Oct 052020
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It just feels so fun!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Popsicle vibes or naw?!

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

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

Sep 292020
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Honestly the bread alone could have made a substantial meal.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sep 122020
 

One might think that my life is super full and busy, keeping me posting timely recaps. But no, I just have blog-lethargy. Not bad enough to give it up totally, even though this is usual the time every year when I have super navel-gazey internal debate of To Quit Blogging Or Not To Quit Blogging, like it’s some major life decision, but usually what happens is that Chooch or Henry will have some rando memory, the details of which are blurry, and I’ll be like, “I BLOGGED ABOUT THAT, PLEASE HOLD” and then viola, I am here to serve the facts (but if you ask them, they will frown and say, “This feels a bit skewed, but at least you have the date right.”

And that’s my intro into another weekend update, in the middle of a new weekend! Last weekend was a three-day holiday weekend (in the US) which was fine but you know, these three-day weekends are much less exciting when you’ve got nowhere to go. I actually considered driving to the other side of the state just to go to one of the big Korean grocery stores and stock up on makgeolli because god forbid it should be available in Pittsburgh. But then I remembered that Henry still has lots of chores to do and wanted to keep him at home doing said chores, but instead I had him doing a freaking tour of all the Goodwills in the tri-state area because I was looking for a VERY SPECIFIC type of picture frame for a ceiling light fixture design I created in my head and why is it so hard to transfer my head-ideas into tangible things!?

I was feeling extremely gross after the third Goodwill we tried so we went home and I pouted.

It’s really fucking sad how all the days blend together and I can’t be sure if this is 100% pandemic-related or maybe also a bit of me getting old and perhaps needed to do some brain exercises? But I can’t fucking remember what happened when, except that I know for a fact, we went to Page Dairy Mart on SATURDAY because precious baby Henry wanted to get their raspberry torte sundae and when I went on their Instagram, I saw that one of their fall flavors was APPLE BUTTER which sounded like a nice change from that basic bitch Pumpkin, so I wanted to get that and was excited but then we got there and it was super crowded which you could argue was maybe because everyone was social-distancing but it still looked like it was a bit much so Henry was like I AM NOT WAITING IN THAT LINE and then we went to another Goodwill and can I just tell you that one thing about Goodwill, god bless them, is that they are trying so hard to follow COVID guidelines and they have their aisles marked as one-ways and do not enters, which I really appreciate but it’s still Goodwill and the people who go there are gonna be all whatever about it anyway, so I felt super uncomfortable and just raced to the picture frame sections in each one and the split the moment I saw they didn’t have what I needed, even though Henry was a massive fan of browsing every single aisle in thrift shops. I just have that kind of patience unless I’m not looking for anything specific.

Otherwise, I’m not very flexible and open-minded.

But ahoy! (I don’t even know what that means exactly.) On the way back, Page’s was much less crowded so Henry and Chooch got in line while I stayed safe in the car like the actual princess I am.

While I was waiting for them, I had to listen to some jackass have a loud conversation with his brother on speaker about how he’s going to be renting a car for two months and mom and dad don’t know he’s saved up money from his severance to buy a new car and his tone was so obnoxiously cocky. The guy was a huge dick who probably tries to flex on his gf all the time but I bet she responds by kicking him in the nuts, also they had their dog with them and I felt bad that the dog has to live with an asshole like that.

Yeah, so my softserve was fine! Dd it taste like apple butter though? Maybe? For a second? Then it slid into some other strange and tangy flavor profile, so I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t send anyone on a pilgrimage to try it BUT!! I do recommend Page Dairy Mart for their sundae offerings and actually every other soft serve flav I’ve had there in the past has been impeccable (the blueberry is the best but they only have it for a VERY BRIEF time, usually in spring I think, and they use fresh blueberries. It actually makes me giddy just thinking about it.)

What else happened on Saturday. I went for a walk that evening and right outside my house I went to move over to let some guy pass me and he said, “What’s up Erin?” and I was like, “………………………hi.” I had no idea who it was?! Then he said, “Stay safe kiddo” and I said, “You, too.”

“I always do!” he said jovially, and then he took a sip of his drink, pivoted on his heel and walked away.

If you are reading this and it was you or said hello to me, please let me know because my eyes are bad and I honestly didn’t recognize this guy but his voice sounded familiar?! I DON’T REALLY NO ONE WHO LIVES IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD SO IT’S A MYSTERY.

Oh yeah, sometime on Saturday we also learned that Chooch has been doing laundry for the last several months with fabric softener and nothing else. I’m so worthless that I was like, “Is that bad? What does that mean?” and Henry just stared at me and walked away so I had to google it.

On Sunday, Henry and I woke up very early and look I know I said I was against this, but we went to the flea market because I was still looking for a stupid frame and we though maybe if we went before 7:30am, it won’t be so bad, but there were so many maskless bastards, or people just wearing their masks improperly, and then there was some bitch who was seriously tryna sell us her “homemade” Frozen-themed dry erase board for $20 when all I really was the frame and even THAT wasn’t worth $20 nor was it really that great so Henry was like, “We’ll come back!” and I was like, “No we won’t.” Then we saw a table selling a slew of MAGA hats and I was loudly spouting off about that and then I overheard one hick-man ask another hick-man where he got his Trump flag and I was like I NEED TO GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE NOW.

Also I was wearing the Korea Times concert shirt that my girl Veronica sent me last year (IT HAS TAEMIN’S FACE ON THE BACK!) and all these rednecks kept staring at it and my Kore Limited mask which has KOREAN WORDS ON IT and I was like, “THESE RACISTS CAN STARE AT ME AS MUCH AS THEY WANT IT’S NOT GOING TO CHANGE THE FACT THAT MY CLOTHES ARE KOREAN. RACISTS ASSHOLES.” and Henry was like, “Calm down” SO I FUCKING KILLED HIM.

WITH MY BARE HANDS.

Yeah, so Ieft with no picture frame, but one corpse, and made sure I ran my mouth about Trump the whole way back to the car. My favorite part was when I shouted about how great it felt to be the so much better than everyone there. Hope they don’t get tetanus when they trip over their fleeing brain cells and fall face-first into their piles of rusted wares.

I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MY HEAD ANYMORE BUT THERE ARE CONVERSATIONS AND THEY SOUND REALLY SOLID UNTIL I TRANSCRIBE THEM ON HERE.

Later!

There was more room-painting. They (I put a new battery in Henry so he could come back to life and finish his chores) got it mostly finished but there are still spots that need touched up, the doors need painted, I have an accent wall that I told Chooch I’m doing (whether he likes it or not) and Henry still has to hang all his pictures back up. Can I tell you a secret? A long time ago on LiveJournal I was friends with this bitch who I started to realize later on secretly hated me but before I understood that I used to support her stupid Etsy shop even though I didn’t think her art was that great (girl hush, I don’t think mine is great at all either so this was no fucking competition) and I bought several paintings back when Chooch’s room was “Chooch’s nursery.” Anyway, when I saw them in his stack of shit that needs rehung, I held them up and asked, “Do you even like these?” and he did that noncommittal shrug he does paired with a deep hard stare into my mind because he’s trying to figure out what answer I want him to give and I rescued him by saying, “Because the person who painted these is an asshole and I want to throw them out” and he was like, “OK whew, yeah, go ‘head.”

(Hey, I paid for them, they weren’t gifts!)

(I can only imagine how many of my own paintings are rotting in garbage dumps across the country, lol. #burnedbridges)

That afternoon, Henry and I went back out because I was like MAYBE WE CAN FIND SOMETHING IN MICHAELS OR THE HALLOWEEN SECTION OF TARGET and we didn’t but we DID find a Halloween hotel scratch pad! I was so stoked because I wanted to get one of these last year but they were sold out at every Target and not available for online orders, but this year they had a huge upgrade with this two-story version! Henry had the audacity to try and put the smaller one in the cart instead and I was “the fuck is wrong with you, cheap ass?” and swapped it out for the big one!

Chooch pushed it up to their Xmas one from last year, which is also a double-decker but nearly as grand, so whenever a cat is halfway in one and the other, Chooch screams, “THANKSGIVING!” Fucking dumbo.

Later, on our nightly walk, some lady started screaming about how she likes my jacket. ITS SO SPARKLY! YOU LOOK ADORABLE IN IT! And to my right, Chooch was stewing. His biggest nightmare! Strangers complimenting me! God forbid!!

(I mean, she was super over the top about it though.)

I don’t think anything super exciting happened after that, but MONDAY was the best because I woke up at 6am and was treated to a brand new TAEMIN MV which I already posted here that day, and then later on I realized, “OH HOLY SHIT THE WHOLE ALBUM CAME OUT TODAY?!” and shit, I can’t think of very many feelings that are better than getting to explore new songs from one of your favorite artists for the first time. The whole day was spent playing and replaying and pausing and jumping back 10 seconds all day long. I was in the best mood!

Especially because the night before, I did a Bad Thing and checked out Hobby Lobby’s website and saw that they had a mirror with a frame that was very close to what I was looking for. It was on sale for $45 which is not very “on sale” if you ask me, but it was supposedly down from $85 which is, just…wow. I can’t imagine thinking a mirror was worth that much, but OK. So the reason why this was a Bad Thing is because I have, until now, never set foot inside of a Hobby Lobby. Yes, this is on purpose. I’ve boycotted them ever since 2014 because fuck their “religious beliefs” (I won’t eat at Chik-Fil-A either, good thing I’m vegetarian anyway).

So now, here I am, in a fucking Hobby Lobby and not only did they have what I needed, but they had the mirror in the clearance section BECAUSE THE MIRROR WAS BROKEN SO IT WAS MARKED DOWN TO $11.

I was just gonna smash the mirror out of it anyway! (Until Henry took charge and carefully removed the glass before I had a chance to swing down my mallet.)

I was in such a good mood that I even made charismatic small talk with the cashier and hardly anyone gets to have that side of me anymore! THE POWER OF TAEMIN.

Afterward, we went to Sheetz so Henry could, I don’t know what he was doing actually. Getting a soft pretzel probably. But I looked at their app to find a coffee drink and saw that their limited edition flavor is APPLE BUTTER?? I guess this really is the new basic bitch fall flavor! Of course I had to try it even though Sheetz historically dishes out disgusting lattes. I mean, it had that distinct Sheetz aftertaste, but by george, it really did taste like apple butter! More than my softserve did!

The next part of my ceiling light project was to procure zebra print fabric so we went to Joann and THEY DID NOT HAVE ZEBRA PRINT FABRIC and not only that but one of their dumb old lady employees was in an aisle next to us humming loudly and it was really YUCKING MY TAEMIN YUM so I was like THIS STORE SUCKS WE NEED TO LEAVE because that’s when I do when a store doesn’t have what I want. I throw a passive aggressive tantrum to which Henry pantomimes an entire play titled I AM NOT WITH HER behind my back.

“Hobby Lobby has fabric,” Henry mumbled on the way back to the car and I was like ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME I HAVE BOYCOTTED THIS BASTARD STORE FOR THIS WHOLE TIME AND NOW I AM GOING THERE TWICE IN ONE DAY? But I agreed to go back and they did not have zebra print either (is this…extinct?) but I happened to see a checkered print and thought, “You know what? Taemin released a new album today. I am not going to be in a bad mood. I am going to be FLEXIBLE and go with this CHECKERED PRINT instead” and then Henry wanted to check the cardstock to see if their prices are better than Michaels and I was like, “If this place ends up being your new cardstock supplier, I’m shuttering our card business.”

AND THEN A DAY LATER, Hobby Lobby got blasted for having a pro-Trump store display and I was like I AM A FUCKING HORRIBLE PERSON FOR BREAKING MY BOYCOTT!!! and then Henry the Mansplainer was like, “Boycotts don’t work anyway” because he literally is not affected by anything, being a WHITE STRAIGHT MIDDLE-AGED MAN.

I really do feel sick about it though. I hate that I put aside my morals just for one stupid ass picture frame. Fuck Hobby Lobby and fuck Trump!!!

The only other notable thing about Monday is that we got dinner from Onion Maiden, bless their hearts for being open for take-out on Labor Day.  I got Coffins which is a Korean-ish pancake stuffed with wonderfully marinated shredded jackfruit, cucumbers. It was delicious and fully satisfying!

Jackfruit is so fucking weird though. I mean, it’s so delicious but who would have thought that it would such a wonderful vegan substitute for like, pulled pork or whatever?

Not me.

But then, I can barely make toast.

Anyway. I think that’s all. Labor Day was just a regular day except without work. No celebrating. No cookouts. No weekend roadtrips. LE FUCKING SIGH.

Sep 102020
 

Hello! Coming through with another kitchen update because the side of the room with the cabinets is FINALLY done.

To be honest, the cabinets and drawers were painted and put back on a few weeks ago but remember I told you that we had lost a drawer a long time ago? Well, I was waiting for Henry to essentially make a new one from a drawer front he found at some construction junkyard place. He found a drawer that was an identical match to one of the larger ones you see below and made the smaller drawer from that. He even BEVELED the sides, which I didn’t even know was a thing until now. This dumb kitchen makeover is teaching me so much. Anyway, the drawer he made is that dark blue one on the far right. It’s just a fake drawer and doesn’t open but it’s better than having a gaping hole there!

Ignore the MISSING TRIM over there on the left because HENRY CERTAINLY HAS.

Overall, I’m happy with how this turned out! I mean, we did the best we could considering we don’t own this house. The cabinetry is about as rudimentary as you can get but I definitely wasn’t about to put any money into upgrading that shit, and our bastard landlord has been updating the kitchens in all of his other properties when people move out, so when we finally move, he’s just gonna demo this entire room anyway! But anything we spent any considerable amount of cash on (basically all of the stuff on the other side of the room) will be coming with us anyway.

So anything that’s imperfect, like the old-ass counter top, is whatever. We originally talked about redoing it with epoxy but honestly, it’s not worth the effort.

Painting these doors was SO SATISFYING except that I almost passed out several times from blowing too hard through straws, and then there was one time where I suffered a considerable blow-back and got paint all over my face and hair.

Top blue drawer is the fake one!

The Corey cabinet pulls make me so happy everyday!! I can’t tell you how nice it is to actually want to be in this space. Usually I would run in to make my coffee and then do my best to avoid it for the rest of the day because it was such an actual pit.

Oh! And our fridge magnets came last week, and I really like how they turned out!

Chooch was like, “OK cool, my parents were alive in the 80s. What else do you want me to say?” when I was like “LOOK AT THESE PICTURES. LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT THEM. WASN’T I FUCKING ADORBS??”

I mean, I really was though. I’m a classic case of “What the hell happened to her?”

Well, I can tell you that it all started to go downhill in 4th grade…

…and then I got braces in 5th grade….

…and also a perm…

…and gained like 20 pounds…

…and wore moccasins with socks…

I recently wrote a blog post about that picture up there of me and my DUMB BABY BROTHER RYAN (I love him now but when he was born I was like MY LIFE IS OVERRRRRRRR).

Yeah, now that I think about it, most of the pictures of me are from Wildwood and the ones of Henry are when he was IN THE SERVICE. Lol, age differences.

Over the weekend, I got Henry to do one of my favorite things ever which is MAKE THINGS LIGHT UP. He installed LED lights under the cabinets but had to do things like CUTTING WIRES and ADDING THINGIE-CONNECTORS and BLEEPY-DE-DOOS. At one point, while watching him thread wires into a thing, I asked, “How do you know how to do that?” to which he mumbled (probably with a pencil in his mouth), “It’s basic wiring.

OK Him-Man (that’s what the cats call him).

Anyway, it seemed to take forever and then he needed more of Something or Other and I had to wait TWO MORE DAYS for that Something or Other to arrive in the mail and do you know how much I hate waiting? I’m the queen of instant gratification. And Henry is one of those turtles winning the race type of people and it fucking infuriates me and then we get into a fight about it and he throws down his Wire Wand Tool Thing and huffs, “OK FINE IF YOU WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE SHIT I’LL DO IT FAST THEN” and then I’m like “WOW OK TOUGH GUY” and he usually sulks off to the back porch where he will sit and stew while scrolling through Reddit and then suddenly he remembers we need bread or milk or something and off he goes “to the store” which is his safe place. Usually, he will treat himself to a candy bar or some gross Hostess processed nightmare and then he’s ready to get back to work.

Like clockwork.

Anyway!! He finished it on Labor Day (lol the perfect day) and was like, “here’s your fucking lights” while probably envisioning jamming the remote control down my throat.

I’m so happy with it!!

Now he just has to do whatever it is he needs to do with the “switch” he keeps talking about to make the Conair telephone turn on the lights when the receiver is lifted. COME ON, HENRY. I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT. FIGHTING!!

Meanwhile, I bought this vintage pinball backglass on eBay and it arrived today so now Henry has to add that to the list. He needs to build a lightbox-type frame for it and then hang it up above the spice rack.

Of course it needs to light up!

Oh and now that I’m looking at this picture, it reminds me that he never finished the cabinet pulls on this side of the room!! (Michael Jackson, Boy George, and Rick Astley – I literally pictured the first three singers that came to mind. Also, this made Chooch ask, “Who the hell is Boy George?” and I was like “You know who he is” and I showed him pictures at which point he was even more perturbed and said, “No I really don’t” and I was like, “Yeah, the Culture Club. You know—” and I started humming Do You Really Want To Hurt Me and by now, Chooch was looking at me like he just walked in on me cooking a pot roast, so then I queued up some Culture Club on Spotify and he was like I HAVE LEGIT NEVER HEARD ANY OF THESE SONGS, fast forward a few days and he’s all, “Alexa, play Karma Chameleon.” Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout, Willis.)

*DEEP BREATH*

What a dumb fucking family! I love it!

I found a lot of places online that make reproductions of pinball backglass but they cost just as much in some cases, and I liked the imperfections of a vintage piece, knowing that it used to live in a machine that was played by many. This particular glass was made in 1979 (my birth year!) and even though it’s not specifically from the 80s, it was on the cusp and that was good enough for me! According to the description on eBay, it came from the estate sale of an avid arcade game collector, and I hope that wherever that person now is, dead or alive, they know that it’s going to continue to be loved and admired!

Aside from all this, we spent all weekend looking for a specific type of frame so I could make the ceiling light fixture, which is about 75% done so hopefully the next time I come back with a kitchen update, it will be to tell you that we finally have a ceiling light that’s not just an ugly exposed light bulb (I know those are on trend, but not the one we have in our kitchen now!), the Coney Island glass is framed and hung on the wall, the telephone turns on the lights, and all of the trim is back on. OH YEAH, and the curtain is made, which I keep forgetting about even though the fabric has been hanging over a dining room chair for two months now and I’m actually looking right at it.

See?! That ceiling light is not cool.

(Henry is going to read this tomorrow and run away.)

Aug 252020
 

Insert obligatory CAN YOU BELIEVE [X MONTH] IS ALMOST OVER exclamation here. But for real, only one more weekend before it’s Back to School Time here in Pittsburgh. Even though Chooch isn’t physically returning to school just yet, I still have that lowkey summer sadness. 

Anyway! Happy thoughts. 

The weekend got underway Friday night with some porch hangs. This has been one of the few highlights of the summer – chilling with the cats on the porch. Drew and Penelope are both extremely skittish cats so it was pretty shocking when they both expressed (tentative) interest in coming outside back in June.

Penelope will only venture all the way out onto the porch once the sun goes down. But even then, every little noise makes her do the Scooby-jump and dart back into the house. 

Drew is much braver at night to the point where Chooch has to put a harness on her now, just to be safe. Haha.

Meanwhile, inside the house, Henry actually hung the neon sign! I was floored that he got it up on the wall on the same day it came in the mail and didn’t leave it laying on the floor for 6 months like he did with the Mouse Attack sign. The reason I’m so astonished is because there’s no electrical outlet on that side of the wall and he had to actually install one — I didn’t ask any questions, but there was a lot of drilling involved. 

Henry was an electrician’s apprentice way back in the say, or so he says, and he apparently apprenticed his ass off because he’s definitely done a lot of electrical wizardry here in our house. 

But you guys, I am so thrilled with how the neon sign turned out. It really brings the whole room together and fulfills the vision I had from the very beginning! Without it, I think some people might have been like “how is this an 80s kitchen though” but now the vibes are real. The other day, Chooch and I blasted In the Air Tonight while standing in the kitchen and it for real for real felt like Sonny and Tubbs were going to come through.

In weekend book news, I tried to pare down my TBR but only managed to knock out Such a Fun Age. 

Then I dumped all of the photos I brought home 4 years ago from my grandparents’ house into photo boxes, so now I don’t have a giant, beat-up box, a giant wicker basket, and multiple plastic bags full of photos loafing on my bedroom floor anymore. I didn’t even bother to sort the photos – I just fucking dumped them into the boxes and called it a day. There are like 5 decades of pictures in there! Fuck that. 

Sunday morning, Henry came outside and sat down and I was like WHY AREN’T YOU WORKING ON ANYTHING and he said because he was eating breakfast and I was like BUT YOU HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING YET TODAY TO EARN A MEAL. 

Don’t worry, after he ate, we went to Construction Junction because really funny story (actually it’s boring): we somehow lost a drawer. No, not during this recent kitchen redo, but like, years ago. We’ve just always had a gaping hole in lieu of a drawer for literally as long as I can remember but I feel like it must have happened 10 years ago when I originally wanted to fix the kitchen and Henry never got any further than painting (very half-assedly) the drawers and cabinets a teal color. He kept saying that that one drawer must have “dropped down” during that time, whatever that means, but I think what really happened was that he took all the cabinets off and drawers out, and in the process he broke one and just didn’t care. 

We had a party a few years ago and someone jokingly pointed out the gaping drawer cavity and I was like, “Oh yeah, I always forget about that damn drawer.” Like, I just got SO USED to a drawer not being there that I stopped questioning it.

But this time around, I was like, “hey Henry….what are we going to do about that missing drawer?” I mean, we spent so much time fixing this stupid room, and then what…just leave that ugly gap there? Like the sink area lost a tooth? 

So we went to Construction Junction, which is like a home reuse place that is exciting to me for about 2 minutes and then I’m like, “Can we go now can we go now can we go now.” Anyway, Henry managed to find a drawer thingie that was the same size as the bigger drawers we have so he was like I CAN GET IT DOWN TO SIZE AND BLAH BLAH BLAH and I was like “That’s fine, whatever, can we go now can we go now can we go now” so went to the check out and guess how much it cost? FIFTY CENTS, BOY.

Compared to like, $60 that Lowe’s and Home Depot wanted for basically the same small slab of crappy wood.

Thanks, Construction Junction.

See the gaping hole over there? Like, who loses an entire drawer though. I think Henry is hiding something from me. Anyway, he already cut the drawer to size and it just needs painted, then we will have normal-people kitchen cabinets and drawers! I can’t even handle it. This is also the first time I’ve been able to take a picture of this side of the kitchen without feeling rage!

This is the current situation ^^^. VERY CLOSE to being done! The handles for the drawers came in the mail today and I put them on all by myself! We also are getting personal photos of ourselves from the 80s turned into small magnets for the fridge; we need a cover for the ceiling light (Henry has vetoed EVERY SINGLE ONE I HAVE SENT HIM); we have a small curtain to make for the door window using fabric that features illustrations of Robert Smith, David Bowie, Siouxsie Sioux, Adam Ant, and Cyndi Lauper which I’m very excited about!; and Henry still needs to figure out what he’s doing with that sweet-ass Conair telephone I bought from eBay. I think that’s mostly it. Oh! I want to make a shelf out of several books published in the 80s, which is why the neon sign isn’t centered (I’m sure that was making some people on Instagram twitch!) and I also left some space above the spice rack in case I stumble upon anything in the future that needs to live on the kitchen wall. You never know. 

Here’s what it looks like from the back porch:

When covid peaces out, I’m having a big house party because we put so much work in this damn space and I need my friends to come over and enjoy it with me!

The best part is that now that all the big stuff is finally done in the kitchen, Henry has been able to move onto other back-burnered projects, like the coffee table, which is finally painted and put back together, just without legs and without the finished top. Then maybe he can finally work on the Seoul subway sign?!?! (Except that we promised Chooch we would redo his room before school starts since he’s doing online school and needs a good space in which to do so since I will working from home until at least the end of October at this point.)

I hate that this summer has been filled with so many adult things, like gardening and going to Lowe’s. :(

Also on Sunday, we went to 350 Bakery on the Southside to grab some, well, baked goods. We totally double-dipped this weekend because I sent Henry there right when they opened on Saturday to get us some hand pies. I really wanted to try their homemade poptarts though so we swung by on the way home from boring Construction Junction. I stayed in the car, and when Henry came back empty-handed, I started to clench, which is my defense mechanism when confronting UTTER LETDOWN head on. Yeah, they were sold out of poptarts, so he just left the line? Like he didn’t even bother to ply me with consolation carbs? So we left and for a solid 5 minutes in the car I ranted about how he should know that when I AM MENSTRUATING, I fucking NEED SUGAR so he should have JUST BOUGHT SOMETHING ELSE and he was like “do you want me to go back” and I was like NO BECAUSE YOU NEVER SHOULD HAVE LEFT IN THE FIRST PLACE and so then he was like “OK we will continue to drive home” so I was like OH WOW IF YOU EVEN REALLY CARED ABOUT ME….so then he was like, “OK I am going back to this bakery no matter what you say, what do you want, something chocolate, or….” and I was like I DUNNO WHAT I WANT WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME DECIDE I AM SO SICK OF MAKING DECISIONS FOR ONCE IN YOUR LIFE JUST FUCKING CHOOSE SOMETHING FOR ME BUT CHOOSE WISELY BECAUSE IF YOU GET THE WRONG THING I FUCKING SWEAR TO GOD I WILL END YOU.

Anyway, great news! When it was his turn to enter the bakery (one customer at a time, plz), the girl behind the counter whispered to him that she found one extra poptart if he wanted it and he was like THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY FAKE MARRIAGE, BAKERY CLERK. And then she gave him a chocolate chip cookie for free so now he thinks he’s like big shit in the bakery circle.

I’m not even being melodramatic when I say that the poptart was fucking everything I needed and I’m actually kind of annoyed that I was generous enough to split it three-ways. 

That thing on the left is a chocolate babka which I’ve surprisingly never had before even though I am part-Polish and was born and raised in Pittsburgh but I am here to say that it was worth the 41 year wait. 

350 Bakery has a generic name, but their goods are anything but!

I’ve spent a lot of time outside this summer, reading books in the morning but I admittedly get distracted a lot because I like looking at all of our flowers and noting which ones have gone through massive growth spurts. Flowers are weird and fun. 

I’m excited to start planting shit earlier next year! We got a late start this season.

Well, that was my weekend. Boring house project things and baked goods. 

Aug 172020
 

J/k. It was pretty basic.

Henry made me put our card shops on vacation mode so that he could actually focus on getting shit done over the weekend without having to stop and make serial killer notecards or whatever the fuck, so that was helpful but the kitchen still isn’t done, so not all THAT HELPFUL, I guess.

We took a break Saturday afternoon to go to Bae Bae’s Cafe downtown and pick up the bingsu we ordered. This was notable for TWO REASONS and here they are:

  • bingsu is one of my favorite Korean treats and we have not had this since we were in Korea over a year ago. In America, you might see this being touted as “shaved ice” but it is ANYTHING BUT THAT. If it’s made right, the “ice” is actually made from milk and shaved so finely that it’s soft like snow. And then it’s crowned with tteok (Korean rice cake), ice cream, condensed milk, fruit, chocolate, Oreos, etc etc etc – so many different kinds of bingsu! My favorite is the traditional patbingsu (pat = sweet red beans) and injeolmi, which is like a sweet soy powder, I think? I could google and give you TRUFAX like a real life blogger but we all know I’m a fucking hack. Anyway, I’ve never had the real thing in Pittsburgh (Toronto has lots of options but they also have a legit Korea Town, so) and I was geeked, if you want to get all 1990s lame lingo with it.
  • This was the first time I’ve been downtown since The Pandemic, and it was bizarre to say the least. It was just weird to see how the restaurants have been taking over the roads in order to move tables outside in compliance with social distancing. I don’t know, outside seating or not, I’m still not trying to dine at a restaurant. I mean, we’re not big eater-outers anyway, but we have been trying to do takeout more often just to help out some of our faves. Anyway, so while that was strange, it was also kind of scary to see JUST HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE OUT AND ABOUT. Chooch and I sat in the car while Henry ran in to Bae Bae’s to get our bingsu, and we saw so many people sidewalk-strolling like it was just another Saturday. It made me so uncomfortable. But not as uncomfortable as when a group of churchies came around the corner praying, and then proceeded to stop RIGHT NEXT TO OUR CAR with their asses in our faces while they projected their religious spells onto Planned Parenthood. There was a priest who stepped off the sidewalk and got so close to our car that his gown-covered ass was pressed up against my car door! Chooch and I had to put our windows up; me, because I didn’t want to catch Covid since only half of them were wearing masks, and Chooch because he was afraid one of them was going to pluck him out of the car and brainwash him (wouldn’t take much) into joining their cult. Henry was so happy that this happened to us.

Anyway! The bingsu! We took it to one of the nearby cemeteries so we could eat in peace (look, I don’t care if you think covid “isn’t that bad” – I’m super terrified of it and just want the world to get back to “normal” so I try to stay at home as much as possible and when I go out, I always wear a mask and even recently had a dream/nightmare where people were throwing me a birthday party (lol, who would though?!) and I was panicked because of social distancing and they were like “don’t fret my pet, we got a table outside” and it was true, we had this big ass table outside what I guess was a restaurant but seemed more like a video arcade but then suddenly we were inside my Pappap’s house (lol of course) and I was like THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE and someone named Tall Mary was there and I had only met her once, apparently, but she was friends with someone I sort of knew and acted like it was fine to come to the birthday party of a near stranger during a pandemic and she was wearing this weird Laura Ashley-esque dress and she was so serious-looking, I hated it and all I wanted to do was make a dramatic exit of my own party, which would have been very reality-based, and if you know me perhaps you got to witness one of those dramatic exits at some point).

What was I talking about? Oh shit. Bingsu. Yeah, I’ll give it to Bae Bae’s – this tasted almost as I remember it to taste in Korea. I think if I hadn’t had real bingsu before, I would have been doing front flips over tombstones but because I’m a bingsu snob, I will give it a 7 out of 10. I wish that mine had actual tteok in it and not mochi. But I’m glad that they had a matcha option and not just a basic fruit one because gotta coddle those white people palates! Their menu has a red bean option but it says it’s been sold out since they started offering bingsu so I’m not sure what’s up with that because I can’t imagine that red bean would be a highly sought after flavor from a Pittsburgh crowd!

Chooch got strawberry. His was fantastic as well. Henry opted instead to get an assortment of cookies, assuming that we were going to share our bingsu with him, but you know what they say about someone who assumes: YOU’RE AN ASS WHO GETS NO BINGSU, ORDER YOUR OWN NEXT TIME.

In Korea, you can get super cute bingsu like this one from the Thanks Nature sheep cafe:

Writing from a Bus: A Sunday in Korea

Meanwhile, I was reading Sodom Road Exit all week and it was a true fucking delight but I had to take a picture of this one page and send it to Chooch because I had just referenced David Copperfield on Thursday and who even thinks about David Copperfield anymore? Anyway, this was the same book that also referenced Three Men and a Baby so basically I think that this book fell into my lap at just the right time and by fell into my lap I mean that it was handed to me in a paper bag over top of a social distancing table by the security guard at the library.

I think I’m really into Canadian authors! I’ve had great success with them this year.

On Sunday, I did a thing: I WENT TO LOWE’S BY MYSELF FOR THE FIRST TIME. Wait, let me back up. Henry and I were supposed to go to the flea market but I was tired and cranky and basically just in the mood to start a fight. So I did. Then I was like I WILL GO TO THE FLEA MARKET BY MYSELF GIVE ME MONEY and Henry did that thing that he does where he acts like I’m so predictable and he knows I’m not really going to go but GUESS WHAT I DID only I had already made up my mind that the flea market likely wasn’t going to happen and I was correct – it was jam-fucking-packed and it looked like a covid convention, so I said fuck that and went to Lowe’s instead because I wanted to get paint for the front door and SO THAT IT IS WHAT I DID and I even had to stand outside in a small line because it wasn’t open yet, and normally what would happen is that I would throw my hands up in the air and yell ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME because my life is so important and who does Lowe’s think he is by making me wait and I probably stormed off back to my car in a huff and peeled out of the parking lot with my radio blaring.

But no, not on this day, because I really wanted to paint my front door.

Anyway, I was so excited and also very scared, standing inside Lowe’s all by myself, but at least I’ve been there enough times with other people to know how to ask for paint and I was overly nice to the paint mixer who very clearly was not a morning person and just kept saying, “mmm” every time I would try to say something like cute.

And then Better Than Ezra came on the soundsystem and I gotta tell you, it felt like a coming of age moment for me, you know? Like I’m a real ass adult now.

Then I came home and MADE MY OWN BREAKFAST because Henry didn’t make it right on Saturday (oh don’t worry, there was much pouting about that but I didn’t feel like including it in this wrap-up) and later I decided he was allowed to be seen with me so we went to Michael’s to get craft support bullshit and I wrote “Michael’s sucks. Pat Catan’s 4lyfe” because in case you don’t know, Pat Catan’s was our crafting bitch and then stupid corporate Michael’s swooped in and usurped them and now it sucks. Henry was 너무 너무 너무disappointed in me. But when isnt he.

Later that afternoon, I started an audio book while painting the door!

This book is not great!

But the door is!

I had to take the picture from the side because the light coming in from the windows effs with the exposure and I’m not a real enough photographer to care about fixing that, haha.

I painted the inside rim (?) of the windows gold and then really laid the gold glitter on thick, lol. It’s not finished yet – I have some hand painting to do and toys to buy!

Look man, there’s nothing else to do right now. Let me have my fucking pink circus door.

Meanwhile, Henry was still chained up in the kitchen. I will say, he’s made progress. You have no idea how badly the cabinet-area needed cleaned out and painted! But…the cabinets and drawers still aren’t back in place so we’ve just got a bunch of gaping holes.

He apparently took it upon himself to reorganize the silverware drawer and we nearly broke up because he had the audacity to ask me a really fucking stupid question.

“What’s the order you like? It’s forks, knives, spoons right?”

NO! KNIVES FORKS SPOONS! WE KEEP THE KNIVES AWAY FROM THE SPOONS. THE KNIVES ARE LIKE LARRY FUCKING WELCH COMING IN & STEALING HOPE FROM BO, HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL U. FORKS&SPOONS 4EVA.

SRSLY HOW DOES HE NOT KNOW.

I heard Chooch later on saying, “What, why is this the order?” And Henry was like GO ASK YR MOTHER. So Chooch came over and was like why and I was like <see explanation above> and he was like “are you fucking serious that’s your reasoning?” Like what did he expect me to say I read it in Good Housekeeping or some shit LOLOL.

Oh I forgot to mention that Henry and Chooch were supposed to be some dumb color food challenge where they could only food of one color for the entire day. Henry picked red and Chooch picked purple. Neither of them did very well. After dinner chooch walked past me eating a banana.

Before I could say “that’s not purple,” he cried, “I don’t care anymore! I’m hungry, ok?!” So then Henry was like OH THANK GOD and ate a handful of Capn Crunch. It’s um, always a party over here.

I don’t think anything else very noteworthy happened so I will leave you with this picture I took when Chooch and I went out for our nightly walk – you can see TRUDY looming through the window and I love it. TRUDY never gets old!

Aug 052020
 

I don’t even know where I am in this whole progress post process anymore. But here are some pictures of new additions. Things have been getting more fun for me because all of the big stuff is done (wall-painting, floor-laying, Ikea stuff-building, etc) and I’m free to add all my stupid touches.

Like a pastel Caboodle to hold all the band-aids and sundry that Henry loves to pile atop the fridge!

My friend Courtney made me those Golden Girl magnets a few years ago – they were perfect then, but even more so now! We’re also turning a bunch of pictures of ourselves from the 80s into photo magnets, so that’ll be super obnoxious.

My phone arrived over the weekend! (Sorry if that crooked photo bothers you but please note that I straightened it after I took this photo and didn’t feel like retaking it because I’m a lazy blogger whose life is anything but curated.)

Henry the amateur electrician is going to find a way to make it light up (we think it still works, according to the eBay description) and if the kitchen gods decide to smile down on us, he’ll hopefully be able to find a way to get it to do what I REALLY want, which is to turn on a Bluetooth speaker in the kitchen when the receiver is lifted, at which point the room will be filled with the joy of 80s new wave.

But with the way things have been working out, I’m not holding my breath! In any case, it’s a fun decoration.

Another thing that we finally checked off the list was the spice rack!

This is actually how the whole thing started, btw. It was sometime last spring and I said to Henry, after watching the video for Damien’s song Cassette, “We should make a spice rack out of old tapes.” I don’t know why my mind went specifically to “spice rack,” but it did and from there, it turned into, “Actually let’s just redo the entire kitchen in an 80s theme. You know, to match the spice rack.”

It took Henry about a half dozen attempts until he finally understood my vision and built something that was (mostly) what I wanted. I mean, not that it matters, because I don’t cook and have no use for spices, but Chooch is already bitching because he can’t see what anything is, so I was like, “Uh, just alphabetize them? Then at least you’ll know a roundabout starting point.” He was super thrilled with my solution.

It just needs an LED lightstrip underneath it.  I mean, obviously.

Fun fact: That’s my favorite Cure album. That’s not my favorite Phil album though. (Come on, No Jacket Required.)

Meanwhile, if you would have told me six months ago that I’d be up until 1AM working on one (1!!!) cabinet door on August 3rd, I’d have cracked up in your face and said, “yeah OK I’ll be on the Erin’s 41st Birthday Mini Cross Country Amusement Park Tour then and also ew, I hate my kitchen, it’s a dump.” Oh, how covid has changed our lives.  I decided that only the top two cabinets will have this design and the rest will just be painted in geometric quadrants in the 4 colors of the walls. Because this is best used in small doses, I think – even I know my limits!

The cabinets, being as old as they are, have clearly been through the war. So even after Henry sanded them down, the surface was still pretty pocked on both. I was originally going to make stencils and handpaint the shapes, but I knew because of the bumpy surface it would like ass. So instead, we made vinyl stickers, which didn’t really save too much time because handcutting these were a bitch, and  then I did all the black squiggles by hand and that’s what took the longest. My hand and back hurt so much by the time I was done, but I was determined to get at least one banged out in one sitting. I made the second one last night so I’m excited to eventually have cabinets again!

This is just sitting in there right now, for picture-purposes. I think it will look even better once we make “The Coreys” cabinet pulls! Also, I need to get some old teen magazines from the 80s to make a collage inside the cabinet doors.

Still on the To Do list: Making the curtain for the kitchen door, the neon sign (which is paid for and in production!!!), whatever Henry can manage to do with the phone, the rest of the trim needs painted and reattached, and supposedly Henry is redoing the countertop but we’ll see how that actually pans out because Henry and epoxy aren’t the greatest of colleagues. Oh, and I still haven’t found a ceiling light that makes me happy.

But even in the state it’s in right now, it is a million times better than the den of despair it was as recently as June, and walking in there doesn’t make me want to put my fist through a wall anymore!

Jul 292020
 

AHAHAHAugh…fucking kitchens.

I had to look at the calendar on my phone to see if I even have the weeks straight because it feels like this project has been going on as long as COVID’s been in town, but I guess that this is technically the end of the week 4 since we started this on July 2. I really thought we would be done! I guess it would help if Chooch and I could be trusted with tools and whatnot, because this has basically been Henry’s solo project. (See the drawers in the background? Those are from the coffee table that we started redoing in June and then never finished because the kitchen happened.)

I had been dreading this part of the process because I was concerned that my lack of doing anything painterly or artisterly lately would hinder my ability (and patience). But it ended up being OK and didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would! I didn’t time myself, but maybe it took a total of 90 minutes? I did part of it while the door was upright and then Henry took it off the hinges for me and that was moderately better except that I had a hunchback for a while afterward. Also, that Memphis design is programmed into my muscle memory for life now I think so if you need anything with a 1980s pattern scribbled upon it, I’m your girl.

Chooch wasn’t impressed. (Actually, he did walk past once and say, “That looks good” which was super alarming because he never cares about anything I do.)

Henry finally did some of the trim so now one side of the room actually looks finished!!

The door matches my coffee cart, lol. I couldn’t find a coffee canister that I liked so I made this one out of a basic canister from Target: just painted the top pink and got a vintage Alf figurine to use as the topper/lid pull/whatever. And my Korean ahjumma instant coffee sticks are perfectly contained in a Goonies cup.

My Baseball Card Vandals Phil Collins card is right at home here!

Meanwhile, Henry finally finished stripping the paint off all of the cabinets so hopefully this weekend we can start painting those so that another side of the stupid room will be kind of complete. And we went to Eide’s (a big music store/comic book place in Pittsburgh which used to be way cooler than it is now and it’s where I used to go in the late 90s/early 00s to get all of my Cure bootlegs!) because I needed a couple more cassettes to be able to start working on the spice rack. I had snagged a lot of 30 tapes from the 80s on eBay but it turned out that I needed about 6 more. I’ll tell you what – vinyl may have made a comeback and I know it started to be trendy a few years ago for bands to release limited edition cassettes, but it’s been surprisingly difficult to find used tapes! We went to the Exchange and Henry went to a few Goodwills, to no avail. And honestly, Eide’s only had one small display that held maybe 75-100 used tapes, but IN THAT COLLECTION WAS, OMG…..

THE BACK TO THE BEACH SOUNDTRACK!!

Henry was the one who actually saw it and I yelled, HOLY FUCKING SHIT, although it was muffled because I was wearing my mask. They also had GLORIA LORING which was a no-brainer because she was on Days of Our Lives and that soap took up a huge chunk of my life in the 80s! IT’S THE ONE THAT HAS “FRIENDS AND LOVERS” ON IT.

Henry started building the spice rack on Sunday and now it’s Wednesday and still unfinished because that’s how Henry rolls. He starts a project and then doesn’t touch it for days (sometimes months, you can ask the Seoul Subway Wall Hanging that’s been chilling in the basement, untouched and unloved, since May, no big deal).

I even let him include one (1!!!) Ted Nugent tape in the rack, and now I’m about to take it back because he doesn’t deserve it!

(OMG Henry is actually finishing the spice rack as I write this so maybe I’ll be able to include it in the next round of updates.)

Jul 232020
 

When we last left off, Henry was ready to demolish the entire kitchen to get the pantry to fit. I’m pleased to tell you that he was able to finagle it into that tight space without coming in on a wrecking ball, thank god. But now it’s way too close to the stove so he has to get some kind of metal sheet thing to put on the side of the pantry, apparently, else the kitchen goes up in flames.

Drew is so excited to have new things to explore, much to Henry’s chagrin, lol.

Her own shelf!

My rug came in the mail last week too so I put it down immediately but then Henry was like WE NEED TO GET SCOTCH GUARD and he ordered some but then still hasn’t sprayed the rug, so that’s cool.

I mean, I suppose I could.

I’m excited because we’re getting closer to the time when I can finally start adding my magical flourishes! I have been carefully curating an 80s themed art collection for the room, which is great because I’m running out of space on the walls in every other room in the house. #junkhouse

And my fabric arrived over the weekend! I’m excited for Henry to take off his contractor helmet and put on his pin cushion headband to make curtains out of this beauty!

Meanwhile, I busied myself by adding Memphis design details to light switch plates.

Over the weekend, Henry FINALLY STARTED TO  TACKLE THE FOURTH WALL! I never knew that the window could be so clean! He even took down the screen and cleaned it!!

One of the things I wanted to include, decor-wise, was framed postcards from 80s-era Wildwood, NJ. My family vacationed here every summer from the time I was a baby* until I was 11. I’m not sure why we stopped going, although I like to blame the birth of my brother, Corey, lololol. I get that warm coating of nostalgia in my gut anytime I think of this place and when I started scrolling through the options on eBay, hoooooboy, mama got blasted to the past.

*(I asked my mom about this the other day and she said that when she was a kid, they went there every summer with my great-grandma, and I honestly never knew this and why have I not seen any pictures of these trips!? Unless they perished in the house fire that happened when my mom was a teenager….God, there are so many things I don’t have the answers to and I wish I had asked my grandparents to tell me more shit when they both still alive. I’m a failure.)

I mean….duh.

I knew I wanted stripes on this part of the wall but I didn’t feel like painting them so I found this glittery black tape on Amazon and told Henry to have fun.

Henry was going to throw this cart/shelf thingie away but I was like WAIT!! There is nothing spraypaint can’t improve, I fucking swear. So this ugly cart is now sparkly silver and ready to hold all of my coffee stuff. Tom Selleck needs to be hung up, but he’s going to live right above the cart. I love him and I’m so glad that he’s one of the things we salvaged from my grandparents’ house

I have a plain, basic coffee canister from Target, but I bought an Alf figurine from eBay to use as the topper so I will include that in my next update post! (God forbid I should use a plain coffee canister.)

This design is programmed into my muscle memory for life now, I think.

I loathe to post this, but this is what the sink sitch currently looks like. The cabinets are still not stripped and that whole bottom part needs to be cleaned and repainted. The drawers need to be painted too. I looked up Corey Haim and Corey Feldman cabinet pulls but SHOCKINGLY they do not exist (see also: non-existence of Phil Collins cookie jar) so now we have to make our own, I guess. I’m sorry, but I’m not going through all this effort into cultivating an 80s haven and then using regular cabinet pulls?!

The one thing we CAN’T make ourselves is the neon sign. We shopped around from some prices and I think we found a good place but we keep dragging our feet. I don’t want to commit to anything until the design we came up with and the proof they send us is 100% perfect because custom-made neon ain’t cheap, would have guessed.

(Actually, who would ever think that neon signs are CHEAP?)

I’m considering this my birthday present to myself since I can’t do anything else for my birthday this year, lol ugh.

Vintage Halloween masks! The one on the far right is pre-80s, I think, but I didn’t want him to be left out.

She takes over EVERYTHING.

My current project is finishing the design on this door (Henry has to take it back off the frame because I need to assume my official artist posture which is HUNCHED OVER a/k/a Chiropractor’s Dream Patient. Once the door is down and the trim is put back, I think the room will finally start to come together! TOO BAD I HAVE NO PATIENCE.

Last but not least for this update, I suggested that Henry and I find a picture of ourselves from the 80s to also include in the room (maybe just in a magnetic fridge frame?) and he proudly presented this gem last night:

Oh, you guys. This is fucking perfect. Plus, it was when he was IN THE SERVICE!! I hate how nice his legs are! They still look like that, too.

“I can’t remember if that was my dorm room or the one next door. Nope. That’s mine because there’s my Atari 7200.” This was when he was living in Indiana!!!

Well, tune in next week to see if any progress is made, I guess.

Jul 142020
 

We’re limping along at a snail’s pace over here, but things are kind of happening! (And I do mean limping. Henry and I both hurt our backs, although MINE IS WORSE/MORE DRAMATIC.)

Halfway through last week, we finished painting 3/4 of the room. The floor was still plywood at that point. I did the stripes! Everyone likes that part the best and I’m so gloaty about it. We still have the wall behind the fridge/sink to paint. That will be yellow, and the cabinets will be a combination of all four wall colors. 

Things were at a standstill for the most part during last week though, since we both work (Henry does not work from home, sadly, although perhaps this is a blessing considering how many people have been splitting during quarantine?) And naturally, since our house is in ruins, the serial killer and kpop card orders have been rolling in. Henry flipped out at one point out of card-making stress and I offered to put our Etsy shops on vacation but he told me not to, so….he secretly loves it.

In the meantime, I busied myself with design details. I know right now it’s like, “OK, that’s moderately 80s, I guess…” but once it’s finished, it will be the 1980s nostalgia palace of my dreams. 

I found this fabric to make a curtain for the door that leads into the back porch!! And a rug that features the signage of various 1980s arcade games! Both of these things should be here by the end of the month, and I can’t wait!

Then I went on an eBay rampage and found this poster from the 1988 Olympics! The 80s, Olympics, and SOUTH KOREA: all things that are near and dear to my heart, (Still fucking sad about the 2020 Olympics.)

Finally, on Saturday, Henry put the floor in! And by “put the floor in” I mean that he literally rolled it out, cut it to size, and glued it down with some pasty-cement shit. This floor is super fucking cheap because we don’t own this place and didn’t want to put much of our own money into it, but shit, he could’ve just left it sitting there, unglued, and it still would have been a million percent better than what was originally there. He could have just left the exposed plywood there and even that would have been better!

Saturday night, Henry and Chooch finished putting the counter together, which meant we able to put *some* stuff away! I was like BLESSED BE! and started a conga line of pots-and-pans. It only made a small dent in the mountain of “kitchen” that has grown on the back porch. I mourn for the days (two weeks ago) when I was able to enjoy my morning coffee in the comfort of the back porch. Now you can’t even see the chairs :( 

After a brief discussion, Henry and Chooch went out on Saturday and bought a new stove. Let me tell you something about our old stove: my dad bought it for me, used, from the Pennysaver when I first moved into this house in 1999.

In 1999! So you can imagine, buying it from the Pennysaver, that sucker was probably already at least 15 years old.

Granted, I don’t cook, hardly ever, so I was like, “Cool…?” and mostly used it to store chips and other assorted snacks, lol. But then Henry moved in a few years later and was like, “Why is your oven a pantry” and then proceeded to actually USE it. That’s also when I learned that there was a broiler at the bottom of it! I always just thought it was like, a loose panel or something! 

So yeah, with Chooch now flexing his own chef muscle, we felt that it was time to upgrade, also the vanity in me was like, “why would we put that gross stove back in the kitchen after spending all this time making the room look cute?” 

It’s an LG and it makes a cute Korean subway-esque jingle when it turns on and when the timer goes off! Granted, I don’t give a shit about cooking things, but Chooch and Henry are happy, so thanks COVID-check. 

I guess. 

Meanwhile, I’ve unlocked the level of “COVID Says Stay Home!” where I’m carousing eBay like a predator in a van, buying up vintage postcards from my favorite childhood vacation spot, Wildwood, NJ, and then finding myself negotiating with the Wildwood Historical Society when one of the postcards is unavailable. DON’T WORRY: I found another seller who had it, and it’s currently en route to my house.

Yeah, so I thought it would be fun to frame some of these and hang them in the kitchen, because 1980s summers were the best summers, fight me. (Actually, don’t; my back is fucking busted.)

I also have some 1980s Halloween masks on the way! I have been doing v. important things over here while Henry is taking his good ol’ time with flooring and painting.

Yesterday’s progress was….well, it wasn’t really progress at all. Henry and Chooch built the Ikea pantry-thingie that Henry measured fifty million times and was SO CERTAIN it was going to FIT PERFECTLY between the wall and the stove.

Nope.

Doesn’t fit. 

The measurements didn’t account for the lip on the counter and the fact that this house is old AF and the walls are crooked. So Henry had to cut out some of the plaster from that striped bump-out in the corner, and he almost made it fit but now there’s something going on with the heat vent on the other wall and he basically just wants to burn down the whole house and start over in a forest, cottage-core style. 

He claims he can “make it work” and I stopped listening because I was afraid the words “tear down the wall” were going to march off his tongue to the tune of Jack Hammer Sonata. 

In between all of this, he has started the tedious task of scraping the old paint off the kitchen cabinets so that we “can repaint them and do it right this time.” Whatever that means. He has this cool heat gun thing that looks like a space weapon and I am desperate to use it but every time I ask if I can help, he says NO.

This would have been done by now if Henry trusted me with tools (and to keep my temper) and if Chooch could care a little more. Maybe if we convinced him that this renovation project was sponsored by Minecraft, he’d be more available. 

OMG IT’S HAPPENING. IT IS SO SCARY AND LOUD THAT IT ACTUALLY DOES SOUND LIKE HE’S KNOCKING DOWN THE WALL AFTER ALL, OMG.

I hope Blake and Haley’s babies aren’t napping next door because if they were, well, they’re not now. 

OK, I think I’m going to end the kitchen update here. (I mean, just the recap of it, but trust me there have been a million times during this process where I have said WE HAVE MADE A MISTAKE. LET’S JUST STOP HERE WHILE WE’RE AHEAD.)

(OMG I hope Henry doesn’t saw his hand off. I’m scared.)