Nov 302023

Hello from 2023 where I am currently stressing out over Chooch / college / etc. When I say it’s eating away at me…well, that’s a lie because then I would be actually losing weight instead of gaining weight, which is what all of this absurd stress is doing to me. IT’S FEEDING ME. Anyway, I was searching for something on my blog yesterday and this old post from 2014 came up which made me feel all nostalgic and sad. Also, it’s apropos because Pitt is in his Top 2 currently which is pretty cool. So I’m resharing this. Enjoy the pictures of 2014 Chooch *cries in Aging Mom*


Sometimes, Chooch and I give Henry a break and venture off on our own, except that by “on our own,” I mean “definitely with a chaperone.” Originally, Chooch and I (+ our chaperone Janna) were going to go to see The Secret of NIMH at the Hollywood Theater, because that was one of my favorite childhood movies of all time but no way does it still make me cry, OK? But then I saw that the sun was going to be out all day and I didn’t want to be in a dark theater during that, and it’s all about me anyway so I didn’t really ask Chooch and Janna if that was OK.

Instead, we went to Oakland because I thought it would be fun to show Chooch the Nationality Rooms at the Cathedral of Learning, which is part of the University of Pittsburgh. (Maybe some people reading this aren’t from here, I don’t know! God.) I’d call it my alma mater, but I didn’t actually graduate and I’m not a liar.

On the drive there, I jokingly said I had to quit college because I became a mom*.

“To who?” Chooch asked, and then within a minute of me posting that exchange on Facebook, someone corrected Chooch’s grammar. Thank God for the Internet. But you know, I guess that’s my fault for typing my conversations verbatim, instead of editing to make my 7-year-old sound like a pretentious grammar douche and not, you know, a 7-year-old. He’s got the rest of his life to learn how to talk like Mr. Belvedere.

*(Anyway, this isn’t true. I quit because I was bored, frustrated and realized that college definitely wasn’t for me. I mean, it didn’t do much to help me, because luk att how turrible i still write-z0rz.)


As soon as I parked the car, I realized that I didn’t have my wallet which was devastating because the plan was to eat lunch there afterward and I’m not going to lie, I was already starving.

When you walk into the Cathedral, it’s like being swallowed by a gothic cavern. There’s this amazing Great Hall that would make Hogwarts’s figurative weener shrink; you set foot in it and it’s like being transported back in time. The Cathedral of Learning was my favorite thing about Pitt. It had been about 6 years since I had gone back, so the novelty of it was definitely there.

You know what else was there? Chooch’s Grand Canyon-esque echo. Just what everyone there wanted: my kid’s ever-running mouth in primitive surround sound.


The audio tour for the Nationality Rooms isn’t free, but the rooms are open to the public regardless, so we just took our own tour, renegade-style. Whatever that means. I’m on my fifth cup of coffee. This was just as well, because Chooch’s attention span did not allow us to stay in any one room for more than 3 minutes. (Except once, and it wasn’t even a nationality room; just a regular classroom as non-descript as Henry’s wardrobe.)



Chooch’s attempt at college math. In his head, this made sense.


A ceiling in one of the rooms, the nationality of which I do not recall because I quit caring after the fourth room when I noticed that Chooch was no longer carrying his phone and Bunny (I didn’t even notice that he brought that damn thing!) so we had to backtrack and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s backtracking.

(I just imagined myself having to backtrack in Alaska and I think I’m done with this day now.)


Chooch made a beeline for the blackboard in every room and immediately left his mark. In a lot of the rooms, there was the same writing in Chinese characters, so Janna and I started saying, “Looks like Chinese Chooch was here” and of course Chooch didn’t get it which made it even more fun to say.

We kept trying to get him to look at the shit in each room, but he was under the chalk’s spell. So basically, it was for the best that I left my wallet at home and couldn’t pay for the audio tour.


 “Guys, come on.” Sometimes I really have no idea where he gets his independence, but that kid walked around like he owned the place.


Don’t worry, Chalkboard NARCS & Religious Zealots, I erased it. (2023 Erin: Wouldn’t it be funny if this was FORESHADOWING.)



Sadly, being a non-traditional student (and part-time to boot) didn’t leave me with too many fond memories, though a painting of Copernicus in the Polish room recalled a time when I made Janna enroll in the same Magic, Medicine and Science class, because see above where: I really have no idea where my kid gets his independence. This was back in 2004, Jesus Christ—TEN YEARS AGO. (See? I don’t need no college degree.) Anyway, that class was a piece of shit and our instructor was some young broad named Holly who hated us because we sat in the back of the class with some lady we befriended and we would literally sit there and write shit to each other in our notebooks while Holly and her class pets would go off on tangents about Plato’s Cave.

Anyway, one of the things Holly would make us do was read a million pages of super-dry Galileo bullshit from our overpriced text book and then write an outline, except that she called it some fancy word steeped in academia because “outline” was too pedestrian. Turns out I was a natural at these bullshit papers, and you know who wasn’t? Janna. On the first one we got back, Holly had scribbled angrily in red marker about how Janna had PLAGIARIZED and to this day, this is the best thing that ever happened to me in college. Not making the Dean’s List. Not having my Creative Non-Writing instructor tell me I was her favorite student (hahaha). Not watching my College Algebra teacher repeatedly Windex herself in the face instead of the overhead projector.

No, it was Janna being accused of plagiarizing her HOMEWORK. That was the best fucking day.


Having to PeeSoBad in the Italian room.


 Seriously, this kid. I tell him, “Go stand there so I can take your picture” and he does something Chooch-y every time.


Ladies Room Selfie. Yeah, that’s right. When Henry’s not around, Chooch loafs in the ladies room.

Haha. “Loafs.”

We walked past the room where I had an English Comp class and that made me think about the time Christina was visiting from Cincinnati during the spring of ’05 and she decided to come with me and hang out on campus while I had class. I specifically told her what time class was over and I made sure she had the room number memorized so I EXPECTED her to be waiting outside the door like a good fucking puppy at exactly 3:30.

Of course, she was nowhere to be found, and this was before either of us had a cell phone (I was notoriously anti-cell phone; she was just notoriously poor) so I marched all over the fucking Cathedral, breaking out into a sweat and eventually having to stop into the bathroom to pee because hide and seek has historically always revved up my bladder. Finally, I ran into her as she meandered out of a stairwell, no big deal.

“Oh, was class over early?” she asked casually, BECAUSE THAT BITCH THOUGHT SHE WAS EARLY. Do you know why she thought she was early? Because she never set her watch ahead for daylight savings time and she was actually an hour late because she was too busy lounging outside in the grass, watching people JOUST.

I was only That Mad because everything Christina did made me That Mad.


Thoroughly interested in reading about this giant tome of sheet music. Thank god.


I’d love to see how he sits in his actual 2nd grade class.


I found the aforementioned College Algebra classroom from 2006. “This is where I used to sit while you were in my belly, I mean, sitting next to me in your unhatched pod,” I sighed with maternal warmth to Chooch, who was 100% not interested.

Like so many dummies, I was forced to take remedial college math courses because my cumulative high school math average was not cutting it. (Somehow in high school, they kept putting me in advanced math classes even though I kept telling my guidance counselor that I was bad, just plain no good at math.) But I didn’t hate college math because I had the best instructor ever. Joanne was the fucking shit and quite literally gave me so many “a-ha!” moments from which I definitely would have benefited in high school. Her classes were the only ones I enjoyed going to and actually spoke to the other students. (I’m still friends with one of them IRL, actually. You know, as opposed to just in Toon Town.)

On the first day of that class, we had to go around the room and introduce ourselves. When it was my turn, I blurted out, “AND I JUST FOUND OUT I’M PREGNANT!” Totally taboo to make such a public declaration so soon into the pregnancy but I was so excited. This class was full of older, non-traditional students, so no one really shirked away from me like the younger students did in my geology class, but that might have been because my pregnant, bloated belly got stuck behind a desk one day, and that was when the professor had to go and get me a desk that had a detachable chair. That was a really awesome memory.

Anyway, this particular math class was split in two, but most of us ended up together during the spring semester too, and those sneaky brats, along with Joanne, had a fucking baby shower for me during class one day! (Much to the chagrin of the men in that class.)

I still get all teared up when I think about it. OK, sorry Janna the Plagiarist, but maybe that’s my favorite college memory.


(2023 Erin again: I hadn’t fallen down the K-hole yet – LOL OK that doesn’t work here, now it just sounds like I’m a drug addict and not a Koreaboo – so I didn’t realize in 2014 that the first thing written there in this picture is HELLO IN KOREAN. I actually assumed that I had written it until I saw that this was 2 years pre-lifestyle change.)

Report if you see bullying to the chancellor’s office, is what that is supposed to say, but Chooch kept saying “chandelier.” This was after he tried to force his way into said “chandelier’s” office. Thank god it was Sunday.

And locked.

Like real life college students, we were starving and thirsty, so Janna suggested that we go to the basement and see if the vending machines took credit cards but they only took Panther Cards, which are the dumb college card things and Chooch was like, “YOU WENT HERE SO WHERE IS YOUR PANTHER CARD? USE YOUR DAMN PANTHER CARD!” But Mean Henry would never let me put money on my Panther Card because what…I’d use it to buy Adderall? Who knows. And even if I did have one back then, hello, I haven’t been a student since 2008; go get your own Panther Card, Doogie.

Look at me, giving my kid a taste of true college life! Spread your wings, Chooch!


Even though we were ready to collapse with hunger and thirst, we’d have been remiss to leave without taking Chooch to the 36th floor to take in the nauseating view.




Man. What a great afternoon.


When we went home to retrieve my wallet, Henry was lounging about like the goddamn Sultan of Brookline.

“I can’t believe you didn’t check in on us, not even once!” I cried.

“I knew where you were,” he said casually, so now I’m convinced he’s having me tailed.


Nov 252023

I am having a pretty good day and I hope you are too. (Look at me being positive and nice!) The past week was pretty good too aside from some weird work anxieties – nothing major but I think I am just very on edge lately since OMG CHANGES IN MY LIFE. I just really don’t adjust to change all that well. The best way I can describe the last month-and-a-half is by comparing it to the time middle school was on vacation with my grandparents. I think we were gone for nearly 3 weeks, just long enough for me to really experience homesickness. I was happy to come home to my dogs (mm probably not the rest of my family though LOL savage) and the familiarity of my bedroom. EXCEPT THAT MY MOTHER CHOSE TO REARRANGE MY ROOM WHILE I WAS GONE.

Kevin, excuse me but do you know how disorienting that is??

I think that’s similar to how I have been feeling lately. To be honest, I don’t think I really got back into the groove since we came back from vacation. That was a long time ago at this point. I just feel so uncomfortable every day? Nothing feels right? And then the new neighbor situation has really fucked me up and I can’t explain why. Yes, it’s been sort of stressful, but I think it’s more of the fact that my routine was bulldozed for weeks and I just can’t get back into it. I’m trying to start up my exercise routine again because that was totally ruined and my diet was fucked, all of this PLUS the stress causing me to gain weight and you know the underlying theme of my life is WEIGHT OBSESSION / FOOD PHOBIA etc. so god bless my neighbors for sending over plates of delicious food and homemade bread, but I know associate them as a whole unit with WEIGHT GAIN and I am to the point where I am almost hiding from them and that’s so fucked up. I am fucked up. Do I need therapy, you think? Here are these people just trying to be nice neighbors by feeding us and I’m over here developing an aversity to them because I’m fucking neurotic. I hate myself.

Anyway, all of that aside, some nice things happened over the past week to get me out of the house and talking to people aside from online chatting with my work friends (not knocking that AT ALL but sometimes I need some IRL conversing).

I had brunch plans last Saturday with my friend Lindsay and I was reallllly looking forward to it. It’s only our second time hanging out but, at least on my end, it feels like she is an old friend (I mean, she *is* Internet-wise!) and the nerves are not there at all, which I really appreciate. Henry drove me though because Chooch had his gaming class at Pitt right before that and it was convenient for us to drop him off together so that we could then go to Home Depot and pick up paint for our current project. There is this one person I used to follow in IG who would drop little bread crumbs about her latest project and then say I CAN’T WAIT TO SHOW YOU WHAT IT IS and half the time she never would. I will not be like and just tell you that we (LOL *WE*) are redoing the twin to the current beverage buffet we have and we are doing it in a garish clown theme. No big secret to reveal later, unless you want me to assign it a gender and have a dramatic announcement when it’s done.

OK so the whole point in me telling you this is because we had the best cashier ever, this super personable older black woman who first initiated conversation by saying that she liked my hamburger purse and then she started asking me questions about it like is it wagyu I don’t fucking know and I was like, “Oh, I just bought it because I thought it was funny since I’m a vegetarian” and she was like, “Oh ok. Are you ready for Thanksgiving? What are you cooking?”

I laughed, like a really hard staccato HA! and said, “Nothing!” She looked at me like I was FUCKING CRAZY. “Trust me, no one wants me cooking!”

Henry was off to the side making grunts of agreeance. Then he said he does all the cooking and she was like, “WHY YOU DON’T YOU TEACH HER??”

“Oh trust me, we’ve been together over 20 years. There is no teaching her.” And I added, “It’s true. He has tried and I get so distracted and start looking up at the ceiling.”

She was dying. Then I told her about the time I tried to make Chooch pierogies and didn’t realize that I had melted the spatula on it until I saw him about to shove a forkful of pierogi and spatula tendril into his mouth.

We had actually already finished checking out and were still standing there talking about this and it was one of the rare times lately where the small talk felt so real and natural?? It reminded me of how I used to be before the world and texting and the Internet ruined my knack for verbal communication. I forgot that I used to be really good at it and would have good chats with people everywhere I went! I kind of feel inspired to do that again??

Then it was time for brunch with Lindsay at Scratch!! First of all, it was so awesome to see her again and eat what were quite possibly the best donuts I’ve had in Pittsburgh? My friend Wendi was raving about them to me, and I can confirm that they were worth the hype!

The avocado toast was also totally filling and also beautiful – look at it up there! I can be kind of bratty about avocado toast because trends also annoy me but sometimes a good avocado toast can be so satisfying.

Then one of the waiters interrupted us to tell Lindsay that she has the best laugh and I totally second that! But then it was kind of awkward because I wasn’t sure if he was going to ask to join us….? He just sort of lingered there and then eventually offered to take our order because our original server was busy with a large party, but honestly, I kind of felt like he was he interested in Lindsay and then lost his nerve and tried to play it off by taking our order?! LINDSAY IF YOU’RE READING THIS, DID YOU GET THAT VIBE FROM HIM?

We overstayed our 90 minute welcome window and were asked (politely!) to leave, lol. I mean, the host did offer to move us to the bar area, to be fair! I can’t believe how fast that 90 minutes flew by though! It was so fun to catch up, complain about Pgh’s food scene (eff you, Oak Hill Post!!), and tell her the Coaster Crew trip deep cuts.

I totally forgot to ask someone to take our picture!

My Coaster Crew friend Pam is in town this weekend for an event at Kennywood (it’s being held by a different coaster club) but she made time to see me after she got into town yesterday! We met at Yinz Coffee (owned by the former owner of Crazy Mocha which was the ONLY cafe in Pgh that had a good chai latte and I’m happy to report that Yinz Coffee uses the same recipe thank god) and had a wonderful catch-up sesh! Kind of surreal seeing her here in Pgh and not out in the wild of some Scandinavian amusement park. #tears

Henry came in toward the end and Pam was like, “IT’S HENRY!” Ugh, Henry! Henry! Henry! Henry barely even talked to anyone on that trip and I guarantee he’s still the one people would remember the most!

That was really fun, and it made me want to have a reunion with everyone from that trip so I posted on Instagram that we should have a Phantom’s Revenge marathon party next year and then everyone can stay at my house and Jean (!!!) commented and said, “Let’s do it!” and Henry was like, “DO THEY KNOW HOW SMALL OUR HOUSE IS?!?!” But if we wait until Chooch goes to college, we’ll technically have two spare rooms to fill with beds and sleeping bags?!

Or we could be grown-ups and buy a house.

I was really thinking a lot last night about our Coaster Crew friends and it made me wonder if any of them were at the Coastin’ By the Ocean event we did in 2022 – it was technically an event held by Morey’s Piers but you had to be a card-carrying member of a coaster group to be able to register, so we were able to do it as Coaster Crew members. Of course, we had never done a Coaster Crew event before that so we had no idea if anyone from that group was there.

I looked up the group picture and literally SCREAMED:

FREAKING DAWN AND ROBERT, TWO OF OUR FAVORITE PEOPLE WHO WE ALSO RAN INTO IN FINLAND?? (Spoiler – I haven’t written about that yet, oh well!) And they were RIGHT IN FRONT OF US? I am shook. Honestly, the world is so small sometimes. It’s humbling.

Today, Chooch and I met Janna, her sister Julie and bro-in-law Marcus and their son August at Eat n Park so that they could talk to Chooch about his college plans, tell him about their experience at CMU, answer questions for him, etc. It was really informative and interesting even for me, the big stoop at the table. It also occurred to me on the drive there* that I don’t think I have seen Julie since high school??

*(You’ll be shocked to know that I actually drove Chooch and myself there and here’s why I did: I knew I would be able to park there; if I am going somewhere with street parking, Henry better drop what he’s doing because I will have an anxiety attack before I even grab my purse, requiring him to drive me and drop me off like I’m fucking Miss Daisy or a 4-year-old going to preschool.)

Anyway, I really really really appreciate that Julie and Marcus took time out from their holiday visit to meet with Chooch and I don’t know how he’s feeling about it because he never tells me this shit, but I know that I for one felt a bit better and less stressed about it by the time we left.

The college process in general I think (OK I  know) is another reason why this fall has felt so alien to me. Most nights, I lie in bed with such anxiety, that I can feel my blood rushing even in my gums. Like a sizzle/tingle along my teeth. I know, I know, “this too shall pass,” but I am having such a hard time calming down. I need one of those sweaters that dog’s wear to keep them calm during thunderstorms. Maybe the human version of that is a hug? I don’t know.

Oct 022023

a/k/a Erin’s Redemption Era

Me, before Riot Fest: We don’t even have to be near the stage. We can just stay way back on the fringe, sit down and relax, etc.


We ended up decently close, on the right side, surrounded by a pretty good cluster of Cure fans. It was 10000x better than the crowd at the Blossom Music Center, I will tell you that much right now. I really liked the older couple next to us – the woman was so short, I felt awful for her. There was a very tall guy, like Corey-height if not taller, with his friends in front of her and he was trying so hard to duck out of her way. She was like, “Listen, I’m short – I’m not going to be able to see no matter what! You’re fine!” and for a split second I considered trying to be like her, not giving a shit about seeing, just enjoying the music, etc etc but then they came on stage and I was on my tip toes, craning my neck, bobbing and weaving. It’s so futile, lol. I could actually see, mostly, but also the screens at Riot Fest are EXCELSIOR, way better than the ones that they have at most of those dumb ampitheaters, so it was almost impossible to not see.

The Mars Volta finishing up on the other stage. I think they had everyone in a trance by the end. I haven’t listened to them in YEARS, probably actually since their first album, and I know I saw them at least once back then, maybe twice, so the nostalgia was there for me. Not so much for Henry though. He was acting like his ears were bleeding.

And then magic happened for the next 2.5 hours. You guys. YOU GUYS. It was so nice to just enjoy the concert and not wonder if SOMEONE was going to ask me SOMETHING, etc. etc.  And I think Henry can also attest that the night was a lot more fun for him too, not having any expectations. When they performed “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea,” Henry grabbed my hand and pulled it into the air and I was like “YOU’RE SO DUMB I HATE YOU” but on the inside I was like *rainbows and grilled cheese*.

I love this aerial shot so much, credit to Riot Fest, obviously. I left my drone at home.

This was 100% worth coming to Riot Fest. I love the Cure so much, and I guess Henry is up there too, just not as high. And not as unconditionally.

***SET LIST***

  1. Alone
  2. Pictures of You
  3. High
  4. Lovesong
  5. And Nothing Is Forever
  6. Cold
  7. Burn
  8. Fascination Street
  9. A Night Like This
  10. Push
  11. In Between Days
  12. Just Like Heaven
  13. At Night
  14. Play For Today
  15. A Forest
  16. Shake Dog Shake
  18. Endsong


19. Lullaby
20. The Walk
21. Friday I’m In Love
22. Close To Me
23. Why Can’t I Be You?
24. Boys Don’t Cry
25. 10:15 Saturday Night
26. Killing An Arab

And Dumb Henry bought me this beautiful poster to add to the collection!

It’s already frame and on the wall going up the steps, right next to the one of the entire Riot Fest lineup <3.

Incredible night. The weather was wonderful. The Cure was perfection as usual. (They are physically unable to put on a bad performance, I swear to god.) The company was….eh. Decent. The only annoying part was waiting for Henry to pee afterward and then the stressful process of catching the train back to the hotel, which actually wasn’t that bad except that I got stuck talking to some guy about my posters and he was definitely one of those guys who asks you questions about music just so he can not listen to your response because you’re a dumb dumb silly goose girl and then before you even finish he’s already on his mansplainin’ podium. He wasn’t THAT bad, just moderately annoying and I was fucking tired and didn’t want to exert energy needed to form sentences.  I was actually kind of praying that he would try to throw down some Cure facts on me just so I could take him to school but he eventually set his sights on the guy behind me who was wearing a band shirt that he could relate to, I don’t know what was going on, I was trying not to fall asleep while standing erect.

There was a line going down the sidewalk just to get INTO the train station thing and by the time our group was the next to get herded through, there was a public transit worker guy who was trying to usher everyone down as far as they could go by hollering, AND IT WAS REALLY COMPLICATED SO YOU HAD TO REALLY PAY ATTENTION, “Everyone keep walking down the track as far as you can go!”

But….they didn’t go as far as they could go. They just…stopped halfway. So, then the train came and everyone just stood there, and Henry and I were like, “Um, we’re going ALL THE WAY DOWN, peace out motherfuckers” and that is how Henry and I got to snag a completely empty car and secure any fucking seat we wanted, while all the other cars were packed to the gills with Riot Festers who were too dumb to FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. Jesus Christ. And people have the nerve to say that Kpop stans are dumb. Mmm.

I’ll end this with one of my favorite Cure songs of all time. When I first moved into this dumb house in the fall of 1999, I used to watch the music video for Fascination Street over and over and over and over and over and…..ugh.

OK now I’m crying. Goodbye.


Sep 252023

When we last left off, I think I was telling you, Sir Blog, about our breakfast with my work pal, Vicki. God, that was a good time!! After breakfast, she was kind enough to drop us off at Douglass Park. It was around 11:30 at that point and the gates were supposed to open at 11. We said our sad goodbyes to Vicki and skipped across the street to the end of the line (well, I skipped; Henry stalked). As soon as we had claimed our spot in line (which wasn’t even that long), a couple walking past in the opposite direction began announcing to everyone in line that gate-opening was delayed until AT LEAST 2pm due to the downpour that had been happening all through the night and most of the morning. While it wasn’t raining anymore and the sun was blissfully shining, I can only imagine the park grounds were pretty saturated. And it’s already bad enough that the Douglass Park community really, vehemently does not want Riot Fest taking over the park every year, so I can imagine the powers-that-be behind the festival want to do everything within their power to ensure that the grounds don’t get absolutely obliterated like with what happened at the old location, Humboldt Park, in 2014. Phew, that was BAD. That was the last time Riot Fest was ever held there because they kicked out hard on their asses by THAT community.


That left us with a lot of time, and very little to do. I didn’t want to text Vicki and be like, “Come back and hang out with some more, come pay attention to me, come babysit me” because what if she had shit to do!? I didn’t want her to feel obligated. So, we found a cafe that was “right around the block” according to Henry but was actually pretty far away and then by the time we got there, it was like a ton of Riot Festers had the same idea, so the line was practically out the door AND there was nowhere to sit.

We ended up getting on the train thing and going back to the section of town where we had breakfast. We found a sports bar that was crowded but slightly less crowded than all of the other ones on that block and sat down to have a BEER while people were screaming about football. Mm. My favorite environment.

I don’t even remember the name of the bar, it was very standard. And everything was FINE until HENRY told me what beer to order (something called Gumballhead or something) and it was fucking disgusting. Even Henry was not hitting it off with this beer. “I’M SORRY, BUT THIS TASTES LIKE AN IPA, NOT A WHEAT BEER.”

Whatever that means.

It was supposed to have a “lemony finish.” Oh, they got that right. Because that shit tasted like I just licked a table polished with Lemon Pledge, honey.

I am gagging in hindsight.

DUDE. LOL – so I took a break to walk to Dunkin’ with Henry because I wanted to spy (or, if you’re a Pittsburgher, “neb”) on the work that is going on next door — the still-vacant unit that I am lowkey panicking about because I want it to stay vacant forever. The front door was open so I wanted to, you know, casually gawk and see what’s going on but I all I saw the was DIARRHEA wall color, which is….well, somehow less ugly than the color that was over there when Blake lived there. Some disgusting sea moss or something – it made me so uncomfortable. I hated going over there.

Anyway, were was I! Yeah, so we were walking to Dunkin’ but then stopped at the BEER STORE first because I am still desperate for the Jelly Donut bullshit, and well well well, look what I found stinkin’ up the place:


Back to Riot Fest day. I kept checking Instagram and it appeared that they were definitely going to open the gates at 2PM, so we left the bar around 1:00ish I think. My original plan was actually to just go there around 2:00 anyway, because I didn’t care about many of the earlier bands until 2pm. So, I wasn’t very broken up about this to be honest. I do feel bad for the people who were upset to see their favorite bands get cut from the schedule though :(

The line to get in wrapped around the block quite a bit and Henry had me panicking, thinking it was going to take over an hour to get in. It didn’t take an hour. I would say maybe 30 minutes because the Riot Fest staff was basically like FUCK IT and started waving people through without even searching most bags. Only one of our tickets was scanned. The guy was like, “It’s cool, I scanned one, just go ‘head in.”

Um. OK. If this wasn’t AMERICA, I wouldn’t have so felt so clenched about this, but spoiler aleart: It turned out to be fine.

The only downside is that we completely missed Thursday, who went on promptly at 2pm but we could hear them on the other side of the fence, at least. I’ve seen them a bunch of times over the years so I wasn’t too sad about it but I would have liked to have been inside to support them.


So surreal being at Riot Fest again after…how many years ago 2016 was. Most of the ground was dry but there was DEFINITELY some swampy areas and we came out of their with mud-spatter all over our legs. I’m glad I brought my plain black Vans!

My one main takeaway is that even though we hadn’t been there in so long, and even though I haven’t been in this SCENE for just as long, it was like everything was frozen in time. You could really say that the Riot Fest scene is timeless, and that’s not really bad. It’s nostalgic and comforting.

Henry felt neither nostalgia nor comfort.

I had to laugh though because really THE ONE BAND that I wanted to see that day aside from The Cure was the recently-reunited Balance and Composure. You might remember how deep my love was for them before I turned the way of South Korea. Actually, 2016 might have been the last time I saw them, now that I think about it. Their set started at 2:55PM and Henry conveniently was in line to buy the Cure’s Riot Fest tour poster, so once again I found myself alone in front of the scene, crying to B&C. Some things really DON’T change!! But before they came on, I got to hear the end of Cult’s set on one of the main stages. They ended with “Do You Know What I Mean” and it brought back memories of the Early Years at the law firm when this song was an inside joke for Kaitlin and me. That seems like an entire lifetime ago! God, Riot Fest was really doing it to me.


Oh! I almost forgot. For some inexplicable reason,  I packed my old Hotel Books t-shirt which I haven’t worn in years. I didn’t really think much of until that morning when I put it on. I laughingly said, “God, I hope no one wants to talk to me about Hotel Books because I literally can’t remember a single thing about them aside from that I liked them a lot for a minute!”

I’m not kidding, as soon as I staked out my spot at the stage before B&C started, some guy leaned over and said to me, “I like your shirt!”

“Thanks!” I said, like I fucking made it in my t-shirt factory. And then I got real fidgety, my eyes practically screaming, “IMPOSTER! IMPOSTER! SHE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW THIS BAND!”

All I remember is going to see them at some defunct club on the Southside, getting kind of drunk, and hugging the singer/spoken-worder at the end of the night.

I really did like Hotel Books back then though!! I actually put them on in the car on the way home the next day and my chest got real warm like I just did a shot of Robitussin (Janna’s drug of choice) and I thought to myself, “Oh yeah. There it is.”

But FUCK MY LIFE, Balance and Composure still REALLY do it for me. Like, really really.

After this, I found Henry standing a safe distance away from the crowd. The next band I wanted to see was also on the same stage, but we had about 30-45 minutes to kill so we walked around, checked out The Bronx briefly (we’ve seen them numerous times over the years but it was like a homecoming hearing them live again, if only for a few minutes). Then we went and got some free samples of FUNNY WATER which was fine but I wasn’t ready to commit to a full can of it.

Henry kept asking me who were seeing next and I was like YOU WILL SEE and OH JUST WAIT so he was getting really paranoid, like it was going to be some fucked Jonny Craig side project revival bullshit set.

It was just LS Dunes, but it was funny to me because it’s the latest Anthony Green side project and literally every time we go to Riot Fest, Anthony is there in one form or another. Can you believe we (“we” lol) have been supporting him and all of his projects since 2004?? Staring with Saosin, but really getting in deep with Circa Survive in 2005. I had to actually google to see when it was that we saw Circa for the first time, and it was July 2005 at the Grog Shop, right before I got pregnant, and Anthony signed my Circa CD outside the venue. Say Anything was headlining and I didn’t like them (still don’t) so we must have ducked out before they came on and Anthony was just chilling on a wall outside, with a few fan boys jawing his ear off.

And now it’s 2023, he’s a dad of 3, been in and out of recovery, but continued to be obscenely prolific in the scene. Henry actually recognized his voice, but not his face. I mean, face it – we’re all ageing! It’s just so much more surreal when we see it happen to bands that we have been fans of for decades.

Anyway, LS Dunes – amazing. Frank Iero – amazing. Anthon Green – fucking ICONIC.

I really didn’t take many pictures. We were mostly there for The Cure and I felt pretty distracted all day because of that anticipation.

I got this crunchie vegan person bowl for dinner because my body was CRAVING vegetables. It was…ok. $18 worth of ok. :/

Meanwhile, Henry went off on his own, leaving me to eat alone under a tree a bowl of stuff that tasted like said tree, and came back with a vegan mac n’ cheesesteak. I was jel at first but after stealing a few bites, my final assessment was that eh, didn’t really like it that much.

I also was trying to keep myself from getting sick. I didn’t want to be standing for three hours at the main stage with a bloated stomach. You know?!

LOL JK I still felt like shit!!

Almost forgot to take a selfie. Yikes. Who am I.

Then Finch came on and can you believe it was the first time seeing them??!! I was obsessed with them in 2003? 2004? I just remember going on weekend drives with Henry and fucking blasting them and Thrice.

Henry stalking me. Lol I was sitting in the gross grass because MY STOMACH HURT from that stupid bowl.

The last band to play on this same stage, the only stage we were at all day which is insane because all of my past Riot Fests consisted of me SPRINTING from stage to stage, was the Used. Ugh. It was fine. I didn’t cry. But I also didn’t feel great in the heart.

“Now, which one dated Kelly Osbourne?” asked some guy behind us. “Oh the singer?”

Wow. That was a blast from the past lol.

I miss screaming-Bert. I get that he can’t scream anymore but man, I will never forget seeing them at X Fest on a tiny stage and seeing him puking all over the stage from intensity of his screams.

Those were the days, man.

I felt really fucking old at Riot Fest. Not because everyone was young, but because of all of these bands from my way-back years. I couldn’t handle it. It was a lot.

I’ll end this here. The Cure deserve their own post <3

Sep 182023

Good morning. It’s 10:04am and we just left Super H-Mart. I wanted to get a head start on alcohol for the Xmas party that I decided to have because it’s not actually a Xmas party but possibly A HOLIDAY THAT I INVENTED??!!

It’s hard to get good soju flavors in Pgh and makgeolli is non-existent.

Anyway!! Riot Fest was…surreal. It definitely didn’t give me as many feels overall as it has in the past so I guess I am firmly rooted in K-Town at this point. Obviously the bands still did it for me but as far as Riot Fest itself goes, eh. I was content with just doing the one day as opposed to all three that’s for sure. My body hates me enough for just the one day.

Aside from the Cure though, the best part of yesterday was seeing VICKI from our Chicago office!!! She’s part of my old group in the department and I have only gotten to see her once when she and another lady from Chicago came to our Pgh office for a few days. I LOVED hanging out with her then so I was determined to see her this weekend. I’m so happy she made time for us!!

We took the train in from where we were staying outside of the city. Henry the PubTrans expert was like WE NEED TO TRANSFER TO THE PINK LINE and when I told Vicki of these alleged plans, she said NO. DO THIS INSTEAD and told us to transfer to the ORANGE line and then she picked us up at whatever stop she told us to get off on and it was so easy – thanks Vicki! This is why we come to her at work with the hard questions haha.

Anyway, she took us to this breakfast place called STAX and poor Henry just sat there shoveling food into his mouth while Vicki and I chatted like long lost army friends. Actually this was preferable to Henry haha.

I changed my mind four times but then I saw LEMON LAVENDER pancakes and was like “gimme those NOW.”

As soon as we sat though, I took off my jacket and said VERY SERIOUSLY, “Vicki I have to tell you something that no one knows at work.”

I could sense Henry rolling his eyes because he knew what it was going to be, but Vicki was on HIGH ALERT and said, “oh my god what is it, Erin?”

Like I’m about to announce to her my pending resignation, but instead it was, “I think I may have invented a new holiday.”

“Oh Erin!” she said, letting out a deep breath and I’m over here like, what? This is a big deal worthy of a suspenseful announcement.

Anyway, she seemed skeptical but I will still invite her to the party because it will probably be worth traveling for.

(Future Henry reading this: *frowning, head shake*)

The only downside is that now that Vicki met Henry, she said she feels like she is going to side with Glenn more in group chat!!!!

Then she was kind enough to drop us off at Riot Fest afterward! What a great start to the day. It was definitely go downhill from there for a bit but then the Great Start made a comeback.

We’ll discuss separately.

It’s 10:58am and we’re in Indiana now if you were wondering.

1:33pm (the time went ahead an hour at some point here in Indiana): just ate a lunch of Kimbap and gyeongdan from Hmart in the parking lot of 7-11. I need to go back to Korea ASAP.

Now let’s look at some pictures from our Saturday ‘date’ night in Chicago (I guess it was like a date??? We held hands for like a minute):

I was wearing my Parker’s Maple Barn tshirt and it made me miss Alyson so much!

Anyway, after we ate at Chicago Diner (see previous post!) we went to Millennium Park – apparently Mexican Independence was being celebrated and the excitement was contagious!! A continuous parade of cars waving giant Mexican flags were cruising around in controlled chaos. I loved it. As someone who doesn’t really have a heritage, I’m always so interested in seeing other people celebrate their culture and history.

2:21pm: we were just a rest stop in Indiana. When I came out of the bathroom, I found Henry in line at 7-11 waiting to pay for an energy bar. Then he gets out of line, right, and comes over to me like some fucking Kevin Costner hero type and asks, “did you want something?”

Ok first of all, don’t act like a GALLANT GENTLEMAN when you were already in line to check out in the first place without a second thought about me! It was only because he saw me walk in and remembered that I existed!!!

More Chicago pictures:

I truly enjoyed walking around by the water! I think the ONE BEER I had at dinner was tampering my mood swings and making me an agreeable cutie sweetie.

I just typed that without thinking so I guess my subconscious assessment of myself is pretty generous.

There was a pretty decent public restroom along the River walk. Pittsburgh would never.

We stopped at a bar along the River walk and got another drink. I got a cider. I need you to know that this was two hours after I had a beer at dinner, and I was maybe a few more sips away from coming home with a public intoxication souvenir on my record. I was really trying to join a flash mob or facilitate a coups of some sort by the time we got up to continue walking.

I wanted Henry to take a picture of my nails but he took this in such a way that I look like I’m sniffing my fingertips?! So I made him take another but I wanted to try and cross my eyes in it:

“Were my eyes crossed??!!” I cried after he took this.

“Um, no,” Henry said, turning his phone to me so I could see.

“Oh shit OK HEAR ME OUT that’s because I was looking to the side to see if I could see myself crossing my eyes,” I said and Henry was like, “omg.”

I was definitely cut off after that. I just don’t drink very often so when I do, I’m an disaster waiting to happen. We were walking way too close to the river, if you know what I mean.

Then we walked to Firecakes, a donut place we’ve been to before while visiting Chicago. What a concept: a donut shop that’s opened until 11pm. Another thing that Pgh would never. Here you’re lucky if any bakery is opened until 2 and even then god speed if you there hoping for a full selection lol.

Anyway, it’s a very small storefront and I was trying to get a picture when some douchebag walked in along with his brigade of dick-friends and sucked all the air out of the space with their aggressive brand of toxic masculinity. As we were about to leave, the caboose of the cocktrain opened the door, which I stupidly thought was a gesture of chivalry, but instead he leaned out the door and called out to his BUDDY, “Hey Rob you want a donut??” Rob said no and then the asshole LET THE DOOR CLOSE ON ME.

“WOW! What a DOUCHEBAG!” I cried. “He totally let the door close on me! I should have stepped on his fucking Peter Pan shoes.”

He was always inside Firecakes but ROB WAS STILL STANDING THERE so I made sure he heard. Report back to your little buddy, brosef!

“Peter Pan shoes?” Henry repeated.

Yeah, you know. Those dicky leather dress shoes that are elongated and come to a point?! That’s what he was wearing. What a yuppie.

Henry got a chocolate covered banana cake donut which was basically just a donut with thin chocolate banana slices on top. I was like, “ugh you chose poorly” but then I tasted it and it was wettest-in-the-best-way donut I have ever had. So moist and delicious! I couldn’t believe it. Mine was just ok in comparison – a pistachio old fashioned which I had the last night but there was nothing else that stood out to me.

Anyway, I liked Henry’s idiot donut so much that I was just talking about it again this morning. You know what it tasted like??? Those hostess powered donuts without the powder and if they were made with better ingredients and you got to eat them that day.

But yeah, Firecakes. Try it sometime but don’t be a Peter Pan-Dick and shut the door on people, ok?

5:12pm: Holy shit this drive is boring. 1:49 left.

I’m still really giddy about this new holiday. Should I trademark it??!! I don’t want to say too much about it yet because ONE OF YOU PEOPLE MIGHT STEAL IT.

I wish I had counted how many times Henry has called me a dick this weekend. I’m starting to get a complex.

Lol @ “starting.”

I’m posting this now. Maybe I’ll be back later to say more. Who can be sure.

Sep 102023

Remember last winter when I felt inspired to try and reconnect with my childhood friend from vacation, Olivia? Well, I can’t remember if I ever updated this mess of a memory keeper, but she did end up writing back to me and while we have since become Instagram friends, we have kept up the analog portion of the long-distance friendship by sending each other cards with as many words as we can cram inside. It’s been so wonderful!

Anyway, a few weeks ago she found some photos at her parents’ house and sent them to me on Insta and I almost died because:

  1. I forgot about how FREAKING COOL were (and still are, I’m sure!)

2. I forgot that she taught me how to play Uno and this became OUR THING on the bus!

I also look like I’m totally in the middle of cheating too, which tracks. Also, I was so in awe of Olivia back then. Her style was like Blossom Before Blossom. I thought she was SO COOL, CALIFORNIA cool even, and still think that now that we’ve been writing to each other.

Man, these pictures really triggered a ton of fond memories for me. This is probably corny-sounding, but I feel like there was a reason we met back in 1989, just like there was a reason I found letters from her when cleaning out the attic last winter. I hope that this second-chance at friendship transcends just liking each other’s Instagram posts and that we get the opportunity to meet up in person, and you know, maybe recreate these old photos lol!

It all makes me think of Chooch’s Mexico trip last summer, and how much I hope that those friendships he made will last a lifetime. There’s something special about bonding with strangers in another country and then, voila, now you’re friends.

I know, I know, for someone who barely has any friends, I sure have a lot to say about friendships, hahaha, har har, hee hee.

Anyway! Olivia asked me when we’re going to do a California coaster trip and I was like YEAH HENRY WHEN and he was like DON’T START. :(

Jul 132023

I found some more old-ass vacation pictures from the 90s and thought, wouldn’t it be useless/pointless to post a picture in conjunction with the utterly worthless shit I wrote from that same day in my vacation journal? I read some of it out loud to Henry last night and his expressions of sheer disgust and annoyance was the only answer I needed. Just a reminder that Sharon was my aunt (mom’s older sis) and that I will be transcribing this exactly as written to stay true to Erin v.1993, so “wuz” instead of “was,” etc.

Buckle up, buttercup. This is going to be a train wreck.

Today, Sharon woke me ↑ at 6:30! So I had to rush.It’s 7:20 now & she’s still in the shower. I’m watching some business conversation on the Super Channel. I can’t open the windows :( Hurry up, Shar!

God, Sharon’s in a mood. She came in & I jokingly said, “Can I light a match?” and she said, “NO!” & closed her eyes & shook her head like she does. Then she blames me for her stupid hairdryer blowing out. Oh darn, she can’t dry her precious hair (that looks like a horse’s tail! Ha ha!)

We just came back from breakfast  & there wuz no one there! :) I had a fig, fruit cocktail, bacon, eggs, a French toast thing, a bite outta some kind of sweet bread that tasted awful but Sharon liked it. She’ll eat anything.

Now she’s yelling at me for not bringing my own hairdryer. Maybe it would help if I had my own hairdryer to bring! God, it’s not my fault it didn’t work. It worked fine for MOI. Maybe it’s be’cuz she uses it too long on her horse mane. I’m leaving. Goodbye.

Ugh – I was probably only gone for 5 minutes. 10 at the nmost. This hotel is so boring! Not like the Anglo-American Hotel in Florence. That was classy.

“Alice in Wonderland” – a Spanish cartoon – was just on. Alice looked ugly! She had straight red hair.

Sharon makes me do all of her dirty work. had to go check what time we leave. Which is, by the way, 9:30. Does Sharon even thank me? Noooo!

Me & Sharon were pondering after breakfast about why I always get white spots on the backs of my legs. She said she never noticed them before but they’re probably from the time my mom tried to bleach me when I wuz a youngin’. Har har, Sharon.

“Tiny Toons” is on in Spanish. It’s the one where Hampton’s on a diet & all kinds of food is saying “Eat me” to him & he goes insane.

Whoa! It’s a miracle – Sharon’s ↑! Every day after breakfast, she has to sleep. Then I’m stuck trying to amuse myself & there’s not much to do here in the hotel. Oh yeah, she has a “horsetail” on today. U G H! Megabeast.

[2023 Erin here: I have/had this theory where anytime Sharon and my one friend back then, Spring, wore their hair in ponytails, they were bound to be assholes that day. Totally set the tone. Also, I got “megabeast” from the movie Drop Dead Fred which my brother Ryan and I were obsessed with.]

It’s about 9:30 & we’re on the bus, Before, I was sitting in the lobby w/ Sharon & the one lady we walked with last nite. Then Shar left me & all these really tall people from the other tour group flocked over & I got scared. I told Sharon & she yelled at me. How rude.

Our guide’s name is Ima (short for Immaculate Conception, so she said we’re in good hands) & she’s a very good friend of Dave’s.

[2023 Erin again: Dave was the tour guide that we had for the whole trip we were on, but sometimes we would have local guides that specialized in whatever excursions we were going on, etc.]

Thank god, Sharon said we don’t have to go to the bullfight tonite. How swell. I don’t wanna see any animals killed in front of me!

They have orange trees here to make marmalade. Ooooooh…All the pigeons here are white.

We just stopped at the Spanish Pavilion & Sharon was in her glory cuz there were so many tiles. She was actually nice to me! We stayed for 10 Spanish minutes (20 American minutes!).

Ugh, it’s 1:00 & we just got back on the bus from one Hellish tour! Sharon was rude & had that Stop-What-You’re-Doing-&-Listen-To-Me-I-Know-It-All attitude whenever she talked to people. When Jill asked me my name, Sharon told her. Then they were talking about that little guy that’s in the Duncan (sic) Donuts  commercial  & they couldn’t think of his name but I knew it. [2023 Erin: DID I THO???? I certainly don’t know it now. Then Ima asked me where I’m from & Sharon pushed me out of the way after I said Pgh & she said TWA. What a loser. Then just now she asked if I wanna go on a ferry ride (no) & I said, “Yeah whatever” so now she’s getting on me. Whenever I talk to her she always says “Huh?” & I HATE repeating myself, just like my mom. [2023 Erin: First, TWA was the tour group we were with; second, I STILL HATE REPEATING MYSELF. *side-eyes Henry*] I can’t wait till Aug 1. It’s not the same w/o Pappap & Grandma.

God it’s 96° out! Ugh! I don’t feel good now.

Dave says that our hotel in Tangier is facing the ocean :)

Ah, this is the life! Sharon went to the bank so I came back to the hotel by myself & now I’m maxxing & relaxing. I’m sure Sharon is probably socializing right now. That really sickens me. [2023 Erin: lol ok sociopath, calm down.]

Oh my gosh! Right after I wrote that [insert arrows pointing to ‘maxxing and relaxing’], Fresh Prince came on!

Sharon left about 30 min ago to check out the menu at some restaurant. I tried to sleep but that was unsuccessful. Oh yeah, Sharon’s wising up & now she’s being nice. She even took me to the bar for a Black Russian. Ahem.

[2023 Erin: I have to hope I was being hyperbolic, lol.]

The Super Channel isn’t very super. “The Mix” is on now & me & Shar haven’t even heard of any of the songs or singers. But when she left, “Numb” by U2 & “What’s ↑” by 4 Non Blondes cane on. And “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak (I only know it cuz it was on a movie) & a song by Lisa Stansfield.

[2023 Erin: To this day, when I hear that 4 Non Blondes jam, I think of watching the video in Spain, and also lol @ “on a movie.”]

Yea! It’s 10 to 4 & the grocery store opens at 4:30 so Sharon will probably stop.

Sharon came back at 4:00pm & she took me to get ice cream. How sweet. But actually I think she just wanted to go back cuz she thought the guy that worked there wuz cute. She got tutti-frutti (ew) & I got raspberry sorbet (yum). Now she’s sleeping.

Oh yeah, it’s 102.2 F out there! [insert sweating frowny face]

Bliss….Sharon brought Coke back :)  I think deep down she’s still mad about the hairdryer cuz she’s letting her hair air dry right now!

I’ve been watching “On the Air” since about 4:30pm & people are calling in to sing. Some of them are pretty good. They’re playing decent videos too. Aw it’s 6:10 & this is over at 6:30 :( We  leave for the flamenco at 7:10 tho.

I just wrote a letter to Clive Pearse so I can win an “On the Air” t-shirt :)

[2023 Erin: Fun fact, I didn’t win the t-shirt but I did receive an autographed picture of Clive for my efforts!]

It’s 20 to 7 & we’re ready. Well, Shar’s still “primping.” Spare me. Her hair seemed to have dried FINE w/o a dryer. She used my moisturizer cuz she didn’t feel like getting hers, ugh!

Well, it’s 10:30 & the flamenco was “perty” cool. Me & Nick were one of the only non-dressy people. I think the guy dancers were kinda queer [2023 Erin: *slaps 1993 Erin*] but Sharon kept saying they had nice butts. Some people left early to go to the bull fight. When it was over, Shar decided that weren’t going on the bus & that we’d just go straight to McDonald’s. But she went the wrong way & I kept saying, “Sharon, isn’t it back there?” So finally, she turned around. After we ate, we were gonna go back to the hotel to get money, then go for ice cream. We crossed the bridge & we were at the Rio Grande Restaurant that we saw last nite. Somewhere after that, Sharon led us the wrong way because we were so far off it wuz pathetic! We were in the Spanish projects! [2023 Erin: wow, this paragraph has it all. Maybe there’s some upcoming ableism for a pretty tight trifecta.] All Sharon would do wuz pretend she wuz a flamenco dancer. I kept saying, “Let’s get a cab.”

[2023 Erin: Friendly reminder that I was the 13-year-old and Sharon was my adult guardian responsible for my safety on this international vacation.]

Then she saw a Ford dealership & said, “We’re on the right track.” So we’re walking & some guy says something to Sharon & start FOLLOWING US. So Sharon kept saying, “Walk faster.” Then he gave ↑. Finally she asked a guy for directions & by that time we were so far off it wuz unbelievable. We saw a tennis shop tho. [2023 Erin: 1993 Erin had clear priorities.]

Then we asked 2 ladies & when we did, we saw the church that’s by our hotel. But then we couldn’t see it anymore. So she asked this guy & he was gonna DRIVE US to it. We started going that way but then Sharon decided she didn’t trust him so she asked a cop & the same man walked past & said, “Left. Believe me.” And he was right.

[2023 Erin is having a tough time following this sequence of events, though she does remember being lost at night in Spain and references it about once every 3 years and Henry acts like he’s never heard thr.e story before.]

But Sharon had her doubts. BUT I saw the Renault dealership & I just knew we were going the right way. Then SHE saw her stupid Ford place & she was really ticking me off (she was giddy) so I walked ahead of her & found the hotel myself, after being lost for ONE HOUR. I think I saw more of Seville today than I ever have cared to.

Now she’s insinuating (again) that it’s MY fault the wacked hairdryer doesn’t work.

It’s around 11PM & we’re calling home :P

I just talked to Corey & he said “Erin go ↑ in airplane. I go on helicopter.” Grandma doesn’t want to talk.


And then that day’s entry just ends. It’s weird reading this now because it makes it seem like we were sitting in the hotel doing nothing all day, but from what I remember, we had a few hours in the late afternoon to chill before that night’s activities. Also, I have no idea who the aforementioned Nick was other than just someone in the tour group, but what schmucks we were for not dressing up for the flamenco!!

Jun 232023

Now that I wrote 3000 words about the Cure concert without ever actually talking about the Cure concert, here are five things about that night that don’t involve me flipping out over a ring.

1. burn

Honestly one of my favorite songs, not just by the Cure, but of any artist of all time. Henry said that this was one of his favorite songs of the night too. I am trying not to cry right now.

This is not my video, I didn’t record hardly at all because I was too in the zone and as usual, I figured there would be a plethora of videos online afterward. But the audio is really great and you can totally hear how on point the whole band – it was on this level the entire night. The Cure is honestly one of the best bands I have ever seen in my whole life – they always seem to be 100% into it. It makes me wonder how I would feel if I was at one of their concerts, knowing nothing about them, only there to accompany a friend. Would I leave as a fan? I really can’t imagine how I wouldn’t – like, how do you witness something like this in person and not be affected? They even manage to permeate Henry’s thick-walled dork-heart.

2. Kpop fans v everyone else

Ok listen Brenda. You know that the Cure is tops in my heart. La Supreme. Bae. And this is nothing against them at all, but can we talk about the crowd? Shoooooo….it was not great. I mean, also not AWFUL but just not what I would have expected for a Cure concert. With the exception of the ABYSMAL, RUDE crowd at Coachella in 2004 since that was a festival, this might have been the worst vibe I’ve sensed out of all the times I’ve seen them.

Now, this is not a blanket statement – I’m not trying to say, “OMG I was the only true fan there” because it wasn’t at all, so if you were there and disagree do not come for me!! I’m just saying that my observation from where I sat was that it felt like many – not all – people were there for the novelty of it. These people were all middle-aged, white, and mostly drunk. Maybe they were reliving their goth college years, or wanted to hear the handful of radio hits that they know, who knows. But a lot of the people there made me uncomfortable and distracted me with their constant need to fidget, chat with their neighbors, leave to buy more beer. It was a lot of letting people in and out of the row, you know? And I noticed this at Genesis too so I think it’s really a demographic thing. Like, these are elder fans who perhaps have expendable income and/or just go to concerts to party / relive the golden years / get drunk off of nostalgia. And OK that’s fine, but there are also people who pay money they don’t really have to see a band in real life that they love with their whole hearts and have so much appreciation and gratitude…

That’s 99.9999999% of the fans you see at kpop concerts, you guys. It is legit. No one is there because they just know one song. They are there because they know every member’s name, know the inside jokes, know the choreo.

I realized that night that while I still love non-kpop music, I prefer kpop concerts in general now.

(For instance, I’m watching another video from the Cleveland show and there is a broad in in who hasn’t stopped talking to someone three people over her for the entirety of Disintegration. Like bitch, sit down then. You’re bothering us.)

But I will give big props to the Tallest Guy in the Land who was standing in front of Henry. (Originally me but I switched seats with Henry lol.) He glanced behind him at one point and when he realized how much taller he was than Henry and the guy next to Henry, he sat down on the back of his chair so that he wasn’t fully sitting but also was at the height of an average standing man, and said, “Is that better?” Henry and the guy next to him were both like, “Oh, you’re fine!” because Henry, for all the bitching he does when BOO HOO HE CAN’T SEE AT THE NCT CONCERT BC GIRLS ARE STANDING UP AND DANCING, actually is content just being there and doesn’t need to see the stage at every single second of the night like some of us do.

Anyway, I thought that guy was really cool. Him and a bunch of people in front of him were really decent and seemed like genuine fans, but then the three women next to him (and directly in front of me) chatted like fucking mothers at a neighborhood watch meeting, checked their phones, texted, got up to pee, got up to get beer, looked everywhere but the stage unless one of the more popular radio songs were being played. It was so annoying. They did seem into it at some points so I think the bigger issue here is that Americans in general are just one gigantic attention deficit.

3. Toxic Masculinity in Row N

Sometime before the opening band started, a group of people practically fell into the seats right behind Henry and me. I mean, they made such a commotion as they skirted their way down the row, it was almost comedic if it hadn’t been so goddamn annoying. Loud AF. CLEARLY drunk. Total middle-aged trash with zero boundaries or awareness.

It was two married couples – the one woman had the most annoying voice, high-pitched voiced (fuck, Henry compared her to someone and it was so spot-on but now I can’t think), the other woman was actually fine but of course she was sat the furthest away from me, and the two husbands were disgusting, loud-ass pig-slobs who didn’t just speak, they SHOUTED, the type of toxic ageing bro-men who purposely talk loud because they think that what they’re saying is SO FUCKING FUNNY AND IMPORTANT, that they want EVERYONE AROUND THEM TO HEAR. Fucking crass assholes, honestly. The one kept stretching out his legs so his disgusting sandaled foot would jut out from under Henry’s seat and I was burping back bile, for real.

4. If you can’t beat ’em….

I told Henry that the only way I was going to be able to survive with those loud asses sitting behind us would be if I made contact somehow. Finding a way to civilly butt into the conversation of problematic people sometimes helps humanize them for me, if that makes sense. Lucky for me, the MEN had departed on their third alcohol refill run during the storm delay, when the couple next to the people started talking to the wives. At one point, one of the wives said that they were from Pittsburgh and I was like “I’M IN” and the way I spun around so fast in my seat to finally play the role of Erin Buttinsky, well, Henry was laughing about it for days afterward.

(“Jesus Christ, you turned around so fast and started talking,” he laughed but it didn’t sound like a HAHA I LOVE YOU NEW-FIANCEE, YOU ARE SO CUTE AND FUNNY laugh but more of a disgusted “I hate when you do that shit” scoff.)

“We’re from Pittsburgh too!” I cried out so loud that several people from the row behind them also turned to look at where the manic talking was coming from.

The wives looked a bit caught off guard initially at my enthusiasm for sharing a city, but then they quickly abandoned the other couple and talked solely to me about various Pgh things that you wouldn’t understand if you’re not from here so I won’t bore you, but I will say that Henry REFUSED to turn around, not even ONCE, just bristled silently in his seat like the stand-offish lump that he is, so that was exciting to have them see that I was attending a Cure concert with a serial killer.

After I said that I was originally from “Jefferson Hill, you know, by Century III Mall,” one of the ladies said, “Oh did you hear about that boy that recently fell through the roof of the mall??” and I was like, “OMG NO?!” and she said something else about it, to which I didn’t know how else to respond aside from saying, “Oh wow” and then turning back around in my seat without a goodbye or enjoy the show or fuck off or anything. Just quietly and awkwardly cut the cord on the convo and peaced out. That’s how I do. Hi, I’m Erin. Nice to meet you, ok bye.

Anyway, my plan worked because I was able to tolerate them so much more after that, except for once the concert started and I found out quickly and painfully that one of the husbands was a WHISTLER. Hooboy, the why those whistles broke through my skull like a buckshot.

5. The Set List

  • Alone
  • Pictures of You
  • Lovesong
  • And Nothing if Forever
  • If Only Tonight We Could Sleep

  • Burn
  • Kyoto Song
  • A Night Like This
  • Push
  • At Night
  • Play for Today
  • A Forest (Henry’s fave Cure song, FYI)
  • Shake Dog Shake
  • From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea (LOL ughhhhh)
  • Endsong


  • I Can Never Say Goodbye
  • It Can Never Be the Same
  • Want
  • Plainsong
  • Disintegration


  • Lullaby
  • Six Different Ways
  • The Walk
  • Friday I’m In Love
  • Close To Me
  • Whay Can’t I Be You?
  • In Between Days
  • Just Like Heaven
  • Boys Don’t Cry

OK, that’s it. I was hoping for The Caterpillar, Charlotte Sometimes, The Kiss, Same Deep Water As You among others but I was still happy with the set list because it’s the fucking Cure. The fucking Cure.

Jun 082023

Yesterday started off fine but then around 4, things got stupid at work AND Henry came home with a really shitty story to tell me – these two things coinciding just really pushed me over the edge. I went from being so angry that I was vibrating, to so sad and humiliated that I was sobbing uncontrollably, and then back to wanting to set fire to…a place.

Basically, what I learned yesterday was:

  • I probably 100% require therapy for something that happened 20+ years ago;
  • I know the truth and that’s all that matters;
  • RAGE-WALK IT OUT. Reacting the way I really want to react is probably only going to backfire because that is what always seems to happen when I try to stick up for myself since I have a tendency of going from zero to psychopath in the blink of an eye.

But wow, I am always caught off guard by how much certain events and actions still hurt me to this day.

Anyway, maybe I will talk about this more once I have a chance to sort through my emotions, but it was a really bad time inside my head last night.

Henry and I went for a walk after dinner because I needed to rant and you all know I do my best ranting and raving while in motion. I had a library book to return so I suggested we walk to the Dormont library and then we could get some drinks at Dunkin’ across the street because that is JUST what this bitch needed, more caffeine. However, when we were walking to the library, we saw that the Boonseeker foodtruck was at a brewery across the street! What serendipity too, because I had completely forgotten that they were going to be there.

So we walked over, placed an order, and then stood as far away from the crowd as possible because I looked ROUGH from all the crying I had been doing. No makeup, unwashed hair, leggings and hoodie: I was a walking billboard for the kind of day I was having. Of course, our order got screwed up  (they gave it to someone else!!) so we had to wait even longer after already waiting a long time. Glad to have a Korean foodtruck in this city but it is a shining example of why America can’t have nice things. If we had been in Korea, the food would have been in our hands before we even had a chance to pay. America just doesn’t do “Efficiency” like Korea!

Some baby sat in a stroller and glared at me nearly the whole time. Join the club, baby. Sometimes it feels like people are lining up to make me feel like trash lol.

Here’s me looking 100% REAL in my BE REAL after we came home from nabbing Korean street food. But, the cheese stick cheered me up a bit, even though I *did* share it with Henry. Sigh. Made me really miss Korea, though. :( One day, I will return!

Another thing that made me smile was finding these pictures of Henry posing in my tutu from 2007! I thought they were lost forever because I couldn’t find them on Flickr and any photo I ever used on LiveJournal is gone because the site that hosted my photos back then was COMCAST which we no longer have.  Anyway, I actually asked Henry for his consent to post these on Instagram  (LOL who even am I lately) and he mumbled, “Whatever.”

People over there loved to see it, though!

Sadly, because of course let’s end this on a sad note, why wouldn’t I, I found out last year that the old friend of mine who made this tutu for me died from Covid. I hadn’t had contact with her in YEARS but it still felt like a kick to the heart to find that out.

Life is so fucking sad and weird, but also it can be OK so that’s what I’m holding out for: more “OK” days. Bring ’em to me. (Quickly.)

P.S. I have always been jealous of Henry’s shapely legs. Mine are like thicc tree trucks. Sigh.

May 262023

Every month or so, I go out to dinner with some recently-retired ladies from work which has been really nice because I am a huge fan of keeping in touch with people. Some might say slightly obsessive and unwilling to let go, but you know, I’m just being me over here.

Anyway, Marlene chose Rico’s for our most recent dinner and I was cracking up because way back when I was dating Psycho Mike, my grandma gave me a gift certificate to Rico’s because it was given to her before my Pappap died and they never got around to using it. She said she had no use for it and wanted us to have it. If she knew what a piece of shit Mike was, I’m sure she would have been like, “Why don’t you and Christy go and have a nice BFF dinner at Rico’s and leave your abusive boyfriend at home to cry about it?”

The gift certificate was the PAPER KIND IN AN ENVELOPE! That was how long ago this was. Sigh.

We decided to go there for our shitty one-year anniversary, so this must have been 1997, the fall after senior year (or, you know, freshman year of college for those who weren’t high school drop-outs lolololol ugh).

Yes, the pencil-thin eyebrows align with the date, lol. This was also when I had a Carrie Brady-from-DAYS hairstyle, literally pulled out pages from Soap Opera Digest to take to the salon.

“Give me the Carrie Brady but make it puffy,” is apparently what I requested.

I also remember buying that shirt at Contempo (RIP to my FAVE STORE) specifically for this stupid date. I do not remember what I ordered (I was a vegetarian already so probably plain-ass pasta), if I liked it, what Mike ordered – all that has stuck in my mind for all these years is the fact that I supposedly knew this was an establishment with valet parking and PURPOSELY didn’t tell Mike so that he would be HUMILIATED when we rolled up in his beat-up silver Omni circa 198-something.

That definitely set the tone. I’m sure it was a wonderful drive home that night, his anger brewing all throughout dinner like a strong pot of vitriol, providing him with LOTS of energy to remind me over and over how much of a STUPID BITCH I am.

Um, yeah anyway. My Rico’s Replay was much better! Better company for sure. Jill joined us this time and it is always really nice to see work friends “outside of work” and by that I mean in actual real life.

Being a vegetarian, “upscale” restaurants always fall flat with me because I have nothing to judge it on other than pasta. My only option was the angel hair in a cream sauce. It was good! Was it $27 good? Um…no lol.

I was the youngest person in that whole place though, that’s for sure. I’m sure it was super uncouth of me to take a picture of food but I don’t think anyone was looking and also, who cares?

The only negative part of the evening was that our server was an asshole. I rarely complain about these things because I have a ton of respect for people in the service industry. I know that it’s hard ass work and customers can be such dicks. But this older woman server was just not nice. Even apart from the fact that she was extremely inattentive, she was just very rude and cure. I was watching her interact with other tables, clearly occupied by “regulars,” and she was like a completely different person with them.

When I asked for a box, she brought me a plastic container that was cracked all the way down one side! I didn’t notice until after I put my leftovers in it. I called her back over and asked if I could have a new one and at first, it was like she wanted to argue that there was nothing wrong with it. She actually picked it up to inspect it like she didn’t believe me?! And then she said, WITH WHAT SOUNDED LIKE EXASPERATION, “Oh. I didn’t know it was like that” and stormed off to get me a new one. She could have just said, “Sorry about that” but somehow, she made me feel like it was my fault! Like what she wanted to say was, “It wasn’t like that when I gave it to you.”

I am clearly still fixating on this.

Anyway, I don’t care how much rich old people like Rico’s. I doubt I will ever be back. NOT EVEN IF SOMEONE’S GRANDMA GIVES ME A $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE.

May 112023

I have been putting this off all week because the sadness of Lauren’s law firm departure has really hit me, but we had a really nice, heartwarming, hilarious, bittersweet, super fun send-off for her at my house on Saturday. I know I am going to start ugly crying if I look at the pictures of all of us KLG idiots so I think instead I’ll do a GLENN prelude.

You fucking know I can’t pass up any opportunity to drag Glenn’s face through the mud, or in this case, the icing.  Let’s back up – the original intent of my house party was to celebrate Lauren’s time at the law firm with some delicioso Bethel Bakery cake. (The post-Cinco de Mayo fiesta aspect was quickly appended by Nate.)

I take my cake ordering VERY SRSLY. I KNEW it had to have a Glenn on it. I fucking knew it did. So when I started to design a picture of him crying with also a sobbing Law Firm looming over his shoulder, I started to wonder how to fill up the empty space on the other side of him. And it came to me: A JABBER GROUP CHAT! I started to sketch out a crude rendition in Photoshop but then thought – wait, what if I got the group chat to coordinate a string of GOODBYES/WELL WISHES/ETC for Lauren, and I could screenshot it for the cake?

Yeah, what if?!?! I’ll never know because these instructions were apparently Calc-level confusing. One of the people immediately needed to be contrary and difficult by saying, “we could do an e-card? so everyone can sign?”


It got worse from there and some of my friends were privately messaging me, telling me to breathe and that I was doing a good job. It just really bummed me out that something that made so much sense in my dumb rock-filled head wasn’t coming to fruition. In the end, I started to single certain people out and having them just Jabber their Lauren-ment directly in our own private chat windows, at which point, I snagged each individual message and layered it around the Glenn image.

I can’t make people want to be a part of things. I have to realize this. But every time, it’s like being in high school and yelling at people who were assigned to work with me on group projects because WHY CAN’T YOU SEE MY VISIONNNNNN?!?!?

Breathe. You’re doing a good job, Erin.

(Honestly, Nate and Wendi were my heroes that day.)

Honestly? It actually fucking worked out! You can’t tell from this picture (and I’m not going to post the actual jpg because it literally has everyone’s first and last names on it and I’m really sure that they would love the chance to be doxxed courtesy of Oh Honestly, Erin) but all the messages were legible, thank god. When I went to pick the cake up before the party, the high school boy who retrieved it from me came back and said, “This is a REALLY cool cake. What did you use to make this?” and then I explained the background, about how we’re all a bunch of a-holes basically and the cake was one big, sweet, inside joke.

I WAS SO EXCITED THAT I IMPRESSED A HIGH SCHOOL KID! And that they lettered the message exactly how I typed it out. I was worried they would want to fix the case, etc. and that would have ROONED it.

But wait! There’s more!

Before Nate and I even asked* Lauren if she was cool with the party idea, I had glommed on to the idea of having a pinata. Actually, now that I think about it, this must have been where the fiesta theme came from?? Why am I so slow? The party was almost a full week ago and I am just now realizing this.

*(I originally wanted to surprise her but we couldn’t figure out the logistics of that aside from pretending like Henry was suddenly the same database as us at his job and wanted to ask her questions about it, and then Nate called it the FaygoBase and it was a whole dumn thing that I tried to tell Henry about when he came home and all he said, “You guys are dumb” and “How do you get any work done?” (You would be surprised at how much shit I get done in spite of my shenanigans.)

And obviously, the first thing I knew would be stuffed inside the pinata? GLENNS. (And also a bunch of Mexican candies, including the roasted chicken–just in shape, not flavor–suckers that Lauren and Nate were obsessed with when I filled the International Candy Pumpkin with a bag of ’em back in the In Office Days.)

Debby’s Space Heater Fire Glenn. (I thought I had posted about this but I guess not. It happened on a day when I was off, and literally three people texted me immediately to goad me about THIS AMAZING THING that I missed. Turns out, Debby’s space heater HAD CAUGHT FIRE and Aaron jumped into volunteer 10th Floor Firefighter mode, heroically DUMPED THE CANDY OUT OF MY PUMPKIN, filled it with water from the nearby water fountain that no one liked to drink from because sometimes the water came out yellow, and doused the flames.)

International Candy Pumpkin Glenn. [You might recall that back when we worked in the office, I had a plastic trick-or-treating pumpkin pail behind Lauren’s desk that I kept perpetually filled with delights (and sometimes disgusting things that ended up being spat right into the nearest trash can).]

DOUG GLENN, which apparently had Nate stumped?!!? He had FORGOTTEN ABOUT DOUG?? Lauren set him straight, though.

OK, maybe by the weekend I will be ready to post party pics and share some of my best Lauren mems. Sigh.

May 102023

You guys, I’m reposting this because it’s still so precious (precious??) to me. Wacky Worm 4 Lyfe! Should I take my homemade I’d Rather Be Riding the Wacky Worm t-shirt on our Coaster Crew vacation this summer?!? Speaking of, 12 years later and I am cracking up so bad at the thought of CHOOCH originally being “too scared” to ride the Wacky Worm! He’s come a long way, lololol.

I have an obsessive personality, so it really shouldn’t surprise anyone that after riding the Wacky Worm (or, for those in the know, The Caterpillar) for the first time at last year’s Big Butler Fair, the hope that it would return in 2011 was one of the few things that kept me from hanging myself with a hobo’s necktie over the winter.

Who the fuck is this kid in the red shirt and why isn’t he cheering? You’re on the Wacky Worm; get stoked, motherfucker!

As soon as Janna, Chooch and I had our ride-all-day wristbands slapped on (so proud of Janna for sucking it up and going all-out! Henry, however, remains a pussy) I suggested we take a preemptive stroll around the fairgrounds. I was trying to stay cool about it, but the truth was that my pulse was quickening due to the fact that the Caterpillar was not in the same spot it was in last year and I couldn’t even begin to imagine a day at the fair without it. Especially since I spent an hour the night before coaxing and bribing Chooch to want to ride it. (He punked out last year and in that moment, I was no longer looking at my son, but at a 40″ failure. And you better believe I let him know it! And you better believe Henry lectured me for letting him know it.) So while I pretended to be interested in the money-guzzling midway games boasting oversized Rastafarian bananas as prizes and the joyful beam on my kid’s sweaty face as he rode on some kiddie truck ride (which was actually pretty awesome and I should have went on it too, why didn’t I go on it too?), I was actually craning my neck to see overtop tents and pendulating cages of death, in search of just one glimpse of my beloved Caterpillar.


“Why do you keep laughing like Pee Wee Herman?” Janna asked me, herself laughing quite nervously as we embarked on the first of many frivolous journeys.

“I don’t know, I’m just having so much fun!” I answered a little defensively, like I now needed to prove I wasn’t going to whip out my penis and coat the Caterpillar with my gooey joy.

Corey met us there an hour later and immediately joined the fan club. I think we rode it like, 18 times, with no promise of ever slowing down. I’d still be riding it right now, if I could. I think The Law Firm should have one in the building. As a stress reliever. You know. Fuck yoga.

Unfortunately for Corey, who is six-foot-alot, he was unable to join us in raising the roof each time the Caterpillar cruised down the hill.

“I’ll for sure break my wrists,” he announced when he realized how low the track was above us.

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I let him believe that that’s what would happen, when I really know that his arms would most likely get gruesomely divorced from the rest of his torso. And it would still remain the best ride ever.

At one point, I noticed that older kids started lining up for it.

“That’s because they hear you screaming and now they think this ride is fun,” Henry mumbled.

“Um, it is fun,” I corrected him.

“No, you’re just an idiot,” he sighed. How would he know when he wouldn’t even ride it? What the fuck, Henry. It’s because he was too scared. TOO SCARED OF EXPERIENCING 60 SECONDS OF SHEER DELIGHT.

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It might actually force him to crack a smile, possibly even tack on a few more minutes to his miserable life, god forbid.

So instead of joining us, he stood off to the side like some purse-toting pedophile, while all the other moms stood nearby and encouraged their respective children to cheer each time the caterpillar carried us past. Of course, this made me carry on even louder, like I was single-handedly trying to bring back the Arsenio;  sometimes I would even shout Henry’s name and then point at him so everyone would know we belonged together.

He was really enthused about that.

This guy and another younger Mexican were the official Wacky Worm operators of the day, and let me tell you—they tired of me real fast. I mean, REAL FAST. I was about as amusing to them as border-crossing and I’m certain they mistook me as mentally challenged. Or on drugs. Why? Because no one has that much fun on the Wacky Worm? Damn right no one has that much fun on the Wacky Worm!  I am the champion of the Wacky Worm!

Anyway, I’m glad he decided to fuck with the ride’s foundation while Corey and Chooch were on it, and not me.

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Furthermore, why wasn’t I on it that time?! I have no idea. I’m sure I must have had some sort of reason to willingly pass up a joyride on the back of my beloved Caterpillar, but the only thing I can think of is that’s when I was giving a blow job to the Dunk-a-Clown under the bleachers during the tractor pull.

Let me try to walk you through the glory that is the Caterpillar (or Wacky Worm, whatever you feel most comfortable, as an adult, calling it). It’s like riding in Jesus’s lap (that can go either way you want, holla to the religious porn addicts) as a caterpillar ascends you up to the Heavens, far away from all the grouchy grown-ups, while tiny angel-dusted kitten paws knead biscuits of lost childhood memories on your belly, and all of a sudden you remember what it felt like to score that coveted Scratch n Sniff sticker you needed to fill the page and to not have bills to pay and a house to make sure isn’t exploded by your kid and a boyfriend who might have even been the same age as you, and it feels great. Great like freedom. You absolutely want to ride it 87 more times. Caterpillar, take me away.

I got to do something that I missed out on last summer: riding the Caterpillar at sunset. Nothing is better in life than riding the Caterpillar at sunset.

We never got to ride in the front seat, though we came close on our second-to-last go-around but the dumb bitch in front of us in line caught wind of our plans and pushed her way to the coveted front spot. Or it could have been that her beer-bellied dad was hollering, “GET THE FRONT, GIRL. GET IT!” when the carny opened the gate.

I tried to get Henry to act as a placeholder while we were on the ride. You know, have him stand alone in line, saving us a spot in the front; but he refused, mumbled something about not wanting to be the only adult male in line for a kiddie ride, at which point I had to argue that Powers Great American Midways mistakenly lists the Wacky Worm under the “kiddie ride” section of their website when they obviously meant for it to be under “spectacular rides.”

The next morning, Chooch came over to me and said, “Thank you, Mommy.” The fact that he said this earnestly and with no hint of sarcasm gave me pause.

“For what?” I asked hesitantly.

“For making me ride the Caterpillar yesterday. It was so awesome.”

That was my proudest moment as a parent.


Since I’m friends with Powers Great American Midways on Facebook (laugh all you want, it’s informative!), I know that they’re affiliated with the upcoming Fayette County Fair which is happening on my birthday. You better believe I’m going! I went to the PGAM website and filled out the contact form with a very pressing question:

This inspired Henry to sigh heavily and say various interpretations of disapproval, such as: Don’t send that; Get a life; You need help; Get the fuck over it.

They haven’t responded to my pressing inquiry yet. Until then, I will just watch my video continuously until Henry takes the Internet away from me.

(Henry thought I pushed that girl out of my way at the end. I promise you I employed great restraint not to. Also, I apparently wasn’t holding Janna’s phone properly BUT WHO CARES IT’S THE FUCKING CATERPILLAR YA’LL. Henry really wants me to stop calling it that. It’s apparently a completely different ride.)

Apr 242023

Hey just when you guys were like “I literally do not care about this NCT bullshit and will never care to learn about the sub-units or whatever this bitch keeps calling them,” a brand new sub-unit was formed! This one is called NCT DoJaeJung (for Doyoung, Jaehyun, and Jungwoo from NCT127).

They recently debuted with the song Perfume which I have been obsessing over and it also made me think about how during the whole life thus far, I have had three very distinct signature scents. I mean, after I graduated from the Avon roller scents in middle school thanks to my friend Cara who used to bring in her mom’s Avon books all the time – my favorite scene is on the tip of my tongue but I can’t think of it!! I just tried to Google and none of those roller ones are even coming up – did I dream it? That’s what my mom would say. Anyway, it was something beachy/tropical and it was the only one I ever ordered.

In high school, I was BIG INTO Versace, so his Red Jeans scent was definitely my jam. I think I mentioned this recently, but Henry found a bottle of it for me, and I have been happily spritzing myself with nostalgia ever since.

I also was very attached to YSL’s Champagne (I think it’s called Yvesse now) also in high school. I haven’t smelled that in decades, but I just closed my eyes after looking at the bottle online on my nose remembered.

But the one that most recently was my signature, and I really should get some more of it, was Dior’s Hypnotic Poison. I used to wear it religiously in my early years at The Law Firm and people would always recognize my presence because of it – it is very unmistakable and unique.

Cool, now put on some red jeans, drink some champers, and watch this hypnotic poison of a video and then tell me what your signature scent is while I do a deep-dive into the Avon archives looking for that stupid cheap-ass perfume that now I suddenly need to sniff again.

Apr 012023

Last Friday, I was in a group chat at work when the oblig “what’s everyone doing this weekend” question came up. I excitedly divulged that I was finally, after like 20 years, meeting a friend that I had made on LiveJournal back in the golden days. I can’t remember exactly how or when Lindsey and I friended each other over there but it was definitely well before Chooch came into existence and also back when I was still in the mix CD game because I’m 99% sure I made her one. #dorkalert!

Neither of us still use LJ, but we have continued our online friendship through Instagram and Twitter, which, you know, say what you want about social media, but it does have some perks!

“Do you know where she lives? Where she works? You should tell your husband where you’re going to be, so he knows,” a concerned new-er coworker said who truly does not know that my lifestyle is based solely on tempting fate and dancing on the edge of sanity. Also, lol my “husband” was the one driving me to get axe-murdered!

Anyway, how this happened was that we have both suggested meeting up here and there over the years but we have never actually solidified it, you know how life goes.

And Lindsey has really been so complimentary about the changes in decor we’ve done around the house, so I always want to be like YOU SHOULD COME OVER but is that weird?! I dunno, I feel like when I was younger I would have asked and not thought twice about it but I’m a little more socially conscious (lol am I though) the older I get so I thought maybe we should have lunch so it doesn’t appear that I am luring her into my psychedelic lair. I DMd her on Instagram and said, “OK we gotta get something scheduled” because it just felt like the time was right! We picked a date (which I then had to switch up on her because the WILL SIGNING thing ended up being redcheduled for the original date we chose, of fucking course it would be!) and then Lindsey provided some restaurant suggestions which I appreciated because I am way out of the loop with the Pgh restaurant scene.

The first place I looked up was 40 North and immediately saw spaetzel on the menu. That was all I needed to see. We agreed on it, made a reservation, and then my “husband” dropped me off with nary a “good luck / be careful / don’t embarrass yourself.” I don’t even think he fully brought the car to a stop, now that I think about it.

OK can I just say that meeting people is so hard for me but I felt so relaxed from beginning to end because Lindsey had such a chill and calming vibe about her! I know we’ve e-known each other for quite some time, but that doesn’t always translate well in real life. But this felt like we had already gotten the first meet-up out of the way and now we were just catching up. So weird how things work out that way sometimes!

(Obviously I’m speaking for myself, so I hope Lindsey wasn’t actually physically clawing at her skin, dying for me to STFU and finish my lunch so she could leave!)

Sometimes I forget how nice it is to have a conversation face-to-face with someone!

The food was excellent, my drink was so smoky, gingery, and delicious (the smokiness caught me off guard but hello, it was called Tindersticks so…), and there were no uncomfortable lulls like I experienced the day before at Station 4. I didn’t even realize that we had been there for 2 hours! The only weird thing about the entire lunch was our waiter’s penchant for whispering; I kept trying to read his lips for clues but he had a bushy beard so then I was just guessing what my answers to his whispers should be.

Seriously, I will never stop talking about the LiveJournal days because of moments like this. I hope we do this again before another 20ish years pass by! (Even though she doesn’t like Phil Collins!)

Mar 262023

Just a friendly reminder that my prince gets discharged from the military in one week.

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God help those around me, for I will be shrieking and sobbing my dumb face off.

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I have tried to avoid any Taemin content while he’s been away but I did a mini-binge this morning and I’m finally starting to let myself get stoked! Even Henry will usually put his phone down and watch if Taemin is on TV.

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