Jun 232022
 

We had already decided a few days prior to Father’s Day to go to Kennywood that evening for some night ride action. Originally, we were going to try and eke out a day trip to King’s Island but that’s a lot of driving and Henry didn’t have the luxury of having the next day off like Chooch and me. So he made the executive decision to ax that idea.

It actually turned out for the best because now that we’d be home most of the day that Sunday, Chooch and I were able to finish that stupid gem art project in time to present it to Henry while it was still Father’s day and not Labor Day.

(I originally said Flag Day but that happened a week before Father’s Day lol who knew?)

Plus, by the time we gave Henry his dumb gift, I was READY to go to Kennywood. I was like, “SET ME FREE, MOTHERFUCKERS!” Could not wait to get out of the house.

This will mostly just be photos of FAMILY TIME because I’m getting super wrapped up in mortality lately and want to remember every single moment I spend with these two OMG I’m so panicked about TIME.

We all squeezed on the Kangaroo! I do want to say one thing, that while I love the new LEWK, etc of the Kangaroo, the new queue is unfamiliar and makes me feel disoriented.

Keny Kangaroo: Bites & Pints Edition. I hate that Chooch is basically the same height as him now??

Chooch wanted to do the Bites & Pints thing that Henry and I did last week even though he’s picky as hell but he swore that OMG it wouldn’t be a waste, and Henry was like, “OK fine you and I will share it” but then they ended up not using it all so GUESS WHO’S GOING BACK TO KENNYWOOD THIS WEEKEND.

Deciding what he wanted from the German booth.

OK this wasn’t on the Bites & Pints thingie but I wanted to get this ever since I saw Coaster Spot eat these when they were at Kennywood earlier in the season: FRIED MUSH at Rogue BBQ. This whole fucking basket was $8 (actually the sign said $7 but the impersonable broad who took our order charged us an extra dollar) and so filling that I only ate like 4 and gave the rest to Henry and Chooch. They were GOOD though and I would get them again.

Some older lady also ordered them and tried to return them because she “ordered the fried mushrooms and these weren’t mushrooms.” LOL, she was That Day Old when she learned that mush isn’t mushroom’s nickname.

Dude this guy at Ghostwood Estate was NOT fucking around with people. He called out every single person who ducked under the railings instead of walking all the way around and he was NOT happy about it.

He called out this one young black girl who blatantly ignored him when he told her to go back and walk the whole around. Then he called out an older WHITE NERD GUY who was SO OFFENDED at being told he was breaking the rules when he was, you know, breaking the rules, and stamped his way all the way back through the empty queue like he was told. As he passed the line attendant, the same teenage black girl who had previously been called out decided she didn’t want to be in line anymore, so she backtracked and ducked under the railing again to leave.

The white guy cried, “Are you going to yell at her too?? Are you going to treat us equal??” and I was like, “Guy you are NOT even trying to passive aggressively make this a RACE issue, on JUNETEENTH no less.” I wanted to point out that she already BEEN called out the first time around, but then he was already moving past me in line by then. It was super annoying though. I get it, no one wants to be called out but you can’t fucking stand there and be pissed that someone is doing their job. I wish more park employees would do this shit and then maybe less people would be brazen enough to line jump!!

Anyway, I won.

BABY. The main reason why we came back later in the day was because we wanted those sweet, fine Phantom night rides, boy-o.

Chooch is the worst. His pose is sooooo fake, just so you know.

NOAH’S ARK SELFIE. The family in front of us took their picture here too and Chooch was like, “NO” before I even said anything, lol.

LOL Father Henry living his best life eating some type of meat food.

Henry rode Sky Rocket without us because we wanted to wait for the front.

The ride crew that day was sooooooo obnoxious but I loved them. Chooch 100% did NOT. When we came back, the main guy was like HOW WAS THAT RIDE and I was the only person who screamed, lol. He gave me a shout out though!

I just want to give a shout to Phantom. We rode it so many times and just straight-up marathoned it once the sun went down. I swear to god I don’t remember it ever running this good but this bitch HAULS ASS this season.

OK, I swore that I wouldn’t write another Kennywood novel, so I’ll end this by saying that it was a really great Sunday evening and so far this season has reinvigorated my love for Kennywood. I was falling out of love with it over the last several years but it’s got my attention again. It still has a lot of flaws, but I have faith. (Bringing back the old train scenery could win some points!!!)

Oh shit, one more thing! The musical performers that evening was a coverband called THE GEMSTONES, literally after I spent the last week working on a GEMMING PROJECT. It was like the universe taunting me re: GEMS.

“Do you think they hand-placed each gem on their outfits?” Chooch mumbled.

Jun 192022
 

Ever since I started thinking of Father’s Day gift ideas last month, I knew with absolute certainty that I wanted to do something with THE HENRY DOPPELGANGER, see also Mii Henry.

(I have referred back to THE PICTURE numerous times since it was captured last September, so you probably are like, “OK Erin we get it” but in case you are lost, please refer HERE.)

I considered getting a shirt made that had his head and the Mii head multiplied all over it but I also know that he would NEVER wear it. So, a gag gift-turned-rag, basically.

But then I remembered that I had seen an Instagram ad last year for this thing called Paint Gem, which is basically like a paint-by-number thingie but you use gems. I remembered that they offered custom portraits because I had considered getting one of Robert Smith for my beloved Cure wall but then got distracted and forget about it.

What a perfect gift, I thought! I texted Chooch and he was like, “IDK” when I asked him if he would help me do it. Love that response. Well, I was doing it regardless of Chooch’s participation. So I made my little photoshopped image, replacing the background with a rainbow splash, and placed the order. This was in mid-May.

What I didn’t know, and what the website didn’t disclaim, was that it was being shipped from China. I should have known this since I am a sucker for IG ads and I would say that 75% of what I purchase via Instagram comes from China. Which is fine, whatever, but it would have been nice to have some transparency. Because in most of the other cases, I know this going into it so my expectations of a quick shipping are low.

Then I started to Google the company and there are threads all over the internet about how it’s a scam, so even better.

BUT! I did get the product. And to be fair, it did have tracking too but if you have ever ordered anything from China, you know how frustrating the tracking can be. So, the product arrived on Monday and I was panicking because that gave me less than a week to complete it and hello, I had no idea it was going to be THIS LARGE:

Please excuse the mess: this is my old desk in the bedroom where I used to sit when I was a fake painter. It’s pretty much the only place in the house where I could work on this in privacy, and then throw a t-shirt over it in the interim. Basically, I had to be upfront with Henry and say, “DO NOT LIFT THAT T-SHIRT ON MY DESK” and basically I had to just trust that the honor system would work. Luckily, Henry isn’t a snoop and actually respects things of this nature so he never peeked.

This photo doesn’t even show all of the baggies of gems that came with this damn kit!

I’m about to send off a strongly worded email to the company too because their little Instagram videos are false. This isn’t relaxing. It’s frustrating!! They give you this pen-like tool which you dip into a plastic macaron-shaped container filled with super frustrating wax that only sometimes adheres to the pen, and then you use the tip of the pen to pick up one gem at a time to stick down on its designated spot on the adhesive-coated canvas.

But the video shows that you can attach a thing to the other end of the tool which allows you to pick up a line of multiple gems so you can theoretically apply five+ gems in a row. THIS IS A FALSEHOOD. That tool attachment does not work. Chooch, who came onto the scene four days in on Friday afternoon only because school is out now and he was “bored” while I was working (my actual job, not gemming), was like, “They lied. This attachment is a lemon.” Plus, even if it DID work, you would have to use the TWEEZERS they supplied to turn each gem over so they’re all facing the same way before trying to pick them up in a row.

Good fucking luck.

I love that I thought of this gift idea as a way to troll Henry but the whole thing ended up trolling ME instead.

One good thing is that this thing was very easy to transport – once the gems are pressed down, they don’t fall off – so I was able to bring it downstairs to work on it during downtime at my real job. I’d set out little blocks of like 5 minutes here and there, shake some gems into the tray, and power through.

The one good thing was that I was able to get through a few audiobooks!

I really thought that this was going to end up being a late gift; I mean, even by Friday night we were only about halfway done. But then I stayed up late, and Chooch took over after I went to bed, and we took shifts on Saturday too. I was up until 2AM on Saturday, giving myself a hunchback and forgetting to hydrate, and then Chooch stayed up even later after that. So by today, I was like WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO DO THIS.

It also helped that some of my friends knew about this and would ask for gemming updates, so that kept me motivated too. The downside was that it was sooooo frustrating and physically painful that I was starting to take it out on Henry.

I mean, this isn’t news to anyone, lol.

Today, around 1:30PM, I did like 87 eyeball scans of the damn thing and realized, “HOLY SHIT. WE DID IT, THERE IS ONLY ONE GEM LEFT” so I ran to get Chooch who was adamant about getting to put in the last gem, which was annoying since he left me do this all on my own from Monday – Thursday. But I’m a GOOD MOM at moments, so the maternal side of me took over and left him do it. Ugh. It was gem code “4” in case you were wondering. One of the billion shades of pink/peach/flesh gems that came with the kit.

And this is it! We made Henry leave the house so I would run it down to the dining room table and cover it with a dish towel. Then we called him back and he was actually SO SCARED to unveil it. All he knew was that we doing something that involved him and he was terrified all week, I’m sure.

It cracks me up that this stranger is just innocently living his life somewhere, maybe NY which is where we saw him, completely unaware that some creeps in Pittsburgh spent the week gemming his face. Glenn, after telling me that there is probably therapy or counseling I could get after I told him about this big PROJECT, wondered if Bizarro Henry in NY has a BIzarro Erin who tortures him…

I WONDER.

Anyway, Henry was actually impressed! He kept running his fingers over it and asking all these questions like we actually spelunked into a mine to dig for real gems and didn’t just order baggies of gem-shaped plastic from China.

“We were going to also frame it for you,” I said, “but this has all been too much so you can do that part yourself.”

“That’s fine,” he sighed, sobering at the reminder that my kindness only lasts so long. And then I spent the rest of the day crying about how bad my back hurts, etc etc because of ALL THE WORK I PUT INTO HIS PRESENT.

Happy Father’s Day to Henry, though, for real, the only guy I would give myself a hunchback over by spending 278293 hours gemming my life away. I love doing these things for him because he is a top-notch dad and really endures so much that we throw at him! I’m excited for him to frame this and hang in on the wall. I already know exactly where it’s going.

[PAINT GEM REVIEW: Would I recommend? I think so but only if you’re prepared to sink into the unknown abyss of China tracking numbers. I think that if you’re ordering something that has no deadline, and you’re able to work on it only when it’s convenient/you’re bored/it’s a rainy day, etc, then sure. This is a great project. Their tools could use a bit of tweaking but I do overall really love the final product. In fact, I was super impressed with how cool it turned out! This custom kit cost about $50 with free shipping. I think it does make an amazing and unique gift but please please please order well in advance so you’re not burning the midnight oil, flinging gems into the air because you accidentally pressed down into the GEM TRAY too hard. 

Another thing: I wish I had known from the get-go that they supply you with WAY MORE gems than you actually need; I wouldn’t have been on my hands and knees, frantically groping around for dropped gems using an iPhone searchlight. Once we realized that we had more than enough of every color of gem, it became a free-for-all for Chooch and he was basically just spilling them all over at his leisure.]

Jun 102022
 

Get it? 57? HEINZ 57?

I apologize for this. It was dumb.

I got him a cake from Potomac Bakery. Normally, they have specialty cakes and they’re actually pretty decent. I was hoping to get him a lemon or raspberry one but all they had in the display was a handful of generic birthday cakes. The woman behind the counter was SOOOOO SURLY too. Like hello, please don’t work in a bakery if you’re going to have a bad attitude and I say this because I have honestly never had a run-in with a pleasant person in that bakery. Young or old, they’re all assholes. And their shit isn’t even that good, they need to get over themselves!!

Anyway, I chose the best-looking birthday cake from the slim-pickins and I guess personalization wasn’t an option because the dumb bitch didn’t offer and at that point I was stewing in CUSTOMER DISSATISFACTION so I paid and left.

Fuck you, Potomac. If Henry hadn’t taken MY CAR to work that day, I was going to go somewhere good—like Pink Box—for a specialty cake. So really, Henry did this to himself.

I took the idiot cake home and did my own personalization. I asked the cats what name I should use and they were emphatic that I use their name for Henry: Him Man.

I fucked up the H but then I got the hang of it. I could easily do this professionally, I know that’s what you’re all thinking.

Wow, Henry didn’t even put on a nice shirt for us. That’s fine.

We didn’t sing Happy Birthday. He’s lucky he even got a candle! OR A CAKE!!

Anyway, the cake was…fine. I’ve had worse. But it’s no Bethel Bakery. The frosting had the French buttercream texture down pat, but he flavor and sweetness was LACKING big-time.

I know what you’re all wondering right now: WHAT DID YOU GET THE BIG GUY FOR HIS BIRTHDAY? Well, nothing, lol. But listen, listen listen: I’ve been so focused on his Father’s Day gift that I let this one slip by. Trust me, he doesn’t care – he was just happy that we remembered, lol. To be fair though, I did ask him if he wanted to go out to dinner or anything and he said NO. So he had a bowl of yogurt and Sugar Spell Scoops for dinner. Hey, he’s an adult. Whatever.

And he was happy that so many people wished him a happy birthday on Instagram! I think he felt loved :) And he should, because – ugh – he is!

Just think, in three years, Chooch can make a SIXTY THINGS we love about Henry list!

Dec 242021
 

Omg for this edition of Friday Fives, Henry is visiting to tell us about his fave reads of the year! Which* means he will tell me a botched title and then I will try to coax some descriptive words from him while he’s cooking shit for tomorrow’s Christmas dinner and then I’ll do all the typing too.

But sure let’s call it a guest post.

*(wtf I tried to spell this as ‘whitch’ THREE TIMES even though spellcheck was frantically trying to tell me I’m a big stoop.)

Oh, just a heads up that Henry’s opinions are based off the audiobooks alone. He doesn’t have time to read physical books but he powers through the audio versions while working and I’m so happy that he has been doing this because it’s been so much fun having a built-in book club at home.

Fun fact: Henry’s favorite genre of book is THRILLER. (“Probably,” he added as an afterthought.)

1. Bunny – Mona Awad

“It bas a unique premise.”

2. Bear Town – Frederik Backman

“The story and characters were well-written.”

See also: Henry has a voice crush on the narrator.

3. Nothing To See Here – Kevin Wilson

“It was a very interesting story….and it had the same narrator as Bear Town.”

4. House In the Cerulean Sea – TJ Klune

“My favorite character was the antichrist kid.”

5. The Diviners Series – Libba Bray

“I just liked the story and the characters through all the books, I dunno.”

****

Well guys that was literally the most I could pull from his brain. He didn’t even want to do that much and I was screaming JUST GIVE ME ONE FUCKING SENTENCE FOR EACH BOOK THEN OMFG.

So there you have it. If you ever wanted to read like Henry, now you can. Merry Christmas.

Nov 102021
 

You guys. It’s on the wall. The Seoul subway sign. It’s actually on the fucking wall!! Aaaaand Henry has decided he doesn’t like it and is going to tweak some things but whatever – it’s like 90% done I guess?? I’m happy with it!

The lights can also be solid but I really liked how festive it looks with the multi-colored blinking lol. Our house is an actual LED nightmare. Anyway, someone commented on that and asked if it was from a kit – yeah Henry wishes! This beast took nearly 2 years to make and Henry and I argued over it a million times to the point where it’s actually a miracle that it didn’t completely ruin – or kill – us. I gave him lots of grief for it but let’s be real here – dude literally had to design this and build it from fucking ground zero with NO REFERENCES because who the fuck has ever built one of these bitches before!? No YouTube videos, no…what the fuck is that thing that sponsors all of the influencers…SKILLSHARE. Yeah, there was none of that shit. It was trial and error. And a million times already he’s said things like, “if I had to build another one, I would do it totally differently.” Lol. I mean, it was a learning experience?!

Not too much of a backstory here – just that I REALLY FUCKING FELL IN LOVE with the Seoul subway system. Like, major love. Is it weird that Chooch and I have dreams of going back and choosing random lines we haven’t been on before and just….riding it out? Like, that would be a fun itinerary for us! Just exploring all the different stations?! Yes. I want to do this.

You would never how much I love Korea if you came to my house.

OMG my favorite subway station is Jongno Sam-ga. I know you were dying to ask me this question. I mean it’s practically right up there next to “what’s your sign?”

THE SEOUL SUBWAY SIGN. Duh.

I bought myself this keychain thinking that it would inspire me to actually take my house key with me when I leave the house. Um, so far I have been taking it with me but my paranoia of the key not working in the door even though I have tested it a thousand times keeps me from locking it lol ugh.

The first time we visited South Korea, we stayed in Jongno and that particular subway station was super close to our hotel. Shit Tom, we had some grand times in that area.  Please to enjoy a post from the last time we visited:

Giddy in Jongno

The cats are honestly just like “kill us” at this point.

I’m just glad to not have a gigantic blank space on the wall anymore. You know me, gotta fill all the walls and make the house as claustrophobic as possible!

I’m also very happy that you can see this from the sidewalk as you’re walking past our house so we have definitely had several lookie-lou’ers since Monday night.  Also, Henry is the best, in case I haven’t said that yet. <3

Nov 082021
 

My beloved haunted house tattoo was TINGLING this year. I will be honest here and admit that the last couple of years leading up to 2020, I felt myself falling a bit out of love with haunted houses. It’s a combination of my friends outgrowing it, and then the ones who really do love it moved away (Laura, I miss you so much, but especially in October), so it would usually end up just being me and Chooch, sometimes Henry if the haunt wasn’t too $$$ (Henry is a tight wad, you guys). And then it was just kind of like the same old, same old. You know?

But then 2020 happened and even though some haunts still opened during the pandemic with precautions in place, none of us felt like risking it since vaccinations weren’t happening yet.

So I don’t know if taking that season off was what needed to happen for my heart to grow fond again (lol) or what, but this year reignited that flame and my heart was once again a motherfucking farm bonfire next to a queue for a haunted hayride.

That being said: shit son, this past weekend was rough because I knew deep in my heart that it was time to accept the fact that Halloween/haunted house season is officially over. I mean, it’s always Halloween in my heart and of course it doesn’t have to be with the TikTok kids and influencers call “spooky season” to be able to enjoy horror movies but we all know that majority of haunted houses call it quits on the last weekend of October.

However! There are a handful that extend the creepy fun to the first weekend of November so we took advantage of that!

One of those was Scarehouse. I have a HUGE CHIP ON MY SHOULDER with this one and have actually removed it from my “must visit” list about 10 years ago or so. Long enough ago that Chooch has never been there, let’s put it that way. I started going to this haunt in its inaugural season and followed them through two? three? location changes. And in the beginning years, it was decent! But like Hundred Acres Manor, it grew too big and then they started paying for the “best in Pittsburgh” title and it turned into a shit show. For a while there, they were even  the most expensive haunt in the land and it pissed me off because we would wait in line for upwards of 2 hours just to be herded through like cattle in way too large groups so it just wasn’t scary or fun.

But they moved to ANOTHER new location this season and I figured, “OK FINE I WILL GIVE IT A CHANCE BECAUSE I AM A FUCKING SUCKER.” Plus, you can buy tickets in blocks of time so you’re guaranteed to go in within that 30 minute block – allegedly, anyway. I was correct in assuming that it wouldn’t be crowded on a Friday night post-season so there were only about 5 groups ahead of us and it moved speedily.

I *almost* ate crow that night because they sent everyone in with just their own group, no cattle-herding, and the first part of the haunt was actually pretty cool. I was like, “OK SCAREHOUSE, I SEE YOU.” But then after the first 5 or 10 minutes, about 10 groups had caught up with each other and it was a major traffic jam. Everyone was just slowly shuffling through and next to nothing was happening. Also, I get that their new location is inside a half-desolate mall and I think that part of the theming was like 1990s post-apocalyptic shopping mall rave? I literally have no idea and that actually sounds really cool written down but in reality it was a fucking snooze.

If they could expand upon the beginning section, fucking figure out the pacing issue AFTER 20 YEARS OF THIS BULLSHIT, and I dunno, make it actually scary, then I will go back. But this ain’t it, Scarehouse.

“And that’s exactly why I waited out here,” Henry said when we rejoined him in the empty food court, bloated with complaints that needed to be filed. Oh and also I fell inside one of those stupid inflatable things and have a huge bruise on my knee, so double-fuck you, Scarehouse. The best part of that night was going to a nearby Target afterward and buying a Christmas train cat scratch pad thingie for Drew and Penelope, to add their gigantic collection of cardboard Target cat houses.

However!! The next night while Chooch was at work, Henry and I went to Wells Township Haunted House in Brilliant, Ohio. I always see this one in the listings but I guess the fact that it says “Ohio” always deterred me because in my mind everything in Ohio is at least 2 hours away. This is less than an hour from Pittsburgh though!! It’s actually kind of near Dark View, which we LOVE but sadly didn’t make it to this year.

So, we almost didn’t come to this one because it was a lights out tour and, having never been there before, I worried that it would be a bad “first time” experience. However, our other WE’RE STILL OPEN THIS WEEKEND! option was Haunted Hills Estate in Uniontown and they too were doing a lights out tour. And the big draw for that one is their challenge trail so I thought it would be kind of dumb to go there and miss out on that portion because it seemed like that wasn’t happening. Finally, I was like, “OK, I’m calling it. We’re going to the one in Ohio. At least it’s something to do.”

Because honestly, I have been having so much this season with Henry! It gives me hope that even once Chooch is out of the house, we still have a chance of having fun together! Maybe! Lol!

We got there a bit before 7 and it was really nice because you get assigned a group # once you pay, so just like Rich’s Fright Farm and Demon House, you can mingle about and not have to stand in line for an hour+. They had some hobo fires going and I was practically climbing inside one, I was so cold. (If this was an “out loud” story in real time, Henry would interrupt this part to mumble, “It wasn’t that cold.”) They had super loud hard rock playing on giant speakers with the corresponding music videos projected onto the side of the building, which kept us entertained. Plus there were some monsters milling around too, and at one point the chainsaw brigade was unleashed so waiting for our #16 to display on the LED sign was not a boring activity.

Um, you guys? I get it now. I know why they’re #1. This was the best one I went to all fucking season, and even  the last several seasons if we’re being honest. Possibly the best one since my BELOVED VICTORY HAUNTED SCHOOL SHUTTERED ITS DOORS. I’m not sure if this was just because of the “lights out” liabilities or if it’s always like this, but we had to sign a waiver before entering, and then Henry was given a glow stick to help illuminate the way.

And from the moment that door shut behind us, it was a TOUCHING FREE-FOR-ALL. I don’t think I have ever been touched so intimately in public by so many strangers before, honestly, and I know it should seem like this would be something that me, of all people, would be highly opposed to, but there is something about being groped in the dark in a haunted house by “monsters” that is EROTICALLY  THRILLING TO ME AND CLEARLY I HAVE SOME NICHE FETISHES, most of which revolve around Halloween / haunted houses, I guess.

Henry said they barely touched him at all, but sometimes his beard would get stroked, and I was like, “Oh shit, Mary, they were all over me!” He just laughed and said he noticed. I fucking loved it though. Like, I am giving you my money to scare me (safely though, I won’t do any of that hardcore shit where they give you a safe word and make you do disgusting things – I know my limits) so fucking scare me, bitches. And they did, from start to finish! I screamed my face off and laughed hysterically through the entire building and I couldn’t stop talking about it the next day.

The pacing was *CHEF’S KISS* too. Those actors knew how to run that shit and made sure we either chased through or stalled at various points so we never caught up to any groups until the very end, which (no spoilers in case you feel like going next year!!) was understandable because of the way it ended.

According to their website, being touched there is not just a “lights out” thing but something that they do on regular nights, but the guy who gave us the run-down of the ruled that night did say that with the lights-out tour, the groups are smaller to make it more intimate and it sounds like the regular haunted house tours are guided? So I will definitely be returning next year on a regular night (Henry said we can probably do that one and Dark View on the same night – double-haunt nights are a 1990s throwback dream!) to see if I still think it’s the best one but in any case, I think I will be adding their lights out event to my regular rotation!

OMG I was so pumped after we left this one. What a fucking way to end the 2021 season! And hilariously, I almost made an Instagram post last week giving a shout out to my top haunts of the season, thinking that the ones I went to this past weekend likely wouldn’t change my rankings. Wow. WOWOWOWOWOWOW. I was wrong on both ends, because I added a new top #1 AND and a new “worst” to the list, even though let’s be real, I expected that shit from Scarehouse, lol.

What a season of exceptional scares, high-throttle giggle fits, and acting like a brand new high school couple with Henry!

Nov 032021
 

You know, even though I smashed up the car earlier in the day on Friday, the weekend was still OK. I mean, as long as I could get myself to stop dwelling on it! We kicked off Halloweekend by picking up Surly Son from work on Friday evening and then driving out to a new-to-us haunt in Ellwood City called Fearscapes. Apparently this is its third year but I had never heard of it. Chooch didn’t notice the door when he got in the car, out of the car at the haunted house, or into the car after the haunted house. Captain Obliv.

There were only around 3 groups of people in front of us but they were waiting a good 10 minutes before sending the next people through. Luckily, it was a dry, mild night and we were entertained by a pig-man who liked my jean jacket.

No, not Henry! Like, a guy wearing an actual pig mask.

Chooch was “so tired” because he went to school “all day” and then worked for 2 and a half hours. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD, SONNY BOY.

Anyway, it was a good haunted house! Well, I wouldn’t call it a haunted “house” as much as a haunted “attraction,” and I think that’s what it was billed as anyway. I don’t want to give anything away but I’ll just say that it was definitely one of the more unique haunts I’ve walked through and there was a special appearance by The Stolen Stitches that was super entertaining! I think if they could just expand a bit and add some more rooms, make it a bit longer, it would be even better. But, at only $15 a ticket (hey, that’s cheap in hauntland), it was pretty exceptional.

I just have been having so much fun going to haunted houses with these guys this season, to the point where it really feels like I’m a teenager again. I don’t know if it’s simply because we took a season off due to covid or what, but I was admittedly losing some of that Hallow-lust over the last several years.

Afterward, we went to Sheetz so Mr. Workaholic could get food, wah wah wah, and this was when he finally noticed that something was amiss with the back door. Henry was getting gas so as Chooch and I were walking into Sheetz together, he was grilling me about the car and I snapped, “Your dad did it OK, it’s actually none of your business, why do you care so much???” and he cried, “Oh OK, as if you probably weren’t pissed off too when you saw that he smashed the car!”

(FYI the car IS NOT SMASHED….just…dented a bit.)

So then later I heard him interrogating Henry about it and Henry shouted, “I HIT A PILLAR OK DROP IT!!”

SEE THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I DIDN’T WANT CHOOCH TO KNOW WHAT I DID. He turns into AggroDad!

My favorite part of all of this is how quickly one little “fib” has spiraled out into A WEB OF LIES. This is jumping out of order, but the next day, Henry parked the car in the driveway instead of the lot across the street like usual, and I freaked out because now the neighbors were going to see The Door. He was like NO THEY WON’T but then his kid Blake came home with his fam and IMMEDIATELY asked Henry “What happened to your car??” Because Blake and Chooch talk every day, Henry had to tell The Lie to Blake now, as well. I heard him say it too, totally effortlessly. “I hit a pillar.” And then he changed the subject, lol.

BUT!! Blake’s BFF works with Henry as a driver. So when he saw the car this week, Henry had to tell him the same thing. And now that this kid knew The Lie, Henry had to continue weaving the messy web all over the Faygo Factory. And of course, since he works with all Big Manly Men, they are all grilling him with additional questions, such as, “Did you tell the cemetery after it happened? Why not?” and Henry just mumbles,  “Because I’m a dumb ass.”

THIS IS SO STUPID YET HILARIOUS TO ME! I mean, it’s not funny that we now have to wait a full month before the shop (or “fixer people” as I like to call them) can take our car in, and that’s only if they’re able to get the new door by then since the car is a 2021 and apparently parts for brand new cars are hard to get, I am learning so much from Henry’s Big Accident.

Meanwhile at Sheetz on Friday, some man kept bending over to look at snacks and was like thrusting his ass out so far that I had to keep going down other aisles because there was no room to pass him. Apparently, he was stealing beef jerky (according to Henry).

I took this picture of Henry doctoring his Sheetz cold brew because I needed a picture to go along with a caption talking about how, in a moment of frustration from Chooch and I following him around the store, he sighed in exasperation and said, “I love you two to the death, but it’s like you’re attached to me by a rubber band.” LOL it’s so true though. We’re like that old ass Nintendo game, Lemmings. If Henry walked off a cliff, we’d be right behind him.

Well…lol.

On Saturday, my Halloween sampler from WeVegan Eats arrived and everything was DELECTABLE. My favorite was the big ass taro cookie sandwich.

One of these days I will go full vegan. Right now I’m about 70% vegan, 100% vegetarian. But I take the full-blown vegan option anytime I’m out and I haven’t eaten real cheese at home in over a year now at this point. (CHAO is my fave vegan cheese brand, in case you were wondering. It is fucking delicious.)

Saturday night, Henry the Car Wrecker and I went to Crawford School of Terror in Connellsville. I HAVE BEEN HAVING THE BEST TIME HAVING HAUNTED DATE NIGHTS WITH THIS OAF, even when he basically wears the same flannel every single time because it’s essentially his “jacket.” We listened to the Black Queen the whole way there and I felt super content. Like, how have we been  together for 20 years and still actually like each other? BRB I’m crying a little.

Um, I’m going to be RULL BRAZEN here but I think this is the BEST HAUNT I went to this season. I was laughing and screaming my fucking ugly face off all the way through it and even Henry was smiling and admitted that some of the jump scares were effective.

But my favorite part was “Georgie,” the weird swamp-mummy thing that was running around outside the school with some short kid in a large suit and old man mask on. His handler I guess? Henry said that Georgie was actually the name of the weird sock-doll thing that he was carrying around, but a bunch of kids were calling him Georgie and kids know it all, so.

At one point, I turned to Henry with my hands clasped over my chest and he knew exactly what I was going to say: “I think I found my new Vlad.”

For those of you who are lucky enough to not be forced to hang out with me IRL, especially in The Younger Years, here is an excerpt from one of my old-ass haunted house journals where I met Vlad for the first time. OMG in 2003!! I have obsessed over him (and this haunted trail which has long since been defunct) ever since. The things I latch on to, tho.

[Original content edited heavily to achieve brevity]
Friday, October 31, 2003
Igor’s Fright Shack
Accompanied by: Hoover, Corey, Keri and Dean

My company and I walked down a torch-lit trail and were met up with our guide. He was wearing a tattered suit and surgical mask, and was hunched over. He jumped around like a monkey and had a raspy voice. We deduced that this was going to be one of those haunted walks that comes complete with a story. We were supposed to be paying attention but Dean was crying like a kindergartner on his first day of school. That made it a little distracting. On top of that, Keri was singing love songs to her breasts.

Our guide led us into “the hollow” which was some sort of tunnel covered with plastic. Once we got to the end, the lights went off and monsters arose from the sides. It was cool. Dean peed himself. Silly Dean.

After we emerged from “the hollow,” my life changed. Here, we met Vladimir, Igor’s project. Vladimir came running down a hill at us, grunting and moaning. Poor Vlad. He was all kinds of fucked up. But as we all know, based on my current and past boyfriends, looks don’t mean a THANG to me, g.

I fell in <3 with Vladimir at that moment. It was instantaneous. My Vlad made me forget all my troubles and for that brief moment, it was only me and Vladimir, running through a pasture of emeralds and homefries. It made my heart swell.

Everyone else continued walking down the path but they were invisible to me. Vlad was all I could see now. His beautifully marred face, one eyeball hanging out of the socket, twisted mouth. What’s not to love? He continued walking with our group, right next to me. Staring at me with those magical eyes. He stretched out his arm, and I stretched out mine, but he was too far away–I got lost in the shuffle of our group and Vlad retreated.

Hold on a second, my eyes are filling with tears of lost love.

[Blah blah blah – technical haunted house stuff because I’m a loser]

We walked onto a covered bridge which smelled weird. Like coal. There were two coffins and someone climbed out of one, which of course, was expected. But given the atmosphere of Igor’s Fright Shack, it still made me jump.

Once we made it across the bridge, monsters started coming out from everywhere and our guide urged us to hurry into the safe confines of a small building up ahead. Corey was pushing and yelling and telling everyone to hurry up because the monsters were closing in on us. But one of those “monsters” was Vladimir! I tried so hard to stay out there with him, but Corey shoved me through the door and our guide locked it. I could see a glimpse of Vlad’s sweet face through the dirty windows and I almost cried. He’s so misunderstood.

Once our guide had all of us safely inside the room, he ripped off his surgical mask and revealed to us his true identity — he’s Igor! I was aghast! I had no idea; oh betrayal, piercing my heart like a broomstick, broken in half so the sharp shards of wood break off inside of me. Or something.

[And then there was a maze and Keri, being her ego-maniacal self, pushed her way to the front of the pack so she could control things.]

Hurray for Keri getting us out in one piece. We should have a parade in her honor.

When we emerged from the shack we realized we were the last group to go through and all the monsters, along with our guide, were beginning to congregate out front by the bonfire.

I searched the grounds for Vlad so I could give him a parting kiss or perhaps take him back to the shack where he could impregnate me with our tawdry love child. But alas, no Vladimir. I’ll forever love him. Now I know what true love feels like.

Igor’s Fright Shack gets five gigantical thumbs up, and Vladimir gets a whole lot of things that will remain undisclosed. Thank you.

I remember that night like it was yesterday, sulking the entire way home and exhaling loudly to make sure Corey and Henry were aware that my heart was breaking. Henry’s remedy? “I’ll take you to Kmart and we’ll find a mask just like Vladimir’s for you to make out with.”

Guys, this is literally what you’re missing out on when I say things like, “SORRY, THIS IS RESERVED FOR MY HANDWRITTEN, PRIVATE HAUNTED HOUSE REVIEW JOURNAL.” Such literary  treasures, I know.

Well, anyway, that was Friday and Saturday of Halloween Weekend. Not too bad, if you ask me.

Sep 132021
 

Before I get to the full Six Flags Great Escape review on here, I’d like to take a moment to talk about the best thing that happened during our entire Labor Day Weekend, and it happened within the first 30 minutes of arriving at Great Escape.

Chooch and I headed straight for the boomerang – Flashback – in order to get that credit out of the way. Boomerangs are definitely not my favorites so I’m never excited to line up for one.

The park wasn’t very crowded so the line was almost to the station by the time we took our places in it. The next train filled up right before it got to us, but we were stoked because that meant we’d get our choice of front or back once it was our turn. This also had us waiting in line right at the entrance to the station platform, so we were able to look across at the park goers, and watch as doting family members walked up the exit steps to the other side of the station in order to take pictures of their LOVED ONES in the train, ready to depart.

“I wish he’d be a good FAMILY GUY and walk up there to take pictures of US,” I said dejectedly, like Chooch and I were two orphans forced to eat cold, congealed gruel while watching loving parents chuck sugar plums and figgy pudding at their kids on the Flashback.

Just then, Chooch shouted, “OMG LOOK—” and I looked across the platform just to see Henry pop up.

“Wow,” I thought, “he’s actually here to take our pict—” and then, “—wait, why did he take off his hat? Wasn’t he wearing a different ugly plain shirt? EW IS THAT A HARLEY DAVIDSON HOODIE?” And then the rest of Chooch’s sentence registered in my ears.

“—that guy looks just like Him Man*!”

*(That’s what the cats call Henry, so now Chooch and I do, too, in case you are NEW HERE.)

You guys. I completely lost my shit at this point, standing in line for a shitty boomerang called the Flashback, not even caring that the people in line behind us were totally peeping my laughing hysterics. We have seen a lot of people that resemble Henry, usually because they too are wearing non-descript shirts or have beards or are eating a soft pretzel while grimacing at their family. But never, EVER have we seen a man who looks THIS MUCH like Henry. I was crying at this point, and having to squeeze my thighs together in order to activate the PEE DRIBBLE COMPRESSOR.

He wasn’t even standing there anymore but I couldn’t shake the image.

The people behind us for sure at this point were probably like “the fuck is a Him Man?” because I couldn’t stop screaming about what we had witnessed, this lightning-in-a-bottle doppelganger appearance. Now we were in even more of a rush to get the fuck on this ride so we could hurry up and try to find Henry v.2 to show our OG Henry. Except that Great Escape has the slooooooo-ho-west ops this side of…[insert big name river here]. The restraints aren’t automatic so the ride attendants have to go from car to car and manually release everyone from their seats, so the people standing in line can’t enter the station until each one of those assholes has exited the entire ride and let me just tell you, those ride attendants are chatty motherfuckers so they took their good ol’ time like they’re meandering about the bayou with a book of poetry up to their noses.

I mean, super nice guys! But slow AF.

So it took them forever to load our train, which gave Henry time to ACTUALLY WALK OVER TO THE FENCE AND WAVE TO US so we started screaming THERE IS A GUY THAT LOOKS LIKE YOU!!! and we were frantically trying to point in the direction we saw him walking (it looked like he had actually gone into the Flashback entrance) but Deaf Henry was like, “hahaha what” and looked terrified as usual because Chooch and I together can be quite terrifying, especially when we’re seen laughing conspiratorially over something.

So Henry just kind of nervously laughed and walked away.

And then we had to go through the whole ARE YOU READY I CAN’T HEAR YOU rigmarole, but I did find it charming that once our train had been pulled all the way up the lift hill, the one ride attendant got on his little microphone and did a countdown for us. That guy was cute in a “dorky sidekick in a John Hughes flick” kind of way.

Henry actually came through and took our picture after all!

The people behind us hated us so bad, I know it. Sometimes I try to imagine what we (OK, I) look like to bystanders when I’m suffering through a laughing fit, but then I quickly have to think of something else because I start to feel mortified.

OK so the ride itself? Not the worst boomerang I’ve been on! Didn’t bang my head, but the backward portion was so terrifying. I know that’s the whole point, but holy shit it gets me every time. I think the one at Morey’s Piers was the most intense one I’ve been on so far though.

Luckily we were in the front row so we got released first and practically fell over top of each other trying to race out of the platform and tell Henry about his twin. At the exact moment we caught up to Henry, HIS TWIN APPEARED RIGHT BEHIND US!! He apparently had been waiting for people who were riding the same cycle as us so he never left the area, THANK THE GOOD LORD! My hands were shaking so bad and I was juggling my phone like a hot potato, but I was able to snag THIS PICTURE:

THAT GUY COULD BE HENRY’S BROTHER. OMFG I CAN’T STAND IT. I was actually having stomach pains at this point and could feel my throat growing scratchier with every forceful vomit-like laugh that was blowing through my body. My eyes were watering and I could feel my face heating up but I could NOT stop laughing. Chooch wasn’t even really laughing that hard anymore, but I had reached the point of no return and felt deceased.

Meanwhile, Henry was like, “He doesn’t look like me at all, you assholes.” You guys. Henry’s hair looks like that right now when he takes his hat off because he needs a hair cut. Their glasses are almost the same. They have the same nose. LOOK AT THE FURROWED BROWS!!! He looks like when Chooch and I tried to make a Mii of Henry back in the Wii days. Granted, I never see the resemblance when people say I look like someone* but I honestly don’t know how Henry can deny this. He looks like the better version though, like the other Henry spends a lot of time in the bar and in front of poker machines and probably actually listens to Ted Nugent.

*(Once, some friends sent me a picture of some girl on a sign for a circus in Germany and were adamant that it was my doppelganger. I went along with it but did not see even the slightest resemblance and felt it was an insult to the girl in the ad, honestly!)

“DO YOU THINK HE REALIZES THAT HE LOOKS LIKE YOU?” I screeched and Henry was like, “NO BECAUSE HE DOESN’T.” But he definitely knew I was taking this picture, that’s for sure! I wonder if those kids with him did the same thing to him?!?! SURELY THEY APPRECIATED THIS UNCANNY RESEMBLANCE?!

Oh fuck, you guys. This damn thing had me cackling toward insanity, I swear. Even a week later, I’m sitting here screaming over this picture!! I spent the rest of the day texting it to people with no context. Wendy was like, “is this real?!” And then she asked if we talked to him, as if Henry would have ever let that happen!

Sep 052021
 

Good morning from somewhere near Albany I think. We just stopped in Fort Plain for breakfast before we resorted to killing each other.

Their breakfast special was a French toast bake which sounded delightful to me but I also knew that I didn’t want to eat anything heavy for breakfast before spending a day at an amusement park. Look, I know my gastronomical idiosyncrasies and plan accordingly, OK? This is my life, love that for me.

So I told Henry to order it so I could try it. Have you seen Henry? He is very much a PLATE OF EGGS AND MEATS breakfast beast. But he is also afraid of crossing me so he agreed.

“And I will get an omelette so you can have some of that in exchange,” I offered in an effort to sweeten the pot. He seemed ok with this.

“Do you want me to get blueberry?” he asked, since the choices were cherry, strawberry, or blueberry and he knew that blueberry was Best out of those options. I said sure.

So we placed out orders and then he got all ruffled when I asked for my omelette to be made with Egg Beaters. When the waitress departed, he said, “Oh that’s great. You said we were going to share but then you got it with Egg Beaters. I hate Egg Beaters. Just like I hate blueberries. This breakfast is everything I hate,” he pouted, and I burst out laughing because I JUST LEARNED THAT HE HATES BLUEBERRIES THIS SUMMER AND ALREADY FORGOT LOLOLOL.

I coaxed him into calling the waitress over and changing it to either strawberries or cherries. He put on his BIG BOY PANTS and did just that, but after he changed it to strawberries, I mumbled, “I would have said cherry, but whatever.”

I am a very slappable human being.

Henry and his frou frou breakfast!

I took one bite and said, “that’s good but I’m glad I didn’t get it” and he mumbled something incoherent under his breath.

Meanwhile, at another table, some man was asking for a SIDE OF CORNED BEEF HASH and I said, “I bet you’re really sad that you didn’t get to have that.”

“Why, does he like that?” Chooch asked while Henry dabbing the whipped cream from the corners of his mouth.

“Probably,” I said. “I can picture it hanging off his beard.” And then we started cracking up while Henry dutifully ignored us.

Here’s Henry paying the bill and leering at the COCONUT CREAM PIE sign.

I asked Henry what he thought of his breakfast and he said, “it wasn’t bad. It’s not something I would usually order. Or ever again.”

Then we drove down the street and I made him pull over so I could take a picture of this BEAVER WITH BOOBS because it’s a Roadside America attraction.

Ok. Now we’re back on the way to Six Flags Great Escape and driving thru Amsterdam NY which is adorbs so I want to go back to looking out the window. Byeeeee.

Sep 022021
 

Why have a bitchin’ kitchen if you’re not gonna use it for photoshoot backdrops, you know? I wanted to do a fun COUPLE SHOOT with Henry since we are never going to get married and therefore will never get to have CUTE ENGAGEMENT PORTRAITS taken. Listen Linda, it’s not like I used that as leverage to get Henry to agree to pose for these.

*WHISTLES AT THE CEILING*

(I can whistle, but I can’t finger-snap!)

Henry: WHAT ARE WE DOING AGAIN?

Me: WE’RE PRETENDING TO BE EXCITED ABOUT RECORDS FROM THE 80s! GOD!

My best look, to be honest.

I took some SOLO SHOTS too because I wanted to document my other NOOWORKS shirt that I may or not ever get to wear out of the house to the office. This was my best 1980s pose. I feel like if I had a leotard on, I could blend into the background of a Jane Fonda album cover because remember when aerobic workouts came on RECORDS?? My mom had a whole bunch, and I had a Mousercize one!

(I also was a big fan of the Get In Shape Girl exercise kits made to groom young girls into weight

Also apparently this is my new SIGNATURE POSE.

Henry was like, “LET’S LINK ARMS.” This is what I call the BEST COUPLE yearbook superlative shot. Did you know that we went to the same high school? WE DID.

Except he graduated in ’83 and I (would have) graduated in ’97. LOLOLOL.

I never would have dared to sit on the floor of our old kitchen, rug or no rug.

In case you were wondering what’s behind the fabric of the coffee cart, it is a plethora of SMOOTHIE BOWL MIX-INS. I am obsessed with smoothie bowls and have one almost every day, they are so filing and nutritious! Also, this is my favorite shot because my face is covered.

We enlisted Chooch to help us with some of the pictures and he was RULL THRILLED as he can imagine. He was in the middle of whatever idiotic game he was playing and had to tell his lame e-friends, “BRB GOTTA HELP MY EMBARRASSING PARENTS ACHIEVE THE NEXT LEVEL OF CRINGE.”

WHAM vs Whitesnake. I like both!

“Yeah but seriously, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOWARD JONES SONG?”

Oh look, what a fresh new pose.

Trapper Keeper! We use it to keep coupons and pizza menus in one convenient place, because what else would you put them in if you had a 1980s-themed kitchen??

This was Henry’s “nice shirt” that he brought to Korea to wear to the DMZ, lol.

Remember when I hand-drew the pattern on that door?? Still worth it.

Until we move. Then I will be very sad.

I was so excited to take this ULTIMATE CRINGE picture but what you don’t know is that while we were “pretend making out” I was screaming at him for breathing so loud. “Can’t you just hold your breath while we’re doing this?”

“OK LET ME JUST HOLD MY BREATH UNTIL I DIE,” he said, but then he held his breath, lololol.

A VERY EXCITING RECORD. Henry played the part way better than me, and it was my own dumb idea lol.

COME. LET ME SHOW YOU ALLLLLL AROUND MY KITCHEN.

You guys. I like him a little bit. (Even though he kept taking pictures of my butt when I wasn’t paying attention.)

But not as much as I like my shirt!!

Thinking about eating grilled cheese with G-Dragon, probably.

Chooch wanted to die right about here. Also that medal hanging off the door was won BY ME IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL for taking a picture or something, I can’t remember. It was for the Cultural Arts program that my mom made me enter every year.

It was all unraveling at this point.

You know what’s HILARIOUS is that our record player actually broke last year and we still have not bought a new/old one, but at least some of these records got some use!

OK, that’s all. This wouldn’t be happening if MY SON WOULD STILL LET ME TAKE PICTURES OF HIM. But now you’re stuck looking at the mugs of me and Henry.

Aug 302021
 

Lately, Henry and I have been “on our own” because our son “does not want to hang out with us” because he is “too busy/cool/asleep.” I mean, I guess it’s good that he’s easing us into this new SEASON of our relationship since he’s going to be IN COLLEGE sooner rather than later and 100% not going to be like, “YES MUM LET’S GO TO THE HAUNTED HOUSE TOGETHER AND SURE I WILL REVIEW IT ON YOUR BLOG SOUNDS FUCKING FANTASTIC WILL YOU ALSO TIE MY SHOES FOR ME WHILE WE’RE STANDING IN LINE.”

So, we’re trying to get used to….being together…as a duo….like a….couple.  Two people. No kid. Here we are, world!

In this latest episode of Erin & Henry Are a Couple, we went for a hike at Settler’s Cabin in 90 degree heat yesterday because that’s smart. Henry at least had the forethought to bring water with him, I’m lucky I left the house with the right shoes on to be honest, this weekend was rough on my BRAIN POWER. I literally almost passed out several times on Saturday.

Less than a minute into the hike, as in: we were still on the main path and not on HIKEY TERRAIN, Henry the Boy Scout Leader was already teaching me about MILKWEEDS.

Just plucked one right off the stalk and started making it ooze like some alien pimple; I was SCRAMING. STRAIGHT SCRAMING.

Then literal minutes later after pulling one apart, he said “that tells you there’s water there too. Just so you know.”

BUT

DID

I

ASK

?

Then….he came across a vine and fucking swung on it 갑자기 and I was SCRAMING all over again. 

He did it a second time at my insistence just so I could get a boomerang for the ‘gram. And let me just say there was no arm twisting involved. Who is this guy?? Midlife crisis Henry rules. I’m saying!! I dared him to ride some flat rides with us next weekend when we go on our Labor Day amusement park spree, and he said “WE’LL SEE.”

Then he started reminiscing about the good old days in the 70s when he would climb to the tops of sumac trees and make them bend all the way to the ground.

“If I did that now, it’d snap,” he mused and I’m over there googling NEAREST SUMAC TREE.

Anyway, this is our 20th….something. Un-iversary? We never got married and we don’t even really have a “date” that we became a “couple.” But last June marked 20 years since our…”one night stand” lol. So, that’s a thing. It was sometime in the fall of 2001 that we sort of just SHACKED UP as the Elders would say. I’ve been thinking about that a lot too lately. Because somehow, this is the most “together” I’ve ever felt with him and we actually do have so much fun together, as a family and just the two of us, and we always have stuff to talk about even though his stuff is usually boring. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love that Big Dumb. Probably more now than then!

This one’s for Henry, lol:

 

 

Jul 282021
 

Hello from vacation. We were at King’s Dominion all day yesterday and stayed over in Baltimore. Now we’re en route to our next stop so I am updating from the car!

On Monday, we went to Busch Gardens (I keep wanting to add an “e” to the end of Busch for some reason, thankfully auto-correct won’t let me) and I collected some pictures of Henry’s back which I will now share with you and you and ok fine, even you.

The “Gotta Get To the Rolly Coaster Before Everyone Else” shot.

The “Ditched His Old Family, Picked Up a New One, They’re Slow Too & Now He’s Got an Extra Kid” shot.

Bonus shot of Full Frontal Henry. This is the “Even Michael Myers Gets PTO and When He Does, The Mask Comes Off & He Goes to Theme Parks” shot.

The “FOLLOW THE STENCH OF BEER-N-MEAT” shot.

The “Thinking This Park Would Be Better if It Was Called Faygo Gardens & Now Wondering What His FAYGO Friends Are Doing Without Him in the Warehouse” shot.

The “Acknowledging My Family Long Enough To Show Them Turtles in the Water” shot.

The “Waiting Out the Storm, Thank God We’re By a Bathroom” shot.

 

The “HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU PPL” shot.

The “Someone Dared Scream My Name While I’m Inhaling a Soft Pretzel Which I Still Had Room For Even After Eating My Own Pizza and Then Finishing Off My Family’s Leftovers” shot.

The “If I Hear You Cry About Wanting to Ride the Loch Ness Monster ONE MORE TIME I will GIVE YOU SOMETHING REAL TO CRY ABOUT and It May Or Not Involve Being Bitch-Slapped By My Own Personal Loch Ness Monster” shot.

The “Thinks We’re Leaving But Erin & Chooch Will Foil That Plan By Proceeding to Wait 90 Minutes In Line For a Roller Coaster That Is Not Going to Be Cleared To Resume Operations Because There Is Lightning All Over The Williamsburg Skies But I Guess I Will Find A Bench To Park My Pizza Cheese-Corked Butt Hole and Read Reddit” shot.

***

Ok that’s all for now – we’re 40 minutes from our next destination – WILDWOOD!!

Jul 182021
 

Woo boy a blog post from the road! We spent the day at Waldameer Park in Erie. On the way home, we stopped at AUNT BEE’S for dinner. You might remember when Chooch and I went to AUNT BEE’S in 2019.

Anyway! Now Henry got to experience the joy that AUNT BEE’S brings to the bellies. (I really should have went into advertising, I fucked up.)

COLESLAW CHOMPING CANDID

Grilled cheese is not on the menu but when I asked the waitress in a meek, pleading “excuse me ma’am” tone of an orphan beggar if it was possible to get one, she exclaimed, “Of course!” and gave me a look that could have been mistaken for a “who hurt you?” eyeball inquiry.

She even let me CUSTOMIZE IT so I got to enjoy a grilled cheese on FUCKIN’ RYE BREAD, MUTHAFUCKAS.

It was DELECTABLE.

Henry ordered the Belly Buster because of course he did and I heard the COOK come out of the kitchen and say to out waitress, “WE DONT HAVE SWISS CHEESE FOR THE BELLY BUSTER” and she was like “ok I will tell him” but I already had told Henry in dramatic fashion. And then Chooch and I laughed bc we like it when a restaurant is out of something henry wants.

When the waitress came over to tell Henry, he of course already knew and sarcastically said “oh no” and it came out so awkwardly and now I think I’m going to be forced to pass a household decree that states Henry is no longer permitted to speak to waitstaff.

Ok but really there is a reason I’m writing this post at all. And here it is:

I knew before even setting foot into AUNT BEE’S that I would be getting pie for dessert because the last time we were there, we had already had custard before eating dinner and we were all too full for second dessert. But sometimes family restaurants have REALLY GOOD PIE and I needed to know.

I really wanted cherry but that wasn’t an option. They also had coconut cream which is actually one of my faves but sometimes places can really fuck that shit up so it tastes like a chunk of congealed vanilla pudding with gross meringue sprinkled with dried coconut. PASS.

I opted for blueberry, and Henry went with coconut because, in his own words, he’ll “eat any kind of coconut cream pie.”

Yeah he will.

I dunno what I’m insinuating there.

When our pies arrived, they were kind of puny. I knew immediately I wasn’t going to be a fan of mine. It was like, thick blueberry jelly in a pie crust. It had a very unnatural, ‘this is not of the earth’ consistency to it, like was it even made with real blueberries?

I swiped a bite of Henry’s coconut pie after he said, “oh this is pretty good” and I AGREED that while it wasn’t a GREAT coconut cream pie, it wasn’t the worst and it had whipped cream on the top in lieu of merengue which is the best way to serve up a coco-cream, in my extremely esteemed opinion.

I made a sad face and said, “yours is so much better than mine” and then I sighed very aggressively.

So Henry muttered something under his mustache and switched our plates so now I had the coconut! Yay!!

As we pulled out of the parking lot, I groaned that my stomach hurt.

“Mine too, from that blueberry pie,” Henry mumbled.

I laughed because yay, Henry + pain. “Why, don’t you like blueberry or something?” I antagonized.

“No, I don’t!” Henry sighed. “When have you ever seen me order anything with blueberry in it?”

Lol like I pay that much attention to him.

Henry eating stuff he doesn’t like just to avoid me having a tantrum could have been written into the vows of our imaginary never-wedding. 💜

Jul 122021
 

I had to pick up some treasures from an Instagram pal on Sunday and exclaimed, “Oh would you look at that, she lives near Page Dairy Mart. WE SHOULD SWING BY AND GET ICE CREAM.” I mean, like we ever need a reason for ice cream, though.

Chooch is too good to hang out with us now and chose one of his dumb friends over us, so it was kind of like HENRY AND I WERE ON A DATE

A SUNDAY AFTERNOON DATE.

A SUNDAY AFTERNOON ICE CREAM DATE.

There was a group of super cool friends behind us (one of them had on a Vegan Treats shirt and I wanted to hiss “WE WERE THERE” to Henry but he can barely hear me when I speak in my regular outdoor voice so whispering is not a thing we can do anymore unless I want to provoke him to yell, “WHAT’S THAT??”) and I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop I swear but one of them was practically gagging on his own tongue while vehemently describing how much he hates bananas.

“Do you just hate banana-flavored things though?” one of the girls in the group asked.

“Oh, I hate banana-flavored things AND actual bananas,” he spat with disgust, like a possessed person strapped to a bed and talking to a priest about the body of Christ.

Where am I going with this…

Oh! So the girl proceeded to tell them that the reason banana-favored things—like banana Runts—taste so different from actual bananas is because way back when the artificial banana flavor was created, it was modeled after A DIFFERENT KIND OF BANANA THAT WAS AVAILABLE BACK IN THE DAY, WHAT.

I had no idea!

Of course, Henry knew this though. He probably read a Reddit thread about it in the bathroom at work.

This also made me think about the time I volunteered to participate in a gas-mask testing experiment at the Bureau of Mines where I had to wear a gas mask and then tell them if I could smell the banana gas that was being pumped around me, but MY DUMB GIRL HEAD WAS TOO SMALL for the gas mask so they paid me for the one day but I wasn’t eligible to continue with more testing ugh now I’m really upset all over again at this memory. I love gas masks!

Henry got a Wafflonia sundae – literally a waffle sundae made with Wafflonia waffles which are the best in the city and now I’m lamenting the fact that I have not been back to that joint since Andrea visited me in 2011 and we went there and then to the Music Box Museum and she was like, “WHOA WHOA WHOA I AGREED TO WAFFLES NOT A MUSIC BOX MUSEUM” and then proceeded to have a miserable day.

Henry got bananas on his sundae and I snapped, “you should have gone with the maple option” so he sighed and called out to the ice cream girl, “can I get maple on that too?” And it really elevated the sundae to the next level, you’re welcome, Peasant Palate.

Oh, and me? I got the fresh blueberry soft serve, which is only available for a limited time because IT’S SEASONAL, but it’s so amazing and even though they have so many other delicious options, when this flavor is on the menu it’s hard for me to pass it up.

I just realized that I didn’t hate anyone in line with us. I must have been in a good mood.

It definitely wasn’t because Henry and I were semi-matching. I actually hated that. But he had his shirt on first, so…ugh. Also, I want to punch myself in my smug face sometimes. Gah. Just look at me. I’m an asshole.

(Also, I got that shirt for $5 in one of the Seoul subway stations!!! I miss shopping in subway stations!!!!)

Anyway, what a nice afternoon. I think we managed to not even fight once. If you’re ever in Pgh, ya gotta go to Page’s. Ya just gotta. YA JUST GOTTA. You might be tempted by Millie’s since they’re taking over like UPMC, but if you want a real Pgh experience, you gotta stand under a train bridge on the South Side, eating a sundae made with the famous & local Nancy B chocolate cookies, ok? This is one of the only places that are worth standing in line for, in my opinion, and on OH HONESTLY ERIN DOT COM my opinion is the only one that matters.

(I regret not taking more bites of Henry’s sundae though.)

Jul 052021
 

On our way from King’s Island this afternoon, we stopped at Rt 73 Diner in Wilmington, Ohio. It was a semi-rural looking area BUT I looked ahead and saw that they had VEGGIE BURGERS on the menu and I wanted that.

Chooch made us sit at one of the high-top tables which I never prefer but it was better than the tiny table we were also offered in between two giant parties of people. But that is besides the point.

When our waitress came over, it was pretty obvious she was borderline flustered. Then when she asked us how we doing, she responded to our reciprocation of the question with a very sarcastic, “Oh I’m doing just great.”

Henry blurted out, “you look great.”

“Really?” she asked, looking up from her order pad.

And you guys…

He fucking said, “No.”

No!!!

Chooch and I were ready to slide under the table to shield ourselves from the eye-daggers she was launching at Henry.

I didn’t even know how to save him from that one aside from explaining to her what I thought maybe had happened, which was that his first response was supposed to be matching her sarcasm, meaning she looked the opposite of great so that when she asked him if he meant it, he said no. But I honestly didn’t want to walk into that fire, backdraft-style. So instead I just mumbled, “coffee and water” when she asked for my drink order.

Henry was perplexed when she left and chooch and I finally were free to voice our discomfort. He had no idea that what he said was insulting!

“You might as well have just told her to smile more,” Chooch cried.

So then Henry was pretty much ducking every time she came near us and I was trying to overcompensate by bubble-wrapping our table with pleases and thank yous.

Henry had the poor timing of snagging her when she was en route to another table, and asking, “can we get some napkins?” She gave him a really tight smile and actually spun on her heels to go back and get us napkins which she didn’t SLAM into our table but she also didn’t set them down GENTLY.

“Wow she really hates us,” Henry said sheepishly.

“Yeah, you literally made her hate us right away, after the first thing you said!” Chooch yelled.

“Just don’t ever talk again,” I pleaded.

Then as we were leaving, Chooch stood up right as she was about to pass from behind him and almost made her slam into him.

For what it’s worth, she really did look great regardless of the quality of day she was having. She reminded me a bit of our friend Dawn from Castle Blood and Dawn is pretty AF!

(Also during this lunch, Henry was trying to tell me shit about the recent semi-derailment of the coaster El Toro in NJ. “I already told you everything you just told me,” I said. Henry said that I didn’t “do a good job” giving him the facts BUT LUCKILY a fellow man explained it better so now Henry understands. Is it still mansplaining when it’s man-to-man? Or is it just plain explaining?)

Henry left the waitress a hearty tip and then we ran out of there. My veggie burger was super good, though the jury is out whether or not she spit in it. Hopefully just in Henry’s burger!

P.S. one of the waiters (maybe the owner?) opened a large freezer behind the counter and there at least 15 boxes of BOSCO STICKS all stacked up in there. Whyyyyyy. They’re fucking haunting me!