May 122021
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jonny Craig & MOD SUN | Cody Smeltzer | Flickr

 

Apr 062021
 

You guys. My patience and obsessive nature finally paid off yesterday. One of the Buddys let me hand-feed him! Normally, the brown squirrels (never the gray ones; they’re super skittish) will accept snacks from my hand through the window but I wanted the challenge of feeding them from outside of my house.

Two weekends ago, I was getting RULL close to success but the Buddy I had targeted kept doing the handshake-fake out on me every single time, like to the point where I expected him to run his hand paw through his hair fur.

Yesterday on my lunch break, I was sitting on the porch, trying to coax my favorite of all the Buddys to TAKE THE FUCKING PECAN when Haley came outside to water her plants. She started laughing at me because this is like A Thing now, not a secret, and I wailed, “I AM DETERMINED!”

“I mean, he’s sitting right there on the porch with you so he’s clearly not afraid of you, you’ll get it!” Haley said, in the encouraging words of a True Mom. And you know what? I took her words and ran with them and I DID INDEED GET IT!

It turns out he didn’t want a pecan – he wanted a WALNUT! Good thing I have a veritable squirrel buffet inside my house to choose from. We currently have: peanuts, walnuts, pecans, filberts, and various types of seeds. Don’t worry – I always check first to make sure what I’m feeding them is safe! For instance, not all peanuts are good for them!

Squirrel watching has really kept me going through the pandemic. Being home so much, especially WORKING FROM HOME, has been pretty depressing but these little guys are so entertaining and I don’t care what anyone says–they’re my best Buddys. Sometimes when I feed them through the window, their tails brush my hand and IT IS THE BEST FEELING I LOVE THEM SOOOOO MUCH OMG HELP ME I NEED A LIFE.

This picture cracks me up – squirrel soirée! Also, don’t mind the messy porch/yard. Henry started redoing the flower-area and true to form, he moved on to other things before finishing. (He will read this and start yelling about how IT IS TOO SOON TO PLANT FLOWERS AND HE WAS JUST GETTING IT READY blah blah OK Farmer Henry’s Almanac.)

 

Feb 222021
 

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

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

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

JUST PUTTING THAT OUT THERE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feb 102021
 

I’ve been getting back into my Kpop cardio groove in an effort to reclaim some pre-pandemic normalcy and orientation, and I have to wonder why I ever fell out of this practice to begin with because it cheers me up SO MUCH. So I started doing 4 to 5 routines before work and several during my lunch break and I have to say that my mood has definitely improved.

Several times, I have caught Buddy at the window watching me! (HE LETS ME HAND-FEED HIM WALNUTS NOW!!!)

Over the weekend, I went back to one of the OG Kpop workout channels – SarahKpop – who sadly doesn’t post new workouts anymore but at least she kept her channel up so we can still enjoy the old ones. Anyway, doing these older routines felt like a bucket of warm, molten nostalgia was being poured over me and wrapping me up in the safe and comforting arms of a velvet-robed grandma fresh from putting the snickerdoodles in the oven.

There have been so many bangin’ Kpop songs that have come out lately and my favorite Kpop cardio instructor has been churning out the most fun routines for them and I have been LIVING FOR IT.

Two of my favorites right now are Twice’s Cry For Me and Hyuna’s I’m Not Cool:

I fully immersed myself in this at the end of 2016 when I couldn’t take the reality of this country anymore and now I need this more than ever. I cannot pull myself away from the impeachment trial. I know it’s really hampering my mental health and I know these sleazy, piece of shit, spineless ReTrumplicans are going to shit all over democracy and do the selfish thing as usual. So I will dive back into my Kpop lalaland where the language is beautiful, I can distract myself with daydreams of G-Dragon and patbingsu, and best of all there’s no Trump.

(I know this is SO SHOCKING but I dream every day of going back to Korea & the amount of times I scroll through my vacation pictures with fervor might be considered “pathetic” to some people but I call it PASSIONATE lol.)

Anyway, as I sit here and type this, I realized that for once, I’m not dreading waking up tomorrow morning because I know I’m gonna have my toast WITH COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF BUTTER & JELLY and then flail around like Elaine Bennett to some poppin’ Kpop workouts. Yay – endorphins!

(I wonder if I can get Henry to do some kpopping this weekend LIKE OLD TIMES? God knows he has Valentine factory stress to burn off lol.)

Feb 052021
 

I think by now most people who know even a little bit about me probably have heard me mention Wildwood at least once. Considering I haven’t actually been there since 1991/1992, it’s kind of astounding how much of an impact this damn boardwalk tourist town has had on me! One of these years, I’m going to return and it’s probably going to be a big letdown because nothing is ever as good as it was in our childhood memories.

I found a bunch of vintage snaps of the boardwalk when I was moving all of the photos I saved from my grandparents house into photo boxes and first I was like WILDWOOD IN THE 70S FUCK YEAH! But then I was like, “Wait, my family went to Wildwood before I was born??” so I texted my mom and she was like, “Oh yeah we used to go all the time.”

WHAT THE WHAT HUH HMM? Literally never knew that! I thought it was something special that my mom and grandparents eagerly concocted after I was born, like they did a pre-Google search for “super fun places to take our new granddaughter” and Wildwood popped up as a brochure on a travel agent’s formica desk. But nah, they had just “always” been vacationing there and now newly-born Erin was just a TAG-ALONG.

But whatever. Wildwood was the best part of my summers in the 80s, even if my family had an ENTIRE PAST HISTORY of vacationing there without me.

“We used to take great-grandma,” my mom told me LIKE IT WAS NO BIG DEAL that my great-grandma whom I barely knew (she was from Yugoslavia!!) walked this very boardwalk!

I don’t know whose pictures these were, or what exact they were taken, but they make me so happy, ugh.

I just noticed that the little girl in the yellow is my aunt Susie!! That means these are maybe even from the 60s!?

Side note: the Zipper was my favorite carnival ride back when I used to still go to the country fairs before I almost died at that one.

WATCH THE TRAM CAR PLZ.

Fuck. This just makes me want to go and listen Bruce Willis’s version of “Under the Boardwalk,” which I used to listen to all the time on a cassette player on my grandparent’s sun porch while playing with my grandma’s Bingo chips and stampers with my childhood friend Amy and yes, she was real, not imaginary and I just had a STRONG FLASHBACK of reenacting a scene from Another World that involved some character named Chad that I guess I must have been obsessed with??

Well, that’s all I have for you on this very blah February Friday. I have to work late shift today and Henry’s grandkids are being exceptionally loud and cry-y on the other side of the wall and then my own kid is also super annoying and energetic today as well and I am ready to snap the fuck out ok byeeeee.

Feb 012021
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I need to learn to read the room.

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

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

“Nope.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 262021
 

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

That’s it. That’s my life.

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

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

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

I found!

The most glorious!

Sequined!

Lip!

Patches!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 182021
 

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

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

Choices were made, amigos and chingus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway, both of those bitches are miserable and basic.

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

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

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

Jan 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 072021
 

My mom texted me last week, asking me to send her a picture of my wheelchair.

“Which one?” I asked, and I swear I wasn’t even being an asshole.

“You have more than one??” she replied like she hasn’t been to my house before!

I thought that perhaps recounting how I acquired each one would be a nice stroll down memory lane and also because I don’t have anything better to talk about and need a distraction from Trump’s dangerous bullshit.

MY FIRST WHEELCHAIR was procured way back in 2012.  I was at Zenith (these types of stories always start with that) when the broad I was with pointed it out. It was dangling from the ceiling and I knew I had to have it – and it was only $40!!! I called Henry STRAIGHTaway and he was like, “Wha—why?” I mean, why not?? I had to haggle with him for a bit but finally he was like FINE (honestly the only reason I even called him was because I knew it wouldn’t fit in the car and I needed him to arrange some type of pick-up, lol.

I really love this one a lot. I mean, you know what they say: you always love your first vintage wheelchair the most.

MY SECOND WHEELCHAIR was gifted to me like, a week later by my friend Wendy who randomly found one at some house recycle place thing and was like DO YOU WANT THIS and then I got spoiled, like “wow am I going to get wheelchairs all the time now?!”

I like this one a lot because it’s easily transported for photoshoot purposes!

MY THIRD WHEELCHAIR was acquired at a local antique shop in 2016 because it was my birthday and I wanted a present goddammit. This was also the same day / place I got my Mouse Attack sign!

I love this wheelchair a lot (I mean, I obv. love all of them) but it’s the one I baby the most because the seat is like super fragile-looking lattice. So I usually discourage people from sitting in it, though I have made exceptions for like, holiday portraits or whatever.

MY FOURTH WHEELCHAIR was a Christmas gift by our very own HENRY J., you guys!

He apparently had gone and inspected numerous w-chairs that he found via Craigslist, etc. But this one was the best, and without even seeing the others, I have to agree! It has a very medieval feel about it but I know it is not nearly that old. It’s a real bad boy, the daddy of the pack.

I love these so much, and the semi-haunted vibe they give to my house. I hope that it doesn’t come off as me mocking disabled people because I’m not like “woo hoo paralysis is cool” I fucking swear to god. I just love these old pieces of history and imagining the people they served.

THANK YOU for letting me talk about my wheelbabies and distracting me from the news.

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 092020
 

I just announced that I was going to write on my blog about the weekend and then I said, “Except that as usual, we didn’t do anything over the weekend.” I’m thinking back on it now (omg an entire three days in the past, can I even manage?) and literally all I can think of is that I made new cards for the shop, watched a bunch of Kpop award show performances, incited a riot on Twitter with BTS fans, obsessed over our porch squirrels, watched The Crown.

I do have some pictures of the cats, though!

They’re so over quarantine. They have like ZERO alone time these days.

Both cats are so used to the squirrels now that they just calmly sit on the beverage buffet and observe when our friends come to the windowsill for snacks.

Hmm, what else. Oh! For the first time in my life, I actually was able to use a coupon that I got on a CVS receipt. It saved me $2 on Essie nail polish! I feel like a real person now that I used a coupon to buy something!! Anyway, I painted my nails over the weekend with my new nail polish and Henry was shocked that I painted them all one color and I was shocked that he even noticed?!

Drew is literally always about to do something.

I can’t embed Instagram videos here anymore because stupid bitch ass Facebook changed something and now it’s not compatible with WordPress or something, I dunno, I got bored reading about it, but if it still worked, I would post a video of the progress Henry made on the Seoul subway sign. He FINALLY started gluing down the prints of the map onto a giant piece of plastic which will then be mounted on top of the board that has the lights on it. Then he will be able to build a frame and finally hang it, but honestly, I’m not holding my breath that this will happen any time soon because every time he carves out time to work on it, something happens, like we get a deluge of card sales and then he has to make that a priority because “IT’S OUR BUSINESS, ERIN.” Ugh. I’m just so anxious for it to be done! You guys, if it actually comes to fruition (I’m not going to count my hens, etc etc) it’s going to be the most glorious light installation we have in the house. It will take up a large part of the wall behind the couch in the living room and Henry will be my FUCKING HERO if he ever finishes it.

We had a mild argument about it because he started this at the end of 2019 and now we’re about to say hello to 2021 and PLEASE CAN IT BE DONE BEFORE THEN?? He was like, “It’s not like I can watch YouTube tutorials on how other people have done these because no one else has, so I have to make mistakes and go from there!!”

“Well, you’re a real trailblazer thanks to me, then,” I sneered.

“YEAH. A TRAIL I DON’T WANT TO BE ON.”

Oh my god, he is such a little bitch-baby sometimes. Honestly.

I think his favorite part was when I said that I should have just found a professional and paid them to make one for me. He was like, “I GUARANTEE IT WOULD COST ABOUT TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS SO FUCK YOU.”

You guys, it’s chaos over here, lol.

Oh! On Friday, which is kind of the weekend sort of except that I was working the dreaded late shift, we got take out from Zenith for dinner and it was delicious as usual. Chooch and I both got the TLT which came on really good rye bread and it made me muse out loud that rye bread is underrated and then Chooch and I started talking about our favorite breads until we realized that we were basically just naming all bread. We also both agreed that we do not have strong feelings against crust like some people do. I would never think of cutting off the crust! IT MAKES THE SANDWICH LOOKS SO SMALL THEN.

I watched various performances of this song A LOT over the weekend and I can say with confidence that it’s my current favorite from the NVT oeurve:

The 90s vibe is SO STRONG!!! Plus, Haechan and Ten in the same song, yes please. (Or: *kpop jibberish*) I’m obsessed with the whole concept of NCT and want to host a post-pandemic workshop where I invite trick people into coming over by saying we’re having beer and soft pretzels and then make them suffer through a slideshow explaining how the various units work and then at the end I’ll quiz everyone on all 23 members and they can’t leave or go to the bathroom until they get them all. And they’ll get electrocuted every time they say the wrong name.

On Sunday, we were going to go out and take pictures for our Christmas card which I decided is going to happen this year (did I send any last year? I don’t think so…) even though most of my friends have forgotten that I exist since I jumped off the SS Facebook without a life jacket back in 2017, but then I was like JUST FORGET IT because it was really cold on Sunday and I was feeling so lazy. So now we’re doing that on Saturday and I’m mildly excited because I at least have a seedling of an idea for it. Anyway, if you want a card & I don’t have your address, you should give me your address and who knows, maybe I will also send you a postcard from my lunchbreak someday if I ever go back to work downtown.

Oct 222020
 

My music tastes aren’t as seasonal as they once were (let’s be real: I’m Kpop nearly 24:7 these days); however: fall really tugs the nostalgia strings in my brain and I start craving certain bands/songs. Tonight, during my late shift I succumbed and put on some Balance & Composure. The way my body reacted was insane, like having a bucket of hot emotions poured on my head. Wooo boy the tears were sprung but it felt good.

Anyway, let’s relax a little, burn our tongues on some hot apple cider, sniff some pumpkin candles, etc. blah yadda. Here are some songs I like to achieve these vibes and maybe you will them too.

It has sadly been 4 years (right after the last election, to be exact, it was somber) since I’ve seen Balance and Composure and then they broke up soon after. Anyway, every time I saw them live it was BIG WARM FEELS man like an infinity scarf pulled over my face by a high school crush.

Love this band so much, but now I wish I was on my way to a haunted hayride while this is coming out of my car speakers. </3

(P.S. I was wrong! The last time I saw them was May 2017! You really care!)

Black Queen makes me want to walk around empty city streets in the middle of an October night with some hot goth I met on Darkchat and obviously this is 1999 because I am so totally devoted to Henry you guys come on this is not a Today Fantasy.

Exile is my favorite Gary Numan album ever and one time when I lived alone in the late 90s, I fell asleep with it on repeat and had some of the most wicked, vivid nightmares that I still think about to this day.

I was home alone the other night and played this in the kitchen with the lights out and yes, still has the same hair-raising effect on me and I fucking LOVE IT.

PVRIS is such a mood. As soon as a chill hits the air, I’m ready to crunch some crispy leaves in the cemetery with PVRIS as my soundtrack. The synth, the alt-goth aesthetic, the LYNN GUNN. Their old albums bring back memories of Ex-BFF so sometimes when I need to have that “swishing a cavity with bourbon” feeling in my heart, this is the fo-sho go-to.

I used to put this song on every mix CD I made back in the early 2000s and I just recently felt inspired to cue it up – yep, I’m ready to go on a lite night drive with foggy windows IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. Chino Moreno and Mike Patton with some Goblin-esque elements simpering in the background, how can you go wrong?

(Speaking of Goblin, that will be my next kitchen LED light show tune, I think.)

***

OK, well now that tonight’s debate is over, I think I need to throw these jamz on a playlist and go take a bath in the dark. Happy fall y’all (wow, I really just said that out loud as I typed it, do I have to throw a wreath on my front door now?).

Oct 202020
 

Hola mi amigos, says the girl who had 3/4 of a year of Spanish in 12th grade.

It occurred to me recently that the 20th anniversary of meeting the Cure was on the horizon and I was like, “yay another reason to post the best picture ever taken of me!” and then of course the ACTUAL anniversary was yesterday and I forgot to post it so I dunno, pretend it’s still Monday. Also, apologies to anyone who already saw this on Instagram but 20 years is a big one and I wanted to commemorate that here too. (“It’s my blog, blah blah blah…”)

Most people in my life have heard this story so many times that it’s basically turned into my Big Kahuna moment but to summarize: in October 2000, I got on several planes and flew, alone, to Canberra, Australia to see The Cure perform the last leg of what Robert Smith swore was going to be their last tour ever. Now, I had never had the chance to see them before and they were (still are) my favorite band. They had recently toured the US but didn’t come to Pittsburgh and I had just started a new job, which meant I didn’t have vacation time yet. But when they announced the Australian tour several months later, my office mate, the one who was also in charge of payroll, was like, “You go to Australia and don’t worry about it – you’re getting a paycheck.” I mean, everyone at that job knew I was batshit for The Cure, so this kind of a big deal for them that I was doing this!

Super summary: I get to Canberra and start calling local radio stations, telling anyone who will listen that I’m some rando 21-year-old broad from America who is obsessed with The Cure, and oh won’t someone help me meet them? The alternative radio station played me on the radio – they thought it was really awesome that my love was that insane intense that I would fly thousands of miles on my own to see them. They wanted to give me a ticket to the show but I already had that, at least. They took down my number at the hotel just in case something changed. A day before the concert, they called me and asked if they could record the call. I was like, “Sure,” thinking they were just going to ask me what my favorite Cure album was again, stuff like that, filler for commercial breaks. But no, they wanted to tell me that they had someone on the line who wanted to talk to me…no, it wasn’t Robert Smith, but it almost as good: it was a local guy who had won a meet & greet that the station had held a week before, and when he heard me on the radio, he thought that I deserved to meet The Cure much more than he did, and wanted to transfer his pass onto me.

CAN YOU EVEN BELIEVE THERE ARE REALLY ANGELS ON EARTH?

So that’s how I found myself in the same room as Robert Smith, the man whose voice and words had buoyed me through countless bouts of depression and also soundtracked some of the happiest, manic moments of my life, too.

I actually have a video of this meeting but it needs converted from 8mm so check back another time, I guess.

MEANWHILE, and this is actually my favorite part that I think about A LOT, back in Pittsburgh: Henry was starting a new job at the same place I also worked. His initial impression of me when shown my empty desk was that I was some crazy girl who ran off to Australia to see some band.

Then I came back, we became work frenemies (lol—because that’s how I flirt) and then a year later we started dating. So not only is it the 20 year anniversary of meeting The Cure, but it’s the 20th anniversary of knowing Henry. And honestly, I haven’t changed one bit because I’m still obsessed with everything and NEEDING to travel for concerts (obviously not currently though, sigh), only now I’m dragging him along with me. You can’t say he wasn’t warned!

Literally no one thought we’d stay together this long, yet here we are.

Oh and The Cure IS STILL TOURING.I have seen them five more times since Canberra (zero times in Pittsburgh though!) and four of those times were with Henry. God bless him, he’s traveled to California (Coachella), Cleveland (Curiosa), Chicago (Riot Fest), and Columbia, Maryland to see them with me.

I made this for him several years ago and have definitely (bluffingly) thrown it in the garbage can during fights but he always takes it back out. I guess he’s a pretty good guy, but don’t tell him I said that.

(SIDE NOTE: I’m sitting here cracking up thinking about who I was as a person back then, like for instance how I called my job several times from my hotel room – COLLECT – so I could keep them updated on what was happening* and all the guys would pass the phone around in the breakroom saying, “it’s the girl! calling from Australia! the girl!” And if Henry was there when that was happening, was he thinking “who the fuck IS this girl!?”)

*(What? Social media didn’t exist yet!)

Oct 142020
 

Sometimes I like to use the calendar feature on my blog to see what I was doing around this time in the past and then I sigh and say, “Wow, remember I hung out with friends?” (But honestly, was it really a pandemic that changed that lol.)

Apparently, five years ago, I was using my annual pie party as an excuse to show off my beloved succulents, because that’s a thing that normal people do…Every single one of them are DEAD NOW. I especially mourn Jonny Maplebitch. :(

***

At some point on Saturday, in between gluing sequins on my Pie Party sign and shadow dancing around Baker Henry in the kitchen, I had the greatest idea of all time. I was upstairs when it came to me, and so I screamed for Henry to hurry his ass up to our room. He loves when I do that because sometimes it’s an actual emergency just often enough for him to fall for it every time.

“What?!” he asked, panting and mildly concerned.

“Greatest idea ever,” I began, and he immediately regretted falling victim to my wolf cries. “In addition to the pie party….SUCCULENT MEET N’ GREET.” I paused for a beat, smiling and waiting for him to crumble to the floor under the weight of my brilliance.

Instead, he just stood there, arms akimbo, that patronizing smirk plastered across his dumb bearded face.

Good thing I’ve never been one to look to my BEAU for validation. Speaking of BEAU, Bo Brady probably would have supported Hope in her decision to have a succulent meet n greet.

No, you’re right. That’s definitely false. Bo thought Hope was silly and frivolous. Oh, until she was about to marry LARRY WELCH, that is.

(OMG remember when Henry was my Bo Brady?)

Later that night, we were getting ready for bed and I was still yammering on about my succulent meet n’ greet. “This is just really exciting, I’m really excited about this, and I think it’s just full of excitement, so much excite,” the words spewing out in an auctioneer’s cadence. Henry must have been delirious from baking all day and night, because he just stared at me with an amused look on his face, and that is unlike him. The looks he gives me are typically basted with disgust, contempt, and frustration. Occasionally rage, but Henry is pretty laid back so one must really give him a series of forceful shoves for the anger to really shine through.

“They’ve never gone anywhere before!” I reminded Henry.

“Well, they’re plants, so….” he muttered.

Sunday morning, while Henry was filling the car with unnecessary, boring items like forks and plates, I was carefully considering which of my succulents to bring with us. I couldn’t bring some of my faves, like Bae and Panne and Suzy Banyon, because their pots are too fragile and breakable.

“I really want to bring Johnny Maplebitch with us, but I’m worried because there will be kids there…” I murmured mostly to myself, staring at that beautiful beast on my coffee table.

“Well, you could change his name for the day,” Chooch suggested. “Like, maybe….Johnny Mapledick?” he shrugged, completely serious about this.

“Yeah, good one, Chooch,” Henry sighed, stomping past us with more unessential pie party things, like pie.

I ended up bringing him in the end, because I don’t believe in succulent censorship.

I placed them all gently inside a carrying case while Henry was wasting time rounding up the beverage and making sure Chooch was dressed and not in danger. A little help would have been nice, but knowing Henry and his meathands, he probably would have just jammed my babes into the car all recklessly, like they’re not his real children.

Of course they’re not.

They’re the Devil’s.

I lined all of the picnic tables in the pavilion with craft paper and then had all of the succulents introduce themselves and say a little thing about pie. Because it was a pie party.

I TIE THINGS TOGETHER. It’s what I do.

IMG_9647

Chris and Monica asked me what vasterbotten pie is and I shrugged. “I’unno. I just googled ‘swedish pies’ and then didn’t get much farther than that.” So then Chris googled it and actually read about vasterbotten, and now we’re obsessed with vasterbotten pie because it’s basically just cooked Swedish cheese and I hope that Chris and Monica are currently reorganizing their wedding menu as I type this.

Henry always rolls his eyes when I bring up Phil Angie.

Leopold is the succulent I found in Savannah! I brought him so it was like having Octavia there in spirit. <3

And I had to bring Stefano so Monica could meet him in person, since she is the one who named him. (Also, two Days of Our Lives references in one blog post! And I haven’t even watched Days since 2005! <—sadly.)

Bambi had to give a shout-out to her favorite show, Twin Peaks. HOLLA.

I named this one after my favorite gymnastics coach of all time, BELA KAROLYI. He was happy to bring some Romanian flavor to the party. Isn’t he handsome?

 

Henry frowned at this one.

Some people seemed very eager to meet the succulents! Other people were like, “Why.” Henry was like, “This is why you don’t have friends.”

Anyway, if you couldn’t be there on Sunday, I hope you enjoyed this virtual meet and greet!