It just felt like a banana was needed here.
Never too much ‘neon.’
It just felt like a banana was needed here.
Never too much ‘neon.’
Why have a bitchin’ kitchen if you’re not gonna use it for photoshoot backdrops, you know? I wanted to do a fun COUPLE SHOOT with Henry since we are never going to get married and therefore will never get to have CUTE ENGAGEMENT PORTRAITS taken. Listen Linda, it’s not like I used that as leverage to get Henry to agree to pose for these.
*WHISTLES AT THE CEILING*
(I can whistle, but I can’t finger-snap!)
Henry: WHAT ARE WE DOING AGAIN?
Me: WE’RE PRETENDING TO BE EXCITED ABOUT RECORDS FROM THE 80s! GOD!
My best look, to be honest.
I took some SOLO SHOTS too because I wanted to document my other NOOWORKS shirt that I may or not ever get to wear out of the house to the office. This was my best 1980s pose. I feel like if I had a leotard on, I could blend into the background of a Jane Fonda album cover because remember when aerobic workouts came on RECORDS?? My mom had a whole bunch, and I had a Mousercize one!
(I also was a big fan of the Get In Shape Girl exercise kits made to groom young girls into weight
Also apparently this is my new SIGNATURE POSE.
Henry was like, “LET’S LINK ARMS.” This is what I call the BEST COUPLE yearbook superlative shot. Did you know that we went to the same high school? WE DID.
Except he graduated in ’83 and I (would have) graduated in ’97. LOLOLOL.
I never would have dared to sit on the floor of our old kitchen, rug or no rug.
In case you were wondering what’s behind the fabric of the coffee cart, it is a plethora of SMOOTHIE BOWL MIX-INS. I am obsessed with smoothie bowls and have one almost every day, they are so filing and nutritious! Also, this is my favorite shot because my face is covered.
We enlisted Chooch to help us with some of the pictures and he was RULL THRILLED as he can imagine. He was in the middle of whatever idiotic game he was playing and had to tell his lame e-friends, “BRB GOTTA HELP MY EMBARRASSING PARENTS ACHIEVE THE NEXT LEVEL OF CRINGE.”
WHAM vs Whitesnake. I like both!
“Yeah but seriously, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOWARD JONES SONG?”
Oh look, what a fresh new pose.
Trapper Keeper! We use it to keep coupons and pizza menus in one convenient place, because what else would you put them in if you had a 1980s-themed kitchen??
This was Henry’s “nice shirt” that he brought to Korea to wear to the DMZ, lol.
Remember when I hand-drew the pattern on that door?? Still worth it.
Until we move. Then I will be very sad.
I was so excited to take this ULTIMATE CRINGE picture but what you don’t know is that while we were “pretend making out” I was screaming at him for breathing so loud. “Can’t you just hold your breath while we’re doing this?”
“OK LET ME JUST HOLD MY BREATH UNTIL I DIE,” he said, but then he held his breath, lololol.
A VERY EXCITING RECORD. Henry played the part way better than me, and it was my own dumb idea lol.
COME. LET ME SHOW YOU ALLLLLL AROUND MY KITCHEN.
You guys. I like him a little bit. (Even though he kept taking pictures of my butt when I wasn’t paying attention.)
But not as much as I like my shirt!!
Thinking about eating grilled cheese with G-Dragon, probably.
Chooch wanted to die right about here. Also that medal hanging off the door was won BY ME IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL for taking a picture or something, I can’t remember. It was for the Cultural Arts program that my mom made me enter every year.
It was all unraveling at this point.
You know what’s HILARIOUS is that our record player actually broke last year and we still have not bought a new/old one, but at least some of these records got some use!
OK, that’s all. This wouldn’t be happening if MY SON WOULD STILL LET ME TAKE PICTURES OF HIM. But now you’re stuck looking at the mugs of me and Henry.
There was a Pride event happening in Millvale on Saturday and when I saw that Bitchy Vegan Homo from Cleveland was doing a pop-up there, I sent Henry out on a quest for vegan baked goodness. Selfishly, I stayed home because PEOPLE. Honestly, if it was just a Pride event with no vegan stuff happening, I would have gone, but you add vegan stuff to things like this and it draws out all the vegan assholes, ISTFG. Henry was so pissed too because he even left the house well before the thing started at noon, got a good parking spot, and he said just as he was walking over to the BVH booth, some vegan biotch came power-walking out of nowhere, beat him to the booth, and loudly declared that she HAD A LOT OF STUFF TO BUY.
Oh man, I’m glad I stayed home. It sucks because I have lived a meat-free lifestyle since the 90s but have never ever ever felt like I belonged in that community, ESPECIALLY the vegan branch.
Nevertheless, Henry powered through and brought home a bounty of delicious animal-free treats.
Maybe it’s because I grew up with Rainbow Brite in my life but you cannot convince me that a cake will not taste extra-delicious if it’s rainbow-colored. I’m sorry. This cake made me feel like Starlite was taking me on a stroll through a motherfucking meadow in spring, OK
There’s just something about a pretty cake. I’m not saying it’s because I ate some of this cake that I ended up having a fabulous Saturday, but I’m also not saying I don’t believe in CAKE MAGIC either. (Those brownies were the unsung heroes though, holy shit, make me a retainer out of these brownies and watch me not care about flashing poop-smiles.
It’s 87 degrees in my house you guys sorry if I’m slurring.
Later, I saw someone tag this neon rainbow sign on Instagram and got excited because it’s from Target and I declared that I needed it right then and there because I really appreciated the uneven arches and I knew exactly where I wanted to put it and Henry was like, “I GUESS WE ARE GOING TO TARGET” and so we did and I bought it and then I also went to the Vans store and bought new Vans in the shade PINK LEMONADE and I felt like I had literally showered in the sun’s summer rays that morning because everything was JUST SO PLEASANT AND GOOD. BREATHE ERIN BREATHE.
Also the girl who helped me with my shoes at the Vans store had tattooed knees and the most perfect chill disposition (a prerequisite for working at the Vans store, which means I could never work there because I CAN BE TOO UPTIGHT AND PEOPLE-HATING) and can you really ask for anything more in a retail experience?
This is what the downstairs looks like at night, I love it so much, being awash in color and mood-lighting.
Basically, it is always Pride up in here and I hope that this is a place where anyone would feel welcome and comfortable! Just….probably not on 90 degree summer days.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to sticking my head in the freezer.
We rearranged the back porch a bit and now it’s even cozier – I never imagined that my old, trusty chaise lounge would have a second life back there but it’s the perfect spot for it!
The wheelchair Henry got me for Xmas is soooo awesome but it was way too obtrusive to stay in bye living room. I kept clipping my shins off of it every time I exercised. But once we moved some stuff around on the porch, it was like it was made to fit back there.
I just love this view!!!
I decided that this is going to be the official FAMILY MEETING ROOM so I called Chooch down for a FAMILY MEETING then realized I had nothing to say.
Another development is that we moved my old Pier 1 wavy shelf back there. It used to be an awful catch-all on the upstairs landing but we took it down and replaced it with the neon-lipped CURE SPOT. I knew I wanted to keep it so I decided to (have Henry) paint it and afterward I realized that I subconsciously chose colors that matched the furniture in my teenage bedroom lol I’ll never grow up.
Penelope is NOT SO SURE about this.
Anyway, I styled it with some of my favorite things and hopefully it stays steady stylin’ and doesn’t turn into an open-air hoarder’s closet like before, yikes.
This Warped Tour book I made has been hidden on another shelf for so long that I forgot it existed! So now it gets to SHINE, bitches, SHINE.
Chooch used to gnaw on this Keith Haring top when he was a baby :/
See also: Chooch’s baby teeth in a lightbulb.
I still have way too much “stuff” in this house but…at least it’s somewhat organized now I guess. I mean, if Henry would ever get his shit out of the third floor, my collections of vacation journals and clowns and cameras and framed concert posters would have an entire extra room in which to spread!
Well, on that note, I’m going to bed – BYEEEEE
I remembered I bought these pjs the last time I was in KOREA DID U KNOW I WAS IN KOREA I WAS IN KOREA.
KOREA KOREA KOREA.
Look don’t think I don’t already know I’m fucking obnoxious.
But anyway. The pjs. I bought them in HONGDAE and then promptly forgot about them but then I saw a picture in my KOREA PHOTO ALBUM on Flickr which I definitely only look at once a day and thought wow those pjs would look nice in my kitchen.
Unfortunately, no one else was home today to wear them in my stead. Sorry.
My friend Katrina sent me these rad nail wraps because they reminded her of my kitchen and while I did a not-so-bang-up job applying them (I’m always in such a rush!), I think they’re so awesome and really do serve as an homage to my favorite room in the house!
I love the fact that my nails match the kitchen. So ridiculous!
In other kitchen news, I had this roller skate rug art custom made for one of the cabinet doors because I am bothered that the doors on that side are still blank (god forbid) and I think this is a good start! I was always skating in the 80s (I mean, me and everyone else except for Henry who was roller skating in the 70s and then too busy SERVING in the SERVICE omg I wonder if he ever attended any SERVICE sanctioned skate soirees then?! I’ll ask!*) so now when I look at this, T’Pau’s “Heart & Soul” immediately starts playing in my head because that was the song I chose TWO YEARS IN A ROW for my birthday skate at VIP in South Park, which was an OUTDOOR ROLLER RINK and POOL you guys. It was so fucking fabulous.
*(Aaaand that would be a no. I called him because I’m downstairs and he’s in bed, and he LOVES those kinds of phone calls because he knows it’s not going to be good.)
Anyway, this is such a cop out blog post but hear me out! I was going to do a recap of our zoo trip but then I spent way too much time doing SQUIRREL STUFF because Girl Buddy BROUGHT HER BABIES OVER TONIGHT which is crazy because I actually thought she was pregnant (god I’m so fucking rude) but it turns out, she must have had the babies last year because they didn’t look tiny, more like pre-teens, and Henry’s google search results told him that baby squirrels don’t leave the nest until they’re old enough to live on their own so THIS MAKES SENSE and I will update you more about that later, and then also I had to exercise, and then also my brother Corey derailed me by bringing up the time my squirrel-hating neighbor had a complete psychotic break in the driveway and threatened to shove a metal pole up another neighbor’s ass until it came out of his throat, and I recorded it from the kitchen window and then he sent me the video which he’s kept on his phone since I sent it to him in 2016 and that cracks me up, and the first thing I noticed was how TRASHED our old kitchen was which brings me back full-circle to this post. Which is to say, I love you, Kitchen. I promise to keep psychotically fussing over you and cleaning you and keeping you all glowed up with LEDs and neon lights and I will tell you every day that you are my HONEY BUNNY.
I am clearly in a great state of mind, hahaha. Ugh.
Also, tomorrow I go for my second Pfizer shot and when I tell you I’m nervous, please understand it’s mostly because I’m concerned about parking – it was a pain in the ass the last time! OK I’M GOING TO WATCH SOME ROLLER COASTER VIDEOS NOW AND MAYBE READ WHILE TRYING NOT TO THINK ABOUT PARKING.
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!
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?!)
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!
The most glorious!
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.
* 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.
Valentine Frown Town lololol.
OK, exercise time, a/k/a OW MY BACK time. And then I guess Valentine assembly line time.
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.
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
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.)
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.
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.
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?)