Dec 072023

Hello. I have been obsessed with the above Heinz pickle ad for at least 10 years, if not longer. Back when I was on Facebook, the clown in the lower righthand corner was my banner photo for a long time and it pissed off all of my coulrophobic pals.

Every so often, it would come up as a memory in my phone and I knew someday I wanted to do something cool with it.

Then about a year ago, I wanted to redo the beverage buffet we have in our living room. I really loved it for a long time, and it helped me serve many great punches and sangrias at an array of parties over the years. But the gold glitter lost its sparkle, Jan. I wanted Henry to revamp that one but then he was like, “I have its twin in the garage, we can just start from scratch.”

Why the hell did we ever have two of these?! I don’t even know where they came from?? Henry the Hoarder’s Magic Garage, I guess. Like Mary Poppins’ bag, but with tools and random furniture that he must trawl the streets for on garbage night?? Now I know what he’s doing when he leaves at 3am “for work.”

Anyway. The original iteration of this that I had in mind was not what ended up coming to fruition. That’s what happens when projects come to a halt for literally an entire year because other more important things came up. Henry only got as far as priming it, so when I asked him last month if we could start it up again, I already had a different vision. Still the clowns! Still the same color palette! But different.

Enough words. Here is Henry hot-gluing faux fur to the sides the other night!

When I was in 8th grade, there was an issue of Sassy magazine that had a piece of wild clothing – there was a pair of faux fur overalls that I wanted DESPERATELY from a shop in NYC called Antique Boutique. My mom even called  to see if we could buy them over the phone (lol 90s) but they were sold out! Basically every since then I have had a soft spot in my heart for faux fur.

Which has encroached onto Henry’s life and he hates it so much. “This is the worst stuff to work with!” he always huffs and puffs.

I found the perfect fabric from Spoonflower, which has a few coats of resin, then the cutouts of each clown was placed down and coated with more resin. You can’t tell in the photos but it gives it a 3-dimensional feel.

I knew that I wanted the cabinet pulls to be pickles, and then thought it would be cute to use dill pickles for the drawer handles. I found perfect versions of both on Etsy but then at the last minute (ie two days ago) I said, “Henry! Can you make a drawer handle out of a rubber chicken?”

And he was like, “Sure, Erin” in a low, guttural FML tone.

The chicken arrived today!

And now the buffet is complete! The old one is getting moved to the attic so Chooch can keep his games in it. So don’t cry for the old buffet-tina.

I’m really into it!

Squirrel snacks already in place!

Hard to take a good photo without glare from  the resin, but these are so good IRL. It’s literally exactly as I had envisioned. Henry is really amazing (I mean, OK, let’s not get carried away, he fucked up several times and I screamed my head off, but here we are!).

I have to send a photo of this to the seller on Etsy because she makes crazy realistic pickle chips and these worked perfectly!

I’m so happy with this garish, ridiculous chunk of furniture. Another item that Chooch is going to inherit one day and be like, “the fuck am I gonna do with this, now?” Family heirloom! Imagine if Henry could quit his idiot job and make OOAK pieces as a business. Oh, Honestly Stupid Furniture. What if he went rogue though and started making like, Ted Nugent Cat Scratch Fever-towers or THE SERVICE servers.

Nov 132023

Well guys after pretty much exactly a year, Henry has finished (well, to the point where it’s presentable at least) the second incarnation of the Seoul Subway Sign!

You probably don’t remember (or care, most likely) but while Henry was making the first version*, he began to realize that there were better ways to do it but he was too far into it to start over. The first version was fine-ish but he used regular LED lights and some of them were plain white (he claims he didn’t know this?? was he building parts of this bitch in his sleep??) so he couldn’t change the color of those strips to match the subway lines, and THEN anytime the electricity would go out (we live in an old house so it’s more often than you’d think) all of the lights would reset and nothing would match anymore.

*(OK weird but the first version was completed exactly one year and 2 days ago. And now this one was completed ALSO exactly a year after he started it last November?!?)

Not to mention the paper was glued down on plexi glass and almost IMMEDIATELY started to bubble.

The original frame was painted gold and I lowkey hated it. It was more meBLAHlic than metallic if you know what I mean. (Why can’t I ever make sense to you?!)

So even though I really wanted a better version I think Henry wanted it even more, as a pride thing you know?

This time around he used the led lights that people use for programmable Christmas displays – you know the ones that move in time to music? So each light was programmable. This new sign has its own wifi and a box full of computer-y electrical shit that I don’t understand but Henry put together all on his own.

The frame has better colors and now each different subway music clip has its own illuminated button!

Tonight, he finished matching each light to whatever subway line it belonged to and I love it so much but also I’m so impressed that he was able to make this for me??!! I don’t give Bandanna Husband enough credit – some broads are cooing over their mans for far less (“He spray painted a rock, I’m so proud of him for stepping out of his comfort zone!”) and I’m over here like THATS NICE BUT U COULD HAVE DONE BETTER?! after everything Henry does. I need to be nicer lol.

The only things he left to do is to build the sides and cover the screw hole-thingies along the front.

I literally can’t believe it’s done. We thought – THOUGHT – it was nearly done in September but when he hung it and turned on the lights, I was like, “Um, bro? Why is the entire left half of the sign not in line with the lights?” Apparently, he used different glue on that side and as he was pasting the paper down, it was stretching JUST ENOUGH for him to not notice at the time, but also JUST ENOUGH for me to notice IMMEDIATELY as soon as he hung it.

So, then he had to strip the paper off which required a heat gun and a scraping tool thing and that took weeks upon weeks.

The anxiety I get when I think about this process, and I’m not even the one who made it. Big props to Henry who spent countless hours sitting in the basement hunched over it, listening to hours upon hours of audio books and probably willing himself into a coma.


Mar 052023

*Well, mostly final form! There’s still some art/photos that need to be hung. But this is the gist of it and I’m so happy – it’s colorful, cozy, and fun!

I’ve had these wooden crates since I lived in my first apartment back in 1998. I have no idea where they come from, but I painted them with leftover paint from when I had the GREAT IDEA to paint rocks for my patio, which was basically just Janna and me full-on dunking the rocks into the paint cans, resulting in the patio (let’s be real, it was more just a small concrete slab) to get splattered with paint and this ended up being one of the many thing referenced on my eviction notice lol. (I 100% deserved to be evicted from that place. I was a wild 18-year-old with no job or responsibilities, living in a loft townhouse fully paid for each month by my mom. When I say it was like one continuous party for an entire year, I’m not exaggerating….)

But, yeah – the crates! I guess they’ve been chiling in the attic all these years. We used one to store some of Chooch’s games until we get the actual shelves in the closet sorted.

I got that lamp at a flea market years ago.

I took all of those last night before we had a pizza party. Here are some from today in the daylight!

I still love this view so much!

I brought that rocket cat house up to the attic in hopes that the cats would be inspired to hang out but….not yet. I’m still working on them lol.

The fringe curtain makes you think you’re entering a new dimension. (Maybe that’s just me.)

I hope that Chooch loves this room as much as I do, but knowing him and his enthusiasm limitations, I’m going to say at most he just “likes” it. Teenage boys though amirte.

Anyway, now that this is finally complete, guess what Henry is working on now? THE NEW SEOUL SUBWAY SIGN, WOO HOO! He hasn’t had a chance to work on it since the beginning of December. Let’s see how long he makes it this time without having to stop and take care of a hole in the ceiling or whatever. IT’S ALWAYS SOMETHING.

Feb 262023

Duuuude, We had a pretty productive weekend, I’d say. Put some finishing touches on the game room that Chooch has lost all interest in so that’s fantastic, I guess it is my room now. My favorite thing that we finished this weekend is this bitchin’ Gameboy art:

I found the Gameboy a few mths ago when we were still in “cleaning out the attic” mode. I guess it was mine?! Was it?!? It came with a camera attachment though and that does seem somewhat familiar. I immediately started screaming about we should frame it and make it some type of rad art piece since, you know, this room was originally meant to be….Chooch’s game room. 

I had a vision of a totally bitchin’ frame with 90s abstract designs made from Sculpey, and that is exactly what happened thanks to Henry and his willingness to go along with everything I say with little to no deviation.

He did the zigzags and I did the dots. He used Sculpey but I used some kind of air-dry clay which required me to hand-paint each one the next day so I really regerrrrrted my decisions then but nonetheless, I think both of our shapes came out quite nicely!

This is what we were in the middle of doing Saturday night when there was a DISTURBANCE ON PIONEER, but I will recount that tale in a separate post. I am too mentally drained to use my words, so here are some more pictures (or, as one of my co-workers says, “pict”) of the Gameboy piece, which by the way I failed to mention, is also FUNCTIONAL ART – Henry Velcro’d it the backing so that it can be taken off and played if anyone ever pops over with a pocketful of Gameboy cartridges, because we surely do not have even one.


Henry was sitting up here by himself today, listening to an audiobook on his Bluetooth. So now when we can’t find Henry, one of us will say, “Have you checked the attic?”

I don’t want to totally junk up this wall with too much stuff, but I would definitely like to add a few more things at some point. I also cannot find a good spot for this fucking chair!!! I have moved it like 8x. I know in my heart that it belongs in this room but nothing had felt right to me yet. I will keep trying.

Janna and Corey are coming over next Saturday for pizza, snacks, maybe games in the room that was intended for hosting game nights so maybe we should actually do that. And probably by then I will show pictures of the other side of the room because it’s finally finished. Jesus, I was gung-ho about this project up until Chooch hurt himself and now I’m just like, “who cares.”

I will say one thing though!! This whole process has kind of made me want to start making paintings again!? Just little ones. And no customs.

Feb 152023

Do not mind the dirty floor – we haven’t gotten to that part of the attic refresh yet, lol. But yeah, I just wanted to dump some more progress pictures here! One of the final “bigger” projects was creating a snack bar out of an old TV that we got from some dude in Greentree (we got the smaller one that we’ve been using in the kitchen from him too).

I knew that I wanted to incorporate this bigger TV into the attic lounge (I haven’t settled on what to call this room yet – the game room? the lounge? Erin’s Dream Room? I mean, technically it’s meant to be an extension of Chooch’s room but I have a feeling I will be up there a lot lololol) and then it hit me – a mini snack bar!

Dude, Henry really excels at taking my ideas and making them tangible things. OK not always on the first pass, let’s be real. We have had many “YOU DIDN’T LISTEN TO ME!!!” moments when he goes rogue and does something completely out of left field because our psychic connection was on the fritz.

Or, you know, because he DIDN’T LISTEN TO ME.

But this time, he did good. Even down to the legs he bought for the TV! He bought them without consulting with me and they are actually perfect.

I have at least one photo that I want to hang on that blue wall, but I have to make a picture frame for it first. I don’t want to put TOO much there because the faux-fur portion of that corner and the TV need to take center stage. But that wall still needs at least one photo. It’s definitely going to be the one I took last May of Chooch riding Magnum at Cedar Point.

We used this super-textured silver sparkly cardstock for the interior. I wanted something cheap and easy to replace since this TV will be used way more than the one in the kitchen, which just serves as a cute vessel for our Echo, so we were able to line the inside with wallpaper from Gillcrest, knowing that it shouldn’t get too much wear.

I love how sparkly the inside of this one looks against the blue neon!

But yeah, this was just some old-ass brown 1980s box TV that Henry gutted and painted. I chose the blue/green combo because I really don’t have much of that in our house (the Korea coffee table is blue, green, and pink, but it’s a different blue, so there). I originally wanted to cover the top and sides with some kind of vinyl print but I couldn’t find anything that really popped out for me. Then when we were fur’ing the wall over there, I said, “Why don’t we just use faux fur on the TV too?” SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SAY “NO ERIN THAT’S TOO MUCH” and that’s exactly how I know it’s JUST RIGHT.

I’m really having so much fun playing around with this room, like a literal blank canvas. I wish this was my job, haha. (Honestly, though, I’m trying to convince to start a furniture refurb / home decor side business. I think he would be so good at it!)

I think Chooch is secretly stoked on how the TV turned out too even though he just continued to sit there, putting a puzzle together, while side-eyeing us as we got it set up & stocked.

Sorry for all the attic updates. It’s probs boring but unless I fucking die in this damn house, I would like to have these pictures and details for the future. You know, so when I’m rotting away in a white-walled nursing home, Chooch can say REMEMBER WHEN YOU MADE US LIVE IN PEE WEE’S PLAYHOUSE and I will say NO because probably by then I won’t even be able to remember what flavor of Jello was on my dinner tray the day before, and he will have to pull up pictures on his phone or whatever information transmitter we’re using in future times.

And this has been the latest attic update. OH! I also finished painting the closet door in the attic but that side of the room still has some miscellaneous items strewn about so I will wait until I can take a cleaner picture. I’m sure you just SIMPLY CANNOT WAIT.

Feb 132023

We are so close to completing the attic space and getting our weekends back – I can almost taste it! I want to go out to a greasy spoon for grilled cheese and pie to celebrate.

Here are some things that went down over the weekend, and none of it was Superbowl-related, I bet you’re shocked.

We put a temporary table up there so Chooch can put together one of his little bitch ass puzzles while we’re actually doing work. (LOL ok the extent of my “work” is mostly standing around, arms akimbo, supervising Henry’s work and suggesting new fun projects, but I *was* actually doing something this weekend!)

Saturday morning, I woke up entirely too early (6:50!!) and met Jeannie and Wendy for breakfast at Upstreet We hadn’t had a breakfast club since over the summer, so were long overdue. It’s always nice hanging out with them outside of work and not….talking about work. Did not come up ONCE. They made fun of me as usual for opting to park in a lot two blocks away rather than park on  the street in front of the place (but to be fair, this diner used to be Pamela’s and at that time, street parking was extremely unicorn-ish to come by!) but I have no regrets because I got to feed a Mr. Gray Guy squirrel in the lot and also spotted a really beautiful dark brown/black squirrel that looked like he was made from velvet. I wanted to pet him so bad!

Anyway, while I do love me some Pamela’s, I’m not mad at Upstreet for filling the vacancy over that way. Their menu is an interesting fusion of Mediterranean/Turkish and classic American. I got the spinach feta omelet and it was easily one of the best I’ve ever had – filled with sundried tomatoes (I did panic at first because I thought it was pieces of ham lol) and topped with a melted mop of horseradish chive cheddar. The homefries were really good too! Just the right amount of greasiness.

I was leaning toward shakshuka but I always get ordering anxiety with that because I’m afraid I’ll forget how to pronounce it. Jeannie offered to order it for me and maybe I will take her up on that if we go back there again!

Meanwhile, the joint was having issues with their credit card terminals (is that still what they’re called??? I used to be a telemarketer for a credit card terminal company back in the day lolol). Jeannie paid cash andt hen Wendy and I Venmo’d her, which was how we found out that Wendy has over 100 friends on Venmo because of course she does!

The rest of Saturday was spent working on smaller attic projects – Henry was working on the TV snack bar and I was working on a mural-ish for the closet door up there because I’m sorry, I can’t leave that door white!

Sunday: more of the same!

We took an afternoon BOBA BREAK though so that was nice because Sunday was a pretty nice day, weather-wise. We went to Tsaocaa in Squirrel Hill because they have purple rice as an add-in and I’m lowkey obsessed with it. First though, we went to Panda to procure some snacks for the TV snack bar that was slated to be finished by that night and you know me, I needed to have snacks on hand for photo prop purposes lol. I let Chooch get whatever he wanted and then we left Henry alone at the checkout to deal with the $70 total lololol. TO BE FAIR, he did buy actual produce and things for real meals, as well. We literally cannot go to an Asian market without Henry tossing some produce into a basket.

Then we went to Homewood Cem for a leisurely stroll while enjoying our boba except that Chooch pretended to have a stomachache so that he could stay in the car and watch Community, which he just discovered and is so annoyed that I already watched it in real time and yelled at me because I have to “act like such a hipster about everything.”

Yeah so.

Anyway, I went with osmanthus tea, boba, purple rice. I always get the least amount of SWEET levels, too. It was perfect.  It’s crazy how many boba options there are in Pgh, which usually has barely any options of anything except BREWERIES and SPORTS MEMORABILIA STORES. The first time I ever had boba was in the mid-90s at the Beehive on the Southside, except it was billed as BUBBLE TEA and that is 100% probably the only reason I felt inspired to order it, having no idea what the fuck I was in for. I mean, it probably was not the best boba, but I Had no idea what it was so the novelty was HIGH. I know I was scared at first and wasn’t sure I could get behind chewing a drink, and my friends who were with me were like “that is fully disgusting,” so maybe that’s why I liked it.

Look, I’m doing that hipster thing again lol.

But yeah, I had it that one time in the 90s and then I feel like it was probably at least a decade until I had it again because it kind of just…went away. Unless I just wasn’t running in the proper Chewy Bev circles.

Oh! The cemetery! There was something going on there, not sure if it was SANCTIONED BY THE CEM or not, but there was a huge crowd of super loud revelers congregating by one of the crypts, at least 50 of them and they appeared to be COSPLAYING, I don’t know?! But I was super annoyed because they were shouting and laughing and maybe this is just me being an old fucker, a cemetery hipster, but STFU AND GTFO of my cem, you nozzles. They were being so disruptive! Also, and I say this every time we go to this cem now, but I hate how “popular” cemeteries became as a direct result of the pandemic. Like all these annoying people suddenly realized that cemeteries were good places to go for walks while social distancing and now there are always hordes of douchebags at Homewood Cemetery every time we go there. Even on Christmas Day, in poor weather conditions, here’s all these jackasses jogging and riding bikes.

It really never used to be like this. I used to walk there all the time when Chooch was a baby and it would be us and the groundskeepers, farting around on their landscapingmobiles.

Came home and Henry really powered through the TV project and GOT HER DONE, BOYS. With just enough time left in the night to sit down with me and watch some Whitney & Timmy React to the Hills action. Henry is like REALLY INTO THIS.

So, not the most exciting weekend but super productive, with a much-needed breakfast with friends, and some pretty chill family time.

I also read a lot, but…duh

Feb 082023

I know that Chooch doesn’t have much time left at home before he’s off to college (well, unless he stays local which remains to be seen I guess) but I REALLY wanted to get him his own hang out space to enjoy for the rest of his high school days. We’ve really made a lot of progress since the weekend and I’m getting so stoked for him to be able to finally use it! (Probably definitely for sure more stoked than he is, lol ugh boys.)

We (“we” – oh how the sides hurt from the lols) tackled the faux fur wall over the weekend and I’m really pleased with how it turned out! Praise be to Father Henry for being such a trooper and hanging this shit while having sneezing fits as the wall literally shed into his face.

He burned himself on the glue gun and stabbed himself with a razor in the process but man, the end result was worth it, I think!

Some people, maybe: “Henry how’d you get those burns and cuts? You musta been building something BIG MANLY over the weekend like a LOG CABIN.

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Henry: *disappears into a bush of frowns*

There is a chimney/bricks on the other side of this corner and apparently it had been leaking at some point, which we didn’t know because we never go in the attic really before now. The plaster was crumbling around the ceiling, so Henry had to knock even more of it down to fix it, but again – we don’t own the house and it just wasn’t worth all the effort he was putting into it. So, once he determined that there was no longer a leak (I mean, I guess lol), I suggested that we just cover that part of the wall with faux fur.

Then I came out of fake art hibernation and painted this pizza to hang there because I knew that the wall needed ONE FUN PIECE OF OUTSIDER ART but I didn’t feel like looking for something to buy online and I needed it NOW NOW NOW anyway, so I painted this pizza myself.

It’s actually quite large!

Durrr, Erin’s Dumb Art is back.

I put minimal effort into this, literally painted it on my lap while rewatching The Hills, season 1 last night.

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This corner isn’t finished! We are in the process of getting an old box TV prepped to be the SNACK VESSEL for the room, and it will live in this corner too. I also need to get a fun novelty rug for that area and then it will be photo zone-ready. My brother already asked to have his updated realtor headshots taken there haha.

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Anyway, the only big thing left is the table, which Henry is picking up tomorrow and then we just have to paint it. Other than that, I have to paint the closet door and then start hanging stuff on that yellow wall up there., probably get some plants…and then it will be pretty close to completion!

Who wants to come over for a pizza party!?

Jan 252023

Dear Pammy, here we are on the last Wednesday of the saddest month. Once we tear off the January page from the calendar and burn it (and maybe a righteous bigot just for funsies) in a back alley bonfire, I start to feel a little better. One day at a time. But you know, before that happens, I have to do what all sane people do and purposely compound my crippling sads by watching the finale of a series that has been a part of my life for like 12 years.* Yeah, I finally bit the bullet and powered through the remaining episodes of the last season of The Walking Dead and holy shit, ouchie, wah. That was a rough ride. My throat actually hurts a little bit today and I’m certain it’s from the painful crying I did last night during the last two episodes.

*(Wait, is this for real? Chooch was literally 4 years old when that show debuted and we watched it together every Sunday night?! I mean, he was already obsessed with Night of the Living Dead way before that – “waaay before that” at the old-ass age of 2, lol – so I guess this felt normal at the time but I’m having a weird moment in present day, looking back on this. I wonder if he ever had nightmares?! But now I’m really spiraling out because I literally can’t remember a single time Chooch ever woke crying and saying he had a nightmare?! I just asked Henry if he can think of a time and he said no without even thinking because he is such a great contributor to conversations.)

You know, I dumped this show off and on over the years and kept finding myself lost or bored because I had the attention span of a, a, well, a walker probably. Or the average American. And I know it’s like SO COO COO COO to hate on The Walking Dead and the people who watch it because no one wants to just let anyone live their damn lives these days, but I don’t really care. I will wear a DARYL DIXON shirt straight out of my house tomorrow, watch me.

(Maybe not tomorrow because I have to get one first.)

Also adding to my stress is Valentine season. I think that I’m not cut out to be an Etsy seller, lol. My heart has not been in it at all this season. I was asked to make a couple of custom cards and I was actually like, “UGH, FINE” about it, which is so dumb because once I sat down and opened Photoshop, I was into it. But my creativity is tapped out these days/months/years.

I think I need more socialization. I allegedly have plans on Saturday with a new friend which is always scary and exciting and I really hope it pans out, plus I have at least two dinner dates in February. But you know, that’s big Erin energy, being all BOO HOO I’M SO LONELY and then doing the bare minimum to cultivate friendships.

The only thing giving me joy lately, aside from cats and squirrels, is working on the attic refresh! It’s really coming along so slowly since Henry only has time/energy to put into it on weekends and god forbid I should, what, paint by myself!? Ha. Can you imagine. Ha.

(Henry would never let this happen anyway.)

I should have waited to do an attic update on Sunday because we ended up getting some more stuff done!

LIKE THIS! I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF!! We had to go to the dreaded HOBBY LOBBY to get the fun fur Saturday night and as we were walking toward the check-out, some guy in the back of the store yelled very loudly and deeply, just one loud-ass staccato scream punching through the Jesus-y atmosphere. Everyone near us abruptly stopped and quieted down for approx. 2 seconds.

“Let’s go This is why I avoid shopping at Century III!” one suburban Yinzer mom said to her shopping mates, prompting me to follow suit.

“You can go out to the car, I’ll stay and buy this,” Henry said, handing me the car key.

“NO, JUST FORGET IT,  LET’S LEAVE,” I hissed, my entire body feeling like fucking ice was coursing through my veins and I waited to start hearing gunfire. Seriously. FUCK YOU, AMERICA. FUCK YOU, GUNS. Every time we walk out of the house: will we get shot today?

So what did I do? Big courageous baby Erin took the keys and ran, leaving Henry inside.

Turned out to be a bunch of kids fucking around and Henry paid for the fun fur and joined me in the parking lot without incident. But still, I couldn’t get my heart rate down for a while after that. I hate this.

Henry spent most of Saturday and Sunday working on the checkerboard wall and cussing me out in very inventive ways. I think he and Chooch thought it was going to look like shit but I had a very clear vision in my head…

When will they learn to trust me!? I think it turned out amazingly! It’s a fucking mood and I canNOT wait to finish this little nook! I decided to only do the checks on the right side. The left side is going to stay solid yellow, filled with art. The checkerboard is going to stay is – why gild the lily, as Teresa Strasser said once on an episode of While You Were Out and it has remained lodged in my head ever since. It was the first time I had ever heard that saying and according to Chooch, I say it “all the time” which I think is a tad hyperbolic but whatev. Hopefully it comes up the next time I’m playing trivia on the radio.

Oh in addition to my little monster wall, which was an OFF THE CUFF design idea, I coated the top of this short wall with iridescent glitter shards that I spotted on a rack behind an old ass Michaels employee when Henry was interrogated him on the fun fur options last Saturday. I had no idea at the time what I was going to do with it but I snatched up a small pack of it and formulated a game plan on the way home.

I can only imagine the twitches that my interior design choices give some poeple when they look at this but listen, Linda: I rent this piece of shit house and if I’m going to be slowly dying here, I’d prefer it to not be surrounded by white walls.

(OMG please do not let this be the place where I die LOL ugh.)

I want to put some small/fun cuckoo clocks on this little wall.

This is all I have going for me right now,  and I’m having fun with so leave me alone.

Just kidding, don’t leave me alone I’m so bored and lonely lol omg.

Jan 222023

Hey-o. It’s safe to say that I am firmly embedded in that seasonal depression pit. It’s fine. January is a motherfucker, nothing new. Not having things done as fast as I want them to be is making this even harder. If you know me, you’re laughing probably or rolling your eyes more likely because you know that I have little patience and also you can be certain that if I had any life skills whatsoever instead of relying on Henry to take on 99% of this attic refresh himself, mayhaps it would have been done by now.

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But oh, motivation, where are you? WHAT are you?

Anyway, we have made some progress on the “stairwell” area thingie. Just keep in mind that everything was white up here, and the room was filled with boxes and piles of miscellanea so I didn’t take before pictures. Also, because I forgot to take before pictures, lol.

Dude. Henry using his makeshift plank again, ugh I hate watching him standing on this! Last night, he was being cute (read: ANNOYING) by bouncing along to Mamamoo while standing on this, almost like he was TRYING to fall and break his butt bone so that he could have a doctor’s

excuse to relax. Ugh.

Meanwhile, further into the room, we have this cute window nook area which we (LOL “WE”) are checkering. I hope it looks nice once it’s done! That’s on today’s agenda.

But last night, we finally got the step area to the point where the neon sign could be hung and the joy it gave me. THE JOY IT GAVE ME. This is from a limited edition collab that Yellowpop did with the Warhol Foundation.

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There were only 500 of these made and ours is #66 – Mario Lemieux’s number!

Anyway, I sent Chooch the Yellowpop website and this is the one he chose and I supported that decision. I am aware that at the end of the day, this room is actually meant to be his and I am trying SO HARD not to release some of my design control but it’s hard and honestly, no thanks.

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We will do it my way.

The photos don’t do it justice but the neon is pink and yellow.

I also have a party curtain thing that I want to hang under the striped wall to block off the actual closet portion of the steps from view. And we have to try and devise a way to hang mini-disco balls from the ceiling above the steps.

Well, that’s all for me for now. Sinking back into my pit of depression now, see ya on the other side (probably tomorrow when I force myself to lethargically type out another worthless blog post). Peaccccccce.

Jan 112023

When I first moved into this shitty place in 1999 (ughhhh), I was obsessed with the third floor attic space. There is a stairwell that’s accessed from Chooch’s closet, so it’s like a legit third floor and not some creepy crawl space with exposed Pink Panther insulation, no requirement of climbing up on a shaky pull-down ceiling ladder.

I had big plans for this space!!

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A music room. A general hang-out space. For a hot minute, it was going to be the bedroom of an ex-friend who I now hate with the fiery passion of every star in the universe and am so glad that plan ended up fizzling out before any actual “moving-in” activities had commenced.

Then Henry moved in and with him came a bunch of shit that wound up finding a “temporary” home in the attic. Then it basically just became a catch-all for “things we don’t have room for but might want to keep.”

For 20 years.

I don’t know how much longer we will be living here but I wanted Chooch to have a nice little space of his own to entertain friends / have game nights / etc. while he’s still in high school. We attempted this twice over the last two years, and actually started to make a small dent in the STUFF last January and then hit a wall, got side-tracked, lost interest, who knows. But I have been CHOP CHOPing Henry over the last several weeks. Two weekends ago, we made several trips to Goodwill to drop stuff off, and we threw out A TON of shit. There is still some stuff (not much) that we have pushed into a pile in the middle of the room while we figure out what to do with it, but enough has been cleared out for painting to officially commence!

First, Henry to patch a bunch of areas of the walls though because evidently, there had been a leak at some point?! There is a small section of a narrow wall that had a pretty good chunk of plaster fall off and while I was watching Henry patching it, I slowly said, “OK I have an idea—NO, HEAR ME OUT…” because he gets so clenched every time I hit him with talk of an idea.

“What if we just cover that wall with…..FAUX FUR?!”

I waited for him to reject this idea.

But then I could tell he was considering it.

“OK fine,” he said.


It is just a very small portion of the room, like a sliver of a wall. I have seen people do entire rooms in faux fur and that is too much even for me, if you can believe that I have limits. But I’m sorry, I’m not vacuuming the walls of an entire room. Who has time for that!?!?

As of now, we have some of the blue walls done. Purple is going on the others. We might have checkerboard action on a wall.

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I don’t know. But I do know that we have a disco ball.

I didn’t know this old ass chair of mine still existed!! It’s one of the things that came with me on all of my moves since leaving my parents’ house. I fucking love this chair, even though it’s bent and probably shouldn’t be sat upon and also rusted in one spot. I told Chooch it can stay in the forthcoming game room as part of the aesthetic and he was like, “MMmm, cool” because he hates any reminder of the fact that I have been places he has not, lolololololololol.

Forever in competition with my own kid.

I’m sad that I forgot about this chair and didn’t buy stickers in Korea and Japan. Is it cheating if I buy some online right now?

OMG I didn’t know this still existed either – my “House Rules” sign from my very first and most beloved apartment at Payne Hill. Yes, it was necessary to make “no jumping off balcony” a rule. That apartment, man. The parties. Jesus.

I’m excited about this – this is the staircase going….straight into Chooch’s closet (which is annoying because he needs that space to remain a closet so just ignore the clothes) but the part of the wall/ceiling straight ahead is going to be striped with the three colors of the room (teal, purple, yellow) and then a neon sign which I just bought from Yellowpop will hang there.

I also got this little, cheap neon from Amazon because it’s cute and no other reason is ever needed.

Ahh, as I’m writing this, the Yellowpop neon sign was just delivered!

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I will follow-up with pictures of that once that part of the room is fluffed and ready.

It’s nice to have something to design again! I love it – it keeps my mind busy and happy.

Dec 182022

One of the projects on THE LIST for our home refresh was a re-refurb of a table that my friend Chris gave us several years ago. She was going to pitch it but asked if we wanted it, knowing that we love furniture makeovers. First, we made it into a G-Dragon table, but it was a fail because the modpodge coating that Henry gave good ol’ Jiyong didn’t hold up.

We were initially going to do a G-Dragon version 2, but then when we decided to have a Christmas party, I thought it would be good to have a coffee table in the secondary seating corner of the living room. That area has The Devil rug, the church pew, the Robert Smith / lyrics wall, and the amber swag lap. So, kind of a darker, more gothic corner of the house, you know?

I knew immediately that I wanted the table to be red with black accents, and then went to Spoonflower to find wallpaper to use for the top. I ended up finding this coffin print on pink fabric almost instantly – I still kept searching for other things but I knew this was it, the ONE. When you know, you know!

Henry said he felt that fabric should work OK with epoxy so I ordered it and then of course it sat around for weeks and weeks until it was literally days before the party. I will say thought that once he started it, he was motivated to see the whole thing through.

The thing with me is that I am great at thinking of the projects, but even better at delegating. I think Henry and I are a good partnership in that regard. I wish I had more patience to do the actual hands-on stuff. (I mean, aside from art-related aspects.)

Henry is just really good at mechanical things, and measuring, and following directions, and using tools, and not losing his temper.

Anyway, Henry hates epoxy big time, and epoxy is not much of a fan of Henry either, and there are definitely some imperfections to this but I love it. To me, it’s perfect. It’s so shiny and the black border is glittery and the coffins are so adorable and THERE IS PINK.

I had to laugh though because I was like, “WE GOTTA FINISH THIS. GET IT DONE” and then I was the only one who sat in the DARK CORNER at the party last night. It was good though because I honestly have never really sat over there before and it was oddly comfortable. Definitely cozy too. I liked it!

I found my old Curiosa program too from when Henry and I went to it in Cleveland! I think that was 2004…yes, it had to have been 2004 because that was also the year we went to Coachella to see The Cure and we saw them TWICE that year because of Curiosa. 2004 was a SHIT YEAR but at least I got to see The Cure twice. Perspective.

Ugh, I love it. One thing that isn’t it done yet is that there is a side drawer that needs a handle – I found a pink skeleton key drawer pull on Etsy and it is currently en route from Canada so hopefully sometime this week Henry can put the finishing touch on it.

Honestly, I wish we had a larger house just so that we could keep upcycling furniture because it is soooo much fun (well, it is for me, anyway – I should probably ask Henry someday if she enjoys this…). Almost everything in our house is spraypainted and totally personalized, which, you know – not everyone’s jam! I’m sure tons of people look at photos I post on Instagram and think, “Wow. They ruined that” or “That’s fucking hideous, and I would never put that in my house” but for me, I just love having furniture that has a story to it, and isn’t something you can buy. And I like that it’s something, to a point, that Henry and I can work on together!

Also, I love knowing that we gave this table a second lease on life. Thanks to Chris for thinking of us!

I still want to do another G-Dragon table, but we’ll just have to thrift a different table for that! (Bets on how long it will take until Henry eventually starts building tables from scratch….)

Dec 122022

Another weekend full of fucking house shit. OK I guess I’m making it sound like this joint is in shambles, like we’re over here living in squalor or whatever. Honestly, the only thing that ACTUALLY needed to get done was that hole. All the other things are DIY projects that don’t matter but I wanted them to be done before the Xmas party because I am sooooo fucking Type A about this shit.

I let Henry have a break that night by permitting him to accompany me to a Home Alone-themed Christmas party at my friend Megan’s. It was just what I needed.




I would usually have anxiety in the hours leading up to any type of social event, but I felt strangely calm. Is old me really back after since ROBERT OPENED THE FRONT DOOR?

Look at this detail!

Funfetti cheese ball shaped like the hot doorbell!

I haven’t seen Home Alone probably since I was a teenager so all these little details sparked some memories for me and now I want to give this a decent rewatch soon. The only movies I ever watch over and over and over are horror movies so when people want to talk about their favorite Christmas flicks, I’m like a bump on a log.

Is that what that means??

Here is Henry refilling my snack plate for me. Megan had a festive party spread, but I lowkey was wishing he was filling my plate with Korean snacks.




I mean…CLEARS THROAT…deok, Choco Pies, kimbap.

One of my favorite parts was when Henry went into the kitchen to get another bev and then didn’t come back for a solid 10 minutes. Someone mentioned something about him fixing something in there and I was like, “Haha, yeah ok” but then he came striding out of the kitchen like a smug Schneider, this repulsive hero-smirk twitching ‘neath his mustache, flexing about how he was in there fixing the fridge BUT COME TO FIND OUT* that he is the one who broke it in the first place, so….

*(Henry used to always say this when we first got together but I was like, “Stop saying that, it’s lame” and so he retired it from his arsenal of Dumb Old White Man sayings.)

April and Nate!! I haven’t seen April in a REALLY long time. We were trying to figure it out and we think MAYBE as far back as the Chronica Nuptials???

Nate and I Jabber every day at work so it feels like I must hang out with him all of the time but in actuality, I think we have only seen each other 2 or 3 times this past year?? The pie party and one day we both randomly were in the office one day. We supposed to sign WILLS FOR VETERANS as WITNESSES one day in October through the Pro Bono committee thingie at work, but the event got canceled because apparently not enough veterans wanted to have their wills done for free. I was bummed too because if there is one thing I am totally fucking great at in life, it’s SIGNING MY NAME OVER AND OVER FOREVER AND EVER AMEN.

Like, even when I told Henry I had volunteered for it, he said, “Wow that is perfect for you.”


Megan is the cutest and the coolest hostess!

You guys, I got Henry to unpack his other flannels!

Law Firm Frenz!

That was totally a fun time – I always think I’m a shell of who I used to be but then when I actually leave the house and go to where the people are, I suddenly remember how to carry on a conversation. I think it also helps having good friends who have other good friends! Literally every one of Megan’s friends I have met so far has been so lovely.

Then came Sunday. Did some shopping, picked up some ice cream from Sugar Spell, Henry mostly almost finished epoxying the coffee table!

I can’t wait to take pictures of it once it’s 100% complete! It should be totally cured by tomorrow or Wednesday, so he can out the table back together and it will be ready to be used by Saturday. The only thing I won’t have in time is the pink skeleton key drawer handle I bought for it because it’s coming from Canada and hasn’t even been shipped yet. (Ignore the fabric on the outer edges because that’s just the spill-over and will get cut off.)

But yeah, I had wanted to redo the G-Dragon table for a while because it wasn’t done properly so the image that Henry had Modpodged wasn’t able to withstand water-spillage, etc. I’m planning on making coasters out of various G-Dragon heads though for this table, so the G-Dragon theme will still live on in a way.

Then I did a really small bit of Xmas decorating. It’s a start, lol.

Anyway, I’m starting to get excited now for our Christmas Comeback Party. I used to love having these little holiday hangs at my house pre-Covid, even when our house was a total dumpster. We used to have so many game nights here too! I also just realized that this will be the first IN YEARS, MORE THAN A DECADE EVEN, that I will be able to leave the kitchen door open and use it as an extra room for people to mingle in. I’m so excited about that! That room used to be the biggest pit of all time, and now it’s the best room in the whole house.




Dec 102022

Henry the Not-Drywaller has worked very hard to patch the hole left over by the burst pipe last month. We couldn’t wait for the slumlord any longer, with this Xmas party coming up, and as I mentioned previously, Henry has kept receipts and photographic documentation in order to get reimbursed for this.

How it started:

How it’s going:

He finished it today! It needs painted white but I don’t give a shit about that right now, to be honest.

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I’m just happy that now I can finish painting and the green wall and get Marcy’s portrait hung up. Apologies XMAS party guests, you will no longer be able to converse with people downstairs from the hole in the bathroom closet floor.

Don’t worry though, there’s still a hole in the other room, from a completely different leak, which is being covered by a piece of …

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not cardboard but something sturdy and white. I don’t know what it is but it’s been there since early 2020 because quarantine happened so the landlord couldn’t send anyone and then we got complacent.

Welcome to our Shack!

Dec 082022

I don’t know what I was thinking when I said, “Hey let’s have a Xmas party for the first time in forever but also let’s do all these home projects first.” Maybe if we hadn’t had THE PUMBING ISSUE which left us with a HOLE IN THE CEILING, this would have been reasonable, but now Henry is working on patching the ceiling because the landlord has left us hanging as usual and I cannot wait a single day longer for him to send someone because hello, in addition to the party, we’re also hosting Christmas here and I’m not having my family sit underneath a hole. (Oh don’t worry, we will get this deducted from our rent.

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Henry has RECEIPTS. No, literally. He has actual receipts to send to the slumlord.)

Some things we’re working on:

  • Henry is revamping the subway sign because he didn’t like the way he originally did the lights;
  • I repainted the tigers on the front door because when I initially did it in August of 2021, I used paint pens and they faded bigly (this is the only thing that’s complete so far because it was something that did not require Henry’s assistance lol)
  • I had just started to repaint the “cat head” wall literally THE NIGHT before the plumbing incident. The hole is like, right above this part of the wall so I had to stop and now I have to wait for Henry to finish patching the hole so that I can finish painting it. I’m painting it a dark green, similar to the green that we used for the picture frames on the Korea all, so it ties in that wall with the dining room now.
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  • In addition to repainting the wall, I removed all of the framed pictures of my Original Four Cat Crew because I always felt that those pictures didn’t do them justice, and wanted to make real, regal portraits for them. I had been wanting to commission someone on Etsy for years now to assist with this (there are so many artists out there who do the whole pet/royalty portraits) but I wanted to be able to customize them and knew in my mind exactly what I wanted, so then I just decided to do it  myself because I have  to be in control of everything. So far, we only have Marcy done, but Speck should be completed this weekend:

I knew that I wanted the portraits to be raised up and separate from the background, so I photoshopped Marcy onto some Queen bitch and then Henry mod-podged her a bunch of times to a piece of foam board. I wanted the whiskers on the right side to be “real” because it was way too hard to cut around her actual whiskers without it looking like shit. At first, we were going to use one of Chooch’s old stuffed animals but then I felt really guilty and said, “Maybe we can take like, one whisker from several? So  then we don’t leave a stuffed animal whiskerless?” and Henry was like, “I…don’t think they care?” But then Chooch came back down from checking his stash in  the attic and reported that he couldn’t find many with the kinds of whiskers I needed and the ones that did have whiskers were all messed up because he “apparently was really into chewing on them” when he was 5???

Henry mentioned that fishing line would probably work and I screamed, “ASK HNC!!!” and he of course, really did not want to do that, but eventually relented and traded him a VHS-to-DVD conversion kit thing that HNC has been asking for, in exchange for fishing line.

(We really don’t want to know what HNC is converting from VHS.)

Anyway, it worked like magic!

Also please note that the background is wallpaper that was used to Sharon’s bathroom from my Pappap’s house. Sigh. I am determined to make beautiful art pieces with as much of that leftover wallpaper as possible!

  • I need a second coffee table for the church pew section of the living room, so we’re refurbing an oldie. Painted it from black to red – that part is done. But now we have to epoxy the fabric in the backgound of the above Marcy portrait to the tabletop. I would have liked for this to have been completed weeks ago, but…the hole.
  • Oh, did I mention that while all this is going on, our Xmas card sales have exploded? So that has also been taking a lot of time away.

I feel so overwhelmed and stressed.

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It all came to a head two mornings ago when I came back from my morning walk only to realize that my FitBit was completely dead, as in, DEAD AS A DOOR NAIL dead, not just BATTERY NEEDS RECHARGED dead. The.way.I.flpped.out.

HOO BOY. Projection ahoy! The texts I sent Henry during all this will be quite damning if I ever end up on trial for murder, that’s all I’m saying. God, I can be so fucking problematic.

I know in the end, it will be fine, I just want to see my friends and have a use for the beverage buffet again. But fuck, just typing out this blog post made my heart race.

Oct 252022

Henry recently refreshed the Mouse Attack sign and I am so happy with it! I hadn’t realized just how badly the LEDs had dimmed over the years, plus Henry’s method of attaching the lights to the inside of the sign wasn’t very conducive to longevity – he used rubber bands, for god’s sake! Now, the new lights are held in place in a much savvier way.

While Henry had the sign off the wall, I suggested that he add some of the leftover neon yellow from the kitchen TV project.

I believe that “Yes, Your Majesty,” was his response.

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I really love how much it brightens up the wall!

I love fun lighting and I don’t care if it makes my home look like a tacky funhouse.

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To me, it’s cozy and it makes me happy!

We’re also in the process of revamping the beverage buffet and Henry wants to redo the Seoul Subway sign, and I am not stopping him from that. He came up with a better way to do the lighting and thinks he can fix it without even taking it off the wall, and I am willing to watch him try. I’m also working on art portraits of my Original Cat Squad to hang on the cat wall, which I might repaint. I’m kind of tired of it.

Don’t even ask about the attic. We haven’t work on that project in MONTHS lol.

In other news, I worked in the office today and walked down a street about 45 minutes before a shooting occurred so maybe I won’t be going into the office anymore.

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Nothing down there feels the same anymore, anyway.