Jan 182021
 

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

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

Choices were made, amigos and chingus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway, both of those bitches are miserable and basic.

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

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

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

Jan 162021
 

Because there is nothing else to do but read books and daydream about the past, I was recently thinking about how we used to actually go and do really fun shit (for me) and then I would interview Henry about it later for my blog and he would rarely give any more than 2 word answers so I would have to use CREATIVE LICENSE and make up my own answers for him, and wow, those days were fun. Maybe I will try to think of a reason to interview him here soon (a conversation on Covid? DIY discourse) but until then, please enjoy the time we went to Warped Tour in 2016 and I tried desperately to get opinions out of him. (WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE HENRY INTERVIEWS? You can read them all here!)

*****

27748609024_1e8028c9fa_c

Much wow, this was Henry’s 8th Warped Tour (I think? I don’t feel like counting, but it’s less than my official tally that’s for sure because I’m more legit than he is). What this means is that he is basically a seasoned, grizzled pro at this point. Let’s ask him some questions about his long-term relationship with Warped Tour and if he plans on siring any illegitimate children out of wedlock with them, too. JUST LIKE HE DID WITH ME.

Do you plan on siring any illegitimate children out of wedlock with Warped Tour?

Say that again!? [WRITER REPEATS QUESTION.] I don’t know. Is that even possible?

There were several times when I went off on my own during the day. What did you and Chooch do that I missed?

We just walked around and got some Twix [they had a booth there] and Chooch spent some time in the water tent. We saw a little bit of Cold Rain but then he saw some vendor and then we ventured off. I don’t know, we just walked around and then he kept wanting a bucket hat. [There were some merch booths selling them because nothing screams POP PUNK like a bucket hat?]

Out of all the Warped Tours you’ve attended throughout the years, give us your top 3 worst moments.

Great, now I have to think. [He is seriously thinking about this too OMG. No wait, he’s watching something about the Kennedy assassination. No, he’s thinking again!]

#3. I don’t know what year it was, but having to listen to Katy Perry sing.

#2. Whatever year it was when it was 1000 degrees there and it was miserable. [I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t that every year?? But this one year it was actually so bad that someone died, I think, maybe.]

#1. Breakdown 2016. [You guys I think he’s referring to the 87 times I wanted to leave last week because I’m emotionally cracked.]

28331480076_6bee1f4fff_c

If you had a booth at Warped Tour, what would you be selling?

Individually-wrapped prunes. [LOL JUST KIDDING THAT WAS ME, THE WRITER, ANSWERING FOR HIM.]

Huh. What would I sell….[Literally, he has no imagination.] I don’t know. Let me think about that one.

[TWENTY MINUTES LATER] Your art, and meat products, because there’s way too much vegetarian shit there.

[Um, if he’s referring to the ONE tent that Peta2 has there, then yeah: SO MUCH.]

Kevin Lyman, the founder of Warped Tour, asks you personally for a list of bands to forever blacklist. I guess he feels an affinity to you because you’re both middle-aged with probably have the same amount of callouses. Anyway, what bands are on your list? GO HOGWILD, BOO.

Slaves

[Wow, this just in: Henry doesn’t care when disgusting, misogynistic bands like FALLING IN REVERSE and ATTILA play at Warped Tour, that’s why they didn’t make his list. Oh OK, privileged white male! Way to use your god-given Caucasian penis for good.]

It’s the morning after Warped Tour, i.e. DEAR DIARY TIME! What do you write on the back of the Faygo Red Pop label* about this year’s experience at Warped Tour?

I can’t have secrets and then tell you! [I won’t stop looking at him until he answers.]

When you look at me like that and start typing, it scares me. I don’t like your line of questioning. Too much thinking involved. Why can’t it just be yes or no answers. [Ew he just told me he doesn’t like my attitude?!]

*[That’s what I imagine Henry’s diary to be: a clump of Faygo bottle labels crumbled into a ball and punched under the mattress.]

OK fine, pretend like it’s a postcard that you’re sending Chris & Monica from the great bustling parking lot that is Warped Tour:

Is this a new question? Why would I write Chris and Monica a postcard?

[I’ll start it for you: DEAR CHRIS AND MONICA]

[I just asked Chooch the same question since Henry’s brain is creaking and smoking as he tries to think. Chooch would just write: ‘Sup.]

Dear Chris & Monica,

Having a great time, as always. [I think he’s sarcasming.]

Brought my A&D ointment which I have been applying liberally right around the TENDER AREAS inside my thighs. I wanted to wear booty shorts today but I had to wear regular-lengthed basic white man shorts on account of all the CHAFING. Thought we were going to leave early because Erin was being a psycho but then somehow we ended up staying later than ever before, wtf guys. I got to eat an ice pop and it reminded me of the days when I was a paperboy except that it cost approximately $8 more. Um, I bought my work-husband the Masked Intruder CD not because I’m thoughtful or anything but because he is my dom.

[OK fine, I might have taken some liberties after the “having a great time” line because I was tired of him sitting here saying, “Um…..uh…..”]

You seem less irritated about having to chaperone Chooch and me than you have in earlier years. Can you confirm this is because you’re sufficiently dead inside, or do you secretly LIKE WARPED TOUR now?

I think it’s a little bit of both. I like some of it and I’m pretty much dead inside because of you and Chooch.

But you hated Bled Fest – why?

I didn’t hate Bled Fest I just didn’t like it. I never said I hated Bled Fest! It was just too hot—and it wasn’t my type of music!

[Let me translate this for you, because I’m well-versed in reading between Henry’s blue-collared lines: Not enough booty shorts.]

 

Talk about how you’re able to sleep every year through super loud, heavy bands (the lucky bands this year were Secrets and Waterparks):

I don’t know it’s just something I can do.

[WOW GET THIS MAN ON AMERICA’S GOT TALENT.]

If Warped Tour was around when you were a teenager, what bands would you have liked to see in the line-up that was probably printed in the PITTSBURGH PRESS along with the date that the tickets went on sale so you would know when to go to KAUFMANN’S at CENTURY III MALL to buy them. I’ll just go ahead and start you off with Ted Nugent:

  1. TED NUGENT
  2. Iron Maiden
  3. Judas Priest
  4. Probably ZZ Top
  5. CCR
  6. The Guess Who

[Wow.]

[ED.NOTE: Don’t post pictures of illustrated weeners on Facebook because you will be reported for it and it will be removed, even if it looks like a Simpsons’ weener.]

Speaking of weeners, last year, that ginger-fuckerbitch Jonny Craig got kicked off Warped Tour for flapping his weener at his merch girl. Would you rather have Jonny Craig’s weener flapped in your face at such a close proximity that it gets tangled up in your beard, or would you rather get caught flapping your own weener at Jeffree Star and have him paint it with his lipgloss line? You can be honest, I won’t tell anyone:

Really? You’re not going to tell anyone? Pfft. [He just mumbled “Boy, you’re having fun with this.”] Probably the latter because I don’t like Jonny Craig.

2016 highlight:

Bradley [from Emarosa] hugging Chooch [during their set. Don’t worry Henry, I’m here to beef up your answers].

ON THE REAL HENRY, like how giddy do you get when Bradley talks to us?

How WHAT? Giddy? I don’t. I don’t need to get giddy; I have you two that get giddy and quiet.

[Oh OH, Bradley is totally his #mce (Barb, that means Man Crush Everyday).]

img_6075

In closing, what advice would you give another dad who is going to Warped Tour with his kids for the very first time? And don’t say “Drop them off”:

Well that was going to be my answer, drop them off. Since I can’t say that….um….bring lots of cash for merch and food. I don’t know what else….but I’m sure you do.

[Yeah, I do: FORGET ABOUT HAVING ANY AUTHORITY, OPINIONS, OR FEELINGS THAT DAY BECAUSE IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, IT’S ABOUT YOUR KIDS, SO STEP OFF, DAD.]

 

Jan 142021
 

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

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

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

Here are some of my favorites:

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

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

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

This makes me want to punch things!

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

This is one of my ALL TIME faves.

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

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

Walking Figure Eights in Gangnam: 3/28/18

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

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

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

 

Jan 122021
 

The latest episode of Handmade By Henry saw him working diligently with fun fur because in my mind’s eye, I could not picture my Monster Squad poster framed any other way!

And by the way, The Monster Squad was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. My friend Amy L., whose grandparents lived on my street, used to come over my house after school so that we could watch the shitty copy that my mom recorded for me on a blank VHS, probably from HBO, because we both had the hots for Rudy. I STILL HAVE THIS TAPE! It has Monster Squad scribbled on it in CRAYON on a ripped piece of MASKING TAPE. The very beginning of the movie was cut off by those goddamn black and white squiggly lines that were ubiquitous with VHS, and it wasn’t until years and years later as an adult that I finally got to see the movie in full, after I bought the DVD, lol.

Pin on Growing Up 80's & 90's

Phat Kids vs Classic Monsters | The Disbelief Suspenders Club

Yeah boi…

One of the movie theaters in Pittsburgh played this several years ago and I took Chooch. (Oh my Lord, that was seven years ago according to the date on that blog post!) Anyway, it was one of the best moments as a mom, to get to share this fucking amazing flick with my 7-year-old super impressionable kid.

Another fun fact about me and this movie: there’s a super beloved scene where one of the kids says, “whoa…wolfman’s got nards” and  that was actually a quote on my checks back when people used checks to pay for shit. When I started dating, he was like, “….really?” I had checks for another account to and those ones said “gave all the vampires back to god” which was a line from a Cold song, lol. I really liked having personalized checks OK?!?!

Honestly if you’ve never seen this movie, please do yourself a solid and rectify that immediately!

OMG I FORGOT MY BROTHER RYAN AND I EVEN NAMED OUR PET RABBIT “RUDY” AFTER ONE OF THE CHARACTERS, THIS MOVIE HAS REALLY  IMPACTED MY LIFE MORE THAN I THOUGHT LOL.

I also got this bitchin’ Pee Wee’s Big Adventure art piece from Billy Lilly on Instagram (his art is so pop-tastic and fun!). My kitchen was legit begging for this! This movie is also a huge part of my life and is one of the few movies that I quote from probably on a weekly basis if we’re being real with each other here (are we? I AM ALWAYS BEING REAL WITH YOU!).

In fact, I was training a new person at work last week and all I really knew about her was that she enjoys going to rodeos and I was trying to make small talk so I said, “The closest I’ve ever been to a rodeo is Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, haha” BUT SHE HAD NEVER SEEN IT SO THERE WAS JUST AN AWKWARD SILENCE.

I’m not really sorry for my gratuitous kitchen PDA because if you guys knew how shitty it used to be and how much I hated it, you would be in there doing precious floor-angels on that arcade rug, too. You really would.

That big empty area above the spice rack will one day be the spot of the pinball back glass. Henry finally ordered lights for it! But now we’re in the throes of Valentine season and drowning in orders from our card shops, so I guess all projects are on hold. :(

Out of everything, I think the neon sign is still my favorite. The kitchen would go down about 87 notches without it!

I actually make myself food now because I don’t hate being in there! I mean, the food I’m making isn’t anything beyond scrambled Egg Beaters and perhaps a can of soup or a microwaved sweet potato for dinner, but Henry is like WOW LOOK AT YOU GROWING UP!

I love that I can see Pee Wee from my desk while I’m working!

I’ll end this with a picture of this little sweetie, Penelope <3

(Impeachment tomorrow?)

Jan 112021
 

Miss Margie just seems like she was (is!) so fucking cool. Also, I want to know why she was mad at that broad, and if she followed through with sending back all her stuff COD.

(COD!!)

Anyway, I have mentioned Nelson Sullivan on here before but he was the OG vlogger, filming the daily lives and exploits of his friends (mostly artists – like Warhol and Keith Haring!!, drag queens – RUPAUL!, and club kids – James St. James and Michael Alig!). He died in 1989 and his videos were recently acquired by some art gallery in NYC and they uploaded a large portion to YouTube. I fell down the rabbit hole over the summer and became obsessed – I know, this is soooo off brand, right? – and even included a framed photo of him and my favorite “costar” of his videos, esteemed Village Voice critic Michael Musto.

I used to videotape my friends and family relentlessly in the 90s and watching Nelson Sullivan’s videos makes me miss those days, and also how people were just naturally more social then too. My friends and I would go out and talk to ANYONE, we gave zero shits. We made friends at Denny’s and gas stations and movie theaters and at red lights and and and. Social media and cell phones have ruined everything. Did you know that I was super against cell phones?! I really was. My mom bought me some basic Nokia one in 2001 and I only had it for a few months before it broke, but it drove me nuts because it rang CONSTANTLY and I hated that I was suddenly always available to people. It took another five years for me to cave and buy a new one, and that’s only because I was about to have a baby and figured that having a cell phone would be the responsible thing to do.

And now Covid has taken whatever social instinct I had on reserve and drained it. OMG will I ever be able to have small talk with strangers ever again!? Maybe there’s a Skillshare course I can take…online…to relearn how to talk to people…offline.

Where was I?! Oh. Nelson Sullivan. Then I developed a really sick fascination with club kid Michael Alig. I knew the whole Party Monster story – kind of – and when it eventually occurred to me that the Michael Alig from Nelson’s videos was THE MICHAEL ALIG who murdered a club kid / drug dealer in the mid-90s and chopped up his body and dumped it in the Hudson, I was SHOOK. I guess because I had been watching these “intimate” videos of friends hanging out and what not, you start to think “hey I know that guy” and then when you realize that one of them is going to murder someone 10 years later IT IS WEIRDLY JARRING.

I never had any invention or desire to watch Party Monster when it came out but here I was all these years later making Henry watch it with me.

Anyway, shortly after Xmas 2020, Henry was like “btw that Michael Alig guy died” and of course he was annoyed that not only did that headline come up in whatever feed of his, but that he recognized the name thanks to my brainwashing.

Then I texted Janna because I dragged her down into this weird club kid abyss with me and she said that she too had seen that headline and meant to text me.

Michael Alig appearing on Geraldo, 1990

It’s kind of weird how the dots of life connect because I remember being a teenager, maybe in middle school, and watching the Geraldo (I think?? I guess I should go back and revise that to VAGUELY remember!) episode in the early 90s with the NYC club kids and not even knowing that Michael Alig was there and then not even realizing I had seen him once on TV whenever Party Monster came out (actually I’m not even quite sure that I knew it was based on real life events now that my brain-muscle is starting to warm up). And then even MORE years later, I’m watching literal home videos from the 80s where he makes cameos.

And now he’s dead.

Anyway, I think about this video a lot too, when Michael Alig had a giant party at McDonalds – you have no idea how much these videos make my heart ache for the 80s. I think I would have been REALLY COOL IF I WAS OLDER IN THE 80s and not in elementary school!!! Like I could see picture myself hanging out with Miss Margie and Michael Musto and Nelson and…well, probably not Michael Alig…I really feel like I was born too late…but then with Kpop I feel like I was born too early…UGH I CAN’T WIN.

When Covid is over, I’m having a giant party. Probably not at a McDonalds though. Taco Bell, maybe. Also I need to get all of my old videos transferred to the computer so I can make Chooch watch them and see how totally annoying obnoxious cool his mom used to be.

Anyway, this isn’t what I intended to write about today but you can’t always reason with obsession and fixation. Also, that was two videos and if I were a real blogger, I’d edit the title of this blog but I’m not so I won’t.

Jan 092021
 

Between coronavirus and this latest uprising of Jim-Bobs, I have been calming myself by looking at pictures of happier times. I know it was only a year and a half ago that we went to Tokyo DisneySea, but it might has well have been another lifetime ago.

We could all use some photos of one of the happiest places on earth, so I’m re-sharing them here. I fucking miss theme parks, you guys. But, perspective, etc.
*************

Friends, foes, family, foresters: I am here to tell you that I have nothing bad to say about DisneySea. Honestly. It was the one day from our vacation where we didn’t fight ONE SINGLE TIME. The park opened, we walked in, and it was like the air was being pumped with happy gas because even though it was 100 degrees, we genuinely liked each other that day.

We’re not Disney people but this park had a huge impact on us! And this might sound like a cop-out, but there is really no way I can illustrate just how magical this place is, aside from sharing photos. So let’s peruse my collection together, shall we?

DisneySea is built next to the Tokyo Bay and has seven themed “ports of call” areas. I’ve heard that this park is billed as the Disney for adults, and even though there is a huge (and BEAUTIFUL) indoor kids area, I can definitely see how this is true. There is one area that made me feel like I was in Cape May and I loved it which is hilarious because when I was a kid, we always took a day trip to Cape May during our Wildwood family vacations, and I was always so miserable about that. I hated Cape May as a kid! All my grandma wanted to do was shop and all I could think about was how I missing out on prime time riding rides on the boardwalk. (Morey’s Piers ftw.)

I mentioned in my last Tokyo post that DisneySea doesn’t use an app for Fast Pass, so when the gates opened, we had to walk-run (there are friendly Disney employees everywhere reminding you politely not to run and I already knew this from watching videos so I speed-walked like a good girl because maybe you don’t know this about me BUT I HATE BEING YELLED AT even if it’s someone just kindly reminding me not to do something I’m doing, I will take this and escalate it in my head and get totally butt-hurt and then I will keep replaying the moment until I’m convinced that I was yelled at.

I’m insane and my issues are plentiful.

Anyway, our plan was to pass up Toy Story because it’s identical to the one in the US, grab a Tower of Terror fast pass, and then speedwalk to Journey to the Center of the Earth for stand-by. This plan worked wonderfully!

Mysterious Island was amazing!! The theming blew us all away.

I was prepared for Journey’s line to be outrageous but stand-by was about 30-45 minutes! That ride was goddamn amazing but my favorite part was when Henry ripped his shorts when he was getting into the car!

(Unfortunetely, his rip wasn’t as disastrous as it could have been, and even though it was large, it was still unnoticeable. Ugh.)

I will have a separate post to talk about the rides and food, so let’s just keep looking at the glorious scenery, shall we?

Seriously, would you look at this area? I think we just ooh’d and ahh’d over everything for the first 8 hours of the day.

 

I’m not sure where all the people went that we saw when the park opened, because it didn’t seem very crowded that day. Don’t get me wrong, some of the bigger rides had really long standby wait times as the day went on (Toy Story and the brand new Soaring were basically big no’s if you didn’t have a fast pass, and we didn’t want a fast pass for any of them), but we weren’t fighting our way through hoards of people on the paths or in the restaurants. It was actually pretty weird.

And whenever we did have to stand in line, it was pleasant because people in Japan are polite and orderly. It really was like being in an Utopian amusement park.

Even though we were able to ride all the rides we wanted to, this park could still easily be a 2-day park, because there is so much to see and eat. The facades were so detailed and the shops in each port of call had different merch. Also, we didn’t see any of the shows because that’s not important to us, but if we had been there for a second day, I definitely would have penciled that in because this park inspired me to care about these things!

…and then we found out where all the people were, lol. There’s a big pirate show that happens several times in the main entrance area and people seemed to just loiter there all day.  Also, it was August 1st when we were there, and that was the day when the new theme and merch came out, so I think the enthusiasts were there just for that. We walked past a lot of people who were hanging out in that area with like 8 bags of merch!

Meanwhile, all I cared about was getting my ears (the process of choosing a pair is painstaking but I went with Oswald and Chooch got Dumbo ears and then instantly had reGERTS because it was, again, 100 degrees that day and now he was essentially wearing a terry-cloth headband, good job, dingus.

Venice Vibes, Very.

Basically just an excuse to sit down.

I wanted to jump into this water so badly that day. Did I mention it was 100 degrees?

Did I mention we were also in Japan?

You think you know humidity in America, but you don’t.

LOOK AT THIS CHILDREN’S AREA!!! It was inside Ariel’s Castle and majorly air-conditioned. We definitely took our good ol’ time strolling through this piece.

And the gift shop was inside a whale!

Again, I’m not a Disneyphile but shit, I wanted to buy everything I saw.

Pompously phallic.

In all serious though, I couldn’t stop ogling the majesty of this castle. The detail was sickening!

Halfway to heatstroke.

If you looked at those tiny tiles close up, you’d find little Mickey ears, Flounders, and other assorted hidden Disney sundry.

I can’t imagine standing before this and not being totally enchanted.

One of our many “should we jump” contemplations. Also, note that Chooch is wearing his Pie Jesus friendship bracelet!

Some areas of DisneySea are under construction and from what I understand, it’s in preparation for next summer’s Olympics. Getting a bit of a face lift, I guess! Some of the coaster enthusiasts I follow on YouTube were super annoyed about this when they visited a week before us, but it didn’t take very much away from our visit. If Journey to the Center of the Earth had been outright closed, then my tune would be very different!

Henry, reapplying sunscreen.

LOOK AT THIS VIEW! Also, that water was making me hallucinate. Or was it the sun. I don’t know, but I was feeling delirious.

(Don’t worry! We stayed hydrated all day and guess what? It was easy to do so because food and beverage prices were CHEAP there! I was shocked. I mostly kept refilling an empty bottle at various water fountains, but I did get tempted several times to partake in flavored drinks because, Tokyo. There was some fizzy grapefruit sports drink that was SO REFRESHING.)

You know a park is legit when even your kid keeps stopping to take in the views. I’m a very GO-GO-GO type of person at amusement parks, but this place made me want to slow down and relax.

My kimono-thing was protecting my skin big-time, yo.

Obsessed with this tree.

The theme for August was Pirates Summer and we were there for the first day of it, so that was pretty cool! I purposely ordered a dessert at one of the restaurants just so I could get a collectible plate, so I guess I’m a Disney person now.

This fountain is iconic because it’s the first thing you see when you walk through the entrance. Also, we tried to get Henry to buy a pair of ears but he is too much of a lamer, I guess. Now no one will believe that he actually had a good time!

Some Instagram models were doing an amateur photoshoot here so then we had to do one too.

Did I ever tell you about how Chooch despises Chip and Dale because they’re so much more popular than Bambi when it comes to Disney merch and sometimes, from afar, he will think he sees something Bambi-themed only to get closer and see that it’s Chip and Dale. So when he saw this Chip, or Dale?, at DisneySea, he had a moment of rage. I wanted him to get in line for a picture but he was like Chip (or Dale?) can go fuck himself.

(Personally, I love Chip & Dale. I had one of their videos in the 80s and it was the kind that came in the giant padded case. I watched it all the time!)

The Aladdin area was so beautiful, I could have cried.

But Mermaid’s Lagoon had my heart. Those under-the-sea aesthetics really snatched me, you guys.

I wanted Chooch to make friends with all these children but he was like, “I just want to touch the water, not make power moves.”

I’m such a Disney fraud that I didn’t even know who Duffy was until I started researching this park.

SHIT YOU GUYS. JUST OMG THESE LOOKS. If DisneySea was a kpop group, then Mermaid’s Lagoon would be the visuals.

Although the Arabian area wasn’t exactly horse face, either.

DisneySea at night is a big fat mood. My heart was actually fluttering.

We stayed until the park closed and yes, we were fucking BEAT but it was worth every second we were crucified by the sun.

I’ll have one more Disney post to recap some of the rides and foods, so look forward to that, or don’t!

****

Once we were off Disney-soil, Chooch and Henry were free to argue over directions and fare machines again, so that was fun.

Dec 232020
 

How you doing today, Lucy? You good, Mary? OK cool because I got a fun pandemic decorating tale for you today so if you wanna just go ahead and fluff your tuffet – go on, I’ll wait.

I think I mentioned in here recently that I really wanted to clean up the little hallway area upstairs (when I say little, I MEAN little – there’s just two bedrooms and a bathroom up there so the hallway is basically a rectangular block). There used to be this big, wavy metal shelf at the top which was fine when I lived alone but then HENRY moved in and started leaving random tools and other masculine sundry on the shelves, and then I accidentally put too many photo albums and journals on it and it always kind of looked like it was one hard gust of air away from toppling. Plus, Drew kept jumping on it and it was just a crisis waiting to happen.

Then I got the idea to make it the Cure corner, because with that Seoul subway sign’s impending arrival to the wall behind the couch, my Robert Smith self portrait was going to need a new home and it wasn’t going to be tucked away in the attic, believe me! This was one of my first eBay wins in 1999 and I paid too much for it to rot away under a pound of cobwebs.

So then it turned into, “Hey Henry, what if…” and this is the one thing I always say that makes him visibly clench, well, that and “I have an idea.” That one probably gives him angina though.

I think that Henry is really just in some weird Bob Vila groove now though because not only has he been tinkering away at my projects, but he’s also been fixing things on his own, too. Like things that I didn’t even realize were broken because I’m not an adult. He like, put in new plugs and stuff. In the walls. I don’t know, but he was doing stuff OK?!

All I did was tell him that I wanted to do this and he was like “OK” and took down the shelf and then asked what color the wall will be (at this point it’s more like “what shade of pink will this wall be?” and then he went to Lowe’s and got the paint and then, like, actually painted straight away and then when the first several panels of faux-plants arrived, HE HUNG THEM. Like, without me even having to nag! Has he finally realized that this is all it takes to keep the whine away?!

The first phase, it looked like this, and even then I was enamored! But I had a firm, clear vision of what I wanted the end result to look like, so we pressed on. First, I knew that I wouldn’t be happy with the picture hanging up there as it was. I should have reframed that thing years and years ago instead of leaving it in the plain metal frame it came in, but if ever there was a time…

We had recently bought a picture at Goodwill specifically for the frame because I planned to use it for a different project. It was too big for the Robert picture so we tried to find something comparable in a smaller size but we are still in the pandemic after all, and I’m extremely uneasy about being in stores, so after two tries, we quit. Then Henry was like, “You know, I could probably just cut down that frame you like and make it work” and I was like THIS IS WHY I STAY WITH YOU.

Literally, what can’t Henry do!? (Aside from completing my Seoul subway sign.)

FUCKKKKKKKK it is so beautiful, like something that would ACTUALLY be at the top of the stairway to Heaven.

The view from below.

Then FINALLY last night we had everything else that was needed: three neon lips and a strand of LED lights, and Henry got to work.

YES. YES, HENRY, THIS WILL DO.

Haven’t decided which other of the myriad Cure memorabilia in my collection will go on the adjacent wall. I also have a small table that used to be downstairs, and I’m painting it cherry red with a pink top that has sequined lip patches adhered to it, so look forward to that, Mary.

I couldn’t have asked for anything more once Henry lit this bitch up, but then he went rogue and installed an LED bulb in the ceiling fixture. HE DID THIS OF HIS OWN ACCORD!!!!

So now the whole corner is awash in pink! I imagine him standing in an aisle in Lowe’s, looking at the bulbs and muttering, “she wants pink? Oh, I’ll give her pink.”

Like I said, I really think the man is broken.

I want to get some extra fake foliage from the craft store and make some drip off the bottom so it looks like less of a severe cut-off there.

The print has a portion of what would become the lyrics to A Letter To Elise, which would be released on the Wish album.

“Could you make it so that the Cure is constantly wafting out of a hidden speaker somewhere up here?”

“We’ll see,” Henry mumbled. So I guess we’ll see, Lucy!

(Sorry, I’ve been doing Paul Eugene workouts again and he’s always talking to some imaginary Mary and Lucy and now I’ve picked it up like a bad tick.)

Dec 162020
 

Yesterday Chooch came downstairs and said, “I have to write a memoir in my creative writing class” and before the words even had a chance to hit the air and cool down, I was bounding up from the couch and shouting, “DID SOMEONE SAY MEMOIR?! THAT’S MY SPECIALTY!”

Anyway, he actually decided that he’s going to write about one of our trips to Korea as his topic! You have no idea how much this pleases me because usually, he picks really stupid shit like “that one time I was playing Pokemon Go and got a [insert dumb name of a stupid thing].” Or the time he had to write about something that changed his life and I was like “KOREA?!” but instead he wrote about when he watched the episode of How I Met Your Mother where Lily hates the sound of people chewing and then he realized that he also hates that and it amplified it in his mind so now he actually hulks out any time Henry is closer than 2 blocks away while eating. Even if it’s just a marshmallow. (I can attest though that Henry has a way of taking the softest most unassuming foods and sexualizing them with his mouth, ugh ew ew ew especially bananas, I’m SHUDDERING RIGHT NOW.)

I was cruising my blog archives and found this Chooch-centric post about our last day of the first trip, where we did a bunch of shit he wanted to do, and I was inspired to repost it. When you have a blog, you can do things like that. I’m laughing to myself now, but it’s a laughter void of any mirth because I just a memory of the time this dumb bitch started an e-feud with me on Twitter and was like, “AND ALL YOU DO IS WRITE ABOUT YOURSELF!!!”

Um…OK.

“Personal blog.”

***

 GOLDEN PIZZA AND NORAEBANGS: See also: Chooch’s Last Day in Seoul 2018

Can you tell that I’ve been supremely dragging my feet with these posts? I know it’s annoying to everyone else that I have approx. 87 posts about a 10-day trip and that we’ve been home for over two months and I still haven’t closed the book on it, but you have to remember that I’m the girl who can stretch Warped Tour into 6 blog posts plus a gratuitous Henry Interview Extravaganza.

And I’m not even sponsored!

So on that note, here is what we did for the rest of our final full day in Seoul, holy shit I didn’t expect to start crying as I typed that, yet here we are.

For the last night, we finally gave in to Chooch’s desire for SUPER KOREAN FUN TIMES, which involved pizza (specifically, “gold” pizza, more on that in a bit) and noraebang, which is Korean karaoke (literally translates to ‘song room’). Let’s be real, you can’t go to South Korea and not partake in some noraebang because it is a super popular pastime of native Koreans. There are noraebangs everywhere, on nearly every street, in alleys, in every neighborhood and district.

But first, he had to suffer through last minute souvenir shopping in Insadong, haha. What every 12-year-old boy wants!

This was when Henry abandoned us in Insadong because he wanted to exchange more money and Chooch somehow inherited two balloons from some people promoting the Alive Museum and then some older Korean man came over and tried to pretend-steal one from Chooch and even with a language barrier, we all managed to have a great big international laugh and these are the heart-warming things that happens when Henry abandons us.

The plan after Insadong was to walk back to the hotel, where Henry would meet us later with pizza procured from a place that Chooch had zeroed in on the day before when we were walking to the palaces. We figured we’d just eat in our room and then set off to Myeongdong for noraebang.

But then Henry came back and was like, “DON’T GET TOO EXCITED” because the pizza was just REGULAR, not GOLD. Apparently, the menu that Chooch saw was for a pizza place that was there previously and now this new one had a different menu which was all in Hangeul and hey you guys, I spent many months leading up to this trip trying to get Henry to learn how to at least read it and he was all, “I DON’T NEED NO HANGEUL.”

Yeah, until you do!

Anyway, Henry felt obligated to buy a pizza from this joint because he had already frustrated the guy working there enough I guess, and it was great pizza, you guys! It really was. But it was extremely similar to American pizza and it was not want we wanted. We wanted that Korean flair.

So we decided to venture on out to the Cheonggyecheon Stream where we saw a place called Mr. Pizza on our second night in Seoul.

But first! We got no further than across the street from the hotel before I realized I left my subway card in the room so Henry obediently went back inside to get it. For some reason, like we need a reason, Chooch and I were nearly peeing our pants in anticipation of seeing our hotel room light turn on, I don’t know why this was such a crucial comedic moment for us, but then it never happened because Henry was all, “I didn’t need to turn it on.” Whatever. At least Chooch nabbed this frameable picture of Henry on his way back to us:

I can only imagine what Chooch and I looked like to passers by, as our raucous laughter caused us to fall into each other like drunks.

This reminds me that I never talked about (lol, like this is a talk show) how we accidentally got lost from Henry the night before on our way to Hongdae. We were walking to one of the Jongno subway stations when Chooch and I stopped to look at jewelry in a store window. I thought dumb Henry knew we stopped but he kept walking and by the time we looked up from the window, WE WERE ABANDONED.

This was like the theme of Korea now that I think about it.

Anyway, we were mildly panicked because there were two subway stations near us and weren’t sure which one he was going to, so we chose the closest one and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And eventually, this happened:

He didn’t realize we weren’t with him anymore until he turned around to hand us our subway cards.

“You couldn’t tell that you didn’t hear us laughing anymore?” I asked.

“No, because I block that out,” Henry mumbled.

Random alley picture because I don’t even want to forget those narrow Korean alleys that pop off once the sun sets.

When we got to Cheongyecheon, we were excited to see that another night market was going on! It was so tempting to just pig out on all the food vendors there, but we had a fucking pizza to scratch off the Korea bucket list, goddammit. To Mr. Pizza!

Gold pizza level achieved!

So, one notorious thing about Korean pizza is that “gold crust” means that it’s made with sweet potato — I fucking love sweet potato but nothing is better than Korean sweet potato, my friends. It’s like candy. Also, corn! Somehow, corn is as synonymous with pizza in Korea as pepperoni is here.

I just asked Chooch what his Mr. Pizza review is and his eyes got all bugged out. “Yum,” he said, with a very ‘duh’ inflection.

But yeah, so worth it and I’m glad we didn’t settle on the other normal pizza!

I just also asked Henry if he liked Mr. Pizza and he said, “Yeah!” with an actual modicum of enthusiasm because he’s trying to keep me from leaving him so he’s suddenly Boyfriend of the Year.

Also, I was excited because I got to push the button on the table to get the waitress to come and bring us a box! I always wanted to push the button!!!

Afterward, we took  the subway to Myeongdong. I chose Myeongdong for our final night because that area rules and we hadn’t experienced it at night before then.

“Are you sure there are noraebangs here?” Henry asked, and I was like, “Uh yeah, le duh” because where aren’t there noraebangs, is the real question. Funny though how as soon as you’re looking for one, they’re suddenly gone, like those little trolls from Labyrinth were flipping over the signs before we walked past. Also, I did notice that most of these places don’t have any English on the signs, so unless it’s a really big, touristy noraebang with big windows in the front to let you see in, you might walk past 59 of them without ever knowing. So if you’re planning to go to Korea and want to sing your face blue in one of these joints, look for this word: 노래방

We eventually found one (not like we were bored looking for one though; Myeongdong is so freaking vibrant and upbeat at night, even on a Sunday!) called Sing Sing. When we walked in, Henry was like, “OH” because it reeked like a dive bar and was pretty dark and creepy, but I loved the atmosphere! It felt more authentic than the shiny, bright ones in Gangnam and Hongdae. This one felt like a place where locals would hang out, and we were definitely not the only ones there.

Henry paid the nice boy approximately 20,000 won for an hour and he lead us into our own private room, gave us a brief tutorial on how to work the remote, and then let us have our privacy to hold faux Produce 101 auditions.

Chooch’s first song was a goddamn Maroon 5 song and we were like, “Oh.” Then he sang something else that was dumb too, while I flipped through the book to find him something cool to sing.

Guys, the rooms even come with tambourines.

I had no intentions of doing any singing because I’m just not into that. And that’s when I saw it.

“Even the Night’s Are Better” by Air Supply.

Air Supply, you guys.

“Henry, you’re singing this with me,” I ordered, tossing him a mic and punching in the number.

“Wha—?” he stuttered, and then the song started and he was like, “Are you kidding.”

I immediately launched into my famous brand of shriek-singing on top of a bed of throaty giggles, while Henry mumbled along, and Chooch stared at me with the most appalled and disgusted look on his face.

“WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!?” he cried when the song ended.

“God, I forgot how great I sing!” I said, and Henry was just like, “No.” I think it brought back his PTSD from all the Saturday nights we spent at McCoy’s on karaoke night. I think my crowning moment was the time I sang “Old McDonald Had a Farm” and called for audience participation. The weathered broad who ran karaoke there, DJ Danger (lol), haaaaated me with such a passion and actually got to the point where she would make executive decisions and veto my song choices.

WELL THEN DON’T PUT THEM IN YOUR SONG BOOK, BITCH.

Anyway, back to noraebang, we also sang SHATTERED DREAMS and Chooch was like WHAT IS HAPPENING AM I HALLUCINATING, OR….

“Ugh, I wish they had Skater Boi!” Chooch groaned, flipping through the book 7800 times. I knew they had it because I saw it but I lied and said they totally 100% did not have that song or any other Avril Lavigne songs because she has a lawsuit out against noraebangs, but then I felt bad and said FINE HERE IT IS, SING YOUR DUMB HEART OUT.

But the grand finale was Chooch and me dueting with….

CAN YOU GUESS?!?!

CALL ME MAYBE.

Our theme!

Oh good lord, we were so sweaty by the time our hour was up, and our stomachs hurt from laughing so hard, and my throat hurt from going ham on Air Supply, and it was just the perfect way to end our time in Korea. I especially loved how we could hear people singing in other rooms every time we paused to find our next song.

It was so good! Don’t skip out on noraebang if you’re in Korea! DON’T!!

Here I am in the noraebang bathroom!

Here’s Chooch under the noraebang sign!

Myeongdong!

We capped off the night with ice cream from Milky Bee.

My hand looks so weird here. Henry’s pose, tho.

On our walk back to the hotel from the Jongno subway station, we stopped at a snack shop and I stocked up on some Korean candies for my International Candy Pumpkin at work and had to snap this picture because I’ve had some these corn sticks in there before and at first my work friends were skeptical but then grew to love them.

OK, maybe “love” is a stretch, but they ate them. There were so many different varieties in Korea! Back at the hotel. Chooch and I collapsed and Henry did all the packing while muttering things like, “Just lay there, assholes. Sure, I’ll do everything. Don’t help me.”

I don’t even know how to end this. This was so much more than just a vacation, though. It was a dream come true and a really amazing thing to experience with my little family unit. But, all good things, am I right? We’re hoping to go back again next summer, because there are other cities we want to explore in addition to Seoul and Busan, and plus there was so much in Seoul alone that we weren’t able to get to.

So, if you read all of these or followed along with us on Instagram, thank you! You’re the real MVP!

“OMG I don’t want to hit ‘publish’ on this because once I do, it’s done. It’s over. It’s really over,” I just wailed to Henry. “UNLESS YOU WRITE YOUR OWN RECAP!!!!”

And do you know what he said?

“We’ll see.”

THAT MEANS YES!

Dec 152020
 

I’m pleased to report that I have no complaints regarding this past weekend. I mean, Chooch and I still bickered like elementary school aged siblings (HE IS SO ANNOYING AND FRUSTRATING!!!) while getting pictures done for our Christmas card, but everything else went swimmingly and I was in a mild (as opposed to “milk” which I originally types) mood ALL WEEKEND.

The key was that we got the pictures taken first thing in the morning and with that out of the way, and 1/2 of the Christmas card designed, I felt AMAZING AND FREE. I feel like we haven’t sent out holiday cards in a few years (maybe we just skipped last year, but in terms of 2020, all past years seem even farther away in history) and I just thought it would be nice because there’s not much for people to look forward to these days so why not give them something to open that’s not junk mail?

(Well, coming from me, some people MIGHT consider it junk mail!)

Plus, supporting the USPS even though they are SO ANNOYING and as an Etsy seller, they fucking piss me off numerous times a month, and last weekend I allegedly got a package delivered but, BITCH WHERE? Ain’t no package on my porch! I even remembered seeing the mail lady (we always have a different person on Saturdays – it’s so inconsistent and in fact, I haven’t seen our regular weekly mail guy since over the summer when I filed a complaint after he delivered my KOREAN CASSINGLE IMPORTS to some other house and now I am out $6!!! Maybe he actually kept them and then asked for a route change before I stepped into my gum shoes and solved the case!!!

Remember how I told you that I am a squirrel lady now? Well, it hasn’t gotten any better. Saturday night, Henry was in the kitchen baking cookies (and dancing to Super Junior and Taemin with a dish towel slung over his shoulder!). I went in at one point to taste the glaze he made (he went for a reprise of his 2015 Pittsburgh Blogger Cookie Exchange award winning zucchini jalapeno shortbread with lime glaze) and while I was in there BUDDY THE SQUIRREL CALLED OUR CAT DREW ON THE (DISCONNECTED) LANDLINE!!!!

That night in bed, I said to Henry, “Remember when Buddy called Drew on the landline but she told me to tell him she’d call him back because she just woke up and had to stretch first? But when she called him back, his mom said he was already asleep in his tree house?”

There was a bit of a pause and I thought Henry had fallen asleep, but then he said (with a bit of disgust in his tone, might I add!), “…no. YOu need help.”

“Hopefully he doesn’t call back too early in in the morning,” was the last thing I said before falling asleep. Life as a squirrel lady is very exhausting!

Sunday was v. exciting! We (lol “we”) started painting the walls going upstairs and in the upstairs hallway (if you can call it that, it’s like a block with three doors). My endgame is to turn that little space into a sitting area/Instagram corner. We bought fake plant wall panels to put up there along with a neon lips sign, and the center piece will by my Robert Smith self-portrait that has lived above the couch since 1999 but will hopefully be replaced with that MOTHERFUCKING SEOUL SUBWAY SIGN at some point.

I just had this idea on a whim and Henry actually started it without me hounding and I realized that it’s probably because he figures if he’s working on a new project, that’s more time for him to stall out on the Seoul subway sign. I wasn’t born yesterday!

Anyway, I’ve always had this metal shelf at the top of the steps. It’s in the shape of a wave, and I think I got it from Pier 1, also I realized this morning that I’ve actually had it since I was in high school; when Henry was taking it apart, he was like, “WHO PUT THIS TOGETHER?!?!?” and I just shrugged–I mean, it’s survived four moves since the mid-90s but I can’t remember anyone ever taking it apart. Anyway, he said he can’t believe it was even still standing because half the screws were barely in it, lol, that sounds about right. We’re going to give it a makeover and use it on the back porch but it REALLY needed to be cleaned off because it had become a dumping ground for stuff over the years. Let me put it in these terms for you: that shelf has been collecting stuff for so long, that there was A LOVE LETTER on it that Psycho Mike wrote to me in 1997!!!

Yes, he’s psycho, but I’m a pack rat.

I’m really excited for this space to be completed because it’s going to be so much fun. I’m going to move my Cure chair out there and I’m repainting a small table so it can be a little sitting area. I dunno who will ever actually sit there, but the option is there, is all I’m saying.

For lunch, we got banh mi takeout from Bae Bae’s Cafe, which is in danger of closing because of the pandemic and I’m really sad about this and determined to order more from them. They JUST OPENED around a month before the pandemic hit the US so they never really had a chance to live up to their full potential. Their mother shop, Bae Bae’s, is doing OK I guess? But it would be a shame to see their cafe close down because their tofu banh mi is amaze, and they are really the only place in Pittsburgh that offers bingsu. Also, it IS A FUCKING DREAM INSIDE THAT PLACE. 

It was also pint pickup day from Sugar Spell! I’ve been so happy to be able to support local places during the pandemic, and we’ve built such a good rapport with the couple who own this place (they are so sweet) and also the proprietors of Zenith, which has been our other go-to for takeout this year. I really miss going to both of these places in person (especially Zenith because it’s a whole-ass experience, you have no idea, come visit me after we’re all vaccinated and I’ll take you there and you’ll see, and this is always my favorite season to eat there because they go ape with their Xmas decor!)

Even the cats are like FUCK YEAH SUGAR SPELL!

All three of these flavors are winners.

In other weekend news, I finished season 4 of The Crown and for someone who was never a big follower of the Royal escapades, I was for sure a big Diana fan and remember crying HARD when she was killed (and only a bit over a month after my beloved Gianni Versace!). Man, that actor who played Diana was so good. I came for the Diana stuff and stayed for the bitchin’ 80s soundtrack. (Ultravox, The Cure, Duran Duran? Perf.)

It’s funny the memories we retain from big events in our lives, but of all the things I remember most about my first overseas trip with my grandparents when I was 10 was being on the plane home from London and one of the flight attendants asking, “What’s that book you have there, Royal Homes?” and when I held it up to show her the cover of the book I chose from the Kensington Palace gift shop, she exclaimed, “Oooh, Haunted Royal Homes!” and nodded approvingly. I heard her voice in my head SO CLEARLY every time they mentioned Kensington Palace on The Crown, but can I remember the actual tour of the palace? FUCK NO.

(I also remember walking down the hallways of the hotel with my arms straight out in front of me in case there were ghosts there holding knives, and having a fried egg on a burger at a restaurant called Monique’s, before hipsters made that a thing in the States.)

(OMG I know I’m a vegetarian, but I’m not ashamed to admit that my mouth just spontaneously gleeked at the memory of that burger and I can ACTUALLY TASTE THE NON-HEINZ BUT EQUALLY DELICIOUS KETCHUP-LIKE SAUCE THAT WAS ON IT.)

OK, before I fall off the wagon, I’m going to go walk off this strange onset of meat lust. Peace out, bro-skis.

Dec 042020
 

You guys. On Wednesday, those of us in the Pittsburgh office of the law firm who celebrated a five-year incremental anniversary this year (is that even how you would classify that??) were invited to attend a virtual recognition ceremony. I have had to type “recognition” approx. 27 times this week and have tried to squeeze a “z” in there each and every time. Just a little fun, behind the scenes look into my deteriorating brain.

From my department, there were 8 of us I think, from Debby who is celebrating FORTY YEARS, to Carrie who is celebrating 5! In 2010, Sandy, Nate, Mitch, and I were all hired. It was a banner year, clearly. Sandy created a 10 YEAR group chat in Jabber so the four of us could be jerks during the presentation, which entailed viewing a 30ish minute long video of what the world and the firm were like in each year us anniversary people were hired, starting with 1980 because of Debby and some other lady who I think is a practice assistant.

At the end, the…leader of the firm, the Firmfather? announced that it was raffle time and I started to peace out because I don’t usually win shit. Out of the 55ish of us being recognized, 10 were going to win a $50 gift card. But then Firmfather said, “so if your name is called, I’m going to unmute you so can acknowledge that you heard your name get called. And you know what, why don’t you also say a few things about what you remember from when you started. Give us a memory or something.”

My Jabber blew up. Everyone was like OMG ERIN IS TOTALLY GETTING CALLED FOR THIS. And Amber, who was also watching the presentation since everyone’s supervisors and managers are required to attend, Jabbered me as well saying I WANT U TO WIN SO BAD.

Why does everyone hate me??

So now I’m sitting there all clammy and pale, chanting PLEASE DONT CALL ME PLEASE DONT CALL ME and Chooch, who was getting ready to leave for the teen center, sidled up next to me and asked DID SOMEONE SAY RAFFLE. So now I have Chooch crossing his fingers, saying WIN IT WIN IT over and over while the admin lady is pulling out names, and I’m in major fight or flight mode right now. I mean, all I had to do was leave the call. I could have just left, and they would be like “ok pick another name Mary!” when they saw I wasn’t in the participant list. Just in case, my mind started flipping through a psychic rolodex of FIRM MEM’RIES from 2010 that weren’t inside jokey or completely inappropriate to share with Firmfather and the other however many randos were on the call, and then…

Well, BY NOW YOU HAVE GUESSED IT. I WAS A WINNER. THEY CALLED MY DUMB STUPID PIECE OF SHIT NAME. I have never wanted to lose something so badly in my life!

I did what I do best in these situations: I completely vacated my body and replaced myself with FAKE PROFESSIONAL ERIN who managed to improvise a wholesome memory on the spot.

This was my memory:

“Well, Firmfather, I was hired in 2010 to work the late shift. There were already two other Erin/Aarons in the department, so I became known as ‘Night Erin.'”

Not super exciting, but also not something scandalous that was going to embarrass the directors of my department, who were all listening! Anyway, I didn’t think it was all that great, but Firmfather gave a hearty laugh and said, “I LIKE THAT” and I was like “PLEASE TO BE MUTED NOW” and then everyone from my department who witnessed this contacted me immediately, like “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and I was like, “Let’s never speak of this again.”

Meanwhile, Wendy texted me and was like, “NO YOU’RE NOT NIGHT ERIN, YOU’RE—”

and here is where I will interrupt Wendy’s text and tell you that there was a second part to the story that I did share on that call, because I just didn’t feel like it.

So, I didn’t meet Wendy until a month or two after I got hired, because she was in Warsaw assisting with the opening of a new firm office. By the time she came back, I was already firmly indoctrinated as Night Erin, and when she heard this, she said that it reminded her of the town wino where she grew up, and his name was Night Train. For some reason, she thought this name was way more suitable for me, and that’s how I became known as Night Train for like, too many years.

Anyway, Amber made sure to send an email to our group, squealing about how I had to talk during the presentation and people started asking IS THERE A TAPE.

Ugh.

But it got me thinking about all the much better memories I could have shared if this was like an off-the-record happy hour or something. So here are 4 more memories from my early years at the law firm.

  1. WATERBREAK ’11: the time when some broad’s water literally broke in our restroom and pandemonium ensued
  2. LAW FIRM LAMB CAKE: the cake that inspired an indie eyeshadow shade and its own theme song
  3. WACKY WORM: the carnival ride that sparked the now legendary feud between Glenn and me
  4. LAST MAIL IN REVERSE (no blog post): so there was this woman who used to come through our floor every day at the same time, calling out “last mail’ in every quadrant. My old co-worker and I were obsessed with her and one time, he challenged himself to race through the floor in order to catch her each time she said “last mail.” Collect ’em all, if you will. I dunno why we latched on so hard to this but it was funny to us how she appeared at the exact same time every day and never deviated from her course. So one time, for April Fool’s Day, I sidled up to Barb and whispered, “WHAT IF WE GOT LISA TO DO LAST MAIL IN REVERSE. IT WILL BLOW DEREK’S MIND.” So Barb was like LEAVE IT TO ME. So Lisa was like, “Um, ok sure I can do that, you fucking weirdos” and then we got one of our co-workers Mary to make up some project to keep Derek at his desk, because we knew he’d get up and start pacing as soon as he realized Lisa was late. I got Mitch to record it (he was pretending to peruse the contents of a bunch of engagement letter boxes near Derek’s desk and he looked SO SUSPISH but no one said anything). And then BAM, Lisa came out of nowhere with her LAST MAIL and Derek was like “that’s the worst prank ever” but he has like 8 kids now and I bet this tale is TOTALLY their favorite bedtime story. Either that or it’s a threat: EAT ALL YOUR GODDAMN PEAS OR I’M GONNA TELL YOU THE LAST MAIL STORY AGAIN TONIGHT.”

 

Well, that’s all for me. It’s been…a week.

Dec 032020
 

In today’s edition of “less pandemic panic, more memories that are manic” (???? Sorry, sometimes I’m a rhyming try-hard) you’ll find me reminiscing about all the carousel selfie funtimes I had in 2019. I like to trick the encroaching depression by focusing on shit that makes me happy and you know, maybe it’s just a Band-aid in the grand scheme of things but for now, it’s getting the job done.

The best part was that I had to go through so many amusement park blog posts to collect these photos and it made me so happy doing a little skimming here and there. 2019 was so tight. This current year is definitely making me appreciate it all the more, in hindsight!

The first amusement park we visited in 2019 was King’s Island that April, but I guess it didn’t occur to any of us to go on the carousel (do they even have one? Now I can’t picture it in my mind), but Chooch and I hit up some horsies a month later when we went to Waldameer.

Then in June, Chooch and I went to Conneaut with Janna and this is the picture that actually kick-started the tradition of CAROUSELFIES. Seriously, this picture makes me so happy, it was such a stomach-achingly hilarious day, and I should probably just put this damn thing in a locket, to be QUITE FRANK.

This technically counts as a carouselfie: at some ice cream joint in the beginning of summer. This is when Henry hijacked our tradition because wah wah wah he always have to be included even though he’s so lame and I just want to bully him right off the school bus but then he’ll go tattle to the internet and everyone on the internet always takes his side!!

Ugh, being inclusive is so hard sometimes.

The next amusement park we went to was Lotte World in Korea but it was ridiculously crowded and the wait for the carousel was like 2 hours. So the NEXT carousel we rode was in Tokyo Disney Sea! Henry actually took this without bitching!

In August, we went to Kentucky Kingdom and Holiday World in Indiana during a long weekend. Here are those carousels! You can see that Henry is really starting to get a feel for a plaster horse between his legs.

…OK never mind, he’s back to grimacing.

Then we went to Cedar Point in September! That was truly a weekend of ups and downs but our time on the derby ride thingie was pleasant (I forgot how fast it goes though)!

In October, we went to King’s Dominion in Virginia for the first time and had so much fun! SO MUCH FUN that I have literally no recollection of riding the carousel there. Side note: there was recently some thing on Twitter where people were sharing pictures of celebrities they’ve been told that they look like so I was like “cool I’ll play too” even though I never think I look like anyone I’m told (especially not Maggie Gyllenhaal but I used to get that one the most). I used to get Claire Danes a lot too, especially when I was younger and I never saw that one either but I just glanced at myself in this King’s Dominion pic and I kind of actually see it in this one!

Also, wtf are all those people looking at? I’m having major FOMO right now.

The first weekend of November (ie the last of the Halloween festivities at amusement parks) we went to Lake Compounce in Connecticut and Dorney Park in Allentown, PA and it was a legit wonderful weekend (don’t worry – we still bickered a lot, we’re the Appledales, after all).

It was super cold at Lake Compounce, but mild at Dorney. Just in case any weather groupies are wondering.

People kept telling me that they liked my jacket all weekend and Chooch was like “No, it’s ugly. I hate it.”

And then our very last carouselfie happened one year ago this month, at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. THAT WAS A FUN TRIP TOO BUT IT WAS FUCKING COLD, MAN.

Honorable mention: Chooch and I also went to Kennywood in August but for some reason we didn’t ride the carousel (we were too busy fucking with the coasters) but I did manage to take a moody pic of it because we left that night.

I wonder how much it would cost to get one of those little coin-operated carousels for the house….I could get rid of the dining room table and put it there. We could call it the diningsel. Dinner-Go-Round. Merry-Go-Lunch. Give me a break man, my brain is atrophied.

OK back to reality, a/k/a COVID-times. Have a nice night. If you dream about carousels after looking at these pictures before bed, you have to tell me!

Nov 292020
 

Good afternoon, people of the Internet. Today’s post is about the time I splurged on a Selina Sanders handmade shirt made from a vintage dishtowel because it reminded me so much of my Pappap’s game room carpet and general aesthetic. I could imagine these dish towels being used in one of the bar areas. (There were two – “too excessive” was not in my Pappap’s vocab.)

Anyway, I paid like $120 for this damn shirt thinking that it would be nice to wear in the fall when we returned to work – LOL such pure, wholesome thinking! We obviously have still not returned back to the office and the dressiest I get these days are when I swap my sweatpants for jeans but keep the hoodie.

My hair wasn’t looking too rat-nesty today so I asked Chooch to take some pictures of me wearing this dumb shirt so I could at least kind of get some use out of it and it’s still fall, so….

And you can imagine how thrilled he was!

One time a few years ago, I was on a walk while screaming at Henry about something over the phone and didn’t realize that there were people working on this balcony thingie that I posing under. I think about that every time I walk past this place because those worker guys exchanged “wheeeeeeew-eeeeee, better him than me!” glances.

Chooch is obsessed with the shrubbery in this yard and never fails to openly admire it every time we stroll past.

“Sit like your leg is broken.”

Obligatory jump shot.

I have a really hard time standing with my arms at my side. I always want them to be akimbo or waving like mattress store inflatable man thingies:

Air Dancers® Custom Inflatable Tube Man | Banners, Signs, Flags & More

I’m kind of annoyed because I have a pair of boots that would have looked much better with this outfit but they’re under my desk at work, in a box with like 9 other pairs of shoes. Where they have been languishing since March.

It’s very hard for me to be on this side of the lens, you guys, you have no idea. And also hard for the person taking the pictures! Chooch was just like, “OMG YOU LOOK OK STOP.”

But then this happened and it’s 100% the BEST PICTURE ANYONE HAS EVER TAKEN OF ME. This effing bird came out of nowhere and Chooch and I both screamed so hard. It flew by so fast that it only registered as a blip on the live version of this picture which is insane. Henry originally thought it was a hawk but then obsessed over it for 30 minutes and is going with sparrow as his final answer. I put it on Instagram, so I’m sure all the high strung ornithologists will trip over themselves to “Actually…” him. GOOD!

Nov 242020
 

Let’s be real, it’s been hard to make lemonade out of the dirty ass lemons that the coronavirus has chucked at us this year.  With all the staying-at-home that has been mandated since March, the one thing that has really kept me from spiraling out has been giving our rental home a refresher. I can’t even stress how much just a simple change in wall-color has boosted my mood!

But one of the biggest problems we’ve ALWAYS had is CLUTTER. We just don’t have a lot of room to put things (I mean, we’re not hoarders, but we’re…just messy. And by “we” I mean “Henry). After we redid  the dining room, I was like, “AND YOU NEED TO FIND SOMEWHERE TO KEEP THE CARD-MAKING SUPPLIES.” We have a shelf at the bottom of the steps, but that evidently isn’t enough because his supplies kept spilling out onto the dining room table, under the dining room table, next to the dining room table, on the dining room chairs…you get the picture. It’s his card-making station, you guys, and I can’t be too finger-pointer-y about it because we sell cards very consistently so he just got in a routine where he would leave the main supplies out, since he was “going to need them again tomorrow.”

Basically this is A LOT of words to say that we could never even sit at the table to eat because his paper cutter, his crafting knives, his tape, his envelopes, his etc etc etc, was always strewn across the tabletop.

So after we redid the dining room, he moved all of his supplies to the basement until we found a good storage solution. I knew from the start that I wanted a buffet-type piece that could be useful if we ever get to host parties again but also double as hidden storage. I didn’t want to buy something new though – I wanted to find something at the thrift store so that we could dress it up in my dumb aesthetic, which varies.

We ended up finding this really solid mid-century buffet a few weeks ago for like $60 and it was, um, very worth it because the manufacturer is a very good one (we found out that this piece could possibly be worth between $1500-$3000…good thing we used good paint?). As usual, I have no before photo but just know that it was ugly and like, off-white.

Henry finally put it back together last night and brought it up from the basement and I love it SO MUCH. It’s perfect!

We bought the cabinet paint from Lowe’s and the cashier was like, “THIS IS A GREAT COLOR.”

Yeah, no duh.

I knew before we even found a buffet that I wanted to use some of my Pappap’s wallpaper on it. I felt that the print from the master bedroom of the Gillcrest House was the perfect complement to the pink I picked (literally typed “pink I pinked” the first time). Henry used actual wallpaper paste-stuff and the sheets went right on the doors like it was made just to sit around for 50 years waiting for this moment.

I chose gold glitter ribbon as an accent because pink and gold glitter is my signature, like it’s hard to believe I wasn’t in a sorority sometimes, like hee hee, bitches.

Here’s what the wallpaper looked like in the Gillcrest master bedroom.

When I was a really little kid, I used to sleepover my grandparents’ house a lot and I would always sleep in that room with them. That room was fucking magical, the bathroom alone was like no other, and I am so happy to have a piece of that room here in my house, on a repurposed piece of furniture that will hopefully live on for many more decades. (I mean, I can picture this in Chooch’s house someday, can’t you?)

I just fucking love it and can’t wait until I can have people over here again so I can load it up with snaaaaax.

Henry was mad because I posted pictures of it on Instagram without including one of it with the actual buffet flap-things open. “THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT A BUFFET!” he yelled, because he wrote a thesis on midcentury furniture, didn’t you know?

Hilariously, when we first found this at the thrift store, it was SO UGLY TO ME, especially when Henry opened the flaps. I screamed, “OMG WHAT IS THIS????” and he calmly said, “A buffet…” and I was like, “Oh thank god, I thought it was some kind of exam table.”

Wheelchairs? Yes. Funerary paraphernalia? Fuck yeah. Exam tables? GTFO.

I have my limits, you guys.

True to form, Henry left the inside blank. I mean, I guess if he was refurbishing this to sell as a OOAK piece, he’d have gone the extra mile and fluffed up the innards, but we’re only going to stuff it with non compos cards supplies (and cats, apparently), so who really cares, you know?

Drew really fucking loves it.

“Thanks for the new spot!” she said.

So anyway, that’s my buffet story. It would have been really cool to have had this back when I had that vintage food party!

I must be officially old, because I’m getting all hot and bothered over attractive, yet functioning, storage solutions.

Nov 202020
 

Dear Internet Diary,

I’m extremely unorganized when it comes to photos, which is awful when it comes to preservation but also fun when I randomly come across one when I’m digging in a drawer for a pen or safety pin or the glasses that I never wear. Here are some that I unearthed recently which I thought would be fun to share since the only other things I have to talk about right now are the recipes I’ve chosen for Henry to make for Thanksgiving, Taemin/SHINee stuff, and my continuously rising ire at people who STILL REFUSE TO WEAR A FUCKING MASK. I just…I can’t do it today. So let’s look at some old ass pictures, spanning various decades of shitty hairstyles!

  1. THE OBLIGATORY WILDWOOD SHOT

You guys. I remember this like it was yester-fucking-day and not OMG 1988. It was taken at my beloved Wildwood, New Jersey on one of my family’s summer vacations. Every night after dinner, we would go to the boardwalk, specifically Morey’s Piers, for some junk food and ride action. Here are some things I would like to point out about this photo:

  • I had just gotten my hair cut that summer and it was a huge deal because my hair is pretty long prior to this, and I got bangs too which was MAJOR YOU GUYS. I remember getting my hair done at a salon called Shear Talent which was down the street from my Pappap’s drywall company. This is notable because it was located next to an apartment that OLYMPIC WRESTLER KURT ANGLE* lived in sometime in the 90s and I know that this is true because my dad worked for the gas company and had to go there to like, read the meter or fix something back then, I don’t know. But he came home and was so excited and I was like “Oh.”
    • *I cared so little about this that I originally put “Engler” as his last name and then decided to google to make sure I even had the right guy. I did. That’s him.
  • My dad and Ryan and those other people are looking up because the boardwalk’s famous looping coaster, The Sea Serpent, had gotten stuck with people on it and this was major news because it was the 80s and we didn’t have Twitter and a psychotic president abusing it, and also maybe all the serial killers were on sabbatical.
  • *waves back to the stranger lady*
  • I fucking loved that shirt that I was wearing. I have no idea why I liked it so much.
  • This was the year I started to get fat and ugly.

2. Erin Rachelle Kelly, Babysitter Extraordinaire

From the looks of this picture, I would wager to say it was the summer of 1996. It was definitely taken in my mom’s living room and I can promise you that the camera had the timer set and was propped up on her antique roll-top desk. Here are some things I remember:

  • That broad (lol, we were like 16 but OK, Erin) in the middle is the KERI THAT WAS MENTIONED A FEW BLOG POSTS AGO WHEN I WAS V. MAD THAT JASON VOORHEES CHOSE HER OVER ME. And that’s her  then-boyfriend Dan who liked me first but I went on one date and passed him on to Keri, who ended up dating him for quite some time (I mean, probably like 6 months which was the equivalent to like 5 years in high school time) and then one time I had a little get together like almost a year after this picture was taken and he was there and seriously you guys I’m pretty sure he was on his way to sexually assaulting me when I was drunk and the only thing that stopped him was my friends Justin and Jon opening the door to the laundry room (the same one where I found out Gionni Versace was killed!!) and seeing that he had me pushed against the wall, at which point they escorted him out of my house and Justin drove him home. I ill never forget that.
  • I was definitely supposed to be babysitting my brothers here and I still can’t believe that my mom ever trusted me to babysit.
  • There’s a similar picture floating around somewhere in which my brothers are holding butcher knives.
  • I was the Overall Queen in the 90s.
  • Might try to bring back the “showing off the bruise on my thigh” pose.

3. If It Doesn’t Taste Good…

OK this is really bizarre because I have zero recollection of this photo but Chooch found it in his room when we were rearranging it a few months ago. I know that this was obviously from the vacation I was on that summer with my grandparents and Sharon but I’m not sure where exactly we were here, and I only vaguely remember the people here but I’m sure I could pull out one of y vacation journals to fact check, but that would almost imply that I’m a legit blogger and come on, we all know it’s “half-assed of GTFO” over here in these parts. There’s a bunch of fun facial expressions we can expound upon but when I first found this picture, my immediate response was to scream because that gentleman standing in the middle was the greatest. I believe his name was John and he and his wife really took a liking to my Pappap so they would often join us at our table for travel group dinners.

This man gave me the GREATEST advice of all time, and I think about it A LOT:

If it doesn’t taste good, put cheese on it.

I can’t tell you how many times over the years I have attempted to make food for myself and, after the first inaugural taste/forced swallow, I’d grab the parmesan out of the fridge door and give my plate a hearty sprinkling.

I tried to tell Chooch this story but he peaced out as soon as I said “Europe with my grandparents” because he hates hearing stories about my silver spooned childhood.

4. RICOLA

One of my best childhood memories was the time I turned 11 in Switzerland (Chooch is burying his head under a pillow right now). I was V.SHY then (I came out of my shell by 7th grade) and so, when the MC of the dinner theater thingie we were attending asked for volunteers to blow on the Ricola horn (honestly I have no idea what that thing is actually called but it’s in the Ricola cough drop commercials!), my grandparents and Sharon nearly shit their pants when I raised my hand.

It might have been my first YOLO moment!? I dunno, but to this day I prefer Ricola over everything else.

(Fun fact: I also received a birthday scroll from the restaurant that night, which is framed and still hanging in my house after all these years.)

(That’s a lie: It was hanging up until a month ago when we painted the dining room and still needs to be re-hung.)

5. Staircase Model

I know this is really crazy that I’m giving you all of these facts about myself on a blog that has my name in it, but here’s another:

I guess my aunt Sharon was trying to distract me of the impending birth of my brother Ryan which directly correlates with the RUINATION OF MY LIFE (j/k, I love my brother but I also really loved being an only child) when she took me to open auditions for some child modeling / acting agency. Apparently, she thought I would be automatically accepted since I already had like 4 years of posing in every single new outfit she bought for me.

I have no idea what happened to me, aside from the fact that my genes dictated my path and lead me straight to Homelyville, but now that I am an adult, I cannot pose for a picture to save my fucking life. But back then, I was SO GOOD at the arms akimbo/hip-jut combo. Now I just look like the entire precinct shouted SMILE!! while I was preparing for my mugshot.

Anyway, I wanted to include this picture in particular because I HAVE ROLLS OF THAT WALLPAPER NOW! The pattern is made from velvet or something and I can’t wait to do something with it.

***

Actually now that I look at these, I had bangs in every single one and now I feel like I want bangs agai—NO ERIN *SLAPS FACE* YOU DON’T WANT BANGS.

Nov 112020
 

Long time readers (lol) might remember when we got some cheap-ass coffee table years ago from the thrift store and refurbed it into a Mod Podge-sponsored photo album. Well…it didn’t hold up very well. All it took was one spilt water bottle to make the underneath stuff expand and bloat and then even after that a bunch of the photos didn’t age well (see also: I included photos of people who ended up being assholes and we no longer speak) so I mostly just kept the table covered.

I think it was last May or June when we decided to finally redo it and got as far as stripping off the old pictures and repainting it, but then Kitchen Redesign 2020 took precedence and the table just sat here with a piece of wood-stuff on top of it for, well, months and months.

Long story short, Henry mismeasured and then ordered the wrong amount of pictures and I was ready to take an axe to it and just buy some generic geometric thing from Target or whateverthefuck, but Henry was like NO, I WILL PREVAIL and then finally took speed or something and got the thing done last weekend.

Here’s what it looked like the first time around:

While all of those photos told a story and 90% made me smile on the daily, there were some that….didn’t age well. Because they featured people who turned out to be…assholes. You know how it is.

So this time around, I decided that I wanted to use photos that would ONLY trigger HAPPINESS. Obviously, those are pictures of my favorite people in my favorite country.

I am a super sentimental person and have always been a hoarder of photos. For god’s sake, pretty much the only things I took from my grandparents’ house was photo albums! I’m always looking for new ways to display photos because sadly I’m running out of walls. (See next photo, lol.)

Pardon the mess in the background, but everything around here is still very much “in progress.” Lol.

I chose this color scheme because it’s similar to the colors used on the palaces in South Korea, and I used photos from both trips and it was so hard to choose!

But the TV in the background, tho!!!!!!

Also, anything you see scattered around the floor is 99.9% of the time a cat toy.

Henry still has to fill the holes in the trim (HE USED A NAIL GUN AND ALL I COULD THINK ABOUT WAS HAPPY GILMORE’S CONSTRUCTION JOB BOSS) but I love how this version of the table turned out. And I can’t wait until we can have people over again so I can make them sit here while I point out and explain EVERYSINGLEPHOTO on this table, like some bizarre Pinterest-age version of a1960s vacation slideshow. Oh, brace yo’selves, future visitors.

I look at these pictures and feel like everything is going to be ok. You know that episode of The Walking Dead were Carol is like, “Just look at the flowers, Lizzy”? If you’re planning on killing me, just tell me to look at the table. Let these pictures be my flowers.

Maybe someday I will just project all of my photos onto the side of the house. The neighbors would love that.

Penelope thinks it’s just OK.

OK, I’m signing off now. Lemme know if you have any cool ideas for future photo display projects. I want to do something with amusement park photos next!