORSE.”

To be fair, Ham is very handsome but he’s also pretty boring and all his pictures look the same.

Finally, I was tired of being on the sidelines, so I made an Instagram for Penelope on Saturday, which initially annoyed Chooch, but then I told him, “LOOK, WE CAN TEAM UP. DREW AND PENELOPE CAN BE THE CUTE INSTAGRAM SISTERS AND OH BOO HOO, HAM’S AN ONLY CHILD, HE CAN’T SIT AT OUR TABLE.”

So, that’s what’s happening. And everything was pretty calm until about an hour ago when Chooch found out that Ham has been featured several times by various cat accounts and he is ready to torch Instagram headquarters.

Anyway, I don’t have a fantastic twist ending to this story, but if you want to help us and hinder Ham, here are Drew and Penelope’s Instagrams (LOL this might be one of the most immature things I’ve ever been involved in):

https://www.instagram.com/that_cat_bambi/

https://www.instagram.com/presenting_penelope

Yeah, fucking around with a kitchen and cat Instagrams is where I am right now in Pandemic Times.

[EDIT: OK I feel super guilty fake-trashing a cat, Ham is handsome devil and we love him! But yeah, follow our cats and not him, lol.)

Jul 072020
 

I know you have all been frantically hitting refresh on my blog, waiting with bated breath for an update on my lost package of Korean cassettes. Well, here’s what’s what;

When I told Henry what the USPS dude (BRANDON) told me on the phone, about how it was allegedly scanned in at the 3100 block of my street (I’m on the 3000 block, come n’ get me), Henry was like, “I bet it was delivered to 31xx because they’ve gotten our stuff before!!” and I was like, “THAT MAKES SENSE, I’LL SEND CHOOCH DOWN THERE” because that’s what children are for, right? I think that’s what my manual said, anyway. Page 87: Send children as go-fers to strange houses in exchange for packages?

Chooch grudgingly did as he was told (he was going to walk down there in just socks but like a TRUE MUM I was like, “Boy, putcher shoes on lest you step on some needles or whatnot, shit son use your fucking noggin, this is Brookline not Green Gables. I didn’t send you to a mediocre city school for nuthin’!”

He was gone for a reasonable amount of time, just long enough for me  to forget about him, but not long enough for Henry to be like, “Wait….where’d what’s-his-face go?”

I saw him running up the sidewalk, empty-handed, so I already knew I was going to hate what he had to say.

“No one was home,” he panted. “In fact, I don’t even think anyone lives in that house. It’s that weird yellow one.” And then he named the people who used to live there, like I actually know anyone who lives on this street. Bitch, please.

The next day, Henry and I were walking home from GETTING BEER wow we’re trash, when I walked past the yellow house, stopped, and marched right up to the front door. “If no one lives here, can’t I just open the mail box?” I yelled back to Henry, who was waiting on the sidewalk, not wanting to get involved. I was mindlessly knocking on the door at the same time, not expecting anyone to answer, and was just about to lift open the top of the mailbox when Henry nodded toward the side of the house, WHERE SOME MAN HAD EMERGED FROM THE SIDE DOOR.

I walked down the front steps and met him in the yard. He was looking back and forth between Henry and me, with A WILD LOOK IN HIS EYES. Like he KNEW EXACTLY WHY WE WERE THERE. Like he was HOPING I COULDN’T HEAR THE STOLEN TOTO PLAYING FROM HIS DUSTY RADIO SHACK TAPE DECK.

“Hi, you didn’t happen to receive a package meant for xxxx last week, did you?” I asked in my polite SWEETIE PIE voice. That voice usually works, but not on this GUILTY MAN. THIS GUILTY MAN just looked at me through a glaze of SUSPICION and grunted what I suppose was, “No.”

I thanked him and then Henry and I continued along with our BAGS OF BEER like regular ol’ BROOKLINE FOLK, god, I hate that we were actually carrying beer down the street on the 4th of July like fucking trash.

“He was lying,” I hissed to Henry. “That man has my fucking tapes, Henry. I KNOW IT.” Henry was just like, “Whatever, I can’t wait to crack open one of these sissy beers that I let you pick out.”

Later that night, I checked my email right before going to bed. I had an email from the USPS, with the subject “Your USPS Service Request Has Been Resolved!”

OMG DID THEY FIND MY PACKAGE?! I cried, nearly catapulting Henry off his side of the bed.

WELL, THAT’S A NEGATIVE.

I’m so glad that my lost Korean VINTAGE cassettes are going to help them “work toward improvements.”

They sent me a survey yesterday and I was like, “Oh buddy, I will GLADLY fill out this fucker.” In the additional comment section, I made sure to point out that perhaps if my mail carrier wasn’t constantly talking on the phone every time he delivers our mail, perhaps these mistakes wouldn’t happen. Asshole!

I had to give my work-group the sad update this week because they’ve been ON EDGE about this ever since I pulled them into the fold last Thursday. Lauren said she’s sure that BRANDON and SUSPICIOUS GUY probably split the bounty, and Nate said, “I guess ‘free shipping’ doesn’t mean ‘to your house.'” And Glenn was just shocked that there were other bidders in this auction.

Hearing Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, and Toto on the radio is going to have new meaning to me, now. Sigh. (I didn’t include Saga in this because I don’t know who Saga is and I don’t think I have ever even heard them on the radio, which prompted Henry to yell, “OH I’M SURE YOU HAVE” and then he played me a bunch of their songs and I can promise you that my final answer is still no.)

Jan 232020
 

It’s tradition for Janna, Chooch and me to go out for lunch on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, if only doing this once prior counts as “tradition.” We’ve already started this tradition with a strangely volatile track record, because last year I chose a restaurant that was extremely crowded with awkward seating, so we left after being seated at a crowded counter, and then ended up having another awkward seating experience at the ramen place we chose as our fall-back.

But then we had a great time at a post-lunch cafe (Black Forge, holla!) so that made it seem, in our memories, that we should do it again this year. I guess kind of like how some women forget the horrors of pregnancy/child birth and do it again.

This time, it was Janna’s turn to choose an uncomfortable eating establishment!

First though, the day started on a high when Janna got yelled at in the parking lot across from my house for allegedly thieving Hot Naybor Chris’s wife’s parking spot. Janna had to swear that she’s not a weirdo after HNC’s wife ranted about all the weirdos in the neighborhood and swore she didn’t realize it was someone else’s spot (newsflash: none of us have our own assigned parking spots, so…).

“Wow, she’s very shrill,” Janna laughed when she walked into my house and Chooch and I were dying. We wanted her to get beaten, but verbal abuse is just as good!

We immediately set off for Ineffable Cà Phê which I’ve wanted to try for awhile, but anytime we’ve been in the area, it’s always looks very crowded. Well, today was no different and it didn’t help that we arrived right smack in the middle of noon.

Maybe I’m just FUCKING OLD, but I really dislike places that force you to order at a counter. I get that this is also a cafe, but perhaps separate the two areas, I dunno, because the menus were all split up in different spots and by the time it was our turn to order, I was teetering on the tip of a tantrum and blurted out, “I’LL HAVE THE SAME AS HIM” and nudged Chooch, even though I didn’t know what he ordered because every time I asked him, he ignored me.

Then the real fun began—looking for a place to sit. Again, this is a cafe that also serves food (and some of  the food is pho, so…not exactly something you can casually eat while standing. I was having ANXIETY by this point because we were just standing there, lost, in everyone’s way, looking for a place that could seat three people, but because THIS IS ALSO A CAFE, 90% of the seats were occupied by people who were not eating, but staring at their laptops with dead eyes.

Booths? People working.

Shared tables? Full of lazy hipsters and surrounded by a moat of coiled laptop cords on the floor, which I almost tripped over numerous times.

It was absolutely trash as far as comfort levels went.

We finally settled on an armchair (which White Knight Jr, a/k/a Chooch, argued was “very comfortable” and he was “just fine”) and a couch in the corner, with some extremely enlarged spool-thing to use as a table. It was SO FUCKING UNCOMFORTABLE. The couch was so low to the ground and I had to bend in half every time I took a bite of my tofu banh mi (good choice, Chooch), so I guess at least I was getting an ab workout, I dunno.

It was so bad that while we were waiting for our food, Janna could see Mt.Erinsuvius getting ready to erupt and suggested that we just get our food to go, save it for dinner, and then go somewhere for lunch.

NOT AFTER I JUST THREW DOWN $20 ON TWO SANDWICHES (AND NO DRINKS!!).

Luckily for this damn place, the banh mi was really good. It’s so hard to find GOOD TOFU on sandwiches, and theirs had a really great marinade to it. I approved. So did Chooch, who was blessedly silent while inhaling his lunch.

The worst part about this though was that I had to go to the counter and retrieve both sandwiches after my name was called, and it was a veritable slalom course of laptop cords and backpacks but I persevered all while muttering, “Don’t look at me. Don’t look at me.”

When Janna’s food was ready, the guy was like, “I will bring it to you” because she got pho, but she still walked over and kept trying to take it from him and he was like, “I WILL BRING IT TO YOU” – Chooch and I were dying. Finally, something good was happening! Then the guy gave Janna a sauce recommendation but she of course didn’t pay attention, so when he left our table she was like, “What did he tell me to do?” and I was like, “Mix the sriracha and hoisin.” As she embarked on the  treacherous journey to the counter to fetch said sauces, Chooch was like, “Oh, I thought you said sriracha and POISON and I was like ‘Yes, we’re killing Janna!'” Hahaha.

Actually, once we got our food and established ourselves in the corner which was DEFINITELY meant for relaxing with a book and coffee, not hunched over a lunch you’re trying not to spill, it was OK. Would I go back? I AM NOT SURE. Maybe I’d get it to go, but I can’t foresee myself ever attempting to dine in there again unless I get there immediately when it opens or like, right after a kitchen fire,  idk.

However, there was one super positive aspect about this place, and that was when we stumbled on  the adjacent boutique on the way out. It’s just a tiny little nook in the corner of the cafe but just secluded enough so you feel like you’re in another space altogether, and it’s run by a super lovely lady who chatted us up but not in the sense where I was trying to peel my skin off and lift it up over my head to form a nice bloody flesh tent under which to camp out with my social inadequacies.

She was SO LOVELY that Chooch was like, “I WANT ONE OF HER CANDLES.” They were all very earthly, masculine smells, er, scents, which I appreciate in a candle from time to time; one can only have so many pumpkin spices and clean cotton fragrances in the house, you know?

The special thing about her candles is that you can DIP YOUR FINGERS INTO THE HOT WAX, which is like every kids’ and my dream, and then RUB IT INTO YOUR SKIN BECAUSE IT DOUBLES AS ESSENTIAL OIL.

Brilliant. Yes, let me buy one of those.

It took Chooch forever to choose a scent (black currant is what he ultimately went for?!) and then Janna had to copy us and buy one too but when the lady asked her for her email address, Janna rattled off something I’ve never heard before, so I yelled, “HEY I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THAT EMAIL ADDRESS!” and it was quiet for a second while the lady’s eyeballs looked like they were watching a scary tennis match, but then Janna just nervously laughed it off so then the lady laughed too but I WASNT LAUGHING.

Meanwhile, there was a dog behind the counter but Chooch wasn’t able to reach it so he was terribly upset about that.

THEN WE WENT DOWNTOWN. I started laughing when I realized that it was exactly 2::00pm, which is what time I would normally be ambling about down there on a regular workday. First, we stopped at this art installation thing because Pittsburgh sometimes tries to hang with the Big City Kids by doing artsy things for people to either enjoy, scrutinize, or vandalize. I walk past this every day but have never bothered to stop and explore, so I was happy that we parked literally on the same block as it.

It was pretty cold that day but not as cold as it was last year when we did out MLK outing, because I think it was like 10 degrees that day. If you ask Mr. I Never Get Cold, he’ll tell you that both days weren’t cold at all. I hate him sometimes.

IF YOU LOOK, YOU CAN SEE ALL THREE OF US OMG.

I’m like way good at posing.

AnywaySSSS, the reason we were downtown is because Bae Bae’s Kitchen opened a brand new cafe down the street called, well, Bae Bae’s Cafe. I’ve been stalking it for months on my daily lunch break walks and was excited to get there on their second day! (I feel like the first opening day would have been stuffed to the gills with influencers and the like, so…no thanks.)

Chooch and I are both avid boba fans, so I got a taro and he chose earl gray which I thought was an odd choice for him and turns out he ended up thinking the same once he sipped it. He added some cane sugar to it after awhile and then deemed it drinkable.

This is DEFINITELY an Instagram-cafe. That’s not to take away from their drinks which are wonderful; they also serve lunch items but we had already done that so I ordered chocolate chip cookies for us to share and they were REALLY DELICIOUS. Like 진짜 맛있어요!

(Bae Bae’s is Korean, yo.)

So, the seating is pretty non-existent here, which was hilarious to us because all we wanted to do was be able to sit together today while eating and drinking?! Like, I can’t think of many more basic wants, you know? But this space is pretty small so probably prepare to pop in and pop out if you go on a busy day. As it turned out, Janna had to sit by herself and then when she left her seat to go to the counter to get her drink, some asshole stole her seat! AND THE GUY HE WAS WITH WHO WAS ALREADY SITTING ACROSS FROM WHERE JANNA HAD BEEN SAID NOTHING!

To be fair, either did Chooch or I. Chooch was just like, “LOL, Janna lost her seat” and then continued slurping up boba.

My bedroom is almost this same color and now I know that UMERELLA-ELLA-ELLAS ON THE CEILING is what it’s been missing. Get on that, Henry.

The guy on the couch is the d-bag who stole Janna’s seat, but then he moved to the couch once it became available, so Janna got her seat back. Damn. Anyway, these guys were v.annoying.

It’s a very elegant and, to use a word people hate, no not moist: WHIMSICAL. I personally liked it because it gave off Wonderland vibes and that’s my jam. My favorite Alice In Wonderland is  the version that as Carol Channing and Ann Jillian in it, in case you were wondering. I think it’s from the early 80s.

Seriously,  the best. Followed by that weirdo Jan Svankmajer stop-motion film “Alice.” Horrifying.

Janna Sits Alone.

Anyway, the best part of the day was that the proprietor of the Bae Bae’s empire, Ashley, was there and she came over to talk to Chooch and me and she took our picture for the cafe’s Instagram story! She also said I looked very familiar to her and I was like, “Oh god, am I on some Koreaboo list?!” Like Megan’s List but for Koreans to watch out for people obsessed with their culture. But it turns out she just recognized me from all the times I’ve cupped my hands next to my face and peeked in the cafe’s windows JUST KIDDING she said she thinks I looked familiar because I follow Bae Bae’s on Instagram. To be honest, I rarely go to Bae Bae’s Kitchen even though it’s right near my office because:

  • it’s kind of expensive
  • it sits super heavily in my stomach (BUT IT’S SO GOOD)
  • I don’t want to be a creep

We tried to stay as long as we could because there were three “super hip” Modcloth chicks hogging the best seat in the house and I wanted to get pictures there too but they came with A CAMERA, like a real DSLR, and just when I thought they were getting ready to leave, one of them went back up  to the counter to order dessert for them to share, see also: NEW PROP FOR MORE PICTURES.

I saw later that night that Bae Bae’s reposted some of their pictures and THEY SAT ON OUR SEATS AFTER WE LEFT, which was like 15 minutes before closing, so maybe the whole time THEY were trying to wait US out?? Like, if I had just gone over there and politely said, “EXCUSE ME, CUNTS WE WANT TO SIT HERE FOR A SEC, BEAT IT” everyone could have gotten their way!?

Anyway, it was a tumultuous day. A real roller coaster of emotions. Maybe next year, we’ll just go to the movies and Taco Bell.

Jul 182019
 

I am a creature of habit. I come home everyday from work, I change into my workout clothes, I eat my dinner which is lovingly prepared by Chef Henry, and then I exercise. I allow for a little wiggle room, and sometime I even — GASP — make plans on a weeknight, but typically this is what I do.

And god help me, I look forward to it ALL DAMN DAY.

So last night, when I was knee-deep in a Jillian Michaels’ Body Revolution cardio workout and someone started knocking on my door, I WAS FUCKING PISSED.

Of course, Henry and Chooch had gone to the grocery store and I would normally just ignore answering it. However, moments before this happened, I briefly glanced out the window and saw two women standing by Haley’s car, so I considered the possibility that it was either Haley or Blake. Maybe they needed someone to watch their kids or they were trying to borrow a cup of sugar, I don’t know. But they’re family after all, so I begrudgingly paused my workout in the middle of crab kicks and opened the door while sweat rolled into my eyeballs.

Too bad it wasn’t enough sweat to blind me because coming to face-to-face with Chooch’s nemesis Larry WAS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED. I mean, seriously, he nearly slumped down the side of the door and right into my house, that’s how close he was.

So, I’m stunned that it’s Larry, and he’s stunned because that’s how he always looks but also probably because I was literally soaking wet with sweat and my face was fire engine red.

“So, that woman hit that car over there—” he said, pointing to Haley’s car and this is when I noticed that the two women I saw minutes prior were not Haley and her mom but the perp and her daughter.

My eyes were darting back and forth from Larry to Haley’s car, and I was panting, not having yet come down from cardio, and I probably looked like I had just been interrupted disposing a body because I excel at BEING SUSPICIOUS.

“That’s not my car,” I huffed.

“I know, but I knocked over there and no one answered,” Larry replied, watching me wick away sweat from my face with my forearm.

“I was exercising,” I panted, and he just nodded because I’m pretty sure the whole block knows that I am almost always exercising.

Now the lady who hit Haley’s car was walking up my sidewalk. SHIT FUCK GODDAMMIT. This is not what I wanted to be doing on my Wednesday night during Exercise Hour!!

“Hi, I really don’t think there is any damage, but if you want to just go and look—” she started to say, and I curtly replied, “OK but it’s not my car, so…”

And now I’m outside, in my sweaty workout clothes, hair nearly 100% moist with perspiration, face pulled into a scowl. I looked at the mirror. It seemed fine. My reflection in said mirror, well, that was another story.

But I still attempted to knock on Blake and Haley’s door anyway, because this wasn’t my car and I didn’t want to make that call. Decisions are for the grownups!

NO ONE ANSWERED.

“You can come look at my mirror too — it’s fine. There’s literally no damage,” the Broad-Perp said as she strode away up the sidewalk to where she left her car. Meanwhile, her daughter was staring at me, probably judging my stinky-state, so I spat, “I was exercising.”

NOW, VARIOUS NEIGHBORS WERE COMING OUT OF THEIR HOUSES. MY FAVORITE THING EVER – BEING LOOKED AT BY THE NEIGHBORS. Then one of the Italian Brothers, the Shirtless One, came home and did this whole song and dance of pretending to walk to his house without rubber-necking, then gave up about halfway down the sidewalk and blatantly snooped.

While I was standing at the broad’s car, feigning interest in her no-damage mirror, HENRY AND CHOOCH CAME HOME FROM THE STORE. They parked across the street and as they waited to cross, I made frantic “come here” motions with my hand.

Henry shook his head no.

I waved franticlier,

Henry shook his head no again.

THEN HOT NAYBOR CHRIS CAME HOME AND WAS MILLING ABOUT TRYING TO HEAR WHAT WAS HAPPENING AND I JUST WANTED TO DIE OK.

“That’s the father-in-law of the car’s owner,” I said to the lady in a high-pitched voice, desperate for Henry to come and take the reins so I could go back to being blissfully irresponsible of all adult goings-on. Henry meandered over to see what was going on and then went over to knock on Blake’s door because I guess his knock is different from mine and Larry’s and will magically bring Blake to the door.

“I thought you said that was his car?” the Broad-Perp asked me.

“No, it’s his daughter-in-law’s,” I corrected.

“Oh…but he lives…with you…” she said, pointing to my side of the house, trying to piece it together. “He’s your husband?”

“Eh,” I shrugged.

“Significant other,” she laughed, adjusting the elastic of her too-big gray sweatpants and I suddenly realized that I was still standing there talking about my personal life with some reckless driver so I did that thing that I do best which is turn and leave abruptly without even so much as an Excuse Me, Pardon Me. But before I could make it into the house, the daughter of one of the Italian Brothers had just returned home. She just recently opened a boutique in this spot on the Boulevard where four boutiques before hers failed. She gave me a pitiful smile, probably mentally styling me in some workout apparel with cliched girly slogans appliqued across the chest, like FRIYAY or YAAAAS QUEEN.

Maybe this could go on the town bulletin board!!!!! Ugh. I cracked the front door and slithered back into the house, never to be seen in public again.

Henry came in a few minutes later, after getting a hold of Blake via phone, who asked, “Is there noticeable damage? OK, then I don’t care” and that was that.

“TELL BLAKE I SAID THANKS A LOT FOR MAKING ME BE AN ADULT!” I screamed while doing jumping lunges. “I WAS SO PISSED! LARRY WAS LEERING AT ME AND IT TOTALLY RUINED MY WORKOUT AND I HATED HAVING TO TALK TO PEOPLE!”

Henry laughed and recounted the scene that played when he and Chooch drove past in the car:

“Oh shit, your mom’s outside,” Henry said with trepidation.

“Wow, who let her out?” Chooch mused.

And that was when they figured that Something Happened in order for me to have actually stepped outside to mingle with strangers.

But, I think the main takeaway here is STOP PARKING ON THE FUCKING STREET, PEOPLE!!!

Related image

Dec 142018
 

I was going to do a Friday Five bullshit, I mean, bullet point post today but THEN MY FRIDAY STARTED OUT SO WACK and I can’t concentrate on anything BUT THE TRAGEDY THAT OCCURRED IN MY MOUTH.

Everything was fine. The morning routine was as boring and basic as ever. Chooch left for school and I sat down to eat the same bowl of cereal I eat every morning (Cinnamon Life with almond milk, boy) and I put on some kpop music show performances because this is how I spend the tiny bit of free time I have before leaving for work.

I had just finished my cereal and was about to tweet something about how Kai from EXO had graduated from crop tops to shirtless blazers…

Image result for kai love shot

(Yeah boy.)

…and I wasn’t mad about it, when my tongue happened to casually graze A HOLE IN MY BACK MOLAR.

My first instinct was to stop breathing. Then my mind began to reel and I began to try to wake myself up because I am always having nightmares about this so CLEARLY I WAS STILL ASLEEP.

First I thought my crown came off, which I am always terrified of, but then I realized that it’s actually the molar next to it, the very last tooth and the one that I was supposed to get a root canal done on earlier this year but put it off so NOW LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED TO ME. I DESERVED  THIS.

I ran upstairs to the bathroom and did all kinds of contorting to try and see what was going on in there.

“And that’s how they found her, kids: standing on her head with a hand mirror jammed in her mouth.”

And you know what’s totally Alanis Morrissette about this? I actually had a dentist appointment scheduled for this Monday WHICH I CANCELED YESTERDAY because it’s the same day as one of our holiday work lunches so I had to call back and leave a desperate message, begging for my old appointment back, OMG WHY.

Then!! My stupid trolley was TWENTY MINUTES LATE and when it finally arrived, it was the elusive “Holiday Express” which I have been dying to ride, so it was perfectly fitting that I would get my inaugural experience on it standing shoulder-to-shoulder with surly strangers (that T was packed to the gills because of the delay) while trying not to pass out every time my tongue gravitated over to my molar canyon. You know what it feels like?! A fucking popcorn shell thing.

(I wish that’s what it actually was, because I DID eat popcorn last night but I am a dedicated flosser, so…)

Then I made the mistake of telling Lauren and Margie about it, who in turn made me feel utterly hopeless. “You’ll probably just have to get it removed,” Lauren said.

“Yeah, but then you’ll have to watch that your teeth don’t start to shift because of the empty space,” Margie added.

“They might have to pull a tooth on the other side to even it out,” Lauren volleyed, and I had to walk away from this tragic theoretical tennis match because I already know who wins: THE DENTIST.

“You guys are going to have me in dentures by the end of the day,” I cried.

The only highlight of the day so far is that I lost another pound and I guess I’ll continue losing more pounds considering THAT I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO EAT AGAIN.

(I’m actually eating pineapple right now. It’s…OK. But I am hyper-aware.)

UPDATE!

Carrie and Marlene and have given me hope. First, Carrie pointed out that pretty much anything is fixable and it will be OK as long as I get it taken care of ASAP (trying to!!). And then Marlene was like, “Did you have fillings in that tooth?”

YOU GUYS, I DID INDEED HAVE FILLINGS IN THAT TOOTH. So maybe my tooth didn’t actually break, but the fillings fell out!? That’s a better scenario right!?

Also, Marlene told me that teeth don’t generally shift back, but if they are going to shift, they crowd* toward the front. That also made me feeling better, in case I have to get the tooth pulled. I’m so glad I work with so many recreational dentists!

*(You know where it feels like I do have crowding? In my brain.)

Now I’m just sitting here, willing my dentist to call me back.

Wow, I was like, “Why is my face wet” just now and realized that I had drool pathetically sluicing down my chin on account of the fact that I’m subconsciously trying not to swallow because of Tooth.

***********

I just came back from my lunch break walk which involved no food because I decided I may never eat again, and Henry did not make me feel any better at all because he’s acting like this isn’t life or death.

“I hate that your life is actually better than mine right now,” I wailed.

“WOW,” he said, and then he had to get off the phone because he was going to the store so I told him to just buy me broth, I guess. Straw-food forever.

I can’t tell if my face is actually swelling up or if I’m imagining it…

#cliffhanger

UPDATE:

I’m home from work now. My fake husband is also a fake dentist and is trying to put some temporary tooth filling* in my mouth to help tide me over until my dentist can see me. I am being v.dramatic about this so be lucky you’re not here.

*(and no, not an euphemism for a weener.)

Henry DDS said it really does look like I just lost a filling and that if I had actually broken my tooth I’d have been crying since 8:00am when I first found out. LIKE HE KNOWS ME OR SOMETHING.

Oct 182018
 

Henry said he knew he should have trusted his gut, but after dealing with me wheedling away at his willpower for three weeks, he finally cried uncle and told me to go ahead and buy three tickets to K-Expo, a Kpop/K-beauty/K-everything event that just happened to be occurring in NYC the day after we were seeing BTS in Newark. I mean, it couldn’t have worked out any better! Plus, Henry even found a discount so we were able to save some cash on the tickets.

My promise to him was that if he agreed to go, I would get the cheapest tickets, because they were being sold in tiers, with P1 being the best and included all sorts of artist engagements which sounds great but at the end of the day, I just wanted to see the performances.

There were four smaller-scale groups/performers on the bill: The Rose, A.C.E., Kim Myungsoo aka L from the group Infinite, and the reason why I wanted to go so badly: Astro!

I’ve really started to stan Astro pretty hard recently and thought it would be cool to see them while they’re still a smaller group. Henry got on board because he doesn’t mind the music but there was the promise of Korean food vendors so he was OK with throwing down for tickets, and then Chooch saw that there would be games and that was enough to win him over.

Henry had it all arranged. We’d check out of our hotel in Newark early Sunday morning, park at the hotel he booked for us in Jersey City, and take the train right over to Pier 36 in New York. All we knew was that it’s on the East River, right across from Brooklyn. The event wasn’t supposed to start until 11am so we figured we could roam around and sight see until then, check out the Brooklyn Bridge, try not to get taken. You know, regular tourist shit.

Let me tell you something: for about a month leading up to the BTS concert, I felt sick to my stomach. Nerves, you know? I always get that way when I’m going to see someone I like a lot and this was a pretty large-scale concert, so I was all worked up over it. But every time I thought about attending K-Expo the next day, I calmed down. I was really looking forward to this one without getting worked up. I just had this feeling that it was going to be a really chill event, so I felt relaxed every time I thought about it.

WOW, I HAVEN’T BEEN SO WRONG ABOUT SOMETHING IN A LONG ASS TIME.

I woke up really early that Sunday and it was a good fucking thing too, because I had mindlessly opened Instagram, as one is wont to do, and the first post I saw, right there at the top, was from the organizers of K-Expo: All That Korea. It said that there was a last-minute venue change and now the event would be held at Melrose Ballroom in Queens.

“Queens?!” Henry cried. “Now I have to figure out how to get to QUEENS?!” He was frantic and I was, at this point, rushing around the hotel room with wet hair, tossing things into my luggage so we could check out and get a head start.

Oh, did I mention that at the last minute, I splurged and bought Chooch and myself tickets to the Red Carpet event? So, KCON does this too and I always wanted to go but it’s only included in the higher tiered tickets, and it’s just basically where you get to watch the groups literally walk in on the red carpet and get interviewed. I was excited that K-Expo was doing this too, and it was only $20 so I figured K-YOLO or whatever.

Well, according to the JUST RELEASED event times, check-in for P1 and the Red Carpet was at 9am.

9AM YOU GUYS.

It was like 7:30 by this point and Henry was fucking flying down the highway from Newark to Jersey City. Luckily, the staff at the Holland Hotel were awesome and gave us really great directions to the train station.

“Where the hell are we going again?”

Pretty proud that we taught Chooch at an early age not to fear public transportation in other cities. He was a pro at the Seoul subway system by the time we left Korea! I wish I had gotten an early start with it instead of relying on cars all the time.

Also, while waiting for the train, I kept staring at that 333 Grand sign and realized that I now see Hangeul in everything.

Apparently, there was work being down on one of the stations, and as a courtesy, all passengers got a ticket for 2 free subway rides after we exited in New York!

I wanted to do the touristy “gasp and swirl” when we emerged from the bowels of the train station into Oculus (where the NJ transit and NYC transit systems meet) for the first time, but we had a fucking subway to Queens to catch. Basically, we just followed Henry.

My first impression of the NYC subway was “IT’S JUST LIKE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN!” I loved it. And there was some elder-goth sitting across from us and we kept making eye contact. She was on the phone and I was certain she was talking about us, too, because we were so clearly non-New Yorkers, so I was thrilled when Henry was like, “THIS IS OUR STOP, GO.”

When we were emerged from the subway (we had to walk down this long, empty and 100% creepy corridor and even though I was chanting, “WE’RE GONNA DIE WE’RE GONNA DIE” I secretly loved it), I was like, “WOW SO THIS IS QUEENS. SO THIS IS WHERE DAVID BERKOWITZ HEARD THE DOG AND DID THE KILLING.”

Because most of what I know relates to horror, murder, Kpop, and Days of Our Lives.

I looked at the time and it was only a little bit after 9am, plus Henry said the walk to the venue wasn’t very far so I started to calm down finally and enjoyed the time we had to make fun of Henry before we got to the place and suddenly realized that we needed him to buy us stuff. That’s how it works with us, it’s a cycle. We always bite the hand that feeds us until we need him to buy us a toy or a concert ticket and then our tunes changes RIGHT QUICK Y’ALL.

I knew we were headed in the right direction because we were behind two girls with Kpop accoutrements on their clothing and purses. Yeah, I see those dangling kpop idol Chibis. And then we heard a burst of maniacal girl-screams from over yonder, so I knew the venue was near.

And here is where everything took a turn.

I asked some K-Expo staff members at the front of the venue where to go to register for Red Carpet and she very distractedly said, “Go to the end of that line.” I looked over and saw a handful of people standing at the other of the venue, so we began to walk over there, thinking that was it, but then quickly saw that the line turned and went all the way down the block and then turned again onto another street. We just kept walking and walking, with no end of the line in sight.

Finally, halfway down the next block, we reached our destination.

“Holy shit,” I mouthed to Henry, who frowned his response back to me.

It was one long-ass motherfucking line at 9:00am.

And the best part was that no one knew what was going on! NO ONE! And then the  goth lady from the subway rolled up! SHE WAS FIVE PEOPLE BEHIND US IN LINE! We died!

As much as I know you would love a play-by-play of our time in line, I will break it down for you quickly:

  • We stood in line for over 2 hours. Oh yes, over 2 hours, when the Red Carpet was supposed to happen at 11:00 and NO ONE WAS INSIDE YET.
  • Some guy kept coming out of his house and he was PISSED that there were people lining up on his block. So pissed that at one point, he pulled out his phone and recorded all of us and then apparently called the police, who had already been called numerous times and this I know because—
  • —some All That Korea guy who looked like the villain in a K-drama with his slicked back hair, pastel suit, and bare ankles sauntered down the sidewalk and started yelling at us to stop blocking the sidewalk (THAT HIS PEOPLE TOLD US TO STAND ON, THANK YOU) and that if the cops were called again, he was going to have to SHUT IT ALL DOWN.
  • Some girls behind us were having a passive aggressive pissing match over who has had the most kpop experiences and one of them raised her voice and said, “BTS ISN’T EVEN IN MY TOP 1O SORRY BTS FANS.”
    • But then later, she was listening to Taemin’s “Move” so I turned around and said, “OK I HAVE TO GIVE YOU THIS” and handed her a sample of one of my Taemin Valentines that has my card shop info on the back and then we started talking about our biases and she was pretty cool but if you ask Chooch, he will tell you that it was awkward to watch.
  • Henry had to leave our line and go stand with strangers in a different non-P1, non-Red Carpet line and he was not happy about that but it was honestly a highlight for me.
  • Some total d-bag New Yawker meathead from the Melrose Ballroom repeatedly trolled the sidewalk, screaming at all us to move over and I was like, “Buddy where the fuck do you want us to go?” Also, HOW MUCH OF A NUISANCE COULD WE HAVE TRULY BEEN?! A bunch of fucking KPOP FANS.

Finally, sometime around NOON, the line began moving and staff members came around to scan our tickets and give us our wristbands. We passed this great sign on a creepy store and then also passed creepy Henry who was standing in a line full of young Asians. He wasn’t hard to spot with his dumb beard and Everfresh hat. Chooch and I cracked up.

After Chooch had his (SPECIAL EDITION! – he’ll never let us forget) Snapple confiscated by the same meathead bouncer who was screaming at us earlier, we made it inside the ballroom and my initial reaction was, ‘…..oh.”

It was just a nightclub, and not a very big one at that. Pier 36 had a capacity of 5000 and this one was 1,040ish (I only know this because we were standing across from a plaque near the entrance at one that had the capacity on it. I figured they much have moved venues because they didn’t sell enough tickets but there sure as fuck seemed to be more than 1000 people standing in that line out there.

Also, I saw a screenshot later on of Pier 36 responded to someone bashing them on Instagram and according to THEM, All that Korea never paid them, which is allegedly the real reason there was a venue change.

INTERESTING.

The Red Carpet started before they even got all of the P1/Red Carpet ticket holders inside, so they were REALLY off to a great start. It started pretty soon after Chooch and I got inside, when Jeff Benjamin, a writer for Billboard and self-proclaimed kpop expert came out and totally bored us with a bunch of small talk about himself. Wow, he was fucking douchey.

But then one-by-one, the artists were called out, and everyone’s phones shot up into the air.

First, we had The Rose. Admittedly, all I know about them is that they’re an actual band and that Joan went to see them with Ashley on one of the Joan Day vlogs. (If you would have told me three years ago that I would become someone who watches vlogs on YouTube, I’d have punched you in the throat; yet, here we are.)

The Rose!

Next came A.C.E. – I think they are so great! There were A LOT of people there just for them, too. Like, a lot a lot.

AND THEN ASTRO! I was so stoked for them! I might have cried a little bit, especially when Cha Eunwoo spoke English!

He’s the fourth guy from the left.

Kim Myung-soo was next and honestly, he seemed mildly irritated to be there, and I would later learn that all the artists were definitely feeling the bad vibes that All that Korea was emitting.

Here’s my snippet-collection!

After the Red Carpet, which literally only lasted for about 20 minutes, we found Henry standing against a wall behind us. Apparently, they let all the riffraff in before the Red Carpet was over so Henry got to see the end. We decided to check out the upstairs, which is supposedly where all  the vendors were, i.e. the “expo” portion of the event.

WOW. It was fucking hazardous up there to say the least. It was U-shaped up there, because it was essentially the balcony-area for the venue below, so people were pushing and shoving, trying to get through and I thought I was going to have a panic attack. It was awful, and also there were NOT 20-30 vendors as promised. We saw maybe 5 on the one side we were able to make it to, and then as we attempted to make our way back to the other side, we passed by the bar and I overheard one bartender ask the other if there was going to be food, and the other bartender laughed and said, “No.”

Wait, what? It wasn’t even 1PM yet! This thing wasn’t going to be over until after 9, and they weren’t going to have ANY food available?! We went back downstairs to see if there was reentry, and by this time, even more people had been stuffed inside there. Staff members were screaming at people to not crowd the stairwells and those people were all confused because there was literally nowhere else to stand.

And then one of those asshole bouncers told us no reentry, in a rude way that was expected by this point, so we went back inside and stood, pressed against a wall, by the entrance and watched as even more people were being let in. This was, ironically, when I first noticed the capacity plaque on the wall.

I was actually having a hard time breathing at this point because my mind was reeling with all the different ways we could perish inside this building. First of all, it was very clearly a safety hazard and I cannot for the life of me believe that the Melrose Ballroom was allowing more and more people to flood the room. Second, there was NO FOOD—how does that even make sense!? It’s one thing if this was JUST a concert that started at 6, then we wouldn’t expect there to be food. But this was billed as an “Expo” with “food vendors” and now there were no food vendors and absolutely no announcement from All that Korea telling us so.

I just kept imaging someone screaming and starting a stampede, and I know I’m a super selfish person but there was no way I was going to endanger my kid’s life by making him stay there in a building stuffed past capacity, with nothing to eat all day long, and no where to even stand or sit comfortably without fearing for your life. So I made the executive decision to leave and that is what we did, without looking back.

It sucked because that wasn’t a cheap thing for us and it was something that I was looking forward to, but come on, let’s be real. It was a clusterfuck and the fire marshal should have been called.

Later that day, I checked Twitter and Instagram and knew we made the right choice: people were PISSED. There was no clear separation of the different ticket tiers, so some people who paid $300 were relegated to the back of the room while some of the basic bitches who only had P4 (what we had) were all the way at the front. The artist engagements sounded like complete disasters, causing the artists to continuously apologize because they felt so bad things weren’t going smoothly, the P1 people were promised signed posters and they got ones that just had the signatures copied, one of those meathead security guys ended up getting fired because a video of him being racist toward the groups went viral, people were passing out, some people even went to the hospital.

Oh, and they decided hours after we left to honor reentry once they realized that, hmmm, maybe the whole “no food” thing might be an issue, but people were saying that they weren’t even able to move in order to get out of the venue, that’s how packed it was.

A bunch of people are trying to get refunds, even though it clearly states “no refunds” on the website, because when you really look at it, it’s a classic case of false advertising and they are being so shady about it. I got a canned response to my complaint about how they could have just canceled it but they did what they could to make sure fans still got to see the artists they love, etc etc, and therefore are not going to honor requests for a refund and I was rolling my eyes all the way to the Better Business Bureau website.

I don’t know what will happen. At the end of the day, I’m happy that I got to see the artists during the Red Carpet event and that we salvaged the day by having fun in NYC instead of risking our lives (not even being dramatic here) inside a shitty venue that when you google it, “Melrose Ballroom shooting” is one of the first things that comes up. But lesson learned – I will never attend another event “organized” by these chucklefucks.

Oct 152018
 

Dear Blog,

My annual October Week Vacation is here and I spent the weekend preceding it binge-watching The Haunting of Hill House which was fine all weekend but then I forgot that I would be home alone once the work week started. And it started off real spooky.

LET ME SET THE SCENE.

It’s 7:00AM and my alarm goes off. I have to still wake up early even though I’m on vacation because god forbid my seventh grader can get a grip long enough to wake himself or dress himself. I mean, at least he can shower himself, but what happens after that is a landslide of bad decisions and color-blindness that have him stepping into tattered clothes and mixed patterns. The other day I was working from home and stupidly let him do his own thing, and that’s how, hours later, I got the shocking reveal of his Friday outfit when he came home that evening: a really nice polo shirt paired with…..sweat pants with a hole so big between the legs that calling them crotchless wouldn’t be a stretch.

So, Mommy is still clearly needed.

I had to definitely be up and ready with him this morning because he has some presentation today at school that requires him to dress nicely, which is something he thinks he knows how to do, just like washing the dishes, which caused us to have a huge row last Saturday night when I realized he was putting food-caked plates into the strainer, grandma Judy-style.

I get out of bed to wake him up and notice that his phone alarm is also sounding, but a lot of good that did considering it was on a chair outside of his bedroom and the ringer was turned down low. I shut it off and set it down on a table in his bedroom and woke him up. We bickered for a bit, like we do, and then he reluctantly slammed himself into the bathroom to take a shower. I picked out a dumb shirt for him since he already had his pants ready (sans holes!) and stupidly thought I could lay back down.

STUPID THOUGHTS! Chooch, now out of the shower, pointed out that the smoke alarm was making a weird noise. Now, the other day it was beeping so we knew it needed new batteries, but then I didn’t hear any more beeps over the weekend so I assumed that Henry did his Man About the House duty by changing them, and I thought nothing of it. But now, it was making a weird metallic sizzle, like a growl, and I started screaming IS THERE A FIRE OMG WHERE IS IT?! and Chooch was like, “THAT’S NOT WHAT IT WOULD SOUND LIKE IF THERE WAS A FIRE, JESUS CHRIST.” So I had to climb onto the chair that Chooch’s phone was originally on, pull the alarm off the ceiling and hit it with the heel of my palm.

That seemed to work.

I put it back on the ceiling and proceeded to go back into my room so that I could maybe eke out another 15 minutes of rest.

But then it was all, “WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY PHONE!?”

I yelled back that I put it on his blue table and he volleyed the sass-ball right back into my court with, “NO YOU DIDN’T. WHERE DID YOU PUT IT.”

Guys. If there is one thing I hate, not just in Mom Life, but in ALL LIFE, it’s being accused of something I didn’t do. EVEN IF IT’S JUST BEING ACCUSED OF BEING WRONG. And this is what lights the fuse on nearly all of my Fight Bombs with Chooch. In fact, if you have ever spent any time with us, you probably have witnessed at least one of our notorious WHO WILL GET THE LAST WORD tournaments. It’s like March Madness but we’re the only two teams and it just gets more and more heated.

So now we’re doing this over his stupid phone, which I KNOW I left on that dumb table in his room. My boiling blood catapulted me out of bed and I stomped into his room with that particular kind of rolling rage that only a mom can know, and I slammed my hand down on the corner of the table and shrieked, “I PUT IT HERE. YOU OBVIOUSLY TOOK IT.”

“Maybe it fell on the floor!” he screamed back, hysterics cracking his dumb prepubescent voice.

“WELL DID YOU LOOK?!?!!?”

“NO!!”

So now he’s doing a half-assed sweep of the floor next to his table while I’m screaming about how I rue the day I ever gave him a phone and I just want to fucking go and lay down BUT NO GOD FORBID WHY SHOULD I EVER GET THAT LUXURY, I SHOULD HAVE JUST WENT TO WORK.

Meanwhile, Chooch needed a belt for the pants he was wearing today and Henry was supposed to handle that AND HE DIDN’T OF COURSE BECAUSE WHY WOULD HE. Also, Henry left his stupid phone here so we couldn’t tag-team him with emasculating phone-scoldings like we normally would when he fucks up our mornings. I WAS SO ANGRY THIS MORNING!

Chooch stormed off downstairs to presumably look for his phone even though I hadn’t gone downstairs yet this morning and he was SO ADAMANT that it was me who lost his phone. By this point, I figured I was up for the day so I put my contacts in and changed into my exercise clothes. Now Chooch was back upstairs.

“CAN YOU CALL MY PHONE AT LEAST,” he asked, looking like he was on the fringe of conflagration because you know how no one can be without their phone for more than 5 minutes.

So I did, all the while barking things like OH FOR FUCKS SAKE and YOU RUINED MY MORNING and WHY DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING because these are things that real mature moms say. I dialed his phone and we sat there waiting. No ringing.

“YOU PROBABLY HAVE THE RINGER TOO LOW!” I screamed, recalling that when his alarm was going off earlier, I could barely hear it.

“CALL IT AGAIN!!!” he yelled, and now we were standing in the hallway, while I held up my phone to show him that I had dialed it, but still — no ringing.

I hung up and we went right back to grabbing each other by the horns when suddenly my phone rang.

We stopped and looked at my phone.

It said it was him.

Chooch.

Chooch was calling me.

“ARE YOU FUCKING WITH ME!?” I cried, and he shook his head no, eyes all wide with fear.

So I answered it.

And on the other end…

a tiny, tired voice said hello back to me.

I nearly dropped the phone, but Chooch grabbed it from me and he too said hello, only to have it returned with the tired, questioning voice of a kid.

He threw the phone back at me and I disconnected the call.

I backed into the corner and started screaming, “IS THIS YOU?! ARE YOU DOING THIS!?!?” because Chooch is always finding new ways to prank call people, but he was just as scared as I was.

Just then, my phone rang again.

Chooch’s picture popped up on my screen, just as before.

My whole fucking body went ice-cold, my goosebumps were more like gooseMUMPS.

I hit “decline.”

And then I got a text.

“Why do you keep calling me?”

Chooch and I were fucking SCREAMING at this point. I WATCHED THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE AND NOW I’M BEING HAUNTED TOO. I ALWAYS KNEW THIS FUCKING HOUSE WAS HAUNTED. THERE HAVE BEEN LIKE 5 PEOPLE OVER THE YEARS WHO HAVE TOLD ME THAT THEY FELT UNEASY BEING HERE. MY OLD FRIEND KERI WAS SUPPOSED TO LIVE WITH ME WHEN I FIRST MOVED IN BUT THEN SHE HAD A WAKING NIGHTMARE ON MY COUCH THAT THERE WERE CHILDREN HANGING FROM THE BASEMENT RAFTERS AND THEN SHE HAD HER FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH SLEEP PARALYSIS AND DECIDED NOT TO MOVE IN. SOME GOTH KID WAS HERE ONCE AND EVEN GAVE ME SOME KIND OF PROTECTION STONE AFTER TELLING ME THAT HE FELT WEIRD VIBES COMING FROM MY BASEMENT.

AND I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AFRAID OF THE ATTIC WHICH IS A FINISHED THIRD FLOOR SO YOU WOULD THINK IT WOULDN’T BE SCARY BUT IT IS!

By now, I was getting ready to just go to work because I didn’t want to be home alone, and at the same time my mind is reeling, wondering if I should call my estranged friend Brian who is closely affiliated with the Catholic church to see if he knows anyone who does exorcisms.

But then I realized that the text I got piggy-packed off of an old collection of texts from Chooch. We recently got him a new phone number and when I added it to his contact info on my phone, I forgot to take his old number out, so even though I was texting him on his current number, my phone was defaulting to his old number when I called him. And then Chooch found his phone DOWNSTAIRS because he fucking TOOK IT DOWN THERE when he went to look for the belt that HENRY DIDN’T FIX.

Oh, we laughed, you guys. Our crippling fear brought us back together as Mother and Son and we lovingly said our goodbyes when he left for school.

But now that strange kid who has Chooch’s old Text Free number is probably all scared, wondering who the fuck was calling him at 7AM.

He needed to get up for school anyway. You’re welcome, strange kid.