Sep 292021
 

Please tell me, how is a bitch supposed to get a single thing done when she’s maniacally dancing to this song on repeat.

Asking for a bitch.

UPDATING THIS TO ADD HIS COMEBACK STAGE PERFORMANCE ‼️‼️‼️

Sep 202021
 

If I could concentrate on anything else right now other than my current favorite NCT127 song, that would be fantastic and perhaps I would instead be telling you all about Indiana Beach or our dinner at Mr Happy Burger, but this song and live performance have me too whipped, sorry, check back later.

Aug 232021
 

We didn’t do much this past weekend but it was a great one just the same. It’s nuts – during all of 2020 and most of 2021, I was pinging off the walls with my urgent need to go somewhere, anywhere. But now that we have been going away on weekends and stuff, I have been antsy to get back home. WHO AM I. Some weird pioneer woman version of myself. Next you’ll be catching me doing actual housework in lieu of having fun.

I did, however, have lunch with my bro Corey at our beloved Blue Flame! I hadn’t seen Corey in A BIT and also hadn’t been to Blue Flame since well before the start of the pandemic, so I was pretty fucking stoked for this. I noticed recently, the few times that Henry and I had driven past Blue Flame, that they had erected numerous signs boasting their new dalliance in serving Hershey ice cream. I wasn’t sure what all the hullabaloo was about since they have always offered ice cream as a dessert option, but figured they were just trying to drum up more business by reminding people that the option to come in just for a quick dessert was also on the table.

But then I was scoping out the menu online, as us members of the Meat-Free Club are wont to do in order to ensure we’re not going to be stuck with just a plate of lettuce and a baked potato. And with restaurants scaling back their menus during covid, I wanted to make sure my grilled cheese safety net was still in place. But then my eyes drifted to MULTI-GRAIN PANCAKES and I became fixated on that because I haven’t had pancakes in a long time and now suddenly, five days before this lunch was even happening, it was now all I could think about.

Before closing down the website, I noticed that once again, Blue Flame was pushing their Hershey scoops on their website too! WTF was so earth-shattering about this ice cream!?

Anyway, then Corey and I met up in the parking lot of BF on Saturday and I immediately pointed out how the windows had HUGE declarations of IT’S ALWAYS ICE CREAM WEATHER with cutesy ice cream cones drawn on the glass with window markers. “See??” I screamed. “They’re like, obsessed with ice cream suddenly!” I was so bewildered by this turn of events because in all the years I had been patronizing this place (literally my whole life, no exaggeration) dessert was never the main attraction. Sure, I have had numerous post-dinner chocolate scoops in the quintessential silver ice cream cup of yesteryear, but it wasn’t like, WHY you went to the Blue Flame.

We walked into the entrance and stopped at the “please wait to be seated” sign and Corey was all, “Um, holy shit, look” and over by where their breakfast buffet set-up used to live was an entirely renovated section dedicated JUST TO ICE CREAM. Yes, they actually added an entire ice cream shop inside their restaurant!

“Ooooh, now it’s all coming together!” I said slowly, and Corey did his patented SUPER LOUD LAUGH-OUTBURST, causing various Elders to toss glances over their shoulders at us. Then I pointed out that the Blue Flame sweatshirt hanging on the wall to advertise their MERCH LINE was folded in a way that it looked like a crop top, which made Corey once again BARK WITH LAUGHTER. Now, more people were squirming in their seats.

Anyway, all of this is to say that when a hostess came to seat us, she led us all the way to the back corner by the bathroom, like, “OK, you guys already gave us a taste of the kind of nuisances you’re gonna be so we’re just gonna tuck you away back here.”

SO TYPICAL!!

Man, what a great lunch. We got there at noon and closed the place out (they close at 2pm now because as with every other place in this new world, they’re understaffed). I think the waitstaff was REALLY HAPPY to see us finally get up from our booth, lol.

We joked later that after all that commotion about the ice cream, we didn’t even get any! So now we’re going to go back with our mom and have an ice cream party.

Terrible picture of me, but I’m keeping it because SIBLINGS.

I don’t even know what I did for the rest of Saturday. Oh! I was racing against the clock to finish a book that was due back to the library that day and hating every second of it because it was SUCH A SHITTY BOOK (“The Book of Accidents” by Chuck Wendig, in case you care). I was able to finish it but definitely didn’t feel like it was an accomplishment of any sort.

I spent most of the weekend re-obsessing over NCT, specifically NCT Dream and I think I finally decided that they are my favorite NCT subgroup?! You already know I’m gaga for Haechan but now suddenly I’m being whipped by Renjun’s voice and I’m not complaining. Anyway, this song from their latest release is really carrying me these days, I love it so much (it’s the first song specifically but FEEL FREE to listen to both because the second one is beautiful too):

I have felt so frantic, wanting to share this with someone, so…here you go Someone!

Sunday was whatever. Henry worked on THE SUBWAY SIGN which he is actually making progress on even though he said he’s been considering starting over from scratch and doing it a different way. You have no idea what a huge pain point this is in our relationship!! After he reached the point where he couldn’t go any farther without the aid of Supply X Y or Z which conveniently is always something that needs to be ordered online, we went for a walk in Homewood Cemetery and then got some Kung Fu Tea, even one for Chooch who has all but abandoned us since Blake and his family went on vacation and left Chooch the key to their house in order to watch their cat. We barely see him anymore unless we’re all away for the weekend, at which point he has no choice but to be with us lol poor him too bad so sad.

What other super scintillating acts took place this past weekend. Henry and I went to Target after dinner on Sunday. Do you still wear masks indoors even if vaccinated? We do. It’s a really weird feeling being in the mask-wearing minority but so far no one has tried to challenge us so maybe we are just shopping in decent, non-rednecky areas, I dunno. Chooch hasn’t started school yet but I’m curious to see how the mask mandate will play out there, but I’m hoping for  the best since it’s a city school and it seems like it’s mostly the crazy ass suburban Karens are pitching fits about their precious Chads and Brylynniahs having to mask-up. I’m just really so fucking sick of this country. Trump opened the floodgates and it feels like it will take a literal act of God to close it back up at this point.

But anyway, back to Target. I found the perfect denim jacket over in the Wild Fable section. You have no idea how picky I am with jean jackets but I have desired one for so long now, if only to have a canvas for my enamel pin collection. And then I thought to myself, “BOY ERIN WOULDN’T IT BE COOL IF YOU TURNED YOUR MISTER SOFTEE TSHIRT INTO A PATCH FOR THE BACK OF YOUR NEW BITCHIN’ JACKET” because I actually hate the quality of that shirt, sadly. It’s so starchy and gross-feeling! So I’ve been sending Henry DIY tutorials so that he can add “patch-maker” to his list of trades.

Also while in Target, we overheard the funniest exchange between two young boys who were probably between 2nd-3rd grade ages, whatever that would be. One approached the other and very confidently greeted him by saying, “Hey it’s me, Scott. Remember? From BLAHBLAHPLACE?” and the other kid goes, “I have NO IDEA who you are.” And Scott kept trying to jog his memory but the kid was all, “Yeah I don’t remember you AT ALL” and the parents were like cringing but I had to run into another aisle because I was on the verge of cracking the fuck up. Kids are wild!!!! They’re just like “nope, you a stranger, sorry” while adults would be killing themselves trying to play along like, “OH YEAH, HEY YOU! WOW! SMALL WORLD!” having no actual fucking clue what’s going on. I mean, I once made it through an entire dinner with someone whose name I couldn’t remember, so.

Well, that was my weekend. Hope yours was tight. Or loose, if that’s how you prefer it.

Aug 182021
 

Remember Wordless Wednesday?? Probably not. It was a “thing” in the blogosphere (yep, I really just used that word) way back when people still actually read blogs. Anyway, let’s pretend that this still exists because I have really no words, what with the depressing/horrifying/are you kidding me state of the world. So today I will share some songs that have been carrying through. Sorry, I’m still predominantly into Korean music so x-out now if you’re not interested!

  1. Maniac – NCT U (Doyoung & Haechan)

Big props to my pal Veronica for the heads up about this one, it somehow completely fell under my radar, which is surprising because Haechan is my NCT bias! Veronica pointed out that it has Debarge and Doobie Brothers (“What a Fool Believes”) vibes and I totally get that too – it’s the horns! I’d even go as far as to say that it has some 1980s Genesis flavor too. I’ve listened to it on repeat for like a full hour today. OK I’m listening to this again right now and I started crying because it makes me feel so happy.

NCT DREAM on Twitter: "Chilling Jalapeño #HAECHAN NCT DREAM The 1st Album  〖맛 (Hot Sauce)〗 ➫ 2021.05.10 (KST) #NCTDREAM #맛_HotSauce  #NCTDREAM_맛_HotSauce… https://t.co/nxvMsIPK4a"

luv u haechan!

2. Low Low – Ten & YangYang

Boiiii you know I love me some Ten, and I am so happy that SM is giving him so much to do lately!

3. Nakka – AKMU (ft. IU)

Can AKMU do anything wrong? They’re genius siblings, IFSTG. Plus, the addition of IU just raises this song even higher. I love it so much. (JANNA DOES TOO, in case you were wondering, “yeah, but does JANNA like it?”)

4. Lilac – IU

I mean, speaking of IU…

 5. Hula Hoops – DPR Live (ft. Beenzino & Hwasa)

This song has been in my head for a solid week! My fave kpop aerobics guy has a routine for this song and it’s so much fun, I love him and this song. Also, I wish I looked as fierce as Hwasa does by literally doing nothing. She’s a goddess. Also this reminds me that I wanted to buy weighted hula hoops for EXERCISE so catch me later online investigating that fitness rabbit hole.

6. You Can’t Sit With Us – Sunmi

THE QUEEN IS BACK. Sunmi is incapable of recording bad songs. This is my current anthem. I would like to sing it to lots of people. You can’t sit with us, fuck off, I hate you.

7. I Know I Love You – TXT (ft. Seori) 

TXT reminds me of when BTS was still good. I love this song namu namu namu much.

8. Hold On Me – Nam Woo Hyun (ft. Junoflo)

This song makes me want to run through my neighborhood in the rain. Actually, it’s raining now, so….

BONUS SONG: In honor of MY KING G-Dragon’s birthday today, we gotta end it with a GD jam!

OK, there were some words, sorry.

Aug 112021
 

I WAS SO STOKED FOR MOREY’S PIERS!! Also, I was super worried that it wouldn’t be a magical as it was when I was a kid and obviously I expected that it wasn’t going to be same because a shit ton of rides are gone (RIP Castle Dracula and Keystone Kops). But it still felt the same in my heart, you guys. It still felt the same. I am crying right now.

This bad boy, The Great White, was built several years after my last visit but honestly it looks like it has been there forever. I was so excited to ride this later!

We started out on Mariner’s Landing, because the other two piers don’t start running their rides until 5pm. Our main focus was to knock out all the coasters while it was still pretty uncrowded to ensure that Chooch would get all  the creds. Luckily, everything was running that day!

LOL our first ride, a stupid SBF Visa spinner. These things are pretty terrible but this one was good because….Wildwood, and also because the ride operator was 1000000% more animated than the one who was running it at Waldameer, PLUS Duran Duran’s “Rio” was playing and the day was beautiful and the ocean was RIGHT THERE and the sea gulls were so cute and everything was fucking perfect.

Actually, let me take a minute here to gush over the impeccable music selection of Morey’s Piers. It was ALL 80s, and not bullshit 80s either, but fucking Depeche Mode, the aforementioned Duran Duran, ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN, Talk Talk (their original version of “It’s My Life” and not the shitty No Doubt cover!!). Two fucking Cure songs!! “Boys Don’t Cry” played when Chooch and I were in the station for the Great Nor’easter, and then later that day, “Friday I’m In Love” was playing as our train was being loaded on The Great White, which was located on a pier that was playing primarily 90s music. The next night, as Chooch waited in line for a coveted back row night ride on this bad boy, Bush’s “Chemicals Between Us” and Fuel’s “Shimmer” came on and I was nearly openly weeping. Especially because I had just recently fallen down the Bush nostalgia spiral thanks to the Fear Street movies.

And that Fuel song. Oh god, that Fuel song. That was like my Summer of 1998 but make it a song so that I can lose my mind and cry every time I hear it for the rest of my life while also feeling the uncontrollable need to scream the lyrics until my voice gives out.

And at one point during the day, I am not kidding, Henry and I were walking to the gift shop when suddenly (or, my favorite Korean word: 갑자기) the opening drone of my beloved rollerskating jam, HEART AND SOUL BY T’PAU, sizzled down from the heavens. I grabbed Henry’s arm dramatically and yelled, “STOP. WAIT!” And then pointed up at the sky. When it was clear that Henry had no idea what was going on, I hissed impatiently, “THE SONG?!”

I am 100% sure that he still had no idea what was going on because the song hadn’t even yet fully kicked on and also it was buffeted by screaming sea gulls, the motors of rides in motion, people laughing, modern day boardwalk carnies on loud speakers reeling people in with false promises…my ears are actually super human when it comes to detecting a song beneath layers of miscellaneous cacophony. Henry can never hear the music over the din of talking and silverware scraping plates in restaurants, but I am always ready to scream, “OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS SONG IS PLAYING.”

Anyway, this Heart and Soul was playing and I had to make Henry sit down a bench with me while I listened to it because I was so obsessed with this jam as a kid that for two years in a row it was my “birthday party song request” at the VIP Roller Rink. It was also one of the first records I bought at National Record Mart and I remember so vividly not knowing who sang it so whoever took me to the mall, probably my mom – I guess I’m not remembering this as vividly as I initially boasted lol – told me to go ask someone to help me so there I was, some idiot elementary school kid probably wearing a corduroy jumper and knee high socks, telling the NRM associate, “I don’t know who sings it but she looks like Tracy Ullmann” BECAUSE I USED TO WATCH THE TRACY ULLMANN SHOW LOL.

It was almost like someone called Morey’s Piers and told them I was coming so that they could play the literal soundtrack to my childhood summers in Wildwood.

Phew. OK now that I got that out of my system, let’s look at some pictures of rides!

Rollie’s Coaster was Chooch’s second credit at Morey’s and it was more fun than we expected! I loved the vintage aesthetics.

The infamous Sea Serpent. I was TERRIFIED of this ride as a kid and never did ride it back then. I was actually kind of dreading this even now because it’s a Vekoma boomerang and I hate boomerangs. They’re usually so painful and kind of worthless!

That guy is totally ranting about how BIGBANG has not yet had a post-military comeback in any capacity.

“I MEAN, CAN G-DRAGON PUT DOWN THE NIKES AND PIC UP A MIC??”

Here’s Chooch and me in the fifth row, I look so thrilled, lol.

OK I’m not just saying this because it’s Wildwood but I really think this was the least worst boomerang I’ve been on. It was surprisingly smooth, but still terrifying. Also, I didn’t know this until recently, but the Sea Serpent is the very first Vekoma boomerang built in the US! Did I run back in line as soon as I got off? I mean…no. But it was still really satisfying on some nostalgic level to ride this coaster that looms in the background of so many old Wildwood pictures.

Goddamn. Life was really good in that moment, as simple as that sounds.

Chooch and I rode this seagull pedal ride thingie and it was fun but he was pedaling too fast and I was trying to enjoy the scenery.

We had to stop because an actual seagull was on the track!

View of the Great White from my perch on the suspended seagull.

When Chooch wasn’t being summoned by the arcades, he was cruising the piers for carnival games to play. This was definitely his scene.

Henry the Tight Wad got a ticket card and put enough money on it to ride the carousel and Great White, what a Dad.

LOVE THIS NEW ADDITION TO OUR CAROUSELFIE WALL!

Runaway Tram!

WATCH THE TRAM CAR PLEASE. I can’t believe it’s the same recording as it was in the 80s. I can’t even be annoyed about it.

This ride was just the absolute cutest! I think it only opened very recently, like in 2019 or 2020. It’s an adorable addition.

Oh god, an SLC (suspended looping coaster), another of my “favorites.”

Another major plus for Morey’s Piers is: THE RIDE ATTENDANTS AND OPERATORS ARE FUCKING AMAZING. Like, Disney-levels of enthusiasm. They smile and wave as every ride starts and you can’t help but feel inspired/obligated to wave back. Well, unless you’re Henry. And they have a program where students from other countries can work there so you get to interact with people from all over the world and it’s just really cool.

It’s been a long time since I went to Indiana Beach, but from what I remember, they have a similar situation  there too. I remember talking to various ride operators with Eastern European-sounding accents and thinking that was so odd and cool since we were in some remote part of Indiana.

But yeah, everyone we encountered from the rides to the pizza parlors seemed genuinely happy to be there.

Even their Wild Mouse is adorably-themed!

OK so as mentioned earlier, I really miss the old dark rides that used to be so synonymous with Morey’s Piers (was it even called that back when I was a kid?!? I can’t remember! I do know that they had more piers back then, that’s for sure). There are three there currently, but two are closed for the season (because of covid/staffing, I assume). Dante’s Dungeon was open though and it was so good! From the creepy ride operator in a pagan-ish robe who whispered, “Are you ready?” before sending our car into the dungeon to the person who jump-scared us from the shadows on  the other side, this was a dark ride that would make any purist happy. And if you remember, dark rides are really where my heart lies, not coasters. So when we find a place that has a good coaster collection and dark rides? Henry, hold my phone. Mama’s going in.

The last coaster we needed was Great White and I was so stoked for this!

I love a good wooden coaster, and this one is an actual delight. Plus, it goes off the boardwalk and onto the beach. What more can you ask for in a wooden coaster? Of course we didn’t wait for Henry so Chooch and I rode without him, leaving him waiting in the station, lol. We were dying because he ended up having a riding companion – some equally-as-old dude who talked to him the whole way up the lift hill and Henry told him about the trip we were on. Henry said, “he’s an enthusiast, too” as he regaled us with the detail of their convo, and Chooch and I were like, “BUT DID WE ASK.”

After this highly anticipated ride that did not disappoint, we walked back to the GOLD CREST NOT THE OLYMPIC BUT THAT’S OK to rest for a bit and then came back for some night action.

God, I love reliving this but it’s also making me mucho sad-o.

Jul 162021
 

Henry and those FUCKING SOCKS, tho.

Anyway!

Our Saturday was very bipolar. Well, in my head it was.

Or did I mean to say, I’M very bipolar?

Not Saturday.

Never mind.

It started out with Henry showing up at some bakery in Squirrel Hill, the name of which is escaping me, because they’re always going on and on via Instagram about how fantastical their chocolate babka is. Apparently, they use coffee and cardamom in their recipe and hello, I, Erin Rachelle, love these flavors. But every time Henry goes there, they’re sold out.

This time he was determined and got there before they even opened and managed to snag an entire loaf of the elusive baked good, even though we only wanted, like, a piece or two.

Nevertheless, he strode through the door like the loaf under his arm was actually his knight’s beistle and he had just returned from fighting a war against the Squirrel Hill serfs.

And you know what, you guys?

Not worth the hype.

I mean, the babka, but I guess also kind of Henry too? LOL j/k Henry, don’t be mad, I still need you to finish some projects.

Where was the coffee flavor? And not even a HINT of cardamom. I mean, it didn’t even taste like it was baked with cardamom IN THE SAME ROOM, let alone INSIDE OF IT.

So then he mentioned something about a vegan bakery in New Kensington that recently opened, and that is where the TOP PICTURE comes into play because I was like, “Fuck this babka, let’s go get vegan stuffs.” (Also, I should mention that 350° Bakery has RUINED us for babka because theirs’ is DELECTABLE and basically the only babka worth the calories.

It is also the only other babka I’ve had, so….lol.

IN CASE YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT BABKA IS: A babka is a sweet braided bread or cake which originated in the Jewish communities of Poland and Ukraine.

Chocolate Babka Recipe | Chocolate Desserts | Food & Wine

(From Food & Wine.)

ALLEGRO! Sorry, that’s the name of the bakery in Squirrel Hill. Allegro. I won’t be back for the babka, but their chocolate chip cookies are immaculate.

We made it to Sweet Alchemy right as the owner was about to close up shop for the day, but she took pity on Henry, who looked so desperate with his tap-tap-taps on her pick-up window. She still had some stuff left so we (well, Henry, I stayed in the car because I didn’t know what was going on and didn’t want to look like a fool knocking on a bakery window) walked away with some pop-tarts, a maple twist thingies, and a blueberry cake donut.

EVERY SINGLE THING WAS A SUGARED MIRACLE SENT DOWN FROM THE OVENS OF HEAVEN (the vegan branch).

Totally worth the drive out there even though we got stuck in traffic on the way back because there was a one-way lane and the road worker guy decided to let an entire biker parade pass through. I was LIVID.

“Bikers are my least favorite kinds of Americans!” I seethed at Henry who kept telling me to calm down which meant that he was about to pretend that our Hyundai Kona was his valiant steed in order to WHITE KNIGHT in style whatever fucking biker gang this was that had the audacity to hold up my day.

“And the women, especially! Ew look at them, all smug and trashy, clutching onto to the distended torsos of their MANS. So gross! FUCK YOU, INSURRECTIONISTS!” I screamed and Henry was like, “ERIN. YOU CANNOT JUDGE. YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT THEY ARE TRUMP SUPPORTERS.”

Oh, trust me, I knew! Just like I knew that if they weren’t PERSONALLY storming the Capitol on January 6th, they were watching it on the TEEVEE in their shanty by the CRICK, cheering it on, hootin’ and hollerin’. Whatever noises biker bitches make, while their burgundy lipsticks spills out into the creped skin around their too-thin lips.

UGGHHHHHHH1!!!!!

“I don’t know why you’re getting so mad about this,” Henry said as one of the bikers roared past with a giant TRUMP flag billowing in his wake.

“I just wish I had a partner who UNDERSTOOD me,” I cried, feeling alone as usual in my unwavering morals.

“Erin, no one will ever understand you,” Henry sighed.

OMG WHY CAN’T THE MOTHERFUCKER JUST WHITE KNIGHT ME FOR ONCE!!??

*deep breath*

Then we went to Target and Henry refused to buy another cardboard cat house “because we’re always tripping over the ones we already have” and huge correction there: not we, but HENRY is always tripping over them because he’s a big ass fe-fi-fo-fum oaf.

Somewhere along the way, “It’s My Life” by Talk Talk came on and I got angry all over again, this time because I was reminded of how GWEN STEFANI and her shitty cat mewling voice ruined this song for me for a long time. “She sucks,” I said to my forever audience of one, Henry. “And so does Blake Shelton. What an asshole.” Henry just kept driving in silence, probably hoping I didn’t turn on him next.

I also ranted about BTS and then cried about BIGBANG. It was a very full day of me desperately needing to hear the sound of my voice, I guess. That’s what happens when you’re in the house mostly alone all day and only communicating with your co-workers via Jabber and your teenage son sleeps until noon and then leaves the house in search of something better.

Sigh.

Then things got better that night when I made Henry watch Fear Street 1994 – it was EVERYTHING I NEEDED AT THAT MOMENT, HOLY SHIT. I mean, mostly for the music. There was one scene in the beginning that opened with Bush’s Machinehead in the background and I was AWASH, A-MOTHERFUCKING-WASH, with nostalgia. 1995, tooling around Southside with Lisa and Melissa a/k/a Martha a/k/a Poptart, rolling my eyes at their penchant for the grungey alternative things in life when I was a flamboyant yo-girl, though secretly really into their music too. Anyway, Martha LOVED Bush and I can’t believe how long it’s been since I heard any of their music, so of course after the movie was over (Simon & Kate FOREVER), I yanked Henry down the Bush rabbit hole with me, and then suddenly I was ranting with foaming lips about Gwen Stefani for the second time in one day. BUSH WAS SO MUCH BETTER THAN NO DOUBT AND HER SHITTY SOLO CRAP AND I FEEL LIKE MARRYING HER RUINED GAVIN ROSSDALE THERE I SAID IT GOD FORBID I’M SIDING WITH A MANS EVEN THOUGH WE HATE MANS IN THIS HOUSE.

(We do, me and the cats. We have a jingle that goes, “We hate mans, we hates mans, we hate mans in this house.” It’s really good, you’d have to hear it.)

I’d like to take a moment here to apologize to all of the McCoy’s patrons who had to suffer through me singing “Come Down” during karaoke every Saturday night in 2001/2002 except for my mortal enemy Christine–I hope that song haunts her in her sleep to this day lol.

Also, in that movie, they played a split second of White Town’s “Your Woman” and I was fucking drop-kicked back to 1997, driving along Rt 51 with Lisa in her Jeep, flashing a Polaroid of Psycho Mike’s weener out the window at every car next to us at red lights while this song played in the background, much to Lisa’s horror. Vintage Dicks Pics, yo.

Anyway, I would like to end this on a posi-note by sharing a live version of my favorite Bush song. i only just discovered this video the other day because now my YouTube feed is full of recommended Bush videos, in addition to the Korean and roller coaster mainstays. When I first moved into this house, I used to listen to the Cafe Del Mar remix of this song over and over and cry like a basic bitch.  When he says “we’ll wrap the world around it” I lose it every time and I couldn’t really tell you why but don’t worry,  you don’t have to deal with my sensitive music triggers.

Henry does.

LOL.

Shit this song is so good. Blake Shelton is a HUUUUUUUGE downgrade, overall.

Jun 042021
 

Yaaaaaaaa, it’s Friday and I spent all of my energy power-walking in the cemetery, working, crying over The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (I’m like 5 years behind on that hype-wagon), more power-walking, and then exercising so here are five songs that I have really been liking lately.

CIX – Cinema

Chooch and I saw them at a living taping of The Show in Korea and I desperately hope that we get to see them again!

AB6IX – Close

The vibe of this video, though.

Olivia Rodrigo – Good 4 U

BTS fans hate her so I love her.

SHINee – I Want You

Not a new song but one that always makes me want to go run through a meadow or whatever.

Chiodos – The Words ‘Best Friend’ Become Redefined

I put on one of Chooch’s old (suuuuuper old – it was an XS!!!) Chiodos shirts yesterday and felt overcome with nostalgia so naturally I had to cue up some of my fave Chiodos songs while wearing it. Man, I miss that scene SO MUCH sometimes, but I don’t miss the person I was back then AT ALL.

(Yes, it’s signed! So it doesn’t get worn much.)

BONUS: Chuck Mangione – Feels So Good

I got a Chuck Mangione pin in the mail yesterday (for another dumb kitchen project, stay tuned or tune out) and it prompted me to go into full-fledge dance party mode when Chooch had the audacity to say that he didn’t know who Chuck MANJONE (his failed pronunciation) was. I was doing a REALLY GOOD horn impression too and Chooch shouted, “THIS IS SO ANNOYING, I’M MOVING OUT” and the cats were like, “TAKE US WITH YOU.”

You know what didn’t feel so good though? This whole work week.

On that note, I’m OUTTA HERE.

May 122021
 

I was planning on recapping the remaining books I read in April but then Wonho went and dropped the official MV for my favorite song on his new album and I was like STOP THE PRESSES and now I’m writing here today to not tell you to read books but to WATCH THIS VIDEO AND SUPPORT OUR (ex)MONSTA X BIAS Wonho because he has worked so hard and been through so much these last few years and this SONG IS FIRE. I usually am averse to Kpop collabs with Western artists but who this Kiiara broad is (my friend Veronica and I both had to google her lol), she really complements Wonho on this track and I approve. Thank god he didn’t go the Halsey-route, ugh.

Speaking of Henry, he was making greeting cards last night while mumbling Dad comments about Top 40: Machine Gun Kelly has a song that doesn’t sound *too* bad until Halsey comes on & she ruins it & then he has another song that sounds exactly like that one but it’s with someone else.” I want Henry to start a music zine.

This all started because I was on Instagram and saw that Avril Lavigne commented on Britney Spears recent post (of course I follow Brit!!!!) and I was like “But is that really Avril, I thought she was dead*” so then I fell down the rabbit hole of Avril’s Instagram and saw that she has a song with Mod Sun which made me die because he was such a Warped Tour hanger-on back in the day and I think he was part of Jonny Craig’s “entourage” even until they had a falling out. Now it appears he might be dating Avril? I couldn’t tell and got bored with it pretty quickly but not before also seeing that she also recorded a song with MGK which is what prompted Henry’s MUSIC CRITIC outburst.

Also, Avril looks the same so are we sure she wasn’t in a cryo-vat all these years? “Ew she still has that nose,” I scoffed and Henry just looked at me like, “why wouldn’t she.”

Anyway, Henry likes this Wonho song and I think that he is OK with Kiiara.

P.S. OK curiosity got the best of me and I googled: YES MOD SUN AND AVRIL ARE DATING LOL WHAT. Also, here’s a picture of him back when he was Jonny Craig bootlicker:

Jonny Craig & MOD SUN | Cody Smeltzer | Flickr

 

Apr 142021
 

You guys, SHINee is back again and I am IN LAHHHHHHHHHVE with this video and song and the outfits and the dancing and Onew’s sweet smile Taemin’s lavender hair and Key’s Prince-esque purple sequined get-up and Minho’s signature swagger, and and and….how is SHINee so consistently this good?? I shared it with my friend Nate yesterday at work and he said he reminded him of the underwater levels of Super Mario Bros which made me like it even more and then he made the fatal mistake of asking me what it means that this song is from the 7th full length repackage album which sent me spiraling into the abyss of Kpop facts and I’m sure he was sorry he asked but he *did* say that he was going to listen to more SHINee so I think it’s safe to say that we will be calling Nate a Shawol any day now.

This new song is also on the repackage and I really think it’s my new current favorite SHINee song – that Onew falsetto!!!! I have said before that if it wasn’t for Taemin, Onew would be my SHINee bias. His voice is not talked about enough:

Area brings me to tears. This is so signature SHINee, my eyes are actually burning right now help me. I keep saying “Alexa, play it again” like I’m in a trance.

In semi-related news, Henry and I went to get a new car last night. We have been a one-car family for, well, forever because pretty much right after Henry moved in with me a million years ago, he totaled his car and then we just always had one which actually hasn’t been too much of an inconvenience since we were always either working opposite shifts and then I was able to easily commute to my current job, plus we live in an area where most things are super accessible by walking. However, our current car is nearly paid off so we felt it was time to add a second and the next logical step to my transitioning lifestyle was clearly to go Korean.

So we chose a Hyundai Kona!

Henry and I had to go to the dealer last night to make it official, and before we left, I mused in half-seriousness that I needed to choose a purse that made me look more “mature” and Henry literally scoffed at this. I guess he didn’t notice what I had chosen, because when we got out of the car at the dealership, he said, “Really? That’s the one you went with?” I mean, considering my options are anything from souvenir theme park popcorn carriers, sparkly animal purses from the little girls section at Target, and bloody butcher knives, I think this was a pretty good choice!

It was between this one and my NCT127 Cherry Bomb purse that has the see-through window to show off my NCT enamel pins. Who has time for bland grown-up purses?!

Anyway, we already had the car picked out and did the financial stuff online beforehand, so it was mostly just a lot of sitting around and waiting for the finance guy to be ready. I was more than happy to let Henry do all the talking to the sales guy up until then because B-O-R-I-N-G but I got irrationally up in arms when it came to the point where the dude was setting up our Bluelink and needed a pin. He asked HENRY even though it had been stated numerous times that I was going to be the primary owner/driver of this car. I shot Henry an icy look that he completely failed to read, and he proceeded to give the guy the last 4 digits of his phone number to use. I sat there with my mouth hanging open and glared at Henry.

“What?” he mouthed to me.

The sales guy turned to his computer to start adding the info and I LITERALLY PUT MY FINGER IN THE AIR, leaned in, and said, “Actually? Can we use *-*-*-* instead?” The sales guy was like, “Oh, certainly!” while Henry groaned and said, “We could have changed it ourselves later!”

“Yeah but I want it to be this RIGHT NOW,” I sat back smugly. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless. Sometimes we don’t always the have big mallet on hand when smashing the patriarchy, and have to make due with taking out small gouges with a grapefruit spoon instead.

What does that even mean. I didn’t sleep well and have a headache.

Henry said he was bracing himself for me to blurt out my Ode to Korea when the finance guy asked us what made us choose a Hyundai, but I was too tired. We had been there for like 3 hours by then and I just wanted to stop scribbling my name everywhere (usually I LOVE TO WRITE MY NAME) and go home where Chooch was pouting because of course I texted him while we were there and told him we wee actually unable to get a new car after all because having a kid mean fucking with their emotions constantly (oh no, is someone going to call CPS on me again??).

Anyway, after being the last fucking people left in that place, we drove home with two cars. And because this happened smack in the middle of a new SHINee comeback, I decided to name my new car Jinki, after Onew. (Onew is his stage name, Lee Jin-ki is his actual Korean name.)

We are tentatively going to venture back into the world of road trips here soon, once we’re fully vaccinated so we will definitely be getting a lot of use out of Jinki! Also, I haven’t had a white car since my very first car – my beloved Eagle Talon, Cassie Lane!

I gotta get some SHINee accoutrements for this pretty boy.

Awkward photos. HNC was outside and I wanted to hurry up before the obliggy “YINZ GIT A NEW CAR?” convo happened.

I’m fully prepared for our Cruze to shit the bed now because isn’t that how life always works?

Mar 262021
 

When I first started to listening to Kpop in 2015, I was surprised for several reasons:

  1. I don’t know what I was expecting Kpop to sound like, but my first impression was to think: “Holy shit this music is better than anything I’ve been hearing on American radio.” I was TOTALLY part of the problem, you guys. I had subconsciously written it off in my head as “lesser than” because the majority of white Americans, whether we know it or not, are programed to think this way unless presented with an opportunity to deviate from the racist norm of this damn country and come up with their own damn opinion. And as annoyed as I am when I share a Kpop MV with a work friend and they say “That’s actually good,” I can’t be too critical because I was once that person, too.
  2. There are a lot of Kpop idols who are actually Asian American. (Also: not all Kpop idols are Korean.)

In America, AAPI is invisible to the music industry. Think about it: how many Asian Americans can you name that are currently on rotation on Top 40 radio stations? Now go back several several decades and think about it. The more I started learning about Kpop and getting into different groups, I learned that the Asian American members left the US (Canada too) and moved to South Korea in an effort to have a better chance at a music career. And these artists, you guys, they have more talent than most of the shit we are being forcefed in car commercials, the grocery store aisles, etc.

Imagine, as a kid, knowing that you were born with this beautiful voice, or the body to dance like no other, and realizing at a certain point that your odds of breaking into the US whitebread market are pretty abysmal. So now you have to leave your family and home behind and move across the world to South Korea in hopes of building a career off your natural talent.

Imagine that.

When I first got into BIGBANG and realized how huge they are around the rest of the world, I was naively shocked that I had never heard of them before, and also perplexed at how they hadn’t managed to crossover to the US market like Psy had (btw Psy is not a one-hit wonder, and I always have to laugh when people here think that Gangnam Style was just some gimmicky one-off – Psy is insanely popular everywhere else and has his own label now). And when BTS’s ambitious fans aggressively pushed them into the ears of America, I was really excited at first but then realized, “Wait, this is America, this could be bad” and sure enough – the racists proved me right. The comments I’ve seen on articles or Instagram posts about them have been heartbreaking, infuriating, and just plain disgusting.

I was having a conversation once at work with my friend Regina about BTS, and when I said that they aren’t even the best Kpop group, just the ones who got lucky enough to make it big, she was like,  “I wonder why it hasn’t happened to more groups yet.” I looked her dead in the eye and said, “Because America only has room for one.”

So today, I want to put the spotlight on some of my favorite Asian American singers who deserve so much more recognition here in the US and I am BEGGING you to listen to at least one or two, please, show your support to these hardworking and talented people!!

  1. Jessi

Born in New York, Jessi is so goddamn badass. Not only is her music fierce, but her personality is HUGE! Henry and I love watching her on Korean TV shows, making everyone uncomfortable, lol

Why isn’t this on the radio here?

2. Amber Liu

Amber is probably my favorite from this list. Once a member of the beloved SM group f(x), she is now back in LA pursuing a solo career and we NEED TO SUPPORT HER. The CRJ vibes in this one, tho:

And if you’re looking for something to add to your Peloton playlist, this is one of her older solo songs, when she was still in Korea:

I believe f(x) was actually the first Kpop group to ever perform at SXSW, which is a fun Amber-related fact. (Yes – it was in 2013!)

3. Bobby

Bobby is a Korean rapper from Virginia. He moved to South Korea, won a bunch of music survival shows, and went on to become one of the most prominent rappers in the scene. He’s currently the rapper in Ikon, but he has some solo stuff as well:

I also want to include this track he did several year ago with a side project of his and Song Mino’s:

4. Eric Nam

Eric is from Atlanta, and before we get into his music, I want to leave you with a link to the Op Ed piece he wrote for Time in the wake of the Atlanta spa shootings. 

This is SUCH AN ICONIC SPRING JAM FOR ME.

5. Tiffany Young

Tiffany was born and raised in California and moved to Seoul as a teenager to become a trainee at SM, where she subsequently became a member of one of THE MOST LEGENDARY KPOP GIRL GROUPS IN THE WORLD: Girl’s Generation. She opted to not renew her contract a few years ago and has since been working on her US solo career.

Every time I hear this song, I mourn the fact that it wasn’t around in the 80s for me to request at my rollerskating birthday parties:

You know what guys? Fuck Friday 5! Here are some more!

6. Ailee

HOLY FUCKING SHIT THIS GIRL’S VOICE COULD BE A WEAPON. Every time I listen to her, I lament the fact that she’s not rubbing elbows with Beyonce at the top of the charts. How!? This is a travesty.

I’m posting this but I can’t watch it because this song is from my favorite Korean drama, Goblin, and just hearing the opening notes guts me, but this is an excellent example of Ailee’s live vocals:

But yeah, keep putting Taylor Swift at the top, America.

7. Henry Lau

Henry is actually Canadian-born but I’m including him here because he’s Henry and this list would be remiss without him because he is a DELIGHT and also a classically trained violinist.

^^^^ This is from another FANTASTIC Korean drama: While You Were Sleeping, and now I’m crying lololol.

My Henry also loves Henry, lol.

8. Chungha

Chungha is another bonus/exception because she was born in South Korea and then spent a chunk of her childhood in Texas. But when she decided she wanted to pursue a career in entertainment, she moved back to South Korea. America, we could have had this:

You guys know she’s one of my faves so I had to fit her into this list!!

****

I know that sharing some music videos isn’t revolutionary or a game-changer in the grand scheme of things, but I really am trying to keep this #StopAsianHate conversation going. I’m saddened at how little I have been seeing across my social media on this topic. Where are all the white allies?! White influencers have also been suspiciously quiet (but you go ahead and post those photos of your Starbucks match latte!).

I hope that you will take some time to watch some of these. Maybe you will find something you like! It’s beyond time for the American music industry to start being more inclusive. I personally have had enough of Halsey and all the other girl singers that do that weird fake baby vocal fry. Let’s make room for the Ambers and Ailees of the world, thank you.

(I am also donating 100% of March sales over at Hello Hanguk to AAPI organizations, and Henry and I also signed up for a Bystander Intervention training webinar. There is so much more work to be done, so much more education we need to seek out, and so much more self-reflecting that we can do. Don’t be ashamed to admit that you need to work on adjusting the lens in which you see others, because I definitely have a long ways to go! I can’t, as a white person, sit here and say that I am 100% perfect because I clearly am discovering hidden biases within myself that I never knew existed until it had the opportunity to be exposed. (Case in point: my “shock” that Kpop music was “actually good.”)

Feb 222021
 

Sometimes I make a conscious effort to not coat this Internet space with fan girl vom, but I have no control over that today because it’s SHINee’s comeback, their first one since Onew, Key, and Minho have been discharged from the military!

The 7th album is every synonym of a chefs kiss. My favorite song is either Body Rhythm or Kiss Kiss, but the first single Don’t Call Me is also PERFECTION – they all look and sound so good. Ugh that ubiquitous SHINee sound!

Most of you know that they’re my second favorite Korean group but honestly, if BIGBANG’s hiatus lasts any longer, they might end up eclipsing them at some point here.

JUST PUTTING THAT OUT THERE.

Actual clothes worn by SHINee! This is from the SM Town museum in Seoul.

I have felt like I’ve been on the receiving end of the warmest, most familiar hug while listening to this new album and I hope it’s always like that for me.

THIS SONG TOO THO ugh I can’t pick a favorite but this song has THAT SHINEE SOUND that makes me feel this intensely strong pull to South Korea. It’s seriously like the biggest crush I’ve ever had.

I get some low-key 1980s-era Genesis vibes from the instrumentals on this track which obvi makes me love it more.

Today when Henry came home from work, I screamed DID U WATCH THE SHINEE VIDEO and he was like “of course I did, duh” and I think it really says so much that he also is into Kpop comebacks, when he never gave a single shit or reacted at all to any of the new releases from the Warped Tour-esque bands I used to love.

Laugh all you want but Kpop changed my life for the better and – I don’t want to say “saved” because we weren’t like on the skids or anything, but it gave Henry and me something to BOTH LIKE AT THE SAME TIME. Omg a shared interest?!

I’m just so stoked on this new SHINee right now and I would really love to have a Kpop party to brainwash all of my friends with it. Ugh fuck you Covid. Winter sucks in general but a winter after a year of semi-isolation sucks the most. I’m going to have so many imaginary friends by the time we’re in the clear, maybe even enough to start my own girl group.

In other news, I was super hyper because of SHINee and pretending to puke down Henry’s shirt but when I grabbed his collar to tug it, my cold hands touched his skin and he reflexively turned and we banged heads and now I think I have a concussion for a super dumb reason. This is almost as bad as when I wanted to see how hard I would have to squeeze a Milk-Bone to break it and when it snapped, it sliced me in that weird turkey-chin part of the hand between the thumb and pointer finger and my mom was like YOU BETTER PRAY YOU DONT NEED STITCHES BC I AM NOT TAKING YOU TO THE HOSPITAL FOR THAT.

Feb 012021
 

The other night, I was watching the episode of Schitt’s Creek where Stevie has a Sarah McLachlan poster in her apartment and I was reminded of the fact that I have not listened to Sarah McLachlan (accidentally catching a few notes of one of those depressing animal commercials soundtracked by Eyes of an Angel doesn’t count – that song will never be the same again) on purpose since I was probably 19 or 20. I was home alone for a bit on Sunday and decided to remedy that while having COZY BOOK TIME. So I put on Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and immediately felt like some other, long-repressed Erin had resurfaced and suddenly I wanted to put on a flow-y skirt with sandals and tuck a daisy behind my ear.

(Fun fact: I used to wear long skirts all the time, even when just hanging out at home, but then some of the guys I worked with at the meat place made low key rapey comments and would ya look at that, I’ve only worn pants for the last 20 years. Huh.)

My Sarah McLachlan obsession started accidentally when I was in high school, scamming Columbia House and BMG – you remember those ads where you could choose 10 CDs for a penny or whatever? I think eventually they upped it to “for the price of one CD” but I took advantage of this SO MANY TIMES. And if they didn’t have anything I wanted, I would just choose random stuff that looked cool. That’s how I ended up with Fumbling Toward Ecstasy and whatever album she had that came out before that one.

What stands out the most to me is that F.T.E. was that rare album in the 90s where it was 100% listenable the whole way through. Oh man, I can’t tell you how many times I bought a CD back in the day only to realize that the only good song was the radio single. I guess that’s why cassingles were so popular back then! But F.T.E. was like a deep tissue massage for my brain. My bedroom senior year of high school in 1996 was super cozy and vibe-y – I had all kinds of strands of lights, lava lamps, neon, a deep purple carpet and foiled wallpaper. Those TicToc kids don’t have SHIT on my 1990s boudoir! And goddamn, that album got a lot of play time back then. I was super depressed most of the time so this shouldn’t be too shocking.

Anyway, all of that is fine and dandy, but the one thing that pushed its way to the forefront of my mind yesterday while floating down this aural memory lane was that Psycho Mike made fun of me SO HARD for liking Sarah McLachlan. It was “so gay.” I have this strong image of us standing in the basement of my parent’s house, next to a spare dining room table, while he mocked me about it and I know what you’re thinking, “Wow, Erin this is the second time in less than a month that music has made you write about Psycho Mike sounds like SOMEONE is still hung up” and you know what, you’re right! I am not over that toxic relationship. I still have nightmares, for Christ’s sake! He did a real number on me and I probably still require several years of therapy!

But then, and this is the part of my memory that’s hazy, it was either the cheerleader he met at the juvenile psychiatric facility he was sent to in 1997 and temporarily dumped me for, or the girl he starting dated two years later after we had officially broken for good, but one of them also really like Sarah McLachlan so then he suddenly did too. Fuck you, Psycho Mike.

[I also went through a brief Jewel phase back then which I forgot about (purposely blacked out?) until last week when Chooch and I walked to 802 Cafe and “Foolish Games” was playing. Wow, I had a physical response to that one, that’s for sure.]

Later on, I heard the tail end of Duran Duran’s “Come Undone” wafting down the steps from the radio in my bedroom so I was like OH SHIT MY JAM and hurriedly put the video on YouTube while assisting Henry in Valentine Land. As soon as that ended though, I had Sade’s “No Ordinary Love” queued up to play.

“What’s making you listen to Sade?” Henry asked, probably confused by the sudden deluge of music with English lyrics.

“Well, because I just listened to ‘Come Undone’ by Duran Duran and that will always be connected with ‘No Ordinary Love’ in my head because they were both popular around the same time and it reminds me of when my bedroom was arranged in a certain way that I loved.”

Henry gave me that “…ok” smirk so I continued to explain. “Actually I hated it at first because my mom waited until I was on vacation with my grandparents to rearrange it and then I came home from Europe, jet-lagged, to a strange room!” I cried incredulously.

“Yeah, that doesn’t make me feel sorry for you,” Henry sighed.

I need to learn to read the room.

And then I went back to my Sarah McLachlan loop which made Henry ponder about Lilith Fair.

“Didn’t you go to Lilith Fair?” he asked.

“Nope.”

“Are you sure?” he pressed, looking so fucking sure of himself.

“Pretty sure I would remember attending Lilith Fair,” I said in that teenaged tone spiced with the perfect amount of derision and condescension that I reserve just for him.

“Hmm,” Henry sighed, staring into space. “….did go to Lilith Fair…?”

And then we spent the next 35 minutes trying to remember Ani DiFranco’s name and had a huge fight because I put on “Uninvited” by Alanis Morrisette and HE DIDN’T KNOW WHO IT WAS.

“HOW DO YOU NOT RECOGNIZE HER VOICE,” I screamed, like this was a personal affront, equivalent to not knowing my middle name or Kpop bias.

“WELL IF I DIDN’T KNOW THIS SONG BEFORE, I SURE KNOW IT NOW!” he yelled after the 4th different live version of it played on YouTube.

I really wish I had more pictures of my old bedroom, is my main takeaway of the weekend’s music memories. Oh, and that I need therapy to work through the Psycho Mike stuff. (“I don’t think I’m over the stuff Psycho Mike did to me” I said to Henry and his response was a very dry, “wow, no shit.” LOLZ.)

Jan 262021
 

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

That’s it. That’s my life.

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

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

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

I found!

The most glorious!

Sequined!

Lip!

Patches!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 182021
 

We usually have a small clock-radio playing lightly in our bedroom at all times, dialed in on some inoffensive station that plays more “classic” Top 40 with the occasional current hit sprinkled in for good measure. Basically, it’s dentist office tunes, where one minute you might be blessed with some deeply nostalgic Depeche Mode track, and then just as quickly annoyed by some Miley Cyrus shit-song. I just like not knowing what I’m going to walk into each time I enter throughout the day (and sometimes I can even hear what’s playing from downstairs, prompting me to scream over the TV “ooh it’s my jam!” to which Henry scowls, “How can you HEAR that?!”).

All of this is to say that I was awoken one morning last week by the opening acapella pining of Tonic’s “If You Could Only See” and with tears spurting out of my eyes, I was suddenly drop-kicked back to 1997, the autumn after senior year, sitting in a lobby of the McKeesport YWCA waiting to take my GED test because yes, I was a high school drop out. There was only a month or so left of senior year, I was in a shitty relationship with a psychopath, I had zero support or understanding from my family, I had been grieving my grandfather’s death for over a year with no reprieve, and my mental state was largely ignored. Back then, as a 17-year-old brat, I chocked my decision up to rebelling, trying to get a rise from parents who didn’t pay attention to me. It wasn’t drugs, I wasn’t a teen mom, I wasn’t failing (I was on the fucking honor roll lol) – I just made a stupid, knee-jerk, stubborn decision to not get out of bed anymore because being in those halls made me feel like I was going to scream.  I would realize later on that I had a sort of mental breakdown and my ability to make “normal people” decisions had taken a back seat. I was literally lost.

Choices were made, amigos and chingus.

Fast forward a few months: my friend Christy, who knew that I was better than that, urged me to get my GED so that I could at least get a job. I had nothing else to do – all of my friends had gone away to college and I was just toiling around with Psycho Mike, on the verge of making the leap from rich suburban girl to legit white trash. So, why not? Let’s GED this bitch up.

And that’s how I wound up in the McKeesport YWCA, striking up conversation with a super cute and hilarious guy whom I felt SO STRONGLY was The One but now I can’t even remember his name. Dante? Damien?  All I remember is that he was super into computers (“I like taking them apart and putting them back together,” he said and I thought this was dumbest yet most interesting thing ever, like OMG can I watch?) and planned on going to school for that, and he lived in the nearby town of Dravosburg.

The GED test was spread out over two evenings, and we both arrived too early on each evening, hanging out in the lobby and talking before the doors to the testing room opened up. On both nights, we were the first to finish (I might have giddily rushed through it so that I would have more time to talk to him) and I remember distinctly sitting in this alcove/balcony area during the breaks we were allotted each night, and he even chivalrously sat with me while I waited for my ride after the testing was over, talking like we had known each other forever. He gave me his number, and when Psycho Mike picked me up after the second night of the testing was over, Mike was of course enraged to find me talking to another guy. I remember stopping at Firehouse Videos that night on the way home m to rent Dario Argento movies, and then having a huge argument in the basement of my parent’s house. I didn’t even care because meeting the new guy was a sign: I had incentive to dump Psycho Mike. Because in my stupid high school drop-out brain, having a rebound guy was better incentive than, I dunno, protecting myself from further abuse?! Teenagers are so FUCKING DUMB.

But then I couldn’t find GED dude’s number! And I hadn’t given him mine! I even called my friend Justin who also lived in Dravsoburg and asked him if he knew him, told him the whole Shakespearean dilemma, and could he locate this guy? Could he give him my number? Dravosburg is small, right?!

Justin said he would see what he could do, which was nothing because at the end of the day, we may have been “friends” but we were also “exes” and he wasn’t on board with pimping me out I guess.

So I never talked to that guy again, but I thought about him occasionally for the next several years, particularly anytime I would hear that Tonic song, which was popular at that time and for whatever reason, I associated it with him.

I did end up, obviously, dumping Psycho Mike but it wouldn’t be until another 6 months or so. And what would have happened if I hadn’t lost that guy’s number? How would that have changed the trajectory of my life? Would I have still met Henry? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

Hilariously (but not), several years later, now with Henry as my boyfriend, I had decided to go to college. In order to enroll at Pitt, I needed my high school transcript which made me so fucking nervous because I had never seen them and wasn’t really looking forward to taking that awkward and painful stroll down memory lane. I had to pick up the transcripts in person and I can remember bursting into tears in the parking lot afterward – I had actually graduated high school. After all of that, all of the passive-aggressive shaming my dad put me through, the childish bullying I endured any time I ran into enemies from high school*, the hassle of going to McKeesport and taking the GED exam, I had been a high school graduate that whole time. I remember back then, a friend telling me that there was a seat saved for me at commencements but I didn’t believe it then. I guess it was true.

*[Notably, the time I was at Denny’s with my friend Brian and that broad Cinn I mentioned recently, and two dumb bitches I hated more than anyone (I didn’t know about Trump yet) stood next to my booth in order and plunked quarters into the Claw Machine. “I’m really good at this,” Mindy said theatrically and extra-loud, as though her cunt friend Christine wasn’t standing RIGHT NEXT TO HER. “I went to college.” At this, they both collapsed into red neck chortles. OH BURN. So you went to college to learn a skill that requires you spend $1.00 on a 5 cent plushie? COOL!]

Anyway, both of those bitches are miserable and basic.

I was a mess in 1997: I was suicidal, directionless, hopeless, I saw no future for myself. So I chose some controversial paths, but those paths miraculously spilled me out into a pretty good spot in life. I made my own awesome family, I have a handful of loyal and amazing friends, and I have a decent job which maybe I’m not passionate about but that decent job affords me to focus my free time on things I AM passionate about. I dunno, I think I’ve done ok for myself in spite of some abysmal choices.

If I could only see all of that back in 1997.

LOL, see also: deep thoughts inspired by an ok song.

Jan 142021
 

GOT7 members to leave label JYP Entertainment: reports | ABS-CBN News

It was announced recently that GOT7 has parted ways with their OG label, JYP. It looks like they’re signing one by one to new labels, I read that Mark is coming back to LA to try his luck at a solo career here in racist America, and Jin-Young might be focusing solely on acting….while I will continue to support each member in their new, individual endeavors, it is going to take me a long time to mourn GOT7 as a whole! Each member posted the above picture on their individual IG accounts with #GOT7FOREVER and you better believe it was a “no mascara” day for me after that.

They were one of the first groups I grew to love through kpop cardio. They were/are Chooch’s bias group. They are CRITICALLY UNDERRATED. Please, I beg you, forget about BTS for one goddamn second (they are not the best there is!!) and give GOT7 some love. Their dancing is FIERY and their looks have always been stunning. Visuals always killing it. Vocals? Better than “your faves,” fight me.

Here are some of my favorites:

SarahKpop made one of my favorite kpop dance workouts to this song, which was how I first heard it!

When this song came out, it was seared into my brain for a full year.

THE COLORS, VOCALS, MOVES. ALL THOSE BOOKS?!!? (OK here come the tears lol.)

This makes me want to punch things!

I love their cute aegyo side,  too! Also, this song has such a sweet message.

This is one of my ALL TIME faves.

We (a/k/a me, myself, I) made the last minute decision in June 2019 to buy tickets to their Toronto show and I am so fucking relieved and grateful of that decision as it would end up being the one and only time Chooch and I got to see them perform live. 

The first time we were in Seoul, we even staked out JYP in hopes of catching a glimpse of them, like true Kpop sasaengs!

Walking Figure Eights in Gangnam: 3/28/18

Anyway, here also is what is supposedly their last performance as GOT7, from the Golden Disc Awards earlier this week; the second song they perform is my current favorite, which I posted about a few weeks ago:

I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is probably the best thing for them. They weren’t treated well by JYP and now they’re finally free of their contractual chains to pursue other avenues to happiness.

OK I have to go now that I have thoroughly depressed myself. If you watched any of these and liked one or whatever, let me know since I am sad and need friendly banter. LE SIGH!!!!!!!!!