Feb 282021
 

Skip this if you’re 100% over reading about my dumb kitchen.

But look, I’m excited because it’s one of the few positive things that have come out of this past pandemic year for me, if we can even consider anything positive. I’ve considered it nearly 100% done for some time now but there are always little additions here and there can be done – for instance, I just put in an order for a custom roller skate rug to put on one of the blank cabinets & I’m really excited about it but the wait time is 6-8 weeks so catch me over here acting like I’m being patient while actually screaming to Henry WHY ISNT IT HERE YET three days later.

I would like to get a small neon flamingo for the wall by the fridge (not a $$$ custom one like the ramen bowl we have, but just a cheap one from Amazon or wherever), and Henry still has to do whatever to that conair phone to make it light up. So the state of the kitchen will probably just always stay in flux at this point until we move!

BUT! From the beginning, I knew I wanted a big conversation piece to go on the pink wall above the spice rack, rather than a bunch of little things. When I think of the 80s, video arcades always come to mind. Man, my brother Ryan and I spent A LOT of time at the ones in our local mall, and our Pappap was also super into them. He had several arcade games and pinball in his basement game rooms, and even gave my family two for our basement, too. I think he was friends with someone who dealt in arcade games, and I can picture that dude very clearly (I want to say his name was…Gary?) with his big-ass brown tinted eye-glasses and 1980s bowl cut.

Sorry, I’m not one to ever pass up taking the long way down Memory Lane, obviously.

Anyway, I definitely cannot fit a real life arcade game of any sort in my kitchen (or anywhere else in this house for that matter!) except maybe one of those tiny ones that were outside of Korean convenience stores in the 80s, where you basically sat on the ground and played. But I thought maybe it would be cool to get something similar to my Mouse Attack sign, and that’s how I fell down the pinball back glass rabbit hole last summer.

I hemmed and hawed over it for quite some time though because these things aren’t cheap – even the reproductions are pricey but I felt like if I was going to invest in something like this in the name of Art, then go big or go home, right? So I found an original back glass from the Coney Island pinball game, circa 1979, and I chose this one because it has something on it for all of us:

a roller coaster for Chooch and me;

a clown for me;

a bikini-clad for Henry.

I just really felt strongly about this one, so I bought it…

…and then it sat on the back porch for like 3 months, only to eventually move to the basement where it sat in a corner for another 2 months until Henry finally felt inspired to start working on.

And by working on it, I mean that it was our initial understanding that after I bought it, he would built a frame for it so it could be hung on the wall. Simple, right? Henry is Man! Man build Things! Wood, saw, rah rah rah!

But…then upon further consideration, I added, “But also make it light up. Like, with carnival lights. So it’s like a marquee.” And then Henry died inside a little, but he did agree! It took him FOREVER to find the lights though. Eventually he found some dealer on eBay who sells lots of used carnival lights so he snagged a box of them – my brother Corey thinks this is the best part of the whole story, the fact that Henry know has a plug for carnival lights, lol.

He started working on it, like REALLY working on it, over Valentine’s Day weekend, and finally finished it Friday night.

He’s really been putting his old electrician’s apprentice skills to use these days! I kept going into the basement to check on him and I would say things like, “How do you know how to do this” and the look he would give me in response would have made my weener wilt if I had one.

He hung it up on the wall yesterday and I honestly couldn’t be happier!

He is going to make a back for it that has white lights attached so that the glass will eventually be backlit, but the lights he ordered aren’t here yet. I told him to just hang it up now anyway because it’s still pretty perfect!

If you told me a year ago that one day the kitchen would be the best room in the house, I’d assume that something tragic must have happened to all the other rooms, seriously. The old kitchen was such a factory of sadness.

My whole brand is …”AND MAKE IT LIGHT UP” so having this new light feature in the house is making my mental state super leveled-out.

My decorating aesthetic might not appeal to everyone, but I just really would rather have large, crazy pieces that might not be worth much to most people, but are OOAK and possibly even made by Henry and myself, than something that I can just buy from a store. I’m luck that Henry is so willing to help me bring these ideas to life instead of being like, “Can’t you just hang a framed Marilyn Monroe quote like everyone else?”

But the best part about this getting finished is that now Henry has time to work on the Seoul subway sign that might never ever get finished but he refuses to admit defeat, so stayed tune AND HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY!

 

Feb 092021
 

I have always had a TON of Cure memorabilia strewn about my house, so many pictures of Robert Smith hung on my walls that I used to jokingly coo, “That’s your daddy!” when Chooch was but a wee baby.

During the pandemic, I’ve had a lot of time to, you know, STARE AT THE FUCKING WALLS, and I’ve been having some fun floofing the Cure wall downstairs while also slowly adding some more stuff to the new Cure wall upstairs. In my head, my decor makes sense, you guys.

I just think this corner is so cozy. Getting a church pew really added pizzazz (do people do say pizzazz or is that we’re calling people who believe in pizzagate nowadays? Pizzazzes?). I have several more of Chooch’s school pictures that need hung but we’re eventually repainting that wall so I’ve been holding off.

I do want to reframe the Robert portrait though!

That swag lamp was one of the best spontaneous purchases I’ve ever made and even though Henry hits his head off it a lot I think he is mostly ok with it. We got it at some fly-by-night junk store in Cleveland when we were killing time before seeing, I think, Artifex Pereo.

In “upstairs Cure wall” news, I’m starting to add some stuff to the adjacent wall, like these two pictures (one is me meeting Robert! I finally put it in a frame!):

We hung them low so they’re just above-level with the table. You know so when you’re sitting there for no reason, you can look at me handing Robert flowers in Canberra, Australia.

And I have a framed, signed album that also needs to go on that wall but I’m still mulling over the position.

It’s such a fun area! I’m looking for the perfect holy water font to also hang on that wall so I can fill it with candy/mints and then when you come out of the bathroom, you’ll see it on your way back downstairs and say, “Candy? Don’t mind if I do!”

I mean, if anyone is ever able to come over again. Sigh.

It’s also been serving as an exceptional backdrop for non compos product shots!

I am a firm believer of elevating your poster-pasted teenage bedroom walls into “grown up” interior design. If you are passionate about something, let it show! I remember this one time, I think it was 2015, we had to have an ambulance called for Henry’s mom (who thankfully was fine!) and one of the paramedics was looking all around and asked, “so, who likes The Cure?” I mean, the question could have been “who here is the Satanist?” had he looked down first and seen my Devil tarot card rug lol:

I wish we had done this a long time ago. I used to HATE being in this house because it was so dumpy and we don’t own it and I was always so depressed that I couldn’t really be bothered to do anything about it. But it’s been the only…bright side? of this terrible pandemic because being stuck at home has forced us to confront all the parts of this house that needed changed in order for us to stay sane and live comfortably. This is basically if my high school bedroom was a Mogwai that got fed after midnight. One day we will own an entire house and when that happens, I think I will be able to fully realize my outsider-artist interior design dreamscape.

(I actually wanted to be an interior design for a very hot minute when I was 19-20 years old can you imagine LOLOLOL.)

Anyway, I will be back with more updates as these spaces progress, I’m sure!

(Maybe I should turn the back porch into a forest?!)

Jan 262021
 

Are you sick of seeing the dumb shit we’ve been doing around the house? Sorry, but there is NOTHING ELSE GOING ON IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. Work. Read. Exercise. Think of shit to change around the house.

That’s it. That’s my life.

Anyway, I wanted to show the new addition to the Cure sitting area that literally no one will be using anytime soon!

We had this ugly side table from Goodwill – I can’t remember why we bought it but I guess at some point I really had to have it. We originally had it painted black with a red glitter top which was never actually finished so the top got all shitty and it was impossible to clean.

Henry sanded it down and we painted it red with a pink top and I knew from the get go that I wanted the top to have lips on it to match the Robert Smith lips theme. Originally I was going to try and find some type of scrapbook paper, and then I moved on to looking for lip confetti. But then!

I found!

The most glorious!

Sequined!

Lip!

Patches!

OH BABY. These patches turned out to be exactly what I didn’t know I needed. I ordered several sets, Henry fucked everything up several times, but then eventually we got to the epoxy-pouring part. This is Henry’s least favorite DIY thing. He’s worked with epoxy before, back when we used to make pendants for my defunct art shop on Etsy. He pretty much hates epoxy. And it wasn’t his friend this time, either but he persevered (in between long nights of making serial killer Valentines – what even is our life, I have no idea).

It’s not perfect, but it’s level and works as a functioning table top, and that’s all that really matters!

The space that the table is living in is so dimly lit that you can’t even see the imperfections, anyway, but I did want to be up front about the fact that this project was not 100% perfect. Epoxy is no fucking joke. Henry suggested doing one pour to try and even out the swirls from where the plastic covering dropped on it and I screamed, “NO!” because with our luck, it will just make it worse! You literally can’t even see (or feel) the swirls unless you move the table into a brightly lit room. We always have the hall light set on pink in this area so it’s fine.

It’s the perfect table to display my copy of Charlotte Sometimes, gifted to me several years for my birthday by Sandy! (If you know the Cure, you know that they wrote their song “Charlotte Sometimes” about this book. If Chooch would have been a girl, his name was going to be Charlotte, and I was of course fighting for his middle name to be Sometimes, and I’m sure I eventually would have won that battle and 14-year-old Charlotte would probably really fucking hate me right now.)

And of course I needed a lip planter to really nature up the spot.

On the adjacent wall, there will eventually be a small shelf and at least two more The Cure pictures. I have this one screenprint from the Cure concert my brother Corey and I attended in Philly back in 2008, which still needs framed, but I think that would look really nice there too?!

I need a different rug for this space, though. I currently have my a red shag heart in my cart, but I JUST DON’T KNOW.

Jan 212021
 

* I was going to originally say “spots around my pad” but…yeah. Good thing I stopped myself in time. This could have been a very different blog post. Whew.

Anyway, we’re in the throes of Valentine factory work (mostly henry although I have been getting better at helping him with packaging) so my nights are like: read, exercise, get huffy as Henry slides shipping labels over to me.

Between that and all the happy crying fits I had yesterday during all the inauguration festivities (an emotional cleansing 4 years in the making) I have been spending entire chunks of time just staring into space and there are some very soothing areas around my house for which I am thankful!

Henry still has to finish hanging up these concert prints that were taken down while the wall was being painted, but I’m so much happier with this little landing already. We used to have a broken bookshelf here that held card-making supplies and it was so junky. Now that’s in the basement. Bye bitch.

Look at how smug Drew is! She’s like, “Look at my fancy litter box, friendos. Don’t you wish you could piss inside a fake plant too?” I mean, no, I really don’t but I just smile and nod.

I bought this Robert Smith garland last year on Etsy and then promptly lost it. But then I found it! Obviously! Oh my god, I have such wonderful words to share, don’t I? My mind-muscle isn’t petrifying AT ALL.

(Honestly though I think I need to start doing Sudoku again or something because I am losing more and more of my mind. I can barely even spell anymore! I used to be a spelling ace! Now I could probably barely beat your average MAGAt at Boggle. Between that and my back, I’d like to return my thirties* now, thanks. Chooch imitates me by saying, “Ugh, I’m Erin. I’m 41. Ow, my back.”)

*(I typed “thirsties” at first! TAKE THIS BLOG AWAY FROM ME!)

Isn’t it perfecto??

I love G-Dragon. Taemin is bae. But Robert will always be my One True King.

I LIKE HOW MY NEON SIGN REFLECTS IN THE KITCHEN WINDOW.

Also, that neon sign is the best thing I spent money on in 2020, I swear to god. Designing your own neon sign and having it made by a reputable neon company is a game changer! I get so happy every morning when I say (often 5x times before she finally stops offering me facts on neon betas), “Alexa, neon on” and then she flips on the neon sign and says, “Taemin is the best dancer” and I said, “Duh” and then before bed when I say, “Alexa, neon off” and mumble “you dumb bitch,” under my breath, she pretends like she didn’t hear that, turns off the light, and says, “G-Dragon is king” and I sigh, “He really is,” never mind I literally just said earlier in this post that Robert Smith is my true king.

You know what they say: Erin, Erin, quite contrar—–in?

Adding LEDs below the spice rack almost inspires me to cook.

ALMOST.

Valentine Frown Town lololol.

OK, exercise time, a/k/a OW MY BACK time. And then I guess Valentine assembly line time.

Jan 122021
 

The latest episode of Handmade By Henry saw him working diligently with fun fur because in my mind’s eye, I could not picture my Monster Squad poster framed any other way!

And by the way, The Monster Squad was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. My friend Amy L., whose grandparents lived on my street, used to come over my house after school so that we could watch the shitty copy that my mom recorded for me on a blank VHS, probably from HBO, because we both had the hots for Rudy. I STILL HAVE THIS TAPE! It has Monster Squad scribbled on it in CRAYON on a ripped piece of MASKING TAPE. The very beginning of the movie was cut off by those goddamn black and white squiggly lines that were ubiquitous with VHS, and it wasn’t until years and years later as an adult that I finally got to see the movie in full, after I bought the DVD, lol.

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Phat Kids vs Classic Monsters | The Disbelief Suspenders Club

Yeah boi…

One of the movie theaters in Pittsburgh played this several years ago and I took Chooch. (Oh my Lord, that was seven years ago according to the date on that blog post!) Anyway, it was one of the best moments as a mom, to get to share this fucking amazing flick with my 7-year-old super impressionable kid.

Another fun fact about me and this movie: there’s a super beloved scene where one of the kids says, “whoa…wolfman’s got nards” and  that was actually a quote on my checks back when people used checks to pay for shit. When I started dating, he was like, “….really?” I had checks for another account to and those ones said “gave all the vampires back to god” which was a line from a Cold song, lol. I really liked having personalized checks OK?!?!

Honestly if you’ve never seen this movie, please do yourself a solid and rectify that immediately!

OMG I FORGOT MY BROTHER RYAN AND I EVEN NAMED OUR PET RABBIT “RUDY” AFTER ONE OF THE CHARACTERS, THIS MOVIE HAS REALLY  IMPACTED MY LIFE MORE THAN I THOUGHT LOL.

I also got this bitchin’ Pee Wee’s Big Adventure art piece from Billy Lilly on Instagram (his art is so pop-tastic and fun!). My kitchen was legit begging for this! This movie is also a huge part of my life and is one of the few movies that I quote from probably on a weekly basis if we’re being real with each other here (are we? I AM ALWAYS BEING REAL WITH YOU!).

In fact, I was training a new person at work last week and all I really knew about her was that she enjoys going to rodeos and I was trying to make small talk so I said, “The closest I’ve ever been to a rodeo is Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, haha” BUT SHE HAD NEVER SEEN IT SO THERE WAS JUST AN AWKWARD SILENCE.

I’m not really sorry for my gratuitous kitchen PDA because if you guys knew how shitty it used to be and how much I hated it, you would be in there doing precious floor-angels on that arcade rug, too. You really would.

That big empty area above the spice rack will one day be the spot of the pinball back glass. Henry finally ordered lights for it! But now we’re in the throes of Valentine season and drowning in orders from our card shops, so I guess all projects are on hold. :(

Out of everything, I think the neon sign is still my favorite. The kitchen would go down about 87 notches without it!

I actually make myself food now because I don’t hate being in there! I mean, the food I’m making isn’t anything beyond scrambled Egg Beaters and perhaps a can of soup or a microwaved sweet potato for dinner, but Henry is like WOW LOOK AT YOU GROWING UP!

I love that I can see Pee Wee from my desk while I’m working!

I’ll end this with a picture of this little sweetie, Penelope <3

(Impeachment tomorrow?)

Dec 232020
 

How you doing today, Lucy? You good, Mary? OK cool because I got a fun pandemic decorating tale for you today so if you wanna just go ahead and fluff your tuffet – go on, I’ll wait.

I think I mentioned in here recently that I really wanted to clean up the little hallway area upstairs (when I say little, I MEAN little – there’s just two bedrooms and a bathroom up there so the hallway is basically a rectangular block). There used to be this big, wavy metal shelf at the top which was fine when I lived alone but then HENRY moved in and started leaving random tools and other masculine sundry on the shelves, and then I accidentally put too many photo albums and journals on it and it always kind of looked like it was one hard gust of air away from toppling. Plus, Drew kept jumping on it and it was just a crisis waiting to happen.

Then I got the idea to make it the Cure corner, because with that Seoul subway sign’s impending arrival to the wall behind the couch, my Robert Smith self portrait was going to need a new home and it wasn’t going to be tucked away in the attic, believe me! This was one of my first eBay wins in 1999 and I paid too much for it to rot away under a pound of cobwebs.

So then it turned into, “Hey Henry, what if…” and this is the one thing I always say that makes him visibly clench, well, that and “I have an idea.” That one probably gives him angina though.

I think that Henry is really just in some weird Bob Vila groove now though because not only has he been tinkering away at my projects, but he’s also been fixing things on his own, too. Like things that I didn’t even realize were broken because I’m not an adult. He like, put in new plugs and stuff. In the walls. I don’t know, but he was doing stuff OK?!

All I did was tell him that I wanted to do this and he was like “OK” and took down the shelf and then asked what color the wall will be (at this point it’s more like “what shade of pink will this wall be?” and then he went to Lowe’s and got the paint and then, like, actually painted straight away and then when the first several panels of faux-plants arrived, HE HUNG THEM. Like, without me even having to nag! Has he finally realized that this is all it takes to keep the whine away?!

The first phase, it looked like this, and even then I was enamored! But I had a firm, clear vision of what I wanted the end result to look like, so we pressed on. First, I knew that I wouldn’t be happy with the picture hanging up there as it was. I should have reframed that thing years and years ago instead of leaving it in the plain metal frame it came in, but if ever there was a time…

We had recently bought a picture at Goodwill specifically for the frame because I planned to use it for a different project. It was too big for the Robert picture so we tried to find something comparable in a smaller size but we are still in the pandemic after all, and I’m extremely uneasy about being in stores, so after two tries, we quit. Then Henry was like, “You know, I could probably just cut down that frame you like and make it work” and I was like THIS IS WHY I STAY WITH YOU.

Literally, what can’t Henry do!? (Aside from completing my Seoul subway sign.)

FUCKKKKKKKK it is so beautiful, like something that would ACTUALLY be at the top of the stairway to Heaven.

The view from below.

Then FINALLY last night we had everything else that was needed: three neon lips and a strand of LED lights, and Henry got to work.

YES. YES, HENRY, THIS WILL DO.

Haven’t decided which other of the myriad Cure memorabilia in my collection will go on the adjacent wall. I also have a small table that used to be downstairs, and I’m painting it cherry red with a pink top that has sequined lip patches adhered to it, so look forward to that, Mary.

I couldn’t have asked for anything more once Henry lit this bitch up, but then he went rogue and installed an LED bulb in the ceiling fixture. HE DID THIS OF HIS OWN ACCORD!!!!

So now the whole corner is awash in pink! I imagine him standing in an aisle in Lowe’s, looking at the bulbs and muttering, “she wants pink? Oh, I’ll give her pink.”

Like I said, I really think the man is broken.

I want to get some extra fake foliage from the craft store and make some drip off the bottom so it looks like less of a severe cut-off there.

The print has a portion of what would become the lyrics to A Letter To Elise, which would be released on the Wish album.

“Could you make it so that the Cure is constantly wafting out of a hidden speaker somewhere up here?”

“We’ll see,” Henry mumbled. So I guess we’ll see, Lucy!

(Sorry, I’ve been doing Paul Eugene workouts again and he’s always talking to some imaginary Mary and Lucy and now I’ve picked it up like a bad tick.)

Dec 152020
 

I’m pleased to report that I have no complaints regarding this past weekend. I mean, Chooch and I still bickered like elementary school aged siblings (HE IS SO ANNOYING AND FRUSTRATING!!!) while getting pictures done for our Christmas card, but everything else went swimmingly and I was in a mild (as opposed to “milk” which I originally types) mood ALL WEEKEND.

The key was that we got the pictures taken first thing in the morning and with that out of the way, and 1/2 of the Christmas card designed, I felt AMAZING AND FREE. I feel like we haven’t sent out holiday cards in a few years (maybe we just skipped last year, but in terms of 2020, all past years seem even farther away in history) and I just thought it would be nice because there’s not much for people to look forward to these days so why not give them something to open that’s not junk mail?

(Well, coming from me, some people MIGHT consider it junk mail!)

Plus, supporting the USPS even though they are SO ANNOYING and as an Etsy seller, they fucking piss me off numerous times a month, and last weekend I allegedly got a package delivered but, BITCH WHERE? Ain’t no package on my porch! I even remembered seeing the mail lady (we always have a different person on Saturdays – it’s so inconsistent and in fact, I haven’t seen our regular weekly mail guy since over the summer when I filed a complaint after he delivered my KOREAN CASSINGLE IMPORTS to some other house and now I am out $6!!! Maybe he actually kept them and then asked for a route change before I stepped into my gum shoes and solved the case!!!

Remember how I told you that I am a squirrel lady now? Well, it hasn’t gotten any better. Saturday night, Henry was in the kitchen baking cookies (and dancing to Super Junior and Taemin with a dish towel slung over his shoulder!). I went in at one point to taste the glaze he made (he went for a reprise of his 2015 Pittsburgh Blogger Cookie Exchange award winning zucchini jalapeno shortbread with lime glaze) and while I was in there BUDDY THE SQUIRREL CALLED OUR CAT DREW ON THE (DISCONNECTED) LANDLINE!!!!

That night in bed, I said to Henry, “Remember when Buddy called Drew on the landline but she told me to tell him she’d call him back because she just woke up and had to stretch first? But when she called him back, his mom said he was already asleep in his tree house?”

There was a bit of a pause and I thought Henry had fallen asleep, but then he said (with a bit of disgust in his tone, might I add!), “…no. YOu need help.”

“Hopefully he doesn’t call back too early in in the morning,” was the last thing I said before falling asleep. Life as a squirrel lady is very exhausting!

Sunday was v. exciting! We (lol “we”) started painting the walls going upstairs and in the upstairs hallway (if you can call it that, it’s like a block with three doors). My endgame is to turn that little space into a sitting area/Instagram corner. We bought fake plant wall panels to put up there along with a neon lips sign, and the center piece will by my Robert Smith self-portrait that has lived above the couch since 1999 but will hopefully be replaced with that MOTHERFUCKING SEOUL SUBWAY SIGN at some point.

I just had this idea on a whim and Henry actually started it without me hounding and I realized that it’s probably because he figures if he’s working on a new project, that’s more time for him to stall out on the Seoul subway sign. I wasn’t born yesterday!

Anyway, I’ve always had this metal shelf at the top of the steps. It’s in the shape of a wave, and I think I got it from Pier 1, also I realized this morning that I’ve actually had it since I was in high school; when Henry was taking it apart, he was like, “WHO PUT THIS TOGETHER?!?!?” and I just shrugged–I mean, it’s survived four moves since the mid-90s but I can’t remember anyone ever taking it apart. Anyway, he said he can’t believe it was even still standing because half the screws were barely in it, lol, that sounds about right. We’re going to give it a makeover and use it on the back porch but it REALLY needed to be cleaned off because it had become a dumping ground for stuff over the years. Let me put it in these terms for you: that shelf has been collecting stuff for so long, that there was A LOVE LETTER on it that Psycho Mike wrote to me in 1997!!!

Yes, he’s psycho, but I’m a pack rat.

I’m really excited for this space to be completed because it’s going to be so much fun. I’m going to move my Cure chair out there and I’m repainting a small table so it can be a little sitting area. I dunno who will ever actually sit there, but the option is there, is all I’m saying.

For lunch, we got banh mi takeout from Bae Bae’s Cafe, which is in danger of closing because of the pandemic and I’m really sad about this and determined to order more from them. They JUST OPENED around a month before the pandemic hit the US so they never really had a chance to live up to their full potential. Their mother shop, Bae Bae’s, is doing OK I guess? But it would be a shame to see their cafe close down because their tofu banh mi is amaze, and they are really the only place in Pittsburgh that offers bingsu. Also, it IS A FUCKING DREAM INSIDE THAT PLACE. 

It was also pint pickup day from Sugar Spell! I’ve been so happy to be able to support local places during the pandemic, and we’ve built such a good rapport with the couple who own this place (they are so sweet) and also the proprietors of Zenith, which has been our other go-to for takeout this year. I really miss going to both of these places in person (especially Zenith because it’s a whole-ass experience, you have no idea, come visit me after we’re all vaccinated and I’ll take you there and you’ll see, and this is always my favorite season to eat there because they go ape with their Xmas decor!)

Even the cats are like FUCK YEAH SUGAR SPELL!

All three of these flavors are winners.

In other weekend news, I finished season 4 of The Crown and for someone who was never a big follower of the Royal escapades, I was for sure a big Diana fan and remember crying HARD when she was killed (and only a bit over a month after my beloved Gianni Versace!). Man, that actor who played Diana was so good. I came for the Diana stuff and stayed for the bitchin’ 80s soundtrack. (Ultravox, The Cure, Duran Duran? Perf.)

It’s funny the memories we retain from big events in our lives, but of all the things I remember most about my first overseas trip with my grandparents when I was 10 was being on the plane home from London and one of the flight attendants asking, “What’s that book you have there, Royal Homes?” and when I held it up to show her the cover of the book I chose from the Kensington Palace gift shop, she exclaimed, “Oooh, Haunted Royal Homes!” and nodded approvingly. I heard her voice in my head SO CLEARLY every time they mentioned Kensington Palace on The Crown, but can I remember the actual tour of the palace? FUCK NO.

(I also remember walking down the hallways of the hotel with my arms straight out in front of me in case there were ghosts there holding knives, and having a fried egg on a burger at a restaurant called Monique’s, before hipsters made that a thing in the States.)

(OMG I know I’m a vegetarian, but I’m not ashamed to admit that my mouth just spontaneously gleeked at the memory of that burger and I can ACTUALLY TASTE THE NON-HEINZ BUT EQUALLY DELICIOUS KETCHUP-LIKE SAUCE THAT WAS ON IT.)

OK, before I fall off the wagon, I’m going to go walk off this strange onset of meat lust. Peace out, bro-skis.

Dec 092020
 

I just announced that I was going to write on my blog about the weekend and then I said, “Except that as usual, we didn’t do anything over the weekend.” I’m thinking back on it now (omg an entire three days in the past, can I even manage?) and literally all I can think of is that I made new cards for the shop, watched a bunch of Kpop award show performances, incited a riot on Twitter with BTS fans, obsessed over our porch squirrels, watched The Crown.

I do have some pictures of the cats, though!

They’re so over quarantine. They have like ZERO alone time these days.

Both cats are so used to the squirrels now that they just calmly sit on the beverage buffet and observe when our friends come to the windowsill for snacks.

Hmm, what else. Oh! For the first time in my life, I actually was able to use a coupon that I got on a CVS receipt. It saved me $2 on Essie nail polish! I feel like a real person now that I used a coupon to buy something!! Anyway, I painted my nails over the weekend with my new nail polish and Henry was shocked that I painted them all one color and I was shocked that he even noticed?!

Drew is literally always about to do something.

I can’t embed Instagram videos here anymore because stupid bitch ass Facebook changed something and now it’s not compatible with WordPress or something, I dunno, I got bored reading about it, but if it still worked, I would post a video of the progress Henry made on the Seoul subway sign. He FINALLY started gluing down the prints of the map onto a giant piece of plastic which will then be mounted on top of the board that has the lights on it. Then he will be able to build a frame and finally hang it, but honestly, I’m not holding my breath that this will happen any time soon because every time he carves out time to work on it, something happens, like we get a deluge of card sales and then he has to make that a priority because “IT’S OUR BUSINESS, ERIN.” Ugh. I’m just so anxious for it to be done! You guys, if it actually comes to fruition (I’m not going to count my hens, etc etc) it’s going to be the most glorious light installation we have in the house. It will take up a large part of the wall behind the couch in the living room and Henry will be my FUCKING HERO if he ever finishes it.

We had a mild argument about it because he started this at the end of 2019 and now we’re about to say hello to 2021 and PLEASE CAN IT BE DONE BEFORE THEN?? He was like, “It’s not like I can watch YouTube tutorials on how other people have done these because no one else has, so I have to make mistakes and go from there!!”

“Well, you’re a real trailblazer thanks to me, then,” I sneered.

“YEAH. A TRAIL I DON’T WANT TO BE ON.”

Oh my god, he is such a little bitch-baby sometimes. Honestly.

I think his favorite part was when I said that I should have just found a professional and paid them to make one for me. He was like, “I GUARANTEE IT WOULD COST ABOUT TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS SO FUCK YOU.”

You guys, it’s chaos over here, lol.

Oh! On Friday, which is kind of the weekend sort of except that I was working the dreaded late shift, we got take out from Zenith for dinner and it was delicious as usual. Chooch and I both got the TLT which came on really good rye bread and it made me muse out loud that rye bread is underrated and then Chooch and I started talking about our favorite breads until we realized that we were basically just naming all bread. We also both agreed that we do not have strong feelings against crust like some people do. I would never think of cutting off the crust! IT MAKES THE SANDWICH LOOKS SO SMALL THEN.

I watched various performances of this song A LOT over the weekend and I can say with confidence that it’s my current favorite from the NVT oeurve:

The 90s vibe is SO STRONG!!! Plus, Haechan and Ten in the same song, yes please. (Or: *kpop jibberish*) I’m obsessed with the whole concept of NCT and want to host a post-pandemic workshop where I invite trick people into coming over by saying we’re having beer and soft pretzels and then make them suffer through a slideshow explaining how the various units work and then at the end I’ll quiz everyone on all 23 members and they can’t leave or go to the bathroom until they get them all. And they’ll get electrocuted every time they say the wrong name.

On Sunday, we were going to go out and take pictures for our Christmas card which I decided is going to happen this year (did I send any last year? I don’t think so…) even though most of my friends have forgotten that I exist since I jumped off the SS Facebook without a life jacket back in 2017, but then I was like JUST FORGET IT because it was really cold on Sunday and I was feeling so lazy. So now we’re doing that on Saturday and I’m mildly excited because I at least have a seedling of an idea for it. Anyway, if you want a card & I don’t have your address, you should give me your address and who knows, maybe I will also send you a postcard from my lunchbreak someday if I ever go back to work downtown.

Dec 022020
 

I figured this past weekend would be a good time to Christmas-fy Trudy which was actually making  me feel exhausted and underwhelmed just by thinking about it. But then I scored a church pew through Craigslist, which my little bitchboy Hank went to pick up Saturday morning and suddenly I was fully energized by the prospect of doing a full refresh on this corner of the house!

We’ve had a big, overstuffed chaise lounge in that corner since…well, almost since as long as I’ve lived here. I remember this vividly because my mom bought it for me when I was working at the dumb meat place, before I met Henry, so this must have been around 2000, and I needed someone to be at my house when the guys delivered it so I asked THAT BITCH KERI who keeps coming up in my memories for some reason and hopefully not because she’s about to penetrate my life in some way, ugh. Anyway, Keri literally lived down the street in the same fucking neighborhood as me and didn’t work during the day so I was like “can you come and stay at my house on this afternoon etc” and she was like “NO SORRY I AM TIRED.” Or “SORRY I WILL BE WATCHING MOVIES” because that was her excuse for everything unless she had a headache which was her ultimate NO CAN DO card.

(EDIT: Janna just alerted me to the fact that she came to my house and waited for the chair to be delivered since dumb Keri wouldn’t! I can’t believe I forgot about that! Actually, I can because I am officially an old broad with a walnut brain.)

All of that is to say the same damn chair has been in that corner of the room for 20 years and no one even sits on it really unless I have people over and it just takes up so much damn room. So we moved it onto the back porch where it fits perfectly and will be my new reading chair since now it doesn’t butt up against a shared wall which was one of the reasons I quit sitting in it – the series of loud ass neighbors we’ve had.

I’m gonna get a small coffee table for that corner too at some point DON’T RUSH ME OK.

My co-workers started an email thread about this picture and Henry was like, “thx erin.” Lol. Amber said it looks like quarantine has softened him but Glenn was like MORE LIKE HE’S BROKEN FROM YEARS OF BEING BEAT DOWN.

Henry agreed with Glenn.

Every little change is such a big deal for these girls.

Truth be told, it doesn’t take that long to decorate Trudy anymore. We just leave the lights on her all the time now and have adopted a “less is more” attitude with it. And especially now that she has a co-tree in Taemin, we don’t want her to overshine him too much, you know?

Christmas isn’t my favorite holiday but I love the way the house makes me feel when it’s (extra) lighted. The power of a couple strands of twinkle lights really goes a long way, and I don’t know about you, but having this kind of romantic mood lighting up in here helps me combat the sads. Come at me, seasonal depression!

Even Trudy understands the science behind wearing a mask.

YEAH HE HAS.

I definitely put out less decorations this year since we won’t be having any parties, but it still makes me feel peaceful.

Drew’s always gotta be in pictures. She knows.

It’s hard to believe that this is Trudy’s fifth (sixth??) Christmas with us already. We don’t have many “traditional” traditions but Trudy just feels so regular and normal. And if we’re being honest, she’s pretty low maintenance. We don’t have to chop her down, nor we have to lug her out of the attic and put her together. She’s just…always around. LIKE PART OF THE FAMILY. Love that babe.

(Fun fact: we actually tried to find her a boyfriend a few mths ago when JC Penney had a WE’RE CLOSING, PLEASE BUY IT ALL sale but we got there too late and there were no mannequins left. Is there a Tinder for mannequins?)

Nov 242020
 

Let’s be real, it’s been hard to make lemonade out of the dirty ass lemons that the coronavirus has chucked at us this year.  With all the staying-at-home that has been mandated since March, the one thing that has really kept me from spiraling out has been giving our rental home a refresher. I can’t even stress how much just a simple change in wall-color has boosted my mood!

But one of the biggest problems we’ve ALWAYS had is CLUTTER. We just don’t have a lot of room to put things (I mean, we’re not hoarders, but we’re…just messy. And by “we” I mean “Henry). After we redid  the dining room, I was like, “AND YOU NEED TO FIND SOMEWHERE TO KEEP THE CARD-MAKING SUPPLIES.” We have a shelf at the bottom of the steps, but that evidently isn’t enough because his supplies kept spilling out onto the dining room table, under the dining room table, next to the dining room table, on the dining room chairs…you get the picture. It’s his card-making station, you guys, and I can’t be too finger-pointer-y about it because we sell cards very consistently so he just got in a routine where he would leave the main supplies out, since he was “going to need them again tomorrow.”

Basically this is A LOT of words to say that we could never even sit at the table to eat because his paper cutter, his crafting knives, his tape, his envelopes, his etc etc etc, was always strewn across the tabletop.

So after we redid the dining room, he moved all of his supplies to the basement until we found a good storage solution. I knew from the start that I wanted a buffet-type piece that could be useful if we ever get to host parties again but also double as hidden storage. I didn’t want to buy something new though – I wanted to find something at the thrift store so that we could dress it up in my dumb aesthetic, which varies.

We ended up finding this really solid mid-century buffet a few weeks ago for like $60 and it was, um, very worth it because the manufacturer is a very good one (we found out that this piece could possibly be worth between $1500-$3000…good thing we used good paint?). As usual, I have no before photo but just know that it was ugly and like, off-white.

Henry finally put it back together last night and brought it up from the basement and I love it SO MUCH. It’s perfect!

We bought the cabinet paint from Lowe’s and the cashier was like, “THIS IS A GREAT COLOR.”

Yeah, no duh.

I knew before we even found a buffet that I wanted to use some of my Pappap’s wallpaper on it. I felt that the print from the master bedroom of the Gillcrest House was the perfect complement to the pink I picked (literally typed “pink I pinked” the first time). Henry used actual wallpaper paste-stuff and the sheets went right on the doors like it was made just to sit around for 50 years waiting for this moment.

I chose gold glitter ribbon as an accent because pink and gold glitter is my signature, like it’s hard to believe I wasn’t in a sorority sometimes, like hee hee, bitches.

Here’s what the wallpaper looked like in the Gillcrest master bedroom.

When I was a really little kid, I used to sleepover my grandparents’ house a lot and I would always sleep in that room with them. That room was fucking magical, the bathroom alone was like no other, and I am so happy to have a piece of that room here in my house, on a repurposed piece of furniture that will hopefully live on for many more decades. (I mean, I can picture this in Chooch’s house someday, can’t you?)

I just fucking love it and can’t wait until I can have people over here again so I can load it up with snaaaaax.

Henry was mad because I posted pictures of it on Instagram without including one of it with the actual buffet flap-things open. “THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT A BUFFET!” he yelled, because he wrote a thesis on midcentury furniture, didn’t you know?

Hilariously, when we first found this at the thrift store, it was SO UGLY TO ME, especially when Henry opened the flaps. I screamed, “OMG WHAT IS THIS????” and he calmly said, “A buffet…” and I was like, “Oh thank god, I thought it was some kind of exam table.”

Wheelchairs? Yes. Funerary paraphernalia? Fuck yeah. Exam tables? GTFO.

I have my limits, you guys.

True to form, Henry left the inside blank. I mean, I guess if he was refurbishing this to sell as a OOAK piece, he’d have gone the extra mile and fluffed up the innards, but we’re only going to stuff it with non compos cards supplies (and cats, apparently), so who really cares, you know?

Drew really fucking loves it.

“Thanks for the new spot!” she said.

So anyway, that’s my buffet story. It would have been really cool to have had this back when I had that vintage food party!

I must be officially old, because I’m getting all hot and bothered over attractive, yet functioning, storage solutions.

Nov 112020
 

Long time readers (lol) might remember when we got some cheap-ass coffee table years ago from the thrift store and refurbed it into a Mod Podge-sponsored photo album. Well…it didn’t hold up very well. All it took was one spilt water bottle to make the underneath stuff expand and bloat and then even after that a bunch of the photos didn’t age well (see also: I included photos of people who ended up being assholes and we no longer speak) so I mostly just kept the table covered.

I think it was last May or June when we decided to finally redo it and got as far as stripping off the old pictures and repainting it, but then Kitchen Redesign 2020 took precedence and the table just sat here with a piece of wood-stuff on top of it for, well, months and months.

Long story short, Henry mismeasured and then ordered the wrong amount of pictures and I was ready to take an axe to it and just buy some generic geometric thing from Target or whateverthefuck, but Henry was like NO, I WILL PREVAIL and then finally took speed or something and got the thing done last weekend.

Here’s what it looked like the first time around:

While all of those photos told a story and 90% made me smile on the daily, there were some that….didn’t age well. Because they featured people who turned out to be…assholes. You know how it is.

So this time around, I decided that I wanted to use photos that would ONLY trigger HAPPINESS. Obviously, those are pictures of my favorite people in my favorite country.

I am a super sentimental person and have always been a hoarder of photos. For god’s sake, pretty much the only things I took from my grandparents’ house was photo albums! I’m always looking for new ways to display photos because sadly I’m running out of walls. (See next photo, lol.)

Pardon the mess in the background, but everything around here is still very much “in progress.” Lol.

I chose this color scheme because it’s similar to the colors used on the palaces in South Korea, and I used photos from both trips and it was so hard to choose!

But the TV in the background, tho!!!!!!

Also, anything you see scattered around the floor is 99.9% of the time a cat toy.

Henry still has to fill the holes in the trim (HE USED A NAIL GUN AND ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT WAS HAPPY GILMORE’S CONSTRUCTION JOB BOSS) but I love how this version of the table turned out. And I can’t wait until we can have people over again so I can make them sit here while I point out and explain EVERYSINGLEPHOTO on this table, like some bizarre Pinterest-age version of a1960s vacation slideshow. Oh, brace yo’selves, future visitors.

I look at these pictures and feel like everything is going to be ok. You know that episode of The Walking Dead were Carol is like, “Just look at the flowers, Lizzy”? If you’re planning on killing me, just tell me to look at the table. Let these pictures be my flowers.

Maybe someday I will just project all of my photos onto the side of the house. The neighbors would love that.

Penelope thinks it’s just OK.

OK, I’m signing off now. Lemme know if you have any cool ideas for future photo display projects. I want to do something with amusement park photos next!

Nov 042020
 

Hello. Checking in. How are you? Numb? Optimistic? Drunk? Like maybe you’re finally waking up from a four year nightmare? Chooch and I have been so on edge (Henry is ambivalent as always). Like, all day I kept calling Henry and screaming things like DO YOU THINK BIDEN COULD REALLY TAKE MICHIGAN AND WISCONSIN and he’d just be like *noncommittal grunt*. I wanted to reach through the phone and shake him! Like, YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE, DUDE! PLEASE CARE ABOUT YOUR COUNTRY, YOU MILQUETOAST FAKE PATRIOT!

But Chooch has been my little election buddy. He kept running downstairs in between his classes, yelling things like, “IF BIDEN CAN WIN *INSERT STATE*, HE’LL WIN 11 POINTS!” Because when you look at it like it’s a video game with a score, what teenager WOULDN’T be interested? Also, Chooch fucking hates Trump’s guts, so he’s pretty invested in this. I didn’t care about politics at all when I was his age, but also, we didn’t have a president as fucked up as the one we have now (but hopefully not for much longer).

Anyway, now it’s much later at night and I’m a lot calmer. How are you? You good? Hanging in there? Need some cat pictures? I gotchu.

Our cats fucking love these stupid holiday cat scratchers that Target is always schilling to us crazy cat families. We never put away the one that we got them last Christmas, so Chooch connected them and now they have a Christmas villa.

They were upset at first because they REALLY like the Halloween hotel one that we bought them earlier this fall, but then we showed them that it was just moved to Chooch’s bedroom so now they’re happy again.

(They REALLY love these things!)

Penelope has resting bitch face. She’s actually the sweetest cat ever.

I mean, no really.

Henry still hasn’t finished the coffee table. Don’t even get me started. But he’s off all next week and I have a TO DO list all scribbled out for him. He doesn’t accrue any PTO at Erin Appledale Inc.

Well, I’m off to, I dunno, do late night Pilates or something before camping out on the couch all night again, with CNN on in the background, waking me up every hour in a fucking panic. I mean, that’s not what I did last night or anything.

Oct 302020
 

Today is my last day of my annual Halloween Vacation and honestly, it doesn’t even matter because it’s not like I’m returning home from anywhere cool or having to actually go back to the office on Monday. It’s just been more of the same, but without sitting in front of the computer for 8 hours a day. I was going to post a Friday Five, but I don’t know that I can scrounge up an entire FIVE THINGS to drone on about, that is how motherfucking this week has been. Let me summarize it for you quickly.

I have:

  • read a bunch of books;
  • gone on A LOT of walks;
  • sort of helped Henry with a gallery wall;
  • carefully placed objects on some shelves that Henry made from neon acrylic;
  • shoved a spoon in some spooky scoops whenever the fuck I wanted;
  • said, “wow it’s raining again” about 4589 times.

Guys, seriously, I don’t think I have done anything else. I haven’t even watched a full horror movie, just had some classics on in the background while I stared wistfully at the wall and begged the cats for attention. I really DO NOT do the whole “staycation” well at all.

Here are some pictures of the shelves tho:

This shelf is on the “popsicle wall” and displays some things collected from my travels. And no, that’s not a weener, lol. It’s the top from some traditional medicinal liquor we bought in Korea. The camel and Coke bottle are both from Morocco; the vegemite and honey are from Australia, that weird broken vase thing is from Pompeii. The pictures are Chooch with two BIGBANG dads (Seungri’s and G-Dragon’s!). The little hanok is also from Korea.

And then this one is in the kitchen:

   

I like how it looks like it’s glowing. Anyway, Henry made these shelves from sheets of acrylic but it seemed like it was a pain so probably next time we will just buy ones already made and pay the exorbitant shipping from the UK, lol. (Although Henry has already been reading up on how to polish acrylic and apparently he needs a blowtorch and he seems pretty excited to try that out, so who knows.)

Oh I know! I also worked on Chooch’s Halloween costume but that didn’t take long at all. He’s not going trick-or-treating but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make a certain costume and he half-heartedly agreed to go along with it so THERE, I WIN ANOTHER HALLOWEEN BATTLE, BOO YEAH.

Oh I knowx2! On Monday, I took a picture of myself to submit to the office because, since this year is my 10th anniversary, I have the opportunity to update my employee picture, which is hilarious because I tried to be proactive about this last fall, knowing that they circulate a giant poster of all the people having anniversaries (in 5-year increments) and I DID NOT want my current picture to be used because I look hideous and unrecognizable.  So Margie arranged for several of us in the department to have our picture retaken by some broad and it was incredibly awkward because I had to stand in her small office while she took my picture with her phone and I didn’t like a single one of the pictures but just said, “Sure, that one is fine” and that it didn’t matter anyway because she never had it put on our Firm’s directory even after I emailed her twice to remind her, and then the pandemic happened and I was like, “is it petty to still be upset about this or nah?” Finally last week I was like, “OK, enough time has passed and everyone is back to complaining about dumb shit again and losing perspective so I am going to email her again,” but then I forgot and a few days later, SHE EMAILED THE GROUP OF US WHO HAVE ANNIVERSARIES, giving us the option to submit our own picture to her!!!

Of course, I couldn’t pass up  the opportunity to be passive-aggressive and petty, so I emailed her and said, “Hi you took an updated picture of me last year but it was never put on Compass, can I just send you a new one?” LOL at my cry-babyness forever.

Henry was off (much to his chagrin since I did nothing but yell at him all day) on Monday so he had to help fashion a backdrop since we have no white walls left in the house thanks to Covid-redecorating. It was a mess and I yelled a lot, but I finally got a picture and then was annoyed because there’s a strand of hair in my eye but it’s the best one I took otherwise and I figured it will be so small anyway that no one will see, except for you – now it’s all you will be able to see!

Ugh she better fucking replace this old one!! I will never forget the day it was taken. I was a temp for the first 5 or so months I worked there so I only had a temp badge with a yellow circle in lieu of a photo which was fine by me. Then I was hired by the firm and one random day I came in to an email that was like, “Hello please come up and have your picture taken” and I was like, “TODAY?!!?” because, not that I was ever super put-together, but I remember being exceptionally harried and a general mess that day. Also, the lady who took my picture was the same one who took it last year and I remember she was asleep at her desk and I had to gently wake her up. Now she has her own office to take get some private napping in.

Wow, I guess I had more to ramble on about that I imagined.

Now I’m just waiting for Chooch to finish geometry so we can go for a walk to a cafe in Mt. Lebanon and get some of that hot bev bev.

I literally don’t know why I said that. I have never once called hot beverage that in my life. Sometimes I think I lose consciousness while I’m writing on here and the virtual spirit of Mona-Lisa Saperstein takes over.

I will leave you with two MVs that I am sincerely feeling deep into my bones today:

Obsessed with the eye imagery in this!

Janna’s ult bias is back with another banger!

Oct 052020
 

While the White House Virus continued to spread, we were over here in Brookline redoing the dining room.

Being home almost 24:7 since March has REALLY made me angry about the state of our house. I have already mentioned this like a hundred times, but because of Chooch’s school, we’re not actively looking to buy a house right. (Long story short, anyway.)

(Unless the perfect home presents itself to us like a bride on her wedding night, then I guess we will talk.)

ANYWAY! There really isn’t anything WRONG with our place, aside from the fact that, well, it’s just old. It needs remodeled, but if the landlord does that while we’re living here, our rent will skyrocket. So, I can deal with the oldness, but what I can’t deal with is just the CLUTTER and disaster zone feel of the place. So much of that stems from our card business. You would be SHOCKED to see all the supplies and equipment a small Etsy greeting card company requires. Our dining room table is unusable 90% of the time because Henry has card-shit stacked everywhere. 

I just want to NOT be embarrassed when friends unexpectedly drop by (though, the probability of that happening any time is slim) instead of nervously laughing, “HAHAHA IGNORE THE TABLE” or grabbing garbage from someone who is en route to throw it away in the kitchen and screaming in the tone of a tweaker, “HERE I’LL GET THAT FOR YOU” and then slipping in through a 3/4 closed kitchen door before anyone can see what lies behind it. Well, we can definitely erase the kitchen from the Rooms of Shame list!

The dining room was also the only room left on the first floor with, GASP, white walls. This is the room where I work from so I was really starting to nitpick at it after spending so much time in there. I knew that at least getting some color on the walls would be a step in the right direction. Once that happens, everything else starts to fall into place and trust me, I’m pretty sure Henry was clenched while he painted the walls, wondering what else was in store for him. 

Don’t even pay attention to the shitty floors. They’re well beyond anything we can do to make them look presentable. Also, who else has cat toys on the floor in every picture they take of their house? Our cats are literally toddlers. 

Anyway, these were the first walls Henry the Painting Man painted. The dining room table used to live beneath the Get Stoked sign, but I made Henry take the middle part out of it (why did we even need such a large table? There are only 3 of us! I think we must have put that center in it for a party a long time ago and then never removed it) and move it to the other side. We’ll get to that later!

I need to find a credenza or a buffet to put against this wall now, hopefully something that has enough storage to stuff the overflow of card-shit (we have an entire shelf at the bottom of the steps that’s reserved for just card shit, but it’s still not enough, ugh). Ideally, I’d just like to get something second-hand so that I can paint it.

Henry snapped at one point. He was particularly angry with that purple paint because its coverage was terrible. We had to go to Lowe’s to get more and there was a young couple there blatantly not wearing masks and I was SO FUCKING ANGRY. FUCK YOU. 

Actually, the purple wall was the first wall I wanted to paint, several months ago. Because I had this image of filling that wall with picture frames painted the same color as our dining room chairs, and how poppin’ with that look against a deep purple!? But I didn’t want the entire room to be purple because that’s so dark, so I started looking for various color schemes involving a purple of that shade, and that’s how I landed on the yellow, orange, and berry shades of the other walls and once we brought the samples home, I realized that it held a striking similarity to the original Popsicle brand popsicles, and while maybe that would deter some people, it made that much more confident in the chosen palette. 

It just feels so fun!

We took down the curtains, which were a very dark and heavy maroon velvet that took up almost the entire wall. So now we’ve gained back a bunch of wall real estate and the table looks so cute over there! This is where my dining room table was when I first moved in way too long ago, so I was v. nostalgic. 

There’s really not much we can do about the computer desk. 

These curtains are 100% from Target’s kids’ line, Pillowfort, but THEY VIBE SO PERFECTLY!

We have a small wooden table that the printers usually live on but it’s in the middle of getting painted yellow.  Also, imagine that purple wall full of pictures of Korea inside frames the color of the dining room chairs. Le sigh. I have a bunch of the frames painted already, but I need to get some pictures printed. 

Don’t worry, we never eat at the table anyway.

That small wall behind Drew isn’t finished yet – the other two wall colors still need added to the stripes. Henry was supposed to do that tonight but he was allegedly “too tired.” Mm, ok. Sure. 

 

It’s so nice being able to walk through this room now without zig-zagging and weaving and tripping over Henry’s industrial paper cutter. I want him to just get a card table and make the greeting cards in the basement but every time I suggest it, he does that murderous mustache twitch, so I guess that’s a no. 

Popsicle vibes or naw?!

So right now, the entire right side of the room is basically a cat playground. Also, our light is consistently missing at least two bulbs at any given time, lol. I’m going to replace that soon, anyway. That light came with this house and I’ve never liked it. 

But yeah, that’s how we’ve been constructively spending our time. It only took a pandemic for us to stop living like slobs in a junkyard. To our defense, we were always doing shit and going places, so we never had the time or money to devote to the house! But who knows how much longer we’re gonna be on house arrest – I want to not feel like the walls are closing in on me. Our place isn’t perfect but at least I’m not full of hell fire every day when I wake up and come downstairs. 

Sep 292020
 

So we’ve officially experienced every season through the lens of a pandemic. How fucking depressing! Woo!

I don’t really have too much to report. I mostly spent a lot of time taking walks and smiling at the fall foliage that’s beginning to turn up around town.

It makes me remember that my neighborhood can be so cute sometimes, even when there has been road work going on FOR MONTHS NOW on my street, as pictured.

Since our H-Mart daytrip was dashed (don’t worry, since this was something that HENRY wanted to do, it will be rescheduled post haste), we made use of the extra time to get more shit done around the house. It’s really frustrating to have so many open-ended projects going at once, but there has to be an end in sight at some point, I guess? For example, Henry got more work done on the coffee table. I think I mentioned that on here, but we’re just refurbing our current coffee table and by that I mean we gave it a fresh paint job with some new colors and we’re swapping out the pictures that were on the top with much better pictures and by that I obviously mean pictures from our trips to Korea.

We ordered takeout from Apteka since we couldn’t get the vegan food we were pining for in Maryland and I swear, every time I eat at Apteka, I wonder why I don’t eat there more often. Well, probably because it always makes me gain weight, but still – would you look at the hunk’a sadnwich?! Good god damn. I could barely even take down half of it. I’m not joking when I say that it felt like holding a brick when I took it out of the box!

Anyway, this was the Horse & Pepper, which is:

Baked buckwheat veg paté, roast & marinated
jimmy nardello peppers, horseradish slaw, pickled
red jalapenos, and black garlic, on our naturally
leavened spent seed bread.

Oh for the love, this sandwich was DIVINE and, clearly, HEARTY. Honestly though I think the bread was my favorite part — it was so nutty and fresh! Although that horseradish really, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this but now I have to because it was the first thing that came to my head and now I am convinced I’ve been accepted into the 1970s Dad Club, hit the spot. 

Henry refuses to get food from here ever since the one and only time he went and hated every single person eating there alongside us. Look, I’m not a fan of the stereotypical vegan either, but when a place offers EASTERN EUROPEAN vegan cuisine, I will gladly suffer through hearing the lady next to me breastfeeding in Birkenstocks while talking about the new Surfjan record.

That being said, Henry ordered his own vegan food from the nearby pizza joint, Spak’s. I think he got vegan steak and cheese, and seitan wings. All I know is that I also ordered apricot cake that came with sunflower see ice cream and it really jacked me up a notch on the BMI scale and I was bloated for two days, but it was worth it.

Honestly the bread alone could have made a substantial meal.

Most of Saturday was spent watching Kpop stuff on YouTube, I can’t lie.

And then Sunday morning was SO BEAUTIFUL. Henry Oppa got up early and brought home heavenly baked goods from 350 Bakery, which I originally made fun of because I thought their name was generic, like it was probably their street address and that’s one of my pet peeves, when a business can’t think of a better name for their brand other than their goddamn street address, but then I noticed that there is a circle-y thing after their name so it’s actually 350 Degree and I guess that’s a little better.

Later that morning, I walked down to the local high school and did some laps at the track and it felt almost normal. I used to spend a lot of time at the track back when I would participate in the Law Firm walking challenges.

And then most of Sunday we painted. “We.” LOLOLOLOL.

Wait, let me back up. A few weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to paint one wall in the dining room purple and replace all the pictures and paintings that currently live on that wall with photos from Korea (what a shocker) in frames that have been painted the same green as our dining room chairs.

But then I was like WHY STOP THERE and casually came up with a color palette for all the walls in the dining room and then Henry diligently went to Lowe’s and purchased the paint.

So, remember the Get Stoked sign that Henry made for me a bunch of years ago? Well, it stopped working sometime in 2017. Henry was like, “I KNOW WHAT’S WRONG BUT I DON’T FEEL LIKE TAKING IT OFF THE WALL” because he really mounted that sucker to the wall real goodly. But now that we’re painting all of the walls, he said, “I might as well fix this while I have it off the wall” and he did JUST THAT Saturday night and it only took him like 10 minutes!

The secret is to make them think it’s their own idea, you guys.

But yeah, welcome back, Get Stoked sign! It will be nice to use it as mood lighting again if we’re ever able to have guests in the house. Sigh.

In other weekend news, I grudgingly started playing that stupid Among Us game that all the children are into lately because I was trying to use it as leverage to get Chooch to agree to a photoshoot on the day trip that we didn’t even take, but all that really happened was that I accidentally became low-key obsessed with playing it even though I have no idea what I’m doing and I’ve only gotten to be the Impostor 3x and also it bothers me that it looks like “impostor” is spelled wrong but it’s correct?! I literally thought it was some glaring typo and I quietly looked it up in the Dictionary app and wow, I was 41-years-old when I learned how to spell impostor. Imposter. <–yeah, it’s wrong! I wanted to see if the red squiggles appeared and they did!

I guess I will close that chapter in my life now.

Anyway, sometimes Chooch’s friends are in the game and one of them called me GAY like it’s a bad word and Chooch was like “bruh that’s my mom” and then someone got killed and I said “it wasn’t me” and everyone was like, “Ruby seems sus” and I got kicked off!!!!!!!! I WASN’T THE IMPOSTER! OMFG I SPELLED IT WRONG AGAIN.

Can’t this just be an alt spelling? Like color/colour?

Sunday night, I realized that I could change my language in the game to Korean and then it gave me all games with Korean people and I was screaming but Chooch was like, “YOU CAN’T PLAY WITH KOREANS. YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE” but all I really had to say was “who??” and I know that word in Korean but then it was really hard to join a game because I kept getting kicked out by the hosts before the games started and Chooch was like, “THEY KNOW YOU’RE AMERICAN, YOU IDIOT, AND THEY DON’T WANT YOU” so then I changed the spelling of my name to a Korean version but even then I was getting kicked out! I was very sad but Chooch said it was probably because everyone in the rooms probably knew each other and were waiting for their friends to join.

I mean, it helped me sleep a little better that night, believing that.

Anyway, weekend was fine. Now I’m getting ready to watch this debate and I feel like I’m going to puke, like I’m the one going up there behind a podium. Fuck Trump!!