Jul 312023

I have really been enjoying getting back into tennis, but something has been bothering me and tonight nearly pushed me over the edge. Allow me to don my (K)erin persona for a few minutes and rant the town red:

Chooch and I went to our local tennis courts after work today because we had TO DRIVE OURSELVES and I didn’t want to drive to my beloved Settlers Cabin courts on my own because you have to get on the parkway, etc blah blah. I don’t have the patience for that. So we went down the street to Moore Park, which has three courts. One of the courts was occupied by pickleballers, which was pretty annoying because there are actual pickleball courts there but OH NO they were full. I dunno, maybe you could just….wait for one of those to open up?

Whatever. I figured I could deal with it because there was an empty court between us. But then three BROS arrived with big ass “everyone needs to hear our hilarious banter” voices, brandishing their bullshit PICKLEBALL equipment, and claimed the court in the middle. I almost left within 5 minutes of their arrival after their stupid ass wiffle ball rolled onto our court while we were in the middle of a rally.

But we barely got to play last night before it started raining, and I truly didn’t feel like tooling around in the car looking for a new court, so I sucked it up and we kept on playing our real sport while the douchebag next door was whining loudly about how “the net is too high!” and “the blocks are too wide!” BRO, BECAUSE YOU ARE PLAYING ON A TENNIS COURT. LITERALLY NAMED AS SUCH BECAUSE IT’S A COURT MEANT FOR TENNIS.

I kept picturing the ringleader as Johnny Bananas from the Real World / The Challenge fame. Just a total LOOK AT ME I’M THE BEST d-bag.

Engage - Johnny Bananas

The saddest part is that two people came with their tennis rackets and kind of hung around for a bit, waiting for a court to open up, but then they finally gave up and left. I would have been so pissed off if I rolled up to a tennis court, ready to blow off some work steam, and it was full of pickleball squatters. I feel like I would be too mad to leave, and I would have to do that thing I do where I smile really big and act like I’m ASKING NICELY but really I am SCREAMING LIKE I HAVE A MOLOTOV COCKTAIL ABOUT TO SHOOT OUT FROM MOUTH. It’s Henry and Chooch’s favorite version of me.

I mean, I was diagnosed with explosive anger disorder once upon a time.

Look, I’m all for people wanting to have a fun activity to do together and while I will never consider it a sport, pickle on, Dillbert. But do it on your own designated court. And if all the pickleball courts are taken at the location of your choosing, don’t usurp a tennis court. Go to a fucking old age home and see if they have a court you can use, you know? Or maybe give shuffleboard a spin. If you’re pickling around on a tennis court, you might as well just roll out a blanket and have a picnic on it, because you’re just wasting it. Go play in a fucking driveway.


Meanwhile, the people who were there before us were still there when we left after an hour (you know, because you’re only allowed to use the courts for an hour) and not a single one of them were even slightly sparkling with sweat. BECAUSE IT IS NOT A REAL SPORT!! Chooch and I get so drenched in sweat when we play, that our shirts always end up looking like they’re gradient.

Sorry. I’m trying to be open-minded about this but so far, every pickleballer encounter I’ve had has been aggravating at best.

Jul 282023

Ugh, my inner Karen is at it again, you guys. Henry and I were walking to the post office on Saturday and when we rounded the corner to get onto the Brookline Blvd sidewalk, we were met by SURPRISE CONSTRUCTION.

I don’t know why we were SURPRISED though considering that Brookline has been a construction workers’ playground for like 2 solid years at this point, and I’m starting to wonder if they’re purposely damaging shit just to use for training purposes?? Is Brookline a training center?!!?

OK, so here we were, coming ’round the mountain aka CVS, stepping out of the parking lot and onto the sidewalk, when we see that it’s being actively paved. We are not dum-dum idiot heads. We clearly saw that there were approx. 5 men in neon yellow pouring cement or whatever it was that they were doing. So we stopped walking (OBVIOUSLY) and were assessing which way to go when all of the men yelled HO HO HO HO!!!! (and not in a jolly Santa way like it was Xmas in July) with their arms  jutting out to stop us from…what? We weren’t walking toward to them!

So then some BITCH traffic flagger yelled, “YOU CAN’T GO THAT WAY!”


You guys, I lost my mind and started shouting about these dicks passive aggressively into the air, things like THEY THINK THEY’RE SO FUCKING COOL, OH OK COOL GUYS, KEEP DISRUPTING OUR LIVES! GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY NEIGHBORHOOD! I’M SO SICK OF THIS SHIT!

And just then! One of their douchebag trucks farted past us.

OH, LINDY PAVING IS IT?? I screamed that out loud and the guy driving the truck looked at me nervously.

“I’m fucking calling them,” I said and Henry was like, “Um, Ok….probably no one will answer since it’s Saturday.” Like that’s going to deter me? “Oh wow, thanks for that Henry. Maybe I’ll just wait until—OH HOLD ON IT’S RINGING.”

Come on, like I was going to wait until Monday?

AND THEN SOMEONE ANSWERED!! Some stupid man because it’s always stupid men who are trying to upend my damn life. So I go, in a fake friendly BUT AGGRESSIVE SHOUT, “HI LINDY PAVING!!!! CAN YOU TELL YOUR WORKERS ON BROOKLINE BLVD TO STOP BEING ASSHOLES TO PEDESTRIANS THANK YOU” and then I hung up on his ass.

We were walking home when this happened so there were probably people walking nearby who heard this but you know what? I was having a rage blackout so I really didn’t notice.

“Wow,” Henry said. “Feel better?”

You know what? I really fucking did.

Stupid assholes.

I hate being YELLED AT by MEN. Also, their fucking neon yellow triggers me every time! AND APPARENTLY, IT’S A THING:

So, that happened and then Henry had to go to a different post office because at that point I refused to take a detour to go to the one on the Blvd, so way to go LINDY PAVING, now everyone has to suffer because of you.

Then I met Debby, Mar, and Megan at the Speckled Egg for brunch (I mean, it was 1:30 so can’t we just call it lunch and move on?). It’s the Union Trust building downtown and you know what? I don’t believe I have ever been in there!

The location and the company were the highlights.

The stafff was kind of….spacey and the other patrons were all basically influencers it seemed like.

I got whatever this is, which was delicious – stewed tomatoes with Moroccan spices, poached eggs, and mushrooms that were like those crispy onion things people put on top of casseroles in the 90s. Really delicious but I was immediately hungry afterward.

Megan told me I would love the bathroom so I went in even though I didn’t have to go, and she was right!

Anyway, I felt a lot calmer at this point of the day, and I got to tell Mar and Debby about the engagement (I actually saw Debby a few weeks ago when she came to my house to drop off a purse she made for me and it took everything in my power not to tell her then!) so that was fun! Megan of course already knew so she had to sit through the story again – sorry I exist!

I love that we meet up semi-regularly. I was so sad when they both retired, so it’s really nice that we get to see them actually more now than we had since the pandemic started, really!

OK, it’s really hot in my house and I need to stick my head in the freezer. Bye.

May 232023

I don’t know what the fuck I inhaled the other week but I was a goddamn whirling dervish. Knee jerk reactions. Irrational responses. I try to be a kind person every day but sometimes, like the other week, I have no energy left in my mind to hold up the anger dam any longer and I…snap.

Look for me on a Netflix documentary one day, fam.

Anyway, on this one particular day, we’ll say it was a Wednesday, I was minding my own business, working from home, feeding the squirrels, sending extremely reasonable demands to Henry via text, when suddenly, a cleanup crew arrived on my street to remove the leftover shit in the vacant side of my duplex. I dunno what Blake was doing over there, but he and his family clearly left so much shit behind when they moved in March that it warranted my landlord to send an actual garbage truck and crew to clean it out.

I was fine with this until suddenly, MUSIC BEGAN TO BLAST. They must have set up a radio right on the other side of the wall near where my desk is set up, because it sounded like it was coming from my side of the house. You need to know this about me: I FUCKING HATE HATE HATE HATE HEARING SOMEONE ELSE’S BASS THUMPING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF MY WALL. I mentioned this to Janna and she was like, “Oh yes, I know this about you.” It’s not a secret, sweetie, OK?! I hate it. I will literally Hulk out and start smashing shit against the wall in retaliation. You think I’m playing for the blog but I am telling the truth.

I allowed this to play for all of 3 seconds before I FLEW OUT  THE FRONT DOOR, leapt off my porch and yelled, “CAN YOU PLEASE TURN THAT MUSIC OFF I AM TRYING TO WORK IN THERE.”

I can only IMAGINE how I appeared to this crew of young guys who were just trying to make the most of a day spent cleaning trash out of some slob’s vacated house. There were three of them in the yard at this moment, one had JUST walked out of the house and was in the middle of crossing the yard, but he stopped DEAD IN HIS TRACKS. Another guy, who I determined to be the leader, immediately said, “Of course, I am so sorry!” and snapped his fingers at the man who was now frozen in the yard staring at this fucking asshole frenzied Karen with her arms akimbo in a sloppy hoodie and leggings looking more like she was busy changing diapers all day and not reviewing engagement letters while getting pulled in 17 different directions by people in her department.

I looked rough is all I’m saying. I know my face was beet red too because I could feel the flames fanning on the other side of my flesh.

“THANK YOU!” I said in a huff and slammed the door on my way back in.

About 30 minutes later, there was a tentative knock on my door. It was Leader Guy, looking nervous.

“I’m so sorry to bother you, but is it OK if we back this truck down the driveway?” he asked, wringing his hands. I noticed several of his minions were looking on, bracing for fall-out.

I said it was fine and then he said, “We’re going to be pretty noisy for a bit but we’ll try to make it fast.”

And then it was at this point where I was reminded that these guys were human JUST LIKE ME, just trying to do their jobs JUST LIKE ME, so I softened and said, “Hey look, sorry for being such a Karen earlier—” and he cut me off to say, “No no no, I totally get it! Thank you for being so cool about this!”

Um, OK but I was literally being the OPPOSITE of cool when I came out of my house in a red HOT rage earlier, but whatever. Truce!

Then! That following Friday, it happened again. Did I tell you, old blog frendo, that the guy ROB who had moved into the other side of HNC’s house last fall was also moving out right after Blake? OK well now I told you. Anyway, ROB hadn’t really bothered me much while he was living over there, but for some reason, he waited until the very last days of living there to start parking his large kidnapper van in our driveway. So now we had THREE kidnapper vans down there: his, and TWO of HNC’s (one of which is broken down and hasn’t moved since like 2015, I don’t even know anymore). Basically, our parking sitch in the back down there goes like this: Henry’s car, HNC van, HNC van in a row. Then I would park my car in front of one of HNC’s vans (the broken one) and HNC’s wife would park her car in front of HNC’s other van (which sometimes works). It’s…a whole thing. But then ROB was like, “No, I am going to park my gigantic tank in front of HNC’s broken van” so I have just been parking in the church lot like old times because the YOU WILL BE TOWED sign lost it’s power after a few mths and people started parking there overnight again.

I don’t really give a shit that much about the parking situation, but the thing that was pissing me off was that Rob didn’t even live there anymore when he started parking his van down back. Like, he and his girlfriend would come here in some shitty minivan and sort of move stuff around in the garage, and then he would pull the van up closer to the garage to, I guess, put stuff in it, but every single time, he would park it right in front of HNC’s van and then LEAVE.

FOR DAYS. SOMETIMES OVER A WEEK. Bro. You don’t live here anymore! This is not your long-term parking lot!

It just really started to grate on me, you know? I kept asking Henry to text HNC to see if he had any intel on when Rob was going to come back and take the van but also HELLO HNC CAN YOU PLEASE GET RID OF YOUR VANS TOO??

I can’t even explain how insane it is on this block with white men thinking they can fix broken cars. It’s like the Pioneer Ave Junkyard Collective. Come visit me sometime and I will give you a tour. And if your brakes are squealing or something….DON’T TELL LARRY OR HNC OR THEY WILL WANT TO FIX IT AND THEN SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR CAR BECAUSE IT LIVES HERE NOW.

Anyway, it was two Fridays ago and I was so excited because ROB was back and it looked like he was finally leaving with the van! He had pulled it up the driveway a bit so it was next to not-his garage while he was presumably moving more stuff. I saw him get in the van and it looked like he was pulling it forward, like he was going to leave, but then he BACKED IT UP INTO HENRY’S SPOT JUST AS HENRY WAS COMING HOME FROM WORK. So now Henry had to park his car across the street because not only did ROB steal his spot, but his idiot minivan was farther up, blocking up the entire driveway to begin with.

You guys, I don’t know what came over me, stress in general, my body begging for a release, but for the second time that week you could find your girl BALLET-LEAPING over the porch steps, only this time I kept going, rounding the corner and storming down the driveway. THE MINIVAN was the first thing I came upon and Rob’s girlfriend was sitting in the drivers seat. I must have really come up on her like a wildwoman because she gasped, clutched her chest, and exclaimed, “What? What? Did I back into something??” and I fucking roared a string of obscenities about Rob and his fucking van etc etc and she goes, “Ok! Ok! Geez, I’ll tell him! Geez!”

(Honestly though, imagine you’re just calming sitting in your car playing Wordle or doom-scrolling thru Twitter and suddenly I pop up at your window, shrieking like a mad lady with absolutely no build up or provocation. Here I am, 갑자기!)

I stormed back up the driveway just as Henry was walking across the street looking nervous AF because he said he could tell something was HAPPENING and that I had just flipped out. IS MY MANIA THAT OBVIOUS?? COOL.

So now Henry and I are both in the house and my heart is racing because I honestly can’t explain what possessed me to do that. Like, it’s a van, yo. In a fucking driveway. It’s not bothering anyone. It’s not worth yelling about?? Potentially getting SHOT OVER?? People get shot for far less!

I guess the girlfriend relayed my message because I could hear ROB getting BACK into his van to move it out of Henry’s spot and back in front of HNC’s broken van, all the while shouting, “FUCK YOU!” at my house. So now I’m shouting passive aggressive shit back out the window, like, “OK YOU FUCKING WEIRDO” and Henry is nervously laughing with absolute fear in his eyes because is this going to turn into his moment to decide if he’s man enough to protect me?!

Especially when THERE WAS A KNOCK ON THE FRONT DOOR and he was just about to say, “Don’t—” but it was too late because by this point I was chomping at the bit for a fight so I marched over to the door and flung it open to see a totally strung out and shaking Rob pacing on my sidewalk. “WHAT???” I yelled and he was like, “I’M ALLOWED TO PARK BACK UNTIL THE 19TH JUST SO YOU KNOW” and I was like “I DON’T CARE, IT SHOULDN’T BE BACK  THERE AT ALL, YOU DON’T LIVE THERE” and he was stomping furiously through the yard, into the minivan that whisked him away from THE HORRORS OF PIONEER. I literally heard his girlfriend telling some guy who had pulled in front of their house probably for a drug deal while blasting a religious sermon on his radio that “yeah, we’re moving, Rob is sick of the bullshit on this street.”


So, that happened. And then I couldn’t calm down. Like, he pulled away and I instantly felt like SHIT. The adrenaline wore off and I sat at my desk with my head in my hands and regretted every single moment of that interaction. Yes, it’s annoying that he’s parking there, but that didn’t give me the right to fly off the handle when there had literally been NO OTHER CONVERSATION between us about this van. It’s not like, “Well, I asked him nicely 6 times so now I guess it’s time to threaten to shove shit up his ass” oh wait, that’s HNC’s wife’s go-to.

I just didn’t feel good about this, and it honestly ruined my whole weekend because I don’t like being a bitch anymore. It does nothing for me. I don’t feel “cool,” I don’t feel “tough.” I just felt like an asshole. I felt small and embarrassed. I don’t know this guy! I don’t know his life, I don’t know if he’s going through rough times, I don’t know if he’s the type of guy to come back with a fucking shotgun.

So yeah, I was awash in a sea of regertz. Not only is it just shitty to treat people that way, but it’s also, frankly, unsafe.







You know? I wasn’t being smart and I’m truly lucky that it didn’t end in tragedy.

And then the 19th came and went and his van was still fucking back there so I got mad all over again. LOL.

Just kidding. I mean, not really, but it was more like, “OK I’m now officially validated,” you know what I mean? Was I going to fucking call and have it towed? Yeah, no. Because again, at the end of the end, who fucking cares.

Earlier this evening, Henry said, “Look, Rob’s back and he moved his van!” I looked outside and saw that he had pulled it across the street in the church parking lot and was standing over there talking to his girlfriend, who was sitting in her parked minivan.

“Do you think I should go over there and apologize?” I asked Henry, but before he could answer, I had already abandoned my dinner and was crossing the street.

You guys, being a bigger person sucks. It felt like I was walking the fucking plank or something, but I did it – I went over there and I said, “Hey, I just wanted to apologize for the way I acted the other day. I was being an asshole and it wasn’t cool, you didn’t deserve that.” Of course, talking to Rob is an exercise in futility and there was not much emotion coming from him, and frankly, I’m not even sure if he remembered what happened, but his girlfriend did, because I also apologized to her face too and she said, “That really means a lot – god bless you, sweetie” which you know, kind of ruined the moment, but still.

And then I got stuck over there for a solid 15 minutes listening to Rob talk about how he used to work for the OG landlord since he was 13 (current landlord is that guy’s son and he is not great, Patty) and other Pioneer sundry, until a tow truck arrived because apparently the transmission on Rob’s van is bad and that is why he was keeping it in the driveway, because he was waiting to have the money to get it towed. HOO BOY, KICK ME IN THE ASS AND CALL ME AN ASSHOLE.

The moral of this story is that I lost control, but I got it back. These last few weeks were really emotionally draining and made me remember that madness is the most life-sucking out of all the emotions and I will happily go back to working on my anger management skills. Admitting that you’re wrong really sucks, especially when it involves an explosive situation, but owning it really made me a great wave of relief. I am ready to move on. How did I used to be like this all of the time?? Being a bitch is not a good look on me, I know that. I felt so fucking ugly after both of those screaming episodes.

Oh, one final thing – the guy I yelled at about the radio? Didn’t know it then but EVIDENTLY!!! he is the landlord’s son and he’s moving into Rob’s vacated side of HNC’s house. GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION HE HAS OF ME. Very fucking excited about that.

Wait, one more final thing – today also happens to be 143 Day in Pennsylvania, a day to commemorate Mister Rogers by spreading kindness. Mister Rogers used the code 143 to mean “I love you,” and it ALSO just so happens that Stray Kids have a song called Case 143 so let’s end this tense and uncomfy blog post on a high note! I already posted the official MV for this song when it came out, but here’s the performance video!



Mar 162022

I’ve been A WOMAN ON EDGE these last few days/weeks for no real reason other than the world is a rotating pit of fiery despair and I feel so helpless. Voila, rage manifestation.

There are so many gigantic issues to be furious about but here are some extremely petty pouts I’ve had recently because I have no energy to write about positive shit right now. Susie Fucking Sunshine has no fucks left to give right now. They’re regenerating under Wonho’s grow light.

First of all, a big FUCK YOU to Fitzhenry’s Something Something Man Work company, whose work truck was not only blocking the sidewalk on my morning walk  today, but the passenger side door was left wide open (while the passenger was sitting inside!), further blocking the sidewalk! My options were to walk around the open door and into the mud pit / front yard of the Drug House up the street from me, or walk around the truck into oncoming traffic.

I chose to walk into the street because I was feeling SUPER DRAMATIC and as I passed the driver’s side of the truck, I noted that the window was down and the driver was inside. Now, I’m close enough to the truck that my shoulder is nearly brushing against it, so in a fit of AUDACIOUS RAGE, I turned toward the open window, looked point blank at the driver in his hideous fluorescent worker man costume and I said…

…wait for it…


Look, it was off the cuff OK? It was the best I could muster on such short notice pre-8:00AM on a Wednesday morning. Cut me some slack. GEEZ.

I don’t even know if they responded because I had  my headphones on and was audiobooking it up, full Karen mode.

But I wasn’t done there.

I called Henry and took it out on him.


Henry, definitely not expecting me to be calling to sweetly professing my love, but also not exactly prepared for this vitriolic torrent 갑자기, said, “Whoa! Whoa whoa whoa! Don’t throw me in with those guys!”


All he cared about is what “type of truck” and “what kind of company” it was, because #ManThings.

Another BIG FUCK YOU to the fucking HAWK who I caught red-handed (clawed?) (taloned?) about to kill a small bird on my walk the other day. Monday I believe it was! I was just walking down the street, minding my own business, when I heard a godawful screeching. I looked over and saw the hawk-perp in someone’s driveway, pinning a small bird to  the ground. I fucking HOLLARED, “Get the fuck away, hawk!” and ran at it. The hawk was like, “What the shit is this!?!?” dropped the bird, and flew off while I was round-housing the air. The little bird flew into a bush and that motherfucking HAWK had the audacity to come back for it! So I charged toward it again, flailing my legs in its general direction, flaunting my grassroots kickboxing skills.

This time, the hawk flew away in a huff.

As I was walking back to the road from the SCENE OF THE CRIME, I noticed that a guy and his dog had been walking behind me the whole time and witnessed my heroics. We made eye contact and the guy looked away real quick probably because he was like “WOW THIS BITCH AIN’T TO BE FUCKED WITH, FIDO.”

I told Henry about this when he came home that day and he frowned because he is forever white-knighting hawks.

“They have to eat too!” he said, on the verge of crooning THE CIRCLE OF LIFE.

“Well, he can go eat a seed or something,” I spat.

More FUCK YOUs thrown in the air like confetti at all of the BTS fans because I just really can’t stomach that obnoxious lot anymore. Have fun with your Westernized, watered-down band of Ed Sheerans.

The BIGGEST FUCK YOU award goes to MY STUPID-ASS MURDEROUS STREET AND THE MOTHERFUCKERS WHO DROVE ON IT. I lost (1) Mr. Gray Guy and (1) Buddy on Friday morning, mere yards away from each other on my block. I was fucking crushed. Like, I’m not even being the slightest bit hyperbolic when I tell you that I have been dragging my heart* on the ground since Friday, just absolutely gutted over here because I am so attached to these little woodland creatures that it honestly feels like I lost two pets at once. I was basically a zombie on Friday, just going through the motions, and all weekend I kept seeing them on the road every time I closed my eyes. Sometimes I wish I didn’t care so fucking much or felt things so deeply but here I am, a fucking stupid sappy bleeding heart tree-hugger.

*(Well, OK, maybe a little hyperbolic. My heart wasn’t quite touching the floor, just kind of slapping off my shins.)


But a big NON-fuck you to the kind soul who came around soon after and removed both bodies from the street so I didn’t have to be terrorized by the sight every time I looked out my window. I don’t know if it was a city thingie that came around to do it or a good Samaritan on my street. I’m leaning toward the latter because there are really great people who work at the half-way house thing on my block and I saw a shovel leaning against their porch when I walked by later that day! I’d like to think it was someone who knows how obsessed I am with them (so literally pick a person on my street) and did it to spare me from having to suffer anymore than I already was. If Henry had been home, he’d have buried them both for me. I mean, Buddy was gone within two hours of me first noticing him.

I actually had other things to mention but the rage has drained me and now I just want to go and read my book, exercise, and watch NCT stuff on YouTube. It’s my life. I’ll live it however I want!!

Sorry, it’s been hard. Everything sucks in the world and it’s amplifying the suck factor of everything else.


Jul 162021

Henry and those FUCKING SOCKS, tho.


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

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

Not Saturday.

Never mind.

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

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

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

And you know what, you guys?

Not worth the hype.

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

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

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

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

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

Chocolate Babka Recipe | Chocolate Desserts | Food & Wine

(From Food & Wine.)

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


*deep breath*

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Henry does.


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

Jun 042020

Spent some time in the cemetery last weekend, but most of it was consumed with following along with the protests, being with them in spirit, and doing a fuck-ton of crying.

I don’t even really know what to say, but I came here because I just wanted to feel that methodical tapping of the keys because it’s therapeutic and I think we all, on some levels, could use some tender lovin’ THERAPY. I’m never really good at expressing myself when it comes to civil/social/racial issues because all my gut reaction is always to cry and/or get angry. George Floyd’s murder and the civil unrest that has unraveled in the aftermath feels different, like this time it could be the impetus to actually really move things forward. 

I know there’s a conversation going on about whether people are born racist or not. I know that I was. I come from a family of “low-key” racists. You know the types. The “I’m not racist, but” kinds of white people. And my school had only a handful of Black students. I think in my grade, there were maybe 4? And two of them, my friend Jameelah and her brother, were Muslim who were told that they couldn’t have a room to pray in during Ramadan, yet our school allowed Bible studies to be held there, and I definitely remember pray things happening outside around the fucking flag pole. 

I mean, I lived next to a town called Pleasant Hills. Pleasant fucking Hills, you guys. You don’t get much whiter than that.

But, thank god, my family wasn’t super tight-knit in the sense that we’d all sit down around the meatloaf and lima beans while Ma and Pa would shove their conservative morals and beliefs down our throats. Like, I was pretty sure I knew where they stood on certain social issues, but I was able to find my own path, have diverse interests, and form my own (Henry says ‘too’) liberal opinions. But I definitely remember that although having Black friends wasn’t verboten in my household, I was 100% told that if I ever dated a Black guy, I’d be written out of the Will. 

But even though I was able to grow up not hating or fearing people with different skin colors than my own, doesn’t mean that I was perfectly non-racist.

For example, even in high school, when I had a bunch of Black friends (“Yeah, but I have Black friends!” – I know, I know, I’m sorry, I did that) and was immersed in Black media, I had NO IDEA what cultural appropriation was. Like, if one of my white friends had worn a Native American headdress for Halloween, I am sure I wouldn’t have batted an eye. 

Even in my early 20s (god, 20 years ago!), I probably chuckled at off-color jokes.

But then I started to learn some more, especially with the rise of social media. The information and facts were in my face then. I would read things about white privilege and think, “Oh shit, I do that.”  It wasn’t until probably 15 years ago when I started reading what Black people were saying about their hair, and that’s how I learned about cultural appropriation. And I got it. I understood. This makes sense to me now, I thought, and I wish that the white people who roll their eyes and say “They’re just being sensitive” or “it’s just fucking hair” would also take the time out to UNDERSTAND. We treat them like shit, yet turn around and try to take away what’s theirs, just for a fashion statement. 

I probably STILL am not perfectly non-racist, but I am learning. I’m reading. I’m taking the time to educate myself and my kid, to read more books written by Black authors, to LISTEN to what my Black Americans are saying. I need to be better at calling people out. I have to put in the work. And WE ALL have to vote. We need a new, and better, normal. 

I read this line The Diviners yesterday and it’s so on point: “When the world moves forward too fast for some people, they try to pull us all back with their fear.” These bitches can stay scared while the rest of us keep pushing ahead.


Today, Henry and I walked past two city cops and I glared at them.

“People should start looking at cops the way racists look at Black people,” I said. “Like, we should all just glare at them and make them feel uncomfortable like they don’t belong here.”

“You already do that,” Henry sighed.

It’s true. I haven’t liked cops since 1995 when my mom had them break into my bedroom and zip-tie my wrists and then drag me outside to an ambulance because she thought I was doing drugs/killing myself when all I was doing was listening to Bone Thugs n- Harmony but OK. 

Sep 022018

Earlier tonight, Henry and I walked out of the house for our nightly walk and I made eye contact with a kid just as he littered a plastic cup near my sidewalk and he quickly went back and picked it up, YEAH THAT’S RIGHT. I was prepared to say some shit about it too so he’s lucky. We walked behind him and his posse for a bit and I was happy to watch him throw his trash in a garbage can.

Still, this really set me off and poor Henry had to endure a 30 minute rant on littering and how I just don’t understand how some people are able to just toss their refuse onto the ground and walk away like it’s no big thing. If their parents never actually told them this is wrong, then that tells me they probably learned to litter by watching their trashy parents litter.

I have been known to go off on a litterer a time or two in my life.

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Once was when I engaged in verbal fisticuffs with a teen who chucked her empty pack of cigarettes in front of my house while I was sitting on the porch and I told her to pick it up and she actually gave me push-back and I scanned her face intently trying to figure out if she was at least 18 in case I needed to yank her head back by her hair. I remember this so vividly because it was 2000 and I was waiting for my friend to pick me up for the Tool concert and when he found out that I had an actual argument with some probably-15-year-old, he was like, “YOU DIDN’T HIT HER DID YOU?! YOU COULD GO TO JAIL FOR THAT, DUMBASS.”

(No, I didn’t hit her. But I did win the City Girl Swear volley and she ended up picking that shit up.)

And don’t just think Americans litter, you guys. In 1992, we hosted a French foreign exchange student named Laurent and he annoyed me for a myriad of reasons but one was when he purposely let a McDonald’s straw wrapper fly out the car window on the way to the zoo. I was in the backseat behind his French ass and I leaned in real close to yell, “HEY I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY DO IN YOUR COUNTRY, BUT IN MINE, WE DON’T LITTER” as if America isn’t full of pigs. Oh man, my mom was so mad at me because there goes Erin, making the French kid cry again.

(He cried so much that summer.)

But I think my crowning glory was when I ratted on an actual cop for littering, wanna hear it, here it goes:

It was the middle of a lazy May afternoon in Hamilton, Ohio, 2007. Christina and I were lounging around her room and I was making her cry by talking about how I hate God. I suppose I should have been penciling in a time for church in my day planner since “He” evidently spared our lives the night before when we got caught in the midst of a hail storm on our way from Pittsburgh to Ohio. It was probably the single most terrifying moment of my life and it took place right after I had been talking about Hell.

Over top of Christina’s mighty exaltation for her love of all things Christ, I heard the squelch of a siren from behind her house. We ran over to the window and discovered that there were two police officers on the street behind her house and they had pulled over a man in a truck. It seemed like it was just a traffic violation and I was quickly becoming bored. Luckily, I hung around long enough to witness the most appalling act of crime I have ever seen with these hazel eyes.

The officers were beginning to wrap things up and as the one cop made to get into the passenger side of the patrol car, he poured out the remainders of a can of what appeared to be Pepsi and then deliberately tossed the empty can into Christina’s back yard.

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“Oh no he didn’t!” I exclaimed to Christina, right before shaping a makeshift megaphone with my hands and shouting “LITTERER!” and then ducking, leaving Christina framed alone in the window looking like the sole perpetrator.

Stomping over to her bed, I grabbed my shoes and sat down hard.

“What are you doing?” Christina asked nervously.

“I’m going out there.” I walked out of the bedroom and bounded down the steps, leaving her pleas in a cloud of my dust. She caught up with me before I made it to the back door and grabbed my arms.

“Look, I really don’t think going out there is a good idea. The cops around here are dicks.” She had thrown herself between me and the door so I knew she meant business. I walked dejectedly back into her kitchen as she explained to me that her neighborhood is kind of bad and that the cops are always looking for a reason to, well, be cops and that she really didn’t want to have to make that call to Henry.

“Henry!” I exclaimed in remembrance of my boy-toy in Pittsburgh. “Let’s call him for legal counsel.” And of course he wasn’t home. I left a message and that dickshitter never called back because he figured it was “something stupid” I was calling about, as I would later learn.

The cops had left by then, leaving me alone with a heightened sense of extreme community failure. I didn’t want it be over yet so I continued pacing and spouting vulgarities until I finagled Christina into calling the police station. “We have their patrol car number! Do it, Christina, for all of us civilians. And the environment. It’s God’s will.” I knew that would clinch it.

Christina finally relented, only because she didn’t want me making the call because supposedly I’m too “hot-headed.” But I would have used words like ‘reprehensible’ and ‘detestable’ to convey to the sergeant how appalled I truly was. And I would have thrown in the words ‘law’ and ‘suit’ somewhere in between mention of dying babies and that our earth is God’s playground (HAHA).

But Christina still wouldn’t hand over the phone; she was eventually dispatched through to Sgt. Ebbing (a man I will never forget, bless his heart). Explaining the complaint, she actually said, “Sir, I know this may seem trivial.”

Excuse me, trivial? Are you kidding? That prick littered in her back yard. He did something that people like us would get fined for. Oh, I was livid. She was being too nice and congenial during the phone call and my body was burning. I started to envision what would have happened if I had managed to get out of her house while the cops were still there. They don’t scare me.

This was when I decided that I really, truly, and legitimately hated that littering officer. My ears were roaring with the sound of large, wavering sheets of metal and my heart was pounding like I had just run ten yards after ingesting fourteen fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches and an eight ball. I imagined scratching his face (out of malice, not passion) and striking his nose with the heel of my palm in an upward motion, just like Mr. Miyagi taught me. Then I would retrieve his discarded aluminum can and crush it against his jock.

Oh heaven, I have finally reached you through my fantasies.

Christina ended the call and jolted me out of my daydream. She explained to me that Sgt. Ebbing was going to call her back once he reprimanded the officers and that he also informed her that she could go to the courthouse and file for a citation, to which she said would not be necessary (I would have done it – fuck the police). I felt a tiny bit reassured and calmer but Christina was a little leery that Sgt. Ebbing had asked for her full name and address. “I’m a pot head! What if they’re going to be watching me now?”

“What do I care? I live in Pittsburgh.” And then I laughed. And if you know me, you know that laugh, and are probably wanting to bitch-slap me just at the mere thought of it.

In the meantime, we called Henry to fill him in. “You didn’t go out there, did you?” was the first utterance from his fat mouth.

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I began to feel a complex developing and asked, “No, I didn’t go out there but would it really have been so bad if I had?”

“Uh, yeah!” he answered. “With your temper? I don’t need to be bailing you out of jail.” I have to say I’m a little insulted that I’m not trusted to handle situations such as this one on my own. But Christina was happy because Henry shared in her apprehension.

Sgt. Ebbing called back about two hours later (presumably because he was banging broads in the drunk tank), at which time Christina’s sister Cynthia answered the phone and yelled to Christina, “I don’t fucking know who it is!” The sergeant (I don’t trust him, by the way; I think he’s a cocksucker to be honest with you) relayed the disciplinary action that was sanctioned, and might I add it only entailed asking the officers if it was true and then telling them to come back and pick up the can.

But he lied to us and I know it. Sgt. Ebbing, you’re a lying cocksucker. He told Christina that the officer admitted to tossing the can, which was purportedly an “illegal can of beer” which was confiscated from the man who had been pulled over. In the midst of the confusion while they were making an arrest, it must have slipped the officer’s mind that he had littered.

Except that I didn’t see them make an arrest. I saw the man get back in his truck and leave. What did they say, “Just meet us at the station”? Oh, I don’t think so.

In other words, the sergeant wanted us to think that it was admirable of the officer to be honest about the littering, but at the same time he tried to make us feel guilty or ashamed that these men were in the throes of serving justice and that they should be excused of such a trivial act.

“I’m going out there to wait for them to come pick up the can,” I announced as I ran for the door. Christina came with me and we discovered that the can was no longer there. That asshole sergeant waited for them to come pick it up before calling back because he knew that I was about to get all Firestarter on their asses. I just know it!

I don’t feel like justice was served. And I didn’t get to swear at anybody.

But then Christina plied me with pie and the day quickly turned into “Sgt. Ebbing who now?”

MORAL: Don’t fucking let me catch you littering, better yet – JUST KEEP YOUR TRASH TO YOURSELF UNTIL YOU FIND A GARBAGE CAN. ASSHOLES.

Jun 192018

In a few days, Warped Tour is launching into its final summer tour. This will be my 13th and last Warped Tour and I have a lot of feelings about this.

I’m not as upset about it as I might have been a few years ago. Even just two years ago. The obvious reason might be that I’m just more into Korean music now and haven’t been keeping up with that scene, and that’s a little bit correct. But the truth is that Kpop actually helped me distance myself from a music scene spilling over with domestic violence, statutory rape, and complete disdain and disrespect for the female members of that community.

I know that “rock-n-roll” has always been synonymous with lewd behavior but when guys in bands are using their “status” to abuse girls in various ways, that’s just unacceptable and I’m sick of hearing the excuses of “she asked for it” or “he was drunk” or “he didn’t know she was underage.” Maybe it’s me getting older and having less tolerance for bullshit, or maybe I have some latent feminism in me after all, but the last several years have made me so angry and disappointed, when all I wanted to do was go to shows and support the bands I loved. You can argue that these things should be kept separate from the music, but….should they really? Should we really turn a blind eye just because we like the songs that a date-rapist sings on stage to 200 people at a dive bar?

It started with Jonny Craig. I loved his music, I loved his voice, I loved the bands he was in, and I really loved seeing him perform live—even when he was too fucked up to remember the lyrics. But there comes a point when too many girls start speaking out, and it’s hard to ignore that. It’s hard not to believe it. And it’s hard to keep supporting someone like that.

Yet, he continues to have some semblance of a career because the #MeToo movement isn’t taken as seriously in this music scene, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s the immature sheep-mentality of the kids* who follow these bands who continue to blindly support their monster idols, which makes the record labels more reluctant to drop these bands because $$$$$. Maybe it’s the fact that this is such a male-dominated scene and bros would rather defend their rapist/abuser homies than grow a fucking backbone and leave the band or the tour.

*(The girls who still defend him make me sick to my stomach and I hope that someday they grow up and realize what a disservice they did as a representative of our gender. And I hope that they don’t have a daughter who becomes a victim to some asshole’s testosterone-fueled entitlement.)

And that brings us to Warped Tour, which continually books bands who are notorious for misogynist behavior, or have members who assault women on the tour bus, or whose drug addiction is a danger to themselves and everyone around them. It’s really hard for me to justify my decision to attend this festival, which has becoming nothing more than a breeding ground for sex-violence. I will be the first to admit that I am a fucking hypocrite because I bought a ticket for the last ever tour, knowing that, for instance, Falling In Reverse will be there, a band with a singer who is notorious for his history of domestic violence.

But I know that there are also a lot of bands there who AREN’T like that, who ARE pure in their intentions, and there are great organizations and charities who will be there as usual. Is that enough to counteract the dark side of Warped? Eh…nope.

There was speculation that Warped was calling it quits because of all the recent bands who have been accused of sexual harassment/violence over the last several years, or the fact that attendance has been dropping, but the founder of Warped Tour denies that. Still, one can’t help but wonder.

Let’s see if these jackass boys can behave themselves for one final summer run.

Mar 282017

Chooch’s Instagram account is linked to mine because that kid breaks every phone he gets so whenever he wants to post or check out his feed, he has to do it on my phone. The downside to this, for me, is that when his friends get particularly chatty, my phone blows up with notifications. Last night, it was because Chooch is part of a group chat on Instagram with kids from school, & this is how I found out that David Bitchfucker (I wanted to include his full name but Henry was like ERIN!) planned on fighting Chooch’s buddy (we’ll call him….Jerry) today!!!

I got really upset about this because I like Jerry. He comes over every morning to retrieve Chooch and makes sure he gets to school in one piece, and you know, has his shoes on or whatever.

Things I should be doing.

Plus, dude is polite as shit and calls me MISS KELLY and not MRS ROBBINS which is false. 

Anyway, I talked to Chooch about it this morning and he was all, “It’s not going to happen. Jerry doesn’t even care” etc etc. 


But then today at 4, the group message started blowing up again and this time it was because David Fuckercunt posted a video of him and Jerry fighting after school!!!

I got really upset and made Todd watch it (he’s Team Jerry too) and first he was like, “This isn’t too bad—-oh, shit. Damn! These kids are in fifth grade?!” And then I watched it and it wasn’t like totally barbaric—no blood or whatnot—but it still wasn’t pleasant and I got really upset, especially when I scrolled through Chooch’s feed and saw that some other kids were posting the video, like “oh my man David Twatflicker is litAF” — uh no he’s not, he’s a stupid little prick kid who probably has negligent parents because he also posted a video of himself blowing smoke out of his mouth. 


And this bitch-kid is all, “Yeah I whooped his ass” and I’m like “No, you knocked him over with your chunky body, sat on his chest, and slapped him in the face with the sleeves of your pink hoodie, you fucking knob.”

By the time henry picked me up, I was ENRAGED. I wanted to DO SOMETHING. 

My first plan was that I was going to beat him up. 

“No, I’ll just cyber bully him.”

Henry frowned. 


“Yeah, that’s a great idea. You’d get so fired up you wouldn’t be able to say anything and then you’d end up hitting someone. And then it would be you in a video on Instagram.”


You will be pleased to know that I reported the video from every one of my accounts (I have so many IG accounts, it’s almost like the LiveJournal days) and IG removed it! 

A small victory. 

Next, I considered showing the video to the principal (it’s still available in the private group chat that Chooch is a part of) but then Jerry will get in trouble too because that’s how shit works, and I don’t even know if Jerry wants me to get involved. OH WHAT TO DO. 

Henry keeps telling me to “stay out of it” and attempted to lock my phone up in a safe when I was going to comment on some other asshole’s IG account who posted the video with the caption “My man!” 

My comment was going to be, “DOESNT LOOK LIKE A MAN TO ME.”


It’s hard to remember that these kids are in fifth grade when they’re parading around town like little cracker-thugs!!! 


It just so happens that Henry and I will be at the school tomorrow morning anyway because Chooch’s class is doing some dance thing? I have no idea what I’m going to be watching but I think I heard Chooch toss around the word POLKA. So I’m going to hone in on David FutureDropOut and proceed to intimidate him with my MENACING GLARE. 

Oh and my favorite part of all this is that yesterday he posted some lame picture about loving God.  YEAH WELL GOD DOESNT LOVE YOU, DAVID DUMPSTEROFNEEDLES. 

I can’t tell if this is my MOM POWER coming out or just the standard ERIN RAGE, but I’m dwelling. That much I know.

Why can’t these kids just settle their shit with a civilized game of kai bai bo?!

Nov 142016


What better way to decompress after a long week than by ice creammiserating with friends? (I JUST MADE THAT UP. THANKS, FOUR CUPS OF COFFEE.) I know that Chris and Monica were a little concerned walking the streets of Brookline in this hostile political climate, but I assured them that we would be fine because my White Herero Henry* was going to be with us. No one would fuck with us while we were beneath his canopy of privilege.

And also in his shadow.

*(I’ve been singing this in a vaudevillian manner with jazz hands and Henry is not a fan.)


We made it all the way to Scoops without incident, unless you count Chris and Monica endlessly heckling me for wearing wedges. Guys, they’re comfortable OK? I wasn’t trying to be fancy — they’re TOMS!

Chooch and I ordered almost immediately. He got one scoop of Boring and one scoop of Ordinary, and I got a scoop each of That’s So 2012 and Basic White Girl, aka Red Velvet and Pumpkin Pie.

Henry joined us at a table a few minutes later, leaving Chris and Monica alone at the counter. But I mean, you can’t get much safer and friendlier than an ice cream shop, right? WRONG.

While Chris and Monica were still weighing their sundae options, the bell over the door jingled and in walked your typical middle-aged Brookline creep. I knew he was a creep by the way our .0003  second eye contact signaled for my Fairy Godmother to flutter down from the rafters and add some dentata to my vagina.

Brookline Sleaze turned his objectifying gaze back where it belonged—on the case of ice cream. Sorry, ice cream.

I went back to pounding my cone into my mouth like it was sugary misogyny meeting its long-overdue demise, until I became acutely aware that Brookline Sleaze and Monica were now exchanging words. At first glance, it seemed casual, like maybe he was suggesting she put a wig of Steelers-colored sprinkles on her sundae, or inviting her to go huff some empty whipped cream cans with him out by the Brookline cannon. YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU IN MY HOOD.

Then I heard Monica say something to him a strained, terse tone. I could now see that this wasn’t a friendly conversation after all, that this man was clearly offending her, and I started to pray that he wasn’t saying something idiotic and ignorant about the election. Please, not here, not now, not while we’re trying to escape all of the hope-pummeling commentary by taking refuge at a fucking ICE CREAM SHOP.

He tried to sneak in a few more words, at which point Monica completely shut him down, telling him that she just didn’t want to talk about it anymore.

“What the fuck?” I mouthed as she sat down at our table with her sundae.

And then she told us exactly what happened, starting with her having a conversation with the Scoops lady about how it had been a long day.

“Yesterday was a long day too,” Brookline Sleaze butt in. Turns out he was referring to a local cop getting killed when responding to a domestic violence call last Thursday.

Monica reminded him that a woman was also killed by the shooter— her husband—and he said he didn’t know that.

“Yeah, and she was six months pregnant,” Monica added. Brookline Sleaze went on to say, “Yeah, but you know, the cop—” which completely verifies that we live in a world where women really do come second, if anywhere at all. And the BEST PART, oh boy, are you ready?

The best part was when Monica told us that he essentially insinuated that the cop’s death was more important because he died while doing his job, and you know, she probably asked for it.


She probably nagged him. She probably cheated on him. She probably emasculated him.

She probably did something to have her life and the life of her unborn baby taken away.

Good call, asshole.

Mad props to Monica for keeping her head from spinning during that moronic discourse; in that moment, she was the Michelle Obama of Scoops. 

 To be honest, I probably would have been too stunned to continue the conversation, as well. Or I’d have just burst into tears because I just can’t handle anything anymore. And then White Hetero Henry probably would have told me I’m overreacting or asked if I’m on my period.

Fuck you, White Hetero Henry.

And fuck you harder, Brookline Sleaze.


Chris and Chooch were like, “Fuck this noise, let’s talk about Disney Emoji Blitz.”

And that’s right, White Hetero Henry — you just sit there and keep your privileged mouth shut before you unwittingly marginalize someone. Why do I feel like the Trump administration is going to turn me into a chubby crusader who lops off penises with hedgeclippers. FAT SHAME ME, MOTHERFUCKERS.


If you’d like to learn more about the pregnant woman who, like the cop, didn’t deserve to die, her name was Dalia Sabae and it sounds like she was really fucking amazing. I didn’t know about her either until Monica told me, because every news source I saw that day only mentioned the slain cop.

There’s not enough ice cream in the world….

Oct 082016

I try to keep it light and fluffy around here, but I am just too fucking angry right now and ranting to Henry just isn’t cutting it anymore. I need to hear my fingertips murdering the keyboard, so HERE GOES.

It was the year 2000. I was a 20-year-old office manager at my first “real job.” I was learning some basic bookkeeping skills, designing weekly flyers, in charge of handling money brought back by the drivers, printing invoices….

….and being sexually harassed almost daily by my boss’s son.

20 years old and I’m starting to believe that this is a normal thing that happens in the office, being propositioned one minute and then forced to babysit the kids in my office when the wife comes to visit. Society tells me that I should just laugh it off, shrug about it, get some thicker skin.  It was just words, right? Just some lewd, perverted comments that I could either cry about, fight about, or ignore. I was too proud to cry, too scared of getting fired to fight, so I chose to just ignore. It becomes part of my unwritten job description, just another duty in order to earn a paycheck.

Just words. Just words. Just words.

One day, I was standing at the filing cabinet, organizing invoices (a/k/a doing my fucking job) when he ran into my office, GRABBED MY CROTCH, giggled hysterically, and ran out.

And I did nothing. Because this was a family-run business. There was no HR. I didn’t want my boss to fire me because I needed that job. I stayed there for FOUR YEARS because I was naive and believed that I could handle it, that I was strong enough, look how thick my skin is. For four years, I was “strong enough.”

Until I wasn’t. Until I realized that I was confusing “strength” with “numbness” and “complacency.”

I quit in 2004. A mediation between me and the owner happened a few months later and there was a settlement. No apology, though. Because in the eyes of these men, it wasn’t rape. It was “just touching,” right? Maybe some lewd innuendos and comments here and there. So that makes it “not as bad,” you know? It never went any further than that so it was “excusable.” The worst part is that I was almost convinced that this was true. 

But the truth is that outside of that environment, I realized that it didn’t matter how strong I thought I was, what happened was gross and abhorrent, NOT NORMAL, and something that I’ve had to live with every day since. I have four year’s worth of composition books filled with details of what was said and done to me, all these composition books which I will probably never be able to go back and crack open. 

It took me THREE YEARS to get a job after that because I was so scared of putting myself in another situation like that. I didn’t realize just how awful all of this was until I started opening up about it later on, to new co-workers who promised me that it was so far from being OK. 

When I see Donald Trump, I see my ex-boss’s son. That could be him—the man who bragged that he was going to cheat on his wife with me, the man who casually asked me in front of a roomful of men which female celebrity I’d most like to fuck, the man who grabbed my crotch—running for president. Same crude ideals, same perverted values, same disgusting entitlement. If someone is the type of person to make those kinds of misogynistic comments, then chances are, they’re the type of person to eventually turn those words into actions.

It makes me think, if it was that hard for me to step forward and tell someone what was happening, imagine what it feels like to be a RAPE VICTIM.

I think about that, and I just feel so fucking angry. Trump is such a trigger to so many women, just FUCK OFF already. 


Aug 192016

I’m so mad about this that now I can’t sleep so I woke Henry up to yell at him about it and he’s like “ok wow” & is sleeping again already while my eyelids are being propped open by STICKS OF RAGE. I’M GOING TO WRITE A LETTER.

What makes me feel even more sad for humanity is that if you replaced the Victorian aspect with  “for arriving with their same-sex partner” or “for looking Muslim,” it would seem almost less shocking because we’re “used” to hearing about that type of discrimination and that’s just fucked up that this is where we are as a society. (This is not to say that being “used” to those types of headlines evokes any less anger because BELIEVE ME BROTHER, it doesn’t.) Life is too short to make people feel like shit for being themselves. I hate that it’s 2016 and this is a real thing that happened. Seems so dumb. Everything is so dumb. 

These people are beautiful and they can come to my garden any day, but just please call first so I can make a garden real quick out of paper plates, construction paper, and Henry’s underwear.   

Sorry for THREE POSTS IN A DAY, what is this–LiveJournal? No, this is mania. 

Aug 302015


Anyone who even casually knows me would probably say “obvi duh” upon hearing me declare that Warped Tour is my favorite day of every summer. And probably punctuate it with an eye roll. But it really is the one day a year that helps me relate a little bit to religious zealots, because being around so many of “my people” at once is a really powerful, exciting feeling. Much like being at one of those colossal mega-churches with people passing out and screaming.

A few weeks ago, I made a poster of all of my pictures from this year’s Warped Tour, which was one of my favorites.

And I feel weird saying that, because this year’s was rife was drama and controversy, starting with the allegations against Front Porch Step earlier in the year. This has been written about ad nauseum on the Internet, so I’ll keep it short: Jack Mcelfresh, the singer behind the Front Porch Step moniker, was using his scene status to lure underage girls via social media. Several of them finally spoke out about it via Tumblr, complete with screen shots of text messages and gross pictures he was sending them. I had never heard of him until we took Chooch to see Never Shout Never in Cleveland in 2013. We were hanging out by his merch table most of the night and he gave Chooch a free poster, which I thought was so nice, but also — we were there with the editor in chief of Alternative Press, so I’m not stupid. If I wanted my music to be acknowledged by the biggest publication supporting my scene, I’d give out free shit to a kid, too.

Now I just feel gross about it.

FPS ultimately was removed from Warped Tour; literally no one wanted to see his face after all of this. But then he made a surprise one-off appearance at the Nashville date which inspired massive outcry and widespread disappointment from those who had the misfortune of stumbling across him that day and everyone following along from home. This really put Warped Tour and its founder, Kevin Lyman, under a lot of fire and public scrutiny. Kevin defended his choice to allow Jake play in the Acoustic Basement that day by stating that he was working with Jake’s counselors and that this was part of his recovery process. While I have mad respect for Kevin Lyman for organizing my favorite music festival year after year, I will be the first to admit that this guy just shouldn’t even give statements to the media and he definitely should think harder before tweeting his opinions, because he is a master word-mincer. Every time he opens his mouth, he makes it worse! So he basically made himself look like a misogynist (and I truly don’t believe that he actually is) while essentially minimizing the issue at hand. Jake Mcelfresh is not the victim in this situation and he should not have been given a platform, even if it was only for one Warped Tour date.

That shouldn’t have even been an option. I will hand it to Kevin though, he made himself available every morning and invited any concerned fan to come and speak to him directly about this before the show.

So that was one big issue, and it was enough to start the #boycottwarped hashtag.

The second involved my old buddy, Jonny Craig! It’s never a dull moment with him. Quick backstory: the last time he played Warped Tour was in 2010, back when he was still in Emarosa. He caused a lot of drama and Kevin Lyman had to get Jonny’s mom to come out so they could attempt an intervention. Ultimately, he was told he’d never be allowed to play Warped again. But for whatever reason, Kevin decided to give Jonny a second chance, so five years later his new band Slaves was invited to play the second leg of Warped. (Emarosa played the first half.) Of course, Jonny started off by being super cocky about it, because everything Emarosa does, he thinks his idiot band can do better.

They managed to play…three dates, I think? Then people started commented on Jonny’s Instagram asking things like, “Hey, why didn’t you guys play today?” and of course, no one would respond. Well, Jonny sexually harassed their merch girl; it’s believed that he shoved his crotch in her face and made her touch him. I know, so uncharacteristic of him! He never even denied it, but still managed to make it worse by choosing douchey ways to express that what he did wasn’t “wrong.” He flat out replied “lol” to the merch girl’s vague tweet about how upsetting it is when alcohol turns decent people into monsters, which turned out to be her discreet way of alluding to what happened to her. Girl was traumatized, and rightfully so — she had only just met the band days earlier.

Some girl named Shelby who has known Jonny for some time and has also worked as his merch girl in the past, posted this ridiculous defense of Slaves online, about how women need to have thick skins to work in the music industry and that you have to expect things like this to happen, and how she can attest, without even being there, that Jonny was just joking around and that if you can’t “be one of the guys,” you should find a different job.

WHAT A WONDERFUL WOMAN! Teaching all these girls out there that they should just expect to be groped and humiliated by men, and if they can’t handle it, they’re clearly weak Lesser-Thans, right? So fucking sickening. Way to leave your own dirty finger print on rape culture, lady! The last line — really? So this girl should just go home and then Slaves can just carry on the rest of the tour like nothing happened? She should be punished but not them? I just…I can’t.

The bottom line is that being a merch person is still a job. Do you go to work expecting to be sexually harassed? Me either. So why should Slaves’ merch girl? She was just trying to make a living like everyone else.

All of this culminated into a huge divide behind the scenes at Warped Tour. First, Kevin kicked them off the tour, but then decided, for whatever reason, to let everyone involved in Warped Tour decide the fate of Slaves. They had a town hall meeting one Saturday night after all the fans were gone, where everyone was invited to say their piece, and then vote on whether Slaves should be kicked off or not. I have become Twitter friends with Jonny’s ex-fiancee, Amanda, over the last year, and she had a friend who was at the town hall meeting that night. She and I DM’d each other for hours that evening, on pins and needles waiting for the outcome.

Can I just pause for a second to say that this is a band full of dickhead members who tweet things like this?


Alex Lyman is the Slaves guitarist, and I honestly think he’s worse than Jonny Craig. People get fired from their jobs for saying things much less bad than this on the Internet. But it’s OK because he’s in band, right guys?

According to Amanda’s friend, about 300 people showed up that night to vote. It started with Kevin telling Jonny that he’s done with him, and he’s done with his band, but now it’s up to his peers to decide his fate. It was, obviously, a landslide vote to have them removed from the tour. Jonny was incredulous, and during all of it, he still wasn’t owning up to what he did to tip over that first domino. He kept accusing everyone of judging him based on his past, when sadly, it sounds like a lot of the bands that voted him off were doing so because they were worried that the Warped Tour environment was reversing his recovery process, while also trying to reason with him that getting drunk every night was not something that he should be doing. The rest of his band got real defensive about that and kept saying things like, “he’s an adult, he can handle it” which is hilarious because Jonny Craig is one of the most emotionally-stunted people I have ever encountered. He is the true definition of Man Child, which is why deep down, I honestly feel really sorry for him.

Billboard interviewed Kevin Lyman about the decision to remove Slaves from Warped Tour; yay — more face/palm Warped Tour media spotlights.

My favorite part of this latest Jonny Blows It Again episode is that a bunch of bands started wearing “Bring Back Emarosa” shirts. <3

Meanwhile, Fronz from Attila was having a major feud with The Wonder Years and Buddy from Senses Fail, who went on to tweet a virtual manifest of the state of the scene and how shit needs to change and Kevin Lyman needs to quit giving stages to these immature brat-bands. And Coop from Hands Like Houses posted a picture of himself flipping off the YouTubers tent and saying that he wishes the kids at Warped Tour would stop paying so much attention to the people who have nothing beneficial to say (truth), which incited an Instagram riot with all the teenage girls who are obsessed with the Warped YouTubers.

I know shit like this happens every year, but it seemed especially bad this time around, resulting in Kevin Lyman to give another cringe-worthy interview in which he seemingly chose his words in haste, leaving them open to easy misinterpretation. (Warped Tour will never be a 21+ event, guys. That’s not what he meant. Kevin knows his Warped Tour bread-and-butter demographic is the teen girls!)

It’s depressing to see that most of the people defending Jonny Craig are GIRLS. The victim-shaming on Twitter alone is enough to make me want to cry for all womankind and scream at them to get off Twitter and go burn a fucking bra. And then I read comments about how bands have been doing shit like this forever and how come it was OK back then, it was brushed off as “Oh, that’s so rock n’ roll,” but now all of these bands suddenly are expected to be held accountable, and the scene is becoming so “pussified” and “sensitive.” How about, no—it wasn’t OK back then. But I think it was easier for bands to get away with bad behavior in past decades because their lives were more secretive and more protected. With social media, everything is out there. It’s easier for smarmy musicians to bait underage girls, and it’s also easier for them to get exposed for doing so. It’s better, and it’s worse.

This is why I’m relieved that Robert Smith of the Cure has barely any Internet presence at all. He still ensconced in beautiful mystery. And how rare!

The one silver-lining I took from all this drama is seeing how many bands I respect speak up about the state of Warped Tour, offering solutions, begging the ones who are giving the scene a bad name to hear them out, trying to resolve beef without violence, and just ultimately coming together in an effort to make this community stronger. Also? There are a lot of men out there in this scene who give a fuck about women’s rights and are willing to go to bat for us. Misogyny and rape culture is rampant at most music festivals—not just Warped—and in many music scenes, but it is refreshing to see that this is something that my scene is being vocal about and recognizing that shit needs to change. The discussions that have been going on all summer long over at Absolute Punk have been smart, intelligent, and a sign that there are people out there who are open to change and willing to fight to make this scene good again. Also? Asshole behavior and sexual misconduct will not be tolerated or brushed off as “it’s just rock n’ roll, bruh.”

It’s a lot to think about, and something that we’ve been talking about a lot in my house, Chooch included. As a music-lover, I don’t want to ever stop going to Warped Tour. But as a self-respecting woman? Things need to change, and soon.

There comes a point where it’s not actually just about the music anymore.

Dec 312014


Today is the last day of 2014 (newsflash for those calendar-ignorant motherfuckers out there) and I was just struck with an extra dose of blogging panic because I need to purge all this December bullshit before it’s too late and I get shot in the neck with a poisoned dart and then dragged to whatever the blogging version of Guantanamo Bay is….Dooce’s basement? I shudder to think.

  • First, let’s talk about Secret Santa! I had A-ron this year and I was super-stoked about it and went completely overboard because Secret Santa-shopping is fun as fuck. I mostly got him toys and candy and novelty socks, but the best part was in the wrapping, which I can’t post here because it all involved pictures of various people around the law firm and I’m trying to not be a reckless blogger, remember? Meanwhile, my Secret Santa was KILLING IT. I was convinced that it was Nate, because every day, I was getting very Erin-specific notes and Kit Kats, and not too long ago, Nate asked me what my favorite candy was. AND I SAID KIT KATS. Plus, I figured it had to be someone that I talk to everyday and/or am Facebook friends with, because the details were on point.



The TMNT figures made me really lean toward Nate, but then toward the end, Barb was like, “FYI it’s not Nate” because she had to deliver something on behalf of Nate and it was not to my desk. But then I started thinking, about how my gift wasn’t there that day when I got in, but then it showed up later, AFTER MEAN AMBER HAD ARRIVED FOR LATE SHIFT. How could I have been so blind!? All of my notes were specific to things that she is forced to talk to me about EVERY DAY. (Except the Pens—that’s a mutual topic for us.) So yes, it was definitely Mean Amber (or Amber Claus) and she told me that Nate only asked me what my favorite candy was because she told him to. WELL-PLAYED. God, Secret Santa is so fun!



  • In other Christmas news (j/k, this whole post is Christmas nonsense), Chooch joined chorus this year and has consistently failed to bring home pertinent information that involved parents might need to have. Such as: when recitals are and what he needs to wear for said recitals and what time he needs to be at the school before these supposed recitals. A few weeks ago, I got a text from Henry at 5:20 (10 minutes before I was done with work) to tell me that our son had just informed him that he had to be back at school by 6:00 in order to get ready for the 6:30 recital. That jerk is so goddamn lucky that my job is in such close proximity to our house and his school. So yes, we got him there in time and got to watch him sing a medley of Christmas carols. When that was done, the music teacher took the stage to announce that while the band was setting up, several students were going to come out and play a piece on the piano. I was like, “Oh great, more unbridled talent. How will we stand it” when suddenly, the first kid to come back out on stage was my own goddamn son. My stomach flip-flopped, my entire body spontaneously clenched. This was a big surprise to me. Chooch got behind the piano and knocked out a few bars of “Deck the Halls” and, while not without flaws, it wasn’t too bad for a kid who barely practices and has a laid-back punk keyboardist as his teacher. I mean, I knew that he had been working on this song but I thought it was something that he was playing for the kids in music class or something, not in front of all of these parents. And then when he finished, he promptly took a bow. The people behind us were fucking loving it and kept shouting, “IS THAT YOUR BOY? IS HE YOURS?” like we just witnessed a young Amadeus up there and not an 8-year-old rushing through Deck the Halls from spotty memory. But goddammit, I was proud of that kid. Especially afterward when he joined us in the crowd and kicked back in a chair like his solo was no big deal. I asked him if he was nervous and he looked at me like I was absurd. “No. Why would I be?” We are so not alike in that regard.
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    • Also in CHORUS NEWS, I was just getting on the trolley two Mondays ago when Henry texted me and said that Chooch had called him from school, that he had his chorus field trip that day and was supposed to wear a white button-down shirt since they were going to be performing at the courthouse downtown, and that he HAD a white shirt on, but MOMMY made him take it off. Fucking little liar. You know what he was wearing that day, because he insisted on dressing himself? An over-sized CAT T-SHIRT. Again, this kid is fucking lucky that I work downtown and was able, with Glenn’s permission of all people, to run down the street to Burlington and buy a stupid white shirt for my lying sack of a kid, and then later in the morning, I had to run up to the courthouse which I actually know where that it is thanks to JURY DUTY 2011 when my co-workers did everything short of aiming beacons into the air to make sure I knew where I was going. I found the spot where all of the other school buses were dropping off the band kids, etc., so I stood there waiting for Chooch’s school, which of course passed right by, with Chooch, wearing a baggy cat t-shirt and a shit-eating grin, waving to me from the window. So I had to follow the bus around the entire courthouse because the music teacher apparently is as woefully unprepared as me, until finally the bus pulled over and the teacher jumped off and ran inside the courthouse, I guess to check in. All of Chooch’s dorky friends were waving and pointing to me from the bus, and I’m like, “I gotta get back to work, put your damn window down” and Chooch is like, “What? Why?” and I’m really getting irritated at this point, at him, at the situation, at all these dumb kids laughing and waving at me. It took FOUR KIDS to help him get his dumb window down, at which point, I balled up the Burlington bag, chucked it through the window and growled, “BREAK A LEG!” I found out later that he was pissed that I didn’t stay to watch his performance, are you fucking kidding me? Maybe if I hadn’t wasted my entire lunch break plus some SHOPPING IN A SCARY STORE and practically casing the courthouse like a creep, I could have stayed.
    • Between all of this, the Open House fuckarow, and god only knows what else we’ve unknowingly missed, his school probably thinks he has alcoholics for parents.
  • I didn’t think Henry and I were exchanging gifts this year since we did the whole Philly weekend thing two weeks ago, but then he told me he had something for me so of course I begged him on Christmas Eve to let me open it. I could tell right away that it was a CD and you guys know that I love music so much but I still started to feel disappointed because CDs are every day purchases, you know? #spoiledbrat But then I opened it and realized that it was a Mike + the Mechanics CD with tickets to the show stuffed inside! YOU GUYS. This was one of the few times I didn’t have to feign appreciation! I was actually going to go to this show alone because Henry seemed really off-put by the ticket prices (when you’re accustomed to $10-$20 small band shows….), but then he bought two tickets for the same seats we had for the Goblin show and I am so incredibly stoked! My Pappap loved this band. I don’t even care that the original singers aren’t going to be there (well, one is dead…) because Mike Rutherford will be, and hopefully my Pappap’s spirit.
    • Also, Henry’s lucky that there were tickets inside, because he didn’t get the album that has “Silent Running” on it. What an asshole.
  • Before going to my dad’s house for a Christmas visit, we had dinner at Pan Asia with other loners/non-Christmas types. It was nice because the place wasn’t dead. But I made the rookie mistake of sitting across from Chooch, who just got a camcorder and is already calling the (zero) subscribers of his (non-existent) YouTube channel “demon cakes.” There’s an approx. 7-minute video of me sipping my oolong tea. It’s riveting. Henry has already made a gif out of it.



  • Hanging out at my dad’s on Christmas night was really nice and we all laughed a lot. On the way home, I was thinking about how nice this Christmas was — no tears, no ungratefulness. And then my phone buzzed with a Facebook notification. My friend Jenny had tagged me in a comment that she left about my serial killer cards. She’s always pimping my shop, so I didn’t think anything of it at first, until I noticed that the thing she was commenting on actually WAS one of my cards….only with some other person’s logo on it. So I went to the actual page on FB that this was posted on, and it turned out that they had taken EVERY ONE OF MY CARDS and put their logo on it. From what I could tell, they weren’t selling them, but they were taking credit. And they were getting A LOT of great feedback from people who were commenting, liking, and sharing. We’re talking 100s of people. This guy, whose name I refuse to mention, has over 30,000 likes on his page. These are all people who could have been potential customers, but instead, they think he’s the “brilliant” one churning these things out. I know it’s a really weird/dumb/sketchy thing to be involved in, but I have literally cornered the market on serial killer greeting cards since 2007. And I take pride in that. So first, I commented on one and, even though my immediate reaction was to fucking go off, I tried to stay rational and explained that I was the creator of these cards, here’s the link to my shop, etc. Then I started replying to some of the comments too, saying things like, “Thanks! I made this card. Here’s the link to my shop.” I tried to send this guy a direct message and couldn’t find the option to do. Then I noticed all of my comments had been deleted. He fucking blocked me. I found his website and contacted him through that; meanwhile, I had posted on my personal and business Facebook pages and a lot of my friends and customers were going after him, only to have their comments deleted and get blocked as well. Some lucky people were even getting personally harassed by him. I couldn’t even believe the balls on this guy. He was so mean and cocky. He told my one friend that he was trying to enjoy Xmas with his family, so what’s her beef. WELL THAT IS WHAT I WAS TRYING TO DO TOO! Oh my god. Then he and Henry started messaging back and forth and he flat out told Henry that his girlfriend “found” my cards on the Internet and since I didn’t get “permission” from the inmates to use their pictures (are you fucking kidding me), that it was OK for him to steal from me. Because my ideas and the time I put into creating these cards don’t mean shit without BTK’s seal of approval, I guess. Then he replied to my email and basically tried to bully me into giving him a cut of my card sales because, and I quote: “I have 30.000 followers and you have 200. Who are you?” And then he attacked me on my business page, basically saying that just because I “steal” inmates’ pictures and cut and paste, doesn’t make me an artist.  It was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to reason with this piece of shit, but luckily Facebook came through in less than 24 hours and took down all of my images from his page. We’re protected under basic copyright laws, but you better believe we’ll be registering for an LLC, which I never thought would be necessary before since we don’t really sell  that many of these things and it’s certainly not our bread and butter. I mean, Henry and I both have full-time jobs. I’m not sure how I would feel if I made enough money off serial killers to quit my day job, anyway. I haven’t heard from this guy since Facebook stepped in (although the next night, he “liked” my non compos cards FB page….and I have a feeling it’s not because he wants to kiss and make up). I just have a feeling this isn’t the last I’ve heard from him, but I’ll tell you — I have never been so thankful to work at a big law firm.
    • Not to be corny, but the best thing about all of this is that so many of my friends, and their friends, and past customers totally had my back. They defended me, they hijacked this guy’s hashtag, they reposted on their own FB about what he was doing, they tipped off their mutual friends who also liked this guy’s page. It was just really, really nice to not be in this alone. Octavia even started sending messages to the people who had liked his posts that used the images of my cards, since he had blocked her from replying to their comments. And now I’m officially friends with one of my favorite repeat customers, Polly! I’ll take my 200 friends over his 30,000 followers (which he probably paid for) any day.
    • The worst part was that I let this guy get under my skin and into my head and spent the rest of the weekend questioning my validity to the point where I wanted to just close my shop altogether.
    • Also, it wasn’t about the money. It was about pride. I created these and he was taking credit. Do you know how nauseating it was to see people giving him praise for something that I made, something that came out of MY head? I was shaking so violently Thursday night that Henry had to tell me to sit down and he handled it from there.
    • In his email to me, he stated that he writes to all of the “big name killers” and that Dennis Rader probably wouldn’t be too happy knowing I was using his picture, but he spelled his name “Radar.” And then he did it again on mu Facebook pages, and Henry said that he spelled it that way in a message to him, too, which makes me laugh. It was everything I could do not to type “I HAVE A DEATH ROW PEN PAL TOO!” Ugh.
  • In better Christmas news, Henry framed my Goblin and Circa Survive show prints! And then he didn’t hang them the way I wanted. But still. At least they’re framed and not rolled up somewhere.





Overall, 2014 wasn’t too bad. Sure, it had low points, what year doesn’t? But it also brought a lot of laughter, amazing shows, and new friendships. And I get to end it by going to the hockey game tonight with Henry! So for that, I can’t hate on 2014.


May 282014

In 2009, I wrote a blog post that I had no idea would become the most-viewed thing I had written. It was called “Jonny Craig is a Piece of Shit.” Back then, I thought I was the only one who had shitty experiences with him in person. But it is consistently viewed to this day, do you know why? Because “why is Jonny Craig an asshole?” is a popular search term. Occasionally, someone will leave a comment on that post, too. Most of those comments are from ex-fans who want to share their own horror stories with me, but there are also the scathing ones from rabid supporters, telling me I’m pathetic, that he doesn’t owe me anything as a fan, and that I’m clearly butt-hurt.

Look. I’ve only been butt-hurt once in my entire life, and that was when I lost my footing on a pile of pumpkins at Trax Farm and wound up sitting on a stem. True fucking story for all of you pumpkin porn fanatics out there.

Anyway, the catalyst of that post was meeting him for the second time during the Dance Gavin Dance/Emarosa Squash the Beef tour. He was standing behind me at the bar in Mr. Small’s and literally all I wanted to do was tell him how much I enjoyed Emarosa and what an impact their music had on me emotionally, how it stimulated my creativity (back then, I had based some of my paintings off their lyrics), and how interwoven it had become with my life. I wasn’t trying to sit on his lap (let’s face it, I’m too fat, much ugly for him anyway) or make him sign shit. I wasn’t trying to pull him away from his alcohol for a photo session. I just wanted to say nice things to him for < 30 seconds, God forbid. It took every ounce of courage I could muster just to even say hello to him, after years of allowing his voice to be the personification of my dysfunctional friendship with my ex-BFF Christina.

But he just stood there and stared at me, making it clear that I was boring the shit out of him, so I mumbled, “Enjoy your stay in Pittsburgh” and walked away with my head down. It was humiliating and I know that he was making fun of me as soon as I walked away.

Because that’s what douchebags do.

When you put so much stock in a person like that, raising them up on some shaky pedestal, creating images of them in your mind, and then the reality of their personality shatters everything you had built up, it’s devastating. Maybe that sounds pathetic, but music has always been how I have coped with things. It enhances all of the good times and softens the bad. So now when the singer of a band that had made me feel so good has single-handedly made me feel AWFUL, well, it was a little emotionally traumatic.

It’s amazing how we deify these underserving people in the name of fandom.

He sounded like shit that night too. Drunk, stumbling, forgetting lyrics. It was my friend Alisha’s first time seeing Emarosa and her succinct review was: “They’re terrible!”

No, Jonny Craig is terrible.

I vowed to be done with him after that, and I was doing well until Emarosa released their next album in 2010 and I couldn’t resist. I still hated him. But I felt if I could separate my personal feelings for him from the music, I would be fine. Besides, wasn’t that what all of my detractors were telling me to do in certain harsh terms on my blog?

The problem is that as soon as I hear his dumb voice, I melt. It has nothing to do with him. I forget what a douchebag he is and all I can remember is how good it feels to be that into music. And it somehow kept me psychically connected to Christina, even when we were no longer speaking. It always goes back to that anyway.

Meanwhile, Henry was totally annoyed. He doesn’t get the whole “OMG JONNY CRAIG SINGS LIKE AN ANGEL!” argument, and it drove him nuts how I would turn into a 30-year-old fan girl at the mere mention of his stupid name. You know how I have pretty much based this entire blog on hassling Henry, right? I mean, unless this is your first time reading it. So if he hates Jonny Craig, then I am going to FUCKING BE OBSESSED with Jonny Craig.

My obsession can be broken down like this:

5% immaturity // 10% mental illness // 10% sincere love of his voice // 75% desire to drive Henry into an early grave.

(I triple-checked to make sure that added up, btw.)

And let’s face it: I thrive on being obnoxious.

I ran with it. Jonny Craig became my shtick. I made a Jonny Craig Christmas tree topper. I had my friend Maya make me a Jonny Craig doll. I hung up pictures of him around my office at work (if you go to the Law Firm and start questioning people on my floor who Jonny Craig is and they don’t know, then obviously I must never talk to that person, ever). This whole time, it was helping me cope with issues that Christina had left me with. I know, some people would just get therapy. But I’ll just sit over here and hug my Jonny Craig doll. Because projection is normal. Right?

The MacBook scam happened. The detox. The rehab. I was prepared for this to be the end of the Jonny Craig story, but then he started dating a girl who seemed to really change him, or at least, she was trying. And the crazy part was that she didn’t seem like a basic groupie. She seemed pretty intelligent, which one might argue about since she got involved with JC in the first place, but love is blind, you guys. I’m with Henry, aren’t I? Of course, I had to keep up my Crazy Jonny Craig Fangirl Persona and act like a nutcase when they got engaged (I think I might have even referred to her as Jonny’s penis-cozy in one of my faux-fits, what the fuck is wrong with me), but really–I hoped that she would save him.

Because as much of a loose cannon as he is, he really is a bright spot in a scene overflowing with generic, formulaic background noise.

All of these things I was willing to overlook because the music meant that much to me. I was so excited when Henry reluctantly agreed to drive five hours to Allentown last weekend so that I could see Jonny’s new band, Slaves. But then when I was going through his twitter feed to get screen shots of the nasty things he was saying about Emarosa (I wanted to have those as visual aids for my Emarosa blog post; can you stand how thorough I am?), I ended up seeing some terrible things.

Really awful things.

Jonny and his fiancée are currently going through a messy breakup, and he had a tweet that said if he saw her being raped, he wouldn’t stop to help.

He had another tweet saying that he never beat her when they were together but now he wishes he had. He deleted the original tweet but his retweet of this smart girl’s response still existed on Twitter:


This asshole seriously needs to have someone monitoring his social media accounts. Like, I don’t know, maybe his MOTHER?

“Really fucking nice guy, Erin,” Henry spat when I showed him.

(Even worse is that these asinine girls were tweeting things like, “Jonny Craig could have his hands around my neck and I would still love him.” Which of course he was retweeting because these are the things that make King Shit’s ego swell. Keep encouraging him, girls. Make your mamas proud.)

At this point, it was too late. We had already bought the tickets. Rented the car. Booked the hotel room. Whether we went to this show in Allentown or not, I had already inadvertently supported a misogynistic douchepig and it made me sick to my stomach. So sick that I had a mild panic attack standing outside of the venue that night and we almost didn’t go in. Henry had to take me back to the car so I could calm down.

Look, I don’t know his ex-fiancée, but as a woman, I can’t stand for shit like that and I will automatically have her back. This is the reason men run the fucking world, because they say shit like this and no one does anything. They’ll have tons of men cheering them on in between disgusting chugs of beer, wiping Hooters wing sauce off their lips with their unwashed football jerseys of rapist athletes.

There could be actual video footage of Jonny Craig beating a woman, and he will still have fans. I mean, Chris Brown still gets played on the radio, doesn’t he?

“I just feel like if I see him, I’m going to fucking punch him!” I kept saying over and over. I was so disgusted. I kind of wished that I had worn my Emarosa t-shirt, like I had joked about last week. I brought it with me and at the last minute, Henry agreed it was a bad idea because it wouldn’t be Jonny who noticed, it would be his legion of scantily-clad side broad hopefuls and I wasn’t trying to get clawed at by their nasty acrylics. Talk about a petri dish of I Don’t Wanna Know.

We went inside. I scowled at all of the meatheads in their Jonny Craig is My Homeboy shirts. I cringed at all the girls wearing barely nothing, knowing exactly why they left 89% of their clothes at home. I suddenly felt so protective of all these little girls.

Slaves took the stage and as expected, the crowd went nuts for Jonny. But for the first time ever, I felt nothing. I just stood there with my arms crossed, refusing to clap, refusing to do a single thing Jonny demanded. And then he dedicated the last song to his ex, Amanda. “Til death do us part, bitch!” he spat and everyone was like “Yay!” because that’s cool, right?

I looked at Henry and my eyes started to well up. I felt like such a traitor to women everywhere just by being there.

“I can’t do this anymore,” I said to Henry afterward. “I can’t keep supporting this asshole.” And I think that was the happiest I have ever seen Henry in the thirteen years we’ve been together.

Meanwhile, King Shit was standing a few feet away from us, going through the motions of showing his fans what a “changed person” he is by posing for pictures with them. Two moms (like, I know I’m a mom, but these were MOMS wearing mom jeans with their mom purses slung across their mom boobs) ran over to him, took his picture, and then ran back giggling to show their respective daughters, who didn’t look more than 15-years-old. The daughters predictably squealed and were dragged back over to him by their moms.

“I guess these old broads don’t know he loves demoralizing under-aged scene girls,” I yelled to Henry. Oh, it was sickening to watch. And then afterward, I saw someone’s picture with him on Instagram and the caption said something about how Jonny was rushing everyone along because there was “quite a horde” of fans waiting. I didn’t know “roughly fifteen people” constituted a “horde,” but OK.

I’m not going to lie: I’ve always looked at fans of Ronnie Radke and wondered, “How could these kids love a guy who is such an asshole?” And duh, hello. Look at me. Blindly supporting a dreg of society since 2008.

More than anything, I feel like I owe it to my 8-year-old son to wash my hands of this guy. What kind of an example would I be setting for him if not? He already knows the guy is a drug addict (but the piss test! it was clean! blah blah!) and just a flat out mean person, but I definitely don’t want him to think that it’s OK to make those kinds of violent comments about women, publicly no less, and still have girls falling over you. “Hey, this guy acts like a douchebag and my mom loves him, so…..”

So maybe, if you’re a Jonny Craig avenger reading this, some girl with low self-esteem anxiously awaiting your chance with him, some bro who thinks it’s cool to treat people like dirt, then you might think this is a lame reason to throw in the towel. And that’s fine. Because one person writing a blog post like this is not in any way going to hurt his career, don’t worry JC afficionados. But I have too much respect for myself and at the end of the day, it’s all about girl power. I won’t stand for comments glorifying domestic violence, whether they were empty threats or not—-doesn’t matter. This guy clearly needs help, and I wish his new bandmembers luck with all of the future statements they’re going to need to release, swearing that their singer “has changed” and “is clean.” Seriously, good luck with that, and I hope he doesn’t destroy your careers.

I think I’m going to tell my kid, when in doubt, to ask himself “What would Jonny Craig do?” And then do the opposite.