Dec 312021
 

Since we did the whole “Zenith pre-made vegan meal” thingie for Thanksgiving this year, I wanted Henry to actually do some cooking for Christmas and of course nothing NORMAL because why would we. So I did that fun game that I do where I think of a random vegetable and then a random country, and google them together to find fun international cuisine. You can imagine how much Henry loves this. But it was also a reason to have my beloved fufu and peanut soup again, which I became obsessed with early in 2020 when I read a book that mentioned it and I fell down a Ghana food rabbit hole.

Henry was fine with this, having made this pairing twice now and coming out the other side with a memorable, edible meal both times.

I also wanted mashed ube in lieu of your standard Pilgrim fare of mashed potatoes.

Of course, Henry had a hell of a time finding the two main ingredients he needed for the fufu and the ube: cassava, and well, ube. On Christmas Eve, he ended up snatching up some Japanese purple yams and was going to just use those for the mash instead which was NOT IN THE AGREEMENT, but you do you, Chef BoyRDick.

Also, I had recently watched season 2 of Emily in Paris and one of the episodes featured a storyline where Emily had to work on a marketing campaign for leeks and I was like, “Ooh I could go for some leeks” which is how “Sri Lankan leek stir fry with faux lamb” inserted itself onto the menu.

Those Portuguese sweet potato rolls from Thanksgiving 2020 were bangers so that was added to fill the obligatory “Christmas dinner roll”, er, role. We ordered some boxes of Trinidadian sweets from local vegan pop-up ShadoBeni. Korean street food tteokbokki and a Field Roast vegan ham were necessities. And a Russian apple cake called Sharlotka was the featured dessert.

As a last minute buffet-padder, we bought some lotus mooncakes, red bean mooncakes, and mochi cakes from Pink Box on Christmas. Seriously Diane, don’t knock the Chinese desserts. They are GOOD.

Also as a last minute thing, we decided to expand this from a 3-person dinner to a 6-person dinner, feeling that this was a safe number, and invited my brothers Ryan and Corey, and my mom. I was actually surprised that my mom and Ryan accepted the invitation! We have never had a “family” dinner at my house before, so I was feeling kind of nervous about it!

Anyway, I’ll spare you the gory details but at one point that afternoon, I smelled that sickening stench of hot rubber and ran into the kitchen to find Henry having an absolute war with the fufu mixture. Apparently, he followed a different recipe this time which led him astray. Basically, fufu is a dough made of cassava and plantain, or one or the other. Fufu has different versions based on various African regions (I think Puerto Rico also has their own fufu style) but Henry likes to use both cassava and plantain. Anyway, whatever this recipe had him doing resulted in him straight up burning out the blender and then trying to use a SIEVE to separate the non-ground chunks from what he was able to salvage from the fufu mixture. This set him back a good hour and resulted in him not having enough to use anyway, and then it got all clogged up in the sink and he was FUMING. Like, Henry doesn’t often get mad-mad, but he was MAD on this afternoon, lol. He ended up making rice to go with the peanut soup instead.

Then, the sweet potato rolls gave him hell and ended up not baking thoroughly but we still ate them and they tasted good; however, he only made enough for everyone to have ONE like we’re fucking peasants.

THEN!! Everyone arrived and we were eating when I realized that HENRY DIDN’T MAKE THE FUCKING PURPLE MASHED POTATOES after all that searching for ube and then triumphantly returning with a comparable substitute, only to make them at all! And also, I had asked him to make SPAETZLE even though he’s not my PAPPAP and no one could ever make spaetzle as good as John W. Stonick, but I at least would have liked for Henry to try!

“After the fufu incident,  the last thing I wanted to do was fuck with more dough,” he said to me and everyone at the table gave me a “Yeah, Erin” smirk.

Also, I was so stressed that I barely took any pictures of the food, so you’ll just have to use your imagination.

I love decorating the buffet for holiday meals! This was prior to setting all of the food. “All” of the food, like we had “so much.” LOL.

This was when we were still waiting for Ryan to arrive. It occurred to me then that he had never been to my house before, and I have lived here since 1999! It’s not that Ryan and I don’t like each other. My family in general is just not very “OMG FAMILY HANGOUT TIME!” with the exception of Corey and me – we have always gotten along like BFFs who enjoy touring seriously stupid places and acting like world class assholes. And then not only has Ryan never been here, but he also thought I lived on a completely different street, so that was fun, lol.

Also, being his inaugural visit was somewhat of a shock to the senses for Ryan, who just kept laughing and saying, “There’s just so much to take in.”

Everyone seemed to like the peanut soup the best which made me doubly sad that the fufu didn’t turn out because you have not known the true extent of peanut soup’s deliciousness until you scoop it into your gaping maw on an edible airplane of FUFU.

I wonder how hard I will have to beg Henry to do a fufu redo on New Year’s Day….

I realized after the fact that I had barely any pictures and had to resort to photographing half-scavenged plates and platters, lol.  Anyway, this apple cake was really light and delectable. Big fan.

My favorite part of dinner wasn’t the tteokbokki or the sweet potato rolls, but the part where Ryan regaled us about the time he and several friends were nearly murdered by the cartel in Mexico and you might think I’m exaggerating but this is a true story and is actually hilarious since they made it out alive but to hear him tell the story sounds like he’s giving a synopsis for a new movie in the Hangover franchise. And you know it’s a funny story when my surly fifteen-year-old who thinks all adults are the worst and totally stupid actually laughs out loud numerous times without even bothering to play it off.

Aside from the food follies, if there is one thing I wish I could go back and time and do over, it would be the moment my mom asked to take a picture of us siblings because in hindsight, I would have said, “ACTUALLY! Here, use my phone.” Or better yet! “Here, let Chooch take the picture with my phone.” Or the best option even: “Here, let’s go stand somewhere nicer and have Chooch take multiple pictures with my phone.”

But, it is what it is and this picture, blurry as it may be, is still better than no picture!

Corey stuck around for booze & game hour.

Penelope waiting for everyone to leave. The cats HATE COMPANY. Lockdown was some of the best months of their lives, really.

Yeah, the official verdict is that this was a nice ass Christmas. Lowkey but still semi-social, and just tiring and fulfilling enough to have us ready for bed by 10:30pm that night!

Dec 292021
 

I’m not trying to drag out the Xmas content I swear. I’m just really feeling shorter blog posts these days. Or, my mental capacity is feeling it, should I say? Lol. The winter depression is knocking on my door and I am running out of energy using my mind power as a barricade.

First of all, I want to talk about how difficult Chooch is to shop for now. All he wanted was a bike, so Henry took him to get one after Christmas (last night actually; I opted to stay home and do Kpop cardio because I knew it was going to be a stressful shopping trip and judging by Henry’s harried state upon return, I was correct). But I was like, “WE HAVE TO HAVE PRESENTS UNDER THE TREE!!” So we just bought him an array of hoodies from various stores including one from Zumiez that I honestly have no idea how I couldn’t tell straight away was a girls hoodie because when he pulled it out of the box and held it up, it was pretty obviously cut much shorter than any regular hoodie, lol. It must have been a theme on that year’s shopping excursion though because Henry was all “IMMA TREAT MYSELF” and bought himself a denim jacket that was on sale at the Vans store, only to find out that it’s a woman’s jacket and doesn’t fit him. (I told him to try it on when we were there but he was adamant that he could “tell” that it was going to fit, oh ok.)

Hilarious how it felt like we had nothing under the tree but my credit card statement and checking account tell a very different story. Fucking Christmas. I swear to god if the world is safe (relatively speaking) next year, we are going away for Christmas and not buying any gifts. Just souvenirs and amusement park admissions.

I still had fun making up stupid gift tags for all of the presents (one gift was from Heavy Metal Geocacher, lol) but it just didn’t feel as Christmas-y as usual. I guess that’s what happens when the kids get older, le sigh. Chooch actually was in a fine mood though and didn’t get all pouty like I would have when I was his age because leave it to me to always find some kind of a flaw in every gift (lol I am DEFINITELY not like that anymore, though, right Henry?).

Meanwhile, Henry paid attention and got me some really great things this year, including this necklace personalized with my favorite Korean word that you may already know if you read this thing regularly because I love to word-drop it whenever possible!

But I will explain it anyway because I’m nice, ugh. It’s pronounced “kapchugi” and it means “suddenly, out of the blue.” We watch a lot of Kdramas and it’s a word that is said a lot and I just love the sound of it, and the fact that it means “Suddenly,” which is such a great, dramatic word in English too.

I had to put my own chain on this though because Henry went for the shortest option available which was “newborn baby choker” length. I don’t have a fat neck at all but that chain was not it, bro.

Henry also got me the new Jennifer Aniston-backed hair product line, Lolavie. Jennifer Aniston is my ULT BIAS. I know it’s super basic, but I have been utterly smitten with her since the debut of Friends in the 90s. I know, me and a million other basic broads, right? But she is just the epitome of a beauty to me, because she genuinely appears to be the sweetest, kindest, most un-celebrity-est person in America. She just seems so down to earth and to this day, I fucking Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. And I also harbor a huge grudge against this couple I used to be friends with waaaay back in the day who belittled me for liking her and said she has a, and this is so hard for me to even type because it’s NOT TRUE and they can both get fucked, “horse face.” Honestly, fuck those people. They had a baby and named her after one of the lamest characters on Days of Our Lives – Chloe Brady!

ANYWAY. When Jennifer Aniston started posting about this new hair stuff several months ago, I wanted it ASAP. It’s vegan and cruelty-free, because of course Jennifer Aniston, aka The Best Jen (Jennifer Lawrence is my #2 Jen) would do the right thing.

This is how my hair looked after letting it air-dry!!!

It’s amazing and sorry Henry, but I will now be using this $$$ brand $$$ exclusively, no more drug store hair prods for this bitch’s head. (Actually, it’s not really as exorbitantly priced as you would expect from a product shilled by an internationally beloved actress.)

Lastly, Henry also got me something that I really NEED: an NCT light stick! There have been murmurings around the K-nets that NCT127 might be doing a North American tour in 2022 and if this is true, I want to be prepared!

And then we went to Pink Box for Asian sweet buns and family fun time at the Homewood Cemetery, which I already posted pictures from here.

This was probably one of the least argumentative Christmases we’ve had so I am very happy about that. But I will note however that SON OF THE YEAR has a job and did not get Henry and me anything! What a jerk.

At some point I will also recap Christmas dinner, which consisted of numerous international fare and my immediate family being at my house altogether for the first time in the history of me living here (which is a long time, since I have lived here since 1999 lol ugh).

(Oh yeah, and I got Henry the Stheart beanie that he’s wearing in the pictures featured in the link above! He is so hard to buy anything for so my main gift was trying to be nice to him all weekend. I semi-succeeded. He didn’t ask for a gift receipt at least.)

Dec 272021
 

Henry and I both miraculously had Christmas Eve off…but then Chooch had to work. Because of course he did. We mostly just ran around picking up last minute things and then relaxed the rest of the evening. I love Christmas Eve because the house is usually pumping out cozy vibes.

Not a last minute Xmas thing, but earlier that morning I started screaming about wanting a new toilet seat which is such an adult “want.” This in addition to receiving my first ever car title in the mail a few weeks ago has me feeling like I’ve matriculated into legit adulthood with no fan fare or at the very least A CAKE, and I feel GYPPED.

I also bought plants while there so yeah, lots of grown up things happening around here. I feel like a stranger in my skin these days.

Of course, Henry guessed at what kind of toilet seat to get and it was wrong so he had to go out again to get the right one but I had enough of boring home stores for one day so I stayed home and did Kpop cardio, thanks.

Later that night, I started “primping” the house for Christmas evening because my mom and brothers would be coming over for dinner and I wanted to look at least relatively Christmasey, not like you can really tell the Christmas lights apart from  the “year-round” lights in my house, lol.

I love decorating the buffet!

Chooch was wrapping some stuffed animal he won at an amusement park for one of Those Kids next door but Henry was like, “I am not giving one of my grandchildren a reused gift” like suddenly Henry is the author of etiquette handbooks.

“Did Santa come yet?” Except that the cats call Santa “Him Ho” in our house.

Holidays make Penelope tired.

It didn’t really feel like a legit Christmas Eve because the weather was in the 50s and Chooch was so tired from working that he didn’t even feel like playing any games NOR did he even beg to open just one present like he normally does. I guess he is also becoming an adult, just like me. Sigh.

Henry and I unwound that night with an episode of Hometown Cha Cha Cha (no, we still haven’t finished this series! We’re not good binge-watchers!) and then crashed around midnight. It was a long day but we were so happy to not have to work!

Anyway, I will leave you with this brief walk-thru of the living room and dining room as seen on Xmas Eve.

Dec 252021
 

Hello! Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and happy Saturday to everyone else! Henry is currently in the kitchen whipping up a holiday dinner so I thought I’d pop in and say hello and post some pictures of us doing the traditional cemetery thang. We actually…didn’t fight??!! Even though Chooch hated his flannel??? And it was raining??? And I only hated every other photo of me??? Tis the season, truly.

I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean.

Anyway, here we are. I love my little family. We get along mostly.

Eating our sweet buns from Pink Box! It’s an Asian bakery right down the street from the cemetery and blessedly open on Christmas. They have really delightful treats there. I had an almond taro bun, Henry had red bean (always) and Chooch’s was pineapple cream. We also got some extra delights for after dinner!

We had to retake one of these because even after FIFTEEN YEARS chooch still managed to have crumbs on his face.

Making Chooch uncomfortable from both sides

Henry was like “why do I have to do the jumping ones with you.” BECAUSE I SAID.

On the way home I randomly mused that the Pittsburgh skyline looked different to me.

“Maybe it’s because of the strange music playing,” Chooch piped up from the backseat.

It was Pink Floyd on the radio lol.

Dec 102021
 

Mr. Sometimes I Like My Family has been yammering about wanting to see the Festival of Lights at Oglebay this season. We had gone once when he was much younger, actually it was the night after our beloved cat Speck had passed away, so that trip was more of a means to comfort him (not distract though – he brought a framed picture of her with him) and less of a “Yay we’re a family that loves the Christmas season, let’s chug some egg nog and jingle some bells.”

Anyway, we kept trying to plan for this on a weeknight when it’s less crowded but idiot Chooch and his idiot j-o-b kept fucking up plans. We finally were able to go on Wednesday, and left as soon as I logged off from my idiot j-o-b.

(JUST KIDDING, JOB, I LOVE YOU. PLEASE DON’T CAN ME. I NEED YOU BIGLY.)

We stopped at Sheetz for MADE-TO-ORDER dinner which is always fun because who doesn’t like building sandwiches from a screen at a glorified gas station. Henry got a cookie and I made him give me half so he was being a bitch boy about that. Then Chooch was watching videos on his phone in the backseat WITHOUT HEADPHONES which I hate so we fought like cats and dogs until Henry made us stop.

“Well, he’s being annoying!” I shouted at the same time he was also stringing together a bitchy, disparaging sentence about me. Then he fell asleep because aw, boo hoo, widdle baby so tired, get up early for him school, workie workie at McD’s, wah.

Oglebay is about an hour or so away from Pittsburgh, in West Virginia. I guess it’s like a resort or something but my only run-ins with the place involved Girl Scouts and learning about nature shit. They have a little zoo there. That’s the only thing I have ever cared about. Apparently you can ski there? I learned this because every time I asked, “are we there yet” Henry would mumble some words about how we “hadn’t gone up the mountain yet” and I said, “oh ok calm down mountain man, I wasn’t aware of any imminent incline in terrain” and he snapped, “wow how do you think people ski at Oglebay??? It’s on a mountain!!”

I didn’t know people skied there. Maybe that’s where the disconnect lies.

Then we argued because according to Oglebay’s website, they advised AGAINST following GPS and instead provided their own written directions to use and it was apparently my responsibility to read him the directions. I started to but it was boring so I just glazed over some of it lol. He wasn’t a fan of my navigational decision making skills so he started mouthing off but obviously we made it there just fine or I wouldn’t be sitting here writing about it now would I????

Once we started “going up the infamous mountain” which was definitely just more of a hill, I started incessantly chanting, “Chooch, wake up. Chooch, wake up. Chooch, wake up” which is the equivalent to sticking your hand in a wasp’s nest, let me tell you. So now he’s in the backseat bitching, and I’m like, “No, YOU stfu!” and Henry is like, “I AM GOING TO DRIVE THIS CAR OFF THE MOUNTAIN” and then I’m like, “IT’S NOT A MOUNTAIN!!!”

Wow, and now you were basically just along for the ride. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Yeah, so….we made it to Oglebay and it was, you know. Pretty lame. We paid the suggested donation of $25 and then Henry spent pretty much the whole time counting all the ways we could have bypassed the entrance gate while still seeing all of the lights. He should start a YouTube channel. Hank’s Hacks: How To Have White Collar Fun on a Blue Collar Salary.

I got really mad because there was some dumb AMURRIKKKKA light display and the people in the truck in front of us PULLED OVER to get a longer patriotic gaze at the dumb thing and I started raging about how they were probably sobbing into their trucker hats while chanting the pledge of allegiance.

Then we pulled over at some welcome center thing and looked at fake light-up flowers. That was pretty cool.

I was dying because “You’re a Mean One” started playing from the Christmas tree as soon as Henry approached it LOLOLOL.

We made fun of Henry A LOT that night. It was so much fun. Worth the suggested donation of $25.

Chooch was so gung-ho about SEEING THE LIGHTS and then he barely even cared. I told him he had to write a report about it on my blog and he was like “you have a blog?”

I like how it looks like I’M HAVING AN IDEA.

Chooch was so put out when I asked him to take this idiotic picture.

Then we got ICE CREAM. It was OK, but very expensive, I felt like. It wasn’t even, like, designer ice cream or artisanal or whatever the fuck they call the fancy FARM TO TABLE trendy hipster stuff. But it was OK. The guy at the ice cream counter legit hated us though. I can’t tell you why exactly but it was a vibe that he was sending with extra stamps to make sure it was properly delivered.

Well, that about concludes our feeble attempt at Family Fun Night Looking at Xmas Lights. It was pretty lame but we had fun laughing at Henry and acting like basic city assholes in the NOT-MOUNTAIN of West Virginia.

Dec 082021
 

Ho ho hello, just checking in with a friendly ad from our sponsor because she made two new Christmas cards for the 2021 season (peep the other new ones here) and she wanted to share them on here in case any depraved readers suddenly realize that their friends and family would LOVE receiving a card with Charles Manson’s mug on it.

  1. OPEN SLAY SEASON

Imagine this killer couple dashing through the snow, etc etc etc LAUGHING ALL THE WAY. What a terrifying image. Implant that into the minds of your friends and family this Christmas with this super light-hearted and holly jolly spirited holiday card! And then when they have nightmares, ta da: it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Comes with an envelope, not redeemable for a carriage ride.

2. Manson Family PJs

I mean, in a way, they really did get to spend holidays in matching…PJs. They were just from prison and not Target. Send this to your INFLUENCER friend who makes their family wear matching footed pajamas & pose for Instagram pictures every Christmas morning with motherwhompin’ cinnamon buns in their mouths while you’re in a stained Bon Jovi t-shirt from the 80s and ripped leggings eating a Poptart.

Comes with an envelope that can later be used as a Helter Skelter bookmark.

3. Heaven’s Gate 

Gotta buy your own purple shroud though.

Have you watched the Heaven’s Gate documentary yet on HBO? I don’t think I have HBO anymore which is a bummer so I have not watched it but I keep seeing shit about it everywhere which made me think about how I have Heaven’s Gate birthday cards and Valentines, but NO CHRISTMAS CARDS. Wow. I am truly the worst.

Anyway, if you don’t know anything about this cult, I’m sure this card is making you think “huh” (I mean, assuming you haven’t x’d out of this junk pile of a web diary yet), I highly recommend googling that shit because it’s pretty wild. You know, as most cults are.

4. Serial Carolers

The ultimate holiday card for your fellow murderinos! This vintage-esque design features Ed Kemper, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Aileen Wuornos, and Dennis Rader (BTK) all bundled up and crooning some Christmas cheer. Well, except BTK – he’s the token surly non-singer.

One time in middle school, Laura Long had a Christmas party and made us all go caroling and I just stood in the back half-assedly mouthing the words. Caroling is for suckers. I get it, BTK.

This card is blank inside so you can fill it with lyrics to NKOTB’s “Funky, Funky Christmas” or whatever. I feel like Aileen might have had that cassingle. Lol, OK maybe not.

This currently my favorite card that I’ve ever made.

5. Ed Kemper Naughty List 

What a festive card! Who doesn’t love thinking about decapitated coeds when opening up Christmas cards?

Comes with an envelope. Be careful what you put inside though if you’re sending this to a prison pen pal. Not that I have any experience with penitentiary mail getting rejected.

6. Don’t Kiss Henry Lee’s Mommy

Nothing spreads Christmas cheer quite like the hint of matricide! Henry Lee Lucas should have used this as his motive for murdering his mom because it sounds way better than “She hit me on the head with a broom.”

Perfect for any true crime enthusiast in your life! Or your mother-in-law!

7. Robert Hansen the Worst Alaskan

I mean, who hasn’t used the “Oh shit, I forgot to dig up your present out of the woods of Alaska” to buy themselves some more time? I just used this excuse last month when I met up with a friend and totally forgot that her birthday had just passed and she was like, “Mmmhmmm” but look – maybe she doesn’t know my life as well as she thinks she does OK!?

Anyway, let the creep-o mug of Robert Hanson, the Butcher Baker of Anchorage, really drive this sentiment home. What a charming Christmas card! I’m sure it will be displayed front and center on the fireplace mantle.

Comes with an envelope. You could actually bury their gift and turn it into a real life scavenger hunt. Tuck in a map and some clues!

Fun fact about me: I am terrified of Alaska so this asshole might actually be the scariest serial killer in my opinion.

8. Son of Sam’s Xmas Jam

This is one of my original cards going back to the beginning of non compos cards, but I revamped the design last year. Trufax: when I started making these cards 10+ years ago, I barely knew how to use Photoshop. Truthfully, I’m still not much more than a novice, but I have gotten A LITTLE better over the years and I’m trying to polish up some of the most turd-iest designs in the shop.

This card was inspired by my desire to sign people’s yearbooks with the line “In their blood and from the gutter,” a sentiment straight from one of David Berkowitz’s letters to the popo. But people in high school already knew I was a weirdo and my luck, I’d have gotten called to the social worker’s office (again).

But now I’ve managed to incorporate it in a holiday card, and that’s pretty freakin’ redeeming.

Let Son of Sam, one of America’s most notorious killers, spread yuletime cheer to your loved ones; watch in amazement as their faces become awash with smiles that say, “Oh, you shouldn’t have!”

But you have!

Envelope included!

Ho Ho Ho and all that shit.

9. Ian Brady & Myra Hindley, Santa’s Elves

Hey man, what’s synonymous with Santa and his elves? If you said Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, then BOY have I got a Christmas card for you!

Fun fact about these two brutes: anytime I post their cards on Instagram, I get reported for violence.

10. Santa’s Geindeer

Ed Gein Christmas Card serial killers image 1

This was my favorite card from 2021!

Better think twice before investigating that CLICK CLICK CLICK you hear on your roof, is all I’m saying.
I couldn’t resist making this dumb card, even though Henry was like, “OK, ha. Ha…” Look, it took me a long time make this and I still have a headache from staring at the computer screen and that stupid “Up On the Housetop” song got stuck in my head and I got really agitated because I spent my whole life thinking it was “Up on the Rooftop” until my kid was in kindergarten and had to sing that for the holiday assembly and I was like WHAAAT THEY’RE GETTING THE WORDS ALL FUCKED UP” and then everyone on Facebook was like, “No. You are wrong and everyone else is right” and I felt so attacked because I’m one of those people who rarely gets corrected because most people in my inner circle are too afraid to call me out when I’m wrong so when it actually happens (I mean, it’s rare, because I’m pretty fucking perfect), I will dwell on it for days (lol, years) and then Google things like HOW DO WITCHES HURT PEOPLE and TOOLS FOR CUTTING THE BRAKE CABLE and also WHERE IS THE BRAKE CABLE.

Yeah, so! The inside of this card is blank. You can write anything you want inside, like your own lyrics to that dumb carol, for example.

Come with an envelope made of paper and not stretched skin, which is probably what Ed Gein mailed his Christmas cards in.

**********

As always, I’m happy to fulfill any custom requests, so if you have a favorite (?) serial killer that you would like to see a Christmas card themed around, hit me up! And check out the rest of the shop for birthday cards, Valentines, Golden Girls stuff—it’s a real shit show over at non compos.

And because I feel it necessary to leave a disclaimer every now and then: I do not condone murder or suicide pacts. I do not engage in “idol worship” of serial killers. I think they’re the scourge of society and the reason I started making these cards was because I do have an interest in true crime & the psychology of it, and it started as a “tongue-in-cheek” fuck you to the mainstream greeting card industry. I joined a Christmas card exchange thingie one year over on LiveJournal and I wanted to send something that I made myself, something that would make people groan. And 14 years later, I’m still going at it! (Henry’s sitting next to me bitching about how, “…and I still don’t have health insurance and my boss treats me like shit and I have to buy supplies out of my own pocket…” WOW. Sounds like someone is getting ready to picket.)

Dec 052021
 

I was so excited to be able to invite Corey and Janna over this year to TRIM TRUDY since we are all vaccinated and some of us are even boostered. Last year was very sad trimming that broad without an accompanying gathering. Sadly, Corey couldn’t make it because of a work Xmas party, but Janna came over and was OMG ON TIME! She even made a point of eschewing the standard salutations with a “NOTE THE TIME” demand instead. LOL, oh Janna.

Earlier that day, Henry and I went to Fresh Thyme to procure some “healthy”-ish snacks to go along with the Korean alcoholic bev collection (various flavored sojus and makgeollis, get on our K-level). While there, some guy who was around my age kept making INTENSE eye contact with me, the guy that can be decoded as “I KNOW YOU” and it was borderline uncomfy. I started to panic, like, “Did I have a one-night stand with this dude back in the day?” I mean, he kind of looked like my type?!?! I was actually afraid he was going to be waiting in the parking lot but he wasn’t. I kept trying to tell Henry about it but I was wearing a mask in the store and Henry is already hard of hearing and was basically completely unaware that any of this was happening.

“DIDN’T YOU SEE HOW LONG HE WAS ‘LOOKING AT MILK’ WHEN WE WERE IN THE VEGAN DAIRY SECTION??” I cried and Henry was like, “No…maybe…wait what are we talking about again?” and then I think Henry was actually sad that this guy didn’t kidnap me.

My eyes are so fantastico at the YOUNG AGE of 42 that I can barely even get my photos in focus these days.

Got to break out my SHINee soju glasses for the occasion!

This was probably one of the 87 times Chooch asked told Janna to buy him Pokemon cards for Christmas.

“I think the gas mask year was my favorite,” Janna said dreamily, as we recounted all of the festive Yuletide transformations that Trudy has undergone. (Underwent? Undertaken? GONE THRU.) I think we care less and less each year though, ah, sweet complacency. I mean, I was all gung-ho about looking for a green tutu for her to wear this year so that we could also use that as a vehicle for hanging ornaments, but I got distracted about like, one google search and then forgot to go back and look. LOL. Oh, Christmas. Who cares.

I mean, look how exhausted we are after spending a whopping ten minutes wrapping a mannequin with garland. She doesn’t even need strung with lights anymore because Henry just leaves the lights on her year-round now.

Here are pictures of all of us post-TRUDY TRIM.

Then Chooch wanted to play a game but I said NO because I didn’t feel like it, yet somehow I ended up with Chooch’s phone pressed to my forehead, hysterically guessing things from the 1980s. Oh Heads Up, I hate your existence yet I can never walk away a challenge.

One of the categories is for songs but you have to hum or sing the song without giving away the song title. It was Chooch’s turn to guess and the song was “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White Ts but I never liked that song and could literally only think of the Hey There Delilah line and had to keep humming it over and over and Janna was also trying to hum it because she couldn’t think of the words and then I was like, “JUST PASS IT YOU PROBABLY DON’T KNOW THIS SONG ANYWAY” so he passed it and then later when he looked at the ones he missed, he rage-cried, “HEY THERE DELILAH ARE YOU KIDDING ME WHY WOULDN’T I KNOW THAT???” and Janna and I defensively argued that we couldn’t think of any other lyrics.

“Like, who even knows the words to that song,” Janna said dismissively, to which Chooch screamed, “HEY THERE DELILAH?? WHAT’S IT LIKE IN NEW YORK CITY???? I’M A THOUSAND MILES AWAY???? BUT, GIRL, TONIGHT YOU LOOK SO PRETTY????” while the protruding vein in his forehead was barking an emphatic “Yeah!” after line, and then dropped the mic on his behalf.

“AND YOU COULDN’T HAVE EVEN HAD ME GUESS THE BAND’S NAME?!?! REALLY? PLAIN WHITE TS???”

He was um, very upset.

Blake made the long and arduous trek over from next door later that night after his gaggle of children went  to bed, and the HEY THERE DELILAH party foul was brought back up again.

Immediately, Blake recounted the first four lines of the song too, with as much casual comfort as someone singing the happy birthday song. Janna and I just threw our arms up in defeat. (Honestly though I really hated that song so it’s not too shocking that I wouldn’t know the words.)

Whenever it was my turn and we were doing music, everyone’s first clue for nearly every singer was, “Oh you hate this person.” I hate so many pop singers that it was really hard for me to guess! Although it was mostly Katy Perry and Taylor Swift every time, except for the one time when it was Alecia Keys and Chooch ever-so-surely said, “You really hate this singer” and I was so confused because I do not hate her. I just have no feelings either way!

Bros!

I was REALLY pissed because once when it was my turn, the answer was The Carpenters “We’ve Only Just Begun” but I only got the artist and not the song because Henry was being stupid with his humming capabilities and then afterward argued that I “wouldn’t have gotten it anyway” and I was like, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME ALL YOU HAD TO DO WAS SAY THIS SONG IS IN MUSIC BOXES?!!?” Honestly, my grandma had like 8 different music boxes in her house that played that song.

One time when it was Henry’s turn, the word was SHOULDER PADS and Chooch got Henry to guess it by saying “it’s what mom called Drew and thought it was so hilarious* – Ursula’s…” and Henry immediately said “Oh. Shoulder pads.

*It WAS hilarious!

Also, chooch wouldn’t do the pop culture category with us because it has “relevant trends” that we “wouldn’t know about.” I hate him.

My other favorite moment of the night was when Janna told me that one of the BITCHIEST teachers we had for Language Arts / Communications in middle school made her re-recite a poem from the very beginning after she mispronounced the word BOSOM LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. This is my new favorite Janna thing! Apparently she pronounced it BOW-some LOLOLOLOL YESSSSSSSSS.

Well, Mary, I think that’s all for now. It was a nice night of snackin’ and Heads Up’in and somewhat house partyin’. And now Trudy is back to her festive dressings!

Nov 252021
 

G-Dragon and his turkey leg wish you all a happy Thanksgiving! Ours was very lowkey – I didn’t want Henry cooking lots of food because we’re going to be gone for a few days and didn’t want leftovers to go to waste, so chooch and I got premade veg meals from Zenith, and Henry had…hot sausage? I dunno. It was something in a bun. Which is actually an upgrade from the Saltines and peanut butter that I originally guessed he’d be eating today lol. Here are some pictures.

Lol Henry’s dish. (The potatoes he made himself were really good though.)

Chooch worked from 7-3 today (time and a half!) and was in a GREAT MOOD. He at least changed out of a hoodie and stopped watching Tiktok videos at the table.

The best part – Zenith’s vegan pumpkin bundt cake, yes boy.

Overall not the most memorable T-Day but I’m also not a big T-Day type of gal so overall I was just happy to have the time off work.

Oh! And I got Henry to do a Paul Eugene workout afterward and that makes three times this week! I think he actually enjoys Paul Eugene workouts??

Now I’m going to lay in bed unable to sleep because I’m stressed about going away this weekend. I always have the day after Thanksgiving off but Henry REFUSES TO REQUEST OFF which means we can’t hit the road until he comes home tomorrow’s. So now I’m at the mercy of his unpredictable job. 

And never forget 2019 when he HURT HIS BACK THAT DAY and almost RUINED OUR SILVER DOLLAR CITY WEEKEND!!

In other related news, I’m THANKFUL that Kpop girl group legends T-ARA recently had a comeback!

This song is so iconic and one of the first kpopX routines I did back in 2015 when I had no idea that Kpop was about to change my life:

Ok. EK out.

Nov 052021
 

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

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

</3

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

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

Literally will never look at the damn camera!!!

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

No one seemed to notice her anyway :(

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

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

UGH!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rejected by Michael Myers. A new low.

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

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

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

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

 

Nov 012021
 

You know, I can’t really complain about this year’s HalloCation. I mean, staycations are never really my thing because of course I’d rather be going somewhere, but I think in my old(er) age, I’m finally starting to listen to my mind and allowing myself to slow down a little. I mean, OK, just a tiny bit. I did a shit ton of walking and exercising all week but I ALSO WATCHED TV YOU GUYS! And sometimes I was even sitting down while watching it!

I won’t recap every day because that would be a snooze, but I went to the cemetery 4 of the 5 days so let’s enjoy some FOTOS I took as proof that I was at the cemetery in case my parole officer asked me.

I went to Homewood Cem on Monday and the day was SO BEAUTIFUL! The whole week was originally supposed to be a wash out but it sure did start off nice and October-y. I walked around for a good bit, tried to get the squirrels there to love me by way of the peanuts in my pocket but they sadly do not know who I am, all the while listening to “Clown in the Cornfield” on audio. I saw my first ever black squirrel in Pittsburgh there too! It was so exciting that I was suddenly (kapchuggi) Alice following the white rabbit as I trampled off the path and into the sodden death-grass.

Then I came home and recorded this adorbs interaction with Drew and one of the baby Buddys!!

What a nice day.

Tuesday I think it rained all day and I am not actually sure what I did aside from fuck around with cats and squirrels, read, exercise, and oh look I did what I said I wasn’t going to do and I’m recapping each day STOP THAT ERIN. IT IS NOT IMPORTANT.

Wednesday was nice though! I mean, the weather was cold and gray, but I had lunch with my mom and Corey at First Watch. Corey of course was late and I was starving, but my mom wasn’t looking at the menu at all and acted surprised when the waitress came to take our order even though we had been  there for 10 minutes at least but now Corey didn’t know what he wanted either and I was just like gritting my teeth each time (there were THREE OF THESE TIMES) when the waitress was like OK I WILL COME BACK because I had known what I was ordering an entire day in advance because us vegetarians/dietary snowflakes need to scope and scour online menus immediately after a restaurant is chosen.

This is just how it goes.

So yeah, I knew for hours upon hours that I was going to be jaw-hugging a veggie burger at approx. 1PM on Wednesday October 27th.

The fourth time the waitress came back, I looked at her with pleading eyes and whined, “They’re getting on my nerves!” She laughed and said, “Wow, you’re hungry.”

In the end, my mom also ordered a veggie burger and Corey just got a BLT!!!!!!!!!! ALL THAT MENU ANALYZING!!!!!!!! FOR THAT!!!!!!! A BLT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HEAVY PANTING. BREATHE, ERIN. BRING IT DOWN, ERIN.

Seriously though, it was a really nice time and something that we need to do more often. Another thing about OLD(ER) AGE ERIN is that I am panicking about not spending enough time with my family.

I took a stroll around Jefferson Memorial after dropping off my mom. WALKING AFTER A MEAL IS A GOOD DIGESTIVE AID. These are things OLD(ER) PEOPLE need to consider.

We watched Scream that night because somehow I failed Chooch and he made it fifteen years without ever watching it?! I think he spent more time IMDBing the cast though.

“OH THAT’S WHY HE LOOKS FAMILIAR HE WAS SHAGGY!”

That was the first time in YEARS that I watched it in its entirety (usually it’s just on in the background) but wow, it really holds up, Rose McGowan is still a queen and I covet her wardrobe, and Skeet Ulrich still makes me scream SKEET ULRICH.

Hey, you know who else makes me still scream their name ever since the late 90s? SCOTT SPEEDMAN OMG I was so stoked that he was in season three of You. Was he in it enough, though? FUCK NO. I needed more Scott Speedman. I kept screaming into Henry’s face “SCOTT SPEEDMAN BETTER NOT FUCKING DIE!”

I finished that season at some point while I was off last week and I liked it well enough, but it was kind of boring compared to the other two seasons. THE ENDING WAS V. SATISFYING TO ME THOUGH AS SOMEONE WHO HATED A CERTAIN CHARACTER. No spoilers.

Here are a bunch of pictures from my return to Homewood Cemetery which is my favorite cem in the city. Most Pghers will tell you that Allegheny Cem is the best and while I do think that one us special as well, nothing beats Homewood Cem in my PERSONAL AND BEST OPINION. And I saw more black squirrels!!!!

The weather really held off for me on Thursday and I was so happy. Last week actually felt like legit autumn and I was trying to suck it all up because it’s only a matter of time before this mild weather turns into CHANCE OF FLURRIES. Noooo.

Giles has a real nice spot.

I miss taking pictures of Chooch in the cemetery. :(

Here’s a picture of Chooch and Drew later that day.

On my final day of HalloCation, it rained off and on and I was going to just stay home but then it cleared up and I felt inspired to go to a different cemetery after lunch. I had started The House on Needless Street on audio that day and I can only listen to audio books if I’m walking so I felt inspired.

I went to Uniondale, which is another of my old tried and trues, cemetery-edition. This is where we used to have our Xmas picnics before we modified the tradition several years ago, dropping the full picnic for a selection of Chinese and Korean sweet buns from Sumi’s and Pink Box, and then eating them at the nearby Homewood Cemetery. It’s a good tradition, you guys. Now we don’t freeze to death by trying to sit on the cold ass graveyard ground.

So everything was normal and nothing to write home about, until I went to leave. Usually, I would turn to the right and loop around toward the exit/entrance (there’s only one way out of this place) but for SOME REASON, I said out loud, “I will go to the left today.” And then when I came to another point where I could either stay straight or loop around a circle, I chose the circle. It was almost like my car was being guided for me.

I had one last turn to make to put me back on the main path that leads to the exit, and as I made that fateful right turn, I couldn’t see that there was a big stone marker (not a tombstone, but like a pillar) that had started to tip over out of the ground and was jutting out right into the lane. So as I made the right turn, I didn’t swing out far enough and ended up hitting the damn thing with the right side of my car. At first, I couldn’t tell what the fuck happened. The impact was just hard enough that it shook the car and I could see a piece of plastic fly in front of the windshield and land to the left of the car. I got out, shaken not from injuries but from the shock of whatever had just happened and slowly walked around to assess the damage.

Part of the plastic runner at the bottom of the doors had broken – that’s what I saw being flung through the air – and the back door is dented. Not the MOST HORRIBLE scenario, but still not great because NO ONE WANTS TO WRECK THEIR FUCKING CAR. I called Henry immediately and he was like, “OK calm down” which usually would make me snap because OK STRAIGHT WHITE MALE, but in this case I was like, “Yes, please soothe me with your Papa H words.” Also, I was like, “OMG please tell Chooch that you did this” because Chooch can be so mean and I didn’t want him to make fun of me! I feel like a lot of women would be like OMG MY HUSBAND/ETC IS GOING TO KILL ME but I’m like HENRY WON’T YELL AT ME BUT MY MEAN TEENAGED SON CAN NEVER KNOW THE TRUTH!

When Chooch finally noticed it later that night, I flipped out and was like I DON’T KNOW, YOUR DAD DID IT, DROP IT and Chooch was like, “Oh wow OK because I’m so sure YOU weren’t pissed when you found out he wrecked the car!” We were walking into Sheetz when this convo was happening and I was so grateful that I was wearing my mask so he couldn’t see the expression on my face when I snapped, “IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS” and then ran to place my coffee order. LOL. Then Henry came in and Chooch was like WHAT DID YOU DO TO THE CAR and Henry calmly said, “I hit a pillar” and then completely changed the subject before Chooch could ask any follow-up questions, lol.

He’s basically just taking the fall for me in general now, and then frowns at me when no one is looking. Don’t worry, the insurance company knows the truth, LOL.

In my mind though, I want to believe that this happened in order for something worse to NOT happen. Like, what if I had turned right like I normally would and then I hit a squirrel??? I’d rather pay my deductable than commit vehicular homicide against an animal. ANY DAMN DAY.

The one highlight from Friday though was when I went in the background and got one of my main Buddys to come all the way out of a tree and skip around my feet while I handed him a walnut.

“I could have been like that bitch with the gorillas,”  I said to Henry, who just smirked at me while filling out the insurance claim.

Well, that’s all. What a rich vaca. But still, better than work!

Oct 312021
 

Hi hello here I am and it’s Halloween! I have zero plans for the day other than finishing reading Last House on Needless Street, taking rainy walks, exercising, and then watching horror movies while handing out candy to the one or two kids that actually knock on our door tonight. This is the first year that I didn’t make a costume for Chooch because he’s 15 and happily working tonight (I asked him to try and get an earlier shift and he was like ‘why? I truthfully do not care’ so that was cool, my LITTLE BABY IS GROWING UP AND DOESN’T CARE ABOUT DRESSING UP OR HANDING OUT CANDY) so I am going to try and give the Type A Pageant Mom side of my personality the day off and try to, oh I don’t know – relax?? LOL yeah right! I’m the type of person who still exercises when they’re sick or half-crippled with cramps, but OK sure, Ma, I’ll “relax.” LOL.

This has been a really strange Halloween season, actually. We didn’t even go to Spirit Halloween one single time! We didn’t get any pumpkins! I of course had nothing at work to decorate because office life is still on hold! But, we did go to a shit ton of haunted houses, I had horror movies playing in the background all month while I worked, I had a nice Hallocation full of ME TIME and cemetery walks (I’ll recap that tomorrow I guess), so I can’t really complain too much. But I can’t help feeling like I’m this really uncomfortable stage in life where my kid is now too old to give a shit but I myself don’t feel like I’m ready to hang it up so if anyone wants to let me borrow a small child next year for October, that would be cool. I mean, not for sacrificial purposes ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hahahahahahahahahahahahaHAHAHAH. But you know, to construct complex cardboard costumes into which they will be stuffed.

I can think of a lot of ways to blow off steam after a stressful week, but “going to a party” seemed to be the safest, most legal, option.

And then I was thinking that maybe next year I’ll have a Halloween party because I have never had my own Halloween party as an adult for some reason even  though I used to have them in middle school and high school, and we all know I love having parties, but it sucks because my house is small but at least it’s a lot cooler now than it used to me and I wouldn’t even have to really decorate?? Literally none of my friends have Halloween parties (or they do and just don’t invite me and I’d never know since I’m not that piece of shit site f/k/a Facebook, and that honestly sounds like the more likely reason lol) so maybe I will do that. It can be a Halloween/pie party crossover event maybe?? No, pie parties belong in a park pavilion on a Sunday afternoon. We’ll do both, maybe. Or maybe I’ll even do it the weekend after Halloween so that my Castle Blood friends will be able to attend, and then we can properly drag out Halloween, like the fine folks at Trundle Manor used to do! Speaking of that, we’ll end this dumpster dive of a blog post with a reposting of one of their Halloween parties that I went to back in 2012. I still feel so cool and honored that I was invited to this because I am not actually a cool person at all but they thought I was for some reason I guess.

I dunno, holla at me if you would come to my hypothetical Halloween party 2022. Don’t expect me to have an absinthe fountain like Trundle Manor though. Makgeolli fountain, MAYHAPS.

****

Thank god for Trundle Manor. Rachel and Anton are smart as shit, planning their Halloween party in November and prolonging the Best Season Ever by a few weeks. This year’s theme was “insane asylum” so I decided to go as Fatal Attraction Glenn Close. Of course, I didn’t decide this until a week prior to the party, but Henry went to one thrift store and immediately found me a flouncy white skirt for $3. I would NEVER have that kind of luck.

80s Fatal Attraction Costume Idea | Like Totally 80s

And it’s an awesome skirt too, basically like a wedding dress underskirt/petticoat-type frock-thingie. I put it on three hours before leaving for the party on Saturday because it’s probably the closest thing to a wedding dress I’ll ever get to wear, and it felt good OK? All swishy and connubial.

20121112-194906.jpg

I made my hair all Alex Forest-esque with a triple barrel iron. None of the pictures I took properly conveyed the true crimped “electrocution victim”-ness of my mane. Short of getting a perm, it was the best I could muster.

20121112-194918.jpg

Precious Henry, who didn’t go with me because he “doesn’t do parties,” made an old pot into a functional costume accessory by drilling holes in the sides and stringing rope through it so I could wear it as a purse instead of carrying it around all night.

(Henry wouldn’t have even had to dress up if he had gone! He could’ve just been the Co-Ed Killer Ed Kemper.)

If you have no idea what the fuck I’m talking about, in the movie “Fatal Attraction,” Glenn Close has an affair with Michael Douglas and then boils his daughter’s pet bunny when she’s rejected. She also plays the wrist-slitting card to garner sympathy. But (SPOILER ALERT) his wife shoots her in the end.

20121112-194932.jpg

20121112-195514.jpg

She doesn’t ever sit in a wheelchair in the movie, but I wish she did so I could have taken one of mine. Oh well.

Saturday was Wendy’s bowling night, so she couldn’t make it there until after 12:30. Luckily, my Castle Blood brood was there so I didn’t have to be That Awkward Girl siccing people for conversation. (Not that I would have had a problem — the friends of Trundle Manor are awesome people.) But still — I don’t like showing up to a party alone, so I made Henry text Ricky and ask him twenty questions about their anticipated arrival to the Manor.

Ricky was standing right near the driveway when I got there, so I didn’t have to walk more than five feet on my own (GOD FORBID). I apologized to him for being such a spaz about things; he put his arm around me and said, “But what else is new?”

Touche.

He deposited me with Dawn, at which point I started drinking, and the night was on a steady high after that.

Chris and Kari were also there, among other familiar Castle Blood faces (including the steam punk professor guy that I have a crush on), plus my friend Patty Cake from work. I recognized a lot of people from last year too, which was nice. Not that it mattered, because once I started imbibing absinthe, everyone’s faces started looking like Dali paintings.

20121112-194945.jpg

Dawn & Ricky, being there.

20121112-194954.jpg

The drink slinger’s face is glowing green from the absinthe fountain.

For being the second weekend in November, the weather was mild. Last year it was a week earlier and I remember we were all fighting to rub our hands above hobo fires. I survived without a coat, even. But that could be because all the booze I had consumed had formed an invisible anorak around my Alex Forest couture.

20121112-195005.jpg

My Castle Blood homies split around 11. Even if Wendy hadn’t been coming later, I wasn’t ready to leave yet. The bands were just about to start playing! I found my friend Angie, whom I met one year ago at the last Trundle Manor Halloween event, and she was stuck with stumbling ass for the rest of the night.

Everything else is kind of a blur. I have a vague recollection of carrying around a mysterious sleeve of Oreos in my bunny boiler pot purse (I think Dawn had something to do with that?) and offering them to random people.

Those fucking Oreos had somehow become my delicious security blanket.

I remember talking at length to a pirate riding a blow-up ostrich and feeling regret when I realized I hadn’t offered him an Oreo.

20121112-195017.jpg

And I remember dancing to the Bloody Seamen’s shanties and giving zero fucks about work and anything else, and meeting Gina the Trundle carny, who was very upset that I had a bloody bunny in my pot.

20121112-195029.jpg

My phone didn’t capture it, but that big glow was actually a bunch of x-rays.

I had a crush on at least 87 revelers that night. Hey, that’s what happens when Henry sends me out into the world alone. WITHOUT A RING.

20121112-195043.jpg

B-movies projected on the side of the house.

It was nearly 1:00am by the time Wendy arrived as Aileen Wuornos. The crowd was starting to disperse, but there were still a ton of crazy asses there (and I mean that in the best way). My favorite was this totally fucked up gay kid who I can only figure was dressed as Lady Gaga from the Love Game video. He came over and told us that he had walked an hour to get there, a bunch of stuff I couldn’t understand because he was slurring so heavily, and that he has a collection of rabbit things in his house and losing his pet rabbit Sprocket was the worst thing that’s ever happened to him. He slurred out Sprocket’s name so many times, I don’t think I’ll forget him.

When I cried about my two dead cats to a drag queen named Curiosity, I knew it was probably time to call it a night.

I am forever thankful that I randomly took a tour of Trundle Manor two years ago and that Rachel and Anton continue to open up their home to me and so many other amazing individuals. Their parties are sick, totally unique and unforgettable. It’s a pretty amazing scene to be a part of.

Came home, poured one out for Sprocket, and then tried to not vomit on Henry as I rolled over him to get into bed. Best Halloween closure I’ve ever gotten!

No one ever did take any of my Oreos. More for me!

Oct 192021
 

Hello. Here I am. Apologies in advance for what comes next because my brain is scrambled today.

My noo’st NooWorks shirt features a spooky design by artist Coco Roy and not like I need much help getting in the mood for “spooky season” (I dunno why I hate that phrase so much) but this really gave me an extra witch-boot to the ass over the weekend. I was so excited to wear it to a haunted house, and several of the haunt people were like OMG I LIKE YOUR SHIRT and I was like, “I know right” because how could you work at a haunted house and not be all about this fine piece of fabric?

Plus, it’s a mock turtleneck!

I didn’t know this until just now but Coco Roy worked on the Netflix movie HUBIE HALLOWEEN as costumer & wardrobe designer! I actually loved that movie (horror comedy usually isn’t my jam but this one legit entertained me) so now I love this shirt even more!

I call this the “Who, me?” pose because the squirrels always do this when I call them, like they’re saying, “Who? Me?” Henry always rolls his eyes over this but I think he’s just jealous because I speak squirrel now and he has yet to crack the code.

I feel like everyone does black&orange or blood-spatter nails for Halloween but I like the green&orange combo for that ultimate monster movie vibe. Black&purple&orange also goes Hallo-hard! Did that sound stupid? I just made that up. Can’t tell if I should high-five myself or not.

Hallo-hard.

Hallo—-ugh, forget it. That was dumb. Edit that part out.

Yeah anyway, um. Speaking of monsters, what is your fave type of horror movie genre? (*crickets*) People always think I love zombies because Chooch went through a heavy zombie phase when he was super young, but I actually would choose vampires and ghosts/supernatural over zombie movies every single time. My top favorite subgenre is probably possession/religious horror.

I wish I had this pillow with me Saturday night when they asked us to film a testimonial after the haunted house. I keep checking that place’s social media to see how humiliated I need to feel but they haven’t posted it yet. Maybe one of the ghosts did me a solid and erased it from that broad’s phone.

Vans 4 Lyfe. I only have 4 pairs of Vans but wish I had 40. They’re my faves. TOMS used to be faves until they want from being scene kid shoes to soccer mom loafers.

Eyeballs 4 Lyfe.

Well, I told you my favorite horror genres but here are some of my all-time favorite horror movies:

  • Lost Boys
  • Suspiria
  • Blair Witch Project (this remains the king of found-footage genre, fight me)
  • Halloween (I’ll take the original 1,2,3, and 4, Mary)
  • Ju-On
  • Monster Squad

These are the first ones that came to mind. I grew up on horror though and my best memories are watching the Friday the 13th franchise with my brother Ryan and having my childhood BFF Christy sleep over and meticulously choosing movies from the horror section of Blockbuster. When I was dating Psycho Mike, I had a membership card to a little hole-in-the-wall rental joint called Firehouse Videos or something (it was next to our favorite 24:7 diner, Home Cookin’!) and they had the BEST SELECTION of Argento films.

But my favorite-favorite was back in the early years of my relationship with Henry, when we would walk several blocks to Incredibly Strange Video in Dormont, where the proprietor Bruce was always happy to see us and he’d know exactly what horror movies to recommend, never action, dramas, comedies – he knew we came there for the horror. It was during these years that we filled up on Asian horror, indie slaughterfests, and some of the scariest student films you could imagine. Then like all other video rental shops, Netflix forced Bruce to close up shop and that was a really sad day for us. Because Netflix and whatever else is out there is great and all, but for all that they offer, I swear to god I can never settle on anything to watch!

This is the face I make when I’m mimicking Henry and he was like TAKE A PICTURE OF THAT SO YOU WILL SEE HOW INSANE YOU LOOK/HOW INACCURATE IT IS so I did and it looks actually more accurate than I ever intended! I was mocking him in the car next night too by way of a pseudo-stand up routine that I made up on the spot about him eating chili and he told me I’m a complete asshole. Not just a partial one. Complete. With all the parts.

If you were driving to a haunted hayride, through twisty & bumpy unlit country roads in the middle of nowhere, what would be playing on your car stereo?

My picks would be:

  • B! Machine
  • The Black Queen
  • Gary Numan
  • 1970s/1980s era The Cure
  • Depeche Mode

I also always love to have gas station coffee for the drive too. When I was younger, I was obsessed with getting seasonally-flavored “cappuccino” from the dispensers at gas stations but it’s been a hot minute since I last, um, “treated” myself to that sugary swill.

At some point, we have plans to repaint this wall a deeper, more vibrant blue but the thought of taking down all these pictures and rearranging them later is exhausting lol j/k like I would be doing any of that myself. Why keep a HenryTM around if you’re not going to use him.

Aside from Henry’s mom, I still haven’t invited anyone over since we redecorated etc etc during the pandemic. I guess at this point I’ll just wait for Henry to hang up the damn Seoul subway sign (he’s getting the spray paint for the frame tonight I think!?!? *allegedly*) and maybe, oh fuck it I am completely anti-guests now, thanks Covid, lol. But if I were actually wanting to be hospitable, this is the way I would come to the door.

WELCOME TO MY HOUSE LET ME SHOW YOU ALLLL AROUND. Lol, it’d be a 5-minute tour. I live in a duplex.

I got this jacket FOR FREE. One of my InstaPals was unhauling a bunch of clothes after moving into a new house and there were a bunch of people clamoring for this bitchin’ lamé shoulder-warmer but I won out by literally 2 seconds or something. This was over the summer but I had visions of wearing it during the transitional fall weather, over t-shirts at amusement parks and haunted houses. It was so hot for the first part of October that this past weekend was the first time I could comfortably wear it and of course it was actually too cold because god forbid we should have actually fall weather here in Pittsburgh. It goes from like, Indian Summer to CHANCE OF FLURRIES.

Anyway, it turns out this jacket was part of a kid’s dance costume, lol.

I like this one because it accidentally almost looks like my right hand is that one on my shirt.

In other spooky news, I was inspired to check if Philly does their Dracula’s Ball and they are having one this year but it appears to be more of just a concert, and it’s only 2 and a half hours long, with The Crystal Method (definitely have not thought about them in, I dunno, almost 20 years?! OMG TWENTY YEARS, I AM SO FUCKING OLD) headlining. That seems less like a ball and more like a rave for old people.

Probably thinking of more projects for Henry, like, building a squirrel bridge over the road in front of my house so MY SQUIRRELS WILL STOP GETTING HIT BY MORONIC CARS. We just buried a Mr. Gray Guy today :( I heard the *thump* this morning and knew, just knew, in my heart what had happened. I had just been yelling at him from my window to BE CAREFUL but it wasn’t good enough and I had to go out and carry him off the street and place him a box for Henry* to bury this afternoon and then I proceeded to sit here, steeped in guilt and “what if”s all day, alone. I am *not* thriving in this work-from-home environment. Not even a little bit. I’m lonely and my attachment to the squirrels is unhealthy YES I KNOW, THERE I SAID WHAT ALL YOU PEOPLE HAVE BEEN THINKING.

Well, on that note, guess I’ll go make tombstones for the squirrel graveyard in my backyard. I mean, two graves makes a graveyard, right? I hate life.

*(TTGFH**)

**(Thank god for Henry.)

Oct 082021
 

Good morning! Today is Hangeul Day (한글날) in Korea, which is a day to celebrate and commemorate the creation of the Korean alphabet by the great King Sejong in the 15th century.

Obviously I am not Korean but nevertheless, I have a very deep respect and love for Hangeul. The way it sounds and absolutely the way it looks made me want to learn it; while I can still hardly speak Korean, just the ability to decipher Hangeul has made my life feel so much fuller. Learning it made me feel like a code had been cracked and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself, honestly.

The first time we went to Koreatown in Toronto, I was in tears because we were surrounded by signs and storefronts smothered in Hangeul and I was able to read it. I kept pointing things out to Henry and he was like “ok I get it cool mmm.”

It’s such a beautiful language and I’m happy to celebrate it today, even as just an American from Pittsburgh.

Anyway, I’d like to share some Hangeul-laden pictures from our trips to Korea. Just look at how pretty those characters are!

This one is really sad – Many families were pulled apart during the Korean conflict and those in the South are still trying desperately to be reunited with estranged family members. There was a TV show to help these efforts and people wrote down their addresses and phone numbers to be posted in Imjingdak. We saw this during the DMZ/JSA tour we took in 2019.

I really hope I get to visit 한국 again someday. Happy Hangeul Day, my friends! Go watch a Korean drama today with subtitles, no dubbing!

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 202021
 

Hello and welcome to Father’s Day 2021! Since Chooch and I failed at Henry’s birthday earlier this month, I figured we better step it up. I found this LOG THAT GROWS SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS so of course I snatched that up because I love eating mushrooms and Henry likes growing things lately, so that seemed like a win/win.

OMG this fucking log is so HEAVY!! But it didn’t seem like it was “enough,” so I thought we better also do some elementary school caliber Father’s Day art project. Henry doesn’t drink hot beverages so a custom coffee cup was out of the question, but he DOES drink iced tea and iced coffee, so I screamed, “TUMBLER!” at Chooch who was like, “OK that’s great but I’m actually in class right now so if you could NOT scream through the house, that would be so chill.”

You have to know that once I get an idea in my head, it’s all I can think about until the thing is actually tangible so I started working on it right away. We knew that we wanted the background to be pretzels because our Him Man loves himself some pretzels of all varieties.

Remember when I had Henry take a picture of Chooch and me jumping? I told him it was because I needed it for my brother’s birthday and he said he didn’t think anything of it, just figured I was doing something weird as usual, lol.  Also included: Henry’s ult bias Cha Eun-Woo from Astro, a Rip-It can since he sometimes drives a Rip-It van for work and people ALWAYS stop him and try to buy some – it’s so bizarre, Ted Nugent, a water tower from where he used to live in the SERVICE, a plane that was supposed to be an AIR FORCE plane since Henry can always identify military planes in the sky, and GOCHU-JOHN because that’s how he pronounces gochujang. Also the pretzel background doubles as his favorite color – brown.

Then I wrapped it in the circulars which is his favorite part of the mail and I always throw them out before he gets a chance to see them lol.

He was really scared this morning when I thrust each box at him, lol.  The log had him extremely perplexed but the tumbler made him do his TRYING NOT TO SMILE smile!

Like it says in the caption – when he was admiring his new tumbler, Chooch asked him, “what kind of plane is that?” Henry squinted at it and said, “Well, it’s not American…” HAHAH I think I just googled “war plane” and never even bothered to check what it was actually was.

I was also going to include a picture of Hot Naybor Chris on it but I was afraid that Henry would never take it outside the house for fear of HNC catching him with it and wondering why Henry’s sipping cold brew out of a vessel bearing his visage.

Also, I texted my dad a picture of us at Wildwood from 1985. He might not be my bio-dad, and we may have had some BIG UPS AND DOWNS especially in my teen years, but we get along wonderfully now (actually, ever since I moved out at age 18!!) and though we may not share blood, I definitely share a lot of the same quirks as him, that is FO’ SHO’.

And now we’re about to head out to Cedar Point for today and tomorrow, with the lowest expectations as possible because: Cedar Point. This has to be THE WORLD’S most unpredictable amusement park, honestly. Maybe we’ll even let Henry treat himself to a soft pretzel or two.